WWE Backlash- May 1, 2005
-Backlash 2005 was held at the Verizon Wireless Arena
in Manchester, NH. I attended the show and I had
wanted to do a review, but I wanted to wait a while so
that my ratings would not be biased by having been
there in person. I will probably overrate this show
one way or another, but at least I will have fun doing
-Our hosts for the evening are Jim Ross and Jerry
Intercontinental Championship: Shelton Benjamin © vs
They tie up and Benjamin goes right to the back of
Y2J. Jericho reverses and uses a waist lock takedown
to ground Benjamin. Benjamin counters with a side
headlock, but Jericho gets out of it. Benjamin
attempts a backslide, Jericho kicks out, and then
Benjamin uses an arm drag to trap Jericho in an
armbar. Jericho reverses, Benjamin springboards off
the ropes to escape, catches Y2J with an arm drag into
an armbar. Jericho fights out and slaps Benjamin
across the face. Benjamin takes a second to take this
in and tackles Jericho. Benjamin is pulled off by the
referee, and Jericho takes control. They trade some
blows and Jericho lands some chops. Benjamin goes for
a suplex but Jericho blocks it. Benjamin finally lists
Jericho over the ropes and lands on the apron. Jericho
flips Benjamin over him onto the ringside area, and
Benjamin tries to suplex Jericho off the apron.
Jericho counters with a hurancanrana and Benjamin hits
the floor hard in what I would consider to be a great
spot. Jericho removes the padding from the barricade
and drops Benjamin chest-first onto the exposed wall.
Jericho rolls Benjamin back into the ring and kicks
him in the ribs. Jericho is acting like a heel, though
the crowd seems to favor him. Jericho goes for a cocky
pin, and Benjamin kicks out. Jericho puts a reverse
chin lock on Benjamin and puts the pressure on in a
convincing manner. Benjamin gets to his feet, but
Jericho clubs him on his back. Jericho gets an Irish
whip in, but Benjamin counters with a flying forearm.
Both men are down, and Jericho is the first back up
with a small drop-kick. Jericho uses the ropes to his
advantage and takes control again. Benjamin comes back
with a splash on Jericho's back in the corner.
Benjamin corners Jericho with some punches and a
head-butt. Jericho reverses an Irish whip to the
opposite turnbuckle and gets a bulldog in. Jericho
goes for a springboard off the ropes, but Benjamin
pushes him off. Benjamin sits Jericho up on the second
rope, but is pushed off. Benjamin leaps up to the
turnbuckle and suplexes Jericho off! That was really
cool! Benjamin takes too long getting to the cover, so
Jericho gets a shoulder up at the two count. Benjamin
takes control and puts a reverse body scissors on Y2J.
Jericho fights out, but both men go down after both go
for a clothesline. Jericho gets to his feet first and
dodges the Stinger splash. Jericho takes down
Benjamin, does a little dance on his back, and hangs
him up on the ropes with a drop toe hold. Jericho runs
into a Samoan drop from Benjamin, who goes for a
cover. Jericho kicks out at two, and Benjamin takes
control. Jericho hits a running enziguri and goes for
a cover. Benjamin barely kicks out before the three
count. Jericho is soon the victim of a springboard
bulldog from Benjamin and is barely able to get a
shoulder up in a cover attempt. Jericho reverses a
roll up and goes for the Walls of Jericho. It isn't to
be, so he slingshots Benjamin into the turnbuckle.
Benjamin takes advantage with a T-Bone suplex and goes
for the cover. Luckily, Jericho gets a foot on the
ropes so Benjamin does not get the win. Benjamin drags
Jericho to the center of the ring for another cover
attempt, and Jericho is able to kick out. Benjamin
goes for another T-Bone, but Jericho fights out.
Benjamin's super kick attempt is blocked and he is
soon caught in the Walls of Jericho. It takes Benjamin
several seconds to make it to the ropes. Jericho
angrily stomps away at Benjamin. Benjamin hits a
flying boot to the face of Jericho that came out of no
where. Benjamin makes another cover attempt, but it is
only two again. Benjamin misses a drop-kick, but
reverses the lion-sault. Benjamin and Jericho go on to
counter each other's cover attempts until Jericho is
finally rolled up for the three count at 14:32, giving
the win to Shelton Benjamin! This was a great opener
and proved my suspicions that Jericho and Benjamin
could easily out do their Taboo Tuesday match. ***1/2.
