Monday Night Raw
Date: October 25, 2004
Location: Veterans Auditorium, Des Moines, Iowa
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the show after Taboo Tuesday, where not very much happened. Randy Orton defeated Ric Flair in a bloody cage match and Shawn Michaels’ knee injury kept us from having a very good main event. The main story was Edge snapping and going full on heel yet still winning the Tag Team Titles with Chris Benoit. There might be a future for him with something like that. Let’s get to it.
We open with the entire Eugene vs. Eric Bischoff match and the fallout with the haircut. This eats up a rather ridiculous eight minutes for a segment that was pretty funny, but nowhere near THAT funny.
Here’s Bischoff in the ring, wearing a hat that looks like he borrowed it from 1999 HHH. He talks about being brought in to make an impact but always having someone get in his way. After taking the hat off and revealing short, gray hair, Bischoff says he’s giving himself his first night off and the inmates are running the asylum. I love how the idea of NO GENERAL MANAGER sounds like the craziest thing in the world because the last two and a half years of General Managers are the entire history of Raw.
Here’s Evolution for a chat. HHH talks about how intoxicating the power was for the fans last week and decides that the three of them will be running the show. It’s not just because he’s the World Champion but because there is strength in numbers. There is no one back there who can do anything about it so tonight, we’ll start off with Ric Flair getting anything he wants. Flair gets right to the point and says he wants Randy Orton again tonight because Orton was lucky last week. Flair: “I’m still your legend, right champ?”
It’s a lot harder to stay the man than it is to be the man, and Orton isn’t even the man in the first place. HHH grants the request but here’s Orton to interrupt. If Flair is the legend, then Orton has shown that he really is the Legend Killer. We get a nice RKO chant as Orton talks about how Evolution isn’t getting to do what they want tonight just because they say they can.
Orton wants the title back, so HHH makes him a deal: Orton can have a title shot if he beats Flair again tonight. For some reason Orton looks annoyed before enthusiastically accepting. Orton says to be the man you have to beat the man, so he must be the man after winning last week. I’ve never seen Flair’s eyes bug out so much. HHH likes the idea and says if Orton wins, he can have his shot at Survivor Series. If he loses though, no more title shots as long as HHH is champion. Orton isn’t sure but agrees.
Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin
Benjamin is defending after taking the title from Jericho at Taboo Tuesday. Shelton goes straight to the armbar to start but Jericho spins out and actually survives an amateur match. Back up and Shelton misses the Stinger Splash, sending him head first into the post for the not quite rookie mistake. Jericho follows him with a crossbody to the floor and we take a break.
We come back with Jericho bending Shelton over the knee as the setup for the Walls begins. Another missed charge lets Shelton take over (you would think Jericho would have learned) and a super hurricanrana takes Jericho down. The Dragon Whip (again, how do you not learn) gets two but Jericho sends him to the apron for the springboard dropkick.
Back in and the exploder is blocked so Shelton goes with a northern lights version for two instead. Shelton can’t get a small package so he goes with a middle rope sunset flip, which is reversed into a Walls attempt. That’s reversed as well, this time with Shelton spinning around and turning it into a bodyscissors for the pin to retain completely clean.
Rating: B-. I think I liked this one a little better than last night as Shelton turned it more into an athletic display, which is where he really shines. Pinning Jericho twice in two matches (not being able to say last night is getting annoying) means a lot for Shelton, who has already won a lot of big matches, but now he has something to go with it.
Post match Jericho shakes his hand and leaves, but here’s Christian to give Shelton the Unprettier and hold up the title.
Bischoff and Coach have a drink while watching the inmates run the asylum.
Evolution surrounds Christy Hemme outside the women’s locker room with Flair hitting on her. She has plans for the night but HHH won’t let her to into the locker room. Jericho bumps into them so Evolution corners him as well. If he ever wants that Intercontinental Title back, he better learn who is running things around here. Maven of all people and Chris Benoit come in, as do a bunch of midcarders, sending Evolution bailing. You can see Survivor Series from here, but…..Maven?
We recap Edge’s drive into insanity last night, starting with losing the poll, picking up the Tag Team Titles despite walking out on the match, and finishing with costing Shawn Michaels the World Title.
Jim Ross is in the ring to interview Edge via satellite. Edge says the title was his to win last night so he doesn’t need to justify his actions. He beat HHH in a tag match and then beat Shawn and Benoit the night before Taboo Tuesday and he’s tired of being taken for granted. Shawn has a bad knee but Edge missed a year due to a broken neck.
He fought through that, a broken hand, a groin injury and everything else, but then he came home to Toronto and got booed out of the building. Last week six percent changed his life again. If the people cared about him, he could have been there holding up the title, but he’ll be back when he’s ready.
Back in the ring, JR introduces someone who actually is here tonight: Shawn Michaels, fresh off knee surgery three days ago. JR says he doesn’t deserve to be in the ring with a Hall of Famer so he leaves Shawn alone. Shawn heard all those injuries that Edge listed off and if they had taken twenty years, it would make him quite tough.
Since they’ve been over the last six months though, it just makes Edge sound clumsy. He had a great time at Taboo Tuesday, like he does at every pay per view, but this one was different. There was an excitement in the back like he hasn’t seen since he’s been back. Maybe it was because they put the fans’ fingers on the pulse of the company to decide how things were going. The wrestlers do this because they love the roar of the crowd and the feeling of the adrenaline coursing through your body.
