Raw is War

Raleigh, Virginia
March 7, 2005

Charging toward WrestleMania
March 7, 2005

Nothing can slow Batista’s momentum.

Evolution’s animal dropped Ric Flair with a spinebuster and Batista Bomb, getting the win before stopping Triple H’s latest assault. “The Dirtiest Player in the Game” did everything he could to stop the younger, bigger man. He cut him down with chop blocks, a low-blow and Figure-Four Leglock, but Batista just kept coming. The animal eventually overwhelmed “The Nature Boy,” then blocked The Game’s sledgehammer attack. Batista ripped the hammer away, broke it in two over his knee and chased Triple H from the ring. As The Cerebral Assassin backed up the entrance ramp, Batista screamed, “You’re done. Game Over!” At WrestleMania, Batista might just be right.

Triple H settled for taking out some aggression during and after his match with Rosey earlier on RAW. He hospitalized the Superhero with a sledgehammer shot to the ribs — this only one week after demolishing The Hurricane and putting him out of action in similar fashion.

The Evolution confrontation resulted in General Manager Eric Bischoff setting up “Pick Your Poison” matches for next two weeks’ broadcasts: Batista gets to choose The Game’s opponent when RAW is televised from Atlanta, while Triple H gets to select Batista’s opponent when RAW travels to Memphis, Tenn. Batista didn’t need to deliberate. He soon named Chris Benoit as Triple H’s opponent — a reminder that “The Crippler” made Triple H tap at last year’s WrestleMania.

Randy Orton found his way to make WrestleMania history, challenging the Undertaker to an inter-brand Legend vs. “Legend Killer” match at the pay-per-view on April 3. Will the SmackDown! headliner put his WrestleMania unbeaten streak on the line against Orton? If Randy can find a way to stop the Deadman, it would be a career-making accomplishment. But Orton must be careful what he wishes for. Few streaks in WWE history are as impressive as Undertaker’s 12-0 in the biggest event of the year. The variety of opponents proves that “The Phenom” can successfully adapt to defeat any foe when it matters most.

Saying it would knock SmackDown! out of the water, Bischoff made Chris Jericho’s WrestleMania Six-Way Ladder Match official. But the GM added his own twist: It’ll be a “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match featuring a briefcase high above the ring. Inside will be a contract to face the World Heavyweight Champion anytime during the 12 months following the event. The stipulated match could come the night after WrestleMania … or the winner could wait all the way until WrestleMania 22. Who will emerge and earn the right to call the shots? It’ll be Jericho, Benoit, Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Edge … or one unnamed other. To showcase all that talent, Bischoff placed the six competitors in contests against each other for later in the evening on RAW.

One man left out of the Ladder Match was Muhammad Hassan, who accused Bischoff of discrimination and said the issue wasn’t over.

Christian found out first-hand who the sixth man in the Ladder Match would be, as he was forced to face Kane with no notice on RAW. Things looked bright for “Captain Charisma” thanks to a helping hand from Tyson Tomko, but one mistake was enough to cost him the match. Christian charged toward Kane but was caught with a bone-jarring chokeslam that earned Kane the three-count.

Edge and Y2J went at it in a second, evenly matched showcase. After an early superplex by Edge, Jericho went on a roll. Eventually, he hit a Lionsault and seemed poised for victory. But the ref was accidentally knocked from the ring and couldn’t make the count. Sensing the opportunity, Edge grabbed a ladder, brought it into the ring and blasted Jericho below the belt. With Jericho doubled over in pain, he was an easy target for Edge’s impaler DDT. The pin followed.

Lastly, Chris Benoit faced Shelton Benjamin in a non-title battle filled with technical mat wrestling and counter-holds. But Benoit also brought the crowd to its feet with a death-defying suicide dive to the outside. Benjamin avoided the assault, and The Crippler catapulted straight into the ladder at ringside, which buckled under Benoit’s weight.

Benoit recovered to go on a German suplex spree, but he couldn’t follow it up successfully with any of his signature moves. Benjamin moved out of the way of Benoit’s diving headbutt, then he blocked both a Crossface and Sharpshooter attempt. Finally, Benoit countered a leg whip and locked in the Crippler Crossface. Shelton almost reached the ropes, but Benoit rolled him back into the middle of the ring, giving Benjamin no recourse but to tap.

We also got the latest from Shawn Michaels following his recent show-spanning confrontation with Kurt Angle. Michaels talked about getting a taste of what it will be like at WrestleMania when the two square off for the very first time. The Olympic gold medalist interrupted HBK, talking his own trash before the dream match on April 3.

Not to be outdone, Playboy’s newest cover girl had a huge announcement of her own: Christy challenged Trish to a Women's Championship Match at WrestleMania! The Women’s Champion was quick to accept, but she should have waited to find out that none other than Lita is training Christy for the showdown.


Triple H def. Rosey (non-title match)

Kane def. Christian

Edge def. Chris Jericho

Chris Benoit def. Shelton Benjamin (non-title match)

Batista def. Ric Flair