Monday Night Raw
Date: August 16, 2004
Location: Labatt Center, London, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
Summerslam has come and gone, meaning Randy Orton is the new Raw World Champion. That’s quite the spot for someone as young as he is but it’s WAY past the time that we need a new top heel. The few seconds it took me to write that out are about as much time as I believe Orton will get to enjoy this before HHH, fresh off his mammoth, colossal win over Eugene, decides it’s his show again. Let’s get to it.
Here’s new World Champion Randy Orton, rocking the heck out of a suit and holding the title as confetti and balloons fall. Orton talks about how no one thought he could do it last night. He survived the Crossface, the Sharpshooter and six straight German suplexes. Now he’s right here in front of you as the youngest WWE Champion in history, meaning more posing. Orton has every 24 year old male stand up and says that’s what the average one looks like.
Now he wants them all to take off their shirts (Orton: “Females you can catch up with me later.”), which makes Orton cringe a bit. It’s true in America too and there’s no way around reality: he is just better than everyone else. Get used to the sight of Orton holding the title while wearing a $3000 suit because the Randy Orton Era has just begun. Cue Chris Benoit and I think you know where this is going. Indeed, Benoit says he’s cashing in his rematch clause tonight and the title is on the line.
Rhyno vs. Sylvan Grenier
If Rhyno wins, he and Tajiri get a Tag Team Title shot at Unforgiven. If Grenier wins, they never get a shot. Rhyno tries for the fast rollup as the confetti continues to fall. A Conway distraction lets Grenier take over, followed by a flag shot to Tajiri on the floor. Grenier takes him down with a flap jack and drops a knee for two before putting on the chinlock. Rhyno fights up and hits the powerslam for two of his own but Conway’s distraction slows things down again. Tajiri has finally had it and mists Grenier, setting up the Gore for the pin.
Rating: D. So they set up a pretty obvious finish and then went straight there after a boring match. La Resistance is still fine for what they’re doing, but they’re not exactly good at lighting up the crowd. Rhyno and Tajiri are perfectly acceptable challengers of the month and that’s enough to keep things along until a good team can take the belts.
Kane and Lita’s wedding is next week with Kane reading an invitation.
Lawler thinks this is hilarious and JR has to yell at him to shut up.
We recap Kane beating Matt Hardy last night to win Lita’s hand in marriage. Still sounds weird no matter how you put it.
Lita is devastated so some of the meaner Divas give her a bridal shower. Molly says that since Lita likes to sleep around, here are some birth control pills and condoms, complete with a singing of the Trojan Man jingle. Gail has a framed picture of Lita and Kane’s first kiss, plus another composite picture of what the baby should look like. Finally, a vibrator (not shown of course but the box shakes) because reasons. I know it’s going to be awhile but they’re doing a good job of making me want to see Lita kill Trish. Lita leaves and Victoria comes in so Trish can yell at her for losing Diva Dodgeball. Victoria slaps her like she should.
Shawn Michaels is coming back and the video gets booed. Canada of course.
Victoria vs. Gail Kim
Victoria starts with a monkey flip into the dancing moonsault for two. A trip to the floor lets Gail get in a few shots to take over as the fans aren’t exactly thrilled. Gail slaps on a Black Widow and takes it to the mat for a little twist on the move. With the match not really being thrilling, the fans go with a YOU SCREWED BRET chant at Earl Hebner to fulfill their requirements. Victoria pops back up and hits Widow’s Peak for the pin.
Rating: D+. That freaky Black Widow alone is enough to bring this up a notch. The rest of the match wasn’t anything to see but in theory this helps set Victoria up as the next challenger to Trish. Gail is at least getting better in the ring, though her charisma still has a long way to go.
Post match Trish and Tyson Tomko come in for the beatdown but the mystery woman (who the fans at home can tell is Stevie Richards and who the fans in the arena can tell is Stevie Richards but who leaves the announcers clueless) comes in for the save.
Intercontinental Title: Kane vs. Edge
Kane is challenging as a wedding present from Bischoff. As a bonus, Kane dedicates this match to Lita in that creepy voice of his. Kane shoves him down to start but misses a big boot, allowing Edge to go after the knee. Edge stays on the leg as Jerry wants Kane and Lita to take a camera along with them on their honeymoon. A standing Figure Four around the post as JR thinks Kane and Lita are registered at Satan R Us for a small chuckle. Lita comes out to watch and we take a break.
Back with Kane hitting a hot shot and slapping on the chinlock. JR continues to rant about the wedding and thank goodness this isn’t the modern commentary team, which would have turned this into a string of insults against each other as they say everyone is stupid. Edge, with confetti on his back, fights up and knocks Kane down with a running forearm.
