TV REPORTS 6/21 WWE Raw review: Keller's ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live show
Jun 21, 2004 - 10:09:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
JUNE 21, 2004
LIVE FROM MIAMI, FLA.
-The show opened with clips of Triple H manipulating Eugene last week into thinking he was his friend.
-After the opening montage, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. They talked about the Triple H vs. Eugene match, plus plugged an exclusive update on Shawn Michaels's condition.
-The Rock then walked out. Ross and Lawler said they were in his hometown, but didn't have any idea he'd be there. He walked out and introduced his family at ringside and two Miami Dolphins, Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. He made fun of the players for "earning $20 million a year" and wearing free Nike t-shirts. He said Taylor is his neighbor, but he's so cheap he calls him collect. He ribbed them for playing bad defense and said he hopes they bring a title to Miami next football season. He said he has another friend in the back named Eugene. He called for Eugene to come out so he talk to him about the true intentions of Hunter. Instead, Randy Orton walked out. He said Eugene wasn't at the building yet, but he was arriving soon with his new good friend Hunter. He called Rock yesterday's news and said he, Orton, is the new, more hip, better looking replacement for him. Rock said he agrees with the fans calling him an "asshole."
Orton bragged about beating him and Mick Foley at WrestleMania. Rock said he remembers a man named Rocky "Soulman" Johnson whipping his daddy Bob Orton's ass. He said it went back even another generation with their fathers, and added that his grandma beat up his grandma. They showed Rock's grandma at ringside eating up Rock's dishing. Orton said the fans may chant his name, but they know deep down inside "who the man is." Rock said when they were kids, Orton was picking his nose, wiping it on his shirt, and playing with a My Pretty Pony. Orton said the pony was his sister's. He said Orton ran away, right past Junkyard Dog and Andre the Giant right into "King Kong Bundy's balls." He said Randy's dad some day Randy would be great. Rock said he replied, "One day I'm going to whip your son's candy ass." Fans chanted "Rocky, Rocky." Rock said it might not be today, "it's gonna be tonight." Then he nailed Orton with a barrage of punches, and sent Orton bumping over the top rope to the floor. Orton threatened to re-enter the ring, but didn't.
Eric Bischoff walked out onto the stage as four security members walked to ringside. Bischoff said he doesn't mind him coming onto his show, but he would not let him put a superstar at risk like Randy. He said he also wouldn't let him jeopardize his main event, Eugene vs. Hunter. He ordered security to escort him out of the arena and if he resisted at all, he'd have law enforcement throw him in jail.
Rock voluntarily leaved while talking on the mic on his way out. "Of all people to throw out of the building, you chose the Rock," he said. "No wonder WCW went out of business." Rock then bumped into Trish and told her not to look at his package. He told the same to Tomko, adding that he likes his show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He then pulled the wig off of Molly and put it on one of the security member's bald heads. He bumped into Hurricane and Rosey. "I bet you know how to say supersize me, don't you," he said to Rosey. He then bumped into Coach and asked him why he was frowning. He offered a handshake, then pulled it away. Rock closed by saying he was guaranteeing that Eugene would be whipping Triple H's ass all over the ring. Orton, from the ring, said, "Enough is enough. Someone just get him out of the arena." He said in three seconds Orton was about to feel something he's never felt before. He counted down, and then Orton turned around and fled a spear from Edge. Orton sold it like he was rammed in the gut with a swinging I-beam at a construction site. Rock then drove off in his pick-up as Edge soaked up cheers from the crowd. Rock was at his entertaining, charismatic best. Good use of Rock to give some rub to Orton and Edge, too.
-Bischoff told a security member that he wanted to be absolutely sure Rock wasn't allowed back in the building. Chris Benoit then walked up to Bischoff and asked Bischoff why Eugene had to be put in the middle of things. He said if Hunter wanted a title shot, he'd give him one without him having to beat up Eugene first. Bischoff told Benoit that's not his business. He told him since he's not on the schedule, "I suggest you stay out of this, or else." Benoit asked, "Or else?" Bischoff said, "I've already thrown one superstar out of the building tonight, I've got no problem throwing out another one." Benoit walked away and Bischoff let out a sinister laugh. Ross called Bischoff an evil man.
1 -- TRISH STRATUS (w/Tyson Tomko) vs.
