Monday Night Raw – October 3, 2005 (Homecoming)

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 3, 2005
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 14,387
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman

It’s a special night as Raw is back on USA and it’s a three hour show, back when that was still a novel concept. The big idea is the return of a bunch of legends, including Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and HHH, with the latter teaming up with Ric Flair to face Chris Masters and Carlito. Let’s get to it.

We open with a five minute preview video featuring the different openings and a lot of talking heads, including Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels and Bobby Heenan among others talking about the first show and how going live was different. Then there was the Attitude Era, which is what they really were. As usual, WWE knows how to do these better than anyone else, which isn’t surprising given how much practice they have with patting themselves on the back.

We get what I believe is a new intro, with the “yes sir we promised you a great main event here tonight” video.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Mick Foley to get things going and there’s a certain special carpet in the ring. Mrs. Foley’s baby boy has come back home to the WWE, to USA and to Dallas, Texas. They’re doing things a little bit differently tonight because the guest is introducing the host. Cue Roddy Piper and it’s time for Piper’s Pit. Piper says he’s a fan of Foley’s because he’s nowhere near as crazy as Foley. Piper: “You jump off roofs! You land on thumbtakes!”

The WHATs get on Piper’s nerves but he asks when Foley is coming back to the WWE. Foley says he was at his best in his most recent match but he got beaten up anyway. Piper says there are 12,000 reasons right here to get back in the ring but here are Randy and Bob Orton to interrupt. That sends Foley to another level and he promises that Undertaker will take care of the two of them on Sunday.

Randy says he can do whatever he wants around here because he’s Randy Orton. The two of them get in the ring and Randy gets in Piper’s face, saying Piper would be nothing if not for Bob. Randy watched his father come home black and blue with nothing to show for it while Piper got movie deals and the main event of Wrestlemania. The fight is on and after things get broken up for a bit, Randy hits a pair of RKOs.

We look at Kurt Angle beating Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania and then Shawn evening the score at Vengeance.

Eric Bischoff rants at Teddy Long for bringing the Ortons in but Teddy says he didn’t do it. That’s not cool with Eric, who threatens everything on Smackdown and shoves Teddy, who doesn’t seem phased.

Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels

30 minute Iron Man match. Shawn charges at him and they’re on the mat early with Shawn hammering away. A slam gets a quick two on Angle and a swinging neckbreaker gets two. They head outside with Shawn chopping at Angle, setting up a top rope ax handle for two more back inside. Angle is back up with an uppercut and a knee to the face as they’re already in second gear. The chinlock burns off some time but Shawn jawbreaks his way to freedom at the five minute mark.

Angle gets backdropped over the top and seems to have banged up his shoulder, but he’s fine enough to Angle Slam Shawn on the floor. Back in and Angle stomps away in the corner, setting up the same buckle bomb he hit at Vengeance. Shawn knocks him off the top but Angle runs the corner and hits the super Angle Slam for the first fall at 8:10.

Angle – 1

Michaels – 0

We take a break and come back with 17:54 to go as Angle grabs a reverse chinlock. Shawn fights up but goes shoulder first into the post, setting up the ankle lock. That’s countered into a quick rollup to give Shawn the pin and the title at 15:10 to go.

Angle – 1

Michaels – 1

Angle is ticked off so he takes it outside again and sends Shawn into the steps. The bodyscissors goes on to work on Shawn’s back some more but Shawn counters into an O’Connor roll. Angle rolls through that into the ankle lock and the grapevine makes Shawn tap with 11:13 to go.

Angle – 2

Michaels – 1

Back from another break with 7:42 to go and Angle working on the leg even more. Angle lays on the leg but Shawn forearms him in the chest for the break. Shawn’s leg is fine enough for the forearm into the nipup and he sets up the top rope elbow. Sweet Chin Music ties it up with 4:45 to go.

Angle – 2

Michaels – 2

Angle is back up and whips Shawn upside down in the corner, setting up an Angle Slam for two. A tornado DDT drops Angle with 3:00 left but Shawn can’t follow up. The very delayed cover gets two and Angle charges into a boot in the corner with two minutes left. Shawn’s moonsault press is countered into the ankle lock and Shawn can’t kick/roll out. The grapevine goes on with 1:06 left but Shawn kicks him away with 15 seconds left. Sweet Chin Music connects but time runs out at at the one count.

