March 20, 2007
Raw: Masterlock broken and a head shaved
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling
The exit ramp on the road to Wrestlemania is fast approaching, but has WWE shown their cards too early? Tonight's show from Indianapolis features a couple of Wrestlemania Reversal matches. Let's hold out hope that RAW still holds some surprises.
The one man DX show, known as Shawn Michaels, heads to the ring. (I love the glow sticks in the crowd. It's true; sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.)
Match #1 – Shawn Michaels vs. JBL – Wrestlemania Reversal Match
JBL comes out in his limo, and looks to make good on his promise of a big surprise. Bradshaw isn't dressed to wrestle, even though he does get in the ring. He tells HBK that nobody tells JBL what to do or when to do it. JBL says he'll come out of retirement when he wants to, and it won't be in Indiana. HBK vs. JBL -- dream match (really?!?) won't happen tonight. JBL says in two weeks HBK will get a whooping at Wrestlemania. JBL calls him egotistical for not kicking in Cena's head. Bradshaw says doubt has entered Michaels' mind, because deep down he knows he can't beat Cena. JBL rips into HBK for not taking the shot at Cena, because he wants to be a good guy. Bradshaw ends his diatribe by stating HBK makes him sick. Shawn takes the mike, and counters JBL accusations. HBK says he can and will defeat Cena. HBK says nobody tells him what to do or when to deliver some Sweet Chin Music. HBK rambles on, before delivering the knock-out super kick to JBL.
Randy Orton chews Edge out for selling him out on ECW last week. Orton accuses Edge of getting kicked out on purpose, so Randy talked with Mr. McMahon. Tonight's Money in the Bank last chance Battle Royal isn't for a ninth spot, it's for Edge's spot, because they failed to take out Lashley on ECW. Edge is not pleased with the turn of events.
Match #2 – Masterlock Challenge
(I know I said I wouldn't cover the challenge anymore, but if Lashley doesn't break the hold, I'll cover ECW for the rest of the year.)
The ECW champion heads to the ring. Masters surveys his challenger, and throws a tantrum, as he tries to lock in the hold. Masters slaps Lashley upside the head, and the champ jumps to his feet and responds with a slap of his own. The ref settles the two down, and Masters gets the hold locked in. Lashley drops to one knee, but powers back to his feet. Masters struggles to keep the hold locked, and with one move Lashley breaks free of Masters' hold. The Masterlock has officially been broken. (And I don't have to go to ECW! Sorry, Matt.)
(Ashley's in Playboy? Since when, why hasn't WWE promoted this?)
Vince is giving Lashley a sarcastic clap, as the ECW champion walks through the back. Vince congratulates Bobby, but tells the champ Umaga will break him. And then Vince will break Trump. He tells Lashley that since someone threw his gear into the parking lot, he may want to go out there with security. Vince walks off and runs into Maria. He compliments her dress and earrings. Vince turns around and literally runs into Eugene, who spills his coffee on the boss. (Hey, this looks vaguely familiar.) Vince calls it a boo-boo, but tells Eugene he may have a boo-boo tonight. He tells Eugene to get ready for a match, and then tells Coach to fetch Umaga. Ron Simmons the drops in for a heartfelt, "DAMN!"
WWE shows a tribute to Arnold Skaaland.
Match #3 – Last Chance Money in the Bank Battle Royal – Edge, Randy Orton, Carlito, Ric Flair, Nitro, Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin, Viscera, Val Venis, Kenny Dykstra, and Super Crazy
Everyone gangs up on Viscera and they are able to get him over the top rope. Edge knees Venis in the back, and injures himself, rolling under the rope to the floor. Super Crazy goes for a dual head scissors/neck breaker on the World's Greatest Tag Team, but Hass and Benji just dump him over the top rope, as we go to commercial.
For those of you scoring at home, or even if you're alone, Haas and Val Venis were eliminated during the break. Kenny has Carlito in trouble on the apron, but Carlito is able to fight his way back onto the turnbuckle. Benjamin leaps up to greet him, only to have Flair push him to the floor, saving Carlito. Flair crotches Kenny on the top rope and chops him to the floor. Carlito reverses a whip and sends Nitro flying to the floor. Carlito and Naitch exchange chops. Flair shoots Carlito to the ropes, but Carlito counters with a springboard back elbow. Carlito charges Flair, but the Nature Boy ducks, and back drops Carlito over the top rope. Flair is about to be announced the winner, when Edge returns to the ring. He grabs Flair and tosses him over the top rope. Edge wins.
Vince heads out on stage, and has security bring the barber shop set to ringside.
Match #4 – Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada vs. Eugene
Eugene was happy to be on RAW, until he saw Umaga. The Samoan Bulldozer knocks Eugene off the apron, and tosses him into the ring steps. Umaga throws him back into the ring, and hits a butt splash off the middle rope. Eugene tries to take cover in the corner, but gets hit with a running butt splash. Umaga picks Eugene up, and drives him back down with the Samoan spike.
