Monday Night Raw
Date: November 15, 2004
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the night after Survivor Series and that means it’s time for Team Orton to take over the show for the next four weeks. Assuming it’s not Randy Orton’s week to be in charge, you can all but guarantee the boss for the week getting a World Title shot against HHH. Then repeat that for two of the next three weeks. Let’s get to it.
La Resistance is in the ring to open the show but here’s the still bandaged Maven to cut them off. He’s in charge tonight (at least they’re getting it out of the way) and has a few matches in mind. Edge and Christian will be teaming up to face Chris Benoit and Shelton Benjamin, JR will be facing Jonathan Coachman, and in a match close to Maven’s heart, Christy Hemme will face Stacy Keibler in a lingerie pillow fight. Oh and for the main event: Maven gets a World Title shot. As for La Resistance, they have a title defense right now.
Tag Team Titles: La Resistance vs. Rhyno/Tajiri vs. William Regal/Eugene
La Resistance is defending and this is under elimination rules. Rhyno hiptosses Conway to start but gets forearmed in the face for his efforts. A suplex gets Rhyno out of trouble and it’s off to Tajiri for the first time. Eugene gets to come in to snapmare Tajiri down for one but the airplane spin is countered into a rolling sunset flip. Another exchange of rollups gets two each but Lawler would rather talk about the pillow fight.
Back from a quick break with Eugene riding Tajiri around like a horse before running around in a circle. Conway tags himself back in so Tajiri fires off some kicks to the champs. Grenier’s suplex gets two and let’s talk about that pillow fight some more. Rhyno comes back in for some shoulders but the Gore misses in the corner, allowing Conway to grab a rollup with Grenier holding the foot from the floor for the elimination.
We’re down to two and Eugene’s ram into the corner just wakes him up. The power of French Canadians bring him back down though as Lawler thinks Regal is named Steven. A Rock Bottom drops Grenier and the hot tag brings in Regal to elbow the champs in the face. Everything breaks down and Conway hits Grenier with the flag by mistake. The knee trembler from Regal sets up the People’s Elbow from Eugene for the pin and the titles.
Rating: C-. Pretty dull match for the most part but the feel good moment at the end was nice. The problem is that Eugene has lost so much fire over the last few months that it doesn’t have quite the same spark. This should have been the big finale for Eugene and then have Regal lose the fall when they drop the titles. As it is it’s fun, but otherwise it could have been a great moment.
Post match Eugene brings in some fans for some fun, with Regal being more than willing to get involved.
Post break Regal dedicates the win to his father and says they’ll bring prestige back to the titles. Cue Eugene to pour chocolate milk over Regal and Maria. Regal seems to like it on her and Eugene comes back in, seemingly impressed as well. Regal: “STOP IT! YOU’LL GO BLIND! I on the other hand don’t mind losing one eye.” And he leaves with Maria.
Maven hits on Candice Michelle (Has she debuted yet?) before going into his office where HHH is waiting. He offers Maven a spot on the team if he’ll drop the match but Maven turns him down. Maven has to be banged up tonight but he’s willing to fight anyway. That’s why HHH wants him on the team, because that beatdown from Snitsky never would have happened if he was part of Evolution.
Everyone around here hates HHH because he tells the truth. Tonight, it’s a long shot for Maven but he could take the sure thing. Maven isn’t sure this time to end this after nearly five minutes. That’s four and a half minutes more than HHH should spend worrying about Maven. Seriously: it’s just Maven. Why is HHH sweating him?
Lita vs. Molly Holly
Lita goes aggressive with some knees to the ribs to start and follows them up with some stomping. A snap suplex gets Molly out of trouble and she pulls at Lita’s face. Lita’s Russian legsweep gets two as Lawler talks about her being a rather unscrupulous woman. Lita has had it with the covers and grabs a sleeper….for a submission. You don’t see that too often.
Post match here’s Trish Stratus, with a nose guard, after having it broken last night. She wants to fight right now with an assist from Molly, who gets DDT’d before Trish can get to Lita. That earns Trish a shove in the mask and Lita smiles as Trish panics.
Jonathan Coachman vs. Jim Ross
Coach is rather pleased with this but here’s Maven, who has made a mistake. Here’s the real match.
Jonathan Coachman vs. Randy Orton
Coach tries to run (JR tripping him didn’t help) and gets caught hiding behind the barricade. Orton tosses him back in for a crotching on the rope, setting up a poke to the eye and an RKO for the pin. Short and harmless.
Edge isn’t happy that he has to team with Christian again because he should be facing HHH for the World Title. Christian doesn’t like that so Edge flips off the camera, which sends us to a graphic of the tag match. Middle fingers aren’t allowed?
Orton talks to Maven about the World Title shot, but Maven isn’t sure about joining the team. That’s not cool with Orton, who explains how bad it can be. Maven brings up all of the success Orton had on the team and that sounds good.
Edge/Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin/Chris Benoit
Tomko is out with the Canadians. Christian jumps Benoit who is right back with the knee to the ribs as we cut to Edge for some reason. What’s with the cuts involving anything he does tonight? A double tag lets Edge hammer on Shelton and a clothesline keeps Benjamin down. Christian comes back in and makes the mistake of trying a monkey flip, allowing Shelton to stick the landing and snap off a powerslam.
