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Rhodes to Glory
AOctober 15, 2013

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com


Dear "Homeland,"
Stop sucking.
Seriously: I did get the sense that the show had written itself into a difficult corner with the end of Season 2, but I was not ready for Season 3 to kick off with 3 turds.


Two episodes with one of the main characters completely absent, and focused on his daughter attempting suicide. A third episode that finally brings back said main character, but does so in a silly/reinventing-the-wheel/jarring way (just because the Creepy Ginger shaved his head doesn't make him Bruce Willis, and it doesn't make "Homeland" into "Die Hard"). All while the other main character is so batshit crazy that it goes WAAAYYYY beyond a sympathetic "flawed hero" deal to being just kind of annoying.
My concerns at the end of Season 2 were that they made it so that Brody cannot, in any realistic way, interact with society ever again, since he's the most wanted fugitive on the planet (innocent or not). That makes it hard to tell Tales of Intrigue about him (as in the first two seasons, when he was basically half-al-Queda/half-Senator, and 100% unpredictable; now, he's just a guy on the run), and places the narrative onus on Carrie's attempts to find out the real perpetrators so that we can re-introduce Brody to the bigger world. Seems like Season 3 has the former problem in spades, while whiffing on the latter element.
I could surely prattle on some more about my gripes, but those of you who don't watch "Homeland" couldn't possibly care any less, and I have to assume that those of you who do already feel the same way as I do, even after a cursory discussion. I can't be the only one, can I?
Here's what happened on RAW...
Opening Video for the ADD Crowd, and we're live in St. Louis, MO, home of many terrible things, including the Hated Baseball Cardinals. Yes, even with the departure of horrible human beings like Tony LaRussa, and the recent retirement of professional bunghole Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals remain Hated if for no other reason than they are still better at baseball than I'd like them to be. But I digress... after a quick welcome from Cole & The Gang, Shawn Michaels is here, and headed towards the ring.
Shawn kicks off by once again calling himself "H-B-Shizzle," so apparently he actually thinks that's A Thing. Somebody should alert him to the fact that he would actually be "H-B-Kizzle," and furthermore, that everybody agreed to stop doing the "izzle" thing about 12 years ago.
But then he gets down to the issue at hand, which is guest reffing the upcoming Hell in a Cell Match between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan. HBK runs down the main plot points (he trained Bryan, but is best friends with Triple H, who hates Bryan), and then touches on his own bona fides (he wrestled in the first HiaC, in this very building; and he's also reffed HiaC before). For the second week in a row, he expresses disgust over how Battleground ended, and promises he'll do what HBK always does, and that's make sure the fans get their money's worth... and a new WWE Champion.
Pregnant pause, as if the sound guy didn't realize that was Michaels' punchline. Then Orton's music fires up, and he hits the ring. He congratulates Shawn on "convincing" the crowd, but fails to identify WHAT he convinced them of. Randall then proceeds to misspeak in a manner that only he can, stating "As a resident of St. Louis, I can tell you that people from St. Louis aren't very bright." St. Louis doesn't take the moment to appreciate the "shoot that wasn't meant to be a shoot" aspect of the line, and just boos.
Orton then launches into a speech about how Michaels doesn't like him, because Orton's already better than Michaels was at his best, and so HBK is jealous. Except he doesn't say "than," he says "then," which reminds me of the time Orton pitched a t-shirt design with the same grammatical flaw. Good times, good times...

When Orton wraps up, Michaels (who had been staring vacantly into the distance) snaps to attention and says "Whoa, wait, what? We you talking? Sorry, I zoned out." Which is kind of a dick move, but not nearly as dickish as Orton even pretending to make a case for being anywhere near the same caliber performer Michaels was (especially since Orton should be talking about Bryan, not randomly starting shit with HBK), so I say Fair Play.
Orton finally does remember he has a PPV match coming up, and starts boasting about how he'll destroy Daniel Bryan, and HBK will just have to stand there and watch. And if HBK decides to do anything about it, Orton will be happy to destroy him, too.
Michaels is giving Orton his full attention, now, and responds (after another awkward pause) that he knows Orton's trying to intimidate him, but it won't work. Ol' HBK may be a bit rusty, but he's not helpless, and if Orton tries anything, Shawn promises to superkick his head right off his shoulders.
A little nose-to-nose trashtalk, and Shawn finally turns to leave... but Orton grabs him and goes for the RKO. Michaels escapes, and tries for a superkick, but Orton dives out of the ring.
