411’s WWE Raw Report 04.04.05
So, did you see Wrestlemania last night? Great show, eh? Awesome undercard, awesomely booked undercard (except for Orton’s bizarre strategy against Undertaker, which makes me want to write a column on how to beat Taker, because I’m just so into the kayfabe world like that), and the main events got their points across. If not, what kind of wrestling fan are you? A cheap one? Yeah, that’s reasonable. Good thing 411’s got Csonka with the play-by-play and Dunn with the color to fill you in.
Randle has all your Wrestlemania fallout in the Wrestling News Experience.
Nute breaks down the F-U.
Csonka has a lot of classic WCW stuff coming up this week in the Videos section. Here’s a Best of the Bash at the Beach comp review.
The big news development of the weekend: WWE’s going back to USA. This does not affect me, but perhaps it’ll have a positive effect on ratings. And it’ll mean preemptions for dog shows and tennis. Actually, maybe it does affect me then.
David Campbell, the greatest recapper of commercials in the history of recaps and commercials, has the shocking details of WWE’s last-ditch WM21 ad campaign starring Beelzebub.
JAYS WIN! JAYS WIN! Behind loud homers from Orlando Hudson, Vernon Wells and Eric Hinske and seven strong innings from Roy Halladay (whose curveball was beyond filthy), the Jays overcame Dewon Brazelton and the Rays for a 5-2 road win. 1 down, 161 to go. And 411 Sports has a lot of high-quality MLB previews for your enjoyment. So go enjoy them.
And the live Raw thread isn’t up as of now, but you can pop into the Raw forum and harass the regulars there until it gets posted. And then pop in and discuss tonight’s events as they take place.
It’s one big reset button tonight: the post-Wrestlemania Raw! This ride contains shocking swerves and sudden turns. Hang on tight – here we go…
411’s WWE RAW REPORT – 04.04.05
This marks the second consecutive week I have put the correct date in the title.
TV-14-DLV-CC, and we return with the highlight package that aired after the show last night. No pyro, but we’re LIVE in Los Angeles’ Staples Center again, and JR & King are your hosts!
Time to play the game. We start cold with Triple H, on his way to the ring in a suit and sunglasses. He forgoes the water spit pose, so you know he means business. He has the stick. He soaks in the “You suck!” chants, then the “Batista!” chants, and then the boos (and scattered cheers). He starts to speak, but the “Batista” chant starts again.
“I admit it. Last night at Wrestlemania, I lost the World Heavyweight Championship.”
Big pop. Off go the sunglasses.
And now he’s mad, and uses the intense voice. “But for anybody that thinks that this is the beginning of a new era, you are wrong! If you think this is the start of the Batista era, you are wrong! Because Batista was great one night. ONE NIGHT. In this ring, Wrestlemania 21, the biggest stage of all time, Batista was awesome.” Pop. “I will admit it. He was on. But it was one night. I am great every night! And that champoinship belt, Batista is wearing around his waist, it gravitates toward greatness. And you know what that means? That means it will come back to me.” Boos.
“It will find its way home, because I own it! Batista was good once. I own the World Heavyweight Championship, and the rematch clause is rock solid! There is no way out. It will take place. The greatest rematch in the history of this industry, Batista-HHH II, will take place, and when it is over, I will stand in this ring as the 11-time World Heavyweight Champion. And I can promise you this…” He walks outside with the stick, and gets in some fans’ faces. Man, that’s a statement. “I can promise you this. When I do, I will come back here, and I will jam that championship belt down each and every one of your throats!” The
plant unlucky fan is somewhat disgusted.
