WWE Raw Report 8-16-2004
    Submitted by Steven "Rommel" Schaeffer on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 at 12:49 AM EST

    Play the opener, turn on the music – it is Monday Night Raw! With ticker-tape pouring in from the ceiling, the youngest champion in WWE history stood in the center of the ring getting a face reaction. Randy compared himself all the other twenty-four year old men audience by having them stand up and strip down for him. He quickly turned the crowd against him. “I’ve only just begun” – Randy Orton. Chris Benoit, the former heavyweight Champion, would interrupt the happy proceedings now to a huge ovation. He reminds Orton that he has a rematch clause, and that he has reenacted his rematch clause for tonight! Bum bum bum!

    Rhyno defeated Sylvain Grenier via pin fall. The stipulation for this match was that if Rhyno won, Tajiri and he would get a Tag Titles shot. If he lost, they would never be allowed a chance. Well, thankfully the good guy won then eh? Of course in the WWE, the only way faces win is by cheating! Tajiri sprayed the mist in the eyes of Grenier, sealing the deal for Rhyno. A video replaying the Kane, Lita and Matt hardy disaster of a story line aired.

    JR and the King were all in a tizzy over the terrible story line, but for the wrong reasons. Backstage, Coach tried to get an interview with Lita but she just walked by him into the locker room like a zombie. When she entered, the heel females of the company were waiting for her with a surprise bridal shower and presents. Oh dear sweet Jesus I knew where this was going by I was powerless to stop it. Molly gave contraceptives for the girl who likes to sleep around a lot. Gail had a framed picture of the blushing bride’s boy toy Kane and then a picture of a mutant baby. When the “Big Red Machine” was given to Lita as a marital aide Lita ran away, leaving my mind in ruins over this story line.

    Victoria squared off against Gail Kim. You know, Gail was pushed so well for about a month in a half, then was quickly buried. Did they not think she was ready for the front position with the Diva’s when she was being pushed to the title? Did she piss someone off? Victoria was in control of the early goings, which is a shame because her taught spots (Dancing, the standing moonsault) are bloody awful. Gail locked on one of her amazing head scissors submissions, but this time Victoria escaped. She hit the Widow’s Peak (Which I understand is a very popular finisher among LOP readers) for the decision. Victoria defeated Gail Kim via pin fall. After the match Trish and her man suck, err… I mean Tomko, attacked Victoria. Steven Richards made the save in drag.

    In the night’s ten o’clock main event we have a random pairing in the form of the Intercontinental Champion Edge, and the monster Kane with Lita in what one has to assume is his corner. Kane came out in this match heart, immediately pounding Edge who was not getting a positive reaction from the Canadian fans. Edge seized a moment to spear Kane off the apron into the guard rail, which is becoming his only notable spot these days. This would be a good place for the King to mention that the wedding is on for next week. Thanks King! Edge climbed to the rope and delivered a picture “Not bad” –level flying dropkick. When he went for the cover Kane push him off for a cheap ref bump. No matter to the monster, who was signaling for the choke slam on Edge then. Lita, however, would have none of it. She grabbed Kane’s leg, giving Edge the distraction. Unfortunately, he ran right into Kane’s boot. Matt Hardy was more successful in his run in. He delivered one twist of fate, and when Edge recovered he landed a spear and the official counted the mat three times. Edge defeated Kane to retain the Intercontinental Title.

    It was time for the WWE Diva Search contestants. This week the girls were miraculously not given a stupid, uninteresting task to do this week. Rather than sell an ice cream cone they were allowed to explain which other contestant should be voted off the island. A few broke the Kayfabe and revealed some real reasons about 2004 Playmate of the Year Carmella, who has garnered heat backstage and opted to not appear in the dodge ball competition at SummerSlam for that very reason. Oh yeah, somewhere in all of this Michelle was removed from the show.

    Evolution’s monster Batista is coming along more and more every day. This week he took on Chris Jericho, pounding and slamming the Canadian blond with slams and power moves from the get go. Jericho had a comeback, not a mere hope spot, which was enough to ignite the Canadian crowd. Apparently they like Jericho. Ric Flair, who was with Batista, jumped up on the apron just in time to eat the same springboard dropkick from last night’s Pay-Per-View. Jericho went to hit a lionsault but Flair shoved him as he bounced into the ropes, causing the official to call for the bell. Chris Jericho defeated Batista via disqualification. After the match Edge appeared to seemingly make the save for Jericho, but instead only watch in similar fashion to how Jericho acted last week. Batista delivered a power bomb to one Mr. Jericho.

    Backstage, Hunter gave Randy Orton the kind of pep talk your father might have if you grew up in a wheat growing community, where family values are still paramount. He was not jealous so far as I could tell.

