Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Monday Night Raw
Date: January 14, 2013
Location: Compaq Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
It’s the 20th Anniversary celebration of Raw tonight and the main match announced so far is Eve likely dropping the Divas Title to Kaitlyn. Other than that we’ve likely got Rocky here tonight to hype up the Rumble some more, which is at least some good old fashioned PPV selling. We’re in the good season for WWE so hopefully things are on tonight. Let’s get to it.
A mash up of all the Raw openings (complete with original images) open things up. Cool stuff.
Here’s Vince in the ring to open things up. He talks about how Raw has been entertaining in 20 years and in that time, over 4 billion people have enjoyed Raw. Vince says that’s the case because he’s a certifiable genius and he thanks the fans. Apparently tonight it’s Ziggler vs. Cena in a cage and the Rock Concert 3. Vince thanks the fans again and is cut off by….Big Show?
Big Show says the show has to wait but gets in trouble for calling Vince by his first name. Vince congratulates Show for losing weight, but says that it’s just him losing the title. Vince wants to see the footage but Show wants to talk about it instead. The boss says the fans here in Houston (Cole: “Cheap pop.” Jerry: “Yep.”) want to see the footage so we get a clip of the ending with Del Rio winning the title.
Show accuses Booker T of trying to play to the Hispanic audience by helping Del Rio win the title. He mentions his iron clad contract and says it makes him better than everyone. Show wants Alberto stripped of the title which draws out the champion to what appears to be a legit pop. Ricardo has some towels with him for some reason and his cuffs aren’t buttoned. No car this week though and Del Rio has some green on his trunks and pads now. Ricardo’s towels are covering something that he’s carrying to the ring with him.
Del Rio talks about how Show didn’t like how the tables were turned on him and someone was fighting back against his bullying. Alberto says if Show has a problem, do something about it. He offers Show a rematch tonight but Show says no. He isn’t prepared tonight but Del Rio says that being a giant should make him prepared. Del Rio wants Show to show some cajones but Show says no again. Instead, Show wants it at the Rumble.
Del Rio calls him a fat jackass in Spanish but Show doesn’t like being insulted. Alberto gets the present, which is a bucket with a Mexican flag painted on it. There’s something we can’t see in it, so Show threatens to break Ricardo’s spine if he throws water on him. It’s red white and green confetti in the vein of the Harlem globetrotters. Show goes after Ricardo but Alberto takes him down with a rana (impressive) and the corner enziguri to send Show running. I can’t believe I’m saying this but Alberto is AWESOME right now.
We get a clip from Bob Barker on Raw.
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
Non-title because why would Orton care about a title? Feeling out process to start with Orton hitting a Thesz Press to send Wade to the floor. Orton belly to backs him onto the barricade which gets two back inside. There’s the Orton Circle Stomp and a clothesline sends Barrett to the floor as we take a break. Back with Barrett holding a chinlock until Orton elbows out of it.
Wade comes back with some hard forearms and the boot in the ropes for two. Back to the chinlock but Orton elbows out of it again. Orton fires off his finishing sequence (clotheslines, powerslam, backbreaker, Elevated DDT) but the RKO is countered with Randy’s shoulder going into the post. Wade loads up the Bull Hammer….and gets the 100% clean pin at 10:31. I didn’t see that coming at all.
Rating: C+. I’m genuinely surprised by that ending and not complaining about it at all. Orton is at the level where a loss isn’t going to hurt him and might even push his heel turn a bit further. One thing though: why not make this for the title? If Barrett is going to win, why not put the title on the line? It would just make Barrett look better as champion, so why not do it?
Eve is told that if she tries to get counted out or disqualified she’s stripped of the title. She tries to seduce Booker to get out of it and he cracks up. Eve slaps Teddy as a result.
It’s time for Bryan and Kane’s four month followup on anger management. They agree to lie to Shelby and say whatever he wants to hear. Shelby starts with a group hug and asks what they like about each other. Bryan likes that Kane is tall, can light things on fire by lowering his arms, and Kane’s dancing abilities. Kane likes that Bryan is agile, has a great beard, and isn’t afraid to admit that sometimes he wears women’s clothing. Shelby says everything is ok and they can go, but there’s one more thing.
He calls someone and says send them in and here are the Rhodes Scholars. They’re going to cause an anger trigger (with Sandow correcting the doctor of course) and HELL NO needs to not freak out. Cody winds up ripping on Shelby and ask what his credentials are. Damien says Shelby is a worse doctor than Dr. Phil. Shelby: “GET EM!!!” HELL NO beats up the Scholars and Kane gets in his usual great line of “Now THAT’S what I call a happy place!”
Kane vs. Damien Sandow
Kane pulls him in to start and fires off the uppercuts. Side slam gets two but Kane goes up for the clothesline and Sandow bails to the floor. Damien sends him into the apron to take over and hits the Wind-Up Elbow for two but jumps into the chokeslam for the pin at 1:58. Ok then.
