My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

RAW is all talk this week

This week's edition of RAW started out strong until the second hour when HHH had to come out and ramble seemingly forever. The second hour of the show just seemed really week from that point on.

- RAW started off well with an excellent in-ring segment by Vince McMahon (who looked like he had something stuck up his @$$ the way he was walking), Steve Austin, Goldberg and Paul Heyman. Heyman was just gold on the mic here (as he always is). Heyman eats a spear from 'Berg, then McMahon sidesteps a spears intended for him and Austin gets speared! Question now is, who was suppose to be Goldberg's opponent and isn't this another example of the WWE's miss-use of talent when they would rather cancel a match istead of going with the angle after Goldberg quickly squashes whoever his opponent was scheduled to be?
- Backstage and Goldberg explains to Austin that him getting speared was an honest mistake. Austin says if he Stunners 'Berg while his back is turned that it wouldn't be. Goldberg says he can live with that. Does that mean Austin is gonna Stunner Goldberg at WrestleManiaXX screwing him out of his match against Brock Lesner?
- Next up, Vince confronts Bisch in his office and orders him to suspend Goldberg (again) and that Bisch would be responsible if Goldberg does anything to spoil the main event at No Way Out. Lets hope Bisch remembers to get the paperwork done this time.
- We get a descent mix-tag match where Jericho and Trish beat Mattitude and Molly. The suprise here was that Christian ran in and helped Y2J & Trish when the heel team was going to cheat! The even bigger swerve was that Christian now seems to be trying to pick up Trish since she and Jericho are 'just friends'. This could be interesting.
- This next seg was cut out on Astro as Stacy & Jacky now claim Playboy made a big mistake not choosing them to do the dual photo shoot.
- Next we get an awesome Chris Benoit Vs Ric Flair match. Very good back and forth action. Flair even took the triple rolling German suplexes!
Finish saw Benoit counter Flair's Figure-Four for the eventual tap out. Flair lasted longer than Mark Henry in this move and he ain't even the 'world's strongest man'!
- HHH asks for and gets the contract signing for WrestleManiaXX next. This is where the show goes downhill as HHH just seemed to go on and on and on about how Benoit's dream of going to WrestleMania and the reality that Benoit was not going to win the title. To me this just looked really degrading as Benoit just stood there and took it like a school boy being punished. When HHH is finally done, HBK comes out and tells Benoit he should have stayed on SmackDown so he could finish his business with HHH at WrestleMania for the world title. Benoit disagrees and says at Mania, it's gonna be HHH vs Benoit one on one, which leads to HBK giving Benoit Sweet Chin Music. While Benoit is out cold, HBK signs the WrestleMania contract as the crowd boos him.
- Next match sees Kane squash Hurricane in under a minute and a half. Kane goes for his pyro-pose, but nothing happens till the third time. Then we get another Undertaker vid with the cryptic message, "34 Days until the dead will rise again". So either this is the return of the Darkside Undertaker, or Al Wilson is making his return and jumping to RAW....
- A PO'd Benoit is leaving the arena but is stopped by Bicsh who says he's getting his lawyers to look into HBK signing the WrestleMania contract. But said that next week it would be Benoit vs HBK! Benoit walked off looking more pissed than before.
- Terri interviews Randy Orton and he claims theres a conspiracy against him. Wonder if he's gonna go to Washington and protest it like Jericho did in WCW? How much you wanna bet he's gonna start looking for every legal loophole he can to hold on to his IC title if he continues this conspiracy angle?
- Mick Foley comes out next and starts berating Orton. Saying how Orton as accused him of being a coward, whereas while Orton was in the marines, he went AWOL for 87 days, leading to him being unhonorably discharged (this is all true btw). He called him a true coward for turning his back on his country, and compared him to Jimmy Swaggart (preached against illicit sex but was caught with a huge stack of porn magazines) and Rush Limbaugh (spoke against drugs and then got caught with enough pain killers to knock out a bull elephant). He challenges Orton to a match at WrestleManiaXX. Orton comes out on the Titantron and says they do things his way, and calls him out to face him in the catering room. Foley falls for the oldest trick in the book and goes after Orton in the catering room, only to be beat down by Flair & Batista. Batista actually powerbombs Foley through a table and Orton takes a few cheap shots after.
- Main event sees Orton defeat Booker T and Rob Van Dam in a three way dance to retain his IC title. This match was kind of pointless since it got next to no build. Booker & RVD carried most of the match. Awesome spot where Booker gave Orton a backdrop and RVD frog-splashed Orton while up in Booker's shoulders! Orton knocks RVD out of the ring after he hit the 5-Star and steals a pin on Booker. A battered and bruised Foley than limps to the ring only to take a RKO on the floor by Orton and show ends with Orton talking smack to a downed Foley.

Overall, this show really lagged in the second half, but you could say they did a good job to hype the SmackDown PPV this weekend, and continue to build toward WrestleMania. Right now I seriously disagree with making the main event for WrestleMania a 3-way dance, as that's what they seem to be planning. You can already tell if Benoit does win the belt now, HBK will be the one taking the fall. You could also tell from the crowd reaction when he signed the contract how much the crowd disagreed with HBK stealing Benoit's main event. And it's gonna be a long road to WrestleMania if their going to continue building it with long drowned out speaches in the coming weeks. RAW has been really good up till these two weeks.



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