The SmarK RAW Rant–02.17.14

The SmarK RAW Rant – 02.17.14 Live from Denver, CO Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler John Cena joins us to start, and he might be the next WWE World champion! He’s interrupted by Antonio Cesaro, who is tired of being patronized by Cena. I think we all are. Sheamus is gonna kick some teeth in, and Christian forgives him for the Brogue Kick on Smackdown. Randy Orton is the face of the WWE and blah blah blah, and finally we get Daniel Bryan to point at the sign. Kane The Big Red Corporate Sellout (as apparently all the kids are calling him!) is finally out to pair the guys off in singles matches tonight. And first up is Christian v. Bryan. Christian v. Daniel Bryan Showing a remarkable knack for adaptation, Christian immediately turns heel on Bryan and attacks him, beating the hell out of him on the floor as we take a break. Back with the official start of the match, and Bryan’s arm is messed up. He fights back with forearms to put Christian on the floor, but a charge is blocked. Christian takes over and works the arm while mocking Bryan, but Daniel reverses to a half-crab. Christian escapes and goes back to pounding the arm, but Bryan dumps him and follows with a dive as we take another break. Back with Christian still in control and pounding away in the corner, but Bryan fires back with kicks, but runs into a boot in the corner. Christian with the back elbow, but Bryan tries for the YesLock. Christian goes for the Killswitch, but Bryan rolls him up for the pin at 11:48. Kudos to Christian for biting the bullet and going heel here. ***1/4 However, Kane The Big Red Corporate Sellout (as apparently all the kids are calling him!) announces that they’re having a match…now. Kane The Big Red Corporate Sellout (as apparently all the kids are calling him!) v. Daniel Bryan So we’re back from a break with Kane beating on Bryan in his undershirt like he’s Stanley Kowalski or something, and a suplex gets two. Kane keeps beating on him in dull fashion until Bryan suddenly fights back with kicks until Kane dumps him. Kane keeps assaulting him on the floor until the ref calls for the bell at 3:49 in one of the lamest of all finishes. God, I hope we don’t get this at Wrestlemania because Kane is somehow even worse now. * Meanwhile, Dean Ambrose is shocked that Mark Henry is even walking around after the beating he delivered last week. Roman Reigns is all “WTF?” and he’s pretty sure he’ll do better tonight. Oh, and they’ll destroy the Wyatts as well. Shame they’re breaking up because they’re all coming into their own as workers and talkers. Santino v. Fandango Santino gets beat up and comes back with the Cobra, while Emma fights with Summer Rae on the floor. Emma and Santino stop for a romantic moment, but Fandango interrupts with a baseball slide and finishes with a Falcon Arrow at 2:42. DUD This is a total waste of Emma, who was established in NXT as a great worker who happened to do wacky stuff. This approach is not working. Once again Hulu’s unspoken contract to cut this bullshit from the show is VIOLATED, in exactly the sort of way that CM Punk did not violate his WWE contract. Mark Henry v. Roman Reigns Henry pounds away in the corner, but Reigns shrugs him off and headlocks him, then adds a samoan drop for two. Henry comes back with a corner splash, but Reigns fights him off again and unleashes the SUPERMAN PUNCH before finishing with the spear at 2:45. Yeah, so that’s called PUTTING SOMEONE THE FUCK OVER. *1/2 That Superman punch should be the finish and the spear should be the setup. It’s gonna win Best Finisher next year, I’m telling ya. The Wyatts appear and they’re all creepy and stuff, and Roman is once again the guy to step up and say “Step up or step off.” So they do in fact step up and we get another showdown like last week, and once again the Wyatts walk away. John Cena v. Cesaro Cena works a headlock to start, and Cesaro bails for some advice from the other Real Americans. Swagger’s advice: “Don’t keep your pot in your glove compartment.” Back in, Cesaro gets the headlock this time, and then catches Cena coming off the ropes, into a backbreaker for two. Cesaro to the armbar, but Cena hiptosses to escape before charging and landing on the floor. Back in, Cesaro starts working on the neck, but Cena comes back with a neckbreaker for two. This only maddens Cesaro, and he dumps Cena again as we take a break. Back with Cesaro holding a sleeper, but Cena runs him into the corner to break. Cesaro forearms him down again for two and goes back to the sleeper, but Cena reverses to the STF, which Cesaro counters into a deadlift gutwrench for