Hi everyone! Now that I can post on here as much as I like, here’s a cheap plug for a look back at Payback 2013 and seeing if the Ziggler/ADR feud was as good as I remember.
If you don’t want to click the link, the answer’s ”yes.”
Hi everyone! Now that I can post on here as much as I like, here’s a cheap plug for a look back at Payback 2013 and seeing if the Ziggler/ADR feud was as good as I remember.
If you don’t want to click the link, the answer’s ”yes.”
The SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2013 This is for the reader who won the 20,000,000th pageview contest on the blog, and also because it coincides with this year’s version of the show. Plus part of me wanted to see if it was really the worst show of the year, because I’m funny that way. I didn’t watch the show and barely paid attention to the results, so this is all mostly fresh to me. Live from Buffalo, NY Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler World Heavyweight title, Hardcore rules: Alberto Del Rio v. Rob Van Dam I don’t even get the deal with RVD and Ricardo, as they broke up the Ricardo-Del Rio team, literally the only thing giving Del Rio any heat, and put him with someone who didn’t need a manager or extra heat. It did nothing for anyone involved and really made RVD look like kind of a goof for associating with Ricardo. Rob dumps ADR to start and drops the guillotine legdrop as I ponder the difference between a “hardcore” match and an “extreme rules” match. Probably copyright. Back in the ring, Rob DDTs him on a chair for two, but ADR gets the backstabber for two. Del Rio with some WEAK chairshots for two. I could live just fine without ever seeing anyone take a chair to the back again, but if you’re gonna do it, DO IT. ADR sets up the chair in the corner while we get a high-speed camera replay (hey, remember the month or so when they spent thousands on that thing and then used it a bunch to justify it?) but Rob spinkicks him and retrieves a ladder. Back in, RVD with a missile dropkick and ADR bumps off the ladder and out to the floor, and back in for two. Rob climbs the ladder in the corner, but Del Rio puts him down with an enzuigiri and gets two. He goes to work with the dreaded aluminum garbage can, but Rob kicks it back at him. Slow motion reveals how non-devastating that move really is. As a general rule, high speed replays of choreographed fighting kind of undermines the whole “suspension of disbelief” deal. Rob makes the comeback with a moonsault on the ladder for two. Rolling Thunder misses, however, and it’s armbreaker time. Ricardo breaks it up since it’s no-DQ, and Rob rolls Del Rio up for two. And then we get a weird sequence with Del Rio and Ricardo beating on each other to totally kill the flow of the match. Rob suddenly reappears with a frog splash off the apron, which gets two. Rob tries the Van Terminator, but misses after his ten minute setup routine. Del Rio drops him on the chair and superkicks him, then finishes with the armbreaker in the chair at 16:03. So yeah, quite the comeback for RVD, tapping to the heel’s finisher despite having all the advantages in the match. It was like a good Smackdown main event, but didn’t seem like a good fit for a PPV blowoff. *** Meanwhile, the Real Americans rail against Mexicans and Canadians sneaking across the border. The Great Khali & Santino v. The Real Americans They seriously put this match on a show that people were paying for? Showing that the company totally misses the point of the hypocrisy behind the heel team, Santino and Khali are both legitimately foreigners, thus proving their point! The heel heat should have been from the “Real” Americans accusing two obviously American babyfaces of being immigrants. Santino tries a headlock on Swagger while the announcers are already losing interest in the match, and the cobra comes out early. Swagger runs away from it and Hornswoggle tries his own, but that goes nowhere and Santino is your clown-in-peril. This whole sequence was apparently supposed to be hilarious judging by the fake laughter from the announce team. Just in case you needed that clarified. See, a MIDGET had a smaller version of the cobra. And then Swagger just ignored him and stole the sock. Because he’s a midget and thus easily beat up. HILARIOUS. Mercifully we move to the hot tag and Khali pounds on Cesaro and the big chop gets two. Swagger and Santino fight on the floor, leaving Cesaro to Giant Swing the giant for the pin at 7:05. DUD Did we mention that BREAST CANCER IS BAD? Because this is apparently news. Seriously, they’re already all wearing their stupid pink shirts and the Susan G. Komen scam has advertising all over the arena, do we really need PSAs in between the matches as well? How much was the foundation paying for this shameless self-promotion? When you’re basically sponsoring a show on the same level as Snickers or the new Modern Warfare game does, the