The SmarK RAW Rant – October 11, 2004
– Live, sort of, from Manchester, UK.
– Your hosts are JR & King.
– Opening match, Women’s title: Trish Stratus v. Stacy Keibler. They do the laughable mat-wrestling sequence to start, and Stacy gets the Nash choke in the corner. Trish goes to the eyes to take over, but Stacy rolls her up for two. Trish bails and crotches her into the post (giving us a rather interesting camera angle in the process), then goes to work on the leg, as Stacy’s tiny pants take center stage again. Trish chokes her out in the corner, but Stacy slams her off the second rope and they’re selling like it’s 20 minutes into Flair-Steamboat or something. Trish fakes the bulldog, but then finishes things with a hard kick to the knee and a high kick for the pin at 3:53. Total domination by Trish, as it should have been. 1/2* All the women run in for the brawl, as yet another thrown-together women’s match for the PPV appears imminent.
– Simon Dean lets us know we’re all bad people.
– RAW World tag titles: La Resistance v. William Regal & Eugene. Conway’s on-again-off-again beard is on-again this week. The pop for Regal is MONSTER. The challengers have generic country guitar music for some reason. Regal starts with Conway and they slug it out, which the crowd is into HUGE, and Eugene comes in for the double-team. They put Grenier into the corner and use Conway as a battering ram (nice!) and then Eugene uses some comedy spots to keep Conway subdued, including the dreaded airplane spin. Conway clobbers him out of the corner, however, and Eugene is YOUR retard-in-peril. They pound on Eugene as the crowd is just crazy for Regal, so Eugene quickly tags him in and he throws the knees on Grenier in the corner. Running forearm in the corner into an Exploder gets two. This crowd is nuts for Regal. La Rez catches him with Au Revoir, but Eugene saves at two. Regal readies the brass knuckles and uses the POWER OF THE PUNCH on Grenier for the pin and the titles at 3:50, and holy CRAP does the crowd like that. That’s the most pumped up I’ve ever seen Regal. Good for him. *1/2
– But WAIT. We return from the break, and the match has been restarted. WTF? So we’ve got Conway beating on Eugene in the corner, but Eugene comes back with an atomic drop, only to get pounded down again. Grenier takes him down with an armbar and Conway adds some abuse, and it’s the old heel beatdown in the corner. Collision in the corner, and it’s hot tag Regal. Backdrops abound and the crowd is STILL way into it, as a running knee gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO, but Eugene gets Rock Bottom and the Tard Elbow, but wants Regal to finish things. He drops the elbow for two. However, the flag gets involved behind the ref’s back, and Regal does the job at 4:15 as I wonder what drugs this company is on sometimes. So basically they replaced one cheap screwjob finish with another one. Unbelievable. Still about *1/2 overall.
– Meanwhile, Uncle Eric congratulates La Rez, but points out that they didn’t soften up Eugene for him, so they have to defend the titles at the PPV against whoever doesn’t win the World title voting. This company is truly booked on a napkin.
– And now it’s BABY DRAMA TIME! Gene “Babykiller” Snitsky defends his actions from last week, and basically it’s not his fault. Kane’s the one making death threats! “The only thing dead around here is your baby” Oh, TAG!
– Hurricane & Rosey v. Val Venis & Stevie Richards. This never gets going, as a very pissed off Kane uses the job squad for target practice. Richards wisely runs away, everyone else dies. 10 points to JR for mentioning Kane’s former association with Hurricane. I think Kane needs a hug or something. Maybe he should rape and impregnate another diva. Just to get over Lita. Is Gail Kim doing anything? Kane’s use of the chair would seem to indicate which way they want fans to vote for the PPV. If there was a coat hanger on the ballot, that’s what I’d vote.
– Randy Orton (apparently dressed in one of Vince’s old suits) joins us for an interview. He’s gonna beat up Flair at the PPV, apparently. Flair of course comes out for a rebuttal, and the crowd’s way into him. Flair puts Orton over a bit, but he’s no legend killer. In fact, if Orton wins, Flair will even let him ride in the limo with a couple of his women, but Orton just wants his respect. Pretty generic “I’m gonna beat you/No you’re not” stuff, but that’s what they need more of.
