Monday Night Raw – August 9, 2004

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 9, 2004
Location: Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home Raw for Summerslam and the big developments from last week saw Randy Orton pinning Chris Benoit in a six man, plus the long awaited HHH vs. Eugene match being announced. That doesn’t leave a lot to be done this week, but maybe they can put something good enough together. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

The Diva Search starts things off but here’s Randy Orton to cut off the elimination. He grabs the envelope and announces Chandra as the loser of the week. Orton: “AW SHUCKS!” After she leaves, Orton talks about how devastated Chris Benoit is going to be after he loses the World Title on Sunday. It has to hurt deep down inside, knowing that Benoit is going to lose everything he’s worked for. We look back at Orton pinning Benoit last week with Lawler shouting that it’s destiny.

Back in the arena (with the rest of the girls gone), Orton asks what everyone here did when they were 24 years old. Maybe they finally got a car or moved out of their parents’ basement. When he’s 24, he’s going to become the World Heavyweight Champion. This brings out Benoit to say that he wants to see the footage of Orton tapping out. Orton says that hasn’t happened so Benoit puts him in the Crossface right now for a tap. Benoit wants to see a replay right now but leaves before we see it. Dude if you’re not going to see it, don’t make the request. Another good segment here as they’re making me want to see the match.

Stacy Keibler/Victoria/Nidia vs. Jazz/Molly Holly/Gail Kim

Molly takes Victoria down to start as the hair is long, blonde and curly this week. Isn’t it time to retire that joke already? It’s been nearly five months now. Gail comes in and gets armdragged before it’s off to Stacy for what I have to imagine is a downgrade. The leg choke in the corner doesn’t get her very far and Molly low bridging her to the floor makes things even worse.

Jazz gets her turn with some forearms and knees but Stacy gets a boot up in the corner. A kick to Molly is enough for the hot tag to Nidia and somehow things get a little big better. Nidia hits a flapjack on Jazz but walks into a swinging neckbreaker from Molly. Everything breaks down and Nidia rolls Molly up for a quick pin.

Rating: D. I’m not sure who decided that it was a good idea to have Stacy work such a long stretch of the match but it was the best idea in the world. There’s some talent in the division but there’s so much bad stuff dragging the good down. It doesn’t help when we’ve seen almost every combination far too many times and there isn’t a lot of top talent to go around in the first place.

Post match here’s Trish Stratus to convince them all to come with her and do something.

We look back at HHH’s awesome beatdown of William Regal.

A very beaten up Regal and Eugene are at a hotel with Eugene saying he wants to go to the arena for his match tonight. Regal promises to go tonight but it’s not safe yet because it would be a big ambush and Regal isn’t capable of fighting right now. Instead, Eugene sits down and watches TV while Regal rests. With Regal in the other room, Eugene leaves for the arena alone. So this guy who could barely function on his own two months ago can now find an arena on his own?

Smackdown Rebound.

Matt Hardy comes up to see Lita, who has bad news: a DNA test says the baby is Kane’s. An angry Matt just stares at her and leaves.

JR is in the ring for the contract signing between Matt and Kane. Well that’s just awkward now. Lita follows behind Matt as Kane smiles rather evily. We get the recap of the rules for the match, which has to be near the top of the most ridiculous stipulations of all time. Lita and Kane sign with the latter smiling very hard. Matt doesn’t sign, walks around for a bit, and then signs. Kane says he’s more man than Matt and the obvious fight is on. A briefcase to the head knocks Kane out long enough for Matt and Lita to escape.

The Diva Search girls get 25 seconds to sell us ice cream. Joy is in a bikini and rubs it over herself, along with various toppings.

Amy turns it into a plug for Summerslam and sprays whipped cream in her mouth.

Carmella slowly puts stuff on her ice cream.

Tracie turns it into an infomercial.

Maria licks the ice cream and asks if anyone wants to share it with them. She’s rather enthusiastic here.

Christy wrecks the table and says she’s a good little girl who likes to share. This is quite annoying.

Michelle gives her number again (smart) and pours things on the ice cream.

At least it’s getting shorter. Not much smarter, but shorter.

Chris Jericho vs. Edge

Non-title. They stare each other down to start and fight over some waistlocks. Jericho gets a hammerlock until a whip into the corner and a knee to the back has Edge in some actual trouble. The double arm crank keeps Edge down as the announcers talk about King Kong and Godzilla. Edge is back up with some right hands to the head and blocks a splash with some knees. They’re still going rather slowly here and it seems they have a lot of time. Some shoulders to the back work on Jericho some more until he rakes the eyes.

