Hello, my intended...
Wow, you know something? I was just thinking of something I said a while ago in one of my op cols...
"What a difference a year makes..."
Never has this been so eerily true than the of late transmogrification of Raw and Smackdown. A role reversal, if you will. You folks that just got back on the bandwagon might not know this, but just last year Smackdown was the Good Show and Raw was... well, not.
Maybe I'm jumping the gun after a mere three decent shows in a row from Raw, but over the last several months I can't help but notice that the ratio of 'bullshit wastes of time' to 'passably entertaining' is heavily skewed in the favor of Raw. I mean, just these past months they've been giving me the 'Highlight of Smackdown' vis-a-vis the Rebound, I couldn't help but think 'Thank Christ I didn't see THAT show if THIS is the good part'. Most of the other fans out there agree. Most of we IWC types agree, too. When even Scott Keith and Dave Meltzer and throwing up their hands in defeat, kids, it's a pretty fucking serious problem.
And apparently, one they're not in much of a hurry to solve. I like that they've got Angle back on the active roster. But Bradshaw is still the champion, and while he's supposed to be a heel, nobody fucking cares. A lot. Bradshaw's best days were back when he was a flunkie for the Undertaker, and everybody knows it. Especially Undertaker, who will probably be our Smackdown Champ before very much longer. Probably just throwing Mark a bone so he can retire already, but why quibble if it ultimately means he's fucking gone, right? Right.
I honestly have no clue how much worse they could fuck up Smackdown and still actually have a timeslot. Maybe we're moving towards that eventual 'Re-Merging' that everyone and their Uncle Elmer said was just a matter of time the day after they split the brands? Smackdown has a bunch of people that can work a spiffy match, but since they're cruiserweights nobody takes them seriously - even if Rey Mysterio DID beat Big Show clean. Unfortunately, the general preference for 'Push a Hoss, Any Hoss' is blowing up in their faces, because, well, they have no fucking Hoss types to speak of besides Bradshaw (who is much to boring) and Undertaker (who is much too old and creaky). I dunno, maybe they'd like to give Rikishi a run at the gold...?
Or not. Bottom line is that what bigmen they have are total duds to the fans, but they've spent so long burying the cruisers that now nobody cares about them. This wouldn't be the disaster it is if Cruisers weren't, what, about 60% of the SD Roster? Yeah, that's some smart booking, fellas. Way to cut your fucking legs off. Dumbasses!
Speaking of bigmen that happen to be total duds. Does ANYBODY out there feel even the TINIEST bit of 'fear' at the 'Monster Batista'? I mean, really. You can say so if you do. Nobody will make fun of you. Yeah, I thought as much. Dave? I know you're trying your best, son, but it's just not working. Not one little bit. Even your mentor in Evolution, Professor Jellytits is scarier than you are. (WOO!) Just knock it off already and try to reinvent yourself as a babyface, okay? There's a good lad.
Not that I don't love Flair, mind you, but nobody can tell me that the Nature Boy's best days aren't way behind him. In fact, they're so far behind him that he thinks they're AHEAD of him. That would be funny if it wasn't so fucking SAD. Pass the fucking torch and scram, already, man. You've still got a FEW remnants of your Legacy that haven't been pissed on by Vince and the crew... Unless you particularly ENJOY jobbing to fucking MAVEN, that is? Even if you do, Ric, none of your fans enjoy SEEING it. Get an office deal that lets you come out to the ring every so often, and just fade into the background like Slaughter did. It's for the best, really.
I have no idea what they're gonna give us tonight. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm sure they'll be pissing away a good twenty minutes or so with another cockbiting Diva Challenge. I'm sure we'll have a good ten or so of HHH pissing and moaning about getting all foiled by Eugene and wanting to get even (of course forgetting that Gene handed his head to him last week because of the shit he said the week before), and maybe some pointless tagmatch to try and tease us into a Summerslam buy. Dudes, as much as I love these Olympic Parody commercials you're running? There's no fucking way I'm gonna buy it. None. Sorry.
Oh well, let's see if they can hit the elusive 'Fantastic Four', shall we?
According to the blurb within Star Trek, the Main Event will be Benoit, Edge and Jericho against Evolution (sans HHH) in a Six Man Tag. Oh, and we're gonna lose another Diva tonight, too. Of those two newsbits, which one do you think is more likely to make me watch Raw? Hmm.... Which one makes YOU want to watch Raw?
