IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 2-18-13
By Al Laiman
Feb 19, 2013 - 12:24:47 AM
credit Tom Jenner
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 2-18-2013
Here's your HAM! button!
Happy birthday, Larry Sweeney.
1. "A lot can happen in one night." The opening preview sounds like a cutscene from Modern Warfare 2. John Cena starts off the show, and he appears to be in good spirits, despite the Super Best Friends losing to The Shield last night. In 48 nights, it appears we'll be getting the rematch of mediocre but monetarily beneficial proportions. I suppose it's only Once in a Lifetime if you were born after WrestleMania 28. Cena says the WrestleMania 29 logo is nothing but two cities and a building. Um... Pretty sure New York and New Jersey are states, bud. That line would be more accurate if WrestleMania was in Minneapolis. Hint, WWE. Put WrestleMania in Minneapolis. Just as John Cena finishes being the exposition fairy, he's cut off by the former WWE champion, hoodied and angry.
2. CM Punk tells Cena that facing The Rock in the main event is the easy way out, for which he expected nothing less out of Cena. Punk appears to admit that Rock beat him cleanly... before pulling out some signature snark, and saying that Cena has never beaten him. They argue whether or not it's about CM Punk, and Punk makes his case for being in the main event. Punk's recap of Cena winning the Royal Rumble is so hammy that he even mentions the word itself. Punk tells him to walk away from the WWE, and Cena genuinely looks like he's about to for a minute. Cena is finally back on his serious promo game and is standing with Punk on the mic pretty well. I'm hoping this means it's headed toward the triple threat, but Cena instead challenges CM Punk to a match for the shot at WrestleMania. If there is a JBL, shenanigans will ensue and we'll get that main event. Punk says he's going to do it on his own terms, which means they'll do it next week. Great opening segment with Punk and Cena here. Both were on top of their game tonight.
3. Lobsterhead is backstage with the whipping boy Matt Stryker, and Ryback keeps walking back and forth in front of them. Sheamus gets pissed off and asks if he's a mindless Neanderthal, and they start to come to blows before Jericho... quite ballsy... and breaks it up, because I guess he's taking Cena's place in the numbers game. Jericho makes the challenge that the same match that happened last night, subbing Jericho for Cena, because it has box office appeal.
4. Sin Cara gets the jobber entrance, because Jack Swagger can't use all of Del Rio's former JOB Squad in one night, and Sin Cara is dressed like a neon green tiger with a secret. He sells Henry's Irish Whip Ziggler-style, and is throwing him around like a rag doll, which logistically is quite accurate. Henry is nice enough to take time out of the match to remind us that this indeed what he does. Cole calls him the Most Dangerous Man in WWE, but unfortunately Ken Shamrock is not there to offer a rebuttal. One World's Strongest Slam later, and Sin Cara loses after getting in exactly one offensive move. Henry continues the attack after the match, but before another World's Strongest Slam, Great Khali sprints to the ring with his Usain Bolt-like speed, and Henry powders, because that's what he does. Please, if there is a JBL in WrestleHalla, tell me this is not going to be a singles match at WrestleMania 29. Henry yells that if he wanted to dance, he'd get a date. I think Brodus Clay might be available.
5. Both Miz and Cesaro get the jobber entrance for a No-DQ match, so you know it's serious. Miz is finally being pretty aggressive, and he's going on a very strong offensive front. Claudio cuts it off and starts bringing out weapons, and hits Miz in his injured shoulder with a Singapore Cane. Cesaro is quickly becoming an intimidating character as well as a damn good technical wrestler. After a quick Miz comeback, Claudio uses a cane to hit Miz right in the fuck. Cesaro works the shoulder, including throwing him into a chair propped in the corner. He throws vicious European Uppercuts. Cole remarks that he yells at Miz in one of the five languages he knows, and that it was probably German. I assume he guessed that because it sounded mean and confusing. Before trapping him in the corner, Miz counters and locks in the Figure Four... And wins? That was a fun match, where the weapons did not take the wrestling out of it.
