Monday Night Raw – November 8, 2004

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 8, 2004
Location: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
Attendance: 4,300
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home show for Survivor Series and that means we’ll probably be seeing a bunch of singles matches between the people involved in the Win Eric Bischoff’s Job Match on Sunday. HHH still doesn’t have anyone chasing the title and that’s probably by design. HHH’s design that is. Let’s get to it.

We open with HHH in mid-promo in the ring, ranting about how he stayed home last week in an effort to teach people a lesson. All he found out was that there are a bunch of thickheaded people around here because they took the chance to attack Evolution. That attack put Ric Flair on the shelf and angered Batista. You won’t like him when he’s angry. That all happened under Bischoff’s watch, with Bischoff cutting him off and coming to the ring.

Bischoff explains the Survivor Series stipulation again but HHH grabs him by the jacket. That’s not a good idea as if HHH doesn’t let go, he might be losing the title. With his jacket now released, Bischoff explains things again so HHH gets in his face, saying a loss would mean a bunch of title defenses. Bischoff thinks it won’t be a problem so let’s have a match.

Batista vs. Randy Orton

Joined in progress after a break with Batista charging into an elbow but blocking the RKO. That’s enough to send Batista outside so he comes back in with the forearms and kicks in the corner. This time Orton takes him outside and sends Batista into the barricade, followed by his own right hands back inside. A thumb to the eye (shoutout to Naitch) lets Orton shoulder Batista to the floor but he’s right back in with a shoulder of his own.

The chinlock has Orton in trouble as Lawler freaks out over the possible handicaps at Survivor Series. Orton finally fights up and runs Batista over but HHH grabs the foot to block the RKO. That means the big clothesline from Batista but the referee ejects HHH. We take a break and come back with Batista getting two each off a neckbreaker and a suplex.

The chinlock goes on again as Batista doesn’t seem to quite know how to work a match this long yet (fair enough as he mainly does short matches or tags). This one doesn’t last as long though as Orton fights up but gets sent shoulder first into the post with a fall onto the steps making it even worse.

Now it’s a chinlock with a bodyscissors (now that’s better because it’s a somewhat different hold) until Batista fights up and hits a dropkick. A Cactus Clothesline puts them both on the floor and a DDT on the floor gets two back inside. The annoyed Orton stomps away and Batista is busted open. The RKO is countered into a spinebuster but Batista misses a charge into the corner, letting Orton get the rollup pin.

Rating: B-. Not bad here and they gave it a lot of time (about twenty minutes with commercials) with Orton winning clean. Batista got in a lot though and a loss to a bigger star like this, especially when he blocked the RKO over and over, isn’t going to hurt him. Orton needed a win to get him back on track too, though I’m not sure where that track can lead at the moment.

Post break Orton gives his team a pep talk but an enraged Batista runs in to go after all four of them. The whole team can barely stop him but Arn Anderson comes in and drives Batista away single handedly because he enforces order these days.

We recap Edge vs. Chris Benoit, with Edge snapping over having to team with him instead of getting the World Title shot. They lost the Tag Team Titles and Edge put a bloodied Benoit in the Crossface in a good segment.

Benoit promises to take care of Edge tonight with violence instead of catchphrases. Why yes, this is completely missing from the Network.

Tyson Tomko vs. Shelton Benjamin

Non-title and Christian is in Tomko’s corner. Tomko jumps him from behind to start but Shelton is right back with a knee to the face for two. A gorilla press into a fall away slam takes Shelton right back down and it’s time for a trip to the floor for a cheap shot from Christian. Back in and Shelton grabs a Russian legsweep but the Dragon Whip is countered into something like a chokeslam for two. The missed Stinger Splash makes it even worse but Shelton slips out of a powerslam, superkicks Christian, and hits the exploder to put Tomko away.

Rating: C. It didn’t have much time but it was similar to the first match: a talented guy against a monster (albeit a much less talented monster) with Shelton having to overcome the odds. Tomko looked downright competent here and it was probably the best match he’s had to date. Take it with the bag of salt required but it’s better than nothing.

Smackdown Rebound.

It’s time for the Highlight Reel with Trish Stratus and Lita as guests. Since Jericho seems a little intimidated by them, he has a referee here to keep them apart. With the referee holding them back, Trish calls Lita the Walking Kiss of Death and says that since Lita is here now, this show is getting canceled like Dark Angel. Jericho doesn’t like the sound of that but he’ll cancel his solution to Better Sl**s and Gardens because Trish brought the real thing right here. Trish brushes that off and says Lita has been out of action for too long (action in the ring that is).

