JG's 1/26/04 Raw Insanity: Jackie's Breasts and Foley's Nuts
By James Guttman Jan 26, 2017 - 8:03 AM
Originally Published January 26, 2004
Ashton Kutcher: What's up, everybody? Welcome to MTV's Punk'd. A few years ago, Chris Benoit gave us a call and asked us to help him punk Kevin Sullivan. Done. Taken care of. Come on, Chris. Did you think that you'd get to punk someone without getting punked yourself? Nah ah! No way! Here's the plan. We're gonna convince Chris Benoit that he won the Royal Rumble. He's gonna be thinking that he's going to WrestleMania to fight the champion. Come on, man! You're Chris Benoit! You ain't going to WrestleMania! Dax is going to be playing the role of the Big Show. Let's go to commercial. Stick around cause after the break the Rabid Wolverine is going to have a reason to be rabid!
Commercial Announcer: Next week, it's the Punk'd Best of 2003 show. Look back at some of the finest punk out moments from last year. We convince NWA-TNA that Hulk Hogan is coming in. We talk Rosey into calling himself SHIT. Then Teddy Hart goes from company to company punking out each opponent by no-selling the finish!
Ashton Kutcher: OK, we're back. We're going to punk the Canadian Crippler by making him think that he's finally going to be getting his chance at greatness. Not happening, buddy! Let's go to the tape from last night's Rumble!
Benoit has his body wrapped around "Big Show" (Dax) He pulls him over the top rope and the bell rings
Howard Finkel: Here is your winner of the 2004 Royal Rumble…Chris Benoit!
Jim Ross: Chris Benoit has done it! Chris Benoit will be in the main event of WrestleMania 20!
Tazz: He won the big one, J.R.!
Cut to: The production truck. Ashton Kutcher is watching on a monitor.
Kutcher:(Taking off headset) That's it. Got it. I'm going in.
Benoit continues to celebrate in the ring as Kutcher walks up the aisle and comes in. As he enters, Benoit stops and starts laughing.
Kutcher: Yo, Crips! You just got punked, son!
Benoit:(laughing and jumping) Oh you guys! You got me!
Kutcher: Ha ha ha! You really thought you won? You thought you were main eventing Mania? Ha ha! They already have you booked on Heat against A-Train! You got punked!
Benoit: Yeah, that's funny stuff. Next time you go out of town, I'm slamming Demi.
Cut to: The studio with Kutcher
Kutcher: So, there you go. Chris Benoit got punked. There is no escaping us! That was better than when we told the ECW roster that they were going to get paid. Join us next week!
Commercial Announcer: Join us for an exciting season on Punk'd. We send a kinder, gentler Vince Russo to TNA. Bob Holly main events a pay-per-view. And Vince McMahon sends Coachman to punk Jim Ross for eleven straight weeks! Don't miss it!
Well, it wasn't an episode of Punk'd last night. Chris Benoit outlasted 29 men and became the #1 contender for the World Champion at WrestleMania. But which World Champion? Will the Rabid Wolverine choo-choo-choose Brock Lesnar as his Mania foe or pull a shocker and confront Triple H? What is on Shawn Michaels's mind following his bloody near-win over the World Champ last night? Does Randy Orton have a gameplan to counterattack the deranged and disrespected Mick Foley? How will Evolution continue to hold their tag straps in the face of challenge? Can the wacky, mismatched authority figures, Eric Bischoff and Steve Austin, co-exist for another week? Why doesn't Senator John Edwards just give the state of New Hampshire free cold-readings with their dead relatives and assure himself a primary victory? Oh, because it's a different guy…never mind. The other questions will be answered tonight on the Spike TV Monday Night tradition, Raw!
January 26, 2004... Hershey, Pennsylvania
Recap of: Mick Foley returning to the Rumble and feeding his sock to Randy Orton.
Raw Theme Plays. They should just flash a quick picture of Samba Simba in the opening montage and see if anyone notices.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are flying without the Coach tonight so they'll have to ruin the commentary themselves. After a brief recap of last night's Rumble, the Titantron lights up and the music plays.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 ….Don't - you - wish you could sing?…
Chris Jericho hits the scene with his self-sung entrance music. Considering that he's one of the few on the
Originals CDthat actually sings outside wrestling, I expected more. He sounds like Jim Breur doing the heavy metal voice. Y2J+4 mentions how he was the final Raw competitor to be in last night's Rumble. Seeing as how the winner, Chris Benoit, is on Smackdown, there is still a World Title up for grabs. Chris believes that Hunter's title should be defended against the Highlight of the Night. In fact, let's make it even more solid. How about if Jericho cashes in that Survivor Series favor with Eric Bischoff too? Fozzy has all his bases covered and demands that he be allowed to take Triple H "downtown to Chinatown" tonight in Hershey! Then he'll take the title across the country and defend it at WrestleMania 20.
