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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #282 - Thoughts on WrestleMania 33
By Marissa Laiman
Apr 3, 2017 - 12:30:20 AM



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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #282 - Thoughts on WrestleMania 33

1. Good news, Roman Reigns doesn't care what the crowd thinks. Interesting, it's almost like he never looks like he gives a shit about anything. If he doesn't, why should we?

2. That song they were using for the Reigns/Taker hype video was very reminiscent of late Johnny Cash.

3. Who?

4. I have no idea who that is, but JBLdamn, what a voice! Even with the noodling.

5. Okay, milking it twice, pulling the old Alicia Keys at the Super Bowl. Then again, I'm really not the biggest patriot in the world, so I acknowledge there may be people who find much more meaning in that song than I do.

6. Is the theme this year about a thrill ride or something? Perhaps of the Ultimate persuasion?

7. I'd ride this roller coaster. Just saying.

8. I'll say this right now, for context, if nothing else. I've had my heart broken today, and the first half of April is the absolute worst time of the year for me. Something really bad around this time has happened every single year, and already this year is no exception. Any followers of my column from the first run know something about this. Forgive me if I'm not my normal jovial self. I'm desperate for a great show tonight for escapism.

9. New Day, this is Ari Gold.... What the hell are you wearing? Is that... Kingdom Hearts?

10. My old buddy SJK is finally at WrestleMania. Cheers Corey, you deserve it.

11. The microphone is green. Why is the microphone green?

12. This act is over as hell. Even though I personally think it desperately needs shaking up, it's working for the majority. I still think it's pretty sad they went from record-breaking tag team champions to sideshow distraction this quickly.

13. How many commercials will be on this Pay-Per-View showing of WrestleMania? We've had one before we've had a match. If we put a dollar in the jar for every time they say "ultimate thrill ride" could we go to next year's WrestleMania?

14. AJ and Shane are curtain-jerking? Damn, they're gonna tear the house down to open the show, I have no doubt whatsoever. Great job by the video-editing department fixing that elbow drop.

15. I have no idea what was put on the pre-show, for the record. And the Network has already screwed up twice. Hope this isn't as common as it's been to start.

16. Listen to that Orlando pop for AJ Styles. So proud to see how far he's come. My late childhood and early 20s will be well represented at this year's WrestleMania.

17. That ramp is the length of Roman Reigns' main event push.

18. At least Shane McMahon is still willing to acknowledge the number of WrestleMania it is. JBL forbid we might think WrestleMania has been around for a while. Old is uncool. Who's fighting for the Universal title again?

19. Listen to these announcers put over Shane McMahon. You'd think he was facing the clone of Bobby Roode and Lex Luthor or something. Sweet chocolate Christ...

20. I hope the Florida humidity has gone down a bit, but it looks like they're already working up a sweat. It begs to question though, with JBL saying that AJ is the best he's ever seen, why is he facing a non-wrestler at WrestleMania? I know, I know, he faced Undertaker last year, but still.

21. Weird moment with Shane on the outside. Quiet on the commentary and between the action, I heard a plane in the distance of muffled conversation. Almost thought I switched to the Masters for ambiance for a second.

22. Shane does make his punches look pretty legit, and it's clear he trained for this match extensively. Gotta give him credit where it's due. At least it's not Vince in there.

23. Shane's an NFL Linebacker... again. Why is he wrestling in a jersey and baggy clothes then?

24. I admit, I was not expecting a pure straight wrestling match here, even with AJ's promo about it at the contract signing.

25. The Network is jumping all over the damn place. It's like trying to watch over Skype right now.

26. Wow, what a counter to the springboard 450 into the triangle! And AJ turned it into a clash. But Shane kicked out of the Styles Clash! Not hitting it correctly? That's the only explanation I can think of. But given their lax nature on the efficiency and efficacy of finishers anymore, how many will be kicked out of tonight? Over/under against "Ultimate Thrill Ride?"

27. Now the ref is knocked out, and here we go with the match I was more expecting. Will the ref be down as long as the one at WrestleMania 17?

28. First Holy Shit! moment of the night! Another counter with the trash can! Wow!

29. Is he gonna go coast-to-coast? Yes he is! Speaking of WrestleMania 17...

30. Now the table's coming undone right as the match chants are indicating that they believe it is, in fact, awesome. He's going for the table thing again, so... Law of two. He's not gonna hit the same move a single show after already hitting it. Landed right on his elbow too, that can't be good!

31. Okay, that was another cool-as-shit counter, but seriously... He just went through a table from the top turnbuckle and he has the wherewithal to counter the Forearm? Then he... Pulls off a perfect Shooting Star Press to an empty mat! Damn! THIS is what an opening match at WrestleMania is supposed to be! AJ wins after the Flying Forearm Fuckpunch. With emphasis! Phenomenal (yes AJ) opening match!

