After last week’s very emotional tribute to Eddie Guerrero, I was curious as to how RAW would recapture their momentum heading into this weekend’s Survivor Series PPV. Little did I expect they’d turn to the musical stylings of Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins for inspiration. But it’s just this kind of risk-taking that makes RAW so great…Tonight RAW is broadcasting from Sheffield, England. Team RAW, led by Captain HBK, comes out to the ring. Coach tells us we’ve never seen a Survivor Series team like this. Why? Because HBK is wearing a $3000 suit!
General manager Eric Bischoff comes out to the ring next, wearing a rather drab black and gray ensemble. He’s in merry old England, at least he could’ve tried some tweed and one of those cool Sherlock Holmes hats. Then, while he’s dressed as the world’s greatest detective, maybe he could investigate what happened to RAW’s creativity. Of course, even Bischoff’s blandness still can’t compare to the mess that is Carlito’s hair. Either the fabled English humidity is playing havoc with his curls or his pick was confiscated at Customs.
Bischoff talks some smack about
Team SmackDown The Sharks. “There’ve been rumors all week long on the Internet that Teddy Long and his boys will be here on RAW tonight.” Bischy says it’s all hooey. “When you’re a Jet, You’re the swingin’est thing: Little boy, you’re a man; Little man, you’re a king!”, Bischoff sings, segueing to RAW’s own littlest man, Todd Grisham, on the TitanTron. Todd’s standing out in the parking lot looking for The Sharks, who’ve yet to arrive.
Eric tells us the plan to attack Batista on SmackDown last week was actually his and Edge’s. And that, as they say on RAW, is cool. And Eric knows The Sharks won’t be here tonight, because they’re afraid of him and his army of posable action figures. At that, Big Show grabs the microphone and sets Eric straight, saying “First of all, Bischoff, we are your nothing.” Uhm, did I say he set Eric straight? I meant confused the hell out of the entire arena.
“Kane and I went to RAW because we wanted to,” explains Biggy. “We wanted to prove that we were unstoppable. And the best way to do that was to chokeslam Batista straight to Hell.” They feel no remorse for hurting Batista. “Wrong guy, wrong place, wrong time.” Speaking of wrong time, Grish starts screaming from the TitanTron that Smackdown is here! And they’ve arrived in JBL’s limo. (Remember when I said tonight’s episode was in England? Did JBL drive there?) They’re all dressed quite nicely, too. Even little ReyRey, who’s wearing Charlie McCarthy’s suit. Anyway, Batista calls Team RAW out to the parking lot. Bischoff tries to talk them out of it, but HBK says no way and leads the guys backstage.
After the break, the SmackDown guys are still waiting in the parking lot, rolling up their sleeves. Team RAW, meanwhile, is still making their way out to the parking lot. It’s just like that scene in Spinal Tap where the band couldn’t find the stage. Except that was funny. Carlito asks HBK what if it’s a trap? “I’m counting on it,” answers HBK, before leading his team in a singalong: “Here come the Jets, Yeah! And we’re gonna beat Ev’ry last buggin’ gang On the whole buggin’ street! On the whole! Ever! Mother! Lovin’! Street! Yeah!”
Okay, here’s the thing that’s bothering me about the whole Survivor Series angle: Carlito would never willingly sing with HBK. And just a couple weeks ago, HBK and Chris Masters hated each other. Now they’re dancing down the hallway? I don’t get it. Same thing with the SmackDown guys. Batista is fighting Randy Orton this week for the belt. But tonight they’re riding in the same limo together? Sometimes wrestling is so hard to take seriously. I mean, if I can’t believe in their hatred for one another, what can I believe in…
Oh well, back to suspended reality. The Jets make a few faces at The Sharks, The Sharks flex a few pecs and then the pummeling begins. Lots of enjoyable carnage, including a live shot of Big Show’s head being slammed through a car window. The camera focuses on Masters as he slaps the MasterLock on lil ReyRey, when suddenly there’s a huge crash. The camera pans to see Batista’s been thrown through a windshield by Kane and Big Show. (Off camera, of course.) Teddy Long calls for a medic and we go to commercial.
We’re back. Todd Grisham is emoting like he just witnessed the Hindenburg explosion. “Oh, the humanity!” He says Batista wouldn’t get on the stretcher, but they took him to a nearby undisclosed medical facility. Suddenly, Easy Eric is in the lot, delivering his own newsflash: “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit in the wind. You don’t pull the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger. And you’d don’t mess around with RAW. Or me.” Oops. Looks like someone punched up the wrong song on Eric’s karaoke prompter.
