Well, tonight, obviously, is the “season premiere” of RAW as it makes its return to USA, and they’ve stacked the card tonight. Matt Hardy and Edge will battle in a Money in the Bank ladder match where the winner gets the briefcase holding a contract for a WWE Title match, and the loser leaves RAW. John Cena defends the WWE Title against Eric Bischoff. Triple H, Mick Foley, Hulk Hogan and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will make appearances, as will a quadrillion other classic Superstars. Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle will be involved in an Iron Man match. And SmackDown will be involved somehow.
This card’s looking like it’s gonna be pretty good—I just hope they don’t put all their eggs in one basket this week and forget to put together a compelling program next week, or the week after that, or the week after that…
“It was live, it was RAW, that was how it started…” We see a montage talking about RAW’s history, while a five-minute countdown appears on the screen. They especially talk about the debut at the Manhattan Center in New York. “Nothing can go wrong if it’s live,” says Vince. “If you come out to the ring and trip over the bottom rope, you know what? I *meant* to do that.” Ha.
Haha, while talking about the Attitude Era, they mention the “I choppy-choppy your pee-pee” thing with Kaientai, and Mark Henry almost having sex with a transvestite, and… yeah… that’s why I was watching Nitro at the time. But overall the montage sequence was very good, bringing context to tonight’s event.
And after a brief montage saying “WWE: The Power is Back,” we go to the standard RAW opening video and music, only it says “Tonight RAW is Home” at the end.
And we’re live from American Airlines Arena in Dallas… starting right off with Mick Foley’s music as the Hardcore Legend comes down to the ring, bang bang! He’ll be on Piper’s Pit, and I can dig *that*.
MF: Mrs. Foley’s little boy has come back home! Home to RAW, home to the USA Network, and home right here in Dallas, Texas! [Cheap pop.] Now ordinarily a guest does not come out here and introduce his host, but tonight’s host is no ordinary man, he’s a certifiable legend in WWE. A true Hall of Famer, the star of the upcoming movie “Honor”, ladies and gentlemen say hello to Rowdy Roddy Piper!
Piper comes down, and this is gonna be *fun!*
RP: Cut that music, cut that music! Wait a second, wait a second, I’ve gotta tell you something, I’m a fan of yours, you know what I thought I was the craziest [something] in the business, but I’ve got nothing on you! This guy here Mick Foley, Mankind, what he does for fun you jump off roofs! You have people throw you off 20 foot steel cages onto the floor! […] You are nuts! But then I read your new book Scooter, I haven’t had the light off in my bedroom for four weeks. When is Mick Foley coming back to the WWE?
MF: Well Roddy if you recall, I… I did come back last year and Hot Rod I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never been better and I still got my ass kicked, so in order for me to make another comeback in WWE, I’d need a really really good reason.
RP: You know what I’m gonna give you 12,000 good reasons, and they’re all here—Foley! Foley! Foley!
MF: I’ll tell you what Hot Rod, I’ll tell you what—
[And, yup, here comes Randy Orton along with “Cowboy” Bob Orton… can’t say I’m surprised by that.]
MF: Cut the music, cut the music cut the music! Now Orton it’s never good to see you under any circumstances, but these aren’t any circumstances no it’s RAW, it’s homecoming, it’s Mick Foley on Piper’s Pit! I’d be worried about the legend who’s gonna do you in this Sunday at No Mercy, the Undertaker!
RO: Mick as far as why I’m out here, I’m Randy Orton. I can do and get away with whatever I want. But Mick, Mick, don’t worry man I’m not here to talk to you, I’ve got nothing to say to you, I want to talk to that man, Rowdy Roddy Piper!
RP: You look great kid—
RO: SHUT YOUR MOUTH! IF IT WASN’T FOR MY FATHER THERE’D BE NO PIPER’S PIT! [He talks too fast for me to transcribe, but essentially he’s pissed at Piper because he feels Bob Orton made his career, and Piper got more out of it than Bob did.]
Orton pushes him, Piper decks Randy, and the two of them roll around for a moment, Piper getting his shirt torn off, and they’re separated by Foley and Bob. But then Bob sucker-punches Foley, and Orton RKO’s Piper and then Foley.
Momentarily the Angle/Michaels match will get underway, and Let Us Take You Back to WrestleMania and Then Let Us Take You Back to Vengeance, demonstrating that the series is 1-1, and this next match is the Rubber Match—a 30-minute Iron Man contest! And it is NEXT… I can dig that, sucka!
We come back from commercial and we take you back to two paragraphs ago. And Bischoff walks up to Teddy Long, making it clear that he blames Teddy for what just happened, and it better not happen again. Long proclaims his innocence.
Angle comes out, and Lillian Garcia manages to botch the rules of the Iron Man match. “The first person to have the most falls at the end of thirty minutes is the winner.” Bad grammar there.
Michaels rushes the ring, rolls around with Angle and hits punches, followed by a chop, and then a chop in the corner. Pick up, slam, pinfall attempt gets two. Another hard chop takes down Angle. Angle to his feet, HBK with another chop, and another two against the ropes. Angle reverses an Irish Whip but HBK kicks and hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Michaels picks him up and tosses Angle over the top rope—count-outs will also count as falls in this match, and HBK’s insisting the ref count. But then he rolls out after him and chops Angle some more, slams his head against the barricade, and rolls him back in. HBK up to the top rope and hits a sledge. Another pinfall attempt—two. Another chop as angle gets up, but Angle gets the upper hand with fisticuffs, backs HBK into the corner, whip reversed into a sleeper by HBK. Angle reverses into a back suplex after a few seconds, and he’s the first to his feet after a four-count. HBK up, European uppercut knocks him down. Angle kicks Michaels, pulls him up by the hair and drives a knee into his face. Now Angle with the mounted punches, breaking just before five.
