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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #301 - Thoughts on RAW - 6-26-17
By Marissa Laiman
Jun 26, 2017 - 11:13:56 PM

Posted by Ris Laiman on Tuesday, May 2, 2017


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My newest novel, Voice in the Dark, with contributions from Dan Arel, Noah Lugeons, Matthew O'Neil, Karen Garst, Melina Barratt, and Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, is available for pre-order and will be released on July 14, 2017. A percentage of the proceeds go to Wolves Den in Flint to help the water protectors there.

IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #301 - Thoughts on RAW - 6-26-2017

Good to be back, everyone, and from a new location in the Twin Cities. We're all moved into our new house, but I'm clearly not adjusted yet because I forgot that RAW starts an hour earlier here. Thanks to LOP for the time off needed to move across the country, and admittedly, I haven't followed the results very closely outside of the... shall we say, interesting night that was MITB.

1. I turned on the TV just in time to see Braun Strowman throwing Roman Reigns into an ambulance while Michael Cole somehow has the nerve to say that he's never seen Roman Reigns handled like that before. Nevermind that he was tipped over in a damn ambulance like three months ago for fuck's sake. The Hyperbole Machine is alive and well!

2. And now, Lobsterhead, Cesaro, and the Drifter are about to give us a triple rock concert, but an old familiar theme cuts them off. They'll be joined by Finn Balor, and this should be a fun match to come back to.

3. The guy from the latest Transformers movie is on commentary, and that's the extent that I know about him, or the Transformers movies.

4. Does Booker T even know what he's watching anymore? He's asking one of the other guys if they're a commentator. All right then.

5. At least they had the actor guy talk about how sore the wrestlers might be after a match. The answer is: very. Very sore. Of all the guests they've ever had on commentary, this is certainly no WrestleMania II.

6. Oh goodie, a two-commercial match...

7. It's still so weird that I saw three of these guys from the second row in what only seems like two years ago, but it was more like ten. AJ Styles/Matt Hardy was one of the most fun matches I've ever seen, and I still miss the Kings of Wrestling tag team. With Kassius once again on the NXT roster, it is theoretically possible.

8. I'm pretty sure I have a pair of leggings like Jeff Hardy's shirt.

9. With how ubiquitous these "DELETE!" chants seem to be, I hope they find a way to start working in that character at some point. I know the brief bit of it I saw, I gave it the HAM of the Century award, and that's exactly my point. With the true lack of characters anymore, even with some recent emergences, I want to see a little bit more crazy. Though I mean fun crazy, not Randy Orton setting corpses on fire crazy.

10. I think Finn pulled a Papa Shango and was a bit late on that close pinfall breakup.

11. I know Tito thinks that Finn belongs in the cruiserweight division, but I truly find him to be one of the most dynamic wrestlers to watch on RAW. I wasn't familiar with him before NXT either, so it's not the old indy bias talking. I find him captivating, and with that put-over promo he got from Heyman a little while back, I think it's distinctly possible.

11. Finn is nice enough to stay up top while Matt Hardy neutralizes the opposition. Balor gets the win over Cesaro with the Ghetto Stomp, and that was definitely a fun way to start RAW. Not entirely exclusive from the opening Braun/Roman confrontation, but not necessarily because of it either.

12. SJK with the John Woo reference. You can't make that comparison, Corey. There weren't any doves. You can't have a John Woo moment without doves!

13. Hmm, TLC is gonna be right down the road from me. I've only seen one PPV in person, and that was fourteen years ago now. Holy shit, Unforgiven 2003 was fourteen years ago... Fuck I'm old. I bet the kids might like it. It's nice to be in an area with non-house shows local.

14. Goldust is still cutting these TROOF promos? Can't they just get back to playing Pokemon Go already? Goldy says that when the red light goes on, you must bring your A game. Didn't Val Venis say something similar once upon a time?

15. I guess it's part of Goldy's thing to have a cameraman in golden boxing gear in front of him now? Shame he hasn't hooked up with Miz yet. With all the pair-bonding lately, they'd seem like natural allies. Where's his blonde wig? What the hell, Goldy?

16. TROOF's not doing the rap thing, so you know it's serious.

17. The camera guy is staying in the ring with Goldust during the match. Okay, that is freaking hilarious.

18. And... that's it? All right then. TROOF sells the attack like a champ, but that was strange. And for a Goldust match, that's saying something.

19. The backstage interview lady was even encouraged to sell the attack with a grimace and small head shake. That's okay, because we're about to get some incoming HAAAAAAAAAM with former HAM of the Year champion, Paul Heyman. I've missed this feud, but Doc's been praising it, so I look forward to seeing what's up with it (Sorry TROOF).

20. Joe comes up and summons his inner Heidenreich, and poor Paulie is the helpless Michael Cole. Doesn't he have some poetry for him or something?

