Raw is War

Ft. Worth, Texas
March 28, 2005

FACE-TO-FACE
March 28, 2005

World Heavyweight Champion Triple H and Batista had a final face-to-face showdown on Monday night — meeting in a war of words orchestrated by RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff. But what started as trash-talk broke down into a six-pier brawl with their huge WrestleMania match only days away.

Bischoff was intent on preventing the “Face-off” encounter from getting out of hand. He surrounded the ring with security guards and warned both men against any physicality. It didn’t matter. Batista was able to set off the Cerebral Assassin with comments that hit a little too close to home, resulting in The Game slapping Batista across the face. It was the beginning of the end of Bischoff’s in-ring conference — as the two Superstars battled through a mass of humanity to tear into each other. It was just a taste of the ferocity that can be expected when they square off with the stakes at their highest at the biggest event of the year -- WrestleMania 21.

Earlier, Muhammad Hassan was out to prove that he deserved a spot on the WrestleMania card by defeating “Mr. WrestleMania” Shawn Michaels. HBK was looking to shut up the outspoken newcomer and tune up the band before his dream match against SmackDown! Superstar Kurt Angle.

But the Hassan-Michaels conclusion will have to wait for another day. None other than the Olympic Gold Medalist himself emerged from the crowd mid-match in an attempt to soften up his WrestleMania opponent. The plan backfired when HBK battled out of an Angle Slam attempt, then barely missed with “Sweet Chin Music.” When Angle bailed from the ring, Michaels settled for a superkick to the chin of Hassan. Security guards eventually separated Angle and Michaels, but there will be no one to come between them at the pay-per-view on April 3.

Y2J’s Highlight Reel featured five of the six “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match participants. When the segment disintegrated, Bischoff converted it into a six-man tag-team match also featuring Tyson Tomko. The team of Jericho, Chris Benoit and Shelton Benjamin notched the win when in-fighting opened the door for the Walls of Jericho on Tomko. But the winning team didn’t emerge unscathed. Benoit was badly cut near his eye from the strength of his own series of headbutts. Afterward, the final Ladder Match combatant, Kane, cleared the ring with a ladder and chokeslams. Will Kane be able to follow up on April 3, when a contract offering a World Heavyweight Championship opportunity is on the line? Find out at WrestleMania.

Christy Hemme proved once again that she’ll be tough competition for Trish Stratus at WrestleMania when the two battled in an arm wrestling contest on RAW. Christy was already 1-0 in such challenges after an arm-wrestling win during the $250,000 RAW Diva Search, and she shocked Trish by beating her not once, but twice in a row. After Trish’s arm was powered down, the Women’s Champion lost her cool — pushing down ring announcer Lilian Garcia before kicking Lita in her injured leg. The series of events ensured that tempers will flare when Christy and Trish battle for the Women’s Championship at WrestleMania.

Randy Orton explained his despicable actions last week on RAW, saying that Stacy Keibler didn’t believe in him 100 percent, and he couldn’t afford her distraction. When he turned his attention to the Undertaker, he was met with an ominous message, as a video featuring the Deadman counted down his perfect 12-0 WrestleMania record — and it ended with The Legend Killer at “zero.” Later, Undertaker’s half-brother Kane also warned Orton against the dangers of facing the Phenom on the grandest stage of them all. Will Orton be able to suppress all fear and doubt and add another legend to his list, or will the aura and power of Undertaker overwhelm him? Find out in just a matter of days.

Meanwhile, Eric Bischoff decided that if the World Tag Team Championship wasn’t going to be defended at WrestleMania, then it would be defended in a huge Triple Threat Match on RAW. So, William Regal & Tajiri put the World Tag Team Championship on the line against the established and successful La Resistance and the upstart pairing of Maven & Simon Dean. Ultimately, the champions were able to retain when Maven fell victim to Tajiri’s Buzzsaw Kick. The pin quickly followed.


MATCH RESULTS

World Tag Team Champions William Regal & Tajiri def. La Resistance and Maven & Simon Dean (Tag-team Triple Threat Match)

Christy def. Trish Stratus (non-title, arm wrestling match)

Christy def. Trish Stratus (second arm-wrestling match)

Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit & Shelton Benjamin def. Edge, Christian & Tyson Tomko

Shawn Michaels def. Muhammad Hassan (DQ)