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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
CM Punk Goes Heisenberg
August 28, 2012

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com

 

Labor Day is fast approaching, and that means two things: (1) a three day weekend spent honoring shiftless teamsters, and (2) I shift my baseball allegience from the usually hapless Cincinnati Reds to the bankably dominant New York Yankees.
 
But wait! Not so fast...

 

As I type this at the end of MLB play for August 27, the team with the most wins in all of baseball is... the Cincinnati Reds. That comes with a comfy lead in the NL Central, and the knowledge that our best player (and perhaps the best player in the National League) is returning to the team this weekend to make the Reds even more powerful for the stretch run. And the playoffs. Which the Reds will be in.
 
So who needs the Yankees? Not me. For now. When the Reds get crushed in the first round, though, watch me jump bandwagons. It's what I do.
 
Something else I do: I recap wrestling. ANd I do it well. To wit:

 
Last Week: stuff happened. I don't recap recaps.
 
Opening Theme/Pyro/Etc., and we're live in Milwaukee, WI, where Jerry Lawler immediately gets up from the commentary desk and steps into the ring to kick off the show...
 
Apologies, Apologies, and More Apologies
 
Lawler rehashes how he made a possibly-inaccurate comment about CM Punk turning his back on the fans, how he decided to apologize for it, and how he got kicked in the back of the head for his troubles. So tonight, he's demanding an apology from Punk.
 
So here's Punk, hitting the ring to register his disbelief that Lawler would demand anything of the WWE Champ. Punk tells his side of the story, justifying both his attack on The Rock at RAW 1000 and his kicking of Jerry's "stupid head."
 
But hey, if the King wants an apology, Punk decides to give it to him: Punk's sorry Lawler got into the Hall of Fame for a career of beating nobodies in Memphis, acting like a 14 year old on commentary, getting in slapfights with stand up comedians, and losing to Michael Cole at WrestleMania. Mostly, Punk's sorry for the man Lawler has become. Ooooooooooohh, snap.
 
Jerry starts getting visibly itchy, and that's the reaction Punk was looking for. He challenges Lawler to a match later tonight, and when Jerry says he came for an apology, not a fight, Punk goads him on with "One way or another, you'll leave tonight a broken and humiliated man. Either because I destroy you in this ring, or because you were too big a coward to face me in this ring."
 
[ads]
 
Ryback vs. Jack Swagger
 
No ring entrance for Swagger. OO does not recap squashes, other than to make note of a scary-ass spot where a backdrop was botched and Swagger landed almost on the top of his head. Luckily, he was OK.
 
Your Winner: Ryback, via pinfall, in about 2 minutes. Nothing new here, but after the match, they make a pretty big deal out of the losing streak that Swagger is on, including lingering on him pouting at ringside.
 
[ads]
 
Layla vs. Natalya (Non-Title Match)
 
Layla's now using Tiffany's old entrance theme. I know the LayCool theme might not have been the best fit, but I'm positive that "I'm a Massive Slut" isn't sending a better message.
 
Then again, at least Layla got an entrance. Nattie didn't. Poor Nattie, she deserves better. Then again, I may be biased. Natalya's right up there with Kaitlyn on the list of divas I think should be on my TV more often.
 
Match was actually pretty decent, with no flubs and steady action. Layla continues to play up the fun loving girl schtick (which means a lot of ass-related offense), while Nattie was the ill-tempered brawler (you can tell Fit Finlay is back on the payroll, too; Nattie stole his ring apron assited beatdown). In the end, Layla won after a few reversals and a boot to the head.
 
Your winner: Layla, via pinfall, in about 3 minutes. The champ rolls on.
 
After the Match: Vickie shoos Layla out of the ring, because she has a huge announcement. She whips the crowd into a frenzy with "Excuse Mes," but it turns out that she doesn't really have an announcement so much as a gripe. Last week, Dolph Ziggler banished CHris Jericho from WWE for good, but there was also a chance he could have lost his MitB Contract, and it's all because of an incompetent, deranged CHILD who is play-pretending at being General Manager.
 
