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OO RAW RECAP
Big Show: Doer of Things That Have Never Been Done Before! NEVER!!!
October 22, 2013

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com

 

I can't decide if I'm looking forward to Sunday's PPV or not. On one hand, I'm a sucker for Cell matches, and WWE's seemingly going all out with Cena and Michaels and everything.
 
But on the other: three PPVs in six week. Viewer Fatigue is a very real phenomenon, at least for The Me.

 

I don't even do the Binge Viewing that seems to be so popular with the kids today. Two, maybe three, episodes at once, and I like to pull back and let it all soak in, and go again in a day or two. Anything more than that, and my enjoyment decreases; too much of one thing just deadens the senses, builds up your immunity, I think.
 
And yeah, 3 PPVs in 6 weeks has got all that in spades.
 
This used to happen about twice a year back in the 14 PPVs per year era (2004 through 2009), but 2013 is the second year of WWE being back to 12 PPVs per year, and we've STILL got to deal with it. I know that working around holidays and major sporting events must be tough, but how is it that WWE wound up putting 2 of their 3-week builds back to back? Oy. This shouldn't be happening anymore.
 
[FYI: WWE just released it's PPV calendar for 2014, and the two 3-week builds are six months apart. And better yet, the two short turnarounds are before Money in the Bank and TLC, which are both gimmicky enough where you don't have to start all new feuds, you just take what already exists, and add ladders. And tables, and chairs. So that's good. The way the dates fell, they also moved one PPV out of a fall/post-SummerSlam spot to an early summer spot. Basically, remove what was called Battleground this year, and insert it between Payback and MitB on next year's calendar. Anyway, point is, the thing I'm complaining about now isn't something that I'll get to talk about again until at least 2015. And that's fine by me.]
 
With that digression out of the way, it's up to 3 hours of RAW to help me decide what sort of mindset I have heading into Hell in a Cell. Anticipation, or Viewer Fatigue? Let's find out...

 
Opening Recap Video for the ADD Crowd, and then we're live in Memphis, TN, where Cole & the Gang make the standard promise of a great show, as Triple H and Stephanie are already on their way to the ring.
 
BIG SHOW, MASTER HACKER?
 
HHH and Steph are really milking it with the cutesy lovey/dovey stuff this week. Because there's nothing more disgusting than a happy couple executing a PDA. But once they cut it out, it's not like they start off with anything other than more cheap heat.
 
Steph gets to start, and basically runs down all the terrible things Big Show has done (with video accompaniment), and how he's a waste of sperm and egg. Whee. It's nothing she hasn't said a half dozen times already.
 
Hunter takes over, and steers the talk to the Bryan/Orton Cell match coming up on Sunday. Specifically, he talks about his friendship with Special Ref Shawn Michaels. He says HBK was the fans' choice to be the ref, but that he (HHH) is absolutely on board because he knows and trusts that Shawn will do what's best for business. It's clearly a spiel designed to put fans onto the scent of a Michaels' heel turn.
 
Then, Big Show sudden pops up on the TitanTron to interrupt. Steph immediately freaks out, because nobody has EVER interrupted a promo by popping up on the TitanTron. Ahem. But for whatever reason, yeah, this time, she's all "How'd he do that?", which must mean there's a storyline reason for pointing out that plot point after years and years of pretty much never wondering how that happens...
 
Show sits out another tirade from Steph, and then says that try as HHH and Steph might, they aren't going to win this battle. Big Show ain't going down without a fight, and in this case, he'd be happy to do it in the ring... but for now, he'll settle for a court room. He posits that the reason why HHH and Steph are so put out is because they just got served today, and Show is suing them for the full compensation he was owed on his contract.
 
Now it's Hunter's turn to sassback to Show, and he gets overly angry as he swears up and down that Show will not win, and will end up a broke and broken man by the time HHH is done with him. Show comes back with a zinger, asking "Man, what's got into you? Wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? Then again, considering who you're married to, there ain't no right side of that bed." Ha?
 
Despite that being awfully forced and not particularly funny, Steph flips her lid, and orders the director to cut Show off. She does a countdown from 5, and sure enough, Big Show goes away.
 
HHH, suddenly smiling and composed again, says that was unpleasant, but hey, the show must go on, and he's got just the thing for us: a Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose match. He thinks we should start it now, and goes so far as to introduce Ambrose.
 
Except, after the introduction, "Ride of the Valkyries" fires up, and Bryan comes out, to deafening "YES!" chants. HHH is miffed, and can do nothing but stand there as Bryan makes a few taunting rounds of the ring, further firing up the crowd. Apparently, Ambrose's entrance will have to sait until after these...
 
[ads]
 
DANIEL BRYAN vs. DEAN AMBROSE (Non-title)
 
Ambrose is flying solo, so it's a straight up singles affair.
 
Good, fast-paced back and forth to start, with the advantage eventually going to Bryan. A few minutes in, Ambrose decided to take a breather, and Bryan tried to follow him out of the ring by hitting a running knee from the apron to the floor. But Ambrose ducked it, and immediately spun around to take Bryan down with a hard clothesline.
 
Bryan's down and out, and Ambrose is still taking a little self-inventory after being on the receiving end of a beating, so let's pause for some...
 
[ads]
 
Back, and Ambrose is firmly in control. Without the Shield's mastery of cutting the ring in half to annoy and upset the crowd, Ambrose's singles version of a mid-match heel beatdown leaves a bit to be desired. Bryan does rally for one really cool hope spot, culminating in a surfboard, and bringing the audience back into the match... but Ambrose escapes that by flat-out gouging Bryan's eyes. Boo!
 
More standard heel beatdown for a couple minutes, then Bryan ducks a clothesline, and both men hit the ropes and come off looking for a crossbody block. The mid-air collision puts both men down, and acts as our reset for End Game.
 
Bryan's first to his feet, and starts to fire up. YES! kicks, top rope rana, flying goat dive, missile dropkick, top rope headbutt, then more YES! kicks. But as has become tradition, when Bryan winds up for the Super Mega YES! Kick, he whiffs. Seriously, when was the last time the wind-up YES! Kick worked?
 
Ambrose catches Bryan's leg, and uses the leverage to get a cheap schoolboy roll-up, and you might think the tide is turning. But you'd be wrong. Before the ref can even count to one, Bryan rolls through the schoolboy and floats over into the YES! Lock. Ambrose has no choice but to tap out.
 
Your Winner: Daniel Bryan, via submission, in 15 minutes. Good, but not great match, with a bit of a lull in the middle before the red-hot showcase of Bryan's skills at the end. With that one-sided 3 minute ending, you could almost look at this as a glorified squash meant to make sure Bryan looks strong heading into a PPV main event... and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
 
[ads]
 
Quick Onstage Promo: CM Punk comes out, but only onto the stage, and shares a few thoughts with us about his upcoming Cell Match against Ryback and Paul Heyman. Straight forward and to the point: he doesn't care about winning or losing, he just plans to put Ryback to sleep, and then take out months of frustration on Paul Heyman. Three men enter the Cell, but only one walks out under his own power. That's Punk's promise to us.
 
Backstage: a quick cut scene of HHH telling Vickie Guerrero she's in charge, since Brad Maddox is out of action after being KO'd by Big Show. At the same time this is happening, Steph is on the phone, (loudly) demanding answers as to how somebody could possible pop up on the TitanTron to interrupt a promo. So again, we're bludgeoning home the point that you shouldn't be able to hack into the TitanTron, despite the fact that it's been done a thousand times over the years.... best guess: if we're making a big deal out of this being an "inside job," then Show's benefactor probably ends up being Vince. No matter how little sense that makes, given Vince's stance the last time he was on TV.
 
