Csonka and Cook wrap up the last Impact for a while.
I come to realize that, in very very small doses, the WWE Experience is sort of amusing.
P sees the Heartthrobs finally win and rails against the damn Russian legsweep.
It's title versus title in the always-entertaining Velocity report by Fried.
And tonight, it's the last Raw before the world explodes and the draft lottery stacks the roster even more. Here we go...
411's WWE RAW REPORT - 05.30.05
We start with a Vince McMahon voiceover over some patriotic imagery. In celebration of Memorial Day in America, tonight we dedicate this edition of Raw to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who paid the ultimate prece for our country. We owe a debt of gratitude to these dedicated patriots who defended our freedom to their death, a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. Because of their sacrifice, we as a nation are free to exercize all of our freedoms and rights as guaranteed by our constitution. However, we as a people often take for granted these extraordinary rights and freedoms and forget that freedom is not free. We sometimes forget the sacrifices it takes to remain a free nation. So tonight, let us not forget the true meaning of Memorial Day!
Intro video, PYRO, and we are LIVE once again from CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA and the Saddledome! Jim Ross welcomes us to the show.
Promised for Tonight
- Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel with Kane & Lita
- Chris Benoit vs Edge (Tables Match)
Your other host, Jerry "The King" Lawler, is in the ring to announce that today marks the official start of summer (actually, it started last week up here, counterintuitively), and what better way to introduce summer than a Raw diva swimsuit competition? Respectable pop. [Sign: "Please sign Wavell Starr" -- I am ON this bandwagon] Christy Hemme (as JR anticipates what kind of swimsuit she may have selected) and Candice Michelle and Maria and Victoria (to a decent pop) and (making her swimsuit competition debut) Lilian Garcia each get their own entrances. Clearly, summer is not the only thing that's hot around here. JR stumbles through the line "sexy woman" several times during each entrance. Poor guy. Ground rules: you get to model for 15 seconds, and then King gets to pick the winner. Lilian is about to go first when Viscera hits the ring with a new entrance video. King offers to let him judge. Vis would like nothing better, but that's not why he's out here, dog. He was in the back watching, and was lured to the ring by the thought of Lilian in a swimsuit. He grinds, the music hits, and he carries her backstage. King, undaunted, continues the contest. After they each reveal, he checks them out and declares Christy the winner. Mass celebration by all but Victoria, who starts to leave... and then ATTACKS! Big pop for that. She boots all three of the non-wrestling divas. King tries to restrain her, so she kicks him hard in the nuts and gives Christy the Widow's Peak. Damn, I've missed that move. The beatdown got a favorable reception, but JR was (and I know he'd never do this unless told to) trying to paint her as the heel and the divas as sympathetic faces. And if anyone thought that idea would fly, they don't belong on a wrestling promotion's creative staff.
Backstage, Todd Grisham starts to ask Victoria why. Victoria cuts him off. She's had it! It's Christy, Christy, Christy. She's sick of Christy getting opportunities of which she is unworthy. Playboy cover. Match at Wrestlemania 21. It all should have been Victoria. "I'm sick of it, and I'm sick of her!" Victoria storms off, and that gets a nice pop.
JR is still alone for our opening match.
