30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 7-15-13
By Al Laiman
Jul 16, 2013 - 12:51:00 AM
credit Tom Jenner
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS Facebook Page
Twitter: @AlLaimanLOP, @JadedHope1
1. I'm missing the Home Run Derby for this. You all know how I felt about Money in the Bank, especially the result of the main event, so I won't rehash that. If you want to know, read my Twitter recap. One side note on that though, Sho Funaki retweeted my comment about the Funaki sign last night, so that's pretty cool in my opinion. We're in Brooklyn, so JTG could get a cheap pop just with his entrance music, and he is in fact still employed. Brad Maddox comes out to a drum roll and appears to be in his Shakespeare villain mode of HAM, and 30 seconds in, he's already making William Shatner look subtle. He immediately announces a rematch between ADR and Dolph, and John Cena's entrance music cuts him off soon after to a round of thunderous boos. Your number one face, folks, getting booed out of yet another arena. Some guy in orange is so excited that he hasn't looked up from his phone the entire time.
2. Cena's in goofy mode again, and makes light of the fact that he's getting more heat than the guy who's supposed to. I have no problem with Cena's reaction to that, as he's at least being a good sport about it. Make no mistake, my problem isn't with the man, it's with how he's been used. Maddox starts kissing Cena's ass, which always goes well. This leads to Maddox allowing Cena to choose his opponent for Summerslam. Because... That transition makes sense. Gee, I wonder who everyone in Brooklyn wants. Could the loud "YES!" chants be a hint? Before Cena can joke too much about it, my favoritest wrestler ever comes out with his briefcase. Joy.
3. Orton unfortunately has a microphone. He throws threats that Cena might not be champion before Summerslam, and almost has a personality for a few seconds. He warns Cena that he'll never see it coming. Suddenly, WWE felt the crowd needed to wake up after hearing Orton drone on, and Fandango's music gets everyone participating again. Some guy was doing the Fandango dance with two bottles of beer. He wins. Fandango cutting off Orton may make me a fan of him, because he brought some Maddox-level HAM himself. Fandango seems to be auditioning for Cena's opponent... Or the leading male of Take the Lead 2: Electric Bugaloo. Just as Fandango finishes his name with a Cena echo, Orton attacks him. Fandango actually gets the better of him for a minute, but once Orton starts his comeback, Maddox announces the match between the two. That was an interesting start to the show, I'll give them that.
4. We come back to Orton wrestling like a heel, because he's a face after all, and Fandango starts to come back. Gotta give them both credit for opening a show after two brutal Money in the Bank matches. I like this Brooklyn crowd, as they're chanting "OVERRATED!" at Orton. I agree; with Orton only number two on my all-time most hated wrestlers list, maybe I am giving him too much credit. Brooklyn is taking after the Izod Center crowd and chanting for Randy Savage, because, well, why the fuck not? They move on to JBL as Orton throws around the former Johnny Curtis. Despite booing him out of the arena and chanting random names, they do love singing along with the ten count, because nothing demonstrates funsies like basic counting skills. Fandango hits a ropes enziguiri to send Orton out, and throws him into the steps for good measure. He poses on the steps and... Yep, we're getting the second commercial of the match.
5. We come back to them covering the match via That Thing instead of doing their jobs by calling it now, and Orton is trending worldwide, which I assume means the collective Twitterverse is being put to sleep... UN-CONSCIOUS... SLEEP. I think the crowd's now chanting that they want Lesnar, and I do admit, seeing Lesnar fuck up this match and destroy things would be an excellent twist. Orton superplexes Fandango off the top rope, and the crowd is distracted by something upstage. I think they're doing the Wave now. Fandango comes back again, and he's looking better than he has since WrestleMania. Orton modifies his ropes DDT and does it from the corner, and now the crowd has decided they like Randy Orton. Make up your mind, Brooklyn. Orton hits the RKO, and Brooklyn is officially bipolar. They're now going crazy for a guy whose match they were chanting random names out of boredom five minutes ago. Fandango did come out of that match looking pretty damn good. They're nice enough to roll the Ticker right over Orton's celebration.