6. Uncle Zeb and Biff Swagger are in a "leaked" YouTube promo. How exactly does a video they recorded "leak" onto YouTube? They've got a flag that the Tea Party has used in recent years while Swagger plays Echo Boy to Zeb. Their mission seems to be that they're going to take all these immigrants back where they came from. Wow, I can't imagine why he ended up facing Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania with that kind of angle.
7. Meanwhile, Anger Management is backstage arguing about being comfortable tagging up anytime soon due to what happened in the Elimination Chamber. Daniel plays a Diva and says he got a singles match, and they argue about not wanting to be out there for singles matches. Kane says that he doesn't like snakes, and Randy Orton attempts to be taken seriously during a promo. Kane rants on about snakes and Orton says that he's more like Barney the Dinosaur. Kay.
8. After a promo where Vickie calls Paul Heyman into her office to... not say anything, Cole makes another cheap fat joke before Dolph Ziggler gets a commercial-interrupted entrance with Arsenio and AJ. He's facing Alberto Del Rio, so there's another match with a predictable ending. The Del Rio match was the only one I got to see last night before I was summoned to other endeavors, but ADR got put over huge by Big Show. ADR gets a strong face shine, capstoning with an awesome enziguiri kick to the outside, and... we go into another commercial. Well thank JBL we took a commercial break during Dolph's entrance just so we could cut to another one a minute into the fucking match!
9. We come back with Dolph throwing his awesome dropkick in ADR's direction for a near-fall. During the cheap heat, we see Biff and Chester A. Arthur taking time to watch their match during his favorite holiday. Curt Hawkins has a tweet on the ticker, which is the closest he's gotten to TV time on RAW since he last jobbed to Brodus Clay. Lawler calls one of the wrestlers Antonio before they do sort of a reverse Northern Lights Suplex thing from the turnbuckle. I don't know what it was but it was cool as hell. ADR goes on the offensive front and throws some signature moves and tunes up the band before kicking Ziggler in the face. This is of course a great time to talk about The Rock. Nothing sells a match with the World Champion like first hour review. ADR traps Ziggler in the ropes, and for some reason the ref lets him count to ten and hit a move, before Ziggler gets out of the pinfall by grabbing the ropes. Arsenio gets on the ropes, accomplishes absolutely nothing, Ziggler fails at taking advantage, and taps out. Good match, but foregone conclusion who was going to win.
10. After the match, Arsenio completely demolishes Del Rio. He's also gone to the Mark Henry school of cutting promos, because he yells the same thing three times, and Dolph looks back and forth before realizing that he's the Money in the Bank winner and goes to cash in the contract. Ricardo steals the contract away, because I guess the ref has no idea what that briefcase means without having it in his hand. By the time AJ gets it back, Del Rio has recovered and kicks Ziggler again. But hey, if you weren't aware, The Rock is having another championship celebration tonight. Just thought I should tell you, since they aren't advertising it.
11. We come back to yet another jobber entrance, this time for the Intercontinental Champion. He reminds us that he is a Top WWE Superstahr. He announces that he's also about to become a huge movie star, and he's nice enough to have a trailer for us. Because if there's one thing this show doesn't have enough of, it's commercials. Some chick is covering Pink Floyd, but for once, someone doing that isn't completely ruining it. Looking at the IMDB page, he isn't even listed, so in essence it was just a cheap plug for a Colin Farrell movie. Sheamus agrees, and has a completely pointless promo that goes nowhere, and we go into another commercial during the show with Lawler and Cole playing with action figures. This is actually happening.
12. FUNK IS ON A ROLL! FUNK IS ON A ROLL! Brodus and the Hip Hop Hippo are set for action, and the Innovators of Irrelevance try to get a reaction by... Having their entrance music play before the face team gets to the ring. That'll show 'em! It's a mixed-tag with one of the Funkateers and Rosa Mendez being involved. Epico tries to get involved and the Funkateer hits an awesome hurricanrana to counter. The Hip Hop Hippo attempts to sell a but of Primo's offense, but nobody could possibly believe that. In what is in essence the six-person tag version of all of Brodus's matches not involving the Big Show, they win a quick squash match. The Funkateers are no longer funky, but cheerleaders, because I guess that meshes well. The show is so rushed that we're back to Cole and Lawler yacking while the music is still playing.
