|Guest columnist: The Cubs Fan
Hi! I'm not CRZ, but if you can read this, you could probably read the byline and figure that out already. I think if you're still incoherent enough from Sunday, you might not be able to tell the difference. He'll be along in a couple days but figured someone ought to do a timely RAW recap and so you got me. I'm sorry - I'll try to make up for it by making vague inside jokes that no more than three people at a time will get! (What up, RAY.) I may try not to be too annoying and maybe even proofread but that's only a maybe. You can thank CRZ later.
TONIGHT! At the top of the hour - RAW is Live in Montreal. Here's some stills - Rock/Hogan stareoff, they'll be here later tonight. And also, wow, they couldn't have found a worse shot of Triple H if they tried, I think. He's your new Undisputed champion and you'll see him later tonight.
Random: Maybe someone who follows Law and Order closely can clue me in - was there a specific reason they were all after Real World and TV Executives that lead to the episode on TNT Monday? I do believe they couldn't find a more slimy evil looking executive than that Mark Cuban-lookalike, and they were taking shot after shot, it was really kinda funny.
TV 14 DLV CC Attitude
Open. You've seen this.
FIREWORKS! LOUD EXPLOSIONS! There's a camera man near the fireworks we weren't supposed to see! JR's complaining about the cold and snow! It's RAW, live from the Molson Centre in Montreal, Quebec! 17,346 people paid to see this here! WWFNY is JAKKED! Wait - anyway, Ross and Lawler confirm that WrestleMania X8 was the "best ever." TONIGHT! I thought it was impossible for Triple H to look more like a juiced up monster than his old photo but this picture proves me wrong! Also, Linda McMahon has an announcement, but now...
"Ladies and Gentleman, Hollywood Hulk Hogan!" Still using the nWo entrance, music, and T-Shirt, it's Hollywood Hulk Hogan. As I listen to the 17,000 cheer way too loud, I can't help to one conclusion - Canadians are largely morons. "What a show of class!" It seems like only one week ago when Hogan was the vilest person on the earth. "Truly unbelievable, JR." Hogan's milking this as much as possible. JR talks about the thousands and thousands of Hulkamaniacs at SkyDome, ugh. "This ovation is not about nostalgia! This is about respect!" Oooh, snap, he's talking to you, Rick! While Hogan sucks (in the cheers - the front three rows are doing the "we aren't worthy"), I've got time to apologize for my previous "Canadians are morons" comment to James, Hobbes, cfgb and Sven. "It's like they've seen the reincarnation of the late Maurice 'the Rocket' Richard!" No way JR knows hockey, someone must've fed him that line. Fans still cheering, Hogan still watching. Is he going to talk? Today's the anniversary of the Rocket's first fifty goal season - that's how much time I've got here. C'MON, they're not that loud any more. They're still doing the bow. Is he? No. I've got time to say SHUT UP TED, that's the kind of time I've got here. "Damn, I love you guys! To be honest with you, at Wrestlemania, I expected a lot of things. I expected to have the greatest match with Rock, and it to go down in history as the greatest match ever. I also expected that my nWo brothers, Nash and Hall, would [boos] I expected them to respect my wishes, and not interfere in that match with me and the Rock. I also expected to walk out of the ring at WrestleMania, with my name etched in stone as the only icon of the WWF. [cheers] And to be honest with you, I also expected to beat the Rock within an inch of his damn life! [boos] But there's one thing that I didn't expect; I didn't expect at WrestleMania, seventy thousand people would stand as I came out the aisle, and stick with me each and every step of the way. [cheers] And I also didn't expect seventy thousand people to chant Hogan Hogan Hogan! [crowd chants for a bit] And for that, I want to thank each and every one of you out there. But I've got to be honest with you, there's one more person I gotta thank - that person is the Rock. [boos] You know Rock, I gotta admit, I came here to take you out, I came here to embarrass you Rock, and just like I everyone else that got in the path of Hulk Hogan, I was gonna run wild all over you, Rock. [mixed] When we were in Chicago, a couple weeks ago, and I ran you over with a semi, I thought I'd never see you again, but you came back. And then last week, in the tag match, when I got you right in the center of the ring, hit you with a boot, dropped the leg and I put a one two three on your candyass, I didn't expect you to come back. And then at WrestleMania, in front of 70,000 people, as they were screaming my name, I stole the energy from each and every one of those people at WrestleMania, and as I started Hulking up, Rock, and as I hit you with my boot, I hit you with a legdrop, not only did you kickout, you turned the tide on me and beat me for a one two three, right in front of all those people. [boos] Well, Rock, I gotta admit, you beat me right in the center of the ring, and since you beat me right in the center of the ring ["ROCKY SUCKS" chant], since you were man enough to beat me right in the middle of the ring, I was man enough to walk over and shake your hand. But there's one more thing I gotta so - I just wantcha to know Rock, it might not be - it might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but some day, Rock, Hulk Hogan and the Rock are gonna square off one more time, brother!" Why not now? The Rock is out, I'm tired already. Let's put a break here to prevent a very long paragraph.
