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The Booking Report

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The Booking Report: Raw (03.09.08) vs. SmackDown (03.09.11)


Same old shit this week as I have put off writing this until Saturday at 2:30. Now normally that wouldn’t be a problem, BUT I have a concert to go to that requires me leaving at 6:00. So lets kick this shit into hyper-drive.



Raw September 8, 2003






Not One, but Two Screw Ups

Rating: 0/10


The Ten Man Tag match was different, which is a good thing. Viewers like to see a little variety every now and then. Naturally though numerous seriously botched spots plagued this match. Mark Henry’s fall through the ropes was actually quite funny in an ironic way simply because last week I called that we have nothing to worry about since Henry would get injured within his first couple of months back. Well, I was close on that call. Eh, There is always next week. Spike’s fall on the other hand was more sickening than anything else. How that man came out of that without a serious neck or head injury is beyond me. When it came to the actual match, I don’t really understand why Mark Henry was the guy to pin Bubba considering the Dudleys are still feuding with La Resistance. I’m sort of surprised they made a Six-Man Tables match for Unforgiven, but I guess that just means that Bubba and D-Von will win the straps on Raw sometime before the Survivor Series.


Battle of the Commentators: Round 2

Rating: 0/10


Hey, look at that… They actually used one of my ideas for a change. I suggested that the JR-Coach match at Unforgiven be turned into a tag match. Then again I also mentioned that the idea itself was incredibly stupid since it doesn’t leave anyone to commentate the match, unless they use someone like Austin or Bischoff. There is really no positive here except for the long shot possibility that JR and Lawler just might lose their spots on Raw. Unfortunately, that is highly unlikely. I wouldn’t be so against these segments if Coach and Al Snow actually attacked JR and Lawler for the same reasons that all of us do. Just saying that one is fat and the other uses the term “puppies” is only the tip of that iceberg.


State of Raw Address

Rating: 1/10


Isn’t it great that Steve Austin has not been used productively in over a month? There really was no “State of Raw Address”. It was more a “Let’s remind everyone that Steve Austin can’t attack wrestlers” address. The man said absolutely nothing about the State of Raw, like how much it sucks. Instead he dwelled on an issue that was resolved in the beginning of the summer. HOWEVER, Christian and Jericho saved this one from scoring a zero. I would actually love to see a lengthy rematch between those two at Unforgiven. Jericho’s faux face turn didn’t really fool me. If they were really going to turn someone with the star power of Chris Jericho, it would not have been due to someone like Christian. Jericho’s run in fit in perfectly well with his character. The man is an egotistical paranoid lunatic and if anyone tries to steal his spotlight, face or heel, he will go after them. Although I don’t think that same character would have been naïve enough to pat Steve Austin on the shoulder, but that is WWE for you.






The Same Old Women’s Shit

Rating: 2/10


Could they possibly get any lazier when it comes to booking this division? How many times are we going to see Trish & ___ vs. Molly & Gail Kim? Not only that, but it is also the same finish each time. It is quite obvious that this is all leading to a returning Lita, who is another one that I can’t stand. Ever since Jazz and Victoria got cycled out and were replaced with Gail Kim this division has became shit. Interestingly enough, that is also around the same time as the infamous interview. I think it’s time to move on.


If Steiner Loses, Test gets to Fuck him

Rating: 2/10


That has to be one of the more intriguing stipulations we have had attached to any match in quite some time. They had to add SOMETHING else to that match seeing how it would be the THIRD time that Test and Steiner fought over Stacy. Of course something like a steel cage or strap match would have been more conventional, but it wouldn’t have been any near as provocative and isn’t that what professional wrestling is all about? If anything this may have added a few extra buys to Unforgiven. All twelve of those slash fans might tune in now.






