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Raw: Homecoming HHHits and misses
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling




Guess who's back; back again...

I'd like to say it's me, but, no, Monday Night Raw has returned to the USA Network, and WWE has cooked up a three hour homecoming special.

But first, I would like to thank all the writers at Slam! Wrestling that suffered through Smackdown! for me while I was away. And since RAW is now dominated by former Smackdown! superstars, it was only natural that I take over for Nick Tylwalk.

(In all seriousness, big props to Nick for suggesting I take over, and best of luck to him in his weekly column, which you can read here).

The big Homecoming event is coming to us from the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. And as always good ole J.R., King, and The Coach bring us all the action.

Mick Foley gets the crowd going as he heads to the ring. Foley says he's a guest, tonight, and introduces his host, "Rowdy Roddy" Piper. Hot Rod tells Foley he's a big fan, and has nothing on the Hardcore Champion. Piper wants to know when Foley is coming back, and gives the legend 12,000 reasons to return. The crowd starts to chant Foleyís name, but is cut off by Randy Ortonís music. Ortons hits the ring with his Dad in tow. The Legend Killer tells Foley to back down; heís here for Piper. Hot Rod listens to Ortonís rant, and replies with a fist to the mouth. Foley and Cowboy Bob pull the two apart, but Orton Senior drops Foley with a cheap shot. Junior hits an RKO on Piper, and then deals one out to Foley.

Backstage, RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff is arguing with Smackdown! GM Teddy Long. Bischoff says there better not be any more interference from the SD! crew tonight or heíll make a RAW moment that the fans will never forget.

Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle Ė 30 Minute Iron Man match

The rules are simple: who ever scores the most pin falls in thirty minutes wins. Angle and Michaels size each other up in the first few minutes. HBK breaks a reverse chin lock with a jawbreaker. After a facebuster, Angle charges Michaels and is back body dropped over the top rope. The Heartbreak Kid tries a baseball slide, but Angle side steps it and connects with the Angle Slam on the outside. HBK is rolled back into the ring, and Angle sets him up on the top rope. Michaels fights off the Olympic champ, but Angle recovers in time to hit an Angle Slam off the turnbuckle. Angle covers and scores a pin.

Angle scores first fall @ 21:40 leads 1-0

After a commercial, Angle sidesteps an HBK charge, sending Michaels shoulder first into the ring post. Angle takes advantage, nailing a German Suplex, and then a snap suplex. HBK is whipped into the corner, but counters the Angle Slam with a sunset flip. Angle rolls through, and locks in the ankle lock. HBK counters into a cradle, and gets the three count.

Michaels scores second fall @ 14:55 All square 1-1

Angle locks in a body scissors. HBK breaks the hold, and then blocks two attempted suplexes. Michaels tries another roll up, but Angle counters into the ankle lock, and gets HBK to tap.

Angle scores third fall @ 11:13 leads 2-1

The Heartbreak Kid chops away at Angle, and then nails him with an inverted atomic drop. HBK climbs the turnbuckle and hits the flying elbow. Angle gets up only to get a taste of the Sweet Chin Music. Michaels pins for the three count.

Michaels scores fourth fall @ 4:44 All square 1-1

Angle hits another Angle Slam, but cannot get the pin. The Olympic Champ tries again, but HBK counters with a Tornado DDT. Michaels gets an arm on Angle, but the Olympic champ kicks out. HBK climbs the turnbuckle, but Angle counters a moonsault into an ankle lock. HBK is able to kick free of the hold, and nails another dose of Sweet Chin Music, but cannot get the pin before time expires.

Winner: Draw

HBK calls for sudden death overtime, but Angle just walks away.

Kevin Von Erich is then honored at ringside.

Eric Bischoff tracks down Vince McMahon backstage. Bisch wants his title match with John Cena to be No DQ. Vince says no. Bischoff then goes off on his boss, saying he was hired so Vince could embarrass him.

Lillian Garcia introduces Vince, reading a very prepared entrance. Vince talks about his favorite RAW moments, and show the clip from February 8th, 1998, when he pinned Stone Cold Steve Austin. Well, this gets Steve to the ring, and he isnít pleased with Vince having fun at his expense. Stone Cold has some clips of his own to show. They include Vince getting hit with a bed pan, wetting himself and getting doused with beer. Vince tries to slink out of the ring, but Austin stops him, and then hits the Stunner. Austin calls for beer, but Shane-O Mac runs to the ring, and gets a Stunner right away. The Stephanie McMahon comes to the ring. Austin plays with her for little, before hitting her with a Stunner. Austin tries to settle in with a beer, but Linda McMahon makes her way to the ring. Austin flirts with her, before finally sharing a beer with her. The he hits the Stunner.

After a commercial, we since Vince being helped to his limo. He tells Todd Grisham that someone is getting fired for this.

