Ted Caldweller note: Due to the impending demise of GeoCities, E-Wrestling Torch is proud to repost some classic Schmucks material on our site. Enjoy!
The “Not” Keith SCHMUCKS Rant for RAW Wrestling’s Ring Dreams 2002
Time for another Request Rant, folks. The RAW Wrestling organisation (Previously reviewed here on The Schmucks) ceased operation a few months ago, but one of their loyal fans sent me a copy of their final PPV. And so, let’s see if they went out with a whimper or a bang with “Ring Dreams 2002”!
-We are live and direct from Gay Paree. (That’s Paris, France before you start with the off-colour jokes!)
-We kick things off with a bang as Darren Walker gets jumped by Gigantor following his pre-game show match. He blades after mucho chairshottery. Rick Styles strolls out to call Nick “God” Demola out of retirement, using Walker as some sort of human punctuation mark. Oddly, we get that segment repeated in it’s entirety. Either my tape is a badly edited bootleg, or we REALLY needed to see that twice. I’m guessing it was the former.
-The opening titles show us a montage of RAWs greatest hits. (And bumps. And a chess match. Go fig.)
-Your commentators are Sean O’Brien and Buddy Robbins. Robbins goes out of his way to predict the outcomes of the matches, so I’m guessing he’s the Heel Commentator Du Jour. I recognise a number of names from Blood, Sweat and Chairs Wrestling, which isn’t overly surprising. (As both are part of a larger umbrella organization.)
-Backstage, Debonair share their strategy for beating the pot-head team of Kamikaze Blues… greasy, salty snack food. I’d say that’s pretty sound logic. They’re also supporting nifty “Say No To Drugs” T-shirts to draw heat. (Admittedly, Deboniars theme music is by the ironicly-named band “Dope”, so draw your own conclusion there, folks!)
Debonair vs Kamikaze Blues
The Blues jump Debonair from behind before their theme music has finished playing and we’re off! Tyson and James are quickly dispatched to the floor. The Blues pound them each time they try to return, before finally slingshotting Bryson in. They try to rip off his T-shirt until James saves, clotheslining Edmonds to the floor. They telegraph a double-team backdrop and get clotheslined by McCall. He dumps Bryson again and whips james into the corner. Edmonds had been going to the top there, and takes a nasty-looking bump off the top and into the steps. James takes control, T-boning McCall and tagging in Bryson. He applies the ABDOMINAL STRETCH OF INSIDIOUS HURTYNESS with Addition Heel Leverage from the ropes. And from James. McCall, your Spaced Face In Peril, finally hiptosses his way out, takes a neckbreaker and the race for the tag is on. It’s a one-sided race, as Edmonds is still KO’ed on the floor. James elbowdrops McCall and gut-wrenches him for 2. Legsweep gets 2 more. James applies a sleeper, McCall back suplexes him before the match can die a slow death. Bryson woks the leg as Edmnds revives and makes it to the apron. McCall hits a desperation spinebuster and we get the tag-race again. This time McCall makes the hot tag to Edmonds, who gets Katie to bar the door and cleans house. O’Brien uses “A House of Fire” before I get to do so, however. Bryson bails as Edmonds powerbombs James, then tries a sneaky blindside run. He gets atomic dropped and dropkicked out of the ring. Edmonds busts out the EXPLODER Suplex as McCall takes out Bryson again. Edmonds nails the Toronto Turnover, but the ref is tied up with McCall. Bryson takes out Edmonds with an elbowdrop, allowing James to get the pinfall. *** Excellent, well-paced, old-school tag match. Ricky Morton would be proud!
-Backstage, the good vibe of the show is rudely interrupted by the sight of Despair blowing chunks over Jason Midnight. That’s a pysch-out tactic I NEVER wanted to see!
-Meanwhile, Simon Underwood waxes lyrical… he’s all, like, evil and stuff.
-Meanwhile, Jason Midnight appears to have taken a one-second shower. Nice timing of the pre-taped spots, guys! He calls out Despair, who walks into an attack by Law and Order. They beat Despair with crowbars. Can’t we all just get along?
