Monday Night Raw
Date: September 12, 2005
Location: Alltel Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler
It’s the go home show for Unforgiven and the show isn’t looking all that great. They’ve set some things up but it feels very much like a B level show. John Cena vs. Kurt Angle for the World Title should be great but other than that, there doesn’t seem to be much to see. Let’s get to it.
Big Show vs. Edge
Lita is here with Edge. Show uses the wide hips to start and then lifts Edge up without much effort. For some reason Edge tries a wristlock and gets pulled up into the air for a crotching on top. Coach on Lita: “She knows what’s not coming in awhile.” Edge gets shoved away again and a tornado DDT attempt completely fails. The chokeslam is loaded up but Snitsky comes in for the fast DQ.
Matt Hardy, save, tag match.
Big Show/Matt Hardy vs. Edge/Snitsky
Show pulls Edge in to start and Matt hammers away as the fans are VERY pleased with what’s going on. A piledriver is countered with a backdrop but Matt is right back with a catapult into the corner. Show comes in for some choking but hands it straight back to Matt to hammer and kick away. A heck of a kick to the ribs knocks Edge off the corner and out to the floor as we take a break.
Back with Edge having damaged Matt’s already bad arm and pulling it down to keep him in trouble. Snitsky comes in for his assortment of stompings and Edge cranks on an armbar. A Russian legsweep gets Matt out of trouble as Lawler explains Lita’s, ahem, activities. The tag brings in Show, who takes Edge to the floor but misses a big boot over the barricade. That means Edge can briefcase him in the head, leaving Matt to take over on Snitsky. The middle rope legdrop connects but Lita grabs Matt’s leg. A low blow cuts Matt off and Edge hits the spear for the pin.
Rating: C-. The fans were into Matt and then he loses yet again to make sure that’s stomped out in a hurry. It’s fine for a story if Matt can get his big revenge but he lost the first match and then went to a draw in the second match. What is he supposed to get after being treated like that much of a loser?
Post match Lita hits Matt with a Twist of Fate.
Here’s Shawn Michaels for a chat. We look at him failing to break the Masterlock last week and getting busted open thanks to a chair shot in the process. People have been asking what Shawn was thinking because no one has been able to break the Masterlock. Then Shawn sat down and let Masters put his best hold on when the money wasn’t even on the line!
So why did he do it? He’s the Heartbreak Kid and he does things other people don’t. That’s why Chris Masters decided to bust his head open and at Unforgiven, he’ll find out that it was his big mistake. Shawn has become famous for taking things too far and Masters will have his hands full tonight with….and there’s a WOO. Ric Flair comes out and Shawn gets all shook up. Flair is ready to take down the 24 year old tonight and Shawn says there won’t be a Masterlock because Masters will be chewing on ten inches of shoe leather.
We recap Kurt Angle and Tyson Tomko attacking John Cena last week.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Kerwin White
Kerwin is in a collared shirt and khaki shorts but makes sure to put his other shirt on the turnbuckle for safe keeping. Shelton takes him down without any trouble to start and shrugs off a shoulder. A clothesline puts White on the floor but he’s right back in with a missile dropkick for two. White takes the hanger from the other shirt for a distraction and chokes with his regular shirt (JR: “What’s the referee doing? Remodeling the closet?”). Shelton is back with a Samoan drop and a heck of a backdrop. The Dragon Whip puts White on the floor but he uses the golf club for a DQ.
Rating: D+. Another week, another bad one for Shelton, whose career is falling apart before our eyes. The wrestling wasn’t too bad but White is stuck in a terrible gimmick while Shelton is in an even worse downward spiral. I’m not sure what the idea here is for either of them but that has never stopped WWE before.
A serious Kurt Angle is ready to destroy John Cena at Unforgiven and make things serious around here again. Cena has everything to lose because he’s never faced someone like Angle. The intensity was strong here.
Here are Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle and Victoria for a chat so King busts out his Bod body spray. They’re been having fun with Ashley lately and would like her to come out here right now. Cue Ashley, but Torrie says that she has passed the initiation and can join her now. Ashley isn’t stupid enough to come to the ring and get jumped again, or at least not alone. This brings out the returning Trish Stratus so Lawler needs even more body spray. The beatdown is on in a hurry with only Torrie escaping. Trish hasn’t wrestled since April and I’m not sure how many people noticed she was gone. What does that tell you?
Ric Flair vs. Chris Masters
Masters goes with the power to start (makes sense) and throws in his own WOO. Oh dude you don’t do that. Flair does his own double bicep pose and it’s time for some chops. You don’t do that to a power guy (you would think Flair would learn) and it’s a gorilla press, followed by a second one to make it even worse. A suplex gives Masters two and we hit the choking.
