Monday Night Raw – August 23, 2004

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 23, 2004
Location: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s time for a wedding! The big story on this week’s show is the wedding of Kane and Lita, the latter of whom isn’t exactly thrilled with the whole thing. Other than that there’s the whole removal of Randy Orton from Evolution as HHH turned on him. The problem of course is that doesn’t make him a face as much as it makes him a heel who was attacked by a heel, though I don’t think WWE understands that. Let’s get to it.

We open with a look at Orton being thrown out of Evolution.

Opening sequence.

Here are the Diva Search girls in the swimsuits, likely to pop ratings or something. After Lawler points out the lack of blondes remaining, Tracy is eliminated. That brings us to tonight’s challenge: everyone gets two minutes to tell Coach how great he is. Actually let’s make it five minutes…but here’s Rock to interrupt. Yes they’re using THE ROCK on the Diva Search girls. After a quick threat gets rid of Coach, Rock certainly seems to approve of the girls in front of him. He knows they’re all getting wet…..with perspiration from the hot lights above. Maria nearly died from that line.

Rock talks about Lilian Garcia getting fired from the sperm bank for drinking on the job as the ad libbing is strong with this one. That brings Rock to Carmella, who he knows everyone hates. After a quick yell at a fan for trying to get attention, Rock talks about everyone hating him back in the day. We get an IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK to Carmella and Rock talks about the ice cream segment from a few weeks back. That wasn’t entertaining though because no one wants to see them eat ice cream.

No they want to see the girls eat pie, so let’s have a pie eating contest. For no apparent reason, Tajiri brings out the pies (some of which have already been eaten). Before the eating begins, Rock asks Tajiri about his pie preferences. That would be “poontong”, which Rock wouldn’t mind trying. Just to keep this long, each one gets twenty seconds to eat pie instead of doing it all at once. Joy goes first and eats the cherry while talking about wanting to see Carmella eat crow. She wants a match with Carmella (Heaven help us) “WWE style”.

Rock admits that that one was bad so it’s off to Amy, who pulls her hair back. You can hear Rock biting his lip to avoid the jokes. Amy slowly licks the whipped cream and this one goes down a lot better. Carmella is up next next and uses her fingers to rub the whipped cream all over herself, plus feed Tajiri a bit. Notice the lack of the women actually eating the pie, save for Amy (and that was mainly the cream).

Maria puts some cream on her nose and licks it off, which Rock deems as talent. Christy goes last and sits on the pie instead. With that mess out of the way, Coach brings out La Resistance to interrupt. Is it still an interruption when there’s nothing going on? The beatdown is on until Rhyno runs in to save Rock and Tajiri. You know, because Rock needed help from these three. Coach gets beaten down for the only entertaining part of the thing.

This was horrible and ran over twenty minutes with Rock clearly not caring in the slightest. It was obvious that he wasn’t interested and I can’t blame him. They brought him back for the first time in months for this? The Diva Search is just dumb and some midcard goon could have done this just fine. I believe this is Rock’s last live appearance on Raw until 2011 and they used him as a host for an unfunny, uninteresting segment with women who are competing to be eye candy. Can you blame him for staying in Hollywood?

A whistling Kane, in his ring gear, arrives, carrying his tuxedo over his shoulder.

Long recap of Orton vs. Benoit from last week and the ensuing beatdown from Evolution.

Evolution has a meeting in the back and Flair asks if Orton will really do it. HHH says they’re in charge of Orton’s destiny.

Kane comes in to see Lita and says nothing will stop their perfect wedding. It’s an all white affair to signify the purity of their child so he pulls out a white dress for her. It’s a nice day for a white wedding.

Hokey smoke a match!

Intercontinental Title: Edge vs. Chris Jericho

Edge is defending and bails to the rope to get out of an early hammerlock. Jericho knocks him outside and we take an early break. Heaven forbid we see wrestling on this show. Back with Jericho fighting out of a chinlock and catching Edge with a spinwheel kick. The top rope back elbow gets two but Jericho’s spinning middle rope crossbody is countered into a DDT. A quick rollup gives Edge the pin, though Jericho’s foot was in the ropes so let’s keep this going.

Back from a break with Jericho elbowing him in the face for two and choking in the corner. The running enziguri sets up the running bulldog but the Lionsault (after a running start) misses and Jericho jams his knee. The Edge-O-Matic gets two and Edge spears him off the apron for a crash into the barricade. Back in and Jericho rolls through a high crossbody for two of his own, followed by the Walls to send Edge bailing to the ropes. Back up and Edge crotches him on top….for the DQ. Yeah it’s one of those matches and that doesn’t make it any better.

Rating: C-. This was off by a few steps but even that level for these two is certainly watchable. The finish was stupid though, which is one of the biggest eye roll inducing moments that you can have. I don’t know how much I want to see another match between them but they’re doing enough good at the moment to warrant a rematch.

Post match Edge spears him down and is surprised by the DQ. Fair enough there.

