FIRST TIME Republished since April 5, 2004
Now that the details of the Flight from Hell have been plastered on the TheSmokingGun.com , the truth can be told. The true story of Brock Lesnar's WWE departure begin aboard the Next Big Aircraft. The date…February 2004...
Brock Lesnar: Thanks, Stephanie. This was a great idea. I know sometimes the boys resent me a bit. Having them take a ride on my new plane will surely make things better. Hopefully it'll be smooth sailing from here on out. I'm going to go and greet my happy passengers.
Scott Hall: Hey yo, Brock-man. Thanks for inviting me for the ride, Chico. I needed to unwind and it's good to catch up with old friends. May I get a bottle of Southern Comfort, please?
Brock: Sure thing, Scott. Glad to see you're having fun. How about you, Big Show? You seem to be having a good time. Thanks for coming.
Big Show: Don't thank me. Thank my new best friend…Tony Stewart!
Brock: (Confused) Uh, Show, that's not Tony Stewart. That's a little doll.
Show: Yup. Tony Stewart! Ladies and gentlemen…Tony Stewart! Put your hands together for…Tony Stewart!
Hall: Could I get another bottle of SoCo over here, please?
Lesnar tosses him another bottle and motions to someone to take care of the drinks while he meets and greets. He walks further down the aisle.
Dustin Rhodes: Hey Brock, you have a great plane here.
Brock: Thanks, Dustin.
Dustin: Let me show you my appreciation. (Dustin leans over and licks Brock's cheek) You and me are gonna have sex.
Brock: (Repulsed) Ugh! What the hell is wrong with you? I'm gonna beat the living sh…
Michael Cole: Hey Brock, can you dispose of these needles for me?
Brock: What?! Needles? You? Why did you bring needles on the plane?
Cole: (Seething) Ahhhh! You shut up! Shut your goddamn mouth and throw out my needles, bitch! I'll kill you! I'll kill you!
Cole jumps to his feet, tears off his shirt and begins gnawing on the seat
Brock: Listen here, you little punk….Ric! What are you doing?
Ric Flair walks up to Brock, wearing nothing but a robe. He's jumping up and down in a strange circular pattern.
Ric Flair: Whoooo! Look at this thing! Look at it! I can swing it all the way around. Watch. Like a jump rope. Swing, swing, swing. Whooo! Touch it, Brock. Go on, touch it. You know you wanna ride the fifth Horsemen. Come on. Give it the Brock Lock! The Cobra Clutch! Whoooo!
Hall: Hey yo! Another…hic…bottle of Southern Comfort! Stat!
Brock Flair! What is your issue? Hey! Dustin! Stop grabbing my ass!
Dustin: Sorry, I thought that was my ass.
Brock: That doesn't even make sense.
Hall: Yeehaw! Another SoCo bottle, goddamnit!
Show: (whining and calling from behind) Brock! Brock! Ric Flair is rubbing his privates all over Tony Stewart's face! Stop it, Ric!
Brock: I can't take this anymore!
Dustin: Maybe sex with me will cheer you up.
Brock: No! No, no, no! That's it. I quit. I'm done.
Brock takes a parachute, straps it to his back, and jumps from the emergency exit. From the back of the plane, Stephanie McMahon dials the phone.
Stephanie: (On her cell) Hunter? It's Steph. All done. Yup. He quit. Too easy. As soon as we land, we're gonna set fire to Goldberg's car. Haha. I told you I'd handle it.
Well, kick my butt and call me Rico. Last week good ol' Katie Vick humpin' Triple H suffered a decisive loss to Shelton Benjamin. Will the Game have revenge on his mind tonight? Can the World's Greatest Half of a Tag Team continue his winning streak? Will Chris Jericho have a say in the future of happy Canadian couple, Christian and Trish Stratus? How will the war between Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels, and the other guy build up to the eventual explosion at Backlash? Where's Randy Orton's head at as he prepares to face the Hardcore Legend Mick Foley? Do you think Vince McMahon is stoked that Goldberg quit when he did, so he wouldn't have to spend a ton of money on Kosher food in catering tonight? Sit down, shut up, and don't touch that dial. NBC may have Average Joe: Adam Returns, but we have Average Raw: Hunter Returns. You can't beat that. Spike Lee…do your thing!