Ever the cheater, Flair goes for the eye and drops Masters with a single chop. Since Flair never learns though, he gets slammed off the top with even Lawler pointing out that it’s a bad idea. It’s too early for the Masterlock so Masters settles for a clothesline to the floor instead. Flair pulls him to the floor though and there’s another poke to the eye so the chops can work again.
A side slam on the floor cuts that off though and we take a break. Back with Flair in a bearhug and hitting a backdrop (popular move tonight). The bearhug goes on again, with Masters kneeling down so Flair can bite the nose for the break. Masters throws it right back on, apparently immune to biting. Flair claps his hands around Masters’ ears for the break and it’s time to go after the leg. A bunch of kicks to the leg have Flair fired up and there’s the shinbreaker. The Figure Four goes on and here’s Carlito for the DQ.
Rating: C+. That’s Masters’ best match ever and while that might not be covering a lot of ground, I’ll take it over everything else I’ve seen him do. Imagine that: Flair is capable of bringing out the best in someone with little experience. They worked a simple formula here with Masters using the power and Flair trying to survive and slowly break him down. It’s not a classic, but Masters didn’t look lost, likely thanks to Flair.
Post match Shawn makes the save but Masters sends him shoulder first into the post and grabs the Masterlock.
Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch vs. Eugene/Tajiri
Tajiri and Murdoch start things off with Tajiri getting shoulder blocked. That earns Murdoch some kicks and a monkey flip so Cade has to calm things down. Eugene and Cade come in and it’s time to get wacky with a Junkyard Dog knee shake into an airplane spin. A drop toehold lets Eugene ride Cade around like a horse as we’re in full on comedy mode.
Murdoch comes back in for an atomic drop into a swinging neckbreaker as the fans are trying to stay in this. The slow beating continues as Coach and Lawler make fun of Oklahoma football. Eugene gets up some boots to stop a charge and a Stunner allows the tag to Tajiri. The rapid fire kicks set up the Tarantula with Murdoch having to make the save. A powerbomb into a top rope elbow finishes Tajiri.
Rating: C-. Cade and Murdoch are in a common group around here: technically sound but not that interesting. It’s the same case as Masters and Rob Conway, meaning Raw is fine from a wrestling standpoint but not something that gets your interest up. They’re fresh blood though and that’s something Raw has been needing for years now.
Lita and Edge are on the stage to talk about how resilient Matt Hardy is. The man won’t hold him down but the woman certainly will. Everything can change with a cruel Twist of Fate. Edge says Matt sounds like a preacher so welcome to the devil’s pulpit. Edge has taken everything from Matt so on Sunday, he’ll take Matt’s career too.
John Cena comes in to see Eric Bischoff and says he’s done. He tried to come here and be controversial but he has nothing left and just wants to be part of the team. Cena hands over the title but pulls it back and calls Bischoff stupid for trying to take it. Quitting is bush league so bring on whatever he can.
John Cena vs. Kurt Angle/Tyson Tomko
Non-title. Angle heads to the floor for a distraction and Tomko gets in a cheap shot from behind as Bischoff comes out to watch. A cheap shot from behind cuts Cena off again and JR is in full on Vince/Steve Austin mode about how unfair all of this is. Cena gets in a side slam for two on Angle so it’s a rake to the eyes to slow Cena right back down. Angle distracts again and Tomko boots Cena in the face for a VERY delayed one.
Back from a break with Angle stomping away in the corner and grabbing the chinlock. Tomko gets two off a powerslam but Cena pops up with a middle rope shoulder for a breather. The referee checks on Tomko though, allowing Angle to snap off a German suplex. That’s fine with the referee, making me wonder what the point was in the distraction.
Tomko knees Cena in the ribs and Angle gets two off a belly to belly. Cena fights out of the chinlock and drops Angle before loading up the FU on Tomko. That’s broken up with a German suplex (with Cena still holding Tomko because Angle can just do that) and Angle rolls a few more for a bonus. Tomko boots Angle down by mistake though and it’s the FU to put Tomko away.
Rating: C. It’s a house show main event style match and that’s fine for a way to wrap up the night. Angle not being involved in the finish is the only way to go and Cena looks strong when he’s defending the title as an underdog. The booking makes sense and it was as good as Tomko could have been in this spot.
Post match Angle beats Cena up again, including cranking on his arm, hitting some Angle Slams and wrapping the leg around the post. Bischoff gets in Cena’s face to shout about being better and promising to take everything from Cena.
Overall Rating: C+. The wrestling wasn’t great here but they did a solid job of setting up Unforgiven. If nothing else, they managed to make Shawn vs. Masters seem like a match that I might want to see. It’s still a B show pay per view, but at least they worked with what they had. Hopefully we get a good pay per view out of the whole thing, but you never can tell with a show like this.
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