“Deadly” Derek Irvin (W/Fantasy) vs Simon Underwood (Falls Count Anywhere)
The stips give Underwood five minutes with Fantasy if he wins, but leaves RAW permantly if he loses. Irvin meets Underwood in the aisle and pummels him. They brawl back to the ring, Irvin misses an Asai moonsault and gets tossed. They brawl again, trading shots into the announce table, Underwood works Irvins knee. They quickly head back up the ramp so that Irvin can throw Underwood into the equipment area and splash him. He pins, then lifts Underwood up at 2. Well, the match IS only about three minutes old, no sense ending it early, huh? They wander up into the balcony, brawl, brawl brawl, and for a change, brawl. Irvin Implants Underwood onto the concrete and applies an armbar. Well, THAT I didn’t expect. Underwood goes to the eyes but takes a “Gobsmacker” after attempting a belly-to-belly. it gets 2. They head to the VIP Box. I feel like I’m playing Smackdown 2 on the ol’ Playstation… They randomly toss chairs about a bit before Underwood hits the Stunt Bump. (A “Transcendant Exposure” off the boxes balcony) and gets the pin while out cold. -** Just awful. Rushed, dull and with all the flow of a Bjork song.
-Postmatch, Underwood supposedly sets Fantasy on fire. Even as an angle (We’re not shown any shots of her after the match is struck) that’s unforgivable. We’ll make the match rating -**** for subjecting me to that stupidty.
Eli Steerpike vs “Incredible” Ivan Kinksi
We take a sudden left turn as Ivan Kink arrives with Lulu the Hrdcore Llama in his corner. Steerpike jumps him and administers some CASTLE ROCK VIOLENCE! He hits a neckbreaker and chokes, then tries to maim Kinski with a powerbomb into the turnbuckles followed by a belly-to-belly. it get a long 2-count. he gives Kinski a Release northern lights suplex over the top ropes. I’m in permant cringe mode as Steerpike is wrestling very, very loose tonight. Elis’ mom and (I think) wife attack Kinski with brass knuckles. Heel miscomunication results in a go-nowhere brawl on the floor. Kinski rolls Steerpike in and hits a slingshot press for another long 2. There’s a difference between “Increasing the tension” and “taking the piss”… and ten-second two-counts are swaying into the second category. Steerpike bails after a flying elbow. Evie, his wife, misses her cue, seemingly, as everyone stands around for a while. Eventually, she heads to the apron to cheapshot Kinski. Steerpike hits a trio of enziguris and a backdrop driver for 2. They wrestle over a “Killing Joke”, dragging the move out to eternity and back before Steerpike lowblows to prevent it. Powerbomb gets 2. Spinebuster gets 2. Kinkski contiues to bump around, taking a second rope piledriver to end it. (O’Brien called it the “Skullcracker”, but I’ve watched “Freaks”, and the Skullcracker is an illegal move! Dude.) 1/2* Now that’s what I call a Family-Sized Bucket of Nothing.
-Backstage, Frank Anthony of the Kings of Hardcore cuts a promo, rending incomprehensible by his accent.
-Meanwhile, Saul Akiva completes Kinskis’ great night by beating the hell out of him with a chair.
Ernest Wall vs Whirling Dervish (W/The Mighty Bomb Jack)
Ernest has apparently changed gimmicks from “Wallman” to “Brick” Wall for this match. I’m sure that was earth-shaking news to RAW fans, but to me it’s just a sign that Ernie needs a new hobby. One not involving bricks and mortar. They gets some bon mots off at each other before Dervish takes the heel route by cheapshotting Wall. He legsweeps and goes for the Boston Crab. Wall blocks it, so Dervish just slingshots him out of the ring. MBJ and FDevish stomp a few musholes in the wall and roll him back for a Jericho One-Footed Cover for 2. MBJ delivers the most blantant chairshot in months, but the ref ignores it, so perhaps we’ve gone no-DQ? Dervish kicks Wall between the uprights, Wall reverses a whip into a cobra clutch suplex. He gets a dragon sleeper and tries for a cradle piledriver, Dervish rolls him up for 2. He puts “The Squeeze” on Wall, but they’re too close to the ropes. Wall catches a Dervish cross-boddy, sets him down and offers the hand of friendship. Dervish shakes his hand, so Wall turns it into a Fujiwara armbar for the tap-out.** Brief, but energetic. (Especially considering Walls advanced age.) Clever finsh, too.
-Postmatch, Dervish and MBJ prove to be sore losers.
