IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... 5-7-12
By Al Laiman
May 8, 2012 - 12:29:21 AM
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Ladies and gentlemen, for those who didn't tune in, this week yours truly appeared as a special guest of the LoPR. That is why the thoughts will be a bit later than usual. You should really check it out; we all had a lot of fun. Therefore, I'm watching this show for the second time in a row, so if I appear a bit more jaded than usual, you know why.
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 5-7-12
1. Nice of the opening replay to remind us that John Laurinaitis will be facing John Cena at The Over Limit. I actually really love the dramatic music and the emphasized sound effects. As a big fan of score, a good soundtrack can enhance a moment and make it look even better than it did, and I think this was no exception.
2. Johnny is taking a more authoritative role than he has in the past, which I think is doing him well. Apparently when he loses his temper, he becomes a destructive monster that no one can contain. In other words, you won't like him when he's angry. He continues to ramble about his match with Cena, how he'll apologize for making fun of his voice, and Michael Cole will interview him via satellite later the evening. Oh, the irony!
3. Laurinaitis says that his voice was injured in a match with Dr. Death Steve Williams, someone that clearly nobody in the crowd knows. A picture montage continues to demonstrate the "greatest wrestler in Japanese history". The last picture, as I pointed out during the podcast, he looks a helluva lot like "Stunning" Steve Austin. Johnny continues to ham it up, and says that his match with Cena will be bigger than Rock/Cena and Brock/Cena. It's a shame that he really doesn't think highly of himself.
4. On cue, CM Punk hits the ring to reignite his heat with Johnny Ace. In addition to being the voice of the voiceless, he takes the initiative to help JL understand what the people don't want to see. Johnny holds his chin up like a five-year-old trying very hard not to cry. Punk compares JL to a hyena, but surprisingly puts him over well, despite appearing to rail him down, if you were paying attention to the promo. That is something the best on the mic, i.e. Punk, Jericho, Foley.. have in common.
5. Punk has the crowd in the palm of his hand, and each little insult he drops gets a huge pop. JL's return threat gets a quick "CM Punk is Not Impressed" face, and for the heel lesson teaching, Johnny turns to Albert Tensai Train much the same way Eric Bischoff turned to Kane in the mid-2000s. Punk and Cena are on the same page of common enemies with Johnny, and Greensboro loves them some CM Punk.
6. Laurinaitis is too busy texting to pay attention, and he runs into Big Show. Having bigger balls than... anyone, he yells in Show's face for daring to obstruct his movement. Show mocks JL's voice, which Miss HanEve hears and she is definitely not impressed with his actions.
7. We get three pictures from the Extreme Rules match, and my favorite one is the facial expression of Big Show after he lost. There could not be a better face to show after the ending result of that match. Big Show does his usual beanie-Rey Mysterio headbump with a kid at ringside, thankfully being very gentle about it because, well that would hurt a lot.
8. Michael Cole said that Cody Rhodes' Intercontinental title reign was one of the longest in history. While I'll agree that he did have a decent reign, I don't think he came anywhere close to the Honky Tonk Man. Just saying that makes me remember Santino's Honk-A-Meter, and the potential they wasted by not carrying that out longer.
9. The match is just getting started with some dominating Show offense when Rhodes decides to bail. Hopefully that will be the end of this feud and we can all move on from it, because it sure seemed that everyone in the podcast, myself included, is sick of seeing these two go at it. Show wins by countout, Rhodes retains the title, and Show tries to call out Rhodes for taking the coward's way out. His unsuccessful threat to come find him is cut off by Miss HanEve, and the crowd couldn't give a shit less. Or as Hus would say, "zero fucks given."
10. Eve decides that it's time to make Big Show apologize, much the same as John Laurinaitis did to Sheamus a few weeks ago. Because demanding apologies without anything happening afterward is the epitome of exciting. Big Show says he's sorry, but HanEve asked him to apologize... Because... There's a difference, I guess. She threatens his job over it because there aren't any jobs for giant men out there, because I assume she's never watched anything else on television in history, or never met a bouncer. Show grits his teeth and completes the apology, and walks away.
11. The replay is shown of Kofi and Troof's title win, which I have to say again that Kofi has some damn impressive air time. Because only teams that involve Kofi Kingston can do this, WWE has again asked the WWE Universe to name their tag team. I won't say what Hus came up with, but it was really goddamn funny. This just unfortunately reminds me that TROOF hasn't been given a live mic in far too long, and I'm very disappointed about that.
