So my stellar run of recapping RAW ended at…1. Frightening in how close to Zimmermanesque numbers they came, nay?
Regardless, we’re going to try. Silly Forced Overtime at work caused me to fall behind, and I don’t think I’m going to go back and recap the RAWs I missed, because quite frankly, I doubt anyone will read ‘em.
So here we are. Starting fresh again at 1, and seeing how long we last…
Attitude – Entertainment – BISCHOFF!
10,000 bombs explode on the stage, and the fans erupt. The road to Wrestlemania continues through Portland, OR in the Rose Garden. As usual, JIM ROSS and JERRY LAWLER will make noises – and boy oh boy have they got a SLOBBERKNOCKER of events lined up…
TONIGHT: Randy Orton defends his IC Title against Booker T and Rob Van Dam, but the biggie sees Chris Benoit against Ric Flair, and I shit you not when I say I’ve been waiting 5 years for this one…. Plus, Benoit signs his Wrestlemania contract against Triple H. Let’s not waste anymore time, because there’s music playing, and…
GOLDBERG heads to the ring in the “following contest scheduled for one fall”. His opponent is…VINCE MCMAHON? Goldberg doesn’t seem pleased – having CLEARLY been waiting for Jerry Flynn. “Well I’ll be damned!!! Imagine this, Vince McMahon in the same ring as Bill Goldberg. I’m sure right about now Bill, you’re wondering why is Mr. McMahon out here? You’re wondering just who is going to be your next opponent, just who is going to walk down that ramp, just who is going to be Next? You see Bill, I’m here to inform you there is no more next tonight. You see, as of this moment, I am officially cancelling your match.” Fans: BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! I get the feeling they’re not too happy. “There’s an explanation. See, with a man like me…. *glass shatters*” SHERIFF AUSTIN hops a 4-wheeler, and wins the NBA Title for the Portland Trailblazers apparently. I think I’m just going to start tuning JR out…I might be less irritated. Vince is CLEARLY not happy with this turn of events, and makes large pantomimes to demonstrate. Austin asks what the hell Vince is doing on his show? He’s already broken 2 laws, by being in his ring uninvited, and pissing Austin off. He wants an explanation. Vince has a reason all ready though. Last week, he saw Steve Austin hand a ticket to Goldberg, which places him ringside at No Way Out, and inform Bill “don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” Austin: “What’s wrong with that?” Vince: “THERE’S NOT A DAMN THING YOU WOULDN’T DO!” HAH! The crowd breaks into their “ASSHOLE!” chant, and Vince makes faces. Austin: “That’s 10,000 people calling you an (bleep!)” Vince has decided that if they’re going to attempt to soil No Way Out, that he’s going to bring someone who will soil RAW…and invites PAUL E to the ring. Paul immediately starts whining about Austin having coaxed Benoit to jump ship – but quickly turns his attention to Goldberg. He says he can’t stop Goldberg from using his front row ticket, and encourages him to do so since Smackdown! is the superior show. However, if he tries anything, he best be warned that Brock Lesnar is a shark that will eat him alive. And he doesn’t want to deal with Brock, because people will no longer be saying “who’s next?” They’ll be saying “who’s Goldberg?” Goldberg has 4 words. “BROCK LESNAR IS NEXT!” “You can’t talk to me that way!!! I’m Paul Heyman!!!!” SPEAR!!!!!!! Austin starts a beer celebration over Paul’s carcass – and rolls him out of the ring. Vince is shocked – and turns his back to Goldberg for just a second. Upon turning, he sees the freight train coming his way – and sidesteps!!! SPEAR FOR AUSTIN!!!!!!!!!!! Vince gets his ass out of the building while Goldberg looks PISSED! I imagine Austin would as well, if he was alive.
Wrestlemania XX – in 34 days!!!!
MOMENTS AGO: Stuff happened.
