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OO RAW RECAP
Decent Proposals
October 1, 2013

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com

 

So, how about that "Breaking Bad," eh?
 
I can't remember a series finale that satisfying since... well, ever. Not just "good" or "well done" in some sort of critical-assessment kind of way. But just deep down, full-blown satisfying. It wasn't just the perfect conclusion, but it also was so pitch perfect that it somehow reasserted the excellence of the preceeding 50-plus hours of the series.

 

For 15 minutes, up through Walt emotionally torturing the Schwartzes, you had no choice but to fear that he was as infected by the Heisenberg as he was by the cancer, and that his evil was going to sprial out of control.
 
Then, next thing you know, he's in the car with Badger and Skinny P for some comic relief and the revelation that the Schwartzes were never in danger. From there, the final 60 minutes (it was a 75 minute episode) was a whole lot more redemption for Walt than I ever thought possible.
 
The admission to Skyler was downright shocking. And while his on-the-fly decision to save Jesse (after he confirmed he was still alive and cooking meth) might have been a bit less surprising, given the trajectory of the episode, but was done so well. Walt literally took a bullet to save Jesse's life, and then he took one, figuratively, by hanging around to die in the meth lab: the cops will assume Heisenberg was cooking the blue all along (not his apprentice), and Jesse could not have a cleaner slate to work with as he starts a new life.
 
Beautiful. Then again, I was really hoping for some variant on the "Darth Vader" ending; I stuck with Walt as an anti-hero for a lot longer than it seemed most other people did. To me, once you accept the basic premise of the show ("becoming a drug kingpin is an acceptable response to getting cancer"), morality becomes necessarily skewed. I don't think you are allowed to accept that premise, and then become instantly critical of Walt for having a self-preservation instinct. But even I had to stop cheering for the guy after he killed Mike... that wasn't just a shitty thing to do, it marked a rare instance of Walt spazzing out and doing something in the heat of the moment (which was really more of Jesse's gimmick). His control and forethought somehow made his bad deeds seem more dignified. There was nothing dignified about killing Mike.
 
So, "Breaking Bad" had 8 final episodes to restore my faith in Walt having some redeeming qualities. For 7 and 1/5th episodes, they went the other way, and made Walt as horrible as possible. And still, in that final 4/5ths, you were left with all the evidence you needed that there was still more than a shred of humanity left in the guy. And all without it seeming contrived or rushed.
 
Like I said: satisfying. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to just let it sink in. The season premiere of "Homeland" happened right after "Breaking Bad," but I decided to let it sit and wait for a day or two, rather than risk sensory overload.
 
But here we are, with 3 hours of wrestling staring us in the face. With tons of hype for Sunday's PPV on the menu, it's doubtful WWE will serve up any kind of Sensory Overload. But hopefully, among all the FF Filler, they'll at least provide a load.
 
Wait... that came out sounding wrong. But what the hell... you know what I mean:

 
COLD OPEN: CM PUNK WANTS TO FIGHT TONIGHT
 
We slam-cut to the entrance stage, and the start of "Cult of Personality." Before word one is spoken, CM Punk steps out and heads to the ring. While that's happening, we do get a perfunctory welcome from Cole & The Gang, and assurances that this is but the beginning of what will be a great RAW, live from Biloxi, MS.
 
Once Punk's in the ring, he has to wait out a "SEE EM PUNK" chant, and then gets down to business. He says he usually sees himself as an unpredictable guy. He likes unpredictability. But last week on RAW, it was a study in predictability: Heyman showed up and predictably bad-mouthed Punk, Punk predictably went to go get his hands on Heyman, and Ryback and Curtis Axel predictably attacked from behind and put a 2-on-1 beating on him.
 
Oh well, whatchya gonna do about it? Punk says he's not gonna change a thing: he wants Paul Heyman. He wants to destroy him. And if he sees Heyman, he's gonna do the predictable thing EVERY time, and go after Paul. Even though he knows Ryback and Axel will be right there to do the next predictable thing. Punk just doesn't care; one of these times, he's gonna fight through Axel, he's gonna fight through Ryback, and Heyman will be all alone.
 
