Monday Night Raw – August 22, 2005

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 22, 2005
Location: Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, Virginia
Attendance: 7,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman

It’s the night after Summerslam and the big stories around here are Hulk Hogan defeating Shawn Michaels and John Cena retaining the WWE Championship over Chris Jericho. With that out of the way, it’s time to get ready for Unforgiven, which could need something fresh instead of a bunch of Summerslam rematches. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last night’s Raw matches. Hogan and Shawn shaking hands so soon was still a little much.

Here’s Shawn to get things going. Shawn doesn’t like admitting it, but Hogan was the better man last night. Hogan was catlike last night and there was too much athletic prowess for Shawn to figure out. With that out of the way, it is time to get back to reality, which is Hogan has flown back to Florida until the fans pay to get him back. Shawn is here tonight though and he’ll be giving the fans what they want.

That would be the Showstopper, but here’s Chris Masters to interrupt, leaving Shawn confused. Masters talks about admiring Shawn since he was a little, little kid because Shawn is old. I’ll give Shawn this: he knows how to play the “who me?” look really well. People like Shawn and Hogan don’t know how to pass the torch but being grouped too far is hitting below the belt BROTHER. Shawn is ready to give him a few lessons because Masters isn’t ready to steal the spotlight. See, kids today don’t know enough to know that they don’t know.

There’s a ladder around here with people like Shawn at the top and people like Masters down at the bottom. It can get a little hard to breathe up here, but Masters makes fun of Shawn’s hair being thinner than the air. Shawn: “It hurts because it’s true!” Shawn slaps him in the face and the fight is on with Shawn forearming him out to the floor. That’s quite the demotion for Shawn but if they want to see what they have with Masters, Shawn is as good of a choice as they can have.

Chris Jericho is upset about last night but is ready to face John Cena tonight. Eric Bischoff makes it even bigger: it’s a YOU’RE FIRED match with the title on the line.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Kurt Angle

Nice mini reunion here. Shelton suplexes him down to start but a waistlock is countered into a wristlock. They go to the ropes so Angle kicks him in the ribs and puts on a Fujiwara armbar. That’s broken up as well with Shelton getting to his feet and springboard into a roll to escape. Shelton’s armbar is broken up with an armdrag as neither can get that much of an advantage going.

A low bridge puts Angle on the floor and we take a break with the fans waking up in a hurry. Back with Angle putting on something like an STF before switching to a regular chinlock. The comeback is cut off with some stomping and choking, followed by a bodyscissors to mix things up a bit. Back up and Shelton sends him hard into the post, setting up a spinebuster to put them both down.

A Samoan drop gives Shelton two more and the Dragon Whip rocks Angle again. Shelton goes up top but Angle runs the ropes for the super belly to belly. The Angle Slam is countered into a heck of a DDT (JR: “The fat lady’s not singing! She’s eating a doughnut!”) for two more and things slow down a bit. Shelton goes for the exploder but Angle reverses into the ankle lock with a grapevine for the tap.

Rating: B-. Shelton loses, again, and I’m not even surprised anymore. I’m not sure why WWE has decided to let him free fall like this but it’s quite the waste of someone they built up for a long time. Angle seems ready to go up in the world though, which could mean a shot at John Cena.

Post match Angle insists on being awarded the medal again.

Kerwin White is backstage in his golf cart and brags about being the spokesman of middle class America. He just saw Shelton Benjamin lose to polite applause and that’s because racism exists in America. Shelton may be a great athlete but he’s never going to be one of us. White: “Shelton Benjamin is not WHITE! If it’s not white, it’s not right.” Of note: his theme song, talking about how he never thought his life could be this good plays in the background. That’s about the only good thing about this whole thing.

Maria adjusts her shoe but Snitsky comes in to play with her toes. He thinks they look tasty, but here’s Big Show to say that’s a little weird. With Snitsky gone, Maria asks Show what a pervert is. This may be the dumbest back to back pair of angles I have seen in years.

Rob Conway vs. Matt Hardy

Matt is really banged up after last night…and here are Edge and Lita just after the bell. Conway gets in a cheap shot as Edge and Lita climb onto the announcers’ table to watch the match. Conway hammers away and works on a rather harsh headlock as Lawler admires Lita’s back. Matt fights back and hits a running corner clothesline, followed by the forearms to the jaw. A shot to Matt’s head knocks him down again and Edge….yeah he still doesn’t feel sorry over anything. Some right hands knock Matt off the top and Conway drops a top rope elbow for the pin.