Almost immediately, Orton is attacked by Miz, who is Orton's scheduled opponent. Miz lays a beating on Orton (supposedly recalling when Orton destroyed Miz in his hometown, but nowhere near as convincing), and then refs swarm to break it up. They'll try to restore order so we can have our regularly scheduled match after these...
We join the match in progress, with Orton already into the standard mid-match beatdown. Definitely better pace to this than some recent Orton TV matches, and that continues when the match spills outside for some brawling.
When Orton tries for the Hangman DDT off the barricade, Miz is able to counter it by driving Orton into the ring apron, setting off his comeback. He takes it back into the ring, blasting through a flurry of moves (kneelift-lo-kick-hi-kick triple combo, double axe-handle) that Orton seemed disinterested in selling particularly convincingly. Skull Crushing Finale attempt is countered into an RKO attempt, which is countered by a whip into the corner. Miz lands a kick to Orton's knee, and starts slapping on the Figure Four...
And the lights go out. And the lantern pops on. And the Wyatts are at the top of the ramp, just hanging out.
Miz kicks out of Orton's cheap schoolboy roll-up, but almost immediately eats an RKO.
Your Winner: Randy Orton, via pinfall, in 5 minutes (of "joined in progress" air time). Last week, I said Orton had been stuck in a rut of "5 minutes of action in a 15 minute bag" matches. Well, this one was 5 minutes of action in a 5 minute bag. Nicely portioned. Not sure what was up with a couple of the lazy sell jobs towards the end, but that's hardly enough to dock points. The nice flow from the HBK promo to Orton interruption to Miz run-in to match was also something I appreciated.
After the Match: Orton disappeared, and Bray Wyatt grabbed a mic. He said Miz is the perfect representation of everything he hates: phoney, insubstantial, and a whore for fame. But even with that being the case, Bray doesn't want to see Miz suffer... so he thinks maybe he'll do Miz a favor, and just put him down. Follow. The Buzzards.
Probably Bray's most straight-forward promo since the early vignettes, and definitely sets up a future match. Works for me. And not to harp on it, but this was essentially one contiguous segment that started as an HBK promo, and ended as a Wyatt/Miz angle. That's nice work.
Played pretty much purely for comedy. Finish had Santino taking out the Cobra, but Fandango ducked, and the Cobra became distracted by Summer Rae (who was standing on the apron). So Fandango rolled Santino up, and that was that.
Your Winner: Fandango, via pinfall, in 2 minutes. Inoffensive fun, but I think it might be time to pick one direction to go with Fandango and stick to it. Last week, he had a mean streak as he squashed Ryder. This week, it's comedy and a cheap roll-up win. That dog won't hunt, monsignor.
Backstage: Paul Heyman is talking to GM Brad Maddox, making the case that CM Punk is a dirty cheater (for kicking Ryback in the nads at Battleground), and Maddox should do something about it. Heyman's suggestion is that Maddox make the Punk/Ryback rematch at HiaC a handicap match, with Punk facing Ryback and Curtis Axel.
Maddox doesn't cave, though. He says he has a better idea: both Punk and Ryback will be in action tonight, and it'll be "Beat the Clock." If Ryback beats R-Truth faster than Punk can beat Axel, Heyman can name any stip he wants. But if Punk beats the clock, Punk picks the stip. Heyman no likey.
JBL is an Asshat: so we cut to the announcers, and Cole mentions that there's a petition going around to get Big Show's job back, and specifically name drops Eggsavier Woods from NXT (a/k/a Consequences Creed in TNA) as the guy who started it. JBL immediately acts pissy, because he's never heard of Eggsavier Woods, and what's a punk like that doing trying to show up HHH and Stephanie.

Problem is, JBL is the GM of NXT, and knows exactly who Eggsavier Woods is. Granted, only 10% of RAW's audience knows that, but you can't go having it both ways: if you acknowledge NXT exists on RAW, you acknowledge ALL of it. JBL going for cheap heel heat here was just dumb.
[Also dumb: me spelling it "Eggsavier." As most of you are aware, my allegience is to the University of Dayton Flyers. Because of this, I am obligated to spite our rivals to the south at every turn. They hate it when you pronounce the hard "x"; they hate it even more when you spell it the way it's not supposed to be pronounced. After years of conditioning, I am no longer physically capable of spelling it the other way.]
Anyway, as lame as the petition idea is, I mention this mini-segment because it just might be the introduction of Woods to the main roster (he's already been on some house show cards, lately -- along with Bo Dallas and Sami Zayne -- which is usually a precursor to coming to TV).
