The SmarK RAW Rant – 12.31.12 Taped from Washington, DC Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler MizTV opens the show, as it’s Champion’s Choice tonight, with all the titles being defended. Miz brings out John Cena, who clarifies that it’s over with him and AJ. Clearly it’s not over and that’s the problem. For some reason that brings out the Rhodes Scholars, prompting Cena to make fun of Sandow’s eloquence and Cody’s mustache. Cody: “You suck.” Sandow: “Good form, Cody! Good form!” These guys are truly great. So Cena challenges them to a tag match RIGHT NOW. The Rhodes Scholars v. John Cena & The Miz Cole is SHOCKED that Damian Sandow didn’t know who “RG3” was when the fans were chanting it. Yeah, those of us who don’t watch football had no idea what they were chanting, either. The faces quickly clean house and we take a break. Back with Cody working Miz over in the corner, but he makes the comeback and pummels Cody in the corner for two. The heels respond with some cheating in the corner and Sandow drops the ELBOW OF DISDAIN for two. Cody holds a lengthy chinlock and armbar on Miz, the least sympathetic face-in-peril of all-time, but it’s hot tag Cena and he proceeds to destroy them and finishes with the FU on Sandow at 12:00. This was fine. **1/2 Somehow I don’t see Cena and Miz challenging for the tag titles now. Meanwhile, at the New Year’s party backstage, Vickie books Dolph Ziggler in a match with Sheamus tonight, and gets talked by Punk into booking Ryback v. The Shield. US Title: Antonio Cesaro v. Sgt. Slaughter Cesaro works a headlock, but Slaughter fights back with chops and quickly gets the cobra clutch. Cesaro makes the ropes, hits the bolo uppercut, and finishes with the NEUTRALIZER at 1:51. ½* Meanwhile, Kane & Bryan are upset at not getting to fight the Shield tonight, and decide to take it out on 3MB instead. WWE Tag titles: Kane & Daniel Bryan v. Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre Slater gets beat up by the champs and tags out to Drew, who also gets his ass kicked. He comes back on Bryan and slugs away to take over, but Bryan throws the kicks until Slater pulls him out of the ring. Jinder gets the cheapshot on the floor, and Bryan is your goatface-in-peril. Neckbreaker gets two and Bryan fights out of a chinlock and makes the hot tag to Kane. Slater gets dumped and the chokeslam and flying headbutt combo finish Drew at 6:04. Pretty much a total squash by the champions. *1/2 CM Punk and his doctor are out to insult the fans and provide medical documentation that his injury is real. If it were any of us, we’d be in the fetal position crying for our mommies! That’s a bad knee injury. So bad, in fact, that his doctor (“Be more polite! He’s a DOCTOR!”) won’t stand by and let Punk compete against Ryback next week. However, this brings out Vince McMahon to boost this show to at least 2.4, and he wants WWE officials to examine Punk’s knee and decide if he can compete next week. That sounds grossly unfair to me. So if Punk can’t wrestle, then Heyman has to defend the title himself. Is that any way to treat the guy who’s been champion for more than 400 days? Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler Dolph bumps around for Sheamus and bails off the forearms, and we take a break. Back with Sheamus continuing the beating, but Ziggler jumps into a DDT for two. They’re really going all out with the Ziggler package now, giving him the valet and bodyguard to make him the focal point instead of the lackey now. That’s exactly what he needed. Ziggler gets a dropkick for two and goes to the chinlock, but Sheamus fights out and gets a fallaway slam off the middle rope, for two. Sheamus to the top, but Dolph crotches him. Sheamus ignores it and hits the flying shoulderblock for two. White Noise sets up the kick, but Ziggler gets Big E to distract Sheamus and he runs away from it. And then the Shield runs in for the DQ at 12:00. Well that didn’t really go anywhere, but Dolph looked much more like a top guy. **1/4 Meanwhile, Punk and Heyman tell Brad Maddox to get lost, and Wade Barrett challenges Kofi to a title match. Meanwhile, Mae Young is pregnant. Again. So she can’t challenge for the title. Oh yeah I forget to mention that Eve chose to defend against her. Divas Title: Eve Torres v. Kaitlyn I guess this isn’t actually a match because they’re gonna stretch the title change out to Royal Rumble. Instead, they brawl for a bit and Eve runs away. I’m not even sure why they’re supposed to hate each other so much. Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio apologizes to Ricardo for treating him like dirt for the past two years, and offers to be in his corner for his title match against Big Show tonight. So now he’s a babyface again. World title: Big Show v. Ricardo Rodriguez Show casually beats on Ricardo, but gets distracted by ADR, allowing Ricardo to make a comeback and hit the enzuigiri in the corner. This is short-lived as Show literally smacks him down, so Del Rio runs in for the DQ at 2:23. Yeah. At least Show v. Del Rio is something different. Intercontinental title: Kofi Kingston v. Wade Barrett Kofi speeds around him to start and grabs a facelock, and Wade evades the big kick. They tumble to the floor together and we take a break. Back with Barrett hitting a pump handle slam for two, but Kofi dumps him and follows with a dive. Back in, Kofi escapes the Wasteland and hits the SOS for two, but Barrett powerbombs him out of the corner for two. I think a powerbomb variation would be a good finish for Wade, actually, since he’s been floundering around looking for one since his repackage. Te trade finisher attempts again and Barrett gets the Wasteland for two this time. Kofi with a small package for two, but Wade hits him with a lariat and stomps him in the corner before walking into the corner kick. Kofi whiffs on the crossbody and Barrett finishes him with the elbow to win the belt at 10:40. Solid match, especially the ending sequence with the finisher reversals. *** I guess Kofi should have picked one of the wacky choices of challenger like all the other champions. Ryback v. The Shield Of course they don’t deliver this advertised main event, because that would be wacky. The Shield attacks Ryback, but Sheamus quickly comes out to save, as does Randy Orton. And that’s that. Dolph Ziggler gets the main event spot, making a New Year’s toast with AJ. Ziggler runs down how crappy Cena’s year was, including the loss to Big Johnny (“Does anyone even REMEMBER that guy?”) and all the other terrible things that have happened to him thus far. But luckily for us, John Cena is here to offer his rebuttal, and he’s got WACKY PHOTOSHOPPED PICTURES. And then he drops poop on the heels. The Pulse Yeah, that last segment pretty much summed up the show for me.