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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 5-20-2013 - IN LAIMAN'S TERMS
By Al Laiman
May 21, 2013 - 12:55:27 AM

credit Tom Jenner

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30 Thoughts With Al Laiman - RAW 5-20-13

1. 30 Thoughts is back after a PPV cycle off, and from what I've heard, I haven't missed a whole lot besides The Shield winning the belts last night. While I've enjoyed having my Monday nights free to spend with the better half, I'm back here to re-connect with all of you with my thoughts on Monday Night Commercial. The show begins with an ambulance coming into the arena, though several old WCW fans probably thought Scott Steiner was in the arena. Unfortunately, instead we're treated to (The?) Ryback, who is apparently in his best Bully Ray cosplay. Predictably, it's a "While neither of us won, I did the blah-de-blah," and we see Cena being stretchered out. Cena's refused to see doctors, which is a perfect transition into the next gimmick match this feud will see, an ambulance match. Just in case we weren't sure that he turned heel, he reassures us that he is, in fact, a heel now. Of course, the last time Cena was in an ambulance match, he defeated the "Embrace the Hate" momentary lapse of reason known as temporarily heel Kane. Did Ryback go to the heel Big Show school of promos?

2. Ryback's still talking? Okay... We have no idea what it takes, so we're supposed to hate him, but we have nothing in common with John Cena either, so we're supposed to be indifferent to the feud? What a coincidence. I guess "Feed Me More" was just getting too much of a crowd reaction, so now it's "Ryback Rules!" Because when I'm looking for a cool catch phrase, I like to reference a stupid early 90's Adam Sandler movie. Keep in mind I haven't watched since the RAW after WrestleMania, so I'm sure this is nothing new. We're apparently also going to find out who is Paul Heyman's newest client, and a tag match with Wade Barrett and Fandango against Jericho and Miz is up next. All right then.

3. We come back from a commercial break to... A sad, pathetic in-show commercial for Sonic shakes with a bunch of people pretending to drink them in the crowd. Is this what I've been missing? Fandango comes out, wearing something that looks like a Deadhead's black light poster, and his Titan Tron now has the crowd chant cueing everyone to do the dance, because you know, we can't let anything catch on organically. While it sounds like people are singing, and they pan to a few kids doing the dance, the crowd looks absolutely dead from a distance. Wade Barrett has what has to be his 17th theme in five years. Lawler comments that the upset win from Sin Cara over him is part of the reason Barrett doesn't look like he's in a good mood. You know, because he's usually so cheery and vibrant. But now he's stone-faced and stoic... WITH a cause. Thank JBL you guys are on your A game tonight.

4. More pictures accompany the entrances, and Team Trunks starts their match with Pants or No Pants. Of course, it's never too early to mention what happened on the WWE App. You know, I've been watching a lot of baseball, because I am a diehard Cleveland Indians fan. MLB has an App called At-Bat. They plug it every game. You know how many times? Once. Just as I'm typing that, we're instructed how to download the App, given an image of the App, and shown a small clip of Road Dogg talking about Fandango. This... This is why we can't have nice things. Why watch the match at hand when you can be dicking around with a social media app watching a part-time wrestler at best ramble about the guy in the ring when you could instead be watching the match and forming your own opinion? Just as they finish yammering on about it, we go into a commercial because... Well, Jericho rolled out of the ring, and who needs time to focus on actual wrestling? Say, have you heard how to download the App yet?

5. We come back as Miz is about to put in the Figure Four Leglock when Fandango takes the mic and... Reminds everyone how to pronounce his name. Because we have to shove the newest fad down everyone's throat, another excuse for the Fandango theme to play is given, and they dance while Barrett yells at them. Jericho dominates on offense, though more time is spent on Lord Oilychest, even missing half of Jericho's Codebreaker. Jericho tags Miz in, so that we can watch Fandango dance as he locks in the Figure Four, and Team Trunks gets the... Oh you aren't here to watch wrestling. FANDANGO THEME! PAY ATTENTION TO THE FANDANGO THEME!

6. Both Miz and Jericho try to trap Fandango at ringside, but he runs away through the crowd. Jericho locks his eyes on Summer Rae. He offers her a dance, and they share an intimate moment before Jericho trolls her to a huge pop. Michael Cole's there to remind you that this is what you're supposed to think is funny. Lesnar and Triple H's cage match is going to be recapped, so at least my DVR will be put to some use. Oh, the story of Ryback is being covered on the WWE App? Well fuck, why didn't they tell me?! JBL, when you guys said I didn't miss much, you weren't kidding.