While she’s been getting fat, Trish has been making history. Lita snaps and talks about wanting to get her hands on Trish for seven months. If she’s the Kiss of Death, Trish can pucker up on Sunday. This brings out Snitsky and he’s he’s got a baby in his arms. The baby is crying and Snitsky offers him to Lita, but pulls it back because he’s going to do whatever he wants to it….like PUNTING IT INTO THE CROWD. Avowed non-baby punter Jericho knocks Snitsky outside but gets kicked in the face for his efforts. A posting leaves Jericho down and Lita is terrified.

Here’s Simon Dean for a new life commercial. Just like last week, he’s bringing in a fan to try the system in person. The fan is picked, but Simon knows she’s not in great health because she’s so fat that she can’t take a shower. She’s so appalled that he picks someone else on the other side of the ring. This one isn’t happy with having Simon suggest that he needs help cleaning himself so we’ll move on to someone else.

The third fan finally agrees to get in the ring for a test of the Simon System. As Lawler makes jokes about her size, she introduces herself with Simon saying that everything must be bigger in Texas. Simon asks how long it’s been since she’s had sexual relations and knows that her friends just hang out with her because it makes them feel better.

She actually agrees to try the System and takes one of his drinks, which seems to taste pretty good. It helps you lose weight, and for someone her size, it should only take about twenty gallons a day. That means the drink goes onto Simon, who pours the rest onto her to end a long and not very funny segment. They’re trying to push someone but…..yeah I don’t see this one working.

HHH vs. Tajiri

Non-title. Hang on as here’s Snitsky to jump Tajiri in the aisle and kick him in the face. HHH is pleased and offers a handshake, but Snitsky says if they win, he’s coming for the title. You can hear the gulp from here.

Muhammad Hassan and Daivari are in a normal suburb with Hassan talking about growing up in a place like this. He was just like any other American and treated the same….until 9/11. All he wants is a chance. Daivari speaks Arabic

Pay per view rundown with Michael Cole and Tazz joining in for the Smackdown side.

Lawler starts up an OU SUCKS chant to annoy JR.

Edge talks about making his debut in this arena and how he wants to get his old feeling back by hurting Benoit. HHH comes in and downs some water to recover from his match. He’s looking forward to having Edge next to him instead of across from him on Sunday. HHH is worried about Snitsky but Edge says they’ll win because of him….and then he’ll come after the title himself. HHH having reality set in on him is always worth a look.

Here’s Edge vs. Benoit in Smackdown vs. Raw 2004. I played the heck out of that.

HHH rants to Batista about Edge and Snitsky, who Batista needs to set straight. He leaves the title behind and Batista takes a nice look at it.

Christy Hemme does the ring announcing for the main event. We spent how many months to get a new ring announcer?

Chris Benoit vs. Edge

Benoit isn’t wasting time and starts fast, knocking Edge outside and then throwing him back inside for a failed Crossface attempt. A belly to back suplex is more of a success as the announcers talk about all the people wanting a shot at HHH. Edge pulls him to the floor to get something going for the first time but a clothesline takes care of that in a hurry. That’s enough for Edge who tries to walk out, though he’s just suckering Benoit in for a smart move. Benoit goes back first into the apron and we take a break.

Back with Edge holding a chinlock and adding some right hands to the face for a bonus. With Benoit in trouble, here are Batista and HHH for a closer look. Now it’s Maven, Jericho and Orton to stare at the two of them because they’re bullies who need a numbers advantage. We actually focus on the match for a bit with Benoit walking into a spinebuster for more right hands to the head.

Edge takes too long going up and gets headbutted into a top rope superplex for a rather nice crash. Benoit gets the better of a slugout and knocks Edge off the apron, giving us another staredown from everyone outside. Not being one to wait, Benoit goes after Edge and catapults him into the steps. The Sharpshooter goes on until Edge makes the ropes so Benoit rolls the German suplexes. Edge is busted open as Benoit’s Swan Dive gets two, meaning the Crossface goes on. Everyone comes in and it’s a no contest.

Rating: B-. These two have always had good chemistry together and that was on display here, even with all the distractions going on around them. The ending didn’t help things but it does make sense with the main story. These two had a reason to be fighting other than just being on different teams on Sunday. That’s so much better than “here’s a preview for Sunday” with nothing else between the two of them.

Post match Snitsky cleans house and Team HHH gets in the ring for a staredown. The other four come back in and take care of the villains to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. The wrestling was good, but outside of the opener and main event, there wasn’t much of it to be seen. The problem at the moment is that the entire show is built around one match on Sunday, which is setting up the next month’s worth of shows. There’s something to everyone coming for HHH’s title, but this show made it clear that I need to watch the upcoming Raw’s instead of Survivor Series. That’s a rather backwards way of doing things and while this show was certainly watchable, I don’t really care to see the Raw half of the pay per view.

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