RRC 2013: Jan 7th

The Raw Review Crew

January 7th 2013: On this week’s Raw Review Crew… Juvenile jokes, TLC, scrotums and cookiepuss.

We’re back for another year, almost the same as last year except for a new banner set and a fresh page on my ratings spreadsheet. Hopefully last year’s run of poor scores doesn’t continue and the return of the Rock can spark an improvement on the shit at the end of last year. Also returning this week is Justin, first here’s me.

There’s no better thing to see than Michael Cole talking and you can’t hear him, not sure if that was a problem everyone had, but I didn’t have any commentary until after the break in the Cena/Ziggler match.

Cena/Ziggler/AJ/Big E Promo
Can someone please just brutally murder John Cena please? I’d take a 30 minute Triple H promo over this crap. Then he accuses otehr people of making childish jokes? Seriously?

Cena vs Ziggler
Not a bad match, but Ziggler having all the outside help and still losing doesn’t really make his alliance with AJ and Big E look like a good idea. If anything Dolph looked better after his backup got thrown out, but despite using almost his entire moveset and Big E interference, still lost easily.

Eve vs Kaitlyn
This feud hasn’t really gone anywhere in months, they’ve still never even comitted to Eve being the one who attacked Kaitlyn. It’s just been rinse and repeat until Kaitlyn is finally ready to be champion, which I’m guessing will finally happen at the Rumble since Kaitlyn has progressed from terrible to a bit stiff and sloppy, which by WWE women’s wrestling standards will have to do.

Orton/3MB Backstage
It’s been months since Raw got a new logo, you’d think they could have got a new sign to hang backstage. The old logo was the most interesting thing about this segment.

Team Hell No vs Team Rhodes Scholars
Another neverending rivalry, although the match quality is better than the divas. Rhodes Scholars winning will probably get them another title shot at the Rumble. May as well pad the card out with proven matches, it’s not like anyone will be paying based on the undercard.

Orton vs Slater
When Orton came back from his suspension last year he beat Slater easily, months later he’s not really done a lot and beat Slater not so easily.At least they’re pushing him as a Rumble contender, even though he’s generally underused.

Barrett vs Santino
I miss the Honk-a-meter. A Steamboat/Barrett match would be interesting, although I’m not sure why they’d want to do that, hopefully not as a way to debut Ricky’s useless son.

Sheamus/3MB Backstage
Are 3MB the only people who walk past the interview area in the back?

Cesaro vs Khali
Miz is obviously the next challenger, but it was hard to criticise Cesaro after he managed to hit a Neutraliser on Khali. Good effort by Khali to not botch it too, since he

Heyman/Maddox Backstage
I don’t mind Maddox, but Heyman’s total contempt for his existence is superb.

Sheamus vs Mahal
It’s a shame that the best wrestler in 3MB is the one who didn’t have a match. This was a fairly straight squash with plenty of toying around with the rest of 3MB thrown in.

Ryback vs Punk
A good match, although probably a bit shorter than they would have had on PPV due to TV time and Punk’s injury. The only slightly bad thing about it was that Ryback had the match so clearly won when the Shield interfered. If that was supposed to be the TLC ending, the Ziggler/Cena match would probably have ended differently to how it did. Two ladder screwjobs on the same PPV would have been a bit samey.

Backstage Stuff
Straight off a match, Punk was great in his quick interview. The Hell No stuff wasn’t very funny, but the return of Dr Shelby might help that.

Big Show vs Kofi
I guess this match was guaranteed as much time as there was spare between the title match and final promo. Hopefully they follow up on this, Kofi getting a Rumble title shot wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.

Punk/Rock Promo
Absolutely fantastic promo by Punk, although he was almost trying too hard to be the bad guy, whilst at the same time giving credit to people who deserved it. The Rock was always going to struggle to match that, but apart from straight edge scrotums he started pretty well. What the hell is cookiepuss even supposed to mean, it’s a good thing that they don’t still name videogames after the Rock’s catchphrases. Apart from that awful forced bit of crowd interaction it was a very solid return promo with a good mix of classic Rock and serious rivalry with Punk.

