[RAW] Dark Matches & International Heat Tapings

I just got back from Raw in Ft. Worth. The building was pretty full; there were a few empty seats here and there, but it was pretty close to a sellout. I haven’t watched the tape yet, so I don’t know how it came across on TV, but the crowd was live all night. There was especially a lot of “whoo”ing going on before, during, and after the show.

Before Raw, we had some Heat matches for International Heat.
The first match was a dark match I think between two unknown teams. I couldn’t make out any of their names, but one team was announced from Ft. Worth, so they were the faces; they lost the match.

Viscera beat Val Venis.

Rosey beat Russell Simpson.

Chris Masters beat another guy whose name I could not make out (sounded like Steele).

We got a WrestleMania reminiscence video with a lot of stars talking about WrestleMania. A lot of them got big pops, but Steve Austin’s was the biggest by far.

During the commercial breaks, we either got T-shirts being shot into the crowd with the shirt gun, WrestleMania film spoofs, or nothing. During one break, a commercial for Nintendo played on the Titantron; that was kind of weird.

Chits Benoit got a standing ovation after the six man match.
After the show went off the air, Batista called H back to the ring and said the crowd should get their money’s worth. He said he’d take on both H and Flair on his own. After stalling a bit, H and Flair made their way back to the ring. Then HBK made his way out and said it wouldn’t be fair for Batista to face two men, which he then amended and said it wouldn’t be fair to H and Flair. Then HBK super-kicked Flair and said it was even. Flair and HBK stayed at ringside while Batista and H had about a 10-12 minute match. H stalled at first and then walked back up the ramp and into the back. Batista followed him and brought him back out to the ring. I’d say the pace of the match was “deliberate”, but the crowd was into Batista. Batista was in control first for a couple of minutes, and then H was in control during the middle portion of the match. Finally Batista got back on offense. He no-sold H’s face buster, delivered a spine buster and the Batista bomb to win clean.

Afterwards, Batista walked around ringside high-fiving fans and autographed stuff for a few people. He also held one kid on his shoulders for a few seconds.

Biggest pops, in no particular order:

Anytime Steve Austin appeared on screen
HBK
Batista
Jericho

Biggest heat, in no particular order:

HHH
Hassan
Christian
Orton got mixed reactions, but sounded like the boos outweighed the cheers.

Credit- Sundeep Singh & PWInsider.com

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