wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarK RAW Rant – September 29 2003

September 30, 2003 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK RAW Rant – September 29 2003

– Sorry the rant is 24 hours late, but dating overrides wrestling, even though I try to plan my social calendar around the shows I review. If it makes you feel better, I’ve been avoiding the internet all day so as not to have anything spoiled, so it’ll be just like I’m watching live. Even if I’m not.

– Also, I’m still working on the Macho Man “Be A Man” review – sometimes you just don’t have the words to express what you REALLY need to say about an album, and this is one of the cases.

– By the way, someone asked for the full tracklisting for the “Gimme Skelter” CD that I did a mini-review of a little while ago, so courtesy www.gimmeskelter.com, here you go…

Mudhoney: Hard-On For War
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Shot Down
Pleasure Forever: King Cobra in the Guts of Valhalla
Burning Brides: Overhead Metal Erection
Primal Scream: Shoot Speed/Kill Light (live in Japan)
Dead Meadow: Let’s Jump In
The Starvations: Last Night I Had A Nightmare We Got Married
Beehive & Barracudas: Up In Flames
Your Enemies Friends: Back Of A Taxi
Le Tigre: Mediocrity Rules
Wire: Spent (Louder, Faster Mix)
Radio Vago: Intro
Cave-In: Harmless, Armless/Minus World
Weezer: You Won’t Get With Me Tonight
The Icarus Line: Losing Touch With My Mind

– Live from Chicago, IL.

– Your hosts are Coach and Snow. Probably not for long.

– Opening interview: Chris Jericho has Uncle Eric in the Highlight Reel, and Steve Austin is suspended for one week due to his unwarranted manhandling of Bischoff. Finally justice is served! Now all we need is for OJ to finally find the real killer and the police can pretty much close up shop. But anyway, the real guest tonight is Jim Ross, and while Eric is around he decides to screw over JR by asking Coach what kind of match he wants. He announces a “country whipping match”, which gets no reaction. Jericho ends up putting JR in the Walls, but Steve Austin makes the save, despite his suspension. Security is called in, but Austin wants to go peaceably. Of course he gives them both stunners. That Austin, always raising hell.

– Meanwhile, Austin is escorted out of the building and the entrance is blocked.

– RAW World tag titles: The Dudley Boyz v. Test & Scott Steiner. Hey, remember when Stacy managed the Dudley Boyz? Bubba hiptosses Test in to start and pounds him in the corner, and gets a corner splash. Flip Flop & Fly, but Test slugs him down on the Fly and stops to jaw with Steiner, resulting in a rollup for two. Test tries a pumphandle, but Bubba reverses to a Wazzup Drop. Test pushes the ref into D-Von to break it up, and pumphandles D-Von for two. Steiner makes the save, which presumably saves the titles from changing on a transition move. Test grabs a chair, but Stacy steals it from him, resulting in her getting shoved down. In 1987 they did that with Elizabeth and made millions off it. Now it’s a opening match angle that’s forgotten seconds later. Stacy chairs Test, and 3D finishes him at 2:45. Terrible, rushed mess. Ѕ* Steiner saves Stacy from further abuse, but then points out that she’s been screwing him over as of late, and turns on her with a suplex. Well, that’s one way to change up the storyline. About time they turned Steiner heel again.

– Kane is out to talk. Yay. It’s the clash of the former partners, as Hurricane interrupts a fascinating promo against Shane McMahon. Perhaps Shane Helms got confused and thought he was being called out. He actually references past history and shows us video of their tag title win. Kane now has an odd-looking contact lens in one eye for some reason. Kane picks on a little kid in the front row to annoy Hurricane. I’d rather he went after the guy wearing the HBK Jesus Fish shirt, personally. Hurricane tries to make the save but gets laid out, bringing Rosey out to save HIM. And they manage to dump Kane. Anything’s better than continuing the Shane McMahon feud.

– Earlier tonight, the rookies play video games (which is an inside shot at Booker T), and get into an argument with the Evil French. Grenier’s big comeback: “Oh, you’re pretty funny…you think you’re Chris Farley or something?” You’d think they’d have them be big fans of Jerry Lewis to really go for the silly stereotypes.

– La Resistance v. Maven, Mark Jindrak & Garrison Cade. This is gonna die. Big brawl to start and Conway nails Cade with the flag, allowing the evil French to take over. Conway pounds him down and gets a clothesline, and Dupree falls victim to a sunset flip, but tags Conway on the way down. Rob cranks on the neck. Cade escapes with a suplex, but the French keep him in the evil corner. He tags in Maven, however, and a high cross on Conway sets up a dropkick to Dupree and a necksnap on Grenier. Leg lariat for Conway and it’s BONZO GONZO, as Jindrak tags in, but Maven gets the swinging DDT on Conway. La Resistance get the double-chokeslam, but Jindrak gets a rebound clothesline and they finish Conway with the double-team dropkick at 3:44. This was just all over the place, and also very rushed. There was no real wrestling here, just a bunch of stuff thrown together. Ѕ*

– Meanwhile, Austin petitions to get back in again, but RVD tracks him down to thank him for the ladder match. That was weird. Developmental wrestler John Heidenreich then introduces himself and points out that he bought a ticket just to see Austin. See, Austin still puts asses in the seats. I bet you can guess Austin’s plan to get in now.

– “Live on satellite”, it’s HHH, ready to bore the crowd. He points out what we already know – he’ll have the title back soon enough. Then we really get old-school, as HHH puts a $100,000 bounty on Goldberg. Did I get hit on the head and wake up in 1978 Florida or something? It’s not like it’s a bad idea in theory or anything, but no one buys stuff like that anymore.

