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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #254 - Thoughts on Smackdown Live - 12-20-16
By Al Laiman
Dec 20, 2016 - 10:30:12 PM


Al Laiman's Website: AlLaiman.com
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IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #254 - Thoughts on Smackdown Live - 12-20-16

1. Only one column for 2016 remains, and that will be the great moments in HAM for the year. I’m proud and honored to have been welcomed back to LOP with open arms this year, and 63 columns since May can’t be wrong. I’m grateful for every one of you, but especially my Patreon patrons, who have now received their t-shirts and get to follow along as the column is written live, or as live as I can get. It helps me survive on my own work, as does the one for my other writing and for the podcast. This is by far the most interactive platform I get though, so once more for 2016, thank you so much!

2. We get what I have to say is a rare Smackdown pyro. Usually we cut in right to someone already talking. Guess they felt the need to go the extra mile for Detroit, and I can’t blame them. I mean, Michigan will have a nice little Consolation Bowl, but Jim Harbaugh’s still losing his shit over a first down call, and I could eat it with a spoon. With AJ coming out first, they’ve revealed themselves to be huge fans of the Phenomenal One, which earns them some points back.

3. Please let this be the end of the Ellsworth angle. At least Heath Slater’s angle had some redeeming value at the end, and he didn’t have to get three wins over the world champion to do it. Ick, look at those awful Wolverine hats in the front. They should’ve switched hard cam side when they saw that. No one should be subjected to that kind of visual offense.

4. How’s he gonna weasel out of it this time? Ellsworth probably just set the record for shortest introduction for a world championship match of all time. He’s the anti-Westeros in that aspect. Ellsworth fails to tune up the band properly, and we’ve got a punch in the fuck early! Ellsworth… Fingerpoke of Doom’s it? That must’ve put William Regal’s forearm to dust in the Hall of Fame. AJ tries to throw him on the announce table, and oh shit, he missed! He hit the edge instead of the table itself, that had to hurt! I’m annoyed with the angle, but I don’t wish the guy ill or anything.

5. AJ’s going “Triple H seeks vengeance against popular face” here, and the crowd is loving it as much as they did when it was Roman Reigns. Ellsworth gets tossed into the frame of the ring, which… Wow. Ouch. I’ve never seen that utilized before, but it’s a damn fine idea. Dangerous one too. Surprising pay-off after all this though.

6. Nope wait, AJ gets another huge pop for deciding we need more payback after having to put up with him defeating the world champion three times. Is this how he gets written out? Still though, how did a guy who went over the world champion that many times lose to a forearm? AJ gets an AJ-style (see that?) promo, and like most people in our country, they want to move on to next year before anything else happens.

7. We’re not done yet, Zigglesworth comes out to offer a polite rebuttal. AJ mentions the magic word, and I can’t hear anything else now. He said cake. Dolph looks like he really wants to join an 80’s hair metal band in a music video. The intensity of his promo, however, lets all of us know that the Miz angle was not a fluke. He’s… well, here to show the world.

8. We’re still not done, and the Apathetic Wonder himself decides he needs to add his Not Giving a Shit to the conversation. Oh right, they had a thing didn’t they? Mrs. Laiman said she’s out after one line of Baron’s promo. What a contrast too, Ziggler turning up the intensity in ten cities while Baron tries to read his lines off Dolph’s forehead. This ends up going the same way everything else with Baron does; him hitting a move and looking like someone looked up the word “meh” in the dictionary.

9. I have never been so grateful for DVR. We come back with Daniel Bryan cosplaying as Mr. Rogers, offering Corbin Ziggler’s shot at the title if he can’t win. I guess that’s how it works now? Miz is up next, and that looks like Apollo Crews in the ring. So he got jobber-entranced, all right… Oh, it happened at Tribute to the Troops because of Fluffy? Fair enough.

10. Hearing JBL’s accent and the phrase “greatest Intercontinental title of all time” gives me flashbacks to Jeff Jarrett’s run in 1999. It takes knocking Miz out of the ring twice to send us into commercial, what a twist!

11. Mauro somehow made the word “transpired” sound like two words. Crews used the Olympic Slam. Damn I miss Kurt Angle…

12. Maryse gets ejected, official gets tapped long enough for Apollo to get SCF’d, and Miz wins. Fine match, hopefully leading to better things. Or at least more visible ones.

13. Oh goodie, post-match promo. Miz responds with “I know you are, but what am I?” Because Renee’s sleeping with Dean? That crowd reaction makes me think that I missed something. She slaps him and everyone shifts in their chairs for about 20 seconds. I’m sure a commenter will clear this up for me, but I’m lost.

