WWE Monday Night Raw
September 26th, 2005

It's a monumental occasion in professional wrestling history. WWE Raw leaves Spike TV tonight to head back to USA Network. Let me just compose myself, ok, now let's get to the review!

- Vince McMahon came out and thanked Spike TV for the last 5 years. Of course, Spike TV didn't return the thank you, instead bleeping out the word "USA". Sheesh, that's pretty petty. Kurt Angle then came out and wanted a shot at the winner of the Cena/Bischoff match next week, which Vince seemed inclined to give, until Shawn Michaels interrupted. HBK & Angle had a spitting contest about who was up on whom in their feud, with Vince declaring that the two would fight in a 30-minute Iron Man Match next week on Homecoming, to decide the #1 Contender. Sounds good to me (although ratings always drop during Iron Man matches, for some reason).

- Match #1: Trish Stratus retained the WWE Women's Title, winning, via DQ, over Victoria. Cool, we FINALLY had a Women's Title defense! When was the last time we saw that happen? Wrestlemania? Anyway, Trish got the Stratusfaction on Victoria, causing Torrie & Candice to charge the ring. The faces fought them off, however, with Candice getting stripped by Ashley. No censorship there, interestingly enough. Afterwards, Candice basically set up a 3-on-2 Bra & Panties Match next week. Eh. Personally, I think they should have built Victoria up as more of a threat to Trish, since she's about the only contender in the bunch. But what do I know, I'm just a fan, right?

- Match #2: The Big Show won a "Street Fight" over Gene Snitsky. Short match, really, for a major bout, with TBS winning after clobbering Snitsky with a kitchen sink. Whoa, flashback to the Hardcore Title!

- The Coach is shown talking about the censorship, only to be censored again by Spike TV. Hmmm. This smells of a set-up by WWE to get fans to turn against Spike (and, thus, TNA). Then again, maybe Spike really is that petty.

- In the back, Ric Flair hangs out with Maria, even getting her a kiss. Hey, Flair, you're a long-time wrestling veteran, right? So don't you know when the cameras are on you? First the orgy last week, and now Maria. Your wife's gonna kill you.

- Flair came out to the ring, showed off a sledgehammer, and talked about the return of Triple H. This better lead to Triple H betraying Flair, since Helmsley can't pass as a face anymore, at least in my opinion.

- John Cena threatened Eric Bischoff in his office, talking about Bischoff's kung-fu background. Do all you want, guys, but I'm still not interested in a Cena/Bischoff World Title Match.

- Match #3: Kerwin White defeated Shelton Benjamin, thanks in large part to White's new caddy (whom I believe was OVW wrestler Nick Nemeth) tripping up Benjamin during a suplex and holding his legs to help White make the pin. After the match, Benjamin went after White, only to be hit by a golf club from the caddy. Well, although I hate Benjamin AGAIN being pushed down (RVD '05), at least an assistant will help White get over more.

- Edge & Lita did ANOTHER interview about how Lita cheated on Matt Hardy from the ring. The only new addition to this bit was the ladder that Edge sat on. Edge, being a veteran of the TLC Wars, should have known better. Hardy came down and eventually shoved the ladder, sending Edge on a wicked ride (and a painful-looking landing).

- In the back, Teddy Long appeals to Eric Bischoff about some tv time. Although Bischoff was against it, Vince loved the idea, giving Long time on Homecoming for a Smackdown Match. Vince then told Bischoff to 'call his friends' for next week, which made Bischoff happy. Personally, I don't get it, unless, you don't suppose, will we have the return of HLA??? (If you don't know what HLA stands for, you won't get the sarcasm here, heh)

- Match #4: Val Venis & Viscera won, via DQ, in a "Non-Title" Match with Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch. Yeah, way to put over your new tag champs, guys. Venis had Murdoch beat with the Money Shot, with Cade causing the DQ by stopping the ref. Cade & Murdoch are now on thin ice of joining M-N-M on the pushed-hard & pushed-back list. Please let them beat down Venis & Viscera on Homecoming.

- Carlito & Chris Masters are seen in the back, worrying about splinters from the tables match later on. I have to admit, Carlito is giving Masters some personality to work with, which might actually help him get over more. If it works, run with it!

- Match #5: Rob Conway defeated Eugene with the Egotrip. Eugene had the edge near the end, but Conway tore up Eugene's doll (sigh) distracting him. Not that exciting of a match for me.

- Match #6: Chris Masters & Carlito won a "Tables" Match over John Cena & Shawn Michaels, with Kurt Angle's interference having a lot to do with it. At the end, with the faces fully in control, Angle ran down and shoved Michaels off the turnbuckle and through a table, giving Masters & Carlito an upset win. When Cena went to fight Angle after the match, Bischoff snuck in and low-blowed the World Champ, allowing the Olympic Hero to Angle Slam Cena through a table (ouch!). Bischoff taunted Cena with the belt afterwards.

Summary: It was a good night of wrestling for Raw, but I don't think it quite matched up to events they've had in the past few weeks. The various matches were everywhere (Street Fight, Tables, etc), but they didn't last long enough, in my view, to get me too pumped about them. Really, this night just seemed like the Raw before a PPV, which is, basically, what it is, as they're all preparing for Homecoming (which looks like a very good card, the main event match notwithstanding).

This next Saturday, we get to see TNA on Spike, and we'll see how it compares against Raw's first return show on USA. OF course, the first one we've got is Friday Night Smackdown. Wow, you realize that, whenever someone has a PPV, we'll have televised wrestling on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday? That's a lot of reviewing for yours truly *gulp*.

The Accelerator