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The Dames' Diatribe on WWE Backlash 2003

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Guest TSMAdmin

The Dames’ Diatribe on WWE Backlash 2003

 

 

For those of you who haven’t read my Diatribe on NWA:TNA Week 41, please do so. It details my terrible experience transferring files from one computer to another and after writing all of Saturday, some of Sunday, Monday (got to take a break for Raw) and part of Tuesday…not to mention TNA Week 42 this upcoming Wednesday, I just want to hurry and get this show on the road so I can have SOME break from writing.

 

We start out like we usually do every month, with a Bonus Heat Match.

 

Bonus Heat Match

Scott Steiner vs. Rico

 

Match Background: For the past couple of weeks, Scott Steiner has taken issue with Christopher Nowinski and his anti-war comments, even going as far as debating him on Raw. After the debate, Nowinski had Three Minute Warning (which now includes Rico apparently) jump Steiner from behind. That is all, really. By the way, for those of you keeping score, Steiner was in TWO World Titles matches in his first PPV’s and did so poorly, he wasn’t on the 4 hour Wrestlemania card AT ALL and is now on Heat in a meaningless match. That’s just sad.

 

 

The Match: Rico comes out to Rosey and Jamal’s music…and I miss his old Chuck and Billy theme. For those of you curious who is broadcasting with the Coach on Heat tonight now that Lita was “fired” on Raw, it’s Jerry Lawler. Steiner powers out of a lock up immediately and goes to work in the corner with knees to the midsection and clubbing blows before hiptossing him across the ring. A Gorilla press slam by Steiner prompts Rosie and Jamal to come down to ringside but Steiner disposes of them quickly and they’re sent back to the locker room by the ref. As Steiner watches 3MW go up the ramp, he turns around to taste some of Rico’s spin kicks and a few more kicks in the corner as well. Some more kicks by Rico gets a two count and then Rico mocks BPP’s flexing elbow drop. That actually comes out botched as Steiner moves out of the way before Rico moves and Rico completes the miss anyway. A “Rico Sucks” chant breaks out from the Worchester crowd as Steiner powerslams him in mid leap frog for a two count. A spinning belly to belly from Steiner always get a two count and then Steiner hits his flexing elbow drop. As always he gets up to do a few push ups after the cover. Rico gets up and goes for a spin kick which Steiner ducks and transitions into a reverse DDT which gets the pin.

 

Winner: Scott Steiner

 

My Opinion: The match was short and inoffensive for the most part. It didn’t advance the storyline at all and it looks like Steiner has got himself a new finisher, the reverse DDT. He’ll probably only have it til Sting arrives in June anyway. It’s just sad to see how far Steiner has fallen. He was one of the best in the early ‘90’s and now he’s on Heat doing 4 minute squashes. ½*

 

PPV Start, Live from Worchester, MA.

 

As per usual, they have a great video package to intro the event, hyping Goldberg’s undefeated streak in WCW and World Title win. It’s nice to see them use their WCW footage for something.

 

The Coach and Jerry Lawler welcome us to the broadcast before they throw it over to Michael Cole and Tazz for the first match.

 

Team Angle vs. Los Guerreros for the WWE Tag Team Titles

 

Match Background: Shortly upon their arrival in WWE, Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) met with the Guerreros on Smackdown for the WWE Tag Team Titles. That match saw Team Angle defeat the Guerrero’s relatively clean as the rookies joined their team captain Kurt Angle as fellow champions. Doing Angle’s dirty work for a few weeks, Team Angle didn’t defend their tag titles much until Wrestlemania 19 where they successfully retained their titles against Los Guerreros and the team of Chris Benoit and Rhyno in a triple threat match. The Guerrero’s were finally granted a one on one tag team title rematch at Backlash and will finally get their chance to regain the tag straps from Team Angle.

 

The Match: Haas and Benjamin come to the ring with a framed picture of Kurt Angle and his gold medals hooked onto the frame as well. They get into the ring and put it on a canvas…but it breaks immediately and they end up holding the picture up during the Guerrero’s entire entrance. They’re able to set the picture up at ringside and get ready for the match. Haas and Eddie start the match with some chain wrestling until Eddie is able to get a few quick covers for near falls. The crowd chants for Eddie…but Eddie actually gets the Worchester crowd to call for Chavo to come into the match. He’s definitely gotten the rub from his Uncle Eddie. Haas tags out to Benjamin quickly and locks up with Chavo. Some more chain wrestling gets a “Boring” chant from the crowd…but they’re just Massholes. Chavo then is able to get the advantage on Benjamin by working on the arm for a bit and putting on a cross arm breaker. Benjamin is able to regain the advantage after Haas knees Chavo in the back coming off the ropes. Benjamin gets a taste of the same as Eddie knees him in the back for a pop. Eddie comes in while the ref is distracted by Haas and does the phantom tag, allowing him to come in. Chavo CHEATS~! As he chokes Benjamin with the tag rope and Eddie gets a few shots on him on the outside. Eddie slingshot sentons himself in onto Benjamin for a two count but he allows Shelton to make the tag to a fresh Charlie Haas for some reason. Turnabout is fair play again as Shelton chokes out Eddie with the tag ropes while Haas has the ref distracted. Team Angle do their usual double team maneuver with Shelton jumping on Eddie’s back for a broken up two count. Haas puts to the boots to Eddie before putting on a chinlock for a few, but Eddie rallies back with a belly to back suplex. Eddie dives to tag Chavo, but is cut off by a HUGE double leg takedown by Charlie Haas which leads to a broken up two count! Benjamin comes in without a tag as the ref is distracted and puts another chinlock on Eddie, which he escapes with a jawbreaker. Eddie once again goes for the hot tag, but Shelton holds onto Eddie’s ankle and pulls him back to the corner. NICE powerslam by Benjamin gets a two count before ANOTHER rest hold is applied. Chavo is able to rile up the crowd a bit but Eddie doesn’t make his comeback just yet. All of these rest holds are seriously hampering this match. Haas comes in and puts in another resthold on Eddie, but Guerrero is actually able to counter it with a head scissors takeover! He dives over Haas and tags in Chavo who is a LATINO…EN…FUEGO~! Chavo takes care of both men and gets a brainbuster on Haas for the ONE…TWO…NO! Shelton comes into the ring and just DRILLS Chavo down with a powerbomb! Eddie comes off the top with a missile dropkick on Shelton and gets his Rolling Vertical Suplexes on Haas! He’s not the legal man though and Chavo crawls over to make the cover…ONE…TWO…NO! Eddie comes off the top with the Frogsplash! The ref admonishes Eddie for coming into the ring as Chavo slowly makes the cover again…ONE…TWO…NO! Shelton pulled him off of Haas and is holding his ankle! Eddie heads to ringside to battle with Shelton, but is sent into the steel steps! Chavo goes for a belly to back suplex near the ropes, but Shelton, on the outside, grabs Chavo’s leg, allowing Haas to fall on top! Benjamin holds Chavo’s feet down as Team Angle get the win and retain their titles!

