IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 40 Special Thoughts: RAW 4-23-12
By Al Laiman
Apr 23, 2012 - 11:16:53 PM
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1. We're starting off with the contract signing, hosted by the one and only Theodore Long. Introduced to the usual mixed emotional reaction, Cena makes his way to the ring first in his Boston Cenaltics matching shirt and hat set. I'm definitely intrigued by the fact that they keep mentioning UFC on television, which almost directly acknowledges that they don't see them as competition. However, instead of Lesnar coming out, Johnny Laryngitis tells TL that Lesnar isn't here, so... This... Was... Entirely... Pointless. Johnny muffs the word "possibly" with an extra syllable as he warns Cena to leave the ring.
2. As a surprise to everyone, Edge interrupts Johnny's speech and brings back memories of New Year’s Revolution for Cena, still standing in the ring despite TL’s warning. I have to admit, I totally marked for hearing Alterbridge’s theme again; one of the best ever without a doubt. Speaking of New Year’s Revolution, Edge is apparently here to bring back the John Cena who was his greatest rival in the industry. Edge may not be a wrestler anymore, but I’ll be damned if he still can’t cut a promo.
3. It does seem that Edge is helping Cena take the same angle he did against The Rock, which is they were the ones who always wanted to be professional wrestlers. Adding a Hall-of-Famer point of view to this may help Cena’s heat and credibility. I really enjoy this angle, as Edge encourages Cena to wake up and stand up for those who love the industry and never wanted to be anything else. Name-dropping more incredibly over faces certainly didn’t hurt his cause, as it actually gets a “CENA! “ chant going. One of the best promos I’ve seen on television in a long time, without a doubt.
4. I still maintain that Chris Jericho’s shirt is louder than lime green pants with a tuxedo. And he’s facing Kofi, which apparently means that Jericho’s in need of a face capable of putting on a good match on way to a victory. Kofi gets the initial face shine, and drops one of the sweetest drop toe holds I’ve ever seen. Hogan takes back over and does his best Hogan taunt impression and initiates the cheap heat. Jericho somehow misses a shoulder block in the corner and goes the whole way to the outside of the ring, which gives Kofi Kingston plenty of time to hit a high spot in order to take us to a commercial.
5. They show a replay of Kofi getting kicked off the apron. Wouldn’t it be nice if, you know, we actually saw that during the actual match? Damn what a concept! Cheap heat is a concept that should not be ignored for television purposes. It is a vital part of building any professional wrestling match, and it drives me nuts when it’s cut off of television.
6. Kofi goes for his trademark legdrop, but gets cutoff with a clothesline just as quickly. Kofi gets the nicest air time in the fed, at least since Sin Cara is on the shelf, and gets the strong face shine before the inevitable missed finisher. Jericho hits an amazing counter to a high cross body with the Codebreaker, and surprisingly gets a large amount of cheers as he locks in the knee-face version of the Walls of Jericho. Great opening match for tonight’s RAW.
7. Jericho follows up the victory with another promo, and I’m guessing picking out CM Punk’s fourth cousin twice removed who once had a drink at a VFW therefore must be an extremely drunk failure of a human being. Lots of big words are to be dropped and heat to be gained, because Jericho is one of the best at garnering heat despite being popular. He makes some vague reference to a gift he got for consolation purposes, which I assume means he’ll again make an appearance during whatever match CM Punk has.
8. Fair warning, I’m already a bit drunk, so by the time we hit the bigger thoughts, they might be a bit discombobulated. Then again, that could be because Eve is on my television screen attempting to be a poor imitation of heel Trish Stratus. Meanwhile, we get the second video vignette for Brock Lesnar in less than an hour, and I already don’t care.
9. As I’m drinking all kinds of drinks, CM Punk is regifting his gift of the gift he doesn’t want. For an extra hour of RAW, they are sure filling it up with a lot of… well, filler.
10. R-Truth is apparently the ham up for turn of being squashed by Albert Tensai Train. He cuts a promo in Japanese, I guess to emphasize that he wrestled in Japan. Did you know that? That he wrestled in Japan? Because they haven’t mentioned it. Just thought I’d let you know. Because it’s not been mentioned on television yet. AT&T was in Japan for eight years.
