JG's 4/28/03 Raw Insanity: Trish vs. Bisch and Austin Returns Again
By James Guttman
Have you ever missed a party or gathering and asked a friend who went if anything exciting happened and he responded that you didn't miss anything? While a pessimist may take this statement to mean that the party was boring, it isn't necessarily so. All it really means is that nothing happened worth noting. If he had a bad time, he would call you complaining. If he had a great time, he would have raved about it. But things aren't always good or bad, sometimes they just are. If you couldn't show up, you don't need to kick yourself. There will be other parties. Some will be better, some will be worse, but the one you skipped out on won't be remembered as monumental. Well, I watched Backlash last night and if you didn't tune in…you didn't miss anything.
But that was yesterday and this is today. Everything is pretty much the same since we last left our Raw roster yet still questions are still left without answers. What will Bill Goldberg have to say about his epic victory over the People's Champ last night? Will Big Daddy Cool Diesel hunt Helmsely in response to his loss at the pay-per-view? What does the future hold in store for the on-again off-again love affair between the Dudley Boys and Chief Morley? Will Scott Steiner's interest in Stacy Kiebler continue? If Test and Stacy break up, will he lose his "Testicles?" How does Bill Goldberg hold up his Godzilla-sized upper body on those Webster-sized calves? All of these questions need answers and the only place to find them is on the Spikey Pop Nashville Network as we rewind, review, rewatch, and regurgitate WWE Raw…
Raw Theme Plays – Happy Happy Raw Raw….Happy Happy Raw Raw…Duh…he is Hunter, you are Sven…
Good ol JC John Coachman and the King Jerry Lawler welcome us to the Fleet Center. The crowd is packed and all we need now is a shiny shirt.
Chris Jericho steps out from the curtain and makes his way to the ring. Jericho no longer has to look out for Shawn Michaels, so he's free to speak his mind in an open forum. You see, Fozzy caught wind that Rowdy Roddy Piper had rekindled Piper's Pit on Smackdown. But according to the King of the World, Piper's out of shape and out of touch. It's about time we had a guy who's caught up to the year 2003 (JG Note: Except for his musical taste. Aqua Net and Spandex all the way.) Y2J+3 decided to give Raw just what it needs – less wrestling. Tonight is the epic debut of the Chris Jericho "Hi-Lite Reel." An in-ring talk show modeled after the Snake Pit, the Barber Shop, the Brother Love Show, the Funeral Parlor and Crossfire, Jericho promises to give us entertainment.
Video opening for "Chris Jericho's Hi-Lite Reel." I always liked Highlights, especially Goofus and Gallant.
Well, this must be a big deal because they made a bottom of the screen graphic for it. But as they say, there's more! Lionheart introduces his guest here tonight. The guy he welcomed to WWE by fighting…Bill Goldberg!
"No Bill, they weren't saying "Goldberg Sucks." They were saying "Goldberg Rocks." Damn New England accents, huh? Hehe."
This should make for some interesting TV. In a strange twist, Chris welcomes someone he's had some high profile altercations with backstage, Goldberg. Jericho tells da Man to take a seat and wishes him a congratulations on his thrashing of the Scorpion King last night. It's very impressive, although CJ had destroyed the Rocky One far worse in the past. But let's talk turkey, Billy boy. Fozzy points out that he and Bill have had ish since their old WCW days. Why, many times Jericho challenged Goldy but his requests for a match were ignored. Bill has an answer though. This isn't WCW. If Jericho wants to go right here tonight, BG Gold will more than oblige him. No, no, Berg, this isn't a physical thing, this is a verbal thing. Chris isn't gonna throw hands witchu. He wants to figure out what's on your mind. Jericho tells Bill that he's not wanted here. Why didn't he stay in Japan? Why didn't he stay home with his 57 animals? (JG Note: Jericho's words. I laughed out loud. Kudos, Chris.) Well if Jericho wants an answer, he'll get one. Bill is here because…
Christian! Christian! At least you're on the sho-oh-ow!!
