IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #283 - Thoughts on RAW - 4-3-17
By Marissa Laiman
Apr 3, 2017 - 11:20:51 PM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #283 - Thoughts on RAW - 4-3-17
1.Dammit, wrestling should not be able to make me cry this much. I swear, if my theory comes true that Taker and Kane will retire together tonight, there will be a crying purple girl in Pennsylvania tonight. I've invited people to share their Taker stories tonight, and I'll be posting them at the end of the column. If you want me to include yours, email me at email@example.com.
2. Sustained ubiquitous chanting. If this doesn't rival Flair's send-off tonight, I don't know who else would. Finally, the "Roman Sucks!" chant starts to counter them. They're finally embracing how this crowd after WrestleMania thing.
3. Roman Reigns immediately turns the crowd into frenzied booing in the way that only the words "EXCUSE ME!" or Cena being in Chicago or ECW used to do. To be fair, that was really a no-win situation for anyone who would be the last to beat the Undertaker.
4. There's "speculation" that the Undertaker's match might've been the last? Um... Pretty sure it was spelled out loud and clear.
5. They're muting the mics again. Wouldn't want to actually alter the product, alter the reaction. What do these idiots know anyway, right? He's back to his stone-faced apathetic stare, so let's see if he embraces this level of heat or ignores it.
6. Looks like "Delete!" is gonna be this year's thematic chant. It changed to another one that isn't fit for repeating on cable television, and Roman continues to stare. If they embraced this, he might immediately be the top heel in the company. Now they're cycling through other chants. Now they've got the Kurt Angle one going. This is surreal.
7. He's starting to get Bash at the Beach'd! Now we've got the New Day-style while Roman continues to... Stare. Oh we finally have something of a smirk. He can't even raise the mic without getting more.
8. Roman's frustration is getting hysterical at this point. Now they're chanting to shut up, which is odd, he hasn't said anything yet, or he's said a million things if you consider body language. He then corpses and says something off mic.
9. He finally says "this is my yard now!" and mic drops. If he's keeping this up, and this is where they're going, I approve. He somehow sustained that reaction for several minutes, and managed to get even more out of them with one sentence. I used the word "surreal" earlier, and I'm going to stick with that.
10. I don't care if the ladder stipulation made it obvious; I was so freaking excited to see the Hardyz last night.
11. it's one day after WrestleMania, and so begins the pointing to the sign of next year's WrestleMania.
12. These "Delete!" chants are going to be off the chart. Good way to balance out after the predictable heat Roman was going to get.
13. The stage looks so freaking small after last night's mile long ramp! But how come Matt didn't bring his protege Braden Walker? Come on, man. Remember who helped you get there!
14. Karl Anderson got sent over the top rope. We're about to get a commercial break, aren't we? Weird though, I don't recognize Jeff without his rainbow hair. I'm not supposed to have more Jeff Hardy-like hair than Jeff Hardy. Unacceptable.
15. How many fans are there, Cole? Do you have a vacancy in your verbal tics that you need to fill now that the Ultimate Thrill Ride has passed?
16. Now they're chanting something that I can't make out, but anything less would be uncivilized or something. RAW after WrestleMania. Is it "Ob-Solete?" Now. Is that just so they have something to rhyme with Delete? Are you doing poetry, RAW crowd?
17. Corey Graves talked about "educated feet" but I never thought the receiver of that cliche would be Gallows.
18. Cole now said "classic" instead of vintage. It's Bizarro RAW!
19. Poetry in Motion on the outside over the steps! Welcome back, Jeff! Now please don't fall off your next stunt!
20. Hardyz retain with a Swanton. Fun opening match after 15 minutes of corpsing.
21. Crossfit Jesus and Save.Us.Y2J vs. JoKo, but now we've got a slideshow. Please keep making the Owens/Joe alliance a thing! I like the new Kingslayer gimmick, as it's evocative of the Legend Killer from the previous decade. Just, please, lose the Sabu/Goldust/track outfit.
22. Neville uses some surprise pyro to announce that he's next, and that's surprisingly quick for a Cruiserweight match. Please tell me that means we don't have to change the damn ropes anymore! I'll take back at least four of the bad words I've said about you in recent memory, RAW! The elimination of unnecessary filler for an unnecessary change of aesthetics!
