[Deconstructing the Moveset] – A Year of RAW Part 2 of 4

On a short note I’d like to say that I LOVED RAW this week. And last week’s Smackdown! opening match (mixed tag) was one of the best booked and paced matches I’ve seen in a while now. I’m a wrestling high at the moment and damn, doesn’t it feel good.

Make sure that you vote in the Inside Pulse Wrestling Year End Awards. Nothing is more important than the IPWYEA’s. Nothing except…

DECONSTRUCTING THE MOVESET – A Year of RAW Part 2 of 4

The same thanks go out this week to PK and Hevia, PK for the RAW recaps and Hevia for the idea for this whole thing.

Welcome to Deconstructing the Moveset and Inside Pulse’s RAW year in review. Last week, we looked at the first wrestling quarter of 2004 with RAW’s from January 1st up until Wrestlemania. This week we look at the RAW following Wrestlemania until Badd Blood in June. We learned the following lessons after Wrestlemania last year:

The Dudley Boyz (0-5 each), The Superheroes (Rosey 0-3, Hurricane 0-6) and Matt Hardy (0-5) did not win ONE televised RAW match between January 1st and WMXX.

RVD (6-4) and Booker T (7-3) were tied with most matches between January 1st and WMXX at 10.

Batista (8-1) and Victoria (5-0) have the longest winning streaks between January 1st and WMXX with 5, Victoria’s had not yet been broken either.

Victoria (5-0), Goldberg (4-0) and Stevie Richards (2-0) each went undefeated between January 1st and WMXX.

We’ll see if these facts hold up. Well, Goldberg’s won’t cause he left the company after Wrestlemania.

Q1 of RAW – January 1st – Wrestlemania

March 15th – I was there on my “wrestling spring break” I also was at Smackdown that week, saw a way advance screening of Walking Tall and interviewed the Rock. IT was one hell of a week.

matches:
Victoria/Lita d. Jazz/Molly Holly w/Lita DDT on Jazz
Matt Hardy d. Jericho w/DQ by choking with the electrical cords
Kane d. Val Venis w/Chokeslam
Stacy vs. Jackie goes to a no contest
(TAG)RVD/Booker T d. the Dudley Boyz
(WORLD)Benoit/HBK d. Batista/Orton/Flair w/Sharpshooter on Batista

Triple H is mad he lost the title at Wrestlemania and lets the crowd know it. The fans chant for Benoit and let HHH know he tapped out. Benoit beats up Triple H, Evolution comes down and so does Michaels. Benoit and Michaels clean house. HBK explain later that he wants Benoit healthy. Uncle Eric makes the main event Orton, Flair & Batista vs. Michaels & Benoit.

Matt Fact: Matt is ridiculously underrated.

Orton challenges Foley to a one on one match.

Sylvan Grenier returns from injury and brings along a friend – the debut of Fifi. Austin interrupts, writes La Resistance a ticket and drives away. Later Austin interrupts Sylvan in the ring, coming to and from in an ATV. Note that Austin vomited and collapsed after this segment directly backstage and needed assistance to walk out of the gorilla position. My seats allowed me to see all this.

Vince announces that “where it all begins again” wasn’t just a clever catch phrase, that there is going to be a draft lottery on next week’s RAW.

Johnny Spade’s still Johnny Spade.

Christian beat up Spike Dudley to announce he and Trish “did it”. Trish likes it rough and nasty. Taking notes Hyatte? Trish and Christian make out.

March 22nd

matches:
Jericho d. Rene Dupree w/the Lion Sault
Kane d. Rico w/Chokeslam
Christian d. Spike w/Unprettier
Batista/Flair d. (TAG)RVD/Booker to win the tag belts w/Demon Bomb Booker T
(WORLD)Benoit d Rhyno
(WORLD)Eddie & Triple H go to a no contest when the lock room clears out

Raw superstars have red shirts, Smackdown! superstars have blue shirts.

Results of the draft:
Smackdown! gets:
1. Rene Dupree
2. Mark Jindrak
3. HHH (John Cena walked out and made the pick for Heyman against his wishes)
4. RVD
5. Spike Dudley
6. Theodore Long

RAW gets:
1. Shelton Benjamin
2. Nidia (who removes her shirt on the spot)
3. Rhyno
4. Tajiri
5. Edge (who spears Eric after pick #6)
6. Paul Heyman

Dupree gets a Stunner after his match.

