30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 11-4-13
By Al Laiman
Nov 6, 2013 - 12:20:44 AM
credit Tom Jenner
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Twitter: @AlLaimanLOP, @JadedHope1
30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 11-4-13
1. So school has been kicking my ass the last few weeks, but I'm here to attempt to keep things going on a Tuesday night with a RAW viewing. Once again thankful that the cheesy opening videos seem to have fallen by the wayside. Living Colour starts off Monday Night RAW, and we're getting ::gasp:: a wrestling match to open the show! That Thing is officially mentioned for the first time 1:22 into the show, and the feud with the Wyatt Family has commenced. The Wyatts are out next, and we get two straight awesome entrances. This week, take a shot every time JBL emphatically says "best for business." One already. We also have our second replay of the show already, showing the Daniel Bryan attack. We're getting some Indy flavor as the former Brodie Lee is taking on one of the Indy darlings, CM Punk.
2. Harper looks strong against Punk, even including getting the only high spot most faces get to use cut off by a forearm. Punk then sends us into the first commercial by successfully hitting it after taking more of a beating as Lambface stalks him down. I see the incessant mentioning of That Thing is back, and that's the last I'm going to mention it so my head doesn't explode. Did JBL mention that he's the heel commentator yet? No? Because he doesn't have to! What the hell happened, Layfield? Are you taking notes from Michael Cole's heel run?
3. I wonder if any of the wrestlers are participating in No-Shave November... You know, the ones that don't already have massive beards? Punk does the Macho Man Elbow Drop but turns it into a splash to the outside on Rowan in a pretty nice spot. He then takes what I can only describe as a BOOT TO THE HEAD! Punk then reverses the Clothesline attempt into a roll-up and escapes with a win. To the surprise of no one, the Wyatt Family attacks after the match. The crowd is begging for Daniel Bryan to make the save, which says something about the way the crowd sees him. For those complaining that he's buried in this feud, think again. I think it's just to create some space instead of having the same match over and over again. Realize that most big world title runs had feuds in between the pursuit and the victory. The crowd goes nuts, despite Bryan's hair being in the Sandow look, and this feud has taken the next step. Good, hot opening match to start the show.
4. We're getting an "exclusive" wwe.com interview, which I'm just going to skip. We then get replays, skip. CM Punk gets interviewed backstage, as the fuel to the fire is added, and the alliance with Bryan established. The bridge between the feud with Heyman and this one is drawn, officially closing that one out for the time being. Then we get a phone call from Paul Heyman, and he cries into the phone.
5. Ryback's out next... Joy. He's facing the Great Khali because of... Nope, not going there. They make Khali an intimidating presence on television for the first time in about four years. This match could be an absolute trainwreck. I feel bad for the guy, watching him struggle to even walk around at points. The two do the best with what they're given, which isn't a whole lot, but it's incredibly hard to see someone move that slow while Ryback is blowing by him. Hardly a shock, but Ryback ends up winning with the Clothesline from Skynet. He then takes out Santino after getting kicked by Little Bastard. Wow, I'm so glad I watched that.
6. JBL then takes us into more replays, skip. We get it, Big Show pissed off Triple H, moving on. Kofi Kingston is out next and now wears a bandana to show he's totally not Jamaican. He's facing Alberto Del Rio... again. The former world champion gets a jobber entrance, and ADR has faced Kofi after losing the championship before. Let me guess, ADR's gonna be angry and we're gonna see a more aggressive side of Alberto Del Rio for totally the first time like, ever.
7. The crowd seems to be struggling to mount a cheer, because even they know what is likely to happen here. Kofi overshoots a high spot and it looks like he hurts his knee doing it. The Black Hole of Charisma is now "vicious" instead of more aggressive, check. I'll give him credit though, the trapped-ropes enziguiri was pretty awesome. Shame he seems to be the only guy allowed to use that move now.
8. Kofi gets kicked around some more, will probably get a comeback with his trademark moves, but tap to the Cross-Armbreaker, trying to catch up in the Del Rio JOB Squad standings, where he's currently fourth with Zack Ryder, Sin Cara, and Santino Marella holding the lead. Del Rio does a ridiculous sell into the corner of a headscissors and Kofi gets a nearfall. A few seconds later, Kofi taps to the Cross-Armbreaker. Never saw that coming.
9. We again transition into more Big Show storyline progression. This one isn't just replays, but instead framed in a video package with legal terminology. Hmm, I'm actually not skipping this one. Then they start talking about something else, which does make me want to skip. Nope, I'm not sitting through a promo for it, suck a bag of dicks.