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Shelton
-After the match, Todd Grisham tries to get an
interview with Jericho. Jericho blows him off and
heads to the back.
-Backstage, Jonathan Coachman is standing by with
Edge, who will be facing Chris Benoit in a "Last Man
Standing" match. Edge puts himself over for winning
the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 21
and how he beat Chris Benoit to do it. Edge promises
that he will be the last man standing, and that we can
all "bank on it."
Tag Team Turmoil match for the World Tag Team
Championship: William Regal and Tajiri © vs the Heart
Throbs, Simon Dean and Maven, La Resistance, and
Hurricane and Rosey
The tag champs and the Heart Throbs start the match
off. The Heart Throbs had just debuted two weeks prior
to this event, so the crowd really had no clue who
they were. This was before they had become established
jobbers as well. I am not going to even try to tell
the Heart Throbs apart in this one. Regal starts the
match off against Romeo, who I see has the darker hair
of the two. Romeo puts Regal in a head lock, knocks
him down and goes for an early cover. Romeo puts Regal
in a side headlock but it does not go anywhere. Regal
goes after Romeo, but the Heart Throb flips over Regal
and tags in Antonio. Antonio works on Regal's left
arm, which Ross seems to think is a good idea. Tag is
made to Tajiri, who catches Antonio with some stiff
kicks. Tajiri puts Antonio in an in-ring version of
the Tarantula (as called by Lawler). Romeo interferes,
giving Antonio the edge again. Tag is made and the
Heart Throbs double team Tajiri in the corner. Romeo
tags Antonio in again and the double team continues.
Antonio attempts a cover, it fails, so he goes back to
cornering Tajiri. Tajiri tries to make a leaping tag
to Regal, but it doesn't work. It is all good though,
as Tajiri hits a sunset slip into a cover and gets the
win at 3:11. This portion of the match was short, as
expected, but fast paced enough to be enjoyable.
Regal and Tajiri do not get much of a break as Dean
and Maven charge the ring. Simon Dean starts off
against Tajiri and puts him down with a body slam.
Dean hits an elbow drop and goes for a cover. Dean
charges Tajiri into his corner and tags in Maven for
the double team. Maven goes for the cover, but Tajiri
kicks out. Maven aggressively pummels away at Tajiri's
face with closed fists. Maven charges Tajiri back into
the heel corner. Simon chokes poor Tajiri in the
corner, incorporating the same strategy as the Heart
Throbs. Simon Dean puts Tajiri in a front face-lock.
Tajiri fights out and sends a dazed Dean walking into
the first of Regal on the apron. Maven rushes the
ring, trying to keep Tajiri from tagging in Regal, but
it was not to be. Regal cleans house on both Maven and
Dean, hitting a high knee on Dean for the victory at
Sylvain Grenier and Robert Conway attack Regal on the
outside, who was trying to take a breather. The action
spills into the ring as Conway takes the fight to
Regal. They swing their attention to Tajiri, who takes
both La Resistance members down. Grenier and Tajiri
remain in the ring as the legal men. Tag is made to
Regal, and finally the good guys get some double team
moves in on Grenier. Regal hits some uppercuts on
Grenier and goes for the cover. Tag is made to Tajiri,
who kicks Grenier in the ribs. Snapmare by Tajiri
leads into a leg drop and cover on Sylvain Grenier.
Tag is made to Regal, and for the first time in the
match the champs seem to have the upper hand. Conway
is tagged in, and hits a storm of punches on Regal.
Conway goes for the cover, but it fails as usual.
Conway tries to trap Regal in the La Resistance
corner, but Regal fights out and puts Conway in the
Regal Stretch. Grenier breaks up the submission hold,
but is jumped by Tajiri. Tajiri goes for the
Tarantula, but it is countered. Meanwhile Regal is
rolled up at 9:15 for the La Resistance win.
