Monday Night Raw – June 21, 2004

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 21, 2004
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s a big night here, at least in a way, as HHH is facing Eugene with a shot at Chris Benoit at Vengeance on the line. I’m not sure what happens if Eugene wins but I’m sure we’ll find out in a segment that probably goes on longer than it needs to. You can also guarantee all kinds of interference and shenanigans in the main event so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap from last week with the setup to HHH vs. Eugene. Everyone but Eugene knows that HHH is up to something but Eugene believes HHH when he swears that they’re friends. Regal’s sneer during all of this is great as he and Jericho just don’t want to break Eugene’s heart.

Opening sequence.

We open big with the Rock making a surprise appearance, which certainly wakes the crowd up. Rock finally says he’s back home but is willing to stop for one more ROCKY chant. Since Rock is home tonight, he brought some friends and family, including his wife, mother and grandmother, to the front row. He also points out some Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes with Rock making some jokes about the Dolphins’ defense. See, he’s standing in a ring right now, which the Dolphins might get one day.

As for tonight though, he’d like Eugene to come out here but gets Randy Orton instead. Apparently Eugene isn’t here yet because HHH is driving him over to the arena. Orton is glad that he and Rock are getting a chance to talk though, because all he can remember is beating Rock and Mick Foley at Wrestlemania. It’s too bad that Orton has surpassed Rock in every way but Rock doesn’t think much of him. He points out the rather rude chants the fans are shouting at Orton before praising Orton a bit.

Rock remembers meeting Orton’s dad and grandaddy but also remembers his own dad and granddaddy laying some smackdown. Even Rock’s grandmother beat up Orton’s grandmammy (and looks like she still could). Rock even remembers Randy as a kid, playing with a pretty little pony. Orton got so scared that he ran past Andre the Giant and Junkyard Dog but landed right on King Kong Bundy’s crotch. Rock is ready to fight right now but Orton isn’t ready.

That just gets him beaten up anyway but here’s Eric Bischoff to say not so fast and have Rock ejected. Rock leaves (To Bischoff: “No wonder WCW went out of business.”) and keeps the mic as he goes through the curtain, where he hits on Trish Stratus, makes fun of Tyson Tomko, takes off Molly’s wig, gives Hurricane and Rosey a doughnut….and then finds Coach.

Rock demands that Coach smile and then leaves him hanging. He goes to his waiting truck and guarantees that Eugene wins tonight. Back in the arena, Orton says to cut Rock’s mic, but Rock promises something bad happening in three seconds. That would be a spear from Edge which leaves Orton leaving as Rock drives away. This was really long and completely entertaining throughout, which is much better than a long HHH promo.

Bischoff demands that security keep Rock out when Chris Benoit comes in. Benoit begs for Eugene’s safety and even offers a title shot for HHH for the sake of letting Eugene out of this. Bischoff turns him down and threatens to have Benoit thrown out.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Victoria

Trish is defending and has Tomko with him. Victoria wastes no time in knocking her down and hitting the standing moonsault. A trip to the floor lets Tomko offer a distraction though and Victoria gets knocked off the apron. Back in and Trish hammers away with some right hands as I keep thinking that the red steps in the crowd are empty seats.

Trish kicks her down and mocks the dancing (Jerry doesn’t seem to mind) but gets rolled up for two instead of trying the moonsault. A chinlock keeps Victoria in trouble for all of a few seconds until she gets up with a kick to the face. The moonsault connects but Tomko pulls Trish out at two. Back up and Trish grabs a rollup, and a rope, to retain.

Rating: C-. They were trying here, though the ending and the time didn’t do them any favors. This gets us past Victoria as the challenger trying to get her title back, which wasn’t going to be an interesting story in the first place. That being said, it’s better to have a lame story than no story at all, which tends to be the case more often than not.

Post match Victoria wants to fight some more but gets stared down by Tomko. A man in drag (clearly Steven Richards) pulls her out and a four way staredown ensues.

Diva Search: Chicago edition. An unnamed Maria Kanellis is included.

Recap of Kane destroying Shawn Michaels last week.

William Regal comes in to see Bischoff and asks him for mercy. That’s not happening because Bischoff has too many people to answer to, including his sister. He can’t fire Eugene because Eugene has to quit, and what better way to get him to do so than by having HHH beat him senseless? Regal snaps, saying that he may be a dirty rotten scoundrel but he loves Eugene. Bischoff likes his toughness and puts Regal back on the active roster, next.

William Regal vs. Kane

This is Regal’s first match in over a year (due to having a bad heart condition where the sides of his heart weren’t beating in time with each other) and he’s in street clothes. Regal meets him on the floor before the bell and slugs away but gets kicked in the face. That’s enough to knock Regal out and there’s no match.

Post break Bischoff tells Kane that since HHH is getting the title shot at Vengeance (Wait, then what is the point of tonight’s main event?) and that might be against Kane, who is facing Benoit for the title next week. Kane is pleased, but says he’s not done tonight. Evil laughter ensues.

More Divas Search stuff, this time with some of them moving on and some being cut. Maria (still unnamed) talks about how nerve racking it is. She advances, seemingly after saying all of two words. I believe Carmella DeCesare is included as well.

Randy Orton/Batista vs. Chris Jericho/Edge

Stuff like this has worked for months and it’s nice to see it continuing. Edge and Batista get things going with Edge having to go with quickness for a change. That just earns him some knees to the ribs in the corner and it’s off to Orton. Edge dropkicks him down in a hurry and a suplex gets two. That’s enough for Orton so Batista comes back in and hammers away in the corner. A slow charge lets Edge drop toehold him face first into the middle buckle though and that’s enough for the hot tag to Jericho.

