Raw Ripped Apart - 7/28/03
By Charles "Loss 4 Words" Williams
Jul 30, 2003, 11:34
It's the column 15 people have been anxiously awaiting for years. Okay, so even there I'm probably exaggerating.
Here it is, in the flesh, the first installment of my RAW review. I am Charles Williams, slightly better known as Loss4Words to the message board crowd, and this is what I have to say about a show that, for better or worse, I've managed to watch for the past ten years. I just wanted to establish a few things first and foremost so there's no confusion:
1. Writing is a creative outlet and I don't think I should confine myself to a certain structure. Certain shows are just going to require a brief overview, some will warrant detailed match reviews and star ratings and some will warrant picking apart the booking endlessly and offering alternate solutions. For those reasons, I'm not going to establish one title for the review and I'm not going to establish one format for the review.
2. I'm not going to dwell on my personal life. I think you can do so when you can make a joke that is relevant to the show itself, but don't expect updates on my latest video game escapades or how much I love Canada. Is that subtle enough?
3. I like feedback, so hit me with lots of it. Like everything in life, this will be a work in progress.
Yo, DJ, pump this party!
RAW Ripped Apart 07/28/03
Show starts with Vince McMahon coming out in his Why-Yes-I-Am-Rich-How-Did-You-Ever-Figure-It-Out-Is-It-My-Smile-Or-My-Glorious-Hairstyle shirt as he runs down the Kane storyline and promises to confront him later tonight. Surely, Vince McMahon wouldn't take the one RAW program in the past six months that has drawn ratings and inject himself and his family in it so they continue to look like ratings winners, would he? Nah, I'm imagining things. Anyway, Vince promises that all hell will break loose at the end of the show, which makes him a liar and a poor dresser. I dumped my last ex to get away from people like that. Wrestling is supposed to be an escape. Ah, I give up.
Next we have Booker T and Scott Steiner, both of whom were taken to the next level courtesy of riveting feuds with HHH, in the opening match against Test and Christian. I've figured out that neither of these feuds will ever end. They will trade victories forever and Christian will be a 24-time Intercontinental champion by 2005. Take THAT, Nature Boy! No, not you Sass. Anyway, they take a commercial break mid-match, which I guess I can't fault them for since it has led to a small ratings increase, and we come back and Booker pins Christian again. Good to see Booker get the clean win again, but it's time to move Booker on to new opponents and also try to do something productive with Christian. I thought Booker would probably feud with Jericho next, but as we saw later in the show, that doesn't appear to be happening.
Next, we get a video package announcing HHH v Goldberg at Summerslam. Goldberg seems to finally be getting over, although he's not the WCW phenomenon anymore. But at least they seem to be using him in the right way now.
We come back and Goldberg is going against Steven Richards. Damn, there's only so much you can do with a guy like Goldberg since no one wants to see him in competitive matches, so you end up with this hugely over guy squashing nobodies who can't squash main eventers like that. He's SO easily exposed that I have to call Eric Bischoff a genius for getting him over in 1998, but I think WWE needs to accept that they're not going to capture lightning in a bottle with this guy and push someone else instead. And that's that. We do get Goldberg v Flair hyped for next week's Nitro, which is what probably should have co-headlined Bad Blood. HHH v Nash, Jericho v HBK II and Goldberg v Flair. That way, Jericho is saved as a challenger for Goldberg and gets his win over HBK and Goldberg plows through Evolution on the route to HHH. This is why thinking ahead is a GOOD thing. Anyway, HHH comes out sporting the new hairstyle after Goldberg gets the win and actually does a decent promo on the HHH scale before Flair decides to get involved and overact and ruin everything. Never thought I'd say that, but it's really what happened here. Flair rushes the ring, which looks so stupid every time he does it when you have the rest of Evolution acting all cool, calm and overpushed and Flair is somehow managing to defy gravity and flail around as fast as his manboobs.
Next up is Val Venis v Rico. These segments bother me because they do nothing to help either guy. Either guy getting a win over the other means nothing in the long run. They either need to be used as jobbers to bigger stars or they need to at least be in segments where they are the name value weak link instead of having two ratings weak links stinking up the place at once. I like Rico and don't hate Val, but this is the worst possible way to use either guy. Rico does the gimmick quite well though, and I'm still waiting for the Terry Taylor/Adrian Street Mid South angle. For those unfamiliar, I won't spoil it so you will be surprised when they rip it off. Eh, what the hell, they're not going to do it. Basically, Street kissed Taylor and Taylor was so disgusted that he was easy prey for a quick pin and Street won the TV title. The problem is that they have to push Rico in a way where he could have a meaningful match and convincingly win to pull off such an angle, and that doesn't exactly seem to be a priority at the moment.
