Mike Shannon’s WWE Raw Review – August 27, 2012
“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends… We’re so glad you could attend”
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to PwMania, the most charismatic columnist in the history of the internet has returned to give you the truth about WWE and Raw. Since I have been somewhat inactive over the past few months, I’ll give everyone a refresher course on exactly how I review wrestling:
I am hopelessly biased towards certain wrestlers, I don’t pull any punches when something or someone absolutely sucks, and I have no toleration whatsoever for pointless comedy skits or the Divas. Fair enough? Oh, and I use the standard star rating system that has been beaten to death by various smarks around the internet who give a match **** just because CM Punk hits a couple bulldogs.
Now that you understand, let’s get started…
-We are LIVE from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (home of fat men and even fatter women)
-A recap video summarizes the whole John Cena – CM Punk deal from last week. It all ends with Punk kicking Jerry Lawler in the head which would be fine if he already didn’t get beat up by a heel every 6 months or so.
-So Lawler hits the ring and demands an apology from CM Punk but Punk hits the ring and reminds everyone that King disrespected him last week. However, Punk is most definitely sorry, he’s sorry that all it takes to get to the Hall of Fame is to smack around jobbers in Memphis and act like a juvenile on commentary. It’s funny because it’s true.
After some back and forth, Punk challenges Lawler to a match and King, with a flair for the dramatic, says he will think about it. Wow, what an exciting and electrifying answer.
Jack Swagger vs. Ryback
Cole and King play up how Swagger hasn’t won a match in about 4 years and I don’t like his chances here either. Ryback falls on his ass throwing some knees and hits a big boot before slamming Jack’s head against the mat. Swagger recovers with a slam but Ryback kicks out of the Ankle Lock and nearly breaks Swagger’s neck with a back body drop. My God dude, get out of the damn ring if you’re going to pull crap like that. Stiff clothesline sets up the Muscle Buster and that’s enough for the win.
-Ryback was a complete mess out there tonight, almost killing Swagger and screwing up basic stuff. There’s a difference between working stiff and working sloppy, Skip. DUD
-Meanwhile, Lawler is still thinking about a match against Punk
Natalya vs. Layla
The complete silence for Layla’s entrance is a good summary of the entire women’s division in general. I really don’t get why there’s isn’t more love for Natalya though, she has something about her that I really dig.
So Vickie heads to ringside and demands this match end quickly and, for once, I completely agree. Sloppy start leads to Layla rolling Nattie up for two and hitting a cross body off the second rope for another near fall. Layla dances like an idiot and hits Natalya in the face with her ass (no, I’m not kidding) so Nattie takes a powder. Layla makes the mistake of following and gets destroyed but Nattie can’t hook the Sharpshooter back inside. Suplex attempt is countered and Layla hooks a small package for two as the crowd goes apathetic. Thankfully, Layla hits a kick to the back of the head and ends things.
-The crowd didn’t give two shits about either woman and the work was generally sloppy *1/4. I still don’t get why they insist on putting this on TV every week.
-So Vickie’s big announcement is that AJ Lee is big, fat, meany who makes unfair decisions. However, she makes the mistake of calling AJ “deranged” so she comes skipping out and beats the hell out of Vickie, sending her scurrying for the locker room. The AJ character has been boring me lately but at least her ass looks good in business suits.
-Cole and King hype HHH’s career decision for later tonight and show highlight packages like he’s dead or something. The new DX stuff is just embarrassing compared to the late-90s stuff. Spray painting Titan Tower…really?
-OH JOY!! Daniel Bryan gets to attend anger management classes. Bryan freaks out when some kid wearing a goat mask walks in but it turns out to be a mask for a Noah’s Ark play at a school…ha ha? Why do I have the feeling this isn’t the last of these stupid things?
-Meanwhile, CM Punk continues to challenge Lawler by insulting him on TWITTER…oh, now it’s on bitch! After a long-winded speech, King decides to accept the challenge. Hey, a main event with a commentator involved…SMELL THE RATINGS!
-Commercial for Saturday Morning Slam, which is rated TV-G and is going to set the business back about 30 years.
John Cena vs. The Miz
Hey, remember when this match headlined WrestleMania and now it’s an hour one Raw match? Funny how that works. A huge disadvantage of Lawler accepting Punk’s challenge is now we have to listen to Michael Cole call matches solo…Vince clearly has no mercy on his fans.
Basic opening to the match as they exchange headlocks and…we take a break? Seriously, were those headlocks that exciting that we JUST HAVE to stayed tuned now?