Rating: B. These two work so well together and they had another very good one here. Angle being able to outwrestle Michaels for most of the match until Shawn gets in a quick fall here or there is a great story and really shows the differences between the two of them. They could do this every night and have a great match so this was something that should have been included on such a major show.

Post match Shawn asks for sudden death but Angle leaves. Shawn celebrates with some legends in the front row.

Kevin Von Erich is here. That’s strange to see in WWE.

Bischoff comes up to Vince McMahon and asks if the match against Cena can be No DQ. Vince: “No.” Eric isn’t happy and calls him Vince before going into a rant about how Vince only signed him to humiliate him every week. What’s next? A Self Destruction of Eric Bischoff DVD? Eric calls him sick, but Vince says no one knows how sick, twisted and perverted he can be.

Lilian Garcia introduces Vince, reading a long description off of a card (Lilian: “He is strong, he is handsome, he is….well endowed?”). Vince talks about how great it is that everything is uncensored again, like it was on February 8, 1998 (it was 1999). That was the night he beat up Steve Austin and we see a clip of the segment (with the right date). Vince pinned Austin and then talked trash to him in the corner, mainly because of all the people holding Austin back.

Then there was the time Vince had Austin arrested….and there’s the glass shatter. I can’t help but smile at Vince’s face because he just can’t help screwing this up every time. Vince insists that he was just having fun and of course he had some other moments to show. Austin thinks Vince is nervous, even though he said he invented Austin, which was part of the big intro. That makes Austin laugh but then he gets serious again because he has his own clips. This includes Dr. Austin, Bang 3:16 and the beer truck, with Vince looking more and more embarrassed after each one.

Vince says it’s a new era and they can start all over again. Austin doesn’t believe it so there’s the Stunner, which you had to have on a show like this. This brings out Shane McMahon, who hasn’t been around here in a good while (since Survivor Series 2003 I believe)…and he’s Stunned as well. Now it’s Stephanie (first time since No Mercy 2003) to yell about Austin destroying her family’s show.

Austin’s look when she says she’s Stephanie McMahon is great, and he asks her what fragrance she’s wearing. Stephanie is confused but Austin thinks she’s flirting with him. Those Stunners probably made her want to give him a kiss, but she slaps him instead. Austin: “So you’re playing hard to get.” Austin is glad she did that because it’s a Stunner for her too (which she took rather well).

Now we get even more serious as LINDA McMahon comes out (oh how I miss that old Wrestlemania theme song) to say Austin can’t do this. She has spent two years bringing her family back together but it’s always the same with Austin. Why Stun her husband? Austin: “Your husband is a piece of trash.” Linda: “….yeah.” But what about Shane? Austin: “He’s a piece of trash too.” What about Stephanie? Fans: “SL**!” Austin: “Stephanie is a precious piece of trash.”

Linda thinks he owes the McMahon family an apology, but Austin was just doing his job. Austin apologizes and Linda goes to leave…but Austin stops her. Linda’s YOU WOULDN’T face is great, but Austin asks Linda for a kiss on the cheek. Linda goes to do it until Austin says we should give the fans something to remember. He gets rather close to her and calls her sweetheart, saying Vince is taking a catnap. They should……drink a beer together. Linda can’t quite keep up but Austin raises her hand anyway and then gives her the Stunner.

This was rather long at over twenty minutes and kind of weird as Austin Stunning Linda, the mostly innocent member of the family, doesn’t feel right. That being said, a show honoring the history of Raw had to have something between Austin and Vince so why not go with the first ever attack on the whole family?

Post break, Vince says someone is getting fired over this.

Money In The Bank: Edge vs. Matt Hardy

Ladder match and Loser Leaves Raw. The ladder is already set up in the ring so Edge jumps him at the entrance and goes for a quick climb. Matt gets up and shoves the ladder over though, setting up a choke with the ladder. A missed charge lets Edge drop toehold him into the ladder in the corner, followed by a hard suplex into the ladder. Edge’s flapjack doesn’t quite work as Matt winds up on the ladder, only to get pulled right back down.

