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The SmarK RAW Rant – May 17 2004

May 17, 2004 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK RAW Rant – May 17, 2004

– Book plug time! Since RD & Bryan can plug their upcoming book on the WON site, I can also remind you that I too have a new book coming out at the same time (October 2004), called Wrestling’s One Ring Circus, all about the changeover from the WWF to WWE and all the stupid stuff going on at the same time with HHH and Katie Vick and Steve Austin. Rants and tirades a-plenty! Many of them about HHH, even after I promise not to rant about him anymore earlier in the book. Hope that’s not a spoiler. Pre-order now! And while you’re there, why not grab a copy of my other Citadel book, Tonight…In This Very Ring?

– Also wanna plug the return of Wrestleline, at www.wrestleline.com, now run and owned by my pal Denny Burkholder, and featuring people like Rick Scaia again.

– Live from San Diego, CA.

– Your hosts are JR & King.

– Opening match: Lita v. Trish Stratus. Lita gets the monkey-flip to start and uses her shitty punches, but misses a charge and Trish yanks her down and punts her. Trish slugs away with forearms, but Lita fights back and gets the flying headscissors into a rollup for two. Trish chokes her out on the ropes and then pulls her up for another choke in the corner. She follows with a clothesline from the middle rope for two. Trish drops some elbows and gets a neckbreaker to set up the high kick, but Lita blocks with a rollup for two. Trish comes back with a lariat for two. We hit the chinlock, and Trish gets a spinebuster for two. Back to the chinlock, and she tries the bulldog, but Lita counters with a backdrop suplex for two. Trish keeps slugging her down, but Lita slugs back with her HORRIBLE punches, and gets the snap suplex for the comeback. Lita, for the love of GOD, please learn to throw forearms or kicks like Trish. Russian legsweep gets two. Twist of Fate gets two. Kane then appears on the screen and she turns around like an idiot and gets rolled up for the pin at 6:07. I swear that finish was invented by Satan to haunt me until the end of my days. Match was going along fine because Lita & Trish work well together and it was mainly Lita selling. *1/2

– Randy Orton joins us because, amazingly, he enjoys talking about himself. Hey, don’t we all? He has some words about Evolution, but Shelton Benjamin interrupts and challenges him to a title match at some point in the future, but Orton refuses because “his kind are too uppity” and he wouldn’t want to “soil the title”. Now do we REALLY need more of that stuff? Shelton is understandably upset and attacks him, chasing him off.

– Meanwhile, Evolution vows to win all the gold, starting tonight.

– Meanwhile, Eugene and Regal (“Got your nose.” “Very good, now give it back.”) have a meeting of the minds, and Uncle Eric has more plans to break Eugene. EVIL plans. Regal, with a subtle look, appears more concerned with Eugene’s welfare than Eric is. See, that’s acting, unlike what Torrie Wilson does. Eugene is more concerned with a fire extinguisher.

– Kane v. Val Venis. Val is quite purple today. Kane manhandles him, but he fights him off and tries the legsweep, which Kane blocks. Val pounds him down off a missed elbow, but walks into a boot and it’s over via chokeslam at 1:06. Matt Hardy does a sneak-attack, however, and clotheslines him out, FINALLY showing some fire for the first time in forever. He grabs a chair (“The steel chair and the damage done” quoth JR. Wasn’t that a Neil Young song?) but gets killed. JR calls it “deplorable”. Um, Matt STARTED it, Jim, and brought the chair in. Kane was just minding his own business tonight. Kane chokes him down until Lita runs out and gives Kane what he wants in exchange for him backing off. But what does he want? Her to take acting lessons? I guess we’ll find out next week, but I’m hoping for the lessons.

– RAW tag team titles: Chris Benoit & Edge v. Randy Orton & Batista. You know, I was thinking tonight – the original trade in 2002 that sent Big Show to Smackdown was Show for Orton, Batista, Ivory and D-Von Dudley, and although it didn’t seem like much at the time, that ended up being a hell of a deal for RAW. Edge’s cast is down to a black glove, which looks pretty cool. What ISN’T cool is Batista’s kinda gay bodybuilder poses on the ramp. Just because HHH thinks something is super-hetero doesn’t make it so. Just look at what he almost married. Or was it Chyna that’s the female and X-Pac that’s the male? I always get those two confused. Anyway, Edge grabs a headlock on Orton to start and ruffles the hair. Back to the headlock and he overpowers Orton, triggering a slugfest and a backdrop from Edge. Benoit fires off chops on Orton, but gets taken into the corner for some shots from Batista. He powers Benoit down using the POWER OF THE PECS and gets two. Orton comes back in, but runs into a boot and Benoit slugs back with chops. Edge comes in and elbows Orton down, getting two. He hits the chinlock on Orton, but he fights out, so Edge backdrops him to the floor and then Spinal Fusion double-teams Batista and gets rid of him, too. And we take a break. Back with Orton armbarring Edge’s bad hand. Edge fights out, but gets stomped in the corner. Batista works on the arm, and Orton comes back in with a nasty standing armbar, but Edge fights up again. Orton tries the dropkick, but Edge moves and catapults Orton into the corner for good measure, before getting an Edge-O-Matic for two. Geez, man, just make the tag! And Orton keeps clinging to the leg to prevent a tag, but Edge DDTs him, and it’s a double KO. You’d think one day babyfaces would learn to move to the closer side of the corner. Hot tag Benoit regardless, and he hits Orton with a snap suplex and chops so hard that it knocks the tattoos off him. Backbreaker gets two. He gets the Sharpshooter, but Batista breaks it up, so Spinal Fusion spears Orton into Batista and double-clotheslines Orton. Batista double-clotheslines THEM, however, and tries the demon bomb on Benoit, but he escapes and the ref is bumped. Edge dumps Batista, leaving Benoit to hit Orton with the rolling germans (Orton’s desperation to escape is great). Benoit goes up, but Flair gets in his face, so Benoit gets rid of him and dives right into Orton’s belt, and Orton gets two. Thought that was it! Flair helps Orton up, so Edge spears the both of them, leaving Orton down and out, and Batista brawls with Edge on the floor. Batista hits the stairs while Orton tries the RKO, but Benoit reverses to the crossface at 17:31 to retain. Tremendously fun, and it killed everything on the PPV last night. ***3/4 Orton can only be helped by working with Benoit.

