Well, we know from the montage sequence last week that Kane will be making his return tonight. How the hell they’re gonna logically squeeze him back into storylines I don’t know—but my money’s on “they’re not going to *logically* do anything.”
Mick Foley will be the guest tonight on Carlito’s Cabana—that’ll be fun to see. And WWE.com is plugging a *possible* appearance by Stone Cold Steve Austin pretty hard, in which Stone Cold will show up to reply to Jim Ross’ firing.
“For the first time in history,” the preview says, “the McMahon family is united.” But we don’t actually know Shane’s views on this situation, do we?
“The Power is Back”, followed by the same montage sequence some of us saw on Heat, more or less—basically a recap of the whole JR-firing thing. Just in case everyone hoped the McMahons were simply gonna disappear.
Forget the lies, the money, we’re in this together…
No pyro—we start right off with “No Chance in Hell”, as RAW comes to you from Sacramento, California. “Welcome everyone; welcome everyone to Monday Night RAW! And in a little over two weeks, RAW will present a PPV called Taboo Tuesday. It’s one of the most interactive pay-per-views in WWE history.” He’s charged Bischoff with creating a PPV that will put the power in the fans’ hands—which, he’s sure to mention, is what the fans *didn’t* have last week when he and Linda fired Jim Ross. He expresses admiration for what she did, and the cute way in which she did it.
Now Vince says there’s a rumor that a certain individual—Stone Cold Steve Austin—will be here tonight. And he doesn’t look pleased at that. “But don’t be surprised if I kick Stone Cold’s redneck, beer-swelling, pickup-driving ass! I don’t wanna have to, but I might.” You bet. “So much for that rumor, but I’m not here to appease Stone Cold,” or the fans, or JR—even though JR’s made some contributions. “Asshole” chants, and Vince replies, “Stop telling me what you think of your hometown.” Lame. Vince has had someone put together a montage video about JR, in which of course he spends most of the time getting the hell beaten out of him—complete with sweet montage-type music. When did JR get set on fire, anyway? Glad I missed that.
Vince loves the montage, of course. “We’ll never forget you JR. But the show has to go on, we all know that, so allow me to introduce you to the new lead announcer for RAW—ladies and gentlemen I give you—I give you—The Coach, Jonathan Coachman!” Hee, Coach comes down wearing JR’s hat. “He’s good ol’ Coach!” So much for dragging out the suspense. Coach has the mike now.
“Well first things first I need to say thank you to Mr. McMahon. Now as my predecessor would say, business is about to pick up. But you see I always looked at JR as a father figure to me. Albeit a fat, past-his-prime father figure, but father figure nevertheless. But you see all of that is about to change, because I’m about to pick up the slack that JR left behind. Because as of right now, yours truly Jonathan Coachman, the Coach, is the new voice of the people.” Why did I bother transcribing that, you wonder? For the kids!
Kurt Angle wants to talk to Vince. “Before you fired JR last week, you were getting ready to announce a #1 contender.” Angle’s contention is that he deserves to be the #1 contender because he defeated Cena last week, but Vince wants to talk to Bischoff about that decision. *swoosh* “Citizen McMahon—” Hurricane begins as he flies in from Nova Scotia. “A little late on the sound effect there, but go ahead. “Due to my hurri-respect for you, I have to tell you this, JR was the main guy on RAW.” Hurricane talks way too rapidly for me to follow, but essentially says that Coach is now trying to be the guy, and whassupwidat? “Whassupwidat? Sic ‘em Kurt, sic ‘im!” And he starts beating the hell out of Hurricane, all the way to the ringside area, where he starts choking him… he drags him back into the ring, punches him in the corner, and Hurricane hasn’t been able to answer at all. Kurt chokes him with his boot, then picks him up for a European uppercut, and where the hell’s Rosey, anyway? Hurricane finally gets some punches in, a clothesline, and missile dropkick. Shining Wizard misses, though—bad idea to go for that—and Kurt applies the Ankle Lock, Special “Fuck You Up” Grapevine Edition, and Hurricane taps, as the referees finally break it up.
I should point out that Coach was being even more annoyingly over-the-top in this segment than usual, and if this is what we have to suffer through on a weekly basis, I’d rather they put Coach back on a new Diva Search. And you know my feelings on those.
Coach mentions (along with chyron) that Mick Foley will be the guest on Carlito’s Cabana tonight, and we go to commercial.
And we’re reminded again that Kane will be returning tonight. Along with his three moves of doom. I hope he forgot the art of repetition, the art of repetition, while he was away.
We come back, and Jerry “The King” Lawler arrives, entrance music and all. Lawler doesn’t look pleased with Coach, but he’s trying to stay cool.
“Well—did you like it? Did you like the part where I said sic ‘im, Kurt, sick ‘im, sick ‘im?” “Yeah, that was really good.” Vince wants Bischoff to give the fans a main event at Taboo Tuesday that’s absolutely compelling. “At Taboo Tuesday, I thought we’d have a triple-threat match for the WWE Championship. The champion, Cena, versus the man who defeated him last week, Kurt Angle—versus a man the audience members will get to choose.”
