Monday Night Raw
Date: October 4, 2004
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s time for a big show as we’re in the World’s Most Famous Arena for one of the last two shows before a gimmick pay per view on a Tuesday. Last week’s Raw saw Randy Orton try to turn Ric Flair away from the dark side, only to get screwed out of the Taboo Tuesday title match voting. I’m sure you know where this is headed so let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Orton and Flair last week with Orton’s very good promo that was wasted by the end of the night.
The arena is set up as normal, which takes away some of the MSG charm.
Here are HHH and Ric Flair for a chat. Flair recaps last week and wants to correct himself: HHH isn’t the greatest wrestler alive because he’s the greatest of all time. So isn’t he the greatest alive too? Flair is the only man who can say that because Orton has been barred from the building. I’m not sure how those things go together but Flair keeps going by ripping on people Orton has taken out who certainly aren’t legends.
As for Taboo Tuesday, Flair and Orton are fighting one more time in either a falls count anywhere match, a submission match or a cage match. HHH talks about how Taboo Tuesday is going to be a complete disaster (he’s not wrong) because fans can’t be relied on to make decisions. He’s supposed to rely on people like the ones in the front row to make decisions? These people must like that they get to decide Evolution’s fate. To quote an “overrated Hollywood actor”, “It doesn’t matter what you think.”
Taboo Tuesday is a joke and a sham but here’s Chris Jericho to interrupt. Jericho says that this is NOT a repeat, even though HHH is complaining about Taboo Tuesday again. This is Raw Is Jericho so let’s take a poll here tonight. The fans don’t seem to think that HHH is the greatest wrestler alive today, or the greatest of all time for that matter. What about the biggest horse’s a** that ever walked the face of the earth? Jericho: “It looks like we have a winner!”
Jericho reminds us that he inspired Taboo Tuesday in the first place and he’ll be the one laughing when HHH loses the title. Flair demands that he come out here right now for some respect but Jericho comes to the ring with a chair. Cue Batista from behind though and the beatdown is on until Edge and Chris Benoit makes the save. Sounds like another six man, which is far from a bad idea.
Sidebar: so allegedly the reason why HHH got the title back at Unforgiven was he didn’t think fans would want to vote on three heels for Taboo Tuesday. The voting for the Orton vs. Flair match proves that what he’s saying is completely ridiculous, as you could have had the fans pick a stipulation for Orton vs. HHH and swap Flair in for HHH to face Shawn, Edge or Benoit with everything else being the same. How was that not a viable option? Other than HHH doesn’t get the title back of course.
Christian isn’t that impressed with being in Madison Square Garden because Shawn Michaels gets too much credit for that one ladder match in this building. He had a big match here at Wrestlemania XX and actually won. When he beats Shawn tonight, he’s taking the torch the fans are carrying for Michaels.
Shawn Michaels vs. Christian
Tomko is with Christian of course. They go with the basics to start with Shawn hitting a shoulder and grabbing a headlock takeover. As the hold stays on, there’s a sign in the crowd saying Christian is a Major Punk with C M PUNK in red letters. Subtle but I’ve seen worse. Shawn doesn’t take kindly to being slapped in the face and Thesz presses Christian down for some right hands. Christian sends him into the corner to take over as the announcers talk about the intelligence of the fans.
A missed charge crotches Christian though and Shawn knocks Tomko down for good measure. Sweet Chin Music takes forever to set up as usual so Tomko pulls Christian to the floor. That just earns him Sweet Chin Music of his own and we take a break. Back with Shawn not being able to fight out of a chinlock as Tomko has already been helped out. The reverse tornado DDT gives Christian two, followed by the reverse DDT backbreaker for the same.
Christian hits the chinlock again but this time Shawn is up in a hurry and it’s a double knockdown for a pair of nine counts. Shawn is back with the forearm into the nipup to start the comeback but a quick Unprettier plants him. Christian’s very delayed cover gets two and the fans are very pleased. As they should be since this has been good so far. Christian heads up top but gets backdropped down, setting up the top rope elbow. Sweet Chin Music hits for the clean finish.
Rating: B. Rather strong match here with Shawn winning clean as he gets some more momentum on the way to Taboo Tuesday. Christian losing might not be the best idea long term but at least he got to hang with one of the best around. That’s going to help him going forward as he’s already an established midcarder/upper midcarder. Just get up the ladder a little higher and stay there longer and he’ll be set.
Earlier today, Lita said that she was in a predicament but is now sad that she lost the baby. You know, the one that was basically the spawn of the devil. Now though, she hates Snitsky and doesn’t buy the idea that it wasn’t his fault. Come on after all those times he’s said it, how can it not be true? She starts shouting and recaps the whole story, which lowers her acting skills by at least 38%.
Eric Bischoff asks an unseen woman if they have a deal and they shake hands. He’ll see her in the ring later tonight. Coach comes in and asks why she is here, because proper nouns are only used when it’s appropriate. Coach is also worried about interviewing Snitsky so Bischoff says JR can do it instead.
JR brings Snitsky out…and he’s got a baby carriage. Snitsky brings it into the ring but we have to pause for a BABY KILLER chant. All that matters is that IT WASN’T HIS FAULT but here’s Kane to disagree. Snitsky throws the carriage at him but not before pulling out a pipe to beat Kane down. See not only is he not to blame, but he’s not stupid. Kane gets busted open and Snitsky chokes him out with the pipe.
Batista vs. Chris Benoit
Flair is out with Batista, who gets knocked to the floor in a hurry. Back in and Benoit goes after the leg with a dragon screw legwhip and Batista limps around the floor. The knee is fine enough to hit a big spinebuster back inside and it’s time to work on Benoit’s back. Benoit sends him into the corner though and it’s time to roll the German suplexes. With Flair being knocked off the apron, Batista shoves off a Crossface attempt. Flair gets in a low blow and posts Benoit but Orton runs in to break up the Batista Bomb for the DQ.
