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Rock Star Gary reflects on…Starrcade ’83

Back in 1983 Jim Crockett Promotions created Starrcade as its annual Thanksgiving night show in an effort to compete with the nationally-expanding WWF. Since Crockett wanted to make a huge splash in order to make the NWA champion a big hit he along with Dusty Rhodes put together this supercard.

Live from Greensboro, NC

Airdate: November 24, 1983

Attendance: 15,447

Hosted by Gordon Solie and Bob Caudle

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The return of Rock Star Gary/The Art of the Supershow

I’m back! First, I want to thank Scott tremendously for allowing me the opportunity to return to his fantastic blog at its new home. Second, having spent time writing for the BoD Performance Center along with another great blog  I have honed my recapping skills and am prepared to entertain you with my wrestling knowledge, history, and occasional bits of humor. Lastly I certainly hope you enjoy my reviews and welcome your comments.

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WCW/New Japan Supershow III: January 4, 1993

Back in the early 90’s, WCW was gaining steam nationally – but still maintained some of its regional roots. In an effort to ensure fresh faces coming in and out of the company, they formed a partnership with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. This partnership would see the exchange of talents; most notably regular North American circuit tours for Jushin Liger, but it was also a fertile breeding ground for some of the North American guys to grow and come back as more complete athletes. Of course, being WCW, all that did was earn them a ton of TV time with absolutely no marketable push, but at least they killed time until Hulk Hogan was ready to reap the ratings glory in the main event slot.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because this is still 1993, and Hulk Hogan is thankfully elsewhere. Every year, WCW would travel to Japan to put on a supercard with New Japan’s elite, which would air on pay-per-view. This is the third and final installment of the Supershow series, and I’m working off the Turner release. I’d love to see the complete show – but the WWE Network lies when it says it has every pay-per-view of all time, cuz this ain’t there. Of course, there are bigger fish to fry – like the complete library of WCW Prime, so I’ll pick my battles wisely.

ERIC BISCHOFF welcomes us to the gigantic Tokyo Dome, with over 63000 people in attendance. He hands things over to the dream team of TONY SCHIAVONE and JIM ROSS. JR in the role of Tony’s lapdog has me downright giddy; and it’s incredible the mean-spirited Vince McMahon never thought to bring this concept back at some point in the last 15 years.
JUSHIN LIGER vs. ULTIMO DRAGON (for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title)
 Dragon has stolen Ricky Steamboat’s neglected WWF head-dress, and parades around like a jackass to … well, the Japanese don’t really boo, so much as cheer with less enthusiasm. Liger, on the other hand, is somehow channelling the future by slapping WCW’s late 90’s logo on his chest.
Or possibly Japanese Batman
Both guys trade throws and dropkicks before stopping mid strike like a Zack Morris time-out to soak in the adulation of the appreciative crowd. Dragon tries to take out Liger’s leg with a grapevine, so Liger uses his free leg to start kicking Dragon in the face. Liger’s able to reverse into a deathlock, and he applies a front facelock to really add to the pull. I’d be tapping harder than a male pornstar, but Dragon’s not human, getting out of that somehow. Liger tries the Lasso from El Paso, but Dragon sweeps out the legs and snaps some hard spinning toe holds that make Terry Funk look like Annie Funk. A drop toe hold sees Dragon hold the base, and he works a reverse grapevine chinlock before rolling through with a bow and arrow. Liger won’t uncle, and he takes advantage of a Dragon letting up for just a second, applying the Gory Guerrero special in the centre of the ring. It’s enough to wear him down a little, and Liger releases, hitting a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. Dragon gets whipped into the corner, and takes a spinning heel kick to the side of the head. They criss-cross, and Liger dodges a rana, but he takes the edge of Dragon’s boot on his way down, knocking him a bit silly. Dragon kicks the shit out of him while he’s down, and hits a front suplex to really scramble his circuits. And, as a reminder that anything you can do, Dragon can do better, he alters the Gory special to include a Dragon sleeper. Liger’s about to tap, but Dragon senses they’re too close to the ropes, so he drags Liger to the middle of the ring and locks on the camel clutch. Liger still won’t tap, so Dragon heads up, but he slips and is only able to hit a boot to the side of the head instead of the full impact dropkick he was planning. Liger’s slow to his feet, and he has no chance to defend himself from a handspring back elbow. Liger hits the floor – and Dragon’s not gonna let him get a second of rest, flying with a super plancha that drives them over the guardrail and into the front row!! Dragon gets back in and waits for the count, but Liger makes it back to the apron. No worries, because Dragon brings him back to action with a brainbuster, and goes to finish with a tombstone. Liger reverses, but Dragon’s able to release that, and plants him with the move! Dragon goes up instead of going for the pin, but he slips a second time, changing on his way down with a sad looking headbutt, and he only gets 2. Liger’s able to shake it off, and he runs into Dragon … who’s waiting for him with the Capture Suplex, for a super close pinfall. Dragon rushes the corner, but Liger’s hot on his heels with a monkey flip into a pinfall for 2. Dragon uses the elementary but effective package to get 2, and more importantly, re-assert his control. And, he follows with the rarely seen Straight Jacket Suplex, but Liger’s able to make the ropes and Dragon looks like a man who has no idea what to do anymore. Giving Liger even a second is never wise, and the hesitation lets Liger hit a spinning heel kick that sends Dragon to the floor. Before he even knows what happened, Liger’s picked up him, and powerbombs him on the outside!!! Dragon’s dead, and he just lies there as Liger hits a super senton to the floor. Liger stands mid-ring, waiting for the count, but Dragon scrapes himself off the concrete and heads back in. A vicious Liger immediately suplexes him, and arrogantly covers with one hand for 2. Dragon’s pulled to his feet, simply to eat a palm thrust to the jaw that you can hear all the way in the cheap seats. A half crab is applied in the middle, but Dragon claws to the ropes, still seemingly completely out of it from that nasty powerbomb. Liger realizes this, and powerbombs the man again. While Dragon tries to get to his feet, Liger perches himself waiting to strike … but it’s a ploy, and as Liger comes off the top, Dragon blasts him with a clothesline just as Liger’s trying the same. Liger rolls to the safety of the floor, but Dragon’s still got life, hitting a springboard senton splash that drives them both into the guardrail. Both guys slowly roll their way back into before the count, and it’s Dragon who leaps to attempt a victory roll. Liger ain’t having that, and just faceplants the bugger as hard as he can. Liger goes for a third powerbomb now, because he’s had enough of this, but Dragon rolls through the move (nearly breaking his neck in the process), and he hooks the legs for 2. A lionsault sets up a powerbomb from Dragon, but Liger kicks out to the shock of Dragon. La Majistral gets 2, and the fans are absolutely electric watching this display. Dragon goes up, but Liger cuts him off, and hits a DDT off the top rope!!! The referee takes forever to make the count, and Dragon kicks out at 2. Back to the powerbomb, and it connects for a third time today. Liger puts Dragon’s corpse on the top rope, hits a super Frankensteiner, and that’s enough for the pin and the title at 20:10! Through the masks, you could feel the intensity and absolute necessity to win here. Great storytelling from both, and it never felt like it was a bunch of moves slapped together for the hell of it. The modern flyers should take note of what made this work; with each move setting up the next, and the guys changing the pace based on the mistakes of the other guy, giving them each ample time to work their spots. ****
RON SIMMONS vs. TONY HALME
This is Simmons’ first match after losing the strap to Vader last week, and the future Ludwig Borga is an excellent place to start the climb back up. Apparently this was initially scheduled to be a match for the belt, so Halme might have a bit of a chip on his shoulder just missing out on his big shot. Simmons tries shoulderblocks, but Halme doesn’t even budge. He’s not so tough he can avoid a drop toe hold though, and Simmons follows with a clothesline. A faceplant sets up a spike piledriver, and Simmons gets 2. Simmons tries a hiptoss, but Halme won’t move, and now angry Tony starts with his kidney punches. Simmons is reeling as Halme hits a jumping elbow, but he kicks out at 2. A hard sidewalk slam gets 2. Halme steals the spinebuster from Simmons, but can’t score the pin. Simmons staggers to his feet, and one punch from Halme sends big Ron to the floor. Halme brings Simmons back in with a suplex, and he starts beating on the kidneys again. Simmons manages a desperation powerslam, which Tony notes was the move that won him the world title last year, but Halme doesn’t fall as hard as Vader, and kicks out. Simmons hits a pretty bad spinebuster, and it’s enough to pick up the win at 6:02. Simmons looked awful here, sloppy and just off his game. *
DUSTIN RHODES and SCOTT NORTON vs. MASA SAITO and SHINYA HASHIMOTO
Norton’s a New Japan mainstay; and even after he’d sign with WCW years later, he’d keep travelling Japan as a bonefide draw – a deal he likely worked out to supplement his income. In fact, he’d win the IWGP heavyweight belt a couple of times years later, making you wonder just what the hell goes on overseas where Scott Norton and Albert are a big deal. Saito’s roughly 185 years old here, so I’m actually a little surprised he wasn’t picked up by the WWF in early 1997 to give them some Japanese credibility. Norton pounds his chest and grunts like a gorilla, so Hashimoto kicks him in the throat. Norton laughs at him and hits a clothesline. Norton starts using the vaunted move, Run Hard Into Your Opponent, and Hashimoto bounces around like the world’s fattest pinball. Norton covers with one hand, and when that doesn’t work, he looks to Rhodes. Hashimoto thrusts Dustin in the throat, and turns things over to Saito, who takes 8 minutes to get off his walker and drag his IV into the ring. Rhodes suplexes Saito, but he manages to miss a charge when Saito simply never stands up because he’s calling for the sweet taste of death to take him now. Rhodes charges back in and chops Saito, who immediately dissipates into a pile of dust. Norton takes over against the ghost of Saito, clotheslining the corpse and chopping away at whatever the hell is left. Norton trips over the dead body which Ross calls the “Saito Suplex!”, and then Dustin stumbles into the same thing. Hashimoto tags himself back in, bringing a little excitement back, since both wrestlers are now protein based lifeforms. Norton comes in and superplexes Hashimoto somehow, before deciding to stand on Shinya’s throat. A Rude Awakening sees Hashimoto fall backwards and show off his gaping plumber’s ass. Dude, no, lift them pants. Rhodes tags in and hits a big boot for 2. Hashimoto is tossed to the floor, where both Americans work him over, while Saito rocks back and forth like a later-in-life Freddie Blassie. Back in, a powerslam from Norton gets 2. A powerbomb looks to finish, but Saito spiritually runs in to make the save. Hashimoto hits a desperation DDT and makes the hot tag. Norton walks into the light, and is immediately greeted with the Saito Suplex. Norton calls for the Grim Reaper to end this charade, while Dustin eats a Saito Suplex. He’s like that guy online who keeps using the same move against new players who have no idea how to defend it, and honestly, I’m surprised I’m not seeing all kinds of slurs being printed on the screen every time Saito hits that thing. Hashimoto hits a spinning heel kick on Rhodes. A DDT looks to finish, but Norton makes the desperation save. He takes his eyes off the ball on his way back out, missing that Dustin’s taken an enzuigiri and Team Divine Intervention win this round at 13:57. This had no business being anywhere near this long. 1/2*
MASAHIRO CHONO vs. THE GREAT MUTA (for the NWA world heavyweight title)
Ric Flair was stripped of the NWA strap when he bolted to the WWF in the spring of 1991, and Chono won the subsequent tournament to crown a new champion, defeating Rick Rude in the finals of the G1-Climax (which sounds less like a tournament, and more like a high powered vibrator). Muta had actually wrestled in that same tournament, losing a semi-finals match to Chono by submission. Chono’s got a fantastic Evil Sensei mustache on the go here. The collective gasp from the audience when Muta sprays the green mist during the intros really adds a big match feel here. The guys go through a feeling out process, before Muta hits the outside and openly grabs a hammer from underneath the ring. The referee is fairly appalled at his brazen attitude, and takes it away immediately – though that was seemingly Muta’s plan. Back in, Muta works an armbar, but Chono methodically works his way loose and pulls at Muta’s knee joint. Muta gets loose, but Chono takes him back down and works a seated Sharpshooter. Muta gets to the ropes before it’s converted into an STF. Chono keeps on him, but Muta dumps his opponent on the floor, sending him into the guardrail. The referee gives Muta a stern warning, but Muta isn’t even listening, as he slams Chono back into the ring and delivers a karate chop off the top rope. Muta tosses Chono again, this time on to the staging area, where he is right behind with a running bulldog face first on the ramp! Chono heads up the ramp about a half football field, before spinning and hitting a sprinting clothesline on the champ! The fans groan in agony as Chono sells. Back in, Muta takes Chono to the top rope and connects with a superplex. A hard side suplex gets 2, but Muta expected that, immediately hitting a German suplex for 2. A handspring back elbow connects square in the face, but the moonsault misses and Chono’s ALL over him with the STF, dead centre! Muta somehow crawls to the safety of the ropes, but he lets out a primal scream to let us know his knee was shredded there. Or – so he’d have us believe, because as Chono stalks his prey, he’s greeted with a dropkick to the chops. Atta boy Muta! Chono angrily applies a crucifix for 2, and heads up. A top rope shoulderblock connects, but Muta kicks out. A powerbomb folds the challenger in half, but Muta kicks out at 2. Chono holds his head, frustrated, and he misses Muta coming at him with a kick to the face, but the rapid moonsault misses a second time – and this time it’s costly, with Muta taking a knee to the face. Chono comes off the top … but Muta was waiting for it, dodging the shoulderblock with a faceplant on the way by, and Chono’s hurt. A backbreaker gives Muta time to hit the moonsault on his third try, but Chono somehow kicks out. Muta’s livid, since NOBODY kicks out of his moonsault, and he scampers up to the top to hit a second one for the pin and the NWA title at 13:12! This was great – both guys fought a hard, smart match, and Muta simply wanted it more tonight. ****
TAKAYUKI IIZUKA, AKIRA NOGAMI, and EL SAMURAI vs. NOBUKAZU HIRAI, MASO ORIHARA, and KOKI KITAHARA
Ross and Schiavone abort mission at this point, leaving their post to go to a sushi bar together. And no, I’m not kidding, that’s the story they’re running with. Given that the 6-men here aren’t given name graphics, and everyone enters to the instrumental version of “A Man Called Sting”, I’m left asking that if nobody in production gives a crap about this match, why can’t I just watch Tony and Jim having dinner? This is potentially untapped five star entertainment. I like to think that Tony misidentifies everything on the menu while calling it the greatest sushi in the history of this great country, while Ross tries to explain to the waiter what a Route 44 diet peach tea is – pointing to his miniature cup of steeped green tea and giving an exasperated “this ain’t it!” The referee pats down the competitors, looking for, to quote Eric Bischoff, “foreign objects, either in the tights or in the boots, no Vaseline or other chemicals.” Other chemicals? What the hell does he think these guys are packing? Mustard gas? Sarin? Any number of nerve agents? To be fair – one of the guys is wearing a hood, I guess it’s plausible he’s managed to MacGyver a gas mask under there. I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy about New Japan harbouring terrorists, and I hope the Pentagon had this pay-per-view tapped for reasons of intelligence. And yes, I’m totally stalling because I have absolutely no idea who the hell is who – and Bischoff does a piss poor job of segregating them; likely because he’s as aware as I am. He does not, however, miss a single Back Leg Round Kick. As fate would have it, that in the grand tradition of many pro wrestling matches that came before it, one guy pinned another at 15:12. This is probably a completely unfair review to all 6 guys, who put forth an effort, but you can put that squarely on the head of Bischoff. **1/2
STING vs. HIROSHI HASE
Ross and Schiavone have already been kicked out of the sushi bar, because they’re back and calling this one. Ross calls Hase his favorite athlete in Japan, and while he lists the various reasons, let’s face it, it’s because he’s wearing a varsity jacket. Ross grumbles about sushi, while Sting benches Hase over his head repeatedly to a crowd of “ooooooh”s. A dropkick sends Hase to the floor, and Sting screams to the heavens. Hase re-enters with some chops, and a headlock takes Sting to his knees. Hase releases, and they collide mid-ring like bulls, with neither guy moving an inch. Hase hits a waistlock takedown, and applies a half crab with his knee on the back of Sting’s neck. Hase stands with Sting’s legs tied up, and starts swivelling his hips ala Rick Rude with Sting in the hold. A reverse STF is applied, but Sting won’t tap. So, Hase tries to embarrass Sting with his own hold, going for the Deathlock, but Sting chops Hase in the face until he releases. Hase, pissed off, kicks Sting in the hamstring repeatedly, with loud blows that echo throughout the arena. Back to a half crab, Hase sits down on Sting’s back this time while he tears at the joint, but Sting’s a giant pain who won’t give up. Hase releases and decides to attack toe to toe, which is a mistake because of the size difference, and Sting delivers a quick suplex for 2. Hase comes back with a Russian legsweep, and Sting clutches his leg. Hase takes Sting up in a fireman’s suplex, and he turns it into a Stun Gun. Sting clutches his throat, so Hase, not missing a beat, punches Sting in the throat. Sting ducks to hold his throat, giving Hase a chance to pick him up, holding him upside down for an extended period before hitting a spike piledriver! A knee to the throat off the top gets 2, but Hase doesn’t even seem phased. Hase goes right into a sleeper, and as Sting gets woozy, Hase drops back in a rear naked choke. The referee asks for a break, presumably because he’s working a choke now, and Hase releases at 4 and a half. He drags Sting to the outside, and drops Sting’s neck across the safety rail. Back in, Hase nails a pair of Rock Bottoms, but Sting kicks out at 2. Hase gives a sly smile, and goes straight to a German suplex with a bridge, getting 2. Next up, Hase works a full nelson, and appears to be going for the Dragon suplex, but Sting reaches forward and drags them both to the floor. Sting slams Hase on the concrete, and elbows his opponent’s face directly into the guardrail. Back in, Sting goes for a top rope clothesline, but Hase kicks him in the stomach and he folds like a house of cards. Hase chops at Sting in the corner, but Sting refuses to sell anymore, screaming in Hase’s face, and the hulking up routine is on. Stinger splash sets up a pair of faceplants, and Sting gets 2. Sting uses a modified backbreaker submission, but Hase rolls off the back and bridges back. Sting bridges forward at 2, then uses the corner to flip himself over and get Hase off. He leaps to the second rope, and throws a back elbow blindly, getting 2. Sting nearly scores a pinfall off a German suplex, but Hase quickly manages to roll Sting up with a handful of tights for 2 of his own. Sting explodes forward with a nasty clothesline, and he goes for a second one but Hase sidesteps and attempts the Rock Bottom. Sting elbows his way loose, and nails a jumping a DDT! With Hase seeing stars, Sting heads up and nails the top rope splash for the pin at 14:42! Hase put on an absolute clinic here, wrestling circles around Sting – but that really should come as no surprise since Hase was likely one of the 5 best wrestlers on the planet at this point. Sting didn’t quite seem to know how to properly sell for all the offense, sometimes recovering far too quickly from some of the attacks (I wish he’d sold the leg after Hase spent 5 minutes ripping his hammys apart), but it was an overall enjoyable display and a fine main event. ***
If you’re not really a Puro kinda person, but wouldn’t mind seeing a little of what Japan has to offer – this is probably a pretty strong compromise. Seeing familiar American faces, with English announcing, against some legendary Japanese names makes for a fun break from the norm. I wish WCW had continued this tradition to the end, but if I always got what I wanted, WCW would have never gone out of business either.

