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How Much is Too Much Eugene? 
June 1, 2004

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


Well, you're all expecting it, and it IS true, so let me just get it out of the way: mine was better.  I really don't think there's much debating it.

But how much better were my ideas for RAW than what the Fed actually delivered?  Tough to say: I'm more than a little biased and unfairly enamored with my own brilliance, and it's not like last night's real-life show was completely devoid of charms.

Why don't I just zip it, tell you what happened, and let you decide:

Special Memorial Day Tribute: your usual WWE video montage of soldier-y stuff, narrated by Vince McMahon.  Throughout the night, announcers would hype this is as a "Special Edition" of RAW, though they'd never come right out and say what was special, probably on the grounds that the concept of "Memorial Day" doesn't mean jack squat up in Canada, so they couldn't really play it up...

Video Package: HBK and HHH hate each other, and last week, Eric Bischoff had to make their PPV a Hell in the Cell match in order to bring about closure.

Opening theme/pyro/etc., and we're live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler say it's a big night, and we'll be treated to a Randy Orton vs. Shelton Benjamin match later tonight.  But now, it's time for....

Chris Benoit/Edge vs. La Resistance (Tag Title Match)

Right off the bat, Montreal makes The Rick EAT IT, as mere hours before, I'd talked about Edge being right back to being as popular as ever in his native Canada after a weekend spent as a heel in the UK.  No dice, as La Resistance were embraced as heroes by the French Canadian crowd.  Wacky bastards.  Benoit was getting booed, too, and I shit you not, "Let's go, Sylvain" chants were DEAFENING.
But that didn't change the way they worked the match, which was still according to formula with Benoit/Edge doing the babyface stuff, including Edge getting isolated early to set up a decoy hot tag to Benoit, who came in at about the 5 minute mark and did a serious house o' fire routine.  He locked both La Resistance members in Sharpshooters as they kept coming at him, double team style (and that did get a mostly babyface pop from Montreal), but when Benoit's rally faded following a missed swandive headbutt, it was deemed a good spot for some...


Back from the break, and sure enough, Benoit's playing the Sympathetic Babyface Getting Beat Down card, despite the fact that the live crowd is VERY pro-La Resistance.  His comeback begins pretty quickly, though: unfortunately, in one of those Signs That Things Just Weren't Gonna Go Exactly Right Tonight, Benoit's big rally is SUPPOSED to climax with an enzuigiri, but something just didn't click, and Benoit lightly grazed Conway's shoulder with it (instead of pasting him in the head).  And Conway had to sell it because that was the spot that opened the door for Benoit to make the hot tag.  D'oh.  Definite mixed reaction for the tag to Edge, and he came in all fired up.  In the chaos, Edge tried to hit the spear on Grenier, but Grenier moved, and Edge took out Benoit.  With Benoit powdered out and Edge shocked at his own mistake, La Resistance struck and hit a double team neck-breaker thingie that I'm sure has a cute Finisher Name that I'm forgetting right now.  Huh: so La Resistance are your Tag Team Champions, and I guess that win they got last week over Hurricane/Rosey WASN'T just for shits and giggles?  Okay...  a very basic little 10-12 minute match here, though I gotta admit that hearing Sylvain Grenier chants added a certain amount of surreality that made this seem like a pretty hot opener.


Moments Ago: La Resistance won the tag team titles.  And then they kept on celebrating through the ad break, including out in the crowd with the fans.

Speak, Randy, Speak: Tough Questions Todd Grisham has Randy Orton for an interview, and he asks... THE TOUGH QUESTIONS!  To wit, he asks young Randall if he's concerned that Shelton Benjamin might earn himself a title shot if he can beat Orton in a non-title match later tonight.  Orton doesn't think that's possible, as indicated by some highly stilted indignity, but then Grisham shoves footage from last week in Randy's face.  Orton does about 30 seconds of sputtering and over-selling before regaining his words: he says Shelton's a fluke and all about luck, and he's not even in Orton's league and will never even SNIFF an IC Title shot.

