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Rated P, for "Pathetic Welcome Back
Present for The Rick" 
March 14, 2006 

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


This is by far the stupidest, most soul-crushing thing I saw all day yesterday. And I stayed glued to my TV till 4-fucking-A.M. to watch the US get crushed by Korea in the World Baseball Classic. One of the few benefits of being cataclysmically unwell? Fitful sleep means you can lose track of all sense of normal night and day, and 4am on a Monday night becomes a relatively normal time to be watching TV....
If you don't agree with me about the other thing, though, I'm afraid I'm going to have to request that you go play in traffic until death results. And if you don't agree with me, your judgment is suspect enough that I bet you'll actually do as I request.

I've given up trying to alert society to how mind-numbingly pointless the 6 hours of "American Idol" that FOX airs 

every week are (containing an estimated 27 minutes of actual performances, and then 5-and-a-half hours of the kind of vapid filler  that can only be entertaining to the mentally enfeebled), but do not ask me to sit idly (HA~! A Pun~!) by as you add a live, content-free pre-show to every telecast. America can't be THAT retarded, can it? CAN IT?!?!?!

Then again, maybe it can. About 5 million people a week are still watching RAW.  When they'd all be WAY better served just waiting till Tuesday and taking about 20 minutes to let me expertly tell you the many ways it blew chunks.

Like this:

Video Package: Last week, Pregnant (whhaaaa?) Stephanie McMahon drugged Shawn Michaels, causing him to lose a match to the Spirit Squad, and then two additional "matches" against both Vince and Shane McMahon. Note to WWE: once you put something on TV, the simple rules of logic and dramatic tension should dictate that all performers (wrestlers, managers, announcers, etc.) have the same information as the home viewer. We have seen enough examples of guys watching the TV show on monitors that this should be Internal Logic Rule #1. So that means that last week, it was mega-tarded that nobody stopped Shawn to tell him he'd been drugged and get him medical attention (or at least intercede on his behalf once he became symptomatic in the ring, instead of allowing for 6 minutes of retarded McMahon Drama). And once you put a piece of footage into a FUCKING VIDEO PACKAGE? That means it was one of the highlights of the past week, and there's ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING WAY THAT ANYBODY SHOULD BE IGNORANT OF THOSE EVENTS OR ABLE TO PRETEND THEY DIDN'T HAPPEN. Keep this in mind for -- oh, let's just say -- about 3 minutes from now.

Opening Theme/Pyro/Etc., and we're live in Beaumont, TX. Beaumont, TX, eh? Via the "Smaller and More Backwater the Burg, The More Popular John Cena Will Still Be" Heuristic, this should actually be a good night for Homey The Clown.... Joey, King, and Coach welcome us to (one of the) asscrack(s) of Texas, and assure us that what with a Big IC Title Match and a WM Contract Signing, we've got a hell of a show ahead of us tonight. We'll be the judges of that, you chuckleheads. Especially when the show is kicked off by....

Vince McMahon Proudly Presents "Shawn Michaels: Urine Trouble"

Vince and Shane McMahon hit the ring, accompanied by three security guards and a guy in a lab coat.

Vince starts the talking and brags about the big "wins" that he and his son scored over Shane last week. But then he changes gears and talks about how -- as embarrassing as the losses may have been -- they were not any justification for Michaels' behavior after the match. When Michaels was seen stumbling and slurring his speech. In patented Vince McMahon style, Vince belabors the point (while the crowd is silent and not-giving-a-shit because THEY FUCKING JUST SAW THE VIDEO PACKAGE AND KNOW THAT VINCE IS NOT SAYING ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY COMPELLING OR INTERESTING!) for about 3 minutes, just to get to his simple punchline: Shawn Michaels is on drugs.

More silence from the crowd, because not only do they know that it's false, but the VIDEO PACKAGE FROM 3 MINUTES AGO CLEARLY INDICATES THAT EVEN VINCE KNOWS IT'S FALSE, WHICH MAKES HIM EITHER AN EASILY FAST-FORWARDABLE PUTZ FOR WASTING OUR TIME WITH DRIVEL OR MAKES HIM CLINICALLY RETARDED FOR NOT RECOGNIZING THE OBVIOUS LIKE THE REST OF US. Sorry for all the ALL CAPS, but this is just a case of storytelling and character development at its absolute most non-existent. And I'm in no mood to put up with this lazy, intelligence-insulting, time-wasting bullshit.

