Torch Flashbacks KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT 5 YRS. AGO (1-23-04): Trish Stratus, Lita, Jericho, Goldberg, Christian, RVD...
Jan 12, 2009 - 8:46:34 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
WWE RAW REPORT
JANUARY 12, 2004
LIVE FROM UNIONDALE, N.Y. AT NASSAU COLISEUM
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show and previewed the two main events: Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam for the IC Title and Booker T vs. Kane. Coach then barged in and apologized for being late. Lawler said they had enough of him last week. Coach said he brought something to the table because he had arranged for a face-to-face meeting between Shawn Michaels and Triple H later. Vince liked the energy and friction Coach brought to last week's broadcast, so he sent him out there again to be his (McMahon's) voice puppet again this week.
1 -- LITA & TRISH STRATUS vs. JAZZ (w/Theodore Long) & MOLLY HOLLY
Lawler threw some one-liners Coach's way. During a Lawler-Coach argument, Jim Ross said: "I'm doing my best to forget last week's broadcast... (pause)...with Theodore Long in charge." That's worthy of the "Ross Report Read Between the Lines Hall of Fame." There was a strange looking exchange between Jazz and Trish that was explained as a hand full of hair by the announcers. Jazz then rolled up Trish with a handful of tights for the pin. When Long attacked Trish after the match, Chris Jericho ran out for the save. Mark Henry then ran out and attacked Jericho.
WINNER: Jazz & Molly at 5:01 when Jazz pinned Trish.
STAR RATING: *
[Commercial Break - We got a new John Henson Project commercial, and it was even less funny than his past spots. I think Erik Watts may even be funnier than Henson. He should have stuck to the Muppets.]
-Matt Hardy was standing in the ring after the commercial break. Ross said he didn't know why he was there. Hardy opened by saying all of his life people have been trying to steal his spotlight. He said people such as Jeff Hardy, Lita, and now Steve Austin. He said it's no coincidence that nobody has seen him since Austin returned. He said, "Shame on the board of directors for caving in on Austin and all you ignorant fans." Hardy mocked Austin's "sheriff" title. "We all know that sheriff is just a fancy way of saying he's a co-general manager who gets to kick some ass." At least somebody has attempted to explain it. He said he wanted to kick some ass. Austin then rode out in his four wheeler. Parents in the front row were grabbing their kids. Coach even said fans in the front row should watch out. Ross repeated a new tagline: "Raw, the place you go to escape the rules." Austin saluted the crowd, then said when he came back to Raw, he didn't return to be a co-G.M. He came back to be the law. He said if someone is kicking ass, he's not breaking Austin's Law. Then he threw some insults at Hardy and said by running his mouth, he's breaking the law. He asked the crowd if they thought Hardy was breaking the law. Austin said if Hardy wanted some action, he'll get it. He said he's been wanting to whip somebody's ass all night long. Hardy said he's ready to get it on, but not with Austin. He said Hardy came to Raw to have new matches and new opponents, "but I'm sure we've wrestled before." Coach said he got Hardy's point. Austin said he ought to write Hardy a ticket for impersonating a wrestler. Austin then sent an open invite to anyone in the back who has never wrestled Hardy before to step out and accept his challenge. Goldberg's music then started. Coach said he was deactivated for 30 days and his early return is breaking the law. Austin left and drove away as Goldberg entered the ring.
2 -- GOLDBERG vs. MATT HARDY
Hardy attacked a full-bearded Goldberg at the bell. Goldberg no-sold his offense. Coach said because Goldberg hasn't been wrestling lately, he's rusty, so Hardy has the advantage. Hardy caught a charging Goldberg with a boot, then slammed him to the mat with the Side Effect. Goldberg blocked a Twist of Fate attempt and then pressed and powerslammed Hardy. Goldberg followed up with a Spear and Jackhammer. And people thought Jericho had it bad and was underutilized when he first joined the WWF. They're sacrificing someone like Hardy who can draw money for them for years to a guy who - WrestleMania main event or not - is going to be around another three months max probably. At least Hardy got mic time and had a chance to interact with Austin. There has to be some rub there.
WINNER: Goldberg at 2:38.
