(*Note: the official song of Mollyopoly 3 is 'Iowa' by Slipknot)
Well, 2 months ago I didn't think I was going to be saying this, but...Raw is a better show than SmackDown right now.
I watched this weeks edition of SD to see for myself whether or not all the negative commentary regarding the show was warranted and in words of one syllable...yes, it is. If wrestling were an actual sport, SD would be the Montreal Expos and Raw would be every other MLB team stealing Expos talent and leaving them high and dry. There are some good things about SD; Kurt Angle and The Big Show (TBS). Unfortunately, Kurt may not wrestle again for a LONG time, and TBS is going to be out for a few months to get his knees worked on. Soooooooo... we are left with Eddie Guerrero and JBL-John 'Bradshaw' Layfield - to carry the franchise. Well, I don't doubt that Eddie Guerrero can carry SD...I just doubt he can carry SD with the extra 270 some-odd pounds of JBL on his back as well. The gimmick? Well, the racist, white Republican Texan Good-Old-Boy gimmick is sure to draw heat. Time will tell if that heat is main-event caliber heat. JBL is, ahem...somewhat LESS than the world-renowned and world-class athlete his babyface foil is. But we'll see. HBK used to make a regular habit of carrying under-skilled big men to pretty good-and in some cases, great-matches. I just don't like how JBL is being shoved down everyone's throat...but then again, there isn't anybody else to do anything with. And that's on the writers.
The Bashams dominated OVW. Do something with them. Do something with Rene Dupree. It's not that I don't like the 'Cafe Rene' vignettes. It's just that SD is one LONG vignette interrupted sparingly by matches that nobody cares for. The good thing is that the young and unproven talent gets their chance to sink or swim. The guys that they have are tremendous athletes. Somebody has to write for them, though, for them to get over. And I mean something original. I'm not gonna applaud the WWE for lifting Ted DiBiases' gimmick and putting draping it around the shoulders of JBL. I'll give them credit if it gets over and Eddie and JBL benefit from it. But the WWE gets 1 point for originality...and a half a point for unpredictability for this one.
I've always said it, so I'm not going to linger on this point: TBS is great. No, he's not a great worker. Yes, he's bigger than ever. Yes, he is only slightly faster than the ring itself. But, with all that said, TBS tells a good story almost every match, he sells more than any big man HIS size has a right to, and he has become a respected component of the SD locker room. And his promo skills...snapping emotionally, stalking Torrie Wilson, flipping her car over, and then nearly 'murdering' Kurt...this was all good, good stuff. There aren't many guys in the company other than TBS who could have pulled it off.
I didn't catch Backlash. I have a policy regarding WWE PPV's: I'll start buying them when the WWE gets its TV product in order. Really, I'm not gonna pay money to watch what amounts to another episode of 'Raw' on PPV. Besides, I have a problem with 3 different aspects of WWE programming, and I personally voice my dissent by not giving them my money. Those three things I take issue with-in no particular order:
Eugene: Okay, I'll bite. The WWE is, ahem, portraying Eugene as a hero to the handicapped portion of WWE viewers out there. Okay. I'll just say this. If the WWE was interested in-and capable of-pulling off great human drama and meaningful storylines that could draw you in and make you think, then I would be all for Eugene. However, the WWE is not the forum for portrayals of this nature...and for that matter, the same goes for La Resistance. Gutty writing could make Eugene more than just a bad comedy act. Gutty writing could make La Resistance something more than just an excuse for the WWE to get in lock-step with the popular media and our current president and his administration in regards to the whole 'let's vilify the French' movement. The WWE doesn't have the skill to pull either gimmick off. Stop. Now. Please.
Rascist Overtones as Concerns the SD World Champion: Okay, I'll bite. None of the SD heels are gonna stand for Eddie lyin', cheatin' and stealin' his way to the top of the SD card. Okay. But does EVERYONE have to continue to harp on his troubled past every time the WWE picks someone new to feud with him? Do they HAVE to harp on illegal immigration and a whole slew of Latino stereotypes (the lowrider thing, Latinos and 'landscaping', Latinos and Taco Bell, and of course...Latinos making a run for that DAMN border!)? First it was John Cena. Then it was TBS. Then Brock. And Kurt. And now, JBL. My problem with this is that the elements of each subsequent feud that could be called overtly rascist ESCALATE with time. Something to look out for.