A basement dropkick puts Kane on the apron and a spear sends him to the apron. Back in and a missile dropkick gives Edge two as Lawler talks about Kane really being the Big Red Machine. Kane goes up top and shoves Edge into the referee but hits the top rope clothesline anyway. Cue Matt Hardy for a Twist of Fate, allowing Edge to hit the spear to retain.
Rating: D+. This hasn’t exactly been a strong night for wrestling. The Kane vs. Lita/Matt story is becoming oddly intriguing and a wedding is always worth something. I’m not sure how much further they can take it but some stories are only supposed to go so far. You need some soap opera style stuff sometimes and this is one of the more entertaining versions.
Post match Lita stays in the ring for some reason and Kane says nothing can make him mad right now. He’s looking forward to consummating the marriage so Lita slaps him. That’s how he likes it though. JR: “Of God almighty no.”
It’s Diva Search time with the girls together in the back. This week, they all got to say which contestant they would vote off and why. These are pre-taped and shown on a monitor.
Michelle would vote off Carmella because she’s busy and only wants another contract rather than a WWE career.
Christy would vote off Carmella because she doesn’t want it.
Maria would vote off Carmella because she doesn’t put the effort in and “acts like a dish rag”.
Tracy would vote off Carmella because she’s not excited enough to be here.
Carmella would vote off Joy she has a husband and babies so it might be hard to make this work.
Amy would vote off Carmella because she doesn’t want to be here and has laughed at the tests. So she’s just like the audience?
Joy would vote off Carmella because she hasn’t been a team player and missed Diva Dodgeball.
The Diva voted off is…Michelle. I’m sure she had no future in wrestling anyway. So Carmella is the heel now, because this thing needed a villain.
Chris Jericho vs. Batista
Flair is here with Batista, who starts with the power in the form of shoulders in the corner. An early comeback is cut off by a Flair trip and Batista forearms Jericho in the back. Jericho is right back with a dropkick and an enziguri into the ropes. A chop block looks to set up the Walls but Batista powers out without much effort. Instead of going after him again, Jericho dropkicks Flair off the apron instead. Flair is fine enough to break up the Lionsault for the DQ though.
Rating: D+. My goodness Orton vs. Benoit better be incredible to make up a lot of the mess so far. Batista isn’t quite as dominant as he was before Summerslam but at least he didn’t take a fall here. Jericho is kind of floating around at the moment and needs something to do, but I’m thinking he’ll be fine no matter what he does.
Post match the beatdown is on with Edge coming out for the save but stopping at ringside instead of getting in. Interesting indeed.
Divas in bikinis again.
HHH tells Orton how important the title is. Anyone would give their arm to get a shot at the title and Orton won it last night. Evolution will be there for the post match celebration.
Raw World Title: Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton
Orton is defending and wears the title for an always appreciated visual. Benoit jumps him before the bell and starts in a hurry. A quick elbow drop keeps Orton down, setting up a belly to back suplex for the first two. Orton sends him outside to no avail and gets caught in a release fisherman’s suplex back inside.
A top rope superplex gives Benoit a delayed two and it’s time for more chops. They fall out to the floor and Benoit drops him knee first onto the steps. Back from a break with Orton in the Sharpshooter and finally making the rope for the save, with the fans exhaling all at once. Orton’s knee is fine enough to knock Benoit to the floor for a much needed breather. Benoit gets posted and it’s time to start in on the neck. That of course means the chinlock for a good while before the over the shoulder neckbreaker gets two.
Benoit fights out of the next chinlock with a neckbreaker and they’re both down. Orton’s backbreaker puts Benoit right back down but he misses the high crossbody. The Swan Dive knocks both of them silly and gives Benoit a delayed two as you can tell the fans are into this one. Benoit’s rolling German suplexes set up the Crossface so here’s Evolution for the distraction. That’s enough for the RKO to retain the title.
Rating: B. Another good match from two guys who have chemistry. It’s also fine to have Orton get the pin off the screwy finish as he’s already shown that he can beat Benoit completely clean so it’s not like it hurts anything. They leave a door open for a rematch, but this should be it for Orton vs. Benoit for the time being. He doesn’t have many people left to face though…and you know what’s next.
Post match Evolution celebrates with Orton and puts him on Batista’s shoulders as HHH gives him the thumbs up. That turns into a thumbs down though and Batista drops Orton back so the beatdown can be on. Orton is wrecked and busted open, with HHH holding the title in his face and yelling to end the show. It’s a good angle, even if it’s more HHH greatness. The story makes sense, but my goodness I could go for a break from HHH at the top of the show.
Overall Rating: D+. The main event and post match angle helped but there was nothing leading up to that. You would think there would have been something a little bit better coming off of Summerslam but at least we got one really good thing. The wedding should be a lot more entertaining next week though and if you couple that with a solid followup from Orton (we should be so lucky), things will be a lot better.
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