The SmarK RAW Rant–01.20.14

The SmarK RAW Rant – 01.20.14 Live from somewhere. Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL Happy Martin Lawrence King Day! Although I appreciate his comedic stylings, it’s sadly not a holiday up here. I do enjoy both Bad Boys movies though. PLUGS! As a reminder, I have new Kindle books out covering all the Royal Rumble rants and also all the RAW rants for 2013. And they, don’t forget to stop by WhatCulture for my list of 5 Returns That Rocked and 5 That Fizzled. The Authority are out to start, playing babyface this week. Holy god, just pick a side and stick to it. No wonder this whole storyline is such a flop. They introduce Batista, but Randy Orton comes out instead and this is supposed to be shocking because they apparently don’t like each other this week. Until they help him win again and ZOMG SHOCKING SWERVE. Stephanie makes sure to plug the Network and use all the buzzwords, then dresses Orton down because everyone loves to buy tickets to see the authority figures neuter both the babyfaces and heels. Oh, and HHH makes sure to point out that despite unifying both World titles and being the top guy in the promotion, Orton is only champion because management allows it. WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS STORYLINE? And with that, Batista makes his return, wearing skinny jeans and a sweatshirt as only he can. And he hugs the Authority for some reason and tells Orton that he’s back and coming for the title. Well, duh. They had four years to come up with something for him and that’s what they came up with? No wonder Evan Bourne is stuck in limbo. Meanwhile, Stephanie bitches out Kane for chokeslamming CM Punk and reminds him that management can never put their hands on the talent. Except when it’s HHH randomly giving people Pedigrees, because that’s fine. So he has to apologize to Punk. The Shield v. Cody Rhodes, Goldust & Big E Langston The faces work Rollins over in the corner to start and Goldust gives him a Flip Flop & Fly and atomic drop for two. Cody with a delayed suplex for two. Sunset flip out of the corner gets two, but the disaster kick misses and Rollins bails. Cody keeps coming with a dive and we take a break. Back with Cody hitting Reigns with the kick and making the tag to Big E. Belly to belly for Ambrose and he dumps Rollins, then suplexes Ambrose into the Warrior splash for two. Then the finishers start, as Reigns hits the SUPERMAN PUNCH on Goldust, and Rollins finishes Big E with the Blackout at 10:09. Just a match. And why job the bald guy on Lex Luthor King Day? **1/2 Daniel Bryan joins us to wake up the crowd, and he’s eating the buzzards or something. Wasn’t he a vegan? Because I think chewing on buzzard carcasses is exactly the kind of thing that they’re against. Quite strongly so, in fact. So he’s happy that Harper & Rowan are going to be in the Rumble, because that leaves Bray Wyatt to have a match with him. That would imply Bryan isn’t in the Rumble, and that would suck. Kane is out to apologize to Punk, and he does so, even though technically he saved him from five guys on Smackdown. Punk accepts the apology and then attacks Kane anyway, but Brad Maddox breaks it up by sending out the Outlaws instead. CM Punk v. Billy Gunn They quickly brawl on the floor and we take a break. Back with Punk making the comeback and Gunn bailing, so Punk hits Dogg with a dive. Back in, Gunn misses the fameasser and Goes 2 Sleep at 8:30. Just a match. Wait, something something how could Billy Gunn jobbing Billie Jean King Day? How about that one? And then Kane and Brad Maddox fight over sarcastic comment rights, and Kane wins by virtue of entering Punk into the Rumble at #1. So for those like me who have trouble keeping track, Punk is feuding with one set of authority figures, and Orton is supposedly feuding with another set of authority figures. BUT WHERE DOES VICKIE FIGURE INTO THIS? Alberto Del Rio v. Rey Mysterio Yes, it’s the RUBBER MATCH. The only thing they love more than losing streaks. Del Rio stomps away on the ropes, but misses a charge and hits the floor, allowing Rey to moonsault him to the floor. Back in, Rey with the baseball slide and he hammers away as we hit the part of the show where I’m checking the timeline to see how much longer I have to sit through. So stuff happens and we take a break as RAW rolls on and blah blah blah. Back with Rey coming back and the crowd continuing to sound bored, but ADR blocks the 619. Superkick gets two. Rey gets the 619 on the second try and drops the dime, but only gets two. Del Rio finishes with the armbar at 14:10. **1/4 And now Pitbull comes out to confront Del Rio over the bad things he was saying about his hot new jam with David Guetta, which leads to Del Rio getting beat up and powerbombed. Big Show is out to do a pretty good Heyman impression and call out Brock, because he doesn’t like him. Fair enough. Brock answers, is unable to wrest Show from his position in the ring, and Show throws him out to assert that yes, he is big and strong. Still a waste of Brock, but whatever, this was fine. The Usos v. The Wyatt Family Jimmy gets pounded in the Wyatt corner to start, but fights outside the ring and brings in Jey, who hits Harper with a dive off the apron. Back in, Harper and Jey slug it out and Jimmy comes in with a crossbody for two. He gets caught in the corner again and Rowan uses the dreaded DOUBLE ATOMIC NOOGIE, but shockingly it doesn’t finish. Slaughter used to beat guys with a single noogie, and this was DOUBLE! Jimmy fights up and goes to the top, but Harper shoves him to the floor as we take a break. Every match dragging through a commercial break is not making this show any easier to get through. Back with Bray cutting a promo while Harper holds a chinlock. Hot tag to Jey and he cleans house, but runs into Harper’s elbow from the floor. Michinoku driver gets two for Luke. This brings Daniel Bryan out to beat on Bray Wyatt and Jey gets the distraction rollup on Harper for the pin at 12:25. ** And this finally wakes up the crowd. Just in time for Randy Orton to put them to sleep again. Randy Orton v. Kofi Kingston You’ll note that despite beating the champion last week, this is not a title match for Kofi. Not that he deserves one anyway. Kofi manages to chase Orton out of the ring, and they brawl at the announce table as Orton takes over. Back in, Kofi fights back with an elbow in the corner for two. Orton continues being distracted by Cena’s refusal to show up despite being 2 and a half hours late already, and indeed he finally shows up with 10 minutes left in the show. Orton is so distracted that Kofi is able to, uh, cling to Orton’s leg like a geek, and the Orton-Cena brawl is on at 5:10. And then Orton runs away and, I dunno, carjacks a guy I guess? Really? The Pulse Considering the Rumble is basically Batista, Punk and 28 warm bodies, you might as well get ready for Batista v. Orton headlining Wrestlemania right now. Clearly Vince knows better than us what we really want to see.