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3/18 WWE - Saturday Night's Main Event: Mallory's Real Time Coverage

By Mallory Mahling Mar 18, 2006 - 9:07 PM print


It's been 13 years since NBC presented WWE's unique brand of sports entertainment on Saturday nights. Back in the day it was Cindy Lauper and Captain Lou Albano who became the face of wrestling to non-wrestling fans who happened to dial by. Of course, there was Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior and many others, too, but it's Lauper and Albano that I remember. Hey, I wasn't a fan then--what did I know from wrestling?

Anyway...

In its press release for the launch of SNME, WWE promised that tonight's show would "provide thrilling storylines, shocking betrayals, and larger-than-life characters battling for championship glory." Really? Where have they been keeping those thrilling storylines and why haven't they shared them with viewers of their regular cable shows? Raw, in particular.

This is yet another stop on the long and winding Road to WrestleMania. As James Guttman so aptly put it, Monday night's Raw was the rest stop (literally) on the Road to 'Mania. Last night's Smackdown was a gas-and-go stop. Tonight's show would qualify as the stop to visit relatives that you haven't seen in years. You remember all the fun you had the last time you were there, but will it be the same this time? We're about to find out.

***

Vince McMahon opened the show by introducing Shane O'Mac and putting over his street fight with Shawn Michaels.

In his dressing room, Shawn Michaels said that if he was going to hell, Shane was coming along with him.

The King of Kings will be the zillionth-time champ when he defeats John Cena at WrestleMania. Blah, blah, blah.

"Oh yeah?" responded Cena from another part of the building.

JBL, the Wrestling God, said he would chug more beer than Stone Cold tonight.

And the Boogeyman slurped some worms. (Wonder how many people tuned out at this point?)

Thus was the intro to tonight's show.

The much-beloved and sorely missed WWE announcer, Jim Ross, welcomed viewers to the show--and all was right with the world. He was joined by Taz and Jerry "The King" Lawler. They were a good mix of voices and viewpoints.

Lillian Garcia announced the first match, the main event.

(1) Smackdown vs. Raw WrestleMania Main Eventers: Triple H & John Cena vs. Kurt Angle, Randy Orton & Rey Mysterio. John Cena and Randy Orton started things off. Blind tag by Angle, who took a sloppy looking spine buster from Cena. Triple H was stomping a mud hole in Angle, but Angle had a series of German suplexes for the Game. Mysterio flew into the ring and got a near fall on Triple H. Trips got out of Dodge and left Cena to deal with Rey. Loud "Cena sucks" chant from the crowd.

(Commercial break)

Back from the break Triple H had a near fall on Mysterio. Triple H tried to tag Cena in, but he refused the tag. Triple H put Rey in a sleeper and Angle and Orton hollered for Rey to break the hold. Rey came off the top turnbuckle with a beautiful moonsault that knocked Triple H off his feet. Rey tried to make a tag, but Triple H pulled him away from his corner.

Cena and Orton were doing battle and Cena gave Orton the F-U. However, Triple H jumped into the ring and gave his partner a Pedigree and started up the ramp. Triple H went back and gave Rey a Pedigree, too. Angle was furious and tossed Triple H out of the ring. Meanwhile, Orton interfered and one thing led to another and . . .

Your winners: Triple H and John Cena. Triple H was angry about it. Go figure.

It was a confusing end to the match. There was no explanation for people who had no idea who these people were and why partners were turning on each other.

(Commercial break)

A look at the Hall of Fame Class of 2006 aired next.

Suddenly they cut away to the dressing room to show Booker T who was apparently hurt. Sharmell was screaming at Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long to cancel Booker's match with the Boogeyman. A "doctor" with a squeaky voice persuaded Long to cancel the match. Booker thanked Long and hobbled out of the room. Once out of range, they began to laugh at what they'd pulled off.

The Rated R Superstar, Edge, came out with Lita for The Cutting Edge with guest Mick Foley.

