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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 2-11-13
By Al Laiman
Feb 12, 2013 - 12:41:11 AM

credit Tom Jenner

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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 2-11-2013

Here's your HAM! button!

1. Seriously, if you've never taken the time to check out my webshow, I just reached 100 episodes. Take time time to click the video above, because I'm very proud to have made it this far, and I want to continue to grow it. Thanks to all of you who do watch it every week! With that out of the way, let's get to RAW. It's the last one before the Elimination Chamber already, can you believe it? Seems like just yesterday, the Internet exploded when CM Punk won, and then half of them claimed they never liked Punk to begin with. I love consistency. Instead of opening pyro, Paul Heyman introduces himself, because that's what everyone has to do since John Laurinaitis made it a trademark. He claims that it'll be the last time we ever see him, to a rousing pop. He says he will never play the victim, and he is annunciating! Every! Syllable! For! EMPHASIS! Twelve years after it died, ECW still gets a chant, kinda, and Heyman reviews how he turned Brock Lesnar into the Next Big Thing. Excuse me... BRRRRRRROCK LLLLLLESNAR! That never gets old. He then compares his perspective of CM Punk, in whom he saw the future, and since we're allowed to mention Bruno Sammartino again, he puts Punk in the same category to major heat. Oh Toto, we're not in Smarkland anymore! Heyman mentions the Sword of Damocles, which honestly makes me think of the Rocky Horror Picture Show... and the last thing I want to think about when I see Paul Heyman is the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The whole point to this is that Heyman needs to save CM Punk because of the McMahon's obsession with him, and it's glorious HAM!

2. After Heyman takes another five minutes to say goodbye, Living Colour announces the confused arrival of the former/reigning WWE Champion. Lawler actually compares Heyman resigning to being the happiest day of his life next to surviving a heart attack, and that has officially jumped the shark. Heyman explains that he didn't do any of the things of which he was accused, but it's their perception. Punk steps up to the hammy plate himself and says that there are a lot of "Paul Heyman Guys" out there. Heyman hints at the Phoenix Screwjob just being the opening strike in the War of Martyred Attrition. Heyman finally comes back, turning it up the whole way to 12, and they do their Anger Management impression, hugging in the middle of the ring. Heyman calls him "The Best in the World" about five times in a row, and Lawler makes a joke about Heyman trying to upstage the Pope... You know, because that also happened!

3. The Great Khali gets a jobber entrance, and Khali is so bad that heel Mark Henry gets an audible pop. We see the return of the Henry silhouette entrance, and seeing Henry jack up Khali will be imminently more impressive than three guys who combined might equal Henry's size. Henry went over Orton at Smackdown, which shows they're serious on immediately putting him back in the main event, and I have no problem with this. I have to admit, that is something I never thought I would've heard myself say, even as recently as two years ago. Talk about someone who really came on late in his career. Khali gets a bit of offense to start off and fights him off. Khali sidesteps Mark Henry charging the corner, and it looks... kinda silly, to be honest. You really get a grasp of how tall Khali is seeing Mark Henry having to reach up to clothesline him. Henry hits the World's Strongest Slam on Khali to another audible pop, and it's sad that Nattie crying at ringside sold more than Khali did. Henry sees the Band of Misfit Toys gathering in the ring, and to yet another pop, Henry returns to the ring and hits another World's Strongest Slam on Tyrion Lannister. A "One More Time" chant breaks out afterward. At least Henry learned more than one exclamation to yell.

4. Booker T and Teddy Long are making random, interchangeable dialogue backstage before Chris Jericho comes up to propose being added to the Elimination Chamber, since he's been in more than anyone. Booker says if he wants an opportunity, he'll have to beat someone who is already in the Chamber, and of course it'll be the reigning Ham of the Year. Showing that he already knows he'll challenge for the title, he does a Booker T impression, saying "seven-time"... three times... before a CAN YOU DIG THAT, SUCKAAAAAAAAAAA! Which is impressive, because that line was already over-the-top before Jericho over-overdid it. Vickie and Heyman talk backstage before Vince calls on the phone. Heyman tries to explain how sorry he is before McMahon pulls out his classic SHAAAAAAAAAUUTUP! Heyman proposes that if The Rock gets counted out or disqualified that Punk will regain the title, and says he'll do anything for the stipulation. McMahon says he wants it in writing... Gee, I wonder if that'll come back into play later on. A dialtone comes up as Heyman tries to convince McMahon that he sees him like a father figure. I wasn't aware cell phones received those.