We return with Miz escaping the Attitude Adjustment but Cena hits a bulldog for two as Josh Matthews has joined Cole on commentary. Miz takes over with a boot to the face for two and the Miz clothesline in the corner sets up a double ax handle off the top for two. Cena comes back with a suplex but Miz bascially no-sells it and hits his backbreaker-neckbreaker combo for two.
Another boot to the face gets yet another two count as Miz seems to have left his moveset in his other pants. Boots to the face, you say? Have some more. Finally, a fourth running boot in countered to the STF but Miz quickly fights to the ropes and hits the short DDT for two.
Miz looks to finish but has to settled for a side slam (called “OHH!” by both Cole and Matthews) but he misses a blind charge to the corner and that triggers the Cena SOS Comeback. If you don’t know what happens here, you have no business watching this show.
Winner: John Cena
-If you think you should job your Intercontinental champion clean as a sheet to John Cena for the simple fact that you don’t have any other ideas, you should send your resume to WWE HQ, they have a creative job for you. Why worry about the IC title anyway, it’s only supposed to be the number two belt in the company. I really don’t know why I waste my breath on this crap though, McMahon sees the belts as props and nothing more…he really should just get rid of them. Oh yeah, the match: It was pretty paint-by-the-numbers stuff so that gets **3/4 and likes it.
-As predicted, we get more footage of Daniel Bryan in his anger management classes. This time, Kane arrives to take part in the meeting and hilarity ensues. Please no more stupid comedy skits…please.
Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella
Speaking of stupid comedy, here comes Santino…I guess there is three hours to fill. Santino does some comedic amateur wrestling so Slater counters by dancing and throwing a right hand. Slater hammers away while Cole mocks West Virginia (I approve) and the “boring” chant starts (I approve again). Slater tries for something from the second rope but Santino keeps rolling away before locking in a small package for two and mounting the babyface comeback. Marella tries for the Cobra but Aksana wanders out on entrance ramp to distract him but Santino hits it anyway and gets the pin.
-This might be the stupidest damn thing I ever seen in the history of wrestling…1/4* for the match and negative 1000 for the ridiculous Cobra garbage.
-Apparently the “WWE Universe” (God, I hate that term) gets to pick what kind of match Punk and Lawler are going to have tonight…joy.
Brodus Clay & Sin Cara vs. Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes
I absolutely love that Sandow holds the microphone like a wine glass…it’s those little character quirks that WWE is missing these days. We take a break before the match starts and return with Cody hitting a running knee on Sin Cara for two. Sandow comes in with a Russian leg sweep (and he’s not even Russian) before following with Cubito Aequet (“elbow of disdain” for you plebeians) for two. Cody checks back in but gets hit with flying headscissors and Brodus gets the hot tag. Clay hits a running powerslam for two and Cara takes out Sandow with an outside dive. Brodus catches Cody with a headbutt coming off the ropes and a splash gets the pin.
Winners: Brodus Clay & Sin Cara
-Match was fine but I have no idea why you’re jobbing the heels here, considering they have far more momentum and are more important than Botch Cara and midcard comedy act Brodus Clay **.
-We take yet another look at Kane and Daniel Bryan’s anger management course but I’ll admit I laughed as Kane recapped his entire life up to this point (“I have an unhealthy obsession with torturing Pete Rose”).
R-Truth vs. Daniel Bryan
Bryan shows some sportsmanship, trying to get out of doing the anger management thing, but the crowd isn’t helping matters. Bryan kicks away in the corner but only hits knee on a charge and Truth hits a leg lariat to set up the corkscrew elbow for two. Daniel hits the floor and Truth grabs the microphone to rile up the crowd and cause Bryan to lose his cool. Bryan starts arguing with the crowd and gets counted out…stupid.
Winner by count out: R-Truth
-Total waste of time as it was more of an angle than a match 1/4*.
-So Triple H comes out for his big announcement and at least this time he actually sells the broken arm with a cast. HHH stops to soak in the cheers of the crowd since they aren’t chanting “you tapped out” like at SummerSlam. Hunter plays it up a little bit and actually says the words “nostalgia pop” while talking about wrestlers who hold on too long. So after all that, Triple H’s answer to if he’s going to retire or not is…”I don’t know.” Wow, there’s an awful lot of indecision on this show tonight. Anyways, he thanks the fans for all their support but totally doesn’t retire so the standing ovation is kind of unnecessary, he was already semi-retired anyways.
-Recap of Dolph Ziggler ending Chris Jericho’s career last week.
Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton & Sheamus
Dolph makes his entrance to Jericho’s music just to be a jerk. Orton starts with Ziggler and hits a clothesline followed by a slingshot suplex and he casually dumps Del Rio for Sheamus to nail him with a shoulderblock. Orton hits a powerslam inside and Dolph takes a powder which just so happens to sync up with a commercial break! Now, that’s good luck right there.
