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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 6-2-14
By Al Laiman
Jun 3, 2014 - 11:43:16 PM

credit Tom Jenner

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I made this a few days ago. It's a non-character piece. Hope you like it.

30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 6-2-14

1. Fortunately getting to this before Wednesday. Good to be back with the Laiman faithful for another week of random streams of consciousness about a television show. Evolution comes out to the top of the stage, and H is sporting a nice shiner. Interesting, I didn't notice that each member of The Shield got a pin on Sunday. Well done. Triple H does his best Aaron Eckhart from the The Dark Knight talking about how we all think it's over. Um... Considering you guys were talking about how it would be the last time you'd ever see them in the ring together last Monday, yeah, that's a fair assumption. The Punk chants have already broken out.

2. Bluetista is not impressed with more matches to lose, and wants the title match he was promised. H burns Batista, and Big Dave tries to do some crazy eyes. H HAMs it up in Dave's face as he continues yelling about the Shield being no more. Batista deadpans and quits right in H's face. Batista outHAMs H by doing a royal wave. All I heard was Jon Stewart impersonating Queen Elizabeth, "Hello, hello!" End of segment. Everybody feeling good and awkward now? Awesome. I'm sure absolutely no shenanigans whatsoever will result from this.

3. Oh no, they're talking about That Thing again. After a recap, more plugging for That Thing. After the "exclusive" interview we would've seen on That Thing, we see what we would've seen anyway, thereby making its usage... You guessed it... Entirely irrelevant.

4. Lobsterhead got jobber entranced, dammit. It's a European tag team match with RVD thrown in there as well. Barrett gets an aside-promo, so I guess these are going to be regular things now. They've been extremely prevalent in the last few weeks. It's so nice that commentators only have to read Twitter to give us context anymore, isn't it? Cole cliche #657 as the match "rolls on" going into commercial.

5. Heyman can't get over using a small package in a fight, which is fantastic. Cesaro and Barrett make a badass makeshift tag team. We all know that Lobsterhead is eventually gonna get the hot tag and get to hit all of his 87 trademark moves, but for now, RVD is making both Cesaro and Barrett look amazing. Cesaro gets in a shot at Sheamus, apparently having not learned to not poke the bear. The experience that Sheamus has with both of these opponents really shows. Heyman tells Cesaro "don't turn around" when Sheamus is set up for the BOOT TO THE HEAD, because I'm guessing Heyman is a huge Ace of Base fan. Barrett gets ditched by Cesaro, so yeah, we all know what's gonna happen here. RVD ends up getting the win as Lawler tries to combine two cliches into one somehow and makes them both sound stupid. He should've written for the movie North.

6. WWE Monday Night Commercial continues with more Network whoring. Damien Sandow comes out dressed in a Pacers' uniform, so I guess he's a basketball player, giving us another opportunity for the recent Sandow influx of HAM. I'm gonna guess that another face comes out and obliterates him. He's working the cheap heat to a charm. He then decides to give a public display of his skills, which I assume are a very specific set that he's acquired over a very long career.

7. To the surprise of no one, a face theme cuts it off, and it's the Big Show. JBL is going so ridiculously HAMmy in pretending that that's really the guy from the Pacers that it's almost sad. Sandow continues going ridiculous by tossing Show the basketball and trying to defend him. Sandow shortly thereafter gets knocked out, and the long sad story of Sandow's fall from grace continues.

8. Bo Dallas is out to give us more of Simon Dean 2014, and like Sunday night, the cheap heat is almost identical for two segments in a row. Taking Sandow's promo and turning it into a Bolieve version is pretty lame. The crowd response is pretty mild, but then again, that might be the intention. Kofi starts a comeback after taking Bo Dallas's "inspirational" offense. The way this guy can go, it's a shame he's once again been reduced to enhancement talent. Kofi ends up eating the ropes face-first, and the Bo-Dog looked like absolute shit. I don't think people are sure of how to react to this guy, nor is it likely being helped by the commentary team being so ridiculous about responding to it.

9. We're approaching the end of the first hour, so that must mean it's recap time. Oh yeah, and something about addressing the title. I also love how they show commercials for Smackdown by advertising it to answer questions we already know from watching RAW.

10. I gotta commend WWE Payback for getting Brie Bella a face pop in a smark city. Stephanie comes out, so it's time for more Condescending Hour. I'll admit, it's the first time I ever gave a shit about anything either Bella has ever done. Steph is doing this heel role so well, and you can tell it's working based on the response pops her foes get. Steph announces that at Money in the Bank, Daniel Bryan will either face Kane in a stretcher match, or the Money in the Bank match will actually be for the title.

11. Before Steph can continue her crowd harangue, John Cena interrupts her. Hey, remember what I said about Steph getting her opponents responses? That might be the biggest positive Cena reaction I've heard in a long time. Cena of course continues to be a walking merchandise commercial, showing off his towel during his entrance now. Cena puts over Wyatt, and then the crowd remembers they're too cool to like him. Cena polls Stephanie's decision-making abilities on her crowd response, which is interesting because he never does the same thing about himself.

