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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #331 - Thoughts on RAW - 10-30-17
By Marissa Laiman
Oct 30, 2017 - 11:15:00 PM

Posted by Ris Laiman on Tuesday, May 2, 2017




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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #331 - Thoughts on RAW- 10-30-17

1. Pretty much the same recap we saw before Smackdown didn't advance this storyline further, but at least without the "previously on..." guy again.

2. Welcome us to the show we're watching twice as always, and we've got an "everyone's on the stage" beginning. It's getting super serial. Or, as he puts it, "the major major big price" they paid for Kurt being friends with Shane. Why are they "What?"ing Kurt? Fuck that chant.

3. Goodie, Stephanie's back... Said no one ever.

4. Another introduction to the show in the faux-Vince voice. Joy.

5. Stephanie's already back to doing what she does best; running down someone else sarcastically with no repercussions. She's accusing him of losing a reputation over one show, and tearing someone else down that'll never be balanced out whatsoever. Fuck this; it was nice without having it every week. What, the RAW reputation wasn't ruined by the Nexus invasion? The CM Punk shoot promo? Mike Adamle?

6. She makes Kurt team captain, because that's what you do with someone you don't believe in, and she does that thing where she ruins yet another catch phrase. Nothing's changed. Nothing at all. Fuck this character. Fuck everything about it.

7. "Team captain Alicia Fox." I'll take "phrases we didn't expect for 800." Who better to trust with brand supremacy than someone who lost 3465 matches in a row and then suddenly won one? I mean, it worked so well with the guy facing Brock Lesnar, right? I was invested in this feud and show at least, but Stephanie's character returning pretty much killed that.

8. So glad to see the proud Kurt Angle groveling before Stephanie McMahon. Could've been fun if they played up their tension from a long time ago, but sure, let's have her bully him around like everyone else. Fine. She leaves just in time for Miz to show up in an equal-sized limo. Oh there's the Kurt we know with some actual emotion! Everyone can have a spine except around Steph. Of course.

9. Someone's got an Arsenal flag hanging over the railing. I hear the thing about them is they always try and walk it in.

10. All aboard the Fox Boat? Wait, she thinks that's an air captain. Then why is she dressed like Danny Noonan trying to impress Judge Smails? See you on deck, Senator!

11. She instead replaces herself with Nia Jax because, yeah, we haven't seen that before. Gee, will Bayley try to ineffectively attack her and get thrown into the ring barrier? We're back to promoting Total Divas in these segments too. Man, that optimism and excitement I had coming out of last week tanked quickly.

12. Okay, Bayley's outfit looks like its designed to look like those stacked block-letter blocks that infants play with. Is there a more fitting signifier for how this brand treats her? Can we get the NXT bookers in here already? And holy fuck, Bayley makes a move to the outside and someone messes with the zoom back and forth like it's TMZ on speed. Where are the seal clappers?

13. Nia Jax wins. No surprise.

14. What is Alicia Fox doing? What the hell am I watching? It's like old Sean O'Haire promos if they were written by Christopher Walken's acting coach.

15. Wait, what the hell? Oh, hi Samoa Joe. Is... is he going after Bayley? Or was that just a weird transition? It's the latter. Who cares, it's Joe! Good timing for his return though, someone who didn't suffer the gang attack last week and would've at least helped even the odds.

16. I knew it had to be Baltimore, with that weird square arena going on and everything.

17. Joe does the bait-and-switch to remind us that he's still a heel. But he's so good at it that it's fun to watch anyway. Even with the "pretending my opponent is you" cliche. Who answers the challenge? Apollo Crews? So yeah, Joe wins. Good thing Apollo finally got a win over Elias, right?

18. The idea that Crews wants to be on the team since he was the first attacked is a nice idea, but he got the match out of a surprise return that he suddenly answered but had a reason for doing so by the time he came out two minutes later? Everyone got that? Great.

19. Crews had a fairly decent showing, but yeah, we all knew he didn't stand a chance. Titus Worldwide loses again. Glad his plan is so successful. Titus decides that he's gonna stand up to Joe, and I bet that'll go as well as it has previously. Joe does the "psych, I'm leaving" and yeah, chokes him out too. For such a brilliant manager, he really does unbelievably useless things most of the time. At least comedy relief managers in previous generations occasionally had, you know, success at some point.

