Monday Night Raw – September 9, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 9, 2002
Location: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

So there’s a new World Champion and that means we get to hear about how amazing HHH really is. That’s been the case around here for a long time but you can feel it cranking into a much higher level around this point. We’re a few weeks away from Unforgiven and the only match that seems to be coming up is HHH vs. Rob Van Dam for the title. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – August 12, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 12, 2002
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

With less than two weeks to go before Summerslam, it might be nice to add a few matches to the card. Unless I’m missing something, all we have at the moment is Rock vs. Lesnar and HHH vs. Shawn Michaels. While those are both big matches, you need more than that to fill out a show. I mean, Shawn and HHH might disagree but not everyone thinks like they do. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – August 5, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 5, 2002
Location: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Summerslam continues to approach and that means we’re in need of some major matches. The big story around here though is someone attacking Shawn Michaels, sending HHH right back into caring about his former best friend who he just happens to beat up every now and then. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – July 15, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 15, 2002
Location: Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is a big one. Last week it was clear that something had to change around here after one of the most dreadful nights in the history of this show. It’s not so much that the wrestling was bad (save for the mixed tag) but there was almost nothing worth watching and one boring match after another. Things really do need to change and change they will. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – May 27, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 27, 2002
Location: Skyreach Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Attendance: 9,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Things are getting a bit more interesting around here but there’s a lot of bad still going on as well. Possibly above all else though, it seems that people like Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam are moving up towards the top of the card, which is the most important thing that could happen at the moment. Let’s get to it.

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Judgment Day 2002

Judgment Day 2002
Date: May 19, 2002
Location: Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Attendance: 14,521
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

The company is ice cold coming into this show and I can’t imagine this is going to make things any warmer. Raw has turned into a mess with the old guys doing whatever they want while Smackdown is about Vince somehow failing to sleep with Stacy Keibler because he can’t just get a room somewhere. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – May 13, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 13, 2002
Location: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Since when does a city get Wrestlemania in March and Raw in May? It’s the final Raw before Judgment Day and the big question is what can possibly happen to Hogan and Undertaker now? Last week was a total disaster and I can’t imagine things are going to get any better here. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – April 22, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 22, 2002
Location: Savvis Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after Backlash and due to reasons of pure nostalgia, Hulk Hogan is the Undisputed WWF World Champion. That means he’s gearing up for a title defense against Undertaker at the next pay per view, which leaves Steve Austin to feud with Ric Flair because Austin feuds with authority figures. Let’s get to it.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – March 8, 1999

A video package chronicles Steve Austin attacking the Rock on Sunday Night Heat and Paul Wight not trying to save the Rock from the assault.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are calling the action and they are live from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – February 22, 1999

A video package recaps the Rock winning the WWF title in a ladder match against Mankind on last week’s show.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are taped from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Vince McMahon comes out to hype tonight’s Inferno Match between the Undertaker and Kane.  He welcomes Paul Wight to the ring, who is booked to be the guest referee at WrestleMania.  Cole is trying to get Wight over as “The Big Nasty,” so I guess it is good that “The Big Show” name was chosen instead.  WWF Champion The Rock also comes out, quickly getting into a verbal confrontation with Wight, telling him to “Know his role.”  McMahon’s efforts at playing peacemaker get nowhere until Mankind marches onto the stage and volunteers to referee the WrestleMania main event, as well as referee a Rock-Wight encounter tonight.  Wight then proceeds to challenge the Rock to a match, which the Rock gladly accepts and he says he will put the WWF title on the line too.

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ECW on Sci-Fi #7 07/25/2006

Tonight, ECW is honoured to present the annual Big Show vs. Kane match. There’s been more guest stars in the last few weeks of ECW than Cannonball Run.

We’re in Detroit, Michigan and the hosts are Joey Styles (nerdy scientist) and Tazz (the thing the nerdy scientist turns into when he’s bitten by a radioactive orange).

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Smackdown – February 25, 2016

Smackdown
Date: February 25, 2016
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

We’re getting close to Wrestlemania in a hurry and things are really starting to change. This past Monday saw the return of Shane McMahon and the announcement of his match against Undertaker of all people inside the Cell at the biggest show of the year. Other than that we have what seems like the face HHH vs. the heel Roman Reigns for the World Title coming up. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – September 17, 2015

Smackdown
Date: September 17, 2015
Location: Verizon Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Booker T., Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan

It’s the final show before Night of Champions 2015 and that likely means we’ll be focusing on the midcard matches. If the past few Smackdowns before pay per views are any indications, that means it’s likely going to be about Ambrose/Reigns vs. the Wyatts while they tease who the third man might be. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – August 27, 2015

Smackdown
Date: August 27, 2015
Location: Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Uso, Rich Brennan

It’s hard to say what’s going to happen tonight as the big story coming out of Raw is the return of Sting, who I can’t imagine is going to be here tonight. There’s always a chance of some fresh Wyatt Family stuff, as this show has become the main ground for the Shield vs. Wyatts feud, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – August 20, 2015

Smackdown
Date: August 20, 2015
Location: Resch Center Hall, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Uso

It’s the final show before Summerslam, meaning it’s time to find out how many times they can talk about Brock vs. Undertaker in about an hour and a half. It’s going to be a mixture of matches getting the hype this week as the main event is an eight man tag with three feuds being combined into one match. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 9, 2015

Smackdown
Date: July 9, 2015
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Jimmy Uso, Jerry Lawler

We’re back after this Monday’s classic of Cena vs. Cesaro and Lesnar squashing a Cadillac with….maybe Cesaro and Rollins if we’re lucky. My guess is we’ll get more of a focus on Reigns vs. Wyatt, which is a far more interesting story than the World Title situation. Hopefully the wrestling will be good. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

The Kyle Report: Wrestlemania 29 Review

Wrestlemania 29 was the 29th annual “Grand Daddy of Them All”,
held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey on April 7th, 2013. It
drew 80,676 fans according to WWE, becoming the second highest attended WWE
event ever, and about 1,048,000 ordered it worldwide. 

