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Monday Night RAW recap



Location: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Announcers: Jerry “The King” Lawler, Michael Cole

Welcome to the recap of the 999th episode of RAW.  

CM Punk in-ring segment

Hot crowd tonight. Great opening segment with CM Punk and the Big Show. Another example of CM Punk elevating the talent around him; Big Show actually made sense on the mic. The calmness in which he addressed the heckling Vegas crowd was brilliant.

“That is rude, I have a point I am trying to make.” -Big Show

Big Show alluded to the fact that he will knock out CM Punk in their match up and John Cena will cash in his recently won  Money in the Bank contract. Effective verbal combat between the two, setting up the stakes for the RAW main event quite well. And it only took 11 minutes. Take note HHH.

Tag Team Championship match
Prime Time Players w/AW vs R-Truth and Kofi Kingston

Way to have Darren and Titus challenge for the titles the night after losing a non-title match up vs Epico and Primo. We are really supposed to believe they have any chance of beating the tag team champions? Of course not. I’m not saying the Prime Time Players should have won the tag titles last night. I’m saying it doesn’t make any sense for the WWE to have Kofi and R-Truth wrestle Hunico and Camacho during the Money in the Bank Youtube preshow and have your number 1 contenders, Darren and Titus, wrestle on the actual PPV and lose cleanly.
Kofi and R-Truth winning was logical, but where do Darren and Titus go from here? The WWE seems more adamant on pushing Epico and Primo. Which is fine, I’ll take Rosa Mendes over AW any day of the week. 

Backstage
Eve Torres interrupting AJ and DB backstage was great. Why? Because she actually addressed Daniel Bryan’s actions in their tag match last week on RAW. It’s the small things that make me happy. Story line continuation is one of them.  

Zack Ryder vs Alberto Del Rio
Zack Ryder got in a few moves offensively but not many. Glorified squash. Ryder tapped very quickly once the cross arm breaker was applied. After the match Rey Mysterio returned from injury (suspension) to hit the 619 on Alberto Del Rio. 

Whatever. At least this gives Del Rio something to do now that Dolph Ziggler is the Smackdown Money in the Bank suitcase holder. I would have preferred Mysterio return and set Sin Cara on fire, but there’s still time. It’ll be good to have little Rey Rey back. 

@ZackRyder Finally had a match on #Raw tonight. And I finally pooped. #ItWasAGoodDay.

One man baaaaaaand segment
Rikishi vs Heath Slater 
Rikishi with the win. After the match he danced until the lights went out. When they came back on, Rikishi’s sons, the Usos, were in the ring. I was never a big fan of Rikishi. Aside from running over Stone Cold Steve Austin with his car, he never really accounted for much story line wise. However, it was a genuinely cool moment to see him share the same ring with his flesh and blood. I’m sure growing up they probably dreamed of winning the WWE title and celebrating in the ring with their family, but performing a memorized dance sequence was probably a close second. It was definitely something all of the them will remember for the rest of their lives. 

We’ve come a long way from having heavyset guys dance to get them over. On an unrelated note, stay tuned for Brodus Clay#RAWTonight

Mixed Tag match
Daniel Bryan/AJ Lee vs Miz/Eve

Possible Daniel Bryan face turn alert. Who is the most over person on the WWE roster r
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Monday Night RAW Recap: Old School Jericho




Location: Laredo, Texas
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler

Guest General Manager: Teddy Long (Ugh this outta be good)

Cena/Bryan/Punk/Jericho/Kane/Big Show in ring segment

Welcome to the 997th episode of RAW. It kicked off like any self respecting RAW should, with John Cena coming down the ramp to cut an electrifying promo. The other day I realized that John Cena is responsible for some of my favorite WWE moments over the past few years. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. 

1. Rob Van Dam vs John Cena One Night Stand 2006

2. CM Punk vs John Cena Money in the Bank 2011

3. Brock Lesnar vs John Cena Extreme Rules 2012

Say what you want about his wrestling ability, but he plays a hell of a foil.



Back to RAW action. Cena does his shtick for a while until Daniel Bryan minus ring entrance music interrupts. Everyone’s been trying to get their Daniel Bryan on recently, even Ohio representative “Mean” Jean Schmidt. Bryan gets meta with us and lets the audience know that he and John Cena have nothing in common, unless of course Bryan wins the title and Cena wins the Money in the Bank ladder match. 

CM Punk interjects. Gets the crowd involved with all the Yes! chants. 

Chris Jericho feels left out so he hit the ring. Classic Jericho ensued welcoming us all to “RAW is Jericho” as well as asking Bryan to kindly “shut the hell up.” Also, after tonight, none of the competitors will never eeeeeever be the same again apparently. That man knows how to sell a t-shirt. 

Kane gets involved, followed by an…insightful Jerry Lawler comment? “Not a lot of catchphrases for this guy, but a lot of victories.” Congratulations King, that was the first time I haven’t wanted to strangle you on commentary since 1999. 

“Welllll it’s the Big Show!” After Big Show’s music hits, all of the competitors in the ring start a full out brawl. 

