IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 3-25-13
By Al Laiman
Mar 25, 2013 - 12:10:40 AM
credit Tom Jenner
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 3-25-2013
Here's your HAM! button!
1. Greetings and salutations, Heathers and Veronicas alike! I'm back with another edition of 30 Thoughts, and glad to have you with me. I'll be attending Smackdown Live tomorrow at the HersheyPark Arena, so if anyone else is going and wants to say hi, let me know. RAW is taking a place just two hours down the road, and at another time in my life, I would've been there hours early and pumped up, but life does funny things. Of course, if things go right, I'll be spending quite a bit of time in Philadelphia starting this fall. CM Punk's music opens up the show, and oh yeah, Paul Heyman does still manage him! Heyman is carrying the urn like he used to proudly display the WWE championship. Punk and Heyman continue messing with the urn, and Punk goes into superdouche mode in mockery. There's some guy right in camera view who is standing and texting, so glad to know he not only cares about the show, but the people behind him and their viewing experience. Thank JBL I'll be sitting in Wade Barrett's skybox tomorrow. Punk continues to say that his opinions are the only ones that matter, and explains that Taker's legacy should've ended last year. Can't argue that too much, as it was a perfect ending. An "E-C-Dub" chant starts up, and CM Punk is DEFINITELY not impressed.
2. Punk drops the urn, saying that he didn't mean to disrespect Paul Bearer, but has no respect for the Undertaker or the Streak. Punk claims that Taker is at a psychological disadvantage because of it, and Punk's remarks grow with intensity, as does the heat from the Philadelphia crowd. Knowing how loud that arena can get from personal experience, it has to be massive in there right now.
3. As Punk says that the record will rest in peace, the gong goes off. The lights come back on and Taker is in the ring! He unloads some soup bones on Punk. Heyman grabs the urn and sprints faster than I've ever seen him run. He meets with the escaped Punk on top of the ramp, and Punk continues to taunt the Deadman with the urn. A Q&A with a Hall-of-Fame panel is advertised later tonight, as well as the 48th debut of Fandango, supposedly. Well gee-willickers, for a guy that Vince is supposedly tired of, getting booked against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania sure displays how much he hates the character.
4. Fandango and his Persian lounge entrance, and this feud is built on Jericho saying his name wrong. Hey, it's not the strangest way a Jericho feud has ever started. Anyone for a cup of joe? So the understudy for the main character in Take the Lead tries to dramatically say his name, and Chris Jericho comes out without the sparkly jacket, so you know he's serious. Jericho sprints toward the ring and unloads on Fandango, but he grabs the ropes and steps back up the ramp. Jericho is fuming so bad, you'd think that Fandango stole his ass cream or something.
5. The match that was supposed to take place later now takes place now, because I guess that's how the show works. That's why the Undertaker faced Santino Marella in the first segment, because he was already in the ring, right? Dolph Ziggler and his entourage of disinterest come down for their not-later match, and let's see if Jericho's anger carries over for a match that was rumored to take place at WrestleMania this year. I don't know why someone has a huge poster of a little girl's face, but it's creeping me out. Stop it. Jericho keeps the momentum going with a side of him usually reserved for condescending big words and monotone, and Jericho dominates the beginning without much resistance. The match goes into commercial as Jericho... looks at the crowd after hitting a cross-body.
6. We're shown some dirty tactics that would be much more effective if we just saw the match, and Ziggler is back in control while the Twitter ticker displays the endless Tweets of Failure. Jericho counters out of an abdominal stretch with a hop toss, and makes Ziggler eat turnbuckle on a failed Stinger Splash. Jericho comes off the top with an axe-handle, and sets up the Lionsault. Instead, he hits a Missile Dropkick on Arsenio Langston, and Ziggler hits a... one-armed elevated X-Factor for a near-fall. Ziggler counters out of the Walls rather easily, but Jericho turns it again and locks it in. Ziggler taps, and Jericho wins a solid opening match on RAW.