Rating: C. It was fun while it lasted due to the high levels of intensity you knew were coming from these two but the ending was what mattered. Orton fighting through Evolution to get to HHH again is fine, but there’s only so much you can do when Evolution gets the upper hand on him or Orton has to run away every week.
Post match Orton stays on Batista but Bischoff sends out security to arrest him. Flair and Batista get in a few cheap shots to take Orton down.
Post break Bischoff is in the ring to complain about Taboo Tuesday. Speaking of the show, Snitsky will face Kane in a Fans Pick The Weapon match with a lead pipe, a steel chair or a steel chain being legal. As for Chris Jericho, who laughed at the idea of HHH facing three people, he’ll have to defend the Intercontinental Title against anyone not already in a match, which means nearly twenty options. Bischoff wants to see those people in his office in about fifteen minutes.
That brings him to his match with Eugene, who he wants in the ring right now. Eugene comes out and Bischoff tells him that someone in the back has a crush on him. That would be Carmella, who Bischoff thinks should have won the Diva Search. She also has a match with Christy Hemme at Taboo Tuesday, but for now Bischoff explains that she was in Playboy. He whispers what that means to Eugene, who freaks out.
Carmella talks about how hot she finds Eugene, except for his hair. See, if Eugene loses the hair vs. hair match on purpose, she would find him perfect. Eugene agrees, but he wants a kiss now. That’s not happening so Eugene will settle with Carmella taking her top off. That’s not happening either because Carmella is too good for Eugene or these people. Bischoff likes her style so the match with Christy is still on. Cue Christy to shove Carmella and kiss Eugene.
So now we’re getting more Christy vs. Carmella? Was that really such an awesome feud that it needs a sequel? I know WWE has put a lot into this whole thing but for some reason now we’re stuck with seeing them on pay per view. At least it’s going to be short, but Taboo Tuesday was already looking bad enough as it was.
Tag Team Titles: La Resistance vs. Rhyno/Tajiri
La Resistance is defending and Grenier actually gets to finish O Canada. After some confusion over whether or not this is for the titles, Conway headlocks Hurricane to start. Rosey comes in for a save and a double legdrop (one between the legs and one on the neck) has Conway in trouble. Hurricane gets knocked off the top though and we hit a front facelock. Conway pulls Rosey off the apron, leaving Hurricane to take Au Revoir for the fast pin.
Post match Rosey keeps going after the champs, who turn his mask around. The blind Rosey lays out Hurricane in what seems to be setting up a rematch. It would help a bit if they hadn’t just lost in two minutes.
WWE received an award from Make-A-Wish.
Simon System ad. Simon: “My name is Simon Dean and odds are, I don’t like you.”
Edge says you should vote for him because he’s never faced HHH, unlike Michaels and Benoit, who have faced HHH over and over in a million title shots. Edge lists off all the titles he’s won and injuries he’s suffered and now he deserves a chance. Fair enough, though his face/heel shifting is getting annoying.
The people who could face Jericho at Taboo Tuesday are in Bischoff’s office. Bischoff has a job for them tonight: they’re going to be lumberjacks when Jericho faces HHH.
Stacy Keibler vs. Molly Holly
Trish Stratus is on commentary and isn’t too kind to Christy based on what happened last week. Stacy bites Molly’s finger to start (Trish: “Whatever works.”) and there’s the boot choke in the corner. Molly gets in a suplex as Lawler is very pleased by the visuals of Stacy’s skirt. The slapping doesn’t get Stacy very far so we look at Trish on commentary instead. A missed knee in the corner lets Stacy kick Molly down but Trish heads to the ring for a distraction. For once it actually doesn’t work as Stacy blocks the rollup and pins Molly for the upset. They wouldn’t be stupid enough to have Stacy vs. Trish for the title would they?
HHH vs. Chris Jericho
Non-title lumberjack match. Jericho jumps him after the posing and hits a backdrop before HHH can even get his belt off. The title falls off when HHH is sent outside and the lumberjacks start hammering away. Back in and HHH throws him outside for the same treatment. Jericho is fine enough to slingshot over HHH into a failed Walls attempt so it’s a catapult into the corner instead.
HHH sends him outside for more stompings, followed by blocking the Walls again so Jericho can get sent outside for the third time in about two minutes. This time Christian jumps him but Jericho thinks it was Rhyno and beats him up instead. Back in (again) and Jericho misses the Lionsault, knocks Batista off the apron, and finally gets the Walls. That’s broken up as Flair has to be dispatched, followed by a big dive onto a bunch of lumberjacks. With the referee distracted, Rhyno comes in for the Gore to give HHH the pin.
Rating: D-. What a waste of time, especially with the lumberjacks. If they don’t want to have either of these two do a job (as they shouldn’t), don’t set the match up in the first place. This was a bunch of throwing each other to the floor and failed finisher attempts until Rhyno came in to finish things off. Another bad main event to cap off a series of terrible matches tonight.
Post match the fight is on with Orton coming in to hit some RKO’s on random people. A big one to Coach (more like a jumping Stunner) finishes the show.
Overall Rating: D. Well that was bad. The usual suspects had their good matches as always but at the same time, we had a bunch of terrible matches and promos that consisted of “Taboo Tuesday is stupid” and heels saying “we hate this” over and over. The problem is we’re coming up on what feels like any given pay per view but we have a bunch of completely acceptable stipulations to pick from. That doesn’t make for an interesting show, which is something this place could really use right now. Hopefully it picks up, but I’m not exactly thrilled with the prospects right now.
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