wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarK RAW Rant – July 21 2003

July 21, 2003 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK RAW Rant – July 21, 2003

– Live from Hollyweird, CA.

– Your hosts are Coach & King.

– Heads up: Scotsman is posting the PWA pictures tomorrow, and I pretty much look like I’m wasted in all of them, but it’s just because I’m a lousy photo subject. So fear not, plenty of ammunition to mock me is coming soon.

– Uncle Eric brings out Linda McMahon to start, but she doesn’t fire Austin after all. Apparently Kane is under house arrest, but he can still work tonight against RVD. Austin interrupts and he won’t apologize for his choices. Oh, and JR doesn’t want to press charges. But I thought Kane was under house arrest? I mean, I’m pretty sure that setting someone on fire on national TV doesn’t require them to press charges, but then why make a big deal out of JR not doing so? And since when does lighting your boss on fire still guarantee you the right to work at that job? Let’s move on. Linda was misrepresented by Eric, because she’s really here to address a problem in the GM’s office. It seems that Austin can’t just go around beating the hell out of everyone. Unless he’s physically provoked. Austin has some thinking to do, and Linda gives him a week. She also gives both guys the week off and we get the lame “Na na na na” bit that’s never gotten over. Dumb opening segment.

– Molly Holly & Victoria v. Gail Kim & Trish Stratus. Trish and Kim work on Molly’s arm to start and double-team her with an elbowdrop that gets two for Trish. Trish chops away but gets tripped up by Victoria. Molly hits her with a handspring elbow for two. The announcers talk incessantly about JR and ignore the match, as King is concerned because Coach isn’t showing proper concern for JR’s condition. Earth to King: No one buys the angle anyway. Trish reverses a sideslam into a headscissors on Victoria, and hits Molly with an enzuigiri. Gail Kim comes in with a flying bodypress on Molly and a bad rana, then completely blows her ropewalk. That’s what happens when a green wrestler is trying that stuff. Molly goes up and stays there forever until Trish brings her down with the handstand rana, and Kim gets another rana on Molly for two. Trish kicks Kim by mistake, but however, and Molly gets the pin at 3:52. Total mess that exposed Gail Kim bigtime. Ѕ* She’s still doing exactly the same moves and couldn’t improvise out of a tight spot when she blew one of them. I mean, it’s not even like Nash where I joke about him only doing three moves but he still has stuff like basic slams and suplexes in there – she LITERALLY has only three basic moves: rana, flying bodypress and the ropewalk. That’s it. And she blew two of them tonight. Everything else is based on her look and gymnastics.

– Meanwhile, Jericho sings and the co-GMs argue about getting the night off, and they hype a webpoll for whether JR should press charges or not. But I thought he already decided not to press charges, and even if he didn’t, Kane is already under house arrest.

– Randy Orton and Evolution come out to talk about how great he is. I miss his witty RNN personality rather than his HHH-cito personality. And then we take a break. I don’t like the new Motorhead version of the Evolution theme.

– Randy Orton v. Val Venis. Boy, that character makeover sure did wonders for Val, didn’t it? They work the mat to start and Val grabs a hammerlock and works on the arm. More talking about JR, as HHH mocks him and King acts all solemn. Val slingshots him into the corner and gets an elbow and kneedrop, and pounds away. Orton comes back with a dropkick, but Val elbows him down again and backdrops him. They reverse sleepers and Val gets the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Main Event Spinebuster and Val goes up and misses the Money Shot. RKO finishes at 3:36. Boring match that the crowd wasn’t buying. Ѕ* HHH of course gets on the mic again to put himself over, but Goldberg interrupts to a big pop. Coach notes that they’re never been face-to-face before, so I guess they were wrestling back-to-back in San Jose the other night. And they wonder why no one cares about house shows. HHH is next, so I hear. They do the staredown for the video packages, and then Goldberg makes the mistake of taking his shirt off, looking like he’s 220 pounds. I’ll reserve judgment on this until we see where it ends up, but there wasn’t any difference in presentation between this and every other pretender to HHH’s god-given throne. And what’s with Goldberg talking again? More rock, less talk.