STAR RATING: 1/2*
-After the match, Hardy rolled out of the ring and Goldberg grabbed a mic. He he said, "I'm back, and I'm back with a damn purpose. Right now, I declare myself a participant in the Royal Rumble." Short promo as usual for Goldberg.
-In another example of no stipulation means anything, Eric Bischoff complained to Austin about the return of Goldberg, but Austin said Bischoff didn't file the official proper paperwork so the "deactivation" was null and void. When Bischoff attempted to assert his authority, Austin said his job is to make sure Bischoff does his job. He told him not to piss him off, and to do that he had to follow the rules. This whole storyline with the sheriff being a guy who oversees Bischoff and makes sure he follows the rules could have been much more effective if it had been explained right away.
-A vignette aired declaring Mick Foley a coward for how he walked away from a match with "Legend Killer Randy Orton." It was said to be a spot paid for by friends and supporters of Randy Orton. A promo then aired with Orton saying that after he beat RVD, he wanted a one-on-one match with Foley. He invited him to sit in an empty front row seat he secured for him. So the main event of Raw isn't built at all around the challenger for the title, but instead around a retired wrestler who may or may not show up? How about actually preceding that spot with a promo from RVD or a video of RVD or something that tells viewers the actual match scheduled later means something. This segment made the entire match seem to be just a means to an ends or filler and made clear that Orton's mind isn't on RVD, but it's on Foley. If they give RVD some mic time to fire back and criticize Orton for looking past him, then it might work out. I don't have faith that will happen.
3 -- BATISTA vs. D-VON DUDLEY
Coach and Ross got into it. In a good line by Coach, he said the reason Foley won't show up at the arena is nobody offered him gas money. When Coach said he thought Ross was undercutting Flair, Ross said "you obviously hasn't been following the business long because which is obvious by your work" because everyone knows he is one of the biggest Flair fans ever. He said they are going to call near falls in this match. Coach said, "Go ahead, say Batista is all set for a slobberknocker or something stupid like that. You know you want to." Coach then bragged about being a legend in a bedroom. Ross told him that wasn't relevant on a wrestling program. Coach said just because he can't get the good looking women, he's upset. Ross said he is happily married, something Coach will probably never achieve. Coach said if he's bitter because he can't get it up anymore, there are pills for that. Ross said, "That's classy." Basic stuff with the match. Flair attacked Bubba at ringside as D-Von hit his top rope headbutt. Batista kicked out (not the best looking kickout). Batista came back right away with his sitdown powerbomb for the win. After the match, Flair threw a table into the ring. Bubba made the save before anything could happen.
WINNERS: Batista at 3:22.
STAR RATING: 3/4*
-A nice promo aired for the Brock Lesnar vs. Hardcore Holly match at Royal Rumble, stressing that just winning the match won't be enough revenge for Holly after Brock broke his neck and showed no remorse last year. Holly vowed to break Brock's neck.
-Teddy Long told Henry he wants him to beat down Jericho for running out to save Trish. Long told Henry to win by any means necessary. Jazz patted him on the chest and encouraged him.
-Scott Steiner confronted Goldberg backstage. He told him he isn't going to win the Royal Rumble, because he is. He said Goldberg can't beat him. Goldberg said, "Who wants to wait 'til the Rumble. Let's get it on tonight." Steiner said he wants him at 100 percent. He gave him one week to prepare and told him not to be too afraid to show up. Goldberg said, "You know what that means, Scotty? You're next."
-Coach stood on his chair and announced his segment with Hunter and Michaels was next.
[Commercial Break - Henson's first show features a woman with a long tongue and a guy who stuck a firecracker up his butt and lit it. Spike TV at its finest. Maybe Spike TV can secure the rights to the Mullets while they're at it… Then a PSA aired with footage of a little toddler approaching the side of a pool and bending over to touch a floating mattress. The voice said that you can just tell her parents that you were stoned and didn't keep your eye on her. I've got a better idea. Why not tell her parents she fell in the water and almost drowned because you were busy filming a PSA about the dangers of pot smoking. How did they safely film that? What, if the little girl fell in the pool during filming, they had people on standby to pump the water out of her lungs?]