21. I feel bad, am I supposed to know who the Ball Family are?

22. Well, silver lining, if RAW started an hour early, that means it ends an hour early too! Glass half full.

23. We are back to the doldrums of the mid-show Death Hour, aren't we?

24. Oh goodie, another six-person match to determine a new number one contender! Gosh, RAW has certainly changed since I've been gone!

25. They brought back the number wheel from the Royal Rumble for this. It's totes a big deal. At least it means the women are in the main event again. I'm okay with that.

26. Speaking of the Hollywood gimmick from a few thoughts ago, here we are again. Right, he's interviewing those people whose names all start with L, right? I'm really sorry that I'm showing how out of touch I am by having no idea who they are.

27. She's still pissed about that damn clock?

28. She must be, she is having none of those advances. That must've really been a special clock. Oh no you didn't, town traitor! You take that back, Miz!

29. They're the most talked about celebrity in the past year? More than the Transformer guy?

30. The bald guy does a Vince McMahon Rumble '05 entrance to the ring, and he's got the HAM turned up to 11 with the gain on too high, holy shit. Did they just have these guys on for the name pun with their upcoming Jerry Lee Lewis-reference PPV? Oh, he's on the Lakers, which means we'll see him twice a year and he'll get a promo shot in the crowd when the Cavs and Warriors go for the Finals, Round IV. Gosh, my interest in sports has really diminished...

31. Miz, quit repping the Lakers. You're one of us, and you can't escape that.

32. They let someone come on TV to talk about having someone a little "higher?" Are they bringing RVD back?

33. A million zippers? Only two dudes better than me, and I'm both of them. What?

34. We're about to see another WWE wrestler get humiliated by a celebrity, aren't we?

35. Ohai, Dean. Thank you for saving this trainwreck. We like you, Dean. Oh wait, he's wearing the incredibly subtle shill shirt, nevermind.

36. "Okay, LeVar, you just keep doing your thing there." That's gonna be tough to top for HAM of the Night. Though Cole comes close: "Well that was interesting." Understatement of the decade. What in the unholy turquoise-laden fuckery was that?!

37. Does anyone really go to Arby's for Pizza?

38. Now they're trying to make us like Roman Reigns by having minions cheer for him?

39. So it's Miz, Dean, and the Social Outcasts basically, while that LeVar guy runs around the ring some more with his shirt off, I presume.

40. I'm not sure if it's good for the other four that they're in the ring with Miz and Dean, or if it speaks to how far those two have fallen since coming to RAW. Either way, I'm still amazed at the presence of this match existing.

41. I think Bo Dallas is slowly morphing into Elias Samson's twin.

42. The crowd is absolutely fucking DEAD for this match. It's like a Dodgers game, except they won't leave before the last hour.

43. The faces throw Miz to the outside, and instead of following, they pose. Another commercial break is on the way.

44. Miz is still doing the Daniel Bryan kicks. Is that ever going to go anywhere, or is it just a thing now?

45. Bo Dallas scored a pinfall victory on RAW. There's a sentence I haven't written in a while. What an absolute dumpster fire of a segment clearly designed to beg for media legitimacy.

46. Paul Heyman walking backstage is more entertaining than anything that's taken place since the Miz came out.

47. Now it's time for the recap of why Big Cass did it for the Rock.

48. Did we ever figure out why Corey Graves had access to the new version of GTV?

49. Michael Cole breaks out the super super serial voice for how serious Enzo walking to the ring is.

50. Enzo is pouring his heart out for this promo, and kudos to him. (Shit, my entire block for this segment was lost, so I'm going to have to recreate it in a hurry.

51. You could tell Cass was a heel because he came out in all black with a blank t-shirt. They didn't have enough time to give him a new entrance theme though.

52. Enzo delivered a great promo to Cass who sold it like a champ. In agreeing to let bygones be bygones, the easy thing to do would have him switch at the end, but I was hoping for the surprising route of actually having them resolve their problems. For a minute, I really thought they were gonna go with it, but they held too long at the shot on top of the stage.

53. Then, Cass realized halfway into his press that someone already threw someone off the stage tonight, so he threw him down the ramp instead. That didn't look pleasant. Sorry, I wrote a lot more about that but it disappeared for some reason.

54. Cass then comes back out to threaten Graves, and I really wish it meant that he was going to be a wrestler again someday. I really miss him.

55. Graves changes the subject instead of addressing those things said, and Crossfit Jesus is ready to NWO the shit out of his entrance as usual.

56. CFJ is facing Curt Hawkins. Oh good, I can focus on my other work. CFJ wins, BBL.

57. CFJ is the face of the Corporation now? Wouldn't that have been before he slowly and randomly became face? Bray Wyatt's material needs a little updating.

