IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 10-8-12
By Al Laiman
Oct 8, 2012 - 11:49:37 PM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts: RAW 1012 - 10-8-12
1. Well now that I'm good and depressed from the season finale of Hell on Wheels, let's get to Monday Night RAW! For anyone who comments with my dear sister GreenwoodRosie, she had a lovely wedding. Clips of it are in this week's episode of Jaded Hope featured above. I'm also coming off a wonderful weekend with my better half, so definitely missing her after getting spoiled with an entire weekend in Charlotte. With that out of the way, let's get to the show. John Cena kicks off the show with what looks like either Jeff Hardy armsocks or a Randy Orton tattoo on his right elbow. Thank JBL, the WRRRRRRRESTLINGAH GAWAHD is back on commentary! For all those who loved having a RAW without Cena, he's starting the show to remind you that he really didn't go anywhere. The crowd appears to be a lot hotter (and bigger) than it was last week. Cena makes observational references about Team Anger Management, Claudio, and the Diva craziness, asking AJ on a date after the show. He announces that Vince McMahon is here, which definitely means we're in store for some ham later on the show. Cena blames CM Punk for taking the voice of the WWE Universe, and implies that the only reason people would want to watch is if he faces Cena at Hell in a Cell. Interesting angle to take, considering how many times they've faced already. I suppose they have to find a way to make Punk defending against Cena plausible. He then asks Punk to define his legacy by defending against him at Hell in a Cell, which is basically the same thing he said about defending against him in his hometown.
2. The interdimensional wormhole opens up in the gorilla, and the T-1000 himself exchanges a glance with Mr. Cena on his way out. His opponent is going to be... Does it really matter? It's both Primo and Epico, which means the Master of the Invisible Pyro is craving a tag team meal. Primo and Epico enter into their own version of the Hunger Games, and manage to get some believable offense at first. The crowd chants like crazy for RyVD to consume, and the T-1000 manages to eliminate the double John Connor in the way with which he had trouble in last week's AT&T debacle. I'll give Primo and Epico credit for getting both believable offense and for taking the beating like champs, but this was another showcase for RyVD to feed the bottomless pit. It's amazing how over that chant has gotten. I'm not sure of the booking of a curtain jerker squash match, but it at least was mildly interesting. And hey, we managed to get a promo and a match without a single commercial breaking them up! Wow! I assume that means they'll compensate with two breaks in a match somewhere later on this evening.
3. FUNK IS ON A ROLL! FUNK IS ON A ROLL! JBL rips into Brodus several times, and it's hilarious as hell. You know a commentator is funny when he makes fun of someone you like, and you still laugh. The outfit doesn't quite work as well with the baseball cap look. We're getting a face-on-face match apparently as the TROOF chases his invisible friend into the ring. TROOF gets a live mic! YES! YES! YES!
4. Instead of fighting, TROOF says that Little Jimmy is going through puberty and they want to dance instead. Little Jimmy does a double backflip and lands on his pinky finger, but Mr. McMahon cuts it off and tells him to dance up the ramp. That was mildly entertaining for a brief second, but what exactly was the point? Book a match that isn't a match, have a dance-off, only to cut it off by telling us that Vince McMahon is coming out, which we already knew was going to happen? You know what might help this segment make a bit of sense? A point! Have a point! REASONS FOR THINGS HELP TREMENDOUSLY!
5. "No Chance In Hell" and a power-walk are only two moments of nostalgia as the seldom-seen Chairman of the WWE returns to television. He's admittedly much more entertaining when you don't see him every week. He runs down a list of reasons that the WWE is full of action before CM Punk interrupts him with his new Bumble Bee Flash t-shirt. It doesn't seem we'll be getting the long-haired CM Punk back anytime soon, as he shaved his head again. Funny that was once a punishment for losing to Rey Mysterio. It wasn't that long ago that Punk was summoning massive cheers for calling out Vince McMahon at a contract signing, but now he's getting serious heat for simply saying that McMahon didn't mention his name. He even calls out those who are cheering for him and slams them even harder before demanding respect from McMahon.