Edge lays the ladder on the top but Matt gets in a few shots of his own. That means he can bring in another ladder but Edge suplexes him chest first onto the ladder on the mat. Edge goes up top but Matt climbs as well and shoves him off, right into the ladder on the corner. The crash is enough to send Edge into the standing ladder and everyone is down again. Back from a break with the two of them on the floor and Edge getting sent over the barricade.

Matt climbs the ladder and dives onto Edge but has to go after Lita. A powerbomb through a table is broken up with a kendo stick shot from Edge and a splash off the apron puts Matt through the table in a big crash. Edge sets up a second ladder in the ring so Matt catches him and climbs the other, meaning it’s a Twist of Fate off the ladders for the next crash.

Matt’s climb is cut off by Lita and the kendo stick but he goes up anyway. Lita shoves the ladder over so Matt is hanging from the briefcase, allowing Edge to pull him down. That lets Edge tie Matt in the ropes and Lita wraps herself around his arms, forcing him to watch as Edge climbs the ladder to retain the briefcase.

Rating: B. This was all about the violence and being the final blowoff, with Matt getting crushed once and for all (in case you hadn’t gotten the idea just yet). There was no other way for these two to finish their feud because of the long history together so it was rather poetic in a way. Good, hard hitting match with Lita and Edge working together to finish Matt off once and of all.

Post break, Matt is led away by police just to rub it in.

Ashley Massaro helps Trish Stratus get dressed, as women like them tend to do. Trish makes sure to check her lingerie in case they lose the bra and panties match. Mae Young comes in and tries to strip but they get rid of her. Instead, Mae goes outside and strips for Jim Duggan, Jimmy Snuka and Ted DiBiase. Ted: “I’ll give you $1000 to put your shirt back on. $2000!” Fabulous Moolah comes in to break it up. Mae: “I want the $3000.” Snuka takes Jimmy’s money and goes to find Mae.

Ric Flair, after hitting on Maria Kanellis a bit, praises HHH for saving him and now, HHH is back once and for all.

Carlito/Chris Masters vs. Ric Flair/HHH

It’s a brawl to start with Carlito and Master being tossed outside in a hurry. We settle down to Carlito getting double chopped in the corner and there’s a double strut. Masters is chopped outside as well and we take a break. Back with Flair in trouble and Carlito grabbing an apple. Instead of spitting at Flair though, it’s the Figure Four to really work on the leg. HHH makes the save in a hurry so Carlito wraps the leg around the rope and slaps away.

You don’t leave Flair’s arm available though as he chops Carlito back, only to charge into a spinebuster. This time it’s Flair slamming Carlito off the top but Masters pulls Flair away from the tag attempt. A HHH distraction lets Flair hit Masters low and NOW it’s off to HHH for the house cleaning. That means a spinebuster each and it’s sledgehammer time. Masters takes it away so Flair hits a chop block, leaving Carlito to get Pedigreed for the pin.

Rating: C. The match wasn’t important as this was all about the return of HHH. There was no reason to believe that Masters and Carlito had a chance because HHH is on a much higher level. It felt like any given Raw tag team main event and it’s rather refreshing to see face HHH for a change.

Post match the celebration is on….and HHH hits Flair in the face with the sledgehammer. Flair is busted open badly as HHH keeps beating on him, including another sledgehammer shot, all while HHH screams at Flair.

Post break in the back, HHH keeps beating on the bloody Flair, saying that he isn’t forgetting. Flair gets sent into various things as HHH says no one touches Flair but him. Flair’s blood is all over the limo and HHH throws him inside before breaking the window with a sledgehammer. The limo drives away.

There are a bunch of legends (Ricky Steamboat, Arn Anderson, Mae Young, Steve Keirn, Dusty Rhodes, Jimmy Hart, Howard Finkel, Sgt. Slaughter, Superstar Billy Graham, Greg Valentine, the Fabulous Moolah, Steve Williams, Jim Duggan, Ted DiBiase, Harley Race, Nikolai Volkoff, Hillbilly Jim, Kevin Von Erich, Jimmy Snuka, Dean Malenko, Tony Garea, Koko B. Ware, Chief Jay Strongbow, Pat Patterson) in the ring with Dusty Rhodes talking about how much he loves Dallas. He talks about some of the legends but here’s Rob Conway to interrupt.