Oh, wait. You don't have to, since I'm doing the fucking recap. Did I ever explain that I wasn't bitter or anything about this situation? I'm not, you know. Not a (sniffle) bit.
Tonight's Raw is coming at us from San Antonio, Texas. Eric's picture is NOT booed. We open with a quick rundown montage of what happened last week in the Ironman Match where Eugene saved the day and avenged himself on HHH and Evolution.
Standard Raw Intro is interrupted by HHH, who calls a stop to the SRI and strides all pissed to the ring. He paces about a bit before announcing, "Last week, I was supposed to become the World Heavyweight Champion for the ninth time... I wrestled Benoit in this ring for sixty minutes... I fought until I needed an I.V. to replace what I had lost... (The Belt?) I scratched and clawed and fought my heart and soul out. I fought as if my life depended on it - because it did. This IS my life. That Championship IS my life, and it was taken away from me... by a MORON. A DOLT. An IDIOT. A SIMPLETON!!! It was taken by a man that cannot even comprehend what he's done to me! Eugene, A man that cannot even comprehend what I'm about to do to him. Eugene, it is time for me to make you understand. I am not leaving this ring until you come down here and pay that price." He calls Eugene a bunch of times... Then Regal comes out all snarky.
"Dear dear dear. Someone's lost their temper, haven't they? You don't think I'd lead that lamb to slaughter, did you? I wonder what sort of diabolical man would let Eugene in the building and let him get involved in that so-very-important match? (dramatic pause) It was ME, Sunshine." Regal reminds HHH that he was HHH's mentor back in the WCW Terra Ryzing days, and if he'd used anyone else like he did Gene, Regal would have applauded him. But since he did take advantage of the disadvantaged kid, he's made a goddamn enemy out of Regal, and Regal will LOVE LOVE LOOoooOVE to get in there and mix it up nice-nice with HHH. Y'know, the fans would also love that. So would Bobo. It's a match, kids. Yay!
Commercials. Another Exorcist movie, eh? Sigh. Haven't they run this franchise into the ground already? It's a bigger joke than the fucking Halloween series.
We're back with a row of nine Divas gyrating... Which one gets the axe? It's Camille. She's out, in her own home state, even. Okay, tonight's Diva thing is the Election Challenge, in which they get 20 seconds to do anything they want to campaign for to keep alive... They seem enthused.
Rhyno and Tajiri (ECW Oldschool!) will be facing... Grenier and Conway. Yeah, I know. Who else, right? Non-title tag match it is...
La Resistance start off waving the flags, but it's broken up by the ECW boys pretty quick... Rhyno is now clobbering Conway with a bunch of clotheslines and shoulderblocks, then bodyslams Conway and holds him long enough for Tajiri to kick his skull in. Tajiri and Rhyno gnip-gnop Conway around a bit, and then Tajiri hits the Handspring Back Elbow. Rhyno follows up with a Gore. GORE! GOOOORE!! The ECW Oldschool guys take the win, to the dismay of La Resistance...
Oh, it's official that Regal and HHH will mix it up for us tonight. I'm so glad.
Commercials. Including the one where the chick unwraps a Starburst with her tongue... I know that's supposed to be sexy, but I think it's kinda... Eww. How can that sell fucking CANDY? Can anyone help me out here?
Okay, let's waste some time with Orton talking shit about destiny. He feels the reason he lost the IC title to Edge is because he was destined to become the youngest Champ ever. Beating Brock's 25 with his own 24 and accomplishing more by 24 than most people in their whole life. He also says Benoit is the toughest and the best... Right now. But he's gonna go down like every other Legend if Randy's got anything to say about it... He might at that, kids...
Smackdown Rebound has Vince make Teddy Long the new GM. Long has an 8-Man match for the US Title, which Booker T wins. He also puts Angle in a match, whilst Eddy puts all of Angle's shit on Auction - including the Gold Medal. Angle responds by trying to steal Eddy's ride, but gets a face full of fire extinguishing foam... That was kinda cute. You guys get another chance this Thursday. Don't fuck it up.
Anyway, we have Lita talking to Stacy when Matt comes in. Matt asks for some privacy, which Stacy gives him since her match is coming up... (NnnnooooOO!) Matt explains that he wants to be with Lita and the baby after all, and to that end proposes. Lita's cool with it. They kiss. Awwww. Don't you just wanna... RETCH? Me too.