– Meanwhile, Regal sends Eugene off to his doom, but tells him to stand up and be a man, no matter what. Awww.

– It’s interview time for Eugene, but to keep the intellectual discourse on an equal level, Coach gets to do the interview. He berates Eugene and calls him the laughingstock of the show, insults his manhood, and generally acts like a dickhead to him. A tearful Eugene goes to leave, BUT ROCK IS HERE. FUCK YEAH! Now he’ll show Coach how to REALLY abuse someone. Apparently the Rock is a big fan of Eugene, and Coach is a popcorn fart. Rock leads the fans in a “Screw the Coach” chant, which will probably catch on, and Rock offers friendship to Eugene. Eugene even gets to use “It doesn’t matter” on Coach, and does a good job, too. Who’s Eugene’s boy? “The Rock!” Who’s the people’s champ? “The Rock!” Who’s Eugene’s favorite wrestler? “HHH!” HHH?! Well, apparently they both like to play games, and he has a cool pose. Rock is taken aback at having his routine thrown off, but he recovers Garrison Cade breaks up the fun by attacking Rock, but Eugene saves! Ass is whooped! People’s Elbows are delivered to Coach by Eugene! GREATEST! SEGMENT! EVER! They have just made a huge star out of Eugene. And now they’ve gotta FOLLOW that!

– 20-man #1 contender battle royale: We’ve got HHH, Maven, Kane, Randy Orton, Edge, Chris Jericho, Christian, Batista, Steven Richards, Hurricane, Rosey, Rhyno, Ric Flair, Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, Johnny Nitro, Val Venis, Garrison Cade, Sylvain Grenier and Rob Conway, according to WWE.com. Matt and Christian are both gone due to injuries, so it’s really just 18. Kane tosses Nitro at 0:25, and Stevie goes at 0:33. Rosey goes at 0:45 via Kane. Hurricane is dumped onto him at 1:04, but Rosey tosses him back in to stay in it. And we take ANOTHER break. We return and Rob Conway has been eliminated. Val tries to dump Maven, but HHH dumps both of them at 5:22. Cade gets dumped by Jericho. Rhyno gets tossed by Evolution, and Hurricane soon after. We take ANOTHER break. Jesus. It’s 11:00 in and we’ve had maybe 1:30 of action shown. We return and we’re down to 8. Jericho bulldogs HHH while Edge pounds on Kane. Orton almost goes out via Benjamin, but hangs on, so Edge tries to dump him too. Jericho and Flair exchange chops, which leads to Flair getting a figure-four. Benjamin goes 1-on-2 with Evolution, but that ends as you’d expect. Jericho goes back to the chops on Flair and backdrops him, then clotheslines him out at 13:54. Batista waffles Jericho with a clothesline, however, and pounds on him. Over the top and Jericho is out at 14:28. Benjamin is tossed, but he hangs on and stays in. HHH hits Kane with a facecrusher, to no effect, and gets chokeslammed as a result. As does Orton. And Edge. Benjamin? Sure, why not. Batista? I think not. They slug it out and Kane goes for the chokeslam, but Batista fights him off. Spinebuster for Kane, but Edge goes after Batista and clotheslines him out at 16:25. HHH recovers and gets speared by Edge, but Kane is up, so Edge spears him too. He tries Orton, but Randy ducks and Edge is gone. Well, there goes my pick. Orton and Benjamin fight it out in the corner, and Shelton again takes on Evolution 1-on-2, but runs into the high knee of HHH. Orton tosses him, but he holds on, so HHH slugs him down…and he still hangs on. They keep hammering him, but he hangs tight, so they bring him back in for more punishment. He hits them with a high cross out of the corner, however, and makes the comeback, hitting them with a double-clothesline. Kane tries his luck, but eats a Dragon Whip, and Orton is out at 20:39 soon after. Blinger splash on Kane, but another try results in a chokeslam attempt, which HHH breaks up with a low blow and tosses Shelton at 21:17. Boooo! So it’s HHH v. Kane, so look for a Shawn run-in finish. And yup, Shawn runs in and destroys HHH, dumping him at 22:00 to give Kane the World title shot. Ugh. I have no idea what’s going through their heads there, since Kane has been dead as a main eventer for months now and it would have been a perfect time to elevate, you know, anyone else before Benoit loses the title back to HHH. Oh well, such are the dreams of fools like I. I don’t rate battle royales, but there was good stuff in the time we actually got to see this one between the ad breaks.

The Bottom Line:

There was a PPV last night? Coulda fooled me, as RAW continues to rule all that is wrestling-related with a couple of great matches and THE MOTHERFUCKING ROCK.

I hear Bradshaw is on Smackdown again this Thursday. Yeah, I’m really excited for THAT.


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