Date: August 21, 2005
Location: MCI Center, Washington D.C.
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Tazz, Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman
Tonight is the first show in a long time with a special attraction main event. Tonight’s main event is the returning Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels in a match billed as legend vs. icon. Other than that we have the first Summerslam with the new generation on top with John Cena defending against Chris Jericho and Batista defending against JBL. Let’s get to it.
The Navy color guard presents the flag and Lillian Garcia sings the National Anthem. She may stumble over a lot of announcements but she can sing the heck out of that song.
Never mind as the main song that will be played in the arena is some stupid hip hop song.
US Title: Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan
Jordan, the most worthless wrestler I can think of at the moment, is defending. He took the title from Cena of all people and defended it over the course of the summer. In some of the smartest booking you’ll ever see to open a show, Benoit shoves him into the corner, snaps off a German suplex and puts Jordan in the Crossface for the submission and the title in 25 seconds.
When a guy is so bad that you can’t trust Chris Benoit with him on live TV, this is the right move. Benoit would go on to show how fast the match was by timing how long it took him to do things like go to the bathroom or have a cup of coffee, each of which lasted longer than the match. Brilliant stuff here and the crowd is instantly on fire.
Vickie Guerrero, not yet a character, begs Eddie to calm down about Mysterio and Rey’s son Dominic. Eddie says Vickie doesn’t get it but she tries to talk him down. He interprets this as Vickie thinking he can’t beat Rey and throws her out.
We recap Matt Hardy vs. Edge. Matt dated Lita in real life but Edge stole her away (both on screen and in real life) while Matt was out with a knee injury. Hardy was released from WWE while Edge and Lita became an on screen couple. This led to an AWESOME angle where Matt, who had been rehired VERY quietly, showed up on Raw and attacked Edge from behind. He did it again but was arrested, shouting that he’d be at Ring of Honor. Matt was finally brought back full time, setting up a white hot feud with Edge. They made the feud feel as real as any I can remember in a long time before it was to a degree.
Edge vs. Matt Hardy
This is during Lita’s ultra slutty phase and DANG does it work for her. The fight starts on the floor with Matt in control before heading inside for a bell. Hardy grabs a choke but Edge gets into the ropes. Back to the floor for a bit before Edge gets in a right hand inside to take over. Edge spears him off the apron and out to the floor in the spot made much more famous against Mick Foley.
Back in and Matt hits some HARD lefts and rights before going into the corner to rain them down. Edge steps forward and drops Matt face first on the post (with Matt clearly pulling himself forward to hit it correctly), busting Hardy open. Edge goes after the cut….and the match is stopped in less than five minutes. We get a good shot of Matt’s head and the cut is shown to be just a step above nothing, making this ridiculous. I’m guessing the idea was due to a head injury (not a real one mind you) but it makes Matt look like a complete joke.
Rating: C+. This was fun while it lasted but the length and ending crippled it. Matt was on fire coming in but he would be made to look like the jobbiest jobber of all time during the feud with Edge. Eventually Edge would send him to Raw and keep Lita, ultimately winning the world title in a few months. This was more or less it for Matt as far as being a big deal.
We recap Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio. Oh this is a fun one. They were tag team champions in the spring but Eddie started to get paranoid that Rey was better than him. Rey beat him at Wrestlemania in a friendly match and Eddie was set off. He turned on Rey and started going after Rey’s 8 year old son Dominic.
Uncle Eddie said he had a story to tell Dominic but Rey kept stopping Eddie from telling it. They had a match at Great American Bash where if Eddie won he could tell the story but if not he had to stay quiet. Eddie lost, but told the story anyway: he’s Dominic’s actual father but gave him to Rey because Eddie was in no condition to be a father. Then he wanted custody of Dominic, so there was one solution.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio
Here’s the solution: “The following contest is a ladder match for the custody of Dominic!” That line summed up the entire feud and is a famous line today. Eddie looks at Rey to start before kneeing him in the ribs to get things going. A hard belly to back suplex puts Rey down but he comes back with a monkey flip to send Guerrero to the floor. Rey is sent straight into the steps and then the ladder as Eddie maintains his early control.
Eddie slides in the ladder and goes up but a springboard dropkick takes Guerrero down. Another ladder is brought in but Rey dropkicks it into Eddie, sending both the ladder and Guerrero to the floor. A great looking springboard seated senton takes Eddie down but Rey is too banged up to immediately climb. They slug it out on the ladder with Eddie taking over but they botch the first big spot of the match: Eddie tries a sunset bomb but Rey falls off a second late, meaning he falls on Eddie instead of with him.