6. McMahon respects CM Punk's title reign, but doesn't respect him being a Paul Heyman guy, and admits to not being a CM Punk guy. Punk proclaims to be the wheel... of time, maybe. He yells in his face with great anger, and turns up the volume remarkably. Threatening to quit again and this time not coming back, Punk says he'll sabotage McMahon's company. McMahon questions that Punk thinks he's indispensable in an indignant manner, which is interesting considering how much Vince tried to not make him quit last time he threatened such an action. Oh how consistency runs wild depending on the convenience of the angle!
7. McMahon tells Punk that everyone wants Punk to shut his mouth, and compares him to other greats before Punk stops him at Steve Austin, again hinting at their rumored WrestleMania 29 encounter. Punk calls him a "clueless, inept millionaire", once again something that would've gotten a massive cheer at many different points. Punk capstones his moment by hardslapping the WWE Chairman in his face before doing a Brock Lesnar-style taunt. Vince hams it up to 11 and demands a match with the WWE Champion! Holy shit, the crowd went off the charts with the response! Heyman seems rather reluctant to take part in Punk's enthusiasm. I'll be damned, that'll be interesting.
8. The Prime Time Players get the jobber entrance while the commentators ramble on about Arnold and social media. They're facing MysteriCara, and damn, who would've seen that one coming? It's almost like they hinted at it before booking a tournament or something... Once again, this crowd shows how invested they are by even giving midcard faces like Sin Cara huge pops. Now, the chance for the tag team champions to face the two heels that attacked them previously is there as well! That would be a fun angle, taking ham-on-ham combat to new levels if done correctly. In usual high-flying tag team match action, the faces both hit high spots before the commercial break.
9. Titus O'Neil gets in some impressive offense before the hot tag occurs, and the Masked Flying Faces of Zip Codes pick things up. Titus hits another devastating move on Sin Cara, but he isn't the legal man. Soon enough, Darren Young eats a 619, and the face team wins. The chances of them facing Zack Ryder and Santino Marella, as opposed to the heel team of Rhodes Scholars are about the same the Ultimate Warrior appearing at next Monday's RAW with a rainbow flag. Entertaining match for what it was, although missing half of it took away from it a bit, as usual.
10. Heyman confronts Punk backstage about his actions against Vince McMahon, because apparently if Punk wins, he'll have McMahon being obsessed with making both of their lives miserable. Isn't this the same guy who was all out about doing anything he could to bring about the end of the career of his son-in-law via Brock Lesnar? Heyman's reluctance doesn't make a lot of sense here. I guess he's reliving past bad experiences or something, but you would think a power-hungry character like Heyman would want this for his client, wouldn't you?
11. The next match is one that I've looked forward to seeing for a while, and unfortunately it's occurring with no buildup whatsoever. The Skybox Warrior is taking on his nemesis, good ol' Lobsterhead, the World Champion. A lock-up later, the interest level is instantly drained as the Big Show is out to add nothing to the dynamic, like most times when he appears. Barrett and Lobsterhead beat the hell out of each other while JBL continues to ham it up on commentary as only he can, making a crack about carrying Cole. Big Show sits at ringside with a blank expression on his face, adding so much to this match by staring at it. Barrett and Sheamus continue in a pretty stiff contest before Barrett finally gets the advantage by pulling him to the outside. It looks like Sheamus landed funny on his knee, which would definitely not be good for the main event landscape, as they head into a commercial.
12. Sheamus and Barrett continue to fight in ways that would make William Regal proud. Damn the stupid mid-match commercials for making us miss part of it. They beat each other on the outside, and Barrett boots Sheamus to the floor with a sickening thud. The heat goes on as Barrett dominates the World Champion with authority. Barrett is solidifying himself as a contender to the title with this performance, which is something desperately needed. Setting Lobsterhead against the ropes, Barrett makes a contender for his own devastating boot tot the face. A missed elbow drop later, and Sheamus comes back like the battering ram he is, and deals some of those stiff shots back. Even the commentators mention the influence Triple H must've had on Sheamus, which is a big nod.
