We're also going into full-blown NFL Preview mode. Yayo had an introduction to football for the uncivilized and/or uninitiated. JT had the AFC North and NFC North. The Browns are going to make him eat some words. Ryan had the AFC East and NFC East, and I have the AFC West... and there's still more to come.
And get into the Raw thread already to talk about the happenings as they happen.
And now, for the last time ever... let's do this.
411's WWE RAW REPORT 08.29.05
We start with a little video recap of John Cena beating Chris Jericho in a "You're Fired Match," and Eric Bischoff promptly firing Jericho and introducing Kurt Angle as Cena's next challenger.
PYRO! We are LIVE in Tampa, Florida, at the St. Pete Times Forum, with our hosts, Jim Ross, Jerry "The King" Lawler & Jonathan Coachman.
Carlito is here, and it's Cabana time! "Now that Carlito's good friend Chris Jericho has been fired, there's no more Highlight Reel. And that -- that's cool! But you know what's even cooler than that? It's my guest tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only, HBK -- Shawn Michaels!"
And, as promised, Shawn Michaels comes out in a suit.
["HBK!"] "Wow. This is truly an honor. Last week, Carlito had the 16-time world champion Ric Flair" -- ["WOO!"] -- "OK, Woo, whatever, but tonight, Carlito has the icon, the showstopper, H - B - K. You know, Shawn, Carlito has to admit, I admire you."
"Well, I, I'd like to think there's a lot to admire about the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. But I'm just kidding. Not sure. There is a lot to admire --"
"OK! OK! Alright. But seriously. Things you've done have paved the way for guys like Carlito. You see, the things you've accomplished have allowed Carlito to accomplish everything he has ac - accomplished in such a little time. But now, isn't it ironic that you're a guest on my Cabana? Here you are, the great HBK, standing in awe of Carlito, because I'm the Intercontinental Champion. You see, I looked up to you, and now, you look up to Carlito."
"Easy! Easy, egomaniac. Look. I'm begging you and everybody else to be a little sympathetic of what I've been throuhg in the last month. I could not handle any more ego in my career, if you know what I mean. I simply came out here to congratulate you on being the Intercontinental Champion."
"And I just have a couple questions for you. I mean, how long ago did you win that championship?"
"Until he needs another payoff, he ain't coming back. So anyway, what I'm saying is, I wanted to ask you -- are people, since you won that, are people talking about your matches? And the answer is no, and not just because they're too busy talking about my matches, because they're still talking about matches I had ten years ago. The reason they're not talking about your matches is because you haven't had any to speak of! You see, son, what you need to understand is it isn't the title that makes the man, it's the man that makes the title. So I just wanna know, when is the last time you even defended the Intercontinental Championship?"
"I - I - what's the next day? No. Nononono. It doesn't matter when Carlito defended his title. The problem is nobody has the cojones to face Carlito. I mean, even the 16-time World Champion, Ric Flair, backed down to Carlito. You see, Shawn, guys like you need to learn there's a pecking order around here. A ladder, so to speak. And Carlito's... up here. You, Shawn, you're... down... here." He rubs the floor to make the point. "But you see, Shawn, you coming onto my show, Carlito's Cabana, and insulting the Intercontinental Champion?" He grabs an apple and tosses it a few times. "That's not cool."
"You even think of taking a bite out of that apple, and I'm gonna kick it down your throat."
"Whoa. Whoa. Easy. Easy. Whoa. Easy. Easy there, tough guy. You should save all that aggression. You see, you're not the only guest on the Cabana tonight. My next guest is the man you're gonna be facing in the Masterlock Challenge. Ladies and gentlemen, the Masterpiece... Chris Masters."
Chris Masters is here, and he gets an abbreviated, pyro-free, posing-free version of his entrance.
"Y'know, Carlito, Shawn Michaels talks real tough. Let's see how tough you talk tonight after you pass out to the Masterlock."
"Y'know, after 21 years of doing this, you'd think I'd be smart enough not to get myself in these situations."
Shawn attacks Masters, slugs Carlito, and beats on Masters in the corner. Carlito comes from behind with a shot, and when Shawn turns, Masters slugs him. Carlito comes with a kick and a DDT, and Masters kicks over a stool to clear some space. "Masterlock time!" Carlito doesn't mind.
But Ric Flair is here! He runs in and intercepts Masters. He slugs it out with Carlito. Shawn gets up to dump Masters, and Flair and Michaels dump Carlito! Shawn and Flair hug in the ring.
Strong segment there to further both feuds, set up the Masterlock challenge nicely and keep the Carlito push going. Maybe we'll get Carlito-Shawn not too long. I approve.