 

Winners: Team Angle

 

Team Angle have a group hug with the framed photo at ringside, but the Guerrero’s spoil it as Chavo hits a plancha on them and steal the titles! They head to the back where they hop into a green Convertible with hydraulics! Of course…it plays “La Cucaracha” as its horn. They take off in their low rider as Team Angle look on in the ring, still holding onto the framed photo of their team captain…

 

My Opinion: Sadly, this match was disappointing…which really doesn’t say much about the rest of the card as it was pegged to be the match of the night. There were way too many rest holds in this match and the build went from slow….to slow….to near fall time in about 3 minutes. If anyone really benefited from this match it was Chavo as he got some solid fan support for the first time and was the recipient of the hot tag, when it’s usually the more experienced Eddie. Haas and Benjamin still need some work in the ring, especially Haas because a lot of their timing was off. I did like the way both teams were trying to out cheat each other. I hope the rematch between the two teams is better. **1/4.

 

In the back, Torrie Wilson and Test collaborate for some of the worst acting this side of Al Wilson. Basically, Test has been almost stalking Torrie ever since he saw her in Playboy and she wants him to leave her alone. Stacy is Torrie’s friend and she would NEVER hurt her like that. Test doesn’t take no very well and plants on Torrie. He blocks a slap and she walks away upset but Sable has apparently seen the whole thing…Torrie and Test tried REALLY hard to keep a straight face throughout all this.

 

Rikishi vs. Sean O’Haire (w/Rowdy Roddy Piper)

 

Match Background: The Smackdown after Wrestlemania, Roddy Piper brought back Piper’s Pit and prior to the segment, WWE reminded everyone of it’s most infamous moment: Piper cracking a coconut over the head of Superfly Jimmy Snuka 20 years ago. After Piper’s Pit, Rikishi came to the ring with a coconut and told Piper that he’s a relative of Snuka and vowed revenge on behalf of the WWF Hall of Famer. Sean O’Haire debuted on Smackdown by attacking Rikishi from behind and joined Piper. The following week, Piper declared Sean O’Haire his protégé and wanted to show him all of his heelish ways. Then…Superfly Jimmy Snuka made a surprise appearance and went after Piper. Sean O’Haire took out Snuka from behind, prompting Rikishi to try and make the save, but failed after Sean O’Haire took him down. This past week on Smackdown, Piper took on Rikishi but Sean O’Haire blatantly interfered and it resulted in just a beating on Rikishi, leading up to tonight’s singles contest.

 

The Match: Piper makes his way to the ring with a coconut in a basket. He gets on THE STICK~! And introduces Sean O’Haire to the ring, wearing a leather jacket that looks a lot like a fishermans coat. Give him a hook for a hand and he looks like he could have been in I Know What You Did Last Summer. Rikishi goes after Piper but O’Haire is lying in wait. Rikishi sees the set up coming though and sends him into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Rikishi hits a samoan drop to cap off a small barrage of offense when Piper gets on the apron to distract him. O’Haire once again tries to take advantage but Rikishi is able to avoid the trap. Off an irish whip, Rikishi turns and looks at Piper to check what he’s up to, giving O’Haire the chance to superkick ‘Kish when he turns around. O’Haire makes with the stomps and INTENSE~! Chokes and when the ref goes to admonish him, Piper gets his licks in. O’Haire gets some punches in the corner followed by a pair of clotheslines for a two count. Neck vice resthold already…and these guys really shouldn’t be tired by now. He lets go of the hold to kick Rikishi in the back HARD and puts it back on. Meanwhile, the crowd is booing unmercifully as something besides the match has their attention and I don’t blame them. O’Haire places Rikishi across his shoulders, almost going for a Samoan Drop of his own, but Rikishi wriggles out of it and squashes him in the corner. He sets up O’Haire for the Stinkface…but in the best counter for the move EVER, O’Haire maneuvers himself directly under Rikishi and kicks him to a few feet away! Piper comes into the ring with a coconut, but is stopped by referee Brian Hebner. Rikishi and O’Haire get up at the same time and Rikishi hits a superkick at the same time that O’Haire hits an enziguiri and both men are down! Piper once again comes into the ring with the coconut, but Rikishi sees him, nails him with a right hand…and smashes the coconut on Piper’s head! O’Haire picks up Rikishi from behind…and plants him with the move that used to be called Cruel Intentions for the pinfall!

 

Winner: Sean O’Haire

 

My Opinion: I’m actually glad that Sean O’Haire went over. Now, I know what you’re thinking. It’s his first match, of course he’s going over. Well, Rikishi has seemingly gone over every single new talent he’s faced in the past year on Smackdown whenever he DIDN’T need the victory so I was a bit cynical. The match wasn’t great, but then again O’Haire didn’t exactly have the right opponent to show his stuff. Piper’s antics made for some entertaining moments though. O’Haire didn’t exactly come out looking any stronger than he did before, seeing as how he barely got any significant offense in. *

 

In the back, Stacy Keibler is at the catering table…and gets the smallest amount of food possible. I’m talking two celery sticks and a piece of fruit. She needs to eat a biscuit or two. Anyway, Sable comes in to stir some shit. Sable introduces herself and tells Stacy that she just saw Torrie kissing Test and that she’s been secretly having an affair with him. Stacy refuses to believe it…but she’s VERY intrigued. In a fit of rage…she THROWS down her tiny ass plate and storms off to find out the truth. I’m JUST as compelled as you are. No, really.

