WWE Taboo Tuesday 2004 10/19/2004

October 19, 2004
Bradley Center
Milwaukee, WI
Attendance: 3,500
Buy Rate: .44
Announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler

Dark Match

Sgt. Slaughter (Robert Remus) defeats Muhammad Hassan (Mark Copani) by disqualification

Pay Per View

Fun Fact:
On the 9/20 Raw, Mr. McMahon came out and announced his newest PPV idea. He wanted to increase fan participation so he decided to create a PPV where the fans would vote on every match and their votes would determine various matches and stipulations. The even would also be held on a Tuesday night and would be dubbed Taboo Tuesday.

Fun Fact II:
This is the first Tuesday night PPV since This Tuesday in Texas, which occurred in December 1991.

*** The host of the show, Jonathan Coachman, brings out Trish Stratus, Jazz, Victoria, Molly Holly, Stacy Kiebler, Nidia and Gail Kim to start the show. He then reveals the results of the voting to determine the outfits they would wear for their battle royal: schoolgirl. The Divas are then dismissed to get ready. We then go backstage where all the contenders for Chris Jericho’s Intercontinental Championship are standing in a circle. Coach introduces them all and then reveals that Shelton Benjamin won the vote. ***

1) Shelton Benjamin defeats Chris Jericho (Chris Irvine) to win WWE Intercontinental Championship with an exploder suplex at 10:56

Stipulation
Fans Choose Jericho’s Opponent

Voting Results

Shelton Benjamin: 37.48%; Batista: 20.11%; Jonathan Coachman: 7.01%; Christian: 6.69%; Rhyno: 5.77%; Maven: 4.23%; William Regal: 3.81%; Hurricane: 3.77%; Tyson Tomko: 2.49%; Tajiri: 2.36%; Steven Richards: 2.24%; Val Venis: 1.69%; Rosey: 1.10%; Chuck Palumbo: .68%; Rodney Mack: .58%

Scott:
This was probably the vote that WWE was expecting for this match. Either Shelton or perhaps Batista. They were probably the legitimate choices for this vote. I don’t think anybody anticipated someone like Rosey or Rodney Mack winning. I wonder whom the .58% was that voted for Mack? Jazz probably voted about 500 times. At least we knew we would be getting a great match between two exceptional in-ring competitors. The pace was very good but the Milwaukee crowd was a little dead and needed some prodding. Benjamin executes a nice superplex to help wake them up a little. This is a case where opening the show is a good thing. Two guys who know their way around the ring tried their best to fire the crowd up on this special Tuesday night party. Shelton hits the T-Bone Suplex and wins his first singles championship. A great match and a nice thing for Jericho to do, doing the job for the young, exciting Benjamin. Grade: 2.5

Justin: This unique weekday PPV outing kicks off with an entertaining IC title match. Chris Jericho did not know which opponent he would be facing and it didn’t help him that the fans chose the unpredictable, high octane Shelton Benjamin to take him on. Shelton won the vote by quite a big margin, which would good to see, as his push had cooled considerably since the summer. The announcers would focus on Jericho’s experience edge over the younger Benjamin. The pace of the match was good and I liked the comebacks by Shelton throughout the bout. As the crowd rallied behind Shelton, Jericho worked to punish his back, trying to soften him up for the Walls. Things really got cooking with a great Shelton superplex and a fun near fall flurry by both men. Shelton really brought it with his high impact offense and his energy was palpable throughout the arena, keeping the fans into things the whole time. The finish was good as Shelton caught Jericho and flipped him over with a great exploder suplex for the upset win. This was just a fun, clean hard fought opener that really put over the younger Benjamin as an emerging star. The inaugural edition of Taboo Tuesday was off to a good start. Grade: 3

*** Backstage, Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels and Edge all await the result of the fans vote. It is revealed that Michaels won the vote and will challenge Triple H. As a result, Edge and Benoit will team up to challenge La Resistance for the tag team titles. An angered Edge seethes, as he believes the injured Shawn Michaels should have withdrawn from the vote, allowing Edge the chance to face Triple H. We will delve further into Edge’s change of attitude and Shawn’s injury later in the review. ***

2) Trish Stratus wins a Fulfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal

Participants
Trish Stratus, Jazz, Victoria, Molly Holly, Stacy Kiebler, Nidia and Gail Kim

Stipulation

Fans Choose Diva Outfits

Voting Results

School Girl: 53.10%; French Maid: 30.03%; Nurse: 16.87%

Fun Fact:
This is Nidia’s final PPV appearance. She would be released from her contract on November 3 during a cleansing of the roster. She has made sporadic independent appearances, but is pretty much out of the business at this point. Her final record was 0-2.

