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OO RAW RECAP
Rocking Chair Defeats Cena!
July 2, 2013

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com

 

So... as I sat down to watch RAW, I also remembered to set the DVR for "Under the Dome," which I've decided to stick with for a bit. And as I did so, the little message pops up where it tells you how many recordings you have scheduled for the next week.
 
I had 5 recordings scheduled. Five. It's usually around 30.
 

That's July for you, I guess. Not only is it the shittiest weather month of the year, what with all the 90 degrees and moist... it's the month where all the stars align for the Shittiest Late Night TV Week of the Year. Your late night hosts all have contracts to work 40 weeks per year, but their 12 weeks of vacations never completely overlap with one another. Except during that one week in the dead of summer. [OK, and one week during the holidays, but you never notice, because you're busy with other stuff.]
 
Apparently, this week is that week, and I have the barren DVR to prove it. The every night Holy Trinity of Daily Show/Colbert/Ferguson? All in reruns. The 11:30 coin flip between Letterman and Kimmel, based on who has better guests? Both reruns. The back-up plans (the better-than-I-care-to-admit Fallon and the depressingly-not-as-funny-as-the-old-days Conan) for when other shows are in reruns? Both in reruns.
 
Conceivably, I could suffer a blow to the skull and become mentally enfeebled, and find Leno funny. But even he is in reruns this week.
 
Not only is that 4-5 shows per night my DVR doesn't have to worry about, it leaves a huge hole in my daily routine. I get home, and I spend 90 minutes or so zipping through last night's late night before turning mya ttention towards dinner. What am I supposed to do with my life this week?
 
Come back soon, Late Night TV. You're pretty much the only thing I watch besides sports, Palladia, Seinfeld reruns, and FOX Sunday Cartoons... at least, until Breaking Bad returns in 2 months...
 
In the meantime, the only TV show I watch that YOU care about is wrestling. So here's RAW from the first day of July (known to our wacky Canuck brethren as "Canadian 4th of July," because metric)...

 
Cold Open: Vickie Guerrero is in her office, and promises us a Very Special Episode of RAW, as the holders of the two most prestigious titles in all of wrestling will face off tonight. Cena vs. del Rio, champion vs. champion. Well, that's out of left field... but it's also just dandy with me.
 
Opening Theme, but no Pyro/Etc., and we're live in Iowa. Also: no superfluous Montage for the ADD Crowd this week. That's the first time in ages they didn't do one of those. I consider this a good thing. Straight to fresh, value-added content. Providing backstory and hype is what announcers do (during ring entrances, chinlocks, or other downtime) in this unique genre; no need to be so heavy-handed with it, like you're a serialized drama that requires a "Previously, on This Show" intro every week...
 
Anyway, I digress. Didn't I say I appreciate WWE cutting straight to the action?
 
PAINT BY NUMBERS THEATRE
 
As soon as we're live in the arena, zero time is wasted, and Daniel Bryan hits the ring (with a new t-shirt, on which his beard demands respect). He's getting huge cheers as he talks up his many accomplishments, and his future plans, couched -- when possible -- in the form of yes/no questions for the audience to answer.
 
But when he talks about how the WWE Title has eluded him, despite his many other accolades, that means mentioning that he was World Champ, and his reign ended over a year ago, and he's aching to get back to the top...
 
So of course, here comes Sheamus (no music, just mic in hand) to take credit for the end of Bryan's last title reign, and to remind us about the 18 seconds thing. That draws a bit of an "ooohhhh, snap" reaction from the crowd. Bryan deadpans, "Hilarious. You know, I wonder what would happen if I called 1-800-FELLA right now. Is it possible you'd have to come out here and kick your own face?" Crowd gets a kick out of that one. Sheamus' attempted jolly response, "Aw, Danny Boy. So grumpy, just like the troll that you are." Crowd boos. And there you have it: a perfect microcosm of What's Wrong With Sheamus, the Allegedly Charming Babyface Who Sort of Comes Off Like a Jerk.
 
