The SmarK RAW Rant – January 31 2005
– Live from San Jose and the Pussycats, CA.
– Your hosts are JR & King.
– Opening interview: Hey, it’s HHH, what a shock. He’s the best and Evolution is the best and there’s no controversy over last night, yada yada, Batista is great and he’ll be more than happy to face him at Wrestlemania for the belt and it’ll be the greatest match in the history of our so-called sport, and Batista finally gets the microphone 10 minutes later. However, before he can say what HE thinks of HHH, a taped interview by JBL cuts him off, as JBL is apparently Tarzan and he wants Batista to be his Jane. No, really. And people wonder why I make those jokes about him. HHH cuts off Batista from retorting, and cuts an angry promo at the video screen, and once again stresses that Batista has NO interest in jumping to Smackdown and wants to fight his good friend instead. But I wanted to hear what Dave thought of HHH!
– Intercontinental title: Shelton Benjamin v. Simon Dean. Dean attacks and grabs a facelock, but gets taken down. Dean goes for the evil gym bag to ward off the Stinger splash, and gets two. He goes up and gets caught, and Shelton finishes with the Dragon Whip kick about 90 seconds in. My stopwatch is broken, sorry guys. Simon claims victory because Shelton was using the Simon System, so Shelton goes out and kicks his ass again. For those who said that the character had potential and I was being too hard on him, there you go, because that pretty much closed the door on him ever being a serious contender.
– Meanwhile, HHH interrogates Bischoff about who would possibly have motive to air that awful, controversy-inducing JBL interview, and thus rob the world of Batista v. HHH. Yes, it is a big mystery, isn’t it? It’s obvious who’s behind it, but it’s obvious in the right way so that’s fine.
– Edge interrupts some exciting t-shirt shooting by Christy Hemme to bitch that she’s shooting Wrestlemania 21 shirts, and thus is mocking him for not winning the Rumble. That’s quite the stretch. Funny thing about Christy: Here in Canada, we get PSAs on TSN from Ontario, because they have this condescending government ad campaign to tell us how dumb smoking is. Anyway, the one that aired all night for this show had Christy doing the announcement, followed by the name of the website: Stupid.ca. You can’t WRITE jokes like that, folks. Anyway, Shawn Michaels comes out to stop Edge from further deflating Christy’s self-esteem with his cursed Canadian logic, and she thankfully disappears after serving her usual purpose on the show (ie, nothing). It seems that Shawn didn’t have a good night, either, and he’s got some pent up aggression to take out. So he wants Edge RIGHT NOW, but Edge already beat him, so ha ha. Shawn, ever the primadonna sore loser, shakes hands as promised and then superkicks Edge. Pussy.
– Maven v. Hurricane. Hurricane overpowers him to start and gets a leg lariat, but Maven sideslams and stomps the back. Backdrop suplex gets two. We hit the chinlock. Hurricane comes back with a clothesline and backdrop, but misses the Blockbuster, and Maven finishes with a double knee to the back. This was what it was. 1/2*
– Meanwhile, Snitsky runs into some more random chicks and SCARES them. He likes their shoes, though. Well, that’s nice to know.
– Meanwhile, Bischoff sets Coach to figuring out the very complex mystery, but Teddy Long shows up, declaring his intent to steal Batista. One nice thing — they finally clarified what the GMs are “offering” wrestlers when they entice them to jump: Money. Seriously, back when Scott Steiner was first trying to decide, for instance, you had Stephanie offering him sex, which led me to wonder just what Bischoff’s counter-offer would have been.
– Meanwhile, Stacy is concerned about Randy Orton’s health. As are we all.
– RAW tag titles: La Resistance v. Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho. Conway pounds Jericho down to start, but gets suplexed. Jericho tries the Walls, but Conway escapes. Benoit comes in and clobbers him, but gets caught in the heel corner. Benoit batters Grenier with chops, but gets elbowed down and backbreakered. Conway comes in and walks into a crossface, though, as Benoit crawls for a tag and doesn’t find Jericho. Grenier gets two on Benoit and goes to a chinlock. Benoit fights him off, but again Jericho is gone. Man, it’s Edge all over again. Benoit gets an enzuigiri and finally tags in Jericho, and he cleans house on La Rez. Flashback for Grenier sets up a bulldog, but Conway catches from behind. Everyone brawls and Jericho goes for the Walls on Grenier, then fights off Conway and puts him in them instead, as it just totally breaks down in the worst possible way. Everyone brawls again and Grenier breaks up the Walls this time, but Jericho goes back to HIM again as Benoit is out on the floor, and Conway breaks THAT up and it’s a no-contest to thankfully end this abortion before it gets any worse. Crowd boos the crap out of the ending, which was embarrassing to watch frankly. *1/2 I groaned about three times when the champions of the world were out there tripping over themselves trying to keep up.
– Muhammad Hassan is out to offend more people. He’s upset about being eliminated last night, and wants to fight any American in the back. Well, of course that brings out…
– Sgt. Slaughter v. Muhammad Hassan. Slaughter gets the cobra clutch quickly, but gets whipped into the corner and stomped down. Hassan goes to a bearhug, but Slaughter comes back with a clothesline, WMD, and camel clutch to quickly finish. Hassan has now wrestled the exact same match just about every time out, and he apparently has nothing else to show. 1/2*
– Meanwhile, Benoit and Jericho argue about the match.
– Meanwhile, HHH confides in Flair that maybe he’s being selfish in wanting Batista all to himself at Wrestlemania. Heck, maybe he SHOULD go to Smackdown and thus spread Evolution’s domination all over the promotion. Everyone should have a friend like HHH.
– Bischoff shows up now to announce that next week, from Tokyo, it’s Benoit v. Jericho, Regal & Tajiri v. La Resistance and Edge v. HHH for the title.
– Randy Orton & Shawn Michaels v. HHH & Ric Flair. JR proclaims the faces to be “the dream team” several times, which leaves me wondering who gets to be Brutus Beefcake. Flair starts with Orton and gets headlocked, and the faces pinball him. Flair comes back with chops, but Orton slugs away and backdrops him. HHH comes in and also gets backdropped. Shawn comes in and chops away, but HHH slugs him down. Shawn fights back, but gets atomic dropped. They fight on the top and Shawn knocks HHH down and drops the elbow, and it’s breaking loose in Tulsa. Everyone brawls on the floor and Batista is PISSED. Not so pissed that he does anything worse than yelling and slamming some chairs, but it’s enough to get him thrown out of the match, and we get one of those patented Batista smirks on the way to the back. We take a break, and we’re back with Flair chopping Shawn and then getting some back. Shawn gets two. Suplex gets two. HHH gets a cheapshot and a spinebuster gets two, and Shawn is officially face-in-peril. Flair chops him down, and HHH comes in for some double-teaming in the corner for two. HHH with the abdominal stretch, but Shawn escapes and slugs it out with Flair. Ric goes up and gets slammed off, and it’s hot tag Orton. Dropkick for HHH, backdrop for Flair, and he slugs on HHH in the corner. Orton gets a sloppy RKO on Flair and knocks himself out in the process. HHH tries to capitalize with a Pedigree, but Shawn saves with a superkick, then Edge runs in for some reason and tries to spear Shawn, only to miss and hit HHH instead. Is it November again and I didn’t get the memo? Orton, despite being knocked loopy, pins HHH. **3/4 Shawn dramatically clutches Orton, and I wait for him to start screaming “CABLE BOY! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY CABLE BOY!”
– Cage match: Kane v. Gene Snitsky. Hah, you thought the tag match was the main event, but they SWERVED you. Kane tries to take him into the cage, but Gene blocks. They knock each other down and Kane clotheslines him and starts climbing. Snitsky pulls him down and slugs away, then chokes him down against the cage. He can’t make it out the door, though. Snitsky keeps pounding him as Trish joins us. Kane comes back with a sideslam and crawls to the door, but Gene keeps pulling him in. They knock each other out…again. JR notes that this is potentially a car wreck. Potentially? It’s like Crash mode in Burnout 3. Kane goes up with the flying clothesline, but stops to drag Trish into the ring. This allows Gene to get a big boot for two. He tears the door from its hinges, but Kane crotches him on it and finishes with the chokeslam. I’m just numb to this feud at this point. DUD
The Inside Pulse:
An average show that didn’t really have the big deal feel that most of the post-Rumble shows building up to Wrestlemania seem to have. The lack of time for Batista was a bit weird, but I guess RAW is in a holding pattern while Smackdown builds to the February PPV anyway.