high moral ground is kind of lost. Intercontinental title: Curtis Axel v. R-Truth Truth slugs away while Cole reminds us that Truth was once US champion four years ago and had a single title shot at Cena as well. Wow, what a pedigree. A clothesline puts Axel on the floor and Truth follows with a clothesline and he’s like “WHAT’S UP?” and the crowd is like “Eh, not much, just watching this shit PPV.” Axel runs him into the railing for two, which we get in SUPER EXPENSIVE HIGH FRAMERATE SLOW MOTION and they’re milk every cent out of that fucking camera system if it kills them. Did the Susan G. Komen foundation buy it for them or something? RISE ABOVE 30 FRAMES PER SECOND! So back in the ring, Axel goes to the chinlock and I’m sick of this match already as we get another fucking slow motion replay. How much more slow motion could a match be? It’s CURTIS AXEL. Are you gonna sell this camera thing on chinlocks at 1200 frames per second? Truth makes the comeback with a rollup for two and the axe kick for two. The crowd is more concerned with JBL than with Truth’s title chase. Can’t say as I blame them. God forbid this company ever figures out how to film in 3D because they’d probably shove that down our throats for a month, too. Axel finishes with the neckbreaker thingie at 7:40. Thankfully, not in SUPER SLO-MO. The match was slow motion by itself. * Divas title: AJ Lee v. Brie Bella Was this during the “Total Divas hate AJ” feud that everyone raved about to start but went nowhere? Brie chases AJ around and gets a dropkick for two as Cole points out the possibility of the engaged Brie and Daniel Bryan couple becoming dual champions tonight. Which is really weird because they acknowledge the real life and Total Divas continuity of Brie and Bryan, but Nikki Bella and John Cena exist in some bizarre parallel universe where they only know each other on the E! Network. Like apparently the fans are supposed to be the perfect balance of stupid to know about one relationship but not the other. AJ works on the arm a bit but she’s got nothing to work with here. Blind charge misses but AJ just keeps beating on the arm while Cole on commentary confirms that this was indeed after AJ gave the promo that was supposed to turn her into a mega-heel in the company’s eyes by insulting the Total Divas show that everyone apparently was supposed to love non-ironically. Brie makes the comeback while Tamina beats on Nikki, and this distraction allows AJ to get the rollup to retain at 6:44. So basically AJ told all the other Divas that they sucked and then proved that she was correct by beating them all and retaining her title for a record length of time. TELLING STORIES. ½* The Shield v. Cody Rhodes & Goldust The Rhodes family fights for their jobs as we finally get something worthwhile on this show. Cody chases the heels and they work on Reigns in the corner, so the Shield bails to regroup. Dusty UNDOES THE BELT and you know he means business but sadly no one is whipped like a dog if you will. Back in the ring, Cody gets beat up in the corner, but he comes back and stomps Rollins down in the corner. Rollins puts him down again Roman overpowers him for two, and I’m wondering why they didn’t just book it as a 3-on-2 match to really put the screws to the Rhodes family and give it real stakes. Rollins with a neckbreaker for two and Cody gets caught in the heel corner, but he comes back with a moonsault and it’s hot tag Goldust. He beats on Reigns in the corner and the crowd is totally into this one, and a flying bodypress gets two. Sadly, a bodypress misses and Goldust splats on the floor to begin his revived career as the greatest face-in-peril of the past decade. He actually manages to milk crowd sympathy out of a teased countout. Back in, the Shield goes to work and Rollins gets a senton for two as Goldust’s paint starts to come off and you can see the agony on his face start to develop. What a great touch that ended up being. Although the stupid pink gloves kind of kill the gravitas. He’s desperate to fight for his very job, but not so desperate that he can’t stop to honor the company-wide charity initiative of the month! Goldust comes back with a powerslam on Rollins and it’s hot tag Cody and he’s running wild. A spinning Alabama slam gets two on Rollins. Suplex gets two and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, as Cody hits Reigns with the disaster kick and dumps him, but Rollins lays him out from behind in a great spot. This match also was fascinating for myself as a fan of tag team wrestling, because no matter how you try to kill off tag teams, wrestling crowds collectively get the rhythms and twists of a great tag match without being taught. They know to get mad at the false finishes, clap along with the face-in-peril to inspire him to make the tag, and know that the hot tag is setting up the climax of the match and turn up their response accordingly. On the floor, Dusty finally pays off the belt spot and lays out Ambrose to the delight of the crowd. In the ring, Crossroads finishes at 13:52 for the giant pop. Clearly the best thing on the show. ***3/4 Sadly their tag title reign later would prove to be a giant waste for all involved. Kofi Kingston v. Bray Wyatt Bray misses a couple of charges, but manages to lay him out in the corner and pounds him down for two. I should note that it was around this time that the Wyatt-Cena Wrestlemania rumors started and most people were like “WTF?” And then they actually managed to build him up before having him lose all the matches and drop back down the card again. So, job well done, I guess. Bray drops an elbow for two as the crowd has already given up on the match and started chanting for random people. Kofi fights out of a chinlock and gets a crucifix for two. But where’s the super slo-mo replay? The wacky kick misses and Bray lays him out for the CRABWALK OF DOOM. Kofi comes back with a dive onto all three guys and goes up with a flying bodypress for two, but Bray catches him with Sister Abagail at 8:20. This really needed to be Bray squashing the shit out of Kofi at this point and just ended up being too long for what they were trying to accomplish. ** CM Punk v. Ryback This was so clearly a setup for their Cell match two weeks later that I don’t even know why they bothered going through the motions of actually having a match. Punk kicks Ryback’s legs out and he bails to escape, so Punk hits him with a dive and sends him into the post. Back in, a flying bodypress gets two. Ryback comes back with a press slam and runs Punk into the post to take over and we hit the chinlock. Ryback with an overhead suplex for two. Who was the ad wizard that came up with this feud? “Hey, let’s book a series of matches where Ryback has to be on offense for long stretches of time against a guy who’s already beat up and unmotivated! WE’LL MAKE MILLIONS!” Ryback suplexes him on the top rope and pounds away for two. And back to the chinlock. Punk makes a comeback, so Heyman stops to cut a promo and Punk stands like a moron while Ryback attacks from behind. Powerbomb gets two. Why not just do a rollup like everyone else in the past 10 years? Another powerbomb is reversed to a sloppy high kick, thus CREATING SEPARATION, and the Macho Elbow gets two. Punk throws knees in the corner and takes him down with a rana, but Ryback gets a powerslam for two. Heyman gets caught with a kendo stick, so Punk kicks Ryback in the nuts and pins him at 15:00 while the ref is distracted. THAT was the finish they came up with? I could have spilled a bowl of Alpha-Bits on the floor and swept up random letters that would form a better finish than that. And this somehow necessitated a Hell in the Cell rematch at the next show. Punk was clearly beat up and in need of a break, basically doing nothing here and the result was a boring match. ** Meanwhile, the panel of “experts” (The Miz, Tensai and Titus O’Neil…no really) make their picks for the main event. One thing they know for sure is that we will absolutely have a champion after tonight. WWE title: Abeyance v. Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton This was the one after Bryan thought he had won the title but had it ripped away from by the establishment. Oh, and the Authority has no confidence in Randy Orton and thinks they need a new face of the company. In case you needed help narrowing down which match this one was. Orton works the headlock to start, but Bryan goes after the arm, so Orton puts him down with the neckbreaker for two. Bryan comes back with the kicks in the corner and goes to work on the knee with an indian deathlock, but Orton clotheslines from the top for two. Orton pounds away in the corner and even the announcers are like “Yeah, he’s really slowing the pace down here.” Bryan makes his comeback and puts Orton on the floor with a headscissors before following with a dive and a dropkick into the railing. Back in, he tries a flying something and gets caught with a powerbomb for two. Orton with a Boston crab, which is an oddly random choice on his part, but Bryan cradles for two. They head to the floor and Orton sends him into the post to take over again as the match just keeps meandering back and forth. Orton with a superplex for two as we finally get the super-expensive slo-mo replay that the viewing public had literally been demanding since the R-Truth match. RETURN ON INVESTMENT. If people who work with me are reading this, they’ll know why that’s funny. Bryan comes back with a backslide for two, but Orton suplexes him to the floor. They brawl by the tables and Bryan gets the better of that and follows with a dive from the top rope. Back in, flying headbutt gets two. Man, how much longer would his career (to date) have been if he had just phased that move out years ago? Bryan with dropkicks