The Rabid Wolverine redefined the phrase “fighting champion” Monday night, battling through perverse match stipulations and forcing the submission of the beastly Kane. The lopsided rules demanded that Benoit force Kane to tap, while the Big Red Monster could win the title by countout, pinfall, submission or disqualification.
In a dead-even, back and forth bout, The Crippler eventually took control, hitting a series of German suplexes. After various attempts to end the match failed because of Kane's superior strength and size, Benoit seemed to return to what was working. He began a second sequence of German suplexes, but this time he shifted suplex No. 2 into the Crippler Crossface — earning the coveted tap-out.
As a result, the World Heavyweight Champion will play The Game at Vengeance. Triple H waited idly by on RAW, watching to see who would defend the gold against him.
Triple H had quite a night. He discovered his Vengeance opponent, won a match over William Regal by DQ and gained an honorary Evolution member. In a match designed by Uncle Eric Bischoff, The Game took on Regal with Eugene as the “special” guest referee. And although Eugene acquitted himself extremely well during the course of the match — maintaining total professionalism and adhering strictly to the rules — the Cerebral Assassin outsmarted Eugene in the end.
Triple H set up Regal by bringing brass knuckles into the ring, and when Eugene saw them later in Regal's possession, he called for the bell. To make matters worse, Triple H used misdirection to create the appearance that Regal attacked Eugene after the conclusion of the match, sending Eugene into a furious rage. After some more mental massaging by The Game, Eugene firmly believed that Benoit and Regal were enemies of their Evolution.
The distressing Lita saga continued on RAW. Matt Hardy, overwhelmed with grief and anger, attacked Kane amid an interview with J.R. And following Kane's match with Benoit, Lita came to ringside seemingly to comfort the Monster. But a low-blow later, it was clear that Lita was there to punish the potential father of her child. Kane overwhelmed Lita and set her up for a chokeslam, but at the last minute he reconsidered. It seemed he wouldn't risk hurting the woman who could be carrying “his legacy.”
We also learned that Edge will be facing Randy Orton for the Intercontinental Championship at Vengeance. And add a pay-per-view battle between Batista and Chris Jericho to the aforementioned Benoit vs. Triple H World Heavyweight Championship match.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Chris Jericho & Edge defeated Batista & Randy Orton (17:26)
- Triple H defeated William Regal by DQ (With special referee: Eugene) (4:12)
- La Resistance (Rob Conway & Sylvain Grenier) defeated Rhyno & Sgt Slaughter (5:00)
- Chris Benoit (c) defeated Kane in a World Heavyweight Title Must Win By Submission Benoit, Kane May Win By Any Means Match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (15:45)