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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 5-14-12
1. The show starts off with Triple H and his Terminator arm running into John Laurinaitis. JL continues to improve his smarmy bastard persona, offering his support and sympathy. His word choice is very well done as he sounds sincere, yet the words he uses are clearly condescending. He's becoming a very good heel. H is going to respond to "the world" after the opening pyro sequence that doesn't seem to be showing any pyro. RAW is live from Pittsburgh, and Smackdown will be in Hershey tomorrow night, where I'm hoping I'll run into Wade Barrett in our skybox.
2. Cole uses a lot of big words of which he may or may not know the meaning as we see the Lesnar assault on H for the 85th time in two weeks. By the way, would any expression Triple H makes technically be a "Game Face"?
3. H gets a good bit of laughter by describing how he's offended by Lesnar's need to bring "legitimacy" back to WWE. He drops more names than the censors approved I'm sure, but it makes a good point of offending the legacy of the many. I have to admit, I like this more than John Cena being afraid of him. It's the point Edge was trying to drive home in his final (as of now) WWE appearance.
4. Triple H continues to tell the story of the cross-comparisons between Lesnar's WWE and UFC careers, implying that any time he has a real challenge, he's quit. Perhaps a tiny bit of a shoot promo going on here, as H puts Cena over huge in the process. All of this isn't getting much of a crowd reaction though, so hopefully my friends in Pittsburgh from the Indies help get this livened up a bit.
5. Paul Heyman interrupts H conveniently after he's made all his points, and has a manilla folder-carrying lackey with him. Heyman tells him that he's lost his biggest star and is now in damage control. He's taking the "breach of contract" road, and Heyman makes a great point of saying that he doesn't get how H brings in a fighter and then is offended when he wants to fight. Lawsuits aren't exactly exciting television, but Heyman makes it much better by ripping H apart and saying that Lesnar expected more out of him. A match of verbal equals is what this angle needed, because Lesnar couldn't talk his way out of a traffic ticket.
6. Before H can make his dramatic exit, he grabs Heyman by the face before telling him that Lesnar will get everything he deserves. Heyman then cuts off the Game's music because now he's going to sue Triple H for assault and battery, which is the dumbest thing I've ever heard because without assault and battery in wrestling, it'd just be a bunch of people talking. Though many would probably argue it's gone far in that direction in the last decade and a half anyway.
7. Michael Cole makes another brilliant statement by saying that Big Show was caught red-handed making fun of John Laurinaitis, which makes no sense because the phrase "red-handed" refers to trying to steal something. Oh well, at least he's not screaming like a hyena on a meth-crack cocktail anymore.
8. Punk makes his way to the ring before the commercial as its announced he'll be teaming with Santino to face Cody Rhodes and Daniel Bryan. In the Pittsburgh area about seven years ago around this time, he wrestled a fantastic match against John McChesney in the memory of one Chris Candido. McChesney would later go on to get beaten up by Low-ki about as badly as Cena got beat up by Lesnar, but like the aforementioned, he pulled out the surprise win. That led to a series of matches between the two that are among the best I've ever seen live.
9. I have to say, Santino has grown on me, but his power walk entrance is ungodly stupid. This should be a huge match, as three of the four people involved are champions. Bryan gets, dare I say, a bigger face reaction than the faces! Punk and Rhodes have a very solid opening sequence before an outside spot where Punk connects with a dive and Santino... intentionally or unintentionally... catches himself on the ropes and hurts himself. This leads to yet another commercial break a few minutes into the match.
10. The break returns when Santino is getting his first hope spot, because the middle of the match just isn't important. Cole asks the most intelligent question I've ever heard from him; "What is with these people who tweet?" Bryan gets tagged in to a HUGE reaction. Despite Lawler bitching about it, I'm loving how the crowd cheers a "YES!" every time Bryan hits a repeating knee-drop or chest kick. Yesamania is running wild, so to speak.
11. It seems that Santino's new gimmick is to botch spots intentionally, I think? He makes a valiant dive for the hot tag, but misses. I guess this is supposed to endear him. Punk brings the intensity against Rhodes while he motions at Bryan. He then hits a sick kick on Rhodes. Bryan tries to get involved, bails, and then Rhodes gets scared by the Cobra into a Punk nap. Two faces in need of a win get it, as the IWC anticipates the big title match coming this week. I'm more looking forward to the company I'll be keeping during the show, but I digress.
12. Alicia Fox gets the jobber entrance to a rousing round of apathy. Beth Phoenix has lost the pin-up look for the week, as it seems she'll be facing new Diva's champion Layla at, as JL would put it, The Over Limit. Phoenix dominates as Layla comes out on stage and does her best to look concerned. Her booty shorts look like they were made out of the scraps of Jericho's shirts.
13. Phoenix wins in dominating fashion, and Layla rushes the ring and hits a... hair-pulling face-plant, I guess. Oh well, the match should be good anyway.
14. Cena gets an excellent video package as the face of the Make-A-Wish foundation, which is very legitimate, as he deserves all the credit in the world for all that he does there. All of the very real reactions from the people he's affected are definitely very powerful, and I commend WWE for presenting that side of John Cena that more people definitely need to see.
15. We're reminded that if Big Show doesn't apologize for making fun of JL's voice that he'll be fired. In addition, he'll be facing Kane, which I'm guessing is the first time he's ever done that in his career, so he should really scout out the Big Red Machine and wrestle smart. It's amazing how both of them have been a big-man staple in the WWE for over a decade, but they've never managed to face each other in their careers.
16. They recap all of Big Show's voice mishaps with JL, and during the Smackdown recap, I noticed that they had Johnny say the exact same thing that Eve said to him on RAW... Again, in case anybody didn't hear it the first few times. I'm really trying to stay positive here, but apology angles are hardly ever endearing when they're one-offs. The continuing saga of "Big Show must apologize" is failing to make me give a shit.
17. Big Show looks awfully happy for a guy who might be fired, while Otunga stands in the background with a shirt that even Dr. Huxtable would be ashamed to wear. Kane's entrance is still awesome, but it always will be to me. Cole mentions that it could be Big Show's last match ever, because he could be fired, therefore making it his last match ever that he might wrestle in his last match against Kane who might be his last opponent in his last match with his last match appearing in his last match ever. Or something like that.
18. The action between Show and Kane is actually rather good, considering the age and size of the two. I even saw a cross body, which is impressive. Show tries to hit a Vader-like drop, but fails. Kane's flying clothesline is countered with a chokeslam attempt, which is also countered. Show hits a spear on the outside, but as they get back in the ring, Johnny decides that he needs to apologize right now. That distraction leads to Kane chokeslamming Show and winning. Please give Kane some direction.
19. Show is sweating more than a Brazilian hooker on a July day in Miami. JL again demands more of an apology as most of us struggle to give a damn. Show recaps his career, almost as if he's actually about to retire. However, he loves what he does, and when he's not mired in a stupid angle like this, I enjoy seeing him perform and have a good time. JL says that he didn't hear Show that he's sorry... despite the fact that he did... And now he's doing what he did to Sheamus a few months ago by making him repeat it for everyone who didn't hear it. Show looks close to tears, as JL makes him beg for his job. Ten years ago, this would've led to a "Kiss My Ass Club" segment, and I'm thankful we at least don't have to see that.
20. Show screams at himself as he struggles to get on his knees to beg for his job. Unfortunately for Show, he can't get on his knees and begs him not to get on his knees. This disgusts Laurinaitis, only for him to say that he'll reconsider it.
21. JL gets to the top of the stage, and starts to say that he'll be on the unemployment line, but Show cuts him off and this will make this segment even longer. Show drops to his knees and cries into the microphone apologizing. JL wishes him the best in his future endeavors, and then says that he's fired, in case we didn't know what that meant. Wow, who saw that coming? Show can summon emotion like few others can in the ring, and he deserves credit for that. All I can hope is that this is actually going somewhere.
22. We get the odd contrast of Jerry Lawler doing his deeply serious "someone just died" voice before the contrast of "FUNK IS ON A ROLL!" It's hard to get excited for that after that extremely long buzzkill segment. Brodus looks like he's the newest member of the Spirit Squad in that lime green track suit. The tag team champions join him for some six-man tag action against Miz, Biff, and an actual former Spirit Squad member, Dolph Ziggler.
23. Biff is now wearing a singlet that matches his tuxedo from the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. But because Marvin Berry wants him to get got, Brodus is quickly tagged in, giving all three heels some impressive hang time. Everyone gets tossed out of the ring, and I'm pretty sure I heard the Funkateers getting a "WHAT'S UP!" from the crowd. Ugh, please bring back the crazy homeless TROOF! There is a lack of ham on this show. Of course we go to a commercial mid-match.
24. Well before I take over Wade Barrett's skybox, AW is hanging out with Epico, Primo, and Mason Ryan casually nodding at nothing while Barrett recovers from his injury. But someday, he will recover and reclaim his skybox, so he can remind everyone that he indeed does have one.
25. Kofi gets the hot tag to minimal crowd reaction at best. Biff runs into a truck drag racing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Dolph runs into Brodus Clay... Which is pretty much the same thing... Miz does the job to Brodus again, taking a Trouble in Paradise before a Funkasplash. The kids are back while R-Truth contrasts their heights with Little Jimmy and tries to remember that he's not in Philadelphia.
