30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 10-21-2013
By Al Laiman
Oct 22, 2013 - 4:00:03 PM
credit Tom Jenner
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Twitter: @AlLaimanLOP, @JadedHope1
30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 10-21-13
1. Midterms are approaching, and I'm joining you with anxious anticipation; both for the show, and hoping grades are where I want them to be. They open the show by using Triple H's entrance to plug about four different things in succession. It's amazing how the boss of the company was just sitting there, waiting patiently. Stephanie takes this opportunity to run down the card for us, because we won't hear anything about it for the rest of the night. Triple H takes a few minutes to talk about respect before Big Show has the technology to interrupt a live broadcast via satellite despite not working for the company.
2. Big Show is animated, and this is why I hate seeing him be monotonous and silent. Triple H runs him down while Stephanie frantically tries to figure out what's going on. H quotes some FOX News talking points, and Show continues to taunt H. He even throws in some well-constructed slams on Stephanie before he gets cut off. Triple H is clearly having a blast being a total douche.
3. Daniel Bryan comes out when Triple H announces Dean Ambrose, as JBL continues to remind us that he's the heel, except for Los Genericos and the TROOF. As Bryan and Ambrose do some fast-paced wrestling, JBL continues displaying his knowledge of Internet entities. It's interesting how they talk about the Hell in a Cell match with nobody being able to come in when the very first one that ever took place, someone was able to come in and determine the match. Ambrose and Bryan put on a clinic, as most of us know by now that they can, while the announce team spend most of the time talking about the technicalities of the Hell in a Cell match. Ambrose takes control as we go into commercial.
4. Ambrose continues to work Bryan down as we return, and fortunately it took us this long to start getting into the social media plugging, unlike last week where it took about eight seconds. Memphis loves them some Daniel Bryan, as even his submission moves are getting really good reactions. Ambrose is looking very strong in this match, which can only mean good things for both him and the US Championship. The cut-off comes in a double cross-body, which definitely looked less than pleasant. Bryan hits a lot of his signatures, even throwing in a Kip Up for good measure. A roll-up into a YES! Lock gets the win, and what a spectacular opening match that was.
5. CM Punk is next, and he also gets a great reaction. For a minute, I thought he was wearing a wig of his old long hair. Interesting that this is the second straight year Ryback and Punk will face each other in the Cell at this show. Hands on him, take a shot. Punk describes Heyman like a little worm on a big fuckin' hook. Well, your momma must be damn proud of you! It was short, straight to the point, and effective. Nothing really memorable or earth-shattering, but it did its job.
6. H and Stephanie are backstage with Vickie, and HBK is hanging out waiting for them. HBK HAMs it up while the other two are in super serial mode. HBK reminds H that they said the same things about both of them that he's now saying about Bryan. HBK is doing a great job of bridging the gap between the shenanigans days of DX and them now being on the other side of it. HBK was fantastic in this segment.
7. Santino, Khali, and Hornswoggle are dressed up like Elvis, cause you know, it's Memphis. Where's the Five Second Pose when you need it? JBL is hilarious in saying that rock and roll is dead. And, Santino's facing someone from 3MB, so Santino gets the win. The announcers are having more fun making fun of the entire thing, and that's pretty funny in and of itself. We get a... What I can only describe as an Air Guitar-Fu shadow box-off between Slater and Santino.
8. The announcers continue to make music puns, in case the costume and the eighteen hundred other references were too subtle. Okay, the Cobra has a wig, that's kinda funny. Although he ends up hitting a light tap that he calls the Cobra, which might be the worst-looking finisher ever, and Santino uses this opportunity to get Lawler on the show. Never saw that coming in Memphis.
9. As a non-video gamer, I don't get the concept of including matches that already happened on a video game. Most people I know get the games to create their own characters, but what the hell do I know? Maybe people do want that, and no surprise that the most recent match gets the most votes. I don't know enough about games. Recap, skip.
10. Randy Orton's facing Dolph Ziggler, so yeah... Similar result to the first match on the way. I really wish they'd mention if Randy Orton's supposed to be the Face of WWE. Lawler makes Ziggler into Patton by saying he read his book, which I guess makes Randy Orton the magnificent bastard. Despite Ziggler's recent setbacks, he does seem to still be not phoning it in, which is a testament to him as compared to certain others.
11. Orton dominates for a while with Ziggler getting in his shots. The announcers spend most of the match talking about Orton being the prototype for a sports entertainer. I think the artist formerly known as Prototype might have a word to say about that. Orton mocks the hell out of the crowd and they cheer him for it. Ziggler almost gets a surprise win with a dropkick, but to no surprise, RKO, win. Decent showing by both, though the reactions I'll never understand.
