The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–01.30.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 01.30.12 Live from Kansas City, MO Your hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler Anyone else notice that masked Kane is already back in the WWE intro video? They work pretty fast.Big Johnny, smiling and shaking hands with the fans, joins us to start the show. He’s actually quite happy to have his performance evaluated tonight! I’m actually quite astonished how much I’ve grown to enjoy his terrible, terrible act. He lays out the main event for Elimination Chamber (or as John says, “Elimination PPV”): Punk v. Kofi v. Dolph v. Miz v. Truth v. Jericho. In the least exciting manner possible, John lays out the matches for tonight, including Punk v. Bryan. That’s kind of a throwaway manner to set up a match between the two champs. CM Punk of course interrupts, singing the lame goodbye song they love so much. You’d think there would be some royalty issues with that, actually. So Punk gives Ace one last tongue-lashing, but Johnny offers him a smile and a handshake instead. Daniel Bryan joins us as well, pointing out that no one cares about their petty personal problems and people should be more excited about him being World champion instead. Plus he’s a role model and a vegan! He doesn’t even eat meat! Punk suggests that they ignore Ace’s attempts to stir up trouble and just go out and have a great match. But then we get Sheamus reminding us that he won the Rumble and not much else. Randy Orton v. Dolph Ziggler Ziggler pounds Orton in the corner and stops to pose, but Orton grabs a headlock. He kind of aimlessly pounds away and we take a break. Back with Orton missing a blind charge, which gives Ziggler two. Orton comes back with clotheslines, but Ziggler gets the dropkick for two. Neckbreaker and situps, and Ziggler goes up, but Orton brings him down with a superplex for two. Draping DDT is reversed to the sleeper, but Orton flips out of it and gets a rollup for two. Ziggler kicks him in the leg and hits the fameasser for two. Zig Zag is blocked and they brawl to the floor for a crazy bump into the railing by Ziggler. Back in for the draping DDT and RKO to finish at 9:35. Another good outing for these two as they have some great chemistry together. Although I’m little dismayed that Ziggler is doing jobs when he should be protected. *** Meanwhile, Johnny shakes some hands backstage and has the most randomly awesome conversation with William Regal ever (“Well, fifth grade can be a rough time.” “I keep him locked in the attic to be honest, John.”) Brodus Clay v. Tyler Reks Brodus continues his journey through the Superstars A-team. Reks actually gets some offense before Clay finishes with the high cross at 1:00. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk compare veganism to straight edge. Punk notes that he doesn’t claim to be a role model. That’s his whole GIMMICK! It was the whole point of the Straight Edge Society! CM Punk v. Daniel Bryan Bryan quickly gets the bow-and-arrow, but releases and kicks Punk in the face instead. Punk returns the kick for two while Michael Cole explains the Elimination Chamber concept. Bryan works on the arm, but charges and gets backdropped to the floor. They trade forearms out there and Bryan wins that brawl. Back in, Bryan grabs a headlock, but Punk escapes with a suplex and springboards in with a clothesline for two. Backbreaker gets two. Bryan misses a charge and Punk gets two. Double bodypress attempt and they’re both out as we