The SmarK RAW Rant – 11.19.12 Live from Dayton, OH, where people are REALLY EXCITED for this show, apparently. Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Ryback is out to start, and he’s cutting a PROMO. This show is the bane of my existence as it is, I don’t need Ryback promos to make it even longer. So he’s upset about getting robbed of the WWE title twice now, but Vickie comes out and she has no sympathy for his plight. Instead, she gives him a match. Ryback v. Tensai Tensai pounds away in the corner, but Ryback takes him down and they choke each other. Tensai turns that into the Baldo Bomb for one, and Ryback comes back with a powerslam. Tensai keeps slugging and Ryback has to sell some more, but he hits a spinebuster and clotheslines him to the floor. Back in, the lariat and Shellshock finish at 3:24. Thank god he didn’t kill him with that. *1/2 This crowd seemed to be a bit more into the Ryback act than the Survivor Series crowd was. He’s kind of a weird case because his level of star power seems to depend on which crowd he gets. Kofi Kingston v. Wade Barrett I hate this dynamic because either you’re beating someone who shouldn’t be doing jobs at all right now, or you’re beating the Intercontinental champion with no title feud on the horizon. Although of course this is non-title because no one gives a s--- about the IC title. This whole thing with the secondary titles where they do nothing with them is driving me nuts. Cesaro is a curtain jerker who defends against nobodies, and Kofi just never defends his. They should just get rid of them or unify them and get it over with. Barrett slugs away in the corner, but misses a charge and Kofi pounds him in the corner and gets two. Barrett takes over and gets a neckbreaker for two, and clotheslines Kofi to the floor as we naturally take a break. Someone getting tossed to the floor is like wrestling’s universal signal for a commercial break. Back with Barrett holding a chinlock and he tosses Kofi out again, and thank god we don’t instantly take another break. Back in, Wade kicks him in the ribs and gets two. Headbutt gets two as this just isn’t meshing at all. Kofi does a nice reversal off the Bossman slam into a rollup for two, and a head kick puts Barrett on the floor now. Back in, Kofi makes the JAMAICAN ME CRAZY comeback with the boomdrop, but walks into the Bossman slam for two. Kofi to the top with a high cross for two. The goofy SOS move gets two. Wade rakes the eyes and finishes with the big elbow at 11:30. Kofi is tremendous at doing the sympathetic babyface selling and the big comeback, and this turned into a fine TV match by the end. ***1/4 I really hate using the secondary champions as enhancement guys, though. If that’s the role you want Kofi for, they should take the belt off him. Meanwhile, Paul Heyman and CM Punk plan the one year celebration for his title reign tonight. He officially passes Hulk Hogan’s 1990 reign tonight, by the way, and next Monday he passes the 1988 Randy Savage reign. So he’s getting up there with some good company. Kaitlyn v. Aksana No ring intros for either girl, which is good because I don’t give a s--- about either one. Aksana suckers Kaitlyn out of the ring for a cheapshot and pounds away in the ring, then does a hanging armbar in the corner and works on the arm. Kaitlyn comes back at a random point and hits a gutbuster to finish at 3:00. I continue to not care and miss Beth Phoenix even more. ½* Brodus Clay v. Antonio Cesaro R-Truth is on commentary so apparently that feud MUST CONTINUE. Brodus throws down in the corner, but misses a charge and gets beat up by Cesaro. Double stomp and the Drunkadactyls are unimpressed. Cesaro with a neck vice, but Clay fights out and gets the corner splash, but the pump splash misses. Cesaro with a SWEET diving uppercut and the NEUTRALIZER finishes at 2:30. Cesaro continues to impress. ** Vickie joins us as the awesomely paced first hour of nothing but wresting comes to a screeching halt for more of this b------- storyline. So now she’s got two “witnesses”. AJ quickly comes out and says either fire her or shut the hell up. Vickie now claims to have an incriminating photo, and John Cena now interrupts because he too has had enough of this ridiculous storyline. So he plants one on AJ, and she’s into it as well. Ziggler runs out for the sneak attack and they brawl to the back as this crowd is just MOLTEN tonight. Alberto Del Rio v. Randy Orton This is 2 out of 3 falls, which is such a terrific idea for naturally stretching out these 3 hour shows that I’m shocked they didn’t think of it before. They should do that with the tag matches, too! Just like the old SNME days. Orton gets a clothesline for two, but ADR throws kicks at the arm and gets two. Orton with a standing dropkick for two, but Del Rio gets a suplex for two. Orton stomps him down, but Del Rio upkicks the arm to put Orton down again. Orton throws him to the floor to block the armbar attempt, but Del Rio wraps the arm around the post and beats on it until the ref calls for the DQ at 3:09. And we take a break. Back with Del Rio holding an armbar, but Orton suplexes out of it and makes the comeback. Powerslam and the crowd goes BATSHIT for him, but Del Rio takes him down with the armbreaker at 7:52. Third fall and Orton’s working with one arm, but he manages a rollup out of the corner for two. Del Rio hits a running kick on the bad arm and gets two. Orton with the backbreaker, but Ricardo trips him up and gets tossed out of the match. Orton stops to gloat and Del Rio gets a backstabber for two. Scheudenfraude gets you nowhere. Del Rio gets cute and tries an