IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 5-21-12
By Al Laiman
May 21, 2012 - 11:07:11 PM
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First things first, my fifth book, third in the wrestling saga "The Elven Warrior" has just been released. For anyone who buys the new book and sends me a picture of it, I will send you a free, autographed copy of "Taking Bumps: How I Made 49 Bucks in Pro Wrestling." It is available here: https://www.createspace.com/3640895 or on Amazon under my shoot name: Alexander Goodlive. Be sure to like my author page and the other two project pages as well!
Second, best of luck to Mizfan at his new job, but what is reviewing RAW without my positive partner in crime?
Third, the winner of last night's ham without a doubt was John Cena. That was hilariously awesome.
Fourth, should my column go to 40 Thoughts along with a three hour RAW? Maybe, but I promise no fourlokos will be involved.
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 5-21-12
1. Sat through The Over Limit last night... Wasn't overly impressed, but it was all right. The last two matches are the exception though, because Punk vs. Bryan was awesome as expected, and Johnny L. vs. John Cena, before the ending that YourAyatollah predicted anyway, was very entertaining. I don't care much for Big Show as a heel; I like him when he's having fun. Regardless, where will things go into No Way Out? Feels weird saying that in the summer, doesn't it? I also have to say that had Cena not been so silly and over the top, Laurinaitis would've won the ham for that awesome People Power montage in the form of a campaign ad. Loved it. But as the opening vignette comes to an end, Lawler... Talk about hyperbole. "This may be the darkest day in the history of the company?" MizREALLY?!
2. John Cena hits the ring and he has the reaction he SHOULD'VE had when Brock Lesnar F5-ed his ass after WrestleMania. At least he has the appropriate tone. A huge hammy "What the hell happened?" really sets the tone. And he used a curse word, so you know he's serious. Cena takes us through the recap of the main event, almost as entertaining as the match itself pre-Show was. He's serious and over the top, it's a lot of fun to see. Bit of a laugh for the mention of the Anonymous RAW General Manager. Finally after a long and hammy rant, Eve hits the stage and is clearly not thrilled with Cena referring to her as "a hot John Laurinaitis."
3. Laurinaitis comes out in a People Power scooter with a crutch... Dear JBL, that's gonna be tough to beat for ridiculously over the top. He goes through his list of injuries, selling them as well as Zack Ryder selling a broken back, and laying a finger on him is now forbidden. He tells us that Cena will be facing the Big Show at No Way Out, and he's introduced with a somewhat remorseful facial expression as Cena gives a big "WHY?!"
4. Within two sentences, Show has clearly transitioned to a heel instead of a sympathetic face doing heel actions circa HBK in the JBL angle. That would've been more interesting, I think. Show gets really angry at the lack of sympathy, and he goes over the top as well yelling at everyone. Wow, this opening segment is full of large hams! As Cena stares on wondering what kind of tailor Big Show has to have to get a suit like that. Show leaves, but then the Hollaback Masterpiece challenges Cena to a match. Cena stays serious and promises to hurt him if he comes down there. Just before going down to the ring, Hollaback Masterpiece dedicates the match to John Laurinaitis. Where's Ricky Gervais when I need him?
5. Cole explains that Big Show was referring to the match between him and Cena at No Way Out, in case that was too subtle for everyone. Cena's a house of fire going after Otunga, but Hollaback Masterpiece keeps slipping out of the ring. I guess that's better than him wrestling, to give him some credit.
6. Masterpiece Carlton gets in a bit of offense before getting absolutely crushed by Cena. Cena uses some ruthless aggression (remember that?) and refuses to let go of the STF. Suddenly, two tag teams in Reks/Hawkins and O'Neill/Young attack Cena... Random, but I'm not complaining. Sheamus makes the save and cleans house, and Laurinaitis scolds the scrappy youngsters for some reason. This makes JL book a 2-on-3 lumberjack match, likely the main event. All right then, should be interesting enough.
7. Apparently The Over Limit was the most socially active show, and I still fail to give a solitary fuck.
8. Ricardo Rodriguez is introduced, but instead we're treated to Santino's entrance music. If this is half as good as their involvement in the Royal Rumble, this could be awesome. A pot kettle black moment as Santino calls his accent ridiculous and tries to get Ricardo to roll his R's. Santino gives an example, and they have an R-off, initially sounding like a Chewbacca rap-off and transitioning into two velociraptors getting neutered with butter knives. He hits the Cobra on poor Ricardo, who really needs to become an underdog face like Colin Delaney, except... you know, interesting. Santino then takes it upon himself to introduce Alberto Del Rio, who isn't coming out, but holy hell... I thought the opening segment couldn't be out-hammed, but it has already. It must be my birthday!
