The SmarK RAW Rant–08.26.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 08.26.13 Live from Phoenix, AZ Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL COOHHH is out to start, with new Motorhead theme and the Shield as his heavies. Apparently last week’s attack on Daniel Bryan was personal, but he’s still willing to do business. He declares that it’s a NEW BOOM PERIOD, which is all thanks to Randy Orton. So as a present, he bought Orton a brand new Escalade, and I think you all know where this is going. So Bryan interrupts and gives the speech about how he’s not the prettiest guy, but he’ll still take the belt from Orton at Night of Champions. HHH belittles him and books him in a gauntlet against the Shield tonight. This felt REALLY long, especially on a show that’s edited down to 90 minutes. Fandango v. Cody Rhodes Cody elbows him down and gets a front suplex, but now the Miz comes out for the Idiot Babyface Distraction finish as Cody gets the pin at 1:00. This doesn’t sit well with Brad Maddox, who makes it a tag match RIGHT NOW. Fandango & Damien Sandow v. Cody Rhodes & The Miz We return with the impromptu match underway, as Sandow drops the ELBOW OF DISDAIN on Cody for two. Rosa Mendes is now apparently with the Miz for some reason. Miz gets the hot (?) tag and cradles Sandow for two, so Fandango takes a walk as they work in ANOTHER stupid finish and Miz finishes Sandow with the Finale at 2:00. This was a whole lot of nothing stretched out over two segments for some reason. * Meanwhile, Paul Heyman stresses out over potentially having to wrestle Punk tonight due to WWE App vote. They wouldn’t seriously blow that stipulation on free TV, would they? CM Punk v. Curtis Axel They work off a headlock and Punk rolls him up for two, so Axel bails to regroup. Axel gets a cheapshot on the floor to take over as we take a break. Back with Punk throwing kicks and getting a crossbody for two. JBL wins everything by noting that if Rihanna and Chris Brown can keep getting back together, there’s hope for Punk and Heyman too. Punk comes back and drops a flying elbow for two, but Axel gets a neckbreaker for two. Axel gets cocky and Goes To Sleep at 10:05, however. Now obviously Punk will go after the Intercon…BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA, sorry, I couldn’t even pretend to finish that one. ** Heyman is thus obligated to engage in sports entertaining with Punk, but Axel returns to save him with a low blow and thus screw the fans out of the stip that they voted for. Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen. Punk gets handcuffed and still takes out Axel with a high kick, so Axel returns and beats him up with a chair this time. Heyman gets some shots in with a kendo stick and they leave him laying. I know people are waiting for a new Heyman guy to be the real Punk feud, but I think this is what we’re getting. Might as well just accept it, I guess. Natalya v. Brie Bella THIS they leave in? Brie stomps her down and goes to a chinlock, but Nattie gets the Sharpshooter. Everyone fights outside and Brie finishes with a carpet muncher at 1:30. DUD AJ Lee comes out to recap Total Divas and put all the reality “stars” in their place. I really hope they don’t drag her into this circus, especially because they had her cut this impassioned promo about how important the title was, and there’s no one in that group who can even a serious challenger to it. Plus the Bellas wouldn’t shut up, pretty much undercutting the point. Rob Van Dam v. Alberto Del Rio Rob quickly puts ADR on the floor and we take a break. Back with Del Rio hitting a german suplex for two and going up, but Rob kicks him on the way down and makes the comeback. Rolling Thunder gets two. Split legged moonsault gets two. Rob goes up and ADR catches him with an enzuigiri for two. ADR sets up to finish, but gets distracted by Ricardo’s rather obvious shenanigans and Rob rolls him up for the pin at 9:28. I hate that finish and I hate the “Pin the champion to get a title shot” booking. **1/4 Randy Orton v. Christian We’re joined in progress at some point into the match after a break, with Orton hitting a superplex for two. Christian comes back with a weird botched sequence, and goes up with a flying bodypress for two. They trade pinfall reversals and Christian gets a sloppy tornado DDT for two. Orton comes back with the draping DDT, but Christian blocks the RKO. Spear gets two. Killswitch is blocked by Orton, and he finishes with the RKO at 5:00 aired. As usual, Orton is the one champion who is never going to do a job. Match seemed good from what we got. *** Daniel Bryan pops onto the screen afterwards, and to no one’s shock vandalizes the Escalade. We return from break and learn that HHH isn’t very thrilled with this development, and if anyone helps Bryan against the Shield tonight, they’re getting FIRED. The Wyatt Family is still creepy. Daniel Bryan v. Seth Rollins Bryan quickly takes him down into a surfboard, but Seth escapes, so Bryan clotheslines him to the floor and then falls victim to a Shield beatdown. Back in, Rollins chokes him out in the corner, but Bryan gets a clothesline and fires kicks. Rollins pops up with the flying knee, but Bryan catches the knee and turns it into a half-crab. Rollins bails and Bryan hits him with a suicide dive that sends Rollins flying over the announce table in a spectacular bump. Back from break with Rollins holding a chinlock, but he misses a charge and Bryan makes the comeback with the crowd going crazy for him. Pinfall reversal sequence and Rollins gets an enzuigiri and a crazy inverted suplex for two. They head up and Bryan crotches him and brings him down with a GERMAN SUPERPLEX and finishes with the knee strike at 13:24. *** Ambrose runs in immediately and gets yes-locked, and the Shield beatdown is on with both “matches” ending in a quick DQ. And the fans are doubly hacked off because the entire roster is standing there on the ramp watching and can’t help due to the firing threat. That’s some effective heel booking, real Bill Watts “twist the knife” stuff. The stronger you make the heels, the bigger it pays off when you beat them. The Pulse This one was edited down to basically two storylines: The Bryan-Orton stuff and the Punk-Heyman stuff, and both were effective, although I really wish they had someone better than Axel to act as the heavy. He’s getting better, but as Heidi Klum once said, it’s Project Runway and not Project Learn To Be a Designer.