6. We get a slideshow recap of the Ziggles match ending, and then he's shown backstage. He gets a huge pop, and an even bigger one when he dumps AJ. That gets everyone Daniel Bryan-ing. We move on to Mark Henry in a much more-subtle suit heading toward the ring next. WWE robs us of Henry's awesome entrance music by giving him the jobber entrance before the slideshow recap. There must've been a Pay-Per-View last night or something. The crowd's either booing him, or booing him putting over John Cena. Since we didn't hear his entrance reaction, we don't know. The crowd starts chanting that he tapped out, proving their powers of Captain Obvious. This inspires a Sexual Chocolate chant, which is definitely awesome, and Henry moves on to auditioning to be Cena's pick for Summerslam. A certain familiar theme hits, and the crowd goes nuts for the justice hounds.
7. The Shield surround the ring, and Henry appears unsurprised by this turn of events. Does this make Mark Henry sympathetic, or are they playing to the love they've been getting recently by having them take out a heel? Henry tries to attack first, but he's quickly overcome by the numbers game. Henry starts powering out and throwing some strikes. However, he finally gets GORED by Roman Reigns, and the assault continues. Rollins uses Henry's suit jacket like a whip, because that must hurt as bad as a bag of popcorn. They hit the triple powerbomb on Henry, and fortunately unlike Cena, they don't pretend they couldn't do it. They get a holy shit chant for their efforts, and The Shield are back to looking strong. Good to see they weren't being relegated to afterthoughts. Holy shit, Varys and Catelyn Stark are on Suits!
8. We come back to Brad Maddox talking to his mother, with whom apparently. Jericho comes in and teases Maddox about his age and shirt size. Maddox suggests that he should impress John Cena by facing a former champion, that being RVD. Holy Smark Rock City, Batman... That's gonna get a reaction!
9. ADR comes out to a sea of people tapping on their phones, and Cole sells the World Heavyweight champion coming out by plugging some other show on the network. Dolph's music hits to a pretty decent pop. His entrance music is very conducive to such things. The Black Hole of Charisma looks around befuddled, because apparently he's used to mere muffled conversation when he's doing something. Ziggles gets a quick early shine by breaking out the dropkick, and continues on the offensive front with a neckbreaker. Brooklyn again demonstrates their powers of consistent number counting by singing along with Ziggler's elbow drops. Man, WWE sure is smart to give wrestlers moves they can use ten times in a row. If Lobsterhead is here, I'm sure we'll get the Blair Witch Chops of Doom to complete the trifecta of ten. More plugging of That Thing as ADR pulls out that reverse suplex he used last night for a near-fall. The people chant for Ziggler as ADR lays in the cheap heat, but Ziggler quickly comes back with his HAMmer Splash and a clothesline. However, he gets dumped over the top as we go into another mid-match commercial.
10. The crowd's taunting ADR by chanting something, and that's apparently him using psychology. He sends Ziggler flying with a face plant, but Ziggler... leaps out of the corner and catches a Tornado DDT. That was freaking awesome. We get a BOO-YAY exchange, and it's not the reverse of what it should be, as this crowd will cheer for faces they like. ADR gets sent through the ropes, and Ziggles comes back with another dropkick for a near-fall. More grammatically-challenged Tweets as ADR counters with a Voldemort Suplex and gets a close one himself. ADR tries to go for the Destiny Armbreaker or whatever it's called, but Ziggles reverses to break out. Unfortuanately he eats a corner enziguiri for his efforts, but manages to get a shoulder up again. Ziggler gets caught in the Tree of Woe, but he pulls up in time to send ADR into the corner. This gives him a chance to hit a second-rope Fameasser, but then... The bell rings?
11. AJ rang the bell and is standing there with a devious look. This distraction gives ADR the chance to hit the superkick from behind, and ADR gets the win. She stalks Ziggler with the Crazy Eyes look returning, and she starts flailing on him. While Ziggler is having no terrible flashbacks of his Royal Rumble elimination of Kharma, the time gives Big E. a chance to run in for the sneak attack. He lays him out to legitimate heat from the crowd, and I think we see what Dolph is doing for Summerslam. AJ gives a Black Widow kiss while Big E. stands there with his arms crossed, likely trying to remember his grocery list. Pretty good match, a more sensible ending, and a new feud set up to go into Summerslam. Fuck, it's hot in here...
12. More replays, skip. R-Truth is rapping again, and the crowd seems to enjoy it. Oh, what happened to my consistent HAM contender? Even Justin Roberts rolled his eyes. Before anything can happen, the creepy Wyatt Family Titan Tron hits to a noticeable reaction. Sweet, we're gonna get to see that bad-ass entrance again! TROOF better remember his Sabu lessons. Nope, the giant Wyatt boys easily dominate the seldom-seen physically present aid to Little Jimmy. Bray joins them in the ring for some three-men beardness.