Hurricane and Rosey come out and Hurricane hits an off
the top crossbody on Grenier. Hurricane hits another
lateral press off the turnbuckles and almost gets the
win. Hurricane then heads to the top rope one time too
many and Grenier sends him flying to the outside area.
Hurricane's knee hit the turnbuckle on the way down,
that was sick. Hurricane is back in the ring and
proceeds to be the victim of La Resistance tagging
each other in and out. The action slows down with a
reverse chin-lock on Hurricane by Sylvain Grenier.
Hurricane somehow fights out of this always effective
submission hold, but is taken down with a big slam
from the evil French man. Grenier gets a scoop slam in
and heads to the middle rope for an elbow drop.
Hurricane moves out of the way, which is good because
Grenier slipped on the rope. Rosey is finally tagged
in, and he cleans house on La Resistance. Rosey
catches Conway in mid-air and slams him into a cover
attempt. Grenier is there to break it up though. Rosey
is double teamed by Conway and Grenier, but fights out
of it. Rosey gets a short airplane spin in on Conway,
but Grenier makes the save and suffers a double team
move from the evil French guys. Rosey plants Conway in
the ring and tags in Hurricane. Hurricane climbs on
Rosey's shoulders and dives off onto the fallen Conway
to cover him for the win at 13:41! This was the
beginning of five months of doing nothing with the tag
titles, but the match was entertaining enough with a
good finish. **1/4.
Winners and NEW World Tag Team Champions: Hurricane
Last Man Standing match: Edge vs Chris Benoit
There was a lot of bad blood brewing between Benoit
and Edge during this little era in Raw history. Benoit
takes Edge down quickly and pummels away at the evil
Edge. Benoit takes Edge down again as "You screwed
Matt" chants fill the arena. Benoit hits a hard kick
to Edge's head and follows up with a snap suplex.
Benoit hits a chop and decides to target Edge's
kidneys. Edge has had no offense in this match yet.
Edge finally reverses an Irish whip and sends Benoit
charging into a turnbuckle. "We want Matt" chants are
now filling the arena. Edge is in control now,
stomping away at a fallen Benoit. Edge chokes Benoit
on the bottom rope, and the referee takes the time to
stop this. Edge gets a scoop slam in and positions
himself for a spear. Benoit counters with a drop toe
hold and plays the stomping game. Benoit lets the
referee being the ten count, but when it becomes
obvious that Edge is going to stand up, Benoit goes
for the Crossface. Edge gets into the ropes, so Benoit
lets him go. Edge fights back and hits a high kick to
Benoit's skull. Edge goes under the ring for a garbage
can, but Benoit hits a baseball slide before Edge can
do anything with them. Edge and Benoit trade shots on
the outside until Edge pushes Benoit into the
barricade. Edge charges, but Benoit flips him over his
head over the barricade. Edge and Benoit brawl amongst
the fans for a few seconds before Edge tries to escape
back to the ring. The "We want Matt" chants are back.
Benoit puts Edge in the sharpshooter. Edge taps out,
but that means nothing since this is a Last Man
Standing match. Edge gets to the ropes and the referee
calls for the break. Benoit hits five consecutive
rolling German suplexes. Edge rolls out of the ring,
near where he left the garbage can and its lid
earlier. The referee begins the count, but Edge makes
it up. Benoit knocks Edge off the apron back to the
arena floor. Edge gets back to his feet at the eight
count. Benoit goes for the flying suicide dive, but
flies right into a swinging trash can lid! Benoit goes
down hard! Benoit makes it to his feet at the seven
count, but Edge hits him over the back with the trash
lid. Benoit gets to his feet again at the eight count,
but Edge is ready to continue the assault. Edge rolls
Benoit into the ring and straddles him on the top
turnbuckle. The trash can is laying behind them on the
ring, while Benoit is awake and trying to fight out of
his bad situation. Edge finally hits a big superplex
off the top turnbuckle and Benoit lands straight on
the trash can! Edge gets himself up, but Benoit only
makes it up right after the eight count. Edge takes
the lid and hits Benoit with it repeatedly in a rage.
