30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 6-3-13
By Al Laiman
Jun 4, 2013 - 5:12:24 PM
credit Tom Jenner
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30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 5-27-13 - IN LAIMAN'S TERMS
First things first, Al Laiman has officially joined the LOPRadio schedule for Tuesdays at 3pm EST starting next week. The show will be called "HAM Radio Weekly" and it's up in the air to whether or not I'll have someone hosting with me. Calling in will definitely be available, and I plan on running it similarly to last week's radio Ask Al, except directly interactive. Considering it was my first radio show and it was improvised, save for a skeleton outline, I think it'll only get better from here. I know this column is a bit later than most are used to, but not too far gone from RAW to be read, so let's get started.
1. Is it just me or does the new voice-over guy sound like the secret informant during an investigation? So being in Connecticut, the first music we hear is... Stephanie McMahon? Unfortunately she has a new entrance theme, but the mother of Triple H's children looks pretty damn well. It's been a long time since anything involving Stephanie McMahon opened up RAW. Stephanie plays exposition fairy and reminds us of the last two weeks before saying that she's made an executive decision to not let Triple H compete. This angle has been rumored for a few weeks now, and it seems it's going into full swing.
2. Mr. McMahon's theme hits to a huge pop, so it looks like we're in store for a hot crowd tonight. McMahon and his Swagger (no Biff)
has HAM mode on for the evening, and asks the crowd to not boo his daughter. Mr. McMahon agrees with Stephanie, and emphasizes that they care about Triple H more than we do. This is weird, because it's making the crowd seem like uncaring douchebags, to a point. This concussion storyline is treading dangerously. So let's just summarize so far. They announced the main event match, only to say that the main event match isn't happening, being told to us by the people responsible for making the main event match happen. McMahon gets a "one more time" chant started by referencing Kofi Kingston getting taken out, and says that there's not gonna be another time for Triple H. As McMahon goes into heel mode and buries the crowd... Strange... The Shield's music hits, and they've successfully set up The Shield as the faces in this situation. And, to set the absolute sense of urgency for this situation that has always led to something dangerous happening, they... go into a commercial. Oh fuck you.
3. Interesting that having Vince and Stephanie out here opening RAW while talking about Triple H is reminding me of the Factgime days. As The Shield return to our television screens, they stand by while... Randy Orton's music hits? Whaaaaat? They're just starting the match now? So they built it up that The Shield were coming out to confront the McMahons, only for them to just be coming out for their match? That being said though, it does seem that Daniel Bryan is finally beginning his upswing. They're building up his newfound intensity, and listen to that damn crowd! Bryan starts out against Ambrose, and continues his momentum. He tags in Kane, and they hit a double team. Kane continues to dominate the opening. The first mention of the thing I won't mention goes by quickly, although it does look like they're finally establishing a tag team division beyond the champions and the number one contenders. Kane goes to the top rope, but Reigns distracts him, allowing Rollins to get in the high kick as we go into a mid-match commercial.
4. Predictably, the show comes back while skipping almost all of the Shield's heel heat, and it looks like Kane's getting a hope spot before he's pushed back into the corner of The Shield. Cole sells the danger of the situation by listing places where people watch RAW, and that transitions into the grammar-challenged ticker. Someone actually hashtagged #was #being #booed. Thanks WWE, I'm so glad my brain needed a good exploding from stupid. Orton gets the hot tag and is surprisingly popular, and he even HAMs it up a little during the double DDT. Orton tries for another, but is kicked in the back of the head as The Shield takes back control. I'm gonna need a second cup of coffee.
5. Ambrose throwing in some trash talk reminds me that we haven't seen Brad Maddox in a while. The only people disappointed are those who simply had him on the Pretty list and nothing else. Rollins holds on to Orton's leg, preventing him from tagging in one of the former disputed tag team champions. Reigns throws in a Masterlock for good measure, and then punches Orton right in the fuck to top it off. In fact, that might be the most accurate definition of punching someone right in the fuck that I've ever seen. Reigns continues to maintain control until Orton powers out and both are down. Rollins goes to the top rope, and Orton counters with a huge dropkick.
