In another flawless studio show recap, Fried gets accustomed to life without Velocity's MVPs.
JT has Heidenreich and Animal in the Byte This report.
And the live Raw thread is always there for you if you want to discuss tonight's events as they happen.
And it's Home Run Derby night in baseball. Having witnessed the Blue Jays give up nine homers in an excruciating-yet-uplifting sweep at the hands of Texas this past weekend, in which they were only outslugged 28-24 but lost three straight games as well as the best pitcher alive in Roy Halladay for a month, I think I've seen enough dingers for a while.
Luckily, there's the fallout from the brilliant Shawn Michaels heel turn to keep me entertained! So let's do this.
411's WWE RAW REPORT -- 07.11.05
PYRO! We are LIVE from the Swamp! We're in the Continental Airlines Arena here in East Rutherford, NJ! Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross & Jonathan Coachman are our hosts.
And we start with Carlito! He walks out to the ring, where the Cabana set-up is already assembled. [Sign: Carlito's not cool] He has his belt and the stick. "As of late, there's a lot of reasons why people should be watching Raw. Mainly because of Carlito -- I got a big match against Shelton Benjamin for my Intercontinental Championship -- and of course, the only show on Raw that guarantees to have everybody talking, Carlito's Cabana. Let's get right down to it. Last week, on the 4th of July, my guest was the immortal Hulk Hogan. And look waht happened to him. You see, the fireworks always fly right here on the Cabana, and let's get right down to it. I know you people want answers, so ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, the man who last week superkicked Hulk Hogan... HBK, Shawn Michaels!"
Wait a second. That's not Shawn Michaels... Chris Jericho interrupts! He walks out in a suit jacket and enters the ring. He marvels at a palm tree set up behind one of the ringposts. ["Y2J!"] He gets in the ring and faces Carlito.
Carlito: "Wow. You see? Everybody wants to be a guest on Carlito's Cabana! You know, Chris Jericho, really, I'm flattered. You know what? Why don't you have a set and let me show you how a real show is conducted. As a matter of fact, here, have an apple. Now, where was I? Yes. Ladies and gentlemen--"
"I don't wanna burst your bubble, Junior, but last week your Copacabana segment was trumped -- trumped by the Highlight Reel. Maybe you forgot who my guest was. It was none other than the WWE Champion himself John Cena. Oh yeah. And over the course of that interview, I beat the living hell out of John Cena! I set the champ packing, and I completely upstaged your little whatever this is that you call it here. And on top of that, I'm gonna do it again tonight. Oh yeah. So do me a favor. Get rid of this yard sale of a set, lower the obscenely expensive Jeritron 5000, because tonight, my guest is none other than SHAWN MICHAELS!"
"Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Shawn Michaels doesn't wanna be on your show. He wants to be on Carlito's Cabana, not the - the highlight reel. Let's face it. The Highlight Reel is just like you. Really boring. Really outdated. Basically, it really SUCKS. Look at you. You're a little older. A little sadder. A little fatter. Seriously, you might want to give me that apple back. Look at your love handles. Have you seen yourself when you wrestle? They just pour through your tights. It's a good thing you're covered up. Seriously. Love handles? That's not cool." [Pop!]
"Love handles, huh? Maybe you should do up your shirt. You don't exactly got the abs of steel yourself, DORKO. You don't tell me what's cool. I'm the epitome of cool. You don't dictate what's cool to me. I'm CANADIAN! OH YEAH! I'm CHRIS CANADIAN COOL. You -- look at me. You just don't get it, do ya, Sideshow Bob?" [Pop!] "Oh yeah. With your little imitation flowery shirt and your fancy purple pantsies, oooh. Let me explain something to ya. Shawn Michaels is a unique individual. Shawn Michaels is a special individual, and he sure as hell does not want to be on an impostor, fly-by-night, cheapassed, half-assed, poser amateur second-rate talk show like yours! So step aside, buddy boy, and let Y2J go to work, because tonight, my guest on the HIGHLIGHT REEL -- Cabana's your show, right? Let me tell you this. Shawn Michaels wants to be a part of the big time. No. Shawn Michaels wnats to be with the original. He wants to be with the Johnny Carson of Raw, not the Carson Daly. So as I said, step aside, Junior. Ladies and gentlemen and Jerichoholics of all ages, my guest tonight on the Highlight the Reel is the man who superkicked the moustache right off of Hogan's kisser, he is the Heartbreak Kid -- SHAWN MICHAELS!"