12. Oh, this is a singles match... All right. Dolph will be facing Kofi for the 1238238th time in their careers while TROOF and Biff Swagger hang out at ringside. Biff is sporting a tie-less tux it seems, which is a step below his light-blue number that got him punched in the face by an angry Willard. Cole mentions that AW signed the former tag team champions, and explains that thoroughly instead of calling the match, and I still don't give a shit about them. The match continues to go on, Mason Ryan has a ponytail and may be joining AW, good for him.
13. Kofi's Jamaican Destroyer move is really sweet to see every time he does it, and dare I say even Petey Williams would be impressed. Biff uses the Almanac to predict the ending, and Dolph Ziggler finally gets a much-needed win, albeit over a newly-won title holder.
14. Cena brings it live via satellite, which would be a perfect moment for a Rocky cameo. This must be that "edgier" Michael Cole character that's been reported, because he... asks questions. Cena gets super serial about his match with Johnny, and leaves the door open for some time off after this match, giving him a much needed break, in my opinion. Cole hams it up trying to put JL over, implying that Cena should be scared. Because you know, he admitted being scared of Brock Lesnar, and we can all see how those two are practically identical in the intimidation factor. You know Cena's serious because he says a naughty word in closing. A good interview for what it was.
15. The next match involves Kelly Kelly, so automatically I have a reason to not get more invested in this show. Maybe she'll dazzle me with her marvelous rope-running skills. I admit, I do feel bad for Layla. The air was just sucked out of the building when she made her big return for the reason of not being Kharma. She's one of the better Diva in-ring talents available now, but they really screwed her on that. With that crowd in Chicago, all of them wanted to see Kharma return, and when they didn't get it, they stopped caring; perhaps unfairly, but that's what happened.
16. Natalya and Maxine, whoever the hell that is, get the jobber entrance. Beth Phoenix is dressed in her best Betty Grable attire, cause remember that Pin-Up Strong tag team name? I guess poor Natalya has dropped the flatulence gimmick and is just now kinda there. Have to ponder what exactly is better... Layla does a pretty sweet roll through move, of which Maxine decides to kick out a few seconds before putting her shoulder up. Layla hits a Widow's Peak-ish kinda move and gets the win. Kelly Kelly pulled Natalya a little strong and she almost did a faceplant on the floor. I guess Kelly isn't very useful when it comes to other people on the ropes either.
17. If I'm sounding a little more negative than usual, it should be noted that I wasn't all that positive the first time around either. They plug Santino's webshow, which gets the Genesis of McGillicutty on television for the first time in months. Cutting to the first hour main event, the Black Hole of Hamminess is teaming with Jericho against RKO and Lobsterhead. Less Del Rio, more Ricardo, please.
18. There will be no Lobsterhead rant tonight, for the simple reason that I improvised one on the podcast, and doing that voice inevitably turned it into Cookie Monster eventually. I still think it went over pretty well despite that. Speaking of that though, Hus's Charles Barkley impression is one of the damndest things I've ever heard. Yes, I'm going to refer to the show a lot, because it was a lot of fun and you should check it out... Oh yeah, there's a match going on. Sheamus at least appears to be getting his face heat back. Poor guy; the squash match at WrestleMania was supposed to make him into a star, and instead it ended up making his opponent into one. Who woulda thought?
19. This is actually a really well-worked match. I may not think too highly of at least one of the participants, but everyone's strength is emphasized quite well here. This kind of work between veterans and a few of the newer faces of the generation gives a lot of hope for the future. This match was psychologically sound as well as technically, which only means good things for a show that was quite substandard to this point.
20. The commercial for the Smackdown show in Hershey makes me smile, as I said last week I will be watching it from an office suite with two really good friends of mine. Unfortunately My Lovely will not be able to join us. Brian and I have a plan to try to get a sign so that all of you, specifically Becky, can see us on TV, so there will be a reason to watch Smackdown. Oh by the way, I have "Somebody Call My Momma" as my ringtone now, and the entire podcast agrees that the song should be played at all weddings.
21. We skip most of the cheap heat as usual, and get back in time to see the hot tag to Orton. Take a shot for Cole calling for "Vintage" Orton. He also says that he hears voices in his head, and I have to wonder which ones they are. Do you think there are multiple ones? Maybe Bobby Heenan, Ultimate Warrior, and Will Sasso are all having a ham-off all the time, which is why he has to drop to the mat and slam his fists until they shut up. It could happen!
22. A miscue by Sheamus causes Randy Orton to get kicked in the face... Which I have absolutely no problem with. Predictably, as Sheamus tries to help him up, he gets an RKO for his trouble... You know, because he's a face... Despite that, it is a quite good match, even with the World Champion taking the pinfall. That's two title holders that have taken the fall tonight, which I won't argue with but is somewhat questionable.
