IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 12-17-12
By Al Laiman
Dec 18, 2012 - 11:58:05 PM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 1022
1. Okay, the Hammy Awards are being tallied, and instead of going side by side with this, they will get their own special column before I take a brief holiday vacation. After 76 columns this year and a good 50 episodes of Jaded Hope, I'm looking forward to a much-needed break from writing anything. I've got some material to keep you entertained through the time, such as the best of Jaded Hope: Season 3, and a few other things. Now, onto RAW... I've been pre-warned on Twitter that this is a night full of HAM, so there's your Ham Button, ready and armed for the occasion. I'm not sure what the Slammy Award theme is, but it sounds like a garbage disposal being raped by The Terminator. May I just once again say that the extreme slow motion replays of Pay-Per-View moments is still really annoying? However, TLC was an awesome show and I'm looking forward to catching up with the rest of the Universe here tonight.
2. Rey Mysterio gets a full entrance straight out of 2005, and who gets the jobber entrance but Damien freaking Sandow? Wait, no time to care about that! Despite already being annoyed with product placement, I see the wrestling GAWHAD himself, John Bradshaw Layfield. Once again, this show is already awesome because of that. Mysterio gets thrown out of the ring and is already selling the arm. Cody looks supportive, but his mustache is not impressed. Thanks to Michael Cole, we once again get both translations of the Elbow of Distain/Disdain, and this match along with the start of the show seems really sped up. Gotta make room for plugging the WWE App again, after all.
3. I love listening to JBL talk about the APA, and I'd be in favor of those two returning for a segment on a regular basis. "Use the door!" Mysterio starts to make a comeback, and hits a really nice-looking counter tornado DDT, and connects with the 619. While I'm surprised to see the red-hot Sandow lose cleanly like that, Rhodes Scholars has dominated this feud to this point, so it's nice to see a little balance. Fun little opening match for what it was, even if Mysterio isn't what he used to be. Awesome line by JBL responding to how many Slammy's he's won to King with "How many WWE championships have you won?" HAM!
4. Booker T is out to present the "Tell Me You Did Not Just Say That!" Slammy Award, and not only makes sure to remind us about the WWE App, but takes us through the process of getting it. I'm confused, what do we need to do to vote again? Reviewing these nominations, I feel like I'm watching the intro to a video game and I need to press the A button to skip it. As Booker T starts to talk again... NO FUCKING WAY! It's the Boogeyman and his giant clock! That's really scary, because most of the audience doesn't know what an analog clock is... Or who The Boogeyman is... But before we get answers, we go into a commercial with impending HAM assured.
5. Coming back, Booker T looks like he just got reminded of GI Bro, and The Boogeyman has completely disappeared. Thanks for the... random appearance? Brad Maddox walks out confidently to accept the award, but Kofi Kingstone, as Booker T said it, is the winner for his amazing Royal Rumble spot.
6. Ohai, sudden Diva's match? Did Eve and Kaitlyn come out during the Boogeyman's entrance? Did The Boogeyman bite something off Kaitlyn's face? What's with the rushed pace? I feel like I'm watching this show on fast-forward. Granted, that's not necessarily a bad thing during a Diva's match, but I hope the entire show isn't paced like this. All I can think of when I hear these vocal reactions is Littlefinger from Game of Thrones saying, "Don't you realize how ridiculous you sound?" Oh, the match is over. Kaitlyn won. My jubilation would know no bounds if I, you know, gave a shit.
7. Who is out to present Comeback of the Year but the New Age Outlaws, complete with their PG entrance theme. This is the first time we've seen them since Dolph Ziggler dressed up like Billy Gunn for RAW 1000 during the DX Reunion. It's a shame they never hyped that. I'm really starting to wish I drove to Philly for this show. Road Dogg goes through the Slammy Awards version of their classic opening promo. He calls him "Bad Ass Billy Gunn," so I guess saying ass is okay vocally, but not in their theme music. Billy Gunn gets booed for not finishing with his trademark line, but it's drowned out by the second video game intro Slammy nomination reel. JBLdammit, I wish they'd let me know how I could vote! How am I supposed to exercise my right as a WWE Universian if I don't know what I need to do?! They can't go to a commercial with a lack of information!
