IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 10-1-12
By Al Laiman
Oct 2, 2012 - 12:31:05 AM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts: RAW 1010 - 9-24-12
1. Coming off several strong weeks of programming, the WWE looks to get even stronger going into Hell in a Cell. Foley was brought back to enhance an angle, which is nearly always a sign of gold to come. Speaking of which, the opening video recaps Foley challenging Punk to step up, as well as Cena and his phantom lead pipe. It was awfully nice of them to pipe in cheers for RyVD’s appearance though, since apparently that crowd didn’t even see the segment. Is the T-1000 in the title picture? Will John Cena be on RAW? Time for the tenth episode since RAW 1000 to kick off in Oklahoma! Living Colour kicks off the show as CM Punk walks out with Paul Heyman showing the WWE title like he’s holding a sign in the audience. Punk is not impressed with the crowd response, and calls out Cena for attacking him from behind. He does a brilliant job of justifying his actions against Mick Foley by making him the villain in Punk’s eyes, still playing up the disrespect that everyone is showing him, as compared to Cena, Austin, and Rocky. Punk manages to get even more heat from the crowd by being the smarmy bastard he’s become in the last few weeks before admitting that some of Foley’s words got to him. He does a brilliant job of making it sound like he’s going to accept the challenge before saying that it isn’t going to happen. Baiting the poor Oklahoma fans, Punk hands off the microphone to Heyman so they can transition to his business with AJ.
2. AJ’s music hits for a few seconds, and Heyman tries not to glance toward the stage. He mentions that AJ never said no to his proposal before bringing back the memo after the Vickie Guerrero attack that forbade AJ from attacking anyone. This means that he supports AJ being removed from her position as a result and Heyman taking her place. That would make a lot of sense, and if he could spawn the resurrection of the Smackdown Six, I’d be all for it. As Paul runs through his credentials, he’s cut off by another one claiming victimization of AJ’s actions, Vickie Guerrero. Vickie and Heyman snark at each other before Dolphy Gunn proposes that both Vickie and Heyman team up as co-GMs. That goes over decently between the both of them before AJ’s music hits (on the right cue this time), and she skips to the ring in her Kane colors.
3. AJ announces that she’s been put on probation by the Board of Directors, as they didn’t make an excuse for her list of adjectives for Heyman. Maybe if she messes up again, she’ll be on Double Secret Probation. AJ’s been appointed an executive coach for the position of general manager, and Daniel Bryan’s music plays! He freaks out at the crowd since he just came to apologize, since her mental problems are obviously a result of him dumping her, even referring to himself as a helluva catch. Danielson turns up the HAM the whole way to 11 while describing how handsome he is before of course declaring himself the tag team champions. It looks like the best part of the show for over a month is getting involved with the main eventers! Pillars of fire explode, and Kane joins in the mayhem. He stands behind AJ, showing just how freaking big he really is, and reminds everyone that she is a phenomenal kisser before they start screaming at each other again. This causes Dolph and Punk to yell at each other as well before AJ finally has a “STOP IT!” meltdown. Predictably, she Teddy Long’s the whole situation and makes a match between Dolph Lundpunk and Anger Management.
4. Oh John… Bradshaw… Layfield. Not only is there going to be a debate on Monday Night RAW, but it’s going to involve the Big Show? Is WWE convinced that I need something to think about while I try to fall asleep at night? In better news however, a tag team title tournament is taking place, and I approve of that message. I said it last week; the WWE tag team titles are finally a focal point of the show.
5. Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio are taking on Primo and Epico. They pay special attention to Rosa Mendes. Has she been with them for the last few weeks, or is my memory just not recalling it? This is likely to be a very fast-paced match; similar to the one they had a few weeks ago. Thank JBL that JR and Cole are nice enough to break down the semantics of what single elimination means. They explain it several times, just in case we can’t figure out the context of how that might be relevant to the tournament match. Just so you know, it means that if they lose, they’re out of the tournament, as opposed to still being in despite losing. This is single elimination. Lose and go home. Mystericara get the advantage and are about to do a double high spot when they stop. A few seconds later, the music for the Prime Time Players interrupts them. I assume that was supposed to happen while they were about to hit the planchas, so for the second time already in this show, whoever is playing the music misses their spot.