AJ skips on out to retort. She takes a mic, takes a deep breath, and... slaps the taste out of Vickie's mouth. Then, AJ mounts and pummels Vickie to huge cheers. It's a one-sided catfight for about 30 seconds, then Vickie is able to escape and run up the ramp, while AJ stays in the ring, wearing an expression that would seem to indicate she REALLY enjoyed that. In her pants. Said expression also seems to have an effect on me. In my pants. Everybody wins~!
 
[Digression: if any of this is leading to AJ being ousted as GM -- and I'm not saying it is, only that it'd be a POSSIBLE storyline for Vickie to pursue -- it should be noted that Ric Flair is free to return to WWE TV in 2 weeks. Not sayin', just sayin'.]
 
Video Package: Triple H will be here later tonight to address rumors of his retirement. So let's spend 3 minutes looking at some of his career highlights.
 
[ads]
 
Earlier Today: Daniel Bryan was forced to attend an Anger Management session. Hilarity ensues. In this first bit, Bryan verbal berates an 8-year-old child (the son of the doctor running the session), who is playing a goat in his school play of "Noah's Ark," and thus is wearing a goat mask.
 
Challenge Answered: Lawler stands up on the commentary table, and accepts CM Punk's challenge to a match later in the night. Except he takes the long-cut to get there, and loses the crowd. Oh well.
 
[ads]
 
John Cena vs. Miz (Non-Title Match)
 
Cena's customary Aside Comment To the Camera this week is "Ahhh, Milwaukee. Home of Pabst." Much as I love to boo Superman Cena, the Character, I grow more and more convinced that I'd get along great with Cena, the Regular Dude.
 
Basic back-and-forthy to start: running the ropes, drop downs, leapfrogs, shoulder blocks, and side headlocks. Nonstop headlocks. The director got so bored of them, he picked this spot to break for....
 
[ads]
 
Back, and Miz is playing a little cat-and-mouse, getting Cena to chase him outside the ring, and then pouncing when Cena tries to get back into the ring. Thus begins standard Heel Beatdown Mode; Miz nominally targets Cena's back and ribs, while Cole (and Josh Mathews, who has replaced Lawler on commentary so King can prepare for his match) talks about how this is "Marine" vs. "Marine." Oy.
 
It's also a rematch of what was a pretty kick-ass feud 18 months ago, and the two fall right back into the groove. Miz oozes prickishness, and Cena just makes him look like a million bucks. Miz's Short DDT looked especially awesome, and made for a very convincing near fall. Same thing with a double-reversey spot where a Skull Crushing Finale became an F-U before finally turning into a Rock Bottom by Miz.
 
But in the end, it was all for naught: Miz whiffed on his running sit-down clothesline in the corner, and Cena fired up, hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle, and finished things up with the F-U.
 
Your Winner: John Cena, via pinfall, in about 10 minutes. Nothing youtube worthy, but they clicked well together, and delivered a very enjoyable Free TV Special
 
Your Opinion Counts: AJ has declared a Twitter Poll!!! You get to pick the stipulation for the Punk/Lawler Match! Tables Match, Cage Match, or No DQ Match. My initial thought: with Lawler's limitations, the best bet for a drama-laden Sports Entertainment Segment is a Cage Match. Will the WWE Weinerverse agree?
 
Video Package: Another 3 minutes of HHH.
 
[ads]
 
Earlier Today: More Daniel Bryan at therapy. First, he's forced to endure the whining of "Harold," who's troubles pale in comparison to Bryan's. DB runs down the laundry list of the ways his life sucks, including having his ex-fiancee who left him at the altar as his boss, and how she keeps siccing her "boy toy" on him even after he beat him at SummerSlam.  At this moment, the docotor gets a text that says the final member of their group has arrived... and sure enough,, it's Kane. Kane sits down next to Bryan, as Bryan rants that this is exactly what he's talking about.
 
Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater
 
Comedy match. Which means you kinda had to see it to "get" it. Play-by-play just wouldn't convey the gags effectively.
 
Finish was Aksana coming out onto the stage to "distract the Cobra." I don't know why; Aksana's choice of high-waisted stretch pants was not exactly hot. But to each his own. And in this case, the "distracted" Cobra still managed to hit Slater in the throat. Is Slater just that big a jobber, or does Aksana's power over the Cobra include the ability to help it win matches as well as lose them? And if so, would WWE dare use this to turn the Cobra heel, as it falls under Aksana's influence? How stupid/funny could that be?
 
Your Winner: Santino, via pinfall, in 3 minutes. Mostly harmless.
 

[ads]
 
Brodus Clay/Sin Cara vs. Damien Sandow/Cody Rhodes
 
Damien and Cody do a bit of prematch mic work, putting each other over as the only other person in WWE intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation. A small touch, but a nice touch to create at least a BIT of common ground for a random tag team.
 
After the mic work, but before the bell rings, we already have to break for...
 
[ads]
 
Back, and Sin Cara has already been established as the Face in Peril. Sandow and Rhodes make frequent tags and cut the ring in half, like old pros. About 3 minutes of that, and a hot tag to Brodus quickly breaks down into a Pier 4 Brawl. Sandow and Sin Cara powder out (after a springboard plancha to the floor), and Brodus counters the Disaster Kick with a mid-air headbutt, and follows up with the big splash.
 
Your Winners: Brodus Clay and Sin Cara, via pinfall, in 6-7 minutes (including the ad break). By the book tag formula. Inoffensive (but forgettable) in every way. Also: Sin Cara should not dance. Ever.
 
[ads]
 
Earlier Today: anger management is on-going, and the doctor asks Kane if he'd like to share. Because, afterall, "sharing is caring." The doc suggests that Kane start at the beginning, and tell us about his childhood. A cut-away to DBry, face-palming, and muttering "This is a bad idea." And then, Kane's off to the races with 2012's best monologue to date, recapping everything his character has been through, from god-awful silly origin story (he's only Undertaker's half-brother, because Paul Bearer is his real father, childhood spent locked in a basement, parents burned alive, etc) to the god-awful silliness he's gotten saddled with during his WWE tenure (setting people on fire, testicular electrocution, marriage/impregnation, mannequin humping, and refridgerating his father, to name just a few). As the group looks on in horror, Kane deadpans, "Oh, and for reasons never fully explained, I have an unhealthy obsession with torturing Pete Rose."
 
Awesomely hilarious. Granted we had to sit through all those shitty angles so that Kane could flip them into comedy gold, here, but for one night, the Trials and Tribulations of Glen Jacobs seemed worth it. Fantastic segment. You should go watch it, if you didn't see it last night. In fact, here, I'll help you:
 

 
Oh, and FYI: I don't know if it'll end up being important, but "Harold" is an indie worker who may or may not have gotten signed to a WWE contract after a recent training camp (and is a guy who also had a cup of coffee with TNA over the summer). The anger management bits are gonna be recurring; so you can reasonably wonder if "Harold" will be, too.
 
[ads]
 
Video Package: Still more HHH. OK, we get it, he's awesome. But this is already getting to be a bit much, and HHH hasn't even said a single word, yet.
 
Daniel Bryan vs. R-Truth
 
Truth is accompanied by Kofi Kingston, who sits down on guest commentary. Bryan enters, visibly repressing his urge to yell "NO! NO! NO!" and keeping his emotions under control. Bell rings, and Bryan continues to play nice, fist-bumpting Truth, and then even fist-bumping Little Jimmy at Truth's request. Adorable.
 
Match is about 30 seconds old, when it spills outside, and Truth grabs a mic, and pretends to have a conversation with Little Jimmy. Jimmy, it seems, is reminding Truth that he's in Milwaukee (last time Truth was here, he mistakenly called it "Green Bay"). So Truth says, "Yes, I know." Then "Yes. YES. YES!!!" Which upsets Bryan, and causes him to snap. Bryan starts going around ringside chanting "NO! NO! NO!" while Truth gets back in the ring. The ref counts to 10, and that's that.
 
