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Posted in: In Laiman's Terms
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 40 Thoughts... RAW 3-11-13
By Al Laiman
Mar 11, 2013 - 11:41:27 PM

credit Tom Jenner

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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... RAW 3-11-2013

Here's your HAM! button!

1. It's been a rough week, both for me personally and for the wrestling industry. My mother is really sick after her surgery and back in the hospital, so I'm really hoping RAW can be escapism for me tonight. Also, we lost one of the greatest managers of all time in William Moody, also known as Paul Bearer. In kayfabe though, it is interesting that The Undertaker will be giving a tribute to the guy he buried in cement one time, but that's neither here nor there. The opening video for Paul Bearer is touching and amazingly well done, as it proves how much he meant to the company, not to mention those he managed. He's also one of the biggest HAM's of all time, without a doubt. It leaves us though with one of those sounds you hate to hear; the ten-bell salute... Or not. The Undertaker's music hits instead, though it kinda loses its mystique a bit when you can see Brodus Clay's disco ball center screen. Taker makes it more than halfway to the ring, which is a step up from last week. The urn is in the center of the ring, and Taker slowly walks around it and does his signature tribute pose.

2. Holy shit, CM Punk just interrupted a tribute. Instant heat for damn sure! In two seconds, this match already has more of a reason to take place than it did a week ago. Punk explains that we misunderstand him coming out here, and he extends his condolences for Taker's loss... At WrestleMania. Oh Cookie Monster, you sly son of a bitch, you... He goes on to say the tragedy is that Bearer will always know him as perfect, but everyone else will live to see 20-1. Punk lets everyone know that in 50 years, they will know where they were when he "beat the streak." Even after that, an audible "CM Punk" chant breaks out, proving that there is literally nothing this man can't do to get booed by some people. A camera man is way off his mark for a second, and then after he fixes it, Punk leaves the stage as Taker stares death at him.

3. We learn that Big Show will be facing Seth Rollins next, because he has a score to settle. Damn, if only we'd seen why that was. Then we get a shot of Big Show talking to a really short guy, to tell us again that it's next. Are they turning him face? Are we finally ending this massive failure of a boring heel turn, or is it in his IRONCLAD contract to remain a heel despite feuding with The Shield four weeks from WrestleMania? The only bad thing about watching RAW live for a change is I can't skip through the commercials.

4. Meanwhile after the commercial, we see an incredibly awesome moment where Kane comes out house of fire and tries to chokeslam Punk off the stage. Fuck you WWE App, fuck you. Once we come back from showing an awesome moment in a replay, Kane is tearing apart the locker room trying to find CM Punk for mocking his fallen father, a moment that probably would've had even more impact if it wasn't treated as an afterthought via fucking replay. This is why we can't have nice things.

5. Speaking of things happening via the WWE App instead of, you know, the actual show... We finally get to see The Shield's attack on Big Show, which would've added to the show significantly, except for the fact that the camera is shaking like they're shooting the sequel to Cloverfield. Show looks angry as the badass Shield theme hits, and it naturally makes sense that the smallest guy will be in a singles match with an angry giant. The former Tyler Black won't back down, but gets sent flying out of the ring. Reigns gets tossed on the outside, and Ambrose and Rollins take advantage. Reigns comes back and gets taken out again. Ambrose gets in some offense after he gets tossed in the ring, but gets knocked away. Rollins nearly gets chokeslammed before Reigns hits the GORE! GORE! GORE! Just when you thought someone could take out The Shield single-handedly, they triple powerbomb the biggest wrestler in WWE, and Reigns screams like Mark Henry doing a Godzilla impression. Great, effective segment. Three in a row, WWE? Did you finally wake up from your apathy coma?

6. Meanwhile backstage, CM Punk confronts Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox about Kane's behavior. Vickie is a face for the moment, and books Punk against Kane in a no-DQ moment. Laugh-out-loud HAM moment where Punk responds to the news by going, "No I'm not!" Should be an interesting match, with possibly some Taker interaction thanks to the stipulation.