32. "If he had hit that, it might've been the last we saw of AJ Styles!" Despite the fact that we saw that literally five days ago? K.

33. Meanwhile, Ellsworth is getting wacky again!!!!!

34. If only the end of that Snickers commercial had been what had happened to Michael Cole before his WrestleMania 14-minute wrestling match.

35. Hardly any break time and Kevin Owens is heading out. The newest dweller of The List is used to feature... some YouTuber my kids probably watch? Admittedly, I am incredibly out of touch for the most part of the mainstream entertainment culture.

36. Best built-up match for WrestleMania, and it's on already. The main events better deliver, because the undercard is showing up!

37. The Countdown has returned!!!! YAY!

38. SPANGLY SCARF! All the HAM! And an inflatable list! It'll be very difficult to top that for the HAM already!

39. Genuine emotion-inspired WrestleMania match, what are the odds? Jericho goes for the Walls already! He'll need the old Lion Timer version to have a chance on this stage! You know it's face Jericho because he's yelling his catch phrases before moves.

40. Why have DQs at all at WrestleMania? That'd be like a match ending in a countout. Or a headlock, right Spoony?

41. Is Jericho busted open already?

42. KO is the best at trash talk during the match. It really adds to the match.

43. "Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends?" Smeagol voice- "You don't have any friends! Nobody likes you!" Full Sail Crowd last night- No one likes you! But that's good heel heat, which makes me glad that it's not X-Pac heat, so named for back when that actually used to mean something might change.

44. We definitely have blood, or at least the worst case of ringworm I have ever seen!

45. I admit, when I heard Cole ask if Jericho can capitalize, I expected it to go right to commercial.

46. The fact that Jericho has been wrestling for 26 years and is still in this kind of shape... Amazing.

47. Side note, I was published on the Huffington Post yesterday!

48. We finally have a Lionsault. I don't like Jericho's chances, as I expect him to go away for a while after this, but one can hope. We need our HAM of the Year contenders present and well, dammit!

49. KO with the Walls! And we don't get RAW bingo, because Cole wasn't the one saying "Are you kidding me?" Nice cover on the "kick to the... chest" though. Come on Jericho, use the damn Lion Tamer! It looks so much better than the Boston Crab version!

50. There's number two finisher kickout! Put a dollar in the jar! Jericho kicks out of the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Second question, will Cena, Triple H, or Reigns' match have the MOST kickouts? Correct guess wins a bonus HAM.

51. Counter into the Codebreaker! Rope break with... a finger. The inspiration of Mae Young's love child saves the US title match for the Kevster. Does that count as a finisher kickout? I'm not going to unless I'm otherwise convinced.

52. The Powerbomb into the Apron never ceases to look devastating. That is the hardest part of the ring, you know. And that wins KO the US title. Two straight heel wins, though AJ's pushing it at this point. Two straight matches deliver, and KO gets a consolation prize for doing the job for Goldberg.

53. I thought the Payback preview was for a returning Finn Balor for a second.

54. Let's see what the RAW women can step up for WrestleMania. Can we get three straight matches that more than deliver? I sure hope so. A good WrestleMania performance could salvage this group of competitors that have been oversaturated against each other.

55. I know Tito's got a wag of the finger for the champion coming out FIRST out of fourth?! Even if she does have on the Gobbledy Gooker's Ultimate Warrior cosplay.

56. Well now we know where all the pyro for the year goes, and that comes with the announcement of the women getting the next invitational. That is great news! Women's Royal Rumble needs to happen!

57. Nia Jax cannot have her Lita Titan Tron opening frame... I'm assuming because the cameras can't get that close with this massive set. Comparing Nia Jax to the Rock though? Not as bad as the Miley one, but close enough.

58. Sasha's entrance involves a golf cart dressed up like an antique car. Shame, if there was any time to bring out the old "carting the opponents to the ring in the corner" thing, it's with a ramp like that.

59. "This is how you make an entrance, gentlemen." Graves on Flair... Before he even sees it. Charlotte's robe tonight is inspired by Frodo Baggins when he dated a flower child. We get a reference to the "I'm sorry, I love you." match that ended Ric Flair's career (for 10 months).

60. "Her dad calls her 'Second Nature.'" So... They're okay now?

61. Sign: Shaun is here. Well... Thanks for the Vital Information, Sean. Thankfully that's not a common name around here.

62. Nia Jax's eye shadow takes out the entire rest of the division in one fell swoop.

63. Charlotte stops Nia from pinning Bayley after a BANZAI drop, then... Nia starts to forearm her but is nice enough to pull it by herself so Charlotte can counter. I can say, from a purely physical standpoint, I can buy Nia throwing around Sasha and Bayley, but Charlotte? That's a little less likely.

