30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 6-17-2013
By Al Laiman
Jun 17, 2013 - 11:16:39 PM
credit Tom Jenner
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30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 6-17-13
1. Greetings, all of you Al Laiman Guys! HAM Radio Weekly will once again be on the air at 3pm tomorrow, hopefully without any technological setbacks. I'd also like to announce that I will soon have a Kickstarter campaign for my second film, which will be a feature-length sequel to my first short-film, Straight Lines. It will be posted soon, and I hope a few of you out there are able to contribute. That being said, Payback was pretty good. I also found it interesting that people complaining about predictability were bitching about something that wasn't predictable, but I'll get into that later. Speaking of whom, we start off the show with Ricardo Rodriguez. For those of you who don't think Alberto Del Rio turned heel last night, Ricardo, the manager more over than his wrestler, is getting booed. Do we need any more proof that ADR is the Ken Kennedy of this generation? Nobody really cares about anything he does, but they sing along with his introduction. Well, ADR is back in the suit, so he's definitely turned. Suits almost always been bad things. ADR references the recently released (and freaking awesome) Superman movie before referencing himself as the real Superman. Sorry ADR, there's already a wrestler with that gimmick. Ricardo goes through his introduction again, just in case you missed it the first time. ADR turns the tables on the fans by saying that Dolph's title win was controversial, as opposed to his own last night, which involved repeatedly kicking a concussed man in the head. Interesting that they let him do that while they ban Randy Orton's punt kick because of concussions, but I suppose I shouldn't be looking for consistency. Bottom line though is that WWE is determined to make ADR a champion, whether anyone wants it or not. Is the Black Hole of Charisma back? It's quite possible.
2. Of all things, CM Punk's music cuts off ADR's long-winded, Big Show-inspired heel turn promo, and Punk gets a huge pop... Likely both for being back, and for cutting off ADR's incessant rambling. More of a hint toward the predicted Punk face turn? Punk references his title win against ADR last time they were in the ring together at Survivor Series 2011. Punk starts to chastise ADR for saying that he was the best, and the chants are thunderous. Punk starts to challenge Del Rio before Paul Heyman cuts him off and starts adding in his own things, teasing the tension between the two. Punk doesn't care about the title, but wants to fight to prove that he's the best. He also references Ziggler's title being stolen, subtly allying himself with another recently-turned face.
3. We get cut off from a decent promo battle by the Banshee shrill herself, Vickie Guerrero. Vickie says that ADR doesn't get to make the decision, she does. That's something that's convenient for the particular moment, considering John Cena gets to make matches pretty much whenever he wants. Vickie confirms the match, and they also reveal that she'll have a big surprise for those dreaded words, the McMahon family. Also, we're getting Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton later as well. Punk hasn't officially turned, but facing and challenging a heel is a pretty good way to hint toward that conclusion. I have to admit, I'm quite intrigued. Even better, it didn't open with Triple H or Vince McMahon. Bonus.
4. Punk is backstage with Heyman explaining how much he cares about him. Punk mentions the tease last night and says that he's not his client anymore. Paul seems stunned, though Punk assures him that he'll always be a Paul Heyman guy. Heyman looks like someone just kicked his favorite kitten.
5. Wade Barrett gets the jobber entrance right before Vickie Guerrero comes out AGAIN with her shrill. She announces that his rematch with Curtis Axel will wait because he'll be facing... Christian! Finally! Not only is Captain Charisma finally back, but people will stop asking when he's finally going to come back! Christian is also a face for the time being, so let's analyze this... Faces (or probably soon to be): CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Christian... Well, the Internet's about to turn on all of them. Christian does a sick dive over the top turnbuckle, which is not fun, and it lands perfectly.
