WRESTLING BITS AND BYTES
This is a different edition of Bits And Bites from the norm. I was live at RAW last night - so I probably won't be as opinionated as usual, and in more of a "wow, that was COOL" mode.
Also, I include Metal spoilers so you MAY want to skip over the area where I issue a BIG WARNING.
Our day started off by managing to hawk the extra tickets we had on us for a relatively inexpensive price. My mother was kind enough to drive into Ottawa to supply myself and Brooks with Bristol board (well, she was there for OTHER reasons) to make HILARIOUS signs for the arena. Nothing we did got on TV as far as we can tell though. One of our signs was a jumble of various stuff that we could giggle at. (nWo, Koko B. Ware, TANK Rules, Jake Roberts for P.M., Bring Back The Hennigplex, JUVI!, We Need More "Meat", Horace + Virgil = Unstoppable, Norman Makes Me Wiggle, SID, The Shooter Dean Malenko Rules, Bring Back 3 Count) The other one didn't make it on TV as hard as I tried, reading CANADA LOVES CRZ - DEPORT SCOTT KEITH.
The other thing we attempted to get into the arena was a large sheet with nWo written on it which we would drape down, as we were in the first row of the second deck. HOWEVER, the moment we started to drape it security asked us if we could please remove it. I have NO idea what was up with that, but they didn't take away our other jumbled mess which also included nWo, so I'm not exactly sure what the problem was.
Brooks and I were in decidedly pro Alliance on this evening - which probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me at all. While I appreciate what the WWF does - I have NEVER been a big WWF supporter. I watch 'cause it's wrestling but my heart belongs to WCW.
Anyway, we got settled, The Fink gave out a few Gameboys, which I thought was MUCH better set up than WCW did theirs a few years ago. I went to Mayhem '99, and Dave Penzer gave out a bunch of somethings (I've forgotten) to people sitting IN THE FRONT ROW AREA. The 3 Gameboys last night were given to 1 person in each deck. So congrats to the person who shelled out next to nothing and went home with a Gameboy!
WARNING - THE FOLLOWING SECTION CONTAINS SOME METAL SPOILERS
CRASH HOLLY def. STEVEN RICHARDS. I'll be damned if I can remember WHAT Crash won with - but I certainly remember the match taking place. Kronik's music hit and it immediately had me looking hard at the rampway. I had forgotten Steven Richards was using that theme. Crash Holly got a REALLY big pop from the crowd which shocked the hell out of me. There was a Stevenkick that resulted in a whole lotta "oooh's" from the crowd, but he kinda stood around waiting for Crash to get up and pin him.
ALBERT def. TOMMY DREAMER. Albert and Tommy both got pops. I don't think anyone really cared a whole lot about the result of this one (which in my mind was never in doubt), but the Baldo Bomb certainly looks impressive live!
SATURN def. CHUCK PALUMBO. Brooks and I were there for ya Chuck! Saturn's pop scared me, and at this point I was really digging the crowd. I mean, if it was from the WWF, they popped, and popped big. A Moppy chant broke out and Saturn seemed touched. Saturn nailed a Three Handled Moss Covered Family Gredunza for the win. I don't think the fans were aware that was his finisher.
KAIENTAI def. JUSTIN CREDIBLE and RAVEN. The Alliance is 0-4, Chris is getting uneasy. Kaientai's pop was the loudest of the night so far. Both Funaki and TAKA played the face in peril at various points in the match. This match was REALLY good. Oh, and to the guy who wrote the HOLT report for the Torch, Raven DID NOT get a big pop, he was not really over, and you're simply an ECW mark who hears what he wants to hear. Ahem.
MIKE AWESOME def. SCOTTY II HOTTY. The Alliance is on the board! I had honestly given up on seeing a win for our side tonight, and did not expect Mike to take this one. Scotty hit The Worm and Awesome actually kicked out. (Yeah, he kicked out of a chop that takes 5 minutes to execute, THAT'S believable!) Scotty came off the top rope and Awesome caught him with a rough sounding powerslam! Good ending. Scotty waved to the fans while selling the sore back on his way back up the ramp.
TEST def. BILLY GUNN. Crowd was kinda split with Test, but cheers seemed to overpower the boos here. Gunn was more or less split until the match began. Test took over the heel role - and the fans remained split on him but supported Gunn without hesitation. Gunn took a Big Boot leading to another "Ooooooh" and Gunn loses. It was pretty solid.
THOSE PUNK KIDS def. KANYON and HUGH MORRUS to retain the WCW World Tag-Team Titles. As soon as they said the match was for the WCW tag-team titles, I turned to Brooks and warned him to cover his ears from the squeals. I swear to god, about 5 underage chicks dressed in hippie style gear ran down the stairs to shoot pictures of them as soon as their music hit. A Lita chant broke out. The cheating bitch attacked Hugh on the outside with a hurricanrana. Hardys retain, and it's one that should look pretty good on television.
Anyway, for the rest of the show I'll use my tape to aid me recall more than I could on the dark matches.
By the way - about 10 minutes before we went on the air, we were told we were going on the air so cheer and hold our signs up. Does TNN air a live crowd or something announcing "RAW is next"? (Yes - I always recap it, too! Don't you NOTICE? :( - CRZ) Or was that footage simply for TSN to air incase a woman gets put through a table or something? Help me out readers!
Damn those fireworks are loud in person. Especially when you're sitting parallel to them.
It's Commissioner Mick Foley! Hey, he may come off as annoying on TV, but he was great to see live. The segment REALLY went nowhere - but I wasn't particularly annoyed. I'd have lost it for sure if I was recapping the TV show, but tonight the WWF could do no wrong! Someone help me, I'm a sheep. Does this mean Trish Stratus is off Excess? (Don't YOU recap that show?) Shut up, I'm GETTING to it!
Austin announces a vote for later tonight. It was the first sign of Austin which got boos, and the first sign of RVD for a crowd that was completely frothing at the mouth for him. I'm not kidding, about a dozen RVD chants broke out throughout the evening. WWF, you have your new monster face!
The Acolytes introduce Nidia to a crowd who probably have no idea who she is. We didn't get Tough Enough until last night up here. Hurricane pulled away the APA's office, which got a laugh. Bradshaw's "Stand back, there's an ass kicking coming through" got a BIG cheer.
Dudleys get a pop. Maybe I was too far away - but Stacy looks better on TV in my opinion. That's not to say I'd rather hump my television screen. I made a little noise for the Show, and so did the crowd. My GOD that is a big man! I heard all kinds of people around me say "Big Show, get the table" when he was getting the table. Not in unison, but one after another, probably repeating one another. The mist/Chokeslam spot was neat.
Austin tosses out Debra's vote.
Alright, now we're talking! Here comes The Alliance. This was one of my highlights of the night! A few minutes into the talking, Justin Credible went running off to the back. RVD joined them in the ring shortly after. Fans were REALLY laying into Stephanie - thank GOD I wasn't alone. Why is Regal the WCW commissioner? That bothered me at the show. Don't Shane and Steph book matches now as it is? Willie made some great faces however. Austin working the votes was well done. I kept hoping SOMEONE ELSE was going to get a vote. Bullshit chant breaks out - but I certainly was not adding any fuel to that. Brooks asked who I thought Angle's partner was. I answered with "Undertaker" without hesitation. Hey, one of my predictions was right, imagine that!
Hurricane gets a disgustingly far too loud pop. I saw 2 people dressed as The Hurricane during the show as well. Does it have to be THIS gimmick that's catching on? His new music is a huge step up. I got to see Ron and John live, my life is complete! Jackie looked really good from a wrestling standpoint - better than a number of guys I saw. The Clothesline From Hell looked UNBELIEVABLY nasty and I'm sure glad *I* wasn't on the receiving end of that.
Billy Kidman is a rat. I didn't notice Kanyon at the show - and had CRZ not mentioned him in his recap I may not have. VERY interesting though. I suggest they keep doing it. If it leads anywhere, the WWF can have footage of Kanyon lurking in the background all the time.