Back up and the ladder crushes Rey in the corner before Eddie brings in a second ladder. Rey is sandwiched between the ladders so Eddie can hit a slingshot hilo in a painful looking spot. Guerrero goes up but Rey sets the other ladder up like a ramp to get to the top. Eddie is backdropped onto the ladder ramp, sending both ladders and both wrestlers crashing down to the mat. Rey goes up one more time but has the ladder dropkicked out from under him in the second crash in 90 seconds.
Eddie lays a ladder on the top rope and drops a charging Rey chest first onto the steel. Guerrero goes up but Dominic gets in and shakes the ladder to stop him. Eddie gets in his face and shouts that he’s the new daddy but Rey stops him from punching the kid. Mysterio moves the ladder against the ropes and sends Eddie into it for the 619. Rey Drops the Dime on the ladder onto Eddie and goes up but gets caught in an electric chair. As they’re about to fall, Rey spins around and slips down Guerrero into a powerbomb.
Rey slowly climbs again but Guerrero kicks the ladder away and catches the falling Rey in another powerbomb. In a smart move, Eddie puts the ladder over Rey before climbing up and grabbing the briefcase. Since he’s a heel in a ladder match though, he takes FOREVER to work the simple clip, allowing Rey to kick the ladder over and pull Eddie down. Rey can’t follow up though and gets caught in Three Amigos with the third on the ladder. Eddie goes up again and here’s Vickie, which makes me think the slow climb was a missed spot where she was supposed to come out. She shoves him down and Rey gets up the ladder for the win.
Rating: B-. This was good but the botches hurt it a lot. The other major problem here is the whole thing is so silly. It’s really hard to get into a match with the prize being a custody of a kid. Are we supposed to believe that Eddie is going to win and presumably abuse the world’s stupidest looking eight year old? I’ve seen far worse but this wasn’t a great match by any stretch. Eddie of course would be gone in about two and a half months but he would beat Rey in a cage match in about ten days.
Rey hits Guerrero with the briefcase post match.
Jericho says the time is now for him to become WWE Champion. After Cena loses tonight, he’s nothing more than the flavor of the month. I mean, Jericho beat Rock and Austin in one night to become the first Undisputed Champion. Tonight Jericho will win the WWE Championship and Eric Bischoff can have a champion to be proud of.
Eugene vs. Kurt Angle
Yep he’s still around. This is for Angle’s gold medal and Eugene has Christy Hemme as a cheerleader. Eugene won some Olympic challenge by lasting three minutes against Angle, so this is no time limit. They really couldn’t find something better for Kurt? Angle easily takes him to the mat to start but Eugene comes back with a spinebuster to LOUD booing. Angle takes his head off on the People’s Elbow attempt for two and the fans go nuts. A BIG release German suplex puts Angle down and it’s time for some knees to the face.
Kurt sends him into the buckle but Eugene Hulks Up and does his goofy punching and a Rock Bottom for two. A Stunner gets the same and Eugene is pulls invisible straps down to set up an ankle lock on Angle. Kurt easily gets up and hits the Angle Slam followed by the ankle lock for the submission.
Rating: D. They booked a five minute squash at Summerslam for KURT ANGLE??? Seriously? This was a horribly dull match and Eugene had no business being in there. He barely even acts like his old self anymore and is really just Hacksaw Jim Duggan minus the patriotism. Thankfully Kurt would move on to face Cena for three months straight after this.
Angle stands on a chair and has the medal placed around his neck.
The Divas are in bikinis and washing a limo. It has the Presidential logo on the door and Vince comes out. “Hey, why not?” THANKFULLY this went nowhere.
Undertaker vs. Randy Orton
Wrestlemania rematch and I think that’s all you need to know. Orton immediately bails to the floor before being slapped right in the face. Taker misses a right hand in the corner but runs Orton over with a shoulder block. Off to a headlock on Randy followed by a big boot, leaving Orton with a dazed look in his eyes. Taker grabs a key lock but Orton armdrags him off the top to break up Old School. Orton hits a HARD right hand to the face, earning him a launch into the corner and rapid punches from the dead man.