Anyway, once that little pow wow finished up, HHH and Steph head into their office, and find HBK waiting. Big hugs all around, but then HHH is all "Kinda got a lot on my plate here," and Michaels registers that it's a bit of a brush off. A little good natured ribbing about how HHH dun went and got all growed up with his power suit and power tie, and even (HBK muses) some power undies. But that's cool. Somebody's gotta be responsible. But HBK says he's happy it's not him; he prances out of the room, saying he intends to "have some fun" tonight.
 
Whch I thought was a harbinger of goofy HBK cameos all over the place backstage, over the course of the evening. But [SPOILER ALERT!] no dice. He doesn't show up again until the main event contract signing, and once there, he's very serious and responsible. Lame.
 
[ads]
 
SANTINO MARELLA (w/ Hornswoggle and Khali) vs. HEATH SLATER (w/ McIntyre and Mahal)
 
Since it's Memphis, Santino is in full Elvis gear, including jumpsuit and wig. Hornswoggle and Khali are both just wearing the wigs and sunglasses with their regular gear.
 
Santino does some Elvis moves, Slater is predictably upset since HE is the real rock star, and hilarity ensues for about 3 minutes. I could play-by-play it, but trust me, it wouldn't translate.
 
Finish had Santino whip out the Elvis Cobra (yes, it had a wig on, too), Slater avoided it the first time, and dropped Santino. Then Slater hung around and gloated. Then -- for the first time ever -- Santino actually successfully executed the kip up, and got Slater with the Elvis Cobra in one fell swoop.
 
Your Winner: Santino, via pinfall, in 3-4 minutes. If this didn't make you smile at least a little bit, you likely have no soul.
 
After the Match: Santino got on the mic and said there's only one true King of Memphis, and it's Jerry Lawler. And how does Jerry prove it? By getting up and dancing with the three goofs. Dignity, who needs it?!?!
 
[ads]
 
DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. RANDY ORTON
 
I said "a case could be made" that Bryan's match had more in common with a squash than you might think based on its 15 minute length. Well, this one here served the same purpose for Orton, and it was only 8 minutes long.
 
Hot start for Dolph. Randall's Calvalcade of Chinlocks. Comeback by Ziggler. Snuffed out by a scary/sloppy head and arm suplex by Orton. Hangman DDT. Coils to strike. Dolph shoves off the first attempted RKO, tries to follow up with the Zig Zag, but Orton holds onto the ropes and immediately rips off an RKO out of nowhere the instant Ziggler's back on his feet.
 
Your Winner: Randy Orton, via pinfall, in 8 minutes. Nothing to see here, unless you are an Orton fan, I guess, and are gratified by his victories. To be fair, it sounded like the crowd was only 70/30 in favor of Ziggler, so there actually are some of you out there. Oh, OK, I'll also grant that the closing spot was very cool and slickly executed. But otherwise, dull the nth degree here.
 
Cena Hype: looked like the same as last week, so FF.
 
[ads]
 
THE BELLA TWINS vs. AJ/TAMINA
 
A couple tandem moves by the Bellas to start, then Brie pretty much settles in as our Face in Peril, on the grounds that she's the one who can actually wrestle.
 
Hot tag to Nikki, who does about 3 moves, then tags out, and a Pier Four Brawl erupts. Nikki powders out, AJ and Tamina try to double-team Brie, but she ducks, and AJ collides with Tamina. Tamina falls to the floor, and AJ turns around and walks into a facebuster by Brie.
 
Your Winners: the Bellas Twins, via pinfall, in 5 minutes. Not bad at all. With Brie picking up another win over AJ, we can also assume that this sets up a women's title match for the PPV on Sunday.
 