Goldberg gets beat up… Again

Rating: 4/10


I wasn’t thrilled with this mystery partner “swerve” that they pulled. I just don’t understand why this would make anyone want to go out and buy Unforgiven next Sunday. WOW. Goldberg got his ass kicked; now I must see the PPV. I don’t think so. Speaking about the PPV match, the added rule that Triple H will lose his title if disqualified or counted out pretty much leaves them with no choice but to put the World Title on Goldberg. Originally they had the out where Goldberg could just go over by DQ, but now that is no longer an option. Whatever. Win or loss, Triple H will have the title back after the honeymoon.


Lance Storm and his Victory Dance

Rating: 5/10


Seeing Lance Storm unleash that wave of charisma was easily the Highlight of the Night for me. I don’t see how this could be considered a “major push”, which was what he was rumored to be receiving following the BORING gimmick. Nonetheless, using Goldust as a manager of sorts while he is rehabbing his elbow is also a very good idea since he is one of the few people who can get a reaction out of the crowd by doing absolutely nothing. Storm was also really hamming it up out there and looked to be having fun. Then again, maybe he was just happy to be wrestling on Raw again. Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to however he is used this coming Monday simply because his new character is just a feel-good kind of guy that you don’t mind watching. Come to think of it, that’s more than can be said for majority of the performers on Raw. GO STORM!!


The Cage Match

Rating: 6/10


I swear to God, you people are impossible to please. First of all, everyone goes on and on about how Rob Van Dam should be feuding with Kane instead of Shane McMahon. I tried to point out that whomever faces Kane at this point in his career, should and will be squashed by him. So what happens this week on Raw? Kane beats the living hell out of Van Dam, in a match that all of you were asking for rather than Kane-Shane. I don’t understand what everyone is complaining about. Kane’s character is that of a mother-fucking monster. Why should Rob Van Dam beat him? Now everyone was also going and on about how Van Dam was completely squashed. Maybe I was watching a different match because I saw him get a fair share of offense in taking into consideration the story of the match and Kane’s current character. I like Rob Van Dam as much as the next guy, but right now Kane is the one who should be getting pushed. My only problem with the match was that it didn’t leave anyone with a reason to continue watching Raw and not flip over to Monday Night Football, which was supposedly the point in putting that match on first.






Total Matches: 5

Total Wrestling Time: 26:15


The first forty minutes of this show (Kane-RVD, Storm-Rico) were pretty entertaining, but everything crumbled from then on and never came back together. There was also very little actual wrestling this week, not even thirty minutes. And that number above included the commercial break during the Cage match. All in all, I’ll just call this a miserable show that did next to nothing when it came to promoting the Unforgiven PPV, which is going to need as much hype as it can get.



SmackDown! September 11, 2003






Another meaningless Torrie Feud

Rating: 0/10


Why does the SmackDown writing team feel the need to constantly use Torrie in wrestling storylines with equally horrible divas? Ultimately there is no way in hell she could realistically defeat Shaniqua, so why even bother with this? Everything was perfectly fine the way it was with Torrie and Nidia implying lesbianism backstage, Shaniqua standing at ringside and Dawn Marie doing nothing. That formula worked and most of all it didn’t piss me off. Now though we are stuck seeing actual matches between this group of women who couldn’t put on a semi-watchable match if their lives depended on it. Plus this match had to take place on the episode of SmackDown that was already cut by thirty minutes.






APA Stay Strong

Rating: 3/10


This match really didn’t piss me off as much as it did other people mostly because Matt Hardy wasn’t squashed as much as Shannon Moore was. Matt got in a decent amount of offense while he was the legal man, leaving Shannon as the one to take the brunt of the APA’s offense. No doubt I am angry that this match probably means that the APA remains in the WWE Tag Team Title picture. They really need to create another credible face tag team. I heard Ultimo Dragon and Funaki worked well together on Velocity, but I am not sure if they would qualify as credible. Gunn and Noble are a decent team… At least when Noble is in the ring. One way or another this division needs a kick in the ass because it went from being the most exciting thing going in WWE to this.