In fact, Punk figures he'll try to get him some tonight. He asks for Ryback, Axel, or Heyman... but instead, he gets GM Brad Maddox. Maddox chastises Punk for trying to undermine an established PPV match; Punk faces Ryback at Battleground on Sunday, so no way will there be any sort of physical confrontation along those lines tonight.
 
They bicker back and forth for a moment, and then they reach an agreement: if Punk needs an outlet for his aggression, Maddox will find him an opponent... and that's when Big E. Langston showed up and terminated Maddox's search. Langston says if Punk's in the mood for agression, he's got plenty. Then he punches Punk in the face.
 
The brawl is on, and broken up after a bit. During the lull, Maddox gestures (Broadly), and a referee runs down, and we've got us an official match. It's starting now, but we'll have to pick it up after these...
 
[ads]
 
CM PUNK vs. BIG E. LANGSTON
 
So much for Big E. working as a babyface at house shows for the past month... he's right back to monster heel, here.
 
Focus seems to be on Punk's ribs/lower back, as a logical follow up to his table bump at the hands of Ryback last week. Said beatdown leads to Punk's hulk-up, capped off by the Macho Man Elbow, a greater-than-usual amount of posing/preening, and a GTS.
 
Your Winner: CM Punk, via pinfall, in 4-5 minutes of televised match time (plus 3 more minutes for the ad break). Super formulaic, but Langston's so good and convincing that it kinda works. Plus, even if the match wasn't anything special, there was an underlying story, too, which is that Punk is capable of beating a larger opponent with the GTS (which is a good story to tell 6 days before a PPV match against Ryback).
 
[ads]
 
KOFI KINGSTON vs. FANDANGO (w/ Summer Rae)
 
The match was under 3 minutes, and the loudest chant was for Summer Rae. Which tells you just about all you need to know about how entertaining this one was.
 
Your Winner: Kofi Kingston, via pinfall, in about 3 minutes. I have to assume that the take-away here is that Kofi scored a singles win, keeping him firmly in the mix for the IC Title. Otherwise, pointless to the extreme.
 
After the Match: the lights went out and the lantern flicked on. The Wyatts are here. As they enter, Kofi grabs a chair and prepares to defend himself. But Bray just wants to talk; he hunkers down in the rocking chair (the magically appearing rocking chair!) and says he's long pondered the mystery of why bad things happen to good people. It has led him to one crystal clear conclusion; he now knows what he must do. "One by one, they will all fall down. Follow the buzzards!" Ominous. Kofi is as confused as the rest of us, and then we get the freeze frame goat mask and some...
 
[ads]
 
New Match: on the PPV pre-show, Dolph Ziggler will face Damien Sandow. Whee. On the upside, this new trend towards really good pre-show matches started with Sheamus vs. Sandow. Ziggler vs. Sandow could/should trump that.
 
Backstage: the Bellas are chatting about Brie's new status as #1 Contender to AJ's Women's Title. Then Randy Orton walks in. Rather than go all Date Rapist on them, like he did last week, Orton just delivers pure dickishness as he threatens to maim Daniel Bryan to the point that he won't be able to walk down the aisle at his wedding (to Brie; they just got engaged this week). Boo.
 
Elsewhere Backstage: Renee Young has Paul Heyman for an interview, and wants to know what he thought of Punk's earlier words. Heyman says Punk is a nobody who became a superstar thanks to Paul E. And he's a superstar who became a champion thanks to Paul E. And then he forgot who helped him get there, and now he's a nobody again, and Paul's the Best in the World. Renee, displaying that self-awareness that makes her an OO Favorite, asking "So that's why I see Ryback standing off to the side, and Curtis Axel hiding behind some boxes over there?" HA! Paul blurts out some justification, with tons of faux bravado, and says to just stay tuned, because he's got plans for CM Punk.
 