Does Kurt have a partner. Sure enough, it's Undertaker. (Depush that man!) But the fans ate him up, almost on RVD's level.
Jericho's speech about the eyebrow and the pastry nickname was good. Rocky appearing on the scene lead to a huge "UH OH!" from the crowd. A few boos, but more cheers. Stay out of The Rock's way. Jericho was definitely the babyface tonight.
Jericho joins us on commentary. I realize the title is defended 24/7, but will RVD ever defend the title? The same fans who were booing Rocky 10 seconds ago are cheering him now. Fans were split RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE for whom to cheer for though. Wow, the Rocky Sucks chant was louder than I thought it came across! About 2 minutes later though, Rocky chants were there again which may be why it didn't seem like it was THAT bad! I didn't even see Rhyno until he was in the ring and Brooks was saying "Rhyno's in the ring man!" Jericho not helping Rocky was really cool!
Stephanie yells. I honestly don't remember Stephanie from last night too well - shows how much I pay attention when she's on.
Tazz comes out - and I'm shocked it wasn't for the Cruiserweight Title, considering Tazz is a midget and all. Turns out he's 240 some odd pounds, go figure. Fans weren't into this one - however the way the WWF markets their shows there was no entertainment to go with the sportz. Ha! JR apologized for WCW in Canada. Go to hell JR!
Ahhh, the Rhyno / Jericho match WAS non-title - I missed that at the show and wasn't sure. JR says the atmosphere in WWF New York is undescribable. I bet he's never been. The Rock Bottom did NOTHING to impress the crowd. This feud is on fire! Interesting to note, because it didn't appear on TV - but Mike Awesome fell through the ropes and didn't catch anything on the way down. He appeared to land on his tailbone - and while he walked off okay it looked painful.
At this point I was wondering if we'd see Edge and Christian tonight.
Fans cheered for DDP, and turned on him in about 2 seconds.
There's Edge. His new music is really good stuff - I don't think I've mentioned that in the past. He's on Excess this week. Good. I still have no idea who was on last week, I haven't looked at the tape. Edge is fighting X- Pac. I swear, I was the ONLY person in the building happy to see him. OH, seeing Teddy Long reminds me of something cool. Everytime he came out during commercial, he'd get a "Teddy" chant. He acknowledged the fans for doing so - I was surprised! The 1, 2, 3 chants were coming from about 5 fans - but I guess it was close to the microphone so it sounded like a few more. When JR got up to talk to Edge, I thought the cameras were off at this point and thought something was really wrong!
Why did Christian have to join the Alliance? This seems to be the only way of turning full fledged heel anymore, which is sad and ridiculous writing.
The main event rolled around, and I was completely worn out by this point. Still, I did my best to stay as into this as possible - because I've been a HUGE Booker T fan for years now. The only time I saw him wrestle live, he was a last minute substitute for Rick Steiner against Scott Hall for the US Title. At least, I'm pretty sure it was the US Title, it could have been for the TV Title for all I know - Scott Hall had both at the time. Anyway, the match was fantastic and fast paced. Not a whole lot of stalling or anything like that and ANYONE who dares tell me that Undertaker is lazy and useless after seeing him in action myself is going to get a verbal lashing. I got a chance to watch him go and he moves a helluva lot faster than he's given credit for. I WAS disappointed I didn't see a Last Ride or Old School. I ESPECIALLY wanted to see Old School because high flying is just THAT MUCH COOLER when you see it first hand. The Five Star Frogsplash on Angle was awesome and I can't imagine flying that far myself. Impressive stuff! I guess that's why he's the professional and why I'm the lowly writer. :-)
After the show Angle simply walked to the back.
Anyway, even if I would normally perceive this as the worst RAW ever (I can't tell - watching it on tape just reminds me of being there live) I don't care. I LOVED IT and wish they'd come to Ottawa more frequently than once every 4 years.
I know this is a change in the normal format. I'll be back on Thursday with the regular watching and commenting.