HBK says he wants to be traded, but instead gets a title shot at Backlash.

Current Backlash car:
(WORLD)Benoit vs. HBK

March 29th

matches:
Nidia d. Molly w/ a rollup
Rhyno d. Lance Storm w/the Gore
(WORLD)Benoit/HBK d. (TAG)Batista/Flair for the Tag Titles w/Sweet Chin Music on Flair, match restarted, Evolution wins and retains. Johnny “Nitro” is the ref.
Tajiri d. Kane via count out and green mist
Shelton Benjamin d. HHH w/ Stinger Splash

Announced that HHH was traded back to RAW for the Dudleyz, Booker T AND RVD

Orton says Foley’s not here, Foley is and says that in a 3 on 2 situation, he can beat up a Hollywood actor and a guy who writes children’s books. Foley says yes to a Backlash match, no holds barred, calls count anywhere, Orton agrees.

Sylvan Grenier, Rob Conway and Garrison Cade trick Tajiri into spitting the mist on an unsuspecting Coach. Coach is Uncle Eric’s boy, maybe that wasn’t a good idea. Later Coach lies about what happened and Eric makes Tajiri vs. Kane tonight.

Johnny Space is now Johnny Nitro. And he hasn’t seen Edge all day even though Eric wants to see him. Doesn’t matter to Eric as he makes Edge vs. Kane for Backlash.

HHH is happy that he’s back and he’s the one we pay to see. Not, you know, that awesome champion Benoit. Calls out Eric and says that he needs to make HHH vs. Benoit at Backlash, too after it’s already HBK vs. Benoit at Backlash. Instead we get a Wrestlemania main event rematch. Evolution later beats up Shelton Benjamin in the locker room as a “welcome”. Shelton complains to Eric, Eric says deal with it. Austin says make something of it. Eric makes Shelton vs. Triple H tonight.

Lance Storm is sick of music and dancing and being a joke. Rhyno comes out and they have a match.

WWE wins the Legacy of Hope award.

Highlight Reel:
Jericho cant beat up Trish as per Eric’s orders. Trish bashes Jericho and explains that he wasn’t there when she had to fight Christian, even though he had a bad knee he should have been there. Jericho breaks out the “Filthy, Dirty, Disgusting, Bottom-Feeding, Trash Bag Hoe” line on her. Christian consoles her later and Eric makes Jericho vs. Christian 2 for Backlash adding to the Wrestlemania rematches.

Current Backlash card:
Jericho vs. Christian 2
Kane vs. Edge
Foley vs. (IC)Orton no holds barred, falls count anywhere
(WORLD)Benoit vs. HHH vs. HBK

April 5th

matches:
Benoit d. Rob Conway w/Crossface
Jericho d. Matt Hardy w/the Walls of Jericho
Shelton Benjamin d. HHH via Count-out w/Special ring announcer Flair and time keeper Batista
Lita d. Jazz, Nidia, Molly, Stacy, Gail & Trish is a battle royal for #1 contender to the woman’s title.
Christian d. Tajiri w/Unprettier after a Coach distraction
Kane d. Rhyno w/Chokeslam

Shelton and HHH banter until it’s concluded that HHH vs. Shelton Benjamin 2 will happen tonight RAW.

Regal walks into Bischoff’s office after a long absence. Eric welcomes him to RAW but not back to RAW. If he wants in, he’s gonna manage Eric’s “special” nephew. Later Regal looks for Eugene only to find “special” Eugene and seems disgusted as he gets a hug! Even later Regal comes into Eric’s office sans Eugene and says that he can’t manage that “window licker”. Eric notices Eugene’s not there and says you can’t leave him alone. Eugene comes out to the announce table and licks King’s head doing a Bushwhackers impression.

Matt facts: Matt has broke his nose three times, and he never over-orders in restaurants. Unlike Hevia, who can never order enough.

