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Canned, but Not Crappy!
November 11, 2013

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com


In many ways, I am massively immature and a young man at heart. For instance, two weekends ago, I spent 3 days with about 20 old friends getting massively drunk and playing videogames. Doubt I can still be a rock star, if need be? There was absinthe involved. Top that, wieners.
But in other ways, I am becoming a very old man.


I am reminded of one of those ways tonight, as a new season of "Brain Games" started on NatGeo. Which not only got me excited for that, but also reminded me that I am also aware (and a fan) of a similar show called "Your Bleeped Up Brain" on History. The latter has, by far, the stupider name, but is actually the nominally better show (more guys with PhD's, fewer douchey magicians wearing eye make-up).
But that's neither here nor there. The point is: not only am I watching Old Man TV, like History and NatGeo and Science and H2 and Discovery... I am so familiar with their offerings that I have opinions on their various clones and copy cats of each other.
Whither the days when I still pretended that the MTV VMAs were relevent to the music industry? Or that Fuse was the up-and-coming network that would always be about the rock and would never sell out to pop? Oh, I used to be so cool.
Now, I'm watching way more educational TV. And dagnabbit, I even curse these "old man" channels for daring to appeal to the mainstream with demonstrable horseshit like "Ancient Aliens." Just cut that out, and give me 4 different versions of the same "How The Earth Was Made" show, OK?
I guess, if I'm looking for a silver lining, it'd be this: I'm in good company. The formerly-cool Henry Rollins is the new host of "10 Things You Don't Know" and is looking VERY old. Also: he's an upgrade from the previous guy, and the show's better so far this season. So that's a plus.
Another sign of my hapless downward sprial into oldfartery: I'm so familiar with History Channel's offerings that I can make the statement, "With all due respect to Bryan Cranston, 'Big History' was a much better show back when it was called 'Mankind: the History of Us.'" Because it's clearly made by the same people, who are re-purposing all of the exact same film footage, CGI, and content from that older program, just chopping it up into tinier, less-informative 30 minute episodes, and adding a famous narrator.
This, too, is far too "sexy" for my grumpy tastes!
For your sake, let's hope I find my inner Kid at Heart, now that I'm sitting down to tell you the story of RAW...

Opening Video Package for the ADD Crowd, and we're not live in Manchester, England. That's right, this show was taped about 7 hours ago, across the Atlantic. Sometimes, WWE phones it in on these... but sometimes "phoning it in" means they skip some of the Sports Entertainment, and let the Wrestling run long. I suspect many of us won't complain if that's the case tonight...


As Randall makes his way to the ring (as lethargically as ever), Cole & the Gang have time to tell us that Big Show is not here in Manchester tonight, as a result of injuries suffered at the hands of Orton and the Shield (and Korporate Kane) last week.

Once Orton gets to the ring and grabs a mic, he gets to the point by whining about Show getting his job back and blackmailing The Authority into granting him a WWE Title Match. But in the end, that's OK, because he's the face of WWE and blah blah blah, he'll still win.

And now, onto tonight, where Orton tells us that Triple H and Stephanie are "on vacation," so HE is the most powerful man in WWE, and is so totally in control tonight, and...

Out comes GM Brad Maddox (to a surprisingly nice babyface pop) to opine that, ummmm, no, you aren't. So Maddox starts to lay out a play for tonight...

And out comes Kane (the "Director of Operations"), who says he is the designated representative for HHH/Steph, and so HE is in control tonight, and HE has a plan for tonight...

The bickering goes back and forth, and it emerges that Maddox wants to book an Orton vs. Cody Rhodes match, while Kane wants to book Orton vs. Goldust... Orton tries to get a word in edgewise, meeking pointing out, "Hey, it's not like I'm gonna wrestle both of them" (the crowd cheers this idea) while Kane and Maddox keep going back and forth.

