Hello, my intended...
Well, while I skipped the Backlash PPV, I was still somewhat curious regarding the Main Event. Most everyone was certain that HHH would reclaim 'his' title and Benoit would never see gold again as long as he lived. It wasn't even in question, really.
Just about everyone KNEW Triple H was going to go over Benoit, same as he does EVERY rematch the few times he's released his grip on the 'World Title'. There may have been a few hopefuls prattling about the 'astronomical chance' Benoit had of retaining, but they were dismissed by and large as misguided wishful thinkers.
And then came the Main Event...
Which Benoit won.
It's an interesting thing, really... WWe was at cross purposes here. On the one hand, Benoit is an Internet Darling - praised nearly unanimously amongst the IWC for his professionalism and workrate. This is usually the kiss of death in the WWe, because they've got a standing policy to totally fuck over anything the IWC likes (aka - The Rules of Jericho) and push what the IWC hates down everyone's throats (HHH/HBK).
So, where's the cross purpose I spoke of? Simple. The only thing the WWe hates WORSE than the IWC is... The IWC being RIGHT. We warned them about Goldberg. We warned them about Hogan and the nWo. Some folks even warned them about Scott Steiner. They ignored the warnings. They ate crow while the IWC said, 'Told you so, Vince.' They REALLY hate that.
So, what's a guy to do? How do you shut up the critics? How do you get revenge for all the rancorous heckling of the last few years?
You give the critics what they've asked for, and DARE them to bitch.
See, if someone's carping about never getting what they want from a show (which means it sucks), you give them what they want. If they STILL say it sucks, they've become a total hypocrite and you can dismiss what they've said all along as 'the mewling rants of people that would never be happy, anyway'.
Do I expect, therefore, for Benoit to enjoy a long title reign to bring back some prestige to the World Title our esteemed Mr. Bischoff dug out of the dumpster to hand HHH so long ago? OF COURSE NOT. I half expect them to yank the title off the Wolverine TONIGHT, as a fond 'Fuck You' from VKM (aka - The Other Shoe Dropping).
In summation, I don't expect the rest of the IWC to be as smart as me - or even smart enough to read me and then PRETEND they're as smart as me. But I'm going on record right now about this.
I was wrong about HHH taking back the title at Backlash.
But if the rating numbers don't jump up like a fat chick sitting on a hotplate, TONIGHT (aka- A Thankful Fanbase Returning) I fully expect him to have that title back by the NEXT pay-per-view.
Bluntly: Bobo was NOT Wrong. He was MISTAKEN about the TIME he would be RIGHT. There's only ONE way to make Bobo Quite Fiendish Esquire be Wrong, Vince - and he says you don't have the BALLS to bury your son-in-law OR your alleged Boy Toy.
How about THAT, Mr. Genetic Jackhammer? You still wanna go round and round? Huh? Let's see what you got, then.
Or, as the Champ would say, "Prove me wrong."
That is, if you got the MARBLES.
Let's keep it fair, though... If HHH or HBK gets the title before, say, the end of the year; you're a Pussy. If Benoit holds it against all comers until the end of the year; I'll issue a full apology, pronounce you a Goddamn Genius, and QUIT.
Oh, and to keep you honest:
HHH and HBK have to be on at least two of each month's shows (not counting PPV) and wrestle at least ONE of these appearances in SINGLES matches against a CONTENDER (No jobbing the midcard plugs) for that title.
I'm confident that you can't fucking do it, Vince. I just bet the farm on it.
Because that's how big MY marbles are.
Standard Raw Intro. Uncle Eric's Picture includes his Apprentice and is booed. We're live from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Chris Jericho is jerking the curtain - with a reworked Intro sequence. He'll be facing Christian, who is accompanied by Trish Stratus. For ease of typing, Christian will be Chin, and Jericho will be Y2J.
The two of them circle each ofther before going to a collar and elbow. They break, and go to it again. Y2J pushes Chin into the corner, and Chin pops him on the break. They resume circling, and Y2J clamps on a side headlock. Chin pushes off the ropes, but is knocked down with a Shoulderblock. Chin gets up and punches Y2J, Y2J returns fire. Chin comes off the ropes, and is backdropped. They work some brawlies in the corner before Chin whips Y2J to the opposite side. Y2J floats over and catches Chin coming out in a Pendulum Backbreaker. Follows it up with a nice Dropkick, which gets two. Y2J hauls Chin to a vertical base, and Chin pushes him to the corner for a shot to the ribs. They go to the mat, Chin trying a Sunset Flip - but Y2J countering with a sitdown double prawn for two. They roll and reroll a bit like a tank tread before Y2J goes for the Walls. Trish hops into the ring, and Y2J tosses Chin out to the floor. Y2J picks Trish up and looks ready to dish up a Sidebreaker, but takes to a knee and spanks her a couple strokes before Chin hauls her roughly out to the floor. He's making sure Trish is okay when Y2J hits them both with a plancha. Excellent pacing and work so far... What next?
