Monday Night Raw – August 30, 2004: Total Divas Wish They Were Like This

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 30, 2004
Location: Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This was a request from a long time ago and I have no idea why anyone wanted to see it. We’re just past Summerslam 2004, meaning Orton is the world champion, having beaten Benoit at Summerslam, only to be thrown out of Evolution the next night. We’re coming up on Unforgiven where HHH would make it VERY clear who ruled Raw and Heaven help anyone that thought otherwise. Let’s get to it.

We open with an In Memory Of graphic for Marcin Makulski, a graphics designer for WWE who died either that day or over the weekend.

The opening video shows HHH throwing Orton out of Evolution and Orton spitting in his face.

Here’s Evolution for their weekly ten minute chat. HHH says this unit exists because he invented it. It’s his blood, sweat and heart that makes the team what it is today. Just ask Ric Flair, who was down in the dumps before HHH saved him. Batista had no direction or guidance until HHH showed him the way. Dude just say you think you’re Jesus already. That brings HHH to Orton who was supposed to be the pet project. No one cared if Orton lived or died until HHH got hold of him. HHH wasn’t done with him yet, but Orton spat in his face. That’s how he repays HHH?

This brings out Orton who stands next to what appear to be three covered up pictures. Orton tells HHH to call him champ instead of Randy in a nice line. HHH is right: he gave Orton a chance to make a name for himself and HHH should be thanked for that. HHH got something out of it as well though, which leads to the first picture being revealed: a group shot of Evolution with HHH front and center. The team was never about the past, present and future, but only about protecting HHH.

The Game goes into a tirade on how Evolution is all about him because he made it. Orton is one to talk about protection because the three of them protected him for over a year. Randy reveals picture #2: him pinning Chris Benoit all by himself, something HHH could never do.

The third picture is Orton spitting in HHH’s face, making Trips even angrier than before. Orton is ready to fight if HHH wants a piece, but we’re not waiting for Unforgiven. Randy takes off his shirt, but realizes it would be 3-1. He goes over to the third picture and pulls out a sledgehammer. HHH ducks a swing that would have killed him and bails into the crowd, leaving Orton to pose in the ring. Good ending to the segment but it didn’t need to take fifteen minutes.

After a break Bischoff is yelling at Orton for swinging the hammer. As a punishment, Orton is thrown out of the building. Did I mention HHH is facing Eugene later tonight? Orton drops the hammer on Bischoff’s foot.

We recap Rock making a shocking appearance last week to beat up La Resistance with a slight assist from Rhyno and Tajiri.

Rhyno/Tajiri vs. La Resistance/Coach

Rob Conway (who, as of this writing on December 17, 2013, is the NWA World Champion of all people) pounds on Rhyno to start before it’s off to Sylvan Grenier for some neck cranking. The French Canadian tag champions hold Rhyno for a slip from Coach for two as this is already boring. Back to Grenier for a chinlock until Rhyno fights up and makes his comeback with clotheslines. Tajiri keeps getting kicked off the apron to keep him out as Rhyno Gores Coach down. Rhyno walks into Au Revoir (spinning suplex/side slam combo) for the pin.

Rating: D-. Oh my goodness how bad was the tag division at this point? I’m assuming Tajiri was injured or something here as he never came in at all. The match was really dull stuff with La Resistance being one of the least interesting multiple time champions ever and having no opponents of note at all. Terribly uninteresting match.

Papa Roach is here.

We recap Kane and Lita’s wedding which saw a failed run-in from Matt Hardy to try to save the reluctant Lita. Kane’s white tuxedo does rather rule.

Kane tells someone off screen to not come out until he tells them to. It’s not Lita.

Eugene tells Regal about how much he loves baseball and gets on Regal’s nerves. Regal doesn’t want Eugene to come out there for Regal’s match with Batista.

William Regal vs. Batista

Regal beat Flair last week with the help of the brass knuckles to set this up. Batista takes Regal into the corner to start and shrugs off a shoulder block attempt. Some knees and elbows have Regal in more trouble but he avoids a charge into the corner and gets a nice suplex on Big Dave. The knee trembler gets two but Regal walks into the spinebuster. Batista goes outside to get a chair but it’s just a distraction so Flair can get in a brass knuckle shot to Regal’s ribs. Batista’s running clothesline (the Batista Bomb was still coming) is good for the pin. Just a squash to wrap up some ends from last week.

