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Extreme Kurt? 
May 30, 2006

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


Well, the end of "24" means the return of me not having a full one-hour time-shift going for RAW every week.
Luckily, this seems to be happening just as RAW is hitting a stride and not requiring a full one-hour time-shift every week. Would RAW keep it up this week? A week in which Memorial Day obligations at my mom's meant I had no problem keeping busy to build a 35-minute time-shift, but in which I wasn't gonna dilly-dally around trying to invent reasons not to start watching RAW? 

To be honest, the answer to that is: mostly yes. I did run out of time shift right at the last commercial break. I coulda used about 3 more minutes, I guess. Such is life when WWE is intent on serving up not one, but two lengthy video packages about Kane's movie that they would have to pay me to watch.

Anyway, let's get on with this mother. It comes with the caveat that I've basically been feeling like varying levels of shit for almost a week now. I'm hoping it's not some sort of reprise of the mysterious manvaginaitis that sidelined me back in February and March, and I probably did no favors trying to keep up appearances (to a reduced degree) over the holiday weekend... but if I have to take out my misery on somebody, it's probably you fine folks, who might notice me being more terse and abbreviated than usual. Sorry.

This'll still be better than Keller's, though. I promise. How could it not be?

Video Package: WWE honors all fallen war veterans. I don't mean to be a dick, but isn't it always incredibly incongruous when a company that is run by a man who seemingly has no grasp on taste or manners or basic consideration of others always gets religion when holidays like Memorial Day or Martin Luther King Day roll around?

Cold Open: Bait and Switch Theatre, Kinda

Coming out of the Salute to the Troops package, we immediately cut to Vince McMahon Silly Walking out to the ring. While he's doing that, we get an abbreviated welcome from Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, who tell us (1) we're live in Tacoma, WA, (2) HHH vs. Kenny is coming up tonight, and (3) we'll also get a Foley/Heyman face-to-face debate. But let's us not dawdle! For that is the job of the Chairman of the Bored! [sic]

Vince has a few main points. Each one consists of him taking 2 minutes (often with superfluous video footage, just in case the audience is made up of Chris F. Masters' caliber retards) to make a point that I can distill down to a single sentence.

Point #1: Shane McMahon was injured as a result of an "accident" two weeks ago, has a concussion, but is recovering nicely.

Point #2: Shawn Michaels is severely wounded and will never wrestle again as a result of the Spirit Squad (complete with faux Get Well wishes).

Point #3: Triple H displeased Vince McMahon last week by not following orders and as a result will have to face Spirit Squad Kenny later on tonight. [So not only did Point #3 take 8 times longer than it should have, it was a case of Vince merely repeating what the announcers already told us.]

After that, things at least get a little bit interesting. Cuz Vince says he came here tonight intending to name a new General Manager of RAW (in fact, WWE.com has been hyping that fact for nearly a week). But after reviewing the applicants, nobody quite lived up to Vince's high standards. So no new GM. [Ugh. Others will bitch about a "bait and switch," but the REAL thing we should all be upset about is that this is further evidence that WWE's Writer Monkeys are just making this up as they go along, and not planning things out like an intelligent, clever writing staff would. I'm not even talking about planning weeks or months ahead. I'm just talking about coming up with an idea on Thursday of one week, and not having to backpedal out of it come the following Monday. Cuz that's not "writing," that's pulling shit out of your ass.]

Anyway, instead of a new GM, we'll get to meet Vince's new Executive Assistant. In a shock to end all shocks, it's not some chesty bimbo: it's the Coach! In Coach's first act back on TV in the role he was born to play (heel lackey), he exhibits a complete misunderstanding of the meaning of the verb "to commence." But other than that, he also piggybacks on Vince's plans for the evening by announcing three other matches: (1) John Cena will be in action defending the WWE Title against "a man he's never faced." (2) Shelton Benjamin will defend the IC Title against Kane. And (3) to determine the #1 Contender to the WWE Title for the Vengeance PPV, Edge will battle the Big Show.

After a bit of back-and-forth mutual ass-kissing by Vince and Coach, Vince tells Coach to go find Triple H, cuz Vince wants to talk to him, immediately. And then Vince decides that it's time for the aforementioned IC Title match. Cuz Vince wants to start this RAW with a BANG~! What, so DDP is back? 

Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane (IC Title Match)

Ah, the "bang" refers to Kane's entrance pyro. Kane enters as we pay no attention to Vince and Coach evaporating. Then Shelton enters, and is moving at Full Speed Ahead.... sadly, he runs right into a slobberknockering. Shelton tries and tries to bring some kind of speed- or technique-based attack at Kane, but Kane keeps swatting him away. This finally ends with Shelton eating a big boot and falling out of the ring.

All of 45 seconds into the match, I guess that means we break for....


Back, and Shelton's working a chinlock. Some footage from during the break reveals that Shelton dodged an attack by Kane while outside the ring, and Kane ate the steel ringpost, setting up Shelton's offensive.

They work that chinlock for a full minute, then Kane powers out. But Shelton immediately delivers a Boot to the Head, and thinks he's stalled Kane's comeback. A Zombie Sit-Up proves him wrong, and Kane's comeback is on. All of Kane's greatest hits lead up to the one cool spot(s) of the match, as Kane goes for a chokeslam, but Shelton worms out the back door, and tries his Dragon Whip thingie, but Kane instead elevates him into position for a Tombstone, but Shelton re-re-reverses that into a DDT.

Shelton thinks he's got things well in hand, but when he goes for a Stinger Splash, Kane reaches out and grabs him by the throat. He's about to land a super-duper-chokeslam when suddenly the lights go red, and a video plays on the Titan Tron ("May 19, May 19, it'll never be over Kane, May 19").

Your Winner: For purposes of WWE Fantasy Players, I'm sure it'll be a no decision in about 6 minutes (most of it during the commercial break). For my purposes, I'd take what was to follow and call it a DQ win for Kane, though. A nothing match. One of Shelton's most pointless and forgettable outings in forever. But it served as the canvas for.....

After the Match: the "May 19" Video gave way to something different.... the "Theme From Kane, Circa 1997" played. Good to have one of the many "Funky Death Marches" that were so popular during the late 90s back again! And after the music hit, some guy who kinda looked like Kane, Circa 1997, hit the stage. Huh. So I guess because (in the WWE Canon) we revealed that Kane never really had hair and was just wearing a wig, *that* is why this new guy's mask and hair looked so shitty? Is this some extreme dedication to continuity, or just bad costuming? YOU make the call.

Old Kane saunters out to the ring, as Current Kane looks confused and distraught. After the requisite staredown/mirror-mirror bit, Old Kane reaches out and chokeslams Current Kane. Then he leaves. Huh, again.

It's an interesting slant on things, that's for sure. It's just that I'm not positive how well it'll go over when the guy playing Old Kane had exactly one (1) compelling Kane Mannerism down (the "playing with his glove" one). Everything else about the guy -- from being 2 inches too short, to possessing no discernable physique, to not being able to do Kane's simple grab-and-step ring entrance, and of course let's not forget the crappy mask/wig -- was just too phony to really care about. We'll see, though.

[For whatever it's worth, sorting through the Databanks, I'm thinking the likeliest candidate for the guy under the mask is a Deep South developmental guy currently wrestling as "The Freakin' Deacon." If I'm right, you probably don't really want to stand in line for the eventual Kane vs. Kane showdown.]


Moments Ago: Moments Ago segments are why god invented the fast-forward button.

Backstage: per Vince's order, Coach is looking for Triple H. But instead, he's found Carlito. Carlito does not know where HHH is, and invites Coach to kindly leave him the hell alone. Then Coach finds Armando Alejandro Estrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrada. Armando also has no idea where to find HHH, but has plenty of ideas as to how to repeat his name a couple of times so that the fans can sing along with him. He also says that now that Coach is Vince's executive assistant, Coach should know that if Vince ever needs anything, Armando would be glad to be his hombre. Coach pretends to appreciate the offer, but is still frantic to find HHH, so he moves on.... just in time for Viscera to move in and throw Armando up against a wall. Turn out, Vis wants revenge for what Umaga did last week. And he wants it tonight. Armando grudgingly accepts the challenge to a match.

