The SmarK RAW Rant – 09.24.12 Live from Albany, NY Your hosts are Jim Ross & Michael Cole Paul Heyman starts us out with CM Punk staging a sit-in. They call out referee Brad Maddox, who sadly doesn’t have a Twitter handle on his graphic, and demand an apology and resignation. He apologizes but won’t tender his resignation. Apparently he’s a replacement ref, which is some sort of football reference that I’m sure others who actually watch it will understand. GMAJ and her awesomely short shorts come out to save the ref, and Punk cuts a self-righteous promo on her. See, now THAT is a character that CM Punk can pull off as a heel. Punk accuses her of being a bunny-boiling psycho who screwed around with him and then wouldn’t get over him. And that gets the crowd to CHEER him more! This all leads to Heyman proposing for some reason, and AJ slaps him and leaves. They appeared to lose the POINT in all that, but conspiracy-minded jackass CM Punk is fun. Meanwhile, incompetent referee Brad Maddox gets more screen time, as AJ goes all crazy eyes and threatens to fire him. Who did this guy blow to get featured so much? Kofi Kingston v. Dolph Ziggler This is the blowoff of a TWITTER WAR. Now there’s a PPV concept for you. Kofi attacks and dumps Dolph to start, then hits a dive as we take a break. Back with Dolph getting an inverted powerslam for two. Dolph goes to the chinlock while Cole relays words of wisdom from Social Media Ambassador Criss Angel, who by the way has a better pro wrestling name than 90% of the goofs that come up from developmental these days. Dolph misses the charge and Kofi makes the comeback with the Boomdrop. Ziggler catches the wacky kick, but runs into a kick in the corner and Kofi gets a flying forearm for two. Kofi with a high cross or two. Dolph kicks him in the leg and hits the fameasser for two. This crowd is just crazy into the match. Zig Zag is blocked and Kofi gets the SOS for a hot two count. Dolph takes the Hennig bump into the corner, but lands on the top rope, and Kofi counters into a bodypress for two. The crowd is just INSANE for this. Ziggler sends him into the corner, Zig Zag, goodbye at 11:42. And yet they still won’t push Kofi. ***1/2 They’ve of course had literally a billion matches (LITERALLY. A BILLION) so they have great chemistry. But hey, jobbing every week to the Brogue Kick is obviously how to get Ziggler over, not by having great matches with compatible workers. Meanwhile, after a Smackdown recap, Dr. Shelby has lunch with Daniel Bryan. (“Actually, I am the tag team champions.” “Well, that’s not even grammatically correct…”) As a trust-building exercise, Kane plays the waiter. His name is Gerald, and he’s a waiter. Apparently he killed the cook and put his body in the deep fryer because he had a goat beard. Man, Kane is just killing it with these skits. The Primetime Players v. Zack Ryder & Santino Marella Of course any time they get near New York, Zack is gonna do the job. Zack quickly misses a bodypress and clotheslines himself on the top rope, and Young hits a chinlock. Santino tags in and gets his usual offensive flurry on Young, and it’s quickly BONZO GONZO as Titus dumps Ryder. Titus blocks the Cobra and finishes with a Sky High bomb at 1:50. * Mick Foley makes a surprise appearance, talking about how disappointed he is in CM Punk. Punk answers and accuses Mick of being here to shill another kids book, but Foley lays into him for aligning with Heyman. He notes that Punk doesn’t need a mouthpiece, and accuses him of DRINKING THE KOOL-AID. Oh great, now we’re really getting inside. Foley talks about earning respect in Hell In a Cell, and thinks Punk should face Cena in that match to prove himself once and for all. Punk is like “I’ve already beat Cena three times and I’m still the champion, so f--- off.” Or words resembling that. Foley offers him the chance to make his own decision later tonight. Holy cow, that Punk v. Foley match at the PPV should be awesome! Oh, sorry, they’re not actually fighting. My mistake. The Miz v. Ryback This is non-title. I don’t know why they don’t just pull the trigger on him and make him the champion already. Might actually make the belt mean something to put it on their big project. Ryback tosses Miz around, but runs into an elbow in the corner. He comes right back with the running powerslam, and Miz bails. He manages to send Ryback into the railing, and hits the short DDT for two. Ryback pops up and powerbombs him, and some goof fan runs into the ring and gets swarmed. The Shellshock finishes clean at 3:00. The