take a break. Back with Bryan getting a snap suplex and going up, but Punk brings him down with a rana from the top. Punk makes the comeback with the leg lariat and bulldog out of the corner. Bryan bails out of the ring to escape the GTS, and then blocks a baseball slide with a forearm to the face. Back in, missile dropkick gets two. Bryan throws the kicks, but Punk rolls him up for two. Bryan with a rana, but Punk reverses for two. Bryan puts him down with a high kick for two. Back to the top, but Punk fights him off and drops the Macho Elbow for two. GTS is reversed to a crucifix for two, and into the Lebell Lock, but Punk escapes and slingshots him into the corner. High kick and Bryan is out, but Chris Jericho runs in for the DQ at 14:45. Codebreaker for Punk, which is pretty much the direct way to start a feud. They were having a pretty goddamn great match with tons of cool reversals, before the DQ finish. **** Mike Tyson gets announced as the newest Hall of Fame member, and of course they make sure to congratulate themselves for all the press they’re getting. Kofi Kingston v. The Miz Miz pounds Kofi down and gets a low kick for two, then dodges a charge and boots him down. Kofi gets a small package, but Miz clotheslines him for two and gets a corner clothesline and the double axehandle for two. Kofi comes back with a rollup for two, but Miz DDTs him for two. He misses a charge and Kofi comes back with a high cross for two. They fight for their finishers while Truth and Cole have the most inane conversation in history on commentary, and Kofi hits the wacky kick out of nowhere to finish at 4:22. Good, I like Kofi and I wish they’d do something with him. Long as he’s not doing synthetic pot. Perfectly acceptable wrestling here. **1/2 Divas title: Beth Phoenix v. Eve Beth finishes with the Glam Slam at 0:15. Jesus, even DATING Zack Ryder turns you into a super-jobber now. Kane appears on the screen to once again promise that she and Zack are getting terrorized until John Cena embraces the hate. And then, like MAGIC, he appears behind her, prompting John Cena to run out and make the save. And they have another goofy brawl, which ends with Cena chasing Kane to the back. So I guess it’s another match at the PPV. Main Event Job Evaluation: Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim GM of Monday Night RAW John Laurinaitis v. Chief Operating Officer HHH. Big Johnny does a self-evaluation and gives himself a lot of “5’s”, which brings out COOHHH to take exception. HHH points out just how terrible Ace has been and points out that people who let personal decisions cloud their judgment get replaced. Ace pleads for his job, promising to do anything, so HHH tells him to apologize to everyone in the audience for his poor decisions. He makes a totally heartfelt apology and people still boo the shit out of him. That’s cold. This doesn’t work for HHH, so he takes inspiration from Papa Vince and offers Ace membership in the Kiss My Ass Club. This is totally unlike any job evaluation I’ve ever had. John should totally call the HR department. But he still puts on chapstick and puckers up, but HHH was just messing with him. But seriously, Ace is…oh shit, it’s the Undertaker. Guess he’s a bit upset at the Slammy Awards. And he’s also shopping at the same wig store as Kane. Is there a Hair Club for Zombies? Undertaker gives him the intense stare, but HHH just kind of pats him on the back and walks away from it. Interesting twist, great RAW.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant–01.30.12