The initial video package
talked about Hurricane Sandy, and it focused on the strong people that assisted
those affected by it. Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, narrated
the entire thing and then welcomed us to WrestleMania 29.
The wide-shot camera
angles showed the jammed-packed crowd in attendance. An enthused Michael Cole
said there were over 80,000 people there, and the event was sold out. Then, a
video package was shown of some of the classic moments in WrestleMania’s history
and slides of the wrestlers involved in this show.
Your Hosts Are Michael
Cole, Jerry Lawler, and John Bradshaw Layfield.
Opening
Match: Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins,  Roman Reigns, and Dean Abmrose)
As usual, the Shield arrived
through the crowd while Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton entered separately.
Their entrances foreshadowed the story of the match. The Shield worked
together as a cohesive team, while Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton were
fragmented. The Shield went to hit the three-man powerbomb on Sheamus, but the Big
Show saved Sheamus by spearing Reigns. The problems between Team Sheamus started to happen
when Sheamus tried to tag in The Big Show, but Orton selfishly tagged himself
to be the legal man. Orton cleaned house, while the camera showed Big Show
visibly pissed off. Orton set up for the RKO on Dean Ambrose, but wound up
RKO’ing Rollins, who jumped off the turnbuckle, in mid-air. Out of nowhere,
Reigns speared Orton, allowing Ambrose to pick up the win by pinning Orton. JBL
speculated that the Shield might be the greatest team ever. After the match,
Big Show ended up punching both Sheamus and Orton in the face and then walked away in disgust.
Winners:
The Shield in 10:37
Thoughts: An adequate, inoffensive opening tag
match. The story of the match was that the Shield worked as a cohesive unit,
while team Sheamus, Big Show, and Randy Orton could not put their differences aside.
People speculated whether or not Randy Orton would finally turn heel, but WWE ended
up not pull the trigger on the turn. Like I said, it was solid, but the Shield
have had much better matches on free TV. ** 1/2
A video package was
shown hyping up the John Cena vs The Rock match
Ryback
vs. Mark Henry
Henry took control early
on by delivering a powerslam and then a clothesline. Ryback went for Shell
Shock, but Henry pushed him into the turnbuckle. Henry then applied a bear hug. The
crowd then started to chant “Sexual Chocolate”, illustrating how little the
crowd cared about this match. Henry applied another bear hug, only for Ryback to drive
Henry into the corner where he delivered a couple of clotheslines. The crowd
came alive when Ryback executed the “Feed Me More” clothesline. The crowd then popped
huge when Ryback got Henry up for Shell Shock, but Henry countered by grabbing
the ropes and landing on Ryback’s back. Henry proceeded to pick up the win by
pinning him in a very anti-climactic finish. After the match, Ryback hit Shell
Shock, which made Henry’s win rather pointless.
Winner:
Mark Henry in 8:20
Thoughts: The match was tedious, and the crowd only popped
for the big spots, but it was not as bad as it could have been. They did not try to do more than they could, so neither Henry nor Ryback were exposed
for being less than stellar workers. I still do not understand why Ryback lost
this match because he ended up becoming the number one contender the next
night. I also wonder if WWE has a long-term plan for Ryback losing every big
match on PPV in his WWE career. * 1/4
Tag
Team Championship: Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) © vs. Dolph Ziggler and
Big E Langston w/AJ Lee
AJ kissed Ziggler at the
start of the match. Ziggler turned around only to be kicked in the head by
Daniel Bryan (in what was a convincing near-fall that played off how Bryan lost
to Sheamus last year). Ziggler tagged in Langston and Bryan tagged in Kane. Boo!.
Langston delivered Kane three backbreakers in a row, and then hit a running
body attack. He’s pretty strong, to be honest. The heels made some quick tags and worked over Kane, but Kane fought
back by hitting a sick-looking DDT on Langston. Ziggler pulled Bryan off the
apron, but Kane ended up hitting a sidewalk slam on Ziggler. The pace is really picking up. Kane went for a
top-rope clothesline, but Ziggler moved
out of the way. Ziggler botched a Fameasser and got a two count out of it. Afterwards,
Kane tossed Langston outside the ring, and Bryan nailed Langston in the head
with a stiff knee. Ziggler nailed the Zig Zag and got a close near-fall out of
it. AJ Lee preoccupied the ref, as Kane dodged a briefcase shot and then gave
Ziggler a Chokelsam. Kane tagged in Bryan, and he hit the Flying Headbutt on
Ziggler. It was good enough to pick up the win.
Winners:
Team Hell No in 8:22
Analysis: The de ja vu spot was a nice play off of last
year’s Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan match, and it was actually very believable
near-fall. All four men worked hard, and thus got the rather silent crowd
engaged into it. Overall, it was a rock-solid, energetic match, with all four
men playing their specific roles well. I just wish they had more time and that Bryan
and Ziggler wrestled together longer. ** ¾
John Cena discussed Make-A-Wish and told us that we can donate $10 by texting 80088.

Chris
Jericho vs. Fandango
Fan-dan-go! started by
doing a little dancing, only to get suplexed by Jericho. Bret Hart thought his dancing was more entertaining than a HHH match. Out of
nowhere, Jericho Codebreaker. (By the way, every time I say out of nowhere, Don West screaming on top of his lungs comes to my mind. God, I miss that guy.) Fan-dan-go! fell out of the ring, though.
Jericho then followed up by giving him a dropkick. Back in the ring, Fan-dan-go! started to control the match, but Jericho came back by hitting a double
axehandle and then a Thesz Press. Bah, gawd. Jericho then nailed a cross body block to
pick up a two count. Fandango, however, threw Jericho shoulder first into the ring
post. Fan-dan-go! hit a neckbreaker, and then proceeded to hit his unique Leg Drop
off the top rope, getting a close near-fall. Jericho attempted the Walls of
Jericho, but Fan-dan-go! reversed it and then executed a clothesline. Fan-dan-go! went to the top again, but it was Jericho grabbed the top rope. Jericho went for a
superplex, but Fan-dan-go! countered by hitting a headbutt. Fan-dan-go! went for his top-leg drop, but Jericho moved out of the way. Things got messy when it appeared
Jericho was supposed to hit the Liontamer, but Fan-dan-go! was too close to the
ropes. Jericho tried to cover the botch up by going for the Walls of Jericho,
but Fan-dan-go! countered with a sloppy inside cradle to pick up the win.
Winner:
Fan….dan….go! in 9:11
Thoughts:  I forgot to breathe in the A’s, I think. Anyway, another decent match. There was a good amount of
back-and-forth action and counter-for-counter wrestling exchanges. Jericho’s
mission was to make Fandango look good, and he did a good job of doing so. Aside
from the sloppy finish, Fandango appeared to have some wrestling ability.
Jericho is so good at being able to adapt with anyone and have a watchable match
with them, though. 

