RYTMAN’S REVIEW: RAW 11/19/2012Leave a Comment
Last night’s RAW was for me, a mixed bag. There were low-points, painful ones at that, but there were one or two points where I could see a glimmer of hope.
RYBACK DEF TENSAI – Ryback in the ring, cuts a decent promo demanding WWE champ C.M. Punk and the three NXT talents who jumped him at Survivor Series come out to face him or he tears the place down. Vicki Guerro, RAW Supervising Manager, came out to berate Ryback for blowing two title shots and warn him not to cause trouble or he would face a fine/suspension. She sends out Tensai to see “just how big” his appetite is. Match ends just how you’d expect it. Ryback puts Tensai down with the Shell-Shock for a pin.
WADE BARRETT DEF WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION KOFI KINGSTON – Before the match, we see Wade Barrett cutting a backstage promo from last night’s survivor series, saying how he’s beaten Kofi for the Intercontinental title before and Kofi holding the title was a disgrace to WWE. Barrett dominates the match with a combo of holds and brawling, as well as focusing on an eye injury to Kofi. Kofi gets in a big flurry of offense but Barrett rakes his eye on the rope and ends it with the “Bull-Hammer Elbow.”
KAITLYN DEF AKSANA – Aksana actually tries actual “wrestling” for once. She starts by faking a walk-out to lure Kaitlyn into a clothesline and working over the left arm. Sloppy, but it’s an “improvement.” Kaitlyn gorilla-presses her and drops her stomach first into her knee for a three-count.
U.S. CHAMPION ANTONIO CESARO DEF BRODUS CLAY – Despite R-Truth on commentary and the Funkadactyls at ringside, Cesaro gets the pin with the “Neutralizer.”
RANDY ORTON DEF ALBERTO DEL RIO (2 FALLS OUT OF 3) – The first fall starts out as a basic “back and forth,” until Orton forces Del Rio outside. Del Rio pulls Orton, shoulder first into the ring-rope, then into the corner post. When he refuses to let up the assault on the arm, Orton gets the win by DQ. The second fall has Orton making the comeback while favoring the left arm, but Del Rio locks in the arm-bar and Orton has to tap out. Third fall has Del Rio attacking the bad arm, while Orton tries to fight back. Ricardo Rodriguez (Del Rio’s personal ring announcer,) gets ejected for grabbing Orton’s ankle, and after missing an inziguri, Orton gets the pin with an RKO out of nowhere.
GREAT KAHLI DEF PRIMO/EPICO w/ROSA MENDES – Hornswoggle comes out to squirt Rosa in the face with water from a trick bouquet of flowers while Kahli destroys Mo/Co. I put more effort into that sentence than anybody put into that match.
THE MIZ DEF DAVID OTUNGA – Very basic, by-the-numbers match; Otunga gets to look good here, dominating Miz with clotheslines and chin-locks, but Miz gets in the “Skull-Crushing-Finale,” for the inevitable three-count.
SHEAMUS DEF DAMIAN SANDOW – Sheamus comes out with chair in hand. He cuts a promo recapping his feud with World Heavyweight Champion the Big Show and makes note that he is “not smiling anymore.” Big Show comes out, and they start shouting over each other. Show calls Sheamus a “barbarian,” and Sandow makes his entrance. Match builds from a slow pace, starting out with Sandow trying to avoid Sheamus for the first few minutes. First high-spot is Sheamus tossing Sandow out by the beard. Sandow actually dominates the match from that point on, beating Sheamus down and trying to wear him out. Sandow takes too long setting up the “elbow of distain” and Sheamus hooks in a side-back-breaker. Sheamus hits a flying shoulder block, the “White Noise,” and the Brogue-kick for a three-count.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS HELL NO (DANIEL BRYAN AND KANE) VS SINSTERIO (SIN CARA/REY MYSTERIO: NO CONTEST – The real story here is the absolute TRAIN WRECK of the Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neal/Darren Young) doing commentary with Cole/Lawler. Eventually they all give up and settle for entertaining each other with jokes and one-liners. Ironically, the PTP’s come off as funny and charismatic (which is bad because they’re heels.) Match ends when the PTP’s rush the ring, and get beat down by both other teams.
