The SmarK RAW Rant – 12.13.99
It’s the night after Armageddon and Stephanie’s got some ‘splaining to do! Probably while wearing leather pants.
Live from Tampa, FL, drawing 13,000. This translates to 18,000 in WWF-speak.
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler
Chris Jericho joins us to start, having won the IC title for the first time from Chyna. So now the show is definitely RAW is Jericho. So this brings out X-Pac, and he’s better at “knowing how to be treating a lady” and he wants a title shot. Allegedly Jericho’s posterior is some kind of cannabis product and X-Pac is going to consume it. Well, Jericho IS Canadian. So I guess Jericho has turned babyface in the 24 hours since the PPV.
Intercontinental title: Chris Jericho v. X-Pac
Jericho dropkicks him to the floor right away, but X-Pac dodges a blind charge while Chyna and Kitty come out to watch. X-Pac with the chinlock and he gets a spinkick and beats on him in the corner, but the broncobuster misses and Jericho makes a comeback while the fans seem pretty confused about who they’re cheering for. Jericho with the Lionsault for two, but X-Pac superkicks him and goes up. He lands on a Jericho kick and the powerbomb sets up the Liontamer, which brings Chyna down to hit the ref for literally no reason, for the DQ at 3:20. JR and King don’t understand any of this, and neither do I. X-Pac was already tapping out anyway! **
Meanwhile, Shane is DISGUSTED with the power couple.
The Godfather v. Mark Henry
So before the match, GTV pops up to reveal Mark Henry in bed with Mae Young after a particularly hectic sexual encounter, and we all know where that ended up. And weren’t these two just a team at the PPV the night before? They do some stuff for a minute and then Mae Young comes out and distracts Godfather, which allows Henry to get the dreaded rollup finish at 1:46. Next. DUD
Meanwhile, Vince is here and he’s armed with a sledgehammer. So he literally smashes down the DX locker room door, but the room is empty.
Vince McMahon and his only friend left in the world, the sledgehammer, head down to the ring and he wants that RAPIST, HHH, to come out and confront him. Wait, I thought they didn’t do rape storylines in the WWF? So Stephanie comes out and dares Vince to bash her head in, because that’s the only way Vince is getting to HHH. She then proceeds to cut a much more Stephanie-like promo about how she used Test and how watching HHH outsmart Vince got her all hot and bothered. Also, she’s still pretty pissed off about the whole Undertaker abduction deal that was orchestrated by Vince. Hell of a promo from Steph here to kick off her heel career. And if she hadn’t knocked this one out of the park, the whole thing might have fallen apart in week one, so kudos to her.
Meanwhile, Vince can’t even with this tonight, so he’s out of here and the Helmsleys are in charge of the show. At this point it really was the best idea to get Vince off TV for a few months. Plus the heel authority figure blatantly screwing over the babyfaces for weeks was still a relatively fresh concept at this point.
The Rock & Sock Connection v. The Dudley Boyz
Rock does a whole deal with Wade Boggs about chicken beforehand, which seems to amuse Wade. As Dave noted in the Observer, Rock literally could have been reading out of a phone book and winning best on interviews at this point. D-Von does the “Three commandments” deal with Rock, which sets up Bubba stuttering and Rock telling him “I-I-I-It doesn’t matter” what their names are. Rock could literally no wrong at this point, although I think this is where they dropped the dumb stutter gimmick for Bubba and repackaged them. Bubba gets worked over by the faces to start, but the Dudleyz beat on the Rock until he comes back with a nut punch on D-Von. Mick comes in and immediately gets pounded by Bubba in the corner. D-Von brings a chair in, but the ref steals it and calls for the DQ at 2:47. So this brings out HHH for his first act of dickishness, and he declares that Rock didn’t read the fine print and it’s actually a no-DQ match. So we take a break and return with Rock wreaking havoc with the chair, because hey, it’s no-DQ. Bubba takes over with a sideslam on Rock for two, but Rock gets a DDT for two. Mankind comes in and the Dudleyz hit the Wazzup on him, allowing D-Von to work him over on the ropes and Bubba to choke him out. Bubba gets cocky and walks into a double arm DDT while Rock is all coked upon the apron and waiting for the hot tag. Mick goes low on Bubba and Rock gets his hot tag and destroys the Dudleyz to set up the People’s Elbow on D-Von for two. Bubba takes the ref to make the save, but now HHH interrupts again. This time he brings out a mystery ref in a Vince mask, who puts D-Von on top of Mankind and counts the pin at 11:34. Turns out to be Al Snow, but Rock gets rid of him and hits a Rock Bottom on Bubba for the pin at 12:23. Well this was kind of a mess, although the Dudleyz were really showing the edge that would get them over. **1/4
Meanwhile, X-Pac is wearing a wetsuit for some reason.
Meanwhile, the Mean Street Posse stop by the office to suck up to the bosses, but Stephanie wonders why they didn’t show respect to her when she was dating Test. So they can wrestle the Acolytes.