64. Now we need some shades from the NXT tag match last night. Common enemy and all. They manage to hit a running big boot into a double suplex! That looked cool as hell! Though we know that Bayley hit her suplex finisher on Bobby Roode, so it seems strange that she lacks the strength for... nevermind.

65. For all those, including some in my house, who have complained about NXT stars when they reach the main roster, NXT is well represented tonight. Triple powerbomb and cover eliminates Nia Jax, mercifully. Charlotte tries to get some nostalgia hand-fives and such, but then goes "screw you guys, I'm going home" to let Bayley and Sasha go at it... for one hold. Sasha then takes out Bayley with a high spot that looked Undertaker/25 dangerous! Charlotte then hits a corkscrew moonsault to perfection! Holy shit!!

66. The Flair ends up taking some serious chops to evoke the sound of her father throughout the arena of Owls leftover from the New Day segment.

67. Charlotte is strangely impervious to the Bank Statement tonight, given how many times it put her away. Sasha gets flung into the exposed turnbuckle... and she's out. Didn't see that coming! We're down to Bayley/Charlotte.

68. Charlotte countered Bayley with a very awkward spear, but it ends her up in the Figure 8. I don't think I can count the two Bank Statements on the finisher counter. Submissions don't count, do they? Shit, counting these is harder than I thought.

69. Did Bayley chant "YES!" as she was punching Charlotte on the turnbuckle? He then hits her with... a one-armed back body drop suplex while landing in the Tree of Woe? I think? And then Charlotte knocks herself silly on the same turnbuckle right in time for our feed to get screwed up. Bayley then wins cleanly with a Macho Man Elbow Drop! Decent match, but the right girl won. If there's one empathetic character on the roster who definitely deserved a WrestleMania moment, it's Bayley.

70. Kurt, please come back. I miss you! Please give me the Angle theme one more time... Please!

71. YES! YES! YES! Rissy moment fulfilled!

72. I guess WrestleMania only goes to about three cities anymore?

73. Is Crossfit Jesus going on with Triple H already? Nope, ladder match instead. Some say there will be a fourth team added. Holy hell, that pop for Enzo and Cass! Even with the chickenlover commercials, they're as over as hell still. That many people singing their spelling test with them is awesome. I love crowd pops, what can I say?

74. Cesaro's wearing a kilt? What is Sheamus wearing from Switzerland? They're both in suits and kilts. I approve of this message!

75. I didn't realize you could make a match happen by attacking someone with a thing, but I suppose since that's how TLC was booked this year, I should've.

76. Dynamite drop-in Michael Cole, that broadcast school has really paid off! "You can use the ladders as weapons or to climb them!" Oh, here comes the New Day? To interject themselves or announce a surprise entrant? Ladders? Hardyz? THE HARDY BOYZ! They caught Cass on camera marking out! I love it!

77. Good news, Jeff's Tripp pants still fit from 1999. Cass is covering his mouth trying so hard not to lose his mind with the rest of the crowd. This is one of the most endearing things I've ever seen caught on television. What is everyone chanting, outside of "This is Awesome!" I admit, I marked out too.

78. Jeff Hardy has never won at WrestleMania. Will that finally be rectified here tonight?

79. Cole reminds us that Big Cass is, in fact, seven feet tall. Corey has an awesome moment of being surprised that they're not asking the Hardyz for autographs yet. Beautiful. Enzo and Cass do a... Vaulting Enzo ladder toss? I thought nobody tosses a dwarf... I'm confused.

80. Can't blame Karl for protecting his head for the King of Swing, and Cesaro and Sheamus go for the double Swing/Drum as long as they possibly can. Wow, look at that hang time! This is the best I've seen this team work. And then a Swiss-1-9! I don't know if they've called it that before, but it's awesome either way. Brian just called them the Bash Brothers. I approve. Should we start calling them Reed and Portman?

81. Brother Nero chant... Oh I get it now! I had to review that back in the early run of the return. That went beyond HAM. That was the whole pig.

82. Enzo has remained conspicuously atop that ladder overcoming all who rise. There's something poetic about that, given how bad his record's been on his own. Thought we were gonna see a Magic Killer on the double ladders. Sheamus and Cesaro are nice enough to mount themselves on the ladders anyway though. Are we getting a takeout spot? I think we are!

83. Twist of Fate from the Top, and Jeff is climbing the ladder. He's gonna go for the huge spot! Jeff, you haven't changed, have you! Is Matt going to get the win? HE IS! JEFF FINALLY WINS AT WRESTLEMANIA! What a match! What a reaction! As someone else also said, "just because we know it's coming doesn't mean we still don't want to see it." Did they cut him out before he did the "Delete!" thing? You shall not pass, sir!

