Taboo Tuesday 2004

Taboo Tuesday 2004
Date: October 19, 2004
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 3,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is one of the more unique shows that WWE ever put together with the fans getting to pick the stipulations/participants/a few other things for the matches. This has presented a bit of a hard few weeks of TV as they don’t have specific matches to set up as everything has some kind of a twist included. Hopefully the finished product works a bit better. Oh and it’s on a Tuesday, which worked so well back in 1991 that they waited thirteen years to try it again. Let’s get to it.

By the way: the Bradley Center can hold about 18,000 people for wrestling. This really isn’t screaming good idea.

The opening video is about how the wrestlers have no control tonight. That works fine on paper, but when you consider how one sided some of the options are, it doesn’t hold up as well.

The set is rather cool with the stage looking like a keyboard. I miss these unique sets and you almost never get them anymore.

Coach is our emcee for the voting and we get to the important part first: the outfits for the women’s battle royal:

School Girls – 53%

French Maids – 30%

Nurses – 17%

Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. ???

Jericho is defending and we see all of the options in the back, with some of them being laughable at best. Here are the results:

Shelton Benjamin – 37%

Batista – 20%

Jonathan Coachman – 7%

Christian – 7%

Rhyno – 6%

Maven – 4%

William Regal – 4%

Hurricane – 4%

Tyson Tomko – 2%

Tajiri – 2%

Steven Richards – 2%

Val Venis – 2%

Rosey – 1%

Chuck Palumbo – 1%

Rodney Mack – 1%

There were three realistic options and two of them finished first and second (Christian being that low is a bit of a surprise but maybe fans were just sick of seeing that match). Jericho armdrags him down to start but gets armdragged right into an armbar. Some loud chops in the corner get Jericho out of trouble so Shelton backdrops him to the floor instead.

Back in and Jericho is fine enough to get two off the running enziguri, followed by a suplex into the arrogant cover gets the same. A backbreaker has Benjamin’s back bent over Jericho’s knee as the fans aren’t sure what to do here. Jericho gets caught going up and it’s a top rope superplex to get us right back to even.

The Dragon Whip gets two but Jericho scores with the running bulldog. The Lionsault misses and Shelton gets up for the top rope clothesline in another near fall. Shelton misses the Stinger Splash and a very long Lionsault connects for a delayed two. Back up and Jericho comes off the middle rope but dives right into the exploder suplex to give Benjamin the pin and the title.

Rating: C+. It took some time to get going but the last part worked well enough. Shelton needed to win something months ago so this is pretty overdue but at least they finally pulled the trigger and put him over completely clean. Jericho was really just keeping the title warm for someone anyway and it gives the fans something to cheer for early on. Also, it’s about time that they push someone to a title like this so hopefully it works out for him.

Post match Jericho takes the title, hands it back to him, and raises Shelton’s hand.

Edge says he should get the World Title match because he won the triple threat last night.

Chris Benoit promises to make HHH tap. Vote for him if you’re sick of Evolution and HHH running Raw.

Shawn Michaels says he isn’t asking for sympathy and he’s legitimately injured with a torn meniscus. Whatever is left in his knee, he’ll leave out in the ring.

And none of these speeches matter because here are the results:

Shawn Michaels – 39%

Edge – 33%

Chris Benoit – 28%

At least none of them got destroyed. That means Edge and Benoit will get a Tag Team Title shot tonight instead. Edge walks off in disgust as Benoit shakes Shawn’s hand.

Women’s Title: Battle Royal

Trish Stratus, Victoria, Gail Kim, Molly Holly, Nidia, Stacy Keibler, Jazz

Trish is defending, they’re all schoolgirls and you can be eliminated by going through the ropes. Everyone gets their own entrance to show off a bit, sending Lawler through the roof when Stacy comes out. I mean to be fair, she’s kind of made for this match. They brawl in near slow motion to start with Jazz beating everyone up and Nidia losing her top as she gets thrown out.

Victoria baseball slides Jazz out and blocks a hurricanrana to get rid of Gail to get us down to four. Stacy does her kicks and leg choke in the corner on Trish as creepy fans take pictures of the skirts flying up. A double suplex sends Stacy and Victoria to the apron but they get back in without much trouble. Victoria gets catapulted out and the fans start cheering for Stacy. The double teaming begins until Stacy kicks them both in the face and sends Trish to the apron. That’s not enough for an elimination and Molly gets rid of Stacy, only to get dumped by Trish to retain the title.

