And I'm spent. Hulk Hogan's return and Edge-Kane XXXIV are on tap for tonight. Here we go again...
411's WWE RAW REPORT -- 07.18.05
No pyro, and Lilian Garcia starts to introduce our first match, which is to be for the Intercontinental Title... but Eric Bischoff walks out to interrupt.
"Last week, something happened that was so appalling, so heinous, that I could just not let it go unaddressed. Please -- please roll the footage."
We see John Cena FUing Bischoff from last week, and welcoming him to the new Raw, bitch.
"New Raw, huh? Well, new Raw or old Raw, Eric Bischoff is still in charge. And because of that, I can suspend John Cena. Oh, hell with that, I can bring him out here right now and fire John Cena. But a better idea came along. I liked it. John Cena vs Snitsky, right here, live, on Raw! See, in this match, the ring is going to be surrounded by hand-picked superstars... 'cause this match is going to be a lumberjack match! And I've got a strange feeling that John Cena's going to be in no shape to defend his WWE Title by Summerslam. You wanna hear my prediction? My prediction is that you are going to see the beginning of the end of the championship reign of one John Cena."
PYRO! We are LIVE for Monday Night Raw with our hosts Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler & Jonathan Coachman from Philadelphia!
Promised for tonight:
- Diva search elimination and contest
- Kane vs Edge, steel cage match
Match #1: Carlito (c) vs Shelton Benjamin Intercontinental Championship; title changes hands on countout
Carlito attacks before the bell. Shelton bails into the corner, where Carlito stomps away and unloads the lefts. He gets a cross-corner whip, but charges into a hard clothesline and a bodyslam. Shelton lines up the Stinger splash and hits it at the 35-second mark, and Carlito bails. Referee Chad Patton starts the 10-count, so Shelton pops up to the top turnbuckle and hits a flying clothesline to Carlito on the outside. He puts Carlito in and stands on the apron. Carlito charges into a shoulder thrust and a springboard shoulderblock. He bails and gets his belt, and Patton starts the count again. He gets to seven before Carlito figures out what's going on and slides in... and then slides right back out. But Shelton slides to the apron and hits a diving clothesline, and then proceeds to put Carlito back in. He heads up with yet another clothesline for two. The ropes are way, way, WAY too loose: Shelton's almost slipped twice jumping off them. Shelton heads up for a moonsault or something, but Carlito crotches him up top and gets stuck in the Tree of Woe, with his head bouncing off the canvas. Ouch. Carlito stomps away and heads to a waistlock in which he grabs Shelton's right arm. Any of you technical experts know what that is, let me know. Shelton fights out of it and gets a right, and this leads to a slugfest. Which should never favor Carlito, because he's left-handed. And sure enough, Shelton reverses a whip and gets two clotheslines. Shelton gets a whip a slam for two. Shelton tries a monkey flip out of the corner, blocked, and Carlito covers with feet on the second rope... for two! Carlito gets a DDT out of nowhere... for two! Carlito gets a whip into the corner, and Carlito charges into an elbow. But Carlito ducks a clothesline and hits a sort of combination armbar takedown/Flatliner for two! Shelton gets an inside cradle... two! Carlito gets a schoolboy with the tights... two! Shelton tries a superkick, blocked... leg lariat! He tries Mister Exploder, blocked, and Carlito gets a vicious low blow in plain view of Patton. Brilliant! It draws the DQ.
Winner: Shelton Benjamin via disqualification (5:28)
Carlito retains. This was a fun match.
And we get a recap of HBK laying down the challenge to Hulk Hogan. Does Hulk accept? We'll find out tonight!
Kurt Angle and two security guards are here! "You suck!"
