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Wrestling > TNA

Raw from JHawk's Beak
Posted by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins on Nov 18, 2002, 23:15

Raw from JHawk's Beak (11/18/2002)
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins

Well, yours truly caught the last two hours of Survivor Series at a local watering hole (and got caught up with what I missed on tape this morning), and while I felt like it was a very good card as fár as work went, it has to go down as one of the worst booked shows in recent memory. Much like The Dames said in his Survivor Series diatribe, Matthew J. Polick called The Big Show's win nearly a month ago (he e-mailed me as soon as the trade happened, as a matter of fact). I'm not so upset with that one, however, as I am with the booking in the Elimination Chamber.

See, I was so pissed off once Booker T was eliminated that I only kind of half-heartedly paid attention and instead was talking to the people at the next table. Now, we all figured that when Earl Hebner did his little X thing that RVD had legit blown out his knee, so we forgave that elimination. But then, I check out some of the various websites today and find that it was Triple H who was injured in that spot. Now I am pissed. So here's a message to Vince McMahon or anybody else who had anything to do with that little bit of booking:

Do we have to draw you a picture to show you what it is we want? You had six guys in there, and yes, you gave us what we've been asking for three months to an extent: Triple H losing the title. The problem is we told you for two months that it had to go to either Booker T or Rob Van Dam. Listen to the reactions during the introductions. Moderate for HBK, nice for Booker, but absolutely apeshit for RVD. When RVD got pinned by Booker T, the crowd BOOED! Booker T got pinned, and the crowd was silent for most of the last 20 minutes. Face it. You dropped the ball AGAIN! You made perfectly certain that the two most over guys in the match were gone first so that if we wanted to root against Triple H, we had to root for Shawn Michaels by default whether we wanted to or not (and some of us didn't because we want guys who have been active over the last four years to get the title matches). And you know what happened? About 30% of that crowd in MSG started rooting for Chris Jericho, the only other heel, because they wanted somebody different at the top of the card. How do you expect to move the company forward when the same guys who were main eventing three or five years ago are being pushed over the guys we actually want to see? We know Brock was hurt, we'll accept that. But this one? No excuse will do.

And before I get e-mails talking about how loud those cheers for HBK were, listen closely to that tape. His entrance pop is moderate at best, and the HBK chants don't start until about a minute before HBK leaves his chamber...which is about 90 seconds after Booker's elimination.

And you know you're having a bad night when Triple H loses, you shout "At last the Wicked Witch of the West is dead", and some chick within ear shot goes "Hey, I'm a witch, shut up!"

Moving right along, we've got a live edition of Raw to get through, and I have absolutely no interest in spending any more time than absolutely necessary on this tonight, so let's get a move on, shall we? By popular request, I will bringing you match ratings from now on (even though I didn't think it was that hard to figure out whether I liked this stuff or not most of the time).

Segment 1

Easy E is outside waiting on somebody, and sure enough, here comes a limo. But it's not who he expects. Rather, it's The Man WHOO! And he's without Triple H, who Bisch thinks is throwing a fit about losing the title. I doubt it, his buddy beat him, not someone deserving. And that's too bad, because he's in a number one contenders' match tonight. Apparently he's just checked out of the hospital with his "crushed trachea". And they're claiming he passed out several times. Flair accuses Bisch of only caring about Raw, and Bisch actually admits to it. In fact, to prove it, Flair will face Kane for old time's sake. Flair says that's fine, but try to produce Raw without Triple H. That would be quite nice for a change.

Cue the opening with lots of new clips.

And even before we can tell you we're live in Bridgeport, Connecticut, here comes the Holy Bible Kid with his newly won World Heavyweight Title belt. The fans are on their feet, but either they're apathetic or they have the crowd muted. And the champ's got the mic. A moderate HBK chant delays the interview. Shawn: "You'll never guess what I found last night!" Your smile? Anyway, he says he won't bore us with a long acceptance speech. After SummerSlam, all he could think about was getting revenge on the former champion, and he thinks he's accomplished his goal by winning the title. So what now? Well, Shawn isn't exactly what he used to be. So does he want to be one of those guys who hangs around too long? (You mean like Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan, Triple H...?) Say you're the new champ one more time. Thank you. Shawn would want nothing more than to perform week after week with all the talent from Raw (ha!), but his body can't take the grind, so the smart thing would be to leave the belt here and go home. BUT...he hasn't ever been all that sensible or smart, so we're going to see what else Shawn has in him, so he's keeping the belt. See? If he loses last night, he can save himself a beating. And here comes Rob...Van...Dam with no signs of a blown out knee. An RVD chant blows away the HBK chant (at least for a second or two). RVD has the mic, and he says he used to enjoy watching HBK "as a kid". Ouch. Shawn changed a lot of standards, so if it wasn't RVD, he's glad it was Shawn. Because he'll be a fighting champion. And for his first defense, how about the "Showstopper" vs. the "Whole Dam Show"? (And put him over while you're at it!) HBK vs. RVD (and the crowd is hot for RVD). And before we get an answer, here comes Eric Bischoff, and this cannot be good. Does everybody have a mic but me? Bischoff: "Before you lose your smile again, let me remind you who's in charge around here." He says if RVD wants the shot, he has to win a no disqualification triple threat match that also includes Chris Jericho and Booker T, and the winner meets Michaels next week. Works for me. Shawn says there's a NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW sherriff in town, and as the NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW World Heavyweight Champion (this is getting old real quick), he refuses to work in a necrophilia company because it offends him as a wrestling fan. Nice pop for that. Shawn says he'll be there next week, and he's rooting for RVD because the crowd would want it. Shawn's got it. Shawn then asks how Hunter feels sitting out and watching the NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW World Heavyweight Champion. Yeah, throw Triple H out there for no reason.

L'il Spike Dudley is preparing for six man tag action, and yes, both of his half-brothers are here for it.

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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You know the best part of that interview? They announced a main event that I'll be more than happy to approve of if it ends even remotely cleanly. Jericho vs. Michaels? RVD vs. Michaels? Booker vs. Michaels? As long as Michaels keeps his smile and he's as motivated as he has been his last two matches, I don't think we can go wrong. But no matter who wins that one, I think a title change is absolutely necessary. By the way, is anybody still convinced that HBK is more over than RVD?

Segment 2

Live from the Arena at Harboryard, and let's take a look at the first-ever Raw as we approach the 10th Anniversary.

One fall: Three Minute Warning and Rico vs. The Entire Damn Dudley Family

HUGE pop for the reunion of the Dudleyz. They already have new music again. The brawl is started on the floor, but quickly Bubba Ray and Rico are in the ring. Flapjack from Bubba, but Rico gains the advantage with a thumb to the eye. Jamal and Rosey post Bubba, and Jamal (with ribs taped) is now the legal man. Rosey in, and a double-team leads to a near fall. Belly-to-belly suplex, and Rico is tagged in. Moonsault attempted, but Bubba rolls out of the way. HOT TAG to D-Von, and he pounds away at Rico. Reverse neckbreaker for 2. Side slam, and in come Jamal and Rosey, and they're quickly disposed of. Low blow to Rico, and a cover for 2. Bubba clotheslines Rosey over, and Spike onto him with a plancha. In the ring, it's Bubba with the Flip Flop Fly to Rico. Bodyslam, and the return of the real Wuzzup Headbutt. In come Jamal and Rosey, and Jamal dropkicks Bubba (!). Spike with the Dudley Dawg to Jamal. Rico with the spinning leg lariat to Spike, but he turns around into a 3D, and that will do it at 4:20. If I were to rate that, I'd say maybe 1/2* for the dropkick.

My Future Wife is making a T-shirt deal, and apparently Test has called her. She has a prototype for the shirt, and the Testicles will determine which shirt it is.

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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Well, I'll give the crowd credit for trying to get into it, but outside of D-Von's appearance and the 3D, they were pretty much dead for the rest of it, and with good reason. This was really not worth the airtime they gave it, although I'll give WWE credit for finally realizing the Dudleyz needed to be together. Sadly, this is the end of Reverend D-Von, which I still contend would have worked if they'd have given D-Von a fair chance at getting it over.

Segment 3

Bischoff is on his cell phone, and someone comes into his office to say Triple H is on his way.

Your hosts are The Pharaoh and Good Ol' JR, and for not being in the building yet, they love mentioning Triple H's name. Here's your recap of the Elimination Chamber. Notice they show action shots until they focus on Hunter and Shawn, and then it's just stills.

Out in the parking lot, and here comes another limo, but again, it's not Triple H, but rather Big Poppa Pump. Good enough for Bischoff, as he quickly kisses Steiner's ass. Bischoff offers him anything he wants, "just like the old days", as long as he signs with Raw.

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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Nothing to say here. Steiner likely signs with Raw, if only for the excuse to keep from truly pushing Booker T and RVD. But they'll string it out for a few weeks first. Nothing else of note this segment.

Segment 4

My Future Wife has legs...very very nice legs...and she has T-shirt prototypes. Sign in crowd: "Stacy Keibler loves Testicles". Stacy has determined that Testicles want to be supported and covered in cotton, so if you like one, holler. "I'm a Testicle. Rub me the right way." HUGE pop! "Be a Testicle. Take a Test ride." Boos for that one. "I love my Testicles." I think the first one won, but that ruins the story the writers want, so we'll shoot off the Testicular Cannon nd give the crowd some "I love y Testicles" T-shirts. I have such a line for this, but I'll be good for the church-going types who are reading this. And Big Stevie Cool is out, and since the biggest Testicle of them all is in India, Stevie wants some revenge...and Stacy shoots him in the balls with the T-shirt cannon. Out comes Victoria, and she decides she's going to be Stevie's Maiden in Shinging...um...wrestling gear, I guess, and she locks in an armbreaker and bites Stacy's fingers. She broke Stacy's nail! That bitch! Victoria holds up Stevie as Stacy holds her fingers.

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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I hope if you have a Nielsen box, you're watching football or something, because we're at 9:44 Eastern and we've had exactly one match. The Stevie-Victoria team makes some sort of sense since they're both supposedly "wacko", but do we really want Stacy to wrestle? And where does this leave Jazz when she comes back? Did Stevie already forget about his lovable teddy bear? Actually, I think we're supposed to have forgotten that angle by now, too. Another nothing segment.

Segment 5

Thank you for paying for Survivor Series. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you! If we say thank you some more, will you buy the replay too?

Easy E tells Stacy that if she wants revenge against Victoria, then why don't we have Stacy get the first shot at the Women's Title? Well, that's going to suck.

Tag Team Contest scheduled for one fall: Lance Storm and William Regal vs. Jeff Hardy (w/ugly ass body paint) and Tommy F'n Dreamer

Well, I like three of these guys. The brawl starts in the aisle. Jeff gets tossed into the guardrail before the bell. In the ring, it's Regal and Dreamer to start. Series of knees from Regal, and a kneedrop, and a tag to Storm. Storm and Regal go to the double teaming. Dreamer fights out and gets a Death Valley driver. Hardy does something to Regal on the floor (I think it was supposed to be a clothesline, but it sucked). Regal kicks Dreamer in the face, Storm pins Dreamer in 1:43, and the crowd wonders "What the hell was the point?" DUD Postmatch, Storm gets a drop toehold onto the chair, and Dreamer sells it like his jaw is broken.

Last night, New Yorkers were declared "lupid", then Big Poppa Pump cleared the ring to such a massive pop that my jaw is still on the floor. Dames had the explanation. Our hosts are hoping Steiner signs for Raw. But he'll speak NEXT!

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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That triple threat match might have to be a match of the year candidate to save this show. We're heading into the top of the hour, and we've had exactly two matches so far for a combined 6:03. I guess I should be thankful that we're averaging three minutes per match so far. And we're guaranteed more non-wrestling, as Scott Steiner getting ready for our second 20-minute promo.

Segment 6

Damn it, Armageddon is in Sunrise, not Ft. Lauderdale! That annoys me. Like when Raw is in Rosemont and they say "Chicago" all night long. Armageddon tickets go on sale Saturday morning.

And Big Poppa Pump makes his way to the ring (to not nearly the pop from last night...but that might just be the shitty show this crowd has gotten so far). This interview is the main event of the first hour, by the way. Scotty has the mic, and there's the pop, and he blows the opening line. What took him so long to get here? Well, if you heard a 2000 Scott Steiner promo, you know that he has lots of sex with lots of women and he thinks they all like it. Onto something new for a change, and he thinks everybody else is too high on themselves, because Scott Steiner's the best and all. And this will bring out Y2J+2 (w/new title belt and old music). Damn, two weeks? We might have a new record for shortest use of a theme. Depending on how long Windham and Rotundo were around for "Real American". Jericho's at the ramp, and he has no idea what the hell Steiner's been talking about. Jericho says his body's better than Steiner's (after screwing his lines up). Steiner ain't the best anymore, because Jericho's the legend, the king of the world, and a huge rock star. And after he wins the World Title next week, he'll have more important things to worry about than a man who dresses like King Arthur. Steiner thinks Jericho's proved Steiner's point, and Jericho starts to charge the ring...but he stops so as not to jeopardize his top contenders match later on. Steiner says he might stick around to see if Jericho's as good as he says. Great, Jericho looks good one night and gets buried by the newcomer the next. Lovely.

Stacy's hand still hurts (and I'm not there to kiss it and make it better), but she gets to lose next!

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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As if it wasn't already apparent that RVD was winning the main event now (at least that's the only way the opening promo makes sense), then we've more or less assured that Scott Steiner is costing Jericho his shot at it. I'm all for Steiner coming in and looking good (provided he actually faces lower card guys and guys who suck the first couple of months), but sacrificing Jericho just as he's starting to get some momentum strikes me as a very bad idea. And I need some coffee or I'm not finishing this show.

Segment 7

One fall for the WWE Women's Championship: My Future Wife vs. Victoria (champion)

Maybe I should have opted for vodka instead of coffee. Cheap shot kick by Victoria to start. Clothesline, snap suplex, and Stacy actually kicks out. Stacy reverses a whip and gets in a spinning leg lariat, and she actually gets some shots in until Victoria kicks her in the face. A form of a Gory special is dropped into a neckbreaker, and that's gonna do it at 1:20. On the bright side, these matches can't get much shorter. DUD Victoria chokes out Stacy, but Trish the Cheating Bitch makes the save, getting in a Chick Kick before Steven Richards comes out. Trish gets a shot or two in, but Richards drives Trish into the mat. And Richards is the bad guy even though Trish took a swing at him.

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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Well, it was short, and that's probably the most offense Stacy has ever gotten in the ring, but this didn't really do anything except build the Trish-Victoria feud. In fact, this sucked big time. Do we ever actually blow feuds off now, or are we going to continually recycle the same matches until the TNN contract runs out and WWE is officially out of business?

Segment 8

The Hurricane gets this week's Anthology cut.

And people are watching Raw from The World, and Maven is there this week.