Rating: D. We’ll call this one “well what else were you expecting”. The wrestling wasn’t the point here and that’s not a bad thing for a match like this. I was worried they would go insane and make Stacy champion but thankfully common sense held strong. The girls looked great but that’s about all this had going for it, which is kind of the most important thing.

La Resistance doesn’t like the idea of just finding out who they’re facing and it’s another example of the unfair American voting system. They’re wrestling this match under protest. Todd Grisham actually remembers his history and brings up La Resistance taking the titles from Edge and Benoit in the first place.

We recap Kane vs. Gene Snitsky. Lita slept with Kane to save Matt Hardy and got pregnant as a result. Snitsky debuted and knocks Kane into Lita, causing her to lose the baby. Kane was distraught and is swearing revenge tonight where the fans get to choose the weapon. The most interesting thing here is Snitsky turning into the best built up monster heel in years as he actually did something evil and had some good insults after. Now as long as he wins here, they might have something.

Kane vs. Snitsky

They need a legal weapon, so here are the results:

Chain – 41%

Chair – 30%

Lead Pipe – 29%

Kind of weird as the chair and pipe have been used while the chain hasn’t been a factor at all. Lita actually comes out with Kane as the slow face turn continues. They get in an early tug of war over the chain, which Kane throws outside. Right hands in the corner have Snitsky in early trouble and the threat of a chokeslam sends him outside. Now we can have the chain but Snitsky takes it away, only to get caught with an uppercut.

Snitsky uses the chain to pull Kane into the post and it’s time to choke with the chain inside. Kane’s comeback is cut off with elbows and clotheslines. Some whips with the chain set up a choke, which just seems to annoy Kane more than anything else. Back up and Kane slugs away with a big boot giving us a double knockdown.

Snitsky is up first and goes for the chain but Lita takes it away. The chokeslam is broken up with right hands so Kane sends him over the top. A dropkick to the steps sends them into Kane’s knees and there’s a chair to his throat. Choking with the chair keeps Kane down and Snitsky actually Pillmanizes his throat. Kane is bleeding from the mouth but Snitsky, being a good monster, covers him anyway before the medics can come in to help.

Rating: D+. The wrestling was your usual garbage brawling but the point here is how awesome Snitsky is getting over as a monster. I know he has a very firm ceiling above him, but it’s nice to see them actually getting someone over. Raw has needed fresh blood for a long time now and Snitsky is certainly better than nothing.

The medics take their time helping Kane as Lita actually looks concerned. Snitsky continues being awesome by turning the stretcher over on the stage.

Edge is furious over not getting the title shot over a broken down has been. He cares about the Tag Team Titles (he’s held them ten times) but they’re a consolation prize and that’s not good enough for him.

Coach goes over the stipulations for Eric Bischoff vs. Eugene, but we won’t hear the results until after it’s done.

Eric Bischoff vs. Eugene

Bischoff is in his karate gear and Eugene plays with the hair clippers, the dress and the butler mannequin. Eric is smart enough to jump him from behind and kicks away but a ram into the corner wakes Eugene up. A fake knee injury lets Bischoff try a kick to the head, which just earns him some punches to his own head. The jacket comes off and Bischoff gets caught in a very long airplane spin. A big boot and the legdrop finishes Bischoff in a hurry.

Coach reluctantly shows us the results:

Loser’s head is shaved – 59%

Loser wears a dress – 21%

Losers is the winner’s servant – 20%

Coach knows this isn’t good and appeals to the fans to change their minds. He’s going to use his authority and change the decision to Bischoff being Eugene’s servant for five minutes. Actually hang on as here’s Vince to disagree. He heard what the fans said and they’re in charge on Taboo Tuesday. Bischoff tries to leave so Vince threatens to fire him. Eugene gets to do the shaving and that’s almost too much for Bischoff, with Coach talking him back into the chair. The cutting begins with Bischoff screaming that he’ll never forgive Eugene for this in a nice bonus.

