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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 11-11-13
By Al Laiman
Nov 12, 2013 - 10:01:00 AM



credit Tom Jenner
@imageblownout

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30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 11-4-13

1. Well, we're in England, so hopefully we're in for an interesting crowd that can chant more things than the Cena-dueling ones. Tonight, Big Show and the Authority are already absent, and we start off with Randy Orton. Oh dear JBL, please don't give him a live mic. Please don't give him a live mic. They gave him a live mic, fucking twatwaffles... He actually uses the phrase "in the meanwhile while." Thankfully, Mr. Maddox comes out, and the crowd gives him a small ovation for cutting off the monotony. Then, before Maddox can say much, we're delivered Citizen Kane himself, the Director of Operations... Whatever the hell that means.

2. A loud "You sold out!" chant accompanies Citizen Kane, and he throws in his hat for the gauntlet of being in charge. You would think that the boss would actually leave someone in charge before going on vacation. Maddox and Kane get into a fight over who Orton is going to face, and Kane even plays into the YES! chants. Then... Dear JBL, it's a Hustle-trademarked clusterfuck; Vickie Guerrero comes in to add more chaos to this segment. I guess being a former GM gives her authority here. That means that Mike Adamle can come in and book matches at will? I'd say take a shot every time someone says "best for business" but then we'd all be dead by the end of the first hour. We end up with a handicap match against the tag team champions, continuing the angle they kinda forgot about for a few weeks.

3. JBL insists that the Authority need some "well-reserved time off." The jet lag is really catching up with you guys, isn't it? Orton pulls off a dick-pull on Rhodes after the champions have the offensive advantage. At least Manchester's chants agree with me that "Randy's Boring," and of course the token JBL chants emerge afterward. Orton's offense is so boring and slow that calling what the crowd is chanting is more interesting than what's going on in the ring. Given that this fad started with the Randy Orton/Sheamus match, he's probably used to it by now.

4. Orton is mean enough to have smudged almost all of Goldust's facepaint off. Goldust finally gets the cut-off, just in time for the crowd to remember there is a match going on. Rhodes shines with some offense on the champion before they finally decide to team up and toss him out. Orton decides not to get back in the ring and it ends in a count-out. Big Show's music hits almost immediately, bubububububububutwhaaaaaaaaaaaaa? I thought he didn't make the trip?! This is most unusual! Show ends up chokeslamming Orton through the announce table to a pretty immense pop, albeit a Daniel Bryan pop, and the Survivor Series major money main event angle continues. If you missed it though, I'm sorry. They're not going to ever show it again, ever.

5. Sure enough, after showing it repeatedly, we come back from commercial, and we get a recap of everything we just saw, again. Big Show then leaves to go get a pint... Get it, cause they're in the UK! It's not like he's really leaving though; we'll see that clip at the end of every segment as well, I'm quite sure.

6. Los Genericos are next, along with their favorite singer, JBL. They're teaming with Santino with bull horns, because this show just isn't silly enough yet. They're facing 3MB... Again... But this time, they're the Union Jacks to kiss ass to the hometown. Hey, why the hell not? I wonder if they'll do this to play to whichever city they're in. At least it gives them something to do besides losing to literally everyone. Drew finally gets ahold of the bull, but of course Team Wah-Wah-Wah gets taken out for it. Santino pulls out a Cobra with bull horns and gets the win. A losing streak that would put MVP's to shame continues. You know what that means? BULL PUNS!

7. Everyone comes backstage to kiss Orton's ass. Even Citizen Kane is there to threaten him, but at least he doesn't seem castrated yet. The WWE equivalent of "just you wait until your Father gets home" takes place.

8. Existentialist Damien Sandow ponders the meaning of his jobber entrance, and gets a match against Kofi Kingston. Well, it's not against Alberto Del Rio, so Kofi might have a chance. I don't think anyone in this arena really cares either, because I can hear one guy singing, I think "Seven Nation Army," but does it really matter? If I can hear one guy singing something, that's not a good sign. I admit, I even spaced out because of the blinking lights at the train station. Oh, Kofi lost via You're Welcome, making Perry Saturn and Moppy proud.

9. Next, we've got the Intercontinental championship, and at least it still means something to this crowd. Dolph Ziggler is back to fighting for that, and Goofus is still the defending champion. Cole gives us a history lesson on past champions, interestingly listing mostly ones that took place at least ten years ago. That should say something. Goofus yells about being the champion, and nobody cares. Ziggles does his best to get the crowd back into it, and manages to get some reactions.

10. Cole does his best to continue to convince us that the Intercontinental title is prestigious. Someone apparently sold out in the crowd, I guess. Maybe they saw Kane backstage or something. The crowd is just dying for a reason to cheer for Ziggles, and he nearly gets a win with the Fameasser. Goofus heads up to the top, and Ziggler hits a top-rope X-Factor. Man, he's going through all of DX's greatest hits. Goofus ends up getting the win, because they're determined to keep the belt on this guy. Decent enough match though.