We return with Orton playing face-in-peril and Dolph hits an elbowdrop for two. Orton’s comeback attempt goes nowhere as Dolph this a kneelift and Del Rio goes to work on the shoulder. Orton dodges Del Rio on a blind charge though and rolls him up for two before back dropping Alberto over the corner and to the floor. The crowd is pretty dead for this, these three hour shows are killing the crowd heat. It’s simply too long for a live show.
Hot tag to Sheamus allows him to clean house on Dolph as Ziggler bumps around like a ping pong ball. Nice little sequence leads to Ziggler running into the Irish Curse backbreaker and Del Rio saving at two. Dolph tries to use the briefcase but Orton saves with a backbreaker and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick on Ziggler for the win.
Winners: Sheamus & Randy Orton
-Pretty formulaic tag match with a good finish but jobbing Ziggler just will make it mean less when he actually wins the title ***.
-Meanwhile, Jerry Lawler asks John Cena to stay out of his match with CM Punk tonight.
-Recap of Kane abusing Josh Mathews at SummerSlam.
Zack Ryder vs. David Otunga
As Gorilla Monsoon would say: “A main event in any arena in the country!” Kane sends Josh Mathews running and joins Cole on commentary to guarantee that Zack Ryder gets beat up again.
Otunga hammers away in the corner and hits a shoulder tackle for two. A suplex gets another two as Kane sits in silence the whole time and the crowd does the same. Ryder comes back with a facebuster but gets caught heading to the second rope. He manages to evade a short-arm clothesline and hits the Ruff Ryder for the win.
Winner: Zack Ryder
-Boring stuff as usual from Otunga *1/2. Kane instinctively goes to attack Ryder but changes his mind mid-chokeslam and delivers it to Otunga instead. Alrighty then.
-Hold onto your hats because we are going to reveal the results of the TWITTER POLL!! Be still my beating heart. Fans pick Lawler vs. Punk in a steel cage match…it’s a good thing they had the steel cage handy just in case.
-BUT WAIT…AJ Lee comes out and books CM Punk against John Cena at Night of Champions. Now hold on a second, didn’t she just say last week that Punk got to pick his opponent? Are we just supposed to forget about that? Do the writers of this garbage even WATCH their own show? Am I the only one who thinks this feels EXACTLY like WCW circa 1999? This whole thing is giving me a headache.
Steel Cage Match
CM Punk vs. Jerry Lawler
Remind me again how this is supposed to build to Night of Champions? Punk has awesome Captain America tights on tonight. Punk gives Lawler a free shot so King floors him and Punk recovers with knees in the corner and a neckbreaker in the middle. Punk slowly works a chinlock and hammers away before aborting some sort of spot in the corner and hitting a low dropkick. Punk gets too cocky though and gets crotched heading to the top and King makes a run for the door but Punk drags him back in and kicks his ass. Punk proclaims himself the new King of Memphis but gets reversed on a neckbreaker attempt and Lawler sends him into the cage.
Lawler fires back with his always good-looking right hands and PULLS DOWN THE STRAP before hitting a fistdrop from the second rope two. If we were in Memphis, there would be a riot right now. Lawler makes another play for the door but Punk catches him and hits a high knee in the corner for a double KO. In a shocking turn of events, CM Punk actually BLEEDS IN A CAGE MATCH!! Someone call the FCC!! Honestly though,it looks like its hardaway, so it’s not like he had the balls to blade or anything. Charles Robinson dons the white latex gloves but Punk ignores him and hooks the Anaconda Vise for the submission.
Winner: CM Punk
-They kept it short and sweet, knowing Lawler’s limitations and hey, there was blood at least **3/4.
-Post-match, Punk decides Lawler hasn’t suffered enough yet and uses a chain to lock the door shut for some more punishment. Punk wants Lawler to declare him the best in the world but Lawler WILL NOT DIE and refuses. Punk beats the hell out of King as Cena runs down for the save but can’t get the door open. Apparently, John Cena is too stupid to know that cages can be CLIMBED. Finally, the cage is raised and Punk heads for the hills while Cena looks all concerned and upset.
My GOD, are these shows long or what? Way too much time filler and not enough, you know, STUFF HAPPENING leads to a very boring show that seems to run at a snail’s pace and delivers nothing in terms of storyline development. Why should I care about Brodus Clay? He’s been squashing people for 5 months now and nothing has come of it. What about Jack Swagger? Why is he even on the show? Why have Dolph Ziggler “end the career” of Chris Jericho and then job him immediately the next week.
Well, next week is another try. Skip this one if you haven’t already suffered through a 60 year old color commentator in the main event.