Match #1: The Hurricane & Rosey (champions, w/ Stacy Keibler) vs The Heart Throbs World Tag Team Titles
Last night on Sunday Night Heat -- consult P's report -- the Heart Throbs beat Regal & Tajiri in a tornado match. Their entrance is even more elaborate. King arrives. Stacy is quite put off by their dancing. The heels dump Rosey and doule-team Hurricane. They get a double whip, but lower their heads, and Hurricane gets a kick to Antonio and dumps Romeo. Hurricane hits Antonio with a leg lariat for two. Hurricane tries a cross-corner whip, reversed, but Antonio runs into an elbow and taps the top turnbuckle. He heads up and fends off a cheap shot from Romeo, but Antonio dumps him outside. As Antonio distracts Referee Chad Patton, Romeo gets some cheap shots on the outside. Antonio gets a stalling neckbreaker for two. Romeo tags in and throws a series of elbows to the head. Hey, that sets up their finisher! Antonio tags in. ["Stacy's hot!"] The Throbs get a double-team supex as Rosey argues with Patton. Antonio covers for two. The evil double-teaming continues with a whip that sends Hurricane's head into a boot. Romeo works a chinlock. Hurricane punches out of it, but Romeo lines up a series of closed-fist lefts. Romeo gets three, and proceeds to thrust his pelvis. This gives Hurricane an opening to unload rights on both heels, but Romeo gets a gutshot and tags in Antonio after whipping Hurricane into the corner. But Hurricane ducks a blind charge, Romeo goes shoulder-first into the turnbuckle, and Antonio eats a flying forearm. Hot tag Rosey! Clothesline for both heels. Shoulderblock for both heels. Rosey gets Romeo in a corner and then whips Antonio into him. Rosey shows the fire and hits a running avalanche to Romeo, as Antonio shows his wiles by dodging. Rosey bodyslams him anyway and tags in Hurricane for the Superfly splash off Rosey's shoulders. It gets three.
Winners: Hurricane & Rosey via pinfall (4:24)
This worked. The superheroes pose in the ring.
Backstage, Batista is here and walking, and he's not in a good mood.
More diva photos to "Be Yourself." And let us take you back to last week to show you why Batista is in a foul mood: Ric Flair thanking Batista for supporting him, then turning on him after helping him survive a title challenge from Edge and helping HHH beat him down.
Backstage, Batista is in Eric Bischoff's office. HHH requested an interview, but in Stamford, Connecticut, in the studios. He's not here tonight. Batista accepts the challenge to Hell in a Cell, but only if HHH appears next week. Bischoff obliges. Well, why wouldn't he be there? It's the lottery.
Muhammad Hassan & Khosrow Daivari walk in to ask what HHH has done to deserve a title shot. HHH has done nothing but lose recently, while Hassan is undefeated. This is an example of the prejudiced and racist administration --
Batista cuts him off and tells him it's about time someone shut him up. They stare each other down. Bischoff likes the sound of it. Hassan... Batista... tonight!
Daivari starts to provide the exclamation mark until Batista slaps him. Hassan promises he'll pay for that.
Match #2: Shelton Benjamin (champion) vs Sylvain Grenier vs Robert Conway Intercontinental Championship
Conway has some big sideburns and a mice moustache. He makes the international "I want da belt" sign on his way down to the ring. Grenier poses with the flag; Conway jumps in front of him. Conway has no flag. They brawl to start. Conway has black trunks, seeming to foreshadow a turn to the dark side maybe. They use a double-whip, but Shelton kicks both and hits a Samoan drop to Grenier. Conway gets a short-arm clothesline and still wants da belt. The heels stomp away. JR mentions that Conway is from Louisville as th eheels argue over who gets to do the bulk of the stomping. Conway sends Shelton hard into the corner. Grenier sends him in harder. Conway sends him in even harder. Grenier does the same. ["Y2J!"] Conway floors Shelton with a right. Sylvain tries to do the same, but Shelton fights back with rights for everyone and manages to fight them both off. He knees Sylvain out and hits a whip and a backdrop on Conway. Shelton gets a whip into the corner, but Conway blocks the Stinger splash with an elbow. Shelton gets the full-nelson backbreaker for two anyway. Shelton tries a whip, but it's reversed and Grenier sneaks in with a bearhug. The heels hit a Hart Attack, and Grenier covers for two until Conway pulls him off. Conway covers... until Sylvain pulls him off. Conway schoolboys Grenier for two. Grenier pops him with a right. And three more. Conway ducks a fifth, though, and clotheslines Grenier out. Shelton sneaks in and clotheslines Conway out. Shelton hits a sort of baseball slide kick while hanging on to the top rope, knocking both guys out. Conway heads in. Shelton starts to head up. Grenier tries to slow him from the outside, but Shelton kicks him off and hits the flying clothesline to Conway for two, broken up by Grenier. Conway covers for two, broken up by Grenier. Conway fights Grenier off with a series of chops. Grenier gets a kick and it turns into a slugfest. Grenier tries a whip, shortarmed, and Conway hits a stalling neckbreaker! Conway covers... for two! Shelton is on the outside. ["Separate!" HAHA!] Grenier reverses a whip into the corner, and Shelton sneaks in with the Stinger splash! Grenier tries the back suplex of death, but Shelton sneaks out the back door. He tries a superkick, blocked, but gets the leg lariat, whose force is so powerful it knocks Conway out too. Shelton hits THAT'S MISTER EXPLODER on Grenier for the win!
