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SD!: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Triple H Earns His Paycheck
September 8, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
Follow Pyro's Tweets
on Twitter --/-- View Pyro's Videos on Youtube

 

For the last few weeks, when I've started SmackDown at or past 9pm, I've called it a “late start.” I'm starting to think I need to just surrender and admit that 9pm is my start, and that it basically destroys my entire evening. I still love the hell out of doing the recaps, but man... I never realized how much time I had when I was doing RAW recaps, since I almost always have Mondays off work. Doing a recap after a full shift with a sociopathic public in retail is... unpleasant.

 

Ah well. At least it's not Black Friday yet. Even if we're already getting ready for Christmas.

So, it's time to sit back, relax, and see if WWE continues it's fairly decent streak of shows. I can't remember the last time I gave a D rating, so here's hoping the streak continues.

 

Segment 1: Is this RAW again? Triple H is already in the ring, which is carpeted in red, and he's flanked by Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox. Trips reminds us that Cody Rhodes has been fired (for some quick cheap boos, even though we just bloody saw it before the signature). Trips's excuse is that, as COO, he embodies the concept of WWE, so because Cody was “disrespectful and insubordinate” to him, clearly Cody was disrespectful and insubordinate to all the fans and wrestlers... the wrestlers, by the way, are all hanging out on the stage. Trips concludes that he gave Cody a chance to secure his employment, but Cody failed, so “in essence, I didn't fire Cody Rhodes; Cody Rhodes fired Cody Rhodes.” Anyone over the age of 14 will get the Screwjob reference there, making me wonder just how dedicated WWE is to taking us back to the late-90s.

Trips continues to blather, then addresses the wrestlers to assure them that their jobs aren't all in general risk, so he offers anyone to ask any question they want without fear of repercussions. They all hesitate, so Trips pulls some bullshit that I hear every day in the retail industry as he talks about how he works for them and how the only way we can all grow as a happy family is if they're all open and honest with each other. It's always bullshit in reality, and it's bullshit here too; the fans boo the shit out of it, since they don't buy it either.

It's Damien Sandow who decides to step up first, just to say that he totally is in favor of Cody getting the axe, since he's totally bad for business. Trips thanks him, but says that this exercise isn't to be an ass-kissing session, drawing some laughs and a sweet egg-on-face expression from Sandow.

Kofi Kingston then says that the roster has been in fear of getting fired since Cody was axed, and Trips starts to defend himself, but 3MB interrupts him. 3MB, or Heath Slater specifically, says that he's totally scared of Big Show “doing nothing” (without really specifying exactly what situation 3MB would need him in), and also compliments Trips's management style. Trips: “Thank you, Heath Slater, especially for emptying what I imagine is the entire content of your mind.” Heh, cute, and it draws some cheers.

So it's Rob Van Dam who gets to the mic. He says that it was Trips who brought him back to WWE, but RVD says he only came back because he though things were better, but he's not digging this vibe, dude. Trips is giddy since he's been wanting to be called “dude” by RVD since 2000, and deflects the accusation by saying that RVD is a true superstar and Trips still has faith in him.

Ryback then lodges a complaint for being called a bully. Trips agrees, and books Ryback against Dolph Ziggler for no apparent reason, other than the fact that it's a return match of Monday.

Trips then points out that Daniel Bryan isn't on the stage, which Trips blames on DB's ego. Trips is a little upset since he totally wanted to see DB's face when the match for him was announced: DB gets to pick any member of The Shield with whom to have a singles match, and the winner is #1 contender to the WWE Title. Wait, what? How the hell does that make any sense?

Trips then closes the meeting, calling it a huge success (causing me more unpleasant retail industry-related memories), and says that he wants to reward those who spoke up. So Kofi gets a non-title match against Curtis Axel, and RVD gets a match against Randy Orton on the other side of the commercials.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Randy Orton defeats Rob Van Dam (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) by pin. Solid match, surprisingly so, and I daresay it's YouTube-worthy.