7. Meanwhile, the angry Red Monster's tag team partner brings the crowd to their full collective attention, including a little girl at ringside who gets yelled at. Daniel Bryan and his caveman beard of glory are shown mocking AJ, finally setting up a match for Dolph Ziggler that means something other than a three-on-one loss before we go to commercial. By the way, can anyone take The Miz seriously as a badass marine? I'm genuinely curious. At least this commercial gives me time to work on my application to the University of Penn. Forgive me for sharing that detail, but I still can't believe I have a shot in hell at the Ivy League!

8. A highlight from 1991 reveals two HAMs in one, with Brother Love and his tomato-red face introducing the man who would be known from then on as Paul Bearer. We're then invited to Tout our thoughts about Paul Bearer, because nothing is as touching as a 15-second tribute via webcam. Dolph Ziggler gets the jobber entrance AGAIN, and Daniel Bryan quickly hits a sweet suplex. Bryan then throws another kick-ass counter, while tripping him mid-air into a Mexican Surfboard. Impressive start to this match, and Bryan follows it up by summoning his tag team partner and uppercutting Ziggler right in the fuck. Ziggler gets a minute or two of cheap heat before Bryan comes back on offense and even makes an arm-wringer look devastating. I suppose that serious side he's wanted to bring back is well on its way. Ziggler gets tossed really high in the air and looks like he lands on his face on the outside. Arsenio either cuts him off or buys Dolph time as we go into a commercial. Good to see some annoyances haven't changed, despite the 180-turnaround in RAW quality so far.

9. We come back with Dolph Ziggler mid-headstand, just in time for Bryan to counter a dropkick with a catapult into the corner. Bryan does his corner flip and hits a stiff clothesline to come back, but Ziggler comes back with a kick of his own. Bryan gets a near-fall with a roll-up, and then goes into his kicking sequence, and actually gets the whole way through it instead of being cut off for once. I'd love to see him in a kick-off with Low-Ki. Bryan goes up top but is cut off by Ziggler coming up to the turnbuckle. Dolph then gets tossed on his mini-Ziggles, and Bryan sets up for a Super Back Body Suplex into a Super Counter Cross Body Lateral Press, and Bryan kicks out. That was freaking awesome. Bryan gets tossed HARD into the ropes from a powerbomb position, Dolphy Gunn hits the Fame-Asser, and Bryan kicks out again! Wow! The crowd starts getting behind Bryan with the "YES!" chants, and as Bryan tries to lock in the NO! Lock, Arsenio Langston is nice enough to pull Dolph's leg to the ropes. Bryan throws a kick in his direction, and Ziggler goes for a quick roll-up, but gets out of it. Ziggler finally comes through with a Zig Zag, finally wins a match, the double shenanigans at ringside finally pay off, and holy shit, finally an awesome television match that wasn't in the main event. AJ and Ziggles kiss afterward, and she glances at Arsenio, who pulls down his straps. Arsenio follows up with his finisher, which will likely not sit well. It's a shame his tag team partner is distracted. We're getting highlights of Lesnar and Triple H... again, so I'm tuning out for the moment.

10. We come back mid-entrance for the Hip Hop Brodos, and they're in all-white before Memorial Day. It's really nice that they've given the former Lord Tensai something to do. AT&T has trouble removing his gear while Fandango is announced as his partner. AT&T growls in his direction, which he must've heard because his entrance music hits two seconds later. A female dancer precedes him, and Lawler hilariously asks if it's the Harlem Shake because, that's current right? Fandango accuses AT&T of mispronouncing his name as well as being an insult to the world of dance. Fandango is over... emphasizing... every... single... word. He decides he wants to hear Naomi pronounce his name, and Fandango's HAM is only outdone by his Jericho-style vest. AT&T removes the mic from Naomi's hand, and this gives Fandango an excuse to bail on the match again. This is of course a perfect lead-in to another movie trailer, so we'll be back.

11. Paul Bearer's moment at WrestleMania XX leads us into Team Heel JOB Squad. Sandow and Rhodes do a parody of the entrance and schtick of the New Age Outlaws, and it's so chock full of HAM that I'm surprised they didn't sacrifice a live pig at the end. WHY HAVE THESE TWO BEEN SO WASTED?! The New Age Outlaws go with their plebian-in-comparison PG-version of their Attitude Era gimmick, but still manage to match it with their own quips. Just watching this makes me nostalgic for being a teenager in high school and watching RAW live on Monday nights back then. Sandow tells the crowd they should be ashamed for themselves. Awesome.

