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OO RAW RECAP
Replays are gOOd 
August 29, 2006

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com

 

About 45 minutes into watching RAW, I started to get partially preoccupied with the problem of how best to mock the holy living shit out of WWE for constantly running that "Watch the RAW Replay, after Tennis on the USA Network" DURING RAW! Do they really think they were -- with the largely underwhelming show they churned out -- gonna get a significant number of people who were ALREADY WATCHING THE SHOW to watch it again?
 
But it turns out: it's probably a good thing I had the replay on my mind. Anybody who was watching the Bengals throttle the Packers on Monday Night Football knows that they delayed the game in Cinci for a half hour due to lightning. Got the same exact stuff 40 miles up the road here in Dayton. Which is why the power went out, and my DVR of RAW crapped out more than 20 minutes early. 

 
The power came back on at 11:20, but what good does that do me? RAW is 10 minutes past done, and I still have a gaping 20 minute hole in a show I'm supposed to recap.... what to do? Annoy Erin and put her to work like she did to me that one time her cable went out? Well, that'd be fun, but there's a reasonable chance she didn't even watch, and on top of that, with her schedule, lately it's almost as hard to catch her at reasonable hours as it is to get her to watch WWE.  

Then I was thinking I'd do a twist on that: a fake AIM chat with a mysterious (and slightly fey) screenname "TurriIsAGoodDoggie" in which I would crib the details of what happened from another person's well-circulated recap and attribute them to said screenname. And then, if you can figure out the screenname and the joke contained there-in, you can bet the fun of it would have been mocking the stupidity of the recap in question.

Come to think of it: I might want to do that latter one some day, for a full recap, just for shits and giggles.

But no reason to let TurriIsAGoodDoggie poop into my brain tonight! Because there's a replay of RAW coming up on USA, and I can just catch the last 20 minutes of it then! The only tricky part was that (as I predicted) USA overdid the schmaltz for Agassi, and Agassi (drama queen that he is) had to go and make things hyper-exciting by sucking for the first 3/5ths of his match before making an heroic comeback, so tennis on USA ran about 90 minutes overtime. Sorry 'bout yer damned luck, anybody who set a VCR/DVR for RAW at 11pm on USA...

I was able to figure out the math, though, and set DVR to grab me 30 minutes of USA Network starting at roughly 2:15am. Checked today, and it worked like a charm. God bless you, seemingly superfluous reminders of the USA Network Replay! You sure as hell came in handy.

And on that note? Well, I guess I should start telling you what happened on RAW.... but be forewarned: in many ways, the tale of how I had an untimely power outage but still managed to persevere and overcome the odds to supply you with this recap is probably more uplifting and entertaining than most of the tales told on this particular edition of RAW.

Nothing too awful, mind you, but just -- you know? -- nothing much that stands out as anything we haven't seen a billion times before (and usually done with a bit more gusto). And though I can't offer cold hard stats (since I just fast-forward the things and forget them, anymore), it sure as hell seemed like another week where they overdid the video packages and "moments ago" and "earlier tonight" crap to the point of making me feel like they are assuming their viewers are all idiots who can neither remember 3 minutes ago, nor comprehend the English language should an announcer be given the task of driving home certain events and talking points. I really fricking hate that. A lot.

Anyway, here's the report:

Video Package: DX did stuff last week. If you don't remember it, you are mentally enfeebled. If you do remember it, you don't need me to recap recaps.

What is with all these Cold Opens Lately?

We cut straight into the arena, and straight to Shane McMahon's ring entrance. What is this? Four weeks in a row with no opening theme/pyro/etc.? Maybe we've got a new opening in production for the New Fall Season, and it's gonna be unveiled soon? 

During Shane-O's entrance, we barely have time to register that we are live (on Sci-Fi) in Atlantic City, NJ, at Trump Plaza, site of WrestleManias 4 and 5 (if memory serves). Who's taking bets on whether or not action spills outside the arena again to take advantage of the proximate boardwalk and body of water?