Your Winner: R-Truth, via count-out, in 90 seconds. Fluffery, yes, but fun. Both in terms of playing into Bryan's character and in terms of Milwaukee-centric continuity. Also of note: now that "YES" and "NO" have both been fully explored, one ringside fan had a sign reading "MAYBE! MAYBE! MAYBE!"... nice idea, but they were clearly not part of OO Nation. If they were, the sign would have read "mabey."
 
[ads]
 
Triple H Milks the He-Goat Theatre
 
Grand entrance for HHH, who is sporting a cast on his arm per his "injury" at SummerSlam. Even from the start, crowd seems sort of half-hearted. Like they don't believe this is anything remotely "real." And they're probably right: HHH has been semi-retired for 2 years, and they're smart enough to know he'll stay that way going forward. In short, they can tell the difference between stuff like Flair/HBK/Edge's retirement speeches, and this. It's the same reason why -- when HHH tried to goose a standing ovation out of the audience at the end of SummerSlam -- he instead got a "You Tapped Out" chant. He has not yetconvinced us that it's time to feel sentimental on his behalf.
 
ANd that made it ring all the more false when Hunter REALLY went over the top with drama and schmaltz, with maybe half the crowd buying into it, and even then only buying into it for about 15 seconds before the chant/reaction died out.
 
In short: HHH doesn't want to be "that guy" (the one who stays too long), and as much as he WANTS to be the Cerebrel Assassin, he doesn't know if he can be, anymore. And if he can't be sure that he can recover from this injury and beat Brock Lesnar, then maybe he  shouldn't be in this business anymore. He closes by thanking the fans for "letting me play the Game." That finally gets what sounds like a full-fledged, unanimous reaction.
 
But he never actually said for sure, one way or the other, that he was retiring, so joke's on you, suckers.
 
Like I said, this lacked the real emotion, and seemed like an over-reach by HHH. If nothing else, he probably over-talked, as this seemed to ramble on for a while before he finally got to the end. But maybe that's just me.
 
[ads]
 
Randy Orton/Sheamus vs. Alberto del Rio/Dolph Ziggler
 

Ziggler was without Vickie, which might make you think they were testing out his babyface potential on the heels of last week's angle. But you'd be wrong, because Ziggler also used Jericho's entrance to taunt the fans. He's still your asstag heel!
 
Ring entrances take up about 6 minutes, so we get all of 30 seconds of action before it's time for...
 
[ads]
 
Back, and ALberto is decimating Orton outside the ring. Back in the ring, Orton gets a taste of his own medicine: CHINLOCK~! Feel the excitement. After a few rapid tags, del Rio's back in, and begins working on Orton's left arm, in preparation for the cross armbreaker. Finally, Orton is able to duck a corner charge by del Rio, and send him over the top to the floor.
 
This opens the door for the hot tag to Sheamus, and -- you guessed it -- the requisite Pier Four Brawl. Actually, it became a Pier Five Brawl when Ricardo got involved, and tried to use the MitB Briefcase as a weapon. Orton put an end to that happy crappy, however, and Ziggler wound up walking right into a Brogue Kick out of nowhere.
 
Your Winners: Sheamus and Randy Orton, via pinfall, in 10 minutes. Another formulaic affair, but certainly quite watchable. Despite playing up the idea that Orton is more a back-stabber than a trustable partner, the two babyfaces played nice and celebrated together after the match.
 
[ads]
 
Zack Ryder vs. David Otunga
 
For some reason, Kane comes out and sits down to do guest commentary. He puts on the headset, and promptly proceeds to say zero words.
 
Match was 3 minutes of Otunga attacking Ryder's back, then a fire up, and a Rough Ryder out of nowhere.
 
