call me Lenny Harris. If you don't know who that is, do a Google search and find out. Our regular Monday Night Raw writer, Dale Plummer, is under the weather tonight, so I'm stepping up to the plate for my first-ever Raw report.
Tonight's show from Bakersfield, Calif., starts off with a recap of the Donald Trump-Vince
McMahon confrontation from last Thursday (Monday in the Great White North). We then cut to the ring where a barber's pole and chair are set-up along with a tray of shears, clippers and the like. Vince comes down and says after his representative beats Trump's representative, he's going to beat the holy hell out of him and have The Donald beg to not have his head shaved. On the TitanTron, Vince shows some PhotoShopped images of how Trump might look with the Mr. T look, a flat top, dreadlocks, the Hulk Hogan "brother" look and bald, which also comes with a photo of Britney Spears.
McMahon then announces his rep for WrestleMania 23 is none other than ... Umaga! Trump will announce whose corner he'll be in next week. Mick Foley anyone? The Samoan Bulldozer jaunts to the ring and Vince says he'll be a champion
because an Intercontinental title match is next. Champ Jeff Hardy walks the aisle and has a staredown with McMahon before we head to commercial.
Match # 1 – Intercontinental Title Match – Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga
No sign of Lillian Garcia tonight as Justin Roberts is handling ring announcing duties. Hardy shows little offense, but hits the Whisper in the Wind only to get caught in a Samoan Drop and Umaga's running butt splash in the corner. A Samoan Spike later and we have a new I-C champion.
pinfall ... and new Intercontinental champion: Umaga
Vince is at the top of the ramp and gives Umaga and Armando Alejandro Estrada a thumbs up sign. As they approach VKM, the Boss gets a disgusted look on his face. Maybe he realizes putting the I-C belt on Umaga was a bad idea.
Mick Foley cuts a promo on his new book The Hardcore Diaries. It'll be out March 6.
Match # 2 – Ric Flair & Carlito vs. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Torrie Wilson is looking good tonight. Jerry Lawler notices as well. Cade and Murdoch isolate Carlito with quick tags, but Carlito gets the hot tag to the "Nature Boy" and they clothesline Cade over the top rope. Carlito then distracts the ref and Flair hits Murdoch with a low blow and tags in Carlito, who nails a picture-perfect back cracker for the win.
Winners via pinfall: Ric Flair & Carlito
Todd Grisham is in the back with World Tag Team champions Shawn Michaels and John Cena. HBK says he's got Cena's back because he doesn't want anything to happen to him before their main event at WrestleMania. Michaels then says they need to get
one thing straight and a staredown ensues. Michaels then hocks the new DX DVD in typical HBK hilarity and Cena answers that by hyping The Marine. Big Dick Johnson then comes out in a thong squirting baby oil on Cena only to get Sweet Chin Music from Michaels. This was a hilarious segment, but then again, I've been a DX mark for 10 years.
Randy Orton and Edge are in the back and Orton says he talked to Vince and Rated R-KO has a tag title match next week against Michaels and Cena. Edge then says that he's going to win his Money In The Back qualifying match tonight. Orton tells him to go do that and gets a confused look on his grill.
Money In The Bank recaps from WrestleMania 21 and 22 are shown and
that takes us to the qualifying match between those two winners.
Match # 3 – Money In The Bank Qualifying Match – Rob Van Dam vs. Edge
RVD lands his leg drop from the apron onto the ring barrier, but Edge re-takes the advantage inside by countering a cross bodyblock with a dropkick. Van Dam avoids a spear and gets a near-fall with the split-legged moonsault. RVD hits a windmill kick and goes up top thinking Five-Star Frog Splash. Orton rushes down and takes a kick from RVD. Van Dam turns into a spear and Edge is going to WrestleMania.
via pinfall: Edge
Match # 4 - Women's World Title Match – Champion Mickie James vs. Melina
Why do I have a bad feeling about this? Mickie goes for a hurricanrana in the corner, but Melina grabs the top rope and the champ crashes to the mat. Melina bridges into a clean double-leg rollup and yes, sadly, Melina is now out of the doghouse and now a champion.
Winner via pinfall ... and new Women's champion: Melina
Grisham wants a word with the ex-champ in the back, but gets a slap from James for his efforts.
Match # 5 – The Highlanders vs. The Great Khali
Squash. Was there ever a doubt? Khali does his usual stand and scream routine and the crowd seems umimpressed. I know I do. Robbie does the job after a choke bomb.
Winner via pinfall: The Great Khali
Some of the cast from the movie
Grindhouse is in the house tonight. Who?!?
Kenny Dykstra is in Jonathan Coachman's office and Coach tells him he needs to still prove himself to have a match at WrestleMania. Khali barges in, spews some gibberish that Coach seems to think means he wants better competition. Khali answers with a garbled "Yes!" And then of course, in walks Ron Simmons with the ever-popular "Damn!"
Ashley's Playboy cover unveiling from SmackDown! is shown along with her (lack of) wardrobe from No Way Out. Solid.
Melina is then interviewed backstage and
is pissed Ashley's segment came before her. She claims Playboy has begged her many times to pose nude. Johnny Nitro arrives, makes out with his woman, and says the limo is parked outside to go to L.A.
The second inductee for the 2007 class of the WWE Hall of Fame is (and I think it's a great choice) "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig. Wanna bet his old man inducts him? Or maybe Lanny Poffo?
The WrestleMania Recall this week recaps the inaugural WrestleMania from Madison Square Garden on March 31, 1985. My my, has it really been that long?
Match # 6 – John Cena vs. Randy Orton
As the match spills to the floor, Orton grabs a chair and approaches
Cena, but we go to ... a commercial? Back from the break, the match ebs and flows, with Cena blocking the RKO. He scoops Orton up for the F-U, but an Edge spear gets Orton disqualified.
Winner via DQ: John Cena
Edge grabs two chairs from ringside and sets up Cena for a Conchairto, but Michaels breaks it up with chairshots to both Orton and Edge. Cena recovers and he and HBK have their weekly staredown as the DX music plays.
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Next week, we'll return to our regularly scheduled Raw, with Dale Plummer back at the helm. Email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.