We're back, and Chin drags Y2J outside and ricochets him off the steel steps. Chin puts Y2J back in and drapes him across the bottom rope, then distracts the ref so Trish can choke and slap Y2J from the floor. Y2J spills outside, and Trish catches him with the Chick Kick. Chin goes outside to roll the stunned Y2J back in and pin him, but it only gets two. Chin with a reverse chinlock on the mat. Y2J fights to his feet and elbows out, then goes to the Choppy-Woo. Chin makes the Irish Whip, but Jericho takes him down with a rolling schoolboy for two. They both get up, but Chin hits a vicious lariat and flattens Y2J. It gets two. They go back and forth a bit, ducking each others' clotheslines and Y2J enjoins the CLB to come at him. He does, and Y2J drop-toes him onto the bottom rope so he can hit the Bossman Straddle. They bounce around some, and Chin hits the Unprettier. He tries a rope-assisted cover, but only gets two. Chin goes to the top, but Y2J follows him up and takes him down with a Double Arm Superplex. They trade brawlies and Chin hits a reverse DDT, for two. All hell breaks loose, and I can't keep up with the action typing. Trish tries to interfere again, but it doesn't work - again. She slaps Chin by mistake, and Y2J flips her into the ring. She's on the mat and the referee checks her (instead of rolling her out of the ring) and that gives Y2J the chance to clamp on the walls. Chin taps while Trish is still tying up the ref, and some bald guy comes in the ring and kicks Y2J's head off. Chin wins it. He leaves with Trish and the bald guy.
Seems the guy's name is Tyson Tomco, and he'll be Trish's Problem Solver from here on out, according to the post match vignette.
Benoit comes out now, and the crowd goes nuts. He basks in their adulation a bit and then gets a microphone. Then he basks in their cheers some more. Then he speaks. He mentions the Dungeon for Home Town Pop and 'Stu' chants. He mentions how 18 years ago Stu Hart springboarded his career in profession wrestling, which got him here today as the World Champion. The crowd mixes Stu and Benoit chants. Benoit feels bad that Stu isn't still around, because he'd like to thank him for all he's done for him - and all the wrestling fans around the world. He addresses how everyone's doubted him, and that he could ever win the Big One, and is proud to say he proved them wrong. First at the Royal Rumble, where he beat 29 other men to get to WM20. And at WM20, he bucked the odds, and was the first guy in history to make HHH tap out. He then proved them wrong AGAIN by putting the HBK in the Sharpshooter and making HIM tap out.
Therefore, Chris Benoit is FOR REAL. He IS the World Heavyweight Champion.
HBK comes out to draw the heat off Benoit... The crowd doesn't pop so much for him - who's surprised? HBK has a mic, and says that he's ALWAYS believed Benoit was for real. Never ONCE in all the years did he think he was NOT for real. The crowd calls him an asshole.
He continues, saying he and Benoit are a lot alike. The crowd doesn't agree. He asks if Benoit thinks, deep down, that he's the best. Benoit and the crowd think so. Benoit has the belt to prove it. HBK says one-on-one, Benoit has NEVER beat him. He then shows the footage, and offers the opportunity to prove which of them really IS the best. TONIGHT. For the Strap.
Benoit agrees and starts taking his shirt off. Bischoff comes out and takes exception to Benoit booking a title match, and says there's no chance in hell he'll let this match happen in CALGARY. Benoit tells him it's a man-to-man thing, and Uncle Eric should hit the bricks. Eric says a match like this would take two weeks to promote properly, so they'll have that match in Phoenix, AZ, instead. Benoit's not happy, nor is HBK, but their hands are tied, so to speak, so they shake hands - give each other the hairy eyeball, and split.