[ads]
 
LOS MATADORES (w/ El Torito) vs. 3MB
 
Alright, so Los Matadores are Diego (formerly Epico) and Fernando (formerly Primo), and they have a midget dressed up in a bull costume. THERE IS NO WAY THIS CAN FAIL~!
 
Or maybe there is. On one hand, everything's funnier with midgets. On the other hand, me and Al Snow are the only two people who believe the first hand.
 
Match is virtually a squash, designed (I assume) to condition the crowd to yell "OLE!" after each offensive move by Los Matadores. Their finish was a double-team backdrop suplex.
 
Your Winners: Los Matadores, via pinfall, in 3 minutes or so. This was definitely an introduction of characters moreso than a wrestling match. In that regard, it was effective enough. Kiddies and those who don't insist on taking their wrestling too seriously have something to enjoy here, and Epico/Primo are certainly talented enough to fill in the workrate later.
 
[ads]
 
Save the Boobies!: it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and WWE is once again joining in with tons of pink shit as far as the eye can see. And 20% of the profits from all the pink merchandise you buy goes to protect the Boobies. I'd say that's a good cause. I don't care for all the pink, but I do like boobies.[NOTE: don't be entirely surprised if Cena shows up for a cameo in the next month. This partnership was championed by him last year.]
 
MCMAHON/RHODES "FAMILY SUMMIT"
 
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon enter first, and do some back and forth back-patting, in a cutesy couple-y sort of way that makes you want to slap them, in regards to how they are such great bosses. That includes inviting the Rhodes family here tonight for a business proposition. So let's cut to the chase!
 
The Rhodes -- Dusty, Cody, and Dustin in Goldust face-paint, but otherwise wearing a normal suit and tie -- make their entrance.
 
HHH and Steph start by pointing out how grateful they must be. I mean, how many chances have they had, and now they're getting another one? Steph can't even fathom a guess, though HHH says this is the 4th second chance, by his count. First, Cody lost to Orton. Then, Goldust lost to Orton. And finally, Dusty had a chance to save one of his sons' job, but he "made it about Dusty, instead."
 
Cole, attempting to clarify that particular angle, tells us, "Stephanie forced Dusty to choose which of his jobs got its son back." Oh my, the Orton is strong in that one.
 
But anyway, here we are, for Take 4. The proposition is this: Cody and Dustin will face Rollins and Reigns this Sunday at Battleground. If they win, Dusty will keep his job (as head of Developmental), Cody will regain his job, and Dustin will get a job. But if they lose, all three are finished with WWE forever.
 
No mention of the tag titles, so I think we can all presume this is a non-title match (and thus, the Rhodes will win, right?).
 
The Rhodesses talk among themselves, and Dusty rips the mic out of HHH's hands, and says he's got one stipulation, and if they agree to it, he'll be their huckleberry. The stipulation is that he gets to be in his sons' corner, cuz he knows Ambrose is gonna be in the Shield's. Stipulation accepted. The match is on.
 
HHH admonishes Dusty for being so frisky, and warns him that if he's looking for a fight, he might just get his wish. The Rhodes display an almost Sting-like level of naivete, as they stand in the ring looking confused, while HHH and Steph leave.
 
Then the Shield attacks. Duh. Reigns spears Goldust into next week. Dusty eats a curb stomp. And then Cody gets the Triple Powerbomb. A bit anvilicious, but still... pretty effective, too. I think they've handled the Rhodesses very well so far in this story (and Goldust helped immensely by being on his absolute A-game when asked to perform in the ring), and the crowd reactions bear that out.
 
[ads]
 
R-TRUTH vs. CURTIS AXEL (w/ Paul Heyman) (Non-Title)
 
Truth starts out by mincing and prancing... or maybe that's Fandango? Perhaps Truth starts out by juking and jiving? Either way, it's to annoy Axel, and it works.
 
