Hello and thanks for showing up to reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw.
And your host for this event, hailing from a dark corner in the North East of England, hiding out in a BBC video storage vault, a man more blunt than a sledgehammer to the bollocks, it’s Danny Damage.
The Raw Rant, July 23rd 2012
Here it is, Monday Night #Raw1000, the night of a thousand promos.
As promised, we’re opened up by D-X, sort of, it’s HHH and HBK. Thankfully, they realise they’re few in number and are joined by Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac. Looking at their faces, they’ve started the party early and I’m given more evidence for my theory on Waltman being encouraged to enjoy himself more because he’s the “little one” and probably can’t handle his ale (etc.) as well as the rest. Damien Sandow interrupts them before getting hit with Sweet Chin Music and then a Pedigree. Cue everyone’s catchphrases and on with the show.
Jim Ross (w/beard) joins Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler at ringside. I hope he’s getting comfortable.
-6 Man Tag Match
Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara & Sheamus defeat Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler & Alberto del Rio. Ziggler, still pissed off from last week, hits Jericho and sets up Sheamus to hit his Brogue Kick for the win. Ziggler walks away with a grin and his MITB briefcase, I’m looking forward to seeing this feud develop. Also, I don’t wanna sound like a queer or nothin’, but I’m really liking the prospect of Jericho growing his hair long again.
Jim Ross heads to the back, probably to show off his suave new goatee, shame he couldn’t stick around for the duration.
“Tout” segment time, showing off what monstrosities we WWE fans really are.
Charlie Sheen is up next, not in the arena however, he’s sat at home talking to Lawler and Cole via Skype, no, really. Nothing special mentioned, they’re going back to him later, so I guess there’s a point to it, somewhere.
Layla is backstage asking AJ if she’s sure she wants to go through with the wedding, AJ defends her decision and her sanity by pointing out a parade of unstable WWE characters passing by their dressing room; Jim Duggan, R-Truth and Roddy Piper swinging a skipping rope for Little Jimmy and finally, Mae Young and her (oh fuck me, that’s awesome) hand for a son (some guy in a giant hand costume). Hold on. What the fuck? Was that closure on that whole (should have been an) abortion of an angle? Jesus Christ, thanks very much WWE, you answered this AND the anonymous GM in the same month? I think someone lost and then found the notes to tie up these angles, down the back of their desk or something.
Brodus Clay squashes Jack Swagger with the old bell rings, suplex, splash routine. Clay took longer bringing Dude Love out to cheer him on than he did to win. Foley dances with them after the “match” and force feeds Swagger a tie dye variety Mr. Socko.
Triple H is backstage with Trish Stratus and they reverse their “helping her stretch and get caught bending her over by the wife” scene so that HHH is the one bent over, the rest of D-X are the ones to walk in on them this time and make jokes about the back door. X-Pac is nudged towards Trish and hits on her as the rest of D-X leave,…………… because they thought it’d be funny to get the little guy wasted and make a tit of himself in front of women on TV, see, I told you!
The cheap, easy breakable wedding decorations cover the ring, so I guess it’s time for the marriage, joy. Jerry Lawler introduces Slick as the guest minister for the occasion. Sadly, he almost got the same crowd response as Grand Master Sexy did the other year. Daniel Bryan and AJ come out and everything goes as planned until we get to AJ back-peddling on her “Yes” to Bryan and says it was actually a response to another proposal, from another man. Vince McMahon pops his head out to inform everyone that AJ is the new GM for Monday Night Raw and DB is left in the ring, gob smacked.
After the ads, Daniel Bryan is still kicking off in the ring until CM Punk comes down to tell him to stop his little tantrum. Bryan responds and says he’s the greatest of all time, which causes The Rock’s music to hit. The Rock talks some smack to DB and says it’s time for his title announcement. He says at the Royal Rumble, he will get a title match and face whoever the WWE Champion is at that time. He finishes by giving Daniel Bryan his wedding gift anyway, a Rock Bottom.