Victoria comes down the ramp to defend her title. She's wearing the Hitman Colors. Looks nice on her. Molly will be her opponent, and she hits the ring and then hits Vic. She takes her down with a clubbing forearm, then takes her over with a Snapmare and hits a Seated Dropkick. Victoria returns fire, but is tossed to the corner. Molly goes for the Muta Rush, but Vic gets the leg up to counter. Vic with the upper hand now, and she hits a Cross Body on Molly for two. Molly rolls outside to break up the momentum, and Vic goes for a Plancha, but changes in midair to land on the apron because Molly dove aside. Molly gets back up, and is flattened with a Flying Clothesline. The two of them get back into the ring, and Vic yanks Molly's wig off. Molly sits there somewhat horrified a second as Vic holds the Chinstrap Special up - and then she jumps on Vic and Strangles her to Oblivion in a lunatic rage. She's disqualified for failing to release a choke, and stomps away with a snarl under her Sinead 'do.
Evolution drives up in a limo, and some geek asks HHH about his reaction to the match coming up in a couple weeks for the strap. He says, "It's MY match." and that'll take us to...
Kane's sitting around, and he says there's a problem. He's become weak. He's shown human compassion. It's weakened him. but no more. Tonight he feasts on fear and suffering from the innocent. Tonight he HUNGERS for a SACRIFICE. Eric and Jonny are unnerved from the video, and wonder who's on the menu. Regal comes in and says things aren't working out as Eugene's Babysitter - and he's sure there's SOME other way he can serve him.
Eric asks where Eugene is... Regal says that they were playing Hide and Seek, and if Eric wants to find the retard, he's IT. Eric makes a counter-offer, and says if Regal doesn't find Eugene NOW, then he'll be feeding Kane an English Muffin, afterwhich the Muffin won't work in this business again. Regal scrams.
Randy Orton comes out wearing a suit - and the IC belt. He crows about his victory over Foley some. Orton calls the victory last night 'the biggest of his career', and he wants to thank Foley. Instead of whipping a retired author of kid's books, like he did at WM, he beat Cactus Jack - the Legend. He speaks of some of the damage he soaked up in the match, and yet during the match he became something he despised. He entered the ring as the Hardcore Legend, eh, Legend Killer (God Bless live TV), but left the ring as a Living Legend.
Bruno Sammartino goes a spit-take. Larry Zybysko files a lawsuit. Edge comes out.
He explains for the last 14 months he's been on the shelf, he's been watching Randy. And he doesn't like him. Edge wants Orton to spit in his face. Orton says he's tired, but if he wasn't he'd drop him right there. Edge drops him instead. Evolution makes the save and beats up Edge. Benoit comes out and makes the save, beating up Evolution. HHH comes out and beats up Benoit. Pedigree. Benoit's out. Edge is out. Evolution leaves.
Eric Bischoff meets them at the top of the ramp and tells them that it's no way to treat the World Champ and his pal. Instead, he'll be making Evolution face Benoit and Edge for the tag straps. I hope they're quick healers.
Coach is back to his jazzy music, and it seems he got the assist from Garrison Cade to win against Tajiri. He then has Cade go to the ring for a match, and he joins Ross and Lawler for commentary. Cade will face Tajiri, who looks a bit pissed at jobbing to Coach. Cade and Tajiri go to a collar and elbow, and Cade pushes Tajiri into the corner. Tajiri turns it around with a series of kicks and chops. Cade with an Irish Whip, Tajiri tries the Handspring Elbow, but is hit with the Giant Boot coming in. Cade works a Kneeling Backbreaker a little, but Tajiri knees him in the head to free himself. Tajiri is in the corner, and Cade pulls him out for a Vertical Suplex. It gets two. Cade taunts Tajiri and picks him up for a body slam, but Tajiri counters with a Leg Scissor. Tajiri gets in some pretty stiff kicks to the head of Garrison. Cade tries another Irish Whip, but is hit with the Handspring Elbow. Tajiri goes to a Springboard Moonsault, but Cade rolls out of the way. Cade goes to the top and hits an Elbow Drop like Test used to back in the day for the Big Win. Coach is happy.
We're given some clips from Smackdown, where Big Show bets his job against beating Eddy - and loses, then tears up Tori Wilson's car and tosses Angle off a building.
Looks like Lillian Garcia has found Eugene. I wonder what she'll do? Oh, hey. She gave the retard the T-Shirt cannon. Good idea. Stupid people ALWAYS need WEAPONS, right? Regal comes out all happy he doesn't have to face Kane, and Eugene invites Steve to the ring. Steve has him disarm by putting down the cannon and then instructs him to come along. Eugene picks the t-shirt cannon back up. Regal tries to reason with him, and Eugene shoots him in the crotch.
Wish you were dead YET, Steve?
Eugene helps Regal back to the dressing room as best he can considering Regal doesn't want Eric's nephew to fucking TOUCH him.
Edge and Benoit are preparing for their match against Evolution, and Edge mentions that he's coming off his first match in 14 months, and nobody said he had a chance... Benoit tells him that's the point. The omly reason Eric made the match is because he thinks they're already done, but he urges Edge to help 'prove them wrong' and stick it to them by taking their belts.
But first, a mixed tag match... Lita and Val Venis will face... Gail Kim and Matt Hardy version 1, who has 44 different action figures and doesn't waste time making his bed...
Then Kane comes out.
He chokeslams Venis, and then drags Lita back in when she tries to escape. He stalks after her as she scoots around all scared. Hardy can't watch it anymore, and he comes to rescue Lita. Kane explains how it's not a really good idea to try to fight people who outweigh you by a margin roughly the size of the rest of your family, with some help from Mr. Ringpost and a Chokeslam. He even dropped Matt at Lita's feet, which is kinda funny. He then calls for his pyro and strides off.
Commercials. Kill Bill Volume Two fucking RULED. Go see it. Sure, it's not as good as the first one, but it beat the SHIT out of the Punisher. Check the weekend grosses if you doubt me.
Evolution comes out looking all pleased with themselves at 10:44... Next week they'll be at Topeka, Kansas, by the way, so brace for Wizard of Oz jokes next week...
Edge comes out first. Benoit comes out afterward. Flair to start for Evolution, as usual, and Benoit will start for his team. Flair makes with the Woo, and then they go to the collar and elbow. Benoit shoves Flair to the corner. Clean break. Flair shoves Benoit to the corner. Benoit reverses and they brawl some, trading Choppy-Woos. Benoit gets in some unanswered, and then goes to an Irish Whip so he can Back Body Drop Flair. Tag to Edge, who ALSO gives Flair a Back Body Drop. Edge with a long series of chops. Flair Flop. Edge moves in to capitalize, but Flair thumbs him in the eye and then tags Dave. Dave beats on Edge some and then whips him to the corner. Batista comes in to capitalize, but eats a boot to the head. Then he eats a Dropkick. Then another. Tag to Benoit, who stomps the staggered Batista down in the corner. Tag to Edge, who Dave promptly flattens and drags to his own corner. Tag to Flair, who stomps all on Edge's bad arm. Tag to Dave, who levers Edge's bad arm on the ropes for some pain. Benoit comes in to break it up, and the referee quickly has him return to the apron. Tag to Flair, who puts Edge in a top wristlock. Then an Armbar. The a Full Arm Drag and Twist. He and Edge brawl some, and Edge gets the tag. Benoit a house of fire, and he Back Body Drops Flair twice. Dave comes in and gets a German Suplex. Benoit clamps Flair in the Crossface, and HHH charges the ring. Benoit releases and punches HHH off the apron, but it buys enough time for Dave to get back to his feet and dish up a Spinebuster.
We're back (10:57) and Flair is stomping on Benoit while HHH watches from ringside. Tag to Batista, who clotheslines Benoit flat and then clamps him in a Bearhug. Benoit fighting his way free with a series of pucnhes and headbutts. Benoit comes off the ropes for momentum, but Dave hits him with the Reverse Elbow. Tag to Flair, who works some chops and stomps before distracting the ref so HHH can choke Benoit a little bit. Tag to Batista as the crowd chants 'We Want Bret'. Dave clamps on a Rear Naked Choke with a Body Scissor to take all the breath out of Benoit. Benoit draws from the crowd and gets to his feet. Backdrop Suplex on Dave. Dave tags Flair in. Flair gets taken down in a Backslide for two, then eats a Double German Suplex. Flair prevents the tag by grabbing Benoit's leg. They chop on each other a bit more, and then make the tags. Dave and Edge in, but Edge tears them both up - even reversing the Sitout Powerbomb. Of course the referee is distracted, so Flair comes back in and breaks it up before he can start counting. Benoit's back in, and he tosses Flair outside. He goes out after him, and HHH lays a beating on Benoit. HBK comes out and Superkicks HHH inside out while Edge gets the Spear on Batista for the threecount. Edge and Benoit are the Tag Champs...
Well, folks, this was a pretty good show. Action packed, even. If they can maintain this sort of quality, the ratings will improve without question.
IF, of course, is the middle part of Life...
But I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.
You're welcome. See you SOON.