Suddenly Christian who is wearing his "street clothes" interrupts the proceedings. Between the outfit and the hair, he looked like Melissa Etheridge Edge's little brother is out here for a reason. You see, the Great One Christened Christian as his favorite wrestler. So, it's his Christian duty to question Goldenburger about how the crowd's negative reaction last night affected him. We're going to acknowledge that? Ok. So, what's that all aboot, Billy? Well Goldie tells him that the fans paid their hard earned money and they have the right to react anyway they see fit. In fact, if they want to boo him – that's cool. (JG Note: Hear that, everybody? Bill said it's ok. Go crazy – boo!) However, the Golden One didn't hear too many boos when he speared Christian. Touché'.
At this point, your party host Chris Jericho steps in and takes control over the situation. Seriously, Bill. Nobody likes you. The Canadian Chrises continue to give the new guy the business and agree that he is unwanted by the other competitors. But don't take their word for it…
Out steps Three-Minute Warning, the American Gladiator Vegas Stylist Cop Rico, Victoria and Censored Stevie Richards (JG Note: Couldn't they get Molly Holly and Funaki, too?) It seems that these five people represent the masses. Christian points out that they have nothing common other than a disdain for Goldberg…and lack of TV time. In fact that's what fuels their anger for the Savior from Atlanta. How could he just waltz in and take the spot they've been working for? All this bores Bill. As we all learned from a young age, you should always fight people instead of talking. He challenges them to walk that aisle and feel the pain. Jericho laterals the microphone to Richards who accepts the offer on behalf of the group and makes his way up the ramp. But when he enters the ring, he finds himself much like an A-Train fan club meeting…alone.
Big Stevie Cool is in the squared circle and standing toe to toe with Bill, but little does he know his friends have decided to stay out of harm's way. With no back up…and pink tights, Stevie takes the Spear from the charging Berg. He hits the canvas and his posse hit the bricks. Goldberg has flattened Right to Richards and celebrates. I don't really see the point in having Chris Jericho's debut talk segment accomplish about as much as a generic promo. But as for the BG story, I think everyone realized that if they ignored Bill's negative reaction, his character would be as good as dead. Holla if you hear me! Now watch a…
Commercial Break. If you can "taste the rainbow," you've been popping something a lot stronger than Skittles.
Recap of Goldberg killing Steve Richards.
Stand Back…or you'll get some of this green crap from my hair on you.
(1) The Hurricane pinned Chief Morley I'm getting the feeling that it's gonna be a night of "good segment/bad segment." Although these two might be able to deliver a good outing, there is almost no background to this conflict. Also the length of the segment was a bit much considering the absence of a backstory. But I will say that this was a rare occasion where the crowd interest built towards the end. For one of the first times since ditching his porno gimmick, Morley displayed some in-ring charisma even going so far as to strut at one point. This match also shows the huge difference between wrestling and reality. If you put Shane Helms and Sean Morley next to each other and asked someone to pick a winner outside of sports entertainment, they'd go with the big guy with the muscles in a second. Hurricane won this one by hitting the Chief of Venis with a flying neckbreaker from the second buckle. Very little if any point to this one. I don't know how many times they can keep expecting the Green and Black Attack to go into a segment with nothing behind it before people lose interest. You too, Val. But overall, these guys put on a good match given the circumstances.
It's been 25 minutes and I still haven't seen…Hunter! There you are! Triple H is walking the halls of the Fleet Center when he enters the dressing room of Ric Flair. (JG Note: "Knock, knock. Naitch? It's H. Naitch. - H. H – Naitch. ) Ric tells the Game that he's so proud of him. In fact, Flair gives Trips "big ups" as Michael Cole would say, and tells him that he's the greatest wrestler in our sport today. That's just what he needs to hear, Naitch. Thanks. Well, Wethead is tickled pink by Slick Ric's endorsement. Coming from someone of the 60 Minute Man's status, Hunter takes it as a huge compliment. Gamy has a surprise for the Nature Man. Tonight, it will be H and Naitch aka Team Nose versus Kane and Van Dam for the World Tag Team Titles. Flair is delighted at the thought of more Gold and gives a "Whoo" as he struts off. Trips just wants to collect belts. I tried to buy a belt at JC Penny yesterday and Hunter ran into the changing room and stole it.
