Written by: Scrooge McSuck from DaWrestling.com
– I didn’t figure in doing a recap of the show, but I had some free time, so why the hell not? Originally broadcasted on Pay-Per-View, on October 28th, 2012, from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA. Michael Cole, Jim Ross, and JBL are on hand to call all the action. To show you how well the entire card was booked, going into the weekend, I only knew four matches that were on the show: The two World Titles, Orton vs. Del Rio, and the Tag Title Match, determined by a #1 Contenders Tournament.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio:
I don’t watch Smackdown, but I’m almost sure the set up here is Del Rio was upset at Orton getting to compete for the #1 Contendership, and he didn’t, then cost him the match with the Big Show. That’s pretty much it. Simple, if not thrown together. Lockup, and Orton quickly lays into ADR with rights and boots. To the floor, Orton runs through Del Rio with a clothesline, and introduces him to the announcers table. Back inside, Orton with the Garvin Stomp. Whip to the corner, Orton sleepwalks into an elbow, but continues to pound away. Rodriguez with a distraction, allowing ADR to ram the left arm of Orton into the ring post. Back inside, and Del Rio continues to work the arm. Orton fights free, but Del Rio grapevines the arm, hanging over the top rope. To add injury to injury, he throws Orton shoulder-first into the post. Del Rio with a single-arm DDT for a two count. Orton escapes an armbar with headbutts. Whip to the corner, ADR misses a charge, and Orton rolls him up for two. Del Rio with another armbar takedown for a two count, then back to working the shoulder. Del Rio hangs over the ropes again, but this time Orton shoves Del Rio to the floor. Back inside, Del Rio runs into a trio of half-hearted clotheslines. Orton does the lame Viper pose setting up something, but ADR turns it into the cross armbreaker. Orton with his signature reverse back breaker for a two count. He goes for a DDT, but Del Rio counters, dropping Orton across the top rope. Del Rio does the RKO set up to mock Orton, but Orton turns the momentum and snaps Del Rio off the ropes with a DDT. RKO is countered with the Back Stabber, but it only gets two. Orton surprises Del Rio with a snap powerslam for a two count of his own. Orton sets ADR across the top turnbuckle, but gets tripped up, and Del Rio comes crashing down across the midsection of Orton for a two count. Del Rio to the top again, and this time… they blew something, cause it looks messed up. Orton hits a dropkick from “out of nowhere.” Rodriguez with interference, and ADR with the Armbreaker, but Orton summons his inner-Cena and rolls him up for two. ADR goes for a big kick in the corner, but Orton sidesteps and hits the RKO, and it’s over at 12:40. Del Rio’s work on the arm was fine, traditional wrestling, but Orton seemed uninspired, and that odd spot at the end really has me going “what were they trying for?” Okay match to open the show, but a bit disappointing considering the potential for better.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
Team Hell No © vs. The Rhode Scholars:
(Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
The cleverly-named “Rhode Scholars” won a tournament for the #1 contenders spot, finishing off with a Finals victory over Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Kane and Bryan are one of the best acts on Raw, today. I still get a kick out of “I am the Tag Team Champions” (and the even better response, “that’s not even grammatically correct). Bryan and Sandow start. Lockup to the corner, and Bryan unloads with kicks. Criss-cross, and Bryan with a knee into the midsection. Kane tags in, but Sandow avoids the world’s ugliest basement dropkick. Kane snapmares Rhodes in, and peforms the move after all, covering for a two count, afterwards. Whip to the corner, Kane follows in with a clothesline. Bryan tags in, and connects with a running dropkick for two. Bryan with more No-Kicks. Kane back in with a boot to the face. Kane with a power slam, followed by an elbow drop for two. Sandow with a blind tag, and he clips the knee of the Big Red Machine. Sandow stomps away, and Rhodes with more of the same. Sandow grabs a front facelock, which can’t be the smartest move to apply. Bryan manages to get the tag in, and works Sandow over in the corner. Whip across the ring, and a criss-cross ends with Bryan connecting with a lunge clothesline. Bryan dumps both men to the floor, and follows out with a sucide dive. Rhodes hooks the leg of Bryan attempting to re-enter, and Sandow shoves him off, into the security wall.
