Written by: Kevin Kildenberger
RAW is changing things up. No more Corporate Ministry. Vince will be back but perhaps there will be no long ass, self-promoting promos for a couple of weeks. HHH has entered the uppercard and his “dickish” heel persona is pretty good. No more DX and penis jokes or at least less of them. Rock is entertaining. Austin gets stale but has not worn out his welcome (for me) yet. It is becoming clear that they have little for the Undertaker, Kane and Big Show to do. The abject failure of one of their biggest angles is not too baffling. The thing became an albatross with too many members, far too much going on with too many subplots and swerves. The Undertaker being a tool for Shane and everyone for Vince. The “great” unveiling was an absolute debacle. Too many members flipping, hell I do not think Mankind being the mastermind could have saved this disaster. Undertaker’s gimmick took a turn to the absolute absurd and with him being just a puppet, harmed his character as someone not to be trifled with. He also became weaker in the ring getting knocked around by Austin (then again who does not). I just hope they start focusing on tighter storylines, have longer matches (better ones too) and keep the swerves and flips down to an absolute minimum and just stay on course and not change things up every week. Also, it is Y2J time. I loved his WCW run. Now I have taken exception to some things he said in his book, and felt he whined at times (the first book as I have yet to read the second one). He had broken out of the Cruiserweight division and got a lot of air time. His feud with Goldberg could have been classic but was aborted, and I do not blame him for being angry about that. It could have pushed him through that glass ceiling. Maybe not, but you never know. He was feuding with Booker and Steiner but by then it was clear he was leaving and so lost…..or he may have lost anyway. Now had he signed with WCW my guess is that he would have won the US belt at least briefly. The cynical side of me, with WCW being what it is, Jericho would have received a two month push, won some matches and either gotten close to the belt and then no dice. Or he would have won it for a month or so and then dropped being back to where he was before: A solid midcarder who could be counted on having a good match. He may have won the TV title and feuded with Benoit, Booker, Eddie, Vamp, Buff and the Steiners. Now that would not have been bad as they are all fairly entertaining, but he deserves to be in the US title hunt, feuding with those guys right now and then win the belt and have a long reign with feuds against the above and DDP and even some matches against Sting and Bret Hart. Perhaps moving onto a few world title matches. We will see how his WWF run starts. One thing for sure his entrance is spectacular but it is the follow up that matters. He will not be WWF champ for two years…..Nitro was blasted in the head to head as it only stayed in the 2’s for a 3.0 total while RAW got a 6.3.
Here comes the Rock. Show wanted to go after him but the Undertaker held him back as he wanted to hear what he had to say. Rock has come back to Chicago and tells the Big Show should have never put his hands on him. Show has never impressed him and calls him the Big Slow. Everyone watching declares it is time to take a leak because this guy sucks. He makes fun of Show raising his hand as that is all he can do. Here comes Show and Undertaker. Rock refuses to run and gets his ass stomped. Here comes X Pac and he goes after the Undertaker. Pac is headbutted and down he goes. Show grabs him and decks him. Here comes Road Dogg and he attacks Show but is promptly dismantled. Now Kane lumbers down and he unloads on the Undertaker and takes it to Show clotheslining him over the top rope and UT gets it too.
A limo has arrived and here comes Shawn.
Pac tells Cole to shut up. His concussion is fine and it is time to take care of some business. He calls out the Acolytes.
Match 1: Christian v. Gangrel
Christian kicks him but is dragged into the corner where they hammer each other. Christian escapes with a Tornado DDT. Gangrel cannot escape and is nailed with an inverted DDT. Hardyz run out and get kicked off the apron and Christian leaps on top of them. Back in the ring Gangrel finishes him off. The Hardyz stomp on Christian and help out Gangrel. Hayes runs down and tells them to stop it but he gets dismantled and beaten to a pulp.
*1/2 Not sure why the Hardyz are heel or why Gangrel keeps winning.
Acolytes accept the challenge.
Here comes Jesse Ventura with Lawler doing the interview. Jesse brags about himself. He was a Navy SEAL. There are a lot of frauds and pretenders but really are not real people. Many ran off and hid when it was time to serve their country. People who pretend they are SEALS on bad TV shows with bad haircuts. He is a real man and he brings up SEALS. He continues talking about them. He is a real wrestler, and he emphasizes the world wrestler over and over. He talks about the title match and brags that because of him Vince is not here tonight. Here comes HHH. Jesse has a short message for HHH and Chyna. HHH needs to work on his wrestling moves as the best man will win. It is his way or the highway. HHH mocks him about Jesse talking about former this and former that. Something must be wrong with his brain and HHH is called an asshole. HHH gets in his face and tells Jesse that he is not in Minnesota, and Jesse says this may be his ring but the country is Jesse’s. Jesse brags that he was with the president. HHH reminds him that he is now with him and threatens to kick his ass. Here comes Shawn Michaels. Jesse has standards and practices that he has to abide by but Shawn does not. Shawn declares that Jesse will be the most powerful ref in WWF history. Shawn reminds HHH that he brought him into this world and threatens him. HHH shoves him and Jesse gets in between the three to calm things down. Shawn is calmer and normally he would beat his ass right now. Jesse has informed Shawn that they have power and this is about politics. Shawn makes a match. HHH v. UT v. Austin in a Triple Threat match. It may indeed be HHH’s time but it his Shawn’s way!
