The SmarK RAW Rant Ã¢â‚¬â€œ July 12, 2004
– PPV updates: I have the Bash tape and should have it done tomorrow, and Vengeance on Thursday.
– Live from Manchester, NH. It’s like a British PPV on TV!
– Your hosts are JR & King.
– In the back, Evolution all rationalize why they hate Eugene. Yeah! Me too! Eugene arrives and HHH suddenly changes his tune and forgives him, but man, those other Evolution guys look pretty mad. HHH sends Eugene to see Uncle Eric instead.
– Opening match: Edge v. Batista. This is non-title. Batista overpowers him to start and powers him into the corner off a headlock, and they slug it out. Batista knocks him down again and gives him a strong knee to the head and chokes him down. Batista works him over with the CLUBBING FOREARMS and a nicely vicious knee to the head in lieu of standard choking, but Edge fights back with a double axehandle from the middle, only to get run into the corner again, for two. Back to the knee on the head, which is totally legal to boot, and Batista abuses him from the floor. Back to whipping Edge around, but Edge takes him into the corner off a drop toehold and comes back with a leg lariat. Dropkick puts Batista out and Edge knocks him off the apron for good measure, but now Randy Orton joins us as we take a break. Back with Batista holding a surfboard, but Edge powers him into the turnbuckles to break. Batista must enjoy taking that bump or something. Back to the MONSTER, as he gets a sideslam and poses, but only gets two as a result. I blame the posing. He needs to start working in Rick Rude’s “Abs of steelÃ¢â‚¬Â spot if he’s gonna do that. Vertical suplex gets two. He goes to a camel clutch, and it actually looks painful for once. Edge crawls for the ropes, so Batista calmly pounds the back again and sets up for a powerslam. Edge reverses to the Edge-O-Matic. They slug it out, won by Edge, and a flying forearm puts Batista down. Implant is reversed by Batista, but a second try works and gets two. Spear misses, and the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER gets two for Batista. Good near-fall there. Edge crawls out like a sissy boy to escape the powerbomb, but necksnaps Batista on the top rope on the way out. Pfff, be a MAN about it, Edge. He goes up, but Batista follows and they slug it out. Batista falls down first and Edge follows with a missile dropkick for two. Edge sets up for the spear again, but Batista blocks again, so this time Edge rolls him up for the pin using the ropes, at 16:18. This was very Sting-Vader in terms of execution, with Edge getting clobbered and needing some last-second thinking to win. And Batista was ROBBED, never once cheating and only losing because of Edge’s malfeasance and dirty tricks. FOR SHAME. ***1/4
– Meanwhile, Eric is MAD AS HELL, but not at Eugene. In fact, he’s actually proud of him, and the job he did as GM last week. As a reward, Eugene gets a shot at Benoit’s title tonight. As rewards go, I’ve heard better, but the match should at least rock.
– RAW diva search crap allows me the chance to FF.
– Meanwhile, Hurricane does a fly-in on a Flair interview, wanting an autograph. Flair instead offers career advice Ã¢â‚¬â€œ ditch the stupid gimmick and act like a man. Hurricane counters with a literary low blow, calling CHYNA’S book better than Flair’s. OUCH. Flair kicks his ass to set up a match. Who wouldn’t? Hell, even Joanie Laurer would probably get offended at that.
– Rhyno v. Robert Conway. Apparently Rhyno & Tajiri are gonna be the mismatched tag team du jour. Rhyno escapes some armwork from Conway, but gets taken down, so he slugs away and comes back with a hiptoss. Grenier pulls him out and gets some cheapshots, and Conway gets two in the ring and hits the chinlock. Rhyno slugs back and overpowers him, and backdrops him to set up a belly to belly suplex for two. Conway comes back with a neckbreaker for two. Rhyno gets the spinebuster and sets up for the GOAR (as Tajiri fights off Grenier) and it’s GOAR GOAR GOAR to finish at 3:06. Paint-by-numbers stuff here, with Tajiri v. Grenier next week I’d assume leading up to Summerslam, but you do what you gotta do. Ã‚Â¾*
– Tyson Tomko v. Maven. Nidia is with Maven now, as the Tough Enough crew reunites. With no mention of their start on that show together. Tomko tosses Maven around and presses him into a blockbuster slam for two. Another whip into the corner and a fistdrop, but Nidia trips him up. Maven necksnaps him to fight back and overpowers him for two. Tomko misses a blind charge and Maven starts to go up, but Trish distracts him, allowing Tomko to finish with the KICK OF FEAR at 2:23. It’s like Barbarian 2K4 or something. Just what the world needed. Total trainwreck. Ã‚Â¼*
– Meanwhile, William Regal lets Benoit know that Evolution is up to no good tonight. No kidding. Benoit doesn’t care, because he’s a manly man.
