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In-BRO-pendence Day
July 4, 2012

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
Read Pyro's Words
at Blogspot --/-- View Pyro's Videos at Youtube

Wow, even though I remembered the start time and everything for once, eight o’clock kinda snuck up on me. Let’s get to it; I’ve got other stuff to do.
Segment 1: We cold-open to a tailgating party in the back, featuring a bunch of the mid-level superstars drinking non-specific drinks (including Primo who, for some reason, has two cups stacked inside each other). Also: RRRRRROOOSSSAAA!!! And other divas, too, in swimsuits. My Rosa even hops a couple times for my enjoyment. [Ed. Note: not that it really matters, but on this night, my vote goes to Natalya. Sweet fancy Moses, she was looking criminally hot.]

Teddy Long arrives to tell everyone to enjoy themselves, and not to worry about making a mess, as Eve is standing by in a full-white unsexy maid outfit (yes, such a thing exists when your dress could double as a parachute). Santino Marella, our United States champion, tries to light the grill, but it’s just not working.

And then the pleasantries stop as Kane arrives and looks at everyone angrily. And then he “blows his pyros,” which makes the grill light up, and he leaves as the merriment continues. I called the joke before the punch line, but it was still cute… and who knows, does that mean it’s a face turn? Kane has certainly been a tweener for the last few weeks at least…

Segment 2: After opening pyros, Alberto Del Rio hits the ring to blather… not about beating the crap out of Sin Cara last night, but about himself, and how awesome he is. It’s done well enough, I suppose, for some cheap heat, but it’s not really all that interesting.

ADR’s point here is that he came to America legally, and he’s going to send all the illegal immigrants out of the country. And he does this by getting out of the ring and ordering random people in the front row to show him “their papers.” The first guy is all smiles and pulls out his wallet; the second just steal’s Cena’s taunt and convinces his kid to do the same. The third is a plant and actually had the nerve to act like this is serious and important.

When ADR orders security to toss the third guy out of the country, Sheamus comes down and beats the crap out of ADR instead. Which works, until Ricardo Rodriguez distracts him and lets ADR kick him in the head.

The fight took them near ADR’s car, so RR pops the hood and lets ADR slam it repeatedly into Sheamus’s back and head. ADR stands over the body and gestures (Broadly) that he’s so totally going to take Sheamus’s title at the next PPV.

Pre-Segment 3: After commercials, Sheamus is finally up and being led away from the ringside area. He’s got a cut across his forehead, and I’m going to be an asshole enough to point out that none of the attacks actually struck the front of his head, just the back.

Segment 3 [Mixed Tag Match]: Layla & Khali reverse-squash Aksana & Antonio Cesaro by pin. Dumb as hell. It only existed for storyline reasons, which they themselves make sense, but the match itself wasn’t thrilling at all. Khali was sort of face in peril, then Layla tagged in and destroyed Aksana in two moves. Whatever.

Segment 4: Teddy is in the back when Cody Rhodes finds him and insists to have another Money in the Bank qualifying match. If you may recall, Cody was in an MitB qualifying tag match with David Otunga last week, and it was Otunga who was pinned. So Cody bitched to the Board of Directors, and apparently they granted his request.

He tells all this arrogantly to Teddy, who replies that he knew all that… but that he also knows he gets to pick Cody’s opponent in that match: Christian, someone Cody hasn’t beaten yet! Obvious if Christian wins he won’t “enter” the MitB since he’s already in it (he won that aforementioned tag match last week along with Santino). But if Cody doesn’t win, Cody isn’t in MitB.

Segment 5: Mick Foley’s RAW memory is win over The Rock in 1999 to win the WWF Championship for the first time. We see by title cards that after that night, WCW Nitro never beat WWF RAW in the ratings. Amazingly, WWE doesn’t go out of its way to fellate itself, because as soon as they cut back from that, Michael Cole says “and we beat those ratings all because of you, WWE viewers. Thank you.” I guess on-screen Cole has a soul after all.

Segment 6 [Singles Match, if Rhodes wins he qualifies for SmackDown’s Money in the Bank match]: Cody Rhodes defeats Christian by pin. Huh, okay. Decent match but nothing overly special, though technically executed well. [Ed. Note: VERY well. These two click ridiculously well together.] The winner is a surprise to me, but Cody earned it clean after a triple-reversey move that resulted in Christian eating Cross Rhodes.

Segment 7: Another shot of the party in the back, and Zack Ryder arrives to add some tunes to the mix, including Justin Bieber. Long apparently is too black to know who Bieber is and actually invites him to do so. But then Heath Slater arrives to “sing” instead, and everyone chucks food at him.

Well, with Slater gone, Brodus Clay’s music fires up, and he and the Funkadactyls arrive to dance for five seconds before going to commercial.

Segment 8 [Singles Match, winner qualifies for SmackDown’s Money in the Bank match]: Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero) defeats Alex Riley by pin. Solid match but no noteworthy spots. Riley seems pretty solid; why hasn’t he been on TV lately? Just nothing for his character to do? Regardless, Ziggy wins and moves on to MitB.

Segment 9: After commercials, Michael Cole is in the ring. He’s here to introduce “the most controversial superstar in WWE today.” Not John Cena for once… it’s AJ.

AJ skips her way to the ring and looks super-excited to be here tonight. Cole starts off by insulting her, then we kick it to an overproduced video recap of the end of RAW last night. After that, Cole asks her what she was thinking about shoving Punk, but then answers for her. He says the Board of Directors made a mistake in naming her the special guest referee at Money in the Bank, especially since she’ll be overseeing the most prestigious championship ever. What does she see in CM Punk and Daniel Bryan anyway? Maybe she should pursue a real man like… uh… Cole himself.

Okay, hold on. Is Cole trying to do a shotgun tactic of cutting a promo, where he’s trying about four topics at once to see which works the best? That was a weird string of non sequitur topics. He settles on overtly hitting on her, and she looks on him lovingly in a fake way. Besides all that, I’m pretty sure Cole’s wife will have something to say.

Before AJ can answer, DB hits the ring and insults Cole, then cuts an awfully face-flavored promo about how Cole, like the media, is a bunch of liars who will put words in people’s mouth just to get a story. But then he switches back to being a heel by sucking up to AJ and her newly found referee powers. He knows that she’ll do well as a ref… just as he knows that AJ didn’t mean for DB to get sent through the table as well. So he forgives her clumsiness.

And that’s when CM Punk hits the ring. Curiously, Cole is still in there too, which tells me he’s going down at some point probably. Oh wait, Punk’s first act at getting in the ring is to order Cole out of the ring. Heh.

Punk gets in AJ’s face sort of as he says that his body hurts after going through the table, but that comes with the territory when you become a wrestler. But what he’s not going to do is suck up to her, and instead he’s going to be blunt. He’s serious (maybe overly so) and says she really needs professional help. She’s a sweet girl and deserves better than the lies DB is spewing.

Well DB calls bullshit on all of that, saying Punk doesn’t actually care about her, but DB does. DB insists that Punk does care about her… because Punk needs AJ to actually beat him.

Punk and DB shove each other a bit, but AJ separates them… then applies the Lip Lock of Womanly Charms on DB. Mics are dropped, and Punk leaves. AJ turns around, sees Punk leaving, quickly catches up to him, then applies the Lip Lock of Womanly Charms on Punk. Punk is confused, DB is offended, and AJ merrily skips up the ramp. She steals DB’s taunt up there, leading the crowd along with her, and we fade out.

I know this is a storyline and all, but isn’t it a little gross to be getting DB’s sloppy seconds? What if she tongue-passed Punk one of DB’s goat-face beard hairs? And why the hell did I just put that image in your head?

Segment 10 [6-Man Tag Match]: Santino Marella, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, & Sgt. Slaughter defeat Drew McIntyre, Camacho, & Hunico by pin. I find it interesting that Cole was allowed to rhetorically ask “Why do we cart out the fossils whenever there’s a holiday?”

The match went about as you’d expect, with Santino somehow playing the face in peril and the savior, though both legends got in plenty of attacks. Harmless fun, ended on the Cobra, and far too short to be annoying.

Segment 11: Back at the party, R-Truth has joined in the festivities, and Teddy Long says that Little Jimmy is here to party!

