Monday Night Raw – April 4, 2005: Needs More Batista

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 4, 2005
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 16,653
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is from the Raw after Wrestlemania and was a request. HHH has lost the world title to Batista last night so this is the start of a new era in a sense. Looking at the rest of the card (which is pretty short in the first place), we’ve got Edge vs. Benoit which should be good. I’m not sure what else to expect tonight so let’s get to it.

We open with a Wrestlemania recap set to Behind Those Eyes by 3 Doors Down. They’re my favorite band so I’m not complaining here. It transitions to another song that I don’t recognize. It was the show where Cena and Batista won their first world titles, plus there was the first MITB match and Angle vs. Shawn’s classic. If it ran about 45 minutes shorter, it would be one of the best ever. With that extra time though, it’s just a good show.

Here’s HHH to open the show. You know, the guy that lost last night. The Game can’t get anything in because of the Batista chants. He admits that he lost the title but goes into a huge rant about how the Batista Era isn’t beginning because he was on for one night only. HHH is great every night. You think he gives that same speech to Stephanie when she complains about things? HHH says he owns the title and the rematch is at Backlash. He’ll get the title back and ram it down all of our throats.

Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho

This was when Shelton was the hottest star in the company not named Cena or Batista and he’s defending the title here. I think all three of these guys were in MITB last night. Yeah they were. Thanks JR. JR then loses his credibility for this match saying Shelton won the title off Jericho a few weeks ago. He won it in November JR. Shelton and Jericho square off but Christian wants some of that. He gets punched in the face for his efforts and double teamed.

Jericho and Shelton seem to team up for a bit but that breaks down quickly. Chris controls on the champion and hits the bulldog, but he’s too banged up for the Lionsault. Christian comes back in and sends Jericho to the floor so he can work on Shelton. Off to a chinlock as the fans chant CLB. Shelton loads up a superplex on Christian but Jericho comes in to powerbomb him, making it a Tower of Doom.

Everyone is down and Jericho gets two on Christian, then two on Shelton. Jericho fires off a forearm and enziguri on Christian but covers Shelton instead for some reason. Shelton sunset flips Jericho but Christian rolls him up for two. Jericho sunset flips BOTH of them at once for two. Stinger Splash from the champion hits Jericho and the Exploder puts him down, but Tomko pulls Shelton out. Jericho hooks the Walls on Christian but Shelton comes in with a springboard bulldog (looked GREAT) to Jericho for the pin to retain.

Rating: B. I was really getting into this. The midcard was pretty awesome at this point with Shelton leading the way. Then he got lazy and stopped caring which really crippled his career. Anyway, at this point he rocked and couldn’t have a boring match if his life depended on it. When Christian and Jericho have trouble keeping up with you, that says a lot.

Edge is in the back with Bischoff and signs his contract for a world title shot. That’s the MITB contract I think. Bischoff asks if he wants to use it tonight but Edge says no, because he wants to pick his spot. Eric says you get Benoit tonight then.

Here’s Orton who lost to Taker last night. The fans chant for Undertaker and Orton says it wasn’t supposed to go that way. He talks about being chokeslammed and tombstoned last night. Orton claims a shoulder injury during the match last night and he would have reversed the Tombstone otherwise. But enough of that, because he wants to talk about Batista. He respects Undertaker but doesn’t respect Batista. Orton says he’s the future and wants Batista TONIGHT. Eric comes out and says that HHH gets the next shot because of his rematch clause. Orton says make the match tonight and Eric says ok.

Women’s Title: Christy Hemme vs. Trish Stratus

Christy looks GREAT in blue. Christy is the Divas Search winner and Lita is training her. That doesn’t make her any good in the ring but she looks great. Trish is evil here and this is a rematch from last night. Before the bell ever rings, Trish KILLS Christy with a Chick Kick and knocks her out. Lita, still injured, gets in Trish’s face and they slug it out, but Trish kicks Lita in her injured knee and puts a hold on her. Trish walks out, but DANG that kick looked great.

We get a clip from last night with Muhammad Hassan jumping Eugene and beating him up until Hogan made the save. That’s still a great moment that I still watch from time to time. By clip, I mean the whole segment.