12. Road Dogg gets the advantage early with some of his vintage-style shenanigans, but Cody Rhodes quickly comes back. Suddenly, Brock Lesnar's music hits, and Rhodes quivers in fear. It looks like Lesnar is out to attack Triple H's friends, but damn him for ruining this match for us! Gunn tries to attack, but gets destroyed in a few seconds. Road Dogg, already down from a Disaster Kick, eats an F-5 himself. Five minute entrances, thirty-second match, but once again very effective storyline advancement.

13. Heyman takes the mic, and he explains how Lesnar beats up all of Triple H's friends. Heyman now seems rather all right that Lesnar F-5's everyone, despite being fearful of his actions when they happened. Heyman decides to confirm what the point of this was, and asks if Lesnar will fight Triple H at WrestleMania. He follows it up with a YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYES, which is short of HAM only to Bryan Danielson's version. They however will only accept if they accept the stipulations, and they'll only reveal them after Triple H signs the contract. Oh that dastardly devil, Paul Heyman! Heyman then mocks the New Age Outlaws' catch phrase with a BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROCK LLLLLLLLLLLESNAR! Damn, improved show quality AND a tough decision on the nightly HAM a mere one hour and ten minutes into the show? Where the hell has this been in WrestleMania season?!

14. Kofi gets the jobber entrance again despite being on a promotional tour throughout Europe, and seeing who his opponent is, his situation isn't about to improve. The World's Sweatiest Man is ready to yell more one-sentence exclamations at the crowd. I'm really anticipating this showdown with Mark Henry and Ryback. Kofi won't back down, but Henry quickly takes control of the match with physical brutality. He wraps Kofi in a bear-hug and drives him into the corner. Some fan won't stop flexing the eyebrow on his Rock sign and it's really annoying. Holy shit, Henry outdoes Bryan and kicks Kofi RIGHT IN THE FUCK, to the point that it knocks him out of the ring.

15. Kofi avoids standing on the tracks when the train's coming through, and hits a high spot via the steps. He goes to the top ropes as Henry rolls in the ring, and he's already gotten a lot more offense than I expected. Henry catches his high-angle crossbody mid-air, and just as Kofi was showing signs of hope, Mark Henry crushes his dreams like falling into a bath tub while on the second level. Poor Kofi just can't ever catch a break. Catching Kofi clean in that move was really damn impressive, and Mark Henry's strong return continues with ease.

16. Cody Rhodes gets the lamest pun of the night award while trying to hit on Kaitlyn. Sandow makes plans with suitable companions and... Oh dear JBL they brought the Bella Twins back. What, were Kelly Kelly and Debra busy? I'm so glad that of all the talented Divas in the world, they chose to bring back those two. Vickie lets them know that they've gotten another match, because I guess she really is a face tonight, and they're facing... Sheamus and Randy Orton. Back to being the Heel JOB Squad, it is!

17. The Master of the Invisible Pyro is next, which is a perfect time to plug Big Show's appearance on Psych. Thankfully I had a bathroom break and got to skip that. Thank you, DVR. We come back to Ryback facing Team MP3... again. Mark Henry walks out on the stage and does his best Arsenio Langston impression by folding his arms and going stone-faced. Mark Henry is not impressed with Ryback hitting a clothesline with the wrong arm, and poor Heath slater eats a Clothesline From Skynet and the following finisher in about 30 seconds. I suppose they can't all be winners. Oh no, Drew McIntyre attacked him post-match! I bet that'll go well for him. Mark Henry approaches the ring, which actually gets a pop. I'm glad I'm not the only one anticipating this match! Not to be outdone, Mark Henry hits the World's Strongest Slam on McIntyre. Ryback goes for the one-up and hits another Shellshock. Henry hits another World's Strongest Slam, and McIntyre must've smiled during a serious Vince McMahon moment or something to earn this treatment. Another badass setup for this match, which I was already anticipating anyway. Well done.