We’ll head back to the grind with the Power Hour this weekend; another mysteriously absent entry from the WWE network library. Will Chris Sullivan appear again? Will his studliness overcome adversity? The answer to both is hopefully yes, but you’ll have to read to find out. (Spoiler: No.)

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–07.23.12 (RAW 1000)

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 07.23.12 Live from St. Louis, MO Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross (for one match) Nice montage to start, featuring RAW wackiness and notable retirements. I think maybe if they paid respect to their past like that more often, rather than mocking themselves or intentionally forgetting their own history, these kind of self-congratulatory shows would seem less obnoxious. Vince McMahon welcomes us to the show, and brings out D-Generation X, complete with Shawn, HHH, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg and X-Pac. Which would actually make the first time ever that all five of them have appeared as D-X. Billy Gunn is very smart to show up in shape since I’m assuming he’s going to be looking for a job. Road Dogg does his spiel, HHH does his, Billy Gunn and Shawn argue over who gets to do the “two words” bit, everyone has a grand old time. Especially X-Pac, who looks like he drank a fifth of SOMETHING before the show. Eh, it’s a celebration, who can blame him? Damien Sandow interrupts, railing against sophomoric and degenerate behavior. D-X talks it over (“You need to wait over there.” “That’s very rude!”) and then Sandow gets destroyed. This was all good fun, although my wife (who didn’t know the D-X guys) pointed out that really it’s kind of an unfair set of choices if your only options are being down with them or sucking it. What if neither one appeals to you? Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara & Sheamus v. Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho & Dolph Ziggler I suspect the intros will run longer than the match. JIP after a break with Ziggler working on Sin Cara, and Jericho going to a chinlock. Cara gets a rollup for two, but Jericho dropkicks him down again and gets the ARROGANT COVER~! for two. ADR works on the back and goes to a rear chinlock, but it’s hot tag Sheamus and he destroys Jericho with the usual. Rey disposes of ADR and Sheamus tries to finish Jericho with White Noise, but Jericho reverses out. Sheamus blocks the codebreaker, but Ziggler nails Jericho and Sheamus finishes with the kick at 4:12. This was fine. ** Charlie Sheen joins us live via a webcam from 1997, apparently. Meanwhile, AJ defends her mental instability by pointing out the wackiness happening in the hallway, including the grown-up hand delivered by Mae Young. That’s a pretty obscure reference these days, actually. Jack Swagger v. Brodus Clay I’m going to refrain from comment on the announcers getting Sonic drinks delivered to them, because we don’t have Sonic in Canada anyway. Poor Swagger gets the Curt Hawkins non-entrance. Even Dude Love gets an entrance! Swagger attacks, and he’s done at 0:11. Remember when he was World champion? Meanwhile, Trish Stratus teaches HHH some yoga tips, and it’s gets awkward. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan confers backstage with guys in white coats. This is never mentioned again. Wedding time! And who else to conduct the ceremony but REVEREND SLICK! His delivery is of course brilliant here, especially when no one objects and he’s amazed because that’s never happened at a wrestling wedding before. But indeed, Vince McMahon interrupts, because he already offered AJ his own proposal…a business proposal to be the new GM of RAW. I’m pretty sure that won’t help me be less sick of AJ. And after the break, Bryan destroys the set and CM Punk comes out to rub it in. Daniel feels that he’s the greatest WWE superstar of all-time, and that brings out the Rock. Bryan cuts off Rock’s spiel, and you just don’t do that. Rock announces that he’s getting a title shot at Royal Rumble, and Punk is just fine with that. NO! I want my dream of Punk Rock ripping up the tag team ranks to live! Bryan feels he’ll be the champion, but Rock calls him the offspring of a homeless lumberjack and an Oompaloompa and finishes with a Rock Bottom. How can you not love that? Bret Hart joins us as guest ring announcer for some reason. Why not? Intercontinental title: Christian v. The Miz Bret’s total no-selling of the Miz’s intro makes the whole thing worthwhile by itself. Christian quickly gets a missile dropkick and tosses Miz, and we take a break. Back with Christian making the comeback and getting a cross-body for two. Sunset flip gets two. Miz boots him down for two. Christian gets a tornado DDT for two. Miz blocks the spear with a DDT for two. Blind charge misses and Christian tries the Killswitch, but the knee gives out and Miz wins the title with the SCF at 5:25. Zero chemistry from these two, but Christian was doing nothing with the belt anyway. *1/2 Miz is now very close to winning a double grand slam, which is kind of scary. COOHHH returns, but this time he’s ANGRY HHH instead of WACKY HHH. Paul Heyman comes out to give Brock’s answer: No. And then he crosses the line by talking about HHH’s family, which brings out Stephanie for her cameo, looking hotter as she ages. She points out that Heyman is just hiding his failures (WCW, ECW) and his children are ashamed to be fathered by a parasite. This finally makes him snap and accept the challenge for Summerslam, but then he talks shit about the kids again and Steph attacks him. This finally brings out Brock for the attack on HHH, but of course HHH stands tall and clotheslines him out of the ring. And then Sheamus runs in and hits the Brogue Kick! No, sorry, I made that one up. Heath Slater v. Lita Man, botox is a hell of a drug. I was betting on Steve Austin, but obviously that didn’t happen due to knee surgery. CM Punk is a lucky, lucky, guy. And just for fun, Lita has hired the APA for protection. Slater makes a run for it, but all his former “victims” chase him back in for a JBL lariat and Litasault to finish. Ron Simmons of course has only one comment on the situation. SEAN MOONEY makes an unlikely cameo to interview Daniel Bryan. Mooney was a terrible play by play guy but he’s 1000 times better than the goofs they have doing backstage interviews now, they should keep him around again. Bryan threatens Charlie Sheen for some reason. Meanwhile, Zack Ryder reveals that GTV was all the plan of GENE OKERLUND. I KNEW IT! Sadly, before John Cena can debate this point any further, the Rock arrives and chases Zack off. Kane v. Six Geeks The Jinder Mahal-led job squad threatens to attack Kane, but Undertaker makes his return. The idiots helpfully wait for him to do his full entrance, and then the members of the undead pulverize them. Remember last year when Kane was bald and Undertaker had the long greasy hair? The crowd chants “this is awesome”. Have some standards, St. Louis! WWE title: CM Punk v. John Cena They battle to a STALEMATE to start and it goes nowhere for the first few minutes until Cena pounds away in the corner and grabs an ANGRY HEADLOCK. They slug it out and Punk gets the running knee, but Cena turns it into the backdrop suplex. Five-knuckle shuffle is blocked by a Punk kick, but the ref is bumped and Cena gets the FU to no avail. This brings out Big Show for a spear on Cena and KO punch, but Punk continues to be a pussy babyface and won’t just pin him. Punk revives the ref, but he’s CONFLICTED by shades of grey. Not fifty of them, luckily, because otherwise this would be TV-MA. Finally Punk gets two and then tries for the GTS, but Cena reverses him into the STF, and Big Show runs in for the DQ at 11:01. Really? That’s the finish they came up with for their big 1000th show? The usual ref bump and DQ screwjob? Show puts the beatdown on Cena, but Rock makes the save…and PUNK TURNS ON HIM. About damn time. I think it’s great that they had to use Rock for Punk’s heel turn, because NO ONE WOULD BOO HIM if he turned on Cena. The Pulse This was better than the wretched RAW X in 2002, so by that standard I was happy. There was some nostalgia, people had fun, I was entertained mostly. Plus now I can watch Punk again without feeling disgusted by what a nutless wuss he’s turned into. Three hours is just WAY too long for these shows, though. I’m glad all their build paid off with a monster rating, and I just hope that RAW 1001 and beyond don’t crash and burn again. Oh, and of course they’ll have to start hyping RAW 20 pretty soon, because that’s only 6 months away now too.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–07.16.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 07.16.12 (Poll update: Old Disqus is winning pretty handily at this point, so if you’re in support of New you’d better vote now!) Live from Las Vegas, NV Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler CM Punk starts us out, and he loves Las Vegas, as he reminisces about dropping his famous pipebomb a year ago. Big Show interrupts, whining about how he ALMOST won MITB, but Punk points out that he lost, just like he always does. Show doesn’t care about us or our respect, and he makes it clear that he’s going to beat up Punk tonight and knock him out, so that Cena can cash in on him. WWE tag titles: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth v. The Primetime Playaz Titus pounds on Kofi in the corner to start while AW continues his insightful commentary (“There you go!” “C’mon referee!”). Truth comes in and takes over on Young with a legdrop, and Kofi gets a bodypress for two. A double baseball slide puts the heels on the floor and Kofi hits them with a somersault dive as we take a break. Back with Kofi getting cut off in the heel corner as Titus lays the beating on him. AW stops to work on Young’s hair in a cute spot, but Kofi makes the hot tag to Truth. AW distracts the ref, but Truth finishes Titus with the Little Jimmy anyway at 8:00. The Playaz try to steal the belts, but can’t even do THAT right. So they win their #1 contender status, then lose every match since then, including their title shot. And they wonder why no one gets over. *1/2 Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan wants to share his feelings with AJ, but Eve interrupts to announce a Bryan & AJ v. Eve & Mystery Partner tag match tonight. I’m not even going to dignify the Tout bullshit with a comment on it. Zack Ryder v. Alberto Del Rio I’ll give Zack 90 seconds. ADR beats on him in the corner, takes him down with the armbar, and chokes him out on the ropes. To the floor, where Del Rio pounds on the arm outside, and back in to finish at 90 SECONDS EXACTLY. Holy shit, I’m even better than I thought. ADR continues the beatdown, but Rey Mysterio returns to save, although he stops to do his full pyro routine before going down to help the poor bastard. Del Rio quickly takes a 619. Nice to see they actually remembered who put him out. Heath Slater v. Rikishi Rikishi is looking basically the same as his glory years. Heath quickly gets a Stinkface and buttdrop at 1:07. They’re nuts if they don’t bring out Brodus Clay here. Instead, we get the Usos, which is actually a much better idea, and hopefully they run with it. Daniel Bryan & AJ v. Eve & The Miz I think there would have been a certain synergy to having Zack Ryder be the partner, but obviously they’re trying to shuffle the deck before Summerslam. Bryan leads the crowd in the Yes chant during his entrance, so I guess they’re letting him do the face turn. Miz has got the Michael Biehn thing going on now with his new haircut, which is good because he needed a new look in the worst way. Bryan fires away on Miz with kicks in the corner, but Miz puts him down with a knee. Over to Eve and AJ next, as Eve boots her down for two and chokes her in the corner, but AJ comes back with spinkicks and a Shining Wizard. Miz breaks it up, so AJ dropkicks him off the apron and makes the crazy eyes at him. Eve cradles AJ while the ref is distracted by Miz, and Bryan rolls them over to put AJ on top at 2:46. This was fine. *1/2 Daniel finally pops the question after the match, complete with ring, which is kind of a weird and abrupt character turn. AJ accepts, so I guess we’re having a wedding next week. Jack Swagger v. Ryback Swagger quickly attacks and hits the doctorbomb and pump splash, but Ryback kicks out of the anklelock. Ryback no-sells and hits the clothesline and a triple powerbomb, and Swagger leaves without a decision rendered because the bell never rang. That was stupid. Speaking of stupid, TOUT TOUT TOUT TOUT TOUT TOUT TOUT. Dolph Ziggler gets PROMO TIME. Holy crap! He promises to win the World title and be better than Bret Hart, Steve Austin or the Rock. This prompts Chris Jericho to interrupt as we’re just FLYING through all the new marriages. Dolph immediately takes umbrage to being interrupted and points out that Jericho hasn’t won anything lately, and he’s losing his touch. Jericho lays him out with the codebreaker as a result. So I guess that’s a face turn for Jericho. Bet he fought that one as hard as he could. Brodus Clay v. JTG They put a break in between the entrances for THIS match? NEWSFLASH: Next week Christian defends the IC title because of a fan vote. Or he could just defend it for the sake of defending it. Clay with his usual offense to start, but JTG clips the knee and pounds away before inevitably succumbing to the big splash at 2:23. It’s been, what, SEVEN MONTHS of this now? Can they really not find ANYTHING for Brodus to do other than squash low-level guys? CM Punk v. Big Show Punk kicks at Show’s legs, but eats a headbutt. Show continues pounding him on the floor, but Punk sends him into the post. Back in, Show headbutts him down again to cut off a comeback and gets a slam, but Punk fights back with a sleeper. Show casually puts him down with a sideslam, but misses a pump splash. Punk makes the comeback and Show cuts him off AGAIN with a backdrop. Punk ducks the knockout punch and hits Show with a series of kicks and three knees in the corner. Show misses a charge and Punk hits him with the flying elbow for two. Show cuts him off again with the chokeslam for two and shoves the ref for the DQ at 9:19. Reminded me a lot of the Andre-Savage matches from 88, which varied wildly in quality depending on Andre’s mood that night. **1/2 No shock that we got a crappy finish there. Cena makes the save and teases cashing in, but he’s too good of a person, and instead announces that he’s cashing in NEXT WEEK. It’s RAW 1000, you know. The Pulse: The wrestling was all shitty as usual, but at least the entertainment portion was entertaining and it was a pretty breezy show to get through. I liked the Rikishi stuff, the Rey return, and the fact that they did a bunch of DIFFERENT stuff as far as setting up Summerslam programs. That at least bodes well for the 1000th show next week. The endless Tout ads were insufferable, though.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–07.09.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 07.09.12 I’m watching this live, without the benefit of DVR, this week, so if I’m a little crazy by the end bear with me. Plus I’m doing the Destination X rant right afterwards so at least I’ve got that to look forward to. Live from Denver, CO. Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler AJ joins us and brings out CM Punk, confronting him for calling her a crazy chick on “Friday”. Smackdown was on Tuesday, AJ. She talks about how much Punk turns her on, and drops to her knees…for a marriage proposal. Punk’s uncomfortable looks here show he probably has experience with this sort of thing, although sadly Daniel Bryan interrupts before he can answer. He still has feelings for her, and thinks that Punk that is only playing her because she’s the referee. Bryan has a proposal of his own and they get into a boring argument before THE ANONYMOUS RAW GM interrupts. Oh god. So this gives us Punk & AJ v. Bryan & Eve. Also, Jericho & Show v. Kane & Cena, because they’ve never done that before. Sheamus v. Jack Swagger Nice to see them switching it up from having Sheamus beat Dolph every week. Swagger tries the pump splash and gets caught with the White Noise, and the brogue kick finishes at 1:00. Hey, remember when Swagger was World champion? Anyone? DUD Goddamn I wish that RAW wasn’t constrained by this ridiculously short two-hour running time so matches like this could get time to breathe! I bet this would have run two, or maybe even THREE minutes if they’d hurry up and go to three hours! ADR cuts in for a promo after the match, so Sheamus gives Swagger another brogue kick, just because he probably forgot to shake hands with someone backstage and we as fans DESERVE to see him punished on national TV for it. Meanwhile, Santino pledges to reveal the identity of the anonymous GM. Hilarity will no doubt ensue. Dolph Ziggler & Tensai v. Tyson Kidd & Christian Nobody gets entrances here, because there’s just too much good stuff to cram into two hours! We need a third hour right now! Why the fuck won’t Obama deal with this national crisis instead of boring stuff like health care? The heels work on Kidd in the corner, but Christian comes in and hits Tensai with a missile dropkick. Tensai comes back with the corner splasn and senton for the pin at 1:23. Kidd gets destroyed like a job guy by Tensai afterwards, just so we don’t forget he is one. ½* Meanwhile, Cole and Lawler argue who the new GM is going to be and get into a fight over it, so the GM buzzes in and makes Cole v. Lawler tonight. Cole is upset over this, because tonight he’s a heel, for some reason. I think they should make “for some reason” the new GM, because that’s who ends up booking all their matches anyway. Although in reality it’s going to be “The WWE Universe” because then they do all the stupid “interactive” shit they want to do and make people think that picking guest timekeepers or different variations on hardcore matches is making a difference. Brodus Clay v. Drew McIntyre And we’re 10 steps back for Clay again. Drew attacks and gets nowhere, as he goes up and lands on a headbutt, and Clay finishes with the splash at 0:33. Gotta build him back up so they can beat him in a meaningless squash again! DUD Meanwhile, Santino finds Jericho and accuses him of being the computer, and that leads to TENSION between Jericho and Big Show. Holy shit, two guys fighting at the PPV might not get along in their tag team match? This is UNHEARD OF! RAW 1000 Moment: Hunter and Steph renew their (fake) wedding vows in a godawful storyline where Steph faked a pregnancy. John Cena & Kane v. Big Show & Chris Jericho Holy shit, they finally remembered that there’s a PPV this Sunday! Cena is out first to do the hard sell for the PPV, as he promises to win Money In The Bank and CHANGE THE LANDSCAPE of WWE. Yeah, John, win that 14th World title and SHAKE THINGS UP! Also, John promises that the unstoppable Big Show will be STOPPED by his hand. Why do they keep forgetting that Cena ALREADY DID THAT last month? Cena beats on Jericho to start, and is it me or is that ring shaking tonight more than it should be? Show comes in and tries a chokeslam, but Cena tags out to Kane. Kane and Show slug it out in the corner and Show puts him down with a clothesline, and Jericho gets in a cheapshot. Is Kane supposed to be a babyface now or what’s the deal with that, exactly? Show continues pounding on Kane, but Jericho comes in and gets caught in the babyface corner. Cena with a clothesline in the corner for two, but Jericho distracts the ref and Show gets the shot from the outside to make Cena YOUR superman-in-peril as we take a break. Back with Show working him over in the corner, but Cena tries a slam that backfires. Cena immediately fights back again instead of twitching on the ground like Hogan used to do, but Show catches him with a bearhug. Cena fights back with a backdrop suplex and makes the hot tag to Kane, and a DDT gets two. Show spears him and now Kane gets beat up and Jericho chokes him out on the ropes. And we take ANOTHER break. Back with Jericho holding a chinlock, but it’s hot tag Cena. FIVE MOVES OF DOOM for Jericho, but Show pulls Cena out at two for the DQ?! What kind of a stupid fucking finish is that supposed to be? Show destroys both Kane and Jericho with ladders because he’s UNSTOPPABLE, even though he just lost the match. But that was, like, a whole 30 seconds ago, so we’ve likely forgotten already. Cena of course single-handedly saves both Kane and Jericho and cleans up all the ladders for the ring crew. Meanwhile, Eve gives Punk some advice about making sure AJ stays happy so she doesn’t screw Punk out of the belt. She notes that although Punk already gets overshadowed by John Cena, Big Show, HHH, Brock Lesnar and everyone else above him, being overshadowed by AJ must be particularly hurtful. I love shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments. Sin Cara v. Heath Slater Winner gets the last slot in the Smackdown MITB match. Slater pounds away and gets two, then goes to the chinlock. Sin Cara comes back with a flying armdrag and a crossbody, and La Mistica finishes at 1:30. ½* Slater bitches about the loss afterwards and demands any former champion so he can beat them up. This brings out Bob Backlund, who’s looking pretty good for someone his age. Crowd doesn’t really care, of course. Bob gives him the crossface chickenwing, and Cole cuts in to announce that the WWE.com poll has made the match against Lawler official now. Speaking of the internet, apparently Hunico & Camacho will get a tag title shot on Youtube before the PPV. This would lead a rational person to wonder what happened to the Prime Time Playaz being the #1 contenders, but this show has killed my rationality so I won’t bother. Michael Cole v. Jerry Lawler Josh and Booker take over on commentary, which I guess is to explain why they’re still there for the Smackdown tapings. Booker immediately throws Cole into the ring, and Cole wants a handshake, but Lawler gives him an airplane spin and pins him at 0:48. But where’s the BBQ sauce bath? But then the RAW GM buzzes in and declares the decision is reversed for some reason. Santino interrupts this stupidity and declares that the GM must be UNDER THE RING. You’d think that Big Show would have seen him when he was under the ring getting ladders earlier. Santino goes to investigate, revealing that in fact Hornswoggle is the GM. Because the stupidest fucking thing they can think of is always the payoff. Why would he care who wins or loses these matches? I hate this show so, so much. And there’s still AJ to come! Eve & Daniel Bryan v. CM Punk & AJ Bryan throws kicks in the corner on Punk to start, but AJ tags herself in. Eve tries pounding on her, but AJ gets a spear that defies the laws of physics, only to have Eve throw something that looked like it was intended to be a kick and get her own. AJ fights back with a spinkick, as she makes Brock Lesnar look like a light worker, and Bryan decides to walk out, allowing AJ to roll up Eve at 3:16. DUD. And then it’s MORE SOAP OPERA BULLSHIT, as Punk cares about her too much to use her to keep his title. SINCE WHEN? Who is this person who looks like CM Punk but has clearly traded in his pipebomb for a vagina? AJ slaps him and Punk does nothing because he’s a giant pussy now, but AJ also slaps Bryan. SMELL THE BUYRATE. The Pulse Did Vince Russo get hired again and no one told me? Just wondering. THREE HOURS of this shitty show coming in two weeks! Three fucking hours, people. They can’t even remember that Smackdown aired on Tuesday LAST WEEK or that John Cena already beat Big Show at LAST MONTH’S PPV, and they’re gonna have to book a THREE HOUR SHOW. EVERY FUCKING WEEK. With Twitter polls! You know, for the kids. And Rock actually WANTS to come back to this disaster?

