TV REPORTS 6/28 WWE Raw review: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live show
Jun 28, 2004 - 10:08:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
JUNE 28, 2004
LIVE FROM RICHMOND, VA.
-Clips aired of the Eugene vs. Triple H match and angle from last week. Then the opening montage aired.
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show, plugging the World Title match, which Ross said was rare on Raw.
-Evolution walked to the ring. Triple H started by saying that Eric Bischoff told him he will face the winner of the Chris Benoit vs. Kane match later. He then called Eugene to the ring. Eugene walked out. Hunter told Eugene last week he was just trying to teach him a lesson for his own good, whereas Benoit hit him with a chair because he's jealous of him. Eugene said Benoit said he was sorry. Hunter said Benoit is jealous of him and "nothing but a big jerk." Hunter made a big production of saying the "j-word," but said Benoit resorted to it because Benoit makes him mad. Hunter said he wanted to make Eugene an honorary member of Evolution. Eugene got really excited. He jumped up and down and tried to hug everyone. William Regal rushed to the ring and told Eugene not to listen to Hunter because it's a "bloody trap." He told Eugene not to trust Hunter. Hunter said he vowed to always tell him the truth, and he told him that Regal was hired by Uncle Eric to pretend to be his friend so he could get his job back as a wrestler. Eugene looked hurt. He tilted his head and asked Regal if that was true. "Look Eugene in the eye and tell him the truth," Hunter said. Eugene began crying when Regal didn't deny it. "Nothing is lower than a man who would pretend to be Eugene's friend just to get what he wanted," said Hunter. "You make me sick!" He then asked Eugene who he wanted to side with. Eugene seemed conflicted and held his head in frustration. Eric Bischoff walked out and said he wouldn't let them mess with Eugene like that. He said Hunter and Regal need to settle their differences in the ring. He said he was assigning a special guest referee - Eugene. Lawler wondered if Eugene could even count to three. Eugene still seemed thrown by the news that Regal may not have been his sincere friend.
-Ross and Lawler plugged Edge & Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton & Batista in a return match from last week.
1 -- EDGE & CHRIS JERICHO vs. RANDY ORTON & BATISTA
In the opening minutes the fire alarm went off. Fans began looking around, wondering what was up. Fans began chanting "Y-2-J" to the beat of the fire alarm. There's a first! Ross said the fire alarm went off inadvertently because "Raw was so hot!" About a minute or so later the alarm was turned off. Batista had Jericho locked in a half nelson of sorts, which was definitely more interesting and painful looking than the standard chinlock of headlock. Jericho reached for a hot-tag to Edge at 4:45, but Batista stopped him and then tagged in Orton. Edge set up Orton for a spear, but Orton leapfrogged him. As Orton bragged, Edge dropped him to the mat and set up a sharpshooter. Batista made the save. Jericho and Edge knocked the heels to ringside. Jericho dove onto Batista on the floor, then punched away at him. Edge, meanwhile, went after Orton as they cut to a break.
Batista took control of Edge for several minutes of matwork. Edge then hot tagged Jericho at 15:30. Four-way action broke out, with Jericho giving Batista running bulldog. Jericho followed with a Lionsault attempt, but Batista moved. Batista caught Jericho in the air, but Jericho reversed it into a sunset flip. Edge dropkicked Batista over and Jericho scored a near fall. Orton interfered and went for an RKO, but when Jericho escaped, Batista went to clothesline Jericho but hit Orton by mistake. Edge then gave Batista a spear. Jericho followed with a Lionsault and scored the pin.
WINNERS: Edge & Jericho at 17:30.
STAR RATING: **13/4 -- Longer than it was good, but not bad overall. From 11:30 to 15:00, Edge was on the mat except for one brief hope spot mid-way through it. On the bright side, Batista applied a vicious looking full nelson early and Orton applied an interesting body scissors and chinlock combination. In both cases, it appeared (a) the heels were trying to genuinely hurt Edge and (b) Edge was genuinely struggling to get out. That's a lot better than the boring, light-showing, crowd-sleep-inducing chinlocks or headlocks.
-Lawler and Ross were shown on camera. Lawler said Edge & Jericho are the two luckiest men in wrestling. Ross then introduced a recap of the Matt Hardy-Lita-Kane storyline, including Lita telling Hardy "the baby might be yours," then breaking down and crying as Hardy stormed off.