Edge leaves the ring and drags a ladder out from
beneath the ring. The ladder gets the pop of the night
thus far. Edge positions the ladder upright by a
turnbuckle. Meanwhile, Benoit has gotten himself
together and hits some chops on Edge, but gets slammed
down. Edge begins to climb the ladder, but Benoit
catches up with him and hits a German suplex off the
ladder! I must say, this match has been badly
underrated by just about everyone! Both Edge and
Benoit struggle back to their feet. Benoit hits a
release German suplex on Edge. Benoit climbs to the
top of the ladder and goes for a diving head-butt? but
Edge moves out of the way! Benoit hits the ring hard!
I remember standing up in my seat at that part
screaming as if my name was Joey Styles. Edge reaches
for his Money in the Bank suitcase. Edge goes to nail
Benoit with it, but Benoit counters and puts Edge in
the Crippler Crossface. Edge taps out for the second
time in this match up, but it does no good. Edge
appears to have passed out, so Benoit lets go of the
hold. Both men are down as the referee begins to count
them both out. Edge tries to get to his brief case,
but Benoit catches him. Benoit hits two more rolling
German suplexes before Edge blocks the third one. Edge
hits Benoit with an Impaler onto the brief case!
Lawler accuses the referee of counting slower when
Benoit is down. Benoit gets back up, but is caught
with a spear by Edge. Edge is up and it is not until
the nine count before Benoit can get to his feet. Edge
hits a second spear and sits back, hoping this time
Benoit is down for the count. Benoit makes it up at
the nine count again. Edge goes to his brief case and
takes a brick out! Edge rams the brick into the back
of Benoit's neck! To add more emphasis, Edge slams the
brick into the steel steps, which made a huge noise
across the arena (it startled me in person). Benoit
fails to make it back to his feet and Edge wins the
match at 18:47 in what I would consider to be one of
the most underrated matches of 2005! A lot of people
criticized this match for a "slow pace" and claimed
the counting parts hurt the match. I disagree, ***3/4.
That action was intense, the big spots were great, and
Benoit sold his injuries like the pro he is.
-After the match, Benoit continues to sell his
injuries as the crowd applauds him.
-Backstage, Lita and Kane are in their dressing room.
They have one of their creepy romantic moments. Lita
makes fun of Trish and wonders what she would do if
she has to have sex with Viscera. Even Kane agrees
that it is disturbing. They proceed to make out.
-Jerry Lawler is in the ring and he calls out the Raw
divas so they can shill a swim suit magazine starring
the divas. The divas join him in the ring and they
look at their favorite photos from the magazine. Chris
Masters interrupts the segment and he earns ten points
of overness with me for doing that. Of course, that
brought his total overness with me at the time to? ten
point. Masters is offering 3,000 dollars to anyone who
wants to break the Masterlock. OVW's Melissa Choates
is in the audience as a plant and she accepts the
challenge. This woman could be the second coming of
Chyna. Masters aggressively makes her pass out to the
hold. This was pretty boring live, and it is pretty
brutal on tape.
-Backstage, Viscera and Trish are planning for the
match with Kane. Trish has promised Viscera that she
will sleep with him if he can beat Kane. Viscera is
excited about their date after the show and slaps
Trish on the behind as they get going.
-We see an outside shot of the Verizon Wireless Arena,
which is a damn fine looking arena if you ask me.
Kane (with Lita) vs Viscera (with Trish Stratus)
We were sitting directly in the line of the pyro from
the stage, so Kane's pyro really caught us off guard.
I was counting on Viscera coming out first, I guess.
Seriously, the pyro is much more intense in person.
The two big men stare each other down. Kane hits a big
right hand on Viscera, but it is no sold. Viscera
whips Kane into the turnbuckle, but misses a splash.
Kane fights back, sending Viscera to the outside area.
Kane goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a flying
clothesline on Viscera, who was still at ringside.
