IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #272 - Thoughts on RAW - 2-27-17
By Marissa Laiman
Feb 27, 2017 - 11:20:13 PM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #272 - Thoughts on RAW - 2-27-17
NOTE: This is the last time I'm going to say anything like this.
I don't owe anyone, especially the assholes from last week, an explanation, but I'm giving you one anyway. I don't have to justify or defend my identity or existence to any of you, and if you're going to misgender me or use an old name (that also wasn't my real name), feel free to read another column.
My name is Marissa.
I've had that name since 2003, so it's not "fan fiction" or something to do with Michelle McCool. My girlfriend's last name at the time was McCool, and I liked the way it sounded.
I know who I am better than you do. You know who else does? Everyone in my life. This is who I am physically, mentally, and legally. You don't have to agree with it, but if you're going to be shitty about it, I will delete your comment. LOP backs me up on that and gave me the power to do so. You may call me Marissa, Ris, or any version of that name, and you will refer to me with she/he pronouns, or I will delete your comments. That's the name on my ID. I've got enough to deal with without having to defend myself to anonymous people. If you don't like who I am, what I write, or how I promote my work, find someone else who doesn't offend your fragile masculinity.
Thank you to those of you who treated me well since I came out. You're in the majority.
1. Now, onto the fun stuff. Goldberg opens up the show, and let's see how many indy stars are getting paid tonight to stand to the side of the aisle and watch. I've probably said it before, but I like how Goldberg interacts with the kids. Almost no stars interact with the crowd at all, let alone by making a personal connection. It's also nice of the Fast Lane graphic to touch up Goldberg's goatee with some Just for Men that he borrowed from Kevin Nash.
2. Goldberg recites an old Stone Cold promo that sounds different without the heavy southern accent, but the guy seems so genuine and emotional in his delivery that it's hard not to be captivated. He is one man who can seem intimidating as hell even with that big smile, because you know what's behind it.
3. Kevin Owens comes out to a chorus of boos, again showing how well he did his job, and he's got super serious face on. He's trying so hard that he messes up the first sentence. That's what happens when everyone has to follow a script to the word. Ask Brad Maddox. KO talks about grabbing the company by the throat and making them see what he's about... So he was originally a dom? Someone tell Shaniqua.
4. Owens lists all the people he's beaten, and even just in mention, what he did to Jericho elicits emotion. Goldberg makes an early HAM contender for his fake praising of Owens' promo. I can't help but like the guy, dammit. Owens teases a Green Bay street fight before saying that Green Bay doesn't deserve to see him fight. Awesome double-switch.
5. Crossfit Jesus makes an appearance tonight, and Corey will be in the ring conducting an "exclusive" interview. As opposed to what, if it's in the ring? A non-exclusive interview? I think Vince hears that word on the news and thinks it's what all interviews are.
6. The New Day are next, and thankfully unlike the TROOF, they remember what city it is accurately. I appreciate how hard Michael Cole is trying to be excited about the New Day being reduced to hosts, but Corey ripping on them is hysterical. I'm glad the ice cream has kept everyone hooked, but something needs to freshen this up. And they're facing the Innovators of Silence again? What the... Why? How has it come to this? You can tell they didn't announce the opponents in advance because the silence would've been filling the arena like it is now while the New Day were still doing their schtick, instead of when they came out.
7. They pull an Oscars from last night. It's funny cause it's topical. Crickets.
8. I'm beginning to think that Jinder Mahal only came back to wrestling to show off his abs, but HIIII Lana. I'll be back... Xavier Woods has 90s sound effects to go with his offense. I could swear I was listening to a battle in the old-school TMNT. Yes, I know that started in the 80s, bite me. Apparently they're on fire, which means we have to go to another commercial.
9. I couldn't care less about this match, but Corey and Cole bickering is strangely more fun than usual. Surprised that Kofi gets to be the cheerleader Freebird. Oh good, it's over, and so is the Rusev/Mahal alliance. Oh, the lack of humanity.