9. Alberto Del Rio conveniently waits until Cole and Lawler stop pimping the 1000th episode of RAW to come out. He's facing Orton, complete with his seizure-inducing Titan Tron strobe light. This'll be a great match of "who really is the heel?", but at least it'll be good wrestling. Orton gets the edge early as he tries not to get Del Rio's mousse in his eyes after a ten-punch. Del Rio gets a cut-off with a big hit, and we go to the third commercial since Ricardo came out. Not that I mind staring at Callie Thorne since Rescue Me is no longer on the air, but it's getting a bit ridiculous.
10. We get back to the match just in time to miss all of the psychological aspect of the match, because commercial breaks are so awesomely placed. Del Rio continues working the shoulder, I guess in the mission to make sure all faces in the company have injured arms. Cole continues to hum on Del Rio's nuts, and Del Rio hits a really nice kick before Orton's hope spot.
11. Orton is sporting some ugly scars from last night's match. His quick powerslam is as impressive as ever, right before he does his best impression of an early 21st century Edge taunt. Before Orton can hit the RKO, Jericho is finished being a brunette and has blonde tint again, and decides to hit the Codebreaker on Orton, causing the blatant disqualification.
12. Jericho sees Santino's ham and tries to raise it by repeating in his best Kane impression that he is the best in the world at what he does... four or five times. Jericho's going psychotic, for reasons that have yet to be determined. Not that I mind seeing these two go at it, they are both very capable of putting on good matches. A third Codebreaker is hit by Jericho, I assume to help him break in those leather pants, and I'm guessing this will be a match at No Way Out. Maybe it'll be a feud over who can use more body oil?
13. A commercial for Smackdown plays, asking the results of The Over Limit, after we've already seen each one of them covered in the show already. Who exactly are you trying to sell on that, commercial?
14. Daniel Bryan is so upset that he's not even doing his "YES!" during his entrance. The controversial finish gives them a reason to have another match, for which you will hear no complaints from me. Bryan replays the footage from last night, conveniently forgetting the ref had already counted the pinfall. Bryan brilliantly plays into getting the crowd to reverse the chants into "NO!" by asking questions to which they clearly won't say "YES!" Well played, Bryan. He then puts in his own slice of Vegan Ham before demanding a rematch.
15. CM Punk is not impressed with Bryan's claims of controversy. Punk recalls the Smackdown event with Kane, which I was watching from a skybox while searching for Wade Barrett and the Tesseract. Punk sets Bryan up for his opponent, who ends up being Kane to a pretty decent face pop. I guess Big Show and Kane can't be heels at the same time?
16. This means CM Punk on commentary, which is one of the greatest things to happen to WWE in the last decade. Kane dominates the opening as Punk lays on the sarcasm thick. Punk says he needs to get a closer look, and grabs a chair and tries to replay the events of Smackdown. Bryan grabs the chair and gets caught Eddie Guerrero switcheroo-style, which makes KANE SMASH! Punk himself even calls it a "miscarriage of justice". Bryan gets the two chokeslams the same way Punk did last week, as Punk very hammily pretends not to enjoy it. Punk suggests that someone should check that he's okay. He keeps his hands on his hips, while I'm sure Steve Irwin's voice plays in his head, and then proceeds to lock in the Anaconda Vice. Well done segment, and gives more attention to the inevitable rematch between the two, and caps it off with Punk's own "YES!"
17. The angle with AJ continues, as Punk's expression is priceless. Punk suggests that she might be sadistic, and she starts to go schizo. Punk gives her a hug to calm her down, before slyly saying that he digs crazy chicks. Somehow I don't have trouble believing that.
18. After that, we get the recap of the Triple H/Heyman moment, just in case you didn't see it live or any of the replays last week. I still think it's incredibly stupid to have an assault and battery angle going in a freaking wrestling ring, where almost everything that happens in a wrestling ring could be considered as such. Just saying.
19. Christian's a face again... Seriously, lot of switches going on recently. Cody Rhodes is taking some time off, which hopefully means after his break he'll come back in the heavyweight title division. God I never thought I'd hear myself saying that. I remember hosting a wrestling podcast five years ago where we went to a grocery store trying to find produce that had more charisma than Cody Rhodes. We ended up finding a kiwi, and then some kimchee. How things have changed in five years.
20. This channel is in love with this Joe Pesci Snickers commercial. They play it almost as often as WWE replayed Brock Lesnar attacking Triple H in recent weeks. Damn overplaying making me hate a Joe Pesci anything. I've been praying to him for over a year now to make them stop playing his commercial so much. If it worked for George Carlin, it has to work eventually, right?