Final Thoughts
I would say you should compare the first promo to the last one for an extreme contrast of good and bad, but I’d never want to force anyone to watch that awful Cena promo ever again. The closing promos were probably as long as anyone has ever talked to end a show and it was a bold move to give Punk a full segment of promo time before it even got to the closing segment with the Rock. The in-ring action was decent at worst and very good at best and the only real bad part of the show was John Cena right at the start. A lot of the middle portion of the show was fairly meaningless filler to build already strong Rumble contenders, but only Cena really pulls down the score.

Score: 7.5

Justin C...

It is the first RAW of the new year, and it is definitely a big one. C.M. Punk takes on Ryback in a TLC Match, and the Rock returns to start the build to his WWE Title Match at the Royal Rumble. The WWE promises to have everyone talking after this show. Will they deliver?

Is This RAW or Grade School All Over Again?
After the beginning promo, John Cena came out. He said it was a special night for everbody here with the TLC Match and Rock being there. He said they were on the Road to Wrestlemania and started talking about the Royal Rumble when Dolph Ziggler, A.J. and Big E Langston interrupted. Ziggler said people will remember him after tonight. A.J. asked Cena if this is what helped him sleep at night. A.J. called him a small man, a very small man. John Cena congratulated A.J. for making her first sixth grade penis joke. He got the crowd to start the wave. Dolph interrupted again and said he is entering the Royal Rumble too, with his primary goal of not letting Cena win. Cena said that’s great, but he wants to fight right now. Big E. Langston took the mic and said its on. Ziggler and Langston talked and started walking to the ring.

Cena vs Ziggler started back from break. Ziggler started with a headlock takedown but Cena came back with a hip toss. Ziggler hit some kicks on Cena in the corner. Ziggler did some show off push ups but Cena came back with a headlock and a suplex. Ziggler kicked out of a pin attempt and tossed Cena into the corner and hit a splash then dropkick. Ziggler caught a charging Cena with an elbow. Ziggler distracted the ref and Langston caught Cena with a punch into commercial.

Back from break Dolph had a headlock applied. Cena fought out by tossing Ziggler off and then dropped Zigler again to the mat. A.J. distracted Cena and Ziggler hit a dropkick for two. Ziggler hit his elbows for another two count. A.J. slapped Cena but the ref caught her this time and tossed A.J. and Langston. Cena then went into CENA MODE, but Ziggler caught Cena with a kick and fameasser for two. Ziggler missed a splash in the corner and Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena went for the AA but Dolph countered with the Zig Zag for two. Cena went for the STF but Ziggler hit a DDT for two. Ziggler went to the top but Cena caught him. He went for an AA but Ziggler caught him with a Super Kick for two. Ziggler applied a sleeper hold. Cena tossed Ziggler away but knocked the ref out. Big E came down and hit his finisher. A new ref came out but Cena kicked out again. Cena then popped up and hit the AA for the win.

Segment Analysis: Positives: Another good match between these two. Negatives: The opening promo was bad. Middle school penis jokes? Ugh. And of course, we get the “Cena Kicks Out of Everything, Ziggler gets pinned after 1 AA finish.” Where have I seen that finish before. So stupid and predictable. The WWE starts the year the same way they ended it: Boring and predictable when it comes to a Cena match. Survey Says: 3/5

Kaitlyn defeated Eve via Countout when Eve bailed on the match.

Backstage, Wade Barrett ripped on Ricky Steamboat and Santino. Steamboat said he would be in Santino’s corner.

Randy Orton challenged Heath Slater to a match tonight.

Are There Any Other Tag Teams?
Team Hell No vs Team Rhodes Scholars. Kane started with Cody Rhodes. Rhodes caught him with an elbow and he tagged in Sandow, but Kane took him out with an uppercut. Kane tagged in Bryan who hit a dropkick in the corner. Sandow tagged in Rhodes, but Bryan took him down with a drop toehold. Bryan hit some kicks then a suplex. Bryan ran right into a kick to the gut from Rhodes. The heels took turns working over Bryan. Bryan eventually leap frogged Sandow and tagged in Kane. Kane took down Sandow with a top rope clothesline. Kane hit a boot then a couple of corner clotheslines and a side slam for two. Sandow bailed. Kane tagged in Bryan who hit a flying knee of the apron. Bryan hit some kicks in the corner. Bryan was tossed into the corner but he jumped off the apron and landed “awkwardly” on his knee. The heels worked over Bryan’s knee. After Kane and Sandow were taken out., Cody hit Cross Rhodes for the win.

