Monday Night Raw – October 18, 2004

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 18, 2004
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home show for Taboo Tuesday and I don’t think many people are complaining. The show’s build has been a minor nightmare, though there are a few positive things here and there. The biggest problem is you know the matches/stipulations we’re going to see but nothing is going to be announced until tomorrow’s show. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s main event, with Edge laying out Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels to set up this week’s triple threat main event. At least that advances the story and could influence the vote, which is more than some of the pay per view building does.

Opening sequence.

Tonight: Edge vs. Shawn vs. Benoit in a triple threat match. Also, Edge vs. Shawn vs. Benoit in a debate! Remember what I said about some of the building not doing anything?

Eric Bischoff is in his karate gear and wants Eugene out here for a fight right now. Cue Eugene with rubber hands for additional clapping as I don’t see this ending well. Bischoff lists off all of the possible options for Tuesday but he’s not out here to fight Eugene. Someone else is though.

Gene Snitsky vs. Eugene

Snitsky starts with the forearms to the back as we’re told Kane isn’t here tonight as Bischoff has barred him from the arena. For once, Bischoff’s plan actually makes sense. An elbow gives Snitsky two and a slam is good for the same as it’s one sided so far. The fans get behind Eugene to fire him up and Snitsky punches the mat while trying to block a sunset flip. They head outside with Snitsky ramming him back first into the post and finishing with the pumphandle powerslam.

Rating: D+. Just a step above a squash here and that’s the right move. They’re trying to get Snitsky over as a monster and there’s no reason to have Eugene be a real threat at the moment. No one should be able to do much to Snitsky other than Kane for the time being and that should be fine for tomorrow.

Post match Snitsky grabs a chair but William Regal comes in for the save. A low blow takes him down and Snitsky beats him down with a chair. Bischoff kicks Eugene for fun.

Todd Grisham is in the ring to moderate the debate between Shawn, Benoit and Edge. They all get separate entrances but for some reason they come out to the Raw theme. What a strange way to save time. They all get two minutes to say why they should get the shot, starting with Edge. He should be facing HHH because it’s a fresh match (true) since he has never had a title shot. Well he has but not THIS title, which means he’s never had a World Title shot. Benoit says he hasn’t forgotten what Edge did to him last week and he’ll prove that tonight. You should vote for him because he makes people tap out.

Shawn says you should vote for him because he has a plan. He won’t say what that is (reference to the 2004 Presidential debates) but he has a plan. If Edge is so hungry he should get a sandwich and have a seat. Shawn wants to fight now so they come out from behind their podiums and Edge gets beaten down, though Sweet Chin Music misses and “hits” Todd in the….I guess the closest point would be chest? They did keep this short so it could have been a lot worse.

Trish Stratus/Gail Kim/Molly Holly vs. Stacy Keibler/Victoria/Nidia

Since Stacy’s entrance takes the better part of ever, Trish kicks her down to give her an even bigger advantage than the one she has from fighting Stacy Keibler. Trish goes after the legs and it’s off to Molly as JR sounds almost disgusted at the idea of Molly in a sexy outfight tomorrow night. Stacy gets in a hair pull but is dragged back into the corner, allowing Lawler to drool over the skirt coming up. Ever the brilliant ring general, Stacy avoids a pair of charges in the corner and brings in Victoria to clean house. Everything breaks down and Stacy gets sent outside, leaving Gail to take the Widow’s Peak for the pin.

Rating: D. Well they had three options here: have Stacy take the heat, have Stacy get the hot tag or have Stacy stand there and they went with the middle option. She doesn’t know how to wrestle and while she was more harmless than anything else here, it’s quite a chore to watch her in the ring and it’s not like it’s going to get better overnight.

Lita comes up to Snitsky in the back and slaps his phone out of his hand. She freaks out on him and yells at him for costing her her baby so Snitsky shoves her against a wall. Tomorrow night Kane is going to lose his match like Lita lost her baby. These lines are so awesome and things that they could never get away with today.

Clip of Randy Orton calling Ric Flair old on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Great way to make it seem like a big win if Orton beats Flair. This isn’t shown on the Network.

HHH fires Evolution up. Batista is ready but Flair is more stoic. He says he’s never been better and gives us a WOO.

Ric Flair/Batista vs. Chris Jericho/Randy Orton

Batista poses at Jericho to start and gets dropkicked into the corner. That’s not cool with the big guy so he pounds Jericho into the Evolution corner, meaning it’s off to Flair. Since it’s just Flair, Jericho drags him over to the corner for the tag to Orton. They slug it out in the corner and the fans are WAY into this, which isn’t surprising given how much of a legend Flair is in this town.

Flair sends him outside so Jericho comes back in and gets elbowed in the face. Orton is right back to send Evolution outside as we take a break. Back with Jericho dropkicking Batista again but walking into a backbreaker. With Jericho down, Flair is more than willing to come back in and you can feel the extra energy behind the basic offense. Batista adds a suplex into a camel clutch as we hear more about how disrespectful Orton was on the Kimmel show. That’s really not a good way to get the fans behind Orton but that’s been an issue since he turned in the first time.

The announcers start ignoring the match to hype up voting beginning in a few minutes with Lawler complaining that he can only vote for the French maid outfits once. The bearhug into a spinebuster keep Jericho’s back banged up and THE POLLS ARE OPEN! Thank goodness they didn’t go second hour of Nitro with a bunch of pyro. Jericho gets in the running enziguri and the hot tag brings in Orton to make the comeback. The referee gets bumped though and Flair hits Orton low, leaving Batista to clothesline Jericho…so Flair can win with the Figure Four?

Rating: B. The hot crowd carried this one rather far but what was up with that ending? Batista is trying to separate himself from the pack for the Intercontinental Title shot and you have Flair get the win over Jericho? It helps Flair a bit, but there was kind of an easier and smarter way to go here.

Video on the European tour.

Lawler votes.

Here’s Vince McMahon for a chat. Last month he had a vision for an idea called Taboo Tuesday and now voting is open. He explains the concept again but here’s Christian to interrupt. Vince: “This better be good.” Christian sucks up to the fans, which is NOT related to the voting being open. The Christian Coalition will not be held back but he could use Vince’s endorsement.

This brings out Tajiri of all people, with a mic, which could go one way or another. Tajiri thinks Christian is lying because Vince should choose Tajiri instead. See, Tajiri loves Vince and it’s a battle over who can hug Vince more. Vince: “I don’t love either one of your!” Cue Coach to say he should get the endorsement but Vince says he hates being interrupted. Christian: “Yeah he hates being interrupted!”

Rhyno runs down but he just wants to Gore Christian and Coach. Vince has a better idea: everyone here can be an adult and….here’s Hurricane to interrupt as well. Hurricane: “Holy conundrums citizen Mr. McMahon!” Shelton Benjamin is out next and Vince threatens to assault him with the microphone. Let’s just have a six way elimination match right now instead with the winner getting the endorsement.

Christian vs. Hurricane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Rhyno vs. Jonathan Coachman vs. Tajiri

Elimination rules with Christian and Hurricane starting things off as Vince himself sits in on commentary. Christian gets scared by the Hurricane pose so it’s a clothesline for two instead. Tajiri comes in to face Hurricane and snaps off a headscissors followed by some choking. As Vince talks about the possible options, Lawler asks which costumes the Divas should wear. Vince is a French maid fan and gets cut off as Tajiri kicks Hurricane in the head for the first elimination.

Back from a break with Tajiri having been eliminated and Coach getting Gored to take us down to three. An Unprettier eliminates Rhyno a few seconds later and it’s Christian vs. Shelton. Christian slaps him in the face and gets tossed into the air for a big crash. There’s some blood on Christian’s side so Shelton grabs a backbreaker for two.

Christian drops him ribs first across the top rope and knocks Shelton into the barricade for two as Vince asks how many names Christian has. The Dragon Whip cuts Christian off again and a northern lights suplex seems to impress Vince. The Stinger Splash misses to give Christian two off a rollup but Shelton reverses the Unprettier into the exploder suplex for the win.

Rating: C. The first part was nothing but given the other people involved, it’s not like there was any reason to keep those four around. Christian vs. Shelton was a rather nice match, even though it wasn’t all that long. I get what they’re going for with the fifteen possible opponents, but really there are only about three or four real options, with Christian and Shelton being near the top of the list.

Post match Vince endorses Shelton, who says he doesn’t care. See, Vince is one vote. What matters is impressing everyone here and watching at home. Tonight you saw him go through four guys and Coach, so now he knows he can beat Jericho tomorrow night.

Here are Christy Hemme and Carmella (last name seemingly withheld for security reasons) for the last word on each other before their match. They both get thirty seconds to tell the people what kind of match they should have. Carmella isn’t going to parade around in her underwear and won’t have an evening gown ripped off of her because she’s been involved in competitive aerobics for six years. Vote Aerobics Challenge!

Christy on the other hand wants what the people want so she’s ready to win any of the matches. The fans want puppies but settle for Christy (very calmly) kissing Lillian Garcia instead. Carmella jumps Christy and leaves. This was another waste of time, as has been everything associated with the Diva Search.

Pay per view rundown.

We look back at the debate and ensuing brawl.

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit vs. Edge

HHH comes out to join commentary. Edge gets double teamed to start and is dumped to the floor in short order. Benoit grabs a German suplex on Shawn but they both get jumped by the returning Edge. The spear knocks Benoit off the apron and Edge follows him, leaving Shawn to hit a springboard spinning crossbody to take them both out and we take a break. Back with Benoit Crossfacing Shawn with Edge making a save.

With Shawn down on the floor, Edge gets two off a backbreaker as HHH complains about how unfair this whole thing is. Shawn comes back in and goes up for a sunset flip on Benoit, who sends Edge flying with a release German suplex. The forearm drops Edge again but Shawn’s knee won’t let him nip up (that would be a torn meniscus which, after tomorrow, would keep Shawn out of the ring for about three months).

Shawn manages to hit the top rope elbow on Benoit as HHH is rather funny mocking Shawn’s injury. Benoit ducks Sweet Chin Music and rolls some German suplexes (HHH: “Michaels deserves that for trying to con the people!”) to set up the Swan Dive. Edge comes back in and gets caught in the Sharpshooter, which HHH can’t remember being in. Sweet Chin Music breaks that up but Edge crotches Shawn against the post. A rollup with a grab of the rope lets Edge pin Benoit.

Rating: C+. It’s hard to fairly grade this one with the knee injury in the middle but at least we got some great action on the way there. The important part is giving Edge the win, even though it’s not like he has much of a chance of getting selected tomorrow. That being said, I’ll take an actual match between the people instead of talking or whatever other nonsense some of these matches have gotten.

HHH and Edge stare each other down to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. Women’s match aside, nothing was too bad on here and the most important goal was accomplished. They hyped up everything on tomorrow’s card and while WWE Does Elections isn’t the most exciting idea in the world, at least they tried to do something here and I’m more interested in seeing the show than I was coming in. Now just don’t do a bunch of stupid stuff tomorrow night and it might make up for some of the lame TV over the last few weeks.

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