5. The crowd comes alive for one-half of the tag team champions, and a bunch of people are holding up signs for The Dazzler. I assume they're referring to Chris Jericho's jacket. Jericho is ridiculously over himself, and Daniel Bryan seriously must be going after Mike Knox's beard record. Interestingly enough, this is a throwback to the one-on-one match that kickstarted Danielson's career with a bang, and we see Booker T and Teddy Long discussing things around the monitor. We get some good old-school chain wrestling with two of the best technical wrestlers around, and Jericho gets dumped awkwardly to the outside. Jericho comes back and misses his springboard dropkick, and Danielson comes back with a high spot of his own to take us into the commercial.

6. Cole recaps where the first Elimination Chamber match took place, conveniently forgetting who came up with the idea, as Jericho starts getting a face shine before he gets taken out by a clothesline. That starts a huge "YES!" chant, which makes Bryan cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, and Jericho takes the momentum back. He goes for the Lionsault, but Bryan gets the knees up. He goes up top, and Jericho counters and throws a chop. Too bad Low-ki isn't still around, because they're allowed again. Danielson pushes Jericho off, and Jericho is halfway up before he comes down with a diving headbutt and a two count. There is a kid in the front row in Cena gear who is VERY excited about this match. Jericho locks in the Walls, and the crowd goes nuts. This crowd is hot, and it's making it more fun. Danielson throws an amazing counter and turns it into the NO! Lock, before Jericho comes back. He can't quite lock it in, and Danielson kicks his fucking head in! Holy shit, that was awesome. He does more of his trademark kicks, misses and gets rolled up for a near-fall, and then hits a Codebreaker right the fuck out of nowhere for the win. Awesome match, despite Daniel Bryan losing again. WWE, you're crazy if you don't push this guy with the response he gets in every arena.


8. So we've got the top three faces on the RAW brand facing 3MB cause, well, they're also a triad, and as usual, the Triad rules have to balance each other out. They'll be taking on The Shield at Elimination Chamber, and a win there for Nick Fury's favorite stable would be freaking huge. Ryback is clearly not impressed with Heath Slater's Bill and Ted antics, and drops him Warrior-style. There's a sign that tells Ryback "Of course we'll feed you, Your in the South," which is an ironic grammar fail in and of itself. The Irishman beats up the Scot with Blair Witch offense, and Jinder then takes his turn jobbing to top face attacks. Everything breaks down in the middle of the ring, and in about eight seconds it becomes a triple finisher. The three faces win with virtually no opposition, which was to be expected, and suddenly Ryback has no desire to eat faces.

9. Ryback demonstrates his ability to end sentences in prepositions and warns that he'll consume the Shield. Lobsterhead takes the mic and says they'll be seeking justice tonight as well. Cena gets more than two sentences and tells The Shield to come get some... which I'm pretty sure the Shield has been quite adept at doing anyway. He also says that The Shield meets the Sword, which I suppose is different than the Sword of Damocles headed for CM Punk. Lots of medieval themes in this particular Monday Night RAW! Alberto Del Rio making himself a stereotype at Big Show's expense is recapped on Smackdown before Alex Riley and Yoshi Tatsu get a brief RAW payday before Big Show smacks them back to NXT duty.

