Canned Heat: 500th Episode Extravaganza!

This week on Heat: a landmark episode of the show everyone stopped paying attention to 400-some odd episodes ago!

I’m not sure if they did this just for the history making episode, or if I just glossed over it last week, but Heat has an intro video package, featuring all the poor souls unfortunate enough to spend most of their time plying their trade on Heat. Even here, London and Kendrick barely get any exposure. A whole lot of Snitsky and Hardcore Holly, though. Which makes this a sort of wrestling purgatory. Or the mid card of ECW from last year. Same difference, I guess.

Matthews and Grisham are the hosts.

Opening Match: Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. a jobber

They named the jobber, but he didn’t get a chryon, so nuts to him. Hacksaw cuts a promo about the 500th episode of the Heat and mentions that he’s been on “over 127” of them, using “Ho!” to punctuate his thought. He goes on to say that Heat’s “the best damn show in the WWE!” Behind RAW, Smackdown!, ECW, Saturday Night’s Main Event, AM RAW, and the occasional Diva Search Specials. Ha! Well, at least they’re having fun with their irrelevancy. Grisham evens gets a shot in at Matthews about Tough Enough not being on Hacksaw’s list before they completely ignore the match to shill Mayweather/Big Show.

Okay, to be fair, they occasionally comment on the match whilst reminding us of Vince’s big investment in publicity the big match at Wrestlemania. Grisham winds up also mocking Velocity. This pairing finally makes sense to me; Matthews is the only person on the WWE commentary roster lower than Grisham on the food chain, making him the only person he can mock. Also, if Matthews sold moves like he sells Grish’s jokes, he’d probably be main eventing today.

The match was a total squash, and probably exactly the same as one you could be watching on 24/7 now. Hacksaw finishes with the three point stance clothesline. You know, for a guy his age, he’s in good shape and doesn’t look too bad in there. At least for matches that no one feels obligated to pay much attention to.

Post match, Paul Birchal and Katie Lea make their way to the ring. It sounds like she’s coming on to him, but it’s a swerve, as Birchall sneaks up behind him and lays him out. Birchall uses his apparent catchphrase, “Whatever Katie wants, Katie gets”, before they take off. Maybe I’m thick, but they’re not going overboard with the incest angle here. Well, at least by their standards. Which only means that there’s not a large neon sign blinking “They are siblings and want to have intercourse” at all times, really, but I do think they should be commended for their restraint.

Jillian’s out to sing “I Will Always Love Heat!” While this gimmick has outlived its shelf life (especially if it was meant as a rib on Brooke Hogan), you can’t blame her for keeping at it when it gets her heat (and on Heat!) and helps her stand out amongst the Divas. Given the special nature of the show, her singing is extra awful and incoherent, but points for name dropping the Mean Street Posse. According to Matthews, at least. I was only able to pick out Scotty 2 Hotty and a couplet about his mask.

Stone Cold’s DVD is the best selling in WWE history, according to the commercial.

Main Event: Charlie Haas, Snitsky, and Robbie the Highlander vs. Val Venis, Super Crazy, and Brian “Spanky” Kendrick

I just got an HD TV, and I’m glad that Snitsky has yet to appear on RAW. He might break the damn thing if he did, although a part of me wants to see just how ugly he is through the magic of this new technology. Grisham says something about how Venis is the one superstar who can get everyone to their feet. Yeah, to go get nachos! But seriously, Venis is good people, and he is pretty much the biggest star stuck in WWE limbo here. I like the other three guys a lot, and Robbie is right behind Kennedy in ability to turn his own name in to a punchline, so this shouldn’t be too bad. I should jam a mention in here that if they sell one of those entrance panchos that Crazy wears, I’d like to buy one. I noticed Chavo was wearing one when he came back to ECW, and a few weeks later, he was the champ. That doesn’t explain how Crazy can still be a jobber, other than that he’s a Mexican cruiserweight on RAW. Which I guess does explain it.

You know, if they traded Haas for Venis, they’d have one pretty awesome team, and one where Venis could finally be nostalgic for the days when he tagged with Bull Buchanan and the Godfather. Everyone could win! I wonder if Spanky ever thinks “Hey, if I were still in ROH, I could not be a jobber and have health insurance.” I also wonder if Paul London was released and I didn’t notice it yet. I get kind of paranoid about those kind of things, even if it would probably better for London to go somewhere where he can shine. Or better for me as a fan to get to see London go balls out, if not for his bank account or well being. I’m not entirely sure where I was going with that, really.

Might as well talk about the damn match, seeing as how it’s the 500th main event and all. Venis does some arm work on Robbie to start. Robbie breaks ut with a chop and works a side headlock. Grisham mentions Val’s interest in politics and even works in a dick joke, without acknowledging that he’s a libertarian. Robbie hits a headbutt and tries a whip, but Val turns it in to some running knees and a Russian Legsweep for two. Back to the arm, and Crazy tags in and hits an axehandle to the arm. Crazy controls a bit before Robbie sends him to the buckle. Robbie gets a sunset flip, but Crazy does the lucha roll through and gets what amounts to a blockbuster on the seated Robbie. He follows that with a nice standing moonsault for two! Hey, look, I’ll take my high spots where I can get them around here.

Crazy goes back to the arm, which must be the source of whatever power Robbie presumably has, but Robbie knees out and tags in Haas. Unfortunately, he didn’t slap him in the face to do it. Crazy drop toe holds Haas face first to the mat (well, it at least looked and sounded like it), and then rolls him over for two. Snapmare and another roll up for two for Crazy. Crazy bounces off the ropes and does and they do the lucha body scissors spot, which leads to a headlock takedown and a springboard dropkick from the middle rope on to a seated Haas for everyone’s favorite paunchy luchador. That gets two. Kendrick tags in with the mushroom stomp, allowing Grisham to bemaon the lack of Matthews sound effects, which he must have done on Velocity. It also gives Grisham a chance to offhandedly bury him. Is he trying out to be Coach Jr., or did working with him on Heat for so long just rub off?

Kendrick works on Haas’s arm, and I guess you have to admire his team’s ability to stay on message. He works in an Eddie like bridging arm lock. Unfortuantely, his ADD keeps him from holding it very long, but that 15 seconds he did have it on looked really cool. Haas finally comes back with clubbering, and then he works a headlock. Kendrick breaks it and whops Haas, but he eats a shoulderblock.

They do a leapfrog spot, and that eventually leads to a flying headscissor from Spanky, sending Haas to the floor and allowing him to sneak under the apron and work in his mask spot. Also, they get to cut to an ad for Wrestlemania. I wonder; does the WWE pay itself to advertise on its show.

We’re back from the commercial and join the taped action in progress with Kendrick down and Haas wearing what looks like a bootleg Shark Boy mask Super Crazy found him in Mexico. Haas whips Kendrick to the buckle and hits a very pretty overhead belly to belly. Just as I’m thinking about how great it is that Snitsky’s main contribution has been to stand on the apron and look imposing, which he is admittedly very good at, he goes and ruins it by tagging himself in. He hits his body slam, but misses a leg drop and Spanky makes the lukewarm tag to Crazy. Or outsources the face in peril spot to a Mexican who will do it cheaper. However you want to look at it.

Crazy does the requisite kicks to the knee that are legally required in all David vs. Goliath matches. I think that’s a part of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, actually. It’s amazing the things they can attach with riders. Snitsky doesn’t feel like selling that, so he tosses Crazy to the buckle. Crazy dodges whatever he intended and goes back to the knees. Snitsky’s serious about the not wanting to sell thing and reverses a Crazy whip to the buckle. Crazy does a floatover and Snitsky catches him with a clothesline, and Crazy sells it like death. He drops some elbows as Grisham name drops Snitsky’s home town of Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, which admittedly is fun to say. Crazy’s limp as Snitsky gets another clothesline. Having exhausted his holds, Snitsky kicks away in the corner, and then they do the “babyfaces screw over their partner by distracting the ref, allowing the other team to illegally double team him and generally making them look dumb” spot. You know the one. Venis enlivens it a bit by getting some shots in on Snitsky while looking like a smaller, less ugly mirror image, before finally falling to his clubbering.