Backstage, SHERIFF AUSTIN clutches his gut, while GOLDBERG stands nearby. Goldberg swears it was a mistake, but won’t apologize. He wants to know if he’s to expect a Stunner in retaliation? “If I do decide to give you a Stone Cold Stunner, it ain’t gonna be no mistake.” “I can live with that.”
Meanwhile, VINCE MCMAHON has found himself in ERIC BISCHOFF’s office. “DID YOU SEE WHAT JUST HAPPENED OUT THERE?” Bischoff is cowering around Vince? Give me a fucking break… Vince tells Bischoff to go tell Goldberg his ass is suspended. “And another thing, if Bill Goldberg shows up at No Way Out this Sunday, then it’s going to be YOUR ass.” Interesting.
TRISH STRATUS and CHRIS JERICHO vs. MOLLY HOLLY and MATT HARDY VERSION 1.0
MATT FACTS: Matt loves getting things for free, and Matt has status on 5 airlines.
Jericho and Hardy start. They trade hammerlocks, with Jericho taking Matt down with a couple of shoulderblocks. Jericho chops away, and goes for an early Walls – but Matt gets to the ropes. A tag is made to Molly. She goes to slap Jericho, who blocks it and slaps her ass. Trish gets a waistlock takedown, and backslides Molly for 2. A clothesline gets 1. Trish hits a rana, but gets thrown HARD into the ropes neckfirst, and falls. Molly hits a Northern lights suplex for 2. Trish comes back with a neckbreaker, and goes to tag Jericho. Hardy gets the tag first, which means Jericho’s in anyway. Big boot followed by a couple of enzuigiris gets 2 for Jericho. Matt gets dumped onto the apron, where Jericho thumbs his eye and hits a springboard dropkick sending him to the outside. Molly climbs to the top – and Jericho crotches her before she can do any damage. Outside he goes, but Matt was waiting and whips Jericho knee first into the steps. JR reminds us that Jericho’s running on a sore knee after last week’s attack by Kane. Trish meanwhile hits the Stratusphere on the crotched Molly, but can’t follow up because Matt’s on the apron and pulls her hairfirst down. CHRISTIAN suddenly appears out of nowhere and yanks Matt off the apron before throwing him into the security wall. In the ring, Molly misses a handspring elbow, and gets rolled up for 3! (4:28) ** Trish rushes over to check on Jericho’s knee while Christian looks conniving on the entrance…
Here’s a look at the front row, where THE PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS are enjoying some sportz entertainment.
Backstage, CHRISTIAN wants to talk to TRISH STRATUS. He says he’s been jealous lately of her relationship with Chris, but says since she and Jericho are just friends then there’s no reason the 3 of them can’t have a healthy relationship. From there, he goes to check on Jericho’s knee – but stops for just a moment to mention that she looks pretty good tonight… The crowd, hotter than hell tonight I should add, gasps in disbelief of his EVIL~! plot!
MARK JINDRAK and GARRISON CADE have suddenly remembered they have jobs with this company, and showed up for work. And what better way to make a good impression, than to sit around reading porn. STACY KEIBLER and JACKIE GAYDA happen by, and the boys have to wonder what they’re going to do in retaliation to not having been picked by Playboy. They promise to show the world what they’re missing.