Commercial Break. On sale tomorrow – WWE Yearbook 2003. Instead of having a section for "graduating seniors" they have one for the disabled list.
Let Teddy Long holler at you, playa.
That signals the entrance of George Jefferson and Johnny Cochran's illegitimate child, Theodore Long and his charge Rodney Mack. We're all set for another white boy trouncing by Rod. Long riles the crowd with comments about Larry Bird before sending his Rowdy Rodney Mack down to the ring to do some thuggin' and buggin'. Beliedat.
(2) Rodney Mack pinned the WJOTW (White Jobber of the Week) after a powerslam in the "Five Minute White Boy Challenge You have to admit that Teddy's run with Rodney Mack is going better than the stint with that guy he managed before. The jobber in this one was so white he was borderline translucent. Teddy joined on commentary and continued to rip on the Memphis King and the Corny Coach by questioning they're thoughts. He even goes so far as to tell Johnny C that "John" is his "slave name." The only weird thing about the whole set-up is that Rodney Mack is more of a reddish color than anything else. Another week, another squash as the Mack Truck takes out another Mulkey-level challenger en route to a win in five-minutes or less. I hope this challenge reaches the climax next week. Any more of these would be overkill.
But hold up, Playa. Ol Teddy ain't done. He brings out the woman that he claims turned Backlash into "Blacklash," Jazz. The New Women's Champion makes her way out to the ring as Red, Green and Black balloons drop down to celebrate. The Mack Family and Peanut Head celebrate as Trish Stratus looks on from a backstage monitor. Behind her is Jonah and Tommy Dreamer sitting and talking. Didn't those other guys win the show? Who are those other guys? Did I dream that?
Commercial Break. You can get pregnant from smoking marijuana. That's a new one.
Uncle Eric's backstage and he's on the phone with some very important people. But Easy E's distracted by the mid-riff of the former host of Excess, Trish Stratus. Oh Eric, it's been a bad week for Trish. First she can't go home to Toronto without being quarantined and now she lost the Women's title to Jazz. What's a girl to do, ay? Well Puffy has a solution that should Stratusfy her. How's about tonight she goes one on one with the bloated one? Eric Bischoff versus Trish Status. If the fitness model wins, she gets a shot at the strap next week. If she loses, she has to give it all up and come back to Sleazy E's hotel room for a night of passion and Krispy Kremes. With no options, Trish agrees. Why didn't Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff start hanging out years ago? They're like the same person.
The saga continues between Stacy Kiebler and Test. The Testicle is still trying to find a good excuse for his odd obsession with Torrie Wilson, but Miss Hancock isn't buying it. Maybe that's why she's been hanging all over Big Poppa Pump Scotty Steiner lately. Speaking of Freakzilla, how could Kiebs sign Testes up as Scott's tag partner tonight? What's that all aboot? Well, Legs thinks that the Big Bad Booty Daddy could be good for Andrew's career. The two banter over their current problems and Test pleads for her trust. Come on, Stacy, he cut his hair for you and everything…
Ric Flair and Triple H are walking but so are RVD and Kane!. Me? I'm sitting and getting ready to watch the…
Commercial Break. "X Men's Wolverine's Revenge" comes to a gaming console near you or as Konan calls it "Lucha Libre Men's Wolverine's Revenge."
(3) World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam & Kane defeated Triple H & Ric Flair when Kane pinned Flair Ric Flair's hair was wet for this one and I could just picture Hunter convincing him to dump a bottle of Aquafina on it backstage. They really built up a face tease on Ric by constantly making mention of how legendary he is. At this point in his career, that would be the perfect character for him. His legacy is built on a legendary reputation. The best way to go with him would be a respected babyface rather than an afterthought in the Game's corner. Another thing this one proved was that Ric can still go with the best of them. It's almost the perfect endorsement for developing a strong understanding of ring psychology and mat moves early in a career. Halfway through the battle, as Hunter was in with RVD, we cut to a shot of Shawn Michaels backstage on a cell phone and watching a monitor. He tells the person on the other end that "he's in the ring" and "he's a sitting duck." Coach and King wonder who he's talking to. Hmmm….Viscera?
