My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

WrestleMania's Aftermath

After having some time to finally digest the near five hour spectacle that was WrestleMania XX, I can honestly say it was a good but not really off the charts show. For a show that went 4hours 40minutes, there was only about 2hours 20minutes of actual wrestling. Obviously, cetain things should have been left out to make more room for the matches, like the backstage skits with Coach. You could also say that having so many stars on one show, you also take up alot of time just for the ring entrances. To have a match involving 10 Cruiserweights not even go 10 minutes is a real crime.
The one big positive is that both brands now have champions that the fans really care about, and are excellant wrestlers to boot. Eddie Guerrero (SmackDown) and Chris Benoit (RAW). I've always said it was better for business for WWE to have baby-face champions that the fans want to cheer and see win uphill battles, and not big heel champions that almost always screw the faces out of the win.
Now that the big show (not Paul Wight) has come and gone, WWE has found themselves in a bit of a pickle, talent-wise. Brock Lesner and Bill Goldberg are gone, Rock is barely a part-time wrestler, Austin is a cripple that no one can touch, Triple H is a criple that no one can touch (say what you will about him, it's MY blog), and now Kurt Angle is facing another possible career ending injury.
So with unbalanced rosters on both shows, how does WWE solve the problem? See below.

Show starts with Triple H coming out whinning and complaining like he always does when he loses the world title. Thankfully, THE WORLD CHAMPION, Chris Benoit comes out and shuts him up by attacking him! Evolution run in and look to out-number Benoit, but Shawn Michaels runs in with a chair to even things up. Eric Bischoff than comes out and makes the main event a handicap match between Benoit & HBK VS Orton, Batista & Flair.
Backstage, HBK explains he saved Benoit so that he could get himself a title shot since he already beat Benoit before.
First match of the night and its women's tag action with Victoria & Lita VS Jazz & Molly Holly. Molly was wearing a big blonde wig and got a 'Molly's Bald' chant! The wig didn't last long as Lita tore it off while trying to flip her into the ring and Molly ran for it! Jazz was left alone and Lita pins her with a stiff DDT. Victoria suprisingly didn't do much her, but good match.
Matt Hardy beat Chris Jericho next by DQ. This was more of a fight than a match as Hardy had to hold his own against an enraged Y2J who was eventually disqualified. Weird how they never mentioned this was Hardy's first win on RAW. Post match, Y2J just grabbed his bags and left the arena.
Orton cuts a promo where he challenges Mick Foley to a one-on-one contest after he beat him in the handicap tag at 'Mania.
Backstage and all 3 members of La Resistance together with their French Poodle, Fifi, get abused by Sheriff Austin.
Val Venis gets mic time and gets a lucky girl from the audience to remove his towel. She's about to flash Val her goods when his opponent, Kane comes out and proceeds to squash Val in under a minute.
Hour two opens with another women's match, Ms. Jackie VS Stacy Kiebler. This doesn't go long before Vince McMahon comes out and halts the match to make a big announcement. Vince says WreslteManiaXX was billed as 'Where it all begins...Again'. So it's time to shake things up on both RAW and Smackdown. He says the fans want to see new-matchups and new directions being taken. Therefore, next week, all the Smackdown superstars will be in attendance at RAW together with all the RAW superstars to take part in a 'random draw' lottery to reasign superstars to either RAW or SmackDown brands. No Exceptions would be made, be it title holders, tag teams, factions or even his own family members (!).
Evolution confront Bischoff in his office and demanded Bischoff do something as HHH doesn't plan on splitting up Evolution or leaving RAW cause he plans on winning the world title back from Benoit. Bisch makes it clear that it was the bosses decision, and there was nothing he could do.
Next up is an excellant world tag team title match as Booker T & RVD defend against the Dudley Boys. This was honestly the best Dudley Boys match I've seen in a long time that didn't involve tables in the rules. Both face teams even used old-school heel tactics on each other! I don't normally rate TV matches, but this one gets ***1/2!
Spike Dudley comes out next for a match with an un-named opponent as Christian & Trish Stratus (who were announced as being not in attendance) came out and beat him down. They than gave the expected explanation that they were in on backstabbing Y2J all the time ever since Trish found out about the $1 bet. She says she didn't want a soft, love sick puppy chasing her around and wanted a real man that wasn't afraid to get rough.
Backstage, the returning Rene Dupree is pissed off that he and La Resistance had to be abused by Austin and America in general. He heads out to the ring an calls out Austin. Austin complies and squashes the young prospect in seconds. Noticebly, Grenier and Conway did not come out to help Dupree.
HBK & Benoit beat Evolution in the main event. Halfway through, Mick Foley arrives at the arena. And when the referee gets bumped, Foley runs in and beats Orton into the audience and out of sight. Despite selling a busted arm, HHH still gets involved giving HBK a Pedigree, but the faces manage to rally back and Benoit taps out Batista with a Sharpshooter.

This weeks RAW was a good show overall. But the Lottery next week must have gotten alot of folks more than a bit worried. The Smackdown crew didn't even know about it till after it was announced on RAW. My opinion is that it will have it's good and bad points for sure, as it probably means the return of Stephanie McMahon to TV. And if Champions are not exempt, what happens if Benoit and Guerrero end up on the same show? This is a big angle WWE is playing out, and hopefully delivers as both brands are in dire need of some new faces to mix things up.



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