Before we start Raw, on behalf of all here at World Wrestling Insanity, I wanted to send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of former ECW Champion Mike Awesome (Alfonso) who was found dead today at the age of 42. May he rest in peace.
Last week, Donald Trump challenged Vince McMahon to a hair vs. hair match at WrestleMania. Each one will get to pick a representitive. As it stands at last polling:
Front runners for Vince Choice: Triple H and Gary Strydom
Front runners for Trump Choice: Omarosa and Marla Maples
Hello everybody! Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are rocking the Kasbah out here tonight. It's an evening like no other. Who will Vince McMahon choose as his representitive for the WrestleMania showdown with Donald Trump? There's only one way to find out. Let's go down to the Barber Shop!
There's a giant barber pole in the ring, complete with barber chair. (VKM Note: It was either do this match or have a Beefcake comeback. Needless to say, we're doing a haircut match.) Vince McMahon shows up and stands alongside the set-up. He runs down his upcoming Mania match with the Donald and can't help but notice that haircuts are a big deal today. Hell, take a look at Britney Spears.
We go up to the Titan Tron and look at the newly bald Britney Spears care of the Undertaker. Mac doesn't approve. He doesn't like bald chicks ever since Kurt Angle left.
After looking at Baldie Britney, Vinnie Mac can't help but wonder what the billionaire would look like if he lost the haircut battle. As we all know, Vinnie Mac digs the Photoshop. So he uses it to introduce us to the following Trump looks:
Donald Trump as Mr. T. I pity the fool that don't eat my cereal.
Donald Trump as Flat Top man.
Donald Trump as Rasta the Voodoo Mon. Vince does a Jamaican accent just to drive the point home.
Donald Trump as Hulk Hogan. McMahon calls it "the brother look." Ouch. Get Bubba the Love Sponge on the phone... stat!
Donald Trump as a bald guy.
Now here's the big question. Who's going to represent Donald Trump in the Wrestlemania match? We'll find out soon enough on Raw. But eff that waiting stuff, cause now the chairman of the board is ready to reveal his choice for Mania - UMAGA!
Armando Estrada leads his Samoan Bulldozer to the Barber Shop and stands in front of the boss. Estrada tells the owner it will be an honor to smash up Trump's rep at WM. Happy with the promise, Vince then sweetens the pot. Here's what you're going to get, Mr. Maga. You're going to get the beanie baby, the McGwire, the Sosa, the Amazing Shammy, a year's supply of Rice-a-Roni, and an Intercontinental Title Match! The first five will be sent to you in the mail, but the last one is happening...right now!
Yo, Jeff. Vince is calling you.
No. My name is Hardy.
I know, I'm saying that Vince is calling you to the ring.
Oh. OK. Vince who?
1. Umaga pinned Jeff Hardy after the Samoan Spike to win the Intercontinental Title
Jim Ross mentions that Jeff Hardy had just wrestled 24 hours ago. That could affect a guy. After all, Bret Hart had a fever the night the Mountie beat him, right? The fans chanted for their fallen florescent hero as the Samoan Bulldozer beat him down. Considering that Jeff is roughly half the size of Umaga, it only made sense. While the match continued, Jerry Lawler told his sad tale about the day he got his head shaved. It was a sad situation for the King. People didn't want to talk to him. Women wouldn't get in his van. It sucked. However, talk of Vince and Trump hair turns to match talk once Maga missed a flying head butt. Matt Hardy's weird little brother hit a Whisper in the Wind and made a sudden cover. It did him no good. The giant tossed him aside and then hit a Samoan Drop. With Armando Estrada directing traffic, Jamala nailed the soon-to-be-former Intercontinental Champion with a butt bump and Samoan Spike. Three seconds later, Jeff's sitting up on a gurney and having a conversation with Denny from Grey's Anatomy.
Following the official word, Vince McMahon gave his look of approval. Umaga showed his appreciation by walking up to him on the ramp and screaming. Armando strapped the belt on the monster's waist and they ran off to celebrate.
Still to come: Edge faces Rob Van Dam in a qualifying bout for this year's Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania. It's a battle between two men who have both said, "Yo, let me hit that," but in different contexts. Then in the main event, John Cena faces off against Randy Orton. Joking aside, so far it sounds like we're in for a good show.
Commercial Break. People think Gamefly is crazy for renting games at $8.95 a month. Not really when you consider the out-of-stock items and insane shipping times. I wouldn't say they're crazy. I'd say that they're pretty darn smart, actually.
Mick Foley says that people will be shocked that WWE would print a book that criticizes them. In his new book, Mick criticizes DX! He says people will wonder why would they do that. Hmmm...Maybe so that when they run out of storyline ideas in two years they can bring in Foley to do another one of those lame "You badmouthed me in your book" angles with Triple H. I don't know. That sounds like a good reason. But never mind me. I'm just thinking out loud here.
Last week, Ric Flair defeated Carlito...teaching him a lesson in the process. The lesson? Wrestle until you're 100.