Fun Fact II:
This is also Stacy Keibler’s final PPV appearance. She will stick around on TV into 2006 and still take part in multiple storylines, but wouldn’t wrestle another PPV match after this one. Her release was mutual as she was interested in branching out into Hollywood. Her first stop was on the second season of Dancing with the Stars, in which she took home third place behind Drew Lachey and Jerry Rice. Since then she has co-founded an ABA team and also made multiple guest appearances on TV on a wide range of shows. Stacy’s final PPV record is 0-5 as she was 0-1 at Wrestlemania, 0-1 at Summerslam and 0-3 at other events.

Fun Fact III:
Continuing our trend, this is also Molly Holly’s final PPV match. Molly would hang around until April 2005, which is when she decided to part ways with WWE. She would later admit that she discovered a tumor in her breast which led to her leaving the promotion. The tumor ended up being benign. After leaving, she would wrestle on various independent shows while also focusing on real estate investments and doing missionary and charity work. Molly would end up making a couple of WWE appearances, including the Raw XV special in December 2007 and at Wrestlemania XXV as part of the Diva battle royal. Her final PPV record was 4-8 as she is 0-2 at Wrestlemania, 2-1 at Survivor Series, 1-0 at King of the Ring and 1-5 at other events.

Fun Fact IV:
And finally, this is Jazz’s final PPV match as well. Jazz was released in November as part of the roster purge. She and husband Rodney Mack would work the Indy circuit, even opening their own promotion. She will briefly return to WWE along with Mack in 2006, but her return would only last six months and they were both let go again in 2007 and she continues to work the Indy circuit to this day. Jazz’s final record is 4-4 as she was 0-1 at Royal Rumble, 1-1 at Wrestlemania, 0-1 at Survivor Series and 3-1 at other events.

Scott:
Oh my god, could Jerry Lawler have gotten more annoying than during this match. It was the Attitude Era magnified by a million watching the old man drool over all the divas. Typical battle royal fare, and Trish retained the title. I was kind of hoping for Victoria to regain the belt, but oh well. At least they were all hot. Grade: N/A

Justin:
There is always a trade-off with these types of matches. The Divas look hot, but you also have to listen to Jerry Lawler being really annoying on commentary throughout the whole bout. He was creepy and perverted here, fawning over the Divas and their schoolgirl outfits. Stacy got the biggest pop from the crowd but Trish was easily the hottest Diva there. The battle royal was as basic as it got with some various stripping spots mixed in as well. Victoria looked fairly strong out there, but it was clear that Trish was being pushed as the best of the bunch. She quickly runs through the competition and picks up the win to continue her division dominance. Grade: N/A

3) Gene Snitsky defeats Kane (Glen Jacobs) in a Chain Match after crushing his throat with a chair at 14:20

Stipulation
Fans Choose Weapon

Voting Results

Chain: 40.84%; Chair: 29.93%; Pipe: 29.24%

Fun Fact:
Gene Snitsky was an independent wrestler that competed in WXW, where he was also trained by former WWF star Afa. Snitsky signed a deal with WWE in late 2003 and was sent to OVW for some seasoning. He would be called up to the main roster in September 2004 for a very interesting storyline.

