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Y2J: Chris Jericho

The Game, Triple H

Rob Van Dam

Slobberknockers abound
The Oratory RAW Review Crew: 09/16/02

Actually, I thought the booking of RAW was slightly better than what we've been seeing over the course of the last month. The entire program was based entirely around RVD and Triple H, the champion and his challenger, as any good pre-PPV program should be. The challenger looked strong, capable and willing to take the gold from his opponent at the end of the night, and the audience wanted to see blood. Unfortunately, a few variables took what would've otherwise been an almost-average program and flushed it down the little holes in a stand-up toilet. No sir, not even one of those urinal ice cubes could stop the missteps poisoning this week's RAW.

So we kicked off with a twenty minute promo... fair enough, I'd still rather see Triple H and RVD for that period of time than Vince McMahon. RVD got a chance to develop a little more on-screen color, and was successful to an extent. I'm still having trouble accepting him as a vicious guy during the heat of a match, minutes after he's cracking jokes and acting like a tool on the mic, but for what it's worth he was entertaining during this segment. He seemed like a real guy, amidst a crowd of overacting musclemen. I smiled at his "spewing water" joke, and agree that Trips should have followed it up with a snide comment about the shoulder-points. And, after that, I was just dying to see Jeff Hardy stumble down to the ring with his black light intro and his shoddy, half-body paint job, only to be met with spasms of laughter from both Van Dam and Hunter. If you're talking retarded ring entrance habits, that guy's gotta take the cake.

I was just thinking to myself, moments after his loss; "Man, what exactly does Ric Flair mean anymore? It's almost nothing to beat him these days, and painfully obvious he should gracefully step down." And, sure enough, there's Hunter to voice my opinion and bring out the old Ric Flair, swingin' away. I hope my premonition that he's got one last, big storyline in his near future holds true. If anyone in pro wrestling deserves to go out on top, it's Ric.

Too bad terrifyingly bad booking is holding this "UnAmerican Invasion" back from realizing all it could be. There's the possibility for a legendary storyline here, picking up where Bret left off, but not if these two can't beat Bubba and Spike Dudley on their own. Seriously, when was the last time Storm and Christian won a match convincingly? When they beat Edge and Hogan for the titles? Prior to that? These guys could do so much, they could go so far, but their heat is fading fast after near-squashjobs from Kane, Bradshaw, Bubba and Spike. Give them some momentum, give us (and by us, I mean America) something to fear, but most of all, QUIT WORRYING ABOUT WHAT THE CENSORS WILL THINK AND DO SOMETHING REVOLUTIONARY! Jesus, it's sitting right there... you have no problem giving us lesbians up the wazoo, but questioning the government when there are serious reasons to question it? Gah... McCarthyism, here we come.

And then Jericho and RVD come back out and steal the fucking show for like the 5th week in a row collaboratively. It was really nice to see a clean finish in this one, espcially considering it was a straight submission. Kudos, kudos, kudos for that. With that in mind, what good will the Intercontinental title do for Y2J? Nothing, probably, but at least he's active. Remember when, faced with a 'going nowhere' feud in WCW, Chris would turn it into a feud you'd buy an entire PPV for, based solely on his mic work? What happened to that guy? Where's the Jericho that would spit at WCW's refusal to give him a good angle, and make one of his own, for better or for worse? His ringwork's nearing another peak, but I'm just not excited about the character any more. Something tells me he isn't, either.

Booker and Test had a sweet series of nearfalls right within their grasp, but killed it with the botched spots. Too bad, maybe a rematch should be in order when they come back down from mile high. Great to see the missle dropkick return to the Book's repertoire, and it's nice to see him finally land that rollup from the corner combo he's been attempting for about six months.

I think I recited the whole B&C / Island Boys segment word for word, with a few variations, the second time we saw the 'protesting females' on camera. It served to appropriately build the feud, but they're playing their cards totally backwards here. Rosie and Jamal are cheered every time they're on camera. They're as much heels as Brock was at Summerslam. Bischoff is far and away the more appealing GM, and fans vocally support him. Why Stephanie can't understand this is beyond me... why does she think the fans have forgotten how they booed her boring ass out of the arena only four months ago, when she was "gone from the WWE for good"? A notice, Ms. McMahon... the audiences don't like you, no matter how often you're seen schmozzing with their favorites. You are not a face, and you're a waste of television time. Show me one person who's a fan today because of Stephanie McMahon.

Finally, the main event. Wow. If you want an example of everything going wrong, that was it. Hey, let's take a commercial break while Triple H is down, so the live crowd dies for good. Maybe Trips should revive a dead move... a move Jeff has countered over 500 times with a sitdown jawbreaker, and nobody in their right mind takes seriously any more. Shoddy calls, and added onto the dozen botched spots Hardy attempted, they became all the more glaring. The main event alone drops my score by a good half point.

Like I said, this week should've been better than last week, but the crew had an off night as a unit and a few bad calls killed the whole beast. Still, I wasn't as bored out of my mind as I was seven days back, so it takes a step up. Below average, but better than before.

Score: 4.25 / 10


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