18. We come back to... You guessed it... Another movie trailer. I'm so glad live RAW is giving me a chance to write essays for college. We come back after the trailer to the US Champion himself getting another jobber entrance. He's facing the World Champion, so yep... He's jobbing again. How is it you lose MORE when you become a midcard champion than you did beforehand? That being said though, this should be a damn good match considering who is involved. According to the name block, Alberto Del Rio is the World Heav Y Weight Champion. We get an aside video about being born in Mexico but made in America. ADR starts to get some flash, but Claudio counters with a sick flip into the turnbuckles to take advantage of the World Heav Y Weight champion. He follows up with a signature uppercut in the corner for a near-fall.

19. ADR comes back after a few minutes and kicks Claudio in the face. ADR then does a pretty unique move with his own version of the Forearm Chops of Doom before following it up with a backbreaker. They talk more about Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter. ADR comes off the top ropes and nearly pulls off the upset with the European Uppercut counter. He argues with the ref, and continues on the assault. Predictably, ADR counters into the cross-armbreaker and loses yet again. Remember when this guy seemed next-to-unstoppable? Losing constantly isn't really helping that come back. Good match, but the result foretold before it even began, unfortunately. At least it wasn't against Randy Orton again. No, that duty gets to go to Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow this week.

20. Kane is breathing heavily backstage as Josh Matthews asks him about his troubling time. Kane is holding the urn like the baby he would've had with Lita, and he appears to have calmed down a lot from earlier when he was yelling and tearing apart the locker room. Some idiot in the crowd yells "SAY SOMETHING!" because conveying emotion through silence is just too complicated for some people.

21. After more Paul Bearer memories, including his introduction of Kane when he was at his most-badass, we go into a main-event preview of The Rock vs. John Cena II. Yet another moment where I miss catching up via DVR.


23. PUT YOUR JBLDAMN EYEBROW SIGN DOWN! NOBODY CARES! Team Face has most of the offense, as Rhodes and Sandow manage a few cheap shots while Sheamus and Orton basically show off. Sheamus gets bent over the top rope to the outside, which finally gives them a chance to take advantage. After some extended cheap heat, Randy Orton brings all of his body oil in for the assist in his series of trademark moves. It gives Rhodes Scholars a second wind, and this upsets Randy so much that I think I saw his eyebrow twitch a little. Oh how dark and brooding you are, sir King of Blanditude! Sandow gets to hit his trademark offense for what seems like the first time in ages.

24. Orton cuts off Cody right in the Rhodes on the turnbuckles, and Orton's superplex goes much better than Daniel Bryan's did for him. Lobsterhead gets the hot tag and gets in the Forearm Chops of Doom, thankfully with Blair Witch-Cam minimalized. Sheamus hits Michael Keaton hears Dead People, and despite a distraction, the heels eat a double finisher, and damn who saw the result of that match coming? It was another strong match, but after the first half, the results once again are getting very predictable. I can't complain too much though, because just about everything on this show has been fantastic buildup for WrestleMania... for once. Chris Jericho and the Highlight Reel are coming up next with The Miz and Wade Barrett, and they're going to the movies, which might mean we'll get... DOUBLE THE MOVIE TRAILERS! OH JOY!

25. Yet another major development takes place during the fucking commercial as the Shield attacks Orton and Sheamus. They hit an awesome running knee off the stage on Orton, and then GORE Sheamus. So two major plot points have taken place exclusively on the stupid App, despite the fact that they show it 30 seconds after it happens so it's not exclusive at all. It just minimalizes the importance of all things happening because they're being shown in flashback form. Cole then says they're going to show Paul Bearer Touts later... Oh psych, we're showing them now! Thank JBL I paused earlier to talk to my girlfriend so I can skip that shit.

26. Jericho does his introduction, and this leads us into at least the third clip of The Marine 3, so I'm tuning out. This'll probably follow-up with Dead Man Down clips too, so another few minutes to work on other things. Jericho might be a great actor, but even he can't convince me that the second sequel to a terrible John Cena movie is going to be good. Jericho and Miz joke about set budget issues, and Jericho HAMs it up by describing the sales on the first day of its release before Wade Barrett interrupts. Looks like Miz and Barrett are setting up a wrestling match based on both appearing in movies. I've heard of dumber reasons to set up a WrestleMania match, like say shampoo commercials. Barrett comes through with more movie clips.

27. Miz does a terrible Wade Barrett impression, and Barrett calls him out on it. Even Barrett is bringing the HAM tonight by describing how many acting offers he's gotten. Miz complains about him talking about the same movie crap for the last few weeks, as opposed to the Miz clips being shown the same crap for the past few weeks. They get into a REALLY-off, which causes Jericho to pull his best Ace Ventura Reheheheheheheally voice before calling Barrett "Junior." He reminds Barrett that he helped him win the first NXT, when that might've still actually meant something, and Jericho gets badass in Barrett's face. Jericho challenges that he might make himself a 10-time Intercontinental champion, before Brad Maddox comes out to say BOB SAGET SAYS STOP IT! Maddox says that Barrett will face the winner of the Miz vs. Chris Jericho next week, instead of at WrestleMania, I guess.

28. We come back mid-match because it's not like we'd actually want to see this match, and it's a face vs. face match, so the crowd has to choose between them. Jericho probably has the massive following of the two, so Miz is wrestling as the heel, so to speak. More plugs for the dumbass App, and Jericho gets fired up but walks right into a Miz boot. Barrett says that the whole roster wants a shot at the Intercontinental champion so that they too can lose to Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Alberto Del Rio on a regular basis. Jericho goes for the Lionsault, but Miz counters with raised knees. Jericho counters Miz's corner move into an attempted-Walls of Jericho, but Miz counters as well. Miz tries for the Figure Four, and despite the collective groan of the Internet, it does draw a huge WOO! reaction, so the rub is seemingly working so far. Jericho again tries for the Walls and locks it in successfully. Miz gets out of it and rolls to the outside. Miz gets thrown into Barrett, who ends up attacking both of them, and it appears a triple threat at Mania is on the way. Barrett gets dropkicked into the table, and they both throw Barrett back in the ring. Miz hits the SCF on Barrett, and Jericho follows it up with a Codebreaker. Isn't it so convenient that finishers usually knock people flat, unless there's someone else waiting to hit another finisher, and then they stand up? Amazing the convenience of that!

29. Ricardo and ADR do, what I have to admit, is a pretty funny parody video of Zeb and Swagger. ADR keeps mocking Swagger's montoned "We the People" and Ricardo does a great job of driving home the point that Swagger is a Real American by loving all things 'MURICAN! YES HE USED IT! Like Tacos, pizza, etc. Not DX-Nation good, but an effective parody of the "We the People" videos. Conveniently enough, Swagger already had time to not only see Ricardo holding a paper mache beer keg under his chest, but get pissed off about it and head toward the ring. Wow, this show has given me a lot to talk about, so it looks like we're getting Overtime tonight!

30. After one of the hammiest segments I've ever seen with Paul Bearer and Mr. Fuji, Sin Cara gets the jobber entrance against Hardball with Biff Swagger. Chester A. Arthur takes exception to Sin Cara not being 'Murican, including deliberately mispronouncing his name. Cara is nice enough to shake his head disapprovingly, despite the fact that he likely doesn't understand what Chester's saying. Chester blames everyone else for not doing anything about it and being afraid. He then moves on to Del Rio's statement earlier, saying that the only thing he's made us is aware of how many things need to change. Swagger then takes the mic and tells Cara to make like a tree... and get out of here.

31. We then get more breaking news via the WWE App, learning that the Intercontinental title match will be a three-way... er, a triple threat. Cara starts it off with a nice high spot, which makes Biff Swagger ROAR with rage. They get back in the ring and Sin Cara manages to get some more impressive offense in, but he springboards into the worst kick counter I've ever seen. He vaguely put his foot up and Cara was nice enough to bounce off of it like Dolph Ziggler selling a Stunner. Swagger locks in the Patriot Act and it's already over. Swagger won't let go, so ADR rushes the ring to give Chester more fodder for the banditos sticking up for each other. He locks in the Cross-Armbreaker, but Chester A. Arthur pulls him out just in time. The promo work was good, but the match didn't get much time to develop into anything.