Smackdown Your Vote: Republican version. This was a voting drive kind of deal the company did for both parties to get 18-30 year olds involved in politics. Shawn, Ivory and Linda McMahon are representing here.

Here’s Stacy to emcee the Diva Search segment. The Diva Search was exactly what it sounds like and basically filled in the Diva division for about five years. We get the five finalists (Christy Hemme, Carmella Descarse, Joy Giovanni, Maria Kinellis and Amy Weber, all of whom were hired) in swimsuits. Maria gets eliminated despite being arguably the most famous of the final five. She flips Carmella off on the way out and gets the only pop of the segment.

All four of the remaining finalists get thirty seconds to insult the other girls. Joy feels Amy up, spanks Christy and says Carmella has a big mouth. Amy tells Joy to learn how to lick a pie, Christy to settle down and that Carmella knows “S*** about wrestling and that having a c*** in your a** has nothing to do with wrestling.” MAN this was a different era.

Carmella makes fun of Amy for being rejected for Playboy, calls Joy fat and hopes Christy wins if she doesn’t. Christy says don’t mess with fire because she’ll get burned. Amy has fat lips and Carmella enjoys swallowing male bodily fluids in a gutter. Christy does the splits and that’s it. Christy would wind up winning this, even though the most successful of all the girls in the Search had been eliminated weeks ago: Michelle McCool. To say this was extreme compared to the Bellas and Total Divas is an understatement.

Trish Stratus and Tyson Tomko make fun of Lita in the back. Kane gets in Tomko’s face to stand up for his wife but winds up laughing with them. Another sign of the times: Kane has six pack abs.

Here are Kane and Lita for Lita’s wedding present. After mentioning an open contract for Unforgiven, Kane thanks her for giving his unborn child a womb to grow in and has a surprise for her as a reward. Matt isn’t here tonight but Kane has flown in his family. The fans go nuts at the thought of Jeff Hardy returning but instead it’s a bunch of random guys, including Pat Hardy, Nat Hardy, Rat Hardy and a 400lb Samoan named Fat Hardy. Kane destroys all of them and chokeslams Rat for a pin since that apparently that was a match.

Kane raises his arms for the fire but Lita says hang on a second because she has a surprise for him too. See, they’re married now and can sign legal documents for each other, such as that open contract. Kane laughs it off because Matt Hardy won’t be able to fight by Unforgiven. Lita is aware of this, which is why she signed Kane to face Shawn Michaels. Kane injured Shawn a few weeks ago, even though he was fine for the voting thing about fifteen minutes ago.

Ric Flair vs. Chris Benoit

This should be good. Flair is checked for brass knuckles and the referee actually finds some in his knee pad. Ric takes him into the corner to start but Benoit fights out with chops and a bad looking backdrop. A quick Crossface attempt doesn’t work as Flair makes the rope and we go outside for more chopping. Back in and Flair Flops face first on the mat but comes back with a quick chop block.

Ric fires away with chops and kicks at the knee in the corner before doing what was supposed to be a strut. There’s a half crab of all things on Benoit as Flair needs a breather. They chop it out again until Benoit enziguris him down. Benoit misses the Swan Dive but rolls the Germans anyway. A Sharpshooter almost makes Flair tap but Batista comes in for the DQ.

Rating: C. This is one of those matches that would have been better five years ago with an extra fifteen minutes but at this point it was a shell of what it should have been. Benoit didn’t look like his usual self here but the German suplexes looked great. Flair was starting to slip out there and it was on the verge of getting sad.

Batista powerbombs Benoit.

Here’s Jericho for the Highlight Reel with special guest Edge. We get a clip from Jericho challenging Edge for the IC Title and getting dropped throat first on the top rope to retain Edge’s title. It may or may not have been intentional, but Jericho wants a rematch at Unforgiven. Edge comes out on crutches but Jericho doesn’t seem convinced. The champion says he tore his groin over the weekend and claims that he doesn’t need to get disqualified to keep his title.