Once Axel's seen enough, he settles in for the standard heel beatdown. Then when it seems like victory is imminent, "Cult of Personality" plays. Axel turns to the stage, and awaits Punk's arrival. But there's no Punk. The music stops.
 
Axel, confused, turns back around, and walks directly into a Lie Detector. FIN.
 
Your Winner: R-Truth, via pinfall, in about 4 minutes. Match was nothing but an excuse to run the mindgames angle. Paul figures out the ruse, and just sort of shakes his head, while Axel is stuck shaking out the cobwebs during Truth's surprisingly arhythmic celebration. So much for my theory about the previous match existing to set up Kofi for an IC Title shot, eh?
 
[ads]
 
BABY NEWS: Trish Stratus gave birth to a boy on Monday. His name is Maximus. I think Trish wants her baby boy to go into the family business. You could sit around for years, randomly generating names (like WWE already does for NXT) and not come up with a more perfect wrestling name than Max Stratus.
 
BRIE BELLA (w/ Nikki) vs. ALICIA FOX
 

One is in a PPV title match on Sunday. The other is not. You do the math.
 
Your Winner: Brie Bella, via pinfall, in 2 minutes flat. I was definitely looking forward to Nattie/AJ, but I guess you can't fault WWE for changing gears now that the Brie/Bryan relationship is public knowledge. They'd be one hell of an unlikely "power couple," that's for sure.
 
[ads]
 
Backstage: Axel is furious that he just lost a match, due to Punk's musical shennanigans. Heyman seems less concerned about the loss, and more worried about what Punk has in store for Paul. Then Ryback walks in, and soothes Paul's concerns by promising that nothing bad will ever happen to Paul so long as Ryback is around. Ryback hates bullies, and he especially hates CM Punk.
 
Ryback leaves, and suddenly Paul is beaming (which doesn't seem to sit too well with Axel, who is still sulking). Paul calls Ryback a "big, bad, beautiful man," with just the right glint in his eye so you can read whatever you want into it. Paul says his life changed the day Ryback saved his life. Food, tastier. Flowers, sweeter. And so on. There's only one thing left to do: propose to Ryback.
 
Heyman wanders off, leaving Axel to look perplexed as all get-out.
 
Elsewhere Backstage: Renee Young is set to interview Big Show, and starts with a basic question, "How are you?". Show doesn't bother trying to give a phony response and admits he's feeling terrible. He's doing horrible things to his friends, and that's bad enough, but then people start questioning him, saying he's a sell out and that he should be a man and do the right thing. Well, one man's right thing is another man's sell-out. It's all relative, and if only we understood.... and he starts to break down in tears, again.
 
But at the last moment, he catches himself, stands up straight, and says, screw it. People want to see him do the right thing? Maybe it's time to do that. It's in a very vague tone of voice, though. For a moment, I even thought they were going to do a storyline hinting at suicide. But Crack Reporter Renee Young immediately asked the follow-up question... what, pray tell, is the Right Thing?
 
"I'm going to find Triple H. And I'm going to knock him the hell out."
 
Works for me. But why do I have a feeling he won't go through with it?
 
[ads]
 
Backstage: R-Truth is demanding an IC Title Match from GM Maddox, but decides to table that discussion when Big Show storms in. He wants HHH. Maddox doesn't know where HHH is. Show pins Maddox against the wall and says "Then go find him, and bring him to me. I ain't leaving until you do."
 
ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. ZACK RYDER (Non-Title)
 

We're all adults here, so let's not pretend this was something it wasn't.
 
Your Winner: Alberto del Rio, via submission, in about 4 minutes. Even after a lengthy absence from TV, Ryder still got a solid reaction here for his (futile) fire up sequence, which added a little something extra to this otherwise unremarkable squash match.
 
[ads]
 
PAUL'S PROPOSAL
 
Ryback and Paul Heyman head out to the ring, together, while everybody's wondering what in the hell is up with paul "proposing" to Ryback. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
 
After reviewing the events of recent weeks, Paul declares that his new lease on life and his status as the Best in the World are the result of one man acting independently. Acting bravely, on his own, according to his own beliefs. That man is Ryback, and he only did what he did because CM Punk is a bully, and Ryback's morality would not allow for Punk's actions to stand.
 
