Monday Night Raw – August 29, 2005: Believe It Or Not

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 29, 2005
Location: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 8,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman

This is another request and I’m assuming it’s due to a certain grudge match. We’re eight days removed from Summerslam 2005, which means we’re dealing with WWE Champion John Cena (shocking I know) vs. evil boss Eric Bischoff. Cena is on a hot streak though, having vanquished Chris Jericho last week, sending Jericho off to fired land. Let’s get to it.

We recap Jericho’s loss last week, which is one thing WWE is great about: they get you up to date on the top story so no one comes in confused or lost. Anyway, after getting rid of Jericho, Bischoff brought out the fired up Kurt Angle as the next boss battle.

Opening sequence.

We’ll open up with Carlito’s (Intercontinental Champion) Cabana, which will be replacing the Highlight Reel. Carlito gets right to the point and brings out his guest Shawn Michaels, who is in a suit for some reason. We hear about how much Carlito respects Shawn, who isn’t sure if there’s that much to admire about him. Carlito looked up to Shawn and now Shawn can look up to him. Shawn: “EASY THERE!”

After everything he’s been through in the last month (dealing with Hulk Hogan), he can’t deal with any more ego. A HOGAN chant starts up but Shawn says “until he needs another payoff, he ain’t coming back.” I know he lost the match but score one for Shawn. As for Carlito, the reason people are still talking about Shawn’s matches is because Carlito hasn’t had any great ones. The man makes the title so when is the last time Carlito even defended the belt?

Carlito doesn’t want to hear it and talks about a pecking order around here with him way at the top and Shawn all the way at the bottom. Shawn gives a funny reaction as Carlito loads up the apple. Actually never mind as Carlito brings out Chris Masters for the Master Lock Challenge. Cue Masters as Shawn says he should know better than to get himself into these messes after twenty four years. Carlito grabs a DDT but here’s Ric Flair for the save.

Post break Bischoff postpones the Master Lock Challenge until next week and replaces it with a tag match.

Big Show vs. Buck Quartermain/Steve Madison

Show tosses them around, does the chops in the corner, throws them into the air a bit, suplexes both guys at once and finishes with a double chokeslam. This was what it was.

Post match Snitsky comes in and lays Show out with the bell.

Here are Torrie Wilson and Candace Michelle as full on eye candy. Last week they initiated Ashley Massaro so tonight they want to apologize to her. Cue Ashley, who is labeled a tomboy for some reason, and gets to hear Michelle’s amazing acting abilities. Ashley, the rookie and therefore stupid, accepts the apologies and gets a match as a reward.

Victoria vs. Ashley Massaro

Widow’s Peak, thirty seconds.

Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch are coming. They were the best team in another horrible stretch for the tag division. If nothing else, I miss these vignettes. They’re in a bar and Murdoch is angry, which Cade says is him having a good day. This took less than a minute and told you quite a bit about the characters: Cade is a smooth talker with Texas charm and Murdoch is a bar fighting redneck. You immediately know what you’re getting and have a bit of a connection to the guys when they debut instead of learning about them on the fly. Why can’t we get more of these, which have no budget and are really effective?

Edge is listening to Alter Bridge (sitting around him) when Todd Grisham interrupts. When asked about Lita’s whereabouts, Edge says she’s running an errand. Edge is ready to finish Matt Hardy in a street fight.

Matt is getting ready when Lita comes up and hits on him. She’s spent a long time warming Edge up and unzips the jacket to reveal basically a scarf covering her chest. Lita asks Matt how it feels to know he’ll never experience this again. Matt really doesn’t seem to care and promises to destroy Edge tonight. If that means he goes down too, so be it. Matt looked REALLY intense here and this worked.

Someone has attacked Flair (he’s COVERED in blood for a great visual) and he’s likely out of tonight’s main event. Shawn thinks it was Masters and Carlito and, believe it or not, this DIDN’T lead to Flair turning heel, but rather him beating Carlito for the Intercontinental Title.

Edge vs. Matt Hardy

Street fight as they continue the VERY hot feud based on Lita leaving Matt for Edge in real life, which set up one heck of a story when Matt returned to go after him. Edge is in jeans and Lita is in….well not much actually. They lock up to start and thankfully that’s the end of the wrestling as they fight out to the floor and into the crowd. Matt blasts him in the head with a trashcan lid as Lawler suggests that Lita is called the previously enjoyed companion.