Back inside, Sandow covers for two. Sandow with a snapmare, and Rhodes with a running kick to the chest for two. They hang Bryan across the middle rope, and Sandow comes down across the back for another two count. Sandow with a knee drop for two. Rhodes comes in, and slaps on an armbar. Bryan offers a comeback, but a knee to the midsection keeps him grounded. Sandow with knees and an axehandle across the chest for a two count. Russian leg sweep, and the Elbow of Disdain for another two count. Sandow with a knee to the back, and it’s chinlock time. Sandow eats turnbuckle on a charge attempt, and Kane gets the hot tag. He unloads on Rhodes, and takes him over with a back drop. Charge into the corner with a clothesline, followed by the side suplex for a two count. Kane to the top rope, but Rhodes cuts him off. Kane blocks the super-plex attempt, and eventually hits the flying clothesline. Kane teases the chokeslam, but Bryan tags himself in, and hits the swan dive headbutt for a two count, broken up by KANE. Sandow pulls Kane to the floor, and Bryan back drops Rhodes into Kane. Bryan follows with a running knee off the apron, but nails Kane by mistake. Kane and Bryan get into an argument, allowing the challengers to take control. The Cross Rhodes connects, but Kane breaks the cover. Kane pounds away on Sandow and Rhodes, cowering in the corner, until the referee finally disqualifies him at 13:09. Kane continues the punishment, laying Sandow out with a Chokeslam. The Kane/Bryan dynamic is certainly interesting, having partners get too involved with arguing with each other, yet somehow escaping Champions. Solid match with or without the gimmick.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:
Kofi Kingston © vs. The Miz:
ReMatch from the October 17th, 2012 episode of Main Event, where Kingston upset Miz for the IC Championship. I would’ve done another switch on Main Event to build towards a PPV match, or maybe a double pin finish to give this match some interest. Instead, Miz has pretty much jobbed to Kofi twice in a week, then squashed by Ryback on Raw. I don’t like his odds. Miz offers a cheap-shot, but Kofi blocks. Criss-cross sequence, Miz goes for the Skull Crusher, Kofi counters, goes for Trouble in Paradise, and Miz rolls to the floor to escape. Miz with a boot to the chest, followed by rights. Kofi with a double leg sweep, followed by mounted punches. He sends Miz to the floor, but this time his big tumble over the steps spot is countered with a kick to the face. Nice continuity with that spot. Back inside, Miz covers for two. Miz settles in with a chinlock. Miz with a boot to the face for two. Charge to the corner, and he hits the clothesline. Miz to the top rope, and a double axehandle gets two. Miz charges again, but this time Kofi counters with a clothesline of his own. Both back to their feet, and Kofi is in control. Boom-Drop connects, but he’s setting up for Trouble in Paradise. Miz sees it coming and rolls to the floor. Chase around the ring, and Kofi with a roll up for two. Kofi to the top rope, and a twisting body press gets two. Miz blocks the S.O.S., but can’t follow up, and Kofi executes it afterall for a two count. Miz blocks a kick to the face and jerks down hard on the left leg. Miz wraps the leg around the middle rope, and hits the knee with a dropkick. Miz removes the boot and knee pad of Kingston, and goes to town like a hobo on a half-eaten sandwich. Miz with a single-leg Crab, but Kofi is too keen on being a Champion having fun, and counters with a small package for two. Miz with a DDT for two. Miz goes for the Skull Crusher, but Kingston rolls him up for two. Trouble in Paradise misses, and Miz still can’t hit the Skull Crusher. Kingston boots Miz off, and Trouble in Paradise finally hits, and it’s enough for the three count at 10:22. Seemed a little flat at times, and at others had some of the great chemistry they executed on Main Event. Overall, just another decent match in a series of them, but we’re three deep and still nothing worthwhile to brag about.
