IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 1-28-13
By Al Laiman
Jan 29, 2013 - 12:52:03 AM
credit Tom Jenner @imageblownout
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 1-28-13
1. There seems to be a new voiceover highlight video guy, and he's even cornier than the first one. How do you take two things like the Royal Rumble and RAW Roulette and make them this hokey? Even though I hated the results, the show was pretty good. However, hearing "when the lights came back on..." in a bad one-hour cable drama voice just makes me hate it. The show opens up with Vickie, reminding us that it's RAW Roulette rules, if you weren't aware of that. She shows three wheels, but I guess has already spun the Superstar wheel, and Antonio Cesaro and Randy Orton will be fighting in a special guest referee match. Meanwhile, an infuriated CM Punk storms out, pushing people out of the way in the process. He claims that he didn't lose and it's day 435 of his reign. Wow, he has it turned up to 11 and then some. I mean, this is making Christian's temper tantrum at WrestleMania 18 look subtle. Punk calls everyone cheap swindlers, including McMahon and The Rock, and foolishly brags that he didn't need any help winning matches. He then compares '97 Survivor Series to his own incident, dubbing it "The Phoenix Screwjob" and the Vegas crowd is not impressed.
2. As Punk continues yelling about how he got screwed, Paul E. is in the background with the most stern face possible. "No Chance in Hell" hits, and McMahon can't even get out before Punk starts throwing more harsh adjectives in his direction. McMahon states that he has evidence of Heyman's involvement with The Shield, and McMahon reveals that later, they'll be having a performance review which could... result... in... his... termination. The... Ham... Is... Punctuating... For... Emphasis! Hopefully this doesn't mean the end of Paul's run here, because I've thoroughly enjoyed his hammy antics since his return. JBL seems to be bringing the bacon himself, as he snarkily calls Lawler an "unbiased journalist."
3. Randy Orton walks out for his opening match with Claudio, and for some reason it looks like he's looking up at the sky talking to himself when he first walks out. Wow, and as Claudio comes out, there has been four full entrances and no commercials yet! What is this sorcery? Who is the guest referee but... The Miz. I presume there won't be any bias in this officiating whatsoever! Now it goes to a commercial, and the match picks back up in the middle. Some guy in the crowd has a plug for his own Instagram... That's special. Both stars have traded offensive control while Miz has remained down the middle as of this point. The match goes to the outside and Orton backdrops Claudio on the guardrail. Orton then does European Uppercuts, which sorry Orton, you've never gotten the Fonzie reaction from doing those. Orton actually breaks out the guillotine, which is a sick-looking move, and we're in that odd part of the match where it seems like cheap heat, despite the face being in control. Cesaro and Orton get into a European Uppercut-off, which is complemented by a Boo-YAY exchange, and Orton backdrops Claudio over the ropes, and we go to the second fucking commercial break in one match. For JBL's sake, WWE, two commercial breaks in one... might I add very good... match?!
4. The match comes back... from it's second damn commercial break... with Cesaro firmly in control. Orton starts to come back, and he hits a really nice... I think it's called the Falcon Arrow, but I could be wrong. He then throws in a Ghetto Stomp and a gutwrench suplex for another close fall. Some guy is holding up a "What?" sign, reminding us of one of the most annoying crowd chants in history, as Orton starts getting the face shine before Cesaro comes off the ropes with the spinning uppercut. This gives Cesaro time to argue with Miz and allow Orton to go into his trademarkmoveathon. He dodges the ropes DDT and pushes Miz away, and they get into an argument, which I'm quite sure won't end badly for the US champion. The face win streak continues as Orton hits the RKO for the win. Very good opening match... I sure wish I could've seen more of it. Miz pretends to help Claudio up, but hits the SCF for salt in the wound.
5. The wheel spins and it lands on "Make Me Laugh." The camera pans to a stone-faced Ryback. He snorts, presumably because he's going to do the Warrior SKRONK, and his entrance follows it up. During the commercial, the Prime Time Players get the jobber entrance with Matt Stryker in the middle. The two are going to tell jokes, and the PTP make a meme reference for their first one. Ryback's turn is up, and I think he might have to summon his Skip Sheffield promos for an attempt at unintentional humor. He doesn't say a joke, but instead just says that they're about to end up unconscious, and then does so rather easily. That was pointless. But it apparently made Stryker laugh, which makes Ryback... attack him? Okay. In the replays, it looks like Titus nearly hit his head on the whistle during that spinebuster, which I imagine would not have felt pleasant.
