The SmarK RAW Rant – September 6, 2004
– Happy belated Labor Day, which I had to work on (ironically), thus leaving the rant a day late.
– Live from Wichita Falls, TX
– Your hosts are JR & King.
– We open with Uncle Eric in a cage. Maybe someday. No, it’s just a cage match for tonight (after some BAD Seinfeld) between Eugene and HHH. Anyone who interferes gets the dreaded “indefinite suspension”. Oooooo. Next up, Edge’s IC title is vacant, and Christian interrupts before Bischoff can explain the presence of the belt tonight. Obviously, Christian thinks the belt should be his. And so does Chris Jericho, who also joins us. He wants a match tonight, which guarantees it won’t happen. Nope, it’s another patented “Wait for the PPV” deal instead (Unforgiven is THIS Sunday? Geez), but Jericho has a twist: Let the fans vote. Cage match? Not good for Christian, since he hurt his back last time they had one. His suggestion: NO COUNTOUTS! Wow, that’s just too brutal. The fans are apparently saying “Boooo-yeah” in response. What are they, Shane McMahon? Jericho’s idea: Ladder match. Bleh, been done to death. Oh well, that’s what we get anyway. With that done with, Jericho finally attacks Christian from behind for once, until Tomko saves.
– Batista, Ric Flair & La Resistance v. Chris Benoit, William Regal, Rhyno & Tajiri. Flair starts with Benoit and they exchange chops in the corner, which leaves Flair dead. Backdrop out of the corner and it’s a Flair Flop. Next up, Tajiri slugs it out with Grenier and gets a sunset flip, then bridges into a back kick, and it’s a PIER SIX BRAWL. And we take a break. Back with Regal throwing forearms on Flair in the corner, and it’s another backdrop. Why is the senior citizen doing all the work here? Rhyno comes in and hammers Flair with clotheslines and cleans house on the heels, but is smart enough not to mess with Big Dave. And sure enough, Batista tags in and kicks his ass with a SPINEBUSTER. The POWER OF DAVE is enough to turn the tide, as Rhyno is now your animal-in-peril. Conway comes in and whips him into the corner to set up an elbow for two. Grenier comes in and drops a knee for two. Lawler actually gets a funny observation, as the fans chant “USA” and he points that everyone on the apron is from outside the country. Flair slugs it out with Rhyno and loses, but hangs onto the leg and allows Conway to drop a leg for two. GREAT clothesline gets two. Flair chops him down again and drops a knee, but Rhyno fights back and both guys are out. Back to Conway, but it’s hot tag Benoit, and he goes slightly nuts on the heels. German suplex! German suplex! More german suplexes! You think the crowd would pop like that for Orton? I think not. Rhyno goars Batista and the faces clean house, leaving Benoit alone with Conway. To the top for the diving headbutt, which sets up a Sharpshooter to finish at 9:55. Given the non-involvement of Regal and Batista, that could have easily gone another 10 minutes. Super fun match. ***1/4
– Todd Grisham interviews some jobber with a belt, who proceeds to trip all over his promo. Like I care what he says.
– Meanwhile, Trish and Nidia get all catty, and it’s the dreaded JUICE TO THE FACE. Hey, that stuff STAINS. Bitch.
