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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
The Dreaded Half-and-Half:
A Colcap? A Relumn?
September 2, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Yeah, so I wound up doing the punchline to my bitching last Friday, afterall, and took Monday's holiday off.  So sue me, I decided heading out to my mom's for some cook-out grub sounded more fun than slogging through RAW preview and a few other bits of news for you.  'Specially since you all probably had cook-outs and other stuff like that of your own to do that would be more fun than reading through me slogging through an uninspired version of the Monday routine.

So, now it's Tuesday, and it's time to start the make-good.  Normally, I wouldn't be sure how to proceed.  A full RAW recap?  A Very Special Tuesday Episode of OO NewsBites?  Both?

Luckily, RAW did a fine job of almost entirely failing to butter my popcorn, and the perfect solution popped into my head a few minutes ago:  a little half-and-half column, part recap, part my normal column.  Abbreviated RAW results with some bonus content added on.  Enjoy.

RAW Recap

We kick off with a dramatic and well-produced Cliff's Notes version of last week's Shane/Kane confrontation that makes it all seem somehow less ludicrous and "Hollywood."  Ah, the magic of video packages.

Then opening theme and pyro, and all that... and a cut to Jim Ross, who is alone at the commentary table right now, because it's time to open the show with:

Jerry Lawler vs. Jonathan Coachman

Coach has his very own fancy theme and entrance video, and is cocky as the match starts.  Lots of strutting around and stuff, until Lawler finally decides to stop playing.  Very basic work here (lock-ups, headlocks, arm bars), and even at that level, it wasn't exactly crisp.  Finally (only about 90 seconds in, but still more than long enough for the live crowd to realize that this wasn't worth chanting "Jerry" for), Al Snow came out with a mic, and plead with Coach to just give it up and quit embarrasing himself.  Coach said he "didn't want help," but Snow finally convinced Lawler to let Coach go so he could leave the ring and give King a count-out win.  But for some reason, Lawler decided to follow Coach out of the ring, and attack him.  Huh?  Lawler threw Coach back into the ring, and was getting ready to follow when Al Snow shockingly attacked King, sending him headfirst into the ringpost.  Snow threw him back into Coach, who followed up with an elbow drop and a pinfall win.  Coach and Snow celebrated and mocked JR on their way up the ramp. [This was not pretty, but it was reasonably effective. I think it aided by both Snow's turn and its placement at the opening, where they could get it out of the way, instead of having it be something Lawler and Ross would harp on for an hour before finally doing the match.]

Backstage: Shane is walking, and Terri wants a word with him.  In a very awkwardly constructed and even more awkwardly delivered bit of expository dialogue horribly disguised as an "interview" Terri reveals that Kane's condition is still unknown because when emergency personnel got to RAW last week and extinguished the fire, Kane was simply.... missing.  Oooohhh, spooky. 

Backstage: Snow and Coach are celebrating their treachery (eventually with Eric Bischoff), but they are interrupted by Steve Austin, who asks them if they're proud of themselves, and then says he's fixin' to go to the ring and give them a little reward.  [OK, plus 10 for trying to establish the reason for a later segment with a prior backstage skit.  But minus about 38 for having it be this low content and this immediately-preceeding the subsequent skit...  they should have used this as a bumper to an ad break, but no.  Straight from Austin backstage to Austin making his ring entrance....]

The Highlight Reel with Steve Austin

Oh, wait, maybe I get it.  Austin's decision was so spur of the moment that they couldn't squeeze in an ad break... the ring is all set-up for Jericho's Highlight Reel, but Austin tosses all that stuff out of the ring (thoughtfully allowing the outlandishly pricey JeriTron 5000 to be raised, unharmed, from the ring) to start his diatribe.  Austin announces that at Unforgiven, he has just booked Jim Ross to fight Jonathan Coachman.  Luckily, from there, the segment turns to gold.  Austin does some good stick work putting over Goldberg/HHH, and then says that "since Goldberg's WWE days could be numbered" (due to the retirement stipulation), he's going to put Goldberg in action here tonight.  A six-man main event is born: Evolution vs. Goldberg/Michaels/Maven.  Then it keeps getting better as Jericho interrupts and gets pissy because Austin cancelled the Highlight Reel.  And then, "InterContinental Champion over here"!  Christian also comes out.  Both he and Jericho want apologies and respect from Austin.  But Austin isn't gonna give 'em either.  Instead, since they want some action tonight, he's gonna give it to them.  Jericho and Christian act all excited that they're gonna get a tag match, but Austin surprises them both by announcing that they will fight each other, for the IC Title, and the match is NOW.  After some ads.