10. We've got long talking periods and recaps, there's a Cruiserweight match on the horizon! Then, backstage, Enzo and Cass are talking vaguely forward instead of each other, and even Cass looks annoyed with his shenanigans. Cass decides that he doesn't have the Brooklyn accent anymore, and a former NXT star actually acknowledges that their NXT run existed. Cool! He throws in One-Hitta Quitta... I didn't realize he was friends with J-Rocc. Then, in more filler, Lobsterhead and Cesaro run into Samoa Joe backstage, and speaking of things in the past, Joe acknowledges their past together, albeit not by name. Are we getting Joe/Cesaro tonight? Please tell me we're getting Joe/Cesaro tonight!
11. Then, in the third straight backstage segment, Stephanie is feeling sympathetic today because she apologizes to Mick Foley. Even nice enough to recap his resume. Good thing we're not live on television or anything. Foley is wearing an old tie I owned pre-transition as a shirt. But it turns into more emasculation, because we haven't seen that yet. Aaand, no recourse whatsoever. I'm so glad she does this all the time.
12. Oh wow, it's a cruiserweight match, who saw that coming? Kendrick is backstage to Jon Snow the shit out of the supposed betrayal, but I think he's becoming a Wight with those eyes (No Big Show.) Instead of Kendrick, he's facing Dar, who might get a chance to HAM up her name. FOOOOOOOOOOOX (in Brogue). Tozawa yelling at Dar's face was pretty awesome. If we get a Tozawa/Xavier Woods match, it may be a full-out cartoon. Holy shit, that ending sequence was awesome. If only someone in the arena gave a damn too. Also, someone show Steph Curry how Tozawa uses a mouthguard.
13. Kendrick was the man with the plan, and that was an attack after the match, garnering a very audible "you suck!" from a Green Bay fan. That was his plan, or part three of the plan from the man with the plan.
14. When we come back, Joe continues his Backstage Troll Tour 2017 with Mick Foley. They have a debate over what puppet means, and at least Foley has a spine against someone on this show. We're getting Joe/Cesaro. I approve of this message.
15. Meanwhile, the women's division gets themselves a tag match, and Charlotte is dressed like she's auditioning for the Royal Rumble poster in 2006. Charlotte works in another Oscar joke before going after the cheap heat, and clearly the writers of this promo have absolutely no idea what football is. They also don't know who the current Green Bay quarterback is; that, or Charlotte forgot too.
16. After we get the same exchange Bayley and Charlotte have had for a while now, Sasha comes out to defend her friend "Bayleya." Perhaps the seeds for a Sasha heel turn being planted here? She responds with the equivalent of "I know you are but what am I?" but the words "stupid face" gets an actual chant. Someone had to pick up the "stupid idiot" slack. Gee, is Nia gonna be her tag team partner? Of course she is. Much better use of a monster than squashing a jobber and being annoyed with it.
17. We come back with mostly Nia Jax domination. I love these four competitors, but they need some other members of the roster. Bayley goes for a tag, but I don't think Sasha was ready for it. That, or she refused, I'm not sure. Either way, it continues like nothing happened. Nia does a double Irish whip, and the two make the awful mistake of hitting the ropes at the same time. That's always awkward.
18. It seems the crowd is sick of seeing these combinations too. They're becoming the female Reigns/Rollins/Jericho/Owens. We go into a commercial mid-match, because fuck you, that's why.
19. Once we come back, I bet Sasha's about to turn around momentum with a hope spot. Wow, great timing, guys! Think we get Asuka after WrestleMania? We need more than four and the occasional Brooke/Fox. Charlotte and Nia work surprisingly well together as a tag team though, which is interesting for the dissent they had recently. Charlotte's weird... Necklock leg suplex... thing? Is pretty damn awesome too.
20. Bayley gets the hot tag, and uses all the power she summons from her nursery wallpaper for a series of trademark moves. Nia pins Bayley AGAIN! Cleanly! JBLdammit, what the fuck is this shit? How often are they going to pull this? This is stupid.
21. Corey Graves is SUPER totes excited about getting to conduct the interview with Crossfit Jesus! Because we haven't seen enough of sad Mick, he regrets to inform Braun that he has no competition. Braun doesn't want any competition, but a... Contract? Because Roman might run? What? I mean, I'm sick of him too, but the guy waits until the second Braun's matches end to cue his discount Shield music. All right then. Contract signing for a non-title match. Joy. Excitement. Roman Reigns talking. Things happening.