Winner: Shelton Benjamin via pinfall (6:27)
We haven't seen a good three-way dance on Raw in a while, so this was a nice change of pace that also helped to keep La Rés moving toward the inevitable split.
The always-explosive Highlight Reel is up next.
Chris Jericho is here! "Welcome to the Highlight Reel!" Pyro. Jericho had an autograph signing today and the line was humongous, so he almost made it late. He wants to apologize to everyone who didn't get one, but admonishes parents for not coming earlier, because Jericho is a hot commodity. Anyways, everyone knows that next week starts the month-long draft lottery, and because Chris Jericho is the highlight of the night, the epicenter of excitement and the sexy beast, he's going to interview the very first draft lottery pick coming from Smackdown to Raw. So whether it's Undertaker, Angle, Guerrero, Torrie, Tazz, Funaki, anyone -- Jericho will make history by interviewing them on the Highlight Reel.
But that's next week. This week, he has two very special guests. One, some would say, is a monster; some would say this person has no soul, no remorse. [Our hosts ruin the punch line by saying it's Lita.] Some would say this person takes great pain in the torture of others. "But we'll get to Lita in a second. My first guest tonight, please welcome... Kane!"
He strolls down to the ring with a melancholy expression on his face. Jericho says he's taking no satisfaction in what happened to him, but everyone has to know how it felt to find out that his wife was cheating on him with Edge. Kane is pensive. Jericho can't even begin to describe it -- he doesn't know, he's never been dumped by a woman before, it's usually just the opposite but that's another story -- but how did this happen? Jericho keeps the line of questioning going. Did Lita ever show any disgust or any indication of a breakup? Oh, wait, Jericho has it. Is this a case of his equipment malfunctioning? This gets a bit of a rise out of Kane, who stares at him. "Have you been suffering from some premature pyro? Hey Silent Bob, you can say anything anytime. Hello." He offers him a box of Kleenex, a box of Haagen-Dazs and a trip to Blockbuster so he can watch the divine secrets of the Ya-Ya sisterhood and have a really good time.
Edge appears on the Titantron. Edge says he doesn't seem to want to answer. He asks him the same questions: how it felt to by speared by him, and how it felt to know Edge was spearing his wife. Edge understands the silence. "But understand this: I don't feel bad for what I did. You see, when Lita was making her emergency phone calls to her sister in the middle of the night, she was calling me." Every day of rehab on her injured knee, she was coming to see Edge. She needed a real man. And unlike Kane, Edge isn't going to put his girlfriend in harm's way; she's going to make her announcement from the video board.
Lita joins Edge up there. "Kane, yes, I actually have an announcement to make. I want everyone to know that I have officially filed for divorce, making Kane my ex-husband, which means I no longer have to deal with your disgustingly sweaty body, oh, and, um, that stupid little laugh you do? No longer have to deal with that either. And we cannot forget the skills. The skills. Or actually, uh, lack thereof. You're like a fourth-grader in the bedroom." [How would she know?] "And I also don't have to deal with this." She removes her wedding ring. She walks to the toilet and can't believe how evil what she's about to do is. She kisses the ring and flushes it down the toilet. They proceed to make out.