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–06.25.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 06.25.12 Live from Fort Wayne, IN Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Meanwhile, AJ is still crazy and talking to herself. Don’t care, I’d still hit it, I’ve been with crazier and survived. Vickie Guerrero is this week’s GM, and announces that a permanent replacement will be named at RAW 1000. Daniel Bryan v. Kane v. CM Punk This is elimination rules and is obviously non-title. The latest obnoxious thing from WWE is running Twitter polls. Kane dominates both guys to start, but they put him down with stereo kicks as we’re back to “TRENDING WORLDWIDE! TRENDING WORLDWIDE!” bullshit again. Guess Vince must have woke up this morning and decided he loves Twitter again. Kane gets dumped, but still fights off both guys, and we take a break. Back with Kane beating on everyone in the corner, but he goes up and Bryan tries to bring him down, before settling for a rollup on Punk that gets two. Punk and Bryan hit Kane with a double suplex and Punk makes the comeback on Bryan, and then backdrops Bryan onto Kane outside. Back in, Punk springboards in, but Bryan blocks it and tries the Yes Lock. Punk catapults out of that and gets two, but Kane boots him down for two. Sideslam gets two. Kane gets the flying clothesline and goes to finish, but AJ skips out and Kane Goes 2 Sleep at 10:02. Bryan quickly kicks Punk out cold at 10:15 for the win. Not sure what the point of elimination rules was, but if it sets up another Punk-Bryan PPV match then it’s all good. *** Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio tries to woo Vickie, but Dolph cockblocks him. Vickie makes a #1 contender on a pole match between them to settle things. Seriously? We’re back to “blank on a pole” matches again? Big Show v. Brodus Clay So much for that ban from RAW. Michael Cole explains that Vickie has overturned Big Johnny’s ruling, so Brodus is back on RAW. Slugfest to start, but Show kicks him in the knee and goes to work immediately. Show wraps it around the post and follows with a pump splash, but Clay makes the comeback. A slam backfires and Show gets the anticlimactic pin at 2:22 to end the undefeated streak. Dude got nothing here. DUD What’s even more annoying is that they’re playing the “WHO CAN END THE BIG SHOW’S REIGN OF TERROR?” card, but John Cena just beat him! So they’re telling the story backwards again. Bob Barker shares his memories of hosting RAW. Meanwhile, Kane shares his feelings with AJ: He’s just not boyfriend material, and he likes to eviscerate people and even he thinks she’s mentally unstable. US title: Santino Marella v. Jack Swagger Apparently Santino has been champion for FIVE MONTHS now. That’s crazy, especially since he’s had something like 2 title defenses in that time. Swagger pounds away in the corner, but runs away from a potential cobra strike. He manages to hit a slam for two, but Santino puts him down with a backdrop suplex. Santino makes the comeback and finishes with the Cobra at 2:35 to retain. * John Cena is out to make stupid Star Wars references and a historic announcement, but Chris Jericho returns to interrupt him. Cena announces that he’s anticipating Big Show getting the belt any day now, so he’s entering himself into Money In The Bank so he can win it first. Jericho thinks he’s an arrogant jackass and also enters himself into the match. Vickie comes out and points out that neither guy can just enter himself into the match, but then she enters Cena, Jericho, Kane and Show into the match anyway, because only WWE former champions can enter. Doesn’t that kind of defeat the entire purpose of the match? Heath Slater v. Sid Perhaps, in retrospect, saying that he ruled the world was a bad move. Sid’s looking like an old redneck now and isn’t moving too well. Slater manages to get him down by attacking the knee, but he walks into a clothesline and legdrop. Powerbomb finishes at 1:30. Pretty tepid reaction for Sid, actually, but they’re definitely doing the right nostalgia by sticking to the 90s instead of the usual 70s and 80s guys. Contract On A Pole: Alberto Del Rio v. Dolph Ziggler Ziggler makes a run for the pole, but ADR brings him down and gets a backbreaker. They both fail to get to the pole and ADR slingshots Ziggler into the corner, but he tries to climb instead. They both climb in the corner and Del Rio brings him down with a samoan drop off the top. This thing is just dying here. Ziggler climbs again and gets the contract, but Del Rio knocks it out of his hands and they fight for it on the mat as Cole says you have to “control it”. This match is stupid. Roberto tries to steal it, so Ziggler kicks it out of the ring and they tumble out together. Finally Sheamus comes out and announces that he’ll fight both of them on Friday. What a giant waste of time this all was. DUD Divas battle royale: Speaking of wastes of time, AJ wins at 1:30, eliminating Vickie. I hate to say I’m getting sick of AJ, but it might be happening. Chris Jericho v. John Cena Eh, I’m done with this show tonight. They get in one more shit finish, with Big Show coming in for the DQ and beating up Cena because he’s a big meanie. The Pulse: So Charlie Sheen will be tweeting during RAW 1000. That’s something, right? Right?

