Monday, May 12, 2003

WWE RAW Review: 05/12/03

I'm running behind, my day's sucked ass and I didn't like RAW last night. I have no anticipation built up for Sunday's Pay Per View, the last two live audiences have verbally turned on the face challenger for RAW's World Title, the Big Show is back in the main event on Smackdown's side of things, and Chris Benoit is nowhere to be found. Again. Steve Austin has retired, Kurt Angle's future seems to be more and more in doubt every day, Eddy Guerrero will never get any higher on the card than he is today, and the freaking LEGION OF DOOM returned to RAW last night. Miss Elizabeth is dead, and the best tribute the WWE can come up with is back-to-back sleazy news magazine-style stories on Confidential.

I just wanted to preface this week's writeup with that. I don't have the time or the desire to write a lengthy summary of what I watched last night, but I'm here nonetheless. Here we go...

Christian and Rob Van Dam are over, and Steve Austin is finally beginning to grasp the personality that skyrocketed him to stardom six years ago. Kane hasn't done anything to really justify a run as Tag Team Champion, and his character's been stale for years now. Still, this was a fun interview segment, despite being indescribably random. Why Christian thought his match was curtain-jerking when Goldberg hadn't even arrived at the arena yet is puzzling. Hey, now there's a thought... next time, take advantage of these retarded "Look, this major star is arriving at the arena, forty minutes after we've gone live" segments, by putting their match on first. They'll lose by countout, the heel will look twelve times more intelligent, and maybe the stars will START SHOWING UP ON TIME.

One week after the best match we'll ever see out of them as a team, RVD and Kane followed up by participating in what's (hopefully) the worst match we'll ever see out of them as a team. Hawk and Animal looked completely out of time and out of place here, wandering around the ring in slow motion and attempting offense that was outdated in the mid '90s. It was ugly, but the end result was correct.

Trish and Victoria get into it verbally backstage. Victoria threatens to beat Trish until she's hideous. Autumn wonders aloud, "They surgically constructed her once before... what's to stop them from doing it again once Victoria's finished hitting her?" I can't fathom an answer.

Goldberg's door is slammed shut by a speeding car! He then curses for a solid twelve seconds, (that, or else somebody was leaning on the censor button) jumps out of his own car and roars. Stupid. Remember when wrestling was, you know, a sport? When guys would fight each other because they wanted to build a name for themselves, and not because the door of their car was slammed shut by a speeding limo, driven by their opponent's brother's uncle?

Yay, the Dudleys are back. They're so stale, they make solid green, fuzzy bread with an expiration date in the '70s look fresh. I can take them in small doses as heels. They're absolutely horrendous as faces.

Goldberg and Christian had their cage match. Christian landed about two dozen chairshots, and Goldberg was back up on his feet again a couple minutes later. Nice. This is a pet peeve of mine... people who act like that make everybody who's ever sold a chair in the history of wrestling look like a total ass. And while we're talking pet peeves, let's chat a little about the cage match itself. The point of a cage isn't to just give people something else to fall into. It's an equalizer, an advantage for the small man and a temptation for the big man. The point is to climb over the top of the cage, not to wander effortlessly through the door or gain a pinfall or submission. It's appealing to the guys who can't get over the top, because they want so badly to tear the shit out of the other guy, and an advantage to the smaller guys because maneuverability is key. Dusty Rhodes took part in dozens of cage matches, and you know his fat ass wasn't physically capable of scaling the steel. Last night's "cage match" was just a regular matchup that just happened to take place surrounded by a cage. I hate what WWE's done to this old, treasured format.

Flair and Hurricane was a nice brief spot. Flair is comedy gold, not because he was pantsed mid-ring by the Hurricane, but because he continued to casually wrestle the match for another half minute, cheeks still flapping in the breeze. And how long has it really been since you actually saw someone tap out to the figure four leglock? I don't think it's happened since Flair came back to the federation nearly a year and a half ago. Good match, that saw the Hurricane holding a distinct advantage throughout. Flair won it, as he should have, but he put over Helms throughout.

I lost interest in the program for about a quarter hour, instead concentrating on the tight game of "Baseball Stars 2" I had running on MAME. I did catch Trish's "Matrix Moment," which was a cool premise but looked completely choeographed from where I sat. My team, the American Dreams, won 2-1 in twelve innings.

I did tune back in for that main event. Nash hit three side slams. The last one was preceded by a little hesitation, like he was having deja vu or something. "Wait... did I already do this move? Shit. How's my hair? These vinyl pants kick ASS!" Jericho all but jobs to the big, black pleather-clas machine, before Trips and Flair move in. God bless him, Flair still hasn't changed pants. His whitey-tighties are still hanging out for all to see. Program fades to black as HBK smiles and Nash holds the World Title aloft. At least a bunch of random people in Kevin Nash shirts didn't pour from backstage, cups of beer in hand.

I've never wished so strongly to see John's "win on TV, lose on PPV" formula come true once again as I am right now. The Philly audience verbally turned on Nash last night, proving it wasn't just a Canadian bias thing. The audiences as a whole are not enjoying Nash as a Title contender, and I'm with the majority on this one. While I won't go so far as to say I'd rather be watching Katie Vick segments again, this is still pretty bad. Nash is boring as sin, Triple H isn't doing any miracles and Chris Jericho will never go over a member of the Clique2K3. Life sucks.

So much for a short review.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is poor and 10 is amazing...
Overall Score: 2.1

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