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Them Nutty Canucks  
April 20, 2004

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


WrestleMania wound up being the kiss of death for SmackDown!... I've tried my best to rationalize it: to say "SD! will be OK, it's just that they are re-tooling, and this was their month off PPV, so they'll get it together."  And the truth is probably more along the lines of "They lost Brock, they lost Heyman, they lost Angle in the ring, they aren't using Taker, and they think Bradshaw is the answer," and even with a PPV coming, they might not get it together.

The test: to see how RAW does now that it's in a two month PPV-free phase.  They didn't have to kick ass tonight.  They could start "re-tooling," if they want.  So what did they opt to do?

Read on....

Opening theme/pyro/etc., and we are wasting NO time here tonight, as Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler welcome us to Calgary and tell us it's time to hit the ring for our opening, main event-caliber match.

Chris Jericho vs. Christian

Jericho's got a new look for his ring entrance (music's the same, but the video/lighting scheme has been updated, and to my admittedly-unhip eye seems lots cooler as a result).  But that's not why you called.  Real fast start to the match, too, as they went chain-wrestly with some near falls before Jericho kind of got a slight advantage for a while.  That changed about 3 minutes in when Trish decided to get involved on Christian's behalf.  But she was, at that point, more distraction than difference maker: Jericho actually dragged her into the ring after dispatching Christian, and replayed the spanking spot from Backlash to a huge pop.  Trish eventually wormed out and joined Christian at ringside, but Crazy Jericho just takes a running start and hits that springboard reverse plancha thingie he does onto both of them.  The Evil Canadians go down hard.  The Good Canadian put his body on the line and is slow getting to his feet, so even though it's really early (maybe only 5-6 minutes into the show), let's watch some....


We come back, and Trish is showing no ill effects from the nasty bump, and Christian is quick to capitalize.  Unlike previous interference, this time when Christian distracts the ref for Trish to get involved, she lands some pretty good shots on Jericho, including a stiff roundhouse kick.  For a while, Jericho was getting beat down and tried to fire up to a "Slut, Slut, Slut" chant... eventually the crowd caught on to what was going on, though, and switched over to a "Y2J" chant as he powered out of a rest hold at the 10-11 minute mark and we entered the End Game.  Some real good stuff and false finishes in there, including an inverted DDT for Christian and a top rope butterfly superplex by Jericho.  Nice action till about the 15 minute mark, when Trish got involved again to try to put the finishing touches on Jericho: Christian held Jericho up, and Trish swung a mighty bitchslap... but Jericho ducked and Christian took the shot.  As Trish acted all surprised and the ref dealt with trying to remove her from the ring apron, Jericho took advantage by locking Christian into the Walls of Jericho.  Except that as soon as he locked it in, some huge-looking musclehead in a black t-shirt ran out and delivered a sloppy/scary boot to Jericho's face.  Jericho looked like he took a stiff shot, and the mystery guy wound up on his ass.  Mystery Guy bailed out and looked on as Christian quickly made a cover and the ref turned around to count to three.  Very good 15-plus minute opener, and Christian wins the rubber match....


During the break: cameras caught up to Christian and Trish, where they were still being followed by the Mystery Guy.  Christian stops and tells Trish that this is "Tyson Tomko," Problem Solver.  At first, she's kind of spooked by the guy, who is just staring blankly, but then seems to decide having some Dumb Muscle might be a good thing.  Although if Christian needed Dumb Muscle, aren't Test and Scott Steiner just about ready to get back on TV?  [FYI: this was TRAVIS Tomko, who wrestled as Disciple of Synn Bane in OVW.  His partner, Kevin "Seven" Fertig, I've seen work and I'm pretty confident he'll make a big-time go of the Mordecai gimmick on SD... Tomko I don't know much about, but for now, I'll adopt a wait-and-see approach.  But I guess you all can take your pick on which of the Lazy and Too Easy Comparisons you want to make with the guy: either he looks like Batista or he has all the co-ordination of a Nathan Jones run-in.]

Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing

Chris Benoit hit the ring to a massive ovation, and took several minutes to go to each side of the arena and hold up his World Title belt to a big pop.  He had to pause once or twice to let a "Benoit, Benoit" chant peter out, and when he got started, he wasted no time evoking the Cheap Pops.  He said, "And to think, it all started right here," before regaling the already-aware fans with the tale of coming up through the Hart Family Dungeon and Stampede Wrestling.  Crowd was lapping it up.  Benoit's only regret: that Stu didn't hold out long enough to see what all his hard work training "the Rabid Wolverine" had resulted in...  Calgary fires up the "Stu, Stu, Stu" chant, and Benoit seems... on the verge of actually possessing emotions?  Yep.

