Where was my haiku?
It was a sunny Sunday
Throw down that chokeslam
WWE Monday Night RAW from Nashville, TN || TV Review
- Paul Heyman opens us up and says that tonight will be the last night we will ever see him. He runs down how he sacrificed to create ECW and did it again to make Brock Lesnar from a ball of raw talent into "The Next Big Thing". In short, he believes that the Sword of Damacles is hanging over him and that all of his sins will destroy those he holds closest, including the REAL WWE Champion, CM Punk. Because of that, he is tendering his resignation. Punk comes out just as Heyman is finished (he doesn't interrupt because that would be disrespectful, and Punk is better than that) and questions what he's doing. Heyman denies paying off The Shield and Maddox and being behind Brock taking out Vince, but "perception is reality", so if Vince thinks it's true, it is true. Heyman just wants to step out of the way to protect Punk, his best friend, from the wrath of the Land of the McMahons. Punk is able to pretty easily convince him to stick around, though. Interestingly, Punk has a very emotionless expression on his face. What could that mean?
The Great Khali v. Mark Henry
Mark Henry's attack from RAW has ousted Mysterio from the Chamber match on Sunday. As it stands now, it's Mark Henry, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan and three Ted DiBiase, Jr shadowy figures inside the however many tons of steel. Khali presses forward to start and gets some chops, but Henry does something that Khali kinda sells and ends it with the World's Strongest Slam. Hornswoggle gets one as well, much to the delight of everybody. Henry def. Khali, World's Strongest Slam - 2 min, NR
- Chris Jericho walks in on Booker and Teddy randomly talking backstage (which they do quite often). He tells them that he should be in the Chamber match on Sunday. T-Long is all for it, but Booker needs him to be impressive. Long gives Booker an idea in his ear like Raj in Big Bang Theory. Booker: "That idea sucks, Teddy". Tonight it's going to be Jericho v. D-Bryan. AWESOME. I can certainly dig that. Sucka.
- Vickie is on the phone with Vince backstage. Heyman apologizes like an ass, and Vince interrupts with a big speaker phone edition of his famous "SHEEEEEEEAAAAAAAT UPPP!". Heyman wants Punk to get the title back if Rock gets counted out or DQ'd (Punk's the champ, so why not?) and Vince... gives it to him? What the fuck? Interesting. HOLY SHIT PUNK HAS GONE CORPORATE! HE IS GOING TO WIN THE TITLE AND COME OUT IN A SUIT AND TIE ON MONDAY AFTER VINCE SCREWS THE ROCK!
Chris Jericho v. Daniel Bryan
If Jericho wins he's in the Chamber match. He immediately goes for a pair of rollups and controls with an armbar off a pair of armdrags. Bryan comes back with a big knee to the gut and Cole actually brings up the fact that Bryan's first match on WWE TV was that awesome match with Jericho on the first episode of NXT. Bryan awkwardly dumps Jericho over the top rope off a charge and then ducks the springboard dropkick. Jericho ends up on the outside and Bryan follows with a suicide dive. That sends Jericho back first into a commercial. Y2J is in control when we return, but Bryan nails him with a dropkick in the corner. Jericho starts to come back but misses the double sledge from the top. Bryan takes him down with a running elbow as the crowd lets loose a HUGE "Yes!" chant. A second dropkick is met with Jericho trying the Walls, but Bryan uses the leg strength to get out. He gets his knees up for the Lionsault but ends up in the Walls. Crowd is going NUTS. He reverses and goes for the NO Lock! Crowd is going NUTSER! Jericho reverses back into the Walls! CROWD IS GOING NUTSO~! Bryan gets out! D-Bry KILLS Jericho with a kick to the head, but Y2J kicks out! Rollup for Jericho gets 2! Codebreaker! Done! What a match! Jericho def. Bryan, Codebreaker - 11 min, ***1/2
- Why aren't these two touring up and down the country fighting over the WWE Title? The crowd is quite clear every week that THIS is what they want to see.
3MB v. John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback
Ryback immediately presses Slater and tosses him. Tag to Sheamus and McIntyre comes in as well. Fandango is apparently trending on Twitter as Sheamus gets a knee lift. Cole with a decent joke: "I hear 3MB might be looking for a drummer" as Sheamus pounds the fuck out of Drew's chest in the ropes. Cena comes in and punches Jinder for thrusting his crotch at him. That's fair, I guess. 5 Knuckle Shuffle and the other two members of the Band come in, drawing the other faces as well. AA, White Noise and Shellshocked end it in unison. Cena, Sheamus and Ryback def. 3MB, Attitude Adjustment - 2 min, NR
- The super team call out The Shield. They don't come, but surely they will be around later. This was actually a very good, simple three man promo. The whole segment was pretty old school and worked well. I was already looking forward to the match and this definitely adds to the excitement.
