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(25 Mins) Honor Nation: All In

JG's 3/7/05 Raw Insanity: Batista Doesn't Respect Other People's Property

By James Guttman Mar 7, 2017 - 7:27 AM print

Originally Published March 7, 2005

This is Phil Keoghan and get ready for a whole new exciting season of The Amazing Race - Wrestling Edition. Thanks to inspiration from last season's wrestling team, Lori and Bolo, this season we feature a wide array of teams from all over the wrestling world. Our competitors include…

Hunter and Stephanie - A married couple from Connecticut.


Stephanie: We're both very strong-willed people who will do anything to win.

Hunter: I am the Game. I am the best in the industry! I am already a member of the Amazing Race… the white race! Ha ha! I'm glad I'm not in the same race as "those people." Ha ha ha! Hey, is that camera on? Oh shi…..

Dusty and Dustin - A babbling Father/Son pair from Texas


Dusty: Ooooo baby, we got funky like a monkey, baby. The 'Merican Dreeeeem with Oooo ah, some fried chicken and the big elbow, if you weeeeolllll.

Dustin: Ducky ducky, quack quack, daddy. Wokka wokka wokka. All I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom!

Lita and Matt - Formerly dating


Lita: Matt, can we please just put this all behind us and move on? This is for a million dollars! Please!

Matt: Sorry, I can't do this. Listen Lita, our relationship problems are personal and I don't feel comfortable splashing them all over television. It's private and should be handled between the two of us. If you need further explanation, you can read about it on my website. I'm out.

Uh…never mind "Lita and Matt." We meant to say:

Lita and Edge - "Good Friends."


Edge: Where my hoochie mommas at? I'm gonna Spear all the ladies in this competition! Ha ha ha! Oh…and by "Spear," I mean "have sex with." I'm Edge, bitch! Yeahhhh! Allll riiiiighhhhht!

Gene and John - Friends and weirdoes


Gene: I like John's poetry.

John: I like what Gene does to babies.

Gene: I like John's gloves.

John: I like Gene's ass.

Gene: I like John's…wait, what did you just say?

John: Nothing…Mr. Sweet Buns.

Hulk and Lily - The father of a singer and a rooster from Florida


Hulk: It's on like Donkey Kong, brother. I'm competitive. Just think back on WrestleMania 3, man. There were 700 Trillion people in the Silverdome and I lifted that 15 foot, 3000 pound Giant, Andre, over my head. Whatcha gonna do when the Hulkster and the Rooster run wild on you?!

Lily: Cock-a-doodle…please kill me. He spray paints a little beard on me every morning.

Bill and Brock - Former wrestlers. Bill is now Santa Claus in the movies and Brock is now a Plaintiff


Brock: What was that question?

Director (off camera): We asked why you think you'll win.

Brock: I think that…uh, I should…uh….maybe….God! This is hard! Racing is hard! God! My head! Ow! It hurts! It burns! Ah! I hate traveling! Why am I doing this!? That's it. We're out. I quit.

Lesnar takes off his microphone and leaves. Bill sits there for a few moments, looks back and forth, then begins to punch his own head.

Bill: Bugs Bunny! Maury Povich! Puppy dogs! Argghhhh!

It's a Race so Amazing that you can't tune away or else you'll miss such amazing moments as:

From Episode 5:

Hunter: (tearing open clue) Roadblock.

Phil: A roadblock is a task that only one member of team may perform.

Hunter: It says that the female member of the team needs to jump off this cliff. Go for it, Steph.

Stephanie: (apprehensive) Don't I get a harness?

Hunter: No harness. Come on, honey. Time's a wasting.

Stephanie: Aren't there supposed to be flags and cameras around? This place is deserted. Let me see that card. (grabbing paper) That's not a clue card. That's a piece of loose-leaf paper that you drew pictures of the World Title on!

Awkward Pause

Hunter: (Nervously) Oh ha ha. You got me, hun. I was playing a joke. Ha ha.

Stephanie: Oh, Hunter. You're such a kidder.

Hunter: (sad) Yeah…kidder.

From Episode 2 - At the Pit Stop:

Edge: Hey Hulk. How you been? Remember me? Edge? We were tag champs together.

Hulk: Hey brother.

Edge: Is your daughter 18 yet?

Hulk: No.