Jericho tries his springboard dropkick but gets shoved outside in a big crash. The spear hits Jericho’s back, driving him off the apron and into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Edge holding a chinlock with a knee in the back as they’re still not exactly going at top speed. Edge tries going up so Jericho dropkicks him out of the air, cutting off the fans’ interest all over again. Jericho gets in the spinwheel kick, followed by the running crotch attack to the back.

They get back up and Edge goes with the simple offense of a big boot before a knee to the face cuts off Jericho’s charge. There’s a catapult into the corner but Jericho is smart enough to bail to the floor before the spear can hit. Edge hits a baseball slide instead and the ribs go straight into the barricade. Back in and Edge hits a release gordbuster off the top, setting up a missile dropkick for two. Edge misses the spear though and Edge grabs a rollup, with his feet on the ropes for the pin as Edge has been doing in recent weeks.

Rating: B+. Yeah of course this worked as they had a lot of time and a reason to fight. Both guys looked awesome here with Jericho hanging in there until he could win over the aggressive Edge. As good as Batista has been of late, there’s a case to be made for this being the Summerslam title match but at least we got to see it at some point. Really good stuff here, but is that really a surprise?

Post match Batista comes out to destroy both guys.

Eugene arrives and, after a break, finds out that HHH isn’t here. Instead, HHH is at the hotel destroying Regal. Well that and monologuing about payback like an evil mastermind. That’s one of the most logical things I’ve seen on this show in years.

Rhyno/Tajiri vs. Chris Cage/Brent Albright

Rhyno and Tajiri have to win in two minutes to get a title shot at Summerslam. Cage and Albright are both OVW guys. The bell rings and here’s La Resistance to watch. Tajiri kicks away at Albright to start and knocks an invading Cage down as well. Albright gets kicked in the face for his efforts to give Tajiri two and it’s off to Rhyno. Everything breaks down and a big spinebuster plants Cage. The Gore connects but La Resistance distracts the referee so time expires. No title shot in a bit of a surprise.

Divas, bikinis, next. Actually not next as Trish and the six women from earlier come out with a challenge for Summerslam: DODGEBALL. Somehow, that’s an improvement over all the other dumb stuff they’ve done so far. You can hear JR’s soul die as he tries to talk the idea up.

Evolution is happy with Regal’s beatdown.

HHH/Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit/Eugene

Actually hang on as there’s no Eugene since he’s gone to be with Regal so we’ll try this instead.

HHH/Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit elbows them both in the face to start and a baseball slide puts HHH on the floor. A snap suplex takes Orton down and the rolling German suplexes do the same to HHH. Flair is right there to break up the Swan Dive though, allowing HHH to crotch Benoit on top. Orton comes in and drops some knees to the chest, followed by a dropkick. HHH gets to hammer away as well with Orton coming back in with a top rope stomp to the back. There’s a hard whip into the corner as the beatdown continues.

Regal’s blood is still all over HHH’s tape for a great touch. Orton grabs the chinlock, which JR describes as “very dangerous”. Benoit fights out of the corner but walks into a spinebuster to cut him right back off. A small package gives Benoit two and he sends HHH into Orton in the corner for a breather. There’s a superplex to Orton to knock him silly but Benoit can’t cover. HHH gets suplexed down and Benoit backdrops him out to the floor. The Crossface goes on and Flair comes in for the DQ.

Rating: C-. This was only so good as Benoit was literally on his own and wasn’t about to get a win here. At the same time you don’t want Benoit to take a clean loss, so of course you go with the DQ because that’s what Flair is there for anymore. The wrestling wasn’t the point here as it was more about the storyline, but at least what we got wasn’t bad.

Post match HHH gets in the beatdown on Benoit, including the Pedigree (shocking) but here’s Eugene to beat on HHH, who bails out. Eugene beats up Orton to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This is a hard one to grade as the good stuff was really good but the weaker parts stuck out horribly. The problem is they seemed to be getting ready for Summerslam but at the same time wanted to do a bunch of stuff that had nothing to do with the show, which isn’t the best idea for the go home show for one of the biggest cards of the year. What we got was good, but it could have been a lot better.

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