I’m writing my RAW thoughts as the show happens, and we’ll see if it makes any sense. (Didn’t come up with this idea until Viscera/Lillian, though, so, well, the first thirty/forty minutes are from memory.)
Well, starting off I wasn’t 100% optimistic, since the only previously-advertised events were Hogan on Carlito’s Cabana and the Bikini Boot Camp thing. Only WWE can take the activity of looking at hot, half-naked women and make it suck with the whole Diva Search concept, but I digress. So when they said in addition
to having those two segments they were also gonna have a Highlight Reel segment with Cena, I rolled my eyes… a guaranteed forty minutes of non-wrestling. Then again, it worked last week, so we’ll see. (Of course, last week I had a playlist ready for to listen to instead of the Diva Search crap, and tonight I’ll listen to Ravel’s Bolero).
The “Hogan Knows Best” preview was surprisingly interesting. So Hulk’s the normal one in the family? I’m actually not too surprised by that.
I enjoyed the Big Show/Kane vs. Edge/Snitsky match. Hey, maybe Snitsky’s a natural-born tag-team wrestler. He sure can’t single-wrestle worth a damn, but he did pretty well in tags, I think.
My first nomination for line of the night: Shawn Michaels when he said, “I did what I’ve always done—I bitched and moaned until I got my way.” HAHAHAHA! Well, at least he’s being honest!
The Viscera/Lillian thing is
crap, but I think it’d be unfair to say it’s Lillian’s fault. She does “heartbroken” much better than Lita does. So, The Heart Throbs bust Viscera’s balls—the same guy who dumped his fantastic girlfriend so he could screw seven or eight women at the same time (or at least one after the other, I don’t know exactly how that works)—and the Heart Throbs are the bad guys?
Only in WWE. But hey, if you’re looking for someone to help you rebound from Big Vis, Lillian… pick me!
What’s with Chavo’s hair? Oh, God, he’s changing his name, dissing his Hispanic heritage and changing his name to Kerwin White?
Is that like going the opposite direction as the Mexicools or something? Ohhh, kay. And dissing Maria, dasnotcool.
Hee, Rosey accidentally sets himself on fire, and all in the name of a public service announcement. And, whoa, Hurricane and Rosey appear on RAW and get to do a promo. Neat!
For the second week in a row, Cena’s interactions with Maria have cracked me up. “You got a lot going for you. You look good, um… you look good…” HA!
SummerSlam is seven weeks away? Cool.
OK, so another talk show segment now with Chris Jericho and John Cena on the Highlight Reel. My official prediction—um, those two will violate the host/guest relationship. But Cena won’t grab Y2J’s ass or anything.
“No cheesy deck chairs or stupid palm trees.” Hee. Those two are
gonna have their talk show feud after all, huh? Too bad the talk show segments don’t actually involve wrestling. And they’re both heels, too, so…
As Cena makes his way out, it occurs to me that this is the first week that Cena’s undisputedly the #1 guy on RAW, or at least in terms of his title, since Batista’s moved to SmackDown. I wonder what’ll be in the cards for him after his feud with Y2J.
“I love that thing, I love it when it spins,” says Chris Jericho, referring to Cena’s WWE Title belt. Hee. Those two are actually starting out kinda friendly. “Roll the clip, monkeys.” He’s bringing all the Jericho-isms, isn’t he? And speaking of Jericho vs. Cena, if they’re trying to turn this into a Rap vs. Rock ‘n Roll feud, Jericho has already won. Hee, Cena’s got this great thing going on here—he’s trying to be nice, and Jericho’s descending more and more into paranoia. In fact, both of their tones of voice are fantastic in this segment. Very calm and reasonable, so unlike the norm in pro wrestling.
Another great line. “You’re the first to tell everybody you’re on top of the world. Well, allow me to be the first to tell you you’re an asshole!” C’mon, did the monkeys in the back have to white-noise that out, though? “Everyone remembers when RAW really was Jericho. But now Jericho is cheap.” Wow. Cena cuts much, much
better promos when he isn’t forced to rap everything. It’s about time they finally play to his real strengths. Doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the rap gimmick entirely, but he can speak without rhyming. Good for them. He went slightly overboard with the “cheap” thing, but we’re OK.