Edge: All right. Moving along… (Turning to Hunter and Stephanie) Hey there, pretty lady.

Hunter: Don't talk to my wife like that.

Edge: I was talking to you, Gamy. I like your hair. Hey, is your daughter 18 yet?

Stephanie: We don't have any children yet.

Edge: Well when you do and she turns 18, send her my way! I'll giver her the Edge-u …uh….the Edge-a…uh….the Edge-U-Sexy-Sex, if you know what I mean. Ha ha.


Dustin: Eenie Meenie Miney Moe - Where's your racing partner?

Edge: She broke her neck tearing open the last clue. Whatever. I'm sure I'll find someone to jump on my…

Lily: Cock-a-doodle-dooo!

Edge:…team. Ha ha! I'm Edge, bitch!

So join us this season as wrestling teams go forth. Who will be the winners of...the Amazing Race?

Hunter: Me. I'm gonna be the winner.

Phil: It's good to have confidence, Hunter. I'm sure everyone will do their best. Hopefully you'll win.

Hunter: Hopefully? No, no. My father-in-law owns the top company in the industry that all these people work for. I'm not being confident. I'm telling you that I'm gonna be the winner.

Phil: That doesn't sound like any fun for our viewers. No one would want to watch that.

Hunter: (confused) What's your point?

Phil: Nothing. Join us this season for the Amazing Race. We'll travel through four continents over a period of ten weeks. Edge will get with the women. Gene will kill the babies and Hunter will win! Who knows? Maybe Sean Waltman will show up. Tune in! Only on CBS!


Hey, I don't know if anyone heard, but Lita and Matt Hardy broke up because she hooked up with Edge. You might not have heard anything about it. It's not really a major story. Of course, I'm being sarcastic. It's all over the damn place. That's what everyone's talking about. Nobody's thinking about Shawn Michaels and his quest to take out Kurt Angle. No one is questioning how Ric Flair will survive his match against Dave Batista, as Triple H prepares to face him at WrestleMania. Even fewer are wondering if Christy Hemme will defend her honor against the Women's Champion Trish Stratus. That doesn't mean it's not important, though. Who will win? Who will lose? What will happen? Do you think that Lita wouldn't have gotten caught if she hadn't set her cell phone to play the "You Think You Know Me" song when Edge called? Erase your voicemail, update your website, and make a "Twist of Fate" pun. It's friggin' Monday night, people. It's Raw!

Recap of the Batista-Hunter feud. This week, Triple H's evil plan comes full circle as he forces Dave to fight a 56 year old man.

Raw Theme Plays. Hunter's supporters point to the fact that he's not singing it as a sign that he doesn't have that much power.

This is Shawn Michaels. All praise me. Leave a message.


Hey Shawn, it's Brutus Beefcake again. Dude - 75 bucks! You hear me?! 75 bucks, man! You owe me. You broke that window with Jannetty's head in 1992. I paid to get it installed and everything for the Shop and you broke it. Now look, I've left you a message every week for the past 13 years. This is getting ridiculous. Either pay up or else I'm gonna have to shave your f**kin' head.

The Heartbreak Kid is in the house and he's been having some problems with Kurt Angle lately. You see, Shawn Michaels had been hoping to have a classic with Your Olympic Hero at WrestleMania, but that's out the Barber Shop window at this point. Why? Well, Kurt saw fit to come into, as HBK called it, "our house." (JG Note: In the middle of our street…Jack!) That's why the Rocker had to head to Smackdown and take Angle down.

Video of Shawn going to Kurt Angle's house, Smackdown, and beating him up.

"As I laid on that trainer's table, getting those ten stitches in my head, I thought to myself, Where did all that rage come from? It's been a long time since ol' HBK felt that kinda rage… from another man. And then it occurred to me. I know that. I know that rage. That's the rage that comes from doubt; from unanswered questions. You see, Kurt Angle. Despite all the Olympic gold medals, all the Olympic accolades, all the world championships, both in your amateur career and your professional career, you've never had a chance to go to the biggest stage of them all and display your ability against Mr. Wrestle Mania - the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels! You never had a chance to hook-up with the chairman of the board."
- Shawn Michaels, 9:08pm

(JG Note: Hook up with the chairman? - Insert bad Vince McMahon-random Diva sex joke here) Wow. What a speech. Can Shawn Michaels really be called "Mr. WrestleMania?" Isn't the Undertaker 1,000-0 at WrestleMania? If there was a Mr. WrestleMania, shouldn't he be Taker? How about Hulk Hogan? He could even be Mr. WrestleMania. Didn't Shawn lose to Diesel at WrestleMania? How can you be Mr. WrestleMania when you lost to Diesel there? Honk! Honk! Kurt Angle, pop up on that Titantron already.

