We’re at the University of South Carolina.
They hype the Punk-Del Rio rematch scheduled as our main event. Mind you, they expected you to pay fifty bucks to watch this eight days ago, but now its free.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper is here, looking distinctly less pregnant than he has in years. He even has the confidence to wear some kind of strangely seductive leisure suit type top with a dress shirt with a slit down the middle, allowing one brief, tantalizing glimpses of his man boobies. If that’s what you like.
They’ve got the Morton Downey Jr. Wrestlemania V Piper’s Pit set in the ring. Piper would like to know how he became one of the biggest icons in the history of the WWE Universe, despite a plethora of shortcomings. It was the people is the answer. Always the people with these guys. Piper with a nice bit about how when he was cheered he did good things, cause he felt good, and when he was booed he did rotten things, because he felt bad. Piper seems to think he is still active. I miss Sean O’Haire. Anyway, energy is important, but somebody in back doesn’t know that, so he’s gonna find out if that guy in back does know that. Got it?
Here’s Cena. OH LOOK HOW CUTE THOSE LITTLE ******* IN THE CROWD DOING YOU CAN’T SEE ME ARE! I think the one on the left is broken.
Cena doesn’t understand how he could be accused of not caring about the energy of fans. Because like Piper he is made of the energy of fans. Piper decides to illustrate his point. He names some stars of yesteryear and the people cheer. They really like the Rock. Then he names John Cena and the people cheer, pretty much. Like, way more than they usually do. Huge Cena chant. Piper and Cena look befuddled. Pretty clear that the WWE Universe just pissed Vince McMahon off by not reacting in the proper manner. Really he has a right to be angry. He’s tried to get you people to cheer Cena for years without success, and the one time he really wants your “most divisive superstar in WWE history” reaction you assholes cheer him like he’s Zach Ryder. Cena ”see’s what your trying to do,” which is an awesome line considering he knows where the script is going and can also see where what he was trying to do failed. They don’t know what to do. They’re lost. Piper more lost than Cena.
We finally get back on track. Cena gives his usual spiel about the people who are loyal to him matter and the people who hate him also matter, everybody has a right to yada yada yada. Piper fails at talking again. This is getting sad. He manages to kind of sort of get to a point, that being Cena needs to start being honest with the fans about his feelings towards them… or he’ll lose at Wrestlemania. That’s coke logic my friends. Cena rebuts by bringing up the various times crowds have been mean to him in the past. Seems he’s done okay with it. Piper tries to yell for no reason but Cena keeps talking. WE GET THOSE CUTE ******* KIDS AGAIN!!! The one is still broken. Cena is attempting to make Roddy read. But Roddy never learned to read, so the segment gets bogged down again. Piper is proud of Cena. Piper seems to think Cena comes from the generation of wrestlers that followed his. They debuted well more than twenty years apart. Piper is still talking, and it is still not making any sense. Now he’s given Cena his Hall of Fame ring. Piper reiterates his belief that Cena ”has to get right with these people.” Calls him “in denial.” Piper slaps him to wake the raging ProtoWarrior inside him. Being slapped made Cena sad. He took off his baseball hat, gave Roddy his ring back, and walked away. And… that was that.
I can see what they were trying to do there, and I like the idea of HOLY **** TAKE A GANDER AT KING’S ROYAL PURPLE SWEATSHIRT WITH EDGE SHOULDER TATTOO. He shouldn’t let the teenagers he dates dress him. Anyway, like I was saying the idea of attempting to make Cena deal with the boos in a not so awshucks manner is a good one. The execution of it, at least here, was poor, and I wonder if they’re gonna lose some faith in Piper after this or if it’ll be chalked up as the WWE Universe’s fault for not doing what they were supposed to do.
King and his shirt thinks that John will be okay. Thank goodness. Miz is facing Morrison tonight, and we get a recap of Miz killing Truth dead last week so he can go to the thirty day suspension in the sky.
In back Alex Riley and John Morrison bond over being guys the Miz leaves behind to struggle.
Mick Foley informs us that we’re getting a live Smackdown tuesday night, complete with holiday special excuses.
I feel like they remind us the military gets free tickets every week lately.
John Morrison vs. The Miz
Miz attacks Morrison before he even gets his last pose ever. This is a Falls Count Anywhere match? You need to make a random midcard match at the beginning of RAW between two guys who aren’t even feuding Falls Count Anywhere? Morrison’s right leg has been murdalized by a steel pipe, by and by. Miz goes to the ring to look serious while the usual gang tries to help him. He manly goes to the ring on one leg after they tease him leaving. A heroic last stand is in the offing. Morrison gets a brief flurry of offense before Miz goes after the leg. Some random violence happens for a bit before a kendo stick gets involved. Morrison gets the better of that. Amusing bit where Morrison uses the stick as a cane while going after Miz. Miz suckers Morrison into going face first into the shiny WWE sign, then gives him the Skull Crushing Finale. Rather than count to three the ref just waves the match off, which takes longer.
Miz does serious straddling posing over Morrison’s corpse. Morrison’s eyes are quite open for some reason. They recap the everything we just saw, with video and all. Miz comes back out while Morrison gets stretchered over to TNA. Miz informs us that last week it was Truth, this week it was Morrison, next week, (badass shrug) “we’ll see.” That was great. Miz is the only one that can do **** like this, because he’s soft spokenly awesome. Miz is apparently changing his gimmick to Ice Dagger.
We come back with the Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox making weird faces at the Bellas. That’s how you intimidate a foe before combat.
