The SmarK RAW Rant – March 7 2005
– Live from North Carolina State University
– Your hosts are JR & King
– Opening interview: Shawn Michaels is out to slag Kurt Angle and show footage from Smackdown. He thinks Kurt Angle has rage issues from never wrestling Shawn at Wrestlemania. Uh, yeah, totally. Kurt responds via satellite, telling us that on Smackdown he’ll do everything in 4 weeks that Shawn did in 16 years. Well, that’s quite the challenge. Refusing to job 10 titles would take at least a month! Angle was certainly more interesting than what Shawn had to say.
– HHH v. Rosey. Well, this should be quick. Rosey slugs away to start, but puts his head down and nearly gets Pedigreed. He sits down on HHH to block and gets a corner splash, but misses a moonsault. HHH starts choking him down and knees him out of the ring and beats on him outside. Back in, it’s the spinebuster and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE to finish at 2:42. Complete squash, ‘natch. 1/2* HHH uses his trusty sledgehammer to add some more damage afterwards.
– Meanwhile, Ric Flair expresses his concerns about fighting Batista to HHH. A little pep talk turns that frown upside-down, though.
– Meanwhile, Bischoff brings together Jericho, Benoit, Edge, Christian and Shelton Benjamin to announce that they’re in a six-way ladder match, with the winner receiving an open contract for a World title match at any time of their choice from the night after WM until Wrestlemania 22. Interesting. And Christian faces the sixth man, next…
– Christian v. Kane. One of the participants in that ladder match is not like the others. Christian slugs away to start, but gets tossed into the corner and dropped on the top turnbuckle. Kane misses a blind charge and Tomko trips him up for good measure, allowing Christian to stomp away. Kane fights back, so Christian grabs a sleeper, which Kane turns into a sideslam. Another one turns into a tilt-a-whirl slam and he goes for the chokeslam, then opts for the big boot instead. Kane goes up and fights off Tomko, then chokeslams Christian for the pin at 3:14. Sure, make Christian look like more of a jobber, why not? *
– Chris Jericho v. Edge. Part of the crowd tries a “You screwed Matt” chant at Edge, but it doesn’t take. They fight over a lockup to start and Jericho works the arm, then snaps it on the top rope and dropkicks it back in the ring. He goes to a cross-armbreaker, but Edge fights out and works him over in the corner. Jericho comes back with the enzuigiri, but Edge bails to the apron, so Jericho dropkicks him off the apron and follows with a pescado. And we take a break. Back with Jericho pounding Edge in the corner and going up, but Edge crotches him to take over. This leads to a superplex, which Edge gets the best of. He baseball slides Jericho to the floor and then sends him back in, where he goes to a bodyscissors. Jericho fights out, but runs into a knee. Edge runs into a clothesline, however, paying the price for his showboating. Jericho makes the comeback and knocks Edge down a few times, and gets a DDT. That’s new. Rana gets two. Edge misses a blind charge and Jericho dropkicks him out of the corner, then follows with a bulldog. Lionsault misses yet again, and Edge boots him down for two. He tries the DDT, but Jericho reverses to the Walls, and the ref is bumped. Jericho runs into a boot, thus failing to capitalize on the situation, and Edge tries a spear, but gets sent to the floor as a result. So Edge grabs the ladder that’s sitting outside for no real reason, but Jericho hits him with it and gets the Lionsault. Sadly, the ref is legally dead on the floor and unable to count. Edge goes low with the ladder and finishes with the DDT at 15:57. Good TV match on paper, but kind of dull and without any real flow to it. **
– Randy Orton joins us to challenge Undertaker. That doesn’t go over with the crowd. Orton was showing a bit of the heel sneer again there. Bischoff interrupts to take credit for the challenge, and Orton thinks that makes Eric a legend. So that earns him an RKO. The “feud” thus far has been pretty contrived.
– Chris Benoit v. Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin takes him to the mat to start and then uses a fireman’s carry takedown to retain control. Back up, and they slug it out, which goes Benoit’s way, and Shelton ends up on the floor. Benoit follows with the tope suicida, but misses and hits the ladder instead. No wonder he needed neck surgery. Back in, Shelton gets a flying clothesline for two. Stinger splash misses and Benoit gets the rolling germans, but Shelton counters with a rollup for two. Another go at the germans works this time, and he goes up, but misses the diving headbutt. Shelton rolls him up for two. Benoit reverses a suplex into a crossface attempt, but Shelton counters with a backslide for two. They trade takedowns, and Benoit ducks the dragon whip kick and finishes with the crossface at 4:31. This was a major disappointment, time-wise, but is just begging for a PPV slot to really blow everyone away because for a five-minute match it was the best thing I’ve seen on TV in weeks. **1/4
– Christy Hemme calls out Trish. She wants to challenge Trish for Wrestlemania. Trish finds this about as hilarious as anyone with half a brain would. That’s why she’s awesome. Christy responds to Trish’s skepticism by announcing that Lita has been training her to wrestle. Wow, so she can do shitty DDTs and punches that miss by a mile now? Lita comes out and the crowd seems less than thrilled about it, which allows Christy to do a really bad Twist of Fate on Trish. Seriously, Christy is a twig who is built like a cheerleader, and it’s just not the least bit believable that she’s any kind of threat to Trish. But then I guess that’s what happens when you fire the entire division.
– Batista v. Ric Flair. Batista shoves Flair out of the corner to start, and Flair bails right away. Back in, same thing. Flair goes for the eyes, the only vulnerable spot on him, and then adds some chops, but Dave does the old no-sell and powers Flair down again. Batista pounds away in the corner, prompting a Flair flop. Sideslam follows, but he goes after HHH and gets clipped by Flair as a result. Flair clips the knee again and goes to work on it. This leads to an early figure-four, with help from HHH, but Batista quickly reverses it. Batista decides to start no-selling and fights back, and this of course leads to slamming Flair off the top. Corner clothesline follows and a weak powerslam, but he doesn’t want a pin. MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER and demon bomb finish at 6:39. Batista is still missing something with regards to his in-ring babyface persona, which this match showed. *1/4
The Inside Pulse:
Another pretty blah show in a series of them lately, although they do at least seem to be devoting some energy to hyping Wrestlemania and establishing the main matches. I’ve got nothing else to add.