They finally settle down when Vickie Guerrero hits the stage with a couple of "Excuse Mes." She says she's a former GM of RAW and current GM of SmackDown, and has learned the lesson that you have to listen to the fans. And a few moments ago, the fans sure as hell sounded like they thought Orton vs. Goldust and Cody in a handicap match was a good idea. The live crowd confirms this notion.

So that's the match for tonight. And oh, by the way, Randall, it's happening RIGHT NOW. Except, as we all know, it's never right now. As the tag champs make their way to the ring, we cut to....



As we return from break, the bell rings, and we're underway. Goldust owns Orton for the opening moments, then gives Cody a turn. Cody gets in trouble, so Goldust blind tags himself in, and gets a quick roll-up, which only makes Orton angry. So thus begins Orton's methodical heel beatdown.

And if he wasn't methodical enough to start, he slows down even more when the crowd starts chanting "RAN DEE's BORE RING." Jackass. The crowd then enters the phase of Random Chanting (for JBL, etc), as Orton pretty much completely refuses to entertain them.

Goldust is down, Orton is loitering around, so we break for....


Back, and Orton's still in control, but we've conveniently rejoined things just as Goldust is powering out of a chinlock. Crowd is rallying behind him, and he escapes, and lands a quick DDT to get separation, and then make the hot tag to Cody.

Cody goes to town. Missile dropkick, picture perfect moonsault. Two count. Another few moves, and Cody tags Goldust back in for some good old fashioned double teaming, culminating in a double clothesline that sends Orton out of the ring.
Orton decides chickenshittery is the better part of valor, and gets counted out on purpose.
Your Winners: The Rhodesses, via count-out, in about 12 minutes. Orton really did seem to make it his personal mission to antagonize us with lethargy, but a good start, a good finish, and judicious cuts that relegated most of Orton's beatdown to the commercial break added up to a perfectly serviceable affair.
After the Match: Orton was walking up the ramp, making the Universal Sign for "Screw This Noise," when Big Show's music hits. Ah, so you mean he IS here, afterall? What a stunner!

Show stalks Randy, and eventually gets hands on him. A few punches and kicks, and Orton's debilitated enough that Show can do a little furniture rearrangement... he clears the announce table, then moves the ring steps up next to the table.
And then Orton gets chokeslammed through the table. Big pop. Deservedly so, cuz damn, that was some kind of elevation, and some kind of crash landing. Show leaves victorious, while Orton writhes in pain.
Even if the match was lacking, a bit, that tag ending was muy caliente.


Backstage: Big Show is leaving the arena, and finds a cab. He asks the driver if he knows where he can get a pint. The drivers assures him this can be arranged, and then hilarity ensues as Big Show tries to squeeze into the tiny taxi. So: from one of the most ultra-violent spots on WWE TV in a while to broad comedy, in 3 minutes. Jarring? Perhaps. But if WWE is intent on displaying Show's "range," this beat him crying like a bitch.

SANTINO & LOS MATADORES (w/ El Torito) vs. 3MB

Santino comes out with some plastic bullhorns. 3MB come out under an alternate identity: the Union Jacks (dressed entirely in the flag of the same name). Instead of treating it as an insult to their national pride, the crowd actually decides to roll with it, and cheers for the Jacks. Well, mostly for McIntyre, but close enough.

Santino's the face in peril. El Torito runs a little interference, which turns things into a Pier Sixer. Santino butt-gores Slater out of the ring, the Matadores hit a stereo dive on McIntyre, and that leaves Santino alone with Mahal. He whips out the Cobra (which is also wearing horns, naturally), and strikes.
Your Winners: Santino and Los Matadores, via pinfall, in 4 minutes. Probably WWE's Ultimate Vortex of Comedy, and while just adding Santino wouldn't -- on its own -- justify another Matadores/3MB match, the little twist of the Union Jacks (and selling as 3MB's attempt to freshen up their act after losing to the Matadores so many time) was enough to tip this in the favor of harmless fun.