Kelly Kelly & Alicia Fox vs. the Bellas and their really ugly old lady bathing suit ring gear
Beth and Natalya jog out to the ring in work out clothes and matching pink headbands. They literally jog I mean. Then they go away. This allows the Bellas to take over for 14 seconds. Then Alicia Fox does something, forward rolls her log onto a Bella, and pins her. The Bellas dedicated that to Alberto Del Rio, presumably because they hate him.
More main event talk.
Sheamus gets a video package.
Laurinaitis is in back informing Brodus Clay that he’ll see him next week. Poor Brodus. Otunga appears to ask when Laurinaitis is finally going to let Clay compete. Laurinaitis explains that he’s doing Brodus a favor by keeping out, as he’ll get angry and frustrated and generally create an unsafe work environment when he does show up. Del Rio and Ricardo are here. Del Rio says he’s ready for the match tonight but Laurinaitis isn’t so sure seeing as how he just lost “in front of sponsors and high level WWE executives” at Survivor Series. That’s an excellent line to get over just who John Laurinaitis is supposed to be. Del Rio calls Survivor Series a setback and says he walks out champ tonight. Punk here. He informs us how many hits you get when you type Laurinaitis and spineless into a google search. He is lying. I checked and everything. Alberto is boring, Johnny is spineless. Otunga is related to Jennifer Hudson. Punk is keeping the title, is the point. Otunga informs us that his law degree from Harvard allows him to read minds, and thus he knows Punk is going to get himself disqualified to save the title tonight. Johnny decides that if Punk gets intentionally disqualified tonight he’ll lose the title. Let us all pray that doesn’t come into play.
Ziggler vs. Orton is next. Sending Ziggler out to be awesome with awesome people every week is great.
Apparently that isn’t next. Wade Barrett is here in dress clothes. He’s introduced with “Ladies and gentlemen, please acknowledge the presence of Wade Barrett.” That’s fantastic. Oh, he’s gonna do commentary. Barrett was the color guy in FCW, and he was pretty good at it. Dolph is no longer Perfection, which sucks. He’s now a show off. That head stand was a taste of things to come.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton
They get a good, long match marred by an interference finish. Orton has Ziggler all RKO prepared, but Orton dropkicks Barrett off the apron and Ziggler sneaks in to hit the Zig Zag for the pin. Afterwards Ziggler does a headstand on the outside. I loved the headstand last week, but it looks like it is going to enter that horrible world where if something works once on a WWE show it is going to work again if we do it three thousand more times.
Daniel Bryan and Cole are in the ring. They’ve remixed Flight of Valkyries into a Mannheim Steamroller type production. Cole insults Bryan some. Then Bryan insults Cole some. Bryan just wants a little bit of respect, which Cole finds shocking. Cole can’t believe that Bryan attempted to use the briefcase in the same manner that every other person who has ever had Money in the Bank ever used it. They video recap Bryan winning, and then being stripped of the World Title last week on Smackdown. The anytime, anyplace stipulation of Money in the Bank doesn’t include a medical clearance clause that we were aware of guys. Cole keeps talking. Bryan admits he’s a hypocrite, but explains that he chose to go after Henry’s title, rather than wait for Mania, because by golly he could get hurt at any time and Henry tried to kill him and all. Explanation works for me. Bryan sells the match tonight with Henry huge. Henry out. Henry huge. Henry is “halfway injured.” He doesn’t think its fair they’ve booked him to wrestle tomorrow but its okay, because Bryan can’t bet him. Bryan wanders up the ramp yelling and kicks Henry’s injured leg on the way by. This was effective. I wanna see the match now.
Our intense hero Jack Swagger is in the ring. “There’s his business manager, so to speak, Vickie Guerrero.” What the **** is she, if not his business manager Cole?
Zach Ryder vs. Jack Swagger
Cole can’t use the term “internet geeks” derogatorily while sucking off twitter on every show. Which leads to the question does the WWE understand twitter is on the internet? They go five minutes before Swagger goes for the Vader splash, trips, gets confused, stomps Ryder, tries again, misses, and gets Ruff Rydered into oblivion. I really, really hate Ryder’s blond highlights. This was fine.
Second Kane is coming promo video. Lots of haunty mask related imagery, ending with “Kane Resurrected” on the screen. (shrugs)
They recap the opening segment. Still doesn’t make sense.
Foley out to read us a Christmas poem promoting the Tuesday Smackdown, ending with the all important cheap pop. This was short and amusing. The exact opposite of Foley’s debut appearance.
Punk tells Laurinaitis to kiss his ass for no particular reason on his way to the ring.
Alberto Del Rio vs. WWE Champion CM Punk for the WWE Title
Good match as you’d expect, not quite up to Survivor Series but then it shouldn’t be. Early on Punk overshot on a sunset flip and Del Rio showed why he’s awesome, choosing to turn around and attack the arm rather than sell that the wind blowing by him caused him to fall over. Punk actually had a lot of sloppy moments in this one. Later they do an Eddie Guerrero spot as Del Rio and Punk keep throwing a chair to each other while the ref is distracted, ending with Del Rio holding the chair and Punk playing dead. Thus Punk would intentionally get Del Rio disqualified, which is not the same thing at all. It looks like Robinson is gonna do it but Punk rolls Alberto up and forgets about it. Soon after Del Rio removes the turnbuckle only to get dropped face first on the exposed steel, and that’s the match. Afterwards Ricardo gets GTS just cause that’s what Stars do to the weak kids.
I’m confused as to the direction of the company at this point since it has become clear Vince has lost faith in Del Rio. Without him there simply aren’t any over heels on RAW (Ziggler is awesome but isn’t perceived as a threat). I guess with Dolph’s continued advancement and Miz’s renewed push those are avenues they might go down. More likely Kane comes back as a heel and wins the title in fourteen seconds.
Hey, no Nash or HHH this week. Two thumbs up for this show.
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