They’ll have qualifying matches tonight to determine the candidates for that third spot in the triple-threat match for the WWE Championship. Big Show will face Edge; Shawn Michaels will face Carlito; and we’ll have an 18-man over-the-top battle royal to decide the third candidate.
Edge comes out with Lita and the briefcase, and then The Big Show (with new entrance video mentioning the seven feet and 500 pounds, but the same entrance music), comes out.
Show and Edge lock up, and Edge immediately gets tossed out of the ring, and Show shrugs. Hee. Edge gets back in, a little more cautious, and gets a rear waistlock, which Show just breaks with sheer force. Edge is now trying to dodge, but gets thrown into the corner… but quickly Edge gets out and starts punching. He tries to whip Show out of the corner, but ain’t happening—and Show again throws him out of the ring, and shows the chokeslam sign, as we go to break.
As we come back Show’s about to go with the “shhh!” chops, but Edge cheap-shots to get out of it—temporarily. Show throws him back in the corner and hits a chop anyway, and then with the “shhh!” chop, even licking his hand and everything. Show comes out of the ring, but Edge goes right to his face—and then knocks him face-first into the steel steps. Edge gets him back in the ring and starts stomping on him, but Show throws him away—dropkick connects by Edge, and Edge goes for, I guess it’s a keylock. Show, after a moment, throws Edge off him, and Lita grabs Show’s arm while he’s near the ring, giving Edge the opportunity to get up and gain an advantage, going to the arm. Big boot in the corner, Edge hits the Tornado DDT and gets two—and Big Show doesn’t kick out quite emphatically. Edge continues with the arm-based offense, but makes the mistake of putting Big Show’s arm underneath him—and yup, when Big Show gets up he’s in great position to hit a back suplex.
The referee begins the double ten-count, and at five, both men get up. Big Show immediately grabs Edge’s throat, but the chokeslam is countered, Implant DDT is countered, Show tries to charge Edge in the corner but gets hit with a drop toe-hold. Edge comes off the top, almost gets chokeslammed again but goes down under to break out, and hits the spear, which makes Coach say “Gore! Gore! Gore!” Lawler immediately corrects him. Coach is doing this on purpose, right? Edge grabs a chair and slides it into the ring, and it’s immediately intercepted by the referee—while his back is turned, Lita throws in the briefcase. Edge is about to use the briefcase, but then some familiar bells ring, and JBL’s music starts playing?! Edge is on the lookout for JBL, which is just the distraction Big Show needs to hit the chokeslam and get three.
We see some replays, and are reminded that Mick Foley will be on Carlito’s Cabana… and then we see a montage sequence of a bunch of crazy people camping out for WrestleMania 22 tickets. I’m not entirely unsympathetic, I suppose—but 44 hours?!
Remembering that my Colts are on Monday Night Football, I turn to it and see the Rams lead the Colts 10-0 with 5:30 remaining in the first quarter and St. Louis on offense. They pass it to their 37 yard line for a first down. And damn, where are those TV screens like in Back to the Future Part II that will show six different channels at once? Screw the flying cars and hoverboards.
We come back and Edge and Lita are apoplectic. “JBL cost me a shot at the WWE Title, so what exactly are we gonna do about this?” But Edge was the one who kept the RAW vs. SmackDown thing alive last week when he called JBL out. Did he? “I suggest you tune into SmackDown Friday night, and you’ll see exactly what I’m gonna do.”
Carlito time! CCC: Tonight for the first time ever, Carlito’s set to face Shawn Michaels! Tonight Carlito’s gonna beat SM and qualify for the main event at Taboo Tuesday. And that… that’s cool! But, but, you wanna know what’s not cool? Well it’s like they say—a picture’s worth a thousand words. [And he shows JR’s mug on the screen.] Look at that kisser! [craaash!, and here comes Mick Foley!]
MF: Carlito, I just wanted to say how cool it is to be in the same ring as you. Carlito thinks he’s talking about the Cabana, but Foley says that Carlito’s hair…
MF: Maybe JR is not cool, but he’s the best damn announcer in WWE history! And seeing as how I considered Linda McMahon to be a friend and the sole voice of reason within the McMahon family—
LM: Let me interrupt you right there. First of all let me state that the fan response at WWE.com have been overwhelming, thousands of e-mails and phone calls, expressing concern for Jim Ross. Now it is a fact that tomorrow Jim Ross is going in for colon surgery, and he’s been mentioning to people that my kick to his groin exacerbated his condition.
