The SmarK RAW Rant – June 27 2005


The SmarK RAW Rant – June 27 2005

– Live from Anaheim, CA.

– Your hosts are JR, King and Coach.

– Opening interview: Kurt Angle asserts that there’s no rematch with Shawn Michaels due, because Shawn already tapped at Wrestlemania, and that counts twice. So his next target is Batista, but Ric Flair answers instead. Angle’s jabs at HHH continue to amuse (“Is he gonna come out here and babble for 20 minutes while you stand him and smile?”). Flair puts over Angle bigtime, even calling himself a mark for him, but points out that he’s no HHH. Flair goes on to lay out his strategy should they have a match, and notes that he’d just reverse all of Kurt’s wrestling stuff by eye-gouging, biting and use of the testicles. So it’s on tonight, and they seal the deal with a whoo-off.

– Meanwhile, last night, Bischoff makes Christian, Tomko & Jericho v. Cena and a pair of mystery partners tonight.

– Edge & Snitsky v. Kane & Mystery Smackdown Draftee. Kane and Edge fight into the back before the match even starts, leaving Snitsky on his own.

– Big Show d. Snitsky (2:11, chokeslam –> pin, DUD). Total squash.

– Meanwhile, Cena introduces one half of his team — Shawn Michaels.

– And now, yet another Masterlock challenge, as we’re up to $14,000 as a reward now, and Tajiri is the lucky victim this week. That goes as you’d expect, and Tajiri mists him after losing in order to set up a house show curtain jerking feud. And hey, that’s fine.

– And we continue to avoid actual wrestling, as the parade of talk continues with Carlito’s Cabana. His guest is the final RAW draft pick — Rob Van Dam. And here I thought they just go with JBL and drop all pretense of leaving Smackdown intact. Rob and Carlito exchange pleasantries and Rob points out that he’s still rehabbing his knee, so Carlito is all “Well, thanks for telling me” and then goes after the bad knee. I’m so glad they move both to RAW at the same time so they could feud with each other. It was a really weird interview, too, as I don’t recall Carlito ever caring about the ECW thing or being any big part of the “crusader” angle at the PPV.

– Kurt Angle d. Ric Flair (17:09, heel hook –> submission, ***1/2). Really good TV match, as Flair lives up to his promise and cheats to counter all of Angle’s wrestling holds, thus allowing it not to be totally out of the question that he can hang with Kurt. It’s also the first real wrestling match, after an hour of talk. Flair plays the total babyface here and takes a suplex on the floor to give Angle control. Flair’s biting to escape the STF is great stuff, but they blow the Pop Up Superplex spot, as someone takes too long and Flair ends up falling off the ropes. Angle Slam and anklelock look to finish, but Flair uses the promised testicular claw and gets the figure-four. I like that we’re finally getting to see the “dirtiest player in the game” thing put to a more practical use than Flair’s usual low-blow spot. Angle even sells the figure-four for him like death, but reverses the kneecrusher and gets the anklelock and deadly heel hook for the win. Interesting that no one has even come close to reversing the heel hook yet and it’s probably the only true bulletproof move left in wrestling. Angle even sells the groin injuries afterwards.

– Diva Search time, and it’s actually WORSE than last year. That’s all.

– Meanwhile, Team Charisma jokes about potential partners for Cena (“Nash tears a hamstring just answering the phone”) but seem to think that since they’re right by Hollywood, it might be…nah, couldn’t be.

– John Cena, Shawn Michaels & Hulk Hogan d. Christian, Chris Jericho & Tyson Tomko (6:10, Hogan legdrop –> pin Tomko, *) Not coincidentally, Hogan has a new reality show to promote. I think the Rock would have been a better choice, but they probably forgot to call him. As usual, Shawn comes in and plays whipping boy for the heels’ dazzling array of chinlocks and punches. A missed Lionsault allows the hot tag to Hogan, and he hulks up after getting stomped down by Christian and Tomko. The end result is Hogan v. Tomko, and that ends quickly with the big boot and legdrop. Ridiculously short and cliché tag match. Much posing follows.

The Good:

– Well, the draft is over, so at least Smackdown shouldn’t lose any MORE of their top stars in exchange for nothing.

– Angle v. Flair continued Angle’s hot streak as of late, as we continue to wonder how he’s still walking, let alone putting on ***+ matches in batches of a dozen at a time.

The Bad:

– Batista was treated like such an afterthought tonight that I can only conclude he’ll be sent to Smackdown on Thursday.

– The RVD-Carlito confrontation was pretty brutal and just seems like another lateral move for Rob after years of them.

– The Diva Search is as awful as ever.

– Big Show’s big debut is completely overshadowed by the fact that all the other ones before him were much more important, and I don’t really see the point of bringing him back to this show when he was seemingly doing fine on Smackdown.

– The in-ring content was waaaaay down this week, especially for a post-PPV show.

The Inside Pulse:

Another clunker this week, as hopefully Hogan’s nostalgia tour will hurry up and go away so we can get down to the business of mocking his reality show instead. Very little on this show is making me interested to see more of it, especially with most of the in-ring stuff seemingly going to Smackdown now. Bet on Batista and possibly Shelton Benjamin ending up over there later tonight.