Kurt Angle appears on the Titantron and he's standing in front of the porn-movie purple drapes backdrop. Listen here, Mr. Mania, Angle has been listening to you. You're wrong, Boy Toy. This rage dates back to 1996. You remember '96, don't ya Shawn? Ace of Base. Hootie and the Blowfish. Well, how about the Olympics? You remember them? That's where Kurtis captured the Gold medals in wrestling. Yet, no one seemed to care about that. Instead they punked him. They asked when he would be going to the "big leagues" and be like Shawn Michaels. They never stopped talking about you, even though Angle had just won the Olympic gold! (JG Note: Time out - Were people really talking about Michaels to Angle after he won the Olympic gold medals? I wasn't even aware that there were other people watching wrestling in 1996 besides me and like four others.) Now you claim to be the best? Ha! Shawn, you're not the best. Kurt Angle is the best and he's going to prove it. Had he come to the WWFE instead of the Olympics, Kurt would have beaten all your records by now. So, he's going to do just that. Starting Thursday, Angle will break all your records. He'll do it all...in four weeks! With that, Kurt laughs and Shawn looks pensive. He's going to break all of HBK's records in four weeks? Michaels should tell him that he holds the world record for sticking walnuts up his nose. Now that would make for good TV.

Triple H is all wet so that means he's going to wrestle. Dry=Promo. Wet=Match. Sopping wet=If it's a really intense match. Seriously, the hotter the feud, the more water he uses. You know, if this Batista feud gets really intense, there's a fairly good chance that Hunter could drown himself as he prepares for his entrance.

Commercial Break. Devil May Cry 3 . Why did the devil cry? Probably because he tore both his quads.

(1) World Champion Triple H pinned Rosy after a Pedigree What other possible outcome could this match have had? Triple H fought Rosy. Yes - Rosy. The S.H.I.T. guy. That's who he fought. Think about it. The man that Ric Flair says is the Greatest Wrestler ever is facing the guy in the orange Aldo Montoya mask. Pick a winner. Ding dong. You're right. Hunter Hearst Wethead wins after a Pedigree. Stand back…there's a sledgehammer coming through.

Trips leaves the ring and retrieves his trusty sledgehammer. He slams it into the ribs of Rose and smiles. I'm surprised he hasn't named it yet. Miss Betsy, maybe? Miss Ruby? Whatever works. The Game takes the title and the hammer and leaves the scene while the Superhero rolls around in pain. It's a sympathetic scene that would help bolster any feud. There's only two small problems with all this. No one gives a damn about Rosy and, even if they did, he has absolutely nothing to do with Batista. Other than that, it's great.

Commercial Break. Kind of funny that they'd name a major sandwich chain after a mode of public transportation known for being dirty and smelling like pee.

Christy Hemme had an autograph session for people who bought her copy of Playboy. Guys lined up to get her autograph on their nudie magazine. She earned some of that $250,000 Diva Search prize on that day. "Yes, Miss Hemme, can you make it out to Bobby? Yes. Just sign right there in between them - those big things. You might have to press hard with the pen, that spot's a bit damp from when I licked the page."

Triple H is all gushy over Miss Betsy. He runs into the dressing room and tells Ric Flair how good his Sledgehammer feels. You can actually pinpoint the exact moment when the ribs break. Nice! Hey, Naitch. Why so glum, chum? You look sad. Flair is sad, Hunt. You made this match for him to face Batista tonight! That was crazy! Why did you do that? How could you do that? How does Triple H respond? With the Golden…


You're the Nature Boy! You're above all else! You rule the World! For one night only, you're not the ass kisser. You're the kissee! Helmsley finishes him off with a Whooo.

