MIGUELITO'S RAW THOUGHTS
June 3, 2002
Well, it is official: people like to read this article on the weekends. It seems a lot of people either don't like reading about Smackdown, or want to be reminded about what happened on Raw so they can compare it to what happened on Smackdown. Either way, I am glad that I am able to provide a service for you!
Let's start out with the Four Horsemen! Well, three of 'em, anyway. Benoit, Guerrero and Flair come out to the ring to start off this week's show. Benoit conveniently explains why he attacked Austin, but still hasn't sufficiently explained why he is on Raw. Anyway, Austin is the reason that Benoit was out for a year, Austin is responsible for Benoit's neck injury, and Austin is responsible for Benoit not winning the WWE title. It's been a year, but Benoit is now back for revenge. And I can dig that, Sucka. Revenge, the simplest and most effective of pro-wrestling angles.
Guerrero gets the mic! Guerrero says that, after RVD stole the Intercontinental title from him, he felt like he lost his Latinoness. But now, after Feeling Froggy on Austin, Guerrero once again feels his Latino Heat.
Flair then gets the stick. Flair says that Austin is benched again tonight (even though we are in Texas), and that if Flair has any problems with this, he should talk to the Enforcer. Sounds like a cue to me, and sure enough, here's AA on the Titan tron. Hmmm.. that's AA, but it sure sounds like Steve Austin. Austin Pinocchio's AA, saying that Austin just whipped Anderson's ass. Anderson is dutifully selling, and looks like he can't stand. Austin dumps to the floor, to do his own talking.
Austin said that being benched sucks, and demands a match between either Benoit or Guerrero. Flair points out that Benoit is still Smackdown property (so why is he on this show) and Guerrero is already wrestling. Austin suggests then that we get Flair -vs- Austin tonight; if Austin wins, he gets to wrestle again. If Austin loses, he is back on the bench. I am reminded of a Vogon quote here... "erm, well that doesn't sound that great to me."
Unfortunately, this apparently does sound good to Flair. There is a condition to the match, however: straight up wrestling match (no punches). Flair tries to raise the stakes, saying if Flair wins, then Austin is benched forever. Austin then asks Flair what Nature stands for, then tells Flair not to answer. (Then why ask?) Austin then stomps another mudhole into Anderson (who's been on the floor through all of this.) Austin says he feels the call of nature... awww, crap. Austin is supposedly urinating on Anderson. Who the hell writes this crap? Why screw up what was a fairly decent segment with that crap? What have we done to make WWE hate us so much that the feed us this garbage?
Damn, and here I was being optimistic about tonight's show. Well, at least the optimism is gone. I'm prepared for more suckiness. It can't get much worse than this, can it?
Back from commercial, and we almost miss the start of this match. Steven Richards puts the hardcore title on the line against Bradshaw. Jackie's our referee. Bradshaw with some Texas flavor, ringing a cowbell on Richards' head, then hogtieing him. Bradshaw finds a lasso and a saddle (?) and a set of bull horns (??) under the ring. Richards goes to the generic trashcan lid to get the advantage back, however. Surprisingly, Bradshaw hits a fall-away slam. But here's Spike Dudley, sneaking into the ring to try to get the pin. Bradshaw misses a shot, Spike goes up, and then gets kicked off the top rope. Bradshaw with the Clothesline from Heck on Richards, Bradshaw covers, and we have a new Hardcore champion.
But we aren't done yet. Justin Credible runs into the ring, and right into the Big Foot from Bradshaw. Trashcan over Credible, punch to take him down. Bradshaw poses, exits the ring, and catches Crash in the chops with the Big Boot. (Apparently, Bradshaw now only knows three moves.) Bradshaw makes sure Jackie isn't trying to roll him up, then tries to run up the ring steps. I say "tries to" because he actually slips and just about breaks a kneecap on the ring steps. Bradshaw raises the title, and heads to the back. Eh. Ross declares Bradshaw the most devastating hardcore champion ever, apprently completely forgetting that both Mick Foley and the Undertaker has held tht title.
