WWE RAW PRESENTS ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA 16-Jan-2004 Veterans Auditorium (“The Barn”), Des Moines, IA
We are Row 2 Ringside. The only thing between us and the ring is a row of bad junior-high-school mentality kids oblivious to anything but themselves. Total attendance looks to be in the 4,000-5,000 range. As usual, this is a hot awesome crowd.
WWE.com says on the Calendar listing for this show “Eric Bischoff calls this "get even with my enemies night" and he will have Jonathan Coachman there in person to make sure that happens”. There is no mention of anything of the sort all night, though Coach talks a lot about when he and Bischoff did consider for tonight in between matches.
Your ring announcer is Jonathan Coachman, who comes to the ring with two jocks from a local FM radio station. They hype something I am not paying attention to. Coach kicks them out of the ring and goes over the rules. Somehow, I’m thinking having Coach tell us what not to do is a bad idea. One canned national anthem later, Y2J’s music hits.
CHRIS JERICHO d MARK HENRY with TEDDY LONG
JERICHO IS THE CURTAIN JERKER? Oh no wonder…He’s wrestling Mark Henry. Jericho gets one of the biggest pops of the night and the crowd is crazy go nuts throughout the match. Total face, and he plays it that way. Jericho makes this match so worthwhile that people don’t even chant “Boring” during the bear hug. Teddy Long interference leads to a Trish Stratus run-in and a Jericho victory. Jericho and Stratus tentatively approach, then shake hands, then hug. Awwwww.
MAVEN d MATT HARDY version 1
Dorks in front of us are shouting “YOU SUCK MAVEN!” amongst other things to the point where Maven actually says “Shut your mouths” to them when he’s close.
JINDRACK & CADE d VAL VENIS & LANCE STORM
Jindrack and Cade come off as playing a gay angle as they compliment each other on their fabulous abs before Venis and Storm come out. Storm acknowledges and appreciates “ECW” chants. ECW is dead and Storm jobs. She Who Resides in my Avatar designates this the “beautiful asses match”.
We're at the end of the row and there's a big open aisle that people keep running up to take pictures. As I'm taking pictures, security taps me and says "Please return to your seat".
I point down, "But this is my seat."
"Oh! Thank you." And he leaves.
BATISTA d HURRICANE
She Who Resides in my Avatar’s daughter somehow ends up in the arms of a front row ringside woman who volunteered so she could be as close to her favorite wrestler (Hurricane) as possible. At the last house show, Hurricane actually spotted her in his shirt and mask, said “Hi sweetie” and hugged her. No such luck this time because Hurricane is busy being SQUASHED. She Who Resides in my Avatar’s sister orders me to take many pictures of her newfound love, Batista. Who could blame her…Batista actually WINKED at her as he passed by. Seriously.
Coach calls out Spike Dudley and tries to be nice. Spike starts a “Jackass” chant. Christian does a run-in, lays out Spike, gets a chair, and is holding it over Spike when the brothers Dudley’s music hits. They run in and get to beating Christian when Test and Steiner run in. Coach sets up a handicap tables match to start immediately (Spike is toast) and we’re off.
DUDLEYS d TEST, STEINER, and CHRISTIAN with help from a shocking STEVE RICHARDS run-in
Many near misses and the usual tables match mayhem. I can’t even begin to explain Stevie’s run-in as he spent most of the match laid out in front of us. Christian gets 3-D’d through the table. I think it was Christian. Yeah, it was. This is followed by lengthy Dudley table piece giveaway segment, which always results in a kid in the audience getting to come in the ring and pose on Bubba’s shoulder. The Dudleys know how to pop a crowd, and boy does that crowd pop.
It’s Intermission time as Skinny Guy with Broom sweeps particle board out of the ring and Coach has House Show Cam Guy right by us doing an impromptu Coach’s Corner with ringside fans for those “House Show” segments that appear on RAW now. Coach has actually been hyping the guy through the night and telling us to say good things if we’re asked questions so that we might make it on RAW Monday.
WOMENS 4-WAY ELIMINATION TITLE MATCH
Molly retains against (in order of elimination): Lita, Jazz, and Trish Stratus
Molly and Jazz disappear to the floor somehow, and Lita and Trish look playful as they lock up. They do some basic rope work until Molly pulls the feet out from under one of them. I don’t remember a lot else except that Jazz shouted “This is BULLSHIT!” at us on her way out. That ruled. If I remember right, Jazz pinned Lita, Trish pinned Jazz, and Molly pinned Trish.
RANDY ORTON with BATISTA d RVD
More opportunity for Batista shots, as I am reminded. RVD hits several spots, but Orton gets the RKO in with a Batista distraction. Post-match, Batista and Orton get a chair around one of RVD’s legs when Kane’s music hits (leaving us going “Huh?”) Kane comes out, Evolution bails, and Kane goes to do some RVD damage of his own when Kane’s opponent suddenly hits the ring and RVD bails. The bell rings!
BOOKER T d KANE
The usual spots, a Spinaroonie, extreme overuse of Taker’s “Dead Man Rising” on Kane’s part, and what not. RVD returned to interfere, and I can’t remember how Kane ended up losing. Post-match, Kane cuts a “Freak” promo as we’re leaving. Then I heard Coach as we hit the parking lot, so we probably missed something.
Far more fun than RAW. But that’s what house shows are…Fun.
Glad to hear you had fun. Also glad to hear that Jericho got a real solid face reaction, I read on another report (1pops & Torch) that he got the biggest pop of the night followed by Dudleyz, Trish, RVD and Booker. Y2J got one/or the biggest pops of the night. I guess that means they are going to do something on Raw to make the fans go cold on him again... It's unfortunate Maven didn't really have a good night. Especially considering that I think this was his first night back after taking some time off to be with his mother.
-We're at the end of the row and there's a big open aisle that people keep running up to take pictures. As I'm taking pictures, security taps me and says "Please return to your seat"... I point down, "But this is my seat.".. "Oh! Thank you." And he leaves-
Ha! That's pretty funny... So a Raw houseshow has no HHH, Michaels, Goldberg, Flair, Austin and Bischoff. All guys with major roles on TV. Well for me out of that list I'd only would miss Flair and maybe Austin.
smark/net attack wienerville advisory is on ORANGE alert - High (Due to Bob Holly WWE Title match, Kliq/Kliq PPV World Title match, Mae Young appearance) 1/6
Get your WWE CD copy autographed by Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Trish Stratus and Lilian Garcia after Raw... Oh MY! Christmas has come late. Can't get better then that.
Originally posted by Net Hack SlasherIt's unfortunate Maven didn't really have a good night. Especially considering that I think this was his first night back after taking some time off to be with his mother.
It really was. He didn't get much of a fan reaction at all. I totally missed the curtain problem he had at his entrance because you couldn't actually see the entrance from our seats.
But it was a lot of fun anyway, and we got Austin (House Show Highlight Reel) AND an I-C title change the last time, so I can't complain too much about who wasn't there (and I agree...Flair would have been the one out of the big names I'd really want to see.)
I had excellent seats last night at the Smackdown taping in Tulsa. We were about five rows back from the ring. You would think that would equal a GREAT time, but this was the worst TV taping I've ever attended.