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Raw: It's all about the billionaires
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


With Wrestlemania still weeks away, Vince McMahon is pushing his match with Donald Trump the hardest. Not that this is a surprise, but just check out the Wrestlemania 23 website. The banner for the Battle of the Billionaires is huge. Anyway, on to the show from my nation's capital, Washington, DC.

John Cena kicks off the show. The champ wants to address the Shawn Michaels situation. Cena keeps asking himself when HBK will stab him in the back, and he tells Michaels he isn't down with that. If HBK wants to kick in his teeth do it now. The DX anthem plays as HBK walks to the ring. Michaels tells Cena he has one goal, to walk out of Wrestlemania with the WWE title. HBK wants to know why no one is asking when John Cena will turn on HBK. The two stare down, until Coach walks out on stage, telling the two that tag teams have been inundating Vince's office with requests for a World Tag Team title match. Coach is going to have them run the gauntlet, and if they beat the first two tag teams, the third match will take place in a STEEL CAGE!

Donald Trump is shown arriving at the arena.

Match #1 -- Ric Flair vs. Carlito vs. Randy Orton -- Money in the Bank Qualifier -- Double elimination

(Here's a classic example of WWE logic or lack there of. Flair and Carlito have their match destroyed by Khali, so this week they have to also contend with Randy Orton.)

Flair and Carlito beat on Orton in the corner. Orton fights out. Carlito holds Orton as Flair chops away at him. Orton is beat into the corner again, and chopped to the mat. Carlito hits a suplex and Flair hits another chop. The Nature Boy hits a chop block. Orton gets back to his feet, and Carlito hits him with a springboard back elbow. Flair and Carlito have words, and Flair shoves Carlito out of the way. Flair sets up Orton for a figure four, but Carlito hits Naitch with a back cracker. Orton recovers, and sends Carlito to the outside. He then hits Flair with the RKO, and eliminates Flair.

As we come back from break, Orton has a Boston Crab locked in. Carlito gets to the rope. Carlito is whipped into the corner, and Orton slaps on a headlock. Carlito fights out, but misses on a dropkick. Orton has a RKO blocked, and Carlito counters with a hurricanrana, and hits a flapjack. Carlito slams Orton to the mat, and hits a springboard twisting moonsault. Orton crotches Carlito on the top rope, and hits a woozy Carlito with the RKO, and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

Match #2 -- Masterlock Challenge

(Like I said last time, I'm not covering this anymore.)

No one in the locker room wants to participate in this farce, so Masters tries to pick on Lillian Garcia. Super Crazy runs in to make the save, kicking Masters in the face. Eventually Masters gets the hold locked on, and Super Crazy can't break free.

Vince shows up, (I guess it's okay to show up late if own the company), spotting Trump's limo. Vince tells the driver to deliver a message to Trump, "Mine is bigger than yours."

Orton informs Edge that they are now opponents, since he won a spot in the MITB match. Edge runs down his resume of ladder matches, and the fact he is undefeated at Wrestlemania. Orton responds that's because he hasn't faced him yet.

Lillian Garcia directs the crowd to the TitanTron for a special message. A figure appears on the screen reading the paper, and makes mention of the Battle of the Billionaires. He drops the paper, and it's THE ROCK! Rock cuts a promo, and the crowd can't get enough. (If he showed up in person people would be passing out in the aisles.)

Match #3 -- John Cena and Shawn Michaels vs. the Gauntlet -- World Tag Team Title Match

First Opponent -- The World's Greatest Tag Team

Haas and Benjamin hit the ring. Cena and Benji start things off, and Cena knocks Haas off the apron, but Shelton lands a kick to Cena's thigh. HBK tags in and hits Haas with an inverted atomic drop. Haas whips Michaels into the corner, but HBK ducks a clothesline. Cena tags himself in, and slaps an STF-U on Haas. Haas taps.

Second Opponent -- Cade and Murdoch

Murdoch slams HBK to the mat, and tags in Cade. HBK is shot off the ropes and Cade hits a flying forearm. Murdoch tags in and then locks in a bear hug on HBK. Michaels fights out, hitting an enzuguri. Cena gets the hot tag, hitting Murdoch with the five-knuckle shuffle. Cena picks up Murdoch for an F-U, but Michaels jumps in and hits Murdoch with Sweet Chin Music.

