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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 6-18-12
1. The show starts off with Mick Foley, definitely a pleasant surprise. It's extremely weird seeing him in a suit, not to mention one that is way too long for him in the sleeves. Sorry, that's my day job talking there. The 1000th RAW has already been mentioned about six times. Foley informs us that we're going back to interim general managers due to the vacancy, and that he'll be the head of RAW and Smackdown for the week. Personally, I just wish they'd made him General Manager, as any time Foley is on the microphone, it's a good thing. He makes a tag team match of Kane/Bryan vs. Sheamus/Punk before introducing John Laurinaitis, emphasizing the "FORMER" part of the General Manager schpiel.
2. I have to admit, I'm mildly disappointed to see JL removed from his position. He's grown on me a lot as a heel general manager in the last few months. Foley gives him a big hammy hug as he walks in the ring. Johnny is getting insane heat, giving reason to believe that this angle is far from over. JL hams it up trying to introduce himself, and announces that before he was fired, he made tonight's main event, a handicapped match... As those are always incredibly exciting... Johnny serves it up with a final slice of ham by telling Foley to "HAVE A NICE DAY!"
3. IT'S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTERHEAD! IT'S TEARING UP MY HEART WHEN I'M WITH YOU, HOAK HOGAN! BUT WHEN WE ARE APART, THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD FEELS IT TOO, HOAK HOGAN! AND NO MATTER WHAT I DO I FEEL THE SAME! WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, HOAK HOGAN! I NEED NOT YOUR PROTECTION, HOAK HOGAN! LOOK AT THE WRITING ON THE WALL OF THE JOE LOUIS ARENA! I HAVE A BATCH OF CRAYONS AND I DREW A PRETTY PICTURE! I DO THE CHA CHA LIKE A SISSY GIRL, HOAK HOGAN! I LIKE-A DO, DA CHA-CHA! EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS, HOAK HOGAN!
4. During their entrances, Sheamus and CM Punk both have their crowning moments of hammy awesomeness as they taunt their fallen adversary. It's an interesting sight to see both world champions teaming up, especially since it's the curtain-jerker! Poor Punk, he can't even get the 10:00 slot!
5. After commercial, we're shown the replay of AJ's "Ring Around the Rosie" kiss to Kane, but unfortunately my favorite Kane reaction in recent memory, the "FUCK THIS, I'M OUT!" bail was left out. Long Island appears to have YES-A-Mania running quite wild, and Kane stares daggers through his dragon jacket. It's amazing, AJ is the most intriguing thing on RAW right now. I'm enjoying this Long Island crowd immensely. The faces dominate early, and it's announced that Punk has the fourth-longest reign in 15 years with a 211 day title run. Remember all those people who said Punk would never amount to anything in WWE? Yeah, neither do I.
6. Cole makes me, and apparently Lawler, smack his head in confusion by calling Kane a "strange dude." They discuss his relationship history, which is the reason I related to the character in the first place, and the guy in kayfabe has definitely had a bad luck streak going on. Note to Cole, having voice inflection changes during a big move while talking about something completely unrelated is not valid match-calling. Kane gains the upper hand, and we head into commercial.
7. Naturally, we come back just as the hot tag is made. Sheamus climbs the top rope and cleans house, hitting an extremely stiff-looking high knee in the process before a near fall. Kane inadvertently knocks Daniel Bryan off the apron before throwing Sheamus out after him. D-Bry hits a running dropkick to follow up on it, and Kane stalls for a while like his lip was bleeding. Bryan gets tagged in, and hits a bunch of YES! kicks. It looks like Danielson has gotten a tan, because I remember a time where he was whiter than Sheamus. Kane gets back in and successfully hits a flying clothesline, which is impressive that he can still pull that off. Bryan is back in as this awesome opening match keeps going, and the second hot tag of the match is hit to Punk.
8. Bryand and Punk go ROH for a few seconds as they trade quick reversals and chain wrestle. The match is interrupted and... Oh dear JBL... AJ trollops to the ring in a female Kane outfit. This seriously just fucking happened. Wow! Is it metaphysically possible for that to be out-hammed? That was so freaking random! The distraction allows Punk and Sheamus to hit an awesome Go to Brogue tag-team finisher, which should be utilized much more often in my opinion. Meanwhile, everyone in the entire arena, wrestlers included, try to figure out what the FLYING FUCK they just saw.
9. Dolphy Gunn and Biff Swagger are in a cock contest backstage as Vicki bitches about their bickering. Vicki has gone to Mick Foley and says that they're going to decide where Vicki's allegiance will lie. A huge "WE WANT ZIGGLER!" chant breaks out in the background and Long Island's awesomeness increases. Meanwhile, Big Show is not impressed with Laurinaitis and Otunga trying to make their lasting impression matter. Show doesn't find anything funny at all, which is a shame because he's a funny guy.
10. Dolphy Gunn just came out to what sounded like a face pop, so maybe it wasn't my imagination. Biff is busy trying not to end up waxing George McFly's car and has the chance for the Almanac in the form of Vicki Guerrero. Ziggler summons a WOO from the crowd, and they go old school with some amateur style. Dolphy seems to have tweaked his knee after landing on his feet from a flip, and Biff is doing something uncommon on RAW; using PSYCHOLOGY! Ziggler is selling this like Kevin Bacon at a Pledge Party, proving why he is the best at that in the game today.
11. Dolphy gets a quick near-fall, but misses the Fame-Asser and gets caught in the Ankle Lock. Biff wishes he could make that move look as badass as Kurt Angle once did. Fortunately, Biff is nice enough to be guided slowly into the turnbuckle and make it look devastating, and Ziggler Zigzags his way to a Ziggy win. Vicki appears to be wearing a tablemat as a dress, and plants one on Dolph. So... Spending all that time pretending they were platonic was... You guessed it... Incredibly pointless. Good work by both involved though.
12. The replay of the challenge that surprised no one, Triple H challenging Brock Lesnar to a fight at Summerslam, is at least summarized. Since I didn't get to see the show itself, I got the basic idea and that was more than enough. Now if we can go without it being replayed twelve times tonight, we're good.
13. Okay, the Money in the Bank commercial is unintentionally suggestive. Alberto Del Rio is being chiseled out of gold, and in the very next shot, streams of water are dripping on him. Maybe there's more than one reason he wears golden trunks...
14. One of the more amazing RAW segments of the Attitude Era is recapped by Jerry Lawler. The Birth of Mr. Socko and Yurple the Clown is awkwardly re-demonstrated by Mankind to a cranky Vince McMahon. I always loved the convenient entrance theme right before Stone Cold attacked him in the hospital bed. Definitely some hammy Vince acting from back in the day.
15. Brock Lesnar's amazing reaction seems to be a distant memory as it hits in Long Island. His music summons the presence of Paul E. Dangerously, who gets a better reaction than he would in most places. The E-C-DUB faithful still have a strong presence there, it seems. Heyman's way of saying "BRRRROCK LESNAR" is second to only "GORE! GORE! GORE!" as things of awesome that he says. Paul turns down Triple H's proposal to turn down the lawsuits and the Summerslam match, turning those cheers to instant heat.
16. Before Heyman can make his quick exit, Motorhead cuts off his retreat, and Triple H and his power suit are not impressed. I'm pretty sure they showed two guys bowing to Triple H who were doing that to Mick Foley at the beginning of the show. H throws in a shot at ECW almost immediately, and says that he wants to hear Brock Lesnar be a man. H proclaims Lesnar will be the face of the promotion of Summerslam and further tries to convince him otherwise.
17. Heyman says one of the most laughable things ever said in wrestling; "Brock Lesnar has no ego." Triple H slowly and smarmily makes his point that he does have an ego, and Heyman summons a large ham with his "you're good" response. This is a helluva lot better than it would be if Brock and his Minnesota accent tried competing with one of the best in the mic game. Paul tells H that he's not the king of anything in a voice that Columbia from Rocky Horror would find high-pitched. Heyman loves to push Triple H's buttons just like he used to push Vince's. Apparently mentioning Stephanie is H's rage button, which leads to the same awkward tension that happened last time those two were in the ring together. This is going on WAY too long...
18. As Heyman tells H that he sees everything he'll do from a mile away, he hauls off and punches him right in the face, summoning a "YES!" chant. The last time anything involving court was interesting in kayfabe was when Vince McMahon put Eric Bischoff on trial and Maria suddenly became intelligent for a minute. The segment had a few good moments, but really accomplished nothing in the grand scheme of things.
19. Ricardo Rodriguez is returning to the role of being the incredibly fun to watch manager of a much more boring wrestler. I guess we're in need of squashing the US champion in a few seconds as we did a few weeks ago, because apparently Santino should only be able to beat managers in gimmick matches that such great technical superstars as Howard Fink lost in past years.
20. Once again, the US champion is made to look like absolute shit at the hands of the Black Hole of fucking Charisma. It was the exact same match as a few weeks ago and accomplished the exact same amount of JACK SHIT! What the fuck was the point of doing the same thing a few weeks after they already did that? That was just as fucking stupid and pointless as it was then.
21. It appears Cyndi Lauper will be returning to WWE, which most of their intended audience says, "Who?" Hell, her Wrestlemania appearance happened the year I was born. Layla is here to introduce Cyndi and Wendi Richter, and I never realized she had a British accent. I guess I suffered through too many LayCool promos where it was hidden. Cyndi still looks pretty good, all things considered. Apparently of all people who are going to interrupt this, it's... Heath Slater? He calls this segment a trainwreck, because I guess he hasn't watched his own career since the breakup of The Corre. Slater summons his inner-Jillian Hall and and makes R-Truth's "Get Crunk" single sound like "Freebird" by comparison.
22. Despite the crowd chanting for Ryder, Roddy Piper is the one to hopefully save this, as Slater put it, trainwreck. Piper and Lauper continue talking about thirty-year-old angles that most of the kids in the audience never heard of. Roddy seems a bit... Wasted. Normally I like listening to a Piper promo, but this is almost as painful as listening to Slater sing. For once, I agree with Michael Cole: "Please stop!" Slater tries to sing again, Piper pokes him in the eye, and Cyndi breaks the record over his head. Once again, this segment was so bad that I actually had to agree with Michael Cole. "This was a horrible segment." That's how bad it was; it made MICHAEL COLE RIGHT!
23. The tag team match from last night is recapped, and even Abraham Washington doesn't give a shit about Epico and Primo, so why should we? Much like other things already in this show, having Epico and Promo sign with AW and hang out with them in Wade Barrett's skybox for several weeks was... Yes, again... Entirely pointless. He managed them for exactly zero matches, giving the audience zero reason to get invested, before giving them zero reason to care that he turned on them for another team, thus giving the rematch zero heat. However, Titus and Darren seem to have borrowed the Heartbreakers' old ring gear. But when the hot pink ring attire is the most interesting thing about the match, it's a pretty bad sign.
24. The wrestling isn't bad, but there isn't any reason to give a shit about what's happening. This is following a long segment with Heath Slater and a drunk Roddy Piper. You have a hot crowd and Mick Foley as GM, and you waste it on Paul Heyman and Triple H talking, Heath Slater singing, and a decent match with no reason to care about it. Epico and Primo pull off some decently impressive moves, and the Prime Time Players bail and get themselves counted out. I wonder if AW got his wireless mic from Simon Dean.
25. This is one episode of RAW that truly shows the problem with going to three hours. They can't even figure out how to use two of them effectively sometimes! If this episode was three hours long, the Giveashitometer would be in the negatives. It started out great with a Foley promo and a great tag team match, and it's been all down hill from there. After last week's Hamfest 2012, this has been a major disappointment. I'm really hoping the final segment can save it.
26. JL finally at least gets me to laugh by saying that everyone is a loser for missing out on People Power. He even goes Oprah by pointing out "You're a loser!" to members of the audience. He makes me laugh again by indicating that the next time we'll see him is when he's inducted into the Hall of Fame. We're promised the biggest beatdown of John Cena ever. Hollaback Masterpiece is referred to as a wrestling extraordinaire, which is about as accurate as calling the Big Show a wrestling dwarf.
27. Teddy Long is wearing my grandmother's couch as a suit, and Big Show has a microphone, because this show hasn't had enough talking yet. Say, did you know that Big Show had an ironclad contract? I didn't even realize that he had a contract, let alone an ironclad one. I haven't been reminded of this since his unpredictable swerve at The Over Limit. Why didn't anyone tell me that his contract was ironclad? Next thing you know, Wade Barrett will have a skybox. Big Show bails on the so-called wrestling extraordinaire and Big Johnny because... he has nothing to prove? Kay...
28. John Cena, please save this show. At this point, it's hard to even concentrate on what's happening. Things I've done in the last half hour while writing this column: Refreshed Facebook fifteen times, IMed several people, pondered Jean-Paul Sartre for no particular reason, and copied and pasted the progress of this column to save it in Word, despite having not typed anything additional since the point of last save.
29. Hollaback Masterpiece sells a bulldog a second early and tries to tag out. Laurinaitis refuses to tag in, because a wrestling extraordinaire should have to do that after a few basic moves. It's truly a good thing we didn't save the match involving the two world champions for the main event, because now we get the grand pleasure of watching David Otunga wrestle. Truly they saved the best for fucking last. Otunga clotheslines Cena in the corner about as hard as Lance Storm hits RVD with a chair. The best attempt at cheap heat they can pull off is transpiring as Hollaback worries about scuffing his maroon boots. The crowd is even so bored that they're calling for Ryder, and even as a non-Ryder fan, that couldn't be less interesting than most of the shit on tonight's show.
30. John Laurinaitis throws off all the injury accessories after taggint in the match. He tries for the pinfall, but Cena kicks out. This leads to Hollaback Masterpiece walking out of the match, and leaving Big Johnny to take a beatdown at the hands of Cena. Cena hits three AA's. Kudos to JL for taking this like a champ yet again. Cena wins with the STF. Aren't you so glad this was the main event? I really don't know why they removed Laurinaitis from the GM position, as his heel presence was making for mostly entertaining television. He had feuds with all three of the top faces, and the show goes off the air with Cena celebrating. It was a night that started promising and then turned into absolute horribleness.
The local Hooter's decided not to show the PPV for the first time in eight years, so I don't know who got the ham from last night yet. But the ham was no contest. AJ and her Kane frolick might win ham of the year so far.
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
For followers of Jaded Hope, check out the best of Season 2 here. This week's new episode is posted at the top, as per usual: