Remember that time
I had parsnips with some cheese
Then we danced for hours
WWE Monday Night RAW from Tampa, FL || TV Review
- Cena is out to start, and for some reason he's pimping The Rock as if Rocky isn't a dude who spent all of 2011 into 2012 making him look like a bitch. Ziggler's out with his crew and Cena starts a wave after making fun of somebody else for making a "weiner" joke. Ziggler makes sense by saying that every time Cena loses he jokes around and hopes it all goes away. That's actually a really great point. Cena is such a sore loser that when it happens he just makes believe it didn't. That's one big reason why people don't like Cena. He's booked to act like nothing that ever happens matters. Therefore, when he says something matters, nobody believes him. He said that losing to The Rock would have been life crushing. The entire result of life crushing? He made a sad face while sitting on the ramp right after the match. The next night on RAW he came out and talked about how everybody loses sometimes, even the best, and he wanted to congratulate Rock for being the better man. WHAT? They built it up to be some big, life-changing, career-altering moment for Cena, then he responds by being a bit upset but keeping his chin up. They even spent the whole episode of RAW that night building up how important Cena said the win at 'Mania would be! That is why people are so sick of John Cena. His booking is so consistently inconsistently consistent (you read that right) that nothing that happens to him matters to him. Of course even though that's the case, it should still be a big deal when people beat him, but then NOBODY DOES.
OH, I'VE GOT THE MIC NOW!
John Cena v. Dolph Ziggler
This is happening because Big E isn't man enough to kick Cena's ass himself. It is odd, isn't it? Why wouldn't Big E challenge Cena? Match starts after the commercial and damn it if Cena doesn't have the best leapfrog in the business. Sometimes I'm afraid dude's going to hit his head on the big ass videotrons atop the arenas. Ziggler comes back with a sweet Stinger Splash and takes control. Back from commercial and Ziggler has the least effective-looking Cattle Mutilation ever on Cena. Rightfully, Cena pops right out and nails a side belly-to-belly suplex but Ziggler nails the shit out of him with a dropkick. AJ slaps Cena and gets herself and Big E thrown out. Cena begins the Five Moves but Ziggler reverses and gets the Fameasser for a very close near fall. THIS is how you start a fucking show! Cena gets a couple more of the Five Moves before Ziggler reverses into the Zig Zag for a close near fall. Superkick misses, Cena can't get the STF and Ziggler gets the jumping DDT. Ziggler flips out of the AA and gets the superkick! FUCK I thought that was it! Sleeper by Ziggler but #hardbodyref gets knocked out of the ring. Big E runs interference and lays Cena out but FUCKING CHAD PATTON takes way too damn long to make the count. Cena gets up and hits the Attitude Adjustment for the win out of nowhere. Fantastic match, COMPLETE UTTER SHIT finish. Cena def. Ziggler, Attitude Adjustment - 17 min, ***1/2
So yeah, absolutely astoundingly good match to kick off 2013, but REALLY? Why did Cena win? That is a BIG, BIG problem. I would have preferred to see Ziggler win without interference, but in the end that part wouldn't be remembered, so Big E's involvement is largely negligible. Ziggler should have started 2013 by pinning Cena's shoulders to the mat 1-2-3. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it. Don't give me any crap about "it wasn't built up" or any nonsense like that, either. This is the first show of the new year. It's not some random RAW in mid-July. Have Ziggler pin Cena in WWE's first TV match of 2013? That is the kind of thing that can MAKE Ziggler. You build off of that and DZ could become a bonified main event STAR before the summer. Instead, Cena beats Ziggler, AJ and Big E and walks out of the arena smiling and kissing babies. That's just embarassing. I say all of this as a Cena fan, by the way. Dude has more talent in his little finger, as they say, than most pro wrestlers could band together and claim they have. It's not his fault. This isn't an anti-Cena rant. The booking is BAD and it needs to be fixed. The result of the first match of 2013 is why I KNOW that nothing is going to change this year. The also-rans will continue to be also-rans and the stale top guys will continue to be the stale top guys.
