Monday Night Raw
Date: May 9, 2005
Location: Wachovia Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
Tournament time continues this week as we move on to the semifinals in the Gold Rush Tournament. That should mean some good matches as the four left are more than good enough, though the whole point of this is to be Batista’s next victim. I have no idea how we’ll wind up with another HHH title shot, but you can all but bet on that being the endgame. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the tournament starting last week, including the four first round matches.
Here’s HHH for the opening chat, because we need to hear from someone out of the tournament. Before he says anything this time though, HHH goes outside to yell at fans for reminding him that he tapped out. He eventually gets back inside to call the tournament bogus because he Pedigreed Batista and had him beat. The rematch should go to him but Eric Bischoff wants to control Batista and the World Title. If HHH gets one more shot, he’ll beat Batista just like that.
Cue Batista to mockingly apologize for the interruption, because he’s so afraid of HHH. Actually, what exactly is he afraid of? He’s already beaten HHH both times he’s faced him and then there was last week’s loss in the tournament. Maybe….HHH just isn’t good enough for another title shot. There goes HHH’s tie and he eventually says Batista’s title means nothing until he goes through HHH.
That doesn’t mean some Wrestlemania fluke but rather going through HHH. He is what matters in this business and he defines what Batista is and what he will become. If Batista is going to disrespect him, he’ll walk out right now and watch Batista fail from his big mansion. HHH walks out so Batista says he doesn’t need HHH because he’s already beaten him.
Post break, HHH storms out as Ric Flair tells him to stay. HHH tells Flair to come with him but Flair is going to stay and deal with this.
Here are Muhammad Hassan and Daivari with the latter still employed after being beaten down last week. Daivari sucks up to Hassan and issues the open challenge to make up for things.
Khosrow Daivari vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho chops away in the corner but misses a charge and goes shoulder first into the post. The logical armbar goes on for a bit but Daivari goes to the middle rope and gets punched out of the air. A flapjack into the enziguri looks to set up the Walls but Daivari makes the rope. Not that it matters as Jericho gets them on a few seconds later and Daivari taps in a hurry.
Post match Hassan lays out Jericho with the Downward Spiral and the camel clutch. Shelton Benjamin makes the save.
Christy Hemme asks Bischoff about the Draft and is told that the Divas are eligible to be drafted as well. See there’s a new Diva Search coming up and Bischoff hopes to find a more successful Diva. With that insult out of the way, La Resistance comes in to demand another title shot. This leads to an argument between Conway and Grenier so Bischoff puts them in a singles match each. That’s not a good selling point.
Flair leaves HHH a message about how awesome he is but here are Christian and Tyson Tomko to mock Flair for being so worried. It’s a shame that HHH isn’t going to be here tonight because no one can spit water on themselves. Flair: “I don’t like you.” A match is set up for later between Flair and Captain Courageous.
Classic Moment: Jerry Lawler wins the AWA World Title. If nothing else, it’s smart to remind fans that Lawler was a big time wrestler back in the day. How many younger fans wouldn’t know that?
Sylvain Grenier vs. Viscera
Twenty minute HHH segments, a squash and now this. Grenier’s face when he sees Viscera is a nice touch though. Conway leaves and Grenier tries a shoulder, which goes as well as you would have expected. The swinging Boss Man Slam lets Viscera mount him for the pelvic thrusts. A missed splash lets Grenier hit a missile dropkick for two but the spinwheel kick drops him again. The chokebomb ends Grenier in a hurry.
Post match Viscera takes a fan’s nachos and goes to hit on Lilian, saying they taste as good as she does. He has her announce him as the winner again, because that really turns him on. Viscera: “You want some of my nachos?” We get the Lady and the Tramp sharing of the nacho, with Viscera promising that she’ll love the main course. JR: “Why do I want to hear some Barry White all of a sudden?”
A rather pleased Lita comes in to see Kane, who is thinking about them. He hugs her rather forcefully (she doesn’t seem pleased, after weeks of being into him) and reminisces about the nine months they have been married. She likes the idea of him becoming World Champion with hints at fornication if he wins. Kane: “That’s what makes us such a cute couple.”
Gold Rush Tournament Semifinals: Kane vs. Chris Benoit
Lita is here with Kane. Benoit goes with the chops to start before going for the ankle. The Sharpshooter and Crossface attempts are blocked so we’ll try the chops again. Kane’s side slam gets two and we hit the neck crank. A clothesline takes Benoit down again for two and the chinlock goes on.
