30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 11-25-13
By Al Laiman
Nov 25, 2013 - 11:37:19 PM
credit Tom Jenner
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Twitter: @AlLaimanLOP, @JadedHope1
30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 11-25-13
1. Column number 156, and we're nearing the end of the year which means... HAMMY NOMINATIONS! Be sure to post your nominations for the following categories: Hammiest Crowd Moment of the Year, Hammy Moment of the year, Hammiest Laiman Moment, and of course, the coveted HAM of the Year, defended by Daniel Bryan. Now, to the show... For those of you not on my Facebook page, I skipped last week intentionally. Sorry, but a country music theme is enough to have me finding literally anywhere else to be, no offense to any country fans. Just not my thing. Tonight, I'm making a rare Monday night column due to the winter storm heading in. After spending the weekend in Buckeye Nation, I'm still on a high. Admittedly, I was just as excited to see the Best Damn Band in the Land as I was the football game, and they did not disappoint. I'm also watching on delay, because of commercials, recaps, highlights, montages, That Thing, That Other Thing, and Total Divas. I've waited an hour, hopefully that's enough time to skip the bullshit. Randy Orton opens up the show, of course to my total delight. His strobe light effects give me a migraine, and I'm sure having to listen to him speak will have a similar effect. Michael Strahan is hosting this week... Is RAW guest-hosting a thing again now? Orton says a few words and wastes little time in bringing out the biggest reason he's there. H gives Orton more verbal fellatio while Stephanie mostly takes credit for it. Orton notices that as well and everything isn't sunshine and rainbows. The crowd chants for Daniel Bryan. Triple H can't be happy about that.
2. John Cena joins the band in the ring, and gets a more positive yet mixed reaction himself. I hope this is heading toward title unification, because the idea of two world champions regularly appearing on one show is really silly. Cena namedrops Daniel Bryan on a really cutting note. Cena definitely appears motivated again, especially from a promo perspective. Cena wants to be a Highlander, and the only downside of this is, as Chair Shots pointed out earlier, this would be the 17th time Cena meets Orton in a title match.
3. Cena lays out the challenge for both championships. Wait, does that mean both titles remain? H announces that the match will take place at TLC, which the crowd doesn't like, but it'll be a TLC match. Cole reiterates that both titles are on the line, so it at least sounds like we're going to have a double champion. The crowd is hot tonight, so that should help keep things interesting. Decent opening segment.
4. The Shield are definitely on the decline, as the Roman Reigns singles push nears. From what I've heard, his performance last night was very impressive. Will he be able to get the crowd behind him as a singles star? He better hope he doesn't, because then he'll likely have an infinite number of World Heavyweight title matches. Joking... sort of. Well, I missed last week and the PPV, so seeing Mysterio back is bittersweet. I'm hoping the guy can stick around for a while this time. Goldust plays an early face in peril, and the action is fast and quick. As we go to commercial mid-match... sigh... They advertise a Sunday night house show for Hershey. Might be there, if I get the free suite seats again. That's the only reason I'd go to a house show.
5. Lawler returns, talking about a "Vintage Dean Ambrose." Sure, a guy who's been on the main roster for an entire year definitely deserves to have vintage applied to him. Inigo Montoya does not approve. Trademark Dean Ambrose might be more accurate. Rhodes continues to make references to his early tag team with Hardcore Holly. Mysterio eats one of Reigns' vintage spears, as does Goldust. Rhodes gets on a hot streak, but the numbers game ends up taking him out, as Ambrose gets the win for the team. Hot opening match, and everyone looked good coming out of it.
6. Recaps, skip. App vote, skip. DYK, skip. Next is MizTV, as we wonder if he did turn heel, or if Kofi did, or if nobody's sure. His guest will be the sequel to Regis Philbin... No wait, it's Titus O'Neill with a fake gap in his teeth. That's... unexpected. Did I miss a Titus heel turn? He's HAMming it up, as he's been known to do when he has a chance. Miz trashes the Giants, so yep, heel term confirmed. That's good, because he's verbally interesting for the first time in a while.
7. Strahan finally comes out himself after more Titus impressions. He chest-bumps Titus before getting on the mic. Miz brought back "Really?!" Thank you! Isn't it convenient that Titus knew to wear the exact same three-piece Cambridge grey suit, despite Strahan not knowing about it? He announces a tag match with Del Rio and Orton on the same team... which means I can ignore them both at the same time... against Big Show and Cena. Lot of multi-man matches on this show.