Orton gets up a boot in the corner but charges out straight into a big boot for two. The jumping clothesline puts Orton down for two more and a running knee in the corner has Randy in big trouble. Randy manages to dodge a running big boot in the corner but can barely follow up due to the beating he’s taken. As Taker gets back in from the apron Orton gets in a shot to the leg to take over.
Orton cannonballs down onto the leg and wraps it around the post before putting on a basic leg lock in the ring. A knee drop to the face gets two before Orton takes him into the corner to wrap the leg around the ropes. Randy powerslams him down for two and it’s off to a leg lace. Taker fights out of it and rams Orton’s knee into the mat but Randy comes right back with a chop block to the front of the leg. More cannonballs onto the knee have Taker in bigger trouble but the big man kicks him out to the floor.
The legdrop across the apron has Orton in more trouble and Taker does a one legged Old School. Uh Dead Man, there’s more to selling than just limping before you do a move with no issues. Taker hits Snake Eyes but he can’t run fast enough for the big boot, allowing Orton to dropkick him down. The RKO is countered but Taker has the tombstone countered twice and Orton hits his backbreaker for two. Taker rolls through a high cross body and hits the chokeslam but a “fan” comes in and the distraction lets Orton hit the RKO for the pin. It’s Bob Orton (Randy’s dad) of course.
Rating: C+. This was ok but the ending was stupid. It doesn’t hold a candle to their Wrestlemania match but the rematch inside the Cell at Armageddon was WAY better. Bob Orton didn’t add much to this feud and Orton wasn’t ready to make the jump to the full time main event scene just yet. The match wasn’t bad or anything though.
Some big shot Republicans are here.
We recap Jericho vs. Cena. As mentioned there isn’t much to talk about here. Bischoff doesn’t like Cena and has Jericho to take the title away from him. This is Cena’s first feud as champion on Raw. This gets the music video treatment.
Raw World Title: Chris Jericho vs. John Cena
They stare each other down to start before trading chops to Jericho’s advantage. A snap suplex puts Cena down but Jericho’s springboard cross body misses Cena entirely and Chris hits the floor. Back in and Cena hits a running elbow into the face but charges into a dropkick to slow things down again. A suplex gets two for the challenger and he follows it up with a dropkick to the jaw. Jericho sends him out to the floor and dropkicks him off the apron for good measure.
Cena gets choked with a microphone cord before being thrown inside to be beaten up even more. A superplex has Cena in trouble but it shook Jericho up too badly to cover. Cena starts pounding back but misses a flying shoulder, allowing Jericho to try the Walls, only to be kicked out to the floor. As Jericho gets back in, Cena drops a top rope leg onto Chris’ head for a close two count. The FU is countered into a DDT and both guys are down.
The fans are split here as Jericho chokes away on the ropes. Cena is in trouble but he comes back with a HARD clothesline to put both guys down again. They slug it out with Cena taking over and hitting his usual finishing sequence, including the spinning powerbomb but as he loads up the Five Knuckle Shuffle, Jericho counters into the Walls. After a long crawl, Cena finally makes it to the rope to escape. A belly to back superplex gets two for Jericho but as they get back up, he charges right into the FU to retain the title for Cena.
Rating: C. The match wasn’t bad here but it didn’t really click for the most part. This was an off time for Jericho as he didn’t fit as a heel because he was more or less the same guy he had always been but he was supposed to be bad now. Cena was starting to click as a main event guy though and that’s a really good sign, but the feud with Bischoff didn’t do anything for him as everyone saw it for what it was.
Chicago gets Wrestlemania 22.
We recap JBL vs. Batista. Basically it was supposed to be Muhammad Hassan taking the title off Big Dave but there was the whole terrorist angle (Hassan had terrorist looking guys attack Undertaker on the same day as the 7/7 London bombings and the backlash got Hassan released) so JBL was thrown in. This is a rematch after the Great American Bash where JBL won by DQ, so tonight it’s no holds barred.
Smackdown World Title: Batista vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
JBL dollars rain from the sky before we get going. The fight starts in the aisle and a belt shot to the head has JBL in trouble. They head over to some of the equipment with JBL being sent into various metal objects. Batista is whipped into a steel case and they brawl through the crowd to ringside where the champion spears JBL through the barricade. A dazed Batista is sent into the post and we finally get inside the ring.
