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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 10-15-12
By Al Laiman
Oct 15, 2012 - 11:52:12 PM



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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts: RAW 1013 - 10-15-12

1. Hello and welcome back to another dose of 30 Thoughts on Monday Night RAW. I'm almost fully recovered from the hangover resulting from the party in the Muni Lot yesterday, so that shouldn't be an issue. My show above has reached its 85th episode, despite some technical difficulties, so I'd appreciate any shares and new likes on the Facebook page as well. Let's get to wrestling and find out, among other things, whether CM Punk will face Cena or RyVD at Hell in a Cell. The opening video is freaking phenomenal, as it accents the camera shaking from the crowd reaction, which says a lot about how far the Master of the Invisible Pyro has come. We receive a bit of a disappointment, as the WRESSSSSSSSSSTLINGAH GAWHAD will not be on commentary. Speaking of disappointments, the Big Show... And oh dear JBL, he's gonna talk. I'm still amazed that Sheamus didn't get a concussion from that fall out of the ring last week. To his credit, Show is getting heavy heat, but I am already finding it difficult to pay any attention to what he's saying. They show the recap of Big Show doing his best Ivan Drago punch, and all that's missing is, "Whatever he hits, he destroys!" Big Show's anti-fella rant brings me back into the realm of consciousness, and because of a 45 seconds chant, he challenges Daniel Bryan to a match, since he was the reason for said short reign. This could put him in the interesting position of finally becoming a face.

2. Backstage in a random assortment of face wrestlers, Kane, Zack Ryder, TROOF, Little Jimmy, Santino, and... some other guy are all staring at D-Bry. AJ approaches and lets him know that she thinks it's a great idea for him to face the Big Show. Bryan asks Kane if he has his back, and Kane starts laughing. This causes Bryan to go on an amazingly hammy "NO!" rant with everyone chanting "YES!" back at him just like the crowd does. There are a whole bunch of "I AM THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!" crowd signs, and this just got even more awesome. Big Show Drago is angry and throws the disputed tag team champions around the ring before it goes into commercial. What was looking like a dull start to the show picked up in interest rather quickly, and I'm hoping when we come back, it won't be Big Show doing his slow, methodical, boring offense while yelling at the crowd in between for two minutes at a time. That's not too much to ask, is it?

3. We come back just in time for an attempted D-Bry cutoff, and the crowd is going crazy for it. JR shows a replay of Bryan getting speared, emphasizing the impact of the shoulder on the solar plexis, though to me it looks more like he took it on the damn chin. Bryan finally makes a comeback with a low dropkick to Show's knee. The YES kicks of doom make an impact and the crowd is eating it up. Danielson goes for the cover, and BENCH PRESS KICKOUT! I mark for it every time! Bryan hits some running corner kicks, but comes right off the top rope into a chokeslam, and the tag team champions job out in a singles match for the third straight time.

4. As Big Show's win is acknowledged, Kane's pyro explodes, and Kane is laughing on his way down. Big Show fires up for the WMD, but Kane surprisingly steps in the ring to cut him off! That's a great idea! The commentators emphasize that it's okay for Kane to laugh at his buddy, but nobody else is allowed to mess with him.
The two of them immediately go back to arguing, and can I say enough how much I love this angle?

5. The show returns after the WWE's weekly dose of patting itself on the back, and Paul Heyman is in the ring with what looks like a hunting mantle under one of the Undertaker's old Deadman robes. Punk's reign is 35 days short of a full year, and Heyman gives him an ultra-articulated introduction that would make even Ricardo Rodriguez jealous. Cole and JR continue to play up how the Hell in the Cell match is a defining moment, although I think Punk himself would argue that one from his first Hell in a Cell match for which he jobbed hard due to a dress code violation. Punk runs down "typical" Vince, taking the interesting angle that the show isn't about one guy, despite the fact that he claims it's about him, and recaps the past week of actions. Punk is confident that nobody will ever see McMahon compete and, quoting Vince's old catch phrase, "in this very ring" ever again. Punk chooses to first show what everyone thinks of him, and the image of Punk as the devil on the promotional poster is displayed. He puts on the smarmy douchebag face and once again turns it up in an awesome way.

