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Raw: It's 1998 all over again
By DALE PLUMMER - SLAM! Wrestling


This is 2006, right? Because on Monday Night Raw it sure looks like 1998. DX is running wild, Kane is wearing a mask, ECW is alive, all we need is Monday Nitro and I'd swear I was 20 years old again.

An actual match kicks of the show from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Granted it's the women's title match, but hey, Trish Stratus is back in action.

(Speaking of Trish. Please, stop taking signs to the arena that say "Trish, marry me!" Try something original, like, "Trish, I'll cook for you!" or "Trish, Greg Oliver IS a stud!")

Match # 1 -- Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James -- Women's Title Match

Mickie immediately goes after Trish now healed shoulder, but misses. Trish pushes Mickie into the turnbuckle, and then hits a Thesz press. Trish follows with a dropkick and spine buster. Mickie walks unto a right hand, and Trish follows up with a standing hurricanrana. The champ hits a low drop kick and focuses on Trish's shoulder. Trish telegraphs a move, and Mickie counters with an impaler DDT. James covers and retains the gold.

Winner: Mickie James

After the match, Melina and Johnny Nitro head to the ring. Melina flaunts her man's new Intercontinental Title, and tells Trish she's the new top Diva. Trish takes offense, but Nitro cuts her off. Carlito runs in and makes the save, but not for Trish's sake. He has a major beef with Nitro after last night's Pay Per View.

Trish chases Carlito down backstage to thank him. Carlito says he's not going to let Nitro get away with stealing his belt. Carlito doesn't seem interested in Trish, but then says it was no problem with the save. Trish looks at Carlito's "Spit or Swallow" shirt, and then whispers something in his ear. Carlito's reply: "That's cool!"

The Spirit Squad is with the McMahons. Shane admonishes them for not getting the job done, so, tonight, they will watch Vince and Shane take on DX.

So before the show, WWE asked fans who they think is going to win between RVD and Cena.

Match #2 -- Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada vs. Kamala

Kamala cuts off Estrada's promo and he is accompanied by Kimchee! (We just keep going back in time.) Kamala and Umaga are at a stalemate, until Umaga picks Kamala up and slams him. Kimchee is knocked off the apron, and Umaga drives him into the ring post. Umaga then runs him in the corner. Kamala is hit with a flying head but, and Umaga finishes off Kamala with the Samoan Spike.

Winner by pinfall: Umaga

WWE needs another Diva search like the Northeast U.S. needs more rain. (Seriously, I just saw some old guy rounding up animals two by two, so this may be my final report.) And we get to meet the eight finalists later on in the show.

Todd Grisham introduces Torrie Wilson to the ring to unveil her new WWE magazine cover. Edge crashes the party, though, and tells Wilson to take a hike. Edge goes on a rant saying he's the MVP of the show. (Wrong, it's HBK.) He says he should be on the magazine cover. (Nope, Torrie is fine.) He should be in the Main Event. (Had your chance pal.) And he should be champion. (For what? Another three weeks.) He calls RVD and Cena a joke, and threatens to walk off the show. And then he does. Lita and Edge exit through the crowd. On the concourse, Edge grabs all his shirts from a vendor. He and Lita then walk off into the night.

Maria interviews Cena. The former champ says he could cry like Edge, or he could suck it up, fight, and earn a rematch. Cena thanks RVD for the match, but tonight he's going to take care of business.

Match #3 -- Val Venis and Viscera vs. Cade and Murdoch

Yes, V Cubed as be re-united! The match is important in so many ways. Charlie Haas walks to ringside to work his magic on Lillian Garcia. Lillian wants nothing to do with him, but Haas still advances. Viscera is distracted as Haas plants a kiss on Lillian, and Big Vis is taken out by Cade and Murdoch.

Winner via pinfall: Cade and Murdoch

It's time to pimp Brooke Hogan's music video. Where's the remote!

Vince McMahon heads to the ring, but it's Vince "Triple H" McMahon. Trips does an over exaggerated walk to the ring, and the rambles just like Vince on the mike. Shane "HBK" O-Mac joins "dad" in the ring, and he can't stop dancing. Dad says he can top his son, and Vince McMahon performance at the 1987 Slammy Awards blares from the TitanTron. You can view it here. I hope my editor links to it. I've never laughed so hard in my life. This has to rank up there with William Shatner singing Rocketman.) [Editor's note: The link's there, but given WWE's lack of a sense of humour, it might not be on YouTube later today. It's worth it to see the Killer Bees & JYD on saxaphones, and Macho Man, Beefcake & The Snake on the horns.]

The real Vince has seen enough, and he and Shane walk out on stage. The Spirit Squad joins them, as Vince notices a Port-o-john. Triple H says it there because Vince is full of crap. All seven men get sprayed down with the human waste.

Flair responds to the beating Mick Foley gave him after the match last night from his home. Flair says all Foley did was prove everything Flair wrote in his book is true.

Paul Heyman voices some concerns to RVD. The champ says he agreed to the rematch, so he can prove that his win at One Night Stand wasn't a fluke.

Match #4 -- Kane vs. Randy Orton

Kane and Orton lock up, and Kane drops Orton with a punch. Orton responds with a drop kick to the knee. Randy runs into a choke slam, but rakes Kane in the eyes to break the hold. Orton shoots off the ropes into a big boot, and then runs into a sidewalk slam. Kane climbs the turnbuckle, and hits a leaping clothesline. Kane looks for the finish, when his music hits and Classic Kane walks to the ring. New Kane meets him outside the ring, and lays the beat down. New Kane slides back into the ring, and knocks Classic Kane off the apron. New Kane turns right into an RKO, and Orton gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

Classic Kane enters the ring, but is dropped with a kick. New Kane choke slams Classic, not once, but twice in the ring. Classic tries to climb up the ramp, as New Kane beats on him. Classic Kane is choke slammed on the stage, and is then dragged to the back.

After the break, New Kane rips the mask off of Classic, and tosses him out of the building. New Kane says the mask is his.

We meet the eight Diva search finalists, and I have an urge to bash my face into the keyboard.

The Highlanders finally debut next week. [Editor's note: Wanna know who they actually are? We interviewed them last year: Highlanders set sights on WWE.]

Match #5 -- RVD vs. John Cena -- WWE Title Match

Cena with an early slam, and a hip toss. RVD blocks a turnbuckle smash, and counters with a kick. Van Dam climbs the turnbuckle, and Cena pushes him off into the security barrier.

We return from break to find RVD in a head lock. RVD fights out, and kicks Cena to the apron. Cena blocks a turnbuckle smash, but gets kicked off the ropes. RVD follows with somersault senton. After a two count, RVD hits a corkscrew leg drop. Van Dam grabs a chair, but the ref takes it away. RVD turns into a clothesline, and then a slam. Cena hits the five-knuckle shuffle, but cannot get the F-U. Van Dam responds with a step over heel kick. RVD then bridges a German suplex, but only get a two count. The Champ hits a split-legged moonsault, but still only gets two. RVD counters a corner charge with a kick. RVD goes up top, but Cena rolls away. RVD tries a diving rolling thunder, but Cena gets his knees up. Cena hits the F-U, and slaps on the STFU. RVD is struggling to get free, when Edge hits the ring. Edge hits Cena with a DDT, and then spears RVD. He tells RVD he'll see him tomorrow.

Winner via DQ: John Cena


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    Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale wishes it were 1998 because he's having trouble coming to terms with turning 28 today. You can wish Dale a Happy Birthday at Dplummer627@yahoo.com. Or not.