First off, as Rick mentioned in his RAW recap, part of the problem with Heel Orton is that he tends to open matches way too slowly (Garvin stomp, anyone?). So this time, to eschew that crappy pacing, RVD took control early in a reverse-formula as he exploded from just about every rope and threw a kick in every conceivable way an ankle can bend. Orton had a reverse hope spot when he countered and early Rolling Thunder with his trademark powerslam, but RVD got back on track and continued the offense.

Tides turned as RVD chucked Orton out of the ring and draped him on the barricade. RVD tried his trademark flying roundhouse from the apron, but Orton moved, so RVD crashed and burned into the barricade. That took us to ads.

Back, and Orton is in control with the heel beatdown sequence, but this time he didn't screw around. RVD also had enough hope spots that you always felt he was just a couple seconds away from exploding into more awesomeness, but Orton was always there to put him down (or give him a chinlock).

Eventually the fight spilled outside in front of the announce table, where Alberto Del Rio was sitting for guest commentary. RVD took control and inside the ring, it looked like he might pull off a win, even after whiffing the Five-Star Frog Splash. However, ADR decided to fling Ricardo face-first into a ring post, so RVD did a jumping springboard senton over the top rope to take him down.

However, this gave Orton time to recover from the beating. He slid out the ring, flung RVD into the table, then started to put him back in the ring... only to pull him out long enough to do the Hangman's DDT with the apron, so RVD's face smashed into the mats. Good god...

The crowd finally fired up a “This is awesome!” chant, but the match was basically over. RVD was dead, so Orton had to deadlift him up to his feet long enough to shove him back into the ring. RVD was still limp, so Orton basically pulled him off the ground by his ponytail. RVD had barely gotten to his feet when Orton hit a superfluous RKO, then made the pin.

Seriously, check this one out: weaving stories, good action, and despite the foregone conclusion, it felt like RVD could have pulled out a miracle. It really benefited from RVD doing 80% of the early offense, and the rest holds and crap coming when it actually makes sense for the guys to rest. And even then, Orton seemed to have a little more pop in his corn during the second half, so it didn't drag to a limp at any time. Really, really good stuff.

Post-Segment 2: After the match, ADR came into the ring and shit-kicked RVD, then slapped on the Cross Arm Breaker. Honestly, while it's sorta useful to fuel the fire, it's really anticlimactic to the sweet match that preceded it.

Commercial: Okay, I know it's just a figment of OO's imagination, but can I bring up something about the Total Divas commercial they showed? Because they tease that one of the Bellas suffered a leg injury in a recent match, ending with her nearly wailing “My career may be over!” But, uh, earlier tonight, they showed that both Bellas are totally standing fine, dressed to compete. Doesn't this non-reality lose a little something when it can't even hide spoilers from itself? Just sayin'. [Ed. Note: the injury happened 4 months ago, when they were taping the show. That's why Nikki didn't do jackshit, except stand around, for month. She only got cleared to return to action 2-3 weeks ago. When "That of Which I Shall Not Speak" returns for its second season in November, it'll all be stuff that happened around SummerSlam. Deal with it, "reality" show junkies.]

Segment 3: Renee Young interviews Daniel Bryan, who says that he doesn't think he's better than anyone, and he wasn't at the meeting earlier because he was told by management that he wasn't invited. Blather blather, DB knows it's not going to be one-on-one versus any member of The Shield, so he puts the choice in their hands, framing it as they need to select which member “wants to get beaten up first before they all join in.” Heh. DB concludes that he knows he can beat any member of The Shield, just like he knows he can beat Orton for the WWE Title.

He smiles, Renee smiles, and I smile because Renee smiled. [Ed. Note: If I haven't been clear about this, yet, let me state that Renee Young really velvets my meat.] [Ed. Note to the Ed. Note: yes, I've learned a new cooking technique that makes my Chinese dishes truly Restaurant Quality. And it's really called "velveting." I can't recommend it strongly enough.]

Segment 4: AJ is walking and runs into Layla, Aksana, and Alicia Fox. They basically ignore her, but she says that while they may not like her, she'd totally want to defend her title against any of them instead of the Total Diva pretty girls. And hey, those three should be upset too, since the Total Divas took those wrestling spots away from them.