The big boot connects (and has Lita pleased) but the top rope clothesline is dropkicked out of the air. That sets up the rolling German suplexes and the Swan Dive for two and Lita is panicking. An enziguri into a baseball slide to the floor knocks Lita down and the knee is clutched. Benoit checks on Lita and gets decked from behind, setting up the chokeslam for the pin back inside.
Rating: C+. These two work well together but you can tell a lot of Benoit’s time has passed. Kane is fine for the monster who you push at various times and that’s what they’re doing here, though you can tell something is up with Lita. That could be interesting and I’ll take that above the same run of the mill stuff that often happens on this show.
Christian vs. Ric Flair
Actually hang on as Christian views Flair as a problem, and you know what that means.
Tyson Tomko vs. Ric Flair
Tomko clotheslines him down and gets an early two off a powerslam. Flair gets smart by going after the knee and the Figure Four is on in no time. Christian sneaks in to rake the eyes though and that’s an ejection, allowing Flair to hit Tomko low. The rollup (with trunks of course) is enough for the pin. There’s something so sweet about seeing Flair cheat to win.
Here are some of the people who might make the finals of the Diva Search.
We look back at HHH leaving.
Here’s Stacy Keibler for a completely necessary chat. She’s in Stuff Magazine and we get some clips from her shoot with Todd Grisham doing his best Lawler impression. She offers us a sneak peak in person but here are Simon Dean and Maven to interrupt. They seem to think that Maven is the better looking human and Maven critiques her physique while Simon puts together a shake. Stacy is ordered to drink the shake but she “accidentally” drops it. Cue Hurricane and Rosey for the save as this is really the best they can do for the Tag Team Titles.
Coach comes in to see Bischoff and talks about the upcoming ECW One Night Stand. Bischoff hates the idea because it’s all blood and thumbtacks and barbed wire and violence (the fans seem to approve). As the ECW chants start up, Bischoff promises to squash ECW again.
Rob Conway vs. Shelton Benjamin
Non-title. Conway jumps him during the entrance and says the title should be his. The stomping is on for an early one and a snap suplex is good for the same, meaning it’s already time for the chinlock. Shelton fights up without much trouble and backdrops him for two of his own. The exploder is blocked and Conway scores with a running knee lift. That’s fine with Shelton, who kicks him in the head and hits the springboard bulldog for the fast pin. I’d think that’s about it for La Resistance as an important team now, yes?
Post match Muhammad and Daivari lay out Shelton on the stage. That’s a logical next feud for Hassan and it’s not like Benjamin has anyone else to fight right now.
Here’s John Cena’s Bad Bad Man video.
Maria asks Shawn Michaels about his match with The Edge. After making fun of the mistake, Shawn praises Shelton Benjamin for last week and says if “The Edge” likes to whine, tonight he’ll be throwing the biggest hissy fit ever because Shawn is Money in the Bank.
Next week: Jericho/Benjamin vs. Hassan/Daivari, Christian vs. Flair and the tournament final. That’s a pretty good show.
Gold Rush Tournament Semifinals: Edge vs. Shawn Michaels
Joined in progress with Shawn sending Edge outside for the springboard spinning crossbody. Edge snaps him throat first across the rope to take over and it’s Shawn in trouble in a hurry. Back in and we hit the chinlock, followed by a neckbreaker and the chinlock again. Edge lets that go and heads up, only to get kicked out of the air. A knee lift gives us a double knockdown but it’s Shawn up first and hammering Edge down.
The top rope elbow connects (long one too) but Sweet Chin Music is countered into an electric chair which is countered into a victory roll to give Shawn two. Edge is right back with the Edge-O-Matic but the ref gets bumped, meaning there is no count off the Edgecution. Sweet Chin Music gets the same non-count so Edge gets up and clocks Shawn with the briefcase (putting a dent in the thing) for the pin.
Rating: C. This was a weird one as it felt like they skipped the entire intro and went straight to the big stuff at the end. Edge winning made the most sense as he has a more interesting story and giving him a pin over Shawn, even this kind of pin, sets up better possibilities. Besides, it’s not like Shawn losing is going to hurt him whatsoever.
Overall Rating: D+. The tournament matches were good and next week is looking great, but at the same time there were a lot of short matches here which didn’t mean anything and didn’t exactly go anywhere. That’s acceptable if next week’s show is worth the setup, but I’m not sure how much confidence I have in them to pull something like that off.
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