WHEN did William Regal officially turn babyface and side with Eugene against Eric Bischoff?
HOW did Rosey stop being a S.H.I.T.?
WHERE was I when Rhyno and Tajiri became a tag team together?
WHY the hell didn’t we ever get a World Title match with Chris Benoit defending against Chris Jericho?
Questions like these bring us to this, my own little pseudo year-in-review piece. As more and more old television shows are being released on DVD, fans get to see deleted/alternate/longer scenes that add to a story and sometimes even fill in the blanks. That’s what wrestling needs. It’s time for the stuff left on the backburner to be served up as the main course. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “RAW, 2004 – The Lost Episode.”
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW live on Spike TV
(This episode should have aired between Vengeance and SummerSlam)
The show opens with all four members of Evolution in the ring (as if you’d expect anything different). Randy Orton takes the mic and begins to talk, but HHH snatches it away from him. Orton is clearly irked, but Ric Flair calms him down. HHH whines about not being the World champion and demands that Bischoff do something about it.
Bischoff comes out on the stage and tells HHH that the status of #1 contender is in limbo “until further notice.” Bischoff says that he can’t give HHH another title rematch tonight because Chris Benoit will defend against Chris Jericho at the top of the 10:00 hour. Bischoff further states that he has his own problems, and explains that the reason he deputized Eugene as Raw’s GM for a week was because he knew that his nephew would screw things up so badly, Mr. McMahon would beg him to come back. He said it worked like a charm, but Eugene is still a thorn in his side. Bischoff does the “you scratch my back” insinuation and sets up tonight’s main event of HHH & Randy Orton & Batista vs. Eugene & William Regal in a handicap match. JR spazzes out at the announcement.
Backstage, Kane power-walks into the building, shoving stuff (and people) out of his way.
Commercial break. Spike TV publicly apologizes for “Joe Schmo 2.”
Good back-and-forth action, as JR touches on their ECW history together. Rhyno sets up the gore, but unbeknownst to him, Tajiri grabs his throat, preparing for the mist. But just as the lads are ready to zap each other, the pyro goes off and Kane stomps down to the ring. Kane double-chokeslams them, 911-style. Rhyno and Tajiri fall out of the ring, but stay at ringside, selling the chokeslam. JR points out that Rhyno and Tajiri had been beating the hell out of each other for several minutes, so they don’t get buried TOO badly.
Kane takes the mic and says that he has something to get off his chest. He claims Matt Hardy’s win at Vengeance was a fluke and once he disposes of Matt at SummerSlam, he and Lita will live happily ever after. Kane goes on with a tongue-in-cheek diatribe about how he knows that “all the boys in the back” are secretly planning a bachelor party for him, but he doesn’t want one because Lita is the only woman for him. A dejected Lawler asks JR who spilled the beans.
Matt Hardy comes out to give the “we don’t have to wait until the PPV” speech. They’re interrupted by Trish Stratus, who is about to give Kane a pre-nuptial agreement as a gift, but then she tears it up, saying that on second thought, there’s no need for it because Kane and Lita will be together forever.
Lita’s music hits for one last interruption. Lita addresses Trish’s antics by saying, “if anyone knows something about working bachelor parties, it’s you.” Trish throws a hissyfit and teases going after Lita, but Matt jumps in front of Lita. Kane blindsides Matt, and the two brawl. Matt is holding his own until Trish gives him a low blow and flees. Kane chokeslams Matt, laying him out yet again.
Kane grabs Lita by the arm in another of those “uncomfortable moment” spots. Tajiri crawls back in the ring and kicks Kane in the back. Kane no-sells the kick, but releases Lita and turns around, annoyed at Tajiri. Tajiri mists Kane in the face, blinding him. As Kane staggers around, Rhyno jumps in and hits the gore on the Big Red Machine. As Lita helps Matt up, Rhyno and Tajiri seem impressed with their impromptu teamwork and shake hands to end the segment.
