TV REPORTS KELLER'S 10/18 Raw Review: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live show
Oct 18, 2004 - 10:13:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
OCTOBER 18, 2004
LIVE FROM CHICAGO, ILL.
-After a recap of last week's happenings with Shawn Michaels, Edge, and Chris Benoit, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show, hyping the main events of Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit vs. Edge in a triple threat match and a debate, plus Batista & Ric Flair vs. Chris Jericho & Randy Orton.
-Eric Bischoff stood mid-ring in his black karate outfit. He called out Eugene. A countdown on the screen said there was less than an hour left before Taboo Tuesday voting began. Much to the chagrin of WWE and ABC, the Red Sox-Yankees game just moved to extra innings. Bischoff told Eugene he had been an embarrassment to the family for years. He ran down the stips, and taunted Eugene with each of the possibilities. Bischoff then called out Gene Snitsky to face Eugene. Ross and Lawler said they thought Bischoff was dressed up to fight Eugene on Raw.
1 -- EUGENE vs. GENE SNITSKY
Ross said Bischoff barred Kane from the building. Eugene began no-selling when Snitsky rammed his head into the top turnbuckle. He then tossed Snitsky to ringside. Bischoff freaked out a bit, but when Eugene went to ringside, Snitsky caught him and rammed him back-first into the ringpost. Lawler wondered which stip fans would vote for. Snitsky went on to score the clean pin after an awkward sideslam. Afterward, William Regal went after Snitsky, but Snitsky soon took Regal down with a chairshot at ringside. Bischoff then wheel kicked Eugene to the side of the head, then left the ring with a big grin on his face.
WINNER: Snitsky at 3:25.
STAR RATING: 3/4*
-Ross plugged that the debate was up next.
-Todd Grisham introduced Edge, Chris Benoit, and Shawn Michaels. They stood in front of podiums in the ring. Grisham said they agreed not to get physical until later. Edge spoke first, saying he guaranteed he'd beat Triple H. He said he deserved the opportunity because he never had the opportunity before. Benoit said he has defeated Triple H before and he'll beat him again. Michaels said Edge and Benoit may be master debaters, but he has a master plan to beat Hunter if he gets the chance. He then said he wanted to have the triple threat match now. Edge moved away from his podium, breaking the rules as agreed to in the 320 page document setting forth the debate rules. Benoit and Michaels followed. Edge went after Benoit. Benoit suplexed him over his head. Michaels went to superkick Edge, but Edge ducked and he kicked Grisham instead. Well, he came close to kicking Grisham, but it didn't look like he made much contact if any. Grisham went down hard anyway. Edge retreated to the back as Michaels and Benoit stood in center ring.
-Upon slow-mo review during the commercial, that kick missed Grisham by about a foot. Grisham collapsed as if he had been shot. WWE could have fun with that by replaying it in slo-mo and have Grisham admit he wasn't touched, but he was so scared as he saw the foot coming his way that he passed out. Seriously, though, unless Grisham was out of position, Michaels shouldn't have come up that short.
1 -- TRISH STRATUS & MOLLY HOLLY & GAIL KIM vs. STACY KEIBLER & VICTORIA & NIDIA
The focus of the commentary was on the "attire" stip for Taboo Tuesday. If I were WWE, I would have had a graphic on the screen the entire show that reminded viewers of the PPV taking place tomorrow more than even the countdown to voting. It's a different night for a WWE PPV, so they can't stress it enough during the show so it doesn't slip the minds of channel-flippers. Victoria finished off Kim with a Widow's Peak.
WINNERS: Victoria & Keibler & Nidia at 3:30.
STAR RATING: 3/4* -- Fine action, good energy.
-They replayed the Regal-Snitsky brawl earlier. Then they went backstage where Snitsky was bragging on his cell phone backstage (breaking WWE policy!) about what he did to Regal. Lita slapped the phone out of his hand and accused Snitsky of killing her son. She began punching away at Snitsky, who no-sold it and then slammed her against a wall. He said it wasn't his fault, but tomorrow night her husband would lose his match just as she lost her baby.
-Ross and Lawler introduced a clip of Randy Orton on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last week. Kimmel made fun of Flair's age, saying he might as well be fighting Andy Rooney and said one stip should be a "colostomy bag." Is there a nastier word in the England language than "colostomy"?
-They showed Flair and Batista backstage. Flair didn't look happy. Hunter told Flair not to let the Orton situation get to him. "You are Ric Flair," said Hunter. "For you, it's never going to be old. It's just going to be great. You understand me?" Flair, who looks terrible from the front with his hair pulled back into a pony tail, finally smiled and said, "Never have I been better! Whoo!"
2 -- RIC FLAIR & BATISTA vs. CHRIS JERICHO & RANDY ORTON
After three minutes of non-stop action, they went to a commercial break.
They announced that the polls officially opened at the top of the hour in the midst of this match. Jericho took a sustained beating. Orton got a hot-tag at 13:00 and went to work on both Batista and then Flair. Orton tagged Jericho back in and he hit an awkward crossbody block onto Batista. He followed with a bulldog on Flair. He dropkicked Batista off the ring apron, but as he played to the crowd, Flair got up and chopped Jericho. Flair then shoved Orton into the ref, then gave Orton a low-blow. Flair then did a brief strut and whoo. Jericho surprised Flair and locked him into the Walls of Jericho. Flair tapped. Batista then blindsided Jericho with a clothesline. Flair then put Jericho in the figure-four and Jericho's shoulders were counted down for a nearfall. Jericho then tapped out quickly.
WINNERS: Batista & Flair at 15:29.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Good tag match. No time-filling restholds. The closest to it was an upperbody chinlock/crab combo by Batista on Jericho, but it was hardly a passive time-filler type hold. Surprisingly, this match didn't do anything concrete or memorable to promote either Flair vs. Orton or Jericho vs. potentially Batista.
-Ross and Lawler plugged online voting.
-Vince McMahon walked to the ring and then bragged about the revolutionary Taboo Tuesday concept. Christian interrupted. Ross and Lawler were surprised, saying Mr. McMahon doesn't like to be interrupted. Christian said his "Christian Coalition" is everywhere in Chi-Town. Why did it take so long to come up with that one? Christian said there is one thing that can take his quest to get the IC Title shot over the top, and that is an endorsement by Mr. McMahon. Tajiri came out and asked McMahon to endorse him. He hugged him and said he loved him, and that's why he should endorse him. Coach then came out, talked down to Tajiri, and asked for McMahon's endorsement. McMahon said he hates to be interrupted. Then Rhyno ran out. Gee, might we actually learn something about Rhyno since we know absolutely nothing about him after how many hundreds of TV appearances. If you close your eyes, Rhyno sounds just like Brock Lesnar. Rhyno said he was there to Gore everyone in the ring into next week. McMahon said they were all acting like children. When Christian said, "Children who are the future of..." McMahon interrupted him and told him to shut up. McMahon said he had a solution. He said they all needed to be adults. Hurricane's music then interrupted. Shelton Benjamin came out next. McMahon finally got a chance to announce that he was holding a six-person match and the winner would get his endorsement.
3 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. HURRICANE vs. CHRISTIAN vs. TAJIRI vs. COACH vs. RHYNO
Vince joined Ross and Lawler on commentary. Vince said he hates interruptions. Just as much, he hates extra inning games that never end between teams representing two of the top five markets in the United States the day before a major expirimental PPV. Lawler bragged to McMahon that he was the first to vote online.
They said during the break, Rhyno eliminated Tajiri after Tajiri kicked Coach off the ring apron. Christian shoved Coach into a Rhyno Gore leading to Coach being eliminated. Christian then gave Rhyno his finisher for the win. In the end, Shelton pinned Christian with t-bone suplex. Afterward, McMahon told Shelton he endorsed him. Shelton said if he hadn't interrupted him earlier, he would have said he didn't care about his endorsement. He is only one vote. He said he is there to impress the fans in the crowd. He said, "You saw me go through five... well, four guys and Coach, so you know I can beat Chris Jericho and become the new Intercontinental Champion." Ross said he was surprised Shelton would call Mr. McMahon "Vince." Shelton isn't anything special on the mic, but that can be an asset because he doesn't seem to be trying to be something he's not or overly "catch phrase" oriented at this point. Shelton is the runaway winner in the Torch's online poll, so WWE may have decided to basically give away that he's the top candidate with that performance and endorsement.
WINNER: Shelton pinned Christian at 11:03.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- All action, but as usual with a six-way elimination match, not much of an internal storyline due to lots of tags and no sustained beatdowns. Overall, a good segment from the McMahon interruptions to the match and the post-match mic work. It established many of the top contenders, but left out Batista who is in second place in the Torch's online poll. What about Maven and Stevie Richards? It tells you where these wrestlers stand in McMahon's eyes by either being included or not included in this segment.
-Ross and Lawler plugged the main event.
-Carmella and Christy talked about their preferences for the Taboo Tuesday stips. Carmella wanted the workout gear stip voted for. Christy said she'd do anything the fans wanted. She then turned her attention to having kissed Eugene, then said this week she is going to kiss Lilian "Late for the Bus" Garcia. They locked lips briefly. Lilian kissed back, although it wasn't exactly passionate or steamy. Carmella hit Christy from behind.
-Ross and Lawler ran down the complete Taboo Tuesday line-up. Then they replayed the three-way confrontation between Edge, Benoit, and Michaels earlier.
4 -- EDGE vs. SHAWN MICHAELS vs. CHRIS BENOIT
Triple H joined Ross and Lawler on commentary. Hunter said it was a disgrace that over a million fans had already voted in WWE's online poll to determine his fate the next night. Hot opening minutes with Michaels diving over the top rope onto Edge and Benoit at ringside, then they cut to a break.
Good News: The Red Sox-Yankees game ended in time for fans to flip over for the overrun and ending of the main event. Bad News: Game six is tomorrow night head-to-head with Taboo Tuesday, meaning even if the buyrate is down for the PPV from what they hope or anticipate, there won't any way to know whether it was because of game six of the top rivalry in sports taking place up against it or because Tuesday night is a bad night for a wrestling PPV. At 11:00 Edge speared the ringpost when Michaels moved, then Benoit went for a pin and scored a near fall. Benoit aggresively and quickly applied a Sharpshooter. Edge held off long enough so that Michaels had a chance to superkick Benoit. Hunter said it's amazing what those three were doing just to get Hunter into the ring. Ross called it a "car wreck in Chicago." Hunter said, "If they don't bring them in in a wheelchair, they'll bring them out in a wheelchair." Edge scored a near fall on Benoit at 12:30. When Edge went for a spear, Benoit side-stepped it and went for a Crippler Crossface. Benoit then rolled up Edge, but Edge rolled through and yanked on Benoit's tights and held the middle rope and scored the three count at 13:18. Hunter stood on the announcers' desk holdling his belt in the air as the three potential opponents looked on.
WINNER: Edge at 13:18.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Very good, all-action three-way match.
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