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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 1-7-13
By Al Laiman
Jan 9, 2013 - 5:17:55 PM

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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 1025 - 1-7-13

1. Hello everyone! Welcome to a new year of 30 Thoughts and some delicious ham! Now for those who might be joining me for the first time, let me define a little bit of why I give away a large ham every week. I enjoy over-the-top performances, especially when they're fun, and I like to give away an award that signifies who had the most over-the-top, yet enjoyable, performance of the week. The defending champion of 2012 is none other than Daniel Bryan. Who will win the Ham of 2013? Will Bryan retain? Will Damien Sandow take the inevitable throne? Or will someone else come out of nowhere as Daniel Bryan did? It's a bit late, but let's get started with 2013! Unfortunately, the voice-over has not only ruined the usually-awesome highlight reels of WWE, but it has significantly suckified it. For years, I've noticed that the one consistently awesome thing about WWE is their video editing, and thank JBL they've found a way to make that seem stupid too! With that out of the way, how do we start off 2013? The Cena man, complete with an initial complete face pop before everyone remembers that they only liked Cena until he beat Triple H at WrestleMania and now it's cool to hate him... Except it stopped being cool to hate him until he feuded with CM Punk, so they like him again... Except it stopped being cool to hate him when Punk turned heel... Except it stopped being cool to like him when... Apparently they did a poop joke for New Years on an episode during my vacation... Dear JBL I can't keep up with the hipster nonsense!

2. The world isn't over yet, so Cena is doing the emcee job, since he's not in the title match himself. Cena finds a way to make reference to the shocktacular presence in the arena, and no it's not Shockmaster 2013. WrestleMania is also on the way, and my favorite event is on the horizon. I was going to go, until I figured out that it was literally on the opposite side of the country, but before Cena can continue with his declaration that he is going to win the Royal Rumble, Dolphy Gunn brings out his best impression of Mark Henry in the Nation of Domination to interrupt him. AJ starts talking for Dolph, because I guess Vickie found something else to do, and Mister Cross-Armed continues to have a lack of personality. AJ uses a lot of adjectives to attempt to run him down, and it gets a bit of a pop. Cena decides that he really wants the Ham for 2013, and makes a weiner joke reference, and continues being so over-the-top that William Shattner seems subtle. He starts a wave, because getting the crowd to pop is just too subdued. He tries to make a Dice reference before Dolph gets pissed off that someone can take a loss without losing their job, and more poop is referenced. Ham and poop don't mix, dammit! Dolph officially enters the Royal Rumble, so we've got one feud going into it.

3. Dolph establishes that the primary goal of the Royal Rumble isn't to win, but to make sure that Cena doesn't win... Wait, can't get too excited, no poop for the two tonight. We only did that on New Year's Eve because we were too busy watching another dead horse. Cena makes the predictable challenge that no heel in history has ever answered, but Arsenio Langston feels the need to interrupt. He cuts a promo that would make even Rob Conway jealous, and Cena takes his shirt off because we just didn't get that he was a good guy yet. Ziggler's music hits, because I guess we didn't know he was out there yet, and of course that's the perfect time to go to a commercial. At least I YouTubed this to get it to your screens sooner!

4. Oh, I guess we really are doing a Cena vs. Ziggler match. I figured Arsenio would take the bait and get into the ring so everyone could predictably decide how good he was going to be in his first televised match! The crowd gets into a hipster debate of whether or not it's cool to like Cena, and am I crazy or is there no commentary going on? Nope, there is definitely no commentary on this. Was that opening promo too poopy that they just walked out? Is the Kat just not a fan of poop, or does Arsenio not appreciate low-brow entertainment? As much as the commentators annoy me sometimes, it's weird watching without their soundtrack. It's almost hard to focus at this point... Three people chant "You can't wrestle!" because, you know, that's original, and Cena references the infamous Penis Suplex without showing us a glimpse of the Mini-Ziggles duet. Langston attempts to remind everyone that he's a heel, and that's of course reason to go into commercial.

