IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 9-10-12
By Al Laiman
Sep 11, 2012 - 12:10:07 AM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts: RAW 1007 - 9-10-12
1. Welcome back to column number 70, to coincide with Jaded Hope #80, not to mention my final column of my 26th year. After the last few weeks of positive television, I can't say I'm looking forward to anything more than Kane/Danielson continuing their angle. Their segments were so funny that I even had some non-wrestling fans laughing at them. The Montreal crowd appears rabid for the return of Bret "The Hitman" Hart. I had just started watching wrestling about a month before the Montreal Screwjob, so I've never been able to fully appreciate the emotional capacity of the moment. Though I gotta say, the only thing disappointing about this moment is I really do miss the old, unremixed theme. Damn, he's aged since we've seen him too. The ovation is everything Triple H wished his post-Lesnar match speech received, although for being such a huge Hart town, even some of the fans can't spell his name right. Holy shit, the crowd just started singing "Ole"! That is some crowd participation if I've ever seen it! As emotional as this speech is, how many years has it been? I think it was some time ago, but if Bret could just mention the specific number of years that it's been since that moment took place. I'm glad that they gave him the chance to speak his mind and be candid about it, and he kept it short and sweet.
2. CM Punk's music interrupts Hart's moment, and he receives the first universally heel reaction that I've heard in over a year for him. Some Bret Hart fan yells in his face for a good twenty seconds, which impresses CM Punk so little that they actually black out the screen for a few seconds. Despite supposedly coming out to heel it up, Punk's outfit is rather Hart-reminiscent. Hart does a great job of putting over the WWE champion by saying that he would've beaten him in less than a minute, and Punk claims that WWE would not exist had CM Punk vs. Bret Hart taken place in 1997. Interesting but probably accurate angle he takes, saying that if Vince hadn't screwed Bret, the WWF would've died, and he would've jumped ship to WCW. Hart throws it in his face again, which aggravates Punk further, even throwing a snide remark in Lawler's direction. Hart defends Lawler by saying that he never walked out of the ring, and we get a replay of Punk's actions at the end of RAW last week.
3. CM Punk is really thriving in this heel persona he's created in the last few months, and his defense of his actions last week is pure brilliance. Punk asks Hart if Cena is going to be his white knight, similar to what he did in Lawler's case. The word "respect" sets off Punk like "crazy" does to AJ, and he turns up the volume to 11 and claims that he'll cement his legacy as the greatest WWE champion of all time. Um Phil, Bruno Sammartino, line 2. Montreal brings back a chant I haven't heard in years, and it's perfect for the moment of the height of Punk's heel douchebaggery. This isn't the last we've seen of Hart though, as apparently he's going to interview John Cena later. Better get the pistol ready for Farva, because I'm sensing some shenanigans!
4. Tonight's Twitter poll gives us the option of seeing Punk against Brodus, Lawler, or Orton. Gee, I wonder who is going to win that one... Team TROOFston are out for their match, and they'll be defending against the Prime Time Players against some point... again. Tonight, they're facing The Miz and Claudio Castagnoli. The US and Intercontinental champion against the tag team champions, hopefully this is given some time. The YouTube exclusive match is announced, as a battle royal will take place in order to face Claudio in his PPV debut for the US champion. Please don't let it be Santino, that's all I ask. Kofi monkey flips Miz about twelve feet in the air, and the tag team champions get the early shine with a few quick moves and a high spot. Naturally, this sends us to a commercial, like every other tag match in the last five years.
5. We get a replay of some interesting spots that led to the heel heat. Imagine if only we got to see them in the match instead of a quick summary after a series of commercials. Miz comes off the top with an axe handle, and TROOF sells it by falling back for some reason. TROOF hits a sweet kick for the hope spot. Kofi comes in with some great air time, and Claudio sells it well. Kofi says the name of the Boom Drop, just in case nobody knew the name of it . A Miz distraction gives Claudio a chance to come back, but he eats a cross body. TROOF makes the save, but gets thrown out. Claudio gets a close call with a nice-looking roll-up, but to my incredible surprise, the tag team champions get a clean win with a Trouble in Paradise. Damn, the tag team champions haven't been put over like that in about eleven years. Good match, and probably would've been better if we saw all of it, but what do I know?
