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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 10-7-13
By Al Laiman
Oct 8, 2013 - 4:11:37 PM

credit Tom Jenner

Email: al.laiman.lop@gmail.com
Twitter: @AlLaimanLOP, @JadedHope1

Wow, where to even start, you guys...

I know I'm supposed to get into 30 Thoughts, but I'm still reeling from Thursday night. If you didn't know from my Facebook or Twitter, there was a contest called "Why 32 is Great" from the Cleveland Browns, my hometown and lifelong team, to honor one of the greatest football players in NFL history, Jim Brown. Well, by some grace of JBL, I was the lucky winner.

I won the Jim Brown experience, which meant two tickets to the game, 100 dollars in Browns bucks for concessions or merchandise, field passes before the game, and the chance to meet Jim Brown. Let's just say those expectations exceeded themselves. In addition to meeting him, I got a hat and my personalized jersey signed by him, got a picture with him, and got to be on the field with him at halftime when he was honored. I was even on TV a couple of times.

Oh yeah, you know how LOP showed pictures of Miz, Ziggler, and Lawler on the field? I didn't see Ziggles, but I met the other two, who also took pictures with me and signed my jersey. Chris Perez of the Indians was down there, and so was Eddie McClintock, though I didn't get to him. I also had the chance to meet Browns greats Hanford Dixon and Kevin Mack. Then, to top it all off, I got to watch the second half of the game in Jim Brown's suite, sitting a row above him. It was a night to remember, to say the least.

The video above is a video diary I took of the trip, and the link below is a small story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the experience. It was just too awesome not to share, even though it hardly has anything to do with wrestling.

Al Laiman in the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Now, onto the show.

30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 10-7-13

1. Kudos to the WWE video editing team who made the end of Battleground seem like the most epic thing since Hogan vs. Andre. I've said it before; they are the most consistently great part of the WWE product. Stephanie of course is out to open the broadcast. She's improved so much as a psychological heel, as opposed to the whining banshee she was in the early 2000s. She wastes little time in calling out the big man.

2. Stephanie gets right in Big Show's face, which shows incredible fortitude on her part. She scolds Big Show like a five-year-old, and it's some of the best work she's ever done. Steph justifies everything she's done and said to Big Show like a master. Telling him to be like Arnold Cunningham, to which Big Show blows off in a pretty hilarious way. Show's smile indicates that there's something more to this. She demands he do an impersonation of the Big Johnny angle from a little while back and get on his knees and beg for his job.

3. Big Show finally starts firing back with more of that intensity we saw last week. He gets right back in Stephanie's face, and smacks him several times before firing him on the spot. Once again, his smile and swagger are making it clear that there's something else afoot. After the weeks of crying on the spot when being forced to do things, it's a 180 in terms of character attitude, but I like it.

4. If you missed the kickoff match last night, don't worry... It's opening this show too. Sandow is already showing more emotion than he has since winning Money in the Bank, which is impressive given that he's lost almost every match since doing so. The Pittsburgh crowd is so dead for it that we hear everything Sandow is yelling at Zigglesworth. Finally once Sandow has a leg lock in, the crowd realizes they are in fact at a wrestling show and start making something that resembles a reaction. He pushes him out for a nasty spill into the commercial break.

5. Cole is nice enough to remind us what the Money in the Bank is in detail. How nice of him. I have to agree with the commentators though on the fact that Sandow has absolutely dominated this match. Maybe Ziggler did his Sean O'Haire impression again by telling us what we already know. Ziggles finally makes a comeback, including hitting that beautiful dropkick. Ziggler gets the win with the Fameasser, with even Cole referencing Billy Gunn finally, and Sandow loses again. Best performance by Sandow in a while, but yet another losing effort on his part.

6. Backstage, Stephanie continues her lecturing, this time with Brad Maddox. She blames everything that wasn't supposed to happen on him. She's getting so mad that she's annunciating and emphasizing every syllable with authority. She sends him out to apologize. They brought out Bruno Sammartino on That Thing instead of actually letting us see it. Nice. Okay, they're singing "Happy Birthday." Nevermind. Although, I'm bet all of you who downloaded the App for exclusive content are glad that you got to see it over again a few seconds later anyway.

7. Natalya is getting a match, teaming with the two Divas who were hired specifically for the show. Have they wrestled on TV yet? They're facing the non-Total Divas jobbers, so hopefully this will at least be over quickly. The commentators are so bored that they're discussing Rosetta Stone and speaking Lithuanian. That Other Thing is out in full force. Natalya gets a hot tag to mostly silence. The Sharpshooter finally gets this match a reaction, and the Total Divas team wins.

8. Brad Maddox comes out while the ladies are still in the ring. He assures us that the match people paid to see will have a definitive ending this time. It'll be Bryan vs. Orton in Hell in a Cell with one of three special guest referees. The vote will be on That Thing, and the first candidate is Booker T, the heel sympathizer. They show some little girl jumping up and down like she just met The Little Mermaid, which is pretty funny. Hint: He mentioned what's best for business. Subtle. Thank JBL I'm watching post-show so I can fast forward the damn Installation tutorial they're showing... again.