And also, after that failed punchline, Randy Orton interrupts (no music, just mic in hand) because he's heard enough of those two jokers trading one liners. The WWE Title is serious business, and Randall's not been in that mix in TWO years, so HE has dibs over the guys who held it last year. In fact, it's been so long, Randy's starting to feel desperate. And desperate men do desperate things. That's directly targeted at Bryan, who doesn't back down, and reminds us what happened last week on RAW. Crowd starts a "You tapped out" chant at Randy. Orton merely repeats his threat that his lust for the gold makes him more dangerous than either of these two.
 
And KA-BOOM, Kane interrupts (with a single blast of pyro, but no music, just mic in hand), and thinks if the topic is "dangerous," then you must include him. He's done WAY more sadistic things than any of them, and it's been longer since he held a world title, too. So imagine what he'll be capable of at MitB...

"Capable," you want to talk about "capable?" Well, here comes Christian (no music, just a mic) to point out that he's pretty much the most experienced and decorated Ladder Match guy in the world (well, sans Edge, anyway). When he missed a year due to injury, he says he knew coming back this might be his rodeo, so he wanted one more shot at a WWE Title, and now he's got it in the match where he's proven he's the best.
 
Poor choice of words. Here's CM Punk (no music, just mic), who takes a moment to mock the convention of All The Guys In A Match Interrupting A Promo to point out that he totally WOULDN'T have joined in, if not for Christian claiming to be the best. Because CM Punk is the best. The rest are very good. But Punk's gonna win MitB for the third time, and that's that.
 
Bryan's the one who tries to rebuke him, and the two have a quick verbal exchange (one-on-one match prior to the PPV, please?!?), which ends with Bryan threatening to make Punk tap out faster than Orton did last week. This makes Orton all pissy, and he shoves Punk out of the way to get in Bryan's face. This gets Kane's dander up, and he pushes in front of Bryan to protect his little pal. This upsets Bryan, who doesn't want to be protected, so he turns Kane around to share a few words. Once Bryan is done, Kane turns back around.... and eats an RKO.
 
Bryan kneels to tend to Kane, as Orton immediately starts staring bullets at the other guys, as if to say "I got 3 more of those, if any  of you want to try something." They don't. Punk, Christian, and Sheamus powder out, then Orton leaves the ring as his music plays.
 
Very effective opening segment, despite the paint-by-numbers aspect of it (in fact, Punk acknowledging the contrived nature of it sort of defuses the paint-by-numbers thing). Everybody was pitch perfect, except for Sheamus (even Orton was about as good as Orton can be), and the pacing was top notch, too. Interruptions should ALWAYS be done like this (no music, just a guy coming out with a mic), not just because it wastes less time, but because it makes more sense (if it's an interruption, why would there by full music/lights?). Good stuff.
 
Delayed Welcome: Cole and the Gang are at ringside, and sell us on what a great night we have in store. Especially the Champion vs. Champion match. In fact, it's so special, that WWE has produced some little vignettes to highlight the history of each title. To wit...
 
History Vignette: Buddy Rogers, WWWF Champion. Lou Thesz, NWA World Champion. I'm sure some will complain about WWE's insistence that today's World Title shares a lineage with the NWA Title, but they are what you call "wankers." Sure you have to fudge a bit in the WCW transition, but it beats pretending like Dan Severn was a legitimate world champ....
 
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Vignette: Wyatts. Still coming.
 
CHRISTIAN/USO TWINS vs. THE SHIELD
 
Full entrances for all, during which time we learn that Usos vs. Rollins/Reigns has been added to the PPV pre-show. Ugh. I was really hoping it'd get a slot on the actual show, and Miz/Axel would get the pre-show spot, but whatever...
 