As a result of that, Paul believes he and Ryback have become friends, and Paul has begun acting as Ryback's "advocate." But tonight, Paul wants to make their relationship more serious. He wants to make it official. He gets down on one knee, and holds Ryback's hand (Ryback, for his troubles, is acting like he's loving every minute of this, with a proud "well, look at me, I'm the belle of the ball" look on his face).
 
And he proposes: "Will you, Ryback, become a Paul Heyman Guy?"

Ryback grins, and the crowd boos that all the build up was to such a silly and self-aggrandizing question... but there's no time for that, since "Cult of Personality" has just fired up.
 
But once again, no Punk. At least, no Punk on the stage... instead, he's sprinting through the crowd, and leaps over the barricade...
 
And blows out his knee on the landing. [Or did I?]

Ryback had been on his way out of the ring to meet Punk, but immediately falls back. The vibe is that this is some kind of for-real unscripted injury: Paul and Ryback start whispering to each other, as if working out a back-up plan, and Punk can't stay on his feet for more than 2 seconds at a time.
 
Finally, when a trainer comes out to check on Punk, Paul walks over to that side of the ring, and hangs out over the top rope, looking down on Punk.
 
And that's when Punk whips a kendo stick out from under the ring, and whaps Paul in the legs with it. Leaping to his feet, Punk reveals the injury as a fake, just like Paul's was last week.
 
With several more "Hey, lookit my knee! It's not hurt!" flourishes, Punk cleans house with the kendo stick, sending Paul and Ryback scurrying. The irony: Punk's knee really is banged up, and he's been working hurt pretty much since one week into his return in June.
 
Anyway, there were about a half dozen Punk/Heyman segments tonight, and all of them clicked for me. My brain knows that Punk/Ryback is not a match to get super-excited for, due to Ryback's limitations. But the rest of me doesn't care, because the story and the tension is so spot-on. Good stuff.
 
[ads]
 
DOLPH ZIGGLER and THE USOS vs. THE SHIELD
 
Ziggler almost immediately falls into a face in peril role, but it's only a preliminary/decoy FiP deal... about 3 minutes in, he makes a tag to an Uso, and a Pier Sixer breaks out, culminating in Ziggler clotheslining Reigns out of the ring on one side, while the Usos take out Rollines/Ambrose on the other side with stereo planchas.
 
Shield down, good guys celebrating the high flying success. So let's break for...
 
[ads]
 
Back, and the Shield are, predictably enough, back in control. Ricky Uso is taking a beating, and the Shield are doling it out in their standard excellent fashion. Full cutting-the-ring-in-half tactics, plus a full dose of taunting and trashtalking to keep the heat up.
 
As an added bonus, once Uso started to fire up, they put WAY more effort into teasing the hot tag than I can recall in a while. About 5 different times, it seemed like the hot tag was coming, only to be foiled by the Shield; they used every trick in the book, except for the "ref is distracted and doesn't see the tag" one.
 
Still, the tag is eventually made to Ziggler, who is a house o' fire. He goes to town on Ambrose, building up to the 10 Elbowdrops (apparently now called the Heartstopper?)... but he only gets up to the third one when Rollins interferes, and things break down into another Pier Sixer.
 
In the chaos, Reigns blind tagged himself into the match. So when Ziggler is all proud of himself after hitting a Zig Zag on Ambrose, he turns around an eats a Spear, and that's the end of that.
 
Your Winners: the Shield, via pinfall, in 14 minutes. Good match, not great by any means, but on a night where it's the only wrestling match of any real value, it sure stands out and seems all the better by comparison. The Usos seem to have chemistry out the yin-yang with the Shield, and adding Ziggler to the mix will never hurt.
 