Match Analysis: Not a lot to the match. Basic short tag match, heels took advantage of Bryan in the end. Looks like it will lead to a Tag Title Match for Rhodes Scholars down the line. Survey Says: 2.5/5

3MB=Opening Opening Act
Randy Orton vs Heath Slater. Slater caught Orton with a kick to the gut but Orton came right back with an uppercut. Orton dropped Slater’s neck on the ropes. He took out McIntyre and Mahal. Slater drop kicked him off the apron and McIntyre and Mahal got their revenge. Slater applied a headlock in the ring. Slater pushed Orton into the corner and hit a neckbreaker for two. Orton knocked Slater off the apron and hit a superplex. Orton hit his usual offense, finishing with an RKO for the win. McIntyre and Mahal attacked after the match but they both ate RKOs.

Match Analysis: Just trying to keep Orton relevant before his heel turn. Survey Says: 2/5

Wade Barrett vs Santino. Barrett caught Santino with a kick. Barrett went for a pump handle slam but Santino countered with a super kick for two. Santino went for the Cobra but Barrett bailed. Barrett dropped Santino’s neck on the ropes, then hit the Bullhammer Elbow for the win.

Sheamus cut a very stupid promo with 3MB.

Antonio Cesaro defeated Great Khali with the Neutralizer for the win. Very impressive.

Backstage, Brad Maddox offered his assistance to Paul Heyman. Heyman told him to get lost and that if he bothers him again, he will cease to exist.

Sheamus defeated Jinder Mahal. Exactly what the Orton match was.

One Ryback Botch Away From Re-Writing Wrestlemania
WWE Title Match. Punk went to work with kicks and punches in the corner, but Ryback came right back with some of his own. Punk went to the outside and hit Ryback with a chair. Ryback took Punk down and went to hit him with a chair, but Punk moved and caught Ryback with a kick to the head. He threw Ryback into the barricade. Punk put a ladder in the ring but Ryback grabbed him and hit some punches. In ring, Ryback suplexed Punk onto a ladder. Punk went to the outside where Ryback took him out with the steps. Punk ducked a steps shot and then launched off the steps to hit Ryback with a high knee. Punk hit multiple chair shots into the commercial.

Back from break Ryback hit an electric chair on Punk. Ryback grabbed a table from under the ring but Punk threw a chair at him. Ryback tossed Punk onto the announce table. Back in the ring, Punk hit a chop block on Ryback. Punk worked over Ryback’s legs with chair shots. Punk went to go stomp on Ryback’s leg that was in a chair off the top, but Ryback moved and Punk “aggravated” his knee injury. Ryback hit the Meathook Clothesline but Punk escaped Shell Shocked. Ryback charged at Punk but Punk moved and Ryback went right into a table.

Punk started climbing the ladder, but Ryback knocked him off. Punk pushed the ladder over, but Ryback powerslammed Punk right into the ladder. Punk escaped Ryback again with a kick to the head. Punk set up the ladder but it was too bent to set up. Punk hit a couple high knees. He went for a bulldog but Ryback tossed him to the outside through a table. Suddenly the lights went out and The Shield appeared. Ryback fended them off once but they came back and beat down Ryback and put him through a table onto the steel steps. Punk eventually climbed the ladder to grab the WWE Title and win.

Match Analysis: Pretty good TLC Match. You knew The Shield would come out eventually. Punk took some pretty dangerous spots in that match that could have put the Rumble Match in jeopardy. But it was a fun TLC Match with some good spots, and there might have been a time or two where you thought Ryback may win. But Punk retains, which is the smart thing to do. Survey Says: 4/5

C.M. Punk said he was going to drop a pipe bomb before The Rock does.

Vickie Guerrero told Daniel Bryan and Kane that they would have their four month follow up with Dr. Shelby.

Big Show beat Kofi Kingston in 10 seconds with a KO Punch.