Shark Haas just decides to tag in, and the ref goes with it, which is one of those wacky inconsitencies that clog the arteries of wrestling like cholesterol. He works in a cool double clothesline on Venis and Kendrick on the apron while breaking up Crazy’s crawl for the tag. Emboldened, he decides to wipe his face (well, mask) with the wrestling pancho. Grisham and Matthews take it as a show of disrespect. Me, I just think he wanted to feel the wrestling pancho, and if nothing else, at least he didn’t grind his crotch in to it. It would take a real jack ass to do that kind of thing. At any rate, he would probably get massive heat for doing that where I live. Which is basially Northern Mexico. It would still be less offensive than HHH calling the whole audience wetbacks at the RAW house show I went to years ago, the last time Orton and Hunter were feuding.

Anyway, Shark Haas works in a bow and arrow, and the crowd plays along as well as can be expected for Heat. Crazy fights out but the crowd’s not playing along that well, as he gets nothing approaching a pop before Haas hits a throat thrust to break up a comeback, showing that the crowd has their limits on how much they’ll invest in a web show. That’s assuming that this is a live crowd and not canned heat, which would be even sadder; not even the recorded dead people give a damn. Body slam by Haas leads to a tag to Robbie and he hits– a springboard legdrop?!?! That’s pretty damn impressive considering a high spot for the Highlanders is pretty much a dropkick. It gets two. I like Kendrick heading all the way from his team’s corner to one on closer to the pin, trying to will a tag.

Robbie goes back to his usual clubbering and works in a seated chinlock, to really kill my goodwill. Crazy gets to his feet and tries to elbow out, but Robbie cuts that off and Shark Haas is back in. Haas gets in some shots and Grisham talks about Haas’s MMA background, which I have a feeling he just made up. Haas locks in a abdominal stretch. Matthews does a decent job justifying one of the lamer rest holds in existence by talking about how it gives Haas a chance to plan his next move while Haas justifies it by using the ropes to cheat.

Crazy finally hip tosses his way out, which is a pretty cool counter. Haas tries to impede his crawl and gets an enizugiri for it, and Crazy finally makes the tepid tag to Kendrick. Kendrick springboards in with a dropkick and hits his high energy offense to clean house. Dropicks of every variety for Robbie, and even one for Snitsky! Haas gets backdropped off a charge. Kendrick sets up the Sliced Bread #2, but Snitsky is undetered by Haas’s stunning failure and tries the same strategy with his running big boot. His inability to learn from history sees Kendirck duck and Snitsky knock Haas off the apron. It’s just like Hitler in Russia! Kendrick decides to make my day and hit the Sliced Bread #2 using Snitsky as a springboard! Then he and Crazy team up for a multiculti dropkick to rid us of Baldy McYellowteeth. Val finally decides to contribute something besides Libertarian politics and tags in, hitting a Money Shot to finish off Robbie, which is a pretty cool ending, Heat or not. The heartwarming scene of the Canadian Porn Star, the Mexican who used to ride a lawn mower to the ring, and the U.S. American who really ought to be doing better than Heat celebrating with a group hug ends the show.

While it’s hard for me to be as excited about this being the 500th show as Grisham and Matthews were (to be fair, they’re being paid to be), it is impressive that it’s lasted this long. Even if they’re whole point about most shows not lasting a fraction of Heat’s tenure ignores the fact that it exists as a shambling, web browser based mockery of a show that used to actually be a pretty big deal before Smackdown came in to existence; if nothing else, the Rock cut some memorable promos there, including on that just completely demolished Billy Gunn a few years before life would. The fact that I can remember a time before Smackdown came in to existence makes me feel really old compared to all of John Cena’s fan base, so I’ll shut up and be on my way.

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