IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 3-5-12
By Al Laiman
Mar 5, 2012 - 11:48:27 PM
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I'm on spring break, so I have internet and cable for a week. Don't get used to the column being up this early. Enjoy!
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 3-5-12
1. It’s pretty ironic that HBK summarizing that promo between Triple H and Undertaker was actually better than the segment that made the match itself. Michaels always has a way of delivering his promos that makes it fun, no matter what he’s actually saying. Even when he says things like “I called you a coward”, it makes me laugh.
2. Now that he referred all of us to that aforementioned promo, it makes that goofy HBK tone make all the more sense. Building it up through the opposite of what he actually means, Michaels had a lot of underlying resentment toward the comment that Undertaker made, and H’s reaction to it. Brilliant build-up, I love it.
3. Triple H seems to be headed toward a Cerebral heel turn as he throws accusations into HBK’s face in the guise of being tired of hearing people say it. This was really great promo work between these two. It leads to a huge announcement that HBK will be the special guest referee to see what he knows to be true to go down. This is getting even more interesting, as there are many directions in which this can go.
4. As if Jack Swagger couldn’t look more like Biff from Back to the Future, his new haircut makes him look like he should have Santino in a headlock going, “Hello, Marella! Anybody home?!”
5. After interference from both Otunga and Dolph, Swagger hit possibly the weakest looking offensive move since Lance Storm at Barely Legal ’97, but Santino kicks out of an awkward gutwrench powerbomb. This brings out Teddy Long with Kofi Kingston in tow, so the teams for control of RAW seem to be coming together. This match seems like the equivalent of the Money in the Bank match, getting a lot of the newer stars into one high-profile match. I like where it’s going, and the mix of names and styles are building up to an interesting combination.
6. Laurinaitis gets pulled off the ring apron and, YES THAT’S OVER-ACTING I SEE! Hamminess shall not be denied! After a lot of outside interaction, Swagger hits a sweet counter into the ankle lock. Santino reverses it and pins Swagger for the US championship to an amazing pop, and well deserved I might add. Teddy Long throws Laurinaitis out to an even bigger pop before they come to blows. Laurinaitis continues to ham it up and I’m absolutely loving it.
7. Santino has been rewarded with the US championship for his amazing quick ascent to credibility. I wish it hadn’t been interrupted with those quick losses between the Elimination Chamber and now, and while Michael Cole whines incessantly as usual, Santino rightfully celebrates a return to championship glory. It culminates in a quadruple trombone taunt, a phrase I didn’t know had the potential to exist until tonight.
8. Sheamus is in a new K-Mart commercial where he growls in a woman’s face for having something he already does. Oh, if only I knew someone with a show who makes fun of silly and ridiculous commercials…
9. The Rock makes a history nerd squeal with promising history lessons, and follows up with some classic funny Rock moments. He’s getting the hometown Cena crowd to laugh pretty hard too, although I do think he came up with some of those adjective lists with the Family Guy manatees. The Rock is starting a revolution, which is instantly transformed into apathy with a diva’s match.
10. Wow, I think I kinda actually like Eve’s new entrance music. I still couldn’t give a shit less about the Eve/Kelly feud, and seeing that of all people, Kelly Kelly was nominated for a Favorite Buttkicker award. I never thought I’d see someone that would make the Casino Flea Dog from Twilight look better by comparison.
11. In case you missed the end of the match because you, I don’t know, sneezed… Eve wins before Zack Ryder comes out to an immense pop. Gee, he recovered quickly from that broken back, tombstone with a broken back, and the hilarious wheel chair super special fun ride off the stage. Ryder then uses the catch phrase I’m sure would’ve been better if Cena hadn’t spoken it for him a few weeks earlier.
12. Zack apparently loses all his conviction in about twenty seconds, as Eve plants a kiss on him, and it apparently has the Superman II effect, as Zack suddenly has a big dumb smile on his face. I guess it’s the mindbending Superhoeski Kiss of Doom.
13. It appears this show is gonna have a lot of pre-filmed promos, as Cena is in the empty arena. Unfortunately, Rock and Mankind are not fighting down the aisle beside him. But really, Cena? You’re gonna tell me the biggest heartbreak is the Patriots not winning the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years? I’m from Cleveland, bitch. Quit your whining; your city has gotten championships in four sports in the last twelve years. The same year you’re complaining about, your Red Sox came back to beat the Indians in the ALCS, which would’ve been the closest we’ve been to a championship since 1964, and you’re complaining about that being immense heartbreak? You’re not getting any pity from me when your city has dominated in sports championships since 2003. Wow, sorry for my sports rant there, international fans…
14. In what Pay-Per-View preview matches should be, the competitors from both of the championship matches team up according to the crowd alignment, and hopefully it gets at least a few more seconds than Sheamus’s tag match from last week. I mean, I know we have a lot of pre-filmed promos to get in the show here, but giving at least one match some time would not be a detriment to the show.
15. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Jericho and Punk show off what everyone is anticipating from their inevitable match at WrestleMania; some fast-paced, reversal-heavy wrestling action. This match could go a good thirty minutes with the right amount of time, as all of the competitors involved have a really unique style and are at the top of their game.
16. I’m really anticipating Daniel Bryan’s Low-Ki-style chest-kicked-in kicks against Sheamus’s forearm chops of doom. Both of them have a great stiff spot that always gets a reaction from the crowd. I know some people aren’t excited about that match, but I sure as hell am. Both of these matches have a chance to steal the show before the main event. Well, unless they put them after Rock/Cena, making the WrestleMania 18 mistake. That match being in anything but the main event would be a huge detriment to anything following it.
17. Bryan’s kick to Sheamus on the outside was sick. This is important. Sheamus has been so dominant that Bryan needs to get in solid offense, as opposed to just squeaking out of everything. Obviously that’s part of his character, but in order for Bryan to have some credibility, moments like that are vital to the match buildup.
