The WWE Champion isn’t present tonight, but there’ll be plenty of squashes. In other words, it’s a televised 1989 house show.
And just to throw a quick plug out there, also give a follow to WrestleChat for all the wrestling news you need before anyone else breaks it, and with no BS speculation. WrestleChat is the ONLY wrestling site you need to follow…..besides us, of course. You do follow us, right?
8:02: Having a hard time reconciling the images of Bruno Sammartino with the “Tonight on Raw” soap opera intros. Fun fact: Bruno won the ’68 Rumble, and celebrated by pointing into the MSG rafters, where Clyde Frazier was doing your mom.
8:04: Punk forces Justin Roberts to declare him “The People’s Champion”. He should have made Roberts admit that he’s a talentless tool, and abdicate the job to Finkel.
8:07: Punk interviews the Atlanta fans, asking him if they saw him colluding with Heyman, The Shield, and Maddox. He then questions something that Vince would choose to put on his telecast. Imagine if Vince was always held to that standard. “Hey Vince, how many tickets do you think would be sold when Mark Henry brushed that tranny’s paddleball?”
8:10: CM Punk says “belt”. Guess that answers the question as to whether or not Vince is here. Booker T comes out and, after stumbling over his words (Laugh all you want, but that’s not Booker’s worst microphone blunder….), and lets the people decide Punk’s opponent, among three former WrestleMania foes: Rey, Orton, and Jericho. I want a WrestleMania 23 flashback, and get Punk vs. Finlay.
8:13: No, I won’t download your app. Whatever happened to “by round of applause….”? Thank God they didn’t use Lawler’s phone for the app demo. If his finger slipped and clicked ‘pictures’, it’d have been awkward.
8:19: Ryback makes entrance. Must wait for Orton promo on the app to end to have match. Harley Race wouldn’t have stood for that.
8:20: Finally. Ryback vs. Cesaro in their Best of 27 series. Ryback’s all, “Dude, stop challenging me! I don’t want your midcard title!” You think I’m joking.
8:22: Goldberg chants in Atlanta, who’d have guessed? You never hear any “FRENCH-Y MAR-TIN” chants at Cesaro, do you?
8:27: Cesaro tries to bail like any classic heel, but it doesn’t make sense, because the US Title isn’t on the line. If it was, Jack Tunney would have coerced him into returning the ring with a suspension threat.
8:31: 2 Meathooks and a Shell Shock finish Cesaro. Quality TV match, but Ryback’s losing steam. He needs to do something destructive and assertive to get his appeal back. If they’re building him for a World Heavyweight Title shot, great, but he needs some direction soon.
8:32: VOTE ON THE WWE APP NOW! ORTON, JERICHO, OR REY! Geez, if Monsoon shilled the WWF Superstar Line that frequently, he wouldn’t have had time to intricately describe body parts.
8:38: Hey, Chilli from TLC is here! Knowing Vince, he’d feel honored that someone named their group after one of his PPVs.
8:41: “You WILL BELIEVE in the Shield.” Come to think of it, Ambrose does look like an inebriated Neil Patrick Harris. Vickie Guerrero tells John Cena there was a movie called Death Wish “a long time ago”. It also had four unintentionally hilarious sequels. Not like WWE Films, which are “unintentionally movies”
8:42: Hall of Fame video: I don’t remember Bruno having such lovely breasts and lips. Oh, this is the Trish vid from a week ago.
8:48: Jericho’s hair is especially Mary Jensen-ish tonight.
8:49: YEEEEE-ESSSS. Booker on commentary! I wouldn’t say no to a booth with Booker and JBL. No play by play, just those 2. Anyway, we have Swagger and Santino, which has a bit of continuity to it: Santino won Swagger’s US Title a year ago, and began Swagger’s spiral. Swags became so distraught, that he grew Jake Busey’s hair to match his Jake Busey face.
8:52: Swagger wins with the ankle lo–er, Patriot Act. Well, like the actual Patriot Act, I can’t think of anyone who clamors for its invocation.
8:57: In the WrestleMania countdown ad, why isn’t Paul Heyman holding up a video screen with the WWE Championship on it?
8:58: Alberto Del Rio and Cody Rhodes is next, with no Ricardo, due to Big Show’s assaults upon on him. This match came to be after an argument over who had saggier tits: Alberto’s uncle or Cody’s dad.
9:02: Lawler: “Can you imagine the strength of the WWE Universe to cause the WWE App overload?” Or it’s a crappy App that can’t handle traffic, one or the other.
9:03: Del Rio wins with the Cross Armbreaker, after the commentators spent the match discussing the WWE App. I hope we have Lord Alfred or Sean Mooney to give us live updates on the condition of the traffic surge. I’ll light a prayer candle.
9:04: Del Rio thanks the fans for supporting his change of heart, and they “WHAT” him. Guess who doesn’t watch the show week to week? Hint: rhymes with Scatlanta.
9:07: Show joins us via satellite, and wants a rematch for the Chamber. Oh, and he tells Del Rio to not even THINK of going after him at the hotel he’s currently in. I’LL BET DEL RIO HEEDS THE WARNING AND STAYS AT THE ARENA. YUP.
9:09: Jericho wins the survey, and thus faces Punk. No doubt fans wanna see Punk continue to destroy Jericho for the way Y2J insulted his family a year ago!
9:15: Bryan and Kane are carrying over an argument 3 days later. They didn’t speak at all Saturday or Sunday when the cameras were off.
9:17: Show of hands among the IWC? How many of you would have creamed your Pokemon jockeys if Mysterio and D-Bry went one on one a decade ago? Amazingly enough, it’s still a viable match today.