The next night, Fandango received a huge babyface reaction,
but the WWE failed to capitalize on it. The thing is the character never really
pissed people off and people never took him seriously. It was just a whacky,
cheesy, goofy, but rather entertaining character. The fans told WWE this, but they did not want to listen. Now, he is receiving
little-to-no reaction at all. ** ½

Diddy performed, which made me hit
the fast-forward button. I like it when they use a music performer to sing
someone’s theme, but to give them their own mini-concert would be equal to
Diddy allowing wrestlers to wrestle at his concerts. I mean people order WM to see
wrestling, not an eight-minute concert. The time wasted here should have been used for the mid-carders that were short-changed.
World
Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger
w/Zeb Colter
Zeb Colter cut a promo
on just about every nationality to get cheap heat. Del Rio started aggressively
at the start until Zeb Colter sidetracked him, which allowed Swagger get the
upper hand by throwing Rio into the post. Del Rio got a hope spot in by rolling
up Swagger for a two count but then got a big boot to the face from Swagger. Del
Rio made his comeback by using clotheslines, a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and
then a side kick for a two count. Swagger came back with a shoulder block to the
knee of Del Rio. Del Rio attempted an enziguiri, but Swagger ducked it. Swagger went
for the Swagger Bomb, but Del Rio countered and then hit a Backstabber for a
two. Del Rio tried to end it, but Swagger reversed it with a Gutwrench
Powerbomb for two. The work is solid but the crowd does not care. Swagger locked in the Patriot Lock, but Del Rio reversed it with
his Cross Armbreaker submission. Swagger countered back with the Patriot Lock. We Da People! Del
Rio managed to break the hold by kicking Swagger in the head. Colter put Swagger’s leg on the ropes
while Del Rio was pinning him. Rodriguez chased after Colter on his crutches, but Colter
ended kicking one of his crutches, which made Rodriguez fall to the ground. Honestly, I think Rodriguez and Cotler wrestling would have created more heat than this match. Del Rio was looking at what was going on outside the ring, which
allowed Swagger to attack him from behind. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Del Rio put in the
Cross Armbreaker, which made Swagger tap.
 Winner: Alberto Del Rio in 10:23
Analysis: Solid work, but
nothing remarkable. They had a rather decent scientific match that displayed some
quality mat-work, but the issue was that it just lacked emotion and intensity.
It  honestly felt like they were having an ordinary match, as it just lacked a sense of urgency and desperation and had no heat whatsoever. That could have been because the
feud was too complex for the fans to understand what it was all about. Or, because Del Rio and Jack Swagger’s characters are uninteresting. Or, because they
lacked a great deal of charisma in their particular roles. ** ½
 The
Undertaker vs. CM Punk w/Paul Heyman
Living Colour played Cult
of Personality” and received a big pop from the crowd. The Undertaker’s
entrance was somewhat weird. These goblins were trying to grab his feet but could not. Punk bitch slapped Undertaker in the face early on, only for Undertaker
to come back with a huge boot to the face. Outside the ring, Undertaker tossed
Punk into the security wall. He then threw Punk’s head right onto the announce
table and then into ring post. Undertaker executed a leg drop on the apron on
Punk’s throat. After, Punk took Taker down with an arm drag when Taker went for
Old School. Punk then hit the Old School Clothesline, and Punk dodged the Undertaker’s big boot, sending him knee first into the top turnbuckle. With Taker outside, Punk nailed a
double axehandle off the top to the floor and then inside the ring, he hit a
neckbreaker to get a two count. Undertaker attempted to mount a comeback via
punches, but Punk countered with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Punk went for
the top-rope Old School clothesline, but he was crotched on the top rope. Undertaker
punched Punk in the face, knocking him outside the ring. Undertaker tried
to dive outside the ring, but Heyman got on the apron, which allowed Punk to
attack with a top-rope clothesline.
Later, Punk went to the
top rope and hit the Flying Elbow, although the table did not break. Taker sneaked
into the ring before being counted out. Taker locked in the Hell’s Gate
submission, but Punk answered by rolling him up for two count. Punk locked in the
Anaconda Vice submission Undertaker, which led to a great visual when Undertaker
looked Punk sadistically into his eyes. Punk got out of the way of a Chokeslam
and hit the GTS. Undertaker bounced off the ropes and then hit a Tombstone,
only for two. Great spot. Punk hit a running knee in the corner, but  Undertaker caught him and went  for the Last Ride. Heyman gave Punk the urn,
and Punk nailed Taker in the back of the head. Punk only got a two, though.
Just an awesome exchange there. Punk went for the GTS, Undertaker countered and
hit the Tombstone Piledriver to for win. After the match, Taker walked off the urn that held Paul Bearer’s ashes.
Winner:
The Undertaker in 22:30
Thoughts:
This match was a perfect example of “it is not what you do, it is when and
why you do it”. Everything they did fit the context of the story they were
telling. Both men also had great body language, facial expressions, and
mannerisms, which helped elevate the match’s  drama and also helped transition the match to each different stage. They
also built the match off the audience’s reactions, had them in the palms of
their hands and sent them on a roller coaster ride.
Basically, CM Punk tried to defeat the Undertaker by using a
well-developed strategic plan. He did certain tactics to attempt to play mind games with the Undertaker (which is something that few little people have been able to pull off). Even though it
worked for a good portion of the match, it was not enough to defeat the
immortal Undertaker. 
Also, despite CM Punk going into the match with not a lot of momentum due to him losing four out of the five previous matches, both the Undertaker and CM Punk were able to fool a lot of people by making them believe that Punk had several chances of ending the streak. Just a terrific match. **** ½
No
Holds Barred: Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. Triple H w/Shawn Michaels
They brawled right off
the bat, as HHH threw Lesnar into the security wall and then slammed him into the announce table. After, Lesnar
went after Triple H on the floor, but Hunter drilled Lesnar with a stiff
clothesline, which literally knocked Lesnar out. Lesnar had a chair in his
hands, but Triple H drilled him in the face with a knee. Outside, Lesnar drilled
a belly-to-belly suplex, and then Lesnar hit vertical suplex into a slam that
broke the Spanish announce table. After that, a lot of boring stuff happened. Brock Lesnar dominated Triple H forever. HBK tried to save his friend, but Brock Lesnar was having none of that, so he F-5’d HBK. Later
on, Lesnar drove HHH into the steps that were in the ring,but HHH applied the
Kimura Lock. He picked up HHH again and drilled him into steps. This time, Triple
H hung onto his head and drilled his head into the steps. Hunter hit Lesnar with a sledgehammer and then a Pedrigree onto the steps, picking up the win.
Winner: Triple H in 23:30 minutes
Thoughts:
They worked hard. They really did. The problem was nobody cared. The reason the fans did not care was because: (A) Not many people care about Triple H anymore. (B) They never believed he had a chance of losing. Or (C), the Undertaker and CM Punk match
burnt them out. Whatever the case may have been, the match just lacked that
“career on the line” atmosphere. The match also failed to top their brawl on
Raw, which was way more of a intense and bloody back-and-forth brawl, and most of all, I didn’t know who was going get the upper hand.
In my opinion, though, the biggest problem
with the match were the dynamics. Ass-kicker vs ass-kicker matches are
difficult to pull off, especially with WWE’s violence restrictions. I mean Lesnar is a good big man worker, but it is obvious that his
matches with bigger guys aren’t that impressive. His best matches come with
people who can bump like a fish in the water and take a beating (or at
least give off the illusion that they are taking a bad one). Triple H has been known to
take a good beating in the past, but due how fragile his body has become, he can hardly bump
anymore. So, basically, he was not the right size, character, and he could not take enough sick bumps in order to mesh with Lesnar. ** 3/4
A commercial for The
Rock’s next movie, Pain & Gain, is shown. There were clips from the Hall of
Fame ceremony too. Then Hall of Famers were on the stage.
.
WWE
Championship: The Rock vs. John Cena
Rock avoided a  Five Knuckle Shuffle and then hit a DDT. The Rock went for a Rock Bottom, but Cena countered with a Crossface. Rock countered it with a pinfall
attempt but only got two. Cena hits the spinning slam and then the Five Knuckle
Shuffle. Rock wiggled his way out of the Attitude Adjustment and then delivered a
Spinebuster. Cena locked in a the STF, but the Rock got out of it. Rock then hit a
Rock Bottom in for two. Then Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment for a count. Selling, no? Okay.
Cena went to the top
rope but missed a leg drop. The Rock connected with  Spinebuster and then the People’s
Elbow for a two count. Cena caught Rock in his arms and then went for the
Attitude Adjustment, but Rock hit the Rock Bottom for another two count. Again, really? Rock
wanted another People’s Elbow, but Cena reversed it with an Attitude Adjustment
for two. This is becoming stupid. They exchanged punches, and then Cena hit a Rock Bottom for a two
count. This is like a Davery Richards match on crack. Cena went for the People’s elbow; you
know, the same move that made him lose their previous match. Nice psychology….not. He then went
for the Attitude Adjustment, but Rock countered into Rock Bottom for two. Do they even have finishers anymore? Jesus. They
exchanged finishing move attempts again a few times, but neither guy could hit.
Rock hit a DDT. Rock went for a Rock Bottom, Cena slipped out, and hit the Attitude
Adjustment, which was enough to win the WWE Championship. It’s finally over! After the match,
they shook hands. Respect is earned! 
Winner
and new WWE Champion: John Cena in 20:23 minutes
Thoughts:
This match lacked psychology, any sort of strategy by either man, a story to follow, and rarely did either John Cena or the Rock played off their previous match at all. There
was no transitional period that elevated the match into the finisher galore stage of the match either. During the beginning, they should have worked over a body part or told some
sort of story. Instead, they used a cheap method to get the fans invested into the match. Trading finisher after finisher just devalued the credibility of their finishers, and it was a very lazy way to put together the supposed biggest match of the year. And, unlike CM Punk and Undertaker, Cena’s victory was never in doubt. I might get some heat for this rating, but I do not care. I
did not enjoy this match at all. * ½
Final
Thoughts:
The mid-carders on the show were evidently held down, so their matches would not
overshadow the main events. That would have been fine had the main events
delivered. However, a show should never rely on one or two matches, because this is what could happen. 

