April 5, 2005
Raw wraps up Mania week in Hollywood
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
LOS ANGELES - If this weekend's broadcast of Heat seems to have a rather sparce amount of attendees, it would be because of a printing mix up that saw many tickets with a 5:30 p.m. start time. The doors actually opened at 4:30 p.m. and saw the tapings begin almost immediately, but when fans finally trickled through the door, they were treated to the grand finale of Wrestlemania week.
The Staples Center was once again packed to the rafters, as many fans who missed out on Mania tickets ensured they attended RAW. Unlike Mania, the fans kept into the entire show, despite the commercial breaks, but this is likely in part due to the tremendous three-way dance between Shelton Benjamin, Chris Jericho and Christian and the stellar bout between Chris Benoit and Edge.
As seems to be the theme with "the night after" the show kicked off with Triple-H, who last year rambled about losing the title and this year... rambled again. Things picked up once the matches started and even with a great deal of the show being interview segments with HHH, Orton, Michaels/Hassan and the Austin/Maven/Dean segment and a lengthy time between matches failed to cool things down.
The crowd was once again electric for the main event match between Randy Orton and new World champion Batista. The former Evolution members threw everything they had at each other, despite Orton's shoulder injury and the crowd was solidly behind the champ as he connected with the spinebuster and Batistabomb to soundly defeat Orton.
While there was no bonus match as there has been at recent tapings, fans who attended the event would find it hard to argue that it was another fun night of WWE action and a fitting finale to a week crammed full of WWE events.
Jason Clevett is presently in Los Angeles and will be achieving another dream today - riding "JAWS:The Ride" at Universal Studios.