1. Apologies to those who wish I could do this on Tuesday, but I don’t get to see RAW until Tuesday night. This, however, is at least a day earlier than before. And for those waiting to see a different kind of column than the standard 30 Thoughts, I’m on it and I’ll get one out as soon as possible. I do try to listen to suggestive criticism.
2. Wow, so Eve is an evil bitch now with the Bellas of all people showing sympathy? Okay, the heel turn makes sense, but I’m pretty sure the Bellas are still heel as well. It is a weird thing to see these segments as if the people about whom they’re talking have no access whatsoever to a monitor or something.
3. John Cena didn’t need a monitor because he was standing right behind her… and apparently her new friends the Bella twins didn’t notice the biggest name in the industry standing a few feet away. The angle makes sense, and at least it’s finally going to get her some reaction, but I don’t think John Cena was the only one scoffing.
4. As Cena opens the show, Eve Laurinaitis’s her way into the segment, thus making it already too much Eve on this episode. I lost track of the amount of times she said “John”, but I bet that made Vince McMahon proud. Anyone who has read Countdown to Lockdown knows that Vince McMahon hates pronouns.
5. Cena surprisingly hams it up and turns the crowd back in his favor with two words: “skank juice.” It is WrestleMania season, so I suppose PG-13 John is about to come back out. He does much better in that environment, as he got the crowd chanting something at Eve as opposed to using her segment as the usual bathroom break.
6. I get that they had to emphasize that Eve was upset, but they spent way too much time on it. I mean, was anything really gained by holding on her for a good three minutes crying and being helped to the back rather than cutting away after thirty seconds? This is time on the program that could be better spent with another backstage segment, or even a commercial break. Not that I have any vested interest in seeing commercials…
7. Now remember that I don’t read anything on LOP until I’ve not only seen RAW, but written this column as to avoid influence or forthcoming facts that emerge after the episode. I do wish I could get this out on Tuesday to avoid confusion on that, so if anyone, specifically Hustle, already marked out for the “TOO MANY LIMES” sign in the background during Sheamus’ entrance, I apologize for the repetition. But holy hell, someone in my adopted hometown has my favorite sign of all time! Maybe that’s the District Manager who drives a Dodge Stratus he keeps talking about. I’ll check the next time I’m back home for you to put an end to this madness.
8. Sheamus and Mark Henry don’t match their previous encounter from last year, but it was a pretty decent match that served its purpose. Sheamus looks good against a former world champion instead of fighting Jinder Mahal for another few weeks, and Mark Henry still looks credible going into this possible RAW vs. Smackdown control feud.
9. The World’s Strongest Slam into the Brogue Kick was a really awesome counter. That’s not the kind of move you usually see from a guy that size, but it was really impressive. I continue to enjoy his ascent, which is how it should’ve been done the first time instead of thrusting him into the main event before he was ready. When they mention that he’s already a two-time WWE champion, it feels like being reminded because I’ve almost forgotten that portion of his career, and at this point, I think that’s a good thing. Good for him for turning it around.
10. John Laurinaitis saying “player” makes babies cry.
11. I guess Kofi Kingston trying to stand out has been reduced back to what it always was; finding a random tag team partner and going after the tag belts… again. After being in the Elimination Chamber, I’m not sure how much sense it makes for these guys to be in a match with… Primo and Epico, sorry I had to actually remember their names. It’s not that they’re bad; that slide to the outside dive spot was really sweet, but I have no reason to care about them either way.
12. R-Truth will be taking Evan Bourne’s place I’m guessing, which will lead to the formation of Jimmy Boom Corn. Those guys could make an interesting short-term tag team, but it’s really a shame there are only two tag teams in the entire business. It doesn’t exactly make being the tag team champions worth anything.
13. Ron Simmons is being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and good for him. I know he’d already had a long career before I started seeing him as Faarooq, but to me, I’ll always remember the APA poker table segments. It’s essential to remember to use the door with them. It was also pretty funny seeing them refer to Bradshaw in his full APA get-up as JBL. I know it’s the same guy, but that’s not what I think of when I think JBL.
14. Hey, they finally gave Ezekiel Jackson something to do. I guess Teddy Long’s go-to-Sheamus card isn’t valid anymore now that he’s competing for the world title. Complete with the Brawl For All theme, this brand managers feud is ready to go. I like this idea. I remember when Eric Bischoff and Stephanie McMahon, not to mention Bischoff and Paul Heyman, had serious rivalries going on between their shows. It made both of them infinitely more interesting.
15. Wow, that half-assed spinebuster actually finished a match against a guy the size of Ezekiel Jackson. David Otunga hasn’t won a match in months, and now he’s just gone over that guy. There’s no way he can come back from this. Laurinaitis’s “Future Endeavored” shirt is very appropriate in this situation.