23. I am really surprised that Aries didn't come away with it last night, but good on Neville for having the first consistent run with that belt. Neville has a triangular mic, or did that change recently and I didn't notice until now?
24. Mustafa makes the first interruption of the evening to... crickets. Oh, they did change the ropes. Damn. Mustafa does some unnecessary flips, and Neville's beard is not impressed with these shenanigans. Neville gets kicked outside, and though we have Ali nearly landing on his damn head with a high spot, I'm surprised we don't end up in a break there. Neville then gives Ali some seriously impressive hang time, and that can't feel good from that height. Oh wait, now that Ali goes to the outside, that's where it is. Trolls.
25. Now the crowd has awoken, but they're distracted by something off to the side. Someone getting thrown out for tossing stuff in the ring?
26. Oh, a beach ball. Truly, that's sufficient.
27. Must've gotten taken by security. Yes, how dare they do their job?
28. Nice sign, "sorry about the damn chants." Holy shit, what was that, a rolling top rope rock bottom or something? I know move names well. What a maneuver! Ali hits one helluva spike DDT, but a rope break comes right in time. This is a pretty fantastic match. Neville wins with his Dude Love-like anti-highflying move attitude and wins with the Rings of Saturn. No Moppy follows, because if HAM of the Year had been around at that time, it would've won hands down.
29. We've got ourselves a Vinnie Mac in the house, and the coif is back too!
30. Vince McMahon gets a sing-along? All right, let's see him HAM it up and milk that reaction.That tie though...
31. He's immediately greeted with chants of "Roman Sucks!" The YAM isn't getting any chance to breathe, nor is anyone in control of his creative decisions. And it's time for another one of Vinnie's famous cliches, so the draft is coming. That's a perfect transition to the Undertaker as well. Nope, it's for Stephanie going through a table, nice switch!
32. Stephanie not being around gets the biggest pop of the night. I can't imagine why. It's hysterical regardless. Three years of emasculating everyone, and suddenly people are happy that she's gone. He announces a new GM... Please be Kurt!
33. Teddy Long comes out, but from the reaction, I think he wasn't the one expected. "Teddy, stop dancing! You better... STAND BACK!"
34. Teddy shrugs, says "my bad" and leaves. New HAM contender, definitely.
35. KURT! YAYYYYY! He's conducting the "You Suck!" chants! I am such a happy wrestling fan right now! Just curious, how much alcohol is sold at this particular event yearly? Asking for a friend. if this means we get weekly Kurt promos, I may have a new early pick for HAM of the Year. if there was a HAM of Fame, Kurt would be a first-term inductee. Will he have Edge and Christian available for backstage consultants?
36. Kurt is brief, and there we go! Cole seems to be confused about the "superstar shakeup," which was said in the exact same copy-and-paste voice that it was before, but suddenly the commentators who have been around longer than the draft has existed don't know what it means.
37. They're talking about how great Orlando was. We're about to get a video package, aren't we?
38. I'll use this break to announce some good news on a personal front. In addition to me getting the first copies of my first novel in quite a long time (available for pre-order above), I was officially accepted into Grad School at the University of Minnesota today! So, Minnesota friends, I'm coming back to stay this time!
39. Smoking as a teen has been known to cause the development of fish feet, inspiration to wear duck beaks around your neck, and whatever else is trendy we can manipulate to speak like the kids do. Bae, am I right? Emoji sadface!
40. We've got the New Day to do stuff next, and Corey's disgrace is delightful in calling them the Legion of Dumb.
41. Given their boxing gloves, they might also be cosplaying as crab people, but I've given up on figuring out what the joke is. Wait, he said "you people." Is it gonna be a Tropic Thunder reference? It is! Yay, I got one!
42. Looks like they're issuing an open challenge. Who makes their debut? Either DIY or the Revival, I bet. The Revival it is! They make their debut by kicking over the pop cart. I like them already.
