411’s WWE Raw Report 08.09.04
Hey! I made it to the other side! Is the grass greener here? The card sure looks promising tonight…
Here’s some fine reading to get you set…
Randle brings the news and gets you caught up on the weekend, and invites you to hunt for him this Sunday…
Nute is back: he goes old school and breaks down the Powerplex…
And Hazard is a one-man show capable of carrying any site all by himself.
Let’s get this party started…
411’s WWE Raw Report – 08.09.04
Usual Raw intro video and pyro. JR and King welcome us to the show.
Promises for tonight:
– Kane vs Matt Hardy contract signing!
– Chris Jericho vs Edge!
– Benoit & Eugene vs HHH & Orton!
In the ring is Jonathan Coachman with an envelope and the diva search contestants. He runs through their names, then in a very long-winded fashion, prepares to announce the victim of this week’s elimination… and gets interrupted by the Evolution theme.
Randy Orton paces slowly to the ring in a suit and volunteers to do the honors. He takes the envelope from Coach. “And the loser is… Chandra.” He pokes some fun at her as she hugs the rest of the contestants. Orton points out that she is leaving the ring as a loser, overcome with failure and denial… just like Benoit will leave the ring at Summerslam on Sunday. Nice segue. Orton outlines how crushing losing the title will be for Benoit as the diva search contestants leave the ring. Orton says that the crowd is witnessing history: the last time Orton will stand in a WWE ring without the championship. Orton states that history (him pinning Benoit in last week’s Raw main event, which he has shown on the video board) will repeat itself at Summerslam. Orton says it’s his destiny to win at Summerslam. He asks everyone in the crowd what they did when they were 24, answers the question himself, and then juxtaposes that answer against winning wrestling’s World Title. At Summerslam, he says, nothing and nobody can stop Randy Orton from having his date with destiny.
Chris Benoit‘s music hits and he hits the ring in his wrestling gear. Since Orton is in the mood for video footage, Benoit offers to show some highlights of Benoit making Orton tap out. Orton plays dumb and thinks it never happened, to “You Tapped Out” chants, so Benoit crossfaces him. Orton taps and the chants intensify. We never see Benoit’s footage, but hey.
Benoit poses at the top of the ramp with the belt one last time as Orton gets back to his feet and glares at him. Simple but effective opening segment.
Match #1: Victoria, Nidia & Stacy Keibler vs Molly, Jazz & Gail Kim
Victoria and Molly (blonde wig) start. Wristlock takedown by Molly. VIctoria gets to her feet and reverses, but Molly slugs her with a forearm and kicks her. Victoria reverses a whip and hits a hiptoss, a clothesline and a back elbow. Molly begs off, gets a kick, and uses a forearm to the back of the head. Tag Gail. She eats two armdrags, and Victoria has Gail in a wristlock. Armwringer and she tags in Stacy. Victoria and Stacy whip Gail and hit a double hiptoss. Victoria leaves the ring. Gail backs into the corner, and Stacy uses the high boot choke. Gail reverses a whip and dumps Stacy. The referee is distracted, and Molly gets some cheap shots on the outside before putting Stacy back in. Gail uses a legdrop to the back of the head for a 2-count. Another cover gets 2. Gail brings Stacy to the evil corner and tags Jazz. Jazz uses elbows and kicks in the corner, then taunts the faces… which prompts them to inadvertently distract the ref and allow for some triple-teaming. Jazz hits a butterfly suplex(!) on Stacy for 2. Headlock from Jazz and she tags in Molly. Jazz sends Stacy into the corner. Molly tries to whip Jazz into Stacy, but Stacy boots Jazz. Molly slugs the non-legal faces and tries a whip on Stacy, but Stacy shortarms and uses a heel kick. Molly fights the hot tag to Nidia, but Stacy gets it anyway and uses two clotheslines on Molly. Nidia uses a whip and a back elbow, and slugs Gail for good measure. Jazz enters the ring and gets hit with a big flapjack from Nidia. Molly kicks Nidia and hits a modified swinging neckbreaker for 2. Victoria breaks the count, but Gail kicks her and dumps her. Gail uses a baseball slide through the ropes on Victoria and they fight. Jazz fights Stacy on the outside. In the ring, Nidia uses a double-leg takedown on Jazz and a jackknife roll for the clean pin!
