The SmarK RAW Rant – 08.06.12 Is it me, or is making your new slogan “Now. Then. Forever.” kind of a bad move on the karma scale? So in the “things that make me feel old” department, today was my daughter’s second birthday party, which is an exhausting endeavor for anyone who hasn’t tried something like that before. Live from San Antonio, TX Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler GMAJ starts us out by announcing Cena v. Bryan tonight, but CM Punk quickly interrupts. I’m shocked that anyone is doing anything quickly on these 3 hour shows now. There’s time to be filled! Punk apologizes for disrespecting her, but notes that signing the triple threat for Summerslam was a mistake on her part, so she should just go ahead and cancel it. She declines, so Punk accuses her of being the “evil RAW general manager who tries to stick it to the guy that everyone likes.” This brings out Cena for some reason, who accuses Punk of being the guy who demands respect but doesn’t earn it. Meanwhile the crowd chants “Cena sucks” and boos him. They get into an argument about who was going to save whom last week, but AJ books Punk against the winner of a Twitter poll…NEXT. Doesn’t that kind of prove his point about the champion not getting the main event slot? CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio Given this was the best choice of the ones given to the fans to pick from, I’m happy with it. Rey goes for the leg to start, but misses a charge and Punk rolls him up for two. Punk goes to a headscissors on the mat and hits a backbreaker for two. To the top, but Rey dropkicks him to the floor and follows with a dive as we take a break. Back with Punk hitting a superplex for two and he goes to a bodyscissors on the mat. If their plan is to fill all the time by stretching out good matches into really long ones…well, I’m OK with that. Punk tosses Rey, but he slides back in with a dropkick for two. Punk catches him for the GTS, but Rey escapes and hits the 619…and then lands on his knees. GTS finishes at 9:00. Could have used a few more minutes, but at least Punk got a strong clean win. **1/2 Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio arrives in his Ferrari, and complains to AJ about having to compete…but then calls her crazy. Recap #1: Lesnar and HHH get into a fight, in case you missed it all 16 times last week. Alberto Del Rio v. Christian So much for his promise not compete until Summerslam. I like that he wasn’t ready to compete and has to finish getting ready on the way to the ring. That’s a nice change from people showing up in full gear when they’re not even booked. Christian goes after him in the corner to start, but ADR pulls him out of the ring and sends him into the post for two. He goes to work on the arm, but Christian goes up with a high cross for two. ADR tries the armbreaker, but Christian blocks with a rollup for two. Del Rio boots him down again, but misses a senton splash. Christian sets up for the spear, but ADR blocks with a superkick. Christian goes after Ricardo and gets distracted enough that ADR knocks him off the top with his boot, and finishes with the armbar at 3:09. Decent little TV match. ** But wait! Backstage, Sheamus commits grand theft auto and drives off with the Ferrari. Remember: Babyfaces commit felonies on live TV with no consequences. 12 minutes of wrestling in the first hour, but only 1 recap, so that’s an improvement over last week. Randy Orton v. The Big Show Are we trying to frontload the first hour or something? Show hammers away in the corner and hits a sideslam, but Orton slugs back until he runs into an elbow. Show misses a charge and Orton finally puts him down with a dropkick, but walks into a chokeslam for two. Show shoulderblocks him onto the floor and goes for another chokeslam in the ring, but Orton escapes and they fight to the floor again. Show spears him and they’re both counted out at 5:38. Well that was a shitty finish. *1/2 Back in the ring, Show goes for the knockout, but Orton ducks it and gives him the RKO instead. WHY DIDN’T THEY JUST DO THAT FINISH IN THE FIRST PLACE?! Ryback v. Tyler Rex & Curt Hawkins Rex briefly gets heat on Ryback with a big boot for two, and the heel team hits a double suplex for two. Ryback tosses them, then finishes Hawkins with the lariat and muscle buster at 2:33. Well, I’m glad that people are finally starting to chant along with “Feed me more” after months of them basically begging people to do it. The Primetime Players v. Epico & Primo No one gets an entrance here. Rosa Mendes is absent due