-Meanwhile, Spikyjim smokes, drinks and verbally destroys his opponent-to-be. Like him or hate him, the man cuts one of the pest promos in the game today. (Geez, I sound like Schivonne!)
Neil McDougal vs Spikyjim
Both guys get some major-league entrances.McDougall goes after Spikyjims’ arm after giving him some stiff shots early. Spikyjim tries to bulldog him and get hit with the Psycho Driver. (An vicious torture rack-to-inverted piledriver.) Spikyjim bails, McDougall chases and gets a wicked caneshot full in the face. A local jobber… sorry.. a fan gets a caneshot by accident before McDougall swipes it. Spikyjim takes multiple caneshots and gets busted open , possibly legit. McDougall finally breaks the cane over his head and covers for 2. McDougall gets half the cane in his face on a blind charge and does a sympathy bladejob. He blocks a tornado DDT and hits an insane moonsault suplex off the top rope for 2. McDougall misses the “Highland Fling” top-rope twisting legdrop, Spikyjim appies a straitjacket camel clutch, but McDougal won’t quit. He cradles off a suplex attempt for 2. They joust with chairs until McDougall uploads on upside of Spikyjims’ head. He hits the “Mongrel” off the top through the announce table. Spikyjim chokes out McDougall with O’Briens headset and hits the “Drunk Driver” reverse brainbuster for the win. Then gives him another onto a chair to drive home the epoint, and gives the ref one for kicks. And then the EMT’s try out the Drunk Driver for size. **3/4 Wild brawl that probably needed a little more time to develop. (And less chic-cane-eryy at the start. Get it? Oh, please yourself.)
-Backstage, the Kings of Hardcore cut an even-more incomprehesible promo. At least they’re consistent.
Kings of Hardcore (W/Bobbo the donkey) vs Deities (w/Apollo)
What is it with this fed? First a llama, now a donkey? If I break out into copius “He kicked their ass” jokes, please forgive me… Frank brings a sledgehammer with him. I’ll refrain from handing out the Automatic Sledgehammer DUD, but tread carefully, Mr Anthony. He also has a bottle of Jim Beam instead of his customary Jack Daniels. I’d consideer that slumming, but I LIKE Jack Daniels. Apollo joins the announcers as Bobbo falls off the apron trying to exit the ring. Someone call PETA, quick! Aries runs into a drop toehold from the bell and gets tilt-a-whirled. Kotani tags in, hitting a leg lariat before running into a powerslam. Mars gets the tag, Konani takes a double spinebuster and plays Tweener In Peril. Mars gets 2 off a missile dropkick. Kotani legsweeps to avoid a powerbomb and applies an anklelock, then converts it into a mid-ring Tarantula. Anthony baseball slides the helpless Mars in the mush. Innovation is a GOOD thing! Aries makes the save, allowing Mars to hit a tonado DDT and tag out. Aires hits the Baldobomb for 2 before Anthony saves, the two tumble out to the floor for a brawl. Mars hits a stunning hurricanrana from the top to the floor, so Kotani completes the trainwreck with a tope suicida. It’s BONZO GONZO as Aries brings out the table and Mars gets hurled into the fans by Anthony. Crowd-popping high-spot as Kotani takes a belly-to-belly superplex through the woodwork. (In a nicely non-contrived spot, which is refreshing!) Aries sets up a stack of two tables and tries to powerbomb Kotani through them from the ring. But YOU CAN”T POW…GodDAMMIT, O’Brien, stop stealing my lines! Anyhoo, Kotani escapes with a facebuster as Mars is shown to have bladed on the floor. Kotani chairshots Aries a couple of times, then gives him a thrid from the top rope.It gets two before Mars makes it back in the nick of time and breaks up the pin. Kotani makes it an impromptu ladder match, kabonging it off both Dieties by spinning it around over his head. (A moment that resembles a sight gag from a Chaplin movie…) Anthony gives Aries an atomic drop, landing him crotch-first on the sledgehammer. Okay, ouch! Kotani delivers an Arabian Facebuster off the top rope, Anthony adds an exclamation mark with a piledriver onto a chair and it gets… 2? Robbins helpfully points out that someone’s got to go through the tables before the end. I love it when kayfabe gets tossed out the window so gleefully… Apollo gets involved, luring the donkey away with fresh vegetables as Aries hits a pumphandle slam on Anthony. Kotani gets rana’ed off the top as Aeris puts Anthonys head into the ladder and chairshots it. Okay, double ouch! The Dieties give Kotani a Doomsday Device variation. (The variation being the flying chairshot from Mars.) Heelish one-foot cover gets 2. Aries gorilla presses Kotani onto the ladder, Anthony males the superman comeback and cleans house. He hits power moves at will until Kotani goes up and misses the 450 Kamikaze Splash. Four-way brawl on the floor, which turns ugly fast. Mars takes aleaf from Spikyjims book, brainbusting Kotani onto two chairs. Kotani reverses a whip into the ladder and applies a Fujiwara armbar through the rungs. Mars taps out, but isn’t the legal man. (Although the entire match has been a chaotic brawl so far… give the ref a pay-rise for keeping track of the minor details!) Aries makes the save, knocks down Konani and actually German suplexes him from a prone position. Yowza. Anthony gets double-teamed, Mars scales the ladder and takes the Big Bump as Konani pushes it over. If you guessed he bulls-eyed the tables, give yourself a cookie. The Kings of Hardcore give Aries the “Hard Stuff” superplex/Kamikaze Splash combo for the clean pin. ****1/2 Hey, if you’re going to finish your career in a federation with a spotfest, it may as well be a GREAT spotfest.
