TV REPORTS KELLER'S RAW REPORT 8/8: Final complete updated report on Monday's live program
Aug 11, 2005 - 7:31:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
AUGUST 8, 2005
-The program opened with a recap of last week's main event between Carlito and John Cena with Chris Jericho as special referee including Jericho's post-match attack on Cena with a camera and close-ups of Cena's bloody face.
-The Raw opening aired, then Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and Coach introduced the show. They plugged the Hulk Hogan-Shawn Michaels "Face to Face" segment later.
-Eugene came out for the Eugene Invitational. He carried Christy on his shoulders on the stage, then they skipped to the ring as the crowd, the hometown of Kurt Angle, was scattered with booing. Eugene revealed a Hulkamania t-shirt. "Hulk Hogan is here!" shouted Eugene. "Hulk is my friend, my hero. He says his prayers and he eat his vitamins and he has 24 inch pythons." Eugene then posed like Hogan. Christy said they all love Hulk, but now it's time for the second Eugene Invitational. Angle interrupted Christy and walked to the ring to a hometown pop. The crowd loudly chanted "Angle, Angle." Lawler said he's finally getting the respect he deserves. Angle said he is tired of the Eugene Invitational crap. "Do you know where you are? You're in my hometown, baby!" Angle said to a pop. "This is Kurt Angle's city." The intensity of pro-Angle cheers and chants grew. Angle said those people don't look at Hogan like a hero because they already have a hero. Eugene said he has an Olympic gold medal. The crowd booed. A "Eugene sucks" chant broke out. Angle called Eugene an idiot. He said he doesn't even know what the gold medal stands for. "You think it's a toy!" he said. Angle said he is going to show the "blue collar idiots here in Pittsburgh what a hero truly is." Angle fans needed a few seconds to rationalize that he wasn't talking about them, but "that guy other there." After a brief pause, the crowd cheered against when Angle said he was going to break his ankle.
1 -- EUGENE vs. KURT ANGLE
Angle ripped off Eugene's "Hulkamania" t-shirt. During a break in the ropes, Eugene chopped the ref's back, then blamed Angle for it. Angle attacked Eugene and with 35 seconds left, dropped his straps and went for an Angle Slam. When the ref was distracted by Christy, Eugene escaped the Angle Slam. Angle ran at Eugene with a forearm, but Eugene ducked and Angle ran into the ref from behind. The ref DQ'd him with 30 seconds left. Angle protested, but the decision stood. Angle attacked Eugene afterward. Hulk Hogan came out to make the save. Angle attacked Hogan as he slid into the ring. Hogan no-sold Angle. The crowd booed. Hogan punched away at Angle's forehead, so Angle bailed out of the ring. Hogan definitely had some fans cheering for him, too, but for the most part the crowd seemed to be either pro-Angle or conflicted. Hogan and Eugene posed in the ring together. It sure makes Hogan seem old to have Ross talk about Eugene, who looks closer to 40 than 20, admiring Hogan since he was a kid.
WINNER: Eugene via DQ at 2:30.
STAR RATING: * -- It told the story well. Eugene cleverly outsmarting Angle by hitting the ref and blaming it on Angle was a nice spot.
2 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. CHRIS MASTERS
Ross said Shelton may be the greatest athlete to ever come out of South Carolina. He was All-State three times in two sports. In 1939, David G. "Dode" Phillips was voted South Carolina's greatest athlete for his performances in football and baseball. He went on to play pro baseball. Maybe there should be a special vote to settle this. At 1:30 Masters applied a bearhug. Ross asked Coach and Lawler a question. Coach told him to be quiet because they're watching the match closely. Ross said that scares them that they were actually paying attention. Masters went for a Master Lock at 2:00, but Shelton escaped. He then went to a sleeper. Shelton dropped down to escape, then made a comeback at 2:30. He dropkicked Masters to the kneecap and followed with a running kneelift and a Stinger splash. Shelton flew off the top rope with a flying clothesline for a pin attempt that ended at two when Masters put his leg over the bottom rope. Masters went for another Master Lock, but Shelton escaped and applied a sleeper. Masters distracted the ref and gave Shelton a low blow, then applied the Master Lock for the win.
