So, did you guys catch Prison Break tonight? Man, that show has it all: prison family values, the ever-present threat of butt-rape and a character named TeaBag. Of course, RAW isn’t without its own share of deviants, but still… something about setting the show in a prison run by Stacey Keach as the tough-but-fair warden with a heart of gold just makes Prison Break seem so much more real than professional wrestling.
Tonight was RAW’s special three-hour Homecoming episode, their first back on the USA Network, where they got their start so many years ago. Will the return to their old stomping grounds give the show some much needed Joe-mentum, or will it continue to be more of the same crap I’ve been struggling to make entertaining the past couple months?
Since tonight’s ep was three-plus hours, and since I got a late start because I couldn’t tear myself away from TeaBag and the boys (as Dave Barry would say, that would make a great name for a rock band), I’m going to attempt a non-live liveblog of Homecoming. Of course, considering how late it already is, I still may not post it till tomorrow morning, but it’s the thought that counts, right? 11:25 PM Dammit, I missed the first five minutes of the broadcast. Evidently, USA started the show five minutes early, and neglected to tell my TIVO. Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.
11:30 PM Foley is GOD! And God has really let himself go. After a couple years off, Mick’s probably built up a lot of ring-rust, so I hope he’s not going to fight tonight. Ooh, nice shout-out to Dallas, Mick. Good to see you haven’t accumulated any suck-up rust.
11:31 PM Rowdy Roddy Piper is drunk. And afraid of the dark, thanks to Mrs. Foley’s baby boy’s new book, Scooter, available at bookstores nationwide.
11:33 PM Piper tells us that Foley’s crazy. How crazy? “You have people throw you off of 25 steel cages onto the floor! You land on thumb-takes.” I miss Roddy.
11:34 PM Someone I don’t miss? Randy Orton, who interrupts Piper’s Pit to have a talk with Hot Rod about the way he used to treat Randy’s dad, Cowboy Bob Orton. Guess Randy still hasn’t been weaned off the old man’s teat.
11:35 PM The two Ortons beat up Foley and Piper. Fifteen minutes in and two of my favorite superstars have already gotten their asses handed to them. Damb. I haven’t had a homecoming start off this badly since the first time I met the wife’s parents.
11:44 PM With RAW general manager Eric Bischoff dressed in black and SmackDown! general manager Teddy Long dressed in white, this encounter has Revenge of the Sith written all over it. Except the dialogue is better and the acting is more realistic. Eric warns Teddy about trying any shenanigans tonight on his show. “Watch it playa,” Teddy answers. “You need to get that bass out of your voice.” Eric tells Teddy to back off, and walks away. I smell foreshadowing. Or maybe it’s just Murdoch.
11:46 PM Our first look at the retired superstars gathered for tonight’s special event. And I thought ex-presidents aged badly.
11:48 PM The 30-Minute Iron Man Match between Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels is about to get underway. The King tells us the giant clock in the corner of the screen labeled “Countdown Clock” is there to help us count down the time. Thanks, King.
11:51 PM HBK is already using the Sleeper hold on Angle. I’m already using less tonic in my vodka.
12:05 AM Angle is exfoliating HBK’s face with his elbow. If I could touch my face with my elbow, I bet that’d work. Maybe I’ll offer to try it on my wife tomorrow night.
12:07 AM According to JR, Angle is holding on to HBK’s ankle “pugnaciously, like a pit bull dog.” This, of course, is slightly different than a “pit bull in size 6 shoes,” as Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers has been described. Slightly.
12:11 AM HBK unleashes his most vicious hold of all: the Bitch Slap.
12:17 AM The match ends tied at two falls apiece. HBK almost had a third fall, but King’s clock ran out right as the ref’s count reached two. He immediately challenges Angle to sudden death, but Kurt inexplicably passes and heads backstage. Maybe he needs to pee?
12:19 AM HBK is congratulated by the legends gathered in the front row. One of them appears to be holding a giant stuffed parrot. Did Captain Morgan used to wrestle for the WWE?