– Trish Stratus v. Nidia. I assume this is non-title. The fans are so quiet for Nidia that you’d think Randy Orton was out there. But she’s a “spitfire”, according to JR, so I’m sure she’ll stop sucking any day now. They do some hairpulling in the corner, and Trish kicks her in the ribs, but gets clotheslined. Nidia gets dumped, and back in Trish gets two. Trish sends her into the mat a couple of times and slugs away in the corner, but Nidia rolls her up for two. More clotheslines from Nidia set up a northern lights suplex for two. Nidia does the corner punches, and loses her top. You had to see that coming. Trish finishes her with the high kick as a result, at 3:27. If it was a work, it was a pretty innovative way to end a women’s match. Nothing great, but Nidia did well enough. *
– Cage match: Eugene v. HHH. This is pin/submit/escape rules, as usual. They slug it out to start, and Eugene goes nuts on HHH in the corner, and gets some clotheslines. Eugene tries leaving, but HHH stops him, so he rams HHH into the cage and tries climbing. He gets crotched for his troubles and HHH gives him some shots into the cage (loudly calling spots on camera, as usual), as Eugene starts bleeding. Into the cage again, and some cheese grater action follows. Eugene fights back, but runs into a MAIN EVENT SLEEPER, then counters by sending HHH into the cage. HHH is out, so Eugene crawls for the door, and HHH dives and stops him. Eugene fights him off, but gets dragged back in and caged again. Nice cage bumps from Eugene, though. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE and HHH is going to walk out, but changes his mind. No, instead he jumps off the top, onto Eugene’s arm, which I guess breaks it. And this time he walks out at 7:43. Total squash for HHH, as Eugene got absolutely nothing. 1/2* No shock there.
– Meanwhile, Edge is all pissed off about being stripped of the title, and he hates Bischoff. Wasn’t he turning heel last week?
– Meanwhile, the happy couple watch tapes of Kane killing Shawn Michaels. Well, whatever works for some couples”¦
– Chris Jericho v. Tyson Tomko. Jericho slugs away on Tomko to start, and trips him into the running choke. He chases off Christian, but gets chokeslammed as a result. Tomko throws some punches on the ground and wrenches the neck. Tomko misses a charge and Jericho gets a forearm, then clips Tomko and goes for the Walls. Christian returns with a ladder, however, distracting Jericho long enough to eat a big boot that gets two. Running enzuigiri from Jericho, but Christian is distracting the ref. Jericho goes after him, and this time Tomko hits him with an F5 variation for the pin at 2:53. Why is Jericho doing jobs for this idiot leading up a to PPV? Shitty match that was super-rushed, where they each hit each other with a finisher and then popped right back up. 1/4*
– Yay, bimbo search time. This week’s stupid challenge: Arm-wrestling. And chili-throwing. Yeah, okay, whatever. When you can’t even do a train wreck properly, you really suck.
– Randy Orton v. Kane. Orton is obviously too much of a girl to put his title up here, which is why it’s non-title. Orton tries the humiliation route with Kane to start, giving him a slap, and then dropkicking him out of the ring. Back in, Kane misses some shots and Orton pounds on him in the corner, but Kane backdrops him to the apron. Orton comes back in with a high cross, nearly missing Kane entirely, so Kane boots him down and grabs a chair, as if to say “Your wrestling skills suck and you don’t deserve that belt”. Well, that’s my interpretation, at any rate. Orton goes low for the DQ at 2:36. What a wuss. However, HHH and Eric come out and order the cage lowered, as the match apparently continues in a cage when we return. Back with Kane stepping on his face in the corner. Good for him. Orton eats some cage and Kane pounds away on the mat. Powerslam ends an Orton comeback, but it only gets two. Kane works a neck vice, and clotheslines Orton down. It gets two, as Kane probably let Orton kick out. Back to the cage, but now Orton fights back with a dazzling array of punches. Kane, however, puts him in his place (the midcard) with a sideslam. Orton crotches Kane as he goes up, however, thus showing himself to a backbiting coward who likes to go after guys’ packages, and makes the comeback. More punches. This time Kane goes into the cage, and Orton gets the neckbreaker and goes up. Kane pulls him down without too much trouble and sets up for the chokeslam, but Orton again acts like a coward, hitting him with a chair, and an RKO. HHH, ever mindful of fair play, closes the door, but Orton waits until his back is turned and then opens it and leaves at 14:00 or so total. *1/2 Evolution tries the beatdown in the cage, but Orton runs away, as usual.
The Bottom Line:
Much better show than usual, with the focus on the wrestling (and the total destruction of Eugene, probably for good), as they lead into a PPV that I totally forgot was this Sunday. That’s probably not a good sign, as I really don’t see any of the ramshackle matches helping the buyrate and it’s too soon for Orton-HHH to mean anything. Plus Orton sucks anyway.