Here’s Evolution for Orton’s ultimatum. HHH doesn’t believe that life is predetermined so there are consequences to every action. Take Randy Orton, who doesn’t want to be a failure like his father and grandfather. Orton was allowed to associate with the best of the best, but then he made a decision to go out there for himself and take the World Title instead of softening Benoit up.

That title is HHH’s but Orton was out here with all the ballyhoo (yes BALLYHOO) and then he faced the consequences. Tonight it’s time for Orton to make another choice: he can hand HHH the World Title and lay down so Evolution can walk away from him. On the other hand, Orton can keep trying this fighting against Evolution thing and face more consequences. This brings out Orton so HHH can tell him to lay down.

A referee comes out and HHH grabs the belt but Orton doesn’t let go. Instead he spits in HHH’s face and runs away before Evolution can kill him. Now if they had done that last week, they could have been there. It feels like they’re trying to do fix things after Orton got destroyed last week, though not without HHH getting to talk about how awesome he is first.

Victoria is yelling at Eric Bischoff about the wedding when HHH storms in and demands retribution. The title match is set for Unforgiven. You can hear the groan from the arena.

William Regal vs. Ric Flair

Eugene is back and in Regal’s corner. This is fallout from Regal knocking Flair cold with the brass knuckles at Summerslam. Regal goes with the cravate to start and Regal can’t do much to get out. Some chops in the corner have Regal in trouble but the uppercuts slow Flair down all over again. Another cravate takes Flair down (how British of Regal) as JR lists off Batista’s statistics. Imagine how JR would be if Batista had played college football too. They head outside with Flair taking a backdrop on the floor and we take a break.

Back with Flair dropping a knee on the head and chopping Regal down. As King suggests that Kane get Lita some edible underwear for the honeymoon, Regal comes back with more strikes to the face and Flair gets slammed off the top. Flair is right back with the Figure Four with an assist from Batista, so Eugene comes in to turn it over. As Eugene beats up Batista (erg), here’s Chris Benoit for the same. Eugene is sent into the post (good) as Flair and Regal pull out brass knuckles. Regal’s punch is faster though and Flair is out for the pin.

Rating: C. This took some time to get going and the ending was fine, assuming you ignore Eugene being able to go toe to toe with Batista like that. There’s only so much you can get out of a match like this but Regal is rolling along with this new push. It’s almost like he’s perfect for an angry guy who likes to fight. Now if only this can go somewhere.

Smackdown Rebound.

The Diva Search girls are in the back for the voting information. Thankfully they don’t waste arena time with this.

Lita is in the wedding dress and breaks a mirror.

The ring is prepared for the wedding, because that always goes so well.

Kane is in a white tuxedo, which oddly works for him.

It’s time for the wedding, starting with some small people as the flower girl and….I guess usher. Kane comes out and kisses the flower girl on the cheek, followed by Lita in a black wedding dress. The minister says someone wants to speak and Lita gets her hopes up but it’s Eric Bischoff, also in a white tuxedo. He has a podium on the stage and reads a passage from the Bible, talking about how the best is yet to come. In a rather weird moment, the fans WHAT the Bible.

The minister says this is clearly a unique relationship and we see a video prepared by Kane, chronicling the entire thing. It’s exactly what you would expect, though this is already starting to drag. Minister: “Uh…..moving on.” Kane has written his own vows and says he originally saw her as a vessel and nothing more. Now she is his property and will do whatever he says. There is no escape and Lita is with him until the day she dies. As the minister looks ready to have a stroke, Lita talks about always loving Matt Hardy and praying every day that Kane is in a horrible accident that kills him instantly. Kane: “That was lovely.”

We get to the “if there is anyone here” line and Lita is almost begging for Matt to come out here. Instead here’s Trish Stratus in white lingerie (….well that works) to be Lita’s maid of honor. She knew Lita couldn’t wear white because she knew Lita couldn’t. Trish knows Lita can be happy if she opens her heart, just like she opened her legs. The fight is on with Kane breaking it up and it’s time to get on with things.

Lita swallows hard and says I do. It’s Kane’s turn but Matt Hardy runs in through the crowd and the fight is on. Kane moves quite well for someone in a white tuxedo. Matt gets the better of it but a wall of fire prevents he and Lita from leaving. That’s enough for Kane to chokeslam Matt off the stage and the minister marries them. Kane kisses her and carries Lita off to end the show.

WAY too long here with the whole thing dragging. Save for the snappy fashion sense (Kane and Trish in particular), this could have had a good ten minutes trimmed off. Oh and that’s the last time you’ll see Matt for nearly a year as he had a really bad knee and was released while recovering.

Overall Rating: D. Did the wrestlers just take a week off here? There was the WAY too long Rock/Diva Search segment, the HHH/Orton segment (better, but still long), the eternally long wedding and two matches, neither of which were very good. That’s your two hours of Raw this week and egads it was a rough one to watch. I don’t know if this was them trying something new or just not thinking it out, but it really didn’t work, to put it mildly. Hopefully next week is better because this was a big miss.

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