“It is time for the Diva Search competition!” Thanks for the warning! “Bolero,” here we come. Time to exercise my constitutional right of free speech, since it’s the Fourth of July, by choosing not to watch crap. Speaking of which, it’s 10:08 right now. By the time we’re back from commercial it’ll probably be 10:12, and by the time this crap’s over it’ll probably be 10:27 or something. And we’ve only had one match thus far. Fundamentally, RAW’s still a wrestling
program, right? I wonder what’s on Nitro.
GASP! They cancelled Nitro?! Why didn’t anyone tell me?!?!
So while I listen to Bolero, I read the team-by-team NBA free agent analysis. Mark my words, Allan Houston will do nothing to make the Pistons better if he signs with them. And someone’s going to overpay big-time for Udonis Haslem.
I turn my head towards the television long enough to see Coach fall down while clumsily doing a sack race. That’s quality entertainment, right there. Not.
You know, somehow listening to “Bolero” (which has always made me think of the apocalypse) while halfway-watching this Diva Search crap strikes me as appropriate, somehow. I suppose it has some charm in a circa-1986 American Gladiators sort of way (the Diva Search segment, not the music), but I’m still glad I have the TV muted. God knows what Lawler’s saying right now, but my guess is probably some combination of “Oh my God,” “puppies” and twenty zillion other stupid things. God, I feel sorry for the people who actually paid money to see this, and don’t have the benefit of being able to tune it out with some damn good classical music. And jeez, I’m now on the repeat of Bolero? This bullshit’s taken upwards of 15 minutes? Damn! Just how many Diva Search contestants are
there, anyway? (Just to let you know—I don’t actually care. It was a rhetorical question.)
Finally at 10:26 (I was very close!) we go to commercial. And when we come back, are we gonna go right to the main event? Just goes to show you, if you actually wanna watch wrestling, you have to buy the pay-per-view. Given the way they’ve removed RAW’s emphasis on wrestling, TNA’s idea to have a Monday Nitro-esque program in the same timeslot doesn’t necessarily sound like a bad idea. Not that the 15 Minutes of Crap segments are exclusive to WWE, don’t get me wrong. They’d still have to do a good job at convincing me that their program is something I have to see.
The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
previews are disturbing! I learned a long time ago that Johnny Depp’s creepy, but jeez Louise.
Oh, boy, we’re back in Sacramento and just a few minutes ago Elizabeth [censored] I should have known I was being optimistic when I thought the Diva Search thing was done. Well, we’ve already had 14 Minutes of Crap, so they had to add the additional sixty seconds. How thoughtful of them. When they ask you to vote on WWE.com, is there a voting option that says, “Abort”? That’d be very helpful, I
…The hell? Val Venis, huh? He still works here? (Another rhetorical question, by the way—I don’t need a response.) So, who’s gonna kick his ass this
time? Rene Dupree? Huh. So, it’s been awhile since I’ve watched SmackDown regularly—he’s still French, right? But the other two La Res members are French-Canadian? But one of them, Grenier I think, got traded to SmackDown? OK. Damn, the guy looks different from the last time I saw him. The hell’s with the sideburns? And is he channeling the spirit of Chris Masters for his promos? Dammit, take it from Alex Wright. “First I speak to the people that I care about. Then I speak to the people that I could care less
about.” Or, hell, don’t bother translating yourself at all—it’ll piss people off even more.
Did he get rid of the little stupid French dance? Whenever I see that or think of it, I remember the 2004 Royal Rumble. Dupree had just eliminated, I believe, Matt Hardy, and did the French dance. But he made the unfortunate mistake of turning his back on Rikishi, who did his own little shimmy and then superkicked him out of the ring.
