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RAW RESULTS 4/5/04

RAW REPORT APRIL 5, 2004 LIVE FROM HOUSTON, TEX. -Clips aired of last week's Shelton Benjamin backstage segments and upset win over Hunter. -After the Raw opening, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced and previewed the show. Triple H walked out. Ross said he wasn't scheduled for a segment. Hunter said last week Benjamin got lucky. He said he would never get lucky twice. He said Chris Benoit also got lucky by winning the Triple Threat match. He hyped the rematch at Backlash and called it the greatest main event rematch ever. He said Benoit is starting to feel the pressure of being champion. -As Hunter rambled, Benjamin interrupted. He walked out to new music with a big smile on his face, bouncing his way to the ring. He introduced himself to Hunter. He said he is the punk kid from Samckdown who beat him last week "one-two-three." Benjamin said maybe his win was a fluke, so he can't live with that on his conscience. He said therefore he was challenging Hunter to a rematch "right here in Houston, Texas." Hunter told him he was getting way ahead of himself. "You have one lucky moment and that makes you think you can stand out here with The Game? Not only that, but you think you have the right to challenge me to a match? I tell you what I'm going to do. I'll do you a favor. No." Hunter said he is doing him a favor because he can build an entire career on the fact that he got lucky enough to beat The Game because nobody, nobody beats me." Lawler told Benjamin to quit while he's ahead. Benjamin said, "Correction: I did." He said if he doesn't think he has a snowball's chance in hell of beating him again. -Benjamin said he knows that it would be humiliating for him to get beaten twice by a young, punk kid. Hunter said, "You want it, you got it. Right here, tonight, in this very ring, it's gonna be the greatest wrestlers alive today, The Game Triple H, versus what the hell ever your name is right here tonight." Benjamin said he's not upset that he can't remember his name "because after tonight, after I beat you again, you can refer to me as Mr. Benjamin." Benjamin stood nose-to-nose with Hunter, without any type significant height difference. Very good opening promo. Hunter said all the right things. He's no Ric Flair in the charisma and energy department behind the mic, but he got his points across in a heelish, effective manner. Benjamin was excellent in his role. He showed great energy and made his points believably. He gives WWE a young, athletic, brash, likable star that fans can latch onto and get excited about, exactly what they needed right now. [Commercial Break] -Brief clips aired from WWE's Mexico tour last week and some WWE talents saying how much they enjoyed working in front of a new fanbase. 1 -- CHRIS BENOIT vs. ROB CONWAY (w/Sylvain Grenier) Ross announced that Eric Bischoff had officially sanctioned a rematch between Hunter and Benjamin with everyone banned from ringside. Ross said he didn't agree with Hunter often, but he agreed that Benoit's odds of retaining the title at Backlash weren't great. Johnny Nitro walked out to the old WCW Nitro theme music wearing a referee shirt with his arm in a sling. Johnny Nitro introduced himself to Benoit. He told Benoit if he lays a hand on him, Bischoff will strip him of his title. Fans chanted "USA, USA" at the start of the match. When Benoit suplexed Conway, Conway knocked Nitro out of the ring. Conway and Grenier then double-teamed Benoit in the ring. Ross said there may be another huge upest in the making. A second ref ran to the ring and counted to two before Benoit kicked out at 3:30. Benoit knocked Grenier off the ring apron and then applied the Crippler Crossface for the tapout win. WINNER: Benoit at 3:54. STAR RATING: * -- Good action, but really short. I enjoy Nitro's persona as a special ref. It's a clever way to get him interacting with wrestlers and get his personality over before he becomes a regular wrestler. -Williams Regal walked into Bischoff's office. Bischoff welcomed him back, but said he'd have to do something for him. Regal recalled having to join the "Kiss My Ass" club. Bischoff asked Regal to manage a 6-1, 240 pound "special talent" who is his nephew. He said his name is Eugene Dinsmore. "He's a very special talent," Bischoff said, adding that he didn't want to sign him, but his sister asked him to. Regal sounded like this was an easy task. "I'll make the boy a star," Regal said. "I really do appreciate this." Great cliffhanger because it's obvious Regal is in a for a surprise. Dinsmore got some good reviews from correspondents at recent house shows for his new character. [Commercial Break] 2 -- CHRIS BENOIT vs. MATT HARDY This week's Matt Facts: "Matt has broken his nose three times" and "Mattt never over-orders in restaurants." Christian and Trish Stratus walked out with a lounge chair. Trish sat on Christian's lap on the chair on the stage. Hardy attacked a distracted Jericho to start the match. He powerslammed Jericho for an early two count. Jericho came back at 1:20 including a forearrm offf the ropes. Hardy whipped Jericho into the corner, but Jericho came back with a quick blldog. He followed with a Lionsault, but Hardy lifted his knees to catch Jericho in the belly. Jericho surprised Hardy with an attempted Walls of Jericho. Jericho gave Hardy a drop toe hold into the middle rope and followed up with an enzuigiri and the Walls of Jericho. Hardy tapped out. After the match Christian and Trish made out as Jericho looked on, shaking his head as if he were completely over Trish. WINNER: Jericho at 