Shane gets on the mic, and pretty much launches into the spiel you knew he would. DX went too far last week, yadda yadda yadda. Six words would have sufficed, but Shane decided to do it in more like 600. He only deviated from the predictable path when he said that DX didn't just yank out the axel of Vince's limo last week: they yanked out a piece of his heart.

Whaaa? Yes, Vince's heart. At his birthday celebration last week, Vince could only lay on a couch and mutter "DX, DX." It was the Worst Birthday Ever. But at Shane's behest, Vince has stayed in his penthouse over at the hotel, and his spirits are already picking up as he relaxes, enjoys the Atlantic City Casino Hospitality, and will watch RAW far away from DX's meddling ways. [Really? Cuz it sounds to me like you just told DX that Vince was across the street in the penthouse of the hotel. Dum dum.]

For DX's crimes, they will be in action tonight. Shane wants to sell this as DX's first match on RAW, but by the time he gets done stumbling over a bunch of qualifiers ("together as a tag team, in a sanctioned match" and "since their reunion last month" being the big ones, since otherwise, the years 1997 and 1998 would have made him into a liar), it's lost some impact. And who will they be facing? Well, that's on a need to know basis, and right now, nobody needs to know. Something else about DX's match: before it's over, they'll know what's in store for them at Armaunforjudgmentlash. Or whatever the next PPV is called.

Upon this revelation, the WWE Champ decides his presence is required to stop this segment from being boring as hell. Edge arrives, and with him are his Rated Bling Belt, Lita's boobs, Lita's title belt, and also Lita. Sadly, Edge's material isn't that much fresher than Shane's. Did you see what Cena did to me last week, blah blah blah (accompanied by a lengthy video clip for the attention span deficient)... Edge demands that Shane do something about it, so....

Shane does nothing, because they are interrupted by John Cena himself. Another vociferous Mixed Reaction for Homey the Clown, with one particular shot of the crowd providing me with bemused pity. Two young girls, aged 13-15, are attired one in a "Mrs. Cena" t-shirt and the other in a "Mrs. Orton" t-shirt, and are holding up signs that read "FU Me, Cena" and "RKO Me, Randy," respectively. This is clearly a failure of parenting. These girls today, they grow up fast and you won't stop them from tittering with their equally vapid friends about which famous boys they'd totally go all the way with. But you can stop them from harboring crushes on totally worthless pustules, mom and dad, and you probably shouldn't let them go out in public with signs that read "I, a Not-Even-Close-To-Legal Underage Girl, Hereby Declare My Desire to Have Some ManBimbo Deflower Me" for all to see. That's just wrong. 

Anyway, if I digress, it's only because Cena was at his wiggery worst tonight, and I don't feel like doing anything resembling a point-by-point account. You can usually tell how it's gonna go right away, and sure enough: tonight, Cena had his cartoony "street" voice turned up to 11, and accompanying the decline in him sounding like a normal person was a decline in the level of his material. Which largely included a riff on "happy endings" that I don't have to explain for you to get. All I need to tell you is that the "highlight" of said riff was Cena doing a re-do of Shane's themesong entitled "The Ho Comes for Money." Ha?

Edge and Lita have to pretend this sixth grade caliber display bothers them, and their pissiness causes Cena to declare "OK, that brings me to my point. You don't like me. You want me gone. So I've got your chance right here." Cena produces a 3-year SmackDown! contract, and says he'll sign it and jump to Fridays... but only if Edge gives him one more WWE Title shot, and beats him. 

Edge thinks about it: beat Cena, and Cena goes to SD!? That sounds good to him. But his assent comes with two caveats: Edge picks the place, and Edge picks the match. Cena grudgingly accepts, and leaves the ring....

But NOT SO FAST there, Homey.... Shane McMahon did not dismiss you, and you do not disrespect the boss' son and the WWE Champ by leaving before dismissed. And anyway, DX aren't the only ones in action tonight... Cena is, too. And since he's here, we might as well have his match RIGHT NOW. But against whom?