6. I fast forwarded through the Bob Backlund highlight video again, and the wheel spins to Player's Choice, then hits Wade Barrett for another jobber entrance. Barrett wants to fight the nXt rookie that eliminated him, Bo Dallas, and now it's time for Barrett to play the Undertaker to Dallas's Maven. Dallas's music hits to... silence. I suppose it might help if the crowd had any idea who he was, other than that guy they didn't know who was in the Rumble. I don't even know when or how nXt airs, honestly. Cole says "Bo Dallas" about five times in one sentence, and Dallas comes out with some pretty quick moves to get the advantage. Dallas ducks a clothesline, but then takes a stiff kick in the gut, and the angry Barrett takes control. I'm glad they're at least acknowledging the developmental territory now, and I'm looking forward to seeing some of the familiar faces that have yet to make their debut. Barrett sets up for his finisher, but Dallas reverses it into what is a pretty impressive powerslam and gets the upset win. I'll give them credit for putting over a new name, definitely. I hope the kid starts getting a reaction.
7. Cody Rhodes spins the wheel backstage, and it lands on John Cena. I'm sure this will go well for his mustache. We come back to the announcers talking with Cody Rhodes' music in the background. This is of course a great time to show the Tale of the Tape between John Cena and... Fred Flintstone... I'm not even kidding. Everyone's favorite Rumble winner hits the arena next, and even Cena's reaction seems low-key. I mean, this seems tame for a guy who usually gets a reaction of some kind, no matter where he goes. Maybe the sound just sucks, I don't know. Cole reminds us that they're facing off on Monday Night RAW, for those of you who didn't remember what you were watching, and Cena gets some quick moves in to start. These guys in the second row have signs that look like they were draw at the last second, and they say "Nick," "What?" "Sucks." Aren't signs supposed to have a point?
8. Rhodes gets on the mic and says it's a waste of him, and decides to leave. Cena goes to the outside and throws him back in the ring just in time to hit his trademark moves in succession to get a ridiculously easy win. I'm so glad they made that such a competitive match. We get a slow motion replay of... Cena's post-pinfall celebration, because I guess it was so awesome seeing him throw a wrist in the air that we needed to see it frame-by-frame, and Cena gets on the mic. Cena's reaction has turned to heavy heat, and he lets us all know that he's the one who can say that he won the Royal Rumble. Cena says that throwing the final guy over the top rope was unpredictable... Because I guess he was the only one who didn't see that coming a mile away... and then goes into his announcement of who he's going to pick to face at WrestleMania.
9. Cena says that picking who he's going to face is the most difficult step, which really puts over the difficulty of winning the Royal Rumble. Cena does a great job of verbally putting over CM Punk by detailing the trouble that Cena has had beating him. The heat seems heavy at the mention of Rock's name as well, but that could just be because Cena is saying it. Cena then says that the only reason he talked smack about the Rock when he was gone was so that he'd challenge him, because we've all forgotten about the other reasons from the year build-up to the match last year. Cena then says his WrestleMania moment was stolen, and that he lost that match. Finally the pro-Rock chants break out, letting us know that these fans do like something, and he mentions possibly challenging the World champion, which we all know isn't going to happen, or the WWE champion, who he says he has virtually no chance of beating, which of course means that he's going to beat him. Of course he challenges the WWE champion, likely making it Once in a Lifetime... Again.
10. Cena is cut off by The Shield's music, which gets a pop because the crowd is so anti-Cena. JBL yells at Cena to get out of the ring, which of course doesn't happen, and the Shield lays the boots to him, until...
11. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! FACE SAVE COULD MAKE YOU WIND UP DEAD! DON'T WEAR YOUR FACE LABEL WITH SOME KIND OF PRIDE! TOO MANY LIMES! TOO MANY LIMES! OH NO THE FINAL THREE IN THE ROYAL RUMBLE ARE ABOUT TO BE CONSUMED BY DESTRUCITY, HOAK HOGAN! YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO FATHOM THE AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY IT'LL TAKE TO START MY FLUX CAPACITOR! YOU HAVE LESS OF A CHANCE THAN BIFF TANNEN AGAINST A MANURE TRUCK! YOU BETTER USE YOUR HOVERBOARD TO ESCAPE THIS ATTACK, HOAK HOGAN! FLYING CHOO CHOO TRAINS FOR THE WIN!
12. Ryback runs out to even the odds, and the Shield barely misses a beat. They throw Ryback into the steps, and then Sheamus into the ringpost. Cena starts to come back, but ends up eating the triple powerbomb. Wow, that is huge. Those guys just got put over even more as dangerous, and that is tremendous for their gimmick. They just took out three of the biggest faces on the roster. They're really making that entrance music hitting a scary sign for anyone in the ring at the time, and that is awesome. After that goes to a commercial, we get more cheesy voiceover guy talking and reminding us of what is coming up next, because ruining the opening videos of the show just wasn't enough. Hearing him before commercials is just what we needed. Not to mention, Jackson Hewitt is really making Montell Jordan fucking annoying. We get a local commercial for The Rock appearing in Hershey, for which I will definitely be in attendance, as it's ten minutes away and I have seats in Wade Barrett's skybox.
13. We then get a replay of what we just freaking saw... again... and then Vickie spins the wheel for a Lingerie Pillow fight. And it's Tensai and Brodus Clay. Oh good JBL, that is frightening, but it'll make my sister scream, so it might be worth it. Conveniently, Vickie decides to spin the other wheel, and it's a dance-off. Oh, isn't that nice? If you get an option you don't like, you can spin again? Brodus then smiles and says he'll tell Tensai about the change. Okay... Time for a replay of the same Royal Rumble fanfest video that we paid to see last night, so time to fast forward.
14. FUNK IS ON A ROLL! FUNK IS ON A ROLL! I hope Becky's TV remote stops working so she's forced to watch this one. Hey, maybe it'll end up being like Vladimir Kozlov and he'll bust a move into a face turn, followed by jobbing as a tag team with the other guy in the ring. Wait a minute... This is Tensai we're talking about... Previously known as A-Train, previously known as... The Hip Hop Hippo. If there is a JBL, this could possibly happen. Please let this happen.
15. The commercial ends with Tensai begging to get this over with. Oh dear... Tensai's in lingerie. Oh that silly Brodus, he was supposed to tell Tensai about the change, but he didn't. That rapscallion! I was hoping for the Hip Hop Hippo, but it looks like we're getting the second coming of Vito. Brodus dances first, and he gets about ten seconds of extended entrance. This is painful, I'm actually feeling bad for this guy. Lawler then convinces him that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and then Tensai starts to dance. Tensai starts busting out his Hip Hop Hippo skills... in lingerie... and Brodus dances with him. Ron Simmons is shown backstage watching, and Tensai pauses to look at him. Nice little ham moment by JBL saying "I know that guy!" But seriously, that just happened... on television.
16. Alberto Del Rio is backstage spinning the wheel, and he'll be in a bodyslam challenge against the Big Show. He then says in Vegas, anything can happen. I thought that was the WWE everywhere? Does that catch phrase still exist? Anyway, after the commercial, ADR gets his entrance, and I have to admit, he earned a great deal of respect from me last night for getting up after his head crashed on the floor. I also have to give him props because he is pretty over as a face champion, which is not the easiest thing to do. He gives his tuxedo scarf to a fan at ringside, because yes he is in fact a face. Big Show then comes out with his stone-face, because he has to be even less charismatic than Del Rio, because he's a heel.
17. Big Show attacks right away, and hits the KO Punch in about eight seconds. That was quick. Ricardo gets up just to get kicked away, as Show has duct tape. Show tapes Del Rio's wrist to the ropes, and Ricardo tries to protect ADR to no avail. Del Rio tries to break free from the ropes, I guess not thinking that he has one hand free and can FUCKING PEEL IT OFF... and Big Show keeps beating up Ricardo. The commentators say that he's handcuffed to the ropes with tape. NO HE'S NOT! YOU CAN PEEL IT OFF! USE YOUR JBLDAMN OTHER HAND! Then, instead of duct-taping his other hand to the ropes, he re-ducttapes the SAME HAND, STILL LEAVING HIM AVAILABLE TO PEEL IT THE FUCK OFF! It must be his destiny to not know that he can peel duct tape! Ricardo continues taking a beatdown, which ADR begs him not to do. Show then says he'll let him go... PSYCH! He's not gonna let him go, cause he's a heel. Show then hits a second KO punch, and ADR goes nappy time. That was effective, but really, really long, not to mention our face hero was devoid of LOGIC!
18. Wow, for a show that started off with a great match, there hasn't been a lot of wrestling since. It's not likely to get much better, as we get a Las Vegas Showgirllumberjilldoyoureallycareordidyougotothebathroom match with Kaitlyn and Tamina. Yeah, remember her? She attacked AJ, lost a match, and then disappeared again. The crowd is freaking dead, and I can't blame them. Tamina must've gone to the Big Show school of heel offense, and has done a lot of very slow offense void of any reaction.
19. Kaitlyn finally gets tossed, the girls attack her, and she fights back. She starts to get her face shine, and Cole might've just made the best comment ever. "This is thrilling, this is right up there with the dance-off." All the other showgirls dive in the ring to the sound of nobody giving a shit. I can barely tell who anyone fighting is, and even the WWE itself just gave up and gave it the Oscar speech ending.
20. We get the replay of the Shield attack... Again... Before The Rock hits the arena, and I think it's a good reaction, but again I can't really tell. Once he raises the title, there is finally an audible cheer. Three fans have the exact same sign and are standing next to each other, because screw originality, and Rock soaks in the adulation. Rock's pulling a Hogan and stopping before he's about to talk to let people cheer more, so I guess the reaction has grown from the entrance. I see another sign that says "I love Donuts." Thanks, I'm so glad I know that now.
21. Rock says that there's no accolade greater than the WWE championship to him. Then, after ten long years, seven of which he wasn't even around, it is the proudest moment of his career. He thanks everyone before reviewing Punk's statements about the WWE Universe. Rock now reminds everyone of the names he calls Paul Heyman, which of course gets the crowd chanting it. I can hear the collective groans, but it's working. Rock promises pie for everyone in Vegas before Living Colour cuts him off.
22. Punk continues his rage, and claims that Rock is flushing the specialness of the title down the drain. Punk yells at the crowd, telling them that in 20 years they'll be calling him a genius, but they're too stupid to realize it now. Punk drills in some harsh words for the new champion, and challenges him to hand him the title back. I'm sure that'll happen. Punk is really over the top tonight. Rock then challenges him to come down and take it. Could this be the time that the attackers are revealed? Rock gives him the choice of facing him like a man or standing on the stage like a punkass bitch. He takes off his hoodie, trolls the crowd before backing up and saying that he does them on his terms. Punk then "grants" Rock a rematch in three weeks, which of course is Elimination Chamber. With all the heat surrounding this match, I hope the WrestleMania main event becomes a triple threat. That could save it. Rock then uses the same insult phrase he already has, in case you missed it, but otherwise once Punk got involved, it was a damn good segment. Punk was really hammy tonight for sure.
23. Wow, they couldn't even spin the wheel on camera, that's nice. We're getting Lobsterhead and Sandow in a tables match. Sandow gets the jobber entrance, and ohhh... the spin was on the WWE App. Lovely. Vickie says "Tables match. That means it'll be a tables match." Wow, aren't you a bright one?! Sheamus starts strong and Sandow powders. Lobsterhead follows him out and continues bringing the fight to him. Lawler makes a Finlay reference about Irishmen loving to fight, but he does it in a Southern accent for some reason. Sandow crawls back in the ring, then goes out on the other side and hits a sweet dropkick. So much for that advantage though, because Sheamus takes the table and throws it at him.
24. Sandow plays up the psychology of the injured shoulder from the Shield attack, and takes advantage of the situation. Sandow continues the heat, but nearly gets Brogue Kicked into a table. Sheamus comes back with a battering ram into the ring, using the bad arm in the process. Sheamus then grabs Sandow by the... BEARD?! Oh no you didn't, sir! Sandow hits the Elbow of Disdain, and for the first time I can remember, Cole doesn't remind us of both translations. For some reason I think the crowd starts chanting "Thank You, Sandow!" I mean, he is awesome, but what sparked that?
25. Sandow goes to the top rope, which could end badly for him. It does, and just like the Royal Rumble last night, during the Forearm Chops of Doom, the cameraman goes Blair Witch on us and gives me nausea. Sheamus White Noises Sandow through a table, and Rhodes Scholars are not having the best of nights, to say the least. At least that was a good, competitive match, unlike his cohort's earlier. Are any heels allowed to win matches? I mean, Big Show tore shit up, but that wasn't even really a match. This is a pretty impressive streak they've got going here, and that's not a good thing.