Commercials. The Spiderman game is getting rave reviews, so I might just rent it or something, since the movie was so wild. Oh, and they're gonna have a Yu-Gi-Oh the movie open on August 13th... God knows how many WRESTLING FANS know what the fuck Yu-Gi-Oh IS, but I'm thinking it's not many more than myself and perhaps DK.... Oh well, it's better than the kindergarten show they shilled last week, right?
Okay, coming to the ring now is Tyson Tomko and Trish. No reaction from the crowd at ALL. Rosey comes out to Hurricane's music, and he has Stacy in tow... Mild pop.
The two big boys circle as the bell rings... They lock up after a bit and Rosey is put in a Side Headlock. Rosey counters with an Irish Whip, and the two of them collide in the center of the ring. Tomko falls. Tomko back up and lays a series of brawlies on Rosey. Rosey responds by hurling Tomko out. Tomko back in. Rosey tosses him back out. Stacy cheers. Rosey goes out and tosses Tomko back in, but Tyson lays in another pile of brawlies when Rosey comes back in after him. Rosey in the corner getting beat on a bit before he's covered. It gets two.
Rosey goes to the belly, but Tomko no-sells. Tomko tries to Whip Rosey into the corner, but can't budge him. He finally does, but runs into Rosey's boot. Rosey hits a Guillotine Legdrop. Stacy hits a cartwheel. They brawl some more, but Rosey gets the upper hand and knocks Tyson down long enough to hit a Legdrop. Rosey tries to cover, but only gets two. Rosey goes to the top again, but Trish jumps on the apron. Rosey chases her off, and then gets his skimmer caved in by the Front Lunge Kick of DOOM. Tyson wins. To borrow from Bobby Heenan, he should take some of that money from the paywindow and learn a new move or two, hmm? That'd be lovely.
Next up, the Highlight Reel. Guest: Edge. Sigh.
Commercials. Tajiri playing ping-pong. Wins by Misting. Cute. I'm still not buying Summerslam, though.
Okidoki, let's get this interview over with... Jericho is pacing around, soaking in the poppage. He then tells us that it's the Highlight Reel, and the guest has requested to be on said Reel. The guest is the current IC Champ, and his tag partner in the big six-man tonight, so come on down already. Edge does. Edge gets a mic as Jericho offers the handshake. Edge takes it. They shake. Jericho informs him that he just heard that Edge will be defending the IC in a Triple Threat against Batista and Y2J. Edge looks with the sad puppy eyes. Jericho asks if there's still sour grapes about getting eliminated by Jericho. Edge reminds him that they team-eliminated five guys, and yet when push came to shove that big ego got in the way and Jericho tossed his buddy out, and thus fucked up because now it's Orton for the big match in the Summerslam. He says that Edge would have done the same thing in his shoes, and Edge says he sure understands. He also says he saw Orton in the back giving Jericho the worst dumping since Trish Stratus.
Jericho explains that cute as that might be, it's gonna be him taking that IC strap. They drop their mics and chat nose-to-nose, then Edge turns to leave. Jericho catches him by the sleeve, and they brawl some. Edge gets in the Spear, and tears the Highlight Reel set up some before going out and getting a chair. He thinks better of it and drops the chair, then helps Jericho up. Jericho knocks him on his ass, then hits the bricks while Edge counts his teeth.
Up next, Regal versus HHH. Finally.
Commercials. They made a sequel to Anaconda? Why? WHY?
Oh well. Here comes HHH to the ring all slow. Regal backjumps him and they're brawling on the ramp. Regal's whipping his ass, slamming him into the steel set a couple times and then flinging him into the booth with Ross and Lawler. Regal still working HHH over hard with mucho brawlies. HHH on rubber legs as Regal continues the Fine Thrashing. HHH falls down the ramp. Regal tries to put him in the ring. HHH tries to whip Regal into the steps, but Regal reverses and HHH hits the steps instead. HHH staggered, and eats some kneelifts. Regal tosses him in. Regal follows him in, and HHH clocks him as the ref rings the bell. HHH had on the brass knuckles, so he's disqualified. BOO! BOOOOOO!
Regal's busted open, and HHH goes outside and gets the ol' Sledgehammer. HHH bashes it against the steel post and the steel steps all intended as menacingly (doesn't work), then gets back into the ring and prepares to John Henry the John Bull. Regal hits him in the belly, then gets the knuckles. HHH hits him with the Sledge a few times, then sits on his chest and makes with the punching.