Voting time kiddies. Who do you want to face The Rock at the Royal Rumble? 1st place went to CM Punk, then Cena and last was The Big Show. Bloody hell, I picked the winning one for a change, don’t know who’d want to see Rock vs. Show again.
Bret Hart enters the ring as the special ring announcer for the upcoming IC title match. He reminisces about his first IC title win against Mr. Perfect. Good times.
-Intercontinental Championship Match
The Miz becomes the new IC champ, hitting Christian with the Skull Crushing Finale. Not a bad match, not a long match, but it’s giving The Miz chance for me to warm to him, still not a fan of his finisher though. Like I’ve said before, I’d be more convinced of his half-kneeling DDT doing more damage on someone.
Charlie Sheen is back on Skype, bad mouthing Daniel Bryan. Oh fuck no, please don’t go where I think you’re going with this.
Triple H calls out Brock Lesnar, Paul E. Heyman takes it upon himself to act on Brock’s behalf and tells HHH “no” once again. HHH tries to goad Heyman into changing his mind, Paul E. resists and comes back with a comment about HHH’s kids. Stephanie McMahon storms out and gets in Paul E.’s face. Heyman mentions kids again so Stephanie slaps him into agreeing with the Brock vs. HHH match at Summerslam. After she has what she wanted, she charges him with a flurry of slaps, pretty funny that this turned into a mount and a series of rib jabs from Daddy’s Little Girl. Lesnar comes out to save his man, but Triple H was ready for him this time, he sends him packing over the top and Brock buggers off with his tail between his legs.
More Tout action, fun.
There was a WWE.com poll regarding four dream matches the WWE would create with the WWE ’13 game, Stone Cold vs. John Cena won (really?) and we’re shown a few clips of it. Apparently, working out four matches to play out on the game is too hard for them, so we won’t see CM Punk vs. Randy Savage, Andre the Giant vs. Big Show or Mankind vs. Sheamus. This is actually a really nice idea, plenty of guys have become too dead, old, injured or mentally incapable to work anything close to being in their prime. It would be interesting to see more potential “what if” scenarios, even if just for fun. Punk vs. Savage would have been great!
Santino Marella & Hornswoggle hand out soft WWE toys to kids and Howard Finkel is here to announce the next match.
-The One Man Band’s Open Challenge To Past Raw Roster, No DQ Edition
Lita pins Heath Slater with the help of all the people involved in Slater’s feud with past Raw superstars, including the APA and possibly THE best Clothesline from Hell that I’ve seen. Lita did get a Twist of Fate and a Moonsault in there too. I enjoyed this, except for the Piper/Lauper night, I enjoyed the whole angle and the build up to #Raw1000. Heath Slater must be pretty happy with his past couple of months. He’s got to compete with guys that he’d have watched as a kid and then the glorious finale is The Fink introducing him, nice work.
Holy shit, here’s another flashback to my youth; Sean Mooney backstage, interviewing Daniel Bryan. Bryan says if he saw Charlie Sheen he’d put him in the Yes L– oh fuck beans. This is what I was afraid of, I think they’re heading towards a Sheen vs. Bryan match somewhere down the line.
Michael Cole gets to pretend he’s important for a minute while talking to the 100 millionth WWE Social Media follower, surely it’d be a nice treat for the folks that are at the other end of the list, but never mind. Thanks Cole, you’re done with that now, sit down knob-head.
Fozzy (the muppet, not the band) presents a video package featuring a range of catchphrases, WWE gets a pop from my Mrs. (muppet lover, wrestling hater) and I’m documenting it because it’ll be a long time before it happens again.
The Rock finds John Cena backstage and repeats the warning he gave CM Punk earlier.