AP Newswire - 2001Atlanta, GA…When he was pulled from his spider hole by WWE troops, Eric Bischoff was littered with lice. He said "I'm Eric Bischoff. Former Executive Vice-President of WCW. I want to negotiate." To which WWE troops responded "Mr. McMahon sends his regards."
Uncle Eric Bischoff is in the house. He questions Jericho's proposition and is met by an "asshole" chant from the crowd. C.J. then steals a Stone Cold promo spot and tells Bischoff that he's hearing "about 10, 000 Hershey Pennsylvania people calling you an asshole!" (JG Note: Hershey, Pennsylvania people?) Easy E dismisses the crowd and makes Chris a deal. If he wants to cash in his favor for a match with Stephanie's husband, then that's cool by him. However, Bisch turns into Monty Hall and offers Y2J the chance to rethink his choice. You see, Fozzy, Schoff has a match scheduled for tonight. It's going to be your Canadian crush, Trish Stratus, meeting the Big Red Machine Kane! Too bad no one has a favor to cash in, huh Chris? Huh? Sure wish someone had a favor they could use to save her. Huh, Chris? Sure you still want that title match?
Before you answer, rest assured that Eric Bischoff isn't proud of you for being the last Raw Rumbler last night. If anything, EB is EmBaressed by the fact that Smackdown has won the Royal Rumble for the past two years. So, it's your choice, Jericho. Save Trish or wrestle Trips for the strap. What's it gonna be, boy? Bisch can wait all night. What's it gonna be, boy?Yes or no? Oh, you savvy, slimy little bastard, you win. Bischy can see it in his eyes, he concedes to Chris's unspoken request to cancel his Hunter match and uses the favor to save his lady. Just so Jericho's not bored tonight, Eric makes him a match. It'll be Chris and Rob Van Dam teaming to face Batista, Randy Orton, and Ric Flair! Three on two! Oh, one more thing…it's next! Sucks to be a baby face, right Chris?
Commercial Break. Spike TV has a new series called "Ten Things Every Guy Should Experience." Who are they to decide that? This is the same channel that thought the John Henson Project would be a good show to air.
(1) Evolution (Ric Flair, Batista, Randy Orton) defeated Chris Jericho & Rob Van Dam when Batista pinned Jericho Pretty long opener that seemed to make little sense. While I can see the desire to put Jericho in a baby face punishment handicap match, the pairing with RVD and opposition of Evolution just didn't fit within the storyline. It's a sad statement for Van Dam when he's become the random baby face plugged into a match. (JG Note: It's either him or Booker T.) Match went back and forth with the Whole Dam Fozzies holding their own against the overpowering trio. However, Tista knocked Jerihco from the action with a hard slam on the outside. Robby V is left to face three enemies at once! What a tense moment! What a great time for a commercial!
The action continues with Rob taking some Van Damage to his arm by a sadistic Orton. Jericho is being attended to by attendants and RVD is left to face the music alone. CJ slowly regains his energy as Robby V is beaten senseless for about seven minutes. (JG Note: I keep picturing those anti-pot commercials. Just tell Chris Jericho you were too busy getting high to win the handicap match, he'll understand.) Finally, Fozzy tags in and the action picks up with all men getting involved. Chris eventually locks Batista in the Walls of Jericho while VD hits the Frog Splash on Ric Flair. This allows an opening for Randy Orton to run in and hit the RKO. Unfortunately, the first attempt went wrong and Chris no-sold it and continued to apply the hold, leaving Randall to flop onto the mat awkwardly. With the thoughtful crowd pointing out the screw up, Randy picked himself up, dusted himself off, and started all over again. He bounced on the ropes and landed a second Diamond Cutter. Deacon Dave rolled over and draped his arm over the Manitoban. Three seconds later and the Evolvers take the victory.