-Coach introduced Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Hunter sat in a chair in the ring and then set his feet on a table. Michaels entered the ring and threw his chair out of the ring. Then he kicked the table out from under Hunter's feet and threw the table out of the ring. Michaels said they're going to do this his way. Coach brought up their past as best friends and asked what happened. Hunter said he looked at Michaels as a brother. Hunter said he treated him as an underling, nothing more. Michaels said he treated him as an equal. Hunter said that was bull. Hunter said he wasn't a sidekick, he was more like a kickstand, holding him up when he couldn't get it done. Michaels said for years he carried the wagon all by himself and loved every second of it. He said when he couldn't carry the wagon anymore, Hunter ran with it. Hunter yelled, "Bullsh--. You know it and I know it." Hunter said he was dragging it all along, just finally he wasn't in his way. Michaels said he admitted the success WWE experienced without him did bother him. Hunter said it burned such a hole in him and ate him up so bad, he had to "drag your broken ass out of bed and come back here and try to prove you were the man, you were better than me." Michaels said he beat him in a street fight right there in Long Island at Nassau Coliseum. Hunter said he may have beat him, but who walked out on their feet? He said he walked out while Michaels was taken out in an ambulance. He said he was the last man standing that night, and at the Rumble he'll be the last man standing again. Michaels was actually taller than Hunter, so he must've been wearing huge heels on his cowboy boots. Hunter said this isn't about their past, this is about who is the best. He said he is a student of the game and has either wrestled them or studied them. He said he'll put Shawn at the top of the list and only a couple have been as good as him. He put him over the "best of the best" and being "at the top of a list few could only dream of." He said, though, that as good as he was, he (Hunter) is "that much better." He said, in long-winded fashion, that after the Rumble he will prove he is better than him. Michaels said the only thing that will make the difference is one second. Michaels then, out of nowhere, superkicked Coach in the chin, getting a pop from the crowd. He illustrated how fast a second can go by. "See ya at the Royal Rumble," concluded Michaels. Hunter's face has never looked more swollen. Good segment, although as often is the case, Hunter liked the sound of his own voice about 15 percent longer than most people's attention span.
[Commercial Break - Henson making a joke about anyone actually having sex with the Crocodile guy wasn't any funnier the third time.]
4 -- BOOKER T vs. KANE
Booker came to the ring to a completely uncatchy song from the WWE CD. Judging the song on the basis of only whether it works as an entrance song, it gets an F. It has no punch at all. It just blends in the background. Kane kicked Booker out of the ring at 1:30 and then threw him into the ringside stairs twice, prompting the ref to call for the bell. After the match, Kane continued to attack Booker, including a Tombstone Piledriver in center ring. Three referees tended to Booker as they cut to a commercial.
WINNER: Booker via DQ at 1:55.
STAR RATING: DUD -- Whatta ripoff. That's the most they could deliver on the co-main event of the show? I understand the post-match angle being a way to build a grudge between them headed into the Rumble, but how about delivering something resembling a match? If one of them was injured, that's the only reasonable excuse for going so short on the co-main event. By the way, still no word from your main event IC Title challenger RVD, either. He was mentioned in passing by Orton, but otherwise nothing has been done to make that match seem like anything the least bit important.
5 -- MARK HENRY vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Henry just tossed Jericho around the ring and around ringpost, overpowering him for the first four minutes, moving around more than usual before going into a resthold. He then went into a backbreaker over his knee as Jericho struggled to get some crowd sympathy with a flailing hand and arm. He then shifted to a bear hug at 5:00. Jericho made his first comeback by going after Henry's knees. He went for an early Walls of Jericho, but Henry powered out of it easily. Jericho followed with an enzuigiri, then rolled up Henry for a two count, then attempted to shift into a Walls of Jericho again. Henry again powered out. Jericho came off the second rope with a bulldog. Henry didn't go down in a timely fashion, so Jericho yanked a hair extension out. When Jazz attempted to interfere, Trish ran out. They brawled at ringside. Jericho again went for the Walls of Jericho at 7:00, and this time got in locked in. Henry tapped out, but the ref didn't see it as he was trying to get Trish and Jazz, who had brawled into the ring, out of the ring. As Jericho obliviously celebrated, as if he had never wrestled a match before and didn't realize a match isn't over until your theme music plays, got nailed from behind by Henry and powerslammed leading to the pin.
