JG's 5/10/04 Raw Insanity: Chris Jericho and Christian Fight in a Cage, Divas Fight in Silence
By James Guttman
Sometime last week in a hidden room in Titan Tower…
Vince McMahon: Welcome all to another meeting to discuss our future plans. It has been of utmost importance to this company's stability that you, the members of the Board of Directors, remain a secret. Things have so far gone well and I can use the threat of you when confronting our General Managers. It's a good thing. Now, onto deciding where our empire goes from here. Any ideas?
Viscera: Can I get some more cookies over here, please?
Vince: Sure thing, Vis. Now, instead of just focusing on all at once, let's start with Smackdown. Help me out here, people. We need to make Bradshaw a super heel. How's it gonna happen? Yes - Haku.
Haku: You can have Eddie Guerrero start bringing a Bulldog to the ring and then make Bradshaw steal it and…
Vince: I hate when you watch old tapes. OK, yes, Pfc. Lynndie England.
Pfc. Lynndie England: We can have him strip everybody naked and take pictures of him smiling over the heap.
Vince: For the third time this month - no! That's your idea for everything. You know…Koko, what are you doing?
Koko B. Ware: (flapping arms) I'm doing the Bird.
Tony Shiavone Hey, that looks pretty cool. Let me try. (flapping arms) This is the greatest dance in the history of the planet.
Vince: We're not going anywhere with this Smackdown thing. Screw it. Let's talk Raw. What's next?
Bob Smith: Uh, yes. Bob Smith here. How about giving the title to Triple H? Uh, he's the Game. His muscles are so big.
Vince: Who the hell are you? Bob Smith? I don't have you on my list….Hunter, is that you? Is that a fake mustache?
Triple H: (sad) Yes.
Vince: Why are you here? Stephanie pissed at you? What did you do?
Triple H: (sad) Spit water on the couch.
Vince: Whatever. Listen, I need some real suggestions, people. Help me out here.
Triple H: Let's do the corpse thing again.
Vince: No! We're not doing the corpse thing again! Is there any good suggestions out there?
Viscera: Ooo Ooo! Vince! How about, from now on, we get Chocolate Chip Cookies instead of Oatmeal Raisin? Mmmm!
Shiavone: Chocolate Chip Cookies are the greatest thing every created.
Koko: (mid-air, flapping arms) Vince! Look! Look! I'm flying!
Vince: I give up. We're giving the Cruiserweight Title to…ummm, Jacqueline. Good? Good. We're done here. Now I can go take a nap.
The sad thing is that the scenario above is one of the only things that would make that Jackie decision seem somewhat ok. That's Smackdown stuff. This isn't Smackdown, this is Raw. Tonight's show promises to be a barn burner. The Living Legend Killer Randy Orton meets up with Edge for the Intercontinental Title. Little Tajiri goes up against Big Batista. Eugene makes his in-ring debut against wannabe Frenchman, Rob Conway. Then from there, the Canadian Rob and Amber, Christian and Trish get ready to face the fury that is Chris Jericho when the CLB meets Y2J inside of a Steel Cage. It's Spike TV. It's Monday. It's the show I review while all of you people watch the Restaurant. Spike Lee gives it two thumbs up - it's Raw.
May 10, 2004...San Jose, California
Recap of Triple H ruining Shawn Michaels's
If this was Smackdown, John Cena would be kissing up to the San Jose Sharks right now because we're live from San Jose. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are in a fine mood tonight. Randy Orton fights Edge. Eugene meets Conway. Right now, though, Triple H squares off with Shelton Benjamin. Stop. Hunter Time.
The Game steps up and does the water thingy. He awaits his challenge from Shelton Benjamin.
Shelton Benjamin: Mr. McMahon, I want to thank you for my recent push. I'm glad to know that you genuinely have faith in me.
Vince McMahon: No problemo. Just reach for the stars and you'll be a big star one day, Virgil.