13. When Sheamus does his Ten Forearm shots, he psychs the crowd into chanting ten twice by pulling an unexpected delay on them. Shortly after, AT&T hits the ring and attacks Lobsterhead. Barrett and Albert double-team him, but then Lobsterhead comes back with a Brogue Kick and tosses Barrett out of the ring. Big Show hits the ring and throws Sheamus out, and DAMN! Sheamus' head just bounced off the floormat pretty hard! The dazed look in his eyes definitely doesn't help my concern. If that's not a concussion, I'd be incredibly surprised. That looked awful! He gets back in the ring to challenge Big Show to come back, but... That was sick.
14. CM Punk is backstage and walks in on AJ to ask if she's thought about him beating up an old man on the show. He implies that when he does, it'll be AJ's fault. AJ steps up to him and challenges him about being scared, and Punk snarkily puts the blame on her head. Eek, I heard Kelly and Michael, fast forward. Wow, nothing like a backstage segment and a promo video between commercial breaks. That was a really great use of television time, wasn't it?
15. Tyson Kidd is out for jobbing duty, and he'll be facing the Brodus-piledriving Claudio Castagnoli. Claudio has an in-entrance promo where he visits a conveniently-nameless restaurant and makes fun of the American diet... Definitely not that hard to do. Michael Cole actually says, "How impressive have you been with Antonio Cesaro." I think my keyboard just melted from typing that. Tyson does an awesome springboard armdrag and gets in a sunset flip before Claudio gets angry. Claudio channels his inner Low-ki and does a Ghetto Stomp on the outside. I'm surprised this isn't a squash match, and it looks like Tyson might get a moment to shine at least. He almost does a ropes version of a dropsault, which was pretty impressive. Oh Paul London...
16. Tyson Kidd starts to make a comeback, and looks very strong for a good face shine. He gets a few high spots, including some really nice dropkicks. A springboard elbow drop attempt is his undoing, and it leads to the flapjack European uppercut! AYYYYYYYYE! That was freaking awesome, and kudos to Tyson for a strong performance and for selling it like murder. Claudio's getting a really strong push here, and it's been a lot of fun to watch so far.
17. Dolphy Gunn is coming out, and something's happening on Twitter... Fast forward. Couldn't give a fuck if I tried. Now get Arnold in person and have him argue with Ziggles, I might care. Cole makes fun of JBL by saying that Del Rio's entrance is so much better than his. If only Del Rio had some charisma to back it up, wouldn't that be nice? Even JBL gets Cole to concede after mentioning the fact that he didn't have to drive it. As always, the crowd comes alive for Bryan Danielson, who now is even sporting a "NO!" ring jacket. Danielson's usual reaction is enough, but with a hot crowd like this, it's unreal. JBL makes a remark about how loud Kane's pyro is, and for those who've never experienced it live, he's not exaggerating.
18. Kane and Bryan continue to fight about who is the tag team champions, and yes Microsoft Word, I understand that's a grammatical error. Someone in the crowd has an "Ed is Lame" sign. Wow, you must feel like a little worm on a big fuckin' hook. Your momma must be damn proud of you! Danielson and Ziggles start off the match, and there's enough ham between those two to start their own Easter festival. Kane forces a tag in after Danielson teases it, and Kane beats the hell out of the Black Hole of Charisma. Bryan is so over that he even gets chants just by standing at ringside! Bryan tags back in and gets the advantage while JBL and Cole continue to bicker.
19. Cole sums up Danielson's reaction best: "The WWE fans having a blast with Daniel Bryan." Well said, as it's clear the fans have a ton of fun when they yell at him. More wrestlers need to be able to make a crowd react like this. He did it with two simple common words too. A week doesn't go by that I'm amazed by this. Danielson takes the heat from both Ziggler and Del Rio, who are working very well as a tag team. This was a good idea, as having Vickie at ringside guarantees that something involving Del Rio will manage to get a reaction. Danielson tries to tag in as Ziggles holds his ankle and finally drags him away, allowing the heat to continue. Funny moment with Ricardo telling Vickie to stop yelling, that was good.