84. Oh good, a WWE Network promo on the WWE Network... and ironically, we lose the fucking feed during that! The Network goes out again! JBLdammit!

85. Now it's time for the match that I was not expecting to anticipate the most. And... Are they going with Rita Repulsa because the Power Ranger movie came out? And one of the foreign commentators were off mic while getting their feature. Okay, Al Roker might've just won the HAM. "He's a nimble little minx." Laugh of the night so far, only because the Kurt recap didn't count because it didn't happen tonight. Why did Nikki and Cena have separate entrances? That's strange for a guy who has been all about proving his... Nevermind.

86. Cena's gonna try to Ultimate Warrior this entrance ramp, and he can't slow down! That takes confidence in your endurance!

87. Wow, listen to that crowd pop for the Miz... That's a sentence I haven't written since... I have never written that sentence.

88. Miz is showboating on a HAMmacious level that would be ridiculous for Bobby Roode. I'm loving it, the crowd is loving it, and Miz is loving that the crowd is loving him. He earned it with the Cena impersonation and this feud as a whole.

89. JBL goes for the Hyperbole double stomp... Gregory Peck mixed with Ken Shamrock for the Miz. Yeah, that's something special right there. It's so ridiculous that I think even he realized it halfway through saying it.

90. Cena and Nikki win? Really? That was a letdown. Good thing that John Cena finally got a win after so long. He really needed it. Wait, he's gonna propose, isn't he? Good for him. I withdraw my complaint.

91. Just saying though, this could be the most epic heel turn in history if it went the way it's not going to.

92. Now it's time for Crossfit Jesus and Triple H. How will Triple H make his Conan entrance this year?

93. Triple H has a motorcycle police escort. Taker must've lent him one of his bikes.

94. So instead of Barbarian Warlord we have Mad Max wannabe with a police escort? The escort is pretty damn cool anyway.

95. What is with the sound mix tonight? Get it together, Full Sail kids! Crossfit Jesus comes out for his Chariots of Fire audition with the torch that Triple H must've passed him backstage, and he lights the entranceway all the way to the apron. That kicks ass! Where was Kane to summon some real fire? WrestleMania 21 proved he can light the entire set on fire if he truly wants to.

96. This match has plenty of emotion behind it, and several levels of dissonance to accompany it as well. It's hard to compare this guy to the one who is proud papa of NXT, but at least there's been effort to explain that.

97. No surprise that this match is going all over the arena, and our feed has been absolute shit tonight. Way to deliver on the most-viewed product you've shilled endlessly. We've completely lost it now. JBLdammit, just as this match was picking up.

98. Now that CFJ's top is gone, doesn't he look like Sabu with those gold pants, minus the forehead scars of course?

99. Spike DDT on the non-breaking table. That can't be pleasant!

100. NETWORK FREEZES AGAIN! FUCK YOUR ENDLESS SHILLS!

101. I'd love to say that this match seems well-paced, but I haven't seen half of it. Outside of the pre-proposal tag match, I've been very impressed with this show. Shades of my level of enjoyment for 21 or 30.

102. Pedigree vs. Pedigree. Won't that be awkward. Well one of us has to change... ::sigh:: unzip me.

103. Great WrestleMania moment with Corey Graves saying "if he hits this or not, he's screwed." And he's right, as the dive ends him up landing on the knee itself. Or so it seemed.

104. Now we've got... a chair? That was underwhelming. You know there's a sledgehammer there somewhere. And I'd forgotten how much I missed Stephanie doing her Melina ringside impression... /sarcasm.

105. Now we've got another chair and a table, which gives him recuperation time. That doesn't seem wise.

106. Did one of the commentators just say "this could be fatal?" They've won the Hyperbole Olympics unless we get a re-enactment of the Hawk angle. Please don't re-enact the Hawk angle.

107. Apparently in the age of not allowing women and men to attack each other, Steph is an exception, because why shouldn't someone who emasculates most of the roster be the exception?

108. CFJ counters with the not-called Crossface. That has to be some awkward memories for the Game.

109. CFJ gets the Sledgehammer and... TOSSES IT TO TRIPLE H?! What the seven-heavenly flying vagina squirrel fuck?!

110. CFJ's face says it all once he gets ahold of that sledgehammer. Steph grabs it again because of course she did. There's a Pedigree kickout. 1. He goes for the not-Pepsi Plunge, and CFJ is about to "put his career on the line" again... But Triple H does not lose to top rope flippy moves, even with one of that level of amazingness.

111. Two countered Pedigrees... Three. Four. That's a lot of not-Pedigrees.

112. Steph went through the table after a superkick to the apron. Finally someone gets retribution on her, and it's her own husband. CFJ hits the Pedigree, and wins! I'm amazed. Great match, and this is an insanely low level of finisher kickouts for a company that has made them as casual as a mid-match commercial.