43. Woods is in the match? They're definitely losing this surprise debut. Get it? Tampa! That's also in Florida!
44. Total Divas is back. Yay? If it's not the Miz's parody of Total Bellas, I'm not tuning in.
45. Thank JBL for this injection of fresh blood to the tag division. Both the Hardyz and these two coming in. Now send DIY to Smackdown and send the Ascension and the Vaudevillains back and let them figure out what the hell happened.
46. Big E gets the coolest hot tag of the last few years. Xavier makes the blind tag right after Big E crashes and burns. Not sure why Woods tagged in, but okay. Graves says he has dynamite in his fists, which sounds like a dangerous but surprising medical condition. Revival wins their debut over the team that couldn't even make the card last night, but what an exciting introduction. They go after Kofi for good measure, and they're going for an injury angle on Kofi. That might be the best thing for all three of them right now.
47. Enzo does his usual introduction thing, and Kurt is absolutely the perfect awkward foil for this. Or everything Foley should've been this time around. Looks like Kurt gets the silly role now. Somehow the spelling test sounds dumber in a backstage segment. Kurt for HAM. I imagine that means we won't also get it in-ring, and now that they've become the shills for all that is chicken, I'm fine with that. Cesaro and Lobsterhead were at their best so far last night, so hopefully that doesn't mean they're breaking up now. Their wardrobes finally match, dammit! Don't ruin this for me!
48. Oh goodie, this match seems fresh now because they added Dana Brooke and... I'm gonna guess... Alicia Fox? Sasha and I definitely have some matching hair now that she's straightened it.
49. So now it's Emma. I'm so glad they spent three months with the Emmalina thing for the eight seconds it was around. Graves' voice just Peter Brady'd a bit. Charlotte is only wearing half her peacock costume tonight.
50. Montell Jordan rakes in more money for that song, that seems to appear in every other show or movie now. 1994 and still going strong.
51. Emma is getting well-featured in this match, but even so, I'm having a very hard time caring about it. Strange though to see Nia so ineffective after needing all three people to take her out last night. Charlotte ends up tapping out to Sasha so she's on a bit of a losing streak. Good for Team Face, I guess. Now where does this go? Emma vs. Bayley, I imagine.
52. Charlotte gets pissed at both of them and starts shoving, but I don't imagine that will end well for her.
53. More Kurt, but with Sami now! Awkwarder next to awkwarder. Yay! He said the Three I thing! He speaks favorably of standing up to Stephanie, so where does this go? Kurt's silly "what are these kids these days saying?" thing.
54. Now for Jinder Mahal to remind us he exists, so let me guess. Jinder vs. Sami? Somehow Jinder is even more inflated than he already was. Yep, that's what we're getting. If we're all gonna settle the problems in the ring, I hope that means less filler.
55. Up next, Bork Laser is the champeen!
56. Mr. Laiman has taken to calling him Muscle Sloth. Bork has many hecking fan in Orlando. So the Goldberg thing is finally, mercifully over, so who holds the space until Roman Reigns does it again? Paul E do what Paul E do, re-reciting the superhero promo from the match buildup last night. It's pretty HAMtastic though nonetheless. Sorry Kurt, you're gonna lose out on this one. This is so over-the-top ridiculous, and I'm loving it.
57. He said the Ultimate Thrill Ride thing! Heyman's even goofier than normal! He must love this crowd.
58. Brock has a positive reaction rather than someone pissing off the Beast or something. Now that they're mentioning new challengers... Crowd seems to think it'll be Finn. Heyman knows exactly what he's doing to get a reaction. Why else would he list Matt Hardy second?
59. He brings it around to Roman Reigns... Great, that's what they're gonna go for. I knew it was going to happen, but there's a cascade of "NO!"s going on right now. The crowd really wants Balor. At least Bork going after Reigns would make the crowd happy if it went well. I think. Possibly.
60. Or my guess last night... It's Sir Braun Clegane, the Mountain That Wrestles! I'm good with this. Braun lays the punk card down, though Sir Braun saying he damn sure has his attention sounds a bit... Well. They're damn sure not giving it away right now, but it's more intriguing than trying to pull off Roman/Lesnar again.