Promised for tonight:
- Shawn Michaels vs Chris Masters (Masterlock Challenge)
- Edge vs Matt Hardy (Street Fight)
Backstage, Chris Masters & Carlito complain to Eric Bischoff, and he has a solution. He's going to postpone the Masterlock challenge to next week. Instead, he's putting Michaels and Flair in a tag match against Chris Masters (Carlito: "Yes! He's a big guy...") and Carlito (silence - heh), tonight, live on Raw!
Match #1: The Big Show vs Steve Madison & Buck Quartermain (no entrance)
Show lumbers into the ring. Quartermain goes up and tries a cross body, no sale. Big Show gets down to business, avalanching both jobbers and slapping them in the chest. He uses the massive hiptoss on both of them. Show uses a double headbutt, and both heels fall out of the ring. Show pulls them both up to the apron with one hand on each head, but Madison & Quartermain use a double stungun. But in the ring, their running attacks do nothing. Madison gets a kick to set up a double suplex attempt, but that's a bit optimistic. Show hits the double suplex instead, and down comes the strap. Backdrops for everyone! aaaaAAAUUUGHHHHHHHHHH! Double chokeslam. It finishes.
Winner: The Big Show via pinfall (2:47)
Gene Snitsky is here. He gets some shots in the ring to avenge being called a toe-sucking pervert. Then he gets the ring bell and slams Show with hit. He thumps his chest in the ring to celebrate his big conquest.
Torrie & Candice are here to pace the crowd. Torrie brags about having shocked the world with their debut last week, and shocking the person they initiated in particular: diva search winner Ashley. They annoucne their intentions to apologize publicly to Ashley. They feel bad about how they came across, and they want to really prove how sorry they are.
Ashley is here to hear the apologies. They seem insincere, so Ashley is skeptical. But Torrie and Candice reveal that they've found a way to make it up to her. She's always wanted to be a wrestler, so they got her a match. She asks which one of them it's against. "Silly rabbit!" She gets Victoria instead.
Match #2: Ashley vs Victoria
Ashley punks out Candice and Torrie and attacks Victoria, but all that gets her is a shoulder thrust into the apron. In the ring, the Widow's Peak finishes.
Winner: Victoria via pinfall (0:42)
The three heels celebrate in the ring.
Can you feel it? Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch are on their way to WWE. "If you can't feel it now, I promise, you're gonna feel it real soon." "Can't feel it? Can't feel it? I got a size 12 I'm gonna shove up some big, bad..." "Whoa! Whoa! Folks, he's having a good day. See ya soon, boys! Know what I mean?" Cade-Murdoch! Coming soon. Lance is the well-spoken one. Trevor is the crazy drunken redneck.
Backstage, Edge listens to Alter Bridge play a song backstage, but gets interrupted by Todd Grisham. "Dumbass!" Edge plugs the band that does his theme music. Todd says he wanted the interview because Lita's nowhere to be found.
"Wanna know where Lita is? She's -- doing a little errand for me." About the match? "I feel great. I feel fantastic. See, tonight, I finish what I started at Summerslam. You know, Matt Hardy goes on, 'I will not die!' That's only beacuse I left one breath in his body. Tonight, I take it away." After this, Matt can go back to his website and his independent shows nobody's ever heard of. "Tonight, in Tampa, it'll be the burial site of Matt Hardy's wrestling career."
Elsewhere, Matt Hardy fires himself up. Lita confronts him. "Hey. Look, I just thought I should warn you before your match, because I spent a really long time warming Edge up. I just thought you should know.
"Alright. Let me ask a question. How does it feel to know that you will never, ever, experience -- this -- again?" She removes a layer of clothing. "It probably feels pretty pathetic. Y'know, Matt, you are pathetic. And as far as I'm concerned, you can go to hell." Matt looks down. He smiles at her.
"Go to hell? Oh, I'm going to hell, but I'm not going alone. I'm taking Edge with me." And off he goes. Edge! Matt! Street fight! Slobberknocker, live! And it's next...
Michael Pittman, Derrick Brooks and other Tampa Bay Buccaneers are here!
Backstage, Shawn Michaels is informed by a stagehand that Ric Flair's down. And, lo and behold, he's covered in blood and appears to have passed out in a corner after a brutal beating. Shawn: "COME ON!" He's not moving.
