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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #303 - Thoughts on RAW - 7-3-17
By Marissa Laiman
Jul 3, 2017 - 11:11:36 PM

Posted by Ris Laiman on Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Marissa's Website
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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 #303 - Thoughts on RAW - 7-3-2017

1. I got here a bit late, but was just in time to hear Enzo comparing himself to 2Pac. That'll go over well.

2. We go backstage with Big Cass being interviewed on the set that's... right near the gorilla, isn't it? That'd be an awkward thing. "Hey dude, just talked a bunch of shit on ya, I'ma walk on by while you have a rebuttal."

3. Oh, there he is! Fair enough, Enzo!

4. Cole yelling "Hug Life!" when Bayley came out was worse than Byron saying the same thing about the Inflatable People every week.

5. I can't be the only one who saw PuppyMonkeyBaby, am I? If there were ever a commercial that inspired me to rant about commercials again...

6. So shorty and Jax are totes okay now? Or at least for the time being, anyway. I thought Sasha was headed down the card for a while, but whatever she was in trouble for, seems to be over with since she is the focus of this tag match.

7. This might be somewhat exciting if we hadn't seen Jax mix it up with Sasha and Bayley about twenty times already. Something has to be done to refresh this division rather than only shuffling players in the game.

8. Nia seemed a bit lost while on the outside of the apron there. And with the ref watching exactly what she's doing, you'd think that going after the non-legal tag team partner, they might at least get a warning? Otherwise, what's the point of it being a tag team match without tornado rules?

9. Wow. Well we went to commercial on pins and needles with it being "all Nia" and we come back with Sasha and Alexa seemingly just fine. Bayley's not at ringside anymore though. Guess she got taken out. By Nia. Again.

10. Once again, if she's the non-legal person in the match, and gets attacked while the ref is looking right at them, what's the point of having non-legal people at all? Why even pretend to have rules if they're only enforced at convenience?

11. "I felt his body go limp and heard him whimper." #BraunLinesOutofContext

12. Why would Braun Strowman take anything any authority figure says seriously when there appears to be absolutely no consequences for what he says, does, or doesn't do?

13. Joe/Lesnar video package coming up. Right, it's a go-home show, I forgot.

14. Is Cena coming back on the 4th? Is he a free agent? How does one become a free agent in this new brand split era? This was also at the same time that the GM randomly decided we needed to have a Money in the Bank match over again despite the winner pointing out that it was specifically legal in the match. Really, I'm not asking for a lot, but if you're going to make these actions happen, at least have an actual reason for them to do so. Or, some kind of guideline and consistency. That's not too much to ask for, is it?

15. Video package. Skip.

16. And they're both here for an "exclusive" interview? Joy.

17. It looks like Cedric Alexander is cutting an intense promo, and I truly wish I gave a shit. I remember how over he was at the end of his CWC match. This storyline has been going on for JBL knows how long, and I wouldn't care even if it didn't involve Alicia Fox. They've done literally nothing to make us care about this entire division except change the ropes and tell us that it's all about the hashtag. It doesn't replicate actual effort, but it does give the illusion of it, and that's almost the same thing, right?

18. Cedric gets the win after a nice reversal. Great. Alicia then takes off her neck brace so she can jump around like it's the third quarter at Camp Randall or something. Cause sure, why not at this point?

19. Guess they got the media attention they wanted for the Ball thing. Unfortunately, I don't see the word "trainwreck" mentioned, so maybe I need to say that whatever they do with entertainment media and cross-brand promotion is over my head and I don't get it. That's fine. If it's getting them the results they want, that's more important. I don't get it, at all, and I'm probably no longer meant to. I watch wrestling because, shock, I like wrestling, but if that guy coming on the mic and interrupting everyone's promos made new fans come to the business, then good on ya.

20. Apparently the Miz is being played by Danny Noonan when he was trying to suck up to Judge Smails. Graduate of St. Copious, I suppose. Miz talking trash on the Ball Family means it's going to be a thing, and bragging about the ratings... He is the bad guy of this angle, right?

21. Now Miz is talking about Dean's wasted potential as the next Roddy Piper, and how he can't handle success. The subtext here is not very subtle, is it?

22. Miz's eyes are so blue that they messed up the live feed color for several seconds. That's some blue steel right there.

23. All right Dean (I still like Dean), how do you respond to these accusations? Oh, there's the word "trainwreck," thank you Dean!

24. Dean calls out Miz and demands a rematch right here tonight, but it's a go-home show, so we know that won't happen. It's interrupted by... Slater and Rhyno? Essentially... "What about me? What about Slater?!"

25. Is this the new 2007-ish Eric Young? "I really need this job."

26. Finally, someone comes out to enforce an argument that involves who gets to decide matches when. Kurt looks happy as ever to revel in the cheers.

27. Miz with another HAMtastic line, going over to Graves and talking about his personal problems. Love it! He's on tonight!

