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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 40 Thoughts: RAW 1000 - 7-23-12
1. Tonight is a milestone for me as well as the 1000th episode of RAW. This will be the 60th column I've posted since being promoted to the main page of Lords of Pain. I thank each and every one of you who has read and supported my work here, and I hope this one is extra entertaining and hammy for you. As we start out, I'm already happy that I'm not hearing Nickeback raping my ears with their awfulness! A great montage of great RAW moments is montaged as only the WWE video production crew can do. Some of the greatest, hammiest, saddest, and most un-PG moments even are put together in a quite entertaining video segment.
2. The show opens up with Mr. McMahon coming out to a huge pop, and rightfully so. It sounds like it's going to be a hot crowd tonight, and they should be embarrassed if they weren't with this kind of a presentation. I'd like to add my "Thank You" to Vince McMahon. He has his faults and makes his questionable decisions, but without him, I probably wouldn't have anything to write about on Monday nights. Vince then proceeds to introduce...
3. D-GENERATION X?! Holy shit, why didn't they announce that they were bringing them back for the 1000th RAW?! I had absolutely no idea this was happening! You would think they'd advertise the hell out of a moment like that! So far it's just Shawn and Hunter, but I'm holding out that we might see more appearances following them. Shawn's already hamming it up as only he can. Hunter and Shawn hammily feel like something's missing, hopefully referring to the other members of D-Generation X. As soon as Hunter says, "More of us?", the place explodes. I'm gonna love this show for the crowd, even if it sucks.
4. Road Dogg and X-Pac all come out in their old WCW invasion gear, but I didn't realize Dolph Ziggler was in DX! The whole DX being back is really nostalgic and awesome, so much that it makes everyone forget that X-Pac is in the group. Road Dogg goes on his old schtick, the entire crowd sings along, and Jesse James is even nice enough to beep himself out. As Triple H asks if we're ready, X-Pac makes quite a facial expression. Dolph and Shawn ham it up arguing over who gets to do the next part, and you can tell they are clearly not only improvising, but having the time of their lives doing it.
5. Of all people to interrupt DX, Damien Sandow is finally on Monday Night RAW. Sandow drops a bunch of ten dollar words as he steps in the ring, and I bet absolutely nothing bad is going to happen to him whatsoever. He says he will be a martyr for anyone who appreciates a sophisticated mind, and Triple H calls a huddle to see if they need to make an audible. Before Triple can finish his sentence, Shawn kicks his head off, followed by a Pedigree. Dolph Ziggler finally capstones the segment with the trademark exit line, and they... take his robe off? Kay... Otherwise, a fun segment. As they show the graphic of Lesnar and Heyman, it looks like someone told Paul that he was getting a complimentary reach-around after the show.
6. The new RAW theme does suck ass, but at least it's not Nickelback. Another huge ovation erupts as Jim Ross joins the commentary table, full goatee and all. He's followed shortly by the freshly returned Rey Mysterio, who can hopefully avoid staying injured for at least two months this time. His first tag team partner in this six man tag is Sin Cara, a natural choice, both for storyline and style.
7. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! (spoiler warning) I AM WWE'S RECKONING, HOAK HOGAN! YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO ESCAPE MY ISLAND OF ANARCHY WITH JUST A MOTORCYCLE AND A CANNON, HOAK HOGAN! I HAVE UNLEASHED THE POWER OF ROBBING THE STOCK MARKET IN ORDER TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE ENTIRE WORLD, HOAK HOGAN! AND NOW THAT YOU'VE CLIMBED THE GIANT CIRCLE THING AND PROVEN THAT YOU'RE AS STRONG AS A SMALL CHILD, I WILL RETURN FOR THE THIRD ACT AND FIGHT OFF THE MOVEMENT THAT IS NOTHING BUT A SOCIAL COMMENTARY, HOAK HOGAN! SUBVERSION! SUBVERSION! WHERE IS THE ATOM BOMB, HOAK HOGAN!
8. Their opponents for the evening will be Jericho and Billy Gunn... Wow, it was awfully nice of him to come back to participate in this storyline so that Dolph could take part in the DX reunion! I bet absolutely no shenanigans will be taking place here. Their tag team partner will be the Black Hole of Charisma himself. Let's see if he lives up to that name by making two of the most likeable personalities in wrestling boring simply by his presence.