Commercial break. Another wacky, zany commercial for MXC airs. As a preview, Kenny and Vic voice-over contestants beating a dead horse.
An “earlier tonight” skit airs with Hurricane & Rosey standing on a rooftop as the sun sets. Hurricane tells Rosey that after all these months as a S.H.I.T., tonight will be Rosey’s final test. If they beat La Resistance for the Tag Title, Rosey will officially graduate from S.H.I.T. to bona fide superhero. Rosey says he’s ready to join such legends as Superman, Spider-Man, and Bouncing Boy. The lads hit one last goofy pose together for old time’s sake.
Match #2: La Resistance III vs. Hurricane & Rosey (World Tag Team Title match)
The heroes have the Frenchies on the run, outmaneuvering them at every turn. JR crows, “Tonight is Rosey’s night! I can feel it!” Rosey hits the swinging slam on Rob Conway and has the match won, but Sylvan Grenier breaks up the pin. Rosey chases Grenier out of the ring and into the crowd. Grenier collides with an elderly “fan” (a plant), knocking her over. Rosey stops to help the stunt granny, allowing Grenier to scramble back in the ring where La Rez gives Hurricane “Au Revior” for the pin. Rosey fully sells the agony of defeat.
Commercial break. Spike TV runs an old commercial for “ECW on TNN.” We later learn that Vince McMahon approved this just to screw with Paul Heyman.
A miserable Rosey shuffles out of the building in his street clothes, hanging his head. He’s carrying a box labeled “S.H.I.T.” He haphazardly tosses it over his shoulder toward a garbage can, but Hurricane’s arm reaches in from off-screen, catching it. Rosey turns around, but can’t bring himself to look his mentor in the eye.
Rosey: (back to talking in his normal manner) “I let you down, man. We had the belts won and I blew it. I ain’t shi – “
(Hurricane raises his hand to interrupt Rosey.)
Hurricane: “Young Roosevelt, you are 100% correct. You are no longer a S.H.I.T.!”
(Hurricane spikes the box into the garbage can to add an exclamation point to his statement.)
Hurricane: “For tonight, young Roosevelt, you showed me something. By selflessly sacrificing personal gain to protect an innocent, you have learned your last and greatest lesson. Championships come and go, but courage, valor, and heroism are forever! Tonight, young Roosevelt, you learned that with great power…”
(Rosey interrupts Hurricane, clears his throat, and begins talking in his “superhero” voice again.)
Rosey: “…comes great responsibility!”
Hurricane: (smiles and nods) “Precisely! Consider this your graduation – (Hurricane pause) – With honors! And while I don’t have a cap and gown for you, I have something even better!”
(Hurricane takes something out of his bag and unfolds it, revealing Rosey’s new superhero costume. Rosey beams as Hurricane knights him by presenting him with his new outfit. Rosey reaches out for a handshake. Hurricane responds in kind, but just before they make contact, Hurricane’s arm spasms backward, knocking something off a nearby table. Rosey looks puzzled.)
Rosey: “To quote a fellow superhero, ‘What is (Rosey pause) up with THAT?”
Hurricane: “Ah, an old war wound, much like Nick Fury’s bad eye. I once suffered an injury during a fierce battle against one of my most diabolical rogues, the nefarious Cool Chucky P. Ever since then, my arm tends to jump, jolt, and even jerk at the most inopportune times. Why, it may someday even accidentally snatch the mask right off the face of one of my Hurri-fans!”
Rosey: “I see. That is good to know, for it may be useful information to have at a future date.”
(The lads hit their superhero pose as the segment ends.)
JR exclaims, “The heavyweight championship of the world is on the line next!”
Commercial break. Carmen Electra is vamping it up, plugging Spike TV’s newest idea, a special that counts down the best “Hottest Women Countdowns.” Her coldsore is barely noticeable.