Women's Wrestling: My stance on this is simple. Somebody in the WWE needs to do right by the women and find some way to craft a real women's division, create interest in it, market it, and give it to the people who want it. That's my stance. The problem with that is the lack of anything outside of cursory attention given to the women is not the fault of the WWE. They simply reflect the attitudes and wants of their viewing public. And most of them SEEM to want soft-core porn. Oh well. When that changes, when this country's' attitude towards them changes (and I'm not talking about kowtowing ANY MORE to that New Feminist movement out there), the WWE Divas wrestling situation will change. Again...it is the fans who have to change it, and a big way to get the attention of a juggernaut such as the WWE is when enough people get fed up and stop buying WWE merchandise and stop buying WWE PPV's and stop watching WWE programming. And WWE programming? On May 2, the WWE is going to debut what looks to be ANOTHER RECAP SHOW in 'The WWE Experience'. Okay. I'll bite. Again. Maybe you missed Raw and SD. The WWE is committed to keeping you up to speed on all of their storylines. Okay. But, 'Bottom Line' and 'Afterburn' should cover all of that. BUT 'Velocity' and 'Heat' are just recap shows with 1-3 original matches per week, and hell-at least once a month, Heat just serves as an hour-long shill-fest for whatever WWE PPV that is in circulation. Should've devoted one show to the Divas, WWE. They aren't over enough to warrant a show? Well, that's YOUR fault.
Raw 4/18/2004. Decent show. It started out with a bang, what with Chris Jericho and Christian and Trish continuing their feud. Y2J has a new Titantron. Huh. The matchup ended with the once and former Bane from OVW (Tyson Tomko) interfering on behalf of the CLB and allowing him to secure victory #2 over our party host, Y2J. Benoit cut a LONG promo. Okay, it may not have been that long, but Chris Benoit is toxic on the mic. I love his character, I respect his skill, but as skilled a technician as he is, there is nothing Benoit can do to hide the fact that he is no good on the mic. His promos, while they HAVE gotten better than they were during his WCW days, are still nothing more than badly crafted, torpor-inducing filibusters. Cut to commercial, please!!!
Some WMXX footage of Molly Holly getting her hair shaved off is shown. I just want to jump on out there and pull her out of that chair and chastise Victoria for what she's done. I sure do. Anyway, this is a match for the Women's Championship tonight, and apparently Victoria finally started taking the Zoloft her doctor gave her, because she apparently isn't nuts anymore. Nope. She's appealing to the crowd, skipping (?) and kissing kids at ringside (?!?). She even did a little booty dance before nailing her opponent, Molly, with a moonsault. Huh. You know what? Just between you and me, I hate on turns that just 'happen' with no storyline or anything. Turns that just happen for no reason suck. So does Victoria's turn. I like her, I like her HEEL character, but it is just lame to have her go from insanity to Annette Funicello-levels of sugar-sweetness overnight.
But alas, that was all the sweetness you were gonna get in this match. As the inevitable 'perform-some-kind-of-move-that-will-remove-Mollys'-wig-and-freak-her-out'spot transpired, Molly underwent a change! A change? YES!!! Oh, she commenced to putting her foot in Victoria's ass and in the end, she laid Vicky out like some dog in the street and choked her out with a Japanese sleeper. It took TWO WWE officials quite a while to pry Molly off the limp, unconscious body of Victoria, as Molly wasn't going to release her death-grip until the last bit of breath was sucked out of Victoria.
I like it. I like it. The newer, more vicious, more psychotic Molly is a dream to behold, and her current Bubba Ray Dudley cut makes this even more credible. The fact that it took 2 WWE officials several moments to get her off Victoria makes her even more credible. There are (allegedly) other WWE women who have a 'better' look, and who are more over with the crowd. But Molly is the straw that stirs the WWE Diva drink, she is the 'tally' to the WWE divas 'ho', she is the 'Ren' to their 'Stimpy' and the 'Pearl' to their 'Harbor'. Let's face it; when two faces like Vicky and Lita are working a PPV together, your heel quotient is either non-existent or badly utilized. Raw needs a lead female heel to get Victoria over as a babyface, and with Trish working with Y2J and the CLB, well, that leaves the job in the very capable hands of Nora Greenwald. You think Jazz, Nidia or Gail Kim can handle that? You're wrong. Keep giving Molly the ball, WWE!!! Hopefully, Molly will use a variant of that chokehold as her finisher from now on; the Molly-go-Round isn't really the finisher for a vicious heel to employ.