9. Los Genericos are out, and they're facing 3MB, so... Yeah, Los Genericos win. I will give them credit that they don't drop the matador gimmick once they get in the ring, and actually do moves that reference it. They're bringing Tout back too, because they just aren't whoring enough social media tonight. The commentators really love talking about El Torito, don't they? Los Genericos win. Wow, color me surprised. Heath Slater literally turns into a Looney Toon and chases a little bull around until he gets tripped and kicked back out of the ring.

10. Recaps, skip. The Paul Heyman trio is out, and Heyman puts over Punk somewhat before calling him a cheater. Because they still want people to buy the replay, Heyman refers to a still image. The talk is kept to a minimum before CM Punk interrupts the declaration of falsehoods.

11. Punk mocks Ryback by holding himself upon entrance. They actually censor out the word "balls." For JBL's sake, guys. Punk accepts a rematch challenge before it's offered, and delivers some awesomely smarmy dialogue. Ryback replies and also gets censored out by repeating what Punk said. However, they don't censor him saying "ass" so... Can we just drop pretending kids haven't heard those words before already?

12. So, the TROOF decides to join Punk before they approach the ring. Makes sense, as TROOF fought Goofus for the IC title. This could be pretty funny, if they let TROOF be the HAM we know he can be. The match continues as they talk more about That Thing. Punk and TROOF take turns beating up Goofus while they go into commercial.

13. We come back with RyVD beating up TROOF while JBL justifies everything Ryback does. This is interesting since JBL usually likes the TROOF. I guess his callback responses have shifted to Los Genericos. JBL bitching about bullying is actually pretty damn funny though. Take a shot, "getting his hands on." TROOF continues getting beaten down while Punk tries to help the crowd forget they're watching Ryback wrestle. TROOF finally gets the cutoff and brings the crowd back to life. Punk gets the hot tag and beats up Goofus some more. He takes all the signature moves before Ryback decides he should try to interfere. TROOF tags in and hits his kick finisher and gets the win over Goofus.

14. The second candidate for the special guest referee is introduced next, and it's Bob Backlund. Oh dear JBL, he has a live mic. He yells at the audience about why they should vote for him, because he's certifiably insane. He pretty much hatefucks the audience into voting for him. This is a Spiral Glazed if I've ever seen one. Wow. I have a feeling the third choice is going to be the obvious one.

15. Kofi Kingston is out for his next match and... It's against Randy Orton. So yeah, Randy Orton wins. Maybe they can have a conversation about 2009 before the incredibly obvious ending. We get a recap of Orton's unintelligble yelling at Big Show, but unfortunately they left out the part where he gets punched in the face. It doesn't take long for Orton to start attacking Kofi on the outside before coming back in the ring for a pinfall attempt. Apparently WWE management having the Internet is a huge revelation for these commentators, despite the fact that half of what they do is plug the eight social media outlets constantly. We go to a rather anticlimactic commercial break.

16. We come back with Orton in control after even more That Thing whoring. Damn, they have to go to the UAE, and then with a day's rest, come back to St. Louis for RAW? That's impressive. Kofi looks like he's making a comeback, but gets dropkicked instead. That Other Thing is on yet again, and I can't section it out this way. Kofi gets serious air for the crossbody and a nearfall. He gets the SOS for another close one, and that move never fails to look awesome. Speaking of looking awesome, Orton counters a ropes move into a powerslam. Wow, great move. Kofi counters the Ropes DDT, but misses on a slide. That turns out to be bad news. Like The Miz a few weeks ago, he hits the Ropes DDT from the security barrier. He finishes up with an RKO, and Orton wins. Never saw that coming. Very good match nonetheless, though.

17. After Orton's celebration on the ropes, Daniel Bryan jumps Orton and sends him sprawling to the announce table. The attack continues before the refs come out to break it up. Bryan, my Diet Soda! It looks like Finlay is trying to break it up for some reason. I thought he loved to fight! Was that Jamie Noble with him? Bryan breaks loose again and chases him out of the arena.

18. Vickie Guerrero is backstage with... someone. The Black Hole of Charisma approaches to boast about being the only champion and ask to be on the show tonight, since you know, the Smackdown GM has booking power too. He flirts with her, and we all feel awkward. He gives her his tuxedo scarf, and she doesn't seem impressed.

19. The third special guest referee nominee is announced, and... Yeah, obvious winner. Shawn Michaels in his camo and his never-gets-old entrance music hits the arena, so book it now. Wonder where H's recent heel turn will put him in the grand standing of things? Michaels references training Daniel Bryan, and mentioning that neither that, his friendship with Triple H, nor his utter contempt for Randy Orton sway him. HBK asks for the vote for "H-B-Shizzle." If Bob Backlund didn't hatefuck the audience earlier, that might've won the HAM. Cole says "If ever there was a time to download [That Thing]," for about the fifteenth time tonight, and we get the second Installation video. Unbelievable. More recaps, skip.

