WWE Monday Night Raw
August 22nd, 2005

Ahh, my first official Raw report. About time I started doing this. I AM a wrestling reporter after all. We're one day past WWE Summerslam '05, where John Cena stayed Raw World Champ, Hulk Hogan beat fellow legend Shawn Michaels, and Edge beat the holy hell out of Matt Hardy. Let's get to it.

- Raw started off with another well-constructed promo regarding what happened on Summerslam. They even made Matt Hardy's defeat look like a good thing. Impressive.

- "HBK" Shawn Michaels came out, and the crowd definitely loved him. It's amazing what one handshake can do. Michaels gave a nice speech, basically getting in some parting shots on Hogan (who wasn't there that night). Chris Masters then came out and talked about Michaels & Hogan needing to pass the torch, with Michaels coming back with a couple of shots at Masters, including a hilarious 'pose'. When Masters fired back by insulting Michaels' disappearing hairline, HBK started the fight, eventually sending Masters from the ring.

- A frustrated Chris Jericho in the back complained to Bischoff about how John Cena got lucky the night before. Bischoff then announced that Jericho's rematch for the WWE Title that night will be a "You're Fired" Match, with Bischoff at ringside to 'observe'. Jericho looked a little nervous at the prospect, but still said that Bischoff was a genius.

- Match #1: Kurt Angle forced Shelton Benjamin to tap out to the Ankle Lock, in a very competitive match that could have been on the PPV last night. Maybe this will get Benjamin back in the thick of things, after so many jobs to guys like Masters. It also made Angle look like a bonafide contender to Cena's Title (more on that later). Angle had the referee award him the Olympic Gold Medal after the match.

- Kerwin White officially replaced Muhammad Hassan as the most rascist character on WWE television. He drove up in a golf cart and talked about Shelton Benjamin, saying that Benjamin was a great athlete, but that he wasn't white. "If it's not white, it's not right". Yeah. That's going to go over well. Poor Chavo.

- Gene Snitsky drooled over Maria's toes, until the Big Show interrupted, calling Snitsky a freak. Snitsky tried to deny his toe-sucking wishes, but the Big Show doesn't buy it. After Snitsky leaves, the Big Show walks over with Maria, who didn't know what a pervert was.

- Match #2: Rob Conway defeated Matt Hardy with a flying elbow. Wait a second. Let me type that again. Rob Conway defeated Matt Hardy. Matt? Didn't I beg you to go to TNA? *sigh* Anyway, Edge & Lita were at the announcer's table, laughing at Hardy trying to wrestle with a concussion (presumably why he lost to Conway). After the match, Edge came to the ring and added another beatdown to Hardy, crushing his head between the ring and the ring steps. Gotta admit, it looked painful.

- On Carlito's Cabana, Carlito brought out hometown-ish hero Ric Flair. Carlito talked about how he watched his dad, Carlos Colon, go at it with Flair, and how his dad was right about Flair not being so great. He also talked about Flair's 16 times of 'losing' the World Title, while he's never lost the IC Title once, a belt that Flair has never held. Flair did his normal speech about being a limo-riding, jet-skiing, etc etc. Carlito spit an apple into Flair's face, leading to a one-sided brawl of old man Flair beating up the IC champ.

- Match #3: The Big Show won, via countout, over Gene Snitsky, when Snitsky, after taking a beating, just decided to leave. I suppose this puts over the Big Show, while giving Snitsky a new angle.

- Bischoff, in the back, confronted a hooded John Cena, but after Bischoff taunted the champ for a few minutes, Cena revealed that he had on headphones under the hood. Funny segment.

- The new Redneck tag-team, Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch, debuted a promo, threatening to make someone squeal like a pig. Not sure about this, but any new tag-teams have to be a good thing.

- Torrie Wilson & Candice Michelle appeared via a trade from Smackdown, and called out Ashley. They congratulated her for winning the '05 Diva Search, but then beat the crap out of her, turning heel. Yay.

- Jericho gave a stirring speech to Todd Grisham about how some people deserve to be fired.

- Match #4: John Cena stayed the WWE Champ, winning the "You're Fired" Match over Chris Jericho. It really was a great match, I think even better than the PPV, as there was an undercurrent of emotion due to this being the 'last' match for one of these guys. Bischoff continuously interfered, even putting Jericho's foot on the ropes after an FU. Cena, meanwhile, nearly tapped to the Walls of Jericho, then came within a hairsbreath of losing after Jericho used brass knuckles that Bischoff had given him. In the end, Cena used another FU to pin Jericho and win the match.

- After the match, Bischoff publicly fired Jericho for not getting the job done, with Jericho begging for his job. Jericho was carried out by security. Kurt Angle then appeared and assaulted Cena, beating him down, with Bischoff proclaiming Angle the new #1 Contender to Cena's belt. Cena vs. Angle? I'm down with that.

Summary: Pretty good show, and good timing, too. Now if only Smackdown can deliver as well.

The Accelerator