Foley has one of the best promos of his life where he talks about the look in his eyes when he wrestle the death matches in Japan and it wasn’t the weapons. He talks about wearing the red flannel shirt to Backlash and how he found an old friend “Barbie”, it’s the barb wire bat! E destroys the set with Barbie. Orton looks disturbed while watching.

Foley, HBK and Benoit come out to aid Shelton after his match when he got busted open by Evolution and HHH. Eric says the three face saviors have hell to pay tonight after disobeying him.

Trish is upset for losing the battle royal, but Christian says it’s okay cause the match at Backlash is now a handicapped match with Trish and Christian fighting Jericho.

Edge spears Kane after his match, Kane sits up, nails a big boot and goes to Pillman Edge’s arm, but Edge gets up and nails him with the cast.

Eric calls Benoit, Foley (Johnny Nitro took Barbie away), HBK and Shelton and says they will fight Evolution. Evolution jumps them and the show ends with Benoit taking a Pedigree on a chair from HHH.

Current Backlash card:

Edge vs. Kane
(IC)Orton vs. Foley Hardcore Match
Lita vs. (WOMAN)Victoria
Jericho vs. Christian & Trish
(WORLD)Benoit vs. HHH vs. HBK

April 12th

matches:
Kane d. Grandmaster Sexay w/Chokeslam
Tajiri d. the Dangerous 5 Star Ninja w/Big Kick to win a match with Coach at Backlash, Ninja was unmasked to reveal Al Snow
Lita d. Trish via DQ after Christian attacks Lita
Hurricane d. Sylvan Grenier w/the Eye of the Hurricane
Benoit/HBK/Shelton/Foley d. Evolution w/Sweet Chin Music on Orton

Shelton is in the ring and pissed, Eric says calm down, “Nitro” says he should get used to it. Foley comes out w/Barbie and says he’s hunting Randys. But he doesn’t really want to tear Orton apart, but Cactus Jack does! Orton comes out with a chair to cheap shot Foley, but Foley knows it away with Barbie and Orton runs away. Later Shelton tells Eric he wants a match with Flair at Backlash, then attacks the AARP member backstage.

Trish complains to the makeup lady, Eugene walks by and calls her a slut. Christian walks into the shot and says he’ll do the work at Backlash, Trish’ll just make the pin.

Highlight Reel:
Lita’s our guest and she is jumped by Trish. Eric announces Trish vs. Lita right now. Post match, Jericho goes for the Walls of Trish, but gets 2 Unprettiers from Christian.

Johnny Nitro comes out to the old Nitro music and says if Edge uses his cast in his match with Kane, he’ll be eliminated. Edge asks Nitro to deliver a message to Eric and spears him.

Current Backlash card:

Tajiri vs. Coach
Shelton vs. Flair
Edge vs. Kane
(IC)Orton vs. Foley Hardcore Match
Lita vs. (WOMAN)Victoria
Jericho vs. Christian & Trish
(WORLD)Benoit vs. HHH vs. HBK

April 18th – BACKLASH (note: I attended Backlash 2003 and it was excellent, I saw Goldberg’s first WWE match and then at WMXX I saw his last)

Shelton Benjamin d. Flair w/top rope clothesline
Coach d. Tajiri w/Garrison Cade interference and a punch
Jericho d. Trish/Christian
(WOMAN)Victoria d. Lita
(IC)Orton d. Cactus Jack
the Superheroes d. La Resistance
Edge d. Kane w/Spear
(WORLD)Benoit d. HBK & HHH

April 19th

matches:

Christian d. Jericho w/Tyson Tomko interference
(WOMAN)Victoria d. Molly via DQ with a Molly blatant 5 second chokehold
Cade d. Tajiri w/top rope elbow
Lita/Val Venis & Matt Hardy/Gail Kim go to a no contest when Kane interferes
(WORLD)Benoit/Edge d. (TAG)Flair/Batista to win the tag titles w/Spear on Batista

HK wants a match with Benoit tonight, Benoit says yes after explaining his 18 years struggle. Eric and Johnny Nitro come out and say no, that it will happen in Phoenix.

Todd Grisham debuts! FUCK YOU TODD GRISHAM.

Kane calls for a human sacrifice tonight.

