Monday Night Raw
Date: December 6, 2004
Location: Cricket Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the final night of the guest host series for Raw and that means Chris Jericho is in charge. He has a big plate in front of him tonight with the controversial finish to last week’s World Title match where Chris Benoit and Edge both laid claim to the title. In a bigger deal though, Trish Stratus is defending the Women’s Title against Lita in a major showdown. Let’s get to it.
We open with the Highlight Reel (of course) with Jericho promising a big party tonight. Since it’s a party, everyone gets laid tonight, so the leis fall from the ceiling, allowing Jericho to make some jokes about a few fans. Not wanting to be left out, he goes out and gets one himself (Jericho: “Everybody gets laid! You won’t get arrested!”). They’re imported from Hawaii, a tropical paradise, and what makes you think of the tropical paradise than Charlotte, North Carolina in December?
That’s not all though because tonight the Divas will be taking part in the Chris Jericho Rock and Roll Limbo A Go-Go, complete with music from Fozzy. With the announcements out of the way, we look at the end of last week’s show with Edge tapping just as Benoit got pinned. There’s nothing clear after several angles so Jericho needs some help. This brings out Vince McMahon, carrying the title in a better than expected visual. Vince didn’t see anything definitive either so that makes it a tie. He doesn’t like that either….so here’s a smug HHH to interrupt.
Vince doesn’t like being interrupted but he has one word for HHH: congratulations. HHH deserves some praise because he’s a bestselling author and has a role in Blade: Trinity. With that out of the way, HHH reaches for the title but that’s not right either. Instead, the title is vacated, meaning HHH is NOT the champion. As for the decision on the title…eh let’s just wait until next week as you can see the January pay per view from here.
Post break, HHH isn’t exactly happy and yells at Batista for not being angry enough. Batista yells back this time, saying he was out there last week and saving HHH last week. There would be no controversy if it wasn’t for him and Benoit would be the champion. YOU’RE WELCOME! HHH turns over the coffee while shouting THANK YOU.
Jericho has a party in his office, with paint and balloons on the walls and various woman carousing. Christian comes in to rant about what looks like a superhero costume Jericho wants him to wear. Jericho loves the idea of Captain Charisma joining various other great captains, like Hook, Crunch and James T. Kirk. If Christian wants another Intercontinental Title shot, get in the costume. Christian leaves and Benoit comes in instead. He’s not happy with the situation so Jericho makes himself and Benoit against Batista/HHH, which does please Benoit.
We look at Trish tormenting Lita back in May. These segments were gold as Trish is so awesome in this role.
Eugene vs. Maven
William Regal is here with Eugene and doesn’t think much of Maven wanting a handshake. Eugene wrestles him down to start and strikes a bit of a dance as Maven certainly doesn’t seem pleased. A takedown sets up a bodyscissors with Eugene rolling him around and shaking the knees some more. Back up and Maven falls down but claims Regal tripped him, meaning an ejection. Eugene gets a northern lights suplex for two and Maven compliments him before kicking the knee out. The knee gets tied in the corner and Maven chokes until it’s a DQ.
Rating: D. Now this is more Maven’s speed and I didn’t get nearly as annoyed as I did before. Maven against someone like Eugene is something I can buy, unlike watching him against main event level talent. The heel turn isn’t likely to revitalize his career but at least he’s not in way over his head.
Post match Regal comes back in but gets decked by a title belt.
And now, a limbo contest with the Divas. Fozzy plays music, the girls limbo, Christy wins, and Jericho starts singing with Fozzy as we have a dance off. The lights go out though and it’s Muhammad Hassan and Daivari coming up on the screen. Hassan goes on about how great things can be before a single instance can change everything. Like on 9/11. He’ll be here next week and the party will stop. Better than limbo at least.
Simon Dean vs. Hurricane
This is Dean’s in-ring debut but first he needs to talk about the Fit-No-Powder. Hurricane cuts him off, but Dean is smart enough to just talk over the music. Dean offers him an amateur position and gets rolled up for an early two. A front facelock has Dean in the corner but he comes out with a right hand. Lawler: “Well you know what they say.” JR: “What do they say?” Lawler: “Uh…..”
Dean takes him down and a pendulum elbow sets up a pushup choke. We hit the chinlock with a knee in Hurricane’s back as Lawler compares him to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He wishes. Hurricane comes back with a clothesline and headscissors, followed by the reverse Unprettier. The Shining Wizard misses though and Dean grabs a rollup with tights for the pin.
Rating: D+. Just a match here as Dean’s run continues to die before our eyes. It’s not working and a feud with Hurricane and Rosey isn’t going to fix things. They tried something and it isn’t clicking, but at least they’re keeping him down low on the card and giving him a win. I wouldn’t get my hopes up though.
We see Trish’s bridal shower for Lita as the gold continues.
Randy Orton is happy with the World Title situation and laughs at Coach for not being able to get laid.
Here’s an angry Edge for a chat. He’s here to defend his World Title and now it’s vacant. The fans tell him that he tapped out as he explains what happened last week, albeit with a bit of a twist that puts him in a pretty positive light. Even Lawler can’t give him the benefit of the doubt on this one as Edge talks about how great it felt to have the World Title in his hands.
This is all Randy Orton’s fault because Orton didn’t do the right thing last week. It’s not his fault that Orton’s title reign was a failure so Orton needs to get out here right now. Cue Orton with the shirt coming off on the way down the ramp. He could have made it a singles match last week with Benoit vs. HHH instead so Edge should be grateful. They’ve been here before and Edge only has himself to blame. Edge is the only failure around here but Edge can’t remember all the times he’s beaten Orton. Edge declares Orton his b**** and the fight is on with agents breaking it up.