16. Michael Cole, please just do us all a favor and go blow John Laurinaitis already.
17. If The Undertaker and The Sandman ever faced each other at WrestleMania, the entrances alone could last well over ten minutes, especially until Sandman remembers where he was. What a sad descent that became. I remember being at an indy show about four years ago and seeing him so drunk that people had to hold him up as he walked through the crowd. It wasn’t any Brother Runt performance, but it was damn close.
18. I think it’s odd that the crowd is “whatting” Taker. I applaud him for not succumbing to the pauses or reacting to it, but isn’t that usually reserved for heels? And isn’t it sad that the chant still exists when likely half the audience wasn’t even born when it started to know what it means? Isn’t it sad that the only continuous thing remaining from Stone Cold’s legacy is the worst idea he ever had?
19. I really dig the blue lights for the ambiance of Taker’s address, but it seemed really silly when they changed back after Triple H made his entrance.
20. After a really long conversation, including Triple H almost leaving, Triple H finally accepts the match to a massive pop, both for the match happening and for knowing that this means they’ll finally stop talking. I enjoyed the promo, but damn it was long. Wait no, Triple H is still talking.
21. Now THAT is what Hell in a Cell should be. No concept Pay-Per-View can match up with the culmination of a huge feud ending inside the Cell, it just doesn’t work. I believe this’ll be the first Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania. Yes, there was that Big Bossman match, but let’s just not remember that ever again if we can. The WrestleMania card is starting to stack up pretty well.
22. I really don’t get it. Why did they build Santino up so much to have him lose in two minutes the next night? I don’t care if he would’ve won the Battle Royal later; all the momentum he had from that huge Chamber performance is gone with that, as he’s back to jobbing after a failed Cobra. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I actually was cheering for the guy for the first time, ever I think, and now it’s just gone. Stupid stupid stupid!
23. Oh goodie, a diva’s tag match. I guess that’s where Kelly Kelly has been all this time. I honestly think this is the first time I’ve seen Aksana, but I could be mistaken, given the usual change in my attention span for these things. I guess the Bellas are back to acting like heels now that Eve isn’t around.
24. If there was less of a fuck than not giving a fuck about that Diva’s match, I don’t give it. Please just bring in Kharma already to challenge Beth Phoenix for WrestleMania.
25. I don’t really think it’s a good idea to diss your own movies, Cena. I mean, everyone else did sure, but I don’t really think that’s the wisest decision you’ve ever made.
26. Cena’s promo was absolutely amazing, probably the best I’ve ever seen him do. The only issue I have with it is, he seems to have completely forgot about the months of building up the hate, so to speak. Now he’s back like it’s last year and none of that ever happened. I enjoyed the promo out of context, but only a day after finishing a feud like that to forget everything it was building up, not as much.
27. I think the girl at ringside had an orgasm when CM Punk touched her. That was the funniest damn thing I saw all night. With CM Punk on commentary though, there needs to be a diet soda moment.
28. Hasn’t it been such an added bonus to have the Great Khali back? Hasn’t his return really stepped up the game for the entire business and the world in general? Can you imagine what it would’ve been like had he not returned and participated in elimination matches for thunderously exciting half-minutes such as the Chamber and the battle royal? The world is now a better place because of that breathtaking combined minute.
29. Big Show hitting the double chokeslam on anyone is always awesome. Then we get one of my favorite aspects to a multi-man match when they do it; a finisher fest! I don’t care how ridiculous psychologically they are, they’re awesome and I love them.
30. Good lord that was a scary fall by Dolph Ziggler. He could’ve easily broken his neck with how he fell into that table. Jericho wins, but I stopped caring after seeing that. Cody vs. Big Show seems to be a possibility for WrestleMania, but still… That was a genuinely scary moment, and since I haven’t read any of the headlines posted about it, I can only just hope I won’t get on LOP after I post this and find out something really serious has happened.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
John Cena takes it this week with the opening promo, including “skank juice”, and getting the crowd to chant and trend “hoeski”.
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
As I said, I’ll try to have something different your way here sometime soon. I hope the earlier posting time is better as well. Seeing the show from Minneapolis really made me miss my home, and seeing Dolph Ziggler potentially seriously injured really has me in a mood that was already down before this happened. Life sucks sometimes guys, and the best you can do is try to take responsibility for all that has brought you to that point. I’ve got a full-time job, I go to school full-time, I’m working on three books, and I have two weekly columns, so I don’t really have time to dwell, which is probably a good thing. I hope anyone else reading this who may be having a tough time right now stays strong. Eat your cereal with a fork, and do your homework in the dark.