Edge vs. Matt Hardy Ė Money in the Bank/Loser leaves Raw Ladder Match

How many stipulations can we fit in here? Iím surprised Lita isnít up for grabs, too. Well, given here recent history...um, never mind. Edge jumps Hardy on the ramp, and dashes to the ring to end the match quickly. Hardy catches him, and the uses the ladder to squeeze Edge. Hardy sets up a ladder in the corner, but is dropped into with a toehold. Edge sets a ladder on the turnbuckle, and pushes Hardy face first into it to counter a Twist of Fate. Hardy recovers to spear Edge with the ladder, and then Hardy hits a reverse suplex onto the ladder. The fight spills to the floor, and Edge is knocked into the crowd. Hardy tries to finish him off with a cross body. Lita jumps on Matt as he tries to re-enter the ring. A snapmare gets her off his back, and Lita is nearly power bombed through a table, but Edge makes the save. Hardy is then put through the table with a cross body. Edge climbs the ladder, but is met half way up. Hardy hits a Twist of Fate. Hardy continues up the ladder, but is cut down with a Kendo stick shot from Lita. Hardy tosses her into the corner, and continues up the ladder. Lita knocks away the ladder, but not before Hardy grabs the briefcase. Hardy canít get it down, and Edge grabs his legs. Hardy is swung off the case, and gets hung up in the ropes. Lita locks onto him, and Matt can only look on as Edge claims the briefcase and the win.

Winner: Edge

Matt Hardy is immediately escorted from the building. Man, let a guy get changed and clean out his locker first. I guess the Smackdown! bus is running early.

Trish and Ashley prepare for their match, when Mae Young bursts in, offering to take her top off. Young wanders into the hallway, where she flashes Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Jimmy Snuka and Ted DiBiase. The Million Dollar Man offers Mae and couple thousand to keep her shirt on. The Fabulous Moolah corrals her partner, but Snuke takes the money and gives chase.

Maria, who has apparently been named ďHomecoming QueenĒ, (who I am to argue), interviews Ric Flair. The Nature Boy credits HHH for his return to greatness.

Ric Flair and Triple H vs. Chris Master and Carlito

Iíll spare you the details of this match. It wasnít anything special. HHH breaks out the sledgehammer, and almost eats it himself, with Flair making the save. Trips hits Carlito with the Pedigree to get the pin.

Winner via pin fall: Ric Flair and Triple H

Itís what happens after the bell thatís interesting. HHH and Flair hug in the ring, as I call for Hunter to turn on Flair, and guess what, he does! HHH hits Flair in the face with the sledgehammer, busting him wide open. Hunter slaps him around, and then tosses him from the ring. WWE cuts to commercial, but itís not over. An enraged Hunter beats Flair into the back, challenging anyone to stop him. Trips wails on the Nature boy for a little longer, before tossing him into a waiting limo.

Numerous WWE Legends and Hall of Famers are in the ring. "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes is on the mic, when Rob Conway interrupts him. The kid tells the old timers to take a hike, and in a move nobody saw coming, Conway beat on by the old-timers. Von Erich locks in the Iron Claw, and the Snuka hits a splash from the top turnbuckle.

Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle, and Victoria vs. Trish Stratus and Ashley Ė 3 on 2 Bra and Panties match

If you take a look at it, this is actually an even match. Torrie and Candice have the combined skill of one wrestler, if that. Anyway, Iíll spare you the details since this match was to show off the Diva main assets, and Iím not talking about wrestling prowess.

Winner via stripping: Trish Stratus and Ashley

Kurt Angle and Eric Bischoff are plotting since Vinie Mac has left. Bischoff makes the title match No DQ, and tells Angle he wants him at ringside. Eric says he just wants to be champion for one night, and then heíll hand off the belt.

Six-Man Smackdown! Tag Team Match

Eric Bischoff comes out as the match starts, and cancels it. He has the lights shut off, leaving the Smackdown! superstars in the dark.

Winner: No Contest

Mean Gene Okerlund, (who in my book should have a permanent job) introduces Hulk Hogan to the ring. Iím in the same boat as Tylwalk on the Hogan issue (see his column). Mean Gene ask Hogan whatís next. Hogan says he wants Austin. I swear if Austin jobs to Hogan, I will not be held responsible for my actions!

Eric Bischoff w/ Kurt Angle vs. John Cena Ė WWE Championship Match Ė No Disqualification

Angle watches the match from a chair at the bottom of the ramp. Cena tries to watch both men at once, and knocks Angle off the apron. Bischoff gets a few kicks in, but Cena catches him with a scoop slam, and follows with the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Angle hits the ring, and Cena counters the Angle Slam into an F-U, but is cut down from a low blow delivered by Bischoff. Angle hits the ring with a chair, but misses Cena. The chair ricochets off the ropes into Angleís face. Cena hits the F-U on Bisch, and covers for the pin.

Winner via pin fall: John Cena

Angle goes after Cena, but both men stop when Teddy Long appears at the top of the ramp. Long feels that Smackdown! Has been embarrassed and his boys hit the ring. The RAW locker room empties, and itís a battle royal as RAW goes off the air.

Dale Plummer joined Slam! Wrestling in 2003. Dale was on hiatus to infiltrate the Titan Towers. Dale was unsuccessful because Hogan is still on TV.