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper interrupts!! He stands on the stage. Jericho is in awe. "Did I hear you correctly, Jericho? Jericho, did you say the Highlight Reel is the original deal? Let me tell you and your friend Buckwheat [pop] that there's only one original, and you're looking at him. And as for interviewing Shawn Michaels, neither one of you are going to. Uh-uh. We need to know why Shawn Michaels blindsided Hogan, why, where's he coming from. And you know what? I guarantee you this. By the time this show's over, I will have the answers to that question because Shawn Michaels, tonight, is is Piper's Pit!" [Pop!] "And everybody's got to pay the Piper."
Play Piper's music! Piper starts to head back, then stares back out into the crowd. Jericho and Carlito are squabbling in the ring. And let's take a look at tonight's loaded card!
Promised for Tonight:
- Carlito vs Shelton Benjamin (Intercontinental Title)
- Who's going home in the diva search?
- Kane vs Edge
Chris Masters is here! Two weeks ago, he made Tajiri pass out in the Masterlock. He asked him whether he'd respect the masterpiece. Tajiri responded by spewing the green mist in his face. And that set up... this!
Match #1: Chris Masters vs Tajiri
Tajiri hits the ring, and gets attacked quickly. Masters gets him in the corner, whales away, and gets a butterfly suplex. And a hard kick to the back. Jack Doan is your referee -- does he have a spiritual connection with Masters or something? Tajiri comes back with kicks. Masters gets a whip, and Tajiri gets a lg lariat. Masters recovers to the apron, where Tajiri hits him with the handspring kick to knock him off. ["ECW!"] Tajiri unloads a pair of roundhouse kicks, then gets a whip and a leg lariat for two. Wait... Tajiri whipped Masters? Tajiri gets a hard kick to the back, but Masters reverses a whip. Tajiri gets the handspring elbow for two. Masters gets Tajiri in the corner and tries some Lesnar shoulder thrusts, but Tajiri gets a sunset flip for two. Tajiri bails to the corner. Masters bails into a foot, but blocks a tornado DDT! But he misses a clothesline and stumbles into a hard kick to the throat... for two! Tajiri goes for the Tarantula, but Masters reverses to an inverted powerbomb. And then Masters goes straight to the Masterlock. And it's over.
Winner: Chris Masters via submission (3:12)
Nice to see Tajiri back on Raw. I guess this was a match with many surprising twists and turns, though it didn't have quite the same energy of that Val Venis match from a few weeks ago.
This Friday, Kane joins a bunch of stars at the San Diego Comicon.
Edge & Lita are spending quality time when Gene Snitsky walks in! It is revealed that they're watching their wedding, and they go over how brilliantly planned out the Matt Hardy tease was. But the night didn't end as planned, because that big ugly bastard Kane messed things up. And this is where Snitsky comes in: Edge reveals that he knows all about Snitsky's foot fetish. Huh? And Lita's feet are -- well, they're magical! So Edge decides to let Snitsky sniff them. And Edge has a proposition for Snitsky: if he helps Edge take care of Kane, he gets to have a go at Lita's feet. Edge starts to let him have a taste, but realizes that he's opened his mouth and cuts him off. Snitsky will get his satisfaction if and when he carries out his mission tonight. Snitsky leaves very happy and motivated. Edge and Lita mock his various quirks behind his back.
Last time we saw Edge face Kane was at Vengeance, also the last time we saw Triple H: his Hell in a Cell match with Batista! So let's take a look at HHH making his way out of the ring. We have no reports on his condition, and we don't know when he'll be back. It may not be for a while.
Next: Shelton Benjamin and Carlito for the IC title!