in the corner for the big comeback, but Orton suplexes him on his bad shoulder. Bryan blocks the RKO and hooks the Yes-Lock, but Big Show does the run-in and bumps the ref for some reason. This would I guess count as the finish at 22:00. This was every other Bryan v. Orton match you’ve ever seen in your life. *** And then Show knocks out both Bryan and Orton and we continue to have no champion. And that was the end of the show that people paid $60 to see in the days before the Network! See, because Bryan was considered to be the sideshow and people were supposed to get behind Big Show as the new face of the company and top babyface who avenged himself on Orton and then faced HHH at TLC to draw millions. No, really. The Pulse Not quite as infuriating a show as it was at the time, now it’s more of an incredibly boring curiosity than anything. Unfortunately the passion and greatness of the Rhodes match has also been flattened out by time and perspective for me and that basically kills the whole show for me overall now. Definitely I’d call this the worst WWE PPV of 2013, no doubt.
World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Fandango vs. Jack Swagger vs. Antonio Cesaro
Ziggler’s girlfriend, A.J. Lee, comes out. Ziggler tells her that he does not need her help. Ziggler escapes a Del Rio sneak-attack him, but Del Rio crotches him on the top rope and hits a flip-over facebuster for a nearfall. Del Rio throws Ziggler into midair and then hits him with a standing kick. Del Rio goes for a cover, but only gets a two. Del Rio lowers his kneepad, exposing his kneebrace. He goes for a running knee, but Ziggler moves out of the way. A.J. jumps into the ring and hits Del Rio in the face with her Divas Title belt, giving Del Rio a DQ win @ 12:30. Even though Dolph Ziggler was inconsistently selling his injured head, both were working hard to come up with creative ways to counter to get in their signature and finishing moves. This was building and leading to something great until the anti-climactic finish. An epic finishing sequence could have bumped this into **** territory. As is, it was about ***.
Hey, Scott: the 2013 RSPW Awards are (finally) finished! (It took us a while to root out a couple of schmucks who were vote-spamming and recalculate all totals.)
Yes this was the RAW the night after Payback, which was an excellent PPV by most accounts. The June PPV is often a good sign for how the rest of the promotion’s year is going to go. So if you add the PPV with the RAW the night after it looked like we were in for a hell of a second half of 2013.
Money in the Bank was a rousing success as was Summerslam but soon after the wheels sort of came off and we’re heading into 2014 with a lot of questions and silly rumors…(John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania?). Maybe things will get back on track.
So I wanted to look back at the 6-17-2013 RAW to see if it was as good as I remembered.
Live from Grand Rapids, Michigan
Hosted by Michael Cole, The King and JBL
** We open up the show with the new World Heavyweight Champion and freshly
turned heel Alberto Del Rio as he and Dolph Ziggler tried the double turn and
it didn’t totally go over like they hoped. However Ricardo Rodriguez’s smirk during Del
Rio’s overblown intro was terrific. Here’s the shame with Del Rio, he’s a damn good
talker, he’s a damn good heel but there is just a general disconnect with him
and the fans. Del Rio doesn’t understand why the fans are so angry with him
when Ziggler did the same thing to him the night after Wrestlemania and the
fans cheered. He’s got a point. Crowd tries feebly to get a “We Want Ziggler”
chant going but it’s not working. Del Rio calls Jack Swagger an ignorant pig
that disrespected the Mexican culture and the Mexican people but the fans, “in
support of him”, would chant U-S-A. He’s got another point. He says America is
all about pigs and cowards. Man how did this promo not get over more than it
did? Alberto is bringing the awesome! Del Rio goes on until “Cult of
Personality” cuts him off and CM Punk returns to RAW for the first time in two
months. Crowd totally eats it up, ignoring that he is with Paul Heyman. Punk
refreshes Alberto’s memory about their last encounter, Survivor Series 2011,
when he beat him for the WWE Championship and held the title for 434 days. Punk
has no problems with Del Rio though, other than Del Rio calling himself the
best. There’s only one ‘Best in the World’ and Punk is ready to fight for his
name. Heyman interrupts Punk and tries to negotiate a title shot but Punk kindly
tells him to STFU and “while this guy was stealing a title from Dolph Ziggler
last night I was stealing the show with Chris Jericho!” So after a little more
jocking, we bring Vickie and Brad out and we’ve got a match. It was about 12
minutes of promo but it was PRODUCTIVE and we got somewhere. If you’re gonna
take the time, make it count!
