IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 2-4-13
By Al Laiman
Feb 5, 2013 - 12:36:08 AM
credit Tom Jenner
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 2-4-2013
Here's your HAM! button for the night!
1. It's a snowy night in Pennsylvania, but it's RAW on our televisions tonight. How cheesy can the opening video make last week's RAW? I don't know, because I'm fast-forwarding it. Have they just gotten rid of the opening pyro as a whole? That was an awesome thing about seeing a live show. CM Punk with his Beyonce-like hoodie comes out, not quite as animated as last time, but is destroying crowd signs. He forces Justin Roberts in the ring to announce him as "The People's Champion" just in time for the Internet to hate him because it's cool now, apparently. Punk berates the crowd for never having done anything great in their lives in a defense of his lack of overreaction. He then responds to the video, and then gets out of the ring to ask the fans if they saw him in the video with Paul Heyman. The second fan he asks, a nice little blonde lady, reacts with the "not impressed" face. He even makes Cole say it, which might give him Heidenreich flashbacks.
2. Punk implies that Vince McMahon faked the video and is vindictive enough to pull the screwjob on him. Considering what he did before Money in the Bank 2011, that would make a lot of sense in kayfabe. A string of adjectives for reasons that they'd eat it up later before dramatically describing his ride on the F-5, reminding us that he is, in fact, a heel. He challenges anyone to come in the ring and prove him wrong, which is really close to a Voldemort 2000 reference... Who is it that interrupts him? Booker T? Okay... Booker T flubs his description of Vickie Guerrero three times, because even he doesn't know what the hell a Managing Supervisor is, and gives Atlanta the choice of which former WrestleMania opponent he'll face. Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, and Chris Jericho are all shown, and Jericho gets the biggest pop. Interesting, considering last year when that took place, the crowd dispositions were reversed. Of course, the only way to vote is to download the fucking App, because the only way to vote is to download the App, so that they can vote by downloading the App. What a great idea, maybe next year they can use that for Slammy's voting! In case you weren't paying attention, we have to get... Yes I'm dead serious for those who haven't watched yet... A FUCKING VIDEO TUTORIAL OF HOW TO DOWNLOAD THE WWE APP. Good JBL... Wait, JBL isn't on commentary?! I DOTH PROTEST!
3. The T-1000's entrance music hits, so I guess it's about to be a commercial break. He's announced as Sin City, which begs the interesting question of what would happen if the Sin City universe and the Terminator universe did a crossover? Would create some interesting "Who Would Win in a Fight" scenarios, wouldn't it? After the commercial break, we're not looking at Ryback, but another reference to the WWE App, which is making me wish I had a brick to throw. Not only is it more WWE App whoring, but I have to listen to Randy Orton cut a promo. I'd rather listen to Alicia Keys doing the National Anthem from last night in slow motion.
4. Announced as his opponent is Antonio Cesaro, which gives Lawler yet more time to yap about the App. Hmm, I should trademark that... What was Ryback doing the whole time? Standing there awkwardly? Trying to figure out how to consume via social media whorage? It looks like the entire top half is tarped off. In the words of a great wrestling philosopher, "Das not cool!" Ryback uses the Tree of Woe to do a "Feed Me More" triple mudstomp. It gets an apathetic, lukewarm chant out of it. Claudio's actually allowed to get some offense in for a few seconds, and a good showing here would allow him to continue his rise to the main event. We know he has the strength to do some damage, even against a perceived invincible monster like RyVD. As Claudio gets the advantage with a clothesline to the back of Ryback's head, we go to a commercial.
5. We come back just in time for a clotheselbow strike from Ryback, who summons his Skynet Death Orders to prevent Claudio from walking out on the match. Claudio takes advantage of Ryback coming back in the ring and throws him into the ring post, and then the steps. Wow, nice to see someone by themselves allowed to get offense on this guy. Claudio tries to get the count-out, but he barely crawls in at nine. Cesaro does some Biker Taker references with the Soup Bones before continuing with more impressive offense. Ryback counters with a stiff-looking knee lift from the corner before suddenly being okay and setting up for the Clothesline From Skynet. Claudio tries to escape again, and comes back in the ring, hits a high kick, but Ryback counters another one with a spinebuster, another CFS, and finally his finisher. Well, the ending was predictable, but Antonio Cesaro looked like gold in this match. It was possibly the best match I've seen of Ryback's run as well. Cesaro is on his way, my friends.
6. We've had one match, so this is naturally a time to remind us to download the WWE App. But what the hell, WWE? You haven't told me how to do it yet! I know, maybe you should make a video showing me how to download an App, because the people who would want to download an App obviously have no idea how to do so! A bad angle on Michael Cole shows him looking down at the script in front of him before we transition into a replay of the Triad of Terror demolishing the top faces.
7. We come back to see that Chilli from TLC is in the crowd because, well... she exists. We then go to ANOTHER WWE App reference with a Rey Mysterio promo. Question... If they want us to download the App, why are they showing us everything we would've exclusively seen on the App? It's obnoxious. Fortunately, I don't give a shit about anything they're showing on the App, so it makes no difference. Since we just saw a Shield replay, this is a good time for a Shield vignette, which could be made really interesting if they showed them being responsible for the Super Bowl blackout last night. Meanwhile, Vickie Guerrero is backstage with John Cena, and he's in faux-witty mode, claiming that Shield needs to be stopped... tonight.
8. It's time for the next announced Hall-of-Famer... Oh, no it's not. It's the same Trish Stratus video they showed last week. Fast forward. Download the WWE App, fast forward. So let's recap... Good promo, WWE App, great match, replay, vignette, backstage promo, vignette. We come back to... Of course, the third WWE App promo, fast forward. Thank JBL for DVR. Santino Marella is making his entrance, and those same fans that CM Punk berated are kissing at him... Kay. Who is Santino jobbing to tonight? Why it's the repackaged Biff Swagger, and how have they changed his character to make him more interesting? He now shows less emotion than before, and wears black.
9. However, he is clearly much more aggressive in the ring, so they may be having him channel a bit of Kurt Angle, which would be a very good thing. Santino's offense gets no reaction whatsoever, which is likely a combination of the fact that Santino hasn't looked credible in a year, and that we're in Atlanta. Cole announces that he's renamed the ankle lock "The Patriot Act." Okay. They do seem to have revitalized him though, and for that I'll give him credit. And, HOLY SHIT, A HEEL ACTUALLY WON A MATCH! But CM Punk's about to come on, so Lawler has to once again tell you to download the WWE App. He seems to be getting desperate, because he goes even higher-pitched than usual and says "VOTE NOW! VOTE RIGHT NOW!!!" I guess RawActive failed?
10. We come back, and we're going to give you MORE time to vote because so many people are voting that you can go to wwe.com, because the App got Shielded. Alberto Del Rio's music hits, and it's incredibly weird hearing no Ricardo accompanying him. He's facing Cody Rhodes, and... He's got a mustache t-shirt. Okay, that is awesome. ADR immediately goes to the top and does some kind of reverse foot-led hurricanrana, which was also awesome. Cole describes ADR using more lucha-style in his offense, which is a good thing to incorporate for a newly-turned face, and yes, he does look faster and more impressive.
11. Cody comes back to work the knee to crickets in the crowd. Just so it's clear, I'm quite sure I'm observing the crickets in the crowd and not just trying to pretend that I'm hearing crickets in the crowd. ADR hits a nasty-looking kick to the face of Cody Rhodes for a near-fall. Cody comes back on offense and nearly gets a quick win, and the crowd is so excited that I almost heard a sneeze. ADR comes out of nowhere with the cross-armbreaker for the win, but it was more... Lucha-tastic, I suppose? By that, I mean he did one move that was lucha-ish. It was a good match, though I do wish it was given more time.
12. ADR takes the mic and explains that he used to look down on everyone, but is wrong for it. He says that Big Show is a big bully, which makes it great that he worked for the Be A Star campaign. He gives the audience credit... Or... "YOU! YOU! YOU! ALL OF YOU!", Oprah-style. Maybe this would've been a good promo to cut BEFORE he had his title match, BEFORE he won the title, and BEFORE he retained it? Wouldn't that have been a good move to maybe get the crowd behind him? It's good reasoning, don't get me wrong, but it's just strange timing.
