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RAW: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Punk Takes the Title (Belt)!!!
February 12, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
Follow Pyro's Tweets
on Twitter --/-- View Pyro's Videos on Youtube

 
Seems I got too excited about my new computer prematurely. My brand spanking new video card, the device the entire system was built around, is defective. It functions enough to work with Windows and Internet browsers, but as soon as it's put under stress (with, say, Skyrim or The Witcher 2), everything dies and the computer restarts itself.
 
I tried everything I could think of, from adding additional fans to lowering its maximum power to preventing the factory overclock, but it always happened the same way: the card would maintain its maximum power (whatever I happened to set it to) for roughly 15 to 20 minutes, then I get a dredded blue (or black) screen of death. Though, with The Witcher 2, it lasted more like three minutes before shutting down.
 

So I've had to go through the process of getting a replacement, and to the company's credit, Asus has been super-professional and has happily given me a return authorization number so I can go about getting a replacement. Meanwhile, I've got my old video card in the new computer, which is still a net positive with the additional RAM and processor power. It should do me until Asus sends a replacement card... but it's still a little annoying.

Anyway, as I sit here downloading stuff to get the computer back to where I want it, I'm writing the recap in Wordpad, since I haven't installed MS Word on the new one yet. That also means I don't have my OO Custom Dictionary or automatic spell and grammar checkers, so for you grammar nazis out there, you might notice more typos or whatever than usual. So let's get to RAW, where... uh... something will happen, I'm sure.

Segment 1: Paul Heyman is here to open the show. He attests that this will be the last time we ever see him, which draws loud cheers. He doesn't explain right away; instead, he just puts himself over at how he's so totally an honorable man who just wanted to Do It All for the fans, which is why he made ECW so many years ago. And it's also why he helped turn Brock Lesnar from just a physically gifted doucebag into the most hardcore legend in the universe, or something.

Blathering continues, and he finally gets to the point: he's a marked man for all of the sacrifices he's been doing for ECW, for Lesnar, and for most recently CM Punk. Ergo, especially after the last couple weeks with Lesnar's activities, he's going to resign to spare Punk any ancillary punishment when the hammer comes down from the McMahon family. This way, Punk won't have distractions as he comes closer to his goal of getting back the WWE Championship.

Heyman regrets that it's come to this, and also regrets that he won't be around to see Punk totally beat The Rock this Sunday, but whatever: he won't miss the fans, so he says goodbye to all of us. The crowd cheers and chants, but Heyman doesn't move for a mintue... which allows Punk to make his entrance.

Punk looks sad and makes Broad Gestures on the stage as he indicates a "What the hell, bro?" face expression. Punk asks what Heyman is thinking, and Heyman basically repeats himself directly to Punk. Punk says he won't let Heyman quit; he's too important to Punk personally and to the company in general! And the fans admire him!

Heyman again pleads for Punk to let him go, but Punk declares that everything in WWE will "go back to normal" once he beats Rock this Sunday. And so Heyman needs to be in his corner! And we'll do it together!

Heyman has a sudden 180. He declares Punk a "gift from the heavens," and that Punkers will totally be the reigning, defening WWE Champion again. Heyman wants to say something else, but is so choked up by emotion that he gives Punk the most awkward bro-love hug in WWE history. Naturally, we get a chorus of boos from the crowd.

The hug lasts entirely too long, and then they hold each other's arms up as Punk's music plays. So... I guess we're back to square one and just killed 17 minutes for no reason, huh? [Ed. Note: the fact that, in essence, nothing happened struck me, too. Then I thought it was maybe just a gag at the expense of the Pope up and quitting. Then I realized, given the way other things played out, this clearly was setting up the subtext for.... something. I dunno what. But something. The quitting, the make-up, the hug... something in there was somehow disengenuous. I'm just not entirely sure one whose part, and which part it was. Between this and the new stip for the title match on Sunday, I think a swerve is in the offing.]

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Moist Henry defeats Khali (w/ Natalya & Hornswoggle) by pin. Decent enough match for what it was. Khali must have quaffed a Red Bull before the match because he started off attacking faster than I've ever seen him do so... though the flurry only lasted about 30 seconds before he settled back to his relatively lethargic speed.

Conversely, Henry shows once again that he's become a bit more trim since we last saw him nine months ago, and his flurry was sustained. But that was basically the match: two flurries, and then Henry hit a solid clothesline, which Khali forgot to sell at first. Khali remembered to sell it after a two-second delay, which is way too much time for a choreographed fight (or a real fight for that matter), and Khali "sold" it by falling straight down on his ass.