Match #3: Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho (World Title match)
The best technical wrestling and counters you’ll ever find fill up the first 10 minutes, with both guys playing babyface. Inevitably, however, Jericho throws a punch and brawling ensues. Just after the 20-minute mark, the finish sees Benoit tumble out of the walls and snag Y2J in the crossface for the tapout. The Chrisses hug as the crowd gives both men a standing O for a tremendous match.
Backstage, HHH is mad that he didn’t get the title shot and yelling at his TV. Orton (who is drinking a cup of coffee) walks over to HHH and tries to calm him down. HHH’s arm flails as he turns to Orton, accidentally smacking the cup and spilling coffee all over Orton’s shirt. They both stop in their tracks, but before things go any further, Ric Flair jumps between them and gives the patented Ric Flair Pro-Evolution Pep Talk. Flair advises that they both focus on tonight’s match. Batista leads HHH away. Flair makes one last attempt to smooth things over with Orton, saying “It’s okay, accidents happen.” Flair then sneaks in a parting shot by saying, “You shoulda had your gear on, anyway,” before chasing after Batista and HHH. This leaves Orton, who is obviously fuming. Orton crushes the cup and throws it down.
Commercial break. Spike TV announces their next James Bond movie marathon, which will air from September 8, 2004 to June 29, 2007.
A short highlight clip airs, featuring Shelton Benjamin. Shelton says not only is he coming back better than ever, but he’s coming for “the gold.”
Back in the ring, Tyson Tomko has the mic. Tomko sarcastically acts excited that Shelton Benjamin is on the mend. Tomko looks into the wrong camera as he says, “Shelton Benjamin isn’t the only injured superstar around here, you know! What about my boss? What about my friend? Where’s the update on –” (Tomko is interrupted by Edge’s theme music.)
Match #4: Edge vs. Tyson Tomko (IC Title match)
Edge retains with the spear in a quickie. Tomko blows half his spots. Lawler says that Tomko makes a good point, and wonders just where is the update on “his boss.” It’s obvious that they’re talking about Christian, though they never mention him by name. The intrigue works better that way.
Commercial break. “Gary The Rat”? Um, never heard of it. You must be thinking of some other cable channel. That is Spike TV’s official statement on the matter. Now let us never speak of this again.
In the locker room, Benoit and Edge are cooling down and unlacing their boots.
Edge: "Dude, that was one hell of a title defense you just had. Congrats."
Benoit: "Thank you. Back atcha."
Edge: "Thanks. You know, Chris, I've never had a shot at the World Title."
Benoit: "What do you mean? You wrestled Brock Lesnar for the belt at Rebellion 2002. Remember? In the U.K.? When we were both on Smackdown?"
Edge: (pauses, scratches his head) "Oh yeah. You're right. My bad. The hell was I thinking?"
Regal: “You wanted to see me, Mr. Bischoff?”
Bischoff: “Indeed I did, William. I wanted to thank you for the exceptional job you’ve done with my nephew. I know that he’s a handful, but you’ve done your part admirably. After tonight’s main event, I think it’s safe to say that Eugene will be out of our hair for good. See, things have been so crazy tonight, I don’t think I’ve yet had a chance to inform you that your handicap match tonight will also be a (melodramatic Bischoff pause) no-disqualification match.”
(Regal does his “surprised” facial while JR and Lawler freak out.)
Bischoff: “So I just wanted to wish you good luck in your match tonight, William. I know that you’re going to do the right thing. And then next week, we’ll sit down and discuss your future here on Raw.”
(Bischoff shakes Regal’s hand, gives him a wink, and exits the scene. As Regal opens up his hand, we see that Bischoff has slipped him a pair of brass knuckles. Regal stares at the knux for the moment, and has an epiphany. A determined look crosses Regal’s face as he slips the knux into his trunks.)
JR yells, “Our main event is next!”
Final commercial break. Spike TV promises that the new season of “Stripperella” will be broadcast entirely with no spoken dialogue.