Kane heads out for a match. Before things get started, he’s approached by Jinder Mahal, Tyler Rex, Curt Hawkins, Drew McIntyre, Hunico and Camacho. And before they have a chance to jump him, The Undertaker returns to make the save. Having his ten minute entrance pad out the show’s run time was rather detrimental to the effect of his appearance as Mahal and co. looked stupid stood outside the ring, not attacking the lone Kane and waiting until his backup arrives. I’m sure everyone would have been just as happy to see him show his face without the entrance and him to be already stood in the ring when the lights came back on and help his brother in clearing the ring.
Charlie Sheen again on Skype, responding to Daniel Bryan’s threats and solidifying the start of something for Sheen vs. Bryan, possibly for Summerslam, according to what Lawler and Cole speculate.
–WWE Championship Match
John Cena gets a DQ victory over CM Punk. The Big Show broke up the STFU after failing to cost Cena the match earlier, when the referee was knocked out. After the match, CM Punk is torn between stopping The Big Show’s assault on Cena, or leaving them to it. As he decides to leave, The Rock shows up to save Cena. Rock hits the spine buster and sets up for The People’s Elbow and then BOOM, clothesline from CM Punk, followed by the Go To Sleep on The Great One. Punk grabs his belt, leaves and we’re done with #Raw1000.
Awesome! No, not The Miz, he bored me as much as he usually does. Last week, I said I wanted the title match to put CM Punk over cleanly, or for things to turn sour in one way or another. Just as long as we’re not about to begin a new chapter of Cena as the champ. I got everything I asked for, and more. Cena being the first to fail a MITB cash-in, Punk being morally indecisive mid match, The Rock showing up again, laying the smack down on The Big Show (remembering the good old days) and then Punk turning heel as the champion and pretty much saying he’ll have the belt until at least the Royal Rumble, was most certainly the icing on the cake for me. I was saying only last week how some people will always be better as heels. Good job.
“You can’t always get what you want”, plays in my head as I move on and think about AJ Lee being given a more vocal role in WWE land. If they’re turning her heel too and making me hate her because her acting and squawky voice irritates the shit out of me, then go for it. However, if you’re wanting me to like her more, I suggest sticking her in the ring, you know, to wrestle. If we needed a Vicki Guerrero that’s actually pleasant on the eyes, they shouldn’t have turned Rosa Mendes face, along with Primo and Epico weeks ago.
Now that we’re having a GM for each show again, maybe the brand division will make a comeback. There was no mention of Smackdown’s new GM, which means there’s still chance for William Regal to get in there and hopefully not Teddy Long again.
A fuller turn out for D-X was appreciated by me. All of the guys involved entertained me for years and I was a little gutted when it looked like it was just going to be HHH and HBK, with the possibility of Road Dogg. I’ve always been a big fan of Sean Waltman, being as successful as he was, at his size, at the time he was working a full schedule. He’s a great performer, but thankfully, he didn’t need to perform much tonight, he’s partying like they’re back on that plane.
All eyes on Dolph Ziggler as he’s the sole Mr. Money in the Bank now. With Cena being the first to fail, the pressure’s slightly off Dolph and I’m not going to shit a brick like I did at MITB. Before that, I’ll be enjoying him feud with Chris Jericho.
Dear WWE, I don’t want to see Daniel Bryan vs. Charlie Sheen at Summerslam, thank you. I don’t think there’s any need to further express how I feel on this matter, so let’s move on.
HHH vs. Brock at Summerslam will be good. It looks like Brock has remembered how to throw pro-wrestling strikes and is less likely to cause serious injury to someone for the sake of being the WWE’s equivalent of Lenny Small. Granted, he might not be here for his passion of the sport, but with Triple H, I think he’ll work very well and reach a similar level of performance that he blew us away with in the past.
No mention of a Wrestlemania challenge from The Undertaker, add that to the 20-0 streak DVD they’ve just released and that suggests he’s done with Wrestlemania, or the streak is ending soon.