Match #3: Edge (w/ Lita) vs Matt Hardy
They slug it out early. Edge is in jeans to reinforce the streetfight nature of the bout. Matt wins the slugfest, whales away in the corner, and pitches Edge over the security wall into the crowd, where they continue to slug it out as Referee Jack Doan just gives up on trying to maintain order. There's a "Sportscenter is Next" sign in Tampa! That's even cooler than having one in Canada where it actually is next. Matt gets a double axe from the security wall to the floor. Matt puts Edge back in and gets a garbage can lid. Edge walks into a lid shot, so Matt heads back out to get a ladder! Oh no. Edge sees what's going on and alertly baseball slides the ladder into Matt. So let's go to an Ad Break! (1:58)
Ad Break ends (5:01)
During the break, Edge tried to slam the ladder into Matt's head and drive it into the ringpost, but Matt ducked, and Edge just hit the ringpost instead. Then, Matt managed to get a superplex. Matt gets a series of punches, and a low blow, to maintain his momentum. He drives Edge into the Unforgiving Steel Lader, which has been set up in the corner. Matt climbs the ladder and goes up top. JR references TLC. Edge quickly gets on the ladder, too, and they slug it out. But Matt's got the high ground, and he drives Edge's head into one of the steps. Edge falls off. Matt climbs to the top -- YODELLING LEGDROP OFF THE LADDER! One... two... NO! Matt goes out to grab a chair, but Edge grabs a Singapore cane that's already in the ring and hits Matt just in time. Then Edge blasts Matt's head with the cane yet again. ["Hardy!"] Edge sets up Matt's head on top of the chair, then goes out and grabs yet another chair. He asks Lita for permission and goes back into the ring. Edge lines up the one-man Conchairto... but Matt manages to sweep Edge's leg and bail back to the corner. ["Hardy!"] Matt walks into a flapjack into the ladder. The ladder is still intact; JR praises the Home Depot. Edge goes back out to grab the can lid that Matt had used a little earlier. Edge gets four rapid-fire lid shots, and Jack Doan considers stopping the match. Matt starts to get up, so Edge hits him again. Edge restarts the slutfest, and Matt can't defend himself, so Doan continues to check on Matt. Edge gets a running boot to the head. He stares into the crowd. Matt begs the referee not to stop the match. ["Let's go Hardy!"] Edge takes Matt out and sticks his head between the steps and the ringpost, but Matt just gets his head out in time before impact. Matt blocks an Edgecution onto the exposed ring steps. He gets a right, drawing a big pop -- DDT ONTO THE STEPS! It's double-KO time, and now Matt starts to slam Edge's head into the steps. Doan checks on Edge, too. Matt lines up a chair shot on Edge. Lita comes from behind with a little love top with the briefcase to Matt's back. Matt chases Lita around, like a dumbass, allowing Edge to come from behind with a running flying forearm. And now they continue to slug it out on the outside. ["Let's go Hardy!"] Matt grabs the ladder and starts to think about strategy. He hits Edge with a running ladder shot and sets him up on the ladder. Up he goes -- moonsault attempt... Edge gets out of the way! Double-KO once more. They head back out, and Edge gets the trash can itself. Edge hits Matt hard in the back. And then the head. Matt punches air, and he looks lost. Edge gets a hard right. Coach smartly points out that Edge is going after the head, and only the head. First time I think that's been mentioned all match. Edge leads Matt up the ramp as Lita watches, but Matt desperately slams Edge's head into the stage setup. Lita stares at Matt, who starts to powerbomb her off the stage -- and TSN shows it! -- but Edge makes the save. He tries a bodyslam off the stage, reversed -- Twist of Fate attempt -- NO! Matt's teetering -- Spear attempt -- NO! They slug it out close to the edge of the stage. Matt ducks a big right hand -- SIDE EFFECT OFF THE STAGE THROUGH A TABLE! Near the electrical equipment, which gets some little pyros for effect! Both men are dead. Our hosts say "electrocution." I sure hope neither man gets a Tourette's gimmick out of this. Jack Doan calls for the power in the area to be shut off, and EMTs follow to give both men the stretcher job. Call it...
No Contest (19:00)
We're back, and Edge is being rolled away to an ambulance. During the break, he complained about his neck. I wonder if that'll prove to be a shoot, just like everything else in this angle so far.
We get a bunch of replays, too. Our hosts are using those voices.
Another Ad Break.
John Cena is here! "I'm fired up tonight!" Pop? "I mean, hell, my damn haircut's too cheap, the gas is way too expensive, 50 Cent's cursin' like a sailor over at the VMAs, and last week, I get attacked by a red, white and blue Tasmanian devil. Frothin' at the mouth, hell, I saw nothing but arms and teeth. And that's the bad news.
"The good news -- I jut saved a bunch of money on my car insurance." Heh. "And the great news? After last week, the champ is still here! But the plot thickens. Kurt Angle is now the #1 contender for this WWE Championship. Kurt, I've never backed down from a fight in my life, and I'll be damned if I start tonight. You want some? Come get some."
