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7:34: Hoping the Glenn Beck crap is relegated to the dark match. We won’t be so lucky. Our luck is so bad, we’re envying anyone that’s ever died in a John Carl Beuchler movie, particularly the poor souls in the Hatchet series.
8:01: WWE at least has the sensibility to promote the Vince/Heyman confrontation and Punk/Cena match before getting into their grandstanding.
Shame there’s no photo of Sullivan. I was curious as to how his nose looks when it’s not inserted up Stephanie McMahon’s rectal cavity.
8:03: Vince is here for a FIGHT. And hey, damned if Vince doesn’t kinda have his pompadour back. Heyman comes out with his fists taped, and actually drops the word “puss” on the mic without preceding it with “sour”.
8:07: Heyman cheap shots Vince and gets a crutch shot in before Vince manages to fight back. And herrrrrre’s Brock! But before Brock can destroy Vince, he’s distracted by Triple H’s music, but we’re treated to an appearance by Michael Beihn. Oh, wait, that IS Triple H.
8:11: Ewwww, Lesnar’s opened up from a shot into the post, and it’s a nasty one. Lesnar fights back by slamming HHH on the announce table, and goes for a chair shot, but Trips lands a spinebuster.
8:13: I’ll say this: I hate Triple H, but I’m glad that Raw started with a FIGHT, as opposed to pointless, dick-yanking satire. And the crowd ate it up. Let’s see if they do the same for MizTV featuring their need to grandstand later on.
8:20: Ryback and Ziggler is the first official match tonight. According to WWE’s current food chain, Dolph’s only allowed to win when he faces Kofi, so I’m not expecting the Show Off to go over in this one.
8:21: Ryback eats “8 to 10 large meals” a day to stay in shape. That’s how Tommy Rich extended his career, actually.
8:24: Kinda weird to see Ziggler essentially play Iron Mike Sharpe in a Boston Garden match, despite being so over. And AJ’s being wasted. The A in AJ surely stands for “afterthought” at this point.
8:27: We return from commercial to see Ryback doing the delayed Bulldog suplex. Know what would be great? If Ryback did the suplex lift BEFORE the break, and they came back 4 minutes later while still holding him up.
8:31: Ziggler’s taking his usual Superball bumps to accommodate Ryback’s style, and gets duly eaten alive by the Shell Shock. Hate seeing Dolph lose so much, but at least it was a fun match. And AJ jumping on the apron in Fish Ventilator shorts is a bonus.
8:33: David Otunga movie trailer. I don’t see Halle Berry getting her second Oscar for this one. Suddenly, Catwoman and the Flintstones movie seem like misdemeanors in comparison.
8:40: Punk’s out here to preach to the people, and declares tonight to be the night he takes his place among the greats. Or he’ll lose and we get to enjoy Cena’s 8-year old music, whichever. Punk concludes by declaring himself God, and doing the Rockers ring-exit. There’s a Shawn joke in there….
8:52: Mark Henry is here to put Great Khali out of his misery. Given his lack of mobility, Khali looks like someone made a frog stand up and wear pajama pants.
8:54: ’CM Punk is God’ is trending, and Lawler isn’t happy. Is Lawler saying the fans are stupid? LAWLER AND GLENN BECK ARE THE SAME PERSON.
8:55: Henry wins via World’s Strongest Slam. Well, that was painless.
Well, Hunter’s getting old…..
9:00: MizTV with Alberto and Ricardo, and Swagger and Zeb. Sounds like a WB teen drama. Zeb says we have 11,000,000 undocumented workers in this country. How can they know that if they’re not documented?
9:04: Zeb makes some strong statistical points, and all Alberto has to respond with is “Don’t insult my people!” This continues a tradition of heels using facts, or at least thoughtful fodder, to make their points, and faces using loud rhetoric to argue back, to rally those who don’t know better. You know, kinda like Glenn Beck does.
9:08: Del Rio: “If you work hard, anything is possible” Daniel Bryan: “Yeah, you might even lose a bunch of matches.” Okay, that second part I added myself.