"Last week in the Kurt Angle Invitational, I had each and every one of you fooled. I made you people believe that some supposed hometown hero was gonna take my Olympic gold medal away from me. But in reality, I coulda ended that match just like that. Two minutes and fifty-nine seconds. Ones econd short of the three-minute period. I like drama. I like to mkae you people believe. See, taking the Olympic gold medal away from me is like the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl. Impossible!" [Hugh Douglas is in attendance and skeptical of this claim.] "Woo. Now since I'm in no mood to go three minutes, I'm gonna make this one short and sweet. Now bring out your hometown hero."
Shockingly, since we're in Philly, Matt Striker walks out for another shot at Angle.
He grabs Angle's mic. "What, Kurt? Not gonna ask me my name, and where I'm from? I'm Matt Martel, and I'm from Philadelphia. And I am the guy that took you to your limit last week. And I want another shot at your Olympic gold medal." Striker looks ready to attack, so Referee Jack Doan restrains him.
"First of all, don't ever take my microphone away from me. Ever. Second of all, you are the biggest liar I have ever met. You say your name's Matt Martel? It's Matt Striker! Last week you said you were from New York. This week you're from Philadelphia. You were a schoolteacher. Why'd you get fired? Because you lied! Man, you lie a lot. And there is no way that I'm giving a pathological liar a shot at my Olympic gold medal. I already beat you. Now get your ass outta here. Let's get him outta here."
But Angle attacks before the bell. "I changed my mind."
Match #2: Matt Striker vs Kurt Angle Kurt Angle Invitational
Angle gets a European uppercut and puts the straps up. He gets another European uppercut, picks Striker up again, and hits another one. But Striker goes directly to a rear naked choke, and Angle's in trouble! Angle's face starts to get bright red, and he's going unconscious. Angle fights up to his feet, but Striker gets a bodyscissors! We're at the 1:30 mark. He releases the bodyscissors. Angle takes a while to fight out... and at the two-minute mark, Angle runs up against the ropes to send Striker throat-first into them. Angle hits a running knee to the head. He tries to pick Striker up, but he's dead weight. Striker retreats to the ropes, but Angle pulls him back in. Olympic Slam! Ankle lock! Striker taps out.
Winner: Kurt Angle via submission (2:36)
Diva search segment... next.
Jonathan Coachman & Christy Hemme are in the ring for our diva segment! JR's disinterested comments make this segment for me every week. The prospective divas hit the ring.
Earlier today, the prospective divas taped 30-second speeches in which they outlined whom they'd eliminate and why. Taped, I presume, to avoid any lines including the phrase "cum-guzzling gutter slut."
- Ashley would vote off Cameron for lack of what it takes to be a diva
- Leyla would vote off Simona for lack of what it takes to be a diva
- Summer would vote off Simona because she can't see her as a wrestling character, more someone on the cover of Vogue
- Kristal would vote off Elisabeth because she's too talented as a dancer and an actress
- Elisabeth would vote off Kristal for lack of talent
- Simona would vote off Summer because she can't see her as a wrestling character, more a lingerie model
- Cameron would vote of Ashley because she's too spunky
Some interesting symmetry there. And then Coach announces that Simona gets the boot.
And throughout all of this, at least two VERY audible "Boring!" chants erupt in the smart Philadelphia crowd. Good for them. And this segment wasn't even close to being as eternal as the last two. I should start timing the diva search segments, come to think of it.
In the dark of the night, the Boogeyman waits patiently, waiting to prey on your darkest, deepest fears. "I'm the Boogeyman, and I'm coming to getcha!"
Backstage, Kerwin White works on his golf stroke. Eric Bischoff is interested in playing a round of golf with him. It doesn't matter what some people say -- golf is a sport. Kerwin thinks about joining a country club. Bischoff suggests playing at Scottsdale. Kerwin says it's a bit too close to the border for his liking. Chris Jericho walks in. Kerwin offers a high-five, accepted, and leaves. "Toodles!"