Angle drags Michaels to his feet and slams him hard, getting a two. Another two-count. Now a rear chinlock applied by Angle, and the crowd’s trying to will HBK back into it. He gets to his feet, but then goes down to one knee… the referee’s checking to make sure it’s not an illegal choke. HBK gets a grip around Angle’s neck, gets to his feet and breaks the hold with a jawbreaker. Both men to their feet, Michaels with a chop, whip reversed but HBK hits a facebuster. Angle runs at Michaels and is back body dropped over the top to the floor with some *serious* velocity. Angle’s selling his shoulder. Michaels tries a baseball slide but Angle moves out of the way and DRILLS him with an Olympic Slam. Angle rolls back into the ring to break the count, and back out to drag Michaels into the ring. Angle tries to cover but Michaels is underneath the ropes. Angle drags Michaels up into the corner and begins stomping a mudhole into HBK. Drags him to his feet, punching him, but Michaels gains the advantage… up until Angle hits a kick to the gut AND POWERBOMBS HIM INTO THE TURNBUCKLE, HOLY SHIT! But he only got a long two-count… HBK kicked out. Holy shit, what a move.
Now Angle takes Michaels upstairs…trying for a super belly-to-belly suplex… but Michaels knocks him down. Michaels tries to go for the Elbow Drop but Angle was playing possum—he runs to the corner and nails Michaels with a top-rope Olympic Slam, getting three! It’s Angle 1, Michaels 0 as we go to commercial.
We come back and there’s 18 minutes left in the contest, still 1-0 Angle. Angle has Michaels in a rear chinlock, but Michaels gets up to his feet, trying to reverse with a jawbreaker but instead he slams Angle in the corner a few times and begins elbowing Angle’s head. Whip into the corner, Michaels charges but there’s no one home, and Michaels hits hard into the steel ring post. Now a German Suplex by Angle gets two, and Angle’s upset that he couldn’t get it, but he’s keeping his cool. Both men to their feet, and Angle drops Michaels down with punches. Picks him up, suplex, two-count. Angle backs Michaels in the corner but Michaels kicks his way out of it, chopping Angle… whip reversed and Michaels hits hard, back-first. Angle tries the Olympic Slam but it’s reversed into a sunset flip which is reversed into an Ankle Lock. Reverse into a roll up by Michaels, getting three, and with 15 minutes left, it’s Angle 1, Michaels 1.
They get up and punch, Michaels gets an inside cradle and almost gets another three-count, but not quite. Angle hits a European Uppercut which knocks HBK out of the ring, and Angle comes after him, slamming Michaels’ head into the steel steps. He rolls Michaels back into the ring and gets a two-count. A body-scissors is applied by Angle, as he focuses on the damaged back of HBK, trying to crunch it with his strong legs. He rubs his arm hard into Michaels’ face, and the referee watches Michaels’ shoulders very carefully, granting a couple of near-falls. 12:41 remaining and Michaels manages to get Angle on his back, biting Angle and breaking the hold. Michaels hits a punch, Angle kicks, suplex reversed, reversal reversed, and sunset flip gets two, but Angle applies an Ankle Lock. Michaels tries in vain to kick out of the hold, but Angle applies the grapevine variation, and he’s in big, bad trouble. He’s trying desperately to get to the ropes, but has no choice but to tap, and with 11:08 remaining, it’s Angle 2, Michaels 1. And we go to commercial. These two are awesome.
By the way, if you believe the commercials, Axe Unlimited will get you tons of women.
We come back with 7:39 remaining, still two to one, and Angle’s working on Michaels knee before HBK kick shim off. Michaels backs Angle into the corner briefly, but Angle gains the advantage with fiscitufcc—just for a moment, before Michaels chops him a few times. Now the single leg take down and another leg submission by Angle. Michaels punches his way out, but Angle backs him in the corner and hits punches and uppercuts. Angle tries tog et him on the top turnbuckle, but Michaels will have none of that, punching, chopping and kicking his way to freedom. Whip reversed, HBK hits the Flying Burrito, and nips up—but he can’t fully stand. Angle charges, inverted atomic drop by Michaels, two clotheslines, scoop slam, and HBK goes to the top turnbuckle—will it work this time? He goes up and connects with the Flying Elbow Drop, and now he’s calling for Sweet Chin Music as Angle gets to his feet—and he nails it! One, two, three, and with 4:45 remaining, it’s Angle 2, Michaels 2.
Angle immediately rolls out of the ring, and Michaels goes after him, chopping him and rolling Angle and himself back in. Angle’s backed into the corner, and Michaels chops him some more, whip into the corner rversed, HBK hits the corner hard, Olympic Slam—NO! Two-count only! Angle’s frustrated, but both men get to their feet and Angle punches, whip reversed into a kick, Olympic Slam blocked into a Tornado DDT by Michaels! 2:56 remaining, and both men are down and getting the standing ten-count by the referee. Michaels rolls over at seven and gets a long two-count… and another. Both men get up, Angle’s in the corner again, and another chop by Michaels. Whip into the corner reversed again, Angle charges but is kicked… Moonsault reversed into an Ankle Lock! 1:44 remaining… Michaels tries to reverse but Angle won’t have it—and the kick-out attempt is also denied by Angle. 1:11 remaining, and Angle gets him in the center and applies the grapevine variation again. Less than a minute remaining! Michaels looks like he’s gonna tap, but he’s grabbing Kurt’s foot, doing everything humanly possible to get out of it. He gets onto his back and kicks Angle’s face, forcing him to break it—Immediately the Ankle Lock is applied again, Michaels counters it and almost drives Angle into the corner (and the referee), but Angle catches himself. And Michaels nails Sweet Chin Music with two seconds remaining, going for the pinfall—but just before the referee can count three, time runs out, and it’s a draw.
SM: No way Dallas, what is that? Exactly! Let’s go to sudden death, c’mon!
Damn right. Angle’s already left the ring, but he waves him off, saying that ain’t gonna happen. And he walks right out of the arena without getting stopped by somebody—huh, interesting.
Hell of a match, but c’mon, you couldn’t give us a winner?
Michaels goes around to the legends at ringside and is congratulated by them, and we get a new match announcement for tonight—Triple H will make his return by teaming with Ric Flair against Carlito and Chris Masters. Anyone want to start a pool regarding how long it’ll take Triple H to turn on Flair? Put me down for “tonight”.
We see footage of John Cena at the Hip Hop Awards, and I honestly couldn’t care less. Besides, hip-hop may be the thing now, but it’s ROCK that will live forever.
