IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 8-27-12
By Al Laiman
Aug 28, 2012 - 12:32:04 AM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts: RAW 1005 - 8-27-12
1. It's been another long day and it's going to be another early morning, so once again, I'll be saving my thoughts for the action and segments, whereas I'll be fast-forwarding any replays, highlight videos, and social media yammering. Given how last week turned out, I'm sure I'll have plenty to say with the material presented. I'm really hoping for an improvement after a few bright spots spread across a mostly bleak proverbial landscape. Triple H is the first thing mentioned, so it appears we're picking right up with where we left off last week... hardly a surprise. But the next thing we see Cole reading a Jerry Lawler tweet... as he's sitting there. Lawler then gets up to go to the ring as Cole reads it AGAIN. We've read a Tweet twice for someone who is already there in person. We're less than a minute into the show and that's already incredibly obnoxious. This is gonna be a long night.
2. Lawler gets in the ring to get on the mic, making the tweet they showed... You guessed it... ENTIRELY POINTLESS, since he's going to say what he said in the tweet ANYWAY! Moving on, Lawler refers to the angle that's been developing since RAW 1000, and Lawler says he decided to apologize out of respect to the WWE championship, despite not having the respect of the WWE championship to say that the guy holding it is the best in the world, but I'll go with it. He demands his own apology from CM Punk for kicking him in the head, which gets a huge "CM Punk" chant from the crowd. Very interesting.
3. As CM Punk comes to the ring, Michael Cole takes the entire time to talk about social media. Punk is sporting a buzzhead, and dramatically re-enacts Lawler saying Lawler's line about turning his back on the WWE Universe. Punk is in serious mode, and is doing the number one thing a heel needs to do to be great; justifying everything he's done believably. I think Lawler has gotten so annoying that people are actually cheering him for kicking him in the head. Punk puts out the red herring by saying that he's going to apologize, but then goes Pipe Bomb by trashing Lawler's accomplishments for being in the Hall of Fame. Saying that he couldn't beat Michael Cole for his big WrestleMania moment and that he's become the WWE's Circus Seal. Wow, he's definitely on tonight. Punk then seems to think that Lawler wants a fight, but all Lawler wants is an apology. Punk continues to egg him on, although I laughed a little bit when Punk justified what he was saying by reminding everyone that he's WWE Champion; I suppose forgetting the Miz angle like, well... Everyone else who saw it. As Punk leaves the ring and finally gets to the stage, he dramatically... Says he'll think about it.
3. Back from the commercial, and it's BIFF! The point in his entrance music suggests that he's coming out to "Freak on a Leash", and they refer to his losing streak. I guess since Jericho's losing streak angle is over, they immediately have to start a new one. The "Feed Me More" sound implies that it's definitely going to continue. They refer to Jinder Mahal as the T-1000's "rival", which I suppose is true... About as much as a straw house rivals a giant angry wolf. They'll have to send out Rambo as fast as they can.
4. The beginning strikes are rather rough, I'm guessing because they're both arguing about why Biff got to go back to the future and the T-1000 couldn't. Biff goes for a trademark move early, which is the ol' Santino Marella for "you're about to die... painfully." The T-1000 makes a brisk comeback, gets a HUGE "FEED ME MORE!" chant, and then breaks out the Clothesline From The Machines and gets the dominant victory. Biff yells "That's it!", I guess because he's either about to go away for a while or he's getting a gimmick change. He's got too much talent to just release, but he needs a makeover badly.
5. We're further discussing whether or not Triple H is finally done, which I might care about if they didn't make the entire last episode of RAW about it. In a WrestleMania 27 rematch, John Cena will be taking on the Intercontinental champion, The Miz, hopefully not himself getting the Santino Marella treatment as the jobbing midcard champion, and will the WWE champion be facing Jerry Lawler? He's... still thinking about it. Good JBL, DX reuniting didn't get this much melodramatic buildup!
