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(36 Mins) Honor Nation: The Maharaja Era


JG's 2/23/04 Raw Insanity: How Bischoff Got his Groove Back

By James Guttman Feb 23, 2017 - 8:40 PM print


Originally Published February 23, 2004


Titan Tower - Three Weeks Ago…

Michael Hayes:  Mr. McMahon, we sent out word that we're looking for this year's Hall of Fame inductees.  There's a ton of people outside, many of which you haven't seen in a while.  It might be a bit awkward.  Do you want me to sing you a song to ease the tension?

Vince McMahon:  Thanks, Michael.  That's nice…in a weird sort of way.  It's not necessary.  Just send 'em on in.

Michael Hayes opens the door and calls for the first person.  Tito Santana enters the room

VKM:  Tito!  How have you been?  Great to see you!

Tito Santana:  Ariba!

VKM:  Ha ha!  That brings back memories.  Listen Tito, we were looking for inductees to the WWE Hall of Fame.  Are you interested?

Tito:  Ariba!

VKM:  Can you say anything else?

Tito:  Uh….Ariba?

VKM:  I don't have time for this.  What are you?  Lassie?  Get the hell out of here.  Next!

Hacksaw Jim Duggan enters the room as Tito leaves

Hacksaw Jim Duggan:  Ho!  How's it going, Tough Guy?  Ho!

VKM:  Hacksaw!  Welcome back!  You look like a Hall of Famer to me.  You interested?  You get this plaque and everything.

Hacksaw: (Examining the plaque)  Wow!  This is great!  Ho!  Do you have internet access here?  I can probably start the bidding at thirty bucks for something like this.

VKM:   Give me that back.  Go home.

Hacksaw  Ho!

As Duggan leaves, Brutus Beefcake runs in to the room.  He's frantic, searching under tables and behind cabinets

VKM:  Barber!  I didn't know you were applying today.

Brutus Beefcake: (Flustered and searching) Actually, I'm not.  I was just looking for….uh, I mean, did you happen to find a…umm, has anyone seen a little bag of….never mind, it's not here.  I gotta go.  Bye.

As Beefcake runs from the room, a parade of performers file in

VKM:  Next!

Tatanka:  Yi...... Yiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyi!

VKM:   Next!

Tugboat:  Toot toot!

VKM:  Next!

Berserker: Huss!  Huss!

VKM:  Goddamnit!  Next!

Bret Hart: Hey Vince.  Listen, I'm sorry about everything.  I'd love to be a part of the Hall of Fame ceremony.

VKM:  (touched) Oh Bret, I'm so glad you came around and decided to…(touching "Bret's" hair)  Is that a wig?  You're not Bret Hart.  You're Teddy Hart!  You're that nutty kid that no-sells everything.  Ugh.  I swear this day is going to drive me crazy.

Teddy Hart:  (wide eyed) Go crazy?  Don't mind if I do!  Whoo-hoo!  Ahhhhhh!

Teddy begins back flipping off of tables and bouncing off walls like Daffy Duck

VKM:  Security!

Big Bossman I'll take care of him, Vince.  I'll make him serve hard time!  Listen, while I'm here, how about inducting me in the…

VKM:   No.

Irwin R. Shyster: What about me, you tax cheat?

VKM:   No!

Oscar: Throw your hands in the air!  Wave 'em like you just don't…

VKM:  No!  Leave me alone!  All of you!  Oh man.  Maybe this whole thing is silly.  Maybe I should just suck it up and call Bruno Sammartino.  I can bury the hatchet and let bygones be…nah!  Hey Tugboat, don't go anywhere.  I might have something for you.  (dejected)  God, I have a headache.  Hayes, you can do your thing if you want.

Hayes:  Yeah?  Thanks, Boss!  Badadum…Warden through a party in the county jail….!