Here’s Shawn, limping after Angle destroyed his leg last night. He talks about how he gave it everything he had last night but things didn’t end like he planned. Shawn asks for a small favor: would anyone want to see a rematch? The fans want it so Shawn says he’ll do whatever he can do to make it happen.

Cue Hassan and Daivari to get on our nerves by speaking Farsi or whatever language that is. Hassan makes fun of Shawn for losing and says Shawn fears him because he’s Arab American. Shawn takes his jacket off and Hassan calls him a loser. This starts a brawl but Shawn’s knee gives out and he gets beaten down. Hassan puts him in a camel clutch to end this.

Edge vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit has a bad left arm from last night. They brawl fairly slowly and Edge is knocked to the floor. Back in and a knee to the ribs puts Edge down. Benoit is having to fight tentatively because of the arm. Out to the floor again and Benoit fires off some chops. He slides back in and takes Edge down with a baseball slide. Coming back in, Edge drapes the arm over the top rope and Benoit is in trouble.

Edge works over the arm with a wristlock and a hammerlock. Benoit comes back with a trio of Germans, the third one being release style. He stupidly goes up but the Swan Dive misses and the arm hits the mat again. Benoit gets sent to the floor and we take a break. Back with Edge working on the arm even more. During the break Benoit tried the Crossface but the arm gave out.

Edge cranks on the arm even more but goes up and is crotched. Benoit chops him on the corner and they trade headbutts. Benoit GOES OFF and hits a huge superplex to put both guys down. Here’s the Sharpshooter which Benoit wisely pulls on with the right arm. After about two minutes, Edge finally gets to the ropes. The bandage is off Benoit’s arm. He manages the Crossface but the arm gives out so Edge can escape. He DDTs the arm and loads up the spear, but Benoit sidesteps him to send Edge into the corner, letting Chris roll him up for the pin.

Rating: B. Two matches up, both very good so far. These two were always going to give you good matches and the arm injury was a really nice story to put into the match. Benoit would never reach the level he hit the previous year but he was always good for something like this. Edge would do little for the rest of the year before cashing in the case in January.

Edge rams Benoit’s arm into the steps post match. He also beats on it with a chair.

It’s time for an infomercial by Simon Dean for the Simon System with Maven as his protege. This isn’t going to end well. Simon says (get it?) that anyone, even the people in LA, can look like Maven using his system. He says that the people here are getting fat drinking beer. I think I can hear the glass shattering from here. Yep there it is. Austin makes fun of the system and says WHAT a lot. If you won’t know where this is going, I’ve failed you.

They agree to try each others’ drinks and Simon asks for a glass. Austin has none of that so Simon holds his nose. Simon does push-ups to work off the calories of the beer. They’re wasting Austin on this? Austin says do a bunch of push-ups which Simon does. Now it’s time for Austin to try the protein shake. Austin says the shake smells awful and won’t drink it. Maven says that’s because it’s a man’s drink and throws it on Austin. Stunners and beer abound for awhile.

Orton is coming to the ring and runs into Kane who makes fnu of him for losing.

Batista vs. Randy Orton

Non-title. We get our first look at the guy that won the main event of Wrestlemania with less than eight minutes of air time left. The bell rings with less than six and a half minutes to go in the show. Orton shoves him into the corner but Big Dave powers out of it. Orton takes over and hooks a chinlock but Batista snapmares out of it.

They’re very clearly going through the motions here. Batista pounds on him and shoves him into the corner for the shoulders. He misses one though and Batista’s shoulder hits the post. Not that it really matters as he rams Orton’s face into the post. Back in the spinebuster and the Batista Bomb get the easy pin.

Rating: D. Pretty boring match here as these two never really had the big match that I think they were always expected to have. They should have had a great feud and rivalry on paper but it never really played out that way in reality. Not the worst match ever but for Batista’s first match as champion it didn’t work that well.

HHH comes out to applaud Batista to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. The wrestling was mostly good here and the show was entertaining enough, but the main event did very little for Batista. This felt more like Austin was the main attraction or something like that. Not a bad show but there needed to be WAY more focus on Batista.

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