Christian vs. Chris Jericho (IC Title)

The match is less than 10 seconds old when the fans start with a "boring" chant.  And here, Lance Storm's not even booked to appear.  Not even in a 45 second skit with Goldust....  But perhaps I'm getting off-track.  The Fed probably should have seen this coming, and maybe should have sowed a few more seeds for Jericho to work as the babyface (which he mostly did here, or at least more so than Christian did) so that the fans cared something for the outcome.  Decent enough work, but no heat whatsoever until a few false finishes (sleeper slam and Walls, both for Jericho).  Then they did a gimmick where Jericho tried to get the win by illegally using the ropes for leverage, but ref Hebner saw it and kicked Jericho's arm off.  Christian proceeded to immediately do the same thing, but this time, Hebner was positioned so he didn't see it, and he counted the pinfall for Christian.  The idea is that, in the battle of immoral jerks, Christian out-cheated (but didn't necessarily out-wrestle) Jericho.  If I honestly thought this was the start of something bigger or more interesting (like a Jericho face turn), I'd call it a sound foundation.  But for reasons that shall be discussed more a bit later, I'll call it a likely one-week aberration in storytelling that won't amount to anything and that, furthermore, wasn't even all that exciting as a wrestling match since the Fed failed to give fans much more than the subtlest of hints about who to cheer for.

Backstage: Shane's chilling in catering, and Austin approaches him.  Austin says he knows he's not the most sensitive guy in the world, but he's kind of concerned for Shane, and that maybe Shane should just go home.  Shane says if something bad's gonna happen, he'll face it head-on, tonight, in that very ring, and so on and so forth.  Wow, there MUST be something big planned if they got Austin breaking character like that....

Last week: Goldberg ran through 4 guys in the Elimination Chamber, but was, himself, eliminated by Triple H and a sledgehammer.  Then the next day, a title vs. career match was agreed upon between HHH and Goldberg.

Backstage: Triple H is in front of a RAW logo, where he delivers and extended promo about Goldberg being a fantastic marketing creation, but terribly lacking as an actual wrestler.  Conveniently, that's exactly where HHH excels.  Or so he tells us.  This goes on for a couple minutes until Goldberg suddenly pops into the left-hand side of our frame. Long story short: Goldberg will save the beating for the ring later tonight, but promises at Unforgiven he will take HHH's title.

Trish Stratus and Ivory vs. Molly Holly and Gail Kim

Since I'm already completely failing to keep this thing brief, I'll eschew the chance to make lecherous (and predictable) jokes about Trish and Ivory finally coming together...  and tell you that this match was essentially Trish Stratus playing Robert Gibson for about 3 minutes until she got a hot tag.  Then she hit a great heat sequence, taking out both Molly and Gail, even getting Molly set up for the.... ah, shit, I'm blanking (it WAS a three-, OK four-day weekend)... do they have a name for that headstand 'rana thing or not?  Anyway, Trish was setting Molly up for that, but Gail broke it up mid-move.  And then Molly and Gail managed to turn it into a rude-looking double powerbomb coming off the second rope.  That was all she wrote, and Trish was pinned.  Ivory tried to comfort her fallen companion (folks, applaud my restraint here; believe me, it ain't easy!), but all she got for her troubles was a double-team DDT from Molly and Gail....  I have no real complaints here.  Nice little match that had some flow going, and the finish was nice and big.  Get Lita and Jazz in here, and you could have any number of possible feuds going... OK, so the number is 3.  That's still better than any point in recent memory for the women's division.