8. Strahan and Miz bitch at each other while Titus tries to break up the fight. Miz challenges Strahan to take a hip toss. All right... Titus tries to plug himself as a replacement host for Kelly. HAM contender right here. Titus tries to do it this time. Strahan stiffs both of them. This is still going on. It's always good when two wrestlers can't get a simple move on a non-wrestler. Credibility, right there. Titus does the Millions of Dollars dance, and then hip-tosses Titus too. They then... celebrate together and party it up? Um... What? It was mildly entertaining, but it went on WAY too long.
9. Installing the A... Nope, not acknowledging that bullshit. Another tag match with the Former Paul Heyman Guys against Big E and a bald, bearded bad man, Mark Henry. Man, Goofus looks out of place here. Bets on him taking the pin? Big E takes a little bit of offense, but it doesn't last long. Mark Henry gets a hot tag, and Goofus gets disposed of pretty easily. Big E and Henry tease a little dissent, but it's all good. Quick, effective, Henry's back on RAW. Oh dear JBL, another tag match, and it's another Diva's tag match...
10. Recaps, skip. It's an elimination match? FUCK! Can I skip the Total Divas plugging segment of the program? The camera goes off mid-X-Factor, and damn Aksana was eliminated quickly. Rosa goes quickly as well. Tamina does the first awesome thing in this match and kicks Naomi right in the fuck. The plug goes in for Total Divas, in case we didn't know the entire purpose of this segment. Jojo comes in and gets to pin Tamina after Natalya takes her out. Fuck you. Seriously, fuck you. Priorities, indeed.
11. Now Eva Marie gets to pin someone too. Kaitlyn then tags in to face Natalya, and damn if she hasn't done anything since the AJ feud. She doesn't do much of anything here either and just serves as fodder for the Sharpshooter. AJ comes in and gets a great reaction. The crowd is chanting for her even though the Total Divas chicks are supposed to be the faces. WWE executives remain puzzled. Naturally, they serve her up to the fucking Entitlement Twins, leaving Summer Rae in three-on-one. I just want to point out that Eva Marie is still in this match. Summer Rae does a dance, which prompts the other Entitlement Twin to do a reverse Worm. She tries to leave, they don't let her, and the crowd does a twerk chant. Bellas and Eva Marie win. Do I really need to add anything to this?
12. Country recap? AHHHH! SKIP SKIP SKIP SKIP! Sandow brings back his awesome vocabulary for a few seconds while I'm still trying to get the bad taste out of my mouth from the previous match. It's a Hampton's Hardcore match, whatever the hell that means. Oh well, at least the two of these guys have something to do. I'm pretty sure I saw golf clubs being brought to ringside, which I suppose is a tactic to remind Dolph of when he was Kerwin White's caddy.
13. Gotta love Sandow with the Descartes quote on his shirt. I'll give Cole a bonus HAM for referencing the Mean Street Posse. That's a name I haven't thought of since re-reading Foley is Good. After another mid-match commercial, Sandow takes a bump into garbage. Gross. I'm catching up to the live show quicker than I'd hoped. It's only 10:00 right now and I have to be closing in on 9:30 when this aired.
14. Take a shot every time they say something about not doing X in the Hamptons. It's now time for the incredibly original chanting of random names portion of the show for the crowd. Sandow and Ziggler are working very well together, and it's rather entertaining. Glad to see these two being given some time to work with. Reminds me of some of the 24/7 Hardcore Title matches. Sandow ends up winning, good stuff.
15. Miz holiday movie preview, skip. Strahan interacts with Santino backstage, and he overacts fear at LambGuy the best he can. Rowan offers him a lamb mask. They stare at each other, and Rowan walks away. Santino comes back, gives him another one to put on the Thanksgiving turkey. Reminds me of cooking with Tazz on Sunday Night Heat. You too can be just another victim!
16. Punk and Bryan are introduced, and they do their thing... Punk prompting Bryan and the crowd for quite a few "YES!" chants. Punk even points out the absurdity of all of them having mics. Punk slams Triple H's creative decisions. Wow, subtle. Punk even namedrops a bunch of old school names and some Ring of honor ones as well. He also throws in IRS, interesting given who he's facing. Punk turns up the HAM to 11 for this. It's weird when Daniel Bryan comes off as the calm one. Bryan prompts Punk for his catch phrase. These two work well playing off each other.
17. They cut off the Wyatts entrance for another commercial, fuck me gently with a chainsaw... There are a lot of beards in this ring, good JBL. The action is everything you would expect out of these guys by now, and they deliver as usual. The Wyatts get control back, and that leads to... You guessed it... Another commercial.
18. This is the first time I've ever heard a dueling chant for two guys on the same team. Same rhythm as the Cena one and everything. Daniel Bryan, CM PUNK! I guess "Best and the Beard" is not easily chantable. Something else I just noticed is that the heels are facing the camera in a tag team match. That's rather unusual.