14. Ryder got hurt? Yikes! Those are some serious stitches.

15. No worries though, we’re getting another gimmick match for the tag titles! Smackdown next week looks like it’s gonna be a pretty stacked card. It’ll be nice to just watch it for one week.

16. Natalya comes out, and someone’s mic has someone saying “and you waste…” and it gets cut off. What the hell is going on? She takes a mic, and they cut to commercial before we get to hear that riveting conversation. Before I can skip the DVR, we get Brie Bella saying that Teddy Roosevelt was the President during the Civil War. I don’t even care if they’re joking, I seriously quit humanity. In the words of Anthony DeMartino… “A lot of good people died in that conflict. I believe we owe it to them to AT LEAST GET THE CENTURY RIGHT! ::eye twitch:”

17. So Nattie was about to talk, and then waited? She calls out Nikki Bella to clear the air, and… she gets a pop? Yep, I definitely don’t understand anything. Carmella joins the party because, hey, the opening segment also had a clusterfuck, so why not? We get a female wrestling re-enactment of the climactic scene of Shanghai Noon, but I can’t hear Carmella over her hat brim. Nikki reacts to the news reveal with all the emotional capacity of Baron Corbin on a quaalude.

18. Natalya reacts by running Carmella up to the stage, and Natalya tries to Braun Strowman her. Those cardboard boxes must’ve hurt on the way down. She did it for the Rock and drops the one b-word allowed on the broadcast. I think she’s supposed to be giving a heel promo, but I’m giving a shit about what she’s saying for the first time in years. Unfortunately, it comes off as “it should’ve been me” instead of the point that it should’ve been… Something about John never marrying her or something. Them’s some hurtin’ bombs, I think. I’m sure it’ll be a great episode of Total Divas.

19. I’m confused as to why we were supposed to be mad at Natalya for what she said. Were we, as fans, supposed to think, “Oh no, the Entitlement Twins totally earned their spot!” Anyway, Alexa gets trolled by Bryan, who brought more than his usual snark for the night. Perhaps he was trying to coach Enzo on pre-recorded anger management seminars last night or something.

20. Someone else is coming out, and his name is Dean. We like Dean. So does Mrs. Laiman, who put down her Trae Crowder book and started paying attention for the first time since four seconds into the show when the title match lasted one punch to the fuck. She also reminds me of what I did in Ely, Minnesota on our honeymoon. We were trying to find a cabin in the middle of the dark, and we had a hand lantern. I stepped behind her and played the Wyatt theme on my phone. I probably told that story before, but it’s worth mentioning again once more in 2016.

21. We get about three moves before going to commercial. This match is brought to you by Wrangler. Harper ends up locking in the crossface. I knew he was crazy, but that’s ridiculous! This match is also brought to you by Hanes A-shirts; now in both grey and black packs! Ambrose takes both the other Wyatts out with a high spot, but that gets him Batista Bombed… Sort of. Someone saw that meme.

22. Ambrose wins but immediately gets jumped. Where’s the other two Shield members when you need one? They do the Sabu exit, and JBL manages to talk over the complete blackness. We’re still holding on Dean doing the sell crawl.

23. Now Miz comes out again? And he gets another SCF for his trouble. Damn, sucks to be Dean tonight, doesn’t it?

24. Alexa Bliss is out for her match next, and she’s facing… Fluorescent Spiderman with a Shane dance? JBL gets a bonus HAM for calling her Miss Mascaras though, great joke. Pretty sure I heard Becky’s Irish voice coming through though. She does a bunch of fun, silly moves, but they’re well-wrestled nonetheless. Holy shit, she just won with a submission! She super-HAMs it up by celebrating with fans who were totally not expecting it. Oh snap, it was Becky Lynch? I’ll be a monkey’s bare-assed uncle! (name the reference)

25. Meanwhile, on Shooter, that guy is here looking for Randy Orton and ends up finding Mojo. And so does… Curt Hawkins? New tag team partner? Or a match going to start over talking to Ryan Phillipe jokes? Yep. Curt makes a reference to that awful teen version of Dangerous Liasons that made the Verve popular for a year, but nicely done regardless.

26. Mojo Rawley just brought back the POOOOOOOOOOOUNCE! Beats the hell out of yakking more about Shooter, since we haven’t had any exposure to it so far. They’re asking him for a plot synopsis during the match itself. Come on, this shit is usually left for RAW filler. Rawley wins with almost 100 percent of the offense. Damn those vignettes really worked out well for him being the second coming of Chuck Norris.

