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Booker T Delivers a Spinaroonie

Eric Bischoff


Slobberknockers abound
The Oratory RAW Review Crew: 07/15/02

If I had a nickel for every time over the last twelve months I've seen something I never, ever thought I'd see, I'd.... well, I'd have a lot of nickels. Approxomately $1.25 US, give or take a few. From Ric Flair staring face to face with Vince McMahon to the "invasion" of the nWo to the events of this past evening, 2002 hasn't been a year devoid of shock value. However, as one big "can't miss" angle after another falls by the wayside, I can't help but wonder if the creative team is really thinking things through. The nWo injection could've been huge, if they'd thought things through beyond WrestleMania. Shawn Michaels alone could've held my interest for six months with just a little bit of direction. And now we've got probably the biggest surprise of them all; Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff. Embracing on the RAW runway, before Vince hands the show over to him... glancing, like a concerned parent, over his shoulder one last time. Talk about an image that's going to stay with you.

And, I cannot lie, I couldn't sit still for that entire commercial break after Booker put my own thoughts into words; "Tell me I didn't just see that." They had me, hook, line and sinker. I just couldn't wait the three minutes to see where they were going to take this. And when Eric spoke, I listened. At least, for the first ten minutes I did. But while Eric meandered along, reintroducing himself again and revisiting old victories, my mind began to wander. I wondered where this put Chris Jericho, who'd stuck it to the Bisch only minutes after winning the WCW World Title, who left the company almost solely to escape this old tyrant. I wondered what impact, if any, this had on Steve Austin's decision to walk out. I wondered if I'd ever see Mick Foley again. I wondered what Ric Flair was thinking. I thought of every wrestler Bischoff had ever burned bridges with, and I wondered... where does this take the locker room morale?

It wasn't until after the show that I realized it; Bischoff isn't here to single handedly run the company. He won't be writing, and for good reason. Easy E was a one trick pony, and Vince has already tried that trick on his own turf. It failed. Eric won't be hiring or firing talent, running WWE into the ground the way he did WCW. He'll just be on-screen, livening things up and playing the role he fits to perfection; somebody for the crowd to direct their "asshole" chants towards. Bischoff is the ultimate slimeball, the one man every WWE fan should hate with a passion, the ultimate embodiment of evil in that world. Then again, he's also their savior. Without Eric Bischoff, I'm willing to bet Vince McMahon's enterprise wouldn't be nearly the monster it is today. Names like Mysterio, Guerrero, Austin, Benoit, Foley, Jericho, Raven... we wouldn't even know them, if Bischoff hadn't put them in a position to be plucked by McMahon. If he hadn't given them air time to develop into what they are today. If he hadn't scorned them to the point that they'd put their own lives on the line to drive him out of business. If he hadn't given Vince competition.

So, yeah, I'm all for this new turn of events, at least for the moment. Let's just hope they know where they want to take this.

The rest of the show was very solid, a certain improvement over last week, with Tommy Dreamer and Stevie Richards really stealing the show. A wild series of false finishes, a hot crowd, an insane bladejob, and perhaps the most realistic finish I've seen in months. Dreamer, over the course of the last two weeks, has become an undeniable hero. Let's just hope they've noticed.

Thank you sir, can I have another?

Score: 7.5 / 10


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