20. Ziggles and Danielson give a whole new take on the "Yay-boo" crowd response to punches, as the crowd loudly chants "YES!" to a Danielson strike, and "NO!" to a Dolph one. Vickie apparently is a fan of Mortal Kombat, as she yells to "FINISH HIM!" Throw in a "YOUR SOUL IS MINE!" for good measure. Kane finally gets the hot tag, but it doesn't go too well for him. Dolphy Gunn gets a very close near-fall with the Fame-asser and looks to put it away. Cole has found a new synonym for vintage, calling a sidewalk slam "classic" Kane. Danielson tags himself in as Kane goes for a flying clothesline. Del Rio breaks up the fall, but Kane sends him flying through the ropes. Kane tags himself in as Vickie screams like Melina caught in a bear trap. Kane hits the chokeslam and Team Dysfunction wins again, despite themselves. Kane sounds like Cookie Monster while growling that he is the tag team champions. I also have to say that Dolph sells the chokeslam as well as anyone in the business.
21. JR is vehemently discussing Punk's match with Vince, and he insists that Vince not do it, especially because of what happened when Lawler faced Punk. Vince decides that he wants JR to call his name like he used to call Austin's. JR summons every ounce of HAAAAAAAAM that he can and goes over the top for him like he's calling the main event at WrestleMania, but then is sure to restate his opinion. Vince does his best Dwayne Johnson and tells him it doesn't matter what he thinks. I'm not sure who was hammier in that segment, but I could smell bacon!
22. Larry King is out with his eighteenth wife to interview The Miz on his birthday. Miz tries to talk over Larry King constantly, and demands that everyone sing "Happy Birthday!" This is what was wrong with the first MizTV promo, and it's not helping this one either. King proclaims that he loves the WWE, and his wife adds, "Big as it gets." Dynamite drop-in, Monty! That broadcasting school has really paid off! King decides that his current guest is too boring; the word that is death to any wrestler, and invites out Kofi Kingston instead. Before I can type that Kofi does a cheap pop, Miz calls him out on it first. Someone posted a video of CM Punk attacking a fan, and I was distracted throughout this whole thing, so forgive my lack of commentary. Kofi attacks the Miz and throws him off the stage and loses most of his suit before diving off after him. I guess Kofi's going after the Intercontinental title now.
23. Team Del Rio JOB Squad is facing the Rhodes Scholars. Whoever decided to team the two of them up deserves a raise, and their in-entrance promo segment is pure gold. Rhodes appears to have a shiner. Sandow fights Ryder strong in the Battle of the Purple Tights, and JBL and Cole discuss Ryder's gimmick. I do agree with JBL that I still don't get the gimmick, but I do respect what he did to get himself noticed. Unfortunately, they haven't let him do much with it since he won the US title. This whole tournament is doing a great job of putting over both tag teams and the importance of the tag team titles.
24. Santino gets the hot tag and hits a hip toss on Cody Rhodes, so he's about to get Santino'd. Sure enough, a few seconds later, the Cobra comes out, and Santino gets kicked in the face. It's almost an exact science. In a finish that surprised absolutely no one, Rhodes Scholars moves on to the finals to face MysteriCara. That should be a really interesting match, as would either team facing Anger Management for the title belts for a few Pay-Per-Views.
25. As the heels celebrate their victory, Slaters Gonna Slate run out and kick out the jams on Santino's face. We still haven't really established what their point is, but they're finally getting noticed. Ryder tries to come to his aid, but gets knocked off the ring apron for his efforts.
26. Backstage, Heyman goes to Vince to beg him to allow him to be the peace negotiator between him and Punk. That's not the first time that I've heard them say that Punk challenged him to a match. Um, I'm pretty sure Vince said that he would fire Punk if he didn't face him in a match. How exactly does that lead to Punk making the challenge? As a famous sage once said, "That don't make no sense!"