We go to the nWo lockerroom, where XPac is acting pretty pissy. When'd he turn into such a little bitch? Booker is tired of the constant meetings, Nash hushes everyone. Nash has a major announcement tonight. Whoopie! Goldustin comes in impersonating Coach, asking if it is true that Goldustin is a member of the nWo. XPac laughs it up, Nash says "hell no." Booker T takes his side? Hmmm... Booker suggests that the winner of tonight's King of the Ring qualifying match between Goldustin and XPac becomes a member of the nWo, the loser is out. Nash says it works for him, then laughs at XPac's indignation. Waltman continues to act like a little bitch, the rest of the nWo laughs it up.
Seriously, when did XPac become such a little bitch? It's actually one of the most entertaining things about the nWo right now. Well, that and Booker T constantly referring to Waltman as a Ratty Little Sucker.
Commercial break, and then here comes the Ratty Little Sucker (RLS), replete in Kane's (who?) mask. Switch to letterbox, and here comes Goldustin. I still don't understand how Goldustin is still around, but Mr. Perfect is gone. Stupid acts lead to bad consequences, Mr. Hennig. On the plus side, Goldustin is more entertaining how than he has been in years. Hey, Goldustin is sporting a cool goatee, too! I can't tell if it is real or if it is paint, though.
RLS gets a cheap shot to start off, but then quickly falls to a barrage of offense. Inverted atomic drop, short clothesline, butt bump, it's all in here. RLS with a spinning heel kick to turn things around. RLS pulls the goatee off of Goldustin (that answers MY question), puts Goldustin in tho the corner and then tries for the Broncobuster. But Goldustin is LONG gone. Goldustin deposits RLS in the corner, then hits his own Broncobuster! When'd Goldustin become so cool?
Goldustin tries for another, but that's not a good idea. RLS with a kick to the Golden Globes (it pains me to use Lawler's material, I have to say), then hits the X-Factor to get the win. XPac advances to the King of the Ring tournament! And I have to hand out a kudo here. Even though this match was almost devastatingly short, it did have some entertaining parts to it. Give that match another three minutes, and I would've been a VERY happy person!
Commercial break, and we are back with the new Intercontinental Champion. RVD says the ladder match was rough, but he would go through it again to get the Intercontinental title. RVD also proclaims this the Summer of RVD. And out comes... Paul Heyman? RVD gets some jibes in on Paul, suggesting that Paul is on the Subway diet. Heyman points out that RVD made RVD, but now Brock Lesnar is the Next Big Thing. Lesnar closes in for a staredown. Apparently, we are going to get an RVD/Lesnar program. And I am way cool with that. Kudo!
Matt goes in search of his brother; he finds Jeff playing the guitar. Jeff suggests the Hardyz get back to their roots, get back to Living for the Moment. Matt is as confused as we are, which might say something about the writing on the show. Jeff promises to show everyone just what he means later tonight.
And now we go to Flair's office (shouldn't there be some WRESTLING going on around here somewhere?), where Flair is trying to add more stipulations added to the Flair/Austin contract. Flair is still trying to raise the stakes here. If Flair wins, Austin becomes Flair's personal assistant. Now THAT makes sense. Why didn't they do that one earlier? Flair also makes punches an automatic DQ. Shouldn't he just have made it illegal for Austin to throw punches? He has the power...
In comes Austin. We get a signing by Austin (who doesn't read the contract). Flair signs it. Austin plays with the security guard for awhile, and I am starting to drift off here. Flair is all laughs, of course. Austin wants to know why Ric is so happy, Flair tells Austin that he'll find out soon enough. Okay...