6. We return with Mysterio making the hot tag, effectively missing every minute of Primo and Epico’s offense. Sin Cara throws some impressive tossing moves before selling an elbow in the corner like a Brodus Clay headbutt. Primo and Epico go back on the offensive before Sin Cara comes back with a sunset flip for a close fall. Cara closes off the quick cheap heat with a rolling headscissors into a DDT, and Mysterio gets the hot tag and Riddle Me This, he dominates for a few minutes, capstoning it with a really creative and brutal-looking bulldog. The fall is broken up, but it leads to a double 619, which looks even more ridiculous when it knocks out two people. Cara dives to the outside while Mysterio Drops the Dime to get the win. The commentators mention that the Prime Time Players have to get through KingsTROOF to get to Mystericara, so I imagine in no way whatsoever will that transpire on Smackdown.
7. FUNK IS ON A ROLL! FUNK IS ON A ROLL! BUT IT’S THE JOBBER ENTRANCE! Oh well, at least it’s the last time GreenwoodRosie has to see it as a single lady! Please leave some congratulations for her, and I’ll have a picture from the trip down to Charlotte for you all next time, I’m sure! Captain Brodus is facing Claudio Castagnoli to a reaction normally reserved for face Eve Torres. Brodus gets the advantage early before Claudio hangs him up on the ropes. Brodus hits his Rhino headbutt, but Claudio comes back quickly. Claudio lifts up Brodus in the air for a solid few seconds for a cradle piledriver, which is fucking impressive, and gets the win. I guess that’s the end of the push for Brodus Clay. The US champion looks great in the process though.
8. Backstage, AJ is talking to Kaitlyn, for some reason… Mr. Random J Everyperson is AJ’s life coach, and AJ references the past when Kaitlyn apparently warned her about dating Daniel Bryan or something. I probably would remember that if I managed to give a shit any time she was on television. She apologizes, but then bursts into, dare I say, creepy laughter before skipping away. Wow, that really added something to the show.
9. Speaking of faces with a jobber entrance, Zack Ryder gets his turn as he’s about to face the Miz. The Intercontinental champion did not fare as well as the other midcard champion did tonight, as he jobbed to RyVD in about two minutes. What a time to let us know that a social media ambassador is Larry King, who is encouraging people to send in questions for my sleep aid later this evening. Foley’s new book is plugged, as the commentators talk about everything except the match that is going on in the ring. Miz goes for a pinfall after some quick offense, but Ryder kicks out. Ryder makes a comeback and gets the Broski Boot, so he’s about to get Santino’d. No wonder they paired those two up. Ryder goes for his finisher, but gets caught up above Miz’s head and gets powerbombed into the turnbuckles. Like clockwork, the Santino Effect prevails, and Miz hits the SCF seconds later. JR mentions that Ryder’s offense was “very, very effective.” Um… Obviously not.
10. I’m going to try very hard to give a shit about the… What was it, a world championship debate? I’m only doing it for your benefit, because I’d care more if they played the best of the Great Khali’s high spots set to Rob Conway’s old entrance music. Apparently it has Twitter a-buzzing though, so Fuzzy Panda Duck Pajamas obviously care about this for some reason. Booker announces that Sheamus and Big Show are facing each other for the first time at Hell in a Cell, and he drops his lines like he’s reading cue cards in some of the commercials I review. Even Big Show’s highlight reel is boring. I quite enjoyed the time that he was far, far away from my television.
11. Tis indeed a shameful thing, Lobsterhead! Was that Miz Girl holding a Great White Sheamus sign? Booker says that it’s traditional to “open with an opening statement.” I assume he got that line from the Department of Redundancy Department. Big Show actually sums up how I feel by saying there is no reason for a debate. Then… Why are we here? I assume Sheamus will respond with, “Everything that guy just said is bullshit,” since I’m sure even he was asleep when Big Show was talking. He asks his opponent not to rip his leg off because he’ll need it to kick his face in. Kay…
12. The first guy asks what they find to be the most challenging aspect of their opponent, though Booker forgets there was a verb in that question. Sheamus impresses us with his Cena-like wit, and it devolves into an argument about how Big Show smells. The next question is which is the more dangerous move, the Brogue Kick or the WMD, though Booker calls it the KO. Big Show then calls it the WMDKO, and then Big Show makes the same joke about getting his foot up that high. Show makes me laugh for the first time since his heel turn and asks for a new podium because he broke his. Since using one social media engine wasn’t enough, Sheamus uses a Tout to put on a Rey Mysterio mask to ask a question. This is really happening. Sheamus makes the 45 second joke for the THIRD time, and it infuriates Big Show so much that a bead of sweat rolls down his blank expression. Lobsterhead dramatically asks, “How does it feel?” To treat him like you do, Sheamus? Tell me now, how do I feel? I feel… that was fucking stupid. The only good thing about it is that we may have discovered the cure for insomnia.
