TKG: Steiner and RVD seem to work well together. This wasn’t as good as their last match, as last time they worked really tightly with each other. This time they were super-loose and Steiner had to expose the business by scooting himself into position for the split leg. Still Steiner vs. RVD is better than either of them vs. anyone else.
PAS: Dudley’s v. Babaganuces wasn’t much of a match but had a fun finish. I really liked Lawler congratulating the ref for DQing a guy for a closed fist. Man is there more useless guy employed in the WWE then D-Von Dudley? At least Bubba is big. Can you imagine Big Dick Dudley, Brian Pillman, Mike Lozansky, Pitbull 2, Louie Spicolli, Ric Rude, Bobby Duncum Jr., Rockin Rebel, Erin O’Grady, Eddie Gilbert, Road Warrior Hawk, Rocco Rock and all the other deceased ECW castoffs must feel sitting in Hell, Purgatory or Heaven and having to watch D-Von alive?
TKG: Randy Orton vs. Booker T was way better than I expected. Really great punch exchange. Not just a good punch exchange section by WWE standards but an actual good punch exchange. These two should work an extended series. Alot better than RVD vs. Orton series will be.
PAS: Randy Orton v. Booker T was surprisingly watchable. Neither guy is particularly good, but the crowd seemed hot and nothing was blown. Booker T has best chops in a show full of chops, and Orton has a better European uppercut then a former Blue Blood.
PAS: I liked the kneebrace over top of the fishnets thing Victoria had. It really had a Rosanne Arquette in Crash kind of feel to it. I paused my TiVo so I could look for a scar to penetrate.
TKG: Wow. Ok every other post comeback HHH vs. HBK match has sucked. That elimination chamber match was YUCK-EEE. The Summerslam thing was bad. The three falls attempt to do Cactus vs. Gilbert was so bad it was laughable and even Lawler turned on it. This was easily the best of their matchups by alot. It started all with Michaels offense including a rana off a skin the cat and a crossbodyish asai thing. How hard is the WWE ring? HBK takes no in ring bumps but will take bumps to the floor. What the fuck? I hate the wrong guys shoulders down Luger/Windham finish but dug it here. Michaels should never throw chops and Helmsley should never do elbow drops. Those were easily the worst elbow drops I’ve seen in a long time. For the most part the match was well layed out although you could see what was coming next a mile away. The exposed turnbuckle leading to blading really wasn’t needed and added nothing to the match. Plus Helmsley blades more obviously than even Balls Mahoney. But whatever flaws it had, it was the best matchup these two have had, and for a match between two guys who should be retired this was significantly better than Steve Williams vs. Tiger Singh.
PAS: Main event was shockingly good, easily the best of their singles matches. They kept Michaels on offense most of the match, which is good as he doesn’t have to sell. After watching Whitmer and Stryker kill a crowd for 30 this weekend, you can see how nice match layout really makes a difference. The actual work in this match was worse then in Whitmer v. Stryker (for example Michaels chops really stink and he was all chops) but they knew how to pace a match to keep the crowd into it. It had lots of restholds, but they knew when to step up the rate of the work to keep the crowd buzzing. I also liked the variation of the Dusty finish, as I really thought they were going to be idiots and put the belt back on the fey, skinny armed, pot-bellied cripple.
What Didn’t Work
TKG: I really enjoyed last weeks WWE programming as it felt like the WWE creative had finally just said fuck it. Last Monday they had Coachman play Courtney Cox writing a psyche paper on Lawler and his work buddies as the American family reminiscing over all the adventures they had had together. Then Thursday Mr McMahon took everyone on vacation to Iraq, where Bradshaw found the dangerous TABU that led to Vincent Price capturing Chavo and Shannon Moore. This week it was a fine show and all, but I was really hoping it was gonna be the musical episode. Kept on waiting for the talent show where Shirley told jokes, Rodge sang and Rerun got the tables.
PAS: Steiner v. RVD had a shockingly good match a month or so ago, but lightning didn’t strike twice. Really loose work for two crowbars, and Steiner had to scooch his way forward so RVD could hit his senton, which was incredibly indy.
PAS: Man does the acting in the love story suck. I have seen better “My heart is broken” speeches during the comforting preface to girl on girl action in pornos. “I can’t believe he was such an asshole, men are such jerks too bad we need them huh?” Cue cunnilingus.
Triple-H and Shawn Michaels have proved to the fans and their peers that they are two of the hardest in ring competitors. I figured they would have jelled in a match long before last night's Raw match. The match itself was okay but, what was truly great was the subperb story-telling of the match. A good match is supposed to tell a story. A start, a middle and a finish. Even due to the fact that last night's finish was an extremly screwball finish I believe the last 10 minutes of the match was storytelling genius. Even I thought HBK would get the strap (should have known better, however). The San Antonio crowd was extremly into the match and reacted to every aspect of the story H and Michaels were telling. The crowd reacted greatly to Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff's involvements in the story. I can only hope that H will drop the strap to HBK at Royal Rumble and let HBK run with it into WrestlMania 20. That would be a great tribute to a man who sacraficed a lot for the Business. Could a Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair World championship match gain the credability to justify itself as the Wrestlemania/Raw brand main event. It would also be a legit way for Flair to have one final run with the strap. If not for storyline sake could we pay tribute to these two great performers who have giving so much of themeselves to make other people happy? Triple-H is returning to Vancouver to complete his filming of Blade 3 in late January. Could he drop the strap to HBK, even if HHH gets it back by Wrestlemania in time to program with Jericho or even The Rock ??? Will the WWE ever give The Rock the strap back as long as he has Hollywood obligations??? P.S.--Last night on Raw Jim Ross mentioned HHH as being an "8 time World champion." That statement is incorrect as H has been WWE champion 5 and World champion 3. Two different titles. -peace
(edited by headlock on 30.12.03 1442) "If you put the letter 'S' in front of Hitman, you get my basic oppinion of Bret Hart!"-Steve Austin to Brian Pillman September 96 in regards to Bret Hart...and, no I'm not calling you stupid!
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I'm seeing Cena dropping the US Title to Orlando on the undercard after JBL-ference, setting up his title chase through to Mania. Batista should be the guy winning the Rumble, in uber-dominant fashion.