Winner via pin fall: Umaga
Vince isn't satisfied. He orders Umaga to get Eugene, and beat on him some more. Eugene is tossed into the barber's chair, and strapped in. Vince wants to make a statement, calling Eugene Trump. Umaga chokes out Eugene, and Vince starts to shave his head. Vince tells the crowd this is symbolic. Eugene is in tears and the hair falls to the floor. Vince slaps Eugene across the face, and Umaga knocks over the chair. Vince takes the party to the back.
Candice Michelle is in the ring, and wants to address Melina concerning her blogs. Candice says if Melina has a problem with Playboy cover girls, come out a do something about it. Melina pretty much calls Candice a no talent hack (my words, not hers). She says the only reason Candice has a job is because she is willing to get naked. Melina says she has turned down Playboy, because it's beneath her. Candice is surprised, since Melina doesn't turn anyone down, and has been beneath everyone in the back. Candice goes on to challenge Melina to a bra and panties match.
Match #5 – Melina vs. Candice Michelle – Bra and Panties Match
The match is already in progress after the break. Candice has Melina in a head scissors over the rope, and is able to strip Melina of her bottoms. Melina grabs control and rips off Candice's top. Melina hits a bulldog, and tears off Candice's shorts to get the win.
Winner via strip: Melina
After the match, Ashley hits the ring and gets in Melina's face. Ashley kicks Melina in the gut, ripping off Melina's top. Ashley stands in the ring victorious, when The Great Khali strides to the ring. Melina jumps Ashley, beating her down, until Khali enters. Ashley tries to escape, but Khali grabs her by the throat. Jerry Lawler has seen enough, and hits the ring. He kicks Khali in the back of the leg, and he lets Ashley go. Khali grabs The King, and chokeslams him with two hands.
More celebrities weigh in on the "Hair vs. Hair" match.
Todd Grisham joins JR to fill in for The King.
Match #6 – Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton
Hardy ducks a punch in the corner, and takes Orton to the mat. Hardy dodges another charge, and hits an arm drag. Orton fights out of an arm bar, and hits an inverted back breaker. Orton stomps away at Hardy. Orton locks in a modified Boston crab. Hardy gets to the ropes, and Orton breaks the hold at the four count. Jeff and Randy trade punches, and then hits a mule kick. Hardy follows with the Whisper in the Wind. Edge runs to ringside, sliding a ladder into the ring. Orton pushes the ref aside, and slams the ladder into Hardy.
Winner via DQ: Jeff Hardy
Orton yells at Edge, allowing Hardy to recover. Jeff hits Orton with a Twist of Fate onto the ladder. Hardy sets up the ladder, and hits a leg drop off the top.
It's time for an exclusive first look at The Condemned. (Um, I've seen this trailer twice in the theater before tonight. And I liked this movie the first time I saw it, when it was called The Running Man.)
Back in his office, Vince is on the phone. He tells the other person that they will drop a bomb on this crowd, but first Vince says he will drop a bombshell. Next week, Vince will take Bobby Lashley on one on one. Coach tries to talk some sense into Vince. Mr. McMahon guarantees a win.
Shawn Michaels joins JR and the Grish at the announce position.
Eugene is in the back crying over his shaved head.
Match #7 – John Cena vs. Chris Benoit – Wrestlemania Reversal Match
Benoit chops away at Cena in the corner. The fight spills to the outside, bouncing Cena's head off the table. The champ powers out of a German suplex. Benoit ducks a clothesline, and Cena pulls up short of nailing HBK. Back in the ring, Benoit hits a back suplex, getting a two count. The Rabid Wolverine returns to the chops; Cena counters with a big boot. Benoit uses a leg lace to take down Cena, and locks in a sharpshooter. Benoit brings Cena to the middle of the ring, but the champ still fights, getting to the bottom rope. Benoit ducks a punch, and counters with rolling German suplexes. Benoit climbs the top turnbuckle, but misses the flying head butt, as Cena rolls out of the way. Cena shoots off the ropes and hits a shoulder block, and then side slam. The champ hits the five-knuckle shuffle. Cena sets up the F-U; Benoit tries to counter into the Crippler Cross-face. Cena counters into the STF-U, and Benoit taps.
Winner via submission: John Cena
After the match, HBK hits the ring. Michaels pulls up short of hitting Sweet Chin Music, telling the champ he had him. Cena goes to shake hands, instead picking up HBK for an F-U. The champ lets him out, when JBL walks out on stage. Bradshaw says next week will be the biggest in RAW history with two main events. First, Mr. McMahon will take on Bobby Lashley, and then Cena will team with HBK to take on Batista and The Undertaker. The show ends with the ring bathed in a purple light and the tolling of the bells.
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Before RAW, Dale covered Smackdown, a job he would gladly return to instead of covering ECW.