13. Big Show interrupts him via Titan Tron, and then says that he's not there, so not to worry, so don't worry, because he's not even there, but he could come down there, but he can't, so ADR shouldn't worry, because he's not even there. He's of course not even there because if he were there, he'd tear him apart if he were there, but he's not there, so he shouldn't worry, but he would worry if he was there... so don't worry. Oh yeah, and he wants a rematch, which means he will "get more of him than he ever imagined." Wow, that doesn't sound slightly suggestive, does it? ADR tells Big Show to come here, which is something great to tell a pre-recorded video of someone who said they weren't even there. Crickets.
14. Lawler gets on the mic to live announce the Shielded vote total, and Jericho is the overwhelming winner, which slightly raises my faith in WWE humanity. We then announce that Miz is interviewing Paul Heyman, which hopefully means he'll get his Duckface F-5ed. Cena's also calling out The Shield, which is in no way an attempt to say that he's going to ZOMGZOVERCOMETEHODDZ! No way whatsoever.
15. Daniel Bryan and Kane get into a partner semantics debate, and Bryan demands that Kane stays back HERE! Finally, a bit of ham on the show. I really hope the end of the most entertaining tag team in years is not imminent. Rey Mysterio's entrance hits, leaving us all to once again question what the hell a "Booyaka" is and what it has to do with Mysterio's area code. He's facing Daniel Bryan, and they pan to the crowd, and they're even doing those chants like they don't give a shit. Bryan and Mysterio do some chain wrestling, and Bryan counters a headscissors with... Something, but it looks pretty cool. Booker T and Teddy Long are showing backstage, and Long is questioning T's reasoning for NOT making it a tag team match, playa. Second tree of woe tonight, as Daniel Bryan tries to take advantage of Mysterio, but he eats shoulder post conveniently in time for a commercial break.
16. Bryan comes back to throw an awesome suplex, and his beard whispers to him to do some cheap heat. He throws Mysterio out of the ring, and he flips and lands on his feet, which is impressive no matter how contrived. Lawler continues to think he's hilarious by making goat jokes, and Mysterio cuts off a high spot and gets a face shine. The match is picking up, and you hear the crowd respond for once. Bryan counters the 619 into the NO! Lock, but Mysterio counters that into a pinfall attempt. Mysterio then hits the 619 again, but Mysterio misses the Drop of the Dime and Bryan wins via NO! Lock.
17. Because Bryan won a match, Mark Henry returns... randomly... and no good deed goes unpunished. Henry continues to the ring to decimate Mysterio, and Sin Cara tries to make the save, and that fails miserably. Mysterio fights back and tries basically the same move as Sin Cara, and it's a double fail. Fortunately, Danielson told the one equalizer to stay in the back, so Mysterio eats a Vader Bomb on top of it. Mark Henry then screams "THAT'S WHAT I DO!" three times, because that's what he does, I guess. Nope, make it four. Five. Effective return, regardless. Good match with a surprise heel decimation return on top of it.
18. Kane is backstage, and Bryan confronts him. Bryan screams with "SINCE WHEN DO YOU LISTEN TO ME?!" Kane tells him that words hurt their friendship, and uses it as a chance to use their tag team name in context. And now, video replay of the main segment last night, fast forward. Big Show is in his hotel room on the phone, and there's a knock on the door. He gets room service, and then stiffs the guy on the tip. Wow, that was necessary.
19. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! THE POWER OUTAGE AT THE SUPER BOWL WAS NOT CAUSED BY THE SHIELD, BUT BY THE POWER OF DESTRUCITY, HOAK HOGAN! THE QUANTITY OF CITRUS IN THIS PARTICULAR QUADRANT IS RUNNING FAR ABOVE THE EXPECTED AMOUNT, THEREFORE LEADING ME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE HOMEMADE SPRITE I'M MAKING IS GOING TO NEED FAR MORE LEMONS! BUT NOT OF COURSE TIL YOU TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK ELSE IS IN IT, HOAK HOGAN! SUMMON THE DEEPEST INNARDS OF YOUR CITRUS-LOVING CUDDLECAKES AND FACE ME IN THE SUPERDOME IN A DARKENED ARENA MATCH, AND I WILL SHARE WITH YOU THE SECRET OF THE BIG SHAGGY OSTRICH!!!!
20. Lobsterhead is revealed to be facing Kane, and Lawler refers to it as the unstoppable object meeting the immovable object. Nice. A second straight face vs. face match though, interesting. They announce that Daniel Bryan will be in the Chamber match, and Kane might get in if he impresses Booker T enough. Kane and Lobsterhead hit each other hard, and it's back and forth at the start. It takes a two-count just to get the crowd to make a sound above "muffled conversation." Kane and Sheamus continue just trading offensive momentum, and it spills out of the ring and back in quickly. Sheamus starts to take advantage, and Kane interrupts the Forearm Chops of Doom AND the nausea-inducing camera movement.