13. Wyatt starts cutting a promo similar to the messages his vignettes had, and man has he improved since rejoining NXT. Well, they took out a former HAM and traded a new one in, so it all comes out in the bacon. I'm really digging this. TROOF is foolish enough to get back on the apron with a chair. Bray challenges him to come in the ring to a cheer, and opens his arm and waits. He even taunts him to bring it. It doesn't go well for him, as the three attack again and bring him to Wyatt, allowing him to hit his finisher. Man, they must've really hated Kane in comparison if that's all they did to TROOF. He mentions Kane and tells him to follow the buzzards before it cuts off into a That Thing plug for who the Real Americans will face. Well that was one helluva Mood Whiplash! Fortunately, nobody chanted Husky Harris. They look deadly, and I loved Bray's promo. It's really something different, and I look forward to seeing what they do with it.
14. We come back to the commentary team trying to sell how serious the Wyatt Family attack, because I guess they forgot they had a cheap shill in the middle there. We cut to the same Training plug we saw last night, so skip. Oh, brace yourselves, Zeb Colter has a live mic. Zeb rips Brooklyn's melting pot idea, and it is getting serious heat. He challenges Cena to choose one of the Real Americans, because I suppose everything is going to revolve around that tonight, and asks everyone to chant "We, the People!" and they do, like Philly. The Uso's win the vote and we get to see their awesome entrance. I wonder if Warrior helped them with their facepaint tonight. Fresh off their great pre-show match last night, they start the match strong against Cesaro.
15. The shine doesn't last long, as Cesaro immediately hits the gutwrench, so I suppose we're in for a very quick match here. Biff Swagger tags in and gets some heat of his own, while I'm guessing trying to hide his eyes from the effects of RVD's stash backstage. The Uso's make a tag to almost no reaction, and get a crossbody for a near-fall. Cesaro tries for another gutwrench, which almost always certain doom in any match, and a counter roll-up gets the Uso's the win. It doesn't appear their sudden push is going anywhere yet. It was decent for the brief amount of time it was given.
16. Damien Sandow, the winner of last night's other Money in the Bank, gets a cheer as he comes out to entertain us. More slideshows. I love the backdrop of the theatre for his Titan Tron. Brilliant. He's facing Christian, but I'm guessing Cody Rhodes is lurking somewhere. Christian is selling the effects of the ladder, which isn't surprising seeing as he took the brunt of the high spots. The former Idol Stevens slides out of the ring, but his attempt at a cheap shot fails as Christian takes advantage. It doesn't pay off well though, because Sandow sends him reeling. More Ticker. Christian tries to mount a comeback, but is still hurting. He does his rope-vault bitch-slap combo thing, and then comes off the top with a cross-body for a close-fall. Sandow tries to respond, but ends up taking the rolling elbow from the corner. He moves in for the not-Unprettier, but Sandow counters to set up the Elbow of Disdain. Christian counters and rolls him up. That's nice, giving Sandow Money in the Bank and promptly having him lose again. Sandow takes the mic to proclaim his brilliance, and Cody Rhodes attacks him out of nowhere to a tremendous pop. We've officially seen Cody's face turn, so let's see if they actually do something with it.
17. We get a replay of earlier on That Thing where Vickie is trying to get people to vote for her. I suppose it's better than the double placard from one of the Die Hard sequels... Then we cut to one of the Entitlement Twins, oh joy. She's facing one of the Funkateers, which i guess is just a means to plug that show that... No. The action isn't actually half-bad, considering who's involved. As long as the Bellas aren't on the commentary trying to formulate something that somewhat resembles the English language, I think, then it's not as bad as it could be.
18. They drop the fact that they're both dating WWE superstars, so the seeds for that are being planted. More Twits on the Twiticker, and the amount of times that's on is really getting obnoxious. Jerry is so enthralled by the action that he's talking more about that stupid show. Naomi starts to get a comeback, and the crowd apparently thinks Sami Zayn is about to debut because they're singing "Ole!" Naomi gets the win, and it wasn't terrible. The cross-body was pretty impressive. Means AJ could have some other contenders other than Kailtyn, if nothing else.