Match #2: Carlito vs Shelton Benjamin Intercontinental Championship
Shelton starts with a knee and has Carlito bailing after a series of rights. Shelton gets a whip and an elbow. He gets a whip into the corner, and Carlito collapses. Shelton gets a vertical suplex for two. Carlito slugs it out in the corner with Shelton, and Shelton no-sells a chop! Shelton gets a hard slap to the chest, a whip and a dropkick for two. Shelton gets a knee in the corner and an inside cradle for two. Carlito bails to the ropes. Shelton reverses a whip, but Carlito dropkicks him. Shelton kips up, inspired by ["Let's go Shelton!"] chants. Carlito stumbles backward... into Shelton. He realizes what's going on, and bails outside. Shelton baseball slides him! He wants to cause more damage, but Referee Chad Patton stops him, and that must mean it's time for an Ad Break. (2:10)
Ad Break ends (5:13)
We're back, and Shelton is elbowing his way out of a sleeper. Carlito manages to dodge a charge and dump Shelton through the ropes. Carlito whips Shelton hard into the security wall. Carlito heads into the ring to break the count before heading back out to stomp Shelton's head and put him back in. A big ROH sign gets some serious TV time. Carlito gets some intense stomping and goes back to a chinlock. Carlito drops three intense elbowdrops for two. Back to the chinlock, and Shelton uses the power of crowd noise to get to his feet and try to elbow out. Carlito slams Shelton headfirst into the mat, though. More stomping follows. Carlito chokes Shelton on the second turnbuckle and covers near the ropes for two. Carlito gets a cool snapmare and goes back to the sleeper. The hope spots have sure been bizarrely placed so far. Shelton gets to his feet again, and once more tries to elbow out. Carlito tries a front slam, but Shelton falls on him... for two. Shelton with a backslide!... two. Carlito tries a suplex, reversed to an inside cradle!... two. Shelton gets a hard chop. Carlito shortarms a whip... DDT! One... two... NO! Carlito uses some punches and tries a vertical suplex, but Shelton lands on his feet! Neckbreaker! One... two... no! Is Carlito out? Guess not, as Carlito reverses a whip, but Shelton slams Carlito's head hard into his knee while jumping -- almost like an inverted facebuster -- twice! It gets two. Shelton with a rollup -- reversed! With the tights! But Shelton kicks out. Carlito sets Shelton up on the top turnbuckle, and they slug it out up top. Carlito with a superplex! One... two... NO! Carlito, frustrated, heads out and gets his belt. Referee Chad Patton takes the belt and throws it out of the ring. Carlito walks into a kick. Shelton tries a whip, reversed... shortarmed again by Shelton. SAMOAN DROP! One... two... NO! Carlito tries to bail, but Shelton grabs him on his way out and pulls him back up to the apron! Carlito tries a suplex to the outside(!) -- blocked! Shelton tries a suplex back in -- blocked! Carlito tries a big, stalling suplex. Shelton fights it... fights it... blocked! Shelton backs off. Superkick... blocked... LEG LARIAT! Carlito is out on the outside. Fire up the 10-count! Chad Patton gets to 8. Carlito starts thinking, though, and just walks away for the countout.
Winner: Shelton Benjamin via countout (13:44)
Now that's cool. This match really, really started to speed up toward the end.
Backstage, John Cena and Eric Bischoff are arguing. What are they arguing about? Who knows. Shelton's music is playing over top of it, and our hosts don't know what's going on either. I guess it's supposed to build suspense. Cena slaps Bischoff on the hand and walks off, and Bischoff points at Cena and shouts something threatening at him. Kind of like a scene taken right out of the season mode in Raw 2.