Backstage: Randy Orton's getting checked out by a trainer. Brad Maddox, Vickie Guerrero, and Kane all show up to offer words of encouragement, but Orton's pissed at all of them for putting him in that match, and putting him in this spot. Orton and Kane's exchange is particularly prickly, and Kane tells him he better remember his manners by next week, when Triple H and Steph will be back.


Sandow is just a beast out of the gate. Ultra-aggressive, ultra-angry. He even busts out some of Finlay's old apron-assisted offense to illustrate how much he just wants to hurt people. A plethora of headbutts are also a part of his arsenal. An intense/less-flourish-y Elbow of Disdain underscores Sandow's new viciousness.

About 3 minutes in, Kofi starts to fire up, and rattles off a few moves. But as soon as he tries to dig into his bag of high-flying tricks, Sandow knocks him off the top rope. Kofi crashes to the mat. Full Nelson, and You're Welcome, Kofi.
Your Winner: Damien Sandow, via pinfall, in 5 minutes. Yes, part of you can't help but wish there was a bit more time/depth to this one, because it could be really good.... but the rest of you has no choice to be acknowledge that that was a damned fine example of a Making A Point Match. It wasn't designed to be about the OMG WORKRATE~!, it was designed to illustrate that Damien Sandow is now, officially, a bad ass. Those matches don't always click. This one did. Very nicely. Strong, strong showing for OO's Onscreen Avatar of Intellectual Superiority.
Next Monday: RAW is in Nashville, and it's going to be a theme show. "RAW Goes Country." Unless this marks the surprise return of Jeff Jarrett, I assume this will only prove to annoy the holy living shit out of me. Come to think of it, the return of Jeff Jarrett would probably do the same to my spirits as any Brad Paisley song, so....

No Heyman, leading the announcers to spin a story in which Axel's recent losses are due to him being without his mentor. Which would be a fine story, except that Axel's "recent losses" pretty much date back to June, without a break. Ahem. Anyway, they say Axel has to "find himself" because this time, the title is on the line.

Crowd is very pro-Ziggler, moreso than any domestic crowd since the night after WrestleMania. Basic back-and-forth-y start gives the crowd plenty to both cheer (Ziggler's flashy offense) and boo (Axel's trash-talk-augmented offense) for.  Ziggler finally seems to be settling in on offense after hitting his 10 Elbows, but soon thereafter, Axel reverses an Irish Whip, and Ziggler flies out of the ring and lands hard on his shoulder.

Axel begins to focus on said shoulder. Sort of a time-compressed beatdown, then Ziggler reverses a suplex into a DDT. Both men are down, ref starts a count, and we reset for End Game.
Ziggler's up first, and gets the better of it. Mount and punch, elbow drop. Only a 2. Axel reverses things and slingshots Ziggler into the turnbuckle, and rolls him up. Only a 2. Axel pauses to register frustration. Ziggler lands a Fameasser out of nowhwere. Only a 2. A quick grapple results in Axel landing a side suplex. Axel decides to go up top, but Ziggler springs to his feet and does a run-up-the-ropes Atomic Facebuster.
Allow me to opine: Holy Shit.

Alas, it only gets a 2 count. Ziggler has designs on the Zig Zag, but Axel shoves him off into the ropes, and on the rebound, he snags his rolling neckbreaker out of nowhere. And that's enough.
Your Winner: Curtis Axel, via pinfall, in 10 minutes. Really, really good match. Not quite youtube-worthy, but an outstanding End Game where (even though I'd spoiled myself) you could completely believe either guy might win. It should go without saying that "not knowing who's going to win" is something wrestling needs to strive for more of. In addition to being good, in a vacuum, there were also some elements of the Sandow match in play here, as it told a definite story of Axel "finding himself" when the chips were down.

Backstage: Maddox and Kane are still arguing about who's really in charge tonight, and Maddox decides to impress Kane by making a match: John Cena vs. the Real Americans in a Handicap Match. Kane smiles his creepy, sadistic grin, and says he likes the  idea of all these Handicap Matches. That's how people get hurt! So Kane decides he's going to book the Shield vs. CM Punk/Daniel Bryan.