***

Who says that billionaires millionaires don't have rough days?  Speaking of rough days, will tonight be the roughest of the rough for the former 1990's Wiz Kid (credit: Brian Pillman), Eric Bischoff?  With Vince McMahon swaggering into Raw to make a huge announcement, will this be the night that the Bisch finally faces all that Monday Night War music?  What will Stone Cold Steve Austin have to say about this situation?  Does that Rattlesnake still have ill-will towards the man that makes Brock Lesnar cry, Bill Goldberg, for the "accidental" spear?  Can the Legend Killer Randy Orton hold off the maniacal rage that is Mick Foley for another week or will Randall's military record be just one of many issues addressed by Mr. Bang Bang?  Now that Rob Van Dam and Booker T have become 1 time tag team champions, are their days numbered?  Will the Crippler Chris Benoit successfully find a way to gain the advantage in his Degeneration Threesome with Shawn Michaels and Triple H?  Has Triple H discovered a way to hold on to his title in the face of adversity by pitting the Boy Toy and the Toothless Boy against one another?  Did I remember to feed the snake?  Gather the bag, land the DDT, and Trust Me.    It's Monday Night and it's friggin' Raw!

February 23, 2004...Omaha, Nebraska

Recap of Steve Austin making WrestleMania XX's Raw Title Match a three-way dance.  

Raw Theme Plays.  I'm getting used to this song.  I can now get to the part where they say "move to the music" before my ears bleed.

Lock up your daughters, Omaha, Jerry Lawler's in town and his barbeque buddy Jim Ross is right beside.  The roof is coming off the place as we gear up for the Crippler Chris Benoit's meeting with Deacon Dave Batista.  Then…the big announcement.  Vince McMahon faces off with Eric Bischoff in his big WrestleMania-altering segment.  Lawler hypes that the Monday Night Wars may begin again.  (JG Note: Not unless Ray Romano and the cast of CSI: Miami show up.)

With a spring in her step and a pop from the crowd, Lita is the first one to walk that aisle and enter the ring.  This one's a four way match and that means there's three more coming.

Hey Victoria?  Yeah.  Where's my money, Ho?  

Charlie, we go over this every time I see you.  You're not the Godfather anymore.  I'm not a Ho.  That was a gimmick.  It was like four years ago.

Yeah, gimmick whatever.  You better get me my money, Ho, or else I'm gonna put a voodoo curse on you.


Miss Vicki hits the ring and is followed by Molly Holly and Jazz.  This one's for the Women's Title.  Ding, ding, ding.

(1) Victoria won the Women's Title in Four Way Match over Lita, Jazz, and Molly Holly via pinfall on Lita  For some reason I picture Jazz and Rodney Mack celebrating
a romantic Valentine's Day by arm wrestling each other.  That's not really an insult.  Jazz has a look that really differentiates her from the other women.  When a frail diva beats on another frail diva, it doesn't mean much.  When a frail diva beats on a monster diva, it does.  It makes her matches stand out.  With all that said, Jazz was eliminated about a minute in by Lita following a DDT.  It happens.  Shortly after, the defending Champ Molly Holly hit Lita with a neck breaker, but was quickly rolled up and pinned by Victoria.  Holly was hereby eliminated and therefore no longer the Women's Champion.  Enraged by the sudden reality, Mighty Molly went mighty crazy on Vicki, with refs pulling her away.  Oh look, the action is out of control and it's only half-way through the match.  You know what that means, right?  It's time for a…

Commercial Break.  Spike TV says that they wouldn't be the first network for men "without a little public humiliation."  When did public humiliation become a guy thing?  

Hey, what's up?  Welcome back.  The match is still raging on with Victoria and Lita as the final two.  I still think it was early to turn Victoria baby face, but I'm glad they're giving her a higher profile on the show.  Oh and higher profile they did. The only thing I don't get about Vicki is what her gimmick is anymore.  Is she still insane?  Why does she smile now?   I feel like there's a  new Women's Title rule that says the holder has to have a generic gimmick  Pretty good back and forth match.  At one point, Lita and Vicki got rolled up in an awkward position and they fell into a heap.  To their credit, they got the crowd around again after a quick roll up and a brutal follow to the bottom rope by Victoria.  The finale came when Leets climbed the turnbuckle, but was caught with her back to the ring.  Toria hooked her in the Widow's Peak and scored the victory.  Your new Women's Champion…the on-again, off-again psycho with a smile Victoria!  Following the bell, a teary eyed Vicki hugged an ecstatic Stevie Richards.  Now neither of them are crazy?  Are they medicated now?  

Speaking of crazy, Vince McMahon pulls up in his limousine.  The Boss instructs an underling to deliver his wrestling gear to his office.  Jim Ross wonders if it's "wrestling gear" or "fighting gear."  Maybe it's "L.A. Gear."  You remember - the sneakers.  Whatever happened to those?  Vince and his mystery gear head into the building and we head into a word from the sponsors.