Fun Fact II:
On 9/13, Kane made his way to the ring, dragging Lita along, for a squash match with a new jobber named Gene Snitsky. Kane quickly defeated Snitsky and then decided to wrap a chair around his throat, with some evil intentions in mind. Lita hopped in the ring and pulled the chair away. As the newlyweds argued, Snitsky grabbed the chair and pasted Kane with it. However, when Kane fell, he landed on his pregnant wife. Lita began screamed and clutching her abdomen as Kane screamed for medics. The next week, JR had a Titantron interview with Snitsky in which he said he was there to do a job the week before and that what happened to Lita wasn’t his fault. Later that night, Todd Grisham caught up with Kane at the hospital, where Lita was struggling to hang on to their baby. Kane said that Snitsky’s actions were intentional and made it clear that Gene was a marked man. Prior to the end of the show, we returned to the hospital just as an enraged Kane found out that Lita had lost the baby. Things continued on 9/27 as Kane sent another warning to Snitsky, who picked up his first TV win by squashing Val Venis. On 10/11, things escalated a bit further. After Lita blamed Snitsky for what happened, Gene came to the ring for an interview pushing a baby carriage. After spouting his new catchphrase “It Wasn’t My Fault”, Kane came to charging to the ring. Snitsky distracted him by hurling the carriage at him and then followed by bashing Kane with a pipe. After busting him wide open, Snitsky choked Kane out with the pipe before taking off. Snitsky would continue to roll through the next two weeks, constantly proclaiming his innocence.

Scott:
I don’t think anybody would have thought that Gene Snitsky would have gotten a PPV match out of his one match with Kane. Alas after Lita lost her baby, of which Snitsky kept saying “It wasn’t his fault”, he and Kane go at it here in a chain match. I don’t know why the fans picked the chain, as both the other choices of weapon were used as primary tools in the storyline. The match is slow, and fairly boring. The crowd sounds like they regret choosing the chain as the weapon as you really don’t know what to do with it besides punch with it. I voted for the chair as you can just bludgeon anybody with it. I guess you could punish someone with a steel pipe too. The chain was too long and tough to handle when attempting to perform moves with it. Snitsky was an imposing force size-wise but frankly had very limited ring work. You include Kane into the mix and you’re stuck with a lumbering, slow match. Fourteen minutes was way too long for this match and it mercifully ended when Kane got a taste of his own medicine with his throat being crushed by the steel chair. This was done so Kane can go become Jacob Goodnight in “See No Evil”. It was also a big win for an unknown jobber. Grade: 2

Justin: It has certainly been an interesting year for Kane. After performing some dastardly deeds over the last year, Kane walks into this show as a de facto face against the monster that destroyed his burgeoning family. The weapon of choice here is a steel chain, which won the fan vote by a decent margin. Despite her issues with her husband, Lita was in Kane’s corner here due to her hatred for Snitsky. Kane would toss the chain to the floor off the bell and hammer on Gene with his fists instead. That didn’t last too long, though, as Kane recovered the chain and used it to land a few shots. Gene would turn things around and use the chain to punish Kane. The crowd was actually behind Kane here as Snitsky pounded on him with some stiff and hard-hitting offense. Snitsky was really booked strongly here, even fighting off Lita’s interference to maintain control. He would destroy Kane with a chair, wrap it around his throat and stomp on it, just as Kane had done to Shawn Michaels earlier in the year. Kane began spitting up blood and Snitsky nonchalantly covered him for the monster win. This was really quite the push for Snitsky who was seemingly just a jobber a month ago. Now, he walks through Kane in a fun power battle, crushes his throat and leaves him a bloody mess. It was a statement that is rarely delivered in a situation like this. And the icing on the cake came after the match as Kane was being wheeled up the ramp on a stretcher. Just as he was reaching the back, Snitsky popped out of the backstage area and flipped the gurney over, sending Kane crashing into the steel face first. It was a great exclamation point to a surprisingly good big guy brawl that was centered around building a new monster. Grade: 2.5

4) Eugene (Nick Dinsmore) defeats Eric Bischoff in a Haircut Match after a legdrop at 2:00

Stipulation
Fans Choose Loser’s Fate

Voting Results

Head Shaved: 58.73%; Wear a Dress: 20.77%; Be Winner’s Servant: 20.50%

Fun Fact:
Mr. McMahon made this match and created the stipulation options on 9/20. On 10/4, Bischoff tried to manipulate his nephew to gain an advantage for their match. He had Carmella DeCesare come out and tell Eugene that she loved bald men. Eric told Eugene that he should lose the match and have his head shaved so Carmella would date him. Eugene agreed but asked for a kiss first. Carmella refused, but Christy Hemme came down and made out with Eugene instead. On 10/18, Bischoff forced Eugene into a match with Snitsky to punish him a bit. After Snitsky wiped him and William Regal out, Eric came down and kicked his nephew.