April 5, 2004.…Houston, Texas
Recap of Shelton Benjamin pinning the Game.
Raw Theme Plays. If they're going to play this opening theme, they should at least run opening credits. Starring: Triple H….Directed by: Triple H….Produced by: Kevin Dunn…and Introducing: Triple H as Triple H
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler have been plundering and pillaging the locals of Houston all day long and they're psyched as hell to be here. Buckle up cause tonight we'll determine a new #1 Contender for the Women's Title with a Diva Battle Royal. The sad thing? It took me a while to figure out who all of them were by their pictures. Gail Kim? Phew. It's been a while since I've seen her. I was starting to worry that she never existed and I just imagined her.
The star of the show hits the scene as Hunter Hearst Helmsely shows up, but his music doesn't kick in until he's halfway down the aisle. With a bounce in his hair and a mic in his hand, the Game runs down the unfortunate events of last week. This "punk kid" came over from Smackdown and scored a fluke! A fluke! It's a great story, but unfortunately this is reality. This fluke could not happen again in a million years! (JG Note: By then, Hunter will still be headlining this show on a weekly basis.) Know what else won't happen again in a million years? Chris Benoit leaving Backlash with that World Title in tact. Gameboy vows that the outcome in his rematch with Chris and Shawn Michaels will be different than it was at WrestleMania. The Crippler is trembling with nerves as all eyes turn to him. The bull's-eye is on the Canadian now. That title makes you a target. The odds of Chris winning at Mania were huge. Your odds of winning two Triple Threat matches are unbelievable. The odds of The odds of Chris Benoit winning at Backlash is astronomical. The odds of winning two Triple Threat matches with Triple H in it is impossible. (JG Note: Hunter, what are the odds of Chris Benoit winning seven Triple Threat matches with Spiderman and the guy from the "Time to make the Donuts" commercial?) All this babbling must be Shelton Benjamin's cue.
Shelton pops out and he's got a big smile on his face. He doesn't mean to interrupt, Trips, but he just wanted to introduce himself to you. He's that punk kid from Smackdown. All American from Minnesota. Ring a bell? No? How about the guy that pinned you last week…1,2,3? That sound familiar? Ah yes. Benji heard you call his win a fluke. Maybe you're right. Tell you what, let's do this thing again. Let's do it tonight in Houston, baby!
Blah, blah, blah. Hunter's the best. Blah, blah, blah. You're in here with the Game, kid. Blah, blah, blah. You're lucky. You won't win. Blah, blah, blah. Rematch? No. No way. You know why? Because you could live off of last week's win for the rest of your career. (JG Note: Hunter really likes Hunter.) You don't need to get beat by Helmsely. You can just sit back and rest on your laurels. Nobody beats Triple H! No one! Shelton reminds him that someone did and that someone was him. After some stuttering, Shelly convinces the H-Man that his honor is on the line. Just like me, Hunt is tired of this Game. Fine. You got it - rematch. Trippy says that it will be the greatest wrestler alive against the guy who's name he can’t remember. Nameless doesn't take offense because after he wins tonight, Hunter will be calling him "Mr. Benjamin." That's the type of line that should have ended with "bitch." It would have packed more of a whollop. "You call me Mr. Benjamin, bitch!" Bam!
Commercial Break. WWE did a tour of Mexico. I wonder if they broke English announce tables.
Hey Bill, ya'll see that new Canadian guy that moved in at the end of the block? He barks at people and just last week, he broke the mailman's neck. I think he's all defensive because his last name is the same as them weird sex beads.
Chris Benoit hit’s the ring and we recap his ish with Johnny Nitro last week.
Guess who's from French Canada now?