Jericho talks about Edge getting booed out of Toronto at Summerslam and starts a Y2J chant here in San Francisco. Edge calls the fans puppets and says Jericho can win the popularity contests because he’ll keep winning the matches. Jericho questions the need for Edge’s crutches and thinks as soon as he turns his back, Edge will bash him over the head. Edge says he has the MRI to prove that he’s injured and promises Jericho the first title shot when he’s healed. The champion goes to leave when Christian returns to jump Jericho. Edge looks confused as Christian whips Jericho with a belt.

Trish Stratus/Gail Kim vs. Nidia/Victoria

This is Trish’s first match since June even though she never lost the title. Trish and Nidia get things going but Trish gets in a cheap shot to Victoria on the apron. Nidia is easily taken down and kicked in the ribs by the evil Stratus before it’s off to Gail. Kim puts on a freaky looking armbar with her leg wrapped around Nidia’s neck but lets it go a few seconds later. We get the unseen tag as Nidia fights to Victoria but Trish had the referee. Lucky guy.

The tag goes through a few seconds later anyway and Victoria cleans house, getting two on Gail off the spinning side slam. Victoria can’t hit a big boot and has the Widow’s Peak countered, allowing Gail to put on a modified Sharpshooter. Before Victoria can tap a mystery woman falls down the ramp, distracting Gail enough for Victoria to get a rollup for the pin.

Rating: C+. Gail looked great in her white shorts and evil Trish is one of the hottest things you’ll ever see in wrestling. You add some awesome looking holds from Kim and I can almost forgive the mystery woman (Steven Richards in drag for no apparent reason) being such a stupid ending.

Smackdown ReBound shows Eddie destroying Angle’s car, which wound up being Teddy Long’s. Angle was behind it and gets a 2/3 falls match against Eddie. That was such an awesome feud. Eddie vs. Angle, not Teddy. We also see Orlando Jordan defending the world title against Undertaker in place of an injured JBL. Layfield saved the title while wearing his AWESOME neck halo with his cowboy hat on top.

A sore footed Bischoff makes Orton vs. Kane for next week.

We run down the Unforgiven card.

HHH vs. Eugene

No DQ. Eugene comes out in a poorly buttoned San Francisco Giants jersey to suck up to the crowd. You would think he would get how serious this was after HHH beat him up at Summerslam. HHH jumps him again here but Eugene comes back with headlocks and something resembling an AA. Back up and Eugene gets two off a backslide before heading right back to the headlock. HHH comes back with a stiff right hand and a low blow to take over.

Eugene is thrown over the top rope, injuring his arm in the process. HHH of course pounds away on the injured slow guy because he can be a good heel when he tries. No sarcasm in that if you’re looking for any. Back in and Eugene walks into a spinebuster followed by the knee drop so HHH can strut around a bit more. Eugene gets rammed into the buckles but it’s Hulk Up time. He slugs HHH down and hits a top rope ax handle for two followed by an old school thumb to the eye.

A Rock Bottom looks to set up a Stunner but HHH grabs a sleeper. HHH: “ROCK A BYE BABY EUGENE!” Eugene is almost out but HHH lets go before the third arm drop. It didn’t work for Adrian Adonis back in 87 but at least HHH follows up with a Pedigree. HHH lets him up again and pulls out the hammer, only to have Orton (in wrestling gear after wearing a suit earlier for no apparent reason) to take the hammer away. A shot to the ribs and an RKO put HHH down and Orton puts Eugene on top for what is supposed to be some huge moment.

Rating: D+. Well that happened. Anyone who has watched wrestling for more than five minutes in their lives knew that Orton was going to cost HHH the match, but it’s not like this really means anything. It doesn’t help when Eugene didn’t move for the last five minutes of the show after a sleeper and a Pedigree.

Overall Rating: D. It’s easy to see why Batista and Cena needed to rise up very soon. This was just boring for the most part, but Orton looked like a star in the making. That’s the perfect explanation for why he lost the title to HHH at the PPV and wouldn’t win another world title for over three years. HHH crippled that push so hard it’s almost unfathomable, but at least HHH got to get the title back after letting other people have it for a full five months. Boring show, as expected from this time period.

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2 Responses

  1. Conor says:

    Do you think Orton could’ve been an even bigger deal than he is if HHH didn’t kill that face push? Like, Cena level?

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