Whelp, this will be a little different than normal. I’m whipping through Smackdown since Calgary will be going through rolling power outages tonight (or so the police scanner says), to deal with the massive flooding in this city. And let’s be honest here, there is no way Smackdown is topping either Payback or RAW which were both solid shows. Fortunately I prepared a little something something ahead of time this week, and some gifs so it feels kind of normal. But in all seriousness, I kind of need to watch the news to see what the fuck is going on in my hometown and how it affects me. Sorry.
ORTON/SHEAMUS DEF. BIG SHOW (HANDICAP MATCH) – A pointless rematch from Friday. Brogue Kick + RKO = Three count.
Rytman Remark: You know, neither Orton or Sheamus are THAT much smaller than the big show. The two of them beating him, is like either of them losing to two normal sized guys.
KOFI KINGSTON DEF. ANTONIO CESARO (NEW U.S. CHAMPION) – Match wastes no time in going into a spot-fest. Kingston rolls out of a sun-set flip, rolls Cesaro backwards into a standing position and hits “Trouble In Paradise” for the three-count and the title.
Rytman Remark: Remember when WWE first ventured out into video games? And how they followed the normal 2-D, side-scrolling fighter format? (I’m thinking Street Fighter, Mortal Combat.) This match was like that, entertaining, but no real story.
WWE TAG CHAMPIONS TEAM HELL NO (KANE/DANIEL BRYAN) DEF. THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS – The PTP’s are almost completely jobbed out here. Choke-slam/flying head-butt combo wins this for the champs.
Rytman Remark: The commentator spent this match making jokes about goats in reference to Bryan’s beard, because there was nothing else really to talk about.
R-TRUTH DEF. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION WADE BARRETT (NON-TITLE) R-Truth wins it by grabbing Barrett by the head and dropping him face-first to the mat. (The Little Jimmy?) After the match, Truth looks just as surprised as the rest of us.
Rytman Remark: There MIGHT be a point to this loss. WWE has a Battle Royal set up for Main Event this Wednesday, to name a #1 contender to Barrett’s belt. If R-Truth wins, it’ll cement the seed planted here.
RHODES SCHOLLARS (Sandow/Cody) DEF. SANTINO MORELLA/GREAT KAHLI (w/Natalya & Hornswoggle)– Santino gets the Cobra on Sandow and chases off Cody. Horny-dawg (yes, I am going to call him that if I want to,) tries to “cobra” Cody. Cody gets rough with him. Khalil comes to the rescue, and Santino gets pinned because he’s not watching Sandow. School-boy, for the three.
Rytman Remark: ( face-palm..)
JACK SWAGGER (w/Zeb Coulter) DEF. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/AJ Lee & Big E.) – A hard fought match with Ziggler picking up some fan support, but Swagger getting the three-count out of nowhere by dropping Ziggler throat-first into the top rope.
NIKKI BELLA (W/BRE) DEF. WWE DIVA’S CHAMPION KAITLYN – Nikki’s game-plan is to keep taking Kaitlyn’s legs out from under her. Kaitlyn hits the stomach-breaker, but Bree switches w/sis to steal a three count.
Rytman Remark: In order…
So, we’re just dropping that whole thing w/Laya wanting a title shot? After like more than a month of slow build? And Tamina? Just nothing? Cena & Bryan’s girlfriends to the front of the line?
Twin Magic? With two girls that look NOTHING ALIKE ANYMORE?
In fairness, this match did not suck anywhere near as much as it should’ve.
Okay, now we look at…
1.) BROCK/TRIPLE H: LET’S JUST GET IT OVER WITH – 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal,) came out first, calling out the Shield, demanding an apology for the beating on Smackdown. Instead, they got another beating, from BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROCK LESNARRRRRRRR! It ends w/Slater takes two F-5’s to the barricade.
Crowd: One more time! One more time! One more time!
