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April 3, 2012

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
Read Pyro's Words
at Blogspot --/-- View Pyro's Videos at Youtube

I hate working on Mondays. Not just because, you know, Monday, but also because of the RAW recap. At this point, I like writing the recap a hell of a lot more than my job, but doing both on the same day pretty much knocks out my entire day. And it’s even worse in this case, since there was this little thing called WrestleMania last night, and I wasn’t able to drink as much as I wanted to so I wouldn’t have to go into work with a hangover. But my drinking DID give me a valuable lesson: Sam Adams Noble Pils tastes like total ass. Actually, it tastes like I’m just chewing on the barley itself, and that’s just gross. Luckily, by the time I got to it, I had two Bud Lights and could no longer taste much of anything. (Yes, I am that much of a lightweight.)

Question: did I technically break my Nothing Healthy rule by eating toast for breakfast? Is toast considered healthy? If it helps, I washed it down with Pepsi, which totally needs to be everyone’s breakfast drink of choice.

After a stupid day filled with stupid people, I don’t have stories I really want to talk about. I used to run a series on my blog called Retarded Customers, I could add another dozen entries after today, but I just don’t have the energy for it anymore. I don’t get as much pleasure as I used to at complaining about and insulting on stupid people because there are simply too many of them.

Although I will insult all the assholes directly and indirectly involved in green-lighting the new Three Stooges movies that’s coming out. First of all, the Three Stooges were never funny. [Ed. Note: you have no soul.] But I’ll forgive morons in the 40s (that’s when they were famous, right?) since they didn’t have that much of a choice in entertainment back then. It’s far worse now, and if the trailer is at all accurate, it’s worse on several orders of magnitude. Trailers are supposed to have the funniest jokes, and if that’s the case, Three Stooges has literally zero things about it that will be remotely funny, entertaining, or interesting.

If my precap seems unusually rambling or stupid tonight, it’s because I’m finishing it up at 12:52am. Late night indeed, and I’ve got a lot of errands to run tomorrow. There’s clearly no rest for the weary, and we’ve still got the show to do! Remember to read Rick’s recap of WrestleMania if you don’t know what happened, because this recap is full of spoilers. Let’s do this…

Segment 1: Before we even get the opening splash screen, we smash-cut to a massive meeting. All wrestlers and divas on the roster are in a single conference room facing the same direction. We get a sweep, and David Otunga and Johnny Ace are at the front of everyone’s attention. Ace recaps that he totally won the 12-man tag match last night, and so he’s taking over RAW and SmackDown! But he promises that he so totally won’t abuse the power.

And with that, he announces his first match: Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Santino Marella for the US Title in a Triple Threat match. Asshole.

The heels are happy and start to cheer, but CM Punk makes his presence known. Punk is here to speak for the fans and majority of the wrestlers here: “You might be GM, but we all still consider you to be a giant toolbox.”

Well, Ace doesn’t like that, so Punk has to defend his title against Mark Henry tonight. He concludes that this is a new era in WWE, and it’s called “People Power.” The heels applaud, and the rest of wonder the hell that’s supposed to mean.

Segment 2: IF YA SMELLL!!!

We’re still in Miami, so The Rock is still around to make an appearance. This solidifies an issue I had during one of Rock’s and John Cena’s promos, when Cena said something about, “Rock won’t be there for the RAW after WrestleMania, April 9th.” At first I wondered why they would be skipping a week, and now I get it: all Cena meant is that Rock won’t be with WWE after they leave Miami. Makes sense.

Rock does his full entrance, grabs a mic, then recaps last night and even greatly puts Cena over for his efforts. Better still, he says that win or lose, Rock and Cena made history and entertained the fans, and even thanks him for the “honor” of competing with him. But Rock thanks the fans more, since it’s because of them that he didn’t go all to pieces after “being cut from the Canadian Football league” decades ago. “Do you know how much you’ve got to suck to be cut from the Canadian Football League?!” Nice bit of self-deprecating humor there.

But Rock assures us of one thing: “You think this is the end? Oh no, this is just the beginning!” See, Rock celebrated his win last night, and he had a vision: he’s got one more title run left in him, and he wants to walk down the ramp as WWE Champion. And he promises it will come true one day, if you smell yada yada.