Commercial Break. Taco Bell has the new Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito for only 99 cents. It's a half pound. Shouldn't the ingredients alone for a half pound burrito cost more than 99 cents? Scary to think about the quality of that food. It's like in college, when our cafeteria used to charge $1.09 for a cheeseburger and $1.19 for grilled cheese. Really makes you wonder, huh?
The Legend Killer is whining to Eric Bischoff about his horrible luck at the Royal Rumble last night. How could a star of Randy Orton's caliber be tarnished by the interference of Mick Foley? Make it right, Eric! Fix this! What can Easy E do? It wasn't him who made the decision to bring in Mankind. It was the best darn rootin' tootin' sheriff on Spike Lee's channel, Steve Austin. The Rattlesnake shows up, beer in hand, to hear out Ort's complaint. Tough luck, kiddo. Cactus Jack's here tonight because Stone Cold invited him. Before anything goes down, Mick's going to have a chance to take the microphone and have equal time for all those campaign commercials you released, slandering his name. Oh, Randy! You sure got yourself into a fine mess this time!
Chris Jericho is pouting in his locker room when there's a knock on the wall. Trish is here to say thank you for your sacrifice tonight. Rather than receive a title shot against Triple H, you chose to save Miss Trish from a Big Red beating. (JG Note: Jericho's been here for a while now. He knows that he's not going to beat Hunter. No one's beating Hunter. Why not give up the title match and rescue Stratus? It would save him the frustration.) Strats is pleased as punch that there's such a strong bond between herself and Chris. They're such great…friends. Friends? Chris agrees on the outside, but on the inside you can tell that he likes her as …you, know…more than just, like, you know, friends. They attempt to hug or kiss, but settle on a handshake. This is so ridiculous. It's like Dawson's Creek, except the actors aren't teenagers and they can't act. Just corny and cheesy as hell. Trish mentions that she knows about Jericho's jaunts to the strip clubs recently. Chris asks her how she heard of this, but before she can tell him that it was Christian, he shows up. Mister Christian needs to talk to his Canadian partner post haste. He dismisses Strats, and confronts Y2J. How can you turn in your title shot just to save the booty of your booty. She isn't into you, Chris. She thinks you're a friend. You're such a tool, eh. What about you, Tian? Where were you during the opening handicap match tonight? What about you, Jericho? You tossed Christian out of the Rumble. Not just that, but you're going to feel bad when you learn where Edge's little brother was during the opening bout tonight. He was in Eric Bischoff's pretend office smoothing over the tension between the General Manager and the Canadians. Now, buck up, Mary. You have more important things to think about besides Trish Stratus! Get your head out of your ass! Good idea. If he doesn't, he won't be able to hear the commercials.
Commercial Break. Does Burger King have the nerve to put on a commercial claiming that their burgers have less than 5 net carbs, sporting fine print that reads "excluding bun, mayonnaise, and ketchup?" It's like saying that cookies have no sugar…if you exclude the sugar.
(2) Victoria & Lita defeated Molly Holly & Jazz when Victoria pinned Molly The King spoke of how two Divas have been signed to do Playboy. As you can guess, he explores every possible prepubescent attempt at double entendres and innuendo that he can for the duration of the match. I want to find whoever is responsible for Victoria's baby face turn and slap them in the head. She made it work, as did Stevie Richards, but the duo just had so much more to offer as heels. The biggest mistake WWE made was not featuring them in a prominent feud outside the women's division. Richards and Victoria as heels against Linda and Shane McMahon would have been enough to give them a credibility boost. Instead, their gimmicks are now watered down, just like most "insane" gimmick performers that turn face. At least she's getting pushed, though. Vicki jelled well with Lita. All four women put on respectable showing, but it was Flower's night as she cradled the Women's Champion and scored her second victory over Miss Holly in two days.
Triple H's face is more battered than a wrestling school student after "Meet Bob Holly Day." He's got a suit on, though. The bruises and the suit…next!
Commercial Break. Escape the Rules is the newest in WWE's meaningless Raw slogans. I've been told that we're Uncensored, Uncut, and Uncooked. I've been asked if I "Get it." I've been told to "Get the F Out." Whatever happened to "the Recognized Symbol of Excellence in Sports Entertainment?" What does "Escape the Rules" mean? Watch Raw and then carjack the neighbors?