Elsewhere Backstage: Vince McMahon is meeting with Triple H. Ugh. Thirty seconds earlier, Coach was frantic because he hadn't yet found HHH. But now: HHH has arrivened in Vince's office. It's just like Nitro in 2000! Anyway, the Faked Civility between HHH and Vince is leaping off the screen, perhaps even moreso than that between myself and PyroFalkon. They determine that Nope, they don't have a problem, they totally understand each other.... which is when Vince decides that if HHH is so salty at the entire Spirit Squad, then maybe Vince will do him a favor: tonight, HHH will face Kenny, but the rest of the squad will surround the ring. "A lumberjack match?" "Nope, let's call it a Spiritjack Match." Oy (don't any one of you tell me you didn't see HHH's next punchline coming down Broadway). HHH promises that he'll still destroy Kenny, and if any of the other Spiritjack[pause]offs get in the way? Well, maybe HHH will have a friend of his own with him. With that, he lifts a sledgehammer into frame. Vince acts mildly surprised, even though he had to see it there in HHH's hand the whole time. So cheesy.


Viscera vs. Umaga

Viscera enters first, and they make a big deal out of showing ring announcer Lilian Garcia looking "Possibly Smitten" again. FUCKING HELL~! You got it right last week, when Lilian told Vis off, and that's the end of that story. He's done nothing noble or worthy in the ensuing week, and now suddenly she wants to bone him again? 

Before Vis can even get to the ring, though, Umaga attacks from behind. He hits some kind of facebuster thingie onto the steel ramp that looked cool. And if I were a wanker, I might know that it was called an "STO" or something. But luckily for you, I'm not. "Cool looking facebuster thingie on the steel ramp" is a way more effective word picture.

Umaga finally lugs Big Vis into the ring, where the match officially starts. Armando breaks a stogie in half, to signify this has gone on long enough, and Umaga hits the Asiatic Spike for the pinfall win.

Your Winner: Umaga, via pinfall, in less than a minute. Maybe closer to 2 minutes if you count the "unofficial" brawling at ringside. Pretty pointless, since Umaga's still going nowhere. And bordering on obnoxious once they kept on harping on how Lilian now loves Viscera again. That's just a gigantic "What the fuck?" from where I sit. If I can get smoking babes to lust after me by treating them shabbily, ignoring them for a year, and then getting my ass kicked in front of them twice in two weeks, I guess maybe I'd try that.... except: nobody with a brain believes it works that way. So dumb.

See No Video Package: if it's about Kane's movie, then I'm FF'ing.

Backstage: Torrie Wilson, Beth Phoenix, and Trish Stratus are WALKING~! I realize that, for whatever reason, society has determined that "blonde with huge tits" is the only way to be hot, but can I be the only one who saw these three lined up and honestly believed it was just too much? Even if bleach and silicone WERE my favorite things, isn't there something to be said for variety being the spice of life?


Beth Phoenix and Torrie Wilson vs. Victoria and Titties McSuperbowl

Beth and Torrie were accompanied by Trish Stratus. Victoria and Candice were accompanied by Mickie James. Advantage: Push. The faces also had Torrie's Fucking Yap Dog and Torrie's new crap-ass themesong, while the heels had.... ummmm.... well nothing. Still, Advantage: Heels. Then again, in terms of Entrance Choreography, Beth had an entrance that will suit her well in coming months and years, while the heels did not. So I guess it all evens out in the end.

Beth starts with Victoria, and they commence to actually trying to do wrestling moves. While King notes "they're both getting some serious licks in. I wonder if they'd let me join them." Idiot. Beth actually dominates Victoria for the opening minute or so, last nailing a sidewalk slam. Then Beth decides to tag in Torrie. D'oh. Torrie lasts for about 30 seconds, but when she decides to hit a Stinkface on Victoria, things go south. The fans dig the exposed buttcheeks, but it's not so much a move that injures your opponent as it is one that insults them. And Victoria was not so hurt as Torrie thought. So while Torrie was preening after the Stinkface, Victoria pretty much just got up and throttled Torrie from behind.

Then Victoria tagged in Candice (ugh), whose entire offensive moveset seemed to consist of (1) a "Go Daddy" Elbow Drop, and (2) spending the rest of her time fidgeting with her outfit even though there was no danger of anything naughty showing. If the silly little silver thing you put over your lacy pink bra didn't want to stay one, Candice, just throw it aside and try to keep wrestling, OK? 

Torrie finally made the hot tag to Beth, and Beth made sure to send Victoria flying into Mickie, and then she hit Candice with a Michinoku Driver, and that's the end of that story.

Your Winners: Beth Phoenix and Torrie Wilson, via pinfall, in 2-3 minutes. Not very pretty for the most part, and even though I guess it existed to introduce us to the notion that Beth can wrestle, I still wouldn't have minded a bit more in terms of Trish or Mickie getting involved so that the crowd would have cared more. Then again: with the action being served up, I'm not so sure Trish and Mickie could have done much good, anyway.