6. Apparently WWE didn't learn their lesson about lawsuits not being exciting, because now we have to sit through a court case between Sheamus and Del Rio, with Otunga rocking a purple bowtie. Sheamus claims his last name was Lipschitz, comparing his Irish and Jewish background and screwing around with Otunga. He pulls a hammy line with saying, "If your Lipschitz, what does your arse do?" Otunga's doing a fine job himself, which I guess makes sense considering he really is a lawyer. Sheamus continues to screw with Otunga by answering every question involving Daniel Bryan with a "YES!". This is better than I thought it would be. Otunga describes the Brogue Kick as a Lethal Weapon, and Steve Blackman looked up from reading bedtime stories for a few seconds. Sheamus demonstrates the Brogue Kick by kicking the camera and singing "Hava Nagila". I have to admit, I didn't see that coming. Because of this, Otunga does what all attorneys do, and will wrestle their legal opponent later on the show.
7. The next match is a six-Diva tag match. I couldn't care less, but I'll suffer through it for the sake of you. The Pin-Ups reunite and team with Alicia Fox, and how sad is it that even in Montreal, a Hart can't get anything more than a resounding round of silence. Some people I know enjoy Kaitlyn, but I'd rather watch the Best of the Masterlock Challenge as commented by Mike Adamle and Michael Cole circa Wrestlemania 27. All I'm hearing are a bunch of catcalls; that, or someone released the Tweety Bird fan club. Eve does a blind tag and gets the win for team face. I'm so glad the talents of Phoenix and Neidhart are going to such great use. Can Sara Del Ray debut already?
8. AJ is backstage watching this segment with her head cocked to the side. Punk gets in AJ's face and snidely teases her a good bit. AJ responds with the typical face manager stuff, and Punk mocks her facial expressions, which was pretty funny. He turns around and nearly walks into Captain Brodus. I bet Greenwood is thrilled. The theme song for Night of Champions is introduced, I'm guessing from the latest album of "Ear Sodomy's Greatest Hits." I've heard catchier songs from the Veggie Tales.
9. CM Punk heads out for his match, again placing the WWE champion in a match in the first hour. Cole introduces the three names, and only one of them gets a real pop. Well gee willickers, I had no idea whatsoever that the only likely option would end up being the option the Twitter poll would show! Orton's seizure-inducing entrance is talked over by Cole reading somebody's Tweets, who gives a shit who it is. Cole notices what I did at the top of the show, in that Punk is wearing Hart's colors. After tonight, he'll move into the 9th longest title reign in history, and it's still incredible. Orton hits a terrible-looking hip toss as they describe Ziggler's hatred for Orton. Hmm, I always knew I liked him. Despite the earlier heel heat, a dueling chant breaks out , which shows that even trashing a legend to his face can't make him universally hated. Cole finally makes the connection between Punk's pipe bomb and Heyman's appearance and does a good job summarizing his involvement with Punk's early career. Punk tries to walk out on the match, Orton chases him down, but Punk cuts him off back at the ring as we go to another in-match commercial. Thank you, DVR.
10. Orton is selling the knee as we come back to the match. Punk tries to get more heat by imitating HBK, and Orton gets the cutoff as Punk sets up for the Macho Man Elbow Drop. Orton hits a nice superplex, which by all rights should be a finishing move because it hurts like hell. Punk and Orton get into a punch-off on their knees and Orton gets the advantage, but eats a kick. Orton comes back with some clotheslines, and Cole says that Orton might be going to the place where he hears voices in his head the exact same way he's said it every other time.
11. Punk blocks the ropes DDT and comes back with the springboard move that caused him to eat an RKO at WrestleMania once upon a time. Orton gets a near fall with the inverted backbreaker, and Lawler is sure to mention his admitted impartiality. Take a shot, Cole said "vintage". As Orton sets up for the RKO, Ziggler interferes, but it backfires on him. Orton his powerslams on both of them. The numbers game catches up after Orton wastes time pounding the mat, and the crowd chaqnts for Lawler. Jerry gets in the ring and the faces clean house. Somebody better Teddy Long this shit. As the fight moves to the outside, they go to... ANOTHER FUCKING COMMERCIAL! Time this shit better, dammit!