Say hello to the Meatnormous Sandwich by Burger King—I prefer to call it “death waiting to happen”.
“Say hello to my little friend!”—Al Pacino will be in Scarface on USA.
Lillian Garcia wants to introduce us to Dallas’ own Kevin Von Erich, and I can dig *that*. But was he ever in WWE?
Vince is talking to some makeup girl, and Eric Bischoff greets him. “Congratulations, big night for all of us tonight.” Bischoff has a great idea for his match with Cena—he wants to make it a no-disqualification match. No way *that* is happening. “Vince—” “What’d you call me?” “Vince. The only reason you hired me as the general manager of RAW is so that you could embarrass me on a weekly basis.” Maybe Vince wants to come up with a Self-Destruction of Eric Bischoff DVD? Vince is sick. “I don’t think anybody in this world has any idea just how sick, just how twisted and just how perverted I can be.”
Lillian reads Vince’s attributes off a cue card with growing incredulity—he made Steve Austin, The Rock, Hulk Hogan and such into superstars, and he’s well-endowed. “Well how about it huh, how about it it’s Homecoming! Back on USA! And might I add back where thigns are pretty much uncensored, back on USA where all hell can break loose at any time.” Vince remembers 2/8/98, because that was the night Vince McMahon beat the holy hell out of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Nice revisionist history. I think Vince has a long-overdue ass-whipping coming to him tonight. But Vince shows the footage—and it was actually 1999, you idiot. Now he wants to show footage of Austin shackle, and here comes Stone Cold who will no doubt have a rebuttal. He comes out, does the trademark corner posing, and Vince is smilling knowing he’s about to get his ass kicked, and he wants to suck up to him all of a sudden. “Hey it’s Stone Cold, give him a hand! Good to see you Steve. I was having some fun there—” “Just having a little fun huh? Looked like you were having fun at Stone Cold’s expense.” “You had other moments, how come I don’t believe you? What are you getting nervous for? Uptight? Rattled? Skittery? After all you’re the man who made Stone Cold Steve Austin, aren’t you?” “It’s live TV.” “You’re the guy who humbled and humiliated Stone Cold, right?” Austin isn’t amused. “I remember things just a little differently.” He’s got some highlights—beating the hell out of Vince in the hospital, jamming a tube up his ass and so on. “That was terribly embarrassing to be hit by the bedpan…”
Some more footage—Stone Cold wheels Vince in his wheelchair, holds a gun to his head, and there’s a sign that says “Bang 3:16”—“McMahon 3:16 says I just pissed my pants!” “You nervous enough to piss your pants again?” Vince is embarrassed as hell, gotta love it. And here’s an Austin beer bash from March 1999, when he comes out in a Coors Light truck and douses Vince, Shane and The Rock with beer. Gotta love Vince trying to swim in it. “If you’d have entered the Olympics that year, you would’ve won yourself a—OK, you wouldn’t have won a damn medal, but—” Vince says it’s a new era, and he wants to start all over with Austin. “You wanna start all over? You wanna be my best friend? Am I supposed to believe the BS spewing out of your mouth? If you think this sumbitch is full of crap, give me a hell yeah!”
McMahon *knows* he’s gonna get the Stunner, and tries to walk out of the ring--- but Austin wants to show him one more thing—the middle finger and Stone Cold Stunner, hee! Sorry, but that NEVER gets old. Beer me, beer me, chug. But “Here Comes The Money” plays and here comes Shane McMahon?! Didn’t see *that* coming. He enters the ring and immediately gets Stone Cold Stunnered.
And now here comes *Stephanie* McMahon, and no doubt she’s about there seconds away from getting Stunnered, too. She comes down to the ring, and asks Austin who the hell he thinks he is, stunning her father, stunning her brother? “What? I couldn’t hear a damn word.” “I said this is *our* show, this is RAW, this is USA! I said who the hell do you think you are?!” “My name is Stone Cold Steve Austin, and—” “Maybe you don’t understand that I’m Stephanie McMahon.” Austin wants to conduct an interview. “What fragrance are you wearing?” Stephanie grabs hold of Austin’s wrist, and Austin grins, thinking she’s flirting with him. “The way you grabbed my hand, maybe you wanna give Stone Cold a kiss?” Stephanie slaps him in reply—she’s got cajones, I’ll give her that. “OK so you’re playing hard to get. I wish you hadn’t done that. But then again—I’m kinda glad you did!” KICK WHAM STUNNER for Stephanie, and she’s down too. I dare Linda to come out. Actually she’d probably be the only McMahon who’d be safe in that ring.
OH, I WAS JUST KIDDING! But here comes Linda, and she looks uncharacteristically pissed about this. “Steve, what do you think you’re doing? Look at this. Look at this havoc. This carnage in the ring is my family. I’ve spent the last two years bringing this family back together, and tonight Homecoming on USA Network, and with you it’s no different. I mean my husband, why my husband?” “Your husband’s a piece of trash.” “Yeah. But my son Shane?” “Your son’s a chip off the old block, he’s a piece fo trash too.” “My precious daughter Stephanie? “Stephanie’s a precious piece of trash. They’re laid out in the ring, causing a disturbance, what else you want me to do?” “I think you owe the McMahon family an apology.” You bet that’ll happen. “An apology?” “Yes, you owe the McMahon family an apology.” “But why? I was just out here doing my job. They interfered, I gave ‘em some Stunners, one Stunner two stunners three Stunners, you want me to apologize for that? All right—” [long pause] “All right uh, you’re a classy lady, I apologize.” “Thank you Steve.” “You’re welcome. But uh—” Everyone knows what’s gonna happen next. “But while you’re out here, I think we oughta leave these 16,000 people here the millions watching around the world a RAW moment to remember. You and me all alone here in this big ol’ ring—how about a good old-fashioned kiss on the cheek? And if you don’t mind I’d like to leave my eyes open, ‘cuz you’ll knock the hell out of me when I close my eyes.” Linda makes to comply. “Well when I really think about it, I think we oughta give these folks something to really remember.” Linda’s got the wide-eyed look, but Austin comes up very close to her, only six inches away from her face, tops. “What do you say there sweetheart? Vince ain’t looking, over there takin’ a little catnap courtesy of a Stunner.” Steve’s looking like he’s about to kiss Linda. “Why don’t we cut to the damn chase—and drink some beer!” Steve and Linda drink beer together, Austin puts his arm around Linda, calling her a classy woman, and Stunner in five, four, three, two, one—“I forgot to say—thank you.” KICK WHAM STUNNER on Linda, or at least he attempted to do that—didn’t do it very well. Is this the first time he’s Stunnered Linda? Usually they’re on good terms.