She says that’s a lie, and they’re prepared for any lawsuit. She wishes JR the best in his future endeavors, heehee. “There you have it Mick—and have a nice day.” We have a “That’s Not Cool!” chant. “Let’s face it—JR’s gone. Now he’s just an unemployed out-of-shape loser. Just like you. That’s why I brought you onto the Cabana—because you’re the least coolest person Carlito’s ever seen. How does it feel to be so uncool?” “You know something Carlito, you got me—I’m here to make a shocking confession—I’m not cool.” Mick knows that Carlito usually spits in the face of people who don’t want to be cool, but despite all that, the fans inevitably say to him, “Mick Foley—he’s cool.” Carlito’s definitely cool, a cool shirt, a cool Cabana, cool accent, cool hair, but despite all that, after fans talk to him, they inevitably say, “Carlito—he’s a horse’s ass.” Mick has a question, not how does it feel, but what is Carlito gonna do about it?
Carlito grabs an apple. “Oh, you gonna spit an apple in my face? Go ahead, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been spit on. But instead of being concerned about eating a piece of fruit… instead of eating produce, you should be concerned about whether you *can* produce against […] Shawn Michaels tonight!” Because when it’s all said and done, HBK is gonna beat Carlito like a government mule, like JR used to say. And that… that would be cool.
And in keeping with the stereotype that wrestling fans love random violence, here’s a Doom preview and a promo for Final Destination 2. Joy—I’ll pass on both, thanks.
*click* Eep… the Rams are now leading the Colts 17-0… and Peyton Manning throws a deeeeeep pass to Marvin Harrison but can’t quite connect. They’re gonna have to do better than that the way the Rams have been scoring. And, fuck, Mike Vanderjagt even misses the damn field goal! And it’s still 17-0 with 14:14 left in the first half. I’m grateful there’s something else to watch tonight, anyway.
We come back from break, and Shawn Michaels’ music is playing. Michaels gets jumped from behind by Carlito during his entrance, thrown around a little bit and slammed into the ring apron. Hey, what’s with the sand on the entrance ramp? Carlito pins as soon as the bell rings, and gets two near-falls. Carlito with a chop in the corner, and HBK’s already in a bad way. Carlito chokes Shawn on the ropes, punches him and knocks him back down, getting two. Picks him up, scoop-slam, near-fall. Carlito jaw-jacks with the referee, but he slams HBK’s head into the turnbuckle, whips him into the corner and takes him down with a reverse elbow, getting another two-count on an aggressive pin. HBK slides out for a moment, but comes back and Carlito maintains the advantage getting him in the corner and head-butting him, but HBK hits some chops and tries to whip Carlito into the corner—reversed by Carlito, and Michaels hits pretty hard. Rear-chinlock applied by CCC. He breaks out of it in the standard way, but gets knocked down again, and CCC chokes him with his boot, picks him back up, chops him and gets a two. Carlito stomps away, and sets up in the corner, clotheslining HBK out of the ring. But before we can go to commercial break Carlito quickly goes to the outside and rolls HBK back in, getting another two.
Now HBK gets up and punches Carlito’s midsection, but Carlito drills him with a shot to the head. Carlito comes off the top, cross-body, but HBK rolls it over and gets two. Now when they get up HBK chops the hell out of Carlito. Carlito tries to fight back but can’t. Whip into the ropes, sleeper hold, and Carlito may be fading here… he’s trying to get his hand on the ropes but can’t quite get there. Finally he hits elbows to the midsection and drills HBK with a back suplex. They grab each other as they get up, but HBK gets Carlito in the corner and hits two chops, a punch, whip into the corner reversed, and HBK eats a hard dropkick to the midsection. Another two-count. Carlito begins punching HBK’s abdominal area, and gets another two… he lifts HBK up, and yup, here’s the abdominal stretch. The crowd’s trying to will HBK back into this thing… he grabs Carlito’s leg, arm-drags his way out of it, and chops him against the ropes. Whip reversed, but HBK sets up for a suplex. Carlito is determined to block it, so HBK punches him—and suplexes Carlito, and himself, onto the floor! Holy shit. We go to break.
WE come back and HBK’s got a chinlock on Michaels, but when HBK realizes we’re watching now he starts his comeback. But he eats a Flatliner, and Carlito gets two near-falls out of it. Carlito gets him back in the corner, and aggressively punches the hell out of HBK. The ref backs him up, Carlito runs his hands through his hair, and HBK’s in a bad way. Carlito with a suplex, and another two-count. Another couple chops by Carlito, but HBK wants part of the chop sequence, and finally gets Carlito back in the corner—for just a moment, before Carlito rolls him back in. Whip into the corner and Carlito charges, but there’s no one home—Carlito hits hard as if he was attempting a Bronco Buster. HBK with his comeback, whip, flying burrito, inverted atomic drop, two clotheslines, and he hits the Macho Man elbow. The crowd’s cheering him on as Michaels charges up the superkick, but Carlito blocks it, gets HBK on his shoulders and rolls him up, grabbing the ropes—and almost steals one. HBK backed into the corner, but HBK reverses it in and hits chops. There’s some corner-whipping going on, and the referee’s bumped—here comes the screw job. Carlito tries to take HBK’s head off with a chair, but he misses. Carlito rolls it back into the ring, but HBK superkicks the chair into Carlito’s head, getting the three-count, and becoming a candidate for the triple-threat match at Taboo Tuesday.