Stephanie Main Events for the Third Time

Rating: 4/10


Was this a shitty way to hype next week’s Iron Man match or what? Sure it was better than nothing, but still. I do have to give Stephanie her props though. I understand that she does not belong in the main event slot of SmackDown every few weeks, BUT she does go all out when it comes to bumps. Guys like Lesnar and A-Train don’t seem to be babying her out there. She gets thrown from pillar to post and doesn’t land softly at all. That being said, it’s good that when she does end up in a high profile spot she goes out of her way to make the product come off looking good.


The Feud without a Purpose

Rating: 5/10


Thankfully this horribly booked feud between Benoit and Rhyno is finally over. However, there is a chance that it will be followed by a Benoit-A-Train feud. I can never win. Back to Benoit-Rhyno though. Like I said last week, this feud had great potential, but from day one it was written completely ass-backwards. I called it back when they decided on Rhyno’s cause for turning on Benoit just for the sole purpose of being able to write Doink the Clown on to the show. From there they threw these two into a messy four-way deal with Eddie and Tajiri. Both of which should have had individual programs to work with. Now for no reason at all A-Train has been added to the Benoit-Rhyno mix as if it wasn’t fucked up enough already. The “one partner turns on another” feud has been in existence for AGES, yet somehow WWE screws it up. Can’t say I’m surprised in the least. Lastly seeing how this feud, albeit a bad one, had been going on for a while now, shouldn’t this match have been hyped at least one week in advance?






Finally a Cruiserweight Program

Rating: 7/10


It’s only been a little under three months, but Rey Mysterio now has his first opponent to feud with over the Cruiserweight Title. Also, the good thing about Tajiri is that he hasn’t been wallowing in the division like Nunzio and Noble have, so in a way he seems more credible. Plus he is fresh off a heel turn and a relatively high profile US Title program. For the time being I am very pleased as far as the Cruiserweight division goes. We will just have to see where they take this one once the feud is kicked into high gear.


Chavito Returns

Rating: 8/10


I really liked this match a lot because we haven’t seem something like it in quite some time. The company has really done a good job of toning down the number of gimmicky/out of the ordinary matches that it runs on TV shows because now stuff like this really seems special. The 8/10 rating only stands if the Eddie-Cena feud is not over yet because in my mind this was anything but conclusive. Although, as a stop in the road for their feud it was excellent. Some other critics have been saying that match wasn’t good because it didn’t compare to a Steve Regal-Fit Finlay Parking Lot Brawl from Nitro. Seeing how I was never a regular Nitro viewer, that dilemma does not affect me. The match itself wasn’t mind blowing or anything. It was just a fun and different way to spend 10 minutes. Not to mention a little shocking at times. Here’s to another couple of weeks of Eddie-Cena.






Total Matches: 5

Total Wrestling Time: 27:28


Quite frankly, the fact that this show was only an hour and half might have made it come off better than it would have if it went the full two hours. Very little time was devoted to hyping the main event that didn’t actually happen. Normally I’m sure they would have spent a lot more time developing that. Three of the five wrestling matches that were on this show were either technically good or just fun to watch. The only real waste of time was the Shaniqua crap. Everything else served some kind of purpose. Whether you agree with that purpose or not is another story.



SmackDown 7 :: Raw 1


HotW: Latino Heat Parking Lot Brawl

LotW: The Main Event Swerve


Total Matches: 10

Total Wrestling Time: 53:43


OK, so SmackDown was about forty minutes shorter than Raw, but also offered slightly more in-ring time. That is quite fucked up as far as Raw is concerned. Even more important than the wrestling, both shows had the job of hyping their own respective big cards; Unforgiven and this coming week’s SmackDown. In that sense, both Raw and SmackDown failed. Better wrestling matches were enough to push SmackDown over the top, but in reality I wouldn’t call either show a success.


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