6. The next match is going to be Layla, who apparently got her wardrobe inspiration from April O'Neal, and she's facing Natalya, who herself got the jobber entrance. Maybe she should pair up with Biff and begin the resurrection of the J.O.B. Squad. Vickie Guerrero's shrill voice interrupts the pre-match... to say that she has an announcement after the match. That means she's going to stand in the corner and look really annoyed. Layla hits a pretty impressive rolling move, followed by a nice cross-body. Poor Natalya, what is it about knowing how to wrestle that gets you so punished in this company?
7. She gets... Some weird kind of butt bump move that makes Natalya slides out of the ring and says "isn't funny", despite the fact that A. Nobody was laughing, and B. We couldn't tell what it was. Natalya gets a few seconds of cheap heat and tries to lock in the Sharpshooter, but Layla counters, and it's a damn good thing Natalya caught the back of her knees on the ropes or she might've been seriously injured. Layla makes a comeback... I think... and wins with a kick to the head after the Roll Up of Doom failed. Vickie walks in the ring and gets the first noticeable crowd noise since she came out the first time and tells Layla to leave the ring, which she does for some reason.
8. Vickie recaps that Dolphy Gunn beat Chris Jericho to terminate Jericho's contract, but apparently she's still upset that Dolph's Money in the Bank contract was on the line, and that is very unfair. Sure, someone's job being on the line is completely cool, but a title shot? That's just taking it way too far. It's good heel heat though. She says it's time to put RAW back in the hands of an adult. AJ's peppy music hits as she skips to the ring in a business suit to prove her point, but the crowd is eating it up, so let's go with it. AJ smiles, and then smacks the hell out of Vickie Guerrero, and as Joey Styles might say... "CATFIGHT!" This gets a huge pop, along with heavy "YES!" chants, and AJ brings back the crazy eyes. All we need is a whip sound with it, and she's Gil incarnate. The camera cuts to ringside, as Michael Cole reminds us that Triple H might be near the end of the career, and says they're going to take us back through... Oh JBL, this is what's going to replace the Brock/Triple H recap videos. Fast forward.
9. As we come back to RAW, Cole indicates that Daniel Bryan attended an Anger Management classes. If only his instructor could be Jack Nicholson, the HAM would be unrelenting. The class starts, and a kid walks in with a goat mask, which sets up D-Bry's Ham-o-meter and he yells in his face. It turns out it's the instructor's kid, who is a goat in a play, and I'm pretty sure the anger management counselor is the same guy who was the creepy psychologist from the first incarceration scene in Hanna. He's got that same Chris Hansen-bait voice going on, so it might be possible.
10. As we cut back to something far less interesting, we're reading tweets from some guy I don't even know, and Punk takes another shot. Lawler decides instead of declaring his answer, he stands up and gets on the mic, telling Punk that he doesn't know how long he would've lasted in Memphis. Lawler recaps what Punk said was true about him, and says that you don't get in the Hall of Fame without standing up for what is right... Or if you happened to be on a Pay-Per-View once and are moderately famous. Lawler finally accepts the challenge, making me wonder why we really needed that much of a buildup for it. Oh well, it got a response. The Saturday Morning Slam preview airs right after the show goes to break, and it looks like WWE meets Barney and Friends with the ad campaign.
11. Cena's music hits, and he yells "The home of PBR!" Now now, John. That wasn't very kid-friendly, was it? Besides, now TROOF thinks he's in Green Bay. Miz seems to have ditched the Edge coat and still hasn't grown his peach fuzz out much, but let's see how he looks against the implied number one contender. There's a lot of crowd noise, but it's not very distinguishable. Miz and Cena trade some chain wrestling, and I'm pretty sure I saw a "CM Punk is Not Impressed" sign. That guy wins the Internet. The chain wrestling continues, and dammit they go to a commercial. I was really enjoying the beginning of that match.