23. Miss HanEve does her best to look credible while holding a conversation. Jericho really makes me laugh by saying "I beat him most recently!" Del Rio chimes in, and then Orton starts a brawl with the two of them before Sheamus makes the save. They kick the heels out of JL's office, before getting into it with each other. The title match is made into a Fatal Four Way, which is all right by me. Well done.
24. FUNK IS ON A ROLL! FUNK IS ON A ROLL! Brodus adds an introduction for his accompanying ladies, and also a Public Service Announcement, brought to you by Brodus Clay and Viewers Like You. His opponent is the Miz, which makes sense as they were working together on the House Show circuit last time they were in North Carolina. It appears they've ditched Hornswoggle accompanying him, which I'm sure disappointed the entire Internet collectively.
25. The Miz makes a reference to Mike Tyson's punch-out, which I'm sure made most of the audience go "What?" for reasons other than the stupid callback. Miz gets more offense in on Brodus than any of his previous opponents combined easily, and looks quite good doing so, with the exception of dropping the lightest offensive move (the axe-handle) since Lance Storm's chair shot on RVD at ECW's Barely Legal in 1997. Bobby Lashley's chairshot from Skitz's 102 Terrible Matches column would also be a contender. (/cheap plug for my buddy) The only downfall of this was that after Miz dominated 99 percent of the match, it was cut off and won in two moves. I'm all for improbable comebacks, but that was a little much, in this humble observer's opinion.
26. We get almost the entire Triple H promo replayed, just in case you didn't see it any of the eight times we saw it last week. Lesnar's music hits after the vignette, but after a delay, Mr. Dangerously himself walks out with a purpose. Wow is it awesome to see him back, even if Punk did spoil it! That man can still cut a heel promo, and I love the way he truly HAMS saying "BRRRRRRRROCK LLLLLLESNAR!"
27. After running the WWE down for hwat it's become and how it treated Lesnar, he announces that Brock quits. Storyline obviously, as they wouldn't be mentioning his name and putting him over with vignettes if they didn't. This gives Lesnar some time off before Triple H brings him back to face him at Summerslam. It was truly awesome to see Paul E. back, and I hope this wasn't just a one-off. They should've had him as Brock's mouthpiece from day one.
28. I think Jerry Lawler accidentally spoils what was going to happen, as he says that he'll be facing AT&T in a two-on-one handicap match shortly before commercial, where JL comes out and informs Punk of this decision. Whoops.
29. Two guys from Common Law are trying to cheer up Big Show, and I'm guessing they're the non-fake-psychic version of Psych for US. They impersonate Johnny Boy, and Big Show laughs it up, until he turns around to another unimpressed Miss HanEve. Is that his new gimmick now? "I Guess the Joke's On Me" Big Show? Wa-wa-WAAAAA!
30. AT&T is dominating the match after we miss the beginning because of another unnecessary commercial break. Punk finally gets the main event spot with only a few minutes left on the over-run. Bryan and the crowd are still really letting Yesamania run wild, and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Punk makes a pretty sweet comeback, but it's cut off by a badly-botched Baldo Bomb. This ends up with AT&T pinning the champion, thus making it three titleholders that got pinned on the show while the other got intentionally counted out. I do love that Bryan was taking credit for the win on the outside and then picked up the scraps, but other than that... I just can't get invested in AT&T. I wanted to, but it's just not happening. This was a subpar show at best overall, although it did have some good moments. Thanks to the LoPR guys for having me on, and thanks to anyone who listened.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
I think I've got to give the ham to Paul Heyman this week. He's definitely still awesome, but he's a natural ham, which is probably why I like him in the first place. A bonus ham is going to Jeff from the podcast, for making a joke that got him in a lot of heat! Wanna know what it is? Listen to the show and find out! No riddles this week, because I've got finals tomorrow and have sat through RAW twice and I'm tired. Hope all of you enjoyed RAW with Al in both audio and writing.
1-9-12 – R-Truth
1-16-12 - John Laurinaitis
1-23-12 - William Regal
1-29-12 - Ricardo Rodriguez
1-30-12 - R-Truth
2-6-12 - Triple H
2-13-12 - Shawn Michaels
2-19-12 – Santino Marella
2-20-12 - John Cena
2-27-12 – Al Laiman, for thinking no one read this
3-5-12 – John Laurinaitis
3-12-12 - James Roday
3-19-12 - Theodore Long
3-26-12 - Booker T
4-1-12 - Santino Marella
4-2-12 - Dolph Ziggler
4-9-12 - Will Sasso
4-16-12 - Daniel Bryan
4-23-12 – CM Punk
4-29-12 - Teddy Long's name tag
4-30-12 - John Laurinaitis
5-7-12 - Paul Heyman and Jeff