Winners: Nidia, Victoria & Stacy Keibler via pinfall (3:56)
Trish Stratus‘ music hits, and heeeeere are Trish and Tyson Tomko. The six women in the ring stand and wait as Trish walks to the ring. In the ring, she says something to each team. We have no idea what it is. Stacy seems pretty happy. Trish leaves, and everyone else follows her… and the seven head together backstage. A strike, perhaps?
William Regal and Eugene are in a hotel. Eugene wants to go to the arena for his match to beat up Orton and HHH. Regal wants to be with him for the match, but doesn’t want to go now, as that would be risking an ambush. Eugene is really anxious to get there, but Regal is adamant about resting and watching some TV. Eugene reluctantly complies… but when Regal leaves, Eugene gets up and throws down the remote control… breathes loudly… heads for the door… sees no sign of Regal… and sneaks out!
Smackdown Rebound: Cena sneaks past RVD to become #1 contender to the US Title. Long makes a best-of-5 series between Cena and Booker. Angle returns and takes out Haas. Spike turns on Rey and brings the Dudleys back to life. JBL has some fun with a midget Undertaker, but Orlando Jordan saves him from the real Undertaker.
Backstage, Lita is seated. Matt Hardy comes in and finds her – he’s been looking everywhere for her. He thinks something is wrong with her. She thinks he might not want to go through with the match. He asks whether he meant it when he said he’d marry her regardless of whose baby she was carrying. She reveals that a paternity test has revealed that it’s Kane’s baby. (Crowd reacts a bit to this.) Matt ain’t happy. After a brief pensive moment, he grabs his head and beats up some innocent furniture. Lita and Matt look at each other, and Matt decides to leave. He kicks the door and grunts on his way out. And the contract signing is still, apparently, on.
There’s a red carpet, a desk, two chairs, a metal briefcase presumably containing a contract, and a mediator in the ring. Jim Ross is in it, too. “Ladies and gentlemen… Kane!” Out he comes. “And his opponent at Summerslam…” Matt Hardy‘s music hits and he comes out. Lita follows.
Kane is feeling particularly jolly tonight, smiling and laughing. Kane sits down. Lita sits down. The mediator is a WWE attorney, we’re told. The stips for Sunday, according to JR: “If Matt wins, Kane agrees to cease any physicality with Matt and Lita, thus allowing Matt and Lita to wed if they so choose. However, if Kane beats Matt Hardy at Summerslam, then Lita has agreed to marry Kane.” Lita has to sign first. She does it, then looks up with the “oh God” face. Kane signs in a jolly fashion. Matt has to bring it home. He paces around, staring at Kane, and approaches his seat. Kane taunts him, still smiling, still nodding. Matt goes to the last page and starts signing… then backs away. He paces some more. He goes to the last page, punches the table… and signs. Kane grabs the mic from JR: “Now, Matt, everyone knows the truth! Hahahahahahahahahaha! It looks like I’m more man than you’ll ever be!” More laughter. Matt shoves the table and knocks Kane over. He grabs the metal briefcase and clocks Kane. Matt stands over him: “You will be mine!”
Matt leaves… and Kane sits up.
Believe it or not, I was actually feeling the tension here. The crowd started to get solidly behind Matt as it went on, and this wasn’t a bad way to salvage somewhat the build to the PPV match.
Backstage, Jonathan Coachman introduces our next diva search competition: each contestant has 25 seconds to sell an ice cream cone. You can imagine where this goes. Coach promises the divas live in their bikinis later tonight. My fingers love the rest the diva search provides. Jericho… Edge… next!