When we come back Matt Hardy and Edge will have their ladder match.
Grisham tries to interview Vince, who simply says someone’s gonna get fired over this.
The ladder’s set up in the ring, and Edge heads off-screen, taking a cheap-shot at Hardy and running towards the ladder—nothing doing. Hardy’s ladder climb denied, and Hardy slams Edge down. Now Hardy sets up the ladder upside-down and leg drops Edge—then he closes the ladder on Edge, crushing him. Ladder set up in the corner and Edge is whipped into it. Hardy charges, but eats a drop toe hold into the ladder. Edge sets the ladder up diagonally in the corner, sets him up and nails a suplex. Edge climbs the ladder, Hardy grabs his foot, and Edge connects with a sledge. Whip into the ropes, but Edge accidentally pulled him onto the ladder, where Hardy immediately grabs the briefcase and Edge has to quickly compensate to avoid losing the match. Good to show that this could be over at any moment. Ladder now set up as a battering ram in the corner, and a Twist of Fate is reversed by Edge, who throws Hardy right into it head-first. Now Edge gets another ladder from outside, and begins to climb—but Matt’s up to his knees and now his feet. He grabs Edge’s tights, pulls him off and hammers Edge, knocks him into the turnbuckle and closes the ladder, driving it into Edge’s sternum. Ladder set up on the bottom rope, suplex reversed by Edge, and Edge reverse suplexes Matt into the ladder. Now Edge gets up the ladder in the center of the ring again, climbs up to about halfway, but Matt quickly gets up just as Edge gets a hand on the case. HE THROWS EDGE FROM THE TOP OF THE LADDER ONTO THE LADDER IN THE CORNER HEAD-FIRST, and on the rebound Edge accidentally topples the ladder Matt’s on, sending him down onto the top rope. The crowd knows a holy shit moment when they see one, and so do I (hence the caps lock)… and so does WWE, who goes straight to commercial.
And during the break I start on my third Grande Soft Taco. I’M FULL!
WE come back and there’s a table set up outside… Edge tries unsuccessfully to suplex Hardy through it. Hardy grabs a ladder and drills Edge with it battering-ram style, knocking him over the security wall. Now Hardy climbs the ladder and dives down onto Edge. Hardy’s the first one up, and Lita makes herself a factor, climbing onto this back… Hardy snapmares her off, and just as she’s about to get powerbombed through table, CRACK! Hardy gets drilled with a Singapore cane from behind. He sets Hardy up on the table, dives off the ring apron and splashes Hardy through it! Edge cimbs up the ladder and there’s no Hardy in sight until Edge gets up to the second-to-last rung, when Hardy comes in, punches him away, and drills a HOLY SHIT TWIST OF FATE FROM NEARLY THE TOP OF THE LADDER. Edge rolls to the floor and Hardy gets up the ladder, almost getting the briefcase before Lita smacks Hardy with the Singapore cane (missing the first time). Hardy throws her off, and climbs up again, but he should have put her away when he could—she rolls the ladder away, and Edge grabs his feet, swinging him around the ring… finally Hardy falls onto the top rope, and his arms are caught behind his back. Lita grapevines his arms, holding him there and forcing him to watch as Edge grabs the briefcase and waves bye-bye to Matt.
Great screwjob ending, doing good at further ensconcing Edge as an asshole while still protecting Matt, and no doubt in a few weeks or a few months we’ll see Matt on SmackDown.
Security leads Matt away, and we see some more of the matches that are set up for tonight—the SmackDown match will be a six-man tag. You didn’t honestly think it’d be a Hell in a Cell, did you? JBL, Christian and Eddie Guerrero will take on Batista, Chris Benoit and Rey Mysterio in what I’m *pretty* sure will be Mysterio’s first ever match on RAW, right?
Also we’ll have that three-on-two Bra and Panties match which I’d forgotten all about. I’m gonna predict the winners will be the fans.
We come back to commercial, and Hardy’s going quietly with security. And now we cut to Trish and Ashley. That’s a nice little nothing Ashley’s almost wearing. Could she *possibly* be wearing a bra underneath that? And you can’t think of bras and panties without thinking of Mae Young—or at least you won’t be able to after WWE’s done with you. Hey, Ted DiBiase, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Jimmy Snuka! DiBiase offers her ten thousand dollars to put her shirt back on.
Ric Flair’s introduced by Maria (wearing a Homecoming Queen dress), and it’s “about the return of The Game! Ric Flair would not be standing here tonight if it were not for Triple H. I came back to WWE four years ago a broken man, that’s right I’m saying it. […] But today I walk that aisle right here WOO in Dallas, Texas, the Intercontinental Champion.” Triple H brought back his drive and desire to compete, and tonight Carlito and Masters are climbing in the ring with the greatest wrestler alive today, and the Nature Boy—WOO!
And that match is next.
Carlito spits in the face of people who don’t want to be cool, in case you’ve been living in a cave for the last year and a half. Chris Masters comes out next, and who wants to bet that Masters will try and fail to put the Master Lock on Trips? Hmm. Ric Flair’s next out, and you have to love how he demands the referee open the ropes for him. And they show Kevin Von Erich watching Flair from his seat, good touch.
Trips comes out next to a massive ovation, and not to be the first one to start with the HHHating or anything, but he seems slightly flabbier than I remember him. Not tremendously, just slightly. This will, of course, be Triple H’s first time in the ring with both Carlito and Chris Masters. I think he can take ‘em.
Masters and Carlito slink into the ring, and Trips fights off Masters, while Flair throws Carlito out of the ring. Trips and Flair share a hug, and Flair heads to the ring apron while the crowd chants his name. Carlito sneaks into the ring and Trips punches him, puts him in the corner and gets the quick tag, the former Evolution members hitting five double-chops on Carlito followed by the Nature Boy strut by both men! Masters’ attempted intervention is quickly denied, and another double-chop knocks Carlito down and sends him out of the ring. We’ll be back.