11. The Authority lackey cockfight continues between Maddox and Kane while they plan more handicap matches. We get Cena against the Real Americans, and then Punk and Bryan against the Shield. That could be interesting.

12. Zack Ryder is taking his turn going through the WWE Shopzone whoring. Is this going to be a thing now? They don't plug their own shit enough, now a wrestler without anything else to do has to appear on the show to show off more merchandise?

13. In this week's Total Divas plugging segment, Tamina is facing Nikki Bella, because they really want us to like the Bellas. Hey WWE, do you hear that silence? Oh JBL, my screen started going slower. No, no! I don't want to be more exposed to this Divas shit than I have to! The crowd starts chanting "This is awesome," but I'm pretty sure it's meant to be ironic. Nikki does the absolute worst bulldog I've ever seen for a near-fall. AJ runs some interference, and unfortunately for women who can actually wrestle, it takes giving them help in order to compete with the Entitlement Twins.

14. But oh wait, we better let them get the one-up again by having Brie take both of them out. We've come from Lita and Trish Status... to this. Something about that is really, really sad. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so negative, but it seems like they're trying to make us not to give a shit about this episode.

15. Time for another in-show commercial for 2k14 with some meaningless poll. But wait, that's not enough, create your characters and tweet it, so we can have more of this stuff on Smackdown. But wait, oh damn, the Big Show attacked Randy Orton? Thanks for the update. Meanwhile, Randy Orton is backstage yelling at The Shield, and they tease a face turn by pretty much laughing in his face.

16. Fandango is supporting some British gear of his own, and a good bit of the crowd sings along. Going into commercial, let's recap how they used this segment of television. Video game poll, video game wrestlers fighting each other, a recap of what we've already seen several times, and part of Fandango's entrance. Now, we cut in to another plug from Total Divas, because you know, that's not exposing the business at all.

17. The crowd continues singing the song as his match against Tyson Kidd commences. I think these two are doing their best to try to look like each other. The in-ring action is pretty good, although Tyson doing a hurricanrana on the outside looks awkward as hell. Fandango ends up getting the win to a huge pop and more singing. Let's be honest though, this match only took place for a second straight match to plug Total Divas.

18. Cena's out for his match next, and I'm pretty sure the Real Americans are getting a face pop in England. That's interesting, given that the flags they're carrying were originally used to tell the British to fuck off. Every insult that Colter throws gets a cheer, and I've gotta agree with him about Mr. Bean being terrible. Once again he proves that no matter what heinous shit he says, people will sing along with "We, the People!" The dueling chants start as Cole says that no superstar in history has provoked crowd emotions like he has. Oh, the short term memory you guys are forced to possess.

19. The match is barely underway before Alberto Del Rio subjects us to his presence. Biff does his best to be subtle, which is tough when you look like, well... Biff. I find it so interesting that even in a pre-recorded show, they have to find a way to have matches interrupted by commercials. The commentators make more gringo jokes, and dare I say that Cesaro uppercuts Cena right in the fuck! Cesaro goes for the swing, but Cena reverses, and that gets massive boos. I continue to be amazed by the pops these two are getting, especially where they are.

20. Cena hits the Five-Knuckle Shuffle on Biff, apparently still convinced that move is taken seriously by someone. Biff puts in the Patriot Act, making us all yearn for the days of Kurt Angle, but Cena reverses into an AA. Cesaro saves the match to another big cheer. This has been a very good handicap match, and it is hard to make them continuously entertaining. Cesaro and Cena get into the BOO-YAY exchange, which ends with Cena getting an uppercut right in the fuck for the second time in the match for a near-fall.

21. Cena fights off both Real Americans from the top, and manages to take out both of them. Biff taps out to the STF, but Cesaro attacks afterward. Of course Cena fights him off, but Del Rio attacks with a chair. He locks in the Cross-Armbreaker with the chair for leverage as the refs try to break it up when... Big E comes to the save? I can safely say I didn't see that one coming.

22. This sounds like a time for... Da-da da-da DA DA, more recaps! Divas recaps too. But wait, there's more! Let's recap what we just saw, shall we? Joy. ADR talks to the Trio of Dick-Measuring, and pretty much nothing gets accomplished, except that we find out they don't care for John Cena. Wow, never saw that coming.

23. I see Ryback's still a thing. He's facing the TROOF, and Manchester loves this song as much as JBL does. TROOF talks shit during his rap while JBL does every single callback, but I don't see this ending well for him. Something interesting must be going on off to the side, because everyone's looking away. The leaves falling on the way to Philly are more interesting than what I'm watching here, so I can't really blame them. Oh, I just heard a big pop. TROOF won? Well, I honestly wasn't expecting that. Good for him.