Back from a break with Matt unloading with right hands and blocking a spear with a trashcan lid. The big legdrop (minus the required yodeling) off the ladder gets two but Edge is up (way too fast) with a kendo stick to the ribs and a flapjack into a ladder. Now it’s Edge’s turn to hammer away until Matt grabs a DDT onto the steps.

Lita finally offers a distraction so Edge can jump him from the back, only to have Hardy win another slugout. The moonsault hits ladder though and Edge hits him in the head over and over. They fight up the ramp with Matt taking over but not being able to powerbomb Lita off the stage. Instead it’s a Side Effect to Edge into the electrical equipment, meaning the big sparks display gives us a no contest.

Rating: B. It was a physical brawl but the ending hurts it a bit as we’re stuck waiting on the other big match between these two. The hard hitting helped a lot it’s pretty clear that Matt isn’t on Edge’s level for the long term and he needs to get in what he can while this lasts. It’s an entertaining fight but the ending really didn’t do either of them any favors. Instead of this really meaning anything, it’s just something they did for about twenty minutes before they have their next match. If you have this kind of a brawl, it should probably advance the story a bit instead of feeling like a pit stop.

And now we get all serious with Lawler and Coach going up to help on them as the medical stuff goes through a break. JR doing his Owen Hart voice doesn’t help either. We hit a bunch of recaps while Edge looks terrified about how injured he might be.

After another break, here’s Cena for a chat. Everything’s been going crazy with 50 Cent swearing at the VMA’s and then last week he got attacked by a red white and blue Tasmanian devil. That’s the bad news. The good news though is he just saved a bunch of money on his car insurance. Even Lawler admits that was a funny joke.

All that matters now though is that THE CHAMP IS HERE. Angle might be the #1 contender but Cena has never backed down from a fight in his life. This brings out Angle to say Cena doesn’t want any of him. We see a clip of last week’s attack but Angle says he’s not risking his title shot. Angle lists off his amateur credentials and says he wants the title more than anything else. He doesn’t care about anyone and tells Cena to shut up.

Cena starts to think he’s in over his head because Angle might be the baddest man alive. Eh screw it though because he’s still calling Angle out. Kurt won’t go so Cena brings up Angle attacking from behind. Therefore, Cena is willing to turn his back on Angle to get his hands on him and the fight is on. A quick ankle lock is broken up and Angle bails from a VERY fired up Cena.

Tyson Tomko vs. Rosey

Tomko’s big boot has been destroying jobbers on Heat. Rosey is one half of the Tag Team Champions….and gets knocked out by the big boot in less than a minute.

Hurricane is knocked out as well because WWE is really stupid about their champions. And no, Tomko wasn’t part of the team that took the belts from them.

We look back at Carlito’s Cabana and Flair being assaulted.

Shawn Michaels vs. Carlito/Chris Masters

Officially a handicap match. Carlito gets things going and the threat of a drive into the corner sends Shawn running. Shawn doesn’t seem to mind fighting them both as he chops away and punches Carlito out to the floor. Back in and Carlito gets in some left hands to the jaw as they’re still firmly in first gear.

The double teaming takes over on Shawn, who makes things even worse by missing a charge into the post. A swinging neckbreaker puts Carlito down for a bit and Masters is backdropped to the floor as we take a break. Back with Shawn hitting the flying forearm (flying burrito according to JR) on Carlito and nipping up as only he can.

Masters breaks up the superkick though and the heels take over again. This is certainly getting some time, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. Carlito whips him into the corner for two (A cover off an Irish whip? Really?) and it’s off to Masters for a long form backbreaker.

Shawn’s arm actually falls twice with his back bent over Masters’ knee until he punches his way out. The Masterlock doesn’t work as Shawn grabs a DDT to put both guys down. Cue a bloody Flair to take the tag (because this is a tag match again) and house is cleaned until Carlito hits Ric low. The Masterlock finishes the bloody Flair.

Rating: C+. Not terrible actually but Ross treating this like some major, game changing win for Masters and Carlito doesn’t quite fit. It’s a big win but this isn’t going to turn them into the best heels in the world or anything. Is there a reason they’re not the Tag Team Champions? They’re beating Flair and Shawn while the champs are getting squashed by Tomko. That should be a layup idea but for some reason WWE doesn’t get it.

Overall Rating: D+. There were five matches on this show and three of them were too short to rate. The stories are starting to have some potential and I’d be curious to see what they have for Unforgiven but this was only a short step on the way there. Edge vs. Hardy is more flashy than good and while Lita is always a blast at this point, it’s still not enough to make this a great show.

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