Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1/21/13 RAW

The go-home RAW to the Royal Rumble takes place in San Jose.

Vickie Guerrero comes down with Paul Heyman. All of a sudden, she remembers she is the managing supervisor for RAW and has authority again. How is a managing supervisor different from a GM? (other than apparently not having as much authority and screen time.) WWE Title picture addressed. Rock accused of defaming Vickie and Heyman; crowd erupts at hearing Rock's name. For the record, I enjoyed the Rock Concert. Vickie threatens to have Rock arrested if he shows up at the arena. Titantron shows Rock not being able to enter the arena. Looks like Rock and the officers are already in the arena, but I've never been to this building, so I don't know. Vintage Rock promo poking fun at Vickie. OH SNAP MANTI TE'O REFERENCE! Well, Manti's really made the big time now; he's also been parodied on SNL and gotten poked fun at during a Dallas Stars game. Rock says Punk has an imaginary nutsack. Vickie's not intimidated that Rock's still gonna find a way in. "If ya smell what the Vick is cookin." Something even Michael Vick could use as a catchphrase.

Beat the Clock challenge tonight. Winner posting the fastest time gets to pick when he enters the Rumble. Why not just say the guy gets to be #30? Or whatever number has produced the most winners (I think it was #27 or something). I swear there would be a catch here or something. Cole says #30 has produced two winners (Cena and Undertaker).

Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton: Why does Cesaro own 12 Swiss watches? I guess because he can. Cesaro knocks Orton off the top to gain control. Competitive match here with multiple near falls, so you'll see a faster time from another match. Still enjoyed it, though. Cesaro checks the clock and runs right into an RKO. Orton posts the time to beat at 11:36. **1/2

Mick Foley's HOF video package shown again. Then a Shield video detailing their path of destruction.

Big Show vs. Zack Ryder: Poor Zack Ryder. It's bad enough that Big Show nuked him, but Brad Maddox gets to commandeer the announcing duties again, further confirming the entire match was a mere afterthought. I'm still not sold entirely on the Maddox storyline, but I'd assume the main point is to keep giving him screen time so fans know who he is. KO punch to Ryder and it's over in a minute. N/A

Show says his World Heavyweight Title match with Del Rio at the Royal Rumble will again be a Last Man Standing match.

Paul Heyman appears to have a change of heart and perhaps a partnership with Brad Maddox has been reached. If that holds up, Maddox could be in line for a push.

Ryback vs. Heath Slater: Trio of air guitar playing won't stop Ryback. Another squash. Shellshocked to Slater and it's over after about 90 seconds. Ryback says he's in the Royal Rumble and plans to win it all. N/A

Rock's still trying to get in the building. Yeah, the officers are probably indy wrestlers. Crowd chants the Rock's name. Vickie shows up. The almighty Vickie can now suspend officers if she wanted to? Vickie says she will lift Rock's banishment if he apologizes personally to Vickie. That wasn't happening.

RAW Roulette next week in Vegas!

CM Punk promo. For 428 days, Punk's proven that he is the man. He's worked half his life to get to this point and be the champ. Punk calls the people the most insignificant thing imaginable. Punk says he's a real champion, while Rock is just the People's Champion because he can't be a real champ. Punk says in six days, it won't matter what the Rock's cookin'. Another outstanding promo.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Miz: This is the second of three Beat the Clock matches; time to beat is Orton's 11:36. Clock counts down. Ziggler back to wearing the pink tights again. Good mat wrestling at the start to get in some quick pin attempts. Ziggler with amazing dropkicks, and thankfully he's known for more than that (right Maven?). Ziggler's gotten a great following over the past few months, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him turn face in the future. Miz tries the figure four but Ziggler chucks him to the outside. Langston gets a cheap shot in. Miz gets a few near falls in after the commercial break. Aggressive Miz with punches and a top-rope double axe handle for two. Cole notes Miz spent over 40 minutes in the Rumble last year. SCF countered. Rollups by both guys and we see a partial Ziggler moonshot (thanks Miz). Jumping spike DDT from Ziggler gets a long two. Figure four locked in, so AJ distracts the ref and Langston pulls Ziggler to the ropes to break the hold. Miz occupied with fending off a Langston cheap shot but that allows Ziggler to hit the Zigzag for three with 40 seconds to spare. Time to beat is now 10:56. Great match. ***

Dr. Shelby in the ring and he's got the academia robe on. We're gonna have a graduation ceremony for anger management! "Pomp and Circumstance" plays and I'm surprised "Randy Savage" chants didn't take place. Team Hell No to the ring in graduation gowns. Daniel Bryan has his hair slicked back. Dr. Shelby remarks about the goat face and DB's beard being a hotel for rats. Dr. Shelby gives DB and Kane grad caps and diplomas. Dr. Shelby turns the tassels from the left side to the right, symbolizing the graduation. Dr. Shelby final exercise: who do you think should be valedictorian and give the graduation speech? DB and Kane say the other should be the valedictorian. "Dr. Shelby" chants?!?! Now I've heard everything. They're gonna hug again! Cole and Lawler hug! The WWE doctor and Justin Roberts hug. Now random people in the stands are hugging. 1-2-3-HUG! What a bizarre segment.