For all that, it took the guy nearly 20 minutes, but it was a fun and entertaining 20 minutes as always. I wonder what Punk thinks of that. At the stage, Rock mouths “One more time” to the camera then motions (with Broad Gesturing) to indicate the international sign of wearing a belt. Huh.

Segment 3 [Triple Threat Match for the United States Title]: Santino Marella defeats Jack Swagger (w/ Vickie Guerrero) by pin and outlasts Dolph Ziggler, and retains. Solid match. Though you probably can figure out how it went down, it was pretty entertaining. It started as essentially a handicapped match, and though Santino held his own and got several hope spots, he just couldn’t overcome the numerical disadvantage. But when it came time to pin him, the heels argued about who would actually make the pin (and thus become the champion), so they started attacking each other. Vickie tried to scream some direction from the outside, but her words fell on stupid-filled ears. Santino took advantage, Cobra’ed Swagger, and made the pin.

Post-Segment 3: After the match, the heels started kicking Santino’s ass, but he managed to wiggle away. At the top of the stage, Brodus Clay of all people popped out and made Angry Face at them both as Santino hid behind him. Swagger and Ziggler consulted for a moment, then stupidly decided to charge. Dolph went first, trying a jumping something-or-other and just ended up eating a Zidane headbutt in midair, making him land on his tailbone on the steel ramp, which probably didn’t tickle. Swagger decided to just check on Dolph rather than being a moron, so Brodus’s music played them out. Naomi and Irrelevant popped out of the back to dance with them, and Santino did what I can only describe as a combination between Clay’s “Thriller” dance and Teddy Long’s “Black white-boy dance.” Weird.

Pre-Segment 4: Time for the debut of Lord Tensai, and holy crap does he have a bitching entrance attire. He’s got a male Asian valet (named Sakamoto) who helps lead him out, doing the salt toss on the stage before Tensai pops out himself. Tensai dressed in a cross between a kimono and Super Shredder’s headgear, but infinitely cooler. He’s squinting, so I guess we’re supposed to think he’s Asian, which makes sense, even though the dude is really from Peabody, Massachusetts.

Okay, that’s the last reference I’m going to make to his past, or else I’m not going to be able to take him seriously anymore. He’s not Prince Albert, or A-Train, or even Matt Bloom… he’s Lord Tensai, damnit! And he is ready to katte shimau.

Segment 4 [Singles Match]: Lord Tensai (w/ Sakamoto) extend-squashes Alex Riley by referee stoppage. Yes, I’m officially adding “extend-squashes” to the Online Onslaught lexicon, because there is no other way to describe a totally one-sided match that lasted upwards of five minutes other than by typing “a totally one-sided match that lasted upwards of five minutes,” and I’m way too lazy to do that every week.

The fans fired up an “A-Train! A-Train!” chant halfway through, which was weird. But either way, Riley didn’t get a single move in, and the dude moves fast for his size (over 350 lbs.). He works stiff and has several sweet slams, including his (probable) finisher, a Glam Slam to suplex basically. But he’s also got some great speed with his punchy-kicky, including a sweet spinning backhand elbow that pretty much decapitated Riley to open the match, and it went downhill for Riley from there.

It didn’t help that Awesome Ref, a.k.a. Angry Ref, a.k.a. Justin King (yes, I looked up his name!) was showing more aggression than even Riley was. King looked like he was going to suplex Lord Tensai at one point for almost ignoring the five-count. Seriously, watch how King reacts to basically everything in this match, and you’ll see why I like him so much.

Anyway, Tensai finished with a sit-down powerbomb, but he didn’t bother with a pin; King just called for the bell.

Post-Segment 4: And now we know he’s a heel, because he (unfortunately) adds a post-match One-Handed Head Squish of Doom. The crowd boos, alignment is set, and the commentators really sell him. Pretty good debut other than stupid “claw,” and I’m definitely looking forward to more.