Vince rambles for a couple more minutes, and then Shane establishes his role in this promo by chiming in -- seemingly at random -- to say things that have only tangential relevance to the issue at hand and further drive the Interest Level in this skit into the ground. Then finally we get to another punchline: Shawn Michaels will have to submit, publicly, to a "urination test." So come on out to the ring, Shawn. And here's hoping you're well-hydrated.

Michaels then proceeds to stand by, mutely, while Vince continues his taking-5-minutes-to-deliver-30-seconds-worth-of-material rambling. Mostly about how when Shawn fails his drug test, he'll be instantly suspended. Which is again met with silence, because everybody knows that'll never happen, since Vince needs Shawn to help lend at least a BIT of sizzle to his anemic WrestleMania line-up. Joey also tries to salvage a bit of continuity by indignantly stating "Stephanie drugged him just seven days ago, OF COURSE he'll test positive tonight!" But that's too little, too late. And anyway, what doctor would get those test results and instantly assume that Shawn Michaels gets his jollies by roofie-ing himself for recreational purposes before a wrestling match? So dumb.

Shane also chimes in with another awkward, stilted, unnatural line about how Shawn is nothing but a junkie. PLONK.

And finally it's time to collect the specimen. For some reason -- oh, we ALL know the reason, and if you don't, please jump off a tall building -- the doctor hands Shawn a gigantic Pint Glass, instead of a little plastic cup. Shawn and the doc hop behind a Privacy Curtain and do their dirty business while Vince fakes a Public Service Announcement. And when Shawn and the Doc come out, Shawn has positively filled that pint glass to the brim. How con-veeeeeeeeee-nient.

The doctor takes the glass and starts dipping some kind of testing strip into the glass. While we await the results, Shane again does the Writer Monkeys' Dirty Work by randomly chiming in "You know Shawn, there's an old saying: JUST SAY NO." Great Shane, just great.

But it allows Shawn to finally grab a mic to fire back. He says, "And there's another old saying. IT'S BETTER TO BE PISSED OFF THAN PISSED ON!"... at which point he grabs the big glass o' pee, and throws it at Vince and Shane. Just like Jesus would have. And if you're wondering why I am hardly giving a shit about this feud/WM match, well, there you go: this horseshit is prosecution evidence #78775.

Vince and Shane exchange allegedly-comical facial expressions, while Shawn prances up the ramp with a smile on his face. The announcers start selling this like a watershed moment in the history of wrestling, and -- I shit you not -- we proceed to vamp for 3-4 minutes of replays. WWE is so out of ideas that they actually budget over 3 minutes of replays of something that wasn't even worth watching the first time through. It's shit like this that makes me so happy to have a DVR Time Shift and a FF Button, because there's absolutely no excuse for managing your time this way. None.

Making matters worse: the doctor and the drug test were never heard from again. Which means WWE basically admits that the entire excuse for this awful opening segment was every bit as flimsy and retarded as I said it was six paragraphs ago. This is the kind of braindead script-writing that would get you a D-minus at even the most-limp-wristed of "liberal arts" colleges.


More Replays: as if the inexcusable time-management of 3 minutes ago wasn't enough, we get MORE replays of Vince, Shane, and pee. LOTS more. Why do you dare your audience to fast-forward, WWE?

Backstage: Vince and Shane are washing up and acting all pissy (hee!). Vince starts free-form rambling about how he'll make Shawn pay. And somehow he ends up at "Shawn vs. Four Members of the Spirit Squad inside a Steel Cage." Okey-dokey.

Trish Stratus vs. Victoria (Women's Title Match)

An apparently important plot-point (albeit a totally nonsensical and random one): at Saturday Night's Main Event, Trish will team with Torrie Wilson against Victoria and Candice Michelle. This is apparently what happens when you have three times as many useless eye-candy divas as you do capable, talented women on the roster.

Match starts with Candice distracting Trish, allowing Victoria to attack from behind. For about 2 minutes, Victoria brings the intense offense, and Trish is pretty much limited to hope spots. But Victoria always has the answer.... until she tries the same move (a spinning tilt-a-whirl slam thingy) twice, and Trish counters it the second time with a head-scissors take down.

For there, Trish gets about a minute or so of all her big spots. When she seems poised to finish things off with a Stratusfaction Bulldog, Titties McSuperbowl gets up on the ring apron and causes a distraction. Trish decides to let Victoria go long enough to dispatch Candice, and the ref gets caught in the middle of the two. And he remains distracted when Victoria comes up behind Trish and sets her up for the Widow's Peak. And then remains distracted when Torrie Wilson runs in and saves Trish. 

The ref only becomes undistracted once Torrie's long gone and Trish has administered a I Refuse To Call It a Chick Kick Kick to Victoria's face.

Your Winner: Trish Stratus, via pinfall, in 4-5 minutes. Decent enough action, too. I'm just not too keen on how Trish is having to slum it as part of this Torrie/Candice story, but I guess this is what happens when you fire all your talented women. Also: Trish, honey, thanks much for thoughtfully trying to make my return to recappening a bit more painless by wearing those leather pants that always seem to feel the effects of gravity more so than most pants. It's just too bad that the Ass Cleavage Effect is kind of reduced by well-fitting under-drawers that stay comfortably in place. Dammit.


During the Break: Victoria got on the mic and promised to destroy Torrie Wilson. Poor Victoria.

Video Package: Since this whole segment is going to be Edge's, this kicks things off... it's a Movie Trailer Style package of "Mick Foley's WrestleMania Moments." It is "Rated O for Overrated." Circus music accompanies a bunch of Foley's less memorable Mania moments. The punchline: "If you only laugh at one pathetic WrestleMania performance all year, make sure it's Mick Foley's." Definitely cute and in-character for Edge, but not exactly the sort of thing that'll have fans lining up to lap up the inevitable outcome of this match.

Edge vs. Goldust

For this match, some tosser named "Cowboy Troy" comes out to do guest commentary. He is apparently the host of something called "Nashville Star," which -- breaking the title down -- sounds like it's gotta be some tiny niche-market version of "American Idol." Which means this idiot has all the talent and value-to-society that Ryan Seacrest has, combined with roughly 3.4% of his pop culture relevance. Exactly the kind of household-name mega-star WWE should definitely be associating with! To "Cowboy Troy's" credit, at least he seemed to be lacking Seacrest's flamboyant homosexuality. Although he was curiously dismissive when the topic of Ashley Judd came up.....

[I must admit to a lingering semi-crush on Ashley Judd. It started out as a full-blown deal back when I was about 15 and she was a recurring character on "Star Trek: the Next Generation," but then waned significantly in later years when I developed standards and also when it turned out she was one of the most annoying people on the face of the planet. Still, a purely physical attraction lingers, and I have one VERY specific Ashley Judd Fantasy. If you know anything about her disgusting college basketball allegiances, it shouldn't be that hard for you to figure it out. Let's just say it involves the Kentucky Wildcats, the Dayton Flyers, a National Championship game, and me befouling Ms. Judd in every way imaginable for hours starting immediately after the final buzzer as part of a lost wager on her part. A non-stop loop of the UD Fight Song will also be required. Oh, yes.. And truly, that would be the Greatest Night Ever.]

But I digress. Mostly because I need SOMEthing to pad this recap out to normal length, since I know my Attention to Detail isn't back to 100% yet.... anyway, this match was nothing, and "Cowboy Troy" added nothing to it. First 2 minutes were basically slobberknockering, with Edge easily getting the better of it. The tide turned when Goldust countered an Irish Whip and turned it into a pendulous powerslam. Then he mounted Edge in the corner and did 10 punches, and then he set Edge up for the Shattered Dreams Sac Kick. 

Then Lita caused a distracted, the ref helped extract Edge from the turnbuckle, and when Goldust finally turned back around, he walked into a spear. Fin.

Your Winner: Edge, in about 3-4 minutes. Nothing match. It was just here to remind us that Edge still exists, and is a capable wrestler who once held the WWE Title. A glorified squash.

After the Match: Edge shoots it to another Movie Trailer Style video package. This one is dedicated to Edge's own WM Resume, and is -- natch -- Rated R. TLC this, Money in the Bank that. Edge is, so they say, undefeated at WM, and will continue that streak at Mick Foley's expense. Then, when the package is done, Edge goes all over-actor-y as he announces that there will be a Very Special "Cutting Edge" segment at SNME, and Mick Foley had better show up as his special guest, because it's gonna be Rated H for "Hardcore."