    It was time for the main event! Randy Orton, the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in the history of wrestling squaring off against the best technical wrestler alive, Chris Benoit. Benoit seized an early advantage as The King speculated that Orton was not fully rested after his celebrating from the night before. Benoit grabbed two near falls very early into the match, and Orton tried o flee outside the ropes from the pure fury of Benoit’s onslaught. Chris used a drop kick to send Orton sailing off the apron when he attempted to get back in, and then followed the youngest champion ever to the outside. Chris chopped Orton about and then dropped Randy knees first into the ring steps.

    Randy Orton was in a very, very bad position. The Sharpshooter is a fairly over move in Canada, by the way. Randy managed to crawl and reach the ropes, but was obviously hurt as he favored his knee. Odd since the sharpshooter attacks your back. Randy had some offense at this point, but couldn’t do anything to put Benoit away and was still gripping his leg every so often. When Benoit landed him three German suplexes and then locked on the cross face it looked like Randy received the reign to remove Brock Lesnar from the history books. Evolution ran down to make the save, with Chris Benoit fending them all off by himself. Unfortunately, he forgot about his opponent. Randy Orton grabbed the RKO for the victory. Randy Orton defeated Chris Benoit to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.

    Edit: My cable went out right at the end of the show, and I had thought the show had already ended. Apparently, after the match, Evolution turned on Randy Orton and beat him down.

    In recent weeks I have had a huge influx of E-mail from you, my readers. I have decided to include an extra large helping of mail to answer some of the more notable pieces I found in my inbox.

    I get all depressed when I greatly enjoy WWE programming and all these
    internet reporters and columnists say it sucks and it's boring. I thought
    Smackdown! was fantastic and I have thought it's been consistently good all
    through its transitional period after WrestleMania XX. Mainstays and
    draftees stepped up to fill in vacancies, young and untested wrestlers and
    new gimmicks were experimented with. Sometimes with wrestling it pays to
    sit back and enjoy what they're trying to do, to see what works and sticks
    around and what doesn't quite work and gets discarded. That in itself can
    be fun. Even guys that aren't yet great wrestlers (Mordecai, Kenzo
    Suzuki--not much hope for him though) can be interesting and entertaining to

    As for Raw, I didn't catch it--that's why I read your report--but it
    couldn't have been that bad. Your refrains of "predictable" and "boring"
    would almost suggest you've been watching wrestling too much for too long.
    It seems to me that, even with new gimmicks and storylines and alliances
    cropping up all the time, repetition is an integral part of wrestling.
    Maybe that sounds stupid. But every wrestler has spots they hit or attempt
    to hit every match, right? I had to laugh reading Bret Hart's diatribe
    against Ric Flair after he insinuated Ric was a limited wrestler by
    detailing the spots he repeats ad nauseum. My God, Ric's got the chop, the
    strut, the magic thumb, the turnbuckle flip, the top rope bump, the KO'd
    bump, the figure four, the "Woooo!" That's a lot! Most wrestlers have like
    three spots at most. But as a wrestling fan, you want to see those spots.
    And don't even get me started on catchphrases. Anyway, so perennial
    standards in your average wrestling feud build-ups such as heel beatdowns,
    face saves, et al, are used repeatedly because, like Flair's spots--or like
    a joke a given stand-up comic's been using since 1988--they work.
    Chairshots, restholds, heel/face turns, things you see again and again and
    again and again because that's the way wrestling is. Maybe that very thing
    also makes it hard to be a lifelong wrestling fan. Or something that you
    tire of and come back to later. Never thought of that. I've been watching
    since 2002 (OK, I watched between '86 and '90, but who didn't)and haven't
    tired of it yet. My knowledge of wrestling pre-Lesnar, Orton, and Cena is
    sketchy, maybe it was better before. Or maybe I just need some more time
    and I'll be sick of it, too.

    There are many times I think that I have been watching wrestling for too long. Of course, I often feel that way about many of my hobbies. Those times pass and I resume my interests without fail. While it is possible that last Monday may have been a period of “Burn-out,” however brief it was, but I do not think so. I have been extremely high on the Raw product for a number of months and continue to be so. The Kane, Lita and Matt Hardy pregnancy angle is a notable exception. Having reread my Raw Report in the wake of your comments I stand by what I said. Last week’s show was repetitive and entirely too predictable. Judging by the atrocious ratings the show produced, I was not alone in my assessment.