6. Punk first describes RyVD as the devil he doesn't know, saying that he has entered a conversation in which he doesn't belong. Punk then refers to Cena as not only the devil he knows, but the man whose spirit he's broken. He makes a subtle The Fugitive reference, calling Cena the "one-armed man", and then moves to the curtain to reveal who he will be facing at the Pay-Per-View. Punk then chooses not to show who it's going to be, since the crowd was so disrespectful, but "No Chance In Hell" cuts off that hammy little rant. Vince recaps the position he set up for Punk, and says that Punk just blew it. He announces that there will be a contract signing tonight between Punk and who Vince has chosen for his opponent. The suit Vince is wearing makes it look like he should have a top hat and a cane, and possibly be coming out to a little Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, but that's not a bad thing. We then learn that we'll get a rematch from last week between Lobsterhead and the Great Skybox Commander. Also, definitely not a bad thing.

7. We come back to both Del Rio and Captain Brodus getting a jobber entrance, and since Marella and Ryder are busy, I guess Brodus Clay will be jobbing to Del Rio's "newfound" aggression. You know, the aggression he always seems to manage to find just as he enters a new feud. Brodus gets in some early offense, but Del Rio comes back and starts working the arm. Interesting though, nobody is mentioning that Brodus was once mentored by Alberto Del Rio when he first came up from NXT. Hell, they tagged in main events together, don't you think it'd at least be worth noting? Brodus goes for a splash in the corner, predictably misses, a kick follows it up, and Del Rio uses his 84th newfound aggressive streak to make Brodus tap out for the win.

8. CM Punk and Paul Heyman are backstage, and Heyman continues to explain why Heyman isn't going to win the war against McMahon's determination. He sends Heyman as a messenger to let McMahon know that he's going to fight him tonight. Paul has a great response to Punk rhetorically asking who he thinks he is, and Paul non-chalantly says, "He thinks he's Vince McMahon." Good transitional segment that'll lead toward the main event slot contract signing.

9. Del Rio's JOB Squad is now out for their tag team match, and despite their booking since... all year, they're getting a pretty good reception. This of course leads into another commercial, because I'm sure we'll have a montage of what a bunch of people were saying on Twitter later, and we just can't miss that gripping television. They're facing the Prime Time Players, and we've missed the entire first half of the match cause, who the hell needs that? We come right in with Zack Ryder's hot tag, which might've meant something if we saw the build-up to it. Ryder hits the Broski boot, which likely means he's about to get jobbed in a minute. Darren hits his finisher, Ryder hits his, and Titus hits his to win. Might've been a significantly more entertaining match if we saw more than just the last minute of it. I do like Darren's Jamie Noble finisher.

10. After the match, Slaters Gonna Slate runs out to attack them again. Drew McIntyre looks an awful lot like John Morrison with those aviators. They introduce themselves as the 3MB to almost no reaction whatsoever, but I'm interested to at least see where it's going. I guess we'll just have to see next week when the DRJS jobs to Team Three Megabytes, or Team MP3 in a way if you think about it.

11. It must be the 9 o'clock hour, because the first hour of the show is being recapped almost in full. Fast forward... I hope this turns into an actual wrestling show, because there's barely been any, and what there has been, half of it has been commercially punctuated. Something resembling a banshee interrupts the moment, and Dolphy Gunn has something to say. He is not impressed with RyVD being a title contender, which is a legitimate gripe in context, since he had to earn his world title contract. Ziggler runs him down for being a flash in the pan, and we'll see in a few months how accurate that might be. Ziggler proposes that he face Punk at Hell in a Cell so that he can go on to cash in his Money in the Bank contract to win both titles. I'd be in favor of a single undisputed title.

12. Hollaback Masterpiece joins in the conversation, and somehow believes that he has earned himself a title match. That's rather laughable, to say the very least. AJ joins the fray, and decides to give them a chance to back up what they're saying. The T-1000 is out for his daily consumption of mass quantities, and hopefully this just ends up being Masterpiece eating the finisher and Ziggles finding a way out of it, because jobbing him to RyVD at this point would just be stupid. RyVD no-sells Ziggles' dropkick, and he looks like he hurt his head in the process. He tags in Hollaback, and then like I figured he would, walks out on the match as RyVD breathes heavily in his direction. Hollaback Masterpiece proceeds to eat the marching finisher, and we've just been treated to another very brief wrestling match. The only cool thing about it is how ridiculously over RyVD is, and I commend him for that.