18. Oh god, there goes another scary-looking moment! There have been too many of those recently, between Jericho, Ziggler, and Wade Barrett. Something looked like it either went arye, or that was just an incredible sell job. Given that he was involved again a minute later, I’d say he was okay, but damn those moments really scare me.
19. Jericho gets a cheap win, which is necessary for the face going into the big match. It gives Punk added incentive without losing any credibility. All four were stellar in their performances, and it was an excellent televised match.
20. Rock history lesson two gives us Paul Revere, a pop-culture cast hero. Poor Israel Bissell and never getting what he deserved for riding so much farther. I guess since I made a Back to the Future reference earlier, it’s appropriate enough to go on this insane ramble that was random but funny as hell. I’m telling you, manatees! Rock’s version of Yankee Doodle gets another huge pop, despite the fact that I don’t think anyone had a clue what he was talking about.
21. I just gotta ask, do King’s shirts have enough going on with them? I don’t think a glitter-covered pimp with a golfer’s outfit out of Beverly Hills with a side of Affliction pants could be as loud as those things.
22. I was waiting for Cody Rhodes to appear once I saw the Big Show was involved, and I wasn’t disappointed. These are hilarious, and wow, a flashback to when WWE had a restaurant in Times Square! It was weird seeing the Big Show with hair, as it’s been so long since he went with the bald look. Kinda like seeing Kurt Angle with his receding hair from back in 2000. Unfortunately it leads to BIG SHOW ANGRY!, and to the Miz getting buried in less than a minute. What a great way to treat the guy who main-evented against the guy in the biggest main event in history.
23. The Rock says that we’ve been waiting for ten years for the Cena train to be derailed? Correct me if I’m wrong, but ten years ago, Rock was just being handed the torch from Hogan and Cena was still the Proto-type. A lot of phallic references for a PG show, I must say, but with it being WrestleMania season, like last year, the boundaries are stretched a little bit. I still say the crowd reaction to this match is going to be legendary. But with four different pre-taped promos, what exactly do they have left to say tonight when they’re in the ring together?
24. These multiple outside appearances remind me of when I attended RAW in 2006 with my friend Becky, and DX was in every other segment because they were kicked out of the arena. Some of them were really funny, but when it even reached the lengths of Triple H belching over Armando Estrada, it got a little old. The crowd still chanted along with the Rock, but the pan to the crowd showed little, if any reaction.
25. “An army of little Jimmies.” Um, Cole… I really don’t think that’s a good idea. We’ve had enough phallic references on this show without one like that.
26. Truth manages to shine a little bit, but Kane follows up on the random tag match attack by quickly defeating one of the competitors from it. And it leads to Randy Orton coming out for vengeance, getting a bit of an assist from Truth in the process. I wonder if these two are headed toward a singles match or to be part of the Laurinaitis/Long match. I’d prefer the latter, considering if Kane and Orton went at it in singles, Kane would have as much chance to win as he did in that Ambulance match.
27. Cena easily gets the biggest reaction of the night so far; albeit a lot of it is heat, but that’s to be expected at the current time. He does ask a legitimate question though: “What’s The Rock really saying?” Good question, because a lot of it, he was off in some weird branch of Promoland where Marty McFly took him back to see John Adams being told to sit down or something.
28. Cena’s on a roll, although it leads to yet another phallic reference. I’ll say this though; if Rock calls his junk “Stonewall Jackson”, he must be the hairiest motherfucker alive. Have you seen that man’s beard? After some striking insults, Cena logistically points out that Rock was shook up and he appears to be getting some of that heat back. Unlike the pre-taped promo earlier, Cena’s on his A Game yet again. He’s doing something no one else ever has; taking The Rock’s insults and one-upping him. This is really something.
29. Dueling chants seem to be abroad, which is impressive considering the massive pop The Rock’s entrance got. The atmosphere is electric, and serious Rock is out, which is a nice change from the rest of what we’ve seen. It’s making me wish that WrestleMania wasn’t still four weeks away. I’m sure the negative Nancies out there are trashing this like usual, but I’m loving it. I can’t figure out if the crowd just loves them both or can’t make up their mind, but who the hell cares? This is fun!
30. Cena mocks the Rock after his exit by writing his height and weight down on his arm. Cena closes it out two weeks in a row with some of the best promo work of his career. Afterward, we see the return of the infamous Rock concert, which would be even more exciting if he was a heel, and if Cena brings a rap as good as last year’s, this segment could be even better. It’s a lackluster show when it comes to wrestling, save for one match, but the buildup is going amazing for WrestleMania.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Last week, I made the mistake of thinking that nobody paid attention to the large ham award. I heard enough comments to convince me otherwise. To remind everyone of what it means, the large ham is based on the trope Large Ham, and to clear up some past confusion about the award, it is not for the best promo or the funniest moment. It’s for the most over-the-top, enjoyably over-acted moment of the show, hence why R-Truth has won a lot. This week, however, his moment bombed, as he needs a live mic. John Laurinaitis takes his second Large Ham this year for reacting to being pulled off the ring like Theodore Long teabagged his mother.
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
2-27-12 – Al Laiman, for thinking no one read this
3-5-12 – John Laurinaitis
I’m proud to say that as soon as the cover art is done, my third book in the “Elven Warrior” series will be completed. For those who enjoy wrestling fiction as well as other genres, and hopefully my writing, the third book will follow the first two which are already out and available on Amazon under my author name. You can find the link on my Facebook page, as well as for my story about working in pro wrestling that Hustle reviewed. If anyone wants an autographed copy of any of the books, send me an email and we’ll work something out. Until next time, this has been In Laiman’s Terms.