WWF in Boston
|Guest columnist: Mark Coale
Live, From Washington DC, home of the world's greatest radio host, Tony Kornheiser, it's Smackdown. Oh yeah, and Heat! Tonight's Theme will be Retro City, since this is the first WWF show I've attended since Wrestlemania VIII in the Hoosier Dome.
I amuse myself before the show by examining the banners hanging from the ceiling (Yes, that's how high up my seat was.) They have not only hung banners for the Washington Mystics WNBA team, but they are for "best attendance." Sheesh.
Ten minutes before the scheduled bell time, they rebroadcast the Angle-Booker Title switch from RAW. Amazingly, this gets good heat, a prelude of things to come.
(Digression #1: it's strange to sit behind the Ovaltron, because it's like watching a bizarre version of the show. People are opposite handed and such. It's like Bizarro Land.)
Tony Chimel welcomes all of us and goes through the usual pre-match rules and regulations.
Match # 1: Kaientai vs. Glamour Boy Shane and Andy Anderson (who has White Wolf on his tights). I know many of the Indy workers from the region, but not these two guys. The jobbers get in a surprisingly amount of offense before Glamour gets Michinoku Driven for the pinfall.
Match #2: Essa Rios vs. Julio Sanchez/Fantasico/Dinero. A short match that Essa won with a 450 splash, not his old moonsault finisher.
Heat Begins with the introduction of the Coach and Michael Hayes. I was disappointed P.S. didn't come out to "Freebird," especially this week.
Match # 1: PJ Walker/Johnny Polo vs. The Giant/Rockabilly. Early on in the match, Justin Credible does the slowest Flair Flop I've ever seen. A fairly nondescript match ends when The Show does the Allez-Oop on Justin for the win. Are they implying Paul Wight is a caveman?
Match #2: Sparky Plugg vs. Meat. Very short, thank goodness. Holly wins with a flip slam and a roll up.
Match #3: Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. JL for the WWF Hardcore title. Boy, did the crowd pop for RVD! This was a super hot match. Some of the spots to look for this weekend include a missed Van Daminator that Lynn turned into a legdrop on the chair, a Lynn tornado DDT that RVD reversed into a Northern Lights Suplex and a RVD split-legged moonsault where Lynn moved the chair and clocked Van Dam. The finish came when Lynn tried to superplex RVD on a chair, Rob threw him off onto it and then gave him the frog splash for the three count.
Match # 4: Saturn vs. El Hijo del Chavo Guerrero: Crowd was flat after the great match before it. Moppy's name is now in Saturn's entrance video. The two did not mesh well and Chavito did possibly the world's worst tornado DDT. In the end, Perry monkey-flipped Chavo into Moppy and then grabbed him for the Dr. Suess-plex.
Time to change the ropes and for Lillian to sing the National Anthem. Some chucklehead in front of me kept yelling for the Rock during the Anthem. Boo!
Your announcers for tonight are Michael Cole and The Tasmaniac. No storyline reason given for Tazz's return to the American Announce Table.
The show began with your Rock RAW Redux & Review. Then the Pyro.
Out first is our Olympic Hero, very big pop. "Yes, I was screwed by Stone Cold, but I'm not gonna cry about it." (No more crying for Kurt?) "But summertime is funtime. This includes polishing my gold medals and going to Summerslam to kick Steve Austin's (posterior). This is the United States, where you can do whatever you want." He then leads the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Hit the Music and our comes Lance Storm, brandishing the Canadian flag. He says Kurt would not have won a gold medal if he had wrestled a Canadian in the final. Kurt says he beat him in the second round. He then runs down the USA and Washington. The crowd actually pops for the mention of their high crime rate. They decide to have a scientific match later. Of course, Lance cheap shots him here, throwing the IC title at his face and then superkicking him before leaving the ring.
Backstage, The Ringmaster and Mrs. Mongo run into Meat. Austin tells Stasiak how proud he is of him and says, "he's a good kid." After he leaves, Austin turns to Debra and asks, "Who was that?"
Match # 1: Wolverine and Will O'The Wisp (with Angelica) vs. Sean O'Haire & The Main Event for the WCW Tag Titles. This was a match from another ERA - 1980s Crockett. The WCW team was the Russians and the Hardys were the Rock and Roll Express. Matt spent most of the match as Ricky Morton, eventually making the hot tag to Jeff. The Hardys hit their patented combination of moves, but Teddy Long was trying to get Matt out of the ring while Palumbo hit Jeff with a superkick and he was pinned by O'Hare.
During the Break, I notice technicians fiddling with the corner posts. I predict Kane in the next match.
Guess who meets up backstage? Stephanie McMahon and Chris Jericho. They exchange the usual banter when Y2J notices a zit on Steph's face. He then calls over Edge and Christian to show them and they make fun of the Princess, calling it a "zitastrophe" (edge) and her a "Trampasaurus Rex" (Jericho). She says she'll find three of her guys (she owns what company again?) and meet them later in trois action.
Ms. Hancock runs into Austin backstage and gives him some of her cookies. He thinks they're great and when he turns his back to get some coffee, Debra is in Stacey's place. Austin tries to butter up the Mrs., but she will have none of it.
At an undisclosed location, DDP shows off his shrine to Sara Undertaker. He says the violence is turning her on. He still has the lock of her hair. Creepy. And wasteful if Kimberly doesn't show up at some point, either with or against her hubby.
Commercial Break. Yes, a whole segment with just vignettes.
