The SmarK RAW Rant – July 19 2004


The SmarK RAW Rant – July 19 2004

– Thanks to Chris Hyatte for the tip-off a few days ago. Much obliged.

– Live from Washington, D.C.

– Your hosts are JR & King.

– Opening interview: HHH classes up the joint by talking about how bad he felt about beating up Eugene last week until he farted and thus felt better. He makes quite the lengthy speech laying down how much he hates Eugene, and then mocks Benoit crying while on the stretcher last week. So Bischoff comes out and makes an Iron Man match between Benoit and HHH next week (“BOOOOOOOOOO!”) as his reward for getting rid of Eugene “forever”. It’s in Pittsburgh, home of the worst crowds in wrestling. And they’re gonna do a SIXTY-MINUTE match there? Who booked this crap? But then, the voice of morality, William Regal, interrupts the lovefest to stand up for his pal Eugene, and IT’S ON. Regal stiffs the shit out of HHH and absolutely beats him to within an inch of his life, thus making him my favorite wrestler. The crowd seems to finally buy him as a face, too.

– Sylvain Grenier v. Tajiri. Tajiri is apparently a rabid USA sympathizer now. Tajiri and Grenier blow the handspring elbow timing badly to start, and Tajiri goes after Conway long enough for Grenier to give him a backdrop suplex and kneedrop for two. Dropkick gets two. He looked like a dying bird or something. Backbreaker gets two. We hit the chinlock, but Tajiri slugs him down and this time they get the elbow spot right. That gets two. Crescent kick gets two for Tajiri. The Big Kick misses and Grenier rolls him up for two. Tajiri gets the Tarantula, but Rhyno’s impetuous nature allows Grenier to reverse out with a faceplant for the pin at 3:32. Way to go, Rhyno. Decent little TV match, aside from the shaky start. *

– Highlight Reel time, with the 10 women from the bimbo search. The crowd boos the shit out of them just saying their names. Now that’s COLD. Jericho sends them all back to Bischoff’s office to search for an “immunity envelope”, and they tear the office up. This goes on way, WAY past the point where the joke has to be gotten by anyone with a pulse, and then Jericho bails on them and leaves them to get yelled at by Bischoff. And THAT goes on way too long, too, as the girls stand there and make stupid faces while pretending to care about the contest and/or be scared of Bischoff. Gimme a f*cking break. You’d think hearing the crowd boo the entire concept at every opportunity would cause them to take a hint, not push it even harder.

– Tyson Tomko v. Hurricane. Hurricane now has Stacy with him, I guess for lack of anything better to do with her. Hurricane evades Tomko to start, then uses the power of Stacy’s ass to distract him outside the ring. Back in, Tomko tosses him onto the top rope and slugs him on the mat, and choking follows. Hurricane comes back with a Buff Blockbuster and a dropkick, but Trish trips him up and he goes after her. The big boot finishes him at 2:14. What a shock that finish was. Tomko goes after Stacy, but Rosey (who FINALLY has a real costume) makes the save. Sucked, sucked, sucked. DUD

– Jerry Lawler reads excerpts from the Flair book, which amazingly bury Bret Hart and Mick Foley. Isn’t it kinda weird to build feuds between retired guys like this?

– Chris Benoit v. Batista. This is non-title, I’d assume. Benoit starts throwing chops, but gets overpowered and stomped by Batista. Benoit quickly fires off the german suplexes and goes up, but Batista gets up, so Benoit stops and dropkicks him down again. Batista catches him with a backbreaker, however, and chokes him down. And hey, it’s more choking. Benoit takes him down, but gets powered off again, so he throws another german suplex. They brawl outside and Benoit gets sent into the post and dropped on the railing to give Batista the advantage. Back in, it’s more choking. OK, we get the POINT already. He enjoys choking. Vertical suplex and, yes, more choking. And MORE choking. I’ve been tooting Batista’s horn a lot lately, but COME ON. Benoit tries fighting back, but gets taken down with a MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER. Batista ties him up in the ropes and gives him a nice kick to the head so the ref calls for the DQ at 6:40, which the crowd boos lustily because it’s a f*cking lame finish. JR thinks that Batista might have been softening Benoit up for HHH. Ya THINK? ½*

– Meanwhile, Randy Orton and Edge discuss who may or may not be whose bitch.

