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The SmarK RAW Rant – October 8 / 2001

October 8, 2001 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK RAW Rant for October 8 2001

“Once in a great while, we are privileged to experience a television event so extraordinary, it becomes part of our shared heritage. 1969: Man walks on the moon. 1971: Man walks on the moon… again. Then, for a long time, nothing happened. Until tonight.”

– Krusty the Clown, summing up the hype for tonight’s show.

– Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada. Happy whatever to everyone else in the world. I dunno, invent your own holiday, like Chris Benoit Day or something.

– Live from Indianapolis, IN

– Your hosts are JR & Paul E.

– Opening match: The Dudley Boyz & Tazz v. Big Show & Spike Dudley & Tajiri. Wow, this IS the biggest RAW ever. Tazz suplexes Spike to start, and he’s already selling like he’s Ricky Morton with a gunshot wound to the groin, 38 minutes into a 40 minute match. That’s a pretty impressive suplex. Hot tag Big Show after a grueling 48 seconds of action, he cleans house, but Tazz goes low. Tajiri finishes Tazz with the big kick at 1:35. That’s the fastest PPV-quality match I’ve ever seen, JR. DUD Torrie goes through a table and they do yet another fake injury angle to heat up that Stacy-Torrie feud. Nice to see the WWF tag champs being put to such good use.

– Oh goodie, Stephanie returns from her one-week exile. Let us go back to Smackdown, as she gets the beats put on her. Jericho interrupts, as usual. Before he can get past the usual sexual innuendoes, Shane interrupts his interruption. Jericho & Steph should just admit that they want each other and get it over with. Shane thinks Jericho is hilarious, and that he has a long career as comic relief ahead of him, since he can’t win the big one and he’s a huge choke artist. Ouch, the truth hurts there, Y2J. So Jericho decides to defend his own honor by challenging the Glimmer Twins to a handicap match tonight. Steph declines, offering up RVD as her replacement, so Jericho wants the Rock as HIS partner. This is just BEGGING for the double-turn.

– Meanwhile, T&T chat up RVD and get all confrontational. However, Rob is so cool that sheep are counting him tonight. And then Test goes and steals my name for them. Why couldn’t they swipe the GOOD ideas instead of the tossed-off team names?

– WCW tag team title match: T&T v. The Hardy Boyz. Hardyz double-team Test with the usual, but Test swats Jeff like a fly, and hits a tilt-a-whirl slam on Matt. Booker forearm gets two. Matt gets a DDT off a blind charge, hot tag Jeff. FRUIT OF FIRE! Test dumps dumps Matt, Bookend on Jeff, but Lita interferes and gets a rana on Booker. Why is it okay for Lita to blatantly cheat and help her boyfriend? I’ve never got the logic there. Test kills Matt with a lariat, then stalks Lita and sends her into the crowd. Undertaker waddles in, hits the Poochiebomb on Booker, and waddles back as Jeff finishes with the swanton at 3:40. Oh boy, we get to watch Undertaker not sell for Booker at the PPV now, lucky us. The Hardyz are more stale than week-old bread at this point so this is pretty much a lose-lose result. Match was pretty heatless. *1/4

– Meanwhile, Booker is tired of all the disrespect, and he decides to go after Undertaker. I’m just tired of all the run-ins.

– Meanwhile, the Hurricane & Molly confront Lita about her cheating ways. Lita is, as usual, a bitch and we have a match with her and Molly TONIGHT. Smell the ratings!

– Meanwhile, Steve Austin gets into the Halloween spirit by dressing up as his own dressing room door. What a guy.

– US title match: Rhyno v. Edge. Christian is doing color at ringside, thus guaranteeing the screwjob. He redeems the segment immediately by offering his shades to a young fan at ringside, and then taking them back again. Edge wins a slugfest, but gets beat in the corner. Edge with a atomic drop and lariat, and they slug it out again. Edge bails, and back in where Rhyno drops a leg. Christian trips up Edge, but collides with Rhyno. Rhyno comes back with a spinebuster, then completely flubs a powerbomb, dropping Edge on his ass. Edge with the Impaler out of nowhere, but Christian pulls him out for the DQ at 2:32. Lame. This feud is fizzling fast. Ѕ* They had a good start by putting Christian over for the IC title, but all he does now is color commentary.

– Rob Van Dam & Shane O Mac v. Chris Jericho & The Rock. Rock starts with RVD, and Rock clotheslines him, but gets superkicked. Shane slugs away, which proves to be a dumb move. Jericho comes in and unloads on Shane, and gets two clotheslines and a forearm. RVD stops the Lionsault. Rob kicks away, Rolling Thunder gets two. Jericho gets hammered in the corner. Shane Shuffle, but Jericho responds with the enzuigiri. Hot tag Rock, and he destroys Rob. Shane gets dumped, Sharpshooter on RVD. Shane breaks and dumps Rock, but Jericho dumps Shane in turn. He puts RVD in the Walls out on the floor, but Shane bulldogs him on the stairs. In the ring, RVD spinkicks Rock and misses the frog splash. Rock fights back and layeth smackdowneth, Spinebuster for Shane and People’s Elbow follow, but Rob breaks it up. Rob & shane collide, Rock Bottom gets two. Jericho staggers in, bleeding all over the place like Jim Cornette called and told him it was 1996 again, and PASTES Rock with a chairshot by accident (or was it?), and RVD gets the pin at 7:36. Well, thank god Shane didn’t give himself the pin there. Normally I don’t advocate snap heel turns, but they need to do something with Jericho fast. Match was quite good, despite Shane’s presence. ***

– Meanwhile, the Alliance celebrates the big win, chanting RVD’s name…right in front of Austin’s door. Uh oh.