Segment 5 [Singles Match for the WWE Championship]: Mark Henry defeats CM Punk by countout, but CM Punk retains. Solid match, and it was hot… but maybe overly hot. As in, the crowd started chanting thinks like “Sexual Chocolate!” ironically. Between that and “A-Train!,” maybe they thought it was 1998 all over again, or maybe they just wanted it to be. Or maybe they were just idiots, I don’t know. [Ed. Note: they're not idiots, but they are the kind of Wealthy Wankers who could blow $5000 on a long weekend in Miami. Show up on Thursday, do the Fan Fest, do 2-3 indie shows, do the HoF, do WM, and then show up at RAW. 3000 fans out of 80,000 didn't really affect things at Mania. But 3000 out of 15,000? That's why the fans were as red hot as they were on Monday. And I liked it. It might get annoying, long term (like the Impact Zone), but for one night -- and having 98% of the chants being pro-Daniel Bryan after WWE's Sunday Night Brainfart -- was cool. Who needs "Yay"/"Boo" when you can play the hot new game "Yes"/"No"?]

But they were hot, and it did lend some interest to the match, which was formulaic and a little boring. Mark Henry may be better now than he ever has been, but that doesn’t mean it’s any more exciting to watch a Bear Hug of Doom for a mid-match three-minute break. Henry was on offense pretty much the whole time, despite Punk’s hope spots.

At the end, Punk had an extended hope spot that saw Henry in the corner. Punk hit his signature hopping knee, and wanted to follow up as always with his bulldog. But Henry didn’t drop, and just held Punk up and dumped him over the ropes. Punk tried to get back in the ring, but it didn’t happen; he lost by countout but keeps the gold.

Post-Segment 5: Henry forgot the rules of the game and figured he was champion, then got pissed when the ref politely told him that he, you know, wasn’t champion. So Henry did what any rational thinking man would do: he hit Punk with a World’s Strongest Slam against the black mats outside the ring, probably shattering some of Punk’s ribs that didn’t even exist.

Johnny Ace (and his boy-toy) popped out and says that he’s unhappy about Punk pussing out of his title defense here by so totally intentionally being counted out, so he’s going to make sure Punk’s matches have decisive finishes from now on. It’ll be so bad for Punk that it’ll be a “natural disaster.” I feel like I should know why he used that exact phrase. [Ed. Note: Tornados are measured on the Fujimoto Scale. The most devastating tornado? Is rated an F-5.]

Oh wait, here comes Chris Jericho through the crowd. He talks shit the whole way, then grabs a bottle of whisky and pours it onto Punk’s face and into his open mouth. Punk struggles and turns over as he feels like he’s drowning, so Jericho dropkicks him in the face and punches him a bit.

Holy shit, Jericho isn’t done… that’s enough really, I think. But he goes and grabs another whisky and busts the (clearly-gimmicked, but let’s ignore that) bottle over his head. Holy shit, how long has it been since we’ve had a spot like that?

Also, Jericho says he just forced Punk to take “his first drink,” showing that Jericho wasn’t paying attention to the John Bradshaw Layfield era of overwritten stupidity. I’d link the recap in question, but really, it was so long ago that I can’t imagine you’d possibly care. I mean, it could be a retcon or just a lapse in memory (or the fact that it would be awkwardly worded if he had to explain all this), but it forced me to stop taking it seriously.

Segment 6: Here comes our new World Heavyweight Champion, Sheamus! Except, uh, it’s a decidedly mixed reaction. There are a lot of boos in there, and a lot of non-reaction. Interesting.

Sheamus starts to talk, but before that, we get the return of Alberto Del Rio! Holy crap, I forgot how much I missed Ricardo Rodriguez’s introductions and ADR’s entrance music. ADR gets in the ring and recaps last night, but he gets seriously drowned out by “Daniel Bryan!” chants. But ADR ignores them, facetiously congratulates Sheamus’s speed of winning the title, but says he’s got a new challenger, who is totally ADR.