After a dramatic pause, Kurt Angle is here! Crowd tells him he's not very good. "Cena, I must have damaged your brain more than I thought I did last week. You're calling me out? Ha ha ha ha. You don't want none of this. Let me refresh your memory of the last time you and I were in the ring together. Show the footage."
And, indeed, Angle beats down Cena after his match last week with the Angle Slam and poses with the belt.
"Now, if you think I'm just gonna walk down this aisle and get in that ring with you now, you're dumber than you look, because there's now ay in hell that I'm going to jeopardize my chance at winning the WWE Championship at Unforgiven. I got news for you, Cena. With all due respect, I'm not Chris Jericho. You're looking at a man that was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. You're looking at a man who won an Olympic gold medal wit a broken neck in freestyle wrestling. I got more wrestling ability in my pinky finger than you have in your whole entire damn body! I mean, come on, Cena, how long you been wrestling, what, 5, 6 years tops? I've been wrestling my whole entire damn life. And in case you haven't noticed, I'm at the top of my game. I made Shawn Michaels tap out at Wrsetelmania 21, I made Eugene tap out just like that at Summerslam, and I took a very highly regarded wrestler named Shelton Benjamin and I made his ass tap out just like that last week on Raw!" ["Asshole!"] "Let me tell you, Cena, the reason I'm on a roll is because I'm more relentless, I'm more vicious than I've ever been in my life, and I want that WWET more than I've ever wanted it in my whole entire career. And most of all, I just don't give a damn about anybody or anything or anything that gets in the way of me!"
"Shut your mouth! At Unforgiven, I'm gonna end your little charade of you running around with the WWE Championship when I make your ass tap out as well. You moron street thug punk!"
"Why the hostility, Kurt? Why you drinkin' all the haterade -- whoa, whoa, wait. Did you -- did you say you won a gold medal? Man, I didn't, I didn't know that. I guess, gold medal, wrestling, hall of fame, I don't think I got much of a chance in this one, man. No, I'm seriouis, I'm starting to think I'm a little over my head." Cena runs down Angle's accomplishments again. "But I'm still calling your ass out!"
"You want a piece of me? You want a piece of me, Cena?" Angle drops the mic. King says Cena shouldn't jeopardize his career like this, and he references Suge Knight!!! But Angle walks back up the ramp. He passes the microphone. ["You suck!"]
Angle: "You don't think I can go down there and kick his ass? Are you kidding me?" Angle heads back to the apron as Cena waits. Angle backs down again. "I'm sorry, I forgot, last week I totally forgot, man, stop, stop, I know that you like to hit guys from behind. Heyo. Hey, shame on you, shame, shame, nobody's judging you, Kurt, but I'll tell you what -- I'm just gonna do this..." He turns around and bends over. "Y'know, put the vibe out there, you can do whatever you want, you know. Nobody's watching us. What do you think?"
And Angle attacks and gets a double-leg takedown. Angle goes for the ankle lock... Cena fights it... and kicks Angle off. Cena wants some more. Angle gets on the apron, but "Vigilant" Mike Chioda & Chad Patton restrain him, and that's all for this little confrontation. Cena poses with the belt.
JR announces that Ric Flair has been hospitalized, and so are Matt Hardy and Edge. He suspects Carlito or Masters attacked Flair. Heh.
Winky Wright is here!
Match #4: Tyson Tomko vs Rosey (w/ The Hurricane)
Apparently, Tyson is on a roll on Sunday Night Heat. He's from Jacksonville. Coach mentions that René Duprée has been looking for a tag partner. They lock up and slug it out. Tomko gets a clothesline and unloads knees to the back. Rosey gets a kneelift and heads up with the Flying Nothing, which is met with a hard kick to the gut. Rosey's out.
Winner: Tyson Tomko via knockout (1:00)
Post-match, Tomko boots Hurricane, and does a great over-the-top celebration in which he jumps around and grunts really loudly.
Our hosts announce that Carlito and Chris Masters will face Shawn Michaels in a handicap match... up next!
