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Saturday Night has disappointing fights
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling




After months of speculation, WWE returned to NBC with Saturday Night's Main Event.

For me, SNME was as can't miss as any wrestling event. One of my earliest memories is sneaking away from my parents in Woolco as a kid to watch Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant battle in the famous "twin referees" match, so needless to say I was pumped for this broadcast. Did the night meet my lofty expectations? We'll see ...

The night starts off with the SNME traditional quick-shot interviews. The song, however, has changed. It should also be noted that the broadcast beamed into my living room didn't seem to be showing the "full" screen. My guess is this was intended to be an HD broadcast, but there was a communication breakdown somewhere.

Match 1 Triple H/John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio Jr./Randy Orton/Kurt Angle

There were plenty of back stories here to work with, between Triple H and Orton's history and Cena and Angle's very recent feud over the WWE Heavyweight Title. Unfortunately, we didn't get either of those interactions as Mysterio and Triple H spend most of the time in the ring together.

Eventually, we reach the hot tag segment and it's Cena (who's heavily booed) and Orton mixing it up, in what many thought a year ago would be the two leaders of WWE's future. Cena, rather quickly, gets the FU but Triple H breaks up the pin and Pedigrees his 'Mania opponent. Orton's about to get the cover, but Mysterio pulls him off. Mysterio is Pedigreed soon after, then Triple H is thrown out by Angle, who in turn is RKO'd by Orton. Finally, Cena escapes an RKO and get a roll-up for the pin.

Winners: John Cena/Triple H
Rating 2 out of 10
- Very confusing bout that ignored the history of the combatants.

Back from break, Booker T appears to have a knee injury. The M.A.D.E., Sharmell, asks Teddy Long to cancel his match with The Boogeyman. A smirk as the two leave tells everyone just how hurt Booker really was.

Next up, Edge and Lita come out for The Cutting Edge. After a couple minutes of Edge cutting a wicked promo, Mick Foley comes out with a satchel in tow. As he approaches, Edge lights a table, situated in the ring, on fire. As the fire is put out, the two come to blows. Foley then empties the bag, revealing thumbtacks. After more brawling, Foley ends up plunging into the tacks. Foley eventually recovers and attacks Edge on the ramp and gives him a Conchairto. Very, very hot segment here.

After a video package detailing Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon's history, we head backstage where Booker and the M.A.D.E. are celebrating their big fakeout, well, at least until the Boogeyman shows up.

Next up is the beer-drinking contest. This was as predictable as one would expect, finishing with Austin stunning JBL. In between, we get great mic work between the two and a little TV time for Chris Benoit.

Match 2 Victoria/Candice Michelle vs. Mickie James/Trish Stratus

Surprisingly, Candice Michelle has been given the chance to get some actual wrestling experience in, rather than just being another body, and the results have been something positive. Trish works virtually the whole match and gets the pin after the Stratusfaction.

Winners: Trish Stratus/Mickie James
Rating 1 out of 10 stars
- Too short to really judge.

After the bout, Mickie gets on the stick and says she will be leaving Stratus alone and offers to say goodbye, "the right way," which involves a handshake, a cheek kiss, a hug, a high roundhouse kick and a Stratusfaction. And so we have the long awaited "break up" I thought it would be a little more dramatic than it was.

Next, Mark Henry comes out to call out The Undertaker. It doesn't take long before the Druids come out with a casket, followed by 'Taker. The two come to blows quickly thereafter, with 'Taker dominating. Eventually, Khosrow Daivari gets chokeslammed and Tombstoned on the casket. It would've been a better effect if the casket broke from the impact, but I guess this was effective.

Match 3 Shawn Michaels vs. Shane McMahon (Street Fight)

Michaels doesn't wait long to get the match started, attacking McMahon in the aisle. Once Shane gains control, after HBK gets a table set up, Vince McMahon comes out to help him set up a second table. Shane sets and climbs up a ladder while Vince holds HBK on the table, or tries to I should say. Michaels fends off the senior McMahon and ascends the ladder, resulting in both men going through said tables after a superplex after the ladder.

Once we get back from the break, both are in the ring, with Vince running interference again, saving his son. Eventually, Shane takes over with the ladder and really starts to dominate. Things go awry, however, when Shane O' Mac tries the Van Terminator, with help from Vince, and HBK moves out of the way at the last moment and Vinny Mac gets the brunt of the attack. We then pretty much go into HBK's routine, including the Superkick, but Vince pulls the ref out. HBK, of course, gets suckered into taking down Vince, and in a spot no one needed to see, Shane puts Michaels in the Sharpshooter while Vince orders the bell rung.

"Winner": Shane McMahon
Rating 3 out of 10
- A spotfest that was ruined by a useless ending.

Well, if you wanted to get Bret involved in the WrestleMania match, you just blew whatever chance you had out of the water. Any casual fan watching tonight now will likely suspect even more that the "Survivor Series Screwjob" was a work.

Unfortunately, this SNME felt more like a big commercial for 'Mania than being the home of unique, long matches it used to be. Hopefully the June event will be better


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    Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.