9:09: You know, WWE could suspend Swagger for 30 days and replace him with a wax statue, and nobody would be the wiser. Segment wasn’t terrible, but the crowd was quite silent for most of it. At least they left most of the Beck garbage out, aside from one Coulter insult.
9:11: Ooooh, WWE Old School next Monday! I did love me the first one.
9:15: During the break, Jack Swagger beat the crap out of The Miz. I take it back, Swagger shouldn’t be punished at all.
9:16: Orton vs. Cesaro. If they face off 6 more times, they’ll have matched the Orton/Barrett Best of 70,000 Series. But Cesaro’s more enjoyable to watch than Barrett, so I’ll take it.
9:17: Lawler: “I haven’t been on Smackdown in forever!” Cole: “You do watch it right?” Lawler: “….of course!” It’s funny because he hasn’t watched it since 2002.
9:20: Cesaro leaps right into an RKO, thus jobbing in 3 minutes. Well, we’re obviously pressed for time on this 3 hour show….
9:21: Kane and Bryan talk strategy for their match with the Prime Time Players. And their strategy involves arguing. Kane and Bryan get cocky in their boasting, so Vickie and Brad Maddox hold them to their word: Bryan will be blindfolded, and Kane will have one arm tied behind his back. Kinda hoping for a title change, just to get someone new over.
9:23: They play the Cena/JBL “Few Good Men” parody from 2005, just to get some Oscars rub. You know what a good Oscar rub would be? Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence at WrestleMania. Or Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx brutally assaulting the creative team, whichever.
9:30: Sheamus comes out to make an arse of himself via an “Oscar Snubs” segment. Cesaro lost in 3 minutes, keep that in mind.
9:33: The whole thing turns into a cheap plug for Dead Man Down with Wade Barrett playing “thug in sweater”, and Sheamus mocks said fact until Barrett mercifully interrupts. Did you know Barrett’s the Intercontinental Champion? I know I’d forgotten. Barrett escapes before a fight can erupt, and…..SCENE.
9:37: Lawler: “Barrett has more acting ability in his little finger than he does in his big finger.” Jeez, it’s like watching Kerry Wood try to pitch in that last season….
9:41: After an hour with 3 minutes of actual wrestling, we’re treated to Cody Rhodes vs. R-Truth, with Damien Sandow in the booth to class up the show. I think that last Lawler joke necessitated sending Damien out to the table. Lawler’s career has become Flowers for Algernon in reverse.
9:44: The one advantage to Sandow suffering a career ending injury, not that I want it to happen to him: he’d be an excellent color commentator. Kinda like a relaxed Jesse Ventura. Truth wins with an overhead face slam.
9:46: Coulter and Swagger rant about jobs. Cody Rhodes, Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston, and Dolph Ziggler are experts.
9:51: Kane + Blindfolded Daniel Bryan = Team See No Evil. Bryan does comedy antics under the hood, and Darren Young blows the whistle to throw him off. Cute spot as Titus misses an elbow drop when Kane yells for Bryan “MOVE. MOVE.”
9:53: Bryan accidentally strikes Kane on the floor, but Kane still comes in on a self tag and dominates.
9:55: Young jobs to a one armed man, while Bryan look stupid. Ever feel like when WWE employees play Mad Libs, they use the same 6 words over and over again?
10:01: Complete recap of the opening segment. How DARE Paul Heyman cheap shot the guy who once kicked out Zach Gowen’s leg during an arm-wrestling match?!?
10:02: The Shield makes their way out, as it occurs to me that Roman Reigns looks like Mecha Robert Trujillo. Ambrose tells WWE to assemble whatever superteam it wants, but they’re not going to win. Romans punctuates it with anger, and CM Kaitlyn relates the successful history of the trio.
10:06: Sheamus makes his second appearance, now in his ring gear, and challenges the three men to fight him at the top of the ramp, but it’s a diversion for Orton to come out of the crowd and RKO Rollins in the ring. Anything the Shield touches thus far has been gold, so yay.