Scott:
This, just like the Diva battle royal was quick and painless. This pretty much blows off the months-long feud between Eugene and Uncle Eric. The big pop comes when Coach comes down to try and scam the whole thing by saying that the real vote was that Bischoff had to be Eugene’s servant for only five minutes. Well that brings down the Boss, Vincent Kennedy McMahon to a huge pop. He says the fans have the last word and that means either Bischoff gets his head shaved or he’s fired. Eventually Bischoff sits in the chair and gets his perfectly dyed hair clipped. The match is nothing but the post-match is pretty good. Grade: .5

Justin:
The Bischoff family saga continues here as Mr. McMahon forced Raw’s GM to battle his nephew here with some interesting stipulations to be voted on by the fans. Bischoff would land some karate strikes early Eugene would fend him off, beat him around the ring and quickly put Bischoff away for the win. The match was nothing, but the aftermath was fairly entertaining. Grade: 0

*** After the bell, it was announced that the head shaving stipulation won the vote. Coach would come down to the ring and switch the stipulation around, saying that Eric would be Eugene’s servant for five minutes. Before they could get away with their shenanigans, Mr. McMahon came strutting down to the ring to enforce the original stipulation. He threatened to fire Eric if he didn’t comply and after teasing walking away, Bischoff caved and capitulated to have his hair cut off. Vince then forced Coach to put on the dress that was at ringside. Vince was funny on the mic during all this, calling Coach a slut and Eric a “phony son of a bitch” for dying his hair black. Eric had been humiliated and time will tell if he will get revenge for Eugene’s actions. ***

5) Chris Benoit & Edge (Adam Copeland) defeat La Resistance to win World Tag Team Titles when Benoit forces Rob Conway to submit to the crossface at 16:14

Fun Fact: This match was set up on 10/11, when Eric Bischoff was angry at La Res for not taking out Eugene in a match. Eric told them that they would take on the losers of the WHC match vote.

Fun Fact II:
Edge had begun showing some heel tendencies since returning from his most recent injury. On 10/11, he implored the fans to vote for him because Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit had already received hundreds of title shots that he had not ever been awarded. A week later, after Edge, Benoit and Michaels defeated Evolution, Edge dropped Benoit with a spear. On 10/18, Edge picked up a win over Michaels and Benoit by using the ropes. Earlier on this show it was announced that Michaels won the vote, leaving Benoit and Edge to challenge for the tag belts.

Scott:
This match involves the tag champs and the two guys who didn’t win the #1 contender vote battling for the Tag Team Titles and it was effective enough as Benoit and Edge dictated the tempo most of the time. The very irritated Edge kept sniping with the fans and losing his attention to the match, which was driving Benoit crazy. One thing Edge did well that would serve him well later on was that the eventual heel turn was that he was actually still playing it down the middle. Until the point where the ref doesn’t see a tag between Benoit and Edge, which somehow pisses Edge off enough that he just leaves. He takes his bag, hops in his rented Crown Vic, and just bolts. So, the tough two-dollar steak that he is, Chris Benoit ends up winning the World Tag straps all by himself as he gets Conway to tap to the Crossface. Benoit singlehandedly wins the titles, Edge officially turns heel by leaving his partner in the ring, and the reign of terror that is La Res, is over. Grade: 2.5

Justin: Right of the gate, La Res continued to win me over, just as they have done throughout the year. Sylvan delivered a surprisingly great version of the Canadian national anthem that was enhanced by Conway smugly smirking and waving the flag behind him. They really have grown into their roles and were becoming the top team in a watered down division, kind of reminding me of the Smoking Gunns back in 1995. Edge’s anger was palpable here as he jawed with fans and brooded on the apron and in the ring. The match was a bit choppy but kind of settled down once La Res took over and used some teamwork to smother the challengers. As the match wound down, Edge would take the first step to solidify his heel turn by walking out on his partner. Being the warrior that he is, Benoit would shrug it off and take the champs apart all by himself. He looked very strong as he broke La Res down and forces Conway to tap out, winning the belts for himself and his estranged partner. The match was decent throughout but the hot ending and heavy storyline implications easily bumped it up a notch. Grade: 2.5