And if you’ll remember, last year at Taboo Tuesday, HBK won the vote over Chris Benoit and Edge, earning a World Title shot at Triple H. Edge and Benoit settled for winning the tag-team title, but Edge turned on Benoit on that very night, I believe, and turned heel.
But as HBK leaves, Ric Flair’s music plays, and The Man himself comes down, briefly shakes HBK’s hand, and he heads to the ring as we go to break.
Edit-- Added part of the interview from WWE.com Unlimited:
RF: “I clearly needed that, thank you. You know, in 2001, I came back to the WWE, Triple H walked up to me one day and he said, 'Ric, what's wrong, you don't seem like yourself.' And I said, 'Man, I do not feel like I'm in the right place at the right time.' He said, 'You gotta be kidding me, you're Ric Flair! You can go anywhere you wanna be, you're the man!' And I said, 'Hunter, I don't feel that way; I appreciate it,' and from that day forth, Triple H and I-- Hunter-- became as close as any two people could become. He, he gave me the opportunity, along with this company, to walk that aisle, to perform at a level unparalleled anywhere in any sport in the world. He gave me back my dignity, he gave me back my pride, and he gave me an insight as to why a man like myself can be successful in the greatest business in the greatest business in the world for 30-plus years."
[Coming back from commercial-- keep in mind there's about a five, ten-second delay between the end of the Unlimited program and the return to USA.]
RF: “—took it upon himself—can you imagine that, Triple H took it upon himself to decide it was time for the Nature Boy to retire. He said, ‘Ric, you’re through.’ He said, ‘Ric Flair, stay home, you don’t have a place anymore. You’re not in the game.’ This is the same guy that in front of all of you last week said I was the greatest wrestler in history. He told you that he worshipped the ground I walked on. That means that somehow, somewhere, he has a soft spot in his heart, that moment of love, respect or empathy shows me that he has a weakness, because by doing what he did two weeks ago he has now lit a fire under my ass. I have a desire right now to achieve at a level I haven’t achieved at in fifteen years. God, I’m feeling good. I, for 20 years, carried that brass ring in my back pocket, I owned it, no one could take it from me, I knew day in and day out that I was the best wrestler alive, and you knew it. No one walked out of that arena without going Ric Flair put on a show tonight. Well now Triple H you’ve got that brass ring, they say you’re the man. I question that call right now. I know you’re six-four, 245 pounds, I know I’m 20 years older, wow. But I’ll tell you something, I’ll bring everyone up to speed on me. In 1975, an airplane was four thousand feet in the air, it went wham! It killed the pilot, paralyzed two other wrestlers, and they said Ric Flair would never wrestle again. Six months later I was standing in the ring wearing gold. 1981, I was going to the ring in Richmond, Virginia, it was raining, lightning hit my umbrella and as God is my witness it bounced off my umbrella and killed a guy standing two feet from me. You think I’m afraid of you Triple H? […] I’ve gotta look at this knowing, knowing—[and Flair busts himself wide open]—knowing that I’ve taken two sledgehammer shots, two, I’ve taken your two best sledgehammer shots. Now, now wherever you are, come out here and let’s see what the Nature Boy has got for you! You can’t hurt me! I’ve crashed an airplane, been hit by lightning, been hit by sledgehammers—I want you bad! Where are you?
Be careful what you wish for—here comes Triple H.
Ric Flair climbs out of the ring, and grabs a baseball bat. He starts making his way towards Triple H, and Trips runs like a bat out of hell backstage. We switch to the backstage view, and Flair’s looking for Trips. “Come on, why would you run from me? Why? Hunter, why would you run from me? I will find you!”
Hell of a promo, but I’m thinking about switching to Unlimited next week, if they’re gonna have a new trend where we join promos already in progress. But if I do that, I’ll not transcribe the throwaway sequences.
“Ladies and gentlemen I’m here with Carlito—“Enough, what happened to Carlito was not cool!” Carlito blames Mick Foley for his loss—why?—and challenges him to a match at Taboo Tuesday.
Back in the ring, Victoria, Torrie and Candice are here. Trish Stratus, Mickie James and Ashley are their opponents. Trish starts out against Victoria, and Victoria tries to confront Mickie but Trish gets in the way, gets slapped in the face, and makes Victoria eat a Lou Thesz press and a fuckin’ awesome twirling head-scissors. Mickie gets tagged, hits a top-rope move on Victoria and throws the two girls on the outside around, But Victoria answers, with a backbreaker and then a slap. Whip into the corner, but Mickie James gets up and hits a head-scissors. Mickie looks to Trish for approval, but she should have paid attention to the match—Victoria rolls her up for three. Mickie apologizes to Trish, and desperate for her idol’s approval, she hits a Stratusfaction on Victoria.
And Stone Cold arrives in style, just about committing vehicular homicide as he comes down in his truck—and there’s the reason for the sand, I guess. He rolls it all the way to the ring, and his music plays and the ring posing begins. Dammit, if they start *this* promo during the break—
I go ahead and tune into Unlimited, which *insists* that RAW is live right now on USA. No, we’re on commercial, jackasses.
Ah, here we go. Rams now lead the Colts only 20-14 with 30 seconds remaining in the first half, damn. Nice comeback. Finally we get footage, and I’m now recapping Unlimited! Stone Cold walks around, drinks beer, looks at his watch and drinks some more beer. He’s gonna have a whole six-pack in him before we even get back from commercial. He even grabs an Igloo full of beer and starts drinking from that—and we’re back live, three beers lined up in the ring and one in his hand.
“I’m gonna try real damn hard to maintain my composure so I can get my message across. I’ve been with WWE for ten damn years, the best years of my life. I’ve brought this place a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and drunk some beer on top of that. There’s been some good times and some bad times—I’ve never backed down from any sumbitchin’ person in this damn company. […] But through all the times my one friend has been Jim Ross. I sit there at the damn house and watch the man get treated like a dog and treated like crap, and it was completely unacceptable. […] I’ve gotta address one man, and that’s Vince McMahon, so bring your sorry-ass yellow carcass to this ring. Hey, I’ve got 48 beers, I can stay here all night long. But this is gonna get done, and that’s all I’ve gotta say about that.”
OK, he didn’t call for Stephanie. But McMahon #3 arrives nonetheless.
SA: Drop the damn music. SM: What’s the matter Steve, you look disappointed to see me.
Austin doesn’t understand what it is with Vince talking about his balls or his grapefruits, and last week Stephanie talked about her balls. Is he about to stun his first transvestite. “You’re not gonna lay a hand on me or any member of my family if you want JR ever to return to this company.” It was his fault that JR got fired, and it’ll be his fault that JR got fired. “You gave us all stunners, and now JR’s gone.”
“JR didn’t have nothing to do with what happened to you guys and your little family. I came out here to express my frustration with Vince.” He’s about to spank Stephanie, but Coach says “Hell, no! Don’t you even think about attacking a defenseless beautiful woman like Stephanie McMahon. Don’t you get it, JR’s gone and he’s not coming back. No one wants JR here, and no one certainly wants you here. So why don’t you get in your pretty little truck, tuck your tail between your legs, and”—leave, basically.
Stone Cold calls him a kiss-ass, sap-sucking son of a bitch, and after he was gonna kick Vince’s ass he was gonna kick Coach’s ass anyway, so let’s go ahead and do it right now—but Stephanie tries to convince him otherwise. “I’ve got a proposition for you, not the kind you wanna hear—” “I don’t have a twenty on me.” HAAAAAA! I laughed so hard at that that I woke up my roommate—I’ll apologize later. Stephanie wants to give Austin the opportunity to get JR his job back. “If you face Jonathan Coachman at Taboo Tuesday, and you win, you win JR’s job back.” Can’t be that easy. “If I, Stone Cold Steve Austin, whoop his ass at Taboo Tuesday, then my friend JR gets re-hired, is that a fact?” “As a McMahon, and as your boss, I guarantee it.” “I’ll drink to that, give me some damn beer.” And Stephanie actually gets out of the ring without getting stunned. “You’ve got an ass-whooping coming, son.” “Oh, yeah—Steve, sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt, but—if you lose to Jonathan Coachman at Taboo Tuesday, then you’re—fired!” “Stephanie, Stephanie—I fully understand if I lose I’m fired, won’t be the first time I’m fired, but… here’s to you.” And he flicks her off, but Stephanie responds with her “I don’t care” smile.
Stone Cold goes to the announcing position, and Coachman tries to hide behind a chair, but says Austin doesn’t want any of him. He pulls off Coach’s sunglasses, headset, hat, tears open his shirt—“You gonna do something about it?” “Not tonight.” “Oh, not tonight, you gonna wait two weeks?” He pours a beer into Coach’s hat, as he talks about how he hates sons of bitches who talk all this trash but once you get up to them they don’t have anything to say… and he puts the hat on Coach’s head, dousing him in beer. Double-bird. “There’s a war machine coming into town, and his name is Stone Cold Steve Austin.”
SmackDown Rebound talks about the Batista/Guerrero storyline, and adds the Ortons to the mix.
18-man battle royal for the main event—as if my hands didn’t already fucking hurt.
On Unlimited, Lawler gleefully shows the replay of Coach’s humiliation. Coach bitches out Lawler for not coming to his aid, when the 18 men come into the ring. Snitsky, Chris Masters, Shelton Benjamin, Viscera and Kerwin White, Eugene, Rosey…
Eric Bischoff comes out. “Taboo Tuesday is shaping up to be a huge event, much bigger, much better than SmackDown’s No Mercy, but… enough about inferior brands. One of the matches you fans will be empowered to vote on will be The Game Triple H vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair!” He’s also added Mick Foley vs. Carlito, and a “Fulfill Your Fantasy” Diva Battle Royal. He puts over the battle royal and its consequences, so without further delay—
But the champ is here, apparently. Cena walks right up to Bischoff, straightens out his jacket, and… oh, he’s gonna be on commentary, apparently.