John Cena vs. Chris F. Masters

FUCKING FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. He's back. And as Jerry Lawler notes, he's "leaner and meaner." The former indicated by a loss of maybe 25 pounds of steroid mass. The latter indicated by an Evil Goatee, I guess. [For the record, CFM 25 pounds smaller still looks more than enough like a wrestler, even though I'm sure the homosexual underground who make up 99% of All Subscribers to Bodybuilding Magazines -- you know, the people who call HHH a fattie -- could point out 47 ways in which Masters is a physical embarrassment to their subculture, now. And also, I used "looks like a wrestler" in the "looks like Vince McMahon's idea of what a wrestler should look like" sense. He also still looks like Chris F. Masters, who we all know is NOT an actual wrestler in any way, shape, or form.] 

We only get CFM's stultifying ring entrance here, which means you can just hit the FF button before we even get to the....

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John Cena vs. Chris F. Masters (Joined in Progress)

We come back, and Cena's apparently in the middle of a mini-rally, if his flurry of Wacky Moves is any indication. A few Wacky Suplexes, anyway, before Masters counters a whip, and lands a clothesline to start his offensive.

This just in: CFM still runs the ropes with an estimated 13% Awkwardness Level, and also throws Very Shitty Punches. I'd comment that the best comparison for the punches he threw were Eugene's PURPOSELY cheesy and fake-ish looking ones, but it's only Masters' first week back, and I figure I'll have plenty more opportunities to point out his similarities to retards in the future when he actually gets promo time.

CFM piles on with the uninteresting offense, while Atlantic City amuses itself with dueling "Cena Sucks" and "Cena, Cena" chants. The "Cena Sucks" ones are louder, but the "Cena, Cena" ones are more persistent. Because teenage girls LUUUUUUUV Cena more than the rest of us can be bothered to hate him.

Masters, because he knows it'll win him OO Points, eventually locks in a Chinlock. JR tries to sell it as a "modified Camel Clutch," but trust me people: it was only modified into a a chinlock. Cena takes this as his cue to fire up with the rest of his Wacky Arsenal (including a pair of Wacky Tackles that were so crappy that my guess is that they wouldn't even have knocked "Mrs. Cena" down, but you know CFM still went flying across the ring at Warp 8).

Cena eventually goes for the F-U, but..... WHOA, what the hell is this happy crappy? Masters slides out and smoothly counters into an inverted DDT? That.... that.... that almost looked like a properly executed wrestling move incorporated logically and effectively into a compelling spot. There's a first time for everything, I guess.

Masters makes the International Sign for "I'm Going To Stand Back Here Making the International Sign for Get Ready for the Shitty Full Nelson" Until My Opponent Recovers and Easily Counters the Hold.... and sure enough, as soon as Masters stops gesturing and goes in for the hold, Cena counters it into the SSTF. Will CFM tap out?

We'll never know, because Edge runs in with a steel chair and whaps Cena across the back.

Your Winner: John Cena, via DQ, in probably about 7-8 minutes (only five of it coming after the ad break, though). One nice spot aside, Masters looked just as clunky as ever, and I'm sure that once we have to endure him on the mic again, we'll all be reminded of just how little he needs to be on TV. And Cena was Cena, performing an abbreviated version of the Superman Cena Formula. Putting it all together? A big fat bleh.

After the Match: Edge continued the assault with the chair for a moment. Then he grabbed a ladder and bashed it into Cena's head. Then he grabbed a table, propped it up in a corner, and through Cena into it. Hmmmmm, what do these three objects have in common? For the slow-witted, Edge spells it out, as he has decided on his final confrontation with Cena: it'll be in Edge's hometown of Toronto at Armaunforjudgmenlash, and it'll be a TLC Match. A match Cena's never had, and a match Edge has never lost. Just like the doctor ordered.

