30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - 8-19-13
By Al Laiman
Aug 20, 2013 - 12:39:41 AM
credit Tom Jenner
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS Facebook Page
Twitter: @AlLaimanLOP, @JadedHope1
1. For those who didn't tune into the Summerslam recap show, I have become further intrigued by where things could go with things as a result of last night's Summerslam. John Cena starts off the show to a thunderous reaction, albeit mostly heat. The man definitely has my respect for his performance last night. Cena puts over Bryan verbally as he did in the ring last night before he shows the fluid build-up in his elbow. He announces that he's leaving the WWE and the crowd reacts like Bryan was winning the title all over again.
2. Cena brings out Daniel Bryan to a huge ovation himself, and this could very well be the beginning of an epic storyline for the man. I do not think they'd use the number one face in the company to put him over just to waste it all. I truly believe this is going to be Bryan vs. The Establishment, and if done right, it could be the most captivating storyline in years.
3. If there's any way to kill a chanting crowd, it's bringing out Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie apologizes, though she excuses it by saying that Triple H did what was best for business. I can't get over how much Daniel Bryan has the crowd in the palm of his hand. Bryan paints the image of Triple H as the new face of the corporation. The seeds are being planted for this. Bryan is putting all the passion in the world into every word he's saying with the fire and anger of a Stone Cold Steve Austin. I said it last night: This is the new McMahon vs. Austin. Stephanie's doing a great job of being the condescending bitch without that screeching she used to have in the McMahon-Helmsley days. The crowd is loving it, both are playing their parts brilliantly. Stephanie finally calls out the escort of Indy wrestlers getting a one-night payday to take him out of the building.
4. Cody and Sandow get the proper respect they deserve for their match last night... by both getting the jobber entrance after the commercial break. Nothing screams importance like two wrestlers already being in the ring. They're fighting to mostly mild indifference from the crowd that was hotter than a heatwave on Venus. Cody gets the better of Sandow for a good solid few minutes, and they give the explanation of Cody's mustache disappearing due to promoting some other show. Cody took a nasty spill being tossed to the outside. Sandow takes control, including an awesome arm drag from Cody on the top rope before the first commercial break.
5. Okay, the whole "chanting announcer's names" thing is getting really old. Cody does a version of a moonsault that catches Sandow standing, but it looked really cool. A nice series of countered moves takes place between the two, ending with a reverse X-Factor. Sandow ends up losing... again. The match was pretty good, despite the crowd not giving a single shit about it.
6. After Brad Maddox decides to be a giant douche toward Dolph Ziggler, Paul Heyman takes the chance to address the crowd about Punk's loss to Lesnar. Heyman does a great job of putting Punk's effort over while still gloating, and suggests ending the feud. The angle is now set up for CM Punk to rebuild himself and overcome everything, finally getting his due vengeance. Well done by Paul Heyman here, who understands storytelling as well as anyone.
7. We get another awful, pointless shilling of Total Divas in a backstage segment that results in absolutely nothing but trying to whore out that show. If they're trying to entertain us, can we at least see Cameron playing wrestling trivia?
8. Now we're getting a Diva's tag match... Joy. Oh well, at least AJ's involved, so I have something interesting to watch while they continue to talk about the E! Network. AJ and Layla look vicious in the beginning with an all-out mauling. Oh, goodie. This match is of course taking place because AJ and Layla believe they should've also been on the show, so please let's spend the entire commentary time talking about it too. Both AJ and Naomi hit some really nice kicks. The Funkadactyls end up winning, because after all, they're on that show. The only reason I'm glad that show exists is to hear Matt dissecting it. The fact that it's a hit burns my soul.
9. The way Brad Maddox was addressing Dolph Ziggler earlier, it looks like this may be another inclusion of the Punk/Bryan perspective. Being punished for having an opinion is great for heat, and Shield come off as being hired guns for management. New version of the Corporation, possibly? Ziggler does a great job of selling the desperation of not getting pushed into the Shield's corner. I love how Cole and JBL are actually doing their jobs and selling the new Big Brother of corporate censorship and drawing the line in the sand, so to speak. A storyline that could involve a good portion of the active roster while splitting into sub-feuds simultaneously takes us back to some of the great feuds of the 90s, and could be just what the company needs.
10. Ziggler is getting handled, but keeps fighting back like a champ. Rollins gets suplexed over the top rope, and it's not countered for once. The Shield finally end up winning on account of a freaking awesome spear counter from Reigns out of the corner. They hit the triple powerbomb after the match for good measure, and it makes you wonder what RVD has that Ziggler doesn't in order to get bailed out by Mark Henry and the Big Show.
