Monday Night Raw
Date: August 8, 2005
Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman
We’re less than two weeks away from Summerslam and the card is looking decent at best. You can see most of if not all of the card, but at the same time they have a few things left to set up or at least push. If nothing else, we need Hulk Hogan to actually respond to Shawn Michaels and that is going to take place tonight. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Eric Bischoff trying to stack the deck to get the World Title off of John Cena last week, complete with Carlito and Chris Jericho managing to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory. Jericho did manage to bust Cena open and steal the title though, in a move that almost always works.
Here are Eugene and Christy Hemme for the Gold Medal Invitational, but first Eugene, in a Hulk Hogan shirt, needs to talk about how awesome Hogan is. Christy says this is about Eugene though and does the GIVE ME AN E deal, only to have Kurt Angle interrupt. Angle says he’s the hometown hero this week and he’s getting his medals back.
As you might guess, the fans are not happy with Eugene here and Angle saying Pittsburgh doesn’t need Hulk Hogan when they have him makes it even worse. They even get in an argument over whether or not Eugene is a gold medalist because that’s what these fans want to hear. Eugene isn’t happy with Angle swearing so we start in a hurry.
Eugene vs. Kurt Angle
Angle kicks him into the corner to start but stops to yell at the referee. A backbreaker gets two on Eugene, who drives Angle into the corner. The referee takes a shot to the back of the head but Eugene says it was Angle and the referee believes him. A shot to the face drops Eugene as we’re already halfway through. Eugene is sent face first into the buckle and that’s enough to fire him up again. Angle grabs the release German suplex to cut that off in a hurry but the Angle Slam is escaped. Instead Angle charges into the referee and that’s a DQ to keep the medal on Eugene.
Post match Angle destroys Eugene but Hogan makes the save, with Angle, the HOMETOWN HERO, getting beaten up again. Who thought this was a good idea? I mean other than Hulk of course. Posing ensues and the fans don’t seem overly interested.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Masters
Lawler and Coach shushing JR during Masters’ entrance works for some reason. Masters grabs a headlock to start so Benjamin takes him down with a dragon screw legwhip. A slam puts Benjamin down but Masters nearly botches the elbow drop as Shelton tries to roll away. The bearhug goes on as JR is sounding a little uncomfortable with how much Lawler and Coach enjoy looking at Masters. Shelton is back with a jawbreaker and running kneelift to set up a high crossbody for two. A sleeper doesn’t work well though as Masters kicks him low, setting up the Masterlock for the win.
Rating: D. I know I bring this up a lot but WHAT HAPPENED TO SHELTON??? He holds the Intercontinental Title for the better part of a year and then he’s putting over everyone on the roster. Unless there was some sort of a backstage issue, I really don’t get the moves here, but it’s rather annoying and frustrating at the same time.
A very pleased Angle leaves Bischoff’s office. He’s got another shot at the medals at Summerslam but there’s no time limit, so Angle can hurt him as much as he wants.
Rob Conway isn’t worried about Viscera and hits on Maria a bit. Viscera comes in and asks Conway if he’s part of the Village People and belts out some YMCA. A brawl nearly starts but Viscera threatens Visagra before leaving. JR: “Is that what you’re taking King?”
We recap Matt Hardy’s invasions, leading to him being rehired last week.
Edge and Lita think rehiring Matt is brilliant because now he can do whatever he wants to Matt at Summerslam. Matt’s promo last week was pathetic because he should have been able to manage so much more after what he had been through. Edge points to his eyes and says this is passion and intensity. Lita left Matt for him after Matt never proposed in six years.
See, Matt should really be thanking Edge because he had never gotten reactions like this until he rode Edge’s coattails into the main event. Edge was facing main eventers while Matt was defending the Cruiserweight Title. Matt is here now because his girlfriend fell in love with a main eventer. We’re thirteen minutes into Matt’s fifteen minutes of fame and time is up at Summerslam. Very intense promo from Edge, whose facials were awesome as usual. I’m not sure how much the average fan is going to care, but it was some great delivery and much more of an insider’s promo than usual.
Rob Conway vs. Viscera
Conway tries some big forearms in the corner to start so Viscera hits the overhand chop to cut that off in a hurry. There’s a swinging Boss Man Slam, allowing Viscera to hit the hip swiveling. Conway dropkicks the knee and drops some elbows on it, only to get pulled into the Visagra. Back up and Viscera tries a slam, only to have the leg give out so Conway can fall on top for the pin. Conway is good in the role but they don’t have long to waste him in matches like this. He doesn’t have a lot of depth to his character and if it’s all stuff against people on Viscera’s level, fans aren’t going to be interested for long.
