The SmarK RAW Rant – 11.05.12 I’ve been laid up with the flu all day, so if I’m crankier than usual, that’s probably why. On the bright side, I ordered a 7” Android tablet off Ebay just because I don’t have enough computers clogging up my house as it is, and the guy sent me a 10” tablet instead. So now I get to be the douchebag sitting around in Starbucks and surfing the net on my fake iPad instead of my phone! Although I have to say, reading digital comics on a tablet instead of a laptop is like chocolate and peanut butter coming together in those commercials. If only I could access Marvel Digital Unlimited on it, I’d never have to leave the house again. Finally, the WWE hierarchy explained by the website: http://www.wwe.com/f/doc/2012/11/20121102_642xvariable_higherarchy_AM.pdf Awesome. Sorta live from England or Ireland or whatever that island is. Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jim Ross So we now have an IMPORTANT sounding “last week on RAW” voiceover to set things up, and then Miz immediately quits Team Punk in a backstage segment with Paul Heyman. Well that’s a shame. Rey Mysterio, R-Truth & Sin Cara v. Antonio Cesaro & The Primetime Players Apparently Cesaro and Truth have been engaging in a TOUT WAR, because neither guy has anything better going on. JR notes that Cesaro could be a World champion, although once again, JACK SWAGGER. So it’s no big deal to be one. The Players get a babyface pop for some reason, and Young gets trapped in the luchador corner early on. Over to Titus and he tries a powerbomb on Rey, but it’s reversed and we get more double-teaming from the faces. Truth with a seated dropkick on Titus for two and everyone stops to yell at each other so we can take a break. At least no one got thrown out of the ring this time. Back with Cara messing up his ropewalk armdrag on Young, but Cesaro tags himself in and hits a backbreaker on Rey for two. Titus with a nice series of backbreakers, but it’s hot tag Truth. Sin Cara with a cool variation on La Mistica, into the 619, into the Little Jimmy to finish at 11:00. This is like the millionth six-man combo with the Players jobbing to the Luchadors, but this one sets up the US title match at Survivor Series at least. **1/2 Vickie Guerrero joins us to continue the thrilling Claire Lynch 2.0 storyline, as she recaps the stuff that happened last week, before Cena interrupts her. He points out what everyone else has been – that Vickie did everything as Smackdown GM that she’s accusing AJ of doing. So now she’s got footage of AJ and John Cena in a hotel, clad in towels at two different points. This went nowhere. Meanwhile, Paul Heyman tries to recruit Wade Barrett for Team Punk, which is what they should have done in the first place. Daniel Bryan v. Cody Rhodes Cody doesn’t even get an entrance! Bryan’s reaction is even more over-the-top thanks to the hot British crowd. Bryan works on the legs with kicks and backdrops Cody to the floor, then follows with a dive onto Sandow. Cody gets the kick from the apron and they head back in, where Cody hits Crossroads for the pin at 1:56. Really? Bryan jobs AGAIN? *1/2 After the win, Cody brags that Sandow can beat Kane just as easily, so we get an impromptu match. Kane v. Damien Sandow We take a break and return with Kane in control, as he pounds away in the corner. The partners are both sent back the dressing room for some reason, and Kane finishes with the flying clothesline and chokeslam at 3:53. Total squash. * Brad Maddox is out to explain his actions, and it’s a pretty good explanation. He spent thousands of dollars getting a developmental deal, and he was told that he wasn’t good enough, so he became a referee instead, bided his time, and then turned on Ryback without Punk’s knowledge. So this brings out Vince McMahon for a surprise appearance, and he wonders why CM Punk isn’t defending the WWE title at Survivor Series. Vince bullies Vickie into making Punk v. Ryback v. Cena, and I guess plans change yet again. This company is mind-boggling. Not only for changing the main event around at the drop of a hat, but for making such a big deal out of every authority figure change and then just having Vince come out and do what he wants anyway. Just last week he was all depressed because he couldn’t do anything about Vickie as GM! And we just had Cena and Punk in a three-way match at Summerslam! And never mind that Foley was so incredibly angry with Punk last week that he had to set up a tag match to settle thing, and now they’re not even in the same match anymore. But hey, they’re telling stories. Sheamus v. The Miz Sheamus clotheslines Miz for two, but Miz pounds him in the corner until Sheamus catches him with a Regal roll. Miz comes back with a clothesline for two, and goes to a chinlock. Sheamus with the forearms and they fight to the floor, where