Shelton Benjamin vs Christian vs Chris Jericho, Intercontinental Championship
Match #1: Shelton Benjamin (c) vs Christian (w/ Tyson Tomko) vs Chris Jericho
All three guys get a nice pop – even Christian gets a mixed reaction. Infirmary report: Shelton’s right knee, Jericho’s right arm and Christian’s ribs are taped. Jericho punches Christian, and the faces double-team him. Shelton whips and clotheslines Christian. Jericho hits him with a back suplex. Shelton gets some rights in the corner. Jericho shoves him away to get some chops. Shelton moves Jericho aside to get some rights. Jericho is somewhat insulted. Christian bails to the apron, so Jericho gets a right, a whip and a clothesline. He gets a baseball slide dropkick and a flurry of rights. Jericho puts Shelton’s neck on the second rope and chokes away. But Shelton runs the ropes and hits a cross body for two. Jericho gets a chop in the corner. He uses a cross-corner whip and the running bulldog, but takes a while to get up, selling the ill effects of the ladder match. Jericho thinks Lionsault, but Christian nails him with a right while he’s on the ropes and dumps him. But he runs right into a backbreaker from Shelton, and Shelton gets a whip and a backdrop. Christian bails to the apron and pokes Shelton in the eye, and gets an inverted top-rope stun gun. And he clotheslines Shelton and stomps away. Christian hits a gorgeous neckbreaker for two. We have dueling “Shelton” and Christian” chants. Jericho gets on the apron, so Christian nails him with a running elbow and hits Shelton with the inverted DDT into a backbreaker for two. Christian goes to a chinlock. ["CLB!"] Christian heads up top, but Shelton stops him with rights and tries a superplex as Jericho heads back into the ring. Jericho gets underneath Shelton and powerbombs him, causing Shelton to knock Christian down with the superplex on his way down! AWESOME SPOT! Jericho covers Shelton for two. Christian gets up, but Jericho chops him. Jericho runs the ropes anyway, though, and gets a forearm and the Y2J Stinger. He hits the Flashback on Shelton for two. Jericho dumps Christian. He gets a right on Shelton and a whip, but Shelton gets a sunset flip for two… when Christian comes in the back door with a schoolboy for two. But Jericho hits each guy with a single-leg takedown and pins both at the same time with a jackknife roll for two! Christian hits Jericho, who bails to the corner, then whales away on Christian, who bails in front of Jericho. Shelton goes for the Stinger splash on both guys. Christian dodges, and Jericho gets hit. Shelton hits a flapjack onto the top rope on Christian for two, broken up by Jericho. Shelton reverses a cross-corner whip on Jericho, but Jericho lands on the second turnbuckle… but Shelton reverses the Flying Nothing to THAT’S MISTER EXPLODER! But Tomko pulls Shelton out, murders him with a lariat, and lets Christian cover… two! Small package to Jericho gets two for Christian. Christian tries the Unprettier, blocked! Jericho springboard dropkicks Tomko off the apron and gets a double-leg into the Walls on Christian! Christian is thisclose to tapping after 30 seconds of pain. Shelton is up outside the ring… and he heads up top, and NAILS Jericho with a flying forearm to the back of the head or a bulldog out of nowhere! Our hosts try to figure out where the hell he came from as Shelton covers for the clean three!
Winner: Shelton Benjamin via pinfall (7:30)
Action-packed match. This was just about everything you could want in seven and a half minutes. These three guys just do it all.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff talks to Edge. Bischoff says Shelton’s win was big. Edge says his win in the Money in the Bank ladder match last night was bigger. “What do you say let’s make this official?” Edge signs and says that he’s not ready to face Batista for the title. “Not only is this contract money in the bank, I am money in the bank.” But Edge promises that he’ll make the challenge when he’s good and ready. Bischoff looks disappointed, and hands Edge a match with Chris Benoit instead. Edge looks a bit disappointed, but still content.
Randy Orton is here! He’s got his head held high after his match with Undertaker. JR & King put his effort over, and say he came closer than anyone ever to beating Undertaker at his show. I would think that HHH would beg to differ.