(*With their concurrent mental destabilization gimmicks playing out, Molly and The Big Show should team up sometime and commiserate!)
Evolution shows up in a limousine, and HHH heads to the back...ANGRY! Why? Because now HBK has the singles match for the World Heavyweight strap with Benoit that HHH covets. Grrrrrrrr!!! Kane cuts a promo, and you know what? I dig Kane, and I dig his promos. He waxes poetic, as though he was Walt Whitman or Sylvia Plath. All he needs to do is change his music...I know, Tool!!! 'Stinkfist'!!! Come out to that!!! Either that, or 'Reptile' from Nine Inch Nails. Something that a heel would want to come out to. 'Slow Chemical' just ain't cuttin' it. Anyway, we can expect Kane to 'sacrifice' someone tonight, and this causes Bischoff and Johnny Nitro to wet themselves. Randy Orton came out and cut a promo (Raw is BIG on promos from the same guys week after week) and put himself over as 'The Living Legend' I dig Randy Orton a LOT more than Larry Zbyszko, so that's okay in my book. Edge came out, demanded that Randy spit in his face and declared that he dislikes Randy. Edge did all this while continuing his rapid physical transmogrification into HHH. I swear to God, he must have woke up one day and pledged to make himself a HHH clone as regards his look (Edge is swoll, now) and his promos. Anyway, Evolution came out and SQUASHED Edge and Benoit as well, when he tried to get in on the action. Can you smell a WWE World Tag Team Title match coming?
Garrison Cade-just like Jonathan Coachman at Backlash-defeated Tajiri...cleanly. CLEANLY. That doghouse the WWE has, usually reserved for Test, Matt Hardy and Lita these days, seems to have a new guest. Wonder who Tajiri pissed off to get this crap assignment?
Eugene, William Regal, Lilian Garcia, a T-Shirt gun and William Regals' AREA. Why does Eugene hate Regal's groin so much? Val Venis and Lita were slated to take on Gail Kim and Matt Hardy in an intergender tag-team matchup. This must have made Val happy, to finally get off Heat. However, I said the match was 'slated' to happen because it never happened. It ended in a no-contest when Kane turned everyone's smile upside-down and 'sacrificed' Val with a chokeslam and he then prepared to turn his terror on Lita, who curiously never left the ring. Matt Hardy decided to do the 'right thing' and BOY was his face turn PAINFUL. Kane 'sacrificed' V-1 as well, and a terrified Lita was left to cower in the corner.
I must say, I dig Lita going back to her 'retro-Lita' look and ditching the shorts and Road-Warrior-esque boots. Also, I don't care if she's not hitting the gym like she used to. A little paunchiness on a woman is a good thing. Almost as good as the implied angle of Matt and Lita re-uniting on television.
To top it all off, Edge and Benoit won the tag-team straps from Flair and Batista. I must say, Batista is SWOLL. If only he had even a LITTLE charisma. Also, the WWE kept Shelton Benjamin's' amazing push alive in the wake of his HUGE(?) victory over Ric Flair at Backlash by...not having him appear on television??!?
That was Raw in a nutshell. All told, a decent show.
Now, on to the portion of the column where I shamelessly put Molly over. I call it: 'The Portion of the Column Where I Shamelessly Put Molly Over'
Molly Holly looks better than Jaime Pressly. Molly Holly looks better than Brooke Burke. Nicole Kidman, Leelee Sobieski, Pink, Christina Aguilera and Drew Barrymore? MOLLY HOLLY LOOKS BETTER THAN YOU. Am I overselling? Am I guilty of marking out? Sure. But I'm simply being self-indulgent here. It doesn't hurt anyone when I shamelessly use every opportunity I can manufacture to put The Mollyholly over. It shouldn't hurt anyone when I say that, oh, Penelope Cruz isn't in The Mollyhollys' league. Penelope Cruz herself would agree with this assessment - the most cogent factor in my argument being that this is the truth. You disagree? You're wrong. You think The Mollyholly is somewhat short of being the innermost and most primal representation of sensual beauty on THIS earth? Fine. You're still entitled to your opinion. But you know what?
You're still wrong.
Molly kicks ass. Hopefully in the upcoming weeks, the WWE will continue to push the Molly/Victoria feud in the same fashion that it went down last night: Raw, intense and vicious.
See you next week.