(Commercial break)

Lita, who was wearing a wardrobe failure in the making, introduced Edge.

Boooo! responded the crowd.

The ring was full of hardcore weaponry to emphasize that Foley was no longer the hardcore legend, said Edge. Edge called him a teddy bear and a muppet. He told Foley to come down to the ring right now so that he could give him his WrestleMania beatdown a couple of weeks early.

Foley came down the ramp, and Edge quickly poured lighter fluid on a table and set it on fire. The fire was extinguished by tipping the table over and Foley began to show Edge just who was the hardcore legend. He'd brought along a large bag of thumbtacks, which he poured on the matt. Edge sent Foley face-first into the tacks and headed up the ramp. Foley followed him with a folding chair, waffled him with it and gave Edge a Con-Chair-To.

The squeaky-voiced doctor hurried out to tend to Edge as the show went to a . . .

(Commercial break)

A recap aired of Vince McMahon's penchant for pulling down his pants on TV. Honest to Pete, this was not a good thing to show on network TV, especially in front of people who think wrestling is sleazy anyway.

Footage also aired of Mister McMahon's beef with Shawn Michaels, including HBK "kissing" McMahon's ass. His bare ass. Right there on NBC. Geez.

Sharmell and Booker were changing clothes and gloating about getting out of the match with Boogeyman. Suddenly, the dressing room turned red and Boogeyman dropped from the ceiling. Sharmell and Booker took off running down the hall in their bath towels.

"He wasn't hurt at all," commented J.R. incredulously. No kidding.

JBL road out in his limo.

(Commercial break)

The ring, which had been on fire just a few minutes before, was now set up with a table filled with cups of beer. I think I know why the main event was first on the card tonight--the ring has been used for everything but wrestling ever since.

This has been quite a day for the Layfield family to be on TV.  JBL's wife, Meredith Whitney, had been commenting on the economic ramifications of the Paris riots on Fox News all afternoon.

JBL started ranting about economic ramifications of a different kind.

Stone Cold had heard enough and drove out in his black pickup truck. He got a huge pop from the crowd. Loud "Austin" chants.

Stone Cold started a rant and the censor was right there with a finger on the censor button. "Sumbitch" is apparently a naughty word.

What?

He wanted to know why JBL had challenged him to a beer drinking contest.

What

JBL was angry that Austin had not included him in his list of famous Texas athletes.

Austin got down to the business at hand and said he'd been warming up since breakfast for this contest and added up the number of beers he'd consumed all day. By rights, he should have been in a drunken stupor.

JBL said he'd gone to Canada to get them some really good brew and each of them would have to drink 25 beers. They would have one minute to drink as many as they could.

Stone Cold was trying hard not to laugh as the two stood back to back and began drinking. Stone Cold looked over at JBL and asked why he was spilling so much beer on himself. JBL responded by tossing his beer in Austin's face and running up the ramp.

Chris Benoit rant out and threw JBL back into the ring, which was now slippery with beer and Austin kept tossing more beer at him, and gave him a Stone Cold Stunner to conclude the segment. He also pointed a finger at JBL, but it was an index finger and not THE finger.

And the point to this JBL/Stone Cold encounter was???? 

Backstage, Victoria and Candice Michelle were looking at a huge poster of Candice's Playboy cover.

(Commercial break)

Clips aired of the back story of Trish and Mickie, including the HLA overtones. Again, this is network TV. A place WWE would probably like to be invited back to.

(2) Diva Tag Team Match: Victoria & Candice Michelle vs. Trish Stratus & Mickie James. This was a horrible match. Curiously, after showing McMahon's bare butt, Victoria's butt cheeks were blurred out at times. Double DDT attempted by the Candice and Victoria, which was essentially the only real move of the match, except for Trish's finisher. Trish won it with the Stratusfaction.