113. Pitbull performance? Time for a smoke break. And the mute button.

114. Odds that the Pitbull performance lasts longer than the Goldberg match?

115. Now it's the Arsonist Randy Orton match, and outside of the Wyatt entrance, it's the one match I truly couldn't give less of a shit about. Good for Wyatt, finally having the title, but this angle has been so freaking odd, bizarre, and well, involves Randy Orton, that I'm checked out. It's been a bad night for me but a good show. I'm trying to hold up the best I can.

116. JBL has resisted the urge to interrupt the fucking entrance. Thank you! What a sight!

117. I don't imagine the Goldberg match will go very long, but they're not gonna wrap this up by 11. This is a lot of wrestling. JBL kept his mouth shut for the whole 2:51 of the Wyatt entrance. Learn it for Smackdown too, YouDammit!

118. I'm taking this match off rather than piss off the Orton fans. I'll be back.

119. How is the RKO always out of nowhere?

120. I picked a good match to take a break with after four hours. What a bizarre, weird, unpleasant match. And I don't need to voice my feelings on a certain someone being world champion again, but I'm looking forward to Smackdown Live a little less than usual. That's WWE's policy apparently though. Commit felonies = Profit. What was with the bugs though? The audience seemed as confused as I was.

121. Well, if there's one thing that can make it seem good by comparison, it's Total Divas.

122. Oh goodie, now past show taglines are being worked into recaps. Is fantasy warfare getting real an ultimate thrill ride, or is an ultimate thrill ride fantasy getting real? Either way, I expect Goldberg's entrance to take longer than the match. Stay tuned.

123. Will this be the last time we see people standing aside so Goldberg can walk places? At least he's dangerous enough to have his police escort again, but no motorcycles, so Triple H beats WCW yet again.

124. Surprisingly understated Mania entrances here, especially given the epic ones from last night's Takeover. Saved for the main event, which Taker had previously in this very building? He has a knack for facing people with spears there, doesn't he? I'm curious just how pissed people will be if Roman goes over Taker. That curious side of me that wonders, ya know? I don't really want to see that.

125. Paul Heyman takes over for ring announcer, because he'll be damned if Al Roker takes his HAM. The challenger: Crunch Buttsteak! Goldberg's getting a mixed reaction at best. Diminishing returns? Will Goldberg go to 3-0? Will this feud have been a complete waste of time? Will any of these rhetorical questions get answers?

126. Suplex City came to play! But instead, another spear! But Lesnar powders this time. Another spear through the barrier. This is an iron man match, comparatively, and we didn't even have to see a five-minute staredown first. F-5 counter, and the third spear of the match. Somehow that's not enough this time. Jackhammer, but it's WrestleMania, so Lesnar kicked out.

127. He leapfrogged the Spear! Now we're back to Lesnar's suplexes. This match has had a total of three moves multiple times. 8 suplexes, three spears, and a jackhammer (walk into a bar.)

128. Lesnar hits the F-5. Does Goldberg have a kickout in him? No. Bork Laser is the champion again. Yay? One part-timer beats another. Kay. Does that mean Reigns beats the Undertaker and goes for the title (again?) Or does Braun Strowman get to slay the beast this time? Is it the latter? Please be the latter.

129. Holy shit, there's more than one remaining match? Alexa looks so small on that ramp! She's going for a bit of a Joker look, eh? I don't hate this.

130. At least they're trying to speed up the show? They're hitting the music before they even get halfway down the ramp. Did Mickie visit Tatanka before the match?

131. James Ellsworth is at WrestleMania. That happened.

132. I hope Naomi gets the feel-good hometown moment, though they'll try to use that to counterbalance the negative ending, possibly.

133. Lol @ the cameras showing other wrestlers still getting to the ring during someone else's entrance music. Reminds me of the gimmick battle royal.

134. There was a two hour pre-show before this. That means we're over the six hour point. Maybe the crowd wasn't confused by the Orton match, they're just tired, and I don't freaking blame them!

135. That was a fun match, despite the fact that the crowd was so quiet for the most part that you could hear nearly everything. Better of the two multi-women matches, but they got the feel good moment in each of them. That's a tough spot, ask the ladies' match from WM18.

136. Now, for the (finally) main event. How much will they piss off the WrestleMania crowd? Silver lining though... He can't break the Streak?

137. Now... We've got the New Day. In new wardrobe. It's amazing how they always manage to break attendance records, isn't it?

138. JR! Oh shit, that's why they had him at the "End of an Era" match a few years ago, they thought. This is it, isn't it?

139. And the mics got turned off already. That'll help convince the people they really like him. The sound is completely gone by the time he gets to the looking around portion of his entrance. The punch with pyro was cool though. The fact that they have to mute mics for their "biggest" face... Not so much.

140. The sound of that bell never gets old. The old art of the epic entrance, and there's a chill in the air. I will miss this man when he's gone. He still hasn't appeared... AND FUCK THE NETWORK WENT OUT DURING UNDERTAKER'S FUCKING ENTRANCE! HOW DARE YOU!

141. Roman... Unaffected, as usual.

142. Taker looks a lot better than he has in previous years. At least I trust Reigns more than Lesnar. I don't want to spend the entire match worrying for his safety. Taker laying claim to his yard, and now the audio on the announcers is jacked up so unbelievably high that it's awkward.

143. Sign of the night: Roman is a Holocaust Denier. That's JBLdamn funny.

144. Loud "Roman sucks!" chants... They won't be loud very long.

145. Looks like Reigns may have tweaked his wrist a bit. Mr. Laiman is doing the "so-sad, too-bad" high-pitched voice he usually saves for when Dolph Ziggler loses.

146. Someone in the comments predicts interference from Braun and Kane. Good point! The sudden No-DQ element may bring that. It would make sense, especially if this is Taker's last match, to have Kane involved somehow. Braun goes after the Taker, Kane makes the save? I'd mark for that like I did the Hardyz return. Kane will always be my sentimental favorite.

146. There's a lot of black in this wardrobe. Even Roman doesn't have the trim he added to the Stegosaurus vestback he has. If only you knew the power of the Dark Side... /end of my Star Wars reference knowledge.

147. Taker with the PUNCH TO THE FUCK to counter the Drive-By! JR calling it makes it feel so right. I miss JR. He doesn't need to spew cliches and shills to be interesting, and he tells a story better than anyone, at least in my generation.

148. Taker chokeslams Reigns on the table that didn't break. The Network screws up twice again, and we're going all over the world with the tables we're breaking. Need a brief cameo of Rich Swann's entrance music.

149. Taker nearly loses his balance on the table, and Reigns spears him through the table, dear JBL I hope he didn't have his head crushed against the barrier! Whenever they say "the end is near" I can't help but think of the old Armageddon song. The END IS HEEEEEEEEEERE! Wandan, wandan! Wandan, wandan!

150. The referee can stop the match? That wouldn't go over well. Reigns gets in the ring to a loving standing ovation, and Reigns talks shit. That'll help. Zombie situp!

151. Reigns' cockiness here would be so well used if the attitude in Philly he had is the one he intends to keep.

152. Reigns makes the bad decision to talk shit during the ten punch. We get a terribly weak Last Ride, but a close fall.

153. Will Taker get himself fined for using the chair a little more hardcore? Will Reigns' family get pissed if they don't like the ending? Will Freedom Freedom Freedom? We the People! I can't believe it's not butter! Fuck I'm tired.

154. The second Superman punch, after one he hits, is the worst one of those I've ever seen. Taker counters a third with a chokeslam, but there is some ugliness on both sides here. That second Superman punch looked like a playful shove. Taker sets up for the Tombstone. Will Reigns kick out of this too? Bull fucking shit.

155. The crowd appears to agree with me.

156. Taker slowly pulls Reigns up, but I imagine he's playing possum. Yep. Tries reversing it into a Tombstone, but it gets botched. Twice. Reigns finally goes for a Superman punch instead. We were trying for a clever tombstone reversal, but... Nope. He either got sandbagged or couldn't get the lift either time.

157. Turn the announcer mics up again, that'll distract us! We might do what you want us to do now! Reigns hits a spear after he shows how flexible his jaw is, but Taker counters with the Hell's Gate! Reigns won't possibly tap, I don't think. He might get the pass out, but he's been too invulnerable for too long to tap out.

158. He gets to the ropes? I forgot there are rope breaks in a No-DQ match, and Cole has to correct someone. There's a great story being told here, despite how unJBLly sloppy it is. Taker reaches for a chair, and suddenly Reigns is okay. How convenient. Reigns goes HAM sandwich with the chair, as if he wasn't just in a Hell's Gate. Did he Hulk up when we couldn't see it?

159. I remember thinking that the End of the Era match should've been the last one. This match is reminding me of that opinion.

160. Taker kicks out of another spear, and if you picked Roman Reigns in the kickout match finisher thing, you win a bonus HAM! But you're probably seeing this after the fact, so it's null and void, but I'll give you all a WrestleMania holiday HAM anyway. Unless you're a jerk. Then you get SPAM. Don't be a jerk.

161. Taker takes another spear, and Taker kicked out again. Reigns' turn to look bewildered. That gets the YES! chant, and they can't hide that. I'm expecting the twist to come anytime here.