Chris commends Bischoff for making the lumberjack match. Bischoff reveals that it was Jericho's idea and defers the praise to him. Jericho picked all the lumberjacks to make him pay the price. Jericho has another idea about how to get Cena outside the ring: "Battle of the bands!" We're in Cleveland next week, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Fozzy will bring the house down because hip-hop concerts suck. They're going to blow Cena out of the water on live television. And Jericho notes that it'll only happen if Cena makes it out of the building tonight.
Todd Grisham wants Shawn Michaels' opinion on Hulk Hogan's emotional decision tonight. "Eee! He's here tonight?" He mocks Hogan taking two weeks to make a decision. The whole point was to give all the Hulkamaniacs what they wanted, one more match. Shawn thinks he gave Hulk ample motivation to give them just that, but we'll see whether Hulk steps up or lets his Hulkamaniacs down tonight.
Chris Masters is here! "It's been over three months now, and still, no one has broken my Masterlock submission. So I gotta ask, where's the guy who's gonna step up and actually break this thing? Who's it gonna be? Maybe, maybe, I'm just not offering enough money. Maybe that's it. Okay then. How about we up the ante to the Masterlock Challenge to 20 grand. $20,000! Who wants to try me? Who wants to step up to the Masterpiece's Masterlock Challenge tonight?"
Rosey is here. Masters: "Shit." Masters decides that he's okay with the big guy accepting the challenge and notes that he finally got some real competition. "Let's do this. Go ahead and have a seat."
Masters locks it in. "Vigilant" Mike Chioda -- first Masterlock challenge with no Jack Doan, I believe -- watches as Rosey passes out.
Winner: Chris Masters via submission (:25)
"If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. Nobody breaks my Masterlock. And look at that. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. And it doesn't matter how big you are --"
The Big Show is here! He saunters down to the ring, and Masters bails.
"Let me get this right. You say it doesn't matter how big they are. Well, Mr Masters, I'm as big as they come. And form where I'm sitting, the only thing big on you is your mouth. So why don't you come try to put that Masterlock on me?"
"Whoa. Big Show, you wanna come out here and be the first guy to actually break the Masterlock? You people wanna see it?" ["Yeah!"] "You people wanna see him break the Masterlock? You know, as much as I'd love to, how about... no."
Off he goes.
"You see, Chris Masters, you're just like a squirrel in the wintertime. You got no nuts." Crowd joins in with the horrible punch line. Big Show rules.
Masters is visibly offended, so play his music. Show makes the goozle pose in the ring as Masters heads backstage.
Backstage, Todd Grisham has Edge, with Lita. He wants his thoughts. "Hold on a second, Poindexter, you neglected to mention who I'm with." He introduces his woman, his girlfriend, the luscious Lita, and then mentions the steel cage. He likes it because it'll keep the psychotic losers who got fired because they couldn't separate their personal and professional lives from running in and ruining the match. Like the guy he's not supposed to talk about, the guy who called in on Byte This and made a total immature ass of himself. He thinks the whole situation he's stuck in with Lita and the unnamed guy, in which he throws out promos every week and his life is commented on by people who hide behind monitors and have never even had a relationship, is BULLSHIT.
We get a plug for "Hogan Knows Best."
And speak of the devil! It's Hulk Hogan!
["HOGAN!"] Hogan gets a lengthy standing ovation. He soaks it in and points to the crowd... and it just doesn't die down. ["HOGAN!"] Great crowd tonight. And it intensifies again as Hogan cups his ears out of nowhere.
"Well let me tell you Hulkamaniacs one thing, brothers. Hey, the first thing I'd like to di sthank each and every one ofy ou Hulkamaniacs out there for making my brand new show, Hogan Knows Best, the highest premiere ever, the highest-rated premiere ever, on VH1! That's unbelievable, maniacs. And I've been out onf the road travelling all around the country, but there's no way in hell I'd miss being right here tonight in Philly, brother."
["HOGAN!"] Hogan's son Nick is here.
"A couple weeks ago, the Heartbreak Kid said he superkicked Hulkamania just to get my attention. Well let me tell you something Shawn Michaels, you got my attention, brother." If Shawn wants to lay down the challenge, dude, he better get down in the ring, face to face with Hogan, and be a man about it, dude.