Drivel: John Cena got arm surgery, and now he's the greatest and bravest man who ever lived, because he did 2 months of physical therapy. Or something. I dunno. This was the first of two Cena hype segments that will do nothing except exacerbate the problem of his mixed reactions. For the young and gullible, it paints Cena as a superman, to be cheered. For the rest of us, it paints Cena as a superman, in such an over-the-top and tone-deaf way that he's to be booed. There's gotta be a better way...
LOS MATADORES (w/ El Torito) vs. 3MB
This week, Mahal's the odd man out. But the results are the same. Perhaps dragged out a little longer, but still essentially the same.
Fernando and Diego handle the legal members of 3MB, winning with the double backdrop driver. Then the extra 3MB tries to get involved, and the midget beat him up to many cheers and smiles.
Your Winners: Los Matadores, via pinfall, in 4-5 minutes. Despite the finish with El Torito, the meat of the match was played pretty straight, not for comedy. It might even have brushed up against what Pyro calls "the extend-o-squash." Of note: during the match, they had one of those inset interviews with Zeb Colter. Looks like the Real Americans vs. Los Matadores kicks off next week...
Steph and Triple H head to the ring as the announcers talk us through the events of last week. In short: Big Show got fired, but came back to punch HHH in the face. The live audience apparently got the same footage on the Tron, because they greet HHH with a "You got knocked out clap clap clapclapclap" chant.
Once that dies down, Steph starts the talking, and does her scenery-chewing soap opera mega-bitch routine that's not exactly grounded in reality, but somehow still works as camp. It's all about how they own Big Show's house, and will be auctioning off all his stuff, and as I joked before, it's really closer in tone to "Happy Gilmore," more so than real life drama. But whatever.
Then Steph starts talking about how the fans are so disrespectful, and don't even realize that they're doing all this for them. She talks up HHH as the brave hero who carries WWE on his shoulders. And like any hero, he's invincible, I guess, because after WWE spent the past week saying HHH had suffered a concussion and a broken jaw, HHH is here, uninjured, and ready to speak for himself.
HHH takes the mic and begins "Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated." Then he starts rehitting the main notes that Steph mentioned, about how everything he does, he does selflessly, for the betterment of WWE and its fans. Two years ago, he gave up his own personal ambitions to become COO, knowing it was the end of his wrestling career and knowing he'd become an authority figure. And everybody hates authority.
He's tried to break that trend, but he finally gives up. He's sick of being disrespected and underappreciated. If people want to act like he's the bad guy in all of this, FINE, he'll be the bad guy. Mustering up some serious intensity, he reminds us that he's a damned good bad guy. Maybe the worst guy ever. And if you thought he was bad when he was dominating the Attitude Era, just you wait.
HHH will have every superstar beg and grovel for their jobs if they cross him. And he can't wait for the day when he sees Big Show again, because Show will beg and grovel for HHH to not press charges, to not put him in jail, and to not ruin his life more than it already is.
With the entire lockerroom essentially put on notice, Daniel Bryan decides to head to the ring and offer a dissenting view. But first, he leads teh arena in "YES!" chants, that start to drive HHH crazy, which only makes the chants louder.
Bryan's having so much fun with this that he doesn't notice Alberto del Rio sprinting down the aisle. ADR clobbers Bryan from behind, and peppers him with kicks, too. The crowd chants "NO!" during all this, while HHH and Steph do the "YES!" fingers.
HHH and ADR share a bit of meaningful eye contact, and Alberto retreats. Steph then reveals that Bryan's just been introduced to his opponent for tonight. So good luck with that.
All in all, the retconning away of HHH's injuries is probably for the best. You couldn't (believably) have HHH THAT wounded by the WMD, since other guys take it, and are fine the next day (even lowly referees). And if you had Hunter faking injury for the sake of an ambulance-chaser/lawyer story, that'd just be more campy melodrama, rather than true to his character. His "you want me to be evil? Fine, I'll be evil" is a billion times more convincing as a way for him to make Big Show's life miserable.
The little tag ending with del Rio came out of left field, but I'm wondering if this isn't towards the end of setting up the (inevitable) Survivor Series 5-on-5... instead of using HHH in the ring, you could hold him back for a later one-on-one match against Bryan or Show (or both), and do Orton/ADR/Shield vs. Bryan/Cena/Big Show/Rhodesses at Survivor Series.
