Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
by Captain Stratusfied
Captain Stratusfied. That's my name. Well, not really, but you can call me that. Or whatever you want. That doesn't really matter. All that matters is that I'm here to give you your weekly rundown of the premier wrestling television program of World Wrestling Entertainment, RAW. I'll give the basic rundown of what happened, give my opinion, and you can send me your opinions or questions. Or not. You could just read. Anyway, on to this week's episode.
So, the show kicks off this week with a tag team match pitting Muhammad Hassan and Daivari against Chris Jericho and Shelton Benjamin. Let me just say that, despite the negative opinion many fans have of Hassan and Daivari, I like them quite a bit. Hassan is a gem in the ring. He makes it all look as if it comes with ease. He's a good talker, but than brings me to Daivari. As good as Hassan is on the microphone, Daivari is one step ahead, even if most of it goes misunderstood. Hassan needs an annoying lackey, or else he wouldn't be as over as he is, in my personal opinion. This was a decent match, but it didn't do a whole lot for me. And, as badly as I hate to say it, I think the reasoning behind that was our beloved Chris Jericho. He's just gone stale these past couple of years, and he knows it. I understand he's losing interest in the product and is considering not re-signing with the company when his contract expires later this year. Signs appear to be pointing to him not re-signing, as after Muhammad pulled out a victory after Jericho was distracted by Daivari, Jericho just left the ring in disappointment. More on that later. Muhammad and Daivari win this one, much to my delight, actually. Muhammad is going to be something big, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's sooner than later. Perhaps a feud between Hassan and Benjamin for the Intercontinental Title is looming?
We now see Chris Benoit backstage talking to Tajiri. They both pretty much state that Paul Heyman contacted them with an offer to be a part of the upcoming ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view. Benoit says he has this great idea for himself and Tajiri to have a classic ECW rules match later in the night in light of the upcoming show. William Regal shows up and is reluctant at first to let Tajiri go through with the match, as he feels he and Tajiri have a bright future together as a tag team. However, he eventually gives in and it's official: Chris Benoit VS. Tajiri in an ECW rules match later in the night. I found this segment shockingly entertaining, considering I'm rarely entertained by any of these men, in or out of the ring. But, Tajiri speaking Japanese and Benoit and Regal somehow knowing everything the poor guy said was pretty good.
Another backstage segment, this time we see Eric Bischoff talking to someone off-camera. Coach runs in freaking out over something and runs right into Bischoff. That Coach? I tell ya'? It wouldn't be RAW without him. He's trying to tell Bischoff all about what Benoit and Tajiri have planned but Mr. Bischoff tells him it's going to have to wait, because he is in the middle of a meeting? enter Ric Flair. Now, much like it wouldn't be RAW without the Coach, it just wouldn't be wrestling without the Nature Boy. He's still trying to stress to Bischoff how badly RAW needs Triple H, but ultimately gets the brush-off. Ric spots Batista in the hallway and the two have a surprisingly civil conversation. Batista calms Ric down an assures him that this is no one's fault but Triple H's. He also slides in a little side note about how he has the utmost respect for the Nature Boy and proceeds to perform his best "Woo!"? which sounded more like my grandma's sickly cough than a show of respect for Naitch. That's why Ric then showed him how it was done.
Here is a match that's right up my alley. Why? Because it involves Captain Charisma himself, Christian! This guy is finally getting the push myself and all the other real Peeps -- not the Johnny-Come-Lately's -- have been waiting on for years. He's got the best entrance theme, gimmick, and mic skills on RAW right now. He's the best thing they've got going, which is why if they have plans to move him to SmackDown!, they're about to make a huge mistake. Anyway, this week he's going toe-to-toe with the man, Ric Flair. Now, we were supposed to see this match last week, but what were we thinking? I mean? really. You KNOW you can't get the Cap'n without first going through the Problem Solver, Tyson Tomko, who, by the way, has improved greatly the last few months, and should Christian get drafted to the? other show, Tyson needs to go with. The match delivered, in my definition of "delivered". It was everything you could ask for in their first match with one another on RAW. Lots of interferences by Tyson and lots of tight-pulling. Christian got in some good Nature Boy impressions, even pulling off the infamous Nature Boy stagger-and-fall. I definitely would have preferred a different outcome. Don't get me wrong, I love the Naitch, but if we're building Christian to be a big star here, perhaps we could try letting him win a match or two. In the beginning of the Gold Rush tournament, he lost to Kane. This time, it's Ric Flair, which there is no shame in, but it could have done wonders for his career. Or? maybe I'm overreacting. The Hurricane pinned the Nature Boy a couple times in 2003 and, well? so Christian rolls Flair up and grabs the tights, and Flair returns the favor by reversing the roll up and grabbing loads of Christian's tights to capture the victory. Christian and Tomko jump Flair, which brings out Ric's dashing prince on horseback, our World Heavyweight Champion, Batista. Let me stop for a moment. You'll probably notice me making a lot of cracks at Batista, and that's not because I don't like the guy really. I just have mixed feelings about him. I give him credit where it's due. First thing's first: Triple H is no longer the champion. Another thing is that he's undeniably over with the fans. Here's where my disagreement surfaces. He can get the crowd going, which is good. I think it's harder for an up and coming baby face to get that loud of a pop than it is for an up and coming heel to get good heat. They could be booing the heel because he's boring. But something about Dave Batista really gets to these people and they cheer him through the roof. But, I don't understand the appeal. I'm not impressed with his in-ring ability. The only thing I'm impressed with is his occasional good mic work, but even that is over-the-top cheesy and clich?. Last week, he told Triple H to not let the door hit him on the ass on the way out, and those people went nuts. Maybe I'm just not gifted with the ability to see Batista for the amazing entity that he is. Back to the show. Batista comes out and throws Christian and Tomko around, powerbombing them both to hell, and leaves in a stare-down with Ric.