[ads]
 
Backstage: Renee Young is with Paul Heyman (and Ryback and Curtis Axel), and asks him to respond to Punk's earlier promo. He starts off in fairly standard fashion, chiding the fans for cheering such an obvious sociopath as Punk. Normal people fantasize about divas... Punk fantasizes about committing felony assault on a non-athlete. And then, Heyman loses his mind, saying that the fans are misguided and they don't understand and "It's like, it's like a volcano... I'm a volcano, and you don't know what's building up inside, but when it blows, and when the lava and the villagers. You're the villagers. And my lava. The LAVA! THE MELTING! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"
 
THe Ultimate Warrior might have brushed up against that level of ranting craziness, but he never did any better. Jesus, Heyman's insane.
 
Except: he's not. Just before Renee decided to flee in terror. Heyman suddenly stops and smiles. Gotcha. You see, he's totally IN control, and THAT is his advantage over Mr. CM "do anything for a chance at revenge" Punk. One way or another, probably in a way we least expect it, Ryback will beat Punk inside that Cell and Heyman will emerge unscathed. The smugness was delicious.
 
Then Big E. Langston crashes the party, demanding to know what was up with Heyman calling him a "marginal talent" and a "rookie who should still be in NXT" on Friday's SD. Axel cut in front of Heyman in the basic "you want him, you gotta get through me" stance. And Big E. was happy to oblige, and challenged Axel to a match. Heyman declined, and held Axel back, telling him "You don't fight for free."
 
Bryan Hype: nice little piece, with them dusting off some old TWF footage of Bryan as a rookie, interspersed with him doing the exact same moves today in front of huge WWE crowds, and some interview snippets with Michaels, talking about how Bryan had "it" even back then.
 
[ads]
 
MIZ/KOFI KINGSTON vs. THE WYATT FAMILY (w/ Bray Wyatt)
 
Fast start for the good guys, but then Miz stupidly decided to have words with Bray. With his attention directed at the rocking chair, Miz was clobbered from behind by Harper, and the heel beatdown was on.
 
But not for long, as we were most definitely in Time Compression Mode.
 
Hot tag to Kofi, Pier Four Chaos, Miz and Rowan powder out, Harper nails the Lariat on Kofi (and JBL marks out, since that's like his move). Fin.
 
Your Winners: Harper and Rowan, via pinfall, in 4 minutes. Harper's growing more and more convincing, but Rowan's still awfully sloppy. So this wasn't much to watch, up until the brutal turning-inside-out of Kofi at the end.
 
After the Match: Bray gave a signal, and Harper and Rowan kept on kicking the crap out of Kofi. Miz tried to make the save. He got the crap kicked out of him, and then Bray got in the ring and said he doesn't know if Miz believes in life after death or not, but Bray does, and he's not just gonna show him that Hell exists, he's gonna lead Miz right to the gates of it. Follow. The Buzzards.
 
So... match at the HELL in a Cell PPV, I assume? You could tell Bray was still gimpy tonight (calf injury), but I guess he'll be good to go by Sunday.
 
[ads]
 
BIG E. LANGSTON vs. CURTIS AXEL (w/ Paul Heyman) (Non-Title)
 
So Vickie made this match, even though Heyman didn't want to do it. Heyman's Plan B: don't let the match start.
 
As Langston made his entrance, Ryback attacked, and Axel joined in. Despite the 2-on-1 disadvantage, Langston kept the fight pretty even, focusing on one guy at a time as best he could. This went on for a couple minutes, until Heyman decided to turn the tide himself. He got a kendo stick and whacked Langston with it. Big E. completely no sold the shot, and started stalking Paul...
 
Ryback struck from behind and a clubbering blow, and now, finally, Langston fell to the 2-on-1.
 
Which is when CM Punk sprinted in and made the save. Punk and Langston stood tall in the ring, with the bad guys retreating, when Vickie Guerrero came out and declared that they may have ruined her original match, but she's ordering they stay right there, because this is now a tag match.
 
Well, not "now." It's never "now." It's after these...
 
[ads]
 
CM PUNK/BIG E. LANGSTON vs. RYBACK/CURTIS AXEL (w/ Paul Heyman)
 
We are joined in progress, with Punk already playing the face in peril. Nothing fancy or memorable here, standard fare. Then a hot tag to Langston. Time to see if the big man can win over the fans...
 