[ads]
 
Backstage: Big Show has his sleeves rolled up and is all ready to rumble... but when the door to the GM office opens, it's not HHH. It's a half dozen policemen. They heard there was a distrubance, and they want to escort Show out of the building before he can do anything stupid.
 
Show is confused as to why he's being treated like an abusive husband, but that's when Steph shows up, and pretty much starts playing the abused wife who swears he didn't mean it, he's just in a bad mood, and please, officers, just leave us be, and we'll take care of it. I mean, the big guy's had a tough couple weeks, and hell, it's not just at work, either. Steph says she talked to Big Show's wife, and it seems ne's "not measuring up at home, either."
 
BA-ZINGA~! More erectile dysfunction humor from Stephanie! Miz ejaculates prematurely, and Show can't even get it up! Be a Star, Steph!
 
Anyway, this is apparently enough to satisfy the cops (who I'll just assume were summoned by Steph, anyway, to set up this humiliation; otherwise, the alternative is that somebody would phone in a domestic disturbance b ackstage at a wrestling show, and the cops would actually show up). They leave, Steph follows, and Show first gets angry, and punches a hole in the wall. Then he gets sad and collapses into a weepy mess on the couch.
 
As you might expect, I thought the whole bit was pretty much beyond lame. Phony, melodramatic, nonsensical, and many other adjectives apply.
 
Elsewhere Backstage: Renee Young and RVD. RVD acknowledges that ADR is a vicious champ, but says that's not the same as being Hardcore. Hardcore Rules means using your imagination, as well as your weapons. Hardcore Rules means things you've never seen before. And Rob doesn't know how to say "Hardcore" in Spanish, but he assures us that's OK, because there's one translation of the word that is universal. And it's spelled R-V-D. A bit stilted and Orton-y, but promos never were RVD's thing; but an RVD promo that hypes a Hardcore Rules match is still going to be effective every time, if you ask me.
 
[ads]
 
SANTINO MARELLA (w/ Khali and Hornswoggle) vs. ANTONIO CESARO (w/ Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger)
 
This is what Pyro would call a "reverse squash," I believe. Domination by Cesaro, leading up to the Giant Swing (now called The Cesaro Swing). He got 27 revolutions tonight, by my count.
 
Santino couldn't stand up after that, so Cesaro got all cocky, and watched Santino stumbling around for a bit. Then he finally decided to finish him off, but Santino blocked the first attempt, and then, still dizzy, somehow managed to fall on top of Cesaro in a pinning combination.
 
Your Winner: Santino, via pinfall, in 3 minutes. Nothing to see here, although the outcome was a bit of a surprise. Cesaro sold it with a perfect facial expression of "Oh, you've got to be kidding me, now."
 
A Real Proposal: so, forget the Paul Heyman skit from before... because last week, Daniel Bryan proposed marriage to Brie Bella, and she gladly accepted. They have a big montage of still photos, and clips from That Which I Do Not Acknowledge where Brie talks about how great the 2 and a half years with Daniel have been. So just in case you missed it on TMZ, weren't clear on what Orton was talking about his his skit earlier, and are otherwise included in the 80% of RAW viewers who don't watch That Which I Do Not Acknowledge, there you have it... Brie is engaged to Daniel Bryan, and we're acknowleding it on TV, which I gather makes her a babyface by association.
 
[ads]
 
FACE-TO-FACE: RANDY ORTON AND DANIEL BRYAN
 
So, it's come to this... a main event promo from the two men headlining Sunday's PPV. Jerry Lawler is MC'ing the event, which consists mostly of introducing both guys, telling a bit of backstory about how the WWE Title became vacant, and then getting out of the way.
 
Orton responds first, saying that at first he was upset by HHH's decision to vacate the title, rather than return it to its rightful owner. But now Orton realizes that HHH did that to motivate him, to make him the best Apex Predator he can be, and not just some watered down "viper." He enjoys doing terrible things, he embraces the return of his old temperament, and he can't wait for Sunday. He's genetically superior to Bryan in every way, and he's going to expose Bryan as the small, pathetic, B+, goat-faced troll that he is.
 