Hurricane/Rosey/Stacy Keibler vs. Heartthrobs/Victoria
Antonio punches Hurricane in the face to start so Hurricane takes him down with a fireman’s carry. Romeo comes in for a double Russian legsweep and a jumping elbow gets two. The Throbs miss a double dropkick and it’s Rosey coming in to no reaction. Stacy offers a little shake though and everything breaks down, only to have Victoria slam her into the barricade. A double STO finishes Rosey back inside. I know the Tag Team Titles don’t have the best history but this has to be close to the bottom of the whole lineage. They haven’t been defended in weeks and this is practically the whole division.
It’s time for the Highlight Reel, with the pyro seemingly going off later than expected as Jericho gets cut off mid-sentence. His guest this week is Eric Bischoff, who of course is Jericho’s close friend. They shake hands a few times, leaving Bischoff to talk about how Cena’s music career (including his music video premiering tonight) is the only thing he’ll have left after Summerslam.
Jericho has his own music video, showing him beating down Cena last week to Fozzy’s To Kill A Stranger. Bischoff isn’t happy with what happened last week though and that is due to referee Chad Patton, who counted the pin when Jericho was taken out. Patton comes out and gets slapped around by both of them, setting this up.
Chad Patton vs. Chris Jericho
Bischoff is referee and Patton actually drives Jericho into the corner to start before the beating is on. Patton loses most of his shirt and here’s Carlito to make it worse. Jericho chokes away and chops Patton against the ropes, leaving Carlito to get in some shots on the floor. A spinebuster into the Walls make Patton tap, with Bischoff taking his time to call for the bell.
Post match Jericho won’t let go so here’s Cena for the save (including a mistimed flying shoulder to Carlito, which hits him in the knee).
Post break Bischoff makes Cena vs. Carlito/Jericho.
And now, in case this show hasn’t been enough of a waste of time, it’s the Diva Search. We do get some good news: this stupid thing is over next week and Kristal is cut. Earlier today, everyone else had the chance to get the fans’ votes but things weren’t going to go according to plan.
Ashley gave her phone number but took a pie to the face to cut things off.
Leyla was holding up a sign and suggesting she was naked when a pie to the face showed that wasn’t the case.
Elizabeth talked about having the fans’ support and didn’t really stop when the pie hit her.
Matt Hardy vs. Snitsky
Hardy starts slugging away early on and kicks Snitsky in the face for the first knockdown. A spinebuster cuts Hardy off and there’s a clothesline to put him down again. There’s a suplex so Snitsky can beat on his chest, setting up a side slam for two. The pumphandle slam is countered though and Snitsky misses a big boot in the corner, setting up a Twist of Fate out of the corner for the pin.
Rating: D. And that’s it for Matt’s chances at meaning anything as he was just a guy here. He was a bit more aggressive but it’s not like this was any star making performance. The run-ins were good, but I really wouldn’t have had him get in the ring until Summerslam. Not a good match and it killed Hardy’s aura.
Post match Edge runs in to jump Matt but referees break it up.
Post break Matt jumps Edge but gets pulled away again.
Here’s John Cena’s new music video for the song Right Now.
It’s time for the big main event argument as Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels go face to face, with Jerry Lawler moderating. Lawler asks if Shawn is jealous but Shawn talks about Hogan being nice enough to show up here for a change. Hogan’s life offers nothing Shawn could want because Hogan can’t touch him in this ring. All of Hogan’s personality means nothing at Summerslam because Hogan can’t hold a candle to him.
Hogan is asked about the Larry King segment but Shawn cuts him off to say that Hogan has to deal with the truth for the first time ever. Shawn is the first person who won’t buckle in front of Hogan because no one is going to fire him. He’s been fired so many times but WWE keeps bringing him back because this place doesn’t exist without him. Hogan finally cuts him off and says Shawn is making this too personal. If Shawn wanted a match, all he had to do was ask. Instead Shawn cheap shotted him, and all Hogan had to do was call Bret Hart to hear about that.
Shawn smiles at that one and promises that Hogan is next. Hogan: “When you left the WWE for seven years, you said it was because you lost your smile.” I’ll let you try to figure out Hogan’s version of history on that one as Hogan talks about being her for the fans’ smiles. He asks Shawn what he’s going to do so Shawn’s shirt comes off…so he can superkick Lawler. The fight with Hogan is on and it’s a big boot so Hogan can throw Shawn outside. A lot of posing ends the show.
The Bret line was good but Shawn is carrying every bit of these promos and the feud as a whole, which is going to make the reactions at Summerslam rather interesting. It’s almost hard to get annoyed at Shawn here as he is saying a lot of things that are very true, but Hogan is going to do his usual stuff at Summerslam and get cheered because he’s Hogan (fair enough). Shawn is the more interesting one here though and that’s making things a little more interesting.
Overall Rating: D-. The interesting thing here was that while the show could have been worse, it felt like a complete waste of time. There are three big Raw matches taking place at Summerslam but how interesting are they going to be? Hardy lost a ton tonight because he was mostly just his old self, Jericho vs. Cena is a lame Austin clone and Shawn vs. Hogan sells itself. The rest of the show was awful and it remains clear that there is nothing outside of the three Summerslam matches going on around here.
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