Chris gets smart by knocking Orton off the apron and going for Batista’s leg but it’s way too early for the Walls. Instead it’s a running bulldog to set up the Lionsault (with Batista being so far across the ring that I didn’t think Jericho could reach him) with Orton making the save. Everything breaks down and the Canadians clear the ring, with Edge baseball sliding Orton. That leaves Edge on the floor though and Batista blasts Jericho with the big clothesline.

That’s enough for Jericho and he has to be taken to the back, leaving Edge down two on one as we take a break. Back with Orton grabbing a chinlock (well duh) as the fans are trying to cheer Edge to his feet. It’s a bit of a delayed reaction but Edge eventually gets up and grabs a small package for two. Orton misses a dropkick to make things even worse but there’s no one for Edge to tag.

There is someone for Orton to tag though and it’s off to Batista, who walks right into the Edge-O-Matic. That means it’s already back to Orton for the slugout with Edge getting the better of it. A double spear in the corner hits Batista and Orton at the same time and Batista is sent outside. The RKO is broken up and the regular spear gets two with Batista making a save. A Batista Bomb and the RKO finally put Edge (bleeding from the eye) away.

Rating: B-. The handicap part was a bit odd, until you remember that Edge and Jericho (along with Rock and Regal) are people who could help Eugene later and all four of them have been taken out. Evolution vs. the World (mostly meaning Canada) has been a winning formula for weeks now and this was more good stuff, though the lack of Benoit hurt things a little bit.

More from the Diva Search. This time they’re in swimsuits and some of them are dancing. I think you get the idea here.

Earlier today, a Congressman joined a voting rally with some WWE people, focusing on voters 18-30.

Stacy Keibler runs up to Matt Hardy and wants all the details on his Lita being pregnant. You know, because she’s been so close to the two of them over the years. Matt has a ring though and a proposal is imminent, but Stacy is sworn to secrecy. They really need to work on this secret stuff.

Smackdown Rebound.

Eugene, with HHH gear and wrestling figures, arrives in a limo with HHH and Ric Flair. He’s very happy and HHH promises another surprise.

Here’s Matt, who has been ecstatic for the last week, for….some reason that certainly wasn’t revealed five minutes ago. This year Father’s Day was a big deal for him because Lita told him she was pregnant, so he’d like Lita to come out here right now. Matt wastes no time in dropping to a knee and popping and popping the question….and here’s Kane on the screen to interrupt. He wastes no time either by announcing that the baby is his. Matt freaks out so Kane tells him to ask Lita about the truth. Lita can’t deny it and Matt looks a little….insane might be the right word. He walks off, as you might expect.

Post break, Lita tells Matt that the baby might be his and she did this to protect him. So he’s a weakling and MIGHT be a father? Dude, even I feel sorry for Matt right now. Lita cries as he walks away.

For the FOURTH TIME TONIGHT, it’s more from the Diva Search, with the finalists being announced. Most of them aren’t actually named, but I totally feel the connection to all of them. I guess this is supposed to be a mini reality show, but they don’t exactly seem to know how to make these things work. Ok so the swimsuit part worked for obvious reasons.

Eugene is warming up and wonders where Regal is. Evolution tells him not to worry about it when Bischoff comes in. HHH gives him a big speech about not worrying about it because Eugene is with Evolution. Eugene leaves and they all crack up.

Eugene vs. HHH

So…..I thought HHH had to win to get the title shot at Vengeance but since that’s already confirmed, I’m not sure what the point is here. Ric Flair is here with HHH. Eugene is star struck and does HHH pose on the apron with him. They shake hands to start and HHH hits a pretty soft hiptoss. Eugene is right back with a slightly harder one and HHH isn’t pleased. He’ll shake Eugene’s hand again though before slapping on a headlock.

Eugene powers out and shoves him down, meaning it’s time for a bunch of Hogan poses. The test of strength goes to Eugene and he cranks on Flair’s hand for a bonus. With nothing else working, HHH goes amateur but Eugene reverses into a belly to back suplex. HHH is furious on the floor as we take a break. Back with HHH getting armdragged into an armbar but he complains about the pain and Eugene lets go. That might be a first and something more people should try in the future. Who knew Eugene was a pioneer?

That’s finally enough for HHH as he decks Eugene with a right hand and the slow beating continues. HHH chokes in the corner and cuts off a comeback with a spinebuster for two. Some rams into the corner wake Eugene up though and that means an airplane spin for HHH. A top rope ax handle gets two and the Pedigree is countered with a backdrop.

The Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow send HHH outside as Eugene spins around in a circle. Flair gets punched down as well but HHH is back in with the Pedigree. HHH covers, only to have Bischoff come out and say that HHH needs to beat Eugene even more or there’s no title shot. That means a chair so here’s Benoit to make the save as the match is thrown out.

Rating: D. I’m still trying to figure out why the match was still happening if HHH was getting the shot anyway. Odds are it’s Bischoff and HHH doing favors for each other, but it would be nice to actually mention that instead of changing the story in the middle of the show. Anyway, this was just a step above a comedy match with Eugene doing all of his goofy stuff and HHH selling for him for a bit before laying him out to draw in Benoit for the save. It was a bad mixture of two styles and it didn’t work.

Benoit has to fight off the rest of Evolution but hits Eugene square in the head with the chair by mistake. The distraction lets HHH get in the low blow and the Pedigree to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. Well that was certainly something. You had the awesome Rock segment, two long matches with one being pretty good and the other being a rather bad mess with HHH and Eugene not exactly meshing, a whopping four Diva Search segments and a bunch of people talking about how Eugene was going to get destroyed. That’s a really weird recipe for a show and while there are parts of it that worked, the big story of Eugene vs. HHH didn’t work and that’s what dominated the show. But hey, at least HHH gets another title shot!

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