13. Biff Swagger and Chester A. Arthur are ready for their State of the Union address, and Thwagger is speaking very slowly because I guess that'll help us take him seriously. Has he been watching John Wayne movies for promo inspiration or something? Chester A. Arthur thanks the Founding Fathers for the right to cut promos in a WWE ring. Arthur says the blame for the pathetic state of the union stands solely on illegal immigrants. Arthur is the first person I've ever heard use the word "educations" and he's definitely living up to the Coulter part of his name. Finally, President Chester gets to attacking the World Champion for not looking like he does. He says at WrestleMania, he'll win the title and reclaim America. All it'll take for the country to be all better is holding the World Title, huh? Seems like a relatively easy fix to a complicated problem. Swagger then also shows he's been attending Mark Henry Exclamation classes and repeats himself several times before Wagner cuts him off.
14. Whoever finds that fucking horn blower who felt the need to play the Montell Jordan Jackson Hewitt commercial twice a break will stand in bronze above the shores of Pyke! Bonus ham to the first one who gets the reference. We come back midmatch while it's going back and forth, and Bryan gets to play the face in this match with a likely predictable outcome, same as the Del Rio match earlier. Biff knocks Bryan out of the ring so hard that his grandson's principal could feel it seventy years later. More tweets roll through on the ticker, and it's just as distracting as when they do it on ESPN constantly.
15. Swagger throws Bryan around while working the bandaged ribs. The angle they're going with is that Chester is brainwashing Swagger, because he was only an asshole without being anti-immigrant before. Biff does his version of the Meathook taunt before Bryan gets a comeback. Bryan goes on the shine and Swaggers gets tossed to the outside. Bryan follows up with a dive through the ropes, and the crowd does their best to not sound like muffled conversation for a bit. Bryan gets a nearfall with a dropkick from the top rope, and continues hitting his trademark kicks before Swagger counters. Bryan gets in the NO! Lock out of nowhere, but Swagger quickly gets to the ropes. He comes up empty on a corner move, and Swagger does two really awesome moves to weaken the knee before locking in the Patriot Lock. Another good match, but another very predictable result. Swagger's entrance music sounds like he's about to go rescue hostages on Alcatraz with Sean Connery.
16. We come back with Vickie Guerrero and Paul Heyman. Vickie Big Johnny's herself and tells us who she is and what her job is, because that's what she does. Vickie announces that she's naming a new assistant for herself. She brought Paul Heyman out to announce that her new assistant is my sister's pretty boy, Brad Maddox. I guess Vickie and Paul are back to not liking each other, because that goes on a randomly weekly basis. Maddox turns up the ham to ridiculous levels, including Peter Brady-style voice cracking. They then get into a semantics debate about the job description, and Paul interjects with some ham of his own, saying that he doesn't care what either one of them have to say.
17. Vince McMahon is then nice enough to appear via satellite, and Heyman turns to adulation, unsuccessfully. Oh snap, I guess that whole "doing anything" to get that match stipulation is coming back to haunt him! Shenanigans are about to ensue! McMahon says anything means he could fire him right now, which why him doing that became invalidated because of a Brock Lesnar attack I'm not sure, but I digress. McMahon says there's going to be a fight, there's an awkward silence, and the RAW music hits. All right then.
18. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! THE TERRAIN OF TESTAMENT IS ABOUT TO CRASH INTO EARTH LIKE A RUSSIAN METEOR, HOAK HOGAN! ONE METEOR TO RULE THEM ALL, ONE METEOR TO FIND THEM! THE POWER OF DESTRUCITY WILL HIT YOU HARDER THAN A KENDRA LUST SCANDAL ON THIS GREAT BLUE ORB WHICH WILL BE OVERCOME BY THE POWER OF THE WARRIOR! YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO HARLEM SHAKE YOUR WAY TO A GRAMMY AWARD THIS TIME, HOAK HOGAN, FOR RYBACK'S NOT GOING TO HAVE MUSCLES WHEN I INSIST HE GIVE UP CONSUMING HUMANS FOR LENT! DOES D'ANGELO DINERO ANNOUNCING HIS RETIREMENT HAVE AN OUT-CLAUSE FOR LENT CLAIMS? FEED ME THE ULTIMATE POWER THIS GREAT COLLISION WILL BESTOW UPON MY TALKING TASSELS! (Thanks to the reference contributors on Twitter!)
19. The T-1000 is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs because of the Shield, and even though I've said it before, their entrance is easily the most intimidating of anyone on the current full-time roster. I didn't realize this was their first match on RAW, but thinking about it, I think they've only had two. They've been present quite often, but actual matches have been few and far between. Jericho insists that Ryback follow the rules during the match, which is an interesting angle to see him take. They describe Dean Ambrose as a scary dude, which makes sense because when he was Jon Moxley, he used to hang out with Sami Callahan. Jericho tags in Sheamus, and Reigns comes in furious. Sheamus gets the advantage, and I think Ambrose tried to get a blind tag, but failed? Sheamus hits White Noise on Reigns, but before he can hit the BOOT TO THE HEAD! The Shield pulls him out. Ambrose gets kicked instead, and that dramatically takes us into the commercial break.
20. Following the rules of commercial break, The Shield is now in control for a few seconds, and once again, it is the Shield's first RAW match. In their first RAW match, the Shield gets their offense in their first match while on their first match on RAW, they take control during their first match on RAW. Rollins and Reigns continue to get some cheap heat before Lobsterhead finally cuts it off. Ryback gets the hot tag, and I have to say that Cole saying "it's feeding time" is slightly creepy. Rollins eats a Clothesline From Skynet, but Reigns does the same spear that he did last night to cut off the momentum. Rollins gets thrown into the referee during the count.
21. The crowd is really into this match, so having 5/6 of it as a repeat from last night is not entirely a bad thing. It also speaks to how over as heels The Shield have gotten. Reigns yells like Tommy Wiseau as he hangs on Ryback on the ropes. Rollins then takes his turn kicking RyVD in the head as the cheap heat takes its turn on the T-1000. Reigns misses on a corner move before turning up the Ham on the selling, and the next hot tag goes to Jericho.
22. Jericho takes on all-comers and hits a perfect Lionsault on Ambrose for a near-fall. He tries to lock in the Walls, but Ambrose reverses and nearly eeks out a win with a roll-up. Reigns and Ryback brawl on the outside, and Jericho goes for the Walls again, this time locking it in. Reigns tries to interfere, but Sheamus fights him off. Rollins comes off the top rope, and Shield get the huge win again. Another very good TV match, and Shield gets put over big time again. I'll say it again; this is everything the Nexus could have been.
23. It's Kofi's turn to get the jobber entrance, and he's facing the Intellectual Savior of the Masses, who is hopefully not on job duty tonight. He's got a live mic, so it's definitely not all bad. He informs us that it's Presidents Day, because several members of his family, including Osius (sp?) Sandow, who came up with the New Deal. He then demands that all the nitwits remain silent so that everyone can be saved from their own self-imposed ignorance. Beautiful. Sandow cheaply attacks Sandow before the bell can ring, and it turns into a brawl quickly. Man, so much for that push Kofi was supposedly getting. Kofi has become heel fodder since losing the Intercontinental title.
24. It's the TROOF! The other man who needs a live mic comes in for the face save! TROOF comes in the ring and does some Crazy Eyes before hitting his signature moves on Sandow. That was a return I didn't see coming. This means there is potential for TROOF and one of his crazy homeless rants have come back, and I approve of that happening. Sandow and TROOF in a Ham-off could be legendary. They're then nice enough to show us the highlights of what we just saw, in case you forgot already, and we go into a cheap plug for the Rock's movie. This is the second trailer for a movie we're getting in this show tonight. It has some kind of awful remix of "Seven Nation Army" so it's getting the fast forward.