12. Wow, Cena is a 14-time champion now? Look out Flair, he's getting closer. Cena goes back and forth with Steph before laying the insult pretty thick, and she plays right into the response. Brilliant right there. Cena's putting over Bryan in the process, which keeps this angle interesting for sure. He does a great job of selling the difference between him and Bryan's fear of never getting another opportunity. It's good to see Steph going back and forth with someone who isn't Bryan; they both look good in the process. Cena even makes a surgery joke, which gets a great pop, and Steph fires right back again! This segment is awesome!

13. This is also the Cena I like. When he's allowed to be a grown-up... And just as I say that, he has to explain what giving someone a zero on a scale of one to ten means. He ends up booking Cena against Demon Kane right then, and she says "Payback's a bitch, and so am I." Well said, but I'm surprised someone not named The Rock is allowed to say naughty words on a PG show. Also, kudos to Steph for pulling the page out of Eric Bischoff's booking book of 2004.

14. We come back mid-action with Cena just about ready to get a hope spot. We'll see if the guy who gets a title shot goes over the Golden Boy, if Cena finds yet another way to overcome the odds, or if Wyatts are about. Unfortunately, even Demons can't figure out not to throw a clothesline after two shoulder blocks. Suddenly, Kane gets... disqualified? Um, all right. That's one way to go. After the match, Kane starts ripping the steps apart, similar to the Bryan beatdown post-WrestleMania. However, Cena finds a way to overcome those odds too, and throws some steps Sabu-style. Kay. Kane then starts doing his best Alicia Fox impression and breaks stuff at ringside. Now if only we can get him to take a soda bath.

15. We get YET ANOTHER FUCKING RECAP of Batista quitting. Then Orton makes sure that he and H are on the same page and gets a match with Reigns. Dyslexic Akbar says: "IT'S A TARP!"

16. It looks like Los Genericos and 3MB are having yet another encounter. It's Pun night at the Improv apparently, and Heath Slater even gets a promo. Hornswoggle is wearing a Frowig. I wonder if Hornswoggle is going to demand a rematch in the form of trial by combat? Cole makes a Welcome Back Kotter reference, which is great for the guy who is always complaining about JBL's lack of topical references. Hornswoggle gets on the apron and El Torito pulls the wig off. This causes a distraction, and they go over 3MB... again. JBL also makes a Tyrion reference. Can all of this just stop being a thing please?

17. Nikki Bella is next, so make it two straight segments where my giveafuck-ometer remains at zero. She's facing Aksana and Sodabath Nutcase. Nikki nearly gets a win via Ultimate Divas Finishing Maneuver, but it doesn't go well after that. Shortly after, Snowbath gets the win, and then tosses Nikki out of the ring. Then she does what Kelly Kelly never could, and runs the ropes several times. The attack continues on the outside, and some dude actually yells: "YOU ARE RUDE!" Oh snap. Alicia keeps yelling hashtag insults...

18. The Wyatt stinger goes off, and for a brief second, gives me hope that they were coming out to end this misery parade. Harper manages to cut a pretty decent Wyatt promo, and the cell phone lights are a-flyin'.

19. Zeb Colter is out for his weekly correspondent's meeting, and despite only having Biff with him, the three-word catch phrase response team wins again. He's facing Adam Rose, and I wonder if this'll be half as weird as the HAM-winning segment we were privy to last week. Finally we're gonna see if Rose can go. Rose continues trolling Swagger, and Biff keeps driving into the truck of manure each time. When did they start calling him General Colter? Did I miss something? The crowd sings along with the song to try to encourage his comeback, I love it. The commentary team spends most of the time droning on about what Hoosiers are. Rose wins with an interesting finishing move, and he's not too bad. JBL can't get over the damn bunny.

20. The Usos get a backstage segment, reminding me that they are tag team champions. It also reminds me how rare an Usos promo actually is. I'm not sure which one of them does it, but one of them goes freaking nuts barking.

21. I guess without Bray, we don't get any entrance music. Cena takes the Sabu throw, and the Wyatts take the Sabu entrance, fair enough. The Wyatts start out continuing to be brutal. Jey then does a cross-body despite his ribs being taped up, and doesn't sell it at all. Why bother having them wrapped at all? We've seen these two teams go at it several times, and the experience has been great for both of them. I love hearing Harper doing the weird chant thing from the apron. This feud is what can happen when two teams with completely contrasting styles work well together.

22. I've been exposing my brother-in-law/roommate to movies he's never seen lately. In the last few weeks, we've had Caddyshack, Major League, Office Space, Groundhog Day, and The Breakfast Club. I just found out he's never seen Tommy Boy either. Again, I shall play Don Quixote. Someone in the front row has one of those cardboard cut-out giant heads of a kid's face. Somehow, that works along with the creepy of the Wyatts. Is it the kid from the cage match? The Usos finally get a hot tag and clean house. Harper's face during a pinfall attempt is priceless.