The refs come in trying to break it up. HHH drives a knee STRAIGHT into Regal's crotch, and then makes a diving Sledgehammer loaded Austin-style Elbow. HHH pacing around as the refs and trainers surround Regal's prone form. HHH smirks as he examines his handiwork. The crowd reminds him he tapped out as they carry Regal out on a stretcher. HHH is waiting up at the top of the ramp all happy, and he charges up and tells Regal that he should tell Eugene that the same is coming for him - and then some. HHH then steals a page from Sid Eudy's book and turns the stretcher over, dumping Regal to the floor. HHH has a conniption on the top of the ramp, and then raises his hands in victory.
Christ, this had so much potential, and it was WASTED so fucking TERRIBLY. Dumbasses!
We're back in the dressing room, and HHH is washing up. Bischoff says he wants HHH to do the same washing of the blood - only this time he wants it to be Eugene's blood. So he makes a match for Summerslam. Triple H versus Eugene. HHH is smiling all sharky...
Okay, next up is the Diva thing. I don't care. Shut up, Coach. Shut up, bitches. Get off my fucking TV. I don't mean now. I mean Right Now!
In the back, Kane is shaking Lita around by the neck. She tells him to get off her or she'll... Kane asks 'You'll what? Scream? Go ahead. I want Matt to come running, so I can destroy him." Sigh. Seems Kane's got a rematch with Hardy at Summerslam. Lita's got no prob, since Matt already whipped Kane before. Kane ups the ante, and suggests that she should marry the winner. She takes the bet. Kane works the silly menace and then says it's a pity Lita can't wear white at their wedding. Lita calls him a bastard and slaps him, then storms off as Kane chuckles...
Kane promised one way or another, it's over at Summerslam. I can only pray that's true, since this shitbox storyline has been sucking the COCK for FAR too long.
Kane comes walking to the ring for this week's squash. The lucky jobber will be... Maven. Yay. Kane's smiling all big as Maven gets in the ring. The bell is rung. Kane goes to grab, but Maven ducks and hits three Dropkicks (what else?) before Kane falls outside. Maven goes for a plancha, but Kane Giant Boots him in midair, then bounces him off the steel steps. Maven is rolled back into the ring, followed by Kane. Kane makes with the kicking to the skimmer a few times, then hits the big uppercut and steps on Maven's neck in the corner. Kane with a Sidewalk Slam. Maven trying to pull himself up with the ropes, but Kane clobbers him and tosses him to the farside corner, then Chokeslams him. Threecount. Kane wins. Kane chases the ref off, and then calls Lita. He hopes she saw what happened here, because it's exactly what he's gonna do to Matt at Summerslam. He calls it a Till Death Do Us Part Match, and then cues his pyro. I still don't care, which makes it pretty nearly unanimous on the planet.
Commercials. I still can't fucking believe they made a sequel to Anaconda, but there it is... I lose just a little more faith in my fellow man.
They shill the Summerslam some more. Then they trot the Diva hopefuls out in bikinis again. Sigh. It's not that I'm gay or anything, but I know PRECISELY how this is gonna work out, and I just can't fucking bring myself to care. They're cute girls, sure, but we all know they're gonna be stinking up the ring sooner rather than later.
Okay, finally, Evolution comes out (10:38) as a group. They're walking pretty slow, though, and finally get to the ring at 10:39, at which time the young guys stand on the buckles and try to get some response from the crowd. Doesn't happen. They give up at 10:40, at which time Jericho comes out. Decent pop, but not huge. I guess the crowd's been killed by that Diva thing.
We get a replay of the Highlight Reel Scuffle, and Y2J is waiting halfway down the ramp. 10:41, and Benoit's intro begins. Decent pop. Bigger than Jericho's, but still not particularly huge. Benoit waits with Jericho. 10:42, and Edge comes out. Edge charges the ring and goes for Orton, beating him way down. The match starts as Edge is strangling Orton. Edge with a clothesline in the corner, followed by a Standing Dropkick. Orton goes down. Y2J tagged in. Jericho hits a Vertical Suplex, but Orton responds with that European Uppercut, then drags him to the heel corner and tags in Flair. Jericho with a set of Choppy Woos. Flair staggers to the Face corner. Benoit CRASHES him with a headbutt. Flair wobbles. Jericho with another chop. Flair wobbles. Benoit with another headbutt. Flair Flop. Tag to Benoit. They exchange a couple series of Choppy-Woos, then Benoit goes for a Backslide. Gets two. Flair tags in Dave. Dave shoves Benoit to the corner and makes with some Shoulderblocks to the belly. Benoit chops free, then goes to the ropes for momentum and gets Sidewalk Slammed. Dave puts Benoit in the Heel corner and the three of them work him over a little. Flair tagged back in. Flair with the Choppy-Woo. Benoit responds in kind. Flair clamps on the Figure Four.
Benoit languishes in agony a bit, but then turns the hold over. Dave breaks it up with an Elbow Drop on Benoit's lower back. Flair tags Dave back in. Dave makes with a few forearm clubs into the lower back, which he follows up with a High Angle Bodyslam and an Elbow Drop. Dave whips Benoit to the corner and follows him in for a Shoulderblock, but Benoit dodges, so Dave hits the ringpost. Tag to Jericho. Dave tries to do a Bodyslam, but Jericho slips out and chop-blocks Dave, then tries for the Walls. Dave won't have it, so Jericho hits a couple highspots, including the Lionsault. All six men are in the ring now fighting it out... What next?
We're back (10:54) and Randy Orton has Edge on the mat in a Reverse Chinlock. Edge gets up and elbows free, Randy tries to hang on, but Edge punches him silly. Orton staggers onto the apron, and Edge catapults him off with a running shoulderblock that bounces Orton off the barrier. Orton manages to get back in, and he knocks Edge down with a Standing Dropkick, then tags in Flair. Flair hits a series of pummelling punches, styles and profiles. Hits a kneedrop. Styles and profiles. Hits a right hand. Edge fires back. They collide in the center of the ring. Flair climbs to the top. Edge tosses him. Edge tags in Jericho. Flair tags in Orton. Jericho snapmares Orton, then kicks him in the kidney. Jericho follows up with a Backdrop Suplex and a couple Elbow Drops. Jericho covers, gets two. Orton hits the Hangman's Backbreaker, then tags in Flair.
Flair with some Choppy-Woo, then tries for the Figure Four. Jericho reverses it into a Walls attempt. Flair reverses with a thumb to the eye. Tag to Benoit, who hurls Flair into the corner for the ol' Flair Flip. Flair falls outside. Benoit follows him. Flair gets a Back Body Drop on the floor. Benoit gets a thumb to the eye. Benoit back in. Flair tags Dave. Dave charges, and is put into the Crossface. Orton saves Dave. Tag to Jericho. Jericho with some punching. Dave with an Irish Whip. Dave tries the Back Body Drop, but Jericho kicks him in the face. Dave tags Flair. Jericho clotheslines Flair, then puts him in the Walls. Evolution comes in to save Flair. Y2J fights them off, but finally gets a Spinebuster from Dave. Flair tags Dave, who covers Y2J. Gets two. Dave picks Jericho up onto his shoulders, tags Orton, then Powerslams Y2J.
Orton hits a kneedrop, a couple punches, then clamps on the Reverse Chinlock. Orton leaning in pretty deep, and Jericho starts to fade. The ref checks him. He raises the arms. Once. Twice. Jericho hangs on. Jericho surges up, and elbows free. Orton comes off the ropes, but Jericho hits the Flying Hairpull Takedown. Orton tags in Dave, who Pendulum Backbreakers Y2J. Gets two. Dave hits another one, but hangs on for a Kneeling Backbreaker Submission. Jericho won't quit, so Dave clobbers him to the mat, then runs over and clobbers Edge. Dave tries another Sidewalk Slam, but Y2J flips loose and hits Dave with the running Enzuigiiri. Tag to Benoit.
Benoit taking it to Dave. Orton tagged in, but Flair comes in while he's at it. Flair with some Choppy, but he's quickly Back Body Dropped. Orton the legal man, and Benoit hits the Triple German. Pinning predicament, but Flair makes the save. Bedlam erupts. Jericho tries a clothesline on Dave, but he ducks so Edge eats it. Benoit hits Dave with the Triple German, then puts Flair in a Sharpshooter. Orton still the legal man, so he hits a pretty UGLY looking RKO, and that'll take it home. Orton basks in his accomplishment as we fade to black...
Well, it wasn't a GREAT show, but it didn't suck either. I wouldn't call it four in a row, but it's a good three and a half...
You're welcome. See you SOON.