Backstage: Maria the Mic Stand has inexplicably set up an exercise machine in the middle of a hallway and is working out at an estimated one-fifth-speed (so we can ogle her perspiration-free boobs). Trish Stratus walks up, and immediately gives me a raging erection of the brain by pointing out how utterly incongruous and random it is that Maria is working out in the middle of a hallway. But then she gets to the point: has Maria seen Torrie? Maria responds by plugging her exercise machine by name, and saying how great it is. Trish decides to forget engaging the dimwit, and just check the women's locker room..... where she finds Torrie unconscious on the floor, with a copy of Candice's Playboy laid over the carcass. "SURELY this is Candice and Victoria's calling card and PROVES that they attacked Torrie," opine the suddenly-capable-of-limited-intellectual-curiosity announce team. "SURELY you don't think I'm that stupid, do you?" opines The Rick, who can't help but wonder what Mickie James has been up to while her Best Friend Trish goes around forming tag teams with random harlots like Torrie Wilson.

Announce Table Visit: A big-ass Hall of Fame run down, and then the announcement of the next inductee... Verne Gagne. Wheee. More of WWE's patented schizophrenia: when it's convenient, they'll embrace the "old school" that is almost completely divorced from where WWE took the industry starting in the mid-80s. I guess so they can lure back some miniscule percentage of fans who think highly of Verne Gagne.... all while boring the hell out of those of us who barely remember him as the guy who ran the AWA into the ground back when we were in grade school and had just discovered the PWI Magazines. 


Is Beaumont Podunk Enough to Cheer John Cena? A Very Special Scientific Experiment

Contract Signing Time. Triple H enters first, and sits down at the six-foot banquet table and puts his feet up, just as relaxed as can be. John Cena enters second and has his intense petulant dumb-jock face on, and sits ramrod straight in his chair. 

Coach is emcee'ing this thing, and says we oughta get right down to the business of putting ink to paper. He gives HHH first dibs. HHH looks over the contract, and then decides to serenade us with a bit of oratory, first. Still kicked back and relaxed, he takes a mic and asks Cena how it feels to be on the wrong end of inevitability. Because this contract signing and the outcome at WM are nothing but formalities. Cena's a joke, and now that Trips has turned his attention back to the title, it's only a matter of time before the championship comes home. Through this all, HHH --whether he's doing it on purpose or not -- is exuding the kind of taking-care-of-business bad-assery that isn't exactly gonna help Cena's case among wrestling fans who aren't misguided teenage girls. 

HHH signs the contract and passes it over to Cena, who in turn does himself all KINDS of favors by not saying a damned word, and just signing his John Hancock, as well. They turn the document over to Coach, but then HHH wants to talk some more.

He says, "This is the part of the contract signing where you might expect me to reach under this table and pull out a sledge hammer and beat your skull in, Cena. But I don't have to do that. Not with you. You're not worth the trouble, and I don't need any extra advantage to beat you." More of that casual bad-assery, and if they aren't inching towards a double turn, then HHH sure seems to be taking it upon himself to scoop Cena's popularity by being more likeable. OMG, he's going to Orton Cena!

But no: Cena's gonna Orton himself.... because here he decides to open his mouth, and annoy the hell out of a growing majority of the audience. He declares HHH's story "funny" because the only reason HHH won't go for the sledge is because if HHH did, he knows Cena would take it and cram straight up HHH's ass. That is met with high pitched squeals and a cavalcade of boos. HHH, sadly, does not have time to hit the rebuttal line that passed through my brain at that point ("Hey, Homey, The Rock called, and he wants 1999's catchphrase back"), because it's time for an interruption....

From Kane and Big Show? Yep. 

Cena and HHH eyeball each other uneasily, and then HHH tips over the table and -- what do you know?!? -- there's a sledgehammer there. Cena gets defensive, but HHH gestures, in the finest manner of gesturing (Broadly), that he's just getting a little insurance out against Kane and Show. The announcers remind us that Kane and Show lost one-on-one matches to HHH and Cena, respectively, last week, and might be out here for revenge.

But before we can get to that point, Carlito Cool and Chris F. Masters attack Show and Kane from behind. I guess because they realized they've got a WM22 match against them, and they need to do SOMEthing so there's some storyline behind it.

As that brawl is on, Vince McMahon appears on the TitanTron and declares that he's in no mood for shenanigans, so he wants security to break it up. And if these guys want to fight, they can do it later. HHH, Carlito, and Masters vs. Cena, Show, and Kane. Bank on it!


