IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 2-25-13
By Al Laiman
Feb 26, 2013 - 12:17:18 AM
credit Tom Jenner
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 2-25-2013
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1. Welcome to Monday Night RAW, where everything's made up and the points don't matter. That's right, the points are like getting a DUI and possession charge if you piss off a political commentator. You know, I really miss old RAW openings. I'd take the old RAW is WAR openings, or even the Union Underground one. Not so much the awful Papa Roach one, or the Nickelback one, which made Papa Roach seem like Dark Side of the Moon in comparison. They just had the feeling of epic a lot more than the current ones do. The show opens with Mr. McMahon power-gimping his way to the ring. Seeing as my mother is about to have a hip replacement, and she's not allowed to walk stairs or drive for a month afterward, it really speaks to what a badass McMahon is that he's out there a mere 21 days after. McMahon asks what better way to start RAW than a fight, which would be a great moment for a Finlay return. He wastes no time in calling out "The Ultimate Fighter" Paul Heyman, who is sure to remind is that he is "all-man." He's sure to throw in a good Tony Romo joke for some cheap heat, and he warns McMahon that he's coming for everything he has.
2. Heyman's confidence really hints that he has something up his sleeve other than a leg advantage. Heyman gingerly tackles McMahon and hits him with one of the crutches. Remember what I said about McMahon being a badass? Double that for taking these hits. McMahon somehow comes back with some crutch shots of his own, but a certain heel's music hits, despite a huge face reaction.
3. Brock Lesnar walks down to the ring as Paul Heyman sells like Dolph Ziggler on commission. Before Lesnar can attack McMahon, who isn't backing down, McMahon's ace card is revealed, albeit to nobody's surprise. The short-haired Triple H walks out to the still-awesome Motorhead theme in seemingly no hurry whatsoever. H kinda looks like Chief Morley with his haircut. Once H nears ringside, the brawl ensues, and it's already more interesting than their match at Summerslam. H gets the advantage, and Lesnar either got busted open the hardway or did one helluva blade job. H clotheslines him over the barrier, but Lesnar comes back and does an awkward fireman's carry onto the announce table. Holy JBL, Lesnar is bleeding like Ric Flair on bloodthinners! Lesnar gets in the ring, but Triple H comes back with a spinebuster and a huge chair shot. Oh noez, Lesnar is covered in blood! Hide the children! Send them back to their rooms before they feel the rapture!
4. Smackdown is now called Social Media Smackdown? I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
5. After the replay of what we just saw, they've unfortunately brought back "Touting it Out," in case you didn't get that they want you to use social media yet. Dolph Ziggler got the jobber entrance so we could make room for clips of people Touting about Triple H and Brock Lesnar. The T-1000 summons his witch doctor invisible pyro powers, and gets the early advantage on Ziggler. We get a lot of personal training details about RyVD, because hearing it from The Rock just wasn't entertaining enough, and Ziggles does his best to get some offense in. Arsenio waits at ringside, while AJ wonders what she did to get reduced to a manager with one facial expression. The crowd is crickets except for a "Goldberg" chant, and someone in the crowd has a "Cool Story, Bro" sign. Wow, your mama must be damn proud of you! Ziggler gets thrown out of the ring conveniently just in time for a commercial break.
6. We come back with Ryback still on offense and Dolph rolling around to sell it. Cole says "It's been all Ryback for a majority of this match." So wouldn't that make it "Mostly Ryback?" On the outside, Arsenio bulldozes right through Ryback, and that would be an intriguing encounter. I don't see the T-1000 throwing him around so easily. Ziggler goes for a cover and gets bench-pressed... Er more like bench-thrown out to break it. Ziggler even sells kickouts better than anyone, that's awesome. He then throws a really nice DDT, which would make a better finisher than the Zig Zag, and locks in the sleeper hold. Ryback counters with a reverse Bubba Bomb, if you will. He gets Ryback in the corner, and yes, Ziggler gets drilled right in the fuck! AJ goes for the distraction, Arsenio gets knocked off the apron, and Ziggler still can't take advantage. Mr. Money in the Bank loses... again, because who needs a future world champion with credibility? To his credit though, Ziggler did better than anyone not named the Shield or CM Punk against him has. Ziggler's supersell mode has him in the running for a huge slice of ham though, because that made the match incredibly entertaining. A movie trailer involving Hollaback Masterpiece airs, so that's a good time for a bathroom break.
