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CM Punk: OVERlord of the Assholes
April 2, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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One reason I like sports videogames is for the music. I know that sounds weird, but I'm not exactly an audiophile, and I often enjoy the music that game developers choose for their sports games. (Well, if we ignore that disastrous year that Electronic Arts thought censored hardcore hip hop was appropriate for Tiger Woods PGA Tour.) Similarly, I never thought I'd enjoy a song from ZZ Top, but then MLB 13 The Show came out, and “I Gotsta Get Paid” was one of the menu songs.

I dislike ZZ Top usually. I've heard a lot of their songs, including their classics, but I'm not really a fan of their sound. Pretty much the only thing I know about them (other than their music) is the beards, which is a nice gimmick but not enough to offset their mediocre songs. And I honestly can't tell you why “I Gotsta Get Paid” appeals to me so much, especially given the especially annoying title and lyrics that I can't even remotely understand, but here we are. Maybe I just like dirty guitars?

Regardless, that's about the only non-wrestling bit I've got on my mind right now. I'm almost done with my giant WrestleMania preview, which should have been finished a week ago or longer. Then I can switch to finishing my IGN project, and then maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to take a break. I'm very tired and need to get away from all forms of a work for a while, and Walmart offered me a week-long unpaid vacation just before inventory if I want it. I might just take them up on that, even go to Canton and see the NFL Hall of Fame like I've been planning on for years.

But anyway... that's later this month at least. For now, let's get to the last RAW before WrestleMania 29!

Segment 1: It's John Cena opening the show today with heavy boos. Cena acknowledges it silently by doing a heavy exhale on the stage and doing a broad “Oh boy, here we go” gesture before heading to the ring. Once there, he cuts a fairly generic promo to hype the main event and, strangely enough, put over The Rock as a sign of mutual respect.

Then Cena does his cartoonish over-intensity thing, which draws huge boos and a solid “Cena sucks!” with no counter-chant. Huh.

This goes on entirely too long, and the fans even grace us with a nice, loud, “Boring!” chant. But finally gives us his catchphrase and leaves without anything happening.

The cut scene to commercials shows an upward angle on Randy Orton, Big Show, and Sheamus walking shoulder-to-shoulder and almost in step. That's... kinda scary and intimidating.

Segment 2 [Six-Man Tag Match]: Big Show, Sheamus, & Randy Orton defeat 3MB by pin. A basic tune-up match with a foregone conclusion, this one was pretty fun nonetheless. We got to see Drew McIntyre do a front dropkick off the middle rope to Orton's face, so that was cool. And D-Mc landed on his back, so he did a Shawn Michaels-like kip-up seemingly without effort. Also crazy: Jerry Lawler had a for-real clever line when he said: “I think of 3MB as being 999 megabytes... because they haven't got a gig yet.” That line actually stunned me into silence: clever, technically accurate, and not a dated piece-of-crap reference!

Anyway, the match finish saw everyone hitting their finishers, with Jinder Mahal taking the WMD punch and getting pinned. It was too short to wear out its welcome despite the obviousness of it, so it was a great opener to the night, as well as prove that the de facto face team is on the same page.

Post-Segment 2: After the match, The Shield's music sounded, and the three members headed down from the top row... but halfway down, they stopped and produced a mic. They didn't really say much, just blathering about how Team Sheamus isn't a “real team” and will totally lose easily.

Segment 3: They're in Washington DC, so Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger did another PSA with the Capitol Building in the background. It's Swagger this time who does the majority of the speech, and he promises that “real change” is coming. I still question how he expects to change America by winning a professional wrestling title, but whatever... it's entertaining, but silly to transcribe.

Segment 4: That's followed up by Matt Striker interviewing Alberto Del Rio, and it's stupid. But of note, Zeb Colter challenged ADR to a match, and that match is totally going to happen. He calls Colter a “giant pinata with a great big mustache,” a like which just makes me want to play Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, because I'm apparently a fourth grader.

Segment 5 [Singles Match]: Dolph Ziggler (w/ AJ & Big E. Langston) defeats Daniel Bryan (w/ Kane) by pin. Solid enough match, nothing special though, and no spots worth talking about. The final sequence saw DB in his Moves of Doom, and AJ sensed the problem so she went skipping around the ring, then skipped around Kane personally. Kane was confused and turned to face her... letting Langston behead him with a clothesline.

DB saw this and did a baseball slide to Langston, laying him out for the moment, but then Dolph quickly rolled up DB for the three.

Post-Segment 5: Then Langston got in the ring and hit his shoulder-mounted sit-down gutbuster on DB just to be a jerk. Kane then entered the ring, and Dolph bailed. Kane looked to get the upper hand, and even set up a chokeslam. However, Langston powered out, then hit Kane with the finisher too. Only then did Dolph get back in the ring.

AJ meanwhile grabbed Team Friendship's title belts and handed them to her guys, who celebrated with them over the champions' bodies.