JBL pounds him down into the corner and whips Batista with the timekeeper’s belt. The choke with the belt goes on longer than any human would be alive but Batista fights out and whips JBL with the belt as well. Batista hits the corner shoulders but charges into a boot and JBL’s Clothesline is good for two. JBL brings in the steps and loads up a powerbomb off of them, only to be backdropped down instead. Batista hits the spinebuster and the Batista Bomb but he doesn’t cover. Instead he picks up JBL again and powerbombs him onto the steps for the emphatic pin.
Rating: D+. This wasn’t much at all and the ending was never in doubt. It’s just over nine minutes and about a minute of that was spent on JBL choking Big Dave. JBL was the main event jobber at this point which meant he was ok at best. Batista was still the biggest star in the company at this point but Cena was rising fast.
We recap Hogan vs. Michaels. Hogan was inducted into the Hall of Fame and the fans chanted one more match. HBK was dealing with Muhammad Hassan and Daivari and begged Hogan to join him for one more match. They teamed up for the win at Backlash and became a semi-regular tag team until the 4th of July when Shawn superkicked Hogan after a win. Shawn accused Hogan of living off a reputation for twenty years, setting up a showdown here tonight. Shawn turned heel for the build because goodness knows Hogan isn’t getting booed on his nostalgia tour.
Then there is this, which set Hogan off horribly.
Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan
Michaels cools his heels on the floor before the bell as the fans are way into this. Hogan easily wins the first lockup and shoves Shawn down a few more times. The fans tell Shawn that he screwed Bret as he hooks a headlock to take over for a few moments. A hard shoulder block puts Shawn on the floor and Michaels stalls again. Back in and Shawn chops away before being whipped onto the top rope for some punts to the ribs. Shawn is crotched on the top and punched in the face for his efforts.
Michaels finally wises up and thumbs Hulk in the eye, only to have Hogan come back with a backdrop. Hogan sends him to the floor and launches him back inside before walking into some right hands and chops. Then comes the mistake as Shawn slaps him in the face, cuing the Hulk Up. Shawn slaps him again….and it seems to work. He fires off more chops but gets sent into the corner for the Flair Flip and a big right hand to send Shawn to the floor.
Hogan drops him on the announce table and pounds away with those “ham-like” right hands. Shawn is posted but Hogan breaks the count at nine. Hogan tries to ram him in again but Shawn slips off and posts Hulk instead. The bald one is cut open and Shawn pounds away at the cut. They fall to the mat with Shawn staying on the assault and the cut being in such a goofy straight line that you almost have to chuckle.
Off to a sleeper with Hogan’s blood GUSHING onto Shawn’s arm. Hogan’s arm only drops twice and he comes out of it with a belly to back suplex. Both guys are down and Hogan looks very confused. Back up and there’s the forearm into the nipup but the big elbow misses. There’s the finger point but another forearm breaks up the big boot. The referee is bumped though just before Shawn nips up again. Shawn goes to the wrong corner for the elbow so instead he puts Hogan in the Sharpshooter as a second referee slides in.
The hold stays on for a LONG time but Shawn has it on so badly that it’s easily believed. Hogan makes the rope so Shawn loads it up again, only to be kicked off and into another referee. With no referee, Shawn hits Hogan low and grabs a chair. A bad looking shot to the head puts Hogan down and there’s the big elbow. It didn’t work for Savage in 89 and it’s not going to work here. Sweet Chin Music gets two and I think you can fill in the blanks here. One Hulk Up, big boot (with infamous overselling that would make Rock say “DUDE tone it WAY down) and a legdrop later and we’re done.
Rating: C-. This is your standard Hogan match but that’s not exactly the best thing to see in 2005. It’s a cool idea for a match in theory but it didn’t quite hold up in actuality. Shawn had to tone his main event style WAY down to let Hogan keep up with him and it was all nostalgia after that. I’m ok with the booking here as Shawn didn’t need the win at all and was the guy to put over everyone in his return so putting over Hogan is fine. The match is worth seeing for historical significance but not much more.
Shawn and Hogan make up and massive posing ends the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This is a hard one to grade as it’s not exactly a bad show, but there’s nothing here that you should go out of your way to see at all. This was a bad time for the company as they were in a big transition to the new stuff but the new guys weren’t ready yet. That leaves an uninteresting show with matches that were easy to predict. It’s not terrible by any means and there are FAR worse shows out there, but this isn’t worth seeing other than the main event for history.
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