Commercial Break. SAT Prep – Big Show:Stacker 2 Commercials as Ultimate Warrior:Political Seminars.
We're back and the battle rages on. Jerry Lawler and Johnny Coach continue to wonder over who Shawn was talking to and about before the break. It was really ridiculous. I can understand "playing dumb" to add to the surprise at times. But honestly, the entire storyline for the last month as it relates to Hunter is how Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels are out to get him. It was almost as if Jerry and Johnny had amnesia or were ignoring every show they called since WrestleMania. Contest continued with all four men taking their turn in the ring. But just as the action got out of hand, Trips hit Kane with a Pedigree (JG Note: They still have bad blood over that whole "you raped a dead body" thing.) As the announcers screamed that Gamy had just hit the move that would give him a tag title win, Kevin Nash's music hit. Hunter Ryzin' took one look and bounced. He ran through the crowd with Diesel close behind and Flair all by himself in the ring. The Nature Boy could not overcome the odds and Team Burn Out hit Naitch with a chokeslam and Frog Splash for the win. Sometimes when readers complain about Hunter "not putting people over," they can occasionally nit-pick. But in this case, I can totally see it. Essentially they sold it like Hunter had the tag titles won before running off. Yes, Virginia, Triple H can beat everyone.
After the bell, a camera picks up the Cerebral Assassin heading for the hills. As Vinnie Vegas inches closer, he hops into an awaiting limo. But not today, Trippy. Nash has himself a sledgehammer and he's going to do what all wrestler's with weapons do to limousines – destroy it. He shatters the back window and has trouble breaking the backseat window (JG Note: Ask Goldberg, those backseat limo windows are absolute murder) Just as he made the swing that broke it, he lost grip of his sledgehammer which flew through the window and into the limousine. I guess Kev is number one contender now. Well, he earned it. He is a top talent. The Limo drove off. "Ummm…excuse me, sir. I think you have my sledgehammer."
Commercial Break. Wanna crunch something? Maybe you should talk to somebody about that. That's not normal.
(4) Scott Steiner & Test defeated Christopher Nowinski & Rico when Steiner pinned Nowinski Does Rico know what his character is? Seriously. When people say to him, "Oh, you're one of those World Wrestling wrestler people? You do that Hulkamania stuff? What kind of character are you?" What does he say? Does he have an answer? Does he say "I'm the guy with the big sideburns?" He has a load of potential but the longer they let him linger with no real direction, the harder it will be to make him mean something down the road. Nowinski wore his scary Halloween facemask for this one and at one point the corner nicked Scotty, cutting him open. A lot of friction between Test and Stacy but the duo got it together and Scott pinned Nowinski with a reverse DDT drop. After the bell, Stacy tossed herself at Steiner and the two hugged until Andrew took exception and sent her away. Elizabeth! Down that aisle!
After the couple had left, Freakzilla took the mic and called out to the Massachusetts crowd. However, before the audience could "holla," we were treated to the debut of the Ambiguously French Duo.
Renee Dupree takes the microphone and introduces himself and Sylvan as La Resistance. (JG Note: When you all get shot and cannot carry on, though you die, La Resistance lives on). They offer to show Big Poppa just what they have in store for WWE as they enter the ring. But before they can drop Le Bombe, a no-selling Steiner pounds them to a deafening USA chant. Just as the chants hit the loudest, I thought of the one thing that would have made this segment perfect - Corporal Kirschner. Also, big thanks to reader Antoine Quintal-Léonard who sent me along what should be the new motto for La Resistance – "Nous allons être les faire valoir de tout les lutteurs américains – We will job to every American Wrestler."
Still to come Trish versus Bisch.
Commercial Break. Tobacco's Whack of the Night? What's it all coming to? It's time for the Charmin "Wipe of the Night!"
