Backlash 2005: Hogan’s “One More Match”

Backlash 2005
Date: May 1, 2005
Location: Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire
Attendance: 14,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re back another year later and the main event is Batista vs. HHH II for Batista’s newly won title. Other than that we also have Hogan’s “one more match”, teaming with Shawn against Daivari and Muhammad Hassan. I barely remember anything from this time of the company’s history which usually means I enjoy it more because it’s a nice surprise. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about Hogan with the fans chanting for one more match. The other part is about HHH vs. Batista.

Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin

Benjamin is defending and is still the hottest thing in the world not named Batista or Cena. He would have my favorite match of all time the next night on Raw. Jericho is here because he has nothing else to do. This was part of a really bad funk for him before he would leave in the fall, which was a really good thing for him. This is face vs. face. JR seems to forget Trish’s involvement in last year’s Backlash, saying Jericho beat Christian.

Jericho takes him down to start and apparently this is about Jericho’s singing or something. Off to an armbar by Shelton and Jericho can’t out quick him. Jericho slaps him and it turns into a fist fight. He chops the champion up against the ropes and they fight over a suplex. Jericho gets sent to the apron but manages to backdrop Shelton to the floor. Shelton lands on his feet and tries a powerbomb but Jericho ranas him down. Cool sequence but if it had been faster it would have been amazing.

Shelton gets sent into the barricade and we head back in. A suplex gets two for the Canadian and we hit the chinlock. Jericho starts playing heel in the match, choking Shelton on the bottom rope. Shelton sends him into the corner and hits a Stinger Splash to the back followed by a suplex. Jericho gets in a shot to the back but a quick Lionsault attempt is broken up. They go to the corner with Benjamin being shoved off. He JUMPS to the top rope and superplexes Jericho down. TAKE THAT ANGLE! The superplex only gets two but DANG that was cool.

The champ hooks a chinlock with a bodyscissors and Jericho is in trouble. Both guys get back up and it’s a double clothesline to put everyone down. Jericho gets up first and puts Shelton in 619 position, but Benjamin pops up and hits a Samoan Drop for two. Jericho hits the running enziguri out of nowhere for two. Shelton comes back with a HUGE springboard bulldog for two. That guy’s jumping is getting better and better.

The Canadian takes the legs out and tries the Walls (BIG pop for that) but changes to a slingshot instead. Benjamin jumps down and hits the T-Bone for two as Jericho’s feet were in the ropes. The Dragon Whip misses and Jericho hooks the Walls in the middle of the ring. Benjamin crawls over to the ropes and the fans aren’t pleased.

Jericho stomps away but Shelton comes back with kind of a falling bicycle kick to the face for two. It was like Trouble in Paradise without the spin. Lionsault is countered but Jericho countered the counter into a Walls attempt but Shelton kicks him over into a rollup. Jericho counters THAT but Shelton counters into a jackknife cradle for the pin to retain. That was a SWEET ending sequence.

Rating: B. This was a very good opener and a great way to see both guys get to show off. Jericho is the right kind of choice for this, but the next night it would be Shawn in there with Shelton and sweet goodness did they tear the house down. Anyway, this was solid stuff and the crowd is nice and woken up now. Good, good stuff.

Jericho has no comment post match.

Edge says Benoit should be worried about their match tonight. Edge stopped Benoit from becoming Mr. Money In The Bank and tonight the people want to see Benoit get his revenge. That’s not happening though, because Edge will be the last man standing, and you can bank on it.

Raw Tag Titles: Tag Team Turmoil

There are five teams in this and it’s a gauntlet. Two teams start, the winners advance, the last team standing wins. We start with The Heartthrobs vs. Regal/Tajiri, the latter of whom are the defending champions. Regal starts with Romeo Roselli with Romeo taking over. Antonio (Thomas) comes in but Regal immediately takes him to the mat. Off to Tajiri who kicks the tar out of Thomas. Tajiri hooks a freaky looking hold which is kind of like a Pedigree Lock if you can call it anything. Antonio suplexes him down for two. They go to the corner and Tajiri comes out with a sunset flip for the pin to advance.

The third team is Maven/Simon Dean. There’s no break in between either. Maven and Dean are fitness enthusiasts so they keep exercising during the matches. Simon and Tajiri start but it’s quickly off to Maven. From the apron Regal fires in a knee to Simon’s back and it’s off to William to clean house. The knee trembler gets the pin on Simon.

La Resistance is fourth and we start on the floor. Back inside for Grenier vs. Tajiri with the Japanese man kicking away with some force. The champions tag in and out pretty quickly so it’s back to Tajiri again. Conway gets Regal into the corner to pound away and everything breaks down. Here’s the Tarantula but Conway breaks it up and guillotines him, giving Grenier the pin with a handful of tights.

Hurricane and Rosey are the last team to face La Resistance. A quick Hurricane cross body gets two on Grenier. Blockbuster gets the same. Sylvan throws him over the corner and Hurricane’s ankle hits the post on the way down. Hurricane gets put in a chinlock followed by a modified belly to back suplex for two. An awful looking middle rope elbow misses and it’s off to Rosey with no one caring. A World’s Strongest Slam gets two on Grenier and everything breaks down. The French dudes hit a double spinebuster on Rosey for two. The good guys do a Snuka/Andre double climbing splash (as in Hurricane fell on Grenier) for the titles.