2. Ric Flair and Carlito Cool defeated Cade and Murdoch when Cool pinned Murdoch
Lawler and Ross hammer the point home that Carlito requested this tag team encounter "out of respect" for Flair. They repeat it over and over again, giving you the feeling that it might not be out of respect at all. It's like when Orndorff signed Hogan up for the tag match with the Moondogs. They worked well as a unit for a little while. Ric hit the good spots and strutted to show his dominance. Then, after he had done all the damage, The Nature Boy tagged in Carly and allowed him to hit the Back Cracker for the pin. Way to go, kid. You and your hair - you're good people.
Still to come: Chong vs. Quagmire. Also we'll hear from the Rockers of Thuganomics.
Commercial Break. Taco Bell knows its stuff. No one thinks about E Coli when they're laughing at talking lions. Hee hee. Lions.
Weird Arnold Schwarzenegger Japanese Commercial Break.
Ace reporter Todd Grisham is standing by with John Cena and Shawn Michaels. The tag team champions were victorious last night at No Way Out and they're not surprised. Cena says that, unlike Taker and Tista, he and Shawn know what they need to do. Both men want to get to WrestleMania with the other in one piece. Michaels restates his feelings, but says he has one thing to say to the WWE Champion. That is...BUY THE NEW DX DVD!
Cena mocks the hard sell of the Heartbreak Kid and shows him how it's done by cutting a commercial for...THE MARINE UNRATED DVD! He says it's "so confusing" that they can't put a rating on it. Wow.
Just to outdo John in terms of pointing out negatives about the thing he's trying to sell, Michaels brings in fat naked oily guy, Big Dick Johnson, and says he's on the DX DVD. Double Wow. Is this an experiment to see how many DVDs they can sell while telling the audience all the worst things about it first? BDJ flops on the floor as the QVC program from hell comes to an end.
Edge agrees with me, so - ha! He's backstage with Randy Orton and watching the vaudeville act on a monitor. Screw the Heartbreak Marines. They're forgetting about one little thing. Whoever wins that Money in the Bank Ladder Match can cash that title opportunity in at any time...even seconds after the WM WWE title match finishes. Uh oh. That qualifying match is next.
Commercial Break. There's a sneak peek at The Number 23 after Raw ends. I don't need a sneak peek. I know the #23 already. I learned about it when I was like 3 years old.
Recap of past Money in the Bank Ladder Matches. Past winners were Edge and Rob Van Dam. Both men went on to win their eventual title matches. Now, they face each other for a shot at this year's event next!
3. Edge pinned Rob Van Dam in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
It's good to see Rob Van Dam on Raw. While ECW is his "home," it's more appropriate to say it was his home. He belongs more on Raw at this point than the third brand. His career was on an upswing for a while and the only way to really continue his momentum is on the top shows. By using him as an "ECW Original," they're cheapening his position and taking away top spots that Sandman and Balls Mahoney should be in. His showing here proved that. Both Edge and RVD took it up a number of notches and kept the fans captivated by a number of near falls. Van Dam got in his spots and seemed to have all sewn up. However, it was Randy Orton's appearance that spelled his downfall. Mr. Tuesday Night mounted the buckles and prepared to hit the Sci-Fi Frog Splash. Randy arrived and Rob kicked him. The distraction lasted mere seconds but was enough to open the door for an R Rated Spear and a pinfall. Brood Boy is going to WrestleMania. Smoke 'em if you got 'em, Robby.
Up next: Mickie James vs. The Human Flotation Device Melina.
Commercial Break. Last week on ECW, the New Breed was victorious. Go Sean Royal and Chris Champion!
4. Melina pinned Mickie James to win the WWE Women's Title
This match started off with a hair pulling (JG Note: Or, as WWE calls it, "a female division collar and elbow.") The referee doesn't do anything to stop it because he's not paying attention, I guess. However, the match quickly turns to fisticuffs and both divas end up on the arena floor. Melina Thunder took the Women's Champion to the proverbial woodshed and punished her with vicious tosses and hits. While the King reminded viewers of his fondness for women's matches, Lina went back to the hair. This time around, the official counted and she broke the "hold." After some more abuse, Mickie went nuts. She pelted the challenger with right hands and it just got more violent from there. She slammed Mel's face to the mat and Lawler said it appeared they were giving each other Extreme Makeovers. Things came to a close in a very awkward manner. Johnny Nitro's girlie walked up to the fallen James and simply pinned her with a bridge. I think she was supposed to hold the ropes or something, but didn't. Furthering that train of though, J.R. said that she may have used the ropes, but when they played the replay, it was clear she didn't. It looked like she was already committed to her position and would have squashed Mickie if she moved her legs to the ropes. So the story became that M.J. had hit her head. Whatever works. Melina is your new Women's Champion and the paparazzi can't get enough of this magic moment.
Backstage, Todd Grisham is being a pest. He's bothering Mickie James to talk about her loss. The former Champion tells him to piss off, but he doesn't. When he presses the issue, she responds by slapping him in the face. You know what they say. 99 out of 100 women will slap you, but you have to find the one who won't and you're good to go.
5. The Great Khali squashed the Highlanders in a handicap match.
This just in - Tag teams suck. That is all.
