The SmarK RAW Rant – May 9 2005
– Live from Wilkes-Barre, PA.
– Your hosts are JR & King.
– Opening interview: It’s HHH. Again. What’s he gonna say? What’s he thinking? What’s he gonna do? What’s he thinking he’s gonna say or do? (Thanks, Justin!) Apparently the tournament is bogus and Batista is afraid of him. Man, this feud has lost all steam really fast. Batista interrupts before we even hit the one minute mark, which is a new record for HHH I think. Batista wants to face his fears and disputes that he’d be afraid of a guy who he’s already beaten twice. Batista concludes that HHH probably isn’t good enough to face him again, and that’s how you get under his skin. HHH says the title is meaningless until Batista goes through him. I thought we just established that he’s already done that. So HHH decides to go home and watch the show from his couch because we need him more than vice-versa. I can practically guarantee it’s vice-versa, actually. So Batista blows him off and says goodbye, and HHH leaves. That’s a shame.
– In the parking lot, as promised, HHH leaves. He can’t even not be on the show without taking up 2 segments.
– Hassan and Daivari join us, as Daivari begs for forgiveness in hilariously pathetic fashion, and issues an open challenge to anyone in order to make it up to Hassan. Oh, that’s not a good idea.
– Khosrow Daivari v. Chris Jericho. Daivari actually gains control to start and works on the shoulder, getting two and then grabbing an armbar. Armbar takedown and he goes up, but gets caught coming down as Jericho makes the comeback. Faceplant and enzuigiri put Daivari in position for the running choke, and that sets up the Walls of Jericho, but he makes the ropes. Jericho quickly hits him with the Flashback and goes up, but Daivari tries a rana, and Jericho blocks with the Walls for the submission at 2:28. Daivari continues to impress with his smoothness in the ring. *1/4 Hassan lays in the beating afterwards, drawing out Shelton Benjamin for the save.
– Meanwhile, Christy asks Uncle Eric about the draft, and he clarifies that everyone is eligible. La Rez interrupts and gets into an argument about losing the tag title match last week, so Eric books them in singles matches.
– Meanwhile, Christian consoles Flair about HHH leaving (“Who’s gonna spit water all over themselves tonight?”) and offers his ass for kissing, should Flair want to. Flair wants a match instead.
– Meanwhile, 17 years ago today, Jerry Lawler beat Curt Hennig to FINALLY win the AWA title. Still feels weird seeing that kind of stuff with a WWE logo on it.
– Sylvan Grenier v. Viscera. Man, why punish the fans? Hopefully Conway at least gets a good opponent. Grenier grabs a headlock to start and gets nowhere, then runs into a Bossman slam. Viscera does what appears to be mounting and f*cking him, but misses a splash. I know Grenier was supposed to be a “special friend” of Pat Patterson, but GEEZ. Grenier gets nowhere with his offense and Vis finishes with the tree slam at 1:33. Very, very bad. DUD Viscera steals the nachos from some indy wrestler at ringside and then thrusts at Lillian and hits on her while eating them. If he wasn’t so absolutely rock bottom god-awful in the ring, this push would be almost perversely entertaining.
– Meanwhile, Kane gets all huggy with Lita as they reminisce about 9 months of marriage. Lita is suddenly creeped out by him again. I’m creeped out by them both.
– Gold Rush tournament semi-final: Chris Benoit v. Kane. Kane fails to overpower Benoit to start, but pounds on him with forearms and a slam for two. He misses a boot and Benoit baseball slides the ankle, trying for a quick Sharpshooter that doesn’t work. Kane powers up, so he tries the crossface instead, forcing Kane to power out of that too. Chop time, but Kane comes back with a sideslam and corner clothesline. That gets two. Benoit slugs back but gets taken down with a punch and neck-viced. Kane is pretty clearly wrestling as a heel here, so I guess he’s turning back again after never officially turning in the first place. No wonder he’s so conflicted. Benoit tries a sunset flip, but Kane powers out again and gets two. He hits the chinlock and then elbows Benoit down for two. More chops from Benoit, until he runs into a big boot and Kane goes up. Benoit counters him with a dropkick on the way down, and follows with the rolling germans. Kane sits up, so Benoit dropkicks him down again and heads up. Diving headbutt gets two. He follows with another try at the Sharpshooter, but Kane runs to the ropes like a coward, so Benoit kicks him in the head and baseball slides him to the floor. Benoit tries a suicide dive, but Kane puts Lita in the way to stop him from doing it, and then takes advantage of his generous Canadian nature by attacking him as he helps Lita out. Back in, Benoit tries to fight off the chokeslam, but Kane gets the pin at 9:16. I guess they’re building up Kane to give Batista someone to squash, but he wasn’t helping Benoit out at all here. **1/4 And really, Kane v. Edge or Kane v. Michaels is a losing proposition, quality-wise, either way.