Another non-wrestling bit, as we see Trish Stratus buttoning up her coat. Trish is wrestling a lingirie match tonight against Terri for the WWE Woman's Champion, I hear. And now we go to commercial. Nope, no wrestling in that segment at all. [sigh]
Finally, we are going to get some wrestling here. Or maybe we are going to get some "wrestling." I am hoping that this "match" is just an excuse to get Molly into the ring. WE WANT MOLLY! Trish takes off her coat, and is nicely attired in matching bra and panties. Now, as a man, I have to admire Trish's assets. But as a wrestling fan, I can't help but wonder what this has to do with wrestling. I do hope that Trish gets paid more than, say, the Rock. You don't see Rocky wrestling in HIS skivvies! Terri is similarly adorned, but decided to go the thong route. And I must say, I HATE Lawler right now. Get him off the air already!
Wow, we do get some "wrestling" here. Terri with a drop toehold (!). Teri pulls Trish down by the hair. Again. Into the corner by her hair. Back down. Teri covers, but barely gets a two-count. Teri with a bodyslam. And now Teri goes up to the top rope! Flying crossbody drop for two. When did Teri learn all these moves?
Stratus comes back with some forearms, then my favorite move, the snap mare. Snap suplex by Trish for a two-count. Into the corner, Trish catches the Little Boot. Teri goes up, Trish pulling her off, FACE FULL OF STUFF! Terri reverses this into a butt drop for two. Trish counters for two. Stratusfaction, and the champ retains. And here comes MOLLY! Molly in the ring behind Trish. Molly puts on the brass nux. And now Molly is apparently waiting for Trish to turn around. And keeps waiting. Molly taps Trish on the shoulder (?), Trish turns around, and Molly punches the title belt. Well, they really screwed THAT up! Trish knocks Molly out with a belt shot, then strips down to a thong. Trish attempts to throw her discarded panties onto Molly's face, but screws that up, too. Molly tries to save the segment by picking up the panties and looking disdainfully at them, but it's too late. Let's just move on, shall we?
Back from commercial to Ric Flair's office, where we see a VERY pissed of Arn Anderson. Arn says he is going to enjoy forcing Austin to clean up toilets at Flair's house. Benoit says that Austin just flushed his career down the toilet. And now, let's go to a match? Cool!
Brock Lesnar, who now has issues with both Bubba Dudley and RVD, comes to the ring first, and is then joned by Eddie Guerrero. Bubba Ray's jersey still says "3D" on it. I'd like to see him hit that move now that he is a singles wrestler! I note that, of the four wrestlers in this match, three of them are ECW alumni, and Lesnar would've made a great addition to ECW.
Guerrero and Bubba Ray start out, which allows Bubba to fall victim to some double-teaming. Lesnar with an easy-looking fireman slam on Bubba. Guerrero tries to follow up, but gets caught with a sidewalk slam. Eddie tags, and Lesnar starts working over Dudley. Great power moves by Lesnar, and great selling by Dudley.
Dudley sneaks in a DDT! Dudley tags in RVD. RVD with a superkick, but Lesnar does not go down. Lesnar with a backbreaker, holds him up for a powerslam. That was pretty cool! Lesnar tags Eddie, who unleashes a series of elbows to RVD's head. Nice running clothesline. Eddies tries for a belly-to-belly, but RVD reverses out of it, then hits a spinning heelkick. Dudley tagged in, and hits Guerrero with his own running clothesline. Bubba channels Dusty Rhodes, and hits the bionic elobw. Lesnar in, Bubba hits a belly-to-back suplex. AWESOME!
Bubba out to get the table. Bubba is olding the table up on the apron, BEGGING someone to do a baseball slide dropkick into it. Lesnar comes around to help Bubba stall. Bubba disposes of Lesnar just as Eddie comes charging in with the baseball slide into the table, into Bubba. UGH! What's up with all the mis-timed spots tonight?
Lesnar tosses Bubba back into the ring, and Eddie takes over. Eddie tries for a suplex, but can't get Bubba over. (Our "announcers" fail to point this out, by the way.) Eddie kicks Bubba three times in the stomach, and is THEN able to get Bubba over for the suplex. Eddie out of the ring, then leaps over the top rope into a neckbreaker on Bubba! WOW! Tag into Lesnar.
