It’s final. Two of RAW’s most determined (and arguably disturbed) competitors will battle in the last match of the Gold Rush Tournament next week when Edge faces Kane.
The last bracket was revealed Monday night in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., when “Mr. Money in the Bank” got the better of “The Showstopper” in a renewed bitter rivalry, and Kane took out Chris Benoit with a chokeslam.
First, The Rabid Wolverine met the Big Red Monster in a contrast of styles on Monday night, but it was Lita who tipped the scales. When Kane’s wife went down grabbing her injured knee, Benoit came to her aid. In doing so, he turned his back on Kane, who smashed him in the back of the head. Immediately, all thoughts went to the Backlash Last Man Standing Match, where Edge cracked Benoit in the skull with a brick.
After being blasted in the same spot by Kane, Benoit never recovered. The monster dragged Benoit back into the ring, picked him up by the throat and chokeslammed him into the mat. With the pin that followed, Benoit’s chance to advance in the Gold Rush Tournament and challenge Batista for the World Heavyweight Challenge vanished.
Next, HBK and Edge went toe-to-toe, and you could say that Edge robbed the bank to steal a win. When Edge went to finish Michaels with a spear, he ran right into “Sweet Chin Music,” but there was no ref to make the count after an inadvertent collision earlier. HBK was forced to abandon the cover and attempt to revive the referee, giving Edge time to move his coveted briefcase into position for an attack. When Michaels went for a sunset flip from the outside of the ring apron, Edge lifted the briefcase and slugged HBK square in the head. The shot dented the briefcase, which Edge quickly kicked out of the ring, and the groggy referee counted three.
With both semifinals in the books, the finals of the No. 1 Contender tournament becomes Edge vs. Kane next week on RAW. If Kane can win, it’ll set up a battle of two of RAW’s most powerful Superstars with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line. If it’s Edge, he’ll have two guaranteed chances to win the World Heavyweight Championship — something he said would then be “money in the bank.”
Former and 10-time World Heavyweight Champion Triple H wasn’t there to see any of thsemifinals unfold. When RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff refused to cancel or interrupt the Gold Rush Tournament to give him a World Heavyweight Championship rematch, The Game stormed off and left RAW in a limousine. Triple H declared that he wouldn’t return until he got his championship opportunity, and that both RAW and Batista would fall apart without him.
Regardless, the events left Evolution ally Ric Flair to his own devices Monday night, and he chose to take out his frustration with the situation on Christian and Tyson Tomko. Captain Charisma made a point of stopping to mock Flair’s predicament (as the second time in two weeks the two had a confrontation), but he picked the wrong time to mess with “The Nature Boy.”
In response, Flair challenged Christian to a match right there on RAW. But Christian balked at the challenge, calling Flair a “problem,” when he just happened to have a “Problem Solver” in Tyson Tomko. In the revised match that followed, “The Dirtiest Player in the Game” took full advantage of a distracted referee, blasting Tomko with a low-blow and then rolling him up with a handful of tights. Now, Christian has a real problem — and no one to left to solve it.
Elsewhere on RAW, Daivari begged for forgiveness from Muhammad Hassan — even getting down on his knees and pleading to be back in good graces. He attempted to win a match for Muhammad as a show of loyalty, but he ran into the wrong opponent: Chris Jericho. When Daivari attempted a hurricanrana out of the corner, Y2J caught him and reversed the move into the Walls of Jericho. Daivari promptly tapped from the excruciating pain. But afterward Hassan made his presence felt, beating down Jericho with a sneak attack from behind. It took an appearance from Shelton Benjamin — Jericho’s former opponent — to fight off the brash newcomers. But little did Shelton know that those actions would put him on Hassan’s short list for payback.
The malcontent team of La Resistance wanted a World Tag Team Championship Match on RAW, but they turned on each other in a bickering spat in the GM’s office. So, in spirit of Gold Rush Tournament, Bischoff gave them each a surprise opponent on RAW so that they could show who actually was the stronger link of the successful tag-team duo.
Robert Conway showed his relief when Sylvain’s opponent (not his) was revealed to be none other than the 485-pound Viscera. Big Vis crushed Grenier with a sit-down powerbomb before making yet another pass at RAW Diva and ring announcer Lilian Garcia. But Conway’s demeanor changed dramatically when he realized his opponent was Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin. Shelton used a springboard bulldog to put down Conway, making La Resistance 0-2 on the evening. But after the match, Hassan and Daivari attacked the young Intercontinental Champion, sending the message that nobody messes with their business on RAW.
In other news, Bischoff confirmed that the RAW and SmackDown! Divas are also eligible for the upcoming draft lottery. The GM also lashed out in anger when he was informed that ECW had bought a commercial on “his show” to promote their “One Night Stand” pay-per-view on June 12. Bischoff declared, “Just like I did when I ran WCW, I’m going to squash ECW like a bug.”
Announced for next week, it’s the finals of the Gold Rush Tournament when Edge faces Kane. Will it be “Money in the Bank,” or will the husband and wife tandem “get what they want” again. Regardless, World Heavyweight Champion Batista is sure to be scouting his future opponent. Also, “The Nature Boy” will get the match he really wanted, facing Christian one-on-one, and Chris Jericho & Shelton Benjamin will get their chance at retribution when they face Muhammad Hassan & Daivari in tag-team action.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Chris Jericho defeated Khosrow Daivari (2:30)
- Viscera defeated Sylvain Grenier (w/ Robert Conway) (0:50)
- Kane (w/ Lita) defeated Chris Benoit in a Gold Rush Tournament Semi Final Match (9:18)
- Ric Flair defeated Tyson Tomko (w/Christian) (1:24)
- Shelton Benjamin defeated Robert Conway (2:35)
- Edge defeated Shawn Michaels in a Gold Rush Tournament Semi Final Match (9:52)