IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #347 – Thoughts on RAW – 2-5-18

Posted by Ris Laiman on Tuesday, May 2, 2017


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IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #347 – Thoughts on RAW – 2-5-18

1. I like the aesthetic change for RAW. And it’s nice to not have to be welcomed to the show I’m intentionally watching.

2. “There’s something far worse than failure, and that’s me.” Bray, that’s unintentionally insulting toward you in such a hysterical way that I don’t even have words for it.

3. Roman’s response is… Fine. Looks like they’re kicking off RAW with it, and the “shut your mouth” count ends at six seconds before Michael Cole starts yakking. Good to know it’s snowing in Des Moines.

4. Coach says the one guy Roman doesn’t want to see is Bray Wyatt… Damn, if only he’d had a promo space to sell that, instead of no-selling any legitimacy that Bray may have. If only.

5. Good to hear Roman’s only booed out of the building in smark cities like Des Moines.

6. “For all Roman Reigns has accomplished, he has never set foot in Elimination Chamber.” So he’s winning. I mean, that was telegraphed months ago anyway, but might as well make it more obvious.

7. They cut from actual analysis and comparison to make sure to instruct people how to use social media, so some things didn’t change with the aesthetic.

8. One guy has been feuding with Woken Matt Hardy. The other is Roman Reigns. The only heat in this match is the crowd duel-chanting because nobody in the building expects Bray Wyatt to win. And why would they?

9. “High-stakes pressure.” That’s a new phrase I think. However, asking what’s going through the mind of Woken Matt is also legitimate. Not sure I want to know, but it’s legitimate nonetheless.

10. When you picture “Eater of Worlds,” do you see Bray Wyatt sitting at a dinner table snacking on a globe, or a giant Bray Wyatt stare in the void of space with Carl Sagan narrating interplanetary consumption? Asking for a friend.

11. They’ve really turned up the video game graphic style mixed with multiple cuts. This time it wasn’t even when Braun Strowman was lifting a thing, it was for a move sequence. This must appeal to the younger viewers, I guess.

12. Roman kicks out of Sister Abigail, because fuck you, that’s why. He’s going to kick out of the F5 and everyone’s gonna be totes shocked.

13. One spear wins it though, so okay. The winner was more obvious than the halftime show singing being pre-recorded, but it was a damn good match, and a great example of how wasted Bray Wyatt has been over the years. Given recent RAW formula, after a good, lengthy match, we’re in for a bunch of filler.

14. Hey, there’s a Matt Hardy cameo, so likely the feud going into EC for both of them, which would be fine if they hadn’t given it away at RAW 25 in a non-event. But since the Revival can come back from a two-minute squash and won the next week, anything can happen?

15. Meanwhile, Jason Jordan faces a Crossfit Jesus with a state-specific t-shirt on who looks as excited as the prospect of another Roman Reigns main event at WrestleMania is to a lot of fans. At least we got a one week break from seeing CFJ wrestle Sheamus and/or Cesaro. But with the Elimination Chamber match coming up, why not have a match involving half the main event tonight? Getting sick of seeing people facing each other isn’t a thing.

16. Another match already? It must be my birthday! It’s involving the Revival and Balor Club again, but at least it’s Finn wrestling this time? Hey, we get so little variety week-to-week, I’ll take it where I can get it.

17. Wait, they announced it as a singles match just to have Dash and Dawson be like “we’re tag matchers so tag match it?” So… why not just make it a tag match to begin with? That made the previous few minutes… absolutely pointless. At least it’s 1/4 match that wasn’t the last two weeks.

18. Finn Balor gets the win, as he should, given that he went toe-to-toe with Cena last week. Probably means Club Sandwich and Revival face each other again next week though. It was a decent match at least.

19. Meanwhile at the Legion of Divas, Sasha rewatches her match with Asuka on an iPad, and Bayley’s going to try to think she has a legit chance when the one who has won matches recently didn’t fare well. Sasha won’t share her tricks with Bayley to face Asuka because… I don’t know, tension? The gradual heel turn would be a bit more subtle if Corey Graves hadn’t been all “EVERYONE HATES SASHA OMG!” at the Rumble, but it works.

20. So Rockstar Spud is the GM of 205Live now, except he’s… Drake Maverick? Vince, stop naming things. Thankfully it’s 205Live and it doesn’t matter. People have told me this guy is an all-time great HAM, so we shall see.

21. Shaky cam for the rope stunner? Sure. Why not?

22. So they’re staging a tournament involving cruiserweights from around the world involving wrestlers that may or may not be on the roster… Hmm, that’s not a bad idea, like cruiserweight exhibition involving a tournament of some kind. They should try that sometime! Maybe call it a Classic, if you will.

23. Good JBL, how is Cedric Alexander walking? That was almost a Sabu-like fall on his neck. Yikes!

24. Roderick Strong’s coming to 205Live? Interesting. I’m still not gonna watch it, but… good for them.

25. The match was quick, good, and to the point. The slow motion did not do that finishing move any favors, but it’s fine for what it is. I’m just happy there’s been minimal filler. Roderick/Itami? Damn, that’s gonna be Low-Ki/Homicide levels of stiff!

26. Alexa Bliss has a confrontation with Kurt by dropping the sexist card over her having to defend the title. She hasn’t defended the title since TLC? Isn’t there some kind of 30-day defense clause?