It's the Game, Triple H. He is stuck on Band-Aid brands, cause Band-Aids are stuck to his face. With his battle scars and title, the Champ is ready to address this capacity crowd. Last night, two men stood in the ring. Last night, two men bled buckets for what they believe in. (JG Note: Tonight, one pretentious man speaks in the third person.) Unfortunately, Shawn Michaels didn't have what it takes to capture the strap from the Evolved Champion. That's why Gameboy still has a belt while you still have to use sequined suspenders to keep your chaps up.
Enter the Boy Toy Shawn Michaels. HBK paces to the ring wearing another one of his trademarked blasphemy T-Shirts. They go nose-to-nose in the almost-kissing stare and trade trash talk. Trips ponders what it will take to get rid of the Heartbreak Man. The Heartbreak Man assures Trips that they haven't even gotten started. Cue the broken glass…
The Sheriff of Spikeland gasses up his Mario Kartand speeds to the ring. Ol' Stone Cold thinks it's a damn shame that the Last Man Standing Match ended in a tie. It reminded the Rattlesnake of a scene from the Texas Chainsaw MassacreNow the rules of the Royal Rumble state that the winner meets the World Champion at WrestleMania. However, the rules don't state which World Champion. With that said, let's bring out the man who won that honor last night…Chris Benoit!
Following the stunning world-wide success of Matt Hardy's defection to Raw from Smackdown, Chris Benoit makes the same leap. His music blares and the Kingly Cowboys freak out. Benoit delivers a passable promo, explaining his career struggles and how it all culminated in his 62 minute win last night. Come Mania, the Vanilla Midget is going for that gold and it doesn't matter which one of you Kliquy chickies hold the title, because the Wolverine is taking it home! Everyone looks at each other as Benoit leaves the ring. I mentioned in an audio roundtable this past weekend that in a perfect world, Chris Benoit would face Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania. It would be a fresh match and something that could create some amazing moments. Although Hunter-Benoit won't be a wash, it's been done. Either way, with the tease of a three way conflict until the big pay-per-view, there's still opportunity to see HBK and the Crippler square off. Not right now, though. Right now, we need to grab a beer, hit the John, check the clock, and hope it snows so your office or school is closed tomorrow. In other words, it's a commercial.
Commercial Break. Castrol GTX is as "advanced as today's engines." So? What's going to happen tomorrow?
Yo, how's it goin'? You're that wrestler guy, Kane, right? Yeah, I saw you eating your dinner over here and knew it was you. Yeah, you ain't so tough. I saw that McMahon kid beat you up. If he can take you, I can take you. Let's step outside. You see this gut? It's all muscle. That's right - all muscle. Let's go, pal. Hey Carmine, hold my beeper.
Recap of Kane killing Spike Dudley. At one time or another in their careers, everyone gets a chance to kill Spike Dudley.
Now, Pledge Bubba Ray, you have but one more task to complete before you can join the ultra-secret fraternity of World Domination. You must wear these short shorts on television every week for the next year. No one must know why you are wearing them. They must believe that you like them or something. Also, you must make sure that you are as pale as possible. Good luck, Pledge Bubba…and Godspeed.
(3) Bubba Ray Dudley defeated Kane via disqualification Everything Kane does from now until Undertaker returns is pretty meaningless. Every match he has will be done for the sole purpose of scaring him with the prospect of an undead return from his big brother. Tonight was no exception. Big Red plastered BB Duds with the ring steps, earning a disqualification loss. Following the bell, the Titantron lit up with Undertaker's opening bells and a nice Marilyn Manson-esque style video alluding to Taker's return. It even featured a shot of the old Dead Man image. Spooky stuff. If Undertaker can go back to being dead, can Kane go back to being burnt?
Backstage Paul E. Heyman and Eric Bischoff are discussing grown-up stuff on the speaker phone. Paul, you know that Bisch had nothing to do with the Benoit jump. That was all Steve Austin's doing. You know quite well that Steve and Schoff have a bad relationship. The Rattlesnake doesn't talk to Eric. Heyman is wise to you, Atlantaboy. You and Stunning Steve have been in on it since the beginning. The Merchant of Extreme calls New World Eric the best "con man" that he ever dealt with. (JG Note: What about Tod Gordon?) Eric laughs as Paul threatens him with legal action. As all this unfolds, Coachman enters the room. He pokes fun at his boss and likens his brawl with Paul to "two girls" fighting. Schoff does the "how am I funny" speech from Goodfellasand punishes Johnny's unholy sin of mockery. Tonight it's John Coachman in a no-disqualification match with… Goldberg! Bye, Coach.
