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WWE Taboo Tuesday 2004
by Erick Von Erich
It's more Halloween Havok which means one (usually more than one) thing (s): random October wrestling shows! We're LIVE on October 19, 2004 from the Bradely Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (it's actually pronounced "Mill-i-wah-kay", Algonquin for "the good land"). The gimmick for this event is that fans have been voting on WWE's website for match stipulations. Sort of a play on the 2004 election coverage. In case we missed that point, we've got Johnathan Coachman haging out at the right-edge of the entrance ramp in the "Taboo Tuesday Control Center", with updates on the voting. Our hosts are Jim "BY GAWD" Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler, with the reliable Spanish Announce Team of Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. But with so much going on in World Wrestling Entertainment (or at least RAW), let's get down to ringside for...
Err, make that "entrance ramp-side", as it's Jonathan Coachman in the Taboo Tuesday Control Center. The first order of business is announcing the results of the Divas "Pick Your Fantasy" battle royal. Seven yaks walk out on the ramp for the announcement. The costume choices are: French Maid, Nurse or Schoolgirl. Coachman polls the live audience for applause and they, along with the "Worldwide Internet Audience" both want Schoolgirl. I guess they went with this segment first, because we all know it can take forever for women to change outfits and get ready (*Hey-oh*).
Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Shelton Benjamin
We get a live backstage shot of all the possible fan choices, which reads like a midcard Hall of Fame: Tajiri, Batista, Chuck Palumbo, Rhyno, William Regal, Maven, Steven Richards, Rodney Mack, Hurricane, Rosey, Tyson Tomko, Christian and Shelton Benjamin. Val Venis was an injury scratch. Here's Jonathan Coachman
in the Taboo Tuesday Control Center to tell us that he's also a choice and dressed to wrestle, in case of being selected. Both live and Worldwide Internet Audience want Benjamin. Really, we could've had CHUCK PALUMBO or RODNEY MACK? Benjamin hits the ring and trades biels with Jericho. Jericho responds with the "wooo" chops, but Benjamin ducks under and allows him to fall through the ropes. Benjamin connects with a baseball slide and pulls Jericho back in for a 2 count. A series of reversals and Jericho lands an enseguiri kick. Bell-to-back suplex and an elbow drop for Jericho allows him to do his one-foot "c'mon, bay-bay" cover for 1. Benjamin eats mat on a failed drop-kick, so Jericho targets the back annd holds a backbreaker. To the ropes and a surprise Benjamin sunset flip gets 2. Benjamin successfully hooks Jericho in the top-rope super-plex for another 2. Jericho's back with his mis-direction bulldog/face-drop, then misses his springboard Lionsault. Benjamin goes for the charging splash in the corner, but eats turnbuckle. Jericho is quick to try the Walls of Jericho, but Benjamin fights it off and turns it into another 2 count. Jericho goes his Loionsault and connects, this time. Irish whip to the corner is reversed by Benjamin. Jericho climbs up, then hops down to try something, but gets nailed by Benjamin's t-bone overhead suplex. 3 count and we've got a NEW Intercontinental Champeen! Afterwards, Jericho teases a little heelish-ness, but presents Benjamin with the belt and shakes his hand. A solid match, but it didn't seem to have the intensity they were hoping for.
WWE Women's Championship: Schoolgirl Battle Royal:
Participants: Trish Stratus (c), Molly Holly, Victoria, Gail Kim, Stacy Keibler, Nidia, Jazz
Modified battle royal rules, as someone just needs to go through the ropes to be eliminated. Much is still made of Trish's outfit, but I'll indulge in the shenanigans and say that Stacy and Gail are absolutely rocking the schoolgirl look. I'm sorry Trish fans, but I could never get over her toothy grin. Victoria looks like she missed the costume announcement as she's wearing a French maid skirt. Typical "diva crap" as they hug n' punch and pull hair. Jazz rips off Nidia's shirt, then tosses her out for the first elimination. Jazz is almost eliminated, holding on to the bottom rope...and in an awkward segment, Lawler and Ross are surprised at Jazz's caboose. Jazz gets clotheslined out by Victoria. Gail Kim tries a hurricanrana, but no wrestling moves are allowed in this match, so she also gets dumped. Trish and Molly work together to eliminate Victoria with a double slingshot. Stacy seems to be the fan favorite and fights off the evil yaks for a bit. Stacy's whipped to the corner and elevates up to catch Molly in a reverse head-scissors. Doesn't work, as Molly quickly dumps her. Trish sneaks up, immediately, and tosses Molly to retain her championship. I guess this costume nonsense made it somewhat
connected to Halloween Havok... right?
Backstage for another voting update: who will face Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship, tonight? Edge, Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels all plead their cases. Here's Johnathan Coachman in the Taboo Tuesday Control Center to poll the live audience. Once again, they agree with the "Worldwide Internet Audience": Shawn Michaels.
