IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #277 - Thoughts on RAW - 3-20-17
By Marissa Laiman
Mar 20, 2017 - 11:30:48 PM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #277 - Thoughts on RAW - 3-20-17
1. We start with a recap of last week, and for once the superstars in question don't need fake reactions to go along with it. The music gets a little heavy though. For a minute, I thought I was watching a recap of the Red Wedding.
2. Starting off the show, Mick Foley follows up the recap package by not starting already in the ring, and will we be seeing the last of general manager Foley? He's reading a prepared statement, so the time has likely come. The turn is coming somewhere in there, though he ends up apologizing. Foley ends up taking a leave of absence...
3. Here's the turn! There's the Foley we've wanted. They cut his mic... on and off for some reason.
4. Now Steph has her Queen Bitch hairdo back, so more emasculation is on the way, fasten your seatbelts! The crowd chants for Foley more than they chant for most current stars, and this is the same old Factgime bullshit, same terrible Vince impression...
5. Who comes out to stop this trainwreck but Sami Zayn! He's going a little CM Punk, and also gets tossed aside verbally because no one can one-up Stephanie of course. The crowd even sees the comparison and chants for Punk. Zayn continues, so let's see how unaffected she is by someone else calling her out. Wow, it's even worse than usual...
6. She says he's not on the level to speak to her, which I'm not sure of the difference because that's how she speaks to everyone. She even speaks over his dialogue, because fuck you, that's why.
7. Now here comes Samoa Joe, and she books a match with Joe now while someone swears enough to cut the sound out for several seconds. We get one more, and we head to commercial. Holy fuck, the potential that would've had...
8. Once we come back, we're seeing what should've been a WrestleMania match for free to open the wrestling tonight. Based on the booking of last week, I'm guessing inconclusive ending, possibly DQ, leading to the match at Mania?
9. Graves calls Sami an SJW... Subtle.
10. Sami does his best to stay in the match, but then gets the Flying Forearm Fuckpunch through the ropes, which looks badass as hell. Then, we get an awkward transition to another commercial.
11. They're really doubling down on this Truth stuff. AJ Styles is now doing smoking PSAs to promote the show itself.
12. We come back, and it looks like the video game shake effect is back for replays. RAW with that visual continuity we've all come to know and love. Sami plays the underdog face in peril and barely beats a ten count. We get Zayn with a close call pinfall, and cut to two kids who could not look more BORED with the action. Good choice, Camera Guy 7. A few seconds later, we get to see the action as it happens through the phone of the guy in front row. What's that thing about recording they love to threaten again?
13. After the Ropes DDT, Joe turns things back around. He's also busted open while doing his impression of the Undertaker having an orgasm, and eventually Zayn taps. Cole reminds us for the 84th time that Stephanie loves it. Good match regardless, what we saw of it at least.
14. We get a quick recap of the Reigns/Strowman thing, leaving us wondering still how Strowman will be involved at WrestleMania. The "still to come" stuff definitely implies a lot of video packages.
15. We come back with Foley still in the building, Zayn pleading him to stay for someone to stand up for everyone. Lotta good that does with the other side being completely unaffected anytime someone does. Lobsterhead and Cesaro thank them for putting them together... It's awful nice of the company to keep filming a guy who got fired like that. The cruiserweights get a bump too, but Bayley looks like the one taking it the hardest. Naturally, Triple H with a smirk is waiting right behind him. After all, it's the second time he's witnessed that.
16. Then we get another replay of what was on the top of the show. Now we're looking at an interview with Seth Rollins...' doctor. He does a decent job of reading the lines he was given on the card, and by that I mean the crowd only somewhat "WHAT?"s it out.
17. After all that, Charlotte is out next, so we'll be headed to commercial during her entrance I assume. Usually with this much downtime, there's a cruiserweight match on the way. When we come back, Charlotte is still posing. Thank JBL we waited until we came back to see Dana Brooke come out. It's nice that they finally had this turn several months after it was a regular thing.
18. Normally I don't pay too much attention to Dana Brooke matches. This time, I looked up when I heard some modified version of the New Day chant. Charlotte wins with a Test homage. Get several shots with the WrestleMania sign to make certain we know.
