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Raw: Triple H talks between many matches
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Welcome to the Raw Report for Monday, April 11.

Due to birthdays and hockey, Nick Tywalk isn't here this week, so I'm subbing in once again. We've got an action-packed show this week (hopefully), so let's kick this baby off.

We start off with a lot less pyro, which either means cutbacks or someone screwed up in production.

Jim Ross previews the show with Batista finally getting an interview and Shawn Michaels vs. Muhammad Hassan.

Match 1 - Trish Stratus/Molly Holly vs. Victoria/Christy Hemme

Oh well, there goes the action-packed show I was hoping for. We start with a replay of Stratus and Lita's encounter last week. No update on Lita's condition though. JR's pushing of Hemme's ability is so disgustingly kiss-up. Funny that it was only last year that Victoria and Holly were the highlight women's feud. Victoria gets the first two-count off the jiggly moonsault. She then tags in Hemme, who gets a two count off an admittedly original, yoga-style legdrop. Stratus cheats to win, however, and gets tagged in. She honestly looks like she's enjoying herself in the ring more than anyone on the roster and the fans are putting her over as a result. Holly gets the tag and gets two off a seated dropkick. Holly tries the Canadian Crab (single leg, as opposed to the double leg Boston Crab, JR), but Hemme is able to kick away and get to Victoria. Victoria goes for the Widow's Peak, but Stratus interferes. Christy gets some Gayda-bad offence before Holly and Stratus work a miscue spot. Hemme gets the roll-up for the three shortly thereafter.

Winners: Christy Hemme/Victoria. Rating: 2 out of 10 There was some solid stuff until the ending, which sunk this match like the Titanic.

Post-match, Trish tries to attack and is thrown out, as Kane comes down the ramp. Kane stalks Stratus who escapes through the crowd.

Back from break, we get footage of Randy Orton's shoulder injury and surgery. I don't see the logic in this, since a surgery shot is usually reserved for babyfaces. Orton voice-overs, saying he will get revenge on Batista. Bottom line ... Orton's out for around four months.

Backstage we go and Stacy Kiebler and the nameless, faceless Diva wannabes are watching the footage and reacting and giggling about Batista until Trish rushes in, trying to escape from Kane who joins the party. Status quickly runs out, but Kane isn't quite as quick to leave.

Backstage, Coach interviews Muhammad Hassan and Divari. Nothing particularly impressive is said.

After the commercial, Triple H is out to blab about Backlash. Sorry, I just don't care anymore, so let's go straight to Hurricane interrupting and setting up a handicap match.

Match 2 - Triple H vs. Hulk Hogan's Heroes

What happened to Hurricane's heel turn? Hurricane needs to be remade in the worst way. The heroes start strong, sending Triple H up and over, and to the timekeeper's booth where he grabs ... a mic? Oh boy, he's going to bore them into submission. Thankfully, talk is short and sweet and we get the official match started. More Hero offence goes into the commercial break.

Back from break, Triple H beats on Hurricane who eventually gets the comeback, gets a headscissors on Triple H, then tags in Rosey. Rosey gets in some offence, more than he has any tight to have, then tags Hurricane back in, who gets two off the Hardy Legdrop. Triple H regains the advantage, ensures that Rosey is tangled in the ropes and gets the Pedigree and the duke.

Winner: Triple H. Rating - 2 out of 10 Triple H and Hurricane have decent ring chemistry, which means solid action. Too bad Hurricane is being held down.

Post match, Triple H gets extra shots in on Rosey, then gets on the mic again, telling the masses that he'll Pedigree Batista by the end of the night, then Pedigrees Rosey on the floor.

Back from break, we see highlights from the Raw portion of the Australia tour.

Backstage, Benoit and Batista are chatting, while more production errors happen, as JR and Lawler are commentating over the spot.

Match 3 - Chris Masters vs. The Man in the Blue Tights

Before the match, Masters gets a video montage of his wins. This is a big-time squash and the Master Lock (Full Nelson) is applied while the crowd chants "boring."

Winner: Chris Masters. Rating - .5 out of 10 I'm with the crowd on this one. Masters is really, really boring.

Post match, Masters issues an open, $1,000 challenge to anyone who can break out of the Master Lock.

As Masters heads to the back, we get a recap of last week's confrontation between Michaels and Hassan.