- Earlier today, Alex Riley got punched in the face by Big Show, likely because he's a grown man wearing a baseball cap backwards.
- Big Show comes out for an interview, and in the moment everybody expected, he punches Striker in the face before he can get his question out. My wife pointed out to me that there's a big neon green "You Suck" sign that has been waving around like crazy all night... except during the Jericho/Bryan match. Just saying. Show stews for a while (sadly steam does not shoot from his ears) and then he walks away.
Jack Swagger v. Zack Ryder
Swagger slams Ryder right at the bell and sets him on the top rope like a child. That leads to Ryder coming off with a missile dropkick and the Broski Boot for 2. Ryder tries a dive to the outside but Swagger catches him (barely) and plants him with a belly-to-belly slam. Inside, Swagger clips the knee and catches Ryder in an attempt to hit the Rough Ryder and nails the buckle bomb. The gutwrench powerbomb leads to the Patriot Act. Very good squash. Swagger def. Ryder, Patriot Act - 3 min, **
- What is wrong with America? asks Zeb Coulter. He says America is getting soft and stupid. Crowd doesn't really care. He rambles about stupid shit for a while. Could have been a good promo if it had a point, but it didn't. I didn't realize Dutch wasn't still with TNA, honestly.
The Miz v. Cody Rhodes
Cesaro is on commentary. They completely ignored this feud last week on RAW. Miz rolls through a sunset flip and kicks Cody in the face. Rhodes gets two off the rope-hang non-ball shot. Cody controls while the first few rows chant for his brother. The crowd does NOT give a shit about this. They are DEAD. FUCKING. SILENT. Miz' comeback begins to wake up the crowd. Remind me why they broke up the Rhodes Scholars again? Cesaro tries to get involved on the outside but Miz gives him a stiff boot in the face to stop that. Rhodes interferes in his own match, because fuck him I guess, and Cesaro shoves Miz into the steps for the DQ. Cesaro does the big swing back and forth on Miz into the barricade. That was pretty sweet. As my wife pointed out, though, that was mostly Miz with the ab strength to keep himself getting destroyed. Silly Miz. Miz def. Rhodes via DQ, NR
Brodus Clay & Tensai v. Primo & Epico
Tensai drops Primo with a headbutt and tags in Clay. Primo tries a double noggin' knocker but takes a headbutt from both men for his trouble. Brodus kills Epico with a Stinger Splash in the corner and Tensai ends it with the running senton backsplash. Cameron and Naomi wow the crowd with an athletic double team on Rosa before they all dance. I could go for these guys as a team, especially if some time down the road they turn heel and become a couple of beasts. Not for a while, though. I love dancing Albert. Clay/Tensai def. Primo/Epico, senton backsplash - 1 min, NR
- The Shield have a Titan Tron video? They echo Cena's sentiment, with Reigns actually saying to "come get some". They don't come out and Ambrose criticizes the super team, even though they didn't come out when they got called out earlier. Rollins: "John cena, you fail every morning when you get up and exist." They all complain about "The John Cena Problem", and how he's been a problem for the past decade. Wait... this isn't The Shield. The internet sent these men! They're... they're... they're THE FIREWALL! LIGHTS GO OUT! The super team is here! The Shield retreats and the super team follows! They're in the crowd! The Shield is able to get away, likely to get some popcorn and Dippin' Dots on the main concourse.
Non-title: Alberto Del Rio v. Damien Sandow
The crowd LOVES singing along with Ricardo for ADR's entrance. Sandow starts off hot with a bunch of knee lifts, the side Russian legsweet and ELBOW OF DISDAIN~! within the first 20 seconds of the match. Del Rio comes back with some clotheslines and gets the low superkick. Sandow blocks the first attempt at the cross armbreaker but immediately taps out to the second, successful try. Remind me again (again) why they broke up the Rhodes Scholars? I guess they needed to free up the division for Brodus and Tensai. Del Rio def. Sandow, cross armbreaker - 2 min, NR
- Backstage, Bo Dallas attacks Wade Barrett while the pipes clang around, just like good pipes do.