Before the bell, Johnny Nitro rushed down to his new theme music…the old theme music from WCW Nitro. Pretty crazy. It took a second to register. Good to see Vince is getting his money's worth from WCW, huh? Tough Enough Nitro informs Chris Benoit that he will be refing tonight's match, with his arm in a sling thanks to last week's Crossface. If you lay a finger on Johnny N, you'll be stripped of your title! (JG Note: They should have tried that threat on Tough Enough with Bob Holly before he paid them a "visit.")
(1) World Champion Chris Benoit defeated Rob Conway via Crippler Crossface submission For the duration of this match, I could not shake the thought of how stupid it is that La Resistance suddenly switched countries. Strangely enough, just as Chris Benoit was moving to the States from Canada, La Resistance was moving into Canada from France. Maybe they're playing Continental tag. It was good to see Conway showcased in a singles role. I wish they could give him a singles run, free of the flag changing dainty boy tag team. With so many other teams being split, I know it won't happen soon. Match progressed fairly well, with Chris suplexing Robby C. into Nitro. With the ref down and out, Sylvan Grenier ran in and took down the Champion. Another official came down and only got to a count of two. CB kicked out and locked on the Crossface for a Submission win. Nothing big. Nothing spectacular. La Resistance is from French Canada now. That's sort of important. I wonder if those flags were left over from Dino Bravo days. U.S.A. is not OK!
Backstage in the General Manager room, Eric Bischoff welcomes Lord William Regal. Regal is pleased as punch to be back on Raw. Thank you, Mr. Bischoff. No need to thank, Willie. You're not back…yet. In the meantime, Easy E has someone for you to manage. He's 6'1, 240 pounds. He's Eric's nephew. Bisch says that his name is Eugene Dinsmore and he's a very special talent. He sends Slick Willie off to find his protégé.
Commercial Break. Kill Bill 2 is coming out. WWE did that to Goldberg in his first month! Ha ha…oh. I think I used that joke a while ago for Kill Bill 1. Never mind.
Hey there! William Hung …the She-Bangs guy from American Idol! What's up, man? I'm Chris Jericho.
You're Chris Jericho? I heard you sing. You suck.
Y2J awaits the man he's about to beat.
Matt Hardy Fun Fact: Matt hates coming to work.
(2) Chris Jericho defeated Matt Hardy via Walls of Jericho submission Christian and Trish Stratus showed up early on the ramp to distract the King of Bling Bling. With Chris's attention diverted, Hardy took a few opportunities to get the advantage. There's really very little reason to not use Version 1 more. He's young and he's got a gimmick that stands out. Any attempt to push him will prove if it's doable or not. Eh. It wasn't doable tonight. Even with the StratusChristians watching from the ramp, Fozzy locked in the Walls and score the submission. After the bell, Christian leaned in and kissed Trish. Unlike Matt Hardy, Christian loves coming to work.
Commercial Break. How does Official X-Box Magazine know that Fight Night 2004 is "The Best Boxing Game You've Ever Played?" Are they spying on me? Damnit. As if I wasn't paranoid enough.
Mick Foley has sat and smelled the roses. He's reclining in a remote studio and sniffing some flowers. Mankind has some double entendres to share with us tonight. He remembers his first one. He remembers getting a bunch on the road. He even game them out to his fans when he was done. No, it's not da hizos. It's flannel shirts. Hardcore Mick loves them flannel shirts. Just a few days ago, he was going through an old box and found his old flannel shirt. Call him sentimental, but he's wearing it for his match at Backlash with you, Randy Orton.. Hardcore isn't about chairs or cookie sheets. It's about an attitude. It's about giving the fans what they want. He's willing to batter his body for the fans. That means something. He took part in barbaric matches to feed his family. He had bills to pay and children who need clothes (JG Note: I know there's fish out there, but where God only knows.) Because of this, he went to Japan and put those "poor Japanese people through" hell. It was never the weapons that caught Cactus Jack's eye, Randy. It was his eye! Dude Love's insanity builds as he promises more than the traditional wrestling cliché threat of an ass kicking. He's opens his rose box to reveal a barbed wire 2X4. No, no, Ort. Mick is gonna tear you apart! Foley goes nuts and swings the weapon around like Vanilla Ice the time he went buck with a baseball bat in MTV studios. Mrs. Foley's baby boy has gone buck silly. It's on!