(1) Triple H versus Shelton Benjamin was declared a no-contest due to interference by Shawn Michaels They've really done a good job of making the Benjamin victory from a month ago pretty forgettable. The original win for Benji was a big deal. It had a feeling of excitement and importance. Now it's the background match to advance Michaels-Helmsley and jerks the curtain. This was a nothing match. It was just there to forward another feud. Before we got a chance to have a real match, the Passion of the Shawn Michaels sprinted out and took down Hunter. The ref declared this match…well, nothing. No decision means we go with "no contest" in the header. What else can I do? Nothing. While I can do nothing, there's someone who can. Oh the Bischoff-man can…
Eric Bischoff rears his angry little head and has something for the Boy Toy to deal with. Easy E just left Vince McMahon's office and he was given permission to make an example of the first performer to step out of line. That first performer was you, Shawn! You are hereby…suspended! (JG Note: Blah reaction. Firing a wrestler doesn't even get a reaction anymore. Suspensions and firings don't mean anything anyway. They've gone out of their way to show us that.) With that, Bisch calls to four out-of-shape security guards to lead Shawn out of the building. The Source of All Strength looks like a little girl as he allows the guards that any other wrestler would have mauled by now to take him away.
Commercial Break. Did you know that this is Motor Mayhem Month on Spike TV? Does that mean they're going to play Halle Barry movies and episodes of Frasier?
Randy Orton montage airs. Orton is the Living Legend. He immediately gets strange, handwritten court papers to appear in "LarryLand."
It's Ric Flair! Whooo! He's getting red as his eyes bug out and the pep talk starts. Hunter's awesome! Orton is going on to defeat Edge! As for you Batista, you'll beat Tajiri! Flair calls him a "little, sneaky Jap," but it's bleeped out. (JG Note: Maybe he'll take a cue from Big Show claiming to have said "goofs." Maybe he'll say he called him a "little, sneaky jackrabbit." That sounds good. Go with that.) Tista promises to destroy the Buzzsaw and the guy in the grandpa suit is ecstatic. Eric Bischoff interrupts and apologizes for tossing the Boy Toy out of the arena. Never fear, Evolvers. Next week, Eric will give Triple H an opportunity to win the World Title. They're so happy, they do the dance of joy! No they don't. Watch the commercial.
Commercial Break. Don't you wish you were me…. Actually no, Chris, not really.
Last Week… Tajiri spit up on Batista's face.
(2) Batista pinned Tajiri after a sidewalk slam This was an alright match, but nothing worthy of remembering from bell-to-bell. While Tajiri is being showcased, I wonder if they couldn't find someone else to groom as Tista's whipping boy. Why not the magically reappearing Val Venis? (JG Note: Val reappears later in the show as a beat down toy for another wrestler) At least Venis is played out. He's had a few shots and didn't do all that well. You could still get some mileage out of Tajiri. Eh, to each his own. Tista was rocked with a few shots, but ultimately got put over big. He was taken down, but caught an incoming Yoshi kick and pulled him. With a leg in one hand and a throat in another, Dave lifted Taj up and slammed him down. Count to three. Batista wins. All which further proves our theory - Vince McMahon hates Cruiserweights.
After the decision, Batista choked his beaten challenger until he spit up green. Doesn't the fact that Tajiri spits up green liquid make him an alien? This is X-Files stuff. I feel like I should call the FBI. I'm gonna do that during the commercial break. I'll be right back.
Commercial Break. Hitman Contracts is out for most major consoles. Vince McMahon knows all about those. They're for 100 years and you beg him to let you out of it.
Men like women. Men are lazy. Men are too lazy to change from Spike TV and put on a cable channel that can show nudity. Therefore, men will stay tuned to see Stacy Kiebler and bikini photos on Raw. Makes sense to me. Miss Hancock pimps the Divas South of the Border again. This time she shows bits and pieces of it. Kiebler says that with Summer approaching, the divas are going to be wearing bikinis! (JG Note: Yeah. Like they wear turtlenecks in the winter. Don't they wear bikinis then too? When don't they wear bikinis?)