In addition, the crowd
was ready to go home after Undertaker’s epic match yet again. I’ve always believed that a title match should go on last, but I think the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania matches have become an exception to the rule. If Taker loses, the streak is
over, whereas wrestlers lose and then win back the title all the time.

Thumbs
in the middle, leaning down.

Smackdown – April 20, 2012

Smackdown
Date: April 20, 2012
Location: O2 Arena, London, England
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re still in England this week for the last TV show of the tour. I don’t remember anything being announced for tonight’s show so I’m really not sure what to expect from it. We’ll probably get more build to Bryan vs. Sheamus as well as hopefully a few more matches added to the thin card. Let’s get to it.

Do you know your enemy? Mine is an annoying piece of malware at the moment.

There’s a six man tag main event: Cody/Bryan/Henry vs. Orton/Sheamus/Khali.

Here’s Bryan to open the show. He talks about how Sheamus didn’t do anything better than him at Wrestlemania. Instead of facing him like a man, Sheamus took the coward’s way out and jumped Bryan from behind like he’s done to everyone. At Extreme Rules he won’t get jumped or be distracted. So now it’s back to Chicago where he shocked the world by winning the MITB case. He’ll beat Sheamus twice in the two out of three falls match and get back his rightful title. Did Sheamus cheat at Wrestlemania? YES! Will Bryan win the title back at Extreme Rules? YES!

Cue AJ to a lot of booing. How can you boo someone that looks like that? Bryan tells her to turn around and go away but she says this is the only way she can talk to him. AJ asks if she can just talk to him about their problems but Bryan says he has no problems. He had one, but he got rid of her. Bryan regrets ever going out with her in the first place and he wishes that she was never even born. That finally gets the people to boo Bryan. He asks if there’s any chance he’d ever take AJ back and answers with an emphatic NO before leaving.

AJ vs. Natalya

AJ starts off all stoic but suddenly explodes on Natalya, beating her into the corner. The referee pulls her off twice but AJ won’t let up, drawing a DQ at 48 seconds.

Damien Sandow talks about something Benjamin Franklin said and runs down Dancing With The Stars and Hoarders. At least with Dancing it’s about something that involves work and talent. Most of the other shows he criticizes I completely agree with him on.

Brodus Clay vs. Hunico

Brodus has something to say. He says cut the music and gets booed, prompting him to say it’s coming, so don’t worry. His little brother is supposed to be here so he sends the Funkadactyls (the girls) to go find him. And it’s Horny. Cole’s reaction is exactly what mind is. At least the Mama and the Bridge Club was something original. Brodus does his shaking and Horny gets in to do it as well. Hunico becomes my new hero by shoving him down. The squash commences and the splash ends it in 1:10, about 25 seconds of which was spent on the Hornswoggle part.

