IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #268 - Thoughts on RAW - 2-13-17
By Marissa Laiman
Feb 13, 2017 - 11:59:54 PM
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This week, I'm on the PolyAskery and Bi Any Means podcasts, but they're not out yet to link.
So, holy shit guys, we’re hosting a live show for Inciting Incident’s 100th episode on July 14th, 2017 in Carlisle, PA. In addition to me, we have a stunning guest list, which includes Callie Wright, Ari Stillman, Thomas Smith, Andrew Torrez, Noah Lugeons, Eli Bosnick, Heath Enwright, and my foreword writer, Chris Kluwe! Tickets are now available here, though 10-dollar plus Patrons get VIP tickets free, so…
I was also in the Vagina Monologues at Penn this weekend, and will be in Carlisle's performance on March 4th, so if you're in Pennsylvania, it's a good cause, and you get to see me be awesome.
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #268 - Thoughts on RAW - 2-13-17
1. It looks like the match preview screens have been updated. So things on RAW can change and adapt, hmm interesting. We're starting off with Stephanie McMahon, who will probably say "welcome to Monday Night RAW" in her attempted Vince rasp. Stephanie's doing the strut or something, and Corey's blazer is more interesting. That crowd looks TINY! Wow!
2. Extra attempt at the raspy voice, but an added "ladies and gentlemen." Thank you for reminding us again what show we're watching. I wouldn't have known otherwise. She gave Foley the week off. Delightful.
3. How does it have to be going with a Stephanie promo have to be that Roman still gets boos for interrupting her and giving us some relief? And the FastLane graphics look ridiculous for Roman and Braun. So let me guess.. Roman is the first one to truly beat Braun and goes on to WrestleMania to face Taker. He at least least offers us some mercy by promising to keep it short, and demands Braun. Steph responds that it's about the WWE Universe, which is clearly only lip service because Roman Reigns and his three-year push continues.
4. Steph says that these people don't care about Roman, and for once, she's dead-on accurate. The crowd wants to see Braun destroy Roman, but she'll probably take that as a sign that Roman gets face pops. She makes threats and doubles down on the rasp while Roman makes veiled threats and tries to convey what an emotion is.
5. Who interrupts but... The Club Sandwich? The Club once again speaks my mind by saying they couldn't stand to listen to Roman speak any longer. The two of them saying that they can't have Braun gives me visuals of the Lifetime movie version where Roman tries to win over Braun Strowman with a boombox over his head. Steph then does a Teddy Long "Holla!" and I want to die inside. Vince rasp and Cool Mom ruining slogans? I realize I'm a basic white girl and all, so I literally can't even right now.
6. Ooh exciting, it's a brawl that the refs break up. How will Roman overcome the odds this time? Roman's getting a chant from a few people. Imagine, he's not fighting for the world title, it's more likely to happen. I still predict a massive fuck-off pop when Braun beats the shit out of him again. Roman fights back, attempting to look like he hasn't been getting double-teamed, but instead just looks blown up. I'm not sure what's worse.
7. Karl nearly wins with the Ultimate 2011 Divas Finisher, and hits the single-worst looking Superman Punch I've ever seen. The Club Sandwich don't listen to the refs, so they're gonna get DQ'd. Of course. He manages to fight out... again. And stand tall against a 2-on-1 attack... Again. And this gets a round of mild indifference.
8. Mark Henry. Mark Henry? That's who is facing Braun? Joy.
9. HBO Documentary about Andre the Giant? Yes please!
10. Wow, the New Day get to come out before Hour of Death time? Interesting. Byron then explains how to do the... Nope, still can't even. They're facing jobber-entranced Bo Dallas? New Day have been relegated to fighting Bo Dallas, Titus, and the Shining Stars? The crowd pre-empting the "who?" was pretty damn funny though. They're finally bringing back WWE Ice Cream after six years.
11. The crowd chants that they want ice cream, so since they listen to the WWE Universe... pause... I totally believe it'll happen. Bo ends up up HAMming it up and dancing along and will probably get counted out for tearing up the ice cream plans. The New Day go ridiculous HAM. All they needed was the Platoon music and a sunset to make it sillier. Dallas nearly got a win there. What a surprise that would've been. That's why it won't happen. Kofi hits one move and wins. Thanks for coming, Bo. Hope you got to celebrate with your brother a little bit.
