The SmarK RAW Rant – 10.01.12 Live from Oklahoma City, OK Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jim Ross. Oh man, DEXTER. My wife takes the show way more personally than I do, but man is this gonna be an awesome nail-biting season or what? Now THAT was a game-changing season premiere! But really, an airport luggage storage room? REALLY? CM Punk and Paul Heyman (with belt proudly in the air as always) start us out. When are they gonna debut that new belt already? Once again, Punk gets disrespected by everyone, and he had to put Mick Foley down like a dog in order to remedy that situation. Punk admits that some of Foley’s speechifying got to him, and so at the PPV…the match is still not going to happen. Now, onto AJ, as Heyman demands that AJ be fired immediately because she wasn’t supposed to be touching the talent, and she slapped him last week. So he’ll graciously step up and take over as GM. But then Vickie also comes out to FINALLY pick up that plot thread again after two months, because she also wants the job. Dolph makes peace by suggesting that Vickie and Paul be co-GM, but GMAJ skips out to interrupt, pointing out that she’s on probation now, and the Bored of Directors has appointed a special coach for her. This brings out Daniel Bryan as this segment turns into a train filled with dynamite going over a cliff and landing on a munitions dump manned by hemophiliacs. Anyway, Bryan just wants to apologize for driving AJ over his edge with his handsome face and awesome beard, and by the way, he is the tag team champions. So THAT brings out Kane, and he points out that AJ is a phenomenal kisser, and HE is the tag team champions. This proves to be too much wackiness even for AJ, so she books Punk & Ziggler against Team Hell No tonight. Really? 20 minutes to set up THAT match for a main event? Tag team tournament quarterfinals: Primo & Epico v. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara Cara and Rey have matching outfits tonight. How cute. I approve of this direction, because TOURNAMENTS ARE AWESOME. Primo works Cara over in the corner, but he comes back with a headscissors and it’s over to Rey. They alley oop Epico out of the ring, but the Primetime Players come out to watch at the stage as we take a break. Tag teams! In feuds! WTF! Back with Epico countering a Sin Cara bodypress with a dropkick, but Sin Cara gets a sunset flip for two. Hot tag to Rey and he hits the flying senton for two. Rana on Primo gets two. Sin Cara comes in with a missile dropkick and Rey hits the double 619, then finishes Primo with the flying splash at 10:04. I will allow this to continue. ***1/4 Antonio Cesaro v. Brodus Clay Brodus with a quick suplex and an elbow, but Cesaro necksnaps him. Blind charge misses and Cesaro gets an uppercut and Neutralizer for the pin at 1:00. Huh, wonder what’s up with that? Meanwhile, AJ introduces Kaitlyn to her new coach, Christopher J. Stevenson. Wonder what the inside joke is there? Anyway, AJ wants to make up with Kaitlyn, but then admits she’s just f------ with her. Did You Know that 3 times as many people watched Smackdown than Ultimate Fighter? Ouch, low blow. Stay classy, Vince. Did you know that a zillion times as many people watched football than RAW last week? They probably won’t mention that one. The Miz v. Zack Ryder Ryder gets some quick offense, but Miz lays him out in the corner and stomps him down for two. Chinlock, but Zack comes back with a facejam and mule kick out of the corner. Broski boot gets two. Roughrider is reversed into a corner powerbomb, and the skull crushing finale finishes at 2:30. Well finally Miz found someone pathetic enough to win against. *1/2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DEBATE: Sheamus v. Big Show They answer dumb questions from fans, and Sheamus makes dumb jokes about Big Show’s body odor and how he lost the World title in 45 seconds. Show is actually pretty funny here, as he leans on the podium and breaks it, then indignantly demands a new one because he’s a little overweight. Sheamus is insufferable as usual, making his cutesy-poo jokey-jokes as we get yet another INSTA-FEUD over nothing. Ryback v. Tensai They slug it out to start and neither goes down, so Ryback powerslams Tensai and hits the lariat. The Shellshock is “escaped” twice because they f--- up the spot, so Ryback finishes with another clothesline at 1:56. This is quite the feud. DUD Eve v. Beth Phoenix Eve offers a handshake, so Beth takes her down, but misses a charge and hits the floor. Back in, Beth gets an inverted