11. I feel bad for Killings, because he’s one of my favorites on the mic in the last few years. It’s a damn shame to see him used as jobber fodder. Though I admit, I do hear “YES!” chants in the crowd, which is a good sign. AT&T spits in his hand and tells his opponent the TROOF that he is indeed, scared of the claw. You are scared of the claw! Riddle one, name the actor who said that! Hint, riddles will probably not be hard due to my alcohol intake!
12. It’s time for me to mark out like a little kid, because Kane is making his entrance in preparation for his match against Randy Orton, which he will likely lose since he won the match at WrestleMania and lost the rematch. Kane announces that he’s discovered his “one true weakness”, as the crowd embraces their own originality by chanting “WHAT?!” after what he says. Damn, I’ve never heard a crowd chant that in my entire life! Kudos, Detroit! You’re one of a kind! Kane’s getting really hammy, and might be a frontrunner for the award tonight so far.
13. Randy Orton appears on the Titan Tron, breaking the cardinal rule of never letting him speak. Score for a Paul Bearer appearance, as Orton returns the favor of attacking Kane’s father, who is already supposed to be dead but I guess isn’t low. Orton… locks him in a freezer? I guess that’s supposed to be an anti-PETA demonstration or something? Kane is not impressed, because his father has always been the devil himself. Because, I guess, he just wasn’t being subtle enough that he was a heel. FIRESPLODE!
14. Orton attacks Kane with a lead pipe, which is 50-75 percent less hot than it sounds. Kane makes hastily for the exit, and Orton gets a strange rabid face pop for acting like a heel despite being a face. Surprisingly, no “holding a giant lead pipe” puns are being made as of yet.
15. Hey, A-Ry is still employed! And he’s swearing that he saw CM Punk drinking out of the gift basket that Jericho gave him. Punk meanwhile is overemphasizing drinking Pepsi on the cell phone, and we cut away from it in order to introduce former ham award winner Ricardo Rodriguez. Interesting that a former ham introduces a man incapable of winning a ham in the history of anything.
16. Cody Rhodes is teaming with him in a battle of who can have the most personality in a mission of who can show the least amount of expression in a given situation. Big Show is again teaming with his brother from another tall mother in the Great Khali, who I guess have nothing else to do, so soon their mission will be to claim the tag team titles from whoever that team is that have them now.
17. It appears that even Great Khali is unimpressed with his own high-water wrestling pants, as Ccdy Rhodes makes futile efforts to get in offense against the giant. More moderately impressive offense against Team Heel sends us into another commercial break, where likely the heels will come back, but we’ll miss most of the cheap heat whatsoever, because who needs to see that in the order of building a storyline during a match without saying anything? Yeah, that was a really long sentence, but I’m drinking the CM Punk anti-haterade, so yeah… I’ll just pretend that made sense.
18. Wow, at some point apparently Great Khali needed to make a hot tag. Ricardo Rodriguez joins in with a cheap attack on Big Show’s knee while we attempt to suspend our disbelief on how the hell this is even the most moderately possible. Some things are happening, but I was totally checking my Facebook as Mizfan was teasing me at the time. (Friend me!) Cody Rhodes continues to attack the knee of Big Show. The cheap heat continues as we try to make this a believable match. Big Show at some point chokeslams Rhodes… Sorry, I stopped paying attention.
19. Something happens with Theodore Long, and I wasn’t really paying attention. Brock Lesnar shows off how tough he is by attacking Josh Matthews, because he apparently wasn’t “Tough Enough”. See what I did there? Hi Andy Leavine! Brock Lesnar further proves his toughness by attacking him again, because the initial threat against a backstage commentator just wasn’t tough enough! Haha I did it again! I’m drunk, who cares?
20. Oh, it’s a diva’s match? Everyone go to the bathroom, it’s the Bellas, nobody cares. Apparently Eve is involved, which makes me give less of a shit, which I didn’t think was possible. I guess Eve got involved in this Executive something something, whatever. Kaity says you have to have hips to be sexy, which I suppose is true. It’s now a lumberjill match. Am I still watching this shit?
21. With all the Lumberjills not singing “The Lumberjack Song”, it is a wasted opportunity.
22. Oh, there was still a match going on? There was a Bella involved against the best diva wrestler of this generation. I don’t even know what to say. I’m truly struggling to pay attention, but it’s really not working. Lumberjills get involved…. I guess? I don’t know, who the hell cares?
23. One of the Bellas beats Beth Phoenix to win the Diva’s championship. Oh, it’s Nikki. What a great use of the title. Thanks so much for building Beth Phoenix up as the unstoppable, only to have her drop it to the random interchangeable diva about whom nobody gives a shit. Bring Kharma back already! The anti-climcatic is off the charts here! Something about CM Punk breaking stuff, and then a Subway commercial about six-inch subs… Subtle.
24. Jericho is interrupting Teddy Long, I guess? CM Punk approves it, and comes out for his entrance, hamming it up for the sake of pretending to be drunk, I guess. Punk accosts Teddy for this whole thing being ridiculous. I guess the cops are administering a sobriety test? Okay… I probably wouldn’t pass right now. We’ve gotta recite the alphabet backwards, because we all know we can all that sober anyways, right? Because Stone Cold totally had to do that as a champion, I know, right?
25. CM Punk continues to ham it up with a duct-tape drawn line across the middle of the ring. Punk does his best impression of a poor kid on Campus PD. Punk appears to be trashed, but is likely just hamming it up for the sake of storyline, and I’m loving it. The mention of “Detroit’s Finest” gets a huge heat reaction, which makes a good amount of sense, I think? Because of the newly-initiatived anti-drunk initiative, Punk has to hand over the failed drunken test initiative.
26. Punk hands over the title to Theodore Long, who must now hand over the title to Chris Jericho. Punk demands one more chance to prove that he is sober, which good for him because I am totally not. Each mention of the alphabet backward gets a cheer from the crowd, as he was actually hamming it up the whole time. Gee, who saw that coming?
27. Punk does the Ric Flair strut to a huge reaction with the last few letters of the drunken backward alphabet countdown before finally attacking Jericho and getting some heat back. Punk is vicious against his alchol-inducing aggressor, and runs him up the stage with perfect position to lock in some Iron Shiek shit, but doesn’t. Punk takes back his title and plays to his awesome entrance theme.
28. Eve and Johnny L I guess are trying to figure out how they totally got “Punked”, if you will, in this situation. Later tonight, the great white un-suntan will take on Mark Henry, as we go into a non-interesting Brock Lesnar vignette. You know, because we haven’t seen any of those in awhile and we just need to be reminded that he did shit before and all.
29. I now turn thought 29 over to Warrior:
WARRIOR: It’s a shameful thing, LOBSTERHEAD! YOU’VE GOT TO FIGHT ME IN A NO-DQ MATCH, HOAK HOGAN! PEOPLE DEBATE ME OVER THE SPELLING OF YOUR NAME, BUT YOUR SKIN IS WHITER THAN THE VANILLA ICE CLASSIC “COOL AS ICE” HOAK HOGAN! I WON’T HAVE TO RESCUE YOU FROM A BADASS RIPOFF OF FONZIE IN ORDER TO SEEM GREAT BY COMPARISON, HOAK HOGAN! DANIEL BRYAN IS THE GUEST REFEREE HOAK HOGAN! WHICH MEANS MANY A GREAT CROWD CHANT FOR THE REFEREE, YES! YES! YES, HOAK HOGAN!
30. An audible “YES!” chant breaks out from the crowd as Daniel Bryan is the guest referee and nothing more. Sheamus appears more aggressive than usual, as he attempts to avenge the great evil that is Johnny Laryngitis. Bryan points to his chin in order to be a distraction, and gets himself disqualified. Sheamus chases him and gets Bryan and his tight black pants a countered-brogue kick. Bryan locks Sheamus in the YES! Lock to a huge reaction from the crowd, which I’m sure is supposed to be a heel move, but if it was anyone else than Daniel Bryan, it would’ve worked.
31. Sheamus is totally not impressed with the fact that he has the title, but the crowd chants appear to be going the crowd’s way with the crowd responding every time that Bryan chants “YES!” Hey, do I see a Funkasaurus match going on? Oh Becky is going to love this! Matt Stryker and his grey vest with a black shirt are TOTALLY NOT IMPRESSED!
32. Hey, the tag team champions are also on this program! I guess they’re facing Zack Ryder, who has totally been booked with the equal level of credibility recently. And Santino Marella, who is the older version of what Zack Ryder Is being booked as now. The champs are scared of the US champ, in which case the singular title holder must be scared, because we totally know how dangerous they are as singles competitors.
33. Zack Ryder and Santino could totally be TEAM HAM if they chose to be. The distraction and knowledge of such may play to an advantage because nobody except Rosa gives a shit about this team.
34. Santino takes a dropkick which counters into a self kip-up which he uses to get a win, I guess? I totally spaced out during this match, I apologize. I guess it makes sense that these two hams are teaming up, because Zack Ryder has been lost as of recent times. Give the man something to do and restore him to semi-prominence.
35. Kane is totally distracted by a randomly appearing freezer. Apparently he’s never heard of shrinkage. Paul Bearer looks to be having a shrinkage attack himself, and cries out into the freezerness, and he puts Paul back into the freezer. I guess cause he’s a heel, moreso than Randy Orton… Okay.
36. Abraham Washington attacks the tag team champions for having the jobber entrance, because he gives more of a shit about them than I dol. But I don’t care, because the Funkasaurus is on his way to the ring with that midget who ruins television. He also ruined the first question of the Canadian version of this “Evening With”. Riddle number two, name it!
37. I guess Dolph Ziggler is facing him tonight in the battle of “No, I’m not in that movie.” I’m drunk enough to admit that I totally would worship that ass if given the chance. Who the hell cares, is anyone still reading at this point? FUNK IS ON A ROLL! HI BECKY1
38. Hey, I just noticed that Hornswoggle was wearing a mini-Brodus outfit. Is this relevant at all? Probably not. Vicki gets Brodus disqualified, and it pisses off the Funkettes. That causes… Vicki to put a Funk hat on Brodus’s head, which causes her to get bit on the head by a midget, and cause more of a light show. Did I really just watch that? Who cares? LIGHT SHOW!
39. Brock Lesnar gets a vignette again, because he needs it. My friend is already falls asleep, for which his wife says he is not drunk enough. Something is going on, and at this point I barely realize there is a show going on. Sorry everyone who is looking for intelligible thoughts, but I’m single, alone, and wishing there was a single girl here, and Brock Lesnar vignettes do not hold my interest at this point.
40. Lesnar finally makes an appearance, while some overzealous fan boy dances in the aisle. Cena’s music interrupts Laryngitis’s speech about Lesnar, as the YES YES YES boy appears more than the Cena boy. The Cena chants duel it out, but it does seem that Cena is finally getting more cheers than usual. Kudos to Edge for helping Cena achieve such a reaction. Did that happen this week? I’m totally too stupid to remember. Did I hear something about jizz? Who cares? Let’s go on with a contract signing. Holy shit, how have I written this many words in the anti-CM Punk state? Moving on… Is Brock Lesnar talking? I don’t care, just get this over with. Lesnar is talking, I think? Something about stupid people… I don’t know, who cares? Blah blah blah, beat people up, blah de blah. He appears to finally be getting heel heat, which is good, because he has to go blunt in order to do so. Lot of happy arrangements going around about a contract, which the Secret Service would love… Lesnar tries to be tough as the Jimmy John’s logo pokes the camera in the eye, okay. Cena comes out, to a larger reaction than since pre-WM28. Some evil stuff from Brock Lesnar, whatever… He tries to sound intimidating with his south Minnesota accent. Show ends anti-climatically, leading into Extreme Rules and we all go home happy, right?
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
CM Punk, for the fake drunk test moments, indeed!
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