13. Good ol’ AT&T gets the jobber entrance before the Master of the Invisible Time Warp pyro demands that his mode of consumption is enhanced greatly by far more purchases of mass quantities for the purpose of devouring. RyVD gets knocked down by the Screamer, and he laughs it off. AT&T continues to try hitting him hard, and he sells it like Al Snow sells chairs. RyVD hits a clothesline so hard that JR makes a Stan Hansen reference. The T-1000 tries to get AT&T up for his finisher… and fails. He tries again… and fails again. Either RyVD isn’t strong enough to get him up, or Tensai just sandbagged him. He improvises with another clothesline and finishes it off.
14. Sandow and Rhodes are backstage ripping apart the debate, and as only Sandow can do, he makes fun of the World Champion eloquently. Those two are gold together, and I’m glad they followed through with their gratefulness of finding someone with whom they could have a good conversation. It’s sad, that was the best part of the show since the tag match. Three squash matches and a trainwreck of a debate later, thirty seconds of conversation is the highlight. I really hope this starts to pick up. Maybe I’ve been spoiled with several weeks of great television, but I’m not impressed so far. Perhaps an actual wrestling match? Well, the Teddy Long main event should at least provide one.
15. Things aren’t looking to immediately improve as a Diva’s match is going to be next. I’ll give Eve credit though; she’s developed a bit of a personality with her obviously manipulative gimmick. She’s facing Beth Phoenix, who was suspended, and then not suspended on Smackdown… Kay. Maybe Beth Phoenix can be allowed to look competent for a few minutes before she rides off into the sunset, but given that we can’t even get Sara Del Ray as more than a trainer it seems, my optimism isn’t high. Beth takes a shot into the ring post, and Eve works it hard. Eve looks pretty damn vicious, and it’s a nice change. She’s being everything Beth Phoenix was supposed to be about a year ago. Phoenix almost gets counted out, but comes back with some stiff-looking offense. JR makes another reference that most people watching won’t get about Ivan Putski, who I met in 2007. Eve comes back to win with her neckbreaker, and sadly, that match was better than the previous three.
16. AJ is backstage with the faceless wonder that is her executive coach, and she greets Wade Barrett, who informs her that she’s doing a horrible job. I’m not even sure if what he’s saying is good, but it sounds that much better in his accent. Is anyone noticing the Kane aura light seems to be following her around? AJ concludes another worthless segment by telling that guy following her around that she thinks he’s intimidated. Did the writing staff just take a lithium cocktail tonight?
17. John Bradshaw Layfield, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, which contrary to Cole, I always thought was pronounced with a shorter A, as in jar, but what the hell do I know? Cut to Santino getting the fourth jobber entrance of the show, and he’s facing the ONE MAN BAAAAAAAND, BABAY! Hustle’s favorite contribution to wrestling in Jinder Mahal, as well as Drew McIntyre, are there supporting their new stablemate. Santino mimes… The Ultimate Warrior? Slater air-guitars back, and then they try to shoulder-block each other. Clever enough little exchange between the two. Slater gets a bit of cheap heat before an attempted Santino comeback. I attribute the lack of a crowd response to Santino’s awful booking, especially involving Del Rio. Santino fails at nipping up, but hits some right hands. He follows up with a hip toss and a headbutt, so he’s about to get Santino’d. He connects with the Cobra, but his two buddies jump him in the ring. Team Three Count 2012, and Slater appears to be, as JR put it, “The Lead Vocalist”. Slater calls him Tino before telling us all what we need to hear. McIntyre reminds us that at one point, he was called the Chosen One. They each introduce themselves, in case we forgot who they were, and I guess that’s what we needed to hear? Meanwhile, Sheamus is facing… Damien Sandow? That’s rather random, but it should be better than most of the show so far at least.
18. As Damien Sandow comes out for his match against Lobsterhead, some guy has a sign that says, “What’s With the Robe?” I don’t know, Flair wore one, who cares? Cole references a past on Smackdown with a match between Sheamus and Sandow, so I guess it wasn’t as random as I thought it was. Sorry everyone, but this is the only wrestling I get to watch. Cody Rhodes is at ringside, and they spend more time describing the people in the match than calling it. Rhodes doesn’t appear uncomfortable on commentary though. They unsmoothly trade advantages before Sandow powders and we go to a commercial.
19. Thank JBL for DVR, because without it, this show would be even harder to get through to this point. Rhodes helps Sandow get a distraction on the outside, and Sandow goes on the cheap heat offensive. Sheamus looks like he really got doinked on the bridge of the nose recently. Idol Stevens uses the power of his beard to subdue the Lobsterhead, but he starts to come back. I like Sandow’s aggression, and his Russian Leg Sweep with the concluding backflip is really akin to his style. It’s good having guys like Punk and Sandow who can be heels without being cowards. There’s something to be said for an entertaining heel mean streak. Sandow is really getting a chance to shine against the World Heavyweight champion, though I’m suspecting shenanigans later in the match.
20. Sheamus starts to come back with a high spot attempt, but Sandow cuts it off yet again. He’s dominated this match against the world champion. Sandow stays on the attack despite a no-count pinfall, and the cheap heat continues. Lobsterhead makes another comeback, but gets dumped over the ropes. Despite all the offense he’s given, Sandow can’t get any more than a one-count. OhmyJBL, Sheamus is bleeding from the face! Stop the match! Stop the match! The children will be scarred for life! Oh, the horror! The horror!
21. Sheamus gets a lot of hard-hitting offense in, but Sandow almost catches him again and gets a very close fall. JR says that it’s been Sandow’s finest match since coming to WWE, and it’s hard to disagree. Lobsterhead comes off the top rope, but Sandow kicks out. JR makes a clever valedictorian metaphor for his toughness. Sheamus misses with two of his finishers as Sandow tries to escape. That doesn’t work out well for him as he takes the ten forearms, selling it to the floor. Rhodes tries to attack, but gets thrown into the ring for his troubles. Sandow and Rhodes try to help each other up, but both get the BOOT TO THE HEAD, and Sheamus gets the win. Outstanding performance on the part of Damien Sandow, who really got put over huge here despite the loss.
22. Cole introduces Jim Ross for his appreciation night, and I’m really hoping he doesn’t get humiliated like he has in the past in his hometown. For some reason, he went from ringside backstage to come back out to the OU fight song. Please, no rap-offs, no dance-offs, no Kiss My Ass club; just give the man the due he deserves. Cole mentions that it’s JR Appreciation Night about eight times. Before JR can respond to anything, CM Punk and Paul Heyman interrupt him.
23. Punk sends Cole back to his seat, and he gets even more heat than before. Punk lavishes in the crowd response, even egging them on to tell him how they really feel. Punk encourages the crowd to chant JR’s name, which they gladly do. Punk tells him that he’s the best announcer they have and he appreciates him before making it about himself and his constant battle with respect. Punk blames everyone for turning their back on him, and he puts his arm around JR and says he respects him. It seems Punk’s ire toward Lawler has transferred to JR in asking him to admit that he’s the best in the world.
24. JR calls out Punk for embarrassing himself in the last few weeks, and that may not go over well for him. Punk is disappointed in him, as he feels they’re both the best and takes offense to JR’s treatment of him. Punk asks him who saves him if he gets in trouble, and Punk makes a hint toward the rumored WrestleMania 29 match with Stone Cold. Punk says that “3:16 used to meant…” Whoops. Punk claims 316 for himself, as that’s how many days he’s held the title, and says that JR belongs to him too. He demands that JR say he’s the best in the world, which further enrages Punk. JR explains that he’s called matches for the best in the world, and every name he lists just makes him madder. JR tells Punk that those men earned the distinction of being called the best in the world, and says that if he wants to be called the best in the world, he should accept John Cena’s challenge. If he does, he’ll be the first to say Punk is the best in the world. It does seem like every time Punk wins a match, someone else adds to the list of things he has to do to earn the title.
25. Punk takes off his special hoodie, and takes JR’s hat… and he THREW IT ON THE GROUND! JR doesn’t back down. Punk rightfully makes the comparison that the OKC Thunder didn’t get another chance when they lost in the NBA Finals, whereas everyone is demanding that Cena get yet another shot. Punk really is at his best when he’s justifying every action he makes. Punk says it’s turned ugly and calls himself the most dangerous man. Ken Shamrock listening in anywhere? JR tries to leave, but Punk isn’t going to allow him to return to spewing the rhetoric. Punk takes it up another level by saying that he’s going to walk backstage instead of back to commentary.
26. As JR continues walking up the ramp, RyVD of all people comes to make the save. I was expecting Biff Swagger in some capacity making a face turn, to be honest. I suppose the follow-up to last week’s staredown does make sense though. The T-1000 shakes like D’Von after a “WHAZZUP” headbutt, and Punk slowly backs down. Decent segment, but it went on WAY too long.
