Welcome to the latest edition of the WRATH of TITO. Today, we'll play catch up by reviewing the RAW Pay Per View, Bad Blood, and then we'll proceed to review last night's RAW. Two shows to review... It shall be a lot of typing.
The WWE is in total disarray. It started with the 4th Quarter conference call by Linda McMahon, and hearing her usual bullshit spin on things wasn't bad enough. She openly called Bill Goldberg "disappointing", which is something that shouldn't be said in public. When you're paying a guy $1.5 million, the last thing you want to do is to publicly admit that he's a bust. It's the last thing! But leave it to a McMahon to drop the ball...
And then, we have Bad Blood, which irked many wrestlers. The booking wasn't pleasant, while other matches were cut short. The booking, I say, you just suck it up and do what they tell you, although I thought the DQ finish of Booker T vs. Christian match was poorly written. The Dudleys are meaningless anymore, doing the same stuff every single night that they are out there and wouldn't be anything marketable in the ways of the World Tag Titles. But Flair vs. Michaels WAS short changed, and it makes me wonder why Bischoff and Austin were given so much time to do those goofy competitions.
Let me review this, all around... The show's opening match was Dudleys vs. Nowinski/Mack. Not a very good opener, whatsoever, and you can blame the staleness of the Dudleys and how green Mack and Nowinski STILL are. The sad thing is that neither seem to make any strides with their in ring performances. It's sad when the WWE has to FAKE burps for the Burping Contest between Bischoff/Austin. VERY sad. None of those burps hold a candle to Booger's burp from the movie "Revenge of the Nerds". Next match was Test vs. Scott Steiner, which was just about as good as you'd expect this match to be. I don't really know where the WWE will head with Steiner, or when the next Test "main event push" will come. It's just 2 guys the WWE has nothing significant to do with...
Christian vs. Booker T was getting good as it went along, but it was given under 8 minutes to develop. If it's for a title, AT LEAST give it 15 minutes. Ugh. I did not like the DQ finish, and you shouldn't use a Pay Per View to do that kind of finish, too. People PAY for results, not another step in the feud. The Pie Eating Contest was ridiculous and fucking sick with Mae Young, the oldest WWE gag in the book. I mean, get some new material, please? RVD/Kane vs. La Resistance wasn't a very good tag team match. Mostly slop, and that's what you get when you push the 2 green OVW guys so quickly. They aren't quick learners like say a Team Angle, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, or even a Randy Orton. They still have several more years of work ahead of them, but the WWE wanted to strike the iron while it was hot with the French hatred, and here we are.
Next, it was Chris Jericho vs. Bill Goldberg. Give Chris Jericho a medal for his performance, because he tried hard to make the match watchable. Goldberg gets exposed whenever his matches go above 5 minutes, and that's bad, because most events won't just go 5 minutes long. He just looked clueless at times, making me wonder why the WWE hasn't asked him to go down to OVW and work on his timing more. But hey, no $1.5 million dollar guy can go to OVW, right? Please, when he doesn't know how to wrestle, it's a good time. The good news for Goldberg is that by beating Chris Jericho, they are still aiming to push him towards the RAW World Title. It looks it. The sign that said "Goldberg Please Go" had to piss off the WWE execs.
I liked Shawn vs. Ric Flair, although it would have been awesome if it went longer. You have 2 greats in that ring who can still go at their age or post-injury, so why not do it? Best match of the show, easily... Bischoff was thrown into mud to finish off the competition. I found it funny, though, that Bischoff was lip syncing his own theme. The final match was Kevin Nash vs. Triple H. So sad.... Nash's offense was pitiful, with various elbows, knees, and punches. That's it. Kevin Nash does NOT deserve a spot in the main event, and 2003 is an era where the big man will get embarrassed if he doesn't have an ounce of talent. That's why the Big Show can't get over, no matter how many times the WWE has tried with him. The crowd was so dead when Nash and HHH were wrestling, but came alive when Triple H attacked Mick Foley. Gee, I wonder what that tells you?
The RAW roster clearly can't put on a Pay Per View by themselves. While I'll give credit to the WWE for putting a lot of good hype behind this show, I'll then go on to say that the weak roster couldn't live up to the hype. I agree in that this was a longer edition of Monday Night RAW. There was effort for this show, but the roster does NOT have the depth to carry a Pay Per View. Hopefully, this experiment will end very soon. I'll give this show a [ C ]. The effort was there, but this roster certainly can't carry a show on their own.