Ric Flair has a TV and he's watching all this alongside Batista and an agitated Randy Orton. Relax, kid! Chill out! Look at me make it spin around! Whooo! During the Randy pep-talk, Triple H walks in. Everyone wishes him luck and we go to a lucky commercial.
Commercial Break. I laugh at the Snicker's Commercial where the guy asks out the old woman. I laugh because: A - it's funny and B - I picture the guy as Scott Hall.
Before the next contest, Ric Flair comes to the ring and announces that he is the guest ring announcer. Not just that, but Dave Batista can tell time and he's keeping it at ringside. Oh…and Randy Orton is the guest trainer. Oh no! Evolution have tipped the scales in their favor! Bess, baton down the hatches. The intensity is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Business is about to pick up. Big ups, and in closing…this is the greatest night in the history of our sport.
(3) Shelton Benjamin defeated Triple H via countout This is the longest that Hunter while working with a non-white performer and not bringing up race. God Bless. I can't really talk about this match without giving away the ending first. Benjamin won by countout. It made no sense. After last week's momentous win, this one seemed lifeless. It was about as inspiring as Lex Luger's big countout over Yokozuna at Summer slam '93. (JG Note: In case you weren't watching then, it sucked. Big time.) It sucked any life from last week's win and made it seem cheaper now. Some may say that was the idea. That's just sad. I can't tell if it's sad because it's so cynical or sad because it's true, although I'm leaning towards true. This whole thing also begs the question, why didn't one of Evolution become the referee? They may have explained it at some point and I just missed it, but I doubt it. What good is a guest time keeper? I guess if Mary Hart could do it, anyone can. The Evolovers got involved, but when Hunter went for a Pedigree on the outside, Benji reversed him into a slingshot to the post. H couldn't recover in the ten allotted seconds to return to the ring. Shelly wins…although I told you that already.
After the win, Evolution continues to elevate Shelton Benjamin by beating the crap out of him. Viciously being pummeled by punches, the camera comes in close to reveal an obvious Triple H blade job on Uncle Ben's forehead. After being beaten into a bloody heap, Shelt is saved by Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, and Chris Benoit. Where were they two minutes ago?
Commercial Break. Eddie Guerrero for YJStingers. Buy one today! You'll Lie, Cheat, and Puke!
Eric Bischoff is at ringside, calling the action with Kingly Cowboys. He says that tonight he’ll be calling out Mick Foley, Chris Benoit, and Shawn Michaels. None of them better come to the ring with any weapons either or there will be hell to pay. It would be funny if he had a flashback and started giving away the results to the rest of Raw.
(4) Lita won a 10 Woman Battle Royal They have 10 women on the roster? Seriously? If you're an afterthought Diva, lucky enough to be employed, would you want to be showcased with the rest of the women in one match? Talk about auditioning for your own job. This wasn't an over-the-top rope thingy. In order to be eliminated, you need to just hit the floor. That's it. Oh look, as soon as the intros are over and we look at all the pretty girls…we cut to commercial.
Commercial Break. If you don't feed your kid nutritious food, she'll forget the words to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. She could also just be stupid…or maybe high.
Back from the break and all the women are basically gone. Seriously. They eliminated everyone while we were at commercial. It boils down to Evil Trish and Good Lita for the honor of challenging Victoria. During the tussle, Ex-StratusBoyfriend, Chris Jericho, comes to ringside and gets involved, tripping Strats while the ref is distracted. She gets upset, and is dropkicked from the ring by Amy D. Sorry Trish, you lose. Bad guys never win!