Very mixed reaction here. Rock's in no hurry here either. He must pose before talking! Hogan gives him a thumbs up, but the Rock is wary. Rock's taking his time and still doesn't have a microphone. Ah, he got one when we cut to Hogan there. It's only a two hour show! Rock's sure nice to put forgive and forget Hogan for trying to kill him. JR pronounces this a "RAW Moment." Mixed chants come out "Rogan!" Is he going talk? Not yet. Now loud boos and Hogan chants, but the caption person types "ROCKY!" oddly. "FINNALY [cheers, than boos] FINNALY [now loud boos - Hogan chant comes in] FINNALY [boos] THE ROCK HAS COME BACK TO MONTREAL!" And a second after they were booing him, they were chanting along with him and then cheering him; I think that proves my point. Hogan chant starts back. "And finally Hulk Hogan has come back to the Hulkamaniacs! [cheers] After Wrestlemania, everyone congratulated the Rock on the greatest match of all-time, and everyone wanted to ask the Rock - 'Rock, how did it feel? How did it feel, when seventy thousand strong were cheering for Hogan?' Well the Rock says this, the same passion the Hogan has, the same passion you have, the same passion the Rock has, THEY have. It's the same passion that allowed them to stand on their feet, seventy thousand strong, for thirty minutes straight, witness the electricity, icon to icon, and for that passion, and for that passion ONLY, the Rock thanks them, and the Rock thanks you! And as far as your challenge goes, any time, any place, it would be, it would be my honor." JR: "King, we're going places I don't remember traveling before!" Rock takes a good look at Hogan - and what he's wearing, while the crowd starts dueling chants again. "But before you and the Rock go one and one, before that even happens, there's something you gotta do. Despite the fact Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, your nWo brothers, turned on you at WrestleMania, despite that, you still have on nWo color. [boos] So the Rock says this - concerning the nWo, why don't you tell the nWo exactly how you feel, as only you can?" Yep, he rips the shirt. We cut away just as he's throwing the shirt away - that's bad timing. Ew, what's with Hogan's abs? There's the video rip again - let's put another break here as we introduce...
Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, who don't get further than the ramp. Speaking of abs, that camera angle makes Mr. Nash look positively rotund. They're not happy, and Nash must be going to the Brian Knobs school of intense interviews. "WHOA HOGAN, YOU SURE SHOWED US! WHAT AN ACT OF DEFIANCE! Fact of the matter is this - you turned on us before we ever turned on you! We were brought in here, by Vince McMahon, as a lethal injection into the World Wrestling Federation! The plan was simple, systematic, pick one guy, take him out, that first guy was supposed to be Austin!" When he actually gets in the camera shot, Hall's acting out the interview for the hearing impaired. "DON'T LOOK AT THEM, LOOK AT ME, YOU SON OF A BITCH! [boos] DID THE PLAN WORK? NO! AND WHY NOT? BECAUSE THE GREAT ONE'S GOT TO CHALLENGE YOU AT WRESTLEMANIA! And you, you just had to say yes, didn't you brother? We would've beat Austin - three on one, we would've beat Austin, and THEN you could've had your match with him." Familiar chant for Hall and Nash. "You know what, you couldn't let your ego jump out of the way for one minute! It had to be your night at Wrestlemania, didn't it? We were so worried about being poison in the World Wrestling Federation, but NO, you were poison in the nWo! Let me make it real clear to you, you son of a bitch - it was never about these people! We weren't brought in here for these people! It wasn't about the people!" "Let the Rock just say something right here - you come out running your mouth [whining noises] Stand up there, you and your punk ass friend, Big Daddy Cool? The Rock's ass - more like Big Daddy Bitch! You come out here and you interrupt the Rock, you interrupt Hogan, now you're not injecting lethal poison in the Rock and Hulk Hogan TONIGHT?" "Hey yo. Hey Rock, do you and that traitor Hogan want some of Hall and Nash tonight?" "What did you just say, chico?" "I said, 'do you and that traitor want some of Hall and Nash tonight?'!" "Well, the Rock says this - what are, you stupid or something? That Hooked on Phonics ain't working too well? You didn't understand the Rock? Well, the Rock will tell you in a way you'll maybe understand - 'Hey yo chico! [Rocky chant] Hey yo chico, you big daddy bitch [whiny diesel horn], the Rock says this, the Rock says this, the Rock Hogan, you Nash, we're gonna inject something, alright, we're gonna inject both our boots, turn them sideways and stick them up both your candyasses!" "Hey Scott, Hey Kevin, it's like my partner just said - Just Bring It [hand signal]." "AND HOGAN, I'm just curious! You ready to choke on another one, like you did at Mania?" [boos] Rock: "Nash, Hall, what'cha you gonna do - what'cha you gonna do when the Rock and Hogan team for the first time in history, what'cha gonna do run wild on you!" Play his music! This was around 25 minutes long. Hogan makes Just Bring It again and Hall and Nash are backing up as we go to break.
Does one good (I'm pretty sure not "Best Ever", but I haven't seen it) match make up for years of suck? Maybe it works better if you didn't watch WCW...
Are people not aware of what music Q101 plays? Or did they just have money to burn? That would explain Mancow, anyway.
Lugz IC Title Change Of Last Night - Joe called the VanDamBrassKnucklesNator, which was cool.
Rob Van Dam (Forceable Entry, Available March 28th) vs CHRISTIAN for the WWF InterContinetial Championship - Champion enters first because the world's been turned upside down by tonight's main event. What's ref Brian Hebner staring at there? I guess they are new tights. Christian's back to being from Toronto, Canada - did Lillian forget or did the WWF just decide to be stupid? Announcers make deal of noting this is the third belt Christian's challenged for in the last twenty four hours. Wow a match, I don't know. Circle, lockup no Christian with a kick, right, right, right, right, corner whip, charge into an elbow, RVD to the second rope and a jumping back kick but he doesn't land right on his feet, but he's quickly back up. Kick into the corner, shoulder, shoulder, pointless backflip into the pointless forward roll into Christian's boot. I'm glad that move hardly ever hits. Suplex on to the top rope, right to stun him there, off the near ropes, shoulderblock to knock him to the floor and that barricade. Christian throws RVD back in before the two count. Stomps. Lawler and JR can't decide where Christian's from. RVD fighting back with punches, Christian with a knee, right, whip, RVD with the spinning heel kick as his chant kick sup. "Everyone has a summer home down in Florida! I used to have one!" Hard kick to the head, forearm. Corner whip, monkey flip, hey that rhymes. RVD's punch is ducked, and Christian tries for the reverse DDT, but RVD swings his arm upward to stun and escape. Leg trip sets up Rolling Thunder one two NO. Christian with an eye rake - reverse DDT. Christian's taking a break, as Lawler and JR argue if some of what RVD does is showing off. Christian's going for the belt - and he's leaving! He's the champion! OH NO DDP is there to throw him back - why? Didn't he win that feud last night? Well, Christian unwisely stares at him - but manages to duck the standing spin kick. Kick is caught and RVD hits the step over heel kick, oh well. Going up, as DDP starts to back away - Five Star Frog Splash, one two three. (2:45) We have no time for matches tonight! DDP mugs. RVD gets his belt and hold his ribs. Okay, given Christian's not a good person but how is DDP a good guy here?