WINNER: Henry at 8:02.
STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Best match of the night so far. Never have those words meant less. They cut away before they showed any dissention between Jericho and Trish over her brawl costing him his match. They did show Trish looking a bit upset and worried at ringside.
[Commercial Break - Henson just made a pot joke. He said that medical marijuana was approved somewhere and "that makes him sick." Get it? Now that he's sick, he can have marijuana prescribed to him. What a great comedic mind. He then winked at us and said, "cough*420*cough." Wow, I'll have to check with my really hip friends to find out what that new underground phrase is referring to so I understand his cutting edge humor. It's the "Daily Show" on Comedy Central for me, as usual, after Raw tonight. I need Jon Stewart to flush Henson out of my system.]
-Ross and Lawler plugged the Raw matches at the Royal Rumble, including The Dudleys vs. Flair & Batista in a tables match. The Royal Rumble now includes Goldberg, Kane, Steiner, Henry, Booker, Jericho, Christian, and eight more still be announced.
-Christian stirred things up with Jericho by saying Trish is trying to screw him over by costing him his match against Henry. He said he is saying that not to hurt his feelings, but as his best friend. He said Trish doesn't care about him. He told Jericho they should go out after the show "do up this town, sexy beast style." He said the last woman on his mind after that would be Trish. They left the arena. Trish then walked into Jericho's empty locker room. She was sad when he wasn't inside.
-Orton told Flair, Bastista, and Hunter that he can sense that Mick Foley is on his way. Hunter said if he arrives, they will personally escort him to his seat. Austin drove past and almost ran over Evolution with his ATV. Austin told Hunter, Flair, and Batista that they aren't allowed to interfere in his match or he'd un them over. Hunter didn't believe him, so Austin attempted to run them down. They flinched a few times as Austin spun around in circles. They ran. Austin laughed.
6 -- RANDY ORTON vs. ROB VAN DAM - IC Title match
Ross wondered if Orton was looking past RVD. RVD dominated early, including a nice wheel kick by RVD followed by a clothesline sending Orton over the top rope to the floor. RVD rammed Orton into the ringpost. Orton came up bleeding from the forehead. RVD laid Orton stomach-first over the security railing and then flew off the apron with a kick across his back. Orton fell into the empty seat he set aside for Foley. A limo pulled into the arena. Ross wondered if it was Foley, since Evolution had bragged about sending a limo to get him, as they cut to a break.
After the break, Orton was on offense throwing a flurry of uppercuts and kicks on RVD in the corner. They showed an Orton dropkick that took place during the break. With a few hopespots by RVD, Orton dominated the next several minutes. He applied a body scissors at 11:00. Orton put RVD into an inverted body vice (Jesse Ventura's old finisher), then fell back with a suplex type impact. He scored a near fall, then went to an upper body chinlock. When RVD would fight out of a move, Orton would apply another once. He showed good enthusiasm and visciousness when he applied new holds, raking at RVD's mouth and throwing forearms at his face. At 14:30 RVD made a full-fledged comeback with some kicks and punches. He threw ten punches in the corner as the crowd counted along. He then hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a near fall. RVD springboarded into a moonsault on Orton at 16:00 for another near fall that popped the crowd. They seemed to trying to set up a ref bump spot, but missed. Then they retried, with RVD hitting a jump spin wheel kick which Orton ducked. Credit the ref for not going down on the earlier spot because it would have looked totally fake. Orton gave RVD a low blow. RVD grabbed between his legs. When Orton saw that the ref was out, Orton laid on his back and feined being knocked out. The ref began counting both men down. When the ref got to seven, RVD got up. Orton then set up his RKO, but RVD kicked him in the face and scored a near fall. RVD then applied a three-quarter nelson into an Oklahoma Roll for another near fall that popped the crowd. When RVD went to the top rope, Orton shook the ropes and knocked RVD off balance. He then DDT'd RVD off the top rope for the win.
WINNER: Orton at 18:58 to retain the IC Title.
STAR RATING: ***1/2 -- They built it well in the early stages and finished strong with convincing near falls. It could have used one more high-speed flurry to break up the slow build in the opening minutes which did drag a bit, but overall really solid.
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