Backstage to tag team champions, La Resistance-- Robert Conway and Sylvain Grenier -- who have just found out they'll be facing Chris Benoit and Edge, tonight. One stipulation that I missed: the two guys who weren't selected to face Triple H got a tag title shot as the consolation prize.
Pick the Foreign Object Match: Kane (w/Lita) vs. Gene Snitsky
Here's Jonathan Coachman in the Taboo Tuesday Control Center to tell us the choices: lead pipe, steel chair or chain. Chain wins, making Billy Jack Haynes and Hercules Hernandez proud. We also get a video recap of Lita having a miscarriage when Snitsky pushed Kane on top of her, prompting Snitsky's catchphrase of "it's not my fault". Basic brawl to start, with Kane in command. Outside, where Snitsky yanks the chain and pulls Kane into the ringpost. Back inside, where Snitsky uses the chain to choke away (with plenty of help from Kane). They brawl some more until Snitsky hits a side-slam and a regular ol' slam. Kane no-sells, a la his "brother". They hit the ropes and both guys go down with a double big boot to the mush. Lita reaches in and steals the chain before Snitsky can use it. Outside, where Snitsky suckers Kane in and kicks the ringsteps into him. Snitsky then introduces a steel chair into the match; stipulations be damned! King has an incredibly stupid line: "I don't know which I hate more: Snitsky's name or his face". Back in the ring for some pampered chair shots, which Kane sells like crazy. Snitsky hooks Kane's neck into the leveraged part of the chair. Snitsky then leaps off the second turnbuckle and connects with a stomp! Kane does some "internal bleeding" and the ref signals for medical help. Snitsky initially walks out, then returns to get the pin. Match was pretty much just Kane carrying and selling for a green Snitsky.
Kane does a stretcher job, but Snitsky attacks at the entrane ramp and knocks him down, again.
Edge is backstage again to bitch about not getting to fulfill his "destiny" by facing Triple H for the World title. His anger is directed at Shawn Michaels, telling him that he's working a sympathy vote with his injured leg.
Loser Must Do Something Match: Eric Bischoff vs. Eugene
Here's Jonathan Coachman in the Taboo Tuesday Control Center to introduce the participants. The loser's stipulation won't be announced until after the match. The choices are: loser must be a servant for 30 days; loser must wear a dress; loser must have his head shaved. Quick comedy match, as Bischoff's in his martial arts gear kicking away on Eugene. Eugene comes back with a airplane spin, then does a Hogan Homage with a big boot and a leg-drop for the pin. Here's Johnathan Coachman in the Taboo Tuesday Control Center to walk down and tell us the voting results. "Shaved Bald" is the winner, but Coach tries to re-book it to "be a servant for 5 minutes". This brings out Vince McMahon, who power-walks to the ring and enforces the stipulations on Bischoff, at the risk of losing his job. Eugene scalps away on his "uncle", while McMahon gives the fans a bonus: Coachman in his underwear... then forced to wear a dress. Har.... har. McMahon tries to needle Bischoff that his hair was dyed-- which means, like most people, he didn't watch WCW in 1999 when Bischoff was walking around with a full head of gray hair. Also, I'm pretty sure the common opinion on the Internets at the time was: "Eugene is a good technical wrestler, it's a shame he's wasted in comedy matches".
World Tag Team Championship: La Resistance (c) vs. Chris Benoit and Edge
Grenier takes a moment to sing "Oh, Canada" in French. I'd forgotten that these guys were sort of like Dino Bravo and not straight-up French dudes. The crowd boo's because Somebody Doesn't Speak English. About 85% of this match is punchy/kicky with an elbowdrop or kneelift thrown in. Edge starts off by flailing away on Conway, then tags in Benoit for a snap suplex and some chops. Edge returns, dishes out some punishment on Grenier, then goes up top. He starts arguing with a ringside fan and stops the attack. Benoit's over to get him re-focused on the match. Benoit and Grenier go at it, messing up a backdrop/shoulder-block/flapjack thingie. Edge returns, but gets cut-off and eats a double-team suplex from La Resistance. Hot tag to Benoit, which pops the crowd pretty good. Benoit chops Grenier into the corner, but gets reversed into the opposite corner on an Irish whip for the THUNK spot, a la Bret Hart. La Res work on Benoit, until he delivers a German suplex. He makes the tag to Edge, but the ref misses it as he was shoo'ing Conway out of the ring. Edge argues with the ref, then bulges his eyes out, claws at his hair and walks out. Cameras follow him all the way to the back, where we see him getting his "damn bag", then easily walking into his rental car and leaving the arena. Back inside, Grenier is trying to set up something from the top turnbuckle, but Benoit's up to meet him and deliver a super-plex. The heels try for their double-team manuever ("Au Revoir"?), but Benoit ducks and they hit each other. Two German suplexes send Grenier rolling out to ringside. Conway gets hooked in the Crippler Crossface and after fighting it for about 30 seconds, taps out. Chris Benoit has single-handedly won the World Tag Team Championship. The crowd was almost asleep until Benoit made his big comeback. Seems like another case where the bookers were hoping for a "moment", but it fell flat. I don't even think they crowd particularly cared about Edge's antics, either. In case we didn't get it, earlier, we were reminded that Edge ain't got time for the tag titles.