10. Big Show comes out, apparently seething, although he still has the same blank heel face he always does. Matt Stryker has the unfortunate duty of trying to interview him, and he gets WMD'd before he can complete a sentence. What a nice guy. Beating him for his title was one thing, but orange paint is simply too much for this giant to take! Big Show takes a while to speak, which reminds us all of his offense in most matches, and he stares off into the heat because, you know, that's never happened before. Big Show... wait, he's almost about to speak, but no he just nods. Then he gets mad, almost speaks, but then he just shakes. The biggest pop arrives when he drops the mic and doesn't speak, and I don't blame Nashville. I'm very much in favor of heel Big Show not cutting a promo as well. Orange Paint > Duct Tape, I guess.

11. This shit of playing the same video package they played last week simply has to stop. I'm as excited as anyone about Bruno Sammartino being inducted, but if they can't find better ways to fill these three hours, just freaking stop and go back to two. Give us more matches, not more shit filler.

12. Zack Ryder gets the jobber entrance with just enough time to have his iTunes plug made. He's being rewarded for again becoming a success on his own by being owned on television. Ol' Biff has stolen the almanac and is back to his ways of success. Ryder gets some offense but then eats a suplex on the floor. As my friend Matt messaged me, "Why is the 21st President of the United States managing Jack Swagger?" I guess it's a former wrestler, or manager, or something? Lawler knows him, he's old school, but... filling us in would be awfully nice, wouldn't it? Swagger looks like a JBLdamn beast, I won't deny that. His gutwrench powerbomb looks devastating, and a following Patriot Act earns Ryder another squash loss. Thanks for doing that work on that single, Zack. That really helped your career.

13. Swagger introduces Zeb Coulter, I guess his name is, and Coulter uses the word "America" about eight times a sentence. Now we have Antonio Cesaro loving America but hating Americans, and Zeb Coulter transitioning Jack Swagger into the second coming of JBL being anti-immigrant. That could be an automatic face turn for Cesaro in the right circumstance. Maybe next week they'll take another page and be working on Border Patrol.

14. Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler reviews his accomplishments to more bantering Booker and Long. Ziggler demands being in the Elimination Chamber due to Chris Jericho's presence, and then Arsenio cuts him off to... also say that he wants in. Booker tells him there's another guy who wants in the match, and the winner will be in the Chamber match. Of course, his opponent will be Kane, which could very well be splendidly sellerific.

15. We get another replay of the Miz getting jacked up, likely making a very happy Hustle in the process. Naturally since he got thrashed by Brock Lesnar, he's taking on... Cody Rhodes. Of course! Cody Rhodes gets the jobber entrance during the commercial, and Antonio is at ringside. Cesaro is giving us more "what is wrong with America" stuff, albeit in much different fashion, and Cody's Mustache is getting in some strong offense at first. A small taunting "Goldust" chant breaks out, hopefully hinting toward the brother vs. brother WrestleMania match. Miz's hope spot barely gets a response, which doesn't say great things about his face turn, and Claudio talking about not liking Miz as a person gives it a funny soundtrack. Claudio tries to interfere, fails, and Miz throws Rhodes back in the ring. Claudio comes from behind and attacks Miz viciously, first shoving him into the ring post, and then wheelbarrowing him into the barricade several times. That was pretty sick, and makes Cesaro look badass. Well done.

16. Of course, the entire moment is repeated entirely through replay, in case you missed what you just fucking saw, and I just got into an argument about someone missing the point of an article I wrote, so I'm going to chill for a second before I continue writing. Another video package is coming up anyway, so I can fast forward.

17. FUNK IS ON A ROLL! FUNK IS ON A ROLL! I guess tricking someone into dressing in drag makes for a tag team. At least Albert Tensai Train is doing something other than heel jobbing. Leave that to Primo and Epico, who themselves are surprised that they're still employed, and Primo tries to bodyslam AT&T immediately. Great psychology. Another squash match later, a headbutt/Senton combo wins it. AT&T gets down Hip Hop Hippo-style before... a mini-Diva fight breaks out for a second, and the two do Gangham style because... that exists.

18. The Shield's music is easily one of the most intimidating of the modern era. Shield pulls another Laurinaitis, reminding everyone who they are, in case letting us know they were coming up, introducing them, putting a name over them, and talking about them wasn't enough of a hint. The League of Shadows responds by repeating that they are, in fact, threatening The Shield. Roman Reigns re-words John Cena's catch phrase, which is an angrier "if you want some, come get some." Roman's even getting some HAM! in there, along with his Joker voice.

