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The W - Pro Wrestling - The Grapes of RAW...
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Boston Idol

Since: 17.2.03
From: San Jose, CA

Since last post: 4145 days
Last activity: 3938 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
Tonight's RAW gives the WWE another
chance to hit the "home run" they need
going into Wrestlemania. Tonight's
wine gives me another chance to make
pointless drunken digressions. Letís
pop the cork and get this over with.

Tonight's wine is a "Toasted Head"
2001 Merlot from R.H. Phillips. It
isn't as smooth as the SmackDown!
selection from Benziger. I believe
in meaningful brand differentiation.

Jim Ross opens the show by telling us
that the arena is sold out. I suddenly
realize how much I miss Gorilla Monsoon
claiming "SRO signs went out early."
Here's to you, uninducted Hall of Famer.


There is a casket in the center of the
ring. Lawler and Ross sell confusion.
Kane is shown watching the casket on
a monitor backstage. Jim Lost lies and
says Kane is seeing what we are seeing,
but clearly Kane is watching a different
feed. I guess the WWE has used this
goofy perspective so many times that
it makes sense in their own universe.

Kane comes out, roughs up the casket,
and discovers an urn inside. He cuts
an MCI "pin drop" promo where he asks
rhetorical questions to the urn. The
crowd boos politely, but can't really
get behind the urn in peril sequence.

Kane's climax is yelling "I am not
afraid of you" which causes the lights
to go out and the ring to "levitate"
several inches. I guess Undertaker
has reinvented himself as a dead man
with supernatural powers to keep his
gimmick fresh. I can't help but wonder
how much it cost the WWE to arrange
this ticket selling stunt.


Rob Van Dam and Booker T are stuck
in an eight man tag match teaming with
the Dudleys against some heel teams.
Remember when Booker T got the rub
from Triple H? Me neither. Remember
when RVD got the rub from Undertaker?
Me neither. On an unrelated note, Brock
Lesnar is rumored to be unhappy about
being programmed against Undertaker
after Wrestlemania. Go figure.

Rock does a promo backstage with
Hurricane and S.H.I.T. Remember
when Hurricane got the rub from the
Rock? The brand split, the charity of
Triple H and the Undertaker, and WWE
Creative's ingenious use of the Rock's
limited appearances have really helped
to find and elevate new main eventers.


Devolution hits the ring for a 3 on 2
match against Hurricane and S.H.I.T.
Why did the babyfaces accept this
match? Oh yeah, that all important
rub. The crowd is totally dead for
Hurricane's entrance. So much for
that rub theory. Flair hits a backdrop
suplex. Batista hits a few of Mike
Awesome's old power spots. After
a quick win the heels administer a
coup de grace. The crowd chants
halfheartedly for Rocky until they
realize he isn't coming out, then
they give up on the whole segment.
Seems like a disconnect here.

RAW returns with yet another
overwrought video recapping the
three-way feud between Benoit,
Michaels, and Triple H. Turgid
music and staccato clips try to
make it seem like an epic battle,
but one can't help but notice that
most fans in the background of
the clips are sitting on their hands.

Benoit squashes Matt Hardy like
a bug. Thankfully the brand split
has given young talents like Hardy
more time on RAW, even if it is
less than two minutes. Remember
when Undertaker gave the Hardys
the rub. Believe me, I'm getting
just as sick of making that joke
as you are of reading it.


Some of you out there are probably
wondering about the wine. I wish
I could romanticize it the way Jim
Lost romanticizes heatless angles
on RAW. It is growing on me, but
I don't think I would buy it again.

Chris Benoit comes out to cut a promo.
Stalker cam makes Benoit look as old
as Jerry Lawler. Shawn Michaels comes
out and stretches a few lines of dialog
into a few minutes of dead air. Triple H
comes out to save the segment, calling
the match "a bunch of crap." Trip gets
some heat early, but goes way too long
as usual and loses the crowd until the end.

It's scary remembering how rabid WWE
fans were a few years ago compared to
now, but I won't blame the fans for not
building this up. It's just laying there.

Lita versus Molly?! I really wish I had
bought another Bottle of Toasted Head.
Molly uses the ropes for the pin. Great!
Molly tries to pull out Lita's hair. Great!
This is like watching a live action version
of Bill Apter's "Apartment Wrestling."
Some other "diva" runs in. I'll bet if
Apter had thought to shoot three-ways
that feature would still be around.


RAW returns with yet another
overwrought video recapping the
three-way feud between Lesnar,
Bill Graybeard, and Eddy, er,
Steve Austin. Funny, but the
crowd in the clips seemed more
excited about Eddy than the others.