162. Reigns hits another Superman punch, and it's almost midnight. He doesn't cover him, and I really hope this isn't Taker's "I'm Sorry, I Love You!" moment. Taker tries to do the Zombie situp, and fails. Reigns looks sorrowful and regretful. Maybe what he's seeing is getting the best of him. That may be the genuine emotion of the person right there, and that speaks volumes. I don't dislike the guy, just the way he's been used.

163. Reigns crawls toward Taker in the old HBK way, and we get a brief moment of what the crowd sounds like... Quite a bit louder than expected. Reigns wins. Fuck you. They're determined to do this, no matter what. How bad are they muting the crowd now? I don't hear anything. That must be bad.

164. That's it? After all of that, that's it? I respect the guy for putting someone ver on what is likely his way out, and I commend the hell out of the genuine emotion this guy is showing, but of all the matches we could've had... Roman Reigns gets yet another win. Mr. Laiman is beyond pissed. All the fireworks in the world can't force us to like it either.

165. They're going to force this if they have to make every last one of us hate it, aren't they? At least Cena's reactions were mixed for the better part of a decade. The "thank you, Taker!" chants start. This must really be the end. This must be why they brought back JR again. Is this the end? I can't imagine how it could end any other way. I wish we'd gotten Cena instead of Reigns, strange as that is to say, but I do. I don't think we'll see another one after this.

166. I'm really not sure how to feel. That was an awful match. Sloppy as hell; the tombstone reversal and the second Superman punch the worst of all. I really wish Taker had ended it with that hug with HHH and HBK at the End of an Era match. Seeing him with Lesnar and now seeing him lose to the guy that the crowds just don't want... I can't.

167. Taker puts on his coat and hat. At least The Man can stand tall one last time. In the words of Theoden: "If this is to be our end, then I would have him make such an end as to be worthy of remembrance." We know Taker has ultimate say over who beats him, and Reigns must've earned it in his eyes. I don't like that they've spent more than three years forcing this, but it's clear they're going to do whatever they want, regardless of crowd reaction, regardless of what people want to see.

168. I wish Kane came out, just one more time. If there's anyone who could share a moment with him...

169. Taker can't leave, and it's breaking my already-broken heart. He's taking his gloves off. This is it. If he doesn't get a Ric Flair-style sendoff too, you're not the company I know and sometimes love. The Undertaker provided me with my greatest moment as a wrestling fan a few months ago, and I will never forget that. Nevermind about the earlier thing, I'm glad he has this moment. He deserves it. Let him milk it for as long as he wants.

170. If WrestleMania 30 felt like the death of our childhood for some of us, I can't imagine what this must feel like for multiple generations of wrestling fans. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to see him in person before he hung the boots up for good. Take one more lap, sir. There's Michelle! Aww <3

171. One last arm raise into the air. Please, sir, take all the time you need. You deserve every second of this moment. The black light can't hide the legit tears in your eyes, and kayfabe can break just once for the man behind the character. Give him the RAW sendoff he deserves too, like I said. Thank you for everything, Undertaker. I still really wish Kane had a moment. Just one moment with him. They've been storyline brothers for 20 years.

172. The lights go completely out. And he's gone. It's over. The moment many of us kinda thought would never come has truly happened. We've seen the last of the Undertaker. I'm still processing this, you'll have to forgive me.

173. Overall... The first 3/4 of the show was amazing; one of the best shows, period, that I've ever seen. The two title matches left a lot to be desired, the women's match was fine, the main event was awful from a technical standpoint, but Roman's face gave him away. I harbor no ill will toward the man, I can't say that enough. I don't even dislike him. He's just miscast and forced, and there's clearly nothing that's going to change about that now. But that ending... man. I was already broken up inside today. This is a bad time of year, but at least I felt good for most of the night. Five-plus hours is too much wrestling though, so I can't imagine seven-plus. At least this time it was too much of a good thing... Mostly.

174. Because it's all I have to give, I'm giving the HAM to the Undertaker because I probably won't ever be able to again. I said that about Ultimate Warrior three years ago, and had no idea how right I was. I hope I don't have to have that realization anytime soon. Thank you, Taker, and thank you WWE. I really don't like some of your decisions sometimes, but you just put on a legendary JBLdamn show.

IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #281 - Thoughts NXT Takeover

Hey everyone. I'll be updating this throughout the day, including through WrestleMania. Right now, I'm gonna get out my thoughts on last night's Takeover, of which I saw most. Let Wrestling Indulgence Week continue!

1. I don't follow NXT, so my knowledge of it is based completely on hearsay and Takeovers. True, I could follow by reading results, but usually by Tuesday night, I am wrestlinged the fuck out. I know one criticism of NXT is that their performances don't work on the big stage once they get promoted, but last night had an Amway Arena mostly more full than a lot of RAW and Smackdown tapings. Someone's getting into it.

