I wouldn’t expect my RAW recapping to be more than a one-time deal... I just really happened to like the show, and felt compelled. I don’t care that it’s 6 days after the fact!
Attitude - Entertainment - Old Gray Mare She Ain’t What She Used To Be
We quickly recap last week! Eric Bischoff returns after a rotating world of lame General Managers, and decides the vacant World Title will remain vacant. We’ll fill our void at the next pay-per-view in an Elimination Chamber, because we need a big buyrate to kick off 2005.
From there we head to the live arena. We’re in Biloxi, Mississippi, but forget the pyro because ERIC BISCHOFF’s already sauntering out onto the stage. I would be remiss in failing to mention that JIM ROSS and JERRY LAWLER provide sound effects this evening from the announce booth. Bischoff quickly reminds us of the Elimination Chamber rules, and figures that much like the #30 slot in the Royal Rumble, the last person in is most likely to win...right? So, tonight, we’re having us a Beat The Clock Night! All 6 of our main eventers will have one-on-one matches with unknown opponents, and the guy who wins the quickest will draw the final entry slot. Oh, and CHRISTY HEMME will keep the time. Let’s hope she can count. And one final stipulation: If any of our current chamber guys lose, they’ll be replaced by the guy who beats ‘em. I dig it! With that, we kick off the night...
CHRIS JERICHO vs. CREEPY CAPTAIN CHARISMA (with Tyson Tomko) (in a beat the clock match)
Jericho tries a quick rollup for 2, and follows with a backslide for 2. A half-nelson cradle gets 2. A spinebuster allows Jericho a chance for the Walls, but Christian makes the ropes. Christian tries a sunset flip - but Jericho sits down for 2. They roll back and forth, but eventually Jericho winds up on top, going for the Walls again. Christian cradles him for 2. Hot start, that was all in the first minute and a bit. Jericho slams Christian’s head to the buckle and backdrops him for 2. Christian snapmares Jericho, but it barely gets a 1 count. An inverted backbreaker gets another 2. This is fantastic stuff - and the stipulations seemed to have fired everyone right up. Christian takes Jericho down with a hairpull, and gets 2. Christian works a headlock to slow things down, not only wrestling smart, but being really annoying because he’s fucking with the speed concept. They fight over to the apron, and Jericho backdrops Christian - causing Christian to take a MANSIZED bump to end all bumps FACE FIRST to the floor! Tomko goes over to check on his client, missing Jericho’s oncoming springboard plancha that nails ‘em both! And with that, we take a commercial.
Upon return, Christian’s in control, but it doesn’t last as Jericho clotheslines him. A swinging neckbreaker gets another 2 for Jericho! Jericho heads to the middle rope, tries a crossbody block - but Christian rolls through. Jericho rolls through the roll through and gets a 2 count. Bulldog!!! The Lionsault misses, Tomko gives Jericho a cheap shot, and Christian rolls up Jericho...for 2! Jericho comes back with a springboard dropkick on Tomko, but Christian sets up the Unprettier. Jericho quickly escapes, slaps on the Walls, and finally ends it at 10:47! ***1/4 Great TV match. Something tells me that there’s no way in hell that Jericho wins with that time, but we’ll wait and see.
In the back, TRIPLE H sports a new sports coat so horrid that it must be a gift from his wife he’s embarrassed to return. He tells THE MAN and BATISTA how nervous he is about the whole Beat The Clock concept, but Batista’s not feeling it. Triple H decides to show off his manly side, and bets Batista $100 that he wins faster than Dave does. Flair tells them to quiet down, because the plan is that Hunter wins the quickest in order to assert himself an opportunity to regain his belt - and Evolution reigns supreme.
Meanwhile, MARIA has decided to find her favorite topic of discussion, RANDY ORTON, and asks Randy to discuss his favorite topic...Randy Orton! So we get some Randy hype, and if that’s not enough, we’re about to get even more Randy!
RANDY ORTON vs. MAVEN (in a beat the clock match)
What the fuck is this??? Jericho has to struggle with Christian while Orton gets the Sunday Night Heat job squad? Maven shows some serious testicular fortitude by sporting pink tights, with the Golden Arches on the front. The clock ticks down from 10:47. Maven takes down Orton with a shoulderblock, but Orton comes back with a dropkick. Orton heads up, but Maven cuts him off, and they get into a slugfest. Maven pokes Orton in the eye, and dropkicks Orton to the floor. Orton is tossed shoulder first into the ring steps, and Maven rolls him back in for 2. A standing dropkick gets 2. I think Maven’s used about all of his striking moves now, so it’s time to show off all the submissions he’s learned in the last 3 and a half years - starting with a rear naked choke. Orton escapes, but walks into a shoulder tackle for 2. Maven works a headlock on the mat, but Orton starts to recover - so Maven dumps him again. Outside, Orton gets a Russian legsweep, and heads back in. He drags Maven back in by his head, and DDTs him viciously. Maven again goes out, so Orton freaks. Baseball slide dropkick, Maven rolled in, top rope crossbody...but Maven rolls through with a handful of tights and gets 2. Orton recovers first, goes for an RKO. It’s blocked, but a second attempt isn’t, and Orton takes it at 6:14. 3/4* Is it too much to ask for Maven to be released?
