Monday Night Raw – August 2, 2004

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 2, 2004
Location: SBC Arena, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re getting very close to Summerslam and that means things are starting to pick up. Last week saw Eugene cost HHH the World Title and I’m sure we’ll need to hear about HHH’s quest for vengeance, because this show is about HHH and no one else. That includes World Champion Chris Benoit, who will be defending against Randy Orton at the pay per view. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of the Iron Man match, including Eugene costing HHH the title.

HHH actually cuts off the intro because he can’t wait to hear himself talk about how important he is. After a brief wait for the fans to yell at him, HHH rants about how last week was supposed to be his time because he was doing something that very few men dare to do. He fought his heart out because his life depended on it. That title is his life but then Eugene took it away from him. A SIMPLETON took it away from him and Eugene can’t even comprehend what he has done. HHH demands that Eugene get out here right now by shouting his name over and over again in acting that would be bad in a WWE Studios film.

William Regal comes out instead, saying that Eugene isn’t here this week. Regal admits that it was his idea for Eugene to come out there last week and actually brings up their tag team in WCW. People like them are just born naughty and if it was anyone else but Eugene, Regal would have applauded what HHH did. If HHH wants a fight tonight, Regal will go put his gear on and fight him with every ounce of violent venom in his body. As usual, Regal’s fire was awesome here and it’s turning him into something.

After that fired up promo, we go to the Diva Search girls for the elimination. It’s Camille, one of the blondes. Good for her. Anyway, tonight the remaining women can have 20 seconds each to campaign for why they should stick around.

Rhyno/Tajiri vs. La Resistance

Non-title. The fight is on before the bell with Tajiri throwing Grenier inside for some kicks to the back. Rhyno hits a flying shoulder and Tajiri adds a running dropkick as Conway still can’t get his jacket off. A double flapjack drops Grenier and there’s the handspring elbow. Rhyno Gores Conway and Tajiri sunset flips Grenier for the pin. This wasn’t even two minutes long but they packed a ton of stuff into it.

Randy Orton says it was his destiny to lose the Intercontinental Title so he can become the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in history. Brock Lesnar did it when he was 25 but Orton is only 24. Orton has killed off one legend after another and that’s what he’s going to do to Chris Benoit at Summerslam. Nice little promo here.

Smackdown Rebound.

Matt Hardy comes in to see Lita and, after getting rid of Stacy Keibler, tells her that he wants them to be together. Like, they should get married. I don’t see this going well.

Tyson Tomko vs. Rosey away while you still can. Rosey has Stacy with him just because. Tomko’s headlock doesn’t last long so he forearms Rosey in the back a few times. That earns him a trip to the floor and Stacy stretches to the fans’ delight. Back in and Tomko chokes on the ropes but charges into a boot in the corner. Rosey drops a leg and Stacy does a cartwheel with her skirt flying up. Just in case you thought she had any value otherwise. The spinning legdrop gets two and let’s get a slow motion replay of the cartwheel. A Trish Stratus distraction lets Tomko kick Rosey in the face for the pin.

Rating: D-. I used to be a big Stacy fan but time has not been kind to her. She’s literally just there for her looks and that’s all she has going for her. I know the women’s division isn’t much, but keeping people like her around hasn’t aged well when you can see what the women’s division can become. That role can be done well by the right people, but Stacy just wasn’t that good. The match on the other hand was as bad as you would have guessed.

It’s time for the Highlight Reel and Jericho wastes no time in bringing out Edge as his guest. Edge very reluctantly shakes his hand, which isn’t a good sign when they’re in a tag match tonight. Jericho gets right to the point by announcing Edge defending the title at Summerslam against himself and Batista. We move on to the battle royal last week and Edge isn’t happy about Jericho eliminating him. Edge thought they were friends after they got rid of five guys together but then Jericho couldn’t put his ego aside.

That’s why Orton is getting the title shot at Summerslam because he threw Jericho out. Edge: “I haven’t seen you get dumped that badly since Trish Stratus.” Jericho talks about Edge’s theme song saying “you think you know me”. Well Edge is going to know Jericho when he takes the Intercontinental Title. The fight is on with Edge hitting a spear and destroying the set. Edge grabs a chair but throws it down, probably due to the two of them being in a tag match tonight. Jericho doesn’t want to be helped up though and drops Edge with a right. If Edge wasn’t a heel yet, he’s right on the brink and not a minute too soon.

How to vote for the Diva Search eliminations.

HHH vs. William Regal

Regal jumps him during the entrance (as he should) and the fight is on with HHH being sent into the set. HHH gets knocked over the announcers’ table and down to ringside. They head inside for the bell…and a right hand with brass knuckles to knock Regal cold for the DQ in about twenty seconds. Why can these two just not have a match?