 

Elsewhere in the back, RVD is jittery while Kane seems like the calm, cool, collected and stoned one tonight. RVD tells Kane that he doesn’t think they’ll make it out with the tag titles tonight because they’re at such a disadvantage with Chief Morely being the Special Guest Ref for their tag title match against the Dudleys. He does get to slip in his catchphrase though. Kane lets him know that if they’re going down…they aren’t going down alone. Not a bad promo by RVD.

 

RVD & Kane vs. The Dudley Boys for the World Tag Team Titles with Chief Morely as the Special Guest Referee

 

Match Background: The Dudley Boys were enemies of the Bischoff Administration, namely Chief Morely, ever since the beginning of the year and were suspended by Morely without pay. In order to regain employment and their paychecks, The Dudley Boys turned on RVD & Kane in a match on Raw in order to help Chief Morely and Lance Storm retain their tag team titles. There was some dissent between the Dudleys, however, as Bubba was willing to help Morely with whatever he needed so he could continue being paid. D-Von’s swallowed his pride to help Morely as he just couldn’t stand the man but was forced to do it. On the Heat prior to Wrestlemania, RVD & Kane faced Morely & Storm for the tag titles once again, with the Dudleys in their corner. The Dudleys 3D’ed Lance Storm and put RVD on top for the cover…but after rethinking it, Bubba dropped an elbow onto RVD and allowed Storm to pin him to retain the titles. Kane then told RVD that since they haven’t had success as tag partners…they should go their separate ways, like Booker T & Goldust. RVD doesn’t want to hear it though as he was able to snag them a tag title shot with the stipulation being that if they don’t win the tag titles, they’d have to join the Bischoff Administration. To complicate matters, Morely made the match a triple threat match with the Dudleys and made an agreement that the Dudleys would lay down for Morely and Storm once they removed Kane & RVD from the picture. Kane & RVD ended up winning the titles that night though…and the rematch the following week when The Dudleys interference actually cost Morely and Storm. After a few more beatdowns from the Administration, Morely made the match for Backlash…The Dudleys vs. RVD & Kane for the tag titles, in exchange for the Dudleys doing his bidding, such as being up on Spike Dudley and Trish Stratus. On Heat, D-Von told Bubba that they should just get themselves fired and go to Smackdown. But Chief Morely entered the room and went one step further to insure that the Dudleys would win the tag titles…he appointed himself the special guest referee.

 

The Match: Bubba starts the match with RVD, end up doing a counter/reversal sequence…and go right into the Indy Applause Stance! Wow, that bothers me more than it usually does because I don’t expect by WWE guys other than RVD…and Bubba Ray Dudley has NEVER used a fighting stance in the ring, making it look VERY choreographed. RVD gets a spinning wheel kick for a two count and shoulder thrusts in the corner, flips on the last one and gets clotheslined down HARD by Bubba. D-Von comes into the match and keeps the advantage on RVD for a few seconds until Van Dam hits a spinning kick and a somersault legdrop for two. Kane comes into the match and begins working on D-Von’s arm with several arm wringers and an arm takedown. D-Von comes back with an arsenal of right hands but falls victim to a Kane big boot for a two count. Kane charges at D-Von in the corner and EATS BOOT, allowing him to lariat Kane down and tag in Bubba. Kane works on Bubba for a few until D-Von drapes Kane over the top rope throat first giving the Dudley’s the advantage again. Kane is able to come back with a spinebuster though for a close near fall. RVD comes back in, puts the boots to Bubba and hits a running basement dropkick in the corner. Another spin kick drops Bubba down and the Split Legged Moonsault gets a close two. Morely isn’t giving the Dudleys any leniency so far in this match. RVD charges at Bubba in the corner for a monkey flip, but gets pushed off by the larger Dudley brother. RVD charges at Bubba a second time and gets planted with a sidewalk slam. Morely talks to Kane in order for the Dudley’s to get the Wassap Headbutt in clean. D’Von is back in with RVD and puts on a resthold for a bit. The crowd chants “RVD” to get him going…but Bubba channels Kaientai and hits a basement dropkick on Van Dam while he’s in a camel clutch. RVD tries to make a tag to Kane but gets cut off by Bubba. He hits an enziguiri on Bubba, but still can’t manage to crawl over and make the tag. He finally makes the tag and Kane is…ON FIRE…AGAIN! He hits a side slam on D-Von for a broken up two and after a flurry of offense, tags RVD back in. RVD hits a kick off the top on D-Von and Rolling Thunder on Bubba. He goes for a monkey flip on D-Von in the corner, but D-Von counters with his AWESOME running neckbreaker out of the corner! RVD is the only one ever to take that move I believe. D-Von turns around to eat a Kane top rope clothesline! Bubba does his Dusty Rhodes impression on Kane…but he doesn’t like it one bit and goes for the chokeslam. Morely uppercuts Kane in the nether regions to make sure the move isn’t completed and Bubba goes for the pin. ONE…TWO…NO! Morely then tosses Kane out of the ring and goes to clothesline RVD as he staggers to his feet. Van Dam ducks and Morely nails Bubba! D-Von sees this and finally gets the chance to extract some revenge on Morely! He starts wailing on him with right hands…but Lance Storm comes flying in with a springboard clothesline! He goes after Bubba…but Bubba is able to duck...Bubba Bomb! Lance falls out of the ring and Bubba clotheslines RVD. Morely starts punching Bubba for some reason and irish whips him…setting himself up for the 3D! Kane comes back into the ring and chokeslams Bubba! He disposes of D-Von and RVD hits the Five Star Frogsplash! Another ref comes in to count….ONE…TWO…THREE!

 

Winners: RVD & Kane

 

My Opinion: Decent match out of these two. Too much interference and screwing around with Morely, but it makes sense storyline wise. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Dudley’s as champions again, but RVD & Kane wouldn’t have much to do as singles competitors on Raw these days. What I clearly didn’t like (and I don’t believe it was explained by the announcers, unless I missed it) was when Morely attacked Bubba. Bubba has been going with everything Morely has wanted all this time and always saved him from beatings. The only thing I can think of is that Morely attacked Bubba out of retaliation for Bubba Bombing Lance, but it wasn’t made clear at all. **1/2

 

In the back stage area, Stacy Keibler goes into the Women’s locker room to confront Torrie on the whole Test thing. However, Torrie assumed that Stacy realized that Test was stalking her and said “You mean you know? Oh Thank God, I didn’t know how to tell you this”. Taken as an admission of guilt, Stacy shoves her down and the entire women’s locker room have to hold her back. With the exception of Victoria and Dawn Marie, who’s actually cheering them to fight. Ahh, I love attention to detail.