WWE United States Championship Match:
Antonio Cesaro © vs. Justin Gabriel:
Despite there not being too much doubt here, Gabriel did score a surprise pinfall victory over Gabriel on the latest episode of Raw, and thus has earned a title shot. Seems like it makes sense. Gabriel is typically used as JTTS fodder, but who knows, maybe a miracle can happen. Cesaro with a quick waistlock takedown. Gabriel tries to wrestle his way to his feet, but Cesaro jerks him back down by the arm. Gabriel counters a hip toss with a monkey flip, but a move from the top goes unperformed, with Cesaro knocking him to the floor. Back in the ring, Cesaro drops a leg across the chest for a two count. Cesaro with a vicious european uppercut, followed by mounted forearm blows for another two count. Cesaro with an uppercut to the back of the head for two. Idea for Main Event: 2 out of 3 Falls, Cesaro vs. Gabriel or Kidd, let the challenger win Fall #1, then have Cesaro pick up the next two. Cesaro with a Scott Hall-like fallaway slam for a two count. Cesaro with a pair of double stomps to the sternum for two. Cesaro with an armbar, then another waistlock takedown. Gabriel escapes a German suplex and connects with a spinning heel kick. Lionsault by Gabriel for a two count. Gabriel comes off the ropes, and turns himself inside out to sell a clothesline. Cesaro covers for two, the Gabriel locks him up for a two count as well. Gabriel with a DDT for two. He heads to the top rope, but misses the 450 splash, only to land on his feet. Gabriel with a reverse DDT for two. The action spills to the floor, and Cesaro counters a plancha with the uppercut of doom. Cesaro throws Gabriel into the ring, and the Neutralizer finishes this off at 7:22. These two have been working television together a little too much lately (twice on Superstars this month, twice of Raw), but at least they found a new finish. Good match, but a dead crowd really hurts my enjoyment, and this crowd has mostly sucked all night.
Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. The Primetime Players:
I don’t think there’s much to this one, but then again, I tend to avoid Sin Cara’s matches. The PTP’s are Darren Young and Titus O’Neil, for those who give a shit. If this one doesn’t scream filler, I don’t know what does. Young and Sin Cara start. Waistlock takedown from Young, followed by some bitch slaps. Sin Cara takes Young over with a head scissors, and Rey comes in with a snapmare. We take forever to set up a spot, which sees Sin Cara springboard off the middle rope and Rey drop a leg. We hype Main Event’s six-man tag as Young takes Rey over with a belly-to-belly suplex. Whip to the ropes, and the PTP with a double shoulder tackle. Young with a leg drop for two. He covers twice more for near falls, then slaps on a chinlock. Rey fights off both men and tags out to Sin Cara. He hits the handspring elbow (think Tajiri) on O’Neil, then comes off the top with a body press for two. O’Neil jerks him off the ropes, rams him into the corner, and connects with a pair of back breakers before tossing him aside like a doll. Young with a body scissors to slow things down. Sin Cara counters a back drop with a body press for a two count, but Young remains in control. Young slams Sin Cara across the apron, then covers for two. O’Neil no-sells Sin Cara’s kicks, and slams him down. Young in, and O’Neil suplex drops him across the chest of S.C. Another comeback attempt, another failure. O’Neil with a suplex for two. Rey tries to get the crowd into it with a Sin Cara chant, but this crowd sucks it, hard. O’Neil with a short clothesline for two. I’d much rather watch an awful match I can mock, than a boring paint-by-numbers match. Sin Cara finally takes Titus down with the Asai DDT, and Rey gets the hot tag. He takes Young over with a head scissors, then comes off the top with the seated senton. Tornado DDT for two. O’Neil runs in, and spills to the floor like a goober.Sin Cara comes off the top with a body press. Back in the ring, Rey sets Young into the ropes with a head scissors, then follows with the 6-1-9. Rey with a splash from the top, and it’s FINALLY over at 12:28. Sin Cara apparently hurt himself on the way down, but he seems to be fine after later medical attention. As mentioned, paint-by-numbers tag to fill out the show.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Sheamus © vs. Big Show:
For some reason, there was a lot of confusion over wether or not this was a Cell Match. It’s not. Show defeated Orton for the Contenders spot, and has been pretty much untouchable since, telling Sheamus to shove his smile up Kofi Kingston’s ass. I don’t want to be a jerk… but how does Big Show keep getting these main event pushes? Lockup, and guess who gets the advantage from that? Sheams grabs a headlock, but Show shoves him off and puts him down with a shoulder tackle. Slugfest, won by Show. Backstage, Dolph Ziggler is watching, because he claims he’ll cash in his Money in the Bank contract. Sheamus avoids the Big Slap™, but gets crushed in the corner. Show hits the ropes, and Sheamus drops down to clip the knee, sending Show to the floor to recover. Sheamus attacks upon entrance, clubbing him with rights and lefts. Show brushes off a pair of shoulders, and tosses Sheamus over the top, to the floor. Show hits The Blg Slap™, then introduces Sheamus to the security wall. Back inside, Sheamus offers a comeback, but walks into a side suplex. Headbutt and the fat-man walk over the chest spot that anyone over 350 pounds seems to use in excess. More slow-paced clubbing action as I start to lose interest. I like using Show’s size to create a different style match, but it takes time to get into it. To the floor, Show throws Sheamus into the announcers table. Watch out for Jim Ross! Back in the ring, Sheamus hits the Final Cut, but it only gets two.
Sheamus with another comeback attempt, and once again, he’s tossed over the top rope. Sheamus with a shoulder to the midsection, followed by a slingshot shoulder tackle. He comes off the ropes, and takes a boot to the face. Show covers for two, then wastes time talking trash. Why not just sit on the guys head?! Show with a headbutt and knee to the face, and the deliberate pace continues. Shmeaus punches, Show shrugs it off and grabs a bearhug. Sheamus fights free, but a slam attempt fails, and Show comes crashing down on him. Show climbs the ropes, and the Vader Bomb connects for two. Show goes for a chokeslam, but Sheamus counters with a DDT for barely a two count. Show kicks out with enough force to send Sheamus to the floor (again). Sheamus hangs Show across the top rope, and does the clubbing across the chest spot, but Show no-sells and goes for another chokeslam. Sheamus kicks him away, but runs into another goozle, and Show hits the chokeslam for two. Show teases a seated chinlock, but it turns into a headbutt. He misses an elbow drop, and Sheamus takes the time to try and goes for the Cloverleaf, but Show kicks him off… to the floor. Sheamus rams him into the post, then it’s back in the ring, with Sheamus coming off the top, only to be goozled. He kicks his way free, and comes off the ropes with axehandles. Sheamus somehow gets Show off the ground and slams him down with White Noise for a two count. He sets for the Brogue Kick, but Show catches it and hits the KO punch, but it only gets two! Show sets up for another punch, but Sheamus ducks under and hits the Brogue Kick, also for two. Now Sheamus sets up for another go, but he ends up taking another KO Punch, and THAT’S enough to end it all and give Big Show yet another Championship reign at 20:14. It picked up during the second half, but it started slow, was very methodical, and just didn’t peak my interest at all. I liked either man could win with something simple as a punch or a kick,but that’s not enough to justify 20+ minutes. They could’ve easily given this 10-12 and no one would’ve complained.
– Backstage, Eve and her ridiculous looking championship belt are confronted by Booker T and Theodore Long. Suddenly, Zack Ryder shows up dressed as a witch, and Santino Marella is sporting a… I don’t know what the hell he’s supposed to be. Suddenly, Ron Simmons shows up to spout his one word. At least they haven’t over-used it lately.
– WWE Diva’s Champion Eve Torres defends her Championship against Layla and Kaitlyn. Nice to see Kaitlyn’s ankle injury has healed. I’m only assuming so, because the tape ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BOOT was clearly the sign of an injury, rather than underneath where it would probably make more sense. Anyway, it’s a bathroom break, 3-minute match, and I don’t care. Eve wins, for the 2 people in the universe who keep track of WWE Women’s matches and championship reigns.
WWE Championship, Hell in a Cell Match:
C.M. Punk © (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Ryback:
Oh, WWE, you and your paint-yourself-into-a-corner booking decisions. If Punk loses, it’s a failed heel experiment. If Ryback loses, he’s another statistic in the long list of people who had their knees cut from under them before they even had a chance. Not like it matters, but it looks like the referee is the guy that was too blind to see Punk’s foot on the ropes, and got punked out for it in the process. Punk quickly takes to the floor as soon as the bell rings. After some hit and run tactics, Ryback grabs Punk by the throat, throws him into the ropes, and puts him down with a bit kick. He follows by ramming the back of Punk’s head into the canvas. Whip to the corner, and Punk with an over-sell bump. Punk with a boot to the face on a charge attempt, but a Tornado DDT fails, and Ryback sends him to the floor with a clothesline. Punk yanks on the cage door unsuccessfully, and gets thrown into the cell wall repeatedly. MASSIVE Goldberg chant, as Punk rolls in and out of the ring, and hides under the ring. Heyman with a distraction from outside the cell, allowing Punk time to blast Ryback in the face with a fire extinguisher. Punk rams him into the cage, then drives a series of knees into the upperbody. Punk with a chair, but he ends up taking it into the face. That was PG! (clap-clap clapclapclap).
Ryback tosses Punk back into the ring, and it’s Warrior style press slam time. Ryback charges, and tastes turnbuckle. Punk hangs him across the top rope, then springs in with a clothesline from the top rope. Punk to the top, and a pair of double axehandles barely stun. Body press is caught, and Ryback rams Punk into the corner. Ryback hits the ropes, and Punk quickly comes out of the corner with a jumping heel kick. Punk sends Ryback to the floor, and follows out with a suicide dive. Chair shot to the midsection, and Punk connects with a neck breaker. Punk goes for it again, but Ryback breaks free. Another unwise charge, and this time Ryback meets the steps. Punk with a rear choke hold, but Ryback powers up and slams back down on top of Punk. Ryback misses ANOTHER FUCKING CHARGE. Enough already. Punk runs in with a knee to the face, takes Ryback down with a clothesline, and hits the Macho Man Elbow. Punk brings a Singapore Cane in and gives Ryback a few whacks, but guess who starts no-selling. Ryback with some more power stuff. He lays Punk out with a spinebuster, followed by the Meathook (the charging clothesline). The Shell Shock is coming, but suddenly the referee stops Ryback and low blows him, allowing Punk to roll him up, and count a fast three at 11:16. Punk retains! Thank you! Punk, the referee, and Heyman frantically try to unlock the cell door, but referee Mike Chioda is having trouble, and Ryback comes back to life. He takes it out, first on the referee, culminiating in an awesome spot where Ryback press slams him over the ropes, into the cell wall. Punk exits the door, but Ryback catches up, they go to the roof for no reason other than a big spot, and Ryback Shell Shocks him on the roof to end the show. Basic formula of the match: Punk hits and runs, Ryback hits a big move or two, misses a charge, repeat as much as necessary. It was OK, but if anyone expected any kind of miracle, they were sadly mistaken. Decent screwjob finish, when they clearly needed something to get them out of trouble.
Final Thoughts: I don’t know what the popular opinion is, but I didn’t mind the finish to the main event, as it’s something that hasn’t been done in a while. As far as the rest of the show goes, there’s nothing memorable to look forward to or really seek out to watch, but at the same time, there wasn’t anything outright awful, either. It’s a very pedestrian, standard quality show from top to bottom. Usually that’s not a bad thing, but for a $45 live PPV tag, it’s an outrageous price for mediocre quality, and even on DVD for $15, I still couldn’t find myself to recommend it. Take a pass, hope for better next month with Survivor Series.