-Backstage Ric Flair told Hunter that adding Eugene to the Evolution mix "kills our gimmick." Hunter said they're going to use Eugene as long as it takes to get his title back, which means more to him than anything, and then they're get rid of him. Ross reacted to Hunter's comments. Now William Regal should show a tape of Hunter's comments to Eugene if he wasn't watching so he knows not to trust Hunter. But, it seems, backstage segments caught on camera are visible to Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, but not the other wrestlers. Let's see if they're at least consistent with that somewhat convoluted premise.
-Clips aired of the WWE Divas competition.
-Lita was shown crying on her cell phone backstage, begging Matt to please call her back this time. She wiped tears away as Stacy walked into the locker room. Lita said she's a horrible person. "I slept with Kane," she said. "I just thought I was doing what was right. He said he wasn't going to stop hurting Matt until I did it. Oh god! After everything me and Matt have been through, the thought of losing him after all this - god, I'm so stupid." Yeah, that's one way of looking at it. It makes Hardy look like such a wimp to have his girlfriend sleeping with men to keep him from getting beaten up. This is seriously humiliating to Hardy's character and credibility. Lita reiterated that she doesn't know who the father is. Now, other than Ross and Lawler, nobody else in WWE should know about that conversation.
-Jim Ross made his way to the ring to OU music for an in-ring interview with Kane. Earlier, Ross said Bischoff assured him security would be present to be sure Kane doesn't set him on fire again.
-Kane entered the ring and asked Ross if he is scared, because there's nothing anyone could do to stop him. Ross said he has a job to do and he's going to do it. Kane said while he can never have the normal life he craves, he can have the offspring he wants to continue his legacy. He said he did what it took to be sure Lita became pregnant by him. He said later he would beat Chris Benoit to become World Champion, and then in about eight months, he'll become a father. Ross said there is a 50/50 chance that the baby isn't his. (Well, the chances could be less if Hardy had sex with Lita many times and Kane just once, or more if Kane had sex with Lita many times and Hardy had a headache for a couple of weeks.) Hardy attacked Kane. Bischoff ordered security to drag Hardy off of Kane because he wouldn't let him ruin his main event. Bischoff told Kane that it wasn't right that Benoit stuck his nose in his business yet again, so now he'll have to do the one thing he's never been able to do before - make Kane tap out. Bischoff said Kane can win anyway he wants - pinfall, submission, disqualification, or countout and he'll win the belt, but Benoit must win by submission. Bischoff then wished Kane "good luck."
-Ross said the stips Bischoff spoke about for the World Title match had been confirmed. Meanwhile, Eugene ran around the ring like an airplane and did somersaults. Ross then bragged that Raw was the no. 1 rated program on all of cable TV last week.
2 -- TRIPLE H vs. WILLIAM REGAL with Eugene as special referee
Eugene got excited and clapped when the bell rang when he signalled for the start of the match. He then insisted on rules being followed. Regal controlled the match with armbars and suplexes. Eugene chewed on his thumb during the match. When Ric Flair jumped on the ring apron, Eugene walked over to him. Flair hugged Eugene and then tossed brass knuckles to Hunter. Triple H was going to use them, but Regal hit Hunter first. Regal grabbed the knux, but before he used them, Eugene turned and saw the brass knuckles on Regal's hand and called for the bell. When Eugene told Regal how disappointed he was in him for cheating, Hunter knocked Regal into Eugene. Eugene assumed Regal hit him, so he began huffing and putting and then attacked Regal. Hunter and Flair pulled a frenzied Eugene off of Regal. Eugene freaked out and began banging his head against the top turnbuckle. Ross said Eugene has been manipulated and played like a fiddle. Hunter and Flair consoled a shaken up Eugene on the stage as Regal looked on in disgust and frustration.
WINNER: Hunter at 4:08 via DQ.
STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Didn't have much of a chance to be much of a match. But the angle was well executed.
3 -- LA RESISTANCE vs. RHYNO & SGT. SLAUGHTER
Ross said Rhyno's legs are so thick, he is built like a refrigerator. He noted he meant that as a compliment. After an initial offensive flurry by Rhyno, La Resistance took over. At 3:30 Sarge got the hot tag and bodyslammed and backdropped La Resistance. He put Conway in a Cobra Clutch, then Grenier interfered. When Sarge to attack Grenier, Conway gave him a DDT. When Rhyno got involved, La Resistant knocked him out of the ring and then gave Sarge their double neckbreaker finisher for the win.