We see highlights of Kaitlyn's Divas Title win from last week and Eve "quitting" the company.

Kaitlyn vs. Alicia Fox: Alicia's still on the roster, waving that fox jacket around. Predicted at the start that this match would last about two minutes. Tamina watches the match from a TV in the back, so it appears she will be next in line for a title shot. Tamina was getting pushed as a face before suffering an injury last year. Crowd dead for this match. Alicia misses a kick in the corner, Kaitlyn comes off the ropes with a weird spear for three. Probably only got half the impact out of it because the angle was a bit off. Match was about two minutes. 1/4*

Heyman's got a message for the Rock, a "Paul-bomb." Punk gets to watch from the skybox. Heyman says Vince is desperate for someone else to be champion, and Rock is the flavor of the month. Rock interrupts and displays a ticket. Cole says now officers can't stop Rock from coming in. Um, last time I checked, a ticket got you a seat to the event, not the privilege to come down the entrance ramp and get in the ring. That's WWE logic! Rock calls Heyman "Twinkie Tits" and gets him out of the ring. Rock  tells Punk to appreciate his last night on RAW as WWE champ. MLK reference from Rock. Rock has a dream to get to the Promised Land one more time. Great promo as usual from Rock

The lights go out. Shield in the ring attacking Rock. Numbers game too much this time. Triple powerbomb to Rock. Punk short statement that you eventually have to wake up from dreams and Rock will realize he just wasn't great enough be champ. Rock spitting up blood.

Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett: This is the last of the three Beat the Clock matches. Time to beat is Ziggler's 10:56. Pretty standard match here. Sheamus starts the comeback with about four minutes to go. Two big back kicks by Barrett, the second one landing square on Sheamus' jaw for two. Elbow from Barrett gets two again. Wasteland countered, White Noise hits. Sheamus stares at the clock, about 75 seconds left. Sheamus signals for the Brogue Kick. AJ, Ziggler, and Langston race to the ring to distract Sheamus. Bossman Slam from Barrett only gets two. Yeah Ziggler, you gotta also watch out for Barrett getting a win. Barrett sets up for Bullhammer, but Sheamus with a Brogue Kick. Unfortunately, not enough time, and Ziggler is the Beat the Clock winner. I love it. Ziggler keeps piling up the accolades, but now let's see them turn into something. **1/4

Yeah, Rock has nearly 4 million Twitter followers as of January 21. Moving on!

Ziggler basically rubs it in Vickie's face that he gets to pick his spot in the Rumble. #27 or #30 sound good to him, but he doesn't need luck. Good, because Vickie says she gets to pick which numbers Ziggler must choose from: #1 or #2. Personally, I love this. Ziggler won't be breaking Mysterio's record, but I fully expect him to be there until the end. If WWE shows any continuity for a change, it would be Cena and Ziggler at the end, with Cena getting the Rumble win. Ziggler has MITB anyway. If I were in charge of booking, Ziggler would have started his title run a long time ago anyway.

Vince makes a cameo! He tells Punk and Heyman the stipulations for the WWE Title match. If Shield interferes in the WWE Title match, Punk will be stripped of the title. (Vince botched his line, so it sounded confusing at first) Now watch Brad Maddox interfere somehow. Still gotta remember the "deal" Heyman and Maddox apparently struck earlier in the show.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Tensai: Not much has changed on Del Rio's ring entrance, except no expensive car and the fans enjoy it. Oh, and Lawler's now loving this stuff. Tensai's still in the virtual doghouse. ADR now gets the crowd to do "SI SI SI" before the running enzuigiri in the corner. ADR practically misses the second-rope moonsault because he positioned Tensai too close to the corner, but still gets three.Match not even two minutes. ADR leads the crowd to count to 10 in Spanish. Fun, especially because everyone initially counts to ten at different speeds. N/A

Second inductee to WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013 is Bob Backlund. Long overdue. Shoulda been in years ago. The amazing thing is he still looks good today. Gotta love staying fit.