Bubba is able to hit the Bubba Bomb on Lesnar, and we take a breather. Hot tag to RVD! Tag to Eddie. Standing side kick by RVD! RVD hits Eddie with Eddie's running clothesline! Eddie whiped into the turnbuckle. AMAZING catapult sending Eddie almost all the way across the ring. I think these two are re-doing some of the spots the flubbed in last week's ladder match. RVD with a split-legged moonsault! RVD with a cheap shot to Lesnar. Rolling thunder, but Lesnar breaks up the pinfall.
Bubba in to take it to Lesnar, but Eddie dropkicks Bubba. Bubba up, Eddie jumps onto his shoulders. Bad move; Bubba knows the best way to fight this is to fall straight back. Lesnar hits Dudley with a great belly-to-belly! RVD tries a spinning heelkick, but Lesnar (who is not the legal man) moves out of the way. Lesnar tosses RVD into the corner. RVD takes Lesnar down with a heel kick! RVD up to the top rope, but gets pushed off by Heyman! And here comes the reverse TKO from Lesnar!
Dudley in and spears Lesnar. While Lesnar and Bubba fight it out, Eddie scales the ropes. Eddie's Feeling Froggy! RVD ain't kicking out of that! Guerrero and Lesnar with the win, and you've gotta think that Eddie is going to get transitioned out of this feud and up to a feud with Austin. But let's not let me get ahead of myself. That match ruled in ways one wouldn't have expected it to. It's matches like this that can make me forget about the crap that we saw earlier. BIG-TIME kudo for this one!
And now out we go to chat with Steven, er, William Regal. Coach wants to know what Regal thought about Molly getting her ass kicked. Regal brushes off the question. Coach then asks about King of the Ring. Regal says he is a natural to be the king. Booker T takes exception to this, as he shows up out of the blue. Booker T plays up America -vs- England, as the WWE continues on the path towards turning T face again. (Which is what he always should have been, actually.) Hmmm... Booker leaves out the Sucker in "Can you dig that?" Booker walks out, Regal starts yapping, and Booker pops back into the frame with a "SSSUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!" Booker T RULES!!!
Back from commercial, and we see some clips of another show I don't watch (Tough Enough). Notice how Jake is getting out of his chair when they announce Jackie is the winner. That was pretty subtle, and pretty cool. Unfortunately, no one told Jackie to SHUT THE HELL UP!
Back to the ring, and here comes Booker T! Booker's nWo trunks are actually pretty cool; too bad they won't be hanging around for very long. Unless, of course, the WWE decides to turn the entire nWo face. We know how well that worked for WCW. I also want to point out that Regal wears the championship gold the way it is SUPPOSED to be worn, around his waist. It's a championship BELT, after all, not a championship shoulder throw.
Nice chain wrestling to start out. Booker working on the arm, Regal working on a headlock. Regal with a series of covers for 1 counts. Both men up, Booker with a nice back kick. Flair chops, then a nice forearm to the head. Outside the ring, Regal takes Booker's back to the apron. Regal then throws Booker off the floor and into the ring ROPES (!!); the momentum takes Booker back to the floor. Regal pretty much rules when it comes to actual wrestling; it's a pity more people don't notice just how good he is when it's time to actually wrestle.
Into the ring, Regal with a STIFF knee to Booker's head. Regal with a European uppercut. Knee to the head again. Booker comes back with a sidekick, and JR is starting to put Booker T over. There's a pretty sure sign of an upcoming face turn. Booker with a scissors kick. Cover, but only a two count! Booker tries for a sidekick, but Regal ducks.
While Booker is tied up on the ropes, Regal slips outside and grabs the European title and a chair. Regal throws both in. While the referee tries to get the chair out of the ring, Booker sneakily grabs the title belt. Beltshot to the head! Booker covers, and gets the win! Booker T advances to the King of the Ring tournament. Hmmm... two nWo members. Booker has the stick! "I came here to give the people what they came to see! Now hit MY MUSIC!" And we get the spinaroonie. JR then proceeds to guarantee that Booker won't win the KotR tournament by saying, "We may be looking at the next King of the Ring!"