Benoit shifts gears and starts talking about how if he'd listened to the critics 18 years ago, instead of listening to and learning from Stu, he'd never be here.  Because they said he was too small, or couldn't win the big one, or whatever.  But now, Benoit won the Big One, beating 29 men at the Royal Rumble.  He won the Big One by making Triple H tap out to win the World Title at WrestleMania.  And he proved it was no fluke by making Shawn Michaels tap out at Backlash.  Chris Benoit thinks that makes it pretty clear that he is "The Best."

And enter Shawn Michaels.  HBK has done nothing wrong, but is greeted with a chorus of boos before he's six feet onto the stage.  Once he's in the ring and picks up a mic, he doesn't even have to say anything before he's serenaded with a chorus of "Asshole."  And then an even louder "You Screwed Bret."  And part of Michaels SEEMED to be kind of enjoying it.  But no matter what Calgary thinks of Michaels, tonight is not the night for a heel turn.  Nope.

Michaels tells Benoit, "I always believed in you."  Boo.  In fact, Michaels tells Benoit, "I think we're a lot alike."  Boo.  And Michaels respects what Benoit has done, and doesn't begrudge him that title on his shoulder.  But he does have to wonder if Benoit can REALLY look deep down inside and KNOW he is truly The Best.  Benoit says he is The Best, and the belt proves it.  [An aside: I've spent the last week telling you NOT to expect it, and even I was sitting at home, watching this, and twitching involuntarily every time one of these two said the phrase "The Best."]

Michaels disputes that claim.  He says Benoit has won the matches the last two months to earn that belt.  But in one he beat HHH, and in the other, HHH's sledgehammer beat Shawn Michaels.  One-on-one, Chris Benoit has never beaten Shawn, and he's got video footage to prove it.  From RAW prior to Mania, the two headlined, and Michaels won clean via pinfall.  Michaels seemed to think that was ample enough evidence that HE might be the best.  And so maybe Benoit would like to figure out just which one of them is the best.  Right here.  Tonight.  In Calgary.  Title on the line.  Benoit says:  "Yes."

But Eric Bischoff has other ideas.  Flanked by Johnny Nitro, Bischoff stands on the stage and applauds the enthusiasm of each man.  But not the promotional sense.  You see, Calgary doesn't deserve such a main event caliber match.  And Bischoff needs, oh, about 2 weeks to hype the match.  So consulting Johnny's Palm Pilot (which sounds dirty, but isn't), they decide that Benoit vs. Michaels for the title can happen on May 3, in Phoenix, AZ.  And not a minute before.  Bischoff leaves.  Benoit and Michaels turn to each other.  Benoit initiates the Handshake of Mutual Respect, but Michaels immediately escalates it into the Chest-to-Chest Staredown of Mutual Intensity.  Basically, nothing was accomplished here that couldn't have been accomplished in an Eric Bischoff announcement or even an on-screen graphic stating "In Two Weeks: HBK vs. Benoit."  But they took advantage of the venue and the atmosphere, and the result was a good, emotionally charged promo, albeit it one that probably felt like a cocktease to about 10,000 Calgarians.


Victoria vs. Molly Holly (Women's Title)

Molly's out with yet another wig, with Lawler actually hitting a hilarious line about how it's her real hair, and the chin strap is just something they're doing now to help with double chins.  Oh, Jerry, you self-deprecating son of a gun!  The match was crisply-executed, to be sure, but it was also just about 90 seconds of action as an excuse to hit the finish: Victoria tried a bulldog on Molly, and pulled the wig off, instead.  Molly stood there, looked for about five seconds like she was gonna run away crying like she always has for the past month, and then opted to go psycho, instead.  She beat the piss out of Victoria for about 30 seconds, and then locked in a choke hold.  When she wouldn't break it, the ref had to call for a DQ.  Victoria wins, but is still getting choked out.  Two more refs show up, and then can't pry Molly off.  Finally Molly lets go of her own accord.