22. We've got ourselves some Club Sandwich, and look how silly Karl is with his backwards title belt. I'm really glad these guys finally got a break though. After moving through gimmicks like the Hardcore belt changed hands in the 24/7 era, they seem to finally have hit their groove. Edge on Stilts is the one wrestling tonight, so I like his chances. The most disappointing surprise Rumble entrant ever, on the other hand? He's usually going to be the losing factor. I honestly wouldn't mind if they made him Cass's manager.
23. Oh good, Cass found his accent! I was worried about him losing it for a few minutes there. Cass gets distracted by a bald head popping up in the lower corner of the screen, and that gives fake Kane in black the advantage. Cass has a major angry face, and he almost gave fake Kane the Goozle! Maybe Cass really wanted the Kane gimmick and was disappointed that idea got ruined forever in 2006? Cass has a future, especially with his enthusiasm and charisma to go with his agility for a guy his size. Enzo getting attacked distracts Cass again, but this time Cass summons his tribute to the late Andrew Martin for a big booted victory. Decent enough, especially in the Hour of Death.
24. How does Cole get the Network's name wrong after all this shameless promotion? WWE Networks dot com? You're better than that. At least he doesn't have to mention an App 42 times a night?
25. Braun Strowman's Fast Lane graphic looks like he just got caught watching puppy videos, and he's slowly trying to regain his intimidation factor while not focusing on the little cute babies!
26. Meanwhile, we have a match between Titus and Sheamus because of something that happened on Facebook. I guess Sheamus did need to take out his want to kick Joe in the fuck frustration on somebody, and Titus failed to join the New Day, so why not pitch to everyone he can? Titus beats him to it, for he is aware that there can be only one. There's been a lot of big boots tonight. Titus gets in more offense than he did for the last six months, but gets Brogue Kicked and it's over. Wow, I'm so glad that happened. Great use of television time right there. On the plus side, Sheamus selling a 30-second attack before the match ended in one move as well as the commentators are reacting with surprise? I don't know...
27. How much Pomade did Corey put in his hair tonight? Damn dude. Oh goodie, another recap of this feud. When i see him, I can't help but remember when someone gave Noah an Astronaut Jesus in Chicago, and I couldn't help but think that it doubled as Astronaut Seth Rollins. Lots of "uhs" in Rollins' response, but I think that's a good thing. It makes it feel authentic, like the guy who is genuinely emotional about getting injured again as opposed to coming out and having to follow something to the letter. I'm not sure if eight people in the crowd start chanting "CM Punk!" or "Cena Sucks!" Either way, seems random.
28. Triple H comes out to his alternate theme with a big ol' smile. Weird seeing Corey Graves book it so quickly. If Seth's injury is that legit, he'd have a better chance of defending Rollins than CFJ would. H hams it up by referring to Joe, as he stands next to Corey. They both got their bright shirts from the same place, I think. Triple H taunts him more, telling him that he won't be at WrestleMania no matter what, and rubs in that he deserves it. Seeing Triple H taunt with ominous language while being completely blatant about how he used CFJ is freaking awesome, especially with Joe getting closer. He quotes the great Tommy Wiseau by saying "that's life."
29. Now, it's decision time for Crossfit Jesus, and he threatens him to... not come to WrestleMania, or some shit's gonna go down, especially if he gets called out. Interesting, so maybe CFJ isn't hurt as bad as he thought? CFJ then gives some badass HAM in response by calling his name. He promises to be at WrestleMania with his back to Joe, which could be a really bad idea. He threw down with everything he had. Damn. Even if it was in his best Goldberg voice. Great promo by both H and CFJ. Loved it.
30. Oh, they really are having an Innovators of Silence match. Forgive me, I was disturbed by that Jetson's/WWE preview. How does animated Roman Reigns have more facial expressions than real Roman Reigns? Wow, Big Show won. Surprise of surprises.
31. Meanwhile backstage, Tony was late on his cue to fix his wrist guards before being confronted with King Robert Neville, and they'll be against Perkins and Gallagher. That should be fun, but then again, so is anytime Gallagher is involved in a thing. Nese is strongly captivated by the words of the champ. That, or he wants to borrow some of the baby oil in his hair. Either or.
32. Hype video for Austin Aries? All right, I'm interested. Speaking of that though, where's Emma? TJ's outfit tonight is amazing. Corey comparing Nese and Neville to Masters of the Universe just made Mr. Laiman tell Corey to go to his room and think about what he's done. At least Dolph isn't on this show to get the grumble grumbles.
