The SmarK RAW Rant – April 11 2005


The SmarK RAW Rant – April 11 2005

– Just to address something, there IS a Wrestlemania 21 rant coming sometime in the next week or so, but I watched the show live in the theater this year and haven’t been able to get a copy of the show to rant on until recently. If you want the QnD version, it’s up at the blog, along with star ratings and about a million comments from my posse.

– Anything from this show tonight is gonna have a rough time topping Griffin v. Bonnar from the Ultimate Finale. I caught the replay on Sunday, and holy cow were those guys pounding the shit out of each other or what? Human beings aren’t supposed to be able to take that kind of punishment for 15 minutes straight. The closest thing I can compare to is Frye v. Takayama from a few years ago in Pride, where Takayama had his face swollen to the size of a basketball afterwards.

– Oh, and for those hoping for the end of my writing career, you’re in for some REALLY bad news very soon now.

– Live from Moline, IL.

– Your hosts are JR & King.

– Opening match: Victoria & Christy Hemme v. Molly Holly & Trish Stratus. Victoria starts with Molly to start and gets the jigglesault, and Christy comes in for the slam and legdrop, which get two. Well, she’s halfway to Hogan’s moveset. Trish gets a cheapshot to turn the tide, however, and chops away in the corner. She does the elevated choke and Molly comes in for a seated dropkick, which gets two. She tries a half-crab, but Christy fights out of it and makes the tag to Victoria. She’s all clotheslines and fire and stuff. Trish breaks up the Widow’s Peak and it’s BONZO GONZO, allowing Christy to roll up Molly for the pin at 4:23. Passable formula stuff. *1/4 Kane, avenging his wife from last week, chases Trish into the crowd afterwards. Considering their usual attention span, that’s a pretty astonishing bit of continuity there.

– Meanwhile, in Birmingham, Randy Orton has shoulder surgery with James “Tape it up and work through it” Andrews. Oh, gross, I just ordered pizza. Like I needed to watch that.

– Meanwhile, in the women’s locker room, the girls are all naked and giggling and stuff, until Kane runs in. Isn’t that always the way?

– And now, much like a drum solo, it’s the inevitable HHH interview this week. He reminds us that the rematch is signed and he’ll find a weakness before then. And apparently he was gazing intently into Batista’s eyes or something. Well isn’t that special. Sadly, the solliquizing is interrupted by Hurricane and Rosey, and they want SATISFACTION. And it’s clobbering time.

– HHH v. Hurricane & Rosey. We return from break with Hurricane holding a facelock on HHH, but falling victim to a spinebuster. HHH whips Hurricane into the corner and charges, but hits an elbow, and it’s hot tag Rosey. Man, if the crowd is popping for these jabronis, it’ll be impossible to blow it tonight. Rosey gets the big fat legdrop on HHH and slugs away in the corner, then follows with a corner splash and Rikishi’s CHEEKS OF FIRE. The superheroes look to finish with a spinebuster into a flying legdrop from Hurricane, but it only gets two. Hurricane goes up and HHH crotches him and chokes away. Then he gets rid of Rosey by hanging him in the ropes, and it’s KICK WHAM PEDIGREE for Hurricane. HHH sold a bit, but there was no real threat to him here anyway. *1/2

– Meanwhile, Batista hangs out with Benoit backstage and shows off his new belt. He should be saying “Thanks for elevating me about 18 notches up the card in all those tag matches last year so I could be here.” Hell, maybe he was, who knows?

– And now because NO ONE demanded it, the return of Chris Masters! We even get a video package showing highlights of him beating random jobbers with the same moves.

– Chris Masters v. some jobber. Masters yanks him down with a wristlock and tosses him around in the corner, then chokes away. Hiptoss out of the corner and he poses to show us that he’s a bad person, then hits him with the Polish Hammer and finishes with the Masterlock as the crowd chants “boring” loud enough to come across clearly on TV. What a great crowd. DUD Master announces that next week, anyone who can break his Masterlock will get $1000. Wow, a whole THOUSAND dollars? Dr. Evil would be very proud. I for one will be on the edge of my seat until next week.