– The Coach v. Jim Ross. Welcome to the freakshow. Jericho is doing play-by-play in Coach’s place. Former World champion AND third-string RAW announcer – he’s truly the main event. JR whips Coach a few times, and holds him out of the ring. Coach jaws with the fans, and gets whipped from behind. Thank you to Jericho for bringing the word “ballyhoo” back to cable TV. It’s been too long. Coach comes back after a missed shot from JR and whips him. We need Dusty doing commentary here. That goes on for a while. Coach talks too much smack and loses his belt to JR, but retrieves the other one. Wow, what psychology. Coach tries to pull his shirt off, but JR goes low and pulls Coach’s shirt off. Coach gets whipped, Bischoff runs in and gets whipped, and JR gives Coach the worst Stone Cold stunner in recorded history, getting the pin at 4:46. What the hell was the point of this whole storyline? DUD This now marks THREE storylines this year alone that involved Jim Ross getting fired (or set on fire) and making his big return within a week. And speaking of recycled storylines, Austin comes into the ring because he has a ticket.

– In the ring, Terri interviews Lita so she can plug the book. Molly and Kim interrupt because they’re not feeling the merchandising love. This leads to Trish getting involved, but Victoria joins the evil gals for a 3-on-2 beatdown. They should actually put Victoria with the new Evolution, because she has the kind of Sherri Martell presence that could really help them get over as heels.

– Kane v. The Hurricane. Hurricane hits him with a somersault plancha to start, but gets tossed into the ring. He tries a Shining Wizard and gets two, but Kane slams him out of the corner and finishes the slaughter with a chokeslam at 0:57. Don’t you love how they build up a babyface and show them to be completely ineffectual losers later in the show? And they wonder why no one gets behind anyone. DUD

– Goldberg & Shawn Michaels v. Randy Orton & Ric Flair. Goldberg overpowers Flair to start, but Evolution double-teams him with a double-wristlock. Goldberg clotheslines out of it and brings Shawn in, and he fights them both off. Orton blocks the superkick with a neckbreaker, and he’s YOUR face-in-peril. Orton slugs him down with CLUBBING FOREARMS, and Flair lays in the chops. Michaels returns fire, but can’t make the tag. Orton stomps away and gets the high dropkick for two. Fistdrop gets two. Flair makes a blind tag to break up a rollup attempt by Shawn, and slugs him against the ropes. Shawn kips up and gets the flying forearm, however, and makes the hot tag to Goldberg. It’s kinda silly when he has the energy to kip up and jump all over, but can’t make a simple tag without huge effort. Backdrops for everyone! Press slam for Orton into a spear for Flair, which looked kinda sloppy, but Rodney Mack runs in for the bizarre DQ at 5:48. ** I know they’re trying for the money, but Flair can’t do a job? Goldberg uses a spear (which looks remarkably like a jackhammer, but who am I to argue with Jim Ross? Good to have you back, JR!) to dispatch Mack, but Henry beats up Michaels and indicates we’re gonna get subjected to the horror of Mark Henry v. Goldberg next week. Yeah, that’ll recoup the money from Goldberg’s contract. This was okay, perfectly acceptable wrestling.

– More hype for “The Rundown”. Saw it, loved it, hope Rock makes a zillion dollars and a zillion action movies.

– Intercontinental title, ladder match: Christian v. Rob Van Dam. A guy in the front row has a “Bring Back Hall” sign. What, did he escape from jail? Christian attacks to start and pounds RVD down, but gets kicked down. Spinkick and Rob grabs a backup ladder, but Christian attacks him on the floor. Back in, Rob baseball slides the ladder into him and follows with a somersault plancha, but he hits the ladder on the way down and everyone is out. They brawl outside and RVD hits the stairs, allowing Christian to setup the ladder on the railing. Rob suplexes him onto it, however, and guillotines him on the ladder. Back in, Christian sets up a ladder between the ropes and catapults Rob under it. Christian makes the first climb, but gets shoved off. Rob presses him onto a ladder and follows with a standing moonsault. Wow, Rob busting out the moveset there. He uses the ladder to spear Christian out of the ring, and climbs, but Christian catches him with an inverted DDT from the ladder. Apparently that “had” to be a 10-foot drop, even though the ladder is 7 feet tall, maybe. Rob sends Christian into a ladder in the corner and hits him with a Rolling Thunder on the ladder. Rob climbs what has now become a 15-foot ladder (the laws of physics are no match for wrestling), but gets slammed off. He comes back with a spinkick to knock another ladder back at Christian. Back up top, but a frog splash misses and RVD hits the ladder instead. Christian hits him with the ladder to get rid of him, and climbs again. It’s still the annoying slow climb, which allows Rob to stop him. Christian won’t go down, so Rob dropkicks the ladder out from under him. They both climb at once, but both fall off. Rob lands on the other ladder, however, and comes off the top with a frog splash. Back up the ladder with Christian trapped under the ladder, and Rob wins the title at 13:42. Well, this came close to justifying the terrible show, but it wasn’t a classic or anything. It was a fun match that the crowd was into and had all the right spots, though. ***1/2

The Bottom Line:

My mind is still spinning that they’ve killed off everyone on this side of the roster but MARK HENRY gets his shot to be elevated. Most of this was terrible stuff, as there’s still no direction and HHH is so obviously getting the belt back once Goldberg has plowed through all the opposition that I don’t know why they even bothered changing the belt in the first place. Trying to build up Hurricane and Rosey is a good idea, but killing them off a few minutes later is so counterproductive that I have no idea what they’re even thinking anymore. Randy Orton got one cheap win over Michaels and you don’t even hear about that anymore, and he’s doing nothing since then.

It’s just a show desperately in need of a direction, and not one involving HHH on top.

Thank god I skipped it this week.


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