IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 11-12-12
By Al Laiman
Nov 12, 2012 - 11:34:10 PM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts: RAW 1017 - 11-12-12
1. While on this Veteran's Day I give my respect to all, past and present, I want to give a special shout-out to all the members of the military who have taken the time to email me over the course of my tenure on LOP. The best emails I get are from those in the military, and even on days where I don't feel like writing, I do it for them. They can't be here to watch the show, and if me ranting about people pretending to fight helps them out in some small way, it's an honor. Hopefully I can manage to entertain all of you tonight, but I'm giving an extra effort for those military members this Veteran's Day. You know who you are. Thank you. It's no shock that John Cena is doing the voice-over for the Veteran's Day package, and rightly so. After the respectable opening package, the highlight video builds up the oncoming episode of Monday Night RAW. It appears they're building up these storylines like an episode of Cheaters. It appears this style is here to stay. I think it's supposed to come off as epic, but it's really cheesy. Go back to highlight videos like the ones from the first Triple H/Undertaker match. That didn't need unfunny hammy voice-overs to be effective. RAW's coming from my homestate today, so I'm hoping it's better than the trainwrecks we've seen lately.
2. Randy Orton opens up the show, because I suppose there's no better way to start off the Veteran's Day episode of RAW than with someone who went AWOL. He's facing Dolph Ziggler, because we have to establish a feud with the new team captain of the Survivor Series match with no feud between the team captains somehow. Orton dominates early as we try to remember that Dolph Ziggler was on fire earlier this year. They're wearing very similar outfits, so in case the golden palomino doesn't give it away, Dolph Ziggler is the one with a facial expression. Ziggler's heat doesn't last long, and Orton goes back to dominating, quickly setting up his ropes DDT. Del Rio goes for the distraction, but Orton still gets the win, because why would we want to build up the new team captain of the heel team when we could put Orton over Ziggler for the millionth time? The heels try to take quick advantage, but Kofi Kingston makes the save. A theme song I haven't heard in a while hits, and Teddy Long comes out. Gee, do you think this will result in a tag team match? Let me holla at ya, playa!
3. In a move that surprised only those who just started watching wrestling, the match is Teddy Long'd and restarted as a tag team match. It's Kofi's turn to let Ziggler sell his offense like if Andre the Giant threw around Shawn Michaels at Summerslam 2005, and just as I was surprised that we were getting wrestling instead of commercials, we go to a commercial as Kofi has hit his face shine.
4. Coming back, the heels are in control as a faint but noticeable Kofi chant supports him. The crowd does seem to be hot. In the replay, they show a Dolph Ziggler dropkick that would make even Maven jealous. Kofi is the only one not wearing black trunks, so when he jumps around, it looks like he's doing his best impression of DX glowsticks. Orton gets the hot tag, and Del Rio tries to get an advantage quickly, but it doesn't go well. Orton tries to get another ropes DDT, but Del Rio counters. Kofi comes from over the top and gets a little shine of his own. It appears the ref actually does count to three when Kofi hits the SOS and they were late on the mark breaking it up. For those who don't know, on spots like that, the refs are trained to count for real until they do see a fall broken up. Kofi gets distracted, and Del Rio predictably takes advantage and gets the win. We knew Orton wasn't taking the fall, because we just had to get the Black Hole of Charisma another win about which nobody gives a shit. I'm so glad they're pushing him so hard at the expense of Kofi Kingston, whose push is finally starting to come to fruition. Because the 348 previous pushes have gone so well, haven't they?
5. When we come back from the commercial, Dolph Ziggler is still in the ring, and we're addressing the AJ Scandal yet again. Dolph on the mic instead of Vickie is definitely a good thing. While this storyline/scandal is still ridiculously stupid, Ziggles' commentary makes it ridiculously entertaining. Suddenly the words become indistinguishable from the massive crowd heat, as Vickie takes the mic and continues whining about something nobody gives a shit about. Vickie demands that AJ explain herself... again, because it mattered the first four times she did.