Match 4 - Shawn Michaels vs. Divari

Pre-match, Hassan says Michaels doesn't have the right to fight him, so we get Divari making his debut. Michaels dominates until Hassan gets on the apron, causing a distraction and allowing Divari to get the Savage Hangman! Oh how long I've been waiting to see that move again! Divari then takes over and gets a sweet Guillotine Legdrop for two. Man is Daivari looking awesome. Buffalo Headlock is unsuccessful as Michaels punches and slaps his way to recovery. Michaels then goes through his routine until Hassan interrupts the top-rope elbow. Michaels brings Hassan into the ring and pounds away. As he does so, Divari tries to bring in a ring bell, but is stopped by the ref. Hassan gets a low blow in on Michaels and Divari gets the cover for the win.

Winner: Divari. Rating - 1.5 out of 10 Man was Divari impressive. Too bad the match didn't go longer.

Backstage, Michaels demands a handicap match from Eric Bischoff, who can't allow such a match for Backlash. Bischoff, however, says it must be a tag match, with HBK picking his partner. Hmm...I wonder who he'll choose?

Back to the ring we go for the Highlight Reel. Jericho's guest this week is Shelton Benjamin. Jericho tells Benjamin he wants an Intercontinental Title match, but Benjamin smart-talks, drawing some boos. Jericho then gives some heelish comments. I seriously don't know who is gong to be the heel here, as Jericho is acting smarmy and Benjamin is acting pretty cocky, even getting a shot in on Fozzy. Eventually, the two come to blows, tumbling out of the ring. This is an intense way to get the feud going. This will be hot.

Back from break, we get the Smackdown! Rebound and the announcement that Eddy Guererro will face Kurt Angle in the Number One Contender Tournament.

Back to Raw, Kane is still hunting for Stratus and finds Lita. The two plot and then have a long, long make-out scene. Please, please tell me Matt Hardy's 'firing' was a rib and he'll come back alongside Trish.

To the arena we go, and Michaels is out to chat. He makes it short and sweet, saying he wants a partner that's as passionate about the USA. Well, there goes Lance Storm as his choice. He makes a plea to Hulk Hogan to be his partner. Honestly, I thought it was going to be Marty Jannetty. Damn. There goes the workrate.

Backstage, Edge is walking to the ring with a briefcase and chair.

Match 5 - Chris Benoit vs. Christian

Edge comes out for colour commentary, as JR notes that the Smackdown superstars will be in New York next week when Raw is live from MSG. Methinks we'll be seeing the draft, or at least the set-up of it.

As Benoit is distracted by Edge, Christian attacks and gets an early advantage. Benoit turns the table, however, and then Christian regains control, going to Move #34 (Policeman's Armbar) on the injured arm. Benoit gets back with an enziguri for two. Christian eventually regains, throwing Benoit out by the trunks. The action continues to go back and forth in a superb bout, until Christian is able to get more control, getting a two-count off a bodyslam. Christian then gets in Move # 45 (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Armbar). Benoit is eventually able to punch his way out, and tried for the Crossface. Unable to secure the move, Benoit sends Christian out with a nasty bump as we go to the break.

Back to the action, Christian is employing Move # 675 (Buffalo Armbar), but Benoit escapes again. Christian regains control, again, getting two off an arm Hangman. Christian exposes Benoit's bicep and stomps on the injured portion of Benoit's arm. Benoit is able to roll-up Christian for two, however, s the ref is distracted, fixing a turnbuckle pad Christian tried to remove. Christian gets two off Move # 345 (Armbar Spiral, or Downward Armbar if you prefer). Christian maintains control, then distracts the ref as Tyson Tomko gets a cheap shot in. Christian then tries his feet on the ropes for two unsuccessfully, before going back to Move #34. He eventually relents, which ends up costing him as Benoit gets a German Suplex to get the back-and-forth action going again, until Christian gets Move # 701 (Pullover Armbar), which Benoit escapes, but Christain regains control with Move #45. Again, Benoit fights out, leading to a double-KO spot. Benoit comes out on top, getting two off a Snap Suplex, then another two off a Northern Lights Suplex. Benoit gets the Sharpshooter locked in, but Christian reaches the ropes. Hat Trick Germans then lead Benoit heading up, despite attempted interference form Tomko. Christian avoids the Swan Dive and eventually tries for the Crossface as Edge comes down with a steel chair. Benoit dropkicks him away, but the distraction was enough for Christian to get the Tomakaze for the three count.

Winner: Christian. Rating - 6.5 out of 10 A hell of a match with great psychology, this one is worth watching tonight if you missed it Monday.

Back from the last commercial break, JR is in the ring and interviews Batista. Batista gets a very intense promo in before Triple H comes down from behind and tries to get the Pedigree on Batista, who throws him out of the ring. On his way up the ramp, Triple H announces that he will face JR next week at MSG.

That's it for this week. Tylwalk will be back in the house next Monday. Enjoy your week.


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    Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.