– Highlight Reel time, as Jericho celebrates his victory in musical chairs last week and brings out Lita and Kane to settle their issues. Lita’s tired of being scared and suffering. She tells us about suffering. Suffering is watching her trying to act. Whoops, wouldn’t want to offend Matt Hardy and have him write an internet column about it. Kane lets us know that he has the power to create life, and end it. Hey! That’s supposed to be HHH’s job as head deity of RAW. Lita accuses Matt Hardy of being more of a man than Kane. That’s gotta hurt. Kane beats up Jericho instead, because Jericho always gets beat up. Jericho starts firing off the dick jokes until he comes back to fight him. Well, no one ever accused Jericho of overwhelming intelligence.
– Kane v. Chris Jericho. We’re joined in progress with Kane holding a chinlock, but Jericho escapes and dropkicks him into the corner. He slugs away, but Kane fights him off, so Jericho starts throwing down in the corner. He uses the old thumb to the eye and goes up with a high cross for two, although a bad one. Kane hotshots him and chokes him down. Next up, he wraps him around the post, and back in for the sideslam, which gets two. Short-arm clothesline gets two. Jericho tries chops to fight back, but Kane comes back with the bearhug. He does his trademark elbow miss, however, and Jericho fights back. Kane runs into a boot and Jericho takes him down for his lame running choke, but Kane boots him down afterwards. Just shows how non-devastating it is. Kane goes up, but Jericho dropkicks him down and follows him up. Jericho goes down again and Kane follows with his flying clothesline, but Jericho counters with a dropkick. Zombie situp time and he goes for the chokeslam, but Jericho clips him and goes for the Walls. Kane fights him off , but misses a charge, allowing Jericho to clip the other leg and take him down again with the Walls. Kane makes the ropes. Running enzuigiri gets two. Rollup gets two. Kane goes low for the DQ at 7:36. I hate that finish, because there’s zero consistency in the call. Match was building pretty good until the abrupt finish. **
– More diva searching, more fast-forwarding. The Smackdown recap doesn’t slow me any.
– The Hurricane v. Ric Flair. Hurricane slugs away and gets a backdrop to start, then gives Flair his own eyepoke! That triggers a Flair Flop, which gets two for Hurricane. Flair gives him an elbow out of the corner and slugs him down, then starts throwing chops. He works on the arm and drops a knee, then chops him down again, but Hurricane comes back with a clothesline. They slug it out, won by Hurricane, and Flair gets Flipped out, as Hurricane follows him out with a shot off the apron and throws his own chops. Back in, Flair pokes the eye and punches him out in the corner, but Hurricane comes back with more of his own. Leg lariat gets two. Buff Blockbuster gets two. He goes up and gets brought down again by Flair, and it’s chop block, destroy the knee, figure-four, goodbye (and thank god for that) at 7:17. Real bad match for Flair, who needs someone other than an unmotivated Hurricane to make him look good these days. Ã‚Â½*
– Speaking of unmotivated, it’s another Diva wannabe. On we go
– Meanwhile, Benoit tells Eugene that he’s gonna WRESTLE him tonight, and do whatever it takes to win. I wouldn’t expect anything less.
– RAW World title: Chris Benoit v. Eugene. Eugene actually throws the first chop, so Benoit throws one back, and Eugene is fine with that. Snap suplex gets two. Backdrop suplex gets two. Rolling germans look to finish early, as Benoit goes up, but Eugene dodges the headbutt and gets two. He tries a Pedigree, but with no KICK WHAM, Benoit is able to easily counter. Eugene then tries a spinebuster and People’s Elbow, but Benoit counters that into a Sharpshooter without much trouble. Eugene makes the ropes. Benoit elbows him to the floor, and he’s TARDING UP. Back in, Eugene slugs him down and gets a back elbow for two. Snap suplex gets two. Rolling germans set up a Crippled Crossface from Eugene. Benoit makes the ropes. Benoit misses a blind charge and Eugene sends him into the post, setting up Rock Bottom for two. Eugene misinterprets, however, and thinks he’s won, paying tribute to Rick Steiner (or Mick Foley) by running around with the title. Evolution takes the opportunity to make their entrance, and it’s a Sportz Entertainment Finish at 7:00 or so, with Evolution beating everyone down. Match never got going like it should have, but the potential was there. *1/2 HHH pretty clearly slaps Eugene around, which I’m pretty sure ends their friendship. They completely murder Eugene, and no one saves. Awwww.
The Bottom Line:
Generally enjoyable show, although some of the wrestling in the middle really stunk the joint up, but the overwhelming feeling I got from it was how meaningless Vengeance ended up being just a night later, which is probably why the buyrate situation is where it is now. I’m glad they at least ended the Eugene-HHH association, because it was only going to hurt both guys, and we’ll at least get a hot six-man main event out of it next week, I’d assume.