WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 02/21/05 from State College, PA.
The Big News: Batista is wrestling HHH at WrestleMania, and wow did they do
a bad job getting there.
Title Changes/Turns: None.
Match Results: Trish Stratus b Molly Holly and Victoria; Chris Jericho b
Simon Dean; Kane b Tyson Tomko; Shawn Michaels & Randy Orton b Edge &
Christian; Chris Masters b Steven Richards; Gene Snitsky b Shelton
Trish Stratus, sporting a black eye, beat Victoria and Molly in a triple
threat match. Victoria hit the jigglesault on Molly for a near fall. She
went for it on Trish but Trish rolled her up for a near fall. Molly hit a
Northern Lights suplex on Victoria for a near fall. The heels used a double
suplex on Victoria, but then turned on each other. Victoria took over on
both with clotheslines. Trish went for the chick kick but Victoria caught
her and hit a hard head butt. Molly went for the Molly-Go-Round on Victoria,
but Victoria moved out of the way and hit the Widow’s Peak. She had Molly
pinned, but Trish pulled her out of the ring and scored the pin herself.
This was a very good opener. Ross made the point that Trish may have won the
match, but Christy gets to pose in Playboy so Trish is jealous. Wonderful
view of gender by good ol’ J.R., who apparently thinks women take greater
pride in posing nude for men than excelling in athletics.
Backstage, HHH and Ric Flair were happy about how over Batista was at No Way
Out. They concluded Batista will have to jump to Smackdown, but Flair noted
he was having trouble reaching Batista. They aired the new Pulp Fiction
vignette, which doesn’t work as well as the others because Pulp Fiction was
cool and self-aware. Satire obviously isn’t going to work as well on it as
it will on a straight film that takes itself more seriously. Trish ridiculed
the Irritating Redhead and Ms. 15th Minute of Fame. The Super Bowl woman did
an epic, all-time worst acting job when Trish smacked her. Seriously, it was
so bad I would say go out of your way to see this. Even by wrestling
standards, this woman is the bottom of the barrel acting wise. She couldn’t
get the role of a tree in a second grade play. Anyway, the redhead came to
her aid by sending Trish into the wall. I can’t believe they are building
this match. It will be off the charts bad, and it totally undermines the
credibility of the real women wrestlers.
Elsewhere, Randy Orton was chatting with Shawn Michaels. Michaels said Orton
shouldn’t wait for opportunities, but he should take an opportunity for
WrestleMania like Michaels once did. This seems to suggest a possible Orton
turn, and maybe it was just my imagination, but Orton seemed more smug than
usual. Chris Jericho beat Simon Dean with the Walls. Dean made fun of Joe Pa
before the match, and I was surprised this actually got heat in 2005.
Backstage, Michaels told Theodore Long he wants to wrestle Kurt Angle at
WrestleMania, and that he is going to take his opportunity. Asking for a
match doesn’t exactly constitute taking an opportunity in my book, and this
was a lame, anti-climactic setup for the match. Michaels badly needs a
Kane beat Tyson Tomko with the choke slam. Before the match Tomko said he
should be the focus of the promotion, not Batista. Chris Masters arrived in
a limousine, and told Flair to watch his match so he can learn a thing or
two. Muhammad Hassan came out. Lawler pointed out a sign that said “Hassan
stole my tablecloth” and laughed. Hassan is supposed to be a wrestling heel,
and he’s much more sympathetic to me than the bigoted writers and announcers
of WWE. Hassan said that on President’s Day, all people should be treated
equally, but he isn’t. He said his undefeated record can’t be denied and
that he deserved the title shot against HHH were Batista to jump. Benoit
came out and challenged Hassan, but Hassan said not tonight. Benoit went
after Hassan, but ended up getting double teamed culminating in a camel
Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton beat Christian and Edge. Ross said Christian
and Edge are on the same page again to explain Edge brutally attacking
Christian. Then he claimed this was a one time reunion, so he was
acknowledging one show while forgetting another. Michaels dominated much of
the early match on both Edge and Christian. Edge pulled down the ropes as
Michaels was bouncing off, and hit a clothesline to the floor on Michaels.
