The SmarK RAW Rant – January 17, 2005
– Live from Toronto, ON
– Your hosts are JR & King
– Media whore alert: I did an interview for internet radio show Monday Night Mayhem tonight, and it should be available for download on Wednesday. Topics discussed include my books, Chyna’s sex tape, Kevin Nash’s hair, my picks for the next big stars and probable flops for 2005, and some other stuff. I had lots of fun and hopefully we’ll do it again sometime. Check it out at www.mondaynightmayhem.com in the next couple of days.
– Opening interview: The Highlight Reel starts things off, with Muhammad Hassan as the guest. Chris thinks they should be happier than they are, being out of the US and all. Hassan responds that Canadians are treated as second-class citizens in the US and are afraid to back up their US-bashing. It turns into the usual “You shut up / No you shut up!” argument and Jericho attacks Daivari, then gets laid out by Hassan with his finisher, which I shall call the WMD from now on. Benoit saves.
– Meanwhile, Flair lets HHH know that everything is cool with Batista. Well, he thinks so, at any rate. He didn’t actually TALK to him.
– La Resistance & Maven v. Shelton Benjamin, Rosey & Hurricane. Conway hammers on Benjamin to start, but gets elbowed down and hit with a backbreaker. Hurricane comes in with a leg lariat for two. Grenier tags in and gets taken down for two, and Hurricane grabs a headlock, but Maven gets a cheapshot and Hurricane is geek-in-peril. Grenier drops a knee and Conway hits the chinlock, but Hurricane makes the hot tag to Rosey. He sits on Conway for two, but Maven saves, and it’s BONZO GONZO. La Rez gets Au Revoir on Rosey in the confusion, and get the pin at 3:21. So it’s right back to the treadmill with La Rez again. 3/4*
– Meanwhile, Stacy gives Randy Orton a kiss. BUT WHAT ABOUT TEST?
– Apparently Steve Austin has a press conference this week. Is he gonna start announcing his spousal abuse charges in advance? According to WWE.com, he’s doing movies for WWE Films now, so that’s probably it.
– Randy Orton joins us to hype the match at Royal Rumble with HHH, and to no one’s shock he thinks he’s gonna win the title. This of course brings out the prodigal son-in-law, who draws a strangely positive reaction from the crowd, but Orton points out how repetitive HHH’s interviews are. “We get it, you’re good, congratulations”. Can’t disagree there. HHH points out that he keeps saying it because people keep stepping up and keep losing to him. Orton issues the challenge and HHH declines, so Orton charges out and gets attacked. Orton, however, fights off Flair and HHH and continues to inspire millions.
– Meanwhile, an irate HHH has something he wants to get off his chest when Batista gets here…but he’s already here. Whoops. Nice subtle bit of acting from HHH for once, as he bows up around Orton, but sucks up to Batista, which shows where the real threat lies.
– Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels, the most popular man in Canada, lets Bischoff know that he wants into the Rumble. Eric gives him a pass into the match, reminding the crowd who he beat for the title in 1996, and makes a match with Christian tonight instead. Amazingly, they’re actually embracing the hostile Toronto crowd by setting up Shawn as the heel tonight.
– Christian v. Shawn Michaels. We’re JIP with both guys out on the mat. They slug it out and Christian gets dumped over the top as Edge wanders down, having now been embraced by Toronto after turning heel. This allows Christian and Tomko to work Shawn over outside, and Christian gets two. We hit the chinlock, and Christian goes to the eyes and follows with an inverted DDT for two. Backbreaker gets two. The crowd is cheering for Christian, but it feels pretty forced. Back to the chinlock again, but Shawn fights back, only to walk into an elbow in the corner. He slugs back and gets a Thesz Press and a backslide for two. Forearm and kip up annoy the fans, but Edge runs in and gets tossed as a result. Shawn goes up and gets the flying elbow, then counters the Unprettier with the superkick for the pin at 6:21. ** Boy, that sure showed us. We’d better just forget all about Bret Hart now lest the WWE really torment us with more Shawn Michaels wins. Edge lays him out and draws a MONSTER reaction from the crowd.
– Batista v. Viscera. Speaking of monster reactions, Batista is quite the favorite now. Viscera is apparently hard up for money, having been reduced to Big Bossman “will job for food” territory. Viscera pounds him in the corner to start, but misses a charge and gets worked over. Batista uses the CLUBBING FOREARM to knock him down, but gets clotheslined down. Viscera follows with a samoan drop and the big fat elbow, for two. Corner splash follows as the crowd starts chanting for Batista, and he’s inspired enough to finish with the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER at 2:34. They’re not even being subtle about booking him like a face now. 1/4*
– Meanwhile, Batista lets HHH know that he’s been offered a Rumble qualifying spot, but HHH shockingly thinks it’s a bad idea.
– Chris Benoit v. Chris Jericho. Crowd doesn’t really know who to cheer for, which is the inherent problem with face v. face matches. They do some matwork to start and Benoit takes him down with a wristlock and they exchange facelocks. The crowd chants what sounds like “Let’s go Chris”, which is pretty witty if that’s what it is. Benoit snaps off a german suplex, but Jericho rolls him up into the Walls, which Benoit blocks with the crossface, and Jericho escapes. We take a break. Back with Jericho throwing chops in the corner and pounding Benoit on the apron, then they head up for a superplex that brings them in the hard way. That gets two for Jericho. They exchange chops and Benoit dumps him over the top with a backdrop suplex, and tumbles out himself. Back in, Benoit takes over with a clothesline for two. Jericho winds up on the apron, so Benoit baseball slides him and then sends him into the corner to set up the rolling germans. He goes up and whiffs on the diving headbutt, but catches a crossface. Jericho reverses out, but Benoit goes back to it again. Another escape leads to Jericho going for the Walls, but Benoit kicks out of that and tries a Sharpshooter, which Jericho reverses for the pin at 12:18. Good but disappointing. **3/4
– Trish, drawing one of the biggest face pops of the night, joins us to insult the US and further solidify her face status. She gets some funny shots at Lita (“Just because your knee is messed up doesn’t mean your uterus isn’t open for business!”) but Kane runs out and avenges his rape wife. Oh, big man, beating up a helpless woman. The crowd rightfully boos the shit out of him for that.
– Kane v. Gene Snitsky. This is no holds barred. Since neither of them know any holds, we have little to worry about. Brawl outside to start and Kane brings him in for a flying clothesline, but Snitsky bails and hits him with the bell. It’s apparently as legal as a wristlock. I want to see an “everything is legal BUT wristlocks” match, just to hear JR squirm. Snitsky gets a sideslam and grabs a weight belt, which JR notes looks like he’s pleasuring himself with it. There’s an image I didn’t need. Snitsky does the silly whipping spot while the bored crowd does the wave, but Kane comes back with a backdrop. Big boot and he grabs a chair, but Snitsky boots it back in his face. The crowd is so enthused that they cheer for the Maple Leafs instead. Gene goes up and tries to Pillmanize Kane’s head, but Kane sits up and chairs him to the floor instead. Back in, Kane uses the belt and they brawl up to the stage, where Kane chokeslams him through the table conveniently located by the stage. That spot is so done to death. Right on camera, Snitsky turns to Kane and asks if he’s okay, and they appear to casually have a conversation while supposedly selling life-threatening injuries. I guess it’s a Sportz Entertainment Finish at 7:00 or so. You’d think they couldn’t get WORSE, but they do.
The Inside Pulse:
Pretty blah show that wasted a super hot and unique crowd. That’s all.