IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 3-18-13
By Al Laiman
Mar 19, 2013 - 12:11:00 AM
credit Tom Jenner
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 3-18-2013
Here's your HAM! button!
1. I'm sure a lot of my friends are in the crowd tonight in Pittsburgh, and they're immediately greeted by the walking crosswalk sign himself, John Cena. I gotta say, I really don't get the whole "giant heads as a poster" thing, although I see it a lot more at college basketball games. A couple of fans in the camera angle are nice enough to have matching yellow signs with Cena shirts too. Cena tells us that we have twenty days left to pick a side... Because so many people are conflicted about it... And he once again quotes his own entrance theme eight years after it came out. He tells us that he's ready for WrestleMania before...
2. The Prime Time Players come out, with Titus dressed like Cornel West if he was a janitor... Titus claims to be Rufus "Pancake" Patterson. Wow, we're starting with the HAM early tonight, aren't we? Cena, after offering several cheap pops for their sports teams, offers a doctor for multiple personality disorder. Where is this going? Cena offers them an out because they made him laugh, and Dr. West manages to get a pop by saying that they don't want to see him at WrestleMania. He again brings up "washrag" and suggests that Darren Young should be on a box of Cocoa Pebbles. Dear JBL, this is seriously happening. Darren has this ridiculous idea that he'd have a chance in hell in a match against the guy main-eventing WrestleMania, and Cena goes all super serial. He gets about thirty seconds of offense in, and it goes to a commercial already. Please, get Titus O'Neill and TROOF two live mics and just let magic happen.
3. We come back just in time for Cena to go into his trademark move cycle, and we learn that he's dominated the entire match. Damn, who saw that coming? Cena hits the AA, and wins already. So we got a ten minute promo that was admittedly entertaining, but we get less than a minute of actual match, although it had a ridiculously predictable ending anyway? Can someone please tell me what the point of that was? If I wanted to see a match that only the arena could see, I'd go to a House Show.
4. We lead into the match that should've happened at WrestleMania being reviewed from Smackdown when The Shield interfered. Ryback fought off The Shield until Mark Henry stared at him like his name was Bella Swan, and Ryback took the triple powerbomb for what I'm sure is the first time. Cole describes Ryback as "defenseless," which I think is the first time I've ever heard that word attributed to him. It's the most amount of offense any single competitor has gotten on Ryback though, and Mark Henry yells that he won't run through him. Ryback walks toward the arena, breathing heavily at the camera that totally isn't there, and he's facing... David Otunga. Chalk up another for the predictable match column.
5. Hollaback Masterpiece returns from the set of a WWE movie that is actually seeing decent receipts just in time to get a piece of Robert Patrick's stunt double. Otunga manages a few offensive moves before Ryback pulls out some kind of tilt-o-whirl spinebuster thing, which I have to admit is pretty damn cool. Soon after, Hollaback eats the Clothesline From Skynet and the Shellshock. I'm so glad they decided to include that on tonight's show. Lawler says that the clothesline was the beginning of the end for Otunga, but I'd argue that seeing the match on the card would be a better answer for that. Ryback cuts a promo against Mark Henry, because they're totally not going to face at WrestleMania, and some familiar entrance music hits.
6. Mark Henry walks out, but they're interrupted by Vickie... and Teddy? Okay... Teddy warns him to not even think about walking to the ring, and Vickie says she's taking him out of the six-man tag match. She books him against Mark Henry instead. So... they start Ryback in an angle against Mark Henry, they book him in another match with The Shield, only so they can rebook him in the original match that they should've just done in the first place. Makes sense to me. Ryback hits the Shellshock again on David Otunga, because that's impressive I suppose, and they engage in a battle of exclamations.
7. Fandango gets an even more elaborate entrance, because he wasn't over the top enough already, and my roommates who don't even follow wrestling are wondering if he's actually going to do something. His entrance is complete with a candle stencil, and... he's facing the Great Khali. Oh dear JBL, how's he going to get out of this pickle? Fandango continues to overemphasize every syllable, and he suggests letting Natalya trying to say his name. She tells Khali to get him now, and Khali uses his blazing speed points to grab him by the Jimmy Jacobs haircut. Well Jiminy Crickets on a Blazing Crutch, he's not wrestling again. The crowd chants "You Can't Wrestle," because I imagine they're incredibly bored by this point.
8. Speaking of the aforementioned TROOF, he finally returns after being absent since his return, and he's facing the ultimate heel of ham, Damien Sandow. We're in for some HAM-on-HAM combat! He becomes the first wrestler I can remember to reference Thoreau, and no TROOF that's not a character in The Hobbit. TROOF tells him he gon' get got, poem-style, and TROOF looks like he borrowed one of Rey Mysterio's outfits. Sandow gets the advantage, to no crowd reaction whatsoever other than some guy in the front row holding up his Twitter sign, so you know they're really into this one. At least it's not a match with the result obvious from the beginning. Cole is back to giving both translations of the Elbow of Disdain, and there's a Pope Francis reference thrown in there, cause... Well, he happened too. TROOF gets his shine and goes through his trademark moves before Sandow rolls out. Sandow bails on the match, which at least means he's not eating another pinfall loss, and TROOF wins by countout in exhilarating fashion.