Divas Title: Eve Torres v. Kaitlyn
The ref tells Eve to wait so Kaitlyn can tie her shoes. Somebody teach this guy how to be a referee. What an idiot. Even dumber is Kaitlyn, who actually believed that Eve wouldn't kick her in the face if given an unprotected shot. She doesn't deserve to be a champion if she's dense enough to fall for that. This has been going on for 4 MONTHS!?!? Oh my god. My wife wants to jump through the screen and firebomb everything to make this feud end. How is she even continuing to get title shots? I hope Madusa shows up on RAW next week and throws the Divas Title in the trash. Kaitlyn def. Eve, count-out - 4 min *1/2
Non-Title: Team Hell No v. Rhodes Scholars
I missed the beginning. First thing I saw was Bryan getting the flying knee off the apron. He backflips off of the top rope and hurts his knee, so Sandow takes advantage. Moments later, Cody hits the Crossrhodes for the pin on The Dazzler. Title change at the Rumble coming? Rhodes & Sandow def. Bryan & Kane, Crossrhodes
Randy Orton v. Heath Slater
Apparently Orton said that Slater would be playing the harp instead of air guitar when he's done with him. I assume that means he promised to kill Slater, but it's not all bad since Orton thinks he'll be going to heaven, and as an angel to boot! Ya know, 3MB is definitely over as a group, but they're over when they're out there against other lower-card acts. Put Slater in there with Orton and the crowd doesn't give a shit because nobody buys that Orton can lose. They want to see 3MB losing to Santino & Ryder or Kidd & Gabriel (great match on Main Event a couple weeks back), but they don't care here. Crowd pops for the RKO. That gets the win. The other schlubs take RKOs as well. Humongous waste of time. Orton def. Slater, RKO - 5 min, *
Non-Title: Wade Barrett v. Santino Marella
Santino is with Ricky Steamboat for no good reason. Not that there's ever a bad reason for a Steamer appearance. Holy crap what a savate kick by Santino! Barrett runs away from the Cobra and bails from the ring. He comes back in and nails the Bull Hammer for the win. Cole calls it a "big win". Barrett wants another but Steamboat cuts him off. Barrett def. Santino, Bull Hammer - 2 min, NR
Non-Title: Antonio Cesaro v. Great Khali
This RAW has been going very steadily downhill since the first match ended. Miz is on commentary here. I guess they're feuding. I actually thought Miz and Cesaro were entertaining as hell on commentary together a couple weeks ago during the battle royal that Khali won. Cesaro hits the Neutralizer, which is impressive as hell. Cesaro def. Khali, Neutralizer - 3 min, NR
- Brad Maddox doesn't take no for an answer this week when Heyman tells him to go the fuck away, so he offers to be the ref for the TLC match tonight. Heyman tells him to eat a bag of dicks.
Sheamus v. Jinder Mahal
WHO THE FUCK CARES? I like 3MB a lot, but why the hell are they on the show for a fourth time now? Sheamus kicks him in the leg like an asshole. That wasn't cool. Jinder puts his finger in Sheamus' ass, so Sheamus slaps him. What the hell is going on here? McIntyre gets involved so Sheamus pounds his chest. That pisses off 3MB so they kick his ass outside of the ring. Mahal gets kind of a one-count inside the ring. Slater and McIntyre are interfering like crazy and the ref isn't doing a damn thing about it. White Noise by Sheamus and King notes that Sheamus "hit that on Big Show once". Come on, King. How fucking bad are you at your job? Not only is that completely irrelevant, but he did it like 10 times. Brogue Kick ends it. Sheamus def. Jinder Mahal, Brogue Kick - 5 min, *1/2
- TLC match is next, which is an interesting choice. I guess Rock HAS to close the show. Wouldn't it have been 100 times smarter to have him open the show? That way people wouldn't have tuned out when they heard Cena say "weiner" 50 times. Use Rock opening the show to get peoples' eyes on RAW, then set up for him to return later on in the night. That way, people are far more likely to sit and wait to see when Rock's showing up to pay off the opening segment.
