wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarK RAW Rant – April 7 2003

April 7, 2003 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK RAW Rant – April 7 2003

– I’ll try to set aside the bad night that the Canucks had on Sunday and prep for the playoffs by noting that Colorado can go to hell and DIE and hopefully the Canucks can avenge themselves in the Conference finals in May.

– Just to clarify something for a couple of people who somehow took my comments on Sable in the Smackdown rant completely out of context – when I was talking about “overweight drug-addicted whores”, I was referring to hypothetical Edmonton hookers being hired, not Sable. Don’t know why that wasn’t clear to some people, but there ya go.

– Let’s talk about Def Jam Vendetta for a bit. The main problems that people have with the game is the lack of Create-a-Wrestler, frequent rope breaks, lack of weapons and gimmick matches, and a lack of characters to use if you haven’t beaten Story Mode. Two of those are completely valid and I totally agree with them (I also wanted a CAW mode, no matter how basic, and more access to the full roster for both Story Mode and two-player battles), but let’s address the others. First, rope breaks – personally, I feel that pinfalls are for pussies anyway in this game. Submission and KO wins are worth an additional 50,000 points each, so screw it – if you can’t pummel your opponent into submission or knock him unconscious, you’re not a real man anyway. As for weapons, to quote Tazz, I don’t need weapons, my fists are my weapons. They tend to be inefficient as compared to a strong grapple move anyway. As for match types, have you PLAYED a ladder match lately? Gimmick matches suck, let’s face it. I have no interest in anything but one-on-one competition where I can pound guys like DMX into pulp anyway. So really, all the game needs are a couple of tweaks – the basic engine and gameplay experience are nearly perfect as is.

– Last thing – Willie the Worker. I personally don’t care what his secret identity is because really his points are the same things we’ve been saying for years (Ooo, Vince likes big men, how controversial), but you’ll note that Hurricane has been conspicuous by his absence lately.

– Live from Milwaukee, WI.

– Your hosts are JR & King.

– Opening match, Women’s title: Trish Stratus v. Jazz. Jazz overpowers her for two. Jazz takes her down for two and stomps away in the corner, then comes out with an elbow. Trish comes back with high kicks, and a roundhouse kick that puts Jazz on the floor. Trish follows with a Thesz Press from the apron, but gets sent into the apron. Back in, Jazz gets two. Jazz pounds her down and goes to a surfboard to work the back. Trish tries a charge, but hits elbow and gets clubbed with a double axehandle. Fisherman’s buster gets two, but too near the ropes. That looked awkward for some reason. Jazz switches to a half-crab (although that’s really a leg hold, not a back hold) and then an STF, but Trish makes the ropes. Trish fights back with forearms and the high kick, but it only gets two. She pounds away in the corner as Jazz doesn’t really sell that much, and the handstand rana gets two. Jazz pounds her in the mouth, but Trish bulldogs her for the pin at 5:19. CONTROVERSY, however, as Jazz’s foot was on the bottom rope pretty clearly. Not that anyone in the crowd really cared anyway, but these two continue to work well together, although this wasn’t one of their A-game efforts. *1/2

– Meanwhile, Rock arrives and grips to Bischoff about his big night being ruined by Goldberg. Goldberg’s name gets a pretty mediocre reaction.

– Meanwhile, RVD and Kane do a pointless interview about how happy they are to be champions.

– Meanwhile, Jazz joins Team Kill Whitie.

– Meanwhile, Rock puts the moves on Trish, but gets the evil eye from Jeff Hardy. So it’s a match tonight.