6) Christy Hemme defeats Carmella DeCesare in a Lingerie Pillow Fight at 1:49

Stipulation
Fans Choose Match Type

Voting Results

Lingerie Pillow Fight: 56.48%; Evening Gown Match: 33.22%; Aerobics Challenge: 10.30%

Fun Fact:
Christy Hemme was a wrestling fan and model that grew up in California. In 2004, Christy was chosen to take part in the initial WWE Diva Search. Her foe in this match was Carmella DeCesare, the other finalist in the Diva Search competition. Carmella was also a model, but was a more known than Christy due to her appearances in Playboy and her public relationship with quarterback Jeff Garcia. Carmella was named 2004 Playmate of the Year but she was also looking to add WWE Diva Search champion to her resume. Carmella didn’t make many friends during the competition as many claimed she wasn’t there because she wanted to be a Diva, but had ulterior motives. The Search began airing on July 19 and other competitors were voted off week-by-week, leaving Carmella and Christy as the finalists. On 9/20, it was announced that Christy was the winner, earning a contract worth $250,000.00. The next week, Carmella showed up on the Titantron and ripped into Christy and the fans that voted her as the winner. She claimed that Christy won because the fans knew they had no chance with a girl like Carmella, so they chose a nobody like Christy. On 10/18, Carmella asked the fans to vote for the aerobics challenge, as she had no interested in parading around in an evening gown or bra and panties. Christy told the fans they could vote however they pleased and she would comply. Carmella then jumped Christy and left her laid out in the ring.

Scott:
This show seemed to drag at times with all the in-between junk in the middle, like these girls dressing up in their lingerie to swing pillows at each other until one gets pinned. This was the culmination of that incredibly annoying Diva Search competition that Christy won. They swing pillows around, and Christy wins. Carmella, who was one big drama queen from when the competition started, immediately vanishes after this. Let’s move on. Grade: 0

Justin:
Ask any wrestling fan what they hated most about the summer of 2004, and my guess is that many would choose the Diva Search. Many of the segments were brutal to watch as they ate up precious minutes of Raw each and every week. I must say that I was shocked when Christy ended up winning, but she took over the competition with her energy and charisma, winning over the fans in the end. The lingerie pillow fight stipulation won the vote here and more PPV time was wasted as the two ladies changed into their garb behind giant screens while porn music played and Jerry Lawler continued his perverted commentary. The segment dragged on and really killed the flow of the show. Carmella was pretty hot, I must say, so I did enjoy that aspect of this alleged match. There was one funny spot in the match and it came early as Christy pulled out the padding Carmella had stuffed her bra with. After that, it was all downhill as we got an atrocious attempt at fighting that quickly ended with a lame pin by Christy as Carmella’s shoulder was clearly off the mat. Despite the enjoyment of seeing Carmella wearing next to nothing, this match was a train wreck and if it absolutely had to exist, it belonged on Raw. This would be Carmella’s final appearance and she would become better known as Jeff Garcia’s crazy wife that got in trouble for getting into a bar brawl. And that about sums this all up. Grade: 0

7) Triple H (Paul Levesque) defeats Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) to retain World Heavyweight Championship after an Edge spear at 14:04

Stipulation
Fans Choose Triple H’s Opponent

Voting Results

Shawn Michaels: 38.72%; Edge: 33.42%; Chris Benoit: 27.86%

Fun Fact:
On 10/4, Shawn Michaels defeated Christian to qualify for the fan voting. Two weeks later, in a triple threat match against Chris Benoit and Edge, Michaels legitimately injured his knee, as he tore his meniscus. Shawn’s injury would be used in Edge’s campaigning earlier in the show and many pundits were wondering if Shawn would be forced to withdraw from the voting. Not wanting to miss a PPV match, Michaels kept himself in the voting, won it and still competed.