“As I was trying to say before I was so rudely interrupted—ladies and gentlemen, the seven-foot monster, Kane!” And the man himself returns. Does this mean the battle royal is a foregone conclusion?
The other superstars in the ring give him a wide berth. Carlito eats a chokeslam, and gets tossed out of the ring. Now everyone starts in. Viscera kicked out by Kane, and starts on Trevor Murdoch as we go to break…
Colts still down 20-14 in the third quarter.
Unlimited starts up, and Edge is almost kicked out by Shelton Benjamin. Cade and Murdoch are starting up on Eugene, and Val Venis beats the hell out of someone I can’t identify. Kerwin White hangs on for dear life, Eugene and Conway go back and forth with punches, Eugene’s airplane spin on Conway is stopped by Snitsky, who then eats a boot from Kane. Tajiri kicks the hell out of Tomko, but Chris Masters eliminates Tajiri and Tomko very quickly. He tries the same with Snitsky, but isn’t having success…
But he’s gone, eliminated by Kane, by the time we get back. Cade and Murdoch double-team Kane, Kerwin grabs an advantage on Shelton… Rosey is almost dumpbed out by C&M but no going. But then they change positions and he gets knocked out. Val Venis and cade are going at it, Conway and Eugene are eliminated, C&M try to double-team Kane. Kerwin is catapulted by Shelton. C&M are eliminated, Kerwin’s eliminated, and Shelton skins the cat to stop from being knocked out by Masters, but Kane eliminates him. The Heart Throbs get double-chokeslammed by Kane and tossed out on their ears, and what’s Chris Masters still doing there, anyway? He slams Kane, and tries to apply the Master Lock, but Kane breaks away from it, punches Masters, ducks a clothesline and back body-drops him over the top rope and out.
Color me underwhelmed. Cena looks concerned, though. You know, if you’re gonna bring Kane out and have him participate in a battle royal upon his debut, what’s the point of having him win it? It doesn’t surprise *anybody*.
I would have had Shelton Benjamin win the match... not that WWE cares about pushing Shelton anymore.
DASCOOL!: Shawn and Carlito had a great match. Ric Flair cut a hell of a promo, and Kurt sure kicked the shit out of Hurricane. Mickie James can kick some ass.
YOU SUCK!: Kane’s unsurprising victory. And how are we ending up with two retired Superstars competing at Taboo Tuesday? And Coach wrestling?!
WHAT?!: Why still no Shane?
Overall, I enjoyed the show.
[Edit: Added more of Flair's interview, courtesy of Unlimited.]
(edited by ekedolphin on 18.10.05 0352) "I am here to use my frabjulitulity to mictifarcate your giltooney! Lo! My junurtiquity is most biollorky! Bask in the power of my meckalecka-hi, meckahiney-ho!" --Elan, The Order of the Stick
Four-Time Wiener of the Day (5/27/02; 7/3/02; 7/30/04; 8/28/04)
The Only Five-Time (and Last) N.E.W. World Heavyweight Champion
Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!
Austin was drunk but on his game.. I really enjoyed him out there tonight. He had the crowd pumped from the minute he crashed in there with that bad ass entrance. He is also is great shape, I wouldn't be surprised if he was ready for a semi-full time in ring return.
Coach was HORRIBLE from the first slip (calling Edge's spear the Gore) all the way 'till the end when he was basically Cena's whipping boy. I have to believe Vince and co. were choking each other backstage listening to him. Never has JR been more needed then right now.
Kane was made to look like a legit threat, I think out of the three choices (Kane, HBK, and Show) I would prefer to see the WWE finally utilize Kane while he has momentum and stick him in that main event (you know that voting is fixed...).
All in all I think it was a solid RAW. A little bit too much Vince and pointless Foley appearance... but the wrestling was good (Carlito v. Michaels and the Big Show match were solid for TV) and the Royal Rumble served it's purpose along with an entertaining segment from Austin... I'll take that over what we've seen the last two weeks anytime.
EDIT: HOW COULD I FORGET FLAIR!!! He was great tonight, really on the brink of psychotic. Only Flair can get me genuinely excited for a match featuring HHHgH these days.
(edited by Monte on 17.10.05 2115) Chris Monte loves to dance!
Nothing says autumn like the annual Paul Wight push. Is there any way short of someone doing a 'Dusty Rhodes' to Shawn Michaels brakes that the triple threat isn't Michaels vs. Angle vs. Cena? If they knock Cena out of the ring early, it could be a hell of a match. Never heard the lightning story from Flair before. I thought when he said '81 he was going to mention Vince Sr. voting for him to get the NWA Title. Flair might have done the all-time best self-imposed bleeding during an interview. I thought Hurricane was useless when he was a tag champ. Somehow, he is actually lower on the useless category now. Shocking footage was them actually acknowledging the existance of Hassan during the JR segment. And, Kane set JR on fire a few years ago after losing his mask in one of those heart to heart interviews when Austin was trying to motivate Kane. Had some potential, at least up until the point when Kane was stuck in a feud with Vince's son.