7. CM Punk's music hits after a match and a commercial within the show have taken place, so presumably another commercial break is about to interrupt his entrance. Punk does the anti-Hogan, taking in the jeers before he begins to speak. Punk informs us all that this is a night we'll tell our grandchildren about. I really hope they're giving him this kind of attention on the Road because he's going to be involved in the main event, not because they're going to toss him to the side before Mania. He says that tonight is not about Cena, Rocky, the people, or WrestleMania, but about what the future holds... HIM! He goes on a hammy self-fulfilling rant about how amazing he is, and that he's an icon that walks amongst superstars. He lists more adjectives than Roget, capstoning with claiming to be JBL. Effective, but really over the top; at least enjoyably so.
8. The newest member of the Hall of Fame is revealed and... it's Donald Trump. Hello fast-forward.
9. Mark Henry and the Great Khali are seen heading toward the ring in a "collision of leviathans." Unfortunately, that doesn't mean Batista is about to destroy Khali, but at least we're about to see an eight-finisher Indy-style match where Khali kicks out of the Canadian Destroyer. At least they're finally answering our demands for more Great Khali matches. Next maybe they'll get my letter about a Big Show ironman submissions only match. Khali chops Henry out of the ring, before Henry pushes him vaguely in the area of the ring post. They get back in the ring, and Khali tries for a hurricanrana, which is countered by a Warrior's Way mid-air from Mark Henry, who then finishes off the match with a springboard Shooting Star Press. I'm so glad that took up time on television. And because we don't have enough commercials, we get the second trailer of the first hour. Damn, at this rate, I'll catch up to live TV in no time.
10. MizTV is next, with ADR, Biff Swagger, and Chester A. Arthur already in the ring. Miz is nice enough to spare us his own bullshit, and instead gives Swagger an open forum to speak to ADR. Arthur is sure to throw in a Glenn Beck reference before introducing himself as a "Real American." Arthur continues to piss off Glenn Beck by saying exactly what Glenn Beck says. I'm pretty sure he even throws in a "THEYYYYYYYY TOOOOOOOOOOK RRRRRRR JERRRRRRRRRRRRRBS!" ADR tries to interrupt, Chester gets offended, but then Miz then continues to cut him off. ADR then decides to let Chester A. Arthur ramble on.
11. Chester continues rambling on about Mexico before ADR finally decides to get offended doing his best "What do you mean, you people?" from Tropic Thunder. Chester rolls on and on before finally calling immigrants "criminals" and ADR finally realizes it's time to get indignant. ADR says that America belongs to everyone, and that he's no different than anyone, including BIG MOUTH! In an interesting contrast, it is the Mexican getting the "U-S-A!" chant against the American-gimmicked wrestler. ADR spouts out a lot of cliches often heard in stump speeches and challenges the All-American 'Muricans to make them leave. Biff shows off his improved mic skills with a "We the people." Wow, he sure showed him!
12. Randy Orton's walking to the ring to face Antonio Cesaro... again. I'm guessing he wins with a surprise RKO, what are the odds I'm wrong? During the commercial, "Zebbie" gets mad at Miz's journalism skills, and Miz again gets beaten up by a heel and yells the only three words he can muster with any enthusiasm. Lawler speaks about the 'Murican's "cajunos", or however he murdered the word, and Cesaro gets the jobber entrance. Orton comes out and vaguely throws his one facial expression in Cesaro's direction, or as Cole would call it, "deep in psychological thought while having an internal dispute with the voices in his head." Suck it, Christian Bale, that's how you play a psycho! Cole references the old school RAW next week, because it's been about four weeks since the last gimmicked RAW so it's about time, and wonders about the uh... uh... uhumuh... ugh. Clarity at its best.
13. Wow, this crowd sucks. Even if we have seen this match a bunch of times already, they barely react at all. Cesaro gets the advantage with the power of his groans, and Orton gets a comeback already. Cesaro counters the Ropes DDT, but it fazes Orton zero, and WOW ZOMGZ! HE WINS WITH A SURPRISE RKO! And the crowd goes mild as Orton wins. Yay. They talk about it bringing a smile to the face of the Viper, which means he almost summons an emotion for a few seconds before returning to his stone-faced blandness.
14. Backstage, Team Anger Hamagement talks about letting things go, because they've got the Prime Time Players tonight. Bryan says he could beat him blindfolded, and Kane claims he could beat them with one hand tied behind his back. Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero were conveniently listening, and Echo-Boy lays down the stipulations they challenged. Daniel Bryan continues saying that he won't be able to see, in case wrestling fans don't know what a blindfold does. We get a throwback to the WrestleMania 21 trailer commercial, and that means a JBL appearance! I miss this ad campaign! We then find out that Lobsterhead will be reviewing his Oscar snubs, because... Well, the Oscars also happened.
15. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! SCOOBY SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? I'VE GOT SOME DESTRUCITY FOR YOU NOW, HOAK HOGAN! YOUR BEST GRUMPY CAT FACE WON'T BE ABLE TO EXPLAIN THE TRUE OSCAR SNUB OF WARRIOR NOT GETTING THE OSCAR OVER THE GREATNESS THAT IS THE WARRIOR! I'LL BE ON THAT QUICKER THAN WILLIE MAYS HAYES DURING A 9TH INNING YANKEES GAME, HOAK HOGAN! YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO TAKE THE GIRL FROM ME THIS TIME, FOR SHE'S GOING TO RESURRECT THE BOY MEETS WORLD FRANCHISE AS TOPANGA LAWRENCE, HOAK HOGAN! I'VE GOT TOPANGA, BITCH! BEAT THAT! YOUR LOSING STREAK TO MY GREATNESS WILL MAKE THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO SEEM LIKE A DEGREE JUMP IN BATTLESTAR, HOAK HOGAN! THIS AIN'T NO STARBUCK SHENANIGAN! THIS IS REAL LIFE! BEN AFFLECK BITES DONKEY TITS, HOAK HOGAN!
16. Lawler and Cole continue with their brilliant topical commentary as Sheamus is ready to rock a three-piece in the face of cinematic justice. What is with WWE's obsession with movies the last two weeks? Sheamus sarcastically says that the Academy overlooked Wade Barrett, before going a little old school Kurt Angle and saying "It's True, It's True!" This is of course a perfect time to play... You guessed it... ANOTHER FUCKING MOVIE TRAILER! Once I heard that it's got Colin Farrell, I'm immediately out. Sheamus then replays another scene with showing Wade Barrett vaguely in the background. In case you haven't picked up on Lobsterhead's subtlety yet, he doesn't really think Wade Barrett is a good actor! Shenanigans are going to ensue!
17. Wade Barrett then interrupts to remind us that the Irish do in fact love the color green. He accuses Sheamus of being envious of Wade Barrett being a huuuuuuuge rock star... No wait, that was a Chris Jericho's line, but it was close enough. We then continue on with Barrett plugging the premiere, because what I want when I turn into Monday Night Wrestling is a bunch of movie plugs! YES! YES! YES! I'm so glad they realized this was the ticket to a huge WrestleMania buyrate. Barrett tries for an elbow, dodges a Brogue Kick, and walks out of the ring. Thank JBL we saved time for that segment.
18. It's time for the TROOF, while Sandow complains about Crazy Eyes' unwarranted attack. Cole says that TROOF "had his way with him." Provocative... He'll be taking on the also-jobber-entranced Cody Rhodes, and Sandow finally brings some tolerable commentary to the show. Cody gets the advantage to the resounding silence of the Dallas crowd, and Sandow is not impressed with the word "bro-mance." Cole is more interested in bromances and mustache jokes than the actual match, and TROOF's comeback almost gets a mild chatter. TROOF gets the sudden win, and Sandow tries to make the surprise attack, and he gets fought off in about two seconds. Cole says that TROOF's been on fire since returning. Yeah, the entire week has been a blazing inferno.
19. Perfect segue into talking about Chester A. Arthur's YouTube rant, because we didn't have to listen to him talk enough tonight. Fast forward.
