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RAW: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
When All Else Fails: Utter Chaos~!
December 11, 2012

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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It’s been a long two months since I’ve been constantly working. While most workplaces tend to slow down around the holidays, given my main two jobs, it’s just sped up for me. I’m used to it—this is my fifth Christmas shopping season—but it can get pretty tiring. Like everything else, this ebbs and flows, and I’m finally getting the free time to do things like game for pleasure or, you know, sleep more than six hours a night. My “vacation” tends to be in January, when games aren’t released (thus releasing me from IGN), and when most people are done splurging their paychecks (thus releasing me from Walmart).
 

And… that’s basically the extent of what I want to talk about tonight. I’ve been watching the news lately, and it’s pretty damn depressing all around. I’m not one of those people who sticks my head in the sand and ignores the news—I like knowing what’s going on even if it is depressing—but I certainly don’t have to depress you in turn by talking about it! Though I will share this link about London banning rare burgers from restaurants. I guess once England heard about Bloomberg banning large sodas from New York City, they got jealous and decided to pass some retarded legislation of their own.
 
 

So instead, let’s share our depression with WWE, where CM Punk is off the show for a bit following his surgery, and see where they go with The Shield from last week. Let’s roll…

Segment 1: We’re cold-opening (after the stupid soap-opera intro) to the ring to start the night off, and the first visual is a striking one. Dolph Ziggler’s blue Money in the Bank briefcase hangs from the ceiling, and he’s got a ladder set up directly under it. Dolph himself is near the top ring, leaning against it and looking annoyed a scant few inches below it.

Dolph’s got a mic of course, and he says that he’s in the right spot: he’s at the top! And he’s here to talk about two days: 6 and 15. See, there’s six days till TLC, and 15 days till Christmas. But for John Cena, TLC might as well be Christmas, because the “golden boy” has received title shot after title shot all year despite the fact that he cashed in his MitB case earlier this year and lost.

But have no fear, says Dolph, because “Santa” (i.e., Vince McMahon) has forced this match, Dolph vs. Cena for the MitB case, upon us. Still, he assures Cena that it won’t be a merry Christmas for him: he’s going to be the proverbial coal in Cena’s stocking by beating him this Sunday. And after that, Dolph will give himself the best Christmas present ever: he’ll cash in his case on Big Show on Sunday, then become the greatest World Heavyweight Champion ever!

And here comes Sheamus; the camera sweep to the stage shows us that the whole ramp and stage are lined with ladders, a treatment usually only reserved for TLC itself. Sheamus hits the ring (after a replay of the boring contract signing segment from Friday), then proceeds to tell Dolph not to worry about cashing it in on Show; if Dolph is cashing it in on anyone, it’ll be on Sheamus, since he’ll totally win the title match on Sunday. It’s all hypothetical anyway; Sheamus is sure Cena will beat Dolph so it’ll be Cena and Sheamus at some point in the future for the title.

Dolph shrugs; I don’t blame him, since that was pretty much the most vanilla blathering ever. Before he can respond though, it’s Big Show’s turn to hit the ring. Or rather, the stage, where he says that both guys’ blatherings are boring, and that he’d love to “smear [Sheamus’s] ignorant, Irish, immigrant face all over the side of my fist,” which probably sounded way better in Show’s head than it turned out to be. Either way, Show knows he can’t since the No-Touchy rule is in effect. Meanwhile, Show invites Dolph to cash in the MitB case whenever he wants, because he’ll totally knock him out.

Thus starts some stupid bickering between Sheamus and Big Show, with Sheamus regretting that he can’t Brogue Kick Show’s face off (again, the No-Touchy rule). So instead, he just tips the ladder over, forcing Dolph to crotch himself on the top rope as he spills out of the ring. Yup, that’s how an anti-bullying face acts to a guy who didn’t do anything to provoke him!

Decent opening segment, nothing special, though Dolph’s portion was well above-average.