Hey! The champ is here. It's John Cena! He heads out to the ring with the belt in tow. ["CENA!"] Man is over. "New Jersey Chain Gang..." Pop. He implores the crowd to make some noise, because the champ is HERE. "I'll tell you striaght up. It feels good to be out here. Lot of energy tonight. Lot of energy." ["Cena!"] "I'ma level with you guys. I'm gonna be straight wit'chall, for real. I'm having a really bad day. I've got Eric Bischoff up my ass. 'You're a disgrace to Raw, you're a bad champion, you break the rules, don't do this, don't do that,' get outta my face, man, you sound like my brotha from Junior High. And then I got Y - 2 - Cheap. Coming out here, talking about how last week on the Highlight Reel, he kicked my ass? Y'all were watching -- hell, I was there. We turned that sumbitch into the Jerry Springer show. But he seems to believe that he can take this title from me anytime he wants. And why two cheap, there lies the problem. But it's OK. You don't know me very well, I just got here, but y'all gotta represent. This is Chain Gang, and we solve problems. The solution to this problem is simple. Y2Cheap, hit your countdown, let me see your fireworks, your pose, and your love handles, and if you want some -- come get some!"
Eric Bischoff is the man who comes out to confront the champ. "You see, Cena, it's like I was trying to get through your thick skull backstage, you don't defend -- look at me when I'm talking to you -- you don't defend" --
"I'd look at you, but New Jersey's calling you an asshole. Listen to them."
"Yeah, well you may wanna listen to them, but I think you better listen to me, because this is about that WWE Title." Bischoff says that Cena defends the title when he, Eric Bischoff, wants him to. "Those are the rules, and I make 'em. And see, you shoulda learned that. You had an opportunity to get on my good side when you first came to Raw, but no. You stiffarmed me. Well, now, you're gonna see what happens when I throw my weight around."
"You're the GM. You make matches, but the way you're coming at me right now, it's almost like you're physically threatening me. Do you know where the hell you are? This is Dirty Jersey, homie. Jimmy Hoffa buried right across the street, and i swear to you, yuo ever come at me with that tone again, and you'er gonna get dirty."
Y2J countdown! Chris Jericho hikes out, fashionably late. Bischoff tells him to stop halfway down the ramp. He knows Jerichow ould like nothing more than to get in the ring right now, but he doesn't have to. Cena calls him two words away from an ass-whipping. Jericho has no reason to come down when he can get something so much better by waiting.
Bischoff announces that tonight, Cena will defend the title at Summerslam against Y2J Chris Jericho!
"First off, Mr Bischoff, I want to applaud you and commend you for your decision. I won't let you down, thank you very much, sir." He takes a bow and announces that he plans to win the match. "And you stand out there and call me Y2Cheap. Meanwhile you're the one who's cheapening the legacy of the WWE Championship just by having it. Mr Bischoff was right, John. You are not championship material. Look at you. Your clothes, your whole look, your attitude -- you're nothing but a thug, Cena. A low-down thug, and you -- no you listen to me -- you don't deserve to be the champion of the world."
Cena asks whether not acting above everybody else restricts him from being championship material. Jericho just says that he deserves to be the champ. "And when I beat you John -- and I will beat you -- I'm gonna go on to become a bigger superstar than I've ever been. I'm gonna do it all. I'm gonna be the champion, I'm gonna sell more records, I'm gonna be in the movies, I'm gonna be in the magazines, I'm gonna be the multimedia superstar of WWE."
Cena cuts him off and says that Jericho will also get his own mansion where the Cheap Sauce flows like wine. Cena says "it's" not about magazines and multimedia, it's about real recognizing real. (Which is so assbackwards I hope that's not his newest catchphrase but anyway) Cena paces around the ring and proposes to Jericho that he come down to settle "it" right now. He removes his shirt and tosses it into the crowd.
Jericho removes his suit jacket. "You know what, Cena? I could come into that ring, but I'm not going to, because my crystal ball has a prediction. At Summerslam, there will be a new WWE Champion, and his name is Chris Jericho."
And Jericho heads back up. Play his music!
Cena: "Heheheheh. Eheh. Heh. So eric Bischoff and Chris Jericho are in cahoots. Well, I guess that makes you guys a team. And since your teammate ain't here, and I got a problem with your team, maybe we can settle it up right now." Fireman's carry! Cena paces around the ring and stares into the crowd at every turn... FU!
"Welcome to the new Raw. Bitch."
