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Daniel Bryan Doesn't Need Your Charity
June 22, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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I've got, like, nothing to talk about tonight. I mean, I could force myself to blather about several topics, but you'd only nominally care about one of them at best, and give absolutely no craps about the others. Like I could openly wonder why trending topics on Twitter are stupid and pointless, but that would expand into the fact that Twitter itself is stupid and pointless, and I don't really want to go down that road. So, uh... Rick? Any fun baseball-related stories this week? Apart from the fact that I've neglected my fantasy team for way too long and need to get back into it.
[Ed. Note: I don't know how fun anyone else will find it, but this week, Jay Bruce went 7-for-29. A hair under .250. Not impressive, you say. Bzzzzt. All 7 hits were home runs. The only other time in baseball history when somebody had that many consecutive hits that were all home runs was Mark McGwire, in 2001. And he doesn't count because steroids. So that's pretty cool. NOTE: said streak ended just moments ago when Bruce hit a double. I'll still take it.]

Well, if there's nothing more to blather about, how about I just get right to the show rather than meander around the precap like a pantsless dude in the streets after a 3am bender. Let's get to it...

Segment 1: We are taped from Dayton, a show that I opted not to go to, given that I had a wedding to attend. Unless I get a Rosa Mendes topless match here, I'd say that the tradeoff was acceptable.

So it's Daniel Bryan who hits the ring first to open the show, and he's here to complain about Monday night when his match with Randy Orton was stopped due to a medical stoppage. DB blames the ref and the ringside trainer, but asserts that it's Orton holds the most blame, because of course.

We get a replay of it, and DB explains that he wasn't happy about Orton basically patting DB's head “like a dog” because of pity. And DB ain't having any of that blasted pity: he will prove that he's not a weak link by beating Orton tonight in a rematch.

Orton hits the ring, adds nothing to the conversation, and patiently listens to DB's generic threats and bickering. Orton accepts the rematch, then adds that he's totally going to beat the crap out of DB for his insolence. Oh, and he's totally going to make sure that DB doesn't walk away from the match, but will be carried out. And this gets cheers, because Dayton sucks. (Present company excluded.) “Respect that,” is Orton's punch line, which actually isn't half-bad, but doesn't seem natural coming from him.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Sheamus defeats Cody Rhodes (w/ Damien Sandow) by submission. Above-average match without any individual noteworthy spots, but I found it interesting that Cody was playing a brawler for 90% of the match. He did it pretty convincingly too, despite Sheamus being bigger in all dimensions.

Toward the end, Cody turned it into a technical match with arm-targeted offense, starting when he reversed Sheamus's apron-to-ring vaulting battering ram into a sweet armbar. The hold was applied for quite a while, and though Sheamus managed to get out of it, Cody targeted the arm again with a modified belly-to-belly suplex that simply just displaced Sheamus so his bad arm would snag on the top rope. Good stuff.

But from there, Sheamus no-sold the arm for no damn reason, hit a bunch of moves including a running senton, then slapped on the Irish Cloverleaf. I mean, the finish was fine and all, but it would have been nice to see Sheamus have trouble cinching it in due to the arm or something. Just something to show that Cody's offense caused more damage than five seconds of irrelevant discomfort.

Post-Segment 2: The instant the bell rang, Damien Sandow slid in the ring and just be holy hell out of Sheamus. This was partly because Sheamus threw Cody into Sandow during the end game, and partly because Sandow isn't taking Sheamus's bastardization of his “intellectual contests” for the past few weeks.

There is no counter, and Sandow barely helps Cody out of the ring after the beatdown. Sheamus sells it well, and makes Sandow look like a badass.

Segment 3: A replay of the newest Wyatt Family vignette from Monday.

Pre-Segment 4: Curtis Axel hits the ring with Paul Heyman, though he pauses on the stage to Broadly Gesture ripping away the shirt like Superman. Topical, and neat.

Commercial: I don't know when WWE decided to listen to my advice, but they intelligently renamed Orton's new stupid movie to 12 Rounds 2 instead of 12 Rounds II. It's still an awkward title, but at least it's consistently awkward.

Next, WWE: take my advice about a topless Rosa Mendes match. I'll humbly volunteer to be the test audience and/or opponent for this endeavor. Call me!

Segment 4 [Singles Match for the Intercontinental Title]: Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman) defeats Wade Barrett by pin, and retains. Boxing-style introductions by Lilian Garcia, which is weird for a minor title. Solid match and pure workrate, definitely worth watching. However, there weren't any spots that worthy of special mention, though everything was crisp, and the two guys clicked well. Good stuff, again. The match ended with a twisting neckbreaker.