[ads; random thought that popped into my head while FF'ing this break... the stip was that Cena would take the SD! contract if he lost, but will they make it so that the loser of the match, no matter WHO it is, goes to SD!? Should they? If Benoit's coming back this fall, I can almost see good things coming out of Edge jumping over to be the heel counterbalance; Edge will, afterall, have to reinvent himself a little bit once Lita's gone, and doing so while joining Benoit in the World Title chase -- presumably with Batista and the always-gold Booker T -- could suddenly give SD! the more compelling Title Picture]

Backstage: Cade/Murdoch and Viscera/Haas are in Shane McMahon's office campaigning to be DX's opponents tonight. Shane assures them their services aren't necessary, cuz a plan is already in place. When the two teams continue bitching and moaning, Shane excuses them because he's got an incoming cell phone call. A helpful (and stupidly Hollywood-ized) splitscreen reveals that it's Vince on the other end. Shane asks how things are going, and Vince says that it's great, the penthouse is awesome, the appetizers are outstanding, and he really relaxed (and for some reason, when the camera pans back just far enough, he needs to punctuate this by reaching down and pulling up his zipper; oh, for fuck's sake). There is no back-and-forth, since Vince is obviously on a pre-tape, so this is all just Shane reacting to Vince saying stuff. And eventually, Vince says his dinner is here and shouts for Room Service to just leave the cart and he'll take care of setting it up. More filler banter about being sure Shane's got the DX situation under control, when all of a sudden, there is the sound of a cock crowing. Shane hits his only line here, assuring his dad that DX is at the arena and couldn't have done anything.... but sure enough, Vince goes to the room service cart, pulls off the cover, and underneath are two roosters. From the look on Vince's face, you'd think this was the most heinous insult he's ever endured. Which it isn't, because I routinely say more insulting things about him on a weekly basis. More frequently when he insists on doing lame skits like this that require us to fill in the blanks mentally as to why he had his zipper down. 

Elsewhere Backstage: Carlito and Trish Stratus are having a little hallway walk-and-talk when Carlito says he's sorry, but they need to have a serious chat. Trish is all "what? why?", and Carlito just stops and says, "So when were you gonna tell me?", and Trish is all "Tell you what?". "Tell me that you're leaving RAW and retiring." Huh, was NOT expecting that (to be honest, I was mentally playing the role of Writer Monkey at home, and had assumed Carlito was about to sleaze it up with "Tell me that you love me, baby"). And even more surprising: Trish doesn't deny it, and just wants to know where Carlito heard that. He says it was on WWE.com, and that Lita found out somehow and leaked it. Trish gets a moment to register "Oh dat bitch all up in my bidness," as if she intends on a post-WWE career as a Jerry Springer regular. 

But Carlito's just gets crestfallen and asks, "So it really is true then?" and that snaps Trish out of her unbecoming bad actoring. She timidly says "Yeah. Well, I think so, anyway. And I wanted to tell you, and tell all the fans, but I just hadn't decided for sure how. I'm so sorry, Carlito." Carlito nods his head and says it's OK, if that's where she's at in her life, he totally understands and just wants her to be happy. And then an idea pops into Carlito's head, and he says "But if this is gonna be goodbye, then I'm gonna say it right." Which leads directly to a nice tender smooch. Which leads directly to Randy Orton attacking Carlito from behind just as it looked like Trish was inviting herself to have seconds (that insatiable minx). The shot in the back causes Carlito to crash head-to-head with Trish, so she's knocked down and incapacitated as Orton puts the boots to Carlito for a few seconds and then leaves with his standard sense of smug satisfaction.

I'm trying to decide if I like this or not. On one hand, introducing Trish's departure like this is kinda interesting and unexpected, and is a nice nod to what a lot of fans know about already. On the other hand, Carlito's "so if this is goodbye" line takes what had the stink of reality to it, and returns us to this stupid WWE Land where the laws of logic and continuity do not exist, and where characters also cease to exist outside of 2 hours on Monday Nights, apparently. In the ongoing struggle between WWE's Hollywood Side and its Trying To Be More Real Side, this single 2 minute segment shows that the people in charge just don't think things out, sometimes, leading to them trying to have it both ways at the same time. 

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Torrie Wilson vs. Candice Michelle (Back to Schoolgirl Match, Or Something Similarly Stupid)

A paddle is suspended on a pole. The winner is the first to get the paddle, and then she is allowed to spank her opponent. And can somebody tell me how this is a Schoolgirl Themed Match when Titties McSuperbowl is in her standard ring attire? She can't even pack a suitcase right, it seems.