6. Daniel Bryan tags in and the place goes nuts. Bryan goes just as crazy and seems to be kicking even harder than usual. He cleans house similarly to his Smackdown foray into madness, and he hits a Frankensteiner in an awesome spot, sending Rollins into Ambrose. After a suicide dive, he gets Ambrose into the NO! Lock and the crowd is eating up every second of it. LISTEN TO THIS, WWE! The submission is broken up, Kane checks in, goes for the double chokeslam, and promptly gets speared. Orton comes back with an RKO, then goes for another, but gets shoved right into Daniel Bryan. Ambrose hits his finisher and gets the win.
7. Not as good as some of the other six-man tags involving most of these that we've seen, but the last few minutes were really good. Daniel Bryan got put over huge though, despite taking the fall, and if this is the beginning of the monster push he more than deserves, I'm all for it. Before we go into commercial, they reveal that we get to see ADR vs. Big E... again... and HOLY FUCK THANK JBL FOR FIREFOX. Somehow the entire column section here got highlighted and typed over. Firefox has an undo button, or you wouldn't be getting 30 Thoughts this week. Excuse me while I sip my coffee and breathe for five minutes.
8. I would like to announce that joining HAM Radio Weekly, either as full time co-hosts or as regular guests will be Tom Hackett, Matthew Briner, and Uncle Leo. We'll probably be doing one more test run this week, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, Orton and Bryan are arguing over their miscommunication. Bryan gets indignant over Orton's apology, and thinks that Orton also believes that he's the weak link. Kane tells Bryan that he's lost touch with reality; something that I never thought I'd hear Kane tell someone else. Bryan demands that he'll have another match so that everyone will finally learn to respect him. This could be good.
9. Also backstage, Triple cHief Morley finds Stephanie, Vince, and his Leisure Suit Larry outfit. H continues to argue with both of them about wrestling, and Vince makes a cerebral assassin joke. H gets indignant over Vince talking to him about ego. I can summarize this entire segment in these two sentences. I'm wrestling. No you're not. Repeat.
10. Coming out next are the Uso's, full entrance, and they have their best Samoan half-Ultimate Warrior paint on. During the commercial, the Prime Time Players come out as their opponents, and we pick up in the middle of the match. The commentators are naturally talking about Triple H and Stephanie. Holy shit, it really is a Factgime Flashback!
11. Titus is looking like an absolute beast, and I think it's only a matter of time before he gets a singles push. The ticker comes back on and I see the phrase "Raw is crazy so for." UGH. Titus continues to dominate, but he goes shoulder-first pretty hard into the turnbuckle, and both men get the hot tag. Jimmy Uso comes in and cleans house, and the crowd seems to be pretty into them. The splash finisher gets them the win. I mentioned them last week on Ask Al, seeing as I hadn't seen them in a while and hoped they would do something with them, and sure enough, here they are getting an impressive win on RAW. Good for them.
12. Ricardo comes out for ADR's intro, as he'll be facing Big E. for... the fourth time in a row? Something like that. Is a one-time mic-off between him and Kennedy in the works anytime soon? Big E has control in the beginning, defying the usual face shine to begin a match, and he throws ADR all over the outside. He continues on the inside, hitting power move after power move on Del Rio. Considering they've already faced each other, this is surprising to see such a one-sided match. The crowd starts chanting for Ziggler as that thing comes up, don't care. Just as quickly though, not only does ADR get control bAck, but he gets Big E. in the cross-armbreaker. Langston counters it in the same way he has the last few times, demonstrating that clearly, ADR needs a better strategy. He comes back in and hits a Voldemort Suplex before getting Arsenio Langston in the cross-armbreaker again. This time, he switches it into a pinfall that gives us all an opportunity to get to know Langston a bit too well. For some reason, they're playing up the disputed pinfall angle again, but it goes nowhere.
13. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! EVEN THE AMOUNT OF TIMES WE'VE FACED EACH OTHER CAN'T RIVAL THE EXTENSION OF THIS ONE-SIDED FEUD, HOAK HOGAN! HEADLINING WRESTLEMANIA CAN'T RIVAL HOW MANY TIMES SANDOW AND RHODES HAVE BEEN ON THE LOSING OPPOSING SIDE OF SHEAMUS AND RANDY ORTON! THEY HAVE LESS OF A CHANCE THAN A RAIDER AGAINST A THRACE OR AN ADAMA, HOAK HOGAN! THEY COULD HAVE SCAR AND THE CYLON FLEET ON THEIR SIDE, BUT THE ENDING WOULD SEE BOOMER MAKE AN 84TH FACE TURN JUST TO BE ON THE WINNING SIDE YET AGAIN! DON'T SET A NUKE INSIDE THIS EPICENTER MAELSTROM! THE TERRAIN OF TESTAMENT CANNOT SURVIVE ANOTHER JUMP, HOAK HOGAN! IT CANNOT SURVIVE ANOTHER JUMP!
14. Cody Rhodes shows off his suntan against the Casper of wrestlers while we get glorious Sandow HAM on commentary. Speaking of which, Sandow vs. Sandor Clegane. Who would win? Discuss. Rhodes summons all the power in his mustache to avoid the turnbuckle version of the Forearm Chops of Doom. Cody Rhodes catches up on the outside and knees Sheamus as he's up against the apron. That looked pretty sick. Sandow is arguing every point the commentators make with awesome straight-faced trolling, and this guy needs to stop being a jobber already.
15. Sheamus finally starts to come back and throws Rhodes away before hitting the cycle of trademark moves. He's deliberately defying video game logic, as no one would have room for this many trademark and finishing moves. Rhodes gets a quick near-fall and follows up with a nice ropes-assisted neckbreaker for another attempt. Sheamus counters Cross Rhodes, but Rhodes comes back, but misses a moonsault attempt. Sheamus hits the Michael Keaton-inspired drop, and Sandow gets some more HAM in there by saying he's playing possum. I love this guy. Sheamus sets up for a BOOT TO THE HEAD!, and wins again. For the love of JBL, how many times do these two have to lose to this guy?! At least we got some Sandow HAM out of it. After the match, Sheamus steps outside the ring and tries to shake Sandow's hand twice before smacking him and getting the one-up... or 5784-up, in this case, because you know, he just hasn't looked good enough against him yet.
16. The Divas have their own TV show now. Does that mean I don't have to see them on RAW? If so, good. That means I won't have to see them at all. I wouldn't tune into E! if they had the season finale of Game of Thrones airing early. Speaking of which though, the Red Wedding... Holy fuck. Oh, and that thing I won't mention has been downloaded 6 million times, which is interesting, because I still give zero fucks.
17. We come back, and Triple H is leaving so he doesn't beat up his grandfather on TV. So the only thing advertised before this show is now not happening, but it's going to happen this week. It's like booking a Survivor Series match, and then going "oh no wait!" At least they've never done anything like that... Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan kicks a set backstage and that offends Ryback. They commence a Dick-Off, but unfortunately this probably means Bryan's losing to the guy who'll be losing to Cena. I don't imagine they'll have the number one contender lose to a guy who already lost one time. Oh well, I'll give it a chance at least. Now, in a third backstage segment in a row, Vince confronts Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel. The two of them seem happy that they won't be facing Triple H. Vince instead books Axel against John Cena. So we go from one rematch to the other rematch, except this time he'll be facing Cena in a no-DQ match. Meanwhile... again... Fandango is headed toward the ring with a haircut that implies that he just returned from auditioning for the reboot of The Outsiders. Damn, that was a long series of "Meanwhiles."
18. Hey, at least Fandango waited for his set to be the entire way down before he came out this week. The candle silhouette is back and he's facing... The Great Khali. Joy... Lawler makes a Jay Leno chin joke and it makes someone laugh so hard that they snort. That's really sad. Fandango sells the wind sheer from Khali vaguely swinging in his direction, and continues to do his best to take Khali offense. Summer Rae runs over like he just took a chainsaw to the groin, and Fandango tries to leave. Miz comes out to run him back, and then Barrett follows him out and hits the Bullhammer elbow on Miz. They ask if Miz can compete, but wasn't there already a match going on? Nope, I guess not.
19. Now we're in a Miz/Barrett match, and we didn't even get to hear Barrett's 15th entrance theme. More tickers with more headaches, and after a few minutes of the match, Fandango's music hits again. Damn, wasn't he in a match or something that they completely forgot about a bit ago? That gives Miz a distraction into the worst transition into a figure four I've ever seen, and Miz wins. That entire segment of two matches was a disaster of confusion. Barrett sells on the outside while Miz remembers that he was a reputable champion at one point in time.
20. Is Y2J slated to face CM Punk in his hometown of Chicago? I haven't picked up on it yet.
21. Two straight minutes of Triple H recaps, skip. Lawler is out to emcee the contract signing, which is not concluding the show, so a pipe bomb is not likely to commence. Has anyone ever noticed that the smoke from Jericho's pyro look like Fry's Robot Devil hands? Paul Heyman heads out next, and he takes the mic before signing the agreement. Heyman chastises the idea of feeding Jericho's ego, and we're in for some more HAM on HAM combat. Jericho interrupts him by mocking the fact that Heyman reviews Punk's statistics, the same way every other wrestler has to for the ADD Generation anymore, but Jericho adds some things to the resume in his own Jericho way.
22. Jericho starts to sign, but Heyman stops him to ask if he's truly prepared to face Punk in Chicago. He says that while they may have an arena full of Jerichoholics, that won't be the case in Chicago. Wow, they don't acknowledge the power that a partisan hometown crowd has very often, and it really speaks to CM Punk's power of presence. It usually takes going to another country to draw reaction power like that. Jericho sarcastically starts to offer other locations for the match to take place, the third getting a huge pop as he suggests having the match tonight. Of course though, for every huge pop, there is an equal and opposite heel heat, and Heyman turns them all down. Jericho then starts to ask where they should file the contract, which is only interesting because it involves Jericho and Heyman are verbally sparring. Jericho demands Heyman stand up unbutton his jacket. He pulls on Paul Heyman's pants and slides it down there... Pause. That'll... show him?
23. My hopes are dashed that we won't be seeing the Divas anymore, because the Entitled Twins are out for another match to a resounding sea of apathy. Thankfully, they balance that out with AJ's theme, but even she doesn't get much of a reaction. The Funkateers are out next for a significantly shorter entrance than their tag team counterparts, and they're teaming with Kaitlyn. The secret admirer thing is on the App now, which is great because it means I don't have to see it. AJ and Kaitlyn start out, but they immediately both tag out, which means that Kaitlyn also has to tag out? Are they doing mixed gender rules in a single-gender match?
24. Naomi misses a cross-body and goes right into the second rope. That didn't look pleasant. The crowd is so quiet throughout this that we can hear all the discussion going on between them, and with a crowd like this, that's incredibly sad. If only there still were women wrestlers that could make a crowd care, but that might actually take paying attention. AJ refuses to tag in, and Team Face Diva wins. Could've been worse.
25. Backstage, Kane tries to convince Daniel Bryan that he shouldn't be facing Ryback. Kane sells Bryan's heart, desire, and will to fight. Where's Dr. Shelby when you need him? Kane says he has nothing to prove to anyone, but Bryan does his no-shake and says he'll prove it without Kane. Kane takes it very personally, as one in his fragile frame of mind tends to do, and bails on the show. Also, the Wyatt Family vignette that I missed last week airs, and... Interesting, to say the least. What's with the sheep face? All I know is Brodie Lee is involved, so it has to be good.
26. Daniel Bryan really needs another strong showing here. Despite how good he's looked lately, he is on a rather impressive losing streak, after having interchangeable repeated tag team partners against the Shield. Dammit, they fooled me again, because I thought Scott Steiner was coming out. Is that part of his entrance theme now? I call shenanigans! Ryback Rules is no "Holla if You Hear Me." At least he still has his pointless invisible pyro. Daniel Bryan continues getting serious love from the crowd, and even opens up with some strong offense at first. They're selling that Bryan is delusional of mind, which may even increase his intensity. It'd be foolish to completely turn him heel now as over as he is, though. Look how well it's done for Ryback. Ryback hits what looks like an overshot Lou Thesz press, but it turns out to be a Danielson counter into a single-leg Boston Crab. He continues trying to work different submission moves, and looks like a badass doing it. Do you think they'll start calling him Napoleon anytime soon? They use the phrase "inferiority complex" every eight seconds. Danielson gets clotheslined out of the ring while Ryback tries to look cool repeatedly pounding his chest as we go into commercial.
