Monday Night Raw – August 23, 2004: Unlike Anything I’ve Ever Seen

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 23, 2004
Location: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Hey it’s another request that I’m finally getting to. This is a fairly big week as Randy Orton was thrown out of Evolution last week and it’s time to hear not only why (shouldn’t be that complicated) but what happens next. On top of that we have Kane and Lita getting married in another step in a bizarre story. Let’s get to it.

We open with a quick recap of Orton being thrown out of Evolution.

Opening sequence. I miss Across the Nation as the theme song.

We start things off with the Raw Diva Search and they’re all in swimsuits to really hammer the point home. If nothing else this really shows the difference between ten years ago and what we see today as this would NEVER be allowed on Raw today. They get right to the point with Tracy (like most of their names matter) being eliminated in sixth place.

Now for tonight’s task: everyone will have two minutes to talk about how great the Coach is but Coach thinks five would be more appropriate…..but here’s the Rock to interrupt in a surprise. Rock gives Coach five seconds to get out and he barely gets out at four and a half. That leaves Rock and the five remaining Divas and Rock seems to approve. He also thinks the women are all wet (with perspiration) before saying that Lillian Garcia (looking even better than usual tonight) is a Raw Diva. She used to have a real job at the sperm bank but got fired for drinking on the job.

Rock asks which one is Carmella (while slipping in a line that he hasn’t been watching the show) because the rest of the girls hate her. Back in the day no one liked him either so she needs to stick to her guns here. Not that it matters what she thinks of course. Rock mocks a contest a few weeks back where the girls had to make ice cream cones because no one wants to see them do that. What Rock wants to see is these women eating pie.

This brings out Tajiri with some pies, which he just happened to have on hand. Now we have a table and it’s going to be a pie eating contest. Everyone has twenty seconds to eat pie in whatever way they want, but first Rock mocks some fans and asks Tajiri what is his favorite type of pie. Fan: “SUSHI!”

This just keeps going with Joy going first and insulting Carmella instead of eating. Amy goes second and Rock won’t even let her near a mic. Instead she slowly licks the pie out of the pan and keeps going after the clock runs out. Carmella rubs it on herself and teases a way too excited Tajiri. Maria eats her pie with her fingers and licks it a bit, leaving a drop on her nose for effect. Last up is Christy…..who sits on the pie. You can see the pain on Rock’s face as he goes through this.

In case this hasn’t gone on long enough, here are Coach with Raw Tag Team Champions La Resistance with promises of a Chinese beating (in honor of the Japanese Tajiri). The heels hit the ring and actually beat Rock down for a bit until Rhyno (Tajiri’s partner) comes out for the save. Coach challenges Rock and gets the usual to end this opening segment after an unthinkable TWENTY FOUR MINUTES. The only entertaining thing here was Rock riffing on how stupid it was and making it clear that he doesn’t actually watch Raw.

Kane, in his ring gear, arrives with his suit in a bag.

We recap Evolution turning on Randy Orton and throwing him off the team last week.

The remaining members of Evolution are in the back. Batista has delivered an ultimatum to Orton for later tonight.

Kane comes in to see a disgusted Lita and promises that nothing will ruin this wedding tonight. The wedding will be an all white affair to signify the purity of his child. He even has a dress for her.

Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. Edge

Edge is defending and we have the first match starting about forty minutes into the show. Edge came back from injury a few months ago and it’s quite as popular as he was before he left. Jericho grabs a quickly broken hammerlock to start but is easily able to low bridge Edge to the floor. Back from a break with Edge chopping in the corner but eating a top rope elbow to the jaw for a near fall. A DDT gets the same for the champ but Jericho sidesteps the spear and grabs the Walls, only to have Edge reverse into a rollup to retain.

Not so fast though as the referee caught Jericho’s feet in the ropes, meaning we’re going to continue after a break. Back with Jericho missing a dropkick but hitting a running enziguri. The running bulldog looks to set up the Lionsault but Edge rolls away because he’s seen a Jericho match before. The Edge-O-Matic (I still love that move) gets two and sets up a high cross body with Jericho rolling through for a near fall of his own. Edge gets caught in the Walls he makes the rope for the quick break. Back up and Edge “accidentally” crotches Jericho and that’s a DQ with Edge hitting the spear just after the bell.

Rating: B. I was liking this one while it lasted but it was a storyline ending instead of anything conclusive. Edge would lose the title due to an injury (I’m shocked too) soon after this and would come back as a mega heel instead of the same bland face that he had been since coming back. Jericho on the other hand would continue to just float around until he would leave in about a year.

Here’s Evolution for their big address on the Orton issue. HHH says he doesn’t believe in destiny because every choice you make has a consequence. Orton was someone who was destined for greatness and chose to stand side by side with the greatest talent of all time. Then he chose to go on for himself instead of just softening Chris Benoit up like he was supposed to.