Usos start off with about a minute of offense on Rollins. Then Christian and Ambrose are tagged in. Christian gets the better of it, and dumps Ambrose out of the ring. Christian's thinking about a plancha, but Rollins and Reigns immediately come to Ambrose's side... but between them paying attention to Ambrose, and Christian "setting a pick"/blocking their view, they never see the Usos get a running start, break to either side of Christian, and hit stereo suicide dives.
 
That leaves just Ambrose standing, so Christian hits his plancha, afterall. Nice. The bad guys are down, the good guys are celebrating that neat spot. Se let's pause for...

[ads]
 
Back, and one of the Usos is our Face in Peril. After about 2 minutes of heel beatdown, the tag is made to Christian, and before long, it breaks down into a Pier Sixer. Although Christian is getting the better of Ambrose (the other legal man), Reigns takes out both Usos, distracting the ref long enough for Rollins to attack Christian and drop him neck first over the top rope. Ref turns around just in time to see Ambrose roll Christian up from behind for the pin.
 
Your Winners: The Shield, via pinfall, in 10 minutes. Very nice little match, though you have to wonder what the point was of having Christian pin Ambrose in the Friday night version of it, if they were just gonna undo/redo it on Monday. Or maybe I'm just thinking too hard.
 
Backstage: Bryan and Kane are talking, and Bryan's all "Man, that Randy is such a jerk," but you can tell Kane at least half-blames Daniel for the RKO. When Bryan's attempts to comiserate fail, he tries to cheer Kane up by announcing that we went to Vickie, and now, Kane gets a match tonight against Orton! Kane likey. There's just one catch: Vickie made Bryan the special ref. Kane no likey.
 
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DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/ Slater and McIntyre)
 
No sale. Only thing worth noting: Ziggler's again running solo, and WWE has not addressed the status of AJ/Big E's relationships with him. Which obviously has something to do with Ziggler being a mostly-face, but it's still distracting to have it being completely ignored, rather than dealt with one way or the other.
 
Your Winner: Dolph Ziggler, via pinfall, in 2 minutes flat. Nothing to see here. Move along.
 
After the Match: Slater and McIntyre tried to attack, but did so Dumb Ninja Style. One at a time. Each got a Zig Zag for his troubles.
 
History Vignette: Bruno Sammartino, WWWF Champion. Harley Race, NWA World Champion.
 
[ads]
 
Backstage: Vickie Guerrero and The Lovely Miss Maddox are chatting about what an awesome show they put together when Triple H walks in. He agrees: this is a pretty awesome show, and he appreciates that Vickie is listening to what the fans want, and doing things like making a Champion vs. Champion match, and putting Daniel Bryan in as guest referee. Then, he slips in a subtle suggestion: if she's ever confused about who's running the show, she should also listen to him (HHH), not Vince. Winkwink nudgenudge.
 
Career Retrospective: a lengthy video package dedicated to Mark Henry. Tons of really old footage, dating back to his 1996 Olympics run, and yet: not one single split second of ANYthing "Sexual Chocolate."
 
RANDY ORTON vs.
 
[ads]
 
RANDY ORTON vs. KANE (Daniel Bryan, Special Referee)
 
Back from the break, and Bryan's already made his entrance (in standard ref gear), so we just have to wait for Kane, and we're off...
 
Standard back and forth, with Bryan calling it straight down the middle, for about 3-4 minutes. Then Orton starts being ever so slightly aggressive, and milking Bryan's 5 counts as much as he can. Bryan over-reacts, and starts egging Orton on. When Orton doesn't break fast enough in the corner, Bryan pulls him out of the way. Orton shoves Bryan.
 
Call for the bell, just like that. Bryan says Kane wins by DQ.
 
But Kane doesn't want to win like that, and insists upon a restart. After a minute or so of bickering, Bryan gives in, and Kane and Orton start circling each other again. We'll find out who wins Round 2 after these....
 