Rating: D. The problem I have with these matches as well as Cruiserweight Opens is that the matches all end in about four minutes. The longest here was under 4:10, which makes you wonder why other matches last longer than that ever. It’s not like these matches are impressive or anything as they’re really just collections of squashes and quick falls, which aren’t interesting and it’s just the luck of the draw for the most part. Hurricane and Rosey would go on to be some of the most forgotten tag champions ever.

We recap Edge vs. Benoit. This started in the MITB match where Benoit had a bad arm coming in. He almost had the case and therefore the match won, but Edge hit him in the arm with a chair. In theory that’s legal but I guess for some reason it’s evil because Edge did it or something? They had a match on Raw which Benoit won on an almost fluke rollup. Edge destroyed him and his arm even more post match. Bischoff made a last man standing match as a result.

Edge vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit’s arm isn’t taped but he’s a sneaky Canadian so it might be fake. Benoit immediately takes him down and we’re on. Chris pounds on him a bit as the fans chant YOU SCREWED BRET. Geez it even happens in America at this show. We go tot he corner for the chopping as this is all Benoit so far. Edge gets in a shot to take over and the fans want Matt. They would get him in a few months. A spear attempt is countered by a drop toehold and it’s back to even.

Benoit drives in knees to a downed Edge but the taller Canadian comes back with a shot to the head. They go to the floor and Edge finds a garbage can lid, but Benoit baseball slides him down before it can be used. Edge gets backdropped into the crowd and Chris heads out there with him. Back into the ring and Benoit hooks a quick Sharpshooter to make Edge tap but it doesn’t matter here.

With Edge barely back to his feet, Benoit snaps off the Rolling Germans to send Edge to the floor, drawing an eight count. Benoit knocks him right back off the apron again, this time for another eight. Chris tries a suicide dive but gets his head blasted in by a trashcan lid on the way down. That gets a seven so Edge bashes him again, this time getting six. A fan keeps chanting that Edge cheated on his wife, which is true but has little relevance here.

Back into the ring and Edge loads up a superplex onto a trashcan which has Benoit’s legs twitching. Edge is down too but gets up at seven while Benoit is up at eight. Edge hits a running knee to the head and wears him out with a trashcan lid. Naturally it’s time for a ladder, but Edge climbs with his back to Benoit. There’s the German suplex off the ladder and both guys are down. That draws a double eight and Benoit is getting frustrated.

Another release German puts Edge down, this time getting about seven. With Edge still down, Benoit goes up and launches a Swan Dive at Edge but misses, driving his head into the mat. Edge finds the briefcase but Benoit grabs the Crossface before getting hit in the face. Back up and it’s time for MORE Rolling Germans. Edge finally escapes and hits the Edgecution onto the briefcase. Of course, that only gets 9. Edge spears him down for nine. Benoit gets up so Edge spears him down for nine. Benoit gets up so Edge pulls a brick out of the briefcase and blasts Benoit with that for the ten count and the win.

Rating: B. For some reason I see Bobby Heenan smiling at Edge doing that. It’s just such a Brain sounding move. I was digging this, but given what we knew would come about two years later, those shots to the head of Benoit are very hard to watch anymore. Edge was put over here which was the important thing, as he needed wins like these to move up the ladder over the course of the year.

Lita (looking GOOD) is in the back watching and smiles. Kane comes in and asks if she’s ready to help take out Viscera. There’s some kind of a deal where if Viscera loses, Trish has to sleep with him or something. Kane and Lita make out because Kane is a lucky man.

Here’s Lawler to promote the Viva Las Divas magazine. He brings out the girls and this is probably why there are only six matches on the card. We see every chick’s favorite photo to fill in some time. Lawler says he’s going to ask a lot of personal questions but here’s Chris Masters. The girls all leave and Masters says it’s time for a Masterlock Challenge. This time it’s a girl with very short hair, who apparently is indy wrestler Melissa Coates. Masters wins easily.

Trish leaves her locker room and runs into Viscera. Ok apparently if he wins, they have a date. He has some lingerie for her and this is awkward.

Kane vs. Viscera

Kane runs into Viscera and bounces off of him. He kicks Viscera tot he floor and dives onto Visc to take over. The fans still want Matt. Back in and Viscera hits the wheel kick and we get a pelvic thrust. Kane goes after Trish for some reason but gets splashed and caught in a Samoan Drop for two. Sidewalk slam gets the same. Kane gets in a boot to the face and the top rope clothesline looks to set up the chokeslam, but Visc elbows out of it.

A clothesline puts Kane on the floor but Viscera runs into the post. Trish goes after Kane with a chair for some reason but Lita blasts her with a crutch (Lita had a bad knee). Back in Kane goes up but dives into a choke bomb for two. Lita gets in the ring for some reason and Visc tries to kiss her, but Kane comes back with a big boot and a chokslam for the pin.