LITA vs. MOLLY HOLLY (for the WWE women’s title)
The ladies feel each other out, but it doesn’t last before Molly starts stomping a mudhole. Hairtoss, kicks in the corner, snapmare, fishhooks. In that order. JR starts summing up Lita’s year - but I’ll spare you because I’m cringing already. Lita fights back with a series of rights. She starts in with the clotheslines, and a DDT finishes at 1:53. 1/4* GENE SNITSKY hits the ring post-match, and chases Lita around the arena.
They head all the way to the back, and pretty much recreates any of the series of Kane/Lita chases from last summer. She locks herself in a room, and Gene wants to play...but ERIC BISCHOFF appears. Bischoff: “Are you having fun?” Gene (with big grin): “I’m having a blast!!!” Bischoff then books Snitsky against Kane at New Year’s Revolution - and I suspect our days with Gene are coming to an end.
ROSEY vs. THE SIMON SYSTEM
I don’t remember the last time I hated a new character as much as I hate Dean. Dean calls the fans a bunch of pigs, and Rosey attacks him before the bell. He scoop slams him, but Dean comes back with an attempted sunset flip. That naturally fails, and Rosey sits on Dean’s face. However, a blind charge causes Rosey to hit the buckle, and gives Dean a chance to clip him at the knees. Dean then wraps the legs of Rosey around the ringpost, re-enters the ring, and works an anklelock. Rosey shoves him off, sending Dean shoulder first into the ringpost. Rosey hits a few clotheslines, and powerslams the king of the infomercial. VADER BOMB...misses! Awww nuts! Dean puts on a weight belt and tries to slam Rosey. That fails, and Rosey falls on top. Rosey grabs the weight belt and goes to whip Dean, but the ref pulls it away and Dean rolls him up for the win at 3:04. 1/2*
EDGE vs. EUGENE (in a beat the clock match)
Edge kills Eugene before the bell, and gets 2 immediately. A series of pin attempts land Edge no more than 2. Eugene comes back with a hiptoss and drop toe hold. Edge retaliates by choking him out in the ropes. Edge goes for the spear...but Eugene sidesteps, and Edge flies to the floor! Edge flips out, and tears apart the security wall before turning back towards the ring. Eugene is tripped up by a pissed off Edge, and it gets 2. Edge works a chinlock, and takes Eugene down with a wristlock slam for 2. A standing dropkick gets 2. Edge starts getting antsy about the clock, with only about 3 minutes left. Eugene gets out of an attempted chinlock with an electric chair drop, and Eugene almost scores the win, getting a close 2! They do a criss-cross, but Eugene steps out to go and shake hands with the fans. Edge really starts to flip out since Eugene eats up about a minute of clock time here. Edge starts to chase Eugene, but Eugene disappears suddenly - and pops up from underneath the ring. Edge dropkicks him in the back of the head, rolls him in, and gets 2. 20 seconds left. Eugene tries to go for a Stunner - but Edge shoves him off and spears him!!!!! Eugene rolls out, and time expires, and now Edge is REALLY pissed. He throws Eugene into the ringsteps and pounds away on the floor. Back in they go, where Edge gets suckered into a possum playing Eugene - and the Stunner hits! It gets a close 2! Eugene hulks up, but misses a Stinger Splash. Edge wraps the knee of Eugene around the ringpost, heads back in, Sharpshooter, and that’s all she wrote at 8:49. **1/4
ERIC BISCHOFF talks on his cell to someone who’s on their way to RAW tonight. After the call, THE COACH bursts in with a present for Uncle Eric, and it’s a pair of sunglasses! He and The Coach are two peas in a pod! Bischoff feigns annoyance while Coach wants to know who the special referee in the Elimination Chamber match is going to be. Bischoff tells him to piss off, but does hint that nobody is going to be happy with the person.
CHRIS BENOIT vs. VISCERA (in a beat the clock match)
Viscera powers Benoit back to the corner, and then hiptosses him across the ring. Vis promises that Benoit will never beat the clock - and gives him a clothesline. Benoit tries to fight back, but misses a chop block when Viscera lifts his leg. A baseball slide dropkick does take the big man down - but Vis gets up and shoulderblocks Benoit to the mat. Benoit tries to chop the tree known as Viscera down - but Vis whips out a spinning heel kick!!! Viscera lies on Benoit’s back, and starts throwing crossface forearms. Benoit is dumped outside the ring, and Vis powers him back to the security wall. Benoit keeps chopping in the hopes of doing ANYTHING, and rolls back in. Vis takes him down with a Samoan drop, and this is just turning into a guilty pleasure massacre! It gets 2. Viscera tries it again, but Benoit slips away, so Vis just side slams him instead for 2. Viscera hits an avalanche, and goes for a clothesline, but Benoit slips aside and hits a German!!!!!!!! The Crossface is applied seconds later, and Viscera taps at 5:43!!!! ** That was fun, and I’d love to see Viscera vs. Shawn Michaels to see what Shawn might be able to drag out of the big lug.