20. The entire tag match gets the jobber entrance to make time for movie trailers, and Daniel Bryan must've confused a blindfold with one of Mr. Creedy's black bags. Titus O'Neil is nice enough to let Daniel Bryan feel around vaguely, and the grabs the ref and tries to put him in the NO! Lock. The crowd is finally involved, and start chanting according to where the PTP are in the ring, which is rather clever. Cole stutters through plugging the App, and Titus tags Darren in and they start working the double team. When the guy is blind-folded, does it still count as a blind tag?
21. Kane hams it up and yells at Bryan to get out of the way. Bryan responds by accidentally punching Kane in the face. Kane continues yelling and guiding Bryan to the corner, and he finally tags in with his one arm. Kane cleans house, one-armed and all, and sets up for the chokeslam. Titus tries to interfere, gets kicked away, and Kane gets the chokeslam and the win, one-armed. I'm sure Hustle has a lovely parting gift for the Prime Time Players, who lose in horrible fashion even with the Ham Team Champions gimmicked and disadvantaged.
22. Three minutes of review highlights skipped again, and The Shield's badass entrance music hits. Some guy walks down next to the Shield just to get on television, because somebody besides him apparently cares, and Heath Ambrose takes the mic. They warn that it'll keep getting worse, because they're the most dangerous unit in the industry. No argument here. They're here to shatter the comfort zones, and challenges the Avengers to assemble, because it won't stop them. For some reason, they still put the name plates below them when they're speaking, and Roman Reigns warns of grinding bones to HAM! Rollins is nice enough to review the three-match career of the young stable, including defeating the Justice League at Elimination Chamber. Before Rollins can warn anyone else against standing up, Lobsterhead's music interrupts.
23. Lobsterhead challenges the Shield to come up to the stage and fight him. Akbar warning! Randy Orton hits an RKO out of nowhere, and Heath Ambrose acts like he just got snipered. Orton shows his heavy-breathing lack of a facial expression, and Reigns is not impressed. What, now is Orton gonna team up with Ryback and Sheamus against them?
24. Miz gets a match against Biff Swagger, and it doesn't take long for Biff to steal the Almanac and see Miz's attack coming. We get a shot of ADR and Ricardo watching, just to remind you that they have a match of significant proportions on the horizon, and Biff grunts and throws things 'Murica-style. Miz tries to come back and is greeted with more knees in the corner. Chester A. Arthur plays with his beard and looks around. Miz starts to come back, awkwardly hits the ropes, just in time for Swagger to marry his mother and take over the future. People are so bored that they're just dancing around trying to get on TV instead of watching the match.
25. Miz comes back with his old finisher to get a hope spot, but Swagger cuts him off again and gets a near fall. Cole keeps rambling about Zeb and Glenn Beck on YouTube, if you haven't heard that anything happened there yet, and Miz hits a clothesline to rally. Miz comes off the top rope for a near-fall, and this match is surprisingly less one-sided than I was expecting. We get about ten times the cutaways to Zeb as we did to AJ, which is wrong on so many levels, and Miz nearly gets a win from a flip again. Biff pushes Miz away and gets his leg caught in the ropes, which doesn't look like it felt good at all. Swagger takes the opportunity to work the damaged leg and then breathe heavily in Miz's ear before getting in the Patriot Act. Team All-American 'Muricans celebrate in the ring and Swagger points to the WrestleMania sign to remind you that he is in fact going. We get Lawler and Cole actually doing their own Sonic plug in-show before highlights. More fast-forwarding.
26. Touts, fast-forward. Fan Touts, more fast-forwarding, giveashit-o-meter at zero. Highlights of the first segment, in case you missed the eight other replays of it, fast-forward. Cena spouts a bunch of trailer quotes, if you didn't realize that WWE was all about the cinema lately, and Cena asked for the match to prove that John Cena's back, because I guess he's been gone a while. Cena must've been in a challenge to fit as many cliches as he possibly could in one three-minute promo, including quoting his own entrance music. It wasn't terrible, but he's done better.
27. We get more Touting, this time showing Taker's return at a house show in Waco. You know, they've left that Tout shit alone for a long time, and now they've had it like five different times tonight. Two full entrances later, thankfully, they have the participants announced after they're already in the ring like a championship match. Cena gets the bigger pop, but the detractors audibly remain. The crowd finally gets involved again with the usual Cena dueling chant, and Cole reminds you of the "big fight" feel they've only mentioned 2843424656 times already, and they start off the match slow with some chain wrestling. Lawler calls it the biggest of big matches, which I thought was the WrestleMania main event, but I could be wrong. Two guys in the second row try to stand cool with their title belts and dueling shirts, because the people behind them seeing the show aren't as important as two guys nobody knows being seen on TV continuously. Cena gets the upper hand with a hip toss, and Punk is nice enough to sell that the whole way out of the ring so they can go into a commercial break. What a nice guy.
