Monday Night Raw – May 16, 2005

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 16, 2005
Location: Qwest Center, Omaha, Nebraska
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s time to wrap up the Gold Rush Tournament as Edge faces Kane for the #1 contendership to Batista’s Raw World Title. Normally that would be enough, but we also have Christian vs. Ric Flair in what should be a good one and Chris Jericho/Shelton Benjamin vs. Muhammad Hassan/Khosrow Daivari. They’re certainly bringing it for what was likely sweeps week so let’s get to it.

Opening sequence, now prominently featuring Shawn Michaels superkicking Shelton Benjamin out of the air.

The announcers run down the big card.

Muhammad Hassan/Daivari vs. Chris Jericho/Shelton Benjamin

Thankfully it’s just Daivari, which has a better ring than his full name. This was set up last week when Hassan and Daivari jumped both of them at separate times. It’s a brawl to start with Jericho whipping Shelton into the corner for a double Stinger Splash. We settle down to Jericho chopping Daivari and suplexing him down. Shelton comes in for a clothesline but Hassan grabs a backbreaker. It’s already back to Daivari for a double arm crank and then a chinlock to keep things slow.

Back up and Shelton’s clothesline isn’t enough for the tag thanks to Hassan’s diving save and it’s back to cranking on the arms. A Samoan drop gets Shelton out of trouble and Jericho comes in to clean house. The enziguri sets up a high crossbody for two on Hassan with Daivari making the save. That’s enough of a distraction for Hassan to hit his Downward Spiral for the pin.

Rating: C-. Hassan has certainly gotten a lot more watchable in recent weeks and a good portion of that is due to cutting down his mic time. It isn’t like the promos he’s giving have a lot of depth or variety to them so it’s a case of less being more. Daivari has been a big help as well as he can do a lot of the work in the matches, making this a good example of the pair being better than the solo act.

Post match Jericho storms off and Shelton is confused.

Chris Benoit and Tajiri are in the back. They’ve both been invited to ECW One Night Stand so tonight they’ll have an ECW Rules match for old times’ sake. William Regal comes up to find out what is going on so Tajiri explains in Japanese. Regal gets the whole thing but doesn’t care for the violence. Tajiri can go do it if that’s what he wants though.

We look back at the frustrated HHH leaving last week.

Coach literally runs into Eric Bischoff’s office with Ric Flair to tell him about the ECW Rules match. Bischoff doesn’t want to hear about it because Flair has to talk about how great HHH is. Flair demands Bischoff call HHH but that isn’t happening. If HHH wants to come back, HHH can make the call. Flair leaves and runs into Batista, who he blames for everything. How dare Batista cause HHH this many problems when HHH brought him into the business? Batista says it isn’t his fault and Flair got him started. They trade WOOs, with Batista’s being comically quiet.

Ric Flair vs. Christian

Feeling out process to start with Christian hitting a shoulder and offering his own strut. That just gets him a slap to the face so Christian grabs a backdrop. The slam off the top and a clothesline to the floor let Tomko get in a cheap shot. JR refers to this as physical molestation as Flair is thrown back in for two. A missed charge lets Flair chop away and it’s a Flair Flop from Christian. Tomko gets in a shot to break up the Figure Four so Flair grabs a rollup, the tights and the rope for the pin.

Rating: D+. This was a Flair showcase as he got to do all the greatest hits and show that they still work. The problem is that he pinned Christian, who was seemingly ready to break through to the other side and has lost twice in a row since. I’m not sure why WWE bothered setting him up like that to bring him back down, but WWE has done more questionable things before.

Post match Flair is cornered by Christian and Tomko so Batista comes out for the save.

Lita fires Christy up for her lingerie pillow fight until Edge interrupts. He tells Lita to warn Kane about what’s coming tonight, and you can bank on it.

Christian limps around backstage so here’s Maria to ask if he’s hurt. Christian: “Where did you get your journalism degree from? A box of Cocoa Puffs?” This isn’t over with Batista.

Here’s Chris Masters for the Masterlock Challenge. This time the prize is $6,000 and a one way plane ticket to anywhere in the United States, because anywhere is better than Omaha. The fan loses in near record time so here’s Steven Richards to go after Masters and chase him off with a chair. So yes, after a month plus of these things, their best idea is a Steven Richards feud.

Kane grabs Edge by the throat and says stay away from Lita.

Chris Benoit vs. Tajiri

ECW Rules and weapons are provided at ringside. Tajiri starts fast with the Tarantula as Lawler goes off with the insults on ECW as only he can. The handsprings elbow is countered into a German suplex but Tajiri flips out and kicks him in the head. They go outside with Tajiri going face first into the steps and that means it’s ladder time. Tajiri is laid on the table and Benoit climbs the ladder in the ring….but here’s Coach to stop the match on Bischoff’s orders. Bischoff comes out as well to officially end the match. Not long enough to rate but it was there to advance an angle more than anything else.