20. They're really pulling out the stops for that show with Taker, Nash, and HBK, but while listing shows it's been on longer than, I notice they conveniently leave out shows like 60 Minutes and Sesame Street. I know, that messes with the whole "longest running" idea, but Sesame Street's been going since the late 60s. I wasn't a math major in undergrad, but that's a bit longer than 25 years I surmise.

21. Does anyone get confused during these previews for Damnation? They use the same chorus version of "America, the Beautiful" as the first Purge movie did.

22. Now time for the Miz getting Kurt's frustration taken out on him, since everyone has to live in fear of Stephanie's ego, and let's see who the mystery opponent Captain Kurt has chosen is. Potential face to win here so that they don't have to have a heel vs heel in Miz vs. the Weight Shifter Baron Corbin?

23. It's Matt Hardy. Good thing they saved that reveal. Challenger came out last, and it's strange to think that this guy once wrestled in the cruiserweight division. That was a fantastic storyline leading up to WrestleMania that year too. However,

24. This is a pretty damn good midcard match. Miz gets the unclean win, which once the challenger was announced wasn't much of a surprise, but the match itself was really good.

25. Recaps of the Stephanie is better than everyone hour. Alexa Bliss brings up the idea of digging up Mae Young... Always pleasant. And the main event will be her against Mickie James. All right.

26. NOW Asuka is fighting jobbers? That makes sense. Poor Emma.

27. They talk mostly about the different level of competition on RAW for Asuka... Nevermind the fact that most of the women's roster are the same wrestlers she faced in NXT. Fine. Asuka wins.

28. Meanwhile, back at Kurt staring at his phone, Kurt does his best Joe Clark from Lean on Me by calling Cole-10 because Smackdown is here, but instead, it's Daniel Bryan after not being happy with Shane last week. Now we've got two authority figures sick of two different McMahons' bullshit. I dig it. Bring Daniel back to face Shane? Make it happen!

29. "Shane doesn't even know I'm doing this!" You say as you're on camera.

30. Kurt decides to wait a week for retribution, after I tuned into Smackdown last week for essentially nothing. Fine. But is it the one night of the year they go head-to-head?

31. Yay, a full recap of Paul Heyman laughing at Jinder Mahal.

32. Daniel Bryan calls over to someone who had no idea he was there, and... the lights go out. Time for another commercial. That was a fun use of television time.

33. We come back with Daniel Bryan's face illuminated by a phone. Gee, is it Kane? Another person noticeably absent from the attack last week?

34. Oh hey, it's Kane. Okay. Choekslamming his former friend and HAM-of-the-Year segment contender. Anyway...

35. Now we've got Finn Balor's entrance while some guy is plugging his ears. They hold on that for a while too. Will the punishment for a hand gesture at TLC continue because Vince McMahon is vindictive?

36. Balor and Cesaro will be a damn entertaining match, absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

37. Cesaro does a hand gesture expecting Balor to answer, so yeah, still going to be an issue.

38. Corey calls Sheamus the X-Factor. Weird, I don't think he resembles Albert, X-Pac, or Justin Credible.

39. Balor gets a win in a match that was surprisingly underwhelming. But strange booking all over too. Beat AJ Styles in huge match, get squashed by Kane, beat one-half of highly-ranked tag team. Consistency: you suck at it!

40. Speaking of Kane, there he is again. Why? He then Linda McMahons him on the stage, because I guess Finn's not going on the team despite doing Kurt's bidding? Why? What's the point? Cole is incredulous though; "That was a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER... on the STAGE!"

41. His match with Crossfit Jesus is referred to facing "one half of the Shield." Shit, is Reigns that sick?

42. As we relive one of the most HAMtastic feuds with a disappointing payoff, we spend the entire match recapping Kane's career and somehow calling him a "different" Kane. Outside of being different from Citizen Kane, it's pretty much the same idea. Sheamus and Cesaro are also there, because the TLClliance still rings true.