WINNER: Masters at 4:01.
STAR RATING: * - Passable short match.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Angle backstage. Angle had a big smile on his face and said Bischoff just told him he gets Eugene at Summerslam in a no time limit match. He said he's going to make him suffer, get his gold medals back, and "just for kicks" end his career also.
-Maria interviewed Rob Conway. She said he's wrestling the 500 pound love machine Viscera. She didn't screw up her question, which is good since her screwups aren't fun if they're obviously scripted and every week. Conway said he is 98 percent fat free and sexy. Viscera walked in and made fun of his see-through panties and mustache. He mocked him for looking like a member of the Village People. They went face-to-face as Viscera threatened to give him the Viscagra. Ross quipped, "Is that what you're taking, King?" Ross narrated as they replayed clips of Matt Hardy being rehired by Vince McMahon.
-Ross the interviewed Edge from the locker room. Edge cut a biting promo about the Matt Hardy situation. He said McMahon rehiring Hardy is "genius" because it's a money-making match. He said he asked Vince to rehire Hardy. He said if he did to Hardy what he wants to do to in the street instead of at Summerslam, he'd be in prison. He accused Hardy of being the one who is out of control. He said Bischoff has put security guards at their locker room door to protect them. He said he wanted them gone. He begged Matt to barge into the dressing room to get at him. He said , "I saw your promo last week and I thought it was pathetic. After all of the months dragging our names through the and out personal lives out there for everyone to see and that's all you can muster up from your guts." He told Hardy to wear his seat belt and keep himself safe until Summerslam so he can have the satisfaction of beating him. He said if he wanted to marry Lita, what took him so long to propose. "You were with her for six years!" He said the best thing to happen to his career was his girlfriend leaving him because he now has a job because his girl fell in love "with a main eventer." He said in Matt Hardy's world, his career comes first, including ahead of his girlfriend. Great promo from Edge. It's almost as if the joke is on Matt in that Edge and Lita are being allowed to cut babyface promos that make Matt look bad.
2 -- ROB CONWAY beat VISCERA
Conway took Viscera down with a shot to his knee. He continued to concentrate on his knee. At 1:45 Viscera came back and rode Conway. The announcers argued whether it was funny or disgusting. Viscera struggled to stand, then set up a suplex. His knee buckled and Conway landed on top for the three count. Ross asked if it was an upset or not.
WINNER: Conway at 2:40.
STAR RATING: 1/4* -- They did what they could with what they had, which isn't much. It's hard to be "disappointed" when the potential is so low to begin with.
-Ross plugged that John Cena's new music video's world premiere would air later on Raw.
3 -- ROSEY & HURRICANE & STACY vs. THE HEART THROBS & VICTORIA
Victoria gave a nasty looking slam of Stacy into the guard rail. Rosey knocked Victoria off the ring apron, but then the Heart Throbs blindsided Rosey and slammed him to the mat for the win. Lawler said Stacy needed help at ringside.
WINNERS: Heart Throbs & Victoria at 2:38
STAR RATING: 1/2*
-They aired a clip of Hulk Hogan on Larry King Live.
-Highlight Reel: Chris Jericho introduced Eric Bischoff as his guest. Ross said Bischoff is the man who drove WCW into the ground. It was surreal to see Jericho and Bischoff hug and shake hands with big smiles on their faces considering Jericho left WCW in a state of great frustration with Bischoff's lack of faith in his ability to be a top tier player. Jericho then premiered his music video which featured a Fozzy song with clips of Jericho beating up John Cena. Bischoff then ordered referee Chad Patton to the ring to address the run-in he did last week when special ref Jericho went down. Bischoff said he had one question for Patton: Who was the referee during the Cena-Carlito match last week. They showed a clip of Patton running in to count to three for Cena and award him the match. Ross said he was just doing his job. Coach said it wasn't his job. The ref said he was just doing his job. Bischoff slapped him several times for talking back to the Raw G.M. Is that legal for a boss to hit an employee? Bischoff demanded an apology. Patton said, "Sorry." It wasn't loud enough for Bischoff. Bischoff kept slapping him. He said that's not enough and he wants to make an example out of him by punishing him. He said he'd have to wrestle Jericho in a competitive match next.
