Dale's Exclusive Live Report
for the RAW House Show
at the Fargodome in Fargo, ND on August 21, 2004
Hello everybody! I'm back for another house show report since I had so much fun typing up my last one, again for RAW. A house show was suppose to be coming to my home town of Grand Forks in January for the Smackdown roster, but they ended up canceling just a few days after tickets went on sale due to the WWE scheduling two house shows on the same day. Now this card's main event ended up shuffling around several times. When tickets first went on sale about a month ago Benoit was still champ, and the main event being advertised was Benoit defending the strap against Ric Flair. Then Orton won the title and then the main event was changed to a rematch of Orton defending the belt against Benoit and HHH going up against Eugene in "Feature Attraction Match." But with Orton turning face this past RAW during the rematch with Benoit the main event got ditched again, and instead we get a tag team match as the main even with Orton/Benoit against Triple H/Batista. Haven't seen it before so I'm not complaining.
So I got to Fargo around 6:00, and my Dad and I decided to hit up a restaurant so we can pay $5 for a full out meal instead of $4 for some Nachos. We went to A&W right by the Fargodome, and its been ages since I was there since the one up here in Forks closed down over a decade ago. Forgot how much I loved it, the burgers are right on par with Sonic's stellar burgers, and you get an ice cold mug to get some actual draft root beer. Anywho, got to the Fargodome shortly thereafter, and checked out the souvenir stand, but nothing really caught my eye. I do like the design of the 'Addicted to Heat' Eddie Guerrero shirt, but I'm not that big of an Eddie fan so I passed up on it. The new Evolution shirt also looked pretty slick, but I decided to pass up on it too, I got about a good 8-10 wrestling shirts/jerseys at home and I don't think I'll get another one anytime soon until I see one of a wrestler I'm a big fan of and if the shirt has a pretty appealing design. Found my seats after visiting the merchandise stand which were one row better this year as we're 3rd row from ringside so I was slightly able to get a few more better pics this year to say the least. Once again I'll be stealing Keith's star rating system, and with that let's get onto the show.
Match 1: Chuck Palumbo & Simon Dean vs.
Rhyno & Tajiri
(7/10/05 update: after looking at these pictures recently its easy to match the face to current WWE Star Simon Dean, who is now Nova on Smackdown, this was when he was wrestling warmup matches shortly before his promos started airing on television) This tag team contest got things started off, I didn't catch the name of the jobber but he looked like he was some probably some indy talent. He tried some common heel stuff to get the crowd against him like doing some weird squatting pose like he was praying or something which Tajiri mimicked right back at him to the crowd's delight. Crowd was surprisingly into this match even though the arena wasn't that filled, I'd guesstimate about 2,500 tops. This had a lot of your basic tag team formula stuff where both teams got their fair share of offense in and eventually Tajiri became the 'face in peril' and after struggling a couple minutes against Palumbo and the Jobber, he finally got the hot tag off to Rhyno. Clotheslines for everyone, belly-to-belly to send Palumbo out of the ring, and GOAR GOAR GOAR!!! to kill the jobber dead after approximately 10 minutes or so it felt like. Nice opening match to get the crowd going, and Rhyno & Tajiri look to be meshing well as a makeshift tag team. **1/2
Match 2: Victoria vs. Molly Holly
This was originally advertised as Trish defending her belt against Victoria but I guess she's still recovering from her hand injury or something. Trish the Dish did come out however for a pre-match segment where she ripped on Fargo for a little bit and challenged Victoria to come out to the ring to answer her actions on slapping her this past RAW, and instead Victoria started to attack Trish and Molly ran in to get Victoria from behind to start up the match. Pretty short match actually, Victoria was going to go off the top rope for a move, but Trish interfered and gave her a jawbreaker from ringside to give Molly the pin after about 3 minutes or so. 1/4*
Match 3: Rodney Mack (w/Jazz) vs. Rosey
This was originally advertised as Hurricane vs. Mack but Hurricane is injured from what I understand so we get Rosey instead. Yup, Bad News Brown 2.0 returned a month ago, and I bet you didn't even know he was back yet, only time he appeared on RAW was in that #1 contender battle royal and it was even hard to catch a glimpse of Rodney in that since he was eliminated a few minutes into it. This match wasn't nothing too special, Rosey got his trademark leg drops in there. Little bits of back and forth action with Jazz interfering a lot, end came about 5 minutes in where Rodney Mack pinned Rosey while Jazz held Rosey's legs. *
Match 4: Maven vs. Val Venis
Whooo! The first match the Fargodome web page actually advertised appears on the card. Maven is my favorite Heat superstar/lower midcard jobber this year, taking place of my previous longshots like Steve Blackman, and The Big Boss Man. Anywho, before the match started Val got on the mic and told Maven that after the match they should stroll about Fargo and find some ladies, but then Val said that Fargo has no hotties (which is true for the most part :D) but as Maven tried to contradict him he got jumped from behind. Basic Heat-caliber match-up from these guys as Val got some rest-holds and his other usual offense in like the Blue Thunder Bomb and a spinebuster. Ditto with Maven as he connected with two of his awesome dropkicks. Finish came about 5-6 minutes in where Val got the Money Shot but instead of going for the pin he went to untie one of the turnbuckles to use it to his advantage and when he went back, Maven cradled him for the pin. *1/2
Match 5: Shelton Benjamin vs. Tyson