Paul Heyman gets control of Lesnar, gets him in the ring, and gets the mike. He gives Triple H credit for knocking out Lesnar, calling him a “Warrior, worthy of admiration.” Heyman says the score is “one and one,” and it’s “time to get extreme.” He challenges Trips to meet Lesnar in a steel cage match at Extreme Rules and has “two words,” for Trips…
“Challenge, Issued.” – Paul Heyman
2.) ZIGGLER/DEL RIO: WHY WASTE TIME BUILDING THE CHAMP? – Dolph Ziggler comes out with the “Dolph-tourage,” (Copyright: Robert Rytman,) to brag about his title win. Alberto Del Rio comes out with a still hurt Roberto Rodriguez and his left leg taped up. He gets in the ring and demands his rematch now! Before the match begins, Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter come out, claiming Swagger deserves the credit for Dolph’s win and deserves the shot more than Del Rio. Swagger gets on the apron and ADR gets in a shot to Swagger’s face. Big E. gets between Del Rio and Ziggler, but Swagger grabs ADR’s leg and works it over in the corner, wrapping it around the ring post and pounding away on it.
Later in the show, we’re in Vicki Guerro’s office. She and her assistant, Brad Maddox are discussing things, when Teddy Long comes in. Apparently he’s taken it on himself to book Ziggler vs. Swagger and he’s given Swagger some “extra incentive,” to compete. Vicki likes the idea. Maddox tells Teddy to go tell someone. Teddy says it’s not his job. Vicki tells Brad to do it.
After Swagger’s win, (see above,) Del Rio attacks Swagger and goes after the arm. Officials break it up and Del Rio stands tall.
Rytman Remark: Okay, I’m thinking this angle is the one getting rushed. Having Del Rio demand a rematch while he’s still hurt makes him look more like a fool then a fighter. Why not do a Ziggler/Swagger program and save Del Rio for next month?
3.) FAHHHN-DAHHHN-GOING-GOING-GONE! – FANDANGO comes out to be interviewed by Lawler. When Fandango asks Lawler about moving his hips, Lawler decides to move his hips back to the announcers table. Fandango tries to get the crowd “Fandangoing,” with mixed results. A few minutes of this and Fandango tells the crowd to go “Fandango” themselves.
Rytman Remark: PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS THE END OF “FANDANGOING!”
4.) SHEAMUS/HENRY: IRISH CREAMED! (NOT THAT WAY YOU SICKOS!) – Matt Striker is backstage interviewing Sheamus when Henry bull-rushes him down for the second time since last Friday.
Later in the show, we get an announcement for Smack-Down this Friday. Team White-snake (Sheamus/Orton) vs. Big Show and Mark Henry.
Rytman Remark: And we couldn’t do this match tonight because?…
5.) C.M. PUNK: PUNK OUT? – C.M. Punk came out with Heyman. Punk talks about how he could never enjoy what he has at the time, because he’s always looking “around the corner” for the next hurdle, how after holding the title for more than 400 days, he went right after the Undertaker’s streak. In the middle of the promo, the crowd starts a dueling chant for him and the Taker. Punk goes flat. His eyes, his posture, it becomes that of a man crushed. Punk hugs Paul, gives him the mike, and limps off, bypassing the stage and going right for the exit.
Rytman Remark: I am aware that Punk is taking the time off to heal up. However, I’m giving him credit for his performance. He came off like he really did “lose his smile,” and if you wanted to start retirement rumors (or an angle,) you could easily use this promo. I’m predicting a HUGE comeback for Punk – maybe even a face turn – when WWE realizes how much they miss him.
6.) BOOKER T/TEDDY LONG: CLASH OF THE TITANS (KINDA) – Backstage, Booker T is NOT happy with Teddy Long going over his head. He makes the match at Extreme Rules a three-way for the title and tells Teddy to “handle his business.”
Rytman Remark: I’m glad Teddy’s getting to assert himself, as opposed to being a constantly put-upon errand boy, but do we need ANOTHER POWER STRUGGLE ANGLE!? GOOD GRIEF!
