Torch Flashbacks KELLER'S WWE TABOO TUESDAY PPV REPORT 5 YRS. AGO (10-19-04): Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton vs. Ric Flair, Shelton Benjamin IC Title victory vs. Chris Jericho
Oct 25, 2009 - 2:47:05 PM
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WWE TABOO TUESDAY PPV REPORT - 5 years ago
OCTOBER 19, 2004
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, TORCH EDITOR
-The PPV actually opened with a handheld camera showing the tunnel leading to the arena in what was apparently a shot that wasn't meant to get on the air. Then they went to a preview of the event.
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show from their desk. They said the fan voting has been going crazy all day and they would soon be revealing results. The Spanish announce team also introduced the show.
-Coach stepped out onto the big stage which had a simulated keyboard spread out over it. The WWE Divas joined Coach as he talked about the results of the fan voting for that match. Schoolgirl Outfits won out with 53 percent of the vote, which closely matched the results of the Torch Instant Poll, where the Schoolgirl option received 59 percent of the vote. This is going to scare WWE if all of their results match the Torch Poll because it is going to indicate Torch readers' opinions may more closely match the masses than they'd like to believe. (Access the full Torch Taboo Tuesday Poll Results here.) Coach pointed out that it was the same option that got the most cheers from the crowd. The could have saved a lot of trouble apparently, and just polled the live crowd.
1 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN - Intercontinental Title match
Coach said all of the options were backstage ready to complete. Coach himself was an option, too. They showed Batista, Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Rodney Mack, Hurricane, Maven, Chuck Palumbo, William Regal, Steven Richards, Rhyno, Rosey, Tajiri, or Tyson Tomko. Coach said Val Venis was eliminated due to an injury suffered at the hands of Kane. He said he was also a candidate, but the crowd booed him. Benjamin got the most cheers, which Coach pointed out. The results showed Benjamin in first place with 37 percent and Batista in second with 20 percent. Torch voting had Benjamin with 40 percent and Batista with 18, so the two polls were very close.. They showed that Coach finished with 7 percent. The results of WWE's polling matches our Torch Instant Poll, as Benjamin finished first followed by Batista. At 1:45 Benjamin backdropped Jericho over the top rope. After having watched TNA Impact this afternoon, I expected them to cut to an abrupt commercial break. Lawler said Jericho didn't know who to concentrate on when it came to planning for his match. Of course, realistically, Jericho and Benjamin were told they were way ahead in voting and to prepare to wrestle each other. Jericho also could have checked the Torch online poll to find out his likely opponent. Benjamin got in some sustained offense. He hit a bodyblock at 9:00 and scored a two count. To Ross's credit he said, 'This should be it," which is better than "This is it! It's over!" Jericho surprised Benjamin with a Walls of Jericho attempt, but Benjamin turned it into an inside cradle for a near fall. Jericho followed up with chops. Shelton turned it into a T-Bone suplex for a clean three count. Ross said this shows that if you don't have time to prepare for a match what can happen. Jericho and Benjamin had a staredown in the ring afterward. Jericho pulled the IC belt out of his hands, then placed it over his shoulder and shook his hand.
WINNER: Benjamin at 10:54.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Pretty flat match, a notch below average actually. Not the type of hot opener that you'd want, especially when it's the crowning of a "People's Champion" like Benjamin in this situation. Benjamin did a nice job with a post-match celebration.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Edge, Chris Benoit, and Shawn Michaels backstage as they each made a final pitch for final votes. Grisham pointed out that it appeared Michaels was injured last night, but Hunter is suspicious he was faking it. Michaels said he has a torn medial meniscus, but then looked at the camera and said,
"Whatever is left in here I will leave in the ring for you."
-Coach then polled the live audience. Benoit got a decent response. Edge got mostly boos. Michaels got a similar response as Benoit, perhaps a few more cheers than Benoit. The results from the online poll were: Michaels at 39 percent, Edge at 33 percent, and Benoit at 28 percent. That's the first drastic difference from our poll and the first reason to be suspicious of the results. Benoit received 50 percent of Torch votes, while Edge finished second with 31 percent, and then Michaels in a far distant third with 20 percent. Edge was not happy when he heard the results. With Michaels's injured knee, it should drastically change the style of the match they were planning to work. As noted two weeks ago in the Torch Newsletter, their hope initially was that Michaels would win fan voting and face Hunter. The plan was to also do a title switch to get Hunter one step closer to breaking Ric Flair's record of holding a World Title 17 times. As noted earlier in the "WWE News" section, Michaels's injury is painful, but not the type that would make wrestling impossible.