Here’s Mick Foley as the first inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2013. This was announced on WWE.com over the weekend so this isn’t a huge shock. After the cheap pop here’s the Shield to interrupt. Foley wisely bails and here’s Ryback for the weekly 3-1 fight with the Shield. Orton and Sheamus run in as well and Ambrose gets a Shell Shock.
Without going to a break or anything else happening, here’s a REPLAY OF WHAT WE JUST WATCHED. Josh goes into the ring to talk to Ryback, who says that Shield has kept the title on Punk three times now. Ryback doesn’t care about conspiracy theories because he can’t rest until he needs to give the Shield back what they took from him. FEED HIM SHIELD.
We get a clip of some of the weird gimmicks we’ve seen over the years. I had hoped to forget some of these.
Divas Title: Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn
If Eve gets disqualified or counted out she loses the title. Kaitlyn sends her to the floor to start so the champ hides a bit. Kaitlyn is the hometown girl tonight so it’s pretty clear what’s going down here. Eve knocks her down and hits her running flip splash as we hear about Lamb Chop for no apparent reason. Off to a triangle choke from Eve but Kaitlyn makes a rope.
The reverse DDT gets two and Kaitlyn seemingly dives onto Eve’s knee. The spinning neckbreaker gets two for Kaitlyn so Eve pounds away a bit. Kaitlyn’s gutbuster hits but it sends Eve to the floor. The challenger follows her out and gets whipped into the barricade. Eve puts her over the barricade but Kaitlyn sneaks back in and spears Eve for the title at 5:35.
Rating: D+. This was better than any of their other matches but at the end of the day I have no reason to care about either of these girls anymore. Word on the street is that Eve is gone after this so I guess this is the passing of the torch. Am I supposed to care more now because Kaitlyn wins after not being able to win the title after like four tries? At least they finally did the freaking switch.
Brodus says Punk’s comments last week shouldn’t have been said and he’ll shut Punk up next.
Donald Trump bought Raw once.
Brodus Clay vs. CM Punk
Brodus sends Punk to the floor and pounds on him in the corner like a Funkasaurus would do but Punk gets his knees up in the corner. There’s the springboard clothesline and a neckbreaker to put Brodus down. Off to a cravate by Punk but Brodus suplexes Punk down. Some clotheslines put Punk down and there’s the running headbutt to the chest. Clay misses a splash in the corner though and Punk kicks him down. The top rope elbow sets up the Anaconda Vice for the tap out at 3:40.
Rating: C. Better match than I was expecting here as Clay got to show off a bit before losing as he was destined to do. Also he didn’t tap immediately which was a nice touch as it made him look a bit tougher. I like Brodus a lot so seeing him on Raw more is always a good thing for me. Good stuff here.
Punk talks about how Rock is going to be out here later and the people have the right to like either Rock or Punk better. However, they don’t have the right to have their own facts. Punk has the most important title in the world and has had it for over 400 days. Fact. Later tonight, Rock is going to come out here and “entertain” the people, but at the Rumble, Punk is going to beat him. Basic promo here.
We get a package on moments involving vehicles on Raw.
Foley is on the phone with his kids and says that he wasn’t scared out there. Rock shows up so Mick hangs up on his kids. Foley extends his hand but Rock says he doesn’t want a handshake. Rock hugs Foley instead. That’s more like it. Mick steals the FINALLY line a few times and tries to get Rock to bite on it which he finally does.
Vickie interrupts and says they’re loud. She yells at both of them and Rock says he has nothing to say to her. Foley: “Holy pec pop of love Rock I thought you were going to lay the verbal Smackdown on her.” Rock: “Trust me.” Foley: “You Rock Bottomed me last year.” Rock: “No one remembers that!” Rock says to pay attention to the Rock Concert later.
Sheamus vs. 3MB
This is an over the top rope challenge. JBL: “This isn’t fair.” Cole: “To Sheamus?” JBL: “No.” The band beats on Sheamus to start but he fights them off with ease. Sheamus hits a Regal Roll on McIntyre onto Mahal but can’t get Drew out. All three put him on the ropes but he easily fights them off. Mahal goes up like an idiot and gets knocked out. McIntyre gets backdropped out but Sheamus misses the Brogue Kick to send himself to the apron. He pulls Slater onto the top rope but the other members pull Sheamus to the floor, giving 3MB the win at 3:10. No rating for this due to obvious reasons.
Slater gets on Drew’s shoulders but Sheamus gets back in. He kicks Drew’s leg out and kicks Slater’s head off. Mahal gets one for good measure. Sore loser!
Cena says we should be talking about a huge list of people (including the Bashams and Braden Walker) instead of Big E. Langston. He gives a VERY fast history of his character and says tonight he’s beating Ziggler.
Here’s Miz who promises a HOF member on MizTV. He gives us a hint: WOO!
Back from a break and the guest is Flair. Wow that’s not really surprising at all. Miz asks Flair what his favorite moment on Raw is and that would be his retirement ceremony. Flair doesn’t want to talk about the past though, because he’d rather talk about Ryback taking down the Shield. Flair is wearing the Rolex Shawn gave him and they have a “really” off. Flair dances a bit and Miz says that was kind of awesome. More WOOing ensues and we get a video package on people with interesting ways of speaking, which is basically just a bunch of catchphrases, many of which are from the last three years or so.
