The SmarK RAW Rant – August 30, 2004
– Well, sadly my plan to hold off the aging process forever has FAILED (stupid laws of physics…) and my 30th birthday came and went on Monday, oblivious to my attempts to hold it off.
As such, I’m of course horribly depressed, but you can assist in the healing process by BUYING ME STUFF. Or better yet, buy yourself stuff, like a copy of Tonight”¦In This Very Ring or the upcoming Wrestling’s One Ring Circus, either of which makes a great Christmas gift. It’s never too early, you know.
It’s the least you can do. Really.
– Live from San Francisco, CA.
– Your hosts are JR & King.
– Opening interview: Who else? Yes, HHH gets to talk. Again. He of course takes credit for Evolution and rebuilding Ric Flair, and taking Randy Orton from nothing to World champion. Usual grunting caveman interview from HHH here. He calls out Orton, which fails to inspire any kind of huge reaction from the crowd (not even Orton’s spiffy new nu-metal theme song, which sounds like every other generic PPV song they’ve used in the past two years). Things get all pissy as Orton reveals photos like a court case, showing HHH in the front all the time and Orton pinning Benoit alone, and then the final JFK-like photo shows the Magic Loogie Theory, as the spitwad apparently comes from the grassy knoll, and a possible second spitter. Er, maybe not. Anyway, Orton decides to face off against Evolution with a sledgehammer, and manages to chase them off. Gimmick infringement! This Orton turn is not working, and the crowd reactions are showing it.
– Meanwhile, just to reinforce that Orton should be cheered, Bischoff bullies him around and kicks him out of the building. What, no match against a mystery opponent who turns out to be Kane?
– Rhyno & Tajiri v. La Resistance & Coach. The heels get rid of Tajiri before the bell and Conway starts pounding Rhyno in the ring. They work him over in the heel corner, and Grenier gets two. He drops an elbow for two, and hits the chinlock. Coach gets the SLAP OF DOOM and Conway gets two. They clothesline him down for two and Grenier goes to another chinlock. Rhyno fights up and slugs on La Rez, making a comeback by himself, and it’s CLOTHESLINES FOR EVERYONE. Yay. Rhyno Goars the Coach, but he’s not legal, so the Au Revoir finishes Rhyno at 4:55. I’m guessing Tajiri is injured, because he never tagged in. Major bore. 1/2*
– Hey, in the front row, it’s washed-up one-hit wonders Papa Roach! Wow!
– Meanwhile, Eugene gets wrapped up in baseball fandom, thus annoying Regal. Cute.
– William Regal v. Batista. I’m thinking style clash here. Batista hammers him in the corner and stomps away on the apron. Back in, Batista goes for a full nelson, but Regal fights back with knees in the corner, until Batista elbows him down. Regal comes back with an Exploder and a Shining Wizard for two. Batista hits him with the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER, however, and grabs a chair. This allows Flair to sneak down and use the Power of the Punch on Regal, and the CLOTHESLINE OF DEATH finishes him at 2:54. Too short to go anywhere. 3/4*
– Diva time, as someone gets eliminated. That’s a shame. She flips off Carmella on the way out, thus earning a bit of a pop before she goes. They all talk for 30 seconds, and we actually get treated to someone being called what sounded like a “cum guzzling gutter slut” through the bleeping on live TV for the first time I can recall. Carmella was also accused of trying to get ahead by taking a cock in her ass, but then you could say that about a lot of people in the WWE, so it’s hardly fair to single her out. Even the XFL didn’t provide this kind of sheer entertainment value in terms of being a total car wreck.
– Kane and his happy bride are out to share their joy with the world, as Kane announces that he has an open contract for Unforgiven from Bischoff. Uh oh, wonder if the mystery man will be Kane? Oh, wait. Anyway, Kane brings out some jobbers dressed as Matt Hardy (the family members, you see), including a 400 pound Samoan version.