21. Sheamus goes for the BOOT TO THE HEAD! Kane counters. He goes for the Chokeslam, Sheamus counters. Kane then counters the White Noise, and Kane finally hits... A DDT! Interesting, and well-executed move sequence. Daniel Bryan comes out, which of course is going to cost Kane the match, and it does. Bryan says he's sorry, and that's totally believable. Another pretty good match, with a really good finisher sequence before the distraction that was really impressive for two guys that size. Why does the RAW preview screen look like Transformer feet? Coming back from commercial, we get another replay of Lesnar returning, in case you missed it.
22. MizTV is on next, and he has one of the most hideous sportcoats I've ever seen. Paul Heyman mercifully cuts him off and warns him not to say another word. Heyman says that he agreed to be on the show to clear his name, not to let Miz soil his name. Miz attempts to be witty, but he's going up against Heyman, which is not even a fair fight. Heyman tries to offer his heartfelt wishes to McMahon, Miz cuts him off, and throws accusations at him. Three guys in the crowd try to be funny by chanting boring, and it's Atlanta so what three guys do is actually audible. Heyman tries to say that he tried to back Brock Lesnar down, and Miz responds to that by... changing the subject. Miz calls him a committed liar, and he admires that, because faces like things like that. Heyman started at somewhat hammy and is starting to turn it up to 11. Miz then accuses Heyman of changing the subject, interesting. Heyman offers to answer Miz's questions when he answers his. Miz actually gets a laugh out of me by saying "Paul, you're crowding me."
23. Vickie Guerrero interrupts the segment, and even she only gets a tenth of the heat she usually does. I know this because I can hear what she's saying, and I'm not used to that. Vickie claims that Heyman is telling the truth about Lesnar, because she's the one who brought him back. She takes credit for re-negotiating because his track record is controversial, but he's an elite free agent. She did it so she'd get promoted to General Manager, and of course the best way to do that is by having him attack the guy who would be responsible for that decision. Vickie cries into Heyman's shoulder, which is painful to watch, and not in the emotionally sympathetic way. They try to have a moment of silence for McMahon, which is the most appropriate time for Miz's "Really" catch phrase in a long time. He accuses the two of them of dancing on the grave of the Chairman... EXCEPT HE'S NOT DEAD, but whatever. Miz goes all punctuated... for... emphasis, and Heyman smiles. An entrance theme and an audible pop later, we know why.
24. Heyman tells Miz to get the hell away, which like The Shield's presence, emphasizes how dangerous he is. I like that. To Miz's credit, he doesn't back down. Unfortunately, given the reaction Lesnar got, his face stripes aren't about to be earned by getting murdered by Brock here. Miz is stupid enough to shove him first, and that doesn't go well, to say the least. Lesnar is not impressed with sofas, and Miz comes back to try to fight again, but that fails miserably. Heyman once again turns up the Ham by telling Brock that Miz is sorry, which both sells the moment and is funny as hell. In the replay, that thrown chair looked like it must've hurt like a motherfucker. We get a replay just after it happened, and then another replay just after we come back, just to make sure you know what happened there.
25. Randy Orton is out for his match, and he's facing Wade Barrett... again. Bo Dallas cuts a promo during his entrance, and he's TOTALLY reading his script. That was the first time I've heard him speak and... yeah, not impressed with his mic skills yet. Lawler compares Orton and Barrett to Finlay unintentionally, and we're reminded again that the winner of the Elimination Chamber match does in fact go to WrestleMania. I think this is a good time to eat something, and what shall it be? Yes, it is ham. Totally not kidding either. Cole has to use three words to describe what a rope is, and Barrett gets the advantage going out of the ring. Cole gives Barrett some backstory, using the word "bareknuckle" about twelve times before Orton goes into trademark move territory. The crowd finally remembers where they are and cheers for a second before Barrett powders and hits the Black Hole Slam on the return. They each try for finishers, but the RKO is hit, and both midcard champions lose on TV again.