The commentators tried to salvage that, and to their credit they did, giving Henry more credibility despite the lack of good selling on the part of his opponent. But Henry wasn't done, so he waited until Khali stood up, then hit him with a World's Strongest Slam. Pin, done, momentum gained. Nothing earth-shattering, but hey: it helps Henry's star stay on the rise, and a greater percentage of fans are cheering the guy. No problems with him, and no complaints.

Post-Segment 2: Henry was on his way out, but then noticed that Hornswoggle had entered the ring to check on his friend. Henry slid in the ring, hit a World's Strongest Slam on the midget just to be a jerk, and suddenly everyone who had been cheering him booed the crap out of him. "That's what I do!" he screams.

Oh wait... never midn about that last sentence, because a minority of the crowd started chanting "One more time! One more time!" Heh. I shouldn't find that funny, but I do.

Segment 3: Booker T and Teddy Long are blathering about something in the back, then Chris Jericho arrives (with his hair seemingly trying to get away from his face as fast possible). Jericho puts his name into the hat to be in SmackDown's Elimination Chamber match. Teddy wants him in right now, but Books points out that everyone else in the match has somehow impressed him, so Jericho needs to go about impressing.

Teddy says he has an idea, so he whispers something to Booker T, who just replies that that idea sucked. Instead, Booker T offers Jericho the same deal he gave Mark Henry: Jericho has to beat someone already in the Chamber match, and if he wins, he's in too. He'll have to face Daniel Bryan. That'll be a good match!

Jericho is fine with it, declares he'll beat "Daniel Bearden," steals Booker T's catchphrase, and literally hops out of frame.

Segment 4: Vickie Guerrero is in her office talking to someone on the phone, then hangs up as Paul Heyman bursts in. He wants a stipulation added to the WWE Title match this Sunday, which Vickie just immediately laughs off since Vince McMahon isn't here to approve it.

Heyman tries to talk her into it (though he still hasn't said what the stip would be), and then she gets a call from Vince. Heyman hops around wanting to talk, so Vickie puts the phone on speaker. Heyman sucks up, Vince tells him to shut up, and to just get to the point. Heyman simply requests that Vince remove The Rock's championship advantage.

Vince says that he hears how passionate Heyman is about getting that stipulation. Heyman agrees that he's so passionate that he'll do anything to have that stipulation happen, a really stupid phrase to say to Vince McMahon of all people. Vince wants that statement in writing, and Heyman promises to do so. So Vince instantly agrees to the stip, much to Vickie's surprise and shock.

Heyman starts to shut up again, and then Vince just hangs up... which produces a dialtone, which I didn't think was heard anymore, especially not on smart phones. Eh, whatever. Heyman runs off looking ever so pleased with himself, but I'm wondering what the other shoe will look like.

Segment 5: The same Fandango vignette from SmackDown, except shortened so we don't see the uber-close up of his crotch. It's still a little uncomfortably close though, and you can see the pores in his chest. You're welcome for that mental image.

Pre-Segment 6: I don't know if it's his new entrance or just a one-shot screw up, but Jericho's music and pyros went off before he was in position. It took a few seconds before they killed the lights and let him show off his blinky jacket. Kinda weird.

Segment 6 [Singles Match]: Chris Jericho defeats Daniel Bryan by pin. Solid match with a hot crowd, but no noteworthy spots other than one hell of a back-and-forth chain wrestling ending sequence. It started with Jericho managing to apply the Walls of Jericho despite DB putting up some solid resistence. DB eventually reversed it into a No Lock, a fantastic smooth sequence.

However, DB wasn't able to quite lock it in, so Jericho slipped out and went for the Walls again. This time, DB was able to get out of it by sheer leg strength, then quickly followed up by cleanly hitting his grounded roundhouse kick. He went for the pin, but Jericho kicked out. DB stood and waited for Jericho to rise, then did his signature roundhouse kicks to Jericho's chest. As DB went for the roundhouse to the face finale, Jericho ducked it and went for a schoolboy pin. He got two, but DB kicked out. They both got to their feet, Jericho hit the Codebreaker out of nowhere, and that was that. Jericho moves on to the Elimination Chamber, his eighth one and most of all time!

I figure that DB and Jericho didn't go all-out for this one since they were still on the undercard. I really wouldn't mind seeing them go fifteen or twenty minutes with a proper build up. [Ed. Note: the final Codebreaker was botched beyond belief, but other than that, I actually liked this match just about as much as I did Jericho/Punk from last week. Then again, I might have been swayed by the red hot crowd, who really added extra sizzle for just about everything tonight.]