2. Hearing Triple H try to be the optimistic Daddy is weird contrasting him with his current character. He's trying to build the future, even if he has to put down every star that makes it to prove it.

3. Holy shit, is Aleister Black awesome. What presence! From his initial appearance, I thought he was the size of Kane. That is an "it" factor that few possess! Cien brought it too, which improved my opinion on him immensely. Until this point, the only thing I've liked about him was it spawning "Corey Graves is Not Impressed" face.

4. The tag title match was half of a great match. The psychology when Revival and DIY were working together was spectacular, but it seemed to randomly break down for no reason. The crowd died along with the match when DIY got unceremoniously eliminated, and the chants of "no one likes you!" followed the Authors of Pain for the rest of the match. Help me out, is that normal? Is that heel heat or Reigns heat?

5. If NXT has another major thing over the main shows, they have reintroduced the element of the epic entrance. Finn Balor alone has brought that to the main roster, but Black, Shinsuke, and of course Bobby Roode all had tremendous ones. I'm not sure why WWE has lost sight of that. Can anyone's entrance hitting pop a crowd like Taker or Bray Wyatt? Why not more that, double double E?

6. Asuka and Ember Moon are both desperately needed on the main roster. I know the room is sick of Asuka's Goldberg streak, but when it's someone like that with that much talent, I can't be too mad at it. Interesting turn too, with Asuka cheating to win.

7. Boy, they love making Tye Dillinger lose, don't they? The guy seems over through the rafters, and I don't think I've ever seen him win a match. I know for a fact that he lost to the same group at last Takeover, and he took the fall in this one too. Is he the new age Chris Jericho or Daniel Bryan? He's so over that we just have to make him lose all the time to show it?

8. Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura had one helluva show to follow, and they brought it. Their presence alone made it feel more main-event worthy than anything involving RAW stars lately. Bobby Roode is the freaking prototype of a professional wrestler. Shinsuke Nakamura is out of this world good, and the two of them... Wow. That is wrestling. That is amazing freaking wrestling. I didn't think a jaded fuck like me could get that into a wrestling match like that, but there we go.

9. I've recently noted on the immensity of Daniel Bryan's pops, contrasted with the decade of Cena mixed reactions and the Reigns heavy heat entrances: Will we ever have someone who can pop a building like that again? Well, Nakamura, Roode, Tye, DIY, to name a few. Maybe it's the NXT excuse, but everyone there couldn't possibly be from Full Sail. Epic entrances, matches based on talent and skill rather than being forced and repetitive, and a lot of respect going on. Weird, I can't tell the difference between that and an episode of Monday Night Filler. That is comparing a PPV to a televised show, I realize that, but all the same, I haven't given a shit about an episode of RAW like that in far too long. Sometimes it feels like the product is doing all it can to make me hate it. Thank JBL for Smackdown.

10. The episodes of NXT that I've seen, in passing, have felt too transitional and predictable, with no matches having any surprises. Has that improved since I've seen it?

11. All champions retained. That was a surprise in and of itself. Good decision, NXT fans? Who jumps to one of the two main rosters? I think Shinsuke and Tye have to be shoo-ins, but what are we missing by not having a Bobby Roode up there? The women's and tag division could sure use some fresh blood too... Asuka alone could revive the torrid RAW women's division, which has had enough matches between all four of the current main featured stars that it's hard to get excited for another one.

12. All in all, I enjoyed the show more than I did last Takeover. I'm really hoping for a good WrestleMania. As I've often stated, I don't want to hate it! I'm really a big purple ray of sunshine most of the time, unless someone gets me on a rant about something.

13. What are your WrestleMania traditions? I tend to pick five WrestleMania matches and watch that instead of the pre-show. Given that three of the five people at the house right now are wrestling novices at best, I thought this would be a good lineup:

HBK/Angle - 21
Voldemort/Angle - 17
Foley/Edge - 22
HBK/Taker - 25
Bryan/HHH - 30

14. Personal note, seeing Chris Hero unexpectedly made my night. I often look fondly on the picture of us from 2007 with Larry Sweeney. He's still missed.

15. Final note... My husband has been wearing flannel and jumping up and down saying "buckle up! buckle up! buckle up!" about 84 times a day, and it's just as adorable as it was on Smackdown.

See you for live Mania responses in this thread later tonight! Enjoy Wrestling Holiday!

HAM OF THE NIGHT

You know what, it's a triple win, even though technically only two people are involved.

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
3-21-17 - Mizcena
3-27-17 - Big Cass
3-28-17 - Mizcena/Mizbryan/John Cena
4-1-17 - Bobby Roode's dueling pianists
4-2-17 - The Undertaker

Marissa 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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