Regal is no baby sitter, and he tells Eric this. Eric says deal with it and Kane better not get his hands on Eugene or Eric will feel Regal to Kane. Later Eugene is shooting shirts into the crowd, Regal interrupts and gets shot in the crotch.

Orton thanks Foley for pulling out all the stops last night. Now Orton has gone from Legend Killer to Living Legend. Edge comes out and says he’s tired of hearing Orton bitch. Evolution comes down to beat up Edge, then Benoit comes out and gets Pedigreed for his troubles. Tag match tonight for the tag titles, Flair/Batista vs. Edge/Benoit.

Kane goes for Lita in the ring after interrupting her match, and Matt Hardy attacks Kane only to get chokeslammed. Kane then leaves.

April 26th

matches:

(WOMAN)Victoria/Lita d. Gail Kim/Molly w/Lita DDT on Gail Kim
Rhyno d. Rob Conway w/Gore
Christian d. Grand Master Sexay w/Unprettier
HHH d. Tajiri w/Pedigree
Kane and Matt Hardy went to a no contest
(TAG)(WORLD)Benoit/Edge d. Batista/Flair

Molly attacks Lita after their match, Kane comes out, makes the save and makes kissing faces at Lita. Lita runs away and into Matt Hardy who says he will fight Kane tonight and make him pay for what he did last week. Later, Kane interrupts Matt Hardy’s match, chokeslams him twice, goes for a tombstone but is stopped by Lita. Kane then kisses Lita!

Coach makes fun of the crowd, gets interrupted by Tajiri who wants to fight tonight! Tajiri kicks Coach out of the ring. HH comes down, low blows Tajiri, and talks about how HBK tapped out and doesn’t deserve a title shot. Tajiri comes back into the ring and mists HHH. After, HHH yells at a plant in Eric’s office cause he’s blinded.

Jericho runs out after Christians match, dumps Christian, gets the Walls on Trish and runs out.

Conway got distracted during his match because Eugene set up the pyro on the entrance ramp.

Kind and Stacy shill a magazine and are interrupted by Orton, who spits in Harley Race (at ringside)’s face. Shelton comes out to teach him some manners… WITH HIS FISTS!

After the main event, HHH comes out to fight Benoit, HBK makes the save, hits everyone with a chair and, oppsie-daisy, hits Benoit. HBK explains to Edge, and Benoit grabs him in a Sharpshooter. Thanks for the save!

May 3rd

matches:

Shelton/Edge/Tajiri d. Batista/Orton/Flair
Rob Conway d. the Hurricane w/Spinning neckbreaker
Kane squashes Richards w/Chokeslam
Gail Kim d. (WOMAN) Victoria (non title)
(WORLD)Benoit d. HBK w/HHH giving HBK a Pedigree while the ref was knocked out. What a bad guy.

Vinnie Mac’s in the hiz-ouse!

Highlight Reel:
Matt Facts: Matt Hardy believes in karma and is not afraid of pain. HE wants to talk about Lita, who is on the tron and tells him she never loved him and never wants to see him again. Which is kinda hard cause they’re on the same roster and show together. Lita yells for helps as we see that Kane has her hostage in the boiler room, Hardy runs off, Jericho is left with no guest. Christian, Trish and Tomko make their way out, and Jericho takes a boot from Tomko and gets beat down by all.

Vignettes of Eugene training with Regal, which are hysterical.

May 10th

matches:

HHH d. Shelton via DQ when HBK ran out to fight HHH
Batista d. Tajiri w/Demon Bomb
Orton d. Edge w/RKO
Jazz/Molly/Gail Kim d. Victoria/Stacy/Nidia
Eugene d. Rob Conway w/Rollup with a bridge (note: these two were tag champs together in OVW)
Jericho d. Christian w/Wall of Jericho in a cage match

HBK gets suspended for his little interference tonight.

Eric tells Regal that if Eugene quits after his match tonight, Regal will have his active spot back on the Roster.

Matt Hardy was supposed to fight Val Venis in a Heat caliber match, but Kane got to Val first. He has an indecent proposal for Lita and wants an answer next week, hmmm….