7. Arsenio Langston attacks Jericho after the match and yells that it's over for him because... He likes Fandango, I guess. Speaking of whom, Razzle Dazzle Frazzle comes back out and Lawler says he's not here to dance... Just before he dances. Fandango jumps all over Jericho and yells "SAY MY NAME! WHAT'S MY NAME!" Wow, no one could take that the wrong way at all. It's perfectly normal for a man in sparkly tights to be yelling that. Lawler says he's sure he meant to pronounce it correctly, you know... In case we were confused... And Fandango comes off the top rope with a finisher name that Michael Cole somehow already knows, despite Fandango never wrestling a match, and Fandango reminds is what his name is. All we need is his manager to be replaced by Alyson Hannigan yelling "Say my name, BITCH!"
8. Lobsterhead is backstage with Matt Stryker, and they replay Smackdown where Big Show got upset because he wanted the pinfall. The three of them fought in the ring while the Shield was coming out, but Team Face and a Half were nice enough to re-establish their unity just in time the same way they did at RAW. Before Sheamus can say much, Shield attacks him backstage. Conveniently, Randy Orton was standing by with a steel chair, but Shield takes back control. Big Show then comes in and scares the away again. Show offers a hand to Orton and ignores the heavy-breathing Irishman next to him.
9. Mark Henry's music hits, and I'm pretty sure I heard a pop. That's a sentence I never thought I'd write. Cole says he has a date with Ryback at WrestleMania... Um... Was he trying to outdo Fandango telling a man to say his name? Henry's facing the Uso Brothers in a Handicap match. I'm quite sure this has nothing to do with Jimmy Uso getting a DUI recently. The Usos hit some pretty nice double team moves, hitting two superkicks and a crossbody, but they kick out. I'm surprised they were allowed to get this much offense in. Henry tosses one of them off the apron, and he hits the World's Strongest Slam on the other, match over. That'll teach you to drink and drive.
10. Henry continues the assault by throwing the other in the ring and hitting another World's Strongest Slam, and if you haven't picked up on it yet, that is, in fact, what he does. He's not done there, and he throws a third one. He follows up with his own big splash and yells "NOBODY SPLASH ME!" That was some Henry HAM right there. I guess Ryback was distracted by the opponent catering table. Coming up next, Claudio is taking his turn on the ADR JOB Squad and they advertise it as a champion-vs-champion match, as if that still means something.
11. I can't even remember the last time Antonio Cesaro wasn't losing to a main-eventer. It seemed like he was on the ups, and during his entrance, we learn that Vickie Guerrero has booked Ryback against 3MB, because... We haven't seen that yet. Justin starts to announce ADR, but a crutched-Ricardo comes out to do it properly. Ricardo struggles through the introduction, because I guess a broken ankle hurts your vocal chords, and he helps Ricardo to ringside. They start off with some chain wrestling, and they mention that Cesaro's old-school with his moves. That's a good way to put it. ADR quickly comes back with some clotheslines and a tilt-o-whirl, which is vintage as opposed to old school.
12. Meanwhile, Chester A. Arthur walks out, giving Cesaro the chance to take advantage. A superplex has both of them knocked down in the ring, and Biff Swagger, that crafty evil bastard, attacks Ricardo at ringside again. Del Rio jumps the barrier and saves his buddy, carrying him off on a skateboard while Biff runs into a manure truck. Antonio Cesaro finally wins a match via countout, and I'm pretty sure he has a bit of a bloody mouth. Like a true face, he jumps Cesaro from behind and locks him in a submission move... Or as Cole puts it, "puts his hands all over Cesaro." Damn guys, you're taking the whole "Brotherly Love" thing a bit too literally! Meanwhile, we get a lengthy replay of Punk's segment with the Undertaker. Lawler says that Heyman runs away like a scolded duck. I was unaware that people did scold ducks. I mean, they are assholes, but ducks fly together.