Orton gets the usual mixed reaction. There are some loud “Taker” chants. He looks pensive in the ring. “It wasn’t – it wasn’t supposed to happen this way. It wasn’t supposed to happen like it did. I came this close to making history. This close to beating the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Hell, he picked me up for that chokeslam, I turned it into an RKO, and when that wasn’t enough, I figured I’d beat him at his own game, I’d beat him with his own patented move, I’d pick him up with his own Tombstone Piledriver. But before I could break his neck, something happened. Something happened, my – my shoulder, my left shoulder, I heard a snap. And I lost the feeling in my left arm, and the next thing I knew I was looking at the bright lights. I don’t know what’s wrong, and my doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong, but if my shoulder didn’t give out last night, I would’ve beaten the Undertaker! But it got worse. Because when I was backstage, and the doctro was tending to my injured shoulder, I looked up at the television, I looked up at the TV monitor, and what I saw made me SICK to my STOMACH! I saw the NEW WORLD CHAMPION, BATISTA! Now let me make one thing perfectly clear. When I was messin’ with the Undertaker, I respected him. Even though I despise HHH, I respect him. I have NO respect WHATSOEVER for Batista! Everybody knows when Evolution was formed, it was me. I was the future! Hell, I still am. I was the bright and shining star. I was the project, the diamond in the rough. Everybody knows it. Hell, me and Flair and HHH, we’ve laughed at Batista, we cracked jokes, we made fun of him. He was so far behind, they told me to slow down. They said, ‘Randy, you’re light years ahead of Batista. Let him catch up.’ It was a running joke. The animal? Hah.” ["Batista!"] “Chant his name! Go ahead. Chant his name, but let me tell you one thing right now. This year alone, I’ve beaten him not once, but twice, I pinned him in this very ring, so I know what I gotta do to get the bitterness out of my mind, to get that loss out of my mind from last night from the Undertaker. I need to beat Batista, RIGHT HERE, TONIGHT!”
This prompts Eric Bischoff to come out. “Randy, as far as World Title matches are concerned, I think earlier tonight we heard what HHH has in mind with his rematch clause. And even if he hasn’t, Edge…”
Orton interrupts him and demands Batista in THIS ring, TONIGHT! “You hear me? To. Night.”
“You want it so damn bad? Then tonight, it’s going to be Randy Orton one on one with the new World Champion, Batista!”
And Bischoff heads backstage. Orton is satisfied and pensive again.
Backstage, Trish Stratus is on her way to the ring for a rematch with Christy Hemme.
Match #2: Christy Hemme (w/ Lita) vs Trish Stratus (c)
Apparently, Trish requested this match. As Christy discusses strategy with Lita, Trish knocks her out with the big kick to the side of the head before the bell. As Referee Jack Doan looks over Christy, Lita gets in Trish’s face, so she slaps Lita. Lita punches back, but Trish uses a kick to the back of the injured knee, stomps on it, and locks in an ankle lock! She finally lets go and celebrates as Referee Earl Hebner & “Vigilant” Mike Chioda head down to tell her to go away. So she does.
Christy wakes up again and joins the three refs in looking over Lita.
In some capacity, Hulk Hogan is up next!
The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ “Big Time” was the Wrestlemania theme.
JR & King mention that there were many great moments last night, but one of the more memorable ones involved Eugene. And we see the Eugene/Hassan & Daivari/Hogan segment, in which Hassan beat down Eugene and put him in the Camel Clutch, but was the victim of a run-in by Hulk Hogan. Hogan booted both heels and no-sold a chairshot from Daivari, but hit zero legdrops. He then posed for a good four or five minutes. We cut most of that, though. We do see Hogan finish his posing in front of a big American flag at the top of the stage.
Up next, Shawn Michaels will have an interview in the aftermath of his showstopping performance last night at Wrestlemania.
We get the Gladiator trailer that ran before Wrestlemania one last time.
And we cut into Shawn Michaels‘ entrance! He’s wearing a suit and still limping a bit, selling the anklelock he survived for minutes in his classic match with Kurt Angle last night. Shawn thanks the fans and has the stick.
“Now, I’m not gonna take a lot of your time tonight. I just wanted to come out here tonight to say thank you. You see, I’ve only had two real loves in my life: the beautiful family that God gave me, and the opportunity of coming out here for the last 20 years and performing in front of each and every one of you. Last night, at Wrestlemania 21, you, the WWE fans, once again did me the honor and the privilege of allowing me to do what I love best, and that is to come out in front of you and have the chance to be the Showstopper. Now I’l admit, things didn’t work out exactly as I had planned, but that notwithstanding, I was wondering if I could come out here and jut ask you for a teeny weeny favor. You see, I was wondering how many of you would maybe like to see Kurt Angle and the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, in a rematch.”
Big pop. ["HBK!"]
“I won’t lie to you – I was hoping you were gonna say that. You see, I don’t know when, I don’t know where, and quite honestly, I don’t know how, but I promise you that I will do absolutely everything in my power to give you exactly what you want. And this time, this time, the result is gonna be a little bit different.”