19. As JR would say, business picks up when Bryan tags in. He has a rather extended face shine before the numbers game catches up. That leads to the ref calling the match, much to the dismay of the crowd. We get a Brodie Lee clothesline, but the camera completely missed it. The Wyatts abduct Bryan, similar to what they did to Kane at Summerslam. Does that mean we're headed to Corporate Bryan, or Lost in Cleveland?
20. As Punk gets out of the ring, Roman Reigns spears the hell out of him out of nowhere. Hired mercs do what they gotta do, I guess. He did verbally slam Triple H pre-match. He gets a triple powerbomb for good measure. Great match, interesting post-match happenings, and the storyline continues.
21. Miz gets a backstage segment to plug his movie again in such a subtle way. I guess he turned heel because he wanted singles success. I suppose that's pretty justifiable.
22. Kofi and Miz get a rematch from last night. I'm not sure why Kofi slapped Miz after the attempted handshake. Honestly, that makes him look like more of a dick than it does make Miz look like a heel. I'm surprised, but these two work really well together. They definitely have different styles, but they're meshing well. For the first time tonight, possibly excluding the Diva's match, the crowd is pretty quiet though. That's not entirely bad, as they can't remain at 11 the entire show.
23. Kofi signals for Trouble in Paradise, but Miz does a really nice counter into an attempted Figure Four. Miz comes away with another sneaky win, and they're sure to mention his Christmas movie again. Another decent match, and an actual singles match.
24. It's Mick Foley's turn to be the "best salesman in WWE." which I guess they all have to say now. This one is fairly entertaining, given that the faces of Foley all appear. He brings back old school pre-sock Mankind. I don't mind seeing Foley, but I guess the Shopzone plugs are here to stay. I'm really bummed I missed him last Thursday. He was in my town at the local comedy club.
25. The TROOF is out with a live mic, oh please let him unleash the HAM. TROOF talks about making a deal with Brodus Clay, and Xavier Woods comes out to "Somebody Call My Momma." Have we seen the last of Brodus as the Funkasaurus? I will say though that the theme fits Xavier Woods perfectly. It's a shame they couldn't get the rights to "Living in America."
26. 3MB is losing to them, and they're back to themselves, so I guess that weekly gimmick thing is done already. No wait, it's just Slater against Woods, so Xavier's getting his first singles win. The crowd keeps chanting different things, but I can't make them out. Woods gets the win, to no surprise. I wonder if Xavier keeps the Funkadactyls too.
27. The Funkadactyls get yet another spot on this show by hounding Strahan for autographs. Now Eva Marie approaches, and it's another shill for Total Divas. But then it gets good because Goldust shows up. He doesn't even need to do anything, and it's still awesome.
28. Man, they're really making all this shit easy to skip through tonight. WWE DVD shill, skip. Video game shill, skip. Slammy award preview, skip. At least the That Thing stuff has been minimal, in comparison, even if they did have the stupid... Nope, gonna remain quiet about that.
29. I've caught up to the live show, so that's interesting. If you DVR the show, start at 9pm, old RAW starting time, and all the stupid shit you have to skip ends up getting you caught up on the show by the main event. The match ends up going into a commercial, and I'm sad to say, I forgot the show was on. Del Rio and Orton in the same mach, and then throw in Big Show? Not fair. Although that tag team could be referred to as Cure for Insomnia.
30. Shit, I did it again. The Black Hole of Charisma is doing a slow version of Cena's taunt, and he spills to the outside. Cena crawls to the hot tag uninhibited, and Show knocks ADR around some more. Show starts selling the punt with concussion-like symptoms. Here we go again with that. Remember when Triple H fell down from wrestling with symptoms? Remember what happened with that? They end up stopping the match with doctors checking on him. Orton attacks anyway, and the doctor just... gives up I guess. Orton goes for another punt, and it's on instinct if you missed the other eight times in the last two minutes, but he spears his way out, and Cena gets the hot tag. Cena does a sweet counter to the cross-armbreaker and gets the win while Show continues laying on the outside. ADR attacks afterward, but Cena overcomes it. Orton then gets in on it, and stands tall to end the show. Overall, this was one of the better shows in a while, or at least it seemed better given how much I skipped. The Strahan segment went WAY too long, the priorities with the Divas is headdeskingly fucking awful, and the main event was enough to make me doze off twice, but the rest of it was pretty good. Solid show.
Punk was close with his "who gives a fuck" rant, but Titus O'Neil takes 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
6-17-13 - 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
11-18-13 - Vickie Guerrero (Won over Twitter, I wasn't watching that Country show.)
11-25-13 - Titus O'Neil