Monday Night Raw
Date: September 6, 2004
Location: Kay Yeager Coliseum, Wichita Falls, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
Somehow this is the go home show for Unforgiven, which I didn’t realize somehow. That means it’s time to get ready for Randy Orton’s first Raw World Title defense against HHH, which I’m sure will be completely encouraging. Other than that…well there isn’t much because there’s not much else to talk about other than that one match. Let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of HHH vs. Randy Orton. Like anything else matters.
There’s a cage around the ring and Eric Bischoff is inside with a table in front of him. Tonight it’s HHH vs. Eugene inside the cage and Bischoff is looking forward to his nephew being destroyed for good. The cage is raised as we move onto something else: Edge has a torn groin which is keeping him out of action for four to six weeks, meaning the Intercontinental Title is vacant.
Bischoff pulls a blanket off the table to reveal the title but here’s Christian to interrupt. He thinks he’d be a great choice for a new Intercontinental Champion but here’s Jericho to interrupt (must be a Canadian thing). Jericho is ready to fight for the title right now. Bischoff says they’ll do that at Unforgiven instead, which is fine with Jericho. He wants something added though, and the fans should be allowed to have a say.
Bischoff offers a cage match but Christian says that doesn’t work for him because Jericho already injured him in a cage match. Christian’s offer is a no countout match and the fans aren’t thrilled. Christian: “THEY’RE SAYING BOO-YAH!” Jericho gets to the obvious solution: a ladder match, with Bischoff agreeing. The fight is on with Tyson Tomko running in to save Christian from the Walls. Longer than it needed to be, but this is the best choice for a match they could have had.
Batista/Ric Flair/La Resistance vs. Chris Benoit/William Regal/Tajiri/Rhyno
Benoit and Flair get things going, which is about as good of an idea as you can get. The chop off in the corner (you knew that was coming) goes to Benoit, who backdrops Flair for the Flair Flop. Tajiri comes in and kicks Conway but everything breaks down in a hurry. Back from an early break with Flair chopping at Regal in the corner (a trend for him) but Regal reverses and hits a backdrop (the exact same sequence that Benoit did). Rhyno comes in for a running shoulder to Flair in the corner before knocking La Resistance off the apron.
Batista gets in a cheap shot from behind though and Conway takes over. Conway gets two and demands that Rhyno stay down, even throwing in some swearing for an evil bonus. It’s back to Flair and a double clothesline puts both of them down. Conway gets the tag and Benoit gets one as well, even if he had one leg in the ring at the time. What a Canadian cheater. Said cheater throws German suplexes all over the place, allowing Rhyno to come back in fr the Gore to Batista. With everyone else outside, Benoit drops the Swan Dive on Conway, setting up the Sharpshooter for the win.
Rating: C+. This was a fun match with a nice combination of two feuds into one match. Tajiri continues to be barely functioning and I hope he gets ready on Sunday as the title match has been well built over the last few weeks. It’s always nice to see these feuds getting mixed together as you get some fresh matchups, which is a good way to keep things from getting stale.
We recap the Diva Search segment from last week. I didn’t know we could still discuss that.
Randy Orton is ready for HHH and this Sunday, he knows he’s going to be coming in as the underdog after facing Kane tonight. We get a HHH caveman impression and Orton recaps their feud so far, including a clip of Orton costing HHH a win over Eugene last week. Now, the three most dominant letters on Raw are now RKO. Orton stumbled through a lot of this promo.
Trish Stratus comes up to see Lita and won’t let her go by. We get the jokes about Lita being, ahem, easy I guess you would say until Lita promises to come after Trish once she’s had the baby. More jokes ensue so Lita says keep it coming. Lita leaves and Trish doesn’t seem impressed. She turns around and runs into Nidia, who yells in Spanish. Trish: “I’m sorry I don’t speak German.” Nidia throws a drink on her instead.
Trish Stratus vs. Nidia
Non-title with Trish still covered in juice. Trish takes her down with an early pull of the hair but Nidia slugs away in the corner as Trish’s shirt is tearing more and more. A quick trip to the floor goes to Trish but Nidia is right back with an elbow to the face. Nidia hammers away in the corner….until her top breaks, allowing Trish to kick her in the head for the pin.
Rating: D. Nidia can’t be much longer for the company at this point but she seemed to be getting better here. She could do some stuff in the ring well enough and is already better than some of the women in the company. With more time, she could have turned into a perfectly competent wrestler. The match was short and not terrible, so that’s quite the step up.
Bischoff is happy that HHH is going to destroy Eugene tonight and has set up a party for later. HHH wants nothing to do with the party because the real celebration will come Sunday after he wins the title back.