43. The Bar attack Ambrose, and CFJ goes to his aid, so yeah, he's about to get chokeslammed. Hey, CFJ got chokeslammed and Kane wins. Fair enough. It's still weird seeing him have Ryback pyro and without the ring posts.

44. Dean Ambrose jumps in the ring, somehow not taken out from a two-on-one, and hits the Dirty Deeds. Kane does Zombie situp, and now it's three-on-one, and there's another Tombstone on the way. After one to CFJ as well, once again, it's still really weird to not see him summon the fire to end the segment. Instead, we wait until there's been enough awkward silence to hit the music.

45. A couple of local indy wrestlers help Daniel Bryan out of the room he was in. An askew poster and a knocked over lamp; surely the marks of chaos. But who has time for that? More recaps! Yes, please let's listen to Stephanie ruin a catch phrase again. Mute.

46. Miz and company walk into their locker room, and they find a bag of garbage. That's Braun Strowman's calling card now. A bag of garbage. And speaking of garbage, for a trick-or-bad pun match. One team is featured regularly but loses, and the other has been practically invisible since being drafted. I don't like Team Crushed Crackers' chances.

47. Miz approaches Kane trying to pal up, and the guy who made sure not to attack allies from the TLClliance is now sure to remind him whose team he isn't on. Another full recap, because Monday Night filler is really trying to stretch a full show out of these three hours.

48. We've got the Clauses against Southpaw Regional Wrestling. And cleaning up all these pumpkins is likely going to be more filler. It's always so good to spend money to go see a show and spend half the show watching it on the screen.

49. "I think the less said, the better." That match in one line of commentary. Club Sandwich can't even beat a team that's literally never there.

50. Meanwhile, Miz continues to complain about the bag of garbage, which is about as scary as a red balloon from the 80's IT special. Miz does that super wide-eyed scared face to tell presumably Curtis that they're leaving now. I imagine that'll go well.

51. Elias continues to gain more heat every week. Good on him, I dig the character and he backs it up in the ring. Another local football injured quarterback reference though. It's funny cause it's local. Thanks for the crowd reaction sounds, tech guys. It makes it impossible to hear the lyrics.

52. I'm pretty sure Elias stole his shawl from a curtain rod at a Marriott. Jason Jordan interrupts him again, and the guitar swing fails this time. We've got a suplex with a huge bruise, and this feud is going to continue. But not before a little inspiration from Nikki in Chrono Cross. A Grand Finale, indeed! Well, a weird version of it. If he'd elbow dropped part of it like Ric Flair on his suit jacket or a book, he'd have won HAM of the Year.

53. Meanwhile, Kurt is super pissed that Miz's suit matches his, and Kurt's selective spine continues.

54. I want Drew Gulak to translate all promos from now on. It's Drewsterpiece Theater. He's got a better future in that than wrestling, because he loses to Kalisto before I get back from the bathroom. Enzo attacks after the match, and this feud continues.

55. I love Alexa Bliss, but you can't wear that outfit and also try to look annoyed and menacing. It doesn't work. Mickie's got kind of a Jill Skellington aesthetic going on. I dig it.

56. This crowd reaction is what happens when you have the same match again after having it so recently. Not to mention having a show full of filler with not a lot happening. And a gimmick tag match with two teams with Jinder-like records.

57. After trading a bunch of pins, we have a title win in the main event with a knucks-less punch in the fuck? Really? That was... anti-climactic as hell. Cut to Miz trying to leave for tension-building.

58. We're on the docks now. I'm sure they'll get out of town with no problems whatsoever. In-limo cam. GARBAGE TRUCK! It's backing into the limo, complete with... I guess there's no other way to say it... Bumper cam. Camera in the shotgun seat. They're freaking out as a garbage truck continues dumping in front of them. It's a Super Shredder! Braun Strowman runs after the Miztourage, but cut back to Alexa's celebration. I'm sorry, that reveal was silly as hell.

59. Braun comes out to a huge reaction, so what the hell do I know. I doubt a three-on-one is going to go well for him. Miz gets tossed into the screen, and Michael Cole turns into a Looney Toon. "MIMIMIMIMIMIMIMIMIMI I'M GONNA GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!" I think he's defeating them all with the power of his smell. Miz tries to army crawl away, which is the fastest and most powerful method of escape.