School of Hard Knocks Match: Christopher Nowinski (w/backpack and chalkboard) vs. Al Snow

Nowinski cuts a quick promo to tell Maven who should have won Tough Enough 1. This is a hardcore match that isn't called a hardcore match because hardcore matches aren't allowed on Raw since Dreamer vs. RVD. Nowinski goes for a chalkboard shot to start, but Snow throws him down by the backpack. To the outside they go, and it's all Snow early. Underneath the ring for the plunder, and he finds his mostly chairs. Back into the ring, Nowinski buys himself some time, reaches into his cooler, tosses powder into the eyes, and catches Snow with a spinebuster. Nowinski under the ring, and he pulls out a skeleton. Shot with the arm, then he grabs the skull, performs a scene from Hamlet, and allows Snow to hit him with the rest of the skeleton. Snow with the blackboard, and one of the chairs, and he uses the chair like a surfboard into Nowinski's face. Snow puts a dunce cap on Nowinski's head and grabs his handy dandy bowling ball. I think Snow hit the 7-10 split. Nowinski's bleeding from the mouth and nose. Snow sets up about four chairs, levels Nowinski until he's laying on them and climbs up top. But Chris avoids the moonsault, and Nowinski crawls on top of him for the pin at 4:43. I appreciate what they were going for, but it wasn't good. *

Tonight, a triple threat top contenders' match, but Kane is backstage. His match vs. Flair is next!

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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We don't do hardcore matches anymore, huh? Bah. Anyway, decent enough for a comedy match, but sadly, that's all it was...a comedy match. Hey, if I want bad comedy matches, I have a bunch of Bushwhacker matches on tape. At this point, you need to do something better than this to keep your audience. Sadly, the Hamlet bit might be a little too sophisticated for a normal wrestling crowd. We gotta get our culture somewhere, I guess.

Segment 9

Easy E is backstage schmoozing with Val Venis, but he's got a new job and new responsibilities and doesn't want to be called that anymore. Apparently he's coming to Raw as they're finishing up the paperwork.

One fall: The Man WHOO! (w/o ring gear) vs. Kane

Last week on Super Tuesday, Flair's chair shot helped Hunter pin Kane in the 10-man tag. Wow, some form of continuity! I'm impressed! Flair's on the floor with a mic, and he says he was just kidding around with Bisch earlier. He's a bit afraid of Kane, but you know Hunter's kicking Kane's ass if he does anything to Flair. Kane doesn't care if he gets his hands on Flair...but Batista comes in, clotheslines Kane, hits the spinbuster, and it's the High Angle Sitout Power Bomb to Kane! Yeah, a non-match, just what this show needed.

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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So they're sacrificing Kane for the Batista push? Works for me. And some subtle continuity, as the very brief meeting between Flair and Batista backstage last week leads to Batista actually helping Flair this week. But when there's been little to no wrestling thus far tonight (still about 12 minutes out of over an hour and a half at this point), the non-match is only serving as an annoyance. If you were in the Arena in Bridgeport, I hope you fought for a refund.

Segment 10

F-View shows Jericho and ChrisTIAN in the locker room, and Jericho is apologizing for the chair shot last week and asking for Christian's help in the triple threat match. Christian hasn't forgiven the chair shot yet.

Booker T is out for the main event, and he's got the mic, and we get a "Booker" chant as Booker complains about not being talked about at all during the course of the evening. "Five time" gets a sing along. But the talking is done, and Booker vows to be number one contender after this match. SPINAROONIE! SPINAROONIE, TONY!

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COMMERCIAL BREAK
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What is with the short, nothing segments tonight? Anyway, I like the tension between Jericho and Christian, if only because it makes sense that Christian is still holding a grudge. They are building Jericho out to be the huge underdog here, which could translate into a surprise win. I will admit that Jericho should win if they want heel vs. face, but I think RVD has to win it or they wasted the opening segment.

Segment 11

We've taken our final commercial break, so we're sticking with the main event in its entirety.