Backstage: Shane is heading to the ring, but is intercepted by his father, making an unexpected appearance.  MAN, this is REALLY gonna be huge if they're rolling out Vince for a surprise cameo!  Vince knows that a lot of bad things might happen tonight, expects them, even... so before anything goes down, Vince just wants to make things right with his son.  But Shane wants none of it, brushes Vince off, and heads to the ring.

Shane McMahon Promo

Shane's out, and says he knows he's been warned by Austin and Vince that something bad's supposedly in the works for tonight, but he's here, and if it's coming, he wants it to come RIGHT NOW.  And with that, out comes Eric Bischoff for what turns out to be no apparent reason.  There's just about enough time for Shane to call Bischoff "a joke" if he's the "bad thing" that's supposed to happen tonight, and for Bischoff to barely start blustering a response when Kane's pyro and music hit... and then the lights all go out.

When they come back up, Kane's behind Shane in the ring, and is apparently quite alright (a few bandages on one arm, and maybe a pinkish hue suggesting 2 hours in the sun with an SPF that was off by about 4... maybe 6).  But forget that, because Kane's here to administer the beatdown!  Shane goes into the ringsteps, dislodging them.  Woozy, he's easy pickin's for Kane, who pulls out some handcuffs, and chains Shane to the ringpost (hanging outside the ring).  Kane completes the visual by replacing the ringsteps, immobilizing Shane's legs and further trapping him against the post.  Then he grabs a bottle of water, and splashes it on Shane's... well, let's memorialize our pal Gorilla Monsoon and say "on Shane's lower abdominal region."  Then he pulls out some jumper cables.  Then he pulls out a car battery.  Then he takes the cables and attaches one positive clamp to Shane's right pants tent (ostensibly, a testicle); then the negative clamp to the left-ish side of Shane's jeans.  Then the other end of the positive goes on the battery...  and then it's time to vamp it up for the crowd.  And then, after the grand set-up, Kane brushes the other negative clamp against the battery, drawing sparks.  Then he does it again.  Shane gives us "unspeakable pain."  And now, after all this, out comes Rob Van Dam with a chair, and he manages to hit a couple of shots (including 2 Van Daminators) that bloody Kane and convince Kane to leave the ring.  Van Dam goes to check on Shane as we cut to commercials

During the Break: we come back from ads, and get footage of Shane doing the combo Stretcher Job/Sac Grab of Extreme Agony.  By the way, keep in mind that I may sometimes make jokes and hyperbolize, but EVERY SINGLE THING I typed in the above paragraph is factually true.  That's exactly how it went down.  I'm even 100% confident that red is positive and black is negative when you're playing with jumper cables.  So: print out the above passage.  In a roadside emergency, it can either provide you with much needed laughter or instructions on how to jumpstart your engine.

Backstage: Kane is really pissed about RVD's interference, and marches right up to Eric Bischoff, demanding a match.  Bischoff relents, and sets up Kane vs. RVD, inside a steel cage, next week on RAW.  Please, people, tell me you see it coming, too: that battery (or, I dread, an even less plausible power source) is getting hooked up to that cage next week, and no amount of our well-intentioned outrage is gonna stop it.

La Resistance vs. Hurricane/S.H.I.T (Non-Title)

No set-up, no reason for this match.  And you know how I loathe that level of laziness. Hot start for Hurricane, then a not so hot middle for him, as he helped make Grenier and Dupree look as credible as they have to date in a WWE ring.  Then a hot tag to the S.H.I.T, who started in on some house cleaning, only to have the subsequent chaos provide the perfect cover for Rob Conway to make a run-in and whack Hurricane with a tag title belt, without the ref seeing it.  La Resistance got the cheap win, and afterwards, continued their attack by going after Rosey and attempting to put him through a table.  But the Dudleys made the save, and only narrowly missed putting Conway through a table themselves.  Finally, La Resistance opted to retreat.  [In the end, this whet fans' appetites for the Duds tabling La Resistance, which is lots more than I expected given how pointlessly it started.]