I liked how the booking of the battle royal actually followed some of the lesser feuds going on -- Eugene and Conway, Kerwin and Shelton, and Murdoch/Cade and Rosey, for instance. You know, the feuds that got no TV time because they had to spend half an hour talking about JR, waiting for Austin to arrive, and building up the big, big Austin/Coach match. Goddess, I am so heartily sick of Austin.
I also liked how the cameramen managed to miss half the eliminations. Not that it actually matters, because the battle royal was irrelevant the moment Michaels won. Vince doesn't even need to rig the votes -- it's like offering you a choice between a steak, a White Castle hamburger, and a ball peen hammer to the teeth.
What was the point of giving Flair the IC belt if you're going to shove him into a feud where it's an irrelevant appendage? Given Flair's use of the bat, I guess we'll be voting on whether his match with Trips will feature sledgehammers, bats, or some other weapon to be named later.
Other than Flair's promo and the Carlito/Michaels match, this show had no redeeming features. (And no, I don't count a minute and a half of Mickie James wrestling.)
"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." -- George W. Bush, Good Morning America, September 1, 2005
Wow- I knew that the montage would be negative, but I thought they'd put him bringing out the Fake Razor and Diesel in there....Big Show/Edge was alright but, obviously, a bit slow. And I guess the RAW/Smackdown feud isn't over yet? Or is this a subplot to it?....Foley was okay on the mic, but didn't seem wholly motivated. But I guess when you're getting a match with Carlito, who would be?....
Michaels/Carlito was a little disappointing for some reason....Flair's promo was excellent, with great visuals of the blood. I hadn't heard of the lightning/umbrella story, and I've read his book!....The women's match was not really anything; at least they kept the "wrestlers" in there....
I thought Austin's promo was well done too, mixing some new stuff in there. It seems this "firing" was just an excuse to get him off TV for his surgery, except for what the Kellers and the Meltzers of the world have said....Boy, Carlito can't even get a chokeslam right?....Was there any doubt the only guy with the entrance would win the battle royal?
EDIT: Forgot to mention Coach. I really like him as a heel, i.e. his promo he cut on Austin. I like him as a straight announcer, like he's done in the past on HEAT. But I don't like him as a heel announcer.
(edited by geemoney on 17.10.05 2323) College, Sports and More!: Experience It
Before I get to the stuff I hated, I'll just say that the Flair segment was awesome. Flair telling his whole life story and then giving himself the fastest crimson mask in history was great TV, and chasing Triple H out of the building was great.
Now for everything else.
WAY too much Vince. He's great in small doses as the huge pops he received during his sporadic appearances throughout the last year proved, but get him on TV regularly and it just becomes irritating.
I was a huge fan of Coach when he joined to make the 3-man team, but he's in no way ready to take JR's place. Hell, he's more suited to being a colour commentator than anything. I actually felt bad for him at times because he was obviously being fed lines from Vince that were messing him up.
None of the matches held any interest for me as they were completely predictable from the very start. Unless the matches are HBK/Shelton quality I don't want to sit through them if they serve no purpose other than to take up time.
The Cabana was probably Foley's worst appearance since his retirement. It wasn't terrible, but just didn't click as well as Foley's appearances usually do. Carlito/Foley should be fun, but it's not going to help anywhere near as much as it did Orton.
Stephanie/Austin was a car wreck. I'm not sure if Austin was smashed out of his skull or not, but he seemed to have no idea what was going on and was randomly talking during the whole thing. The whole idea of Austin being fired is ridiculous too. He's on TV a handful of times a year, so he hardly seems like a real employee anyway.
As for the main event, I don't think they could have brought Kane back in a duller way if they tried. Not only was he clearly the only plausible winner from the very start (well, maybe Edge too but he seemed to disappear without mention early on) but a "7ft monster" returning after a lengthly absence by being introduced by the GM seemed really lame. It's not as if he even has a chance of winning the Taboo Tuesday vote either.
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I'm not sure if Austin was smashed out of his skull or not, but he seemed to have no idea what was going on and was randomly talking during the whole thing.
My diagnosis is that Austin likes to ad-lib on promos and Stephanie, as you'd expect, is all about everything being scripted. Vince, for example, is great at improvising with Austin, but Stephanie could not keep up since she only knows how to recite the heavily scripted segments.
Originally posted by MonteCoach was HORRIBLE from the first slip (calling Edge's spear the Gore)
Coach *was* horrible, but in that case I'm pretty sure he thought he was parodying J.R., as he'd done with other Ross catchphrases tonight, unaware that that wasn't actually J.R.'s call.