 

Trish Stratus vs. Jazz (w/Teddy Long) for the WWE Women’s Title

 

Match Background: Trish Stratus and Jazz were rivals over a year ago battling for the Women’s Title, with Jazz dominating most of their feud. Trish prevailed though and in winning the title from Jazz, she gave her a knee injury that kept her out of the ring for months. Jazz came back with a vengeance a few months ago, targeting Trish Stratus after she was done wrestling the then Women’s Champ, Victoria. She declared that she was back and had her sights set on regaining the Woman’s Title. At Wrestlemania, Trish won the title in a triple threat match between herself, Jazz and Victoria. She then went on to face Jazz on Raw and defeated her…but the referee didn’t realize that Jazz’s foot was on the ropes. Theodore Long consoled Jazz in the back and convinced her that she was the victim of racial discrimination and told her that if she were to join him, he’d take her to the promise land. The next week on Raw, Jazz was able to get Trish to tap out to the STF, securing her a shot at the Women’s Title. After Trish was attacked by Bubba Ray Dudley on Raw (on Chief Morely’s orders), Jazz came in to do some more damage to her and softer her up for tonight’s upcoming title match.

 

The Match: Teddy and Jazz get in the ring and he wants to holla at us. He hands over the mic to Jazz who says “The bitch is back…and the bitch is black”. You know…she’s been back for over a month now and been black for even longer. Trish is still selling the attack from Bubba Ray Dudley and Jazz this past Monday on Raw on the way to the ring. Jazz gets in her face to start and lock up with Jazz getting the advantage with a shot to the kidneys. Trish gets a La Magistral cradle for two and a Japanese armdrag before they lock up again. Jazz goes for clubbing blows to the back and a backbreaker, concentrating on the already injured back. Trish comes flying back with a clothesline for a two, but Jazz takes control again shortly after. She gets the “Bitch Slam” and continues to target the back with knee drops. Trish flips out of a side slam attempt and gets one of her own, but falls victim once again to Jazz. She becomes John Tenta for a moment as she gets the Earthquake splash on Trish before exposing a middle turnbuckle in the corner. The ref goes to put it back and while he’s busy doing that, Trish rolls her up with a backslide. We’re supposed to believe that Trish would have won with a backslide if the ref was watching? Jazz gets up and gets some right hands to the face of Trish, who battles back with forearms. Trish charges at Jazz in the corner…and EATS BOOT! Jazz perches herself on the top turnbuckle, but here comes Trish with her handstand rana. NO! Jazz hooks one of her legs and drops down in a single leg crab! She drags her to the middle of the ring, but Trish will not tap out. Trish powers out and rolls Jazz up for two before putting on a Boston Crab of her own. She transitions into the STF and Jazz crawls the ropes! Teddy Long pushes the ropes towards her in order to get to them. Trish gets some chops on Jazz before nailing the Chick Kick for dos. Jazz comes back with a jawbreaker and a gorgeous dropkick for a close two count. Jazz goes for a belly to back suplex…Trish flips out and hits the Stratusfaction! ONE…TWO…its broken up by Teddy Long’s FLYING SHOE! HAHAHA! He blames it on the fans too when he’s asked by the ref! A second attempt at the Stratusfaction is turned into a roll up…but Jazz sits down and holds onto the ropes for the pinfall and the title victory!

 

Winner and NEW Women’s Champion: Jazz

 

My Opinion: Under normal circumstances, I would have said that if Trish was only to be a transitional champ, Jazz might as well have won it at Wrestlemania. However, I think this furthers the racial angle with Teddy Long, so it has its advantages. The match was decent as Jazz and Trish both did their part tonight. Trish and Jazz transitioned into moves nicely tonight and their efforts won’t go unrecognized by me. Jazz as the women’s champ has a lot more possibilities, so I welcome it. **1/4.

 

We go back to the dressing room where Booker T, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash make sure that they’re ready for the upcoming 6 man tag. Nash makes sure to emphasize that he wants Triple H tonight though.

 

Michael Cole and Tazz recap the Big Show/Rey Mysterio rivalry of the past few weeks on Smackdown as their match is next.

 

The Big Show vs. Rey Mysterio

 

Match Background: In WCW, Rey Mysterio was a phenomenon. A staple in the cruiserweight division, he was eventually able to move up and face larger wrestlers, going as far as winning the TV title. Rey was gaining in momentum and popularity and got into a problem with the 7 foot Kevin Nash of all people. Rey actually went over Nash clean, which gave him the status of a Giant Killer for a short while in WCW. Fast forward years later to his time in the WWE. He’s still facing large wrestlers and after gaining a non-title victory over the WWE Tag Team Champs Team Angle, he and his partner Tajiri faced A-Train and The Big Show on Smackdown. Although A-Train and Show won the match, afterwards, Rey hit Show with a 619 using the ring post, which caused Show to fall down…and it made him ANGRY. He was so upset about it that he asked for a match with Mysterio at Backlash. The following week, he took on Rey’s new partner Tajiri in a one on one match, but lost via count out when Mysterio distracted him…AND embarrassed him for the second week in a row leading into tonight’s match.

 

The Match: Show heads to the ring with an angry look on his face, just waiting to get his hands on Mysterio. Rey pops out of a side platform and heads to the ring with some hesitation as he locks eyes with Show. He jumps into the ring…and runs out immediately, afraid to tangle with the 7 foot man. Show heads to the outside and Rey quickly climbs into the ring. Show tries to get back into the ring and Rey hits him with a baseball slide. Show kicks the steel steps out of frustration…and gets even more frustrated when he’s the victim of a springboard dropkick as he makes his way back into the ring going over the top rope. Rey runs at him in the corner twice, punching away as much as he can, but is simply swatted down like a fly each time. A third charge proves costly as Show grabs him and tosses him into the corner with FORCE. He sets up Rey in the corner…and CHOPS HIM MEGA HARD. Show irish whips Rey but he goes out to the floor to recover from that chop, which really was just vicious! Show reaches over the top rope….palms Rey’s head and lifts him back onto the apron! Rey is able to drop down though, draping Show’s throat over the top and staggering the big man. He goes for a springboard cross body, but Show grabs him and throws him into a backbreaker. Show is just tossing him around at this point and puts the exclamation point by standing on him for a few seconds. He press slams Rey and lets him just drop, but Rey actually lands on his feet and goes after Show’s legs! Show doesn’t appreciate it…and chops Rey on his BACK, sending him flying out of the ring! Rey gets a chair from under the ring…Show goes over to see what he’s doing, as does the ref and Show ends up knocking the ref down by swatting him away. Rey sees the opportunity and nails Show in the head with the chair! Rey comes off the top with a flying senton! ONE…TWO...NO! Show gets up and holds onto the ropes to try and regain his composure….Rey hits the 619 on Show’s STOMACH! Show turns around and leans on the ropes, holding his midsection…Rey hits ANOTHER 619 on the back of Show’s legs! Show is down to his knees! A traditional 619! Rey comes off the top with a West Coast Pop attempt…but Show catches him in midair! DELAYED Chokeslam! Rey hits REALLY HARD. ONE…TWO…THREE!