Chris Jericho (alone) is entering the building. He walks by a random backstage person, who says the fans of Montreal are excited to see him...and rub in his face how he lost at WrestleMania. Jericho turns around, and checks that he heard that right. He did - and Jericho beats the crap out of the person - hard into the wall, hard into the file cabinet, wall, cabinet, yelling at him as he beats him up and throws him into the walls a couple more times. Hard kick, and Jericho goes back to get his bags. Hard kick again. "They wanna rub it in my face? They won't get the chance!" Jericho spits on him and leaves - for the night? I guess so.
Coming up next - Trish vs Lita! We should've built this match to WrestleMania but we kinda don't have a clue! Stick with us!
Well, surely beating some random local guy convinces me that Jericho WAS a great champion and will be a force to be reckoned with. It does remind me an awful lot of Angle getting pissed of and meaner (and more believable) only AFTER he lost the title last year, though.
Later tonight, Linda McMahon will announce they're splitting the WWF - well, that's not what they say but you know. Also, Billy and Chuck defend the titles against the Dudley Boyz - why do they get another title shot?
Trish vs Lita (w/Forceable Entry but no Hardy Boyz) - I believe Lita has the worst looking entrance video in the WWF. Trish pulls Lita off the second rope, they argue, then Trish pushes her in the corner. Ring the bell! Lita hits Trish with something that could charitable called a spear, but I don't think that's what she was going for there. Bad punches on the mat! Headlock, bad punches on her feet. You'd think by now, they'd figured out which camera shots hide their strikes the best, but no. Whip to the announce ropes, Trish with a kick to the tattoo (maybe) and a clothesline follow. One two no. Picking her up by her hair, headlock, chinlock. Lita up and elbowing out, but Trish holds on to the headlock. Back suplex folds Trish up, she almost landed on her head there. Jericho is gone for the night. Trish up first and missing a clothesline, Lita with her bad punches, whip to announce ropes, reversed, CRZ calls it the Scaryrana for a good reason - Lita got up but not forward and they all just went down. It looked really really messy but "just" a back bump, Lita never even got her legs around her head. Hmm, maybe that was a horrible crucifix rollup and I couldn't tell the difference. Right to the stomach, Twist Of Fate but Trish pushes her into the far ropes, kick to the stomach, kick to the head. Stratusfaction - Lita was supposed to push Trish off in mid air, but either she got no push or the camera did a terrible job of showing it, because it just looked like Lita didn't land right, and then didn't sell the move at all. Setting up for the moonsault, which scares me at this point - Lawler accidentally says "Litacanrana?" but quickly realizes his mistake. It hits, one two three. (1:32) Hey, why not beat the Canadian in Canada in a meaningless match, it doesn't seem to make any sense to me but what do I know. Actually, I think I'd prefer to see them never in the ring again if they're gonna attempt to kill each other like that. Jazz Has Nothing To Do Tonight, or why else would she think trying to go two on one against Lita and Trish now makes any sense. Maybe she figured Lita and Trish wouldn't suddenly become friends after the match? Hmm, two faces on one heel, we need someone to even this out - welcome back Ivory (w/cowgirl hat)! That vest sure pushes things up. Lita's tossed to the floor, and Jazz kick Trish to here - kick, Blow Out! The hat never falls off! Well, now we've got a staredown. they've got matching jeans. Hand extended by Ivory, and Jazz slaps it! JR: "Is that a show of unity?" Play Jazz's music because we lost Ivory's! Let's take a break.
I have to give credit - MIKE actually beat me to the "the hat never fell off!" line, so I have to give him credit. But he also said we should see "Death to Snoochy" because Robin Williams is usually a happy, colorful guy and he couldn't possibly beat that in here - it says DEATH in the title.
Live Events! I don't care!
Live from WWF HQ, it's Linda McMahon. "Good evening. First off all, we take this opportunity to thank our millions of fans around the world, as well as well as well as the World Wrestling Federation superstars that made WrestleMania 18 such a success. Secondly, I'd like to inform our fans, our superstars, as well as our co-owners of the World Wrestling Federation, that the Board of the Directors has reached a decision on an action plan for the company. The board is afraid that absent any actions, the animosity between Ric Flair and Vince McMahon will continue to be counterproductive for all concerned. Therefore, we are proposing a brand extension, under the World Wrestling Federation umbrella in which, Ric Flair would have complete and authority over WWF RAW, and Vince McMahon would have complete and authority over WWF Smackdown. We also proposed that one week from tonight, on RAW, there be a draft of WWF Superstars, and each co-owner would pick his respective talent, which would be exclusive to their brand, which exception of the World Wrestling Federation's Men's champion and Women's champion, who's services would be available to both brands. This is an exciting adventure for the World Wrestling Federation, one that we feel is the only solution to this bitter competition between Ric Flair and Vince McMahon becomes to a positive to our company, to our superstars, but most importantly, to you, the World Wrestling Federation fans. Thank you"
True story - we saw this next walking bit and Mike and I started playing Jeopardy, unwittingly. "Vince has something stuck up his butt!" "Why does he walk like that?" Hmm, I guess you had to be there. Anyway, RAW is Live and JR is gonna spend the rest of the show trying to get it over.