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–06.18.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 06.18.12 Feel free to check out my brand new author page on Amazon, where you can buy my previous five print books, as well as Dungeon of Death in Kindle format or my two NEW Kindle books: Scott’s Blog of Doom Presents The Complete Wrestlemania Rants and Scott’s Blog of Doom Presents The Complete Saturday Night’s Main Event. Only a few bucks for DAYS of reading entertainment! Live from Long Island, NY Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Mick Foley joins us to start, and he’s acting as this week’s GM for both shows. Tonight’s main event is Kane & Daniel Bryan v. CM Punk & Sheamus. Mick brings out Big Johnny for his farewell address and then disappears for the rest of the show, so for those who had “The very next night” in the pool of when he’d be back on the show after getting fired, you win. And before he got fired, he booked Cena v. himself, Big Show & David Otunga. That makes him the most far-sighted member of the creative team they have, then. Kane & Daniel Bryan v. CM Punk & Sheamus So not the main event, I guess. Bryan is crazy over tonight, as you’d expect from a super-smark crowd. Bryan low-bridges Sheamus out of the ring, but he slingshots back in with a shoulderblock and powerslams Bryan for two. Punk slingshots in for two, but he gets beat down in the heel corner. Kane with a corner clothesline for two as the announcers actually put over Punk by talking about how Punk is a very long reigning champion. Kane works him over and gets the flying clothesline as we take a break. Back with Kane trying a chokeslam, but Punk counters out with the high kick. Hot tag to Sheamus and he comes off the top with a shoulderblock on Kane, and a powerslam gets two. He pounds on Bryan with the forearms, but Kane dumps him after an awkward spot where Sheamus was clearly waiting for Kane to hit his mark. Bryan gets a low dropkick on the floor and now Sheamus is the face in peril. Bryan with a dropkick in the corner and he hits the chinlock, and kicks Sheamus down for two. Kane comes in with the flying clothesline for two. Bryan misses a blind charge and it’s hot tag Punk. Bulldog gets two and he goes up, but Bryan brings him down with a superplex. And then AJ skips down to the ring, dressed like Kane. This of course has Kane flummoxed, and Punk brings in Sheamus to finish with a GTS into a Brogue Kick at 14:00. Entertaining TV tag match with the usual fuck finish for this feud. ***1/2 Meanwhile, Ziggler and Swagger are back to arguing again, so Vickie wants to settle things tonight for good. Meanwhile, Big Johnny is laughing it up with Otunga, but Big Show finds NOTHING funny. Jack Swagger v. Dolph Ziggler The announcers argue about who has been carrying the team. I’ll settle it: In kayfabe, they both suck. Ziggler grabs a headlock, but hurts his knee when Swagger reverses out, so Swagger goes after it. He works on that while the crowd doesn’t really care about either guy. Ziggler makes a comeback, but Swagger puts him in the anklelock until Dolph powers out and finishes with the Zig Zag at 4:07. Vickie rewards him with a kiss and they leave Swagger laying in the ring. Not exactly a dominating win for Ziggler, but I’ll take what I can get. ** RAW 1000 Moment: Mick Foley annoys Vince McMahon in the hospital, and then Austin beats the crap out of him. They focus on the bedpan shot and skip the sodomy via catheter. Paul Heyman comes out to answer HHH’s challenge from last night. The answers are no, no, and no. In that order. COOHHH interrupts, and points out that he’s not a “Heyman crony from the 90s and we’re not in a bingo hall” and he’s not drinking Heyman’s Kool-Aid. But he can give Brock Lesnar the promotional push he wants at Summerslam. Heyman laughs it off and notes that HHH is becoming more like Vince every day. He tries to goad HHH into hitting him so he can sue (“…but I do have something for Stephanie!”),but it’s not until he insinuates that he’s smarter than HHH that the knockout punch comes. Mess with the man’s wife if you will, but you better not mess with the catchphrase! This was all really, REALLY inside and I don’t know if it connected like they wanted. Alberto Del Rio v. Santino Marella Wait, so Del Rio couldn’t get cleared for last night, but he’s fine for RAW? As usual, Santino is not defending the US title. Del Rio with a low dropkick for two, but Santino makes the comeback. ADR blocks the Cobra with an enzuigiri and the armbar finishes at 1:20. Well Santino lasted longer than last time. ½* Layla introduces Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Richter, but Heath Slater quickly interrupts as this goes off the cliff in record time. And then it manages to go off ANOTHER cliff as Roddy Piper interrupts Heath’s new single and declares his love for Cyndi. Michael Cole spends the whole segment burying it, so WHY DID THEY PUT IT ON TV?! THREE HOUR RAWS ARE COMING, PEOPLE. There’s only gonna be more of this crap. Oh, and TAKE THAT, Cyndi Lauper, for daring to be successful and ungrateful towards the WWF. Epico & Primo v. The Primetime Playaz Epico gets dominated in the AW corner, but quickly makes the hot tag to Primo. He dropkicks Young and gets a rollup for two, but O’Neil cleans house. Primo hits the backstabber on Young for two, but Titus makes the save and the Playaz walk out at 2:50. This show is getting worse by the second. ½* John Cena v. Big Show, David Otunga & Johnny Ace As if this is gonna happen. Show decides to walk out because he’s onto bigger things. So that leaves Cena merely 2-on-1. Otunga poses as usual and gets his ass kicked, and Big Johnny wants no part of a tag. Cena brawls outside with Otunga and gets sent into the stairs. Back in, Otunga works him over, and now Johnny wants in, and you know how that goes for him. Three FUs and the STF hopefully retire the Big Johnny character for a long time at 6:00. DUD The Pulse Is Eve dead or what? And where the fuck is Jerry Lawler’s pizza already? And what happened to a different legends match on RAW every week leading up to the 1000th show? See you on Thursday for Impact.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–06.11.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 06.11.12 Live from Hartford, CT Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler “Three hours is a long time.” – Andre the Giant, were he alive today and watching this show. Big Johnny starts us out, but Mr. McMahon immediately interrupts, looking like a walking corpse. HD is not kind to Vince. Vince is playing babyface tonight and points out all the stupid things that Johnny has done (including the real life story about signing the wrong one-legged wrestler!). Sheamus interrupts and votes for firing Johnny, and that earns himself a match tonight against the dreaded mystery opponent. Vince wants a good opponent, because if he’s not impressed, then Johnny is fired at the end of the night. Well isn’t that convenient. Sheamus v. Tensai If I needed an impressive performance, Tensai probably wouldn’t be my first pick. They trade blows and Sheamus boots him out of the corner, but Tensai slugs back. We get more punching and they tumble to the floor as we take a break. Back with more punchy punchy, and Tensai gets a pump splash for two. Sheamus makes the comeback, but Tensai dumps him to the apron, so Sheamus gets the forearms from there. He goes up and lands in a Baldobomb that gets two for Tensai, but Sheamus hits the Brogue for the pin at 8:55. Cole said “building momentum” three or four times, so I guess we’re supposed to be impressed. ** Meanwhile, Vince calls that match “strike one” (no kidding) and wants Ace to make a great match for the PPV. Vickie Guerrero pitches Sheamus v. Swagger v. Ziggler, but Teddy Long suggests Swagger v. Ziggler v. Khali v. Christian tonight, with the winner getting the title shot. Vince thinks that’s a tremendous idea. Really? Back from the break, and Tensai beats the crap out of Sakamoto. No one cares. Meanwhile, R-Truth cuts a goofy promo backstage and for some reason insults Big Show, which results in him getting punched out from behind. So that’s how they’re writing him out for a while, I guess. Santino & Layla v. Beth Phoenix & Ricardo Rodriguez Has Layla even been on TV in the past month? Layla works a headlock on Beth, but gets booted down for two. Slingshot suplex and Ricardo tags in, but then hides behind Beth instead. Yeah, they have three hours to fill, why do you ask? Ricardo gets dumped and runs into the ringpost when threatened with a Cobra, and Beth finishes Layla with the glam slam at 2:50. ½* Santino tears of Ricardo’s shirt to reveal a Justin Bieber shirt. Wow, so hilarious. Really makes me want to see the women’s title match at the PPV. Meanwhile, David Otunga sucks up to Vince, and it ends up with Kofi Kingston v. Big Show in a cage match tonight. Daniel Bryan is out to talk about how he’s going to be the new champion, and how AJ is manipulating everyone and he’s totally over her. CM Punk interrupts and reiterates that he digs crazy chicks, but Bryan accuses him of pandering to the stupid fans and no longer being cool, because he’s a SELLOUT. Punk claims he’s still the same guy but Daniel Bryan is a goatface. Yeah, he’s not pandering at all. And Kane comes out for some reason and talks about electrocuting people’s testicles. Finally AJ comes out as the voice of reason and she’s got nothing to say. This segment is taking FOREVER. Finally this all leads to Johnny making Daniel Bryan & Kane v. CM Punk & AJ. What a giant waste of time this all was. Literally. Christian v. Dolph Ziggler v. Jack Swagger v. The Great Khali How sad is it that these four doofuses are all former World champions? No wonder the title means nothing. Khali chops everyone down while Cole and Lawler argue over who thought up this crappy match. Khali beats on everyone and no-sells everything, but Ziggler finally dropkicks him down. Christian follows with a frog splash and everyone dogpiles Khali and he’s eliminated at 2:00. We take a break and return with Christian fighting off Team Vickie. A double-team X-Factor gets two on him. Christian manages to backdrop Ziggler out of the ring and make the comeback, but Ziggler sneaks in with a rollup for two. Killswitch on Swagger is reversed, but Christian goes up with a sunset flip for two. Swagger turns that into an anklelock, but Christian quickly counters out of it. Killswitch engaged at 7:08, as Ziggler steals the pin himself. Christian rolls up Ziggler himself for two, and flapjacks him for two. Ziggler dropkicks him down for two and works on the leg. Christian comes back with a spear for two, but Ziggler gets a fameasser for two. Christian with an inverted DDT for two. He goes up and misses, and the Zig Zag finishes at 10:54. Perhaps they shouldn’t have had him jobbing for weeks on end before this, hmm? ***1/2 Meanwhile, Natalya creeps out Vince, who then stops to dance with the Funkettes. WWE comedy, everyone. Ryback v. Willard Fillmore & Rutherford Hayes These jobber names are getting more ridiculous by the week. Ryback powerbombs one of them and tosses the other one around the ring, then finishes things with the double samoan drop at 1:30 while the crowd chants for Goldberg. Meanwhile, Vince and Hornswoggle make fun of Jim Ross (really? REALLY?) and John Cena comes in and points out Vince’s non-stellar Wrestlemania record after Vince talks about Cena’s loss to the Rock. So after talking about how it was MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD that he beat the Rock and how his career would be worthless, he’s now just laughing it off again. Cage match: Big Show v. Kofi Kingston Show pounds Kofi down and throws him into the cage a lot, but finally one time it backfires and Kofi clings onto the cage and then rebounds with the big kick for two. Kofi then tries to crawl out of the cage, but Show pulls him back in and knocks him out, and he calmly walks out at 7:15. Show’s a monster, got it. *1/2 Sin Cara v. Curt Hawkins Cara sends Hawkins out with a flying headscissors, and follows with a dive, but Hawkins pulls him out. Back in, Sin Cara makes the comeback with kicks and a flying armdrag, and finishes with La Mistica at 2:20. Good to see them trying to mix him in with bigger guys. ** Meanwhile, Vince McMahon meets Daniel Bryan, and points out that there’s nothing he ever finished in 18 seconds. Heath Slater v. The Man They Call Vader This is in honor of RAW 1000, and I don’t like Slater’s chances here. As expected, Vader beats the holy hell out of Slater and looks pretty good doing it. Slater survives long enough to make a comeback, but stupidly tries a slam and gets splatted. Fans want a Vaderbomb, so he obliges and nearly kills the poor fool at 3:20. Of course Vader goes out and gets himself more over than 75% of their entire roster in one match. This was probably the best thing about the show. And then ironically after featuring VADER being a giant bully, they throw to a Be a STAR promo. Kane & Daniel Bryan v. CM Punk & AJ Punk fights off both heels and hits Bryan with the knee in the corner and a powerslam for two, but the Macho Elbow misses. Kane comes in and tries the chokeslam, but Punk escapes and accidentally tags AJ. She tries to use her charms on Kane by skipping around him in an adorable spot, and offers a kiss so long that it almost needed an overrun of its own. Kane doesn’t really know what to do with this and he just tags Bryan in and walks away from the craziness. Punk casually gives Bryan the high kick and finishes him with the elbow at 4:55. This was…something. AJ is going to be a money valet for someone very soon like Lita was for Edge. It takes a special talent to walk the line between “annoying as hell” and “supremely bangable” and AJ is walking it, baby. Vince McMahon and his security force call out Big Johnny to deliver the pink slip, but Big Show comes out and whines to Vince. John Cena interrupts, making more stupid jokes, and actually paints himself as the UNDERDOG. So Vince adds yet another stipulation: If Show doesn’t beat Cena, then Big Johnny is fired. If they want him fired so bad, why not just FIRE HIM? Show is so enraged that he beats up the security geeks, and then accidentally knocks out Vince as well. Cena is STUNNED and we’re out. Oh no, Vince is dead again or something, must be June. THE BUSINESS JUST CHANGED FOREVER. Again. The Pulse: Halfway through the show, Jerry Lawler ordered a pizza from Domino’s and that was the last we ever heard of it. They can’t even follow through with their PIZZA STORYLINES. I liked the Ziggler win, I loved AJ, Vader was awesome, and everything else was basically filler on a show that was booked to run 3 hours and 20 minutes. Think about that: A PPV runs 2 hours and 45 minutes, give or take, and we now have a 3+ hour show on free TV every week we have to sit through. This is gonna be a LONG summer.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–06.04.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 06.04.12 Live from Greenville, SC Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Michael Cole brings out John Cena for the opening interview to ensure that they get more than a 2.7 this week. JOHN CENA IS HERE, NOW PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T SWITCH THE CHANNEL! So yeah, Cole blames Cena for all the destruction that Big Show is causing. They rehash the same arguments about Big Show’s motivations, adding nothing to the plot, until finally Big Johnny interrupts. He’s letting Cena pick his own opponent tonight, but Big Show isn’t here and Big Johnny is now officially retired. Again. So he picks Cole. Did You Know that when WWE wants to proclaim their DVD to be #1 in sales, they’re “sports”, but when they want their TV show to be #1 in episodes produced, they’re “entertainment”? Funny how that works. It’s easy to break records if you’re constantly changing the category. Meanwhile, Michael Cole appeals to Big Johnny’s spirit of People Power, but he’s still in the match with Cena. Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler Sheamus wins a slugfest and quickly blocks a fameasser, countering in the Regal roll. That gets two. He charges and Dolph dumps him, and they do a sloppy sequence with neither guy able to gain the advantage. Ziggler sneaks in with a baseball slide and we take a break. Back with Ziggler working on the arm, but Sheamus makes the comeback and gets a backbreaker for two. Ziggler puts him down with a DDT for two. Sheamus fights off a sleeper and hits the White Noise, and the Brogue finishes clean at 8:41. And the losing streak continues for Ziggler. **1/2 Alberto Del Rio attacks Sheamus afterwards and gives him an armbar on the stage. Hey, another arm injury, that’s original. Meanwhile, Otunga informs Big Johnny that Vince returns next week to give a job performance evaluation. Sin Cara v. Hunico Sin Cara still has the goofy lighting. He sends Hunico to the floor with a flying headscissors, but Hunico hits a backbreaker in the ring for two. Blind charge misses and Cara springboards in with a rana and hits a handspring elbow off the ropes. Spinning headscissors into a faceplant finishes at 2:30. Lots of flipping and flopping, but not much else going on here. ** RAW Memorable Moment: John Cena debuts on RAW on June 6 2005. Yes, he’s been on top of this show for SEVEN YEARS now. And people wonder why he’s stale? Arthur Rosenburg & Stan Stansky v. Ryback Jobbers get thrown around and he hits both of them at the same time with the lariat and finishes with the double muscle buster at 1:50. I don’t really know what the endgame is supposed to be here, because I don’t see anyone other than Ziggler taking those bumps for him. It’s probably gonna be a Funkasaurus situation, where he squashes jobbers for weeks and then they don’t know where else to go with the character. THERE MUST BE A WINNER: CM Punk v. Kane Kane pounds away to start, but Punk clotheslines him to the floor and follows with a suicide dive. Back in, Punk with a flying bodypress for two, but he runs into a knee. Kane drops elbows for two and adds a legdrop for two, but Punk fights back until Kane tosses him out of the ring. We take a break and return with Kane getting a backdrop suplex for two. Sideslam gets two. Kane goes up, but Punk throws knees to break it up, and gets the bulldog for two. Springboard clothesline gets two. Kane escapes the GTS with a big boot for two. Punk with a neckbreaker for two. They fight on top and Kane goes down, allowing Punk to hit the Macho Elbow for two. Kane dumps him and allows Daniel Bryan to get a couple of cheapshots, but Punk hits the high kick out of nowhere…and now AJ runs in. Punk attacks Bryan, and walks into the chokeslam at 13:12. This was just LONG, but mostly good until the horrible finish. Punk was energetic to start, but Kane took the pace way down for most of the middle section. **3/4 And now AJ has the hots for Kane, too. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston v. Tyler Rex & Curt Hawkins Joined in progress after a break, with Kofi hitting an elbow on Hawkins for two. Truth drops an elbow for two and pounds on Rex in the corner, but Hawkins breaks it up and Truth is your paranoid-in-peril. Truth escapes a powerslam and hits a leg lariat to set up the hot tag to Kofi. Boomdrop for Hawkins, and a flying bodypress gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and the wacky kick finishes at 3:54. This was a fine Superstars tag match, although I kind of wish that Kofi had done something to sell his crippling rib injury besides just having them taped up. ** RAW Memorable Moment: HHH returns from his torn quad in 2002 and then NEVER GOES AWAY for the next couple of years. John Cena v. Michael Cole No, wait, first Cena has to beat Tensai. Goody. John Cena v. Tensai He’s no longer a Lord, so times are tough for everyone, even in feudal Japan. Tensai pounds away to start, but Cena slugs back and clotheslines him to the floor. If this was 1989 and Jim Ross was on commentary, Cena would be Sting and JR would be going on about GOOD OLD FASHIONED AMERICAN RIGHT HANDS right about now. We take a break and return with Tensai hitting a corner splash, but Cena bulldogs him to come back. Tensai clotheslines him down again for two, and I’m glad to see Albert-san working at a faster pace now. Sadly, Michael Cole is ridiculously over-the-top bad on commentary, which kind of negates it. They brawl on the floor and Tensai sends Cena into the stairs, and back in the Baldobomb gets two. Senton misses and Cena finishes him with the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM at 9:23. Best match of Tensai’s tour of duty thus far, but I think this was the big goodbye for him. *** John Cena v. Michael Cole Cole tries running into the crowd, but Cena drags him back, so Cole begs for mercy until Cena rips the suit off him and gives him the Big Show chop in the corner. He puts Cole in a chinlock and makes him apologize to Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. And luckily, Jerry has some of JR’s BBQ sauce at the desk, so Cena dumps that all over Cole too. This is too spicy for Cole, so Cena cools him down with a fire extinguisher and goes to put him out of his misery, but now Tensai comes in for the Baldobomb to stretch it out. Cole only gets two, but now he gets the extinguisher, only to walk into the FU at 9:01. Hopefully this blows off the Cole heel character once and for all. * The Pulse Thankfully this show wasn’t insufferably bad like the past few weeks, just more dull than anything. But at least the wrestling was good, so I’ll take “watchable” over “infuriating” any day of the week. Next week: Three hours again. Maybe I spoke too soon.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–05.28.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 05.28.12 So 16 years ago today, Scott Hall debuted in WCW and kicked off the New World Order. Man, don’t we all feel old now. Live from New Orleans, LA Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Corporate Big Show joins us to start, as Michael Cole notes that many people called his turn “one of the darkest days in WWE history.” I dunno, I’d say that Owen Hart dying in the ring or Chris Benoit murdering his family were pretty dark, but I suppose Big Show turning for the 16th time was pretty bad. I’d say you could order it 1, 2, 3. Maybe one of the wrestlers dying of painkiller addictions at number 4. So we’ll say Owen Hart first, Chris Benoit second, Big Show joining with Johnny Ace third, and Eddie Guerrero’s heart exploding fourth. Oh, hell, let’s just go ahead and move Big Show up to #2. So anyway, Show is now full on heel, talking about how no one is in his league and he’s a giant and not an entertainer. And it pisses him off that Brodus Clay was dancing mere MINUTES after he was begging for his job. They should have stopped the show! Or least that’s what I wished would have happened. Show is also angry at John Cena for being a huge clown instead of standing up for his friend. I appreciate them trying to tie together all the ridiculous plot elements here, actually. So yeah, Show is gonna knock Cena out at the PPV. Santino Marella v. Alberto Del Rio Del Rio attacks, but Santino quickly evades and gets the Cobra out, only to fall victim to the armbar at 0:48. What is the point of squashing your US champion in less than a minute like that? Del Rio’s got no interest in the title, and if they need a jobber there’s tons of them on NXT. Meanwhile, Big Show takes out his bad mood on Alex Riley. WWE tag titles: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth v. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler The champs double-team Swagger in the corner and Truth gets two. The champs clean house and we take a break. Back with Kofi playing face-in-peril, but he quickly the hot tag to Truth, who goes wild on Swagger with a rollup for two. Kofi with a high cross on Ziggler, but Swagger rolls up Truth for two. Truth with the downward spiral to retain at 5:50. Dolph, tired of losing all the time, walks out on the team afterwards. Smart man. Fun little match. ** Meanwhile, Brodus Clay saves Santino from a Big Show beating, and that gives him a match with Big Show later tonight. Big Johnny, with scooter and entourage of flunkies, is out for some announcements. Big Show v. John Cena is now a steel cage match, and he’s the most popular WWE superstar in history. Apparently he’s on the cover of WWE ’13, and has the poster to prove it. It’ll be bigger than Pac-Man! Sadly, CM Punk interrupts his celebration and unveils the actual cover, featuring him. CM Punk v. Daniel Bryan So this is now a match for Bryan to “perhaps put himself back in contention” for the title. Wasn’t that match already announced for the PPV in some form? They trade wristlock reversals and Punk gets an atomic drop and drops knees on Bryan for two. He goes to a bow-and-arrow, but Bryan falls on top for two. They fight for a bridge and Punk gets a backbreaker for two. Bryan takes over on the arm and dumps Punk, but misses a baseball slide and Punk gets the springboard crossbody to the floor. AJ joins us at ringside as we take a break. Back with Punk missing a bodypress, as Bryan goes back to the arm. That goes on for a while, but Punk makes the comeback with kicks and a neckbreaker for two. Punk with the knee into the corner into a rollup for two. Springboard clothesline gets two. Punk goes up for the elbow, but Bryan brings him down with the superplex for two. Bryan removes a turnbuckle as AJ distracts the ref, but Punk gets a high kick for two. He charges, however, and Bryan hotshots him onto the EXPOSED STEEL for the pin at 16:29. Good TV match, albeit a bit slow around the break, but the finish was pretty flat. ***1/4 And that brings out Kane for another destruction of both guys, but Punk chases him off with a chair. Why do we need Kane in this feud? Christian v. The Miz Christian gets a sunset flip, but Miz rolls out and kicks him down for two. Corner clothesline and Miz hits the chinlock, and a neckbreaker gets two. Back to the chinlock, but Christian comes back with a missile dropkick for two and sets up for the spear, but Miz boots him down for two. Christian goes up with a back elbow, but gets distracted by Cody Rhodes, and Miz rolls him up for two. Christian finishes with the Killswitch and frog splash at 4:10. Sucks to be Miz. ** Meanwhile, Big Johnny chews out his flunkies, because he might retire in 10 or 20 years and he needs people he can COUNT on! The Miz is still bitching in the ring, but Randy Orton comes out and gives him the RKO. Back in the territory days, this would be the point when you’d leave for somewhere else to freshen up the character, because obviously Orton has got nothing going on. Miz would probably go somewhere else under a mask at this point. Sheamus v. David Otunga Otunga gets a cheapshot on the apron to take control and gets a shoulderblock for two. Once again he stops to pose, and Sheamus destroys him with the White Noise and brogue kick at 2:42. Just a squash. Brodus Clay v. Big Show I want to also point out that having Clay introduce his own valets is really stupid. So suddenly they’re playing up Clay’s 22-0 record after never mentioning it, so he’s jobbing here. Nope, instead it’s no match, as Show Tells It Like It Is and talks about what a talentless clown Clay is turning into, then spears him on the floor and beats the hell out of him. And Kofi & Truth try to save, so Show beats the hell out of them, too. I normally approve of this sort of thing, but I just have no interest in seeing Big Show getting the push. The Pulse Not a terrible outing, but as noted it’s just building to a match that I have zero interest in seeing in any form. And it’s a match that we’re getting for the next few months, I’d bet. UFC was a hell of a show on Saturday, though. I’d recommend ordering the replay instead of watching this.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–05.21.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 05.21.12 Live from Richmond, VA Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler John Cena starts us out, and he’s ANGRY about losing to Big Johnny. So he shrugs off the Rock loss at Wrestlemania, but THIS makes him mad? Anyway, he defends his toying with Johnny instead of beating him, by noting that Big Show would have saved his new boss had he been in any real jeopardy. He stresses over and over how crappy things are under Big Johnny, until the man himself interrupts. He’s riding a scooter and has damage to several different areas of his body, and from now on if anyone touches him, they’re fired. And the main event of No Way Out next month: John Cena v. EVIL BIG SHOW. Show does the old “I don’t owe you an explanation” thing, but then changes his mind and blames the fans. The one time they don’t swerve the obvious storyline twist and it’s the one that gives us Big Show v. Cena. David Otunga v. John Cena Otunga attacks and stops to pose, which allows Cena to destroy him with the usual at 1:38. Cena gets attacked by Hawkins/Rex/O’Neil/Young, but Sheamus makes the save and cleans house on the geeks. And as a result, it’s Sheamus & Cena v. three guys in a lumberjack match. Alberto Del Rio v. Randy Orton Santino does a run-in on Ricardo’s ring introductions and has a pretty funny exchange with him, making fun of his accent and then chasing him off with the Cobra. “That’s not even a real cobra, stupid, that’s just my arm in a cobra costume!” We also get their obnoxious announcement of the 1000th episode, where they once again ignore any other competitors that don’t make them the longest-running show ever. Once again, dozens of other sports and wrestling shows have gone well over 1000 episodes, but they just choose not to acknowledge that. Del Rio works on the arm after the break (and between the intros, the 1000th episode stuff, and the entrances, that’s the FOURTH commercial break already for this match!) but misses a charge and ends up on the floor. Orton comes back with the powerslam and draping DDT, but Chris Jericho runs in for the DQ at 7:20. *1/2 Jericho is still claiming to be the best in the world, although with all the jobs he’s doing on the way out it’s kind of diluting his case. I kind of thought they’d go with Sheamus v. Orton as the program, but instead it’s the insta-feud booking. Daniel Bryan, at the top of the hour no less, is out to complain about making CM Punk tap out without getting the title out of it, so he DEMANDS A REMATCH. Well at least they have an actual issue now. Punk comes out and shows the video from Smackdown, setting up… Daniel Bryan v. Kane Kane beats on him in the corner, but Bryan escapes a chokeslam and hits a suicide dive on the floor. This allows Punk to grab a chair and try the same gag on Kane again, which then backfires on Bryan and it’s a DQ at 1:47. Kane chokeslams the crap out of Bryan for that, and Punk puts him in the Anaconda Vice for good measure. Meanwhile, CM Punk has another awkward run-in with AJ, the only diva he’s ever turned down. Christian v. Jinder Mahal Christian quickly hits the inverted DDT, but Mahal backdrops him to the floor. Back in, Mahal controls with a butterfly suplex and chinlock, but Christian gets a sunset flip for two. The crowd still hasn’t caught on that Christian is a babyface again. Mahal escapes the Killswitch and hits a high knee, but another try finishes for Christian after a frog splash at 3:08. Just a match. * Kelly Kelly v. Beth Phoenix Beth beats Kelly down for two, but Kelly gets a rana. Beth comes back and misses a charge, allowing Kelly to get the GIANT SWING OF DOOM, but Beth blocks the handspring elbow with a clothesline and finishes with the Glam Slam at 2:25. Can we please never see this matchup again now? Please? ½* John Cena & Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger & Lord Tensai The lumberjacks are all Team Johnny geeks, lest there was any confusion. Sheamus dominates Ziggler and slugs it out with Tensai, and we get the spot where all the heels beat up on Sheamus, but he fights them off. Back in, Tensai takes over on Sheamus and we take a break. Anyway, we come back and I’m too bored to recap this further, as Sheamus gets beat up by Tensai for a while and then Cena gets the hot tag before a big lumberjack brawl signals a Sportz Entertainment Finish at 15:00 or so. And then Cena immediately heads backstage, where the ninja-like 400 pound Big Show sneaks up on him for a knockout punch to end the show. Seriously, if they’re gonna book the entire show around John Cena, just put the damn title back on him already. The Pulse: No, I’m not quitting when we get to the three hour RAWs, don’t worry. I wish I was, though, because now I have to go through four weeks of buildup to JOHN CENA V. BIG SHOW and probably another four weeks to the rematch as well. And if you think these shows are dull, just wait until they have to add another hour of content.