The right move, albeit one that's maybe a few weeks too late.  I think I see what they did though: they were scared to actually do a genuine Bald Chick gimmick.  Now, five weeks later, Molly's got a haircut that she could, conceivably, have gotten on purpose (though it'd still have been ill-advised), and they aren't afraid to alienate any viewers by putting her on TV for anything other than laughs.  Whatever.  This shouldn't have ever been about Molly being "TV-pretty," and I think it would have worked either way.

My evidence: a "Molly, Molly" chant that broke out when she FINALLY decided to not scurry away in shame, and instead went medieval on Victoria.  But more on that later....

Backstage: Evolution arrived in a big white limo, and Todd Grisham is right there to ask the Hard Questions.  Triple H gives him the silent treatment as he's asked about losing the previous night at Backlash, but as soon as Grisham mentions HBK vs. Benoit being signed, HHH perks up.  He announces "That's MY match," and picks up the pace as he strides into the arena.


Mission Statement:  In a tight close-up, Kane says he's lost his edge and has shown human emotions lately.  But that's going to end tonight.  He wants to feast on fear and hunger for a sacrifice and electrify the testicles.  OK, so I made that last part up.  But the pointless ranting definitely got me concerned that Sucky Kane was gonna return later tonight.  Spooky music and a weird video effect get us out of the vignette....

Backstage: Eric Bischoff and Johnny Nitro don't like the sound of Kane hungering for a sacrifice.  Bischoff made an aside comment about how he doesn't want to end up like "Kurt Angle over on SmackDown!," which is a nice stab at continuity.  A knock on the door, and Bischoff is nervous... but it's only William Regal, which puts Bischoff back at ease and at his bossy best.  Regal tries to beg off Eugene Duty, but Bischoff tells him the job is not optional; if Regal wants to work in this business, he has to manage Eugene.  But where is Eugene, anyway?  Regal says it's the darnedest thing: they got to the arena, and Eugene wanted to play hide-and-seek, so Regal closed his eyes and counted to 10, and he hasn't seen Eugene since.  Bischoff is furious and says that Regal better get out there and find Eugene.  Because Kane is hungering for a sacrifice, and if Kane finds his nephew before Regal does, then Regal will pay the price.  Regal looks put out by the threat, but heads on out....


Obligatory Randy Orton Promo

A guy has the best match of his career, and so he gets to come on out and gloat.  The Fed's gotta be careful, though: we're a little more savvy as fans than we used to be, and we KNOW it was important for Randy to bust ass at Backlash.  It was NECESSARY.  And one match does not a career make.  So JR and King need to watch it with the Virtual Blowjobs just cuz the kid had one good match.  You show the footage, *WE* decide when we respect Young Randall.  You over-do it, and we're just gonna re-revolt against a perceived "over-push," and that'll just make it harder for the guy...

Anyway, Orton comes out and hits it hard, right away: mirroring accusations lobbed his way by Mick Foley, he asks, "Who's the no dues-paying, wet-behind-the-ears punk kid, now?"...  the Calgary crowd, it should be noted, does fire up one or two mini "Randy, Randy" chants during the promo.  It should also be noted that in the battle of Inappropriate Chanting Out of Respect For a Heel Who Busted Ass and Probably Deserves It, "Randy, Randy" only did about 75% of the volume/intensity that "Molly, Molly" did.  I don't WANT to feel somehow happy or vindicated by that, but I am.  Also, after the second tepid "Randy, Randy" chant, the babyface pop was gone, and the fans who still DON'T like Orton could only bring themselves to chant against him with a "Let's Go Flames" cheer.  Not "Asshole" or even "Foley, Foley."  "Let's Go Flames."  That pretty much sums up where Randy Orton's at: tough to like, tough to really hate, and easy to ignore in favor of hockey.

But now I'm channeling my Inner Lund, which isn't fair.  Orton DID have a great match at Backlash, and if he builds on that, this won't be a problem in the future.  And here, right now, tonight, he IS building on it with just about his best promo work ever, too.  In the ear-mark of a good speech, he finally seems like HE believes the words he's saying as he talks about thanking Mick for bringing his A-game instead of bringing the retired children's author that showed up at WrestleMania.  He BELIEVES it when he talks about how he then showed the world by beating that Mick Foley -- or Cactus Jack -- at his own game.  And he did it all by himself.  And now, Randy Orton no longer considers himself a "Legend Killer."  Nope.  He thinks of himself as "The Living Legend."  Oy, somebody prepare Larry Zbyszko's medication...