Meanwhile, the crowd is giving Lita crap over the Matt
Hardy issue. Kane and Viscera are back in the ring and
Kane hits a duo of elbow drops and a big leg drop.
Kane goes fro the cover, but is only a near fall.
Viscera and Kane trade shots, and Viscera hits a
rolling kick on Kane. That was impressive, considering
it was Viscera. Kane is caught in a scoop slam by
Viscera, but moves out of the way of an elbow drop.
Kane takes a moment to grab Trish by the hair (Trish
had been taunting Lita). Viscera gets a splash on Kane
and then a Samoan drop. Viscera goes for the cover,
but it was only a near fall. Kane fights back with an
uppercut, but runs into a sidewalk slam. Viscera gets
another near fall on Kane, and decides to choke him as
payback. Viscera hits a head-butt, but Kane catches
the big man with a DDT. Kane goes to the top
turnbuckle and hits another flying clothesline. Kane
is ready for a Chokeslam, but Viscera elbows his way
to freedom. Viscera clotheslines Kane over the ropes
and the fight goes to ringside. Viscera slams Kane's
head into the ring apron, but Lita on her crutches
gets in the way. Viscera shoves Lita into the corner.
Trish meanwhile lunges at Lita with a chair, but Lita
swings the crutch into the chair, laying out Trish.
Suddenly the crowd likes Lita again. Meanwhile, Kane
sends Viscera back into the ring and goes back to the
top turnbuckle. Viscera catches Kane in mid-air and
his a sit-down powerbomb! Viscera celebrates by
pulling Lita into the ring and sticks his tongue out
at her. This distraction allows Kane back to his feet.
Kane hits a big boot and a Chokeslam on Viscera. Kane
pins Viscera for the win at 6:10. This was so much
better than it had any right to be, it was well-booked
match that played to both Kane and Viscera's
strengths. Lita and Trish's involvement also added to
the enjoyment of the match, bringing this up to a
surprise ** rating from me. It was a fun match, I am
-After the match, Trish takes a microphone and chews
Viscera out. She calls him pathetic and that he could
not get the job down. Trish goes on record and tells
Viscera that even if he had beaten Kane, she would
"never lower herself to sleep with a big, fat, greasy,
chicken eating loser like you!" Viscera grabs Trish
and takes her down. Viscera hits his big splash on
Trish to a huge pop from the crowd! Viscera pelvic
thrusts and the crowd is loving this! Trish does a
stretcher job and proceeds in disappearing until
September. There, you can blame the Manchester fans
for the Viscera push that followed this event.
Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels vs Muhammad Hassan and
The entire crowd is pro-Hogan. I hate to say this, but
I would have to give Hogan credit for selling out the
arena this time around. There is an unusually high
amount of fans wearing Hogan merchandise and holding
Hogan signs. I was not surprised, I have long
considered my local fans to be big time marks. Hogan
comes out to a massive pop, which was pretty cool to
be there to see in person.
Daivari and Hassan are reluctant to get into the ring,
so Hogan takes the time to play to the crowd. This
deeply angers Hassan. Hogan starts he match off
against Muhammad Hassan. Hogan draws a proverbial line
in the sand and dares Hassan to fight. They tie up,
and Hogan thrusts Hassan into his turnbuckle. Hogan
invites Hassan to kiss his ass. Hassan is caught in a
side head-lock by Hogan. Hassan sends Hogan into the
ropes, but Hogan tackles him to the mat. Hassan is
flustered, and is an easy target. Hogan wrings the arm
of Hassan and drops an elbow on him. Hassan finally
gains some sort of advantage and corners Hogan. Tag is
made to Daivari and they double team the Hulkster.
Hogan will not stand for this and fights both men off.