– Ric Flair v. Tyson Tomko. Christian does the old bait-and-switch, inserting his lackey in there instead. Flair tries chopping to start, but gets overpowered and powerslammed. That gets two. Flair quickly takes him down and gets the figure-four, but Christian comes in and breaks it up. The ref tosses him. Flair goes low in the chaos and gets the pin at 1:20. So Flair is turning face again? Too short to be anything. 1/4*
– And now the grand time-wasting segment of the week, as Stacy is interviewed by Todd Grisham and pimps the Stuff layout, but starts to take off her skirt before Maven and Simon interrupt. Maven tries to make her drink his milkshake, if you know what I mean. Oh, wait, it’s literal, sorry. Hurricane and Rosey save before any milkshakes can be consumed. Oh man, can’t wait for that PPV showdown!
– Meanwhile, Coach tries to pimp the ECW PPV to Uncle Eric, but he doesn’t want any ECW promotion on his show. I should point out that even with no promotion, this show is on pace to draw a bigger gate than anything in ECW history thanks to outrageous ticket prices, and draw a bigger buyrate than anything in their history even if it bombs by WWE standards.
– Rob Conway v. Shelton Benjmain. Now this is more like it. Conway attacks to start and gets a nice short clothesline, then stomps him down and gets a back elbow for two. Suplex gets two. We hit the chinlock, but Shelton fights up and they slug it out, resulting in Conway getting a flying forearm. Samoan drop gets two. Conway fights for a suplex and dumps him on the top rope, then knocks him off with a knee. Shelton fires back with a high kick into a springboard bulldog for the pin at 2:56. That was a little out-of-nowhere, but the match was fine while it lasted. *1/4 Hassan and Daivari lay Benjamin out afterwards, and no one saves this time. I really hope they don’t waste the IC title change on Hassan after going with Shelton for months.
– The marketing machine marches on, as we get the video for John Cena’s “Bad Bad Man”. Pretty funny A-Team spoof and the song isn’t even embarrassing by “singing wrestler” standards.
– Speaking of embarrassing, “interviewer” Maria gets words from Shawn before the main event, as apparently his opponent will be U2 guitarist The Edge. Even Shawn has to mock her for that one.
– Gold Rush tournament, semi-finals: “The” Edge v. Shawn Michaels. We’re not exactly overflowing with time at this point. Smartly they join things in progress out of the break, as Edge escapes a headlock before getting dumped. Shawn follows with a springboard crossbody, but Edge catches him with a hotshot back in the ring. The crowd does their now-traditional “We want Matt” chant to celebrate. Edge starts working on the arm and switches to a chinlock, which Shawn fights out of before Edge dropkicks him for two. Neckbreaker gets two. We hit the chinlock again as this match is going nowhere fast and we’re past the end of the hour now. Edge goes up and gets caught coming down, and both guys are out after a grueling 5:00 of action. Shawn recovers first, although surprisingly not with the kip up, but a flying forearm takes care of that oversight. Atomic drop and punches follow, and he goes up for the flying elbow. Edge ducks the superkick and tries an electric chair, but Shawn rolls him up for two. Edge-o-Matic gets two. The ref gets bumped and Edge gets the DDT and sets up for the spear. Shawn counters it with the superkick, but there’s no ref. Shawn stops to revive him, which allows Edge to grab his briefcase. Shawn fights him off, but tries a sunset flip and gets BLASTED with it and pinned at 10:01. That was the sickest shot I’ve seen all year. Just awesome. Unlike the match, which was a rushed effort and a big disappointment. ** This sets up Edge v. Kane next week for the title shot, which I assume is where Lita turns on Kane and joins her real-life squeeze. I was more hoping for Benoit v. Michaels, but that just goes to show where the mindset is.
The Inside Pulse:
This week was all setup and no payoff, as they set up the title shot match next week as well as swerving us on a potential Christian v. Flair match that’s been building for a while as well. Not a lot to love this week, as it was mostly talk and skits, but hopefully next week will deliver some of the more interesting stuff they’re setting up.