If you missed Smackdown last week…you are one lucky bastard.
William Regal is looking for Eugene Dinsmore and taps upon the shoulder of young man in blue trunks. The wrestler turns and…no luck. It's Garrison Cade. Regal walks on before locating his new client. Nick Dinsmore proceeds to play the role of a mentally handi-capped wrestler, complete with name tag and finger biting. This was seriously disgusting. It was one of the most disgusting things I've seen this company do. A gimmick like this is far from funny. It's just cruel. I don't like it when other comedy shows try to make fun of it and I especially don't like it when pro wrestling does. OK, while I might not find this type of humor funny, I know there are others that do. That being said, this wasn't even a good attempt at this type humor. There was no shred of intelligence to the skit. Nothing clever was done. It was a straight up, "let's laugh at the dummy" segment. That's what made it so disgusting. There's a fine line between taboo humor and just being mean. Unfortunately, this company never knew the line existed. This gimmick won't go anywhere. It'll be WrestleCrap in six months.
Commercial Break. Yo man, wadaya say we travel with Phish and sell brownies? Yeah, man. We can pop some Skittles and just space out, man.
John Coachman is at ringside to call the action on this one. There's a reason. The flashback video can tell you more than J.C. can.
Recap of: Tajiri spitting green in Coachman's face.
(5) Christian pinned Tajiri after an Unprettier If these two had been put into a feud with each other and be allowed to work an intense, rivalry-fueled match, they'd do something special. This was just place holder. Tajiri needed an opponent and so did Christian. Nothing more, nothing less. Before the match ended, Coachy left the broadcast booth to go "congratulate the winner." It was some time before a winner was decided. When one was, it was the Coach Man that had something do with it. He lunged at Yoshiro's foot and when the Buzzsaw reacted, he was caught in Christian's Unprettier. Three seconds later and Tajiri is now saddled with a horrible feud.
Commercial Break. Sour Starburst makes you make a really scrunched up face. So would sticking your head in a barrel of poo. I wouldn't recommend it.
William Regal confronts Eric Bischoff about not wanting to manage Eugene. Lord William says that he can't manage him because he's a "nincompoop," among other things. Bischoff replies that he's "special." When Eric finds out that Dinsmore has been left alone, he freaks out and knows that he's off somewhere getting in trouble. Johnny Nitro pops out of the office to tell Easy E and Regal that Eugene is on TV. He's at ringside with Jim Ross and the King. By the time Regal comes out to stop him, he's licked Jerry Lawler. In case you haven't noticed, I rushed through this. I had to recap it for those that didn't see the show, but I really couldn’t stomach this. As he was taking Eugene away, Regal apologized. He's not the only one who should. I can't believe that this is what they did with Nick Dismore. I also can't figure out how they couldn't think of something for Sean O'Haire, but featured this prolonged waste of time.
Commercial Break. Yay! More commercials. I'm bored as hell right now.
I'm a monster!
I'm a man beast!
I'm a monster!
I'm a man beast!
I'm Max Moon.
Who let him in here?
(5) Kane pinned Rhyno with a Chokeslam Hi. I'm Rhyno. That's about it. I could be good. I could be bad. No one really cares, as long as I lose. This whole Roster Lottery was about Shelton Benjamin. He's the only one that really has done much with his jump (JG Note: Besides Renee Dupree, but Benjamin doesn't have to prance around with a poodle, so he wins.) Rhyno is just ridiculously wasted on Raw now, like many others. I feel like they doubled the amount of throw-away squash opponents now. This was just the capper in an otherwise predictable and boring night. The one memorable moment occurred when Kane whipped Rhyno in and the second rope snapped. It was a cool sight, but nothing to save this otherwise blah contest. Kane beat Rhyno. Chokeslam. You could have probably predicted this entire match if you thought about it hard enough before hand.