Muhammad Hassan & Khosrow Daivari interrupt, with black suits tonight. Daivari says something as he follows Hassan to the ring. Shawn reclines in the corner as they make their way down. Daivari talks all the way down, and points at Shawn while making a pointed statement at the end. Hassan thanks him and points to Shawn. “Last night, the world witnessed the return of a legend. Last night, the world witnessed the return of the Immortal Hulk Hogan. But last night, the world also witnessed a broken-down has-been put his hands on myself and Daivari. And what did you people do? You cheered. Just like you cheered when Shawn Michaels LOST to Kurt Angle. That’s what I don’t understand” … “What I don’t understand is how Shawn Michaels, Mr Wrestlemania, the Showstopper, stole the show again last night. But HBK didn’t steal the show. Shawn Michaels tapped out. Shawn Michaels LOST!”
This prompts Shawn to remove his jacket. “And you people cheered. Why? Because each and every one of you embrace mediocrity? You embrace failure? Because you are all afraid? You fear my success – my fear my Arab-American heritage? You fear ME.” Daivari tries to mediate, but they start to stare each other down. “Shawn Michaels, you may be a legend, but last night at Wrestlemania, you proved to me that you are a loser. Oh, but don’t worry, Shawn, because all these people, all of these sheep, they’re still gonna cheer for you, because losers – love – losers!”
Shawn punches Hassan. And then Daivari. Daivari bails to the outside. Hassan reverses a whip but gets forearmed, and Shawn kips up. He limps over, allowing Daivari to chop-block him, but Shawn gets up and punches away in the corner. The heels double-team Shawn for a while. Hassan hits the Finishing Touch and executes the camel clutch. Crowd chants for Austin? Yeah, right. The heels head up the ramp to boos as Shawn is motionless in the ring. JR promises that at some point, these guys are going to get what’s coming to them for their heinous, reprehensible actions.
Match #3: Edge (w/ briefcase) vs Chris Benoit
Edge looks like he got some extra fog for his entrance. There’s a sizable contingent of pro-Edge fans here tonight. All the ladder match participants are getting nice pops tonight. Infirmary report: Benoit’s left upper arm is taped up and his eye is still stitched up. Edge’s knees seem to have some extra padding tonight. He’s got the cocky demeanor going. They do the knucklelock thing. Benoit tries a go-behind, but Edge breaks a waistlock. Edge gets a waistlock, but Benoit gets a left. They try the knucklelock again, but Benoit decides it’s far more efficient to simply chop Edge twice to knock him down. More chops from Benoit follow in the corner, and he gets some kneelifts as well. Benoit gets a kneelift to set up the snap suplex. Benoit gets punches. Edge bails to the corner, where he comes back with punches. Benoit tries an armbar, blocked, so he whips Edge into the ropes and gets clotheslined. Benoit heads out to try and rest the arm, which is killing him. Edge follows him out, and Benoit meets him with punches and shoulder-thrusts him into the security wall. Edge heads in to break “Vigilant” Mike Chioda‘s 10-count, but he walks into a hard kick to the gut. Benoit gets a whip and a kneelift to knock Edge out. Benoit bails again, so Edge gets frustrated and follows him. But Benoit gets three chops in a row with the good arm, followed by a punch. He heads in and runs the ropes to hit a baseabll slide to the back of Edge’s head. Chioda starts the count again. Edge gets on the apron, and Benoit walks into a stungun. that also drops his left arm on the top rope. Edge capitalizes, extending the arm and elbowdropping the arm. Then he does it again. Edge gets a kick and wrenches the arm. Benoit tries to fight back with chops, but Edge keylocks the arm around the top rope. Benoit fights it with a chinlock, and Edge has to break at 5 anyway. Back in the middle, Edge gets an armwringer into a keylock in the middle of the ring. Benoit fights up to his feet and bodyslams Edge with the one good arm, but Edge hangs on and rolls back through to a hammerlock. Benoit fights his way to his feet out of that, and elbows out, then gets a pair of rights and a chop. And a German out of nowhere! But he couldn’t hang on for the rolling Germans. That doesn’t stop him from just lining Edge up and hitting a second one. And a third one! Benoit is writhing in pain. He gets up as King speculates that Benoit has a fractured arm. But that doesn’t stop him from delivering the snot rocket… and up goes Benoit! Diving headbutt… misses! Edge smartly covers, but only gets two. JR says our referee has to take a long look at this match and make a decision on whether to make this match a TKO. I don’t think he has anything to worry about with “Vigilant” Mike Chioda calling the shots. Benoit rolls toward the apron, so Edge baseball slides him out and we go to an Ad Break! (7:49)
Ad Break ends (10:56)
During the break, Edge ripped Benoit’s arm bandage off, but Benoit tried to lock in the crossface. It didn’t work. Edge is still working the keylock. But Benoit counters to an armdrag out of nowhere. Edge kicks Benoit to get the momentum back. Edge heads up, but Benoit crotches him up top and chops him as hard as he can four times in a row. Edge teeters and almost falls off, so Benoit pulls him back and chops him again. Benoit thinks superplex, but Edge tries to headbutt him (channeling the spirit of Benoit from last night). But Benoit shows him who the master of that maneuver is, and gets his superplex, killing himself in the process. Both men are out and the 10-count begins again. Benoit gets a one-armed Sharpshooter out of nowhere! Edge is in trouble! He reaches for Benoit’s leg (yeah, that’ll work), and starts to struggle toward the ropes. Chioda watches intently… and Benoit pulls him back in. But Edge breaks it and kicks away… but lets his guard down and gets locked in the Crossface! Edge gets to his feet because Benoit only has one arm. He escapes and reverses to an armbar takedown! NICE! Edge lines up the spear in the corner, soaking in the “You suck!” chants. But Benoit sidesteps the spear and gets a schoolboy for three!
Winner: Chris Benoit via pinfall (15:26)
Bizarro booking, but this should lead to a great match at Backlash. Edge shows his respect for Benoit’s superhuman effort by sending Benoit into the steel ringsteps leading with his shoulder, then grabs a steel chair and heads toward Chioda first (smart!) to make sure he doesn’t get in the way. Then he plasters Benoit in the bad arm twice, making great smiley faces while lining each shot up. Chioda kicks the chair out of the ring, but the damage is done. JR is disgusted: “He’s a son of a bitch and you know it!” Great stuff. Edge grabs his briefcase from ringside and hugs it on his way up the ramp.
Batista is still scheduled to face Randy Orton tonight.
Simon Dean & Maven are in the ring with the Simon System set-up. “As you people can plainly see, there is a beautiful physical specimen in this ring who just happens to go by the name of Maven! And Maven looks as good as he does because he is a product of hy patented Simon System. Now, I know how you people in LA are obsessed with your looks, and I can’t blame you – beacuse what if you want to look as good as Maven? Well now you can, without expensive liposuctions, bad diets, or Botox injections, because all you need is my patented Simon System!”
“Excuse me, Simon! I was under the impression that LA was full of beautiful people. But after scanning this crowd, I think LA stands for large asses! What’s the deal?”
“The deal is, these people, they don’t care about their bodies, oh no. They act like they do, but instead, they’d rather sit around in their seats, eating nachos, and drinking – yeah! – drinking bear, and watching TiVo of fat actresses. People! That’s not the way to live!” The Patented Simon System can change your life. “And I defy anyone to tell me otherwise!”
Glass shatters, and it’s Stone Cold Steve Austin! He hits the ring and gets the stick.
“It’s good to be back here, Los Angeles! Ready to turn this sumbitch up, gimme a hell yeah. Let me see 20,000 middle fingers! Now if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s to see a sorry piece of trash like this selling vitamins, protein powder, protein bars, videotapes, DVDs, this kind of garbage, in my ring. Now when I was in the back listening to your little ass, soeems to me you got my ears cleaned, sounds to me like you had a little problem with people drinking beer. You got a problem with beer drinkers?”
Simon objects, saying he paid for his time. Austin asks how much he paid for his haircut. “Because if you paid $5 for that haircut, you paid $4.95 too much.” He asks Maven whether he wants to be Stone Cold with his shaved head, and says he’ll never come close. Austin makes a proposition for the heels: he’ll try a protein shake if Simon tries one of Austin’s Stone Cold beers. Simon is fine with it as long as it’s low-carb beer. “And Mr Rattlesnake, nothing goes better with a low-carb beer than a patented, delicious Simon Shake.”