Elsewhere, Christian, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, and Chris Benoit are arguing. Just like the movie Clue, no one knows why they've been summoned. When Edge arrived, it was just more confusion. Who called them all here? Why, it was Eric Bischoff. Uncle Eric has brought you to this office to inform you that last week's six-way ladder match suggestion by Jericho was approved. It should be a good way to fill some time outdo Smackdown. Edghead takes offense to this decision and points to his defeat of Shawn Michaels last week. How much pain does he have to go through? Chill Edgemire, this isn't a normal ladder match. This is a six-way Money in the Bank Ladder match. There will be a briefcase above the ring. In it is a contract for a World Title match. You grab it and you got a title shot. When you want it, you get it. You can take it immediately or you could even wait until Wrestlemania 22! The possibilities are endless. Speaking of which, this match seems like a good way to book the rest of tonight's show without actually, you know, giving you guys storylines or anything. How about Benoit and Benjamin, Edge-Jericho, and…hold up, Bisch. Christian knows why he has no opponent. It's because he's the ladder king, right? Wrong, CLB. There is a sixth man, but he's a surprise. At least, he's a surprise until he's introduced in his match….against you…next.

Commercial Break. There's an anti-drug commercial with a doofy kid, sitting at a bus stop and doing angry Def poetry about the evils of drugs. It's one of the lamest thing I've ever seen.

There's a ladder in the aisle. If Stevie Richards wasn't injured, they'd make him job to it.

(2) Kane pinned Christian after a Chokeslam Kane's the last man in all this. Look at this list: Kane, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Christian, and Edge. They're all fighting for the chance to earn a title match? A year ago, at the same pay-per-view, Benoit won the World Title. Now he's fighting five guys for the chance to challenge for it. Then you have Kane, who was in top storylines all year and is now spinning his wheels over the same prize. The break-out heel of Raw, Edge, is there too. Benjamin is the IC Champ. Even Christian deserves a better spot at Mania considering his performance all year. Funny thing is that few remember how Kane single-handedly won a Four-Way Tag TLC match on Raw in 2002. Hurricane was his partner and couldn't compete, so Big Red went it alone and won. Then Hunter accused him of killing Katie Vick and things got hazy. I remember a funeral parlor. I remember a coffin. I remember Christian jobbing to a choke slam. Not much to speak of. It was a run-of-the-mill Kane squashes midcarder match.

After the official word, Tyson Tomko rushed in and slammed Lita's husband in the head with the ladder. Big Red rolled around in pain momentarily but then did the Bearer Family sit-up move.

Stacy Kiebler tells Randy Orton he looks good and asks if he's prepared to do what he's about to do. Of course he is, Hancock. Tonight the Legend Killer is making his Mania plans known.

Commercial Break. Sorry Long John Silver's, but there's something not right about being able to sell shrimp and fish for $4.49. Certain things shouldn't be purchased because they're cheap. Things like oxygen tanks, medicine, and shell fish are usually safer when they're not a bargain.

Jerry Lawler is eating Subway when we return from the break. Ross calls Subway the "Official Sandwich of WrestleMania 21." Jerry corrects him and says that it's the "Official Toasted Sandwich of WrestleMania." I guess something else must be the Official Untoasted Sandwich. Speaking of toasted, Roddy Piper interviews Steve Austin.

(3) Edge pinned Chris Jericho after a DDT Edge did not get "screwed out of the World Title," according to Jim Ross. That's certainly true. (JG Note: We can laugh at the things the announcers say about Edge and do sarcastic lines, but then again anything the announcers say about Adam Copeland tonight will seem like a tongue-in-cheek joke. "Edge is on the top rope." Ha ha. Just like Edge was top of Lita. "Edge is looking to land a dropkick." Ha ha. Just like Edge was looking to have sex with Lita. "Edge is coming to the ring!" Ha ha. Just like Edge was…well, you get the point.) In all honesty, Copeland carried himself as best he could here. There were audible chants of both "You Screwed Matt" and "You Screwed Lita." It's gotta suck to be Edge at this point. Here's an industry where people do such crazy messed-up things every day and never get caught. The problem is that he did. You can argue that there's worse things out there happening behind closed doors, but that's not the point. If the public knew about those stories, they'd mock those people too. They don't. They know about Edge. So they'll mock him. He didn't get too shaken by it, which was good and he worked with Jericho to put on a watchable match. After the obligatory ref bump, Edge slammed Y2J in the stomach with the ladder and landed a DDT for the pin. I can't believe he hit him with the ladder! What a cheater!