(Coming up: Vickie Guerrero has a BIG surprise for the McMahon-Helmsley regime
tonight; Daniel Bryan goes one-on-one with Randy Orton and up next it’s the
Barrett Barrage trying to regain the Intercontinental title from new champion
** We’re back and Punk officially tells Heyman that he’ll always be a Paul
Heyman guy but he doesn’t need him to help him win matches like Brock Lesnar or
Intercontinental Title: Wade Barrett vs. Curtis Axel
Poor Barrett just gets the in-ring intro and…Vickie is out again and says this
match won’t happen because Barrett is going to face her big surprise instead
and out comes Christian.
Plain Ol’ Match: Wade Barrett vs. Christian
Is Christian still under contract? If so he’s a good candidate for a Royal
Rumble return. Barrett jumps on Captain Charisma but Christian recovers and
dumps him over the top rope. Christian climbs to the top and hits a massive
cross body to the floor. Back in the ring Barrett rallies and gets a near fall
on Christian. 90 seconds into the match and we have a chinlock. Really? Barrett
doesn’t hold it for long and Christian hits a dropkick from the middle rope and
a big clotheslines. Barrett misses a blind charge and Christian hits a tornado
DDT for another two count but Barrett stops the momentum with a gut kick.
Barrett misses another blind charge and Christian with an inverted hangman and
the killswitch ends this sucker. Basically a squash as Barrett got nothing but
** More news as the WWE Universe will choose the stipulation for the
Bryan-Orton match. The choices are No DQ, No Count Out or 2 out of 3 falls.
** Wyatt Family promo. They aren’t here yet but they’re coming.
Handicap Match: The Rhodes Scholars vs. Sheamus
Speaking of candidates for Royal Rumble returns, Sheamus should be close to
ready. He will have to fight off both guys at once and accounts very well for
himself to start, hitting Sandow with a nasty forearm. However a disaster kick
changes the course and the scholars take control with a double suplex that gets
two. Sandow with a snapmare and Rhodes with a shining wizard that sets up the
ELBOW OF DISDAIN…all of that gets two. Cody adds a couple of slaps to the face
and I don’t think that’s a good idea. Sheamus dumps Cody and completely murders
Sandow one on one with the usual stuff. He goes back to Rhodes to hit his 10
forearm spot. A powerslam dumps Sandow
as Cody tries to catch Sandow from the ropes but he lands in Sheamus’ arms and
feels white noise instead. Sheamus preps for the brogue kick but Sandow sneaks
in and rolls him up for three. Sheamus, being the sore loser he is, gives
Rhodes the brogue kick anyway.
** DOWNLOAD THE WWE APP!
** Rob Van Dam returns at Money in the Bank. He didn’t stay for very long.
** Brad and Vickie brag about their moves to HHH but he’s not impressed.
However he wants them to take control of The Shield. He doesn’t care how strong
they need to be in order to get the Shield under control, just get it done. HHH
also says that getting 3MB in the show tonight…brilliant…yep that HHH always
putting over the talent.
** Kane and Bryan are bickering about Bryan being the weak link. Both Bryan and
Kane lost last night and Kane believes that it’s a sign that Team Hell No
another shot. Bryan says the only team he can focus on right now is “Team DB”
and Kane retorts “that makes sense because you’re acting like a DB”. Ouch. Kane
wishes DB good luck and Bryan takes that as a sign that he still considers him
the weak link.