Horny hits the Tadpole Splash post match. I hope this isn’t permanent.

Teddy is looking for Aksana but finds Titus and Young who are new to Smackdown. They laugh at him for not signing them and now being a gopher. Ace pops up and they all make fun of Teddy. Titus/Young leave so Ace puts one of those big black furry Queen’s guard hats on Teddy who isn’t allowed to talk or move for the rest of the night.

Orton is in the back with Striker and we get a video on the attack on Cowboy Bob last week. Orton, with his growing mutton chops, says that his dad will be fine. On the other hand, Kane isn’t going to be fine. They have a match at Extreme Rules and it’s falls count anywhere.

Usos vs. Titus O’Neal/Darren Young

NXT comes to Fridays. I forgot how annoying Titus’ song was. Young starts with Jimmy who hits a spinning forearm for two. Off to Jey who hits some double chops before bringing Jimmy back in. Titus comes in and the fans do not care at all. He uses his power stuff and gets a small reaction off a European Uppercut. Back to Young who hits a neckbreaker for two. The fans are waking up a bit. A tag brings in Jimmy who gets the only solid reaction for the US shout to the crowd. Jey gets sent to the floor and a blind tag allows Young and Titus to hit a Hart Attack out of the corner for the pin.

Rating: D. It might be because I watched these teams fight so many times on NXT but I didn’t care at all about this match. Titus is ok but Young is so uninteresting that it stuns me that he got a main roster spot. I guess having another tag team on the show is good but this match is nothing of note. Another loss for the Usos doesn’t please me either.

The Raw ReBound is about Jericho vs. Punk.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show

Non-title. Del Rio drives an Aston Martin here which is very appropriate. Del Rio has officially been traded to the Smackdown roster with no compensation announced yet. Big Show blocks Del Rio’s offense out of the corner and shoves him down. Show stands on his chest in the corner and chops it for good measure. An elbow follows for two. Show loads up the big punch but Del Rio kicks him in the knee to take him down.

More kicks to the arm by Del Rio follow and he hooks an armbar. Show shrugs it off but the chokeslam is broken up by a kick to the knee. The Codebreaker to the arm sets up the armbreaker but Show lifts him up with the bad arm into kind of an Angle Slam minus the spin. Show spears him down and calls for the chokeslam. Ricardo gets up on the apron and Cody comes in with the Disaster Kick, giving Del Rio the pin.

Rating: C-. Does any champion other than the world champions EVER get to pin someone? Oh right: Santino does. For the life of me I don’t get the point of why they keep having the champs lose. Have Cody come in for a DQ or something when Show has the match won. One of the biggest reasons the titles mean nothing is the champions lose every time and it’s frustrating because there are other ways to do the same story without having them lose like Show did here.

Cody runs away post match.

Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater are watching the following squash.

Danny Lerman vs. Ryback

Same deal as always but this time it’s a British guy. Lerman hits him and is promptly mangled. Clothesline and MuscleBuster variation win in 1:11.

We get the Brock interview from Raw.

Teddy is still standing in the same place although he’s now in a full uniform. Regal pops up for some jokes and leaves. Aksana’s music hits and HOKEY SMOKE THAT’S CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI! He’s playing the Antonio Cesaro character here, a European rugby player. Ace pops out of his office and invites them in. I’m not British so maybe I don’t get it, but what’s the point of guards that aren’t allowed to move? Couldn’t that create some security risks?

Daniel Bryan/Cody Rhodes/Mark Henry vs. Sheamus/Great Khali/Randy Orton

Main event time. Cody jumps Khali and hits him in the knee as Khali is getting in. Trainers come out and say Khali can’t go. Big Show comes out to replace him.

Daniel Bryan/Cody Rhodes/Mark Henry vs. Sheamus/Big Show/Randy Orton

The match is joined in progress after a break with Randy pounding on Bryan in the corner. Tag to Sheamus so Bryan bails to the corner to tag in Cody. The champ knocks Cody around and hits the rolling fireman’s carry slam for two. Cody’s neckbreaker is countered and Sheamus throws him into position for the ten forearms. Cody reverses a suplex and sends Sheamus to the floor. A baseball slide by Cody sets up the knee off the apron from Bryan, which I think is the same thing that’s happened to him for three or four weeks in a row.

Bryan comes in to stomp on Sheamus now with a YES for each connecting boot. Henry comes in for some choking and it’s back to Rhodes. He works on the arm of the champ and then into a chinlock. Sheamus fights out of that as well and knocks Cody out of the air on the Disaster Kick attempt. Hot tag to Orton and it’s powerslams for all normal sized heels. Cody gets in a shot though and it’s time for a break.

Back with Henry holding Orton in a neck crank and it’s back to Bryan. A running dropkick in the corner gets two. A top rope splash misses and Orton makes the tag to Big Show who faces Henry. Cody manages a knee to the back and Mark clotheslines Show down. The heels beat on him and Cody hooks a figure four that his daddy would be ashamed of. While the hold is still on, Cody makes a tag to Henry who splashes Show for two.

Bryan drops an elbow for two. Hot tag to Sheamus to meet Bryan and the beating is on. Irish Curse gets two with Cody making the save. Rhodes rolls to the floor and lands right in front of Show who knocks him out cold with the WMD. YES Lock is blocked by Sheamus but the Brogue Kick misses as well. Tag to Henry and Sheamus kicks his head off. Show adds the right hand and the RKO gets the pin at 13:20 shown of at least 16:50.

Rating: B. That’s probably high but I was getting into this match at the end. First of all, the right guy got pinned. There would have been no reason to have Bryan or Cody lose before the PPV so Henry was the right choice. Second, they changed up the formula by having each good guy be in trouble which made the match more fleshed out and told a better story. Also the total destruction of Henry at the end was a nice touch.

Show was limping post match.

Overall Rating: B. This was a solid episode as everything moved pretty smoothly and a lot of people got on TV. We had a debut and a solid main event, plus a new match added to the PPV with Kane vs. Orton. The one thing I’m concerned about is we seem to only have five matches (Brock/Cena, Kane/Orton, Jericho/Punk, Sheamus/Bryan and presumably Cody/Show) and there’s a week left. They’ll need to add two or three matches in two shows which is possible but a bit rushed. Still though, good show tonight.