May 17th

matches:

Trish d. Lita w/roll up
Kane kills Val Venis w/Chokeslam, Val wanted the match after last week
(TAG)(WORLD)Benoit/Edge d. Batista/Flair
20 man Battle Royal for a title shot at Badd Blood – Kane wins, HBK costed HHH the match

Kane wants a yes or no from Lita, and didn’t mean to distract her when he was on the tron during her match. Suuure Kane, suuuure. Later Hardy goes to fight Kane after Kane’s match, but Kane gets him down and will Pillman his head, but Lita runs out and says “yes”. I wonder what she’s referring to.

Orton comes out and makes a HHH like speech about how he’s so great, Shelton interrupts and since he won’t put up, how about getting up?? Then he knocks him down. Ohhh, NOW I get it.

Eric warns Regal that he’s gonna embarrass Eugene during an interview tonight. Regal tells Eugene to be a man.

Eugene is interviewed by FUCK YOU TODD GRISHAM and Coach comes out and belittles him. Eugene is about to leave when the Rock comes out to cheer him up! The Rock is Eugene’s friend! But Triple H is still Eugene’s favorite wrestler. Then the Rock beats up Coach, Cade comes out, Rock Bottom on Cade, Eugene nails the People’s Elbow on coach.

Current Badd Blood card:

(WORLD)Benoit vs. Kane

May 24th

matches:
Edge d. Flair w/Spear
La Resistance d. the Superheroes w/Grenier roll up on Rosie
Jericho/Shelton d. Batista/Orton w/Exploder on Orton
Victoria d. Molly w/Widow’s Peak
Eugene/(WORLD)Benoit d. Cade/Coach w/Diving Headbutt on Coach

Eric announced HHH vs. HBK for BB. HHH and HBK fight all over Eric’s office later in the show. Even later Eric tells the locker room to jump on HHH/HBK if they fight again. If they don’t, they’re fired. Way later again HHH calls out HBK and they fight, the locker room clears revealing A-Train and Palumbo actually WERE drafted to RAW following WMXX. Bischoff announces their match will be a Hell in the Cell.

Lita still loves Matt Hardy, but Kane’s waiting for her in her locker room and says despite saying it’s over, it’s not.

Evolution beats up Stevie Richards accidentally thinking he’s HBK. Easy to make that mistake I’m sure.

Highlight Reel:
Jericho says Orton is dodging Shelton, Rand doesn’t agree. Orton calls Jericho a big mouth. I dunno, Orton’s got a pretty big jaw. Batista comes out to fight and make it 2 on 1, but Shelton comes out to even the odds. Let’s go for a tag match right about….. now. Trish trash talks Jericho post match, then Tomko powerbombs him through the announce table.

During an interview with FUCK YOU TODD GRISHAM Eugene and Regal find out Regal’s not cleared to wrestle yet, despite having a match tonight. Nitro tells them to find a replacement in three minutes.

Current Badd Blood card:

(WORLD)Benoit vs. Kane
HHH vs. HBK Hell in a Cell

May 31st

matches:
La Resistance d. (TAG)(WORLD)Benoit/Edge for the tag titles w/Au Revoir (in Montreal, so they’re loved)
Victoria d. Jazz w/Roll up
Shelton d. Randy Orton w/Exploder (or “super gay powerslam as PK called it)
Matt Hardy d. Cade w/Twist of Fate
Eugene d. Kane via DQ after Kane tossed the ref

FUCK YOU TODD GRISHAM is with Orton and if Orton loses to Shelton, Shelton has a guaranteed title shot.

Coach calls Eugene out, says Kane wants to be his friend. Eugene and Kane hug! Coach hits Eugene with the mic, then Kane clotheslines Eugene. Don’t trust a rapist Eugene. Later Regal says that wasn’t funny, and Eric says that Eugene has to his new friend Kane, and if anyone interferes, they’re fired. Even later Eric tells Eugene that he knew what was gonna happen and that’s called Tough Love. Like what I did with Hevia’s mother last night, the bruises will fade, but the lessons will last a lifetime. Eric and Eugene hug. Kane obliterates Eugene after their match, Benoit makes the save and chases Kane off.