Before I had chance to watch Raw (I live in England and work full time, so staying up until 4am at the earliest, isn’t really an option for me) several people had grumbled to me about the lack of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Although it would have been nice to see him on the show, there was still shit loads of great moments and laughs shared by all. Austin is never too far anyway, he’ll show up on TV again and again at some point, he always does.
Here’s a little treat for anyone that’s interested, something I did over the weekend in preparation for the rant, seeing as it’s a special occasion and all that.
–My Top 5 Raw Moments:
5th: Chris Jericho vs. Stephanie McMahon
I split this and another entry into two events. They’re both related and it saves me using another spot for one of them, or picking between the two. Here’s Chris Jericho at his finest, in one of many ever so amusing bitching contests with The Billion Dollar Princess, Stephanie McMahon.
The second part is the legendary before and after boob shots, presented by Y2J.
4th: Jeff Hardy vs. The Undertaker, Ladder match for WWE Title.
Before Jeff let a lot of people down on more than one occasion, he was admired and respected rather greatly by myself. This match with the Undertaker was amazing, the crowd believed he was going to win it and the look in his eyes suggested that this night, was his night. In the end, Undertaker pulled the belt down, but acknowledged that Hardy wasn’t the push over that he’d anticipated.
3rd: The Rock’s promo before Armageddon 2000.
Due to the high number of Rock moments I’d written down, I’d decided to try not to duplicate entrants. For me, 3rd place was always going to be The Rock, I just wasn’t sure which moment it’d be.
In this promo leading up to the 6-man Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon 2000, The Rock manages to insults Kevin Kelly, Kurt Angle, Rikishi, The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin. He gets a little too excited and stutters in a couple of places, but this is most definitely, my favourite Raw moment from The Great One.
2nd: CM Punk’s Pipe bomb & contract signing with Vince McMahon.
Again, I’ve counted two moments as one here, but the Pipe bomb moment opened the door for the contract signing moment so I look at them as part one and part two. CM Punk was in his element telling us how it was regarding anyone and everyone, he was not a happy chappy and needed to get a few things off his chest.
Once he got to the point of his contract signing, it was his chance to shoot live on Raw with Vinny Mac, he didn’t fail to deliver. It was everything I expected and more, the “don’t push me”/*Punk pushes him moment hurt my face from grinning and the grumbling from Vince to move it on ASAP amused the piss out of me. Not going to see Vince McMahon on that end of that stick (legitimately) very often, ESPECIALLY on live TV! Oh yeah, and John Cena spoils it by joining in towards the end.
1st: Steve Austin stuns the majority of the ECW/WCW Alliance.
We start off with a Brothers of Destruction vs. DDP & Rhyno tag match, the match ended with additional Alliance members jumping the WWF team and the WWF team evening the odds, then the Alliance get more back up and so on, until everyone on all rosters is either fighting in the ring, or backstage. The only person not involved in the skirmish, is Stone Cold Steve Austin. He’s in a bar, drowning his sorrows somewhere nearby, deciding whether or not he should fight for the WWF.
Even before Austin got there, the fans are begging for him, then when he was fighting his way through the backstage area, helping all the out numbered WWF guys in the back, the crowd were fucking rabid.
As soon as that glass hits, the crowd go fucking ballistic, this is what we’d been waiting for! Austin stormed down to the ring and dished out around five knuckle sandwiches before Stunning anything in boot and arm range. Every possible sell for the Stunner is seen here (except The Rock’s of course) and Jim Ross gets to scream “STUNNER!” 9999 times. After Austin evens things up, the WWF guys gather themselves and celebrate the man who saved them, that will later betray them.
Honourable mentions include; Stone Cold accidentally removing Stephanie McMahon’s top, The Rock & Austin throwing each other off of bridges, ANY time The Godfather took the Ho’ Train for a ride and Kurt Angle’s milk float parody of Austin’s beer truck incident, allowing Jim Ross to note Stephanie McMahon changing from the Million Dollar Princess, into the dairy queen. Plus more, obviously, but I’ll be here all day if I don’t stop now.
Digest and discuss! Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week.