9. We return from commercial in the middle of the match, because JBL forbid we see how the match started. King accidentally calls Sin Cara "Mysterio", and we're already hearing about who is Touting. Coincidentally, I already don't give a fuck. Cole mentions that Jericho has 360 matches on RAW, second only to Triple H, and I have to admit that's pretty surprising, considering he didn't even make his RAW debut until late 1999, and has missed long periods of time in those thirteen years. I'd be interested to see a stat check on that.
10. Sin Cara makes the hot tag to Lobsterhead, and he goes right to work on Jericho. Mysterio runs in to take out Del Rio, and Cara hits the kick on Billy Gunn. Jericho and Lobsterhead each miss their trademark moves. Jericho goes for a rope spring, but Billy Gunn knocks him in the face and receives a shot off the apron for his troubles. Sheamus hits the BOOT TO THE HEAD! and the faces are most victorious. At least I don't have to see someone job to Del Rio in under a minute this week. Overall, a pretty good match, although I would've liked to have seen all of it. Mysterio is moving better than he has in a long time.
11. Hey guys, did you know that The Rock was going to be on the show? That's a pretty big deal, they should really talk about it as much as possible so that nobody might forget it in the next five seconds. I mean, if you don't, they'll end up... Wait, what happened? I feel like I missed something important. JBL, I hope The Rock comes back tonight. That'd be an awesome surprise.
12. As we come back, it seems that JR is already gone, dammit... And we're already sucking social media's dick by playing Tout videos. I don't care. If the guy sticking out his tongue is the best that Tout can do, I declare it a bigger failure than New Coke and Crystal Pepsi combined. Speaking of social media, we have to talk to Charlie Sheen, who is totally not on New Coke, but a different kind I'm sure. This transitions us to a look back at Daniel Bryan's wedding proposal. This better end with Kane tombstoning the priest, that's all I'm saying.
13. AJ is backstage beaming about her wedding, and Layla looks a bit frightened. She starts to make a critique, and AJ goes a little crazy. First, we see HAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Hacksaw walks by for his cameo, and then Roddy Piper and TROOF are jumping rope with Little Jimmy... And then, dear JBL, Mae Young's son, the giant hand, is all grown up. Hey, remember when I said that AJ frolicking as Kane would be hard to beat for the Ham of the Year? Thank you WWE, for giving me not one, but two instances of competition within a few seconds for that award. I WANT ALL THE HAM!!!!!!!!
14. Hey, as we return from commercial, now we're not only whoring social media, but we need another commercial after the commercial by having a Sonic car hop bring down their new drink product. Biff Swagger is getting the jobber entrance, and who might he be losing to this week? FUNK IS ON A ROLL! FUNK IS ON A ROLL! We can't go back to 1985 without an Enchantment Under the Sea dance, and Brodus Clay and the Starlighters are here to provide is with a rendition of "Earth Angel", making Biff his bitch for the next 30 years. Before I move on, what the fuck is Shazam? And, more importantly, why should I care?!
15. Okay, this just went from good to great. Brodus brings out one of the faces of Foley, DUDE LOVE! And I think Dude Love's entrance was longer than the actual match. JBLdamn, who the hell did Biff piss off to get treated like this? Dude Love and Brodus have a dance off, and Foley summons a tye-dye sock for an additional punch in the mouth to Biff. A great hammy segment, despite wondering what it is that Swagger did to piss off the booking team.
16. Trish and Triple H are backstage, and it appears they're going to re-enact the old segment where H got caught teaching her a hammerlock. Instead, she's teaching him Yoga, and bends him over to the surprised faces of his DX friends. Another good subversion of some funny nostalgic moments. Unfortunately, we also have to plug a Twitter poll, making me want to throw a brick at the television.
17. As we preview the logos for the main event, they all have four social media emblems next to them as well as their Twitter handles in big letters. IS THIS REALLY FUCKING NECESSARY?! For some reason, Jerry Lawler introduces the Reverend for the ceremony, and it's Slick... to a resounding round of silence. They couldn't have gotten Brother Love? He makes the introduction, and I have to admit that D-Bry in his white tux still doing his YES! chant is ridiculously awesome. The crowd seems hot once again, but because we haven't mentioned Twitter in eight seconds, we have to remind you that another tag is trending. AJ comes out to real wedding music, and AJ looks amazing in her dress.
