The SmarK RAW Rant – September 13, 2004
– Coming to a bookstore near you within the next few days”¦
Featuring brand new match reviews, opinions at length on everything from the nWo angle to Katie Vick to Jeff Hardy, and more HHH-bashing than you can shake an inflatable sledgehammer at, “Wrestling’s One Ring Circus” is sure to be on every WWE investor’s must-have list for Christmas (well, at least the ones I know) and it should be on YOURS, too!
– Live from Seattle, WA.
– Your hosts are JR & King.
– We start out with a giant cake in the ring for an Evolution party. HHH indeed has his belt back, as I nearly collapse from the shock of it all. HHH? Win the title again? UNPRECEDENTED. Big Dave, party animal, is hanging out with three chicks on his arm. That’s the spirit! HHH, meanwhile, reminds us how great he is, and tries to get the crowd chanting “RKO”, which doesn’t really take. He does, however, let us know that he metaphorically spit in everyone’s face. And we can’t even wipe it off. We can’t metaphorically wipe it off? Are our hands taped up or something? This like one of those weird Jim Ross metaphors. Anyway, HHH suspects that someone is inside the cake. Both Flair and Batista deny getting him the cake, though. Gee, I wonder who’s in it. And indeed Randy Garvin pops out and throws HHH into the cake. Really obvious and hokey.
– Meanwhile, Bischoff makes Orton v. Evolution in a handicap match tonight.
– Chris Benoit v. Rob Conway. Well, I guess Benoit & Regal are the new #1 contenders after months of Tajiri & Rhyno as a team went nowhere. Conway attacks to start, but Benoit takes him down and starts throwing chops. Conway tries to fight back, but Benoit takes him down again for a Sharpshooter, and Conway runs away. Back in, Benoit slugs him into the corner, but Conway gets a cheapshot and a snap suplex to take over. He chokes him down and pounds away, as Grenier waves the Quebec flag in Benoit’s face. Well, Benoit was born in Montreal, so I can’t see that being too intimidating. Conway gets a corner clothesline, but Benoit fights back with chops until a rather dramatic eye rake puts him down. Neckbreaker into a submission allows Benoit to fight back, but Conway tosses him. They fight outside and exchange chops, and back in Conway gets two. Benoit grabs a small package for two. Conway chokes him down again and works him over in the corner, then whips him into the corner. A sign in the front row says “Hello Saskatoon”. Hello! I’m nothing if not polite. Benoit fights back from the apron and flips in, but Conway grabs Grenier to block. Regal breaks that up and Benoit makes the comeback with an elbow and a snap suplex for two. He throws more chops in the corner and gets a backdrop, setting up the rolling germans, which leads directly into the crossface for the submission at 8:13. Wasn’t very exciting, but it was a solid enough TV match. **
– Molly interrupts the Diva Search and thinks it’s pathetic that the wannabes have been getting all the attention, so she challenges Stacy to any kind of competition she wants. So it’s a dance-off. Molly’s got BALLET training, though! Is there no end to this woman’s layers? So they do a dance-off, and Molly attacks, leading to a four-way brawl with Molly and her cohort Gail Kim against Victoria and Nidia. Trish joins in, so Bischoff interrupts and makes a match”¦right now.
– Molly, Gail Kim & Trish Stratus v. Victoria, Stacy & Nidia. So we come back from the break with Nidia slugging at Trish with forearms (and wearing a stronger top this time), but she walks into a spinebuster for two. She pounds away and gets two. Choking gets two. Nidia comes back with a sunset flip on Gail, but Trish breaks it up. Gail uses a half-crab, but Nidia makes the ropes. Nidia comes back with a neckbreaker on Gail and makes the hot tag to Victoria, however, and the faces clean house. Molly calmly backdrops her, however. Handspring elbow, but Stacy tags in and gets a rollup for the pin at 3:55. Just filler. 1/2*
– Meanwhile, Kane is having domestic problems, and takes it out on Bischoff. Careful, or Eric will make a match against Kane! Oh, wait. Anyway, since Shawn is unavailable for a match tonight, so Kane can have someone else instead.