STACY KEIBLER thanks the fans for helping make 2004 a great year - as well as having voted for her as Babe Of The Year. For reasons of entertainment, Stacy starts bending over, but it doesn’t last before MUHAMMED HASSAN and KHOSROW DAVARI interrupt. Davari starts screaming in Arabic to chase off Keibler, and then introduces Hassan to the world. Hassan starts questioning the true spirit of the holidays, since America doesn’t wish good will on all men...just those they choose to share it with. A recent poll from Cornell University showed that half of all Americans believe that Arab-Americans should have their rights limited. These are of course the same rights protected under the constitution. The fans aren’t listening to a word of this. Hassan accuses every fan of being bigots, even if they can’t admit it to themselves. The fans respond by chanting USA, which may as well back up everything he’s saying. Davari starts telling off the announcers about their propaganda, and Lawler responds in true Southern fashion with wanting to fight. So Hassan starts shoving Jerry around. Ross tries to save, but you can imagine how well THAT goes. They quickly go to commercial.
Upon return, Ross is sporting a gash on his cheek from the attack. If they play their cards right, Hassan is going to be big. I’ll also bet he gets a heroes welcome in Canada.
BATISTA vs. RHYNO (in a beat the clock match)
I fear for Rhyno’s life here. Batista powers Rhyno back to the corner. Rhyno tries a go behind, but it fails. A shoulderblock knocks the manbeast to his ass - and Batista starts paintbrushing him, telling him to “GET UP!” Rhyno slaps Batista, getting himself a “MOTHERFUCKER” from Dave. Batista attacks...but Rhyno gets in a GORE!!!! Batista STILL kicks out at 2!!!! Rhyno goes for a second one, but Batista’s royally pissed right now, and hits a spinebuster. “GET YOUR ASS UP!” Demon bomb! Batista: “PLENTY OF TIME! ONE MORE!!!” The fans are solidly behind Batista now, and who can blame ‘em? Another demon bomb finishes at 3:02. *1/2 Worlds of fun!
Speaking of WWE propaganda, here’s a look at Christmas in Iraq.
ERIC BISCHOFF works his magic on CANDACE. I guess she’s on a break from her paid job of Discussing Randy Orton. THE COACH bursts in, and announces the special referee for the world title match is here. Bischoff questions how he knows, but Coach says as soon as he saw the guy he knew everyone would be pissed off. They cackle over their pot stirring - but now MUHAMMED HASSAN is in the room. Hassan demands a match with Lawler and JR, but Bischoff declines because he’d never book Ross in a match. Errr, right. However, Bischoff’s all up for a debate, and books one for next week.
TRIPLE H flips out on BATISTA for beating the clock. Batista: “Rhyno pissed me off!!!” Hunter keeps going. Batista: “Now YOU’RE starting to piss me off!” RIC FLAIR reminds everyone they’re the most powerful force that ever happened - and forces everyone to make the peace.
CHRIS BENOIT, RANDY ORTON, and CHRIS JERICHO all have ringside seats for our main event. Actually, EDGE does too - but he’s too busy glaring at the other three to actually pay attention to anything in the ring. His condescending look of “why am I here?” cracks me up.
TRIPLE H (with Ric Flair and Batista) vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN (in a non-title beat the clock match)
Triple H stares down his opponents at ringside, INCLUDING Batista. Not smart Hunter. When Shelton’s music hits, everyone in the house realizes he’s NOT beating the clock. He tries anyway, clotheslining Shelton’s head off - and stomping away in the corner. Benjamin gets dumped, and Hunter runs him shoulder first into the ringsteps. Back in, a cover gets 2. The spinebuster gets 2. A minute and a half remain, so Triple H goes to the sleeper. Benjamin runs towards the corner, and ducks at the last second so that Hunter’s noggin hits the turnbuckle. It matters not, because Triple H sets for the Pedigree...but Shelton backdrops out of it! Back to the sleeper for Triple H, and time is ticking. Shelton starts to fade. He reaches and reaches for the ropes, but can’t quite make it. The referee checks the arm 3 times, and it drops - but Shelton’s leg is draped over the ropes JUST as time expires, and Hunter can’t win! Triple H thinks he’s got it, and LOSES it when he’s told otherwise! While arguing, Shelton hits the Stinger Splash for 2! Shelton’s fired up now, and peppers Triple H with shots. The superkick is blocked, but a spinning heel kick isn’t, and Shelton gets 2! Triple H goes for a Pedigree again, but Shelton slips away and hits a backbreaker for 2! Scoop slam, and Shelton heads up. Flair rushes over - but the referee holds him of. EXPLODER SUPLEX...and Flair’s on the god damn referee! FUCK! Benjamin knocks Flair out, but turns right around into the Pedigree, and Hunter wins at 5:44. **1/4
ERIC BISCHOFF hits the stage and introduces the special referee... SHAWN MICHAELS. As expected, everyone in the ring makes faces. I just thank the lord he’s retired the tight bicycle shorts! And the show fades out.
See, now that’s how you book a show! Make the matches mean something en route to bigger matches that YOU have to pay for. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though, it IS that time of the year when the WWE repents for 9 months of crap with 3 months of greatness.