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Fans get RAW deal
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


With what seems like an amazing Wrestlemania on the horizon, it's hard to imagine what WWE was thinking when it scripted last Monday's RAW. Horrible. Just horrible.

There were a few moments that made it worth watching.

Ric Flair's inspirational speech to rally the wrestlers who were going to surround the ring in the Kane vs.Batista lumberjack main event was outstanding. Another reason why he needs to be broken out of Evolution and given more time on the microphone.

And I suppose that the RKO Randy Orton delivered to Stacy Keibler at least clearly defined his position heading into his match against The Undertaker.

But what in the name of Sodbuster Kenny Jay were they thinking when they opened RAW with Shawn Michaels vs. Rob Conway. Now I don't mean to discredit Conway here ... but I can guarantee you at least one TV viewer, me, was scrambling to find something, anything, else to watch.

And while I admire the much-maligned Triple H, his speech was way too slow-paced, going on forever.

For RAW to work, it needs to move along quickly, advancing storylines and entertain the viewers. Last week's RAW failed on all counts. Hard to believe this could happen the week after RAW delivered with appearances by Jake "The Snake" Roberts and a reunion of The Rockers.

I'm still excited about Wrestlemania and I guess RAW, which has been outstanding week after week for a couple of months, is allowed one miss. Even if it is a big one.

- WWE has announced inductors for its Hall of Fame ceremony: Sylvester Stallone will induct Hulk Hogan; Chris Jericho will induct Rowdy Roddy Piper; Jim Ross will induct Nikolai Volkoff; Jerry Lawler will induct Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart; Randy Orton will induct his father Cowboy Bob Orton; Bobby Heenan will induct "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff; and Sgt. Slaughter will induct The Iron Sheik.

- Shannon Moore, driving his hummer, was involved in a head-on collision with a U.S. Army sergeant near Fort Bragg, N.C. last weekend. Moore got a concussion and whiplash.

- Nothing is imminent with WWE 24/7 on Canadian TV, but WWE Canada boss Carl DeMarco hopes to have it on the air before the end of the year. "Cable and satellite companies know we can drive business for them," he said. "There's an incredible library, 75,000 hours of it ... stuff that people will want to see ... AWA, WCW, Georgia Championship Wrestling, ECW ..."

- Sensational Sherri Martel appeared on Smackdown! in the hype for the Wrestlemania Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle match. Martel was put in the ankle lock by Angle.

- It looks like the Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio match will happen at Wrestlemania. It could be one of the highlights.

- Kudos to WWE for the outstanding Wrestlemania Goes to Hollywood promos. It's a tossup between the Basic Instinct and Braveheart promos for my favourite. "How far is the road to Wrestlemania, Naitch?" "Just over the hill, champ."

- CPW is gearing up for its May 14 Battle Fest at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau. While Pierre Carl Ouellet will miss the show after signing a deal to work in Puerto Rico, local strongman legend Hugo Girard will step in to fill the void. Here now are the results from CPW's Last Man Standing: Steve Stinger beat Pistola; Conquistador 41 (later revealed to be MVP Michael Von Payton) beat Damian Styles; Jaguar beat Velvet Jones; "The Future" Max Alexander beat Frank "The Beast" Bradley; The Twin Terrors beat Von Payton and Dave Titan; and Thunder vs. Tray Hugh Mongus was declared a no contest.

tim.baines@ott.sunpub.com