to apparently being beat up in her hotel room earlier today. Primo dropkicks Darren Young out of the corner for two, but gets beat down in the PTP corner. O’Neil suplexes Young onto Primo, and Young powerslams him for two. Hot tag Epico and he runs wild with suplexes on Young, so AW calls them out of the ring. Kofi and Truth come out for the distraction, however, and the Playaz head back in, where Epico pins Young after a backstabber at 4:29. So the so-called #1 contenders are back to losing every match again. Crowd didn’t care about any of this. *1/2 Recap #2: The recent plights of Damien Sandow are examined. Brodus Clay v. Damien Sandow No match, as Sandow attacks during the entrance and does a pretty vicious number on his leg. Now that’s some good old fashioned heel heat. You take away the one thing about Brodus that people care about – the ring entrance – and make Sandow look like a threat again. I approve. Meanwhile, AJ continues screwing with Daniel Bryan. Kelly Kelly v. Eve Torres Apparently Eve sent out a derogatory Tout against AJ, and this is her punishment. AJ is pretty insecure if that’s the case. Kelly does the lamest beatdown ever in the corner and hits a handspring elbow, but Eve bails to avoid a stinkface. Back in, Kelly with a high cross for two. Eve chokes her out on the ropes to take over. Kelly comes back with a rana to finish at 3:00. Guess Kelly’s acting career didn’t work out too well. * Recap #3: Sheamus steals a car and gets away with it. Shawn Michaels joins us in his hometown to talk about RAW 1000 and how everyone is talking about Brock and HHH. Is anyone really talking about that? Regardless, Brock and Heyman interrupt and Cole is all THIS ISN’T ON THE FORMAT SHEET! Heyman notes that Brock isn’t here to sports entertain, he’s here to fight. Shawn is going to be in HHH’s corner, so Brock threatens violence, but HHH makes the save and Brock laughs it all off. This buildup is not doing anything for me. Recap #4: Sheamus steals a car and get away with it. Again. Saying “Oh, it’s just a joyride” doesn’t make it any less illegal. Alex Riley v. Dolph Ziggler Riley controls with armdrags, but Dolph stomps him down in the corner and hits the dropkick. Elbowdrop gets two. Dolph works him over, but Riley makes the comeback and then misses a charge, allowing Dolph to hit a neckbreaker and use an ARROGANT COVER for two. Chris Jericho distracts him from the commentary table, and Riley gets the cheap rollup win at 4:30. Ugh. There needs to be a permanent moratorium on that stupid finish. * Kane v. The Miz Miz tries to go after the leg to start and hits the DDT for two. Boot to the head gets two. Kane comes back with his own boot for two. Kane misses a charge, but then comes back and pins him clean with the chokeslam at 3:45. Boy, Miz’s career is sure on the upswing after winning that belt, isn’t it? These guys had ZERO chemistry out there. * Meanwhile, Sheamus returns the car in trashed condition. Oh, the hilarity. Daniel Bryan v. John Cena Bryan stalls for a while to start and Cena hiptosses him for two before going to a chinlock. Bryan takes over and we take a break, and return with Bryan throwing kicks in the corner. More kicks and Cena makes the comeback, but Bryan counters the FU into a guillotine. Cena powers him into the corner, but Bryan hangs on, so Cena does it again to break. Bryan escapes an STF attempt and rolls him up for two, then puts him down with a low kick for two. To the top with a diving headbutt for two. Bryan fires away with the kicks, but Cena reverses into the STF…and DB counters into the NO-LOCK. Cena reverses that again into the FU at 13:00. Bryan looked totally comfortable in that main event slot, which is awesome to see. This was real good stuff. ***1/4 Punk lays out Cena and a charging Big Show afterwards, but Show knocks him out in turn, and then knocks out Cena as well. The Pulse I know this isn’t news, but they have to get rid of the third hour somehow. Turn it into a recap show, or something, because the first hour was really good and I was digging the show, and then it just turned into another LONG night after the Ryback and AW stuff started getting thrown out there to eat up time. It’s too hard to create memorable TV when there’s so much stuff going on every week to fill time, and this was a prime example. It was a much better show than last week in terms of pacing, but again it was a great two hour show artificially inflated into a boring three hour show. And man, that Brock appearance was a whole lotta NOTHING. Much like the rest of this show.