9. Cody and his Mustache Clan are backstage, and Kaitlyn tells the Bellas that they can have him. Because, I guess that was supposed to be a thing? Thanks for showing up tonight, Kaitlyn. Your check is in the mail.
10. The Undertaker's gong hits, and purple electricity reigns supreme. Taker gets a badass nameplate, and cell phones galore illuminate the crowd. Remember when lighters used to do that? He says that Punk made it personal, and he's gonna hurt him bad. I guess he would've only hurt him decently if he hadn't stolen that urn. He demands the urn back in exchange for his soul.
11. CM Punk responds from the Titan Tron doing a terrible Paul Bearer impression with the urn. Wow, that was a great heel move. Punk tells him that Taker's never faced anyone like him, which is what he told The Rock, and that turned out great for him. Punk says he doesn't answer to a Higher Power, but that he is one, which I guess means that he's about to say "IT'S ME, TAKER! IT WAS ME ALL ALONG!" Punk does some tricks with urn and he drops it, I'm pretty sure by accident because he let out an S-Bomb, and if looks could kill, Taker would truly be the last outlaw. The commentary goes out, or they're just too stunned to even follow that up with anything.
12. We come back to get a replay of what just happened two minutes ago, just in time for Primo and Epico to get their jobber entrance. Kane's pyro explodes like Taker's facial expression moments ago, and the HAM Team Champions are out for... Yeah, I bet those two guys who haven't won a match since they were tag team champions have a chance against the current champions. Kane randomly punches anything that moves, and Daniel Bryan tags himself in a few seconds later to calm him down. Bryan and Primo trade some rather impressive offense, bringing up the pace of the evening fora minute or two. Some heel tactics gain them back the advantage, and they utilize some cheap heat maneuvers while they hop over the ropes at the same time. Bryan's beard is starting to become longer than his face.
13. Bryan fights back in the match, and the crowd is so quiet that I can hear what Rosa is yelling. The heel boys are making a rather impressive showing against the champions, and they show the Twitter crawl. Someone quoted Triple H's entrance music. Someone else ask "does anyone feels as if..." Please, just stop showing that stupid shit. Kane comes in house of fire, and punches Epico right in the fuck.
14. And... AJ is back skipping around the ring, unfortunately not in the Kane mask. AJ's distractions don't even work when Dolph Ziggler isn't in the match, and yeah, that was effective. That's a relief, for a minute there I thought AJ was going to be a relevant character again.
15. Meanwhile, Jericho is cutting one of his WrestleMania preview promos, and is interrupted by... Oh JBL, it's Fandango. Jericho deliberately mispronounces his name a bunch of times, and that was awesome. Fandango tells him he will learn to pronounce his name, or I guess he won't get a match with him either. Jericho follows it up by asking him for movie tickets. I was wondering when someone was going to make that joke. Finally something good tonight! I suppose they'll have a match determining who has the louder outfit.
16. Cody Rhodes's mustache comes out for his match against... Oh for fuck's sake, he's facing the World Champion, so there's another automatic loss and a predictable outcome. JBLdammit, isn't this shit supposed to be enticing me to buy WrestleMania, not just giving me a series of predictable matches with main-eventers facing lower-carders for no apparent reason? Could they phone in this WrestleMania season any more?
17. ADR's entrance theme has been remixed a little bit. I wanna know who the hell Rhodes and Sandow pissed off. ADR gets some decent offense in before Rhodes uses cheap heat tactics to get a brief advantage. Rhodes then takes a back body drop and lands right on his ass, which can't feel good, and ADR is back in control. Rhodes is nice enough to get thrown out of the ring just in time to go into commercial.
18. Rhodes got the advantage during the commercial, but ADR is bodyslamming Rhodes, so I guessed we missed all that. Not like we'd need that to get invested in the match or anything. ADR tries to land on a moonsault attempt and lands on Wounded Knee. Someone in the front row has a Guy Fawkes mask with something written on it. Why? I don't know. Maybe he thinks it's Sting. Rhodes takes ADR up top for a superplex, and Rhodes counters and OH HOLY SHIT, I think he landed on his head! That was some scary shit right there. Thank JBL for those softer rings or that would've been ugly. ADR takes back control and goes through his trademark moves. Rhodes somehow gets kicked in the face and kicks out, so I guess Shawn Michaels just has a stronger leg. Rhodes nearly pulls one out with a moonsault that looked awkward. The crowd starts a "U-S-A!" chant... Why? The heel is the 'Murican in this one. Good job, Pittsburgh. A minute later, Rhodes taps to the Cross-Armbreaker.