Conway wants to know if this is Homecoming or a nursing home. The old people jokes are on but Dusty gets in his face, asking how Conway dares to say this to these people. The table Conway is eating off of was built by these legends and without it, Conway wouldn’t have any food. Rhodes goes to talk about Harley Race but Conway calls Race fat. As you might expect, Race hits him in the head, as do Patterson and Duggan. The Bionic Elbow sets up the Von Erich Claw and the Superfly Splash. It’s hard not to smile at something like this as Dusty had that incredible fire and Race punching some young punk is always fun.

Torrie Wilson/Candice Michelle/Victoria vs. Trish Stratus/Ashley Massaro

Handicap bra and panties match. Trish gets knocked off the apron to start and Ashley loses her top in a hurry. She fights back in a hurry and takes off Victoria’s shirt, allowing Trish to fight back up. Candice and Torrie are sent into each other as Lawler wants to know where Torrie put her dog. JR: “Where do you think her puppies are?”

Torrie and Candice lose their tops but the Stratusphere is broken up and Trish loses part of her pants. Victoria loses all of hers though, only to have her knock Trish down hard. Lawler: “You think that’s hard?” Candice gets her pants pulled down, with Lawler being very pleased when the underwear comes down a bit too far. Torrie gets stripped as to give Trish and Ashley the win.

Rating: D. It’s one of those matches where it was there for the visuals and nothing more. That’s perfectly fine for what they were going for here and I can’t complain about the lack of wrestling. It wasn’t the point of something like this and for a “special” match, it worked well enough.

Bischoff says that since Vince is gone, he’s in charge tonight. Therefore, his match against John Cena is now No DQ. Angle volunteers to help in exchange for being named champion after Bischoff wins.

Rey Mysterio/Batista/Chris Benoit vs. Christian/Eddie Guerrero/John Bradshaw Layfield

Somehow this is Mysterio’s first ever match on Raw. Long is on commentary and it’s Batista vs. JBL to start, but here’s Bischoff to say hang on a second. Vince is gone and Bischoff doesn’t want Smackdown on this show. Therefore, there is no Smackdown match taking place tonight. The lights go out and Bischoff laughs at the Smackdown wrestlers for looking stupid.

Gene Okerlund is in the ring and brings out Hulk Hogan for a chat. Gene talks about all of Hogan’s accomplishments before asking what is next. Hogan says you can feel the power of Hulkamania here in Dallas before saying he’ll face Shawn Michaels again anyplace anytime. As far as what is next though, Hogan has faced some of the biggest names of all time, but tonight he felt the rumblings again. He saw one person backstage and knew what he wanted. The fans chant for Austin, and that is exactly who Hogan means. I don’t think this was ever mentioned again, but I remember my head snapping up when I was watching this live.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Eric Bischoff

Cena is defending and it’s No DQ so Angle is here with Bischoff. Angle keeps distraction Cena so he punches Bischoff in the face and goes after Angle instead. Bischoff gets in a single kick and Cena slams him down and hits the Shuffle but Angle comes in. That lets Bischoff get in a low blow for one but Angle’s chair shot bounces off the rope and hits himself in the head. Cena has had it and finishes Bischoff with the FU in a hurry.

Post match Cena and Angle brawl some more but here’s Teddy Long to send the Smackdown wrestlers (plus Ken Kennedy and Randy Orton) after Angle and Cena. The Raw locker room comes out to save Bischoff from the Batista Bomb and the big brawl is on to end the show.

Overall Rating: A-. This is a show where the wrestling wasn’t the point, though the first two matches were rather good. What mattered here was paying tribute to the past and kicking off the new era of the show in a big way. That’s exactly what they did here and for the first time in a very long while, the show felt important and special, which is what they were trying to do. I liked this quite a bit and had a great time with it, so well done all around.

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