Tomko (w/Trish Stratus)
This is the first I've seen Benjamin in action since against Orton in Bad Blood, usually the WWE places wrestlers coming back off of injuries or whatnot in a string of house shows to rid them of any ring rust before they make their return to television. Shelton still has that natural ability in the ring as he was hitting everything on the mark, unfortunately I couldn't say the same about Tomko. First, he went to give Shelton a sidewalk slam and couldn't get the most secure grip on him and he lost his balance and ended up landing this real weak looking slam instead. Second he gave Shelton this real stiff eye gouge, and you could easily tell it must of got the best of Benjamin as Tomko then tried to Irish Whip him but Shelton just stayed kneeling down in the corner taking an extra minute to recuperate. Finish came about 7-8 minutes in where Trish was interfering, and Victoria came out to get some revenge on her, which caused Tomko to miss a superkick and Shelton to connect with one powerful one of his own for the pin. Shelton and Victoria then danced around the ring for a little before heading to the back. Shelton barely saved this one from being a total disaster. 1/4*
Match 6 (World Tag Team Titles): Champs,
La Resistance vs. Eugene & William Regal
This was a fairly fun match. Grenier got interrupted again while trying to sing the Canadian National Anthem. Eugene did a lot of his usual clowning around, like rolling up in a ball and having Grenier spin him around a few times around the ring. Regal did a lot of his patented chain wrestling, but later on became the face in peril as La Rez dominated him for a few minutes. A funny moment in this match was while La Rez was pounding on Regal in their corner, Eugene walked over with the tag rope in his hand and tried to make it so he could tag Regal, but the ref would have none of it. Regal did end up getting the hot tag and Eugene came in and landed a Stunner and a Rock Bottom on both members of La Rez. Regal got tagged back in and a pier six brawl later erupted and when Conway through Eugene in the ropes, Eugene got tangled up in the ropes and while the ref and Regal tried to set Eugene free La Rez nailed Regal from behind and got the Au Revoir on Regal for the pin after about a good 12 minutes of action. Fun match overall thanks to the zany antics of Eugene. **1/2
Match 7 (Intercontinental Title): Champ,
Edge vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho didn't really look too happy on the way to the ring. Crowd was leaning a bit more towards Edge, although there were a few minor 'Y2J' chants. This match reminded me a lot of their non-title encounter on RAW a couple weeks ago with a few of the same spots like Edge nailing the spear with Jericho's back to him. Lot of back and forth action with both guys getting their usual stuff in. The match had a great build-up to it, but the end came with the double roll-up sequence where Edge ended getting the advantage and holding onto the rope for the pin after about a solid 15 minutes of action. ***1/4
Match 8: Chris Benoit & World Champ,
Randy Orton vs. Evolution's Triple H & Batista
Triple H came out to do a little bit of a setup for this match where he tried to justify why he decided to turn on Randy Orton saying that only he should be World Champ and that he despises anyone else who has it. He calls Orton out, Orton comes out and HHH tells him to lie down in the ring for him so they can move on and forget things, but Orton decides to beat the crap out of him instead, but then Batista runs in for the 2-on-1 beatdown on Orton, but then Benoit arrives to even things out and gets on the mic to make amends with Orton so they can team up to take on Evolution. Another typical tag team match, where everyone got in their usual offense, except Benoit gave us just one (instead of the usual 3 consecutive) German Suplex, followed by the Swandive Headbutt of doom. That wasn't enough for Benoit tho as he became the evening's next 'face in peril' and eventually made the hot tag to Orton as he cleared house and it's 'BONZO GONZO' (as Scott Keith would say) with Benoit getting the Sharpshooter on Batista, but HHH breaking it up and right when he was about to execute the Pedigree, Randy Orton came and delivered the RKO out of nowhere and got the clean pin on HHH! This was another hot 15-20 minute match-up, and what a main even it was! ***3/4
Orton and Benoit celebrate while HHH slips and falls on his ass outside the ring! Something might have happened after that as Trips was limping on his way backstage, that or he's doing those great selling jobs of a fake injury he's been rolling out lately. Orton was in full face mode tonight, but I don't buy him as the total ultimate face that should be the company's main heavyweight champ just yet since he just lost the IC belt cleanly to Edge only a month ago. I feel the company could have at least gave him a few more months to elevate him to main event status, like say to Survivor Series to solidify him in that role and still give him a World title reign until Wrestlemania like I hear they're planning to now. This match tonight will probably be the main event for RAW I'm betting.
Overall, this was damn great show with a hell of a lot more big names than last time. Good to see the WWE to bring a lot of big names to a house show and give the fans their money's worth. First half of the show was nothing too spectacular, but I enjoyed it for what it was, and hey, Maven won so all the more better. Second half of the show was what got things going really well where the tag match got the crowd really going thanks to the antics of Eugene, and Edge/Jericho was a great show of offense, minus the lame finish. The main event really delivered, and its great to see the big names in it for once.
That wraps it up for this house show report. Feel free to email me and tell me what you thought of this report, or if you have any other memorable WWE event experiences of your own that you'd like to share.
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