Elsewhere Backstage: Eric Bischoff and William Regal are chatting, and Regal thinks tonight's non-title Orton/Shelton match will be quite smashing, a great way to please the fans.  And somehow Bischoff managed to bring the discussion around the young master Eugene, who Regal corrals into the room.  Bischoff says that against all odds, Eugene has become quite popular and tonight, he'll get his second-ever one-on-one match as a result.  Against "a friend."  Eugene is happy.  In walks Coach.  Eugene thinks he gets to fight Coach, but no: Coach is not his friend.  But Bischoff reminds us that Eugene IS his nephew, and suggests maybe Coach should apologize to Eugene for comments made over the past two weeks.  Coach offers up a tepid, half-hearted apology, which Bischoff says isn't cutting the cheese.  So Coach better get his ass to the ring for a GENUINE and PUBLIC apology, and he better do it NOW.  Or after these....


Title Feud Muddying Theatre

Coach is out, and by gawd, he seems genuinely apologetic that he ever questioned Eugene's place in the RAW locker room.  And to really make his point, he requests that Eugene come on out to the ring right now.  Eugene, once again proving he's not quite as dumb as one might think when it comes to matters of wrestling, is clearly suspicious of Coach: but Coach eventually wins him over with comments about how Eugene clearly has plenty of friends and fans (as if on cue, a raucous "Eugene" chant starts up at that point).  Coach even gets Eugene to shake his hand, and Eugene thinks maybe he has a new friend.

But Coach wants to change gears and talk about somebody he was talking to earlier today, somebody who ALSO wants to be Eugene's friend.  Eugene is curious, and that's when THROUGH HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE IT'S KANE arrives.  Ummmm, okay?  Kane hits the ring and just kind of smiles at Eugene (who is again appropriately suspicious and now also afraid).  Kane extends his arms and is clearly making a "C'mon guy, let's hug" gesture.  Eugene isn't buying it, really, but Kane keeps saying stuff about how it'll be OK, he won't hurt him.  And finally Eugene breaks down: and because it's what the fans were begging for, Kane and Eugene share a manly hug of affection.  When they break, Eugene can't believe it: Kane WAS being genuine.  So Eugene hugs him again, and Kane hugs him back again.  Again: ummmm, okay? I mean, if Kane was gonna be doing something other than addressing his title feud, shouldn't it have been with Lita?

Coach, unconcerned about title feuds and logical causality, decides to push this segment forward by saying something mean to Eugene; and Kane actually turns to scowl at him... but it was all a ruse!  After a pregnant pause, Kane whipped around to Eugene and took his head off with a clothesline.  Coach laughed and laughed, Eugene gave us a hurt look, and as far as your alleged #1 Contender to the World Title goes, I have no idea what became of him, because we're too busy watching Coach collapse in hysterics on the entrance ramp to find out that minor detail.  But I guess he only wanted to get that one shot in on poor Eugene...


Backstage: Bischoff and Coach are chuckling over their handiwork as it regards setting up Eugene.  And that's when William Regal storms in, very upset that they're taking advantage of the lad.  Bischoff says that Eugene is an embarrassment to him and his entire family, and he'll do whatever it takes to get rid of Eugene: tonight, that means Eugene will go one-on-one with Kane, and NOBODY will be allowed to interfere, upon threat of being fired.  Regal is not pleased.

Victoria vs. Jazz (Non-Title Match)

Vickishi is back for a second week of PG-rated limb-flailing, and I have no choice but to bow my head in solemn memory of a once-marketably-wacky Crazy Chick Gimmick.  Now replaced by the Dancing White Chick Gimmick.  Whee.  Jazz is neither white nor dancing, and wastes no time taking control of the match following a pretty cool spot where Victoria did her drop-down-into-the-splits thing, but instead of leap-frogging over, Jazz just stopped dead in her tracks and dropped a leg.  Then she hit a few more spots and Victoria remained in the splits, which looked so painful even Lawler couldn't muster any lurid jokes about her flexibility.  Victoria finally rallied (fans seemed to be getting restless), and they built up to a final spot in which Victoria escaped a Schoolgirl Roll-up by Jazz (with requisite Full Moon Handful of Tights job), and quickly countered with a roll-up of her own out of nowhere for the win.  Maybe 4 minutes, and I guess if this is all about rehabbing Victoria's character after her directionless past few months, then I guess "win over Jazz" is OK.  The dancing, however, must go.  MUST.