After the match, The Miz—who was on commentary and said absolutely nothing of note—slid in the ring and ripped off his suit jacket and tie for no damn reason. Axel got in his face, but Heyman pulled him back and made sure no fisticuffs transpired. For some reason, this counted as a moral victory for Miz, so they played his music to close the segment. Weird.

Segment 5: RAW recap of the kickass Mark Henry/John Cena angle.

Pre-Segment 6: AJ is so tiny that the Divas Championship belt is bigger than her entire pelvis.

Segment 6 [Singles Match]: AJ (w/ Big E. Langston) defeats Natalya by submission. Decent match, but a bit too many rest holds for my taste. At least it was a full-length match though... well, “full-length” for the Modern Era, anyway.

Feeling out process to start, though Natalya gets the better of it. In fact, Nattie is so jacked up tonight that she wants to jump ahead in the script and slap on the Sharpshooter. But AJ's health meter isn't low enough yet, so she's able to squirm enough that Nattie gives up. And then, uh, that's when shit gets painful.

Natalya, still holding AJ's ankles, flips her over to her back. Natalya then turns around and locks ankles, so it looks like it's going to be an STF. But instead, once the ankles are all locked together, Natalya turns over again and lays down on her back, then extends her legs above her body. This has the effect of doing triple damage: It bends AJ's back and neck, twists the ankles, and applies pressure to AJ's hamstrings. AJ meanwhile has to be positioned upside-down with her arms “behind” her (but basically under her), so Natalya just grabs them and adds to the damage by adding double armbars to the already painful hold. It's one of those things that you have to see to believe, although seeing probably still won't let you believe it. It looks as if Naomi and Cameron tried to do their Ass Voltron while half-sleeping in an anti-gravity chamber and somehow fused together in a way that is somehow simultaneously sexy and not-sexy. I think Damien Sandow's Gordian's knot from a month ago was less complicated.

Anyway, this was close enough to the ropes that AJ freed an arm and grabbed it to break the hold. After another exchange, she rode piggy-back on Natalya with a sleeper. No Black Widow hold, but it weakened Nattie. Pin, two, failed, and reapply sleeper, ads.

Back, and we're back-and-forth for two seconds. Natalya wanted an Alabama Slam or something, but AJ slipped out and applied the Black Widow out of nowhere. The suddeness was disappointing... also disappointing was that Natalya tapped out on AJ's ankle, not her ass. Sad face.

During the match, there were a few shots of Kaitlyn and Layla watching from the back, and evidently they're totally cool despite all the wonderful subtle storytelling between the two months ago. Stupid WWE.

Also, although Langston was present, he didn't do anything. This, by itself, isn't shocking—it's not like he's going to just punch Natalya in the face—but he wasn't even really standing at ringside. Instead, he stayed back just at the edge of the black mats at the foot of the ramp. Deeper meaning and subtlety that I just accused WWE's “Creative Team” of not having, or just a one-off strange decision for no reason? You make the call!

Post-Segment 6: One more shot of Kaitlyn and Layla. Aksana arrives and says something that I totally can't ascertain due to her accent and lack of volume. But she concludes by calling Kaitlyn “trash,” which makes no sense and is stupid. So Kaitlyn beats the shit out of her, then calls her trash figuratively by overturning a trash can on her. The Funkadactyls arrive to peel them apart, and I got momentarily excited because I thought My Rosa Mendes was there too, but I was mistaken. (Where is my Hispanic Hottie, anyway?)

Kaitlyn has the crazy eyes going as we smash-cut to ringside, where Chris Jericho is making an entrance.

Segment 7 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeats Chris Jericho by disqualification. The match was all right, but nothing special... but the ending was stupid. Jericho had ADR in the Walls, and Ricardo interfered, so Jericho slapped the Walls on him instead for a good 30 seconds, totally ignoring ADR, who was still his, you know, opponent.

And then Dolph Ziggler hit the ring and beat the shit out of ADR, to massive cheers.

I'm not saying the Dolph thing was stupid, since that makes sense in story context. But why in the blue balls of Hell would Jericho just completely ignore his actual opponent just because Ricardo was being annoying? I mean, Codebreaker him or something, but actually pay attention to what's going on! I know it's a common trope in professional wrestling to be distracted pointlessly, but a quick one-shot distraction makes way more sense than a sustain, deliberate, intentional “distraction” that flies in the face of logic.

Just sayin'.

Post-Segment 7: Jericho lets ADR go, who bails through the crowd. And only then does Jericho realize that Dolph exists, so they bicker at each other, and then Jericho hits him with a Codebreaker (to that MORTALLY WOUNDED~! head!).