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 01.30.12 Live from Kansas City, MO Your hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler Anyone else notice that masked Kane is already back in the WWE intro video? They work pretty fast.Big Johnny, smiling and shaking hands with the fans, joins us to start the show. He’s actually quite happy to have his performance evaluated tonight! I’m actually quite astonished how much I’ve grown to enjoy his terrible, terrible act. He lays out the main event for Elimination Chamber (or as John says, “Elimination PPV”): Punk v. Kofi v. Dolph v. Miz v. Truth v. Jericho. In the least exciting manner possible, John lays out the matches for tonight, including Punk v. Bryan. That’s kind of a throwaway manner to set up a match between the two champs. CM Punk of course interrupts, singing the lame goodbye song they love so much. You’d think there would be some royalty issues with that, actually. So Punk gives Ace one last tongue-lashing, but Johnny offers him a smile and a handshake instead. Daniel Bryan joins us as well, pointing out that no one cares about their petty personal problems and people should be more excited about him being World champion instead. Plus he’s a role model and a vegan! He doesn’t even eat meat! Punk suggests that they ignore Ace’s attempts to stir up trouble and just go out and have a great match. But then we get Sheamus reminding us that he won the Rumble and not much else. Randy Orton v. Dolph Ziggler Ziggler pounds Orton in the corner and stops to pose, but Orton grabs a headlock. He kind of aimlessly pounds away and we take a break. Back with Orton missing a blind charge, which gives Ziggler two. Orton comes back with clotheslines, but Ziggler gets the dropkick for two. Neckbreaker and situps, and Ziggler goes up, but Orton brings him down with a superplex for two. Draping DDT is reversed to the sleeper, but Orton flips out of it and gets a rollup for two. Ziggler kicks him in the leg and hits the fameasser for two. Zig Zag is blocked and they brawl to the floor for a crazy bump into the railing by Ziggler. Back in for the draping DDT and RKO to finish at 9:35. Another good outing for these two as they have some great chemistry together. Although I’m little dismayed that Ziggler is doing jobs when he should be protected. *** Meanwhile, Johnny shakes some hands backstage and has the most randomly awesome conversation with William Regal ever (“Well, fifth grade can be a rough time.” “I keep him locked in the attic to be honest, John.”) Brodus Clay v. Tyler Reks Brodus continues his journey through the Superstars A-team. Reks actually gets some offense before Clay finishes with the high cross at 1:00. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk compare veganism to straight edge. Punk notes that he doesn’t claim to be a role model. That’s his whole GIMMICK! It was the whole point of the Straight Edge Society! CM Punk v. Daniel Bryan Bryan quickly gets the bow-and-arrow, but releases and kicks Punk in the face instead. Punk returns the kick for two while Michael Cole explains the Elimination Chamber concept. Bryan works on the arm, but charges and gets backdropped to the floor. They trade forearms out there and Bryan wins that brawl. Back in, Bryan grabs a headlock, but Punk escapes with a suplex and springboards in with a clothesline for two. Backbreaker gets two. Bryan misses a charge and Punk gets two. Double bodypress attempt and they’re both out as we take a break. Back with Bryan getting a snap suplex and going up, but Punk brings him down with a rana from the top. Punk makes the comeback with the leg lariat and bulldog out of the corner. Bryan bails out of the ring to escape the GTS, and then blocks a baseball slide with a forearm to the face. Back in, missile dropkick gets two. Bryan throws the kicks, but Punk rolls him up for two. Bryan with a rana, but Punk reverses for two. Bryan puts him down with a high kick for two. Back to the top, but Punk fights him off and drops the Macho Elbow for two. GTS is reversed to a crucifix for two, and into the Lebell Lock, but Punk escapes and slingshots him into the corner. High kick and Bryan is out, but Chris Jericho runs in for the DQ at 14:45. Codebreaker for Punk, which is pretty much the direct way to start a feud. They were having a pretty goddamn great match with tons of cool reversals, before the DQ finish. **** Mike Tyson gets announced as the newest Hall of Fame member, and of course they make sure to congratulate themselves for all the press they’re getting. Kofi Kingston v. The Miz Miz pounds Kofi down and gets a low kick for two, then dodges a charge and boots him down. Kofi gets a small package, but Miz clotheslines him for two and gets a corner clothesline and the double axehandle for two. Kofi comes back with a rollup for two, but Miz DDTs him for two. He misses a charge and Kofi comes back with a high cross for two. They fight for their finishers while Truth and Cole have the most inane conversation in history on commentary, and Kofi hits the wacky kick out of nowhere to finish at 4:22. Good, I like Kofi and I wish they’d do something with him. Long as he’s not doing synthetic pot. Perfectly acceptable wrestling here. **1/2 Divas title: Beth Phoenix v. Eve Beth finishes with the Glam Slam at 0:15. Jesus, even DATING Zack Ryder turns you into a super-jobber now. Kane appears on the screen to once again promise that she and Zack are getting terrorized until John Cena embraces the hate. And then, like MAGIC, he appears behind her, prompting John Cena to run out and make the save. And they have another goofy brawl, which ends with Cena chasing Kane to the back. So I guess it’s another match at the PPV. Main Event Job Evaluation: Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim GM of Monday Night RAW John Laurinaitis v. Chief Operating Officer HHH. Big Johnny does a self-evaluation and gives himself a lot of “5’s”, which brings out COOHHH to take exception. HHH points out just how terrible Ace has been and points out that people who let personal decisions cloud their judgment get replaced. Ace pleads for his job, promising to do anything, so HHH tells him to apologize to everyone in the audience for his poor decisions. He makes a totally heartfelt apology and people still boo the shit out of him. That’s cold. This doesn’t work for HHH, so he takes inspiration from Papa Vince and offers Ace membership in the Kiss My Ass Club. This is totally unlike any job evaluation I’ve ever had. John should totally call the HR department. But he still puts on chapstick and puckers up, but HHH was just messing with him. But seriously, Ace is…oh shit, it’s the Undertaker. Guess he’s a bit upset at the Slammy Awards. And he’s also shopping at the same wig store as Kane. Is there a Hair Club for Zombies? Undertaker gives him the intense stare, but HHH just kind of pats him on the back and walks away from it. Interesting twist, great RAW.