Commercial Break.  I'm still not getting the whole "Raw: Escape the Rules" thing.  Are they telling me to steal cable?

Eric Bischoff is sweating gravy backstage when Johnny Coachman barges in.  Coach informs Bisch that Mr. McMahon is in attendance.  Eric is obviously flustered with the CEO's presence and lashes out at his buddy.  He's interrupted mid-rant by a visitor.  Christian is in the house.  The CLB asks Easy E if he's aware that Mr. McMahon is in attendance.  Sensing the Bisch's unspoken rage, Tian moves on.  Say Uncle Eric, you know how Mr. Christian's best buddy Chris Jericho is injured, right?  Well, he's a quick healer.  Christian was thinking that
WrestleMania 20 could feature Y2J and himself against the Tag Champs.  Whatdaya say, Mr. GM?  Eric responds in anger.  He's no friend of Chris Jericho!  Bischoff digs deep and drops more hints at his new direction by mentioning Jericho's "desertion" of WCW as a reason for his animosity.  Bischoff punishes the UnAmerican by booking him against Chris Jericho's other buddy.  Tonight it will be Christian versus Trish Stratus!  Christian is upset by this.  (JG Note:  Christian is upset by this?  This is something most of you guys would pay for.)

Hey Hunter, they're playing my music.  I have to go out there.  Give me back my Intercontinental Title.  I said you could hold it but I need it now.

Mine!

No.  The World Title is yours.  This one isn't.  I need it back now.  OK?

Both mine!  Both mine!

Fine.  Keep it.  I'll just have them give me a new one…again.


Randy Orton enters the ring and he's got his title with him.  He awaits his challenger, who's time machine bringing him from 1998 should be arriving any second.

Helloooo Ladiessssss……

(2) Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton pinned Val Venis after an R.K.O. Why can't Val Venis be updated at all?  I mean - at all.  Since he debuted, he's gone from Porn Star to no-frills to Right to Censor to Chief and back to Porn Star, only now with short hair.  Seems like such a long trip to get right back to where you were…five years ago.   I say this because Venis is pretty good in the ring and could probably deliver some good feuds if packaged right.  Tonight he was packaged as Randy Orton's designated Maven-of-the week, taking a predictable defeat to the Legend Killing Champion.  The match itself was ok, but when the outcome is so cut-and-dry as it is here, there's not much to get excited about.   Chief Morley took a face first ram into the turnbuckle and stumbled back into an R.K.O. pinfall loss.  Goodbye Ladiessss…..

Commercial Break.  There's this little thing called Mighty Beanz.  They're toy beanz marketed for kids to collect.  There's like sixty-something of them.  Ever notice how every generation has some sort of crap they're pressured to buy in bulk?  Homies?  Garbage Pail Kids?  Pokemon?  Pogs?  

We're outside in Omaha (JG Note:
Somewhere in Middle America. ) The Kingly Cowboys are speculating as to the ramifications of Vince McMahon's big announcement.  How will it affect Eric Bischoff?  Speaking of Bischoff, remember when…

Clip from  Monday Night Wars DVD:  Black and white N.W.O. style promo from 1998 featuring what appears to be Eric Bischoff's son challenging Vince McMahon to a fight.

Bischoff is hopping mad again!  That wasn't his son, that was him!  Moments like that should be locked away and never reopened.  Who ordered that to be played?   Heads will roll!  Coachman is perplexed as well, but all is answered when the Sheriff moseys on in and joins the duo.  Steve admits that he ordered the tape played.  Stone Cold reminds Easy E of his comments last week, when he said he could "kick Vince's ass."  Austin compliments Eric on his guts.  After all, what other man has made out with Vince's wife and daughter and still collected a paycheck signed by the man himself?  God Bless ya, Bischy.  Eric's overjoyed.  He says, well, he says this…

"You know, Steve, you do have a point.  I mean he's got to be wondering what in the world is going on.  He's paying me to live my fantasy.  I mean, I did make out with Stephanie and Linda and I'm getting the paycheck.  I tell ya.  I got this other fantasy.  It's been going on for a few months now.  It starts out in Stamford.  It involves Stephanie and…he's standing right behind me, isn't he?"
- Eric Bischoff, 9:38PM