Because of the pole climbing, this is basically nothing but one girl going up, and then the other stopping her by grabbing either the vagina or the ass in a suggestive fashion, or finding some convoluted way to place her face proximate to said vagina or ass. Other than that stuff (which popped the crowd about twice, and then led to increasing silence), each girl hit her "big spot." For Torrie, the stinkface; for Candice, that half-Tarantula thingie. That's all you get, folks, when you have girls' "training" consisting of 45 minutes every Monday afternoon running spots with Arn Anderson (or whoever is in charge of said sessions, now), instead of spending 4 days a week in Louisville or an equivalent training facility. It's the Stacy Keibler Method of Training! "No, I don't need to learn that other stuff. Because I already know how to fall down, shake my ass, and I have my Trusty Big Boot Of Extreme Vaginal Spreading that everybody LOVES!" You people keep popping for those isolated spots every week, and I know I'm doomed to keep bitching about the on-going persistent presence of a second class of mostly-useless eye candy divas who fail to put those spots in any kind of a compelling context 98% of the time.

Candice got the paddle and won the match. Somehow. Don't ask me. It wasn't important, anyway.

Your Winner: Candice, via pole work, in 2-3 minutes. And is it over yet? Nope....

After the Match: Torrie was grudgingly offering her ass up for spanking when Candice did the OMG SWERVE~! She handed Torrie the paddle and revealed that her panties read "Spank Me." Am I imagining things, or did I really find an excuse to do a rant about "Message Panties" in the last month? I really did that? Well, then good: put this as the latest item on the list of the many ways that Candice Michelle actually has the opposite of the desired effect on my wang every time she says or does anything. So Torrie spanked Candice. Then Candice spanked Torrie. Then they hugged. And the only people who thought this was cute or hot or in any way titillating had better be ones with the sexual maturity level one notch BELOW those who still think of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Day as a national holiday. 

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This Week in Wrestling: Bret Hart and Davey Boy Smith had a jim dandy of an IC Title Match at SummerSlam in August 1992. Which only serves to drive home the decided lack of jim dandy-ness here tonight in August 2006.

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton

Points to the sign in the audience that reads "Randy Orton Pooped on My Sign." And Boo on the sign police who apparently took it away very quickly.

If Orton's "story" is that he's ANGRY and INTENSE following losses to Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan last week, it's forgotten now, as they open with stand back-and-forthy for about 30 seconds. Then Orton screws up a chinbreaker spot. Jeff keeps going with the planned follow-up, though, which is to toss Orton out of the ring. Then he hits a springboard version of the Whisper in the Wind (thanks JR; I was blanking on that last week, and the closest I came was "Wind in the Willows" which is too gay even by Jeff Hardy standards) from the second rope to the floor.

Both men down, and since we've had a MASSIVE helping of 45-seconds of in-ring action, we'll break for....

[ads]

Back, and guess what? Orton's working a chinlock. The chinlock stays applied longer than the pre-ad-break segment of the match lasted before Hardy finally breaks out and hits a little hope spot. That ends when Orton dodges a plancha, though.

Back in the ring, and do I even need to tell you what Orton went for almost instantly? But this time, when Jeff finally busts out of the chinlock, it's for an extended rally and a bona fide comeback. Plenty of high-energy, though it's definitely noticeable that the high-risk is toned down and that Jeff is being more careful to time things right instead of just going 800 miles per hour and assuming his opponent will be right there with him.

Jeff's rally ends when he goes for the standard rendition of the Whisper in the Wind, but in a nice spot, Orton intercepts him in mid-air with a dropkick to the gut. [Again, another spot where Jeff noticeably slowed himself down and quickly checked to make sure Orton was ready; which was good, cuz I'm not sure Orton would have hit it so cleanly without that little hitch to get them synched up. Or so says my untrained eye.]

Another little beatdown by Orton here, free of chinlocks, and consisting of more kinetic moves, including his funky backbreaker. But that was shortlived, as Jeff re-rallied with a reverse neckbreaker out of nowhere, and then thought it might be time to head up top for the Swanton.... but Orton still had his wits about him, and he rolled out of the ring.