Video Package: a repeat of the opening Salute to the Troops. Because Vince McMahon might think pulling things out of people's asses makes for good TV, but showing this package twice makes him at least TWICE the True American Patriot as Bud Selig. Because if Baseball cared, they would have found some way to invent a SECOND Seventh-Inning Stretch during all those games on Monday!

Joined in Progress: as we come back live to the arena, Jerry Lawler is in mid-rant, against ECW. He can't believe ECW is coming back, and he can't believe there are fans who would support ECW. He goes so far as to call Tazz a former tough guy who is now nothing more than a "joke-spewing King Lawler wannabe." At that point, Lawler is interrupted by Rob Van Dam, who decides to sit down at the commentary desk. Lawler is appropriately cowed, but when Van Dam presses him, King still says everybody has a right to an opinion. RVD says that might be the case, and if so, he'll share a few of his own tonight, but for now, he's just here to scout his opponent for One Night Stand.... which leads us immediately to...

Johnny Nitro (w/ Melina) vs. John Cena (Non-Title Match)

Nitro and Melina get a good pop as they make the jump to RAW as Cena's "mystery" opponent. Melina busts out the Greatest Entrance In the History Of This Business, and Nitro makes it even better: at the Key Moment, the cameras actually cut to the back-shot on Melina (which they never did on SmackDown!, and here is why), except that Nitro put his head right in the way of the good stuff and turned to mug for the camera. Dick. This makes me want to punch him even more than his LED battery-operated fur jacket and his Playgirl Centerfold Pose of Extreme Gayness. I mean all these things as compliments.

Cena enters to more-cheers-than-boos, but it does annoy me that on commentary, the story they are trying to tell requires RVD and King to pretend there are no boos at all. Which is false. And for whatever it's worth, the RVD/Lawler sparring was probably the highlight of the match. Lawler kept trying to paint ECW as a step down, and RVD kept trying to paint ECW as an alternative (where fans would rather watch a guy eat a steel chair than watch him dress up like Vanilla Ice and sing to them), and ne'er the twain did meet. One point that was well and truly made is that Cena had best be prepared to be crucified by ECW fans in two weeks. And I think it'll be fun. The only way it'll be more fun: give Cena a live mic and let him cut loose back on the fans. He'll make Bubba Dudley at HeatWave '98 look like Miss Manners, I bet. And it'd be fun for all.

Match ain't really a whole lot. Fast start for Cena. Requisite heel beatdown for about 2 minutes. Then Cena just starts punching his way back into it. Wacky tackle. Wacky clothesline. Wacky suplex. Five Knuckle Shuffle (which RVD assures us will NOT go over at One Night Stand in two weeks). Then the F-U. Welcome to RAW, Johnny Nitro?

Your Winner: John Cena, via pinfall, in about 3 minutes. Didn't suck, and I guess the commentary told the real story that they wanted to tell here. 

After the Match: Cena started staring at RVD, so RVD got up and left the announce table to stare back. But then Nitro tried to charge Cena from behind, and Cena just tossed Nitro out of the ring and right on top of RVD. RVD untangled himself in a snit, while Cena left the ring looking quite satisfied.


Speech and Debate Club Presents: Foley vs. Heyman

Both Mick Foley and Paul Heyman are already in the ring as we return. Both are stationed behind conveniently labeled podiums (ECW for Paul, RAW for Foley). And Foley starts out by saying he's glad Paul agreed to this, because Paul lobbed some pretty heavy accusations Foley's way last week, and Mick just wanted a chance to retort.

So: to the accusation that Foley's a prostitute? Well, Foley pleads guilty. But what's the big deal? Because when Foley was in ECW, he was working for a low-life street pimp in Paul Heyman. All he did was trade up to a high class billion-dollar pimp in Vince McMahon. BOOO~! And not only "boo" because we don't like it, but also "boo" because Foley is once again borrowing lines from his favorite RAW Recap without providing annotated footnotes attributing credit for his little riffs!

Foley goes on to say that the accusation of prostitution, thus, didn't really bother him. Cuz at least it was true. But what vexed him? Was this notion that Paul's putting together One Night Stand, and he actually thinks that Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer represent anything remotely related to Hardcore, or that they have any business in the same ring with the two men who redefined Hardcore at WM22, the two men who are the co-holders of the Hardcore Title. That presumptuousness gets under Mick's skin, but at the end of the day, Mick still says, "I guess good luck with your motley crew of porn-addicted, pot-smoking, beer-drinking Mick Foley rip-offs, Paul."