Regal is busted open and HHH makes it worse by pulling out the sledgehammer. Regal knocks him down though and grabs the knuckles but walks into the sledgehammer to the head to make the bleeding even worse. Referees come out and Regal does a stretcher job (while saying Chris, his wife’s name, over and over in a nice touch) but HHH turns it over in a heel move that will always work. Good landing from Regal and HHH came off like the really evil version, even if it’s setting up a match with Eugene.

Post break, Eric Bischoff makes HHH vs. Eugene for Summerslam. Joy.

And now, the Diva Search campaigning.

Joy wants to be a Diva because she wants to be in front of a crowd.

Amy wants to be a Diva because she’s here for the long haul and will spank Evolution.

Chandra wants to win because this fits her personality so well.

Carmella wants to be a Diva because….well she doesn’t actually say as she’s just saying how great the fans are.

Tracy wants to be a Diva because she’ll fight hard and dirty. She strips as she talks and gives the number to call to vote for her in a smart idea.

Maria wants to be a Diva because this seems to be a fun place to work and they support the troops.

Christy wants to be a Diva because she has a lot of energy and wants to live this life.

Michelle wants to be a Diva because she’s been a huge wrestling fan since she was six and this is her dream.

They kept things shorter and WAY less dumb this week but that just brings it up to a waste of time instead of an all time disaster.

Kane chokes Lita and promises to get to Matt at Summerslam. Their match is official and Lita says Matt can beat him again. She’s so sure that she’ll marry the winner. Kane says it’s a pity that Lita won’t be able to wear white on their wedding day. Lita slaps him and he laughs.

Kane vs. Maven

Maven starts fast with a spinwheel kick and a pair of dropkicks to put Kane on the floor. The dive is kicked out of the air and the real beating begins. Back in and the chokeslam finishes Maven in a hurry. Just a squash, which makes Maven’s not bad performance last week seem like a waste.

Post match Kane says that’s what he’s going to do to Matt at Summerslam in the Til Death Do Us Part match.

The Diva Search girls do their bikini thing. They’ve managed to have this lose its impact.

Evolution vs. Chris Benoit/Edge/Chris Jericho

Edge runs by his partners and starts slugging away at Orton before choking with the t-shirt. It’s off to Jericho for a suplex to Orton and some chops to Flair. The fellow Canadians get in some shots from the apron and there’s the Flair Flop. Flair gets back up and spits at Benoit, which you know is going to bring him in. Some chops are no sold and Flair pokes him in the eye, only to get caught in a backslide for two. It’s off to Batista for the big shoulders in the corner and a good looking side slam.

Flair comes back in for the Figure Four to make Orton rather happy, but Flair makes the mistake of slapping Benoit in the face. That’s enough to fire up the comeback but Batista isn’t about to allow the hot tag. A basement dropkick to Batista’s head has no effect so Benoit avoids a charge to send him shoulder first into the post instead. That’s enough for the hot tag to Jericho who can’t get the Walls on Batista. He can however hit the running crotch attack to the back, followed by the Lionsault for one as everything breaks down. The Canadians clean house and we take a break.

Back with Orton holding Edge in a chinlock and Flair coming in for some shots to the face. A clothesline takes Edge down and Flair, never one to learn, goes up top and gets slammed off in short order. It’s off to Orton vs Jericho with the backbreaker taking Jericho down to put Evolution right back in control. The fans want tables (oh come on) as Jericho can’t get the Walls. What he can get is a tag to Benoit, who chops away at Flair in the corner and knocks him out to the floor.

Batista comes in instead and is put straight into the Crossface (JR: “That’ll bring you to your milk!”) with Orton making a save. Batista has to do the same to get Flair out of the Walls and a spinebuster plants Jericho. That gives Batista two and it’s off to Orton for a knee drop into some choking. The hard chinlock goes on for a good minute plus before Jericho comes back with the sleeper drop. It’s too early for the big hot tag though so Batista bends Jericho’s back over the knee instead. Jericho finally gets free and knocks Batista down, allowing the hot tag to Benoit so house can be cleaned for real.

The rolling German suplexes take care of Orton and Flair is sent outside. Batista sends Jericho into Edge though before blasting Jericho with the huge clothesline. More German suplexes get Benoit out of trouble and the Sharpshooter goes on Flair, only to have Orton score with the RKO and pin Benoit.

Rating: B+. I’m really going to miss these Canada vs. Evolution matches when they’re gone because any combination of them works so well together. This was more great action until the storyline advancing ending and that’s all you could ever want. While it’s not quite enough to save the full show, this was another great main event in a series between any mixture of these guys.

Overall Rating: B. The main event carries the show but there was other good stuff to fill in the night. They made sure to not have as much stuff focusing on Eugene, which helps a lot as well. The problem there though is Eugene has to face HHH at some point and things are going to fall apart from there. Other than that, the only bad things on the show were the Divas and Tomko vs. Rosey, making for a pretty easy night. Now if only Summerslam can live up to the hype.

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