Now, I have to pause here a second. For some reason the fans have been chanting “Yes!” all night for no apparent reason. Last night, a shit-ton of people had “Yes!” signs in the crowd too. It seems to be this thing with Daniel Bryan (since Daniel Bryan has been over-celebrating by screaming it over and over). So now, when ADR re-introduces himself, they start chanting “Si!” over and over just to be dicks and cartoons of themselves. My question: What exactly is Miami’s obsession with Daniel Bryan? If the match last night had gone longer, DB may have somehow wound up being the face. [Ed. Note: see above comment. That wasn't a Miami crowd. That was Hammerstein South. And again, the affect at WM with 80,000 fans would have been nominal -- but it was still noticeable, and yeah, Bryan would have been at least 50/50. Sheamus got boos on Sunday, and got it worse on Monday, and I really can't believe WWE didn't see that coming. What *I* didn't see coming is that the imported wankers would be SO upset with Sheamus that they'd treat Alberto like a babyface, which is mostly what they did.]

Well anyway, cheer (kinda) Sheamus when he threatens to nail ADR with a Blarney Boot. ADR wants to respond, but his mic gets cut twice. He finally wants to trade with RR… but as he turns back, he eats a Blarney Boot, just as promised.

We smash-cut from that to the back, where Daniel Bryan saw it all go down on the monitor. Josh Mathews pops up to ask DB a question, who just responds by giving him an evil eye. Mathews quickly thanks him for his time and runs away. Heh.

Segment 7 [Singles Match]: Kofi Kingston squashes Cody Rhodes by pin. Good match, despite a squash, due to why it was a squash. Kofi had the early offense, and the instant Cody started to make a comeback, Big Show popped out. Just to be a dick, he decided to show us a Cody Rhodes Embarrassing WrestleMania Moment, courtesy of a slideshow of last night’s Show/Rhodes match. Cody was sufficiently distracted and angry… and walked into a Trouble in Paradise and got pinned.

Segment 8: Mark Henry is throwing a temper tantrum in the back and some other black dude is there. Is that Abraham Washington? Why don’t I recognize him? Whoever he is, he pitches himself to be Henry’s manager, then gives him his card and runs off.

Oh, his business card reads “AW.” Unless he’s representing the second-tastiest root beer brand, I’d gather it really is Abraham Washington. Is it because he’s clean-shaven here and he’s normally had a goatee? I honestly can’t remember.

Segment 9: Eve pops out on the stage and immediately gets hit with a “Hoeski” chant. She says she totally got her WrestleMania moment! Because it’s totally easy for her to manipulate men, especially dorks and losers like Zack Ryder. But she can’t manipulate men like Johnny Ace, because they’re too powerful! And powerful men so totally can’t ever be manipulated! (I’m sure there’s a Bill Clinton joke in there somewhere, but it’s not coming to me.)

That’s really the only reason she’s here, other than to scream “Let’s support People Power!,” which miraculously makes even less sense than when Johnny Ace said it the first time. When you’re making less sense than Mr. “If you don’t got it, get it, and if you don’t get it, figure out,” you really need some help on your script.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: The Miz defeats Zack Ryder by pin. Decent match but nothing special. Good to see Miz getting some momentum back too. Also, this is the second time in twenty-four hours that Miz beat Ryder specifically, so this may be the beginning of a feud. There are many worse things both guys could be doing, so I’m on board.

Segment 11: Main event promo time. Cena pops out, doesn’t bother with pre-entrance words, does his salute, and heads to the ring. Ain’t no mixed reaction here: that’s all boos. But Cena ignores that all as he picks up a mic and gives a heavy-handed speech that—oh wait, it’s a quote from Muhammad Ali, but that doesn’t make it better—about how we all get defeats in life and whatnot.

Cena nonsensically transitions from that to the fact that he’s meant everything he’s been saying for the last year about himself and The Rock, and he’s not going back on it now. He isn’t going to make excuses about how or why he lost last night. He talks about how “no one goes undefeated in life,” and that “a true champion maintains his desire no matter what’s going on.” I don’t know, it’s like he’s going for the same vibe of CM Punk’s “Nobody should stand in the way of your dreams” but sounds way more overwritten and stilted.

But anyway, Cena goes on that there was speculation on how he would react to the boos and the hilarious new chant “You’re a loser! You’re a loser!” Would this be the day Cena “lashes out at the WWE Universe,” i.e. turns heel? Despite the fans again chanting “Yes! Yes!,” Cena isn’t going down that road. Cena just straight up admits defeat, but thanks the four people who have always supported him no matter what, for some reason including Machine Gun Kelly, who is in the audience passively rejecting all sorts of ideas about what should make a famous musician.