12. The match comes back on right as Miz is in the cheap heat portion of the match, and Josh Matthews comes down to the ring, in case you didn't know Lawler had a match. Miz rolls out of the ring and kicks the steps. Cena starts a comeback, but Miz hits some nice kicks and gains the advantage again. There are a lot of very emphatic male Cena fans in camera view making sure to get their "Let's Go Cena!" on. Miz does a move he did in the early days of his career, so naturally it's Vintage Miz. I'm very pleased with how strong he's looking here. It's bringing some credibility back to the Intercontinental title, so of course now it's a good time to bring up Jerry Lawler and talk at length about Triple H yet again, in case you missed the other 845 mentions of it. Cena counters and locks in an STF, but Miz gets to the ropes. Miz comes back and hits his half-height DDT and Cena sold it like he was doing a DolphBK impression. Miz counters the AA and gets a damn close near fall. Despite the commercial break, this has been a very good televised match.
13. Cena comes back and hits two shoulder blocks, so will Miz go for a clothesline? He does! Five-Knuckle Shuffle, AA, the quick Cena comeback is complete. Despite that, Miz looked very good in the process and the match was fluid and well done. Dammit, they're making the CM Punk the RAWactive match. Tables, Cage, or No DQ. Well at least those choices are distinguishable. They're talking about Triple H again, fast forward.
14. Now we're back to Daniel Bryan's Anger Management. That's more like it. Harold is talking about his bad boss, which gives Danielson a chance to ham it up again. Bryan goes through all the things that make AJ a horrible boss for him, and he says he doesn't know how it could get any worse. Oh, piece of cake, Bryan. Never say famous last words because they could be. The last patient arrives, and it's Kane in his executioner mask. This is getting good.
15. It's the ONE! MAN! BAAAAAAAAND, BABAAAAAY! Apparently Slater beat Sin Cara on Smackdown, which means possibly his push is truly beginning. He Touts, fast forward. Santino is his opponent, and I'm sincerely hoping Slater wins two in a row. Damn, there's a phrase I never thought I'd say. Santino has some fun, doing an amateur-wrestling training maneuver by spinning on his back, and Slater out-does him with an air guitar. EXCELLENT! Santino tries to do his own, and gets hit for it. Santino plays possum, giving Slater a chance to pose. He goes for a roll-up and gets a near-fall, and the hip toss follows, which means the Cobra is coming out. Some Val Venis-ish music hits and Aksana distracts him. This causes the Cobra to hit Slater and get the win... dammit. Josh says the "Cobra has a bit of a crush on Aksana." Why does that sentence have to exist? Triple H tweets, fast forward. Twitter poll, keep going.
16. FUNK IS ON A ROLL! FUNK IS ON A ROLL! My sister's favorite! It's time for Captain Brodus and the Funkateers! You can be one too! Cause playing our funk is the thing to do! The power is yours, Funkateers! Sin Cara is his tag team partner, and I have to say, no matter what you think of him, that entrance music is freaking epic. Damien Sandow comes out, which is always an improvement on the show. He says that he's experienced a miracle, for he's found an intellectual companion in Cody Rhodes. Now there's a team that has some potential. These guys together with live mics is promo gold. The match is about to start and it goes to commercial. Gotta make time for those tweets, I guess.
17. The match picks up in the middle with Cody and Sandow double-teaming Sin Cara. Sandow comes in and Cole plays up his spinning elbow drop like it's the second coming of the Lou Thesz press. Cody's back in and Sin Cara hits a headscissors and gets the hot tag. Brodus gets in some offense, but Sandow goes after his knee. He tries to knock Cara off the apron, but gets taken out in the process and gets a high spot to top it off. Cody runs into a moutain, because I guess Kwame must've used his Earth ring. He follows it up with a splash to get a much-needed win. Sin Cara dances with the kids after the win.
18. Back to Anger Management, and Creepy Therapist asks Kane to remove the mask. Kane does so, and tells the session that he's the devil's favorite demon. They ask Kane to share his childhood, which D-Bry sums up perfectly by saying "This is a bad idea," Understatement of the decade! He does a summary of his kayfabe background reminiscent of Dr. Evil, and goes through some of his funniest career highlights, including a Katie Vick reference and the unexplained Pete Rose torment. The therapist wraps it up by saying that everyone has to make an anger collage. This is AWESOME. Poor Harold thanks him for sharing, and gets a goozle for his trouble. That was fucking fantastic! And to make it even better, D-Bry is gonna be in a ham-off with the TROOF! Oh please, John Bradshaw Layfield, give them live mics.