Sensei Bischoff is wearing his shiny Gi. and throwing some shadow punches while his faithful companion, Chief Morley looks on. Tonight the Bischman is going to get himself some Stratusfaction. Remember when Eric Bischoff stole Miss Elizabeth from Randy Savage? Now hooking up with Eric Bischoff is the punishment for losing a match. Tough five years, Bisch.
Trish is wearing her Lisa Bonet cap. That means she's serious.
"Oh my God! Book? Booker T? It's Bill! Bill Goldberg! How have you been?" Like a high school reunion, Billy G runs into his former buddy from the days in Atlanta Booker T. The Book gets all mentor on him and offers up some advice. Round these parts, you need to earn your keep Goldy. As he tells Berg to stay grounded and realize he needs to earn respect, Bill nods and pretends to listen. They're really going out of their way to portray him as an eager member of the team ready to pledge his allegiance. They should make him do push-ups and get them coffee. Actually, Bradshaw should tie him to a dolly and wheel him out to the arena in his underwear like a referee.
Commercial Break. Finally a commercial addresses one of the problems we all face today. How many times has your teacher or boss pulled you aside and said "You're a strong worker but you just need to focus and think outside the bun."
(5) Booker T defeated Christian via disqualification Big push for Christian tonight as he has not only been involved in a top angle, but a top match too. For so long he was paired with someone that could uphold an interview, it's about time he had a chance to comandeer his own character to an extent. Good back and forth although I was a bit preoccupied with the whole "is Bischoff versus Trish actually going to be the main event?" thought. Things culminated with Mr. T taking down Christian before treating us to a Spinaroony. But just as the Book got to his feet, Three-Minute Boring rushed the ring and took him down for the dq.
After the bell, Rico joined the fray and put the boots to the Five Time (X 5) WCW Champion. Just as all looked dim, Goldberg made his entrance. With a steadfast purpose, he stepped into the ring and cleared the Samoans. Seeing Bill preoccupied, Rico planned a sneak attack but was caught and speared by da Man. Goldy surveyed the damage and decided to nail Jamal with a Jackhammer. But Berg's luck ran out as Christian clotheslined him over the top. Rosy attacked on the outside but a reversal found the big man rammed into the post. Just as he regained his composure, Bill hit him with a Spear…right through the barricade. Awesome stuff. Seeing this, Christian hightailed it out of the area. Goldberg left through the crowd. So I guess Bill's next feud is with all the people from Heat?
Commercial Break. You haven't experienced World Wrestling Entertainment until you've seen it live! Honestly. Why are you even bothering to watch? It doesn't count unless you actually go. Turn the TV off, poser.
Ringboys put up caution tape to cover the hole left in the barricade. They also use it to cover the hole left by the Rock and Jeff Hardy.
Giggle Giggle…wave the hat.
I'm ba-ack…and liked Ted Turner better.
Before the bell, Karate Fighter Eric Bischoff took the mic and announced that this would be a no-disqualification match. Aren't wrestlers supposed to sign contracts before these things? Not even in real life, but in our fantasy wrestling world? Why did Bret Hart do all those in ring contract signings? Why did Andre toss the table on Hogan? So much wasted time. Pish posh.
(6) Eric Bischoff pinned Trish Stratus in a no-disqualification match Eric continued to irk me by being a fairly enjoyable on-screen character. I want to point out that any issues I have with him in no way are meant to reflect that he doesn't have wrestling charisma. It's actually something that many of his detractors will agree to. He played the heel pretty well and did the Karate Kid crane pose. But just as Schoff lost his focus, Trish took him down with a kick. That's when the whole "No DQ" thing came into play. Unseen for the past hour and forty-six minutes, Victoria emerged and took Trish down with a clothesline. But just as Stratus regained her composure and turned the tables, she was jumped by Jazz. With Teddy Long and the Bisch cheering her on, she took Stratus apart. Jazzy Mack tossed Candypants back in the ring and hit the Bitch Clamp, leaving her easy prey for an EB pin. Three seconds later and Eric is all set for another old school "Gold's Club Night"
But as Uncle Eric kneels down and expresses his pleasure at forcing an employee to have sex with him, the pesky Titantron picks up the image of an incoming limo. All eyes close in as Linda McMahon steps out and she's wearing her Nintendo 64 No Mercy Suit, so you know she means business. Bischoff changes his tone at the sight of the sane McMahon and orders the refs to make sure Trish is ok. Uh oh, Eric! You got some splainin' ta do!