OK, when you have to cheat to beat Val Venis,
you’re not magnificent—you suck. The way Val’s luck has gone since his great run as Chief Morley ended, I
could beat Val in my sleep with two hands tied behind my back. And between the “Phenomenal” Rene Dupree and “Masterpiece” Chris Masters, all we need is for the recently-traded Mark Jindrak to reprise his narcissistic “gotta look in a mirror every five seconds” gimmick and we’re good to go. *does the little Taco Bell “good to go” hand gesture*
Hey, the SmackDown Rebound seems to indicate that Benoit had his foot on the ropes when JBL pinned him after the DDT. CONTROVERSY~! We need to have Arn Anderson reverse his own ruling now or something.
Hee, Carlito made you flinch!
I would say that Angle and Carlito broke the Heel Code by not vacating the ring when the faces arrive, but I think Angle and Triple H are the only two heels that are exempt from that rule. Speaking of which, we’re working on 15 Days Without Triple H! Better enjoy that while we can.
After Hulk dominates a little bit, I started counting down ‘til the time that HBK would begin the Babyface in Peril Routine. But it didn’t happen when I thought it’d happen, hmm. Hogan and Carlito wrestling in the same ring, how’s that for weird, anyway? Double-clothesline, both heels out of the ring, which is another way of saying “But first, this is Today on NBC.” In other words, commercial break!
Ah, here we go—Babyface in Peril situation once we hit RAW Overtime. And it’s nice to see the Hulkster playing his role as the dumb partner who tries to help his boy but ends up making it worse because he distracts the referee’s attention away from the illegal stuff that’s happening. How Hogan ever managed to win the WWF Tag Team Championship, I’ll never know. Then again he couldn’t do it until ’02, so… (Yes, I know it’s fake. That’s just my unique brand of humor speaking.)
Ooh, nice sequence there when HBK countered the Ankle Lock and then countered the Olympic Slam seconds later with a sweet Tornado DDT. Carlito’s reaction when Hogan gets tagged is great. “Whoawhoawhoa, I take it back, hold on a sec, pal.” Hee, I’ll tell you, no one can electrify a crowd like the Hulkster. Nice match, but it lacked the magic of last week, seeing three generations of WWF/WWE Champions—Hogan, Michaels and Cena—in the ring together at the same time.
Wait, WHAT THE HELL?!?! I missed HBK’s superkick on Hogan entirely, as I was getting ready to write my “good, bad, ugly”-esque recap. WHOAWHOAWHOAWHOA! Looks like Michaels has lost his smile, turning heel for the first time since, what, WrestleMania XIV? DASCOOL! Now I know what to look forward to next week, not to mention at SummerSlam. But don’t blow it, Vince—SummerSlam is seven weeks away, don’t let these two have a match against each other—even a tag-team match—until then. But build it up until you create a biological need
for us to see Hogan kick HBK’s ass.
I love how the announcers handled this, too. They were allowed to go “what the hell?!” for a few moments, and then, silence. Let the moment, and Michaels’ expression, speak for itself. And I like how they drew it out and just showed Michaels walking back to the locker room, calmly, with this evil look on his face. But I just hope that since he’s a heel, they cut back on the Christianity-related imagery with HBK. Super-kicking your tag-team partner isn’t what Jesus would do.
So, here’s that recap, then—
DASCOOL!: HBK’s unexpected heel turn, Hogan verbally sparring with Angle and Carlito on the Cabana, everything involving both John Cena and Chris Jericho, and Chris Masters not appearing on the show. Since Masters didn’t appear on the show, that also meant Tajiri didn’t have to job to him, so there you go. But the only time you’ll ever see Masters in the “DASCOOL!” category is when he’s not on the show.
YOU SUCK!: Diva Search crap (which, to be fair, I didn’t really watch), the repackaging of Rene Dupree as “Chris Masters V1”, the horribly
ill-advised repackaging of Chavo Guerrero, and the fact that we still only had three matches on the show. And while I liked the two tag-team matches, I think Dupree/Venis was put on the show simply to waste our time and show off Dupree’s summoning of the ghost of Rico Constantino (who’s still alive, actually, so that’s something impressive, I guess). At least with last week’s show, two of the matches had the benefit of being very, very good. But then Ric Flair’s cool like that.
And the line of the night: “I did what I always do, I bitched and moaned until I got my way.” What do you bet Michaels threw that bone to us smarks as a deliberate reference to the Clique days when HBK would do precisely that?
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