13. Backstage, Vince McMahon is on the phone and sees Paul Heyman calls him a "swarm of locusts." Heyman does his best to suck up to McMahon in some sense, and puts over McMahon's effort against the champ last week. Heyman phrases Punk's challenge in the best possible way, and McMahon accepts it... But against Paul Heyman instead. Oh goodie, that's what I wanted to see. Meanwhile, Matt Stryker is asking AJ for an apology for being attacked by Team Anger Management, but accidentally says the "crazy" word. AJ laughs maniacally and say that she should ask for one... right after his match with Kane. So in one period between matches, we've booked a match with two non-wrestlers and a former wrestler-turned backstage interviewer and the tag team champions. We then conclude with a big promo for Tout. DIRECTION, WWE! Can we do something that at least somewhat involves the WRESTLING in World Wrestling Entertainment, please? The main storyline is developing well, but if your goal in shaping up the creative department was an uncoordinated mess, you're doing it well.

14. A photo of John Cena and Tim Tebow is shown. Just as I was starting to like Cena too... A jobber entrance and a half later, Claudio Castagnoli will be facing Justin Gabriel, who looks more like Jimmy Jacobs than ever. Gabriel does an AWESOME counter to a German suplex by landing on his feet, but does a 360 clothesline sell seconds after. How wrestlers like Gabriel and Tyson Kidd have remained enhancement talent is a mystery to me. Claudio again summons his inner Low-ki and hits a Ghetto Stomp as the crowd creatively chants "U-S-A!", despite the fact that the face in this match is from South Africa. Claudio continues piling on the offense while the announcers do the best they can to put him over in the process. Gabriel finally makes a comeback and hits a pretty sweet reverse DDT. Gabriel goes to the top rope and I think hits the 450? I guess he hit Claudio's shoulder in the process and does seem to be hurting from it. Gabriel springboards and eats the Super Euro Uppercut! That was awesome! Claudio follows it up with the Styles Cradle and gets the win. In the replay, I can see that Claudio got his shoulder into the 450, which must've hurt like hell. Claudio continues to be damn impressive, but he desperately needs a legitimate contender for an opponent.

15. You know what else we need? A legitimate competitive match. While this past one had some holy shit moments, it was still the fourth straight job-length match on the show so far. I don't see at least two of them being any better or longer, either.

16. Fozzy's doing the theme for Hell in a Cell. Gee, it was awfully nice of them to plug Chris Jericho's song after they "fired" him, wasn't it? Meanwhile, Matt Stryker gets another jobber entrance, a running theme of this show apparently, and Kane makes his way to the ring. It's really convenient that a guy who hasn't wrestled in years just happened to have his ring gear with him. Stryker gets on the mic and begs him not to have the match. Stryker invokes his therapy and appeals to what Dr. Shelby would say, and Kane is clearly not impressed. Speaking of "legitimate" competition, it appears that Stryker is thinking the exact same thing I am. Kane raises his arms, and encourages Stryker to hug it out. He then does it a second time, but Kane locks him in a hug and Stryker flurries around. Cole refers to not calling AJ "The C-Word", and I wonder if he realizes that isn't what we think of when we hear that phrase. Kane then grabs the mic and mockingly interviews Stryker after his loss, laughably putting it over as a competitive match. Okay, I don't know how that's gonna be able to be topped for the ham of the night. Despite the match itself being the fifth straight jobber-length contest, at least it ended with a huge slice of ham and cheese.

17. The Miz is out for his second segment of MizTV, and hopefully it's not nearly the trainwreck the first one was. He has a pretty funny line, introducing Kofi by saying, "Please feel sorry for Kofi Kingston!" Miz and Kofi trade some verbal jabs, even breaking kayfabe a little bit by saying that the other needs to be carried. Miz goes pretty strong in a somewhat-shoot by saying that in the five years he's been there, he hasn't really done anything of significant note. It appears to really get to Kofi, and this could be his moment to finally break into the main event, or at least begin the process. Kofi comes back pretty strong, and challenges him to a match tonight, and Miz accepts it. Miz slams Kofi, saying that he'll choke as he always does, and that nobody actually cares about him. Damn, Miz is really on tonight, both in his cunning promo and for giving a chance for Kofi to come back with it and get over. Kofi snaps and attacks him, which unlike Del Rio has some impact because the guy is usually such a cool customer. At least this match has the potential to be longer than two minutes, since they're putting over the title match I won't see on Wednesday. I didn't even know there was a channel called Ion. I watch so little television outside of Monday nights and sports, so it doesn't surprise me too much.

