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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 7-16-12
1. Just got done watching Money in the Bank just before RAW starts. For two years in a row, they've turned out a stellar Pay-Per-View in July. Also for the second year in a row, CM Punk had a match of the year candidate. The ham, however, has to go to AW for taking a water shot like he was covered in blood by a PETA member and going "AWWWWWW HELLLLLLL NO!" and then doing what all people do when they're confronted with a potential fight... Taking off his shoes. Oh, if that isn't hammerific I don't know what is. The level of awesome is instantly subverted as once again on Monday night, I'm subjected to Nickelback. Oh well, it can only get better from there... I hope. I also have to say, I seriously hope John Cena is the first to lose his Money in the Bank shot. He doesn't need it. I've become a Cena fan in the last couple years, but it's really not necessary at this stage in his career.
2. CM Punk opens the show to a huge pop. The one he got last night was pretty impressive too, though the pop of the night had to go to Dolphy Ziggles Gunn when the crowd thought he was cashing in. As I listen to the crowd chant for CM Punk and realize that he's been WWE champion for 239 days, it takes me back to the times where he was on the Indies and people said he could never make it on the big stage. Yeah, how'd that turn out? Punk references the infamous pipe bomb that transformed into the next big WWE star over the past year. Punk also mentions the 1000th episode of RAW, which I'm sure won't be mentioned much at all tonight. He takes an interesting point of possibly not being on the first RAW because of who he is and how he speaks his mind before the Big Show comes out to remind us that he lost his smile. Where's his sappy song already?
3. Either this crowd is as hot as last night's, or Big Show is drawing some massive heat. Good for him. Punk gets a laugh out of me for his mock sweating t-shirt expression. Show reminds me of my middle school tech-ed teacher by telling everyone that they're being rude, and Show proclaims a whole bunch of things that would've happened had what not happened happened... Get it? Got it? Good. I don't get it. Punk goes into Pipe Bomb mode a bit by throwing a hard bit of truth (not to be confused with TROOF) in Show's face.
4. Essentially, Punk is calling Show an underachiever, and speaking of TROOF, Show subverts him by saying they shouldn't be respecting you, they should be respecting themselves. Although CM Punk is not impressed, he makes an ROH reference, substituting straight edge with WWE champion. Show warns him that after their match tonight, Cena could cash in and become WWE champion. He then holds the mic up and drops it because... Hell if I know. Meanwhile, Lawler tries to make a plug and says WWE and slash so many times that Guns N Roses think they're having a reunion tour on RAW.
5. If I hear the word hashtag again, I may have to break things. It's barely a half hour into the show and I'm already annoyed. Hey, last night's ham is out, and sure enough I'm gonna have to go break breakable breakables, goddammit. Remember when people just put on a show and didn't need to mention Twitter every eight seconds? AW continues being mic'd up, and I can see this getting old really quickly. I'll give O'Neill and Young credit though; before they disappeared from the NXT angles, I couldn't have cared less if I ever saw them again. Kudos to them for making major improvements in their in-ring work. As usual in a tag match, the face shine leads into a commercial. Maybe with three hours, we can just go back to seeing a full televised match, but I won't count on it. That would be too convenient.
6. There's a lot of purple in the ring tonight, between three of the four participants in this match. I wonder if AW still hears Tony Atlas laughing at everything he says. Lawler says that Titus is really running his mouth, before changing it to Darren Young, and then by process of elimination, realizes that there's only one left and it has to be the right one, and that's AW. Speaking of AW, he pulls out a fro comb at one point during the cheap heat on the outside. Kofi gets the hot tag to TROOF. Seeing the name "Little Jimmy" on his ass, I'm glad he was smart enough to not put that on the front of his pants. Kofi gets in a kick and KingsTROOF wins, and still AW won't shut the hell up. Gee, I wonder why this guy got sent down... Pretty good tag match to start off the wrestling portion of the show.
7. Backstage, AJ is trying to use her cell phone, despite the fact that it's probably off and it's just the voices in her head responding, and yet again Danielson is going to apologize. The conversation is interrupted by Eve, who gets the lame PG insult of the evening about payback. Someone's stock Verizon cell phone text noise went off in the middle of Eve trying to pretend someone gives a shit when she was talking. It's pretty sad when random background noise is more interesting than she is.
8. Tout is the new interactive social media distraction on RAW, so I suppose we'll be reminded of that along with Twitter every eight seconds too. Zack Ryder is out for the next match, and I suppose it's his turn to take the Santino role of getting his ass kicked by the Black Hole of Charisma when he's angry. Del Rio takes the aggressive offensive, continuing the assault on the outside. Ryder finally gets in an offensive move, which makes Del Rio angrier, because how dare someone popular get in a move against him? And just like that, Del Rio wins another quick squash match, but locks in the armbreaker again.