19. We get a riveting video of the back of Paul Heyman's head while someone doesn't take the hint and continues to ask questions. Cole keeps saying that Heyman "may" have cost Punk the ladder match. I suppose that's the WWE version of putting "allegedly" before anything anyone might have done? I don't know, but, well, it's annoying. You're welcome, Matt. That one's for the four HAM radio listeners last week!
20. CM Punk is in the house, and Brooklyn was waiting for it. Punk is selling the ladder match effects as well with a gimp. Punk is in serious mood, and mentions that Brock Lesnar is in the building. Punk has to be seriously over to get Heyman booed in Brooklyn. Heyman responds to Punk's summons, and Punk is selling the gravity of the situation amazingly. Heyman says he's looking at an empty ring because he doesn't exist? Heyman even brought the HAM tonight, as he delivers Punk's history lesson as told by Fandango. Heyman refers to the championship reign as "we" and it's glorious. He drops the bomb by saying that without Heyman, Punk is not the best in the world. Heyman turns it up to 11 and says that the truth is he failed both of them by not defeating The Undertaker, and basically chastises him for turning face while being absent. He gets quite blunt, admitting that he lied and manipulated him, and says that he dumped him because it really was a relationship.
21. Heyman goes serious and attacks him for having no family, which if you've been following recent news, is a bit of a shot. He says that all he has is the WWE Universe, which gets the crowd in an uproar, and Punk just turns into a ticking pipebomb. This is brilliant promo work with Heyman here, as he gives his own children credit for being afraid for Punk against Brock Lesnar. This is Storytelling 101 here, and it's being done wonderfully. He finally says that he betrayed Punk because he can't beat BRRRRRRRROCK LESNAR! Oh thank you Paul for throwing that in there. The crowd is eating it up and sympathizing for CM Punk, exactly what they should be doing, and Punk finally starts to respond.
22. Punk says that he should've seen it coming, but he really trusted Heyman. He sneers and says that when he wants something, he's relentless. It's a really effective response to a long, well-done promo on Heyman's part. He swears on Heyman's children that he'll get him, along with every one of his associates. Setting up the next few months of storyline right here, folks. He's telling you exactly what's going to happen, and it's exactly what you want to see. They blur out him calling Heyman a son of a bitch, which gets a huge reaction because they were expecting a PG word, and dares Heyman to tell him he's lying. Heyman responds by doing Punk's "Clobbering Time" and that brings out Brock Lesnar himself.
23. Despite everything, Lesnar still gets a strong response. Heyman jumps Punk from behind, and Lesnar immediately tries for the F-5. Punk gets out of it, but gets thrown around. Punk keeps trying to fight back, but it doesn't go well. He shows a lot of fight for someone hurting from a ladder match, but Lesnar gets the best of him. He tries to fight back again, and gets thrown over the announcer's table. Punk tries to fly at him, but gets caught and driven into the post. Lesnar hits what I think was supposed to be an F-5 into the table, but it didn't break and it was awkward as hell. It looked like he landed on his head. It was an amazingly effective segment, but that F-5 didn't look good at all. After all, that, Punk refuses to be helped up, and is still infuriated. He's holding his neck, and given that awkward landing, I can only hope it's just selling.
24. Punk has just been taken out, his condition unknown, so that is naturally a great time to transition to Total Divas. Or, at least in this house, a DVR fast-forward test. Switch to Cena and another heated reaction. He meets Khali backstage who takes his turn to ask for a title shot. Dear JBL, please no. Meanwhile, Maddox is dicking around on his phone and sees Stephanie, who is also on the phone, and they stand around awkwardly. Steph says she was worried, but Maddox says he thinks it's going well. Steph is a bitch about it and says she wasn't really asking him, because anyone with controlling interest in a company doesn't care how someone running the show does. Triple H then comes in, says he's doing a great job, and questions if Maddox asked Vince about those decisions. They reference that if Cena picks who they think he might pick, they'd love it but Vince wouldn't. This could also be setting up Bryan championing against the Vince representative in this storyline, which could mean very big things for him. H wishes him luck, but drops the dreaded "future endeavors" line. That can't be good for Greenwood's pretty boy.
25. Rob Van Dam comes out in time for Cole to give Lawler credit for the name "Mr. Monday Night." Y2J and his Lite-Brite jacket are out after another commercial break, while they plug yet another show on the network. That, and I guess Cena's gonna pick his own opponent or something. We start off with some chain wrestling to the delight of wrestling fans, and RVD gets another thunderous reaction for his taunt. Cole details RVD's start in ECW, and RVD is up to his old tricks, hitting several of his trademark moves during his shine. Jericho shows mettle of his own though, and Jericho gets his own huge reaction. This is a legitimate "Let's Go Both Guys" moment for this crowd. We end up in a commercial with Jericho standing strong.