Where does this leave Heat? Jakked/Metal? Excess? The International Shows? What happens if the current champion loses their title - are they out of a job? Who do they work for? What about the tag team titles and champions - will one brand/show not have any? Or is that what Linda meant by the very vague "Men's" champions? Wouldn't that include ALL the champions? Maybe they should've done this one a show they had time to answer all the small questions, but tonight...
Outside - this looks very much like the Molson Centre!
WWF Co-Owner Mr. McMahon is out and at least he's not taking his time getting to business, thank god. This transcribing is gonna kill me, let me tell you. Kill me dead. Maybe he is taking his time If I have time to say all of this. Here's the first "You Screwed Bret" chant of the evening. No one's made a big deal about it being MONTREAL tonight, for what it's worth. "So then, it appears as though the board of directors have suggest some some sort of Brand Extension, imagine that. Another way of saying what they want to accomplish is this - what they're saying is that ME, Vince McMahon, the man who created Monday Night Raw, will no longer be on RAW." Well, Flair could let him be on RAW but I guess he figures - crowd cheers. "That's what they're saying. My soul reason for coming out here, before this...unusual French-Canadian crowd [boos] - I was nice to you, don't make me be mean - the only reason I stand before you tonight is to give you a simple, heartfelt, goodbye." Usual chant. "I'm saying goodbye!" People are waving bye. "Oh, you applaud that? You like that? Oh, you're gonna miss me. Oh, you're definitely gonna miss me alright, [fans start to sing "Rock and Roll, Part 2" - that's the "hey hey goodbye" song to you and me - and get louder throughout] you're gonna miss my oratory! You're gonna miss my presence! I don't think I'm gonna miss any of you! But instead of having me, Vince McMahon on RAW - SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO ME! [boos] Instead of me, you get the consolation prize, you get Ric Flair. [Woooing] Not Ric Flair's not bad, but I gotta tell you, Ric Flair's no Vince McMahon, not by a long shot! I believe Ric Flair lacks certain qualities that makes a successful business man! [singing again] Ric Flair lacks marketing savvy! He lacks my manipulation - you gotta know what you're doing in this world, to be a success. [singing so loud that Vince is in danger of being drowned out - he pauses in shock as they go through a few choruses.]" Lawler: "What are you laughing at, JR?" "Alright, have it your way! I predict Ric Flair will be a miserable failure!" WWF Co-Owner Ric Flair is out, which gives me a chance to wonder this is the last time Vince's on RAW, if the draft is next week on RAW. Announcers wonder if this is the last time they'll be together - will the announcers be drafted? Flair's got two bandages on his head. There's the RAW credits - we turn the hour with 4:17 of matches so far. TV 14LDV "That's just like you Canadians - associating yourself with a failure! Well Mr. Flair, out here, interrupting me, trying to steal my spotlight, no doubt. You know the reason why you got your hand on that rope [Flair lets go of the rope to move closer to Vince]? Because you can't stand up straight, pal. I wouldn't be surprised if there's not a little internal bleeding there, look at your face, it's all swollen, underneath those bandages, it's all hamburger, and why? ["We Want Flair" chant, I think] Because of WrestleMania, and the man who kicked your ass from one side of the ring all the way over to the other side - the Undertaker! And Ric, I'm not the kinda man who holds a grudge, or anything like that, but let me say from the bottom of my heart, I enjoyed every moment of WrestleMania, and every moment of the Undertaker beating you limb from limb! [back to singing] What's the matter Ric? [Vince pauses for the singing - Flair smiles, and we can see a tooth out of alignment, from last night? Vince starts to orchestrate the singing, acting like it's for Flair. Flair grabs the top rope with his outside hand again.] And you know, you people can't even sing in tune either! So Ric, you're there, you're smiling, holding on to the ropes just to stand straight [Ric lets go again] 'cause otherwise you'll fall down, knees all shaky, what do you have to say for yourself, or can't you even talk either?" Ric's hand is trembling a bit as he takes the microphone from Vince. Lots of wooing. "Every time I'm in your presence, I can't help but be a little overwhelmed. But, if you will finnaly SHUT UP, I will tell you what's on my mind. First of all, [lots of woos] you're right, RAW is your baby, you created it, you the almightily Vince McMahon, you created RAW! You used to flaunt your wealth-" There's a very loud and noticeable "You screwed Bret" chant here (which is funny because I could've sworn Vince said no one remembered that anymore) - but equally noticeable (though I'm not totally sure they wanted it that way" was Vince signaling to Flair to stop pausing and get on with it. Lawler says "oh, please" and "get over it", JR remains silent. "-you used it to shove your miserable daughter down our throats week in and week out [Vince gives a 'I didn't see that one coming' look], you used it to have people walk out here and kiss your ass! Not gonna happen anymore, baby. See, what you never understood, Vince McMahon is, RAW was never about you, it was about the superstars that walked that aisle, week in and week out, to put together the greatest show on the face of the earth! Not you! Wooo! And I promise - hey, you, I'm talking to you, don't look away - I promise you this, the RAW brand will go way on and never skip a beat without your miserable ass on the RAW show! You're gone! Sing it for him!" And they do. Vince starts to leave, then decides to stop and turn around. He'd like the microphone back. "You know what, just to prove my point, let's get down to business, here. We're gonna have the draft on Monday, I'm gonna prove to you, my superior mental acumen, I can prove I can draft better than you, I'll have a far vast array of superior superstars on Smackdown than you will on RAW, it will start this Monday, and I propose that it starts right now, with deciding who gets first draft pick with a coin toss!" Vince holds the coin up - and Ric steals it from his hand. "Call it!" C'mon on Ric, CHECK THE COIN. He doesn't. "Flip it, damn it!" Ric does, and Vince calls heads (because you've never heard of a two tailed coin) - what do you know, it's heads. We don't get a close shot of it, of course. "I would simply suggest that you get accustomed to what just happened, 'cause you see Ric, starting this Monday, and every week thereafter, I win, YOU LOSE!" And Vince sucker punches him! JR pushes it as Vince's final RAW appearance. Vince decides to stay in the ring and strut - of course Flair's back up, jackets off, right, chop, right, here's the figure four. Vince is in pain and Flair lets go. "WOOOO!" and play his music. This is his last ever appearance! (Except for next week.)
