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The Booking Report, September 20, 2003
Guest_TSMAdmin_*
post Sep 21 2003, 05:25 PM
Post #1





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The Booking Report: Raw (03.09.15) vs. SmackDown (03.09.18)

Highly anticipated column this week I would imagine taking into consideration the vast amount of differing opinions regarding the Iron Man match. Whatever brings in the hits.




Raw September 15, 2003


THE CRAP


Mark Henry Push #2,304
Rating: 0/10

This segment also could have been dubbed “The Continuation of Lance Storm’s ‘Big Push’”, but that would have been deceiving to anyone who missed Raw. It is beyond me why someone who has never been able to get over even when the company got behind them like Mark Henry would essentially squash Storm, who is fresh off a gimmick makeover. I understand that Goldust is injured, but rather than having Team Charisma do the job, why not just keep Goldust around in a managerial position? At least until his elbow is healed up. I thought that setup worked very well for both guys last week. Of course they have now been shoved to the sidelines in favor of the generic black tag team that does not have one redeeming quality. And no I am not counting Teddy Long.

War of the Announcers Rages on
Rating: 1/10

Same deal as the last three weeks here. This gets the one point due to the glimmer of hope that we may get at least a few Raws without the pervert or the Okie. Rumor has it that might actually occur, with Steve Austin bringing the original duo back at some point in time. I like the logic displayed this week. Since no one was interested in watching the commentators in a gabfest last time, lets just throw them into a match because God knows THAT is what people want to see.

Orton Kills Another Legend
Rating: 1/10

Stuff like Orton laying out Moolah really doesn’t work as well as WWE thinks it does. Particularly because the company seems to be under the impression that since Moolah is a hometown favorite, the viewers at home will react like her hometown fans to such lewd behavior. Unfortunately, none of us really give a rat’s ass. Thus, this did absolutely nothing to build up to the PPV match. The only hype for that match in the last two weeks was Michaels slapping Orton. That’s it. No retaliation, nothing. In other words, if you missed that two minute segment you would have no clue why those two are even going at it tomorrow. Naturally though, numerous segments and bits over the last month have been devoted to the commentators’ match. As for Orton giving Moolah the RKO, I saw it coming a mile away, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Had Orton actually killed Moolah or Mae; now that would have been something else. I’m not saying I wish it happened, I’m just pointing out how ironic it would have been. Plus, it would have been great seeing how far Vince would be willing to push the “Legend Killer” gimmick over the weeks and months that follow.


THE BAD


The Dudleys Lose Yet Again
Rating: 2/10

Is this feud actually supposed to entertain ANYONE? It seems like the faces haven’t a won match in ages, which really doesn’t do much to improve overall fan approval and morale. This tag team division ought to just be killed. Seriously, what is the point in even bothering to lug the titles all over the country? Now that the Hurricane and Rodney Mack can’t work together there practically is no division. I would like to think that the Dudley Boyz will be winning the Tables Match tomorrow night. Even if only to spice things up a little bit and give a reason for them to continue getting Tag-Team Title opportunities.

Who are you calling a Bitch?
Rating: 2/10

Speaking of miserable feuds that have matches at Unforgiven, I present to you Test vs. Scott Steiner. My prediction for tomorrow night would be Stacy turning on Steiner. As for her motive this is WWE, does she even need one? Maybe she can say that Steiner treated her like a joke, this way we could have a Doink match on Raw. We did see how great that went over when it was used for launching the Benoit-Rhyno feud. On top of that, Gerwirtz will not be able to resist the temptation of booking the fall out of that lovely stipulation Test added to the match last week. Finally, if Steiner wins the feud would be over. The ending of that feud could very well trigger a technological disaster like the expected Y2K bug from a few years ago.