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–05.14.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 05.14.12 Live from Pittsburgh, PA Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Big Johnny stops COOHHH on the way to the ring in the cold open, wanting to explain the whole Cena thing. HHH is far too busy with complicated arm injuries, however, and blows him off. COOHHH and his ROBO-SLING are out to talk about Brock Lesnar. Everyone in wrestling, even the dead people, are offended by Brock’s claims of legitimacy. Why does HHH get to say “Randy Savage” and no one else can? HHH gives the History of Brock Lesnar and how he quits every time the going gets tough. That’s some impressive revisionist history about how Lesnar quit the UFC after he got beat up a little bit. Except for when he lost to Frank Mir in his debut and then came back to win the heavyweight title from the greatest fighter of all time. And then was forced into retirement by a horrible intestinal disease. Even the crowd isn’t buying into this speech. Finally Paul Heyman interrupts this boring promo, and he’s here to talk CONTRACT LAW. Oh, shit’s on now. Heyman serves HHH with papers, because Brock is SUING. Oh, this feud is not good thus far. CM Punk & Santino v. Daniel Bryan & Cody Rhodes Apparently Cody and Santino are having a Twitter war over which of their titles is more important, which has to be a new low for social media. The heels get tossed and Santino threatens a dive, but gets caught up on the ropes and can’t deliver. And we take a break. Back with Cody beating on Santino in the corner, and it’s over to Daniel Bryan for a dropkick that gets two. This seems to be a very pro-Bryan crowd tonight. Cody stomps him down for two, and Bryan throws yes-assisted kicks, but Santino fights back, so Bryan kicks the crap out of him again and Cody comes in to cut the ring in half. Bryan with more kicks in the corner to the delight of the crowd, but Santino makes a dramatic dive for the tag…and misses. OK, I laughed at that one. Hot tag Punk and he bulldogs Cody, but the GTS is reversed. Punk hits him with the high kick instead for two, but he gets distracted by D-Bry. Cody barely escapes a Cobra, but Goes To Sleep at 10:33 instead. Good tag action here, as Santino works well as face in peril. **3/4 Beth Phoenix v. Alicia Fox Beth hits Fox with a clothesline out of the corner and drops her with a gorilla slam, then finishes with the Glam Slam at 1:18. Big Show v. Kane Kane works him over with shoulders in the corner, but Show fires back with a hiptoss, and Kane gets a crossbody for two. Cole notes that Show has been in WWE for “nearly two decades”, which is some truly funky math even by Cole’s standards. Kane with the chinlock, but Show makes the comeback and goes up with a pump splash that misses. Kane goes up and Show catches him for a chokeslam, but Kane escapes and they fight to the floor. Back in, Big Johnny suddenly stops the match and demands an apology, which distracts Show long enough that Kane chokeslams him for the pin at 4:15. Well Kane is ready for that YouTube pre-show match against Zack Ryder now. * Big Johnny keeps on Show, demanding an apology or else Show is FIRED. Show has a tearful apology, begging for his job, which is ridiculously stupid of him given that anyone in the history of this show who has been “fired” usually comes back by the next week anyway. This went way too long. And then as Johnny is leaving, it goes on LONGER and Show gets on his knees and begs for his job again. And then Big Johnny wishes him the best in his future endeavors anyway. How this makes me want to buy the PPV on Sunday, I have no idea. Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston & R-Truth v. Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger & The Miz Clay cleans house on the heels and we take a break. They just have no idea what to do with Clay anymore, do they? They ran through all the jobbers they had and they don’t want to bump him up to the next level, and they don’t want to beat him, so now he’s just kind of there. Back with R-Truth taking a beating from Miz as the AW gang watches from what looks like literally the farthest point in the entire arena. Hot tag Kofi and like the sun coming up, Miz does the job at 7:02 to Brodus Clay. I love Dolph but he’s stupid to be taking that headbutt bump when he’s barely even in the match. * Meanwhile, AJ interrupts Punk’s conversation with Alex Riley, but Punk blows her off because he’s worried that she’s crazy and they’re just setting up him. Smart man. Randy Orton v. Chris Jericho Apparently this is our main event tonight. And of course we take a break 30 seconds in. Frankly I’m bored of this stupid show and can’t be bothered to recap this because they’re all just sleepwalking through anyway. And of course it’s another screwjob finish as Orton goes for the RKO and Sheamus comes in for the DQ at 7:20. Big Johnny comes out and has now fallen to the point as a character where he’s calling the fans losers to get cheap heat. Naturally this brings out John Cena, who doesn’t even bother wearing a sling any longer. Hey, it’s been three weeks, he’s fine. And then Cena has the most obnoxious, douchebag promo in the history of Cena’s smug douchebag promos, acting like a child and doing bad comedy to build up their match. And it goes on FOREVER, like even longer than the Big Show crap. Finally Eve interrupts with a letter from the incredibly fickle board of directors, who have decided that Johnny Ace will not be appointing any special referees, and anyone who interferes will be FIRED. Just like Big Show, who will obviously run in and cost Cena the match to win his job back. Oops, the entire internet guessed that one, maybe they’ll change it to SWERVE us now. Oh, and if Cena wins, Johnny is fired. So for those paying attention at home, Cena gets to job to Johnny Ace, a retired midcarder, to set up a summer feud with Big Show that we’ve already seen a million times, and that’s why he HAD to beat Brock Lesnar. The Pulse This PPV is NO BUYS. And that might be literal because I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind paying money for this show.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–05.07.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 05.07.12 Live from Greensboro, NC Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Big Johnny starts us out, letting us know that last week he lost his temper and went into a PATH OF DESTRUCTION that no one can stop. And no reprimand was issued by the WWE Board of Directors, because they know he’s tough but fair. Also, anyone who makes fun of his voice will SUFFER. He talks about his Japanese career and getting his voice box injured by Dr. Death, and we get pictures of All Japan. Huh. So this brings out CM Punk, and I bet he’s going to make fun of his voice. Punk DERIDES People Power, but he’s here to help, not hurt. Punk lays out the storyline for us: Johnny put all his chips on Brock Lesnar, and Brock lost to Cena, so that’s why he’s so upset with Cena. Punk calls him stupid, ugly and friendless, so it’s Punk v. Lord Tensai as a result. Punk looks forward to the challenge. Surprised he didn’t say something about Albert or A-Train. Meanwhile, Big Show makes fun of Big Johnny on the way to the ring, and Eve is disapproving. Intercontinental title: Cody Rhodes v. Big Show I find it weird that they’ll talk about Big Johnny’s Japanese career, but won’t say the words “Johnny Ace” so that people know who he was. Show tosses Rhodes around, but Cody gets the disaster kick, and Show no-sells it. Cody takes a walk at 1:50. DUD Good thing they put the belt back on him. Eve comes out and demands an apology from Big Show for mocking Big Johnny, and Show meekly gives it to her. OK then, champion is a cowardly geek and your giant babyface backs down from the figurehead when challenged. So basically I as a fan shouldn’t get behind anyone, got it. Kofi Kingston v. Dolph Ziggler Remember when these guys wrestled a million times in a row for the I-C title and were hugely over? Kofi misses a charge and Dolph dropkicks him and controls with a headlock on the mat, while AW and his crew of jobbers watch backstage. This now includes Mason Ryan. Lucky us. Kofi comes back with the boomdrop, but goes after Swagger, then hits the SOS on Ziggler for two. To the top, but Swagger interferes again and the Zig Zag finishes at 2:38. * Why the hell do they put the tag belts on these guys and then IMMEDIATELY start jobbing them? Is it any wonder that no one ever is allowed to get over? John Cena does an interview via satellite. The doctors recommended that he take two months off, but he’s going to compete at the PPV, dammit! And he’s the one who told the Board not to fire Big Johnny! Layla & Kelly Kelly v. Natalya & Maxine Layla puts Maxine down with a spinkick, but Natalya distracts her and Maxine gets a shot in. Layla finishes her with a neckbreaker at 1:00 anyway. DUD Hey, a champion actually gets to win tonight! Natalya is now once again fully evil thanks to a plot development that happened somewhere off-screen. That’s gotta be some kind of record for turning someone babyface and then back to heel without actually showing either one or even mentioning it. Randy Orton & Sheamus v. Alberto Del Rio & Chris Jericho Orton takes ADR down with a clothesline for two, but Jericho comes in and hammers him in the corner. Over to Sheamus for the forearms, but Jericho sends the injured shoulder into the post and Del Rio adds a cheapshot to make Sheamus YOUR face in peril. And we take a break. Back with Jericho holding a chinlock on Sheamus, but Sheamus escapes with elbows in the corner and it’s hot tag Orton. Draping DDT for ADR, but he gets distracted and that allows Del Rio to hit the enzuigiri for two. And now Orton gets the beating, but he hits Jericho with the dropkick. Jericho comes back to control as Cole talks about “creating separation” and Jericho hits an enzuigiri for two. ADR gets a shoulderbreaker, but Orton comes back with the backbreaker and it’s hot tag Sheamus. Jericho tries the Walls, but Sheamus escapes and hits the backbreaker for two. Orton in with the RKO on ADR…but Sheamus accidentally takes him out with the Brogue Kick, and Jericho pins Sheamus with the Codebreaker at 14:18. And ANOTHER champion does a job tonight. However, this seems to set up a four-way Orton v. Jericho v. ADR v. Sheamus match for the PPV, which is 150 times more interesting than Sheamus v. Del Rio. And Orton turns on Sheamus with the RKO after the heels leave, which is fine with me because he’s been wandering around the midcard aimlessly anyway and needs something new to do. Match was the usual formula stuff. **3/4 Meanwhile, all the participants in the tag match get into a brawl in Big Johnny’s office because they all want the World title. And I LOVED that Orton was so pissed off that he angrily told Sheamus that he was coming for the title, because it actually means that people WANT to compete for it. What a concept, I know. So now it’s a four-way at the PPV. Makes sense, since the Del Rio match was going to be death and I think they knew it, although sticking Orton and Jericho in there reeks of changing their mind yet again. Brodus Clay v. The Miz Clay quickly dumps Miz after no-selling his offense, and the Funkettes LAUGH AT HIM. Very subtle there. Back in, Miz stomps him down and gets the corner clothesline and double axehandle off the top for two. Short DDT gets two. Miz goes to a chinlock, but Clay escapes with a sideslam and makes the comeback. Miz goes up and gets caught in a suplex, and the big splash finishes clean at 4:11. Why would you book Clay to sell for 4 minutes on live TV? Poor Miz. ½* PAUL HEYMAN returns, acting as legal representation for Brock Lesnar. Well you knew he wasn’t going to stay away for long with Brock back, and thank god they’ve got someone to do the interviews now. Brock feels BETRAYED by the fans for booing him despite all the awesome stuff he’s done. Heyman reads a letter on behalf of Brock, who is quitting and never coming back. It’s great that they’ve got Heyman out there to do the talking now, but it’s STILL the same whiny contract nonsense that didn’t work the first time. Repackaging the same issue over and over with different people trying to get the “brilliant” plotting across isn’t going to work, no matter who is delivering the crappy material. Meanwhile, even the geeks from the USA show they’re plugging think that Show shouldn’t have apologized. Sadly, they run afoul of Eve again. CM Punk v. Lord Tensai Unless they’re running REALLY long tonight, this will be a short match. And before we take one last break, Johnny turns it into a handicap match. CM Punk v. Daniel Bryan & Lord Tensai Tensai beats Punk down, and Bryan comes in with the kicks for two. Punk rolls him up for two and they collide on a bodypress attempt, which brings Tensai in with the butterfly suplex. Cole’s description of Tensai: “A former WWE superstar who went to Japan and became a star.” Wouldn’t that be a lesser designation, then? If he was already a SUPERstar, why would he want to be a mere star? Tensai with the senton and Bryan comes in with a diving headbutt, which misses. Punk comes back with a catapult into the corner and a bulldog, but Tensai makes a blind tag. He misses a charge and Punk puts him down with a high kick, but Daniel Bryan trips him up and Tensai fucks up a tree slam. That was ridiculous. The GREEN CLAW OF DEATH finishes to dead silence at 6:54. So at the PPV, it’s two losers going against each other for the title. It’s time to give up on Tensai, it’s not working at all. There’s no real upside here in pushing him like this, he’s not getting over and you’re just hurting the babyfaces who have to put him over now. I daresay it’s the old WCW problem of un-over, where you’ve got someone who’s not over, and they would keep putting that person over other people who WERE over to try to create some kind of rub, and all that happened was that everyone got dragged down to the same level. The Pulse I suppose Santino should feel grateful that he wasn’t booked on this show. I miss champions and challengers winning matches to set up the big match against each other, not losing matches so that people doubt both guys equally. The tag match was pretty fun, but man, the rest of this show right now is just going in a direction I so do not want to be a part of.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–04.30.12