26. The Great Khali and Zack Ryder are in the ring now because... Why the fuck not? They're in a karaoke match and... Good JBL what did we do to deserve this? Khali is up and he's going to sing HBK's theme song. He sings kind of the lyrics at the complete wrong time. Suddenly a familiar theme hits, and I've never been so happy to see the THREE MAN BAAAAAAAND, BABAY! Drew McIntyre pulls a Ted Theodore Logan and air guitars, and gets chopped for his efforts. Khali and Ryder effortlessly dispose of 3MB, just to give Hornswoggle a splash. For once Zack Ryder is on the other side of a quick squash. Once again, faces reign supreme, and damn was that awful. Isn't the post-Rumble show supposed to be... good? This is coming off so bad that it seems like they're doing it just to fuck with us. Once again, the rules of opposite Triads holds true. The Shield was completely effective, 3MB was completely... not.
27. Hey, there's an improvement, Jericho is back! He was one of the best parts of last night's show; both his return and his Rumble performance. Jericho faces it up and busts out the catch phrases. To no one's surprise, Ziggles' music hits, and he's accompanied by AJ and Arsenio. Ziggler is wearing a vest that looks like a miniature Road Warrior getup. AJ brags about getting Jericho terminated, and Jericho goes HAM on her before Arsenio threatens him. Jericho mocks him for only having E for a name, and Ziggler keeps on the "you don't work here anymore" train... You know, because they let people who don't work there enter the Rumble... And Vickie reveals herself as the person who re-signed Jericho, and spins for a Strange Bedfellows match. They'll be teaming together against the insanely over tag team champions.
28. The match starts and Ziggler brings a little ham of his own. The match is eight seconds in and we've already gone to a commercial. Joy. We come back to Ziggler taunting Jericho while getting some heat on Daniel Bryan. Ziggler continues to not tag in Jericho, but it backfires as we get some face-on-face action. Jericho takes out the tag champions, and Bryan squares off with the man he faced in his first match on nXt. Hell No gets into a fight about whose fault the mess-up was, and they shove each other. Ziggler tags himself in, and Jericho smacks Ziggler on the back, which won't end well for him. Kane chokeslams him, and the Face Streak continues. Kane and Daniel Bryan continue arguing.
29. Meanwhile, the newest inductee to the Hall of Fame is Trish Stratus, reminding us of the times where women who could wrestle were allowed to be featured. Good for her, and her presence is indeed missed. Winning the title in her last match was a great moment. The voiceover talks about women watching her and saying that they can be more than models, and WWE has proven that so well by basically reducing them back to that since she's left.
30. Vince McMahon gives himself the jobber entrance again. He calls out Heyman, and lets him know that he had Punk escorted out of the building. Paul gets an audible ECW chant, while sporting an evil smile. I'm smelling a Lesnar return. McMahon shows how clever he is by shaking hands with Heyman and then uses hand sanitizer. McMahon straight out asks him if he's ever had the Shield or Maddox under contract. Heyman denies it again, and I assume this is where McMahon shows his "evidence." Heyman explains that he lies to survive, which isn't helping his case. McMahon calls for a zoom-in on his "honorable" face, before finally bringing up this footage. We see Maddox backstage, and he calls for the cameraman to shut it off, but the camera comes back on to reveal Heyman saying that he paid Maddox and the Shield. The Shield appears behind him, which from that angle is intimidating as hell, and they beat the hell out of Maddox. Well, I thought Punk being behind the Shield was too obvious so they might not do it, but then again I thought Cena winning the Rumble and Rock winning the title was too obvious too, and we all see how that turned out. Heyman says it wasn't him, and damn he turns up the HAM by saying "MY CAREER IS ON THE LINE!" He claims he's being set up because of jealousy and envy. McMahon mentions that he'll have to wish him well in his future endeavors, and Heyman hams it up even more, when... Yes, Lesnar's music hits to a HUGE pop. Vegas is awake, everyone! The Lesnar chants are ringing out. Heyman tells him that he has it under control, but he gently pushes him away before getting in McMahon's face. McMahon advises him to not do something he'll regret later on, which I guess means the H rematch is being set up for WrestleMania. He then F-5's McMahon, which I'll give him all the credit in the world for taking at his age, and Heyman is upset at this for some reason. Well... Orton/Cesaro was good, Sandow/Sheamus was good, The Shield stuff was great, and Rock/Punk interaction was good. On the other hand, the rest was bad. Really, really bad.
Now, to cheer you up, your weekly dose of Jackie.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Tensai. He wore lingerie. Nuff said.
2012 - Daniel Bryan
1-7-13 - John Cena
1-14-13 - Dr. Shelby
1-21-13 - Anger Management
1-27-13 - Kofi Kingston
1-28-13 - Tensai
IN CASE YOU MISSED JADED HOPE #97