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IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #351 – Thoughts on RAW – 3-5-18
1. “You know it’s going to be a big night when the RAW GM is opening the show.” That’s the mark of a big show (No Paul) now? One of the authority figures opening the show to the tune of a PPV-like photo montage, because RAW can’t even afford their own replays now?
2. The part of RAW GM Kurt Angle will be played tonight by Lance Storm.
3. Kurt calls out Triple H but gets Stephanie instead. Lovely… Where’s my mute button?
4. Alimony payment. This is giving me bad flashbacks to the Big Show crying angle from a few years ago.
5. Stephanie’s passive-aggressive harangue is finally ended by a smiling Ronda Rousey. Aiden is suddenly paying more attention.
6. Unlike a late authority figure was wont to say at particular moments of emotion, Ronda tells us that the McMahons are not, in fact, who we thought they were. Will she let them off the hook?
7. Ronda’s turn by saying she gets to pick her opponent is going to blow the roof off the building, even though everyone knows it’s coming. Stephanie of course can’t help but call for a drumroll, but Ronda doesn’t bother wait for it.
8. Triple H comes out to run down Kurt Angle, but gets called out for not being there. It’s at least nice that one of the 48 people Triple H is currently feuding with will get a match with him.
9. Ronda blocks Stephanie’s attempt at a slap. Blocked finisher, H goes for the cheap shot, and Angle and H begin to brawl. Steph attacks Ronda from behind and dances around like she’s freaking Ali. Damn, that death glare…
10. HAM over. Triple H selling the ankle lock is like Vince McMahon swimming in the beer bath. This whole thing was awkward and had too much Stephanie talking, but it was fun anyway and I don’t care. We see the debut of what I assume is a finisher, a delayed Samoan Drop, which looks fucking boss with her doing it. It’ll sell tickets.
11. Asuka vs. Nia Jax again. Yay?
12. This match is such a big deal that they cut into a promo interview during the actuual match. “Not end X, but end career” cliche, take a shot!
13. Nia plays a personal merry-go-round for Asuka, so what will be Asuka’s means of escape this time? I’m in such suspense.
14. We got a local advertisement for a house show in Minneapolis. Lesnar’s wrestling a house show? Even if it is his hometown, that’s still a surprise.
15. Asuka keeping the hold of the armbar after the power bomb break was bad-fucking-ass.
16. She still has it in even after being bounced off the ropes. Incredible. She finally taps. Wow! Another dominant showing from Nia and a much more clever sneaky win.
17. Apparently the way tag title matches are determined now is a tweet shown during a jobber entrance. Kay. Heel v. Heel too, excitement!
18. They talk about the recent run of Dash and Dawson. What, the 50/50 booking with Club Sandwich and Balor? That’s all it takes to have momentum nowadays?
19. This match is fairly decent, considering nobody in the arena gives a damn.
20. The Revival get a near-fall, and their reaction is louder than any in the arena. Bar wins. Okay, I guess.
21. Wait, was that an actual horror movie trailer with the Undertaker, Kane, and the Wyatt Family vignettes in it? Or were those just mixed in to get wrestling fans to pay attention? I’m so confused.
22. I’ve heard Dolph Ziggler’s music about twelve times tonight.
23. Now for the Cena Hour to figure out what’s the latest in figuring out how John Cena is the only free agent in WWE. Glad to see they’re throwing as many people as possible in the title match at FastLane though. If that’s not the way he’s getting to WrestleMania, then what’s this all about?
24. Oh, he’s going after the 17-time world title thing, isn’t he? I see what you’re doing. He makes a big pitch for a triple threat match at WrestleMania, and is cut off by… Goldust?
25. I was a bigger fan of when Goldust made Triple H and Flair break kayfabe while talking about WrestleMania, personally.
26. What the hell is he talking about?
27. “This is weird.” Understatement of the decade.
28. Now we’ve got Goldust vs. John Cena for… reasons. Goldust was last seen hanging out with 205Live for some reason. John Cena’s in a title match. I really hope this show picks back up. Ever since the Asuka match ended, I’ve barely been able to follow it.
29. Cena suddenly wins with the Attitude Adjustment. Point, RAW? What was it?
30. More photo replays of RAW because of the Bayley angle. She’s facing one of Absolution, but first we’re gonna hear from her about Sasha. Maybe she was just persuaded by Corey Graves’ incredibly subtle commentary.
31. Dove chocolate uses the kick song from Inception, so I spent a few seconds trying to see if I could wake myself up to an episode of RAW that hadn’t been dragging for an hour.