Match #2: Edge vs Chris Jericho
Usual face pop for Edge, and he really milks his entrance stuff… could this be the end of the line for face Edge for the next little while? Jericho gets a slightly louder face pop. This is non-title. Jericho paces around as Edge stares at him. Our commentators note that this match is all about getting a mental edge. Jericho is freshly shaven. They go nose-to-nose with the staredown. Lockup. They dance around, with neither getting the advantage. Edge breaks after getting Jericho in the corner. They lock up. Edge uses a go-behind. Jericho grabs a wristlock to escape and turns it into a hammerlock. Edge elbows Jericho but can’t escape, so he uses a drop toe hold to break, but Jericho fights out of a front facelock into a hammerlock with Edge down. Jericho drops a knee on Edge, but Edge gets to his feet and elbows Jericho to escape. Jericho reverses a whip into the corner, and kicks Edge down. Jericho sends Edge into a corner face-first, then uses a running kneelift to the back. Edge gets to his feet on the apron and suplexes Edge back in. Jericho is going for the lower back. He follows the suplex with a pair of elbowdrops to the back. Jericho uses a back suplex. Jericho covers for 2. Jerichio goes to a surfboard and it’s all about the back. Edge fights out of the pressure and gets to his feet, but Jericho kicks and chops him. Edge goes against the ropes and gets chopped again. Edge recovers with punches and chops, then gets Jericho in the corner and unloads the mounted punches… but only gets to 6 before Jericho dumps him. Jericho hits a bodyslam. Jericho goes into the ropes and tries a running splash, but Edge blocks with the knees. Edge sells the back. Edge uses some Lesnar Shoulder Thrusts in the corner on Jericho. Edge uses some kicks to Jericho when he’s down and that gets him some boos. Edge gets Jericho in the corner face-first, and uses the series of shoulder thrusts to the back. Edge walks toward the corner, and Jericho kicks him and chops him. Edge backs toward the corner, and Jericho simply follows him to get a hard chop,. Jericho whips Edge into the opposite corner and gets booted and flapjacked into Snake Eyes. Edge goes behind Jericho and uses a rollup for 2. Edge tries a schoolboy for 2. Jericho pokes him in the eye, though, and rakes Edge’s face. Jericho uses a running forearm and Edge bails. Jericho recovers in the ring. Jericho tries the springboard dropkick to the outside, but Edge sees it coming and dumps Jericho to the outside. Jericho manages to get up and onto the apron, so Edge uses a running shoulder tackle to drive him over the security wall into the front row! And it’s ad break time. (7:41)
Ad Break (3:05)
We’re back, and Edge has Jericho in a chinlock. After Edge speared Jericho, Y2J survived, but Edge still controlled the match. Jericho gets to his feet and elbows out, even managing a chop and a right, but he runs the ropes right into a kneelift to the midsection. Edge goes up with the dreaded Flying Nothing, which Jericho reverses to a standing dropkick. We have a double-KO. Both men get up at about the same time, and it’s a slugfest. Edge wins the slugfest, but Jericho reverses a whip and hits a leg lariat. Jericho runs the ropes again and hits a shoulderblock. Jericho runs the ropes again, but Edge ducks a clothesline… but Jericho dropkicks him onto the second rope anyway. Jericho uses the running choke. Edge blocks the bulldog (!) by staying low, and hits a big boot on Jericho for 2. Jericho sneaks in with a rana into a pin, for 2. Jericho hits a running clothesline. Jericho sets up for a running attack… could it be a spear? Whatever he’s going for, it ends up looking like a Running Nothing: Edge hits him with a kneelift to the head, and sets up for the Walls of Jericho! Jericho blocks, so Edge catapults him into the corner and hits the Edge-O-Matic for 2. Heck of a match so far, but then again, this is coming from a guy who does write-ups for Heat. Edge whips Jericho and goes for a standing dropkick, but Jericho hangs onto the top rope to stop his momentum and decides to try the Lionsault… but that meets knees. Edge gets to his feet and lines up the spear… but Jericho sees it coming and bails out of the ring. Edge capitalizes on that with a baseball slide. Edge heads outside with Jericho and puts him in to keep the match going. Edge heads up top, slowed by the back injury, and Jericho manages to crotch him on the top turnbuckle. Jericho goes up to the second rope. There’s a slugfest up top and Jericho wins. Jericho goes for a superplex. Edge fights it, and ultimately reverses to a sort of front suplex out of that position. Jericho gets to his feet, and there’s the missile dropkick he wanted earlier, for 2. Jericho gets to his feet, and Edge gets a front facelock and goes for the Edgecution! Jericho reverses to a double-leg and goes for the Walls… but Edge reverses to an inside cradle for 2. Jericho goes for something, but Edge kicks him and runs the ropes… right into the Flashback for 2. Jericho gets up first and tries the bulldog again, but this time Edge just tosses him crotch-first into the middle turnbuckle. Edge lines up the spear, but Jericho leapfrogs over it (!!) and uses a schoolboy with the ropes for the win!!
Winner: Chris Jericho via pinfall (19:23 total)
Solid match with great scouting stuff that has me pumped as hell for the Summerslam match.