12. Cena video, skip. AJ and Tamina are next, and they're facing the team that WWE can't figure out why they aren't getting cheered, the Entitlement Twins. I'd take AJ over either of them 100 percent of the time. She actually seems to give a shit. It is at least good to see Tamina getting work again. The ref in this match is really intent and emotional. Tamina beats the hell out of them as WWE wonders why they're not getting sympathy.
13. AJ keeps Nikki isolated, and does her patented skip. Brie apparently has been watching the Williams sisters for inspiration, as she's throwing moan reactions in like a motherfucker. Tamina takes a running knee on the outside, and Brie gets the win via X-Factor. Ugh, I don't care if they're faces, I couldn't give less of a shit about these two. Tamina carrying AJ out like a sack of potatoes is pretty damn funny though.
14. ADR promo video, skip. Smackdown recap, skip. Thank JBL for DVR. I'm glad Big E turned face though. He seems like someone who could have a fun personality if he let it out. The Heyman Guys get interviewed backstage, and oh dear, Heyman is HAMming it up more than usual. He sounds like The Rock on a double dose of uppers. Is anyone even close in challenging this guy for HAM of the Year? Holy shit, I'm calling the HAM now. No wonder everyone was Tweeting me about this. Hands on me, take a shot. Big E approaches, and Goofus asks if he can quote Vickie Guerrero before a match is made.
15. More video packages, skip. The Wyatt Family is next, and I'm always up for seeing this entrance. Dammit, they cut it off! You bastards! They're facing a jobber-entranced Miz and Kofi Kingston. That's an interesting combination. Miz gets thrown around by the Family, and Harper is being pretty silly himself. Cole uses this as an opportunity to list as many adjectives as he can. They say that Miz keeps fighting back, and by fighting back they mean he kicked out.
16. Harper has officially brought the psychology of the International Brotherhood of Aliigator Wrestlers to mainstream wrestling. Kofi talks shit to his face while Harper stares at him cluelessly. Kofi gets the hot tag with some air time. Kofi hits a really impressive legscissors on the big man before Rowan breaks it up. Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise on Rowan, but ends up eating the Brodie Lee Clothesline.
17. It doesn't stop there though, as Harper goes back on the assault. Miz tries to break it up, but it doesn't go well for him. Wyatt takes this opportunity to go on one of his crazy rants while the Family makes him make the silliest face possible. It cuts off before we have a chance to see Miz's fate, and man that would've been a perfect place for a Kane comeback.
18. Goofus is out for his match with Big E as he comes out with LeBron chalk. E gores the hell out of Goofus, but Ryback gets involved right away. The match never starts, and it's two-on-one right away. Langston holds his own surprisingly well. Heyman tries to hit E with a kendo stick, but it simply sets up a Ryback clothesline. Punk finally realizes shit is going down and comes out with a kendo stick of his own and makes the save. Vickie Guerrero then comes out and makes it a tag team match, playa.
19. We come back with Big E and Punk beating up Goofus and taunting RyVD. Cole talks about That Thing and calls it "appsolutely free." Headdesk. JBL makes a remark about who cares what he looks like, and both of the other commentators jump all over him for the hypocrisy. Oh yeah, Goofus is the Intercontinental champion. I nearly forgot, seriously. I guess someone has to be a flunky. I wonder if most of the people chanting "Goldberg!" even remember who that is.
20. Big E gets the chance to shine, and unlike when he originally came out, he's getting quite a good reaction. Association with Punk probably isn't hurting the situation. Goofus eats the Big E finisher and gets the win. Interesting dynamic between the two, and I'm glad to see Big E doing something besides being a bodyguard for someone. Punk goes into the crowd to celebrate. Gets his hands, take a shot.
21. TROOF does a cheap shill for WWE Shop. TROOF even calls himself a HAM! And damn if he isn't. This is pretty entertaining, even if it's for nothing other than trying to sell merchandise. Sadly for him, even mentioning it by name won't get him over the HAMsplosion that Heyman had earlier.
22. Captain Brodus and the Funkateers are next, facing the increasingly-over Real Americans. They run down to the ring while throwing in their flags, and it looks like they're setting up a Los Genericos feud for them. El Torito actually gets an aside promo. Cole makes fun of Colter while quoting the guy he supposedly hates by saying GORE! The crowd is chanting something but I can't pick up on it.
23. Colter continues being horribly awesome on commentary. The crowd is chanting "We, the People!" I got it now. This gimmick is really getting over, and I think a big part of it has to do with Cesaro's Big Swing. Cesaro gets the big swing on Brodus before Biff puts a screendoor on a battleship and gets the win. Biff and Cesaro start to get pissed at each other, but hell with that, let's show a replay. Okay, nevermind, maybe they're just "bro"ing out.