[ads]
 
Back, and Kane's in control as the de facto heel, it seems. Nominal focus on Randall's back and ribs, but the announcers dont' make much of it. The beatdown comes to an end after several minutes, when Kane goes up to the top rope, but when he leaps off, Orton catches him with a dropkick in mid-air.

Both men down. Ref counts. Orton up first.
 
Orton starts a rally, trying to get to the Hangman DDT. Just as testy as the Kane/Orton brawling, however, are the words being exchanged on commentary. Both King and JBL make jokes about Orton setting up for a signature move, which sets Cole up for his only catchphrase. Cole responds by calling the Hangman DDT a "classic" move, which causes King and JBL to mock him even more. Guys, way too meta, OK? It's counter-productive.
 
Meantime, Orton begins coiling for the RKO, but Bryan makes a big show of "checking" Kane, by which I mean, "standing in the way." Orton gets pissy again, and starts arguing with Bryan. Then, out of nowhere, Kane strikes with a big boot to Orton's head. He makes the cover, and Bryan fast-counts the win.
 
Your Winner: Kane, via pinfall, in about 12 minutes (including both "matches"). Definitely more about the story than the action, here, but certainly not too hateful.
 
After the Match: Kane again argued with Bryan, saying that was a cheap win. Bryan just kept wanting to raise Kane's arm and celebrate. Crowd DEFINITELY seemed to turn on Bryan here. The more agitated Kane got, the more they cheered for him. In fact, when Kane grabbed Bryan by the throat, as if to chokeslam him, the crowd fired up a "DO IT! DO IT!" chant. And then, when Kane let go and walked away, they booed.
 
Bryan seemed like he was gonna get off scot-free as he watched Kane's frustrated retreat. Then Bryan turned around. RKO. And the crowd cheered. Play Randy's music! Because he lost the match!
 
Backstage: CM Punk, Paul Heyman, and Curtis Axel. In short, Punk doesn't trust Axel, and hopes he's content to just stand on the aprong and watch the Best in the World, tonight.
 
History Vignette: Bob Backlund, WWWF Champion. Dusty Rhodes, NWA World Champion.
 
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SHEAMUS vs. FANDANGO
 
So, Fandango's back in action after a month, and you put him in there against Sheamus? The hell? Either WWE has massively overestimated Fandango's credibility, or they've demoted him all the way to jobber.
 
It's apparently the former, as they don't play this as a squash. They also don't play it as "remotely compelling." Fandango really could have used a "re-establishing" match or two, rather than straight into the fire, like this. Anyway, it's mostly Fandango with Orton-caliber heel offense (read: "chinlocks"), then Sheamus fires up, then Fandango remembers his gimmick from February and March, and he just walks out.
 
Your Winner: Sheamus, by count-out, in about 6-7 minutes. Again, I'd have gone a different route with Fandango's first match back. Also, if this was the ending they were going for (and I'm definitely fine with that, as it's an established part of Fandango's character), I would have done it much sooner than 7 minutes (which was about 5 minutes of virtual dead air too many).
 
[ads]
 
MIZ vs. RYBACK
 
Chris Jericho -- wearing a lovely pair of ladies' jeans -- is sitting in on guest commentary by way of reminding us that he's facing Ryback at the PPV in a random throwaway match that makes little to no sense.
 
We are also reminded that Ryback suffered a leg injury on Friday Night's SmackDown, which is of import, since Miz uses the Figure Four as a finisher. Which means Miz goes after the legs to soften you up for siad Figure Four.
 
Oddly, Ryback is really overselling the injury, going for the ropes for breaks, and in general whining to the ref in a way that makes Jericho's cheesy "Cryback" line stick. Then, after a few minutes of dealing with Miz's jerkface leg attacks, Ryback just tells the ref he quits, and doesn't want to continue. So the ref calls for the bell as everybody is incredulous that Ryback just waved off his own match.
 
Your Winner: Miz, via Ref Stoppage/Submission, in about 4 minutes. Huh. For a guy who gets the Goldberg comp all the time, this was about as wusstastic a move as you'll ever see. It's definitely a new layer of character/personality, which is interesting, but i'm not sure it's one that you want to see hang around much more than a few weeks before Real Ryback returns (probably at the expence of Jericho).
 
After the Match: Ryback was limping around and whining, so Jericho got up in the ring to tease him about it. Ryback was all "no seriously man, this hurts" (for some reason, I got the vibe of Satan in the South Park movie, with Jericho in the role of Saddam). Jericho then nailed him with a Codebreaker because, apparently, it's OK to be a bully so long as you only bully whiny bitches.
 
History Vignette: Hulk Hogan, WWF Champion. Ric Flair, NWA World Champion.
 
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Mini-Promo: Mark Henry comes out onto the stage (only half-way to the ring) and proceeds to cut about half-a-promo. Just a quick monologue that revists last week's main points, but in a more concentrated and intense way. He wants that WWE Title, and he's going to enjoy kicking Cena's ass. [The fact that he was allowed to say "ass" clearly means IT'S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!]
 
Backstage: Vickie and Miss Maddox are still pretty happy with tonight's show, when in walks Vince. Unlike HHH, he is most DISpleased with tonight's show. First, he's already made it crystal clear that he doesn't like that midget Daniel Bryan, and Vickie's going and putting him into perfectly good Kane/Orton matches. And second, OF COURSE the fans love Cena vs. del Rio, but Vince is a businessman and he hates tht Vickie's giving it away for free. Then, whereas HHH closed with a subtle suggestion, Vince closed with a pretty much obvious threat to fire Vickie if she didn't start shaping up.
 
[ads]
 
CM PUNK & CURTIS AXEL vs. THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS
 
Heyman did accompany Axel to the ring and stayed there. Punk gestured (Broadly) that he intended to start the match, and Axel deferred (also Broadly; perhaps, too Broadly).
 
Then, as soon as Punk turned to start the match, Axel tapped him on the shoulder and tagged himself in. Punk was annoyed, but took his spot on the apron in a resigned fashion.
 
Axel then went on to work almost the entire match, including a good 3-4 minutes of playing the Face in Peril. He did it well, and the fans were actually kind of buying it. That's a lot of versatility for a guy who's supposedly a pure heel under the control of Heyman.
 
Hot tag to Punk comes about 5 minutes in, and he cleans house on both PTPs. He isolates on Young. Running knee strike. Macho Man Elbow. GTS.
 
Then Axel once again reaches out and tags himself in, and makes the cover as Punk stands there, looking rather miffed.
 
Your Winners: Curtis Axel and CM Punk, via pinfall, in 6-7 minutes. Nothing especially complicated here, just a standard (if time compressed) Formula Tag Match. The only thing is, it was Axel as the face in peril, which you'd NEVER have guessed, with Punk getting the virtual night off. Very interesting. It played well, and along with Heyman's antics (acting very pro-Punk, even as Axel's scooping his heat), it lends even more drama to the overarching storyline of Punk/Lesnar.
 
History Vignette: Steve Austin, WWF Champion. And your accompanying NWA World Champ for this one: STING~! I know he's been included on tons of DVDs and WWE Classics , but I think this might be the first time Sting's been mentioned on WWE TV like this.
 
[ads]
 
KAITLYN vs. ALICIA FOX
 
Stuff. Stuff. Stuff. Spear.
 
Your Winner: Kaitlyn, via pinfall, in less than 90 seconds. So yeah, that happened.
 
After the Match: AJ, with Big E., came out on the stage to taunt Kaitlyn a bit. In this round of psychological one-upsmanship, AJ talks about Kaitlyn's sordid past. Specifically, her MODELING past. Kaitlyn clearly doesn't want AJ to reveal any of said photos (which really do exist, and are quite sexy), but AJ does...
 