– Meanwhile, Randy is upset that Goldberg stole the spotlight from them. HHH has a plan, however. Wonder if it involves hitting someone with a sledgehammer?

– Chris Jericho v. Shawn Michaels. Shawn goes for the arm to start and they trade wristlocks and take it to the mat. King and Coach have a weird conversational sideline about Coach grew up idolizing JR, which is silly because Coachman didn’t even watch wrestling until he was hired by the WWE. Jericho gets dumped and comes back in. He grabs a headlock and they fight over a wristlock (a week removed from King telling everyone they should be bored by this stuff) and Jericho goes back to the headlock. Jericho pounds away and starts chopping, and blocks a sunset flip for two, and they reverse off that for a bit. They do the Flair pinfall reversal sequence into a Shawn backslide for two, and Shawn grabs another headlock. Okay, now the Kane story changes again, as Kane is under house arrest awaiting JR pressing charges. What kind of draconian legal system is THAT? If he’s under arrest, he’s under arrest, and if not, he’s free to go. I’m pretty sure the constitution of the US would prevent someone from being confined without charges pressed. Shawn grabs another headlock as Lawler is now talking about “veteran moves” as the crowd grows bored with the headlocks. Jericho escapes with an elbow and pounds away. Elbowdrops get two. Jericho tosses him, but misses his springboard dropkick. Shawn follows with a halfway quebrada and they head back in, as Shawn goes up with a bodypress for two. They slug it out, but Flair comes out to draw Shawn’s fire, allowing Jericho to block a rana attempt with the Walls of Jericho. The situation is so tense that we take a commercial break. We return with Jericho chinlocking Michaels, who fights back. Shawn pounds away in the corner, but gets backdropped to the floor in a “post-retired Shawn” variation of the famous Holy Shit Bump from his prime. Back in 1996, he would have taken a straight backdrop over the post and landed flat on his back, which is probably why he was retired in 1998. Back in, Jericho gets a flying elbow for two. Shawn comes back with a bodypress for two, but Jericho clubs him down again. Coach interrupts the commentary to again note he has no idea why Flair is there. Thanks, man. Jericho goes up but gets caught coming down with a dropkick. Shawn comes back with a backbreaker and makes the comeback with an atomic drop and clotheslines. Shawn goes for the Walls of Jericho, but catapults him into the post instead. Rollup gets two. Jericho gets a northern lights suplex for two. Bulldog sets up the Lionsault, but it misses. Jericho tries again and gets it, for two. Shawn comes back with a powerslam for two. Jericho flips him to the top and sets up for a backdrop off the top, but Shawn brings him down and follows with the flying elbow. Coach says that the crowd is “fully appreciating” it. Them’s strong words! Of course, they’re also not buying into a potential finish because no one has run in yet. Superkick misses and Jericho goes low, and everyone’s out. Jericho grabs a chair, but gets it kicked back in his face, and everyone’s out again. Crowd’s not really into the count. Flair gets into the ref’s face and pulls him out, allowing Randy Orton to run in and RKO Shawn on the chair. Everyone’s still out. Jericho gets two. Jericho gets the Walls again and pays tribute to Stan Hansen by bracing his head in the corner, and Shawn fights for the ropes, but has to tap at 24:03. Crowd barely reacts. Good on Shawn for doing the right thing (albeit 4 months too late and with two people interfering) but this match was SOOOO slow-paced and completely against the strengths of both guys. It would have worked better with all the same stuff worked into another 15-minute match rather than stretching it to 25 with commercials and interference and the “both guys are exhausted” portions. The Wrestlemania match was worlds better, which is a shame because I really wanted to like it, but it just never got off the ground. Take for example the finish even – when was Jericho even working over the back? Skipping Michaels kicking out of the RKO and having Jericho putting him directly in the Walls, where he passes out, would have worked within the psychology of the match (because he’d be so unconscious from the move that he couldn’t defend himself). The worst choice would have been Jericho getting the pin directly off the RKO, because that takes all the heat off Jericho and makes it about Orton, and he’s not over enough yet for that to be worthwhile. ***

– Lance Storm cuts a promo and gets interrupted by Kane being led into the building in shackles. You know, this guy has got a pretty good case for a class-action lawsuit here. But what’s the point if they just have to release him right away?