6. Christian gets stunned off the top rope coming back, and Wade Barrett gets a few moments of cheap heat. It doesn't last long, as the Peeps get behind the former World Heavyweight Champion and encourage his comeback. Christian hits a tornado DDT and Cole calls it "classic" as opposed to "vintage." Just as I type that, even Lawler asks about it. Next it'll be is it "classic" or "Chavo Classic?" Meanwhile, Barrett gets in a few more strikes before being sent in the turnbuckle and whiplashed on the top rope. Christian hits the Unprettier and gets the relatively easy return win. So long, Wade Barrett. Enjoy whatever parting gifts Hustle has waiting for you. Don't forget that you are still employed, but then again, so is JTG. Vickie Guerrero is getting involved... again... And we have to download that thing I won't mention. But how? They haven't told me! They'll decide the stipulation for the Bryan/Orton match. Joy. Why isn't a "Beard-Off" an option?
7. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! DON'T BRING YOUR SPACESHIP DOWN TO THIS TERRAIN OF TESTAMENT, HOAK HOGAN! I'M DOWN HERE WAITING INCOGNITO WITH A KICKASS BEARD! I DIDN'T HAVE TO GO THE WHOLE WAY TO THE ARCTIC TO FIND MY MISSING SPACESHIP! I MADE YOU CRASH IT AFTER CLOSING THE COCKPIT DOOR, HOAK HOGAN! RUSSELL CROWE IS MY GUIDING SPIRIT, AND HIS HARD DRIVE CAN OVERCOME YOUR ATOMICS ANY DAY! FIND ME INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES DELIVERED FROM KEVIN COSTNER IMMEDIATELY, FOR I AM IN NEED OF SOME MONOTONE JONESING!
8. Gee, Sheamus beat Damien Sandow. Color me fucking surprised. Rhodes Scholars also get jobber entrances for a two-on-one handicap match with Sheamus. Joy, instead of constantly going over one of them, now he'll get to overcome the odds against both and bury them even more. I like Sheamus, but as even Hustle said, he's been booked stronger than Cena. How many times is Sheamus going to beat these guys before they get a win back? I've already seen a Disaster Kick and several trademark moves, so naturally Sheamus' odds are about to be overcome. Rhodes gets taken out by going over the top rope, and Sandow is left alone to be on the receiving end of all 87 trademark moves in a row. Cody comes back up just in time for the Blair Witch Forearm Chops. Sandow gets powerslammed, Rhodes gets caught off the top rope and goes right into White Noise. This might be even slightly suspenseful if anyone legitimately thought any odds whatsoever were against Lobsterhead. He sets up for the Brogue Kick, and Sandow gets a roll-up from behind, and holy shit, Rhodes and Sandow actually went over Sheamus. It took two of them to beat one guy, but it finally happened. Oh no wait, Rhodes gets Brogue-kicked anyway, because JBL forbid Sheamus lose at any segment whatsoever, even if the match is lost. This is getting ridiculous. On the other hand though, let me just say that I'm psyched to see RVD returning. I might have to find a way to get to Money in the Bank.
9. Vickie is backstage with Triple H, claiming her own decisions to be genius. To paraphrase Tywin Lannister, "Anyone who has to claim that they are a genius is no genius." Triple H sarcastically puts over Vickie's surprises, because no one can have a moment in the sun without his consent. Triple H then takes credit for RVD coming back, because he saw Sheamus's match and got inspired, I suppose. Triple H demands that they need to make an example out of The Shield, and then trashes them putting 3MB on the show. That was incredibly awkward. Triple H is learning from Vince's awkward segments with Vickie well.
10. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan is being counseled backstage by Kane, who wants to talk. Bryan claims that Kane is glad that they didn't win last night, but Kane is once again indignant about that fact, saying that Team Hell No should give it another shot. Bryan furiously denies it, saying that he needs to prove that he can do it himself, and proposes that he needs to win the WWE Championship. Kane agrees that he also wants to, and asks if it's done. Kane wishes him good luck sincerely before Bryan again takes it as an accusation that he's the weak link. Interesting. That of course is another plug for that thing, if you missed it the other eight times they referenced it.