Shawn Michaels pops up right away. He starts to head up the ramp, then stays at the top of the stage and starts to ramble.
"Now you'll have to pardon me if I've come out here and stolen just a little bit of your thunder. But you better recognize, Hulk Hogan, that the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels is all about stealing the thunder. Now, I would come down into that ring" -- ["HOGAN!"] -- "I would come down into that ring and join ya, but I'm afraid if I did, we'd have to wait another two weeks to get your answer to my challenge. You see, the last time we were in the ring together, you were flat on your back looking at the lights courtesy of a little Sweet Chin Music. And I don't want any excuses. I don't want any press junket or Hogan Knows Best to get in the way of the answer that I'm looking for. Now, the thing is, Hulk Hogan, I've been thinking about it and I've thought to myself, for years and years and years, time after time after time, men have come out here and they have told you they were gonna be the ones to bring down the immortal Hulk Hogan. They were gonna be the ones to finally end Hulkamania, and -- come on, let's face, it's never happened. It's never happened! So the thing is, what makes me any different from all the rest? What am I, the Heartbreak Kid, gonna show you, the immortal Hulk Hogan, that you haven't already seen?
"And then it hit me. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. You have never, ever, in all of your career faced someone with the unbridled passion that is the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. You have never, ever, had somebody take you a level where you have never been. Everyone has fallen prey to Hulkamania. Everyone has fallen a victim to the aura and the myth that is Hulkamania once they get into that ring. But me? I don't see it. I wanna push you like you have never been pushed before. I wanna show you that you are the one that is gonna have to step up for the first time. You, if you accept my challenge for Summerslam, are gonna find out that your immortality has a price. The question is, do you have what it takes to pay that price? Not like the past. No no. Today. And forever. Should you accept my challenge, you're gonna go in there with the headliner, the showstopper, the main event, the icon, who is the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels."
"Good god, brother, you talk about paying the price, dude? I was paying the price in this business way before you ever had your first match, dude." While Shawn was graduating high school, Hogan was selling out the Philadelphia Spectrum, brother! He's not the first to blindside Hulkamania, dude, and he won't be the last, but if he superkicks Hogan again, dude, it'll be in the middle of the ring.
"So he all he wanted was one more match?" He points the mic to the crowd, dude. "One more match, Shawn Michaels, well, all you had to do was ask, brother, because your ass is on! At Summerslam, brother, it's gonna be the Heartbreak Kid, the showstopper, Shawn Michaels, against the immortal Hulk Hogan and all these Hulkamaniacs! And as you prepare, brother, as you get ready to climb into the ring with the immortal Hulkamaniacs, I just want you to ask yourself one question, Shawn Michaels. Whatchagonnado, brother? Whatchagonnado, whatchagonnado, brother, at Summerslam, when Hulkamania destroys you?"
Pop! Shawn mouths that it's the same old stuff. He heads backstage as Hogan poses in the ring, dude. This got the point across and kept the heat up.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff addresses our lumberjacks for the main event. Chris Jericho says there are three types of people: those who try, those who do their best, and those who do whatever it takes to get the job done. Jericho chose them because they're in column C, and he expects them to get their job done. If Cena (or Snitsky) falls outside the ring, it's their job to put him back in within ten seconds. You can do a lot in ten seconds. He tells them that he doesn't like any of them -- he talks about all of them behind their backs -- so they're in this to teach Cena a lesson! About RESPECT! YEAHHHHHH!H@!#%! Jericho has successfully fired them up.
Kane and Edge (with Lita) hit the ring for tonight's cage match.
Edge paces around the ring as Kane sizes him up from inside the cage. In this particular cage match, pinfall, submission and escape are ways to win... and Matt Hardy shows up to attack Edge from the crowd! He says something to the effect of "Damn you Johnny Ace! Kicking me out of the building, kicking me out of the building..." Edge: "Go back to the indies..." And then they bleep out the sound feed whenever either Edge or Matt says something. Brilliant touch. Matt runs off into the crowd.