Hogan takes Hassan down with a clothesline. HBK holds
up his legs and allows Hogan to drive Hassan's face
into them. Tag is made to HBK. Hogan and HBK hit a
double big boot on Hassan. Hogan goes to the ring
apron to play to the crowd while Shawn Michaels does
the hard physical work. HBK gets a boot to the face of
Hassan and follows up with a scoop slam. HBK misses an
elbow drop, allowing Hassan to tag in Daivari. Daivari
hits some punches on HBK and chops him into the
corner. HBK reverses the situation and hits some chops
of his own. HBK Irish whips Daivari and hits a big
back body drop. HBK tags in Hogan and holds Daivari
still. Hogan kicks Daivari in the gut and they floor
the young superstar with double elbows. Hogan chases
Daivari to the outside and hammerlocks Daivari into
the ring post. Hogan takes a second to high five a fan
and continues his merciless attack on Daivari. Hogan
chokes Daivari and hits a couple elbow drops. Hogan
tags HBK back in. Daivari and HBK trade chops and
exchange some fun counters. HBK floors Daivari with
another chop. HBK goes off the ropes into a flying
elbow and kips up. HBK hits an atomic drop and knocks
Hassan off the apron. HBK goes to the top rope and
hits a flying elbow drop right into the heart of
Khosrow Daivari. HBK signals the Sweet Chin Music, but
is thrown off by Hassan hitting him in the back with a
lead pipe. The referee did not see it because he was
trying to keep Hogan from interfering. Daivari goes
for a cover, but Hogan pulls him off of HBK. Hassan
makes a blind tag and he angrily pummels away at HBK.
Hassan hits a hard Irish whip into the turnbuckle on
HBK and drops some hard elbow drops. Tag is made to
Daivari, who jumps off the middle rope to club HBK on
the back. Daivari chokes HBK in the corner, but the
referee is kind enough to stop it. Daivari puts HBK in
a surfboard stretch, which is okay because it is the
first time the move has been used on this show. HBK
fights out of the hold as Hogan gets the crowd riled
up. Daivari grabs HBK by the hair and sends him back
to the mat. Tag is made to Hassan, who puts HBK in a
sleeper. Hassan turns the move into a reverse
chin-lock, but HBK is able to elbow his way to
freedom. HBK gets a sleeper of his own on HBK, but
Hassan counters it into a backbreaker. Hassan puts HBK
in the Camel Clutch. Hogan gets the crowd to cheer
HBK, as HBK desperately tries to make the tag while in
the Camel Clutch. Michaels is fading, but the cheers
of the crowd wills him to life. HBK stands up with
Hassan on his shoulders and hits the electric chair
counter. Both HBK and Hassan are down. Hogan is
putting a lot of effort into keeping the crowd into
the match, and the results have been good. Daivari is
tagged in, but so is the Hulkster! Hogan cleans house
on both Daivari and the interfering Hassan. Hogan
slams their skulls together. Hassan flees the ring,
leaving Daivari the victim of a big boot. Hogan
signals for the leg drop! Hogan backs into the ropes,
but Hassan jumps up and hits him in the back with the
lead pipe! Daivari covers Hogan, but Hogan tosses him
off at the two count! Hogan hulks up, and points at
Daivari. Hogan hits his punches on Daivari and the big
boot. Hogan goes for the leg drop again, but Hassan
grabs his ankles. Hogan punches Hassan off the apron,
as HBK comes in to hit the Sweet Chin Music on
Daivari. Hogan covers Daivari for the victory at
15:13! The arena erupts! This was an old fashioned
good vs evil match, and even my cold, bitter heart got
into it. **1/2. I am dead serious, it is hard to watch
this match and not feel incredibly happy. Besides, the
Michaels vs Daivari parts was some damn fine
Winners: Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels
-After the match, Hogan and HBK go into a lengthy
pose-down. They invite a fan into the ring who takes
his shirt off to reveal a huge Hogan tattoo covering
his entire back. The fan also has some hideous back
hair, but that's okay because I probably will too some
day. The crowd soaks this all up, making sure they
will be asleep for the main event.
-Backstage, Todd Grisham is standing by with Triple H.
He asks Triple H how confident he feels going into the
match. Triple H asks Todd how confident would he feel
if he knew he would be walking out of the arena as the
World Heavyweight Champion. Triple H sais that at
WrestleMania, Batista had a "great night." Triple H
says he has the great equalizer, and it is called the
"pedigree." Triple H says that tonight he will have a
"great night for the 11th time." Triple H vows to
leave as the champion.