As soon as Orton hit the "Living Legend" line, Edge's music hit, and he came on out for a counter-point.  Edge quickly glossed over more of the manufactured respect stuff (congratulating Randy on his win and on his "best victory speech ever") before getting to his point.  Which was that in sitting home for 14 months watching RAW, he really realized one big thing:  He doesn't like Randy Orton.  Big Pop!  And the secret is out: the reason why Jeb Lund hasn't been writing as much lately is because he is actually Edge!  Take THAT Willie the Worker!

Edge says he may not be a legend, but he'd like to get himself a piece of Orton.  So he dares Randy to spit in his face just like he spat in Mick's face.  Orton seems to be prepping a loogie, but at the last second...  he declines.  He does the generic heelish thing of saying he's too sore and beaten down from Backlash, first... but then he does the much-cooler cocky asshole thing of saying, "And anyway, Edge, you're not worth my trouble."  Burn.  Edge takes that line as his cue to start in on the ass-whupping.  But unfortunately, Evolution is quick to make the save, and Edge eats a powerbomb from Batista.  Chris Benoit attempts to make the save, but he also loses the numbers game and is left lying after a Pedigree.

Evolution tries to leave the ring, but they are intercepted by GM Bischoff, who chides them (jokingly) for the four-on-two attack.  He says if they want a piece of Benoit and Edge, they'll do it FAIRLY in the main event tonight, as Benoit and Edge challenge Ric Flair and Batista for the World Tag Team Titles.  JR wonders out loud what's so fair about two men who've already had their asses kicked having to wrestle Evolution in the main event as we head to....


Tajiri vs. Garrison Cade

Coach actually came out first and did the big intro for Cade, saying Cade came to him and wanted to be affiliated with a Playa, and that's why Cade was there at Backlash for Coach's match against Tajiri.  The residual heat on Cade quickly faded, as Coach went over to do commentary for the match.  Once there, he revealed that he and Cade formed an alliance in the week's before Backlash, and Cade's help is how Coach got so good and managed to beat Tajiri, and Coach is now 2-0 on PPV, and thanks to training with Cade, Coach is also like a Second Generation Student of Shawn Michaels or something.  Oy.  In the ring, Tajiri gets off to a fast start, but that ends when Cade counters the handspring elbow.  Cade's offense is pretty standard in nature, and after a couple minutes, Tajiri makes his comeback.  Tarantula, handspring elbow, but when he attempts a springboard moonsault, Cade dodges, and Tajiri crash lands.  Cade goes up top and hits the Macho Man Elbow (even as Coach makes it clear on commentary that "nobody has ever hit the elbow drop better than this") for the pinfall win.  

Maybe 4 minutes, and trust me, I am repressing massive amounts of rage right now.  In one weekend I went from actually thinking somebody at WWE had a clue and would give Tajiri a win over Coach as a catapult to some decent mid-card stuff to watching Tajiri become an Enhancement Talent for curtain jerkers.  Nothing against Cade -- I've seen him in both TWA and OVW, and he's gonna be a good one -- but there are other people to feed to him and better ways to use Tajiri.  Pretty good "TV-special" style 4-minute match, but the finish is just infuriating...


Vignette: 60 years ago, the USA ended World War II by dropping The Bomb on Japan, ruining a once proud nation.  Now, two generations later, a warrior is returning to exact vengeance.  Coming soon to a WWE near you:  HIROHITO.  Uh, Beavis?  [So, um, the grandson of Emperor Hirohito?  Quick quiz: better or worse than The Son of Andre?  On the upside, this is supposedly the gimmick for the highly touted Kenzu Suzuki, who is a bona fide heavyweight with very high upside.  If the Fed has decided cheap heat is better than no heat, well...  I dunno.  This feels kind of cheesy, but lets wait and see.]

SmackDown! Rebound: Big Show kills Kurt Angle.  Almost.  I guess he's only "Mostly Dead."  Tune in Thursday for more!


We come out of the Death of Kurt Angle and go straight to the comedy.  Classy.  Eugene is in the ring with Lillian Garcia, and he is shooting the t-shirt gun.  Fans are eating it up.  Granted, I know people are whores and they just love the idea of Free T-Shirts, but it seems they have also taken a shine to Eugene.  Anyway, a minute or two of antics, and here's William Regal to corral Young Master Eugene.  Boos.  Seems the fans want more Free Stuff.  But Regal tells Eugene to put the t-shirt gun down.  And he does.  But then Regal turns to leave, and Eugene picks the gun up again, and the crowd goes nuts.  Nuts, I tell you.  I think it's because they began to sense the same thing I did: NUTS I tell you.