I suppose the match will take place... next!
Match #3: Kane vs Edge (w/ Lita)
JIP. During the break, Edge has been deadset on escaping the cage. Edge gets a DDT for one. He starts slugging it out in the corner with Kane. Kane reverses a whip and hits a backdrop. Kane gets a clothesline, a whip and a sidewalk slam. Kane starts to head up, but Edge stops him on the ring apron and slugs it out. Kane wins to buy some time, but he doesn't get out of harm's way and Edge spears him into the cage. No head impact, though. Edge rams Kane's head into the cage, turns him around, and hits a cross body to drive Kane's head into the cage. Lita kisses Edge. Do I hear ["She's a crackwhore"]? Go Philly! Kane's been busted open in the forehead. "He has been lacerated!" Edge unloads the rights. He grinds Kane's head into the cage, then slams it into there a few times. Kane blocks the second attempt, though, so Edge tries a whip. That's reversed, and Kane tosses Edge into the cage. Clothesline! Clothesline! Kane gets a whip and a backdrop. Kane gets a whip and a clothesline in the corner. Edge stumbles out into the sidewalk slam. Kane stares into the crowd. Coach says "crimson mask" referring to the Big Red Machine. JR calls him quite the wordsmith. I don't see how you can contend that Coach hasn't livened up the announce team. Kane heads up top with the flying clothesline! Coach is sick of Kane's stupid smile. Kane gets a 10-punch combo in the corner, and then heads up to 28 by my unofficial count. Edge blocks it, so Kane floors him with a big right in the middle of the ring. Kane gets a whip into the corner but charges into a boot, and Edge heads up with a missile dropkick. It's double-KO time as Referee Chad Patton counts. Edge starts to climb out, and his feet are on the top rope... and Kane walks up and grabs one leg. Edge gets crotched! Kane makes the straddling painful, gets some punches, and hits a running boot to the head of Edge. But Kane walks into a low blow from Edge, and now Edge starts to climb the corner. But Kane catches him by the legs... POWERBOMB! A thunderous, backbreaking powerbomb! One... two... NO! JR says resiliency. Kane tries the Tombstone, but Edge sneaks out the back door... SPEAR! One.. two... NO! So Edge decides to try to escape instead. Kane grabs him by the leg on his way out... but Lita slips him the magic briefcase! Edge lines up the briefcase shot... but runs into the goozle! CHOKESLAM! But Kane's sort of out. Kane gets up and starts to climb before Edge can escape. So Edge hits him in the back with the briefcase! Twice! Kane falls down. Edge starts to escape... Kane sits up! Kane tries to grab Edge... another briefcase shot! And Edge escapes.
Winner: Edge via cage escape (9:50 shown)
Edge and Lita head up the ramp to celebrate.
Some members of the Philadelphia Phillies, including Kenny Lofton & Jason Michaels, are here.
Smackdown Rebound: Orlando Jordan challenges Batista and doesn't embarrass himself too badly. He gets a near fall off JBL-ference but falls victim to the DAVEBOMB. JBL clotheslines Batista after the match and poses with the belt.
Backstage, Maria welcomes John Cena! She asks him whether he's nervous, and says something about getting hit by falling trees that I didn't exactly pick up. "I'd answer that question with a question. When you go down south on Cena Safari, are you scared of the venom of the great white trouser snake?" Of course not! Tonight, Cena's ready for action. But he needs a flannel shirt for tonnight's lumberjack match. It'd be a travesty to do a lumberjack match without one. He asks Maria to get one for him. She'd love to.
Cena is baffled by her silliness. Hey! It was just a ruse to get rid of her!