5. Ohai, Michael Cole and Lawler, why weren't you with us for the first portion of the show? Were you just coming off your New Years' hangover? Perfect transition into the tail end of Dolph Ziggler cheap heat. AJ does Crazy Eyes at the ref, which of course distracts the ref, and Ziggles gets a near-fall. The crowd loves Ziggles so much that they do the count-off for his multiple elbow drops. AJ gets up on the apron and slaps Cena, and he sells it like a Regal knucks shot. That gets her and Mr. Overactor tossed from ringside, and that offends his multi-colored singlet! Ziggler hears Cole use the word Vintage, so he decides to help someone get a diagonal on WWE Bingo and counters the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Counters galore ensue before Cena finally kicks out of another near-fall. People are texting me about a new World Heavyweight Champion, so that adds to the additional spoilers I've already incurred despite my lack of Internet, so I'll still try to call this like I'm watching it live for your sake. Cena counters a cross-body with a roll-through into an F-5, which I assure you was actually impressive at one point, but Ziggler counters it himself, and this is what we expect from these two competitors on the first show of the year. The Boo-YAY exchange ensues, and the crowd once again is clearly pro-Dolphy. That explains the white boots. The ref gets knocked out, and conveniently Cena locks in a move that requires a diversion of his attention, and Arsenio Langston hits a move that I guess he was using on my vacation, but just enough time elapses to let Cena kick out. Well, at least they're starting out the new year with a decent match. Just as I say that, Cena hits an AA out of nowhere and gets yet another relatively clean win over Dolph Ziggler. Joy, because he needed it so much. That being said though, a great first match to 2013, but hopefully not yet another return to the status quo.

6. I guess the first match of 2013 was too exciting, so they've decided to grace us with a Diva's match. I guess two extremes to counteract each other is a good way to demonstrate variety. It's weird not fast-forwarding through these commercials, and it is always a bit of a bad sign when the challenger gets the jobber entrance, regardless of those who think it's not a big deal... Not that anyone's sought my comments on that. I hear that something involving Mae Young happened, so I'll just disregard that and grab a drink while I fail to care like everyone else did at the time this aired live. They're displaying Tweets about The Rock returning, you know, to demonstrate the importance of the match at hand. The arena is so quiet that I can hear everything the referee is saying, so naturally I'm sure Eve will win the Intercontinental title at some point. Oh, I guess Eve walked out on the match, because even she was bored with how it was going, and Kaitlyn wins the match. Because this feud needs to continue, I suppose. Fine.

7. Coming up next is a huge dish of ham with three of the 2012 finalists for Ham of the Year! Santino is backstage with Ricky Steamboat, reminiscing about when he once had a somewhat-legitimate career. Wade Barrett interrupts him, because he's a heel after all, and he's out to restore the meaning to the Intercontinental title. Because Cody Rhodes did that too, right? This is of course a reason for Steamboat to be in Santino's corner, because that'll totally help the odds of Santino not getting Santino'd, eh? Anyway, Randy Orton is now in the Royal Rumble, and he's so excited that he almost summons an emotion. Thankfully he's not given much time to talk, as three people who don't frighten microphones away from their presence arrive, and Team MP3 are also in, and one of them are going to job... Er... Face Randy Orton. Orton makes a comeback that's about as effective as Charlie Brown trying to reference sarcasm. I guess he's showing off that wit for the New Year. Oh right, if I say bad things about him, I get angry emails... Oh well. His promos could be the cure for insomnia, that's all I'm saying.

8. Kane comes out, because I guess he and Daniel Bryan aren't coming out together anymore. Kane is referenced as a sure Hall-of-Famer, for no other reason than TRANSITION! The entrance of HAM follows up, and clearly the crowd is aware of his Ham talents and continue to give him the reactions of such credentials. The credibility of Rhodes Scholars is clearly established due to yet another jobber entrance, and Kane dominates to start out. Cole is rambling about Cody Rhodes, because I guess for this segment he empathizes with heels, and Daniel Bryan tags in to establish that he is the Ham Team Champion over Damien Sandow and his silly pink trunks. Sandow tags back into the match during the cheap heat, which I guess means it's time for Cole to recite the 2012 script about the guy. More mentions about goats, because that's still funny, and the challengers continue to dominate. Cole is nice enough to give us both translations of the Elbow of Disdain yet again, and Rhodes Scholars continues their shine.

9. Kane tags in rather anti-climactically and gets the momentum back. Sandow bails from a Kane strike, but that results in a Daniel Bryan strike. Bryan does his flip counter off the ropes, but appears to injure his knee in the process and becomes heel fodder. Kane does not approve of this bullshit and punches Sandow right in the fuck. Rhodes goes for the quick win, but gets out and goes back in control. He hits his finisher and gets the pinfall victory over Daniel Bryan before Kane can break it up. Enough time has passed to review the match before the one we just saw, because we have no attention span whatsoever, but at least this is pre-recorded for my bullshit-skipping pleasure. Hey, has CM Punk been medically cleared for his match? They need to communicate these things a little better. Fortunately, right after referencing something interesting that's about to happen, they show Randy Orton approaching his inevitable match, in order to quell my expectations.

10. As 3MB is next in the Jobber Entrance parade, Randy Orton comes out, walking the exact same way as he did backstage, but at least he gets a seizure-inducing lightshow to accompany his blandness in this context. Heath Slater is in a match, so Slaters Gonna Slate, but unfortunately the ONE MAN BAAAAAAAAAND, BABAY is gonna lose to the guy that I desperately hope is not getting his second Royal Rumble win in a few weeks, or I will riot... And by riot, I mean the end of the Royal Rumble 30 Thoughts will have unpleasant words. Slater hits a move, and this gets Cole so faux-excited that he almost screams vintage for a guy who's been around for two years, but nobody in any realm of possibility believes that he's actually going to win this match, so the idea of caring doesn't cross our psyche at this particular moment. Orton hits a cut-off, so I guess that means that bland expression is accompanied by voices in his head who tell him to do exactly what it is he always does, only with a face shine, and he suddenly becomes impervious to outside interference. He gets a relatively simple win, and somehow people still get excited over it. Oh no, the other two try a cheap attack. I bet this'll go well for them... In a surprising move, Drew McIntyre gets a one-up on him, and it sets up an interesting possible angle for a guy once coined to be the future of the WWE to get back in the game against one of the biggest names in the... Oh who the fuck am I kidding, he eats another RKO, because as we all know, that's helped so many careers over the years.

11. Hey, two more jobber entrances! Thank JBL they're learning effective time-management. At least they're treating a return like Steamboat's with some measure of respect by accompanying him with the elite member of the former Del Rio JOB Squad. Apparently during his entrance, nobody told him that blue knee pads and boots with a miniature Arsenio Langston singlet doesn't look too great. Cole explains that the title now sparkles, which I guess means he calls it Edward, and Santino gets a really close-fall with a superkick. Now he's hitting the hip toss, so I'm guessing he's about to lose. The Cobra comes out, and Barrett powders and hangs him up on the ropes. To the surprise of no one, Santino eats the Barrett Elbow and gets the win. I think Santino and Ryder are firmly establishing the Scotty Too Hotty syndrome, which means when the trademark moves comes out, it surely means their imminent doom. Afterward, Barrett tries to intimidate Steamboat, but Steamboat Triple-H's that shit and sends him backing away by taking off his blazer.

12. Meanwhile, Lobsterhead is being interviewed by Stryker no Strykin'. He talks about winning the Royal Rumble match, which I suppose means the defending winner will be in it. Team MP3 shows up and Sheamus taunts them a bit about losing to Orton. He suggests that the four of them get together and sing a song. Sheamus busts out a little "Danny Boy" and then walks away... Kay.

13. Two more jobber entrances? Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, this is getting obnoxious. The Miz is at ringside while Claudio is coming out for his match against... Great Khali? Oh shit, the only good thing that can come out of this is if Claudio hits the Cradle Styles Clash on him. Lawler is so interested in the match that he talks about the time that The Rock called Cole a jabroni on RAW... Wow, that really narrows it down, doesn't it? Cole puts over Claudio by saying that he walked to school at 4AM, five miles, up hill, both ways, in five feet of snow... And he was THANKFUL! Or... something like that. Miz continues gabbing, trying way too hard to be funny, and Khali does his best to look credible. Claudio comes back with an awesome springboard elbow, and he's going for the finisher. HE GOT IT! Claudio may have just had a momentary face turn with the pop he got for doing that, holy shit! That was a huge pop for a heel hitting a move, and a well-deserved one at that. I didn't think he would be able to get the torque, but color me impressed.

14. Paul Heyman is backstage, and Brad Maddox interrupts him. Heyman brings a little ham, and Maddox counters with some of his own. Heyman tells him that he wants him to crawl back under the rock he came from, not to be confused with Dwayne, and... that's it.


16. MP3 gets themselves another jobber entrance, as Hustle's Favoritest Wrestler ever is going against Lobsterhead. Man, for all the time these guys haven't been on television, this is already like the fourth time tonight. Did Zack Ryder cancel? Jinder gets some offense, but Sheamus lets him know that NOTHING CAN STOP THE CLAWWWWWW! Jinder gets in some assfense, and Sheamus interrupts the match to not be impressed. Jinder gets thrown out of the ring to his feet, and gets the Forearm Chops of Doom for his trouble. Drew McIntyre decides that he's been breathing far too well this week, and offers himself up for some as well. Slater provides the distraction at ringside, and Jinder throws a pretty sweet-looking BOOT TO THE HEAD knocking him to the outside.

17. Sheamus isn't quite as impervious to outside interference as Orton was, and the numbers game is allowed to catch up with him. Wow, a match that's been given like five minutes and no commercial breaks so far! Drew shows the effects of being forearmed and now sounds like Cranky Vince on a Marlboro binge. Sheamus comes back and starts throwing everyone around with four of his eighty-seven trademark moves. Drew and Slater eat their own BOOTS TO THE HEAD, and Sheamus hits Jinder with some West Virginia Town Hall Rabbling before giving him his own BOOT TO THE HEAD for the win. I think MP3 has been given the job of being exactly the opposite amount of effective as The Shield, just to keep a balance on things.

18. After a highlight video, we're having the TLC match already? Of course, The Rock is on tonight. That must be why they had all those Rock promotions earlier! I'm guessing this is recap hour, so we have to review everything we've already seen, and even watching this across the span of an evening and an afternoon, it's still annoying. CM Punk throws a chair during his entrance, hopefully inciting the crowd to pull a Homicide vs. Cabana and throw all their chairs in the ring for several minutes near the end of the match. Punk soaks in a mixed reaction before the T-1000 summons his invisible pyro with his Jeff Hardy armwear. The show has been on for two hours, so this is of course the natural time for Cole to... welcome us to Monday Night RAW? Pretty sure you're supposed to do that at the beginning, not at the 2/3 mark...

19. I'm lukewarm to RyVD at best, but I have to admit that guitar riff he has for an entrance is catchy and relatively badass. Wait, I can't call him RyVD in that... Purple People Eater outfit he's wearing? I'm guessing he went to the same place Santino did for wardrobe. This is apparently the biggest match of Ryback's career, so I guess that implies that the first two weren't. Ryback does a stalling suplex onto a ladder for the first big spot of the match. That was pretty awesome. Ryback uses the steel steps to knock Punk down so he can walk around Big Show-style. A huge "YES!" chant breaks out, as Punk counters and does a running Shining Wizard over the steps. Punk is in control, so we head into the commercial break.

20. The show comes back just as... something big just happened? Gee, wouldn't it have been nice to see it? Oh well, Ryback is back in control, and does a powerslam on the outside, which no matter how padded that is doesn't feel good. It sounded like someone in the crowd yelled "HIT HIM WITH THE GATORADE!" I guess someone's Jonesing for the TROOF attack on John Morrison with the water bottle. Punk momentarily comes back, but Ryback uses a piece of cardboard from the announce table to show how angry he was at that attempt. Punk gets control back with a chair, and goes a little Kane-2004 and puts the chair around his ankle. That of course fails and Ryback gets back in control with his trash-talk-added offense. Ryback hits the Clothesline from Skynet, but Punk wiggles out of the Shellshock. He then puts himself through a table by trying to spear Punk, and with Heyman outside right there, that would've been a perfect throwback for a "GORE! GORE! GORE!"

21. Punk starts to climb the ladder, but Ryback is back and shoves him off the ladder. Punk comes back and pushes him off the ladder, which fazes him zero, and Punk gets flapjacked into the leaning ladder, rendering it useless. Punk slips out of Ryback's grasp and kicks him in the head to buy some time. Punk sets up the busted ladder, but instead decides to knee Ryback in the corner. Punk keeps trying to fix the ladder, instead of... I don't know, grabbing one of the other 20 around... And when Punk goes for his bulldog, Ryback keeps him up and throws him through the table at ringside! Damn, what a spot! Kudos to Punk for taking the crazy bumps in this match!

22. Ryback does the smart thing, which is odd for someone who has a one-track consumption mind, and gets a ladder that isn't completely busted. Ryback climbs the ladder, but the lights go black. SABU?! Nope, it's the Shield, and it's a bad night for interfering triads, as they get consecutively thrown out of the ring. They however come back and end up putting Ryback through a table on the other side of the ring. Punk starts to crawl to the top of the ladder as Ryback does his best D'Von Dudley impression at ringside. Punk feels a little Mannequin coming on, because nothing's gonna stop him now, and Punk retains in a very good match. This makes CM Punk vs. The Rock at the Royal Rumble official, and I approve of this message.

23. 414 days is celebrated backstage with Stryker, and Punk indignantly responds to questions he wasn't even asked. Punk dubs himself the new Ken Shamrock, and is going to drop a Pipe Bomb! I have no qualms with this!

24. Kane asks Bryan how his knee is doing, and they start to get into an argument of exclamation. Vickie interrupts them, and Kane asks why she's yelling. She brings up their medical histories, and announces that we're going to get their four-month follow-up with Dr. Shelby, and they get into another argument of exclamation, this time MONSTER-NERD! Kane agrees with Bryan, and he of course takes the side that he was arguing against. Not their biggest moment of ham, but it sounds like the return of Dr. Shelby is a good indication that we're heading in that direction.

25. I still can't figure out why Kofi Kingston's music starts with the Morse Code for distress. He's facing Big Show, who has a World Heavyweight Title match on Smackdown, so... Tough times. Big Show hits the KO Punch already? WHAT THE FLYING FUCK WAS THE POINT OF THAT?! They've been building up Kofi for months now, and he just lost quicker than Daniel Bryan lost at WrestleMania? Yes, it was over the referee's shoulder, but was that really necessary? What a complete waste of time! I wish I didn't already know that he was losing the title, but the spoilers for that weren't very well concealed. I'm glad that the title is off Big Show, but they took it off one void of personality to give it to the Black Hole of Charisma. Joy.

26. CM Punk's music hits again as Cole announces that nobody in the history of RAW has held the title longer. That gives you a clear idea of how long it's been since anyone's had this length of a title reign. Say what you want about the reign itself, but they've sure been giving Punk the chance to really run with it. We review everything from the previous title match, which was so necessary because in the midst of that epic, long Kofi/Big Show match, it just slipped my mind.

27. Punk starts by saying he's come to tell everyone something personal. He claims that nobody understands what a Pipe Bomb is, and it's the incarnation of Truth, not to be confused with TROOF. Punk says that he meant everything from the original Pipe Bomb, except for the ice cream bars, and holds up what he said back then. He once again addresses the glass ceiling, making a great point about how Cena had the worst year of his career, as well as Daniel Bryan, Brodus Clay, and Little Jimmy getting a better position on the show than Tyson Kidd. Punk blasts the Modern Era moniker, and compares himself to Bruno Sammartino by saying that wrestling one night a month in Madison Square Garden was easy. I know he's a heel, but I think Mr. Sammartino would have something to say about that claim.

28. Punk attributes his success to being in spite of everyone there. He mocks the cheap pops and the crowd once again plays right into his hands. He quotes Rikishi's heel music by saying that he's a bad, bad man. He continues to reference Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, and Edge for saying that they loved performing for the fans, and calls them liars for it; saying that they're weak or dishonest. This is some really cunning stuff here, and while it's not going to get him a face turn this time around, it's really good. An agent at ringside tells him that they need to take a commercial break. He continues to talk, but Jerry Lawler talks over him and they actually do go to break.

29. We come back and they're still talking over him at first. Punk continues to claim that he won't let The Rock tear down everything he's built, and says that he beat the system when he beat Del Rio for the belt. I'll agree with that on some levels. This is of course a metaphor for beating everyone in the audience, and finally The Rock is present for the first of many promos we've all been waiting for. That entrance music still gives me chills, and I really love the new version of it with the kickass guitar riff over the original beat. Finally, the face-off we've anticipated since RAW 1000! Rock tells Punk that he's delusional, but still manages to put over Punk in the process while warning him that there are 20 excuses waiting for the match in 20 days. Rock did his homework, but flips it on Punk saying that the people rejected him, and that he couldn't do what he promised, especially the ice cream bars. And yes, I did just hear Rock reference CookiePuss. Win.

30. Rock tells Punk to listen to voices, which hopefully doesn't mean he's been listening to Rev Theory. Rock explains that there is no such thing as the voiceless, and he definitely brought his A-Promo game. Rock demonstrates his ability to get the crowd to chant literally anything and makes them yell "CookiePuss" at CM Punk. Tom Carvel would be so proud. Rock counters Punk saying that they've already won, because through the detailed schedule of his day to get to the point of saying that finally he's come back. Not sure how that one works, but let's just go with it. He's back to entertain them, stop Punk, and once again become WWE (pause) champion. Rock once again puts over Punk before going super serial on him. The two circle each other before Punk lays the title in front of them. Punk starts striking back, saying that no matter how many days he's there, he'll still kick his ass. Punk finally catches fire and rips him apart. YES! This is exactly what I was hoping for! Rock's entertaining and funny, Punk is witty and cunning. Punk says that Rock needs to realize that his arms are too short to box with JBL. Finally, we find out who Shawn Michaels was supposed to team with against the McMahons! Rock comes back with serious Rock again, warning him that time's up. Rock tells him to strip naked, and not to look at the CookiePuss, against Rock's Strudel, I suppose, and tells him to get two more tattoos, because that's how badly he's going to kick his ass at the Rumble, and concludes it with an empathic Rock Bottom. That. Was. Awesome. Both of them brought their best, and I am psyched for a WWE title match at the Royal Rumble, something that does not often happen. This promo battle needs to continue, because it is phenomenal.

Overall, a lot of the matches were just thrown together, but Cena/Ziggler was good, the WWE title match was good, and the ending promo battle was epic. The rest of the show left a lot to be desired, but the build for the Rumble is on.

I apologize for how long it took to get this out, but I moved over the weekend into a new house, and it took a bit to get the new Internet working correctly, not to mention I was spending time with my beloved in our own home for the first time. College starts back up for me next week, but I'll do my damndest to get these to you on time, because the response, especially of late, has been unreal, and I'm grateful for all of you who read this. Thank you.

Oh yes, and your weekly dose of Jackie.


Cena starts the year strong with a big dish of ham. He was definitely ridiculous and over-the-top, that's for sure.

2012 - Daniel Bryan
1-7-13 - John Cena



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