Shawn Michaels vs. the Spirit Squad (Cage Match)

Two things: (1) I *really* like the Spirit Squad's trampampoline as an affectation. It's like the little one-man dealies that the Bud Lite Daredevils use when they do halftime shows for your local pro or college basketball team, and should be a cool prop to let them do some diabolical high-flying antics. And (2) how green does the one Spirit Squad guy who isn't allowed to wrestle have to be to be the one singled out not to wrestle on a team of mostly-green rookies?

Michaels enters first, then the Spirit Squad enters second.... and they opt to enter the cage in time-tested, one-at-a-time Dumb Ninja Fashion, allowing Michaels to get a BIT of an early advantage. But once all four ring-legal Squadders are in the cage, it's lights-out for Michaels, who takes about 2-3 minutes of a 4-on-1 beating.

The tide turns when the Squad (like Victoria) tries to hit the same move twice. In this case, it's a sort of double-stack version of Jeff Hardy's "drop shot." Michaels dodges it the second time, and one Squadder eats turn buckle. Then another gets a Flying Burrito. Kip Up. Inverted Atomics all around. To the top rope --and like a moron, Shawn doesn't try to escape the cage, although he easily could have -- for the Macho Man Elbow. Finally, Shawn tries to go for the door, but the Extra Spirit Squad Guy shoves the ref down and tries to slam the cage door in Shawn's face. 

Shawn blocks that, and counters it by slamming the door back into the dude's face. But the distraction has allowed one of the ring-legal Squadders to recover. So Shawn pauses long enough to superkick him. Then he goes back to the door.... where Shane McMahon (with a change of clothes) has magically appeared. He slams the door into Shawn.... then gets into the cage, drags Shawn's carcass to the middle of the ring, and puts the carcass of one of the Spirit Squad on top of Shawn. One, two, three.

Your Winners: The Spirit Squad, via pinfall, in about 4-5 minutes. Decent action, but this was pretty much exactly what you would have expected... there really aren't too many believable ways to do a 4-on-1 cage match, so there wasn't a lot of room for creativity or surprises. Although, I guess it was OK, since it was all just a set-up for....

After the Match: Shane continued the assault on Shawn, throwing him face-first into the cage, drawing blood. Then Shane ordered the cage to be lifted. Shawn was propped up in one corner by the Spirit Squad, with a trashcan in front of his face. Shane ascended the opposite turnbuckle. And hit what was once dubbed the "Van Terminator," but which is simply known as "Coast to Coast" when Shane O'Mac does it. Shane pulls the trashcan off Michaels, and lays a bad mouth on him. Nice post-match beatdown.... but now that Shane's busted out the Van Terminator, where do you go for the big street fight at SNME?


Backstage: Tough Questions Todd Grisham has Trish Stratus for a few tender moments.... he fails to ask the toughest of questions ("What the hell were you doing teaming with Torrie, anyway?"), but drops down a couple lines on the depth chart to "How's Torrie doing?".... Trish says that Torrie has a concussion and won't be able to compete at SNME. Enter Mickie James, who says that she still cares about Trish and won't let her wrestle a handicap match.... so please, please, please, let me be your partner on Saturday, Trish, and then we can go our separate ways again, and I'll never bother you. Trish grudgingly accepts and walks away. The camera lingers on Mickie, who gets a sly smirk on her face.

He's Baaa-aack: Steve Austin is coming to SNME to do a drinking contest against JBL. In honor of the momentous occasion, we get an extended video package set to a Stone Cold Theme Song Remix that was so lame 5 years ago that it was never heard from again. Until now. It's the Randy Orton of Theme Music: it still sucks as bad as it ever did, but if it hangs around and waits long enough, the field will fall back far enough that it can fit in, afterall. Neeeeeeeeeeeeee haw!

Elsewhere Backstage: Shane McMahon -- with Shawn Michaels' blood on his shirt -- is bragging to his dad about what a great job he just did, and how there's more of the same awaiting HBK on Saturday. Vince is pleased, and -- in more of WWE's patented "Logic? Who Needs Logic?" storytelling -- declares that to make Saturday's streetfight even more special, he's bringing back a Very Special Announcer: Jim Ross. Whaaaaa? Shane, for some reason, things this is an awesome idea, and mockingly does some JR-isms. And then, as he leaves the room, Shane says, "And if JR doesn't call my match the right way, I'll leave him a bloody mess just like I did Shawn Michaels." Umm, Shane-O? How the hell are you gonna have any idea what the hell JR is saying, dum dum? You're gonna be too busy wrestling..... so dumb. But I'm sure in "WWE Think," it's leading to something. Something even dumber.


Shelton Benjamin vs. Rob Van Dam (IC Title Match)

Ric Flair actually enters first, as he'll be our Awkward Guest Commentator.

Then Shelton enters, sans Mama. He says Mama is having heart troubles, and blames it on Ric Flair. Whatever. The actress who plays Mama was supposedly having health troubles a month ago, which is why they ran the heart attack angle, but then she came straight back to TV.... and *now* she's MIA? I wish I could care. Shelton dedicates this match to his Mama, and promises to win.

Then RVD enters, and the match is on.

Although both men are among RAW's most explosive and exciting athletes, their respective explosivenesses don't mesh well at all out of the gate. There are mis-timed spots, and a few outright blown ones (including RVD completely whiffing on a drop kick, but Shelton still having to sell it by falling backwards out of the ring at Warp 9). My read is that guys like this -- as unique and distinctive as they both are -- need more time to work against each other until they'll get used to each other. This isn't like when Shelton works with somebody amazingly technically sound in a Standard Kind of Way (like HBK), where meshing is easier.... these are two unique movesets that are gonna have to get used to each other.

While RVD and Shelton are fumbling their way through some back-and-forthy, the announcers are trying to coax a story out of Flair: basically, it's supposed to be that at this point of Flair's career, he feels very honored to have one last chance to get back tot he main event and to the world title, because so many people had written him off and he'd even started to doubt himself. They finally fumble their way to kind of a punchline about that issue: Flair says to hell with his 16 times, and to hell with RVD's 5 IC titles and Shelton's 2.... because Money in the Bank is gonna be about one MORE time on top of the world, and he can't wait.

Meantime, back in the ring, RVD tries going up top for something, but Shelton catches him.... with that killer broadjump (from the mat to the top rope in one leap) belly-to-belly superplex. Amazing. With both men down, we break for.....


Back from the break, and Shelton's retained control. In fact, during the break, he rammed RVD's shoulder into the ring post, so he's got a focus to his attack, and is really working a top wristlock, wrenching the entire arm. Not exactly thrilling, but maybe a notch higher up the Visually Impressive Foodchain than a chinlock. RVD escapes once for a brief hope spot, but Shelton is quick to snuff that out and re-apply.

Another minute or so of struggling with that, and RVD escapes again... and this time, when Shelton tries to put an end to the rally with a dropkick, RVD sidesteps, and the comeback is on, in earnest. Funky kicks, Rolling Thunder, leg whips, monkey flips, suicide planchas.... you name it, RVD busted it out during this high energy sequence. Got the crowd back into things a bit, too, after the early sloppiness (and general weakness of the entire show up to this point).

After the plancha, there was some brief brawling outside the ring, and Shelton eventually ducked into the ring first, seeking safety. When RVD stormed into the ring, following him, the ref tried to slow Rob down. Meantime, Shelton slid out the other side of the ring, and went and took his IC belt from Lillian Garcia. He tried bringing it into the ring....

But Ric Flair got a case of the Conscience at this point, and hopped up on the apron with Shelton, and the two got into a tug-of-war over the IC belt. Flair eventually won, and Shelton decided to get into the ring..... simultaneously, RVD came charging at Shelton... but Shelton saw it at the last second and ducked. Causing RVD to crash into Ric Flair. Flair tumbled off the apron, and a stunned RVD fell backwards, directly into a schoolboy roll-up by Shelton. Shelton augmented that with some physics-defying "illegal leverage" by grabbing the ropes, and got the three count.

Your Winner: Shelton Benjamin, via dubious pinfall, in about 8-10 minutes. Sloppy early, slow during the wristlock phase, but picked up nicely at the end. More than anything, this feels like a prelude to what these two will be able to do once they get more comfortable working with each other's unique styles. Nothing special yet, but there could be gOOdness to come between them. Also, the finish sets up possible friction between RVD and Flair, which'll be a nice little touch heading into Money in the Bank...