WINNERS: La Resistance at 4:55.
STAR RATING: *
-An ad aired for Ric Flair's autobiography.
-Triple H talked to Eugene backstage, reenforcing his version of events. Hunter said if there is one thing Evolution know, it's how to take care of their friends. Ross wondered how Hunter could live with himself. Now, remember, if backstage segments are meant to be seen by Ross, Lawler, and the audience, but not the wrestlers, then Regal wouldn't know that was said.
-More clips aired of Coach passing or failing women at the Divas competition. This whole thing still just makes me uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. It just comes across as a half-assed imitation of a reality TV competition, but without any chance to get to know the competitors or any semblance of criteria other than who Coach digs, it's merely a parade of women in bikinis trying to flatter their way to $250,000.
-Ross and Lawler previewed the Vengeance line-up: Edge vs. Batista. Orton vs. Jericho, Hunter vs. the World Champ (Kane or Benoit).
-Backstage Flair told Bischoff that he made the right decision, then he saw Coach and called him his "largest brother" and said they'd be partying at the Wyndham Hotel later. Coach told Bischoff he is excited about his well-earned vacation next week. He said while he's gone, he'll be more than solid as the interim G.M. Bischoff told Coach with a sinister grin that there's been a slight change of plans. He said Coach is going to be replaced, but not by Ric Flair. He said his replacement would be someone close to him who can make sound, rationale decisions. He said therefore the interim G.M. next week would be his nephew Eugene. Coach's jaw dropped. Then they kept the camera on him a few seconds too long. Ross and Lawler wondered what would happen next week in Winnipeg with Eugene in charge. Ross and Lawler then plugged that Benoit vs. Kane would be up next.
4 -- CHRIS BENOIT vs. KANE -- World Hvt. Title match
Benoit taunted Kane with the title belt before the bell. Kane overpowered Benoit at the start, but then Benoit came back with two sharpshooter attempts. When he went for an early Crossface, Kane blocked it and knocked Benoit to ringside. As Benoit regrouped, they cut to a break.
They showed during the break Kane blocking another Sharpshooter attempt by Benoit, playing up how difficult it would be for Benoit to get Kane to submit. Then Kane came back and threw Benoit into the ringpost. Benoit was nearly counted out and would have lost the belt. Then a minute later Benoit rammed Kane into the ringpost, but the ref didn't count since Benoit couldn't win by countout. Benoit was frustrated. Lawler began talking about what a good father Kane might turn out to be and how he might attend PTA meetings. Ross lost it like I've never heard him lose it before as he screamed at Lawler to shut up about the PTA.
After the break, Kane put Benoit in a chinlock. He then had Benoit in position for a chokeslam, but Benoit blocked it and applied the Crossface. The crowd popped and Ross's intensity went up to 11, but Kane managed to power out. Kane then sat up and took over control briefly. Benoit, though, gave Kane three back suplexes (Kane made it pretty clear how much he had to jump backwards to help Benoit execute the suplexes). Benoit then put Kane in the Crippler Crossface and finally forced him to tapout. Fans immediately chanted "You tapped out" (which might mean the end of his WWE career is near).
WINNER: Benoit at 15:42 to retain the World Hvt. Title.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Above average, and they did a nice job playing into the unfair rules.
-Afterward, Kane attacked Benoit. Lita then walked out with a smile on her face. She handed the WCW Title belt to Kane and had a chat with him off-mic. Kane held the title and smiled. Lita raised Kane's arm in the air. The crowd stopped chanting "You tapped out" long enough to boo for a few seconds. Lawler called them a lovely couple. Lita encouraged Kane to attack Benoit with the belt, but when Kane turned to do it, Lita kicked him from behind between the legs. When Lita wound up to hit Kane with the belt, Kane grabbed her by the throat. Kane then lifted her and paused before chokeslamming her. He then set down what he believed was the mother of his child. Ross said Kane must've come to his senses. Kane told Lita the only thing that saved her was that she was carrying his baby. He told her not to cross him again. Lita slipped out fo the ring, then Benoit KO'd Kane with the belt to end the show on the "Up Note."
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