One of those Sporadic Contract Signings
Rating: 3/10

I’ll never fully comprehend why only certain matches require special contract signing ceremonies like Kane-Shane McMahon did this week. I mean, how can any of us possibly go into a PPV without knowing that every match has officially been signed? If this match required a contract signing because of that dangerous Last Man Standing stipulation, shouldn’t every gimmick match have one? Or even Steiner-Test because I’m sure Steiner will attempt to weasel out of his role as Test’s anal bitch that next night on Raw. And what about the commentators? That might Steve Austin’s way of keeping them on Raw. The fact that no official contract signing ever took place, thus the result would be rendered meaningless. Same goes for Goldberg-HHH, which I would hope is in writing since otherwise Goldberg could win by disqualification and HHH can still refuse to hand the title over to him.

More importantly, why the fuck is Shane McMahon dominating Kane when Rob Van Dam was dismantled last week during his attempt? I swear, Shane had better get damn near killed tomorrow night and hopefully he will disappear back into oblivion. You know that this makes six segments already and we haven’t even hit the decent stuff yet. It really is not THIS HARD to book a fucking wrestling show. Especially the PPV hype show.


THE DECENT


HHH-Goldberg Hype Concludes with NOTHING
Rating: 4/10

Don’t you love how this entire feud consisted of Triple H beating the shit out of Goldberg until Goldberg finally hits one move on the guy leading up the PPV? And why am I supposed to buy Unforgiven again? Hell, if Goldberg does have to retire that would just mean that we wouldn’t be seeing him get punked out every week. Is that supposed to be a bad thing? Then again, even if he does become the new Champion, he has effectively been made to look like Triple H’s bitch on his quest to getting it. This is not how you book the guy who will most likely be walking out with the World Title this weekend. This is however a good way to book your new Champion so that when Triple H returns he shouldn’t have very much trouble at all in getting his title back. This company perplexes me. Their method of turning the business around seems to be just making the same mistakes over and over until eventually NO ONE watches the programs anymore.

Weekly Women’s Segment
Rating: 5/10

As much as I don’t like Lita, it is nice to actually have a credible face alongside Trish Stratus against the forces of evil that are Molly Holly, Gail Kim, Victoria and Jazz. My gripe with the handicap match is that if the heels really wanted to end Trish’s career, why were they even bothering with pinfalls? Instead shouldn’t they have kept double-teaming her ass for at least 15 minutes? Once again, this is probably the reason why I have not yet been contacted by WWE to join the writing staff. I have some common sense and logic. Whatever. Lita’s return should add some very much needed variety to the division that recently became stale in my eyes.

Our Favorites on PPV? Blasphemy
Rating: 5/10

Yeah, the setup sucked, the match was sub par and the explanation was lame, BUT Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam and Christian have made it to Unforgiven. I don’t understand why Austin couldn’t simply make a three-way match for the PPV and skip all of the double disqualification garbage. It would have been easy as pie. Seeing how Jericho and Christian were bitching just put them in a match. Cue RVD’s music. Van Dam is pissed that he isn’t on the PPV, so Austin adds him to the mix. Problem solved. Also, haven’t we seen enough boycotting of Austin already? It is really starting to get old. Nonetheless, three of my favorites on Raw will at least be making a decent paycheck this Sunday.


FINAL THOUGHTS


Total Matches: 7
Total Wrestling Time: 20:32


The average match time is a little under three minutes. The last time that happened, Vince Russo was still calling the shots. When I said last week’s Raw did a horrible job of promoting Unforgiven, I hadn’t seen anything yet. After sitting through this weeks Raw there is not one match that I really feel the urge to see on that card. At least not one that I can justify spending $35 on. In terms of booking on Raw, everything has really went downhill since SummerSlam. No feuds are being booked well. Nothing conclusive or mildly interesting is happening. Usually I find at least on segment to standout among the rest, but that was not the case. If anyone is interested, check out Stablewars.com and see if you can score higher than myself, Keith or Hyatte in the PPV Predictions game. I have been on fire lately, so watch out.




SmackDown! September 18, 2003


THE BAD


Torrie feuds with another evil woman
Rating: 3/10

Normally I would probably rate this segment lower, but a fluff match like this was necessary seeing how every other match was an actual athletic competition and there weren’t any BS segments. Sometimes less is more, and that is how I view throwaway stuff like this. Plus the match was kept very short. Needless to say this feud is still meaningless and will probably result in wasted PPV time next month, but you can’t win them all.


