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12/29 WWE Heat review: Stamboli, Raven vs. Dreamer, Hardy

Dec 30, 2002 - 1:55:00 PM
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WWE Sunday Night Heat review
December 29, 2002
Aired on MTV
Report by Phil Velcro, pinch-hitting for Tony Marshall


PYRO GOOD! Commentary bad. So it must be Sunday Night Heat, hosted by Lita -- who ranked fourth behind Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Oprah Winfrey in a Gallup poll of the woman Americans most admire; and Jonathan "Coach" Coachman, who has yet to appear on BET to apologize, but really should consider it. On to the show:

(1) Maven defeats Vinny Valentino by pinfall. Vinny Valentino? Hey, I didn't know Salvatore Bellomo had a son! And he wrestles just as good as his old man ever did, too. This match was awful. It moved slower than rush hour on the Long Island Expressway. Valentino did get in what looked kind of like a head-and-arm Tazzplex, but that was about it. Maven's offense was right out of the Tough Enough Playbook. He eventually managed to hit Valentino with a missile drop-kick and roll him up for the win. Painful to watch; even more painful to recount.

Lugz Boot of the WeeK: Booker T & Goldust defeat Chris Jericho & Christian on Raw. Goldust has to be the Comeback Wrestler of the Year.

(2) Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli defeats Gabe "NMI" Roach by pinfall. Another guy plucked from obscurity to appear on Heat. Roach put on a slightly better performance than Vinny Valentino, but then, he had a better opponent. He also fulfilled his one-suplex-per-jobber requirement nicely. Stamboli showed off his power with an awesome overhead belly-to-belly suplex, and what started out as a hanging vertical suplex but ended with The Grappling Guido dropping The Battling Bug gut-first onto the top rope. Towards the end, Roach went to the top turnbuckle and set up camp. Coach said, "1782 called. They want their telegraph back." Sure enough, when he finally did jump off, Stamboli was waiting for him. The Bull hit his military-press-into-powerslam move, then his spinning leg-drop off the top turnbuckle. One, two, three; it was over. Thankfully.

I find it puzzling that guys like Saturn and Mike Awesome are looking for work while the likes of Vinny Valentino and Gabe Roach are on Heat. I also find it puzzling that you drive on a parkway but park on a driveway. Ba Dum Bum.

Backstage, Raven is talking to The Hurricane. Whatever he's selling, The Little Green Machine's not buying. Hurricane leaves and in comes Chief of Stuff Morley. He expresses "The Administration's" concerns about Raven's Masterpiece. Morley tells Raven that if he eighty-sixes the Masterpiece crap, he'll get a chance to get back on Raw...IF he can defeat Tommy Dreamer -- the guy who beat him and got him kicked off Raw in the first place. Raven jumps at the chance to work with D-Lo Brown again and takes the deal. The Chief of Stiff goes away happy.

Raw Highlight: Triple H arm wrestles Scott Steiner. Where's Ted Arcidi when you need him?

(3) Steven Richards (with Victoria) defeats Jeff Hardy by pinfall. Prior to the match (in a taped segment) Richards is asked about his relationship with Victoria. He replies by moaning in orgasmic delight. Jeff Hardy comes out looking like something out of a Wes Craven movie, but, to borrow from The Who, it's just a trick of the light.

Jeff starts off with a hip-toss and some arm-drags that knock Richards for a loop. Richards comes back with some punches, knocking Hardy down. Richards then mocks Hardy's Nadia Comenici pose. A little back and forth into the corner action and Richards sends Hardy flying out of the ring over the top rope. He brings him back in and delivers a series of knee-lifts to the midsection, then a suplex. Richards then applies a full-nelson, sitting behind Jeff, then sitting on his back. Jeff breaks free, drops down, and kicks Richards in the face. Then he hits him with a Reverse of Fate but can't make the cover. Both men are down and out.

They get up, trade punches, and Jeff goes for a kick to the midsection that's caught by Richards. Jeff then twists and somersaults, kicking Richards in the chest. He hits the ropes and holds on as Richards attempts a drop-kick. Jeff nails him with a Compactor, then a reverse Compactor/pinning predicament. He only gets a two-count. Jeff then drills him with a Whisper in the Wind that bloodies Richards' nose. He goes up for the Swanton, but Victoria jumps up on the ring apron and distracts the ref. Richards hits the ropes, knocking Jeff down onto the turnbuckle. When he flops into the ring, Richards hits him with the Stevie-T and gets the duke. Nothing special.

"Grandpa, will you marry me?" The Al Wilson-Dawn Marie saga is recapped. Don't miss their wedding this Thursday on Smackdown. Dawn Marie's registered at Trashy Lingerie, by the way. Al and his prostate will be arriving in separate limos.

Raw Retro: November 26, 2001 -- Truly a lowlight in the rich tapestry that is Monday Night Raw. Jim Ross joins Vince McMahon's Kiss My Ass Club.

Raw Highlight: The above clip is played on last week's Raw and J.R. and The King are caught on tape complaining about it. This draws the ire of Eric Bischoff and Chief O'Hara. They force Ross and Lawler to wrestle as a tag team or lose their jobs. They'll face William Regal & Lance Storm. With some help from the Dudley's, Jim Ross finally gets a victory in Oklahoma.

A commercial airs for Tough Enough 3. They imply that Jonah gets cut, which probably means that someone else will.

WWE Rewind: June 24, 2002 -- Tommy Dreamer beats Raven on Raw and Raven gets banned from appearing on that program.

(4) Raven defeats Tommy Dreamer by pinfall. To be honest, a pretty lousy match considering the history between these two. Raven, who looks like he's been using the Jerry Lawler Total Body Workout, gets annoyed following a brief punch-kick fest, drops his kilt. Strange to see him wrestling in brief black trunks. More punching and kicking ensues, and then Dreamer throws Raven into the corner, but Raven moves out of the way of Dreamer's spear attempt and Tommy's left shoulder hits the ring post. Raven immediately goes to work on it.

Raven methodically works over Dreamer's left arm, cinching in an arm bar with Dreamer on his hands and knees (a la Arn Anderson). There's no quit in Dreamer, though, and he refuses to submit. Raven brings Tommy into the corner, climbs to the top turnbuckle, puts his knee against Dreamer's neck and drives him face first into the mat. Raven goes for a pin but Dreamer kicks out. Raven maintains his arm bar and drives Tommy face first into the mat again. Still he only gets a two-count, and then Dreamer breaks free and goes on the attack.

Tommy nails Raven with a couple of clotheslines and a sloppy neckbreaker. He throws Raven into a corner, then climbs and pummels him, biting him for good measure. Then Dreamer hits him with a bulldog, but Raven kicks out of his pin attempt. Dreamer goes for a Death Valley Driver but Raven manages to reverse it. Still, Dreamer scores with a DDT. Raven then lowblows Dreamer and rolls him up for the win. He celebrates being allowed back on Raw, ecstatic at the thought of jobbing to Batista.

Poor edition of Heat. Very weak. Oh well, see you next year.

Phil Velcro and Tony Marshall first met back in 1979, teaming up to run guns to the Contras in Nicaragua for the CIA. To this day, Ollie North denies knowing them. Send feedback -- encrypted, please -- to tmarshall@pwtorch.com.


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