After the official word, Kane-o's music doesn't hit. The theme of his Backlash opponent, Edge, does. Big E went to town on the Red Machine, pummeling him with punches until he fled the ring. The BrotherTaker returned with a chair, but was Speared down by the Canadian. Edge went to the well once too often, as they say, and attempted another Spear, only to be shot down with a big boot. Dr. Yankum then set Sexton's hand in the chair and attempts to break it. Edge escapes and hit’s a low blow on the charging Bald Bull. He jumps up and takes him down again with a forearm shot to Kizzle's head with his cast. Edge leaves and Kane sits up, in pain. You think you know him. You think you know him.
Backstage Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels are having deep conversation about the upcoming Triple Threat Match. They talk about Hunter's words, their hopes, their dreams, puppy dogs, and rainbows. You know, the usual. They have to be on the same page tonight. Backlash is every man for himself…yada, yada, yada. The duo becomes a trio when Mick Foley joins the march to the ring.
March, march, march.
Johnny Nitro stops the three good guys and informs Mick Foley that he must relinquish his barbed wire bat. Eric Bischoff said no weapons! Foley agrees but threatens John's life if he loses it. On the way out, Benoit hits him in the arm.
Commercial Break. What's this new Rock movie, Walking Tall ? I've never seen any commercials for it before. I'm being sarcastic.
The Bisch is back and like Sol Rosenberg's eyes, his hair is going cra-zy! He's got something to say to Chris Benoit. Sleazy E demands that he shows his face.
Chris Benoit shows his face. With the World Title around his waist, Chrissy B stands face to face with the G.M. Splendid, Chris. But Bischy has more people to confront. Mick Foley get your ass out here!
Mick Foley get his ass out here and it's still not good enough for Uncle Eric! Shawn Michaels may have been in WWE longer than Eric has, but he's still just another member of the roster. The Bisch has something to say to him. Tuck your T-Shirt in and prance out here!
HBK comes out with his shirt tucked in and a spring in his step. Great, great. Listen, we're running short on time so EB will make this quick. Next week it's the three of you teaming with Shelton Benjamin to meet all four members of Evolution! How's that? No one reacts too strongly and they all awkwardly wait for the Evolution music.
The music hits and Triple H comes out with a sledgehammer in hand. He inches out and motions behind him for the back-up. They don't come. Where are they? Where are his boys? They're coming from the crowd! It's a trick! Damnit, King! It's a trick.
Trickery prevails as Batista, Flair, and Orton go to town on Benoit and Foley. With Michaels's back turned, Hunter buries the hammer into his spine. H.B.K. collapses and Jim Ross sells it like the death of a child. It makes me wonder why they react so crazily to that, but when someone gets smacked in the head with the sledgehammer, it's like "O.K. Whatever?"
The show ends with everyone beaten and laying while Evolution reigns supreme. Cameras fade to black with Triple H standing on the top rope. No kidding.
All in all… That was not fun. I'm sorry. It wasn't. I wasn't too into anything tonight. The sad thing is that any positives I had for this show stemmed from the way it focused on advancing storylines for the pay-per-view/
Take a look at this big main event for next week. While I think it's a great move to promise a match like this for free TV the week prior, merely looking at the dynamics shows you the problem with the brand. You have a four-on-four contest. Randy Orton and Mick Foley primarily have issues with each other. Batista and Flair have no side feuds in this at all. It's Triple H as the man that Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels, and Shelton Benjamin are all out to get. That's not strange to anyone? Who needs a title?
The Eugene thing is a bad gimmick. Any chance of something like this appealing to an audience will not come through because WWE writing is not subtle. There is nothing subtle about it. They intricately explain and beat down a joke. This will be beaten down to the point that it's just mean. Good seeing you, Nick. Hope they pull a Beaver Cleavage/Chaz walk out angle for you.
Everything else was just chugging forward. I'm just not so sure I like where forward is. Coachman-Tajiri? Eh. This wasn't a good show. We should have done like Steve Austin did - stay away.
OK, folks. I'm out of here. I'll be back next Monday for some Insanity and check back during the week for some takes. Maybe next week, I'll be from Quebec!