28. So, unless Miz is going to get Ziggled, he's going to beat Slater now, and face Dean on Sunday. It'd be nice if they went the unpredictable route, but I'm not counting on it. Still, good on them for finally getting Heath a singles title match.

29. Now it's time for Dean to be on commentary and snark the night away while Miz, to his credit, wrestles in his Danny Noonan uniform. He can't count on Al Czervik to come in and save his ass with a well-placed anchor, so he's gotta do this on his own. And here I am, referring to a 40-year-old movie while also rambling about how I don't get what they're doing today with the media and such. I really am out of touch... And I'm okay with that.

30. Can Dean pull a CM Punk-NXT3 and spend a season of something just ranting on commentary? I'd pay real money for that.

31. To both MIz and Slater's credit, they've managed to pull a surprise title match out of nowhere here (No RKO), though Miz has an unfortunate split in those white pants.

32. Dean doesn't mind that he lost the title to the Miz because he has a HOF career? Is this gimmick going toward Dean realizing that about himself and turning somewhere?

33. "There's a real ninja in there. Bruce Lee in a Miami Vice outfit." Fantastic, Dean on commentary all of the time please.

34. One helluva close call for Slater there. The crowd's into it. These are the kinds of matches that I wish were more regular on go-home shows. And then a huge poweslam from the top! "Heath Slater's on a pilgrimmage!"

35. The Miztourage gets involved, Rhyno tries to make the save, Heath gets distracted, and they go with the cheap ending. Lame ending for an otherwise good match. I can't help but hope that MIz stays down there an extra few seconds to tell him that he had a great showing there. Miztourage and Co. gets the strong end of the end of the segment. Really effective, best of the show by far all around.

36. "I can guarantee that there will be no kissing between these two later tonight" in reference to Joe/Lesnar interviews. I can hear Ronnie fangasming from here! Fanfic writers, to your computers! A new series of endless monster teddy bear Bork Laser snuggles await you!

37. And I guess the dissent in the ranks of the Titus Club of Kalisto Haters is all done and through with. Then we see Titus trying desperately to recapture the magic of "million of dollars!"

38. Weird that the Miz Hollywood segments keep being followed by Goldust's Hollywood segments. Just merge these two already and form a new version of Evolution.

39. Hey, if the film is supposed to be what's been filmed by his camera flunky, that was an odd shot of seeing the camera guy. Oh, it's going to be mixed between the two. And the beatdown to a chorus of Beethoven. Okay, HAM over, holy shit!

40. We come back, and TROOF is standing behind him eating popcorn with a big grin on his face. I stand corrected. How nice it is to have options when it comes to HAM again!

41. Cesaro wants Finn Balor because of the buzzing of the Universe. Kurt then answers his phone, but it keeps ringing while he's talking. Oh Kurt, you so silly.

42. We don't set the bar, we are the bar! But no associate at this firm has ever failed the bar!

43. Now we've got some Crossfit Jesus, and... He's facing Curt Hawkins again. Fuckin JBL, I'll be back.

44. Joe looks angry, and Bork looks... like Bork. Looks like Joe borrowed Kane's old lighting setup for maximum facial shadowitity.

45. Corey and Booker are both holding strange stares while Michael Cole talks about this segment.

46. I can't take Brock seriously with this face sunburn and sunglass lines. It's only accentuated by this lighting.

47. For some reason, I'm thinking of Rocky Maivia at No Way Out 1998 in the background during the Nation interview where he kept mouthing "I'm the champ" while Faarooq was talking. I feel like most of this interview bickering was what he was actually saying.

48. Joe gets angry (or angery, as the kids say), and Brock keeps laughing. Yeah, way to sell those consecutive beatdowns. How much more obvious could it be that you don't give a shit anymore?

49. Kurt sure does have a lot of angry roaring people yelling in his face as of late, doesn't he? And they used one of Brock's remaining dates to have him show up backstage for a brief second?

50. And now for something completely different, Neville's here. I guess that's what was going on in the ring while we watched backstage. Neville's graphic for the PPV looks like a very dissatisfied Applebee's customer who just asked to see the manager.

51. "I asked for this hamburger to be medium rare, and this is clearly medium, and I am going to articulate every syllable of my frustration while you will sit here and listen!"

52. Ohai Mustafa, welcome back to RAW!

53. Next week's RAW will be in BOOKER'S HOMETOWN! Did he pinch your leg as you said that, Cole?

54. Mustafa is getting Justin Gabriel treatment. By that, I mean he has a finishing move that looks admittedly awesome, but they haven't done much else for him.

55. Holy shit, that was awesome! Ali had to catch his balance up on the turnbuckle, but then landed on his feet after a flip, and then hit an amazing looking DDT. Mustafa again goes for his finishing move because apparently that's all he is, and he goes flying into the security wall. Not the Bayley treatment! He's done.