"Last week, Eric Bischoff threatens me and gets the F-U. So now I'm in a lumberjack match as punishment, and I gotta swim with the sharks. I expected that. Why? Because Bischoff last week you were on your back helpless, I looked you dead in the eye and said 'Welcome to the new Raw.' I am not Y2Cheap Chris Jericho, and my head is not up yo' ass. You two wanna be lovers? Kiss and make up, have dinner and a movie, play with My Little Ponies, have a freakin' sleepover." Cena, on the contrary, is here to take names and kick ass. "Why? Because that IS Raw. The champ IS here."
The lumberjacks are here. Carlito, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, René Duprée, Kerwin White, Tyson Tomko, the Heartthrobs, Rob Conway, and maybe a couple others are here to inflict some damage.
Match #4: Gene Snitsky vs John Cena
Cena is sporting an Eagles jersey, not a flannel shirt. Snitsky attacks before the bell and dumps Cena. Rob Conway gets some shots at Cena and puts him back in. Cena dumps Snitsky, and the heels encourage him and put him back in. They line each other up again. Snitsky gets a headlock. He backs Cena into the corner. Cena fights back with rights, but Snitsky kicks him. He whips him, but Cena ducks a clothesline and hits a shoulderblock and a backdrop. Cena charges, but Snitsky dumps him, and Kerwin White and René Duprée get their shots in. Can Cena possibly survive? We'll find out after our final Ad Break! (2:11)
Ad Break ends (5:20)
During the break, Cena was battered on the outside. Cena fights out of a chinlock but runs the ropes directly into a spinebuster. Snitsky covers for two from "Vigilant" Mike Chioda. He argues with him, allowing Duprée and White to get some cheap shots in. Snitsky gets a neckbreaker for two. Snitsky thinks suplex. He stalls in the front faelock and points to Jericho, allowing Cena to block it and hit a snap suplex of his own. Jericho screams at Snitsky for being so stupid. Cena fights back with a series of rights. Cena rnus the ropes... right into a trip from Jericho, who pulls him outside and whips him into the steel ringsteps. Jericho gets some stomps and cheap shots on the outside, then puts him back in before the 10-count. Angle gives Snitsky some pointers during all of this. Jericho calls Cena a son of a bitch. Snitsky goes to a blatant choke, breaks at four, and goes back to it. Snitsky covers for two. He goes to the cobra clutch. Snitsky fights out of it to get to his feet, and hits a headbutt. Cena slugs Snitsky a few times and boots Jericho off the apron, but he walks right into a clothesline from Snitsky for two. Jericho is pissed. Why?! He tears off the top of the security wall and throws it. You moron. The match is prolonged when he kicks out, which is exactly what you want. Cena tries to fight to his feet and gets a kick, but Snitsky rakes him in the eye, whips him into the corner and gets a clothesline. But Snitsky tries that combinatino again and charges the corner. Jericho distracts Chioda as Cena tries the FU, but Angle sneaks in with a chop block and Cena is down! One... two... NO! Jericho is majorly pissed. Snitsky rolls Cena to the outside, and all the heels beat on Cena. They set him up fro Jericho to trashtalk him and get a series of rights, a kick and a running forearm. The lumberjacks put Cena back in. Cena gets up. Snitsky gets a running boot! One... two... NO! Snitsky goes for the Coat Hanger Meltdown... but Cena sneaks out the back door! DDT! And here comes the cavalry! Big Show, Shelton Benjamin, Rosey, Val Venis, Tajiri, Hurricane, Viscera and maybe a couple others I missed even out the odds as it's still a double-KO. Eric Bischoff shows up here. Jericho hides out beside Lilian Garcia. He gets a chair and heads into the ring as Cena starts to get up... but he walks into a kick from Cena! Series of rights, and they slug it out. Cena dumps Jericho as Snitsky lines up the chair shot... ducked! FU! One... two... THREE!
Winner: John Cena via pinfall (15:42)
Post-match, Jericho batters the ringpost with his steel chair. Bischoff is perplexed. Cena celebrates on the ramp. And we're out!