Raw is War

Moline, Illinois
April 11, 2005

April 11, 2005

Monday night not only marked the announcement of the main event at Backlash, it also hinted at another instant-classic dream match for the pay-per-view on May 1.

The Cerebral Assassin invoked his rematch clause, making “Triple H-Batista II” official for Backlash. It means the Animal’s first pay-per-view World Heavyweight Championship defense will come against the driven 10-time world champion. In his first RAW interview since winning the championship, Batista told announcer Jim Ross that he'd prefer one epic reign — rather than The Game’s number of reigns. Triple H, in kind, declared that Batista was on borrowed time and vowed to Pedigree him before the night was out. When the attack came, Batista was ready. The Animal again powered out of Triple H’s finisher, sending the Cerebral Assassin flying over the top rope.

Out of anger and frustration, Triple H declared that payback would come in one week at Madison Square Garden. But it won’t be Triple H vs. Batista as one would think. The match The Game named was himself against J.R!

Whether Batista builds momentum toward long-term success or has a painfully short time “atop the food chain” may be determined by that one match-defining finisher. In Triple H’s decade-long WWE career, countless Superstars have fallen victim to the high-impact, signature move called the Pedigree. The Game displayed that fact for the Quad Cities crowd by planting The Hurricane with a Pedigree in a Handicap Match also involving Rosey. At WrestleMania 21 and on RAW, however, Batista battled out of Triple H’s Pedigree attempt. As the new champion points out, Evolution’s leader has never succeeded in hitting Batista with the Pedigree. So at Backlash, will it be another Batista Bomb, or will the Animal fall like so many others before him as reign No. 11 begins?

RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff sounded off on a second Backlash match following another questionable altercation between Muhammad Hassan, Daivari and Shawn Michaels. It’ll be the two brash newcomers in a tag-team match against “The Showstopper” and a partner of his choice. And HBK actually got down on his knees and pleaded for whom he’d like to join him: the legendary Hulk Hogan. If “The Real American” agrees, it’ll initiate the second consecutive pay-per-view “Dream Match” for Michaels, who has never teamed up with the Hulkster despite their long and storied WWE careers. Upon hearing Michaels’ proposal, the thousands in attendance exploded in applause, chanting, “One more match! One more match!” Now, it’s up to Hogan to decide if he wants to return to the ring.

The match prior was supposed to be Hassan vs. Michaels. Instead, Muhammad deferred the contest to his manager, Daivari. HBK seemed well on his way to victory, but Hassan prevented the top-rope elbow smash, then delivered a vile low-blow with the referee distracted. Michaels went to the mat in blinding pain, and Daivari used the debilitating moment to pick up a monumental upset in his RAW debut. Now, Michaels has unfinished business with both Hassan and Daivari. He’ll get that chance at retribution at Backlash — potentially with a partner who shut up Hassan and Daivari at WrestleMania 21.

In yet another RAW shocker, Lita kissed her estranged husband Kane to thank him for tormenting Trish Stratus all RAW long. It’s an unthinkable shift for Lita, who has been haunted by the presence of the Big Red Monster for nearly a year.

In a crucial update, we learned that Randy Orton has undergone surgery for his injured shoulder and will be out 3-4 months. He suffered the initial injury during his vicious match against the Undertaker at WrestleMania 21. The following night on RAW, the bicep was torn off the shoulder at the hands of Batista, who drove that damaged shoulder into the ring post. When Batista later delivered a Batista Bomb — landing directly on Orton’s shoulder — it ensured the need for immediate surgery. From a hospital bed in Birmingham, Ala., “The Legend Killer” blamed his current woes on the new World Heavyweight Champion, saying payback was in Batista’s future.

Two WrestleMania Ladder Match participants squared off on RAW as Chris Benoit faced Christian. In reality, the contest was more like a three-on-one. Benoit fought valiantly despite a crippling arm injury that Christian exploited all match. And The Rabid Wolverine came seconds from victory when he reversed an Unprettier into the Crossface. But Tyson Tomko and Edge simultaneously intervened, opening the door for Christian to hit the Unprettier for the victory. Following the match, “Mr. Money in the Bank” Edge looked on slyly as Benoit fumed in the ring.

Christy may be new to the ring, but she sure is a quick study. Alongside Victoria, the Playboy cover girl picked up her second win by beating Trish and Molly Holly in a tag-team match. Christy absorbed her opponents’ offense, then she battled back with a series of kicks. She also unveiled an eye-opening split-legdrop. It later seemed as if she’d succumb to her opponents’ vastly superior experience, but Christy managed to avoid a springboard elbow from Molly, which inadvertently connected to the head of Trish, knocking her from the ring apron. A shocked Molly was caught off-guard, and Christy quickly rolled her up for a very big win.

Christy’s in-ring success comes on the heels of gracing the cover of Playboy and the new WWE Divas special magazine. And it all began with the $250,000 RAW Diva Search competition. Who will be the next $250,000 winner? The next RAW Diva Search begins now.


Christy & Victoria def. Trish Stratus & Molly Holly

Triple H def. The Hurricane & Rosey (Handicap Match)

Chris Masters def. Seth Skyfire

Khosrow Daivari def. Shawn Michaels

Christian def. Chris Benoit