19. Next is the Highlight Reel, so there's something to look forward to.
20. We come back with Superstar Facts, having Jericho's impressive resume featured. Good! It was something other than social media numbers! Then we have Steph being condescending to Bayley this time. And we're getting another Bayley/Nia match.... For fuck's sake.
21. Thank merciful fuck, save us Y2J! It's really weird to see Jericho playing to the crowd again though. Yay, it's Jericho interacting with the Titan Tron again, I missed this! He shows 16-year-old Kevin Owens as a huge Y2J mark! Speaking of that, he even uses the phrase "marking out!" I don't know if I've ever heard that actually muttered on WWE television before.
22. This is a fantastic twist on the angle of the mentor and protege finally colliding. Even with Jericho making sure to drop in the cliches that everyone has to say, "the ultimate thrill ride" or they may not subscribe to the Network, Jericho's charisma and genuine emotion is refreshing after Stephanie sneers.
23. Finally, something we've been waiting for... Jericho slowly teases out putting Kevin Owens on The List! Kevin Owens will likely walk out and distract him from doing it... Except, it's Joe? Are we going forward with this alliance? Please tell me we are.
24. The "stupid idiot" chants are fierce, and KO takes out The List itself. Oh no! He destroys it! The tearing of paper is seriously the most devastating thing to happen tonight, and we saw a grown man be emasculated. OhmyJBL, the "asshole!" chant! It's been years since we've heard that! What an effective segment, with KO not even saying a word.
25. Get excited everyone, Michael Cole will be having a sit-down "interroo" with Triple H. I didn't realize he was briefly possessed by Perry Saturn's Moppy gimmick.
26. Corey Graves talking about the "end of Jericho" was the perfect capstone to that segment. Now we've got our Cruiserweight match, and TJ Perkins is out after saying goodbye to Foley and borrowing his glasses from Percy Watson. Kendrick's got another RAW match and... a vintage Twisted Sister pirate flag? It goes well with his MySpace wallpaper he's wearing for pants.
27. Kendrick ends up winning with Sliced Bread No. 2, and Graves mentioning Rhodes Scholars makes me sad that neither of the Rhodes Scholars are still with the company. I think setting up for the Cruiserweight match took longer than the match itself. Kendrick teaches us that his angle partner is named "Tazira." Kendrick reveals that he stole his... passport? At least it's not arson.
28. Taking a look at the "Escalating Rivalry" that is Goldberg/Lesnar? Video package incoming!
29. The recap of Reigns saying that the Undertaker should wonder what it's like to be in the ring with him had Aiden laughing for a solid fifteen seconds. Then we get an interview with him too! Goodie! Reigns only thinks about him when he's lying flat on his back... I assume because he saw Joe's impression earlier and his slashfic got published.
30. Hope you didn't get your fill of video hype package with that one, because they cut it off with a cliffhanging question! There's more coming! Excitement! Things happening!
31. Stephanie continues the Bitch Queen tour with a Forrest Gump reference, and now it's Cesaro and Lobsterhead's turn. They get a 2-on-4 match to be on WrestleMania, and is the second Helmsley to mockingly say Foley's catch phrase. Bleh.
32. Aiden: "I'm ready to be disappointed." Way ahead of you, Mr. Laiman...
33. Thank JBL we found out that Charlotte is watching backstage, but why does it look like she's ready to cry? The match itself picks up where it left off; on the outside with Bayley playing rag doll. This might be intense or interesting if we hadn't already seen this a bunch of times, but that might've been asking too much. Sasha's watching too.
34. We come back to this no DQ match with a rest hold in the middle of the ring. Yep.
35. It cuts to Sasha while the crowd chants "asshole" at someone? Someone not in the ring pissed them off. After seeing that Charlotte is indeed still cry-watching, we go back to ragdoll security barrier stuff. I'd say this was grinding to a halt, but it would've needed to start first. Cole thankfully reminds us that a steel chair is legal in a No DQ match. Goodie, otherwise it'd be a shitty no DQ match if there was a DQ for a chair.
36. The crowd starts the self-marking stuff, I'm assuming because they're bored to tears, but what would you expect from a Brooklyn crowd? Nia Jax pins Bayley... Cleanly... Again.