11. The still-surprisingly-over Randy Orton makes his entrance while an interview with him on That Thing where he officially calls him the weak link. Well, that at least shows the one thing Orton's lack of a personality allows him to do well: be a douche. Good, maybe they'll finally turn him heel and allow him to maximize this trait. Bryan's music hits and the place goes nuts, as it has everywhere for the last year-plus. The seed has been planted for that rumored title angle, and it looks like he's out of the tag division and ready to go. The vote reveals that it'll be a No-DQ match, because people voting on the App have no taste, and the match begins. Cole is nice enough to explain to us the basics of storytelling while Randy and Bryan do some chain wrestling. Daniel Bryan's kicks get "YES!" chants while Orton's get "NO!"s. Bryan is quite aggressive and trying to lock in as many submissions as possible. I enjoy that part of his gimmick, as no one else has really done that in a long time; at least that uses more than one submission move. Bryan repeatedly kicks Orton in the corner, and Orton pretty much no-sells it and comes out of the corner and throws him out of the ring.
12. Orton keeps him in a resthold before hitting the Ten Punch. Bryan comes back with some of his clotheslines and dropkicks and gets a two-count. Orton kicks Bryan's head, but gets sent out of the ring, allowing Bryan to miss a dive with a sidestep, and damn he went headfirst into the security wall. That was a bit scary, although on replay it didn't look as bad. Orton looks around the ring, and conveniently for a match that was only decided moments beforehand, there's a kendo stick at ringside. Orton holds nothing back with several stiff shots, and as Tommy Callahan might say... "That'll leave a mark." That takes us into commercial.
13. In case you haven't heard, that thing that's more important than the show is responsible for this match. Orton has Bryan set up for a superplex, but Bryan fights out of it and comes off the ropes with another dropkick. Cole sells the drama of the moment by talking about Mark Henry. Bryan starts going kick crazy, and Orton no-sells it again by coming back with a T-Bone. Man, he sure can take a lot of kicks with no reaction whatsoever. He must've learned from Sheamus. Orton goes for his Ropes DDT, but Bryan comes back with a NO! Lock attempt. It backfires, as Orton catapults him over the top rope. Bryan tries to skin the cat, but Bryan gets kicked right in the fuck, and the trainers check on the outside. Bryan gets really pissed and the two of them fight right back to the outside before Orton backdrops him on the security wall. The ref throws the match out, because fuck you, that's why. It's a No-DQ match, but they threw it out. They announce Orton as the winner, because he's the one who really needed the win there, and Bryan gets that strong push toward the world title by... losing. Orton offers a hand to help him up, because that's what you do when you call someone the weak link and fight them in a No-DQ match. That was fucking stupid. Great match, but strange booking decision if the rumors of putting him in the title picture by next month are true. All right, maybe I'm overreacting a bit, and I should be patient, but it's just frustrating on that part.
14. AJ Lee's title win is recapped, as Layla got her Pay-Per-View paycheck by being there for a few seconds to console Kaitlyn. AJ's had the title about 24 hours and calls herself the greatest Diva's champion of all time. No offense sweetie, but that's not saying a whole lot. She calls herself an example for women everywhere, and says there's not a woman in the world as strong and courageous as she is, because the word of the day calendar must've said "hyperbolic." She puts out an open-challenge, something sorely missing from wrestling television in recent years.
15. Stephanie McMahon, wearing an outfit after which AJ once modeled herself, makes her way to the ring. AJ turns peppy before Stephanie asks if she can say her piece. Stephanie puts her story over, but you know that second part is coming. She accuses her of perpetuating a stereotype about women, and says that what she did to Kaitlyn is degrading. She says that she needs to start acting like a champion. AJ agrees and throws in a cheap shot about marrying a superstar. Steph claims she should be more original, while AJ starts to get crazy. Steph pulls a Jericho by claiming to have invented crazy, and the tension increases. They start trading more and more vicious verbal barbs, before Stephanie threatens her with her job.
16. Six Divas appear at the top of the stage, and Stephanie then threatens Kaitlyn for interrupting her. I guess this show just wasn't complete without Stephanie doing her best Vince impression of Curtis Axel by simultaneously putting over someone and trashing them. Kaitlyn gets a bit emotional in her promo before charging the ring and a Joey-Styles-style catfight ensues. Big E pulls her out of the ring and then carries her flailing and screaming. He carries her right past the other five Divas who were there to... stand there and be threatened by Stephanie at one point. I liked the segment overall though, and pitting AJ against Stephanie really strikes to how importantly they're treating this storyline.
17. Now it's time for a US title match, and Dean Ambrose hits the arena after last night's successful defense against Kane. Speaking of whom, I guess Kane's getting another shot. It could be a good opportunity for Kane to show some intensity as well, seeing as yet another supposed ally has basically deserted him. If anyone in this company's history should have abandonment issues, it's this guy. Kane throws Ambrose around the ring for a good few minutes. The Shield hits the ring almost immediately and the numbers game catches up quickly. They hit the triple powerbomb, and they reference the claim that Triple H demanded Vickie make an example out of them.
18. After seeing Mark Henry in a pink blazer... Vickie confronts The Shield backstage, and they mock her potential punishments. Before Vickie can do something, Vince comes out of nowhere to congratulate The Shield. Vince is wearing a purple blazer and matching tie. I guess he and Henry were trying to out-LOUD each other tonight.
19. Zeb Colter's out to unsuccessfully attempt to make Biff Swagger relevant by going on a Dale from King of the Hill-like rant. Colter has chosen an ally for Swagger, and that brings to being what they hinted toward last week. I'm glad to see Cesaro is back to getting some television time, albeit with those all-white trunks. Holy shit, he's facing William Regal! Given time, these two could put on a clinic. Regal does his best Dolph Ziggler impression of selling before Cesaro lays down a bad-ass reverse underhook suplex thing. All right, so Regal basically lost a squash match, but he did a helluva job of putting over Cesaro in the process. Plus, it's awesome to just see the guy on TV. Afterward, Colter and Cesaro put the "Don't Tread on Me" flag over Regal, which historically is rather accurate for where that flag originated. It's giving Cesaro something to do, I approve.
20. John Cena is out next after his lackluster title feud with Ryback has finally (hopefully) concluded. Cena puts over the audience reaction, as he's one to do, even when it's negative in his direction. Cena says that he appreciates everyone's honesty, and that he accepts it readily. He follows it up by saying that he's speaking to the group that knows he goes to war for them. This might be interesting if he hadn't already done this promo. He thanks his supporters and subtly puts forth an open challenge with his focus is at Money in the Bank. He advises anyone against cashing in against him, albeit looking over the possible challenger he may have that night.
21. After Cena saying his catch phrase for the second time, Mark Henry walks out with a big smile and a pair of boots. I'm gonna miss this entrance theme if he is indeed retiring. He shakes Cena's hand, and asks Cena to stay. This moment might not have been much of anything if the last five years of Henry's career hadn't taken place. Henry puts over John Cena again, which causes most of those cheers to turn to boos, but even Cena's getting a bit emotional.
22. The crowd chants for one more match after he formally retires, and he acknowledges the awesome Grand Rapids crowd. Cena hands him the WWE title to raise up. This is a rare chance for a monstrous character like Henry to be seen as the down-to-Earth guy he really is. Whoops, spoke too soon! It was a troll the whole time, and he hits the World's Strongest Slam on Cena! That was awesome, and it got a huge pop. Hey WWE, pay attention. A guy just faked a retirement and slammed the guy who's supposed to be your number one good guy, and THEY'RE CHANTING HIS NAME!
23. Backstage, Mark Henry talks about fooling everyone into thinking he was retiring. It looks like Mark Henry is heading toward a WWE title match against John Cena at Money in the Bank. Good setup, I'll give them that. I can best summarize it by paraphrasing The Dark Knight Returns. "This would be a good end... But not good enough."