21. Returning from commercial, Christian is facing Hustle's favorite wrestler, Jinder Mahal. Lawler badly fails in not mocking someone else's customs, and Mahal is trying his best to grow a Brent Albright beard. Christian takes a pretty high fall to the floor as Mahal gets more offense in than he has all year.
22. Christian makes a comeback, and the crowd seems a little reluctant to get behind him. It does seem to grow as the match goes on, but sudden unexplained status changes can do that to a crowd. Mahal actually hits a pretty sweet Shining Wizard-ish knee strike, but Christian ends up hitting the Unprettierswitch. Instead of going for the pinfall, I guess Christian has decided to incorporate the Five-Star Frog Splash, minus the pot. Fair enough, and a decent match for what it was.
23. As they replay the Big Show telling John Cena he's gonna knock him out, the only thing I can think is that LL Cool J saying "Mama Said Knock You Out" could've made that moment complete. That is all.
24. Kelly Kelly comes out, and they talk about her being in... Something or other, I don't care. Beth Phoenix is recuperating from her loss to Layla and... Please just bring Kharma back already so I can care about this division. Layla is not impressed with Beth Phoenix dominating Kelly Kelly, though I'm sure plenty of fanfiction writers would be. KK tries to mount a comeback, but Beth Phoenix gives her stiff resistance and continues to crack the whip of the Glamazon. Enough material for you? Good. To your slashfic accounts!
25. Kelly Kelly does her best Melina banshee scream as she tries to make a comeback. Beth Phoenix cuts it off and hits an awkward-looking version of her finisher as they try to sell KK being unconscious. Hey, at least it wasn't roofies.
26. Look WWE, if I want to follow Twitter, I will. I don't need to see montages of what everyone said on Twitter. I'd rather order the DVD set of The Best of the Masterlock Challenge, Mike Adamle's Greatest Promos, and Wrestling Lucha with Mason Ryan. DO. NOT. CARE!
27. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! GREAT BIG GOBS OF GREASY GRIMY GOPHER GUTS, HOAK HOGAN! I SMELL VARMINT POONTANG, AND THE ONLY GOOD VARMINT POONTANG IS DEAD VARMINT POONTANG, HOAK HOGAN! LOAD THE C4 INTO THE ROCKET FUELED SQUIRREL AND RABBIT! MAKE SURE DANNY NOONAN COMPLETES HIS MAJESTIC CHARACTER REBOUND, AND LOAD THE TESSERACT INTO THE JUDGE SMAILS' LARGE EVIL HAM, HOAK HOGAN! AND GIVE RODNEY DANGERFIELD A DODGE STRATUS!
28. Cena seems to be fully recovered from his super special awesome seriousness, as it appears he and Sheamus will be facing Dolph Ziggler, Albert Tensai Train, and Biff Swagger. I can't complain that Dolph is again in the main event where he belongs. Gee what a coincidence, all of the lumberjacks are heels! That dastardly Johnny! They've apparently dropped the "Lord" from AT&T's name, but unfortunately it doesn't make him any more interesting. Biff is very adamant that John Cena cannot put a screen door on a battleship, because well... That movie would've bombed anyway, and why waste the effort? Biff tries to get in some offense, but quickly knocks on McFly's head, but this time, somebody is home, and his name is John Cena.
29. I'm so shocked, the heel lumberjacks are not attacking the heels when they';re thrown out of the ring, but when Lobsterhead is thrown out, they swarm him like 40-year-old males on a To Catch a Predator-decoy. Well I never! AT&T is still a screamer, but at least he's not hairy. Very audible "AL-BERT" taunting chants are following him, because well... Something's gotta break the thick layer of not giving a shit.
30. Despite the AT&T involvement and the gimmick, this has actually been a pretty good match to this point. Sheamus is not often the face in peril, and has done a pretty believable job. Big Show emerges from the curtain, adding the element of Pay-Per-View feud to it. AT&T is the latest to scar young children for life by showing the sight of blood. It affected them so much they almost paused their Modern Warfare 3 game. Sheamus finally gets the hope spot, Cena comes in house of fire, but the lumberjacks attack. It turns into a mob scene with Big Show observing from a distance. All the faces finally hit the ring, and watching Brodus Clay attempt to run was rather amusing. Cena breaks off from the pack to go after Big Show. You think he'd have learned from going backstage after Kane. Cena is momentarily distracted by JL, only to receive a knockout punch from Big Show, which I swear a steel chair was dropped with it in order to enhance the effect. The show goes off the air, though I rather would've watched the in-ring melee.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Oh man, this night was full of a ridiculous amount of ham. So many choices, but I think Santino Marella has to get it this time. He barely nudges out Jericho, Cena, Big Show, and Daniel Bryan in an all out battle of ham-to-ham combat. Overall, a decent but not great show.
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
5-20-12 - John Cena
5-21-12 - Santino Marella