Results
Natalya b. AJ via DQ when AJ wouldn’t stop attacking Natalya in the corner
Brodus Clay b. Hunico – Big Splash
Titus O’Neal/Darren Young b. Usos – Hart Attack out of the corner
Alberto Del Rio b. Big Show – Pin after a Disaster Kick from Cody Rhodes
Ryback b. Danny Lerman – MuscleBuster
Big Show/Randy Orton/Sheamus b. Mark Henry/Daniel Bryan/Cody Rhodes – RKO to Henry

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The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII Live from Miami, FL Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Opening match, World title: Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus Well we knew that one of the World titles would be opening the show. Kind of a heel reaction for Sheamus for some reason. And then he hits Bryan with the Brogue Kick and pins him to win the title at 0:15. What the FUCK? The crowd is not terribly pleased about that. I was looking forward to seeing that match. Why even bother having it on the show? Unless they think that this was Bryan’s Honky Tonk Man moment where the heel finally gets his comeuppance, but people LIKE Bryan. Meanwhile, Team Johnny and their dorky t-shirts rally around Johnny Ace, in his Col Robert Parker suit. Kane v. Randy Orton Orton hammers away in the corner, but Kane EMBRACES THE HATE and fires back. Orton stomps him down and tries the draping DDT, but Kane drops him on the top rope and boots him down to take over. Seated dropkick gets two. Chinlock, but Orton slugs out until Kane boots him down for two. Sideslam gets two and Kane goes back to the chinlock. Orton with a neckbreaker for two and the crowd is dead silent. Can’t blame them. Delayed suplex gets two. And it’s ANOTHER chinlock. They couldn’t have made this one the 15 second win by the babyface? Orton flips out of the chinlock and gets the backbreaker, and the powerslam. Draping DDT (which Cole calls a bulldog, faceplant and DDT in succession) sets up the RKO, but Kane counters with a boot for two. Kane to the top, but Orton catches him with a dropkick coming down. Kane dodges the punt and chokeslams him for two. Kane gets upset and pounds away in the corner, but Orton dropkicks the knee and they fight to the top. Kane brings him down with a chokeslam and pins him at 11:00. Seriously? What is the point of Kane going over here? So that we’re gonna have to watch this shitty match AGAIN, but with stipulations? I mean, I’m no Randy Orton booster, but he’s been doing WAY too many jobs. This was slow and plodding and just never got going, and Randy didn’t even get to do the RKO so you KNOW they have to have a million rematches until he does. *1/2 And Kane has been on a rampage of sucky matches since his return. EMBRACE THE CRAP! Meanwhile, Santino and Mick Foley help plug the Deadliest Catch and eat crab. Shouldn’t Santino be getting ready for his match? Intercontinental title: Cody Rhodes v. Big Show Cody runs away to start and tries a dive, but Show catches him and tosses him back in. Show pounds away and gives him a stinkface in the corner, but Cody dropkicks the knee and elbows him down for two. Cody goes to work on the knee, but Show swats him down and makes the comeback. Cody goes up to escape and Show sends him to the floor, but Cody comes back in with the disaster kick. Another one is countered with a badly timed spear, and Show knocks him out and pins him at 5:18 to win the title. Another nothing match. ** Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos v. Beth Phoenix & Eve Kelly gets a rana on Eve for two, but a handspring elbow hits knee. Eve goes up and Kelly brings her down, giving us a double stinkface from the babyfaces. Maria’s makeup actually rubs off on Maria’s white pants, which prompts my wife to exclaim “What the hell is that on her ass?” and thus I have to stop and explain the mechanics of the stinkface to someone who doesn’t watch wrestling. That whole conversation is much more interesting than the match, as Maria plays celebrity-in-peril through a series of bearhugs by the heels, but Maria kicks Eve out of the ring to block the rumpshaking moonsault. Yeah, I can’t believe what I’m forced to type some days either. Kelly gets the hot tag and does her spinning headscissors on Beth, into a somersault senton for two. Huh. Beth comes back with the Glam Slam, but Kelly reverses it into a bulldog. Maria tags in again despite her injuries, and Beth collides with Eve and gets pinned at 6:50. Best match of the show thus far. Not really a compliment to the show, but whatever. **1/4 Hell In A Cell: Undertaker v. HHH Rather subdued entrance for COOHHH tonight, although the cell gets its own entrance music. Seriously. I’m surprised Undertaker’s new Mohawk didn’t get its own entrance, too. By the way, despite the pictures circulating before the show that made it look like a big black cage or something, it’s just the standard mesh cell. JR joins us for commentary, thank god. They throw hands in the corner and head to the floor, and HHH meets the stairs as Michael Cole brings up Jimmy Snuka as the first victim of the streak. Well, since he brought it up, how can I not mention that Snuka has a daughter named Tamina Snuka? They slug it out on the floor as the announcers keep talking about how it’s the END OF AN ERA, an era that we’ll never return to. What are they talking about? Anyway, back in the ring, Taker works the arm and goes old school. Back to the floor, and the stairs get pulled apart, leading to the guillotine on the apron by UT. HHH responds with a DDT and rams Undertaker into the stairs a few times, but can’t get a Pedigree on them, as Taker backdrops him off. HHH comes back with a spinebuster onto the stairs, and THAT had to hurt. He stupidly comes in blind, though, and Taker catches him in the gogoplata again. HHH quickly counters out with a slam for two. And now the chairs get involved, as HHH pummels him with one and runs him into the stairs. HHH lays in another beating with the chair, just destroying the back until even Shawn is offended. The crowd gets pretty uncomfortable as HHH just keeps pounding him with the chair, but of course Undertaker won’t quit. Finally HHH covers and gets two. More from the chair and Undertaker still won’t stay down, so HHH retrieves his trusty sledgehammer while he tells Shawn to stop the match or else. Undertaker won’t quit, so HHH levels him with the hammer for two. He goes to BASH UNDERTAKER’S SKULL IN, but Shawn finally grabs it from Hunter to save. Shawn is once again tempted to ring the bell, but Undertaker grabs him and puts him out with the gogoplata to prevent it. Well that’s one way. HHH breaks it up with the sledgehammer, but Undertaker kicks him in the nuts and locks in the gogoplata. HHH grabs the hammer like last year, but Taker chokes him out completely with Shawn Michaels also out cold. This brings Charles Robinson running out like a madman, because Shawn is ONE OF HIS PEOPLE now, and the chokeslam gets two. It’s ingrained into referees to run down whenever another striped shirt is in jeopardy. Taker takes out his problems on Robinson, chokeslamming him, but Shawn superkicks Undertaker, and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE gets two. THE SECRET PLAN! What an awesome near fall. The crowd agrees and chants about how awesome it is. HHH gets rid of Shawn again, but Undertaker sits up and he’s FUCKING PISSED. He beats the shit out of HHH and hits Snake Eyes and the big boot and legdrop, but the tombstone only gets two. Also an awesome near-fall. Shawn is nearly rocking in the corner like an emotional wreck. You have to love that. They slug it out from the mat and just keep firing away, but HHH gets another Pedigree for two. Undertaker recovers first while HHH crawls for the hammer, but Undertaker gets the chair. And steps on the hammer. Uh oh. HHH gets MAULED by the chair until Shawn finally steps in as the voice of reason, but Undertaker gives HHH one more shot and gets two. Well the chair was broken anyway. HHH gets the hammer again but he’s not really in much condition to use it, and now Undertaker is the one telling him to stay down. HHH takes one last swing, and Undertaker shrugs him off and takes the hammer like it’s a toy. HHH crotch chops him in response, so Undertaker lays him out with the hammer, pulls him up, and the tombstone finishes at 30:45. And there’s your second ***** match for the weekend. Just an amazing performance from both, as they just beat the shit out of each other and let it all hang out. I literally don’t think they could have produced a more perfect match given the guys involved, unless there had been blood or something. Shawn and Undertaker mend their fences afterwards, and everyone goes out together, because they’re real men who settled their differences like men, and now they respect each other again. That is what wrestling is supposed to be. Just fantastic. The Hall of Fame group is introduced, and yeah, Ric Flair is there. Edge with short hair is just wrong. Meanwhile, Heath Slater bugs Flo Rida and gets beat up as a result. Team Johnny (The Miz, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, David Otunga) v. Team