30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 9-30-13
By Al Laiman
Oct 1, 2013 - 4:11:06 PM
credit Tom Jenner
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Twitter: @AlLaimanLOP, @JadedHope1
30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 9-30-13
1. Do forgive my absence last week. If any of you follow me on Facebook (add me if you want) you'd have understood why. I had the absolute worst travel experience of my life with a certain airline, and by the time I got back home, I just wasn't up for doing much of anything. Also, if you've missed me saying it the last few columns, 30 Thoughts won't be out on Monday nights anymore, due to my school schedule. I don't even get home until 1am, so what I do is watch it on the train to Philadelphia the next day. Anyway, CM Punk opens up the show, fresh off it being his own fault that Ryback nearly broke him. We have our first replay of the show already as Punk is getting the crowd to pop, and take a shot every time you hear the phrase "get his/my hands on." Really, we even get a replay of the mic spot?
2. Punk begins his promo and even he knows that superstars always get beaten to hell in their hometown. The theme of this piece is predictability, and he's utilizing it to compare the advantages and disadvantages of it surrounding his own storyline. Two shots. Three shots. Four shots. Punk does a great job of playing into the crowd reaction, something far too few wrestlers on television do anymore, although he nearly goes into Foley Cheap Pop mode. Punk states that he won't leave the ring until he gets a fight. Five shots.
3. CM Punk is greeted by the voice of Brad Maddox, and Punk mocks him for not having an entrance song. Predictably everything Punk asked for isn't best for business, despite the fact that Triple H has been against Paul Heyman weirdly enough. Punk is looking for an outlet to his aggression, and the entrance music of... Oh hey, Big E. Langston, I practically forgot you were on the roster.
4. Langston's reaction is actually pretty funny, and he wastes no time in attacking Punk. Of course the beginning of the match takes place on That Thing, but we come back just in time for the face comeback. And we wonder why no one takes heels seriously... The announcers try to say that Langston is similar to Ryback in size and power, but... No. Not to be outdone, JBL mentions him in the same sentence as Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. Some really loud people with really smelly food just got on the train, so forgive me if I get annoyed here.
5. Langston is looking pretty good, despite the fact that he hasn't even been on RAW in recent memory. I have this on headphones with my laptop and I can still hear these people over the show, so I sincerely hope they're not going the whole way to Philadelphia. Langston makes the GTS look as devastating as anyone in recent memory, and Punk gets a much-needed clean win. Strong opening match to start the show, as both come out looking pretty good.
6. Fandango's music gets a mildly decent pop, although to be fair, it could just seem that way in comparison to Chicago. Again to be fair though, most pops are considered mildly decent in comparison to Chicago's. JBL is the first contender for the HAM of the night by calling Fandango a cross of Usher and Randy Couture. The match is against Kofi, and I think the crowd is chanting "Overrated" at someone, just not sure which. These two definitely work well together. Kofi gets the win with Trouble in Paradise.
7. It looks like a member of the Rebel Union Faction is about to pay for getting a win on TV, as the Wyatts are interrupting him. Kofi has a chair, and Bray Wyatt is HAMming it up on the mic again. It sounds like he's quoting "London Bridge," but I'm not sure. Awkwardly seconds after Bray finishes the sentence, it immediately jumps away. All right then.
8. Randy Orton and the Bellas are backstage, and I can't decide about whom I give less of a fuck in this promo. Orton does his best to cut a legtimately intimidating promo, but it comes off as a bit silly. It's better when Triple H is talking for him, in my opinion. Meanwhile, Paul Heyman is a very special guest of... WWE, despite being an employee? Kay. Six shots. Heyman even HAMs it up more than usual with unexpected EMPHASIS! ON! US! Heyman is apparently the living incarnation of Akbar. Good JBL, they brought the HAM to Mississippi tonight.
9. Los Genericos get their final vignette before seeing that their opponents are 3MB, so... Yeah, they're winning. Justin Roberts says "for the first time ever, making their RAW debut." Um... That's what a debut is, Justin. They get an entrance complete with steam, and a guy dressed up like a little bull, who manages to do his entrance better than Sin Cara on the first try. I wonder how piped in those crowd "OLE!"s are. Really? They couldn't get TIto Santana to show up with them?
10. One guy in the crowd is chanting "PRIMO!" Yes, show the world how smart you are. JBL's going with it too, saying there's something familiar about them, so I guess they're not even going to try to hide it? All right then. When was the last time 3MB won a match? The three-on-one against Sheamus? Where's my fact-checker? WWE is nice enough to find the two approving Tweets to show on That Other Thing, and the first one deserves a bonus HAM for actually believing that to be the greatest entrance he's ever seen. Wow. To their credit, the crowd is chanting "OLE!" whenever they hit a move. To the surprise of maybe those two guys on Twitter, Los Genericos get the win in rather easy fashion.
