Monday Night Raw – July 11, 2005

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 11, 2005
Location: Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 9,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re a week removed from the earth shattering split of Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan, whose friendship dated back all of two months (with about six weeks off in the middle). Tonight we start the build towards what is almost guaranteed to be a big time Summerslam match, but there is one more important thing to deal with: one of the interchangeable women in the Diva Search is going home! Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Shawn superkicking Hogan last week. It may not be the best angle but that really is a dream match and a battle of the generations.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Carlito to start things off with Carlito’s Cabana. Everyone is talking about Carlito and his show and last week, his guest was Hulk Hogan himself. Carlito knows that the fans want answers so here is his guest this week: Shawn Michaels. Well that would be the case if Shawn had turned Canadian, started wearing sunglasses and become Chris Jericho. Carlito isn’t sure what is going on but offers to let Jericho sit back and have an apple.

Jericho isn’t having that because he’s on a roll right now and therefore should be running this show. It’s time to clear things up a bit, meaning Jericho wants the Jeritron 5000 down here so it can be the Highlight Reel. Jericho tries to bring out Shawn instead, but Carlito cuts it off and says Jericho is too fat to be the host of this show. Love handles are NOT cool you see. Jericho calls him gordo and dubs himself Chris Canadian Cool. He refers to Carlito as Sideshow Bob and knows Shawn doesn’t want to be on an amateur talk show like this one. Shawn would want to be on Johnny Carson’s show, not Carson Daly’s.

Jericho tells Shawn to get out here right now but it’s RODDY PIPER instead. Roddy takes us further into the past by calling Carlito Buckwheat before saying that tonight, Shawn is in Piper’s Pit. So we just spent nearly fifteen minutes arguing which talk show someone is going to be on. Shouldn’t the bigger issue be why we have so many talk shows?

Video on the Asian tour.

Chris Masters vs. Tajiri

Fallout from Tajiri misting him two weeks ago. Masters jumps him at the bell to start and the beating is on in a hurry. Tajiri kicks his way out of trouble and the handspring kick to the face puts Masters on the floor. The ECW chants start up as Tajiri kicks him down for two more. A tornado DDT is blocked so Tajiri kicks him in the head for another two instead. The Tarantula is countered into a faceplant and the Masterlock finishes Tajiri.

Rating: D+. Tajiri’s kicks are always worth a look/listen but what else were you looking for here? Masters is just so boring and there is no way around it. It isn’t helping that he has been around here for months now and his big win is over Tajiri. They haven’t done him any favors and it’s getting less interesting every week.

Gene Snitsky comes in to see Edge and Lita as they are watching their wedding video. After a few highlights, Edge asks Snitsky some help with Kane tonight. In exchange, Snitsky can have Lita’s…..feet. He tries to suck her toes as a preview but that’s too far for Edge and Lita. Snitsky has to complete his mission first and then they’re all his. I REALLY don’t want to know who came up with this but I do want whoever it was to stay far away from the writing room.

We see HHH being taken out of the Cell two weeks ago.

Intercontinental Title: Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito

Carlito is defending after having beaten Shelton in back to back title matches. Shelton punches him down to start and a suplex gets two. The dropkick is good for the same but Carlito is back with his own dropkick. Shelton is right back up though, meaning it’s time for Carlito to take a breather.

Back from a break with Shelton fighting out of a chinlock so Carlito sends him outside in a heap. The LET’S GO SHELTON chants get on Carlito’s nerves so he stomps away and grabs another chinlock. With that broken up, Carlito chokes away on the ropes for a good bit instead. The third chinlock goes on, which really shouldn’t be the case in a match that has been going for ten minutes.

Shelton finally gets up so Carlito DDTs him right back down for two. A suplex is reversed into a neckbreaker for two on Carlito and Shelton’s backbreaker gets the same. Carlito grabs a rollup with trunks for two, followed by a superplex for the same. That kickout is a bit too much for Carlito so he grabs the title, only to get caught with a Samoan drop. Shelton grabs him by the hair and they fight over a suplex to the floor. A kick to the head sends Carlito outside again…and he’ll just take the countout to retain.

Rating: D+. Too many chinlocks in a short match can hut things a good bit, as can just walking out to retain the title. That being said, it does fit Carlito so it doesn’t come out of nowhere. I’m not sure how this warranted a trilogy either, but odds are we’re going to see it again soon and that isn’t exactly appealing.

John Cena and Eric Bischoff are arguing in the back.

Here is Cena for a chat so we’ll start with the sucking up to the crowd. He’s glad to be here but hang on because we need some cheer soaking. Now though, Cena needs to worry about Y2 Cheap, who was talking about beating Cena up last week. That’s not how Cena remembers it though because Jericho believes he can take the title anytime.

Cue Bischoff, who doesn’t seem happy about….well anything really. Bischoff shrugs off the fans and says Cena will defend the title whenever Bischoff says so. Cena really doesn’t like that tone and thinks he’s being provoked but here’s Jericho to interrupt. Bischoff calms things down in a hurry and gives Jericho the Summerslam title shot. As you might expect, Jericho is rather pleased and calls Cena a thug.