SNME Hype: They run the entire card, PPV-style, for Saturday Night's Main Event. Let's just say I'm grateful that the Cubs Fan has already volunteered to recap this thing.

Triple H, Carlito Cool, and Chris F. Masters vs. Time Management

Why am I not surprised that -- on a show that's been rife with poor decision making as far as time management goes -- we get all three heels getting their full ring entrances (HHH's, which is cool enough to deserve to waste our time, CFM's which is among the worst and most FF'able in wrestling history, and Carlito's which might have been the only one to be slightly abridged), followed immediately by a break for our final....


Big Show, Kane, John Cena vs. Triple H, Carlito Cool, Chris F. Masters

Back from the break, and it's already after 11pm (eastern). That bodes really well. Also: the tag champs are already in the ring. But Cena gets his full, squeal-laden ring-entrance. Lucky us.

Ring the bell, and let's do this thing. Carlito opts to start for his team, and is promptly passed around like he's a fattie and Big Show and Kane are dirty, stinking hippies grooving to the Dead. After about 90 seconds (or 1/17th of a crap-ass Jerry Garcia guitar solo) of that crowd-pleasing fun, Carlito finally makes a dash for his corner and tags in Triple H. And almost immediately, Cena blind tags himself in. So after some staring down and circling, HHH goes all Psychological Warfare on Cena by sauntering over to his corner and tagging in a VERY surprised Carlito.

But to the amazement of all, Carlito's actually up to the challenge. Mostly because Cena -- dumbass wigger that he is -- kept getting distracted by turning to taunt Triple H. Making it pretty easy for Carlito to attack from behind and procure the advantage. With a few tags to his partner, CFM, Carlito rendered Cena a relatively convincing Babyface in Peril for a few moments.

A VERY few moments. Because formula and WWE's shitty time management dictate that we get on with End Game here, and sooner rather than later. So Cena makes the hot tag to Big Show, and it's House Cleaning Time.

Then, when Triple H finally decides to toss his two cents worth in to help his little buddies, Kane and Cena get back into the mix, and we got ourselves a Pier Six Brawl. Carlito and Masters actually manage to continue getting the better of Cena, but that eventually left HHH alone in the ring with both Big Show and Kane. That didn't work out too well for Trips, who was seconds away from getting double chokeslammed.

But then, to the rescue: both Carlito and CFM hit the ring with chairs and whapped Big Show and Kane respectively. The ref called for the bell at that point. Carlito and Masters bolted, and Kane and Big Show lumbered after them, none of them to be seen again.

Your Winners: Big Show, Kane, and John Cena, via Disqualification, in about 4-5 minutes. Bleh. Nothing "main event-y" about this rushed little TV-special of a schmozz at all. Felt more like a lazy, thrown together affair that some dumb ass Hollywood Writer Monkey thought would be a clever way to create some semblance of PPV-caliber dramatic tension of storyline between Show/Kane and Carlito/Masters. Which it didn't, really. But again, I guess we have to give them a free pass, because this was all just prelude for....

After the Match: Triple H rolled outside the ring to collect his thoughts and watch the retreated tag teams. And Cena recovered and got up into the center of the ring and started insisting that HHH come on in and take some medicine. Hunter got a resigned look on his face, and methodically started toying with Cena's puny little mind. A few false starts later, and HHH was actually up on the ring apron, only being "held back" by a few referees. But Cena's attention was riveted, and he couldn't wait till HHH got in the ring so they could fight. At which point.... Randy Orton shows up and hits an RKO on Cena? Yep. Don't ask me. Then Orton dived out of the ring and left through the crowd. HHH looked neither pleased nor upset, but the announcers sold it as if Orton was re-opening the old RAW vs. SD! wounds... which, as I recall, were about as memorable and traumatic as a papercut. Somehow, I guess this counts as part of the build-up to the silly and random "WM Main Event vs. WM Main Event" match at SNME, though.... which -- unless SNME ends with the "Theme From Evolution" playing, and unless WWE is already planning far enough ahead that HHH goes to SD! in the draft lottery, and Orton is re-relegated to being HHH's bitch (which is about as high up the foodchain as his ability level dictates at this point) -- doesn't really do a whole lot for me. 

RAW ends with HHH standing stoically over the carcass of John Cena, revealing no emotions either way about this attack on his SNME Partner and his WM22 Opponent.


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PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
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PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
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PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
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PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
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PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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