Highlight Reel:
Guest host Trish, who makes fun of Jericho with Tomko in tow. Jericho comes out after Trish sends kisses to a recovering Christian. Jericho dumps Tomko, gets the Wall of Trish, gets clotheslined by Trish then has a chair placed on his chest and sat on by Trish.

Current Badd Blood card:

(WORLD)Benoit vs. Kane
HHH vs. HBK Hell in a Cell
(IC)Orton vs. Shelton

June 7th

matches:

Lita d. Gail Kim w/DDT
Batista d. Shelton w/Orton distraction and Demon Bomb
Jericho d. A-Train w/Walls of Jericho
Benoit & (TAG)La Resistance go to a no contest due to double teaming and Edge interfering
(TAG)La Resistance/Kane d. Edge/Benoit w/Chokeslam on Benoit
Eugene d. Johnny Nitro w/double axe handle from the top rope, see ya Nitro
Orton & HBK go to a no contest because of Batista’s interference

Eric makes Coach vs. Eugene for Badd Blood, Nitro laughs, then makes Nitro vs. Eugene tonight, if Nitro loses then he’s fired. Well, that was a nice little stint.

Edge and Benoit argue as to who lost the match with Le Resistance last week. It was actually both of them technically. Coach comes in and informs Benoit he’s fighting La Resistance solo tonight. After the Benoit match, he informs Edge/Benoit that they will get their title shot again at Badd Blood, and tonight it’s Edge/Benoit vs. La Resistance and Kane.

Trish and Tomko talk to Eric about matches at Badd Blood. Tomko gets Tomko vs. Jericho, Trish wants to know about a title shot, but Kane walks into the office and wants to talk to Eric, ALONE.

HHH is gonna watch Orton vs. HBK from his skybox. He walks through the crowd to do so. After his match, HBK beat on Orton and Batista with a chair, and walks through the crowd to get to HHH’s skybox and fights him there.

Lita calls Matt Hardy to say that she has a women’s title match, and Kane walks in says he asked for her to have that tile match and despite saying it’s over, it’s not.

(WORLD)Benoit vs. Kane
HHH vs. HBK Hell in a Cell
(IC)Orton vs. Shelton
Coach vs. Eugene
(TAG)La Resistance vs. Benoit/Edge
Tomko vs. Jericho
(WOMAN)Victoria vs. Lita vs. Gail Kim vs. Trish Stratus

May 13th – Badd Blood

Edge/Benoit d. (TAG)La Resistance via DQ w/Kane interference
Jericho d. Tomko w/the Lionsault
Orton d. Shelton w/roll up and pulling the tights
Trish d. Lita, Gail Kim & (WOMAN)Victoria to win the Woman’s title w/roll up on Lita
Eugene d. Coach w/Stone Cold Stunner
(WORLD)Chris Benoit d. Kane w/Crossface into a pin
HHH d. HBK in Hell in a Cell w/Pedigree

Eric asks Eugene if he wants to quit now before his match and Eugene says no. Eric also reminds him of the HHH quad injury and the Benoit neck injury and says he could get hurt tonight.

Matt Hardy has to leave the building so he can’t interfere in the world title match tonight.

Interesting Stats between March 15th and Badd Blood:

Chris Benoit had the most matches (16) between March 15th and Badd Blood followed by Flair (9), Lita (9), Batista (8) and Victoria (8)

Chris Benoit had the most wins (13-2) between March 15th and Badd Blood, followed by Kane (7-4), Shelton Benjamin (6-2), Jericho (6-2), Eugene (6-0), Molly (5-2) and Lita (5-2).

Chris Benoit had the longest undefeated streak (11, 13 if you go Wrestlemania and before) between March 15th and Badd Blood, followed by Eugene (6), still undefeated), Shelton (5) and Edge (4)

Ric Flair had the longest defeated streak (7) between March 15th and Badd Blood, followed by Batista (5) and HHH (4)

Ric Flair lost the most matches (1-8) between March 15th and Badd Blood

Victoria and Steven Richards winning streaks both came to an end between March 15th and Badd Blood, the Dudley Boys did not pick up a win before being traded to Smackdown!, meaning the Dudley Boyz will have not won a single match on RAW all year long.

Stay tuned as next week we take Q3 into focus with June 14th – Unforgiven

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