Segment 6: Shawn Michaels is in the building! HBK hits the ring to a huge pop, and he starts with a little generic hype for WrestleMania. But he tells us, as we know, that he's not here to talk about Rock/Cena or Taker/Punk. He says he was fine with Triple H facing Brock Lesnar, but he wasn't so fine with the idea of Triple H agreeing to the blind stipulation, especially since his career is now on the line.

That summons Triple H himself, who makes his full entrance and joins Shawn in the ring. Trips says that they've talked about this: Trips knows Shawn was in this situation a few years ago, and that he knows what he's doing. Shawn insists that if Trips knew what he was doing, he'd know it's not the same situation. Shawn says that the difference is that his opponent who retired him—the Undertaker—respected the hell out of Shawn, and Shawn respected him back, and that the retirement caused them both some heartbreak. But with Trips, his opponent doesn't respect anything or anyone, and he knows Trips doesn't respect Lesnar back.

Shawn further says that he used to think professional wrestling was his life, and in some respects it was. But then Shawn met Trips, and he realized that Trips, it really was his life, the way Trips has poured literally everything he has and is into the business. So if Trips is putting his career on the line against Brock, he's really putting his whole life on the line.

Trips says that that's all very nice, but if Shawn is trying to talk him out of the match, Shawn needs to save his breath. Shawn replies that that's not what he's doing: he's here just to say Triple H “better kick Brock Lesnar's ass!” And even better, Shawn Michaels will be in his corner to do so. And if you're not down with that, he's got two words for you.

Except he doesn't get to say them, because Lesnar pops out of the back onto the stage with Paul Heyman in tow. They head down the ramp as Heyman tries to call him off for some reason. Heyman blathers for way, way, way too long without much of a point. [Ed. Note: I'm jetlagged as all fuck-out, but my viewing led me to believe that the point of Heyman's speech was to FINALLY retcon some genuine evil and scheming into the "HHH's career on the line" stip. Because adding a stip where a guy who is already 98% retired puts his career on the line is dumb as hell. But Heyman did a nice job finally explaining that there's more to it than that, and it's because of the complex trickle-down effect HHH's loss on Sunday will have. It sucks that it took till this point to add that aspect, but I give credit where's it's due for finally making the effort.]

And then they leave, and I try to wake myself up.

Segment 7 [Singles Match]: Wade Barrett defeats Zack Ryder by pin. Boring. Miz was on commentary, and it was an excuse just to show off Wade's power while he and Miz could yell at each other. Meh.

Segment 8: Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero in the back. Santino Marella arrives just to warn Vickie that Vince McMahon is here... and he's so totally mad at Brad and Vickie! And he's mad enough to fire someone! Brad and Vickie start freaking out... and then Santino declares that it was an April Fools joke! Ha ha!

...Except then Maddox and Vickie start whispering, and they send him to the ring right the hell now. Ten bucks say that his opponent is Mark Henry.

Segment 9 [Singles Match]: Mark Henry squashes Santino Marella by pin. You owe me ten bucks.

Post-Segment 9: Ryback hits the ring after the match, but Henry holds him up in the ring. There is a no-touchy rule between the two, which I didn't actually remember. Henry talks some shit, then starts to leave. Ryback then picks up Santino's body and uses him as a battering ram to send Henry out of the ring, then uses him as a missile to the outside to knock Henry over. So... yay?

Segment 10: Striker interviews CM Punk, who says that he doesn't care if he's disrespecting the so-called legacy or memory of Paul Bearer. See, he's trying to get in Taker's head because he wants to win... and that requires some distraction. The difference between him and all of Taker's other opponents is that he'll do anything to win, whether that means spitting in faces or disrespecting memories, because the only memory and legacy he cares about is his own. Good stuff the way he delivers it, but it looks boring summarized.

Segment 11 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeats Zeb Colter (w/ Jack Swagger) by disqualification. Not really a match, but it existed for a story.

As ADR hit the ring, he told Ricardo to head to the back. Ricardo agreed for a moment, but then came back like an idiot, which meant you'd have to be functionally retarded not to see where it was going.

So as ADR chased Colter around, Jack stalked Ricardo at ringside. He clotheslined Ricardo and wanted to go for the Patriot Act, but then ADR gave him a baseball slide to send him into the barricade. However, as he did so, Zeb stole one of Ricardo's crutches. As ADR got back in the ring, Zeb attacked him to cause the DQ.

Swagger then grabbed another crutch, nailed ADR with a chop block, and he and Colter took turns beating the crap out of ADR's back with the crutches. Then they left, the damage done, and I'm still bored.

Segment 12: Here comes The Rock to talk. He blathers, says he'd totally be awesome at being the President of the United States, and then talks a bunch of shit to Cena. Nothing new here, but it's entertaining.