12:21 AM Lillian Garcia introduces one of the legends, Kevin Von Erich. While I’ve never heard of Mr. Von Erich, I immediately hate him, as he has part of my real name. At least, part of my real name as it was supposed to be. Unfortunately, it’s a long story I can’t share without divulging my true identity, or making my parents look bad, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.
12:24 AM Vince McMahon is talking backstage with Eric Bischoff about Eric’s match later tonight. Vince makes the best faces. He’s like the Jim Carrey of the WWE. Except Vince can act.
12:25 AM After a brief spat, Vince tells Eric, “Neither you nor anyone else in this business has any idea just how sick… how twisted… and how perverted I can be.” Uh, Vince…? Yes we do. Remember the XFL?
12:26 AM Lillian reads a handwritten introduction for the WWE Chairman: “He is strong. He is handsome. He is… well-endowed?” Cue Vinnie McStrutsalot.
12:27 AM McMahon is shaking his leg like there’s something wrong with his prostate. He shows a clip of him beating Stone Cold Steve Austin several years ago. Stone Cold’s supposed to be here tonight. I hope he comes out soon. Maybe we’ll get to see the clip of him making McMahon pee his pants.
12:28 AM I love Austin’s “What?” bit. When he says something one way… “What?” Then repeats it in a slightly different manner… “What?” In a manner that differs slightly from the previous version… “What?”
12:30 AM Austin runs footage of his hospital visit with Vince. Nothing’s funnier than seeing Vince get hit upside the head with a bedpan. Except seeing Vince’s tighty-whities. Next, we see the clip where Vince peed himself. Yes! And, for old times sake, one last clip of Austin spraying down Vince, Shane and The Rock with a beer truck.
12:31 AM This is sad. I’ve laughed more in the last couple minutes than I have at the last year’s worth of RAW. I need a hug.
12:33 AM Finally, Stone Cold gives Vince a Stunner.
12:34 AM Austin starts to celebrate with a few beers, when he’s interrupted by Vince’s son, Shane. Time for another Stunner.
12:35 AM Vince’s daughter, Stephanie, interrupts Stone Cold’s beerebration. Looks like Triple H has bought his wife some new boobies! Stone Cold asks for a kiss; Steph gives him a slap in the kisser. Which, of course, leads to another Stunner.
12:36 AM Linda McMahon comes out and demands an explanation. Stone Cold tells her her family is a piece of trash. She can’t really argue with that, so she agrees to share a beer with Stone Cold. Of course, he stuns her.
12:45 AM The “Loser Leaves RAW” Ladder Match between Matt Hardy and Edge is about to get started. I loves me a good Ladder Match, as they’re really hard to fake.
12:46 AM Oops, looks like I spoke too soon. Matt just took a lame fall off the ladder.
12:52 AM JR calls the match a “human demolition derby”. Coach, trying to keep up, calls it a “wrestling version of the Tea Cup ride.” Coach is an idiot.
12:53 AM Lita is on her knees between the two wrestlers. Yeah, she’s never been in that position before.
12:54 AM Twist of Fate! Twist of Fate! Twist of Fate!
12:57 AM As this whole feud was started by Lita cheating on Matt with Edge, it seems only fitting that Lita and Edge have to cheat to win the match. Moral? Cheating rules! Matt Hardy is escorted out of the building. So much for Mattitude Version Squats-To-Pee.
1:08 AM Ashley is backstage with Trish, lacing up her top for their Bra and Panties Match later in the evening. Mae Young, who’s older than our Constitution, comes in and throws off her shirt. My cat throws up a hairball.
1:11 AM In a backstage interview, Ric Flair credits Triple H with saving his career and his life. All while wearing one of Phyllis Diller’s old robes. Woooo!!!
1:14 AM Coach shushes JR during Chris Masters’ entrance. Good to see USA’s not going to make them tone down the homoerotic commentary.
1:17 AM Time to play the Game. Triple H is back. And so his old Motorhead music. Not to mention my old gut. Looks like Triple H has been having a few too many triple scoops at Maggie Moo’s during his time off. That, or George Costanza just shrunk his trunks.
1:25 AM After carrying Flair and dominating the match, Triple H looks to the camera and smiles. That can mean only one thing: time to bring out the jumbo bottle of Pert. Actually, he brings out a sledgehammer.
1:27 AM Triple H pins Carlito, then hugs his BF4EVA Ric Flair.
1:28 AM Wait, did I say best friend? I meant arch-enemy. How else to explain HHH busting Flair in the face with the sledgehammer? Hunter, someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do…
B&W makes anything look artsy.
1:35 AM Triple H is still beating up Ric Flair in the back. As he tosses a bloody Flair into the back of the limo, he calls Flair a “limo-riding, jet-flying piece of crap.” Who’s writing HHH’s material? John Cena?
1:40 AM The WWE Legends have gathered together in the ring. Apparently, Dusty Rhodes is now paying the bills by impersonating Jabba the Hutt. After introducing a few of the still-recognizable ex-Superstars, Jabba is interrupted by none other than Coach’s other man-crush, Rob Conway. “Did someone forget to change their Depends?” he asks. The old people jump on Conway faster than the buffet at an AARP convention. Just look at me, indeed.
Looks like someone needs a good waxing.
1:46 AM Time for the Bra and Panties match. The rules are pretty simple: the first team to strip the other team down to their bra and panties win. Doesn’t sound so hard, does it? I’ll tell you what is hard: having to listen to the announcers run through their litany of “hard” puns: JR: “That’s a hard kick by Torrie.” King: “You think that’s hard? Look at this!” JR: “Well, it is a hard match to call.” Coach: “You’re having a hard time calling this match?” King: “I know I am.” JR: “I have an erection.”
1:50 AM Trish and Ashley finally get the pants off Torrie Wilson to pick up the victory, while Coach and King share a cigarette.
1:51 AM Eric Bischoff tells Kurt Angle that Vince McMahon left the building earlier, thus leaving him in charge. Of course, he takes the opportunity to make his upcoming match against John Cena a No-DQ Match, and invites Kurt down to ringside to help him pick up a victory. “I just want to be champion one night,” he tells Kurt. “You help me win tonight, and I’ll make you champion tomorrow.” Oh Eric, I bet you say that to all the girls.
1:53 AM Tazz and Michael Cole, SmackDown!‘s announcers, are out to call tonight’s special SmackDown! match pitting Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit and Batista against Christian, Eddie Guerrero and JBL. Cole and Tazz must have been hitting the espresso hard all evening (damn you, “hard” puns!), as they’ve already talked more in the past few minutes than JR, Coach and King have all night.
1:56 AM Tazz and Cole still haven’t stopped talking. They’re joined by Teddy Long, who immediately starts talking. Fortunately, they shut up when Eric Bischoff comes out and cancels the SmackDown! match. Not only that, he orders the ring lights turned off. Snap!
2:01 AM Mean Gene introduces the one, the only, Hulk Hogan! Hogan still moves pretty well for a guy who’s had his hip and knee replaced. What’s next for Hogan? “Brother, how ’bout one more match, brother, with the Texas Rattlesnake, brother, Stone brother Cold brother Steve brother Austin? Brother brother brother!” One more match for Hogan? No…
2:05 AM Eric Bischoff enters the ring for his championship match against John Cena. Eric must still be under the impression that black is slimming. Doesn’t he ever watch TLC’s What Not To Wear?
2:10 AM Someone holds up a “Piss off Bischoff” sign. Right now, that’s funnier than anything I got.
2:15 AM Angle interferes, but Cena still manages to pick up the win. Just as Angle and Cena are starting to go at it, Teddy Long walks down the ramp and announces it’s payback time for the way Eric made his wrestlers look foolish earlier in the evening. “We gonna do it ‘gangsta-style,’” he tells Bischoff, then sends down about 15 white wrestlers from SmackDown! to get all O-G on them. A bunch of white RAW wrestlers (plus Shelton Benjamin) run down to even the odds as RAW goes off the air.
When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way.
All in all, the first night back on USA was pretty strong. Not as strong as I’d hoped, but still way better than the crap they’d been airing the past few weeks as they ran out their contract on Spike TV. Of course, it’ll be a few months before we’re able to tell if the switch back to USA is going to pay off or not, but a boy can hope, can’t he?
So, what did you think?