Vince McMahon is right behind him.  Livid, Vinnie speaks of "fantasy."  Some say that Vince McMahon versus Eric Bischoff was a fantasy.  But tonight, after VKM's big WrestleMania announcement thing, it's going to be a reality!  Vince reaches over and appears to pick Eric's nose before leaving.  Seriously, it looked like he picked Bischoff's nose.  Vince bounces away.  Speaking of which…

Batista is bouncing up and down backstage with Ric Flair and Randy Orton.  Flair screams a pep talk to the Tista Monster about stopping Chris Benoit.  Not a problem, says Deacon Dave.  He'll send him back to Smackdown.  As long as he's on Raw, Benoit's standing the way of Evolution.  (JG Note:  You mean if it wasn't for Chris Benoit, they'd be allowed to teach it in schools?)  Triple H busts the party up and asks his boys to accompany him to the ring.  The H-Man's got something to say.  He says it's important.  So, it's different than all those unimportant times he feels the need to deliver an in-ring monologue for no reason?  Gotcha.  First commercials, then Hunter.

Commercial Break.  Eddie Guerrero controls the YJStinger Bees now?  When did Triple H lose bee control?  Shouldn't we have heard more about this?

The Effects of Time Machines in the Wrong Hands:

12th Grade History Textbook; page 33 -   Tragedy occurred for our Nation on July 4th, 1776.  As the Declaration of Independence was prepared to be sent, Triple H ran into the room, Pedigreed the founding fathers, and declared himself the "Super Mega King of the Colonies."

Triple H starts off by delivering the same promo that he's done every week since before I can remember.  Basically, he's great.  People are jealous.  He's the Game.  He's the Champ.  No one beats him.  (JG Note: Seriously, Trips.  We covered all this.  I get it.  Cut to the chase.)   After asking if Mania would be his last hurrah, Hunt says he will persevere.  He goes on after this and it's all really just the same old stuff.  It's gotten to the point that all of his promos are starting to sound exactly the same.  It's not even a matter of parody anymore.  It's reality. 
The boasts continue until the Game claims to be that "Damn Good."  At that point it's time to cue Chris Benoit…for the love of God, cue anybody.  Just stop this, please.

The Rabid Wolverine is here and he's got a microphone too.  Benoit tells Hunter that he's tired of all the "talk, talk, talk."  Amen, brother.  This doesn't stop the talking Champ who invites the toothless tough guy to step into the ring with Evolution.  After pondering the proposal, the Crippler takes a ringside chair and brings it into the ring with him.

The Evolvers back off but only for a moment.  Batista attacks from behind and the stable pounces.  Suddenly Shawn Michaels comes to his rescue.  Shawn grabs the chair and helps the recovered Wolverine clear the ring.  The Heartbreaker wields the seat and holds the retreating heels at bay.  He should have watched his friends too, as Benoit grabbed him and locked on the Crippler Crossface.  Stephanie's husband smiled as Chris put the pressure on HBK.  The only thing that could stop this melee is a
Mario Kart .

The glass breaks and Sheriff Stone Cold rides to the ring in his mini-mobile.  The Ringmaster is here to enforce the rules.  We're having a match here.  Benoit's meeting Batista.  One stipulation, if anyone in Evolution gets involved, they won't make it to Wrestlemania 20.  The bad guys retreat while Shawn and Benoit bicker.  Segment ends.  I thought Hunter said that he had something important to say.  Guess not.  Cest la vie.  Commercial time.

Commercial Break.  Burger King tells me that I can have the Whopper my way.  OK.  I want it for free.  That's my "way."

(3) Chris Benoit defeated Batista via Crossface Submission  Chris Benoit and Dave Batista are finally fighting.  We join the action just in time to see Benoit rip Dave's leg off with a leg drag.  This was a pretty good pairing.  Benoit has the ability to work well with most opponents and Batista can work both mat wrestling and power moves.  Not only did Tista toss Chris around at times, but he also wore him out with a bear hug and single leg crab.  The crowd was pretty quiet at most points, but popped big for the big moments.  After hitting the Rolling German Suplex, the Toothless Wolverine climbed the post and sailed down with a head butt.  Batista moved out of the way, sending Benny-wa into the canvas.  Big Dave attempted to capitalize on the moment and lifted Benny Wa in the Powerbomb position.  Before he could execute the move, Benoit hooked his arm and took him down into the Crippler Crossface.  A few seconds later and the Deacon was tapping.

Still to come…the Monday Night War Erupts Tonight!  (JG Note: I didn't know that volcano was still active)  But next, it's Rob Van Dam and Booker T defending the tag titles against La Resistance!  

Commercial Break.  Snickers has the "most nuts ever."  Great slogan.  I guess it beats their second choice "Snickers - Put Our Nuts In Your Mouth"

Eric Bischoff is still moping backstage over his upcoming spanking from Vince McMahon.  Suddenly he's joined by WWE's answer to Dr. Phil, Steve Austin, with a patented pep talk.  Sheriff Austin asks Eric what happened to the visionary that lead Nitro to defeat Raw 82 weeks in a row?  Where's that guy?  Where's the leader that lead that WCW into the top slot?  Is he even in that puffy little head of yours anymore?  The way the Rattlesnake sees it, you got three choices.  You can either walk away from this fight and get fired, lose the fight and get fired, or you can whip Vince McMahon's ass!  What's it gonna be, Bisch?  Do you have what it takes?  Go out there and do it!  Austin leaves and Uncle Eric has an evil look in his eye.  Ted Turner better hide his bank card.  The Bisch is back.

(4) World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam & Booker T defeated La Resistance when RVD pinned Rob Conway  The tag team division in WWE has become a lot like the Women's Division.  Everyone gets title matches and the Champions don't really matter.  This was the perfect example.  For an initial title defense, this match seemed to lack any intrigue at all.  Had there been a promo before it, or some sort of reason for the challenge, it would make sense.  There wasn't and it mostly just seemed like filler.   It was a good match performance-wise, but nothing to get excited about.  RVD nails Rob Van Conway with the Five Star Frog Splash to give himself and Mr. T their first successful tag title defense on Raw.  

We take a look back at Mick Foley getting beat senseless by Randy Orton and his homies.  The beating left Foley with a hideously blackened and bloodied eye.  Jim Ross's conversation with Mick is next.  (JG Note:  Why does Jim Ross still do these on-location conversations?  You'd think that after being choked out by Foley a few years ago with the Mandible Claw and being set on fire by Kane last year, Ross would find a way to get out of these things.)

Commercial Break.  Congratulations, Quiznos.  Because of your commercials, whenever I hear your company name, I will think of repulsive hairy rat-like creatures.  Was that your goal?  Don't you sell sandwiches?

WrestleMania Rewind shows the late Steve Allen, years prior to attacking WWE as part of the Parent's Television Council, and the Bolsheviks, moments before jobbing to the Hart Foundation in record time,  singing in the WrestleMania 6 shower.  

Christian and Trish Stratus meet up backstage and both are concerned over their contest tonight.  Christian, playing the gimmick of bad guy from a Lifetime Original movie, creepily grasps Stratus's arms and tells her that he'd never hurt her.  He agrees to lay down and allow her to pin him.  Sound good to Miss Trish.  From there, the Christian Casanova proceeds to pull out his ace in the hole
pick-up line :

"Since I laid down for you, maybe you could lay down for me."
- Christian, 10:35

Ick.  Strats is shocked.  Suddenly Christian's mood changes.  It was just a test.  He wasn't really kickin' it to ya.  It was all just a test to see if you'd stay faithful to Y2J and you passed!  Congrats, little lady.  Now go away.  See you in the ring.

Jim Ross introduces a clip a warns me that it's some "very, very, unsettling footage."  I like how J.R. is always looking out for me.  He's like a big brother to all of us.  Thanks, Jim.  Thanks for caring,.

Recap of… Evolution beating the Cactus Snot out of Mick Foley.

Big Brother Ross is on-location with Mick Foley.  The two are seated face to face and awkwardly close to one another.  Mankind tells Ross that he's not used to being attacked anymore.  He speaks of injuries and how last week's Evolutionary attack left him worried about his own well being.  The only thing that kept Foley going was instinct - pure and simple.  He says he was hurt that no one came out to save him from the beat down and when asked if his career was over, replied that Evolution does not have the power to do that.  The Evolvers can claim to have stretchered Dude Love out of the arena.  Orton can boast that he spit in Mankind's face.  But they can't say they ended his career.  You know the roughest part, Rossy?  Huh?  Do ya?  It's that Mick misses the old Mick Foley, the comical Mick Foley.  But that Foley is gone.  Building from solemn speech to a fiery tirade, Mick vows to come to Raw next week and force DeEvolution X to pay for their sins.  This was a really solid promo that accomplished everything it was meant to.  Foley has a way of saying what needs to be said without straying too far away from the point.  Good segment.  Good buildup.  Good commercials.