9. Getting a pretty impressive surprise return, Rey Mysterio makes his long-awaited return, although the believability of the desperation is tarnished a bit by making sure he does his taunts before saving Ryder. Del Rio gets the upper hand, but Mysterio overcomes his aggression because he's higher on the food chain. It's definitely good timing, as WWE needs all the current regular big names they can get on the 1000th episode of RAW, to establish continuity for all the viewers they hope to bring back for more than the milestone episode. Del Rio gets so upset that he almost summons an emotion.
10. Slater gets an interview about his favorite moments of RAW, which is more of a recap of his recent angle. I'm surprised, it's actually really funny, as Slater spins everything that happened to him into something that sounds impressive. I suppose Jillian Hall will try to take credit for that too. After the commercial, another returning name will be facing the One Man Band.
11. I'd like to see this Slater angle continue beyond episode 1000, as it's entertaining to see various names returning for one-off matches. The same music that was heard at the NXT tapings hits, but this time it's the bigger one of the original Too Cool trio, Rikishi. One thing has certainly not changed; he is a lot of guy. This would be a perfect opportunity to blend eras, with Brodus Clay and Rikishi having a dance-off. Yellow sunglasses will be necessary.
12. Slater takes the stinkface like a champ. Hopefully he didn't Mae Young him and put bad fish in there. Rikishi hits his trademark moves and wins rather quickly. The lights go out, which gets my hopes up for a second, and the Usos are in the ring when they return. I can't say I'm too disappointed with that, but Brodus being involved would've been awesome. Unfortunately, there are no yellow sunglasses. Is it just me, or does Rikishi's t-shirt look like a drawing of Hulk Hogan?
13. Hey, did you know DX was kicking off the first hour of RAW next week? Goddamn, I wish someone would've told me. They really need to promote these things if they want them to get attention.
14. Eve gets on the mic, although thankfully it's only for a few seconds. Her partner is The Miz, who returned last night with a haircut that makes him finally look like he's old enough to buy cigars and lottery tickets. Tonight, it looks like he's trying to be Wade Barrett, to make up for the absence of the Skybox Jedi Master. Hair slicked back like him too, hmm... Subtle connections, or red herring, WWE? You sneaky bastards...
15. Daniel Bryan hits the ring, and gets a tremendous reaction. Loving the hot crowd in Las Vegas tonight. Bryan continues to get pops for every move he does, which is a testament to the heat that The Miz can draw when he's doing it right. Miz plays along by subverting it, almost as if Bryan was a face. Interesting. Is Miz trying to grow facial hair? It looks kinda silly on a face that boyish.
16. In an acute observation, Lawler gives us vital information by telling us that Eve towers over AJ. Thanks, I didn't notice. AJ pulls out some awesome kicks, but Miz distracts the ref. This makes AJ angry, and she kicks Miz off the apron and gives him that look that makes a good many of my readers go crazy. Eve gets a smallpackage, and not just from Miz, but Daniel Bryan reverses it to help her get the win. Good match that served its purpose.
17. Bryan gets on the mic and summons all the strength from his massive victory beard in order to profess his undying love to her. AJ looks like a Little Leaguer seeing Jerry Sandusky as the umpire of his game, but Bryan continues gaining massive heat from the crowd by getting down on his knee to propose again. This time he does have a ring, and AJ does one great acting job yet again displaying her conflicting emotions. After a moment to let the crowd react, AJ accepts the proposal, and they go all Edge/Lita in the middle of the ring. In the most well-placed "YES!" chant in a long time, Bryan bellows out the strongest one he's ever done. The crowd is chanting with him one way or the other, but it's loud, and that alone is damn impressive.
18. They keep showing the John Cena reaction graphic, and it looks like he just showed up to a calculus test naked. They also plug the Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak DVD. They show Triple H saying "it will never be duplicated again." Um, Hunter? Duplicated again would mean that someone else already did it before him. Putting the "again" on the end implies the original is a duplication. Did he come back from the alternate chalk line reality with Biff Swagger where Warrior had an undefeated streak that long too? And someone please tell me who this nimrod pretending to be a cowboy and making people drink Five Hour Energy is. I'd make fun of it on Jaded Hope if I could figure out why anyone would listen to whoever that is.
19. Biff Swagger is facing Ryback? Oh, the time travel movie joke possibilities! Biff decides that he's going to go back in time and get the Almanac, but he comes face-to-face with a T101, who was sent back to kill Marty McFly, for something has to be done about his kids who will one day lead the resistance against the machines.
20. Biff dominates early, but he learns the lesson of the 80s couple in the apartment, and receives a triple power bomb. The match never actually started, so I suppose Ryback is finally getting to face wrestlers someone knows. That's a good thing.
21. Again, we have to sit through a John Cena Tout. Dear JBL, I DON'T GIVE A SHIT!
22. Vicki Guerrero comes out and politely asks everyone if they could divert their attention promptly to the area of focus at the center of the stage, for things are about to occur in that particular location that might be of some interest. Or something like that. Dolphy Gunn is Mr. Money in the Bank, and I couldn't have marked harder for that. Ziggles implying that he'll be the next champion draws somewhat of a pop, although nowhere near the ones he got in Phoenix. Dolphy lists all the people he'll be better than, and Vicki repeats it, just in case people couldn't hear it in a voice that doesn't make people cringe.
23. Chris Jericho surprisingly interrupts with his non-Christmas tree jacket, which either means Dolph might be leaning face, or it's just going to be two heels in a cock contest. Before Jericho can speak, Ziggles cuts him off to avoid letting him steal his moment. Jericho has quite a facial expression, somewhat between a smirk and a "not impressed" face until Ziggles asks the last time he won anything, following it up with a funny line about how he can't remember either. Dolph continues getting really intense in the presence of Jericho, and this shows why Dolph doesn't need a manager.
24. Dolph capstones his promo by saying that he's losing his touch, because he might be losing his touch, because we think he might be losing his touch, and Vicki he might be losing his touch. Jericho uses the silence angle the way it should've been in the first place and gets a massive pop by hitting the Codebreaker on Dolphy Gunn. So I guess Jericho is the face now? Maybe? Who cares, it was interesting.
25. Coming back from the break, more about this Tout shit. To paraphrase Chris Rock, if Tout were on the edge of a cliff, and all it needed was a fuck to save its life. Even if I had a pocket full of fucks, I wouldn't give it one. Why? Because I don't GIVE A FUCK! Is that how they're going to fill that extra hour? Why not just make it a Wednesday night show? WWE Wednesday Night Tout. That way I'd never have to see it.
26. Daniel Bryan and AJ are getting married on next week's RAW! Shit, they don't waste any time. But oh wait, what else is going on with next week's RAW? Oh damn, DX is reuniting! Holy shit, what a surprise! You would think they would've mentioned that before!
27. GREENWOOD TORTURE! Unfortunately it won't be with Rikishi, but I still get to say it... FUNK IS ON A ROLL! FUNK IS ON A ROLL! I love this damn song, I don't care. The three of them dance in the ring, and I now demand that Rikishi and the Uso's join them after the inevitable squash match. In a very strange moment, the shitty Nickelback song with which they torture me every week... Cuts it off to show the results of the poll of which title will be defended, whaaaaaaaaaaat? Did they really need to do that right at that moment?
28. And Brodus' opponent will be... JTG? He's apparently the only one not surprised that he's still employed. I'm so glad they had Brodus in the main event, only to job like a bitch and return to fighting jobbers. That really accomplished so much for a face that's really over. Next thing you know they'll be having Zack Ryder and Santino Marella doing one minute jobs to Alberto Del Rio or something. JTG actually gets a laugh out of me by doing the Funkasaurus pose and going "Look at me, I'm a dinosaur!" I think we may have tonight's ham with that one. Color me surprised though, JTG is getting in a lot more offense than I thought he would. And by that, I mean I'm surprised he's gotten any in at all. I still say, a golden opportunity was wasted by not having Brodus and Rikishi have a dance-off. You are TEARING ME APART, WWE!
29. Oh hey, guess what? Next week on RAW, DX is reuniting to open the show! It was so nice of them to remind me, because I almost forgot. They really need to mention that more. I'm assuming that Punk and Big Show is the main event, unless there's gonna be another really quick one, hopefully not a Money in the Bank cash-in. Punk tries to find innovative ways to attack Show, but they're mostly futile. Do you think Show is making Straight Edge Society jokes the whole time because of Serena Deeb's little exploits? Show continues no-selling any offense, as heel Big Show tends to do. It also involves a lot of standing around and staring into space. Hey Show, if you don't give a shit, why should we?
30. Punk finally starts building some momentum, but of course it's cut off so Big Show can yell a little more. Punk is certainly throwing some impressive kicks, and the running knees in the corner was awesome. Show then does the old Owen Hart slow tree-like fall sell, allowing Punk to go up top for the Macho Man Elbow Drop. Punk sells the kickout like someone pinched his ass unexpectedly in the locker room, and walks right into a chokeslam. Fortunately, he was near the ropes and gets his foot on it, which makes Big Show MAD! Show gets himself disqualified, and continues assaulting Punk. Cena's music cuts off, and he comes armed with the briefcase. Cena calls for a mic, but before he can make his announcement, Big Show gets to talk more, and says that Cena is going to "cash in the Money in the briefcase bank." Show continues egging him on, but Cena challenges him for RAW 1000. However, that wasn't his huge announcement about the briefcase, which ends up being a shot to Big Show's head. The show ends with Punk and Cena each raising their respective accessories. All in all, a pretty decent show with good hype for the 1000th episode, if a bit repetitive. But the Tout shit has to stop, or at least tout it down a bit. It's bad enough I have to hear shit about Twitter all night.
JTG finally wins something, and it's a large ham. There wasn't a lot of it tonight, but that made me laugh.
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
6-11-12 - Ricardo Rodriguez
6-18-12 - AJ
6-25-12 - Chris Jericho
7-2-12 - Chris Jericho
7-9-12 - Daniel Bryan
7-15-12 - AW
7-16-12 - JTG
For followers of Jaded Hope, if you haven't seen it yet, check out the best of Season 2 here. This week's new episode is posted at the top, as per usual: