MIGUELITO'S RAW THOUGHTS
May 27, 2002 (Memorial Day)
I was asked recently why my Raw Thoughts always ends up coming out on the weekend. One might be tempted to blame it on laziness. This isn't the case, though. It's actually a conscious decision. There often isn't a lot of new material to read on the wrestling part of the Web on the weekends. I reckon that, by submitting my article at the end of the week, it'll give you all something to read over the weekend. Let me know if you like this, or if you'd rather see this article closer to when the show actually aired.
So what do we have to look forward to this week? Let's find out. No match to start us out this week. Instead, here comes... Chris Benoit? Waitaminute, doesn't Benoit wrestle on Smackdown? Benoit says that he came out here to suck up to the fans. Doesn't matter. The LONG ovation he receives from the Canadian fans is VERY deserved. Welcome back, Chris!
Wait, here comes Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero. Eddie welcomes Chris back, saying that he missed Chris. Aww. Eddie also reveals that Chris is jealous of Eddie. Guerrero then goes on to list his accomplishments, winning the I/C title and laying out Steve Austin. Benoit wishes Guerrero luck against RVD in the ladder match tonight. Benoit says it was really macho of Guerrero to hit Austin from behind and run. Guerrero ain't taking that kinda shit from a Canadian, and says, "you know, I'd like to hit you right now." Is it on?
Of course not. Ric Flair is out to break things up. And to have Benoit thrown out of the arena! Storyline sense? Actually, if you really believe we aren't going to see a Benoit/Guerrero reunion later tonight, then you just haven't been paying attention to Raw recently. Flair does take time to taunt the crowd, and to let us know that Steve Austin won't be here tonight because Debra has a family emergency. I can believe the emergency part, but I am expecting Austin to come out later, too.
Hey, Flair just pointed out that Benoit is a Smackdown guy! It's the ticket ploy! ("Unless you have a ticket - and you don't - get out of this ring right now.") Guerrero tires to gloat, and catches a right hand from Benoit. Both men circling the ring while Flair calls for Security. Hmmm... neither man is making a huge effort to get at each other. But I think we are supposed to notice this, actually. It's what CRZ used to refer to as Wheel of Fortune booking. (Or was it Scaia?) (That was me - CRZ)
Anyway, we are off to commercial, and I am not going to argue with the length of that non-wrestling segment. Benoit deserves some time on the stick, as does Eddie. And the segment didn't come CLOSE to 20 minutes.
During the break, we watch Benoit get escorted right out the door. Benoit is too cool to put his shirt back on, even! I still think we are going to see him later tonight.
To the ring, and here is the WWE Woman's Champion, Trish Stratus! Trish is going to be taking on.. Spike Dudley? HUH? Oh, wait, they are TEAMMATES! I get it now. Backstage, Molly and Regal are chatting. Molly is nervous about this match. Something about second base and disgusting stuff and I am sure Regal isn't talking about the writing here, but he could be. Oh, yes, he could be. This is another one of those stupid mixed-tag matches for mixed titles. If Molly gets the pin, she wins the Woman's championship. If Spike gets the win, he wins the European championship. Far more confusing than it needs to be. Either make these things non-title, or split them out into singles matches.
Spike attacks Regal to start out. Lawler is instantly annoying, talking about getting to bases. UGH! Spike starts with a pretty good assortment of little-man offense, including flying head scissors, a Dudley stomp. Regal immediately tags Molly. Spike gets slapped across the face by Molly, but he can't touch her. This is a mixed tag, not an intergender match. (Or something like that.) Spike turns, and makes the tag.
Trish wails away on Molly, nailing a decent flying clothesline out of the corner, and a nice sidekick for a near fall. Stratus falls victim to a Regal hairpull, and then a knee to the gut. Man, Trish takes some nasty bumps! Molly covers, but only for two. Molly with the leg-across-the-neck spot; I love that spot! Molly takes over, but walks right into a powerslide by Stratus. Cover, 1 - 2 - 3! MOLLY WINS!!!
After the match, Regal gives Molly a pair of brass nucks. Molly nails Trish in the back of the head with the International object. Trish is down, and the heels walk away triumphantly.
Hmm... I wonder if even Rearick likes how Molly is being used right now... Lord knows I don't. Why not go back to the awesome Molly who was whipping everyone's ass? Why this stupid virginal storyline? If the WWE wants to find out why RAW ratings are tanking the way they are, look towards this stupid Molly angle for an example. Let Molly wrestle and get herself over with her heel mannerisms. Forget this virgin crap. But I digress.
After the commercial, we find out that Trish collapsed. But we aren't going to hear about that, we are going to hear from Steven Richards. Richards tells us that Jazz had a knee operation (I need to read the Ross Report more often). Richards calls Jazz "cute and cuddly," which brings Jackie out. After some "verbal sparring," Jackie kicks Richards in the shin, hits him in the head with the Hardcore title belt, then covers. Planet Stasiak breaks this up, then covers Richards for a two count. Bossman starts nightsticking everything that moves, he tries a cover but Planet Stasiak is back up.
Bossman and Stasiak fight to the back, leaving Richards knocked out on the floor. Terri figures "What the hell?" Terri covers him, and we have a new Hardcore champion. [sigh] Richards recovers enough to roll Terri up, he gets a three count to win back the title. This segment served one purpose: it's another example of why people are turning away from RAW in record numbers.
Things aren't going to get much better; we go to the nWo lockerroom. Apparently Booker T and XPac are going to be wrestling tonight against the Hardyz. Big Show has Bradshaw. Nash promises that there will be no interference, no help. If they lose, they are out of the nWo. And if they lose, Nash kicks their ass. This gets an eye roll out of Booker, and a chuckle out of the Big Show . Nash asks if Big Show has a problem with this, Show assures him he doesn't.
Nash asks if anyone has any problems, and Booker T says he does. Booker's problem is the nWo's music (which Booker is nice enough to hum for us). Booker says he needs BASS! He needs the "CAN YOU FEEL IT SUCKA!!!" (Pop by the crowd.) Nash says all Booker needs to do is win. As this segment ends, we see Goldustin eavesdropping on the conversation. Booker is obviously going to go face, the nWo is going to stay heel. Which way is Goldustin going to go? Me personally, I'd like to see him join the nWo, laying out Booker T as an initiation. But that's just me.
Back from commercial, and we can DIG IT SUCKA! Here comes XPac (in Kane mask) and Booker T, ready to battle former four-time WWE tag champs the Hardy Boyz. Ross is already laying seeds for a turn, saying that the nWo just doesn't see eye-to-eye right now. Oh, wait, there's a match here. XPac is looking pretty crisp in the ring, and he isn't afraid to sell for his opponents, either. XPac gets in some offense (including a SWEET jumping kick), but quickly falls to the champs. Booker in, and the champs start double-teaming him. Booker T hits a flapjack, then tags in XPac. The nWo try a double-clothesline, but Matt ducks, then nails a clothesline of his own.
Jeff in, jawbreaker on Booker T. Into the ropes, Poetry in Motion! Booker down, Poetry in Motion on XPac! And the crowd is DEAD! Matt tries to get back on the offensive against Booker, but catches a sidekick to the face. Booker is feeling it, and the crowd magically comes to life! The crowd is big-time behind Booker all of a sudden. Scissors kick! Jeff breaks up the Spinaroonie. XPac nails the X-Factor to get the win. Booker doesn't look happy that he didn't get to do the Spinaroonie. Booker grabs the mic. "I came to give these people what they want to see. Now hit MY music." On comes the familiar bass lick, and here's the Spinaroonie. And the crowd is eating it up.
Normally, I'd be yelling "TURN BOOKER NOW!" But, like I said a couple of weeks ago, I *like* the slow-burn on this face turn for Booker. Wait a couple more weeks, and fans are going to be BEGGING for a Booker face turn. Allow Goldustin to turn on Booker to join the nWo, then sacrifice Goldustin to Booker, and Booker is back at main-event face status. It's RIGHT THERE. If you want to get RAW's ratings back up, lean on Booker T. He can carry the promotion. Don't screw it up this time! But I digress (again).
Back to the back, where Paul Heyman (doesn't he write for Smackdown?) tries to check on the status of Trish Stratus. Bubba Ray is waiting for him, though. Bubba allegedly tosses Heyman into a couple of doors. Bubba warns Heyman to stay away from Trish. Bubba also says that he is ready for Brock Lesnar. I get the feeling he isn't really, but let's go with it.
If Heyman appears on Raw, shouldn't he write for Raw, too? Or am I being a little too logical here?
Back to the ring, and here's another Bad Idea: Tommy Dreamer is in the ring. Tommy assures everyone that he is just a normal guy. But then he goes out, smashes some dudes hot dog into the ground, then eats it. Tommy, you are a complete trooper for putting up with this crap. You may be the greatest company man this side of Ric Flair. I just wish WWE would find a better way to repay your loyalty.
Start up the new music, because here comes the WWE Champion! How many different gimmicks can the Undertaker have without changing his name? Surely he has to have set some type of record. In case you weren't paying attention, Undertaker can now be refered to as Big Evil and Red Devil. The fact that Tommy Dreamer is out here eating gross things means this segment is probably going to suck.
Undertaker suggests Dreamer leave the ring before he gets his ass kicked. Dreamer tries to defend himself, but Undertaker isn't hearing none of it. Undertaker is still saying he retired Hogan. Undertaker RULES! "Last week, RVD, who I beat with no problem at all..." Heh. "Get the hell out of here!" And Dreamer is leaving.
Uh-oh. Undertaker calls Dreamer back into the ring, and asks Dreamer if he'd like a title shot. Dreamer accepts. "You're not going to get one." HA! "There ain't a person in that dressing room that poses a challenge to me." Undertaker decides it would be entertaining if Dreamer drinks what's in 'Taker's spit cup. That's it, I'm outta here. I'll be back once this segment is over.
Heyman is giving Lesnar a pep talk. That's much better than that last piece of crap segment. I am truly hating what they are doing to Tommy Dreamer right now. I don't care whose idea it is. I don't care if Tommy Dreamer came up with it, and then begged the writers to let him do this gimmick. Dreamer deserves more than this. And we viewers, those few of us still watching this show, deserve to NOT have to see that crap on our tvs! THAT is the kind of segment that can make a person stop covering this show. That was the kind of crap that makes me embarrassed to say I like pro wrestling. That's the kind of crap that I hope we NEVER see on our screens again. And I know I am digressing here; let me try to get back on topic.
Back from commercial, and here comes Brock Lesnar. And here comes Dudley. And here we go. Sorry, I am still a little put-out by that last segment. Lesnar starts working over Dudley. Did Heyman just slip an f-bomb past the censors? I've gotta rewind here... Nope. Heyman is yelling to Lesnar, "He tried to punk you out." Heyman does get a "son of a bitch" in, though. Dudley starts coming back, trading punches with Lesnar. Dudley whips Lesnar into the steps. Back into the ring, Lesnar is favoring his arm.
Off the ropes, Bubba combo. Neckbreaker! Into the ropes, Bubba was going for a bubba bomb, but Lesnar powers out of it. Lesnar with a snap suplex. (nice!) Lesnar deposits Bubba into the corner, then locks in a bearhug. Bubba elbows out, but walks right into a belly-to-belly! Cover, but only a two count. Bubba with a German suplex! Bubba with a flapjack! CWO-special Sidewalk Slam for a two-count. BUBBA BOMB! But Heyman is distracting the referee. Bubba actually leaves the ring and chases Heyman. Heyman back in, Bubba back in. Bubba has Heyman trapped in the corner, here comes Lesnar, there goes Bubba! Lesnar avalanches Heyman, then gets German suplexed by Dudley. Cover, 1 - 2 - NO! Into the ropes, Heyman tries to trip Bubba. It doesn't work, but Dudley is distracted enough to fall to the Inverse TKO. 1 - 2 - 3. That actually wasn't a bad match. Dudley did a good job of showcasing what the youngster can do. Bravo; the first of the night?
Back from commercial, and Coach is trying to find Austin. Instead, he finds Raven. Raven is back in his ECW expository role. "I wish I could help him Coach, but this is his destiny. And I feel his pain. Quoth the Raven, nevermore." Hmmm...
"Well, well it's the Big nWo!" here comes the Big Show, and he is pacing like a caged albino tiger. Here comes Bradshaw, who still isn't believable as a main-event face. Into the ring, Bradshaw clips Show to take him down. Bradshaw working on Show's leg, but Show takes him down with a clothesline. Headbutt. Again. Kicks in the corner. WHOOO!! Punches, hiptoss out of the corner. Another clothesline. Another headbutt. More stomps. Have we seen all of Show's offense? Show with a BIG body slam, then drops an elbow. Bradshaw tries to come back with a couple of big boots to the head, but he can't take the Show off his feet. Clothesline from Heck, Show STILL doesn't go down. Chokeslam by Show, Bradshaw DOES go down, and he stays down! Do you want some corn to go with your SQASH?
I liked this match. It effectively ended Bradshaw's (non-effective) push, and it's putting Show over as the badass he really is. I NEVER give two-minute matches a Bravo, though, so let's just move on.
Back to the nWo lockerroom we go. XPac and Booker are celebrating their victories tonight. Goldustin comes in to congratulate them. Goldustin, however, is wearing a Nash wig, along with white face paint. Check out the nWo on Goldustin's cheek. XPac is upset, and decides to squeal to Kev. Eh.
Tough Enough II stuff. Miguelito's rule: Fast forward whenTough Enough is mentioned.
RVD is chatting with Terri, congratulating her for winning the Hardcore title. Terri asks Van Dam about the ladder match later tonight. (There's a ladder match?) "When it comes to climbing the ladder of succes, nobody but nobody gets as high as RVD." Hmmm... RVD drug references actually might improve ratings for RAW. I can't argue with that segment. Plus, it was nice and SHORT!
Coach sees Austin driving up? Nope, it's the Fink. Eh.
Hey, it's Crash Holly! Crash is going to battle.. Goldustin? Waitaminute, aren't both these guys heels? Who should the fans cheer for? This is so confusing! Fortunately, the match doesn't last very long. (ROSS SAID GOLDUSTIN! Or maybe it was "Goldust and..") Goldustin hits the Curtain Call (or High Impact Move if you are Jim Ross) for the pin.
Strike the music, because here comes nWo leader Kevin Nash. Nash into the ring, and Goldustin slithers right out. Nash... decides to beat the crap out of Crash. Huh? Nash with the Wolfpack sign, Goldustin returns it. And the 4-Life gesture, too. Nash looks... bored. He must be watching this show, too!
Back to Flair's office, Guerrero wants to know if Austin is going to be here. Guerrero seems pretty uncertain about his match tonight; Flair tries to give him some confidence. I don't know if it worked, though; Guerrero still looks pretty spooked.
Waitaminute, the main event CAN'T be next! There is WAY too much time left. Are they actually going to give the ladder match the time it deserves? Nah, probably not. My guess: Austin interferes, then rambles on for 15 minutes saying "WHAT?" I guess we'll find out... NEXT!
Hmm... Champion is introduced first. That's often not a good sign in a ladder match. Eddie looks very concerned about this match as he gets into the ring. Eddie's the man! Eddie looks really concerned as he watches RVD come down to the ring, too. Eddie isn't sure whether he should watch RVD or the title belt up on the hook. RVD looks up, and Eddie takes advantage.
It takes about two minutes before the ladder (outside the ring) comes into play. Eddie whips Guerrero into the ladder. Guerrero with a snap suplex on the floor. (OUCH!) Guerrero takes RVD into the ring, and starts laying on the offense. STIFF running elbow. EDDIE SUCKS chant, but Canadian chants don't count. Guerrero wraps RVD's legs around the ringpost, then chairs RVD in the knee. There's no way I am keeping up with the pace of this match, so I'm going to just try to hit the highlights.