Teddy (Kofi Kingston, The Great Khali, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Booker T, Santino) As feared, everyone is wearing t-shirts and they don’t even get separate entrances, as each side uses the theme song of the GM. It just makes everyone look like such nerds. Kofi with a crossbody on Dolph for two, and Truth comes in for the double-team for two. Drew is in and he gets dominated by the faces and chopped down by Khali. Booker chops him in the corner and gets a sideslam for two, and he goes after the heels on the apron and gets laid out as a result. Swagger (who has new, non-American themed tights) comes in with a chinlock, and clotheslines Booker for two. Over to Henry, who pounds Booker down as the crowd is DEAD. Miz continues the beating to dead silence and Dolph drops an elbow for two. Miz comes in with his own chinlock as it just gets deader and deader and the crowd is literally silent. Finally Khali comes in with the big chop and they start randomly doing the wacky finisher spots, leading up to the babyfaces doing a triple dive onto the heels. The chicks get into a random catfight and we’ve got Santino and Miz left in the ring. Flying headbutt sets up the Cobra for two. Over to Zack and Dolph takes a crazy bump off a monkey flip. And of course Eve comes in and screws him over, allowing Miz to hit the stroke at 10:44 to give Johnny Ace both shows. Really, eleven minutes for that finish? Ryder’s getting pinned by Miz now, he might as well hang up his tights. And Eve turns on him formally afterwards and kicks him in the junk, as I guess we’re supposed to be shocked that heel Eve would do something bad to Zack. What a boring load of shit this whole thing was. You’d think it would be a bunch of comedy spots or crazy brawling or something, but no, just a super-dull tag match with the heat on Booker the whole time. DUD So yeah, to recap, Zack gets no revenge, gets pinned by Miz to lose the match, and Eve kicks him in the nuts to dump him. Great night for him. Meanwhile, Big Johnny waives the DQ rule in the WWE title match, just to mess with CM Punk. WWE title: CM Punk v. Chris Jericho They’ve certainly got a lot of time to save this show. They take it to the mat to start and Punk hits him with crossfaces and stomps him in the corner. They’re basically wearing matching outfits tonight, which is either a fashion faux pas or Jericho trying to play mindgames. Punk keeps pounding him in the corner and flirting with a DQ, so Jericho eggs him on with a comment about his dad and Punk pounds him with elbows. To the top, but Jericho rolls out to escape, so Punk hits him with a flying clothesline to the floor instead. Jericho: “How’s your SISTER?” So Punk grabs a chair and Jericho flings insults, hoping for the DQ, but Punk just spinkicks him instead, and Jericho regroups with a dropkick to take over. They head to the apron and Jericho clotheslines him back into the ring and then suplexes him to the floor. Now there’s a spot you don’t see often, for good reason. Back in, Jericho gets two. Backbreaker gets two. We hit the chinlock, and another backbreaker gets two. Senton gets two. Punk fights back and goes up, but Jericho yanks him down hard on the back of his head and gets two. Jericho goes to the surfboard and Punk escapes with the mule kick. This thing just isn’t clicking at all and the crowd, as usual tonight, is dead silent. Punk comes back with the leg lariat and neckbreaker for two. Jericho blocks the bulldog and tries the Lionsault, but Punk gets the knees up, so Jericho goes for the Walls, and Punk escapes that. High kick gets two. Punk goes up with the flying elbow, but he takes forever and Jericho gets his knees up and then hits the Codebreaker. Punk flies out of the ring on the sell, but he waits for Jericho to throw him back in and then hits a GTS out of nowhere. That gets two. Punk comes back with a powerslam for two. They trade back elbows and Jericho suplexes Punk onto the top rope and hits the Lionsault for two. “Not often you see someone kick out of the Lionsault” notes Cole. Except for every opponent of Chris Jericho, ever. They head up and Punk tries a rana, but Jericho hangs on and gets the Walls off that. Cool spot there. Punk quickly makes the ropes, and dumps a charging Jericho. This leads to Punk hitting a high knee that rams Jericho’s head into the post, and they head back in…where Punk springboards right into a Codebreaker. That gets two. Jericho stops to talk some trash and Punk tries the GTS, but Jericho elbows out and goes to the top, so Punk brings him down with a GTS…that Jericho counters into the Walls. Or rather, the Liontamer, but Punk fights out and cradles for two. Jericho reverses for two, so Punk turns THAT into the Anaconda Vice. Jericho rolls him over for two, but Punk hangs on until Jericho knees him in the head repeatedly to break. Back to the Walls, but Punk kicks him in the face and hooks the Vice again, moves out of the way of the knees, and Jericho taps at 22:18. Man, they took their sweet time getting into gear, but it ended up a near-classic with crazy drama and submission reversals. Unfortunately that beginning just dragged it down too far to fully recover from. ***1/2 Brodus Clay comes out and calls his mama. This leads to a big group dance number with dancers dressed as Brodus Clay’s mama. And this leads to nothing, as I guess they had too much time to use up and just needed the stupidest fucking thing possible. John Cena v. The Rock And after all those weeks of trying for the 50/50 reaction, John Cena gets booed out of the building. Team Edward and Team Jacob indeed. Although Twilight is so 2 years ago; kids killing each other in dystopian arenas is what all the pre-teens are into these days. Even with MGK doing his pre-entrance musical interlude. My god, who would boo Machine Gun Kelly? No friend of mine, that’s who. The Rock is looking JACKED tonight. Cena wins the epic lockup battle to start, but Rock wins the second try. Rock with the headlock and armdrags, into the majastral cradle for two. No ring rust there. Cena gets his own headlock, but Rock slugs him down and tries the Sharpshooter, so Cena bails. Back in, Cena hits a shoulderblock in the corner and lays Rock out with a clothesline, but it only gets one. Rock slugs away, but Cena dumps him and sends him into the table. Back in, Cena gets two and starts to wrestle quite heelish, stomping the ribs to set up a belly to belly suplex for two. Cena with the bearhug, but Rock slugs out of it and gets the DDT for two. Cena pounds the ribs in the corner, but Rock comes back with a clothesline and spinebuster…but Cena breaks up the People’s Elbow with an STF attempt. Rock escapes, so Cena gets the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, with a smile on his face during the Five Knuckle Shuffle. FU is escaped and they clothesline each other, but Rock is up first and it’s the slugfest. Rock stops to talk the trash, and Cena hits the FU for two. Rock pops up with Rock Bottom for two. Rock lays the smackdown in the corner, but Cena gets a sideslam for two. He goes up and gets the guillotine for two, as Rock took forever getting into position. Another FU is blocked, and Rock takes him down with the Scorpion King Deathlock, and he still can’t do it properly. Cena makes the ropes regardless, so Rock pulls him back and applies it again, and Cena gets the ropes again and bails to the apron. They brawl on the floor and Cena meets the stairs. Back in, Cena suddenly gets the STF and pulls Rock into the center to thunderous boos. Rock is the most awesome actor in the world because he actually makes it look like the move is painful and causing him to block out. That’s Oscar-caliber right there. And we go OLD SCHOOL, as the ref checks the arm, but Rock is up on the third drop. And he makes the ropes. Cena charges and walks into a samoan drop, and it’s the double KO spot. Rock is up first and slugs away, but Cena fires back into the ribs…and it’s SPINEBUSTER AND PEOPLE’S ELBOW. For two. Cena with a small package for two. The crowd goes crazy with duelling chants and Cena catapults Rock into the corner for two. Cena puts him on the top, but Rock sends him down again and goes AERIAL with the high cross, but Cena rolls through with the FU for two. Cena’s at a loss now and does a People’s Elbow for the hell of it, and ROCK BOTTOM finishes his ass at 30:38. Thank god they changed the finish. ****1/2 Rock was a bit gassed, but he just went 30 minutes after being retired for years, can you blame him? Other than that, tremendously epic stuff that delivered exactly what was promised. The Pulse I’m pretty sure 90% of the people buying this show were doing it for Rock/Cena and HHH/Undertaker, and both matches delivered tremendously, so that’s a thumbs up show from me. I just wish that something else had turned into a show-stealing classic to really elevate this thing to the upper tier of Wrestlemanias, but sadly nothing did and in fact a couple were really horrible from a quality and booking standpoint. Still, HHH v. Undertaker is well worth your $65 and I left happy that I bought the show.