19. Seth Rollins looks like he really wants to be CM Punk, and Ambrose introduces the John Cena problem, as in not being realistic. Reigns claims he's been the problem for the last decade, and WE! THE SHIELD! (as opposed to WE! THE PEOPLE!) are the solution. I guess the whole point is that John Cena created a system where others have succeeded like him, and even Rollins gets a bit of PUNCTUATED! FOR! EMPHASIS! Wow, that was some incredibly over-the-top heelness right there. They continue to announce that they aren't going anywhere, and that's good. I think it's important for a badass stable like this to not be afraid. Heels being cowardly is a good way to go, but not always the way to go.

20. The lights go out, and before we can guess that it's Sabu, the three faces steal the Shield's interference style, and the brawl is on. The faces dominate for the second week in a row, which hopefully means they're getting put over at the Pay-Per-View, and mayhem ensues through the crowd. The faces victoriously chase them off, and they celebrate with people desperately trying to get on television.

21. Three minutes of skipped promo replays later, Alberto Del Rio is heading to the ring. If it's another squash match, I'm throwing something at the TV. When we come back, I see Damien Sandow with a live mic, and the situation has improved tremendously. He makes fun of country music, which isn't exactly helping him not be endearing to me. It's absolutely hilarious, and he calls listening to country music "shameful at best!" before pulling a dead terrorist with a "SILENCE!" Interestingly enough, the sign at ringside would probably spell his catch phrase "Your welcome." Ugh, spine crawling...

22. Now it's time for Sing Along With Ricardo, who is tough enough that he only needed one week off for a full recovery of a Big Show beatdown. Alberto Del Rio catches fire, capstoning with kicking Sandow right in the fuck, and the Spanish version of Daniel Bryan's catch phrase gets the crowd involved. I was hoping the presence of Sandow meant we wouldn't be getting a squash match but... We did. Come on, couldn't we have cut one of the replays or video packages and at least given these two some time to develop a WRESTLING MATCH! Sandow is one of the best things going, Del Rio is getting more and more over as a face, but we can't give them any time because, well, we have more Smackdown clips to play! Dammit, I'm trying to be positive, but give me a break here!

23. Alberto Del Rio gets a post-match promo, because that's what everybody's doing tonight. Del Rio says that the time for talking and all of his jokes are over, and now he's going to WrestleMania. I'm okay with that, and I'd sure as hell take it over watching Big Show defend the Hot Potatoed title against, well... anyone.

24. Wade barrett is heading to the ring for a match with Kofi, and Bo Dallas attacks him right out of nowhere. Maybe Barrett also pointed out how obvious it was that he was reading his cue cards? The Fandango vignette airs for at least the second time before the show returns with a Kofi entrance. Lawler is nice enough to point out that the attack must be what Bo Dallas meant on Twitter that he owed somebody something. Because, you know, he's had so much interaction with the other superstars that it was really anyone's guess.

25. Kofi takes some heat for a few minutes before going on his cavalcade of trademarks. His Shadows Over Hell on Barrett looks really awkward, and Kofi goes up the ropes again and gets a near-fall with a high-crossbody. He springboards, misses this time, and gets a Black Hole Slam for his trouble. Black Hole Slam, won't you come, won't you cooooome? Barrett sets up for the elbow, misses. Kofi tries for the Trouble in Paradise, whiffs, and Barrett uses the apron to trap him for the Elbow. So Wade Barrett wins via... Elbow Apron. Man, this Bo Dallas guy must be something if he can keep getting a one-up on a guy that Kofi Kingston can't beat.