Pre-Segment 2: Kofi Kingston and Antonio Cesaro have joined commentary for the next match.

…Except we’re not having a match yet. Wade Barrett is in the ring, but it’s Vince McMahon who pops out. He runs down the main event of the evening, which is Big Show vs. John Cena, and he introduces Vickie Guerrero (to boos). Vickie is wearing a pretty nice dress… I’d like to see it on My Rosa, then on my floor.

Anyway, Vince does more of his passive-aggressive bullying with Vickie, and goads her into making a co-main event: Sheamus vs. Dolph, to the surprise of no one. But he wants a third main event, which is a logical fallacy in the first place, and Vickie suggests putting AJ in a match. Vince isn’t so sure, so he asks who she should face. The fans fire up a “Vickie!” chant, and Vince gets on board with that idea, so he books it. Vickie nearly cries, and then R-Truth pops out at Vince’s call. Finally, our opening match can begin.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: R-Truth reverse-squashes Wade Barrett by pin. Definitely an upset, Truth spent a couple minutes getting his ass kicked before reversing a Wasteland into a wacky victory roll, and he took the quick three.

Post-Segment 2: After the match, Truth jumped out of the ring to jaw at Cesaro. Nothing happened, but then Kofi ran up to a nearby turnbuckle. As Wade stood up from getting pinned, Kofi jumped off with a sweet high-angle crossbody. Granted, Wade was “eyeballing” Kofi the whole match, but that still seemed like a bit of an overreaction. Crowd loved it though.

Segment 3: AJ is bouncing around in the halls, as happy as a Creeper in a mineshaft that she’s going to get to beat the crap out of Vickie tonight. She even finds Kaitlyn and gives her a hug so intense that AJ leaves her feet in the process, turning them both into stuttering fools for a moment. I’m fairly certain that that was just a rehearsal for the movie that me and some OO Forums members are throwing together.

Anyway, after AJ and Kaitlyn get done making bedroom eyes at each other in my mind, AJ declares she wants to tell Cena about how happy she is. Kaitlyn doesn’t think that’s a good idea since he’s in the men’s locker room and everything, but AJ doesn’t seem to care… which may or may not be the plot to the sequel to our movie.

So she heads on in, making her stumble upon a nearly naked Justin Gabriel (though ironically he’s more dressed than in his ring attire), and she shortly finds Cena. Blathering ensues, and Cena says that he’ll be more than happy to hear about what’s making AJ so happy, so long as they speak outside of a sausagefest of a room.

Segment 4.1 [Fatal Four-Way Elimination Tag Match]: The Usos eliminate Primo & Epico (w/ My Rosa Mendes) by pin. Solid opening to this unusual match, fast-paced action back and forth with neither team getting much of an advantage. Jay took the win after countering an Irish Whip with a solid side kick to Primo’s face, then following up with the splash off the top rope.

Segment 4.2: The Usos eliminate the Prime Time Players by pin. No idea how good this was, because the entirety of this action happened during commercials. Afterwards, we were simply shown through replays that the finish was basically the same: superkick to Darren Young’s face, followed by a top rope splash, pin and done. Bad form, WWE.

Segment 4.3: Team Rhodes Scholars defeat the Usos by pin. I’m not sure why, but the Usos were given the ball and ran with it, almost completely dominating the whole match. They worked well with TRS, and I wouldn’t mind seeing a full-length match with just those four.

It’s also good to see Cody Rhodes back in action after being out with an injury, but he missed the memo that it’s no longer No-Shave November, so he was sporting a mustache that only looks right on pedophiles or Zorro. It was such an unusual sight that the fans started chanting “Cody’s mustache!” halfway through, and he looked legitimately upset.