Non-title: Wade Barrett v. Kofi Kingston
Barrett throws some knees and works a chinlock. Kofi makes the big babyface comeback about 1 minute into the match (just like ADR in the previous one) and gets Sunset Over Ghana for 2. Crossbody from the top gets 2 but Barrett ducks the springboard clothesline and nails the Winds of Change sideslam for 2. Kofi ducks the Bull Hammer and Barrett ducks Trouble in Paradise and bails. Kofi tries to follow but gets tied up in the apron skirt. Barrett kills him dead with the elbow, which was a pretty cool visual. Kofi was fighting from under the skirt and the sudden elbow made the moving stop dead. That gets the pin, obviously. Squash, but a good one. Why not have Dallas come out and cost Wade the match, though? That backstage attack is meaningless without follow up. Barrett def. Kingston, Bull Hammer - 3 min, *3/4
Dolph Ziggler v. Kane
Winner gets the last spot in the Chamber. Kane hits the ugliest Jackhammer ever while Booker and Teddy watch. Ziggler shows his disgust with a nice dropkick. Kane goes for the chokeslam, so Ziggler bails and we get a commercial. Kane breaks up a chinlock when we return. Kane punches Ziggler over the top rope and onto the floor, leading to a Kane/Big E staredown. When's that guy going to wrestle? He has the potential to be THE guy if WWE ever gives him the ball. Ziggler takes over thanks to the distraction and nails 9 elbow drops inside for 2. Ziggler gets the leaping DDT and Kane takes it worse than his Pedigree bump. He dodges a charge from Ziggler in the corner and nails a big boot for 2. Ziggler tries the sleeper and then Kane takes the worst Fameasser ever too. Take a bump, asshole! That gets 2, and Kane gets a side slam for 2 of his own. AJ distracts Kane, allowing DZ to dodge the flying clothesline. Ziggler knocked her off the apron, though, and his concern for knocking AJ off the apron costs him the match as he walks into a chokeslam. Kane didn't give a shit and it made Ziggler look like shit. Kane def. Ziggler, chokeslam - 10 min, *1/2
- Why the heck does the asshole heel care about his girlfriend? Way to make Ziggler look like a loser. He doesn't want into the chamber because he's got a guaranteed shot, but then he wants in so he can stop his nemesis from winning and get himself a second title shot, so he goes out and loses? And last week he wasn't on TV because creative "had nothing for him". Really? I really wish I could understand what happens during their meetings. Is the fucker even getting a match at the PPV? Maybe he'll cash in on Sunday the same way Edge cashed in MITB for the first time. The big difference there, of course, is that nobody saw that coming and it was a MASSIVE shocker. Oh, and Edge had been made to look like a star leading up to it (his treatment after winning aside, of course).
- The Rock is here. He name drops Jeff Jarrett and makes Jerry Lawler laugh on commentary, because that makes every segment funnier. Rock is telling a story about buying a car from a crackhead. I don't know why yet. Hopefully it's got a point. Cole and Lawler are giggling like schoolgirls. Why? So The Rock, at 15, bought a stolen car from a crackhead in Nashville. Did they tell him it's 11:06? It would be okay if it was 8:06, but not now. Thankfully Punk interrupts. Rock tells them to Bring It. Punk starts walking down the aisle, but he stops for a moment... AND IT'S ON! Rock punches him into the corner! Punk reverses! Spinebuster! People's Elbow -- but Heyman trips him up! Go To Sleep! Rock is out and Punk walks out with HIS belt as the true reigning and defending WWE Champion.
Overall RAW Thoughts
This was a good go-home show for Sunday's PPV. The big matches were all built up logically, there was some decent wrestling and we got to hear Cole and Lawler snicker like idiots while The Rock told a story about buying a car from a crackhead. What's not to love? Once Punk came out the final segment picked up steam (surprise!) and RAW closed strong, though. I don't get what the hell is going on with Ziggler, but I'll continue holding onto hope there. Jericho and Bryan delivered in a big way and there actually were two very entertaining squashes. They did a lot on the show and the only segments that didn't build directly to the PPV were the tag match with Clay/Tensai and the Barrett/Kofi squash. I assume Miz and Cesaro will be on the PPV for realz this time, and maybe Barrett will defend against Bo Dallas? They dropped a potentially fantastic tournament and a few weeks of TV that wrote itself for this? Overall this was pretty good. I'm ready to get to the direct build for 'Mania now, so I'm glad the last PPV before it is this Sunday.
