The Oratory RAW Review Crew: 06/09/03
I wasn't as peachy with last night's show as big Jay was, boys and girls. Though I raved about last week's program, the potential in the storylines being introduced and the improved, confident direction the show was taking, this week's episode only really served to bore me. I don't know, maybe I was in the wrong mindset, but aside from an ultra hot final five minutes this show was painfully bland.
Goldberg and Rosey brawled early, leaving the home viewing audience to wonder who would pull out the first unintentional, brutally stiff shot, injuring and / or mutilating the other guy. Goldberg's offense looked surprisingly weak here, concentrating almost entirely on kicks, knees and a dropkick that was nearly as ugly as those performed by Erik Watts in the late 80s. Even the holy spear didn't look as impressive as it has throughout the rest of Billy Bo's WWE career. There was no emotion in this match, and when you're a guy like Goldberg, who relies heavily on his charisma, that's a really bad thing. Finally, after hitting the spear and diving in for his finisher, he gave the crowd a glance, roared and hit a powerful-looking jackhammer for the win. This didn't do anything for me.
It took them long enough to pull the trigger on this RVD / Kane breakup feud. I liked where they took Kane last week, but I can't say I'm eager to see where it leads this Sunday on PPV. Kane was finally given a strong direction last week, but I have no idea where they can take it from here. Maybe the big payoff to his lack of direction and motivation wil be... a long, directionless, unmotivated stay in the midcard. Nice. Oh, and RVD / Dupree didn't get me up and out of my chair, either.
Wait, scratch that. I did get up and out of my chair during the match, but it was just to stir my boiling pot filled with Mac & Cheese. A man's gotta eat.
Good lord, they've pulled out the big, gimmicked circus wheel of death again. It's really convincing when they spin the wheel, zoom in on the clicker, and it mysteriously slows WAY down when it gets near the spot they want. How can a company concentrate so heavily on trying to make their show a more realistic, dramatic environment, and then air shit like this? Gah...
Man, JR was hitting all the bases last night. He covered nearly all of his catchphrases, from "scalded dog" to "spitfire" to "jezebel." I think we were just a "hoss" and a "slobberknocker" away from a royal flush. After he repeatedly referred to Victoria as a jezebel, Autumn and I adopted the phrase, using it to describe just about anyone and anything appearing throughout the rest of the program. The show was much more entertaining that way. Otherwise an overly forgettable women's tag match.
I'm so pissed off about the way they've been using Lance Storm lately, I honestly wish they'd just fucking release him and let him go somewhere that'll give him something entertaining to do. I can understand why he's not complaining about the situation, because hey... the bills are getting paid and then some, but it just sucks to watch a guy like Storm in a strict jobber role, week after week. I mean, who do you think has greater longevity in the business? A washed up, roided out former tag team star with a bad back and a rambling potty mouth, or a guy who's about a decade younger, who can wrestle a clinic if the situation calls for it, but lacks a really distinct personality? Sure, it might take a little effort to get Lance back over, but it's not like Steiner is that popular right now, either. Ugly match, helping to build toward a feud I don't give a damn about.
Despite blowing the surprise to both the home and live audiences earlier in the show, WWE delivered Mick Foley at RAW's halfway mark, in what should've been a tremendous moment for casual and hardcore fans alike. It was great to see Mick again, as his presence is sorely missed from the show, but this promo wasn't really up to the level of his classics. Can't say I blame him, since he's been away for quite a while, but it deflated the segment regardless.
Randy Orton and the Hurricane had the only halfway decent match of the night, though even that was overshadowed by another angle. I'd still like to see these two involved in a singles feud of their own, completely aside from anything Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Diesel or Triple H are doing. They're both hungry, they've both got talent, and they both need a break... why not kill both birds with one stone? This was too short to really launch anybody into orbit.
Booker and Christian gave us a fun little segment, with their spinaroonie contest. I'm worried about Booker's future in the federation, but I still really like this feud. Booker wasn't too serious, yet he wasn't too cheesy either, the King was moderately funny, and Christian was just great. I've never really been as insanely into his promos as the rest of the Oratory seems to be, but I really enjoyed his bit last night. This was a fun, time-conservative way to build for Sunday's PPV.
Rodney Mack is officially dead in the water. Yeah, let's invest some time in getting some heat on this guy by throwing him out there opposite some white jobbers, set up an ideal predicament to introduce a fresh, young face, (which is something we're REALLY COMMITTED TO DEVELOPING, right?!?!) and then just kinda let the whole thing fade away in favor of a nonsense feud with the Dudley Boyz. And hey! We'll screw with things even further by teaming him up with one of the whitest guys on the roster! Great. Teddy Long almost single-handedly saved this segment by claiming Mack was teaming with Nowinski because Chris "took a class on African American history in college," but there's just too much crap going on to save this.
Then the REAL Mick Foley rolled his way down the entryway and helped us close this show off in style. He didn't have to take that nasty bump on the stairs to really get this segment over, the booking was strong enough to have done that on its own, but it sure helped grab my attention. I loved that Mick had no problem with admitting he's no longer a wrestler, that Triple H will assuredly kick his ass. I also loved that he showed us all the "never say die" attitude didn't fade away with his wrestling career. Great segment, that made me about twice as interested in Sunday's main event as I was before. Of course, my interest going in was null, and zero multiplied by two is still zero, but hey... I've gotta give the bookers some credit where it's due.
A horrible show with the exception of the Booker / Christian segment and the Foley / Trips closing. MLW, airing on the Sunshine Network directly after RAW, only had two matches this week, (and one of them involved a tag team of Samoans) and it was twice as interesting as WWE's show.
Score: 2.5 / 10