The SmarK RAW Rant–03.05.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 03.04.13 It’s OLD SCHOOL RAW tonight, complete with original set and block logo. And the modified opening is the best thing ever. Live from Buffalo, NY. Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler. And oh yeah, here’s that Undertaker guy. CM Punk joins us to start, and he’s bitter about not being in the main event of Wrestlemania, and he’s going to beat Undertaker to punish the fans. Randy Orton interrupts, because he too knows the pain of trying to beat Undertaker and failing, so he wants another shot at it. So does Big Show. Sheamus wants a crack at it as well, so this brings Vickie out to make a four-way match tonight, with the winner facing Undertaker. That’s some weak sauce. Antonio Cesaro v. Ryback Ryback pounds on Cesaro as usual, and chases him out of the ring with a powerslam. Back in, a delayed suplex gets two. Cesaro gets a cheapshot and goes up, but Ryback brings him down and puts him on the floor again. This time Cesaro uses it to his advantage and sneaks in for a big boot that puts Ryback into the railing. Back in, that gets two, and we take a break. Back with Cesaro holding a sleeper, but Ryback fights back with a spinebuster…and walks into the bolo forearm. Cesaro tries to finish with the Neutralizer, but Ryback reverses into the Shellshock instead, and Cesaro jobs again at 9:00. Why the commercial break if they were just going to the finish a minute later? **1/2 Mark Henry comes out for the staredown with Ryback, and that probably sets up a Wrestlemania program. Mark Henry v. Zack Ryder Slam and we’re done at 0:44. I’m sensing this won’t help Zack’s chances of making it onto Wrestlemania. The Miz v. Dolph Ziggler Slugfest in the corner is won by Ziggler, complete with strutting, but Miz takes over and we take a break. Back with Ziggler doing the headstand chinlock, but Miz comes back with a sunset flip for two. Neckbreaker gets two, but Dolph gets an inside cradle for two. Miz clips the knee, but Ziggler gets the DDT for two. Miz goes up with the double axehandle and the run-ins start, leading to Flair chopping away on Big E. Ziggler rolls up Miz for two, but the figure-four finishes at 10:52. I have no words. **1/2 Well, except maybe wondering if Ziggler will ever win again and/or if he’ll even have a match at Wrestlemania at this point. Finally, the Rock has come back to Buffalo, where it’s cold. He should come to Saskatoon, that’ll show him what cold is. So John Cena quickly interrupts and he’s still whining about what a bad year he had. I bet most people in America would trade their lives for Cena’s bad year. Rock promises that there will be no redemption, only an ass-kicking. Cena quotes Mike Tyson, and then Rock gets the mic-dropping comeback by quoting Lance Armstrong (“He was full of crap and so are you.”) but sadly does not drop the mic. This was fine. Jack Swagger v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan Duggan has Dusty and Slaughter with him, and Swagger quickly lays out all three with the 2×4 for the cheap heat. And even that doesn’t particularly make people boo him. Daniel Bryan & Kane v. The Primetime Players Ted Dibiase is watching at ringside, as the PTP are trying to woo him as a manager. Really? The guy that Steve Austin threw a match to get away from? Bryan quickly gets caught in the heel corner and pounded, and Young drops a pair of Dibiase fists. Titus misses a charge and it’s over to Kane, who hits Young with a pair of corner clotheslines and a sideslam for two. Young goes up and lands in a chokeslam at 3:41. So yeah, they’ve got three matches in the past week, and they’ve all sucked. ½* Dibase shoves a $100 bill in Young’s mouth afterwards, and Bryan steals it because he’s awesome. Brodus Clay & Tensai v. 3MB Honky Tonk Man comes out to cut a promo, but Heath Slater rudely sends him packing. I sense comeuppance in a bit. Tensai rolls up Drew at 0:20, and everyone dances, but Slater interrupts again and gets guitared as a result. Fandango v. Kofi Kingston This doesn’t happen, as the ring announcer is unable to pronounce Fandango’s name to his satisfaction. COOHHH is back, and he’s calling out Brock for Wrestlemania. And that’s it. Alberto Del Rio v. Wade Barrett Del Rio throws kidney punches in the corner while Swagger comes out to watch, but he walks into the Bossman slam and Barrett gets two. They fight on the apron and ADR grabs a hanging armbar before Wade dumps him to the floor to break. Barrett throws knees on the apron and gets two. Del Rio makes the comeback with the Si Kick for two. Charge misses and Barrett gets the pumphandle, but Del Rio spins into the armbar at 4:48. Does Barrett ever win anymore? *1/2 The New Age Outlaws v. Primo & Epico Road Dogg quickly slugs Primo down and drops the shaky knee for two while Cole relates the secret origin of the Outlaws. Dogg gets trapped in the corner, but makes the hot tag to Gunn, and he’s actually full of fire and happy to be employed again. Fameasser finishes Primo at 2:53. Glad to see them having fun out there. Mae Young is out for her 90th birthday, but CM Punk interrupts because his match is next. CM Punk v. Sheamus v. Big Show v. Randy Orton Big Show dominates everyone to start, and Orton hits Sheamus with a backbreaker to give Punk two. Punk steals another pin attempt, and gets dumped by the babyfaces as a result, and we take yet another break tonight, as it feels like the entire show has been commercials. Back with Orton hitting Punk with a powerslam and exploder suplex for two, but Punk tosses him. Sheamus comes in with a shoulderblock on Punk for two and he throws the forearms on the apron, but Show breaks it up with the Final Cut for two. Sheamus throws knees on Show until he goes down, but Show comes back with a pump splash that misses. Sheamus with White Noise for two. Orton suddenly reappears from limbo and hits a powerslam for two, and Show chokeslams Sheamus for two. Sheamus puts him on the floor with the Brogue Kick, but Orton hits the RKO, and Punk finishes Orton with the GTS at 12:37. Not exactly a dominating win for Punk leading up to Wrestlemania. *** Undertaker comes out for the staredown, and we’re off the air pretty damn early. The Pulse Well, I was pretty pumped for this show coming in, and it ended up being just a show, basically. The same guys jobbed as usual, Jack Swagger bored the crowd again, Punk looked like a fluke again. Not their best effort for something that should have been fun and different.