Cena to the ring. Gotta love Sundays. Cena's also still at noob status playing Black Ops 2. YES, it's because of that kid at ringside! Cena's username is purportedly "skidmarks187." Oops, what if that's a real username?! Cena charms the ladies with the whole Ladies' Night Out stuff, doing a Downward Dog in yoga class (look that up if you don't get the joke), and stuff about Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj. Cena points out a guy wearing a "I'm a Paul Heyman Guy" T-shirt. Jagerbombs, blow-up dolls, mysterious tattoos, and Brett Favre-ing yourself on the Internet (no TD passes). Finally, Cena addresses the Royal Rumble. Yeah yeah, Cena says he's gonna win this all-out war.

Cue the list of people coming out one at a time to say they will each win the Rumble. Sheamus,  Primetime Players (OK, two people here), Randy Orton, Miz, Team Hell No (OK, two people again), Antonio Cesaro, 3MB (fine, three people now). Let's also play "How many microphones does WWE actually have?"

And then the entire locker room spills out so we have the ol' big brawl to end the show. Because we're supposed to love big brawls at the end of shows. After all, JTG's still employed and Khali took about 20 years to get to the ring! Some superstars get tossed out of the ring as the show ends. Wondering if a woman will enter the Rumble this year. No Beth Phoenix, no Chyna, and no Kharma. Kaitlyn might be defending her title at the PPV anyway.

See, the trick is to just have Khali be #30 and he probably will win the Rumble by default. I'd say he'd have the longest rumble time, but since your time doesn't start until you actually enter the ring, he'd have the shortest (unbeatable) time by a rumble winner. ***Disclaimer: Khali is not winning the Royal Rumble***

Some Royal Rumble notes to end this post:

I'm not sure Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara will be at the PPV. They could very well be "surprise entrants" in the Rumble itself, but latest reports would probably label them as "questionable."

I'm still believing Rock wins the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. Since Shield can't interfere in the match now, I'd look to Brad Maddox to try and interfere. Best spot for that would be a ref bump and Maddox comes down as a "replacement ref" to try and screw Rock. Rock would end up nuking him anyway. The match is reportedly getting a good 30 minutes, so I'm expecting nothing less than four stars.

Interesting that it's another Last Man Standing match between Show and Del Rio. I'm hoping ADR retains, and if so, another "creative" tactic will probably be used to keep Show down.

It's probably time for Team Rhodes Scholars to take the tag titles off Team Hell No. Cody and Damien need the belts more.

Probably no U.S. Title or IC Title matches because Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett are participating in the Royal Rumble match. And a heel would probably just complain about having to pull double duty anyway. But just think of Mick Foley's triple Rumble appearance, though! That was a win.

(UPDATE: And a few hours after I posted this, WWE promotes a U.S. Title match for the pre-show  between Cesaro and Miz. Not expecting Miz to get the belt.)

There may be a divas title match penciled in at the last minute. Could be Kaitlyn against a random person. Won't be Tamina just yet, I think. Have Tamina attack Kaitlyn from behind on RAW the night after the PPV to start that feud.

Honestly, put Ziggler at #1 to start the Rumble. It's not like it matters from a timing standpoint. It's just cooler to say you went from #1 and lasted until the end. Since Cole said last week that superstars will enter every 90 seconds, Mysterio's 62:12 is safe for another year. Besides, Ziggler could just say he was born to be #1, so it's natural that he pick #1. Again, I'm expecting Ziggler and Cena at the end. Cena can enter whenever he wants, but hell, let's put him at the not-so-random #27 spot because, as Ziggler mentioned, four guys have won after entering at #27.

Will there be divas in this year's Royal Rumble? Signs point to no. Chyna (twice), Beth Phoenix, and Kharma have participated before. But truthfully, I'd mark the hell out if Sara Del Rey showed up in any fashion. Doesn't have to be the Rumble match.

Kane has a great shot to break Shawn Michaels' record for most career Rumble eliminations on Sunday. He has 37 to date and needs four eliminations to break HBK's mark of 40. It's Kane's 16th Rumble, easily a record (HBK's second with 12). While it includes Kane's other personas as the Fake Diesel and Isaac Yankem, it's still very uncommon to have such durability in the WWE world.

FUN FACT: Undertaker and Rikishi have each appeared in 10 Royal Rumbles, tied for third-most Royal Rumbles entered (before the 2013 event takes place). Rikishi also entered as Headshrinker Fatu and the Sultan. (Source: Wikipedia)

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