2:58. STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Short, and you could tell it was going to be short because they worked so hard to fit in so many rapid-fire spots right away. Seeing Hardy in the ring with Jericho proves that Hardy has the size to be a main event player since he is considerably taller than Jericho, who has himself main evented WrestleMania. He'd be so much better off over at Smackdown right now where they'd have to use him with the lack of wrestlers with his assets (strong in-ring experience and marketably personality). [Commercial Break] -A taped promo aired with Mick Foley rocking in a chair with a flower in his hand. He talked about loving the fans enough to sacrifice his body for their entertainment. He told a story about how when he becomes vengeful, he knows no limits. He said, "It's a cliche to say I'm going to kick your ass, man. No, I'm going to be more descriptive than that." He then pulled out his barbed wire baseball bat. "Barbie is going to get sunk into your skull and tear into your virgin flesh." He said he is going to bring about the bleeding usually reserved for special effects in Mel Gibson movies. He began ramming things around the set with the baseball bat. "I'm going to teach you what it means to be hardcore!" he screamed. "And I'm going to love it." -They showed Randy Orton backstage watching the end of the promo on the monitor. Ric Flair told a nervous Orton to be confident. Hunter walked into the room and began talking about taking out "that punk kid" Benjamin. Batista stood in the background and smiled. Orton didn't seem any less worried after Flair's speech. [Commercial Break] 3 -- TRIPLE H vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN Ric Flair entered the ring and told Lilian Garcia he had been assigned the role of guest time keeper. He also introduced Randy Orton and Batista in official ringside positions as trainers. Benjamin came out next and was leery of the odds being stacked against him. Benjamin scored a couple early two counts. At 2:00 Batista dropped Benjamin over the security railing. At 3:00 Orton threw Benjamin upside down into the security barrier. Benjamin landed on the back of his head and neck. Not a pretty bump. He needs to not take that bump ever again. Benjamin fired back with a jump wheel kick at 4:15 (Ross called it a roundhouse kick, which is an entirely different kick than a wheel kick, but at least he tried calling it by a proper name.) At ringside Benjamin punched away at Hunter. Hunter fired back with a kick to the gut and set up a Pedigree at ringside. Benjamin escaped and catapulted Hunter into the ringpost. Benjamin re-entered the ring and the ref counted Hunter out. WINNER: Benjamin at 5:27 via countout. STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Too short to be up to last week's standards, and the finish obviously didn't have the same impact, but it was the right finish to use to keep his winning streak over Hunter alive without stretching credibility by having him win via pinfall twice. -After the match, all four members of Evolution attacked Benjamin. Hunter gave Benjamin a Pedigree. Benjamin came up bleeding. Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels eventually made the save, but not until two minutes of a beating had taken place first. Mick Foley joined them with a barrbed wire baseball bat. Medics entered the ring to check on Benjamin, who's head rested in a puddle of his own blood. It's going to be hard for Edge to wedge himself into the World Title picture without a backlash against him for stealing Benjamin's thunder. They can take Hunter vs. Benjamin on the road at house shows, though, because of how well they've built him up the last two weeks. This shows that as long as you've got some strong underutilized wrestlers on the roster and a good booking plan to execute, you're never far away from a possible hot feud and breakout star. There's a lot left for Benjamin to prove, but so far so good. Now if they'd take this booking energy over to Smackdown, we could start looking forward to that show again. I doubt Michaels would want to leave the security blanket of working on the same brand as Hunter, but he could single-handedly be the spark that Smackdown needs, too, if they could manage a storyline to get him fired from Raw or traded to Smackdown after Backlash. [Commercial Break] -Eric Bischoff joined Ross and Lawler at the announcers' table. He said it is bad enough that Benjamin is on his way to the hospital, but what's worse is Foley, Benoit, and Michaels defied his orders and interfered in the match. He said he would reprimand them publicly later and if one of them even cracked a smile and didn't show regret, he'd fire him. [Commercial Break] 4 -- WOMEN'S BATTLE ROYAL Trish Stratus, Lita, Nidia, Jazz, Molly, Stacy Keibler, and Gail Kim. Most of the elimination took place during the commercial break. It was down to Lita and Trish. I have no idea why they heavily hyped this match at the start of the show, only to have most of the elimination take place off camera. I can only assume they were running short on time, although with the overrun does two minutes really make that big of a difference? After a really sloppy exchange between Lita and Trish, Chris Jericho walked to ringside. Jericho tripped Trish coming off the ropes. Lita then dropkicked Trish through the ropes and to the floor for the win. WINNER: Lita in about 7:00 to earn a Women's Title shot against Victoria at Backlash. STAR RATING: 1/2* -Ross and Lawler introduced the "Smackdown Rebound," a video recap of last week's show. This is a good idea to keep Raw-only viewers up on what's going