Quick Money in the Bank prediction: Cena wins the RAW Money in the Bank match, challenges CM Punk to a match at Summerslam, becoming the first person to use the Money in the Bank contract honorably since Rob Van Dam 6 years ago. And he will be the first person to not win the championship when cashing in the contract. It has to happen sometime and Cena’s big enough and at the point where he does not need the title to be over.

Joe Nevills ‏@mibredclaimer

Punk, Cena, Bryan, Jericho. One of these things is not like the other.#Raw



Rhodes/Otunga, Titus O’Neill, and Darren Young vs Christian, Santino Marella, R-Truth, Kofi

RAW is NAMBLA



This match was alright until it completely broke down and Titus and Young left the ring. I’m not a fan of the Prime Time players just leaving match ups. It’s a stupid gimmick that makes them look weak. These guys should be pushed as viable challengers to the Tag Team titles.


 As I said, they leave and are soon followed by Cody Rhodes, leaving only Otunga in the ring to fight 4 guys. 

To make the odds even worse Brodus Clay comes out and throws Otunga back in the ring. Why would that not result in a disqualification? Either way that leads to: sock puppet, killswitch, victory, grown men dancing with children. 


Alberto Del Rio vs Sin Cara

So Sin Cara was Teddy Long’s surprise? Talk about anticlimactic. Good Lord, I hope that man never throws me a surprise party. A real surprise would have been a Rey Mysterio Jr. return, fresh off suspension. 

Crowd chants “culero” at Alberto Del Rio, which is Spanish for…umm something Read more...

TheRawLibrarian’s WWE No Way Out PPV Review

Location: The worst arena in America, the Izod Center, New Jersey
Announcers: Jerry “The King” Lawler, Michael Cole, Booker T

World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus (C) vs Dolph Ziggler

At first I was skeptical about leading off the PPV with the heavyweight championship match. However it ended up being a perfect decision.

Mixed reaction for Sheamus. The HOT crowd stayed active during the entire match, chanting “Let’s go Ziggler” to start. Pretty sick mid match reverse DDT by Ziggler that had the fans counting along.

Dolph looked real strong and the crowd was into accordingly, as he was on the offensive for most of the match up. In fact, he was so over that even a sleeper hold got a huge pop. I like that Sheamus’ “White Noise” was used as a transitional move tonight instead of a finisher.

Sheamus finished off Ziggler with the Brogue kick. Great choice as an opener, as Ziggler/Sheamus delievered big time; actually, it was almost as good as Sheamus/Bryan 2 out of 3 falls. Ziggler once again showed that not only can he have a strong match with any opponent, but that his time will come shortly.

Tuxedo match
Santino vs Ricardo Rodriguez

Seriously? Why would you waste valuable PPV time with this garbage? Well deserved “boring” chants from the crowd. Hats off to them for not putting up with that garbage. At least this was kept somewhat short. Winner Santino if anyone cares.

CM Punk backstage
Shilling his “I dig crazy chicks” t-shirt. I like CM Punk, but right now he’s a caricature of his former self.

Intercontinental championship
Cody Rhodes vs Christian (C)

Pretty sweet new “Breaking Bad” inspired t-shirt by Christian. Really good match between these two. Christian with the clean victory, but having Cody Rhodes kick out of Christian’s impaler made him look strong. These two can always be depended upon to deliver a classic match.

Fake Sting@FakeSting03

Christian. 2PPVs in as many weeks. Do that Edge. #NoWayOut #TwitterWorldOrder
Number 1 contender for tag team championship match
Epico/Primo vs Usos vs Justin Gabriel/Tyson Kidd vs The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil/Darren Young)
It’s good to see some focus put on on the WWE tag team titles. In the past championship matches have just been thrown together with zero build up. Developing number 1 contenders gives more credibility to the belts that have none right now.

Huge spot-fest ends with Abraham Washington turning on the Uso’s and helping the Prime Time Players win. A great development for the tag team division. This match put the focus back on the titles and made them actually seem desirable.

[Full disclosure: I didn’t watch RAW every week during the New Nexus and CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society angles. Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, and David Otunga have gone on to have prominent roles on television after the angle, so I am familiar with them. However, I am hazy on wrestlers like: Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Skip Sheffield, Michael McGillicuty and other wrestlers that have been apart of NXT.

(Editor’s note: You didn’t miss anything dude. Justin Gabriel is a “future endeavour” waiting to happen, Michael McGillicuty couldn’t shine his dad’s boots and Heath Slater is, in my opinion, the worst overall performer on the roster)

That being said, consider me all in on Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. I love the “Prime Time” gimmick. Their theme song is great and I’m a big fan … Read more...

WWE Elimination Chamber 2012 PPV Preview

(For those enjoying our WWE PPV Preview posts, check out our Wrestlemania XXVIII preview post RIGHT HERE)

Unless you’re invested (financially or emotionally) in the teams remaining, the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl is awful. It’s just this long, droning saga, wracked with reporters and writers focusing on the same 4 story lines over and over again, even though none of those news items would be worthy of more than 20 minutes of coverage any other time of the year. Whatever little plot strings and morsels of interest there are in any little facet hanging from the game itself will get beaten to death, over and over again like a you shooting a defeated enemy in Goldeneye. It’s just insulting. This is supposed to be biggest sporting (actually, television) event of the entire year. Why is it that the just two weeks of build can’t be compelling? Don’t we deserve better than this?

Well you know what, America? You do. That’s right. You deserve the best build and climax possible. You’re worth it. You deserve the Road to Wrestlemania.

MAMBINites. Lend me your eyes. Though the seeds were sown months ago, the final pay-per-view stop on the long and winding trip to Wrestlemania will be this Sunday night in The Good Land, Wisconsin, at the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View. What happens this Sunday will directly set up Wrestlemania 28, the biggest pro wrestling event of the entire year. It’s like the Super Bowl for us wrestling fans, with the only difference being my massive erection from happiness that I don’t get while watching the big game in January.

For those of you not in the know (nerds!), the Elimination Chamber was the WWE’s answer to an old WCW construct called “War Games”, which dominated the professional wrestling scene in the 80s and 90s. In it, two teams of four men would face off inside of a steel cage that would enclose the entire ring. The first team to score a pinfall or submission would win the match, in which the victorious team would receive nothing more than the rush of triumph.

As the wrestling audience grew more “sophisticated”, they ironically craved more and more for the brutality of matches to increase and for the danger to become much more real. Even as the WWF gave the mob the Hell in a Cell match, which has shortened the careers of a score of 90’s WWF stars, they still thirsted for the type of contest similar to War Games, but even more complex in its savagery. Enter, the Elimination Chamber.

Measuring in at 16 feet tall and over 2 tons, the ominous (perhaps more for the material it’s composed of – steel – and its distinctive black paint job than anything else; truth be told, it resembles a gigantic bird cage) structure is wrapped in steel chains and grating. In each corner, stands 4 pods made of “indestructible bullet-proof glass” – why it was necessary to have bullet-proof glass in a hand to hand combat sport was never explained – in which 4 of the 6 contestants will stand, waiting to be released into the match.

The rules for the match are simple. It begins with two men fighting in the ring, with the other 4 combatants waiting in their aforementioned pods, protected from any stray ammunition that may make its way into a public arena. Every five minutes, another participant will be released into the match randomly, until all men are “in” the match. Each man must be pinned or made to submit until there is only one wrestler left standing. In this case, the victor will be the WWE or
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WWE for an NBA Fan – How to Survive the NBA lockout with the WWE (Part 1)

The nuclear winter. This is what so many NBA fans, writers and even personnel are referring to this lockout as.

We’ve covered our NBA lockout thoughts ad nauseam on MAMBINO. There’s really nothing left to say. Both sides think that they’re more right than the other. Each have pointed fingers, proclaiming they want a deal done, and every single ounce of their beings wishes they could be on the court right now. It doesn’t matter if I believe them or not at this point. I’ve accepted that we will not be having NBA basketball this year. Following the 2004-2005 NHL season, the 2011-2012 NBA season will be only the second full season of North American sports to ever be canceled in the 100+ year history of the 4 major professional sports. Congratulations, gentlemen. You made history.

But let’s not drink that half-full glass. Let’s look at it, and fill it up to the brim. We here at MAMBINO HQ have some ready-made alternatives for those of you hungering for another waste of time to completely invest your emotions in, despite the fact that you have no true impact on the outcome.

The answer here is the WWE. It’s the nuclear winter, after all. Why not eat those twinkies?

Being a lifelong professional wrestling fan, I know that for every offseason and All-Star break, there will always be the WWE to fill that sports void in my life. As the WWF catchphrase said about 10 years ago, “We Have No Offseason.”

Professional wrestling is not a perfect comparative to professional basketball. However, there are a lot of qualities inherent in the NBA, its game and its players that would make even the truest hoopheads apt to take up Vince McMahon’s trained traveling circus.

1) Basketball can be played one of two ways: with finesse, grace and coordination (think Magic Johnson’s passing, Ray Allen’s jumper, or Kareem’s sky hook) or through a brutally bruising and physical game (think LeBron’s moves to the rack, Shaquille’s post game or Bill Laimbeer’s elbows). The best basketball players will combine a little bit of both for what the experts would consider the perfect type of game.

Wrestling is no different. Stone Cold Steve Austin, one of the greatest wrestlers to ever live, said that in order to be a true champion, you had to look like you could kick someone’s ass. Look like. A great wrestler has to have enough finesse, grace and coordination to make the moves look crisp but painful. He has to be big and tough enough to use his power to throw another man’s dead weight around the ring, and yet also have enough toughness to throw himself around the ring and make his opponent look like Andre the Giant. The professional wrestling skill set is similar to professional basketball – precision and control, matched with a certain amount of physicality.

2) Who are the most popular players in the last 10 years? Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade, Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwight Howard are amongst them. You know what all these fellows have in common? They all had characteristics that made them pop towards the audience. They each were either incredibly charismatic, freakishly proportioned or, in many of their cases, both.

The WWE is no different. Aside from the natural athletic talent it takes to succeed as a professional wrestler, there is a certain level of “freak attraction” needed to become noticed by an audience that constantly clamors to be amazed. For every Shaquille O&#… Read more...