-Back in the arena, Christian and Tyson Tomko come out
for a surprise interview segment. This was great
because earlier on Heat, Tomko had a match with Val
Venis. During that match, the crowd chanted "We want
Christian." Christian gets a good pop from the crowd
and makes his way to the ring. I took the time to type
up Christian's entire promo:
"You know all week long all I have been hearing about
is Backlash. More specifically the backlash that would
take place if Captain Charisma were not on this show.
Now I don't want to come out here and upset you
people, I don't want to make you mad? but this may be
the last time you see me on a Raw pay-per-view.
Because later on this month, there will be a draft and
nobody is exempt. And since I am a main eventer, I
figured I would take this time to come out here and
address my fellow main eventers. And I would like to
do it in the form of a rap. DO you hear that,
Manchester, NH? Don't be afraid to make some noise.
Put your hands together because the captain is about
to make it happen. Here we go. On Raw you've got
Batista with muscle to spare, but he's got charisma
like Tomko's got hair. You've got Triple H and Ric
Flair and their legends still grow. 26 titles between
them and the world's biggest nose. And have you heard
the one about JBL, you know the rich guy on Smackdown?
Well I hear his taxes are still soaring, but he's no
wrestling God, just a God of boring. Seems to me I am
forgetting someone? who am I forgetting? oh yeah, he's
the guy who inspired this little rap, the WWE
Champion, John Cena. Well, I got a little something
for him, want to hear it? I SAID DO YOU WANT TO HEAR
IT? Well, it goes a little something like this: Hey
Cena, you think I'm jealous of your fortune and fame?
Well, you talk like Snoop Dogg but you look like Corey
Haim. So after the draft, whether it is Raw or
Smackdown, J.R. or Michael Cole, I will be champion,
because that's how I roll."
I typed this up to make a point. Christian walked into
Manchester as a legit top guy in the eyes of every fan
in that arena. He cut a top-rate promo. It was hinting
at a feud with John Cena, which was a feud the fans
were ready to welcome. However, Christian was
repeatedly buried and squashed after this show and
nothing happened. That feud with Cena ended up having
Chris Jericho getting involved. Christian's only title
match was at Vengeance in a triple threat. I would say
the treatment of Christian by the WWE was the most
disappointing and frustrating creative act of last
year. I will get off my soap box now.
-Ric Flair comes out before the main event. Flair is
here to introduce Triple H.
World Heavyweight Championship: Batista © vs Triple H
(with Ric Flair)
Batista gets a nice pop on his way to the ring, though
the crowd was pretty tired this point after the Hogan
match. It was like at WrestleMania X8, where the crowd
burnt themselves out cheering for Rock and Hogan and
were crickets for the Triple H/Chris Jericho main
event. Triple H cannot wait for the match to begin.
Batista poses with the title to rub it in. I will note
that every time I have watched this match in the past
several months, I have liked it a little more each
time. My original rating was **1/4. Let's see if I
agree with myself from last May.
The bell rings and Triple H is eager to get going.
Flair distracts Batista, allowing Triple H to charge
at full speed. Triple H tries to get a pedigree in,
but Batista is too alert to allow that. They break and
resume circling the ring. They tie up and Batista
backs Triple H into the corner. Triple H reverses, but
Batista blocks his punch. Batista sends Triple H into
the ropes, but Triple H goes for another pedigree
attempt. Batista gets out of it and goes for the
Batista Bomb. Triple H escapes, and hides in the
ropes. Batista confidently reminds Triple H how close
he was to winning already. Triple H and Batista tie up
again, this time HHH cornering Batista. Batista
reverses an Irish whip and hits a back body drop.
Batista hits some punches and knocks down the Game.
Triple H tries another pedigree, but Batista flips him
over the ropes and Triple H hits the mat. Batista
follows after Triple H, but Triple H catches him with
a spine buster into the barricade. Triple H nails
Batista into the barricade again, and he collapses on
the floor amongst the fans. Triple H suplexes Batista
over the barricade and the Animal hits the arena floor
hard. They return to the ring, and Triple H hangs
Batista up on the bottom rope. Triple H has decided to
focus on the lower back of Batista, which makes sense
after all those bumps on the floor Batista just took.