10. ADR, That, and then Randy Orton. Goodie. Orton then gets on the mic, to the delight of rhetoric fans everywhere. He claims the women are all fantasizing what it would be like to wake up with Randy Orton, because I guess their own husbands can't figure out the semantics of shitting in their bags. Surprisingly, Big E Langston gets 75 percent of the vote over Ziggles and The Miz, because I'm sure they didn't want that answer. This is definitely at least a chance to elevate the guy, though I don't think his chances of actually winning are very high.
11. This show started really hot, and since then has done some serious simmering. Even Matt from HAM Radio just told me he wouldn't blame me if I skipped to the last segment, but I only skip certain things. Langston knocks Orton off the apron and says that he's got Orton on the ropes. Um... Not really, he kinda just hit him off of them. Well, Orton's on the outside, you know what that means... Commercial break!
12. Big E keeps getting the one-up on Orton, or at least that's what it sounds like it was, since we missed a good bit of it. Orton gets out of it by dodging another knock to the outside. He brings us back down to naptime status by trying to resthold Big E to death. I suppose that's better than Suburban Commando's believed fate of being bored to death with speeches. Big E really does move well for his size and build. I just wish they'd let him use that personality we know he has a little more often. Orton cuts Big E off with the Ropes DDT, and is for some reason getting a bunch of cheers for it. Orton counters Big E's finisher attempt and gets a win, but I'll give him credit for putting over Big E pretty well. JBL is clearly trying to outdo Heyman's affection for Ryback with Orton. That's a slobberknocker of a different color.
13. The same Triple H interview from earlier, and I'm skipping it again. A series of more recaps, skipping those too. The fact that the past WrestleMania title match is even mentioned with those other matches is a fucking sacrilege, but I suppose it being recently is all some people need.
14. Fandango is out next, so it's of course time to show off the lack of rhythm everywhere! Hey, Tyson Kidd is back, but unfortunately it's just another way to plug that divas show. Kidd and Danfango bring some fast-paced action to the show, and Nattie and Summer Rae get tagged in for their own twist in the match. I guess that beginning was just too interesting to continue. Tyson Kidd ends up getting the win for the team, and I honestly can't remember the last time I wrote that sentence. Pretty decent match for what it was.
15. Damien Sandow now gets interviewed, and we get another replay about what happened last week, because wrestling fans have the worst memories on the planet apparently. I'm not surprised that Sandow lost the way he's been booked, but it was a great match and a chance for him to shine against the one WWE considers the best. Zeb comes in to add some much-needed HAM to this segment. What the... Someone in the background did a Mountaineer Gold Prospector laugh or something. What in the flying the vagina squirrel was that?
16. We get, what, the sixth video replay involving the Big Show feud? Good JBL, this is a bit excessive, and we're only halfway through the show. What is this, Smackdown?
17. John Cena then comes out to make basically the same plug for the Susan G. Komen that he did last year. This is the good guy company face John Cena that we all know, and this is definitely good for the public image. Oh wow, this match is on already? What's going to main event? I'm guessing something with the Big Show feud...
18. It's good to see the combination of card levels in this six-man tag here. I'm surprised at the turn-around of the Real Americans' luck, but if it involves Cesaro doing well, I'm not complaining. Zeb is on commentary and screwing with another heel in Alberto Del Rio, who is also out there, or as I like to call it, Ham and No Ham. JBL calls Michael Cole a "Gringo." Yeah, that happened.
19. Cesaro and Cena have a staredown to a surprising reaction. I'd like to see them go at it. ADR talks about Cena having no flavor. Pot. Kettle. Black Hole of Charisma. The usual Cena double-chant takes place, and I don't think anyone even thinks about doing it anymore, I think they just do it out of habit. The faces are getting a rather extensive shine to start off this match while ADR and Zeb are busy bickering. They're having too much fun dropping the word Gringo. Well if Cole is a Gringo, where's Homicide when you need him?
20. We come back just in time to get one of Cesaro's awesome airborne Euro-cuts. Looks like even Biff is getting his time to screw with Cena, and hits the Manure Truck Press for a near fall. Cena gets the cut-off with... A move, and surprisingly Cena's going to be the one tagging out for the hot tag. After getting cut off several times, Biff gets the ankle lock... for about two seconds, before Cesaro comes back in. Zeb making fun of ADR is the stuff of legend, and Cena pulls out the hurricanrana to finally... not get the hot tag again. JBL explains to ADR that Cena's injured arm is his target, because I guess he wasn't aware of that.
21. All three of these guys are looking good while working over Cena. I guess "create separation" is the new buzzword for Michael Cole, because he's been listening to too many football commentators lately. Goldust gets the hot tag and things break down quickly. This gives Cesaro an opportunity to do his big swing, and the crowd eats it up. With some Cena assistance, Goldust ends up hitting a really awkward Sliced Bread No. 2 before the faces get the win. Everyone looked great in that match though, and the Real Americans may be tag team champions sooner than later. The Final Cut is still an awesome-looking move.