27. The first thing they mention is that thing I won't mention, but we're back in the match where Ryback can only see John Cena. That is false, because Cena has been saying for years that his opponents can't see him, so your argument is invalid. Ryback just has no heat now whatsoever. More Twit-tards during the quiet of the rest-hold. Bryan finally comes back with some intensity, and he looks ridiculously look during his face shine, but gets bench-pressed out a pinfall attempt. Another dropkick from the top rope sets up the Voldemort Headbutt and gets a fall so close that the crowd fell for it. Ryback gets back in control with a powerbomb. Ryback goes for a second, but Bryan reverses it into the NO! Lock! Ryback gets to the ropes and rolls out of the ring. Bryan goes through the ropes, but gets thrown into the announce table, which couldn't have felt good.
28. Ryback takes the offensive back and goes back outside of the ring and grabs a table. He powerbombs him through the table, meaning that Daniel Bryan technically won, but not really. Ryback gets another table, but John Cena finally shows up. Nice of him to be there before the first table shot, eh? Check this shit out though, coming out for the save on Daniel Bryan gets Cena a huge division in cheers over boos for the first time in, well I don't know how long. Curtis Axel's music hits, and maybe it's because Ryback is out there, but I thought it was the Terminator theme coming on. How much more awesome would that have been?
29. Just before the show comes back, they advertise the final season of Burn Notice. Who the hell watches Burn Notice? HARRIS WATCHES BURN NOTICE! Heyman already gets involved to give Axel the advantage, as Genesis 2.0 takes control of Cena. My girlfriend just walked out of the room, because the comparison of seeing Daniel Bryan hit offense vs. this match is just not even close to a non-fan. Cena starts clearing the table on the outside, but instead throws him back in. The count-out is on, which sort of defeats the purpose of McMahon making the match the way he did, but whatever. Axel gets a hold of a steel chair on the other side, as Cena gets back in the ring. They have a staredown as Axel still has the chair, misses again, but Axel still maintains the match so far. It's too soon to tell where this will go, as Heyman can still work his magic, but so far I'm not seeing anything necessarily impressive that just screams "instant main event push and being put over Cena immediately." I mean, it did wonders for Lord Tensai, right?
30. Cena goes into Trademark Moveland and hits the first three, but the AA is dodged immediately. Cena dives into the steel chair in the corner and heads to the outside. Axel continues with the chair, getting some close falls, but Cena stays down. Heyman quotes SJK's hands, telling him to "Stay Down" and Axel grabs the chair again. He's starting to get into Royal Rumble '99 hit counts here, albeit none to the head. Axel hits a swinging neckbreaker onto the chair, although it looks like he missed half of it, and Cena still kicks out. Axel goes for the Perfectplex, but Cena reverses it into the not-STFU. Heyman grabs a tiny Notebook, and somehow that's enough to break the hold. Axel goes outside and walks right into an AA hold. Heyman begs him not to, so Cena goes after Heyman instead. This gives Axel time to recuperate, but not effectively. Ryback comes back out for the attack and puts Cena through the table in the corner. It looks like Axel's on his way to another count-out win. Of all the people that get put over Cena twice in a row, it's this guy. That's how it ends, with Ryback trying very hard to not make "Ryback Rules" sound like an incredibly stupid catch phrase. Overall, not as good as last week. A few too many segments, including four in a row at one point, and just some jumbled, confusing booking with the opening segment and the Miz/Barrett/Fandango/Khali spots. Other than a meaningless Diva's match though, the rest of the show was pretty solid, and Daniel Bryan was clearly the MVP of the night. The thing I won't mention references were played down a lot, so I must not have been the only one overly sickened with the ridiculous amount of mentions in past weeks. Good show overall though.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Sandow's return to commentary brings the trophy back home this week.
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
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