33. Gallagher throws a headbutt at Neville worthy of the World Cup, and Nese ends up taking the double team because Neville powders. Well shit, this was quick. Silence. It's almost like wasting a whole bunch of time for changing the ring to promote a show nobody watches is a complete waste of time.
34. Beth Phoenix! Good for her! Hard to believe she's been gone this long already! She would've been so much better suited for this era, but she held it down the best she could in the diva's era.
35. Joe/Cesaro is next, so we're getting the Roman Reigns contract signing in the main event, aren't we?
36. Meanwhile, like some sort of emascdust, Steph just happened to come by after Sasha claimed to be in Bayley's corner. That gives her a chance to put Sasha in a match with Nia Jax. That's like Teddy putting someone in a match with the Undertaker, isn't it?
37. Now it's time for Samoa Joe and the former Claudio Castagnoli. I can't believe I'm seeing this as essentially the main event of Monday Night RAW. Surreal. I saw these guys face each other in front of 200 people 10 years ago. Joe goes after yet another knee, and that's a cue for commercial. Wow, it's already 10:52. We come back with a shot of Joe from behind. They must be going into major overrun tonight. I'd have loved to see this match get PPV time, but we're not that lucky. Joe ends up winning rather easily, all things considered, but they're running late so I'm not too surprised. Was still cool as shit to see.
38. Joe gets a post-match promo about his big "impact." Nice word choice. Who interrupts his super yelling, but Sami Zayn gets a little attack from behind of his own. It doesn't go quite as well though, but at least he's getting some shots back. Security was on this one though, but they back off so Joe could attack him again? Kay. Zayn comes back with a stage dive that looked... Weird, but I like it.
39. Cole stumbles through another Network shill, and considering it's already 11:03, we clearly have time for this. Cole is really off tonight, but I'm also looking forward to FastLine.
40. Holy fuck, if RAW really didn't need one thing, it was to be EVEN LONGER! We come back with Foley, who also made Joe/Zayn for Sunday. He uses the phrase that I'm pretty sure has been attributed to nearly every big match in the history of anything, we still have to try to get through this. Braun decides he's heard enough pre-amble, or they're trying to hurry shit up, because he's yelling at me. Side note, that's something I've decided to use randomly around the house and in everyday life moments. It's fun. It's like Hassan's entrance music used to be back in the YTMND days. Damn, I think I just aged myself.
41. Braun thinks his mic wasn't on, and he threatens Foley to make him leave. Braun echoes Steph from earlier word for word, although he adds a little "Creep" from STP, and Foley freaks the fuck out (FINALLY!) frustrated with being spoken down to. Braun gets caught corpsing, and then Roman's music hits. The crowd legit wanted Foley to fight him more. Roman making the save for Mick freaking Foley got boos. Good thing we made sure he's in the main event again.
42. Roman's attack fails for a third straight week, so he's definitely going to win on Sunday. Joy. Braun pushes him out into the crowd before Roman starts fighting back and goes for the Superman Punch a 3rd time, then spears him through the barricade, though it's back INTO the ring area. That's something you don't see often. Someone either got hit or sells like a champ at ringside. They're either chanting "Roman!" or "Bullshit!" Roman takes the time to delineate over whether or not to sign before Braun makes his comeback, and a 4th Superman punch, another OOOOOOAHHHHHH, and HOLY FUCK! Braun threw him into the corner so hard that it knocked off the fucking ropes! Braun steps over the fallen top rope like a fucking boss!
43. We can't just end that way, because Roman has to sign the contract. JBLdamn was that an awesome moment though, and it caught me completely by surprise. Overall though, this was boring even for a go-home show. Owens/Goldberg in the beginning was good, that ending moment was cool, and seeing a part of Joe/Cesaro that wasn't in the commercial was fun. But this show was nearly 3.5 hours long and it felt like they were spacing it out as much as possible.
HAM OF THE NIGHT
I'm gonna give it to Foley for turning up his HAM level to yell at Braun Strowman about Stephanie.
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
2-14-17 - Alexa Bliss
2-20-17 - Lana
2-21-17 - Maryse
2-27-17 - Mick Foley
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