RKO, but Orton reverses it into the draping DDT…and then hurts his arm on the RKO taunt. Del Rio hits the armbreaker again as a result, but Orton fights it this time and rolls him over for two. Del Rio misses the enzuigiri and the RKO finishes at 12:44 for a huge babyface pop. This crowd is INSANELY jacked. I really, really enjoyed this match, with the build around the arm and Orton’s big comeback, and the crowd going crazy for everything really helped. ***1/2 The Great Khali v. Primo & Epico The Colons continue to fall down the ladder as Hornswoggle brings Rosa flowers. He’s wacky and they spray her with water as Khali beats Epico with the tree slam at 1:00. Rosa Mendes without the entrance is no buys. DUD David Otunga v. The Miz This show continues at an astoundingly hot pace, just by putting out a bunch of wrestling matches with a hot crowd. I can dig this. Otunga pounds away and runs Miz into the post, and a legsweep gets two. Elbowdrop gets two. Otunga hits the chinlock and works on the neck, then adds a shoulderblock for two. Short clothesline gets two. And he goes back to the chinlock, but Miz rolls him up for two. Otunga with another clothesline for two and it’s back to the chinlock again, as even this crap match can’t kill the crowd. Miz comes back with a sunset flip for two, and a rollup for two. Miz makes the comeback with the corner clothesline and double axehandle, and the Finale finishes at 6:07. Well that was as formula as you get. Miz sold and sold and then made the big comeback and won clean. That’s fine, but I wish the generic heel had been someone with a better offensive moveset than Otunga. * Sheamus v. Damien Sandow Sheamus calls out Big Show for a bit of an argument that goes nowhere, but given that Sheamus is standing there with a chair he’s probably wise not to engage him. Sheamus puts Sandow on the floor to start and works a headlock, then slugs him down out of the corner. Suplex gets two. Sheamus goes to work on the arm and tosses him out of the ring by the beard, and we of course take a break. Back with Sandow hitting a neckbreaker on the floor, which gets two. Sandow goes to the chinlock as the third hour curse is killing off this wonderfully hot crowd. Sandow continues holding the chinlock as the crowd gets bored and turns on the match. And Sandow keeps going back to the chinlock over and over before hitting the ELBOW OF DISDAIN, which Sheamus reverses into the backbreaker. He comes back with the forearms and a suplex back into the ring, and to the top for the shoulderblock. White Noise and the Brogue Kick finish at 14:25. Jesus, were they running REALLY short or something and needed someone to go out and having the most boring match possible to fill time? ** Meanwhile, Vickie introduces AJ to Tamina Snuka, who by the way is the daughter of Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka, and AJ is MAD because Cena is hurt. Meanwhile, AJ storms into the locker room and confronts Ziggler, and he’s not putting up with her crazy. John Cena runs out to defend her craziness, and Ziggler attacks the injured knee (his knee is injured?) and further injures it. Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio v. Daniel Bryan & Kane Sin Cara gets an enzuigiri on Kane, but gets taken down with a shoulderblock before Bryan tags himself in and wakes up the crowd. Kicks in the corner and he drops a knee and goes up, but misses a flying kneedrop. Over to Rey for a double-team kick that gets two, but Bryan hits a high kick and Kane tags himself in. Rey trips him up, but can’t get the 619, so he hits a senton to the floor instead. Sin Cara adds a dive on Bryan and we take a break. Back with Kane getting a sideslam on Cara for two, and Bryan hooks him in a bow-and-arrow hold while the Primetime Players get into the most inane discussion possible with Jerry Lawler on commentary. Kane pounds on Cara in the corner and Bryan goes to a rear chinlock, then misses a blind charge. Cara comes back with a tornado DDT and makes the hot tag to Mysterio. Kane gives him a pair of corner clotheslines, but Rey gets an inverted DDT for two. He goes up and Kane slugs him coming down and gets two. Rey comes back with the 619 and drops the dime, but Kane catches him for a chokeslam and the Players run in for the DQ at 10:42. And as usual they get their asses kicked. This was OK but I continue to have no idea if we’re supposed to be cheering Hell No or what. **1/4 Main Event Interview: Paul Heyman is out with CHARTS to celebrate Punk’s title reign. He points out the hypocrisy of everyone whining about wanting the Attitude Era back and then whining that the heart attack angle was too far. Tell ‘em, Paul. He presents Punk with a brand new video package celebrating 365 days, which has people cheering Punk again. He declares that his new goal is to make it to 2018 and surpass Bruno’s original title reign. Somehow I don’t see that happening. Heyman goes over the list of people who are unable to beat CM Punk, which brings out Ryback. And the NXT crew attacks him again, setting up a good old heel beatdown as they swarm him, put him through another table, and Punk finishes his celebration uninterrupted. Ryback showing some vulnerability should only help him when he gets his revenge. The Pulse This was a pretty great episode that I was into almost all the way through, although once again that damn third hour almost killed it. Hopefully Ambrose or Rollins can break out in this role and not just end up as cannon fodder for Ryback, but it’s great to see them positioned in a main event spot right away and treated like a threat. I approve of this episode!