    hi,how are you today?I just got done reading the complete summerslam card,and I don't see rvd.how can the happen for such a long time.cant they see he is the most gifted wrestler they have.do they hate him?if not then why does he keep getting the short end?does he even have any kind of spot at ss?I see,it looks like another Sunday night heat appearance for rvd.my other question is ed Leslie.I know he has been out of wrestling for a while now and he got himself in a little trouble recently,but don't you think its wise to still use him for story lines?lets face it,he might not have the best ability anymore,especially after his face smashing accident on 7/4/90 in fl.I think he can still be used in allot of story lines to help boost up ratings.you probably think its a stupid idea,but I don't think so because if you look at the recent story lines,Brutus the barber coming back and doing barber shops or whatever else they can use him cant be any worse of an idea.think about it.hate him or like him they can still use the barber gimmick to draw some attention or ratings.it cant hurt.I think it can only help.every wrestling fan,new or old would tune in every week just to see a hair cut.what is the best way to get in touch with ed?I don't have anyway of writing to him.anyway I am going to let you go now.you probably heard enough of my jibber jabber.thank you so much for your time and help.long time fan,Jake.

    As witnessed last night, Rob Van Dam was featured on Heat squaring off against Rene Dupree. Not where I would have booked him on the card. As for Zodiac, I cannot disagree strongly enough. Ed Leslie was never a major talent in any respect to wrestling. His placement in either WWF or WCW was always the result of his real-life friendship with one Hulk Hogan, as has been detailed on several occasions by writers better than I. The barber’s ability levels not withstanding, I see no possible contribution he could make in the WWE now. The biggest names in the history of wrestling have been through the WWE’s revolving door in the last two years, and none have given a long term boost to business. The WWE’s best bet is to create new stars from their sizable ranks of talented young wrestlers who have long careers ahead of them.

    "Quick point to my readers, the figure four legitimately hurts a lot to be in, but turning it over does not reverse the pressure."

    YES! Somebody finally pointed this out! I've been watching Flair since the 80's, and it's always bugged me to no end when guys sell that reversal. The other thing that bugs me - the pressure is on the straight leg because you're using the bent leg as a lever to hyperextend the knee, but it's always sold as injuring the bent leg.

    Give the man a oversized stuffed animal, he wins a prize. The Figure Four does put pressure on the straightened leg. As any of my more athletically gifted readers with attest to, nearly every hold that legitimately hurts involves a straight, extended limb. For this reason one can understand why they are often referred to as a “Stretch” or a “Hook.” Submission maneuvers that twist or bend a body part do exist, but the Figure Four is not one of them.

    Still what the move does is actually unimportant. All that is important in wrestling is that the crowd believes it hurts enough to force a competitor to submit. If the announcers call it wrong most fans will not know the difference so long as it is consistent. A lack of consistency is the reason the crippler cross face took so long to get over, as its target area was often altered. One month it would apply pressure to the neck area, another to the shoulder and arm. Chris Benoit often seemed to change his wrestling style to suit these perceived changes by working on a different body part, only for the calling of the hold to be changed again. Truth and believability are not one in wrestling.

    Hey, I read your raw recount, and while I don't ordinarily respond to
    anything unless I see glaring errors or something shamefully ignorant, I
    decided to drop you a line with a question mixed in somewhere. I'm curious
    why you bash smackdown so much, when raw is, to quote you, 'boring and
    predictable', and had such a ' boring and predictable end'. I'm not trying
    to provoke an argument here by saying this, honestly. Up till last week, I'd
    have agreed with you about smackdown. The writing was weak, the matches
    lame, and the talent woefully misused. However, the last two shows, while
    not yet back up to the usual quality most fans would like to see, have made
    a serious improvement. Angle's been kicked out of his drama-queen wheelchair
    role, and teddy long is finally in a position where he actually shines. I'll
    grant that I haven't seen much of him yet, I avoid raw like the plague (it's
    always struck me as a triple h ego vehicle, something to be avoided at all
    costs), but he has the attitude to make smackdown good again, if not great.
    Give it a watch this week, see if you think maybe something I've said has
    some truth to it. There aren't any 'to death do us part' or talentless women
    plots and pushes going on thursday nights, at least....

    Regardless of whether you do or not, though, good job on your report. It's a
    decent thing you do for those of us unwilling to waste our monday nights on

    (my apologies for the back-handed compliment, I blame television)

    The back handed compliment is fine. In fact, I am glad that you’re able to write at all. Not everyone who leaves special education in this country is able to do so. You are a special young man. Never let anyone tell you differently.

    One would have to be a fool to not see that Smackdown is improving steadily. Still, it is not yet reached a level in which I would label it as “Good.” Even with Raw having the worst story line in recent memory courtesy of a pregnant Lita, it remains a better television program than Smackdown! Numerous reasons exist for this, not all of them being the expected writing and wrestling content. I will continue to “Bash” Smackdown! for simple reasons: being that I do not like the show. If and when it improves to a show enjoyable by my standards, I will not hesitate to note that fact.


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