12. Vickie yelling at ringside makes the days of Melina screaming during an MNM match sound appealing, and Orton is dominating Ziggler like a heel would. Lawler tags in and throws a dropkick, still damn impressive. Cole throws another "vintage", and Lawler hits two straight fist drops. Ziggler hits a dropkick of his own, and as Cole points out, Punk is rather uninterested, or dare I say, not impressed with this match. Does anyone notice that Punk and Orton have the same haircut now? I didn't realize the Widow's Peak buzz was so popular. Oh wow, I just happened to check Facebook, and I've read that Lawler collapsed after this match, legit. Damn, what do I even say about this? I haven't said very nice things about Lawler's commentating recently, but I'd never wish the man himself harm. I'm gonna try to stick to the show here, but this is not good news.
13. Lawler gets the hot tag, but Ziggler throws Orton on a nasty fall. Paul Heyman comes to ringside, invoking a big "E-C-dub" chant. Vickie screams at the both of them, to which Paul and Punk somehow ignore the banshee in their ears. Ziggler is beating on Orton in the background, and I can't catch anything Heyman and Punk are saying. Orton hits an RKO I guess, and team face wins, albeit to Punk's complete apathy. Lawler stares at Punk walking out, and I have to admit I'm looking at him seeing if he looks physically off. Nothing seems particularly odd at the moment. I'm sorry to keep diverting the topic here, but real life takes precedence in this case.
14. Punk and Heyman are still discussing something inaudibly backstage, but Stryker comes along to ask the nature of their relationship. Punk simply responds that he's a Paul Heyman guy, repeating what he said in the Pipe Bomb last year. I like where this is going.
15. Daniel Bryan and Kane's epic hugout is replayed with cheesy piano music. This is still funny, and I've seen it three or four times. Some kind of weird smiley face world music hits, and I'm kinda scared. The breakdown of the moment is done to absolute perfection, and I seriously hope there's more anger management segments between these two... WITH MY EVENTUAL ANGER MANAGEMENT TAG TEAM, DAMMIT! Kane and Bryan are both backstage, and they each were told that they had something to say to each other. Someone offscreen clears their throat, and Kane describes him as the most evil monster they've ever seen. Dr. Shelby is revealed, and AJ says that they sent him here. He says that what he has mind will either resolve their issues or send them into an abyss forever. Damn, even Shelby's hamming it up. I. Love. This. Angle.
16. IT'S THE ONE MAN BAAAAAAAND, BABAYYYY! Slater slams Zack Ryder with a great line, and demands a rematch. Ryder appears on screen and says that he won't be facing him tonight. His opponent is the T-1000, which means that the most popular jobber on the roster is about to get eaten by the man with the invisible pyro. Cole says that he's unbeatable and been unstoppable. Well yeah, people who are unbeatable generally are pretty unstoppable. Lawler isn't talking much... The T-1000 gets tossed out of the ring like a Raggedy Ann doll, and RybackVD actually eats some offense from Slater. I mark for the bench press kickout every time. Slater gets some nice kicks and another pinfall, but another bench press throws him across the ring. The T-1000 does a double powerbomb, but Slater lands off to one side on the second one, which does not look good. Slater sells the T-1000's offense better than anyone I've seen yet. Cheap plug for the WWE app, fast forward.
17. The Prime Time Players are backstage with whistles, which I assume is a reference to the reason AW got fired. AJ says that there's been a mistake, and they aren't the number one contenders. Titus blows the whistle again, because I guess his new gimmick is being a referee. AJ correctly sums it up by saying that it's very irritating, and that they haven't beaten every team yet. They'll be facing... ANGER MANAGEMENT! HELL FUCKING YES!
18. WWE does something I haven't seen them do in a while, and I didn't even realize that I have missed it. The "Don't Try This At Home" PSA airs, and I fully support that message. Daniel Bryan's music hits, and the crowd comes alive like Peter Frampton. Danielson does his best to calm the crowd down to no avail, and someone has a "YES! YES! YES!" sign upside down like Rick Vaughn. Kane's pyro interrupts it, and he returns to the city where he had his debut match as the Big Red Machine. I just noticed that Danielson has "STOP IT!" on the back of his shirt. Hey, we share part of a catch phrase, that's awesome! Speaking of which, check it out in this week's episode above! Cheap plug.