Commercial Break. Red Bull give you wings. I guess they get less flack by saying "wings" instead of "Red Bull gets you high."
Hey Rico, we have a plan for your character. Instead of being just a guy that loses all the time, we're going to make you wear make-up, glitter, and kiss other men. You'll still be losing all the time, only now you can be stripped of your dignity too. Here, take this Tough Enough chick with you.
(4) Rico pinned Rob Conway after a spin kick I had no idea why they did this match until the finish. Only point of interest was when Rico laid a smooch on Conway and Rob responded by nearly knocking his head off with a forearm. Other than that, this was a strangely made match with two low-level heels. It all made sense when Miss Jackie jumped on the apron and pulled down her shirt to reveal her only assetts. The camera catches the full flash for a split second and Conway reels in amazement. Rico lands a kick and scores the win. Wow, Jackie Gayda has a lot to offer, huh? If she didn't have breasts, she'd be homeless.
After the official word, Stacy Kiebler's music hits an she enters the ring to raise Gayda's hand. Lawler questions whether or not these are the two women in the upcoming Playboy. I'm assuming Jackie would agree. I'm sure that anyone who would expose themselves on TV for a wrestling salary would strip for Playboy. Hell, I think Jackie might strip for a Klondike Bar and three nickels. Hit the ads.
Commercial Break. For Hanukkah this year, I hope Adam Sandler gets some new movie and song ideas.
Mick Foley's here! King and Ross ponder the night's possibilities and rehash the ramifications of Benoit's jump and Brock's beat down of Bill.
Dead man walking! Coachman enters the ring and begs Eric Bischoff to change his mind. No one wants to see Coach-Berg tonight. No one! Please cancel this match. (JG Note: He should cancel because no one wants to see it? Did you ever watch WCW? When has that ever stopped Eric Bichoff?) But it's the land of Chocolate, Hershey. That means that there is one likely hero.
Hey man, it's your turn to put on the Mr. Goodbar costume. My shift is over. I love working at Hershey Park and all, but sometimes this job sucks. There's some big wrestler out there that said he was "Sexual Chocolate" and tried to hump my leg. Good luck, bro. My advice - run.
Theodore R. Long is in the heezy fo sheezy. He knows the deal, Coach. It's the white man holding you down again. Theodore says that the "cracker" Eric Bischoff is dumping his problems on the black man. It's all hatorizing. Whitey thinks he can tell the black man to dance and the black man will… actually, you had to see Long depict this, cause it was funny as hell. He hunched over and started dancing singin' "yes sir boss." It looked like he was playing one of those WCW lawsuit gimmicks. Teddy has a solution, Johnny. You want some back up? How about Mark Henry? He'll be in your corner. JC smiles. He likes it! Coachman likes it! Why does Coach think that's good? When has Mark Henry ever been able to stop Goldberg? It just seems weird that he feels safe with Goldberg's punching bag protecting him. Then again, this is Coachman. He spent three days sitting in his car at an intersection because he was waiting for the Stop sign to change to "go."
Commercial Break. You know, Truth.com, cigarettes may be a waste of money, but so are mannequins, sirens, body bags, and other shock TV props.
(5) Bill Goldberg pinned the Coach after a Jackhammer Henry and Goldberg lock up and even J.R. was confused. Although Ross rationalizes that it is a no-DQ match, I understand where he's coming from. Goldy and Mark wrestle each other while Johnny C watches. They trade Irish whips and shoulder blocks, totally ignoring the fact that it's supposed to be Coachman meeting Bill. Regardless, the bearded Gold-Train eventually disposed of Chef Malcolm Jamal Studdard and turned his attention to the trembling Coach. J.C. begs off, but takes a Spear and Jackhammer as punishment. After the bell, BG Gold informs Brock Lesnar that he's next. Actually, the commercials are next.
Commercial Break. Again I have to question who's making the choices for Ten Things Every Man Should Experience. It really depends on who's making the list. For example, if Richard Simmons made the list - I might skip a few of his suggestions.