He immediately takes it to Axel (freshly tagged in), to lukewarm response, but when Ryback gets involved, fans respond to Langston winning the battle of the slobberknockers. Langston brought down the strap, which further goosed the Memphis crowd. Ryback broke up the first attempt at a Big Ending, Punk made a quick cameo to powder out with Ryback. Langston, unfettered, hit the Big Ending on the second try.
 
Your Winners: Big E. Langston and CM Punk, via pinfall, in about 5 minutes of action (after being joined in progress). Understanding the goal here was to set up an IC Title Match between Axel and Big E., this was a really nice way of going about it. The striaght up Axel/Langston non-title match might have died on the table... but here, you get fans warmed to Big E with the non-match brawl, you throw in a token appearance by CM Punk to get them vested in a tag match, and then Langston gets the non-title win in a setting where fans are actually caring. Well played, even if the match itself wasn't anything special. It was still smart.
 
Surreality: They did an ad for wwe shop dot com, except it was a live spot, hosted by R-Truth, doing a ridiculous Home Shopping Network style patter. I don't know if this is a one-off thing, or somehow part of a new gimmick for Truth, or what. But I do know I momentarily wondered if someone had laced my whiskey with LSD. Bizzare. Not unlike those 1-800-FELLA bits.
 
[ads]
 
THE DANCING FAT MEN (w/ the Funkadactyls) vs. THE REAL AMERICANS (w/ Zeb Colter)
 
No idea what the hell purpose this served, since they just did it last week, and it barely served any purpose then. I guess maybe it was so that the much-bigger RAW audience could enjoy Zeb losing his mind on guest commentary (which he did to great critical acclaim on Friday's SD).
 
If anything, this was even more squash-y than last week; I don't know if Tensai ever even tagged in. Brodus got his ass kicked. Giant swing (only 4 revolutions; yer getting soft, Cesaro!). Over.
 
Your Winners: the Real Americans, via pinfall, in 3 minutes flat. I guess maybe it was an excuse for Zeb's POST-match speech, in which he revealed he has a new weapon for dealing with Los Matadores and their midget pal... a bullship. He cracks it a few times for emphasis. Clearly, Zeb didn't find being gored in the butt as funny as the rest of us did.
 
[ads]
 
Nothing Happened: I'm serious. From one ad break to the next one, it was 100% fast-forward material. Hype for the PPV line-up, hype for new talking wrestling dolls, a second Cena video (again, making matters worse, it was a repeat from last week, too), a rerun of Alberto del Rio on SD, and a youtube video of ADR's greatest armbars. A solid 6-7 minutes of zero value-add TV, all in a row.
 
This comes on top of WWE interspersing smaller doses of zero value-add throughout the rest of the show... including replaying the ENTIRE Big Show promo/hijacking segment.
 
Needless to say, I started with 75 minutes of DVR time shift, because I started running out when I did 60 minutes. I used 71 of them tonight. That's not right. And the fact that WWE did one whole commercial-to-commercial segment of nothing worthwhile really drives home how not right it is. Throw in the two bookending ad breaks, and this was 12 straight minutes (almost an entire quarter hour) where WWE cordially invited its audience to flip away, if they weren't using DVR technology.
 
[ads]
 
THE USOS vs. ROLLINS/REIGNS (w/ Ambrose) (#1 Contenders' Match)
 
So, ummmm, I thought they'd already decided on a three-way tag title match at the PPV.... but here we are with a #1 Contenders' Match? Only thing I can figure is I confused a conversation I had with one of my (well, only remaining) confidential sources with WWE actually announcing said match. Oh well...
 
The deal is that the Usos earned a title shot a month or so ago, and now the Shield are owed their obligatory title rematch, thus the logjam. The three-way actually makes perfect sense, but The Authority are apparently in the mood to make one team or the other earn it.
 
