IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 6-4-12
By Al Laiman
Jun 4, 2012 - 11:57:40 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! The artist of the cover has created a t-shirt of the amazing work he did, which can be found here. http://punintended.spreadshirt.com/lantlas-the-elven-warrior-the-elven-return-t-shirt-men-s-A10070469
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 6-4-12
1. It's Monday night, and that means the Royal Rumble of thoughts is making its weekly appearance. I'm in a really good mood and could have some Lonely Island playing, if you catch my drift, so let's hope this week's RAW brings out a lot less anger in the normally optimistic fandom of yours truly. The opening trailer recaps Big Show's actions from last week with music so over the top, it would make Silent Hill seem dull. More Big Show "woe is me" with a single indistinguishable female singer in the background. Makes for great effect; it's almost like the movie Troy is about to start or something. Almost makes me forget how much that ending pissed me off.
2. Hey, if you thought starting off RAW with the Big Show was bad, this week we get Michael Cole! Cole announces his guest, John Cena... Because... I guess Michael Cole has a talk show variety hour about which we were never told? I assume he'd be the only talk show host who couldn't out-LOUD his purple tie.
3. Cole tells Cena that everything could've been avoided if he had done the right thing and supported the Big Show, despite the fact that he was against John Cena doing anything disrespecting John Laurinaitis. Consistency, what's that? Cena actually makes a great point that he was trying to "86" John Laurinaitis so they could hire back the Big Show, among other things. Cole tries to respond by attacking Cena's ego while spawning a grin that shit-eating flies can't even match, and I guess is now Big Show's PR man by repeating all of his promos in a summarized fashion.
4. Cena's good streak with promos by turning the Big Show perspective around by stating that he turned his back on everyone as instead of the implied vice versa. Cole attacks Cena for being overrated, which actually gets mostly heat. That should speak to how far Cena has come in the last year, because that would be a half-cheer even six months ago. He then reminds Cena that striking an announcer is strictly prohibited... Interesting... When the hell did that happen?
5. John Laurinaitis can go go go in his Hoverround, and he comes out to let Cena pick his opponent just like Big Show did last week, but that Big Show isn't there and Johnny has officially retired from one-on-one competition. He interrupts Cena several times, which seems to be getting him some good heat, and speaking of shit-eating grins, JL seems to have one going on himself. Maybe Randy Orton hit the Diva's locker room on the way out and Johnny was curious, who knows? Cena says he's going to face an opponent that JR says is being shoved down our throats every week, and he goes extra hammy to say that it's Michael Cole. Or more accurately, MIIIIIIIIIIICHAEL COOOOOOOOLE! It gets such a good response that even Jerry Lawler does the Daniel Bryan "YES! YES! YES!" While I do smell shenanigans, much like The Over Limit itself, it'll be nice to see Cole get owned for a while before the Big Show predictably interferes in this one too.
6. Cole continues to grovel at the People Power Power Scooter, but JL plays up Vince's appearance next week on the basis that everyone is being evaluated. It ends with Johnny telling Cole not to call him "Johnny", which got a laugh out of me. He huffs and puffs past Vicki Guerrero while she proclaims Dolph Ziggler as the best at everything he does, which I suppose is to compensate for Jericho being the best in the world at everything he does, except apparently knowing the laws in a foreign country.
7. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! DON'T MESS WITH THE BULL, HOAK HOGAN, YOU'LL GET THE HORNS! GRAB THAT PIECE OF SALAMI DOWN FROM THE STATUE AND CONFESS THAT YOU'RE ONLY IN SCHOOL ON A SATURDAY BECAUSE YOU HAD NOTHING BETTER TO DO, HOAK HOGAN! WITHOUT LAMPS, I CAN ABSOLUTELY ASSURE YOU THERE WOULD BE NO LIGHT, HOAK HOGAN! ELEPHANTS! ELEPHANTS! WHO'S GOT THE ELEPHANTS AND THE SMUGGLED WEED IN HIS SHORTS! IT'S TIME TO TOKE WITH THE HOAK!!!!!
8. I'm very glad to see Dolph Ziggler back in the ring with main event talent where he belongs. Hopefully a good showing against the champion will benefit his rise and get him back into the title picture. Sheamus tries his Samoan Roll, which is countered several times before he finally rolls through with it. Sheamus falls out of the ring, but pulls Ziggler with him to a huge thud on the floor. Sheamus tries to throw Ziggles into the steel steps, but he makes a nice leap over them while Vicki does her impression of everyone acting out their annoying ex-girlfriend. This gives Ziggles a great spot for a cut-off, and we go into the commercial break to obviously miss the cheap heat yet again. At least they're smart enough to not job out Dolph in thirty seconds like a few of their questionable booking decisions last week.
9. We get back just before Sheamus starts his comeback, and Jerry Lawler has another funny line about Sheamus's skin being the same color as Dolph Ziggler's hair. The Celtic Warrior's offense looks even better when it's being sold by the greatest seller in the game today. Ziggles makes a great effort, but ultimately gets the BOOT TO THE HEAD! for his trouble. Ziggler understandably loses this match here, but a very strong showing on his part. Sheamus also looked good in the win going into his title match with the absolute opposite of Ziggler on the personality scale, so it's a win-win for all involved.
10. Speaking of the Black Hole of Charisma, he attacks Sheamus at the top of the stage, and is accompanied by his hammy rugrat. Del Rio kicks him off the stage and actually locks in a pretty sick-looking armbreaker over the edge of the set. I guess this is continuing the trend started a few weeks ago where all top faces have to have arm injuries of some kind. Good heat for their upcoming match.
11. Oh dear JBL, Tyler Perry's got another Madea movie. Someone please get the bath salts to a wannabe zombie in the area before he gets a third show.
12. JL demands his coffee from a random short guy. Hollaback Masterpiece breaks the news to him that Mr. McMahon is returning to evaluate his job performance next week. That would be great, if they didn't imply that he already knew that from the beginning. Afterwards, them saying that there was a method to his madness before he was officially told about it in the first place doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
13. Oh hey, Sin Cara is back on RAW! I guess he botched his old ring entrance too many times, for now the pyro is accompanied by a rope corkscrew. The red outfit is a bit of a contrast with the blue and orange lights. His opponent will be the former Bizarro Sin Cara and the Pimpcycle. Cara hits a lot of impressive aerial offense, drawing some astonishing reactions from the crowd, before Hunico cuts it off with a sick kick to the face. Camacho looks on with all the emotion of Steve Blackman describing a phonebook.
14. Sin Cara gets the hope spot, and does a lot more quick and flashy moves, highlighted by a sweet arm drag counter into the ropes. The finish is a little questionable, at least with the move, but otherwise a pretty good RAW return performance. I think it's a bit of an overstatement calling him Mexico's most popular performer of all time, but what the hell do I know? Solid action so far tonight.
15. I guess they're starting a countdown of memorable RAWs leading up to the 1000th episode. This week, it's when Cena was drafted to RAW, which at the time was an extremely exciting moment. It was also good to see Jericho with that classic smile on his face.
16. I love how Ryback's jobber opponents always get promos. Speaking of that, it was really cool to see a guy I know personally in Ricky Reyes on Smackdown the other week, even if it was just to job to him. I gotta say, Ryback's entrance is still really annoying me, because both of his pyros are OUT OF THE FUCKING FRAME! But oh dear JBL, if that little rap his opponents cut wasn't the living definition of two large hams, I don't know what is. Stansky and Rosenberg, gotta remember that, cause it'll be tough to beat... Unlike them in their match. Ryback hits his impressive offense, culminating with an awesome Clothesline From Hell to both of them.
17. Stansky and Rosenberg, which sounds more like a law firm than a tag team, are both put away by Ryback's "When the Saints Go Marching In" finisher. The recap shows that the initial toss to one of them got more airtime than Kofi Kingston usually does, which was damn impressive. I'm not often impressed by jobber performances, but they did an amazing job. But it's now time to give Ryback some real opponents.
18. Once again, CM Punk's match is the 10:00 match. It's no surprise that John Cena is in the main event, as WWE probably hit the panic button with the low ratings last week with no Cena. They've done a good job creating new stars in the last year, but they need to spawn a few more megastars that can make up for the drops when Cena isn't there. Punk is on his way, but he hasn't quite made that transition just yet. He's the closest thing they have at this point.
19. D-Bry comes out before Punk's opponent, Kane. He cuts a promo, once again being a brilliant heel, reversing the chants to the ones he should be hearing with his crowd disposition. Kane's pyro explosion interrupts it, and his entrance never gets old to me.
20. Punk starts hot with some high-risk maneuvers, and Cole mentions that Bryan is not the least bit impressed. Strange, usually CM Punk is the one who is not impressed. Punk hits three straight aerial maneuvers before Kane finally gets the cutoff with... the Kitchen Sink? That's a new one... Sorry, just got distracted by finding out that the artist of the coverwork for my books just made a t-shirt out of my most recent release. That's the second person today to tell me something like that, as someone is now making Jaded Hope t-shirts with the trademark slogan of the show, "Bob Saget Says: STOP IT!" on them. Check them out at the top of the page!
21. Anyway, there's wrestling going on here. Finally they don't break to a commercial as soon as the cheap heat starts. Kane starts to dominate the match with impressive simple offense. Cole reminds us that it's been fourteen years since Kane was WWE champion. I sure seem to develop fandoms of entities with long title droughts, don't I? CM Punk gets the hope spot as Kane went up to the top rope for the flying clothesline, hitting a variation of his high knee in the corner. He follows it up with the traditional knee-bulldog combo. Many near-falls are exchanged and counters to finishers done. Kane and Punk are a really interesting combination to watch. Another close fall ends up having things spill to the outside. Bryan gets a few cheap shots in on Punk while the ref's back is turned. Kane tries to hit a chokeslam, but Punk hits an awesome high kick as a counter.
22. AJ runs down, looking damn fine as usual, which causes D-Bry to get pissed, and Punk to hit him on the outside. The distraction allows Kane to hit the Chokeslam and get the win, surprisingly enough! AJ is now staring down the wrath of Kane, but kinda looks turned on by the idea. This causes Kane to bail, because... His past history with women hasn't gone so well. Most of them end up being neck deep in the crazy pool. No wonder I relate to this character so well.
23. Josh Matthews tries to interview AJ in the back, and she continues to be crazy and incredibly hot at the same time. Josh looks like he's talked to less women than Steve Rogers in his life, and AJ goes further off the deep end.
24. The tag team champions are out, although they appear to be in decent condition. Someone in the crowd holds up a Little Jimmy sign, and how I wish that TROOF would go on a spider rant again! Their opponents aren't even announced, so you know they have a great shot at winning. It appears to be Reks and Hawkins, though I'm guessing they've stolen the old ring gear of Kidd and Smith. TROOF gets some pretty lengthy offense before finally taking the cutoff.
25. While Reks and Hawkins get the cheap heat, Cole talks on-screen about how the tag team division is being brought back to life. God I hope so. I've always been a huge fan of tag team wrestling. I know it's cliche to complain about that, as the IWC has beat it to death, but having been mostly a tag team wrestler, I have a great appreciation for the psychology of the matches. Kingston gets his air time, and eventually hits the Trouble in Paradise for the win. That's something I love... Tag team champs get on the show, a young tag team gets exposure in a non-squash setting. I'll be damned, I have no complaints about the wrestling tonight. It's been damn good all around!
26. Another past RAW is recapped, and this was one of my favorite crowd reactions of all time. When Triple H returned in 2002, wow, what a moment. I'm a big fan of when crowds go absolutely nuts, and this was one of the most memorable ones of all time. Right up there with Stone Cold's music hitting in The Rock vs. Mankind in early 1999 before Mankind won the title. I'm really liking these nostalgia trips. The 1000th episode of RAW could be on this level of memorable if they do it right.
27. Before Cena can start his match with Michael Cole, Big Johnny announces that he always over-delivers, which sounds a bit... um... yeah. His match with Michael Cole will be no DQ, provided he can beat somebody else. Oh dear JBL, it's Albert Tensai Train. Because that's worked out so well in past main events...
28. AT&T dominates at first, but the crowd is firmly behind Cena as he attempts to overcome the behemoth. Cena starts to get the upper hand when Sakamoto finally does something and kicks him when the ref is distracted. I wonder if we have an Akio-style wrestler there, because like Ricardo Rodriguez, that would have me more interested in the manager than the wrestler.
29. We come back to Michael Cole having an orgasm over AT&T manhandling someone... That's not suggestive at all... Cena finally starts to mount a comeback... That sounded no better. The action spills to the outside as Cole gets in that awful bad habit of yelling the EXACT same thing multiple times, proving he hasn't learned a damn thing in the last two years. He then does it again when AT&T throws Cena into the steps. Where's that Penn Teller clip when I need it. Cole: SHUT... THE FUCK... UP! John Cena finally starts a real comeback as Michael Cole buries his face like Dizzy in The New Guy when the movie of him tied up shows up at the party. In a rather quick and anti-climactic comeback, Cena pins AT&T, which I guess is the sign of his depush, which like some others in the past, was rushed too quickly... i.e. two jobbers and then going over Cena.
30. Cole tries to run out through the crowd, much the same way as JL did. I really hope we're not going for the same The Over Limit ending here... Cole yells at the crowd that they think this is funny, which reminds me of Brock Lesnar saying something similar after he tapped out in a match. "SHUT UP, IT AIN"T FUNNY!" Cole gets in the face of Cena and repeatedly pokes his chest, which is a really bad idea. Poke the bear, die much? Cole goes over the top yelling at him, and takes a huge chop for his trouble. Cena then... TAKES HIS PANTS OFF? WHAAAAAAAAT?! Cena, is there something you need to tell us? Cena humiliates Cole, bringing up that dreaded WrestleMania match, but then Cole goes on an over-the-top rant saying that Cena is his idol and mentor... Wow, all aboard the Hammy train! Cena and King happen to have some JR's BBQ sauce at ringside... Wow. The crowd gets a "YES! YES! YES!" chant started in a very appropriate place. Suddenly, AT&T comes back and hits the Baldo Bomb. Cole tries to take advantage, but Cena kicks out. Cena quickly gets the win, and thankfully Cena doesn't have to job to Cole. All in all, this was a very good show. I don't really have any complaints to make.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
The two jobbers had it til Michael Cole added to his earlier hamminess, and I just couldn't let it go.
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
5-28-12 - CM Punk
6-4-12 - Michael Cole.