And we go back to the lockerroom, where Tommy Dreamer is throwing up into a bucket. Well, I don't know how WWE did it, but they've guaranteed that, any time Tommy Dreamer is on the screen, something really sucky is going to happen. Just like last week, I am going to refuse to watch this crap. Time to hit the fast-forward button and see what is next.
And even at fast speed, that segment really sucked. The only things I saw worth mentioning were glimpses of a squash and a Hardy signing his own death warrant. Back from commecial, and the Undertaker pops into the Hardyz lockerroom. Jeff is all alone, Undertaker asks where Matt is. Matt is gone, so Undertaker asks Jeff to deliver a message. Undertaker then whips Jeff's ass, almost breaking into the next room while he did so. Haven't we already seen the Hardyz -vs- Undertaker?
Back to the ring, and here comes Kevin Nash. Nash's announcement: There's a new member of the nWo. And that member is.... Shawn Michaels? Wait, didn't Michaels just say on Confidential that he would not be back in the ring? Is he supposed to be a heel now? Are the nWo faces? I am SO confused! WWE refuses to give us any answers, either. Michaels comes out (replete in nWo t-shirt) and dances around while "Sexy Boy" plays twice. And that's it. Michaels doesn't say a word, Nash doesn't say anything else. What's going on?
Back from commercial, and we go to the Austin's lockerroom. Debra has found an amusing plot hole, er, loophole in the contract. If Austin wins, then Flair becomes Austin's assistant. That's not going to go over well with Flair.
Speaking of whom, here comes the Nature Boy. Are we running short on time? Flair is in a hurry to get out to the ring. Oh, now he is slowing down. Flair must just want to get out of Texas as soon as possible. And really, who can blame him? Austin takes his time, of course, sucking up for his home-town crowd. If Flair really were still the Dirtiest Player in the Game, wouldn't he attack Austin while Austin's back is to him? This semi-retirement is taking the edge off of Flair, apparently.
Here we go. Flair is trying to get Austin to punch him; that's pretty smart. Chain wrestling sequence, with Austin coming out with an arm bar. Into the ropes, Austin with a tackle. Austin thinks about throwing a right, but stops himself in time. And I have a feeling that this match is going to RULE!
Off the ropes, Flair with a tackle. Into the ropes again, Austin with a drop toehold. Austin working on Flair's leg with a legbar, Flair gets to the ropes. Into the corner, Austin with a series of Flair chops! Flair with a kick to the gut, and Flair shows him how its done. Off the ropes, HIGH back body by Austin. Cover gets a two count! Austin up, Flair goes to the eyes. Knife edge. Thesz press, Austin goes to punch, but then chokes Flair instead.
Both men back up, more Flair chops by Austin. Austin mounts, but can't do anything. Flair tries an inverse atomic drop, but blocks it. Clothesline, and the crowd starts booing. HUH? OH, here comes Chris Benoit! While the referee argues with Benoit, Austin hits the Stone Cold Stunner! Austin covers, but the referee is half-way up the entrance ramp. Austin watches the referee a little too intently, and doesn't see Eddie Guerrero sneaking in behind him. Low blow! Eddie up top, Eddie Feels Froggy!
Guerrero gets out of the ring, Benoit heads back to the back, and the referee finally gets back into the ring. Both men are down. And... we go to commercial break? The hell? Why go to break at... 8:59pm, when your show is supposed to end at 9:00pm? That's just plain silly. Still, timing has been screwed up for the wrestlers all night. I guess it is appropriate that the producers get screwed up with their timing, too.
Back from commercial, Flair goes to the eys. Flair tosses Austin out of the ring. Flair out, knife-edge chop. Another. Into the ring post, Austin blocks. Austin with a chop. Another. Another! And another eyeshot by Flair. Flair walks over, Austin back bodydrops Flair onto the floor. OUCH! Hey, remember Flair's back was broken. You've gotta be gentle with him, Austin!