19. Biff Swagger comes out of nowhere to mess up ADR's day. Ricardo gets thrown out of the ring on his arm, which also can't feel good. ADR tries to come back against Team 'Murica, and he kicks him in the face. Chester A. Arthur tries to encourage Biff, and ADR stares him down. Gee, I bet they won't spoil this encounter already. Oh damn, there's Biff, and he's sticking up for his 'Murican Man Servant. Still a better love story than Twilight. Just to emphasize that he is the heel, he puts Ricardo in the Patriot Act, and Ricardo makes Dolph Ziggler's selling look toned down. Good JBL, he's acting like he just lost a game of Saw.
20. I sure hope those of you who got the WWE App are glad to know that the footage exclusive to the App of Ricardo getting stretchered out played thirty seconds later. Now they're referencing Bruno being from Pittsburgh, and then they announce Booker T's induction because he also resides there? Huh, I didn't know that. This is a loaded Hall of Fame ballot for sure. Good to see someone from the Invasion getting in the Hall. Maybe someday, the greatness that is Braden Walker will finally get his due. Fortunately though, we're treated to almost the entirety of Randy Orton's entrance as he comes out for his tag match against 3MB, which I'm sure those guys have a chance. When we come back, Randy Orton is still making his entrance, so I guess he was just vaguely staring at them the entire time.
21. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! TIS ONLY A DAY AFTER ST. PADDY'S DAY, AND WHAT A GREAT TIME TO TEAM UP AGAINST ALL OF THE ICONS IN THE WORLD, HOAK HOGAN?! THE ULTIMATE SUPER SPECIAL AWESOME POWERS ALIGN WITH ALL THE DESTRUCITY ON OUR SIDES AGAINST THE MOST DEVASTATING OPPONENTS THIS WORLD WILL EVER SEE! THE POWERS THAT BE SAY 3MB OPERATES ON A DIFFERENT PLAYING FIELD THAN ALL OF US, HOAK HOGAN! ONLY WITH YOUR MEGA POWERED ALLIANCE CAN I POSSIBLY COMPETE AGAINST THE BAND OF THREE MERRY MEN AND HOPE TO COME OUT VICTORIOUS! NO STOLEN ALMANAC FROM THE 50S WOULD BE ABLE TO PREDICT THE OUTCOME OF THIS EPIC ENCOUNTER! I LIKE KITTENS! KITTENS! SMILES THE KITTEN! BUNNIES!
22. 3MB gets a surprising amount of offense, considering that most of their matches usually take the amount of time it takes to compose a Lobsterhead rant. Remember when they made it look like they were gonna do something with these guys? Orton comes in and actually yells at the crowd after hitting a powerslam, so I guess he's tuned up the band himself. Lobsterhead hits two BOOTS TO THE HEAD! before Slater walks into the RKO and pull off the upset of the century by finally disposing of 3MB.
23. The baddest of entrance music hits, and The Shield surrounds the ring, and it does appear that the Big Show has made his 346th face turn to even the odds for the WrestleMania team. Shield bails, and will likely isolate the city of Gotham at another time. Big Show points at the WrestleMania sign, and doesn't really give them a choice of whether or not he's their tag team partner. Then again, arguing with a man that size probably doesn't end well. Sheamus' luck against Show doesn't go well.
24. Oh hey, they're talking about GI Joe, so it's time to skip a movie trailer. A commercial and WrestleMania preview later, Kofi Kingston is set to face his old friend Dolph Ziggler. My roommates are nice enough to point out in the replays that yes, Daniel Bryan does get his ass kicked a lot on this show. Ziggler tries to get an advantage, but Kofi comes back with some air time before splitting on the turnbuckle. He then eats the most impressive dropkick since Maven, and Ziggler gets some cheap heat. He then whiffs on a Stinger Splash and Kofi picks up the pace for a few seconds.
25. Kofi looks like he hurts himself on a Russian Leg Sweep, and gets a near fall with a springboard splash. Kofi misses on a Trouble in Paradise, but comes back with some nice kicks. He tries to get Ziggles on the outside, and takes a nasty fall courtesy of Arsenio Langston. That looked painful. Ziggler even oversells jumping in the air for the Zig Zag, and Dolph wins again, surprisingly. Pretty good match.
26. Kane's pyro explodes, and Daniel Bryan explains that they're the first to get them on the same page... Though I thought the Shield did that a few months ago, but what the hell do I know. Kane reminds everyone that he's not in a good mood, and they make the challenge for the tag titles. AJ demands that it take place at WrestleMania, which gives those two a perfect opportunity to use their catch phrase. Coming up next is a Cena vs. Rock preview, so my DVR is going to come in handy yet again. At least the movie trailers for the most part are being kept in the commercials where they belong. After the same match preview we saw last week, Miz comes out for his match to take us into another commercial.