You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. You can "Pick Your Poison Monday." That's the new innovation from Eric Bishcoff. He tells the Coach that starting next week, Triple H and Batista will pick their poisons. Next week in Atlanta, Tista will pick Hunter's opponent. The following week in Birmingham, the roles will be reversed. Coachman flips out and tells Bisch that he's a genius. Bischoff responds that he's just getting warmed up.

Commercial Break. Hulk Hogan's going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, things will go sour when Kamala shows up and eats his pet Rooster.

Randy Orton is here. He's got a microphone and a steadfast purpose. Gather round, kids. Orton will tell you the tale of his childhood. Randy learned a lot from his dad, Bob Orton. That's why this year, as his dad enters the Hall of Fame, Ort wants to make his mark. Sure, he's not popular, but this biz ain't about popularity. It's about making an impact. That's why at WrestleMania, he'll face Mr. WrestleMania the Undertaker! In order to truly be the Legend Killer, he needs to face a Legend. That's you, Mr. 12-0! RNN ends that WrestleMania winning streak once and for all, pal. Everyone's so surprised, despite the fact that we were basically told this would happen last week. So, there you have it. It'll be Randy Orton against "the Phenom." Hey, Remember when Jimmy Snuka was the Phenom? Taker totally ganked that one.

You know what I wish? I wish that the Eric Bischoff of 2005 could go back to 1996 and see the Eric Bischoff of then. I wish he could just look at him and say "Hi. I'm you in nine years. I'm the General Manager of Raw." Then stare for a moment and return to his time machine. That would be awesome.

2005 Eric Bischoff is here and he's loving this story. Orton versus Undertaker? Good stuff, kid. Do Raw proud at Mania. What a Mania! Shawn Michaels is gonna beat Smackdown's Kurt Angle and now you're going to end Undertaker's winning streak! The board will recognize Eric's general manager skills. Then, with a sly look in his eye, Eric asks Orton if he can you say "Extra Stock Options." WWE stock options? It might be more financially sound to collect Garbage Pail Kids at this point. Orton stops this rambling tirade by asking Easy E if he had once ran WCW. Eric thinks hard for a moment and replies that he had. Legend Killer asks if it was true that Bisch had defeated Raw for 88 weeks when he ran World Championship Wrestling. Why yes, kiddo. That's true. Schoff made history. Come WM, EB will make history again. Hold up, Bischboy. That's impressive. In fact, that would make you a legend, right? Without thinking, Bischy confirms that it does. He quickly realizes his blunder and turns to leave. He doesn't leave, though. He sort of stands there awkwardly. So, Randy turns him around and lands an RKO. Orton was pretty good in this segment. His eyes went dead a few times, but other than that, he got to play the character he's comfortable with. Challenging a baby face is enough to make his arrogant character seem cool again. Meeting the company’s top bad guys while sporting that attitude isn't good, but battling the legendary heroes with it is.

Commercial Break. Finally, a commercial with a simple message - Buy Fight Night - Round 2 or else you're a fairy boy.

(4) Chris Benoit defeated Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin via submission in a non-title match Jim Ross says that this should be a great "catch as catch can" match. The match was good but it was disappointing for storyline reasons. Why have these two face off in a meaningless six-way hype match? Benoit won the World Title less than a year ago. Benjamin is the Intercontinental Champion. They're both baby faces known for being good wrestlers and haven't faced each other much, if at all, on Raw. So instead of giving them a conflict and sending the Crippler after Benji's belt, they toss them into a match with no backstory at all. It just seems pointless when you consider how easily it would be to promote a fresh feud between these two. Chris took a dive out of the ruing and landed head first on the ladder at one point. It wasn't enough to knock him out, though. In fact, he was able to rebound and force the IC Champion to tap to the Crossface. Always good to see the Intercontinental Champion tap out. I guess it could be worse, Champ. Ask Rob Conway's proctologist.

Commercial Break. The new WrestleMania 21 Ad features the Undertaker, in his spiffy dress code-approved duds, playing Dirty Harry . I didn't like this one much. It didn't kill kayfabe or destroy the industry or anything like that. It was just…well, blah. There was nothing to it. Picture Mean Mark in a suit and acting like Clint Eastwood. It was far less exciting that it seems on paper. The sad thing is that it doesn't sound all that exciting on paper to begin with.

