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Raw: Mama, Maria, Mick, oh my!
By DALE PLUMMER - SLAM! Wrestling


The long, strange trip that is the road to Wrestlemania stops in the heart of old WCW country, Atlanta, Georgia. And tonight starts a tournament to decide who will take on the WWE champion in Chicago.

(Which begs the question, why wasn't this announced last week, instead of right before the show? It's all about ratings, right?)

Edge and Lita are announced by Maria, who is set to interview the couple. Edge cuts off Maria, and announces that he will face John Cena for the title next week, since he did beat him last week. Edge teases at finding out why Lita hit him with the belt. Maria wraps up the interview, but not before Lita makes her announce Edge as the "future WWE champion." The Rated R superstar is about to leave, when Hacksaw Jim Duggan hits the ring. Hacksaw has offered to be the special guest referee for next week's match and the calls Lita a "Hooooooooo!" Maria has a good chuckle, but Edge jumps Duggan. A shot from his two by four sends Duggan from the ring. Lita slaps Maria, and tosses her around the ring by her hair. Edge sets up for a spear, but Cena makes the save, coming through the crowd.

(Nick jokes that now we are going to see a mixed tag team match between Edge and Lita versus Cena and Maria. Unfortunately, I knew this was no joke.)

Match # 1 Kane vs. Masters Wrestlemania 22 Tournament

Kane misses an elbow, but recovers with a series of chops to Masters. After a choke toss, Masters is whipped into the ring post. Masters tries for the Masterlock, but Kane drops to the mat. Masters then sits on Kane's shoulders, and grabs the ropes for leverage. Masters actually gets a "clean" pin.

Winner via pinfall: Kane

Backstage, Edge complains to Vince about Hacksaw being the guest referee, so he offers Lita to change his mind. Vince is impressed that Edge would do anything to get the title back, so he books said mixed tag match, but with one stipulation. The winner gets to choose the referee next week.

Match #2 Ashley vs. Mickie James w/ Special referee Trish Stratus

(Didn't we see this at the Rumble? Hopefully, Ashley won't get dropped on her head, tonight.)

Trish takes a bump from Mickie, and as James checks on her, Ashley rolls her up. Trish makes the count, and bolts from the ring.

Winner via pinfall: Ashley

(If I really wanted to see the Spirit Squad, I'd watch WWE Unlimited. There's no need to show me what they did during the break.)

Backstage, Mickie apologized to Trish for hitting her, and tells her she made the right call. Trish then introduces Mickie to her date. Looks like the Atlanta Blockbuster has Single White Female in stock this week, right, WWE creative?

Shelton Benjamin is wheeling his Mama to the ring, but needs to leave her alone for a second to take care of some business. Mama objects to being left alone, but Shelton promises that nothing will happen. Eugene suprises Mama with a Shelton action figure, and then says he loved her movie. Eugene tries to take off Mama's "wig", when Shelton shoos Eugene away.

Match #3 Triple HHH vs. Ric Flair - Wrestlemania 22 Tournament

(Vegas oddsmakers have taken Triple H off the board because he is such a shoe-in to win. In fact, I'm not even going to report on this match, since it's a foregone conclusion. NEXT!)

Winner via pinfall: Triple H

(Oh boy! Now we get to watch Candice Michelle's Super Bowl commercial that didn't air! She's milked this thing for a year, isn't she on about minute 14 of 15? And now she's doing Playboy, I WON'T be picking up that issue. I can't believe I just typed I won't be buying a Playboy ... shoot me now.)

Maria is with John Cena, freaking out about their match, tonight. Cena calms her down the only way he can think of, a big kiss on the lips. It's good to be the champ.

Match #4 HBK vs. Big Show - Wrestlemania 22 Tournament

Before the match, Vince walks out of stage. He tells HBK that he has changed his mind, and will let Michaels walk out on his contract if he wants to. In fact next week, he will be throwing Shawn a retirement party, and it's mandatory that HBK be there. And since HBK will be retiring, Vince says he won't be at WM 22, so he doesn't need to be in this tournament. Vince tells HBK he's been replaced.

Match #4 Shelton Benjamin vs. Big Show - Wrestlemania 22 Tournament

Big Show slaps away at Shelton's chest in the corner. Benji drops Show on the top rope, and follows with a spin kick. Show responds with a clothesline. Mama grabs Show's leg, and Shelton kicks him in the head. Outside the ring, Mama is in trouble; she collapses to the floor, as Show chokeslams her boy. Big Show makes the pin, and is the first to notice Mama. Show calls for help, as officials have to restrain Shelton. Mama is wheeled out of the arena on a stretcher.

Winner via pinfall: Big Show

Match #5 Carlito vs. RVD - Wrestlemania 22 Tournament

RVD hits a low drop kick, and follows with a spinning leg drop. RVD hits a modified rolling thunder, hitting a splash at the end. RVD then hits another rolling thunder. Carlito blocks a split-legged moonsualt, but only get a two count with a schoolboy pin. RVD counters with a body scissors. Carlito breaks out a jaw-dropping springboard, corkscrew moonsualt, and follows with a back cracker. After another two count, Carlito grabs a chair. The ref tries to take it from him, but Carlito turns into a Van Daminator. RVD climbs the ropes, and hits the five-star frogspalsh. RVD covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: RVD

Match #6 Edge and Lita vs. John Cena and Maria Mixed Tag Team Match

Cena stops Edge's attack from behind, but cannot avoid being tossed into the ring post. Maria accidentally tags in, which mean Lita must now enter the match. Edge offers to hold the ropes for Maria, but instead Lita brings her in the hard way. Lita chokes her on the bottom rope, and then hits a side Russian leg sweep. Maria dodges Lita, and Cena rolls back into the ring. Edge holds Cena, as Lita climbs the turnbuckle. Cena ducks, and Lita hits Edge with a hurricanrana. Edge is tossed from the ring, leaving Lita all alone. Lita tries to distract Cena by flashing him. Edge recovers, but only to spear Lita, after Cena dodges it. Maria covers Lita, and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: John Cena and Maria

After the match, Cena announces his choice for guest referee. It's not Hacksaw, but none other than the Hardcore Legend himself, Mick Foley!


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  • WWE Divas Do New York - The Lingerie Edition DVD

    Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale was offended by Candice's commercial, not because it was too racy, but because Candice was in it. Discuss this with Dale at Dplummer627@yahoo.com.