Commercial Break. TNN is only up to the second season of CSI? I feel like they’ve been playing those commercials since I was born.
"Cue Linda's music."
"Uh, this is the old WrestleMania music without words."
"Yeah, she likes it. We tried to talk her out of it once but she threatened to punch us in the face if we did. No one knows it, but that lady's crazy."
It’s the Good McMahon, Linda and she has something to say. Seems that she has been monitoring the progress of the programs along with the little known Board of Directors of WWE (JG Note: It's Linda, Vince, Stephanie, Shane, Hunter, Koko B. Ware, Savio Vega and the guy who played Goldust's bellhop in 1996) There is one big problem with the management, though. Namely, Greasy E, Eric Bischoff. The Mac-ette calls him out and he obliges.
Still in his GI, Bisch enters and steps up to Mrs. McMahon. He tells Linda how beautiful she is and asks the crowd to back him up. He hopes Vinnie's chickie didn't get the wrong idea about the whole "date-raping Trish thing." In fact, Schoff isn't into women like Trish. Her prefers a mature woman. Wow, Linda McMahon is a sleaze magnet. She tells Eric that although he's charming, he's made her job tonight quite easy. Apparently she finds his actions to have been unforgivable, abusive, harassing, and bordering on ego-maniacal. Now while those traits may be the things that Linda looks for in a man, she doesn't like to see it from a Brand Manager that isn't related to her. In fact, some members of the board want to can Eric altogether (JG Note: Koko and Vince). But we’re not doing that. As of tomorrow morning, Bisch will be sharing his management duties with a partner. What? 50/50. What? Down the middle. What?
Austin's back! (JG Note: I've said that line about 15 times in the last two years. Steve's had more comebacks than matches)
Stone Cold comes out and he's read to let loose. Clad in his Bulletproof shirt and cut-offs, the Rattlesnake leads the crowd in a "What" sing-along while questioning Eric as to his trust level for old Stone Cold. Why get things off to a bad start? Stunning Steve offers his hand to Eric and assures him that he will work alongside his pasty puffy sweaty little face throughout his tenure as Co-GM. Come on, Bisch. Don't trust anybody…but trust Steve. You have his word. The gullible Bischoff shakes his hand, but as he attempts to let go, Austin pulls him back and reminds him that his run as Bischoff's partner starts tomorrow. With that, Bischoff's head gets bounced in a Stunner and you're new Co-General Manager celebrates over his fallen business partner while we fade to black.
All in all… an important show that rested on it's laurels. For the most part, this episode of Raw will be remembered. It was the debut of General Manager Austin, which should brighten up the flailing character direction of the Bischoff Administration and breathe new life into that story. But WWE did what it tends to do and that's let one or two segments carry a broadcast while the bulk of things are filler. They seemed to finally develop some sort of coherent plan for presenting Bill Goldberg, too. One of the main problems with debuting Bill is that most fans associate him with "the other company." (JG Note: The same dogged reputation that made the WCW Invasion an Alliance-effort). But other than that, tonight's show held my attention on and off, which is beginning to be the rule as opposed to the exception lately. If we are to leave things on a positive note, the future of the brand looks to be in better shape than it appeared a few weeks ago. There seems to be some new plots forming and if the writers can resist the urge to rehash old Commissioner versus Commissioner angles (IE: Flair/McMahon, Austin/McMahon CEO 99), this could help bolster a stale product. So, think happy thoughts and hope for the best.
|© 2005-2007 All content contained here Copyright 2006 by James Guttman *** World Wrestling Insanity and ClubWWI are not affiliated with any wrestling promotion.|