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Raw: Cena-HBK storyline thickens
By DALE PLUMMER - SLAM! Wrestling


The question isn't who will be the special referee; it's when will WWE announce that Stone Cold Steve Austin is the special referee? Will tonight be the night as RAW comes to us from Phoenix, Arizona? We shall see.

The show starts with the Showstopper stretching for his match. John Cena drops by to wish him luck against Orton. HBK admits to turning on all his partners, but Michaels says this time it's different. HBK can't say why, or even if it is different. Cena tells HBK he has his back, and Michaels tells the champ he doesn't need his help.

Match #1 -- Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton w/ Edge

Orton slides into the ring and things start immediately. HBK hits a swinging neck breaker, and then chops Orton against the ropes. Orton is then clotheslined over the top rope, and hits the announce table. Orton is chopped into the corner, and then whipped across the ring. Orton counters a charge with a big boot. Orton chokes Michaels on the ropes, and then punches him in the corner. A rake to the eyes slows down HBK, but he responds with a knee lift, only to be dropped over the top rope.

After the break, Orton counters a drop kick into a Boston crab. HBK gets to the ropes, forcing Orton to break the hold. Michaels slaps on a sleeper, but Orton counters, and then HBK counters the counter into a cross body. Michaels slides out of the ring to confront Edge, but gets cut off heading back into the ring, getting hit with a DDT from Orton. A standing drop kick sends HBK to the mat. Orton follows with a knee drop, but only gets a two count. Orton slaps on a reverse chin lock, but HBK fights out and hits a back suplex. Michaels hits a flying forearm and kips up. The inverted atomic drop comes next, and he slams Orton to the mat. HBK climbs the turnbuckle and drops the elbow deep into Orton's chest. HBK starts to tune up the band, but Orton catches HBK's foot and counters with an RKO. Michaels blocks it, but pushes Orton into the ref. Orton nails a clothesline, but can't get a count. Edge tries to slip a title belt to Orton, but the ref sees it and stops it. Orton is distracted long enough for HBK to roll-up Orton and get the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Shawn Michaels

After the match, Edge slides a chair into the ring. Orton nails HBK with an RKO on the chair, before John Cena can hit the ring and run off Orton and Edge.

Mick Foley is back to plug his book. I pre-ordered mine last week.

Vince is in his office with Armando Alejandro Estrada. Vince wants to know what kind of mood Umaga is in and what the Samoan bulldozer will do to Jeff Hardy. Estrada tells him not to worry. Coach steps in, and tells Vince he looks stressed. Vince tells Coach that the board of directors works for him, and they will take his suggestion to name Shane McMahon the special referee.

Match #2 -- Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada -- Intercontinental Title Match

Before the match starts, Umaga rips up the floor mats outside the ring, exposing the concrete. Hardy can't get out of the corner, but is able to get out of the ring. Hardy dropkicks Umaga as he re-enters the ring, and then cannonballs over the top rope. Jeff then avoids a charging Umaga, sending the Samoan into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Jeff hits a low drop kick, but is then cut down with a clothesline. Umaga drops onto Hardy from the second rope, not once, but twice. Umaga picks Hardy up by the hair, but Jeff fights back with a jaw breaker. Umaga hits another clothesline, and hangs Jeff in the tree of woe. Umaga hits a flying head butt, and charges Hardy in the corner. Umaga raises his thumb in the air and finishes Hardy off with the Samoan Spike.

Winner via pinfall: Umaga

It's time for this week in Bobby Lashley.

Melina is shown getting ready for her Women's Title match.

Todd Grisham welcomes Carlito and Ric Flair to his interview lair. Todd wants to know how they feel facing off for the final Money in the Bank slot. Flair says he's going to win because he has more passion. Carlito says he appreciates that, but tonight he wants to prove he can win a world title. He doesn't care if he has to go through Flair.

Vince is on the phone with Shane. His son will be showing up shortly. Vince seems to think things will go his way.

Match #3 -- Master Lock Challenge

(The Master Lock challenge is just an example of a lazy creative staff. How long has this been going on? Like two years, now. I'm not covering another one unless the hold is successfully broken. Hacksaw Jim Duggan is served up for this one. He doesn't even come close to breaking it. This is like 10 minutes that could have been given to HBK to work with. On the other hand, I guess the fans in the arena need time to get nachos.)