Well, naturally since in WWE's world women are only there to look pretty and conspire against each other, the three aforementioned divas start bickering and talking over each other how the Total Divas suck. So AJ conspires with them, and then we get ads before assuredly boring details.

Segment 5 [Singles Match]: Ryback defeats Dolph Ziggler by pin. Fairly boring match... standard formula, Ryback didn't do anything inventive.

Dean Ambrose popped out to join the commentary team, then distracted Dolph at the end to get his head clotheslined off his neck. One Shell Shock later, we have a winner, and I don't care.

Segment 6 [Singles Match]: Kofi Kingston defeats Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman) by pin. Decent match I guess. Well-worked, but... just... I dunno. Axel matches just don't do it for me, and I can't pinpoint why.

The match ended with an SOS out of nowhere and a flash pin, which shocked Heyman enough that he allowed the IC Title belt to slip out of his fingers. He's making a simple mathematical formula, Punk > Kofi > Axel, and concluding that he's going to get the piss beaten out of him.

Segment 7: Replay of the Bray Wyatt promo from Monday as he “explains” where Kane is. At least, I assume it's an even replay, because they cut it from the Hulu version of RAW.

Segment 8: After ads, Renee catches up with Heyman to ask whether he's concerned about the upcoming handicap elimination match. Heyman calls bullshit on her choice of words: should he be afraid, rather than concerned? Heyman deflects the question and says that the only reason Axel lost to Kofi is that they've been so obsessed with Heyman trying to avoid Punk's wrath that they haven't worked on Axel's skills and training, or something. Then he does a mirror (and minor) version of Punk's promo, where he reminds us all that Punk has promised to “break his face.”

Then he accuses Renee of wanting to see that, and goddamn do I love Renee Young more and more in these interview segments. Where most interviewers start looking nervous and panicky, or at least like they swallowed a cockroach and are trying not to puke it up, Renee just rolls her eyes at the bullshit since she knows she couldn't possibly care less what happens to any of these morons. If we are truly pretending that WWE is an actual sports agency, then it would make sense that all the interviewers (other than Jonathan Coachman) wouldn't be afraid of simply asking a bloody question, like real journalists. Renee is nailing it, and I hope that she does all the interview segments, not just the majority on SmackDown.

It especially makes sense since Heyman and Renee already have a history, what with that one promo where he talked about her disappointing her father in vague terms, and her increasing exasperation, frustration, and annoyance that such a thing was being splayed out on national television. Renee is acting like a real person (holy shit!) rather than a walking, breathing microphone stand. Fucking A. Does she have history in real-life journalism, or does she simply have double the IQ of the Josh Mathews of the world? [Ed. Note: she did wrestling coverage for WWE's Canadian affiliate, including bumpers when ad breaks didn't quite match up, and most notably post-game shows where she basically was "one of us" -- an intelligent wrestling fan -- except she talked about wrestling on a cable show, which is better than the internets. I don't know if she did other TV stuff, too, or what she studied in college, but I agree she stands out in a way no WWE interview has in forever.]

Anyway... Heyman continues to blather, but he concludes with a hiss that he'll so totally be able to beat the shit out of Punk instead, because once Heyman is in a corner, “his worst is better than Punk's worst,” whatever that means.

Renee, god bless her, replies, “One more thing. Punk also promised to give you the beating of your life.”

That's it; not a question. But it does make Heyman do a stellar “all is lost” moment by expression alone, as you see all the bravado melt off his face and become replaced with existential fear. Finally, without a word, Heyman just turns around and kicks open the door to walk away. Renee just drops the mic and looks on, with a very tiny smile playing on the corner of her lips.

That is how you do an interview segment, people.

Segment 9 [Singles Match]: Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella) draws with Naomi (w/ Cameron) by double disqualification. Two things stick out from this match: one, Naomi is seriously ring capable, and needs to be in more actual matches. And two, this wasn't an actual match. It was whatever you call it when someone busts out a rest hold after fifteen seconds. Feel free to fill in your own adjectives to the match here.