Jericho leaves, and then ADR comes back to beat the crap out of Dolph. Specifically, with a one-hop side kick to Dolph's temple, to massive boos. Dolph oversold it, or rather sold it like a gunshot, which is exactly what he needed to do. Good stuff, for the third time this show.

It's also “good stuff” that Dolph didn't come out with AJ or vice versa, since that would just confuse the issue. I smell a for-real face turn soon.

Segment 8 [Singles Match]: Christian defeats Drew McIntyre (w/ 3MB) by pin. I like that D-Mc is actually getting some screen time, but I think it could be spent better than getting squashed. Match ended with a Killswitch.

Post-Segment 8: Christian grabs a mic and says how goddamn awesome it is to finally be back after nearly a year. Also, he loves the Peeps, so he reaffirms his face status.

Also also, he's back because wants “one more match.” But before he can say for what exactly that is, The Shield's music fires up. They surround the ring, beat the shit out of him, ending with the triple powerbomb. Message received, guys.

Segment 9: RAW recap of the main event angle concerning CM Punk and Brock Lesnar.

Segment 10: Renee Young interviews Paul Heyman in the back. Renee asks how much Heyman had to do with Brock coming in and F5-ing Punk. Heyman deflects the question by saying that if she's going to ask a personal question, then he will ask a personal question back... so just how is her relationship with her father, anyway?

Renee, being awesome, displays an agitated expression that clearly shows her irritation, but she does a lot of little subtle things too to sell it: lowering her shoulders a bit, looking off the side, and generally seeming submissive in the sense that she was totally caught off-guard and clearly didn't want to deal with whatever Heyman is referring to. I posit that any storyline with an interviewer is retarded unless they're going to make her active or something (and given that Matt Striker was just released, I doubt that), so hopefully this is a one-off deal.

Heyman piles on the personal questions, and Renee stays professional by not playing along (other than the awesome expressions and body language). Heyman concludes that it's not fun talking about personal issues, and whatever is going on between Heyman and Punk is personal, since Punk rather publicly ended their professional relationship on Monday. So hopefully, next week, Renee actually starts asking about Curtis Axel.

Heyman makes a final jab and walks away. Renee, just lets her arm drop and looks upset, but not “fall to the knees in tears” that would be over-the-top. If this was real, I'd say she could complain about a hostile work environment, but in context and in-universe, it was a pretty awesome exchange in the sense that it accomplished more than it needed to do.

But again, I hope this is a one-off. If this is the start of something, like constantly humiliating her for no reason, then it'll be stupid. But for a one-shot promo, it was solid for Heyman, who frankly has been boring me lately when he's just in Monologue Mode.

Segment 11 [Singles Match]: Daniel Bryan defeats Randy Orton by countout. Solid action to the match, but nothing overly special. No hot spots, nothing newsworthy, but it was all well-executed, even Orton's part.

But DB didn't want the countout victory, so he grabbed a mic and got in Referee McDoucher's face. DB said he refused to take a countout victory, so the ref needed to restart the match, right the hell now! The ref used all that excess energy he has to scream “No!” while doing the football “incomplete pass” signal. (Or baseball “safe” signal, if you prefer.) This led to a rather epic YES/NO screaming contest between the ref and DB, and I'm glad to see a referee other than Mike Chioda finally showing some personality.

Anyway, DB won the screaming contest when the fans started chanting along.

Final Thoughts: And then the show ended. Jarring, is it not?

Seriously, they just cut the feed, but showed the SD copyright bug. And since I didn't show up to the Nutter Center, I have no freaking clue what transpired after it. Not that it matters, because for these recaps, I have to only take the on-screen product into consideration, or I have no integrity as a pretend journalist. [Ed. Note: the Shield ran out and attacked Bryan, Orton tried to help, Sheamus made the save, and they had a little 5 minute bonus 6-man dark match. JOURNALISM~! INGEGRITY~!]

And man, that was a floptastic ending. Was this trying to force smart people to lower themselves enough into getting the WWE App? Or was it bad time management? Or was it shitty writing because they wanted to save Orton and extend the feud in the most retarded possible way? It didn't help that the match wasn't really all the exciting, even though—as I said—it was well-executed.

Weird. The undercard was much better, and certainly worth a look. The squash aside, the matches were solid, and even the squash did do what it needed to do. And all the storyline angles were done well without stupidity ensuing. I'll still give the weekly acting award to Renee Young, if we discount Mark Henry's awesomeness on Monday.

Regardless, it was a good episode, but the main event left a foul taste in my mouth. Hopefully next week will be better and explain that shit.

Episode Grade: B-


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