No Disqualification Triple Threat Number One Contenders Match scheduled for one fall: Booker T vs. Rob...Van...Dam vs. Y2J+2 (w/new belt and new music)

Next week is HBK's first match on Raw since October 1997. Damn, 45 minutes with the old music for Jericho. When did WCW's production team take over Raw? Booker with a forearm to Jericho to start. Spinning leg lariat. Quick cover, and RVD makes the save. Jericho to the floor, and RVD goes after Booker. Rana, followed by a cartwheel moonsault for 2. RVD misses a spinning leg lariat, and Booker takes him down with a side slam. Cover for 2. Jericho in for the tag title belt shot, and Booker stops it. RVD goes for a belt shot, but Jericho ducks and Booker gets it. Jericho covers for 2, someone gets bleeped, and RVD gets a cover on Jericho for 2. Jericho with a chop (WHOO!). RVD with a monkey flip for 2. Forearms and a boot choke, and RVD heads over to Booker. Back to Jericho, but Jericho gets a dropkick for 2. Series of forearms, but RVD reverses a whip to the corner and charges with a boot. Springboard side kick and a cover, and Booker makes the save. Jericho works on Booker now. Series of chops and a whip, but Booker with a forearm. Booker with chops aplenty. Sunset flip by Jericho, but Booker rolls through and puts on the Walls of Jericho! RVD makes the save. RVD with a scissors kick to Booker, and a cover for 2. Jericho with a frog splash to RVD and a cover for 2. This crowd is dead. All three are down as RVD chants start. Jericho and Booker up first and trading blows, and Jericho gains the advantage with a clothesline in the corner. Chops and a boot choke. Dropkick, punches, but Booker coming back with a leg lariat. Booker teases a spinaroonie, but RVD dropkicks him. Jericho tries to dropkick RVD, but RVD turns it into a slingshot that sends Jericho over the ropes. RVD goes to the floor after him, but Jericho gets the best out of it with a bulldog. And there's Booker with a baseball slide, and he brings Jericho into the ring. High impact Alabama slam gets 2. Jericho reverses a whip and hits a bulldog. Lionsault misses, Jericho lands on his feet, but Booker knocks him down, SPINAROONIE, leg lariat, and Christian comes out and levels Booker with a chair. Jericho's cover only gets 2. Walls of Jericho, and the crowd is practically begging for RVD. Booker tries for the ropes, but Jericho pulls him back. And here comes Scott Steiner to knock Christian down, and now he's in the ring and beating up Jericho. Christian in for the save, and Steiner press slams him. Belly-to-belly by Steiner to Jericho, followed by a tiger bomb, and he does the pushup taunt at Jericho's head. RVD struggles to get to the top rope...Five Star Frog Splash! The cover, and Booker can't make the save. RVD gets the pin at 11:39. Not great, but that's to be expected after the beating these guys took last night. **3/4 Out comes Shawn Michaels. Staredown, and Shawn offers the handshake. Sportsmanship? In wrestling? And both men stare at each other holding the belt, and we're out at 11:02 Eastern.

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END OF SHOW
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Thank God for the main event, even if the crowd was dead for most of it. It couldn't save the show from being bad (I don't think anything could have), but at least it was something besides a promo, which this show had plenty of.

Overall, a pretty bland show, but with the HHHater Clock not needing to be utilized...OK, I don't know how the hell it was so bland. Actually, I do. Too many non-wrestling segments killed this show. We had five matches in a 122 minute show, and the main event account for almost half of the alloted wrestling time. Guys who can work, like D'Lo Brown and Raven, get stuck in Sunday Night Heat hell, while we get no less than three in-ring promos wasting time that should be going to the wrestling portion of World Wrestling Entertainment. Seriously, no Hurricane, no Goldust, no D'Lo...if I didn't know better, I'd swear they deliberately made this show as bad as humanly possible so that when You Know Who returns, we'll think we're grateful for it. If you missed this week's show, consider yourself lucky.

Send me your feedback, but don't tell me "This show needed Triple H" because that's about the only bright spot of this one.






 

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