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The SmarK RAW Rant – June 28 2004

June 28, 2004 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK RAW Rant – June 28, 2004

– I don’t even wanna talk about last night’s PPV. I didn’t see it yet, but there’s a tape on the way, so I can see the car wreck for myself. Prepare for another Smackdown PPV that features the SMURF rating system, I guess. For those who missed it when it was wiped off the front page pretty quickly last week, the Bad Blood rant is available here.

– Live from Richmond, VA.

– Your hosts are JR & King.

– Opening interview: Evolution comes out to inform us that HHH is the #1 contender no matter who wins tonight, and HHH calls out Eugene, who is sporting a happy-face bandage on his forehead. HHH tries to turn Eugene against Benoit. Apparently, Benoit is a BIG JERK. I cannot believe this slander. Neither can William Regal, who comes out to protest this malarkey from HHH, but HHH (who always tells Eugene the truth) reveals that Regal was just hired by Bischoff to babysit Eugene. Funny line from HHH, as he tells Regal off because “nothing is lower than pretending to be a man like Eugene’s friend just to get what you want”. Eric comes out and settles thing by making Regal v. HHH tonight, with Eugene as the guest referee. Interesting.

– Randy Orton & Batista v. Chris Jericho & Edge. It’s the rematch! Batista hammers on Jericho to start and pounds him on the mat, then takes him into the corner and works him over. JR clarifies that the annoying buzzing in the background is the fire alarm going off. Inadvertently. Jesus, I hope so. The crowd picks up on it and chants for Jericho using it as a beat. Evolution works him over in the corner, but Jericho times his comeback with the alarm finally shutting off, then he walks into a sideslam from Batista. Jericho bails and gets abused by Orton on the floor, and Batista works on him with an armbar back in the ring. Jericho fights out and dropkicks Batista against the ropes, but Batista pounds Jericho down to cut off a tag. Back to the heel corner for more punishment, as Orton comes in with a standing dropkick for two. Jericho finally comes back with the Flashback (which they don’t even call anymore for some reason) and makes the hot tag to Edge, who hits Orton with a flying forearm and Russian legsweep for two. Dropkick and he gets rid of Batista, then hotshots Orton and sets up to finish. Orton dodges the spear, but Edge takes him down with the Edge-ecutioner (which again they don’t call anymore) until Batista breaks it up. Evolution gets dumped by the faces and Edge baseball slides Orton, then Jericho follows with a high cross on Batista as all four brawl, and we take a break. Back with the faces working Orton over in the corner, as Edge pounds on him. Orton escapes and brings Batista back in, so he fires off a running powerslam for two. He stomps on the abs and brings him back for Orton, who adds more of that and drops a leg for two. Batista goes to a full-nelson, but Edge rams him into the corner to break. Orton snapmares Edge into a bodyscissors and armbar, as things slow down a lot. Edge fights out with the Edge-O-Matic (again, not called – throw me a frickin’ bone, guys), and it’s hot tag Jericho. He pounds on Batista with chops and gets a forearm, then dodges a charge and bulldogs him out of the corner. Lionsault misses and he recovers with the running choke, and a sunset flip for two. Orton tries to sneak in an RKO, but Jericho ducks, and Batista kills Orton dead with a lariat. Walls for Batista, but he powers out because he’s a freak and all. Edge spears Batista, but he’s not legal, so the Lionsault finishes at 17:26. I can safely hazard a guess that this was 200% better than anything from the PPV last night. What a great finishing sequence. ***3/4 This also builds towards Orton v. Edge and Jericho v. Batista at the PPV, as they actually seem to be going somewhere again.

– Meanwhile, Flair protests to HHH that bringing Eugene into the group would “kill our gimmick”. HHH just claims that he’s following Flair’s example. Touche.

– Yay, more crap from the Diva search. Considering there’s no established parameters for what we’re supposed to be looking for in the winner and none of the current divas are exactly talented to begin with, you really have to wonder who they think is going to care about this.

– Meanwhile (and thus proving my point), Lita cries on Stacy’s shoulder about how stupid she is for screwing Kane and getting pregnant. You’d think that if she was getting blackmailed into sex, she’s at least bring a condom for him. Unless he can shoot fire from other places than the ringpost, if you know what I mean.

– Kane interview time, as JR gets the job again, albeit with security around the ring this time. Yeah, THAT’LL stop him. Kane’s motivation in getting Lita pregnant is to continue his legacy…OF EVIL. He seems remarkably unfazed by his FATHER being murdered live on PPV the night before, but I can see how he has a lot on his mind right now. JR insists that there’s a 50/50 chance it’s Matt’s baby, too. Actually, probably way more than that, but math isn’t really their strong suit anyway. Matt charges in to attack, so Bischoff has him dragged off, leaving JR without any security to protect him. So Bischoff apologizes to Kane by making the stips tonight that Benoit has to make Kane submit, but Kane can win by pinfall, submission, DQ, or countout. But what about Sportz Entertainment Finish?