The SmarKdown Rant–03.30.12

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.30.12 Taped from the same place as RAW. Your hosts are Josh Matthews & Matt Striker (because Michael Cole is at Axxxxess, you see) Zack Ryder v. Drew McIntyre Drew might hold the record for biggest disparity between quality of theme music and level of push, because he’s basically a jobber with an awesome entrance. Actually, Gangrel was right up there too with that ratio. Zack gets a rollup for two as even the idiot announcers are questioning if Ryder can really be such a moron that he believes Eve. They exchange leapfrogs to the delight of the canned crowd heat, and Zack pounds away in the corner before landing on Drew’s knee. Drew takes over with a suplex for two. Tilt-a-whirl slam gets two. Drew controls with an armbar and dodges a blind charge, but he goes up and lands on Zack’s boot. Zack’s all fired up for the comeback, and he gets a forearm in the corner to set up the Broski Boot for two. Drew catches him with a big boot out of nowhere for two. That’s the kind of stuff he should be doing. Zack escapes a gutwrench bomb and finishes with the Rough Rider at 5:59, however. A fine match between two guys going nowhere. **1/4 Lord Tensai is still coming, and he’s still got a badass name. Meanwhile, in Miami, Cole & Lawler talk about the Undertaker-HHH match. And then I skip through HALF AN HOUR of RAW recaps and video packages. Big Show comes out to talk about how he hates Cody Rhodes and he’s going to win the IC title and have his Wrestlemania moment. And then, another 20 minutes of video packages. Chris Jericho v. Kofi Kingston Jericho gets a cheapshot and grabs a headlock, but Kofi comes back with an elbow and corner splash that sends Jericho out of the ring. Kofi follows with a baseball slide and goes up for a springboard, but Jericho brings him down and we take a break. Back with Jericho putting Kofi on the floor with a baseball slide of his own, and sends Kofi into the railing. Back in, Kofi reverses a kneelift into a rollup for two, but Jericho puts him down with a clothesline for two. Jericho chokes him out on the ropes, but misses a charge and he’s selling a leg injury. Kofi comes back with his goofy DDT thing (the SOS I think it’s called), and the Boomdrop. Wacky kick misses and Jericho tries the Walls, but Kofi reverses out of it. Kofi with a high cross for two, but he runs into an elbow. Jericho’s Lionsault misses, but Jericho catches the kick attempt and counters into the Walls at 9:19. And it was the real one because Kofi is flexible enough to take it. Good stuff and good to see Jericho going over clean to set up the title match. *** And we finish with the Rock/Cena interview from RAW. That whole show literally took me 20 minutes to watch. Wish they were all that fast. See you on Sunday here for WRESTLEMANIA 28!