Coming into Taboo Tuesday, the fans knew that Shawn was hurt but they wanted to see Shawn vs. HHH one more time. After the match was over, the people were asking him why he would put himself through something like that. He has two kids and a wife but he did it because the fans voted for him.
With the people doing that, how could he not give them himself? Now it’s time for the wrestlers to be there for the fans, just like the fans are here for them. Shawn will be there for them…right after this knee heals. Taboo Tuesday reminded him what this was about, so he’ll be here for the fans. Thank you. Great speech, though it was rather patting on the back, which is exactly what you could expect from WWE. Yeah the viewer’s choice thing was cool, but given how there were all of maybe two votes with any kind of doubt, it was hardly some amazing concept.
Batista literally steps in front of Maven during an interview to make a match for himself. Maven cuts him off and a match is made. Batista: “You’ve got to be kidding.” Fair enough. Batista says it’s not worth his time so Maven slaps him in the face and runs off.
Maven vs. Batista
Maven goes right at Batista to start and is swatted away as he should be. A corner clothesline sets up a big boot to send Maven outside with Batista shrugging off some forearms. Back in and more forearms have some more effect with a running version even putting Batista down. Batista misses a charge in the corner but a missile dropkick is swatted away. The Batista Bomb is loaded up but Maven countered into a rollup for the fast pin.
Rating: D-. I said it when I watched it live all those years ago and I’ll say the same thing again now: MAVEN? The last time we saw him on Raw was two and a half months ago in a squash loss to Kane. He’s never won anything of note and he was in OVW about six months ago. Now he’s pinning someone that had Chris Jericho and Edge running scared at Summerslam. It didn’t make sense back then and it doesn’t now, but given how there is virtually no one to challenge HHH aside from Orton (who he’s already beaten), the show needs some fresh blood on the face side and Maven is as good as we’re getting at the moment.
Post match Batista goes after Maven again but Jericho and Benoit stop him on the ramp.
Rock the Vote rally video. Still a cool thing to see.
We look back at Snitsky Pillmanizing Kane’s throat at Taboo Tuesday.
Gene Snitsky vs. William Regal
Snitsky jumps Regal from behind and gets a BABY KILLER chant. The bell rings and it’s a clothesline into the pumphandle powerslam to finish Regal for the pin in less than thirty seconds.
Medics and Eugene come out to check on Regal but Snitsky says that’s nothing compared to what he did to Kane. That wasn’t his fault, but everything from now on will be. Again: best character on the show at the moment.
Trish Stratus mocks Lita for having a sparkle in his eye for Kane, even though she ruined his life too. But don’t worry because they have a big roster with a lot of careers for her to destroy. They can worry about that later though because for now, Lita needs to lose the rest of her pregnancy weight. Lita lunges at her and Victoria has to pull her off.
Smackdown Rebound, including part of the Tough Enough video. After three matches and less than ten minutes of televised wrestling, we have time to bring this back after a few weeks?
Flair gives Evolution a pep talk. Batista and HHH will make sure no one interferes.
Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton
No more title shots vs. Survivor Series title shot. They both have bandages on their head from the cage match. Orton throws him down to start and a running slam has Flair begging off in the corner. Some Flair chops don’t have any lasting impact and Orton hits a pair of backdrops. A clothesline puts Flair on the floor and there’s a suplex to make it even worse. Back in and the rights and lefts set up the Flair Flop but Orton misses a charge into the post.
We take a break and come back with Orton slamming him off the top. The high crossbody misses though and believe it or not, Orton comes up holding his knee. Flair goes after the leg with the cannonball and chop block and it’s already time for the Figure Four. The hold is turned over in pretty short order and, after a few moments, Flair lets go and holds his own knee.
Back up and Orton hits the third backdrop, followed by a dropkick with the knee holding coming after the landing. The RKO connects, with Flair nearly landing on his back, but here’s Batista for a distraction. Benoit, Jericho and Maven run in to take care of him but the distraction lets HHH chair Orton from behind to give Flair the pin.
Rating: C. Totally fine Flair match from this era with Orton beating him up until the pretty obvious ending. You never make stipulations like that and then expect things to go well for you. The cage match was better because they were allowed to be violent and beat on each other, but this match was more important. Granted this should have been more interesting due to Flair shaking Orton’s hand after the cage match, but that hasn’t been mentioned all night and is likely forgotten.
Post match Evolution tries to leave but most of the locker room surrounds him. Flair takes an RKO and it’s a beatdown from Maven, Benoit, Jericho and of course Orton with an RKO to end the show. I guess Orton forgot about losing his chances at the title already.
Overall Rating: D. So to recap: Bischoff leaves for a night and everything goes insane with HHH just declaring that Evolution is in charge and we now have the roster rebelling against Evolution. The bigger problem though is HHH still being out of challengers, as we’ve done Benoit, Shawn isn’t going to be around for a few months and Orton isn’t allowed to challenge for the title for the time being. I can’t picture Jericho getting a title shot anytime soon so for now, we’re just stuck waiting on someone new while HHH holds the title. I’m as thrilled as you are, and nothing seems likely to change for the next few months.
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