Side Note: I heard Michael Cole on one of the shows, talking about Booker T letting the HOF honor go to his head, and how that may be contributing to his problems with Teddy. Guys, Booker is NOT the one coming off as a heel in this.
7.) CENA/RYBACK: CONTINUITY! (BOOM)PART 2– All night we’re teased with Ryback speaking out tonight about his actions. Striker has Cena backstage, where he comes out to almost NO reaction. Cena says he’ll be in the ring with a yellow shirt and his WWE title and he will confront Ryback tonight.
Ryback has his say in a pre-taped promo. Ryback starts by comparing his spot with Cena’s after Mania. Cena was on top, Ryback was on the bottom. Only one place each for them to go. Ryback goes over his past few months in WWE. He credits Cena as a friend and mentor, even mentioning last October when Cena nominated him for a shot at the WWE title. Ryback then goes over his feud with the Shield and Mark Henry, pointing out how Cena never came to help him out when he was jumped by the Shield, but he almost always had Cena’s back when he was jumped.
“I am not an afterthought. I am not a sidekick. … If you were Superman, say hello to Kryptonite!” – Ryback
He says being Cena’s “friend” meant staying in his shadow, and he’s not staying there anymore.
Our “main event” for the evening is Cena calling out Ryback.
“This week, I say you make a move, and see if you have what it takes to EARN a championship!” – John Cena
Ryback backs down and walks away.
SIERRA,HOTEL/INDIA/ECHO/LIMA/DELTA, BELIVE IN THE SHIELD!
The Shield come down to the ring and surround Cena. They hold back, waiting to see what Ryback will do.
Ryback walks off, and RAW ends with a Shield beat-down on Cena.
Side Note: We caught a second of the Shield in the “Gorilla” position by accident, which kinda gave it away.
So, you know someone lost a job.
Rytman Remark: Best Ryback Promo Ever. The guy knocked it out of the park, in regards to setting himself up as bitter/jealous. I commend whoever it was, that figured out how to string Ryback’s past booking together into a cohesive narrative. If you entertain the notion that this was the game plan all along, it explains why WWE booked him as a choke-artist. It gives him motive to turn bitter and blame Cena.
Here’s the problem…
If you want to call out Cena for not doing a run-in, you’re going to have to call out the ENTIRE WWE for not running in and helping out their “friends.” In the past year, building to Mania, the only person I’ve seen run-in to save someone from a beating was R-Truth helping out Kofi Kingston when he came back. I’m aware that Orton/Sheamus/and Big Show did run-ins w/each other during their feud w/the Shield, but that was under the premise of a common enemy, not “friendship.”
Rytman’s Review: Okay, not an earth-shattering RAW by any means, but an effective place-holder-episode. “Auto-pilot” isn’t always a bad idea, if it keeps things moving. This RAW did it’s job, setting up the next PPV. And speaking for myself, I appreciate keeping the drama brief.
DOLPH ZIGGLER DEF. RANDY ORTON – Match ends with Ziggler charging Orton in the corner, Orton swings up, Ziggler hits the post, Orton tries a school-boy roll-up, Ziggler reverses it for a three-count, holding the trunks. SIN CARA/MYSTERIO DEF. TENSAI/CODY RHODES – Rey h0its the 619 on Cody but is outside the ring when he tags Sin Cara. Ref makes them re-tag and Cara hits a Swanton for three. C.M. PUNK (WWE CHAMPION) VS SHEAMUS (WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION) – Doesn’t happen; Punk in street clothes decides to take a personal day and leaves. SHEAMUS DEF. JACK SWAGGER – Sheamus wins with the Texas Clover leaf leg-lock. After the match, Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez attack Sheamus. Ricardo winds up taking a brogue-kick meant for Del Rio. He sells it so long I start to think he’s legit hurt. EVE DEF. KAITLYN – Eve wins with a neck-breaker. Match is booked to make Eve look like she’s playing nice until she gets an opening for a cheap shot. RYBACK DEF. JINDER MAHAL – Ryback scores the pin with the meat-hook. KANE & DANIEL BRYAN “HUG OUT” – So, after a series of “anger management” sketches, Bryan and Kane agree to meet in the ring. General Manager AJ lets us decide their fate via “Twitter poll.” The WWE universe votes for them to “hug it out.” Meaning they have to hug each other.