Paul immediately chimes in that he misses that locker room of which Mick speaks. And he says like Mick, he can let that accusation slide. Because it would mean a hell of a lot more coming from a man who wasn't a lifelong Terry Funk rip-off. OHHHHHH, NASTY~! So c'mon Mick, let's get serious: you speak ill of Funk and Dreamer, and put yourself over as a Hardcore Legend, but tell us all how many WWE Title shots you ever got until the day you started pull something out of your pants for Vince McMahon's entertainment? OOOHHHHHHHH, DOUBLE NASTY~!

Mick's had about enough of that happy crappy, and says that he's proud of what he's accomplished in WWE. Guys like Funk and Dreamer? They have "bingo hall balls," and that's all they ever aspired to (I'm sure Funk and his multiple treks across the globe as NWA Champ are happy to hear that!).... but the bravest, most hardcore thing Mick Foley ever did was when he left his own comfort zone to give the WWE stage a try. And it turned out: he was a success, and he turned into one of the biggest stars ever. EVAR~! So don't try to tell Mick that he and another superstar the caliber of Edge need to sweat sac-less, niche-acts like Funk and Dreamer...

But Heyman is quite positive that Foley's in for a shock come One Night Stand. Not only will he find out that Dreamer and Funk still have what it takes to live up to the level of "hardcore" that Foley might remember from ECW back in the day, but they're still capable of bringing it, and will live up to everything Mick and Edge did at their precious WM22 match. And just to be clear: Heyman's not upset with anything Mick's accomplished in WWE. He's just upset with the man Mick's become.... a cheap-shot-taking, Lita-hand-smooching, Edge-ass-kissing WHORE. 

With that, Foley throws down his podium, and appears ready to strike Heyman. But Paul settles him down, because there's a few other things that need to be said here today, and Mick might want to hear them. Because you see, ECW's not just coming back for a One Night Stand, it's coming back for good. And that means it's open season: anybody from RAW or SD! who wants to join up can. And further more, Paul's been granted one "draft pick" from each brand to bolster his roster.

Mick immediately interrupts and rants about how "Oh, whoop-de-doo, so lemme guess, you're taking Rob Van Dam from RAW?"... because Mick feels that's a great pick. RVD was always at his best as a big fish in a small pond. A pond in which dum-dum smoke was quite popular backstage. Heyman quickly dismisses that (not confirming that RVD would be his RAW draft pick), saying that yes, it'll be great when RVD wins the WWE Title and re-christens it the ECW Title (whoa, so just like that, they introduce that concept?).... but that's not what Heyman's here to talk about. 

You see, Heyman wants to talk about an all new vision for ECW. It won't just be barbed wire and baseball bats and flaming tables and piledriving women (through in a turn to the crowd he assures us, "Oh, they'll still be plenty of that, too" but that's not ALL ECW is about).... and to introduce us to the New Vision For ECW, Paul would like Foley to meet Heyman's Draft Pick from SD!....

With every fiber of my being, I just assumed this would be Matt Hardy given last week's segment on SD!. Instead:

KURT ANGLE~! Holy crap. Guess Heyman got his wish, and a New Team Angle is about to be created in ECW (in fact, WWE has just signed amateur wrestling standout Sylvester Turkey to a contract today).

Angle says not a word, and charges the ring. Foley tries to stand his ground, but immediate has his ass kicked. While Foley retreats, licking his wounds, Angle acts all intense and shows us his customized mouthguard, which for tonight reads "Violence."

More great stuff from Mick and Foley, and I gotta say Angle was a genuine surprise. That all adds up to one kick-ass segment.


This Week in Wrestling: Andre the Giant made his North American debut 35 years ago this week. Whee?

Big Show vs. Edge (#1 Contender's Match)

OK, so I guess an Andre video package is a reasonably-sensible segue into a Big Show match. For the record: Lita is attired in both a sturdy brassiere and an actual shirt, to boot. Meaning two things: (1) she holds no power over me tonight, and (2) Big Show's in trouble cuz that's an outfit made for jumping around and interfering in matches.