Rebuttal, Mr. Bryan?
 
Bryan sort of laughs off the insult, as he's heard it about a billion times by now, and says Orton talks a good game. But if you really dissect what he said, it's not really that meaningful. Listen closely, and Orton admits that he needs somebody motivating him, he needs something extra, something external, to reach his potential. And then look again at this small, pathetic, B+ troll who has worked his ass off every day of his life to outperform his potential and expectations.
 
It seems one of us is an underachiever who needs extra motivation, and the other of us is a self-motivated overachiever. And which of those do you think will be the next WWE Champion. Bryan suggests it will be him, and predictably enough, the crowd YES!es in unison.
 
Orton tries to shout "NO!" in between the YES!es, but it doesn't work. So intead, he tries a Skyler-esque "Shut up. Shut up! SHUT UP! SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!" meltdown. Also not effective. But the crowd eventually simmers down so Randy can get a word in, edgewise. He's incredulous, "You really think you can become champion on Sunday? What's wrong with you? Are you delusional? You think you're on a roll and anything can happen just because you got Brie Bella to marry you?" And then, something clicks in Orton's head, and he stops acting mildly flustered, and looks Bryan dead in the eyes. Time to be a massive dick, again!
 
"And yeah, what's up with that, anyway? What's wrong with her that she'd ever agree to marry you? How broken is she that she's settling for you?" Bryan tries to play it off, but Orton continues. "I mean, it's either there's something wrong with her, or she's going to wake up some morning and realize what a terrible mistake she's made. She could be with a real man, like me, instead of a barnyard animal like you."
 
At this point, The Rick would have reacted by keeping his cool and saying, "Well, it is true that I'm hung like a horse. Thanks for mentioning it. But how exactly did you know? Sneaking peeks in the shower, Randall?" Or something along those lines. Cuz I'm a snarker, not a fighter.
 
But this is wrestling, where all differences are settled in anti-social fashion, so Bryan just lost it after the barnyard animal line, and cold-cocked Orton.
 
And the fight was on. Bryan got the better of it at first, lighting up the arena with YES! kicks from all angles. But when the match spilled outside, Orton reversed a whip and sent Bryan crashing into the steel ringsteps. Orton continues laying the boots to Bryan, and also tossing him into/onto the barricade....
 
In mid-beatdown, Brie runs out, and starts begging Orton to stop. So instead, Orton hits the hangman DDT (from the apron to the floor) right in front of her. She keeps begging and weeping, and the director is so enthralled by all this silly melodrama that he misses the first half of Orton hitting an RKO on top of the announce table. I'm serious; they cut to it just in the nick of time to catch the final impact, all in the name of a reaction shot from a diva who has previously never shown any outward/onscreen concern over her boyfriend taking a beating. I mean, I get it: it's supposed to mirror the Miz-in-front-of-his-parents thing and reinforce Orton's image as Evil Incarnate, but Brie's random appearance strikes me as unnecessary at best. And it becomes worse when you almost miss a Table RKO because you're so fixated on her. Boo.
 
Show ends with Orton standing tall over Bryan, while Brie sobs gently from a few feet away.
 
And so ends the show. Not on the strongest note possible, but at this point, I think Orton's re-eviling has been effective and Bryan's been pure gold, so it's not like anything they did was gonna detract from the interest in their PPV match.
 
I can't overstate how not-necessary it is to include Brie in all this, but I think that, on the whole, I'm more annoyed at the director almost missing the RKO than I am at this overlap of real-life and story-time. Hell, I'll even go digging for something nice to say, andmention that Orton's half of the main event promo was some of the best mic work he's done in a long time. Intense, but not forced, and he didn't flub a single line. Good for him.
 
I was a pretty big fan of all the Punk/Heyman segments. And the 6-man tag was good. But man alive, everything else was pointless, forgettable, or just not fun. Let's throw it all together, feed it to my Inner Pyro, and call it a C-.


  
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E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

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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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