Raw is War

Birmingham, Alabama
March 21, 2005

Brawl in Birmingham
March 21, 2005

Triple H not only selected Batista’s match on RAW, he also picked the stipulation. The Cerebral Assassin took advantage of contractual fine print, making the Pick Your Poison Match an “Anything Goes” Lumberjack Match with hand-picked Superstars surrounding the ring. Ric Flair then further motivated The Game’s lumberjacks by dangling a spot in Evolution before them, saying, “We’re looking for the right man.”

When Kane and Batista took to the ring, it was surrounded by belligerent Superstars such as Edge, Muhammad Hassan, Gene Snitsky, Christian and the 485-pound Viscera — with the World Heavyweight Champion and Flair watching from the announce table.

The lumberjacks made life miserable for Batista early on, but The Game’s plan quickly disintegrated because of a major oversight: the heated differences between the Superstars at ringside. Kane and Gene Snitsky tried to settle old scores, which opened the door for Batista’s power game. After suffering through a massive suplex and vicious clothesline, Kane was able to fight his way out of a Batista Bomb. Then, a wild brawl erupted as WrestleMania-related concerns came to the forefront — including a confrontation between future “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match participants.

Somehow, Batista fought his way through everyone, leaving bodies in his wake until he reached Kane in the middle of the ring. There, Batista was caught with Kane’s chokeslam. But Batista kicked out of the pin attempt that followed, bringing Triple H and the crowd to its feet in amazement. Kane went for a follow-up Tombstone, but instead was met with a spinebuster and Batista Bomb, earning Batista a victory against all odds. As his hand was raised in victory, Batista stared down the World Heavyweight Champion.

Randy Orton followed up his SmackDown! appearance with an utterly despicable message for the Undertaker. He revealed a new “Legend Killer” t-shirt with the Undertaker’s name already on the back. And in a cruel display, Orton showed what could happen to the Deadman by hitting the RKO on girlfriend Stacy Keibler. The message was simple: If Orton would do that to unsuspecting Stacy — after first kissing her — imagine what he’ll be willing to do to the Phenom on April 3.

The Showstopper was in fine form in a match against Robert Conway. The La Resistance member was out to avenge a loss last week to the re-formed Rockers, but HBK was relentless in his attack. First, HBK surprised Conway with a slingshot, corkscrew splash to the outside. He later followed with a top-rope elbow smash and “Sweet Chin Music” for the win. And the decisive victory was made all the more unlikely by the constant interference from Sylvain Grenier.

It looks like Women’s Champion Trish will have some competition on her hands at WrestleMania 21. Playboy cover girl Christy, who has been training hard, more than held her own against Molly Holly in a mixed six-person tag match on RAW. When Molly went to the top rope for the Molly-Go-Round, Christy weaved out of the way, then hit her with the Twist of Fate. At ringside, Lita cheered approvingly while Trish Stratus scowled.

Shelton Benjamin’s incredible athleticism was on full display in tag-team match alongside Y2J against Christian & Edge. The Intercontinental Champion’s fast-paced assault kept one of the most successful tag teams in WWE history off-balance. Over the course of the match, Shelton hit a dragon whip, Stinger splash, and flying clothesline, clearing the ring. But when Shelton’s momentum carried him into the corner late in the contest, Christian caught him with the Intercontinental Championship belt. A woozy Shelton then walked right into a spear from Edge, who stole the win for his team.

Christian & Edge weren’t finished, however. They attacked their opponents after the bell, prompting Chris Benoit to storm the ring. Seeing the tide turn, “The Problem Solver” intervened, twice striking The Crippler with a ladder.

In response, Benoit challenged Tomko to a match one-on-one. An angry Crippler came out strong, hitting three German suplexes and the diving headbutt. But Tomko battled back, exploiting the Benoit’s injured ribs — a result of the ladder attack earlier. But when Tomko went for a big boot, Benoit reversed it into the Crossface, leaving Tomko no recourse but to tap. It was all prelude to the huge “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match at WrestleMania.

Feeling slighted despite an impressive streak on RAW, Muhammad Hassan confronted Shawn Michaels. HBK agreed to tune up the band against the outspoken newcomer next week on RAW — mere days before his big match against SmackDown! Superstar Kurt Angle. Also next week per General Manager Eric Bischoff: Batista and Triple H in the ring at the same time in a “Face-off.”


Shawn Michaels def. Robert Conway

Christy, Tajiri & William Regal def. Molly Holly, Maven & Simon Dean

Christian & Edge def. Chris Jericho & Shelton Benjamin

Chris Benoit def. Tyson Tomko

Batista def. Kane ("Anything Goes" Lumberjack Match)