26. It's time for last year's WrestleMania rematch, and the crowd is finally consistently alive. Jericho gets a huge response, and dominates the opening with the power of his purple outfit. Surprisingly, a pretty even duel chant breaks out a few minutes into the match. I thought they only knew how to do that for Cena matches! This is of course the perfect time to hold up your "Cena-Boss" sign. Punk gets a bit of momentum, but Jericho takes it back and throws him into the announce table twice before Punk cuts it off, leading into the commercial.
27. As we come back to Punk in control, Cole reminds us that we learned that Brock Lesnar is officially in WWE. Well I'm always glad that they don't let free agents do whatever they want on television. Although it'd be a pretty sweet deal if you still got entrance music with it. Punk bellyflops on a springboard elbow, and Jericho comes back and manages to top rope punchfuck Punk. Jericho continues to avoid almost all of Punk's trademark moves, which is really fun to watch. Jericho comes back with a top rope Frankensteiner, and he tries to capitalize, but Punk kicks out. Punk does a great counter to the Lionsault, and they both trade quick pin attempts. More quick action leads to Punk going for the top rope elbow, but coming up empty. Jericho hits the Lionsault, but again only gets two. Jericho kicks out of a sick-looking kick to the head, but gets locked in the Anaconda Vice. Jericho gets to the ropes, but he has til five, ref. A "this is awesome!" chant breaks out, and I agree. Just as it looks like Punk has it put away, Jericho counters the GTS into the Walls of Jericho to a HUGE pop, but Punk gets to the ropes. Punk throws him into both turnbuckles and finally connects with the GTS and gets the win. Best match I've seen on RAW in a long damn time.
28. And the next Hall-of-Fame inductee is none other than Bruno Sammartino... FINALLY! I was fortunate enough to see him do a Q&A, followed by getting to meet him, have him autograph the Shirt of Doom, and got a picture as well. What a great video package, especially seeing clips of those Shea Stadium matches I've heard about.
I'm glad they've finally put their grudges behind them, and he's finally getting what he deserves. The two men with the longest title reigns in history will both be inducted on the same night, and it's about damn time they're enshrined.
29. A Punk promo and a Rock video package later, Cena's on the mic being goofy, but says it's time to stop being goofy, cause now he's gonna "push back." Dear JBL, please don't ruin The Shield. Now, back to Big Show in his exciting hotel room, and he's reading a contract. The guy keeps trying to tell him something, and Show interrupts him every time. Show opens the door again, and Del Rio is standing there, and I have to admit that looked really badass. Unfortunately, he gets his ass kicked for his effort. He uses a fire extinguisher to finally come back, and covers for it by saying that he ate some bad Mexican. Meanwhile, Brad Maddox is in the ring, and Cole summarizes it in one word perfectly. "Why?!" Maddox brings a little ham of his own. And by little, I mean "GOOD JBL." Maddox reveals that he gave away the footage to McMahon, and is so over the top that Jim Carrey with an open license to improv couldn't overact him.
30. Maddox calls out The Shield, which may be a terrible move on his part, or it could be an Akbar setup. Ambrose is definitely doing his Ledger impression tonight, and wow he actually tries to attack someone this time. That was almost his first offensive move. Hello Mikey Whipwreck 2.0! Shield powerbombs Maddox and his head bounces a good foot off the mat. John Cena's music hits, and Roman Reigns rolls his eyes, which was pretty damn funny. Cena comes out Shield-style, but Ryback's music hits, and he's there too. Lobsterhead joins him too. Don't you think they would've seen them up there? The Shield tries to retreat, but the entire face roster blocks their exit. I suppose they didn't think of going out of the arena the other way? Jerry Lawler really says "COME AT ME, BRO!" when the fight starts. The faces dominate quickly and stand tall, which felt very anti-climactic, but I suppose they had to get a shot back at some point. I don't think it ruined them, but at the same time, it did not feel like the ending of a RAW. That being said though, this was the best RAW in some time, so for the comments I've gotten about being negative recently, this was a great episode, all of the WWE App bullshit aside. Granted, there was a lot of filler, but all of the matches were good. Even the squash was effective at what it needed to do. Easily the TV match of the year candidate so far in Punk/Jericho as well. WWE desperately needed that after the silly bullshit last week.
Here is your weekly dose of Jackie!
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Brad Maddox takes it with his Shield martyrdom.
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
IN CASE YOU MISSED JADED HOPE #98