Coach tries to leave but Vince isn’t happy with what he tried to pull. Therefore, he better take off his clothes because he’s wearing this dress. Vince makes sure that Coach button up because he doesn’t want a “s***”. The haircut continues and the gray roots come out, sending Vince into hysterics that Bischoff dyes his hair. Vince wraps it up as this took WAY longer than it needed to, though Vince’s antics and funny lines made it a lot more bearable.

Shawn is getting his knee taped up when Edge comes in to rant about how unfair this is. Michaels should have dropped out of this because Edge would have won. He’s nailing these angry promos so far.

Tag Team Titles: La Resistance vs. Edge/Chris Benoit

La Resistance is defending in a likely unintentional rematch. Grenier sings O Canada in French and the patriotic Edge and Benoit don’t interrupt. Edge pounds away at Conway in the corner to start and brings Benoit in to work on the chest. The first suplex is enough to bring Edge back in but this time Conway sends him into the corner. The champs take over with an assortment of forearms and choking until Edge knocks Conway off.

Hang on though as Edge needs to go outside and yell at fans as his frustrations continue. Another suplex gives Benoit two and it’s time for the chops. Edge knocks Conway off the apron and everyone winds up on the floor with Edge winding up back in trouble. We hit the chinlock back inside, followed by Conway stomping away. Grenier waves the flag as the announcers talk about Milwaukee culture because this match is really boring.

A big boot finally gets Edge out of trouble and it’s back to Benoit for more chopping as the energy just isn’t here. Grenier wastes no time in sending Benoit chest first into the buckle as the villains take over again. Benoit gets out of trouble with a release German suplex but we get the missed tag to keep Edge out. Actually that’s enough for Edge as he walks to the back (makes sense) to make this a handicap match.

Edge even leaves the arena as Grenier slaps on the chinlock in the ring. We even see the car pulling off as the hold continues. Benoit fights up and hits a top rope superplex on Grenier so it’s back to Conway. The Au Revoir is broken up and Conway is sent into Grenier to knock him to the floor. Some German suplexes set up the Crossface and Conway taps to make Benoit and Edge champions.

Rating: D. I’ve never liked this match as it just keeps going far too long when they could have done the same thing in about five minutes without missing much. La Resistance look like the biggest losers ever, though it’s not like they meant anything in the first place so the title change is actually a bit of a good idea. Let Edge get somewhere off the mega heel turn as La Resistance losing doesn’t exactly end some mega reign.

HHH thinks this whole thing is stupid and doesn’t buy the knee injury. He’ll make the injury real by the end of the night.

We look back at Shawn’s knee injury and how much it messed him up last night.

We recap Christy Hemme vs. Carmella because that’s something we need to do. Christy won the Diva Search and since there’s nothing else for Christy to do, we’re having a non-match here for Christy’s first win.

Coach is still in a dress as he announces the stipulations for the “match”:

Lingerie Pillow Fight – 57%

Evening Gown – 33%

Aerobics Challenge – 10%

Christy Hemme vs. Carmella

They both come out and disrobe behind somewhat see-through screens (you can see their shadows). We get quite a bit of time on the disrobing with Christy basically stripping and Carmella having to be told to get closer to the screen. For some reason Carmella gets to the ring nearly a minute before Christy as this just keeps going.

They disrobe…and we start with the traditional throwing of false chest enhancements. They hit each other with pillows and choke a lot as the fans start booing loudly. Christy finally covers her for the pin with Carmella’s shoulder four inches off the mat. The “match” was less than two minutes while the build was nearly ten. This was one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever seen as the Diva Search continues to haunt me even after it’s over.

Raw World Title: HHH vs. Shawn Michaels

Shawn is challenging with a bad knee and somehow, THIS MATCH doesn’t get a recap video. There’s a nine hour DVD’s worth of history between these two and it doesn’t even get a thirty second video after ten minutes of getting ready for a pillow fight? Shawn, who comes out second, takes a long time to limp down to ringside and even longer to kneel in the aisle. Just to kill more time, we get a weapons check, which is a nice thing to see for the sake of old school wrestling after the mess we just saw.

HHH slowly backs him into the corner and the referee makes him back off as JR snaps on Lawler for thinking Shawn is faking it, ranting about how Lawler needs to stop thinking about puppies and underwear all the time. Completely fair point and something that always makes me smile. Shawn tries to fight defensively but gets hit in the knee to put him in real trouble.