After the video, Miz says that there’s one missing. Miz tries to give Flair hints about who it is and Flair can’t say it because this show is PG. “I got four ex-wives son I need a job right now.” Flair goes into his limousine riding bit until Cesaro comes out with an American flag. Cesaro says these two embody America like no one else: a failed reality TV star more focused on fame than greatness and a sixteen time world champion who made ten million dollars but spent twenty. Flair: “Thirty million brother.”
Cesaro holds up the Horsemen sign but says that’s only for Flair’s four ex-wives. Miz says he’ll pay Flair’s bar tab tonight and give Cesaro the receipt right now. Cesaro says he’ll walk away but Flair starts chopping him. Miz hits the Finale to leave the champion laying. Flair loads up the Figure Four but lets Miz do it instead.
Mike Tyson was on Raw in 1998. That was huge to put it mildly.
Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan
Cody pounds away a bit, JBL asks about caterpillars, Cole tells us facts that no one cares about, the NO Lock ends this in 75 seconds.
Eve quits WWE. That’s legit apparently.
AJ shows us some wedding videos, culminating in AJ saying yes to Vince’s GM offer to her. AJ says she lost everything because of Cena. Ziggler comes in to promise to take everything from Cena. He says he’ll steal the show tonight but I’m not buying this for the most part.
Here’s JR to a nice ovation to call the cage match.
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena
This is No DQ because that has to be mentioned in cage matches now apparently. There are the usual three ways to win this too. Ziggler tries to escape quickly but gets pulled down and hit with a release fisherman’s suplex for one. Off to a chinlock by Cena but Ziggler comes back with a dropkick to take over. A corner splash and a pair of neckbreakers result in no cover for Dolph. Ziggler tries a third neckbreaker but has to escape the AA instead.
A Downward Spiral into a Stunner gets two for Ziggler but Cena grabs a slingshot to send Dolph into the cage. Ziggler tries to climb but Cena rams him into the cage to take over as we go to a break. Back with both guys on top of the cage but Cena falling down to the ropes. Ziggler dropkicks Cena back into the ring for two to take over. Apparently during the break Cena was out but Langston blocked his feet from hitting the ground in an impressive power display.
Cena comes back and fires away on Ziggler before trying the AA. Ziggler grabs the cage and nearly loses his trunks but escapes anyway. A fast superkick puts Cena down for two but Ziggler can’t get out of the door. Langston and Cena get in a tug of war with Ziggler but Cena pulls him back inside for the STF. Ziggler counters the hold into the sleeper in an impressive move. Cena manages to climb to the top rope while still in the hold and falls down onto his back, breaking the hold in the process.
John goes for the door but Langston slams the door on his head, giving Ziggler a two count. Ziggler goes for the door but Cena climbs over the top. Cena slams the door on Dolph’s head but Big E. is waiting on Cena with a chair. John gets back in and gets caught in a Zig Zag for two. Ziggler goes to the top of the cage but Cena easily pulls him down.
Ziggler runs the ropes to hit a running DDT off the second rope for two more. These near falls are awesome. AJ freaks out and breaks the announce table before climbing the cage. The distraction lets Langston come in with the briefcase but Dolph clocks him with it by mistake. A very fast AA gives Cena the pin at 16:35.
Rating: B. Good match here but Cena beating Ziggler is old news at this point. To be fair though, this is a huge show and you should have Cena win on something this big. The guy is the most popular star in the company (well, regular star in the company), so having him featured and winning at a show this important is fine.
Here’s Rock to close the show. He shows us a picture of himself on his first appearance on the show. “What was I thinking??? The Rock looks like an escaped mental patient about to audition for the Backstreet Boys.” The first song is set to the tune of Heartbreak Hotel and makes fun of Paul Heyman for being fat. A member of ZZ Top is in the audience tonight. Rock calls out to the ladies and says his favorite curve on a woman is her smile. He invites Vickie out and here she is, very timid to say the least.
Rock’s next song is a rendition of You Look Wonderful Tonight, but with the word horrible swapped for wonderful. “You look like a hooker, but not the expensive kind.” After Vickie leaves, Rock gets down to business by calling out Punk. With Heyman and Punk on the stage, Rock says it’s a fact that Punk has been unstoppable for 421 days. Last week Punk said Rock would be boxing with God at the Rumble. Rock says Punk isn’t God, but as God as his witness, he’s taking the title at the Rumble. Punk charges the ring and the fight is on! They’re pulled apart to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This was a hard one to rate. The show certainly was good, but I’m not sure if it was more good or less non bad if that makes sense. The show felt like a big episode of Raw with some history thrown in, which is ok but it didn’t come off as a big blowaway show. At the end of the day, having every show be three hours long takes away from specials feeling special, which is a problem they’re going to have to deal with. It’s definitely a good show, but it falls way short of being great.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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