two. Cesaro pounds him in the corner with forearms, but misses a charge and allows Cena to come back with the five knuckle shuffle. Cesaro escapes the FU and puts him down with SWISS DEATH for two. And finally, after weeks of teasing, Cena almost takes the GIANT SWING, but then turns it into a DDT for two. Jerk. Apparently he can rise above centrifugal force too. Cena to the top, but Cesaro DESTROYS him with a forearm to the floor as Cena takes an awesome bump off that. Back in, Cesaro superplexes him in, from the FLOOR, for two. Holy crap. Cena fights back with the STF, but Cesaro finally turns it into the Swing and Cena takes that fucker for a full 15, as Cesaro gets two. I feel vindicated now. Cesaro is ready to end this shit, but Cena turns the Neutralizer into the FU, and Cesaro escapes and boots him down in grumpy fashion. Cena then returns fire with an equally grumpy clothesline, and deadlifts Cesaro himself into the FU to finish at 21:13. As the crowd notes, this is indeed awesome. ****1/2 Now hopefully they won’t waste this performance like they did with Sandow. The Wyatt Family v. Sin Cara & Los Matadores Pretty straightforward squash here for the Wyatts, but Sin Cara manages to get a hot tag for some reason and gets some offense on Harper before missing a senton. Harper levels him with a lariat and Bray finishes with Sister Abigail at 5:30. Random observation: They’re wrestling in a six-man tag at a PPV called Elimination Chamber…has no one on creative put 3 and 3 together on this one? Meanwhile, HHH and Orton talk about nothing as usual, and Batista interrupts to continue their smoking hot feud, as they’re now confining Batista to backstage pre-taped segments to keep people from turning on him. Del Rio interrupts, wearing a NECK BRACE mind you, and Batista beats on him again. This is truly the most ass-backwards and ill-advised babyface push in quite some time. Sheamus v. Randy Orton The crowd is already bored and starts with “CM Punk” chants as they do their usual sports entertainment extravaganza and RAW rolls on through a break and yada yada. Back with more sports entertaining from the sports entertainers as the crowd is bored and I’m bored and would really rather never see this particular match again. Oh yeah, recapping. Orton does stuff, I check my Facebook and cruise Ebay looking for a used Macbook for my wife (price range: $250 – $400 for something from around 2009 with 2GB of RAM and a 13” screen if anyone has something or knows a good site to buy from that takes Paypal), and Sheamus finally makes the comeback after 15 minutes of this. And then the Shield runs in to take the final dump all over the match with the shitty DQ finish at 15:52. Yeah, somehow I knew that would happen. Big brawl to end the show, although Dish Network subscribers won’t know how it turns out on Sunday. I give this @@1/4. I just made up that rating system because I didn’t even care enough about the match to use actual stars. Hey, let’s wrap this up with an e-mail! “Hey Scott, Just wanted to reiterate something from the Raw live thread discussion last night and that’s what a great show Raw was last night. I honestly feel that if as a wrestling fan you didn’t enjoy the majority of last night’s Raw – then you’re probably impossible to please. The show began with a classic wrestling segment – all 6 men of the main event at EC getting mic time, all getting great crowd reactions, Bryan positively killing it out there, and then Kane getting involves (awesome You Sold Out chants), and setting up a decent outing with Christian (who also suddenly turned heel!) It was great but in the live thread we were getting the same old sarcastic nonsense. The Shield’s backstage thing with Renee was gold – excellent stuff that further makes you appreciate how they’re taking their time with the trio. Their interactions with the Wyatts were great throughout the night and the 6-man tag on Sunday is now much anticipated – it’s going to be a slobberknocker on crack. Antonio Cesaro then had a fantastic match with John Cena in which the crowd popped like crazy for him. All the other usual filler shit – Santino v Fandango, Big E vs 3MB – was kept mercifully short. Am I the only one who thought last night’s Raw saw a considerable improvement in writing/storytelling/recapping/quality? I’m certain they put a more focused effort into the quality of last night’s show and we should appreciate it instead of carrying on the snarky/smarky comments.” Yeah, I’ll stick with the snarky comments. You can do whatever you want. I didn’t see any particular focus or strengths in the writing or booking, but the Cena match was pretty awesome.