NIKKI BELLA (w/ Brie) vs. TAMINA (w/ AJ Lee)

Nikki starts off trying to disprove the narrative that Brie is the one who can wrestle, laying a dropkick and a drop toe-hold on Lady Diesel, which just makes her angry. After a quick siesta outside the ring, Tamina gets back in the ring, and takes control. She overpowers Nikki for a few minutes, then tries for a Torture Rack submission.
Nikki uses the turnbuckle to flip out of that, and starts firing up, including a dandy head-scissors takedown. While the ref was tending to Tamina, AJ was able to clothesline Nikki across the middle rope. Tamina followed up with the Big Boot, and a Superfly Splash.

Your Winner: Tamina, via pinfall, in 4 minutes. More than serviceable. There's still a statistically significant difference in the ring work between the Bellas, but now that Nikki's finally 100% healthy after a leg injury, one can start to get the sense that she's working to lessen it.

After the Match: AJ got in the ring to celebrate with Tamina, and Brie jumped her, as revenge for her earlier interference. Tamina was going to even the score, but Nikki got back to her feet, and the Bellas won a very brief 2-on-2, tossing both the heels out of the ring, where they decided to stay, rather than rejoining the fight.


Backstage: Randy's sitting around icing his shoulder, when the Shield show up, apparently having been summoned by Orton. Because he immediately launches into a tirade about "Where the hell were you when I was getting my ass handed to me? Last week, the four of us had no problem kicking Big Show's ass. But tonight, I got my ass chokeslammed through a table, thanks to you." When in doubt, try to beat Steve Austin for "Most 'asses' per promo!"
Randall's rant pitches up, and Dean Ambrose keeps trying to cut him off, but with an extra-calm (almost sarcastically calm, if that makes sense" "Champ." Orton finally gets more irritated than anything by Dean's low-key approach, and cuts himself off in mid-sentence to say "What, Dean?!?"
Ambrose: "It's none of your business where we were earlier tonight." Rollins: "It's not like we work for Maddox. Or Vickie. Or even Kane." Reigns: "And we sure as hell don't work for you." Ambrose: "Feel better. Champ."
The Shield stroll out, and Randy's all angry, and throws his icepack aside before entering Sulk Mode.
TYSON KIDD (w/ Natalya) vs. FANDANGO (w/ Summer Rae)
During ring entrances, they air footage from That Which I Do Not Acknowledge. NEWSFLASH: in "reality" on the "reality" show, Nattie decided to train with Fandango to get back at Tyson Kidd for training with the one, so now Fandango and Kidd hate each other. I don't know who to feel worse for: people who actually think there's anything "real" about this, or people who -- regardless of whether they believe it -- still find this remotely valid as "entertainment." They're both pretty sad...

Anyway, Fandango is the Bizzaro Babyface here. Crowd is into his theme music, and only slightly less into him once the match starts. Everything's time-compressed, and reversed: Fandango's short beatdown segment gets mostly cheers, Kidd's comeback gets mostly silence, and then when Kidd tries for a flashy springboard move, Fandango sidesteps and turns it into a roll-up, for the win. Which sends the crowd into a nother frenzy of Fandangoing.
Your Winner: Fandango, via pinfall, in 4 minutes. Good pace and action, even if there wasn't any real substance; just a bit too short to gain traction, and with the bizzaro crowd actively fighting against the intended context. But it was enough to make you wonder what these 2 might deliver if given a bit more time and a better stage. Do that, and keep the one from the "reality" show the hell out if it, while focusing on the pre-existing issue between Nattie and Summer, and you might have yourself a wrestling feud.


JOHN CENA vs. THE REAL AMERICANS (w/ Zeb Colter) (Handicap Match)

Crowd is seemingly extra-anti-Cena. Before the match, Zeb tries to remedy that by cutting a cheap heat promo making fun of soccer, monarchy, and Mr. Bean. But the crowd (again) decides to roll with it on the grounds that it was actually hilariously outlandish (and not something you could even pretend to take seriously), and plays along. Hey, at least they aren't Cena, right?