37. Mae Young was a badass among badasses.
38. Now for our in-ring interview with Triple H and the match that "probably" won't happen. It's getting so much TV time before WrestleMania because it's not gonna happen, eh? That is indeed a coincidence.
39. Foley phrase, take three. Triple H talks about people playing to the crowd being an insecurity thing. Strange hearing that from the former leader of DX. He then blames Foley's body condition on the WWE Universe. This is HAMmily delicious. Triple H sounds like an annoyed gym teacher who studied from the mandate of "I Know You Are, But What Am I?" Then he rambles about Millennials, and after hearing all the people complaining about them when it comes to NBA players resting games on Really Big Show, I've about had my fill of all that "get off my lawn" bullshit.
40. But wait! Oh Triple H, do you have something dastardly up your sleeve for that match that's totally not going to happen? Non-sanctioned match so he can leave Crossfit Jesus "broklen." A Broklen Brooklyn Interroo for the win!
41. Now we've got a 2-on-4 handicap match with a face team and a heel team teaming up against a face team trying to earn their shot. I wonder if the face part of the bigger team turns on the other one, thus allowing Da Ali Enzo and Edge-on-Stilts to help Lobsterhead and Cesaro make it? Graves with another awesome line, looking forward to seeing Enzo getting kicked in the face every week. Especially since his outfit looks like it was patchwork cosmos after the fourth pipe hit in Vermont.
42. Holy shit, Club Sandwich attacked their own partners? Wow, shocking twist. And Cesaro and Lobsterhead win in about two minutes. Jericho took longer teasing putting KO on the List. Can't have long matches when we have hard sells for the Network to shill!
43. New Day gets their weekly spot as the backstage WrestleMania shill... Though Big E's Heyman impression is amazing. Big E repeats part of the schtick, and that's it. Okay. Corey Graves: "Thank God that's over." Agreed, SJK. Agreed.
44. Thank you Austin Aries, even if your jacket is made out of the tinsel my cat ate at Christmas, please give us something to wake up with!
45. He's facing Cruiserweight discount Damien Sandow, so yeah... Aries wins. Aries looks like he hurt his elbow or shoulder on the dive out, as he went a bit long on the security barrier. Not good.
46. Aries ends up winning with Corey Graves continuing his amazing night on commentary, until Neville comes out to be mocked by Aries. Aries's chops are offended by Neville's Big Show beard. Aries wins Impression Night with his Neville impression, slightly edging out Big E and Heyman.
47. Emma's been repackaged AGAIN?! Is this just gonna be a thing now? Is she going for Biker Sarah Conner or something this time?
48. Part two of the video package.
49. Meanwhile, Braun's beard comes into the room before he does, and him "destroying Roman" gets a huge pop.
50. Finally, we get to the main event, which officially rings its bell at 11:01. Holy JBL, the counter to the Drive-By was freaking devastating-looking! A good bit of the match early though involves an Orton-style chinlock. What we needed during this night, truly, was rest. Taker bell for the distraction?
51. I've seen the bench press aerial pressout before, but never on someone Roman's size. That was damn impressive. So is the Superman Punch to counter the steps, though we get the usual series of Punch/no punch/spear etc. Graves asks if Reigns can do the impossible, which might be interesting if this match hadn't already happened... and... ::ding.::
52. Ohai Undertaker! He instead decides to chokeslam Strowman, which allows Reigns to spear him... Collective groan. Taker does his zombie situp, and Roman Stephanie McMahons it to (finally) close out the show.
53. I want to like this show. I want to look forward to WrestleMania. I can't honestly say either right now. Outside of the first match, Triple H HAMming it up, Jericho, Taker showing up, and a couple of brief moments of impressions, this was devastatingly boring. Bayley loses cleanly to Nia Jax, version 23 didn't help either. Two weeks to WrestleMania, and it felt like all of them to get through this slogfest of video packages and laziness.
HAM OF THE NIGHT
I'm giving it to Austin Aries, because Triple H and Jericho don't need it and I wanted a fresh name on The List (No Jericho).
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
2-28-17 - Bray Wyatt
3-13-17 - Paul Heyman
3-14-17 - AJ Styles
3-20-17 - Austin Aries
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