-Postmatch, Apollo threatens to punk out the donkey. The Deities rebel against Apollo and take him out. The ASPCA breathes a sigh of relief.
-Backstage, Adam Mitchell gets backjumped by Law and Order. (With the help of a Beautiful, Yet Evil Woman.)
-A Quick Aside: I was sent a tape by a friend in New Zealand a while back of a Public Access show called “Back of the Y Television”. I believe one of their catchphrases (from a running gag based on an incompetant stuntman) applies here…
“And then it all went horribly wrong!”
Despair vs Jason Midnight vs Adam Micthell (Light-Heavyweight Title Match)
Mitchells manager insults the French to get a Heel reaction. Of course, that makes him a face in every other country I can think of. Especially England. He tosses a fireball to blind everyone and turns out to be a Mitchell-Impersonator. The REAL Adam Mitchell enters from the crpwd and goes German Suplex crazy.He then gives away an elbowdrop with each suplex purchased. (This week only! Come on down!) He hits a full-nelson suplex on Despair and a crucifix powerbomb on Midnight.Mignight finaly backdrops him out of the piledriver and works the injured leg. Despair joins in to double-team Mitchell. The partnership lasts until Midnight rudely chairshots Despair. Midnight lifts the mat and piledrives Mitchell onto the floor. Despair Germans’ Midnight onto the conrete and goes up for a remarkable 720 splash. He tries to one-up himself with a 1080, but the laws of physics interceede and Despair nearly kills himslef on the concrete. There’s such a thing as “restraint”, man… Midnight and Mitchell return to the ring, Midnight gets the advantage and puts on the figure-four. Despair continues his display of crass stupidity by moonsaulting onto the interlocked legs of Midnight and Mitchell. (A move that could have put both guys on the shelf for months if he’d “Done a Hugh Morrus” attempting it.) He drills Mitchell with an inverted DVD, then dumps Midnight onto him with an awful-looking powerbomb variant. O’Brien makes the comment “Size matters not when the adrenaline is rushing.”… LIVE from New York, it’s “Late Night with Yoda O’Brien”! He hits a Michinoku Driver on Mitchell (A Despair Driver?) and ropewalk DDT on Midnight for 2. (The Slow-ass ref is back again, so it’s more like a 22-count.) Despair decides he’s not wrestling loose enough, so he throws Midnight to the floor with a running Liger Bomb. Mitchell gets some revenge by pushing Despair off the top rope through an announce table. (The Armenian announcer, apparently. RAW Wrestling: Our running gags last for YEARS!) Mitchell hits a plancha on Midnight, Despair stops him with the BLACK MIST OF KOOL-ADEY DOOM! He tosses Mitchell into the fans and jumps off the top rope at him. They brawl in the crowd until Midnight brings Despair back and locks in Despairs’ own “Human Torment” submission hold. Mitchell breaks it up and stuns everyone. He dominates briefly, brainbusting Midnight into the Despair Family Jewels. They go to the floor AGAIN and brawl away. Eventuall they come back inside and Midnight uses a Samoan Neckbreaker on Mitchell. (Which is just like a regular one, except you get a drink in a coconut shell afterwards. Probably.) It gets an inteminable 2. They trade dropkicks, with Mitchells’ leg collapsing as he attempts one. This would be good pyschology, if Mitchell hadn’t been selling the leg injury at random intervals throught the match. Mitchell gets 2 off a punch in the face(??) before he picks him up. (????) He overhead suplexes him, but gets caught in a headscissors takedown-to-cradle by Despair for 2. For once, Despair doesn’t attempt to break Mitchells neck while attempting the move. Despair hits a tornado facebuster but runs into the Dreamland from Midnight.for 2, Mitchell saves. (Hardly difficult, as you could boil an egg in the time it took for the three-count to occur.) Mitchell delivers the “Marksman” to each man twice, the again for Midnight. Then walks out of the match. Good God, they’re stealing from the Vince Russo Playbook! Despair pins Midnight to retain. 1/4* Like I said, if you’re going to have a spotfest… make it a GOOD spotfest. And never let Despair try a 1080 splash ever, EVER again!
Stevie Ray Murdoch & Kirk “Hurricane” Mclean vs Andraazoons vs Bennet & Rameriz (Tag Titles Match)
Murdoch and McLean ernter as tag champions. McLean steals from two WWE wrestlers, as he’s announced as “The Peoples’ Champion” in addition to his “Hurricane” nickname. Murdochs’ ring entrance involves headbutting the ringpost. O-kayyyyy. The ring intros take longer than the average Monday Night womans match, but we eventually end up with Ramirez and Murdoch in the ring. Ramirez sets the tone for the match with a lowblow within the first minute. He DDT’s Murdoch and sets him up for a superplex. Murdoich reverses it, superplexing Ramirez to the floor in a move botched so badly even Despair would shake his head and say, “Man, they F@#$ed that up pretty badly!”) I mean, he literally dropped Ramirez on his head on the arena floor. Rob Black is probably scouting for Murdoch as we speak. The champs drop stereo legs from the top onto Ramirez’s carcasse, drawing the ‘Zoons over to start the chair swinging. Murdoch blocks a chair-loaded Asai moonsault with his knees, which should have done more damage to him than to Glitteris. Glitteris sells it, though. The match, such as it is, becomes a downright mess until Murdoch hits the “Full Bottle In Front Of Me” onto Ramirez for 2, Bennet earns his paycheck by breaking it up. He tags in, only to get the “Kickstart My Heart” superkick from Murdoch, who just doesn’t seem to be in a giving mood. It gets 2. Bennett abitrairily decides to stops selling anmd uses Murdoch as a human battering ram on Glitteris. This is considered a tag, so Bennett avalanches him twice for 2 before Succubus senton bombs both of them. Geez, I know this was the last event for RAW, but everyone’s looking to end their careers permanently tonight! They manage to double-team Bennett enough for Glitteris to get a hurricanrana for 2. He tags in Murdoch and they toss Bennett out. In a contrived piece of contrivance, Bennett catches both men as they dive out and chokeslams them through announce tables. The Mongolian announcer gets a Juggerbomb before the requisite brawl. bennet gives Glitteris the “Flying Clusterfrick” on the floor. That move sums this match up pretty nicely, methinks. Everyone takes turns hitting their finisher on Bennett until Murdoch gets the pinfall. I’m all set to award the match rating, when it turns out that this is elimination style. SHIT! Some brief wrestling follows, with Murdoch playing No-Seller In Moderate Peril. He gets 2 off a hurricanrana and makes the lukewarm tag. They clean house and head outside to take out another announce table. (That joke NEVER gets old… *yawn*) Spikyjim runs-in and gives MacLeans wife the Drunk Driver. Glitteris rolls up Murdoch for the anti-climatic pinfall to win the belts for the third time. DUD Disjointed as hell, overbooked and with a nothing ending.
-Postmatch, Murdoch quits. Well, that probably saved a bunch of wrestlers from suffering injuries at his hands.