Austin asks whether he’s really going to drink the beer. “Sure. I’m game.” Austin looks at Simon and tells him to wipe the stupid look off his face, then notes that Simon can’t do anything about it because he was born like that. Then he tells Simon to pop the top and drink. Simon holds his nose and starts, but spits it out. “It’s not that bad. It’s not that bad, but, uh, give me a few seconds to work off a few of these calories.” He does some ugly push-ups as Maven counts and provides emotional support. Austin tells him to do five more. So he does five real ones. Austin asks for five more. And gets them. So he asks for five more and gets them. So he asks for five more and gets them. He asks the crowd whether they want 10 more – hell yeah! – so Simon does 10 ugly ones. Austin is disgusted and tells Simon to get up. Simon tells him it’s his turn to drink.
Austin takes a sip of the shake and asks how much he’s selling it for, saying it’s pathetic and worthless. Simon insists that it’s a brand-new formula. Maven says that it’s a man’s drink, and says that perhaps Steve just can’t handle it, unlike his man Simon. Simon, in a fit of stupidity, spills the shake on Austin, prompting a “You fucked up!” chant from the LA crowd. Austin dumps Simon. Maven’s already bailed. Austin gets Simon and sends him into the wall, then whales away. Maven gets a low blow. Simon bails to the ring and sits in the corner, where Austin stomps a mudhole in him. Austin spits beer at Dean – KICK WHAM STUNNER – and heads outside to fetch Maven. He lines Maven up – two middle fingers – KICK WHAM STUNNER. And Austin drinnks to his accomplishments. He leaves.
Batista and Orton – next!
Backstage, in a dark alley with red lights, Randy Orton walks to the ring and gets intercepted by Kane They look at each ohter. Kane laughs. “I told you so. Hehehehe. You can’t beat what you don’t understand. Heheheheheh.” “You’re wrong, Kane. You’re wrong. I do understand. And you’ll realize that when I’m done with Batista.” Kane chuckles and smiles at the camera. Then he laughs.
Randy Orton hits the ring, and we head to an ad break to build anticipation for Batista’s entrance, I guess.
Match #4: Randy Orton vs Batista (c)
World Heavyweight Championship
“Batista” chant to begin. They lock up. Orton goes right to a headlock, but Batista sends him into the ropes and gets a shoulderblock. Orton bails to the corner and gets European uppercuts and rights, followed by a series of rights in the corner. He tries a cross-corner whip, but Batista stands his ground and reverses it. He gets elbows and a hard forearm to the back. Batista gets a whip and an elbow. Batista thinks powerslam, but Orton sneaks out the back door, gets a couple of punches, and dropkicks Batista through the ropes to the outside. Orton whips Batista hard into the ring steps. Orton bides his time lining up Batista for punches (stupid) and puts him back in. He covers for one. ["Randy sucks!"] Orton hits a flying kneedrop for two. Orton goes to a chinlock. He throws forearms to the chest, then goes back to the chinlock. Batista powers up to his feet and hits Christian’s snapmare to escape. Orton walks into a punch, but kicks Batista in the head. But Batista powers back with three rights in spite of the shot ot the head. Batista powers Orton into the corner and unloads three Lesnar shoulder thrusts. Batista sends Orton into the corner hard… leading with his left arm. Oh boy. Our hosts put over the impact there. Orton sells it like he’s dead. Batista head out and scoops Orton and sends him into the ringpost with that shoulder again. Perhaps Randy shouldn’t have told anyone he was hurting there if he wanted a title match? Batista hits the big spinebuster and lines it up. Thumbs up… thumbs down. Orton has no way to counter the DAVEBOMB, and gets pinned. Batista has his first successful title defense.
Winner: Batista via pinfall (5:08)
Triple H, still in the suit, heads to the top of the ramp and stares down Batista, who shows him the belt. HHH claps sarcastically, then makes the international “I want da belt” sign. Batista points to the belt, which now has his name on it, and we’re out.
And I got some college basketball to watch. See you next week.