23. Harper's high spot goes a little long, but it's still impressive as hell to see a man that size do that. For a minute there, I thought we were getting a second in-match commercial, because Cole said "the tag team champions all fired up." Usually after that, we get, "Will they stay in control, as Monday Night RAW rolls on." The Usos themselves almost get a win due to Ultimate Divas Finisher. Rowan ends up getting the win themselves, hopefully setting up a tag title match in the short-term future.

24. Apparently next, Dolph Ziggler is facing "Alberto Duh Rio." The Black Hole of Charisma gets himself jobber-entranced, which can't be a good omen for the former winner. Despite everything that's happened to the man, Ziggler remains immensely popular with the house crowds. Del Rio tries to shush the crowd, because he can only function in an environment in which he's familiar with the response.

25. Ziggles gets a near-fall with the Fameasser, which makes his Doppelganger Billy Gunn sad. I hear some fan yell, "You can't count!" Is there a mic near this guy or something? To piss off another member of DX, Del Rio then kicks out of an X-Factor... from the top rope?! What's next, Warrioring the Pedigree? Ziggler then gets caught in the Cross Armbreaker, and the Black Hole of Charisma gets the win. Good match though, as we've seen the two of them face many times.

26. Cole cliche #545, "Switching gears." Recap of Cody's emo moment at Payback. Oh joy, more stuff with Rybaxel. I can't complain though, as we get an old-school Goldust entrance. Cody apparently has picked Goldust's partner, and he picks... Sin Cara? Damn, Cody must really not like his brother. Ryback gets a bonus third-person HAM for taking credit for breaking up a bunch of tag teams, including the New Age Outlaws and the Rockers. Nice. Ryback continues getting the "Goldberg" chant, because it's so incredibly original and fresh by now. Goofus ends up avoiding a Swanton, and pins Sin Cara shortly after.

27. Just because enough comparisons haven't been made to Rocky IV yet, that awesome Russian national anthem previews the Rusev segment. I've been tweeted several times about this, so I'm expecting serious HAM levels here. This means more Lana, and I'm quite all right with that. What a great rookie asset she's been to the roster. This would get even more serious heat... if this were 1978. Even Rusev is wearing a suit tonight, which is an interesting sight, to say the least.

28. Three Indy wrestlers pretending to be Russian diplomats, stand aside as Rusev steps up on a podium, Kurt Angle-style. One of the guys takes the mic for the presentation of the gold star, and unfortunately Kurt Angle does not return here. But are they going to play the Russian national anthem? Yes! From a purely musical standpoint, it's freaking awesome. That entire segment was honestly very strange.

29. Ohai, T-Rich. Thanks for Johnny Football. Another JBLdamn recap of Big Dave quitting, holy flying vagina squirrel, we get it! Ambrose takes the mic after the entrance and actually refers to "napalm settling." Rollins then refers to their implosion. I'm telling you, it's a tarp! Reigns just referred to them all as brothers. I've got a bad feeling about this. Triple H comes out with his sledgehammer, and Rollins powders to quickly get chairs. H gets on the mic, and talks about a Plan B. Rollins hits Reigns with a chair, and Ambrose can't believe it. Dammit, we all knew this was coming eventually, but I'm really disappointed to see them break up. Rollins goes HAM crazy with the chair, needing a new one after breaking it over Ambrose. So it takes that many fewer chair shots to keep Reigns down? Oh well, it only makes sense that one of those guys was going to join Evolution, but I didn't expect it to be Rollins.

30. Orton then gets in the ring and continues the chair assault. For some reason, it's a thing two nights in a row to take off Reigns' vest. Fanservice? An RKO on the chair follows it up. It's about time that Evolution has a "future" part of the stable though. That's how the show goes off the air, and it looks like this feud will continue. Overall, this show was a freaking drag. The Cena/Steph segment and the main twist at the end were good, but the rest of the show felt like such filler. A lot of wasted time, curious choices, with several good points but not very many was this night.

The Usos take this one for their unusual dose of HAM tonight.

2012 - Daniel Bryan
2013 - Paul Heyman
1-6-14 - Dean Ambrose
1-13-14 - Big Show
1-20-14 - Big Show
2-3-14 - Bray Wyatt
2-17-14 - Titus O'Neil
2-24-14 - The Undertaker
3-3-14 - Paul Heyman
3-10-14 - Stephanie
3-17-14 - Randy Orton
3-24-14 - Dean Ambrose
3-31-14 - Bray Wyatt
4-6-14 - Roddy Piper
5-12-14 - Adam Rose
5-19-14 - Paul Heyman
5-26-14 - Adam Rose/"Davy Crockett"/A Giant Lemon with Biff
6-2-14 - The Usos

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