Backstage: Terri is interviewing Maven about his big night, his chance to be in a RAW main event.  Maven is giving us the right mix of confidence and nervousness when Ric Flair and Randy Orton pop in, and talk about how Maven's a promising kid, but he ain't Evolution material.  He's out of his league tonight.  Maven gives us concern and confusion as we cut to ads.

Still backstage: back from ads, and Maven is now looking contemplative in the lockerroom when Shawn Michaels approaches him.  It turns into a pep talk in which Michaels convinces Maven that he belongs in this main event, and that the important thing tonight is to go out there and have fun.  Yay!  Everybody loves FUN!

Elsewhere backstage: Teddy Long is bitching to Steve Austin about pulling Mark Henry and Rodney Mack from the show.  Austin says he's sorry, but he got all hot-tempered earlier and made that IC Title match, and now he's gotta pull a match.  The Brothas lose out.  As Austin walks away, he bumps into RVD, who says he's SO angry at Kane that he just can't wait 2 hours to fight him.  You know, after he waits the 7 days.  So Austin promises him that next week, it's Kane/RVD and they open the show.  There HAD to have been a less intelligence-insultingly logicless way of getting this little plot point across....

At yet another undisclosed backstage location: Test is, as is his right, watching Stacy stretch.  Via a bit of monologue from Test, we learn that they are together in an intergender match tonight, and he's really sorry for everything he's done, and he just KNOWS he and Stacy will be a great team again some day.  Just like the olden days.  Of slightly earlier in 2003.  Stacy is dubious as they head to the ring.

Test/Stacy Keibler vs. Stevie Richards/Victoria (No DQ Intergender Match)

For some reason, I find it hilarious that the two teams each come out to the female team member's entrance theme.  Further more, I'll admit that Victoria and Stacy are my personal numbers 1 and 2 reasons to pay any attention to this match.  Test, you're still a work in progress, kid, and Stevie, you'll always be near the top of my list of most under-utilized talents in the business.  But for now, let's call a spade a spade.  Announcers are a bit confused over the rules, trying (I think) to say it's only men vs. men and women vs. women, but that goes counter to what I thought "intergender" (vs. "mixed tag") meant, and also counter to the No DQ stip that was mysterious added as Test and Stacy walked to the ring.  Story here: Test gains an early edge on Stevie, then tags in Stacy, who immediately runs into trouble.  When she tries to tag Test back in, he jumps off the apron and leaves her to rot.  No, correction: now he's in the ring, and he wants to help Stevie and Victoria beat on Stacy.  Lovely.  It goes awry when Victoria accidentally hits Test, and it all breaks loose.  Scott Steiner makes a cameo to try to save Stacy, and in the process, he lays out Test and Stevie and also ducks a Test Big Boot, which instead hits Victoria.  Stacy makes the pin on Victoria to end the over-booked little piece of melodrama, and then, while Steiner was distracted by Stevie, Test grabbed Stacy's arm and escorted here away from the ring.  I "get it"... I'm just once again falling off the "caring about Test/Steiner" bandwagon.

Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton vs. Goldberg, Shawn Michaels, Maven

Five guys entered first.  Then a commercial break.  Then when we came back, Goldberg made his grand entrance, and we got off to a hot start with everybody getting some quick shots in during a six-way brawl.  Then, with a Michaels heat sequence, we hit an early crescendo (Michaels took out all of Evolution with a pescado) before simmering back down.  Michaels, I believe, never once tagged out during this period, and eventually lost control and started getting his ass handed to him. Orton and Flair did the majority of the work, though HHH put in a few cents here and there.  The crowd, knowing full well where this was heading, started chanting for Goldberg, and at about the 9 minute mark, they finally got it.  Goldberg was tagged in, and immediately took out Orton (the legal man), before firing up on Flair and HHH.  But that didn't hold up, as the numbers caught up to Goldberg, as he was attacked from behind and low-blowed.  That gave Orton a brief chance to take advantage, but Goldberg's No Sale Circuit kicked in...  Goldberg made his comeback, and while HHH looked on with befuddled concern, Goldberg hoisted Orton up, taunted HHH, and then landed the Jackhammer on Randy for the pinfall win.  Thanks for coming out, Maven!  HBK did some great work to make this match a very good ending to an otherwise lacking, but he joined Maven in evaporating at the end, as announcers harped on how this was proof positive that Goldberg was gonna be the next World Champ.