– Highlight Reel, with Shawn Michaels as the guest. They argue over who had a more impressive win at the PPV, and Shawn wants a match, tonight. However, Christian thinks he deserves one, too. I don’t even get why he was in the ladder match on Sunday. So Shawn offers up a match with himself to settle who gets a title shot, which leads Jericho into a funny bit where he reads the thoughts of the front row. Apparently we’d rather see a tag team match tonight instead. Uh, not really, Y2J. I’d take a **** title match over a meaningless tag match any day.
– Shawn Michaels & Chris Jericho v. Christian & Tyson Tomko. Yes, it’s another impromptu tag match, showing the kind of in-depth, long-term thought that goes into these shows. So we come back from a break with the heels beating on Shawn, but he comes back with a Thesz Press on Christian. Jericho comes in with a suplex into the Arrogant Cover for two. Jericho pounds away and Shawn comes in, but gets hammered by the heels. Tomko slugs away in the corner, but Shawn fires back, until Tomko hits him with a short-arm clothesline for two. The crowd is scary quiet for this match. Christian comes in and chokes away, but Michaels moves and Christian misses a charge, allowing Jericho to come in. He rolls through a sunset flip and tries the Walls, then opts for a springboard dropkick on Tomko instead. The faces hit the heels with stereo pescados, and we take a break. Back with Tomko holding Jericho in a chinlock, then taking him down with a slam for two. Christian comes in and goes to his own chinlock. Jericho fights out, but gets choked in the corner as this thing just drags on forever. Christian gets a backbreaker for two. Tomko gets his own facelock for two. Jericho fights out and makes the hot tag to Shawn, who cleans house on the heels with the usual clotheslines and atomic drops. It’s BONZO GONZO and Tomko goes for the big boot on Shawn, but the superkick finishes him at 13:55. Really dull stuff. **
– Simon Dean vignette, as it’s Bodydonnas 2004 without Sunny to save it.
– Diva Search time, as it’s down to one chick against another chick. And they box with giant gloves, although Vince thankfully interrupts because he has a big announcement next week. If it turns out to be “The fans will vote for the World title match at Taboo Tuesday”, then they already gave that one away with a commercial for the show tonight. Anyway, Coach ends up taking the beating instead, and thankfully next week ends this stupid farce and we can hopefully never hear from any of the contestants again.
– Kane v. some jobber. As expected, Kane destroys him, but the guy goes low, prompting Kane to grab a chair. Lita gets involved, but the jobber shoves Kane into Lita, and he falls on her. A miscarriage looks to be likely. We can only hope. As if anyone buys any of this.
– HHH, Batista & Ric Flair v. Randy Orton. The crowd is even more silent than usual for Orton, but that might be because the show sucks so much. Orton starts with Flair and backdrops him, and he tags out to HHH. Orton slugs away, and the crowd just will not get behind him at all. He slides out of the ring and fights with all three, so Batista slugs it out with him in the ring. Orton walks into the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER. HHH gets into another slugfest with Orton and goes for a Pedigree, but Orton falls on his crotch. He goes for the RKO, but Batista interrupts and it’s a DQ at 2:48. Incredibly lame finish. 1/4* Mr. Benjamin hits the ring to save, but gets nowhere, so Benoit has to finish the job.
The Bottom Line:
This show was pretty much a chore to watch, with a crowd that was clearly not buying what they were selling this week. Note to WWE: Orton is not over as a babyface, and no amount of shoving him down our throats is going to change that. I guess it’s another month of HHH v. Orton while they figure out what to do next, although the “interactive” setup for Taboo Tuesday leaves it open for the fans to actually voice their displeasure with Orton’s face push.
On the bright side, at least the Diva Search is almost over and I can stick to fast-fowarding the live update segments instead”¦