11. Now, all the good things I've had to say involving the WWE title scene, despite involving Randy Orton who everyone knows is my favorite, and the overall storylines of the company... None of these apply to Alberto Del Rio. He's facing Sin Cara for the 20th time, because ADR's making a callback to his old pre-faceturn JOB Squad. Gee, I wonder if ADR wins via submission, and we get a glimpse of the "new, more ruthless Alberto Del Rio." Sin Cara manages to hurt himself thirty seconds into the match, and they call it off. Well I don't think that was in the cards... Unfortunately, a Del Rio promo is.
12. I see a "Cena Loves Scat" sign in the crowd. If you don't know what that means, I implore you to not look it up. Del Rio gives his usual schtick before he's confronted by the formerly-only interesting thing about his character, Ricardo Rodriguez. Ricardo grows a spine for the first time and announces that he represents somebody new... RVD? Wow, I have to admit I did not see that coming. I was thinking Rey Mysterio was coming back for three weeks until he got hurt again, but no, this is pretty good. Instead of someone who isn't over being managed by someone who is, we have someone insanely over being managed by someone insanely over. A little brawl takes place afterward, establishing the new alliance, and the crowd is finally back into the show.
13. The not-Militia are out next with Zeb Colter ranting toward the crowd again. It won't be hard for him to get heat in Los Angeles, that's for sure. Colter this time rants about illegals at Disneyland paying for rides with his tax dollars, and it's everything you'd expect. Despite that and despite everything, everyone still sings along with them, proving that people just love singing three-word catchphrases, no matter what they are. And who are they facing but the Prime Time Players. Well played, WWE. They haven't turned face, but they're going to play the faces in this match, especially with the recent news of Darren Young, and the angle Colter would likely take against it. Maybe they read Tito's column earlier this week.
14. Seeing Cesaro throw around Titus is impressive, even though we've seen him lift the Great Khali. He and his old buddy Biff are playing full cheap heel in the match and still getting the crowd to sing along with them mid-match. Titus is surprisingly the face-in-peril here, giving Darren Young a chance to get the hot tag. The Colter Militia hit an awesome Ghetto Stomp double-team that looked brutal. Young takes over the match to a pretty decent reaction at a very fast pace. The Prime Time Players win the match with Darren Young getting the pin; a sentence I don't ever remember writing.
15. Brad Maddox continues to be a schmuck, continuing Big Brother's angle of punishing people for speaking out, this time against The Big Show. Like Ziggler, Show will be facing The Shield, only this time they'll all be allowed in the ring at the same time. Big Show makes a pretty funny remark, which is why I like him so much better when he's allowed to have a personality. Shield gets two matches on the show too, and Show's intentions of tagging with Henry to go after the belts are established.
16. After the break though, an in-show commercial for Foot Locker actually gets Zack Ryder screentime, along with Justin Gabriel, before it turns into an awkward Fandango segment. Oh how I love in-show oh-so-subtle product placement.
17. If you didn't see the opening video, don't worry. They play the entire thing over again. Meanwhile, Ryback is backstage being a star. I guess this is being spaced out to make up for the Sin Cara match that went awry. Ryback is with another man in the shower, and makes him fill his bag with water. Well dude, at least it wasn't Randy Orton with your bag.
18. It's good to see the Big Show smiling and having fun again. We come back in the middle of the match, because well, we had to make room for all that Foot Locker stuff. Show is dominating Shield like he owns the place, and even hits a Spear of his own on Reigns. It does beg the question though; if Show can dominate the entire group this easily himself, why does he even need to tag with Mark Henry? Rollins keeps getting thrown to the outside, and keeps selling that knee, so I hope he isn't really hurt from that over-the-ropes suplex earlier. Ambrose and Rollins use some innovative offense to finally get Show off his feet. Reigns looks like a beast spearing Big Show, and they triple powerbomb him for their second win tonight.
19. CM Punk's out next, and I'm quite anxious to see if he's found the bottom of desolation, or if he has to be further destroyed in order to rise again. Punk looks badass just for walking out tonight, and you can tell he's feeling it. The post-match ovation he got reminded me of Voldemort at the Rumble in 2003. Despite losing the match, he got put over, and the crowd gave him the respect he deserved. Punk goes after a booing fan and verbally castrates him, holy shit. That's something a heel usually does. He begs the fan to come in the ring and gets the crowd to pop huge for it too. That fan must've been pissing off everyone or something for Punk to suddenly jump all over him, and for the crowd to react like that. Please do tell me if I missed something earlier.
20. The crowd is going nuts for Punk, and he's not re-allying with Paul Heyman, that's for sure. Curtis Axel stands there, trying to pretend he hasn't gotten thoroughly owned repeatedly since Money in the Bank. Heyman apologizes to Punk for what's about to happen to him, and that's... Axel taping up his hands for a fight against Punk. Even Heyman throws a jape to that guy in the front row, holy hell.
