wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarK RAW Rant – August 11 2003

August 11, 2003 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK RAW Rant – August 11, 2003

– Okay, once again the geniuses in Redmond, WA, have inadvertently unleashed another menace upon the computer world, for which I get phone calls from friends asking why their computer is suddenly doing funny things. For those not in the loop on this stuff, Microsoft released a series of security patches the past month or so, after discovering a rather huge flaw in the OS that would allow hackers to break in and do pretty nasty stuff to your computer. Anyway, as feared, not enough people auto-updated, and this morning a time bomb called the RPC Worm (aka Blaster Worm) went off on Windows-based computers all over the world and annoyed the hell out of a lot of people. You’ll know if you have it because you’ll get a pop-up as soon as you start up or connect to the internet informing you that Windows will be shutting down your system within 30 (or sometimes 60) seconds. DON’T PANIC. If this is happening, you have the RPC Worm and it can be fixed. The details are available from Symantec: http://www.sarc.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.blaster.worm.html

If you don’t have a virus scanner, get one now. There’s plenty of free ones, just search Google for “virus scanner”. Update to the latest definitions and scan the hell out of your computer. Also, stop by zonelabs.com and download the free version of ZoneAlarm to firewall your system and keep malicious programs from executing in the first place. That’s what I use and it serves my needs just fine. Finally, make sure you go to Windowsupdate.microsoft.com and apply the critical security patches to prevent this from happening in the future. This is all just common sense stuff that you should be doing anyway, BEFORE a monster virus wreaks havoc with your system, but now is a good time to refresh your memories about good habits to get into.

– Moving right along, Pride was last night and while not the blowaway show that the stacked card seem to indicate, it certainly proved to be a night of interesting discussion afterwards. Most of the talk is centered on the controversial decision in the Ricco v. Nogueira fight, and I think the fault there lies as much with the US producers of the PPV for not adequately explaining how judging in Pride is actually done. Had it been a UFC match, the decision would have clearly gone to Rodriguez, but apparently Pride judging criteria is based on who is going for the win with submissions, which meant that Nogueira was the clear winner in their eyes. I don’t know, though – that aspect would have to be a pretty huge part of the judging to really swing things all the way to Nogueira, because Ricco dominated every other aspect of the fight and pretty clearly had him beaten up by the end of it. Even Bas Rutten, who I’m pretty sure understands the Pride judging system, seemed to be on the side of Ricco at the end of it. I discount the reactions of Damon Perry, because clearly he had no idea what he was talking about all night. Sure, fire Stephen Quadros, one of the best announcers in either wrestling or MMA as far as getting the points of the fight home to the viewer, and replace him with Dick Vitale’s retarded clone. Great move. Anyway, I’m now officially terrified of Mirko Cro Cop and will immediately hand him my wallet should I meet him in a dark alley (unless I get him confused with Lance Storm), and will possibly wear Undertaker’s 1995 purple mask in case he decides to break my orbital bone. That dude is SCARY. Just ask Fedor, who looked like he was shitting his pants at ringside while Cro Cop was knocking Igor Vovchanchyn on his ass with ONE KICK. If I’m Fedor, I’d just break my own eye socket right now and spare everyone the trouble of watching it happen on PPV. Cro Cop is literally the real life version of 1998 Goldberg. There also seems to be controversy about whether the Tamura match was a work, but if it was, it was still Tamura’s best match in a long time, so who cares? Besides, you know they were gonna get a Japanese guy into the semi-finals either way. And finally, either Dana White is the dumbest man alive or the $250,000 bet is a work. But hey, with the kind of raw charisma that he showed at the press conference, they could just build the promotion around him and draw millions. No one can read smack-talk off cue-cards better!

– Hey, lost in all the excitement of Pride and worms is the changeover from The New TNN to the New New TNN, aka Spike TV. And there’s a good reason for that. NO ONE CARES. At least here in Canada we have MenTV, a digital channel that no one watches but at least makes an effort to actually cater to the target demographic. Rather than cartoons and Star Trek, they show reruns of Sledge Hammer!, as many police chase shows as can be fitted into one day, BBQ cooking shows, those behind-the-scenes movie effects show, and soft-core porn from Britain at night. I quite like the channel, actually.

– Live from the Quad Cities. Whatever that is.

– Your hosts are Coach & The King.