32. We get like the third plug for the Halle Berry WWE movie, because we didn't get that it's coming out yet. They at least make it interesting because of all people, Kane is being a creepy stalker fan for Halle Berry. Kane actually asks "Does this mean we're not going on a picnic?" Halle then summons Kane's pyro power. I'm still not going to see the movie, but that was pretty funny. Not exactly well-timed though, considering he's supposed to be an enraged monster right now with CM Punk Daddy-dissing, but at least it made one of the 38 movie plugs tonight interesting.

33. Kane comes out, still cradling the urn, which once again is a huge turn from that rage monster we saw earlier in the evening. Punk comes out of the ring with the rage that Kane was showing earlier. Kane and Punk fight on the outside, and Punk stares at the urn, possibly hinting toward more dastardly deeds. Kane is so vicious that he throws a long cardboard table at Punk. That'll put him away in a hurry! In case you weren't aware, Kane is fighting for Paul Bearer's memory. Kane puts Punk on the turnbuckle, but the third attempted superplex of the evening goes awry. Punk uses the opportunity to hit the Macho Man Elbow for a near-fall.

34. This isn't the first time the Undertaker's WrestleMania opponent has faced Kane a few weeks before their WrestleMania match, but this one definitely makes a lot of sense. I do like how they're playing up the former relationship he had with both of them. Punk hits the high knee in the corner, but Kane throws him away and choke-throws him over the top rope conveniently just in time for a commercial break.

35. Kane breaks the cheap heat after absorbing a lot of punishment by sending Punk into the chair propped int he corner. Kane is in incredible shape for his age and size. It's amazing he can still go like this. He's not much younger than Undertaker, who is down to one match a year. Kane throws a bunch of chairs in the ring to help Punk feel nostalgic for Cabana vs. Homicide. He tries to chokeslam Punk on a chair, but he counters it into a DDT. He mocks the Undertaker's pose, which gives Kane a reason to choke a bitch, but Punk kicks him in the head to break it. We're in Overtime, if you weren't aware.

36. Miss Zarves lives in Thought 36. There is no Thought 36. There is no Miss Zarves.

37. A certain gong goes off, causing Punk to react with deathly fear, and Kane hits the Chokeslam for the win! Surprise victory in the main event, I'll be damned. The Undertaker then comes out afterward to once again pay tribute to Paul Bearer, and Kane does so as well. Punk once again interrupts the moment and attacks Punk with the urn. Taker breaks to the ring but Punk powders before he can. Punk runs away and keeps the urn with him while Taker shows a bit of concern for his kayfabe brother. Punk mocks the Taker tribute pose, and Taker looks legitimately pissed while he does the cut-throat as the show goes off the air.

38. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I expected out of the Road to WrestleMania. Was it perfect, absolutely not. But for the most part, it was damn interesting and sold the show in one night better than it was since the beginning of the year. Almost every match was good, almost every segment was good, and storylines are finally advancing for reasons other than pure randomness.

39. I do like how both Kane and the Undertaker were allowed to pay tribute to Paul Bearer without breaking kayfabe, and Kane getting a surprise win in the main event broke the predictable match streak that dominated the second half of the show. It was a nice blend of kayfabe and real-life tribute to a man who spent many years helping other superstars become better, and it was well done.

40. Overall, the only issues I had with tonight's show were the predictable matches in the second half before the main event, them jipping us out of the New Age Outlaws vs. Rhodes Scholars after thirty seconds when they advertised it a week in advance, and the constant CONSTANT movie plugs. They went overboard with that. But they went to Overtime, I went to Overtime, and it was a damn good show. So for all of you who think I'm too negative, I submit this column, where I had to go to 40 Thoughts just to encompass all I had to say about it, and most of it was good. Here's your Weekly Dose.


Jericho, Kane, Fandango, and Paul Heyman were all contenders, and might've won respectively on any other show, but Rhodes Scholars take it this week. STOP WASTING THEM, WWE!

2012 - Daniel Bryan
1-7-13 - John Cena
1-14-13 - Dr. Shelby
1-21-13 - Anger Management
1-27-13 - Kofi Kingston
1-28-13 - Tensai
2-4-13 - Brad Maddox
2-11-13 - The Shield
2-18-13 - Damien Sandow
2-25-13 - Daniel Bryan
3-4-13 - Fandango
3-11-13 - Rhodes Scholars


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