– Shawn Michaels v. Daivari. Yes, it’s a bit of a bait-and-switch, as Hassan announces that he won’t wrestle Shawn unless Shawn can beat Daivari. Shawn attacks Daivari and has things well in hand, but goes after Hassan and gets necksnapped on the top rope as a result. Daivari goes up with a legdrop off the top for two. This dude’s better than Hassan already. He grabs an armbar and gets into a slugfest with Shawn, and loses. Shawn goes up and gets distracted by Hassan again, dragging him in as a result. So the ref pulls him off and gets tied up with Daivari, who has the ringbell, and that allows Hassan to go low and give Daivari the pin at 2:55. Well, I certainly didn’t see that one coming. *

– Meanwhile, Bischoff offers Shawn a tag match with Hassan & Daivari at Backlash, but since he couldn’t beat Daivari, he HAS to pick a partner. I think we all know who he’s going to pick.

– Highlight Reel time, as Jericho traces his losing ways back to Taboo Tuesday, and he wants words with Shelton Benjamin. Oh my god, is it actually a FEUD for Shelton? With an actual storyline and everything? Jericho challenges him to a rematch, but Shelton points out that he already lost last week, so he can get bent. Jericho tells him to shove the title up his ass, so Shelton goes REALLY low and insults Fozzy, and the brawl is on. Jericho really should record a song called “Shelton Benjmain is a Little Bitch” and debut the video next week, just to be dedicated to his craft. Gotta say, both guys came across as complete assholes here.

– Meanwhile, Kane and Lita celebrate with a little face-sucking. That’s kind of weird to watch given Lita’s very public troubles lately. Not to mention that these two have zero chemistry and sounded like a couple of serial killers or something.

– Shawn joins us again to announce that he loves America almost as much as Jesus. So he talks to the camera, pleading to Hulk Hogan to be his partner. Aw crap, I was hoping for Marty Jannetty again. Can we dub them the EgoManiacs?

– Chris Benoit v. Christian. Edge is on commentary as the E&C reunion continues without them ever calling it that. Christian attacks to start, but gets chopped into the corner by Benoit as a result and hiptossed out. Benoit takes him down with a knee as Edge declares that he “gets screwed constantly in this company”. Just ask Lita. Christian takes him down with a hammerlock, but Benoit powers out and gets an enzuigiri for two. They exchange chops and Christian sends him out of the ring and works on the shoulder a bit, and back in he gets two. Christian tries slugging in the corner, but gets chopped again, and then Benoit does a neat dodge in the corner and yanks him out for another quick brawl. Back in, Christian catches him coming in and goes back to the arm again. Hammerlock slam gets two. Christian stays on the arm, but Benoit tries a crossface, so Christian bails to the apron. Benoit knocks him into the railing and we take a break. Back with “Chris Benoit taking on Chris Jericho” according to JR. That’s interesting. Benoit fights out of an overhead wristlock, but misses a charge and Christian snaps the arm on the top rope and gets two. The ref gets distracted by a turnbuckle and Benoit gets a small package for two. Christian returns to the choking and Tomko hits him in the arm. Man, at that rate the shoulder is never gonna heal. Christian takes him down with a hammerlock again, but Benoit comes back with the german suplex. Christian goes back to the armbar, but they do the mid-ring collision and both are out. Benoit makes the comeback with chops from the good side and a snap suplex. Northern lights suplex gets two. Edge finds new things to blame Benoit for on commentary. Benoit gets the Sharpshooter, but Christian makes the ropes. So he hits him with the rolling germans, and heads up and tries the diving headbutt, and that misses. Christian tries the Unprettier, but Benoit reverses to the crossface, and that draws both Edge and Tomko into things. Christian takes advantage with the Unprettier and gets the pin at 19:27. CHRISTIAN WINS A MATCH! CHRISTIAN WINS A MATCH! Total PPV-quality action here, with an unheard-of 20 minutes given to midcarders on live TV. ***1/2

– Main event interview: JR talks to Batista. Big Dave isn’t concerned about HHH tonight, which is why he’s got his gear on for the interview. See, there’s a nice touch you don’t get very often — guys explaining why they’re dressed in tights for an interview. Batista gives the big “I’m the best, come beat me” speech, so HHH charges out of the crowd and tries the Pedigree, but Batista backdrops him out of the ring. So HHH announces that next week, in New York, it’s HHH v. JR. Uh, yeah.

The Inside Pulse:

Well, that show didn’t really go anywhere, but it was entertaining enough for what it was. And seeing Shawn do the job is always good fun.