8. In a move that surprises... Well, no one... Jerry Lawler wins the Comeback of the Year, and damn well deserves it. I admire how he's able to make light of that horrific situation that transpired a few months ago. I can remember thinking I would never hear that theme again, and while Cole and Lawler alone is rather annoying as a commentator team, I'm grateful he made it out that night alive. This gives way to Kofi Kingston, who will be facing a jobber-entranced Albert Tensai Train, although in this case, the name is appropriate. Remember when the IWC was touting his return as the Second Coming? Yeah, how'd that go? AT&T dominates, but then Kofi Kingston hits a Trouble in Paradise out of nowhere and wins. Wow, I'm sure glad the Diva's match got more time than that. I still feel like this show is in fast-forward, and I hope it takes its Ritalin and calms the hell down. After the match, Wade Barrett attacks Kofi Kingston from behind, presumably because he's pissed off about CM Punk stealing his skybox, and takes him out with that vicious elbow.
9. MizREALLY? REALLY?! We're explaining how to download the WWE App and plugging both kinds of smartphones AGAIN?! We're not even through the first hour of the show yet and we really have to explain that AGAIN?! Here's an idea; if you don't know how to do it by now, you shouldn't be VOTING! Vickie Guerrero is out as a montage of AJ and her collective love interests is shown. This is for the Kiss of the Year, and jeez, I wonder if AJ has a shot at winning...
10. One guy holds up a sign that says "Am I On TV?" Yes, and just as many people care. Holy schnikes, AJ won! I can't believe it! I never saw that one coming. AJ skips out like always, and it's still really hard not to like her. She snatches the Slammy trophy away and declares that she doesn't care what people think of her anymore, especially "them," being the WWE audience. Did AJ steal the Big Show's heel turn promo here or something? Vickie's pissed because... she helped her client retain his Money in the Bank briefcase? AJ then jumps in the arms of Dolph Ziggler and it gets a MASSIVE face pop because... AJ turned heel, jumped in the arms of a heel, while someone who is already a heel screams indignantly, and... Yeah, every bit of that makes sense. AJ's really gotten around this year, hasn't she?
11. The Great Khali is out for a match, being accompanied by... Natalya? That's a combination I never would've predicted. She walks down in her Vanna White dress, and interestingly enough as the manager is the one half of that tandem who people would want to see wrestle. After the commercial, he's revealed to be facing... Hollaback Masterpiece. The only thing that makes this worth it is JBL's commentary. I'm guessing this match was booked because of the overwhelming demand for these two to be in a singles match, and after Khali attempts a missile dropkick, Otunga takes advantage with a flipping piledriver. His moment of heat lasts as long as Jim Lovenstein touching a hot girl's leg, and Khali comes back with... OhmyJBL, a 630 splash! Great Khali gets the win after that exciting, unpredictable match that will overshadow even both of the great matches from TLC Sunday night! Instant Classic!
12. They show the graphic for Superstar of the Year, and in the background, we hear... Ric Flair? Were we supposed to hear that this early? Was that intentional? It seems a bit strange. Wouldn't you have him come out like everybody else and soak in that massive nostalgia pop, being his first appearance in years? I'm already on thought twelve and this show is a confused, jumbled mess! We come back, and they're repeating the detailed explanation of how to download the App for the third fucking time! We come back, and Ric Flair is announced the way he should've been in the first place. What the hell was up with him being dubbed over the graphic and spoiling the surprise? I don't care that the guy's in a financial mess and trying to catch up to Larry King in wives; he's still the damn Nature Boy. He still signed my Shirt of Doom, dammit!
13. If it wasn't so obvious that Cena is a face and was going to win anyway, I'd probably go on a rant about how winning Superstar of the Year when you lost almost all your big matches is ridiculous, but of course John Cena won. Philly is heavily anti-Cena, as they were six years ago when I saw him lose the title to Edge live, and the television I'm sure does no justice to the noise level in that building. I remember being in that crowd and thinking that it must sound incredible, but sounded mediocre at best on TV. Cena puts over Flair and gives him the Superstar of the Year, which has to be a record for least amount of appearances for an MVP. Before Flair can continue, the first WWE champion to hold the title for an entire calendar year since Hulk Hogan, CM Gimp, interrupts. CM Punk is rushing through his ranting promo like he was given two minutes to fit as many words into a compressed time period that he could. Flair matches Punk on the HAM level, and two of the mic greats commence some Ham-on-Ham combat. Punk says that he could beat Flair with one leg, and Flair throws off his jacket and accepts the challenge. Damn, he wasted no time!
14. Back from the commercial, which evidently was used for Punk to gimp his ass to the ring. Flair looks prepared to wrestle in a tie, which is something that I got some dedicated comments about when I did it. Punk hits him with the crutch, but Old Man Naitch comes back with a shot, and he puts Heyman in the Figure Four. Heyman sells it like he just got his balls caught in a vise grip and rolls out of the ring. Flair gets back on the mic, sends a shout-out to Lawler, but before he can say much, Edge and Christian 2.0 come out from the crowd, and we go to another JBLdamn commercial! Am I gonna have to make this thing 40 Thoughts to get through it?! Let's recap... Going into one commercial, Flair is dubbing over the Superstar graphic. This is being spread across four segments now.
15. We come back from the commercial, and we're in the middle of a brawl involving Anger Management and The Shield? Are you fucking kidding me? We couldn't even bother to show the beginning of the attack? You rob me of a Kane pyro, you sadists?! We're not even halfway through this show yet, and I'm already through 15 freaking thoughts of this complete cavalcade of not making sense! They're setting Flair up for the powerbomb through the table, and RyVD probably gets the biggest pop of his career for making the save. Rollins takes the table belly flop while Anger Management chase out the other two. RyVD gets in the ring and the faces shake hands with the Nature Boy, and another pose for a fan pop finally ends... Nope, he's sliding back in the ring. The three faces hold hoist him up Rudy-style before another commercial break finally ends it.
16. Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Ric Flair get into a YES-NO-WOO-off, and Ron Simmons makes his obligatory cameo. That may be the first four-way HAM winner! Oh hey, there's Brodus and he's facing... JTG? This is the first match in what seems like a while, and it's not exactly inspiring. Are we back to Brodus beating up jobbers again? Damn, that's the first time I've seen him win a match since... the last time he beat up a jobber, after losing a bunch of other enhancement matches in the process. You know how I said I wish I had made the drive to Philadelphia? I'm starting to regret that. Brodus's music stops abruptly, which has to be awkward for those dancing kids, and Santino and AT&T come out for most random pairing of the year and the LOL Moment.
17. Santino sounds like he's doing a Mako impression, and blames calling him "Fat Albert" on the tele-prompter, and he points out that there is no tele-prompter. Segue, what's that? Okay, if Anger Management doesn't win this, I riot. Wait, Randy Orton is nominated for... pouring hot food on Ricardo and beating up an announcer? Cause... That's hilarious? While I did enjoy The Rock's promos, it was nothing compared to the Anger Management segments, which were the funniest things on WWE television in years. Daniel Bryan goes off the HAM wagon and is likely as annoyed with that result as I am. Don't worry Danielson, there's likely at least one Hammy in your future.
18. Two more jobber entrances lead to Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes starting, and a few seconds in, they decide to throw in the Sin Cara lighting for good measure. Cody's mustache is again the most over superstar in the match, and is likely considering Cody Rhodes to be the Marty Jannetty of that tag team. They're rushing through this match too, but at least it's being given more time than just about everything else on this show. Rhodes dominates a good majority of this match until Sin Cara comes back with a springboard dropkick. Two guys stand up in the middle of a match to make sure their friends see them on television, apparently forgetting that there are people standing behind them, and just like that, Rhodes hits Cross Rhodes to get the win. Even JBL is so bored that he's referencing Groucho Marx.
19. For the love of JBL, the FOURTH FUCKING TIME OF THE DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THE WWE APP? Congratulations WWE Universe, they officially have no respect for your intelligence. Zack Ryder and Eve come out to continue the freaking WWE App pandering before the Trending Hashtag of the Year... Wow, even now having a Twitter that makes my soul hurt. Are they being too subtle? USE OUR SOCIAL MEDIA! Oh hey, a Big Johnny sighting! Even if it is a highlight video, it's great to see him again! We follow up with TROOF Ham, including a strong contender for Hammiest Moment of the Year. This category is seriously a thing? Ryback wins because... Well, I guess they had to have him win something? Ryder gets in his catch phrase, despite the fact that he's the guy who used social media to get in his position and he can't even win the Slammy for it.
20. Just when you think it couldn't get any more exciting, the Big Show's music hits, and we get an entire pan across the stage for the exciting occasion. Big Show might be the first World Champion to ever lose a charisma contest to an inanimate object, as the Hammy Chair is far more interesting than he is. Big Show complains that the WWE Universe let him down by not voting him for Superstar of the Year, despite starting his heel turn on not caring what the WWE Universe thought about him anymore. Consistency, what's that? The Philadelphia crowd reads my mind and chants "BORING!" at him before... Yes, I'm gonna do it one more time this year for those who love it. For those who don't, skip it, it's not for you.
21. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! NOTHING CAN COMPETE WITH THE TENACITY OF A GIANT STEEL CHAIR, HOAK HOGAN! DRESSING IN CAMO DESPITE NOT TRYING TO HIDE FROM ANYTHING CREATES THE DESTRUCITY REQUIRED FOR A COLLISION COURSE ON THE TERRAIN OF TESTAMENT IN ORDER TO WAKE US ALL UP FROM THE BIG SHOW-INDUCED COMA SEQUENCE WE'VE BEEN SUFFERING, HOAK HOGAN! CHEESESTEAK! CHEESESTEAK! THAT'S CALLED A SHAMELESS PANDER, HOAK HOGAN, AND IT'S ALMOST AS SHAMEFUL AS AN OVERABUNDANCE OF CITRUS ON THIS HERE VESSEL! BACK TO THE MOTHERSHIP, MY TENTACLE TASSELS CARRY ME HOME!
22. Sheamus puts over Big Show in his promo upon his arrival, and Big Show laughs at his attempt at honesty. Big Show exacerbates the "what?" chants, to get them to do it to even face Sheamus. Sheamus offers to shake his hand after he admits that Big Show was the better man, and that gets applause... I'm assuming from the Ring of Honor fans. Big Show taunts him for eating potatoes, because calling him a drunk isn't a PG Irish stereotype, and he hits Big Show with the Hammy Chair, followed by a BOOT TO THE HEAD! Are you telling me this feud is continuing after three straight Pay-Per-View matches? As much as they've put on some good shows, it'd be nice to know if there even is another contender for the title? Sheamus is starting to get some Alberto Del Rio chances.
23. Holy shit, just as I'm about ready to write off that segment, it's Dolph Ziggler! He's cashing in! YES! What better time?! He calls for the bell and... JBLDAMN YOU JOHN CENA! That apparently wasn't a popular decision in Philadelphia either, because Cena's getting even more heat for preventing the Dolph Ziggler title reign we've anticipated. That, or I was just beyond longing for an end to the Reign of Yawn. We could've started the Cena/Ziggler title feud, but instead we apparently need to be subjected to more Big Show title time. At least put Big Johnny back with him or something! I mean, Del Rio has Ricardo, right?
24. Speaking of which, it's official... THE THREE MAN BAAAAAAAND, BABAY is the Heel Del Rio JOB Squad for the second night in a row. What are Santino and Zack Ryder going to do now? Del Rio will be teaming with The Miz, which I have to admit that even a few months ago, if you told me those two would be a face tag team, I wouldn't have believed you. Meanwhile backstage, Vickie is indignant with Dolph again, and she continues to question how AJ helped him, despite the fact that once again, she is a heel and Ziggler is her client, so she should be happy that he retained. Dolph decides that the relationship is over, which by her standards should've been a scandal for the last few months too. She decides that she is going to team with John Cena, because they really must want this Philadelphia crowd to hate Cena tonight.
25. Tonight, Miz is announcing his new tag team partner of the Miz/Del Rio, and because I guess the JOB Squad's position is to allow the sixth man to pander to the hometown, Tommy Dreamer returns to team with them. Wow, Tommy Dreamer returns to team with a face Miz and Alberto Del Rio... This is really weird. The second most successful recent triad does their best to compete with Team Random, and JBL informs me that even 3MB themselves accidentally called themselves by the name I gave them when they formed, MP3. Slater HAMs it up a bit, and it seems this match is being given the most time of any on the show so far, and that really isn't saying much. A series of high spots to the outside takes place, with even Tommy Dreamer taking the final one. Damn, that was kind of impressive. Also impressive is that in the third hour of the show, this is the first match long enough to actually BE interrupted by a commercial break.
26. Miz is actually getting a "Miz is Awesome!" chant. That's the first positive sign in his face turn. If he can just stop doing Duckface, maybe we'll start getting somewhere. Slater does his best, but Slaters Gonna Slate, as he's back in the same position he was leading into RAW 1000, with random nostalgic faces coming back to get wins over him. In case you weren't aware though, Philadelphia is where ECW happened. Just thought I'd remind you, since they haven't mentioned it. Next thing you know, they'll tell us that Wade Barrett has a Skybox. To their credit though, 3MB is looking very strong in this match so far. Del Rio gets the hot tag and hits some really impressive kicks. He shows he's a face by shaking his hand a bit before he does it, because that's what faces do I guess. Del Rio starts to go for the Cross Armbreaker, but Dreamer begs to be tagged in. He hits the DDT and Team Random gets the win. A good showing by 3MB, and the question on everyone's mind is how many more nostalgic faces will come back to beat Heath Slater with these two?
27. While Team Random is still in the ring, Lobsterhead comes out for the second time. The crowd is still chanting "ECW," because after all, we're rushing this show so much that we can't even wait for the preceding match to get out of the ring first. He's out to present Newcomer of the Year. Somehow, Brodus Clay managed to get nominated among three very strong newcomers in Ryback, Sandow, and Cesaro. Gee, with only one face (well, one credible one anyway), I wonder who's going to win this one... Ryback gets a second Slammy, because a guy who beat a bunch of jobbers, The Miz twice, and... that's it, sure deserves it. RyVD actually quotes Owen Hart and says that he's the change before saying "Feed Me More!" Um, what change are you, sir? Explain, please?
28. Now, here's something that's happening for the first time in the history of the Slammys, a face wins an award, and a heel comes out and explains how he was the victim and should've won the award. You know, for being heels that don't care what the crowd thinks, they care an awful lot about what the crowd thinks. That being said though, Claudio and Ryback is an intriguing matchup. Claudio has the deceiving power to match up with Ryback's Goldbergulean strength. Claudio shows that off and hits a huge spinebuster on him before getting the Cradle Styles Clash reversed on him. RyVD decides that was enough time to set up for the Clothesline From Skynet, and Claudio wisely ducks out of the match. Well, if given time that wasn't rushed on a show like this, it might've been more interesting, but since nothing on this show can be given any time because we need to explain how to get the WWE App 47 times.
29. Mean Gene and Ricky Steamboat are out to present the next award, and JR comes out to join them as well. I am interested to see how the WWE App people voted on Match of the Year. It's awfully nice that the Rock/Cena match even gets its own highlight video music. Undertaker vs. Triple H wins, as well it should, as that match was one of the best stories told in a ring I've ever seen. Triple H comes out and... Wow that's weird seeing him without the wet long hair. He reminds me of Val Venis after his haircut. Triple H gets a massive pop, but a "We Want Taker!" chant breaks out after H begins to speak. H confirms that we haven't seen the last of the Undertaker, which probably means we're in for another amazing WrestleMania match this year. Backstage, the Shield is attacking... Tommy Dreamer? Kay... And of all people to come to the rescue... Ricardo? Well I guess we know with whom they're feuding next, don't we?
30. AJ is out next, and she demands a ladder be taken into the ring. Looks like she's going to do a Dolph promo. She's doing the typical "This is why" heel explanation. I laughed at the crowd chanting "Jump!" Before we get a reason, Vickie interrupts, and AJ forgets her mic is on as she climbs down the ladder. She does Crazy Eyes at Vickie before she does Squinty Eyes at Dolph, her new Flavor of the Week. Cena is now teaming with the woman who wiretapped the affair that I guess wasn't an affair now because she was working with Dolph the whole time and... I'm not even going to try to figure that out. Dolph and Cena wrestle a bit to the chants of the Philly crowd before AJ tags in. Vickie comes in with a face attack despite being a heel teaming with a face and taking on a heel and... This is making my head hurt. AJ leaves almost immediately and Dolph attacks Cena from behind. Vickie leaves too, Cena tries for the AA, and Ziggler counters. How is it even this match is rushed? A few seconds later, Cena's turn to counter and he locks in the STF. Suddenly, AJ appears at the top of the stage with... Big E. Langston? Cena really doesn't have good luck with NXT, does he? And that's how the show ends... With AJ skipping around Cena with this guy standing over him. How is it that the only match given any time was 3MB vs. Del Rio/Miz/Dreamer? This show was atrociously rushed. A few good things happened, but what a terrible TLC fallout show after such a fun Sunday night. I was half doing the New York Times crossword by the end of it.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Is there any contest? It's gotta go to four for the first time.
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
11-18-12 - AJ
11-19-12 - Paul Heyman
11-26-12 - Damien Sandow
12-3-12 - Damien Sandow
12-10-12 - Dolph Ziggler
12-17-12 - Kane/Bryan/Flair/Simmons
IN CASE YOU MISSED LAST WEEK'S EPISODE