11. The heads of the Factgime are introduced, and Triple H theme 2 accompanies them. So they're dubbing them, "The Authority" now I suppose. Dusty's theme is the one that hits, and it gets a pretty good reaction. I've enjoyed this subplot to the main storyline, and I love that Goldust is in a suit but still has his face painted. Cole says, "which one of your jobs gets their son back." Oh Cole, you're the gift that keeps on giving.
12. Stephanie does her best to appear friendly and courteous, and Triple H is great in being offended by their angry looks. I love how Triple H is painting them all in a bad light, and justifying all of the horrible actions he's taken against the Rhodes. Awesome heel work here. Stephanie offers them a chance at their jobs if they can defeat The Shield, but if they lose, they'll never work in the WWE again, and Dusty will lose his job from the Performance Center. So yeah, the Rhodes are winning.
13. Dusty's time to show off has come, and he steps right up to Triple H. He even goes all Doc Holliday on them and says he'll be their huckleberry. Stephanie leaves Dusty with some ominous words. Despite the fact that I'm pretty sure they won't let Cody Rhodes go just as he's hitting the prime of his career, I'm looking forward to that match. As they're leaving, they get jumped by The Shield really viciously. I'm surprised The Uprising isn't anywhere to be seen in this situation. Even Reigns brings some HAM tonight as he powerbombs Cody and yells, "GET USED TO THISSSSSSS!" Cole says that this could be the exact same scene at Battleground, but much, much worse. Well then it wouldn't be the exact same scene then, would it?
14. TROOF has his entrance, and I'm pretty sure he has headphones. Why? I'm not sure what JBL's fascination with it is, but I digress. The Big Goofus of the Heyman Guys, Curtis Axel, is his opponent. Axel is showing a rare amount of personality tonight, and TROOF doesn't approve. I didn't think I'd be entertained by the interaction of these two. Seven shots. I really miss when TROOF would dress up in costumes and be ridiculous. I guess now he's just gotta be a GOOOOOOOOOOD R TROOF.
15. TROOF actually hits a really cool-looking move, some version of the Osaka Street Cutter, I suppose, but it only gets a two-count. Living Colour comes out of nowhere, and it's enough of a distraction for TROOF to get the win, and likely a shot at the Intercontinental title. Heyman's face says it all, and Cole reminds us that it's ALL A TRAP!
16. Sorry, but not even Daniel Bryan being involved can make me watch replays of Total Divas, or the story of their engagement. Happy that the guy's found happiness, but I refuse to watch that stuff. Brie gets a match against Alicia Fox, and Cameron has a new contender for all-time favorite match already. Even the commentators struggle to give two shits about this match. In the result just as surprising as the Los Genericos match earlier, Brie gets the win over Alicia Fox.
17. Heyman has a second dose of HAM with Curtis Axel, and it's grand. Goofus tries to take solace in being out of Punk's league, and Ryback steps in to suggest calling him out. Heyman calls him beautiful... Pause. Heyman seems to be struck by Cupid's arrow about this, and he says he's going to propose to him. What? Better make sure the ceremony isn't three minutes.
18. We get a replay of Big Show punching out Miz, which probably made Hustle's day. We get another replay after the first question. Show makes a reference to the Sword of Damocles. Wow. Show tries to depict his sympathetic situation, and is showing the regret that comes along with it. Show steps out of the monotone, and sells the emotion well. Show finally finds a little inner Dee Snider with some eyes open wide. That was ridiculously awesome.
19. TROOF is backstage with Maddox and his purple shirt. He bails when he sees the angry Big Show, and has his own little "English motherfucker, do you speak it?" moment with him. Zack Ryder is back to resume his position as Del Rio JOB Squad member, so again we have a match on this show with a ridiculously predictable ending. Let me guess, Ryder gets a shine, misses the Broski Boot, and taps to the Cross-Armbreaker?
20. Lawler is giving us details on the new aggressive version of Alberto Del Rio, which I think is version 1024 at this point. Still, the Black Hole of Charisma carries on pretty much the same. Ryder misses a rope vault, and that didn't look pleasant. Time for Del Rio to show off his newfound aggression. This match has already lasted longer than I thought it would. I noticed they've made no mention of what city they're in tonight, so I'm guessing it's not big enough for Vince McMahon to mention it. Here it comes, Broski Boot, hit, counter... Nearfall, cross-armbreaker. Color me fucking surprised.
21. Recaps, skip. Ryback comes out with Paul Heyman, and I have a feeling this could be a contender for HAM of the Year. Heyman does a great job with some classical references in setting up the situation, and we get yet another replay of last week's attack. They really must think we have the short-term memory of a freaking gnat.