Third Opponent -- MNM -- Steel Cage Match

Cena breaks free of Joey Mercury, and Michaels gets the tag. HBK charges and is elevated into the cage. Nitro tags in, and misses a corkscrew moonsault. Mercury gets the tags, and immediately knocks Cena into the cage. HBK is able to make the hot tag to Cena, and is able to throw Mercury into the cage face first. Michaels and HBK get try to one up each other throwing Mercury and Nitro into the cage. Cena picks up Mercury for an F-U, but drops him when it looks like HBK was going for Sweet Chin Music. Mercury gets back to his feet, only to get kick in the face by Michaels. Mercury staggers into Cena, and is hit with the F-U. Cena covers for the pin.

Winner via pinfall: John Cena and Shawn Michaels

As the cage rises, the other tag teams hit the ring. Cena and Michaels fight them off, and Cena hits a chair shot on Cade, before heading to the back.

Match #4 -- Jeff Hardy vs. Edge

Edge grabs the mic, and says he would love to beat on him, but since the Redskins play here, he won't perform in a city that tolerates this racial stereotype. Instead, Edge brings out someone of Indian decent, the Great Khali. (Um, wrong Indian, Edge. And here I was thinking they brought back Tatanka, again.)

We saw this a couple weeks ago, and nothing has changed until the pyro goes off, and Kane enters the fray. Kane is armed with his hook and chain from See No Evil. Everyone takes off from the ring, as Kane tears down the RAW announce position with his hook.

No Contest

Trump is getting his hair done, but can't get McMahon's stylist to spill if Vince's hair is real or not.

The next person inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is ... MR. FUJI!

Mick Foley pimps his book with Todd Grisham. Mick also pimps his ECW appearance. Ashley stops by and offers to trade a Playboy for his book. Mick says he isn't comfortable looking at his friends naked, but when he turns around, Ashley has her pictures spread out for Mick. Foley has one thing to say, but Ron Simmons shows up and speaks for Mick, "Damn!"

Vince is getting his hair done, and cuts somewhat of a promo.

Match #5 -- Melina vs. Torrie Wilson

Melina rolls up Torrie and grabs her tights to get the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Melina

After the match, Melina continues to beat on Torrie. Mickie James makes the save, but Victoria cuts her off in the ring. Torrie knocks Victoria from the ring, and Mickie is sent to the floor. Ashley hits the ring, as Mickie and Torrie keep Melina from escaping.

Edge stops Vince in the hall and offers to take care of Bobby Lashley for him. Edge offers up Orton to take care of Lashley, and says Orton should be thrown out of the MITB match if he doesn't show up.

Vince hits the ring, and slips getting into the ring. Vince catches himself, but the crowd still rides him for it. Vince says the Don won't be able to get out of this deal, because he is in Vince's world. Vince trots out Umaga, with Estrada in tow. Vince thinks Trump may have left the building, because he thinks Vince will double cross him. Trump does show up, with Maria and Candice on each arm. The crowd chants "Donald," and Vince tells them to shut up. Donald tells Vince that his grapefruits are no match for the Trump Towers. Trump builds up his boy, Lashley, and calls him to the ring. Lashley and Umaga stare each other down. Vince and Trump sit down at the table, and Vince signs the contract. Trump signs the contract, and Vince announces that Trump can't get out of the deal. McMahon is convinced he will be shaving Trumps hair off. Vince says 95% of celebrities polled want Trump to lose, while Trump says it's the other way around in Hollywood. The two trade barbs, until Stone Cold shows up.

Austin has two questions that he needs answered. The crowd seems to think that Vince is going to lose and get his head shaved. Austin formerly introduces himself to Trump. He tells Trump this is his ring, and what he says goes. Austin tells Trump not to make him mad, or he'll open up a can on him. Vince gets a kick out of it, and Austin takes notice. Stone Cold gets in Vince's face, and wants to know if Vince has a problem with bald people. Austin and Lashley want an answer. Austin tells Vince there will be a winner, and someone is getting a hair cut. And that's the bottom line because Stone Cold said so. Vince gets one last word in before leaving the ring. Trump doesn't let Vince get the last word, though. He unveils a picture of Vince shaved bald. Vince isn't amused and Trump tries to goad him into the ring. Vince starts toward the ring, and then stops. So Trump tells Lashley to clear out, and calls Vince back to the ring. Vince takes off his jacket, and pushes a finger into Trump's chest. Trump shoves McMahon over the table, and walks out of the ring.


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  • Mick Foley's Greatest Hits & Misses DVD Set
    Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale doesn't have a problem with bald people, but he does have a problem with going bald.