58. Dana Brooke is going to be in the main event of Monday Night RAW. Just let that sink in for a minute.

59. Damn Bork Laser, those are some sun lines where your sunglasses were! You're from Minnesota, don't get cocky! SPF40 is your friend!

60. Spin the wheel of destiny! Otherwise we won't be able to see everyone nod or look disappointed.

61. Ladies and gentlemen, there is INCOMMMMMMMING HAAAAAAAAM and he's about to introduce a true Brock Lobster!

62. Holy shit, I tuned into this show late and it's still taking forever.

63. Paul talks about everyone piles on top of him in the locker room, and I swear this is "get a Val Venis line in per promo" night. It's like the MAOW game in Super Troopers.

64. Paul also works in "bathroom break" because they're just mocking us all at this point.

65. Joe attacks Lesnar from behind. Didn't see that coming. Damn! Are they really making Brock Lesnar a sudden face?

66. Cole remarks on Brock's face turning pink. Nice cover for that obvious sunglass-lined sunburn, Cole.

67. Of all people to come help... The Revival? Were they really the only ones available for a run-in?

68. One segment after Paul Heyman uses the phrase" bathroom break" we've got a cruiserweight division match. Yayyyy.... And Akira is at ringside dressed like someone from the Secret Service? Oh, he's got a thing going with the Titus Worldwide whatever? Kay. I wish at least a few of the things I missed mattered.

69. Sweet. In Akira's time with Titus Worldwide, he's learned how to angery stare. That'll help.

70. "It's all about hashtag 205Live." Sorry, no matter how many times you say that, it's not going to work. Oh wow, Neville won. Shock.

71. Before we get the confrontation, Titus comes out to say "hey" a bunch of times. Joy. Titus talks about those two "getting it on." See, proof! It's Val Venis promo line night!

72. We have to see all six women pick a number or it doesn't count, dammit!

73. Reigns was interrupted by an ambulance? Sounds like he was interrupted by Scott Steiner.

74. He escaped an ambulance? Was the driver obligated to keep him in there for a set amount of time or something?

75. Paulie, that peach fuzz ain't workin for ya, but you did pull out the HAMmy Jerry Lee Lewis obvious line that's obvious, so I'll give you partial credit.

76. Oh goodie, another heel telling a heel that they're more alike than they think. That's never happened.

77. We get Bayley vs. Nia, take whatever. Bayley, the former champion, gets eliminated unceremoniously, yet again. That's a cue for a commercial break. PLEASE tell me we will not have a commercial break every time.

78. "Mickie James has been dominated here." Dammit Cole, stop stealing lines from my fanfiction... I mean, someone's fanfiction.

79. Nia wins again, because I'm guessing she's going to run the gauntlet, except for the last one. Sasha, probably.

80. Thanks for coming, Dana. Your check is in the mail.

81. Ohai Emma. Also thanks for coming, so glad you got that buildup for your debut.

82. And now we've got Sasha, so hopefully this is at least a match. Cole used the phrase "create some separation" for the 45th, time, proving that he's been studying tapes of NFL commentary from five years ago yet again.

83. Sasha is wearing an outfit made out of John Cena's old t-shirts.

84. Cole just called that move a "Samoan Jop." He must be bored too.

85. Wow, Sasha wins after Nia defeated everyone else. Yay. This totally distracts from the fact that she was stuck in a 205Live feud last time I saw her. Admittedly though, Sasha vs. Alexa will be one helluva fun match.

86. Kurt Angle cuts off her victory moment, because even we've come to expect a Sasha main event win at this point, and his big goofy smile really adds an element of surprise. Sasha's music hits again, only for Alexa to cut it off several seconds later. That was necessary.

87. Wow Booker, way to shit all over the number one contender by considering her win as "dodging a bullet."

88. Alexa gets in the ring, gets dropkicked, and goes back out. This was a medley of entrance themes.

89. Holy shit, even after three weeks of a wrestling break, this was a fucking disaster of a show. I think I saw Doc tweet about how 2009 called and they want their terrible celebrity segments back. I echo that sentiment, and unfortunately most of the show felt like that too.


Of course I'm giving it to Paul. How could I not, after he somehow outdid a 1950's HAM in a backstage segment? At least that brought a moment of fun to this boring show that seemed to go on for fucking ever.

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
4-11-17 - Shinsuke Nakamura
4-17-17 - Samoa Joe
4-18-17 - Nobody
4-24-17 - Alexa Bliss
4-25-17 - Dolph Ziggler
5-8-17 - The Miz
5-9-17 - The Usos
5-15-17 - Titus O'Neill
5-16-17 - Fandango/Tyler Breeze
5-22-17 - Bray Wyatt
5-29-17 - Alexa Bliss/Ohai Bayley
5-30-17 - Fashion Files
6-5-17 - The Miz
6-26-17 - Paul Heyman

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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