We basically had a standard if time-compressed formula for the end here, with the heels getting a short Heel Beatdown sequence before the hot tag and house of fire deal. In the end, Cody and Jay were grappling on the top rope in the corner, and Jay got the advantage by headbutting Cody off. Jay went for his third splash, but after seeing it twice, Cody had it scouted. He got the knees up to block, then quickly followed up with Cross Rhodes. Cody took the win, and Sandow… uh, Sandow looked a little celebratory with Cody’s ‘stache.

Also interesting: Cole bluntly said that it’s the “Elbow of Distain,” that’s “distain” with a T. See my previous columns on why I hate the name, but… well, if nothing else, WWE has at least been consistent, to my infinite shock.

Overall, the whole match was fun with a unique stip, but taking out the entire second fall in favor of ads was retarded as hell. I remember during the Attitude Era, WWE made a point in not doing commercials during matches since WCW often would. When did WWE start doing it again? I know it’s been several years, and I still hate it, but it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Segment 5 [Singles Match]: Eve Torres defeats Alicia Fox by pin. Decent match but nothing special. Standard formula with Alicia doing the early offense, then Eve doing the heel beatdown, then Alicia getting the hope spot. Alicia was on top rope for that, and Eve stopped it by cutting down Alicia’s leg, making her slam the back of her head into the canvas. Eve followed it up with a pretty sick neckbreaker, then made the pin.

After the match, Eve has apparently added a cute new gimmick. She calls up the ringside photographer, verbally forces him in the ring, then makes him take a picture of her standing over her victim. Very well done and perfectly in line with her character, and of course we can’t wait until one of the divas manages to turn it around and smack her with the camera or something.

Cut Scene: Huh, I guess CM Punk is here after all. He’s on crutches and hobbling down the back halls with Paul Heyman right behind him as we go to commercial.

Segment 6: After commercial, Punk pops out onto the stage and proceeds to cut a promo about how we’re all jerks for thinking he’s faking this injury. Injuries happen to guys who bust their ass and are champions for more than 380 days, damnit! And he shows how he (kayfabe) got the injury by kicking it to the Titantron for a replay of Ryback’s attack on him last week.

Then it’s Heyman’s turn to cut the promo, and… uh… uses it to just insult The Rock. It seems random, but he reminds us that it’ll be Rock vs. Punk at Royal Rumble, because Punk is the best in the world, and he’s not going anywhere despite the injury.

Punk takes the mic back and addresses the “vocal minority” that thinks he should be stripped of the title, pointing out that Ryback is a moron for injuring him; after all, if Ryback was smart, he’d want the champion healthy so he could take the title. Makes sense to me.

Punk concludes that anyone else would just be laid up in a hospital bed and slapping that pain button for some good ol’ fashioned morphine, but he is a real man and a real champion, so he’s going to be at the TLC pay-per-view to watch. He’s particularly excited about seeing The Shield—“Who I am not affiliated with”—beat the tar out of Ryback.

That ends that. It was a solid promo that reminded us Punk exists, and further shows us that the injury wasn’t anything permanently crippling or anything. Get well soon, Punk… and in the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing. I love it!

Segment 7 [Singles Match]: Sheamus defeats Dolph Ziggler by disqualification. Above-average match that turned very good at the end. Sweet sequence and spot to signal the end-game. Sheamus had momentum and went to the top rope, but Dolph smacked his ankle, making Sheamus crotch himself on the turnbuckle. Sheamus then went up and just punched him a few times to weaken him, but Sheamus fought back and shoved him to the canvas. Sheamus then went all the way to the top, but as he was getting his balance, Dolph did a running jump to the top rope, then came down with a sweet and stiff facecrusher from the top rope. Sick, and awesome.

A little back-and-forth action from there led to Dolph slipping out of the White Noise, but Sheamus put him to the canvas with a double leg takedown. There, he went for the Irish Cloverleaf, but Dolph slipped out of that too. More back-and-forth, then Dolph hit a dropkick to Sheamus’s knee, but whiffed when he went for the Fame-Asser. Sheamus countered it into the Irish Curse Backbreaker and went for the pin, but Dolph kicked out.