7. Speaking of things I didn't miss, Vickie Guerrero has to continue the trend of John Laurinaitis by repeating her job description, in case the name bar was too subtle. Jack Swagger's going to compete in a match against Great Khali, R-Truth, or Randy Orton... Guess what... On the WWE App! And gee, I wonder who's going to win that one? This is of course a perfect time for the commentary team to talk more about the WWE App! For those who aren't watching the show, I really wish I was exaggerating how much they were mentioning this stupid fucking thing. I'm trying not to be cynical, but I think a little Samuel L. Jackson is appropriate here.

Credit WWE Memes

8. Backstage, Daniel Bryan looks supremely pissed. Hell No comes to the realization that neither of them are tag team champions, and some awkward tension takes place before Kane assures him that he's confident. The inevitable break-up tease continues as Kofi Kingston comes by to be the Dr. Shelby of that particular backstage segment.


10. Of course, two segments and an entrance theme took place, so it's the perfect time to take another commercial break. More pictures from the Pay-Per-View where Sheamus and Mark Henry put a strap on... We get an epic moment that we didn't see last night where Mark Henry is going home. Well of course, he's not too good for his home. Thank JBL we got to see that epic piece of character development. Sheamus is facing one of the Prime Time Players, so we're in for a pretty quick, obvious-ending match here. We hear about what they wrote on Twitter, right before the Twitter ticker gives us more Twitter. Oh yeah, there's a match going on. Lobsterhead hits the Blair Witch Forearm Chops, and he attacks Darren Young on the outside as well before Titus takes advantage. If only they had an instant replay system in place...

11. JBL calls Titus a "genetic freak," because the siren subconsciously again put Scott Steiner on his mind, and Titus gets in a few seconds of cheap heat before Sheamus comes back with a hope spot. Pancake comes back and keeps Sheamus down for a pinfall attempt before a resthold is used for a nice throwdown. I'll admit, he's getting a helluva lot more offense than I thought he would. Man, a guy who can just "toss Sheamus around" must be a real contender for the world title, eh?

12. Sheamus gets the boots up in the corner to start his comeback, and his trademark moves sequence commences. Titus breaks one of them, and before Sheamus can battering-ram his way in, Darren grabs the leg and gets Titus another close fall. Boy, that instant replay would come in handy right about now, wouldn't it? Fortunately for the Irish imitation of Casper, he's got about eight other trademark moves, and he capstones the match with a BOOT TO THE HEAD! for the win. Again, never thought for a second that Titus had a chance, but it was a much longer and better match than I thought it would be.

13. Another WWE App mention takes us into the preview for Paul Heyman's newest client. Coming back, Cole again mentions the WWE App because that's where we heard this was going to happen. Good thing you all have it, so you could know what was going to happen, because they're never going to tell you what's going on in the show anyway. Heyman brings some much-needed HAM to the show, and Lawler throws some boos about as enthusiastic as Daria on valium. Heyman throws the Lesnar victory in the faces of all the "booing" fans, and he even throws in a good Ace Ventura "looooo-ser." Lesnar naturally isn't there, so we're all wondering what Paul Heyman is going to do now. He's going to give us a moment that we're going to watch on our DVRs ten years from now, and he builds it up like someone just said Mick Foley was going to win the title on the other channel.

14. It's... not-Michael McGillicutty, and now known as Curtis Axel. Well, if there was something that a rather dull and lifeless gimmick needed, it was a name-change and an animated manager. He compares the reaction for Axel to the reception for Brock Lesnar's initial one and CM Punk's debut in ECW. They're building up McGilliaxel like he's the second coming of JBL! I suppose this moment is really the genesis. Heyman tries to make us feel sorry for McGilliaxel's legacy keeping him down. Right, because if there's someone I should feel sorry for, it's someone who was born with a golden ticket into a business on television. Heyman does his best to make that name sound cool by explaining it before a familiar theme song interrupts him.

15. Gee, for a guy who got destroyed by Brock Lesnar in a cage, Triple H looks remarkably well. JBL calls it one of the most brutal matches he's seen in his twenty years in the business, because I guess this entire segment needs to be riddled with hyperbole. A sign in the crowd says "Save us, CM Punk." Tell me about it. Lawler reminds you that you're supposed to think McGilliaxel's new name is totally cool. Triple H does get a legitimate laugh out of me by mocking McGilliaxel by saying "the adults are having a conversation. He puts over his match with the absent Lesnar. He threatens Heyman, and Mcgilliaxel gets in his face to remind us that... Yep, his progress in the promo department has progressed to just doing a Ryback shiver between words. Triple H bitchslaps him and says that they're having a match tonight. Cue the Internet whining about instant burial of a new star.