They have to hug each other.
After stalling a good few minutes, Bryan eventually hugs Kane. Kane eventually hugs Bryan. They eventually hug each other. Then they start shoving each other. Then they start fighting. It ends with Bryan knocking Kane off the top rope with a chair. U.S. CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: ANTONIO CESARO (U.S. CHAMPION) DEF. SANTINO MORELLA – Santino spends the entire match trying to make up his mind about using the cobra. Cesaro finishes this farce with his pile-driver variation. ZACK RYDER DEF. HEATH SLATER – Ryder wins with the rough-rider. ALBERTO DEL RIO DEF. JOHN CENA: FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE – A scary brawl that actually spilled out all the way to backstage. Cena throws Del Rio through the interview area and gives him the AA. Alberto lands on a luggage container and C.M. PUNK hits Cena with a kick to the head out of nowhere. Punk pulls Del Rio on Cena for a three-count, and then Cena takes a GTS face first onto Punk’s car. As the car drives off, PAUL HEYMAN looks out the window and winces. THE GOOD • THE FINISH – The main event was actually exciting. Nice to see people who understand what “falls count anywhere” means. Punk getting Del Rio a win over Cena was the right way to get people hyped for the PPV. Paul Heymans cameo as Punks driver got me excited. I am marking out big-time for the possibility of him teaming up with Punk. • ANGER MANAGEMENT – As stupid as these bits are, at least Kane and Bryan have made them watchable. Funny moment was when they both bailed on “Harold;” during a trust fall exercise, and the “doctor” losing his patients with his patients. THE BAD
Oh God, where to begin? • COMMENTARY – Intercontinental champion The Miz joined the commentary team tonight. It was weird. Miz and Michael Cole seemed to be taking turns playing face. Oddly enough, Cole seemed to be working as the face announcer most of the night. It was kind of confusing. When Divas Champ Layla came out to join them for the Kaitlin/Eve match, Miz jumped all over her. They got into a Jerry Springer like shouting match with Cole desperately playing ref, with NO-ONE playing attention to the match. • EVE VS KAITLIN – Actually decent; but BURIED by Miz and Layla bitching each other out. Also, Eve gets the win and makes a big show of offering Layla a handshake. You can see their feud coming a mile away, so what’s the point of making Kaitlin #1 contender if you want to do an Eve/Layla program? Why didn’t they just make Eve #1 contender? • THE HUG – Screw you WWE universe. You’re buying into the WWE BS and voting for what they want you to vote for. You are getting the show you deserve. THE UGLY • AJ – Sweet mother, can we pull the plug on this experiment already? This whole night seemed to be more about AJ losing control than anything else. From people walking out on her to the breakdown in the ring, it’s like WWE wanted to make some point about any woman NOT named McMahon being in charge. Unless they’re setting up a Zach Ryder sized de-push, they need to have AJ quit this job and reactivate her as an active roster member so she can kill Vicki. • VICKI AND “INVISIBLE” AJ – Just stop. Please just stop. Wrestling doesn’t do topical humor. Wrestling doesn’t need to do topical humor. For those playing along at home, Clint Eastwood was a guest speaker at the Republican National Convention last week, and did a “bit” with an empty chair representing Barack Obama. Vicki decided to pick up on this and do the same thing with AJ. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t even relevant to the show, because AJ showed up. • SANTINO’S “COBRA” – George Steel Is face palming this crap.
WHY ARE WE BOOKING THIS GODDMN SHOW?!?
Seriously, what is the deal with the twitter polls? Why not just let us book the whole damn show via twitter? AND WHY WOULD WE VOTE FOR A HUG!? AND WHY DID WE!?!?!?