Triple H drops a knee to Batista's kidney, and corners
him again. Batista fights out with an elbow and goes
for the Batista Bomb. Triple H avoids the move by
pushing Batista back-first into the turnbuckle. Triple
H turns Batista around and hits some shoulder thrusts
into Batista's hurt back. HHH follows this up with a
hard Irish whip into the opposite turnbuckles. Batista
rolls out of the ring, where he is victim to some
cheap shots from Ric Flair. The referee missed it
because he was arguing with Triple H for some reason.
Batista rolls back into the ring, where Triple H is
waiting for him. Triple H brings on the punches, very
creative of the Game. Batista punches back, but is
caught with a spine buster. Triple H goes for the
cover, but it's only a near fall. Triple H tries two
more times to pin Batista, but it just does not work.
Triple H continues his assault of punches and whipping
Batista's back into turnbuckles. Finally, Batista
comes back with a big clothesline. Triple H runs into
a sidewalk slam and gets clotheslined over the ropes.
Batista goes after HHH and whips him into the steel
steps. Batista slams HHH's head into the steps and the
action spills back into the ring. Batista thrusts his
shoulders into Triple H and hits a power slam. Batista
is all fired up, but has to take a moment to knock
Flair off the apron. Flair does not give up easily and
distracts the referee. Batista goes for a Batista
Bomb, but somehow Triple H had the World title in his
hands. HHH hit Batista in the head with the belt and
went for the cover. Batista is barely able to kick
out, and I remember buying that fall while watching
the match live. Batista hits some desperate punches on
Triple H, and reverses another pedigree. Batista
accidentally takes out the referee and Triple H
finally hits the pedigree. HHH gets the cover, but the
referee is out cold. In the eyes of every fan in the
arena, Triple H just had the match won. Triple H tries
to revive the referee, but it is not working. Another
referee runs in to finish the match. Triple H goes for
another pedigree, but Batista reverses it into a spine
buster. Batista gets a near fall on Triple H. Batista
looks exhausted. Batista gets caught in a face buster
by Triple H, who goes for a cover. It is a near fall,
I wonder if Triple H has actually ever won with that
move? Doubtful. Triple H tries another pedigree, but
Batista counters. Batista wears down HHH with some
clotheslines into the corner. Triple H kicks the
referee in the groin, and he's out. Flair rushes into
the ring and gets taken down by Batista. Triple H goes
for another pedigree, but Batista counters and
slingshots him into the turnbuckle. Batista goes for
the Batista Bomb, but Triple H low blows him. Triple H
goes for some punches on the middle turnbuckle, but is
unwittingly set up for the Batista Bomb! Batista hits
the powerbomb and covers Triple H for the victory at
16:22! This is actually a well worked match as the
story was that Triple H was sure that if he hit the
pedigree, Batista would be doomed. I must say, it was
nice being there live to see Triple H do a clean job.
I know I'll be accused of being biased again, but I
genuinely think I underrated this match the first time
around. **3/4. Leading up to Batista's finish, the
match was looking like another Triple H screwjob
finish, so the match earns some extra points.
Winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Batista
-After the match, Triple H pushes Flair and the
referee away and screams in anger. Batista poses with
the belt as the cameras go off. At this point, Triple
H proceeded to destroy a group of referees. He got on
the microphone briefly and asked why is it that fans
from New Hampshire are assholes. This is the inside
joke, of course, since Triple H is from New Hampshire.
Final thoughts: This really is a good pay-per-view.
There were only six matches and I would dare say that
none of them were bad, and all of them either met
expectations or exceeded them. There is something for
everyone, from the mark-out value of the Hogan match,
the violence of the Last Man Standing, and the
story-heavy main event. This show has been mostly
forgotten, mostly due to Hogan wrestling more since
this event and the main event being part two in the
three part war between Triple H and Batista. Still, I
would recommend checking this show out. I think most
of you would be in for a pleasant surprise.
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