Elsewhere, MICK FOLEY arrives and the crowd spontaneously combusts in cheers. I can’t get enough of how awesome this crowd is… He bumps into THE COACH. Foley promises it’s his turn to embarrass Randy Orton tonight, and perhaps cost him the Intercontinental Title in the process…
RIC FLAIR vs. CHRIS BENOIT
YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT!!!!!!! Give me 20!!!! Just to make me grin even further, they reinforce last week’s win by Flair over Chris Jericho. And if this segment couldn’t be any cooler – they re-air the end of last week’s Benoit/Henry match and mention that the Crossface put Henry out of action AT LEAST 4 months. Oh, you KNOW you’re waiting for this one… They immediately get to chopping the shit out of eachother, and Benoit hits a German and slaps on the Crossface in SECONDS. Flair smartly rolls out, where Benoit chops Flair so hard he starts to BLEED FROM THE CHEST! Good fucking lord!!! Flair fires back with chops of his own, but when Benoit won’t back down Flair scoots into the ring and begs off. Benoit has no mercy though, and backdrops Flair. Flair comes back with a punch that knocks Benoit on his ass. Flair drops a knee on the head of Benoit and heads to the top. He gets caught, of course, and Benoit chops him up top. SUPERPLEX! Benoit thumbs the throat and heads to the top himself! Benoit flies…and Flair sidesteps! And we have to take a commercial break…fuck.
We return live, and we see that during the commercial break Benoit ran shoulder first into the ringpost. However, he’s still fighting as they keep chopping at eachother. Benoit goes for a sleeper, but it’s countered with a sleeper by Flair. Benoit drops down headfirst to escape, and the momentum carries Flair straight into the ringpost. They roll around on the mat, with Flair getting a couple of 2 counts. Flair stomps and whips Benoit sternum first into the turnbuckle. A belly to back fails as Benoit lands on his feet and he hits Flair with 3 Germans! A 4th attempt fails as Flair grabs at the referee, and lowblows Benoit in the distraction. Flair calls for the Figure Four – and slaps it on!!! Benoit scoots to the ropes at warp speed, and Flair is forced to break the hold. Benoit slowly stands, and Flair quickly chop blocks at the leg. He again goes for the Figure Four, but Benoit counters that into a Crossface…and Flair taps!!!!!! (11:18) ***1/4 Benoit celebrates the win in a big way…while TRIPLE H looks on from backstage.
Upon returning from commercial break, Chris Benoit is still in the ring and joined by ERIC BISCHOFF. Bischoff says he’s simply there to oversee the contract signing for the World Title at Wrestlemania. TRIPLE H enters, with full entrance accompanying him of course. About an hour later, Bischoff hands the contract to Triple H to sign first. Hunter wastes no time, and slides the paper over to Benoit…and then realizes he hasn’t even spoken yet, and panics. A microphone is quickly in his hands, and he speaks. Triple H goes on about the pressure behind Wrestlemania, and talks about a dream… 25,000 people on their feet chanting Benoit’s name, completely justifying the years of paying his dues. He then gets Chris to snap out of it, and reminds him he’s going to choke – and go back to the locker room staring down at the empty space where the World Heavyweight Title was going to be sitting. 18 years…all the blood, sweat, and tears will have all been for naught. He leaves the pen in the hands of Benoit and reminds him “no pressure kid… no pressure.” Before he can sign however, SHAWN MICHAELS decides to crash the party now. Michaels swears he doesn’t want to rain on the parade of Benoit, and says that Benoit’s earned the shot at the World Title. “I just assumed you would take care of your business on Smackdown!” Shawn says his problems with Triple H isn’t over, and says his problems eclipse any dreams, and says he is “this” close to finishing it. “I’m gonna do it, whether anybody likes it or not, on the biggest stage of them all.” Benoit does not look happy about THIS and decides to speak. “Shawn Michaels, I have got nothing but the upmost respect for you. I can talk to for everyone sitting in this building in saying that I will be the last to deny you your right to finish your issue with Triple H…it’s just not going to happen at Wrestlemania XX. You see, I’m gonna sign this dotted line right beside Triple H’s, and at Wrestlemania XX it is going to be Chris Benoit vs. Triple H for the World Title. It’s going to be me not you…” SLAM!!!! Sweet Chin Music right to the jaw of Benoit!!!!! The fans boo him like mad while Shawn signs his name to the contract.
MOMENTS AGO: Chris Benoit faced the music.
KANE vs. THE HURRICANE
The Hurricane decides to play cat and mouse, running out of the ring until Kane exits, at which point he gets back in and dropkicks Kane’s knees on the apron. He pounds away at Kane’s back, but eats a big boot. Side slam, chokeslam, thanks for coming out. (1:14) DUD Kane attempts to light his pyro…and it doesn’t light? The fans chant “TAKER, TAKER, TAKER!” and he tries again…to no avail. A third attempt lights the buckles on fire and now he’s all smiles. Suddenly – that weird video plays again, and informs us that in 34 days the dead will rise…again!
Backstage, CHRIS BENOIT throws a TOTAL shitfit. I don’t blame him. ERIC BISCHOFF says that Benoit earned the legal right to face Triple H at Wrestlemania by winning the Royal Rumble, but he has a HUGE problem. Shawn Michaels signed the contract, therefore he legally gets a title shot at Wrestlemania. Well, fuck, next time someone’s got a contract for a multi-million a year job, I’m signing that bitch because apparently your signature is BINDING! The upside is we get Benoit against Michaels next week…
TERRI needs some thoughts from RANDY ORTON about tonight’s big main event. Orton says it’s unfair that he has to defend his title this close to Wrestlemania, let alone against 2 guys, while having to worry about Mick Foley’s promise to embarrass him! Can’t say I blame him for being just a tad on edge.
EARLIER TONIGHT: Goldberg speared random casualties.
Speak of the devil, GOLDBERG is leaving the building when THE COACH catches up to him and wants to know what he’s going to do now that he’s suspended? “I don’t think I made myself clear. You see, I don’t give a damn what anybody says. I’ve still got my ticket, I’m still going to No Way Out, and Brock Lesnar is still next.”
Here’s some clips from the Japanese road trip last week – and based on some of those results I read about, why don’t they just air THAT? (Not that I’m complaining about RAW tonight…)
MICK FOLEY hits the ring, and we get us a “FOLEY” chant. “I want to make it very clear that I did not come here tonight to screw up Randy Orton’s Intercontinental Title match. I came out here to explain to everyone here in Portland, Oregon and around the World that on December 14, 2003 I Mick Foley turned my back and walked away on a match with Randy Orton. Now some people called me a coward… Some people didn’t. But one man became fixated on the idea of Foley as Coward. Randy Orton became obsessed with the idea of Mick Foley as Coward. And if my history tells me one thing that is if one individual becomes obsessed with other individual’s faults, usually that person has something to hide of his own. Take the case of Jimmy Swagger, who preached morality for decades and was found with a stack of porno magazines this high in the front of his car. Or take the more recent case of Rush Limbaugh, who talked about the ills of drug abuse and said we outta send drug offenders up the river. And by golly Rush Limbaugh was later found to have ingested enough black market narcotics to have downed a full elephant. So what exactly does this tell us about Randy Orton? Well, I’d like to tell all of you a story about a young soldier… There he is.” A picture of Orton in uniform appears on the TitanTron. “Young Randall Orton, who joined the United States Marine Core to serve his country, to do the United States of America proud. But see this is not the story of silver stars, purple hearts, or commendations of any kind. No see, when it comes to Randy Orton, it’s a story about a man who went AWOL for 82 days. It’s the story of a man being given early dismissal for bad conduct. It’s the story of a man who did not turn his back on a wrestling match. It’s the story of a man who turned his back on his country. So Randy Orton, if you’re back there listening I ask you this: Everytime you dug down deep to spit your vile and refer to me as a coward, were you maybe, maybe you gutless coward talking about yourself? But Randy Orton, I give you a chance for redemption, I give you the ultimate chance to redeem yourself… You refer to yourself as a legend, and as far as I’m concerned there’s only one place and one time where a wrestler becomes a legend…that place is Wrestlemania. That time is March 14th, 2004, so Randy Orton you can call it the battle of the legends, or you can call it the battle of the cowards, I don’t really give a damn. What I want is you in one corner, and me in the other. What I want is a piece of your ass at Wrestlemania.” RANDY ORTON appears on the TitanTron and wants to know how Foley won’t walk out of Wrestlemania like he did on RAW…and wants to do it on his terms 1-on-1 right NOW. “I’m in catering Mick.” Mick throws down his microphone and charges up the ramp.