9:19: Yeeesh, Bryan just countered a headscissors into a double knee chestbreaker. Good thing Jericho won the vote. Wouldn’t be fair for Rey to work twice against Bryan AND Punk.
9:24: Good cat-and-mouse match, hindered only by Lawler’s persistent goat jokes. We’re not allowed to have nice things.
9:25: Bryan counters the 619, and Rey counters the No Lock into a near fall. Then Rey gets the 619, but the dime misses, and Mysterio says Yes to the No. Good stuff, best part of the night so fa—-and it’s Mark Henry! COUSIN MARK! THE MULTI-COLORED HENRYS REPRESENT!
9:28: Sin Cara runs in and gets killed himself.
9:29: Henry was sent back in time to kill the Cruiserweight Division. This is merely a rest stop on the way back to 2007.
9:35: More friction between Team Hell No. I’m glad they’re airing this lengthy Heyman/Lesnar/Vince video package so that I can feel sorrow over the forthcoming breakup of my favorite team.
9:40: Bobby Lashley plays a room service attendant, and brings Big Show his food. GRIPPING.
9:46: Sheamus vs. Kane in yet another “singles match without a story” tonight. This show’s obviously better than the Vegas Wheel garbage from last week, as I’ll take dull over mind-scarring, but there’s no setup to anything. If you missed last week’s shows, no worries, because it feels like they’re beginning anew this week anyway.
9:50: Crowd’s fairly dead during this one. The matches have no meaning and the Atlanta crowd is dead. All we’re missing is Schiavone to tell us how amazing tonight’s show is.
9:52: Bryan hits the ring and says “If I have to look like a moron when I face Sheamus, so do you, Kane!” Kane jobbed seconds later to the Brogue Kick. Okay, that’s not what happened, but at least it’s more entertaining than most of this show.
9:54: I need a Five Hour Energy.
9:56: MizTV. Cancel the Five Hour Energy, and get me a gas stove that my head can fit in.
9:58: Miz cuts off Heyman as the “ECW” chants pick up. Someone’s jonesing for a raise.
10:01: It’s always funny when someone turns face, and they became completely sanctimonious, whitewashing all of their heel actions off the board. Paul should point out when Miz tried to cheat to win the WWE title by using a cell phone to claim that Cena submit.
10:02: Vickie claims to have rehired Brock, not Paul. Then Paul wants a moment of silence for Vince. Last time that happened, they had to change the booking on the ECW brand.
10:06: Miz mouths off one second too long to Heyman and Vickie, thus summoning The Mark of the Brock. BEAT THE TALENT OUT OF MIZ, BROCK! Then when those 2 seconds are up, have a soda or something.
10:08: Miz had a bird. His name was Ronnie.
10:09: Brock should commandeer the talk show and host it himself. He could do Stupid Pet Tricks with Koko B Ware.
10:15: Sure, Wade Barrett and Randy Orton have faced off 600 times on TV already, but none of their previous encounters ever featured a horribly wooden insert promo from Bo Dallas. Sheesh, study Obama more; when he reads the teleprompter, his eyes don’t shift THAT much.
10:22: Orton wins with an RKO. The ring bell serves as a decent alarm clock for the fans, but the lack of story advancement is the snooze alarm.
10:27: FUTURE WRESTLECRAP INDUCTEE FANDANGO IS BACK. Lawler wants to see more, because he never watched NXT Season 4. He was continuing his 20 year feud with Doug Gilbert and Spellbinder on those nights.
10:28: Jericho and Punk, save us.
10:32: Punk rips off “ASK HIM ASK HIM ASK HIM”, and even lifts Eddie’s finger twirl before trying a (failed) tornado DDT. Punk gets the edge by catching Jericho’s corner dropkick attempt and throating him on the ropes. I’m awake for the first time tonight, and so’s the crowd.
10:40: Lots of crazy counters and nifty maneuvering, especially when Punk prevented a Lionsault with an Electric Chair lift transitioned into a GTS, but Jericho escaped.
10:41: Savage Elbow misses and Lionsault hits for 2. Then Punk nearly kills him with a high roundhouse kick for 2. I thought we’d see the ref have to stall on the cover due to Jericho actually being out, but not necessary.
10:43: Punk refers to the fans as marks, and tries for the GTS, but Jericho counters into the Walls! Crowd groans as he makes the ropes. Man, this would suck if Hour 3 was yet again the lowest rated hour.
10:45: GTS finishes a fine 15 minute outing. A WWE staffer helps tend to Punk afterward, which is a little disconcerting.
10:46: Bruno. Finally. Only 3 WWE World Champions prior to 1990 aren’t in: Koloff, Stasiak, and Savage.
10:50: Amazing: When Bruno first won the WWE title, Godfather was the only 2013 Rumble entrant that was alive.
10:55: Montage of press clippings highlighting Rock’s World Title win. That was their way of telling Punk’s most ardent fans, “THAT’S why we did it.”
11:00: Big Show’s tired of waiting, and the liaison with the contract finally arrives. But then Del Rio jumps Show, only to take an epic ass-whopping. Fire extinguisher evens the odds. Okay then.
11:04: Cut back to Brad Maddox in the ring, who gives a very punchable promo. Well, it’s better than Bo Dallas’ dish-rag turn of talking. He ends up beckoning The Shield, and we get some credible promo work in succession. Rare streak these days, but it’s enjoyable.
11:09: Maddox dies, and then Cena’s music hits. Some hero! Then Ryback’s theme hits, followed by Sheamus, and they all come from the crowd. The Shield tries to exit through the crowd, only to be turned back by the roster. Then Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus trap them in the ring and the fight is on. The Shield is sufficiently beaten and ran out through the crowd.
OVERALL: Good third hour, dull first 2. Can we PLEASE get this back to a 2 hour show?
And where was Dolph?