Intercontinental Title: Shelton Benjamin vs. Captain Charisma
The Captain (Christian in a superhero costume if you aren’t paying attention) looks a bit like Daredevil with yellow trim. Shelton starts laughing at him and holds his hand out to stop a charge. Tyson Tomko gets on the apron for a distraction, even though it doesn’t seem to change anything as Christian takes over anyway. Shelton is right back with the top rope clothesline but Tomko forearms him in the back to really take over.
An abdominal stretch stays on the ribs but Christian lets it go and misses a charge into the corner. Christian gets punched out of the air and a middle rope sunset flip gets two. The Stinger Splash misses but Shelton lands on the ropes, only to get powerbombed down for two. Tomko gets involved again by throwing in the title, allowing him to boot Shelton in the face for two more. Shelton kicks Christian in the head to mess up the mask, setting up the exploder to retain.
Rating: D+. This could have been worse and it’s not like Shelton is going to run out of challengers. Christian has already been beaten a few times so this was hardly some big waste of a chance. The idea was funny enough, but with the Hurricane and Rosey already on the show, the superhero deal isn’t exactly an original idea.
Post match Jericho comes out and makes Orton vs. Edge for next week. As a bonus, he sings the Goodbye Song to Christian. For some reason, this isn’t included on the Network. With all the music stuff they do, that’s a copyright issue?
Smackdown Rebound (also not on the Network).
Next up: Trish interrupts Lita’s wedding. That outfit makes this roughly 14 times better.
Snitsky cuts Lita off in the back and takes credit for ruining Kane’s career. Tonight is Lita’s big night and it’s a shame her baby isn’t here to cheer her on.
We recap the World Title being vacated.
HHH calls Bischoff but gets the answering machine. The message turns into a plug for the book and Raw Magazine with Flair acting as pitchman. Batista comes in and hangs up the phone, pointing out how it’s kind of stupid to threaten the guy who handles the World Title situation. There is only one World Champion but Batista doesn’t say who that is. Flair: “He’s talking about you!”
HHH/Batista vs. Chris Benoit/Chris Jericho
Lilian Garcia introduces HHH as the former World Champion so he chases her into the crowd. Benoit chops at Batista to start as they ride out the WE WANT FLAIR chants. It’s off to HHH, who gets chopped by both Canadians and suplexed by Benoit for two. The Crossface is broken up due to feet in the ropes and Batista adds a save. The fans still want Flair but settle for Jericho punching HHH down.
A whip over the corner puts HHH on the floor and a double dropkick sends Batista out next to him. Back from a break with Batista putting Jericho in a camel clutch after hitting a spinebuster during the break. Evolution takes turns stomping Jericho in the corner with Batista adding a boot choke. Jericho dropkicks the knee out to send Batista face first into the middle buckle and it’s the hot tag to Benoit.
Everything breaks down and Benoit decks Flair from the apron, which the fans don’t exactly like. Batista gets knocked off the apron though and Benoit rolls the German suplexes on HHH, which the fans like a lot more. The Lionsault sets up the Swan Dive into the Walls/Crossface combination but Batista makes the save. Another spinebuster drops Benoit but HHH hits him with a chair for the rather dumb DQ.
Rating: C+. The energy was there and HHH snapping is a good enough story. This is part of the bigger story though, even if it’s all but destined to end with HHH as champion again. Batista’s frustrations are starting to grow though and that is a good sign for the future. They’re taking the slow burn path and that’s best for everyone.
Post match HHH chairs Benoit (who is gushing blood) again and loads up one on Jericho, only to hit Batista by mistake. Jericho takes a shot of his own and HHH checks on Batista. Flair holds Batista’s head and HHH leaves, ranting about the title.
Some production guys check out Trish as she bends over for a stretch. After they’re scared off, Lita comes in and Trish asks whose career she’s ending tonight. Lita says yours and kisses Trish. Lawler’s reaction is much more subdued than you would expect.
Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Lita
Trish is defending and Lita looks very happy to be in her hometown. They lock up to start and fall to the floor as JR gets on Lawler for worrying about Trish’s nose. JR: “We’ll have a parade for her next week.” Back in and Lita knocks her to the floor, setting up the suicide dive with Lita landing on her head and thankfully not dying. A shot with the mask gives Trish two and JR goes off on Lawler again, this time for being glad to see Trish’s face. Trish pulls her up for the choke in the corner until Lita snapmares her way out.
The sleeper is broken up though and we hit the seated full nelson. Lita fights up and catches Trish on top, meaning it’s a top rope superplex for the double knockdown. The delayed cover gets two and Trish is right back with a kick to the head. Right hands in the corner are countered with a powerbomb but Trish grabs the rope to block the snap DDT. Stratusfaction is countered into the reverse Twist of Fate and the moonsault gives Lita the pin and the title for her first reign in four years.
Rating: B. There was a great energy here and the fans wanted to see Lita FINALLY beat Trish and take the title. That’s because they spent time setting this story up and it made the payoff that much better. It’s a big deal and felt like an important moment because WWE treated it like an important moment. This was the main event of the show and that’s not something you saw very often at this point.
Overall Rating: C-. The last half hour nearly saved the show with a hot angle and a very good main event. Other than that though, it was another week of waiting for another show as we still don’t get the big moment. They’ll wait for January to actually give us anything in the annual December Doesn’t Matter push and that’s something you knew was coming.
The main event is what really matters here as it would be the benchmark for the women’s division for over ten years. This match was the main event of Monday Night Raw and treated like the biggest thing on the show, which just did not happen at this point. I know they’ve been surpassed and lapped several times, but Lita and Trish really did take the division to a place it hadn’t been in the modern era here and that’s worthy of some praise.
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