Knowing full well that the fans will be FAR more partial to Cesaro, Swagger starts off the match, and tries to be ultra-heel by going after Cena's SURGICALLY REPAIRED~! left arm. No dice. The crowd fires up a "WEE THE PEE PULL" chant.
Suddenly, Alberto del Rio's music hits, and he comes out on the stage, waving the Mexican flag. It seems the Brits are willing to make their peace with the Americans, but they can't stand the dirty Mexicans. Alberto saunters down the aisle, which is all the distraction Swagger and Cesaro need for a quick double team.
Cena's dropped to the floor, the Americans are posing in the ring, and Alberto is sporting a shit-eating grin at the bottom of the ramp. Break in the action means....


Back, and Cesaro is beating the hell out of Cena, while the crowd sings its approval (in the form of that Soccer Wanker Song, you know the one). Meantime, Alberto has made his way over to the (now-rebuilt) announce table to join in on commentary.

Cena gets a hope spot with his cool new high angle Rude Awakening, but Cesaro's able to tag Swagger. Swaggerbomb for a 2 count. Cesaro tags back in, and hits  a HUGE Elevation Uppercut. ALso: a huge pop. Cesaro indicates it's time for the Giant Swing, but Cena powers out. Swagger comes in to break Cena's momentum, and Cesaro rattles off another few moves, before setting up for the Neutralizer.

Cena powers out again, and drops Cesaro with a slam. Both men are hurting, but Cesaro's able to make a tag to Swagger. Some double reverse-y, and Swagger ends up locking on the Patriot Act. Cena's able to escape, and catches Swagger coming off the ropes with an F-U out of nowhere. Cesaro has to dive in and break up the fall. After another quick exchange, Swagger disengages and tags Cesaro in legally.

Punch-y, kick-y, back-and-forth-y, with the crowd seemingly 85% behind Cesaro. The arena absolutely erupts when Cesaro hits another Elevation Uppercut that makes his previous one look like a gentle massage. Cena must have been 15 feet in the air. Crowd actually believed that might be the finish. Hell, *I* would have bought it, too.

Cesaro goes for a superplex, but Cena manages to shove him off. Cesaro rolls all the way to the opposite corner, where Swagger tags himself in. But as he approaches Cena, Cena dives and catches him with the Steamboat Crossbody. Then, he cinches in the SSTF, and Swagger has to tap.
Your Winner: John Cena, via submission, in 15 minutes.  Pretty outstanding. Crowd reactions were 180 degrees off from the story they were trying to tell in the ring, but it absolutely didn't matter in the end. And no matter what the rabidly anti-Cena crowd may have been telling you, the reason this match ruled wasn't only Antonio Cesaro. It was a lot Antonio Cesaro. But not only. Cena seems tangibly inspired since his return. OO will grant this one "youtube-worthy" status.

After the Match: Cesaro got back in the ring and attacked Cena. Cena was able to fend him off. But then Alberto del Rio got in the ring, with a chair. Cena took an ass-whupping for a minute or two. Then del Rio set up to Pillmanize Cena's SURGICALLY REPAIRED~! arm... which is when Big E. Langston ran out to make the save. ADR doesn't want any of E, so he backs off.


Backstage: Kane/Maddox/Vickie are watching the footage of the Cena/del Rio incident when Alberto storms in, acting all proud of how he dominated Cena. The Power Trio agree that, yep, that's the kind of thing that makes them all think there will be a new World Champ at Survivor Series. But then Alberto takes it a step too far by ordering the three to have a sit down with Big E., because nobody should be interrupting his business like that. The Power Trio will not be dictated to; they do the dictating, and in this case, they decide to tell Alberto to get ready for a one-on-one match against Big E. later tonight.

We're all adults here, so let's not pretend this was something it wasn't....

Oh, wait... it is something it wasn't. Dammit, so now I have to recap this?

Ryback dominates and you just assume it's going to be a squash, but the whole while there's an undertone of Ryback being cocky to the point of being delusional (including Cole reading some recent Warrior-caliber ramblingly absurd tweets from Ryback). When it was time to Finish It, Ryback got a running start for a Meathook, but Truth dropped down and did the splits.
Ryback crashed into the turnbuckle, and stumbled backwards into a roll-up by Truth. Believe it or not, that was it.
Your Winner: R-Truth, via pinfall, in 3 minutes. That was not what anyone was expecting. If you're wondering to what end Ryback's loss will lead, stay tuned....



For the first time tonight, the crowd doesn't seem to have a horse in this race. Pretty much dead silence in the opening moments, which are heavily in del Rio's favor, mostly by "out-veteran'ing" him. Which is to say, Big E. had the power, but Alberto would catch him putting his head down early and all the other "rookie mistakes."
Crowd was so thrilled by this that they started doing the Wave, which pretty much killed Big E.'s comeback. Fans were more into their thing than making noise that corresponded at all with the action. And while I concur this might not have been the most thrilling match, the Manchester crowd made complete twatwaffles of themselves when they concluded the wave by chanting "We Are Awesome clap clap clapclapclap." No you aren't. After that display, you're a collective douche.

Meantime, back in the match, Big E.'s comeback leads to him going for the Big Ending, but Alberto slides out the back. shoves Big E. into the ropes, and catches him coming off with a chopblock. WIth Big E. on his knees, Alberto cinches in the Cross Armbreaker.
Your WInner: Alberto del Rio, via submission, in 6 minutes. Not bad, but also not nearly the quality showing that Langston had against Orton last week. Also, a bit annoying, as the biggest heel in this match wasn't Alberto. It was the crowd that went past to entertaining themselves to congratulating themselves for no defensible reason.


Friday on SmackDown: John Cena vs. Alberto del Rio in an arm wrestling contest. Sorry 'bout yer damned luck, Pyro.


Paul Heyman, backed by the "rejuvenated" Curtis Axel, is in the middle of the ring, in a wheel chair, and sporting every possible type of brace/cast/sling/bandage/crutch imaginable, as accessories.

He says that he never really viewed himself as a match for CM Punk. He's not delusional. But he did believe 100% and whole-heartedly that Ryback was more than Punk could ever handle. And instead, Ryback turned out to be a massive disappointment, a little man with a smaller heart. The crowed ooohh'd and aahhhhh'd the sudden diss of Heyman mancrush.
Heyman told them to quit it, because he's just telling the truth, and we all saw it again earlier tonight when Ryback couldn't even beat R-Truth. Still, Paul realizes that that he'll never be complete until he gets revenge on Punk. He ramps up for a giant rant, talking about how he'll be taking time off to get healthy. And to plot. And when he comes back, he will unleash furious vengeance and Sword of Damocles and he'll slay Punk once and for....
But here comes Punk, himself, presumably with two cents to contribute. Axel offers token resistance, but then it's Punk and Heyman alone in the ring. And you can bet Ryback ain't coming out to help after Heyman's earlier words. Punk finds himself a kendo stick, and goes to town, much to the delight of all.

Once Heyman finally manages to roll out of the ring, he finds sanctuary as refs and trainers come to his aid. Punk celebrates briefly, and then Daniel Bryan's music hits, signaling that it's time for our main event. Right after these....


Crowd was pretty much into all the guys, but Daniel Bryan was the clear-cut fan favorite of the five. His responses were at another level. Nice teamwork early, as Bryan got Rollins in a Dragon Sleeper, then reached back to tag Punk in. Punk got into position, as the ref counted to 5, and at the last second, Bryan released the hold, and Rollins popped back up and right into a stiff-ass spinkick to the chest from Punk.

Another big spot a few moments later, when Bryan tags back in, and he and Punk hit Stereo YES! Kicks. But that's about the end of that. Reigns takes out Punk, and after Bryan scores a series of moves, he makes the mistake of taking the fight to Ambrose and Reigns (in their corner). He drops Ambrose, but while dealing with Reigns, he's clobbered from behind by Rollins.