R-TRUTH vs. RYBACK (w/ Paul Heyman) (Beat the Clock)
Opening two minutes were really amusing, as Truth did everything he could to kill time, be it dancing or bailing out of the ring or whatever. Heyman's horror at the strategy was outstanding, and Ryback in Wily E. Coyote Mode was fun, too.
But this time, Wily E. Coyote got his man (thanks to a distraction by Heyman). Engage standard heel beatdown. I know Ryback's style isn't exactly the most dynamic or kinetic, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more urgency from him. Truth's antics in the first 2 minutes really made use of the BtC Stip; now, Ryback just turned it into any other match. Bleh.
The crowd went into one of their "chant random things" zones. When they started chanting "Goldberg," the announcers actually acknowledged it (for the first time ever, I believe) and used it as an excuse to plug the new Goldberg DVD. Ten out of ten for marketing, minus several million for the match being exciting.
Truth dared to make a comeback, but finally Ryback had enough, and snatched a Shellshocked out of nowhere for the win.
Your Winner: Ryback, via pinfall, in 5:44. So that's the time to beat for Punk. As I already said, this was a tale of two matches: the first part that played into the BtC stip, and the rest that was just a less-than-thrilling Ryback semi-squash.
Backstage: Steph walks up to the Bellas, and asks Brie if she liked what she and Hunter cooked up for her fiancee, Daniel Bryan. But it was a rhetorical question, as Steph keeps talking, and reveals that she cooked up something for Brie, too: a match against Tamina, with Nikki banned from ringside. Whee.
THE DANCING FAT MEN (w/ the Funkadactyls) vs.
Even as I was fast forwarding the commercials, I was pretty sure the Real Americans would be the opponents for Tons of Funk. Fat Guys + Antonio Cesaro = Entertainment!
I was right (sort of). No Giant Swing this week, but instead, after the basic formula plays out, Cesaro is left alone in the ring with Brodus, and he gets the big man up for the Neutralizer, which is -- if anything -- MORE impressive than a Giant Swing.
Your Winners: the Real Americans, via pinfall, in 5 minutes. Nothing noteworthy about it, but it serviced two masters: (1) it continued showcasing Cesaro as a possible break-out star and (2) it gave the Real Americans some additional traction as they head into a feud with Los Matadores.
After the Match: egged on by the crowd, Cesaro decided to do a Giant Swing, afterall. He got Tensai up, but only got 3 rotations. YOU SUCK, CESARO! [/ikeed]
AJ is only cleared for limited duty, due to a concussion suffered last week, so the "no Nikki" stpi isn't as big a deal as they're making it out to be. Then again, they aren't acknowledging AJ's concussion, so what you don't know won't hurt you.
Decent little match, with Tamina definitely embracing the Lady Diesel vibe more and more each week. Brie, in contrast, supplemented her "face turn, by association" by channeling her own Inner Daniel Bryan, including an emphasis on knee strikes during her spunky underdog fire up.
But alas, Lady Diesel > Lady Bryan. Tamina won, appropriately enough, with a Nash-esque Big Boot to the Face.
Your Winner: Tamina, via pinfall, in 5 minutes or so. Not a classic, but it is the first decent women's match WWE's given us since Kaitlyn disappeared from TV after her feud with AJ.
After the Match: Tamina continued assaulting Brie. Samoan Drop. Shoulderbreaker. Superly Splash. Then AJ decided to get involved, and briefly slapped on the Black Widow before refs and Nikki came out and broke things up. AJ then got down on all fours, right in front of Brie, and started licking the women's title, with pure filth in her eyes. TV-PG, my ass. How does AJ do that?
CM PUNK vs. CURTIS AXEL (w/ Paul Heyman) (Beat the Clock)
Once again: a distressing lack of urgency. Nobody believes that Axel will win, so to create any kind of tension here, you have to emphasize the concept of "CM Punk must win quickly." If anything, the match started off extra slow and feeling-out-y, as if it was gonna be a 15 minute stroll through the park. Instead of, you know?, a Beat the Clock Match.
Oh well. As the clock counts backwards from 5:44, nobody seems to be paying attention until about 1 minute to go, when Punk has rallied to gain control, and goes for a GTS. But Axel counters and hits a PerfectPlex, for a close 2 count. Instead of bailing out of the ring or otherwise getting heel heat by killing time, Axel dives right back in for more (the announcers declare it's no longer about beating the clock for Axel, because he believes he can win).