24. Hey, you know what this would be a really good time for? It's been a whole match since we replayed the post-match shenanigans from the beginning of the show, let's show it again! Holy Flying Vagina Squirrel, enough already!

25. All right, so that segment earlier booked the match for Big E against Del Rio. Say, why don't we recap that too? Let's just change the show to Monday Night Recaps and just repeatedly show shit that already happened.

26. ADR and Big E going back and forth looks like a rather stiff match-up. Again something in the crowd must be going on. The wave? Yep, the wave. They're back to amusing themselves again. Unfortunately, it doesn't really seem like these two mesh well together. To the surprise of no one, ADR wins by cross-armbreaker.

27. I'll take the re-airing of the Cena-narrated Veteran's Day video to take a chance to say thank you to all the members of the armed services that have read these words. I don't tend to take part in formalities of holidays, but I have some really awesome military readers who have taken the time to write me in these two-plus years, and they're amazing. I even have a ship patch that I have framed on my wall from one of them. Thank you, sincerely.

28. ADR vs. Cena... in an arm-wrestling contest? ... Really? Really?! What the fuck are they smoking in Titan Towers? This is that stupid shit that failed miserably in the beginning of NXT. Can you ever recall anyone ever saying, "I don't know if I want to watch Smackdown... HOLY SHIT, AN ARM-WRESTLING CONTEST?! CLEAR MY FRIDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE, I GOTTA SEE THAT SHIT!" Paul Heyman is out with Goofus to bring some HAM back to this broadcast. Heyman starts trashing Ryback, which is a bit of a surprise. Yet he's still standing there with Goofus, who has been nothing short of an embarrassment in matches against Punk. Heyman is channeling his Spiral-glazed and turning it to 11 in blaming the fans for what happened at Hell in a Cell. He promises to return with a vengeance, so the angle is clearly not over. The Lesnar part of it still has to be resolved.

29. Goofus comes out of the ring and, what a shock, he's usesless again. He eats a GTS, leaving Heyman in the ring in his Hoverround. Heyman cries for mercy, but Punk does his own version of the Big Swing and kendo sticks him some more. Fortunately for Heyman, he lands all of those shots on the protective gear Heyman's wearing. Finally, Manchester gets to explode for Daniel Bryan... You know, that midcard guy having great matches. I have to ask though, since John Laurinaitis and introducing himself by all of his credentials, does everyone who has a title have to be referred to it every single time they're spoken of? Yes, Kane is the Director of Operations. We know that. Even now though, "this match was booked by Director of Operations, Kane." I mean, I'm serious about this... Have they always been this obnoxious with drilling in titles, names, replaying everything that happened eight times, or am I just more aware of it now? Is this their solution to NFL competition and/or stagnant ratings? WWE Shopzone commercials? If something isn't working, just turn it up more? Please, if someone has some insight on this, leave a comment. I'm honestly asking for some input, because I don't get it, and it's making it really hard to watch this program. I know sometimes I talk about certain things too much, but this is a stream of consciousness while writing this column, and when they repeat things so many times, I'm in the position of trying to comment on what I see. They've toned the That Thing stuff down, only to pick it back up again on certain weeks, but this just keeps trending upward. I legitimately want to enjoy this show. I'm not one of those people who lives for negativity and cynicism. I want to like this. I want to get through a show and compliment it, and get excited for what may come. But they're not making it easy. And fuck, Foley's gonna be down the street from where I live on Thursday night, and I'm gonna be in class. JBLDAMMIT!

30. Reigns continues to be featured as more awesome, likely hinting toward his face turn. For a show that has featured three handicap matches, they have been the best things about the program. Punk gets the hot tag and cleans house, while Reigns gets his carefully-placed awesomeness spots. Reigns eats a GTS, Ambrose nearly pulls off a roll-up upset, but ends up in the Anaconda Vice. However, the Wyatt Family's Sabu entrance cuts it off. Punk tries to incite the Shield to confront them, and holy shit that would be awesome to see those groups go at it. The crowd is dying to see it. Finally, they start fighting and the crowd goes nuts. Fans have been anticipating this since the Wyatt Family debuted, and the YES! chants are everywhere. They get a legitimate "THIS IS AWESOME!" chant before Bray convinces them they have a common enemy. It's now 6 on 2 as they surround them in the middle of the ring. Another huge cheer goes up as the Usos and the Rhodes make the save to even it up. Oh please for the love of JBL, make this a Survivor Series match. This was a completely awesome capstone to a show that ranged from decent to downright silly at times. It's sad when the show they take the most serious is Total Divas.




Is it even a contest? For tonight or for the HAM of the Year?

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
10-14-13 - Triple H
10-21-13 - Paul Heyman (TROOF honorable mention)
11-4-13 - Zeb Colter
11-11-13 - Paul Heyman

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