While the ref was holding Jeff back from diving onto Orton, Carlito ran in and attacked Orton from behind with a forearm blow. The momentum sent Orton back into the ring, where Hardy schoolboyed him for a 2 count. Upon kicking out, Orton tried to leave the ring again, but was caught by Carlito, who had a nice fresh mouthful of diced apple waiting for him. Thanks to the magical blinding power of apple (hey, I don't write it, I just report it), Orton stumbled around until he bumped into Jeff Hardy. Twist of Fate. Swanton. FIN.

Your Winner: Jeff Hardy, via pinfall, in 10-12 minutes (though only 6-8 of that after the ad break). You know what? After they broke Orton's second chinlock, this one found a surprisingly nice groove. That's at least 4-5 minutes solid of excellent action. Jeff's 2-for-2 on looking sharp and flub-free in the ring, and doing it without sacrificing any of the important stuff in his arsenal so far. Also: to those making "Hardy is fat" comments, I would like to make sure you know you're all idiots. Maybe it's a good idea he's keeping his shirt on, but he's looking WAY healthier than that twig we saw last time in WWE. And hell: nothing will give a fruitcake like Jeff Hardy any more Gravitas, but a little extra weight does give him some more Gravity. And that helps, as I think tonight's Swanton was about the best-looking and most-convincing one the dude's ever hit. Good elevation and grace, but for once, he landed with a decided SPLAT across his opponent's mid-section instead of just grazing past like an insect.

Backstage: Triple H and Shawn Michaels are playfully trying to decipher a "Vince Likes [Picture of Certain Barnyard Animal]" t-shirt when Shane McMahon and the cops walk in. Shane says there will be no arrests tonight, but the pranks have got to stop, because Vince is on edge. HHH says he knows, and that's why they sent the roosters. Cuz nothing relieves stress like choking a chicken. Oy. Shane: "Oh grow up." HHH: "Grow up? You mean like the 61-year-old man who likes having other men kiss his bare ass?".... somehow this also turns into a plug for the McMahon DVD, and also a plug for (I am not making this up) Triple H's allegedly gigantic penis. And then, mercifully enough, the nonsense is over with one final threat from Shane and then some self-satisfied smirking from DX.

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Crap: John Cena's movie gets a full 3-4 minutes here. Say hello to my little finger.

Eugene/Hacksaw Duggan vs. the Spirit Squad (Non-Title Match)

Representing the Squad are the now-traditional Rick-Approved Duo of Kenny and Mikey. Leaving Johnny, Nicky, and Mitch at ringside. And on guest commentary: here's the Highlanders.

And not 30 seconds into the match, the extracurriculars begin, as Eugene sends two Bonus Squadders into the commentary table, spawning a brawl. The ref tries to restore order, but when he can't, he ejects the Highlanders (who contributed nothing, although this might have been their chance to win over some fans with some funny mic work) and the Bonus Squadders. The third Squad member is allowed to stay.

So the match begins anew at the 2 minute mark, with Eugene very rapidly becoming the Babyface In Peril. But not for long, since we learned our lesson with these four in an over-long match last week. After a minute, it's a hot tag to Duggan, who goes all old-timey on Kenny and Mikey. But when he sets up for the Three Point Stance, the Bonus Squadder pulls Mikey out of the way, and Duggan crashes into the turnbuckle. Which I forgot to mention Kenny had exposed earlier by removing the pad. Obviously, that's the end for Hacksaw.

Your Winners: the Spirit Squad, via pinfall, in about 4 minutes. Halved versus last week's snooze-inducer, this was tolerable fluff, and it didn't seem to overstay its welcome at all. Duggan's solid as a sporadic novelty act, and the Squad are... well, they're still obnoxious male cheerleaders at heart, so these are four who can pull off a simple fluffy routine just fine.