18. Slick is getting hammier by the second as he plays along with the "WHAT?" chants. This has me legitimately laughing out loud. Slick asks if anyone objects to the two being married, and even Slick is surprised that nobody is interrupting them. Come on, show me Kane's head peeking through the mat! Bryan gives his wedding vows, and AJ does the "YES!" chant for accepting. Before Slick can say the final line, AJ says that she wasn't saying yes to Daniel, but to someone else. I'm guessing Little Jimmy by the expression on Slick's face. Of all people, Mr. McMahon comes out to... introduce the new General Manager of RAW... AJ. Okay... That was an interesting turn. Now we got the crazy bitch running the show and frolicking in her wedding dress. Bryan looks as confused and slightly scared as I am.
19. Back from commercial, and Bryan has gone as batshit as AJ is. After conveniently removing all the debris from the destroyed altar, CM Punk interrupts Bryan jumping on Oprah's couch. CM Punk is definitely not impressed with Daniel Bryan. Apparently in a night full of ham, even Punk is in the mood. Lawler is sure to make sure we know that AJ as GM is trending... SHUT THE FUCK UP, I DON'T CARE! Bryan responds in his best Warrior impression by telling us that he's the greatest of all time.
20. Someone else is definitely not impressed with Bryan's antics, and The Rock's music makes the building explode. Finally, CM Punk and The Rock might be in the same segment here! Potential, please fulfill it! The Rock flashes his legendary smile at Daniel Bryan, and informs him that he doesn't get to say who the greatest of all time is, but defaults to the WWE Universe. And I do wonder what ridiculous phrase will be trending by the end of this segment. Bryan does an "Oh no you did'un!", but nobody cuts The Rock off! CM Punk is just standing back and observing with his Not Impressed face.
21. The crowd is absolutely on fire for this. Rock keeps walking back and forth before calling Bryan "Frodo", but is here to talk about the WWE Championship. At the Royal Rumble, Rock has earned a title match for that night against whomever the champion might be. Damn Beck, now we really have to go! Punk gets the crowd treatment that Rocky once got when he went up against Hogan and Austin, but is not backing down from The Great One.
22. Daniel Bryan steps forth and reminds us all that he is in the segment too, and gee, do you think he might end up getting a Rock Bottom? Danielson has the ham turned up to double Warrior levels tonight, holy shit. Punk's facial expressions continue to be priceless. Rocky makes his second LOTR reference, because now he's a troll and Frodo. Rock gives Bryan his wedding gift, which is a Rock Bottom, and Punk continues being unimpressed. I would totally mark for a Punk/Rock angle, I won't lie. We of course have to interrupt the end of it to tell us about the Tout! WE FUCKING GET IT! THERE'S SHIT ON TOUT!
23. We come back to more Twitter questions, because I guess we just don't know that WWE does shit on Twitter. The next surprise guest is Bret Hart as the special guest ring announcer. He puts over winning against Mr. Perfect as one of his best memories before introducing the two competitors in the Intercontinental title match. Christian will be defending against The Miz, for whom Bret Hart seems to think so fondly. His beard's a little bit more grown in this week.
24. Christian dominates early, getting the early face shine, culminating in a high dive from the top turnbuckle, and of course we already go into a commercial. Well, we better cut into that because we wouldn't want to miss some of those AMAZING Tout videos. The show comes back with Miz locking in a submission, because that's far less interesting than a guy spitting his tongue at Bryan and AJ. Christian seems to get the upper hand rather quickly, although we can't be sure because we missed most of the heat. Christian hits two of his rope spots and keeps the crowd into it, anticipating the finish.
25. Christian throws a third rope spot that gets a nearfall, but that is far less important than Cokey McSnortfuck (Thank You Patton) tuning in. Doesn't that just add so much to the show? Doesn't it speak so well of a company to have that drugged out asshat appearing on your show? I'm so glad he's representing us. Miz himself gets a close fall himself, and his surprised look mirrors the first time he realized he had pubes. Good time to practice it, seeing as it just happened two days ago. Christian plays up the knee injury, and Miz wins the Intercontinental championship. Good match with great psychology. Charlie Sheen says a few more things, but not a single fuck was given that moment.
26. We're back with Regis, whose voice is clearly shot. Triple H returns for his third appearance on the show, and at least he's not milking The Game entrance. We're reminded that Brock Lesnar indeed attacked Triple H and broke his arm, because you know, we might've forgotten. Hell, they acted like it didn't happen afterward, so it's understandable if you were just chilling with Wade Barrett in his skybox and missed it. H is picking up the intensity a bit, though after Daniel Bryan, he might have to do his Ken Shamrock impression to match it.
27. Brock's music hits to a far smaller reaction than it had the night after Wrestlemania, but Heyman comes out, I'm sure to have another fifteen minute discussion. Heyman informs us that Lesnar's here, but thankfully Heyman is speaking for him, and still says no to the match. H says he's tired of this crap. What a coincidence, so are we. Lawsuits are exciting television. Triple H continues egging it on, and Heyman hams it up by calling out his namecalling. Heyman actually gets really funny before the mic gets knocked out of his hand. H says not to talk about his family or his kids, because... They're two separate entities?
28. An old entrance theme interrupts Heyman talking about H's kids, and Stephanie Helmsley appears in a live ring for the first time since, I think the Orton/H angle, correct me if I'm wrong. Mama Bear is PISSED. Stephanie calls out Heyman for masking his failures, and Heyman gets even hammier, but Stephanie's gotten even better on the mic. Lesnar would get major heat here if he F-5ed Stephanie. Finally, Heyman summons his biggest ham of the segment and finally accepts the match on Lesnar's behalf, and Stephanie attacks him again.
29. Brock Lesnar finally returns to television, and Triple H looks moderately afraid despite all that big talk he had earlier. Lesnar goes straight for H in the corner, but he fights back a bit this time. I'll give them credit, it looks like a legit fight between the two of them. Triple H gets the upper hand this time. We get a long close-up of Lesnar sweating and breathing heavily before Lesnar leaves. That was a bit underwhelming.
30. We're back, and YAY MORE TOUTS! I'M SO EXCITED ZOMGZ!!!!!1!1!!1111! This adds so much to the show. I'm so glad they've started including this. To plug the new WWE game, they pick an ultimate fantasy match, and it's Cena vs. Austin. Hey, segue into a review of the McMahon/Austin feud. Hustle talked about it earlier, but McMahon swimming in the middle of the ring is one of the hammiest things to ever happen in wrestling, period.
31. Santino is out next, and... Ugh, he's got Hornswoggle with him, because they've got more products to whore out. I really hope this isn't the future of professional wrestling here. Why? Because that's what we have FUCKING COMMERCIALS FOR! But hey, they brought back The Fink! That balanced out the needle of awesome! Fink has such a great announcing voice, it's a shame he doesn't still do it.
32. Heath Slater is out, and I have to admit, I'm happy to see him. He's really getting noticed, despite being constantly jobbed to legends. Okay, it's episode 1000, it's definitely going to be someone big. Slater hams it up, and it's definitely "E-PICah!" He challenges anyone for a no-DQ, no-countout match, and it's... Lita? Okay, didn't see that one coming. Slater is not impressed with this and runs her down on the mic. Slater accepts, but Lita informs Slater that she bought herself some protection... HOLY SHIT IT'S THE APA! Markout moment! THE WRESSSSSSSSSSSTLING GAWWWHHHAD!
33. Slater tries to run away, but OOOOOOOOOHHHH WHAT A RUSH! Every legend that Slater has faced comes out to confront him. That drives him back to the ring, where he takes a DDT from Lita, the CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL, which he sells like gold, and Lita wins with a moonsault. All the legend get in the ring to celebrate, and Ron Simmons has a mic. He milks the reaction as long as he can before delivering his favorite four letter word. What a fun segment, I hope he keeps edoing this.
34. The backstage interviewer asks the "DUH!" question of the night, and Bryan continues summoning the power of the Terrain of Testament. Bryan talks about Charlie Sheen and slapping the "YES" Lock on him. Gee, I'm sure this isn't going to come back and bite him in the ass, now will it?
35. Fozzie Bear from the Muppets introduces a montage of some of the great (and not-so-great) catch phrases throughout the tenure of Monday Night RAW. I have to admit, I marked out hard for the Kaientai dubover INDEED! We come back to Cena, Zack Ryder, and Mean Gene are talking about another old unfinished angle in G-TV. I really hope they don't ruin it like they did the Anonymous RAW GM. Rocky comes in the scene, ending Zack Ryder's screentime, and they discuss facing at the Royal Rumble. We already saw that, give us Punk vs. Rock, dammit!
36. Back to the show, and Kane comes out a bit too late to interrupt the wedding, and some strange music makes Kane do the famous head-tilt. Jinder Mahal interrupts Kane and leads six people to the ring, and a certain gong goes off before they can attack. Oh dear, this won't go well for them.
37. Taker easily gets the most massive ovation of the night so far, who comes out with his Shredder gear on and all. Love him or hate him, that is still a badass entrance. Taker gets in the ring, and Kane is giving him the "WTF" face. Taker has a bit of trouble getting his headgear off while Team Jobber comes in the ring to certain doom. A double chokeslam from the Brothers of Destruction, followed by a double Tombstone capstones the reunion. The two come face-to-face, which summons a "THIS IS AWESOME!" chant. Indeed it was, St. Louis. Indeed it was.
38. Once again, Charlie Sheen appears via satellite, and once again, I fail to give a single, solitary fuck. I guess Charlie Sheen challenges Daniel Bryan to a match next time they're in Los Angeles, and gee what a coincidence, Summerslam is in Los Angeles! Well golly gee-freaking-willickers! What do you think is going to happen?! As the main eventers come out, we're again treated to a Twitter poll, and while I hope they picked the match that will happen, I still really hope the first hour of RAW from now on is not filled with this shit. If it is, I may just continue reviewing two hours of it. I'm so tired of hearing about the social media bullshit.
39. Cena has officially cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase, and Punk goes ROH and offers a handshake before the match. The crowd is on fire in a duel chant, and we're underway. The two men each trade off getting the best of each other, soaking in the unbelievable crowd reaction. I'd love to hear from someone who was there to know how it is live. It has to be unreal. It's a slow burn, which is what it should be with that kind of reaction. It's a main event, do it right. Lawler makes a nod to the internet perception of Cena by calling him Superman, and I can hear the net lawlz. Lawler says he doesn't know if anyone has ever cashed in for an actual match before, and Rob Van Dam would be on the phone if he wasn't too stoned to remember the number. A Boo-YAY exchange comes in favor of Punk before Cena hits the shoulder block, but Punk fights out. Punk mocks the "You can't see me!" taunt, and walks right into the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Thank JBL, he gets kicked in the head for it. Most awesome result of that move I've ever seen.
40. The ref gets knocked out before Cena hits the AA, but gets no count out of it. Big Show comes out to the ring and spears Cena, then follows it up with the WMD. Punk looks confused and conflicted as he tries to decide what to do. He gets the ref back in the ring, and Punk finally decides to make the cover, but Cena kicks out. Punk tries to hit the GTS, but Cena makes an awesome counter into the STF. Show however comes back and Cena wins by DQ. Not exactly the best way to end the main event of your best show ever. Punk is once again conflicted, but The Rock's music hits and he goes right after the Big Show. Before Rocky can hit the People's Elbow, Punk comes back in the ring and hits him in the face. Not sure if he's turned heel, but damn it's awesome. It looks like I may be getting my wish. The crowd is giving him a surprisingly good reaction, all things considered. It didn't turn Cena heel when he attacked The Rock, so we'll have to see where this goes. Lawler's comment of Punk turning on the WWE Universe seems to imply that he turned heel, but does it really matter? Overall, it was a lot of fun. I would've liked to have seen more wrestling matches, but they brought back a lot of names and really banked on this being big, and it was. Now, they have to keep up this sense of urgency into Summerslam and the rest of the year. Don't let it fizzle out like the debut of the Nexus.
It's a close one, but I gotta go with Mae Young's son.
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
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: