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Backstage, Triple H walks into John Laurinaitis. HHH says he’s going to say something to the world out in the ring.
HHH comes to the ring and downplays the significance of his injury. He moves on to Brock Lesnar, and says his actions would upset a bunch of legends like The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. He says Lesnar lost to John Cena because Cena’s not a quitter like Lesnar, and when Brock wasn’t happy with things, he quit again.
Lesnar’s music hits, but Paul Heyman and a lawyer come out instead. Heyman argues that Lesnar had an oral agreement with John Laurinaitis that Hunter discarded. Heyman says HHH signed a fighter into an entertainment company, then got upset when he wanted to fight. I liked when he said Hunter brought in a fighter and then got upset when the fighter wanted to fight. The lawyer hands HHH papers, notifying him that he’s being sued. Hunter got in Heyman’s face, then facewashed him. Heyman loses it and calls HHH a coward. HHH says Lesnar will get everything he deserves, then leaves. As he’s leaving, Heyman tells HHH that he was just assaulted, and will see HHH in court. Overall, the crowd was pretty dead for it. Kind of a boring segment, even though both are excellent mic workers.
CM Punk & Santino d. Daniel Bryan & Cody Rhodes (C+)
With the heels knocked to the outside, Punk lands a suicide dive through the ropes. Santino tries, but hits his stomach on the middle rop and falls back into the ring. After the commercial, Santino got worked on. He tried to make a diving tag to Punk but came up a few feet short. He eventually made the hot tag, as Punk goes after Rhodes. Punk goes for a pinfall, but Bryan breaks it up. Punk tries for a GTS on Bryan, but he escapes and bails up the ramp. Rhodes dodges an apron Cobra, but Punk hits the GTS for the pinfall at 11 minutes. It wasn’t bad, but it could’ve been so much more.
Ace has a “major announcement” for tonight.
Beth Phoenix d. Alicia Fox (D-)
Layla watched the match from the stage. Beth dominated pretty much the whole match, scoring a Glam Slam for the pinfall at 2 minutes. Post-match, Beth continued to attack Alicia, so Layla made the save and landed a weird Jeff Hardy-like spinning head slam or something.
John Cena Make-A-Wish Foundation video package.
The pre-Over the Limit YouTube match is Kane vs. Zack Ryder.
Big Show/Ace video package from last week.
Kane d. Big Show vs. Kane (D-)
Ace and David Otunga are ringside. Midway through the match, Ace stops the match and asks Show for an apology. Kane uses the distraction and scores a sloppy Chokeslam for the pinfall at 4 minutes. Post-match, Ace and Otunga get into the ring to confront Show. Ace tells him to apologize or else he’s fired. Show says he’s been wrestling for 18 years, and loves performing for the fans and interacting with the kids. He said he’s fine never having another title match, or being fined, but if Ace has an ounce of decency, he’ll allow him to continue doing what he loves. Ace makes him say “I’m sorry” twice more, then tells him to beg for his job. Crowd is chanting “no,” and Show is fighting himself over it. Ace says he’s disgusted by Show and the fans. Show pleads him to not make him do this, but Ace says he’s doing what’s right for business, then says he’ll reconsider. He leaves the ring, but at the stage, Ace starts to fire him. Show gets down on both knees and apologizes for making fun of his voice, saying he’ll never do it again. “Are you happy now!” Ace responds, As general manager of Raw and Smackdown, I wish you the best in your future endeavours…And Show. You’re fired.” Show starts bawling in the ring as the crowd chants his name in support. The crowd was good for this, but the segment was way too long. Rumours now have Show turning heel on Cena during the Cena/Ace match in order to have Laurinaitis re-hire him. We’ll see.
Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston & R-Truth d. The Miz, Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (D)
Backstage, Abraham Washington is with Primo, Epico, Rosa and Mason Ryan, who he is in negotiations with the team. Kingston gets the hot tag and botches a series of moves with Miz. Ziggler runs at Clay, but takes an awkward/unanticipated headbutt to the chest from the apron. Clay tags himself in. Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise on Miz, then Clay lands a big splash for the pinfall at 7 minutes. Post-match, some kids are dancing with the faces in the ring. FYI, Miz’ losing is likely to keep him off TV while they film The Marine 3: Homefront.
Backstage, CM Punk with Alex Riley. AJ walks in as Riley leaves. Punk says, “Remember that $50 you owe me” to Riley. What’s that about? AJ wished him luck on Sunday. Punk thanks her but remains skeptical interfering between AJ and Bryan, since he doesn’t trust the latter. Punk isn’t sure if he’s being set up, so he leaves. Interference foreshadowing?
Chris Jericho d. Randy Orton via DQ (C)
Sheamus took some nice jabs at Cole ringside. Orton tried for an inverted DDT through the ropes, but Jericho backbody drops him over the top rope. Sheamus and Jericho bicker, so Jericho throws Orton into Sheamus at the announce table area, sending everyone crashing to the barricade. Nice. Jericho rolls Orton back in, who quickly gets up and sets up for another DDT, but Sheamus pulls Jericho out and lays him out with a clothesline for the DQ at 8 minutes. Post match, Orton and Sheamus argued on the outside before they agree to fight in the ring. A bunch of refs run in and break it up. Another non-pin finish with the four Fatal 4-Way participants.
Main event time. Ace comes out and says Cena fans are losers. He says he’s better than The Rock and Brock combined. He says the world needs losers so there can be winners like him.
Cena comes out with no sling. He smells Ace and says Desperation was a cheap cologne. He mocks Ace’s voice, then jokes about being fired. He calls Ace a scumbag for what he did to Show. He was a scumbag before that, and now he’s the “undisputed king of douchebaggery.” Cena recaps Ace’s last few months; he won at WrestleMania 28 despite doing nothing, he wanted CM Punk removed as WWE Champion which never happened; and he signed Lesnar, who lost at Extreme Rules and quit. Ace is 1/4, and Cena gets in his face calling him a “loser” like in Liar Liar or Ace Ventura with Jim Carrey. Obviously the movie was way better, but this wasn’t too bad. Cena asks the people, for People Power, how many of them want to beat Ace so bad that he squeals like a baby calf waiting for teething. Big crowd pop.
Cena goes for cheap pops by talking about the 1970′s Pittsburgh Steelers “Steel Curtain” that won four Super Bowls in six years, then moves on to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ace says he was going to use that in his promo and was going to call them losers too. Cena does more “loser” impressions. Ace is holding in a laugh. Cena points out some Pens player sitting ringside, then takes a hockey puck out from his back pocket and says “go puck yourself.” Big crowd pop. Ace says he’s taller and better looking than Cena. He syas he has the power to add stipulations, referees and modifications to matches. Eve comes out and hands Ace a paper. Cena rips it away from Ace to read it, but actually rips the whole thing in half.
It’s from the Board of Directors. They feel like it’s important for the WWE Universe to know what they’re getting. “Your match with Mr. Cena will be one on one. There will be no special guest referee. No one is allowed at ringside. The only way to win is by pinfall or submission. Any superstar who interferes in the match will be immediately terminated…should you, Mr. Laurinaitis, lose this match to John Cena then you will be officially terminated.” Big crowd pop and “yes” chant. If the Board can hire and fire so easily, can’t they just re-hire Show? Who needs logic. Cena asks what Ace’s big announcement was. “Do I get a ShamWow for $9.99?” Ha! Ace delivers a slap to the face, then leaves to end the show.
This is a cheap remake of Stone Cold/Vince McMahon from the 1999 Rumble/St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, except much worse and more watered down. The top dog versus his boss. Right now, it looks like Show interferes and helps Ace win in order to get his job back.
Three Stars of the Show
* John Cena
** Chris Jericho
*** Triple H
Final Grade: F
Awful show, maybe even the worst of 2012. And that’s saying something. Ace’s promos were too long and drawn out, he probably took up 25% of the show just by himself. More lack of promotion for the title matches, moreso with Punk/Bryan than the SmackDown 4-way. Here’s the show in its entirety via YouTube: