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" The Gravel Pit "
Raw from JHawk's Beak (March 10, 2003)
Posted by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins on Mar 10, 2003, 22:29
Raw from JHawk's Beak (3/10/2003)
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins
Forums Quote of the Week: Well, it's good to know that they got along while they didn't go to the TV tapings that week. -treble charged, hearing that Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan talked on a flight following No Way Out
Onto other stuff: I'm going to forego the E-Mail of the Week this week to get through some administrative stuff.
Special thanks to the eight of you (as of 6:30 pm Eastern this afternoon/evening) who e-mailed me (or responded in the Forums) to let me know the meaning of "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" like I asked for yesterday. The first explanation I saw was in the Forums from evlpurpose, so I'll let him explain it.
It used to be when you got a horse you looked at his teeth to check his health. If he was healthy and of good value, he had good health, bad teeth = bad horse. So if you got a gift horse you were supposed to be grateful to get it, and not look in his mouth to see if he was healthy and valuable.
And apparently, you can also tell the horse's age that way, as a few of you have stated as well. Thanks to everybody for that one. Oh, and for those of you who thanked me for sitting through Raw for you so you could sleep...you're very welcome.
Now to answer a couple of other questions that have been posed to me over the last couple of weeks:
1. I still intend to do the Today in Wrestling History and plan on doing one of those within the next two weeks.
2. Yes, I'll be reviewing more Ring of Honor shows, and if I can stay healthy this week you'll probably see one before the week's out.
So there you go.
By the way, happy Commonwealth Day to those of you in England, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as Happy Labour Day or Canberra Day for the rest of you Aussies out there.
Tonight: Is it really so hard to actually book a show in advance? The wwe.com preview, as of 90 minutes before showtime, listed just Booker T vs. The Rock and Shawn Michaels answering Chris Jericho's challenge. And we pretty much knew both of those after last week's show. And you wonder why I stayed home even though this show is less than a 90-minute drive from my house.
Let's get on with this, shall we?
Easy E has the heels backstage, and he was wrong to try to take Austin out last week. So tonight, he wants a warm welcome. Seriously. He's going to bury the hatchet tonight. Everybody got it? Chief Morley asks Bischoff if he's serious, and outside the door comes Rocky wants to be in pictures. He wants Morley out of the room. Rock says the match with Booker T won't happen. Don't you dare! Rocky says he doesn't want the World Title right now. He's never beat Austin at WrestleMania, and that's his true goal, so he doesn't need the match with Booker T tonight. Bischoff's cool with it, but what about the sponsors and fans who wanted to see The Rock in action tonight? Rocky agrees to wrestle...an opponent of his choice. Uh oh...
L-I-V-E LIVE (give or take seven seconds) from the Gund Arena in C-Town (that's Cleveland, Ohio for the slang impaired)! And let's talk over the introduction of the most over face not named Austin!
One fall: Rob................Van.............Dam and Kane vs. Y2J+3 and ChrisTIAN
Test apparently isn't here tonight, which I know makes most of you quite happy. But what about Stacy Keibler? Christian and RVD start. RVD gets the missed enzuigiri into the heel kick early for 2. Jericho tagged in, and RVD introduces him to a spinning leg lariat. Jericho gets an advantage, but RVD dropkicks Jericho as Y2J goes for a springboard bodyblock and tags in Kane. Kane works over both opponents and climbs on top, and down goes Jericho to a flying clothesline that gets 2.75. Kane grabs Jericho's throat, catches an incoming Christian by the throat, but they avoid the double choke slam. RVD tagged in and he levels Christian with a flying side kick, then the Rolling Thunder. Jericho lays Kane out and grabs RVD, but Christian misses RVD and hits Jericho, and it's RVD with the Five Star Frog Splash. But before he can cover, legal man Jericho hits the Asai moonsault for the pin at 3:24. That's it? Energetic at least. * Postmatch, Jericho walks to the back, but walks right into the Holy Bible Kid's superkick. HBK: "I'll see you at WrestleMania, boy!"
This is normally where I'd bitch about a three minute match, but my only gripe is that Kane should have taken the fall. I'm more concerned with the blatant bait and switch here. You hype a match for a week, you presumably get some last minute ticket sales based on the week's worth of hype, and then you don't have the match? Fuck you! Unless there's an injury or a missed flight, then that's blatant false advertising. Shit like that is why WCW is out of business. If Rocky wins Hunter's title tonight... But on the bright side, they listened to me for once, so...
As for the match, it's about as good as you can get out of a three minute match, but like I said about the house show last night: No attempt was made to get Christian out of the ring, and yet you get the legal man issue.
Here come Booker T, just to hammer home the point that we got blatantly hosed out of the only advertised match tonight. Book's disappointed that The Rock doesn't want to fight, but onto other things. Last week, Hunter said Booker was an entertainer, not a competitor, and that "people like me are only here to lose to people like him." And he didn't lay him out because he is an entertainer, and he entertains the fans 24/7. But he wants to share something. He's the youngest of eight kids. His father passed away when he was a young kid. And yeah, he got thrown in jail. Aggravated arm robbery. And he sat in that cell for a long time, but when he got out, he said "You gotta make a stand." This isn't some Vanilla Ice story. This is real. And Hunter's never been through all of that. But if Hunter wants to see Booker dance...if people like him don't win championships...then why doesn't he walk down the aisle so he can "dance all over your punk ass"? Booker's waiting on him, but instead, we get The Man WHOO! About damn time he does something besides stand behind Hunter. Flair says Booker's not Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and he's damn sure not Triple H (and thank God for that). Nineteen months in the big house means Book's bad to the bone, but the cards he was dealt don't say "World Heavyweight Champion". So Flair gets to be Hunter's errand boy and say Hunter's not "stooping to Booker T's level". And next week in St. Louis, Booker will have two choices. Either meet Triple H's jet when it lands and carry his bags (not a good place to go...) and do something he's qualified to do, or show up uninvited next week and get "the ass whipping of a lifetime". Booker's heard enough, so he levels Flair with a right hand and storms off to the back.
Backstage, Booker's on the hunt for the champion, and he finds Hungry Hungry Hippos washing his hair. I can't make this up. Hunter tosses him a dollar and says "Go get me a towel", and Booker lays him out. GO BOOK!
HHHater Clock: One segment, 30 seconds. They've finally put Flair back on the mic, which is exactly where he needs to be if he must align himself with Triple H. And they're playing Booker's hard luck story as a way of building up how hard he's worked to get to WrestleMania. But they're subtly, but obviously, playing the race card with talk of carrying bags and being a chauffeur, and stuff like that never exactly goes over. At least this time Booker was allowed to stand up for himself, so that's a step in the right direction, but please let Booker's accomplishments get him over.
Flair apologizes for that, and Hunter claims he got jumped from behind. He hit you head on, you lying son of a...
One fall: Mr. Extreme vs. Rico (w/Three Minute Warning)
Remember, tomorrow night in Pittsburgh, it's Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle for the WWE Title, and it airs Thursday on SmackDown! Armdrag takedown, and cut to the back as Stone Cold Steve Austin has arrived. Remember what I said earlier about WCW? Back live, Rico kicks Hardy and pulls him down by the hair for 2. Hardy recovers and badly botches a Whisper in the Wind (even with the safe camera angle) and backdrops Rico over the top. Jamal and Rosey roll him in, so Hardy uses Rico as a springboard to take them out. Hardy back in, and he wins it with a roll up at 1:32 and takes off before he can get the 3-on-1 beatdown. 3/4*
Backstage, Triple H has found Maven and Some Other Guy. He hits the other guy, they finally get the sound on for Maven to say "He wasn't even on Tough Enough, numbnuts," and Hunter gives Maven 30 minutes to get ready, because they get it on tonight!
Sometimes I wonder why they pretend this is still a wrestling program. A 90-second match that still wasn't uncut because Stone Cold showed up? Ugh.
HHHater Clock: Two segments (technically), 1:35. Maven against Triple H? Whoever it was who asked in the Forums "Does Maven not suck anymore?", you're getting your answer at the top of the hour. A WCW-like sound gaff...this show's not even looking like Nitro anymore. It's rapidly degenerating into Thunder. OK, maybe not quite that bad.
Austin is walking backstage, and he walks into Goldust. And the gimmick is just annoying at this point. He tells Austin that Bischoff wants to apologize. And he gives Austin a warning. What the fuck are they trying with this gimmick, Jimmy from South Park?
Rocky is in the locker room, and he doesn't like the accomodations. No wonder Jim Thome left. Let's sing a song. "The Rock says Cleveland is totally lame/How did this dump get the Hall of Fame/The Rock has to say 'Aw shucks'/Because Cleveland doesn't rock, it totally sucks". And someone has finally arrived. "Are you ready to go one-on-one with the great one?" The Hurricane: "Are you ready to go toe-to-toe with the superhero?" Fuck yeah! It's superhero vs. superhero. The Hurricane vs. The Scorpion King! No DQ, all superpowers are legal. The Rock's got his X-ray vision, heatvision, cablevision, while Hurricane's going to do what, "hit The Rock with a Chicken McNugget?" Hurricane's got his hurripowers. This segment is GOLD! Hurricane gets Rocky to "accidentally" admit to having a tiny dingaling. Rocky offers a handshake, but gets a cheap shot. And he laughs at The Hurricane.
Coming up next, Trish vs. Jazz for the top contenders spot. And Trish the Cheating Bitch is on the way! I've been told she reads this site, so I should probably be nicer to her from now on...
I won't apologize for being pissed about the blatant bait and switch, but Rock vs. Hurricane? I am so there! The buildup for this has been great TV, and if they give this match any time at all and make Hurricane look like he's got a shot to win, then this could be great. That's the catch though. Hurricane has to look like he's got a shot. Even a 2.9999999 count that pisses the crowd off would work. Oh, and one thing Rock. Thome left Cleveland because he's a greedy son of a bitch. I mean, PHILLY? They booed Santa Claus, for chrissakes! Try hitting .210 in April, Jimmy, go ahead!
Now TNN's got technical difficulties? What in the hell? Oh great, another five minutes of commercials. I want to see Trish, dammit! What is this, NWATNA?
We finally return from "transmission problems", and it's One fall to determine the number one contender for the WWE Women's Championship at WrestleMania: Trish the Cheating Bitch vs. Jazz
I feel real bad for the Cleveland crowd for having to sit there watching nothing at this point. The match is underway, and Trish gets the Stratusphere right away....and Victoria hits Trish with the belt. And then Jazz. I guess that's a no contest at :21. I know we're running long with the satellite problem, but couldn't we drop the Girls Gone Wild promotional wet T-shirt contest to fill the time? DUD Looks like a triple threat match at WrestleMania.
After a brief break for one of those slam of the week things, Bischoff returns to the ring for his "apology".
Let's call this Segment 6.
He apologizes for putting out a hit on him, and he also apologizes for firing Austin from WCW via FedEx. And if he said he'd never amount to anything, he's sorry. And he apologizes to JR for smashing his skull in with a cinder block. How sweet. See, these people shouldn't hate Bisch, and neither should he, because had Austin not been fired, the Austin phenomenon would have never been born, so Bisch deserves some credit. Did he just admit he had no intention of ever pushing Austin over guys like Jim Duggan and Ed freaking Leslie? But they're a lot alike. They don't wear suits. They like to hunt and fish. And they both went head-to-head with Vince McMahon and revolutionized this industry. Here comes Austin to the ring. Austin wants clarification, but Bisch cuts him off. Not that "what" chants....... Fuck! You're Cleveland fans, you're better than that... (Too late, JHawk, just let it go.) Austin gives a middle finger instead of a handshake. Austin found Bischoff's apology boring. The only thing Austin wants to bury is his foot in Bischoff's ass. But The Rock is going to prevent that, as he's up on the ramp. And Austin hopes this is good. The crowd chants "Rocky sucks", which Austin acknowledges. The Rock doesn't want to be Austin's friend. He wants to slap Austin's face. And Austin tells Rock to go ahead. Remember the last two times they went one-on-one? Well, the last time they met in Cleveland, Rocky won by DQ, but hey, that's not important. Rocky says Austin is "Stone Cold nothing." Austin wants The Rock in the ring, and he thinks about it for about half a second and says "Nah". Austin thinks Rock is scared, but Rock says he's going wait for WrestleMania. But Austin ain't leaving the Gund without whipping somebody's ass, so he goes after Bischoff. Rocky runs in, Austin turns around...and Rocky leaves the ring.
Up next, Triple H vs. Maven. Rah.
I know we lost a couple of minutes with the transmission problems, but matches aren't what should get cut short when you have technical problems. Hell, you've got a wet T-shirt contest that has NOTHING to do with professional wrestling. Cut that. Yeah, I know, you agreed to promote their thing since Bisch is behind it and WWE stars will be there, but it's not wrestling.
As far as the extended promo segment was, I got the impression that Bischoff was trying to save some airtime for other things, but between Austin working the crowd and Rocky being Rocky, that wasn't going to happen. Establishing Rocky as a coward? I'm not sure I buy that post-Nation of Domination, but if it saves ia confrontation for the big one, I'll take it.
