The SmarK RAW Rant – August 1 2005
– Live from the Mohegan Sun Casino
– Your hosts are JR, King and Coach.
– Chris Jericho is the opening interview, as he basically recaps the stuff we know, and draws out John Cena for a quick brawl. However, Eric Bischoff, who REALLY hates Cena and wants his title reign to end at any cost, once again appoints Chris Jericho as referee for the title defense against Carlito tonight. He’s stacking the deck! Stacking the deck, I tells ya!
– Chris Masters & Snitsky v. Shelton Benjamin & Big Show. I think I speak for everyone when I point out how disappointed I am that Snitsky’s foot fetish has not been explored further than the one throwaway skit thus far. While I’m thinking of it, I’d like to also point out that with Big Show on RAW, we at least won’t have to hear Michael Cole’s retarded “frying pan” and “typewriter” analogies for the size of Show’s hands. However, just as I type that, JR compares them to catcher’s mitts. Also, the spot where he goes “Sssssh” and then smacks someone is STUPID. Anyway, this is all Show throwing the heels around and an ad break. We return with Shelton missing a Stinger splash by a mile as Masters and Snitsky take forever to set up the spot, and Benjamin plays face in peril. Much sleepers and chinlocks follow and I drift off to the sweet, sweet world wide web and check out Google News instead. Shelton’s comeback draws me back as Big Show gets the hot tag and I wonder if this match is ever going to end. Thankfully, Big Show does just that. (Big Show & Shelton Benjamin d. Snitsky & Chris Masters, Show chokeslam –> pin Snitsky, 15:09, *1/2)
– Eugene Invitational time, as he now has Christy Hemme as a cheerleader (and there’s a great career move — cheerleader for the retarded guy). The first hometown hero appears to be Kurt Angle, but Eugene points out that he’s not from here. Angle notes that since it’s an Indian reservation, it’s unlikely there could be a hometown hero. But there is.
– Eugene v. Tatanka. No one in the crowd has any clue who Tatanka is, since it’s been nearly 10 years since he’s been on TV. Tatanka looks ridiculously out of shape and runs through his usual offense, but the Papoose to Go is reversed to an Angle Slam by Eugene, and he finishes with an anklelock, but Angle runs in for the DQ. (Eugene d. Tatanka, DQ, 2:30, *) It’s friggin’ TATANKA. He’s been out of the business forever, and he can’t do a clean job?
– Meanwhile, Carlito and Jericho plan their strategy for the main event tonight. Jericho counts “1, 2, 3, biggity bam” apparently. As long as he doesn’t sell unauthorized merchandise in his spare time, he might have a future as a referee.
– And now Vince McMahon joins us for his major announcement, which is that RAW has set a (fake) milestone for the longest running entertainment program in history. Never mind that WCW Saturday Night ran for like 20 years, I guess that it doesn’t count as “entertainment”. Continuing the lies, he announces that he doesn’t let his ego get in the way of making good business decisions. Like the XFL. But we’re talking about bringing back people who have burned bridges, so he “brings back” Matt Hardy. Wow, how gutsy. Matt’s such a rebel that he comes to the arena in Vince’s limo. So I guess it’s not a “shoot” anymore and the PR department can stop trying to work the mainstream press. Matt recounts the sordid story of his relationship with Amy Dumas and her betrayal of him with Adam Copeland. He’s using real names, so he must be SHOOTING. OK, but if this is “real”, then why was Kane so pissed off about his “wife” leaving him? He just kidnapped her last week, but I guess we should just forget about that now because Matt is “real” and Kane is “fake”. This would have been fine if they hadn’t been trying to play both sides of the field with the angle, but as it stands, it’s turned into a huge mess, and Edge’s momentum is so stalled that this feud no longer does anything for either guy.
– Meanwhile, Kerwin White meets Vince McMahon. Hilarity results.
– Val Venis v. Rob Conway. Conway leaves his sunglasses on, which is pretty cool. Conway’s act seems to be part Buff Bagwell and part Scott Steiner, although this is strictly a Heat-level match. Poor Val, they won’t fire him and won’t do anything with him. Maybe they should do a more drastic repackaging and stick him under a mask and make a new tag team with someone like Rene Dupree. That way there’s no baggage for either of them. It worked for Doom. Venis actually gets a comeback and the reverse figure-four, but Conway gets the one-man Au Revoir, which is called The Ego Trip, for the pin. (Conway d. Venis, jackhammer –> pin, 5:29, *1/2). Not exactly a blowaway debut for his new character, but Conway’s solid enough to get over in the ring.
– Next up, it’s Shawn Michaels doing his Hulk Hogan impression on “Larry King”, brother (brother, brother), which introduces a Shawn montage. Pretty funny, although I still wouldn’t count on Shawn pulling a miracle with Hogan and getting anything good out of him.
– RAW World title: John Cena v. Carlito. Jericho makes no pretense of fair refereeing this week, counting fast and letting Carlito do whatever he wants. In fact, he even helps out with some double-team moves, just in case Carlito needed the assist. Us Canadians are so helpful. Carlito once again brings the chinlocks with impunity and blatant disregard for my boredom, which is why I think he’s ultimately destined for greater fame as a manager rather than a wrestler and will ultimately need a drastic character reinvention, ala Raven, to be taken seriously in this kind of spot. Cena finally makes the comeback and of course Jericho won’t count, which allows JR his usual righteous indignation. Well, geez, they came right out and SAID Jericho would be biased, it’s not like he should be shocked. In the end, Cena gets rid of Jericho and another ref makes the count as Cena finishes with the usual. (Cena d. Carlito, FU –> pin, 12:49, **)
– Again, nice to see new faces in the main event scene, even if the matches aren’t great.
– Shawn Michaels continues to carry the Hogan feud on his back and actually speaks so much of the truth that he’ll be easy to cheer for during the actual match.
– Although talk-heavy again, there at least wasn’t any kidnapping or rape angles this week.
– They book a 15-minute match to open the show and it’s got Big Show and Snitsky?
– Eugene and Christy as a duo just look lost out there.
– Does anyone actually remember that there are tag team champions on this show? And will Trish’s extended vacation due to injury ever make someone remember that she hasn’t defended the Women’s title in something like 4 months?
– Not enough wrestling, too much talk, you know the drill.
The Inside Pulse:
I pretty much hated this show from start to finish, although the main event was mildly entertaining despite the completely unoriginal nature of the storyline behind it. Still, I have high hopes for Rob Conway, and it’s good to see new blood being consistently mixed into the storylines.