After the Match: before the Squad can celebrate, Umaga's music hits, and he storms to the ring. The Squad leave through the crowd, but Eugene foolishly stays behind to protect his friend Hacksaw. Eugene eats a wicked facebuster. Hacksaw gets an Asiatic Spike. Eugene gets the Running Big Butt Attack. Hacksaw gets another Asiatic Spike. And Armando Alejandro Estrrrrrrrada gets a mic. Avoiding all catchphrases and charismatic hooks (booo!), Estrada cuts a pure heel promo reminding us of what happened to Kane last week, and saying that's what happens to anybody who gets in the way of the undefeated Samoan Bulldozer, UUUUUUUUMAGA. 

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Melina's Favorite Superstar? Must be Vince McMahon.

Johnny Nitro and Melina are here for what is gussied up as a "Press Conference." Which just means they put a podium in the ring, and the stagehands who play their photographers during the ring entrance stay around ringside the whole time. Whatever.

Nitro starts off by saying nobody should be surprised with what happened last week between Melina and Mick Foley. Look at the disgusting troll. And then look at your IC Champ. In search of SQUEEEEEEEEES, Nitro removes his incredibly fagtastic unbuttoned-dress-shirt-with-sport-coat ensemble. Which might actually be an improvement considering how ridiculous the get-up was. Except that it also reminds me that it's not very manly when you wear smaller jeans than your girlfriend.

Nitro's thesis: of course Melina's gonna pick him. So Mick can sit at home and fantasize about Melina all he wants, and fantasize about the career he had, but Johnny Nitro's gonna be here on RAW banging Melina every night and having a career that'll make Mick Foley's look like a flash in the pan. [Note: Nitro took 2 minutes of stumbling over his lines and retreating and repeating the same sentiment in a slightly different way to accomplish what I just did in one eloquent sentence.]

Now it's Melina's turn to talk. She knows Mick didn't just want to be friends, because he's nothing but a disgusting creep who has a crush on her just like every other man in the world does. But Melina doesn't associate with creeps or with quitters. And she's so totally out of Mick's league. [Note: Melina took 3 minutes of stumbling over her lines and retreating and repeating the same basic sentiment in a slightly different way to accomplish what I just did in 3 eloquent sentences. In fact, the only fun part here was part of the crowd chanting "boring" while another part started waving dollar bills at her, ostensibly to get her to shut up and show us her ass again.]

Back to Nitro. Mick is invited to enjoy his life writing for WWE.com, and Nitro promises that he and Melina will give him plenty to write about, as they are the hottest thing on RAW. And finally (thankfully), "Thank you, thank you. No further questions." Which is supposed to be a satirical jab at Parsdent Bush's idea of a Press Conference, but it's not as funny, since at least W comes with his prepared material actually -- you know -- PREPARED, instead of stumbling around the issues in an over-long way before gas-facing the members of the press. In fairness: hey, first ever real promo for either Nitro or Melina, and there's something to be said about nerves. I guess. But it still doesn't change the fact that in their discomfort, they meandered about their scripted lines in an attempt to convey them. And the result was a rather Vince-o-licious 90 Second Promo in a 7 Minute Bag. Those are never fun, whether done on purpose or because of nerves.

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Lita vs. Mickie James (Women's Title Match)

Mickie tried to jumpstart things, but Lita just ducked the attack, and sent Mickie flying to the outside. The landing was so hard and awkward that when Mickie got back in the ring favoring her knee, I was convinced it was a real injury. So did the ref, given his reaction before Mickie finally waved him off and said "let me keep getting my ass kicked, junior." 

Lita focused on said knee for a minute or so until Mickie hit an enzuigiri to start her comeback. There's actually some good stuff in there. Even a PerfectPlex. But since there's no reason to view Mickie as a babyface, it's kinda dying with the live crowd. Announcers aren't helping the TV viewers any more reason to care, as all they're talking about is how Lita screwed Trish over by leaking word of her retirement. Too bad. But by default, Mickie'll have enough promotional effort put behind her soon enough....

Mickie's rally continues until she tries to hit her head-scissors-out-of-the-corner move, but Lita counters it into a semi-power-bomb and then grabs the ropes (in a way Sir Isaac Newton would actually agree with!) for extra leverage and the cheap pinfall.

Your Winner, and Still Women's Champ: Lita, via pinfall, in about 4 minutes. Good enough while it lasted, and a noticeable step up from their match a few weeks ago. But it was also lacking a certain zip due to the lack of crowd interest.