Following the bell, J.R. talks about the size of Khali's hands and his muscular definition. Well. That's...uh...nice.
Still to come: Bob Orton's kid vs. The host of the fake reality show.
Earlier tonight, Mr. McMahon photoshopped photos of Donald Trump with funny hairstyles and then introduced Umaga as his WrestleMania client. Remember that? I hope so. It was only a little over an hour ago.
Kenny Dykstra is an angry little Dykeroo. He's frustrated over not being booked for WrestleMania. As he complains to the Coach, he gets nowhere. However, he does go somewhere...once the Great Khali arrives. He bolts like a chipmunk with the runs. When the giant stands next to Coachman, he pleads his case. It goes a little something like this:
- Great Khali
"You say you want better competition?"
- John Coachman
- Great Khali
- Ron Simmons
Video Recap of Ashley's Playboy announcement.
Some dude is interviewing Melina backstage. The new Women's Champion takes a moment to give her boyfriend huggies before talking about her current spot. Why is everyone talking about Ashley in Playboy? They've begged Melina to do it, but she said screw dat. Miss Mel deserves the spotlight. Plain and simple.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler remind viewers that the first inductee into this year's Hall of Fame class is Dusty Rhodes'if you will. Who's the second? It's a guy who definitely deserves it. Former AWA World Champion and WWF IC Champion'"Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig. I was a huge fan of Curt growing up and applaud the decision to honor him. There was no one like Mr. Perfect. Given his talents, the Perfect moniker wasn't just a gimmick. He really had it all. The shame is that he was there at a time when the WWF World Title didn't float around too much. If he was a star in this era, he would have been champion many times over.
Commercial Break. Raw has a fan nation. An E.R. doctor told me about it. He also explained to me how John Cena's finishing move works. It's sort of like the Nation of Domination, only you don't' have to be a particular color to be in it. (JG Note: Not counting Owen Hart and PG-13)
Next Week: The Rockers of Thuganomics defend the tag titles against Rated RKO. Who will win? No one knows. Feed the hungry hip-hippos.
6. WWE Champion John Cena defeated Randy Orton via disqualification
This was the dream match of 2004. Although it's not at that level now, it's still a respectable main even that you find yourself looking forward to. Orton has been improving lately, thanks to his new found career with Edge. As for John, he gets better each time out. So, things are looking good for both guys right now and it's good to see them put up against each other on TV. Randy was in crazy-mode here and threatened the champion with a chair. Cooler heads prevailed, though, and he settled for tossing the Doctor of Thuganomics into the ring stairs. He followed up well too and hit a sick looking knee drop. It was enough to make J.R. scream...except that his headset was on the fritz. Luckily, Jerry was able to jump in briefly and hide it from those not paying attention. Randall punished Poop Daddy with the Chinlock from Hell, but was shocked when the hold was broken. He retaliated with a series of punches, but Johnny was channeling the spirit of Jim Hellwig. He no-sold the shots and took the Legend Killer, who was visually calling each spot, down with clotheslines. When John went for the F-U, Ort responded with an eye rake. He took down the Marine and climbed the turnbuckles. The Legend Killer timed his shot well, but almost ended up losing thanks to it. The C-Man rolled through and got a two count. Irate, Dandy Randy went back on the offense and then sat on the apron, waiting to hit his patented RKO. When he went for it, he was tossed away by the powerful Champion. This lead to an F-U attempt...and interference by Edge. The R Rated Superstar hit the Spear and earned his partner a DQ.
After the dingy dingy ding, Copeland went to ringside and grabbed a chair. Lawler worried that this could be the end of John's brains, but Shawn Michaels wasn't gonna let that happen. The DXer rushed the heels, took the chair, and chased them off. When the WWE Champion finally regained his bearings, he saw his tag partner with a weapon in hand. He paused for a moment and appeared to breathe a sigh of relief when HBK dropped it.
The Boy Toy teased that he might turn, but didn't. Both good guys remain good for the time being and no one hits anyone else while we fade to black.
All in all...Really good show.
No add-ons. No, "but they didn't'" No. It was a good show. Plain and simple.
Great Khali squashed a tag team. Yeah. But it wasn't a top top tag team like Cryme Tyme (who?). It was a mid-level team. Also, he's the guy they're pushing. Not them. It makes sense.
Putting the IC title on Umaga is big. Really big. Why? Because if he's Vince's rep, then that means the Intercontinental Title is going to be the focus of one of Mania's biggest matches. It's a smart move for the company and great way to push a title that needs it. It can only mean good things for the mid card guys when the title they're chasing is treated as a big deal.
John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels is being done totally old-school'and that's a good thing. You don't need explosions and custody battles over dogs to sell WrestleMania title matches. You just need two good wrestlers who the fans care about. That's it. Nothing more.
There isn't much to overanalyze here tonight. WWE knows what they're selling and they're selling it. Maybe it's WrestleMania. Who knows. Usually they get bogged down in weird details, pushing things that don't have a point or finish. Now, they're selling the matches they have on paper and they're doing it well. Good stuff.
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