– Kane v. Pat, Rat, Nat & Fat Hardy. I guess it’s a match. A chokeslam finishes “Rat Hardy” at 0:20. Lita ruins Kane’s fun, however, by pointing out that marriage is a joint proposition, and thus she got him a match against Shawn Michaels for the PPV. Considering they haven’t even MENTIONED that Kane put Shawn out of action between his sabbatical and now, it doesn’t quite have the effect you’d want. Especially considering the horribly injured Shawn was just shown in a bit from the Republican Convention earlier in the show.
– Chris Benoit v. Ric Flair. Benoit chops away and overpowers Flair to start, then hits him with a snap suplex and goes for the Crossface early. Flair quickly makes the ropes, and comes back after a cheapshot. He returns the chops in the corner and takes Benoit down with a half-crab, but Benoit makes the ropes. Benoit comes back with some absolutely brutal chops and an enzuigiri, which triggers the Flair Flop. Benoit goes up, but misses the headbutt, then motors right back with the rolling germans. Sharpshooter looks to finish, but Batista runs in for the pointless DQ at 5:53. Pretty fun match that wasn’t allowed to develop. *1/4 Pretty ham-fisted build for the Batista-Benoit match, which we then learn is actually Benoit & Regal v. Flair & Batista, which takes it from mildly interesting to midcard filler.
– Highlight Reel time with Edge as the guest. He’s selling an injury from a house show while Jericho is angling for a title shot at the PPV. Edge acts all heelish, so Jericho questions the need for crutches. They have a nice handshake”¦and then Christian shows up and attacks Jericho. Family reunion!
– Trish Stratus & Gail Kim v. Nidia & Victoria. Trish elbows Victoria off the apron and slugs Nidia down to start, and Gail comes in with a clothesline. Gail uses one of her crazy submission moves, but Victoria breaks it up. Gail drops an elbow for two. Victoria comes in and cleans house, and it’s heel miscommunication, as Victoria gets some clotheslines and backdrops and stuff. Superkick is blocked by Gail and countered into a leg lace, but distraction from Stevie Richards allows Victoria to roll her up for the pin at 3:44. Have I mentioned that I hate that finish? JR is now acting like the mystery person is really obvious. Funny how that changes after everyone called him on it. *
– Meanwhile, just to COMPLETE the self-parody (and I swear to god I was writing everything above live as I watched the tape), Bischoff signs Orton to face KANE next week. Truly they are out of ideas.
– No DQ: Eugene v. HHH. Eugene is wearing a Giants jersey as they make a desperate attempt to keep him from getting booed. HHH attacks him to start and slugs away, but Eugene takes him down with a pair of fireman’s carries and a headlock. Backslide gets two. Back to the headlock as the crowd turns on Eugene and HHH drops a knee on the groin. They brawl outside, which HHH wins pretty handily, and back in HHH keeps slugging him down and gets the spinebuster. Kneedrop, but Eugene is TARDING UP. Slam and double axehandle gets two, and the Retard Bottom sets up the Stunner, but HHH counters with the sleeper. Eugene is fading fast because it’s such a devastating move and all, and HHH adds a Pedigree, but Randy Orton pops out from the under the ring to stop any potential sledging, and slugs it out with HHH. Crowd doesn’t care about any of it. Orton hits him with the hammer and an RKO, and Eugene gets the pin at 10:48, although he was unconscious and just put there by Orton. They treat it like a big inspirational deal, even though HHH treated Eugene like a joke and a jobber and killed him dead, and then ORTON’S music played when he won. Not that I care about Eugene’s fate any longer, because the character is done anyway, but if you want a textbook example of a totally meaningless job, there you go. *
The Bottom Line:
Another shit show, as the booking seems to be hitting the wall going into the PPV and they don’t really appear to have any idea of where anything is going. Crowd was dead throughout, and can you blame them? The followup to the wedding was a waste of time that totally blew any shock value or meaning that the Shawn return would have had, the Orton face turn is bombing, HHH is AGAIN the #1 contender to the title despite losing about 16 title matches in a row this year, and it’s just a general depressing atmosphere. And there’s still more buildup to the PPV to come yet!
What a birthday present”¦