Post match Bischoff trashes ECW and bans any mention of ECW on Raw whatsoever. You can’t even chant for it! Also, the Raw wrestlers are forbidden from appearing at ECW One Night Stand. Bischoff is even going to show up with a bunch of Raw volunteers to end ECW once and for all. This is an expected reaction from Bischoff and should set up something fun at One Night Stand.

Christy Hemme vs. Candice Michelle

Lingerie pillow fight so the bed is in the ring. They fight and feathers go everywhere, including a trip to the floor just because. Christy wins with a sunset flip.

With the women still in the ring, cue Viscera in a suit because the pillow fight has turned him on. The hip swiveling sends Christy and Candice running, but Viscera would rather talk about Lilian Garcia. Viscera sees the two of them and that bed and he has an idea. He kisses a fan at ringside to get her cotton candy, with JR not liking the idea of Viscera having more sugar.

Lilian gets in the ring and Viscera tells her to put some of the pillows on the bed. He lays down and offers her some cotton candy, which he licks rather, uh, suggestively. Viscera has a surprise for her, including a pickle in his pocket. He pulls out a hotel room key and Lilian isn’t sure about this. Viscera: “Room four sixty nine.” That’s enough to make Lilian to fall off the bed and end a rather horribly entertaining segment. Yeah it’s bad but it’s the overly cheesy bad where they know what they’re doing.

Kane and Lita breathe at each other a lot and kissing ensues.

We recap the Gold Rush Tournament.

Shelton comes up to Jericho to make sure everything is cool. Jericho lists off some of his accomplishments and everything he has going on at the moment, including a plug for a Fozzy album.

Tag Team Titles: Hurricane/Rosey vs. Simon Dean/Maven

Hurricane and Rosey are defending and debut Super Stacy as their new manager. Rosey slams Maven with no problem to start as Lawler tries to figure out what Stacy’s name should be. Hurricane comes in and gets pulled into the wrong corner with Dean taking him down by the neck. A double suplex lets Maven get in some situps but Hurricane fights up and brings in Rosey to clean house. Stacy offers the distraction and it’s a side slam/Eye of the Hurricane combination to finish Maven.

Rating: D-. The champs won the titles ice cold and now they have Stacy Keibler as a manager. Stacy is one of those people whose value was pretty limited in the first place and it has gone through the floor over the last few years. Putting her on this team seems like an act of desperation and it really doesn’t bode well for the champs’ future.

Smackdown Rebound.

Here’s the still injured Randy Orton for a chat. People have been asking him if he is coming back to Raw or going to Smackdown. After telling the fans to shut up, he says he can’t be drafted because he’s injured. That’s because of Batista and the Undertaker, so Orton wants Batista to keep the title until he gets back to take it from him. Orton goes to leave so here’s Vince McMahon to cut him off.

Vince: “What the h*** has happened to you?” He mocks Orton for losing weight but Orton blames the shoulder surgery. Vince doesn’t want to hear about the injury because no one is exempt from the Draft. The Draft begins three weeks from tonight and it’s going on for a whole month this time around. Orton might be standing in a Raw ring for the last time so gain some weight and let your hair grow out again.

Gold Rush Tournament Finals: Kane vs. Edge

Lita is out with Kane. An early big boot drops Edge with JR saying it’s going to be a quick one so don’t make a sandwich. Kane grabs a suplex and chokes away but Edge hammers away in the corner. They fight to the floor with Kane taking over again as they’re firmly in first and a half gear.

Edge takes over with some forearms to the back and the referee gets bumped for a second, allowing Edge to hit a low blow. Back from a break with Edge working on the knee and taking it outside again to stay on said knee. The leglock goes on as this is hardly exciting stuff. Kane fights up and uppercuts him out of the air for two, setting up Snake Eyes for a bonus. The Edge-O-Matic cuts Kane down again but the spear is countered with a grab of the throat.

Edge grabs the referee to escape and the Edgecution gets two more. Kane tries a Tombstone but the ref gets bumped for real this time. The spear barely keeps Kane down and he kicks the briefcase out of Edge’s hands. Lita takes it away but slides it to Edge as Kane goes up, allowing Edge to knock Kane out of the air with a shot to the face. Lita wakes the referee up and Edge gets the pin and the title shot.

Rating: D. This wasn’t very good for the first place but the ending was good with the result, and the way they got there, being what they needed to be. Edge is the bigger star and putting him with Lita should be a great match. Kane is now more of a sympathetic face, or at least as sympathetic as you can be given how he and Lita got together in the first place.

Post match Lita jumps into Edge’s arms and goes evil, which always worked very, very well. Given what was going on in real life, they would have been crazy not to go this way. The big kiss on the stage ends the show as Edge and Lita channel their inner Christian and Trish from last year.

Overall Rating: D. There were some nice storyline additions on here but the wrestling was REALLY bad with the best match being a short and not very good tag match to open the show. I was thinking that this one would be the big show that made up for some of the previous weeks but we’re still waiting, which is becoming quite the problem.

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