And we're out.  Or at least, ready for Phase 2....

RAW Thoughts and Some Quick News

  • What can I say....  this is week three of RAW's descent into...  something.  It's not quite crap, because they keep attaching  promos or a matches or something that I really like to all the nonsense.
     
    But they also keep doing the nonsense, even though it seems to me it'd be the easiest thing in the world to sit down, take a deep breath, and formulate a plan that was refreshingly doody-free.
     
    I hope and pray that I do not have to write a 100 page thesis on way Kane's Triple A Roadside Assistance Kit attack on Shane was poor.  I hope that, at some instinctual level, all wrestling fans saw that and reacted with a non-plussed glare.  Not so much "This is dumb," as "My television is functioning properly, and it is receiving the digital signal from my content provider of choice and transforming said signal into a series of red, green, and blue pixels that combine to create light images that are perceived by my eye and that my brain has no trouble interpreting, and yet... I have no fricking idea what it is I just watched."
     
    Look, if you've been reading me for any length of time, you know about my resistance to the idea that "sports entertainment" is well within its rights to act like it's a Hollywood motion picture.  I'd rather see a more realistic approach, but you already knew that.  Even if you don't think my opinion is worth the keyboard I'm typing it on, I still hope you can find the myriad holes and mistakes in that skit, both in conception and in execution.
     
    I'll grant that, in the right movie, in the right setting, a guy who wants to hook a car battery to my balls could be an unsettlingly scary dude.  But that setting is never going to exist in pro wrestling.  Ever.  Things that can happen at an evil lair cannot logically be executed in a building in front of 12,000 people.  Or even in a parking lot with a camera crew.  When they are attempted, they cease to be impactful, scary, or shocking.  They become laughable.  They become part of the reason why I'm usually a closeted wrestling fan when out and about town.  Being a Beloved Internet Personality may or may not be a great way to score with chicks, but I couldn't tell you, since I hesitate to bring it up due to a paralyzing fear of having to mention pro wrestling to somebody until after I've known them for a good 4 months or so.
     
    This off-putting experience actually happened to me again tonight: I had two friends hanging around my house, sort of watching RAW along with me, sort of distracting me from watching it, too.  They are not wrestling fans.  When the Shane thing started, and I became more focused on the TV, they gave me my space.  They realized this was part of the show I wanted to see.  Within 9 nanoseconds of the battery coming out, they were braying with laughter, one asking his eternal favorite question, "How do you watch this shit every week?"  As always, I hated that the Fed didn't give me even one shred of evidence to launch a defense.
     
    Let's even discard my own vehement belief that pro wrestling (or "sports entertainment") is its own unique form and not something that should arbitrarily lump itself in with other movies or TV shows.  Let's grant that the Fed is on the right track with their Hollywood approach for just one moment.  Cuz if we accept that, then here's the result:  when Kane hooked Shane McMahon's jeans up to a car battery, the Fed wound up making the kung-fu-scene-in-"Showgirls"...  not the fricking "Godfather."  Not even a fun piece of popcorn fluff like "Pirates of the Caribbean."  No, they made the crap that was supposed to be serious and important, but which left some viewers laughing, and probably others thinking about walking out (or in this case, flipping the channel).
     
    Even though this is NOT how I feel, let's continue to accept that the Fed should be trying to make Hollywood movies, and not sticking to the slightly-more-limiting methods that have defined most of Sports Entertainment's best stories.  Because we can rip this apart on plenty of levels...
     
    Like: Kane showing up with his Roadside Assistance Kit one week after being burned alive, and showing NO SIGNS OF BEING WORSE FOR WEAR.  Even in the movies, the burning alive had the net effect of killing Freddie Krueger to the point where even when he was re-animated as a dream monster, he was still hideously scarred and burned.  Not even Hollywood would preposterously expect us to believe Kane could fall into a flaming dumpster then show up the next week unscathed.
     