12. Meanwhile, on discount Westeros, Neville Baratheon promotes another show but we get to at least see Jack Gallagher to get a shot at FastLane. Jack politely interrupts him, but Neville refuses to let him quote Shakespeare. That's something I wasn't expecting to hear on a wrestling show. I absolutely loved what Jack called him, even though I don't know what it means. British friends, help?
13. Reference to last night, but how many times does Nikki Bella have to get attacked backstage before she hires a bodyguard or something? It's happened every week since she was drafted to Smackdown.
14. Gentleman Jack and his Gallagher are both definitely facing Noam Dar. Jack wins obviously, but I don't mind because he's so damn entertaining. Gallagher's good enough that I'd like to see him fight people other than cruiserweights, since they've made this division mostly exclusive to each other. The Twitter feed also managed to find someone who was actually excited to say "Roman stands tall" as if they haven't seen that in the LOP results for the last three years. Jack wins, and I'm fine with it.
15. Neville comes out... Damn he looks threatening. I cannot put my finger on what he looks like, but it's scary as shit. If only anyone gave a shit about the division. Will this finally be the thing that helps?
16. Meanwhile, hours ago, Joe gets limo rides and tailored suits. Please tell me it's not a pre-taped interview. Please tell me it's not a pre-taped interview... We also get an Emma video, and for once it's not just a teaser. Let's see if this works out better than any other recent incredibly long vignetted debut.
17. Graves is about ready to pop one live on the mic as Emma comes out and... Wow, this was the awkward hand-moving dancing girl? Someone in the crowd came twice already. Then she says we'll get to see the makeover from Emmalina to Emma? What? And that's it. What? What the fuck was that? What happened? That was it? Explain, RAW! You've been wasting 17 weeks with this.
18. After that rousing bout of interesting... Bayley's backstage, summarizing her storyline to this point. She's in the main event? Good! A women's main event match that isn't Charlotte vs. Sasha. I approve! What she lacks for charisma, she makes up with enthusiasm.
19. In another segment of non-wrestling, the Super Best Friends plan their This is Your Life moment. They're greeted by Triple H, whose jaw enters the room before he does, and then needs to speak to only KO. Then, finally, we're supposed to be excited about a Mark Henry match. Sorry, it's at least five years too late for that.
20. Then, we come back to a conversation that we strangely aren't privy to. Weird, we can get in Lana's hotel room but not a conversation that we can see.
21. Now it's time for Braun to yell at me, and he's coming out before Mark Henry? Interesting. At least he's not fighting a (local) jobber. Mark Henry comes out, and nobody gives a shit. Shocker. It reminds me of one time where I went to a Smackdown taping and had to watch an electrifying bench press competition between him and Ryback. Now I'm watching tie-ups. Henry's talking shit, and I don't imagine it will go well for him.
22. Mark Henry gets a hope spot, and it's like watching a semi pass another semi in the JBLdamn left lane while going slightly less under the speed limit when you're already late for class and they're holding up traffic for eight miles. Henry can't hold up Strowman, despite once being able to hold up the Big Show, and that's likely it for him. Strowman does a damn front dropkick. Wow.
23. Then, because the not-giving-a-fuck wasn't already low enough, Roman comes out to give us more of him. Braun punches him right in the fuck, then licks his lips. I'm telling you, alternate storyline with Say Anything... implications. Roman gets to overcome these odds too. Things happening, excitement. The crowd is loving it, and by that I mean they pop huge when he counters and powerslams him. I'm sure they'll be booing it in the replay. The miracle of editing. Imagine how much Roman must miss taped Smackdown. He'd get all the pops with edited crowd reactions there!
24. Holy shit, it's only 9:06... I fell asleep during Elimination Chamber last night. I hope to not have the same problem tonight. Hormones mess with your body sometimes, believe me.
25. Samoa Joe is "live" backstage. Sure he is, that's why the interview needed to be backstage. Meanwhile, in more non-action, Cesaro and Sheamus get confronted by Enzo and Cass, and Lobsterhead is so flabbergasted that he can't even talk about the titles he wants back. I really do love Cass being the super protective best friend. He waits to start talking shit until Cass steps in front. It's adorable.