atomic drop and double sledge for two, but Eve hits a neckbreaker to finish at 2:29. * Meanwhile, Wade Barrett thinks AJ is doing a terrible job. Heath Slater v. Santino Heath is now backed up by Jinder Mahal and Drew Mcintyre. That is quite the crew. Slater slugs Santino down as the announcers are mystified by the heel grouping. Join the club. Slater goes up and hits boot, allowing Santino to make the comeback. Cobra brings the job squad in for the DQ at 2:48. Really? Really? ½* Sheamus v. Damen Sandow This was set up because Sandow was offended by the lack of formal wear in the debate. This show is seriously turning into 1994 RAW with a parade of squashes, which is fine but HOLY GOD they need to make it shorter. Sandow avoids confrontation before sneaking in with an armbar. Sheamus comes back, so Sandow runs away again and we take a break. Back with Sandow running away some more before getting a cheapshot on the floor, and back in for two. Running knee gets two. Sandow goes to a LONG chinlock and headscissors on the mat and chokes away in the corner. I feel like I’m watching Rick Martel in 1992 or something. And then Sandow goes to ANOTHER facelock. And then he tosses Sheamus and goes to yet another chinlock. Sheamus fights back with a Regal Roll, but Sandow gets a neckbreaker for two. Sheamus boots him out of the corner and goes up with the shoulderblock for two. Brogue kick misses and Sandow runs away again, so Sheamus catches him and hits the forearms. Cody gets involved, so Sheamus tosses him in and hits both guys with the Brogue Kick, then pins Sandow at 17:00. Glad to see they kept Sandow pretty strong, but did Sheamus really need to beat both of the guys presumed to be future tag champions at the same time? And holy crap was this needlessly long for that finish, although it picked up nicely at the end. *** Jim Ross Appreciation Night! Oddly, JR goes back to the dressing room so that Cole can introduce him here. CM Punk and his belt-holder quickly interrupt and complain about the lack of respect that both he and JR receive, but Jim calls him a jackass. This greatly offends Punk, who points out that Stone Cold isn’t here save Ross tonight. And now Ross is spouting the nonsense that Punk needs to beat John Cena in the Cell to be the best. HE’S ALREADY BEAT CENA THREE TIMES! What more does this guy have to do to please these jackasses? I’m glad he’s bitter, I’d be bitter too! Punk goes with the local sports team insults and attacks JR’s hat because they don’t have any real point to make here aside from the endless deification of John Cena. He sends JR back to the dressing room in shame, but now Ryback randomly comes out to continue Plan B. He stands there breathing heavily at Punk, who backs off and leaves. This was really long and accomplished nothing, much like everything else tonight. Alberto Del Rio v. Kofi Kingston Kofi clotheslines ADR out of the ring and we take yet another break. Once again I’m running out of patience after two hours. Back with ADR holding an abdominal stretch, but Kofi comes back with the boomdrop. ADR dodges the wacky kick and a bodypress, and finishes with the armbar at 6:40. Only a couple of minutes shown around the break, though. I really have to question the effectiveness of this tag tournament when all the guys involved in it are doing jobs like geeks in singles matches. * Meanwhile, AJ’s coach gives her some advice, so she fires him and sends him packing. What was the POINT of this whole thing? Daniel Bryan & Kane v. CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler AJ is YOUR special referee for some reason. Does anyone even remember why this match is happening by this point in the show? Kane drops an elbow on Dolph for two, and then amazingly we take ANOTHER F------ COMMERCIAL BREAK. We just had a break after the entrances! I want to go to bed already. Back with Kane working Punk over as the crowd is pretty much silent because everyone is a heel more or less. Anyway, stuff happens, it’s fine, but I’m tired and losing patience. AJ sends the managers back to the dressing room and Dolph walks out on the match, leaving Punk to get destroyed by the tag champions and pinned by Kane at 13:15. The Pulse This show is like the longest thing ever aired on TV. It doesn’t matter if the first two hours are the greatest wrestling ever presented (which it wasn’t anyway) but by the third hour it’s just too much and I can’t focus on the show anymore. The Sheamus match really killed it for me, and it was a good match! It was just too long, like everything else.