Why do you need wrestlers if you're just gonna talk this much? Joke I didn't make in time: "I wonder if that was the same coin Luger and Bret used." Anyway, Mike and myself played pool during this - and also, we took bets on when they'd give up on the split. I've got SummerSlam, he's going all the way to...King of The Ring. The Invasion lasted about five months, so I think I've got the upper hand.
Kinda funny that the whole "Stephanie is on TV too much and isn't very good" is now part of the storyline, so all your complaints about her are either considered "normal reactions to heel actions" or they're admitting they've made a mistake. Your call.
WWF.com has the same ugly picture of Triple H you saw before. Hey, Triple H, open your eyes when they take pictures of you, okay?
can you dig Booker T and Kurt Angle vs you think you know Edge (Forceable Entry) & Kane - JR urges you to buy the replay, or get a video tape of WM18 - it's one you'll want to watch over and over! Lawler figures this may be the biggest RAW ever. What was the exact moment this turned into evil Nitro? Edge is quite awesome, except when I'm using his cards. JR's pushing the draft hard some more. Kurt leaves his partner to be pulled in the ring by Kane to start the match. Right. Kick in the corner. Corner whip, charge into a back elbow, charge out into a sidewalk slam. Booker T didn't land flat at all there. Kane going up - there's the "flying" clothesline. King suggests volunteering to go work on Smackdown with Mr. McMahon; JR's not keen on that idea. One two Angle breaks it up. Kane looks at Angle after Angle escapes the ring, and turns right into a thrust kick. Tag to Angle, talking trash but Kane's arm rises to Angle's neck and there's the choke. Kane thinks about chokeslaming him but Booker's back in to break it up. Rights by both men as Edge somehow is distracting ref Jack Doan - double suplex works this time. Booker's looking at his hand - no, off the far ropes, Harlem Ax Kick is side stepped and Kane lands a clothesline. Race to the tag - already? Tag to Kane, tag to Edge - Edge with a clothesline, Edge with a clothesline, whip to announce ropes, backdrop. Inverted atomic drop/clothesline combo for Booker T, then the flying wheel kick for Angle! Going up? Angle tries to run up the corner and take him down but Edge pushes him down (not captured well from our angle) - missile dropkick! One two Booker T breaks it up. Kane's in now to throw Booker T out, and to tell him to shut up. They fight on the outside as Edge and Angle mix it up in the ring - Angle's clothesline misses, Edge goes for the Edge-O-Matic but Angle drops down into a front heel trip and puts on the AnkleLock. Edge is in pain but Kane notices and comes back in - Angle lets go and charges right into the goozle - CHOKESLAM! Booker runs through with a forearm to Kane's back, right, right, Kane with rights, Kane misses one and Booker clotheslines him out. Booker chases after and they fight again - I think it's Kane who's thrown into the stairs but we only hear it, never see it. In the ring, Edge is kick wham Edgecution but Angle blocks that last part, armbar, kick to the chest, Olympic Slam but Edge escapes, Booker back in with a Harlem Side Kick, Edge ducks but Angle doesn't! Booker T tries to get his partner up and ready, but turns around to see Edge coming - SPEAR only hits Angle, Booker having moved out of the way in time. One two NO! Edge, limping a bit from the AnkleLock calls for Angle to get up - Angle needs his rope to get there, and is looking the wrong way - kick no caught and spun around, German Suplex no Edge blocks and uses the waistlock rollup one two NO! Angle up and a little stumbling - running clothesline misses, but Kane hits a right from the outside and Angle stumbles into the kick wham Edgecution - one two THREE (3:52) Well, it only took Angle getting hit by a trademark move from everyone, and Edge getting three tries at his finisher but he did pull off the win. Sure hope they do something with this, now they've done it. JR says "Big big opportunity here for Edge!" which doesn't give me hope. Still to come, Hogan/Rock vs Hall & Nash - Hogan's challenging Triple H for "video clip that shows most use of muscle building substance."
