30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 12-9-13
By Al Laiman
Dec 10, 2013 - 10:33:19 PM
credit Tom Jenner
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS Facebook Page
Twitter: @AlLaimanLOP, @JadedHope1
30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 12-9-13
1. Salutations, Laimanites! It's the Slammys edition of RAW, as well as the Second Annual Hammys! I don't even know what to say about this opening video. I feel like I'm about ready to watch the next Comedy Central Roast. No Lawler on commentary? Hey, this show's looking up already! While I have to skip something that I can't believe has appeared already, Daniel Bryan makes his hometown return, and he's more over than ever. He's facing Fandango, who looks like the bad guy from 3 Ninjas tonight. The crowd is reacting to every move, and what an atmosphere that has created already. I'm guessing JBL wants Daniel Bryan to join the Wyatts, but he's just being so subtle about it. Some solid action between the two, leading to a failed vault by Fandango, and a successful high spot from Bryan.
2. Bryan takes a sick top rope counter into a powerbomb for a near-fall from Fandango. Fandango has been very good in the ring since his debut match with Jericho, although for the time being he's been mostly used as enhancement. Bryan gets the definitive win, and surprisingly isn't embarrassed in his hometown Miz-style... Yet.
3. The Wyatts cut-off leads us to another slice of Bray Wyatt HAM. I again reiterate that whomever is writing Bray's lines is doing an amazing job with that character. Bray wants to unleash the monster inside Daniel Bryan, and makes another proposition for him to join them. The huge "NO!" chant echoes throughout the arena.
4. Our hosts for the evening are Booker T and Jerry Lawler, and the token three dudes in the arena do the "bow" crowd reaction. The New Age Outlaws with their PG-approved entrance make their way out in... Dumb and Dumber costumes. Okay, that is a level of awesome I can't even describe. The crowd chants for another match, and Road Dogg makes fun of Billy's speaking ability. The standards for the LOL Moment of the Year are pretty low this year, and next we get a Santino appearance. I wonder if that increases his odds for winning the rigged... er... That Thing vote.
5. Harry and Lloyd present the winner, which was The Rock concert, which immediately summons Vickie Guerrero, who I guess is now back to being a full blown heel. After that, we're in store for Sandow taking on Santino. Sandow will have none of Santino's shenanigans, and that is showing increased focus for him. Unlike certain other Black Holes of Charisma I could mention, it actually shows when his aggression is turned up because, you know, it's different. Santino brings out the Cobra, which likely means his doom in a few seconds. Wow, a mere few seconds later, he takes the Moppy Finish, and gets the win. Who saw that coming? Big E punks out Sandow, and if I understand correctly, Santino should not sell the loss at all and instead be happy that he lost and shake everyone's hand at ringside. That's how it works now, right?
6. The Shield comes out next to announce the Double Cross of the Year, and they're in all-black tuxedos. They rock the look, though I did a double-take because I wasn't expecting it. Interesting that two of the four involve turning on Daniel Bryan. I think Cole hit puberty during the Triple H double cross. I just wish I knew what to do to vote. They should have some more clarity on this show if they want people to vote.
7. Kofi and Miz are facing off... Get it, cause they were a double cross?! One of the few times you'll hear HBK getting booed, by Shawn Michaels winning for betraying the hometown boy. Nope, when he showed up it turned to its usual pop, and oh hey, those guys are bowing again. Where's Wayne and Garth to show them how to do it. Shawn turns up the HAM for getting indignant about it taking this long to win the Double Cross Slammy.
8. Much like Sandow needing some aggression to turn up the intensity, Kofi does the same as well, and he's doing more than ever to give the appearance of aggression and intent. I like that, given that he hasn't changed his outlook in the six years he's been around. Miz tries to walk out on the match, and Kofi has no time for that shit. That ends up working against him though, because Miz gets a quick surprise win, and he's laughing the whole time. Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise after, and he's enraged. I like it. I doubt he'll ever turn heel, but giving Kofi a reason for anyone to give a shit about him beyond his in-ring ability can only do good things for the guy.
9. Eve Torres makes her return to present the Diva of the Year. It seems like she's been enjoying life after wrestling, and was able to get out while she was still young. She's greeted by a round of muffled conversation. The fact that Eva Marie is nominated for this is a fucking sacrilege, regardless of whether or not you like that show.
10. Rey Mysterio comes out before the inevitable face entrance commercial break to allow votes for the Slammy. Hey, I'll take it over interrupting the matches with it. Looks like we've got the Not Paul Heyman guys and the Real Americans teaming up against Mysterio, the Rhodes', and the Big Show. But meanwhile, the Bella Twins win the Diva of the Year to not a pleasant reaction. Yeah, they totally deserved that. Not the one who has held the title, but the ones who have a reality show. That makes sense. Fortunately I don't have to listen to them attempt to articulate the English language very long.