Segment 7 [Six-Man Tag Match]: John Cena, Sheamus, & Ryback extend-squash 3MB by pin. The match existed just to give the faces momentum since these three will be taking on The Shield this Sunday, but it did what it needed to do, and the crowd was pretty damn hot. It was basically just an excuse to let the faces hit all their signatures, after which it broke down in the ring with a Pier Six Brawl. The faces quickly got that under control, then we got to see one hell of a sight: Ryback hit the Shellshock, Sheamus hit White Noise, and Cena hit the FU roughly at the same time. (I assume it was a suppsoed to be a triple simultaneous slam, but Ryback got a little jumpy and went before the other two.) Cena made the actual pin on Jinder Mahal, but it was pretty academic at that point.

Post-Segment 7: Ryback grabs a mic and gives some generic ramblings of threats against The Shield, then hands the mic off to Sheamus who does the same thing but adds that he wants to "get some justice" of his own tonight. Cena takes the mic (to boos) and wonders why Shield would come to the ring tonight and be vulnerable while these three are united? He goes cartoonish intense as he offers The Shield to come get some.

Sounds strong, but I have this feeling that they're going to pick off the faces one by one during the show or something. Either way, Shield will be giving a promo about their general happenings tonight, so we'll see.

Segment 8: Recap of Alberto Del Rio's and Big Show's activities from SmackDown. This is followed with an "earlier tonight" cut scene where Yoshi Tatsu and Alex Riley were mocking Big Show being covered with paint, followed by Show predictably arriving and knocking them both out with the WMD.

Segment 9: After commercials, Big Show hits the ring in his suit looking pretty unhappy with life. Matt Striker bravely decides to interview him, and manages to get four-and-a-half words out before Show WMD's him in the face.

With Striker done for the night, Show picks up the mic, paces for a minute, then drops it and leaves without saying a word. You can sense Show's frustration, even if he did steal Jericho's bit.

Segment 10: Replay of the Bruno Sammartino video montage.

Segment 11 [Singles Match]: Jack Swagger (w/ Some Guy) extend-squashes Zack Ryder by submission. Swagger came out with some dude who I don't know at all, someone that Jerry Lawler said was "before [Michael Cole's] time," which means I certainly don't know who he is, but he's an old wrestler or manager or something. I now turn to Rick's inevitable editor's note to educate me, since I didn't even catch guy's name to try a Wikipedia search.
 
[Ed. Note: it's Dirty Dutch Mantell, a genuine superstar of his era -- namely the southern regional promotions of the 70s and 80s. In the mid-90s, he portrayed "Uncle Zebekiah" in the WWF, and was the manager of the Harris Twins for about 2 months before that act fizzled. He also managed an early version of JBL for another cup of coffee. Then he was a color commentator for a bit, then went back into semi-obscurity and making appearances under his more familiar name. He also did some work behind the scenes with TNA before the Hogan regime moved in. It seems here in 2013, WWE is still trying to hide the fact that he's Dutch Mantell, but acknowledging his past as an obscure former WWF character. And they gave him a hilarious new last name to emphasize the fact that Zeb is a dyed in the wool Tea Party nutjob. Coulter. Mheh heh heh heh. Suck it, Fox News!]

The match was rough, with Swagger's new stiffer style in play. Ryder slightly oversold everything, making Swagger look damn dangerous rather than cartoonish or anything. Good action, especially when Swagger did a somewhat sick belly-to-belly suplex-to-side slam on the mats outside the ring, followed by an absolutely sick throwing powerbomb to the corner that caused Ryder some whiplash. I seriously wouldn't be surprsied if Ryder picked up a minor injury from that.

Swagger followed it up with his signature gutwrench powerbomb, followed by the Patriot Act. Ryder had the good sense to tap out instantly.

Suggestion: since Swagger is going all-out with this "Patriot Act" thing and we at OO have already approved it, and because he's hanging out with some old dude who even Lawler called a "whack job," I vote that Swagger changes the name of his gutwrench powerbomb to "Enhanced Powerbombing Techniques." It's the perfect precursor to the Patriot Act, is it not?

You know what, I'm not even going to ask for permission. I named Sheamus's "10 of Clubs" after all, so we're going with Enhanced Powerboming Techniques from here on out. After that sick throwing powerbomb to the corner, I don't think even Swagger would argue with me.