Match #2: Mortis vs. Unabomb for the WCW US Title. Before the match, Kanyon says of all the things being questioned on Capitol Hill, only one remains: Who Better Than Kanyon? I was right, Kane was indeed was in the next match. And Kane hits the flame spot before the match, so I'm guessing no title for him. There was a botched powerslam spot that the two had to repeat about 20 seconds later. Out of nowhere, Nick Patrick DQ'ed Kanyon for something, giving the match to Kane, but not the title. For his trouble, Patrick gets chokeslammed after the match.
The Rock is walking!
During the break, Patrick is still selling the chokeslam like he's dead and the WCW ref contingent has to come out to revive him.
(Digression #2: A nice continuity touch was that Tony Chimel would not talk to the WCW referees in the ring during commercial breaks.)
Stephanie finds her men to fight the Canadian trio: The Darned Dudleys and Rhyno.
Out to a humongous pop comes Flex Kabana. "Finally.cookin." Same old Same old.*
During the commercial break, I saw a fair number of people in my section leave and not return. Were they really only there to see the Rock?
Austin and Debra have ANOTHER vignette this one with Lance Storm. Basically, Storm says he'll take out Angle for Austin. Austin says do it for yourself.
Match #3: (I Hate the) Dudley Boyz & Rhyno vs. Sexton Hardcastle/Christian Cage/Conspiracy Victim. Here's all you really care about. There was one spear by Edge (on Rhyno), one gore by Rhyno (on Jericho who had D-Von in the Wallis and that was the finish) and, thank the Lord, no tables! The highlight of the match may have been the "reverse wassup" spot where Christian shoved D-Von off the Top Rope onto Bubbah Ray.
Hey look, it's Austin and Debra again. It's all about the cookies.
And now here comes Debra to the Ring (with cookies). She says some people (no names) have been running down "Debra's Famous Homestyle Cookies." TM? So, she gives some to the front row to try. They seem to like them. Out to spoil the love fest is Mr. Debra, complete with unrecognizable music. They banter back and forth. She wants to talk about the cookies, he wants to talk about Angle and they keep grabbing the mic out of each other's hands. Finally, Debra gets fed up and then wallops Stone Cold with the Cookie Platter. She storms off, Austin actually apologies (or tries to) by stuffing cookies into his mouth. He then accepts Angle's challenge for Summerslam.
During the break, WWF staff cleans up the cookie mess. The crowd pops for Lil' Natch, who does the Flair "cleaning his feet" before getting in the ring. Is he the only "straight" WCW referee?
Finally, it's Commissioner Gordon and Chief Ohara. Regal wonders if the UT is in the building yet.
Match #4: For the Bragging Rights of North America: Kurt Angle vs. Lance Storm. A very brief mat wrestling section is broken up by Lance's heel ways. They get a good amount of TV time, enough to allow Lance to do a headlock. After brawling on the floor, Angle wins clean with the Olympic Slam and Angle Lock.
The Man's Man and Yoshihiro are greeted by UT and Sara. They inform him that tonight's match with Booker is non-title. He says if Booker will make it a title match, it's fine with him. Tajiri, surprisingly enough, is scared of UT.
Tonight's exterior shot has no Sold Out sign. That's good, because it wasn't. In fact, there were bout 10 section blocked off at the top of the building.
Last week on "Qui Est Muy Macho?" Some guy gets thrown off the WWF Island, Ms. Texas cries over it and Shinobi folds up another international object.
Daddy's Little Boy and Booker say yay on the title match. Booker promises to bury the dead man once and for all. He's a 5-time WCW champ. Two more and you catch Harley Race. And backstage, the Rock watches on a monitor.
Match #5: GI Bro (with Shane) vs. Master of Pain (with Mean Sara Callous) for WCW title. Let's just jump to the end. Ref bump on Tim White. Shane interferes. The Rock runs out. More interference. The WCW and B-team runs out. The Rock cleans house on almost of all them. Schmozz ending, with Rock and UT celebrating in the ring as the show goes off the air.
* Okay, the Rock interview was actually above average. The Rock said he didn't come back for Vince. Vince didn't make the Rock, the Rock didn't make the Rock, the People made the Rock. He says he came back to kick Austin's behind. He asks for a hug from Stone Cold. Out comes Stevie Ray's little brother. You know where this is going.
Rock: "Who in the Blue Hell are you?"
Booker: "I'm the WCW Champion, Sucka."
Rock: "You're the WCW Champion Sucka? Why do you suck? No, the Rock doesn't want to know. BTW, I didn't get your Name,"
Booker: "My name is --"
Rock: "It doesn't matter what your name is."
Booker challenges Rock for Summerslam, but the Rock is nonplused. He says we don't have to wait and let's do it now. Out comes Shane to protect Booker and run down the Rock. He doesn't want him in the Alliance now and wants his (gluteus maximus) in a Street Fight on RAW. Rock wonders what kind of alliance these two have, in that Booker Sucks and Shane wants the Rock's ass. And the Rock is Back and Can you Smell etc.
All in all, an entertaining show. No sign or mention of ECW as such until Raven hit the ring wearing an ECW shirt during the main event run in. And no sign of Paul Heyman. Or Vince. Perhaps they are getting ready for the Bankruptcy hearings later this week. On the downside, no Tajiri match.
Random Thought: Austin and Debra are fighting. Austin has of late been playing the guitar. Wouldn't it make sense for the unexpected return of Jeff Jarrett as Debra's knight in flashing-neon armor? Well, better than Steve McMichael showing up.