Now, we see the van carrying Kane backstage, as Bischoff panics because that's all Bischoff ever is allowed to do -- panic and gloat. That's pretty much his range of emotion, folks. Art imitates life, I guess, for those who followed the Monday Night Wars.
Now, we get the Highlight Reel as Jericho is nice enough to sing a little John Denver to us to get the segment underway. His first guest is Randy Orton, who has turned into the most generic heel this side of himself, basically standing there admiring himself while Jericho actually does his promo for him. Yeah, I'd say the Highlight Reel is serving a purpose. Jericho's delivery is good, as always, but damn, why does he always have to stare at the ground when doing interviews? Would it kill him to stop with the finger point and actually look up and make eye contact with the camera and the crowd? It's a small thing, but I think it would make a major difference in his overall presentation. And everyone is freaking about how "historic" HBK tapping out was, so there's nothing left to say. Anyway, RRRandy OOOrton is now out and he and Jericho are doing just fine basking in mutual admiration until HBK decides to interrupt the party. Shawn actually does a good, focused promo for the first time in a long time, but says he'd be a millionaire if he had a nickel for every stiff he had beat. I know payoffs were low back then, as they are now, but if Shawn was clamoring for a nickel, what was he really making? No wonder Jesus miraculously healed his back in 2002 and allowed him to come back and bump his ass off. $15,000 a week just wasn't enough! Shawn makes it a point to tell Jericho everyone knows he could never get the job done by himself, which angers me because it renders last week's match meaningless. Put this guy in the HOF now! He put over Flair at Bad Blood, you know. The whole thing turns into a double-team until Kevin Nash makes the save. "Chariots Of Fire" should be his new entrance music at his current speed. At any rate (excluding workrate obviously), Nash challenges Jericho to a match after the commercial break because his name is not Susan or something. So we come back and Jericho is working over Nash's knee. This is pretty much the only match these two can work together, which is why a PPV feud is a bad idea unless it's to put Jericho over strong, but I've watched wrestling before and know better than that. So, Jericho gets DQ'd off of a low blow and Nash and Nash decides to beat him up and Jericho blades and I cry. Funny how Nash is now looking to one of the Vanilla Midgets to hopefully revitalize him, but there's no hope for "Big Nasty" at this point.
Meanwhile, Hurricane does another unrealistic segment with Rosey trying to get him over by referring to him as SHIT. While I like the fact that they're at least being truthful about the guy, this stuff does nothing for me. Next!
Now, we have La Resistance going against Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade. Jindrak and Cade are like a really big, roided-up version of Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk, circa 1990. Jindrak, as I've said many times before, is a good athlete, but needs direction and needs to be protected greatly. If he can learn to sell, they may have a star, but he's a little too big to be a mass underdog. So maybe he just needs to learn to be more versatile and become an imposing heel. It's also obvious he has very little confidence out there, but I think that will come with time. So, I'm not as down on Jindrak as most seem to be. Everyone else in this match can go to hell though for all I care. The Dudleys do guest commentary and take this feud and themselves so seriously that I have to laugh. "We hate the French", says Bubba Ray. How politically correct! Then again, his name is Bubba, so I shouldn't expect much in the first place. Match ends when the bad wrestler (yeah, I know) pins the bad wrestler. The Dudleys come to the rescue, only to get beat down. Good. I'm sick of them.
Next up, we have Molly Holly v Gail Kim. Molly makes Gail look like a wrestler, although I think everyone is being way too hard on Gail Kim. She's a fresh face, has an exciting offense and is getting pushed. She'll get better with time, just as Trish did. So I think we need to have some patience. Anyway, Molly wins this match after doing a better job of making Gail look like a wrestler than anyone has so far. Kudos to them giving Molly the belt. Now, I hope that whether she's a face or heel, they'll try to make Molly relatable.
Now, we have McMahon-A-Mania, as Vince finds a way to put himself over at Kane's expense. How lovely. Austin then comes back and finds a way to hype a match that can never happen even more. Wonderful. Then Shane McMahon takes the cake by coming back and finally slaying the monster that they've built up and made people care about over the past few weeks. How disgusting. Shane, by the way, has what would commonly be referred to as "cameltoe" if a female was wearing those pants. Ridiculous.
I guarantee you that any momentum Kane has garnered over the past few weeks was killed in that final segment. After all, if Kane can't draw against Vince and Shane, he's a lost cause apparently. This company is terribly depressing.
Thumbs down for a show that was about as counterproductive as it possibly could be, save Nash actually murdering Jericho. Guess they have to save some things for PPV though.
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