The heels worked over Michaels for a while, but he came back with a swinging
neck breaker and made the tag. Orton responded with a power slam, repeated
punches, and a crossbody off the top on Edge for a near fall.
Christian and Edge turned the tide with a double team neck breaker, and took
back over on Orton. Orton fought back with a double DDT and made the hot tag
to Michaels. The crowd was dead at this point for whatever reason as
Michaels used inverted atomic drops and an Angle slam on Christian.
Christian went for the unprettier on Orton, but Orton got out. Orton went
for the RKO on Edge but was sent into the referee. Edge hit the spear on
Orton. Michaels came in with a flying forearm on Edge, and body slam and
elbow off the top on Christian. Michaels went for sweet chin music on
Christian but Edge pulled him out and Christian and Edge crotched him hard
on the post. They then went for the concerto, but Michaels ducked out and
hit sweet chin music on Christian for the pin. This was an excellent match.
Edge jumped Michaels backstage, in another example of the new WWE trend of
diverting fan interest in major matches. Chris Masters beat Steven Richards.
The fans stood for Masters, who posed before the match. It was a total
remake of Narcissist. The bad news is that angle flopped. The good news is
few fans will remember that, and thus he is less likely to come across as a
cheap imitation. It’s definitely not a good sign when you’re perceived as a
second rate Lex Luger. Masters used a full nelson as his finisher.
Seriously. Gene Snitsky beat Shelton Benjamin via disqualification in a
continuation of this wonderful feud. Snitsky went for the chair again but
Benjamin cut him off with a baseball slide. Benjamin decided to clock
Snitsky with the chair as revenge for last week.
Ric Flair and HHH were talking backstage when all of the sudden for no
reason HHH revealed that he set up the limousine gimmick last week because
sometimes Dave isn’t smart enough to know what is right for him. Flair was
shocked, but then decided it was brilliant and celebrated. HHH said it would
be all for nothing if the idiot doesn’t go to Smackdown. The magic camera
then zoomed back to Batista listening outside the door. This was illogical
on so many levels, and such a ham fisted way of setting up the angle. It’s
just an abysmal writing job, with a hack deus ex machina setup. There are a
million different ways that Batista could have found out that wouldn’t have
felt so utterly and completely contrived.
The show concluded with the contract signing. This was reminiscent of those
20 minute promos they used to do every week to start Raw. Batista came out
with Evolution, and Bischoff and Long both went on and on with nothing to
say about why he should choose their side. The crowd booed Smackdown.
Batista was about to decide when HHH told Batista he should go to Smackdown
so they could rule the wrestling world together. Batista threw down the Raw
contract, and HHH and Flair gave him the thumbs up. He teased thumbs up but
then turned to thumbs down. HHH mouthed a naughty word and Batista laid out
HHH and Flair. He gave HHH a power bomb through the table and signed the
contract to face HHH.
It wasn’t like they completely blew this angle, but this was very poor
execution. Batista finally laying out HHH was a guaranteed pop, but this
didn’t have the dramatic arc of a good story. It became completely obvious
at the very end, and thus there was no surprise, but it didn’t feel like a
long time coming either. It was the worst of both worlds. Hopefully the
average fan came out of this feeling a lot more excited about Batista vs.
HHH than I did, because they have screwed up the rest of the card even
worse. There is a dearth of matches with any interest, as Angle vs. Michaels
and JBL vs. Cena haven’t built up very well at all. The rest of the card is
pretty much a question mark, and it could ultimately end up like
WrestleMania XVIII, with one dead match after another in the middle of the
card. They should be really clicking right now leading into WrestleMania,
but much of this show felt completely pointless, and the main angle was
poorly executed. All is not well in WWE.