Segment 13 [Singles Match]: Chris Jericho defeats Antonio Cesaro by submission. Solid match, but nothing special. Halfway through the match, Fandango (with Pyro's Backup Vaguely Hispanic Girl) popped out onto the stage. And for once, he actually did something kind of amusing: he had a bunch of large cards with numbers, and every time Jericho did a move, he'd hold one up to score it. Kinda funny seeing Jericho hit his signature rebound dropkick and only get a 2.

Fandango eventually wandered down to ringside, where he ate a baseball slide. Jericho almost took a cheap loss there, but he kicked out of Antonio's quick roll-up attempt. After a short exchange, Jericho slapped on the Walls, and that was that.

Post-Segment 13: After the match, Fandango slid in the ring and once again did mounted punches to Jericho, simply swinging away to boos. Despite the loud “You can't wrestle!” chants, Fandango hit his top rope leg drop (twice), and the commentators sold it with their Serious Voices like it was the most heinous thing they'd seen all week.

Segment 14: Touts about Rock/Cena.

Segment 15 [Tag Match]: The Bella Twins (w/ Team Rhodes Scholars) defeat the Funkadactyls (w/ Brodus Clay & Tensai) by pin. Surprisingly solid match. Naomi once again proves that she is grossly underutilized and should have won NXT3 two years ago. (Also: can you believe it's already been over two years since NXT3? It was in the fall of 2010!) The Bellas were solid as well, and Cameron had a bit of “controlled crazy” that Kofi Kingston is trying to sell lately.

The match was basically clean, with Naomi doing all the early offense but also playing the face in peril. (Sadly, she also had lifted the Jumping Ass-To-Mouth move from Kelly Kelly, but we'll overlook that.) Cameron got the hot tag and cleaned house, and in the middle of the Pier Four Brawl, Naomi was sent flying. She dragged Brie out with her, and soon all the men got involved as they pulled their respective divas apart.

In the ring, Cameron still had the advantage and managed a flying cross body. Nikki rolled through it however, and Cameron wasn't able to kick out of the new position. It was a fluke win for the Bellas but a win nonetheless. It's a good sign for Sunday.

Segment 16: Here comes the Undertaker for our main event promo. He delivers a usual “less is more” promo, reminding Punk that it was Punk who made it personal. He congratulates Punk on the over-400 days of being WWE Champion, but promises that the pain he's going to feel at WrestleMania is going to last an eternity. He says that even if The Streak ends, Punk “won't live to enjoy it.”

Sounds good and pleases the crowd... and then we hear druid chants. But Taker doesn't look pleased, instead looking confused or mildly irritated. Two druids come out with flaming torches, and several more file out of gorilla in a slow march down the ramp. Taker's expression turns to confusion and being creeped out as they line the sides of the ramp while the chant continues for a minute.

Then we hear Paul Bearer shriek his “Oh yes!” in an audio recording, and we see a poor facsimile of Paul Bearer on the stage. Oh, wait.... it's not a poor facsimilie, it's Paul Heyman wearing the Bearer costume. Jackass.

Taker isn't amused. He rips off his robes and charges up the ramps, but stops short. Then he has an idea what's going on, and he punches the nearest druid and rips the robe off a different one. It's just Some Guy, but then Punk emerges as one of the other druids and beats the crap out of him. He takes the urn from Heyman, then beats the crap out of Taker. To cap it off, he uncaps the urn, then dumps the ashes out all over Taker. With that done, he goes ahead and does the Undertaker Salute with the urn over Taker's body.

As he gets up, he grabs two fistfuls of the ashes. I thought he was going to pull a LeBron James, but the reality was much crazier: he smears the ashes all over his own sweaty head and mouth. Gross, and creepy as hell.

Final Thoughts: That last segment was something out of crazy town, and all the better for it. Punk, like Shawn Michaels did four years ago, is turning all of Taker's tricks against him, except he's doing it way more effectively. And it's all thanks to Paul Bearer's real-life death, which, while tragic, was timed well for this whole deal. If there is a Heaven, William Moody is up there laughing his ass off.

Other than that, the night was fairly poor in a vacuum. I'm not exactly a fan of throttling down just because WrestleMania is coming, but I can understand it. The divas tag match was pleasantly surprising, but the other matches were functional at best. Other than that, everything was hype this, video package that, and a whole mess of recaps. Understandable, but not exactly watchable.

As per our usual WrestleMania tradition, we won't be posting a SmackDown recap this week (unless something really freaking crazy happens, which it won't). Instead, Rick will be posting my WrestleMania preview (which I still need to finish) at some point this week, and Rick will have a preview of his own. Saturday is the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and then it'll be all about WrestleMania on Sunday. The show starts at 7pm Eastern, but there's a pre-show on YouTube that starts at 6pm, if you're so inclined. Real-time discussion will be taking place in the OO Forums, and Rick will have the recap posted on Sunday night, around 11:30pm.

All right guys, that's it for me until my preview. Have a good week, get pumped for WrestleMania, and I'll see you again afterward for the RAW recap next week.

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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