61. That Chris Jericho is a silly bitch. Beachball Mania. DeD. Jericho having fun is one of my favorite things ever, and the tip of Kevin Owens' figure makes the List. I love it. So. Much. HAM! At least he gets it out before he gets attacked this time. Jericho gets taken out, so maybe a surprise return to face him. Joe gets in on the action too. Crossfit Jesus is nowhere to be seen.
62. I'm not gonna pretend I know what the crowd is singing, but the Orlando magic uniform onesie that Enzo is wearing deserves its own uniform HAM.
63. Another Enzo and Cass commercial? Aye...
64. I've got some Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Life is a little extra good right now.
65. Cesaro's dancing along with the crowd singing, whatever it is they're singing with the old Fandango dance. Sort of. I have no idea what's happening. I do believe Enzo gets a little Extra Invert in that Swing. Interesting, crowd's on Sheamus's side this time. I remember a match a few years ago they hate alive. Then again, who wasn't tired of Orton/Sheamus at that point in time?
66. Lobsterhead makes the save, and we're gonna get Sheamus and Cesaro against the Hardyz. All right! They looked like they were having so much fun, and Lobsterhead got busted too! Anyone who has to wrestle the night after a ladder match has an extra level of tough. Props.
67. How are they gonna work in two matches and hopefully a night-ending Flair-like tribute for Taker? Though to be fair, this one shouldn't last very long. Whoa, some guy was REALLY excited to see Sami Zayn. Looked like a teenage girl seeing the Beatles for the first time. Adorable.
68. Michael Cole can't even say the Three I's right. I am disappoint. Zayn wins. Next!
69. All right, surprise debut/return, let's see what ya got. KO and Joe alliance, facing a no-longer issued Crossfit Jesus? Guess that knee under the Goldust Power Ranger pants is feeling okay. Still can't get over that I'm seeing Kevin Steen, Tyler Black, and Samoa Joe in the ring in the main event on RAW right now.
70. It's Finn! I guess he's no longer got a problem with the guy he was feuding with last time we saw him. Wrestling's weird. Whole house marked out anyway, and that Finn Balor is a fine looking gentleman on top of it. How could I not throw my arms in the air at the appropriate spot though? I walked down the aisle to this song, as Mr. Laiman reminded me again.
71. They waited through the entire break to start the match. Damn, no Flair-like sendoff, at least tonight. I guess they're gonna make that another night. Oh well, still gonna share a few Taker stories at the end.
72. Finn finally returns to the ring, and storyline continuity works for one person. Not the guy he fought, but the one he said a thing about... That one remains in storyline animosity. The crowd chants for NXT, and like ROH, NXT dominates the main event tonight, and was represented well last night.
73. Crossfit Jesus uses a suicide dive that saw him taking the most of a landing, so he decides to do a second one, where he rotates completely and lands on it again. He's not helping himself here. Fortunately, Owens isn't known for being someone who targets weaknesses.
74. Guy dressed as Hogan with an "I'm a Hulk Hogan Guy" sign. Wow, I never would've guessed. You were so subtle about it..
75. Samoa Joe treats CFJ's leg like a Bop It. Particularly the Twist-it part. Good JBL I'm tired.
76. Graves claimed that Joe invented a maneuver. Come on, maaaaaan. Everyone knows Joe Invented That!
77. The crowd has resorted to the Wave cause... Why the fuck not?
78. Balor gets the hot tag and does the stuff that Balor does. Good to have him back; the main event scene really needed it. CFJ does another thing that heavily involves the knee, but he does it all the same. Balor wins with a Ghetto Stomp. Welcome back, sir!
79. I'm really surprised that the one thing I was expecting didn't happen, though the several minutes of chanting was a nice tribute of its own. Here's a couple stories regardless of what happened. Great timing with CFJ raising Balor's arm right with the timing of the music.
80. One of the better RAWs in recent memory, but is still too long. Though, to be fair, that may be my own fatigue after three columns in two days, including five-plus hours last night. I enjoyed it, though you know what I thought was missing.