On to the RAW review.
And then we get a mixed tag match.... Sigh. When will this roster's creative team learn? The match was Dudleys/Ivory vs. Jazz/Mack/Nowinski. As sloppy as the Dudleys vs. Mack/Nowinski match from Bad Blood, and the match ended with Ivory getting the pin on Jazz, for the 3rd time. I do like the idea of Ivory getting all of these pins on Jazz in these random tag matches. Ivory seems really happy to be on television again, which only adds to a brightspot in the Women's division, which is much needed.
Kane and RVD segments are so poorly acted... DUUUUUUDE, we have to win the titles.
Next, we had Lance Storm vs. Garrison Cade. Garrison has to be the worst name, ever, for a professional wrestler. Seriously. Steve Austin came out and ripped Storm apart for being "boring". I honestly hope this goes somewhere with Storm, because it was very unprofessional towards his character. Storm deserves it, more than anything, for continually working hard, despite the bad roles they've placed him in (tagging with Regal, anti-American, etc). Let's hope this pays off for Storm.
We had a solid tag team match between Chris Jericho/Christian vs. Booker T/Bill Goldberg at the top of the hour. 3 out of the 4 workers carried this to look good, while Bill Goldberg wasn't exposed in a tag match. Maybe push Booker T and Goldberg as Team WCW? That's really not a bad idea and it could be a way to get people to like Bill Goldberg again. He could come in and do his big spots, and not try to wrestle in the rest of the match. Booker T could always be your "face in peril", getting pounded by the heels before making the "hot tag" to Goldberg, who can clean house. I'd buy into it.
Eric Bischoff sets up a match with Mae Young, given what happened at Bad Blood, to wrestle Test. Austin, though, rivals Bischoff by making Scott Steiner the special guest referee. Before Steiner can make his way down to the ring, Test delivers a brutal Pumphandle Slam to Mae. That old lady can still take the bumps. If there's anybody you can name that is tougher at her age, I'd like to hear it. Mae and Moolah are still somewhat active at their training facility, and mind you that both are in pretty good health at their age and that's with taking a beating all of their lives.
Rico debuts as a new gimmick, it's Raining Rico, and he has a new valet in Jackie Gayda. Jackie looked great, but she even looked better in November when she was valeting Kanyon and she had much shorter hair. Still, she's probably #2 on the hot-charts behind Torrie Wilson in the WWE. That outfit was just taped on, too, which was a rather eye opener. Ahem. He fought Spike Dudley, as all newly pushed midcarders do. Not a bad match. I don't know if the fans don't know how to receive Rico yet, or if they will ever believe that Spike can win a match.
Maven vs. Randy Orton wasn't too bad, and they were given a lot of time to develop the match. Maven's a long ways away from displaying what could be great wrestling potential, while Orton still has some ring rust on him from injuries. The use of the Diamond Cutter still annoys me, but I'll get used to it, I suppose.
Our main event was Kane/Rob Van Dam vs. La Resistance. Main event, folks. Well, this WAS better than the Bad Blood match, but that doesn't say much. La Resistance just isn't ready for the big time yet, and it pains me to say that. I did like the match with Kane going berzerk and chairing the fuck out of the 2 Frenchies, immediately showing fans you don't mess with that hoss. Then, Triple H came down and invited Kane into the Evolution. Steve Austin then walked down and offered Kane a World Title shot against Triple H at Madison Square Garden, next week at RAW. Eric Bischoff then screws with Austin's ruling and says Kane will have to unmask if he loses next week. Kane then teases joining the evolution, but then opts to go for the title shot at MSG for a pretty darn good finish to RAW. The show started and ended with good "sports entertainment".
LAST WORD: Again, RAW has had better storylines lately, but they still lack the good match element. At least Jericho/Christian vs. Goldberg/Booker T was solid, and I can live with that as one good wrestling match to give this show a [ B+ ] (B Plus) for a good show after a Pay Per View for once. I'm hoping that the MSG RAW is something special, given that the past MSG RAWs of late have totally sucked.
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