– Opening interview: Uncle Eric makes Lillian repeat the winner of the Bischoff-Shane match last week and we see clips. He kisses up to the McMahons, but reinforces that he has no respect for Shane. He calls Shane the “Frank Sinatra Jr.” of the WWE. Who wrote THAT joke? Bobby Heenan? JR interrupts (with no sign of burns), as Coach had heard JR was “in no condition to work”. Is that a rib or something? Jim thinks that Eric set him up. Wow, Captain Obvious, good call. So he’s gonna sue Eric. Thrilling. So Bischoff immediately turns around and sucks up to Ross, firing Coach, but Austin interrupts. Whatever happened to wrestlers wrestling on a wrestling show? But JR promises not to sue if Bischoff will face Shane again. And Austin just happens to have a contract, which usually indicates a swerve. And of course, Eric doesn’t want to read it. And of course, he signed to meet Kane instead of Shane. Wow, more humiliation of Eric Bischoff, sounds great. God forbid Kane face an actual wrestler one of these weeks.

– Scott Steiner & Stacy v. Rico & Jackie Gayda. We may have an early contender for Worst Match of the Year judging by the participants alone. Jackie never fails to disappoint. Sadly, Coachman is still on commentary. Rico prances to start and gets clotheslined and suplexed to start. Clothesline and pushups, and Rico tags Jackie in. Stacy kicks away, but gets sunset flipped and they do a laughable pinfall reversal sequence and then totally lose their place. Stacy kicks her down for two. A cheapshot from Rico turns the tide, but the chicks clothesline each other, but Test runs in and gets rid of Steiner. Rico hotshots Stacy and Jackie pins her at 3:11. Yes, Test v. Steiner is still going, you’re not stuck in a stasis field. Ѕ* So Steiner wants to finish it once and for all (I wish) tonight, but Test wants to wait until next week. And once again, Stacy is on the line. What’s the advantage for Test in waiting until next week? Why not face Steiner, who is already tired from one match?

– Meanwhile, Flair rants about Austin, and HHH turns the conversation to himself. Orton promises that HHH walks out with the title. Wow, that’s a bold prediction.

– Meanwhile, Kane’s paddy wagon arrives.

– The All-American Dudley Boyz v. La Resistance. This is non-title. Big brawl to start and Dupree gets tossed, leaving Grenier to fall victim to a Whazzup Drop, but Dupree runs in with the US flag for the DQ at 0:31. In your great bit of camera work for the week, the camera focused on Bubba looking back and waiting for the run-in. The French disrespect the US flag and DRINK WINE. BASTARDS. How dare they! Beating up the Dudleyz after a 30-second non-match clearly calls for a WHITE wine. I mean, really now.

– Meanwhile, Goldust gets all weird on Molly and introduces her to the new Lance Storm, who is now painted gold and wearing a wig. He tries reading a Tourette’s joke off a cue-card. Hilarity results. Actually, Storm deliberately being unfunny is funny in an ironic way.

– Meanwhile, Nash & Michaels argue over who is gonna win at Summerslam, but Goldberg announces that he’s the winner. Ooo, tension.

– Christian (with I-C title and Booker’s entrance) comes down to the ring as we take a break. We return as Christian explains that he’s the new champion.

– Intercontinental title: Christian v. Spike Dudley. Spike takes him down to start and slugs away in the corner, but Christian goes to the eyes and drops him on the top, then kneelifts him to the floor. Back in, Christian stomps away and gets the gutbuster for two. Spike reverses a suplex for two, but Christian stomps him down again. Christian goes to the abdominal stretch and chokes away, but misses a charge, allowing Spike to fight back. Spike bulldog gets two. Headbutt to the gut gets two. He charges and hits elbow, but Spike comes back with a tornado DDT for two. Spike goes up, but gets crotched, then sends Christian down and stomps him for two. Spike gets sent into the corner and the Unprettier finishes at 4:53. Nothing exciting, but a decent little match. *1/2

– Meanwhile, Eric tries to bond with Kane and suggests that he just lay down for him, but Kane wants a fight. Why? He’s really angry, I guess.

– JR kicks Coach out of the commentary booth. He’s apparently doing this against doctor’s orders. Wow, what a badass – sitting at a desk and talking. Even the announcers are tough rebels who just don’t give a damn! Well, actually, Tazz is, kinda.

– Eric Bischoff v. Kane. Eric lays down and offers a pin, but Kane decides to chokeslam him instead. JR gets a little too excited about it. Kane changes his mind, however, and walks out, giving Bischoff the win by countout at 1:22. The winning streak continues. JR is upset. Shouldn’t he be more upset because Kane, the guy who LIT HIM ON FIRE, was winning the match? Kane tells us that he threw the match because he’s sick of listening to what other people want, and now he’s only going to do what he wants. That’s pretty weak. RVD attacks and they do a sloppy brawl that ends with Rob missing a frog splash and getting laid out with a chairshot. And now JR hates Kane again. JR’s over-the-top anger at this whole thing was really misplaced. And you thought Kane had anger management problems. And RVD is a joke, thrown into a match with Kane to be squashed and then given no promo time or motivation leading up to it.

