Raw is War

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
July 6, 2004

July 5, 2004

Eugene may have been RAW General Manager for a day, but it was Evolution who ruled Monday night in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In a Handicap Match ordered by Eric Bischoff’s nephew but orchestrated by Triple H, Evolution (including honorary member Eugene) took down the team of Edge and Chris Benoit. The bout was part of The Game’s master plan to wrestle the World Heavyweight Championship away from The Rabid Wolverine at Vengeance — and it seemed to be working. Evolution walked away victorious Monday, leaving Benoit unconscious and beaten in the ring. The Cerebral Assassin’s mental manipulation of Eugene also paid dividends, as a conflicted Eugene broke up a Sharpshooter and set up a match-ending Pedigree with a chair shot to The Crippler’s back.

Monday Night RAW opened in surreal fashion as a potpourri of Superstars got a taste of what Eugene was cooking up for his special night. Eugene’s first order of business was determining Randy Orton’s challenger for an Intercontinental Championship match later in the evening — usually a routine matter. Instead, Eugene whittled down the hopefuls to one through a game of musical chairs. The final two were big man Tyson Tomko and Winnipeg’s own Chris Jericho. To the delight of the crowd, Y2J “earned” the coveted match, sitting proudly in the sole remaining seat.

In the Intercontinental Championship battle that followed, Jericho gave Orton all he could handle. Y2J tagged the Legend Killer with a running enzuguri. Later he reversed an RKO attempt and locked Orton in the Walls of Jericho. But the looming presence of Evolution member Batista proved too distracting for Jericho, who released the submission hold to eliminate the outside threat. It was exactly the result Batista was hoping for, and he smiled coyly as Orton propped his feet on the second rope and rolled Y2J up for the three-count.

Thanks to Eugene, the animal Batista got a chance to show the world what he’s made of in a match against the Big Red Monster Kane. But an enraged Matt Hardy seemed to snap, erasing the match and slamming Kane’s head against the steel ring steps repeatedly. As a result, Matt Hardy will face Kane at Vengeance in a “No Disqualification” Match.

Eugene made plenty more news Monday. He took full advantage of his authority by making a Vengeance pay-per-view match — and putting himself in it! The team of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Eugene will face World Tag Team Champions La Resistance on Sunday.

This latest chapter in the life of Ric Flair must be utterly mystifying. The 16-time World Heavyweight Champion began the night playing musical chairs, then he was ordered to team with the uniquely talented Eugene in a pivotal match.

All the while, Flair is preparing for the imminent release of his eagerly anticipated and extremely honest autobiography, “To Be the Man,” which can be ordered as part of a special ShopZone package now. Flair’s frank discussion of his career — and those with whom he’s crossed paths — is already creating a great deal of controversy. Flair also discusses his tragic youth, shedding light on some of the events that have molded the man. It’s required reading for all those who have followed his storied career and a page-turner for the members of every generation of wrestling fan.

Match Results:

Chris Jericho wins a Musical Chairs contest against Tajiri, Jonathan Coachman, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Stacy Keibler, Ric Flair and Tyson Tomko

World Tag Team Champions La Resistance defeats Rhyno and Val Venis

The match between Kane and Batista ends in a no contest when Matt Hardy interferes

I.C. Champion Randy Orton def. Chris Jericho

Nidia def. Victoria and Molly Holly in a “Contract on a Pole” Match

Women’s Champion Trish Stratus (with Tyson Tomko) def. Nidia

Eugene, Ric Flair and Triple H def. Chris Benoit and Edge (Handicap Match)