18. Sheamus and Barrett are out for their stiff-fest rematch, and it starts exactly the same way the last one did. It'll be interesting to see how they've developed from last week, and if Barrett will continue to look like a legit contender, something the Smackdown roster definitely needs. Sheamus tries to go for the Forearm chops, but Barrett counters out of it pretty strongly. Can't say I've seen that before. The announcers are too busy talking about the Big Show and his IRONCLAD contract. Barrett and Sheamus continue to trade control of the match, and the crowd doesn't really seem to be into it. Can we get that Sacramento crowd back please?

19. The Big Show's music hits, because we haven't had enough of him yet. Big Show walks out with a chair in hand and... it goes to commercial. They're doing the same thing they did last week, except Big Show is watching from the stage this time. At least after the commercial, they're actually calling the match. Barrett and Sheamus trade stiff kicks, and these two look like they could legit kick the shit out of each other. Barrett continues to show strong offense, and mocks his cross taunt in the process. By the way, can anyone tell if Barrett fought on the streets before he was here? I'm really not sure of his background. They need to talk about it more, just in case we don't already know about it.

20. Sheamus starts a comeback and hits the Irish Curse Backbreaker. This is of course a perfect time to bring up whether Punk will face Cena or Ryback. Sheamus' face shine continues to be strong, and he gets a near-fall. He finally gets his forearm strikes and gets another close fall. Well once again, Barrett is looking like a legit contender, and this can only mean good things. Barrett comes back and hits an elbow drop and gets a close fall of his own. Even the commentators put it over, saying it's only a matter of time before he becomes the world champion. That would've likely already happened if he hadn't gotten hurt. Barrett hits the Barrett Hole Slam for another close fall, and this is a damn good match... finally. It only took six matches into the card to get one. Sheamus jumps for a pretty sweet counter and locks in the Cloverleaf.

21. Big Show starts to charge the ring, but Sheamus tries to keep Barrett at bay. He gets pushed into the ropes, and Show drops them to pull him over, and another DQ ending sees the end of the second straight week of good matches between these two. Barrett tries to attack, and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick. He clotheslines Show back out of the ring again, and again in case you didn't realize it, this'll be the first match between Big Show and Sheamus. They've never faced before. It'll be the biggest challenge he's ever faced, you know, because he's never faced it before. The first time it's ever happened, not just this year, but ever. Like just ever. First time. Big challenge. Did you get it yet?

22. McMahon is backstage, and Cena is there to meet him. Vince asks what the doctors said, and he gives a little promo on how he wouldn't listen to the doctors any more than McMahon would. It's another good little segment to add to the main event storyline.

23. Layla's getting her rematch against Eve for the Diva's title, and we've still got at least two more matches. Does anyone remember when WWE Rewinds used to be about things that happened more than a month ago? When they acknowledged that they remembered things from the past? That was nice. The crowd is again absolutely dead, although most of them usually are for Diva's matches, but this one should at least be passable. They talk about what they said on Twitter, blah blah don't care. It's some pretty good action, even summoning a small "This is awesome!" chant from the crowd, although I think it might've been sarcastic. Why WWE is so against having women who can actually wrestle decent matches is a mystery to me. A corner springboard is unfortunately really badly timed, but I'll let it slide given how these two have done a good job so far. Layla continues to fight back, but Eve uses a slightly dirty tactic to get the win, but the ref misses her foot on the ropes. I guess we're going with this angle again to promote the use of instant replay in the future?

24. Kane is backstage with Daniel Bryan, laughing about what he did to Matt Stryker. Bryan's pissed about Kane laughing at his loss to Big Show, and they get into another loud argument. Bryan suggests that if Kane thinks it's so funny, next week Kane should face the Big Show for the 343245466856th time, and yells that he is the tag team champions, which gets a loud recall from the crowd. Meanwhile, Vince is trying to talk up RyVD, who is standing there breathing heavy. RyVD simply says, "Feed Me Punk!" which gets a funny Vince reaction, saying he'll take it under consideration.

25. The gentlemen of the Rhodes Scholars are out for the finals of the tag title tournament. Wait, no apparently they're not? Rey Mysterio is ill, so the finals are going to take place next week. After we come back from commercial, MP3 is at a local bar trying to sing on stage. They get cut off by a bouncer. That was entirely pointless.

26. Another jobber entrance leads to Primo and Epico coming out for job duty to Rhodes Scholars. They get an early fast start, but the lack of a ringing bell is the excuse for it, and Sandow is not impressed. The match starts out very fast-paced on both parts. Primo and Epico are incredibly gifted wrestlers, but without a reason to ever give a shit about them, the crowd is sitting on their hands. It's an old school-style tag team match where the heels use cheap heat and ref distractions to gain the advantage, and there's nothing wrong with that. I didn't realize the former Idol Stevens was trained by Killer Kowalski, although admittedly when I hear that last name, my mind automatically imagines Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.