– Rhyno v. Chris Jericho. This would be non-title. They fight over a lockup to start and Rhyno grabs a headlock, but gets dropkicked. Rhyno works the arm over and Jericho reverses, so Rhyno slams him and gets a clothesline for two. Rhyno stomps away in the corner, but Jericho fires back with chops, until Rhyno headbutts him down for two. We hit the chinlock, but Jericho reverses into the Walls, but Rhyno fights out. MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER gets two. Jericho takes him down with the Flashback for two. They slug it out and Jericho bulldogs him out of the corner, but the Lionsault misses as usual. GOAR GOAR GOAR is interrupted by Captain Charisma and his tattooed buddy, for the DQ at 4:41. Super weak. * Oh, wait, it’s another restart, this time as a tag match.
– Rhyno & Chris Jericho v. Christian & Tyson Tomko. First they were enemies, now they’re partners! It’s like a cop movie or something. Rhyno escapes the wrath of Christian long enough to bring in Jericho, and he gets a delayed suplex for two. Rhyno gets a press slam and powerslam, but goes up and gets dumped by Christian. The heels work him over and Christian hits the chinlock. More beatings in the heel corner and Tomko gets two. Much choking follows. Rhyno comes back with a suplex on Christian and tags are on both ends. Jericho does the usual to Tomko, but walks into a clothesline. GOAR GOAR GOAR sets up the Lionsault, however, and that finishes at 6:16. Decent filler. *3/4 Batista lays out Jericho afterwards, so I guess they don’t really have any idea who they want to win the vote.
– Meanwhile, the World title contenders have a discussion backstage.
– A recap of the thrilling diva wannabe feud, the Smackdown recap, and the PPV update fill 15 minutes with nothing. The stipulation for the women’s battle royale is whether we want them to dress up as French maids, school girls or nurses, as the division continues to circle the drain. Not to mention that Jericho is stuck defending his title against the winner of a bunch of curtain-jerkers. I suppose we can hope for the millionth Christian v. Jericho match, but I think that one’s been sufficiently pounded into the ground this year. The World title match will probably end up being pretty decent, but what a friggin’ car wreck the rest of the PPV is looking like.
– Chris Benoit, Edge & Shawn Michaels v. Ric Flair, HHH & Batista. Batista overpowers Benoit to start, but gets taken down by Benoit and sent into the corner. Edge comes in and gets clubbed with the forearms which club, but comes back and shoulderblocks him out, not exactly to the delight of the crowd. I think they’re just wishing the bookers would make up their damn mind about him, too. Shawn comes in and gets nowhere, as Flair throws some chops at him, but Shawn fires back. Benoit comes in and really shows Shawn how it’s done, using Flair as the chopping dummy. They trade figure-four attempts and it’s the old triple figure four from the faces. The heels bail and we take a break. We return with Benoit and HHH slugging it out, and Benoit gets sent into the corner. Benoit is apparently the face in peril. HHH gets two. Batista gets a backbreaker for two. He works on the back and gets the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for two, but Edge saves. HHH comes in with his drop suplex, as I wonder what the point of an overrun on a taped show is. That gets two. Back to the overrun, it’s not like they didn’t have 20 minutes of useless filler in the second hour they could have dumped. Flair drops an elbow on Benoit and Batista stays on the back, and some idiot runs into the ring to really kill the momentum. The cameras do a good job of ignoring him. Flair goes low on Benoit and gets the figure-four. They keep working Benoit’s back over, but he comes back with the enzuigiri. Hot tag Michaels, although by this point everyone’s just going through the motions anyway. Forearm on HHH gets two. HHH comes back with KICK WHAM, but Shawn backdrops out of the Pedigree and Benoit drops the headbutt for good measure. Shawn goes for the superkick, but Edge tags himself in to steal the thunder, and Shawn does the superkick anyway. Edge gets the pin at 15:04 after doing nothing for the whole match. So I guess the heel turn is back on again. Zowie. Usual mix-and-match six-man from these guys. **3/4 Edge cuts a bitter promo afterwards, drawing heat from the other two contenders as this thing keeps limping to the finish line. Next week: A triple threat match.
The Inside Pulse:
Well, they could have done something fresh and interesting with this show, which it seemed like they might have been doing when Regal won the tag titles, but one Dusty Finish killed that idea and the rest of the show was just the usual filler with the usual matches featuring the usual guys doing the usual screwjob finishes. And that pretty much sums up the promotion these days, I guess.