IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #285 - Thoughts on RAW - 4-10-17 Superstar Shakeup
By Marissa Laiman
Apr 10, 2017 - 11:29:24 PM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #285 - Thoughts on RAW - Superstar Shakeup
1. I guess we're not having draft picks or anything, we're just jumping right into it. And Cena's the first one to come on over to RAW, but oh wait! It's MizCena! YES! This is one of my new favorite things. He claims to have control over whether he gets to come. Is that how it works?
2. And someone comes out from Smackdown, and his name is Dean. We like Dean. Is this a shakeup or a talent raid?
3. Dean's playing along with the Cena/Bella thing. I love when they do this. It's fun. I like fun. He's HAMMING it up already, and Miz starts breaking character. Dean continues making fun of Cena as well, and I'm delighted. MizCena clarifies who he is, and Ambrose is like... Hmm, k. DDT. Best RAW opening since I returned a year ago!
4. Consequently, Roman Reigns is still on RAW. And a Bobby Roode NXT preview got my super big hopes up even more. Damn you, teases!
5. KURT! He's back! I'm so happy!
6. Sami Zayn comes back for his weekly fireside chat about how happy and optimistic he is. Kurt looks off to somewhere in the distance. Kurt tells him there's a lot of interest from Smackdown... And Top Men. Who? Top... Men. Then MizCena and Maryse interrupt him because that's a thing. MizCena tells him grown-ups are talking. Fantastic. I guess Sami Zayn's matches are all booked against people are interrupt him now.
7. The New Day gets their intro, so they can get punchkicked by the Revival again. Is that... Do they have inflatable Kofi Kingston? And did they get that bike from Camacho?
8. It's a shame how hard it is to take them seriously when they've been hosting events more than wrestling. Revival has a t-shirt that says "I broke Kofi's ankle." Holy shit, that's some Owen 3:16 throwback right there!
9. Revival ends up winning soundly over the New Day. Where does the New Day go from here? Besides Smackdown?
10. Tonight, we find out the fate of Crossfit Jesus.
11. While the crowd chants that they want someone that I can't make out, Neville gets to roll his eyes some more about Austin Aries. This gives TJ Perkins a chance to badly attempt to be intimidating. He tells TJ what it would be like if he only knew the power of the dark side or something.
12. Then, Austin Aries comes in with his banana and the top half of a Jon Snow cosplay. Is Kevin Dunn's mic on again? I've heard something several times.
13. Oh goodie, Curt Hawkins is here to lose to someone else on an open challenge/potential debut. Tyler Reks, maybe? Big Show is the next guest on Monday Night Interruptions. Great. I can literally see everyone heading for the bathroom. Hawkins tries to hug him, and Show punches him right in the fuck. RAW's sure moving right along tonight.
14. Cole has a sitdown with Roman? Yay...
15. We come back in with Neville already coming out to hold our minds down. Break orbit, break orbit. The cruiserweights sure love being on commentary for their purpletacular stuff.
16. And we've got Aries against TJ Perkins because... Neville said a few things? Neville talking about his respect for Cole's journalism makes me laugh for several seconds. Cole then ruins it by calling TJ Perkins the "first-ever Cruiserweight champion." Whoops.
17. TJ Perkins is having a lot of trouble keeping up with Aries. He's telegraphing a little too much and it looks awkward. TJ goes for a some kind of drop on the apron, which as we all know is the hardest part of the ring. That couldn't have felt good on the tailbone. Aries celebrates a high spot, and Neville does not appreciate homage. This makes his nose crinkle and snarl and stuff. Aries barely beats the ten-ten count, which is what we all must call it now. TJ wins with a sneak pin, so TJ's no longer going to be happy flippy Megaman guy, I assume.
18. We then get the certainty, as TJ affirmatively tuns heel. How dare Austin Aries also exist? Ah, I like it though. Well done. Perhaps Neville also has a protege now.
19. Crossfit Jesus hangs out with Enzo and Cass backstage because... faces are friends?
20. Now we've got ourselves some Crossfit Jesus, and he's here right after totally not saying goodbye to people. What a shame; I suppose the potential for the reunited Shield will once again be split by brand.
21. CFJ talks about being in so much pain after the match with Triple H that he decided to wrestle a tag match the very next day.
22. He name-drops Samoa Joe as someone with a score to settle, but something on the Titan Tron will indicate that he will not have such opportunities. He gets a "thank you Seth" chant. Well deserved.
23. Kurt Angle's music hits to the detriment of CFJ's face. Kurt's bringing in all his greatest hits to praise CFJ in such glory. Samoa Joe attacks CFJ, and Angle tries to get between the two. Kurt's familiar with having moments in the ring with Joe. CFJ ends up getting the better of him while Kurt fails at breaking it up and keeping them separated. Shit, one got wasted and the other's a waste.
24. We see someone likely headed to Smackdown with the other midcard title, Kevin Owens. He HAMs it up double-served in the absence of Y2J, and talks some shit on his old feud partner, Dean. We still like Dean though.
25. Charlotte's facing someone who has varying extreme close-ups on her eye shadow. We're not quite as far away as we were at Mania, but moreso than usual. In this week's episode of Hyperbole Theater, Cole talks about Nia being possibly the most dominant superstar in WWE history. Little bit presumptuous there, isn't it?
26. This is some Charlotte smashing right here. It's not going too well for her.
27. Was that Elias Sampson? Good ol' Logan Shulo? Everyone's looking off to the side, though this would be an odd moment for a debut.
28. Charlotte's moonsault with the knees landing on her was a bit scary. She's fortunate she didn't go top heavy at that moment. Surprised they didn't go with the lazy finish and have that result in a countout finish. Nia ends up getting the win via Samoan Drop. Charlotte has an MVP-like record for televised matches.