27. We get told that Ellsworth has been taken to a local medical facility… Right before he shows up here with a silly amount of bandages on. Then… Carmella shows up to comfort him? Huh?

28. Now it’s time for Zigglesworth and the main event, which unfortunately also means i have to watch a Baron Corbin match. Just booked my room for going to Chicago next month though, so if you’re around the weekend of the 13th of January, let me know!

29. Now, in the main event, one of the least interesting feuds of the year returns with more on the line. Dolph’s wearing his Stone Cold trunks, and Corbin has a picture of Jon Snow’s direwolf on his shirt, that’s nice! I suppose he and Jon Snow are always in the same brooding mood, so it’s not completely off.

30. Shit, we went into the commercial and I got completely distracted. Sorry, I was on the podcast with Craig Lyndall of Waiting for Next Year tonight. Not often I get to do a sports podcast.

31. I’m pretty sure AJ said “they have to defeat each other.” In other news, in the Boca Raton Bowl tonight, the team that scores the most points will win the game. At least Corbin doesn’t yell at me like his RAW counterpart Braun does. Corbin ends up throwing Dolph right into AJ, and the sounds of mics being moved distract us from the ten Tye Dillinger chants that give us a double-countout. Gotta protect Corbin, right? AJ uses a chair to express his emotions and frustration, but he doesn’t ring frame any of them, so Ellsworth still got it worst of all.

32. The GM’s music and his Grampa’s nap sweater cuts it off. He addresses two of the three who are currently on the floor writhing in chairfucked pain. It’s gonna be a triple threat match for the title. At least it’ll be better than tonight’s? As soon as Grampa finishes his crossword puzzle and smoking his pipe, he’s going to remind you how disappointed he is in you for the lack of a conclusive finish.


Becky. Pulling a whole over-the-top luchadoress gimmick and making it fun, plus her celebration.

The three finalists for HAM of the Year are:
-Dean Ambrose
-Chris Jericho
-Kevin Owens

Some of the suggestions for HAMmiest Moment of the Year include:
-”You’re pissing off my beast!”
-Corey Graves is offended by cereal
-The nine-way split HAM in July
-Heath Slater and the trailer park
-Big Johnny returns
-Dean is the Mountie
-Jack Gallagher interrupts the match and announces his intention to interfere
Any others you offer within the next week

Winners announced in the year wrap column. I’m officially on holiday break, other than that. I’ll be back in two weeks! Thank you so much for a great 2016, LOP! Please support this column if you’re able and join me for the live writing of the columns, get your free t-shirt, and other great stuff at patreon.com/AlLaiman .

5-30-16 - JBL
6-6-16 - Chris Jericho
6-13-16 - Enzo Amore/Xavier Woods
6-20-16 - John Laurinaitis
6-27-16 - The New Day
7-4-16 - The Club
7-11-16 - Bob Backlund/Darren Young
7-18-16 - John Cena/Enzo Amore/Big Cass/Karl Anderson/Doc Gallows/AJ Styles/Big E/Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods
7-25-16 - Bob Backlund (Gonna Give it to Ya)
8-1-16 - Paul Heyman
8-2-16 - Dolph Ziggler
8-8-16 - Karl Anderson/Doc Gallows
8-9-16 - Becky Lynch
8-15-16 - Heath Slater
8-29-16 - Kevin Owens
8-30-16 - AJ Styles
9-5-16 - Fake Xavier Woods
9-6-16 - AJ Styles
9-12-16 - Mick Foley
9-19-16 - Chris Jericho
9-20-16 - Rhyno
9-26-16 - Chris Jericho
9-27-16 - Curt Hawkins
10-3-16 - Chris Jericho
10-4-16 - The Spirit Squad
10-11-16 - AJ Styles/Dean Ambrose
10-17-16 - Stephanie McMahon
10-18-16 - This is Dean. We like Dean.
10-24-16 - Chris Jericho
10-31-16 - Big Cass
11-7-16 - New Day
11-8-16 - Luke Harper
11-14-16 - Paul Heyman
11-15-16 - Tony Chimmel
11-21-16 - Kevin Owens
11-22-16 - This is Dean. We like the Mountie.
11-28-16 - Corey Graves
11-29-16 - Carmella
12-5-16 - Kevin Owens
12-6-16 - Dean Ambrose
12-12-16 - Jack Gallagher
12-13-16 - The Miz
12-19-16 - Chris Jericho
12-20-16 - Becky Lynch

Al Laiman, In Laiman’s Terms, and Inciting Incident are owned by It’s a Shameful Thing, Lobsterhead, LLC. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. For media or inquiries, please contact patorrez@patorrez.com.

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