Mick Foley walks to the ring to a tremendous ovation. He owes his fans an explanation and sets out to do just that. He begins with a story about growing up respecting Pete Rose. He talks of Charlie Hustle's hatred and anger early in his career and how it was cool. He then flashes forward to the current incarnation of Pete and how his anger and arrogance in the face of gambling lies is pathetic. (JG Note: I guess Pete Rose won't be at WrestleMania 20.) Unlike Rose, Foley ditched all that hatred when he retired from the sport. He moved on. That's why he walked out on his match with Randy Orton. He wasn't in the right state of mind anymore. After making the match, he regretted it. It's that fact that made him leave. He wasn't ready to get the job done. Bu that was then, this is now. Seeing as how there's been so much tension between himself and the Legend Killer, Mankind thinks that young Randall owes him a favor. He asks him to come out to the ring without Evolution. Come out alone, Ort. Like that classic Randy Savage ballad, "Be a Man!"
Hey there, Shane. You're looking pretty hot tonight.
Uh, Randy Orton, why did you just pinch my ass?
Well, Shane, I asked Hunter for advice on how to jack up my career and he said to work really hard or, if not, just get with one of Vince's kids. Then he laughed and walked away. Oh wait…oh, I get it. It was a joke. Ha ha. Sorry, Shane. Never mind.
Intercontinental Champion Orton takes a microphone and asks what it is that Mickey F wants from him. Mankind tells him that he wants another chance to be spit on. That right, although it may sound strange, Cactus wants another loogie on his cheek. Give up the phlegm, bee-otch. Dude Love begins to lose his mind. He screams of how Randy is an "arrogant bastard." Spit! Spit, damn you! Randy complies with a polite "patooy." No good. Mick demands another. One with feeling this time. He calls to the crowd and they join him in chanting "Loogie." Do it, Randall! It's cold and flu season, so hook it up, son. Spit! When he refuses, Foley slaps him repeatedly until the Champ parts with the mucus.
This one lands and leaves a white slime ball on Mankind's cheek. That's what Mick was talking about. You see, spit ain't nothing to the Hardcore Legend. He has four kids. He's dealt with everything from poo to puke. As for your words, they didn't hurt either. You could mock the Mick, but words don't hurt. You know what's bad about words? You know what's bad about being called your bitch, Orton? It's that people started to believe you! That's not something that Cactus is going to allow to happen.
At this point, Mick goes nuts. Nuts! He begins to punch his head until it flows with blood. He talks about his hardcore exploitsand tells a wide-eyed and freaked out Orton that he no longer needs to find that dark place because he's already there.
"I won't have to wonder if I can go to that place in my heart where darkness dwells because I'm already there! I'm already there! And I don't have to deny that hatred anymore. Because not only will I accept that hatred gets in my heart, I will welcome it home like a long-lost friend. See, welcome home! Where have you been? Because there is a time and a place for hatred, Randy Orton. The place is Hershey, Pennsylvania…and the time is now." - Mick Foley, 11:00pm
(JG Note: Hershey is the place for hatred? I thought it was the place for candy and happiness?) With that statement, Foley opens up on Orton with punches. He knocks him into the corner and slams in with a big knee. Flair and Batista attempt to save their partner, but despite having a numbers advantage, Mankind evens the odds with a chair. He beats down Davey B and hold aloft his chair like He-Man's magic sword, keeping Evolution at bay. Ross reminds us that Mick Foley is back! Bang, bang, fade to black…
All in all… Good show. Storyline-wise, tonight's Raw blew last night's pay-per-view away. We had advancements in so many conflicts and the Road to WrestleMania appears to have been laid out.
Mick Foley's show-ending promo jacked up the score of this episode for me. Tonight was the precise reason that Mick should be looked at as one of WWE's greatest assets. He delivered an emotional and heartfelt monologue while drifting between sentimental and insane. It was a great way to end the episode and bring back the Hardcore Legend. If this feud continues at this pace, Orton is going to be over huge when it's over.
Goldberg-Lesnar and Taker-Kane both have potential to produce some memorable moments in the coming months for WWE. In many ways, it makes the show better to know that there are some good things to look forward to. Inter-brand matches should be the basis of Mania until they choose to end the split. It adds a lot to the event and makes for exciting TV.
Altogether, it was a good episode. You had a return by Foley, an invasion by Benoit, a tease by the Taker, Coachman crushed, and a flash by Jackie. It definitely held my attention. Altogether good follow-up to a pay show.
In closing, I just wanted to mention the news that on Saturday, former WWF on-air President and real life promoter, Jack Tunney, died at the age of 68. Any fan that watched wrestling in the '80s era remembers Tunny well. Long before authority figures had to be mean and make unfair matches, Jack was understated and showed up when needed. My thoughts go to his family.