28. We come back with Cena going into the turnbuckle, and we're recapped with what happened in the match during the commercial break. You would think with such a big match, they might not have any of those, but what the hell would that do besides not annoy me and give the match the "big fight" feel they haven't mentioned at all? Cena counters a submission with a power out and creates separation, as Cole puts it. We get some more chain wrestling, which I'm quite enjoying for those folks who say Cena can't wrestle, and Punk counters with a back kick and gets a near-fall. Cole mentions creating separation again, and Cena tries to go into the shoulder blocks, and Punk negates the need for a clothesline by sending him sprawling out of the ring instead. Punk does a rare heel high spot to the outside, and we get another commercial break.
29. We come back with Punk about ready to lose the advantage on Cena again, and of course we get more WWE App replays. Cena hits his shoulder blocks, but Punk counters again into the Anaconda Vice. I was about to write about his foolishness of trying a clothesline there, but the master shows his cards. Punk gets another close-fall as his confidence ORRRR his frustration builds. Cena tries for an STF, but Punk quickly counters and hits a springboard elbow for another pinfall attempt. Cena then gets in the STF successfully, but Punk reverses it into another Anaconda Vice. Cena then reverses it into what looks like a ringer for the Voldemort Crossface as opposed to the called-STF, and Punk nearly taps, but gets out. This is a perfect moment for the BOO-YAY exchange, and Punk gets the audible YAYs out of it before Punk kicks it out of him. Cena breaks off and finally hits his spinning slam, but Punk counters again out of the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. They're really showing how well these two know each other and can anticipate each other's moves. Even with the interruptions, great match on RAW taking place here. Punk gets the high knee in the corner, but it's Cena's turn for a counter into a successful Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Cena goes for the AA, Punk goes for the GTS, and then Cena hits a Batista Bomb for a damn close-fall. Cole says that Cena is "literally muttering to himself," as opposed to figuratively, I suppose. He's then nice enough to remind us that the winner does, in fact, go to WrestleMania. Thanks for that, I forgot. Cena gets to the top rope despite resistance, and hits his leg drop for a really damn close-fall. Perfect time for the two second row title holders to point to their titles, because we all care. We've all sat next to those fans who care more about getting on TV than watching the show. Cena hits the AA out of nowhere, and Punk again gets out of it at the last possible second. This match definitely has a WrestleMania feel to it, I'll give them that, but these two haven't failed to deliver in any of their big matches.
30. Cena follows Punk to the outside and gets shoved into the ringpost for his trouble. Cena summons just enough strength to avoid being counted out. Punk scores with a GTS, but it's Cena's turn to kick out of his finisher. Will the third time from either be the charm? Cena somehow has the strength to counter this one, but it's a damn impressive counter into an STF. Punk reaches the ropes out of desperation as they both wonder what to do next. Punk comes back and hits an old-school piledriver, and Cena kicks out of that too. Punk tries to cover him two more times, but can't quite get the three-count. Punk goes to the top rope for the Macho Man Elbow Drop, but misses and John Cena throws a FUCKING HURRICANRANA, holy shit. He then hits another quick AA, and wins the match. Well, we all knew that was coming, but what an incredible match it was! They really want this Rock/Cena match again, I guess, so we'll just have to deal with it. I don't think anyone actually thought that Punk had a chance in hell at winning, which is unfortunate, because I really wanted him to get added as a triple threat. I have no desire to see another Cena/Rock match whatsoever. Overall though, a pretty solid show, albeit a bit heavy with the Touts and movie trailers. WrestleMania is shaping up exactly like most thought it would, so I really hope there are some twists in the road. Good show, but again very predictable, as it pretty much has been since the Rumble. .
And here it is, your weekly dose of Jackie.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Daniel Bryan regains his precious with his segment and work under the black bag.
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
2-25-13 - Daniel Bryan
IN CASE YOU MISSED JADED HOPE #100