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IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #350 – Thoughts on RAW – 2-26-18
1. The opening of the show had three different sets of recaps. But apparently only Ronda Rousey has the skills to beat the photographic montage of a previous PPV.
2. Fantastic opening segment, even if it ended up with the 324234th six-woman tag match. Mickie James is firmly back in the Americana role again, so… fine. They needed to mix that back up, I suppose. The opening brawl had some badass strikes too.
3. Any team with Asuka can’t lose, but moment of the match definitely had Bayley stepping down. That was awesome, and the first character development involving Bayley since… I think since she came to the main roster.
4. We’re gonna hear Triple H say Ronda’s name a lot tonight, aren’t we?
5. John Cena. Damn, we need to appreciate him while he’s still here. Did you hear that pop for him challenging the Undertaker? Testing the waters though it may be, it has to go there now, doesn’t it? It can’t feasibly happen many more times, can it?
6. Cena’s charisma and passion is among the best in promo history, and I’m genuinely curious to see him working against the odds for once. I like it.
7. Bray Wyatt mid-entrance, who cares? He’s facing Heath, so this will be the 94th time that they try to make him look strong again for something. But it doesn’t even start, I guess, so… whatever.
8. The Miz sees John Cena (though we can’t), and gets about as close to a Pipebomb as he’s ever been. Damn, speaking of passionate, he reminds us that he’s been around for 12 years. Shit, has it really been that long? This is a damn good night for promos.
9. Crossfit Jesus answers the call? I’m down for that. They both could benefit from working with each other, I think.
10. Fantastic televised match again by CFJ, who is starting once again to live up to his name. He gets the win, so presumably he’ll get another non-title match to get a chance at the title match. Possibly.
11. But Finn Balor interrupts, hinting at a possible angle with CFJ, but instead… Angle’s Shaneing the Miz by making him wrestle twice in a row? It turns into a brawl with the Miztourage, and Club Sandwich make the save. Damn, that entrance music is not good for the face save.
12. Now we’ve got Balor/Miz, because… why the fuck not? Balor wins, because of course he does, so triple threat’s on the way. That, or a six-man tag. Either way, I’m really liking this “proving ground” feel to WrestleMania. The idea of everyone working for their spot and trying to one-up each other is a new twist.
13. There’s Triple H saying Ronda’s name again.
14. Roman Reigns is out and… damn, where the hell has this level of emotion been? He turns the crowd almost immediately. How is it he could be so apathetic 24 hours ago, and then come out there with that? That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him show that much passion. I felt his appreciation for the business. He used actual insults. He threw down in what felt like a worked shoot, even though he’s the golden boy so it’s not. Best promo of Roman Reigns I’ve ever seen, hands down. I suppose the perception of apathy is better than obvious disdain. Brock Lesnar couldn’t give less of a shit.
15. Oh snap, Titus Worldwide against the Bar again? Who saw that coming?
16. A two out of three falls match? Is it going to go the way of Gable/Benjamin? Does anyone care?
17. That’s exactly what happened. What. Was. The. Point?! The post-promo sets up for some music to interrupt them and answer the call, but… it doesn’t. Kay.
18. Elias, as usual, is keeping with the promo game. His guitar needs tuning though. But come on, how do you have such an obvious reference and not at least say “my music ain’t noise pollution.” Or some variant? That’s gift-wrapped!
19. Elias throws some shade back at Corey Graves. Pittsburghers be Pittsburghin.
20. Holy shit is Braun Strowman over. So is Elias though. I see only good things for both of them this year.
21. I think Braun, Elias, and CFJ are having a beard-off.
22. This match had a lot more running than previously anticipated. I’m so tired…
23. Oh NOEZ! NOT A FIRE EXTINGUISHER! Anti-fire! His one weakness! That technically counts as pyro, WWE. I think you’ve been dishonest about your changing policies. Elias has got a bloody mouth.
24. Like any attack against Braun, it doesn’t last, and Braun takes to finding things and people to smash and yell at. Which I’m perfectly fine with. Hearing Michael Cole act like someone going through the table is a big deal is almost as laughable as hearing him say “you’ve gotta be kidding me!” again.
25. For a guy who can’t see, he’s following awfully closely. But someone’s arriving in a limo, but he said his smashing backstage catch phrase near the limo. I’m surprised he didn’t also flip the limo. For reasons.
26. Will John Cena be on Smackdown tomorrow? They should really promote that.
27. Steph gets top billing over H, eh? He’s using the alternate theme, so it must be serious.
28. Steph’s introducing a topic. I can’t wait to hear how she demeans and dismisses Rousey. Please though, let’s see that replay again! I missed it the first twenty-seven times. I still demand to know how she was able to defeat the photo montage PPV special.
29. Holy shit, Ronda is not fucking around. Kurt comes out to cut it off, presumably to remind her that Kurt also has an unresolved feud with Triple H. Please though, keep differentiating between the two kinds of businesses. Kurt takes Heath Slater’s t-shirt idea and then says he lied. Bait-and-switch it, Kurt. I know that’s where you’re going.
30. He says everything he said wasn’t true, but the other shoe is gonna drop. Instead, Ronda calls the punk card on the slap. She’s cool about Kurt lying to her though. The crowd seems to love the fact that someone might actually get one over on Stephanie McMahon for the first time in… what, four years?
31. Stephanie grovels, while also looking mad as hell. This is awkward. Kurt makes a face, but then gets punched right in the fuck. One punch can take down an Olympic Hero now. What the shit? He lied? But she’s good with that? But… What?
32. Overall, damn good show, despite the continued repetition of certain moments. At least four damn good promos in one show though, that’s impressive. I know they can’t maintain that level of passion all year, but it’d be nice if half the year didn’t also feel phoned in… ::cough:: Elimination Chamber ::cough:: I made it, I stayed awake, and thank you for staying with me for my 350th column!
HAM OF THE NIGHT
I don’t get to say this one often… Roman Reigns for breaking his monotone and showing that he can be enthusiastic and passionate, and also throw down a damn good insult.
2012- Daniel Bryan
2013- Paul Heyman
2016 – Chris Jericho
2017 – The Miz
1-8-18 – Woken Matt
1-15-18 – Woken Matt
1-22-18 – AJ Styles
1-27-18 – Adam Cole/Corey Graves
1-28-18 – The Hurricane
1-29-18 – Braun Strowman
2-5-18 – The Miz
2-12-18 – Braun Strowman
2-19-18 – Crossfit Jesus
2-25-18 – Alexa Bliss
2-26-18 – Roman Reigns