Friday, 12 September 2003

WWE Raw, September 12th, 2003 - TV Review

With a great deal of time on my hands, yours truly is unveiling a first for you today - the first time I've reviewed a Raw show. So here goes.....

As Raw begins, and as Kane comes down to the ring, we see a replay of Kane trying to put some spark into his feud with Shane O'Mac. JR then begins to praise RVD as the best wrestler never to have been world champion. Yep, that's the reason why he wasn't even on the main Wrestlemania card!

Kane shows hardly any effects of the fire as he dominates RVD in this cage match, using the solid steel structure to good effect. Kane is proving to be one of the best things on Raw at the moment, but they could still go further with his character. Make him a total bastard I say.

RVD mounts a brief comeback, but Kane quickly fights back. It's the slow, methodical, big man method. The match seems almost too slow at times. RVD fights back as Kane tries a top rope move. The fans begin to show signs of lie as RVD continues to fight back. It's the usual high-impact moves, but for some reason these moves seem forced, either that or his RVD's selling is just improving.

It's not the best cage match in history. There's bumps, but no big ass bumps worthy of such a match. After RVD misses a five star frog splash, Kane dominates once more, once again slamming RVD into the cage before mocking his opponent with the patented thumbs move.

Kane slams RVD through the cage, breaking it as he goes flying out onto the arena floor. Van Dam is announced as the winner, but Eric Bischoff comes out, and reminds us all of the rules. The match must continue, which is a shame, as it could have done with a quick ending. Like this column, it's starting to plod along.

Back from the break, and Kane throws RVD back into the ring, and continues his assault. Things are starting to get repetitive as Kane continues to use the steel mesh as a weapon. Once again the big red machine mocks his opponent. Just get this over with please.

RVD tries to escape, but Kane grabs a leg before scaling the cage himself. He then choke slams Van Dam from the top rope, and secures a pin fall victory. As the fallen RVD lays in the middle of the ring, JR and the King tell us what a monster Kane is as the medics come out to attend to RVD. This was not a good cage match. Not even close.

JR hypes Stone Cold's State of Raw address. Is Raw in a state? I thought the whole company was. We then see a recap of the one-sided cage match, and RVD is wheeled away from the ring. We are then taken back to last week's show, as Goldberg finally begins to show some balls. Finally, we're seeing the Goldberg of old.

Eric comes back out, with a few things on his mind. He makes a match for Unforgiven - Kane v Shane. Electrifying. He then changes what would have been a classic, as the King & Al snow are added to the announcers match, with the winning team getting the Raw broadcast spot. Finally, we'll see Al Snow returning to pay-per-view. And it's about time, bah gawd!

Turning his attention back to this evening's show, he announces that Cripple H will face Old Bill, with each man getting surprise tag-team partners. I just wonder who they'll be. Me smells a rat, perhaps.

Adrian Street and Miss Linda, I mean Rico and Miss Jackie, come out for Rico's match with the man who is now officially interesting, Lance Storm. Finally Storm is getting a push. A shame it's as Goldie's straight man. Storm just doesn't seem right when he's prancing to the ring. Rico tries to start a boring chant, but Storm drops him, before Goldie starts a Rico Sucks chant.

Rico and Storm are perhaps two of the most underrated Raw stars at the moment, and I find myself enjoying this match as JR and the King use the old clich├ęs when talking about Eric and their match at Unforgiven. Finally they turn their attention back to the ring as Storm mounts a comeback. Jackie tries to interfere but Storm slips her something before getting the pin after a missile drop-kick. I'm sorry, but this just doesn't suit Storm at all. He's a wrestling machine, not a dancing machine.

Eric meets Cripple H in the corridor. The champ wants to find out who the surprise partners are, but Eric isn't telling. Cripple H then gives Eric the type of warning that Razor Ramon would have been proud of.

It's now time for da ladies. The King salivates as Trish and the under-used Jacqueline take on Molly and her trusty Asian sidekick, Miss Kim. Molly is perhaps the best female wrestler in the U.S. Right now, and thankfully the writers aren't making fun of her ass-sets anymore. It's good to see Jacqueline back in the ring as well.

Trish has certainly improved as an in-ring performer, but Miss Kim is still a little green. For some reason, women feuding doesn't seem to capture the imagination of your average wrestling fan, unless mud is involved.

Miss Kim and Miss Holly pick up the win after the usual bitchy tactics, and attack the beaten Trish after the bell. Trish is whipped like a government mule, but where is this feud headed? For pay-per-view? Molly v Trish chapter 37 coming up.
 
It's now time for Stone Cold to do his best George Dubya impression with his State of Raw address, except congress doesn't interrupt George Dubya's speeches by constantly shouting "what". A shame because politics would be far more interesting if they use skits and scenarios from the wrestling industry. George Dubya should hire the APA to go and find Saddam and kick his ass! Just give 'em some beer and they'll go right up to Baghdad! Damn!

The sad thing is you know this isn't going to be a shoot. Let Austin say what he wants to I say!

Austin throws the podium out of the ring, and the changes the Unforgiven main event so old Bill can win the title via DQ or count-out. Anything to stop Cripple H from getting pinned, eh?