11. Quick tags have us with some fast-paced action, but unfortunately they go to another commercial break just as Goldust tags in. I suppose that was necessary. It had been like two whole minutes. We come back with Mysterio and Cesaro. Goldust gets tagged in again, and they are wasting no time. Gotta make room for more brilliant victory speeches like the Entitlement Twins. Goldust is the face in peril as these unique teams help each other out, and I have to agree with JBL that the name "Rybaxel" is pretty horrible. Least it means they're doing something, I guess.
12. They talk about Swagger being one of the former world champions out for the main segment, and I suppose he deserves that with that truly memorable reign he had. Cole actually uses the word "classic" in place of vintage, which is surprising given that Goldust has been around long enough to be vintage. Rhodes comes in house of fire, and that leads to Big Show getting impaled, as well as the rest of Team Heel besides Goofus. A major face influx sends Goofus into doing what he does best, and Mysterio gets the pinfall for Team Face.
13. They're showing another JBLdamn tutorial... They're really still doing this. I know some people get annoyed when I talk about it, and I try to get through an entire column without even mentioning it, but how the fuck can you defend this? It's almost 2014, even I know how to download a fucking app and I hate phones. I really hate things sometimes. /End rant, won't mention it again. Or, as some would put it, all I'm going to be talking about for the rest of the column. I suppose the nomination for Superstar of the Year is the right moment to announce the unanimous HAM of the Year... Paul Heyman. It wasn't even a contest. He just kept upping the ante. And hey, good to see Brock Lesnar getting a nomination, considering how many matches he had this year.
14. Sin Cara comes out, and since he got a surprise win last week, it's only natural that we should see the same match again. Keepin' it fresh, WWE-style. The winner of the Superstar of the Year this year is last year's HAM of the Year, and how awesome that he gets to accept it in his hometown. He faces off with Shawn Michaels again, and the tension is played up. Bryan gives a small victory speech, and throws in a Seahawks to the hometown crowd. Good thing Cena didn't do that, or he'd be "pandering."
15. Del Rio isn't in a good mood because of the upset victory from last week. He naturally sells how angry he is by smiling and laughing in a side promo. Not Hunico keeps up the pace, but they keep talking about him like he's still Mistico, which is weird. Cara tries to go for the win the same way, but it doesn't work as we head into commercial.
16. It's still really funny hearing Michael Cole praising Daniel Bryan, given how Bryan started on television. The commentators are so enthralled with the match that they're basically reading Twitter. JBL mentions that this is a new Sin Cara... No irony intended, I'm sure. Sin Cara counters a cross-armbreaker and then heads to the top again. It once again backfires, but Cara comes back. Cara wins again, and they take about four seconds to talk about the Slammys first. Where do both of these guys go after this, I wonder. I'm just glad ADR is out of the title picture for at least one Pay-Per-View.
17. JBL says "Millions of Dollas" about ten times. Darren Young has a rare HAM moment, and like five people in the crowd do the Millions dance this time. The HAMMY crowd moment is also a no-contest, as the post-WrestleMania crowd owned it. Bryan wins another award, again in his hometown, and this one also wasn't even a contest. I'm amazed at how much this chant has caught on since the 18-second WrestleMania match. It's also significantly less irritating than, "WHAT?!"
18. They seriously must just yell in JBL's ear to incessantly yell whatever the crowd is supposed to chant repeatedly. I like the guy, but that's the most obnoxious thing about him. The war over Brodus Clay's main event status continues as he faces Carl Weathers and... Oh hey, it's already over. Brodus' heel turn becomes official with a post-match attack that TROOF and Tensai break up. Tensai steps it up pretty well playing the infuriated friend, and finally Brodus is headed toward what he was originally. Not sure why Xavier Woods got put down so quickly after a pretty strong debut, but... Okay.
19. Wasting no time, Miz comes out for Insult of the Year, and the HAMMY moment of the year actually happened just last week. The Heyman Proposal had it until CM Punk took it away with his rendition of "I Feel Pretty." Speaking of Punk, he comes out for a match against Dean Ambrose, and I'm quite all right with that. And of all things, Stephanie wins the Insult award? Shame, I thought Zeb had that one. Good timing though, considering who is in the ring.
20. Ambrose and Punk go at it with the Shield at ringside. This is fun with JBL going back to the conspiracy theory rants. Gotta love those black helicopters. Punk has a good shine before Ambrose cuts him off with a rib shot. They say that Punk isn't wearing a bandage because it might call more attention to it... You know, moreso than saying it publicly where everyone can hear it. I also have to admit, when Cole has to remind us all of what show we're watching, I picture Vince McMahon yelling into a microphone saying: "MENTION THAT IT'S MONDAY NIGHT RAW, DAMMIT! OTHERWISE THEY WON'T KNOW! THEY WON'T FUCKING KNOW!"
