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Raw: Hulk suffers real Heartbreak
By NICK TYWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


It's the 4th of July, which means it's Independence Day here in the States. Sadly, the WWE can't quite declare independence from its past, which is why we're likely due for more Hulk Hogan tonight, who just happened to show back up on Raw when his new reality show, Hogan Knows Best, is about to start on VH1. Check out the latest edition of Raw is Pimping, live from Sacramento, California.

And why not get straight to the pimping, eh? Carlito's Cabana is set up in the ring, and his guest tonight is going to be on a publicity tour that includes visits with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel and Regis and Kelly. But first, the immortal Hulk Hogan is dropping by the Cabana. Carlito rolls a clip from Hogan's show, and it is goofy stuff of the mind-blowing variety, featuring Hulk quizzing a 22-year-old potential suitor for his 16-year-old daughter, Brooke. Who knew the looming shadow of statutory rape was such fertile comedic ground? Carlito brings out the Hulkster, but the I-C champ really wants to know why he didn't bring Brooke. After all, she's hot, and Mr. Cool would love to take her out. Hogan attacks the host for talking like that, but Kurt Angle's music brings the Olympic hero to the stage. Kurt is upset that people cheer Hogan instead of him, especially since he made Hulk tap out last time they faced off. But you know who Kurt really wants to make tap out? That's right, Brooke. Hogan turns his attack on Angle, but a recovered Carlito hits the Hulkster with a DDT. That brings Shawn Michaels to the rescue, and since he doesn't say anything about Hogan's daughter, order is soon restored and the heels are forced to retreat.

Todd Grisham eavesdrops outside Eric Bischoff's office, where Michaels is ranting about wanting a piece of Carlito. I think we can see where this is heading.

Match 1 -- Edge and Snitsky vs. Big Show and Kane

I guess Snitsky is big enough now that he can drop the Gene and go by one name. Either way, he ends up working right off the bat when Edge wants no part of Kane. Big Show tags in for the good guys and looks for a chokeslam while Kane chases Lita around the outside, and we break for a commercial. Show is in a bit of trouble after the break, with both heels working over his left knee. Edge and Snitsky combine for a double shoulder block off the ropes, but Show turns the table a second later with a double suplex. Kane gets the hot tag and takes it to Snitsky with a jumping clothesline and a sidewalk slam. Edge is neutralized when he's dumped out to the floor, and Kane wraps things up with a chokeslam for Snitsky.

Grisham is still waiting outside the GM's office, but HBK finally tells him what he wants to hear: Michaels moaned and groaned enough for Bischoff to book him and Hogan to take on Carlito and Angle. What, no Brooke?

Match 2 -- The Heart Throbs vs. Viscera

The Throbs dedicate the match to Lilian Garcia, which I guess is supposed to make her feel better about being spurned by Big Vis. Romeo and Antonio hold their own surprisingly well, getting double boots up in the corner and hitting a double shoulder block. Then for some reason they are disqualified for crotching Vis on the ringpost, which doesn't usually bring an end to a match. Maybe the ref was just watching out for us.

Maria fills us in on an 11-person trade that took place after Smackdown last week. Actually, you have to go to WWE.com to get the details, and I don't have time to do that right now. [Or read it on SLAM! Wrestling - WWE announces trade to finish draft lottery.] One man who was definitely involved in the trade is Chavo Guerrero, but he looks a little different. Turns out his new look is by design, as Chavo announces that his Hispanic heritage has been holding him back, so he's joining middle class America and now wants to be known as Kerwin White. And for his first act on Raw, White makes Maria cry by calling her stupid. Nice. Elsewhere, Hurricane, Rosey and Super Stacy lecture us on the importance of sparkler safety, and hilarity ensues when Rosey's glove catches on fire. Maria is still pouting when the scene shifts back to her, so John Cena tries to cheer her up by telling her she has a lot going for her. For instance, she looks good, and ... she looks good. Cena tells Maria to show off her strengths and hide her weaknesses, which is sound advice from the WWE champ.