19. Kane and Daniel Bryan argue over who gets to be in the match first, and I really hope this goes the way I want it to. Have them try to outdo themselves to spite each other. Kane takes some shots at Titus and the crowd chants "OUI!" when Danielson tags in. Awesome. Black Cena tags in and gets in a few shots. They're working well as a tag team, I'll give them that, and I can actually stand them without the male Vickie Guerrero at ringside. Titus throws some pretty stiff elbows in the corner, and Daniel Bryan is placing the face in peril. Who would've thought we'd see that anytime soon?
20. Bryan starts to come back, and the crowd goes crazy for every kick. Titus cuts him off, and Cole has gone into it himself. In the background, I notice Lawler hunched over, and the commentary goes silent. Cole tries to fill in the silence, but he's obviously concerned. The crowd is standing and facing the commentary desk, and it's gone silent. They're not acknowledging it, so it's definitely not part of the show. Bryan quickly gets a snap suplex, but he won't tag in Kane. Instead he goes to the top rope, but his attempted move fails. Biggest kudos to Cole right now for going through this despite what's going on next to him. This picture Hustle posted sums it up:
21. Kane finally gets the hot tag, and goes to town on Darren Young. The reaction is not nearly what it would be for obvious reasons. Kane hits a chokeslam really close to the ropes, and Titus runs in but gets deposited on the outside. Danielson tags himself in, and Kane does not approve. He chokeslams Bryan on top of Darren Young and Anger Management gets the win! Well done, sirs! Well done! Kane picks Danielson up and raises his wrist in the air, and Kane has his fifty-first tag team partner to go for the titles, but it could be the best one yet. I'd be watching Night of Champions just for this match if I wasn't going to be in Philadelphia for a Nightwish concert.
22. Ricardo weakly introduces the Black Hole of Charisma, who continues to mock me with his black outfit. Tyson Kidd will be his opponent, I guess because Santino wasn't available to job in a minute. Another weak reaction for another Dungeon guy. Del Rio dominates, but Kidd gets a few kicks in. Probably won't get much more than that, because we have to see Del Rio's "aggression" before his 16th title match in a row. Del Rio tries for a move and goes through the second rope, which gives Kidd a chance for a vicious kick to the chest. Del Rio rolls out of the way for a springboard elbow drop and hits a Shining Wizard-type running knee. Del Rio tries for a submission, but Kidd reverses it into a Sharpshooter to a huge pop. Del Rio reaches the ropes, and Kidd tries for a leg drop on the side. Damn, an ass bump on the side of the ring hurts like a son of a bitch. Del Rio predictably wins soon after, and I still fail to give a single fuck about him. Del Rio gets on the mic, because I just haven't had enough of him yet, and compares what he did to Kidd as nothing compared to what he'll do to Sheamus. Hey, maybe the 16th time really is the charm. JBL, I hope not...
23. Cole acknowledges what happened, and he's really shaken up. He emphasizes that this is not part of the show, and it's really hard to watch. He says they're performing CPR backstage. I hope he's okay.
24. Tweets during the show, fast forward. Sheamus is out for his match against Hollaback Masterpiece. The crowd was really taken out of this show, and who can blame them? I can't take back how much Michael Cole has annoyed me in the past, but I can't give him enough credit for being such a professional here. Commentary has gone silent again, and that makes me really nervous. Sheamus just dominated the entire match. Sheamus comes back to the ring, and Cole still hasn't said anything. He gives Hollaback Masterpiece the BOOT TO THE HEAD!, and Otunga sells it horribly. AJ's music hits, but Booker T's cuts her off quickly. Booker T's got his crazy eyes going on. He says if he chooses to use the Brogue Kick at any time before his internal investigation is completed, he'll be stripped of the World Heavyweight Championship.
25. It's really weird having no commentary on the show. The Kane/Daniel Bryan replay is shown, and it goes to Tout. Fast forward. Backstage, Dr. Shelby is in the middle of both of them yelling at each other. He notes about how they came together and worked as a team. Bryan summons his calmness and says he could start to like the team of Daniel Bryan and Kane. Kane says his name should come first, and they start yelling at each other. Major hamminess for Kane saying "Kane and the Eviscerated Corpse of Daniel Bryan." Dr. Shelby offers his input of "Team Friendship", to a resounding "NO!" Love it. Night of Champions is previewed, still with no commentary. This is weird... and frightening. Not hearing people talk over it really shows how much that song sucks.