24. 3MB is out for their non-Triple H approved match. Jericho comes out as Heath Slater's opponent while they talk about how this match was booked on That Thing. Jericho dominates a good bit of it before Slater takes control and gets a near-fall. That changes pretty quickly, as Jericho hits the Codebreaker for the quick win, and 3MB continue to languish. Perfectly even more illustrating the point, he easily disposes of the other two with ease. Meanwhile backstage, Heyman and Axel are talking, and Matt Stryker acknowledges that even he doesn't give a shit about Curtis Axel by asking him about CM Punk. I'm sure Heyman and Axel's discussion has nothing whatsoever to do with that.
25. Sin Cara is out for a match against Curtis Axel, so yeah he's about to be fodder. We do however get that Sin Cara special lighting, which is something for which all enhancement talent normally gets. I guess Sin Cara is the Tim Tebow of wrestlers: Hardly ever gets in the game, but gets special attention in the world when he does, despite not really doing much. Miz is on commentary in a plaid three-piece... Kay... I'm learning to completely tune out that stupid Twitter ticker, as Cara gets countered on a high spot. Axel takes advantage and hits a vicious looking spike DDT. Curtis Axel wins, nobody's surprised, and they hardly give a shit either.
26. Now backstage, Vince McMahon's turn for an awkward Vickie Guerrero segment. Vince demands to know what they're doing about the Mark Henry situation, and Vickie awards his giant troll with a title shot. Stephanie comes in and says that the show is out of control while Vince argues that she's doing a good job. Triple H then comes in about making an example of The Shield. It's a three-way argument between McMahons with power and the person who's supposed to be the managing supervisor. I never thought I'd say this, but wow... Poor Vickie. Then, Paul Heyman wishes CM Punk the best of luck, which is definitely totally not at all another troll moment right there whatsoever.
27. During ADR's introduction, Lawler has a funny moment. Ricardo's doing his usual schtick, and he just remarks "yeah, what he said." Punk gets the better of ADR twice while he goes outside the ring to some decent heat. Punk then decides to attack on the outside. ADR goes on the offensive by kicking Punk in the head, but don't you dare do a punt kick! The announcing crew talks about how the people were firmly in ADR's corner before his switch... Yeah, that's why they turned him back after four months. Title wins for both too. Turns face, wins title. Turns heel, wins title. Maybe soon he'll go tweener... The face disposition kind, not the age. Anyway, ADR sends Punk to the outside as a perfect opportunity for a mid-match commercial.
28. We come back just in time for Punk to come back. They recap Daniel Bryan's situation, saying that he was so upset that they stopped the match that he got in Triple H's face about it. Gee, that would be something to show on TELEVISION! CM Punk counters an axe-handle and shows the world that you can sell after you get offense in. Take note, Randy Orton. ADR however comes back with his arm-breaker move. ADR gets a close-fall with a backstabber, and Punk continues to sell while ADR sets up. He misses a kick, but then hits on the second try for another close fall. Punk comes back with a running knee, and hits the G2S, but it sends ADR out of the ring. Ricardo tries to help ADR up, but he backs out of the match instead of getting back in, so CM Punk wins by countout. Just as that happens, Dolph attacks ADR from behind, despite not being cleared, and it gets a big pop. I haven't seen him this intense since... Ever.
29. Oh shit, Brock Lesnar's music just hit as CM Punk was announced the winner. This feud was rumored before, but it looks like we're about to head in that direction. Lesnar and his corporately-sponsored T-shirt circle the ring slowly and casually before finally getting in the ring and staring him down. Lesnar takes the mic and slowly inches closer to Punk, but instead just F-5's him, officially kicking off this feud and sealing Punk's face turn, although Lesnar is still pretty over himself. We then get a replay of what we just saw, if you sneezed or something, and that's how RAW goes off the air.
30. WWE has had some damn good television in the last month. This show wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good all around. I overreacted at the way the Bryan/Orton thing was booked, but for the most part, everything's going strong. Money in the Bank should keep this momentum going. Anyway, catch us tomorrow at 3pm EST for Ham Radio Weekly, see you then!
Mark Henry's gotta win it, even if it's just for his blazer.
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
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