Eric Bischoff is int he arena and he's hanging out with Coachman. Why is he alive? Didn't he get RKOed? Aren't finishing moves supposed to hurt? Nope. Not Eric. He's SuperEric. When John Coachman asks Bischoff if he's hurt from Orton's finisher, Bisch says he his neck is killing him and his head is pounding. His neck is killing him and his head is pounding? What? The move that's supposed to take out the Undertaker couldn't even send Eric Bischoff to the hospital? How does the math on that work out? Before you can question too much logic, Hassan and Daivari arrive. They're screaming and Muhammad is mad. He plays the discrimination card in his argument. That argument is that he has been denied the right to take place in a match at WrestleMania. He should be in that ladder match! Hassan says that he's been discriminated against by a "gutless" General Manager. Funny enough, that's one of the nicest things a Bischoff employee has ever called him.

William Regal and Tajiri are reading Christy Hemme's Playboy backstage because they have nothing else to do. Trish Stratus sees this and takes it from them. She turns the pages and her disgust grows with each glimpse. Jerry Lawler sells Hemme's nudity and tells us that she'll be here next! She'll have clothes on, though. What type of girl do you think she is? She wouldn't be naked on regular ol' TV. If you want to see her naked, you have to spend five dollars on a magazine. That's the respectable thing. Come on, now.

Commercial Break. Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish Fame is dressing up like a cowboy and singing Burger King jingles. I have just found someone who misses 1996 more than Eric Bischoff.

Christy Hemme's music hits. Do you like Christy's music? You do? Well, I do too. Guess what, though. There's someone who likes it much more than you and I. There's someone who's downright creepy about tit.

"I go from zero to horny in about 3.5 seconds when I hear her music."
- Jerry Lawler, 10:44Pm

Jerry….Goddamnit. Christy comes to the ring and she's still reeling from her beating at Trish Status's hands last week. Who could forget her N.W.O. style spray painting of the word "Slut" and Hemme's back? Not me. Apparently Christy can't either. That's why she's here to call out Strats. Trisha doesn't come out right away and Hemme looks like she's about to throw up. If the new Divas don't wrestle, you'd think they'd be able to act at least, right? Let's get Strats out here to learn her sumpin'.

Trish has arrived and she knows why she had to come out here. Christy wanted her to be present for the announcement that her Playboy hits newsstands on Friday. Stratus then jokes that Hemme will write the word "Slut" if she's asked for an autograph. It's not really funny, but Trish is pretty so we all laugh. Stratty offers to knock her out again and spray paint it on her forehead if she needs help remembering the spellign. Hem says that she's here to challenge TS to a Women's Title Match at WrestleMania. For a brief moment, I thought Trish went nuts because she started making beeping noises. Turns out it was the sound of a truck backing up. Apparently she wanted the Diva Winner to…well, back up. A title match? Trish tells her that this won't be a Lingerie Pillow Fight or a T-Shirt Shooting Promotion. This will be the end of her career. You won't survive this, Hemme. With her gaze stuck upon the Champion, Christy looks almost comical. Trisha questions her confidence and gets an answer. Crazy Red is confident because she's been trained. She's been trained by…

Lita. This is the best time and place to bring her back? Forget all the personal Edge stuff. From a storyline standpoint, this is stupid. Christy is being trained by the woman that Trish beat. Oooooo. Whatever. How is that a big deal? It's not as if Lita was so skilled that her mere teaching would improve Hemme as if she was Daniel-san. She's Lita. Trish beat her. There's some fairly audible boos and chants as Leets went nose-to-nose with Trish. From behind, Hemme grabs the Champ and lands a Twist of Fate. The Scarlet Amy and Naked Magazine Girl leave the scene and people everywhere begin compiling puns involving Lita and "training."

Ric Flair is really Phyllis Dillar-ed out tonight. He's wearing a furry black, sequined covered robe. Alongside Triple H and his Sledgehammer, Miss Joanie, Flair is ready to rumble with Batista. The dilapidated Evolution are stopped by Eric Bischoff. Bisch won' t let Hunter take his tool to the ring tonight. No go, buddy boy. That hammer stays home. Ric goes buck, but ultimately loses out. He cries about the end of the "Three Amigos," a nickname he adopted for himself, Hunter, and a Sledgehammer. Twenty bucks says that Eric Bischoff pitches this idea as a pilot to Fox.