After a superkick and a moonsault at 3:30, Victoria had Trish down for an apparent win, but Tomko yanked Victoria off of Trish before three. Seconds later Trish used the middle rope for leverage to score a pin. A manly woman saved Victoria from a post-match attack.
WINNER: Trish Stratus at 3:51.
STAR RATING: 3/4* -- Decent short match.
-Clips aired of the WWE Divas Search stop in Chicago. They didn't show him on camera, but it sounded as if John "Big" Gaburick of Tough Enough fame was M.C.ing the event. No surprise there.
-Ross plugged again that they'd have an update later on Michaels's condition.
-They went to footage of Kane's attack on Michaels last week with all the dramatic post-production work you'd expect. Ross said Michaels suffered a crushed larynx and the injuries were more serious than they figured even last week. Ross concluded, "It's going to be a long, long time before we see Shawn Michaels again."
-William Regal barged into Bischoff's office and told him he wanted an explanation for him putting Eugene at risk later when he has become such a hero to WWE fans. Bischoff said he doesn't have to explain anything to him. Regal asked him why he doesn't just fire him. Bischoff said he had a board of directors to answer to and his sister to answer to. He said Eugene had to quit on his own, and what better way than to have him beaten like a drum and humiliated by his favorite wrestler, Triple H. Bischoff said Regal had done such a good job overseeing Eugene, that he was relieving him of his duties with Eugene and he was putting him back on the active roster as of tonight. He said he had no time to change because his match was up next. Regal sneered.
-Regal stood in center ring waiting to find out who his opponent was going to be. Ross said it would be his first match in nearly a year and a half. Kane then came out. Regal didn't look thrilled. "You gotta be kidding me," said Ross. "Is this punishment?" Regal met Kane at ringside and got in some early blows including an unexpected headbutt, but Kane quickly came back with a boot to the face, KO'ing Regal. Kane then walked to the back as the ref tended to Regal.
-Bischoff thanked Kane for what he just did. Kane told Bischoff he hadn't seen "nothing yet." Bischoff nervously asked what that meant. Kane just laughed maniacally.
-Another segment aired on the WWE Divas Search. There's something about this whole thing that makes me a bit queasy. The winner is being paid more than most other WWE "Divas" will make in the next three years. At least with Tough Enough, the applicants were willing to take bumps and pay some dues. They showed the reaction of women who were told by Coach that they were being rejected and those who were told they were moving on. It just comes across as a lame, misplaced attempt to fit a reality TV contest onto a wrestling show. Not that it won't work, because it does paint being a WWE Divas as being a legitimate honor that beautiful woman all over the country want to become, but it still feels out of place.
2 -- CHRIS JERICHO & EDGE vs. RANDY ORTON & BATISTA
Edge and Jericho cleared the ring of Batista and Orton at 4:30, but seconds later Batista nailed Jericho with a vicious clothesline that almost beheaded him. Jericho sold it like he was seriously injured. The ref had to stop Batista from going after him again. The ref called for several refs to come out to tend to him. Lawler said it appeared Jericho was unconscious. They cut to a break.
Ross said Jericho was unable to continue, so Edge would have to finish the match on his own. He said Edge had the option of continuing the match and he chose to. Lawler said it was an idiotic choice by Edge. Edge took a beating for several minutes, but eventually made a comeback. Batista went for a clothesline, but Edge ducked. Batista was supposed to bump over the top rope but didn't make it. They awkwardly struggled for a few seconds until Edge shoved him over the top rope. Orton then rolled up Edge from behind. Edge came back with a spear, but Batista broke up the in attempt. Batista then gave Edge a Batista Bomb (sitout powerbomb). Edge pulled a lifeless, bleeding Edge up and then gave him an RKO for the win.
WINNERS: Batista & Orton in 14:00.
STAR RATING: ** -- Solid tag match for the most part, although a bit formula once it came down to Edge alone. The awkward spot with Batista and the choppy finishing sequence in general took away from it.
-More clips aired of the WWE Divas Search. The women talked about being jealous of each other
-Ross and Lawler talked about the presidential candidates responding to WWE's Smackdown the Vote campaign to get 18-30 year olds to register to vote. They touted that President Bush and candidate Sen. Kerry filled out the forms. Maven, Hurricane, and Victoria talked about the campaign.
-Stacy congratulated Matt Hardy backstage. She said Lita told her she informed him of the great news. He said he is a bit nervous.
-The Smackdown Rebound clips aired.
-Eugene arrived via limo with Ric Flair and Triple H. He said he is a "limousine riding, jet flying kiss stealing, wheelin' dealin' son of a gun, whoo!" Hunter told Eugene he was going to get to dress in Evolution's locker room. Eugene got excited. Hunter said he is enjoying this more than anything else in life. What does that say about Stephanie McMahon?
-Matt Hardy walked to the ring. His Matt Fact said that he was ecstatic for the last week. He said Father's Day will never be the same now that he's going to be a father. He called Lita to the ring. She came out with a big smile on her face. Matt told her how much he loves her and how he's the happiest person in the world. He said he doesn't want to tell her how much he loves her, he wants to show her. He got down on one knee. Lita began laughing as Matt reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring. Matt popped the question. Just as she nodded her head and was about to say yes, Kane interrupted on the big screen and said: "Lita! Lita! Before you answer that question, don't you think there is something you should tell Matt. Let me tell Matt for you. That baby Lita is carrying isn't yours, it's mine! Ha ha ha ha ha!" Hardy screamed: "Kane, you lying bastard. You want to mess with me, you come out here. You want to ruin my life, come out here and let me ruin yours" Kane said, "If you don't believe me, why don't you just ask Lita." He laughed maniacally (there's a lot of that going around). Matt took a deep breath and then turned around and saw Lita crying. He looked like he was about to faint as he read Lita's reaction as bad news. Hardy snapped and nearly began crying himself.
Lita chased after Matt Hardy backstage, trying to have a moment with him to talk, but he couldn't get himself to listen to her. He walked away crying.
More footage from the WWE Divas search was shown.
They showed Eugene looking for William Regal backstage, but Evolution assured him they were his friends now. Eric Bischoff walked in and refused to hug Eugene. Triple H got in Bischoff's face and angrily told him Eugene was part of Evolution now. Eugene said, "It's time to play the game!" as he left the locker room. Then when he left and the door closed, Evolution and Bischoff burst into laughter.
4 -- TRIPLE H vs. EUGENE
Eugene spit water early in the match and imitated other Triple H gestures. The match was fought "catch as catch can" scientifically in the opening minutes, much to the shock of Ross.
-Hunter complained to Eugene that he hurt his arm, then when Eugene showed concern, he took a cheap shot at him. Eugene began no-selling Hunter and showing a superman comeback. He threw a barrage of punches at Hunter and then gave him an airplane spin. Hunter stumbled to the mat as he punched at the air. Eugene then dove off the top rope with a sledge hammer for a two count. Hunter caught Eugene out of nowhere with a Pedigree attempt, but Eugene backdropped out of it, then gave Hunter a Rock Bottom followed by a People's Elbow. Hunter rolled out of the ring. Flair jumped on he ring apron to distract the ref and Eugene. Eugene carefully rolled Hunter back into the ring. Flair went after Eugene at ringside. Although Eugene fended him off, it gave Hunter enough time to recover and give Eugene a Pedigree. Just as he covered Eugene, Bischoff said, "I didn't make this match for you to beat Eugene, I made this match for you to beat the living hell out of Eugene." He told him he had to beat the living hell out of him or he could forget about his title match at Vengeance. Hunter went to ringside and grabbed a chair. Benoit ran to the ring to stop Hunter before he hit Eugene with the chair. He took down Hunter, then Flair. Hunter punched Benoit. Benoit quickly came back with a back suplex. He then fended off Batista and Orton with a chair. He then swung the chair at Hunter, but Hunter ducked and he hut Eugene by mistake. As Benoit bent over to check on Eugene and apologize, Hunter hit him from behind with a low blow and then gave him a Pedigree. The fans chanted "Rocky, Rocky," but Hunter's music played to drown out the chant. Hunter then stood over the fallen Benoit and Eugene with the chair raised. The show ended with Hunter, Flair, Batista, and Orton standing on the rampway with their arms raised. Ross yelled, "Someone's got to pay."
WINNER: No decision in about 12:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Fun match, with Eugene's in-ring style continuing to evolve into something somewhat credible.
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