Shawn Michaels drops in on Cena, but we don't have any audio. When the sound comes up, HBK says he still has Cena's back. The champ then throws HBK's words from earlier tonight back at him.

Vince heads to the ring to announce who the board has selected as the guest referee, but first Vince announces that next week he and Donald Trump will have an official contract signing. Vince tells Donald not to get in his face. Vince is about to make the announcement when ERIC BISCHOFF (!?!) interrupts. Bisch tells Vince to relax, since he is not the special ref; he just stopped by to say hello. Eric says he's going to enjoy watching Trump shave Vince's head. Vince calls for the guest referee, and Mick Foley (NOT AUSTIN! Hmmmm ...) walks out in his homemade ref shirt. Mick says it's ironic that last time he was here he was kissing Vince's butt, and now Vince is kissing his. Vince wants bygones to be bygones, and Mick asks for his job back. Vince obliges, but what Foley really wants is plugs for his book. Vince sends Mick off, but Mick stops and says he is a special guest referee, but not for the Trump match. Mick is the ref for a rib eating contest featuring Charles Barkley and the Suns' Gorilla mascot. The Gorilla hits the ring, and Vince is upset. Shane-O Mac walks out to calms things down. Shane tells his dad the board voted against them. Vince demands to know who it is, and on cue the glass shatters, and Stone Cold Steve Austin hits the ring, as the crowd goes wild. Vince slowly extends his hand, but Austin calls for a beer.

Foley is walking through the back with the Gorilla, and Ron Simmons only has one thing to say, DAMN!

Ashley comes down as a special ring announcer, and the King pimps her Playboy appearance.

Match #4 -- Mickie James vs. Melina -- Falls count anywhere Women's Title Match

Mickie hits a baseball slide before Melina can even get in the ring. Melina tosses Mickie into the security barrier, and Melina sprints to the back. Mickie chases, and tosses the champ into a door. The fight spills into the diva's locker room. Victoria grabs Mickie, but Torrie Wilson makes the save. Candace comes out of the shower and Melina rips her towel off, and the camera cut out.

After the break, the fight is back in the ring. Mickie shoulder Melina in the corner, but misses a hurricanrana and lands awkwardly on the mat. Melina leaps off the turnbuckle and gets the cover.

Winner via pinfall: Melina

After the match, Melina gets in Ashley's face, and Ashley pushes her to the floor. Ashley then checks on Mickie in the ring.

Match #5 -- Ric Flair vs. Carlito -- Money in the Bank qualifier

Flair and Carlito lock up to start. Carlito beats Flair into the corner, but the Nature Boy strikes back with chops to the chest. Carlito with a drop kick after Flair shoots off the ropes. Carlito mounts Flair in the corner, but Flair counters with an inverted atomic drop. Flair goes back to the chops, and whips Carlito to the ropes. Flair can't duck the springboard back elbow. Carlito goes for another springboard, but injures his knee on the landing. The Great Khali hits the ring, and destroys both men. Khali grabs a mike and says he wants Kane.

Winner via pinfall: No Contest

The next WWE Hall of Famer is Nick Bockwinkel.

Edge asks Orton if he has his back. Orton says he can't be there; he has a meeting with Coach. Orton says he won't lie; he doesn't have his back.

Match #6 -- John Cena vs. Edge

Cena makes his entrance, but instead of Edge, all three members of M-N-M come to ringside. Edge grabs a mike at ringside, telling Cena he can't perform in Arizona because they are bigots. Instead Nitro is going to fight. Mercury attacks from behind before the bell, and Nitro grabs the upper hand.

Match #6 -- John Cena vs. Nitro

Cena is tossed from the ring, and Mercury slams the champ into the ring post. Nitro follows by whipping Cena off the ring steps. Cena breaks away from Nitro, and takes him down with a shoulder block. Cena hits the five-knuckle shuffle. After staring down Edge, Cena sets up an F-U, but Mercury cuts him down. Mercury and Nitro hit the snap shot. The D-X music hits and Edge runs off through the crowd. HBK stops short of the ring, and walks back up the ramp. Michaels stops and sprints to the ring. The Showstopper clears the ring, and then heads back up the ramp.

Winner via DQ: John Cena

The show ends with a bewildered John Cena left in the ring.


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  • Straight Shootin' Series: Bruno Sammartino
    Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale is issuing a formal challenge to the winner of the Barkley/Gorilla rib eating contest.