20. Unfortunately, Alberto Del Rio doesn't decide to take the night off. Cole makes sure to mention why Rob Van Dam's taking time off. Vickie Guerrero interrupts his entrance to announce Del Rio's opponent... Ricardo Rodriguez? About time we get to see him show off the skills we know he has. Vickie then interrupts again to announce his opponent for Hell in a Cell, and it's... John Cena? That gives Del Rio the chance to roll him up for the win. So... Vickie's a face now? John Cena's back after only two months?

21. Ricardo takes a nasty spill on the announce table after celebrating his win, and Del Rio continues assaulting him. He takes a chair and wraps it around his arm, trying to break it just like he did RVD's. I guess they're taking Ricardo out while RVD is gone too? Seriously though, Cena's coming back already? Well, at least people can't complain that he's going after the WWE title.

22. Yet another recap of what we just recapped right before the commercial break. Cena's coming back in time for Breast Cancer month, so I suppose that makes sense. Zack Ryder's out for his match, so who is he losing to tonight? Fandango's music hits, and even then hardly anyone gives a shit. Does the sound just suck? They spend the beginning of this match with corporate self-fellatio about social media followers. Ryder gets Fandango in the corner, so I'm guessing he's losing within a minute. More yapping about social media, Ryder takes a rope whiplash, and Fandango hits the top rope leg drop. Fandango wins. Another big surprise. Nice wrecking ball reference though.

23. Gee, I'm really on edge wondering who won the honors to be special guest referee. I'm really in suspense here. Bob managed to get 32 percent of the vote, so that's pretty impressive, but yeah, you all knew who was gonna win the minute he was announced.

24. The Real Americans look kinda funny in pink, I'm not gonna lie. They're facing Santino and the Great Khali, so yeah, it's a really good thing they added this match to the Pay-Per-View last night. Biff Swagger looks more like a Tannen now than he ever has. Santino bounces off the ropes and does his powerwalk. The crowd is chanting "We, the People," proving that no matter what Zeb says, they're going to chant that.

25. Cesaro gets called the strongest man in WWE, "pound for pound." Don't tell Mark Henry. Khali is in, and the Real Americans do their best to work with him. Cesaro takes the opportunity to do the swing on Khali. Quit wasting this guy already. Cesaro wins after the Swing, so that move is apparently strong enough to pin Khali, but weak enough to be immediately reversed into a win for Santino.

26. Biff throws Hornswoggle in the ring, and it looks like Cesaro's gonna swing him too. After the biggest swing we've seen, we've now seen the smallest right after. Santino strikes after a few rounds and gets booed for it. Santino tries to help up the dizzy Hornswoggle and tries to punch Santino. Someone on Twitter asked if that was gonna win the HAM. It's a contender, that's for sure.

27. The Miz is out next for MizTV, and he's a guest of himself. That lasts about five seconds before the Wyatt cutoff happens. And the trend continues. Seeing this entrance never gets old though. Miz gets caught between Bray and the Family. He beelines for Bray and manages to escape, and Bray does his weird little upside down laugh. That was quick.

28. Stephanie is still not impressed with Brad Maddox, and Triple H finally shows up. More shaming of Maddox, and H decides to take matters on himself, and make sure what happens is best for business.

29. It's time for the main event, and what a time for it, coming off a match of the year candidate last night, and throwing in Daniel Bryan, who is quite familiar with six-man tags against The Shield. JBL calls "What's up?" when TROOF's match against Goofus is announced, and YES! We get the Goldust entrance! I approve of this. Holy shit guys, I'm having some Insomnia Cookies from Houston Hall on campus, and they are legendary. The beginning of the match starts with the Rhodes in control until Cody gets pushed off the top into the commercial.

30. The Shield are in control while Triple H watches on. Now that I think of it, an Ambrose/Goldust promo segment could be seriously awesome, not to mention enriched with Grade A HAM. Daniel Bryan gets the hot tag and the WWE Universe comes alive. Rollins taking the German suplex is a thing of beauty. Things break down after the pinfall attempt. Even more of a thing of beauty is Bryan landing on his feet when Rollins attempts one. Ambrose comes in with a chair when Bryan has the YES! Lock on, and the match ends in DQ. Triple H takes the mic and disapproves of the undecisive finish and makes it No-DQ. Bryan takes a high spot to the outside and fires up the crowd, but Randy Orton comes out of nowhere and RKOs Bryan on the outside. This allows Rollins to get the pin and the win. The Shield comes in on Triple H's command, and continue the assault. The crowd chants for the Big Show, and they get their wish! The Shield attack but don't fare very well, and that leaves him with Triple H for a second. The Shield strike back, and Triple H leads the call. Big Show sends the Shield sprawling, and Big Show knocks Triple H out to probably the biggest pop of his entire career. Daniel Bryan gets in the ring afterward and leans over Triple H with a big smile and does the YES! chant over him. Up and down show overall, but great story continuation on many fronts, along with a very entertaining ending.

Cesaro and HBK had a shot, but Bob Backlund and his hatefuck promo win this one.

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
6-10-13- Kane
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

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