Both good guys are down, but the bad guys are in need of a bit of regrouping, too, so let's take our final....


Back, and Rollins is dominating Bryan. Ambrose tags in, and gets some "eewwwwww's" of sympathetic agony by doing finger manipulation on Bryan. Yes, that's a real thing; it's not dirty. Then Reigns tags in, and just destroys Bryan with power moves. It's that voodoo that they do so well.
The cuttingtheringinhalfery circles all the way back around to Rollins, who settles things down into a wacky modified chinlock. The crowd, however, gets way behind Bryan, and urges him to power out, and dump Rollins out of the ring. As Rollins crawls back in to tag Ambrose, Bryan dives and tags in Punk.

Crowd's going wild for Punk's standard House o' Fire routine, but then it kicks into another gear when the Shield all join in, and Bryan rejoins the action for HIS comeback flurry sequence, ending with a Flying Goat dive that takes out Reigns.

Punk's in the ring with Ambrose and Rollins, and after a nice bit of triple-reverse-y, Punk's about to get the Anaconda Vice on Ambrose... and the lights go out. Single frame sheep face. Lights back on.
Harper and Rowan are in the ring, along with Punk/Bryan and Rollins/Ambrose. The Shield guys make the mistake of mouthing off to the Wyatt Family ("what the hell are you doing?" and so forth), and all of a sudden, what seemed like a hopeless situation for Punk/Bryan has taken a turn.

Punk and Bryan make Meaningful Eye Contact, and slink out of the ring to let nature take its course... and sho' 'nuff, Harper/Rowan/Ambrose/Rollins start brawling, and the crowd's just eating it up with a spoon

Outside the ring, Reigns has gotten back to his feet, and is stalking Bray, telling him to talk some sense to his boys. Bray responds by landing a insolent uppercut. So those two get in the ring, and a "This is Awesome" chant breaks out. That's right, Manchester, THIS, not "you."

Finally, Bray and Dean end up crossing paths, and the two intellectual leaders of their units sense a kindred soul. They get their boys to step back, and they do some quick negotiation... it turns out they have a common enemy, so why not face them?
The six exit the ring and start surrounding Punk and Bryan.
Punk and Bryan get into the ring and start circling the wagons, but it seems hopeless... the swarm attacks, 6-on-2.
And before you can blink, it's 6-on-6, as the Rhodesses and the Usos sprint out for the save. The heels scatter, and they went with Bryan's music when the good guys celebrated to close out the show.
Oh By The Way: There was no winner. Call it a no decision after about 15 minutes. The match, proper, was as good as you'd expect with these guys, but the extra tag ending with the first-time-ever Wyatts/Shield paths-crossing, with the red hot save put it over the top as a "moment." I'm still going with Cena/Americans as the MATCH of the night, though.

And so the show ends. With a bang. Really fun.
And then you take the show apart, and what the hell is there to really complain about? I'll tell you what: a ham-fisted attempts to make the RAW audience care about the "reality" show, and the live audience briefly losing track of all perspective to chant for themselves. Even I'm willing to grant that this represents me scraping bottom to come up with something worth getting upset about, and that the preponderance of the show represented WWE doing good.
One definite youtube-worthy match, two more that were probably close (and one of them had a red-hot post-match angle that could, conceivably, be setting up the first-ever 6-on-6 Survivor Series Elimination Match), and pretty much every other segment accomplished SOMEthing, be it Ryback's wussification, or Sandow's badassery, or the little power tussle that ended up costing Orton, or just some good ol' fashioned comedy rasslin'.

That's a really good show. Cole closed it out by saying "What will HHH and Stephanie do when they return next week?" Hey, Cole, for five mintues, can't we just stop and contemplate the fact that "Who cares, we just had lots of fun without them." I see no reason not to slap a grade of A on this puppy.

See you next week, kids...

And so ends the show.

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28



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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