Your Winner: Zack Ryder, via pinfall, in about 3 minutes. After the match, Kane got up into the ring and stalked Ryder. Then he changed his mind and chokeslammed Otunga, instead. Yay! Because randomly attacking heels means you've conquered your anger issues!
 
[ads]
 
Results: the twitterverse has twatted, and WWE listens. Tonight's main event will be a Cage Match (50% of the vote). No DQ Match was second (30%), Table Match pulling up the rear.
 
Announcement: AJ hits the stage and says that regardless of the result of tonight's non-title match, CM Punk will be defending his WWE Title at Night of Champions against John Cena.
 
[ads]
 
CM Punk vs. Jerry "the King" Lawler (Non-Title Match)
 
Punk offers Lawler the first punch, and busts out a bunch of other pure heel mannerisms. So much for tweener status, eh? In fact, Punk seems like he's channelling a lot of Andy Kaufman antics (up to and including singing Andy's "I'm the King of Memphis Tennessee" song).
 
NOT Kaufman-like is the fact that Punk just totally dominates Lawler with a punchy-stompy attack, and seems like he's toying with Lawler. Punk even passes on several chances to make an escape just so he can pound on Lawler a bit more.
 
But sho' 'nuff, Lawler has one last flurry in him. King ducks a charge and Punk eats steel. A few right hands, and Lawler tosses Punk into the steel again. THis time, Punk suspiciously goes to his own forehead before hitting the cage, and yep: he comes up bleeding. Stay tuned to the backstage melodrama to find out if he got that OK'd by management, or went into business for himself.
 
Either way, it lent a tinch of gravitas to the End Game, as Lawler opened up the wound with a bunch of punches, and then went upstairs. Strap down. Fist drop. But Punk kicks out at two. Lawler then tries for an escape, but Punk stops that. Then, seemingly energized by the sight of his own blood, Punk basically drags Lawler back to the middle of the ring, pummels him briefly, and slaps on the Anaconda Vice. King taps out immediately.
 
Your Winner: CM Punk, via submission, in 7-8 minutes. As good as you could hope fore. The cage did, indeed, provide the right gimmick to get the most out of Lawler. And the blood? Well, nobody believed Lawler could win. But maybe, just maybe, when Punk came up bleeding, you started to wonder if he was really invinceable... and that's the point.
 
After the Match: Punk grabbed a mic and got back into the cage (chaining it shut with the help of a toolbox from under the ring). He then demanded that Lawler call him "Best in the World." Jerry says, "Hell, no."  Punk beats the hell out of him, then  starts repeating "Say it. Say it. Say my name." Methinks somebody was taking notes from Sunday's "Breaking Bad," where Walt finally turned full-on heel.
 
Cena finally runs out, realizes the door is chained shut, and starts yelling for them to raise the cage. Apparently, this didn't occur to anyone else backstage. Thank god for the brand new MENSA-certified Cena, I guess. Anyway, they do start raising the cage, and Punk rolls out just as Cena rolls in. Punk saunters up the ramp with his belt, while Cena helps tend to Lawler as we fade to black.
 
And so the show ends. And with it ends any notion of Punk being a tweener. I made the off-the-cuff joke about "Breaking Bad," but it's a pretty good fit for Punk's transformation over the past 2 months. After a long run as a straight shooting anti-hero, he suddenly started making some less-than-popular choices; but they were justifiable from a self-preservation perspective. But tonight, Punk went from doing-bad-things-for-a-good-reason to just doing bad things. Just like ol' Walter White did on Sunday. You even had an accomplished-but-past-his-prime geezer (Lawler) playing the role of Mike to Punk's Walt. Perfect fit!
 
Aren't I just ever so clever drawing that parallel? You won't get that kind of keen insight from Keller or the rest of their ilk!
 
And like George Costanza, I also know to go out on a high note, so I'll wrap it up. See you again soon, kids...


  
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
 
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
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PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
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PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
 
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PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 
 
E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.


 

 


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