Kane thinks in the ring, looking down, sad. Poor guy.
Eric Bischoff, and the lighting for his entrance has been vastly improved. He said last week that he was on a crusade against ECW's One Night Stand pay-per-view. ["ECW!"] He wants us all to know that June 12, he's going to be there with a group of Raw volunteers to end ECW once and for all. "Boo me if you want, OK, but I'm happy to note that I'm not alone. See, Kurt Angle is gathering his own group of Smackdown volunteers to help put an end to the trash that is ECW. And you may be asking yourself, if Eric Bischoff hates ECW so much, why in the world would he approve a tables match between Chris Benoti and Edge tonight here on Raw? Well the answer to that is very simple: see, I'm here to prove that Eric Bischoff and Raw can out-ECW ECW any night of the week." He introduces one of his generals in the anti-ECW movement: Edge.
Match #3: Edge (w/ Lita) vs Chris Benoit Tables Match
Bischoff joins the announcers. You know what kind of pop Benoit gets. They lock up. Edge backs Benoit in the corner, but Benoit reverses and unloads the kneelifts. Benoit fires off the rights and chops. Benoit gets a whip and a two-handed forearm. ["We want tables!"] Edge fights back with rights as Bischof fcalls the fans lemmings. There are a bunch of signs calling Lita garbage and proclaiming that Raw needs Mattitude. Benoit reverses a whip into the corner and kicks Edge out. Bischoff sings Kurt Angle's praises: he knows trash when he sees it. Benoit puts Edge back in and gets a snap suplex. ["You screwed Matt!"] Benoit unloads more chops in the corner. But Edge slugs Benoit and retrieves the table. He barely pulls it out when Benoit drills him with the tope suicida to knock both men out and send us to our first Ad Break. (3:20)
Ad Break ends (6:30)
We're back with Edge in control. Benoit gets a double-leg out of nowhere and unloads vicious rights. Edge reverses and it's a catfight. Someone just handed King a note saying there's an ECW magazine coming out tomorrow. I bet it was a plant. Edge gets a whip, but Benoit stops himself on the ropes and Edge dropkicks air. Benoit tries the Sharpshooter, but Edge escapes. Edge gets a cross-corner whip and hits a blind charge. Edge starts to put the table in, but Benoit drops it right in his face. ["Benoit!"] Benoit sets up the table on the outside. Edge starts to crawl into the ring. Benoit walks toward him and pulls him back out, but Edge straddles the bottom rope with his legs. Edge ends up getting crotched forcibly as Benoit pulls as hard as he can. Will Sandman be there, Eric? "I don't think Sandman will sober up long enough to find his way there." OUCH! Benoit sets up a German suplex through the table. Edge fights him off. Benoit leapfrogs the top rope and tries a suplex, blocked. Edge tries to vertical suplex Benoit out through the table.... blocked. Benoit gets the suplex. Edge gets back up on the apron and they go back to slugging it out from that position. Benoit runs the ropes... right in to a hard right to the head, and Benoit is down. Edge heads up... so Benoit sends him down by charging the top rope and then knocking Edge out hard with a baseball slide. Benoit finds another table. Edge is still out. Benoit sets up the second table diagonally in the ring. Edge starts to climb, and Benoit intercepts him to set up a superplex... but Lita pulls the table away. Benoit hits the superplex, but not through the table, and the match continues. Lita slips Edge the briefcase. Benoit gives him a German, though, and the briefcase goes flying. Benoit hits two more. [Deafening "Benoit!"] Snot rocket! Up he goes. Benoit lifts Edge on to the table and headbutts him like crazy to knock him out. Benoit heads up the corner closest to Lita... allowing Lita to head up and shove him off. Bischoff says he has business to take care of and motions for reinforcements to run to the ring. He heads down with them. Maven & Tyson Tomko are here at (14:29). Gene Snitsky is BACK! Benoit fights both heels off, but Snitsky pops him with a big boot. The four heels stand over Benoit. The three evil interferers pump Edge up, and he powerbombs Benoit through hard.