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DX vs. Mystery Opponents

I've long since dumped over to my 30 minute snippet recording of the late night replay, which makes it hard to be sure of time cues, but my guess is that it's no earlier than 10:55pm (eastern) when this starts up. But that doesn't stop DX from doing the full Buffer Style Ring Intro.

Then Shane McMahon hits the stage for further time wastage before finally announcing the opposition for tonight. DX might recognize them. You know, from SummerSlam. Coming all the way over from SmackDown!: it's Finlay, William Regal, and Ken Kennedy. Ugh. I'm sure some RAW-only fans were underwhelmed, but me, as a fan who cheers for as many healthy products as possible in this industry, I mostly got annoyed that three of SD!'s five most bankably entertaining performers are being imported here, most likely to be glorified job boys for a novelty reunion act. Way to drive home that sense of Brand Equality, boys.

Anyway, another slew of entrances are made, and almost certainly with the clock at 11pm eastern, it's time for our main ev.... wait, no it's not. It's time for...

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DX vs. Finlay/William Regal/Ken Kennedy

Back, and we're joined in progress. Michaels is already in Extreme Peril, as Regal and Finlay are working together like a well-oiled machine. Crisply executed basic tag team psychology (frequent tags, cutting the ring in half, nothing fancy, just effective), with one brief foray in the Realm of the Absurd as Regal distracts the ref so Finlay can sic his midget on Michaels. Ahhhh, good times.

Sadly, though Regal and Finlay are putting on a tag team clinic, we must advance quickly, as time is a wastin': Michaels hits a Flying Burrito out of nowhere on Finlay, and is able to create enough separation to tag in Triple H. Trips is a house afire for about 30 seconds, and then things just break down in the prescribed Pier 5 Brawl.

In the chaos, Kennedy gets his only real action of the night, but powders out when HHH rolls out of the way of Kennedy's version of a Swanton. Regal and Finlay then double team on HHH, with Regal trying to hit HHH with a chair while Finlay holds HHH. HHH ducks. Finlay gets the chair to the face. Regal gets a superkick from a Lurking Shawn Michaels. Regal falls directly into the clutches of HHH. Who hits a Pedigree.

Your Winners: DX, via pinfall, in about 4-5 minutes. A bit abbreviated, but I'm a fan of Regal and Finlay, and thought they looked superb tonight. A clinic, I tells ya. They deserved a less ignominious finish.

After the Match: Shane McMahon appeared on the stage again, and said that he's got another SummerSlam flashback waiting for DX.... it's the Big Show. Show quickly accomplishes what 3 SD! stars couldn't (again: what's the message here?) by decimating Michaels and HHH. Michaels is polished off with the Cobra Clutch Back Breaker (so called, because Jim Ross doesn't mind it if the world knows he's cribbing from OO), while HHH gets the more standard chokeslam at the end of the brawl. Is that enough punishment for DX? Nope: because here's Vince McMahon himself, brandishing a lead pipe. Yes, a standard, literal, non-metaphorical lead pipe. Which I shouldn't have to say, but a guy who spent an earlier segment with his zipper down, you never know for sure.....

Vince lays into both Michaels and Hunter with the pipe, and both come up bleeding fairly profusely by Monday Night Standards. The crowd, once again ignoring the phrase on the t-shirt, serenades Vince with the decidedly un-TV-14 "You Suck Cock" chant. The beating is quite decisive and brutal. In fact, both Michaels and HHH are KO'ed completely when Vince decides to address them. Odd choice, but I'm sure they'll watch the replay on USA to hear what you said, Vince.... 

Vince's announcement: at Armaunforjudgmalash, DX will once again face the McMahons. Inside Hell in the Cell. Oh, and one more thing: it's a handicap match, and Big Show is the McMahon's partner. Play Vince's music, and we're out. 

Wow. TLC and HitC on the same show?!? An embarrassment of riches for us fans? Or poor planning/desperation by WWE? Time will tell....

E-MAIL RICK
BROWSE THE RAW RECAP ARCHIVES


  
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