Sheamus was feeling the momentum, so he beat his chest to signal for the Brogue Kick. Dolph knew it was coming and just bailed from the ring. Sheamus exited the ring as well to give chase, but Dolph just straight up gutted him with a chair.

Post-Segment 7: Sheamus went back into the ring after the first chair shot, but Dolph knew he had momentum. He continued wailing away on Sheamus’s back, but it didn’t last long as Sheamus was able to hit a Brogue Kick. Dolph sold it by rolling out the ring completely, then sort of stopped selling it so he could hustle up the ramp.

Sheamus meanwhile sold, or perhaps oversold, the chair shots on purpose. As Jerry Lawler pointed out, if Dolph could cause Sheamus that much damage, what could Big Show do with a chair against him?

Segment 8: Vickie is stretching in the back as she gets ready for her match. Khali and Hornswoggle wander in, and Vickie tells them to get out, because she’s trying to get ready and she’s still too tight. Well, Khali and Horny are going to fix that! So in a shoutout to one of Rick’s favorite Trish Stratus segments from years past, Vickie winds up in a compromising position with Khali behind her and bending her over, while Hornswoggle is in front of her with a leg on his shoulder.

Naturally, that’s when Vince walks in. He takes one long look, hits the line “I thought this was supposed to be a family show,” then leaves. Michael Cole delivers a nice line: “Should she shower after her match, or now?”

Segment 9: SmackDown recap about The Shield’s activities, as well as a full replay of their “manifesto” promo.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeats Zack Ryder by submission. Decent but nothing special, though it was oddly competitive and went for five minutes or so, longer than I would have thought. The match ended when Zack went for the Broski Boot in the corner, but ADR countered with a drop toe hold that sent Zack’s face into the middle rope. ADR quickly followed up with the Cross Arm Breaker, and that was that.

Pre-Segment 11: AJ hits the ring for her match, followed by Vickie Guerrero. Strangely, no referee to call for the opening bell. What’s going on?

Oh, here comes Brad Maddox in the stripes. Interesting. This could go either way… he’s got beef with AJ for firing him, but he’s got beef with Vickie for setting him up against Ryback. Assuming my brain is correctly recalling recent storylines.

Maddox hits the ring very sheepishly. Let’s see how this is going to go down.

Segment 11 [Singles Match]: Vickie Guerrero “defeats” AJ by pin. The polar opposite of a technical masterpiece, Vickie started by Thesz Pressing AJ from the back, followed by AJ doing Crazy Eyes and Thesz Pressing her back from the front. Vickie bailed, AJ just brought her back in the ring, then did a Stiff As Fuck slap to Vickie’s face. AJ makes the pin…

…And Maddox stands there like he’s waiting for a bus. It doesn’t take AJ long before she stands up and starts yelling at him. Vickie rolls over, rolls AJ up for a school girl pin, and wins with the benefit of a (somewhat) quick count.

Vickie and Maddox bail, as they should. AJ goes completely bonkers in the ring, then slides so she can start flinging chairs, ladders, and the announcer tables absolutely everywhere while shrieking like a banshee. She decides to (Stiff As Fuck) slap Justin Roberts for no reason, then she squares herself and marches up the ramp as we fade out to commercial. I’d call that “hot,” but given AJ’s mood, she might physically realize I typed that and proceed to fly to my apartment just to throw me out of the third-story window.

Segment 12: After commercial, we still see AJ losing her mind in the back. She flings some boxes and buckets around and does the very definition of a toddler’s temper tantrum. Cena arrives and tries to calm her down, and it takes a hug from Cena before she settles on sobbing into his shoulder. I was hoping she was going to knee him in the crotch and keep screaming, but no dice.

Pre-Segment 13: Kofi Kingston hits the ring for a match against Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro pops out as normal, but proceeds to insult New Jersey and promises to kick R-Truth’s ass on Sunday. Weak promo.