The video plays and if you've seen one Divas in Whatever video, you've seen them all - seriously. It's like someone just taped the same thing every year. This draws the ire of Molly Holly and Gail Kim as well. They confront Kiebs and question her claim to be the hottest diva on the DVD. Angered and insulted, the evil duo knock the leggy Test Slave to the ground. How despicable! Who can make the save?
They tried having her save Lita, but the crowd didn't care. Let's have her save Stacy! It's Victoria! Guess what. Crowd still didn't care. Miss Vicki gets in shots, but is ambushed by Jazz. She's followed in by Nidia, who no one recognizes except for Jim Ross. The crowd doesn't care and calls for puppies as Team Kiebler stare down the retreating Jazzy MollyKims.
Up next…Randy Orton and Edge! Don't you dare go away! But if you do…could you get me a soda? Screw it. I'll get it myself during the adverts.
Commercial Break. I can't imagine wanting to see a movie less than I want to see Soul Plane.
We look at the cage and shoot back to Todd Grisham and Chris Jericho. Y2J has some ish to deal with. Firstly, that title chance that Hunter was promised was also promised to him. Secondly, he will finish off Trish and Christian for good. Third of all, Todd Grisham reminds me of the High School guidance councilor that tries to be all cool with everyone, but is really a dork. That last part wasn't a Jericho thing, that was just my own observation. Ring the bell, we got a match.
Randy! Randy Orton! I'm a huge fan. Huge fan! Please…do me a favor.
Sure. You want an autograph?
No…spit on me.
Ha, ha. You like that gimmick?
What gimmick? I like spit. Just spit on me!
Get away from me.
Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton struts to the squared circle and waits for Edge to hit the scene.
Edge! Edge! I'm a huge fan! Spit on me!
You're that guy that was bothering Randy Orton. I'm calling security.
You're too good to spit on me!? Do it! Spit on me!
(3) Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton pinned Edge with a handful of tights. I hate the tag team division right now. I'm all for Edge chasing the IC strap. I'm down with the Wolverine defending the World Title. I hate that they also hold the only belts for tag teams and don't seem to care about them at all. Tag division aside, this match was a great example of how a slowed down style can work in today's day and age. While the public was trained to pop for high spots, good wrestling is eternal. There will always be a place for it. This contest proved that. Starting so slow that it incurred boring chants, these two slowly built through quick pin attempts and near falls. In essence, Edge and Ort took a hostile crowd and turned them around by the final bell. It was pretty impressive. Halfway home, Ric Flair hobbles up the ramp. We go to a commercial.
Commercial Break. According to Spike TV, going to the Kentucky Derby is one of Ten Things Every Guy Should Do. Right. With my schedule, I'm lucky if I find time to go to Kentucky Fried Chicken.
We're back and so are you! It's the Edge-Orton Showdown and now Judge Smails himself, Ric Flair, is front and center. The action builds and the crowd gets more into it as the time ticks by. Transitioning from rest holds to near falls, the tension builds. In the end, it's the distraction of Slick Ric that proves to be Edge's downfall. He gets all caught up in the Nature Boy's issues that Orton rolls him up, hooks the trunks, and gets the victory. Back to Vampire Hunting for Mr. Copeland.
Commercial Break. I wish Carrottop would dial down the center…down the center of a busy highway.
Eugene is preparing backstage and Eric Bischoff comes to see. Uncle Eric tells William Regal that a victory for his nephew might not be such a good thing. You see, Bischy promised his sister that he would give Gene a chance. This match is his chance. Eric never said he'd actually become a wrestler. Take care of it. It's up to you, Willie, to make sure he loses. If you do, you can get a spot back on the active roster. Sound good? Someone should have told Eric to do this same thing with Hulk Hogan in WCW years ago.
Hey Johnny, what was the least over segment tonight?
That would be the women's mess, Vince.
Gotcha, Ace. Send em all back out there again!
(4) Gail Kim, Molly Holly, & Jazz defeated Victoria, Nidia, & Stacy Kiebler when Gail forced Victoria to submit Ugh. Didn't we just see these six get no reaction. Even if this segment is pre-booked and scheduled in, call an audible or something. This match was definitely filler and the only one who came out looking good was Gail Kim, who forced a submission on the Women's Champion for the second straight week. Other than that and a sick looking pick up on Victoria's leg by Jazz, this one was nothing special.
In case you missed Smackdown… you gave Eddie Guerrero's mom a heart attack. Good going. Feel bad? Start watching Smackdown or more innocent people might get hurt.
Paul from The Wonder Years, Todd Grisham, interviews Christian, Trish, and Tyson Tomko. Sister Christian vows victory over the King of Bling Bling. All is well and good until Miss Trish spots Lita. You boys go on…Stratus has someone to talk to.
Walk, walk, walk.
Yo, Leets. What up, girl? Strats saw your problems with Kane. That must be hard. Tricia is genuinely concerned for you….ah! Ah! Lita! It's Kane! With the Canadian Fitness Model screaming, Lita turns white and spins around. This sends Trish into hysterics. What a joke! Don't you think? Lita doesn't. She jumps on her tormenter and they roll around a table until Matt Hardy and Team Christian show up to separate them. This segment was funny. I laughed, seriously. It was the best heel moment for Stratus yet as far as these backstage skits go.
Matt and Lita come to the ring, fresh off of their Canadian confrontation. They're here for another one. This time, they've got Val Venis….or do they?
Kane shows up on the Titantron. Yo, Version One, it's a no-go on your bout tonight. Venis has been destroyed and the Big Red Machine has a warning. Your time is coming. As for you, Miss Congeniality, Dr. Kane proposed a question to you recently. You have until next week to give the answer. He doesn't go into detail on what the proposal is. All we have is a deadline. Something tells me that this feud is going to get pretty insane. I'm not sure if I mean insane in a good way or a bad way…although I'm leaning towards bad.
Commercial Break. In the new Van Helsing game, you can fight Dracula and Frankenstein. Big deal. A few beers and I could fight a park bench and a soda machine.
(5) Eugene pinned Rob Conway with a roll-up and bridge Everyone says that Dinsmore reminds them of Matt Borne. I agree with that, but I also think he reminds me a bit of Hercules. Just an observation. The match was what you expected. Eugene can wrestle. It's the same ilk as Gene's look-a-like, Doink the Clown. Silly gimmick, good wrestler, shocked announcers. The only problem with this is that once the mystique of seeing him wrestle or marvel at his skills wears off, you're stuck with a comedy gimmick that could get stale pretty quick. Regal attempted to trip Trucker Eugene, but fell short. Dinsmore realized this and questioned his handler, but was told he was mistaken. While distracted, Gene was lunged at by Conway. Undaunted, he rolled up the Frenchman and hit a bridge for the pin. Good ending with a suddenly awake crowd. If handled right, this gimmick could get a good reaction…short term. Long term, you have Reverend Slick's Kamala.
Commercial Break. Optimum Online is twice as fast as DSL. You know what? They're both 8,000,000,000 times faster than Encyclopedias. Just be grateful that you don't need the outdated Britannica that collected dust. I'm also glad to get away from the obnoxious kid in their commercials that talked to the narrator.
Video Tribute to Chris Benoit. I'm surprised that Hunter didn't run in halfway through and eat the tape.
Eric Bischoff has shown up with Johnny Nitro. Big announcement for next week and Johnny gets to make it! It's Trish versus Lita next week! No reaction. Then, it's going to be a 20 man Battle Royal for a shot at the World Title. That's why Eric has told everyone that they'll have a title chance next week! Here we all thought he was just lying! How silly of us! The crowd doesn't care. Unless it's this week, it doesn't matter.