6. AJ's music hits, and the attire she has chosen has instantly improved this segment. More of that, please. Vickie continues to belittle her for needing to admit that she did something wrong, but I still haven't figured out what it is that she did wrong. I've been over the stupidity of the technicalities of this storyline, so I won't repeat any of the rants from the past couple weeks... yet. Vickie says nothing will matter once she discloses the evidence. You know, if she already had all this evidence, why didn't she just show it in the first place? AJ throws a red herring by starting to admit it, but fools everyone by saying that they're just friends. She turns the table on Vickie, from a jealousy standpoint and from throwing her weight around. Then AJ goes the John Cena/Jerry Lawler route and makes a fat joke, therefore dropping to the lowest common denominator.
7. Vickie claims to have interesting voicemails from AJ to John Cena, and apparently vaguely-worded messages are an implication of an affair. Um... question? Isn't this wiretapping? Warrantless wiretapping? How the fuck is this supposed to just be normal? Did Vince McMahon get inspired by the TMI storyline in the first season of News Room or something? A media mogul trying to frame a news anchor at least makes sense because she'd have the power to do something like that, but they're putting a girl in a situation where she has legally done nothing wrong. AJ is a single woman who may or may not have hooked up with a recently-divorced guy, and they hacked into Cena's phone to prove it?! This is both illegal and incredibly stupid!
8. John Cena's music hits and he hits the ring with Cena Serious Face. AJ stops him from doing anything, but turns around and gives Ziggles a Stephanie-style bitch slap, which I remember being a finisher in PS1's Smackdown 2. Cena gets his own shot in and stands tall. For some reason they're still building up this storyline, despite completely changing the direction last week, but if it results in a good Ziggler/Cena feud, I approve of this message. It's unfortunate that the method of getting there is completely fucking ridiculous. After the commercial, Cena and AJ are backstage discussing it, and AJ hints that she would be interested in something happening, as awkward levels rise. You know when isn't the best time to have a conversation like that? When apparently your boss is using illegal tactics to try to prove that you are. Maybe she thinks voyuerism is hot, I don't know.
9. Since Big Show attacked both Regal and Sheamus in a bar last week after their tag team match, William Regal is finally on Monday Night RAW again. Unfortunately, he's facing the relentlessly-repushed Big Show. How unfortunate that someone so awesome is returning to wrestling to only making this void of anything interesting look good? Regal shows no fear, but has very little face heat considering a lot of the kids probably don't even know who he is. To his credit, Regal starts getting some chants in his favor and tries to make a comeback. Regal finally gets a shine, but Big Show completely no-sells it and chokeslams him. Well thank JBL he came back for that. He's been champion for less than a month, but already the hyperbole is running strong by calling him the most dominant heavyweight champion in history. Show is about to hit the Power of the Punch... No wait, that's what Regal did... but Lobsterhead makes the emphatic save. It would've been nice if Regal brought his brass knucks at a time where he could've really used them.
10. We return to the jobber-entranced Layla vs. Kaitlyn, which I guess is for the number one contender for the Diva's championship. Fascinating. They both appear to have the same color outfit on. I don't get it; is Veteran's Day "Dress Like Your Opponent" Day in WWE? Kaitlyn wins in the amount of time that it took to write that sentence. Wow, I guess Layla didn't learn the lesson of Beth Phoenix; if you show wrestling proficiency, you will inevitably be jobbed out. I'm sure we're all looking forward to seeing Kaitlyn and Eve wrestle for the title. Remember when women's wrestling used to mean something? Remember when fighting for the title might've actually been something that mattered? They've tried to inject a storyline into it, and it still makes absolutely no difference. What a complete waste of television time.
11. Look, I get what happened to Jerry Lawler was not only frightening, but a miracle that he was able to make it out all right. Anyone who read my column that night knew it really affected me trying to even think about wrestling. But I can't help but be just a little sickened that they're using it like this. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that he's able to come back, but it just seems a little wrong to exploit it like this. Both JR and Cole are in the ring to welcome him back, and he gets an ovation like he deserves. He would've anyway without building it up like a storyline, but I think I've made my point. That being said, to have a massive heart attack and come back to work nine weeks later, that is one tough man. He immediately hugs JR, and then playfully pauses before hugging his WrestleMania XVII opponent as well.