And then, all the music stops. Camera pans, and it’s Damien Sandow who has literally pulled the plug on this whole thing. “This is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind as they were fighting for our independence!” Zack wants to know what the hell his problem is, bro. Sandow insists he is not Zack’s brother by any biological or symbolic standard, and WWE is a reflection of society, and Zack and the others are mouth-breathing miscreants.

Well, Zack’s had enough of that crap, and we are in Texas, so he whips out “Love it or get out,” though I think he’s referring to the party more than the country. Either way, Sandow isn’t happy about everyone in the party siding with Zack, so he decides to swing a fist. But Zack swings back, and manages the advantage for a second, putting Sandow on his butt. Zack grabs the punch bowl and flings it, but Sandow dodges, and the entire contents splash all over Eve and her all-white unsexy maid dress.

I have to admit: I didn’t see that coming. Everyone, the fans and wrestlers alike, loved it. Teddy even said that Eve being all wet is his kind of party, which I’m surprised wasn’t a euphemism. Eve cries and storms off in humiliation. Props go to Eve and the WWE “Creative” Team here: normally I don’t find that particular sequence funny (especially when it’s the same fall girl, as Vickie Guerrero normally gets it in situations like this), but they booked Eve in such a way over the past few months that I found it funny and deserving!

Segment 12 [Singles Match]: Ryback squashes Curt Hawkins (w/ Tyler Reks) by pin. Well, it’s a slight change to the Ryback formula, I’ll give them some credit. But it was still a Ryback match, and I’m bored. The few fans who actually cared chanted “Goldberg” for the duration of the match.

Segment 13: We’re hearing from Donald Trump on his RAW memory for some reason. Specifically, back in 2007 when he upstaged Vince on “Vince McMahon Appreciation Day.” I actually didn’t remember that.

Segment 14: WWE does a commercial for some Syfy reality show nobody cares about. The star is in the front row and gets some camera time blowing kisses. So exciting.

Segment 15: Here comes Teddy Long onto the stage. He thanks everyone for how awesome the night has been, then says that whether or not he’s the permanent GM, he’s had a great time tonight. Yay?

But now they’re going to reveal who’s going to the GM for next week’s SmackDown… and it’ll be the winner of the twenty-man battle royal happening right now (after commercials). They do show some of the entrances, including John Cena’s, whose pre-entrance words are “Time to win this thing!” Good luck, buddy; but can I hope that it’s Damien Sandow who wins this, even though there’s no chance of it happening?

Segment 16 [20-Man Battle Royal, winner is next week’s general manager for SmackDown]: Zack Ryder defeats Kane by elimination, outlasting Big Show et al. Huh, really? Okay, no complaints there, and Zack is getting his push back apparently. Nothing wrong with that at all.

It was a fun battle royal but there weren’t any noteworthy spots or moments, other than Cena and Punk going out before the final five. The final two, Kane and Zack, played well together and have pretty good chemistry, though why Kane never even tried to fling Zack over the top rope is beyond me. Zack managed to force Kane to eliminate himself by dropping down with the top rope as Kane charged.

Final Thoughts: Aside from the words “The Great American Bash” on the stage display (or whatever they call it below the Titantron) and the party, you’d never know it was the Great American Bash. I can see them not changing the aprons (though that would have been cool), but really: no red, white, and blue ropes? Yes, I am obsessed with those damn things, and no, I have no idea way. But I’m a little sad.

Still, that doesn’t offset the quality of the night. The filler was somehow even worse than Monday’s, and the wrestling segments weren’t anything to get overly excited about, but it wasn’t a bad night at all. Perfectly acceptable for one of WWE’s holiday throwaway episodes.

I originally wrote in my header that Zack was going to be the GM of RAW and SmackDown, but the title plate after the match said he’s acting general manager for SmackDown only. Unless I totally missed it, I have no idea who the GM will be for RAW… guess we’ll see.

I have one more thing to plug while I’m here. By the time this goes up on Wednesday, I’ll have restarted Would You Rather Wednesdays on my blog. My poor blog has just become an advertising bot, and I’m not happy with that, so I’ve started some more original material there. Check it out and play along if you have a few minutes to kill after reading this recap!

I’ve got nothing more, so I’ll call it a night, other than wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday. I’m sure if you did any traveling, you did so last weekend, but still: when you go home, drive safe, and we’ll see you next Tuesday for the RAW recap.

Episode Grade: C+


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




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