16. Alberto Del Rio is out for his match with Arsenio Langston. AJ skips out during his entrance, because when Ziggles' music was too slow for it, she just asked for a slower one and said fuck it. Arsenio is LeBron James during his entrance now, so let's talk about the App more, please. The match starts pretty competitive, though ADR is already trying to go for the armbreaker, because fuck psychology, right? Arsenio carries him the whole way out of the ring and throws him into the ringpost. He uses his size to keep ADR down, though in not a lot of time, ADR has already made the comeback into the sequence of trademarks.

17. Arsenio finally comes back and tosses ADR back out of the ring, and surprisingly this doesn't lead to a commercial break. That didn't last long, as ADR hits an enziguiri. AJ tosses a towel and a bucket in the ring, and Arsenio hits his finisher and surprisingly gets the win. Nothing solidifies the number one contender for the title like losing to his ally. It's replay time, fast forward. Another commercial for the WWE App, fast forward more.

18. AJ Lee is still in the ring, and we recap the fight with Kaitlyn last night, which may be one of the lamest exchanges I've ever heard. The crowd is in muffled chatter mode, and Layla has been reduced to jobber entranced to the point of barely being mentioned. Oh, let's see more of the WWE App shit! Yes please, there just hasn't been enough yet! Why watch the match when you can watch the Entitled Twins attempt to sound credible? That's what I'm missing? AMAZING! I have to admit, AJ's finisher is pretty cool. Cole mentions that the Black Widow devours her mates, so that says something about AJ. Um... That AJ is mating with Layla?

19. Another reference to the WWE App, and I'm fast forwarding through the voting promo for the obvious Jack Swagger opponent. I'd say this was overdone, but I wouldn't want to offend the Harlem Shake by comparing it to this shit. We come back to a double jobber entrance for Zack Ryder and Cody Rhodes. Wait, I think it picked up mid-match. Rhodes gets in some offense before Ryder gets a comeback, and we go to ANOTHER FUCKING PLUG FOR THE WWE APP because... Ryback is watching the match! HOLY FUCK! I MIGHT REALLY HAVE TO DOWNLOAD IT NOW! Nothing creates more invigorating entertainment than watching Ryback watching television... while breathing heavily.

20. Ryder hits the Broski boot, so naturally he's about to get Santino'd. Sure enough, less than a minute later, Rhodes hits the Disaster Kick and gets the win. New haircut, same dead push. I guess between the guy who almost always jobs and the guy who always jobs, something had to give.

21. Ryback's music hits, and he walks to the ring with Ryder still in it. I guess Ryback is the new heel Kane for the moment. Ryder still hasn't gotten the point, so he needs to get destroyed more. Nothing ensures credibility like beating up a guy who hasn't won a televised match in a year. Even Chrissss doesn't care anymore. Ryback hits the Clothesline from Skynet, the Shellshock, throws him out of the ring, and then carries him up the ramp on his shoulder. Ryback takes him to the ambulance. Oh damn, there must be an ambulance match coming up or something. Holla if you hear me.

22. The Shield, the newly-crowned badasses of the WWE, hit the ring with their titles on-arm, and this match should be good. The Shield continue the trend of introducing themselves, and says that power was brought back to those titles. That may be a very true statement, at least for the US title. Hell No had a really good run with the tag team titles, and I think made the belts relevant again. There is no doubt that Ambrose is a future world champion, and his unique persona, speaking style, and obvious wrestling pedagogy will take him far. Ambrose mentions fire and flames, which is of course a great transition into Kane's entrance.

23. Wow, Kofi gets the jobber entrance, even for a huge six-man tag match. He and Ambrose Burnside start off with some great fast-paced action. Bryan gets tagged in to a huge reaction (PUSH THIS MAN, DAMMIT!) What a great time to let more grammatically-aborted Tweets grace our screen. Kane takes his turn to get a shine before Kofi comes back in with Rollins. He gets a pinfall attempt after some high jumps, and that's when Kofi starts taking the heat. Reigns gives Kofi his lumps, and he takes some brutal cheap heat. Why not talk about Triple H's match right now though? That's far more interesting than this six-man tag match, isn't it? Rollins mocks Kofi's taunt, and that gives Kofi time to get a hope spot.