Mickie did nothing in the match, but grabbed a mic as soon as it was over to say goodbye to Trish. But before she went, she wanted to do things right and gave Trish a big kiss. When Trish objected, Mickie gave her a Chick Kick and a Stratusfaction. The ref stood outside the ring telling her not to do it. He's a big help.

(Commercial break)

During the break, Mickie had professed her love to Trish, then said Trish had broken her heart so now she was going to break Trish. Well, she's made her heel turn.

The announcers ran through a list of the WrestleMania 22 matches.

Out next, along with Daivari, was the World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry. Fortunately Daivari did most of the talking. Henry called out the Undertaker and said he would beat 'Taker at his own game and shove him into a coffin at WrestleMania.

Bong, bong...

The arena darkened and the Undertaker's music started. Pallbearers (not Paul Bearer) carried a casket through the mist toward the ring. The Undertaker followed slowly behind them.

Taker got in the ring, pulled off his long leather coat and took off hit hat.

(3) The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry. Mark Henry was in control of the match early on with his power moves. Taker got to his feet and sent Henry into the ring steps then kicked him over the guardrail and into the crowd with a big boot to the face. He choke slammed Daivari on the casket, then gave him a tombstone on top of it for good measure. The "match" was over. I guess Taker won, although he pinned Daivari, who was just the manager.

A glum Shawn Michaels was headed toward the ring.

(Commercial break)

(4) Street Fight: Shawn Michaels vs. Shane McMahon (w/Dear Old Dad). (Either call these matches something else or go out into a street...or at least the parking lot.) Since the stips were no countouts or DQs, HBK started it on the ramp. There was plenty of plunder under the ring and HBK set up a table as Mister McMahon winced. Shane finally gathered his wits and sent HBK into the ring post. Shane went after a ladder and slid it into the ring. Shane with "hard" right hands, as J.R. put it, but Shane's right hands were actually pretty lame.

As Shane set up the ladder in the ring, Mister McMahon laid HBK across a table on the outside. HBK got up and shrugged McMahon away.  He climbed the ladder after Shane. Both ended up going through the table in a spectacular fall to the outside, with Shane taking the brunt of it. They landed in a pile of splinters and McMahon called for help as the show went to commercial.

(Commercial break)

Returning from the break, Shane and HBK were back in the ring. According to Lawler, medics had come down during the break and McMahon had ordered them to ignore Michaels and tend to Shane instead. They must not have been hurt too badly, since they'd recovered sufficiently to continue during the 3-minute commercial.

HBK climbed the ladder again and McMahon hit him with a Kendo stick.

The spectacular fall aired several more times, just in case you missed it.

Meanwhile, Shane folded up the ladder and hit HBK squarely in the back with it. McMahon mocked HBK's back troubles. Shane hit HBK in the face with the ladder, then drove a knee into Shawn's back. Prolonged rest hold as Shane pulled HBK's arms backwards. Shawn battled back and reversed the hold. DDT by Shane and a cover, but Shawn got a shoulder up at the last second. As Shawn stood up, Shane smacked him with a steel chair.

And people say MMA is barbaric. *rolling eyes*

McMahon threw a garbage can into the ring. McMahon held the can in front of Michaels and Shane went up top with a coast-to-coast spot. HBK moved at the last second, and Mister M took the trash can right between the eyes.

HBK got his second wind and planted Shane on the mat, then dropped an elbow on him. Michaels began to tune up for the chin music and gave Shane a big boot to the face. He made the cover, but as the ref made the count, Mister McMahon pulled the ref out of the ring. HBK was livid. He pulled McMahon into the ring, but before he could do anything, Shane gave Shawn a low blow and put him in a sharpshooter.

McMahon ordered Lillian to declare Shane the winner by submission.

"The McMahon's have just screwed Shawn Michaels." wailed J.R.

And so it was over. WWE's visit into mainstream living rooms. What kind of impression did they make? Chances are it wasn't a good one. 

 

***

 

Comments or feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Mallory@WorldWrestlingInsanity.com



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