Austin has arrived.
D’Lo is exercising with Mark Henry. Jogging that is. Apparently Mark has to take a dump and goes into the woods. JJ and Debra happen to be driving by and JJ to the chagrin of Debra beats up Brown and speeds off.
Match 2: Jeff Jarrett (c) v. Val Venis
The fans want Puppies. JJ dropkicks him but runs into a powerslam. Val covers him and gets two. They go back and forth and Debra may have cost him the match….well, he blames her as he was rolled up.
*1/2 angle advancement.
JJ is yelling at Debra and Val beats him up and JJ leaves.
Austin is laid out at the bottom of some steps and is being checked on. JR wants to go to break but they show a bit more.
Afterwards Austin is wheeled into an ambulance and is unconscious. There was a cinderblock near his head. HHH asks what happens and HBK tells him that he will pay.
Shawn comes out and someone will have to pay. It could be the man who has to face Austin at the PPV or has to face UT and Austin tonight. You are damn skippy it is. He tells HHH to get his skinny ass out here. He has not come out. HBK assures everyone that HHH will not get out of the match tonight and no one puts on over the Commish. HHH comes out imploring that he does not know what happened. HBK taught him everything he knows but HHH is still the student. The Triple Match is now a falls count anywhere match, no DQ or time limit or count out. It is for the number one contendership at SummerSlam. HHH is livid as he yells he earned that spot and Shawn cannot do that to him. HBK responds that he can do whatever he wants. He will be the ref too. HHH claims there is no one to take Austin’s place. HBK is willing to find a replacement and who is the man to stab their own mother in the back to get the opportunity, who has been living ins someone’s shadow for so long they would jump at the chance for a title shot. The Rock chants downed down. Tonight it will be HHH v. Undertaker and the third opponent will be Chyna. HHH giggles a bit as Chyna looks stunned. HHH tells Shawn that that is enough. Chyna is just a girl and could get hurt as this is serious business. She is pissed and takes the mic. She will take the opportunity and tells Hunter to try her.
Chyna and HHH are arguing in the back. Well, HHH is trying to explain himself.
Match 3: Kane and X Pac v. Acolytes (c) for WWF Tag Titles
Kane and Bradshaw tear into each other. Bradshaw knocks him into the corner and here comes Farooq. They battle until Kane drops him with a big boot. Pac gets the tag and scampers around like a bunny hitting both Acolytes but turns into a Farooq chokeslam. Now Bradshaw is working him over and whips him hard into the corner and down goes Pac. Pac is up and chops away but Bradshaw intercepts the spinning heel kick and spikes him getting two. Farooq is tagged in and he flings Pac into the corner and gets two after the backbreaker. Here comes Bradshaw again and he puts Pac in a bearhug. Pac escapes but eats a big boot to the face. But Pac is able to recover and counter with an enzuguri. Kane gets the hot tag and flies off the top rope striking with a lariat. Kane opens up on both Acolytes. He goozles Farooq but is clobbered by Bradshaw, however he takes out both men again. Bradshaw clotheslines him to the floor and pulls Pac down by his hair. Kane though pulls Bradshaw to the floor and Pac finishes Farooq with the X Factor.
** Not bad. But Pac was not the legal man. Acolytes start getting a push and it gets stopped.
X Pac wants Kane to say Suck It without the voice box and he does so. Fucking seriously? Jesus, is this a cartoon?
Here comes Show and Taker and they stomp the shit out of all three (Road Dogg had come down to celebrate).
Mr. Ass is on GTV talking about his ass.
Match 4: Posse and Steve Blackman v. Test and Ken Shamrock
Fuck, Shane is at the announce table. Ken and Test start strong. Joey Abs takes down Test and Shane runs in and sprinkles in some kicks. Now Blackman tears into Ken. Back in the ring Test takes out Abs and connects with a swinging neckbreaker. Shane yells at Test and the distraction allows Abs to blindside him. On the floor Steve and Ken are battling. Ken blocks a shot and uses the Kendo Stick, Shane runs over with a chair and gets his head taken off. In the ring Test finishes Blackman with the pump handle slam.
** Short but decent brawl. Crowd was hot.
Test takes the chair and shatters Abs’ ankle with it.
Mr. Ass wants his ass rubbed as it is all red.
Here comes the Rock!
First Cole is with Test and he states the obvious that the Posse were taken out. Test just wanted to be alone with Steph so those buttsniffers were taken out. He goes over their injuries. Nobody is left but Shane.