Scott:
Once again, for the unprecedented ninth time on PPV since August 2002, Triple H and Shawn Michaels meet in the ring face to face. That includes singles matches and multi-wrestler matches, including two Elimination Chambers and a Hell in the Cell. Here the hook is that Michaels won the vote, but he has a severely injured left knee. Triple H certainly took advantage of that and spends most of this match beating down Michaels’ knee. I’m sure Justin will elaborate further on this, but this match, even with a 50% Michaels felt very different and fresh than their previous times. Instead of a bloated, overbooked saga with big spots and lots of blood, here we have a basic match where the psychology was that Triple H was going to take out Shawn’s leg and beat him down again. However Shawn, the plucky tough son of a bitch that he is, battles and battles. He holds onto that Figure Four with all his might, but alas it wasn’t even a Pedigree that did him in, but a spear from the vindictive Edge finishes him off. Edge was pissed that Michaels was even in the vote and ended up winning it with an injured knee. A new feud begins, and The Game escapes with his title again. Grade: 2.5

Justin: There was quite a bit of intrigue heading into this match as word quickly spread that Michaels injured his knee on Raw and it was questionable if he would be able to compete here. Well, he laced up the boots, won the vote and limped his way out to the ring. As much as the injury may have compromised the match, it enhanced the storyline as Edge now had another gripe with the fans that chose a dinged up Michaels instead of himself. Early on, Hunter thought Michaels was just faking the injury, but as he started to attack the knee, he realized it was legit. Real or not, Michaels’ selling was tremendous here which really added to the drama, psychology and build of the match. The most dramatic part of the match may have been when Hunter hooked Shawn in a figure four and Shawn begged and pleaded with the ref not to stop the match. I enjoyed this match between these two because it was just paint by numbers instead of an overbooked clusterfuck like their last few outings. It was good to see them go out and just deliver a basic match that got the fans emotionally invested instead of a wild brawl or drawn out wankfest. Michaels would load up SCM but before he could land it, Batista hopped in the ring and took him down. Shawn was able to fight him off and recover to drill Hunter with a great Superkick. Before he could go for the win, Edge popped into the ring and took Shawn out with a big spear. If Edge’s heel turn was cemented earlier, this surely did the trick. Hunter would take advantage, cover and retain his title. This was a gutsy effort from Michaels and a really good match between these two friends. The hot finish was well done and the booking was basic and to the point. Grade: 3

8) Randy Orton defeats Ric Flair (Richard Fleihr) in a steel cage match after an RKO at 10:35

Stipulation
Fans Choose Match Type

Voting Results

Steel Cage: 68%; Falls Count Anywhere: 20%; Submission: 12%

Fun Fact:
On 9/20, Randy Orton picked up a clean win over Ric Flair in a six-man tag match. The next week, the two men had a verbal sparring match in the ring. Flair took umbrage to Orton calling himself a Legend Killer because the men he defeated, such as Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels, aren’t legends. Orton called Flair a lap dog and a glorified cheerleader and said he wished Flair would wake up and realize what he had become. Flair seemed a bit touched by Orton’s word and the segment ended without incident. Later in the night, Orton was forced to wrestle Batista to earn a spot in the WHC match fan voting. During the bout, Triple H came out and grabbed a chair. Flair came out as well and grabbed the chair away from Hunter, telling him to back off. It was all just a set up though as Flair turned and smacked Orton with the chair, giving Batista the win and knocking Orton off the ballot. Two weeks later, the two men had another great promo showdown. Orton said he wanted to face the real Ric Flair at the PPV and not the current Evolution lap dog. Flair would retort as he only he could, returning to his promo roots and bragging about his lifestyle and accomplishments. Orton said that after the PPV Flair would respect him as a true Legend Killer.