Randy Orton vs. Shelton Benjamin (Non-Title Match)

For all Orton's blustering about not sweating Shelton Benjamin, JR thinks he's VERY concerned, as Randy brings Batista down to the ring with him: and it doesn't take long before Batista gets involved.  No more than a minute or so in, Shelton is down, and Batista decides to distract the ref.  And Young Randall, the ever-dexterous and intelligent young man that he is, took the opportunity to go untie one of the turnbuckle pads.  Problem is, 30 seconds later, he still hadn't gotten it undone.  So he has to go back to Shelton, stomp him for a bit to re-incapacitate him, and then yells for Batista to distract the ref again.  Nimble of mind and fingers, Randall returned to the turnbuckle pad, sure to unravel its secrets on this attempt!  But no!  After another better part of a minute, Shelton decided, "The match is only about 2 minutes old, and I can't be unconscious for THIS long," so he got up and punched Orton in the back, or something, and Orton retaliated by doing a quick spot in which Shelton got tossed out of the ring, in the general vicinity of Batista.  While the ref AGAIN became very interested in paying attention to Batista's actions, Orton returned to the Turnbuckle Pad of Extreme Consternation... and this time: VICTORY!  Third time's the charm, Randall!  I don't know whether to turn this into some kind of cheap potshot of a joke at Randy's expense or actually commend him and Batista and Shelton for coming up with semi-plausible ways of covering and vamping so Orton could try 3 times, instead of just leaving Orton to struggle in the corner for 2 straight minutes.  All I know is that I was laughing, laughing so very hard, as I watched this at home.  I know that is mean and wrong, but I couldn't help myself.  

NOTE: We would later see a ringside sign that posited that "Orton Fears Jeb" (the OO Forums' Own Lorey Mysterio gets the credit on that one, I believe), but I think I know another thing Randall is afraid of after last night...
With the turnbuckle finally exposed, they were able to use it for spots (and for teased spots).  The first major one was Orton whipping Shelton in, but Shelton stopped short: Orton was following, though, and their two heads collided.  Orton, actually, took a pretty wicked shot right above his left eye, and was instantly bleeding, hard-way.  Both guys down, so we take some...


We come back, and it's all Orton (including a reprise of that not-very-painful-looking chinlock thingie from a few weeks ago, but thankfully only used for about a minute, instead of for five).  Shelton waged a comeback, only to be thwarted by Batista (who low-bridged him).  But the ref saw it!  And Batista is ejected (and serenaded out by the "Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" song).  From here, the match really did get good: tons of near falls and false finishes, and with Batista gone, they all rang true as it honestly felt like End Game.  Orton couldn't put away Shelton, and eventually acted like he was frustrated by it all: he left the ring.  Shelton, however, didn't want a count-out win, and followed.  That's when Orton whipped around and punched Shelton square in the face (and actually did have a good facial expression that oozed "HA! I can't believe you FELL for that!" as he dragged Benjamin back into the ring).  However, it turns out Randall should have been more worried about the wrestling and less about the giving us Facial Expressions of Almost Charisma, because all his show-boating got him in trouble.  Shelton was able to get his wits about him, and when Orton finally hopped back in the ring, himself, Shelton pulled his T-Bone Powerslam out of nowhere, and got the pinfall win.  Probably about a 15 minute match, and not without a few holes: but the final 4-5 minutes were REALLY good.  Now, goes the story, Shelton will get himself an IC Title shot.


Diva Search Hype: first they do a little commercial package (ladies, you only got till June 8 to submit your half-nekkid pictures and be considered for the 1-year diva contract!).  Then they do a little interview with Stacy Keibler, where Todd Grisham actually asked "So, Stacy, what exactly is it that you do as a diva?".  Stacy pretty much says, "Um, lookit me!  Who cares what I do?" and then goes back to posing for a photographer.  Way to further assure me that whatever happens with this Diva Search, the winner will probably have no value beyond Eye Candy, WWE.  Except:  well, Stacy did make a completely incongruous statement about her sister being excited to enter the contest... like I said: if this whole thing is a put-on, not a real contest, maybe THEN it'll have some value on the storyline, character-introducing side.  Stacy's evil, jealous, but still-hot sister, maybe?  Still, I'm not holding my breath.

Obligatory Appearance Theater

Triple H hit the ring (in swanky suit), and kept it short.  He briefly referenced Shawn Michaels, and glossed over ANY hint of "You Screwed Bret" that came his way, or which was directed at HBK via HHH.  In fact, when he announced that Shawn Michaels wasn't here tonight, it got a mixed reaction (a fair number of cheers), and HHH still tried to sell it like he knew the fans weren't happy about it.  But that's OK, says HHH, because in two weeks, he'll get Shawn Michaels inside Hell in the Cell, a match designed for one purpose: ending things.  Ending feuds, ending issues, and ending careers.