12. Lawler makes a very emotional return speech, saying that it took a near-death experience to realize how much his life meant to others. I don't have much to say about it, because it was probably one-hundred percent genuine. CM Punk's music hits shortly after the end of it, because I guess this storyline is going to continue. If they're going to exploit it, I suppose this is one helluva way to get CM Punk some serious heat. Punk gets that smug bastard grin that he's perfected so well, and he says that he would've beaten him to death if he hadn't gotten out of the ring. All right, he's all in with that, wow. If they're going to go with it, own it, might as well.
13. Punk goes so far as to declare Lawler a real-life zombie, saying that he's come back from the dead to be here. Punk condemns everyone who said nasty things to him for what happened to Lawler, and hopefully that's just a storyline gesture because anyone in their right mind should know that Phil Brooks would never put someone in danger like that. Punk is brilliantly turning this into implying that Lawler tried to steal his thunder by having this heart attack. This could seriously put Punk over the top as the wrestler with the most heat out there. He could get to Vickie levels if he keeps it up. I wasn't in favor of them exploiting it, but if they're going to do it, might as well go all in like they are. Punk is just a week short of singing the main song from Rent with his title reign, and tells Lawler not to croak. Wow. As Punk continues belittling Lawler, Paul Heyman starts coughing badly and collapses. Punk legitimately freaks out and throws up the X-sign, but then Heyman jumps up and laughs at it. Punk finishes it off with the line "You almost gave me a heart attack." Damn, they really did go all in. I really don't know how I feel about that.
14. Mick Foley comes out as Cole apologizes for the despicable display, and Punk says that he's getting redundant. Punk tells him that he should be worrying about picking the final member of his team, which would've mattered if it was still against the guy he's in the ring with. Punk starts to go on a rant about his team being worthless, and holy shit Foley just went off. I don't know how shoot it is, but this might be the most legitimately emotional I've ever seen Mick Foley, and that's saying something. He wanted to be part of a team that taught Punk a lesson, but instead he has to cater it to hoping that Cena and Ryback will take it from him instead.
15. This is what convoluted booking gets you; trying to make someone who was written out of the storyline and is still there still make sense in the grand scheme. Foley announces himself as the special guest referee in the main event match between Punk and Cena tonight. May I say that the WWE Universe was really ripped off of receiving this feud. The title match could've waited, but instead they reacted to panic and changed everything at the expense of two really good feuds and making any semblance of sense. Think of how good that segment would've been if they hadn't changed the match last week. This is why we can't have nice things!
16. Wow, Sin Cara's own pyro botched the timing during his entrance. Let the Internet jokes commence! I wish JR would've stayed on commentary with them. Four tag teams are involved in an eight-man tag, Team Face vs. Team Heel, and only MysteriCara didn't get jobber entranced. They reference that Titus is close friends with Urban Meyer, which makes sense since he's a former Gator. The PTP and Primo and Epico take the early advantage over Justin Gabriel, but Ricardo Rodriguez walks to Rosa Mendes and passes her a note like they're in chem class. Of all things, this gives Gabriel the chance to hit Rey Mustardio with the hot tag. Yes, that pun is as bad as that bright yellow outfit. Mysterio comes in house of fire and capstones it with a moonsault to the outside as we go to a commercial with a standoff between the two teams.
17. We come back to Titus dominating Mysterio, and references to what took place during the commercial break are made. It's a good thing they cut that out, or they might not have had time to let Vickie Guerrero drag on a segment even more than she already did. JBL forbid we see wrestling on a wrestling show. As it's Mysterio's turn to be the face in peril, he nearly gets the tag before Darren Young is nice enough to throw himself into the ring post so that Mysterio can get it. Tyson Kidd gets the hot tag this time and flies around with purpose. This is definitely a great showcase for the tag division, and shows that the matches can mean something beyond the titles. The match turns into a melee with people getting hit to the outside. Darren hits a backbreaker on Kidd when they're the only two left. Kidd counters Young's Jamie Noble finisher conveniently for the 619, and Gabriel comes in and wins with the 450. When was the last time Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd both won on Monday Night RAW? Fantastic match, as well as a great display of tag team wrestling. Gabriel and Kidd, two stars who should finally be getting their due, really got a chance to shine with some veterans. Hammy celebrations commence as MysteriCara do the Millions O'Dollahs taunt!