Bad idea. After a quick bit of double-reverse-y, Punk nails the GTS, and is able to make the cover. When the ref counts to 3, the clock still has 12 seconds remaining.
Your Winner: CM Punk, via pinfall, in 5:32. Pretty meh; so many ways to play with the BtC gimmick, none of them explored. Also, it's getting to the point where Heyman's character almost has to be fed up with Axel, but you can't really cut bait on him because Axel without Heyman would be DOA as a babyface. It's a real Catch-22.
After the Match: Punk grabbed a mic, and said he was ready to declare his stipulation for the PPV. He likes Paul's original idea of a Handicap Match, so let's roll with that. Except: the match Punk wants is him against Ryback and Heyman. Paul's face drops. Oh, and by the way: it'll be inside the Cell. If Paul could sob like a bitch on command (like Big Show), he would have here. As it was, he instead emoted "utter terror," as Punk celebrated his win/ingenius match idea.
Fast start for Bryan gives way to a mini-beatdown, during which the action slows and the announcers bicker about the fairness of HHH and Steph's actions lately. First, they reveal that the Eggsavier Woods Petition has mysteriously disappeared from the internet (in so doing, Cole points out what I pointed out above: that JBL MUST know who Woods is, since he's GM of NXT... JBL had no answer to that). Then they argue over whether a chance to wrestle the world champ on RAW is punishment or opportunity. Sadly, no one has the cognitive capacity to deduce that it can be both at the same time, with the match itself as an opportunity for Bryan to show off his skills, but the implementation of it as punishment (the physical attack by ADR, then the subsequent emotional attack, in the form of the physical attack on Bryan's finacee).
My guess is nuance like that is beyond the grasp of the Voice in the Headset... anyway, Bryan stages a rally, but lands hard when he whiffs on one of his corner dropkicks. He down in a heap, and del Rio is posing for the audience, so let's break for...
Back, and it's Bryan in control for about 15 seconds, until he misses the swandive headbutt. A back and forth-y sequence ends with Bryan unable to fully cinch the YES! Lock before del Rio makes the ropes. Alberto uses the ropes for sanctuary, and the ref had to forcibly restrain Bryan, giving del Rio the chance to strike, and launch an extended offensive.
Pretty standard stuff here, but del Rio kept the pace up and the crowd invested with various taunts and immitations of Bryan's mannerisms. His run came to an end when Bryan escaped the step-up enzuigiri... both men down, so we do the reset and enter End Game.
Bryan soon gets the better of it, with YES! kicks, the Flying Goat Dive, and a missile dropkick. But when he starts setting up for the running knee, Randy Orton appears on the TitanTron.
Orton is outside the Trainer's Room, where he tells us Brie Bella is still being tended to. Orton says he's sure Bryan's worried about his fiancee, so maybe Orton should go in and provide an update?
Orton opens the door, and we see two doctors and two Bellas, who are all sort of "What are you doing here?"... then Orton turns around, and mugs for the camera through the crack in the door ("Shining" style), before slamming the door shut.
Bryan leaves the ring, and sprints for the back, getting counted out along the way.
Your Winner: Alberto del Rio, via count-out, in 16 minutes. They had a really nice thing going until the non-finish. Granted, that's more palatable on free TV than PPV, but it's still not ideal. But if you're gonna do the "backstage trap" thing with Orton, the only alternative would have been for del Rio to win with a cheap roll-up before Bryan ran away. And that's no better for the big picture.
After the Match: cameras caught up to Bryan running around backstage, looking for the trainer's room. He found it, and barged in... but no Orton. Then the Bellas start shrieking in terror as Orton comes back into the room behind Bryan, sneak attacking him.
Orton continues the assult, and the Bellas keep shrieking, for a minute or so until officials (both zebra and suit) show up to pull Orton off.
Intellectually, I know that this was actually a pretty solid little angle making proper use of Brie and everything (instead of her involvement making Orton look like a sleaze, as has been the case in recent weeks, here she was used as bait, and Orton comes off as an evil mastermind... well, except for the part where he talked in the opening segment of the show). But for some reason, I am distracted by the set decorations of the "trainer's room," which would seem to indicate WWE's trainers are nothing more than 10th grade health teachers.
I'm funny like that.
Backstage: the Shield are standing around, talking about what a sucker Daniel Bryan is. Then HHH and Steph walk in and tell them to get focused for their tag team title defense against the Rhodes Boys. The Shield seem unconcerned, but Steph reminds them they've already lost twice to them. Ambrose swallows hard and says, Yeah, that's right, let's get serious boys. HHH decides to do them a favor: he's making tonight's match a No DQ match. The Shield likes it. So does Steph, who waits about 7 nanoseconds after the Shield files out and starts making out with Hunter. The hell?