Rating: D. This was a boring match for the most part and I really don’t get what the idea of this was supposed to be at all. So did Trish want to sleep with Visc or something? Why else would she have gone after Kane like that? Either way it made little sense and the match wasn’t any good either.

Trish yells at Viscera post match and says even if he had won, she wouldn’t have slept with him. She says she’ll get a real man so he picks her up, shakes her, and then splashes her, which I think was supposed to be a face turn. Trish is taken out on a stretcher.

We recap Hogan/Shawn vs. Daivari/Hassan. Hogan went into the HOF the night before Wrestlemania 21, Hogan beat up Hassan and Daivari at Mania 21, they beat up Shawn, Shawn asked Hogan to be his partner for one more match, and here we are.

Hulk Hogan/Shawn Michaels vs. Muhammad Hassan/Daivari

Hogan and Hassan get us going with Hogan drawing a line on the mat. He easily shoves Hassan away and grabs a headlock. There goes the bandana and the evil ones beat on Hogan in the corner. Hulk runs them both over with a clothesline and Hassan gets beaten on now, despite being illegal. Off to Shawn for a double big boot and it’s Michaels in full control again.

Michaels misses an elbow and it’s off to Daivari. Hogan comes back in as this is a total squash so far. Out to the floor and Hogan puts a Hogan hat on Daivari before punching him. Is that some inner self hate manifesting itself perhaps? Back in for some elbow drops and a boot to the eyes. Shawn comes back in and the beating continues. He chops Daivari down, followed by the forearm and nip up.

The top rope elbow hits and Shawn tunes up the band, but Hogan goes after Hassan. While he’s being put out, Hassan hits Shawn in the bac with a pipe of some kind for two. Hassan works on the back and it’s back to Daivari for a hold. Back to the chinlock before the camel clutch goes on. The hold stays on long enough to make it look completely ineffective until Shawn breaks it with an electric chair. Hot tag to Hogan, house is cleaned. His hip is messed up though so he can’t use the legdrop though, so Hassan hits him in the back with the pipe. That draws the Hulk Up and it’s big boot, superkick, pin on Daivari.

Rating: D+. This was just to get the crowd all fired up and on that regard it worked, but other than that there wasn’t much in this at all. It was basically a long and extended squash with Hogan picking up the win to give the people a feel good moment. Also it set up the reason for them to be around each other again in the future, which set up Summerslam.

HHH says Batista got lucky and the Pedigree will take care of Batista.

Here are Christian and Tomko for no apparent reason. He says this may be the last time you see him on a Raw PPV because there’s a Draft coming. Christian wants to express himself so he’s going to rap for us. He makes fun of the main eventers….and that’s about it.

We recap the main event. HHH and Batista were in Evolution together before Batista got hot and won the Rumble. He beat HHH at Mania but HHH says that was just one lucky night. This is the rematch.

Raw World Title: HHH vs. Batista

HHH goes right at him and tries a fast Pedigree but Big Dave quickly escapes. The exact same thing happens but with Batista trying the Bomb. A backdrop puts HHH down as we’re still kind of in an opening phase here. Another Pedigree attempt is countered into a backdrop to the floor. Batista follows but gets rammed into the barricade and suplexed on the floor. They head back inside and Batista’s spine is getting worked over. Batista tries a quick Bomb but HHH gets in a shot to break it up.

HHH drives his shoulders into the back of Batista in the corner and sends him to the floor so Flair can get in some shots. Back in and HHH hits a spinebuster for two after a quick slugout. This match isn’t flowing all that well at all. Batista grabs a side slam out of nowhere and clotheslines HHH out to the floor. Back in and Batista starts shaking the ropes. Flair tries to get in which allows HHH to get a belt shot in for two.

They slug it out for a bit and another Pedigree attempt is countered. Batista is all fired up now but he clotheslines the referee down. Pedigree hits but the referee’s head is somewhere over Hoboken. Flair throws him back in but the guy is out cold. Another referee comes out and Batista hits a spinebuster for a close two. Batista hits a bunch of clotheslines in the corner but HHH kicks the referee low.

Batista loads up the Bomb but it draws in Flair. HHH tries the Pedigree for the 8th time but gets catapulted into the corner. ANOTHER Batista Bomb attempt is counted by a low blow but HHH channels his inner lunkhead and goes into the corner for punches. He deserves the Batista Bomb that he gets as well as the loss that it brings him.

Rating: D. This was really dull as it was about 70% finisher attempts. Power vs. power rarely works and it didn’t work here for the most part. Yes HHH jobbed which is a lot of what made Batista look legit, but the match was horrible. Batista needs someone that he can dominate rather than someone who is going to do nothing but try Pedigrees. This was a really bad main event.

Overall Rating: D. The show was ok, but what in the world changed here? Batista keeps the title, Hogan/Shawn meant nothing at all for months, and Edge beats Benoit in a match that didn’t mean anything. The first half of 2005 was such a weak time but the Draft would bring that Cena guy to Raw which would change everything in wrestling. This was a pretty forgettable show though, but it’s not completely horrible.

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