The SmarK RAW Rant – 12.17.12 Live from Philly. Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL Rey Mysterio v. Damien Sandow Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler explaining how to download the WWE app as if talking to a four-year old is your first highlight of the evening. Sandow quickly tosses Rey and drops the ELBOW OF DISDAIN and works him over with shoulders in the corner. Rey fights him off with the seated senton and a low dropkick for two. Sandow comes back with a nice somersault neckbreaker, but Rey dropkicks him into the 619 and drops the dime at 3:10. Nothing much to this. *1/2 First award of the night is for Most Shocking Moment. Booker T is out to present it, but for some ridiculous reason this brings out the Boogeyman and we take a break. I guess they needed the time for people to vote. Kofi Kingston’s handstand at the Rumble wins because this is all fixed anyway. Eve v. Kaitlyn This is non-title I suppose. Eve runs away, but catches Kaitlyn with a cheapshot on the way in and stomps away in the corner because she just hates Kaitlyn so much despite already beating her decisively several times in a row. Kaitlyn comes back with a gutbuster for the pin at 2:05. Great, now we’re going back to this again, I guess. ½* The New Age Outlaws are next, presenting Comeback of the Year. So this of course lets us again watch the glorious video of Lawler getting CPR, since we haven’t seen that enough. And duh, Lawler wins the award. Kofi Kingston v. Tensai Tensai quickly pounds him down and drops an elbow, then beats him down with headbutts and follows with a pump splash for two. Kofi finishes with the kick out of nowhere at 1:05. This is quite the briskly paced show. ½* Wade Barrett attacks because THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE. Vickie Guerrero presents Kiss of the Year, and the gag is that all the nominees are AJ kissing guys. What about Eve and Ryder? Vickie wants an explanation, and of course AJ gives the stupidest one in all of sports entertainment: “I don’t owe anyone an explanation.” I f------ hate that line. Can you imagine if Paul Orndorff had turned on Hulk Hogan and then come out the next week and just said “I don’t owe anyone an explanation.” Do you think anyone would have given a s--- about that feud? That’s the laziest “motivation” that these writers can do, because they don’t have any real character motivation to draw from and just did a turn to be shocking. Anyway, Dolph Ziggler comes out to make peace between the women, and AJ dives into his arms to the horror of Vickie. Vickie’s shriek of horror is pretty awesome. The Great Khali v. David Otunga Natalya has been reduced to standing at ringside for Khali and smiling. Khali pounds away to start, but Otunga works on the knee. Khali boots him and finishes with the CHOP OF DOOM at 1:55. That was roughly twice as long as I would have ideally wanted from this particular matchup. Maybe three times as long. DUD Ric Flair returns to present Superstar of the Year. That’s how they bring him back? And then John Cena wins and gets booed off the stage. He gives the award to Flair out of respect, and that draws out Punk and Heyman to a mammoth babyface reaction. Punk calls everyone in Philly stupid enough times to finally draw boos, and threatens to kick Flair’s ass with one leg, which brings us to the ring after the break so that Punk can apparently do just that. Punk breaks a crutch on him, but Flair pokes Punk in the eyes to get rid of him, and puts Heyman in the figure-four. And then we take ANOTHER break as now the Shield comes out, and we return with Daniel Bryan and Kane now out there brawling with them. They need to put the tag titles on Rollins & Ambrose TOMORROW, by the way. I guess they could literally do that, in fact. A powerbomb seems imminent for Flair, but Ryback makes the save now and chase them. That was quite the segment. Brodus Clay v. JTG JTG actually gets a buff blockbuster, which Brodus doesn’t seem to know how to sell, but Clay comes back and finishes with the usual at 1:46. DUD Santino and Tensai are out to present LOL Moment of the Year. The Rock wins, but of course isn’t there to accept. Cody Rhodes v. Sin Cara The yellow lights are back, sadly. Cody bails quickly and Sin Cara follows with a dive, but Cody takes over with a delayed front suplex as apparently the Kane-Cody match on Main Event has been changed to a tag title match instead. Cody works on the arm and stomps him down for two. Sin Cara comes back, but walks into Crossroads at 4:12. Even the yellow lights couldn’t help him. ** Zack Ryder presents Hashtag of the Year to Ryback, although Ryback doesn’t show up. OK then. Big Show and his comically oversized chair are out to shovel the last dirt on Sheamus, but Sheamus comes out to be the bigger man and shake his hand. And then Show has to go and call him a potato-eating Irishman, so Sheamus snaps and beats the crap out of him, leaving him unconscious. You’d think that would be Ziggler’s cue, but John Cena runs out and robs him of his chance by beating him up, which makes Cena into the biggest heel in Philly. And this is supposed to be getting Cena over as a FACE? What kind of a sore loser is this jerk? 3 Man Band v. Alberto Del Rio, The Miz & Tommy Dreamer So yeah, Del Rio is a babyface now, for some reason. Dreamer is of course the only one on the babyface side that the fans actually want to see, as he slugs away on Slater and faceplants him. This leads to a big brawl where all the heels get dumped and Dreamer hits them with a dive from the top. And we take a break. Back with Miz getting worked over as you can practically watch the ratings bottoming out. Like, this goes on FOREVER with the most boring heat segment I’ve ever seen. Finally, THIRTEEN MINUTES into this, Del Rio gets the hot tag and hits Slater with the enzuigiri, then brings in Dreamer for the DDT to finish at 15:00. Who the F--- decided to give this that much time? *1/2 Sheamus presents Newcomer of the Year to Ryback, the guy that’s been around since the Nexus. OK then. Ryback v. Antonio Cesaro Cesaro actually gets some offense with an uppercut to the back of the neck, and a pretty impressive double-leg takedown. Ryback backdrops out of the Neutralizer and goes to finish, but Cesaro takes his belt and walks out at 2:30. Why even book the match? * Mean Gene, Ricky Steamboat and Jim Ross present Match of the Year to Undertaker v. HHH, and HHH accepts on their behalf. And the haircut is still CORPORATE, so you know there’s no rematch with Brock coming. John Cena & Vickie Guerrero v. AJ & Dolph Ziggler This came about because of a Ziggler-Vickie breakup that happened after a random commercial break earlier in the show. Cena quickly hits Ziggler with a backdrop suplex and the women tag in and then walk out of the match completely. So we’re down to Ziggler v. Cena and Cena quickly gets the STF, but AJ brings out NXT champion Big E Langston for the DQ at 4:23. The Pulse I’m sure this will be a polarizing show because it reminded me a lot of those 1999 RAWs where a million things happened that were all forgotten about a week later and a lot of people watched and loved those shows. I, however, f------ hated those shows so, SO much. For me this dragged something awful, although the Flair-Punk-Shield craziness was tremendous. Your mileage may vary, of course.