Austin addresses the Kane problem. Just why was a car battery under the ring in the first place? Having consulted his cabinet, Austin decided that his current status sucks. He wants to kick Kane's charred ass, but can't. The crowd agrees with him.

Steve-o is interrupted by the man who is officially the second-best wrestler on Raw at the moment, Christian, the Intercontinental champ. Once again he complains about his lack of status, and rightfully so in my opinion. Give respect to the number two guy on Raw. He may be an asshole but he's still the champ.

Apparently the champ wants to become the next David Letterman, although that spot is already taken by Y2J. This displeases him so much that Y2J comes out. It's been a while since we've seen a heel v villain feud. But then again, Y2J hears cheers as he attacks the Peep's champion. Austin comes back in and congratulates Jericho, but not on his fashion sense. Y2J quickly turns heel again by insulting Austin. The power has gone to Austin's head he tells us. Austin is a failure. The rattlesnake isn't taking the bait, as Y2J teases another quick turn. Austin invites him for a drink. Jericho is uncertain at first, and declines the offer. But Austin is quite insistent.

Jericho pats Austin on the shoulder after taking a beer. Austin flies off the handle, a stunner later, and Jericho is out of the ring. Austin really does have a short fuse, doesn't he?

Then it's La Psuedo Frenchies, the fake G.I. and the Playas against the super-heroes and the Dudleys as we prepare for the bump that's bee talked about all week. It's a mass brawl to start off with, the Cruisers are flying through the air, as does the former fake preacher. We then see the tables poorly positioned as the match continues. La Pseudo Frenchies are still looking green, out of depth in such an environment. Are they really justifying their push? And is Mark Henry for that matter?

Another mass brawl breaks out, before the world's strongest man and least over wrestler finishes Bubba off after a power slam. We then see that bump. Spike misses the table, and hits the ground hard. The Hurricane is then put through the table by La Pseudo Frenchies, just to prove that they can actually pull off this move.

Backstage Al and the Coach are confident of their chances as Eric makes a table match at Unforgiven, as all three Dudleys will face La Pseudo Frenchies and the fake G.I. Then Miss Kim demands a personal audience with Eric. It makes you think back to those stories of when he ran WCW and he was known to frequent a particular type of gentleman's club.

Another flashback to the rather one-sided cage match as JR and the King sell RVD's injuries. Before the interview with Shane O'Mac. A graphic before the interview shows that the Kane-Shane match is now a last man standing match. During the interview itself, Eric interrupts and announces that the match is now a last man standing match. This isn't the first time something like this has happened on WWE television. Kevin Dunn isn't doing his job again.

Afterwards, Miss Kim then praises Eric's speed as she informs Miss Holly that the deed is done. Next week they will finish their plan.

Next up it's Scott Steiner v Steven Richards, with Test and Stacey getting up close and personal at ringside. Steiner simply overpowers Stevie, but watching Wrestling Classics in recent weeks makes you realise just how much Steiner has declined in the past few years. He's built like a tank, but moves like one as well. As Steiner dominates Stevie, Victoria tries to interfere, before Steiner drags her into the ring. Test's interference almost pays off, but Steiner gets the win. He then challenges Test to yet another match, this time not only putting Stacey's services on the line, but his own as well. Just how long will this feud go on. Hopefully it will end at Unforgiven.

Before the main event, Coach comes to the ring to hype the non-match at Unforgiven. Coach plays career guidance counsellor to JR, putting forward several future career ideas with some cut-and-paste photos on the big screen. Bah gawd, this has to be the worst segment this week as the Coach calls JR out. JR marches down the aisle like Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western. With the King backing him up JR confronts the Coach, sending him flying with a stiff right before he sends Al Snow flying with a boot to the ass. I am not looking forward to this match.

Miss York....I mean Terri, sans her Spectrum computer, interviews Goldberg backstage. Old Bill should remain silent. Talking is not his strong point.

It's main event time as the less than surprise partners for old Bill and Cripple H are announced. Yep, you guessed it, the surprise partners are the other two members of Evolution. Kind of an anticlimax really. Cripple H is teamed with the Nature Old Boy, while old Bill is paired with the cowboy's boy.

It's obvious what's going to happen from the beginning as all three members of Evolution attack old Bill. It's also obvious that at this moment in time, Cripple H has no business being in the ring. The guy is so badly injured that he can hardly walk.

Cripple H asks for the cage to be lowered, and seconds later he clobbers old Bill with a steel chair. The ref tries to DQ him, but is soon clobbered himself. The assault continues as Cripple H taunts old Bill with the title belt. He then tries a Pedigree, but the move is botched, probably because of his injury. A second attempt proves successful however. The show finishes with Cripple H somehow managing to climb to the top of the cage.

This is my first attempt to review a Raw show, so you'll have to forgive me if this seems overly long. Two things stick in my memory as I think back - that La Psuedo Frenchies could perhaps be losing their push after that botched move, and that perhaps someone should take Cripple H to one side and tell him that if he truly loves the wrestling business, he shouldn't be wrestling right now.