The camera follows Mick all the way through the back, and EVERYONE smells a setup here. Foley asks about a hundred guys where catering is on his way through the back and finds him. And upon entering the room – the trap is sprung. BATISTA and RIC FLAIR circle Foley like birds, but Foley doesn’t care and jumps on Foley anyway. Batista launches Mick HEAD FIRST into the WALL! From there, Batista holds him hostage while Flair lays in the punches. And from there, with a mighty grunt, Batista manages to powerbomb Foley(!!!) through a table!!! And Orton gets in the final blows, slapping the shit out of Foley on the ground, and walks away…before running back and kicking him square in the mouth one final time for good measure.
MOMENTS AGO: Fun with triple teams!
ROB VAN DAM vs. BOOKER T vs. RANDY ORTON (for the WWE intercontinental title)
It’s been such a good night of RAW that I won’t even mention it’s been 36 minutes since our last match. Orton bails immediately, but Booker follows him to the floor while RVD smartly waits. Booker lays into Orton, rolls him in, and RVD steals the pinfall for 2. Booker’s not thrilled, and winds up taking a leg to the face for complaining. That gets 2 for RVD. Booker comes back with a spinkick for 2 while Orton lies around on the outside. An axekick is set, but Orton trips him up and pulls Booker outside. Booker sends Orton into the guardrail, and gets back into the ring to get his ass kicked. Van Dam lays in the kicks followed by shoulderblocks and a monkey flip out of the corner for 2. Van Dam hits a vertical suplex, and floats over into a pinfall beautifully for 2. Booker comes back with chops on Van Dam, but can’t dodge a springboard dropkick, and Rolling Thunder for 2. Orton rushes back in and DDTs Booker. RVD rushes over and hits a couple of spinkicks on Orton, but Orton comes back with European uppercuts. Orton drops a fist for 2. An RVD chant fires up in the crowd, while Van Dam hits an enzuigiri. RVD lifts Orton into the air, and Booker T suddenly wakes up to hit a REALLY high Harlem sidekick on Orton for 1. Orton rolls out, while RVD hits a 5 Star on Booker T from the SECOND rope…for 2. A Rolling Thunder gets 2, before Orton yanks RVD outside and dropkicks him in the face. Orton scoots in and gets a series of 2 counts on Booker. Orton goes back to the European uppercuts, and hits a reverse neckbreaker. He gets a 2 count out of it. Orton sits and waits to hit the RKO…but Booker shoves him off and picks him up so RVD can hit a splash off the top rope. After a delayed pin, RVD gets a 2 count on Orton, before trying one on Booker T for another 2. Booker stands, and RVD goes for another monkey flip, this one failing as Booker dumps him outside. Orton tries to get up, but takes the axekick!!! Booker goes to cover, and gets 2 before Van Dam FLIES back in to break it up. RVD heads up…and hits the 5 Star Frog Splash on Booker T, but Orton rolls RVD out as soon as he hits it and steals the pinfall! (10:49) **1/4 BATISTA and RIC FLAIR hit the ring to help celebrate the win, and MICK FOLEY is not far behind, limping and staggering all over the stage. Mick manages to bring himself to ringside and takes an RKO from Orton out of nowhere!!!! In the ring, Flair and Batista stomp away at Rob Van Dam and Booker T…possibly setting up a Wrestlemania tag-team title defence? With everyone down Evolution poses, their music plays, the copyright is up, and we are out!
Great stuff as always, Dames. Helped me to fill in a few blanks about the Race match that weren't provided on the DVD. I'll have to check the rest out on your site and eagerly await the other two recaps.