22. Back to the commentators, so that must mean it's time for Big Show transition number seven. And, once again, it's the SAME FUCKING ONE THEY SHOWED EARLIER! Skip.
23. Triple H is told that Big Show is in the building, and Stephanie comes in to tell him that she let him in. Storyline advances with it being not about them, but the WWE. Stephanie goes on a long tangent explaining the anonymous faceless Board decision about them handling it themselves, and to his credit, Big Show is getting a chant.
24. Dolph Ziggler is next, because he still is on this show. He's facing Goofus, who does his best to HAM it up for his entrance. The crowd is silent for this match, which isn't a surprise given the big six-man tag preceded it. The action itself isn't bad, but the commentators are too busy talking about the Big Show, so clearly they don't even give a shit. Out of nowhere, Dolph Ziggler ends up getting the win with the Zig Zag, because... Okay.
25. Perfect time to go into, you guessed it, more fucking recaps. Daniel Bryan gets his turn for an interview backstage. He basically repeats what CM Punk said, and walks away. All right then.
26. JBL is now singing along with the Uso's callback, and sounds really embarrassing doing it. Oh no wait, it's a Triple H backstage segment when the commercial break returns. He wants to meet them.... In the ring. Yep, that's the main event slot. The Uso's come back now and they're facing 3MB, so yep, the Uso's win. This is just more time for the commentators to talk some more about Big Show, because that storyline just hasn't gotten enough focus tonight. Drew McIntyre does his best to yell at the crowd and attempt to get themselves taken seriously, but as we established, it's been a long time since they won a match. Before you know it, Uso's win via splash. What more is there to say? Were you expecting different? We gotta make more time for Big Show recaps.
27. Los Genericos now get a backstage segment... No wait, they get recaps too! They don't say much before the bull runs in and they drop a pun about the bull being "horny." That's not PG!
28. The Bella Twins now come out for a six-diva tag match with Eva Marie. Yep, Total Divas is coming back, so gotta make sure we get the privilege of watching the Entitlement Twins wrestle. Joy. The arena is now so quiet that the verbal selling is echoing. AJ tags out and you can hear, clear as day, "we're going home." Whoops. Tamina does her best to sell Bella offense before kicking one in the head, clotheslining Eva off the apron, but then missing on the splash. Eva Marie comes in and does the ultimate Diva finisher, the roll-up, and gets the win to... zero reaction. Oh yeah, remember how you made her the heel during the first season of that show airing and never gave anyone a reason to think otherwise? About that...
29. Triple H and Stephanie are headed to the ring next, because I guess they got something going on with the Big Show? I don't know, they haven't mentioned it recently. They waste little time in asking Show to come out. They announce that he's agreed to settle, and asks what he wants. He throws a jab in Stephanie's direction, and Triple H turns up the HAM in response. Show asks for his job back, and H gets even hammier repeating that. Stephanie cuts H off and says that he has it, and Show uses Bryan's chant again. Are they trying to shift that to him or something? Show then announces he'd like to be the face of the WWE, and Stephanie HAMs it up herself before H pulls her away.
30. The Shield then hits the arena as we... go into commercial. Turns out that Show wants a "championship title" match. H refuses, and Show makes it a triple-threat HAM fest walking away. I'm enjoying the hell out of this segment, despite the overdone buildup for it. H reluctantly gives him the match against Orton, and Show makes him repeat it four times. Finally, with his job back, H makes it a handicap match... The Shield and Randy Orton against Show in a suit. Good, I was hoping for two Orton matches tonight. Show fights them all before he eats a spear and starts getting assaulted four-on-one. They try to rip off his shirt, but... fail at doing so, so Orton decides to pick him up instead. Show comes back as Orton dances in the background. Suddenly, Kane's music hits, because we're in for another Big Show/Kane moment and... Kane's in a suit. Kane is in a suit. KANE. Is in. A. SUIT. He even comes out sans-pyro, not cool. Someone in the front row is holding a freaking giant tablet. So much for that no video-taping policy, eh? Suit-Kane throws in a conga line of chairs before he gets powerbombed through the announce table. Suit-Kane looks on, standing tall behind them. Damn, even in 1999 when Kane joined the Corporation, he wasn't wearing a suit. I can't get over this, Kane is in a suit. It's weird. That's how the show goes off the air. What can I say? The opening, the six-man tag, and parts of the end were pretty good. The rest was a chore to get through, to say the least. Not to mention, the amount of recaps was out of control. It wasn't the worst I've ever seen, as the good moments in it did help, but the bad stuff was really bad.
It came down to Big Show pre-attack and Zeb for being ridiculous on commentary. I gotta give to Zeb for making the commentary table at least a little more tolerable for the time being, as fun as Big Show was to watch for a few minutes. The man is basically a live-action cartoon character.
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