    You know what it reeks of to me?  A focus on the short term so acute that the entire creative team might be reasonably diagnosable with Attention Deficit Disorder.  Last week, burning Kane at the stake might have sounded like a good idea.  Last Tuesday, when it was time to write this week's RAW.... uh oh.  "How do we get out of this one?"  Last week, I was willing to let the show-closing angle go; yes, it was overly "Hollywood," but I reasoned that if creative had a cool direction to go with this, it could be the genesis of something fun and important with regards to Kane.  This week, the direction is exactly nowhere.  This week's show not only annoys me on its own, it has the retroactive effect of making last week's show quite dreadful.
     
    Kane showing up unaffected this week indicates nobody was thinking ahead last week.  "Well, we need to keep him on TV because he's got this PPV match against Shane to build to, so let's just ignore anything even happened.  It's the only way."  Or something like that.  Spending the entire past week building up Kane's condition as a source of concern and drama, going so far as to have both Vince and Austin break character to warn Shane of something massive happening.... this built expectations up further.  In addition to the mere visual evidence from last Monday of Kane going into the inferno, now you're signaling to us -- via this hype -- that something BIG was gonna happen with Kane.
     
    You know what?  I would have settled for just the SOMETHING.  Instead, I got the same Kane as last week showing up.  Just with a car battery.  That's some big time shit!  Assuming that -- when you heard the legendary tale of Sid Vicious and Brian Pillman -- your first thought was "Whoa, a squeegee is a perfectly logical automotive accessory to take into a fight against a much smaller opponent."  Only a person who thought precisely this would believe that Kane's best idea for punishing Shane involved a car battery.  The rest of us, we'll be over hear quietly laughing at you.
       
    At this point, the also-dumb idea I presented above (with Kane somehow electrifying the cage against RVD next week) seems an utterly logical and sensible progression given what we've seen out of RAW's creative team lately.  It'll show they've been paying attention for more than 90 minutes at a time.  I'll still think it's dumb and utterly unnecessary and a ton of other unflattering adjectives...  but Kane doing something one week actually being a foundation for something that happens the next?  That's progress, baby!
     
    I'll just leave the whole issue of the angle in execution to somebody else.  I mean, it didn't really look that convincingly realistic to me, either, but frankly, actually seeing Shane de-pantsed and his actual testicles clamped is pretty far down my list of things to do before I die.  Any line of discussion that has me considering such concepts as what might have served as a believable prosthetic nutsack that Kane could have visibly clamped through the jeans is one that I prefer not to explore.  Somebody else can work through that one.  Me, I'll take Kane's clamping of the pants tent and shut my yapper.
     
    Perhaps you're wondering what bug got up my ass that I let one 10 minute segment color my perception of the entire show?  Fair enough.  Let me first say that I thought that both the Austin/Jericho/Christian promo and the six-man main event were gold.  Really good, without any qualifiers.  The women's match I liked, and the IC Title one was well-worked despite the lack of sizzle (even heel vs. heel, all it would have taken to bolster that one would have been a consultation with Eddie Guerrero... or whoever it is helping to book the finishes to Eddie's matches... if the story was "Christian out-cheated Jericho," a more extended cheating sequence would have been welcome).  I'm not saying there wasn't good (and in respectable quantities) on RAW.  Not at all.
     
    I will, however, opine that when something sucks for the reasons and to the degree that Shane's roasted nuts did, it is not only a distraction from the good that appears elsewhere.  It actually can have the effect of reducing the enjoyment I might get from otherwise-serviceable segments.
     
    Here's what I mean:  Jericho and Christian had a match tonight for the IC Title. They are both heels... ostensibly allies, even.  But the match came out of a killer promo that I liked.  But one that showed no signs of edging either man towards babyface status.  The result: a match with little to no heat.  The reason why:  because nobody's thinking ahead, and this just seemed like a good idea to kill about 10 minutes of time this week.  
     