Gigantor & Mercanary vs Omega & Mayhem (Capital Title Match)
Okay, this is a steel cage match, with everyone in the ring at once. Think Kanertaker vs Kronik. Actually, try to forget Kanertaker vs Kronik and think of something more pleasant. Like root canal sugery. Big Ugly Brawl to start. Gigantor militay presses his partner onto Omega for a 2-count. Mayhem gets a bridged dragon suplex on Gigantor for 2. They pair off, with Gigantor blading quickly. Mercenary loads up his fist with a roll of small change and takes out both of his opponents. Spiked powerbomb on Omega and a strange chokeslam-with-neckbreaker combo on Mayhem get simultaneous two-counts. Everyone blades, sending Robbins into a vampiric orgasm. Gigantor throws Omega into the cage in another needlessly reckless spot for 2. Gigantor eats turnbuckle on a blind charge and gets DDT’ed, allowing a double team. Mayhem makes his bid for “Spot Most Likely To Paralyze Someone” by powerbombing Mercenary head-first onto the freakin’ turnbuckle! This is just getting ridiculous! Double clothesline on Gigantor gets 2 for Omega. Rick Styles manages to interfere from outside the cage allowing Gigantor to add to the blown moves. The announcers even point that out, to their credit. Styles throws in his briefcase, allowing Mercenary to cold-cock Omega with it. They try to escape, but Mercenary is left stranded as Omega powerbombs Giangtor back to the mat. Stereo anklelocks are applied by Omega and Mayhem, so Styles KO’s the ref. They hit their respective finishers before putting Gigantor in both a camel clutch and Boston Crab. Omega tries to escape, but Styles handcuffs him to the cage from the apron. He also brings a cattle prod into the proceedings. (Now there’s a “shock”!) Everything gets needlessly chaotic until Gigantor chairshots Mayhem for 2.Styles tosses a fireball before Gigantor finally pulls the plug on the match, pinning Mayhem after a spiked piledriver onto the chair. DUD And I thought the LAST match was overbooked? Cheez whiz!
Mike Masters vs Ric Beauty vs Starman vs Thomas Crieghton (North American Title Match)
Ooh, goody! Another multi-man fustercluck might be just what we need! (At this point, I shut the tape off and took a brief constitutional to refresh myself. Ahh, that’s better!) And right from the bell it’s a mini battle royal. Masters gets 2 off a quick roll-up on Starman as Creighton dumps Beauty. Straman dropkicks Masters out as well and the brawl is on. Starman pulls off a nice Asai moonsault onto Masters as Beauty tries to de-mask Creighton. Some chick, who could be the ref’s valet for all I can ascertain, removes a turnbuckle pad. This draws in Beauty’s two valets for a catfight. The ref tosses all the valets as everyone bar Creighton ends up on the floor. Creighton stalls FOREVER before hitting a butt-ugly flying headbutt into the trio. Masters showcases some wrestling with Starman until Creighton interceeds and powerbombs Masters on the floor. Beauty chop-blocks Creighton, who falls into Masters pachingas. Beauty brings Creighton back in and de-masks him. He opens him up with some VEGAS VIOLENCE until Creighton fires back with the GIANT SWING OF NAUSEATING DIZZYNESS! He finishes the spin by tossing Beauty into the turnbuckles, sending him to the floor. Yep, there’s the requisite “Potential Broken Neck” spot for the match. Masters and Starman continue their mini-match on the floor until Beauty comes in to make it a continued schemozzle. Starman gets the longest 2-count of the night so for on Beauty after a side suplex. Beauty conters and puts on a spinning toehold as Creighton stupidly powerbombs Masters ONTO the safety rail. Who trained these guys, Nu Jack? Starman small packages Beauty, empires rise, mountains crumble to dust and we eventually get a three count to secure the first elimination. Beauty takes out his frustation with a quebrada, missing Creightone and splatting to the floor. We stall for a while until Creighton invites Starman into a Test of Strength. Creighton bridges into a pin for the three-copunt. No, wait, it’s a blown 2-count. Back out to the floor, Creighton gets the ringbell, but decides to play face and not use it. Masters revives, chopblocks Starman and gives him a Spicoli Driver. Creighton posts himm and goes up. Masters takes a spiked brainbuster, and a tornado DDT from Starman in the ring. They do a pinfall-reversing