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Raw: A night of many choices
By DALE PLUMMER - SLAM! Wrestling


It's less then a week to Cyber Sunday, as RAW comes to us from Moline, Illinois on the night before Halloween. Will RAW be like the little old lady that hands out full-size candy bars, or couple that hands out toothpaste, whose house is soon to be egged and toilet papered? (Not that I condone that course of action; although, it also applies to the people that give you pennies, raisins, or religious pamphlets.)

(With Cyber Sunday this week, I will be posting my vote, and also who I think WWE will stuff the ballot box for.)

Edge and Randy Orton are in the ring to start the show. Edge says it's a shame to start the show of with a tragedy. It's his birthday, and he has to spend it with all these people. Orton then gloats about his victory over Triple H last week. Edge introduces the three choices for guest referee in their match against DX on Sunday. Each man says his piece on why he should be ref.

Eric Bischoff says he'll show DX what controversy is all about.

Coach wants to show DX he isn't a joke.

Vince McMahon doesn't even stump for votes. He tells the crowd that HBK is away for personal reasons, and tonight Orton will face Triple H with a special referee. Vince then presents Edge a birthday gift, then chance to ref Orton's match, tonight.

(Special referee in DX vs. Edge and Randy Orton - Dale's selection for Cyber Sunday: Eric Bischoff. Probable selection: Vince McMahon.)

Vince excuses everyone from the ring, he has some business with Coach. Vince wants to know what Coach has done to prepare John Cena for Sunday, if he has to defend his belt, and keep the WWE championship on RAW. Coach was going to give Cena the night off, but Vince nixes that idea. Coach tries a handicapped match against Booker and Show. The Boss says no. Coach goes with WWMD, What Would McMahon Do? Vince offers to let the fans decide, ala Cyber Sunday. Tonight, the fans will choose Booker T, Big Show, or Coach to face John Cena tonight.

Match # 1 -- Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Nitro w/ Melina

Jeff Hardy joins the announce team to watch the contenders for his Intercontinental belt. Nitro and Benji assault Carlito, but Carlito lands on his feet after double back suplex. Carlito responds with a springboard back elbow, but the heels catch him and toss him over the ropes. Benjamin hits a clothesline. Nitro then counters and hits a tilt-a-whirl move into a side Russian leg sweep on Shelton. Carlito hits a knee lift on Nitro, and climbs the top rope. Carlito misses a moonsault, but lands on his feet, only to be hit with a bulldog off the top rope from Benjamin. Benjamin counters a neck breaker from Nitro. Carlito tries to knock Benji off the turnbuckle, to no avail. Nitro counters a flying Benjamin with a shot to the gut. Carlito pulls Nitro from the ring, and hits Benji with a back cracker. Carlito covers and gets the pin. Jeff Hardy claps, impresses with Carlito's victory.

Winner by pinfall: Carlito

(Intercontinental Title Match opponent -- Dale's selection: Shelton Benjamin. Probable selection: Carlito.)

Todd Grisham is with the WWE champion. Cena says he doesn't care whom he faces tonight, and that his opponents needs to worry about him on Sunday.

Candice and Torrie are talking about who they are voting for, when Torrie sees Carlito. Torrie offers Carlito a chance to talk about what went on with Trish. Torrie says they can meet after the show; Carlito takes her up on her offer, after he showers and gathers himself. Carlito has a smirk on his face as Torrie leaves.

Before the second semi-final match, Mickie James joins JR has he announces fans can vote on the women's title match stipulation: Diva Lumberjack, No DQ, or submission.

(Women's Title match stipulation -- Dale's selection: Diva Lumberjack. Probable selection: Diva Lumberjack.)

Match #2 -- Lita vs. Maria -- Women's Title tourney semi-final match

(I don't mind seeing Maria on TV. In fact, I don't mind at all. She just shouldn't be wrestling, and common sense should dictate that Lita will win, since Mickie James is now a face.)

Lita finishes Maria off with a DDT to get the win.

Winner via pinfall: Lita

After the match, Lita gets up in Mickie's grill, announcing she will win the women's title.

The Big Show is warming up for a possible match, tonight.

Match #3 -- Triple H vs. Randy Orton -- Special Referee - Edge

Edge comes out first. Triple H makes his entrance. He grabs a mike and asks, "Are you ready?" He then hits Edge with a Pedigree, and says apparently Edge wasn't ready.

After the break, we have a normal ref. And Randy Orton makes his entrance. Triple H goes for an early Pedigree, and Orton scurries from the ring. Orton pulls Hunter from the ring, hitting a European uppercut. Orton then smashes HHH's skull off the ring steps. Hunter retaliates with right hands, and knocks Orton onto the announce table. Back in the ring, HHH floats over Orton, and nails him with a chop block. Hunter then whips Orton's leg into the ring post. Hunter drops elbows onto Orton's leg, and then sets him up for the figure four. Orton counters, kicking HHH into the ring post. Orton follows with a back breaker and DDT, netting only a two count, though. Orton stomps on The Game. Orton with a rear chin lock, that Hunter fights his way out of. Triple H pulls himself up in the corner, and then hits a face buster. Hunter is punching Orton, when Edge spears Triple H. The ref calls for the bell.

Winner via DQ: Triple H

Edge holds Triple H as Orton wails on him. Edge then grabs a chair. Hunter tries to fight off both men, but Edge connects with a chair shot to the back. Orton lays the chair in the middle of the ring, to deliver an RKO on it. Triple H counters the RKO, slamming Orton onto the chair, but Edge spears him from the ring. On the outside, Hunter finds his sledgehammer. Triple H hits the chair, and then nails Orton in the gut.

Match #4 -- Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Eugene

Eugene wants nothing to do with Umaga, even as he beats on Hacksaw. Eugene then hides behinds Lillian Garcia, as Hacksaw gets a flying head butt. Estrada calls for the Samoan Spike, mercifully ending the match.

Winner via pinfall: Umaga

(Umaga's opponent -- Sandman, Chris Benoit, or Kane - Dale's selection: Sandman. Probable selection: Kane)

Coach is backstage getting ready if he has to face Cena. Eric Bischoff asks if Coach is ready. Coach says he will beat down the next person to come through the door in front of him. It just happens to be Ron Simmons; Coach runs and Simmons has one thing to say, "DAMN!"

Ric Flair brings out the three legends that fans can vote to team up with him against the Spirit Squad. Sgt. Slaughter, Roddy Piper, and Dusty Rhoades all say their piece.

(Ric Flair's tag team partner -- Dale's selection: Roddy Piper. Probable selection: Sgt. Slaughter.)

Todd Grisham interview Cryme Tyme. Shad gives some shout outs, and then JTG distracts Grisham, so Shad can steal the monitor behind him.

Match #5 -- Cryme Tyme vs. Viscera and Charlie Haas

Shad still has the TV as they make their way to the ring. JTG hooks up the TV in front of JR and King. Haas and JTG start off, with Haas pounding on JTG. Haas kicks JTG in the temple. Vis tags in, and hits a leg drop. Vis locks in a bear hug. JTG ducks a corner splash, and Vis nails Haas, who tags in. Shad gets the hot tag, and takes Viscera off his feet with some help from JTG. Haas gets hung up on the ropes, and Cryme Tyme hits the G-9 for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Cryme Tyme

Todd Grisham interviews Triple H. Hunter says he doesn't care who the special ref is. He tells Edge and Orton to bring whomever and whatever they went, because they are stepping in the ring with Degeneration X. Hunter says the truth is if you bring it; I'll bring it bigger.

Coach is trying to decide who to vote for. Coach tells Booker to get ready. Show comes in and tells Booker he should face Cena, and Booker tells Show he should face him. Both then realize that Coach should be the one to fight Cena tonight.

King Booker, Big Show, and Coach join Todd Grisham in the ring. Grisham polls the crowd they favor Coach. And then the results, with all districts reporting, Coach wins in a landslide with 74% of the vote. Show and Booker have and good laugh at Coach's expense.

Match #6 -- John Cena vs. Jonathan Coachman

Coach tries to run from the ring, but Cena stops him and rolls him back in. Big Show and Booker jump Cena, beating on him. The champ is rolled back into the ring, but Coach can't make the pin. Coach chokes Cena, and then elbows him in the corner, but that just angers the champ. Cena takes Coach down, and then charges him in the corner. Ten punches later, Cena nails a side-slam. The five-knuckle shuffle is followed by the F-U. The champ locks in the STFU and Coach taps.

Winner via submission: John Cena

(Champion of Champions Title defense - Dale's selection: John Cena's WWE Title. Probable selection: John Cena's WWE Title.)

After the match, Cena stares down his opponents at ringside.


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    Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale wonders what will have a bigger voter turnout, Cyber Sunday or the U.S. mid-term elections. (Although both systems are flawed, so it's moot point.) Email Dale @ Dplummer627@yahoo.com.