– Women’s title: Molly Holly v. Trish Stratus v. Gail Kim. Funny how there was big boos backstage for Gail’s interview, but no reaction to her entrance. Trish attacks both to start and gets a spinebuster on Kim for two. Thesz Press and they catfight, and then Trish botches a headscissors in the corner and gets yanked out by Molly. Gail then attempts a pescado and blows THAT. That could have been REALLY bad for her. The heels double-suplex Trish and stomp away, but Molly hangs Trish in the corner, and then turns on Gail with a clothesline and gets the pin at 2:25. Ѕ*

– Meanwhile, more wackiness with Evolution, as Bischoff’s winning streak means that the main event is now going to be refereed by Randy Orton.

– Earlier today, Rosey helps an old lady across the street.

– Meanwhile, Austin and Eric have drinks as Bischoff celebrates his winning streak, but it turns out that there was more fine print in the contract, which stated that the winner of the match faces Shane McMahon. But what if Kane had won the match? And why would Austin skew the contract while assuming that Bischoff would beat Kane if the point of the match was supposed to be Kane beating up Bischoff? Is he so smart that he anticipated being outsmarted and thus planned in advance for being swerved? Is Russo booking again?

– The Hurricane v. Rodney Mack. Mack works him over in the corner, but Hurricane slugs back, only to get powerslammed. Mack kicks him out of the ring, and suplexes him back in for two. He pounds away and chokes him out in the corner, and hits the bearhug. Hurricane fights out and gets a forearm for two. Mack charges and hits nothing but turnbuckle, and Hurricane gets a high cross for the pin at 3:03. Mack does the beatdown, but Rosey saves. Ѕ*

– Elimination Chamber video, recycled from last year, with highlights from the last match added.

– Highlight Reel time, with special guest Kevin Nash. Jericho clarifies the rules – if he loses, he promises to shave every whisker off his face. What a trooper. Lawler notes that shaving his face is no big deal, just like shaving under your arms. Um, okay. Jericho laments the potential loss of his hair, but Nash interrupts. JR calls him a “man of very few words”. Poor JR really is losing it. Nash pitches the match as a makeover and we get some hairdo jokes. HILARIOUS. Okay, not really. It would nice if they’d actually announce the match at some point. Jericho switches the subject to the Elimination Chamber and how he’s gonna win, but Nash brings it back to subject of the hair as this segment dies a slow and painful death. Nash wants him to accept the challenge right now. But Jericho MADE the challenge. Anyway, the match is next week, which seems to be our theme for the night. Jericho attacks him, which Nash basically no-sells and sideslams him. Nash produces a pair of Beefcake-ish hedgeclippers, but Jericho defends himself with a fire extinguisher.

– With a week left before Nash loses his hair, I was so moved that I wrote a haiku about it.
Nash’s flowing locks
Never to be dyed again.
Grecian gone bankrupt?

– Goldberg v. Ric Flair. Goldberg appears to be in a janitor’s closet backstage when they call him out. Man, I know they’re trying to squeeze every nickel out of that contract, but geez, making him mop floors in between matches seems a bit excessive. Flair uses the Power of the Punch on Goldberg to start and gets two off a fast count. The crowd turns on Goldberg right away as Flair stomps away and gets a backdrop suplex for another fast two. Goldberg no-sells a chop and presses him to come back. Snap powerslam gets a very slow two. That’s some good biased refereeing. Goldberg clotheslines Flair down again for another slow two, and the argument allows Flair to hit Goldberg with a chair, which Goldberg shrugs off. Flair goes low and gets a figure-four. Orton should just pull a Hebner and ring the bell, ring the fucking bell. Goldberg makes the ropes, so Orton stomps him and pulls Flair into the middle again. Flair decides to release and go back to work on the leg while chopping away. Flair clips him, but Goldberg comes back with a clothesline and lays out Orton, too. That’s just poor sportsmanship. Backdrops abound. He spears Orton, but Flair pokes him in the eye, only to get speared. And now Shawn Michaels runs in and adds a superkick to Orton. Jackhammer and Shawn counts the pin with Orton’s hand at 7:20. This was a huge mess. * And how hard is SHORT MATCHES to understand when it comes to Goldberg?

The Bottom Line:

Another boring, talk-filled, last-minute-booked edition of RAW leading up a show with three matches that no one wants to see. If Smackdown didn’t have stuff to contribute to Summerslam, it’d be one of the worst cards on paper all year.

But hey, if you love managers and GMs wrestling, this is your show lately.


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