wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarK RAW Rant – August 20 / 2001

August 20, 2001 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK RAW Rant for August 20, 2001

– Well, as my yearly vacation trundles to a close, I’m currently in Kelowna, BC, getting ready for a 10-hour drive back to Edmonton tomorrow morning before I have to head back to work again. I did get a chance, what with nothing else being on, to check out Don Callis’ IWA on the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network on Sunday night (11:30 PST for those interested), and it actually wasn’t as horrible as you might think. The lead guy is Stands With The Thunder (IWA stands for “Indigenous Wrestling Alliance”, which is no worse than any other name of any other promotion I’ve heard) and he looks like a cross between Test and Tatanka, and wrestles like Chris Jericho, albeit 100 times greener. The big bad guy would be the evil Dr. Luther, who SHOCKINGLY is a clone of the Jackyl and has a band of Oddities as his henchmen. Cheesy gimmick aside, they did a good job establishing him as the main heel, and Thunder as the main babyface, and used the show to build to a match between them, which they then hotshotted with a DQ finish at the end of the show. Well, it’s a start.

– Live from Sarcramental, CA

– Your hosts are JR & Paul E.

– Before anything else, Steve gives the Alliance a peptalk, because tonight is Steve Austin Appreciation Night. I’m all giddy just thinking about it.

– Opening match: Stacy, Torrie & Ivory v. Lita, Molly & Jackie. Molly controls Ivory to start, and Jackie gets an elbow for two. She spears Torrie, and gets all up in her face, but the evil chicks double-team her. Lita comes in, but she’s got a boo-boo on her knee and Ivory beats her up. Hot tag Jackie, who DDTs Ivory for the pin at 3:43. Well, I certainly feel better seeing the thrilling conclusion to that particular serial drama. Ѕ*

– Meanwhile, Steph and Test call a truce and he gets sent after Chris Jericho as a result.

– Hey, it’s the Rock. Booker has been schooled, old school. Rock calls him out, and hey, it’s a MIDGET. Isn’t that HILARIOUS??? Man, every time I see a midget come out, I just start LAUGHING my ass off and can’t stop until the segment ends. So anyway, the midget impersonates Booker and the segment goes on longer than the laws of time and space would seem to allow (with no one, myself included, laughing even once) before Lance Storm mercifully interrupts to end the suffering. WCW title match, TONIGHT. The hijinx are about to end, sez Lance. Thank god, sez I. Storm superkicks the midget for good measure.

– The APA, Scotty 2 Hotty, Big Show, Billy Gunn & Spike Dudley v. The Dudley Boyz, Chuck Palumbo, Sean O’Haire, Hugh Morrus & Tommy Dreamer. I heard this match got raves on a house show a few nights ago. I’m betting it also got about 15 minutes, a situation I don’t forsee happening here. Chuck works Faarooq’s arm, but gets decked. O’Haire charges Scotty and misses, but they catch him in the corner. Billy Gunn cleans house but gets nailed by the Dudleyz, but Spike stops that. Bradshaw batters Dreamer and Spike spikes him off the top, but Dreamer gets a neckbreaker and powerbombs him into a half-crab. The Dudleyz work Spike over, and a flapjack gets two. Morrus gets Acid Dropped, hot tag Big Show, which triggers a series of finishers that culminate in a chokeslam on Dreamer for the pin at 5:25. Good enough. *

– Meanwhile, Shane Helms switches personal heroes from Green Lantern to Steve Austin. Actually, there ARE some parallels between Hal Jordan and Steve Austin, but I doubt anyone cares.

– Test v. Chris Jericho. Test gets Uncle Slam early on, and pounds Jericho. Jericho counters a powerbomb and comes back, but Steph trips him up and Test gets dumped. Rhyno comes out for the distraction, high kick finishes at 2:31. Jericho wasn’t looking too healthy there. Ѕ*

– Shawn Stasiak tries to honor Austin, but after 48 takes the director gives up. It’s almost like wrestling Jericho.

– WCW title: The Rock v. Lance Storm. Storm attacks to start, but gets slugged down and samoan dropped for two. Storm superkicks Rock right out, and gets two. They slug it out and Storm comes off the top with a clothesline for two. Storm lays in the boots, but walks into a Spinebuster. Smack is laid down, and a DDT gets two. Rock Bottom finishes at 3:08. What an epic… waste of Storm, that is. * The midget RETURNS and delivers two Little People’s Elbows to Storm in a segment even non-funnier than the original one, if that’s possible.

– The Taking of Moppy 1-2-3, recapped. What with there only being one week of footage, there’s not much to recap, of course.

– European title: Matt Hardy v. Christian. Christian cuts a heel promo so we know who to boo. He attacks but gets neckbreakered for two. Christian tosses him, and introduces him to the stairs for two. Another two follows. They slug it out and Matt gets a lariat. Christian’s tomikaze is reversed, but he tries for the pin in corner and gets two. Inverted DDT gets two. Matt finishes with the Twist of Fate at 2:37. Been there, done that. And what’s the point of even keeping the Euro title on Matt at this point, when even the bookers don’t remember he’s the champion half of the time? Ѕ*

– Meanwhile, people laugh at The Book as he arrives.

– Tazz offers tribute to Austin for toughening him up.

– Meanwhile, Booker wants a rematch with Rock TONIGHT, and an explanation for why he’s getting laughed at. Regal explains about the midget as though it was the Rib of the Year and the funniest thing anyone has ever heard. That just makes it all the more painful. Anyway, Booker gets Tajiri instead.

– Booker T v. Tajiri. Tajiri throws the kicks, but Booker pounds on him until getting DQ’d at 2:44. I am rapidly losing patience with this show. DUD They can’t even commit to squashing Tajiri all the way.

– DDP v. Sara. Speaking of things making me lose patience, this is one of them. Page lets her have one slap, but when he shoves her back the Underseller yanks him out of the ring, chokeslams him on the floor, and Sara gets the pin at 0:06. DUD What the hell did DDP do NOW? Why are they wasting this guy with these bizarre punishments?

– Then, to top off my evening, the Alliance joins us for Steve Austin Appreciation Night. Heyman kisses his ass and calls for the others to follow his lead. Shane Helms gives up his Green Lantern shirt in favor of a Stone Cold shirt. Kanyon unveils a “Who Better Than Austin?” shirt. Debra gives him a plate of cookies. They roll a video tribute as the segment turns into one of those Hollywood Hogan interviews from Nitro. They all head into the ring, as Steph cues up a… song? Yes, it’s “Wind Beneath Our Ring”, sung by Steph herself, and I cannot properly communicate what a car wreck this segment has turned into. Yet I cannot look away. After a HORRIBLE song (complete with “follow the bouncing Austin” singalong on the Titantron) Austin then gets the mike and HE talks to extend this atrocity further. I think there’s a clause in the Geneva Convention that specifically mentions this segment. FINALLY Kurt Angle ends it by driving out in a milk truck (ala ’98 Austin) and spraying everyone with milk while JR tries to salvage things. End of show, THANK GOD.

The Bottom Line: Mind-altering chemicals are obviously cheap in Cali, because the writers were ALL ON THEM tonight. Rushed squash matches, bizarre choices of booking, go-nowhere segments out the wazoo, you name it, this show had everything the worst RAWs have featured and then some. Maybe they blew their load on Summerslam or something, I dunno, but I hope to god they get it together for Smackdown, because I don’t get paid to watch THAT show, and I will exercise my right to use the remote if it sucks as heartily and zestily as this show did.

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Scott Keith

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