19. The music for Night of Champions sounds very "Two Steps From Hell", which can only mean at least one thing about that Pay-Per-View will be awesome no matter what. Triple H video, fast forward. TROOF comes out as that Dominic guy tweets about Daniel Bryan. I've got some questions. Who is that guy? Why is he talking? And, most importantly, WHY SHOULD I CARE?! Bryan comes out and plays up the anger management therapy by not letting himself get out of control. This continues to be the funniest and most entertaining part of the show for at least the second week in a row. They start off the match with a friendly fist-bump. Hey, it's a man of Ring of Honor; he'll always show respect. The fans chant "goat-face", but Bryan continues to suppress it. TROOF offers another fist bump, but instead gives one to Little Jimmy, and asks Bryan to do it as well. Danielson actually does it, but then lays the vicious kicks to TROOF. TROOF comes back with a few of his own, including a Pelvic Thrust that really drives you insane.
20. The match goes to the outside, and YES! YES! YES! TROOF gets a mic! TROOF plays up his past gaffe by saying that he knows they're in Milwaukee, and gets a "YES!" chant started, which sends Danielson off the deep end to the Cuckoo's Nest. Him yelling "NO!" in the avid Cena fan's face causes him to get counted out, and when he finds out, he has a priceless facial expression, like a young kid finding out that Santa isn't real. He has a meltdown that would make Christian in 2002 jealous, but we have to cut that off to review the Summerslam main event... Again. Fast forward.
21. After all the build-up, Triple H gets introduced with all his nicknames to boot. Unfortunately, he doesn't have his Skynet arm. If this isn't his retirement, imagine how many tribute videos we'll have to sit through when it finally is! They show Michael Cole and Josh Matthews standing solemnly, as if Babe Ruth were addressing Yankee Stadium in 1948 or something. 3H does the Hogan and soaks in the cheers for a moment. He gets a "NO!" chant started at mentioning that he might retire, a well-placed chant indeed. 3H is doing a really good job at being emotional through talking about the crossroads in his career. Some guy with a Blaze Snag Chewy or something sign is obsessed with getting both sides of his sign on television, and it's distracting. 3H throws some subtle jabs at the older wrestlers who still try to scrape out a living doing this even past their time, which shows why he didn't like The Wrestler.
22. H begins the slow build, and gets a HUGE pop when he says he wishes he could rise up against Brock Lesnar, but plays it down when he doesn't know if he can. He has the crowd in the palm of his hand for this, and it's one of the better promos I've ever heard him do. If only it wasn't preceded by months worth of shit; it would be even better. He takes the moment to say thank you, and even gets me a little emotional about describing the strife and sacrifice through which wrestlers go, and they do. This promo went from good to great at that moment. If this isn't his retirement speech, it should be, because I don't know how he'll be able to top this. He chokes up when he thanks everyone for letting him play the game. I'm teary-eyed, I admit it. This is one of the most powerful promos I've ever seen. .I don't take back all I said about the obnoxious constant references and the bad angle that led up to this, but this moment, this night, that promo was emotional and amazing. Wow.
23. Dolphy Gunn throws a Jericho return tease while doing the Y2J pose. It's weird, tonight they're doing promos over their own entrance music. It's different, but I kinda like it. It gives it some atmosphere. This must be a tag match, because I see Ricardo Rodriguez. I guess they're teaming him up with Dolphy because he has enough charisma for the both of them, or at least enough to avoid the gravitational pull of Bertie's Black Hole of Charisma. I didn't realize that on Smackdown, Del Rio because the number one contender for the 15th time in a row. Why do they insist on this?