24. Colter takes a mic afterward, and pulls a bullwhip out of a flag. It serves as nothing more than another chance to have most of the crowd chant along with the latest three-word catch phrase. Goofus and Big E get the kickoff match this Sunday.
25. In case the shopzone plug wasn't enough, they have a product placement at ringside with the announcers. Cena gets another video package, skip. Another Smackdown replay, skip.
26. They've combined Goldust's theme with Cody's. That is awesome. They're coming to ringside for the number one contender's match between the Usos and The Shield. Goldust on commentary, this could be good. And we also get the Usos full entrance, I approve. It's interesting how they say the Usos already earned a title shot, but they weren't too concerned when Goldust and Rhodes got one. JBL rips Cody apart for generic answers to questions. Goldust quotes "Stairway to Heaven."
27. JBL rips on Dusty Rhodes, and that surprises even Cody. They're having a little snark-on-snark combat during this match. Cody does a great job of putting over The Shield, even though JBL keeps busting on him. The match seems almost secondary at this point. The match goes into commercial as the numbers game catches up to Team Face.
28. We come back with Cole explaining that they're keeping the Usos away from their corner to make a tag. Interesting, they're keeping both of them from the corner? Who would they tag out to? JBL is on fire right now going back and forth with Cody. This match has been damn good, as they've worked together a lot recently. It has the feel that anyone could get away with the win here. The Rhodes and Ambrose end up getting in a scuffle at ringside, and then the Usos get involved too. Triple threat? A lengthy brawl ensues, and it's pretty damn good.
29. The contract signing commences, complete with faux-applause from Triple H for Daniel Bryan. Triple H gives HBK an exceedingly-HAMmy introduction as well. Unfortunately, we get a Randy Orton mic spot. Orton, in his own special way, puts over Daniel Bryan. Orton runs through his resume to prove why Bryan has no chance. Bryan responds with respect, but pointing out what's been the difference in their feud. Bryan thanks Orton for helping him run down Triple H and Stephanie, and everyone is just waiting for this thing to implode.
30. Triple H mentions Edge and Jericho as comparative analysis, and slams them by saying that if they were the number one guy, they'd all be working for Ted Turner. Wow, that was a great insult... Except for newsflash, Triple H: YOU WEREN'T THE NUMBER ONE GUY EITHER! Bryan challenges him to step in the ring, but Triple H basically states that he's below him. He then mentions HBK wasted his time training Bryan, and that finally gets HBK involved. It's HBK's moment of clarity, trying to reach through to Triple H. Orton accuses him of having an agenda. HBK promises to do what's right, and tries to get to the bottom of what their problem is with Bryan. As Bryan and Orton are about to collide, a semi is seen heading toward the arena, and it's Big Show. Big Show does the YES! taunt, causing Bryan to kick Orton to the ground and leave with the momentum. Shenanigans and an Orton title reign are likely to ensue at Hell in a Cell. Overall, one of the better go-home shows in recent memory. Hell in a Cell has shaped up to look like a pretty entertaining card, and at least both Cell matches are possible feud culminations, as opposed to, "Well, it's October."
While the clear winner is obvious, TROOF gets an honorable mention for referring to the award itself.
2012 - Daniel Bryan
1-7-13 - John Cena
1-14-13 - Dr. Shelby
1-21-13 - Anger Management
1-27-13 - Kofi Kingston
1-28-13 - Tensai
2-4-13 - Brad Maddox
2-11-13 - The Shield
2-18-13 - Damien Sandow
2-25-13 - Daniel Bryan
3-4-13 - Fandango
3-11-13 - Rhodes Scholars
3-18-13 - Rufus "Pancake" Patterson
3-25-13 - Mark Henry
3-26-13 - Antonio Cesaro
4-1-13 - Ryback
4-7-13 - Paul Heyman
4-8-13 - The Izod Center crowd
5-20-13 - Paul Heyman
5-27-13 - Chris Jericho
6-3-13 - Damien Sandow
6-17-13 - Mark Henry
6-24-13 - Big E. Langston
7-8-13 - Vickie Guerrero
7-9-13 - Paul Heyman
7-15-13 - Brad Maddox
7-22-13 - Damien Sandow
7-29-13 - Vince McMahon
8-5-13 - Bray Wyatt
8-12-13 - Daniel Bryan
8-19-13 - CM Punk
8-26-13 - Triple H
9-2-13 - JBL
9-9-13 - Paul Heyman
9-16-13 - Big Show
9-30-13 - Paul Heyman
10-7-13 - Bob Backlund
10-14-13 - Triple H
10-21-13 - Paul Heyman (TROOF honorable mention)