27. Rhodes Scholars look very cohesive together, and JR and Cole continue to put both of them over. Unfortunately with no heat whatsoever for the match, it's really killing it. Wake up, Nashville! This is at least another very good wrestling match, which the first half of the show was desperately lacking. Epico gets the hot tag and unleashes some high-flying offense. This is what's great about Damien Sandow; he's big enough to have power, but small enough to take legitimate offense from smaller guys like Primo and Epico. The faces hit the heels to the outside, but Sandow utilizes some counters to gain the advantage. He gets the solid win, and it was a great tune-up for their match that's now next week. Given what we saw tonight, that should be one helluva wrestling match, and hopefully the crowd will actually... you know... give a shit.

28. Kofi and Miz get started quickly with their match, and now the show is just starting to feel rushed. Had this been spaced out a bit and a few of the jobs or segments been cut, it might not have been that way. How is it that a three hour show can feel rushed for time? Kofi continues to show his ruthless aggression, and could really be making something of it. JR makes a reference to Leo Durocher, and then wonders if anyone got it. I do! They make reference to the Orton/Kofi feud, which supposedly was the time where Kofi was going to make the main event, but he hasn't been back there since, unfortunately. It's make or break time for the guy, in my opinion. If he doesn't do it now, he's never going to. Given how much they're trying to put him over, it seems they'll at least be trying it. Kofi is mid-face comeback when Miz avoids the Boom Boom Drop. They trade quite a few reversals, but Miz walks temple-first into a Trouble in Paradise. That looked like it connected full-on, or it was just sold beautifully. Kofi continues laying on the emotions, but even that barely gets a reaction. Miz is down and being checked out by the doctor, and he looks like he doesn't even know where he is. Let's hope he's okay, or the tag finals won't be the only match delayed this week.

29. Did "No Chance in Hell" just get some kind of epic new intro? JR makes the same gaffe I've been mistyping all night, accidentally saying Cena will defend instead of Punk. Punk is summoned to the ring, and they're both still in suits, so I'm guessing that match was just a threat or something? Whatever, I'm not going to complain about not seeing that match. Cena's introduction finally gets the crowd to wake up for the first time since Daniel Bryan's match. Vince starts to explain the situation, and Punk cuts him off before saying that he knocked a few "screw looses." Punk rants on, signs the contract, and slams both of them before Cena plays hero and cuts him off. Vince starts to announce his choice, and Cena continues to talk, and wonders if RyVD even cares about the WWE championship. He says that all he cares about is kicking someone's ass, and Punk needs that right now. Cena gets the "FEED! ME! MORE!" chant started, and... is this his way of bowing out of the match or something?

30. I guess so, because RyVD steps up and signs the contract. It's official, RyVD's rise to a title match went from jobbers through one legitimate contender before hitting the main event. Would you have believed a year ago that Skip Sheffield would be main-eventing a Pay-Per-View? He slams Punk's head against the table and hits the marching finisher to an enormous reaction. It's far too early to give the guy the championship, so I'm guessing the match will end in shenanigans somehow, if that's even possible in a Hell in a Cell match? Oh well. The second half of the show saved it from being a disaster, and they really brought it together. I'm still not sure about Cena's motivation, especially since earlier he was trying to talk Vince into choosing him, but it'll at least be interesting. The stuff with Anger Management was great, Kofi finally had some character development, and Sheamus and Barrett had another good match. However, the first half of the show, opening segment notwithstanding, was a disaster. Five straight job matches is never good for anything, and could've been the biggest reason for the dead crowd for the majority of the show.

DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?

Kane, not even close.

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
10-8-12 - JR
10-15-12 - Kane

IN CASE YOU MISSED LAST WEEK'S EPISODE

  • IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: The First 30 Thoughts

  • 30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 6-30-14

  • 30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 6-23-14

  • 30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 6-16-14

  • IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: Laiman Asks Himself: "Have We Retconned WrestleMania XXX?"

  • 30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 6-2-14

  • 30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 5-26-14

  • 30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 5-19-14

  • 30 Thoughts with Al Laiman - RAW 5-12-14

  • IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: Well, I Guess It's Just Us Now, Part II