When we come back, Carlito’s got Flair down, and the heels have apparently been working on Flair’s back. Carlito grabs his apple and spits it in Flair’s face while he’s still down… now he applies the figure-four, and Trips is *livid* on the outside. He wills Flair to turn it around, but Carlito almost gets a two-count. Flair tries grabbing Carlito’s foot, and finally Trips comes in the ring and breaks the hold himself, elbow dropping Calirot. But Carlito gets Flair in the corner, slaps him twice and looks at Trips. But Flair gains the advantage with devastating chops. Whip reversed into a spinebuster by Carlito. Now Carlito goes to the top—but he’s thrown off the top by Flair! HA! Flair tries to tag Trips—but he flops just before he can get to him. Masters gets the tag, and he’s signaling for the Master Lock, but he gets low-blowed behind the ref’s back. Trips and Carlito are tagged in, and Trips is a house of fire, throwing both opponents around the ring. Carlito with a thumb to the eyes, but the Harley Race knee by Trips. Now Masters eats it, and then Carlito and Masters both eat Arn Anderson spinebusters. Trips smiles for some reason—ah. He digs under the ring and fins the sledgehammer. He tests it on the stairs, and you know the ref’s not gonna allow this. Trips signals he’s gonna drill Masters with the sledgehammer, and that’d e cool with me! But Carlito hits him from behind, the ref quickly throws the hammer out, and Carlito’s knocked into the corner and set up for the Pedigree. Masters tries to attack Trips from behind with the sledgehammer but Flair hits a chop block, allowing Trips to hit the Pedigree for three.
Post-match Trips and Flair celebrate, and yup—TRIPS HITS FLAIR WITH THE SLEDGEHAMMER! Flair’s busted open, and Trips pummels him with right hands, then slaps him. Flair crawls up Triple H’s knee, but Trips, screaming “What is the matter with you?!” knocks him down again. Flair is about a 1.2 Muta at this point, and it gets worse, as he drives the hammer into Flair’s face. “Somebody wanna do something about it?” He throws Flair out of the ring, slams him into the steel steps, punches him in front of the legends, and grabs the sledgehammer again. He commences choking Flair with the handle of the sledgehammer as we go to break.
And I know I can’t prove it, but honest to God I *did* predict this in an earlier paragraph. I guess this is the final death of Evolution now—and Triple H destroyed it. In fact, Trips turned on all three members of Evolution—Randy Orton after he won the World Heavyweight Title; Batista after he won the Royal Rumble (by faking the JBL hit-and-run, though Batista was the first one to successfully get violent), and now Flair.
We come back and see a replay, and I can’t believe *that* many audience members were shocked by this. Triple H has turned on EVERYBODY at some point or another, guys.
We see that Trips continued the beating backstage during the break, and in fact as we come back he’s still pummeling him backstage. “Nobody touches him! Nobody’s got the balls to stop me!” C’mon, Batista, I know Flair deserted you, but shit. Trips dares somebody, anybody, to do something about it. “Did you think I was gonna let this go, huh? I am the game, you understand me?” He slams his head onto the trunk of a limo several times, and then slaps him repeatedly… the limo’s caked in blood now. “Limousine-ridin’, jet-flyin’—” he throws him into the limo—“piece of crap! Get that piece of shit out of here!” He shatters a limo window with the sledgehammer, the limo drives off and mercifully the beating is over.
Holy shit, dude. Just goes to show you that no one can do random, senseless violence like Triple H.
Well, you reap what you sow. Flair’s turned on virtually everybody in favor of Triple H, so there was no one there who wanted to help Flair when he started getting the shit beaten out of him. Probably the closest person he has to a friend now is Shawn Michaels—hey, do you think that’s the reason Trips is gonna come up with next week when the question “Why?” comes up?
We’re down to the last half-hour, and we’ve still got Hulk Hogan’s appearance and three matches to do. Guaranteed overrun, huh?
We come back and a zillion legends are in the ring—what the fuck, Arn Anderson didn’t even come to his aid?! Dusty Rhodes has a mike, God help us. “What an honor it is to be here in Dallas, Texas!” Also, Superstar Billy Graham, Moolah, Jimmy Hart, Ted DiBiase, Harley Race, Hacksaw Jim Duggan… and the hell? Rob Conway’s here, too.
RC: “Please! Am I at WWE Homecoming, or am I at a nursing home? This is pathetic! What’s that smell, smell that? Did one of you forget to change your Depends? You should change those things. But this is supposed to be a Homecoming, not a funeral, and each and every one of you look like you’re half-dead!” Conway demands that they leave now and make room for the next generation. Dusty: “How dare you crack whip with the American Dream! How dare you crack whip with Arn Anderson! How dare you crack whip with any of these legends!” Dusty mush-mouths, but essentially the table Conway eats off was made by these legends. Dusty, Hacksaw, and others punch him around like a pinball, the Bionic Elbow by Dusty, and the Von Erich claw by Kevin. Now Jimmy Snuka to the top rope, and he hits the Superfly Splash! Now play his music as Conway’s thrown out of the ring!
We come back, and Torrie Wilson, Candace Michelle and Victoria come out. The announcers “shock” us by saying USA was giving them extra time tonight. I certainly hope so, since there are still two matches to go after this. Trish is immediately knocked out of the ring, and Ashley’s triple-teamed, her shirt ripped off to reveal a purple bra. Ashley kicks the three opponents around, and Victoria’s bra is revealed—and she’s pissed. But she chases Ashley right into a Trish clothesline. Candace and Torrie are thrown together, and rear chinlocks are applied by both faces, as they strip Candace and Torrie down to their bra. I hope the referee’s not wearing a bra, as JR seems to think he is. Ashley and Trish try for the eliminations immediately but are denied. Now Trish drags Victoria into the ring, Victoria whips her into the corner… Victoria whipped in, she goes up top, Trish goes for the Stratusphere, and Victoria tries to get Trish’s pants off, but nothing doing—Victoria’s pants are pulled off and she’s out. Shortly thereafter Candace’s bottoms (and almost her panties) are yanked off by Ashley. And Torrie’s next, and the match is over.
No justice in the universe, though—Trish is the only one who didn’t have either article of clothing removed.
Angle talks to Bischoff—Ken Kennedy’s here, and Angle’s concerned that SD is gonna take over. But now that McMahon’s gone, Bischoff is in charge again—and he’s making his WWE Title match a no-disqualification match. Bischoff just wants to be WWE Champion for one night, after which he’d be more than happy to name Angle the new champion. Kurt’s down with that. Hee, gotta love Smarmy Bischoff at his best.
During this break we see a commercial for Doom starring The Rock, and count me out.
We come back, and Tazz and Michael Cole start on commentary, complete with SmackDown chyron. Teddy Long dances with Tony Chimel, and Rey Mysterio comes out with his new crappy “Cops”-wannabe music. What was wrong with “Who’s that jumpin’ out the sky, R-E-Y Mysterio, here we go!”, anyway? Chris Benoit’s out next with the U.S. Title belt, and this would be so much more cool-looking if they kept the RAW graphics on the screen. I’ve seen a few Supershows where they film RAW first and then SmackDown, so this isn’t particularly visually impressive. Ought to be a good match, though.
Batista’s out next, and we’re reminded that he’s gonna defend the World Title at No Mercy against Eddie Guerrero.
JBL comes out in his limo, wearing the Stars and Stripes on his jacket. Christian and his awesome theme music are next, and then Eddie Guerrero. Christian’s the only person to pin Benoit since Benoit won the U.S. Title, we’re reminded. Eddie Guerrero and Batista are sharing buddy-buddy looks, but you know Batista’s not really that stupid. Teddy Long joins Michael Cole and Tazz on commentary.
JBL and Batista circle, and Eric Bischoff comes out immediately. “Hold it hold it stop it right here! I know Mr. McMahon wanted SmackDown representation at Homecoming, but the thing is Mr. McMahon is not here!” Bischoff refuses to allow the SD! Superstars to stink up his ring, says “lights out”, and sure enough the lights go off. Eric’s having a grand old time. “You guys look like fools staggering around in the dark. You know what? Let’s just go to a commercial break!” HA, what an asshole!
We come back, and Mean Gene Okerlund’s standing in the middle of the ring. “Ladies and gentlemen, the one, the only Hulk Hogan!” I guess he must have needed another payoff, heehee. Obviously this is his first appearance since SummerSlam.
MG: Well Hulk, I think we all can agree it has been a sizzling summer. Of course that classic match that you had with Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam, and how about that big hit reality show Hogan Knows Best? So I ask you this question—what’s next?
HH: Well you know something Mean Gene, can you feel the power of Hulkamania in Dallas brother? Well you know there was a guy at SS that gave Hulkamania a run for his money. Any place, anywhere, any time, brother, we can lock it up and do it again brother.
He’s going too fast for me.
But regarding his next opponent—Hogan mentions Andre, WrestleMania X-8, WrestleMania XIX, and he saw one man as he peered out the curtain—Stone Cold Steve Austin!
Cute how RAW’s going into Hour Four now, and they’ve still got a highlight show to go. They’re going to overrun the TNA replay.
But now it’s time for the WWE Championship match, as challenger Eric Bischoff comes out accompanied by Kurt Angle. Bischoff gives instructions to the referee, and you have to believe there’s no way in hell Eric’s gonna win this thing. Eric Bischoff as WWE Champion? Not that I’d go dark on you if he *did* win it.
Kurt’s going to allegedly be at “ringside”, but I’d be surprised if Bischoff didn’t immediately leave the ring and let Kurt pound on him. John Cena comes out, and at least for the time being, Bischoff’s facing him down, while Kurt sits down in a chair at ringside (before he uses it on Cena, no doubt). Bischoff shadow-punches, and he weaves closer and closer to Cena… Cena turns his back on him and grabs a Bischoff kick, clotheslining him down. Bischoff up and back down with a shoulder block. Cena rolls Bischoff around, Angle grabs his foot, and Bischoff grabs the advantage with several martial arts kicks, but Cena slams him down, “You Can’t See Me’, Five Knuckle Shuffle, Angle runs in and tries to Olympic Slam him but nothing doing… F-5 on Angle stopped by a Bischoff low-blow, and he gets two. Angle comes in with the chair, accidentally hits himself with it, and it’s only a matter of time—F-U by Cena, one, two, three. Well, Bischoff couldn’t get the job done… maybe he should have enlisted some more help. But post-match Angle and Cena trade punches, and Teddy Long comes out. “Hold on just a minute. I hate to be a negative influence, but Eric you decided to stick your nose into SmackDown’s business.” So now it’s time for Long to do it gangster-style. SmackDown superstars including Kennedy, Mysterio, Benoit, JBL, Christian and Batista storm the ring. JBL feeds Bischoff to Batista, believe it or not, but of all people Shelton Benjamin comes to Bischoff’s aid, as well as tons of RAW Superstars. And we fade out.
"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!
The end was just bizarre... and got even more so on the RAW live wwe.com feed. Basically the two sides paired off against each other with SD getting owned. Big Show took out Batista. But then you have all these guys who supposedly hate each other standing side by side- by the RAW crew and SD. Eddy-Rey, Batista-JBL, even Angle makes nice with Michaels and Cena? Strange. I wonder if this is a one time thing or if it is building up to something bigger.
Wow, I am tired. That was like almost 4 hours of RAW tonight if you include the wwe.com stuff.
What I liked:
The return of STEPH AND SHANE! The whole Austin vs. McMahons segment was surreal. Linda totally botched her stunner but I forgive her, because no one expects her to be able to do anything physical.
Ladder match was good. The ending of the match kinda sucked, but Lita becomeing a human crucifix was kinda neat to see.
Hogan getting cut off after like 2 sentences was funny. I bet he was pissed.
Ashley nearly made history with almost exposing some vagina on live TV.
What I didn't like:
Lack of matches. I mean, the Iron Man match was good, and the Ladder match was mostly good, but nothing much happened after that. No Smachdown match, the WWE title match was mostly a joke, and the women's match wasnt to be taken seriously either.
No KENNEDY on the stick? Bummer....kennedy!
So Flair gets the shit beat out of him, yet Benoit, Malenko, Arn Anderson, or even Steamboat couldn't come to his aid? The only help he sorta got was from MICHAEL HAYES!
Speaking of Flair, that beatdown went WAY WAY too long. It was nice and intense, but got boring after the commericals. Now, we get to hear HHH next week with his 20 min borefests about how Flair isn't the same man he once was and Triple H is still the game blah blah...I can't wait (to mute my TV)
Overall, I did like it. It did feel special and fun. Not a bad way to spend the night. The WWE Unlimited thing is cool too. I hope they keep that up for each RAW upcoming.
They talked to SEAN MOONEY for this 5-minute retrospective? And only gave him 2 seconds of air time?....Man, Piper was more incoherent than usual....I always try to figure out what Shawn is praying during his entrance (just to know, I guess). I got "I give my all..." and that's it....Great iron-man match, though I wish they'd stop getting cute with all the ties. Lots of pinfalls in 30 minutes doesn't make sense either, because their one-fall matches usually go about that long. I'd like to see a 1-0 ironman match....
The Austin/McMahons segment was at its best, hilarious and at its worst, creepy. And who REALLY expected Linda to make the stunner look good?....Great Ladder match, too. Some innovative spots put in there- and we thought we'd seen them all....I like Dibiase/Duggan/Snuka backstage with Mae. I wish they'd have done more of those little skits with the legends....
The return of Trips tag match was pretty decent, but boy did Masters have to hold that sledgehammer too long. The beatdown was a bit expected, if only to get Trips back in the heel category....I liked the legends segment, if only for Dusty's elbows. Snuka must've gotten the energy for his splash from the sex with Mae Young (see backstage diva segment). And I'm sure good ol' JR was behind Dr. Death's return....
The bra and panties match was not good....The no Smackdown tag match was bizarre. They could've saved some time by not having all the seperate entrances. I don't like when they do this inter-brand stuff either, because it takes away seeing someone "for the first time" on RAW...I wonder if they cut Hogan's interview short due to time constraints?....Not really a surprise to see the Smackdown/Raw teams tangle at the end. Overall, good show with a big-event atmosphere.
(edited by geemoney on 3.10.05 2340) College, Sports and More!: Experience It
Originally posted by TheMASKEDComputerGeekUnbelievable that they could take three hours of RAW and turn it into a cocktease at its best, and an interminable bore at its worst.
Agreed. The best I can hope for is that for some reason they really were running so much over. Because if they planned for the Smackdown! bait and switch and the title non-match, that's pretty crappy.
(edited by Mr. Boffo on 3.10.05 2237) In the real world, WWE believes that no matter what our race, religious creed or ethnic background in America, we all share the common bond of being Americans. American-Arabs are a part of the fabric of America, and they should be embraced by all of us.
Please don't tell me that going back to USA means another round of As The McMahon's Turn. Funny how guys almost get killed in the ladder match after it and get right back up, but a semi-retired Steve Austin gives a stunner and someone is out for 15 minutes. Painful segment to watch. They couldn't save Trip turning on Flair? And, I have to agree, no one could attempt to save Flair? I actually thought Kevin Von Erich was going to jump the wall. DiBiase almost made a Mae Young segment watchable. They must really think the SD PPV is going to tank with this hard a sell. Steve Williams and Steve Austin in an arena at the same time? They must have really had to put the hose to Jim Ross during breaks. First thought upon seeing Kevin Von Erich: Vince has the film library. And, since Double Hair was 20 years ago next weekend, put it on a DVD as an extra and I'll buy the DVD. And, it was nice to see Kevin use the claw in Dallas, and the subtlety of having him barefoot was nice.
Originally posted by ekedolphinVince is talking to some makeup girl, and Eric Bischoff greets him. “Congratulations, big night for all of us tonight.” Bischoff has a great idea for his match with Cena—he wants to make it a no-disqualification match. No way *that* is happening. “Vince—” “What’d you call me?” “Vince. The only reason you hired me as the general manager of RAW is so that you could embarrass me on a weekly basis.” Maybe Vince wants to come up with a Self-Destruction of Eric Bischoff DVD?
Vince's "Sayyyy, that's not a bad idea!" reaction made this segment.
But Eric doesn't need to start backtalking to McMahon unless the writers are prepared to let him back it up with a coup of some kind. Don't bring up their animosity and then go nowhere with it. In fact, there's very little reason for them to be on the show togther, since they essentially play the same role.
They couldn't even start the show with a match? Then in the first actual match they couldn't even give us finish. They ending with Angle walking away from overtime is the total opposite of what they have been building him up as. In the past month they built up Angle as being able to take the world, now he just walks away. Don't get me wrong the match was good, but it did not serve its purpose as keeping Angle as a strong challenger for Cena. There was way too much of the McMahon's. They claimed that Vince single-handedly built his empire, yet he couldn't even get the date right of his favorite moment. He said it was February 8, 1998, when in fact that moment happened on February 13, 1999! The ladder match was okay but it had too much interference. If they wanted to put Edge over, why couldn't he just win? They entire angle with Edge and Matt was wasted in my opinion. They could have had a major feud, but now Matt will probably be on Smackdown stuck in the mid-card like he has been his whole career. I could see Triple H turning on Flair coming, but why have him destroy all three people he was in the ring with? He dominated the whole time he was in the ring. Granted Masters is not good, but Carlito does seem to have a future ahead of him. He didn't even get any moves in against Triple H. That's probably because Triple H claims "He doesn't know how to work." There was no reason to have all the legends destroy Conway. They seem to have something with Conway, as he can actually wrestle. But they decide to bury him in favor of a ton of people that have no business near a ring anymore. And some people wonder why people can't be turned into stars. To become a star someone has to make you. This segment made nothing. The womens match was what it was. I think it should have made someone a contender for Trish's title though. The Smackdown 6 man tag that didn't happen was ridiculous. Why promote a match if it is not going to happen. Didn't anyone learn from the mistakes of WCW? At least Hogan talking didn't last long. The main event sucked as expected, and had a totally predictable result. Then having Smackdown come down after the match just made them look like thugs. All in all the show was not good at all in my opinion. They need to do a lot better to get people to enjoy what is happening.