Cena heads up the ramp and goes backstage after declaring this HIS show, HIS house. Maybe not on the level of last week's promo, but Cena is still way way over.
Christy Hemme, Jonathan Coachman & the prospective divas hit the ring: it's that time again, time for the diva search segment! Coach announces that... Alexis has been cut.
Ashley goes for the cheap hometown pop, the cheap "I'm working on wrestling/this isn't American Idol" pop, and monkeyflips Christy. Leyla calls out Senior Official Earl Hebner and nutshots him for DQing her last week. ["You screwed Bret!"] Heh. Then it falls off a bit. Summer dances. Kristal douses herself in paint and calls it a self-portrait. Elisabeth strips and "arrests" Christy. Simona fantasizes about being a warrior and kisses Coach, to audible boos. Cameron strips and "teaches" Christy. The talent competition is a wrap. And once again we can vote for our favorites at WWE.com.
Kurt Angle hits the ring, accompanied by two bodyguards to safeguard his Olympic gold.
"Since no one has even close to beating me in my Kurt Angle Invitational on Smackdown, I thought I'd give someone here on Raw a chance. So, if you've never seen the Kurt Angle Invitational before, what I do is I give a hometown hero an opportunity to win my Olympic gold medal from me. Now he doesn't even have to beat me. All he has to do is last three minutes. If he lasts 3 minutes in this match, I will personally award him my Olympic gold medal. Now let's see what your hometown hero's got."
Matt Striker(!) walks out to the Raw theme!
"My name is Matt Martell, and I'm from New York."
"Hold on a second. Your name's not Martell. It's Striker. You're that teacher that got fired. Yeah -- you lied! You said you, you called in sick or something and you went on some wreslting tour because you wanted to become a professional wrestler. And I wrestled with you in Philadelphia. You said your hometown was Philadelphia! Man, you lie a lot. Well, since you had your 15 minutes of fame, tonight, you're gonna get 3 minutes of pain. Are you ready? Start the clock."
KURT ANGLE INVITATIONAL: Kurt Angle vs Matt Striker
Angle stalls for 10 seconds... and they lock up. Angle gets an armwringer. ["Let's go Striker!"] To an armbar, to a Fujiwara armbar, and Striker's in some serious pain. Striker gets up to his feet, but Angle drops some hard elbows to the upper arm. Angle gets an uppercut in the corner. And another. And another. Angle gets a back suplex. He spits into the crowd. We have 1:30 left. Angle paces around, but Striker comes back with a series of rights! Angle reverses a whip into the corner, but runs into a boot! But Angle gets an overhead belly-to-belly and DOWN... COME... THE STRAPS. Angle goes for an anklelock, but Striker blocks it and kicks him out of the ring! 45 seconds left! Striker bails into the corner and waits. Angle is in pain on the outside. He's apprehensive. He stands and waits in the corner, and then brings the fight to Angle in the corner with rights. Referee Jack Doan breaks it up, though... Olympic Sl-NO! Striker shoves Doan... LOW BLOW! But wait... ANKLE LOCK OUT OF NOWHERE! Striker taps right away, and Angle wins again!
Winner: Kurt Angle via submission (2:59)
Backstage, Todd Grisham asks Kane his thoughts on facing Edge. Kane chuckles. Then he laughs. And then he heads off the ring. And then we get a shot of Edge & Lita on their way to the ring... but they get jumped from behind!! And the assailant whales away on Edge before getting intercepted by security personnel. Wait a minute... it's MATT FUCKING HARDY! Or was it just a lookalike? ENORMOUS pop! It looked a lot like him... our hosts go silent... Matt runs off out a door and we don't get to see the reaction from Edge or Lita.
Match #4: Edge (w/ Lita) vs Kane
Kane beats on Edge in a corner to start, but Edge backs him off, and Kane charges into a boot, and Edge tosses Kane outside, where he unloads the rights and puts him back in. ["We want Matt!"] Kane goes for the chokeslam. Edge elbows him downstairs and runs the ropes... right into a sidewalk slam. Kane heads up with the flying lariat before heading outside to go attack Lita. Gene Snitsky runs in to make the save and grabs a chair. A chairshot leads to a disqualification.