– Rob Van Dam v. Chief Morley. Morley slugs away in the corner to start and chokes away, but gets clotheslined. Rob gets a german suplex for two, but Morley comes back with a neckbreaker. Rolling vertical suplexes get two. Knee to the gut gets two. Rob flips over him and gets a dropkick and a spinkick, and pounds away in the corner for the monkey-flip. He goes for the knee to set up a standing moonsault and Rolling Thunder, but Storm puts Morley’s foot on the ropes. The ref sees that one, which kind of reinforces Teddy’s point about Jazz. Rob spinkicks him and goes up, then decides to hit Storm with a crossbody to the floor instead. Storm keeps holding the leg, however, and Morley gets the pin off a DDT at 5:15. Geez, a DDT? Why not do like a Survivor Series and pin the guy off a bodyslam while you’re at it? This was pretty dull stuff and Rob is looking more unmotivated by the day. *

– Chris Nowinski v. Scott Steiner. We get some political commentary from Nowinski for the cheap heel heat (which is funny because his viewpoint is the prevalent one here in Canada for the most part) and Steiner of course attacks, being the patriotic steroid freak he is (years of abuse have left him LITERALLY bleeding red white and blue, I suspect…) and it’s no match, as Steiner beats him up and leaves. Further down the slippery slope of the undercard slides Steiner. And what’s with booking a guy as a heel for supporting free speech?

– Goldberg promo.

– Meanwhile, the parade of talk continues as Christian bugs Rock for an autograph. For his “friend”, who is also named Christian. Rock gives him acting advice, and Christian decides to become Born Again. You knew THAT pun would appear sooner or later.

– Meanwhile, Trish and Jeff exchange a kiss in the hallway. These two have all the chemistry of Ben Affleck and, well, anyone really. Except Matt Damon. And boy, that Jeff Hardy, he’s all man.

– The Rock v. Jeff Hardy. Is that tattoo getting bigger again? I’ve heard that it’s supposed to represent his life in tattoo form. That must make for weird conversations at parties – “Yeah, and check out my armpit, that’s when I won the WWF title for the first time”. Rock slugs away to start in the corner and elbows him down, but Jeff takes him down and punches like a girl. I mean, seriously, it’s like he was in a catfight or something. Rock slugs him down again and chokes away, but stops to dance and Hardy comes back. Samoan drop keeps things Rock’s way, and a vertical suplex gets two. Rock charges and runs into an elbow, and Jeff comes back with a dropkick for a double KO. They do a sloppy takedown spot and Jeff comes back and clotheslines Rock on the top. Super sloppy springboard moonsault and lazy forearms for Jeff, but he whiffs on the corkscrew. Jeff gets a bad looking inverted Twist of Fate and a Village People’s Elbow, and the swanton gets two. That elbow was pathetic, as Jeff was pretty much limp-wristed while waving his arms to mock Rock. Rock Bottom finishes the little freak at 6:52. Thank god, I couldn’t take Rock trying to put Hardy over. Jeff is rapidly crossing the line between theatrical and self-parody. This was 100% Rock. *1/2

– Rock disposes of Jeff and calls out Goldberg. Apparently Rock-Goldberg is now the biggest match of all-time, having surpassed Rock-Hogan before even happening. Rock decides to decline the match, however. Goldberg takes out his anger on Christian, but a sneak attack by the Rock has no effect.

– Kane v. The Dudley Boyz. Hey, a handicap match against the Dudley Boyz! Just like the good old days. Bubba attacks to start, but Kane holds them off and gets a backdrop suplex on Bubba. Sideslam for D-Von gets two. D-Von comes back with his twisty elbow and slugs away, but Bubba comes in and loses the advantage. He kicks Kane down and drops his elbows for two. Crowd is just dead. Kane makes his own comeback and slams the Dudleyz, and gets the flying lariat for two. Chokeslam for Bubba is blocked, and 3D finishes clean at 3:17. I should hope so. Ѕ* RVD tries to make the save and gets beat down with the help of Lance Storm. D-Von seems to have forgotten his conscientious objection to being a heel, as he pounds on Rob with a chair for good measure.

– Meanwhile, Test (who hasn’t had sex in a WEEK) wants Goldust to make things right with Stacy. Has “HBO” (Help a brother out) suddenly swept the nation as a new bit of hip lingo and I missed it?

– Meanwhile, Goldust gives his side of the Playboy controversy, but accidentally reveals the location of the porn. Good thing no one watches TV in the WWE universe.