Winner: Edge via powerbomb through a table (15:29)
Bischoff and Lita join the heels in the ring. "I only hope Paul Heyman is watching right now, because this is just a sample of what my crusade is going to be like on June 12th." Play Bischoff's music!
HHH's interview is next.
Our hosts show HHH's assault of Batista one more time, and surmise that Batista is probably not at 100% for his match with Muhammad Hassan tonight.
Triple H is seated in WWE's studios in Stamford, CT, for a videoconference interview with Jim Ross.
JR asks HHH about his three losses: twice to Batista, and then in the tournament to Benoit. What makes him think he deserves another shot? HHH tells JR to shut up; he didn't come here to talk to him. He asks Batista whether he thought he'd just go away and never bother him again. He thinks Batista is crazy if he's trying to make HHH jump through hoops to get a title shot. But this is HHH's world. This is HHH's theatre. Now, Batista's role is the victim. Last week, HHH did something that's never happened to Batista: he beat him. "I beat you. I made you taste your own blood. And you know, Dave, they say when you beat an animal, it either becomes more violent, or it becomes submissive. Last week, when I beat you, and I looked into your eyes, you were scared. It was something you never experienced before, and it scared you. That is the first step. The final step -- the final step is Hell in a Cell, the most barbaric, sadistic, twisted, violent match in this industry. It is a match that can either make you or break you. And I have made a career out of ending them in that cell. Ask around, Dave. Ask Kevin Nash. Ask Mick Foley. Dave, people are gonna tell you that this match will shorten your career. They're going to tell you this match might shorten your life. They are gonna tell you this is the most barbaric thing that you will ever experience. They're right. They're going to tell you to fear the cell. Don't fear the cell, Dave. Fear me. You and I are going to get locked inside that cell. Only I've been to hell and back, and I liked it. You are gonna go face to face with the devil himself. He's gonna take a piece of your career. He's gonna take a piece of your soul. Dave, you and I are going to hell. But only one of us is coming back. And I am coming back with the World Heavyweight Championship." Close with a shot of HHH's face.
Throughout that promo, the Calgary crowd was singing the Goodbye Song.
Chris Masters is here! Some fans have a masterlock and a key. Nice. "It's time once again for the Masterlock Challenge! This time, I've upped the ante to $10 000! 'Cause let's face it: Canadian money isn't worth anything nowadays. So who wants a shot at $10 000? Hey -- well too bad. 'Cause you see, not one person I've pulled from any crowd has even put up a fight. So what we're gonna do tonight is I'm opening the Masterlock challenge to anybody in that locker room. I want some real competition. So who's it gonna be? $10 000 on the line. Damn I look good. Who's it gonna be? Come on. $10 000. On the line --"
Val Venis is today's volunteer. He goes through the usual motions and throws the towel into the crowd.
Masterlock Challenge VII
"Val Venis. The big Valbowski! Know something, Val, I gotta admit. I'm a huge fan of yours. Heck -- yeah -- my roommate in college has every single one of your movies. You know, Val, that's why it's gonna be such an honour and privilege to make you pass out to the Masterlock right here, right now."
"You said you were looking for someone in that locker room to step up. Well, the ladies here know full well that the Big Valbowski always is very stiff... competition. The question is, Chris Masters, it's this: are you up for the challenge?"
Val starts to sit, then tells Masters to back off. When Val does sit down, Masters kicks him in the back of the head. Masters unloads kneelifts, and then gets the Masterlock. Val turns beet red in the hold. He runs to the corner and kicks it, but Masters bumps with it and hangs on. He doesn't bother to scissor it, just hangs on until Masters' personal Referee Jack Doan calls for the bell. Val is out.
Masters poses once more, his undefeated record in the Masterlock Challenge intact.