That’s too far for Cena, as tends to be the case for him. Jericho cuts him off and says that he’ll be the biggest star in WWE and sell EVEN MORE RECORDS. Cena knows Jericho is looking forward to living off the cheap sauce in cheap land but he’d rather fight right now. That’s a no, but Jericho does promise to win the title. With Jericho gone, Cena gives Bischoff the AA to blow off some steam (Bischoff holding the mic and begging until he hit the ground was great). It was a good exchange, though Jericho doesn’t exactly come off like a major challenge to the title here.

It’s time for the first Diva Search elimination. That would be Alexis, who is actually a pretty blonde if you can believe that. With that out of the way, it’s time for a talent competition and egads take me now.

Ashley has been training to wrestle so she monkey flips Christy Hemme.

Leyla has to wait for the referee who prevented her wardrobe malfunction last week because she wants to dance for him. As expected, it ends in a low blow.

Summer backflips into the splits, and then does it again because it took about five seconds out of sixty.

Krystal, who is dressed as a French painter, including a mustache, pulls off her clothes to reveal a swimsuit and then pours paint over herself so she can roll around on some paper.

Elizabeth dances, albeit with a police theme so she handcuffs Christy to the ropes and spanks her.

Simona pulls out a sword and gyrates in front of Coach.

Cameron gives Christy a lap dance. Christy: “I think she’s done that a few times.” Coach: “Christy I think you’ve done that a few times.”

Every time I think that they’ve hit the all time low point of wasting time, we get something like this. Sweet goodness this was AWFUL as they continue to manage to make good looking women in little clothing feel worthless.

Here’s Kurt Angle for the debut of the Kurt Angle Invitational on Raw. He explains the rules (three minute time limit, the opponent only has to survive to win the gold medal) and brings out this week’s opponent: Matt Striker, a former teacher who called in sick to be able to go wrestle. Angle has already beaten him once in Philadelphia (in February), though Striker says he’s from New York here. Angle: “Man you lie a lot!”

Kurt Angle vs. Matt Striker

Feeling out process to start until Angle takes him down into a Fujiwara armbar. Angle uppercuts him in the corner and hits a hard belly to back suplex as we hit the halfway point. Striker gets in some right hands but walks into an overhead belly to belly. The straps come down but Striker sends him shoulder first into the post with less than a minute to go. Angle gets back in with about twenty seconds left so Striker hammers away in the corner. A low blow has Angle in trouble but he picks the ankle and makes Striker tap with a second left. I knew the ending and they had me wondering how they were going to pull it off. That takes talent.

Kane laughs at the idea of getting to face Edge.

Edge and Lita are on the way to the ring when MATT HARDY runs in from behind him and gets in a few shots. The fans take a second to realize who it is but then go nuts when they figure it out. Lita screams at Matt, who stares back at her but then runs out the door when security shows up. This was a heck of an angle and one of the best bits of shock value I’ve seen from them in months.

The Boogeyman is coming as the generation’s cast continues to grow.

Kane vs. Edge

The fans start chanting for Hardy as Kane hammers away in the corner. Edge manages to send him outside for some forearms to the back but Kane gets in an uppercut. The fans are still gung ho for Matt, even as Kane hits the good looking side slam. There’s the top rope clothesline but Kane goes after Lita, drawing in Snitsky for the DQ.

Kane and Snitsky brawl into the crowd and it’s Matt running in from the other side to go after Edge. They brawl a bit until referees break it up with Matt heading to the floor. Matt calls Edge a b****** and Lita a w**** before saying something about Ring of Honor until security takes him down. I’m not sure I would have done both segments in one night but DANG this worked and felt like the first must see angle in a long time.

We look at Shawn turning on Hogan again.

Here’s Roddy Piper for Piper’s Pit to wrap things up. He doesn’t waste any time with wacky references before bringing Shawn out for the explanation. Piper asks why Shawn did it last week and hands him the mic for the explanation (alas without a congratulation because turning on Hogan would be a very Piper thing). Shawn talks about spending twenty years trying to give the fans something to remember. No one has left them with more Wrestlemania memories than him or had a bigger impact on the direction of this industry than he has.

Back at the Hall of Fame, Shawn heard the ONE MORE MATCH chants so he knew what he had to do. Shawn sacrificed himself to give the fans what they want. Now he knows Hogan will have one more match and…..pause for the HOGAN chants….that Hogan will be immortal, but Shawn sees it differently. In this instance, perception is not reality because at Summerslam, it’s Shawn vs. Hogan. At Summerslam, Shawn will prove that immortality has a price.

Piper still wants to know WHY though because Shawn can’t fool him. It was the fans who made him a four time World Champion. Piper remembers Shawn asking him for advice when he was coming up and Piper told him how to make the main event because Shawn was worth it.

Now though, Piper is ashamed of him and wants to know why Shawn threw everything away. Shawn says he’s given his answer and is ready to go but Piper says get back in here. Piper says Shawn is a coward so there’s the superkick, allowing Shawn to go into serious mode. The slow walk up the ramp ends the show. This didn’t give a very detailed explanation but I’ll take something like this over “I don’t owe you a thing” every day.

Overall Rating: D+. This was a show where the angles carried things but there was only so much they could do to get around Snitsky’s foot fetish, the Diva Search thing and a bunch of matches that felt like nothing more than filler material. The angles kept things going well enough, but they need to fix up the rest of the show if they really want things to work. The Hardy thing was outstanding though and exactly what they were looking for, as well as something the show needed.

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