Segment 13 [Singles Match]: Antonio Cesaro defeats Kofi Kingston by pin. Solid match with equal offense. Plenty of good spots, including Kofi attempting another one of his signature high-angle cross body attacks from the top rope, but Cesaro caught him in midair and spun him into a backbreaker, which looked pretty much like cartoon physics. Soon after that, Cesaro hit the Neutralizer and made the clean pin.

Segment 14: Time for another episode of Miz TV, except this’ll be on the stage for some reason. His guests tonight are Team Rhodes Scholars, who pop out presently. The conversation isn’t all that great, with the heels going for cheap heat, and Miz being Miz by saying that in their match against Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio, Team Rhodes Scholars “will hit the ground harder than Manny Pacquiao in the sixth,” which is a pretty damn good insult, really.

TRS doesn’t buy it, so Miz tries a different tactic by saying that Sandow has been a jerk behind Rhodes’s back though some pretty clever and biting insults. Sandow is paranoid, but Rhodes declares he’s not buying that crap either, because he’s heard it all before. It all comes from Miz being totally jealous, and that Miz is just “slumming it by hosting this ‘lovely’ show.” Cody declares he’ll never take anyone else’s words over his tag team partner’s, and that TRS will no longer be a part of this trash TV.

Segment 15: Cena is heading to the ring, and AJ catches up to him. She totally wants to join him for the match, but he tells her—with toddler words—to stay in the back. He implies that the last time she helped anyone in a match against Big Show, it didn’t turn out well for her, so he doesn’t want that on his conscience. She seems to agree and will stay back, but if you believe she’ll stay in the back, I’ve got some real estate to sell you.

Pre-Segment 16: Dolph Ziggler joins commentary for the main event.

Segment 16 [Singles Match]: John Cena defeats Big Show by disqualification. Standard Cena match, nothing special. The match ended when The Shield hit the ring and started beating the hell out of Cena.

Post-Segment 16: But that was just the precursor to a crazy brawl. First Team Friendship hit the ring to even the sides, but then Dolph got in the ring and went after Cena. So Sheamus then hit the ring to make the save again, though as Cole pointed out he had to be careful since he’d be in the same vicinity as Show. No problems: Sheamus just beelined for Dolph, who by then had bailed from the east side of the ring.

Cena managed to isolate Show at that point and “tackle him” through a table that had been set up in the corner. In reality, it just looked like Show stumbled and sat through it, but we’ll go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt for that spot.

The Shield apparently took care of business by that point and slid in the ring, but before they could go after Cena again, Ryback hit the ring. Ryback grabbed a ladder on the way and flung it into all their faces, then slid in the ring and just started kicking ass. Kane and DB recovered at that point, so they slid back in and started fighting back. Show recovered then and started brawling with Cena, so we faded out with a 4-on-4 brawl that went nowhere.

Final Thoughts: That was one hell of a final spot, as it weaved two stories (three, really) as we faded out. Good stuff.

I said everything I need to in the body of the recap about tonight’s show, but I do have one post-show note. They announced that next week’s RAW will be the yearly Slammy Awards. That’s the good news. All the categories will be wholly voted on by the fans… that’s the better news. But the shitty news is that the only way to vote will be to download WWE’s stupid app for your phone or iPad. No online voting, no text voting, no Twitter voting. I mean, maybe I’m just out of touch with technology, but not everyone has an iPhone or iPad yet, and I hate this idea of needing to download a special program (i.e., voluntary constant commercials) just to do something like vote. But then, maybe I’m an old fogey and this isn’t any big deal… it just seems annoying to me at best.

Either way, we’ll be covering RAW as normal next week, but navigate here this weekend for our usual coverage of SmackDown as well!

Episode Grade: B-

 
E-MAIL PYROFALKON

BROWSE THE BYTE THIS RECAP ARCHIVES


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
 
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
 
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
 
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PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
 
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RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
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RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
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?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
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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