It's no issue to start, as Show dominates. Including some of the bestest, most-amusing (to everybody but Edge) "SHHHHH! Chops" in a while. JR was even so impressed that he just started rambling, "Alright, that's enough, check please, I'm out, I don't want to be #1 Contender anymore," and you felt exactly the same way sitting at home.

Then Show tried to run the ropes, and Lita tried to grab his ankle. All this accomplished? Lita was dragged halfway across the ring as Show kept on running. Nice. So Show kept on the offensive, eventually tossing Edge out of the ring. But then, when Show went over and tried to grab Edge back into the ring by using a handful of hair, Edge turned it into a hangman's move, pulling Show's throat down across the top rope. 

Edge got a very small beatdown segment in, which was highlighted by a killer Tornado DDT (Show sold it with the full forward-roll bump, which is just crazy-looking). But when Edge tried for the Spear, he found Show wasn't as debilitated as you might have guessed, and Show immediately grabbed him by the throat. Which is when Edge grabbed the ref by the shirt. So when Show went to life Edge for the Chokeslam, all that happened was he half-lifted Edge, and then the ref went flying as a result of centrifugal force.

With the ref down and Show trying to assess the situation, Edge went outside and grabbed a steel chair. But the hobbled ref saw that, and disarmed Edge, and (in slow motion) went to shove the chair out of the ring. Which allowed Lita to come in on the other side of the ring and uppercut Big Show right in the mansac. Show was wounded, but not mortally, and he actually intended to chokeslam Lita. But the ref turned around and saw this, and (in slow motion) came over to tend to getting Lita out of the ring. And while that was happening, Edge grabbed the chair from where it had been left in a corner, and whacked Big Show with it.

The ref turned around in time to see Edge hit a spear and get the fall.

Your Winner: Edge, via pinfall, in maybe 5-6 minutes. This was actually pretty damned fun. Formulaic, but each element of the formula clicked. And I loved the quadruple-reverse-y finish starting with the ref bump. Well-conceived, well-constructed, and well-executed to get us a believable, dramatic finish.

See No Crap: Everybody'd be a lot less scared of Kane if they just used their FF buttons.


SmackDown! Rebound: No, I won't recap, but instead ask a Homework Question... once JBL's feeling spry again, do you really just want to see him show up on RAW? Or are you like me and think that JBL should be shunned and forced to accept a contract in ECW? Where he'd do the same thing that Kevin Nash is doing to the X Division, except even more entertaining?

Backstage: Triple H is heading to the ring for his match, and is accompanied by Sweet Lady Sledge. But he's interrupted by Vince McMahon. After more Faked Civility and wishes of good luck, Vince decides, "You know what, Trips? I'm so confident in you that I don't think you need your little friend at ringside tonight. Why don't you give that to me." Finally, some genuine fire in HHH's eyes, but he does, indeed, give the sledge to Vince before continuing on to the ring....


Triple H vs. Spirit Squad Kenny ("SpiritJack Match")

The four non-Kennys are already in the ring as we come back from break, and they serenade Kenny down to the ring with a personalized cheer. You know what I just realized? Kenny is a dead-ringer for a jacked-up Bill S. Preston, Esq. Which reminds me: I recently had a KILLER idea for a new "Bill and Ted" movie, it's just that it'll probably be another five years before it can get made. It'll take at least that long before Keanu Reeves realizes his career up till now has been one amazing series of flukes, and it'd be OK to accept a role that requires him to act middle-aged and washed-up. 

Anyhoo: then HHH enters, and does Full Posing, including standing on all four turnbuckles. But he lingers on the last turnbuckle, because below him are the Spirit Squad. Well: four of them.... but they don't call him the Cerebral Assassin for nothing, and when Kenny tries to jump-start things from behind, HHH turns around and starts bashing Kenny to hell and back again.

The basic story for three minutes if HHH beating the hell out of Kenny, while also fending off all Spirit Squad interference. Nothing fancy, but still effective. It all builds up to a final spot in which HHH actually goes for the Pedigree, which brings the Squad up into the ring, en masse. The ref can only deal with one interruption at a time, so HHH has to deal with the other three. And since the Squad is insistent on sticking the Black Ninja Style Attacking (one-at-a-time), this is pretty easy, and HHH manages to decimate each one individually. Last to take his medicine? Kenny, who recovers and tries to charge HHH, only to get low-bridged. HHH stands alone! So let's break for our final....