Commercial Break. One of the Ultimate Fighters is coming back into the house. I hope it's Leben. I like watching him tear apart the doors.

Next week it's gonna be Triple H meeting Chris Benoit. This contest was booked by Dave Batista. It's week one of the "Pick Your Poison" matches.

(5) Batista pinned Ric Flair after a Powerbomb Right off the bat, JR says that there are Ric Flair fans here tonight and we might experience some Whooos. However, nothing equals the ovation that Batista just got. It's such a little thing, but shows why Ross has always been solid broadcaster. He put over the hero without ignoring reality. A lot of announcers wouldn't have said anything and any cheers Flair got would have seemed like a slight on Dave. In this case, it didn't. The bad thing was that there wasn't much reaction to the match itself at all. Tista got a pop on his intro and the fans were into his big moments, but the long drawn-out battle didn't garner much interest. It seemed strange. Why was Ric Flair actually being presented as a credible challenge to Batista? Flair is the older manager type. Tista is main eventing WrestleMania in a few weeks. This should have been a quick bang squash with Flair laying down. The post-match altercation with Hunter should have been much longer than any conflict with Flair. I just can't see the rationale. It's like the Eric Bischoff-RKO thing earlier. You have to put over your big stars, like Orton and Batista, at the expense of the supporting characters. Bischoff and Flair are supporting characters. Instead, we went about seven minutes. After taking some punishment, Deacon Dave gave the thumbs down and prepared to give Naitch a Powerbomb. Trips ran in and was tossed over the top rope. Tista turned back to Ric and landed a successful Powerbomb. One, two, three. Finally.

After the bell, Hunter retrieved another sledgehammer from under the ring and the announcers sold it like he had just turned water into wine. Ross was lamenting over how Trips had "outsmarted all of us." (JG Note: Yes, he outsmarted us by putting another sledgehammer under the ring. It doesn't take much to outsmart us, eh?) The Gameboy charged at his former manservant and came crashing down with the sledge. Tista put his hands up and caught it before it could make contact.

Helmsley backed off and Dave looked down at the weapon. With a raised knee, Tista makes a strong point by…breaking the wooden handle! He tells the Cerebral Assassin that he's done and uses the broken hammer handle to point downward. Fade black.

All in all… Move along. Nothing to see here, folks. Nothing at all. This was a pretty average episode of Raw. Nothing happened and, at some points, they weren't even trying to make it seem like something was. Considering that WrestleMania is around the corner, this show was pretty disappointing.

Batista-Flair should have been nine seconds long. There's no reason whatsoever to have the jacked monster who's challenging Triple H go nearly seven minutes with the old guy who used to stand his corner. What's the point? There's no rational excuse. It's not as if Ric needs to look good. At this point in his career, he doesn't need to win a match ever again. Batista, on the other hand, is a different story.

Now, I'm not saying that Deacon Dave isn't clicking. The guy's got potential and the fans love him. The only problem is that it seems like WWE has been consistently choking when faced with creating a new hero on Raw. At this point, Batista should be gaining momentum, not losing it. The weeks following his turn have been lukewarm at best.

That Ladder match thing seems like a throwaway and a half. Any open-ended reward in wrestling has the potential to be either great or forgotten. I just hope a year from now we're not all saying, "Hey! Remember when Chris Benoit won a title match? Whatever happened to that?" It's not like Test did much with his immunity. Add on to that that the match announcement seemed like a good way to book an entire episode of Raw around six guys without giving them feuds, and you have a filler with a ladder theme.

Triple H is terrorizing Hurricane and Rosy for no reason. Christy Hemme is being trained by this week's top headline. The best part of the show may have been Randy Orton's promo and that wasn't even all that amazing. Shouldn't Eric Bischoff have gone to the hospital or something? He got hit with the RKO! Nope. No hospital. He tells Coachman he has a headache. Splendid. See you at WrestleMania, Undertaker! I hope you remember to bring some Advil, punk!

That's that, people. Who knows what wacky adventures Lita can get into this week! Meet me here next Monday. We'll talk about it.

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