Lingerie Pillow Fight: Christy Hemme vs. Carmella
Here's Jonathan Coachman in the Taboo Tuesday Control Center to introduce the participants. The Diva Search Powers Explode, as this is the two finalists. Choices for this match were: Lingerie Pillow Fight, Evening Gown Match or Aerobics Challenge (wha?). Coachman confirms the voting with the live audience as well as the Worldwide Internet Audience. Two semi-opaque cubicles(which Coachman calls "transparent") are set up for the yaks to change. It's supposed to show their silhouettes getting undressed and dressed, but Carmella completely blows it by standing too close to the source lighting, so all you see is half of her torso. Match begins and it's a 2 minute pillow fight. Hemme pulls out a booster cup from Camrella's bra in what, I guess, was supposed to be funny. Hemme pins Carmella after some rolling around and that's it. Remember, Christy Hemme was "perfectly comfortable in (her) bra and panties". Surprised they didn't make that into her catchphrase. Complete waste of time. Really, if I wanted to see nekkid broads, this was 2004 and I had the Internets.
World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
Michaels is limping terribly and can barely walk the aisle. The puncky-kicky mark is about 90% for this match. Triple H goes after the injured leg, while Jim Ross sounds like he's about to cry. "Look at Michaels! He can barely stand, King"! Triple H tries to wrap the leg around the ringpost, but in a mighty heave Michaels pulls him, head-first, into it. Back inside, where Triple H kicks the leg and hooks the figure four. Michaels makes the ropes to break. Michaels gets a low-blow and DDT, then slowly goes upstairs to drop a flying elbow. He lands on his leg and over-sells it, writhing around in "pain" and looking like he just got zapped by the Mountie's shockstick. More punchy. More kicky. Michaels manages to hit his Sweet Chin Music super-kick, but can't make the cover. Evolution's Batista
runs down to interfere, but gets floored with one punch. Suddenly, Edge
comes through the crowd and spears Michaels. He leaves, hollering "it shoulda' been me". After about 90 seconds, Triple H slowly crawls over to Michaels, drapes his arm over him and scores the pin. Ross: "GODDAMMIT! GODDAMMIT!" Terrible, melodramatic match. I understand that they were trying to sell Michaels as a valiant never-say-die competitor, but they didn't have to be so overt about it. This reminds me why I can't stand Jim Ross.
Ross and Lawler recap the evening, thus far. A video package of Randy Orton's rift with Evolution is shown. Ric Flair is out to prove that Orton will not live up to his "Legend Killer" nickname.
Steel Cage Match: Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton
Here's Jonathan Coachman in the Taboo Tuesday Control Center with the voting results. Steel cage won by a wide margin over Submission Match and Falls Count Anywhere. Again, it's mostly punchy/kicky, but Flair is so well animated that it works. Flair controls the earlygoing, sending Orton into the cage for a blade job. Flair then gives him the ol' cheese grater treatment, while Ross and Lawler whine about Orton's "handsome features". Orton comes back and returns the same favors to Flair. Flair gets caught between the rops and the cage to eat a drop-kick from Orton. They climb up one corner, but Flair kicks Orton back down. Orton tries climbing another corner, but reconsiders and leaps down with a flying bodypress for 2 (yeah, you can win by escaping, submission or pinfall). Flair climbs another corner, but this time Orton yanks his trunks down and crotches him on the ropes. Flair's crack is almost completley showing, so referee "Evil" Earl Hebner politely reaches in to pull his trunks up! Both guys are blading pretty well and they keep hitting the cage. Flair tries crawling out, but Orton pulls him back in. Flair tries again and manages to pull in a steel chair from the floor. He swings, but Orton ducks and connects with the RKO for the pin. This felt like a RAW main event. Afterwards, Flair barks at Orton and offers a handshake. They shake n' hug as both guys get a decent ovation. Flair really seems to revel in his "give younger guys the rub" role.
Why'd You Watch This?
Here's Jonathan Coachman in the Taboo Tuesday....err, sorry, force of habit. Indeed, if you long for the ivory tones of Johnathan Coachman, this is your show. It's entirely possible that Coachman scored the record for "most screen time for a non-wrestler" in the history of a WWF/WWE PPV. I get that they needed a live announcer to work the crowd, but it grew tiresome rather quickly. The rest of the show is full of "standard quality" stuff. The only matches that held my interest were Jericho/Benjamin and, for weird reasons, Kane/Snitsky. For a PPV, this is a below-average show and displays pretty much everything that bugs me about this era: Ross, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Edge, awful diva stuff. The booking and the voting gimmick seemed to be angling for some drama and memorable moments, but the whole show just felt like a buncha' people going through the motions.
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