10:13: Swagger and Miz have their insta-match while I silently weep for their Survivor Series 2009 team. What would Drew McIntyre think? Somewhere, Miz Girl is applying a figure four on her Bratz doll that is better than Miz’s version of the move.
10:16: Cole on Swagger’s return from hiatus: “His value system was different.” Then he learned to ignore the DARE program, I guess.
10:20: Miz gets his leg caught in the ropes and Swagger goes after it, applying the Patriot Lock for the win. Swagger’s a true Patriot; he hates fake Marines.
10:21: Should Lawler be eating that much greasy food, given his medical history?
10:28: I was hoping for a Tout from Dr. Zahorian: “See how buff Triple H looks? Eh? Eh? You’re welcome!”
10:29: Josh Mathews interviews John Cena, who delivers the loud funny words.
10:37: First mention of Undertaker’s
house show live event return, which will either set up his WrestleMania match, presumably against Damien Sandow. I’m down.
10:38: Punk vs. Cena. A great match, and I’m satisfied.
10:41: ”We have a tendency to overhype some matches–” No need to apologize for Rock-Cena II in advance, Michael….
10:43: This crowd is divided: one half dislikes Punk and the other half wants Cena to get swallowed up in the gears of a combine.
10:45: Into the first commercial after Cena wins a feeling out process. It’s amazing how much less snarky I get when Cole and Lawler tell the story of the match. I feel like I’m waiting Main Event, and I’m invested in a back-and-forth contest.
10:48: We come back to Cena backdropping Punk, but misses a charge into the post. Cena has an impressive neckscissors counter by doing a modified Backlund lift into a drop. Bulldog gets 2. WRESTLING~!
10:52: Tides turns when Punk avoids one Cena’s shoulder blocks, and DA FORMER CHAMP tumbles to the floor. Punk follows with the suicide dive as we hit another damn commercial.
10:56: Punk works an abdominal stretch upon return. A move exchange occurs, and Punk counters the spinout powerbomb with a roll into an Anaconda Vice. Pin exchanges back and forth as we approach Savage/Steamboat levels of false finishes, if not quality. Not a knock on this match, of course.
10:58: Punk misses a springboard and Cena gets the STF, which Punk counters into the Vice. Cena counters into the Crips n Bloods Crossface, and Punk turns it into a pin for 2.
11:00: Strike exchange leads to Punk missing the roundhouse, and Cena finally getting the spinout. Punk kicks to avoid the Shuffle, but can’t get the GTS. Corner knee strikes, but Cena reverses the bulldog into a second spinout. Shuffle connects, but can’t get the AA. Neither man can finish, but Cena hits a Batista Bomb (!!) for 2.
11:02: Cena heads up, only to get his bell rung. Superplex is blocked, and Punk is headbutted down. Flying rocker dropper connects for 2, and this crowd is hanging on each pin attempt.
11:04: Punk roundhouses Cena and gets another corner knee. Cena quickly responds with an AA….for 2!
11:05: Cena narrowly avoids being counted out in a very dramatic near-miss (or near-hit, to correct the expression). Punk hits the GTS, and gets only 2 off of it. Punk tries again, but Cena catches the leg and gets the STF. Punk teases a tap, but he makes the ropes. Whew, what a match!
11;07: Punk lands a piledriver (!!) for 2, and this crowd is hanging on every near fall. Second and third pinfall attempts can’t finish. Punk heads up top, but misses the Savage Elbow.
11:09: CENACANRANA! And AA finishes to give Cena the win. WOW. THAT is a main event, and totally justifies any crap from this show.
11:11: This had better on a DVD. 25 minutes of back and forth, main event-style epic wrestling. And it received a far, FAR bigger reaction from 17,000 fans than Coulter and Del Rio arguing about immigration. I never would have guessed.
OVERALL: Well, everything between the opening segment and the main event was just a typically bland and unimaginative Raw. But the 40 minutes that HHH-Lesnar and Punk-Cena encompassed makes this a great show, and if you missed it: HUNT THIS S–T DOWN!