WWE Title, TLC Match: CM Punk v. Ryback
Tampa starts the Goldberg chants immediately. I have to be honest, I'm really not sure why that's still happening. Dude's been booked pretty well. Ryback misses a chairshot outside and Punk kicks him in the head and shows him how a chair is used. Punk puts a ladder in the ring but Ryback cuts him off. Crowd wants tables. Ryback asks the crowd if they want Punk to get suplexed on the chair or the ladder. They don't really choose, so he holds Punk in the air for a while, spins around and drops him HARD on the ladder. Good lord. Back outside Ryback trys to kill Punk with the steps but misses. Punk uses them to vault up and knees the fuck out of his face. He uses a chair to hold the advantage as we take a break. So far this match is awesome and is easily making up for the rest of the shitty show.
We return with Ryback hitting an electric chair drop. Punk throws a chair at Ryback to stop him from using a table, so Ryback responds by throwing Punk over the announce table. Punk attacks the legs with a chair inside the ring, which he's been doing all match. He tries to Pillmanize Ryback's ankle but the big man moves and starts his comeback. Meathook clothesline looks to lead to Shellshocked, but Punk gets out of dodge and then dodges a Ryback charge. Ryback goes through a table. Ryback recovers quick and starts to climb, but Punk pushes him off. He lands on his feet and gorilla press slams Punk UGLY on the ladder. He throws Punk through a table on the outside and climbs, but the lights go out! It's The Shield! He fights them off but they come back and put him through a table set up on top of the ring steps. Ouch. Punk makes the dramatic climb with THE BEST facial expression ever and grabs the belt to keep what is rightfully his. Really, really good match. They NEED to pay off this Shield angle, though. Why did they interfere this week? CM Punk def. Ryback - 19 min, ***1/2
- One of the interviewer goons wants to say hi to Punk. Punk tells him to suck on a sack of assholes because he's on his way out to the ring to drop another pipe bomb. FUCK YES! Let the mic wars begin!
- Kane and Bryan argue backstage and Vickie interrupts to let them know that next week, DOCTOR SHELBY IS BACK! YES! YES! YES!
Non-Title: Big Show v. Kofi Kingston
Kofi jumps Big Show to start and backs him to the corner. The ref tries to break it up and Show punches Kofi in the face. That was quick. The crowd seems annoyed by that, actually. Big Show def. Kofi Kingston, KO Punch - 30 sec, NR
- Punk is here to correct us about the true meaning of a pipebomb. A pipebomb is the truth. Apparently the whole "voice of the voiceless" deal was Punk just giving us what we want. Punk shits all over the crowd, then says "Tampa" and they pop. Suddenly I'm glad I'm not there. This is really good... it's pretty much an overly heelish heavy-handed version of the original pipebomb speech from Vegas. It's almost a watered down version of the speech he made when he won the ROH Title back in 2005 and immediately turned heel. They cut Punk off with a commercial, and back from break he tells us that he will continue to be champ, pretty much forever. IN YOUR FACE, JERKS.
- Finally, at 11pm, The Rock finally shows up. Who THE FUCK made that booking decision? He should have been the FIRST thing on the show this week. He calls Punk delusional and then says the word scrotum. You're better than that, Rock. This ain't Cena you're toying with. Cole does his grating laugh when Rock talks about shoving ice cream up Punk's ass. TURN OFF THAT ASSHOLE'S MICROPHONE. Good lord Cole and King are the worst fucking commentary team of all time.
- Why didn't Punk cut Rock off? FINALLY, THE ROCK, HAS COME BACK --- perfect opportunity. Rock tells Punk he doesn't matter. Punk says he matters. Rock cuts him off "IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU MATTER!" Okay, that's awesome. Punk: "Every time you grace us with your presence, I'm gonna kick your ass." That's more awesome.
"YOUR ARMS ARE TOO SHORT TO BOX WITH GOD."
- Great, great way to close RAW.