WWF Women’s title, Chocolate Pudding match: The Kat v. Tori
You keep thinking they’ve hit rock bottom for this title and they keep finding new depths. So Tori has no gear, but Stephanie forces her to go out and wrestle in her underwear. So they roll around in the pool of pudding, but X-Pac comes out with his wetsuit and falls on top of Tori, which knocks her out and allows Kat to retain at 1:15. And then Kane slams X-Pac into the pudding before the Outlaws lay him out. And then Kat gets mad at Lillian Garcia for calling her Kitty, so Lillian ends up in the pudding as well. We can only hope they do a pudding match at Evolution this weekend.
Meanwhile, the announcers hype up a Steve Austin that can cut promos, and of course it doesn’t work live on camera and they pretend like it did. “Folks, it really does work!” Because WCW. No, wait, that was force of habit, sorry.
The Acolytes v. The Mean Street Posse
So this doesn’t go well for the MSP and Pete takes a sick chair to the head from Bradshaw and the match just kind of ends at 1:10 with no bell. So…they won? I guess?
Meanwhile, the Outlaws stop by the office and there’s HAM!
Cage match: Edge & Christian v. The Hardy Boyz
So HHH wants to see a cage match, and we get a cage match. That’s a pretty fun way to be mad with power. Kind of like Dario Cueto. This is escape rules, but only one person has to escape. E&C double-team Jeff to start, but Matt hits a Splash Mountain on Christian. Hardyz with the Whisper in the Wind on Edge and there’s zero heat for this. Matt and Christian try to climb out and Christian brings him down with a Russian legsweep off the top. Jeff climbs to the top of the cage and misses a swanton as they’re just pointlessly killing themselves here. Everyone climbs to the top of the cage and Matt and Christian end up battling on the outside, which leads to them both hitting at the same time. So we continue with Jeff and Edge left in the ring. Jeff with the Twist of Fate on Edge and he climbs out, but Christian puts him on his shoulders to stop him, and Edge falls out of the door to win at 5:35. Just a bunch of MOVEZ, although the finish was clever. **1/4
Meanwhile, Kane and Tori are trying to leave, but HHH calls them back because Kane has a triple threat match, NEXT.
Kane v. Road Dogg v. Billy Gunn
The Outlaws hit a double suplex on Kane, but he comes back on them and slugs Billy out of the ring. Back in, Kane blocks the funky punches with a big boot and goes up with the flying clothesline. Chokeslam on Mr. Ass gets two. He goes to chokeslam Dogg as well, but Gunn catches him with the fameasser to save, and the Outlaws hit a double neckbreaker for two. Spike piledriver finishes at 2:38. Next. ½*
WWF title: Big Show v. Big Bossman & Prince Albert
So this was originally going to be HHH winning the title here, but his knee was so wrecked that he couldn’t work and had to do the backstage deal instead. The orange tattoo deal appears here again, this time asking us to “survive”. DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. Show beats on Bossman on the ramp and misses a blind charge in the ring. Albert comes in and Show hits a half-dropkick on him, but Bossman provides interference and the heels take over. Show is CRAZY thin here, although he still kind of sucks at this point. Chokeslam gets two on Albert, but Bossman saves and Show puts him away with the chokeslam at 1:56.
Meanwhile, HHH and Stephanie want the Outlaws to defend their tag titles, and they’re like “Nuh uh”, so HHH gives them shit and Steph wants to see HHH team up with Test and act as challenger.
WWF tag team titles: The New Age Outlaws v. HHH & Test
HHH is still lacking the water spit portion of the entrance, but he’s getting there. The Outlaws jump Test on the outside and run him into the stairs. Dogg chokes away in the corner and the crowd is completely dead. Just like Test’s career at this point. Perhaps those are connected somehow. Test comes back with devastating hiptosses on the Outlaws and a big boot on Dogg while Steph cheers him on for some reason. HHH comes in and feigns outrage with the ref while the Outlaws double-team Test on the floor. Back in, Test makes a comeback as the crowd remains dead silent, but Dogg gets a clothesline off the middle rope that gets two. Steph continues cheering for Test while HHH does a fake deal where he’s mad about it and this match is SOOOOO dead. Test makes his own comeback on the Outlaws and HHH personally drags him back to the corner and makes the tag, then of course turns on Test for the beatdown at 5:31. JR just now figures out that this was a SETUP. Amazing. HHH literally stood on the apron for the entire match due to the aforementioned knee injury. I keep thinking it’s the final burial of poor Test and they keep finding ways to beat down and humiliate the poor bastard every week. I feel like I’m gonna type “Well, that was the end of Test” and then the next week they’ll literally have him castrated on national TV or something.
Rough start to the McMahon-Helmsley Regime with a brutal show, but they were still working out the kinks in the post-Russo, pre-Kreski era. I’m gonna let it play out and see where it goes.