18. In the meantime, Heyman talks to Maddox off-camera, Fandango gets a little Cody Rhodes in his vignette, and Ziggles and Miz confront each other backstage. They make a match that has Rhodes Scholars against Kane and whoever wins the voting. Miz campaigns to be on the ballot for Team Foley. Teasing a little Miz/Ziggler heat there? The three choices are... Santino, Ryder, or Miz? Wow. They really stopped giving a shit about this match, didn't they? The two members of the Del Rio JOB Squad or a heel? Is that really the best available?
19. Meanwhile, on the short bus to Crazytown, the TROOF is out for a match, and it's announced that he'll be facing Claudio at Survivor Series. Claudio cuts a funny promo on him, although he says that TROOF was once a proud superstar who became a joke. Um... Someone please remind me when K-Kwik was a proud superstar? I love the guy, but it was only when he became a joke that he started to be entertaining. Naturally, they turned him face and ruined most of the hammy entertainment from it, but it was when he started going on about spider stew that anyone gave a shit about him. We come back from the commercial to not only have his opponent revealed as AT&T, but already in the heel heat portion of the match. The commentators are so interested in the match that they're talking about Claudio's manpurse. Truly captivating television. TROOF breaks through with a face shine while Claudio hilariously criticizes him for wearing jeans, and AT&T has officially become fodder. Claudio starts to cut another promo on TROOF, but YES! TROOF gets a live mic! TROOF tells a knock-knock joke, with which the crowd sings along. TROOF does Crazy Eyes as Claudio walks away.
20. Brad Maddox doesn't even get generic entrance music, but hilariously an ambulance backs into the arena. Okay, that was funny. Maddox gets an in-entrance promo, and this guy could be a very fun character if given the chance to shine. The Master of the Invisible Pyro comes out for his match, as we see the slow-motion replay... again. Before it gets started, they bring a stretcher out. Okay, I don't know how this match will be, but this implication of certain doom is freaking hilarious. Can I give a ham to circumstance?
21. Maddox does his best to not get in the ring as he gets close to being counted out. The commentators play it up that he's charging for autographs. I love this. RyVD finally catches him and starts throwing him around despite Maddox's resistance. Ryback continues to just throw Maddox into the mat repeatedly. The T-1000 selects him for Termination before hitting a running powerslam and a clothesline out of the ring. Ryback brings him back in and Maddox's head hits incredibly hard on the first of three powerbombs. He follows it up with the Clothesline from Skynet as the crowd is in a frenzy. He hits his finisher and the match is over. Really? That's it? They built it up and had Heyman talking to him, only to do... nothing? The guy didn't even try to have a moment of offense.
22. Ryback continues the assault as he throws Maddox off the stretcher, just to give him another Clothesline from Skynet. Ryback takes him to the back and powerslams him against the ambulance. This has gone on way too long for something that was built up for absolutely no point whatsoever. He finally gets slammed into the ambulance and... that's it. You know what would've helped this? A point.
23. Ohai Hollaback Masterpiece, against whom will you be jobbing this week? It is indeed a shameful thing (LOBSTERHEAD!), for I guess the balance is that if Big Show gets to squash someone talented and charismatic, Lobsterhead gets to squash... David Otunga. It's funny, I could've sworn I read an article that matches were going to get longer. I was hoping that meant something other than extended squashes, especially two of them following each other. I didn't even pay attention to the match. Lobsterhead wins with a BOOT TO THE HEAD! Aren't you so glad that was on RAW? Didn't that help further the storyline so well? Wasn't seeing two straight squash matches just the epitome of captivating television?
24. Sheamus cuts a promo about taking back the World Heavyweight championship, and the screen cuts to Big Show again assaulting William Regal for being more interesting than he is. For some reason, Sheamus decides to watch THE ENTIRE ATTACK FROM THE RING. Once Show hits the modified Regal Punch, THEN Sheamus runs to the back to help his friend. Of course! Why on earth would you run back while the attack is still going on? That way, when he gets knocked out, you'll be able to tell him what happened! This show is just overflowing with genius fucking logic!
25. Anger Management is backstage! Finally, something entertaining! Bryan is trying to get Kane's attention, and they're arguing like an old married couple. Bryan claims that he would've refused Mick Foley if he offered him to team with someone else. Daniel Bryan is acting like Overly-Attached Girlfriend. This is fucking hysterical! Bryan chases his tail before going on a NO! explosion. That. Just. Happened.