Anyway, an-increasing-pissy Regal gets back in the ring and starts approaching Eugene, telling him to put the gun down.  But Eugene has been vindicated by the fan response, and now he thinks the T-shirt gun is a good thing.  So he doesn't put it down.  Regal finally adopts a hard-line stance.  And by "hard-line stance" I mean: about five feet directly in front of Eugene with his thumbs thrust pretentiously into the pockets of his vest and his mid-section thus nicely exposed.  Which is when Eugene "accidentally" fired the gun, nailing Regal directly in the....

Nuts, I tell you.

And the people go crazy for Eugene, chant his name, the whole nine.  A very effective use of the guy and the gimmick, I gotta admit.  I was cracking up.  I just hope every one of you realizes why this is funny: and it's got very little to do with Eugene.  Regal is just the perfect guy for this job.  I joked about it two weeks ago, but seeing how well this went over, I'm convinced I was on to something: you can talk about Eugene being a WWE manifestation of Timmy or Forrest Gump or The Guy From "Something About Mary," and down the line Eugene himself might need to develop more of a persona of his own to be marketable.  But that's Erin's shtick.  My thought is that in the short term, all you gotta do is have Regal play the Sideshow Bob part, and you'll have comic gold on your hands.  If the sap's got dignity, we'll love seeing him get hit in the balls for months on end!

Anyway, Regal's facial expressions were hilarious as Eugene eventually helped him from the ring to a nice mix of laughs and cheers (and really bad music, which I'll assume is what they'll be using for Eugene if ever he wrestles).


Backstage: Edge is lacing his boots, when Benoit walks up.  Edge says something about how nobody gave him a chance against Kane in his first match back, and he won that one... so Benoit follows up by doing a pep talk about how that's how it's always been.  For both of them.  Tonight, they don't listen to the critics, they just go out there and prove they are the best.

Val Venis/Lita vs. Matt Hardy/Gail Kim vs. Kane's Sacrifice

Interesting pairing, playing off Val's Heat win over Matt from the night before and Gail's attack on Lita on the PPV....  but it doesn't even get started.  In the middle of Matt's entrance, Kane storms out, and is ready to feast on fear and make his sacrifice.  Gail Kim has already hit the bricks, and Val Venis puts up about 10 seconds of a fight before getting tossed from the ring.  That leaves Kane with Lita.  And Kane clearly has bad intentions.

As he corners Lita, Matt is in the aisle, clearly having a crisis of conscience.  Finally he loses the jacket and sprints to the ring for a big pop.  But unfortunately, he doesn't do much better than Val.  He does get Kane to lay off Lita, though, and lands a few blows to the back... but then, as Lita watches on, Matt gets decimated.  The beatdown ends with a chokeslam, with Kane planting Matt right at Lita's feet as she cowers in a corner.  Kane smiles his Evil Smile and leaves... Lita actually tentatively goes over to check on her one-time-on-screen (and still-real-life) boyfriend, as I believe we have a face turn and a reunion on the horizon.  Which is probably a good thing.  

[I'm not sure that Lita's character is one that should have been quite so terrified of Kane; she's the Xtreme, ballsy chick.  Then again, maybe I should have seen it coming, because Lita was also looking way more made-up and "diva-fied" than usual... I mean, she still looked good and everything, but it wasn't HER look, if that makes sense.  But this really is the only way to tell the story, I think, so no real complaints.  Assuming Jericho gets to use Tomko as a springboard, I'm thinking maybe this'll set us up for Lita/Matt vs. Trish/Christian, which should be pretty cool.  Only way it would have been cooler: if they'd had time before the match to set the stage for a Val heel turn... just have him be a LITTLE bit slimy in his eyeballing of Lita, and then, when Kane came out, he should have faked defending her, and then just bolted from the ring like a coward.  Gotta conserve heel/face-ish-ness, and if Matt's turning, why not take this chance to give Val a little more zing?]