 

Winner: Big Show

 

After the match, the referee checks on Rey and calls for the trainers. They come down and strap him onto a board. Then….Show comes BACK and in a scene straight out of a Friday the 13th movie, he picks up the board and swings it, nailing the ring post! Rey falls down FACE FIRST with NO protection as his arms are still tied by the gurney! I don’t think that last part was intentional. They stretcher him out after that…but the way he fell down after that, the injury just might be legit. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a severe concussion.

 

My Opinion: This match wasn’t a good match up for several reasons. If Rey won clean, Show would never be seen as a legit threat again, due to the size difference. Show beating Rey clean doesn’t exactly do anything for Show anyway. Now, the match itself might not have done anything for Rey or Show, but the post match antics sure as hell got Show over as a heel. Like I said, it looked like Rey could have been seriously injured….not by the actual Show attack, but the drop afterwards. That was just scary to watch. The match was a decent affair as Rey had to use his quickness and resources to chop Show down to size, but it wasn’t enough. Let’s see where they go from here. Quick note on Rey Mysterio’s time in the WWE. He has yet to win a match on a PPV. He defeated Chavo Guerrero and Jamie Noble on the Heat’s prior to Unforgiven and No Way Out respectively, but hasn’t chalked up a victory at all in any of the 3 hour events since his arrival. *3/4.

 

Lillian Garcia is in the back with Triple H, Ric Flair and Chris Jericho. Triple H tells Lillian Garcia that he’s not worried about Nash gunning for him because it’s a tag match. He puts over Flair…and then puts over Jericho, which just sounds surreal. Jericho gets on THE STICK~! And outclasses Triple H completely with his mic work. He’s only interested in making Shawn Michaels tap tonight. Flair goes NUTS talking about Booker T, comparing his 16 titles to Bookers 5. Triple H closes out the interview by addressing Nash…

 

Coach and Lawler pimp the next PPV, Judgment Day which will be on May 18th. Wow…I’ve recapped an entire year’s worth of WWE PPV’s.

 

Moving right along, Stacy and Torrie confront each other in the back again and once again get into a slap fest. This time, Torrie shoves Stacy into a fixture and a box comes crashing down on her head. Scott Steiner is nearby and helps her up. He comforts her and picks her up…but Test comes walking by and he’s HEATED that she’s with Steiner. Scott leaves her with Test and walks off as Test questions her some more….

 

You know, although neither angle is really compelling right now, I have to give kudos to the writing staff for once to be able to get two storylines from the two brands (Test/Stacy/Steiner & Sable/Torrie) and mesh them into something that actually makes sense. I never said the acting was great or that the angle will draw money, I just like the “crossover” and how both angles were furthered because of it.

 

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena for the WWE Title

 

Match Background: For months, the talk of the OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) developmental territory was a wrestler named the Prototype. He was charismatic, cut a good promo, worked decent matches and had a great look. However, with Vince McMahon’s penchant for big men, he called up Brock Lesnar first – a man who was mostly a tag team wrestler in OVW, but was able to perform amazing feats for a man of his size. He was given a HUGE push upon arrival and won the WWE Title in his first attempt against The Rock at SummerSlam. The Prototype was eventually called up…but he went under a different name this time – his real name, John Cena. He made a splash with his first match against Kurt Angle, showcasing his talent and even getting a pinfall victory on Chris Jericho is his first PPV match, but went into obscurity for the next few months. His mic skills that were praised so highly in OVW were nowhere to be seen and he became another face. That is until the Halloween edition of Smackdown where he came to the SD Halloween party as Vanilla Ice and cut an entertaining rap. This started a new gimmick for Cena, as he took his real life freestyling skills and incorporated them into an entertaining character. One which always dressed in throwback retro sports jerseys and backed down from no one. He called out Brock Lesnar immediately and was defeated promptly by the man who was in the midst of a few with Kurt Angle. To add insult to injury to the Olympic Gold Medalist, Brock F5’ed John Cena into the ring post and injured his leg to send a message to the then champion. Cena wouldn’t forget that and cut promo after promo week after week declaring that one day he’ll have his revenge against Brock. Lesnar went onto defeat Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania for the WWE Title and a tournament went underway to see who would be Lesnar’s opponent at Backlash. John Cena, who hadn’t beaten many top names, went on to defeat Eddie Guerrero, The Undertaker and Chris Benoit, with two of those 3 victories 100% clean, to become the number 1 contender for the WWE Title. Cena, looking for a way to weaken Brock prior to Backlash, enraged A-Train by showing him footage of a botched F5 that almost injured A-Train the last time he faced Brock Lesnar. With Cena at ringside, the plan seemed to work, but Lesnar came out victorious. Cena attacked Brock from behind and hit him with his new finisher, the Death Valley Driver, and followed it up with a chain shot to the forehead AND a shot to Brock with the championship belt, busting him open. In the two previous times that Brock has faced John Cena, he defeated him with relative ease…but the “Rookie with Ruthless Aggression” is no more and Lesnar will face the #1 contender tonight.

 

The Match: Cena comes out freestyling once again wearing a Yankees jersey….

