TV REPORTS KELLERS' 12/6 WWE Raw Review: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live show
Dec 6, 2004 - 10:10:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
DECEMBER 6, 2004
LIVE FROM CHARLOTTE, N.C.
-Chris Jericho introduced Raw. He said as guest G.M., he would address the World Title controversy in a moment. He said Raw was going to be a big party and "no party would be complete without everybody getting laid." Then Hawaiian leis were dropped from the ceiling. Fans fought over them. He said his band, Fozzy, was on stage to perform live during the evening. He threw to a clip of last week's main event title match ending. He said only one person was qualified to decide who the champion was, and that was Mr. Vincent Kennedy McMahon. McMahon's "No Chance in Hell" blared as he walked out.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler formally introduced Raw as McMahon made his way to the ring. McMahon said that Benoit's shoulders were clearly on the mat, yet Edge clearly tapped out. He said that meant it was a tie and ties traditionally cancel each other out, implying Triple H would be champ by default.
Triple H's music played and he walked out, looking happy to be hearing good news. When he stepped into the ring, McMahon congratulated him. Hunter reached for the belt. McMahon said he was congratulating him for being a best selling author since his fitness book was coming out tomorrow. He congratulated him again. Hunter again though that meant he was being given the belt back, but McMahon instead said that he was a movie star since "Blade: Trinity" comes out later in the week.
Finally, McMahon said he was not going to make Hunter champion. He was holding up the belt, meaning Hunter was no longer champion; nobody was champion. He said he was leaving the decision of what to do with the belt up to Eric Bischoff. This may be dragged out until New Year's Resolution. Hunter was very displeased with the decision.
-Triple H threw a tantrum backstage. Ric Flair was trying to calm him. Batista seemed a little too calm for Hunter's taste. Hunter got in Batista's face and asked him why he wasn't more upset about McMahon's decision. He also asked why he was so nonchalant about being barred from ringside last week. Batista said that's how he reacts and he's not apologizing for it. He told Hunter if it wasn't for him breaking up Benoit's Crippler Crossface on him, he wouldn't have this controversy to worry about because Benoit would be the new champ. Hunter began throwing things against the walls backstage.
-Christian confronted Jericho in his party-ready G.M. office. He was upset about having to wear a silly Captain Charisma outfit. Jericho didn't back down. Then Benoit walked in and addressed the title situation. Jericho said he understands that he probably isn't happy, but he'd do the next best thing - give him a match against Batista and Hunter later. He said he, Jericho, would be his partner.
-A recap aired of the Trish Stratus-Lita feud, previewing one of the matches Jericho scheduled for later.
1 -- MAVEN vs. EUGENE (w/William Regal)
The crowd was into Eugene at the start. Maven didn't seem to take Eugene seriously early in the match. He faked getting tripped by Regal, which caused the ref to order Regal to the back. Eugene went for some roll-ups for near falls. Maven tricked Eugene into thinking he was congratulating him for being clever, but then beat on him relentlessly in the corner until the ref called for the bell. Regal ran out for the save. Maven left Regal and Eugene lying.
WINNER: Eugene via DQ.
STAR RATING: 1/2*
-Jericho hosted a limbo contest with all of the Raw Divas. Christy Hemme was and then let out a high-pitched squeal in celebration. A clever way for WWE management to try to reach those great ratings that MTV gets for stuff like this. Wait, MTV's average rating is about 1.0 and Raw's is above 3.5? Jericho asked the crowd if they wish they were him. A little arrogant, but it transitioned into his song. He walked to the stage and began singing "Don't You Wish You Were Me." About 30 seconds into it, the lights went out. Khosrow Daivai interrupted in foreign tongue. He shifted into English, then Hassan began talking. He asked everyone how it felt to be having a good time, only to have it come to a crashing halt? He said that's what happened to his people, Arab-Americans, after 9/11. He said next week he was going to debut on Raw and end their party once and for all. To the crowd's credit, there wasn't a very loud "USA" chant since they would have been cheering on Hassan and Daivari as much as anyone since they're full-fledged Americans, too.
2 -- SIMON DEAN vs. HURRICANE
Hurricane got in most of the offense at first, then Dean took over. He flaunted his advantage by doing push-ups in the ring. Hurricane made a comeback, but when he went for a Shining Wizard, Dean ducked and then rolled him up and scored the three count with a handful of tights.
STAR RATING: 3/4*
-Another clip aired of the Lita-Trish feud, the hilarious bridal shower skit.
-Coach interviewed Randy Orton, who seemed a bit forced once again in trying to be Rock-like on his promo. He said he was thrilled with the decision that Hunter was no longer champion because that meant he could have a title match again. He then took a dig at Coach for being unable to get laid.
-Edge walked to the ring to complain about the World Title situation. The crowd chanted "You tapped out!" He said he was all prepared to show up at the arena and defend his World Title, but instead he was screwed one more time. He then shifted blame to Randy Orton who could have made it a singles match last week - Edge vs. Hunter - and then there would be no controversy. He called Orton's World Title reign a failure. Orton came out and ranted and raved for a minute. He said at least he has been champion before. Edge said, "When it comes to you and me, you're my bitch." That led to slugfest. The two rolled around on the mat as several referees and agents broke them apart, including Sgt. Slaughter, Steve Keirn, Dean Malenko, and Arn Anderson. No Rick Steamboat. The crowd chanted "Randy, Randy." Ross said it was a combustible situation. Good intensity on the angle.
-A feature aired on "Blade: Trinity" where Hunter's co-stars were told to talk about Jesus Christ, and then it was spliced to make it appear as if they were talking about Hunter.
3 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. CHRISTIAN (w/Tyson Tomko) - IC Title match
Shelton laughed when he saw the purple and yellow outfit Christian had to wear. He had a mask with "C"s for antenaes. Tomko tried to keep Christian calm. Benjamin got in early offense, but Tomko elbowed his back from behind a minute in, giving Christian control. Christian applied an abdominal stretch. Benjamin elbowed out of it and went on sustained offense until missing a Stinger splash. Christian cradled Benjamin for a near fall. Tomko distracted the ref as Christian ran at Benjamin with the belt. Benjamin caught Christian with the boot, although it appeared Christian stopped a few inches short. When the ref saw the belt on the mat, Tomko entered the ring and gave Benjamin a viscious boot to the face. That led to a convincing near fall. Benjamin kicked at Tomko on the apron, but Tomko caught his leg. Benjamin spun around and kicked Christian in the face. Then he dropkicked Tomko off the ring apron to the floor. Christian somehoow ended up with his mask twisted over his face - having done it to himself for some reason - and Benjamin gave him a T-Bone Slam for the win. Jericho came out and sang "Na na na na, good bye" with his band as Christian retreated to the back.
WINNER: Benjamin at 5:40 to retain the IC Title.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Okay at times, but not particularly intense or stiff, and a couple moves showed some light. The embarassing outfit bit fit Christian's act, though.
-Smackdown Rebound aired.
-Gene Snitsky approached Lita backstage, saying it was a shame her husband Kane couldn't be there for her big match later. He added, once again, what happened to her wasn't his fault.
-They replayed the Vince McMahon World Title announcement. Then backstage, Ric Flair called Eric Bischoff and handed the phone to Hunter. Hunter talked into Bischoff's voice mail, insisting that he do the right thing next week and give him his title back. He talked about how he was an author, a moviestar, and, Flair added, on the cover of Raw magazine (as if that's some sort of feat for the magazine's owner's son-in-law). As Hunter began to get threatened in his tone, Batista flipped the phone closed. He told Hunter that he shouldn't be threatening Bischoff since he holds his fate in his hands. Hunter ridiculously took that to mean Batista thought he shouldn't be champion. Batista said, "As far as I'm concerned, there's only one real World Heavyweight Champion." Batista left. Flair assured Hunter, "He's talking about you."
-Clips aired of the WWE visit to Iraq last weekend.
4 -- TRIPLE H & BATISTA vs. CHRIS JERICHO & CHRIS BENOIT
When Lilian Garcia announced Hunter as "former World Heavyweight Champion," he fumed with anger, then exploded to the ring, chasing Lilian into the crowd. He started the match when Batista showed signs of wanting to start. He was on defense the first several minutes, taking a beating from both Jericho and Benoit. Ross acknowledged chants of "We Want Flair," saying they were in Flair's hometown.
During the break, Flair distracted the ref as Batista gave a sitout powerbomb to Jericho. That gave the heels a sustained advantage. Benoit got the hot-tag at 9:00 and cleaned house, although when he hit Flair, he got booed. He then got cheered when he gave Hunter a series of German suplexes. Jericho then gave Hunter a Lionsault. It's the first time the move ever looked like it hurt even a little thanks to Hunter's positioning and selling of it. Benoit then hit a top rope headbutt. Benoit put Hunter in a Crossface as Jericho had him in the Walls of Jericho. Flair distracted the again as Batista broke up the illegal double submission by the babyfaces. Hunter got a chair and hit Benoit cross the back of the skull with it leading to the DQ. Hunter then hit the ref with the chair, reenforcing his frustration with the title situation. When he swung at Jericho, Jericho ducked and he bashed Batista instead. He then hit Jericho, then threw the chair to the mat. Ross said, "The steel chair and Hunter have left carnage in the ring." Flair went to check on Batista and asked Hunter, "What have yo done." Flair cradled Batista's head in his arms as Batista looked at Hunter like a dog whose master just hit him for no reason. Hunter apologized to a groggy Batista. Hunter retreated to the back on his own. Ross rubbed in that he left without his title. Hunter yelled to the crowd that he was never beat. Ross said, "Too damn bad! You get what you deserve around here!"
WINNERS: Jericho & Benoit at 11:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Good tag match.
-They went backstage where Trish was warming up. Two backstage workers stopped to admire her from behind. Trish noticed and said, "Can I help you with something?" They shrugged and walked off. Lita then walked up to her. Trish asked her what the walking kiss of death was going to ruin tonight. Lita gave Trish a big kiss on the lips, then threw her to the ground. That was strange.
-Ross plugged Orton vs. Edge next week along with the return of Eric Bischoff.
5 -- TRISH STRATUS vs. LITA -- Women's Title match
First of all, good move putting this match on last. No title and no wrestler will ever become a strong draw without being put in the main event position on Raw. Lita took a really nasty bump on her head when diving through the ropes onto Trish. You could sense everyone was concerned for her safety, especially considering her neck problems in the past. The ref checked on her, and she ended up okay. They replayed it three times from two angles, and Ross and Lawler marvelled at how she managed to survive and continue. Trish took off her face mask and hit Lita with it. She smiled, as if to say her face was better and the mask was just an excuse to bring a weapon to the ring. Lita hit a superplex on Trish at 4:45. They went into a nice series of back and forth convincing near falls. Trish tried to win with her feet on the ropes, but Lita kicked out. Lita then hit a Twist of Fate and a moonsault for the win. "I can't believe the effort, the heart, that both women displayed!"
WINNER: Lita at 7:09 to capture the WWE Women's Championship.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- It was a good final seven minutes of a three-star 15 minute match, but they weren't given enough time to tell much of a story. Still, what there was of the match was better than what Trish and Lita have done in the past. Lita showed really good fire and Trish played a good heel throughout.
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