Wait a minute… DAVE Batista hits the ring and beats down Edge. Batista spinebusters Edge as Jericho looks on. Jericho paces around the ring and doesn’t get involved, so Batista uses another spinebuster. More posing and shouting. Batista stands over Edge as Jericho leaves the ring. Batista lines it up. Edge gets to his feet, and the murderous lariat knocks Edge down for good. That’s a statement.
Batista grabs the belt and poses with the belt outside the ring as our referee looks over Edge.
Eugene is HERE! But where’s Regal?
Eugene hits the ring. Off mic, he yells HHH’s name, as the crowd chants loudly for him. Eugene calls out HHH… and HHH appears on the video board. HHH says he’s angry at the wrong guy: HHH did tell Eugene to leave because he didn’t belong, but Eugene didn’t listen, so HHH beat him down to send him the message. Eugene didn’t get it, so HHH beat down Regal to make an example and send another message. HHH calls Eugene stupid for not getting what he’s telling him. He calls him stupid for not listening to Regal, instead choosing to stand in the ring yelling for HHH… when HHH is already in his hotel room. Whoa! HHH seems to be hinting at something. “Just like everything else that’s happened, what happened here… it’s your fault.” HHH gets the camera on a bloodied William Regal… totally battered. HHH punches away at him some more and promises to put Eugene out of pro-wrestling for good Sunday.
Match #3: Rhyno & Tajiri vs Rick Albright & Chris Cage
2-Minute Tag Team Challenge
Pretty simple rules here: if Rhyno and Tajiri can dispose of the jobbers within two minutes, they get a tag team title shot at Summerslam. Not sure I caught the jobbers’ names right. Tajiri starts with Albright as La Rйsistance hits the ring. Tajiri uses a leg lariat on Albright for 2 as Cage breaks the count. Tajiri whips Albright and uses another leg lariat for 2. Tag Rhyno. Rhyno unloads the rights. He uses a whip but lowers his head and gets kicked, and Cage tags in… and Rhyno clotehslines him. Rhyno whips Cage and hits a powerslam. Albright jumps in and gets nailed with a roundhouse to the head by Tajiri. Rhyno backs Cage into the corner and unloads the kicks. He rams his head into the turnbuckles. Rhyno goes for a whip, reversed by Cage, shortarmed by Rhyno, and he hits a spinebuster. La Rйsistance looks on as Rhyno sets up for GORE GORE GORE and hits it with 13 seconds left. Rhyno covers Cage as La Rйsistance distracts the ref just long enough for GORE GORE GORE to only get a 1-count.
No Contest (2:00)
If that was a butchered finish, hey, that’s my very favorite referee Mike Chioda right in the middle of it. La Rйsistance taunt the faces (“So close! Maybe next time!”) and head off.
Coach and the diva search contestants are in the ring, and it’s “dance while your phone number is on the screen” time…
Trish Stratus leads the scheming women wrestlers to the ring. She has talked to Eric Bischoff, and he’s accepted an idea of hers for Summerslam. In the spirit of competition, the seven actual WWE divas, will face the seven contestants in a game of dodgeball. Jazz hits one of the contestants to drive the challenge home.
Ain’t no cure for the summertime blues – here’s a rundown of the Summerslam card, starting with Michael Cole & Tazz from WWE’s studios:
Summerslam Card Rundown
– Booker T vs John Cena (US Title Best of 5 – Game 1)
– Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle
– Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman & Paul London vs Spike, Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley
– Undertaker vs John Bradhsaw Layfield (WWE Title)
– that dodgeball thing
– Chris Benoit vs Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Title)
– Edge vs Batista vs Chris Jericho (Intercontinental Title)
– Kane vs Matt Hardy (Lita marries winner)
– HHH vs Eugene Dinsmore
HHH/Eugene as your main event? Interesting.
Backstage, HHH and Ric Flair celebrate sending a message to Eugene. Randy Orton joins them, and HHH says Benoit’s next. This sets up our main event… next!
Evolution hits the ring first. Benoit follows, but Eugene doesn’t come out. Benoit gets the stick to explain: Eugene’s gone back to the hotel to check on Regal, but Benoit wants a 1-on-2 handicap match anyway.