60. Line of the night: "Braun Strowman is powerslamming Axel for reps."

61. Between Smackdown and RAW tonight, they've done a pisspoor job of following up on that surprise ending of RAW. What we got was Daniel Bryan politely disagreeing, Kurt Angle being the next in line to have to cower in fear from Stephanie and her ruining of cool catch phrases, and people still fighting each other but supposedly bringing their A-game. This show was so chock full of filler and was stretched so thin that I'm surprised they didn't have more promos just for the sake of milking the clock. There were a few decent matches, but it was cheesy, ridiculous, and a flat-out disappointing follow-up to something I found to be an interesting caveat to the Survivor Series narrative. I know they said they're going to show up tomorrow at Smackdown, but you don't wait to even take it seriously until 8 days later. You don't get a siege and then go "well I guess we'll just deal with it next week, oh well." Very disappointing show, but admittedly it was really cool to hear the crowd yell with now-face Braun.

HAM OF THE NIGHT

It's tempting to give it to Drew again, but this time, I think the MIz deserves it for trying to army crawl away from Braun, as well as his gloriously over-the-top reactions all night.

2012 - Daniel Bryan
2013 - Paul Heyman
2016 - Chris Jericho
1-2-17 - Kevin Owens
1-3-17 - Jack Gallagher
1-9-17 - Shawn Michaels
1-10-17 - Dean Ambrose
1-16-17 - Sami Zayn
1-17-17 - John Cena
1-23-17 - Xavier Woods
1-24-17 - James Ellsworth
1-30-17 - Mick Foley
1-31-17 - Daniel Bryan
2-6-17 - Goldberg
2-7-17 - Daniel Bryan
2-13-17 - Chris Jericho
2-14-17 - Alexa Bliss
2-20-17 - Lana
2-21-17 - Maryse
2-27-17 - Mick Foley
2-28-17 - Bray Wyatt
3-13-17 - Paul Heyman
3-14-17 - AJ Styles
3-20-17 - Austin Aries
3-21-17 - Mizcena
3-27-17 - Big Cass
3-28-17 - Mizcena/Mizbryan/John Cena
4-1-17 - Bobby Roode's dueling pianists
4-2-17 - The Undertaker
4-3-17 - Chris Jericho
4-4-17 - Shinsuke Nakamura
4-10-17 - Braun Strowman
4-11-17 - Shinsuke Nakamura
4-17-17 - Samoa Joe
4-18-17 - Nobody
4-24-17 - Alexa Bliss
4-25-17 - Dolph Ziggler
5-8-17 - The Miz
5-9-17 - The Usos
5-15-17 - Titus O'Neill
5-16-17 - Fandango/Tyler Breeze
5-22-17 - Bray Wyatt
5-29-17 - Alexa Bliss/Ohai Bayley
5-30-17 - Fashion Files
6-5-17 - The Miz
6-26-17 - Paul Heyman
6-27-17 - The Ascension
7-3-17 - TROOF
7-10-17 - Paul Heyman
7-17-17 - Crossfit Jesus
7-18-17 - Randy Orton
7-24-17 - Kurt Angle
7-25-17- Chris Jericho
7-31-17 - Bray Wyatt
8-7-17 - Paul Heyman
8-8-17 - Arn Anderson
8-14-17 - Big Cass
8-15-17 - Breezango
8-28-17 - John Cena
9-4-17 - Braun Strowman
9-11-17 - The Miz
9-18-17 - Neville
9-19-17 - Dolph Ziggler
9-24-17 - Paul Heyman
9-25-17 - Alexa Bliss
9-26-17 - Dolph Ziggler
10-2-17 - The Miz
10-3-17 - Rusev
10-9-17 - Finn Balor
10-10-17 - The Usos
10-16-17 - Curtis Axel
10-22-17 - Kurt Angle
10-23-17 - Drew Gulak
10-30-17 - The Miz

Marissa Laiman, In Laiman’s Terms, and Inciting Incident are owned by It’s a Shameful Thing, Lobsterhead, LLC. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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