Nidia was the first eliminated right after Jazz ripped off her top. Jazz was out next via Victoria. Gail Kim was eliminated third. Victoria was out next. That left Molly, Trish, and Stacy. Molly eliminated Stacy, then Trish eliminated Molly to win.
WINNER: Trish at 5:35 to retain the WWE Women's Title.
STAR RATING: 1/4* -- Not really a match easy to grade since it's purpose was completely different than a traditional match, which was to show the women bent over from behind as often as possible. In that respect, it worked very well. But the wrestling wasn't exactly credible, although not disastrous, either.
-Grisham interviewed La Resistance backstage, who reacted to defending the World Tag Team Titles against Chris Benoit & Edge. Robert Conway complained and said it was typical of the corrupt American voting system. Grisham put the mic in front of Sylvain Grenier's face but he had nothing to say. Conway said they are wrestling the match under protest. During the interview, their flag pole fell over.
-Ross said he's not the biggest Kane fan in the world, but he hopes he beats the living hell out of Gene Snitsky tonight. A video package then aired recapping the Lita-Kane-Snitsky storyline.
-Coach asked the crowd whether they'd rather see the chair, chain, or pipe. He said the chain got the biggest crowd reaction. I'd say the crowd was equally indifferent to each option. The WWE online poll results were chain first with 31 percent, chair second with 30 percent, and pipe third with 29 percent. In other words, who cares? The Torch online poll was close, also, with the chair finishing first at 39 percent, chain at 34 percent, and pipe at 27 percent.
3 -- GENE SNITSKY vs. KANE
Lita came to ringside to watch the match and support Kane. Snitsky choked Kane with the chain, and Kane tapped out repeatedly, but the ref didn't count it as a tapout because Kane was really just hitting the mat in frustration to get himself worked up, not because he was giving up. It was a bad choice of gesture for Kane, though, considering it made the ref look really dumb for ignoring the tapout. Snitsky hit a sideslam for a near fall at 8:30. Both Kane and Snitsky then nailed each other with simultaneous big boots to the face. Lawler said he was surprised at how even the match was. Lita yanked the chain away from Snitsky. Lita cheered on Kane, but Snitsky at that point whipped Kane into the ringside steps. Snitsky used a chair, ramming it into Kane's throat. Ross said the chair was not voted in by fans. He continued to use the chair right in front of the ref, making a mockery of the whole voting procedure since it really didn't matter what fans voted for, the wrestlers could use anything and get away with it. Chain matches are so annoying on TV because the rattling of the chain links when picked up by a microphone is about as appealing to listen to as finger nails on a chalk board. Snitsky stuck Kane's head through the chair and then came off the ropes and stomped on it. Kane began bleeding from the mouth. The ref called for EMTs to come to the ring. Snitsky left the ring. Instead, Snitsky charged back into the ring and covered Kane. The ref counted to three. It almost seemed as if Snitsky forgot to pin Kane at first because it appeared Lita wasn't sure what to do, as she began entering the ring when Snitsky left, then waited for the awkward pin. Lita entered the ring as EMTs tended to Kane as he gasped for breath. He was taken out on gurney. Snitsky tipped over the gurney and stomped away at him. Ross was outraged. "That son of a bitch," said Ross. "What a no good son of a bitch."
WINNER: Snitsky at 14:18.
STAR RATING: 3/4* -- Snitsky being allowed to use the chair, even though the legal weapon was a chain, made the whole voting seem like a charade. The crowd was dead for most of the match. Most of the event, really.
-Grisham interviewed Edge who said he isn't happy because fans voted for a broken down has-been. "Shawn Michaels won't beat Triple H, but I would have," he said. Edge added that he meant no disrespect to the tag titles, but he'd already held then ten times and it's just a consolation prize. He sarcastically thanked the fans. Good heel promo from Edge.