Miz runs him into the post to take over. Back in for the low kick for two, and another chinlock as we take a break. Miz to the top for a double axehandle that gets two. Back to the chinlock, and Miz with a neckbreaker for two. This endless match continues with Miz pounding Sheamus down in the corner until he finally makes the comeback. Flying shoulder tackle gets two, but Miz hits the DDT for two. Sheamus rolls him into the Cloverleaf attempt, but Miz escapes and hits Sheamus in the knee. Sheamus catches him with the White Noise and finishes clean with the Brogue Kick at 15:39. Total snooze. ** Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler is now the captain of the Survivor Series team. Man, they’re just giving up on that thing completely. Also, tonight it’s Punk and Ziggler against Cena and Ryback. Luckily the guys in the truck have the graphic ready RIGHT AWAY. Fandangoo is coming. I wonder what poor developmental geek gets this gimmick. Eve & Aksana v. Layla & Kaitlyn Why would they take a break between the entrances for this? Like people are going to see Aksana making her entrance and be like “Oh man, I better not switch over to football now!” Layla gets tripped up in the corner trying something and Aksana takes over with her terrible offense. Layla gets beat up for a while, and Kaitlyn finishes Eve with an inverted DDT (The Ratings Drop?) at 5:00. Just awful. DUD Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio bumps into Rosa Mendes. Well it’s not like her luck in romance could get any worse. Kofi Kingston v. Alberto Del Rio This is of course non-title, because why would anyone care about wanting the title? Kofi pounds away in the corner and takes ADR down with a headscissors, but Del Rio shoves him off the apron and into the railing. Back in, that gets two. Del Rio punts the ribs and chokes away on the ropes, but misses a charge and hits the post. SOS gets two off a missed armbreaker chance. Kofi misses a crossbody, but Randy Orton’s music distracts Del Rio, allowing Kofi to get the stupid rollup win at 7:50. I hate that finish so much. Another dull match in a series tonight. ** Primo & Epico v. Santino & Zack Ryder This one will get the crowd fired up again! Apparently Ryback teaming with someone is a SHOCKER. Oh, Jim Ross. I remember when you had self-respect. Primo and Santino do a comedy bit, and Ryder misses a crossbody and clotheslines himself on the top rope. Team Colon beats on Zack and Epico gets a dropkick for two. Primo goes to the chinlock as the announcers WILL NOT SHUT UP about Ryback and Cena. They go on and on about the main event tonight and how it relates to Survivor Series. Finally it’s lukewarm tag to Santino and the cobra finishes Epico at 5:00. *1/2 Man, losing to Zack Ryder. That’s how far Epico and Primo have fallen. Brodus Clay v. Wade Barrett Clay is so funky that he breaks the satellite. Wade of course gets a giant babyface pop, and Clay gets booed as he does his usual offense and drops a leg for two. JR notes that there’s been a lot of speculation who will replace Ryback in the elimination match. Speculation by who? They only announced the change an hour ago! Barrett comes back with a sideslam and throws knees from the floor, which gets two. Barrett with a facelock, but Clay comes back with clotheslines and an avalanche. Another one misses and Barrett finishes with the elbow at 3:00. Thankfully this woke up the crowd. * Heath Slater v. Jey Uso Uso gets a legdrop and they slug it out in the corner, but Slater gets a cheapshot and goes to a chinlock as, yes, the crowd starts a “3MB” chant. I knew that would start happening. Slater with the AIR GUITAR OF DOOM and a rollup in the corner for two. More chinlockery and Slater puts him down with a spinkick for two. Aaaaaaaaand…back to the chinlock. Truly a third hour classic. Slater shrugs off the comeback attempt and finishes with the neckbreaker at 3:45. ½* CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler v. John Cena & Ryback They actually have the balls (or bollocks in this case) to start the match at the three hour mark. As usual, my patience for this boring show has long expired, so let’s skip through Cena playing face in peril for NINE MINUTES, leading to the hot tag to Ryback and the Shellshock on Punk at 9:34. It is what it is. We know that the finish is gonna be Punk stealing a win on Cena at the PPV, big whoop. The Pulse You can pretty much trace the killing of this incredibly hot crowd to the moment when Bryan did the job to the guy who didn’t even get an entrance. Hopefully they can go another week without totally overhauling the PPV card again. Maybe Jerry Lawler will announce he’s the fifth guy? Because wouldn’t that be awesome? On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t give them any ideas. Another week, another boring three hour show.