WWE Raw Live House Show Report
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Friday, August 27, 2004
Report by Nolan Woodford
Not sure how much World Arena holds, but it appeared to be about 60% full. I’d guess give or take about an attendance of 5000, with a very hot crowd.
The ring announcer was Justin Roberts, who some of you may know as the guy who does Smackdown when Tony Chimel doesn’t. As usual, he did a superb job. He came down to kick off the show and introduce the opening contest.
Shelton Benjamin def. Rodney Mack w/ Jazz
The crowd was very hyped for this, since it was the opener. Benjamin managed to kick out of a superplex by Mack and hoped right up to deliver a Superkick for the win at 9:00 (all times are approximate)
Steven Richards def. Simon Dean
It was supposed to be Val Venis vs. Dean, but Venis wrestled later in the card. This is the first I’ve heard of Dean, as he appears to be a different take on the Body Donna character. He paused several times during the match to do some intense yoga-like stretching and apply Ben-Gay when needed. Richards reversed a sunset flip to the Styles Clash to finish at 7:00. Stevie then exited through the stands, which the crowd enjoyed.
Justin Roberts gave a long and glamorous introduction to bring out a surprise appearance by The Coach! Most people weren’t as excited as I was as Coach came out to run down the two main event matches of Chris Benoit vs. Kane and the first-ever match between HHH and Randy Orton for the World Title. Coach said HHH was the greatest World Champion this business had ever seen and Randy Orton came out to take exception. Coach got right up in the champion’s face and without saying a word, Orton delivered an RKO!
Maven def. Chuck Palumbo
Chuck controlled for most of this match with a lot of stiff-looking clotheslines. Maven managed to get out of a shoulderbreaker and roll-up Chuck for the win at 8:00. Afterwards, Palumbo hit a cool variation on the Samoan Drop to leave with the last laugh.
Victoria def. Molly Holly
A solid match, even at the shortest time of the evening, that saw Molly go up top for the Molly-Go-Round. Steven Richards came out dressed in drag, however, to knock her down and set her up for Victoria’s Widow’s Peak giving Victoria the win at 5:00.
Eugene & William Regal def. Christian & Tyson Tomko
Trish was not with Christian and Tomko, as Christian wrestled his first match in four months. He said that the only reason he had a problem having his first match back in Colorado Springs is because he got thousands of Get Well cards, and not one came from the Springs! Eugene and Regal were both very popular as this match was great fun, as expected. Christian appears to have not lost a step, both with his mic skills and in-ring ability. While Eugene was on the outside, Christian held up Regal. Unfortunatly, Tomko accidentally gave Christian a big boot and Regal hit a running knee on Tomko to get the win for his team at 14:00!
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Edge (c) def. Val Venis
This was originally slated to be Edge vs. Batista, and there was no reason given for the change. Val was told this was a non-title match and complained about it while insulting some fat people at ringside. Edge said he’d give Val the title shot. A slow match with a very hot last few minutes. Val managed to hit the Money Shot, but only for two. Val then exposed the turnbuckle, but Edge shoved him into it and rolled Val up with a handful of tights to retain at 14:00.
The guy with the T-shirt gun came out at this point to shoot off Unforgiven shirts and send us to a brief intermission.
World Tag Team Championship
La Resistance (c) def. Rhyno & Tajiri
Sylvan Grenier’s rendition of “Oh, Canada” was not met with warm reception, as Rhyno & Tajiri interrupted to get this match going. Tajiri was knocked to the outside after a Tarantula, leaving Rhyno alone with the Tag Champs. Rhyno went to Gore Sylvan, who moved out of the way and Conway got Gored. Sylvan took the opportunity to roll up Rhyno with a handful of tights to retain the gold at 10:00.
Chris Benoit def. Kane
In my opinion, the match of the night. Benoit kept trying as best he could to get a Crossface or Sharpshooter, but Kane kept powering out. Benoit hit a few Germans and as both men were down, Kane sat up and went for a chokeslam. Benoit countered to the Crossface and this time there was nowhere for Kane to go as he eventually tapped at 13:00. An excellent match on par with or possibly exceeding their title bout at Bad Blood.
World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton (c) def. Triple H
The crowd was pretty 50/50 for this match. A very technical battle that degenerated into a brawl as Orton managed to one-up HHH at every turn. Orton got a couple of slaps in to start, but a big spinebuster by The Game changed the momentum. They fought outside a bit and back in, the referee was accidentally knocked out by HHH. HHH went for the World Title, but Orton grabbed it and floored The Game. With no referee to count, HHH eventually got back up and hit the Pedigree. A new referee ran out, but Orton kicked out just before three! HHH laid out the new referee and went for a second Pedigree, but got hit with the RKO. Earl Hebner was up to count three as Orton retains his title at 20:00! After HHH left, Orton grabbed a mic and said that all of Evolution will discover that “Payback’s a bitch!”
Overall this was a very enjoyable show top-to-bottom. The main event matches were both very solid and the rest of the show was a good excercise in getting the crowd involved. Plus, a surprise appearance by The Coach is always enjoyable for me…not sure about the rest of the crowd, though. Even without Ric Flair, tonight’s house show was well worth the money and Raw live is definitely worth checking out these next couple weeks.
I’m not very good at judging the exact order of best pops or heat, but here is my rough estimate…
1. Chris Benoit
3. Eugene & William Regal
4. Triple H
5. Randy Orton
Honorable Mention: Edge, Shelton Benjamin
1. Christian & Tyson Tomko
2. The Coach
3. La Resistance
4. Simon Dean
5. Rodney Mack