1. THE AJ “SCANDAL” – So this nonsense begins with Vicki bringing out two people to the ring, one a waitress claiming AJ and Cena were getting “friendly” with each other in a restaurant, and the other was a dude implying he had pics of them “doing it” in the back of a car. AJ came out to confront her, followed by John Cena, who accused Vicki of harassing people just to get attention. He decided to show her how it’s done and planted a kiss on AJ. He turned to Vicki but AJ grabbed him and JUMPED HIM LIKE A FACE HUGGER IN ALIENS! The kiss went well over a minute while Vicki threw a tantrum. (Why?) Ziggler runs out and jumps Cena. Cena tries to give Ziggler the “Attitude Adjustment,” Ziggler escapes, and Cena goes after him, twisting his left knee in the process.
We see Cena get his knee taped up backstage.
AJ goes to Vicki, asking what she plans to do about it. Vicki, flanked by Tamina Snuka, says nothing. AJ says she will.
AJ heads for the locker room with Layla trying to talk her out of it. AJ blows her off and goes in to confront Ziggler. Ziggler gives her a verbal dressing down (VERBAL you pervs,) and AJ goes off on him. Cena pulls her off and Ziggler jumps him. The two men go crashing into a toilet stall, and Ziggler wails away on Cena until Titus pulls him off. Ziggler gets in one last shot to Cena’s bad knee.
1. Why would Vicki and Ziggler be upset about this? Didn’t Cena and AJ CONFIRM everything they were being accused of? And let’s say they did…
2. SO PHKING WHAT!? What does this prove? Two single, consenting adults have decided to date, WHAT HAS VICKI “WON?”
Here’s the thing, when Vicki started this crap, it made SOME sense. AJ was RAW GM; Vicki wanted her out and wanted her job. AJ QUIT trying to protect John. VICKI GOT THE JOB (sort off.) WHY IS THIS STILL A THING? Vicki has won. There is no reason, story-line, OR OTHERWISE for Vicki to keep this up.
Now before you argue “she wants to drive AJ out of WWE,” let me remind you, AJ WAS ON HER WAY OUT WHEN THIS STARTED! VICKI HIRED HER BACK! Vicki could’ve been free of AJ weeks ago. You could say Vicki is jealous of AJ, and wants to torture her, AND YOU WOULD BE GIVING HER AN ACTUAL MOTIVE! SOMETHING WWE DID NOT DO!
Side Note: I don’t know if Cena is legit hurt or it’s just an angle, but it looks like in either scenario, he’s out of the title picture.
2. THE CELEBRATION OF C.M. PUNK – The storyline with the least attention had the best payoff. We begin with Heyman at the top of the show holding up a poster of Punk and planning a big celebration for the champ. Punk comes out to hear his praises. Matt Stryker tries to get an interview and Punk threatens him. Heyman tries to smooth things over saying tonight is a celebration and everyone is invited, including Ryback.
We get short backstage segments featuring Heyman abusing crew members while planning the party, including one where Heyman demands “BALLOONS” manically, and one where he assures Punk nothing will ruin their celebration.
The final segment of the evening has Heyman in the ring. He calls the audience on the hypocrisy of chanting “ECW” when they see him, and booing him for his joke at Lawler’s expense last week. They say they want the Attitude era back, but get all upset when they get a taste of it. Punk comes out and points out to us that he did something Brett Hart, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, The Undertaker, and The Rock couldn’t do, hold the WWE title for one calendar year. We get a video package of Punk’s year-long reign, followed by Heyman and Punk running down all the great stars that couldn’t beat Punk and congratulating each other.
Ryback comes out, but gets jumped by NXT talents Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reins. Ryback tries to fight them off, but they end up putting him through an announce table, just like at Survivor Series. RAW ends with the champ, cautiously, standing with one foot on Ryback and his title in the air.
Okay, LOVING IT! This is the first RAW this year that ends with Punk standing tall over a fallen enemy. I’m hoping this leads to a Punk-led stable of young talent rallying to their hero’s side and becoming a major force in WWE. (Of course, WWE will most likely push this as a bunch of punks trying to get attention and Punk will get written into a feud with Hornswoggle.) Nonetheless, this is the first time in months that WWE has tried to make Punk look “relatively” good on television. It is a welcome change.
Overall, if this RAW had dropped the AJ scandal B.S. it would’ve been the strongest RAW in a long time. We got a LOT of actual wrestling where most people looked strong even in defeat.
So, while I’m not in LOVE with the product right now, this has been a step in the right direction.