Cena goes on that he’s not here to “call out” The Rock, since you don’t “call out” someone unless you specifically want to fight them, and they already had their fight last night. Meanwhile, the fans start screaming “We want Lesnar!” Is anyone even really paying attention to Cena at this point?

Cena even calls them on it, saying that the crowd is a little “interesting” tonight. But while they may want Brock Lesnar, he wants The Rock out here, and he wants him out here so Cena can say to his face that he’s earned his respect. Even beyond that, Cena will specifically say that he considers Rock the greatest superstar of all time.

Cena tries to conclude with an apology, I think, for “going over the line” verbally with Rock. But the fans again shout “We want Lesnar!” Cena tries to get back on track, fans aren’t having it and start in with “Yes! Yes!” Cena conducts that chant and gives a stage whisper that “Daniel Bryan owes him one,” and the fans respond by screaming “Daniel Bryan! Daniel Bryan!”

Cena realized that backfired, so he just calls an audible and just says that let’s put kidding aside and get Rock out here so we can get on with this. Except: nope, Brock Lesnar does indeed pop out, and Michael Cole has to sell this like it was a total surprise, but you can hear the tone in his voice that even he wasn’t buying it.

The fans fire up “Holy shit! Holy shit!” as Lesnar circles then gets into the ring, and Cena leads the applause, clearly giving up on whatever he was going for. Once Lesnar is in the ring and starts taunting, the crowd is completely behind him. And even more behind him as he hits Cena with an F5 and punts Cena’s hat across the ring.

Final Thoughts: Seriously, what the hell, Miami? They were near-riotous for most of the night, which was fun, but distracting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to tell fans they shouldn’t chant (I’m a fan too, remember!), but at least from a recapper’s perspective, it was certainly unusual. Rick may have already explained it in an editor’s note, but seriously: why so much Daniel Bryan love? [Ed. Note: no, TWO editor's notes!]

This is an unusual situation for me. Brock Lesnar’s return does absolutely nothing for me because there was a period in my life where I completely disregarded professional wrestling. I mean, completely. I only came back thanks to Online Onslaught and, strangely enough, a certain column from Jeb Lund. So I guess I’m full-circle now.

Anyway, the period I missed was all of Brock Lesnar’s career, Cena’s initial rise to stardom (including missing all of the “Prototype” gimmick), and thankfully Katie Vick. In fact, I remember that the first Lesnar match I ever saw was his last, where he famously flipped off the booing crowd (before eating a Stone Cold Stunner) as he resigned to pursue the Minnesota Vikings. My reaction: “Who the hell was that?”

Since then, I followed his career in UFC since I am a UFC fan, and I knew—especially once he retired from MMA—that the chance of him coming back was pretty high. Then I saw the news in our OO Forums that he re-signed a deal, and, well, I knew what was coming.

But the tradeoff is that I don’t know anything about the guy in a WWE ring. I know he feuded with Cena but I don’t know to what extent, nor do I know how much anyone cared. I’ll have to do some Wikipedia research before next week’s RAW, since this is clearly the Big Thing for WWE going forward. I thought Lesnar was always a heel, so can he be a face here? Is he a face by default, or a face just because he’s beating the hell out of Cena? [Ed. Note: Lesnar was a face for probably half of his WWE run, if I recall. Not a pandering, Cena-type babyface, but a guy so badass, nobody wanted to boo him. Going to UFC only made him more of a badass. He'll be a scaiwy heel to the Cena-loving kiddies, but it's easy to see how the grown-ups would cheer for him being back.]

The rest of the show was pretty fun, tying up some loose ends while furthering other stories. I have a feeling things will be a little tame for the next few weeks until we get to the draft, which will serve as a reset. We’ll see the pieces start lining up again, we’ll see how Cena and Brock are going to get along, and we’ll see how Punk reacts to getting brown-colored liquid that’s allegedly booze in his mouth. Methinks Jericho is in for getting his ass beat.

I don’t have anything else here, so I’ll call it a night. Come back this weekend as always for the SmackDown recap!

Episode Grade: C+


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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