It’s off to Benoit, who sends Edge running to the floor. Christian and Edge argue so it’s a double baseball slide to send them into the barricade and us to a break. It’s so strange to see Edge and Christian arguing. Brothers/friends/probably cousins at some point shouldn’t fight like that. Back with Edge working on Shelton’s arm with a cross armbreaker of all things, followed by a double hiptoss for two.
Christian stays on the arm for a bit until Edge’s assisted charge in the corner only hits the buckle. The Dragon Whip drops Edge and it’s off to Benoit as everything breaks down. Benoit German suplexes Christian and Edge spears Tomko by mistake. That means more German suplexes to Edge and an exploder from Shelton to Christian. The Swan Dive into the Crossface gives Benoit the tap.
Rating: B. Good action and the right finish here with Edge being protected and Benoit getting a win to keep him hot before he (likely) gets a World Title shot in a few weeks. If Raw has one strength right now, it’s being able to throw a wide range of people together for good tag matches and that’s what they did right here.
Post match Edge snaps again and beats up Christian.
Ric Flair comes in to see Maven and offers him a few ladies to help him with his decision. Maven doesn’t look sure.
Lawler and JR pitch aftershave.
Christy Hemme vs. Stacy Keibler
Lingerie pillow fight. They’re in lingerie, they hit each other with pillows and Christy wins. Why a bed was necessary in the ring isn’t clear. Why WWE had a bed on hand isn’t clear.
HHH and Batista admire the women and HHH makes fun of him for thinking. Batista doesn’t get the offer to Maven but thinks HHH might be scared. You don’t suggest that to HHH but he has a plan: who would you rather face for the World Title? If Maven wrestles for the title, the locker room will empty out to make him champion because he would be easy pickings. Makes sense actually. HHH makes fun of Batista’s intelligence again and there’s a future in that glare back.
Here’s Simon Dean, who thankfully has his customer in the ring this time. The customer is morbidly obese and in failing health (Dean’s words) so let’s start the Simon System. That begins with helping his nutrition, but he doesn’t like the Simon Bars. Dean is crushed, but here’s Rosey to interrupt. Dean doesn’t waste time here and calls Rosey fat so Rosey shoves a protein bar in Dean’s mouth. The customer gets pulled in and Dean hits Rosey in the head with a bottle of protein powder. We’ve spent three weeks on this to set up a feud with ROSEY?
Jericho and Benoit come in to see Maven, making the girls leave. Maven still can’t make up his mind so Benoit asks how long he’s been wrestling. That would be three and a half years, which is a lot shorter than the eighteen years it took Benoit to get to the World Title. It’s not about the cars and the women because it can be about being World Champion.
Wrestlemania Recall: The Boyhood Dream has come true.
Muhammad Hassan introduces us to his uncle, who owns a store. Since 9/11, everything has changed and now he has to close up because no one will give him a chance. That won’t happen to Hassan, because he’ll beat the prejudice out of him. If necessary, he will lead a revolt against his own country. This is already going south and he hasn’t even debuted.
Here are Evolution to ask Maven for his decision. Maven has been thinking about it all night but has made up his mind.
Raw World Title: HHH vs. Maven
Maven is challenging in case you’re a little slow this week. Batista and Flair get on the apron at the bell so here are Benoit and Jericho to even things up. A hiptoss and dropkick put HHH on the floor, thereby spending about half of Maven’s offense. Back in and Maven grabs the headlock so HHH drives him into the corner without much effort. Maven goes up, only to have Batista knock him off the ropes.
That’s an ejection so Flair shoves the referee and gets ejected as well. The jumping knee to the face kills Maven’s run and the spinebuster gets two, with Benoit and Jericho pulling the referee out. HHH glares at the Canadians, allowing Benoit to send him into the steps. The biased referee won’t eject Benoit and it’s a flying shoulder to take HHH down. A middle rope Blockbuster bulldog gets two so Benoit offers a distraction, allowing Jericho to hit a Lionsault.
That means a very delayed two and HHH has had it, setting up the Pedigree. Jericho puts Maven’s foot on the rope, which is FINALLY enough for an ejection. Benoit uses that distraction for a German suplex into the Swan Dive for another delayed two. Cue Edge to spear the referee by mistake so Jericho and Benoit beat down their fellow Canadian. It’s Batista and Flair coming in to clean house with Flair handing HHH the belt, but Orton runs in to knock HHH silly. Flair pulls the referee out at two though, drawing in Snitsky to beat up Orton. Snitsky kicks Maven in the face and another Pedigree retains the title.
Rating: D+. They did the only thing they could to make HHH vs. Maven watchable: they didn’t let us watch HHH vs. Maven. This was one puff of smoke and a mirror after another and that’s the exact way to go if the match has to take place. Now the good thing is that they didn’t try to make this anything serious. All night long they acted as if Maven was going to get his head handed to him and that’s what makes sense. They would have been nuts to try to make Maven a threat on his own and they didn’t try to, thank goodness.
Overall Rating: C-. Aside from helping Benoit and Jericho, I can’t picture Maven doing anything else in the main event scene and that’s the only call. He isn’t ready for this level and that’s become clear, so just let him go back to the lower midcard where he belongs. The Tag Team Title switch was cool, as was the tag match in the middle, but the rest of the show was just waiting to get Maven’s stuff done. Not bad, but just kind of a thing they did.
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