I had this weird habit of "almost" seeing the Undertaker. Three different times, I attended shows around the Royal Rumble, where Taker's return was teased, but not given. I heard the bell go off, but saw no Taker. It wasn't until my sister met Ed Koskey randomly in 2008, and he got my sister, her husband, and me tickets to a Smackdown show. The Brothers of Destruction had a match... I believe against Viscera and Mark Henry. It wasn't anything pretty, but I saw my all-time favorite wrestler along with the evasive one. There's another story about Taker that I wrote about a few months ago, and here's another perspective from it.
From Amber Johnson
My Undertaker story is short and simple, but it means the world to me for a few reasons.
I moved to Ohio to live with my sister in October 2016 to help her after the loss of her Fiancé, Jason. Jason was 30 and a WWE fanatic. My sister Tabitha vowed to do as many of the things on his bucket list as she could, in his memory. His bucket list included seeing The Undertaker in person, and it was one of the few items on that list that he did not get to check off. That was one of the things I did not see myself experiencing with Tabitha. You see, until just a few months ago, to me, The Undertaker was just Mark Calaway; the man that married my coach’s daughter. I did not see him as the Deadman. I had never witnessed his greatness in the ring, and at the time, I was okay with that. I did not know what I was missing.
I do not remember the exact date or what the status said, but Marissa posted something about wanting someone to go to RAW with her in Cleveland. I quickly spoke up, and briefly told her my sister's story about the recent loss of her Fiancé who was a big wrestling fan. I asked that Ris take Tabitha so she could experience what Jason never had the chance to. Of course Ris said to hell with that, and she insisted we both go.
The seats were amazing (club) and the energy was pretty awesome. We had no idea that it was going to happen, but Taker showed up to settle a small dispute between Goldberg and Lesnar. His presence brought everyone to their feet. I got to see one of Taker’s very last appearances thanks to Ris. Tabitha and I were able to scratch something on Jason's bucket list, and I got to meet the beautiful Marissa in the flesh. It was an amazing night. Taker’s appearance made me a new WWE fan.
Love him or hate him; he IS an icon. His presence was HUGE. He will be sorely missed.
From Buddy Acker
The Undertaker won't go down as one of my all-time favorites. I would gladly rank some of the matches he was involved in, like his classics against my all-time favorite, Shawn Michaels, at WrestleMania, as among my favorites, but I was never much for the persona. He never impressed me much in the ring either.
My mom loves him. She donned a Taker shirt at least once a week while I was growing up. When it came to pro wrestling in the Acker household, it was all about two people: The Undertaker and HBK. So I have always had respect for the Phenom. I recognize what he means to a lot of people and he deserves to be called a legend.
I was disappointed to find out he had been replaced on the card for a SmackDown! show my brother and I went to in 2007. I thought it would be my only chance to experience Taker in person. To see what all the fuss was about when people went, wow, you have to be there.
My brother and I hit the jackpot when we scored two $10 tickets for WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. We got bad news when we arrived: the seats we had procured had been roped off. We were then given two better seats, better than we could have ever imagined, right on the "50 yard line" or whatever the squared circle equivalent is.
The Undertaker's music hit. He began his slow stride to the ring. My eyes welled up with tears. THIS was the phenomenon everyone had told me about. I was here, now, at WrestleMania 30, seeing a mythological being I never thought I'd get to see live. It was as amazing as people say.
What is well-known about that incredible night is that The Undertaker was defeated for the first time ever at WrestleMania by Brock Lesnar. So the first time I got to see him in person and at the very first WrestleMania I ever attended, he lost. I personally jinxed The Undertaker. It was me, Austin!
I cried again last night after his loss and retirement at WrestleMania 33. He was well past his prime and the match was not good, but I bawled like a baby all the same. I thought about my mom and the sobs intensified. I witnessed the end of the god known as The Undertaker.
While the sting won't linger for me as long as it will for others, I feel like a part of my life has been ripped away. I love the old-fashioned pureness The Undertaker represented. He was a relic of a bygone era, the last of his kind. I think back on watching this man give his all to entertain me and it breaks my heart. Thank you, Taker.
HAM OF THE NIGHT
Hmm... Teddy? Vince? Jericho? Kurt? Given that Jericho's likely on the way out after a nice run, I'll give to the king of The List. Kurt will have plenty of opportunities.
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
4-3-17 - Chris Jericho
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.