Eddie works on Van Dam's legs through most of the match. Eddie with a sweet powerbomb, almost as stiff as the one he gave Lita way back when. Guerrero bring another ladder into the ring. Van Dam with a moonsault off the ring apron into the ladder into Guerrero. Both men sell it like it destroyed them. Which gives Chris Benoit time to come down! Security tries to stop him, but Benoit has a ticket. Damn scalpers, they'll sell to ANYONE! I hope Benoit didn't have to spend TOO much for that cushy ring-side ticket.
We are back, and apparently missed Guerrero run a ladder into RVD's head. Guerrero gets back into the ring, starts up the ladder, but RVD dropkicks the ladder out from under him. AWESOME! Guerrero's bump looked SICK! RVD with a Rolling Thunder onto Guerrero who is laying on the ladder. DAMN, this match RULES! RVD going up, Guerrero going up. Guerrero leapfrogs over RVD... HOLY SHIT! Sunset flip off the ladder, which basically makes it a powerbomb!
Guerrero going up the ladder, some stupid fan runs into the ring and knocks the ladder down. Between Guerrero and the ref, the fan gets his ass kicked. Good thing, he deserves it. Guerrero back up, HOLY CRAP! A senton off the ladder! EDDIE GUERRERO IS THE SHIT! He could've won that match, but instead hits the senton. Awesome.
Guerrero brings a chair back to the ring. Chair in the back. Again. Now to the legs. Chair set up in the corner, but RVD puts Eddie's head into the chair. Van Daminator #... 2? 3. 2. One of the two. Anyway, RVD sets the ladder on top of Eddie. HOLY SHIT!!!! Split-legged moonsault onto the ladder! Eddie looks hurt, RVD sets up the ladder. RVD climbing up, Eddie pulls him off. Guerrero suplexes RVD into the ladder!
Guerrero sets the ladder up in the corner. Tries to Irish Whip RVD into it, but RVD reverses. RVD monkeyflips Guerrero into the ladder! Ladder set up on Guerrero again, ROLLING THUNDER! Guerrero looks out of it. RVD climbs the ladder, Guerrero dropkicks him in the leg! RVD down, Guerrero grabs a chair. VAN DAMINATOR #1! RVD sets up the ladder, Five Star Frogsplash? Well, the ladder collapsed; I don't know if RVD was supposed to hit the move or not.
Guerrero going up to the top rope, RVD knocks him out of the ring, into the railing. RVD sets up the ladder, goes up, and grabs the title! We have a new Intercontinental Champion, and that was ONE HELL of a match. RVD celebrates a bit too much, and doesn't see Guerrero grab the ladder. Ladder into the head! RVD is out; no one said that Eddie is a good loser!
Oh, shit, the glass breaks, and here comes Stone Cold. Austin takes out Guerrero, then Flair and Arn Anderson when they come out. Benoit in the ring to help Austin. Well, right up until he nails Austin with a forearm to the back, that is. Benoit stomping a mudhole in Austin. Benoit slams Austin, and Eddie Feels Froggy! Eddie still selling injuries from the match, so Benoit gives Austin a talking too. Flair and Anderson stand by and watch. Guerrero joins Benoit in the ring again. I am BEGGING someone, ANYONE, to raise four fingers. Of course, it doesn't happen. That's the show, our last view is Benoit and Guerrero raising each other's arms.
Hmmm.... Does the Match Of the Year-quality ladder match make up for the garbage that was the Undertaker/Tommy Dreamer segment? I don't know. That match really RULED. But the Undertaker/Tommy Dreamer stuff was utter horseshit. It hurts me to say that: I like Undertaker, and I *LOVE* Dreamer.
I've been asked a few times why I haven't given up on Raw. I guess I am just stubborn. Raw has more talent that I care about than Smackdown does. It has more upside potential, too. I guess I am giving in to blind faith, faith that WWE can fix the bad parts and put on a show worthy of the talent they have. I'll probably continue to have faith, no matter how bad things get. No one else will, I'm guessing. But I'll be here.
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