The slow motion beating begins with HHH punching away and hitting the knee a few times, which makes perfect sense but there’s only so much they can do under the circumstances. HHH bends the knee and we hit the Figure Four (you knew that one was coming). Shawn has to beg the referee not to stop it and, after two minutes in the hold, makes the rope for the break. The leg is pulled to the post but Shawn uses the good leg to send HHH into the post for his first major shot.

Back in and a catapult sends HHH into the post again and they’re both down. An atomic drop isn’t the brightest move so Shawn hits three of them in a row and a clothesline finally puts the champ down. Shawn gets in a low blow and a big DDT, followed by an understandably messy top rope elbow. Sweet Chin Music is loaded up and, after dealing with an interfering Batista, takes HHH down. Batista distracts the referee though and Edge comes back in to spear Shawn (Edge: “IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!”) to give HHH the retaining pin.

Rating: C. I can’t get mad at this match as they didn’t have another option. Shawn could barely walk and you can’t fault the logic. It wouldn’t have made any sense for someone as smart as HHH to work on anything but the knee so it was the only way they could go. Edge interfering at least got something out of it and Shawn tried as hard as he could on one leg. It wasn’t exciting, but they did as well as they could under the circumstances.

Post match Shawn gets the hero’s sendoff. He wouldn’t wrestle again until January.

Bischoff, now with short gray hair, yells at people in case they make fun of him. Bischoff: “I’ll fire you! I haven’t even hired you yet but I’ll fire you!”

We recap the night so far to fill in time. I’d bet Shawn vs. HHH was scheduled for WAY longer so it’s about all they can do. Aside from just having Shelton vs. Jericho go longer or something, as two of the matches didn’t even combine for four minutes. The recap eats up the better part of eight minutes.

We recap Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton. After losing the World Title, Orton started calling out Flair for being a lackey to HHH instead of a legend. Flair said that Orton wasn’t a real legend killer because he was the only real legend in wrestling. This led to Flair teasing a face turn for about an hour before attacking Orton all over again. The idea for tonight is Flair trying to be his old self one more time, which he could actually pull off. The fans want to cheer Flair at the moment though so hopefully they’re given the chance here. It feels like a filler feud before Orton can get back to HHH, but the promos have been good.

Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton

There are two real options here so here are the results:

Steel Cage – 68%

Falls Count Anywhere – 20%

Submission – 12%

Coach: “It is absolutely unanimous!” Coach doesn’t know what unanimous means. I’d have bet on falls count anywhere getting a bigger share but this was the best choice. You can win by pinfall, submission or escape. Orton wastes no time (we’ve done enough of that tonight) and starts punching so Flair chops right back. Flair takes his required backdrop but he’s up on the ropes to thumb Orton in the eye and knock him down.

There’s a low blow and a ram into the cage to draw some rather early blood. Flair drops a knee to the head as Lawler and JR compare the voting to the Presidential election. Orton sends him into the cage and hammers at the head to draw blood (well duh) and Flair’s trunks go down as he tries to climb the cage. Flair gets crotched to make it even worse but he low blows his way out of the corner. That just earns him a face rake against the cage and a dropkick to send him into the steel.

For some reason Flair goes up and…well you know the rest. Orton gets two off a high crossbody (I’ll call it a Starrcade 1983 reference), followed by the backbreaker for the same. A forearm to the back of Flair’s head actually draws an argument from the referee, allowing Flair to pull out the brass knuckles for two. Orton has to pull him back in the door but Flair is able to pull a chair in with him. The chair shot misses and it’s the RKO to give Orton the pin.

Rating: B. The blood helped a lot here as Flair tried to turn back the clock and came pretty close, but just wasn’t able to overcome the younger star. Orton got a nice win though it’s not exactly a game changer or anything. This feud wasn’t the strongest in the world to start and while the match was good, it’s not like it’s anything more than a filler feud until Orton can go for the title again.

Post match they shake hands with Flair dropping to a knee. A hug and stare end the show.

Overall Rating: D. Good opener and better main event aside, this did not work as a concept and would have been much better off as a special episode of Raw. There’s way too much down time for the results and a lot of the matches were short for the sake of pre or post match shenanigans. It’s far from the worst show they’ve ever done but it’s much more a case of an idea that works on paper but not at all in practice.

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