 

“The list of legends that held the title, now include bro

I’ll be a better champion than Bruno Sammartino

This is thugonomics…I got opponents holding crutches

I’m Iron like the Shiek, I got you in my Camel Clutches

I lost my mind like Mankind, pulling socks from his ass crack

I’m straight, you’re Dude Love so get off the Cactus, Jack

I take your varsity letters and medals

I’ll leave you mangled and hurt

I’m attacking from all angles…

You’ll be calling me Kurt.

And I wear this Yankees jersey…Cuz Massachusetts makes me sick

You don’t like what I’m saying….well you can suck my..”

 

Not one of his better rhymes, but the last two lines got a ton of heat The mic actually went dead right before the last line and he used Tony Chimel’s mike. The fans start chanting “Yankees suck”…and they’ve drawn my ire. Brock gets the biggest pop of the night so far as he makes his entrance. It looks like Happy Brock has joined us this evening. You know…if I was left beaten and bloody by my opponent prior to this event, I wouldn’t be all smiles on the way to the ring. He’s got a bandage on his forehead from the attack on Smackdown as well. Cena and Brock go face to face for a second or two until Cena attacks Brock to start the match and sends him into the corner. Lesnar comes out of the corner quickly with knee lifts and clubbing blows onto Cena’s back. He lifts Cena…Lesnar is all BROCK SMASH!!! As he hits two backbreaker and a fallaway slam. Lesnar hits a pair of vertical suplexes before getting the first near fall of the match. He puts on a front face lock for a few and transitions it into a release Fishermans Suplex. Cena goes into the corner and puts a boot to Lesnar’s chin as he charges in, but then runs after Brock himself and gets press slammed. Brock clotheslines Cena to the outside and then throws him into the side of the announce table. Back in the ring now, Lesnar goes for a lariat, but Cena bails. He goes to ringside to get a chair, but Lesnar follows him out and continues the punishment. Cena hasn’t gotten an offensive move in the past few minutes. And as soon as I said that, Cena reverses an irish whip on the outside and throws him into the steel steps. He smashes his head into them as well as Brock’s wound is opened up. Cena gets a couple of pinfall attempts and then puts the boots to Brock, right in the wound. Lesnar gets up and hits a few knee lifts, but Cena attacks him with one of his own and tackles Brock onto the ring apron. Draped over the middle rope, Cena gets a 2nd rope legdrop on Brock, sending the champion to the outside. Cena then rams him into the ring post before going for the cover again and gets two. Cena puts on a reverse chinlock….and fifty-two seconds pass by. Yep…I counted. Cena gets up and boots Brock right in the forehead again, doubling him over. Cena gets a DDT for a two count. Cena get ready in the corner…charges at Brock and eats a Lesnar spinebuster! Both men are slow to get to their feet and Lesnar goes for some knee lifts…again. Cena retaliates immediately with a jawbreaker and a hard clothesline for a two count! He puts on a rear naked choke and out of NOWHERE…a LOUD “Lets Go Cena” chant starts! It could be the fact that he’s near his hometown. Brock is in the rear naked choke for OVER two minutes…but the crowd doesn’t die out! Brock gets up with Cena on his back and rams him into the corners repeatedly to get him off. A nice sized “Cena” chant starts up again…wow. Cena gets up and goes after Brock but gets clotheslined! They actually blow a clothesline spot before Brock gets a powerslam for two. There’s miscommunication on two irish whip spots…and that’s just not good at all. Brock drives his shoulder into Cena’s midsection in the corner. Cena gets out of it and whips Brock into the corner, almost bumping the ref, but Brock stops short. Cena hits a low blow from behind and rolls up Lesnar…ONE…TWO..NO! Cena comes off the ropes with his somersault neckbreaker for another pinfall attempt, but that only gets two as well. Cena goes to pick up Brock…who gets up and charges into the corner with Cena! Cena grazes the bottom of the top turnbuckle with his head and ends up smacking the ring post! Lesnar is down now and while the ref checks on him, Cena puts his chain around his hand. He gets up to use it, but the ref sees this and takes it away. Cena goes after Brock…but Lesnar gets up and hits the F5 out of nowhere for the anti-climactic pinfall.

 

Winner: Brock Lesnar

 

My Opinion: WWE didn’t have the confidence in these two to put the title match as the main event, but it wasn’t the draw for tonight and it showed. The match had a lot of flaws. There were too many chinlocks that were put on for far too long. Some irish whip sequences were blown. Lesnar didn’t vary his offense much, if at all and there weren’t any false finishes at all in the match. There wasn’t one point in the match where Brock seemed to be in serious danger of losing the title at all. Cena didn’t even get to attempt his new DVD finisher. I’m not sure why this match was booked the way it was, but it did neither guy any favors at all. I’m curious as to why Cena was cheered tonight though. If it was a hometown thing, I can understand. But if not, the fans may be either voicing their opinion about Lesnar or just happy to see a fresh face in the title hunt. I would guess the latter, since the former would have resulted in Scott Steiner Royal Rumble-like boos for the champion. This match up just didn’t click and I hope that Cena’s push doesn’t stall because of it or worse…they turn him babyface. **

 

We now go to a video package leading up the Raw 6 man tag…Footage of Nash and HBK in their glory days during the days of the Clique are shown.

 

Booker T, Shawn Michaels & Kevin Nash vs. Triple H, Ric Flair and Chris Jericho

 

Match Background: In 1995, a group of main eventers and upper midcarders who happened to be best friends were known in certain circles as The Clique. This group consisted of Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H and X-Pac. Reports say that these men as a unit were as powerful as any of Vince’s backstage advisors and writers and practically ran the WWF in 1995, pushing themselves and being locker room cancers. Back then, Triple H was the Clique member lowest on the card and received sole punishment for the “Curtain Call”, an incident in which the Clique broke kayfabe at a Madison Square Garden house show to say goodbye to Nash and Hall who were leaving for WCW.