Stacker 2 First and Last Hardcore Title Changes of Last Night
Maven vs Al Snow for the WWF Hardcore Championship - Champion comes out first because we're just killing time before the run-ins. Don'tcha love how Al's music still is Head era stuff even though he's long since stopped bringing her? You'd think they could get some music for him off one of their CDs - maybe the next Tough Enough one? Chris Benoit will be in Kansas City tomorrow for Backlash - I'd go to meet Chris but hold of on the tickets till they actually give you something you want to see in person. Al clotheslines Maven on the floor as Maven was weapon-looking. Forearm to the back, forearm to the back, knee, forearm, forearm, forearm, forearm, forearm, hard whip into the steps. Big uppercut slap. Another, Whip, no reverses and Al goes into the barricade. Dropkick! There, now we can have the run-in, we've got all Maven's moves out of the way. Maven slides in the ring for a trash can lid and swings - Al ducks and knees him. Al then picks up the lid - but he can't bring himself to use it. I guess that's honorable but also very dumb - it's not like it's any more than he's already doing. I could see if it was the bowling ball to the groin dealio, but not this. Al proves my point by smashing Maven's head into the barricade, which would seem to hurt more. You ref is Teddy Long. So far. Everyone in - Al grabs Maven from behind and gets the trash can lid to the head. Hard shot to the head. "Get up!" Another - wait, there's a shoulderblock, then a shot to the head. Something messed up there. Maven wants him up again but this time Al's got a drop toe hold ready. Al thinks, then hits with the lid. And again. And again. "Stay down!" He won't, so Al hits him again. "Stay down!" The crowd noise increases, which must me the run-in's coming - and here's Spike Dudley to hit Al with a stop sign. Someone's over the rail as Spike attacks Maven - body of Goldberg, moves like Scott Steiner, JR hype of "hottest free agent!" to make you wonder for a second if Goldberg's changed that much since you last saw him, it's Brock Lesner! Maven's just dumped out Spike but he seems too out of it to do anything or maybe even notice - Brock's just standing behind AL and waiting for him to get up (and stop positioning the garbage cans) - Al turns right around into a spinebuster on the garbage can! Now over to Maven - fireman's carry into a flapjack! OH CRAP, IT'S PAUL E. HEYMAN (wearing a NY Y hat, not this hat) back to kill us all; he standing out side and directing traffic, I guess someone's got a meal ticket. Spike stupidly forgets that it's better to run away from a new guy than to try to face him - top rope (thin) stick is barely sold, and he gets killed with a hard clothesline. Annoying Heyman yells "UP AND DOWN! UP AND DOWN!" and Lesner obeys - Spike's thrown up in the air, into a powerbomb position - Spike tries to 'rana out but Lesner ain't going anywhere. Lesner pulls Spike back up - POWERBOMB. Pulling him up and again! Pulling him up and again! Heyman enters the ring and raises his new protégé's hands. JR: "What does this mean?" JR's is kinda a moron, you know? Break.
Mike beat me too it - "Why didn't he just pin Maven for the Hardcore Title?" Oh yea, (No Finish, 3:18 but that's to the commercial break and generous), always wonderful to have no finish in a Hardcore Title match.
Moments Ago - you were watching something else? Let's see what he did to Al Snow - you'd think they'd figure out a better way of showing the multiple powerbomb since Jericho did it, because you could totally see Spike having to help out for the second and third time. JR still can't put two and two together. I guess he's some kinda of idiot. Coming up later, Hogan/Rock vs Hall/Nash.
They're not gonna replay the opening speech here, are they? GOOD GRIEF. Let's have short or no matches so we can make sure we don't have a decently long match tonight! Are they afraid people were watching the Women's NCAA's during the opening segment? I think I rather have an insanely long match - or maybe this time redistributed elsewhere, than to see this again. Scroll up if you want to read it again - we only get clips because it's only a two hour show, though they don't seem to know how use the time. This goes (2:31) which is longer than the Woman's Title match and almost as long as the IC Title match.
Backstage, Lita and Matt are kissing more than I want to seem too. Just to annoy me, Matt: "I'm glad we're back together again." "I know, me too." "My life's finally complete." There's your plot resolution. Anyway, Lita's wiping lipstick off Matt when Regal comes by - he's actually kinda complimentary, "It does wonders to see two young people so in love" and all the sudden Matt telling him not to get mad because he's not getting any (Lita: "Oooooh, tag" in about the dorkiest fashion possible), so Regal decides to be mean and points out that, with the draft this Monday, Matt and Jeff could end up in separate brands - no more Hardy Boyz. Or perhaps, Lita and Matt would end up in separate brands. It's amusing when Regal says "young Matthew" for reasons I can't even comprehend. Regal leaves the kids in their angst. Let's take a break since we've accomplished nothing.
Up next! Words from Triple H instead of this ugly ugly ugly photo. But now...
the Dudley Boyz (w/Stacy Kiebler and Forceable Entry) vs Billy and Chuck for the WWF Tag Team Titles - Chuck and Billy are wearing yellow and red - does that mean Hogan won't be later? Billy doesn't even make it in the ring before Bubba's knocking him off the apron - Chuck and D-Von are about even - Bubba goes to his corner and Chuck gets in a knee. Who are we supposed to cheer for here? Whip, back elbow is ducked, double clothesline and both people are down - ALREADY? C'mon, why even have matches tonight, why not just do the finishes? Tag to Billy, tag to Bubba, Bubba turns out to be the one on fire, with a clothesline, clothesline, side slam, backdrop for Chuck, clothesline out for Chuck. About 8 guys have a song for Stacy, and they start singing it loudly for quite a while. Stacy never seems to react. Slam for Billy and Bubba tells D-Von to go up - Wassup headbutt. Referee was distracted by who knows what but counts now for a pin - one two Chuck breaks it up. All four in and fighting, now Chuck and Bubba to the floor. D-Von with a corner whip but he runs into a back elbow. Stacy up and showing her behind - Billy has no use for it and goes back to work - the One and Only! Instead of going for the pin, Billy waits for D-Von to get back up so he can give him the Fameasser - but Stacy's in and hitting (somewhat weakly) Billy in the back with a tag belt. The ref, oh, Nick Patrick, notices this and calls for the bell (DQ 1:24), though it doesn't actually ring till after the Dudleyz have managed to hit a 3D. Hey, another match shorter than the opening recap. Bubba and D-Van ask what the heck is going on - Patrick mimes and points to Stacy. The Dudleyz turn to Stacey and ask her what she did - she apologizes and tries to walk away (you know that's not gonna work because JR's already taking her side) but Bubba pulls her back and tells her never to walk away from them. That just provokes the situation more and Stacy's unwisely telling Bubba to talk to the hand - she doesn't make it out of the ring before Bubba grabs her by the hair. They yell at her more - and Bubba asks for the tables. Maybe I just remember it differently now, maybe it's being sold and acted different, but there's definitely a more nasty and disturbing feeling to what's about to happen than there used to be. Maybe it's Bubba holding Stacy in the corner and yelling at her. Patrick's outside of the ring, but I don't think he's going to stop this. I was kinda waiting for someone, anyone to make the save - but D-Von hands her off and there's the powerbomb through the table. Bubba gets that look - I forget to mention the bandages on his head. Lawler's aghast for expected reasons. Here's a replay. And another. Break.