Cody Rhodes and Goldust, the new tag champs, join in on guest commentary for the match, by the by. JBL grills them on how they even got the tag title shot, if the Usos were already next in line. Cody (in the tone of voice of a patient father talking to a 4 year old) reminded him that the match was specially made by Triple H to be punishment, with the Shield having a 3-on-2 advantage in a No DQ match. Cody also got in a zinger on the Brisco Brothers. Goldust stuck to just randomly blurting out non sequiturs.
 
Anyway, Usos with the early advantage, but a couple minutes in, the match spills to the outside. With Ambrose providing a distraction. Reigns took control and started throwing the Uso into various ringside objects, until he was crumpled in a heap.
 
Break in the action? Break for...
 
[ads]
 
Back, and the Shield is still firmly in control, doing that voodoo that they do so well. Several minutes of cuttingtheringinhalfery, with the crowd fully vested in things thanks to dispicable chicanery by the bad guys, and cheerleading by the other Uso.
 
But, as is dictated by tradition, Ricky Uso finally made the hot tag to Robert Uso, and we kicked i up a notch. He knocked Reigns off the apron to focus on Rollins, and rattled of a series of moves. Then Reigns back in, and yep, for the third time tonight, it's a Pier Four Brawl.
 
The Usos get the better of it, and plant Rollins with a Samoan Drop, and then set up for the Superfly Splash... but Rollins gets his knees up, cracking the Uso's ribs. Ambrose, who has been jawing at the Rhodesses all match, turns and really starts gloating over how his boy just turned the tide of the match... and it's too much for Cody, who says he's been playing nice, but that's over. He stands up. Ambrose steps right up to face him, nose-to-nose. Goldust makes a half-hearted attempt to pull Cody away. Ambrose cold cocks Cody.
 
All hell breaks loose.
 
Goldust jumps in, and attacks Ambrose. Reigns sprints over and attacks Goldust. The healthy Uso attacks Reigns. Rollins joins in. The other Uso joins in. So yep: it's a Pier Seven Brawl.

And also: it's a no decision.
 
Your Winner: None, via no decision, in 15 minutes. The ending wasn't the strongest, but it gets us back to where we should have been to begin with: a three-way match at the PPV. I'm assuming. And hell, the road to that ending was just dandy, so I'm not complaining. These four guys have just got chemistry out the yin-yang.
 
[ads]
 
I Was Right: just announced, it'll be The Rhodes Boys vs. the Uso Twins vs. The Shield for the tag titles on Sunday.
 
BIG SHOW: MASTER TRUCKER?
 
The ring is set up for a Contract Signging, and HHH and Steph are already in the ring. They introduce the "Face of WWE" first, and out comes Randy Orton. Then, it's Daniel Bryan. And finally, the man who needs no introduction (so HHH gives him one, anyway), the Showstopper, the Main Event, Mr. WrestleMania.... Shawn Michaels.
 
With the gang all here, Steph says Orton gets to go first. So he starts by giving Bryan credit for hanging tough, coming back time after time, no matter how bad Orton beats him. But Sunday will be different. Because Bryan's never been in the Cell before. Orton's been there four times, and he's even beat Cena in the Cell before. Bryan doesn't have a chance of winning, and the way Orton's feeling, Bryan doesn't have a chance of surviving. He's going to finish Bryan once and for all.
 
Orton signs the contract. Now it's Bryan's turn.
 
He breaks into a smile, and says that's about what he expected from Randall. A lot of anger and a lot of threats. But the truth is, over the past several months, Orton is the one who hasn't shown the ability to beat Bryan. Without HHH, without the Shield, Orton would be 0-for-the-world against him, and Bryan would be the WWE Champion right now.
 
"YES! YES! YES!" says the crowd.
 
