The SmarK RAW Rant – 12.03.12 Live from Greensboro, NC Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Daniel Bryan & Kane v. The Primetime Players Kane fights them off by himself and dumps Titus with a clothesline, as The Shield looks on. Bryan fires away with kicks on Young, and it’s over to Kane for a low dropkick that gets two. The champs work Young over in their corner for a rather dull segment, but Kane gets caught in the heel corner for a bit. Meanwhile, the Shield move towards the ring as we take a break. Back with Titus holding a chinlock on Kane, but Bryan comes in as goatface-in-peril as the whole thing is just a backdrop for the Shield slowly advancing on the ring anyway. Bryan rolls upYoung in the confusion for the pin at 11:30, and the bad guys storm the ring for the beatdown on Kane, and then Bryan. One would presume this would turn Bryan into a babyface once and for all. I approve of a good heel beatdown, but I wish the pointless match would have been much shorter. *1/2 Meanwhile, Cena and Sheamus do a cutesy-poo segment backstage where they bond over stupid jokes and set up the tag match tonight. AJ Lee v. Tamina Snuka What, they’re blowing off this main event feud on TV? Tamina throws AJ around and gets two, and goes to a backbreaker submission for a bit. AJ fights back, but runs into an elbow as Jerry Lawler actually gets the first reference to Jimmy Snuka. Tamina headbutts her down and goes for the splash, but AJ rolls her up for the pin at 3:25. A rollup finish in a women’s match? That’s unpossible! ½* CM Punk is out to complain about injustices levied against him yet again, and wonders why he has to defend against Ryback again after beating him twice. He’s the only reason we have to tune in for these dismal three hour RAWs! I love shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments. He dares everyone to change the channel and leave the arena, but Miz interrupts. He wants Punk to be on his MizTV segment and take a lie detector test to prove he’s not working with the Shield. And then once the point has been made, this drags for another five minutes. So they had a 20 minute promo to set up ANOHER promo later in the show? This babyface Miz thing is not working at all. Big Show & Dolph Ziggler v. John Cena & Sheamus The Zig Show? The Big Show-Offs? Sheamus and Ziggler trade headlocks and the faces double-team him as Cena gets two. Over to Show, who no-sells the shoulerblock and pounds away in the corner. Cena comes back with a slam attempt, but Show falls back on him for two and Ziggler drops the elbows for two. Hot tag to Sheamus and he goes up, but lands in a spear as we take a break. Back with this match dragging on, and Ziggler goes to a chinlock. Sheamus with the backbreaker and it’s back to Cena for the Five Moves of Doom, but Show breaks up the FU. Cena is like “HA HA, NOTHING GETS TO ME” and they finish with stereo finishers at 13:30 anyway. ** Damien Sandow calls a plant out of the audience for his intellectual tests, but the guy gets tripped up on English poetry and Sandow dismisses him. That is a hilarious gimmick. Santino comes out to quiz him on seashells, and we’re on with a match after the break. Damien Sandow v. Santino Santino powerwalks into a rollup for two, but Sandow puts him down with knees and hits the ELBOW OF DISDAIN for two. Santino cradles for two and makes the comeback, but Sandow flees the cobra. Santino goes up and misses the headbutt, and Sandow finishes with the Terminus at 2:30. Just a squash. Meanwhile, Ziggler asks Vickie for another match with Cena at the PPV, and then we get a CLIFFHANGER as Brad Maddox is in her office. Is this really something people are gonna stay through a commercial break for? So Maddox asks for a job, and she gives him another match to try for a contract. Kane is already taken, so I’m guessing it’s Ryback again. Sin Cara v. Alberto Del Rio Sin Cara works the arm to start, but Del Rio pounds him in the corner to take over. Cara with the ropewalk wristlock for two, and he pounds the arm with kicks for two. Del Rio with a suplex and chinlock, but he puts his head down and gets dropkicked in a spot you don’t see all the time. Del Rio bails and Sin Cara follows with a rana off the apron and into the railing, and we take yet another break. Back with Del Rio on the floor, but he counters a Cara springboard attempt and shoves him to the floor again. He chucks him into the railing and gets two back in the ring. German suplex gets two. ADR misses a charge and Sin Cara gets the tornado DDT and makes the comeback. To the top for a crossbdy that gets two. Flipping DDT and he goes up again, but the senton misses and Del Rio counters La Mistica into the armbar at 12:20. Man, they gave this one some time and it delivered. ***1/4 Vince McMahon returns and bullies Vickie again, this time into making Cena v. Ziggler into a ladder match for the briefcase. Well, duh. Also, for some reason Vince wants Paul Heyman to get punished with a match against Ryback if Punk is found to be lying in what is apparently our main event tonight. I can only hope that the “lie detector” is like the old one from the 80s with the loud buzzing when someone tells a lie. Just because this show isn’t laughable enough as it is. Brad Maddox v. Randy Orton I don’t like his chances of getting a contract here. Orton clubs him to the floor, quickly hits the draping DDT, and finishes with the RKO at 1:11. And then the SHIELD attacks Orton out of nowhere in a great shock moment. Finally something to liven up this show. Meanwhile, Dolph is not terribly happy with Vickie. Perhaps he should man up and cash in his damn briefcase, then, so as to remove the element of chance from the match. Neither is Paul Heyman. US title: Antonio Cesaro v. Kofi Kingston v. Wade Barrett v. R-Truth This was supposed to be a tag match, but Teddy Long comes out to spice things up and makes it a four-way for the US title thanks to a Twitter poll. Cesaro beats on Kofi, and Wade gives Kofi a pumphandle slam for two. Kofi baseball slides Cesaro and Truth sends Wade out of the ring and we get the Truth-Kofi pairing. The heels get back in for an ugly collision spot, and Kofi hits Barrett with a dive. He tries a running dive on Cesaro, but lands on the UPPERCUT OF DOOM instead. And we take a break. Back with Cesaro doing a giant swing into a half crab, but Truth breaks it up. Cesaro slugs it out with Barrett, but Kofi hits Cesaro with a high cross for two. Barrett with the Bossman slam on Kofi for two. Truth with the axe kick on Barrett for two. They fight to the top, but Cesaro breaks it up, and Kofi brings him down with an armdrag. This sets up the tower of doom, which gives Kofi two. Cesaro reverses the SOS into an Angle slam for two. Truth gets rid of Cesaro, allowing Kofi to make the comeback on Barrett with the boomdrop. Cesaro breaks up the wacky kick, but Truth breaks up the Neutralizer. Kofi kicks Barrett down, but Cesaro hits the NEUTRALIZER on Kofi to retain at 13:30. GREAT match. This is the kind of thing that should have been saved for the PPV. ***1/2 Main Event Lie Detector Test: The Miz somehow gets even more intolerable as a babyface, subjecting Punk to a lie detector. And Punk cuts his nuts off, no-selling all his stupid pandering lines and basically acting like he was bored to be out there. What exactly is Miz’s motivation here anyway? Why does he give a s--- about Punk’s potential alliance with the Shield or any of it? Thankfully the Shield storms in and gives us a screwjob finish to the lie detector, so the Sherriff’s Department wins by DQ or something. Miz takes a beating before Hell No saves, and then Ryback cleans house once and for all. See now THIS is something that could have set up a main event at Survivor Series. The Pulse This show felt 15 hours long, although the random Shield attacks were fun and the four-way was a definite highlight. The rest, with the artificially inserted commercial breaks and blatant filler matches, was just another show in the three-hour era. God I hope the rumors of cutting back to two hours come true soon.