My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

A New beginning on RAW

This week’s edition of RAW was one of the most intriguing shows in a while since it centered on the lottery to draft new wrestlers for each brand. Hell, I was so intrigued I did the report live, which I normally only do for Pay Per Views! Lets get to it.

RAW kicks off with a look at the RAW & SmackDown rosters in seperated locker rooms. Funny how the live crowd booed the SmackDown crew. Tazz & Michael Cole are ringside doing commentary for the SmackDown side.
We then get what could considered a historic sight as Paul Heyman, Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon are all together with Vince explaining how the lottery will work. Each GM will get to draw a name from the opposing roster for a total of 6 for draws each brand. And the GMs can trade any picks they aren’t satisfied with by midnight that night. A few years ago who would have thought we’d see the bosses of WCW, ECW and WWF/E all in the same screen?!?
The two GMs come to the stage and Heyman makes the first pick, and gets Rene Dupree! La Resistance is down to 2 guys!
Dupree comes to the ring and asks the two GMs for one last match on RAW as he doesn’t want his last memory of being on RAW as being stunnered last week by Austin. The two GMs grant his wish and Dupree calls out anyone from the RAW roster. Chris Jericho answers the call and we get our first match.
This was a good match. Y2J was fired up but didn’t get disqualified like last week. He beat Dupree with a cool running enzuguiri.
Dupree whines about his losing his last RAW appearance. Who should come out but Sheriff Austin who offers a handshake and the young Frenchmen accepts it only to get Stunnered.
Rico and Ms. Jackie are in the ring. Eric Bischoff makes the 2nd draw and gets Sheldon Benjamin! The World’s Greatest Tag Team are no more!
Kane than comes out and squashes Rico in under a minute after taking some good looking kick. Kane then confronts both GMs and says he doesn’t care where he ends up as long as it’s not the same show as the Undertaker!
Heyman makes his next pick and it’s Mark Jindrak! Maybe he can stick him back with O’Haire and finally have something for them to do?
Bischoff makes his next pick and gets Nidia. The first Diva has been drawn and King loves it! Nidia comes out and Bisch gives her a RAW t-shirt which she immediately puts on much to the delight of the live crowd since it involves her taking off her SmackDown shirt to show off her ‘enhanced’ goods.
Heyman goes to make his next pick but gets interrupted by John Cena! Cena rips on both GMs and makes the next pick for Heyman! Heyman disagreed with the pick since Cena pulled it but Bischoff said he has to accept it. Heyman reluctantly opens the ball and suddenly smiles as it turns out to be none other than TRIPLE H!!!
After the break, we get a replay of HHH and Bischoff’s reaction to being drafted to SmackDown! The RAW locker are then shown singing the Good-Bye Song to the FURIOUS ex-world champion.
Next match is Christian with Trish Stratus VS Little Spike Dudley. This was good cause Spike surprisingly dominated most of the match, showing the giant killer instinct. Spike hits a HUGE dive off the top out of the ring and a double foot stomp off the top back in the ring. But Spike still came up short as Christian hits the Un-Prettier for the win after countering the Acid Drop. Spike looked freakishly like Brian ‘Spanky’ Kendrick when he took his shirt off.
Bischoff is suppose to make his next pick, but decides instead to go look for Vince and complain about HHH’s draft. Heyman interrupts and request a WWE Title match with Eddie Guerrero defending his title against SmackDown’s newest talent, TRIPLE H! McMahon agrees and the match is set for tonight! All the sudden, I’m not so high on HHH going to SmackDown….
Bichoff comes out and proclaims whoever he draws next will face World Champion Chris Benoit tonight! He makes his pick and it’s RHYNO!!! Rhyno faces Benoit tonight for the World Title! Rhyno comes out and throws his SmackDown shirt in Heyman’s face before accepting a RAW shirt from Bischoff.
RAW tag title match next as Booker T & Rob Van Dam defend against Ric Flair & Batista. This was a very good bout! A miscalculation at the end as RVD accidentally kicked Booker and Batista capitalized knocking RVD from the ring and hitting his sit out powerbomb to win the titles!
Back from the break and Heyman makes his next draft, getting Rob Van Dam! Heyman proclaims and Extreme reunion this thusday! Backstage and Coach informs RVD, who was apologizing to Booker for the title lost, that he has just been drafted to SmackDown. RVD & Booker can’t believe it.
Old rivalry resurfaces as Chris Benoit faces Rhyno for the World Title! Great contest as both men hit their spots. Benoit makes his first successful title defense as he dodges the Gore and locks on the Crossface for the tap out win!
Backstage, HBK asks Bishoff to trade him to SmackDown just so he could get his hands on Triple H. Bisch instead makes the main event for the Backlash PPV HBK vs Benoit for the World Title.
Bischoff makes his next pick and gets Tajiri! Tajiri says his good-byes to Akio and Sakoda. At least Hurricane will have someone else to work with.
Heyman makes his next draw and gets Theodore Long! Jazz is less than happy.
Bischoff draws next and gets the returning Edge!
Heyman isn’t happy as he makes his last draft, and it’s Little Spike Dudley! Heyman is even less happy now!
Bischoff makes his last pick and gets PAUL HEYMAN?!?!?!?!!?!!!!!!!!!! There goes the Extreme reunion!
Heyman instead chooses to QUIT rather than work for Bischoff!!!
Bischoff starts gloating in the ring and suddenly EDGE RETURNS!!! The crowd goes nuts! Edge enters the ring and immediately SPEARS BISCHOFF!!!
They show Paul Heyman leaving during the break.
Next is Triple H VS Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Title! HHH comes out wearing a RAW shirt. Eddie offers a handshake and HHH actually accepts, but Eddie pulls back! HHH tries using his size advantage, and Guerrero targets his injured arm. This was a VERY good match and HHH actually looked his best in MONTHS! Near the end, Eddie hits the Three Amigos (triple suplex), but suddenly Flair & Batista run in! Flair distracts the referee and Batista hands the WWE title belt to HHH. John Cena and Rey Mysterio run in and beat down Batista! Ref is distracted by this and suddenly HBK runs in and hits Sweet Chin Music on HHH! HBK than dives out of the ring taking out Evolution, Cena and Mysterio! Eddie goes for the Frog Splash, but Christian runs in and trips him in front of the referee, causing a disqualification! RVD runs in wearing a SmackDown shirt and beats on Christian! Members of the RAW locker run in and beat on RVD! The rest of the SmackDown roster run in and beat down the RAW roster! Glass shatters and Austin leads the rest of the RAW troops to battle the SmackDown roster! THE ENTIRE locker of both brands brawl it out to end the show!!!

