WWE Monday Night Raw
November 7th, 2005

It's the first Raw after Taboo Tuesday! Will Shawn Michaels come after John Cena? Will Kane & the Big Show be able to work together? Will Edge show up for work? All these questions will be answered and more! Ok, I feel like way too much of a late-night salesman. Let's just get to it.

- Before Raw began, I saw the promo that everyone's been talking about, where USA asked if the Animal (Batista, not the Road Warrior) was able to bring back JR. Obviously, that was a mistake, as JR was barely even mentioned on Raw, especially not as coming back because of the win. Instead, we had a 3-man announcing team in Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler, & the Coach, and I think they did a pretty good job.

- We started Raw with most of the wrestlers around ringside (sans Angle and Cena, I noticed). Eric Bischoff came out and talked about the matches for the Survivor Series, including a Triple H/Flair Last Man Standing Match (thank you, Eric) and Cena/Angle. Good start to the card already. Bischoff then talked about the 10-Man Raw/Smackdown Elimination Match, and I started having dreams of matches for the spots. Well, I didn't get it for 3 of them, as Bischoff immediately named Shawn Michaels Team Captain and gave him Kane & the Big Show as partners. Hard to argue with those choices.

Bischoff then asked who wanted the other slots. Carlito and Shelton Benjamin both volunteered, setting up a match for the 4th slot later in the night. Bischoff then granted Trevor Murdoch's request to have Cade & Murdoch face Kane & the Big Show in a "Hardcore" Match. Oh dear. Next, Bischoff granted Gregory Helms' request for a match against Rosey (so, what, no build-up to a personal feud? Bummer). Bischoff also let Mickie James speak, who just wanted to get the crowd to cheer for Trish Stratus, who had won at Taboo Tuesday. Bischoff wasn't really into that one.

Finally, Bischoff called out Edge & Lita, who said at Taboo Tuesday that they didn't care about Raw. As a 'punishment', Bischoff put Edge in a "Street Fight" Match against Batista on Smackdown. Ok, wait a second. Bischoff is giving a superstar to Smackdown, in a great match? There BETTER be a Raw swerve here (as in, all the Raw stars appear and beat down Batista), or else I'm really not happy at the logic here. Edge & Lita were sung from the ring by Bischoff & the rest of the wrestlers as we went to break. (Whew, three paragraph segment!)

- Match #1: Carlito won a spot on the Raw 5-Man Team, beating Shelton Benjamin with a pin, using the ropes. It wasn't a bad match, as Carlito used a lot of ring psychology, attacking Benjamin's hurting leg. I still would have rather seen Benjamin on the team, but oh well. Maybe their feud isn't quite done yet.

- Mickie James talked to Trish Stratus about how thrilled she is about the match tonight. Stratus looks a little frustrated with James' constant attention. Believe it or not, I can't wait to see where this is going.

- Match #2: Candice Michelle & Victoria defeated Mickie James & Trish Stratus. Of these four women, which does not belong? If you said Candice, well, actually, she's getting better, and has that new wicked over-the-ropes submission hold, so I'm willing to give her some props. I also like her dance. Anyway, James wrestled almost the whole match, with Stratus just coming in illegally to get some shots, including the whirlybird maneuver, which I'm a fan of. But James got clocked by Victoria, who had Candice's scepter, which allowed Victoria to pick up the pin. The heels celebrated, as Trish just looked confused as the surprise ending. It was hard to tell whether Trish was concerned about her partner, or unhappy about the loss.

- A promo showed Shawn Michaels Superkicking John Cena last week on Raw. Will they be able to team together in the main event? Oooohh, the suspense!

- Highlights from Taboo Tuesday are shown, including, despite the Coach's wishes, the Batista Bomb. Interestingly enough, they only showed stills of the last two matches, which were almost universally acclaimed as terrific matches. Guess they're still looking for the buys.

- The Tag Champs talked in the back. Kane's strategy is to illicit as much pain as possible to the nearly lifeless corpses of their enemies. The Big Show thought that was beautiful, showing his more sadistic side. May I say I don't envy Cade & Murdoch?

- Match #3: Gregory Helms defeated Rosey with the Shining Wizard. I think the right guy went over here, even if Rosey did get in a lot of offense early on. Helms actually looked very impressive as a serious character again, and I honestly wouldn't mind seeing him get an IC Title push in the near future. But we'll see (considering he's a *gasp* cruiserweight still).

- Cade & Murdoch are shown with a shopping cart full of violence... my favorite!