Ring Ka King #1

  I was expecting a TNA-ish disaster and this is pretty good, actually.  Takes about 20 minutes to get past the dancing girls and introductions of the characters, but the rest is a good, 80s-style simple wrestling show complete with a Masterlock challenge and a huge hot crowd.  I would totally continue watching this, despite not being able to understand the commentary.

Ring Ka King #1

  I was expecting a TNA-ish disaster and this is pretty good, actually.  Takes about 20 minutes to get past the dancing girls and introductions of the characters, but the rest is a good, 80s-style simple wrestling show complete with a Masterlock challenge and a huge hot crowd.  I would totally continue watching this, despite not being able to understand the commentary.

Ring Ka King #1

  I was expecting a TNA-ish disaster and this is pretty good, actually.  Takes about 20 minutes to get past the dancing girls and introductions of the characters, but the rest is a good, 80s-style simple wrestling show complete with a Masterlock challenge and a huge hot crowd.  I would totally continue watching this, despite not being able to understand the commentary.

Ring Ka King #1

  I was expecting a TNA-ish disaster and this is pretty good, actually.  Takes about 20 minutes to get past the dancing girls and introductions of the characters, but the rest is a good, 80s-style simple wrestling show complete with a Masterlock challenge and a huge hot crowd.  I would totally continue watching this, despite not being able to understand the commentary.

Ring Ka King #1

  I was expecting a TNA-ish disaster and this is pretty good, actually.  Takes about 20 minutes to get past the dancing girls and introductions of the characters, but the rest is a good, 80s-style simple wrestling show complete with a Masterlock challenge and a huge hot crowd.  I would totally continue watching this, despite not being able to understand the commentary.

Rumble Reax

Hi Scott, hope you are well. The reactions to this year’s Rumble match have been as wide-ranging and almost polarized as any that I can remember, both on the blog and elsewhere. Two questions. 1) Can you remember any past Rumbles with such a wide variety of strong reactions? 2) Do you think the shift to a more “comedy-based” Rumble is something that will continue, or is simply a one-year aberration? Like you, I loved this year’s version, even though I tend to like my wrestling more serious and drama-based than comedic (one of the big reasons I don’t watch a whole lot of it anymore). I don’t think I would want to see it done like this every year, but as a slice of something different, by Rumble standards, I thought it was very well done and enjoyable. Thoughts?

This was definitely a different Rumble for good or bad.  The reactions remind me of the HHH-Undertaker match or John Cena (“Let’s go Rumble / Rumble sucks!”).  I would like to once again remind everyone of the context I saw it, an insanely fun theatre atmosphere with a crowd reacting exactly like those booking the match intended.  Watching it alone at home after the rest of the crappy undercard would have likely yielded a different reaction.  Wrestling is a very “in the moment” thing and while I was watching it, it was incredibly entertaining.  I seem to recall the 95 Rumble being pretty divisive to say the least.  The 60 second intervals bugged a lot of people and made Shawn’s win seem less important to them.  I have to say, 90 seconds is pretty much the perfect time for these.  I think the comedy basis was done by necessity because of the total lack of star power this year, although I don’t know what the excuse was in 99 because they damn sure had the star power at that point. 

Rumble Reax

Hi Scott, hope you are well. The reactions to this year’s Rumble match have been as wide-ranging and almost polarized as any that I can remember, both on the blog and elsewhere. Two questions. 1) Can you remember any past Rumbles with such a wide variety of strong reactions? 2) Do you think the shift to a more “comedy-based” Rumble is something that will continue, or is simply a one-year aberration? Like you, I loved this year’s version, even though I tend to like my wrestling more serious and drama-based than comedic (one of the big reasons I don’t watch a whole lot of it anymore). I don’t think I would want to see it done like this every year, but as a slice of something different, by Rumble standards, I thought it was very well done and enjoyable. Thoughts?