4 -- ERIC BISCHOFF vs. EUGENE
They placed mannequins at ringside, one in a dress, another dressed as a servant, and the other bald. Coach said they were going to start the match before revealing the results of fan voting. Eugene played with the mannequins before the match. Jericho attacked Eugene before the match. Bischoff faked a knee injury early. Eugene came back with an airplane spin. A long airplane spin. He followed up with a legdrop for the win. The results were then announced: Shaved Head finished in first place with 59 percent, then the dress stip came in second with 21 percent, and the servant stip third with 20 percent. The order of the Torch Instant Poll was head shaved (44%), servant (35%), and wear a dress (21%). Coach polled the crowd live and they overwhelming cheered for the head shavings, but Coach tried to say they cheered for the dress stip instead. Bischoff said it sounded really close to him. Coach said he has the authority to break ties if the online voting and crowd cheers were different. He said his decision was to make Bischoff be Eugene's servant. Bischoff whispered to Coach, "For five minutes." Vince McMahon, who power walked to the ring. Eugene jumped and clapped. McMahon said he had handed over the authority to the fans and they overwhelmingly wanted to see Bischoff shaved bald. Bischoff tried to leave, but Vince said if he didn't return, he'd be shaved bald. Bischoff returned and sat down. But then he got up and left again. Coach tried to talk him into sitting in the chair. Bischoff listened to him and returned to the barber chair at ringside. Eugene began shaving Bischoff. He pulled out a big pair of scissors. Bischoff freaked out and said, "He can't even handle a fork!" McMahon told him to be very still. As usual with wrestlers, Eugene made it seem as if the most difficult thing in the world to do was shave a head, making military barbers appear to be the most highly-skilled, underpaid craftsman in the world. McMahon then said he had an idea. He ordered Coach to take his shirt and pants off. "I hope you're wearing underwear, " said Vince. Meanwhile, Eugene kept shaving. McMahon ordered Coach to put on the dress. "Don't be a slut, button it up!" said Vince. Vince began laughing when he discovered Bischoff had grey roots. "What a phony son of a bitch," laughed McMahon. McMahon told Eugene to take Bischoff backstage to finish the job.
WINNER: Eugene at 2:08.
STAR RATING: DUD -- The post-match angle was milked a lot and had some fun moment, but they didn't bother to come up with anything dramatic for the match itself.
-Edge told Michaels backstage that he should have dropped out of voting because of his knee. "You can't beat Triple H and you know I would have," he said. "This was my chance and you took it away you selfish son of a bitch." Edge stormed off as Michaels just sat and looked largely unaffected by his comments.
5 -- LA RESISTANCE vs. EDGE & CHRIS BENOIT -- World Tag Team Title match
Ross plugged Survivor Series on Nov. 14. Grenier sang "Oh Canada" really poorly. Edge lost his focus early and began arguing with a fan at ringside. Benoit had to get him back on course. When Edge tagged in Benoit, Benoit pointed at his head as if to say, "Get your head in this match." Lawler and Ross made an issue of how Edge's heart didn't seem to be into the match. At 12:30 Edge walked out on Benoit. He got backstage, grabbed his bag, and walked out to his rental car. I'm not sure why his headlights were on, but he got in the rental car and drove off. John Laurenaitis is busy writing up his fine for Edge being seen outside of the arena without dress pants and a dress shirt. Meanwhile, Benoit hit Grenier with a superplex. Both men were slow to get up. Benoit made a full-fledged comeback and beat on both heels, then gave Conway a suplex series followed by a Crippler Crossface forcing a tapout.
WINNER: Benoit at 16:03 when Conway tapped out.
STAR RATING: *1/2
-Grisham interviewed Hunter, who again complained about internet voting. He expressed skepticism that Michaels was actually hurt. "I know him better than he knows himself, and he's full of crap," he said. "He wants me to let my guard down so he can score an easy victory, but it's not going to happen." He said if Michaels's leg isn't actually broken, it will be by the end of the night.
-Ross said he believed Michaels was injured. Lawler said, "I wouldn't believe Shawn Michaels if his tongue was notorized." Lawler mockingly said his leg was locked up and he couldn't walk. They accused each other of either being too cynical or too gullible.
6 -- CHRISTY vs. CARMELLA
The voting results were 10 percent aerobics challenge, 57 percent for lingerie pillow fight, and 33 evening gown match. Coach told them to change their clothes. They walked into translucent dressing rooms and showed them seductively changing outfits. The changing went on forever, as Lawler never had so much time to talk like a horny teenager in WWE PPV history. Lillian Garcia announced the rules of the pillow fight were simple. The match would end by pinfall. Just as a joke on Carmella and all WWE fans, they should have booked this to be a 60 minute draw. At least it would give WWE fans who ordered it a chance to say they saw history. Lawler said, "I may have experienced some personal growth." Ross didn't seem amused.
WINNER: Christy at 1:46.
STAR RATING: n/a
7 -- TRIPLE H vs. SHAWN MICHAELS -- World Hvt. Title match
Lawler asked Ross if he voted for Michaels. Ross said, "As a matter of fact, I did." Just last week Ross said he wasn't voting because the event was for the fans, not people like him, to decide match-ups. Michaels was nearly immobile. Ross predicted it would end quickly. Hunter applied a figure-four at 6:00. Michaels rasped in pain, but after a minute eventually grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. Michaels made a comeback at10:00. He DDT'd Hunter, then managed to hit his big elbow drop. He showed great fire to get the crowd going. He began stomping the mat. Batista then ran to the ring and punched at Michaels. Hunter charged at Michaels, but Michaels surprised him with a kick. Hunter went down. The ref was distracted by Batista. Edge then entered the ring and gave Michaels a Spear. Edge shouted, "It should have been me!" Hunter crawled over and draped his arm over Michaels's chest and scored the pin. Ross did a great job putting Michaels over for his effort. The crowd applauded as Michaels was helped out of the ring by referees.
WINNER: Hunter at 14:08 to retain the World Hvt. Title.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Decent match with the super-underdog storyline with Michaels, but not a must-see match by any means or one to regret missing.
-Bischoff was backstage yelling at backstage workers for laughing at his haircut. Unlike what the stips said, he wasn't shaved bald. He merely had a crewcut. Big deal. Another bait and switch. If they thought a crewcut would sell as well as a bald stipulation, they would have called it a "crewcut" in the voting. The exact wording in the voting ballot was "Get His Head Shaved Bald." It was reiterated in that language many times. Maybe they feel having Coach wear a dress makes up for it since that wasn't advertised ahead of time.
-Ross and Lawler reviewed the happenings so far. Ross said they were waiting to get an update on Kane's condition later.
8 -- RANDY ORTON vs. RIC FLAIR
Torch Poll results were cage at 54 percent, submission at 29 percent, and falls count anywhere at 17 percent. The official WWE voting was 68 percent for the cage, 12 percent for submissions, and 20 percent for falls count anywhere. When Coach revealed those results, he said, "It's absolutely unanimous." Someone needs to clue him in on the definition of "unanimous." Flair wore a new black and silver robe to the ring. Ross said Flair will not just be in the Hall of Fame, he'll have a wing named after him. Flair got in some early offense and Lawler gloated that that proved Jimmy Kimmel wrong. Orton bled heavily from the forehead at 1:30. Flair licked Orton's blood off his fist. Flair and Orton battled on the top rope. When Flair came down, his trunks were down. The ref pulled them up. When Orton threw a series of punches at Flair in the corner. Flair countered with a low blow. Flair was bleeding by this point. Orton rubbed his face into the side of the cage. Orton dropkicked Flair into the cage wall. Flair tried to escape the cage, but when he got to the top rope, Orton press slammed him to the mat. Flair tried to escape through the door. Orton dragged him back into the ring, but Flair KO'd Orton with brass knuckles. Orton kicked out at the last split-second. Flair then again crawled out the door, but Orton again grabbed his leg and yanked him back in. Flair screamed that his leg was in pain. Flair grabbed a chair as he reentered the cage. Flair swung the chair, but Orton ducked and RKO'd Flair for the win. After the match, Flair offered a handshake to Orton. Orton paused, then accepted the handshake. Then they hugged. Flair kept collapsing onto one knee. Orton seemed genuinely concerned for Flair's physical state as Flair stagged around. Flair continued to stare into Orton's eyes in a sign of respect (or a secret crush). Ross called it one of the most memorable nights of his career.
WINNER: Orton at 10:35.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Bloody. Flair is really limited at this point, but he can still carry a short cage match like this to an above-average rating, but overall, not really PPV main event worthy.
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