Except, it's just a badly photoshopped deal with Kaitlyn's head on a 300 pound woman's body. Then she closes with a few cheap insults about sending Kaitlyn back to the trailer park from whence she came. And that's that. AJ and Big E. leave, smugly.
 
For her part, Kaitlyn seems upset, but more the angry type of upset than the weepy kind. As I talked about last week, this is the correct path to take. Also a possibly correct path: Cole noted that on the WWE App bonus material, Ziggler had asked AJ to take it easy on Kaitlyn (because Stephanie requested it, and AJ doesn't want to cross Steph). But that could very easily be the seeds of Dolph having the hots for Kaitlyn and/or Kaitlyn "stealing" Dolph from AJ, whichever way works best for the storyline and heel/face alignments.
 
Backstage: Vickie is venting to Miss Maddox about how the crazy-ass McMahons are making her life a living hell. Then speak of the devil, there's Steph standing right behind her. Steph agrees that her dad and her husband can get a little nuts sometimes, but she still doesn't appreciate somebody outside of her family making fun of them. Stephanie alternates a few times between friendly and bitchy (herself, a microcosm of Vince and HHH?), and finally announces that she'll be overseeing a Performance Review of Vickie. Next week. In the ring. With Vince and HHH, too. "Hey, Vick, look at it this way. You could be the new permanent GM of RAW." Smiles. "Or you could be out of a job entirely." Frowny face. "You, too, spanky." Miss Maddox is also frowny.
 
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CODY RHODES (w/ Damien Sandow) vs. ANTONIO CESARO (w/ Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger)
 
Huh. Before the match, Colter re-introduces Swagger (back from a hand injury/legal issues), and tosses in a little Tea Party spin on Supreme Court rulings and such. The only guess I can make... they're in Iowa, a hot bed for not-exactly-progressive-thinking; are Cesaro and Zeb/Swagger the de facto babyfaces, here?
 
It's just dead silence as the two go through the motions, and wind up at a finish where Cody was seemingly in control, then mugged for the cameras, got caught by an Elevation Uppercut by Cesaro. Neutralizer. Fin.
 
Your Winner: Antonio Cesaro, via pinfall, in 2-3 minutes. Confounding. These four are all solid and could have an outstanding match, but you gotta give it a reason to exist, first. Cesaro pinning Cody is not that reason. Or maybe I'm misreading it, and this was just a throwaway to remind us Swagger exists and all four are in the MitB ladder match.
 
After the Match: Damien Sandow was visibly displeased with Rhodes for losing the match in such a foolish way. Not enough to get verbal about it, but the look in the eyes said it all. So maybe that's something.
 
History Vignette: Triple H, WWF/E Champion. Booker T, WCW Champion.
 
[ads]
 
Backstage: the Bellas, two random actresses. They say dumb shit, and it's presented with a multi-camera format to make it look like a reality show. Nattie and the Funkadactyls show up, and cannot make things any better. Tune into Some Stupid Shit, at Something O'Clock on Some Day, Only on E! Network.
 
Vignette: Wyatts. Still coming. At least this time, after the vignette, Cole and the Gang announce that the Wyatts will be here, live on RAW, next week. Finally.
 
ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. JUSTIN ROBERTS
 
Alberto makes his ring entrance, and is announced by Justin Roberts, because Ricardo is out hurt after being assaulted by Dolph last Friday. Note: while that WAS a sick guitar shot, the truth is Ricardo just got suspended 30 days for a Wellness Violation.
 
I hereby vote for Lilian Garcia as Alberto's temporary ring announcer!
 
Anyway, Alberto does not care for Roberts' work, and is yelling at him as we break for...
 
[ads]
 
JOHN CENA vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO (Non-Title Match)
 
Cena makes his entrance, and we're off. Alberto out wrestles Cena to start, but at the first sign of Cena using his powers of punchy-kicky to gain an advantage, Alberto begs off and ducks out of the ring.
 