Post-Segment 11: Ah, Swagger introduces this dude as Zeb Colter, which hopefully I'm spelling correctly. [Ed. Note: there was no canonical spelling supplied by WWE, but I'm going with the assumption that it's "Coulter," because of Ann Coulter, the well-known dessicated conservative whackjob lady-douche. But until WWE confirms it, we won't know.] Colter, with a magnificent handlebar mustache that hasn't been seen since the 1850s, proceeds to cut a promo that sounds like it's out of the mouth of an ultra-conservative geezer who's out of touch with reality, which... well, which is a good gimmick, really. Good stuff. He's going to be FOX News's next hero.

Anyway, Colter's promo starts vaguely racist, then gets more racist (or at least isolationist) as we go along. He repeats the phrase "We the people" several times out of context, thus stealing the words but not the substance of Obama's inauguration speech, which again is absolutely fantastic for a heel gimmick. Hell, Colter ends the promo by just firmly declaring: "Remember... We, the people!" It makes no sense as a phrase in a vacuum, but if he's a crazy old douchebag, it works just to reinforce him as a... well, as a crazy old douchebag.

Good stuff. I'm curious to see where they go with it, but this much is true: if anyone on the roster needs an old-school manager, it's Swagger, who has never (to my memory) cut an interesting promo in his life. Between the new stiffer style and a mouthpiece who can actually cut an entertaining promo, perhaps Swagger's star is justifiably on the rise. I hope so: I've always respected Swagger's skills in the ring, I've just found him boring as a character.

Segment 12: Booker T and Teddy Long are once again blathering in the back, this time about what they just saw. Booker agrees with my last paragraph, and declares that between Swagger's winning streak and Zeb Colter's presence, Swagger has impressed him enough to be allowed into the Elimination Chamber.

And then Dolph Ziggler (and AJ) appears to bitch about Jericho and Swagger being allowed in. Booker asks what exactly he's complaining about since Dolph forfeited his own chance to be in it, and AJ points out that Dolph already has a future title shot due to the Money in the Bank contract, so he doesn't really care.

Dolph then puts himself over, and says that Jericho doesn't deserve to main event the Elimination Chamber, let alone possibly main event WrestleMania. So if Jericho is in, then he wants to be in too.

Books is momentarily confused, so he asks for clarification just to be sure: so just because Jericho is in the Elimination Chamber, Dolph wants to get back into it also? Well fine: Kane has been trying to impress him and get into the sixth and final spot, so they'll face each other, and whoever wins is in. Dolph is a little nervous about facing Kane, but whatever: Dolph nonverbally accepts and leaves.

Segment 13: Replay of Brock Lesnar hitting The Miz with an F5.

Segment 14 [Singles Match]: The Miz defeats Cody Rhodes by disqualification. Meh. Match was decent but nothing special, with Cody doing most of the offense. When Miz got his hope spot, he sent Cody flying out of the ring over the east rope. Miz followed, then talked some crap to Antonio Cesaro, who was out on commentary. Yada yada yada, Cesaro attacked Miz and drew the DQ.

After the match, Cesaro had a neat spot. His initial attack (the one that drew the DQ) sent Miz flying to the barricade. So there, Cesaro lifted Miz's legs, so it looked like he was going to slingshot him, or maybe the precursor to a Sharpshooter or Walls of Jericho-like leg hold. Instead, Cesaro just swung Miz around, slamming Miz's head into the barricade. Then Cesaro swung him the other way, smacking the other side of Miz's head into the barricade. Cesaro repeated it a couple more times just to be a jerk. Finally, all the referees in the world arrived to pull them apart.
 
[Ed. Note: that giant swing was awesome. Anything that causes trauma to babyface Miz is awesome. Babyface Miz is an obnoxious load.]

Cesaro grabbed his US Title and his man-purse, then stormed away as replays were shown.

Segment 15: WWE still wants kids to read! Usually these ads annoy me, but unlike their stupid Be A Star anti-bullying campaign, I'm all for WWE taking a couple minutes out of the show to push it. Literacy for the win, baby.

Pre-Segment 16: RRRRRROOOSSSAAA!!! Good lord, does white look good on her... Was there anyone else in the ring, or even in the arena, during all that hip popping? I didn't notice.

Also: apparently the Funkadactyls thought it was a good idea to bring pom poms during their entrance this time.