That sealed his fate because the World Title belongs to HHH and everyone knows it. Last week the confetti fell and it was just like sand in an hourglass because Orton’s time was up. The beating last week was just a warning though because Orton has his choice now. Orton can come out here and lay down to make HHH the champion that he’s supposed to be again. If Orton lets it go, Evolution will forget about him and let him live. There is no choice when it comes to the World Heavyweight Championship and it’s as simple as life and death.

This brings out Orton to Evolution music and a referee soon follows. Orton starts to hand over the title but pulls it back and spits in HHH’s face. A belt shot knocks HHH down and Orton bails before Flair and Batista and use his limbs as drumsticks. This story really should have turned Orton into one of the biggest stars in the company but instead HHH got the title back in less than three weeks, allegedly so there could be three face challengers for Taboo Tuesday. Seriously. That was the official justification HHH gave for wanting the title back so soon. Taboo Tuesday, which Orton headlined anyway.

Victoria is trying to get Eric Bischoff to call off the wedding but HHH interrupts and yells a lot. HHH gets a rematch for the title at Unforgiven. That’s what you get for beating Eugene at Summerslam.

William Regal vs. Ric Flair

This should be interesting. Speaking of Eugene, he’s in Regal’s corner here and this is fallout from Flair interfering in the HHH vs. Eugene match. Regal runs him over to start and it’s strange to see him as the (likely) stronger wrestler. Flair starts firing off some chops but gets uppercut and backdropped for his efforts. That means a Flair Flop but Ric is able to send Regal outside for more chops. Another backdrop on the floor has Flair in trouble and we take a break.

Back with Flair dropping back to back knees to the head for two. Regal fires off the uppercuts and forearms in the corner before slamming Flair off the top. Batista finally remembers he’s at ringside and hits Regal in the back to set up the Figure Four. Now it’s Eugene offering a distraction so Regal can turn the hold over. Batista goes after Eugene but here’s Benoit to chop Batista, allowing both guys to pull out brass knuckles. Regal is a bit quicker though and knocks Flair out for the pin and a pretty big upset.

Rating: C+. This was the kind of hard hitting match you would expect from these two, even though Flair was only doing signature stuff at this point. Regal always seemed like someone who might turn into a huge deal but he was happy to just be a cool midcarder who had almost unlimited respect.

We get a Smackdown Rebound, including JBL in a neck halo with his cowboy hat on top. Why this man isn’t in the Hall of Fame completely eludes me. We also saw Rey Mysterio coming out to save Eddie Guerrero but Kurt Angle destroyed Eddie’s low rider.

Coach shows us how to vote in the Diva Search.

Lita hates her wedding dress and breaks her mirror.

The ring has been transformed into a wedding venue and Kane is in an all white tuxedo. Naturally the ring bearer and flower girl are dwarfs, the former with paint under his eyes. Kane comes out with the biggest smile on his face…..until he sees Lita in a black dress. The minister says we have a special guest here and it’s someone very familiar to both the bride and groom.

Lita gets her hopes up but it’s Eric Bischoff, also in a white tux. Bischoff reads a passage from the Bible and even gives a brief prayer before the minister says this is clearly a very unique relationship. Kane has a video of their relationship, which is basically Lita being terrified when she finds out she’s pregnant and all the ensuing fallout.

That brings us to the vows, with Kane saying Lita is now his property. She will never know freedom again until the day he dies. On the other hand, Lita hates Kane more than life itself and he has no soul. She has no choice but to marry him but she will always love Matt Hardy. Well that’s quite the Edgey statement. All she can hope for is to see Kane suffer a horrible accident to free her from this nightmare. Kane: “That was lovely.”

We get to “speak now or forever hold your peace” and there’s no Matt. Instead here’s Trish Stratus in white lingerie (completely outclassing every one of the Diva Search contestants) to offer her services as Maid of Honor. Trish’s advice is for Lita to open her heart, just like she opened her legs.

The catfight is on for a bit until the minister gets things under control again. Cue Matt Hardy (with Lita doing a perfect damsel in distress smile) for the save from behind, only to have a wall of fire cut off the escape. A chokeslam off the stage and through a table destroys Matt. Lita is dragged back to the ring for the I Do and the forced kiss ends the show.

Overall Rating: C+. I’ve seen every episode of Raw ever and I don’t remember a single show that was all over the place like this one. From the ridiculously awful opening twenty five minutes (well as horrible as you can get with Maria, Christy and Carmella looking like that) to two good matches to the actually solid Orton segment to the so bizarre it’s great wedding (With Trish being a highlight. Just DANG.), this show somehow went from dreadful to one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen in a long time. Fix the opening segment and this could have been a classic but that was like a knife to the stomach.

Here’s next week’s show if you’re interested:

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2 Responses

  1. M.R. says:

    I actually remember this Diva Search segment. How the hell did they get the Rock to do this?

  2. Greg says:

    I believe this is Rock’s last in person appearance until 2011. Can’t imagine why his agent suggest he cut off all contact with WWE if he wanted to be successful when he could be involved in angles like this.

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