He closed with a sarcastic "thank you" to HHH and Steph, and amended "Thank you for outing yourselves as spoiled, self-absorbed, narcissistic brats." That got HHH steaming. As soon as Bryan signed the contract, HHH grabbed it away, and said Bryan just sealed his own fate. On Sunday, there's no way Bryan will win, and it's beacuse of one simple reason:
 
Bryan's a B-plus talent, and HHH has seen this before: a guy gets on a hot streak, maybe even holds the title for a cup of coffee, tricks the crowd into thinking he's something more than he really is. Hell, maybe even tricks himself into believing that. But at the end of the day, he's still just a solid hand. He's not The One. Daniel Bryan doesn't have what it takes to be The One. Just like Chris Jericho, Edge, or Rob Van Dam.
 
Bryan fires back that he'd be perfectly happy to prove he belongs on any A-list, by knocking off any A-listers put in front of him. In fact, why doesn't HHH stop hiding behind that suit, and get in the ring with Bryan?
 
HHH chuckles a phoney, insecure chuckle, and says if he wants to get iback in the ring, he's totally capable of doing so... but he doesn't get back in the ring with bit players. He only gets back in the ring for your Undertakers, your Rocks, your Lesnars. Never in a billion years would he waste his time on a nobody like Daniel Bryan. [So, in other words: HHH vs. Bryan, no later than WrestleMania! I'll take it!]
 
After HHH finishes, HBK finally speaks up and (paraphrasing) says, "The hell, man? You know as well as I do that those are the things people said about ME before I won the WWE Title, and you know as well as I do how wrong they were. This kid here is good, real good. It's almost scary to think about how good he could be, and you're writing him off?"
 
Now it's Orton's turn to interrupt, and say "I told you. I told you you couldn't trust him, Hunter." HHH locks eyes with HBK, apparently staring straight into his soul, and after a moment, he says, "No, I can trust him. Shawn will do the right thing."
 
Shawn pulled back and said yeah, he WILL do the right thing. The right thing for the business he loves, and the right thing for the fans who love it, too. Another promise that there WILL be a new WWE Champion on Sunday.
 
Orton chimes in that it will be him. Bryan disagrees, and shoves the table out of the way to go face-to-face with Orton.
 
And that's when we cut to a semi-truck (well, just the cab, it appears, no trailer) driving into the arena. It makes it's way through the bowels of the building, and then out next to the stage. The driver? Big Show.
 
HHH, Steph, and Orton all turn towards the truck and gawk, because they've never seen a "fired" employee somehow get back into the building. Nope, never happens. [/sayingtheoppositeofwhatistrue]
 
Show gestures (in the finest manner of all gesturing, Broadly) that they should turn around. So they do, and Orton walks right into a dropkick from Bryan. HBK makes himself scarce as HHH and Steph check on Orton. Meantime, Bryan skedaddles up the aisle and gets up on top of Big Show's truck to lead the arena in YES!'ing, as we fade to black.
 
And so ends the show. Not sure Big Show brought anything to the party; he didn't do a damned thing, other than prove he knows yet another way to get into an arena despite being "fired," and honestly, I don't put that on the same level as  Sunday's PPV main event for the WWE Title. So there's kind of  a disconnect when you try to force a secondary storyline into a primary one.
 
I dunno. I'm not explaining it as clearly as I could, and in the end, it's a minor issue... it's not like it took away from the Orton/Bryan element, it was just sort of random and pointless.
 
All in all, this was a show that seemed like it was pretty good or better whenever Actual Stuff was happening (peaking with the Bryan/Ambrose and Usos/Shield matches)... but as outlined above, this week saw WWE set a new record for Not Actual Stuff, including the one contiguous 12 minutes stretch of it.
 
That makes it hard to sustain the kind of flow you need to really captivate an audience. Can't really complain about a show where the content was this solid, but if the goal was to change hearts and minds with regards to buying a PPV on Sunday (the third one in six weeks, remember), then this wasn't the kind of home run show WWE needed.
 
Let's put it all together and run it through the Pyrolizer... and call it a B-minus show.


  
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RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
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RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
 
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RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
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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
 
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RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 
 
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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