The SmarK RAW SUPERSHOW STARRING BROCK LESNAR Rant – 04.30.12 The pre-show highlights of Cena’s interview last night seem to show him with a weird skin condition that turns him into the Grey Hulk. Live from Dayton, OH Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Big Johnny starts us out, as he has revolutionized the sport in ONE NIGHT, thanks to Brock Lesnar and People Power. This brings out Brock, but before he can read his lines, they’re interrupted by COOHHH. He’s doing what Johnny doesn’t have the guts to do, taking away all of Brock’s contract demands (apparently the name of the show has always been “Monday Night RAW” despite them calling it “RAW Supershow” for more than six months now) and tearing up the new contract because there was no authority to grant any of it. So HHH offers him the chance to take his ball and go home and reminds us that he lost to Cena last night. Johnny tries to stand up for Brock, but Lesnar takes matters into his own hands and beats on HHH, putting him in a kimura until the babyfaces make the save. So there’s your Over The Limit main event. Eve announces that tonight will feature the good old Beat The Clock challenges for the title shot at CM Punk. I always like these because at least people are in competition for something. Beat the Clock: The Miz v. Santino Marella And here comes the 50/50 booking. Santino takes Miz down for a couple of covers, but Miz slugs him down and follows with a kneelift for two. Miz comes back with a rollup for two, but Miz gets a neckbreaker for two. Miz with the corner clothesline and he goes up with a double axehandle for two and pounds him down for two. He goes to the chinlock, which even Lawler sees as a bad move in a timed match, but Santino makes the comeback with a stungun to set up the Cobra. It misses and Miz rolls him up for two, but it’s reversed for two. Miz finishes with the Finale at 4:19. This was fine. ** Divas title: Layla v. Nikki Bella v. Brie Bella The Bellas turn on each other and Layla rolls one of them up for the pin at 0:10. Must make them feel good to get 10 seconds like that. Beat the Clock: Chris Jericho v. Big Show Show pounds away in the corner and gets a slam for two, but Jericho dropkicks the knee for two. Jericho goes up and gets chopped on the way down, but Show misses a pump splash. Lionsault gets two. Jericho tries the Walls, but Show reverses to a rollup for two. Jericho stomps him down, but Show gets a spear for two. Jericho tries the codebreaker, but Show powers out of it, and they tumble to the floor. Jericho beats the count, but doesn’t beat the clock. Or maybe he does, I’m not really clear on it. Just a match. *1/2 Brodus Clay v. JTG And we’re back to this for Clay. Usual squash for Brodus at 1:38, and then kids from the audience dance with him. Another look at the Cena promo from the end of Extreme Rules. And then for a THIRD time, we get the HHH-Brock segment from earlier tonight. Beat the Clock: Randy Orton v. Jack Swagger Orton gets a quick rollup, then survives a beating in the corner and rolls him up again. Swaggerbomb gets two. Orton reverses the powerbomb into a backbreaker for two, but Swagger clips the knee for two. Swagger slugs away in the corner and starts working on the arm, and SHOOTS THE HALF for two. Vince would be so proud. Orton makes the comeback with the powerslam and draping DDT, and he wastes time with the RKO dance, allowing Swagger to get the anklelock. Orton escapes and gets the RKO at 4:16 to set the new time. Another rushed, junky match. *1/2 WWE tag titles: Primo & Epico v. Kofi Kingston & R-Truth In a shocking development, the Bella Twins have been fired on WWE.com during this match. So last night they swerved the people who would know Kharma was coming back, but try to pretend like those same people wouldn’t know that the Bellas contract was expiring? Truth dumps the champs and we take a break. Back with the champs double-teaming Truth in the corner and Primo gets a dropkick for two. Primo stomps him down for two, but walks into a leg lariat and it’s hot tag Kofi. Boomdrop for Epico and the wacky kick wins the titles at 6:29. Shouldn’t this have been Santino & Ryder getting the title shot after last week? Whatever, no one cares about the titles anyway. ** Meanwhile, AW confronts Epico & Primo, but we don’t find out the result of the conversation. That, by the way, was the only thing actually promoted beforehand on this show, so of course they don’t pay it off. Beat the Clock: Kane v. The Great Khali Khali pounds him in the corner, but Kane dropkicks the knee and pounds him down for two. Kane with a chinlock on the mat and the flying clothesline for two. Kane aimlessly pounds away as Lawler says “crunch time” about a dozen times. Khali gets the chop to send Kane running and they choke each other out as the clock runs out. Absolutely terrible. -* Beat the Clock: Daniel Bryan v. Jerry Lawler Well that’s random. Was Zack Ryder busy fixing his hair? Bryan slugs away in the corner and gets the corner dropkick for two. King fires back, but Bryan gets a snapmare for two. He drops knees for two. Lawler comes back with the dropkick for two and dodges a charging Bryan, and it’s fistdrop time for two. Piledriver is reversed and Bryan kicks his head off and finishes with the YES LOCK to earn the title shot. I may have to order that PPV now, although they’re gonna need a hell of a main event above that. Once again, let’s watch the Brock Lesnar attack on HHH from earlier tonight. HHH has a broken arm, but he can still hold down the midcard with his good arm. But will he ever crotch-chop again? John Cena is still here, albeit with a sling on his arm while he cracks jokes. Big Johnny comes out to announce Cena’s opponent for the PPV, and Cena guesses Zeus to commemorate the release of No Holds Barred on DVD. Big Johnny notes that Cena should be thanking him for trying to motivate him. Cena does a pretty good impression of Big Johnny, and we learn that Cena’s opponent is Big Johnny himself. Uh…OK then. Lord Tensai comes out and further injures the arm, and Ace attacks for the heel beatdown. I’m calling this one as the new champion of lowest buyrate in the modern era right now. The Pulse Wow, that show pretty much siphoned off any excitement I had remaining after last night’s awesome show. Cena beats the unbeatable monster and doesn’t even take a night off, moving on to face retired wrestler Johnny Ace. That’s just great. Overall, a whole lot of crappy wrestling setting up a main event that no one wants to see on a PPV that no one is going to watch. Hope the $5 million for Brock was worth it.