The SmarK Rant for WWE Day One – 01.01.22

The SmarK Rant for WWE Day One – 01.01.22

Name is a little on the nose, I suppose.  Oh, and these aren’t PPVs anymore, these are PREMIUM LIVE EVENTS.  Expect to hear that one a lot.

Of course, the blog was down for a chunk of DAY ONE in 2022, although not due to anything on my end but rather some stuff with my webhost.  I did take the occasion to switch the system font to Georgia so everything looks fancy like on rspwfaq.net, which is a Blogger-based site.  I’ve had people ask why I don’t just switch back to Blogger since it’s stable and problem-free, but the issue is that I can’t monetize it in any real way, and I also don’t have any kind of ability to really customize the site and do what I want with it.  If Blogger had a big more flexibility in terms of customization I would have been happy to stick with it longer.

Live from Atlanta, GA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Pat McAfee and some others.

Smackdown tag team titles:  The Usos v. The New Day

Finally, a fresh matchup!  Apparently the New Day won a championship contender’s match to earn this championship opportunity down the road here on this premium live event.  Ew, they actually name the referee here.  That’s like when you give a stray dog a name and then you can’t really send it to a shelter without feeling all guilty.  King Woods controls Jimmy with a hammerlock on the mat to start and gets two.  Kofi comes in for a double-team, but he gets dumped and laid out with a clothesline from Jey. Back in the ring, Jey with a suplex and talks some trash because apparently this is what they do.  What, get multiple DUI charges and somehow escape them?  Jey with a running butt splash, which Pat declares ASS 2 FACE.  That was uncomfortably close to another catchphrase coined by Kevin Smith.  Usos slowly work Kofi in the corner as they’ve been doing a very deliberate pace here to say the least.  Kofi fights back with a flying DDT and makes the hot tag to Woods, who hits the Honor Roll out of the corner and a legsweep on Jimmy.  Sitout falcon arrow gets two.  Jimmy goes up with a senton for two.  Jey comes in with a samoan drop for two.  Jey and Woods slug it out and everyone is out as it really feels like they’re stretching it out to fill time, and Kofi comes in with a flying bodypress for two. Kofi with a Boom Drop on Jey, but walks into a superkick from Jey and a flying splash from Jimmy that gets two.  Jimmy clips the knee and wraps him up in a Tequila Sunrise, but Kofi makes the ropes. Woods pulls Jimmy out of the ring and Kofi gets a pair of rollups on Jey for two.  SOS gets two. New Day with a Demolition kneedrop on Jey for two.  Midnight Hour is broken up by Jimmy and they hit the double superkick on Kofi to set up the double flying splash, but Woods makes the save.  They all slug it out and Woods ends up on the floor, and the Usos bust out a 3D on Kofi to finish at 17:01.  This was the usual good Usos-New Day match we’ve seen a million times.  ***1/2

Meanwhile, Big E isn’t worried about Brock Lesnar.

Meanwhile, Migos stop by.  I don’t know them but maybe they’re a big deal like Bad Bunny, I dunno.

Madcap Moss v. Drew McIntyre 

Corbin and Moss do some “comedy” and laugh uproariously at their own jokes, which I normally admire in a heel, but this reads more like two guys reading deliberately bad jokes that were written on a cue card.  I guess that’s supposed to be their gimmick?  I’ve literally never even seen Madcap Moss before.  And people wonder why I don’t watch the weekly TV.  Moss grabs a headlock and quickly gets clobbered, but he slugs away in the corner and laughs about it.  Drew hits him with a clothesline and a suplex for two and clotheslines him to the floor.  Corbin runs interference and Moss runs Drew into the post to take over.  Back in the ring, Moss slugs away in the corner and gets a suplex for two.  Moss with a shoulder block for two.  Moss with a chinlock as McAfee declares “Madcap has been impressive in 2022!”  That’s a halfway clever line.  Moss misses a charge and both guys are down before Drew makes the comeback with the suplexes and a neckbreaker.  Short powerbomb gets two.  Drew tries a bodypress and Moss catches him with an awkward powerslam for two.  Drew with a backslide for two.  DDT gets two.  They fight to the top rope and Drew tosses him down and finishes with the kick at 9:32.  Am I supposed to care that he beat Madcap Moss in a 10 minute match?  Why was this even on a PREMIUM LIVE EVENT?  *1/2

Meanwhile, Kevin Owens needs a new plan and goes to find Sami Zayn.

RAW World tag title:  RK-Bro v. The Street Profits

Migos join RK-Bro for the match and get a VIP seat at ringside, which I’m assuming is exciting to someone not in my specific bubble of musical taste.  Why don’t they hire Glass Animals or Cage the Elephant for one of these deals?  At least I’d know some of their songs.  The Profits double-team Riddle to start and Ford gets two.  Orton comes in and the Profits mock his pose, so Randy teases an RKO on Dawkins and then lets him go.  Ford comes in for some dancing, so Orton pokes him in the eye and gets a dropkick for two.  Riddle comes in and beats on Dawkins with kicks in the corner, but Dawkins hits him with a double underhook neckbreaker to take over.  Ford with a slingshot senton for two and a splash for two.  Dawkins slugs Riddle down for two.  The Profits double-team Riddle and stomp him down in their corner for two, but Riddle makes the hot tag to Orton.  Powerslams for both Profits, but he tries the draping DDT and everyone brawls to the floor before Ford hits a crazy dive over the post onto Riddle and Orton.  Back in the ring, Orton tries a superplex and Ford fights him off, but he walks into the RKO at 11:10 and the champs retain.  An OK pedestrian tag match with a couple of highspots at the end.  **1/2  And then everyone celebrates with Migos at the end.  I checked Spotify and a lot of people have streamed their stuff, so I’m sure they’re great.