32. Michael Cole was so into the match that he had to remember who Bayley was facing while he excitedly screamed about the move.
33. Bayley wins with a roll-up reversal, but immediately gets jumped for it. Sasha Banks makes the save, so where’s the swerve coming here? Sasha offers a hug, but Bayley rejects it. Oh, snap?
34. Thanks for coming to stand next to Alexa, Mickie. Your check is in the mail.
35. Alexa makes Nia Jax cry by reminding her of all the shitty things that have happened to her. That was awkward.
36. Replays of the opening segment are so badly cut that they keep switching mid-sentence. No wnder they’ve switched to photo recaps.
37. Braun Strowman now gets a selfie promo complete with words of his promo flashing on the screen. That’s a thing that happened.
38. Next is the… Symphony of Destruction match. Get it, cause Elias plays music! I hope it goes better than the Asylum gimmick.
39. Elias shows off a little piano skill, then hits the drums a bit as well. Maybe eventually there will be a dance off here. He’s over as shit, it’s unreal.
40. He then requests his spotlight entrance, but it’s an empty stool, and Elias takes off backstage. Presumably to try to win the hardcore title in 2000.
41. Elias tries to drive away, but Braun is holding his car up. That was hysterical. It could’ve only been made better with the Benny HIll theme and fast-motion editing.
42. Braun must just have the claim over the RAW Announce table at this point.
43. All these instruments being broken makes me kinda sad. Somehow he didn’t use the piano to pin him, but Braun ends up getting the win anyway. Okay.
44. Milwaukee looks so freaking bored right now. I understand how they feel.
45. Bray Wyatt is facing Rhyno, because we haven’t wasted enough time on the supposed Road to WrestleMania yet, so… Bray wins, I’m sure. Yep, happens in about a minute. Fuck this is boring.
46. Bray rambles about something… And Woken Matt finally has the accent, and invites him to the Hardy Compound. The HAM is going to finally live up to its potential, I hope. It’s good that it’s happening with Bray Wyatt, who took part in deliberately ripping off the Final Deletion. Now they get to re-enact it as the Ultimate Deletion because reasons. But there’s no way that’s not taking the HAM from an oversold ankle lock. Something needed to get my attention since the end of the Asuka match.
47. Interesting time to have Miz call another show “bloated,” considering the show tonight, but he might take the HAM from Woken Matt simply for suggesting that The Marine V should’ve won best picture. Now we get previews that are better produced than their own show recaps with a voiceover artist that I can only assume is from Eva Marie’s wasted awesome entrance.
48. “Burn it Down!” cutting off a promo is among the top five most interesting moments of the night.
49. Rollins indicates that the segment was dragging, but then Finn Balor in… really, really blue… also comes out.
50. Looks like Miz is having flashbacks to his Daniel Bryan angle. Miz has been used more than once to throw shade, and doesn’t hesitate to do so at Finn Balor, even using the term “over” to mock him as well as a reference to the hand sign. Subtle.
51. I’m trying really, really hard to care, but it’s a match involving the Miztourage, so it’s not going so well.
52. Rollins and Balor look like they’re having fun, if nothing else. Of course they win, because they’re in a match with the Miztourage.
53. Kurt Angle comes out to troll Miz some more. Jeez, is it gonna be a triple threat match with Rollins and Balor? Better point at the WrestleMania sign so we remember.
54. I just now realized I’ll be in SoCal during WrestleMania. I’ll have to catch it once I get home that Monday afternoon.
56. Holy shit, Paul brought the big guns! Life! Emotion! Passion! Something interesting happening! Why was this so hard to accomplish for more than 2/3 of this show?
57. Brock making a title his bitch is an image that’s making me really uncomfortable. Did Paul suddenly get the lines from Goldust’s promo that Dustin didn’t manage to get out?
58. So much snark in Paul warning Roman not to shoot with him. Lotta subtle shade being thrown tonight.
59. Oh come on, you know we weren’t getting through a show without Roman Reigns looking around.
60. Roman Reigns is captivating on the mic two weeks in a row. I definitely need the kick song again.
61. Overall, if that’s the best they could do for a Road to WrestleMania show, I was am not impressed. Show’s first promo segment and match were great. The last half hour had some good moments. The rest felt phoned in at best, random and disconnected at worst. Unfortunately, the latter part was the majority of the show by far. This was a tough one to get through from 8:30 (Central) until about 10:40, and even all the “subtle” jabs and criticism-denying couldn’t escape that.
HAM OF THE NIGHT
I’ll go with the Miz for the sentence that the Marine 5 should’ve won best picture existing.
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
3-5-18 – The Miz