25. The second Fandango vignette of the night airs as everyone says "...What?" Randy Orton is out for his match with Kane that was caused by calling him a children's character. This face-vs.-face match was caused because Orton was clever enough to call Kane "Barney the Dinosaur" for saying he doesn't like snakes. That is why Orton is better seen, not heard... Although not by much. Orton works Kane's arm that was hurt in the Elimination Chamber match, because he's so good at wrestling as a face, but Kane punches him off the turnbuckle to the outside. Isn't it nice how all matches have someone fall to the outside just in time for a commercial break?
26. We come back as Orton runs into a Kane big boot for a near-fall. Kane continues on the offensive, as the crowd isn't really sure what to do, because they've both been fan favorites for a while. Orton comes back and starts hitting some cheap shots before Kane comes back and uppercuts him with authority. Orton comes back with a powerslam, but he runs right into a sidewalk slam from Kane. Pretty good back and forth fight here. Orton walks Kane to the ropes, but Kane again counters him onto the ropes. Daniel Bryan then comes out to screw Kane out of another match, and predictably he walks right into the RKO. Orton wins, big flippin' surprise. Didn't we just do this angle a few weeks ago when Kane fought Sheamus?
27. A marching band is on stage for the big Rock celebration that I wasn't aware was even happening until now. Lawler says he's Cena-itallnow, which is surprising considering Cena did that for a WrestleMania entrance a few years ago. I have to admit though, the percussionists drumming along with The Rock's entrance theme is pretty awesome. There is something hidden under a red cover in the middle of the ring, which may be the rumored new title belt which is long overdue.
28. Say what you want about The Rock, but he still gets massive reactions. Rock says that Punk is a piece of garbage, but he wasn't best in the world enough. That makes two women at ringside incredibly happy. This gives Rock time to read us an itinerary to set up the "Finally!" I'm surprised Lafayette is a big enough city for Vince McMahon to allow it to be mentioned. He's going to WrestleMania as champion, but he says he's not going with this, referring to the title belt. I didn't think it had spun in a long time, but now the spinner-ness is back for this specific moment conveniently. Rock says at some point people thought that title was cool, which makes me weep for humanity.
29. As the championship belt should never look like a toy, except when it sells merchandise, and Rock hands it to a crew member to make sure it goes to the Hall of Fame that doesn't physically exist. He says that the title should instead inspire to anyone who sees it, which I agree, and Bruno Sammartino gets name-dropped. As I said on Twitter last night, they're really enjoying being allowed to say his name again. The new title belt gets revealed to its own entrance music, complete with Brahma Bulls on the side. Some kid at ringside is wearing a fake mustache. Maybe he's a Cody Rhodes fan. Rock asks if he's going to face Punk or Cena, both of which get mixed reactions. Before Rock can say which man brings out the best in him, the last season of the Cosby Show's theme cuts it off.
30. Cena comes out with super serial face and cracks his knuckles. Before he can charge the ring, he gets hit with the other WWE title belt by CM Punk. He then points at the one Rocky has and says he wants that one, so I guess even he likes that title better. Some young fan at ringside is screaming like his parents just got killed by Joe Chill, and that's how the show goes off the air. Most of the matches were good, but the results, like last night and the Royal Rumble, were not exactly surprising. Usually the night after Elimination Chamber really sets the table for WrestleMania, but I suppose they're saving that for next week. Overall, good wrestling, but nothing new was really added for WrestleMania, and it's not that far away. They're counting on the main event to sell it again, and unless it gets turned into a triple threat, because I know they're not leaving their cash cow out of it, I'll be disappointed.
Not too disappointed to return you to your weekly dose of Jackie though!
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Not a real standout ham performance by anyone tonight, but Sandow gets the edge for naming his ancestor Osius and claiming that he came up with the New Deal.
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
2-18-13 - Damien Sandow
IN CASE YOU MISSED JADED HOPE #100