THE DECENT


The One and Only Cruiserweight Feud Goes on
Rating: 6/10

I still like this Tajiri-Mysterio feud and I’d be thrilled to see a new Champion crowned next week. It would mix up the division, allow for some new combinations, and prolong this feud. I was kind of surprised to see Mysterio pin Rhyno, even if only because of the size difference. Not really much more to add to this one that I didn’t already say over the last two weeks.


THE GOOD


Los Guerreros are Back
Rating: 7/10

Last week I said that we really need to get a strong face team on SmackDown and we did. However, in the process we lost the leading heel tag team (temporarily). I don’t know exactly where this leaves the tag team division on SmackDown, at least through No Mercy. I would also imagine that Eddie wouldn’t be holding onto the US Title for much longer. Personally, I don’t like when any one wrestler holds both a singles and tag title because that limits the amount of times each title can be up for grabs on a given show. I’m not exactly sure how Eddie’s career will benefit from another tag title run, but either way it does keep him in the public’s eye. I also really dug the match itself. Props to Charlie Haas for that sick bump he took at the end of the match. Good thing he wasn’t seriously injured.

The Match in Question
Rating: 8/10

Before I even start, just remember that an 8/10 DOES NOT translate to **** because even if I were still assigning star ratings, this match would not have touched ****. Basically I thought the match was alright. Nothing more and nothing less. Had we not been told that it was more or less the MOTY going in, my opinion may have been a little bit different. Nevertheless, that is what happens whenever a match is as hyped as this one was by all the ‘net nerds.

Actually, regardless of the hype, the match lacked any flow or psychology. Was Brock’s knee injured, or his ankle? In professional wrestling both of those are just grouped into the “leg” category I guess. Could the commercial breaks have been put in places any worse than they were? We missed one fall as well as many of Angle’s comebacks. It also seemed like the breaks were used to cover up for when Angle suddenly made his miracle recoveries after getting dismantled by Brock on TV for 10 minutes. Now lets move to the finish. What was the point in having Brock tap out with four minutes left? Considering how annoyed he was about the fact that he tapped out at SummerSlam, he shouldn’t have tapped at all in this match. While on the topic of Brock Lesnar, is he supposed to be a monster or a pussy? Over the last month his character has became one of a violent psychopath. Now all of a sudden he is running away from the smaller Champion and cheating left and right. BROCK LESNAR SHOULDN’T NEED TO CHEAT. That is if the plan is for him to ever be as over as he was earlier this year. These two guys are both amateur champions, yet this match had no amateur wrestling sequences at all. Instead we got brawling, stalling, and way too many suplexes. Honestly, was Steiner-HHH from the Royal Rumble the motivation for this match?

Yet, I gave the match an 8/10. That rating is absolutely not for quality. It is rather for the fact that WWE went out on a limb with this match. They took a look at the current product, saw it wasn’t working and decided to try something new. That alone deserves a lot of credit, especially since the “something new” did not involve lesbians, fire, or any other kind of shock TV device that we have seen in the past. Furthermore, any time a main event title changes hands on a free TV show it is bound to generate some interest and possibly remind fans that anything could indeed happen on SmackDown. The same could be said for Raw, however not in a positive light.


FINAL THOUGHTS


Total Matches: 4
Total Wrestling Time: 78:25


In all honesty, I really missed all the McMahon/A-Train/Sable/Big Show segments. The show felt empty without those five.

Who am I kidding? Any time I am given 80 minutes of wrestling on free TV, regardless of the quality, I am happy. This show really had a “Clash of the Champions” type of feel to it and that is something WWE should take note of for the future. A show like this probably wouldn’t work every week with the casual fans, but as a change of pace it is a lot of fun and it did an excellent job of drawing me in for the full two hours.




SmackDown 8 :: Raw 1

HotW: Iron Man Match
LotW: Take your pick from Raw

Total Matches: 11
Total Wrestling Time: 98:57

Well it’s been a week of polar opposites to say the least. Sadly anyone who lays out $35 for Unforgiven this Sunday could have seen a show light-years better for free on Thursday. You know, all 12 of the people who actually lay out $35 for Unforgiven.

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