4 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. CHAD PATTON
Bischoff appointed himself referee. He was still in his suit. Jericho dominated from the start, pinching away at Patton's face and ripping off his ref shirt. Carlito walked to ringside and then got in some shots on Patton. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho as Bischoff got in his face and verbally assaulted him and then slapped him. Cena made the save and cleared the ring of all three heels.
WINNER: No decision in 2:00.
-Grisham interviewed an angry Bischoff and Jericho backstage. He said he is booking Cena against both Jericho and Carlito next week in a two-on-one match.
-Coach hosted the Diva Search competition. The four remaining contestants came out - Ashley, Leila, Crystal, and Elisabeth. Coach said next week they'd be crowning the winner, so this week is their last chance to make a good impression. He first announced, though, that Crystal was cut. Coach said he wanted to see how each of the women did when things didn't go according to plan. Ashley held up a poster with her phone number on it and said she is giving away her number because the fans make all the difference. Then someone shoved a pie in her face. She threw a mini-fit. They went to a clip of Keyla holding up a sign with her name on it while wearing "her birthday suit." She said fans the fans should want a diva who isn't afraid to get down to being Raw. Someone then shoved a pie in her face. She didn't skip a beat and said the flavor of pie was really yummy. She said she loves whipped cream. She laughed once she thought the cameras had cut. Elisabeth had no props. She talked about "walking the walk" (please, no one ever say that cliche again - ever). She said she has a plan to show the fans that she wants to be there more than anyone else. Then she got a pie in her face. She whipped away the whipped cream and began seductively sucking the whipped cream off of her face. She laughed and said, "Oh, that's good."
-They replayed a clip of the Shawn Michaels spoof of Hogan on Larry King Live.
5 -- MATT HARDY vs. GENE SNITSKY
This was billed as Hardy's first official match since returning to WWE. No mention was made of the backstory of this match-up considering Snitsky kicked Lita and caused her miscarriage. Hardy went after Snitsky aggressively at the start. Snitsky caught Hardy with a powerslam. Ross said, "The power of Snitsky may be too much for the returning Matt Hardy." Ross talked about Hardy having a challenging year, but didn't get into the specific selling points of his feud with Edge. Snitsky lumbered through a minute of offense and got a two count at 2:00. Coach and Lawler joked about how if Hardy's mad at you, he'll send you a nasty email. Harry came back with a flying clothesline for a quick two count. After Ross made a crack about Coach breaking hearts, Coach said Ross has never broken any hearts and is "lucky to be married." Ross said at least he is married and "at least I'm attracted to the opposite sex." The announcers spent most of the match bickering and hardly putting over Hardy as anything but a whining ex-boyfriend whose obsessed with his image on the Internet. Hardly an indication WWE sees Hardy as a top tier returning star. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Snitsky escaped. Hardy then ducked a big boot and gave Snitsky a move off the top rope for the win. Edge then attacked Hardy after the match. Hardy just covered as Edge hit him with a barrage of punches.
WINNER: Hardy at 3:34.
STAR RATING: *
-Backstage Hardy charged at Edge in the locker room. They had a pullapart brawl. Hardy shouted, "You're dead! You're mine, you bastard!" Coach wondered if those two would even make it to Summerslam. Ross introduced the world premier of the John Cena music video.
-John Cena's "Right Now" video aired. When the video finished, there was quite a bit of booing from the crowd. Not sure if they didn't like the video, which was suitable for family viewing and probably even Brent Bozell, or if they just wanted more wrestling action and less video features. Nice video, though. Lots of footage of Cena as a kid doing backyard wrestling.