22. Heyman calls him a "big, bad, beautiful man." Where's Rico when you need him? It at least is interesting to see Ryback being a bully while hating bullies. Ryback holds him by the face and compliments him, says that there's nothing he wouldn't do for him. Heyman is sure to mention a lot of buzzwords that hint toward what everyone thinks it is. The crowd chants "Get a Room!" and Heyman throws a fit about it. Heyman reads off standard wedding vows, and says he wants to make an honest man out of him. He then gets down on one knee... and asks him to become a Paul Heyman guy. Fantastic.
23. Living Colour again gets a huge pop, and Ryback tries to pretend he doesn't have tears in his eyes. Punk jumps over the barricade, and grabs his knee. Possum, maybe? He sells the knee while no one comes out to help him, so that's obviously what would really happen. He tries to get in the ring and fails miserably. FINALLY someone takes the hint and goes to help him while the two stare on.
24. Punk grabs a kendo stick when they finally comes over, and Punk goes crazy on both of them. Goofus is of course the one who remains to take the brunt of the punishment. Our Intercontinental champion, ladies and gentlemen. Cole says that he's a third of the way there, although that's about the 87th time he's hit the GTS on Goofus. Great segment either way.
25. They rob us of the awesome Shield entrance, but at least we get the equally awesome ones of Dolph and The Usos. No wait, they rob us of the great Uso entrance too. Bastards. Is the arena too small for pyro? I remember being in Wilkes-Barre, PA and seeing Kane's entrance sans-pyro, and it was weird. The commentators spend most of the match talking about the Rhodes Family. I'm really impressed with how far the Usos have come in the last year. A triple high spot sends us into commercial, though Cole gives away that it's coming before the Usos even hit theirs. Whenever Cole says someone is "rolling," that's a dead giveaway.
26. The Shield are in control when we come back, and the crowd is chanting for the disenchanted Ziggler. I'm pretty sure Reigns just did the Ziggler elbow. Rollins taunts by saying "Come on, Uso!" because he doesn't even know the difference. JBL plays the heel about the Rhodes, because if they aren't R-Truth, that's what he does. I would really like to know what makes JBL such a big Ron Killings fan. Ziggler gets the hot tag, and dropkicks and elbow drops galore. A really awesome finishing sequence of a Rollins kick, a Zig Zag, and a spear that Ziggler sells like gold gets the Shield the win. Another very good match involving The Shield.
27. Big Show is backstage preparing for a fight, and then he gets confronted by cops. Stephanie comes in and explains his actions in such a condescending way. She takes it deeper by saying that he now has a big mortgage payment, but vouches for him. She then makes a nasty comment about "measuring up" in his direction. Wow, I wonder what that could mean? Big Show starts to tear up and go to Teddybear Land again, but then he sees a picture of Triple H's DVD box set, and punches it. Hey, that's almost the same thing.
28. Meanwhile, for the second time, Renee Young is standing by with a very special guest, Rob Van Dam. How is he a very special guest? He works there. Oh yay, more replays. We get an entire replay of RVD's top ten. We could at least full screen it, but then we wouldn't know it was on YouTube. YouTube is just too obscure.
29. Time for some Zeb Colter to declare that only real Americans get to say the Real Americans trademark slogan. Naturally that's a great way to get everyone to stop saying it, right? And they're facing the team that nobody demanded to see together, the Great Khali and Santino. Oh no, it's one-on-one with Santino. Cesaro gets in another big swing, and it gets another impressive pop, and a chance for Santino to act goofy. Naturally, Santino wins the match.
30. More E! whoring takes place before the pinkified YESYESYES entrance. Randy Orton follows up and it's time for the verbal confrontation. Orton takes the opportunity to show that he's the new Viper, not the old Viper, and that he's genetically superior, as well as adjectively. Bryan makes fun of Orton's promo skills, and I'm surprised it took that long. He hits his stride when he compares himself in the motivational sense. Great argument. Orton gets really pissed about the YES! chants, which is pretty damn funny. Orton has some actually decent promo moments when talking about his new fiancee, and that's where the fight breaks out. Orton sets up for the ropes DDT off the apron, Brie runs down, but Orton does it anyway. Didn't see that coming. Orton brings Bryan up and RKO's him on the announce table, and thankfully it actually breaks. The show ends with Brie audibly screaming. Overall, a pretty good set-up for Battleground, if a few too many incredibly predictable match outcomes. Again, I apologize that this isn't out when it used to be, but understand that my circumstances have changed. I'm looking forward to seeing where things go from here.
Paul and his proposal. Not even close.
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
6-24-13 - Big E. Langston
7-8-13 - Vickie Guerrero
7-9-13 - Paul Heyman
7-15-13 - Brad Maddox
7-22-13 - Damien Sandow
7-29-13 - Vince McMahon
8-5-13 - Bray Wyatt
8-12-13 - Daniel Bryan
8-19-13 - CM Punk
8-26-13 - Triple H
9-2-13 - JBL
9-9-13 - Paul Heyman
9-16-13 - Big Show
9-30-13 - Paul Heyman