 

Fast forward to years later and Triple H not only got out of the doghouse, but ended up in the pants of Stephanie McMahon. Thanks to backstage politics, Triple H was able to secure himself a top spot in WWE for the past few years and has been the reigning World Heavyweight Champion for quite some time. The only time he has been without the title since its inception in August was the month from November to December where Shawn Michaels was the champion. HHH & HBK began feuding for the World Heavyweight Title with Triple H eventually coming out on top. Chris Jericho then began feuding with Shawn Michaels and had a great match which stole the show at Wrestlemania, in my humble opinion, losing to the former Grand Slam Champion. HHH successfully defended his World Heavyweight Title against Booker T that night as well, thanks to HHH’s manager Ric Flair and the following week on Raw, Booker T & Shawn Michaels teamed up to take on HHH & Chris Jericho. After the match, Triple H and Jericho, along with Ric Flair, began beating down Booker and Shawn. This brought back Kevin Nash, returning from an injury and attacking Flair and Jericho. HHH just stared at him and walked up the ramp. The next week, Nash got on THE STICK~! And explained to everyone that he just wanted to reform The Clique, but HHH & HBK won’t stop feuding. HHH told him to choose a side and laid down the rules. If Nash chooses HHH, he’d support HHH as the Champion, but he’d have to stay in his place. If he chooses HBK, then he becomes an enemy of HHH, which isn’t a good thing according to HHH. Booker T earned a shot at HHH’s World Heavyweight Title again, but was unsuccessful in winning the gold again. Shawn Michaels, the special guest ref in that match, once again got into an altercation with HHH and Nash came out to try and break it up. However, HHH kicked Nash in the groin and basically chose what side he was on for him.

 

The Match: HBK comes out acting extra fruity as usual tonight for some reason and of course, Nash comes out last wearing an outfit similar to his Diesel days that reads “Big Daddy”. Jerry Lawler points out that all 6 men have held the World Championship…well, all 6 men have held the physical WCW title at one point or another. Nash wants HHH to start, but HHH tags out to Jericho…so HBK comes in. They start up chopping each other and having a slugfest in the ring until they end up in a series of near falls against each other. Jericho cheap shots after getting out of a backslide and blocks an HBK dropkick attempt by attempting the Walls of Jericho. HBK powers out and tags in Nash. Nash disposes of Jericho and Flair and asks HHH to come into the ring, but HHH stalls until Jericho can come in and blindside him. Nash tosses Jericho over the top, but he skins the cat to come back in, just to eat a Nash Big Boot. Booker T comes in to face Jericho and gets a HARD spinebuster for two. A barrage of chops in the corner by Booker T keeps the advantage until Jericho elbows out of the corner and comes off the top with a double axehandle attempt. The Book blocks it and pancakes him instead for two. Jericho gets up and sends Booker T into the heel corner where HHH comes in to work on his WM19 opponent. Booker gets a spin kick on HHH for a two count, but falls victim to a HHH facebuster. HHH gets some chops in the corner on The Book, but he’s able to fight back briefly before getting stuck in the heel corner again. He fights out of it only to get planted by a HHH spinebuster. Flair comes in quickly, but Booker tags in HBK and Flair bumps off his punches! HBK takes care of the entire team…but is going too slow to be a HOUSE..EN..FUEGO. HBK gets Sweet Chin Music on Flair, but HHH comes from behind and nails the Pedigree. Nash gives chase after HHH as Flair and HBK, the legal men in the match, are both down. Flair tags in Jericho, who takes the opportunity to mock Michaels after a pair of elbows. HHH comes back in and goes to work on HBK in the corner. HBK makes a small comeback and comes off the ropes, only to eat HHH High Knee. Booker T comes in to break it up and Flair comes in and goes for the Figure Four, only to get rolled up for two. Flair hooks HBK’s ankle and tags in Jericho who plants him hard with a belly to back suplex. HHH comes in and wraps HBK’s leg around the ring post a couple of times before sending him back into the heel corner. Triple H starts working the leg again and tags in the former 16 time World Champion who starts working on the leg as he always does. Flair hits a shin breaker…but Shawn no sells it and hits an enziguiri. Flair and HBK collide off a shoulder block and HBK falls on top of Flair for a two count. Flair tags in HHH…as HBK tags in Kevin Nash. Nash nails his patented elbows in the corner and body slams the rest of the team. Nash is VERY audible as he calls a spot to Flair before clotheslining him over. Nash gets Snake Eyes on HHH, which he follows up with a side slam for two. HHH heads to the outside as Flair comes in and just WAFFLES Nash with a loud chop, which he promptly no sells. Booker T goes after Flair and they head out to ringside while Jericho begins brawling with Nash. Nash tosses him away, but HHH turns Nash around and goes for the Pedigree! Nash back body drops HHH and goes for the Jacknife, but Jericho comes off the top with a missile dropkick to save the World Champion. Jericho and Booker T go at it, leading to Booker getting the scissors kick on Y2J and the SPINAROONIE~! Jericho gets up and goes over the top thanks to Booker and they start brawling at ringside. HHH and Nash are always brawling at ringside, leaving Flair and HBK in the ring. Flair heads to the top and gets his usual medicine for doing so by Michaels who winds up the band in the corner. Jericho gets in the ring and nails a bulldog on Michaels before he can get it off and Flair puts the Figure Four on HBK! Jericho hits the Lionsault on HBK while he’s in the Figure Four…but instead of going for the cover, Jericho places HBK in the Walls of Jericho. Nash sets up one of the announce tables to put HHH through it, but realizes that HBK might tap and comes to save the day. Now Nash serves up Snake Eyes and goes to Jacknife Jericho, but Flair gets in his way. Nash puts his hand around Flair’s neck and throws him out of the ring, taking the ref with him in a spot that just looked VERY badly done. Nash hits the Jacknife on Jericho, but HHH comes into the ring and nails him in the head with the sledgehammer and gets the pinfall.

 

Winner: Triple H, Ric Flair & Chris Jericho

 

My Opinion: In this Clique lovefest, Jericho and Booker T were the odd men out. They get nothing out of this match and were sadly underused as well. For the most part, the match seemed to be in slow motion unless they were in it. The fans didn’t really seem like they were too into it either. The finish is just setting up the Nash/HHH feud, which will probably make its first real stop at next month’s Judgment Day. Completely forgettable and not good enough to bother watching twice. **

 

Cole and Tazz are back and they recap the Mysterio injury angle…and there’s just NO WAY Mysterio got out of that completely unscathed.

 

We’re introduced to a video package for The Rock & Goldberg. From there, we head to the back with a pre-match interview between Terri and The Rock. Not one of Rocky’s better interviews. However, his last line: “The Rock ain’t next…you’re next, you whisker biscuit, bald headed BITCH”, got a ton of cheers AND “Rocky” chants as he headed out to the ring.