– Eric Bischoff drives into the arena in the Stone Cold pickup, thus annoying JR. Speaking of Bischoff, shouldn’t he be fired now? I mean, he was originally hired to shake up RAW, and he failed to do that according to Vince. So then he was re-hired on the promise of bringing Austin back, but now Austin is fired, so why wouldn’t Bischoff be fired as a result? Oh wait, sorry, that requires thinking back a month, sorry. Bischoff calls out JR for his comments (haven’t we gone round this block already?) and JR quits as a result. WHOO HOO! Now maybe we’ll get a lucent commentator who doesn’t mix up names and confuse screaming with emotion. Now let’s get rid of Lawler and bring back Heyman, and we’re set! Hell, let Rock take over on commentary, he carries the whole show by himself anyway.

– Goldust v. Stevie Richards. They slug it out in the corner to start and Richards gets a Midcard Neckbreaker and chokes away. Vertical suplex gets two. We hit the chinlock as Coach takes over for JR again (oh LORD no), but Goldust comes back with a bulldog and starts twitching. They do a million irish whips and Goldust gets a butt butt for two. Bossman slam gets two. Curtain Call is reversed by Stevie into a carpet muncher that gets two. Victoria is unable to find a suitable foreign object to interfere, and Goldust finishes with a powerslam at 2:59. Zzzzzz. ј*

– Oh dear god, an evil French tag team. Are we THAT hard up for patriotic fervor? Did Vince want to offend anyone involved with the war, but just not want to do Sgt. Slaughter as WWE champion again? Well, if nothing else, that proves Sylvan Grenier and Rene Dupree are different people.

– HHH & Chris Jericho v. Booker T & Shawn Michaels. Big brawl to start and the faces clean house, and Michaels follows them out with a plancha. In the ring, Booker pounds on HHH, but gets atomic dropped. Booker clotheslines him for two. Shawn comes in on the arm and works it over, and Shawn does the same to Jericho. The heels work him over in the corner, but Shawn forearms HHH down and warms up the band. Jericho interrupts and HHH goes for the Pedigree, which Shawn escapes. Flair pulls down the top rope and abuses Shawn, as we cut to a limo arriving in the parking lot and go to commercial. Geez, if you’re gonna recycle WCW stuff, the mystery guy should be driving a hummer. We return with HHH getting two on Shawn. Some shenanigans with the tape keep Shawn down and Jericho drops some elbows for two. Shawn gets a quick crossbody for two, but gets clotheslined down again. HHH comes back in with the MAIN EVENT SLEEPER. Shawn reverses as the sleeper has become the sleepee, but HHH uses the bitter hand of irony to escape with a backdrop suplex for two. Shawn fights back, but gets hit with a leg lariat. Bulldog and Lionsault, but it misses. Hot tag Booker, and he slugs it out with HHH. He unloads the chops and gets a backdrop and back kick for two. DDT gets two. HHH looked like he forgot to kick out. Spinebuster gets two. Booker cleans house and spins his rooni, Jericho catches him with the Walls. Shawn superkicks to break it up, and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE is reversed to a rollup for the pin at 13:27. Nice of HHH to put Booker over in meaningless tag matches and get the clean win at Wrestlemania, when it, you know, counts. Match was pretty pedestrian but energetic stuff. **1/2 Big heel beatdown follows, and when all seems hopeless, Hurricane tries to save and gets creamed. Wow, dig that rub! However, Big Sexy the Workrate Killer (with newly dyed and conditioned hair) does a walk-in as the heels all stare in shock and awe before doing a Ninja Attack on him, running into him one-by-one and Jericho of course gets to be the fall guy. Well, that’s longer than he lasted in his last match in the promotion.

The Bottom Line:

Wow, no promotion with Kevin Nash, Booker T, Bill Goldberg and Scott Steiner on top has ever gone under! This can’t be anything but a good sign!

Total shit show this week as the main event scene grows more depressing by the week, proportionate to their desperation. Seeing Goldberg and Nash main eventing didn’t interest me (or the 0.15 percent of the PPV universe) back when WCW tried it, and it doesn’t interest me now. I wish they’d just sign Sting and Lex Luger and get this phase out of their systems so the bottom can fall out already and we can get on to the rebuilding era. I need an ending for the new book, after all!

Speaking of endings, I’m outta here for another week.


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