Austin back in, Flair up to the apron. Austin suplexes Flair back into the ring. Austin with a series of chops in the corner. Austin throws a punch, the referee blocks it, so Flair takes advantage of the distraction to nail Austin with a right. Brilliant; that's exactly the kind of thing Flair should be doing.
Flair goes to work on the leg. Butt drop across the rope on Austin's knee. Flair stomping on Austin's knee. Flair locks in the Figure Four! Austin's in the middle of the ring; what's he gonna do? Flair using the ropes for extra leverage. This is all Good Stuff! Austin reverses the move, so Flair breaks it up. This match is having an effect on Ross, too; Ross just noted that reversing the Figure Four turns it into an Indian Deathlock; how long has it been since we've heard someone explain WHY reversing the Figure Four is such a devastating move? Keep this kind of stuff up, Ross! THIS is the Jim Ross we want to hear out here. But I digress.
Both men slowly up. Trading chops. Tackle takes both men down. Flair up first, he goes up to the top rope. That NEVER works! Austin presses Flair off the top rope. Back into the corner, Austin stompin' Flair down. Austin with Flair chops, Flair with a Flair Flop! Flair with a small package for two. Austin with a backslide for two. Both men up and trading chops again. Flair with a thumb to the eye again! Off the ropes, Austin with a kick to the gut, STONE COLD STUNNER! Austin covers, 1 - 2 - 3!!! Austin with a clean pinfall over the Nature Boy!
After the match, Austin nails Flair with a right hand, then delivers another Stunner. That was pretty uncalled for! But we are in Texas; I guess Austin had to get some heat back. Anyway, that match thoroughly RULED. I don't know how, but Flair can still go, even after all these years. Austin did a damned good job, too, as Steve showed that he hasn't forgotten how to actually wrestle. Major kudos for this match.
You know, were it not for two problems, this show would've earned an enthusiastic thumbs-up from me. But the two bad parts of the show were absolutely disgustingly horribly awful. They were so bad, that it is impossible for me to look on this show in a positive light. Yes, WWE, it is possible to ruin two hours of quality programming with 5 minutes of crap. And the Austin urination and Dreamer/Undertaker puke segments were that bad. Those segments ruined what would've been a damned good show.
The worst part is, those bits of crap DIDN'T NEED TO BE THERE! The Austin promo was running along nicely; there was no need to simulate urination. And the Dreamer/Undertaker squash would've been much more effective without the entire puke bucket sub-plot. Please, please, PLEASE leave out this childish, immature CRAP. We don't need it, we don't want it. Stop trying to force it down our throats. Just stick to the Good Stuff.
Anyway, as you may or may not know, Colorado is almost literally going to hell. First, the Red Wings score 7 goals in game 7 to knock the Avalanche out of the Stanley Cup race. And now, half of our state is on fire. Literally on fire. Wildfires are raging just some 50 miles from my doorway. Fortunately, pro wrestling is coming to the rescue!
There are four independent promotions here in northern Colorado. All four are having shows this month. The CWO starts things off on June 15th with CWO Authority, live from the Buffalo Rose in Golden. The next day, the IWF brings us Father's Day Massacre at the Gothic Theatre in my hometown, Englewood. The MHPW joins in with the fun on June 22nd at the Aztlan Theater in Denver. And the RMCW finishes things up with two shows, one on June 27th at Boondocks Fun Club in Thornton, and then on June 29th. The Honkey Tonk Man will be featured at both shows.
As your dedicated wrestling journalist, I am taking it upon myself to watch and recap the CWO, IWF and MHPW shows. Watch these pages in the near future for full results from these events. (Unfortunately, I won't be able to make the RMCW show - I will be lost in the mountains somewhere with my wife as we celebrate our first anniversary!)
And that is all I have for this week! I'll be back, hopefully in a better mood, a bit earlier than normal next week with the next Raw Thoughts. Until then, have a great week!
Oh, and send any extra rain you may have down our way. We really, REALLY need it.
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