26. We come back, following the rule of commercials, with RVD in control. Of course that's a moment for another plug of That Thing, and eight seconds later, the fucking Twitter Ticker AGAIN. RVD gets driven head-first into the second turnbuckle, and Jericho takes back the momentum. JBL then repeats Cole's exact endorsement of That Thing word-for-word. They try to suplex each other over the ropes, but RVD flips over to his feet and kicks Jericho in the face. Another near-fall, and another replay. We get an awesome spot with RVD trying to get out of a lock, and Jericho goes old-school with the lifting powerbomb. The crowd is loving this, as expected. RVD sets up for Rolling Thunder, Jericho rolls out, but RVD follows up with a moonsault on the outside, and... for the second fucking time tonight, a match with two commercials interrupting it.
27. Following the rules of commercial breaks again, Jericho is in control this time as RVD is about to start a comeback. Is anyone going to mention that Jericho was also in ECW? RVD hits some clotheslines, but Jericho comes off the top and gets it back. He then sets up for the Lionsault, but misses. That leads to a successful Rolling Thunder. Another fucking Twitter ticker, and I really wish I had a zoom function to block the shit out all together. Jericho and RVD continue to duke it out, being shown to be on each other's level, but Jericho gets sent into the turnbuckles straddling. That allows RVD go for the the split-legged moonsault. Jericho capitalizes with a Lionsault for another near-fall. RVD comes off the top with a rolling senton, and Jericho still kicks out. What a match!
28. RVD is starting to bleed again, and he gets caught in the Walls after going for a Frankensteiner. They actually call it a Liontamer surprisingly, and RVD is writhing with blood trickling down his forehead. Jericho gets hit with the roll-through kick and goes up top for the Five Star Frog Splash, and hits it successfully. RVD gets the return win on Monday Night RAW in an amazing match on both accounts. Cole reminds us that it's been six years since RVD was on RAW, because for that time he just disappeared into the void and didn't wrestle anywhere. They call Cena's upcoming segment "The Decision" which are words of poison to any Cleveland native.
29. We come back with the entire roster standing on the stage. I wonder if it might be someone we haven't seen all night yet. Holy shit, Brooklyn Brawler sighting! How appropriate. Cena's music hits to mostly heat again, and he parts the sea of superstars to head to the ring. Cena announces that he's going to pick his own opponent for Summerslam. Well damn, if only they'd told us he was going to do this! Predictably, he calls on the WWE Universe to help him in his decision. He says they're tough on him, but it's honesty and he respects that, wanting to give them a match they want to see. Just listen, my friend. They are telling you who they want to see, and it's loud and clear. He points to the collection of WWE Superstars, and he's going to pick some names, I guess to gauge reactions. First he calls on Heath Slater, but Slaters Gonna Slate. After 3MB, Orton gets called, and they're booing him again. Khali also gets mostly negative reactions. ADR is next, same thing pretty much. He puts over Jericho's efforts, and he gets a respectable pop. RVD's is even bigger. Cena does a pretty good "Fandango" and it gets the crowd singing his song. Lobsterhead doesn't get a favorable response at all, and that seems to surprise even Cena. Ryback's isn't much better, but then he asks if there's anyone he's forgetting. The crowd is going crazy with "YES!" chants.
30. As he's about to announce his choice, they chant for Daniel Bryan. This is absolutely incredible. Cena slowly builds up his selection, and once he finally reveals it, Brooklyn lets loose with one of the biggest pops I have ever heard for anything. WOW! Listen to that crowd! I admit, that moment was even better than had he won Money in the Bank. I still don't like who won, we all know that, but what a moment for Daniel Bryan. The crowd goes off the air with the "YES!" chants not losing any steam whatsoever. What a great Monday Night RAW, and a follow-up that was even more enjoyable than the Pay-Per-View itself. An amazing televised match and a great moment for Daniel Bryan were preceded by a very good show through and through. It appears they've finally hit the reset button, and it hasn't felt like that in a long time. Be sure to join us tomorrow at 3 for HAM Radio Weekly, because I'm sure we'll be discussing this at length. If you didn't have a good night tonight, I feel kinda sorry for you.
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