Terry with Steve Blackman. Steve will step into Ken’s world the Lion’s Den as long as there are weapons. He screams something and leaves.
Now the Rock comes out. Rock tells Show that if he has any balls he will face him tonight and he will check himself into the SD Hotel. The Millennium is counting down! The fans are buzzing. The lights go out and there is an explosion and here comes Jericho!! Holy shit this is awesome. We are welcomed to RAW is Jericho. He blows kisses to the crowd. He is the new millennium for the WWF. For those that do not know him, he is Chris Jericho there new hero and party host. He is the most charismatic showman to grace a TV screen. For those that know him all hail the Ayatollah of RocknRolla. He talks about the dawning of a new era in the WWF. Rocky chants drown him out a bit. A new era is what the WWF needs. It has become cliched and boring. It needs a knight in shining armor. Chris Jericho is here to save the WWF and now the fans cheer again. The ratings and buyrates are down and mainstream acceptance is non-existent. The live crowds are silent. They are silent because they are embarrassed to be here. There is a steady stream of uninteresting and untalented sports entertainers. Those in the dressing room are idiots as is the guy in the ring. The fans have been trained that mediocrity is excellence but he is the one who is excellent. Now there is a man they can cheer for and raise their fat hands and scream “Go, Jericho, go” and now all the fat idiots in the WWF including the one in the ring will realize that the WWF will never be the same. Rock is not too happy and he says after three boring minutes that Jericho needs to know his role and shut his mouth. How dare the little Jabroni come on his show and not introduce himself. Jericho starts to say something and it does not matter what his name is. The Rock has a plan of his own, the KY Jelly plan and the fans erupt. Rock is going to lube his size 13 boot and stick it up Jericho’s candy-ass. Jericho looks like he is crying and Rock does his catchphrase. He spits at Jericho who glares and puffs out his lips in anger or shame….
Holly is in the back telling everyone he is looking for the Big Show.
Chyna is lacing her boots.
Match 5: Big Bossman (c) v. Road Dogg
Non-title. Road Dogg takes him down and brings in a table. He wallops him again and then brings in a chair and is kicked in the gut and he is knocked over the head with the chair. Bossman starts to pick him up to slam him into the table. Snow comes down and hits him with something and they go through the table and Rod Dogg gets the win.
* Pretty lame.
Show is walking in the back as is the Rock….
Match 6: Rock v. Big Show
Rock takes it to him and rock him with numerous blows. He runs him into the corner and hammers him. Show tries to grab him but Rock floats behind and gets two after a Russian sweep. Show ducks a blow as does the Rock off the whip and Show takes him out with a flying shoulder tackle. Show did not duck….Show chops him a few times in the corner and drops him with a headbutt. He clubs the back a couple of times. Rock fires back but one shot from Show drops him. Show uses his boot to choke him out in the corner. Rock fights him off but is whipped into the ropes and runs into a big boot. Bearhug. Jericho punches free but he is sideslammed and Show gets a near fall. Here comes Holly! He hits Show and Rock slams him and sets up the elbow. Here comes Jericho and he hits the Rock and runs. Ass runs in and beats up the Rock while itching his ass.
** Not bad. Overbooked ending.
Match 7: Chyna v. HHH v. Undertaker
Jesse is the guest announcer. Chyna is down as HHH and Undertaker hammer each other. She is just biding her time. But goes after the Undertaker and is picked up. She rakes the eyes and goes up top but is punched clean off. I “love” HBK’s short-shorts! HHH hammers UT and clotheslines him to the floor. They fight up the ramp. UT is battered and run into a post and nearly pinned. HHH straddles him and hammers away. Back in the ring, UT makes a comeback but is nutted by Chyna and both he and HHH stomp a hole in him. HHH shakes her hand but Chyna clotheslines him and then uppercuts him in the nuts. Chyna turns right into a chokeslam. HHH knees UT into the ropes and covers Chyna but UT makes the save. UT and HHH are slugging it out. Austin has arrived and shoves some poor dude off a chair in the back and takes the chair. UT and HHH keep going at it. UT clears both Chyna and HHH out of the ring. He acts like he wants to take out HBK now! He goes out after HHH and Chyna and hammers the former. Here comes Austin and HBK tries to stop him but ducks and the chair shot takes out HHH and Chyna is placed on top as the Undertaker looks on in anger and she gets the win.
** This could be interesting. A Russo specialty with feuding friends….It is a bit too much but it adds intrigue.
*** I thought the first hour was really fast paced and fairly exciting. Ventura’s promo was a bit long winded. Jericho’s was great but he was overshadowed a bit by the Rock, however he did make a splash. We will see what they do with him. There was only one decent sized match but none were really that bad, and it was a bit promo heavy but they were well done. Overall two weeks in a row of good shows for both Nitro and RAW. Nothing great but like I said it is a step in the right direction. Of course Austin recovered but it was nice to see no Vince, and only a little of Shane and Austin.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.