Back, and HHH is still in control.... for about 30 seconds. Cuz that's when Kenny gets tossed out of the ring, and the Squad surrounds him. But HHH foolishly decides he wants to take the fight to them. This ends badly, as the Squad put a (mostly-)legal 5-on-1 beating on Trips before throwing him back into the ring.

This allows Kenny to get the first phase of his beatdown in. Nothing fancy, and the crowd is more antsy than pissed. Then after 2 minutes or so, HHH gets his first hope spot, as he dodges a corner charge, and Kenny eats steel ringpost. But as the ref gets distracted at the fact that three other Squad Members are in the ring tending to Kenny, he misses the fact that HHH takes a Johnny-Go-Round kick to the face.

Thus, Kenny is able to begin the second phase of his beatdown. This time, it's a bit more intense, and the crowd's more into it. In fact, by the end, there is a very loud "Kenny Sucks" chant. Wow. That's more than Chris Masters' got in 14 months of stinking up the joint. Good for you Kenneth: now, just don't let it go to your head. (Whoops, too late on that front, I gather.)

Kenny's heat grows by leaps and bounds when he actually starts tuning up the band -- in homage to the fallen Shawn Michaels. But sadly for Kenny, HHH has been in more than enough matches to know what's coming when you start stomping your foot. So HHH counters the Chin Music into a DDT. But HHH's momentum comes crashing to a halt when he backs into a corner, and two other Squadders trip him up and then yank him back into the steel ringpost. First: that's unpleasant as far as your testicles go. Second: then they wrap HHH's leg around the post, supposedly causing chronic knee damage.

And so begins Kenny's Phase Three of Beating Down, this time focusing exclusively on HHH's knee, and this time getting even more heat than before. I'm guessing that for a 20-year-old kid who seemed so green and unready down in OVW, that thunderous "Kenny Sucks" chant is like fricking cat-nip. Then again: it's not surprising that HHH would go to great lengths to have the kind of match in which that response is coaxed out of the crowd, considering that he and Kenny share a mentor (Killer Kowalski), and I'm sure there's a bit of favoritism in play, there.

The knee-related portion of the match builds up to Kenny tearing off HHH's knee pads/braces/tape, just like he did last week to Shawn Michaels. And then, while two Squadders distract the ref, a third comes and grabs HHH's leg, while Kenny gets on the top rope to drop a leg. Except: HHH kicks the guy off his leg, and that guy falls back into the ropes, causing Kenny to lose balance and crotch himself on the turnbuckle.

Both HHH and Kenny are down and wounded, and when both get to their feet, it's your standard back-and-forth fisticuffsmanship until HHH gains an edge by finally hitting a Spinebuster. Following that Spinebuster, he does that one gesture which -- if it were performed by Will Ferrell in a wrestling match against Jack Black -- would be referred to as "My Mighty ManRoar." Clearly, that indicates a desire to enter End Game.

That left the Spirit Squad with no choice but to attack, en masse, again. And by "en masse," we once again mean "Black Ninja Style." One at a time, the Squad members powdered out, courtesy of HHH, until there was once again only Kenny in the ring. Kenny: meet Pedigree. Fin.

Your Winner: Triple H, via pinfall, in about 15 minutes. Good times all around. HHH showed some babyface chops, the Squad were their usual heelish/swarming selves, and Kenny continues to not suck. Everybody played their roles, and the end result is a satisfying main event match. And it's not over yet...

After the Match: the Squad attacks HHH, and HHH eventually crawls outside. When the Squad sees him crawling towards the ring apron, they cease the stomping and let him go. No Sledgehammer there, Hunter! Hahahahahaha! HHH adopts a worried look on his face, while the Squad cockily just stand over him laughing. But as HHH retreats, he's retreating towards the timekeeper's table where.... uh oh, it's Sweet Lady Sledge's Twin Sister. The Spirit Squad's reaction tells us *that* was not supposed to happen: some of them take a sledge shot, but at least 2 or 3 of them scatter before feeling the brunt of HHH's cleverly stashed foreign object. Play HHH's music!

But not for long, because here's Vince McMahon to put the capper on the evening. Vince is impressed, you see. HHH did it again. Did the unthinkable. So maybe next week, HHH will be given the chance to do the unthinkable again.... that's right, next week: if HHH wants to keep his job, HHH will have to join a certain club. The Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club. HHH looks furious. Vince smirks a mighty smirk. And we play Vince's music as we fade to black for this week.


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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 Extreme Rules 2012
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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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