24. Some of you will be disappointed and others relieved, but I am far too tired to come up with a Warrior Lobsterhead rant. 6am was a long time ago, and it's going to come way too early tomorrow morning. Those of you that follow this column make it worth it. The faces get the early shine and it predictably goes to commercial when Dolphy rolls out of the ring holding his jaw. Will it return with Team Heel in control?
25. Gee, who saw that coming? Ziggles has control, and as RKO tries to come back, he hits a nasty-looking kitchen sink. Del Rio must be trying to be the Ric Flair of failed number one contenderships. Del Rio throws in a similar hold, and then circles around and awkwardly holds his head like they're about to do the Foxtrot or something. Del Rio takes a nasty fall to the outside after Orton tosses him out of the ring. Sheamus gets the hot tag and hits Ziggles with a running knee that looked brutal. The treading of moves and counters with Sheamus and Dolph was awesome. Ziggles tries for the briefcase, but gets the Orton backbreaker, which leads to a BOOT TO THE HEAD for the win. Another very good match.
26. The second attendee of Anger Management is in the arena as the pyro goes off and scares the hell out of Josh Matthews. He's coming down for commentary, and Cole's reactions are, for once, hilarious. It appears to be a Zack Ryder match, and he gets a pop reminiscent of Londrick during their tag title reign. He's facing the Hollaback Masterpiece, while Cole tries to entice Kane to social media while still standing on the other side of the table. Carlton gets the strong offense to start off the match. Cole continues to try to get Kane into the conversation, which reminds me of the time X-Pac and Kane were on commentary in 1999, and Lawler kept trying to get him to talk. This was of course during the voicebox era, so it was all the more hilarious.
27. Ryder starts to make a comeback and takes a nasty-looking back bump from the top rope on a counter. Ryder wins with a leg move out of nowhere, and Kane immediately gets in the ring and goozles Ryder. He seems to hesitate, and then decides to chokeslam the Hollaback Masterpiece instead. Kane then makes me laugh my ass off with a simple "oh well" shrug. This might be the hammiest I've ever seen him.
28. Dude, nobody cares about your fucking sign! Quit flipping it every two seconds. Bob Saget says: STOP IT! The main event tonight will be a steel cage match, and I'm sure that wasn't rigged at all. AJ comes out and says that CM Punk will defend against John Cena, making the whole "Punk choosing" thing pointless.
29. Punk has moved to 12th place on the all-time longest reigns list, and while he has no chance in hell of reaching the top two, it's still a lot of fun to see how long it'll go. Punk allows Lawler the first shot, and it looks like a legit shot to the face. Maybe Punk going Pipebomb pissed Lawler off legit. Punk is still selling the jaw as he goes on offense. Punk keeps going with the cheap heat, but Lawler knocks him off the ropes. Lawler immediately goes for the door, but Punk emphatically drags him back in the ring. This match isn't getting much heat yet, but that's because everyone is expecting some cage spots. Punk hams it up by singing a "New King of Memphis, Tennessee" song. That was freaking funny.
30. King gets a bit of offense in before Punk comes back with a high knee in the corner. Punk is busted open pretty badly, and the ref is putting on the doctor gloves. Punk hits the Anaconda Vice and makes Lawler tap as the ref is trying to wipe blood off his head. Punk isn't done there. He gets a mic and locks himself inside the cage. He puts the mic in his face and demands that he say that he's the best in the world. King resists, and Punk throws some really stiff-looking elbows and assaults him viciously. John Cena runs down and tells the crew to get the cage up. The cage finally rises and Punk slips out of the ring. That was very well done. Lawler didn't stand much of a chance, and Punk really solidified his vicious streak. This was a damn good show. Several good matches, some great segments, and the WWE Championship storyline advanced very well.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Do you really need me to even explain?
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
7-23-12 - Mae Young's son
7-30-12 - R-Truth/Daniel Bryan
8-6-12 - Daniel Bryan
8-13-12 - Roddy Piper
8-19-12 - Kane
8-20-12 - Paul Heyman
8-27-12 - Kane