The SmarK Rant for WWE Starrcade 2019 – 12.01.19
So the episode’s description reads: “Catch all your favorite Superstars competing at WWE Starrcade, a special event where both the Raw and SmackDown brands collide.” Good thing we had that draft and PPV last week where all the brands collide for the one and only time of the year!
Live from Atlanta, GA
Your hosts are Tom Phillips & Byron Saxton
The Kevin Owens Show starts us out, with special guest Ric Flair. Like, come on, we’ve got an hour to work with here and we’re doing one of these dumb “talk show” segments? Ric talks about how he follows the product and how everyone wants to make this is a special event and everyone goes Woo, but the Good Brothers interrupt. They want nothing but OC highlights and maybe an episode of the Botch Club to fill the rest of the hour. And then the Street Profits come out to help as all this super-lameness leads to an impromptu tag team match. Like, the setup for this didn’t even make sense. What was the OC’s problem with Kevin Owens? What do the Street Profits have to do with anything?
The Street Profits v. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
The crowd is already dead silent for this. Montez Ford goes for the arm on Anderson and flips around into a dropkick, and Dawkins comes in for two. Dawkins with a dropkick for two. Ford comes in with another dropkick and that gets two. Ford goes to the apron and Gallows superkicks him to the floor to take over. Back in, Anderson goes to a chinlock and Gallows gets a fallaway slam for two. Gallows with a lengthy chinlock, but Montez escapes with an enzuigiri and it’s hot tag Dawkins. Angelo runs wild with dropkicks and a pair of corner splashes, but Anderson catches him with a spinebuster for two. OC with a double team neckbreaker for two. Magic Killer is broken up by Ford and he hits Gallows with a dive on the floor, and then heads back with a flying splash on Anderson for the pin at 8:44. Just a super-basic house show match. *1/2
Women’s tag team titles: Asuka & Kairi Sane v. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross v. Sasha Banks & Bayley v. Charlotte & Becky Lynch
Kairi starts with Nikki and we get some headgames, but Bayley and Charlotte tag themselves in, and then Asuka tags herself in against Charlotte as well. Asuka controsl with a kick to the ribs to start, but Charlotte fights back with chops and a fallaway slam. Sasha tags herself in and Nikki also tags herself in, and she rolls Sasha up for two. Nikki and Alexa double-team Sasha, and then it’s over to Becky against Bayley. Becky works the arm, but she goes up and gets pushed off by Sasha to allow Bayley and Sasha to take over. Becky fights them off and Alexa gets a tag and makes a comeback on Bayley, but Kairi hits Alexa and Bayley with backfists and then double-stomps Alexa for two. Sasha comes in with a snap suplex for two on Alexa and Bayley tries a Perfectplex, but Alexa reverses to a cradle for two. Asuka and Kairi double-team Alexa with kicks, but Bliss hits Asuka with a backfist and Becky Lynch gets a hot tag. She runs wild with suplexes but the champs cut her off, and Cross comes in with a flying bodypress on Asuka and a neckbreaker for two. So then everyone comes in and does the big moves and Charlotte spears both Warriors at the same time, but Cross comes in and fulfils her purpose in life by tapping out to the Asuka lock at 13:38. Was there ANY doubt about who was doing the job in this match? Match was completely lifeless but picked up a lot at the end and got decent. **1/4
Last Man Standing: Rusev v. Bobby Lashley
Due to restraining order, Lashley is declared the winner by forfeit.
So then Kevin Owens comes out and gets a couple of funny burns (“Ignore me like Lana has been ignoring the Russian accent she’d had for five years!”) and apparently this is the match instead.
Kevin Owens v. Bobby Lashley
KO hits a pair of superkicks and a cannonball, but Lashley escapes the stunner and then runs away and manages to trip up Owens on the apron. Back in the ring, Lashley chokes him on the ropes and goes to the chinlock, but Owens reverses a suplex. Lashley with a Flatliner for two, but Owens fights back, so Lashley gives him a knee to the gut and tosses him. Owens does the countout tease before coming back in, but Lashley misses a blind charge and Owens goes up and fights him off, then comes down with a swanton and a frog splash for two. Owens with the stunner, but Lana takes the ref and Lashley hits a spinebuster for two. Lana throws a chair into the ring, but Rusev defies the restraining order and jumps out of the crowd for the DQ at 9:35. ** And Owens disappears as Rusev and Lashley brawl into the crowd and then into the ring as Rusev gets the best of him with a kendo stick and the chair.
So the closing brawl was pretty hot, but if Rusev was there, why would they do a bait-and-switch of the main event and then have Rusev show up anyway?
This show SUUUUUUUUUUUUCKED and was a complete waste of time. They only had two advertised matches and then only delivered one of them! Also, the graphic on the Network prominently features Roman Reigns and the Fiend, neither of whom were involved in any way. This isn’t 1997 where the advertising has to be done months in advance, they can Photoshop that shit in an hour or less. I’m sure the portion for the live crowd was fine, but the TV special was duller than dishwater and was basically just three first-hour level RAW matches. Don’t even bother.