Winner: Kane via disqualification (2:14)
Snitsky goes for another chair shot, but walks into a boot before he can do anything. Kane and Snitsky slug it out on their way into the crowd... and Edge is alone with Lita... and it's MATT HARDY again! Oh... My. He attacks Edge! But security personnel & "Vigilant" Mike Chioda wrestle him down on the outside. He gets a microphone... and he's gonna talk!
"You bastard. I'm gonna make your life miserable! And Lita, you whore, I'm gonna make your life miserable too. And the WWE can kiss my ASS!"
He starts to say something else, but security handcuffs him. Our hosts go silent. Matt gets an enormous pop when he stands up again, and we get to see the entirety of him being carried to the top of the ramp.
Our hosts do not mention the words "Matt Hardy" once throughout all of this, which is a nice touch that I certainly wouldn't have expected.
We get a video recap of the superkick heard 'round the world.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper heads out for our main event interview... right after our final Ad Break!
"Alright. This one's gonna be a hard one. Let's get down to it. The man with the answers... the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels!"
Shawn comes out in a white outfit to "Sexy Boy" and a 60-40 negative reaction. JR calls him contrite.
"Cut it. Cut it. I'm gonna make this real simple. And I'm gonna talk to you as one professional to the other. I want the answer, and I gave my word, we're gonan get it before the night's out." ... "Why did you blindside Hulk Hogan? Why did you take the cheap way out?"
Shawn does the dramatic pause thing.
"For the last 20 years, I have come into this ring with one intention, and one intention only. And that is to leave you people with something that you would never forget. I literally broke my back to give you that. And I believe that I delivered. No one has created more Raw and pay-per-view moments than the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. No one has left you with more Wrestlemania memories than the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. And no one has had a greater impact on the direction of this industry than the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. At the Wrestlemania Hall of Fame, I heard your chant to Hulk Hogan for one more match, one more match. It was then and there that I decided that I would once again sacrifice myself to give you what you wanted. Last week, I believe I guaranteed that Hulk Hogan will have one more match. I just made sure that last match was going to be against me.
"You are known the world around as the immortal Hulk Hogan. I'm gonna be honest with you." ["HOGAN!"] "And that is why he's the immortal Hulk Hogan, but again, I'm going to be honest with you. I have nor will I ever see that the way that you do. I'm going to prove that in this instance, perception is not reality. So, tonight, I am laying down the challenge. For the first time ever, Summerslam, the immortal Hulk Hogan versus the showstopper, the headliner, the main event, the i-con, the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. And at Summerslam, Hulk Hogan, I will prove that mortality or immortality has a price."
Piper gets the stick back. "You still haven't answered the simple question. Why? You may be able to fool these people, but you can't fool me. You're making it sound like you made the fans -- these fans made you! These fans made you 4-time WWE Champion. These fans stood behind you when you were down, when you were out, they never left you. I remember a long time ago, when you were coming up in the business, and yo used to come to me, and this is on God's truth. 'Mr Piper, how do I get to he main event, Mr Piper.' Hours and hours. I told you how. You know why? Because you were worth it. You were worth it. I gotta be honest with you. I'm ashamed of you, man. I'm ashamed. Look at me when I talk to you. LOOK AT ME WHEN I TALK TO YOU. You have everything going for you, and all of a sudden you turn sideways and nail Hogan from behind, and I don't get it. Why would you ruin a reputation like that? I wanna know why."
"You think this isn't hard for me? Look. I respect you. I always have. But I've given my answer. And that's it."
"Don't you walk away from me, you punk! Don't you walk away from. Who the hell do you think you're talking to? I know th damn answer, and you're too afraid to say it, but I'll say it, and I will tell the world. You know why? Because Shawn Michaels, YOU'RE a COWARD --"
Shawn stands over Piper with the same what-have-I-done expression on his face as the crowd chants for Hogan. Shawn slowly backs away... and leaves. And once again, we close on a shot of Shawn walking backstage.