27. We come back with the Intercontinental champion getting the jobber entrance again. It's always good when the two challengers get entrances and the champion doesn't. Really shows how highly they think of him right now. The crowd is firmly in Y2J's corner, which can't be good for those who are trying to get Miz to be the next big face of WWE. Barrett gets thrown to the outside, and then kicked on the outside again. Usual triple threat shenanigans ensue, and all get a chance to get their shine. The supersuperplex makes its way into the match and takes us into commercial. There's a Scary Movie V? Why. Why. Why! If there is a JBL in WrestleHalla, why is that bane of fucking existence allowed to keep reproducing?
28. Jericho and Barrett are going at it when we come back. Jericho yells "come on, baby!" which gives Lawler a reason to repeat it in case we didn't hear it. Miz tries to get his run of trademark moves before taking a Black Hole Slam for a near-fall. Hey, both Miz and Barrett have movies out. They should've advertised that or something. Miz locks in the Figure Four, but Jericho Lionsaults into it to break it up. Jericho locks in the walls on Barrett, but Miz comes in for a chance at the SCF. Barrett gets tossed, and Jericho nearly gets a fall with a roll-up. He follows up with the Codebreaker but can't take advantage. Barrett knocks Jericho out of the ring and tries himself. Jericho does not approve of that nonsense, and gets thrown around again. Someone on Twitter wrote that Big Show may have forced himself into the triple threat match. IT'S A SIX-MAN TAG, YOU STUPID FUCK! WWE, STOP REBROADCASTING THIS SHIT! At least there haven't been any Touts... yet. Miz hits a kick on Jericho and gets another near fall. I'll be damned, this show really recovered from an awful start. Damn fine match we're seeing here between these three. Jericho gets another really close fall with a roll-up, but Jericho comes back and takes the SCF. Barrett takes advantage of the distraction and rolls Miz up to retain the title. Miz looks like someone just kicked his puppy. A good match between Kofi and Zigs and now a treat match that saved this show from being a complete disaster. More movie bullshit, fast forward. Touts, more fast forwarding. If it's half as dumb as the shit they've displayed from Twitter, I'm not going anywhere near it.
29. Triple H and his fine mist of doom hit the ring for tonight's contract signing. Some guy in a cloak and silver mask is in the crowd because... Why the fuck not. Heyman walks out with his team of local talent. I was hoping to see someone I recognized, but no such luck. Triple H and Heyman banter back and forth similarly to what they did last summer, and they re-explain the only way that Triple H will get the match with Lesnar. Heyman takes a moment to really enjoy the moment, after spending several moments of really enjoying the moment. We then flash back to Triple H beating up Lesnar, because... they like watching that repeatedly? It's in black and white, so as to not frighten the children at the sight of blood.
30. Heyman teases that the match will be a blindfold match, but no... Psych. Then it's handcuffs and shackles, and no not that either. He then says that Brock let Heyman pick it, and he reveals it to be that his wife, Stephanie is on the line? Heyman then has a great line by saying it would be more fitting if the loser got Stephanie. Triple H then beats up security guards, and grabs Heyman's ponytail. Heyman yells that he's hurting him, and Triple H rips his shirt open. Heyman screams for Brock, and Triple H gets uncomfortably close, and it reveals that Heyman's bleeding this time. Oh shit, two blood sightings in one feud? That's the rapture right there. Triple H then finally signs the damn contract over a screaming Paul Heyman, and stabs the pen in his chest. H throws him out of the ring and tosses the chair on him before finally Lesnar comes out with a steel chair, hitting the ground emphatically. Damn, if he was so pissed off, maybe he would've come out a few minutes ago? Triple H busts out the equalizer to Lesnar's rage. Lesnar suddenly goes Smiles the Kitten on him and backs away. That was one helluva mood swing. Heyman says that they won this round about eight times. At the top of the stage after doing a merry-go-round of the ring, and Heyman sacrificed himself for the sake of the contract signing, and it is... FUCK, MY DVR CUT OFF! SON OF A BITCH! ::looks up LOP results.:: No-holds Barred with Triple H's career on the line. Fair enough. That should be a mauling of epic proportions. Overall tonight, terrible first hour, meh on the second hour as the Hell No/Primo and Epico match was okay, but the third hour was good, with a great TV match highlighting it.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Three words. Rufus. Pancake. Patterson. Even if it was pointless.
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
3-4-13 - Fandango
3-11-13 - Rhodes Scholars
3-18-13 - Rufus "Pancake" Patterson
IN CASE YOU MISSED EPISODE #104