– Meanwhile, Jericho gets sewn up by the crack medical professionals that the WWF keeps on-site at all times (*cough* *sputter* *wheeze*), and the Rock confronts him about screwing up the big match. See, now Shane gave a big interview about how Jericho always blows the big match, and what happens tonight? He blows the big match. How about that. Anyway, Rock acts like a total douchebag, harsh words are exchanged, and they come to blows, hopefully signalling Jericho’s heel turn. They REALLY REALLY REALLY need to put Jericho over to get rid of the choker label, though.

– Lightheavyweight title: X-Pac v. Scotty 2 Hotty. Headlock/hiptoss sequence to start. Scotty gets dumped, but flips back in and returns the favor. They brawl out and X-Pac gets a spinkick. Back in, X-Pac stomps away for two. Broncobuster misses, and Scott comes back. Clothesline, and a backdrop sets up the W-O-R-M, but X-Pac is in the ropes. If Earl Hebner was reffing the match would be over. X-Factor finishes at 3:30. Total filler. ѕ*

– Lita v. Mighty Molly. Molly gets a snapmare and necksnap for two. Elbow gets two. Choking abounds. Neckbreaker gets two. Lita rollup gets two, but Molly stomps away. Flapjack, but she walks into a clothesline. Flying headscissors and hairtoss from Lita to come back, but Molly wants a handshake. No go, so Molly tries a handspring and misses, but Lita can’t pull the trigger on the Twist of Fate. I think it’s her lack of passion in the “AAAAAAAAGGGGGHH!” before the move. When Matt does it, he sounds like he’s picturing a visit to the proctologist or something. No matter, as Molly rolls her up with a bridge for the pin at 2:43. Cool finish, but the match was still just filler. *

– Meanwhile, Debra sucks up to Regal in hopes of being at ringside tonight. No go, because there’s ABSOLUTELY NO INTERFERENCE tonight, guaranteed, and it’s COMPLETELY ONE-ON-ONE, mano-a-mano, no run-ins, one fall to a finish. Yup. And Regal will probably be at ringside to ensure that. Yup. I’m sorry, what’s that coming down main street…is that the finish, or just a stampede of elephants? Not sure.

– WWF title match: Kurt Angle v. Steve Austin. Debra wanders out, but Slick Willy pulls her away by the ear and takes a seat at ringside himself. Brawl outside to start, and into the ring for some Texas chops. Angle responds in kind. Angle elbow and he slugs away, but he meets a THESZ PRESS, THESZ PRESS BY GAWD from Austin, then gets his own. The Olympic Stunner is blocked, but he gets the Anglelock until Austin bails. Austin trips him up and posts the knee, then gives Angle a heapin’ helpin’ of ringpost ala carte. Austin eats table and Angle pulls up the mats, but Austin stops that. More choppage from Austin and into the ring for a slugfest. They collide and Austin takes over. Austin ducks out and attacks the leg again. Back in, clip on Angle and Austin hits the chinlock. Austin decks him on the escape and gets a suplex. Back to the chinlock. Apparently Austin has now skipped several steps of hyperbole in JR’s eyes and is now promoted all the way to “Personification of Evil”, joining the ranks of such luminaries as Satan, Adolf Hitler and Bill Gates. Stunner is countered with a backslide for two. Sleeper, but Austin counters out. Criss-cross and Austin gets his own, but Angle powers out. Bodypress gets two for Angle. Small package gets two. Austin sunset flips him, but Angle drops down and pounds the shit out of him. Austin tosses him, but Regal prevents the use of a chair. Back over to the exposed concrete, where Angle reverses a piledriver on the floor. Into the ring, Austin gets a desperate spinebuster and hooks a Boston Crab. Angle makes the ropes, and then moves as Austin crotches himself. Angle comes back and unloads on him. Blind charge hits boot, but he comes back with a belly-to-belly and the rolling germans. Austin goes low to break. KICK WHAM…reversed by Angle, and the ref is bumped. Austin gets his belt, but Regal stops that…and turns on Angle. Oh, hold me back from feinting with shock. Regal? A heel? Who could possibly guess that. The beltshot from Regal only gets two for Austin, but a well-placed KICK WHAM STUNNER finishes at 17:38 as Angle’s pathetic title reign limps to an end only two weeks after it began. It was a mercy-kill as far as I’m concerned. The match was excellent, better than their Unforgiven match, by using psychology of knowing each other’s moves and counters and the like. Good, good stuff, best RAW match since the Hunter Killer tag match of May. ****1/4

The Bottom Line: Under normal circumstances, this was a very good RAW with two good->great matches headlining things and a bunch of dull-but-not-offensively-so undercard stuff.

HOWEVER, all we’ve heard since Smackdown is HYPE HYPE HYPE, greatest RAW ever, PPV quality matches, big surprises, etc etc etc. This did not deliver on that count, and judging it by the standards they themselves set, it was in fact a miserable failure on that count. William Regal doing a heel turn is NOT shocking or big news, there was no appearances by anyone even vaguely new, and one “PPV Quality” match is not the all-star lineup promised by Jim Ross in his Shill Reports over the weekend. Even worse, the main event featured yet another broken promise, as the hype was on no interference, thus training the fans to immediately speculate on who would interfere. The plan seems to be for Mick Foley to return and feud with Regal over the meaningless commisioner position in a feud variation that has never drawn money in the past. Hmm, feuding commisioners, lingerie matches between non-wrestler women on PPV, bait-and-switch tactics in a desperate ploy for ratings…where have I seen all this before? Three letters: WCW. Ignore the past and you’ll fear the future, kids. The Ghost of Russo lives on.

WE WANT FLAIR!

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