26. Rhodes Scholars is out first, as we're about to find out the fifth member of Team Foley. Kane is out first, and just knowing that the Twitter vote is about to be revealed makes me have to mention that they have really toned it down on the social media shit, and I approve of that. Wow, The Miz actually won, so where is this going? Daniel Bryan comes out shortly afterward, and gets in the ring and raises Kane's arm as we go into commercial. When did D-Bry become a lovesick puppy?
27. It really says something about how far Santino and Ryder have fallen when they can't even beat a heel in voting. Then again, they're probably rigged anyway, so what am I complaining about? Miz and Kane appear to be tagging without issue, and Miz is getting cheers for the first time in a while. Miz tags Kane cleanly and Bryan freaks out at ringside. This is some unmatchable ham right here. Miz has made the transition to face for this match in seconds, and seems to be enjoying the hell out of it. I almost wrote that Cole talking about Daniel Bryan's freakout prevented him from explaining the Elbow of Disdain, but he was sure to get it in there. You know, in case we forgot...
28. Bryan cheers on Miz from ringside as he starts to make a comeback against Sandow. He gets the hope spot with his old finisher, and Cole calls it Vintage Miz. It's hard to imagine someone who does Duckface being vintage about anything. Kane cleans house as he comes in with the hot tag. Kane hits the flying clothesline, punches Sandow right in the fuck, Bryan tries to go after Miz but it backfires, and Kane and Miz get the win. Miz and Bryan argue back and forth as Kane looks incredibly confused. Meanwhile, they're talking about the Tribute to the Troops show, and they announce that it'll contain Kid Rock and Flo Rida. I think I just found out when I'll be taking my holiday vacation from wrestling...
29. Mr. Susan Komen is back to his Celtic Green for his match with CM Punk. Conveniently, Foley even wore green flannel to complement it. Despite how horrid the things Punk said earlier were, the chants are still split down the middle. Wait, I guess Foley is the enforcer, not the referee. My fault. I'm literally worn out from trying to write about this show, sans the previous segment and a few other bright spots in this cavalcade of not making sense. Just as the match gets started, it goes into a commercial. Ugh. We come back just as Punk takes out Cena from the top rope. Heyman's arms must get really tired from holding up the title that much. Cole actually quotes Battlefield Earth, only missing calling Ryback a demon before calling him... a MONSTER! A BEAST! YAHHHH! These are two guys who've had four-star matches together, but this has been rather uneventful.
30. The Boo-YAY back and forth finally gets my attention right before Cena launches into shoulder blocks. Punk, don't go for the right, don't go for the right... He went for the right, they just never learn. Punk breaks the trademark sequence with a close-fall. Punk gets the advantage before it transitions back to a Five Knuckle Shuffle. Punk gets on the offensive again with some stiff kicks. Cena tries to come off the top rope, but falls right into the STF. Heyman gets in the ring, but Foley pulls him out. I guess that was his one contribution to the match. Punk kicks Cena in the head, but Cena kicks out. Cena counters the GTS with an STF, but Punk gets to the ropes. Punk decides to gimp away, but Ryback prevents that from happening. Cena throws him back in the ring and again counters the GTS into the Attitude Adjustment. The WWE champion loses to a clean pinfall for the second week in a row. Cena stares at Ryback as he tries to get the championship belt, but Ryback grabs on to it as well. Punk gets up on the apron, then gets back down. Ryback and Cena have a staredown for the second straight week as the show goes off the air with Punk looking like he's about to cry. Everything involving the tag division was awesome, the Foley promo was incredibly intense, but the rest was a confused, illogical mess. I was excited about Survivor Series a few weeks ago and now I couldn't care less. The next thing I see is a woman being tortured and screaming as one of the many interchangeable crime dramas perfectly summarizes how I felt watching this episode.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
If I could make an Overly Attached Daniel Bryan meme, it would be complete with tonight's easily won 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
10-15-12 - Kane
10-22-12 - Daniel Bryan
10-29-12 - 3MB
11-5-12 - John Cena
11-12-12 - Daniel Bryan
IN CASE YOU MISSED LAST WEEK'S EPISODE