Meanwhile, Drew comments on his win and then gets into a brawl with Happy Corbin, so THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE.

Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar does whatever he wants to do because he’s a free agent.

The Miz v. Edge

There’s a whole big video package building this up.  Building this up.  This. A MIZ MATCH.  This is what they’re wasting an Edge appearance on.  THE MIZ.  Miz gets a hiptoss and stops to pose, so Edge gets his own for two.  Edge tries for the crossface and Miz makes the ropes, so Edge gets a rollup for two and Miz hides in the ropes to escape another crossface.  Edge sends him to the floor, but Miz runs him into the railing after diversion from Maryse and comes back in with a double axehandle.  Miz goes to work on the leg but Edge slugs out of that and dodges a blind charge.  Inverted DDT gets two.  Edge with a Bossman slam for two.  Miz with a short DDT for two.  Miz with his kicks, but Edge rolls him up for two, so Miz sends him to the floor.  Edge hauls him out with a DDT onto the floor, and back in for two.  They fight onto the floor and Miz runs him into the table a few times, but Edge puts Miz into the table instead and comes back in with a bodypress for two. Rollup gets two.  Miz sends him into the post on the kickout and follows with the dreaded figure-four, but Edge reverses it.  Miz tries an STF, but Edge reverses, so Miz slingshots him into the corner for two.  Another figure-four, but Edge reverses to a crossface this time, but Maryse pulls his foot into the ropes to save.  Edge with a backslide for two and they knock each other out with a double boot spot.  They fight to the top and Edge brings him down, but Miz distracts the ref and Maryse hits Edge to set up the Skull Crushing Finale for two.  This brings out Beth Phoenix, who gets an entrance with music and everything, and she chases Maryse off, allowing Edge to spear Miz for the pin at 20:00.  All that stuff with the wedding and Edge doing the Brood entrance and they just kind of had a long Miz match with a distraction finish to pay it off.  ***  I’m assuming the mixed tag is next up.

Meanwhile, we also speak to Bobby Lashley, and MVP is also unafraid of Brock.

RAW Women’s title:  Becky Lynch v. Liv Morgan

This was set up by Liv losing a championship contender’s match to Becky already, so that makes sense.  Liv quickly gets a springboard something and Becky bails to the floor, so Liv beats on her and Becky runs to the other side of the ring.  Back in, Liv escapes a uranage and gets a double stomp in the corner for two.  Becky with a rollup, but Liv reverses to a Rings of Saturn and Becky has to make the ropes and bails again.  Back in, Liv slams her off the top for two as the announcers are way over the top with their “LIV HAS BECKY ON THE ROPES!  SHE’S FIGHTING LIKE A VETERAN!” stuff.  It’s been 3 minutes, take it down a notch.  Becky takes her down for two and chokes her out on the ropes, and follows with a guillotine legdrop for two.  Becky with a top wristlock and Bexploder for two.  Becky slugs away in the corner and yells at the crowd to try to generate some heat for this, but Liv awkwardly sends her into the corner with a backstabber.  Not even sure what the physics of that are supposed to be.  Liv makes a comeback and slugs away on the mat and it’s CUT AND ZOOM time.  Springboard dropkick gets two.  Becky with a suplex into the armbar, but Liv rolls her over for two and then goes up, but Becky cuts her off, so Liv gets a powerbomb for two.  Becky rolls into the disarmer and Liv makes the ropes and gets a small package for two, but Becky gets a facebuster for two.  Becky misses another guillotine legdrop and Liv gets a missile dropkick, but Becky bails to escape.  Liv follows with a dive, but Becky runs away and rams Liv into the table to take over again.  Back in, Becky tosses her over the top, but Liv runs her into the stairs and stomps on her arm.  Back in, Liv with another Rings of Saturn, but Becky reverses out of that and finishes with the uranage at 16:57.  This was way too long and all over the place, as Liv made a bunch of comebacks but never put together anything that resembled a serious threat at actually winning the match.  Not terrible, but Liv was way out of her league here.  **1/2  Also this thing with Becky the cowardly heel is not conducive to great matches.

WWE title:  Big E v. Brock Lesnar v. Seth Rollins v. Bobby Lashley v. Kevin Owens

Brock quickly destroys everyone with suplexes before Big E fights back with a clothesline to the floor, and then Bobby takes him to the post and spears Brock through the railing.  They’ve done that spot a million times and it always gets over.  In the ring, Lashley hits Owens with a neckbreaker, but Seth and KO double-team him with superkicks before double-teaming Brock on the floor with a flying splash.  I feel like Brock v. Owens would be a fun match if we ever get that one.  They prep the table and that ends up with Big E slamming Lashley through that.  Back in the ring, Owens hits Big E with a powerbomb for two.  KO to the top with a swanton, but Big E gets the knees up, so Rollins immediately hits E with a frog splash for two.  Rollins with a pair of elbows on Big E, but Brock cuts off the stomp with an F5 and then hits Big E with one.  One for Owens as well, but Lashley spears Brock for two as we go full demolition derby and I love it.  Lashley with the Hurt Lock, but Big E saves with the Big Ending, only for Brock to hit another F5 and win the title at 8:19.  That was a fun 8 minutes but after all the midcard matches going 15-20 this was a big disappointment.  ***  Well back to the midcard for Big E.

A very average show with a main event that could have saved things but was booked to go extremely short.  Definite thumbs in the middle from me and not the tradition-starting masterpiece that they seemed to think it would be going in.