27. Ricardo is behind Justin Roberts, which means we’re going to be treated to an appearance from the Black Hole of Charisma. He does at least have a helluva nice car this week. I guess the reason I got the text message from WWE that Del Rio attacked Orton after they went off the air was recapped here. I guess because Del Rio beat up Orton, it only makes sense that he’s fighting… Kofi Kingston. At least Ricardo Hamriguez is at the commentary booth. Kofi starts off with some strong offense, which Hamriguez immediately accuses him of cheating. Kofi hits some serious air time before going into the commercial. Coming back, Del Rio has Kofi in a stretch, and Hamriguez is ranting in Spanish. Kingston comes back with his double hand slaps before his jumping lariat. As Kofi is hitting his leg drop, Cole asks him how he says that in Spanish, and Ricardo simply says, “Ouch!” Finally, some ham on this show! Kingston misses a cross body, which gets him caught in the cross armbreaker, giving Del Rio the win.
28. Backstage, AJ is being coached by Everyperson, and she’s encouraged to make something special happen tonight. AJ decides that her coach should be the guest referee for the main event, before saying that she doesn’t need a coach, thus rendering tonight’s storyline… Entirely pointless.
29. Daniel Bryan is out yelling in kids’ faces, so it must be time for the main event. This match will have an interesting dichotomy, as a heel team is facing a face/tweener team. They replay the Twitter announcement of their team name, because that was just so unforgettable. JR describes the “synergy” at ringside, which must be his word of the day or something. AJ comes out herself as the special guest referee, which makes things interesting as she has a history with every one of the wrestlers involved in the main event. Kane dominates Ziggles early, as Kane still looks quick at 46. Kane looks like he’s about to tag in Danielson, but he psyches him and continues to beat up Ziggles instead. Clotheslining him out of the ring, he tries to follow up, but Danielson tags himself in as we go into a commercial. JBL forbid we get to see an entire match, there’s Sheamus-Rey Mysterio Tout videos to show!
30. Coming back, Ziggles has Kane in a resthold as Danielson is able to get the crowd stomping for Kane’s comeback. JR and Cole point out that it’s been 15 years this week since Kane first appeared. Damn, it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Kane tags in Daniel Bryan, and they do a double team maneuver with Kane whipping Bryan into the corner. Kane gets back in, and Ziggles cuts off the momentum. Punk comes in with the high knee, and follows it up with a second. Kane comes back with a sidewalk slam for a fall attempt. Cole calls the Sheamus/Show debate “tremendous”, which is like calling That Jackie Gayda Match “a piece of art.” Danielson gets in and Punk tries to take control. Danielson throws some strong counters and hulks up for the stiff kicks. He gets one of his own, and both men are down. Danielson kicks out, and Ziggles comes back in to throw his awesome dropkick. Dolphy and Punk are working together well as an effective heel tag team. Punk tags in and tries to come off the ropes, but Danielson counters. Bryan does a sick suplex from the top rope and tries to lock in his submission NO LOCK. Paul Heyman helps Punk get his foot on the ropes, which causes AJ to send him away from ringside. Vickie starts yelling, which gives AJ her crazy chick smile, and Vickie gets tossed too. A laugh at JR saying, “Excuse me! You’ve been ejected!” Ziggles follows Vickie out, leaving Punk in the ring with an incoming Daniel Bryan. Kane chokeslams Punk, and the tag team champions go over in the main event. Holy shit, I did not expect that to happen! The “I AM THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!” argument ensues over Kane’s music, and the show goes off the air. Damn, the show really picked up in hour three, but the first two hours were hideous. Sheamus/Sandow and the main event definitely saved the show from being a complete failure.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
A severe lack of ham was on the show tonight. The only thing really hammy at all was Ricardo on commentary, and he takes it without much competition, save for the usual Anger Management arguments.
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
5-14-12 - John Cena
5-20-12 - John Cena
5-21-12 - Santino Marella
5-28-12 - CM Punk
6-4-12 - Michael Cole
6-11-12 - Ricardo Rodriguez
6-18-12 - AJ
6-25-12 - Chris Jericho
7-2-12 - Chris Jericho
7-9-12 - Daniel Bryan
7-15-12 - AW
7-16-12 - JTG
7-23-12 - Mae Young's son
7-30-12 - R-Truth/Daniel Bryan
8-6-12 - Daniel Bryan
8-13-12 - Roddy Piper
8-19-12 - Kane
8-20-12 - Paul Heyman
8-27-12 - Kane
9-3-12 - Kane/Daniel Bryan
9-10-12 - Kane/Daniel Bryan
9-17-12 - JBL
9-24-12 - Paul Heyman
10-1-12 – Ricardo Rodriguez
IN CASE YOU MISSED LAST WEEK'S EPISODE