Commercial Break.  I thought Raw's main demographic was teenage boys.  What teenage boys take Enzyte for male enhancement?   Things sure have changed since I was a teenager.

(5) Christian defeated Trish Stratus via Walls of Jericho submission  Things started with Christian doing as promised and laying down for Jericho's special friend.  However, rather than allow Trish to pin him, Sister Christian tosses her off at two.  Betrayed, Stratus attempts to leave the ring, but stops when the CLB slaps her butt.  Bad move, Trish.  In a really shocking moment, Tian suddenly attacks and turns Miss Trish inside out with a hard clothesline.  With the crowd unanimously chanting "asshole," Christian lifts up the fallen diva and locks her into the Walls of Jericho.  How despicable!  Trish taps out, but the jilted Christian refuses to break the hold.  Finally he does and celebrates his victory.  Let this be a lesson to all of you women out there.  Sleep with Christian…or he will hurt you.  

Commercial Break.   The Sportfishing and Outdoor Expo is coming to Nassau Coliseum on February 26th.  Isn't it strange that the Outdoor Expo is being held in Nassau Coliseum?

Recap of Christian doing his White Canadian Ike Turner impression.

Two guys carry Trish Stratus backstage.  One guy is sweating profusely and at one point hugs her.  How do I get that guy's job?

John Coachman is talking to the bathroom door.  Apparently Eric Bichoff is inside.  He attempts to ease Easy E's emotions by admitting that he too would be nervous to fight Vince McMahon.  An energized Eric Bischoff springs from the toilet and appears to be his old self again.  He's not scared of Mr. McMahon, Coach.  You know why?  Because Uncle Eric already took on Big Mac and won big time.  He crushed Raw 82 weeks in a row.  He signed away Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and countless others.  In the end, it wasn't Vince McMahon that beat Eric Bischoff.  According to Eric, success was in his hand.  It was Time Warner that ruined the deal.  Vince McMahon has never beaten Eric Bischoff.  Indignant, Easy E vows that tonight he will "win the war."  This was the best promo that Eric Bischoff has done to date.  Tonight is the first night that WWE has fully gotten their money's worth from Eric.  Great segment.

Commercial Break.  Castrol GTX allows me to drive hard.  Ironically, so does Enzyte for male enhancement.

Next week:  Mick Foley returns to Raw.  Then from there, Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit meet Randy Orton and Dave Batista.  It's that age-old wrestling reality that two men who are experiencing an extremely strained relationship must team up for no apparent reason, with the only logical outcome being a pull apart brawl.   Hulk Hogan had dozens of these.

For Sale: 1 Canary Yellow Suit.  Size Small.  Like new.  Worn only on Saturdays during the 1980s.  Previous owner outgrew it.  $10 or best offer.  Also available: 2 used caskets, 1 Scottish Plaid Tarp, and Sean O'Haire.  Call Vinnie at 203-XFL-DEAD

Vince McMahon hobbles to the ring and prepares to drop his WrestleMania bombshell.  Before he can, he's interrupted by Stacy Kiebler and Jackie Gayda.  The Playboy Rejects complain to Vinnie Mac over Hugh Hefner's decision to choose Sable and Torrie over them for a spread.  How about letting Miss Hancock and the reality show winner show you what they have at WrestleMania, V-Man?  McMahon suggests that they show what they can do right here tonight in Omaha!  Kiebs calls for her music and the two show their stuff.  Stacy does a cartwheel and Jackie…uh, dances?  I don't know.  I guess it was dancing.  She held Vince's head and spun around him.  After about nine seconds of this, Mickey Mac declares the two worthy and grants them a shot at Torrie and Sable on the WrestleMania 20 card.  The stipulation?  It's going to be the first ever Playboy Tag Team Evening Gown Match.  (JG Note:  I love how WWE plugs words behind old stipulation matches and make them new.  Like how every city on the planet has a street fight named for it, but they all have the same rules.  Funny stuff.)   The Eager Strippers don't get to celebrate long though…

Cue Kane










Kane is in the house and he's pissed at Vince McMahon.  You promised, Vince!  You promised that "he" would be dead once he was buried alive!  Now "he's" back.  It's him!  It's the Undertaker.  He doesn't sleep, Vince.  You hear me?  He doesn't sleep!  All he does is haunt Kane night and day.  Make it stop, Vinnie, or else Dr. Kane's gonna bury you next.  Angrily, Mac confirms that both he and Katie Vick's wheelman have the same goals.  Tell you what, bud.  Mania - you go the Undertaker.  Sound good?  The Bald Bull confirms his agreement by signaling his pyro.  When he signals pyro, that means he's happy.