Bischoff joins Ross and Lawler at the table and we see a graphic for next week's Battle Royal. The men pictured are: Rhyno, La Resistance, Stevie Richards, Brian Christopher, Johnny Nitro, Garrison Cade, Kane, Batista, Val Venis, Christian, Hurricane, Rosey, Shelton Benjamin, Edge, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Triple H, and Matt Hardy.
(6) Chris Jericho forced Christian to submit to the Walls of Jericho in a Steel Cage Match Jim Ross reiterates that Jericho's new hometown is Manhasset, New York - not Manhattan. It's actually a town on Long Island known for the Miracle Mile shopping center with Tiffany's. Now it's known for Chris Jericho too. Yay, Manhasset. All in all, this was a really good match. It had something for everyone, with blood, drama, and the feel of an old-school feud finale. The two bitter enemies squared off to settle the score inside of an unforgiving steel cage. Early on, they bounced Tyson Tomko from ringside, taking away the chance for a screw job finish that might prolong this conflict. They spent equal time working highspots with Jericho suplexing Christian from the top rope to a huge pop, that didn't impress me as much as it did everyone else, solid brawling, and good mat work. Altogether, these two did a good sell job for this match and their feud. The action took a turn when Trish threw open the cage door and approached with a chair. Fozzy slapped the Walls of Jericho on her while an apathetic Christian went for the cage wall climb out. Seeing this, Y2J+4 grabbed him and pulled the CLB back in. On the mat, Mr. Christian was locked in the Walls and attempted to reach the door. He did, but unfortunately couldn't muster the strength to power out. CJ dragged his foe back to center ring and forced a tap out. The YJStinger guy stands victorious while the cameras fade to black.
All in all… Going into Raw, we had a lot of hype. The night was built on the pre-announced matches and the anticipation was pretty high. In the end, it stood up to the hype pretty well.
Sure, the Hunter-Benjamin match was a giant waste. I thought that tonight would be Trips's chance to go over and would have had no problem if he did. What I did have a problem with was the nothing-happening finish. No restart. No rematch. Nothing. Just Shawn Michaels and a clichéd suspension. Eh.
The Women aren't over at all. I've never seen a group of performers so ignored and unaccepted in my life. The lack of effort in the division is evident and even the most casual of fans can see that. Tonight's reaction should serve as a warning sign to WWE. The divas are in danger.
Watching Batista, you wonder if this could finally be his chance. Forever compared to Brock Lesnar in terms of size and gimmick, Davey B might be able to rise in Brock's absence. His beat down of Tajiri was pretty good…for him. For Tajiri, it sucked. I'm all for Tista squashing foes and rising up the ranks. I'm against him doing it to foes with potential to be put in good, quality, money making matches. Couldn't he have beaten up someone of lesser stature…
…like Val Venis? I was surprised to see that Val Venis still came to work. The Kane-Hardy feud was enough tonight and didn't need to have massive TV time like it did last week. From the current announcements, Trish-Lita next week should set up for more LitaKane Love.
Isn't it time WWE realizes that announcing matches for next week will get only a negative reaction from this week's crowd? You can promise to have the Pope and Elvis in a Hell in a Cell next week and the current town's fans will boo. It just sucks the excitement and comes off anticlimactic.
This show also featured two great matches. Edge-Orton and Y2J-Christian were both awesome performances that told focused more on substance than style. Edge and Randy built slowly, incurring some boring chants at first. As time went on, they took that hostile crowd and made them beg for more. Good showing and great work by both.
Christian-Jericho was just memorable. It was a terrific finale for Raw and left fans with a good memory from a solid show. I liked Raw tonight. How da'ya like that?
I'll catch you all Monday with some more Insanity. Be there or who knows who might have a heart attack because of you!
|© 2005-2007 All content contained here Copyright 2006 by James Guttman *** World Wrestling Insanity and ClubWWI are not affiliated with any wrestling promotion.|