Scott:
Our main event pits the Legend Killer vs. the Legend at the top of the food chain. This match was done simply to give Orton more credibility and give him a high profile match without having to be in the World Title match. I can’t remember the last time Flair was in a steel cage match. It does harken back to the good ol’ days of the NWA when Flair defended his WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP against guys like Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, Ronnie Garvin, and others inside steel cages. The match was laid out pretty well, as Flair dominated the action early, being the more experienced wrestler inside an environment like a cage. Orton bled pretty heavy early on, reminding us of the war with Mick Foley back in April at Backlash. Eventually Flair is busted open and from there you have a well booked bloody war. Another match that boosts Orton’s credibility, something he sorely needed after the one month title reign ended embarrassingly at Unforgiven. The match was compact and full of action. Orton drills the RKO and gets the win. A well-booked affair that didn’t drag on long and made both men look strong. Grade: 3

Justin:
In our final vote of the night, the fans picked a steel cage match for Orton and Flair to compete in. I liked that Orton got the main event slot here despite no longer being Champion. It made him still seem like the top face of the show and helped rebuild him a bit after last month’s mess. Despite all of his heeling leading up to the show, Flair was pretty over here as always. The match got off to a quick start and Orton was bleeding just a few minutes into the match. Flair would punish the cut and rip Orton’s face across the cage, tearing at the already shredded flesh. Orton would regain control and bust Flair open as well and this match turned into quite the bloody brawl from thereon out. The match had a good old school feel as the two went toe-to-toe in the center of the steel cage. Flair would crack Orton with a pair of knucks and get a close near fall on it. Orton would recover and drop Flair with an RKO to pick up the win. After the bout, Flair shook Orton’s hand, symbolically passing the torch and acknowledging that Orton had arrived. This was a really fun brawl that was high energy and entertaining the whole way through. It was also a fresh match to close out the PPV with. Grade: 3.5

Final Analysis

Scott: I remember this show having a special feel to it being on a Tuesday and having fan interaction. Mind you it was on this same night that Justin and I were also watching Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS when A-Rod infamously slapped the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove. Also my beloved Plymouth Breeze died on the way home that night, precipitating the purchasing of a new car. So needless to say that was a very memorable evening. On the subject of the show itself I enjoyed it and the specialness of it. The matches by themselves weren’t much as you really didn’t know what the stips would be or who would be facing who. Now of course many say that the voting is rigged and the WWE is just humoring fans by letting them vote but really the show is already booked. I would agree with that as time progressed but honestly for this first show I think the voting was legit. If Shawn Michaels’ knee was legitimately hurt, then they could have rigged the voting and had Chris Benoit win. Edge could have still speared him and nothing would have changed. The Orton/Flair match was the match of the night and really kept Orton afloat as a babyface even though Flair was actually getting some face pops as well. The Kane/Snitsky match was what it was for a guy who had never wrestled on a stage like this before against someone who really isn’t know for carrying unknowns. The concept was solid enough but the buyrate probably wasn’t what they expected. The 3,500 attendence brings me back to the mid-90’s IYH’s in places like the On-Center in Syracuse or that plane hangar in Rochester. If you have it throw it in sometime for a time killer, as the substance isn’t much but its still entertaining. Final Grade: C+

Justin: Once again, we sit here after another 2004 PPV and I have a mixed reaction on how to wrap it up. This was a fun show to watch but again, the match grades were all pretty pedestrian. I thought the concept worked well overall but there were plenty of dead spots in the show that could have been tightened up to really keep the show flowing. Everyone worked hard and the crowd was good as well. This show was better than the last few thanks to the opener and final two matches. Unfortunately, the three messes in the middle really dragged things down. Shelton Benjamin, Snitsky, Chris Benoit and Randy Orton were clearly the biggest winners on the night, coming out looking very strong. Edge is officially a heel, something that was needed to freshen up his character and Raw in general. Orton took another step forward as a major player on the brand, getting the main event slot and beating Flair in a bloody cage war. Eric Bischoff has been humiliated and we will see if he takes out his frustrations as the weeks go on. Based on the match scores, this show probably deserves a worse final grade but as I said, I had fun watching it and the gimmick had some charm. I just wish the middle of the show was tighter and delivered one more really good match to solidify the show as a whole. Final Grade: C

MVP: Randy Orton & Ric Flair
Runner Up: Shelton Benjamin
Non MVP: Eric Bischoff
Runner Up: La Resistance

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