13. The Prime Time Players, sans Pancake Patterson sadly, get the jobber entrance against the tag team champions. I still laugh when Daniel Bryan plugs his ears before the pyro explosion. Kane and Pancake start it off, but Bryan quickly tags in with some NO! Kicks. Kane and Bryan utilize some double team maneuvers, which is unusual for them. Darren tags in, but Kane fights back against the heel double team, and Hell No throws another tag team maneuver. Team Ziggler walks out, not impressed, and it just makes Bryan kick Darren harder.
14. To the surprise of... well, nobody... Daniel Bryan is the face in peril while Titus barks at us. Tag team wrestling with double teams; I'm glad to see some old-school fever for Philly tonight. Kane gets the hot tag and... tries to kick Darren but it looks more like a failed dragon screw. Kane gets a nearfall, but Titus breaks it up. Pancake gets sent to the outside, where D-Bry takes him out. Kane chokeslams Darren to the displeasure of the Cross-Armed Heels, and they continue yelling at them instead of with each other. The Shield are advertised for later, and who could it be against? The only other triad I can think of is already being fed to Ryback.
15. Triple H makes his grand entrance, and it's still weird seeing him with short hair. However, as RVD once put it, "Dude, you can spit water!" If you didn't pick up on it, if Triple H loses, it'll be his last match. They should really talk about it more. Triple H says that if he loses, he'll never be allowed to compete again. You know, cause that always rings true in pro wrestling. H puts over Lesnar's ability to end careers, but that he's always fought like his career depended on it. H tells Lesnar to come that night to fight like his career depends on it, because it very well might end that night. He's not coming to wrestle, fight, but to KICK! HIS! ASS! Because, fighting is not kicking someone's ass?
16. Wade Barrett's music interrupts Triple H's exit, and I imagine this'll go very well for the Intercontinental champion. H kicks him right on the nuts, and then looks at WrestleMania, because that's what it makes him think of, I suppose. The Miz comes out after commercial, and after Wade Barrett's voice drops back to its original state. Miz mocks Barrett's nutkicked state, and tries for the Figure Four immediately. Barrett powders while we get an update that Ricardo had a setback but was saved by the walkcast. Barrett tries to fight back again, but ends up on the outside again, and somehow that doesn't take us into another commercial. Does not compute. The Battle of Movie Trailers continues, as Barrett straddles Miz across the top ropes and knees him right in the gut.
17. Lawler talks more about movies, even saying "I LOVE MOVIES!" because we haven't gotten the hint that WWE is desperate to let you know that they want you to see movies. Barrett gets thrown out to the outside for the third time, but he's back in before the commercial break hits. What is this horseshit trickery? That's not the way it's supposed to work! As we come back with Miz this come going to the outside, a very audible "YOU SUCK!" is heard on camera. Barrett dominates before getting a drop-toe-hold into the corner to cut it off. I guess the feud with Cesaro was dropped because he doesn't have a movie coming out. Miz gets a nearfall with a top rope move, and slams on the mat Edge-style to try to get the crowd on his side. Miz tries for the SCF, but Barrett counters and gets the Black Hole Slam for another close fall. Sorry, but that's still a better name than Winds of Change. Miz comes back to work the legs and tries again for the Figure Four, but gets countered into the corner. They're picking right up where they left off last week with some great wrestling here. Barrett teases his finisher, misses, and Miz goes for the roll-up, and another false finish. Miz makes Barrett straddle the ropes again. Oh, the poor Barrett backup singers. That makes Barrett tap out, pretty much indicating that this will be the Intercontinental Title match at WrestleMania. After the last two weeks, I have no issues with that.
18. Kane and Daniel Bryan are backstage, and they argue like an old married couple. They get into an exclamation-off about who is not over AJ, and Kaitlyn interrupts it? They all start bickering as AJ is standing in the background. Here's something I never thought I'd see: Kaitlyn giving advice to Kane and Daniel Bryan about wrestling. AJ has enough and attacks her, and the tag team champions pull her away. She proves that she's not crazy by screaming like a crazy woman. Fun segment.