The first of three backstage segments building up to the Edge VS. Kane Gold Rush Finals match is shown. Lita and Christy are talking when Edge shows up and pretty much tells Lita to tell her husband that Edge has no plans of losing tonight. If anyone didn't figure it out last week when the Edge/Kane match was announced, by this point everyone knew what was going to go down. However, building up to it was all the fun. I was eating this storyline up.
We see Maria catching up with Christian after his loss to Flair and after being on the rough end of a Batista-bomb. After last week's incident where she called Edge "The Edge" and got seriously made fun of by HBK, Maria has to go and cement her status as the dimmest young lady to ever grace RAW television by asking "Are you hurt?" Christian put the ditz in her place and proclaimed to Tyson that this thing with Batista and Flair wasn't over. Not by a long shot.
Well? we, unfortunately, have to sit through another Masterlock Challenge. What can I say about this segment? It's the same damn thing we've seen for the past two months. No, wait. This time he offered 6,000 bucks. Ooooooo. The paid loser didn't break it. Really, though, the only thing different this time was that Steven Richards returned from Masters having broken his nose months ago in his debut and took it to Masters until the referee jumped between them and Masters ran off. Power to Stevie.
The next of the three Edge/Kane segments. Edge is on camera, minding his own business, and out of nowhere Kane appears and chokes the living hell out of him and warns him to never speak to his wife again. Edge sold this well, and I think that's saying a lot considering the camera was all up in his face.
Next up is the ECW rules match between Benoit and Tajiri. This one barely gets started before it is interrupted. Benoit has Tajiri on a table on the outside and Benoit is on top of a ladder in the ring, signaling for a diving headbutt when the Coach runs out screaming. He tells them to put everything on hold because Eric Bischoff knows of what's going on and has something to say. Eric's music cues and he proceeds to announce that the match currently in progress is over. He says that RAW will have nothing to do with ECW. The "ECW" chants will not continue, all ECW signs will be confiscated, and any and all RAW superstars are banned from participating in the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view, with the exception of himself and a select group of his superstars when they march into One Night Stand and put an end to ECW once and for all. I smell a one night royal ass-kicking for RAW at the hands on ECW next month.
A lingerie pillow fight. Well, I don't think there's much I can say about the Diva Search rejects and the Diva Search winner Christy Hemme that hasn't already been said. I'll just say that they're polluting our rosters and replacing women that could actually entertain. Big-budget mistake, Vince. After Christ won with a unique pin and this suck-fest was over, after seeing Christy Hemme look for something at ringside that was obviously supposed to be there and wasn't, and even hearing her ask Lilian Garcia "Where is it?", Big Vis made a special appearance. Can I just get this out of my system? RAW IS VISCERA. This man is really running with the ball he's been handed lately. As bad as I hate to admit it, the gothic thing has been done and people just don't buy it anymore. He's really pulling the man-whore thing off well, and I'm really glad he decided to wear a suit tonight. After a very long segment, but not regrettably, he worked his big magic by making out with a cotton candy-wielding fan and inviting Lilian Garcia, his new love interest, up onto the bed used for the lingerie pillow fight and romancing her with a song. She seemed oddly pleased and he gave her an invitation to his apartment. I loved how Lilian fell off the bed when Big Vis told her his apartment number, 4...69. She handled herself very well in that segment, and might I say, Viscera simply has a delightful voice. Can't get enough of Big Vis, babe.
The last of the segments involving Edge, Kane, and Lita. I get the feeling this one was just an attempt to savor any shock value that was left for the big turn that was to take place later. Kane assure Lita that there was nothing to worry about as far as Edge, and that soon Kane would become the World Heavyweight Champion. The proceeded to make out. Not the only action Lita's getting tonight. Oh. Spoiler alert.
Shelton Benjamin is shown backstage talking to Chris Jericho about the way he left after the match. He wants to know if Jericho is ok, and Jericho informs him that losing a wrestling match is nothing after you've done what he's done. He rants on and on about his band, Fozzy, and gives Shelty a copy of their newest album and invites him to one of their shows. This is all really played off to make Jericho look as if he's losing his interest in wrestling, which nearly confirms that Y2J could be about to make his grand exit from the company. If only WWE had not let his character go so bland, we could still have classic Jericho moments to look forward to for years to come.
We're now treated to a Tag Team title match. Although I can't say The Hurricane and Rosey are the best choice for tag team champions, I think this thing they've got going with Simon Dean and Maven is great and is the most entertaining thing the tag team division has seen in years. Maybe it's my high approval level of the pairing of Simon Dean and Maven. I love both of these guys, and I personally think they work great together. I'd like this feud to carry on for a few weeks with Dean and Maven ultimately winning the tag team gold and maybe having a good solid run with it. But for now, they're the challengers, and in the champions' corner is Stacy Keibler dressed in a Catwoman-esque outfit. The superheros pick up the victory in an entertaining match.
We come back from commercial break and? what's this? Randy Orton?! I won't go into my adoration for Randy Orton. He obviously failed as a baby face, but I blame that all on the authorities turning him too soon and in the wrong way, and on Triple H for his unwillingness to not be the top guy. Randy is one of the best heels I've seen. He's in my top five list and? well, I said I wouldn't go into it. I'd heard about the haircut, but didn't think I'd like it. I did, however, end up being quite fond of it. It works for the young lad. I was very excited to see him, and even more excited when Vince showed up a couple of minutes later and I realized that much like Christian did about a month ago, Randy was about to do some mic work opposite Vinnie Mac himself. Randy had let it be known that he was coming back to take Batista's World Heavyweight Title because since he was on the injured list, he was not open game for the draft. Well, after trashing Randy for losing weight and sporting a cheap haircut, Vince assured Randy that he is up for draft, as there are no exceptions. He went on to announce the draft will start in three weeks from Randy's hometown, St. Louis, Missouri, and that it would be a month-long event. I was quite upset that we still have to wait three more weeks for this draft, thus waiting nearly twice as long as we were told we'd have to, but I was happy to know it is going to be a month-long event, and not just a one-night thing. I thoroughly enjoyed this segment.
It's finally time for the main event. Edge VS. Kane with Lita at ringside in the final match of the Gold Rush Tournament. The winner will go on to face Batista next week on RAW for the World Heavyweight Championship. This match was pretty good. As good as a Kane match can be. I'm a huge Edge-Head. Have been for many years. It took me a little while to warm up to this new angry gimmick, but I'm loving it now, and I'm loving the push he's getting. Toward the end of this match, it starts swaying back and forth a lot. Edge misses a couple of Spears and the referee gets knocked down a few times. The last time, Edge makes a run for his beloved briefcase. He charges at Kane with it but fails to connect. Kane goes for the briefcase, now lying on the mat, but Lita takes it and assures Kane she's holding onto it so Edge cannot get to it. Kane nods his approval and goes for the top rope. While he's climbing, Lita slides the briefcase to Edge and jumps up to distract Kane. Kane ultimately jumps anyway and gets nailed in the head by Edge's briefcase. Lita wakes the referee up and he counts Kane out. Edge wins the Gold Rush tournament with the help of his now on-air girl, Lita. Lita jumps into Edge's arms and even pulls off Edge's signature tongue thing. They walk to the stage and as Kane sits up, they engage in the hottest kiss I've ever seen on television. Kane just looks on in shock. Now, I hear that Matt Hardy has already commented on this, saying it was disgusting to exploit something so personal for a wrestling angle. Well, I might get a lot of hate mail for this one, but I really wish Matt Hardy would put a sock in it. What Edge and Lita did was wrong in the eyes of many, I personally won't judge that because I'm not in their shoes, but it's done, and things are how they are. After reading what Edge's insanely dramatic and immature wife had to say about all of this, and after being annoyed week after week with the Matt Hardy chants, and after reading Matt whine about the whole thing all the time, I'm all for Edge and Lita, and I support them, together or not. Tonight, Edge and Lita delivered the ultimate "eff you" to each and every person who won't stop giving them hell for the whole thing, and for that, I applaud them.
That's all for RAW: Reviewed this week. This has been Captain Stratusfied, and you can reach me for questions or comments at the below address. Stay fabulous.
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