More Drivel: another Cena package in the same vein as the first. Whatever your pre-existing opinion of Cena, it has just been reinforced. No minds were changed.
After entrances, we get full boxing-style ring intros, adding a certain Big Match Feel to the lowly tag team titles. As we start, Cole is indignant that the No DQ stip basically makes this a 3-on-2 match in favor of the Shield.
Somebody forgot to tell Ambrose about this, though, since he was very well behaved for the majority of the match. Tis the rub when you do No DQ rules, and you have to balance "having an actual match" with "what a smart person would do if there really were no rules."
Anyway, we go pretty quickly to Cody as the Decoy Face in Peril. That lasts for about 3-4 minutes, then a tag to Goldust. He's on a roll, taking care of Rollins in the ring. But then he tries to catch Reigns on the apron and misses, and goes flying to the floor, where he lands hard.
The break in the action is the perfect place for...
Back, and Goldust is the real deal Face in Peril. The Shield do that voodoo that they do so well, cutting the ring in half, and executing pitch-perfect tag strategy.
Also: Ambrose still really hasn't had a whole lot to do in the match.
As is required by formula, Dustin eventually did break free and made the hot tag to Cody, who goes to town on Reigns, culminating in the Picture Perfect Moonsault, for a close two. Cody then hit the Disaster Kick, and that's when it finally broke down into a Pier Fiver, with Rollins breaking up the pin, and Ambrose saying "To hell with this happy crappy" and joining the fight, too.
Goldust got the 2-on-1 outside the ring, at first, while Cody got the better of Rollins inside the ring. Then, once Goldust was down, Cody fell victim to the numbers game... but just as the Shield were setting up for the Triple Powerbomb, Goldust ran in and started swinging a steel chair at anything that moved.
Now it's Cody/Rollins brawling outside the ring, with Cody getting powerbombed onto the barricade. And in the ring, Dustin and the Chair are doing a decent job dealing with Ambrose and Reigns, including a nice sequences where Goldust hit both with Inverted Atomics.
Rollins rejoined the fight and got a quick blow in on Dustin, and that's all it took to turn the tide. On the wrong end of a 3-on-1, Goldust wound up outside the ring, where he was speared right through the barricade by Reigns. He's done.
The Shield scoop Cody into the ring, where Reigns is indicating it's time for the Triple Powerbomb... but all of a sudden, the crowd erupts, because Big Show is running down the steps to the floor of the arena. He jumps the barricade, and immediately destroys Ambrose and Rollins.
Up in the ring, Reigns has been distracted by all this, and Cody's recovered. Cody gets a running start for the Disaster Kick, but Reigns sees it coming and ducks. In fact, he ducks nice and low.
Nice and low to the point where Big Show easily reaches up and blasts him in the face with the WMD. Cody's not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so he makes the cover, and gets the pin.
Your Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: Cody Rhodes and Goldust, via pinfall, in about 20 minutes. Just an outstanding match and satisfying finish. Enough Big Show to keep stories moving, but not so much that the Rhodes Victory is any less convincing. I would never have guessed that Ambrose would hold the US Title longer than Rollins/Reigns held the tag belts, but here we are... and I'm not complaining as this was a perfect convergence of factors, and striking while the iron is hot with the Rhodesses is a perfectly acceptable course of action. Youtube it if you like things that are great.
Huge celebration by the brothers as we fade to black.
And so ends the show. On a very high note. I like when that happens.
Up till the main event, this was a RAW with no real defining feel or character. Nothing sucked, nothing ruled. Two Beat the Clock Matches were a chance to do something interesting; nothing of the sort happened. ADR and Bryan had a real nice little match, but the ending left a lot to be desired. It was a show where, for every minor entry in the Credit column, there was a corresponding tiny entry in the Debit column.
A bunch of tiny transactions that zero'd out in the end, basically.
Then the main event happened, and it was awesome. All of a sudden, my feeling is that I just watched a pretty good show. Sure, I'd rather a more top-to-bottom memorable show, but I also won't sneeze at 2 and a half hours of identity-free TV that retroactively takes on an aura of enjoyability thanks to a stellar 30 minutes to end the show.
Put it all together and run it through the Pyrolizer... and I think the letter grade for tonight is a straight-up B.

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
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RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
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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
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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



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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