on with the other WWE stars and ideally would tempt them to go out of their way to start watching it regularly. It focused on the Eddie Guerrero-Bradshaw feud and the Kurt Angle Great American Award. -They went backstage where Regal asked a backstage worker if he had seen Eugene. Regal approached Garrison Cade from behind, thinking he might be Eugene. Cade looked nervous, as if he were giving backstage secrets out to unofficial sources. Regal then found Eugene, who acted like a mentally retarded person. I can't say this is the most tasteful character idea WWE has ever come up with. WWE thinks because Trey Parker and Matt Stone pull off Timmy on "South Park" that it makes such parodies fair game. What they might not realize is that the context of the portrayal is key to making it either entertaining and endearing as Timmy(!) is or tasteless and mean-spirited and simple-minded, which Eugene is at risk of being instead. We'll see. [Commercial Break] -Coach walked out to join Ross and Lawler at the announcers' table. A clip aired of Coach getting sprayed with green mist by Tajiri. He said he wasn't in a good mood about it. 5 -- TAJIRI vs. CHRISTIAN Tajiri walked out, pointed at Coach, and laughed. Coach screamed that he could have ended his career. They cut backstage to Trish screaming in protest about how Jericho cost her the win. Christian told her to calm down because he got a match booked with himseelf and her against Jericho in a handicapped match. Trish wasn't happy with that news, either. Coach said he went to Lens Crafters and found out he had a permanently damaged cornea. Ross mocked Coach for going to a strip mall optometrist. "I've never had a serious eye injury, but I'll keep that in mind," Ross said dryly. I assume Lens Crafters turned down the WWE sales staff's pitch to advertise on Raw and this is their revenge. Tajiri opened with some roundhouse kicks. Christian came back with a catapult under the bottom rope. Ross gave Coach a hard time about referring to himself in the third person all the time. Coach decided to leave and "congratulate the winner of the match." Ross said the match wasn't over yet. Coach stood at ringside. Tajiri applied the Tarantula at 1:45. He followed up with a sidekick to block Christian's sudden attempt at an Unprettier. Christian sure didn't sell the Taratula very long, but that's what happens when they're given so little TV time. They quickly rushed into the finish when Coach distracted Tajiri. WINNER: Christian at 2:19. STAR RATING: * -- Really rushed, but good execution. I don't know where the Coach-Tajiri feud is going, but its a good mix of personalities. [Commercial Break] -Ross and Lawler ran down the Backlash line-up. -Regal told Bischoff they can't put him with a "window-licker." Bischoff told him he is special and if he wants to return to Raw, he will manage his nephew. Bischoff scolded him for leaving him alone. When Regal went looking for him outside his office, he was nowhere to be seen. Nitro said Eugene made his way to the announcers' table with Ross and Lawler. He put a headset on upsidedown and waved at the fans. Just what we needed was a return of Evan Sullivan. Eugene said he was a big Bushwacker fan. He began licking Lawler's face Bushwacker-style. Regal came out and said Eugene had too much suger. Lawler said, "That was disgusting! Nobody licks me without permission." [Commercial Break] 6 -- RHYNO vs. KANE A minute into the match the middle rope broke. Rhyno gave Kane the Gore. Kane kicked out and then caught Rhyno with a boot to the face and a chokeslam for the win. Rhyno was favoring his shoulder. WINNER: Kane at 1:23. STAR RATING: -Edge came out to his music through a wall of smoke and charged to the ring. He had a cast on his arm. Ross said he broke his hand earlier this week training. The guy can't catch a break. Kane took Edge down with a hard clothesline and then grabbed a chair at ringside. When returned to the ring, Edge gave him a Spear. Kane sat up and punched Edge. He then tried to jam Edge's hand in a chair at ringside, but Edge fought back with a KO punch. Kane tried to sit up, but fell back. Lawler said he thinks the cast is just a weapon and that Edge never broke his hand. -Benoit and Michaels talked about Bischoff's meeting. Michaels said it reminds him of being called to the principal's office. Michaels said last week was often because they came so close to being tag champs. Michaels told Benoit anytime he needs him, he'll be there for him, but at Backlash he'll come at him with all he's got. Benoit said he would expect nothing less from him. Michaels said he hates to agree with Hunter, but the odds of Benoit coming out of that ring with the belt aren't in his favor. Foley walked up to them and said they all need to be on the same page. As they worked their way toward the entrance, Nitro told them Foley would have to leave the barbed wire baseball bat behind. Bischoff ordered there to be no weapon. Foley gave it up, but said he better give it back to him when he returns. Benoit took a cheap shot at Nitro's sore arm as he walked past him. [Commercial Break] - Bischoff told Michaels, Foley, and Benoit that they'd have to team up with Benjamin next week against all four members of Evolution. Ross wondered how a four-on-four match was exactly punishment. Evolution then came out. As Hunter distracted Michaels, Foley, and Benoit, Batista, Orton, and Flair attacked them from behind. Hunter joined in. Hunter nailed Michaels from behind with the sledgehammer. Orton gave Foley an RKO on the floor. Evolution stood in the ring over the fallen babyfaces as the show ended. Full Credit: Wade Keller, PWTorch.com