Christian is here with a new video and an ENORMOUS, THUNDEROUS POP. Maybe not quite Benoit-level, but indulge me in my marking for Christian. He soaks in the cheers. "Take a note, America. This is the response that you give to a superstar like me." That gets the crowd unanimously and loudly behind him. Now, I know that you all know about the draft lottery next week." ["Christian!"] "And I've been looking over the Smackdown roster, and it seems to me that they're missing -- they're missing something. Check it out. They've got Americans" -- [Boo!] -- "they've got Mexicans" -- [Boo!] -- "they've got Japanese" -- [Boo!] -- "they've got Frenchmen" -- [Boo!] -- "they've got a giant" -- [Boo!] -- "they've got a st-st-stutterer" -- [Boo!] -- "they've got a deadman" -- [Boo!] -- "they've got a rapping hip-hop poser champion... that couldn't make me say I quit even if he made me listen to his lame-ass CD, John Cena..." -- [Boo!] -- "but what they're missing, what they don't have, is a CANADIAN!" Thunderous pop. "A Canadian that would kick the holy living hell out of anybody on Smackdown. So after next week, either I stay here on Raw, or Smackdown will be getting an injection of the three C's: Charisma, Canada" -- slaps his chest -- "and CHRISTIAN." Play his music! Another big pop, and Christian heads backstage. THAT is how you handle Bizarro World crowds. Christian surveys the crowd for more signs, and there are a lot of them. He heads backstage.
- Batista and HHH sign their contract for Hell in a Cell
- Chris Jericho interviews the first draft lottery pick
Match #4: Muhammad Hassan (w/ Khosrow Daivari) vs Batista (champion) World Heavyweight Championship
Batista has new music, and the pyro is here once more. Hassan attacks before the bell, to no avail, as Batista gets him in the corner and unloads elbows and kneelifts. Batista gets a whip and a shoulderblock. Hassan bails, and Daivari gives him advice. Batista heads outside and murders Daivari with the lariat, but Hassan sneaks in a DDT back in the ring. Hassan extends Batista's head outside the ring and boots it from the outside twice consecutively. Hassan gets a neckbreaker for two. Hassan locks in a cobra clutch. Batista powers up to his feet and uses an overhead snapmare. He charges into a boot in the corner, but Hassan runs right into the killer clothesline. Daivari barks encouragement from the outside. They get up at the same time and slug it out, and Batist abacks Hassan in the corner and uses the Lesnars houlder thrusts. Batista gets a whip and lowers his head. Hassan kicks him... but Batista just teeters a bit before hitting the spinebuster when Hassan runs into him. Batista sells some impact to the head form the kick, but still has the presence of mind to note Daivari climbing the corner and press slam him down across the ring. Batista gets Hassan in the corner and clotheslines him a few times. Batista jerseys Daivari and kneelifts his face repeatedly. Hassan gets the belt from the outside, but Batista quickly dispatches him with a forearm. Batista spinebusters Daivari, who's busted wide open. Batista finds and picks up the belt. "Vigilant" Mike Chioda orders him to put the belt down, so he does. He opts to unload stomps in the corner. Chioda intervenes. Batista drives his knee in to the head of Hassan for a five-count, so Chioda calls for the bell!
Winner: Muhammad Hassan via disqualification (4:51)
I bet heels have a higher victory rate with Chioda than with any other referee. Not that I'd do any kind of study like that. Batista threatens to beat Chioda down, but elects to go for Hassan on the outside instead. He rams his head into the floor a few times, then blasts him with a chair shot. Batista kicks and knocks over the steel ring steps. The referees plead with him to stop, but Batista puts Hassan back in, and now he's cut up. Referees & Officials are now out in full force. ["Batista!"] He doesn't care. Powerbomb to Daivari! DAVEBOMB to Hassan! Chioda tells him to stop, so he relents and stands over Hassan. He poses with the belt, and slaps him for good measure. Batista sure looks pretty imposing. He poses on the corners for a while, and we're out!
In an unrelated development, GO SUNS!
Next week, it's the start of the draft lottery. See you then.