Rating: D. Yeah Matt is already done, even if he winds up winning a rematch against Edge. The problem is that the heat he had coming in is all gone and the losses are only going to make it worse. It started great and then went straight off a cliff as the losses pile up. Just like Shelton, as this company enjoys making popular wrestlers lose.

Post match Edge comes down for the brawl and kicks Matt’s head into the steps to leave him laying again.

It’s time for Carlito’s Cabana and Carlito gets straight to the guest: Ric Flair. Carlito welcomes him to the Cabana but Flair welcomes him to Flair Country. A WOO off seems ready to break out but Carlito says wooing is NOT cool. Carlito remembers his father battling Flair over the years and his father said Flair was great. Now Carlito can see it for himself but being a sixteen time World Champion means Flair has lost it sixteen times.

On the other hand, Carlito is a one time Intercontinental Champion, which is a title Flair has never won. That’s because Flair isn’t cool. Flair says he’s not cool, because he’s the NATURE BOY. Carlito’s father called him the King of the Caribbean and the women know he can go all night long. Carlito spits the apple at him (Flair’s look at Carlito, saying “kid, you’ve got a lot to learn”, is great.) and the fight is on with the fans going coconuts over Flair all over again.

Big Show vs. Snitsky

Snitsky tries to beg off but throws some right hands, only to get chopped hard. Show does it a few more times and they head outside where Show posts himself by mistake. Back in and Snitsky knocks him down but gets suplexed for his efforts. A clothesline puts Snitsky on the floor and he walks out.

Rating: D-. What a waste of time this is. Not only is Snitsky’s new gimmick that he likes feet but now he gets in a match and walks out on it after about three and a half minutes. It’s never a good sign when the best thing you can say about a match is short but….well do you have anything else here?

Bischoff runs into Cena and threatens him with being fired tonight. Cena has headphones in though and doesn’t notice.

Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade like beer and wrestling. Yeah it’s lame but I do like “hi, we’re *insert names here* and we’re coming to WWE” style promos.

Here are Torrie Wilson and Candace Michelle, who have been traded to Raw. Candace demonstrates the Go Daddy dance and they bring out Ashley Massaro for her first full night as a Raw Diva. They don’t like her getting here so easily and the beatdown is on. It takes a special level of bad to make good looking women a waste of time.

Video on Summerslam.

We look back at the Shawn/Masters segment. Next week: Shawn takes the Masterlock Challenge.

Jericho is ready to get rid of Cena.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Chris Jericho

Cena is defending, the loser gets fired and Bischoff is at ringside. They go nose to nose to start with Cena driving him into the corner, only to have Bischoff grab the ankle. Jericho gets in a few cheap shots and suplexes Cena down to set up a basement dropkick. The stomping in the corner (and obvious spot calling) are on, allowing Cena to send him into the post.

That means a trip to the floor but Cena goes after Bischoff, earning himself a low blow. Back from a break with Cena suplexing his way out of a chinlock but Jericho hammers him in the corner. Cena gets in a few right hands though and throws him off the top, only to miss a high crossbody. Jericho has to escape the FU and grabs the Walls, but the drama isn’t quite as strong as last night.

The rope is….not grabbed actually as Bischoff pulls it away so Jericho can pull Cena back to the middle. This time Cena makes the other rope (How hard can it be to know which rope to pull?) and manages the FU for the double knockdown. With the referee checking on Cena, Bischoff hands Jericho some brass knuckles (JR: “HOW CAN THAT BE CONDONED????”). Jericho’s right hand gets two and that kickout gets the big crowd reaction. Cena catapults Jericho into Bischoff and muscles Jericho up for the FU and the pin to retain.

Rating: B. Good match here without a ton of the drama as it wasn’t exactly shocking to see Jericho lose and go away. The Cena feud was a boost but it hasn’t been the best time for him as of late so maybe some time away is the best thing. Cena gets his first big feud win on Raw and now it’s time to go on to someone else. I wonder who that could be.

Post match Bischoff yells at Jericho and fires him. Jericho goes after Bischoff but security drags him away. Bischoff isn’t done with Cena though as here’s Kurt Angle to wear Cena out. Oh and he’s the new #1 contender.

Overall Rating: D+. Some good things keep this one from being a disaster but egads some of the character stuff is horrible. Between the nonsense of Snitsky’s foot fetish, Kerwin White and racism and the new Diva welcoming committee, there were a lot of parts of this show that made it into one of the hardest to watch in a long time. Cena, Angle and Shawn are very good on the top, but there’s a limit to what they can make work.

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