26. Kane's up for an opportunity to not win the Elimination Chamber. I'm seeing a heel winning to challenge Del Rio, and since there are three faces and two heels, I see Ziggles winning here to balance it out. AJ skipping slowly to Ziggler's slow-paced entrance song is still awkward. Ziggler tries to go right on the offensive, but meets an angry Kane who... I guess tries to half-nelson him into a pin but it doesn't go well? Just to remind you, Booker T and Teddy Long watch the show too, if you missed the other eight times we showed them. AJ has sadly been reduced to standing around and twirling her necklace. Good thing they paired her with Ziggles. Lawler throws in some STD jokes, because she's a heel, I guess. Kane goes for the chokeslam and Dolph powders, and that takes us into a commercial. At least it isn't a squash.

27. It's Dolph's turn to get punched right in the fuck the whole way off the turnbuckle. Arsenio distracts him long enough to get Dolph the advantage. Dolph does a pretty sweet-looking ropes neckbreaker to keep up the momentum, and he goes into the X-times Elbow. Kane takes some heat before stating to come back, but then taking an interesting version of a high-angle DDT for a close-fall. Ziggles eats turnbuckle, and Cole actually says that should be it. Really? Matches end that way all the time? Dolph counters the sidewalk slam into a sleeper, which was another awesome moment for him, and then Dolphy Gunn connects with the Fameasser for another close fall.

28. At least with Bryan/Jericho, there's another good, non-squash match on the show. Kane connects with a sidewalk slam this time, and as Kane goes for the Flying Clothesline, AJ gets bumped off the apron. I laughed when Big E conveniently caught her, and Kane surprisingly gets the win via chokeslam. Both of the tag team champions are in the Elimination Chamber, and them fighting with each other will likely lead to one, if not both, of their eliminations.

29. Nashville is definitely psyched to see The Great One. Damn, what a pop. I have to admit, I'm excited to see him live for the first time too. I got old enough to go to wrestling events on my own just about the time that he wasn't performing at them anymore. The pop is so enormous that Rock fights back getting a little emotional for a few seconds. The crowd is literally eating out of the palm of his hand, and it's time for Storytime with The Rock. Rock tells the story of moving to Nashville in high school, where he "kicked puberty's candy ass." This is a pretty funny story, especially how the girls thought he was an undercover cop due to his size. Jeff Jarrett even gets a namedrop, before a crackhead walks into the story. He tells the story of buying a car for 75 bucks with another crackhead sleeping in the back. He realizes it might've been stolen, so he did the best thing he could do; ditch it in a parking lot for a local cheap pop. Okay, now it's time to get to the point. At least there were no skidmarks in this story. The moral was to not be like Rock at 15, but Rock at 25. Okay... I don't think there was a point, but at least it was entertaining.

30. CM Punk's music cuts off Reading Rainbow starring The Rock. Rock accuses Punk of blasphemy, referencing Twilight in the process. Punk smiles, and Rock calls him out on it, because as Punk said, swearing is cool. Punk starts to accept the challenge, walking down casually, but then they stop before Punk dives through the ropes and the brawl ensues. Punk gets an advantage before taking a spinebuster. Paul cuts off the People's Elbow, and Rock walks right into a GTS, which I accidentally saw due to my Facebook feed spoiling it for me. For those of you who don't know, I work until 9:15 on Monday nights this semester, which is why I don't respond to any live RAW tweets or comments. Punk leaves with the title belt as Heyman reminds Punk that it belongs to him. Punk reaches the top of the ramp, and he concludes with "Storytime's over." Very strong promo work by both men leading into the main event at Elimination Chamber. Overall, good setup for Elimination Chamber, but way too much filler. Good match with Kane and Ziggles, great match with Bryan and Jericho, and a good closing promo. Too many replays, too many vignettes, too many squashes, too much filler. Unless you watched it on Hulu Plus, which likely means the good matches got cut out and you were left with nothing but crap.

Whether you liked the show or not, here's your weekly dose.


Close call between The Shield and Sandow, but in the end, three heads are better than one.

2012 - Daniel Bryan
1-7-13 - John Cena
1-14-13 - Dr. Shelby
1-21-13 - Anger Management
1-27-13 - Kofi Kingston
1-28-13 - Tensai
2-4-13 - Brad Maddox
2-11-13 - The Shield


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