– William Regal v. HHH. Eugene is of course YOUR special guest referee. HHH powers Regal into the corner off the lockup, and Eugene wants a clean break. Regal takes him down with a hammerlock and hangs on, then slugs him down in the corner. Eugene insists on better sportsmanship, which allows HHH to attack and slug Regal down. The problem here seems to be that Regal isn’t a full babyface yet, so the crowd isn’t behind him. HHH drops a knee, but Regal fires back with forearms and elbows HHH down, which triggers a Flair Flop. Backdrop out of the corner and Exploder gets two. JR actually calls the EXPLODER? HHH goes to the eyes and gets a handy pair of brass knuckles from Flair, but Regal is one up on him in that department, and uses them himself, but that’s a DQ at 4:12. Well, that match was a huge disappointment. *1/4 Regal goes after HHH afterwards, triggering the WRATH OF EUGENE. HHH calms him down as the crowd doesn’t know what to do with any of this. Neither do I – it was a better idea in theory than execution, because Regal hasn’t turned yet. Regal’s got some good fire since coming back, though, can’t fault him for that.

– La Resistance v. Sgt. Slaughter & Rhyno. Um…okay. The idea is that we’re heading into the 4th of July, but tonight is actually ELECTION DAY in Canada, with Canada Day coming up on Thursday, so really La Rez has the right of way here, politically speaking. Rhyno attacks Conway to start and stomps away in the corner, then takes him down with a shoulderblock. La Rez switches off and works Rhyno over, and Grenier gets a clothesline on Rhyno for two. Grenier drops some knees for two and hits the chinlock. Rhyno fights out and gets a belly-to-belly, then makes the hot tag to Sarge. Hiptosses abound. Conway tries a clothesline and Sarge ducks and gets the cobra clutch, but Grenier breaks it up. Conway DDTs him, but Grenier gets elbowed by Rhyno, who is then disposed of by Conway. La Rez finishes Slaughter with Au Revoir (the suplex-neckbreaker finisher) at 5:00. Kinda shocked that Slaughter could even take that bump. This was far, far less embarrassing than the Slaugher v. La Rez match from this time last year. And using Slaughter to put La Rez over can only lead to good as far as they’re concerned. Now if only they had someone to feud with. **

– Meanwhile, HHH further gets into Eugene’s head. You have to love a heel who would manipulate a retard to get heat. Now that’s evil.

– RAW Divas: The crap continues.

– Next week: Uncle Eric goes on vacation, and Eugene takes over as interim GM for a week. I’d pay to see THAT.

– Bash recap time, as I feel sorry for the poor bastards who had to make WWE champion Bradshaw and Paul Bearer getting murdered in cement sound like something people would actually want to order on PPV.

– RAW World title: Chris Benoit v. Kane. To show why no one cares about angles in wrestling, they showed a somber recap of a man getting killed, live on PPV, by being buried in wet cement until he suffocated, and the announcers totally ignore it and happily move on to Bearer’s storyline son wrestling for the title in the SAME SEGMENT. Benoit goes for the leg to start and takes him down with a chop block, but Kane powers out of a Sharpshooter. Kane goes for a chokeslam, but Benoit fights out and dodges an elbowdrop. Oklahoma Roll into a crossface attempt, but Kane powers him into the corner and works him over. Benoit takes him down with another crossface attempt, but Kane tosses him and we take a break. Back with, shock of shocks, Kane in control. Benoit starts chopping and yanks Kane out, where they brawl, and Benoit ends up hitting the post. The ref counts, with the idea that the crowd is supposed to be anxious about Benoit losing the title via countout, but they don’t seem to be thinking the same thing. Back in, Kane gets two. Back out for more brawling, as Benoit takes Kane into the stairs with a drop toehold, but Kane can’t be counted out. And we take ANOTHER break, less than two minutes after the last one. This does allow me to take a moment to talk about the “WWE talking soap” commercials that air here in Canada, as apparently there’s soap with electronic pre-recorded comments from WWE stars. This leads me to wonder whether there’s the special Bradshaw edition, where you drop it in the shower and he rapes you. Anyway, back again with Kane holding a chinlock. Benoit fights out, but Kane goes for the chokeslam, which Benoit counters into the crossface. Kane powers out with a samoan drop, but Benoit keeps coming with the rolling germans and goes up. Diving headbutt gets nothing, since he can’t win by pinfall. Kane sits up, so Benoit dropkicks him down again and goes up, which allows Kane to stop him and send him to the floor. However, Kane’s arm gets the worst of it, and Benoit quickly sends the shoulder into the post and works it over, then gets another german suplex into the crossface. Now that was great. Crowd is really into it now. Kane rolls him over, but can’t make the ropes, and he taps at 15:45. About half the match was lost to commercials, but there was some really good stuff in what we saw. *** Kane chokeslams Benoit afterwards, but Lita joins us and gives Kane the belt. Then she kicks him in the balls and steals it back. God, she really is an idiot. Kane is about to chokeslam her, but doesn’t want to abort his unborn baby. Now there’s psychology you don’t see everyday. And for good reason. Benoit lays him out with the belt after the melodrama plays out.

The Bottom Line:

Really flat finish to the show, as this stuff with the pregnancy is just mind-numbingly stupid, but the rest of the show was much better than usual, with a couple of good matches carrying things. And the best thing about RAW? Bradshaw isn’t champion there. What more do you need?

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