Little bit of cat and mouse, but Cena finally gets his hands on del Rio and rattles off a few moves in a row. His flurry ends, however, when he charges del Rio in the corner; Alberto moves, Cena goes shoulder first into the post, and voila... Cena's arm and shoulder are hurt, which is just how Alberto likes it.
 
A minute or two of arm related offense, then it's Cena who dodges a charge, and sends Alberto flying out of the ring. Alberto's down, Cena's nursing that arm. Let's run our final set of...
 
[ads]
 
Back, and Alberto's regained command, and is still softening up that shoulder for the Cross Armbreaker. But not for long. Del Rio goes up top, but when he comes off, Cena catches him in mid-air with a drop kick (look out, Orton might sue for gimmick infringement!).
 
Both men down. Ref starts count. Both men up, and it's time for End Game.
 
And what a fantastic End Game it was. Lots of big moves, and kept the audience off balance with tons of great counters and reversals. Just when you thought Cena was in the midst of the Five Moves of Doom, BOOM, there's a Backstabber by Alberto. Alberto wants the Cross Armbreaker, but BOOM, there's the Five Knuckle Shuffle Cena had just missed on. Cena wants the F-U, but Alberto counters with a picture perfect German Suplex. Cena went up top for a crossbody, but Alberto caught him with his cool Run-Up Enzuigiri. Alberto tried a corner charge, but Cena moved, and followed up with the very same crossbody. All kinds of neat stuff.
 
Sadly, it had to come to an end. As they did one final double reversey spot ont he mat, resulting in Cena cinching in the SSTF, Mark Henry came out. He didn't do anything but loiter around ringside, but it was enough of a distraction to get Cena to break the hold. Alberto took advantage of this by hitting another enzuigiri. Which is when Ziggler came out to loiter, distracting del Rio. Cena took advantage by hitting the F-U. Done and done.
 
Your Winner: John Cena, via pinfall, in about 15 minutes. First two thirds were standard fare. Final five minutes were really quite outstanding, until the disappointing finish. But hey, it's par for the course on a free TV match. The clean finishes happen on PPV. Plus, my guess is this sets up a Cena/Ziggler vs. del Rio/Henry tag match before the PPV, which should also be really, really good. So, that's Sustainable Episodic TV for you.
 
After the Match: Ziggler taunted Alberto for losing, while Henry hand-delivered Cena's belt to him inside the ring. Henry and Cena share a deathstare, and Cena's the one who backs away. Huh.
 
After After the Match: we return to the announce table one last time. Instead of fading to black on Cena/Henry, Cole reminds us that the Wyatts are coming next week. Then they cut to a shot of Bray's rocking chair, and THAT's how we fade to black. Wow, high expectations much?
 
And so endeth the show. Nothing particularly excellent, but the show as a whole was noteworthy for having a different feel from the recent cookie-cutter format. From the very opening (no ADD vignette) to the very ending (eschewing Superman Cena, and having the closing image be of a rocking chair belonging to a man who's never been on TV before in his current persona), this seemed like a better constructed type of show. Even the "throwaway" bits (the history footage of past champs) was useful and informative/interesting in terms of making Champion vs. Champion seem like a big deal (on top of just being fun for nostalgia reasons). I'll take that any day over crap ass "Moments Ago" or "Earlier Tonight" packages.
 
So yeah, in a big picture sort of way, that's somethign I noticed, and appreciate. But it doesn't cover for the overall lack of interesting developments. The opening promo and the last five minutes of the main event were really really good. I guess the six man was good, too. But everything else? Couldn't really care any less.
 
Let me consult my Inner Pyro.... he says the product was a C-. But the fresh new packaging was a B+. Let's try to improve the former, WWE, and let's keep the latter going forward.
 
Till next week, kids....


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
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
 
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

 
 
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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