21. Punk nearly hits a GTS, but again has to play up his ribs. That doesn't stop him from a dive to the outside. Interesting also that for the tuxedo moment, Rollins had his hair down and Reigns' was up, which is the opposite of usual protocol. Hey, did you know later tonight we'll see the two titles in the ring for the last time? I thought I heard Ambrose do the Brodie Lee yell, which would've been funny as hell. Punk finally comes back while some dude in a black scarf at ringside is hopping. Ambrose comes back with an awesome double underhook suplex. Ambrose and Punk each trade near-falls, and for all the talk of Reigns' face push, Ambrose is showing he's ready for a main event push on his own too.
22. Punk gets tossed to the outside with Reigns and Rollins both watching. They both stare, but don't interfere. Dissent is hinted with both of them and Ambrose, and he tells them to leave. Shortly after, Punk gets the win to cap off a very good match. The Shield comes back afterward, and Reigns gets another major spear in on Punk.
23. Lawler makes another reference to his heart attack on TV. I'm glad he has a sense of humor about it, but that was one of the scariest moments at the time. We're getting a Foley experience for the Extreme Moment of the Year, and anytime Mick Foley is on TV, I'm all right with that. Okay Seattle, seriously, enough with the bowing. Foley does what he does best, and introduces the moments in the usual eloquent way.
24. Before we get the Usos and the Wyatts, and Punk gets the win for the capstone to the Heyman feud. Punk has to come back out after getting Gored. He keeps it brief, but still manages to get a plug in for the Pay-Per-View. I don't like the Usos chances here, given how much we've seen of them lately. There's one guy in the arena yelling something somewhere. The Usos get a double high spot to the outside, and another commercial break is there before you realized you just had an entire segment of television.
25. We come back with the Wyatts in control, and they throw the Wyatts around in dominant fashion. Jimmy Uso gets the hot tag and goes superkicking like Shawn Michaels is in the building. Harper ends up locking in the ropes around Jimmy, but Jey saves the day. He nearly gets the upset victory, but Rowan breaks it up. A faceplant into the table leads to a Clothesline From Bayou and a win for the Wyatts. Another very strong televised match. Weird, the Wyatt cut-off happens, but they... don't use it. Awkward.
26. Now it's time for Match of the Year, and I really hope it isn't what I think it's going to be. Booker refers to Hart as the greatest wrestler to ever lace up the boots, and while he was great, I wouldn't call him the best ever. What blasphemy that neither of the great Summerslam matches are in there, but we were sure to get that Triple H one a shot. But, yeah come on, we all know Rock/Cena's going to win, despite it's relative mediocrity.
27. To the surprise of nobody, Rock/Cena at WrestleMania wins. The crowd is heavy with heat, and meanwhile, team Total Divas is about to get another win with Natalya facing Tamina. Tamina swings Natalya's legs into AJ, which knocks her off the apron, and leads to a Sharpshooter. Wow, that's the supposedly unstoppable tough woman diva, huh? Team Total Divas wins yet again.
28. The Authority makes their way to the ring before the next commercial break. The world champions surround them, including Citizen Kane making a cameo. CM Punk is not impressed with Stephanie gushing over Triple H. The fans chanting "Daniel Bryan" over the words of Triple H is visibly annoying him, and it's pretty awesome. This reaction is insane, even if it is his hometown. Someone who was there, please leave a comment and tell me what this was like in person.
29. Orton heads out first, and I'm very glad the titles are finally being unified. This is long overdue, because having two "world" champions on the same show was a ridiculous concept. Cena doesn't get a much better reaction, but at least it's a louder one. The crowd continues chanting for Daniel Bryan, despite what's going on in the ring with the two champions. Oh hey, a Christian sighting. Orton's talking, and the audience reacts pretty much the same way I do anytime he has a microphone. Orton starts antagonizing the rest of the champions in the ring, which... Dude... Probably not the best idea.
30. Cena mentions the word "work" and then brings Bryan forward for another hometown pop. Cena conducts an interview with Bryan in rather HAMMY fashion to make a truly excellent point. Cena starts bringing the fire, and damn this is even better than last week's. He brings up realities and things that have happened over the last eleven years. This Cena, more often please. Cena's even turning someone else's hometown in his favor. That's what the man can do when he really wants to. This promo is even captivating my non-fan roommates and girlfriend. FUCK! The DVR just cut off! Cena tosses the mic aside and shakes Orton's hand as the titles are raised, but Orton attacks, and a brawl ensues. Orton smacks CM Punk in the face, and Punk loses it on Orton. Triple H tosses Orton aside, and Punk gets up with a purpose. He hits H, but then gets superkicked by HBK. Bryan comes in and takes out HBK, and then Orton goes for the RKO, misses, and ends up taking out Stephanie. That leads to Orton getting Pedigreed while Cena and Kane help Stephanie up. The crowd is still chanting for Daniel Bryan. Holy shit guys, THAT is how you sell a fucking Pay-Per-View on the go-home show. That was awesome. The show itself was up and down, though most of the wrestling was really good. The usual stuff that keeps it down was there, but the ending was one of the best in recent memory.
The last HAM of the year goes to Shawn Michaels, but Paul Heyman takes it home for 2013.
2012 - Daniel Bryan
2013 - Paul Heyman