JERICHO FIRED; ANGLE NO. 1 CONTENDER
RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff shut the door on Chris Jericho, who "couldn't get the job done" on Monday night. Just as quickly, the door opened for new No. 1 Contender Kurt Angle.
When Chris Jericho fell victim to Cena's FU finisher for the second consecutive night, Bischoff followed through on his promise to fire the loser of the match from WWE. Y2J begged and pleaded on his knees for his job, but Bischoff already had a contingency plan.
At the same time that Jericho was being physically removed from the building by security, Kurt Angle emerged to attack the WWE Champion. Kurt leveled Cena, then hit an Angle Slam. With Cena prone on the mat, a pleased Bischoff announced Angle as the new No. 1 Contender.
It was a big night for Angle, who also silenced a former protégé on RAW. Fresh off his intense and successful performance at SummerSlam, Angle battled Shelton Benjamin. The two traded technical holds before Shelton transitioned to his creative aerial offense. Benjamin also displayed his athleticism by flipping his way out of a German suplex — landing on his feet as only Shelton could do. Benjamin also earned a near-fall by reversing an Angle Slam attempt into a spiked DDT.
But the mentor had the answer to the student's advance. Angle stopped a T-bone suplex and locked in the ankle lock. When Kurt was able to grapevine the hold, it spelled the end for Benjamin, who tapped seconds later. Angle then retrieved a chair from ringside and simulated his 1996 gold medal ceremony for the second straight evening.
Shawn Michaels opened RAW and recounted his SummerSlam match with tongue firmly in cheek. HBK sarcastically said Hogan was "the better man" at SummerSlam, and that it was no time to get "back to reality." Just when "The Showstopper" was getting warmed up, he was halted mid-speech by Chris Masters' elaborate ring entrance. "The Masterpiece" declared that it was time for Hulk Hogan and HBK to pass the torch to him. Michaels was playful with the situation, saying he understood that to climb the WWE ladder, Masters needed to try to steal the spotlight from a main-eventer. But just as quickly, Michaels opened up on the impressive newcomer and chased him from the ring. Masters backed off … for now.
Matt Hardy would not die at SummerSlam. He was never pinned; he never tapped. Referee Chad Patton was forced to stop the pay-per-view match; however, after an emotional Edge decimated Hardy. Despite clearly not being 100 percent healthy, Hardy still managed to make his scheduled RAW match against red-hot Rob Conway. But Hardy had little left after the damage done at SummerSlam, making him especially susceptible to Conway's attack. Conway continued his recent win streak with a top-rope elbow smash right to Hardy's heart — all while Lita and Edge watched from the announce table. Once the match was over, Edge picked up right where he left off in Washington, D.C., bloodying Matt by smashing his head with the steel ring steps.
Carlito had 16-time world champion Ric Flair on the Cabana, which was cool. But Carlito changed his mind after speaking face-to-face with Flair — even spitting apple in The Nature Boy's face. Flair responded with fists and chops, forcing the young Intercontinental Champion from the ring and from Flair Country.
The Hampton, Va., crowd got a special surprise treat when Candice and Torrie Wilson appeared on RAW as the result of a four-person roster trade. The sizzling-hot Divas welcomed the 2005 Diva Search winner Ashley to RAW the hard way — with a high-heeled kick to the abdomen and a slap to the face. Candice and Torrie promised to stir up Monday nights, and they certainly followed through with that unprovoked attack.