Still to come, The Rock vs. The Hurricane in a no DQ match.
Non-title contest scheduled for one fall: Hungry Hungry Hippos (World Heavyweight Champion--w/The Man WHOO!) vs. Maven
JR says Booker's already left the building, so you can forget any chance of an upset here. Even the water spitting isn't getting a reaction now. Maven slides into the ring, but doesn't take his eyes off Hunter. Smart move. Lockup, and a hard forearm early. And a few more. Hunter quickly dumps Maven to the floor. And Hunter follows...into the ringsteps goes Maven! And back into the ring they go. Maven tries to fight back, but Hunter clotheslines him down. And the champ does some illegal tactics to wear Maven down. He's actually wrestling like a heel. JR: "Obviously, Evolution not evolving as well as he wanted..." Sign in crowd: "Fire Paxson." My sign would be "Get new owners." It's all Hunter so far, and he locks in the Sleeper of Supreme Suckitude. Maven is selling it VERY well though. The arm drops twice, but Hunter drops it. And paintbrushing Maven. And Maven catches Hunter with a jawbreaker. He's finally fighting back. But that gets stopped with a spinebuster. Pedigree, late cover, pin at 4:36. Would you like some squash with your plate of shit? DUD Postmatch, Hunter tosses Maven into the ropes, and he gets his neck caught in the ropes. Al Snow tries to help out, but Hunter grabs him and takes him down with a short clothesline. And a Pedigree for Snow.
We're not going anywhere, and we're live in C-Town for those of you who forgot.
Bischoff tells Morley that he doesn't get Austin, and Morley says that even Mr. McMahon ever tried to make amends with Austin. And that gives Bisch an idea. McMahon's busy with Hogan on SmackDown, and Bisch says he can do things his way, so next week on Raw, Bischoff is getting Austin again. Remember though, we were supposed to have Rock-Booker tonight. Don't believe it, St. Louis fans!
Your hosts are Good Ol' JR and The Pharaoh, and to hype GGW's pay-per-view, Lawler emcees a wet T-shirt contest.
My Future Wife is on the cell phone with Test...and she hears a girl with Test. He's in South Padre Island, Texas, but he's three days early.
Someone Feeds Terri runs toward Austin, who is talking to Big Poppa Steroid Pump. He likes the rematch with Bischoff.
HHHater Clock: Three segments, 11:12, 4:36 of it wrestling time. Hell, you could have cut two minutes out of this one, given it to the women's match, kept the wet T-shirt contest, and everybody would have won. We'd have still complained because we wouldn't have known it was the compromise, but you'd have tried. Instead, Hunter gets to bury Maven, who's actually pretty over when he's not wrestling Triple H, and he gets to bury Al Snow in his home state (two for the price of one), and all this without having to share the segment with his WrestleMania opponent at all. I guess since Hunter sold a punch in the first hour, we shouldn't be too picky, huh? Fuck that. Maven didn't even get his dropkick in, and even The Undertaker took Maven's dropkick.
The Rock vs. The Hurricane tonight.
One fall: The Reunited Damn Dudley Boyz vs. Chief Morley and Lance Storm
The Dudleys have been reinstated with no explanation whatsoever. But Morley has issued a little change to this match.
Handicap Match: Chief Morley and Lance Storm vs. D-Von Dudley
If D-Von wins, the suspension is officially lifted, but if not, they're still suspended. Oh, and any interference means they're still suspended. WILL SOMEBODY LET THIS GODDAMN FEUD DIE ALREADY? And why give them the chance to get reinstated? My head hurts. The bell rings, and Storm and Morley jump D-Von from behind as police escort Bubba to the back. D-Von sends Morley into Storm, who's on the apron, and gets a quick roll up for 2 and a quick inside cradle for another 2. Another cover, and Storm makes the save. Storm tags in, but D-Von gets a flying clothesline for 2. Flapjack and a cover for 2. Powerslam for 2. Storm finally gets the advantage, but D-Von quickly sets up the inverted DDT, which brings Morley in. Morley tags in with D-Von down, and he gets the Money Shot for the win at 2:44. Is this damn thing finally blown off? 3/4*
Up next, a wet T-shirt contest with Girls Gone Wild.
I seriously want to know why anybody at WWE thinks anybody still gives a rat's ass about this feud. I mean, it's been MONTHS now and it's still "Morley screws the Dudleys". And sadly, this is the best match of the feud in weeks, and it wasn't even good. Reinstate the Dudleys, drop the stupid boring ass feud, and move on already!