26. Alex Riley gets an appearance on television before a frantic AJ interrupts them. Punk reminds him that A-Ry owes him 50 bucks. Come on, man! He's been on television like once since the Royal Rumble, he needs to save his money! AJ apparently is the only diva with whom Punk won't perform coitus, as he stutters almost as badly trying to shoot her down. Okay...
27. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! WE'RE COMING DOWN TO DO COMMENTARY, HOAK HOGAN! A VIPER AND A SNAKE ARE ABOUT TO DO MOST EXCELLENT BATTLE, HO KOGAN! YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO GET IN A TELEPHONE BOOTH AND PASS THE HISTORY EXAM THIS TIME, HO KOGAN! THE WARRIOR WILL BE THERE TO SABOTAGE YOUR REPORT! WE KNOW THE GUY GRADING IT WAS IN REVENGE OF THE NERDS, AND WE'RE GOING ON A PANTY RAID BEFORE THE LAMBDA LAMBDA LAMBDAS EMBARRASS COACH DAN CONNOR, HO KOGAN! CARDBOARD BOXES! CARDBOARD BOXES! WHO'S GOT THE BOXES?!!?!!
28. Sign of the night goes to "Fozzy Played My Prom." Yet another match goes to a commercial after the heel is knocked to the outside. In a replay we're shown how Jericho cheated to initiate the cheap heat, which might help the television audience get more emotionally invested in the match, but we can't have that. We have to be reminded that Battleship is coming out, which by the way will be a failure of most epic proportions if Liam Neeson does not say "because you sunk my battleship" before killing the alien Taken-style. Sheamus has the most keen observation of the night by telling Cole that he's useless, to which a wide majority of the audience says "THANK YOU, SIR!" The action is solid between these two vets before Sheamus is hit with a battering Orton. I like the short-tempered gimmick they're going with here, but I find it a bit unrealistic. I mean, when have you ever known an Irish guy to have temper issues? It gets the best of him as he gets Orton disqualified, which leads to another confrontation between the two faces of the title match on Sunday. Orton challenges him to get in the ring, which would be awesome to see two faces throw down like that, but the referees separate them before it happens, cause that would've just been too interesting. Sorry to be so cynical tonight, I'm even surprising myself!
29. I stand corrected, seeing them go one-on-one live tomorrow night is even better. Though apparently Eve has booking power now, I support this! I may only ever say this one time in my column-writing career, but thank you, Eve! JL comes out to his Hunter Hearst Helmsley circa 1996 theme, and calls everyone a loser for supporting John Cena. He claims to be better than The Rock and Brock Lesnar combined, which makes even John Lennon's "Bigger Than Jesus" claim a bit less hyperbolic. Cena interrupts the rant, and Cole says that it's the first time they've seen Cena in a WWE ring since the vicious assault. Oh, wow... A whole two weeks? That was some HBK 1998-02-ish time off right there.
30. Cena hams it up more than Dana Carvey talking about the OJ Simpson trial in 1994. Cena takes a valiant stand against JL's actions, saying he was a douchebag before, but gets bleeped out saying that he's the King of Douchebags, because I guess you can only say that once while keeping it PG. Cena's finally bringing some much needed glorious HAM while running off Laurnaitis's recent "accomplishments", capping it off with his best Ace Ventura impression, only short of "La-whooo, zaaa-her!" Cena summons the true vote of the people, and is just so over the top in doing so that as a fan of ham, I'm loving it. And what caps it off that is so awesome that even Cena had to stop and listen? A perfectly placed "YES!" chant. Love it! Cena then kills my hamminess love by summoning the dreaded "Here we go, Steelers!" chant that will haunt my nightmares until my team finally doesn't suck one day. As Cena continues pandering, Eve walks out trying her best to not trip in those heels that are higher than RVD on 4-20. She brings out a note from the Board of Directors that lists that there will be no others interfering in any way whatsoever, and any who do will be immediately terminated; I assume by Triple H and his T-101 arm. If he loses, JL will be gone too, which gets a huge pop from the crowd. It doesn't quite make up for SO much time being wasted on the Big Show segment... Oh wait, it's not over. Damn, this will be a long thought. Should've planned better. Cena hits his hammiest as he gets a JL slap that would've embarrassed even Stephanie Levesque, and the show goes off the air.
Do you really have to ask? Short of R-Truth on a spider rant, it doesn't get any hammier than Cena in the final segment tonight.
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
3-12-12 - James Roday
3-19-12 - Theodore Long
3-26-12 - Booker T
4-1-12 - Santino Marella
4-2-12 - Dolph Ziggler
4-9-12 - Will Sasso
4-16-12 - Daniel Bryan
4-23-12 – CM Punk
4-29-12 - Teddy Long's name tag
4-30-12 - John Laurinaitis
5-7-12 - Paul Heyman and Jeff
5-14-12 - John Cena