announcers make no mention of Ryback wanting or caring about the title. * Meanwhile, Kane and Bryan continue bonding over lunch, and we get the obvious When Harry Met Sally parody. Meanwhile, AJ gives the refs a peptalk, and announces Sheamus/Mysterio/Sin Cara v. ADR/Otunga/Ricardo. Wade Barrett v. Tyson Kidd Kidd gets a quick rollup, but Barrett clotheslines him and boots him to the floor for a beating out there. Tyson gets another rollup, but Barrett hits the Bossman slam and finishes with the FOREARM OF DOOM at 2:14. This Barrett push isn’t working. * Jerry Lawler appears live from Memphis, talking about the heart attack and his recovery. Sheamus, Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio v. Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga & Ricardo Rodriguez Kind of unfairly stacked against the heels here. The luchadors hit double dives onto Ricardo and ADR to start, and Ricardo starts against Sin Cara, wrestling in his tuxedo. Can’t say he’s not classy. Del Rio gets a cheapshot and Cara plays (no) face in peril. ADR stomps him down for two. Back to Ricardo, who quickly falls victim to a headscissors, and it’s hot tag Rey. He dropkicks ADR’s knee for two. Rey goes up and Del Rio pops up with an enzuigiri for two. Rey gets worked over in the corner for the heat, but he dropkicks out of a chinlock and it’s over to Sheamus. Otunga runs away from the brogue kick, so Sheamus hauls Ricardo in and beats the s--- out of him so that Rey and Sin Cara can finish him at 7:10. Just a tag match to put over the babyfaces. I kind of wish they’d make Ricardo and ADR into a permanent tag team for a while and have them feud with Rey & Sin Cara because I’m pretty sure it would be awesome. **1/2 Meanwhile, Dr. Shelby serves Kane a salad and Bryan a bowl of meatballs, so they can better understand each other. Kane burps and Bryan pukes in Shelby’s lap. OK, these are getting weaker. TWITTER POLL: Should the tag champions be Team Teamwork, Team Hell No, or Team Friendship? Apparently this is BINDING, so vote wisely. After the break, the winning name is revealed to be TEAM HELL NO, and they get attacked by Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow: THE RHODES SCHOLARS. Oh that’s awesome. What the heck is with all these actual tag teams all of a sudden? Layla & Alicia Fox v. Eve & Beth Phoenix Beth looks remarkably not fired here, so perhaps she’s just playing out the string. Layla gets a bodypress on Beth for two and Fox comes in with dropkicks that barely make contact and a sunset flip for two. She should just use a rollup instead, it’s guaranteed to beat Phoenix. Beth comes back with a slingshot suplex and Eve hits a neckbreaker for the clean pin at 1:30. Well that wasn’t much of a match. ½* Kaitlyn hobbles out and accuses Beth of being the mystery attacker at the PPV. Eve is AGHAST and lays out Beth in disgust. And they wonder why a million people are tuning out of the third hour every week. Brodus Clay v. Tensai Total squash for Brodus, but Big Show randomly comes out and beats up both guys for the double DQ at 1:40. Yay? Boo? Main Event Interview: John Cena is out to shill his cancer gear and challenge CM Punk yet again, and that brings out Punk and Heyman, looking more gloriously scummy by the minute. Heyman holding up the gold like it’s a UFC belt is hilarious. Punk points out that Cena has had all the shots he deserves, and he’s not getting another one at the PPV. Punk has now progressed to the “shut your mouth fat boy” stage of cheap heel heat as they desperately do everything and anything to get people to boo him. So he points out that it’s stupid for a one-armed Cena to challenge him (wearing all pink no less) and it’s just gonna lead to pain for him. Punk stupidly turns his back on Cena, and Cena produces a LEAD PIPE and attacks Punk with it. What a hero. And then it gets WORSE, as Punk heads backstage and stops to give Foley a cheapshot on the way by. But then it’s RYBACK in the most random cameo appearance you’ll see in a while. Now I really hope Cena is back in time so we don’t have to see that match on PPV. Like really, THAT’S their backup plan? These monkeys couldn’t put 2 and 2 together with the very interview segment THAT THEY WROTE and book Punk v. Foley instead? The Pulse I feel like a broken record, but this was a perfectly good two hour show with a third hour that just went into the toilet yet again, leading up to a god-awful final segment that made me never want to see Cena v. Punk again. The show is just too long, there’s no other way around it.