Here, they immediately cut to a 3 minute music video of past Hell in the Cell highlights, set to a glossy crap-metal version of HHH's theme song that pretty much only served to let me know that the lyrics to his theme sound about 327% more stupid when not being semi-audibly growled by a grizzled, addicted, 50-year-old dude.  But as a reminder of what kind of wackiness can happen inside HitC, the footage itself was quite effective.  I think we saw more of Nash in this video clip than we saw on Monday nights during the entirety of his last WWE run...

Come back to the ring, where HHH has just watched the video, and he's got just four words for ya, Shawn Michaels:  "See you in hell."  How very Han Solo of him...

PPV Line-Up Time: as HHH continues to pose on the stage, JR and the King run the Bad Blood line-up as it stands...  four matches are on tap.  Victoria vs. Gail Kim, Shelton vs. Orton, Benoit vs. Kane, and HHH vs. HBK.  


Backstage: Bischoff gets off the phone, and Johnny Nitro wants to know what's up.  Eric just tells Nitro to go find Eugene and bring him to the office.  Nitro thought this would mean more hilarity at Eugene's expense, but Bischoff has suddenly found a moral compass, and just tells Johnny to fetch Eugene, and that's enough of his lip.

Matt Hardy vs. Garrison Cade

Matt Fact: "Matt's life is better with Lita in it."  And furthering that vibe is the fact that the announcers are talking about how Matt seems like a new and better man since getting back with Lita.  Match itself is just sort of there: standard fare to let the announcers get across the idea that Lita Makes Matt Better.  Culminating with Matt getting the clean win with the Twist of Fate at about the 3 minute mark.  After the match, much kissy-face stuff and happiness as Matt and Lita celebrate their fantastic life together.  Or maybe just the fact that somebody forgot to put in anything this week where Lita had to "act" as a result of some stupidity with Kane.

Backstage: Eugene comes into Uncle Eric's office, and Eric sits the chap down on the couch.  He admits to Eugene that his Uncle Eric knew what was going to happen with Kane earlier in the night.  Eugene acts hurt, but Eric tells him it's "tough love," because Eugene is not cut out for the wrestling business and Uncle Eric was just trying to protect him by convincing him to leave the business.  Eugene doesn't like the sound of that, either, and Eric tells him that the option is to go out there in the match tonight and "prove me wrong."  Eugene seems to decide that's what he'll do.  Then Uncle Eric insists on a hug, which Eugene grudgingly accepts.  A tight close-up on Bischoff's face does NOT reveal an evil smile: instead, Eric is ALSO in on the "conflicted" thing this week.  Huh, so he was on the phone with his sister (Eugene's mom), or something, as she FINALLY realized she could watch her idiot brother's conniving live and in real time on Mondays?  I don't know... I kinda would rather have them play it Pure Evil with Eric and leave the conflicted to Regal, though.


The Highlight Reel with Special Guest Host~!

The ring is set up for the Highlight Reel, and Jericho's music starts... but out comes Trish Stratus, eventually flanked by Tyson Tomko.  JR says he was wondering what was going on, since he hadn't seen Jericho all day, and figured he was still nursing injuries from last week, and now that This Jezebel is out, it all makes sense.  Trish is clearly more comfortable and having more fun being a heel this time than her last extended speaking part on the Highlight Reel: out of the gate, she is welcomed with "Slut" chants, but pretends she can't understand because the fans are probably all speaking French or something.  You can choose to believe me or not, but it's the EXACT joke I made up for her in my head before she even picked up the mic, so even though I want to, I cannot improve this segment.  [Comically, according to a live report or two I've gotten, the fans DID switch it up on her at this point, chanting various things in French that amounted to "Slut."]

Then there was a disgustingly (but perfectly) saccharine shout-out to her poopikins, Christian, still at home with a bad back.  And then, on to business.  Trish decided to show us all why Chris Jericho is nowhere to be seen tonight: she saunters over to the JeriTron 5000, which she necessarily referred to as the "StratusTron 5000," and asks for last week's footage.  I swear to you, if she had actually busted out "monkeys in the truck" to go with "StratusTron 5000," I'd stand before you today ready to renounce my American citizenship and declare my allegiance to the Trish.  But no: she merely asked for the "gentlemen" to cue up her clip, and the monkeys remain the sole property of Chris Jericho, I guess.

