The SmarK RAW Rant – January 10, 2005
– Live from Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
– Your hosts are JR & King.
– Bischoff still gets booed in the opening, despite a new smiling picture and face turn. Some people just can’t win.
– And speaking of people who can only win, all the time, your 10-time World champion, HHH, is the opening interview, fresh off padding his personal record with another belt. Personally I don’t care if he beats Hogan’s record, but let’s leave Flair out of it. He explains that politics and favoritism have nothing to do with it (nah, of course not) and that he’s just the best, and no one in the world on any show can beat him. He points out someone in the crowd with a sign that says “HHH is God”. Man, what kind of jerk would say something like that? He has the book, the hit movie, the title, blah blah blah. Gosh, I just love these 20 minute self-aggrandizing interviews from HHH. And he introduces his friend, his buddy, the guy who would never betray him, Batista. Lawler thinks HHH might be sucking up to him. Well, really, who wouldn’t? However, Randy Orton ruins the love-in. HHH is actually pretty funny in brushing him off (“Celebrations are for winners. You’re a loser.”), but the bitter loser Orton decides to be a shit-disturber by showing footage from last night of HHH failing to save Batista. The crowd seems to side with Batista on that one. Orton wants a rematch for himself, however, tonight, so he’s not all altruism. Bischoff notes that HHH’s no-Orton clause ended with HHH losing the title, but it’s only gonna be Orton v. Batista in a #1 contender match instead. Big boos for that decision.
– Shelton Benjamin v. Maven. This is a Rumble qualifying match, which is weird because I wasn’t even aware they had enough people to leave guys OUT of it. Maven attacks to start and dodges the Blinger splash, then goes low to set up a neckbreaker that gets two. He hits the chinlock but Shelton quickly escapes and slugs back. This time the splash hits, as does a dragon whip kick and the exploder, which finishes at 1:48. That was a pretty quick blowoff for a feud that was built for quite a while. 1/4*
– Muhammad Hassan v. Hurricane. Apparently starting Hassan out with Lawler wasn’t the best idea, so maybe Hurricane can get something out of him. He attacks to start, but gets tripped up by the evil manager and Hassan clotheslines him and pounds away. Another clothesline and more pounding gets two. He goes to a cobra clutch, which Hurricane sells like a resthold, and a jawbreaker breaks. He comes back with a neckbreaker and goes for the Shining Wizard, but Hassan ducks and finishes with the Downward Spiral at 1:58. Well, that didn’t exactly show anything. 1/4*
– Meanwhile, HHH lets Batista know that he deserves a title shot. “Well, we all get what we deserve”. Tell ’em, Dave.
– Edge v. Rhyno. Another Rumble qualifier here. The whole setup strikes me as unfair, since the show is in two weeks and you don’t have time to have 15 guys qualify, so you’ll get a few qualifiers and then a bunch of guys thrown in at the last minute. Rhyno attacks and beats on Edge, who bails to the apron, but shoulderblocks Rhyno to come back. He wraps Rhyno around the post and chokes him down, then pounds away. Rhyno comes back with some clotheslines and a powerslam for two. Backdrop suplex gets two. Rhyno sets up the Goar, but Edge boots him down and gets his own version to set up the Edgeucation submission move for the win at 3:36. Pretty dull stuff, as Edge is going nowhere after a hot start to his heel run. 3/4* A bitter Edge wants Shawn Michaels RIGHT NOW, and we take a break.
– We’re back, and Edge is still whining. It seems that Shawn screwed Edge again and again and again. That seems to be his thing. And speaking of which, Shawn’s speech gets completely derailed by some Canadian fans in the crowd who accuse him of screwing Bret. Shawn’s point, funny and ironic as it is, is that Edge should stop being a whiny primadonna who complains all the time and protects his spot and should take action. So Edge attacks him. Shawn’s flustered reaction the crowd totally killed any drama this might have had.
– Meanwhile, Shawn and Edge fight into the concession stand while referees try to separate them.
– Simon Dean comes out to offer free diet pills to a lucky guy, someone 300 pounds who’s known for wearing a mask. He was shooting for Rosey, but gets Kane instead. Kane completely destroys him, and then has to stand around looking stupid while waiting for Gene Snitsky to run in and hit his mark. And of course another Gene beating follows. Seriously, ENOUGH with this feud. At first Snitsky had some bizarre appeal to see how bad he could be, but the joke has long since ceased to be funny.
– Meanwhile, HHH tells Flair to go out and tell Batista that his record against Orton isn’t good. That’ll motivate him, see.
– Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit v. Christian & Tyson Tomko. Well, this should hopefully break the sucky match streak after 90 minutes. Christian starts with Jericho and pounds him down, then grabs a headlock. Jericho takes him down and tries the Walls, then chokes him out in the corner. Enzuigiri gets two. Benoit comes in and throws some chops, but Christian takes him into the corner and chokes him down after a slam. Benoit comes back with a snap suplex, so Christian brings Tomko in and more choking follows. Tomko knees him down. With the new beard, Tomko looks like a bizarre cross between Goldberg and Ming the Merciless. Benoit gets tossed and Christian sends him back in, and Tomko gets two. More choking. Powerslam gets two. Christian slugs on the ribs and gets two. We hit the chinlock, but Benoit fights out, then runs into an elbow that gives Christian two. Jericho gets the hot tag and cleans house, and the combination of the Walls and the crossface get dual submissions at 9:04. Decent, but what’s the point? **
– Lingerie pillow fight: One chick against another chick. Some other chick is the special referee. Can ANYONE tell these bimbos apart? One of them pins the other at 1:08 after the usual intense pillow-fighting action. Do we need an overrun so badly that this was a vital segment?
– We get a promo for “Masterpiece” Chris Masters, which looks to be basically the exact same gimmick that flopped so badly for Mark Jindrak already. I’ve heard that Johnny Ace’s thing is to basically hire guys based entirely on their look, but this is getting ludicrous.
– Randy Orton v. Batista. Orton grabs a headlock to start and gets powered down as a result. He slugs back and boots Batista out of the corner, but Dave pounds away in the corner. Choking follows. He elbows Orton down, but gets dropkicked out of the ring and we take a break. Jesus, hurry up and finish already so I don’t have to miss any of 24. Back with a brawl on the floor, and Batista tosses Orton back in for two. He chokes him out, but Orton slugs back, so Batista posts him. More choking follows. Batista pounds him on the apron, and gets a neckbreaker for two. And we hit the chinlock, but Orton makes the ropes, so Batista gives him more of a beating. Powerslam gets two. Orton fights back, but walks into the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER, which is now officially over. It even gets a pop from this dead crowd. Demon bomb is reversed by Orton to a DDT, and he makes the comeback. He hammers away on Batista in the corner and gets the neckbreaker, but Flair makes a nuisance of himself. Batista casually blocks the RKO, and HHH wants him to use a chair. Batista doesn’t want it, tells HHH so, and gets dropkicked into it and pinned at 14:32 as a result. Good, let Orton eat the pin against HHH at the Rumble and go back to the midcard where he belongs. **1/4
The Inside Pulse:
Pretty useless show, with a bunch of crappy matches and nothing of note in the way of storyline development. Don’t feel bad if you skipped it for 24.
Hey, did you know that the Royal Rumble is now less than 2 weeks away? You wouldn’t from the non-promotion tonight.