 

The Rock vs. Goldberg

 

Match Background: In 1998, WCW was all about Bill Goldberg. The NWO took a backseat from center stage as the former Atlanta Falcon went up the ranks in WCW and quickly won the WCW Title from Hulk Hogan, amassing a 173-0 record at one point. When WCW was purchased by the WWF in March of 2001, Goldberg was one of the men who didn’t take a pay cut to come in immediately. Around this time, the mega popular Rock went on to make the Scorpion King, which opened up with a $36 million dollar gate at the box office and received many more offers as a result. Because of this, his time in the now WWE was dramatically shortened as he would leave for months at a time, only to come back for a two or three month span and leave again. This upset the fans who booed the Rock upon his return this past February. After defeating his #1 arch rival Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania, The Rock decided that since he’d beaten everyone now…and since the fans no longer appreciated him, he was going to leave for good. This brought out Goldberg, debuting in the WWE and he told The Rock that he still hasn’t beaten him….with a spear. The Rock seemed to duck Goldberg’s challenge for a few weeks but later on accepted. Then came The Rock Concert II. He was in Goldberg’s hometown, Atlanta, and brought out former WWE Light Heavyweight Champion Gillberg in an attempt to mock Goldberg. When Goldberg charged the ring…he was Rock Bottomed by The Great One. The Rock then pretended to leave the arena, fooling Goldberg who gave chase to Rock’s limo on foot, in a hilarious screw up. The Rock then proceeded to continue his concert in the ring…but Goldberg returned! However, Christian stopped him, as The Rock inspired him to take charge and seize the moment. Goldberg quickly dispatched of Christian, but The Rock was awaiting with a barrage of chairshots which took the former WCW Champion down, leading to tonight’s match.

 

The Match: I’m going to miss that extended Rock Titantron video. They actually changed Goldberg’s music…so now I only like one thing about the man. The funny INTENSE~! Faces he makes when he’s done beating someone. That’s IT. The music doesn’t exactly lend itself to the “Goldberg” chant…so he doesn’t get them. The Rock walks around ringside, stalling before getting into the ring to face Goldberg. “Rocky” chants by the fans actually calm him down…and then the “Goldberg” chants start. Both men have been in the ring for over 2 minutes now and they’ve yet to touch each other. They lock up and Goldberg overpowers the Rock and send him flying into the corner. Goldberg is then BOOED by the Worchester crowd! They lock up again…same result, sending Rocky to the outside and once again a chorus of boos are heard. Rock gets back in the ring…and SLAPS the HELL out of Goldberg. Goldberg smiles at this and attacks Rocky with a few punches and a shoulder tackle before clotheslining Rocky to the outside. Another “Goldberg” chant starts as The Rock takes a ton of time on the outside. This is Larry Zbyszko-like stalling at this point. The Rock jumps onto the apron and pulls Goldberg’s head down onto the ropes before finally climbing into the ring and clotheslining him down. Rocky plays to the crowd until Goldberg gets up…and then Goldberg Rock Bottoms The Rock! He gets ready in the corner, waiting for The Rock to get up…he goes for the spear, but Rock sidesteps him and Goldberg goes running past him into the ring post. Goldberg starts selling his right shoulder as Rock sends him in and puts the Sharpshooter on. Goldberg screams to sell the move but eventually gets to the ropes to break it up. The “Rocky” chants start up and drown out the “Goldberg” fans! Rocky shoves Hebner out of the way and just straight up punches Goldberg in the groin! Rock sets up for the Rock Bottom, but Goldberg explodes out of the corner with a spear! Goldberg sells his shoulder injuries as The Rock actually gets up first, but Goldberg gets a shoulder tackle. Rock gets powerslammed for two. Goldberg is too hurt to capitalized, so Rocky gets up and uses three clotheslines to knock him down. He nips up and “smells” to the delight of the crowd before setting up and HITTING The Rock Bottom! ONE…TWO…NO! The crowd actually boos at the kickout! Rock with his trademark right hands shoots a few off on Goldberg until GB gets a clothesline in retaliation. The crowd once again boos every move he makes! The Rock gets up and spinebusters Goldberg and hits the People’s Elbow! ONE…TWO…NO! The boos are getting MUCH louder for Goldberg at this point. A “Goldberg sucks” chant breaks out and I’m starting to like this Worchester crowd. Goldberg gets up and spears the Rock to a chorus of boos! The Rock takes at LEAST 45 seconds to get up as the “Goldberg sucks” chant have gotten LOUDER and Goldberg nails him with a second spear! Goldberg signals for the Jackhammer…and gets it for the ONE…TWO…THREE. The crowd barely pops at all for the victory…

 

Winner: Goldberg

 

My Opinion: While it wasn’t nearly as bad as Scott Steiner’s reception at the Royal Rumble, the fans laid it into Goldberg. The match itself was pretty bad. The first 5 minutes of it was pure stalling and then the first real spot of the match was Goldberg Rock Bottoming The Rock! It seemed less like a match and more like a bunch of spots spread out by stalling and overselling. Part of the blame also has to go to The Rock, as he took way too long to get up from certain spots, leaving Goldberg waiting there for far too long for his spears. Well, this looks like Rock’s last match for quite a while and I’m sure he’s disappointed that he wasn’t able to put Goldberg over the way he wanted. Where Goldberg goes now…who knows, but I bet Triple H already has enough ammunition with this match to keep him from winning the World Title any time soon. *1/4.

 

Overall: With no matches over ***, no Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle or even Rhyno on the card, Booker T & Chris Jericho wasting their time in a 6 man tag they weren’t a crucial part of and no real storylines advanced, this was a lackluster show and probably WWE’s worst show since King of the Ring 2002. WWE could just press the reset button and go in different directions, but that’s what the Raw after Wrestlemania is for, not a $35 PPV. The WWE was banking on the intrigue of Goldberg’s first match to sell this show, but with The Rock going back to Hollywood for good this time, the result was never in any doubt, as was the WWE Title match and therefore, this PPV was nothing more than a waste of time and money.

 

‘Til Next Time…

 

The Dames, Damian Gonzalez

 

If you have any questions, comments, hate mail, fan mail, ANYTHING…please, do yourself a favor and contact me at [email protected] I get to every e-mail eventually and always write back.

 

Oh…and be sure to come back to TSM on Wednesday night for the highly anticipated Raven vs. Jarrett NWA World Title match…Week 42.

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