Speaking of The Champ, he has more business in the ring as the guest on Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel. Y2J brings him out since he's the closest thing to being as big a multimedia star as Jericho himself, though Chris is quick to remind Cena that he is doing better. Jericho rolls footage of Fozzy performing in England's Download Festival, though one wonders if all of the fans were really there to see Black Sabbath or System of a Down. Cena congratulates the host on all of his success and turns to leave, which for some reason Jericho takes as an insult. Y2J says he can take Cena's title any time he wants, but the champ shoots back that Jericho just proved that his so-called success is hollow without the WWE belt. Cena goes on to say that the fans aren't stupid, and they know Jericho has become a cheap sell-out. Words turn into actions when Jericho slaps Cena and the Doctor of Thuganomics responds by throwing some fists. Several referees run down to break up the ensuing scrap, but Cena gets the proverbial last word by taking a Cena foam hand and giving Jericho the middle finger on his way out.

Well, we made it this far, but there's no avoiding a new installment of the Raw Diva Search forever. The Coach and Christy bring out Sgt. Slaughter and the Diva finalists for Sarge's Bikini Boot Camp. The WWE has torn a rather large page out of Survivor's playbook by having the hopefuls compete for immunity from the first vote -- the girl with the fastest time in tonight's obstacle course can't be voted out of the competition. Coach demonstrates the course, which consists of doing 10 jumping jacks, hurdling a small wall, crawling under some netting in the ring, hopping in a canvas sack back down the other side of the ring, jumping rope 10 times and hurdling another small wall before crossing the finish line. In case you care and I haven't lost you yet, the results are as follows:

Ashley :48; Summer :41; Kristal :37; Elisabeth :35; Simona :49; Cameron :46; Alexis :54

Leyla, who you may remember as the girl who couldn't strip down to her bra and panties last week because she wasn't wearing underwear, seals up her title as trashiest Diva contestant by getting DQ'ed from the obstacle course when she pops out of her bikini top. Voting is taking place at WWE.com even as we speak.

Match 3 -- Val Venis vs. Rene Dupree

Yes, the French Phenom is apparently back on Raw as part of the trade. Venis scores with a Russian leg sweep in the early going, but Dupree answers with a hail of right hands. A Russian leg sweep gets a near fall for Val, but Rene uses a roll-up and some help from the ropes to bring the match to a swift conclusion a moment later. Guess we had to wrap that up quickly because we wouldn't want to short ourselves on time for the Diva Search or plugging Hogan's show, now would we?

The Smackdown Rebound explains why we haven't seen Christian or Batista tonight: they're over on the other show. Christian almost wins the six-man elimination match before falling to JBL, and Teddy Long announces that Bradshaw is not the Smackdown champion but the number one contender for the newly arrived world heavyweight title. Back in the arena, Grisham speaks to the unhappy tandem of Angle and Carlito and narrowly avoids having apple spit on him.

Now I do have a moment to visit WWE.com, so here are the results of the big trade. Raw gets Mark Jindrak, Dupree, Danny Basham (at least I think it's Danny), Kenzo Suzuki and Guerrero (now Kerwin White). Smackdown receives William Regal, Candice (and sponsorship from GoDaddy.com perhaps), Sylvain Grenier, Simon Dean and Stevie Richards. I think Smackdown also gets Raw's seventh round pick in the 2006 draft, cash, the rights to Doink the Clown and the ever popular future considerations.

Main Event -- Carlito and Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan

Wow, Hogan is in the main event two weeks in a row, which is great for nostalgia buffs but not so swell for Hogan haters like SLAM! Wrestling Smackdown writer Dale Plummer. Yes, I mention my buddy almost every week but if Hogan can plug, so can I. All four men get a chance to do some work in the opening sequence, with Hogan scoring on Carlito with right hands, a clothesline and a body slam. Michaels tags in and helps the Hulkster clear the ring so we can get to a commercial. We return to find Michaels and Angle battling on the top turnbuckle. Angle looks for a superplex, but Shawn knocks him down and drops his patented flying elbow. Angle rallies with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for two, and Carlito tags in to keep the momentum going. HBK escapes several near falls and the Ankle Lock before countering an Angle Slam with a spinning DDT. Hogan gets the hot tag and sets his sights on Carlito, raining punches on Carribean Cool while pausing just long enough to dump Angle out to the floor. The Legdrop finishes Carlito and the usual post-match posedown begins. But this time there's a twist: Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere and stands staring down at the fallen body of the Hulkster. A piece of trash flies toward the ring a la the old days of WCW, J.R. is apparently too stunned to do his "Why? Why?" bit and somewhere, Plummer is smiling. That's all for this week.


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    Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998. He wishes he could get back at Hogan by plugging something of his own but doesn't have anything on tap except next week's Raw report. Discuss this sad state of affairs at ntylwalk7@yahoo.com