    I might be sporting quite the (figurative, thank you) wood at the thought of Jericho ascending to a role as a top RAW babyface...  if I thought that anyone was actually in the process of implementing such a scheme.  But if you'd wanted to do that, you might have stared sowing some seeds before asking Jericho and Christian to try to engross fans for 10 minutes on TV.  And you'd definitely have played the promo tonight between Austin and Jericho a little different, and left it so that Jericho's last words would be the ones where he gets cheered against Christian (instead of how he went back and taunted Austin for boos).  That way, Jericho's got a TOUCH of babyface-ishness in the match.  That way, when Christian out-cheats him, fans might actually care and have this odd, unexplained urge to see Jericho get some revenge.  Instead, it's just like, "Oh, well, it's over.  They're probably just gonna be friends again next week, anyway."
     
    I WANT to be wrong on this.  I want somebody to have thought ahead 2 or 3 weeks ago to this day, and have designed the whole Christian-gets-ignored mini-angle as the way for him to interface with Austin, so that Austin could "force" him to defend against his buddy Jericho, which in turn sets up Jericho's face turn by Unforgiven.  Instead, I have this vision of a room full of people making this up as they go along.  This week, the pieces were in place to use Christian/Jericho as a diversion.  Next week, we do like Linda/Bischoff and Kane/Shane and reset things back to where they were....  prove me wrong.  Please prove me wrong.
     
    I'm not saying I want an end to spontaneity or anything.  RAW's live nature means it can be tweaked and rewritten almost on the fly if they want...  and in some way, that's what's fun about the show.  But here's what I would say:  never again in the history of the company is anyone allowed to submit a storyline or angle without also mapping out exactly how it might play out for a minimum of four weeks.  I'm not saying "Don't set Kane on fire."  I'm saying, "OK, you want to set Kane on fire...  and then do what with him next week?  And the week after?"  If you have good answers, then BAM!, we fry the bastard.
     
    But if your answer is "Uh, well, he comes back the next week with a few arm bandages and tries to defribulate Shane's balls," then sorry, you're off the island.  If you get all indignant and say, "No, but wait, I've got this REALLY AWESOME idea for how this all builds up to an Electric Fence match," I'll personally build the Super Catapult to send you on your way to Neptune, where perhaps the form of theater will go over.  Cuz down here on Spaceship Earth, skits predicated on roasted testicles leading to matches that are bound to be both sucky and anticlimactic don't play.  [Fans of the electrified cage idea obviously haven't seen how awful and contrived those types of things are when they've happen in Japan...]
     
    I'm not sure, just yet, what final rating I'll give to RAW when BotB rolls around this week.  Really, as a whole this show was not any worse than the last two weeks (neither of which motivated me to get all pissy).  But it was also not much better, and exhibited EXACTLY the same sort of internal inconsistency as those past two shows.  It's enough to frustrate a fan who'd like to believe, in his heart of markish hearts, that next week will be the one where it all turns around.
     
    Instead, these look to be constantly repeated mistakes, the kind of which are indicative of deeper problems.  Ones that make me suspicious about even the good things we are treated to continuing to be good as time goes on.  A company where a sucky skit one week is likely to be either (a) clumsily glossed over and semi-ignored in pure serial cliffhanger fashion or (b) made double sucky by taking the suck from last week and piling on even more.  And on those rare occasions, maybe BOTH can happen at the same time.  Like tonight, when Kane's burning from last week appeared to have no lasting effects (gloss over)... other than to convince him that hooking Shane McMahon up to a car battery was an even remotely decent idea (the double suck).
     
    That true gem of dreck may only have been 10 minutes long, but its a perfect exhibit of what's driving me nuts about RAW lately.  And that was enough to send me off the deep end here.  Give me three days to cool off, and I'll probably give this another something in the low 2's for BotB, which is low, but not ranting and raving for 50 KB low.  This feeling will, hopefully, have passed by then.
     
  • Oh by the way:  I lied about the other news.  I'll save that for tomorrow, since I've completely shot my wad with regard to RAW thoughts, and I'll need all the material I can get.
     
    Sorry, suckers.

 
E-MAIL RICK SCAIA
BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.


  
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