Originally posted by ekedolphinWhen did JR get set on fire, anyway? Glad I missed that.
After Kane was unmasked, he did an interview with JR. JR asked why Kane wore a mask, when it was clear he didn't have any scars on his face. Kane got all defensive, saying that he was scared. (he thinks he has physical scars, while it's really mental scars). Kane then set JR on fire so JR can know what it's like to be Kane the night he was in the fire that "burned his face".
Originally posted by MonteCoach was HORRIBLE from the first slip (calling Edge's spear the Gore
It wasn't a slip. Calling it "The Gore" reafirms WWE's copywright on the move's name, so no one esle can use it. Simmilar to Big Show doing F5's a few months back. It's just so WWE can say they're still using the names.
Originally posted by JustinShapiroMy diagnosis is that Austin likes to ad-lib on promos and Stephanie, as you'd expect, is all about everything being scripted. Vince, for example, is great at improvising with Austin, but Stephanie could not keep up.
I just wish that, for once, Stephanie would accept that she can't keep up and let Austin interrupt her, instead of constantly trying to regain control of the conversation. I guess she feels it's part of her character not to sit back and take crap from others, but since it's Steve Austin I think she can afford to show ass like everyone else.
For all the people who didn't like Coach's performance, I think it's only fair to consider that the WWE is obviously not interested in really making Coach their top guy. With the Taboo Tuesday match in place, they've all but told the audience that JR will be back in a few weeks. In other words, if the WWE isn't being serious about Coach, why should he kill himself as the fill-in guy?
Originally posted by Tenken347For all the people who didn't like Coach's performance, I think it's only fair to consider that the WWE is obviously not interested in really making Coach their top guy. With the Taboo Tuesday match in place, they've all but told the audience that JR will be back in a few weeks. In other words, if the WWE isn't being serious about Coach, why should he kill himself as the fill-in guy?
Yeah. With 20/20 hindsight, I found myself wondering if those rumors about WWE replacing JR were just a product of WWE working us.
"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." -- George W. Bush, Good Morning America, September 1, 2005
For one brief second, I thought McMahon was going to name HIMSELF as the lead announcer. If they're going to do something temporary, why not put him back in the announcer's chair. THAT might have drawn some interest in the show.
When Coach started (before Lawler came out), I was thinking "He used to do Heat, right? I remember him being better than this." Then about the time he went "Gore! Gore! Gore!", I knew for sure he was dropping crap in on purpose.
I think ONE thing on the whole show went really well, and that was Austin's pickup truck ride through the arena to the stage. That's where all of the direction went tonight. I'm just sorry he ever got OUT of the truck.
Great. Austin could get fired. That'll free up...what...five nights out of the year for him? Has he had a match since Wrestlemania 19? And if not, wouldn't that be a significant selling point?
smark/net attack Advisory System Status is: Elevated (Holds; July 5, 2005) It's good to see that the WWE isn't backing away from Batista or Cena. There's still some questions lingering over a few of the draft moves they either made or didn't make (Jericho being a prime example), but the stage is set for a solid run to Summerslam that may send the indicator down. The longer Triple H stays away is also a plus...
-WWE Championship: John Cena [c] vs. Kurt Angle vs. Fan's Choice of Shawn Michaels, Kane or The Big Show -Fans Pick Weapon: Triple H vs. Ric Flair -Winner Take All: Steve Austin vs. Jonathan Coachman -Mick Foley vs. Carlito -Annual Pointless Diva Battle Royal: Trish Stratus, Mickey James, Ashley Massero, Victoria, Torrie Wilson & Candice Michelle
Did they ever mention what the two guys who don't get voted into the main event will do?
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Jay Onrait *just* came on right after RAW went to break on TSN to hock Sportscenter at 1am, and opened it up by dryly saying "You know I really liked Carlito better back when he was Razor Ramon..." This guy's awesome.
Much better than Darren Dutchyshen's condescending pre-RAW 'Please don't tell me if Stone Cold shows up, please don't ruin it for me". I know that Dutchyshen HATES that A) TSN airs Raw, and B) Raw's their top show, but it must kill him that Onrait actually seems to watch the show and know what's going on.
Originally posted by Brian P. DermodyAm I hearing things, or did Cena basically say Kane was going to win about halfway through the battle royal?
I mean, not like we didn't know. But there's no reason to say that your potential opponents are "the best ever", "the largest athlete in sports entertainment", and "a seven foot monster". Schmuck.
Flair with a damn good promo, and everything else just sat there for me.
Hell, Cena just spelled out what we already knew, and what the story of the match was supposed to be. Kane's back, he's this unstoppable monster, and he's the one to beat in the ring at that moment. Okay, maybe there was that one person out there who thought this was finally Kerwin White's time to shine, and I'm sure he's writing an email to John Cena as we speak. But for everyone else?
Flair's promo was just nuts. Nothing says "Tough old bastard" as a guy crazy enough to bust himself open just to make a point.