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The following report was originally published 15 years ago this week on PWTorch.com…
WWE Raw house show report
May 2, 2004
Yuma, Ariz. at Devil Sun Stadium
By Paul Solinger, Torch Team Contributor
The WWE returned to Yuma for the first time in over two years with a fairly decent card and a hot, yet small, crowd. The setting was an outdoor baseball stadium, similar to what you would see if you attended a Class A minor league game. The temperature was in the upper-nineties at the start of the night, and barely dropped ten degrees over the course of the show. Despite the hot temperatures, the wrestlers put on a great show. No intermission though, so the show lasted barely 2:15. Apparantly with the early Raw tomorrow, they wanted to head up to Phoenix as soon as possible.
Howard Finkle came out right on time. You know you’ve hit the big time when the Fink comes to town. After the customary opening announcements and national anthem, Eric Bischoff came out. By the way, no one in the stadium could find the flag to face, but Finkle did a good job faking it. Anyway, Bischoff was greeted with “asshole” chants before announcing that he had a couple of matches he wanted to see. He promised that Kane would make an appearance, and Christian would wrestle Chris Jericho. With that, he introduced our first match.
(1) Chris Jericho beat Christian (w/ Travis Tomko & Trish Stratus) by submission. Jericho was supremely over with the Yuma crowd. He called Christian a nerd, causing the crowd to start a “nerd” chant. He then called Trish a slut, prompting the crowd to chant a “slut” chant. This was the second best match of the night as each man had enough offense and enough two-counts to make you doubt who would win. Tomko was kicked out of ringside after interfering once too often, leaving Trish alone with Christian. After she interfered, Jericho grabbed her and gave her the obligatory spanking. He then kicked out of an unprettier and got Christian to submit to the Walls of Jericho only minutes later. A great opening match. Tomko attacked Jericho after the match and the heels got their heat back.
(2) Tajiri pinned Garrison Cade. Tajiri is a truly underrated performer. His facial expressions and body language, not to mention his athleticism, sets him apart from most athletes on the Raw roster. Cade was also over as a heel, and has improved a lot since his debut. In the end, Tajiri distracted the ref momentarily, spraying mist in Cade’s eyes in the process, and kicked him for the pinfall.
(3) Randy Orton pinned Shelton Benjamin to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship. I was disappointed in this one. It barely went five minutes, and much of that time was Orton sitting in a rear chinlock on Shelton. When the offense was going, both men gave it their all. I can see a fifteen minute pay-per-view match between the two possibly stealing the show. Unfortunately, this wasn’t it. Orton won after Benjamin missed a corner splash and Orton rolled him up with his feet on the ropes.
(4) Victoria & Lita beat Gail Kim & Molly Holly win Lita pinned Kim. There was a whole lot of athleticism from all four women. The crowd was hot into this match, with most people waiting for Holly’s wig to be ripped off. They wouldn’t be disappointed either, as Victoria ripped it off and Holly ran screaming to the back. Lita then nailed Kim with a DDT for the pin. Afterwards, the lights dimmed and Kane hit the ring. He shoved Victoria to the mat and cornered Lita. As she scrambled away, Matt Hardy hit the ring immediately leading to our next match.
(5) Kane pinned Matt Hardy. Hardy got in some offense early, but there wasn’t much to this match. Kane picked him up and chokeslammed him for the pin in under two minutes. Afterwards he went after Lita again and prepared to chokeslam her. Bischoff then drove the ring in a golf cart and pleaded with Kane not to chokeslam her. He wanted him to Tombstone her instead. As Kane prepared to set her up for the piledriver, Edge hit the ring through the crowd and nailed Kane with a spear. He then cornered Bischoff, with Hardy’s help, and nailed him with a spear. This was a great segment that popped the crowd.
(6) Batista pinned Val Venis. Venis got in minimal offense, and the crowd was hot behind Batista. In the end, a sit-down powerbomb did away with the big Valbowski in less than three minutes.
(7) Rhyno pinned A-Train. Another throw away match. A-Train’s “demotion” to Raw has cost him the heat he acquired on Smackdown. The “Shave Your Back” chant consisted of one man in the back row of our section. Everyone else just laughed at him. This was a pure power match, with huge shots by each competitor. A-Train nailed Rhyno with a bicycle kick that you could feel in the grandstand. In the end, it was a Gore by Rhyno which did away with A-Train.
Finkle introduced La Resistance and Rosie & Hurricane for the next match, announcing it as a tag team match, when Eugene entered the ring. He used the French flag as a wooden horse and hobbled around the ring. This brought Johnny Nitro out who announced that he was making this match a six-man tag team match.
(8) Rosie & Hurricane & Eugene (w/William Regal) beat La Resistance & Johnny Nitro when Rosie pinned Rob Conway. This was a pretty good match, with Eugene and William Regal providing comic relief from the ring apron. La Resistance and Nitro worked over Hurricane for a large bulk of the match. The crowd was chanting for Eugene to be tagged in, but it was Rosie that Hurricane made the hot tag to. Everyone was in the ring, except Eugene, as La Resistance went for the cover. Finally, Eugene entered the ring and began riding Conway’s back, a la Rico. Conway attacked him and Eugene rolled out of the ring. Regal tried to protect him, so Conway smacked Regal on the back of the head. Regal responded by hitting Conway into Rosie. Rosie nailed him with a Samoan drop for the pinfall. This was better then expected.
(9) Chris Benoit beat Triple H by submission to retain the World Heavyweight Title As this match got underway, with a lot of stalling, Triple H noticed a sign in the crowd: “Triple H loves sheep”. The ref had to hold him back from attacking the sign holder. This was an outstanding match that went over 20 minutes. The crowd was behind both competitors, with a large pro-Triple H contingent in my section. The referee took a bump after Triple H clotheslined him in the corner. Benoit soon took over and nailed him with Rolling German Suplexes and connected with a flying headbutt. Unfortunately, the ref wasn’t around to make the count. He then locked him in the Crossface, but Orton and Batista ran to the ring to make the save. With a huge spinebuster by Batista, the referee recovered and counted to two on Benoit. The ref was briefly distracted by Batista, allowing Benoit to grab the title belt away from Orton and knock both members of Evolution off the ring apron. Triple H then surprised him with a Pedigree attempt, but Benoit countered with the Crossface for the submission victory. This was an excellent main event. After the match, as Evolution made their way to the back, Benoit said, “Where are you bitches going?” He continued, “This sign says that Triple H loves sheep. I think I saw about four or five sheep under the bleachers for you.” Who said he can’t improvise on the mic.
Overall, this was an above average show. No intermission made it seem longer then it really was, though, but the appearances by Edge, Eugene, and the two or three big matches more then made up for it.
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