– Over in the middle east, Ivory and Terri entertain the troops. Make your own jokes here.

– Intercontinental title: Booker T v. Test. I wonder if Coach & King have any idea how lame they sound shilling crap like Striperella and the Mullets on behalf of Viacom. They’re almost, but not quite, to the level of hyping Duckman in 1996. Booker gets an elbow for two, but Test stomps him down and pounds away. Test is dead in the water without women to beat up. He keeps slugging and does some jumping jacks, but Booker forearms him down and gets a sidekick for two. They dodge each other’s kicks and Test gets crotched, allowing another sidekick for two. Test comes back with a short-arm clothesline for two. Booker tries a sunset flip, which Test reverses for two. Booker hits him with a spinebuster, but gets booted during the Spinarooni. About time someone did that. Steiner and Stacy sit on the ramp and distract Test (what happened to Nash?) with a lapdance, as he stands there like an idiot and gets rolled up for two. Bookend finishes at 4:42. Man, Test matches and shackles in the same show – the UN should step in here for human rights violations. Just filler with no buildup and hyping a feud that was dead two PPVs ago. Ѕ*

– Meanwhile, Hurricane and Rosey discuss the downfall of Kane, and Hurricane sees potential in Rosey as a “super hero in training”, which Goldust then spells out as “S.H.I.T.” Wow, such wit. But will he win the Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title next week? And hey, you know “for unlawful carnal knowledge” spells “F.U.C.K.”, too. That one’s a freebie, in case no one on the writing team is a Van Halen fan.

– Kane v. Rob Van Dam. RVD dropkicks him out to start and follows with a bodypress as they brawl outside. Rob moonsaults him off the railing, but gets posted. Kane drops him on the stairs and pounds him down, and they fight up the railing and over to the entrance. Well, it’s a fight only in the sense that Kane is beating up Rob. Kane tries to chokeslam him off the stage, but road agents talk him out of it. Rob makes a brief comeback, but gets rammed into the sign, and they do the stupid pyrotechnic effect of the lights exploding. Kane goes after Linda (yeah!) and TSN cuts away, but returns as King makes the save. He tombstones her instead (I guess, TSN didn’t actually show it), which I guess was supposed to get him over as a heel, but really just made him cooler since no one likes Linda McMahon in the first place. And wow, does RVD look like a bitch now or what? The next logical step in any sane promotion would be to support this monster push by putting the World title on him, but that’s not an option here, obviously. I get the feeling they’re going to move to the original Nathan Jones character with Kane and have him come out in Hannibal Lecter gear and stuff.

The Bottom Line:

Gee, I bet those cops feel pretty stupid now for unshackling him, don’t they?

I guess the best way to sum it up is to note that if you like Kane, you probably like the direction they’re going with the show, and I’ll leave it at that. The problem is that HHH has already destroyed all the top babyfaces, so there’s no one left on top for him to be programmed with. Personally I’d have Austin trade Kane to Smackdown for Chris Benoit, which gives you a top babyface on RAW for HHH to get a few PPVs out of, and a new unstoppable monster for Brock Lesnar to slay. Plus Kurt Angle has historically gotten better matches out of Kane than anyone else.

Jericho-Michaels was pretty good for a TV match, the rest was presented as nothing more than filler, and I think this Kane thing isn’t gonna have the effect they intended.

Until next week, just remember: What would Jesus do…for a Klondike Bar?


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