Earlier tonight, HBK vs. Y2J was made for WrestleMania.
Lawler's in Cleveland, where he lived for seven years, and he gets to host a wet T-shirt contest to promote Thursday's Girls Gone Wild pay-per-view. Here come Four Girls Gone Wild. No, I don't know any of these girls, although I wouldn't mind getting to know the one on the right. The rules: Lawler gets to water down each girl one at a time, and the crowd picks a winner. But out comes my Stacy! Homina homina homina. When Stacy talked to Test earlier, she was upset, but she's as wild as any of these other girls, so King gets to watch while Stacy gets them all wet. Before she fires prematurely, Lawler wants intros. Michelle (my fave of the four), Alexis, Colette, and Stacia. The crowd picks Alexis because she did the breast jiggle thing (cheap tactic, I say), but Stacy interrupts the voting to announce she'll be with Test on Thursday...and she wants to get wild right now. Why am I sitting home again? Oh yeah, because I pay for wrestling. I forgot. Lawler gets to fire the water gun at Stacy's ass and becomes my new hero.
The Rock is backstage and ready for action. He's NEXT!
WrestleMania Moment: The beginning of the Pete Rose-Kane feud at WrestleMania XIV. Was that really five years ago?
Stacy in a wet pair of white shorts? Always a good thing! This still had no business on a wrestling show though.
Austin vs. Bischoff next week, and ocean front property in Arizona to be awarded to one lucky fan!
No Disqualification Match scheduled for one fall: Rocky wants to be in pictures vs. The Hurricane
Funny, the reaction for The Hurricane was much better during the promo. Then again, the result might not be in doubt. Rock taunts Hurricane with a slap. Hurricane charges, but Rocky avoids it and gets in another slap. Here he comes! Right hands, Irish whip, and Rocky to the floor for a Tastykake break. Hurricane follows with more right hands. In the ring, and Rocky reverses a whip before hitting a Samoan drop. Rocky's got the cape, and he puts it on. A couple of stomps, but Hurricane blocks a turnbuckle smash with one of his own. Kick to the chest, but Rock with a clothesline. Off goes the cape. Vertical suplex for 2. Choke against the ropes as Lawler makes fun of JR for saying "more uglier". Into the turnbuckle, and Rocky lays into Hurricane with right hands. Hurricane tries to fight back but runs into a clothesline. Snap mare into a reverse chinlock, and please let the pace pick up, because this show needs this match to be awesome. The arm drops twice in this one, and Hurricane works to his feet. Rock goes for a back suplex, but Hurricane flips over and takes Rock down with a flying neckbreaker. JR acknowledges Hurricane probably can't win but still puts him over by saying he won't quit. Punches by Hurricane, and Rock gets his own. But Hurricane comes back with some clotheslines. Shining Black, and up top...flying bodypress! Only 2! Blockbuster! 2.888888, and that should do it. Rocky comes back with a DDT and does a superhero pose. Hurricane avoids a Rock Bottom, but Rock avoids the Hurrichokeslam. Rock sets up a choke slam, but Hurricane kicks him in the gut, and there's the Hurrichokeslam! COVER HIM! Slow cover, and there's that 2.99999999 that the crowd bought into. Some punches, but Rock counters a whip into a spinebuster. People's Elbow...nope! Austin's music stops Rocky cold. Here comes Austin to the ring, and Hurricane roll up a distracted Rocky for the pin at 9:35! HOLY SHIT! Slow start, and unfortunately the finish I expected for Rock-Booker, but I'll take it. **3/4 Note to Triple H: That's how you put someone over. Rocky is pissed and staring Austin down.
END OF SHOW
Very good once the pace picked up. It just took too long for the pace to pick up. And the crowd bought into the possibility of an upset until Austin's music hit, which pretty much took the focus away from the match and the magnitude the upset should have had, and that is a damn shame. Now will Hurricane even get a WrestleMania match after that huge win? Probably not.
Final HHHater Clock: Three segments, 11:12, 4:36 wrestling time.
Final Match Count: Six matches, 22:12 wrestling time, and one potentially kickass match taken away from us because of transmission problems.
Overall, boring as hell for the most part. Save for The Rock and The Hurricane, nothing, and I mean nothing, clicked tonight. Bait and switch, transmission problems, sound problems, and cutting from a match to show someone showing up...this just screamed of 1997 WCW. Hopefully that's not a sign of where this company will be four years from now.
As always, you can send me your feedback here.