HHH vs. Eugene
Inside a cage and HHH has banged up ribs. HHH jumps him behind to start and sends Eugene into the cage. The scared Eugene makes his comeback with the usual right hands and ax handles but HHH cuts off an escape attempt. Eugene’s head is bounced off the cage a few times and we have some blood. HHH’s sleeper is reversed with a ram into the cage and they’re both down.
Eugene goes for the door but HHH makes a save and sends him into the cage over and over as the violence is really cranking up. The Pedigree connects for no cover as HHH goes up instead and drives a knee into Eugene’s arm for what seems like a break. HHH finally walks out for the win.
Rating: D-. HHH did his job last week (all it took was the World Champion interfering) so this was his time to shine again. He got to beat up and injure what used to be a fan favorite (before HHH took away all of Eugene’s momentum) and make it look like some big deal. It was a really boring match too as Eugene’s hope spots weren’t believable and it didn’t feel big even once.
Post match HHH slams the door on Eugene’s arm. I’m not wild on how we got here, but Eugene going away for a month or two is the best thing that could happen to him right now.
Coach is rather pleased with Bischoff getting his way and talks to Edge about being stripped of the title. Edge would rather lose while fighting injured than have it taken away from him. He’s coming back and dealing with Bischoff. So are we already dropping the heel turn?
Kane makes Lita watch a clip of him injuring Shawn Michaels. At least they’re acknowledging that, as it makes the match feel a lot less random. Kane promises to do the same thing to Orton tonight. HHH won’t like that. It’s his job to conquer these young kids.
Tyson Tomko vs. Chris Jericho
Christian is out with Tomko but Jericho chases him to the back early on. Tomko uses the distraction to kick Jericho down and we hit a very early chinlock (that really shouldn’t be necessary so soon). Back up and Tomko misses a charge into the post so Jericho takes him down by the knee. Christian comes back with a ladder, allowing Tomko to nail Jericho in the head for two. Another distraction lets Tomko grab a reverse F5 for the pin, which was totally necessary before Sunday’s title match.
Post match Christian hits him with the ladder a few times and poses on top, just like everyone does.
It’s Diva Search time with Stacy Keibler hosting and a covered table in the ring. Before we get to the elimination, it’s time for some arm wrestling. Christy beats Amy, Carmella beats Joy, Christy beats Carmella. As a reward, Christy gets to throw a bucket of chili on all of them. See it’s funny because they’re good looking and in evening gowns but get covered in chili. Amy is eliminated.
Eugene has a separated shoulder and his career may be over.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
Non-title and Kane drags Lita to the ring with him. Orton sends him into the corner to start before heading outside for a chase. That’s enough to catch Kane with a dropkick and some forearms to the chest in the corner (like the ten right hands, but with Kane facing the buckles for a change). Kane kicks him in the face and goes to grab a chair but Lita grabs it as well. That’s enough of a distraction so Orton can get in a low blow for the DQ.
Post match HHH comes out and wants the cage lowered, so here’s Bischoff to say this is continuing as a cage match. We take a break and come back with Kane sending Kane into the cage and pounding away with right hands. A powerslam cuts off Orton’s comeback for two, followed by a hard clothesline for the same. Orton hammers away again so Kane grabs a side slam to stop him again. A top rope crotching sets up the backbreaker to put Kane in trouble for a change and Orton cracks him in the head with the chair. The RKO connects and Orton, after kicking the cage door into HHH’s face, walks out for the win.
Rating: D+. So there’s the second cage match of the night and it wasn’t exactly thrilling. At least Orton won here instead of getting beaten down so HHH could stand over him again. The fans aren’t really cheering for him though and that’s a bad sign as his title reign is just getting started.
Post match Evolution jumps Orton, who fights them off with a chair. Kane gets back up though and Orton bails to end the show. That’s a big reason why Orton isn’t getting cheered. Since winning the title, here’s what he’s done on Raw: beaten down, spit in HHH’s face and ran, helps Eugene win, beats Kane and runs away again. He’s not getting destroyed every week, but for the most part he’s either getting beaten down or running away. The face turn was out of nowhere in the first place and having him run away (logical, but not the most inspiring) so much isn’t helping things.
Overall Rating: D+. The show went by fast and that’s rather impressive given how Unforgiven is a completely one match show. Tonight was almost all about HHH vs. Orton, which doesn’t bode well for Sunday. Adding the ladder match was fine as they had to deal with an injury and that’s all they could do given the circumstances. Other than that though, I’m really struggling to come up with something I’d want to see at Unforgiven. I’m worried about Sunday’s show, but this one wasn’t exactly much to see in the first place.
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