So we get to see a couple different takes of Tomko powerbombing Jericho through the announce table.  When the package wraps up, Trish makes the fake-phone hand-gesture and says, "Um, 911, I'd like to report a robbery: Trish and Tyson Tomko just stole this show!"  Well, they can't all be gold... then Trish also turned and made sure to mock JR by fake-apologizing about breaking the table, and then busting out the requisite "By gawd, by gawd" impersonation, to boot, which actually did strike me as pretty funny.  But THEN Trish got greedy.  She wanted to see the footage of Jericho going through the table again...  and instead, she got Jericho himself.

Jericho made a run-in, and got the better of Tomko for a moment, and then Trish decided she'd interject herself.  The distraction was enough for Tomko to recover and then hit Jericho in the face with the Big Boot of Not Quite As Much Suck As Nathan Jones But It's Close.  The segment closed with Trish grabbing one of the Highlight Reel stools, putting it over Jericho's torso, sitting on it, and then putting the bad mouth on Y2J.  A jolly good show, all around, but then again, you know my tendencies: this much Quality Trish Time is MORE than enough to offset my general disinterest given what we've seen from Tomko so far.


Kane vs. Eugene

I would never have guessed it, but here he is: Eugene, RAW Main Eventer Two Weeks Running.  And he's out fast, too, with some chain wrestling that gets him a pair of near falls over Kane.  It's hard too say who looks more surprised, Kane or Eugene.  Difference is, Kane also looks pissed, and quickly takes control for himself.  This was almost a total beatdown for the next 4-5 minutes, and that's when Eugene started Hulking Up.  I'm not kidding: Kane would punch him or whatever, and Eugene would just shake it off and make a Mean Face back at Kane.  Kane kept firing off with different moves, but Eugene was clearly in a zone, or something.  So Kane went outside: he tossed one chair into the ring as a distraction, and as the ref and Eugene pondering over what to do about that, Kane brought ANOTHER chair into the ring to actually use.  When the ref also spotted that one and tried to intercept, Kane yanked the chair away from the ref, sending the ref to the mat in the process.  But with the distraction, Eugene had enough time to formulate a plan of action, and he hit a single-arm DDT onto the OTHER chair.  Ref saw this, and called for the bell....

But apparently the ref was ACTUALLY DQ'ing Kane for flinging him to the mat.  Eugene wins via DQ, though it's kind of a cheap and confusing DQ...  Kane immediately does a Zombie Sit-Up and is not pleased with the decision.  He's about to Tombstone Eugene onto the chair when Chris Benoit runs out for the save.  Benoit and Kane tussle for about 30 seconds, but Kane escapes after Benoit can't lock in the Crossface.  Kane and Benoit eyeball each other, and then the show ends with Eugene and Benoit in the ring, celebrating to Eugene's music.  Huh.

Final Analysis

I just don't know, folks: maybe I did do a number on my own head by trying to Fantasy Book the road to Bad Blood, maybe I'm preventing myself from seeing the Superior Wisdom of the WWE Way...  but another part of me -- the asshole part of me that brims with ultra-confidence at all times -- thinks RAW didn't just tread water this week: they muddied it up pretty badly.

Case in point: it's kind of cute and clever and all to have Benoit reprise his role as Eugene's friend to make the save on this show, but let's get something perfectly clear.  Hanging out with Eugene is NOT gonna help Benoit's standing as World Champ.  Beating up on Eugene is NOT gonna help Kane's standing as #1 Contender.  Getting involved in Benoit and Kane's mess is NOT gonna help Eugene stay over as the fun and harmless attraction he's been so far.

So why are they all playing together while Kane vs. Benoit (ostensibly a main event feud for the World Title) is relegated to a 30 second post-match brawl/angle, while Kane's pre-existing stupid ancillary angle (with Lita) is completely ignored, and while Eugene would have been just fine doing shtick with Coach and Garrison Cade here for the next couple weeks?  It's baffling, and it seem to me to be a case of somebody, somewhere getting a little too enthusiastic about what Eugene is capable of, drawing-power-wise.