(1) Ric Flair versus The Deliverance Rapist Flair enters the ring wearing Phyllis Diller’s burial robe. Murdoch, meanwhile, is wearing Larry the Cable Guy’s flannel sleeveless and Ashton’s trucker hat. Plus a load of chaw. And red trunks. You know, I really don’t like Trevor Murdoch. Even the announce team is hating on him tonight. King: “Trevor just won the chewing tobacco spitting contest at his family reunion this past weekend.” Coach: “That wasn’t tobacco.” Lots of styling, lots of profiling, and lots of “Whooo!”-chops from Flair, who wins by grabbing Murdoch’s trunks during the pin. Unfortunately, whilst grabbing said trunks we’re treated to a full shot of Murdoch’s bare white ass. Joey Styles calls the action: “Flair had a handful of trunks.” Coach: “And we got an eyeful of something else.”
Winner: Ric Flair.
Murdoch is not happy about showing his ass to all of Merry Old England. “Nobody sees me arse!,” he screams. “Unless they’re under the age of 12!” While Flair’s celebrating in the ring, Triple H appears on the TitanTron with a threat for their upcoming Survivor Series match. He also promises to show Flair something later that night. I hope it’s not Stephanie’s arse.
After the break, we come back to a match in progress. Tajiri is giving someone (I think it’s Rob Conway) the Tarantula when JBL storms the ring and tosses both men out of the ring. Taking the mic, JBL calls out Chris Masters. “I demand that knuckle-dragging hair-lipped orangutan Chris Masters come down and get his ass kicked by the Wrestling God!” Judging from the way JBL looks in trunks these days, God’s really let himself go.
Of course, Bischoff isn’t about to let some SmackDown trash take over his show. “I thought we took all the garbage out,” he tells JBL from the safety of the ramp. The crowd starts chanting “Arsehole, arsehole!” at Eric. It’s really quite touching, in a Merchant and Ivory sort of way. Eric says nobody comes out on his show and demands a match with one of his superstars unless he’s either one of the dumbest men on Earth or one of the bravest. Which do you think he considers JBL to be? Instead of Masters, he grants JBL a match with HBK. JBL is happy with this, or as happy as a man wearing a pink shirt and grey slacks can be.
For some strange reason, Bischoff tells JBL to stop by the concession stand on his way out and have some pizza, some donuts and some fish-n-chips, cuz that match is happening later tonight and he can’t wait. I can’t wait till my Percocet kicks in and I’m able to understand just what the hell he’s talking about.
After the commercial, we get some footage of John Cena’s appearance on Mad TV this weekend. And here I didn’t think anything would get me to watch SNL again.
Kurt Angle heads to the ring with the “You Suck” chants being censored again. I don’t get this whole bleeping thing. It’s not funny. Just annoying. Shelton Benjamin makes his way to the ring. The announce team points out that there’s no ref. Never fear! Daivari’s here! Angle’s happy. Shelton, not so much. Daivari is such a waste. If they want to feature a
terroristArab-American on RAW, why not sign up Behrooz? At least the crowd could have fun chanting his name.
(2) Kurt Angle versus Shelton Benjamin Although this is a rematch from last week, and there’s nothing on the line, I don’t care. Honestly, I could watch these guys wrestle every week. They are without a doubt the two best the WWE has. I could do without Daivari as a ref, though. Angle locks in the Ankle Lock, but Shelton reverses it and rolls Angle up. Daivari then rolls Benjamin over and makes a quick count for Angle.
Winner: Kurt Angle.
Angle is still in the ring when we come back from commercial. Angle says he’s been hanging out with Daivari lately because they’re both proud Americans who’ve been unjustly abused by the fans. “You people will cheer a foul-mouthed misogynist rap star like John Cena, but you will unjustly deny Daivari’s rights of expression as a proud American,” he says. This makes Angle sick. Of course, the crowd might care a little more if he’d delivered this speech in the U-S-of-A. As it is, the Brits are pretty apathetic. Or it could just be their high manners and good breeding. Angle tells us Bischoff has agreed to make Daivari his personal referee for every match, including this Sunday’s championship bout with John Cena. Daivari takes the mic and tells his followers the time for jihad has come. Or he delivers a really great recipe for hummus. It’s hard to tell, as I don’t speak Daivari.
No matter, because Cena appears on the TitanTron, telling Daivari and Kurt to calm down. “Kurt, stop it, man! Pipe down. You’re acting like a freaking ham sandwich!” (I don’t get it either.) Cena says he’s going to find out the real story about how the other RAW superstars feel about Kurt Angle. The first door he opens just “happens” to be the ladies dressing room. Candice gives him a freebie and makes a lame joke about sucking.
Next door, he finds Snitsky giving Tomko a massage. Yuk! “It’s not my fault!” Snitsky tells a disgusted Cena. Whatever, dude. Behind the next door, Cena finds The Boogeyman singing “London Bridges”. Where the hell is this bit going?
I think even Cena senses it’s a bomb, as he tells the camera, “Okay, maybe the WWE superstar thing was a right turn down Bad Idea Street. But there are 12,000 screaming WWE fans out there who have a voice.” At that, he walks out into the crowd and starts asking random members of the crowd what they think of Kurt Angle. Despite their stiff upper lips, they all agree that Kurt Angle does indeed suck. Not as much as this bit, though. At that, Cena concludes that Angle does still suck, and rushes the ring, chasing out both Angle and Daivari.
(3) Triple H versus Val Venis Hmm, I wonder who’s going to win this matchÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Val puts up a valiant (get it?) effort, but alas it’s not enough as HHH quickly lays him out with a chair. Of course, this match is about sending a message to Flair, so Hunter continues to beat the hell out of Val long after the ref rings the bell. Eventually, he delivers a Pedigree and decides it’s enough. On a side note, I just noticed that Val spells his last name like Penis, so if he changed his first name to match it would be Pal Penis. That’s funny.
Winner: Val Venis via Disqualification.
(4) Candice Michelle (w/Victoria) versus Mickie James (w/Trish Stratus) Ooh, Candice and Vics almost kiss! A quick shot of King, Joey and Coach at the announce table confirms that Joey is the only person in WWE actually shorter than Rey Mysterio. Get that man a phone book, stat! Candice is roofied up again, but at least she looks good. Too bad she won’t remember it come tomorrow. Joey Styles gets high marks for describing Mickie’s attack as a “double chop across the ample chest of Candice Michelle.” Speaking of ample bosoms, two masked men run up and abduct Trish Stratus from ringside. Candice uses the distraction to pin Mickie.
Winner: Candice Michelle. Although I think it’s safe to say we’re all losers with this match.
So who took Trish? None other than SmackDown’s very own MNM! They have her tied up and duct-taped somewhere in a closet. Melina tells Trish no one’s going to find her down there. Although having a cameraman broadcasting the bit might put a little crimp in her plansÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Turns our Melly-Mel just wants a match at Survivor Series.
Back at the announce table, the guys are stunned. Lawler, realizing that having Trish tied up and gagged is his big chance, goes to rescue her. Now if he can just figure out how to get rid of those pesky cameramenÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Meanwhile, Maria is backstage reading HBK’s book, which just happens to be available in bookstores everywhere. HBK doesn’t want to talk about his book, though. He wants to talk about tonight, HBK versus JBL, the “initial confrontation” if you will. (Hey, that’s pretty good.) Describing tonight’s lumberjack match with JBL, HBK sings “You’re never alone, You’re never disconnected! You’re home with your own: When company’s expected, You’re well protected!”, before pirouetting off-camera.
(5) Shawn Michaels versus JBL in a Lumberjack Match HBK is accompanied to the ring by
Team RAW The Jets: Big Show, Kane, Carlito and Chris Masters. JBL, meanwhile, has what’s left of Team SmackDown The Sharks on his side: Randy Orton, ReyRey and Colorado Springs’ very own Lashley. (Woohoo! Colorado Springs’ getting some love! Shout out to my homies on Tejon!) Batista can’t make it, as he’s still recovering at the undisclosed nearby medical facility.
“Here come the Jets, Like a bat out of hell. Someone gets in our way, Someone don’t feel so well! Here come the Jets: Little world, step aside! Better go underground, Better run, better hide! We’re drawin’ the line, So keep your noses hidden! We’re hangin’ a sign, Says “Visitors forbidden” And we ain’t kiddin’!”
This rumble goes about how you’d expect. HBK is winning for a while, then JBL gets the upper-hand. It goes back and forth like this for a little bit longer, before the Lumberjacks jump in the ring and start a-brawlin’. But wait, here comes Batista! Wrapped in gauze and carrying a lead pipe, he takes care of bidness, finishing the job by giving Big Show a spinebuster. Who didn’t see that coming? Besides Coach, who asks who would have thought that Batista would be the last man standing in the ring at the end of the night.
All in all, this was a pretty good build up for this weekend’s Survivor Series PPV. Not good enough to get me to pay for it, but still, it wasn’t bad. The question is, will any of you be watching?