The Return of Shane O'Mac's goofy Ali Shuffle entrance was the highlight of the night.
Did the ending of Matt/Edge (with the Lita as human crucifix as an admittedly cool visual) really bum anybody else out? Just me?
This show was really jacked up pacing-wise. The main culprits were Stone Cold and HHH's 4-hour 45-minute beatdown of Ric Flair. Could the Smackdown crew, most notably Christian, look any more pissed at being essentially bumped? And at least Hogan got jobbed as well time-wise. How's that taste, brother?
The Raw highlights on right now are making me happy for earlier times. Where have you gone, Mrs. Yamaguchi-San? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
(edited by Alpha Dog on 3.10.05 2047) The People's W of the Day - 6/3/05
Honestly. What kind of USA Network homecoming is it if they don't have any commercials for Thompson's Water Seal?
The miscue of the music coming out of the opening pyro really said it all about tonight. A couple of good matches in between sloppy, boring, unoriginal segments. An hour and a half in I looked at the clock and thought "Isn't this over yet?" And who directed the Mae Young bra segment? USA Network execs must have been ready to hang themselves.
The only part of the Austin/McMahon retread segment I found entertaining was Lillian's introduction for Vince. That was even the best ACTED part of the whole segment. What a waste of Shane. The man comes out for the first time in forever for THIS?!?
Angle and Michaels was awesome, save for the draw ending.
Ladder match was good. Lita's holding Matt back while Edge climbed the ladder was awesome. That was the one thing I can remember thinking "There's something I haven't seen before" the whole show.
I like the set modifications. But where's the USA logo?
I could have watched Austin banter with the McMahons all damn night. No, really. Didn't get the least bit old, at all. I'm sad it only lasted half an hour or so. And what a terrific payoff to the sketch! (I think it was Linda's sell of the Stunner that made it so great!)
The ladder match was cool, but, MAN ALIVE, VIRTUALLY THAT ENTIRE SHOW WAS SOME SLOW AND BORING AS HELL SHIT.
It did seem they were setting up Bisch getting fired as GM. I doubt they're planning to have Smackdown run past whenever the contract ends, either.
Why start hyping Austin-Hogan now? Wrestlemania's six months away.
In general, I think they blew a big opportunity here to make people give a shit again. Bad show.
Come on, man - good job on the recap and transcribing, but you missed the absolute best part.
Originally posted by ekedolphin“Steve, what do you think you’re doing? Look at this. Look at this havoc. This carnage in the ring is my family. I’ve spent the last two years bringing this family back together, and tonight Homecoming on USA Network, and with you it’s no different. I mean my husband, why my husband?” “Your husband’s a piece of trash.” “Yeah. But my son Shane?” “Your son’s a chip off the old block, he’s a piece fo trash too...”
When Vince first said February, my first thought was that he was going to refer to the Feb '00 RAW in the same arena.
Good show which went a long way to try to build a new audience foundation. Looking forward to the ratings tomorrow.
This dog gets the thumbs down from me for three inexcusable booking decisions.
#1: I just don't get putting Edge over in that ladder match, honest to god. Putting Matt over ends the feud in a proper fashion, makes Matt a more credible superstar, puts Edge in a better position to succeed as a top draw (if you think he's ever going to get a legitimate shot as a heel champion on RAW with the presence of Trips, then you are insane), and would have added intrigue and unpredictability to WWE's usual blinder-induced booking (since Edge going over was what people had been saying for weeks now). Mark my words: Edge & Matt are both going to end up worse off for this result. (Edge will never truly have his shot on RAW, and Matt on Smackdown leaves the fans no reason to care.)
#2: I don't object to Trips turning on Flair. That's been a given for a while now. What I object to is doing the turn this soon. The way they had it set up, a can't miss storyline existed that would have led to a huge money match between Trips & Flair at Wrestlemania. It would have been so simple:
You keep Flair as IC champ until January, restoring luster to the title, and all the while with the support of his best friend Trips. Meanwhile, Trips seethes privately because it angers him that his bestest buddy in the world is settling for less than being the best. At New Year's Revolution, after a couple of weeks of teased tension (but with a seeming resolution), you have Flair defend against, say, Chris Masters. Out of the blue, Trips turns on Flair, helping Masters win the title and taking him on as a protege. (This has the added benefit of getting Masters over where the stupid Masterlock Challenge segments failed miserably.) Flair returns the favor at the Royal Rumble by eliminating Trips for the Rumble, and you're all set.
But of course, Vince has chosen to piss away all that in favor of throwing away a Flair v. Trips match at what will most likely be the least ordered PPV of the year. And probably because Trips demanded a feud with Cena. It's so frustrating to have logic have its face spat in just to satisfy the Almighty Lord of RAW. Not even back one day, and already Trips is pissing me off.
#3: Canceling the Smackdown match in that fashion was the final straw. You do not build up/tease a high-profile match of that magnitude and then do not deliver. I don't care if you give Smackdown the benefit of starting a brawl after the main event (which, based on the feeds, didn't go too well) or promise the rubes a RAW v. SD! confrontation at Survivor Series. Vince just buried his other brand for no good reason whatsoever. And why? So Steve Austin could stun all four McMahons? (Vince was enough - this isn't 1998.) So the legends could have a few minutes to waste time beating up on Rob Conway? So the Ortons could rekindle an old feud? So Hogan could blather on and continue to be his hypocritical self? Fuck that shit. They had plenty of time between commercials to showcase all that.
This was supposed to be a show about looking ahead to the future and highlighting the new generation. Instead, that got tossed to the side for Vince's hard-on for the past. That's not what sells you tickets, Vince.
In summary: This show was a complete waste of my time. When they booked the draw in the Iron Man match, you could tell that at least from a booking standpoint, we were in for a long night...
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...
OVW TV Report for 6/25/05... Taped, as always, from the Davis Arena in Louisville, KY on the Wednesday before this aired. You go looked up the date if you're a completist archiving wrestling history, I'm too lazy this week.