Look, I know I'm supposed to say here "boy, I'd like to be Bubba right there" but watching it the first time, and watching it again now to recap it, there's something really distasteful here, maybe even sick. And not in way where I'll be thinking "Boy, I sure hope Stacy gets her revenge on the Dudleyz" but more "this is something I don't really want to see, and makes me want to see less of all of this." I really wish I could give you a good explanation of why it felt that way - I think it has too do with the pointlessness yet viciousness of it - but it just didn't feel right to me. The announcers were trying - pushing it making no sense after one mistake - but what they said didn't seem any special intensity when they've been hyping things as the biggest ever all night. On another show, it might work, but this week it came off more as "oh no the Dudleys just tried to kill that girl for no good reason - this on the night of the BIGGEST MATCH EVER and next week it's the BRAND EXTENSION DRAFT", run of the mill. Sorry. Maybe someone should've figured if they needed to split Stacy from the Dudleyz for the split a little sooner so it didn't come off like this?
I bet we might just have seen their new manager tonight, and he just might have wrote the last segment. Anyway, I'll try to cut down on the digressions for the rest of the night.
Tough Enough 2 ad might be for this Thursday, or maybe not.
Undisputed WWF Champion Triple H is out because I've seen far too much action tonight. WWF belt around his waist, WCW belt on his shoulder, limping a little bit. For the water spit, he holds a belt in the air in each hand. Jericho's an awesome champion in JR's view now, sure. I really need another ten minute speech here. Like a hole in the head. Nowhere near the reaction of earlier the show by time he gets to talk - maybe everyone's tired out by now. It does pick up when he teases talking. I could use a break right now. I could use a nap right now. "You know self doubt sometimes can be your worst opponent. Ten months, almost to day, I suffered a career-threatening injury, I tore my quad. During that time of rehab, I doubted a lot of things. I doubted whether I could ever come back, I doubted that if I did come back, I'd be as good as I ever was. Last night at Wrestlemania, in front of 68,000 people, I defeated Chris Jericho and I became the Undisputed World Wrestling Federation Champion. [cheers] And all of the doubts went way, because I proved to myself, I proved to the world, I proved to Chris Jericho, that I am the game. [cheers] And apparently, I am that damn good. So I stand in this ring, tonight, [Triple H chant from the same fans who were bowing Hogan before], I stand in this ring tonight, a happy man. And when I'm happy, I like to spread the joy around. So, I'd like to show you a little piece of video footage from WrestleMania last night, that I know will put a smile on my face, and I'm a pretty damn sure it's gonna put a smile on yours." WM: Stephanie gets Pedigreed. Stephanie needs people to tell her "stop wearing that! It looks very ugly!" for starters. I don't have as much problem with this, because it was set up more as a spot they were building to, I guess. JR says it's a WrestleMania moment. No, you can't escape RAW without Stephanie McMahon talking, nice try. Triple H (who's got the WCW belt on top of the WWF belt on his shoulder) seems to have seen this coming too. Stephanie's wearing her (ugly, I didn't need to tell you) Andre The Giant leather dress with matching black neck brace. She's occasionally pausing due to neck pain and chants, too. "That's very funny Hunter, but I'm about to wipe that smile off your face. You see, Chris Jericho doesn't want to wait the ninety days in his contracts - Chris Jericho wants his title match, wants his rematch for the Undisputed WWF Championship, he wants it one week from tonight on RAW!" "O I C, Chris Jericho sees me out here limping and he smells blood. He wants to Play The Game, he just doesn't want to play when I'm a 100%." "What's a matter Hunter, are you scared?" "No no, I'm not scared. As a matter of fact, why don't you make it a handicap match? Why don't you make it Chris Jericho and another WWF superstar, against me next Monday night for the Undisputed World Wrestled Federation Championship?" "Well, that's fine with me Hunter, but I mean, who's dumber than they look now?" "Well, I don't know, considering the fact that the other WWF Superstar will be you!" Hunter does a really stupid point here. Stephanie tries shock. "No no!" "Listen to this Steph, if you lose - if I beat you, than you leave the World Wrestling Federation! [stop doing that!, cheers yes them too] You see, I am sick of looking at you! I am sick of your whiny little voice! I am sick of your bitch attitude! I want you out of my business! I want you out of my life!" "[crying, I guess] Well, that's too bad, you're just gonna have to find another way! I am refuse to get in that ring with you, after what you did to me! [singing again!] Besides, I mean, listen to this people, they sing for me! You don't want to deprive the WWF fans of me, Stephanie McMahon!" King's not sure they're singing for. "These people rely and depend on me! Millions of viewers tune in to see me every week!" [singing is even louder.] "Hold on now, hold on a second. Maybe she's got a point here. Maybe people do want to see her. Let's check with them - how many people here want to see Stephanie McMahon stay in the World Wrestling Federation? [boos] How many people want to see Stephanie McMahon leave the World Wrestling Federation? [HELL YEAH - well, cheers]" "These people don't know anything! They don't know what they think! They don't know!" Back to singing. "Wait, hold on hold on, it seems pretty simple, Steph, they want it, and quite frankly, you don't have a choice because if you don't accept the match, then Chris Jericho can just wait till the draft goes through, and then he can just take his chances on whichever owner he goes with decides to hold his contract up and give him his title shot." "Okay, wait wait just wait, let's me think about this for a second." "This should be difficult for you." "Shut up Hunter! You know I'm sick and tired of your chides and quibs(?), YOU'RE ON! One week from tonight, it'll be me and Chris Jericho against you for the Undisputed WWF Championship, and if YOU beat ME, than I will leave the WWF! But I hope you know, I hope you realize that Chris Jericho will once against be the Undisputed World Wrestling Federation and Chris Jericho will one again leave a crippled mess!" "I have a matching neckbrace for every outfit you have, because after night, you're gonna need one! Monday Night on Raw, I will remain the World Wrestling Federation Undisputed Champion, and I will make you lave the WWF. Stephanie, Monday Night, you get one more chance to Play the Game, and this time, if you lose, Game Over!" Play his music as they pose and make signals and so forth.