- Match #4: The Big Show & Kane retained the Raw Tag Titles, winning a "Hardcore" Match over Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch. May I note that the Big Show was announced at 507 lbs, while Cade & Murdoch were 501? Ummm... wow. Actually, Cade & Murdoch were competitive for a while, after knocking the Big Show outside. They double-teamed Kane, getting in some good shots working together. But that all changed when a fighting-mad Big Show reentered, and the former champs were dominated from then on, ending at the announce table, where Cade was given a Double Chokeslam through the table. He was then easily pinned by Kane, showing that the two monsters are working together. I feel terrible for Cade & Murdoch, who were really starting to come along. Honestly, though, who's going to take on Kane & the Big Show now?

- Kurt Angle headed for the ring, for no discernible reason (although they tried to play off that the 'main event' was next, instead of the IC Title match, which would have made the IC Title match the main event, wouldn't it? Oh well, I digress). When the fans chanted, as always, "You Suck!", Angle took offense, then tried to redo the walk-in twice more, getting the chants both times. A furious Angle went off on the crowd, saying that he had broken his neck for them, he'd missed his kid's first steps because of them, and he'd lost his wife because of them. The crowd, cheering at first, didn't know what to make of that comment. Angle then stormed off, saying that the main event wasn't going to happen. Surreal moment.

- A desperate Bischoff approached Angle in the back, begging him to be in the main event. Angle asked for 2 things: to keep the fans from chanting "You Suck", and to give him a special referee for the match. Bischoff promised the referee, but wasn't sure he could pull off anything with the crowd. But when Angle started to leave again, Bischoff said he'd do what he can. This ought to be interesting.

- Match #5: Ric Flair stayed the Intercontinental Champion, forcing Rob Conway to submit to the Figure Four. So much for the Con Man's push. Triple H watched the whole match from an easy chair on the stage, then came down near the end. As soon as Conway tapped, Triple H got a chain around Flair's throat and pulled him out. The two brawled into the crowd, with refs trying to pull them apart. Actually a better-than-average match, and the brawl afterwards helped the feud regain some steam after the great cage match. My only complaint is, why not have Triple H attack Flair before Conway taps, causing the DQ and saving Conway some heat?

- Lita tried to influence Bischoff into letting Edge stay on Raw by flashing him. Bischoff said "you're going to put an eye out with one of those things", then kicked Lita out of his office. He also said "Slut" under his breath. Bischoff is doing an alright job as the 'tweener'. I don't know if I could say no to a naked Lita like that. Ok, of course I would (as my wife looks over my shoulder). Gulp.

- Match #6: Kurt Angle & Chris Masters won, via DQ, over John Cena & Shawn Michaels. Angle came out to a 'censored' crowd. Every chant of "You Suck" was bleeped out, which actually wouldn't affect Angle being able to hear them live. I guess he only cares about on tv? Cena got a huge response when he came out, possibly because he was the only wrestler having not been seen until this point. Actually pretty shrewd by WWE, who were probably a little worried about the negative reaction towards Cena at Taboo Tuesday. This got him looking like a major face. And, on order to help that some more....

Shawn Daiviri was the special guest referee! Yep, that's right, Angle, the American Olympic Hero, asked for Daivari to be the ref. As expected, Daivari was extremely biased for Angle & Masters, counting quick for them and slow for HBK & Cena. Near the end, Daivari turned out to be the major factor of the match, as he ignored Masters swinging a chair at HBK, but when HBK got the chair, Daivari grabbed it from him and called for the DQ. After the match, Michaels gave Masters some Sweet Chin Music, but was then taken out of the ring by Angle. Cena attacked Angle and started to take him down, but Angle escaped the FU, then Daivari used the steel chair on Cena, flooring him! Angle & Daivari celebrated up the ramp, as the faces stared daggers at them.

Summary: Alright, compared to the last few Raws, this was a pretty good show. I mean, I can't complain when two of the four major titles are defended, with the other two champs in action, right? As always, there were some things I was unhappy about, but as a fan, I have to admit I enjoyed the show, including the twist at the end. I mean, who predicted the return of Daivari? I don't remember reading anything on the Net. So good job, WWE. You got us.

I'm interested in where the careers of Gregory Helms and Daivari are going. Both seemed to be given a relatively strong push tonight, especially Daivari, who laid out the champ with a chair shot to the back. Could Daivari's career be rekindled that quickly, after all that went down with Hassan? I actually can't wait to find out. I love that wrestling is on its way back up; now if only the fans hear about it and come back.

The Accelerator