29. Why does Finn Balor have a robot voice for this special look video?
30. Jinder Mahal's out to lose to someone else, and I guess it'll be Finn Balor this week. So glad they brought him back. It's really gone better for him this time around. This is usually the problem with draft/shakeup-type episodes; the matches are secondary and often have obvious winners the second they announce the participants.
31. Jinder Mahal is so talented that he manages to hit a firm right hand/forearm/elbow all in one strike. Anyway, Balor wins via Ghetto Stomp. Shocker. Naturally, that gives us a replay of the Moss-Covered Three-Handled Family Credenza that Jinder hit. It's the most replays he's gotten all year.
32. Holy shit, we're getting Finn Balor/Bray Wyatt?! I take back everything bad I said about you. Or does he? We get the lantern blow. They're keeping Orton/Wyatt, which means either Orton retains or we're gonna have some kind of switch with the part-timer Lesnar being invisible again.
33. Apollo Crews and Kalisto are headed to RAW via brief video clip. Oh, there's also Heath and Rhyno. Is Smackdown gonna have anyone left? Mr. Laiman claims that he has less of a reason to yell at the TV now that Zigglesworth won't be hitting Kalisto with a chair for the 3465th time.
34. Miz is out next, and watching his Titan Tron makes me realize that they had to get several people to silhouette Paparazzi for a few hours so they could get that effect. The things I notice are weird. You should see the stuff I don't write...
35. Miz and Dancy Ska Man is just one of many much needed fresh matchups I'm sure we're going to see. Let's see which show can stay more consistent. Winner of the first year of the second separation was Smackdown Live without a doubt though. Will this change?
36. There's been a lot of resistance to the shakeup, but so far, I'm liking what it proposes. It's a lot better than a few midcarders changes and John Cena going back and forth in one night.
37. Is Miz's Bryan mockery ever going to pay off, or is that just a thing now?
38. Sami Zayn gets the upset win after an attempted Maryse distraction. Miz's career on RAW starts pretty much the way the last one was going before Smackdown revitalized him.
39. Champion vs. champion match. For free. On RAW.
40. Michael Cole gets a backstage interview with Roman, who has now calmed down from enjoying the hate of the crowd. I'm gonna take a rest to catch up with some other things. Not much more I can say except... Ohai Braun, fancy seeing you here! Braun tosses him a good ten feet through the air through a table. That was enough to put Jericho away for a while, but it's Roman, so it got his shirt dirty with someone's lunch and that's about it. Braun quotes some lines from Taken and leaves Roman in a heap for a few seconds at least before the yellow shirts try to make it stop. It doesn't work. Roman gets the fuck beaten out of him, so he'll be good for Payback and win somehow.
41. After replays, Braun randomly comes back and SCREAMS AGAIN! And launches Roman's stretcher off the ledge! The crowd is absolutely loving it, and Braun may have just won himself a HAM. That was fun.
42. How did Roman get completely turned around and brought closer after that stretcher landing though?
43. Taker and Kane both have done some ambulance morphs, so it would've made my day to see one of them randomly show up. But who shows up again? Braun! It gets a bigger pop than last time. He then... Are you serious? This is some Mark Henry shit right here... Lifts the JBLdamn ambulance on its side. Wrestling is weird.
44. Nice crash pad for that table spot.
45. We come back with a jobber entranced Club Sandwich and the Innovators of Silence. They've got Cesheamus and I'm gonna guess the Hardyz? The Shooting Stars are involved, so it doesn't really matter too much. My 2000s inner fan girl is screaming right now. They use the unedited version of their theme. Interesting.
46. It is the Drifter!
47. Hardyz end up winning by pinning one of the Shining Stars. Again, huge surprise.
48. They're really in love with the slo-mo replays tonight.
49. Meanwhile, Dana Brooke is reading a book about being her own protege, and Emma's about to do something in purple. I'm okay with this. Dana's claiming that she's gotten better because she can stand. That'll lead to a match too, I assume?
50. Sasha comes out to introduce "Just" Bayley. Was that an NXT thing? Corey Graves's reaction to Saxton talking about the Bayley Buddies is amazing. Is there some kind of twist coming with Sasha? It felt like it.
51. Bayley is the 12th or 13th person to thank people like it's a retirement show tonight. Sasha's smile in the background indicates evil intentions. Just as she's about to... It's Alexa! Yay! She's got a touch of the heel Trish Stratus circa 2004. And speaking of that era, Mickie's here too. Talent Raid 2017 continues!
52. Mickie's hair glitters like gold dust (no Dustin). Then she gets attacked by Nia. Bliss helps Bayley get beaten up by Nia... again.
53. And here we go with the main event... Who debuts to close out the show? You know RAW loves to do that. Seeing these two go at it again is nostalgic for the first show I watched after my sabbatical from wrestling. Cole talks about "those who may not be familiar with Ambrose." Um, it's not like he came over from NXT. That speaks volumes about what they think of the brands comparatively.
54. Over/under on what's been mentioned more in one episode: The WWE App, The Ultimate Thrill Ride, or the Superstar Shakeup?
55. Dean ends up getting the win in a good main event match, and likely sending KO on his way to Smackdown. But wait, perhaps Jericho wasn't about to take his long break. Is he about to turn heel again?
56. Dean powdered, so that's a no. Jericho goes in with the Codebreaker and the HAM jacket glitters in glorious response. We're not losing Y2J! Best news of the night! Good ending, decent show, but it was a talent raid for RAW unless they've got something huge planned for tomorrow night.
HAM OF THE NIGHT
Braun. Braun. All of the Braun.
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
4-4-17 - Shinsuke Nakamura
4-10-17 - Braun Strowman
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.