19. Well, we know who is getting destroyed by the Shield tonight. The epic, unbeatable team of... Zack Ryder, Justin Gabriel, and the Great Khali. I have to admit, I didn't see that coming. Khali has a bit of an advantage before Ryder starts getting beaten up by Rollins and Ambrose. It pretty much results in the two smaller ones getting destroyed by some effective stable maneuvers. Khali waits until the match is over to try and save them, but falls quickly to the scream of Roman Reigns. They hit the triple powerbomb on Khali
20. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! A TYPO ON AN ARTICLE RECENTLY SAID YOU WANTED TO FUCK ME AS A BAD GUY AT WRESTLEMANIA 6, HOAK HOGAN! I DON'T NEED TO REMIND YOU WHERE I STAND ON SUCH ISSUES! ACCEPTING THE POWERS THAT MAKE YOU A WARRIOR DO NOT GRANT YOU ACCESS TO THE TIGHTS OF THE POWERS THAT BE! I'M NOT THE SLIGHTEST BIT INTIMIDATED BY THREE GUYS DRESSED UP LIKE THE BIG BOSS MAN! BULL BUCHANAN COULD DO IT, AND SO CAN I! YOUR UNDERARMOUR IS SHOWING! UNDERARMOUR! UNDERARMOUR, HOAK HOGAN! UNDERARMOUR! SETH ROLLINS WEARS VISIBLE UNDERARMOUR! THE LEVEL OF DESTRUCITY IS UNFOUNDED IN THIS QUADRANT!
21. Lobsterhead and Randy Orton walk out on the front of the stage, and Big Show comes up from behind. They predictably lay waste to The Shield rather quickly, and Shield makes haste while the faces celebrate. Jericho cuts a promo, officially announcing the match with Fandango at WrestleMania.
22. Sandow is out with Cody Rhodes for some verbal HAM! Sandow rips Philly for having a prison inside of their football stadium. They use their usual schtick, including the "SILENCE!" They introduce the Bella Twins to a resounding round of "SILENCE!" proving that Philadelphia listened to his request, and we go into commercial knowing that the battle with Captain Brodus is imminent. Sweet T, previously known as Tensai, previously known as Lord Tensai, previously known as Giant Bernard, previously known as Albert, previously known as A-Train, previously known as the Hip Hop Hippo, previously known as Prince Albert... teams up with Brodus as they let us know that Sandow's robe is available for purchase. That is mighty tempting.
23. The faces dominate the beginning of the match before Cody manages to get an abdominal stretch on the Man of 1000 Monikers before the face shine comes back before anyone can notice. Brodus throws Cody halfway across the ring with a T-Bone. Cody gets tossed to the outside, and a catfight ensues. Cody manages to get back in the ring and get a Disaster Kick on Brodus for the win. Finally, those two didn't lose! I'm guessing an eight-person tag match for WrestleMania pre-show? Movie trailer, fast forward.
24. 3MB gets the jobber entrance, appropriately enough, as Ryback is out to face them for the very first time. The Uso's are still wondering where the hell his ass was earlier in the show. Ryback says "Wake up!" because I'm guessing too many people fell asleep when they knew the Bella Twins were coming. Slater manages a few attempted moves before Ryback owns him and then McIntyre as he tags in. McIntyre comes back with a half-dropsault kick, which was freaking awesome. Slater manages a one-count before getting bench-pressed out, and surprisingly Ryback is allowed to be vulnerable in a three-on-one situation. McIntyre even gets the chance for a pinfall by grinding his shiny pleather pants against him. Ryback comes back by throwing Mahal into McIntyre, and Slaters Gonna Slate as the trademark moves ensue. Ryback lifts both Mahal and Slater for the Shellshock and gets the win. Match was surprisingly good, considering how many quick squashes have taken place with both parties.