sequence which would be nice to see, if the ref didn’t count SO DAMN SLOW! We continue the Pacific Island Theme with a Samoan Bulldog (Looked like a Diamond Cutter to me…) for 2. Master applies a Dragon Sleeper which Starman eventually reverses into a inverted Implant DDT. Well, that was nice at least. Creighton goes up, Starman follws him and gets drilled with a “Spiked Deed” from the top for 3 in another cringe-worthy bump. Masters and Creighton tussle in the ring, leading to a bow-and-arrow from Masters. He hits a German suplex, Creighton mule-kicks to escape a second. They do a gimmicky switcheroo to get Creighton on the apron, whereupon he backdrops Masters out of the ring and ONTO THE GODDAMN RAILING! I am _this_ close to switching the tape off in protest over this parade of recklessly dangerous spots… Masters gets a foot on the ropes at 2 from the resulting cover. Creighton gets twin powerbombs in for 2 as Robbins starts screaming about a screwjob for no readily apparent reason. What match is he watching? They take turns putting each other into the exposed turnbuckle. Creighton goes up and gets crotched, allowing master to end the match with the “Shradenfreude” off the top. Geez, these four got a butt-load of time. **1/4 The commentators sold it like the end of the world, but once more the overkill of a four-way brawl-for-all and the ludicrously dangerous spots hurt it for me. Giving Creighton/Masters and Beauty/Starman half the time each might have been been a better call. Slow-Mo refs’ insistance on dragging the match to walking pace didn’t help.
-Meanwhile, Mayhem is being treated for a suspected broken neck. I find that odd, as Mercenary was the poor sap who took the neck-first bump onto the turnbuckle.
-Pre Main Event, we get a nice video highlights package to set it up.
“The Corrupter” Doug McCray vs “The Outlaw” Travis LaGrange (“Fires of Hell” Match for the RAW Heavyweight Title)
In case you’re wondering, a Fires of Hell match involves a flaming Cell, with napalm in the turnbuckles. This should be… interesting. McCray hits a belly-to-back off the lockup, then a bridged German for 2. He sends LaGrange into the cage, igniting his long-sleeved shirt briefly. Kids, DON’T try this at home. He rolls around to extinguish it, getting legdropped for 2. LaGrange attacks the knee and chokes out McCray with the torn-off sleeve of his shirt. He biels him with it, then sends him into the exploding turnbuckle. (Not a “Napalm” turnbuckle” as promised, otherwise McCray would have been out shopping for a new face tomorrow.) McCray avoids a blind charge and gives him an Exploding Snake eyes for 2. LaGrange is sent into the cage again, then brainbusted on the floor. McCray brings out a sledgehammer. (No, I didn’t see that coming, either. Please, PLEASE can we find some new weapons? A vaccuum cleaner, a lacrosse net, ANYTHING but the Endless Parade of Sledgehammers!) McCray goes up (Presumably on one of the pre-exploded turnbuckles), but gets knocked off, taking the hammer in the teeth. Live by the sledge, die by the sledge… LaGrange demonstrates some fire-eating and hits a clothesline for 2. Powerbomb gets 2. And the traditional (For tonight at least) RAW Moron Bump occurs as LaGrange steals Mayhems’ “Powerbomb Onto the Turnbuckle” bit. It’s an exploding one, of course. McCray backdrops LaGrange through a table (Flaming, naturally…) and gets a fishermans buster for 2. He hits the “Gamorrah Driver”, but a neckbreaker from LaGrage leads to a double KO. Out come the thumbtacks, McCray gets DDT’ed onto them. Spikyjim makes a hack-in, actually using a chainsaw to enter from beneath the ring. (Guess he’d been underneath there a while, unless he tunneled through the arena floor and beneath the Cell.) They hit the “Living End” on McCray and it’s over with a screwjob. DUD Too gimmicky for it’s own good, a horribly abrubt finish, and nothing I could get excited about.
-Postmatch, Spikyjim and Travis cut an interview that’s nearly LONGER than the match. The gist is that Travis has brought RAW and is closing it down. And it’s goodnight from Paris.
The Bottom Line: Some good matches here and there… and one great one. But in all honesty, I spent more time worrying about the wrestlers well-being than enjoying the matches. The only thing that went out with a bang were those turnbuckles.
Thumbs in the middle, leaning down