WOW! This was actually the BEST RAW in a while! The drafts all weren’t that big, but Triple H going to SmackDown is definitely big news and I’m sure shocked many like myself (I jumped out of my seat when his name was announced!). The big trade off for HHH was Edge, who is obviously being groomed for main event status as he now faces whatever revenge Bischoff is going to extract. It will be good to finally see if Nidia can wrestle, though I question bringing over Tajiri. Sakoda would have been a more logical choice since he’s bigger. This is definitely going to be a good thing for Rhyno though.
The obvious storyline for the SmackDown side will be the naming of the new GM. Three guesses who that’s gonna be. But Paul Heyman was just GOLD tonight and hopefully isn’t going to be gone from WWE TV. There’s still the matter of negotiating trades before midnight, remember? HHH also looks to be the anti-SmackDown guy if his draft sticks, and its obvious his feud with Guerrero could continue since Angle is currently out of the picture and Guerrero needs a big name to work with. RVD finally gets to work some fresh matches and it will be good to see Spike in the cruiserweight division.
The ending of RAW also did a good job of giving the feeling that RAW & SmackDown are two real rival shows. I actually stood up and applauded the ending! This was definitely a memorable episode of RAW!

Again, here are the drafts for each brand:
- Sheldon Benjamin
- Nidia
- Rhyno
- Tajiri
- Edge
- Paul Heyman

- Rene Dupree
- Mark Jindrak
- Triple H
- Rob Van Dam
- Theodore Long
- Little Spike Dudley



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