25. AJ is out for her "personal" match with Kaitlyn. I've almost forgotten there was a Diva Division. If only I could be so lucky. Kaitlyn spears into her immediately, and against AJ her offense looks rather strong. She does at least three Irish whips, and dominates AJ... Not the way you're thinking, but feel free to let your imaginations soar. She tries to spear AJ at ringside, but gets tossed into the barrier. Kaitlyn gets counted out. I'll be damned. Countout wins are rare, and that's two in one night, both for heels. Well, it's better than all the faces winning.
26. The six-man match with The Shield is officially announced, while Jerry Lawler is in the ring previewing Rock vs. Cena II. Tonight they're going to answer panel questions. They get announced like contestants on The Price is Right. First up is Booker T, then comes Mick Foley... in a suit. Didn't see that coming. Next out is Dusty Rhodes as one guy in a Dolph Ziggler shirt claps amongst a sea of apathy. Not to be outdone, Bret Hart is allowed back on the show after his recent shoot interviews against Triple H. We go into a commercial with the full panel ready for the new age of superstars.
27. I have to imagine the roof blew off the place in Philly when Rock came out, but I know from experience that some things that sound like mega pops there in person don't nearly come across as well on television. A sea of illuminated cell phones capture his image, and a kid has a damn fine stencil of a Brahma Bull. Rocky gives Foley a bro-mance hug before shaking hands with the rest of the panel. Cena comes out to a reaction surprisingly positive considering where they are, but I'm sure that'll change after the entrance music stops.
28. Foley is up first, and his mic is giving some feedback at first. Foley reviews what he thought was Rock's last WrestleMania match before he came back, and he says he felt a weight off his shoulders when Rock won against Cena last year. He asks if he can live with the regret that another loss might carry. I got into a conversation about Bill Burr ripping apart a Philadelphia crowd with my roommates, which if any of you haven't heard that, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jMhoGUiIkk Cena goes on a promo about winning the big one, but he can handle failure, as opposed to The Rock who knows nothing about it. Um, have you read his biography, Cena? The CFL? Flex Kavana? Rock brings up some of those things, including how they told him to go home, and he came back stronger. He brings it back around to headlining WrestleMania XV, a finally, and how he got his ass kicked by Steve Austin. Rock rips him until Cena's sad puppy face begs him to give it up.
29. Bret Hart asks next, and says that they got overtaken by bad blood, comparing it to Hart/Michaels. A guy over Hart's corner is too busy texting to pay attention/ Fuck you, you're in the second row, watch the fucking show. He hasn't looked up in a good three minutes. Wrestling legends are standing right in front of you. I guarantee whatever is on your fucking phone is not that important. Enjoy your seat or give it up to someone who appreciates it. Cena goes back to how Rock promised he'd be WWE champion, but by gosh Cena is just so hung up on how they haven't hung out since. Booker gets up, I'm sure to book them in a tag team match, and he mentions that it's cool that he's the only one who's been in the ring with the both of them. Booker asks why Cena is going to win at WrestleMania. He says point blank that he has to, and almost looks distressed. Rock is not impressed with this answer, and mocks him for it.
30. Cena accuses Rock of not beating him, but that he beat him. Interesting, I'd like to hear this explanation. He says basically that he got caught up in the moment and tried to do his "stupid" move. Rock does his best Condescending Wonka face and tries not to laugh. He says that everyone knows that he's better than The Rock, which I'm surprised does not have a laugh track with it. Rock replies that if he had him beat, he would've beaten him. He transitions into quoting Ric Flair, who is hopefully all right after being sent to the hospital. Dusty tries to talk over him for a second, and... My DVR went off again. FUCK! Rock hit the Rock Bottom and Cena kept his sad puppy face to go off the air, it seems. Very good show tonight, everything felt like it belonged there, even the smaller, predictable matches.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
I think Mark Henry gets it tonight, because yelling "NOBODY SPLASH ME!" had me laughing so damn hard.
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
3-25-13 - Mark Henry
IN CASE YOU MISSED EPISODE #105