This was definitely a different Rumble for good or bad.  The reactions remind me of the HHH-Undertaker match or John Cena (“Let’s go Rumble / Rumble sucks!”).  I would like to once again remind everyone of the context I saw it, an insanely fun theatre atmosphere with a crowd reacting exactly like those booking the match intended.  Watching it alone at home after the rest of the crappy undercard would have likely yielded a different reaction.  Wrestling is a very “in the moment” thing and while I was watching it, it was incredibly entertaining.  I seem to recall the 95 Rumble being pretty divisive to say the least.  The 60 second intervals bugged a lot of people and made Shawn’s win seem less important to them.  I have to say, 90 seconds is pretty much the perfect time for these.  I think the comedy basis was done by necessity because of the total lack of star power this year, although I don’t know what the excuse was in 99 because they damn sure had the star power at that point. 

Rumble Reax

Hi Scott, hope you are well. The reactions to this year’s Rumble match have been as wide-ranging and almost polarized as any that I can remember, both on the blog and elsewhere. Two questions. 1) Can you remember any past Rumbles with such a wide variety of strong reactions? 2) Do you think the shift to a more “comedy-based” Rumble is something that will continue, or is simply a one-year aberration? Like you, I loved this year’s version, even though I tend to like my wrestling more serious and drama-based than comedic (one of the big reasons I don’t watch a whole lot of it anymore). I don’t think I would want to see it done like this every year, but as a slice of something different, by Rumble standards, I thought it was very well done and enjoyable. Thoughts?

This was definitely a different Rumble for good or bad.  The reactions remind me of the HHH-Undertaker match or John Cena (“Let’s go Rumble / Rumble sucks!”).  I would like to once again remind everyone of the context I saw it, an insanely fun theatre atmosphere with a crowd reacting exactly like those booking the match intended.  Watching it alone at home after the rest of the crappy undercard would have likely yielded a different reaction.  Wrestling is a very “in the moment” thing and while I was watching it, it was incredibly entertaining.  I seem to recall the 95 Rumble being pretty divisive to say the least.  The 60 second intervals bugged a lot of people and made Shawn’s win seem less important to them.  I have to say, 90 seconds is pretty much the perfect time for these.  I think the comedy basis was done by necessity because of the total lack of star power this year, although I don’t know what the excuse was in 99 because they damn sure had the star power at that point. 

Rumble Reax

Hi Scott, hope you are well. The reactions to this year’s Rumble match have been as wide-ranging and almost polarized as any that I can remember, both on the blog and elsewhere. Two questions. 1) Can you remember any past Rumbles with such a wide variety of strong reactions? 2) Do you think the shift to a more “comedy-based” Rumble is something that will continue, or is simply a one-year aberration? Like you, I loved this year’s version, even though I tend to like my wrestling more serious and drama-based than comedic (one of the big reasons I don’t watch a whole lot of it anymore). I don’t think I would want to see it done like this every year, but as a slice of something different, by Rumble standards, I thought it was very well done and enjoyable. Thoughts?

This was definitely a different Rumble for good or bad.  The reactions remind me of the HHH-Undertaker match or John Cena (“Let’s go Rumble / Rumble sucks!”).  I would like to once again remind everyone of the context I saw it, an insanely fun theatre atmosphere with a crowd reacting exactly like those booking the match intended.  Watching it alone at home after the rest of the crappy undercard would have likely yielded a different reaction.  Wrestling is a very “in the moment” thing and while I was watching it, it was incredibly entertaining.  I seem to recall the 95 Rumble being pretty divisive to say the least.  The 60 second intervals bugged a lot of people and made Shawn’s win seem less important to them.  I have to say, 90 seconds is pretty much the perfect time for these.  I think the comedy basis was done by necessity because of the total lack of star power this year, although I don’t know what the excuse was in 99 because they damn sure had the star power at that point. 

Rumble Reax

Hi Scott, hope you are well. The reactions to this year’s Rumble match have been as wide-ranging and almost polarized as any that I can remember, both on the blog and elsewhere. Two questions. 1) Can you remember any past Rumbles with such a wide variety of strong reactions? 2) Do you think the shift to a more “comedy-based” Rumble is something that will continue, or is simply a one-year aberration? Like you, I loved this year’s version, even though I tend to like my wrestling more serious and drama-based than comedic (one of the big reasons I don’t watch a whole lot of it anymore). I don’t think I would want to see it done like this every year, but as a slice of something different, by Rumble standards, I thought it was very well done and enjoyable. Thoughts?