24. Kofi tags into Danielson, and damn the crowd still chants for him like no other. The match pace picks up, and Danielson looks more focused than he has in over a year. Perhaps that's a sign of things to come, or at least that should be. Rollins ducks one of Danielson's hatefuck kicks, but comes back the other way with another one. This match has gone on an incredibly long time without a commercial break. That's what happens when matches are given time to develop and actually shown; the pace and atmosphere can really be appreciated. Ambrose tries to take advantage of Bryan, but he comes off the top rope with a dropkick for a near-fall. Bryan gets the NO! Lock, but Ambrose gets to the ropes. The faces hit the ring to not let them back in the ring, and naturally as soon as I praise them, not only do they go to commercial, but they plug the damn App yet again. That'll teach me to get into something.

25. We come back to the faces still on offense, with Kofi tagging in from Kane and then taking another shot to go back to the face in peril. Instead, Kofi comes back again for a ten-punch, and then uppercuts Ambrose Burnside right in the fuck. Bryan tags in and sets up Ambrose in the Tree of Woe, and hits a devastating-looking low dropkick. Rollins comes back though and Bryan gets powerbombed into the corner. That was awesome, and somehow Bryan kicks out. Bryan continues taking Shield offense before trying to crawl toward Kane.

26. Kane gets the hot tag and goes on a fury on all of the Shield. Kofi then comes in, and then both of the smaller guys do a double high spot to the outside. Kane and Reigns are left in the ring, and Kane hits a huge DDT for a near-fall. The faces get taken out on the outside while Kane counters Reigns and sets up for the chokeslam. Ambrose comes off the top rope and gets uppercut in the fuck for the second time in the match. Kane tries to chokeslam Reigns again, but Rollins comes off the top rope, and Reigns hits the spear. The Shield get the win again in yet another amazing match on the resumes of all involved. That salvaged a lot of the utter dog shit that was on earlier in this show. They could only ruin it if they transition this back into another bullshit commercial for the WWE App. Oh wait, that only happens after Triple H, like John Cena, refuses to listen to doctors.

28. Something about Kaitlyn having a secret admirer... I guess I missed something. Thank JBL I don't care. Biff Swagger is out with Chester A. Arthur, and they set a record on the App! OH BOY! That probably means they're going to plug it even MORE, as if that was really fucking possible. Gee, I'm really dumbfounded as to whom will be Jack Swagger's opponent here. Lawler gets on the mic and again talks about the downloading the WWE App, and announces that... Randy Orton won! Well I'll be damned, that came out of nowhere. Perfect time for a commercial break, and we come back to Chester A. Arthur apparently being on the App. Fuck off. We're mid-match and in resthold form, just in time for Orton to start coming back. The only thing I'm disappointed that I missed all the last six weeks was Damien Sandow singing Orton's theme song. At least someone else notices the vapid never-changing gaze on his face. I've got a multiplayer game of Civilization going with the better half, think I'll make a few moves on that in the meantime. I couldn't give less of a fuck about either one of these guys. A commercial break later, Orton starts to come back and hits a superplex from the top, but Swagger comes back with some offensive flurries before ultimately running into Orton's trademark sequences. Swagger counters the DDT for a near-fall, and more Tweets. Surprisingly, they're less annoying than the App now, so congratulations WWE. You heard Twitter was overkill, so you found something even more obnoxious. Orton goes all "I hear voices but change nothing" and the crowd goes nuts for it... Why. Why. Biff comes back with the Patriot Lock. Let me guess, he breaks it, RKO out of nowhere, Orton wins. Oh, swerve! He got kicked out of the ring between breaking it and the RKO. What a shocker.

29. They replay the ambulance thing... again. Fast forward. Who would've thought the Genesis of McGillicutty would be main-eventing RAW with Triple H tonight? They're wearing almost identical outfits with same colors. Seriously, almost all black. Elbow bands, knee pads, boots, and trunks with gold in them. H dominates a few minutes for the most part, and then McGilliaxel takes over. Triple H is wrestling on RAW, so that's something, and this has the weird aura of a certain RAW in 2004 when Shelton Benjamin main-evented with him.

30. Triple H is acting very strange, and the commentators say it looks like he's trying to shake something off. I'm guessing this is what the doctors were warning him about. Somehow he can manage to dominate McGilliaxel while trying to shake off whatever it is. H tries to get back in the ring and fails a few times. He walks over to the ring announcer and sits down, asking for water. Shouldn't he have been counted out by now? The trainer shines a flashlight in his eyes, and then he tries to get up and collapses and... that's where it ends. Well, all right then. Overall, it was mildly decent at parts, with one excellent match saving it from being subpar at best. The constant App shit has to go though, as it thoroughly took away from any enjoyment I could get out of most of the show.


Thanks, Hustle.

Paul Heyman takes back the HAM for the most hyperbolic introduction of a letdown I've ever heard.

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




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