My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

RAW goes thumbs in the middle

I though RAW was just an average show last night. Nothing really outstanding or kept me glued to my TV. But they did do a good (in some cases predictable) job of furthering the storyline build for WrestleManiaXX.

- Show starts with the return of Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel and his guest is Chris Benoit. The point of this whole segment it seems was to build up Benoit-Flair for next week.
- Chris Benoit wins his first match on RAW against Mark Henry with the Crippler Crossface. Guess Henry's push is over. He tapped out in record time when almost everyone else could hold on for several seconds before tapping.
- Austin confronts HBK backstage and seems to be pushing for HBK to go heel to get back in the world title hunt...
- Test gets in Foley's face as he arrives in the arena and Randy Orton clobbers Foley with the IC belt. Orton barks off Test before bad-mouthing a downed Foley. I would have prefered to see this segment go the other way around with Orton confronting Foley and Test blindsiding him as revenge for what Foley did to him at the Royal Rumble. Maybe their saving it for a later time?
- Rico beats Rene Dupree thanks to a distraction when Stacy Keibler comes down and shows Rene her 'ASSets'. She then suductively dances with Ms. Jacky while again hinting the Playboy pictorial. Go over to WWE.com and in an interview she says she has no intention and would never pose nude....
- Fun bit where Christian compares Yoko Ono who broke up the Beatles with Trish trying to spoil things between Jericho and himself.
- Trish comes out for her Women's Title match Vs Molly, but Bisch says she's not the No.1 contender (Like it matters). So he then gets her a replacement opponent....KANE! The big red monster instantly goes for the Chokeslam but Y2J runs in for the save. Kane takes out Y2J's knee with a chairshot before ramming it into the ringpost. Since the bell rang to start the match, does it mean Kane won by DQ when Jericho ran in?
- Kane and Goldberg then had a good big man match (Which I always love to see) till the old-school Undertaker special effects went off. I really wonder if today's modern wrestling audience buys all the supernatural effects? This isn't 1994 when cartoony gimmicks help get wrestlers over. Maybe WWE thinks it'll bring back some of their older audiences who remember?
- Despite a botched spot at the begining, Booker T beat Matt Hardy in an OK match. Booker hit a sick looking scissors-kick on Hardy, almost landing on Matt's head, to win the match.
- Orton confronts HBK backstage as he cleans HHH's blood from the Royal Rumble off his boots (took him that long to get around to it?).
- Next up, HHH squashes Spike Dudley in under 2 minutes. A high knee, a vertical suplex, a knee drop and a sick looking Pedigree were the whole match. Mr. Stephanie McMahon says Benoit will face Flair next week as a test to see if he's worthy to run with the big dogs on RAW. Benoit literally went through 30-men at the Royal Rumble to earn his title shot. Isn't that proof enough?
- Austin meets Goldberg backstage and gives him a front-row ticket to No Way Out. We can all see where this is headed.
- Flair & Batista beat Christian & Jericho to retain the tag straps. Match wasn't anything special. Flair made Y2J tap out with the Figure Four on Y2J's injured knee. This will add more fuel to the impending Christian/Y2J breakup.
- Best match of the night saw HBK beat Randy Orton in a non-title match with a rollup as Orton was distracted by Foley coming down the isle.
- Post match, Foley & Orton brawl into the audiece and HHH sends Flair & Batista after them while he goes after a battered HBK, only to have Benoit run in for the save. HHH says Benoit is gonna regret that. Show ends with a tense handshake between Benoit & HBK.
Next Week: The contract signing for the main event of WrestleManiaXX. Can't we all just see whats coming?...

Like I said at the begining, there really wasn't anything significant about RAW this week, so their record for 2004 stands at 2-0-1. However, they certainly have provided plenty of fodder for "Spoilling the Illusion". Which I will post on Friday after reading the SmackDown report. So check back then.
Also notable they didn't give former WWF/E president Jack Tunney who passed away last week any kind of memorial. Most modern day fans wouldn't remember or know who he is but that's still no excuse. A simple graphic at the begining of RAW wouldn't have done any harm.



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