27. Layla is at ringside for the Diva's champion Eve facing Kaitlyn, and I'm fairly certain that nobody gives a shit. Kaitlyn gets in some early offense, which is better than I thought it would look, and hits a pretty nice suplex. Kaitlyn throws her up over her shoulders for a while, but Eve gets herself down and goes after the injured ankle. If only there was a Diva's division worth watching, Eve's gimmick could make the matches interesting. Eve works the injured ankle as Kaitlyn screams for a good minute before tapping out. Eve doesn't let go, and Layla takes exception to it. Eve turns the switch and shows concern for her fallen opponent, and Layla does not approve. It wasn't anything interesting, but it was about as good as you'd expect it to be, given who was involved.
28. Josh Matthews attempts to interview Alberto Del Rio about a Tweet that was posted. I guess Tweets are going to advance a storyline yet again! Oh, how my jubilation knows no fucking bounds! It turns out that Randy Orton tweeted that he's going to be at Smackdown. Joy. At least I don't have to see it. But instead of a vignette or something useful announcing that he's coming back, it advances via Tweet. This upsets Alberto Del Rio so much that I swear he almost had an emotion. That would've been one more than I had. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan asks Larry King how he dealt with being called an owl, since he keeps getting called a goat. Bryan then hits on his wife, and King just tells him to accept it. Kane appears from behind him, and they get into a HAM fight once again! Bryan turns around, but Larry King is gone. Kane is surprised to find out that it was Larry King, as he thought it was Skeletor. That was awesome! Punk and Heyman advance a little more about rendering the Chairman helpless and hopeless.
29. Vince breaks out the old cutoff black shirt, and he's in damn good shape for his age. Punk attacks him from behind, and wastes no time in laying on the beatdown. JBL mentions for the 848th time this evening how Vince McMahon has stood down Ted Turner and the government, and Punk soaks in the hate. It's gotta be a nervous time to be wrestling your boss on live television. That's someone you wouldn't want to accidentally shoot on, that's for sure. Vince comes back with a takedown and gets in some shots, before Punk kicks him in the head and knocks him down. Just in case you didn't know, Vince won the Rumble THIRTEEN YEARS AGO! That was back when Austin faced him and he stood down Austin. THIRTEEN YEARS AGO! Less than fourteen, more than twelve. Punk gets on the commentary mic and mocks McMahon by yelling, "WHAT A MANEUVER!" Punk lifts McMahon on his shoulders, but Vince comes back and throws him into the ring post. Vince throws him over the announce table and appears to be busted open. McMahon jumps over the table and goes on the offensive.
30. McMahon grabs a kendo stick and Punk powders. McMahon is bleeding from the eye, and surprisingly nobody is stopping the match before a poor child collapses in a seizure from the sight of blood. Heyman tries to bring Punk the title, but Vince cuts him off with a smack to the face. Punk tries to get back in the ring, but Vince swings the kendo stick at him. Punk reaches under the ring and grabs one of his own. A stickfight ensues before Punk gets on his knees and begs not to be hit again. The crowd is so active that the camera is shaking. Punk cuts him off with a low blow and goes on the attack. Punk is about to end the match with a G2S, but RyVD's music cuts him off, and the crowd goes absolutely insane. Punk bails, but Cena throws him back in, and Punk eats the Clothesline from Skynet. Before RyVD can hit his finisher, he slips out and runs out through the crowd. Vince gets on the mic and demands that he either faces RyVD or John Cena. However, during the middle of Vince saying this, Punk elbows a fan! Oh. Shit. Vince's face is not one of positive thought, that's for sure. Kudos to Vince for continuing the promo, because that could've easily gotten even uglier. I don't know what happened, although the internet is already exploding with judgments, but this could be very bad for Punk's career. Even if the fan did or said something terrible, these are the days of modern technology, and video of this has already spread like wildfire. This could be a PR disaster, especially if he sues the company. Again, I'm not presuming to know what happened there, but I do know it doesn't look good. What a possibly-disastrous end to a decent but not great show.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
It comes down to JR and Kane. While Kane definitely had the line of the night, JR was the most over-the-top, and that's what ham is all about. Kane and D-Bry have been plenty over-the-top in recent weeks, but they'll need another Gerald segment to win back the ham.
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
IN CASE YOU MISSED LAST WEEK'S EPISODE