Word on the street (or in the sheets) is that WWE will indeed be changing El Generico's name and gimmick. First of all, that is likely just speculation based on the extremely high probability as opposed to something confirmed. Secondly, I wonder if they'll unmask him or at least give him a new hood and let him continue with a masked man gimmick. Honestly, although I would love to see simply El Generico in a WWE ring, if they change the outfit and the mask and the name but let him be otherwise pretty much the same, is it really that big of a deal? Is it a big deal that Bryan Danielson is Daniel Bryan? The character is exactly the same as it always was, just with a different name.
WWE may be headed toward Brock versus Rock II for Summerslam. That shit's 11 years in the making! I'd definitely be all for it. I remember sitting in my friend's basement that year for SummerSlam. What a great card that was. Remember how awesome it was when all of a sudden Shawn was actually wrestling a match? He took that "Pedigree" from Triple H during the fake DX reunion and everybody on the internet at the time threw their hands in the air and figured that after that display, HBK would never have a match again. Then he went on to wrestle for 8 more years. It's so weird thinking back to that. From having a guy who we ALL said would have a shitty garbage match with Triple H at SummerSlam (if they had the balls to do it at all) to seeing a man with a complete career revival with a resume from 2002 until retirement being arguably better than everything thru March 1998. Anyway, Brock v. Rock could be in the cards for SummerSlam this year. That's good by me.
There has been talk that WWE Main Event may be focused on the Intercontinental Championship, similar to how RAW has the WWE Title and SmackDown has the World Title. Worse things have happened, I guess. What about the US Title? I still wish they would merge the two World Titles and I am indeed still holding my breath for it. Dare to dream! And suffocate!
Jeff Hardy signed a new 2-year deal with TNA. Good for him. I think he may actually be on the right path to not fucking everything up this time. on a side note, is it just me or (the past few weeks in the UK notwithstanding) has TNA really done a lot to make the TNA World Title not feel like a focus of the show? It feels like such a mid-card act right now.
TNA has announced the locations for four Impact tapings coming up outside of the Impact Zone. Chicago is obviously the first in the Sears Centre Arena, where they will go live on March 14 and tape the March 21 episode the same night. Then it's off to Jonesboro, Arkansas to go live on March 28 and tape the April 4 episode. They will be live in Corpus Christi, Texas in the American Bank Center on April 11 and also tape the April 18 episode that night. There's nothing announced for any time after that until June 6 at the Gwinnett Center in Atlanta, though. I wonder why they haven't announced anything for that 6-week stretch.
Hogan made some cryptic comments about how Dixie Carter needs to shit or get off the pot or something. Here's the quote from Hogan:
"It's either hold 'em or fold 'em. You're either in the wrestling business or not. Is Dixie Carter really in the wrestling business, or this is just a hobby? You either make the move or you don't.
It's the same place we were with WCW – you either run with the big dogs or be a little dog and stay on the porch. The destiny of this company is in her hands. It can stay TNA, a powerful little company, or she can make the decision to move on to greatness."
Now correct me if I'm wrong... but isn't this the attitude that Hogan and Bischoff used to convince Dixie to run on Monday nights, including doing one hour head-to-head with RAW? Has he forgotton what a humongous failure that was? I'm not quite sure exactly what Hulk means with his statements. Are we misunderstanding and he's actually praising her for finally taking Impact on the road? That's a huge move. Completely changing the "modern" way of doing pay-per-views is also a huge move. If Dixie and Co. want to be a "big dog", as it were, then they have to make smart moves like those, not shortsighted moves like the jump to Mondays that EVERYBODY knew was going to fail. There's no comparison to the "place we were with WCW"... at that time, wrestling was a pop culture phenomenon. In 2013 wrestling is back to being a pop culture punchline. There aren't enough people watching in order to make some sort of sudden impactful move. The ill-fated attempt to move Impact to Mondays should have shoved some of that common sense into their asses. It's a completely different ballgame, and if Hogan is actually challenging Dixie rather than praising the two recent big changes, he's even more delusional than we thought. I'll have to go to his restaurant and ask around.
From TJ Hawke:"This was really good for the 10-12 minutes that we got, but these two have the potential for greatness. Gulak is the current "ace" of Beyond, but Busick is the future "ace" of Beyond. Beyond should be doing everything in their power to make Busick their star."