Match #5: HHH & Randy Orton & Batista (w/ Ric Flair) vs. William Regal & Eugene (No-DQ, 3-on-2 handicap match)
Eugene overpowers both HHH and RKO at first, and even goes toe-to-toe with Batista for a moment before Orton sneaks in a knee to the back. The next several minutes feature Ev triple-teaming the hell out of Eugy. Whenever Eugene goes for the tag, Regal is always conveniently just out of reach. The match is full of Regal’s tortured reaction shots as Eugene continues to take the beating of his life. JR begs for the match to be stopped.
When Regal looks away for a moment, Eugene tumbles into their corner and makes the tag. Regal reluctantly locks up with HHH, and outwrestles him quite handily. HHH gets upset and challenges Regal to fisticuffs. Regal bests him at that, too. Just as it looks like Regal is getting fired up, Bischoff walks out on stage for a closer look. Regal’s eyes fall and he tags Eugene back in, despite the fact that The Special One clearly hasn’t fully rested.
Eugene eats a Batista bomb, an RKO, and of course, a pedigree. Evolution are having too much fun playing the bullies to put him away. Orton tells HHH to make the pin, but HHH blows him off. Even Regal starts screaming for them to just pin the guy, already. HHH directs traffic, ordering Orton and Batista to hold Eugene up for the coupe de grace. HHH measures Eugene for the deathblow, but instead, opens the ropes for Regal. Regal grudgingly enters the ring. Up on the stage, Bischoff is in hog heaven. JR calls Regal every name in the book. Lawler asks, “What do you expect? William Regal was just born naughty!”
HHH points to Regal’s trunks and motions for him to use the knux. Regal complies, placing it on his fist. Eugene gives Regal the puppy dog eyes, leading to Regal’s angriest facial expression ever. Then at the climatic moment, Regal turns and KOs Batista with the knux. The crowd EXPLODES.
Invigorated, Eugene floors Orton with a back elbow. Regal and HHH struggle for control of the knux. As everything is falling apart for Evolution, Flair jumps into the ring and pulls a handful of powder out of his pocket. Flair sets his sights on Regal, but Eugene lunges at Flair, causing the powder to misfire in Orton’s direction. Orton seems to get his hand up in time. JR claims he managed to block it, while Lawler insists that Orton was blinded. Orton hesitates for a second, then stumbles into HHH, and gives him the RKO. Orton starts swinging wildly, but tellingly steps around HHH so as not to trip over him. Eugene dives on HHH and the ref counts the pin. HUGE pop from the crowd. Bischoff is literally pulling his hair out of his head on the main stage.
Flair is similarly going nuts, asking Orton what the hell just happened. Orton (who is still rubbing his eyes) just shrugs. The camera picks it up as he says, “Accidents happen.” Orton walks back to the locker room alone. He stops rubbing his eyes halfway up the ramp. This leaves Flair to try and comically drag the carcasses of HHH and Batista away by himself.
As Eugene celebrates, Bischoff locks eyes with Regal. They have a staredown that dramatically ends when Regal raises Eugene’s hand in defiance. Eugene hugs Regal. Regal shoots Bischoff a devilish smirk while Eugene excitedly waves at his Uncle Eric to end the show.
The CLUSTER PLUGGER:
Wednesday: NWA TNA Impact airs this Tuesday for some reason. Review goes up by Wednesday night.
January: It’s that time of year again. Our annual Royal Rumble Roundtable is coming just in time for the big event. And speaking of the Rumble, you can expect an updated version of my famous “Rumble Of The Damned” column to hit on 1/22/05.
February: It’s no surprise that “Behind The Pyro: Shawn Michaels” raked in its fair share of controversy. In the interest of equal time, the first BTP of 2005 will feature Shawn’s sworn enemy: Bret Hart.
Also in February: What do you think was wrestling’s worst feud ever? Well, what do you think was the 37th worst feud ever? Find out my picks when I unfurl the beast that is the “40 Worst Feuds Ever” countdown. If it’s half as much fun to read as it was to write, it will totally rock your casbah.
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).