the nWo is walking. We don't have time to waste.
Yea, she said it in a way where if Jericho takes the pin, she could still be around. Though she was only gone about two months last time she was Gone Forever, so saying she's gone doesn't seem to be a big thing. Who gets the title if Stephanie pins Triple H?
WM Moment: Hogan does the posing.
Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (already in the ring) vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan and the Rock - We're short on time already, this is going to be a longer overrun. Has Hall new tights always had "hAll" on them like that? I just noticed. Hogan comes out to Voodoo Chile, wearing black but not nWo anymore. Strange that they had a non-nWo video ready for him already. Funny how Hogan used to always deplore how the WWF did things like crotch chops and now he works one in every night. Hogan waits for the Rock at the bottom of the apron. They rush the ring - and Hall stomps on Hogan as Rock gets the better off Nash. Nash manages to go over the top rope this week, though Rock gives him plenty of time and room to get ready. Hogan no sold the stomps and now he's punching Hall - they'll start as legal men. You ref is Tim White. Whip to the near ropes, clothesline. Hogan chant. Slam. Throwing his bandana on Hall, then a (crappy) boot rake and a punch to Nash. Turnbuckle smash. Going to the second rope - rights to the head - he gets to nine, then bits. Back rake. Right by Rock, right by Hogan, right by Rock, chop by Hogan. Not a good chop. Tag to Rock - well, they missed hands but get it together the second try. Hogan holds him for a right. Right, Whip, reversed, and Rock throws him down by the head. Right to Nash, spinebuster for Hall, there's the elbow pad, off the announce ropes no Nash grabs the head. Rock looks at him, then turns around into a clothesline. Tag to Nash. Whip to the announce ropes, third different sidewalk slam of the night. One two NO. Maybe Lita and Trish were going for a sidewalk slam. I still don't know. Push in the corner, knee, knee, knee, right, right, right (none of them have come close but Rock's selling like a champ), elbow, elbow, framing it, crotch thrust and a back elbow. Boot choke so he can look like Stacy. Hall sneaks in a clothesline from the outside. Tag to Hall, stomp, right, stomp, discus right, right, right no Rock blocks it and fires back with rights, of his hands. Off the far ropes, cross body is caught, fallaway slam one two no. Tag to Nash. Right. Rock's choked on the ropes by Hall as Nash distracted. Hogan tries to go to the floor to break it up, but he only distracts the ref as Nash hits the running sit. Non-tag to Hall (JR: "yet another tag"), stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, Outsiders are one of the top tag teams ever, push in the corner, right, tag to Nash, right, right by Nash, right, right, right, right no Rock blocks and he's firing back with his own rights - off the ropes, up into a fireman's carry, everything a little shaky but Rock slides down the back before Nash can hit Snake Eyes (we assume) - ROCK BOTTOM! Rock choose not to cover and jut to lay on the mat recovering. Hogan wants the tag - the crowd would like that idea. Tag to Hall, tag to Hogan. Hogan's hulked up punches on Hall, Hall back up for more punches, punch for Nash, punch for Hall, now all four in - Rock hits the spit punch and Nash is out without a problem, good for him. I think Hogan just hit the boot on Hall - here's the legdrop. One two no Nash pulls Hall out. Rock and Hogan calling them back in the ring but they're taking their time - is someone going to sneak attack? Is something going to happen here? No. (CO 6:10) Loud boos from the fans - Lillian announces the winners but they don't get the pop. Hogan's music (!) plays, as Hall and Nash stand on the apron and Tim White raise the hands - RAW credits and it's over like that.
Hmm, nWo involved in the main event with a eh (or worse) match and a totally unsatisfying ending, Nitro's back, will you look at that. Robert will probably have a more exact number in the Lines, but I think that's 19:01 (15%, including a seven minute overrun) of wrestling on the show tonight. Mike told me before it started that tonight would feature a ton of angles, but I'd like them to actually try, you know?
Actually, I'm kinda glad it ended like it did - I was kinda worried that the glass would shatter, but only very bad things would result. I wonder if Austin (and Undertaker and Jericho and other upper level guys who just aren't occurring to me right now - Rikishi?) weren't featured tonight as a sign, "Get used to watching Smackdown if you want to see these guys, because that's where they'll end up." Or maybe it was for some completely other reason that I'm gonna find out when I go check the 'net in a second. Who knows.
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