21. Punk picks right up where he left off with Bork Laser... Stiff shots and a brawl. Axel and Punk trade blows on the outside, and Axel gets tossed head-first outside. That was a bit dangerous. Punk looks like he's about to overcome what's being thrown at him, but Axel starts destroying Punk's leg with a chair. Further destruction, it is.
22. Punk doesn't look any weaker, because he shouldn't have been fighting in the first place, and Axel becomes the first target for Punk upon his rise again. I'm pretty sure Paul Heyman just quoted Revenge of the Sith while yelling at him. To my surprise, Punk starts to come back here, and Axel ends up being fodder for Punk's rage. He takes a GTS-esque move on the steps. All right then, the story continues.
23. I really do miss the crazy TROOF. Fortunately, Wyatt cuts off the entrance to a huge pop and his awesome entrance of his own. I don't know about you, but I don't like TROOF's chances here. For the most part, he completely demolishes TROOF in between being freaking goofy and yelling things. It's a squash match by definition, and the crowd is clapping along with his theme. I heard they did that last night too. Strange, the camera cuts off to commercial suddenly.
24. Was that Primo and Epico as a Matador tag team? Will Tito Santana be involved somehow?
25. This week, it looks like 3MB will be losing to the Uso's. Wonder if Drew also looks like he's been in a bar brawl. I'm glad to see an episode of RAW where the tag team division is getting a lot of focus like this. 3MB actually dominates a good bit of the match, and somehow a dueling chant ends up commencing during this match. Seeing 3MB take themselves out after the comeback is almost comical in how bad it is. Uso's win via the splash, and it looks like their strong run will continue, at least for the time being.
26. Miz is back, and he's facing Wade Barrett... Again. I'm not exactly sure why he stopped wrestling for a good month, but I wasn't complaining. I like the guy, but his vanilla good-guy face run has been awful. Miz ends up getting kicked right in the fuck while Barrett tries to reminisce about a time where people believed he was a future main-eventer.
27. LA seems to mostly be cheering for Barrett, which is great news for a guy they used to host the event last night. This is starting to head back in the direction of him being the "HOO-RAH!" guy. Miz locks in the Figure Four, but Danfango ends up interfering and hitting his leg drop on him. Let's face it; that was a just a reason to play that theme song in a city that likes to sing it.
28. Triple H comes out with the entire locker room standing atop the stage. The Shield is standing guard, once again being the hired guns for the corporates. The McMahon-Helmsley Factgime lives again in a completely new context. Vince is HAMming it up as usual, and now it's time for Triple H's justification. Triple H claims that he did what he did for everyone, the children, and all the superstars... Did he do it for The Rock? H also takes the condescending angle of backhanded compliments while justifying what he did, that someone like that could never be the WWE champion they wanted. Heel Turn 101 right here... The heel must always believe that what he did was the right thing to do, not just because he's evil, but because he has a just reason for doing so. Triple H, like his Corporate Champion, is so much better in this role, though he uses the words "personal problem" more than Michael Cole says "vintage" in a year.
29. It took ten world title reigns for Randy Orton to become a diamond? The roster stares down Orton, even the heels, while he heads toward his "coronation." I'm glad someone remembers that personal storyline between Stephanie and Orton, as Cole does his job yet again by bringing up how awkward that must've been. Dear JBL, am I complimenting Michael Cole? Outside the Divas shit, he hasn't been a one-man product shill. Orton claims that nobody saw his cash-in coming, despite the fact that everyone saw it coming. He also says he owes "all of this" to Triple H. Yeah, understatement. They keep it short and concise, allowing Orton to play to his strengths. Triple H taunts Daniel Bryan into coming out to get everything off his chest, even telling The Shield to stand down. H, I commend you, sir... You have evolved.
30. The Shield jump Bryan as he tries to come to the ring, and he fights them off. Reigns spears him from the side, and that looks like it hurts like hell. I guess even The Shield's enemies are standing pat up there. Bryan finally gets into the ring, and Orton immediately hits the RKO. Okay, so they had the entire roster out there... Why? That was fucking anti-climactic. Mark Henry, Big Show, Dolph Ziggler... All those guys who stood up for what happened last night and/or had a problem with The Shield just stood there, watching? That didn't make much sense. However, I like what this is setting up, if they follow through with it. This episode of RAW was pretty good, and the path for Daniel Bryan to overcome this is right there. Long-term, I really do think this could be something special, and all the pieces are setting up for this to be a fed-wide feud at the top of the card. Join us tomorrow on HAM Radio Weekly at 3PM as we discuss this further. Tom will be there, but with Matt having strep, we're adding a little British flavor, and our third guest host will be our friend Rick.
CM Punk takes it this week for his freakout at a fan in the front row. Where the hell did that come from?
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