RAW returns live with a shot of fans
rising like Pavlov's dogs when they
hear the sound of breaking glass.
A minute later the camera pans the
crowd standing around waiting for
the entrance to end. Austin cuts a
hoarse, stuttering promo. The crowd
entertains itself by chanting "What?"
Stone Drunk climaxes by reminding
the crowd that he can kick the ass
of every man in both locker rooms.
Somewhere Larry Zbyszko is smiling.

Chris Jericho makes his ring entrance.
Remember when he got the rub by
giving Kevin Nash a little trim?
Now he's feuding with Christian.
Steven Richards comes to the ring.
A couple of minutes later Jericho is
about to apply the Lion Tamer when
he gets distracted by Christian and
rolled up by Richards for the win.
Jericho is starting to look like the
WWE's answer to Tommy Rich.

Johnny something walks in on Stacy
and Jackie backstage. He chats them
up as if it's just the three of them. The
divas leave for no apparent Reason,
then Bischoff materializes to show
his approval. I guess I picked the
wrong week to see how much Eric
Bischoff adds to this show.


Rock comes out and introduces Mick
Foley. The crowd chants "Fo-ley."
Rock airs the infamous clip of Mick
jumping off a roof, then introduces
the old woman who owned the house.
Lawler insults her by saying "she's
my age." Just kidding. The segment
starts to drag, but gets "saved" by
jokes about Mick and his friends
eating the old lady's "crusty" pie.

Rock airs a clip of Jimmy Snuka diving
off the top of a cage onto Don Muraco,
then brings Snuka to the ring. Foley
tells Snuka "If not for you, I would not
be standing in this ring today." I expect
a column touting Jimmy Snuka's HOF
influence to show up at soon.
Superfly does pie jokes with the old
lady. Rock stooges for the punchlines,
then dismisses them both to a motel.
It's great to see Jimmy back on RAW.

Rock brings out a critic who wrote a
negative review of Mick's first book.
Luckily he didn't invite all the critics
who wrote negative reviews of Mick's
latest book. He'd need a bigger arena,
like the ones the WWE used to run in.
The critic rips Rock's new movie, a
remake of "Walking Tall." Mick puts
the critic out with Mister Socko. Iíll
never forget where I was this night.

Batista runs in and wipes out Rock
with the clothesline of death while
Mick makes the unconscious critic
disappear into thin air. Mick, I hear
The Mirage is looking for magicians.
Devolution punks out Rock and Mick,
but the faces were already worn down
from working all of those tired gags,
so they won't lose any of their heat.

I'm starting to understand how tough
it is to write reviews on a regular basis.
What is still a mystery to me is how
bad shows like this, shows that clearly
aren't appealing to the ever shrinking
live audiences, get positive reviews.
Maybe I need to drink something harder?


Promote this thread!

Since: 17.1.02
From: New F'n Jersey

Since last post: 41 days
Last activity: 40 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.75
Rock brings out a critic who wrote a
negative review of Mick's first book.
Luckily he didn't invite all the critics
who wrote negative reviews of Mick's
latest book. He'd need a bigger arena,
like the ones the WWE used to run in.

Oh, that is such a low blow, and unfortunately true. I would only say in WWE's defense is that they have to find ways to bring up about 300 feuds that are heading into WM XX, so there isn't much time to give to wrestling or strong promos.

I will also note that this was the first dead crowd in like a month of Raw shows. I suggest that you try to cheer for Austin at a live event for the entire time it takes for him to make it to the ring after the glass breaks. Perhaps I'm missing your point on the crowd question, but a lack of cheering the entire entrance is less an indicator of Steve's drawing power as it is that they were waiting for what Austin would say.

In 6 days, you will see the return of the Undertaker, the Dead Man that most of us have been clamoring for for years.

Also in 6 days, you will see most of us complain about the return of the Dead Man, the Dead Man that most of us have been clamoring for for years.

Damned (straight to Hell) if you do, damned (straight to Hell) if you don't.

Since: 10.1.03
From: Enter your city here

Since last post: 3453 days
Last activity: 1508 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.52
Well the issue of crowd reaction is usually one of geography. Where were they last night? New England? Because outside of Boston and New York, the New England crowds are usually non responsive to all but the biggest names. With Nassau, Providence and New Haven being the worst.
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Short one today, as this episode of NXT is the go-home show for Takeover: Brooklyn 2 Live Crew, a special event which hasn't really felt very special up to this point.
- Tenken347, NXT #349 8/17/16 (2016)
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