Match #4: HHH & Randy Orton (w/ Ric Flair) vs Chris Benoit
Benoit fends off both men to start. HHH bails and it looks like Benoit and Orton are starting. Benoit suplexes Orton. HHH comes in, but Benoit ducks a clothesline, gets a go-behind, gets some shots in, and hits the three rolling Germans less than a minute into the match! Snot rocket. Orton gets on the apron, and Benoit forearms him back off. Benoit goes up top… but Flair intercepts him. Benoit gets rid of him, but that buys HHH enough time to crotch Benoit up top and it looks like we’re calling HHH and Benoit legal. Orton tags in and unloads rights on Benoit. He fires off a series of kneedrops. Orton throws a dropkick and tags HHH. HHH throws rights and kicks in the corner at Benoit. HHH unloads stomps, and goes to a blatant chokehold. Benoit chops HHH, but HHH gets a drop toe hold and tags Orton. Orton goes up with a flying stomp and HHH leaves the ring. Orton uses a running European uppercut to drop Benoit. Another European uppercut from Orton, and he backs Benoit in the corner. Benoit gets two chops, but another European uppercut from Orton slows that, and Orton whips Benoit hard into the corner. HHH tags in. HHH uses a nice long stalling vertical suplex on Benoit. HHH hits a running kneedrop and covers for 2. HHH isn’t exactly heartbroken over the lack of 3-count. Nice little thing: HHH has Regal’s blood on his wrist tape. Benoit fights off HHH with chops and gets some elbows on Orton, but HHH kneelifts him and Orton tags in to keep the momentum. Orton unloads the right hands in the heel corner. Orton uses a snapmare and goes to THE CHINLOCK! THE CHINLOCK! Orton drops forearms on Benoit’s head and covers for 2. HHH tags in, and Benoit actually wins a slugfest, but HHH reverses a whip and hits his spinebuster… but it only gets 2 as Benoit gets his shoulder up. HHH dumps him. Flair uses a blatant choke on Benoit on the outside, then uses a low blow to drive the point home. HHH puts Benoit into the ring and covers for 2. HHH tags Orton, who ponders how to keep the pain coming… but Orton blocks a lockup and gets a couple of chops. Orton returns fire with the European uppercut, but he whips Benoit and telegraphs, and gets hit with an inside cradle for 2. Orton puts Benoit down again and heads up top, but Benoit crotches him. HHH runs into the ring, and Benoit gets a go-behind and tries the Germans, but HHH blocks, so Benoit shoves him headfirst into Orton’s prone crotch, then gets the German suplex on HHH anyway. Benoit heads up to attack Orton and gets him with a superplex! It’s triple-KO time. HHH, the non-legal man, gets hit with a whip and a backdrop from Benoit. Benoit whips Orton and hits a kneelift to the midsection. Benoit chops HHH, but HHH reverses a whip… but Benoit reverses the facebuster to a back suplex. Benoit knees Orton. Orton begs off in the corner and tries to call timeout, but Benoit unloads four chops instead. HHH tries the Pedigree, but Benoit dumps him to the outside with a backdrop. Orton walks right into a double-leg takedown and the Sharpshooter! Flair helps Orton break, but Benoit reverses the RKO to the Crossface. Flair breaks it, and our referee Earl Hebner has seen enough, calling for the DQ.
Winner: Chris Benoit via disqualification (10:37)
Benoit beats on Flair and gets rid of him with a backdrop, but HHH sneaks in with the Pedigree. Now that it’s over, HHH has the chair… but wait! It’s Eugene and he’s really angry! Eugene takes down HHH and unloads mounted punches. HHH tries to escape the ring. Orton distracts Eugene long enough to let HHH bail, but Orton falls victim to the windmill punch. Orton unloads rights on Orton and Flair. HHH stands at the top of the ramp and decides not to run in, instead watch Eugene fend off Evolution. Eugene Stunners Orton to close the show, as HHH looks on…
And we’re out.
Quick-hit thoughts: Hey, not bad. I loved the way Edge/Jericho built up, and for a last-show-before-a-PPV Raw, the balance between in-ring goodness and hard-sell stuff to put the finishing touches on the build for the Summerslam matches was nice.
Speaking of Summerslam: section 102, row 19. I’ll be wearing a Montreal Expos jersey. Unlike Randle, I don’t have any prizes to give away, but if you can’t find him, I’m a nice consolation, right?
See you then, or next week.