Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WWE Taboo Tuesday 2004

We're jumping ahead a year here because I don't want to wait until months down the line to replace an old slot.

In 2004, WWE attempted an "innovative new" formula for their PPV offerings; Taboo Tuesday, a PPV that would air on a Tuesday instead of the traditional Sunday and also give the audience (we didn't have a WWE Universe at the time, whatever that is) some control over the booking of the match.

I posted my votes and subsequent thoughts on the show back in the old blog and those have been reposted here. The choice of words is unfortunate, as is the overall tone, but it does give you an idea of what I thought of this show at the time. It's been years since then and I've opted to give this show another look, if for no other reason than this give this show a proper write-up circa 2018.

First match had Intercontinental champion Chris Jericho defending his title against one of a dozen or so potential opponents for the audience to choose from. I voted for William Regal because I thought him and Jericho could have a good match, but the chosen one would be Shelton Benjamin, who not only went on to have a decent match with Jericho, but eventually pinned him to win the title. Now if that wasn't a solid way of selling the audience on the concept, then I don't know what is, but this was a nice surprise regardless.

By the way, my choice for contender, William Regal, got a little over 3 per cent of the vote. Meanwhile, Jonathan Coachman got seven per cent of the vote. Even back in the day, there were stupid fans in the audience who didn't know any better.

Next up is a Divas battle royal for Trish Stratus' Women's title, where people voted on whether they dressed up as nurses, french maids, or schoolgirls. I voted schoolgirls, we got schoolgirls, and we've got some skimpy schoolgirl costumes in there... then again, I doubt the other choices would've been any different. In any event, once you're done ogling over the outfits on some of the nicer looking Divas while shaking your head at someone like Jazz who has more of a built physique that doesn't fit either fetish fuel and clearly deserved better than to be associated with this sort of thing, you have a five minute pissbreak before Trish Stratus wins the thing and retains the title. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along, move along.

Gene Snitzky (that guy who kicked a baby doll into the crowd and then proclaimed it wasn't his fault) defeated Kane in a match that saw a steel chain voted in as a weapon of choice, but then Gene decided to kill Kane with a chair across the neck, causing Kane to spit out red liquid. Sadly, the weapon I voted for, the pipe, never saw the light of day... and I am sad. It's a fairly classic story that saw Kane fall before the power of the new big bad monster and at the time, I thought it was a pretty brutal brawl. The match was a little too long for the story they were telling, but in terms of showing off Snitzky as an intimidating force, it worked for a while before they eventually gave him yellow teeth and a foot fetish... because that's scary or something.

Eugene (Nick Dinsmore in a mentally challenged gimmick) defeated Eric Bischoff in a relatively short match in which the loser was voted to get a haircut, thus giving Eric a nice shave and a fond farewell to his dyed hair. This moment would've been quite hilarious... if it hadn't already played out in WCW about five years earlier. As a bonus, Coachman was forced to wear a dress. Sadly, he was a couple years too late to join in on the Pat Patterson vs. Gerald Brisco Evening Gown match for the Hardcore title.

Next up is the tag title match, where perennial French team La Resistance (comprising RD and RC) would defend the titles against the two losers of the World title draw, which ended up being Chris Benoit and Edge because everyone voted for Shawn Michaels (so did I.) Sadly, being relegated to a tag title match as opposed to a World title match didn't sit well with Edge and towards the end, left Benoit to fend off two guys on his own.

And well, that's what Benoit did. He beat the Frenchmen and won the tag titles all by himself. Sadly, the match wasn't any good since it was a mostly one-sided affair until it was time for the big comeback and by that point, I was all but glad that it was over.

Diva Search winner and eventually TNA correspondent Christie Hemme defeated Diva Search runner-up Carmella (no, not that Carmella) in a Lingerie pillow fight. I voted for Aerobics Challenge (the other vote was an Evening Gown match), but any way you slice it, this match was the shits. I will take one thing I said back in the day, where I mentioned that neither girl is that good looking. Looking back, Christie grew on me eventually; she wasn't much in terms of the rasslin', but she had personality, she was easy on the eyes, and she was one of the few Diva types that stuck in my head enough that when she showed up on TNA, I actually reacted.

World Champion McSon-In-Law defeated Shawn Michaels with a timely assist from Edge (further cementing his heel run) to retain the title. This was a fairly short match and for all intents and purposes, I was fine with this. I'd imagine I would be less so back in the day when I had to endure numerous HHH vs HBK matches that had more than worn out their welcome, but today, it's okay.

And in the main event, Randy Orton defeated Ric Flair in a steel cage match. I voted for a submission match because I thought that'd be more interesting; though in hindsight, I probably should've voted for a falls-count-anywhere match because you could do crazy shit in that environment. But a cage match it is and this is a pretty decent match. Not quite "fifteen kinds of ass kicked" decent as I would've thought back then, but still pretty solid stuff that saw Flair channel his younger self and give Randy a run for his money. A nice way to end a PPV, especially with the hug between the two men that ultimately went nowhere.

Taboo Tuesday 2004 is a show that was probably better back when it was fresh than it is now. Back in the day, I considered this to be something of a middle-of-the-road sort of show and watching this today, my overall impression hasn't strayed too far from that line of thinking, though unless I was actively looking into this match, I wouldn't have retained a single thing that happened on this show. Other than that, this was just average fare and that's fine by me.

WWE would attempt one more Taboo Tuesday the following year before redubbing it Cyber Sunday and having that go on for a couple more years. The idea of giving fans some semblance of interactivity would occasionally be revived for the one-time RAW episode, but beyond that... meh.

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