Segment 16 [Tag Match]: Tensai & Brodus Clay (w/ Funkadactyls) squash Primo & Epico (w/ My Rosa Mendes) by pin. Pure entertainment, and it popped the crowd, but the IWC workrate wankers won't be happy.

Post-Segment 16: Tensai took center-stage (-ring?) to dance post-match, which impressed Cameron enough to give him a totally platonic slap on the ass. Tensai was momentarily distracted by that, but went ahead and started dancing again anyway.

That's when My Rosa slid in the ring to bitch him out for no reason. Naomi came to the rescue and very awkwardly threw My Rosa out of the ring... or better accurately, she sort of threw Rosa in the direction of the top rope, and Rosa had to sort of do a front-facing reverse skin the cat to actually get over. Whoops.

And then... something slightly crazy happened. Naomi sprinted to the ropes where Rosa went over, then broke physics by sort of doing a weird head-first shoulder block to the top rope, intentionally somersaulting herself up and over the ropes. Rosa, who was standing by then, covered her face like she expected a flying double axe handle or something, but Naomi simply landed clean on her feet on the apron.

Rosa confused, as was half the crowd. Naomi did a little hip pop of her own, just to spread her legs a bit as she stood there. This allowed Cameron to get a running start and do a baseball slide between Naomi's legs, finding Rosa's arm and sending my hip-popping firecracker flying and crashing to the floor with an oversell.

My Rosa cries, activating every chivalrous sympathy gene in my body. The faces don't care though, and they do their synchronized shovel steps and Gangnam Styles and crap as we fade out to commercial.

Segment 17: Here comes The Shield, who collectively hits the ring. Dean Ambrose cuts an anti-Cena promo, and Seth Rollins follows up with an anti-face team promo. Roman Reigns follows up by just stealing Cena's line and asks them to bring the fight right now.

Nothing happens, so they say that's pretty typcial: the faces are just full of empty threats. After all, last week, that team tried to attack The Shield, even with a half-dozen faces trying to corral them, but they failed. As such, Team Cena will fail again on Sunday when they have their six-man tag match.

It would have been fine if that's where they left it, but their promo (especially from Ambrose) became more nonsensical as they went along. They tried to further cut a promo against Cena, but they didn't have much of a point. Rollins did the best job here, basically blaming Cena as a template for bringing the big bodybuilder look to the spotlight while shunning the smaller guys. However, the point was so poorly delivered that it just fell flat to me. It was intense, but stupid and nonsensical.

Ambrose calls out Team Cena one more time, but no one appears. They stand around like idiots, and soon the lights go off. When they come back on, the faces are in the ring and have paired off with The Shield, with the faces kicking ass and absolutely dominating. The Shield bails before anyone can hit finishers, but this time the faces follow them.

Again they pair off, and again the faces have the advantage. The camera stays on Cena exchanging with Rollins. Eventually The Shield bails entirely, and Cena's music plays for the moral victory. We'll see if they can keep momentum and take a win on Sunday as well. [Ed. Note: I'm surprised that between the Shield's segment and Team Supermen's segment, they didn't even HINT at the 6-man being held inside the Chamber, as a sort of WWE version of WarGames. I figured it'd be a late add, but also that it'd be a no brainer. Even Ryback has tweeted about getting Shield "inside the Chamber." I assumed it was a done deal. Guess not.]

Pre-Segment 18: Damien Sandow has something to say before his match. He insults everyone who listens to any music other than classical Beethoven and Mozart, we're welcome. Sort of a poor promo, but it got cheap heat from the Nashville crowd, so... whatever.

Segment 18 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeats Damien Sandow by submission. Meh. Match was all right, nothing special, and ended with the Cross Arm Breaker. Too short to be really much of anything, but it was competitive, rather than a squash.

Post-Segment 18: After the match, ADR grabs a mic and says that Big Show earlier tonight gave the "best promo of his life." Heh. ADR says that he actually agrees with Show: the time for talking and playing in parking lots is over. Show can go wherever he wants tonight, because for ADR, there's only one place he is going: WrestleMania!

Segment 19: Wade Barrett is walking through the halls, which we thought was just a cut scene. But then Bo Dallas arrives and just beats the hell out of Barrett in the back, flinging him to a pile of Conveniently Standing Pipes and a few metal rails. Refs arrive to stop it from getting too out of hand, but Barrett sells pain as we go to commercial, and he's got a match next. Seems they're pushing the hell out of Dallas.

Segment 20: Another Fandango vignette, this one with the crotch close-up. You're welcome for the mental image.