Kane leaves and Mr. McMahon can make his announcement.  This week on Smackdown, Brock Lesnar begged for a match with Goldberg.  While the boss has considered this contest, he questions whether there's a force that can keep these two men within the confines of the rules.  There's another age-old wrestling reality that anytime an in-ring promo features the subject questioning "Who can do" something, someone will come out.  

Steve Austin….come on down!  You're the next contestant on Interrupt Vince McMahon's Thing!

Beep beep!  Sheriff Austin is here with his go-kart to weigh in on this Lesnar-Goldberg possibility.  You're right, Mr. Macky.  People want to see Brock meet Bill.  Just for added confirmation, Steve asks the crowd for a Hell's Yeah.  You're also right about the inability for a normal ref to oversee it.  Good news though, Boss.  Stunning Steve knows someone that can maintain law and order in that ring.  (JG Note:  Is he from Cobb County, Georgia?  Oh goodie….I hope so!)  That man is the doggone Sheriff 'round these parts, Steve Austin.  Let him officiate.  Mr. McMahon asks the Bionic Redneck what's in it for him.  Stoney replies that it's none of his business.  For some reason, that answer is good enough for Vinnie.  Brock-Goldberg is on at WrestleMania and Austin is declared the enforcer.  First Vince wants the Rattlesnake to get some practice in.  How about reffing a match tonight?  How about reffing the next one?  Steve's in.  Let's get it on.  It's eight years in the making.  Tonight it happens…Eric Bischoff meets Vince McMahon on the show that Vince owns.  Good luck, Eric.

Uh, guys, can I talk to you about this script for the Monday Night Wars DVD?

Sure Bisch, what's up?

Well, I have a problem with this line here.  I'm supposed to say "I'm a whiny little bitch that respects Vince McMahon."

Oh sorry, Eric.  That's not right.  It's supposed to say "worships" not "respects."  Must be a typo.  Thanks for catching that.



(6) Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon wrestled to a No Contest  The basic premise was that man-to-man, Vince could beat up Bischoff.  McMahon pounded Bisch repeatedly for most of the opening moments.  The tide only turned when Big Mac had Schoff backed into a corner and wouldn't break his grip.  When referee Austin, whom Vince himself appointed, attempted to separate them, McMahon pushed him.  As punishment for this broken rule, the Rattlesnake pelted the owner with a punch.  Once the Ringmaster did the damage, Bischoff was free to get some shots in.  He landed a number of kicks to the back, but was caught when he came out VKM head-on.  The Football King grabbed EB's leg and slammed him down with a punch.  The action spilled to the outside where Hunter's father-in-law continued to beat his employee down.  Would Vince have been successful in this contest?  Would Uncle Eric gain some sort of satisfaction at this, the lower point of his career?  

Who knows.  Brock Lesnar showed up and F5ed referee Steve Austin. As the Sheriff lay on the ground, Brocktune glared down on him, while Jim Ross flipped out.  That's when we fade to black…

All in all… A good show, but not as good as you'd expect it to be.  For the most part, things seemed pretty anti-climatic at some points and Vince McMahon's announcment and subsequent showdown with Eric Bischoff was waterdown with outside involvement.

The advancement of the Christian-Trish-Jericho triangle was done well.   Tonight was the first time that something tangible occurred that can be seen as a big advancement.  Christian definitely got over as a heel, which should put Y2J over big as a baby face when he returns.

Lesnar closing the show was a nice touch too.  There should have been more to give the Bischoff-McMahon match closure rather than just abruptly ending with the Brock attack, but it was understandable.  The company has a pay-per-view to sell and tonight they did just that.  If you tuned in to see a good Raw, you weren't let down.  If you tuned in to see a great Raw, you might have some problems with it.  

That's it for me.  It's late and Raw's over.  Be Well.



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