The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 03.12.12
Live from Cleveland, OH
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
Speaking of which, Jerry Lawler introduces the John Cena rap segment, which brings out 2003 era John Cena, complete with “Word Life” theme and the thuganomic attire. I have to wonder how many people actually remember him from that period. Pretty good stuff from Cena, as he busts on Rock’s pec surgery in 1999 and promises to give him a Cleveland Steamer. And then rub his nuts in Rock’s face after he wins at Wrestlemania. See, that’s the stuff that got him over in the first place, and that’s the Cena who I wearing cheering for all the way up until 2005 when I got sick of him and stopped recapping RAW as a result.
Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler
Not a particularly flattering outfit for Vickie tonight. Although it’s nice that Dolph is wearing tights in the matching color. Sheamus controls with a headlock and overpowers him, and Dolph bails as we take a break. Back with Sheamus still in control with nothing exciting, and he hiptosses Dolph over the top for another Hennig tribute bump from Ziggler. I hope he doesn’t develop Hennig’s spinal issues as a tribute, too. Ziggler, however, hides under the ring and blindsides Sheamus on the floor, sending him into the table for a nice bump from Sheamus. The camera even gets a nice closeup of the huge welt on Sheamus from that. Back in, Ziggler with a neckbreaker for two. And we go to D-Bry and AJ in the skybox watching the match. AJ loves him! And the feeling is mutual. That’s so very heartwarming. Back to the boring match, as Sheamus escapes an endless chinlock and comes back with a powerslam for two. Sheamus goes for the high cross, but opts for a faceplant instead and gets two. Dolph goes up and gets caught in a backbreaker, but reverses to a crucifix for two. Sheamus holds on and sets up for the White Noise, but only gets a death valley driver for two. I dunno if they’re having communication troubles out there or what, but they’re having a style clash and really it should be a natural matchup of Sheamus throwing Dolph around like a ragdoll. Dolph gets the fameasser out of the corner for two, but walks into the Brogue Kick out of nowhere and Sheamus ends it at 12:00. Sheamus continues to beat dudes clean on the way to the title. **1/2 Here’s a fun fact: In a time when guys are struggling to get one finisher over, Sheamus has THREE instant death moves. You have to respect that.
Executive Vice President Of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of RAW John Laurinaitis joins us for commentary.
Santino & Aksana v. David Otunga & Mark Henry
Big Johnny stacks the deck just because he can. Teddy Long rescues Aksana before she can participate, and once again the GM brawl is on at ringside. Santino quickly gets the cobra on Otunga, but Mark Henry tags in and destroys him at 1:30. Nothing here. DUD A beatdown seems imminent, but Kofi makes the save. Then R-Truth, but they both quickly get laid out. So it’s Henry & Otunga for Team Johnny thus far, and probably Santino, Kofi & Truth for Teddy.
The Miz will be on Psych later tonight. Hopefully he doesn’t forget to catch a stuntman and get blackballed in Hollywood too.
Did You Know that Maxim rated Miami the #1 party city? They’re really reaching for stuff to brag about now.
Meanwhile, Zack Ryder confronts Eve, who wants to be friends with benefits. Beth Phoenix interrupts, apparently trying to start a feud with Maria Menounos.
Meanwhile, The Miz sucks up to Big Johnny and wants to be a part of the team. So if he wins his match tonight, he’s in. And it’s against CM Punk. And the guy from Psych is involved somehow.
Brodus Clay v. Jinder Mahal
He’s alive! Perhaps they reconstructed the Funkasaurus DNA from an amber disco ball. And Jinder stupidly attacks from behind before getting squashed with a big splash at 0:30. Two months off TV and he’s just back doing the same thing again?
Shawn Michaels joins us, much less jovial than usual. No one ever called him a loser or failure backstage, and so he calls out Undertaker to straighten things out. Taker accuses him of being insecure, but Shawn points out that Undertaker was the one who was begging HHH for the match. Taker screws up the date of the show (April 21?) and threatens to kick Shawn’s ass if he favors his buddy. Shawn’s like “Yeah, but I could still screw you over and end the streak anyway.” And yeah, Undertaker still won’t take his damn hood off. HHH and Shawn share a moment at the entrance, which I’m sure will lead Bryan Alvarez to go crazy about the SECRET PLAN again tomorrow. Not quite up to the level of the last few segments, but we’ve got three shows to fill and needed to hit the “You’re in cahoots with HHH” plot beat, so this was fine.
CM Punk v. The Miz
Your guest ring announcer: The actor from Psych who I’m not familiar with. I don’t even know if the show airs in Canada anyway. Miz gets a quick rollup for two and hits a knee, and we take a break. Back with Miz holding an abdominal stretch, but Punk fights out and gets the springboard clothesline and powerslam. Running knee and bulldog set up the finish, but Miz elbows out, only to run into a leg lariat for two. Stun gun into a DDT gets two. He goes up and misses, and Punk hooks the Vice for the tap at 6:22. Not much trouble dispatching Miz there, and most of the match took place during the ad break. ** Chris Jericho pops up on the Titantron with a DARK SECRET about Punk’s straight edge lifestyle: His father is an alcoholic! Jericho promises to beat him so badly that he’ll take up drinking to drown his sorrows. Yeah, I don’t really think they needed to go there. This was fine without the soap opera writers interjecting themselves.
Randy Orton v. Jack Swagger
Swagger was US champion last week, and now he’s “in the ring to my left,” the guy who doesn’t even get an entrance. Ouch. I’m not saying the new haircut is DEFINITELY at fault, but I’m not ruling it out either. So yeah, Swagger tries some mat wrestling, but Orton sends him out and kicks his ass on the floor and we take a break. Ugh, I’m so tired of this commercial break during every match s---. They were getting better about it last week but now they’re reverting to their old habits again. Back with Swagger clipping the knee for two and then going to work with a toehold. Swaggerbomb misses, but he suckers Orton in with the anklelock, and not a single person buys it. This crowd is brutal tonight. Orton comes back with a superplex and the powerslam, which thankfully is called by the proper name tonight. Draping DDT and RKO finishes Swagger like a job guy at 8:23. Dude didn’t even get a teased reversal or nothing. **1/4 And then the ring goes red…and nothing happens. They’re really just running on fumes tonight.
The Rock presents the Rock Concert! After some nice repartee with the crowd, Rock does his take on “Jailhouse Rock” to everyone’s delight. Same stuff, Cena sucks and has lady parts, but Rock is just so effortlessly entertaining and charismatic here. The part about how Cena forgot he was married just killed. And then we get a lame “We Will Rock You” singalong and we’re out.
A much more even show than in recent weeks, as it didn’t do anything to sell me further on Wrestlemania and didn’t screw anything up. I was entertained throughout, but not particularly moved to excitement, and I’m OK with that because there’s still another two weeks anyway.