I mean, unless the plan IS to just strike while the iron is hot, over-push him into ridiculous scenarios, completely eliminate whatever good will he's built up, and have him be used up inside of three months... if that's the plan, then hey, they're right on track.  Much more so than a guy like Desperate For Attention John Cena, Eugene needs to be UNDEREXPOSED for maximum effect: Cena can still cram in declining-quality freestyles and even shitty catchphrases ("deez nuts" has GOT TO GO, DAMMIT), but he'll still have a certain in-ring legitimacy that extends his shelf-life.  Eugene, because his in-ring work is every bit as gimmicky as his, well, gimmick, just needs to be seen less.  Why play with Kane?  Why get in the world title feud?  Why not just Keep It Simple?  People really want to like Eugene, and more so: they want to see Eugene succeed.  But even those of us who have come around on the matter of Eugene, we're also kind of "in on the joke" to an extent, and I think we only want to see Eugene succeed at certain things.  When he succeeds at beating the #1 Contender, well, that's the sort of thing that'll have even Eugene's fans kind of rolling their eyes because the Fed is REALLY stretching...

And again: my main complaint is more the simple fact that with only one show left before the PPV, a grand total of 2 minutes has been spent giving us ANY reason whatsoever to care about Benoit vs. Kane, and it's your semi-main event.  That's the part that really gets me: not that Kane's messing around with Eugene (or in past weeks, with Lita), but that he's NOT doing anything directly involved with Benoit.

Last night, there may only have been about 5 minutes dedicated to the PPV Main Event: the Hell in the Cell HHH/HBK match.  But that's OK.  As I'd said in yesterday's column, I half-expected they'd underexpose Shawn and HHH as much as possible just because Montreal's still got Bret On the Brain, so why put out anything that'd distract them from the actual show.  HHH said maybe 2 minutes of stuff, introduced a 3 minute video, that's plenty for this week.  You still got another week (in front of a non-bizarro world crowd), and as I've been saying, HitC practically sells itself, anyway.
Orton/Shelton oughta be OK as a PPV match, now, based on the strength of the last few minutes of their contest, at least...  it almost feels like they are over-playing the "Shelton dominates Evolution" angle TOO much, telegraphing that he'll eventually lose the Match That Matters, but whatever....  if a second pinfall win over Randall is what he needed to do to earn the IC Title Shot, then so be it.

I think I made it clear in my Fantasy Booking that I thought Victoria vs. Gail was also the right PPV match for the women's division.  That said, I also thought that they'd do something like, oh I don't know, actually KEEP TELLING A STORY TO JUSTIFY THE MATCH.  Instead, we got a Vickishi vs. Jazz match, and JR kept trying to shoehorn in as many "Gail made Victoria tap out twice" comments as he could in four minutes.  Show me, don't tell me, man:  how hard would it be to have Gail and Molly show up in SOME capacity to further the PPV feud?

Tomko vs. Jericho is also clearly now on for the PPV (even though it's not officially announced), and though I can't see it being a strong drawing card, they're doing the smart things here: Tomko is the least over of Christian's Army, Christian himself is on the mend, so let's give Trish a try.  A week after she was roundly mocked by netsters for her minimalist interpretation of the Guest Commentator role, I thought she quarterbacked the Highlight Reel pretty well, and as long as Tomko's got her in the corner at the PPV, I think it'll get over with fans.  Having a good match?  That's part's still up to Travis...

I'm assuming unofficial PPV match #6 will still end up being something Eugene/Coach-centric, but again, that's a picture that has been muddied, so who really knows?  And #7 can now be a tag title match, which is good: getting the titles off Benoit/Edge (well, off Benoit, at least) is actually an UNmuddying of the waters.  Now we've got champs who can focus on, you know, actually defending the titles.  Again who?  I have no idea.  Maybe Edge and somebody else, or maybe Edge and Benoit now have some simmering tension and they'll consider and Edge heel turn for real?  The tag picture is really a mess: such a mess that I find myself actually hoping for a Hardy Boyz reunion, now, even though it goes against my smark sense that there are better ways to use both Hardys...

Anyway, the overall vibe I got is that RAW this week was SmackDown-tastic in the "careless about building up to the PPV" kind of way.  They got too fancy and fine with weaving Eugene into stuff that didn't need him, and flat out neglected pushing hard for the top two PPV feuds (one by necessity due to Montreal's anti-Clique stance, the other just because they didn't feel like it).  I can't say there weren't moments of RAW that I really enjoyed, because there were... but for the second week in a row, I was left with a final impression of anti-climax and not being as excited for the next chapter as I've spent the last 3 months feeling.

And I'd really love to see that momentum, that "I can't wait for next week" feeling, to come back... if not in the final weeks before a PPV, then when, WWE?

More thoughts/fall-out tomorrow in OO...


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
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
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