-Ross and Coach plugged that next week on Raw, Hulk Hogan would face Kurt Angle.
-Jerry Lawler introduced Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan for their face-to-face debate. Lawler said his goosebumps have goosebumps right now. Michaels sarcastically thanked Hogan for taking time off from his multitude of media events to "grace us with your presence." Lawler asked the fans if they were happy Hogan showed up. They popped. Lawler asked Michaels if he was upset by Hogan's comments on Larry King Live about his not reaching the top tier and being jealous. Michaels said he wanted to make one thing perfectly clear. "There is nothing about you or your life that I desire," he said. "In this ring, you can't touch me." He said perhaps he was upset that one of his peers had not respected him or his accomplishments. "Hulk Hogan is not one of my peers," said Michaels. "You, Hulk Hogan, have built a career on personality and show. I want you to look me in the eyes and understand this, Hulk Hogan. At Summerslam, personality and show isn't going to amount to a hill of beans when you step in the ring with the Show Stopper." Lawler asked Hogan about his feelings on Michaels imitating his appearance on Larry King Live.
Michaels interrupted before Hogan could speak. "I'll tell you what it means. For the first time in his career, Hulk Hogan is going to have to deal with the truth. For the first time in your career, you're dealing with somebody who doesn't sweat you. Not out here, not back there, not anywhere. I'm gonna be the first guy who is not going to buckle underneath the image of Hulk Hogan and Hulkamania. I've said it before and I'll say it again, what are they going to do, fire me? Do you know how many times I've been fired from this place? They always bring me back, and I'll tell you why. This big machine that is WWE does not exist without the Showstopper." Michaels got a healthy dose of cheers. Lawler asked Michaels to let Hogan answer the question. Michaels said, "There is no question. Look at me. Look at me, legend. I am the most real thing on TV today and don't you forget it.. At Summerslam, I'm gonna kick your teeth down your throat. I don't care if I have to leave the arena, go to your hotel room, grab your false teeth out of the glass sitting next to your bed, bring them back to the arena, and stuff them in your mouth..."
Hogan interrupted and said, "Let me tell you something. You've taken this thing to a whole new level, dude. If you wanted a match with me, all you had to do was ask. But instead you cheap-shotted me. But that is your m.o., the king of cheapshots and backstabbing. As far as casting stones, all I'd have to do is call up Bret Hart." Michaels mouthed, "Go right ahead" with a big grin on his face. A "You Screwed Bret" chant broke out. Michaels said, "Don't you forget it, and you're next." Hogan said, "Let me lay this out plain and simple. Everything you do out here is for you, for Shawn Michaels. When you did leave WWE for seven years, you said you lost your smile. I'm not out here for my smile, I'm out here for their smile, dude," pointing at the crowd. "Yeah, for better or for worse I'm here for each one of these Hulkamaniacs and Hulk Hogan isn't going to change, dude. This is the way it goes. I try to give these maniacs everything they want every time I step out here. If they want me at Summerslam to kick your skinny old ass, well then I'm going to kick your ass Shawn Michaels. I guess we're at the crossroads where everybody in this business has to ask themselves the same question. What are you going to do when the power of all of these Hulkamaniacs and Hulk Hogan runs wild on you?"
Lawler asked Michaels, "That's the question. What're you gonna do? Michaels superkicked Lawler. Hogan pointed his finger at Michaels's face. Michaels punched away at Hogan and rammed his head into the top turnbuckle. Hogan no-sold it and punched Michaels, who took a flatback bump and then took a big boot to the face. Hogan then tossed Michaels over the top rope. Michaels threw a fit at ringside as Hogan ripped off his t-shirt and posed as his music played. Ross said, "Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels for the first time at Summerslam and by god it's personal." Hogan invited Michaels back into the ring. They replayed Michaels superkicking Lawler. Michaels backed up to the stage and mocked Hogan's posing. Hogan used his hand to indicate Michaels was "all talk."
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