56. Neville's continued the match to bring on more of the pain, like Lesnar remembers fondly once upon a time, and they tell us that Tozawa has to be watching. But how do we know that without seeing him looking at a monitor? I don't understand.

57. Neville is so pissed about his french fries not being to specified seasoning requirements that he may just lose this match. There's way too much cheap heat here. Maybe there was supposed to be a commercial.

58. Oh, no wait, there it is. He got his 50-percent off coupon for next time.

59. Meanwhile, in the Desert Legion of Doom... Bray Wyatt will be waiting with open arms... after this commercial break.

60. I'm confused, I didn't know Bray Wyatt knew what the sunlight was. Is that where he got those green screen bug close-ups from WrestleMania?

61. The interviewer tells Alexa that no one believes she let Sasha win, and Alexa says no one cares what she thinks. That was awkward.

62. Once again, we have someone make their entrance and hang out for the whole commercial until something happens. Kudos to the fans who stand up for the post-commercial taunt as enthusiastic as they were the first time.

63. Thank you, Michael Cole, for repeating their catch phrase in case we missed it.

64. Iron man match? I'm game. All the same, I really love that Cesaro and Sheamus have worked out a niche for themselves. The Odd Couple thing was only going to work for so long.

65. Wait, what? The Hardy Boyz? What are those whippersnappers doing here?! Most unorthodox!

66. Now this is a match I'd love to see get PPV time. Cesaro's shoulder thing is coming off. Does that even serve a function at this point, or is it just part of the schtick now?

67. To win a 30-minute iron man match, you have to be the best wrestling tag team in 30 minutes? Damn, dynamite drop-in, Matt! That Dean Ambrose Broadcast School has really paid off!

68. If you saw it coming a mile away, Cole, that's not a good thing. It means eeryone else did too.

69. I don't even have much to say about this, it's just good wrestling. More of this, less Ball Family segments, please.

70. Did Elias miss his cue? Balor almost got Papa Shango'd. He was setting up those guns for an awful long time. Sampson tries to look intimidating with a yellow guitar pick in his mouth, but it doesn't work.

71. Balor, knowing full well that Sampson was there, decided to run to the ropes on the side he was waiting. That's on you, Finny Finn Finn. Balor then sees a brawl going on, and decides to take everyone out. Well that was rude. Those damn Hardyz didn't deserve that! You apologize, Mister!

72. Joking aside, this is fun. All of it. If go-home shows were more like this and less pre-recorded hype segments, I wouldn't think so poorly of them.

73. And now, for the main event, Braun Strowman is going to yell at us. I expect Roman Reigns in no way to be involved in this.

74. HOLLA IF YA HEAR ME! Wait, dammit it fooled me again!

75. So what you're saying, Braun, is that he gets knocked down, but he gets back up again? Are you ever gonna keep him down?

76. Wait, we're building up that there's some surprise of it, but two seconds after Titus's music hits, Cole somehow knows that the plan was made earlier tonight? Kay. And Crews has gone from fighting Kalisto to Strowman, though I guess Kalisto beat Strowman, so it's not as big of a leap as normal? Maybe? Did Titus Worldwide become a face stable suddenly? His promo at Braun sure sounds like one.

77. Damn body oil and its slippery nature!

78. Wow, Apollo got kicked right in the fuck! Looks like he landed on his head too. That was absolutely terrifying.

79. Strowman doing the thing where he's not letting the match end after... licking his forehead? Kay. "I don't know what Titus was expecting." Good point. Titus at least finally does something about it after a post-match attack. Listen to that crowd. It's actually working for him! Didn't work too well, but it was a cool moment anyway.

80. "I think now would be a good time to sell." Too subtle, Graves.

81. Is Roman in the ambulance? I bet he's in the ambulance.

82. Thanks for demonstrating how the ambulance match works, while also describing it at the same time. But whawhawhaaaa, the ambulance isn't going anywhere! What could possibly be going on?!

83. BAHGAWD! IT'S ROMAN REIGNS! And he's gonna get thrown around some more.

84. If you're Roman Reigns, how do you stop this guy? Nevermind that he already has before. Forget about that right now, we have to pretend that didn't happen. Regardless, the spear off the cage looked pretty cool. But on Sunday, he'll have to get him in the ambulance after that spear! How will he ever overcome those odds?!

85. Despite what was bad, I liked this show. It did what a go-home show should do for the most part: build the PPV without being an extended commercial. Yeah, some of the stuff was pretty boring and drawn out, but several good matches and a couple of lesser-seen guys getting a chance to shine. Questions of semantics and details aside, I enjoyed it for what it was.

No column tomorrow night, I'll be traveling. I'll be in Seattle this weekend, and my live show is the next. I'll try to get a RAW column out next week.


TROOF got it. Miz, Dean, and Goldust were all contenders, but from the depths of summer 2011, TROOF eating popcorn behind Goldust made me laugh. (Don't tell Adam from WhatCulture.)

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
6-27-17 - The Ascension
7-3-17 - TROOF

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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