Overall RAW Thoughts
This is pretty much the definition of a polarizing show. Cena started off the New Year saying "weiner" a bunch of times, but had a really great match with Ziggler right afterward. The result was one thousand percent wrong, as stated in the rant above, but still a fantastic match. After that it was a shitstorm. I mean, look above: Orton v. Slater followed by Barrett v. Santino followed by Cesaro v. Khali followed by Sheamus v. Mahal. That is SO BAD. Thankfully they followed it with a really great WWE Title match, a great backstage promo by Punk to set up the main event promo, the announcement of the return of DR. SHELBY (!!) and an absolutely special promo segment in the ring with Rock and Punk. Immensely frustrating booking of Cena and Ziggler aside, this would have been one of the best RAW episodes of all time if they just cut out one hour. HMMM....
- According to The Rock, WWE has an incredible 4 months of storylines planned that lead up to his match at WrestleMania, and the match is already set. So do we believe The Rock or the 40 different reports all over the 'net saying that last week they knew what they wanted, yesterday they didn't, today they did until Vince ate some bad kous kous and completely changed his mind and so on and so forth? I think I'm going with Rock on this one. It's nice to be back on his side.
- Apparently the reason we haven't been seeing Curt Hawkins on TV is because he's injured. Yeah, THAT'S the reason.
- The story now is that because of the amount of TV WWE has every week (5.5 hours), the annual post-WrestleMania cuts may not occur at all. Honestly, outside of Ted DiBiase, who seems to only show up to get thrown out of battle royals, and Trent Baretta/Johnny Curtis, who have been NXT stalwarts, everybody on WWE.com's roster page who isn't injured is on TV regularly. Whether or not they're used well is another story.
- Ring of Honor has begun their Top Prospect tournament with the following participants, which will start airing this weekend on TV. ACH, Adam Page, Antonio Thomas, Mike Sydal, QT Marshall, Silas Young, Matt Taven and Tadarius Thomas. The most notable entrant to the majority of people reading this column is likely Antonio Thomas, who you likely know as one half of the short-lived WWE tag team The Heart Throbs. I've most recently seen him in CHIKARA teaming with Romeo Roselli in a reprisal of the Heart Throbs role, but I honestly had no idea that he was a legitimate singles dude on the indys. Color me interested. I'm also a bit annoyed that they can't come up with a better way to use Silas Young. Dude is likely not going to make it far in this tournament and I doubt he will end up sticking around in ROH. I don't know why none of the bigger indy promotions have done anything with Young. He pops up a lot, but never for anything truly significant.
- Bray Wyatt seems to be fully healed from his injuries. How long until he gets called up to the main roster? Do you think it will ever be acknowledged in WWE that he and Bo Dallas are brothers?
- According to Sean Waltman, Scott Hall is getting ready to begin doing DDP Yoga. Is there anybody NOT doing DDP Yoga these days? I've never checked out what it is, but it seems like it's a miracle regimen. Imagine if DDP could significantly alter the lives of both Jake Roberts AND Scott Hall. The man would be a legend.
- Zack Ryder said on episode 99 of Z! True Long Island Story that he wants to kill the show before WWE fucks it up worse. The episode was taken down, edited and reposted without that segment. I get that dude is pissed, but if he wants to do something about it, doing it on Youtube isn't going to get the job done this time. He should have done something on the Slammy episode of RAW instead of the stupid shit he was forced to do.
From David Arthur:"Hiroshi Tanahashi and Giant Bernard (known to WWE fans currently as Tensai, and formerly as Prince Albert, Albert, and A-Train), face off here in a match during the 2008 G1-Climax Tournament. A good David vs. Goliath style match. Sadly I've never found the large, bald, tattooed fellow of many aliases to be particularly exciting, or interesting, to watch. But it takes 'two to tango,' (says Satchmo), and Tanahashi turned out to be an excellent dance partner. Putting someone in a match with the right opponent can make all the difference in match's quality. I myself possess no such rhythm, so I don't dance. Take that however you wish."