Punk/Rock, Week 1…
C.M. Punk came out. He took the WWE logo off the mic. He said the time has come to tell everyone something personal. He said the word pipe bomb has been misused in the last year and a half. Punk said a pipe bomb is the truth, honesty. Something most people lack. Punk said people think he is just a guy who bitched and moaned and then turned his back on the people. But that is a lie. He meant everything he said. He could have left. But he didn’t. He created this persona because he knows people like to cheer the anti-hero. He knows there is a glass ceiling. The more people get cheered, the more money people make. Punk ripped on stars for being idiots just to make more money. Punk said no one has been able to gain success without the audience. Punk said if he were around in Bruno Sammartino’s era, he would be WWE Champion for 30 years too. Because wrestling once a month in MSG is easy compared to wrestling as much as he does. Punk said he is successful in spite of the audience. Punk said he’s a bad man, and he doesn’t do anything for any of the people. Everyone says they do everything for the fans. Punk called them weak and dishonest. Punk said he’s the Best in the World. Punk said he’s a real superstar.

A stage guy came to the ring and said they needed to go to commercial. Punk said they go to commercial when he says they go to commercial. Punk was about to tell everyone the most important thing of the night. That none of the audience matters. Back from commercial, Punk said he would still be WWE Champion in 2014. Punk said when he beat Alberto del Rio for the WWE Title, he beat the system. He also beat everyone in the audience. Punk called everyone losers and said they don’t deserve to win.

The Rock finally came out to the ring. Rock said he had to hear everything C.M. Punk had to say. And he said Punk is delusional. Rock said 414 is a great number, but the real number Punk fears is 20. Because in 20 days, Punk knows that time is up. Rock said the people rejected Punk. Punk promised people everything but he didn’t deliver. Rock said in the WWE, there is no such thing as the voiceless. Rock said in 3 seconds, the crowd is going to chant something that will follow C.M. Punk the rest of his life, cookie puss.

Punk told everyone to be the puppets that they are. They don’t win. Rock said they have already won when he came back to Tampa. Rock said he is back for 3 reasons: Entertain the Fans, Stop Punk, and Win the WWE Title. Rock said Punk looked like Pop Eye on Crack. Rock said once Punk became WWE Champion, he became the biggest jerk he’s ever seen. He said the people always matter, Punk doesn’t. Rock said there is no way Punk is stopping him from being WWE Champion. Punk said he’s glad Rock is back, he knows he is going to kick Rock’s ass. Punk said he is the Best in the World, and Rock bit off more than he can chew. Punk said it is time to step out of the kiddie ring and that his insults don’t phase him. Punk said his arms will be just short of boxing with god.

Rock told Punk to get two more tattoos. A bunch of candy and then one of Rock’s shoe, so he can remind everyone of how bad he is going to kick his ass at the Royal Rumble. Rock then hit a Rock Bottom on Punk.

Segment Analysis: I thought the exchange between both men was good. Punk didn’t look intimidated at all being in the ring with The Rock. Once the two finally finished their solo promos and went back and forth with each other I thought it got better. Just like with Cena, the genital jokes with Rock get old after a while. Maybe it is just me, but Rock’s joke one liners don’t do much for me anymore. Punk is trying his best to get people to hate him, especially with his opening solo promo. I thought their good have been a little bit more done between the two, but again, it is just week one in the build. Survey Says: 3.5/5

Lets break this show down by hour. We had a good match to start the show with Ziggler/Cena. But as I said in my review, the end was so predictable and so boring that it gets sick watching it every time. In hour two, it was pretty much nothing but filler. Nothing that really mattered happened during that time. Hour 3 was the best one of the show. The TLC Match was good as was The Rock/Punk promo. But with word that people were “suppose to be talking” after this week’s show, it really didn’t do it. There was nothing ground breaking with Rock and Punk. It was a good promo, but nothing that would get people talking the next day. And I like The Shield, but something else needs to be done with them. It was a better RAW than normal, so I will give the show a 6. We could have done without the whole second hour of the show if needed.

And I’m back to writing again for the new year at my blog too: http://jctopropereport.blogspot.com.

RRC By The Numbers
Last Week: 2.75
2013 High Score: 6.75.5 (Jan 7)
2013 Low Score: 6.75 (Jan 7)
2013 Average: 6.75
Writer Averages
Krizbii: 7.5
Justin C: 6

Average Score: 6.75