Match #5: Shawn Michaels vs Chris Masters and Carlito
Shawn Michaels has a laugh with a guy in the front row wearing a Hulkamania T-shirt on his way to the ring. The Masterlock challenge goes next week. When was the last time the two bad guys won a handicap match, anyway? They lock up. Michaels escapes a lockup that would have sent him into the heel corner. "Vigilant" Mike Chioda makes sure the heels know not to do anything overly dirty. Michaels grabs a wristlock on Carlito, but Carlito punches him. Michaels bails to his corner. Michaels gets a hammerlock. Carlito reverses. Shawn reverses and gets a headlock. Carlito sends Shawn into the ropes. Carlito ducks, Masters trips Shawn, but Shawn kicks Masters off and unloads a series of punches. Masters asks to be tagged in, and Carlito complies. They lock up, and Masters throws Shawn into the corner. But Shawn reverses and unloads a series of punches. He bails away. Masters is frustrated. Carlito is on the outside. They lock up. Masters throws Shawn into the heel corner again, and now they get the edge. The double-teaming begins. Tag Carlito, and he unloads a series of lefts in a neutral corner. Shawn fires back, but Carlito gets a kneelift and a hard chop. Carlito unloads the kicks. He gets a whip and a back elbow. Carlito covers for two. Masters puts his foot on the top turnbuckle, and Shawn's head gets thrown into it. Masters tags in and gets a blatant choke. Masters distracts Chioda, and Carlito gets a blatant choke to Shawn. When Carlito lets go, Masters covers for two. Carlito tags in. Carlito gets Michaels in a neutral corner, but he walks into a kick, and Shawn gets a chop. Shawn uses a cross-corner whip, but Carlito dodges a blind charge, and Shawn runs into the ringpost. Carlito covers for two. Carlito gets a series of punches. Carlito gets a whip and a sleeper. Shawn fights it and turns it into a back suplex. Shawn gets a chop. Carlito reverses a whip, but Shawn gets a swinging neckbreaker. He gets a cross-corner whip, a Manhattan drop and a clothesline. Shawn hits Masters with a right and clotheslines Carlito. He almost falls out too, but he skins the cat. Masters tries to capitalize on this stupid move, but Shawn catches him just in time and backdrops him out too. And you know what that means. (7:25)
Ad Break ends (10:29)
The heels double-team Shawn in the ring, but Shawn manages to fight off Masters and dump him. Carlito reverses a whip, but Shawn gets the forearm. Chioda starts the 10-count. Shawn kips up at 5. Shawn bodyslams Carlito. Up he goes -- flying elbow! Shawn jumps around the ring. He stupidly tunes up the band, but Masters pulls him out of the ring and kills him with a clothesline. Chioda starts up the 10-count. Carlito heads out and stomps away. Carlito heads back in to distract Chioda, and Masters puts Shawn back into the ring. Carlito covers and hooks both legs. He gets two. Carlito floors Shawn with a hard chop. He uses a blatant choke on the top rope, then distracts Chioda so Masters can get a cheap shot in. Carlito gets a hard whip into Shawn's corner. Shawn falls down hard, and Carlito uses a cradle for two. Carlito is frustrated. He unloads a series of fistdrops and tags in Masters. Here comes the intensity. Masters gets a whip into Shawn's corner, and Shawn falls down again. Masters unloads two big elbowdrops to the back for two. Masters uses a series of kneedrops to the back, followed by a backbreaker. And Masters follows that up with two more backbreakers, never letting go of Shawn. Then Masters uses a hand on the chin and a hand on the leg to stretch Shawn's back over the knee. Ouch. It's sort of like a modified bow-and-arrow. Arm goes down once, twice, but not thrice. Shawn fights back with a series of rights to break the hold. Masters reverses a whip into the corner, and Shawn rebounds into a press slam. And now, Masters is thinking it's time. Masters comes up from behind.. he grabs him, but Shawn fights back with a right and a series of chops. Masters reverses a whip, but Shawn reverses a spinebuster to a DDT!
Ric Flair is here! His head is bandaged... and Shawn tags him! Flair's in a shirt and his pants, still stained. Two chops to Masters! Chop to Carlito! Carlito bails. Whip to Masters, and Flair chops him. He struts... chop block! Flair unloads the punches and a chop. WOO, yeah! Figure-four attempt, but Carlito sneaks in with a low blow. Shawn dumps Carlito and flies out of the ring with a cross body. Masters comes up on Flair.. MASTERLOCK! Flair fights it for a while, but he doesn't actually get anywhere. Flair gives up.
Winners: Chris Masters & Carlito via submission (20:17)
Not too bad, but the crowd was pretty cold until Flair ran in. Shawn looks over Flair as the heels celebrate. And that's all.
I wonder if it's sort of fitting that Ric Flair submitted to Chris Masters in my last Raw report.
We still haven't decided on who's going to be in this space next week, but you can be sure they'll be good.
Thanks for reading, everyone. It's been an absolute honor to be able to write for you. Also, thanks for all your feedback (it's the closest thing we get to pay here at 411). I'll stick around in sports, and maybe even contribute to wrestling here or there if I feel the need to.