26. Pre-taped interview. Even with it being Samoa Joe, I don't care.
27. Sami Zayn is up next after a lot of not-action, so... Well-timed? I guess Joe got a dis in about Zayn being happy to be there. Is it wrong that I'm hearing Eddie Murphy from Coming to America right now? "I'M VERY HAPPY TO BE HERE!"
28. He's facing Rusev and his Cody Rhodes beauty mask. Lana's there, so... I forgot what I was talking about again. At least the Sami being a glorified jobber thing is over for the time being. Rusev kicks Zayn to the outside, and that likely means we're headed to a commercial. Hopefully minimal amount of terrible Miz shills.
29. I had my first laser hair removal appointment today, and my face is still a little sensitive. It feels like sunburn, but I feel so much better. Anyway, we come back with Rusev still taking over (No BWO), and we're about to get a hope spot I imagine. It is impressive how fast Zayn springs from those ropes. I think I still have bruises from doing drills with those.
30. This is a damn good match; I'm amazed it's in the mid-show death hour. They get into a slap fight, though for a minute I thought Zayn missed a hit out of the corner of my eye. Rusev runs into the corner and is nice enough to hop the whole way out of the ring when he misses. Nice guy, that Rusev. It ends up having no effect, as Rusev clotheslines him once he gets to the outside. Congratulations, that was... Entirely pointless. But Zayn hits his finisher out of nowhere and wins with one move. That's not even the first time that's happened TONIGHT! It's like when two different matches ended identically last week. Come on RAW. Even a mediocre Smackdown PPV isn't this lazy! You can do better!
31. Zayn gets one of his best promos to date. Throwing Joe's name out there won't go too well though. Hinting toward WrestleMania... Joe vs. Zayn? PLEASE make this happen! Joe's music interrupts, and Joe attacks from the side. It's hard to take it seriously when Cole is quoting Rookie of the Year by repeatedly going "Ohmygodohmygodohmygod" like the South Park boys on the metrosexual episode. Joe chokes out Zayn, and turns it from a Joe chant to heat. Impressive.
32. After Teddy Long gets his Hall of Fame video, Cole saying Teddy Long's catch phrases is almost as bad as Steph. Meanwhile, we're getting Daivari and Tozawa, and Cole reminds us that 205 is a thing. Thanks. I really envy Tito for watching the hour-and-a-half version of this show.
33. I like this yell that Tozawa does. It's easy for the crowd to imitate, and anything to get them involved in the Cruiserweight matches. The match is fine, but hearing Kendrick on commentary is pretty fantastic. Daivari matches though are unfortunately like Lince Dorado matches; we already know who's going to win the second we see them.
34. We come back with what has to be the most anticipated HAMfest in a long time, the Festival of Friendship. Jericho does his best impression of the guy from the Vaudevillains intro, and holy shit even the pyro is HAMworthy. Wow, Jericho managed to outdo even Sheamus's blinding Quickening light! KO's face is freaking PRICELESS!
35. Jericho's been saving up the ridiculousness for a long time. This is exactly what I thought it was too: The Canadian This is Your Life. "Sculpt it in, man!" is a phrase, along with not being allowed to quote Shakespeare, that I didn't expect to hear tonight. He introduces a piece of art that looks more like fan-art of Frodo and Sam in certain interpretations. Then... Oh dear JBL, the Creation of Kevin. It gets a "YES!" chant, and a "HAM!" one from me. KO again sells the... I can't even with this. "It's art; you don't need pants!" HAM over. Jericho wins.
36. Now he brings out his own version of Yurple the freaking clown. I'm dying. The Magician doesn't impress him, and just the mention of the possibility of the List gets an amazing reaction. He then calls Goldberg out to the ring to get the magic word, and we randomly go to commercial. This is awkward and so homoerotic, but I love every freaking second of it.
37. Jericho waits until we come back to say "IT!" and then Goldberg's music hits. OHMYJBL THEY BROUGHT BACK GILLBERG! SPARKLERS AND FIRE EXTINGUISHER AND EVERYTHING! YES! YES! YES! KO snaps and beats up Gillberg. Owens is pissed for not actually being Gillberg because they wanted to beat up the real guy together. Jericho sincerely explains how much he appreciates the last year of his career with Owens, and it's touching, even if it is silly. Now the turn has to come, he has to break Jericho's heart. He says he loves Jericho too and hugs him... Here comes the Triple H turn. Do it. Do it, Kevin.
