The SmarK RAW Rant – July 18 2005

The SmarK RAW Rant for July 18 2005

Well, with a week to go before the submission deadline, I finished up the main text of the new book tonight and it’s a pretty liberating experience. The book covers from Wrestlemania XIX until Wrestlemania 21, with an epilogue about Matt and Lita added on, and along the way there’s reviews of “The Scorpion King” and “The Rundown”, a chapter about TNA’s brief history thus far, a chapter that’s actually an unpublished rant I wrote a couple of months ago that I called “Motivationally Speaking” and wanted to save for something special, detailed breakdown and analysis of Wrestlemanias 20 and 21, and in the one that’s probably gonna piss people off to no end, the unreleased PPV rant for No Way Out 2005. Yes, you’re gonna have to buy the book in order to read that rant. I’m also toying with putting Vengeance 2005 in there as well, depending on how many words I have left to toy with. And for those who accused me of too much cutting-and-pasting in the other books, total match recaps in this one (not counting the entire No Way Out PPV rant) — zero. The whole book is entirely original and previously unpublished, and in fact in lieu of play-by-play I go into much more detailed and talkative analysis of the Wrestlemania cards and Taboo Tuesday. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to really flesh out the mafia theme like I wanted to, so I’ll probably end up changing the title from ‘Wrestling’s Made Men” to something else before publication.

I still don’t even know the exact release date for the book, although I’m guessing early-mid 2006 judging by the turnaround time for the last two books. But now the hard part is done and I should once again be free to get RAW and PPVs reviewed on time, barring delays caused by working.

You can of course still buy my other books, and should still buy them to make sure you have the whole set: “Tonight…In This Very Ring” and “Wrestling’s One Ring Circus”, both available from Amazon and other fine retailers. You can help me beat Harry Potter’s sales record! Well, I mean, over a much longer period of time, of course.

– Live from Philadelphia, PA

– Your hosts are JR, King and Coach.

– Uncle Eric opens the show, and he’s upset at John Cena. So upset, he books him against Snitsky in a lumberjack match. That’s more punishing the fans than Cena.

– Intercontinental title match: Carlito v. Shelton Benjamin. The countout rule is waived, so it’s World Class Championship Wrestling rules tonight. Benjamin dominates early, but nearly kills himself trying a flying clothesline to the floor. Carlito remains all about the restholds, but Shelton picks up the energy despite slipping and sliding all over the ropes tonight. They trade near-falls, but Carlito goes low for the DQ. (Benjamin d. Carlito, DQ, 5:16, *1/2)

– Kurt Angle Invitational time, as he lets us know that he just let Matt Striker get up to 2:59 last week to build up the drama. But it’s everyone’s favorite liar again, and he’s up for another go. Angle tells him to get lost, but then changes his mind.

– Kurt Angle v. Matt Striker. Striker gets walloped early, but suddenly takes Angle down with a rear naked choke and goes nuts. Heel hook ends it early, however. I do believe that this is it for Striker’s 15 minutes. (Angle d. Striker, heel hook –> submission, 2:36, *)

– Diva search time. You know what I do next.

– The Boogeyman is coming. I have nothing to add to this that could make it any more of a parody than it already is.

– Meanwhile, Kerwin White practices his golf swing for Uncle Eric, and Jericho wants a concert battle against Cena next week. Somehow I don’t forsee “If it’s not white, it’s not right” sweeping the nation as the next catchphrase. Well, maybe in the red states.

– Masterlock Challenge time, as we’re up to 20 large now, so Rosey answers. As if anyone considers him a threat. The fact that the announcers actually have to remind people that he’s half of the tag champions is pretty telling by itself. Masters wins that challenge without much trouble. But then Big Show wants a go at it, so Masters backs off. They need to give the big win to someone who needs the boost, not stale Big Show.

– Meanwhile, Edge and Lita do an interview about the cage match with Kane tonight, and Edge refers to her as his “girlfriend”. Did we sit through that stupid wedding for nothing, then? Edge thinks all us geeks behind keyboards commenting on his personal life suck. Maybe he should learn how to be discreet with his affairs, then.

– Hulk Hogan comes out to presumably accept Shawn’s challenge for Summerslam, so that’ll be another 20 minutes of talk. Shawn quickly interrupts it can turn into too much of a plug for “Hogan Knows Best”. Nothing really of note here, as Shawn wants to take Hogan to the next level and he’s great and blah blah blah, and Hogan is all “Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania blah blah blah”. This was seriously so boring that it made me hope for a HHH interview.

– Cage match: Edge v. Kane. Matt Hardy does his expected run-in too early and gets jumped by the usual gang of idiots before the match even starts. So we take a break and return with the match in progress. Usual kick and punch borefest from these two, with Kane doing some bleeding and fans not really caring about any of it. Kane runs through his usual offensive output and they’re all kick, punch, climb, kick, punch, climb, repeat. They trade finishers, but Edge hits Kane with the Magic Briefcase and climbs out. Why they constantly program two people with zero chemistry like this I don’t know, but next week it’s a stretcher match, and I’m sure we’ll have to endure an inferno match, I Quit match, lumberjack match, mud-wrestling match and White Castle of Fear match before they finally put a bullet in the proverbial head of this feud and move onto the Matt Hardy one. (Edge d. Kane, escape from cage, 9:36, **)

– John Cena v. Snitsky. Yes, Gene Snitsky is main eventing the show. Be afraid. Another yawner in a series of them tonight, as Snitsky is all about the chinlock spot tonight and it’s the usual “heel lumberjacks taking advantage of the rules” stuff. Cena is not the guy to get something out of Snitsky, and when they FIND that person, they should push him to the top as fast as possible. This felt like it was 12 hours long. After a million heel run-ins, Snitsky tries the Coat Hanger, but the babyfaces all run out (or walk in the case of Viscera and Big Show) and it all breaks loose. FU finishes, of course. (Cena d. Snitsky, FU –> pin, 15:29, 1/4*)

The Good:

– Uh, nothing really this week. The show was pretty dull stuff all the way through and there was nothing I’d call a good match.

The Bad:

– Cena v. Snitsky was a disaster of craptactular proportions. I know they love Snitsky because he’s big and willing to put people over, but there’s no way he should have been booked to go 15:00 with Cena, even with a million run-ins.

– The second Matt Striker segment was a total waste and served no purpose.

– Hogan v. Michaels was probably the weakest interview possible from two people who are such legendary talkers.

– A concert battle? The Boogeyman? Kerwin White? Did I die and wake up 10 years ago?

The Inside Pulse:

Pretty much a wash this week, as they loaded up the show with big names in the draft and then do nothing with any of them. It should have been a way for some new faces to find something to do, not a way for the writers to move the Kurt Angle Invitational to Mondays instead of Thursdays. Oh, but next week, that stretcher match will rock the hizzie!