** Randy Orton says it’s because of Daniel Bryan that Team R-K-No lost to The
Shield at Payback and he’ll prove that Bryan is the weak link tonight.
No Disqualification: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan
Bryan goes after the arm and then to the leg with a couple of kicks and then a
Mexican surfboard, he works on the hamstrings some more and keeps kicking as
Orton clearly doesn’t have Chris Wiedman’s defensive skills. Orton comes back
with a couple of a stomps and a slingshot suplex. Lou Thesz press by Orton but
Bryan counters the ground and pound by grabbing the leg into a half crab. Orton
fights out but Bryan goes back to the legs kicks with the crowd starting to
feel him. Orton with the eye rake and he dumps Bryan to the floor. Orton hits a
big clothesline on the floor as some of the crowd starts to get behind him.
Back in the ring for a two count. Reverse chinlock time as the referee has to
tell Orton what comes next. Orton corners Bryan and pounds away, corner whip but
Bryan walks the ropes and hits a flying lariat. Corner dropkick from Bryan and
a second one with a head of steam gets two. Bryan sets too early off a whip but
he manages to dump Orton, however, Bryan misses the suicide dive as Orton sends
him into the barricade. Orton grabs a kendo stick and goes to work, first on
the back and then the front. Then he drives the point of the stick into Bryan’s
stomach. Back in the ring and we get a two count.
** Commercial Break
We’re back as Orton has Bryan posted. Headbutt by Orton and he’s goes for the
superplex but Bryan fights gallantly and a headbutt of his own knocks Orton off
the ropes. Bryan hits a top rope missile dropkick and both men are down. Bryan
back to his feet first and he goes to town with the kicks but misses the
roundhouse and Orton hits a wicked T-Bone suplex. Orton tries to set up the
elevated DDT but Bryan tries to counter into the No Lock, Orton fights out of
it and catapults Bryan over the top. Bryan tries to scale the ropes but Orton
casually kicks him in the mid section and Bryan goes to the floor. Ref brings
in the doctor to check on Bryan, doctor clears him so Orton suplexes Bryan on
the barricade. The referee and the doctor go back to Bryan and decide they have
seen enough. Crowd not happy with that decision.
(Orton def. Bryan, referee stoppage, ***1/2, heck of a match with both guys
showing a sample of the work they would do later in the year. Orton and Bryan
hug it out.)
** Looking back on how we got to tonight’s Main Event: CM Punk vs. Alberto Del
New Divas Champion A.J. Lee skips to the ring with Big E Langston. Rarely do
they give the women any in-ring interview time so this explains what the powers
that be thought of Lee. She says she’s the best Divas champion ever and any
bitch that disputes that can come down and take it up with her. And there’s
Stephanie McMahon…to no pop…Once they get in the ring I lose focus on what they
are talking about because Stephanie TOWERS over A.J., now she’s wearing
four-inch heels but still she’s easily close to a foot taller. Anyway they go
back and forth about feminism. A.J. suggest that instead of dating superstars
she should act like Stephanie and marry one. Ugh. Stephanie says that no one
does crazy like a McMahon. She ain’t lying. Anyway this really doesn’t go
anywhere as Kaitlyn jumps out and Stephanie gets pissed at her for
interrupting. Whatever. They could have done something a little bigger here
between A.J. and Stephanie but they bailed out. A.J. and Kaitlyn had a brawl
and Kaitlyn’s tit popped out. What happened to her anyway.
** Up next: Dean Ambrose defends the U.S. Title.
U.S. Championship: Dean Ambrose vs. Kane
Kane takes the quick advantage with the power moves, misses a blind charge but
drops Ambrose with the big boot. Kane sets too early off an irish whip but
catches Ambrose with a power slam for two. Corner whip and Kane follows in with
clotheslines. Sidewalk side by Kane gets a two count. Kane up to the top and
hits the big clothesline and Roman Reigns jumps in for the quick DQ. Spear and
triple powerbomb follow.
** Mark Henry hugs it out with the Primetime Players. Apparently he’s got a big
** The Shield is beaming as they walk backstage. Vickie is pissed but the
Shield don’t care and she’s about to deliver her punishment when Vince McMahon
enters the picture and says the Shield reminds him of him. Ruthless aggression.
He then tells Kane for worth it’s worth he’s never liked Kane anyhow.
** Another Wyatt Family promo. They’re still not here yet.
** Zeb Coulter introduces the newest member of “We The People”, Antonio Cesaro
and now we have a match.
William Regal vs. Antonio Cesaro
Cesaro with a take down and Regal with a kip up and a throw. Cesaro corners
Regal and pounds away. A European uppercut drops Regal and he adds a gut wrench
suplex but Regal bridges out of the kickoff. Cesaro with a double stomp to the
chest. Regal back with uppercuts of his own and drops Cesaro with a hard left.
Regal goes for the double underhook but Cesaro straight powers out of it and
drops Regal on his back. Cesaro gives Regal a swinging chinlock and the
neutralizer to finish things. Obviously this was just a squash for Cesaro as
these two can do much much better when given time.
** The Champ is Here and he’s coming up next!
** Rob Van Dam is still returning at Money in the Bank
John Cena sprints to the ring fresh off of a 3 Stages of Hell title defense
over Ryback. He panders to the crowd a bit and points out a guy wearing a CM
Punk shirt that has started a “Cena sucks” chant. Cena says he had a terrible
2012 and he had to ask his fans to hang in there. But 2013 has proven to be his
time thus far and six months into 2013 he proudly says “The Champ is Here”. And
then Mark Henry walks out holding his wrestling boots in one hand and he leaves
them at the top of the stage which should have been a sign right there as
proper decorum says to leave them in the center of the circle (or ring,
Henry tells Cena to put his guard down and shakes his hand. Henry, fighting back
tears, plays to the crowd wonderfully and talks about when he first met Cena in
2002 and how he’s turned into the star he knew he could be. Henry, wearing a
Salmon suit says “if you forget me, you’ll at least remember this suit” and
then the crowd lovingly chants “sexual chocolate”. Henry says Cena is going at
a rate of where he’ll eventually be the greatest WWE champion of all time.
Henry talks about his accomplishments and says while he hasn’t been as
successful as Cena he’s done pretty well for himself. Seriously I didn’t see this
coming the first time? What drug was I on? Henry announces his retirement and
the crowd applauds as Cena gives Henry the belt to hold up. Henry, continuing
to sell with tears, talks about traveling the world and doing more than anyone
could have expected from a kid that grew up in Silsbee, Texas. He mentions his
family, wife and children by name and says he’s coming home! Cena raises his
hand and gets him a hug so Henry returns the favor and gives him the World’s
Strongest Slam! This was just AMAZING execution and the Monday Night Mic was going nuts
if I remember correctly. Henry tells Cena “that’s what he does”. This was
pretty much the end of awesome Mark Henry as now he’s back to being a babyface
that gets pinned way too easily.
** Main Event tonight: CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio
** A look back at Mark Henry punking out John Cena.
** Henry cuts a second promo and calls everyone who believed him a bunch of
puppets. The WWE is the only thing he hasn’t held and he’s challenging Cena for
it right now. The reason Henry has two boots is because he’s going to leave one
of them in his ass.
Chris Jericho vs. Heath Slater
Jericho and Slater do a headlock sequence and then Jericho lays in the chops
but Slater rallies with a leg lariat that gets two. Slater with a charge and he
eats boot. Two shoulderblocks from Jericho and he hits an axe from the top
rope. Running bulldog but McIntyre nails Jericho as he goes for the lionsault.
Slater gets two off the interference and body slams Jericho. Slater goes to the
middle rope but misses the knee. Another running bulldog and the lionsault hits
this time. Codebreaker finishes things. He beats up McIntyre and Mahal too.
** Matt Striker talks with Heyman and Curtis Axel backstage. Striker wants to
know about the dissension between Punk and Heyman but Heyman switches the
attention to Axel and says he was “bred to be better than perfect.”