I'd like to point out that no matter what happened, Brie was kicking out of everything after 1.5 counts. Seems kinda shitty and makes Naomi look a little weak, unless they were specifically trying to hurry things along. Which wouldn't surprise me.

Naomi busted out a couple sweet moves, such as a forward flip lariat that Undertaker is famous for, and a neat counter to an Irish Whip where she basically grabs the bottom rope, slides under it, hooks her feet quickly, and stops herself on the apron. It's sort of like Rey Mysterio's 619, except not an attack.

Anyway, after the Naomi 619-like counter, the fight spills outside. And then all the divas from Segment 4 come down and slap the mascara off both women. Good contribution.

Post-Segment 9: After the initial attack, AJ smiles and skips away... though she does decide to join in after all as the competitors get beaten down. Strangely, Nikki and Cameron are nowhere to be seen. Then AJ grabs a mic, addresses the crowd as “Ladies and nerds” for no goddamn reason, then does a mic drop and kisses the title. Fox, Layla, and Aksana stand over the women's bodies. Yay?

Segment 10: Yet another bloody vignette for the Los Matadores who, I'd like to point out, are one Rosa Mendes away from me giving a crap.

Pre-Segment 11: Siva Tau! I want to punch someone in the face now!

Segment 11 [Tag Match]: The Real Americans (w/ Zeb Colter) defeat the Usos by pin. Decent match. The heels went all-out from the beginning, and the Usos only got one extended hope sequence before getting destroyed thanks to distractions.

Segment 12: Big Show is fuming in the back office, and Trips comes up with a friendly, “What's wrong, big fella? Someone stole your cookie?” Show is all, “You know what I'm angry about,” and Trips is all, “I do... 3MB. Those guys are jerks.” So Trips wants to beat the shit out of 3MB, especially with WMD punches. Show actually looks like he's buying it.

Segment 13: RAW recap of the whole stupid Show/DB drama. Even in highlight form, it feels too fucking long.

Segment 14 [Handicap 1-on-3 Match]: Big Show-- You know what? You know the outcome. I'm going to stop typing.

Post-Segment 14: Show walked away, apparently satiated, but then Shield's music fired up. Show stopped short on the stage and flexed his fists, wondering what to do. Then Trips popped out, was all “Don't worry about those guys! Let's go back and make some s'mores!” Show complied, not exactly by choice.

Segment 15 [Singles Match]: Daniel Bryan defeats Seth Rollins (w/ The Shield) by pin. Holy crap, this one wasn't a forgone conclusion. Rollins had early offense thanks to a sucker punch while DB was still confused about who would actually be facing him.

Rollins settled into the standard formula from there, but unlike previous matches tonight, it was pretty damn entertaining. DB's hope spots were numerous, but the other Shield members' distractions proved his undoing.

A scary moment happened when he performed a sick German suplex on Rollins about halfway through. DB never saw the problem, but Rollins either gave himself a little extra jump or DB held him a split-second too long... regardless, he landed directly on the top his head at full speed. It was bad enough that on replay, even Michael Cole reacted with an “Oh, god!,” but Rollins seemed fine. Though, the ref did seem to give him an extra second before DB was able to follow up.

The end game saw DB apply the Yes Lock, and the other Shield members decided to get on the apron. DB then freaked the hell out, kicking the shit out of both of them before trying Rollins again. Rollins recovered and threw an Irish Whip, but DB just carried that momentum into a suicide dive into Roman Reigns on the outside. Ambrose ran up then, and DB just hip tossed him onto Reigns's leg. DB then punched Rollins in the face from outside, quickly slid in the ring, executed a Sagat Flying Tiger Knee, then made the pin. The fans exploded, and DB quickly bailed before Shield could gather itself.

Post-Segment 15: And then Orton beans DB in the back of the head with the title belt on the stage, and poses over his body. Surprised?

Final Thoughts: Subpar night overall with a couple solid bright spots that are You-Tube worthy. I think I said enough though and don't need to explain further, especially since it's freaking midnight, and I need to hit the sack. So, grade, e-mail, then sleep. Yay.

Episode Grade: C

 
E-MAIL PYROFALKON


  
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