Monday, 2 May 2005

WWE Raw, May 2nd 2005 - TV Review

It's been a while since I've done this, so here we go - live from Boston, Massachusetts, it's the WWE's Monday Night Raw! (Although it's actually early Tuesday morning here. Very damn early!)

The show starts with Eric Bischoff making a very rare appearance, congratulating Batista on his title defense while Big D snogs around Christy Hemme. Uncle Eric tells us of the Gold Rush tournament to crown the new number one contender. No doubt one of the FWA fan boys will complain about the WWE stealing their names now.

The opener is the first match in the tournament, as Christian faces Kane. With all they've done to build up Christian in the past couple of weeks, I was surprised to see him go down to the Big Red Machine, and in a match that didn't last that long. Hardly worthy of a so-called up-and-coming main eventer. If he does get drafted to Smackdown, how can Captain Charisma be considered a top contender to Cena's title. Oh, I forgot to mention, Tomko tries to attack Kane after the bell, as Christian does a runner. And before you ask, yes, we did get the We Want Matt chants. Face it peeps, it just ain't gonna happen!

Christian is then seen running through the corridors, before bumping into Ric Flair. Usual banter between heels who don't get along here.

Then Iron Sheik-lite and his little buddy come down to the ring, still fuming at their lost to the Dream Team the previous evening. Our favourite Arab-American blames his co-hort for the loss, and proceeds to slap and kick him around a bit. But rather than turn face on us, little Daivari remains somewhat loyal to his master, crawling behind him as he leaves the arena.

Next up, the guy we now apparently love, Viscera, takes on Simon Dean. Now does this sound familiar - big black guy suddenly decides that he's now irresistible to all women. It didn't work with Mark Henry, and I don't think it will work now, but please, don't drag Mae Young back out of the crypt. Despite the hype surrounding his arrival, Simon Dean is once again little more than jobber fodder, as Viscera squashes him in between chatting up Lillian Garcia.

After a brief appearance from Legs 11, Triple H complains to Uncle Eric about the fact that he's having to enter a tournament to get a title shot. It's tempting to make a joke about how he normally enters something else to get a title shot, but I won't. Uncle Eric tells Trips he should consider himself lucky to be in the tournament in the first place.

Chris Jericho then congratulates Shelton Benjamin on his victory at Backlash. Hey, what happened to Y2J's heel turn. Anyway, to cut a long story short, both guys are in the tournament.

Brief tribute to Chris Candido. No video package here, showing his tenures in the WWF and WCW. A shame.

Goldrush tournament match two here, as we see something which is more or less a battle of the generations as Shelton Benjamin takes on Shawn Michaels, and proof that a match doesn't need an extensive background story to be a match of the year candidate. If you haven't seen this match yet, watch the repeats. It's a pay-per-view quality match, and it shows that Michaels still has what it takes, and Benjamin is definitely ready to step up a level. After a back and forth match which literally had me on the edge of my seat, Michaels picks up the win after super-kicking Benjamin as he sprang off the top rope here. Get these two in the ring together again, I say.

Backstage, Edge tells us why he's entered into the tournament. I guess you can't have too many title shots, can you? At least that's what Lex Luger used to say. Edge then sorts of confronts Victoria and Lita. Perhaps he's trying to work his way through the women's roster, and was eyeing up Victoria, except that she's got better muscles than him.New tag champs the Hurricane and Rosey make their first title defense next against La Psuedo Froggies. Bog standard stuff here, nothing special to write home about.

Plug time, as we are reminded that the Raw Diva Search is returning, so if you're a brain dead bimbo looking to get your ass on television doing absolutely nothing, get your entrant forms in now.

Edge takes on Jericho in the next Goldrush match afterwards. Edge continues to put in a strong showing. A good match between the two sees Edge eventually winning after a spear. Perhaps the Y2J heel turn is back on after all.

Then it's birthday wishes to The Rock. Is the Great One coming back?

Next up, the Masterlock challenge, and Narcissist-lite offers his latest victim an American football and a jersey. Needless to say that the Mr. Masters remains undefeated.

The final match of the night sees Triple H taking on Chris Benoit, apparently suffering from concussion after bricking it at Backlash, in the final Goldrush tournament match of the night. A match worthy of main event status sees the toothless one fighting back against all the odds, with a little help from Big Dave, to defeating Triple H with the cross-face. Looks like we haven't seen the last of the Big Dave-Trips feud.

Conclusion - one of the best Raws I've seen in a while. A little disappointing that Christian didn't go over, but the first round of the Goldrush tournament delivered two excellent matches, especially the Michaels/Benjamin bout, which earns the Match of the Night award.