– As the diva search fiasco continues, they flash the voting numbers on the screen for about 10 seconds, after not even distinguishing any of them from the rest, and I guess expect people to vote on looks alone or something. Unless the contest is FIXED, which would just be too shocking to even contemplate. I mean, that’d just be SILLY. It’s not like Vince McMahon is known for doing that sort of thing. Well, unless you count Karate Fighters tournaments. Can we please just pick someone, give them the $250,000, and never mention them or this stupid idea again? Please?

– Chris Jericho v. Kane. I think we need a drinking game where you do a shot every time Bischoff makes someone wrestle Kane as punishment for annoying him. Kane pounds him to start and gets a big boot, then drops a leg for two. He goes to a camel clutch, but misses a blind charge, allowing Jericho to go up with a back elbow for two. He clips Kane and tries the Walls, but gets shoved off by Kane. He comes back with the running choke and bulldogs him, but the Lionsault misses as usual. Kane tosses him and they brawl, as Jericho comes back with the running enzuigiri on him after sending him into the post. And it’s a countout win for Jericho at 4:11. Who wins by countout? Apparently not Jericho, either, as Bischoff makes it falls count anywhere when we return from a break. I bet all the people who paid good money to see their epic FCA match in 2000 on PPV (you remember, the one they fought over hot coffee?) are pissed. I know I would be! Well, I mean, if I still cared.

– Chris Jericho v. Kane, part II. We return with Kane in control, but he charges and lands on the floor, allowing Jericho to follow with a high cross to the floor for two. They brawl into the crowd and Kane gets two. More generic brawling and Jericho uses the camera crane to knock Kane down, but now Batista interferes and sends Jericho into the railing. He uses the CLOTHESLINE OF DEATH on Jericho and Kane gets the pin at 4:35. Wow, that sure makes Kane look effective. ¾* for the whole thing.

– “Highlights” from the Diva Search special last week. To show you the kind of great promotion and interest it generated, I had no idea there was even a show last week until today. Then they parade them around in bikinis, which I guess is supposed to help us decide or something.

– Intercontinental title: Edge v. Randy Orton. I assume this is where he wins it back. Orton grabs a headlock and they counter off that. More mat-wrestling and they both go for a dropkick and miss. Edge yanks the arm on the top rope and goes to work on it, but Orton comes back with the neckbreaker, and Edge bails. Orton follows him out and drops him back-first on the railing. And we take a break. Back in, Orton uses his thrilling chinlock offense and pounds Edge down, which would be fine if Edge would remember to sell the neck on a consistent basis. They collide trying bodyblocks, and slug it out. Edge gets a legsweep for two. Orton comes back with the high dropkick for two. To the top, but he whiffs on a high cross and Edge rolls him up for two. Edge suplexes Orton onto the top rope and spears him into the railing. Back in, Edge gets a missile dropkick for two. Spear misses, but the Edge-O-Matic gets two. Edge goes up again and this time the ref gets wiped out. Orton grabs a chair and gets speared while winding up, and of course there’s no ref. Low blow and RKO, but it only gets two (which you could predict since JR & King agreed that it was over and Edge had no chance of kicking out). Edge fights back and gets another spear, for two. A backslide (with the feet on the ropes) finishes and Edge retains at 15:58. A better, tighter match than the PPV one (which was overrated by most, I think), showing that 15 minutes was a better choice for these guys than 25. ***1/2

The Bottom Line:

Totally crapfest leading into the main event, which redeemed the show somewhat, although everything outside of the Evolution stuff still seems totally directionless and thrown-together. It was nice, however, to have a week off from Eugene.

But hey, at least Bradshaw isn’t the World champion.