27. John Cena then does a selfie-cam promo, because the Mixed Match Challenge was just testing the groundwork for that being a regular existence. Why use those professional cameras when you can have a shaking cell phone cam in dramatically poorer quality?

28. I’m so glad Asuka/Bayley is sponsored by Geico. Does it mean the match won’t have a commercial break? That’d be nice.

29. It does not.

30. You went through all the effort to make a sign for RAW, and put Dilly Dilly on it? You shill that Bud Light, and dance around with it like… I don’t know, someone who uses a slogan from shitty beer on a sign.

31. It’s another match with an obvious winner, but they brought it tonight too. I’ll take more episodes of RAW filled with matches like this rather than the phoned-in, half-filler episodes we were getting last year.

32. Damn good match. I hope they figure out what to  with Bayley besides putting her in six-woman tag matches against Absolution. She took some shots from Asuka and brought it herself. Nice to see the handshake at the end too. Speaking of that, where’s the person whose handshake she dissed?

33. Yay more selfie cam promos! Go Team Ford-F150!

34. Bragging about being the most social via self-fellating. Apparently that means something.

35. I’m so glad Miz had to explain the catch phrase he’s been using for years now. So he’s beaten Roman Reigns twice now, where will that take him this year? Hopefully better than playing second fiddle to a Total Divas storyline.

36. Who knew “I defeated Roman Reigns” was a pop line?

37. Okay, Miz taking credit for the Super Bowl is the funniest JBLdamn line all night by far. It’ll be tough to beat that for the HAM from the reigning…

38. Now he busted out his Paul Heyman voice. HAM… Over!

39. It’s adorable that he thinks he has a chance, but it was great to work in that cheap plug into a passionate promo. I’m sure Apollo Crews gets the upset win here. Looks like he’s trying to go Matt Patricia with that beard though.

40. I’ll be damned, that was easily the best Crews has looked since coming up from NXT. Titus Worldwide has to be suffering setbacks with that win-loss record.

41. Oh snap, Jason Jordan’s injured again. So they give the match to Roman. Twice in one night? Surely he can’t do that! No wonder he got the opening match!

42. Cesaro was wearing braces in the selfie cam promo. Makes sense why he still has the mouthguard.

43. Challengers came out first, Tito’s gonna hate that. Are we about to see another hot potato title change?

44. The match earlier tonight was one of the most brutal that Reigns has had in a time? Learned some hyperbole over there at ESPN, eh Coach?

45. Hitting the Superman punch was “so smart?” Kay. I wish I could focus on this match, but I’ve seen this combo for the last half year and I just don’t care.

46. No, that suicide dive does not deserve a “holy shit!” chant. Have some standards, four dudes at ringside.

47. Jordan got them DQed. Freaking brilliant ending. Okay please, let that be the end of the tag title feud. I imagine CFJ can face Jordan now, right?

48. Oh good, I was hoping Braun Strowman would also have a walking selfie promo….

49. Kurt finally loses his shit on his nitwit son while some dude tries to really uncomfortably pretend he’s not on camera right now. That would’ve been a HAM contender most nights.

50. Now we’ve got Nia Jax, and a mid-entrance vignette on top of it. She quotes her entrance theme, so I guess it’s well-placed? She’s facing a jobber, because that’s fun.

51. At least they let her get in an offensive move? They randomly made a Nia/Asuka match for EC. Asuka has to face a former champion, Nia faces a no-name. That makes sense.

52. “I’m the only one in that locker room you can’t beat.” Except she has, but that was NXT so we’ll pretend it didn’t happen outside of the title reign day number.

53. The women’s division is well-featured on this episode of RAW, and it’s a segment with Paige, so… I’m good.

54. We’ve got Sonya and Mickie. I guess the only match with a non-obvious winner is going to be… Wait what? Mickie won? Holy shit, I retract my statement. Absolution attacks immediately to be saved by… Alexa? Huh?

55. I love how over Elias is, and how quickly he turns the crowd against him on a dime. The heels saying things tonight is anything but subtle, but at least Elias sells it well.

56. The match gets about eight seconds before going to commercial. Main eventing in urgency. I wonder if I’ll get someone looking at the stars to wonder about Hardees sliders for the 84th time tonight…

57. Ugh, a Tide pod reference here too? JBLdamn, this is such a long show…

58. Cole saying “you gotta be kidding me.” Mark that off on your RAW Bingo cards!

59. Quit playing with the damn zoom for kicks! You’re overdoing it, Dunn!

60. ELIAS!

61. Immediately attacked by Strowman, but Elias went over Cena and Braun Strowman, holy shit!

62. Braun can do no wrong in the eyes of the crowd. He teases leaving the ring, and when he comes back in, it gets the pop of the night. It’s a shame they’re so set on that singles match at Mania, because Braun is easily the best thing going on RAW in the past half year at least.

63. The music randomly stops and… Braun poses in silence. Oh, it’s to call for more beatdowns. Cena gets another slam, and then Elias rolls out of the ring but can’t escape either. Fish in a barrel.

64. Overall, the wrestling on this show was damn good, two surprise wins as well. The repetition is still a problem, and the winners were (mostly) obvious from the get-go. But much better than most in the last few months, definitely.


The Miz and his Heyman voice.

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

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