26. Cole is back on to re-emphasize that it isn't part of the show. I guess he was getting updates for the last few minutes. He's been taken to the hospital, and he's breathing on his own. Out of respect for Jerry, he says there'll be no further commentary on the broadcast tonight. Wow. Commentary is one of those things you don't realize you miss until it's not there. LOP just posted this:
27. Rey Mysterio is facing Cody Rhodes, who has been on a serious cold streak recently. Cody Rhodes dominates the opening of the matchup, and it's really hard to write and watch without audio guiding me of what's going on. That's how I get away with it half the time. Mysterio makes a comeback and tries to get the headscissors from the outside. Cody comes back with the Disaster Kick, but only gets a two count. Hearing them yell so loud is odd too. Cody charges the corner, but goes shoulder-first into the ring post. Mysterio hits the headscissors, followed by the bulldog move he does. He's very... yellow. He hits a top rope move and they trade advantages. Mysterio sets him up for the 619, but goes after Miz at ringside. Cody hits the Cross Rhodes, and finally gets himself a win. Miz and his purple tie are not happy with Mysterio, but Rhodes hits the Cross Rhodes on him too. Can safely say I didn't see that coming. He gets a pretty decent face pop out of it too. A turn, or just a call for a shot at the title?
28. Cole is again back at ringside, and his voice is shaky and strained. What a brave and professional man he's been tonight. We're updated with what sounds encouraging as he's more responsive. He's awaiting a CAT Scan, and Cole's plea for Lawler to get through this was one of the most genuine and heartfelt things I've ever seen on this program.
29. Bret Hart is out again, and even he doesn't get much of a reaction during his entrance. Once the music stops, it's there, but it's a noticeable drop. Hart introduces Cena to a very mixed reaction. The crowd chants "CM PUNK!" over Hart's questions, proving that this crowd has a hard time making up its mind. Hart compares it to the feud he had with HBK, even saying that he sees a lot of the old Shawn Michaels in CM Punk. What a comparison that is to put the both of them over, despite Hart saying that he would've beaten him in a minute at the top of the show. Montreal thinks he can't wrestle, which is definitely not true, and he counters it with giving Hart a compliment. Well played, Cena. He says that Punk has to "constantly tell you how good that he is." Whoops.
30. Hart asks him what he's going to do to shut up the "phony" Punk. He's a phony? A big fat phony?! Even Punk is not impressed with that. Cena decides he thinks he's a phony too if it'll get him down there. Punk responds by throwing the phony card back at him with a pot kettle black claim. It almost breaks his heart to see Cena and Hart in the ring together, because they were both unceremoniously surpassed by someone greater. Punk doesn't appreciate being compared to Shawn Michaels, because he's better than he was. He then plants the seeds for the rumored WrestleMania 29 match by saying that he's better than that hillbilly Hart made tap out at WrestleMania 13. Punk is on a roll with his defense, but Cena counters with a bigger gambit of insults. He compares Montreal to Bizzaro World, and says he's gonna hit Punk with a dose of truth. He starts to possibly shoot on Punk by saying that the title has been irrelevant since he won the title. Cena's dropping a Pipe Bomb of his own, and it's damn good. He throws an extra hard hit by saying that he stole the elbow from Randy Savage, because he has yet to find himself. Cena says something in French, and it gets a huge laugh. Martel, help me out. Punk yells at him lowering himself, which sets Cena off on a rampage, and he even uses a CURSE WORD! ZOMGZ ARE TEH KIDS SCARRED FOR LIFE!? Cena has just completely turned this crowd in his favor. What a brilliant piece of mic work. Punk goes for a shot at Cena and it fails miserably. He then follows it up with a shot at Hart, and that backfires as well. Damn, I never thought I'd see the day where Cena owned Punk on the microphone, but he did. He just leveled the playing field for this match. I still hope Punk faces Rock at the Rumble, but that was one of the best moments in Cena's career as far as I'm concerned. Cole is back on to say that Lawler's condition has stabilized, and I hope the news keeps getting better.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
This week, they can tie for it and it's legit. Team Anger Management wins it by a mile again.
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
9-3-12 - Kane/Daniel Bryan
9-10-12 - Kane/Daniel Bryan
IN CASE YOU MISSED LAST WEEK'S EPISODE