Ric Flair/Batista vs. Chris Benoit/Edge (World Tag Title Match)

They started with Flair in the ring, so they could hit the requisite comedy spots quickly... but then Evolution managed to cut the ring in half and make frequent tags.  And Edge was your Decoy Ricky Morton for this opening segment.  Decoy Hot Tag came to Benoit at about the 6 minute mark, and he cleaned house.  He got Batista in the Sharpshooter for a massive pop.  When Flair came in to try to break that up, he got locked in the Crippler Crossface.  Just when it looked like that would be the end of Evolution, though, Triple H ran out. Benoit released the Crossface to go after HHH.  The distraction was sufficient for Batista to land a shot from behind, and so pretty much we had everybody down, and it was a good spot to do some...


We're back, and as you might expect, it's been All Evolution during the break.  Benoit is getting his ass kicked, and is the match's actual Babyface in Peril.  Crowd is getting a bit restless, and for the first time fires up a "We Want Bret" chant (almost exactly at 11pm, eastern, as they sensed the show was coming to a close, and they didn't like Benoit being beaten down in his own home country, I guess).  Much like "Slut, Slut" before it, though, the non sequitur chant died out and was replaced by a more appropriate "Benoit, Benoit" chant as the Wolverine finally started his Superman Comeback.  Hot tag to Edge at about the 18 minute mark.  He's a house afire for a bit, but just as he's ready to finish off Flair, Batista finally lands a big shot, and gets Edge in position for another Powerbomb.  But Edge uses his cast to plunk Batista on the head and escape.  Batista is legal, and he is down. Benoit goes up to hit the Swandive Headbutt on Batista, as Edge tosses Flair from the ring for good.  But HHH gets involved and yanks Benoit out of the ring.  HHH and Benoit brawl on the outside as the ref is distracted by other chaos...  and outside the ring, Shawn Michaels decides to make an appearance: mixed reaction, but it turns to cheers as he superkicks HHH.  In the ring, Edge hits Batista with a Spear second later.  He covers.  He wins.  New Tag Team Champs, and Benoit is a double champ.  Huge ovation from their countrymen, and a second very good match, this one around 20 minutes.  We close the show with Edge and Benoit celebrating to Edge's (shitty) music.

Final Analysis

You give me two top shelf, 15-plus minute bookends like Jericho/Christian and the tag title match, and you pack in good stuff in the middle (like Benoit/HBK and Orton/Edge doing quality promo work, the revival of Molly Holly, Regal/Eugene doing some killer comedy, and the first prospects for Matt Hardy doing something interesting in a real long time), and guess what?

I'm a happy camper.  Another really entertaining show.

Yeah, I'm livid about Tajiri.  Yeah, I'm dubious about this "Hirohito" thing.  Yeah, I'm not sure I see the value in Tyson Tomko Problem Solver just yet when there were probably other guys on the roster who could have been plugged in as Trish and Christian's allies.  But those are smarky-type criticisms.  And with the exception of one shout of anguish when Cade pinning Tajiri, they were not the kinds of things that affected me in any way as I was watching RAW.  They're the kinds of things I only really think about in retrospect as I try to slap together the recap...

There is just one other thing that I HAVE to say.  And again, it's more a smark complaint...  I would have prefered to have seen it be Edge and SHELTON BENJAMIN who won the tag belts.  Now, I realize there were probably very good dramatic reasons for wanting to make sure Benoit was in the main event and went over big in Calgary...  and I'm cool with that.  I was certainly digging it as it was happening.

But I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't thinking "Shelton" first when Edge started taking the Evolution beat-down.  And also thinking "Shelton" second when Benoit made the first run in (anticipating a possible HHH/Flair/Batista vs. Shelton/Edge/Benoit main event, and if they'd done that, problem solved because then Benoit can still work the main event in front of Calgary, and also the Edge/Shelton pairing is now established and can get a tag title shot in a more meaningful match down the line).  But it didn't happen.  Doesn't that seem like a better use of the tag titles to you?  Where do Benoit/Edge go?  And does Shelton really deserve to be working Heat this week?

I don't know.  Again, I wasn't weeping many tears for Benjamin as I was enjoying a strong RAW last night.  But sitting here after the fact, I can't help but think I just (in about 90 seconds of forethought) whipped together a WAY more effective scenario not only for Shelton, but also for Edge, Benoit, and Evolution.  And I shouldn't be able to do that, should I?  

Anyway, I liked RAW.  I'll save back some of this discussion for more fall-out, analysis, and news in the usual mid-week OO.  See you then.


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
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RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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