This was definitely a different Rumble for good or bad.  The reactions remind me of the HHH-Undertaker match or John Cena (“Let’s go Rumble / Rumble sucks!”).  I would like to once again remind everyone of the context I saw it, an insanely fun theatre atmosphere with a crowd reacting exactly like those booking the match intended.  Watching it alone at home after the rest of the crappy undercard would have likely yielded a different reaction.  Wrestling is a very “in the moment” thing and while I was watching it, it was incredibly entertaining.  I seem to recall the 95 Rumble being pretty divisive to say the least.  The 60 second intervals bugged a lot of people and made Shawn’s win seem less important to them.  I have to say, 90 seconds is pretty much the perfect time for these.  I think the comedy basis was done by necessity because of the total lack of star power this year, although I don’t know what the excuse was in 99 because they damn sure had the star power at that point. 

Fighting Dirty

Hey Scott.
Just watched the UFC thing on Fox, and the same thought came to me again as I’ve had when I’ve watched MMA – why doesn’t someone start fighting dirty? I mean within the rules, but being a complete dick in the ring and do the kind of thing that would definitely be frowned upon and booed. I’m thinking stamping on the opponent’s foot in a clinch (which would be technically legal), or battering ram with the head or repeated leg sweeps. Basically acting like a full-on heel and doing anything to win. I realise that it would be hugely unpopular and would bring MMA closer to wrestling in a lot of viewer’s eyes, but it seems to me that someone could be really exploiting some gaps. Thoughts?

Guys train for YEARS to win at MMA using whatever little weaknesses and exploitations they can get, and if someone suddenly thought that any of that would be effective, you’d see it.  Guys have definitely stomped on feet in the clinch before, back in the early days, and it didn’t make much difference to the fight.  You’re expending a lot of energy to not a lot of effect.  Plus Dana White would probably fire whatever guy was dumb enough to fight that way anyway. 

Fighting Dirty

Hey Scott.
Just watched the UFC thing on Fox, and the same thought came to me again as I’ve had when I’ve watched MMA – why doesn’t someone start fighting dirty? I mean within the rules, but being a complete dick in the ring and do the kind of thing that would definitely be frowned upon and booed. I’m thinking stamping on the opponent’s foot in a clinch (which would be technically legal), or battering ram with the head or repeated leg sweeps. Basically acting like a full-on heel and doing anything to win. I realise that it would be hugely unpopular and would bring MMA closer to wrestling in a lot of viewer’s eyes, but it seems to me that someone could be really exploiting some gaps. Thoughts?

Guys train for YEARS to win at MMA using whatever little weaknesses and exploitations they can get, and if someone suddenly thought that any of that would be effective, you’d see it.  Guys have definitely stomped on feet in the clinch before, back in the early days, and it didn’t make much difference to the fight.  You’re expending a lot of energy to not a lot of effect.  Plus Dana White would probably fire whatever guy was dumb enough to fight that way anyway. 

Fighting Dirty

Hey Scott.
Just watched the UFC thing on Fox, and the same thought came to me again as I’ve had when I’ve watched MMA – why doesn’t someone start fighting dirty? I mean within the rules, but being a complete dick in the ring and do the kind of thing that would definitely be frowned upon and booed. I’m thinking stamping on the opponent’s foot in a clinch (which would be technically legal), or battering ram with the head or repeated leg sweeps. Basically acting like a full-on heel and doing anything to win. I realise that it would be hugely unpopular and would bring MMA closer to wrestling in a lot of viewer’s eyes, but it seems to me that someone could be really exploiting some gaps. Thoughts?

Guys train for YEARS to win at MMA using whatever little weaknesses and exploitations they can get, and if someone suddenly thought that any of that would be effective, you’d see it.  Guys have definitely stomped on feet in the clinch before, back in the early days, and it didn’t make much difference to the fight.  You’re expending a lot of energy to not a lot of effect.  Plus Dana White would probably fire whatever guy was dumb enough to fight that way anyway.