38. Kevin then gives him a New List! Aww! But his name's on it, and... Uh-oh, it's the list of KO. Brilliant! Holy shit, THIS is how you do a feud of emotions! Perfect. Owens powerbombs Jericho on the apron, then does what I can only call his "Ohh-Face." Ohh, ohh, you know what I'm saying. With the face love Jericho was getting, this is absolutely perfect. There's an element of "I'm sorry, I love you" to it, but it's also truly evil. This has to be the doing of Triple H, and KO seals it by putting him through the JeriTron Vegas Edition. It gets a "Holy Shit!" chant. Fucking. Awesome!
39. For once, I'm in favor of recap filler, because the space of that huge payoff made it necessary.
40. Enzo talks some trash on Cesaro, but it's obviously "Other Face" trash. It's groan-worthy, but it's still fun and some necessary Mood Whiplash. Cesaro waits until after the WWE fellates themselves on how awesome they are to the Troops, and he still does his double-awesome Highlander entrance for a singles match.
41. Damn Cesaro is awesome. This will end up being a fun tag team feud, I imagine. Enzo ends up getting pinned after a super inverted Fuckpunch, and Lobsterhead immediately has a problem with Cass. Yes, make that a thing! Enzo ends up getting his ass kicked nearly all the time, but Cass is always there to pick him back up and fuck up anyone who messes with him. It's adorable.
42. Meanwhile, Charlotte talks some shit on Sasha and her Sparklevelvet. We also find out that Braun Strowman gets Big Show because he, in not so few words, said "feed me more!"
43. Did Bayley get those tassels from Friendship the Magician, and her coat from Sasha's outfit?
44. This has a big match feel to it, and given the events that have already happened, that's saying something. This feels like a slow build, but then Cole has to ruin it by pointing out that Bayley shoving Charlotte is a big point in the matchup for her. Too subtle, Cole, and also totes obvious you're heading into commercial.
45. Bayley is doing a great job of stepping up her game, and the commentators are also narrating the actual story. Amazing how that can work when they don't have to spout off cliches, plug shit, or badly imitate catch phrases. That whip into the turnbuckle looked NASTY!
46. This is phenomenal (no AJ) storytelling. Bayley's hope spot after she literally hulks up is so perfect and emotionally charged. I haven't said much because RAW has been engaging in the last hour and... I miss this. I'm on the edge with every close fall. Suddenly, Dana Brooke comes right the fuck out of nowhere, and Bayley locks in the figure four. We almost had a repeat of... Nevermind, we couldn't have a main event without that shit.
47. But wait, there's Sasha with the save! There are a couple of ginger kids in the front row who obviously have some soul because they're jumping up and down, and at a main event women's match! Bayley wins! Bayley wins! I have freaking goosebumps. Good for her. What a fantastic match and a great moment for Bayley. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a storyline like this, and knowing how this will make my daughter feel, even better.
48. Overall, there are still some problems with RAW, and the show is too long and has way too much space and bullshit, but two segments from this stood out above all the others. The payoff to the Festival, and the main event; both, undoubtedly, demonstrate what RAW is capable of. Now if we could get more of this, and less of the bullshit, more in this direction. Hats off to Bayley, great moment to be a fan. Cheers to Bray, Naomi, and Bayley. What a great few days for emotional title victories.
HAM OF THE NIGHT
You know it. I know it. HAM IT IN, MAAAAAN!
2012 - Daniel Bryan
2013 - Paul Heyman
2016 - Chris Jericho
1-2-17 - Kevin Owens
1-3-17 - Jack Gallagher
1-9-17 - Shawn Michaels
1-10-17 - Dean Ambrose
1-16-17 - Sami Zayn
1-17-17 - John Cena
1-23-17 - Xavier Woods
1-24-17 - James Ellsworth
1-30-17 - Mick Foley
1-31-17 - Daniel Bryan
2-6-17 - Goldberg
2-7-17 - Daniel Bryan
2-13-17 - Chris Jericho
Ris 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.