Sin Cara vs. Curtis Axel
The Miz joins the talking heads at ringside. They give Axel some weird glowing
light treatment, similar to what Kane got back in the day. Axel works on Sin
Cara but he rallies with a drop kick. Axel comes back with a shoulder and a weird back suplex that
gets two. Axel tries to get Sin Cara in a powerslam but Sin Cara counters with
a reverse DDT. He hits a couple of high kicks and a somersault senton but Axel
lifts his knees. Axel with an implant DDT and the victory. Axel and The Miz
lock eyes but nothing comes of it.
** Next up is our Main Event
** Vince McMahon talks to Brad & Vickie about the Mark Henry situation and
they make the Henry-Cena match for Money at the Bank. He applauds them on a
great show. Stephanie comes in and talks about the show being out of control.
HHH walks in and screams at Vickie for not putting the Shield in their place. HHH
tells Vickie to listen to him. Vince tells her not to work about HHH and
understand he’s the boss. Stephanie suggests she not listen to either of them.
Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk
Punk jumps on Del Rio immediately and Del Rio bails out quickly. Back in the
ring and the same sequence is repeating as Del Rio takes a powder. This time
Punk follows him and roughs him up on the barricade. Back in the ring and Del
Rio gets the first shot. Big kick to the head gets two for Del Rio. Snap Suplex
by Del Rio gets another two. Punk rallies and hits knees in succession on Del
Rio in the corner until referee Charles Robinson pulls him off. Del Rio goes
after the arm but Punk fights back with forearms. Punk goes for the GTS but Del
Rio bails on him so Punk hits a suicide dive as Cole and JBL are starting to
get annoying with their bickering. Back in the ring and Del Rio goes back to
the arm and sends Punk to the floor.
** Commercial Break
We’re back and Punk escapes an arm crucifix with a throw but Del Rio catches Punk
on a charge with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Another nasty kick to the
head and a running knee gets a two count. Del Rio goes to the top but gets
caught with a shot to the gut. Spinning low kick and a leg lariat by Punk. High
knees by Punk, the roundhouse kick misses and Del Rio with an elevated
armbreaker. Del Rio drapes Punk on the
ropes and gives him consecutive forearms to the kidneys and a backstabber for
two. Del Rio misses the superkick and Punk rolls him up for two, Del Rio hits
superkick on the second try and gets two. Del Rio looking for the cross arm
breaker but Punk counters with a high knee and the GTS that sends Del Rio to
the floor. Rodriguez helps Del Rio to his feet and they decide to take a walk
when Ziggler attacks both men from behind to…not much of a pop sadly.
(CM Punk def. Del Rio, countout, ***1/4, usual stuff from those two guys.)
And what is that music I hear….Brock Lesnar comes in with no fan fare and minimal crowd reaction probably because they were shocked. Lesnar circles the ring as
Punk looks on confusingly and asks for the mic. Brock thinks about his
statement and then decides to just give Punk the F5 because he doesn’t need to
The Bottom Line: This card set up Money in the Bank and Summerslam perfectly,
which along with Payback, gave the WWE it’s best three-month span of the year.
The Mark Henry-Cena stuff was effective and even though the program lasted just
one month it ended with a solid blowoff match at Money in the Bank. Punk and Lesnar would have a classic at Summerslam and the early seeds of the future program with Orton and Bryan were being set up. Unfortunately they couldn’t keep up this momentum after Summerslam.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
Kingston v. The Miz. Who crossed whom? Does anyone care? Kofi with
a dropkick out of the gate and corners Miz, adding a big Stinger
Forearm and another dropkick. Miz tries to escape, but Kofi catches
him. Boot is also caught, and Kofi with a roundhouse back kick.
Kofi punches away in the corner, but runs into a boot. Miz runs into
one as well, and Kofi gets two. Kofi with a soccer kick to Miz’s
chest, and another, then one more with an added run off the ropes,
for two. Trouble in Paradise is dodged as Miz bails out, then starts
to walk away. Kofi doesn’t want to win like that and chases Miz down
in the aisle, slamming Miz into the barricade. Back in, Kofi with a
springboard clothesline and rolling cradle for two. Miz gets one of
his own (using the tights) for the pin at 2:37. Seriously? That’s
it? 3/4* Kofi lands
Trouble in Paradise to make his point after the match. I sense
another TLC match.