Segment 21 [Singles Match]: Wade Barrett defeats Kofi Kingston by pin. Decent match, nothing special. competitive, and Kofi made a go of it, but no real high spots. The match ended with the Bullhammer Elbow.

After the match, Barrett blathered some non-mic'ed taunts in the direction of gorilla presumably against Bo Dallas. Nothing of substance there, but it still adds fuel to the fire.

Segment 22 [Singles Match]: Kane defeats Dolph Ziggler (w/ Big E. Langston & AJ) by pin. Huh, okay... unexpected result to me. Match wasn't much of anything, and no spots were noteworthy.

The ending sequence was a little unique. Kane had Dolph stunned in the middle of the ring, so Kane climbed to the top rope in a corner. AJ hopped up on the apron to distract him, which didn't work; Kane jumped off with a flying lariat. Dolph ducked it and bounced of the ropes, but in doing so, he knocked AJ off the apron. Langston caught her, so she was safe, but Dolph recovered from the collision and after that, still did a double-take back at her in concern. That secondary distraction allowed Kane to recover from his whiff, then hit Dolph with the chokeslam. Dolph couldn't kick out of the follow-up pin, so Kane is in the Elimination Chamber.
 
[Ed. Note: agreed on the unexpected result. It leaves Ziggler without anything to do at the PPV, which sort of telegraphs that he'll be cashing in, right? Only other thing I can think of is that he does something to coax Jericho out of the Chamber and into a 1-on-1 match at the PPV. Christian should be available as the last second replacement for the final spot.]

Segment 23: Here comes The Rock, who gets a huge ovation as always as he makes his full entrance. Rock begins with a personal story from his teenage years, since it has to do with Nashville, Tennessee. The fans enjoyed it, and it was entertaining, but not worth transcribing.

The takeaway is that Rock as a young man (though past his teenage years) wrestled his first match at the age of 25 in Nashville, all with the dream of becoming WWE Champion. And now that he's it, he wants to hold on to it, including through and after Sunday. Thank you and good night!

Except not, because here comes Punkers and Heyman to the stage. They don't say anything at first, while Rock gives some insults and says that he's not worried any stupid stipulations from Vince McMahon. Rock is sure he'll win on Sunday, and if they walk down the ramp now, Rock will kick their asses all over Nashville.

Punk doesn't even have a mic. He talks things over with Heyman, then heads on down to the foot of the ramp. Rock tosses away his shirt to the delight of estrogen everywhere, but Punk thinks about it. After a short chat with Heyman, Punk says to hell with it and slides on in the ring.

Punches are exchanged, but Rock ultimately gets the upper hand. Rock hits the spinebuster and starts the People's Elbow, but Heyman rematerializes to trip Rock's run. Rock gets up and glances at Heyman... and just that quick, Punk is on his feet and hits the GTS.

Punk picks up the title, lovingly looks at it, and just takes it with him as he and Heyman heads up the ramp. Finally Punk gets a mic and says story time is now over; "Every time you wanna bring it, because it belongs to me I'm just gonna take it." A silly rhyme, but point made.

Rock struggles to his feet and gives a look of death at Punk, who just raises his arms over his head with the title in hand.

Episode Grade: Decent night as a lead-in to the pay-per-view, but nothing that's going to get anyone talking. And I think I covered everything as much as I could; I've got nothing to add to any commentary.

However, during the episode, something finally consciously occurred to me: there's only one Elimination Chamber match at the pay-per-view, which is a great way to make sure the gimmick doesn't get watered down. I've been referring to it as the "SmackDown Elimination Chamber," and that's somewhat accurate: they're using the EC to determine who fights for the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania, nothing more. And since the WWE Title is already set (as Cena will be facing Rock and/or Punk for it), RAW doesn't need one.

So... the Elimination Chamber match will feature Jack Swagger, Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Kane, and Mark Henry. I don't see Swagger, DB, or Kane winning it, but the other three are all pretty plausible. Even if you throw Jericho out of the mix, Orton and Henry have proven WWE trusts them to run with the ball. (Then again, given how far Orton's star has fallen with all his off-screen antics the last few years, maybe Henry is only go-to option.) It should be a pretty entertaining match without a foregone conclusion.

Nothing more from me tonight. Hopefully by the time I get to the SmackDown recap this weekend, I'll have my computer working at full power! One can hope...

Have a good week, guys.

Episode Grade: B-

 
E-MAIL PYROFALKON

BROWSE THE BYTE THIS RECAP ARCHIVES


  
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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
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
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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