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Raw: Ganging up on Lashley
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


All I want to know this Monday is will Vince finally take a break from TV now that this head is shaved? We'll find out soon enough as Monday Night RAW comes to us from Bridgeport, CT. This is also the last RAW in North America for a couple of weeks, as WWE is heading to Europe.

Shane McMahon walks to the ring to start the show, and he's not bouncing around or dancing either. Shane says the name McMahon is one the prestigious names that is honored around the world, but over the last couple of weeks people have been laughing at the McMahon name. Shane says tonight is about the family dynasty, and tonight Shane wants to put respect back in the family name. Shane-O-Mac calls out the ECW champ Bobby Lashley.

Lashley comes to the ring, where Shane says Bobby took his family's dignity, so tonight he'll take the one thing that means the most to him, the ECW Title. Tonight, Lashley will face Shane McMahon.

Umaga and Estrada enter the arena, but Shane tells them to head to the back. Shane slaps Estrada, telling him to take Umaga to the back, again. Shane says he doesn't need Umaga to fight his battles. Lashley wants to make things interesting, if Lashley wins, Shane gets shaved bald. Shane takes him up on the offer.

Match #1 -- Mickie James and Candice Michelle vs. Melina and Victoria

(Wow, could the crowd be any deader during this match?) Mickie James pins Victoria after a spike DDT.

Winner: Mickie James and Candice Michelle

Mick Foley is with tonight's honorary General Manager, Michael Pena, made possible through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Mick introduces Michael to the Highlanders and then to Maria. He then has Michael look into the camera to talk to all the RAW fans.

Match #2 -- Ric Flair and Carlito w/ Torrie Wilson vs. Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade

Before the match, Carlito pays tribute to Ric Flair since the Nature Boy has taken Carlito under his wing. Carlito says if they win tonight, they will wrestle for the tag team titles at Backlash.

Flair and Cade are already going at it when we return from break. Lance hits a flying clothesline, and tags in Murdoch. Flair gets double teamed in the corner, and then Murdoch hits a back suplex. Flair fights his way out of the corner, and then rolls away from a Cade elbow. Murdoch drops Flair with a right hand, but Carlito is able to get the hot tag. A running knee lift and clothesline gets a near fall on Murdoch. Cade pushes his partner out of the way of a springboard back elbow. Carlito crashes and burns, and is then hit with the high/low finisher from Cade and Murdoch. Murdoch covers for the win.

Winners: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch

After the match, Carlito wants nothing to do with Flair, storming off to the back.

It's time for another look at The Condemned. (I wish the filmmakers would stop trying to tell us this in an original idea. I think the governor of California would have something to say about that. This was done over 20 years ago, and it was called The Running Man.)

Coach walks in to Shane's office to offer guidance. Shane says things are going down his way; he's bringing respect back to the family name.

The Grish has a word with Shawn Michaels. HBK has gone back to his classic look, and tonight he is going to start telling like it is. Michaels says if he doesn't win tonight, his title dreams are gone. Orton interrupts and tells HBK his days of being a top contender are over. HBK isn't impressed, telling Orton that he will kick his teeth out.

Match #3 -- Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels -- Number One Contender Match

HBK comes out to Sexy Boy, and not the DX anthem. I guess the DX marketing machine has finally ran out of gas.

Orton and HBK tie up and Michaels is able to slap on a side headlock. A shoulder block sends HBK to the mat, and more mat wrestling follows. HBK is shot off the ropes, and Orton catches him in the gut with a knee lift. Orton slams Michaels to the mat, but misses a knee drop. A chop block takes down Orton, and HBK then slams the same knee over the edge of the ring. Michaels continues to work over the knee and leg. HBK catches Orton's foot, and takes him down with a leg lace. Orton recovers and slams HBK into the corner. Edge walks to ringside and HBK nearly gets the pin by rolling up a distracted Orton.

After the break, Orton sends HBK to the apron with a reverse elbow. Orton then hits a DDT, as HBK is hung on the ropes. Orton stomps away at HBK. Michaels fights back with knife-edge chops, and then nearly gets the pin by pulling Orton's tights on a sunset flip. HBK shoots off the ropes and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Both men trade chops and punches. HBK is whipped off the ropes, but Orton ducks a flying forearm, and HBK hits the ref. Michaels hits Orton with an inverted atomic drop, and then drops an elbow off the top turnbuckle. Edge distracts HBK, allowing Orton to clothesline HBK, and both men spill to the floor. Orton and HBK rise, and Orton hits an RKO. Orton picks up HBK, rolling him into the ring. Orton tells Edge to split. Orton ducks a shot from Edge, but Edge blocks an RKO. Orton stops short of hitting the ring post, but turns into a spear. Edge rolls Orton into the ring, and then tries to revive the ref. Chad Patten can't get up, so Jack Doan takes over. Doan gets to a nine count before HBK gets to his feet. Michaels nails Orton with Sweet Chin Music, and then collapses over Orton. Doan counts HBK as the winner, but Patten says Michaels' shoulders were also down. Edge walks back up the ramp saying he is the number one contender.

No Decision

Randy Orton storms in Shane's office, demanding Shane fix things. Shane tells Orton to take things up with Coach.

Mick and Michael get autographs from Super Crazy, Val Venis, and Cryme Tyme. Nitro just looks at Foley and shakes his head. Coach stops by and tells Michael he can make the small decisions, but Coach makes the big decisions. Michaels as about to tell Coach something big, but Edge interrupts and Coach walks away.

Match #4 -- The Hardys vs. The Worlds Greatest Tag Team

Haas slaps a hammerlock on Matt to start off. Jeff tags in, but is kicked off the top turnbuckle by Shelton Benjamin. Haas punches away at Jeff, before tagging Shelton in. Jeff with a reverse mulekick on Shelton, and is able to tag in Matt. Hardy hits a bulldog/clothesline on TWGTT, and then nails Benji with a side effect. Haas is knocked off the apron by Jeff, as Matt whips Shelton into the corner. Jeff hits poetry in motion, and Matt follows with a Twist of Fate. Jeff finishes off Shelton with a swanton bomb, and Matt makes the pin.

Winner via pinfall: The Hardys

ANOTHER look at The Condemned!

The Cutting Edge

Tonight's guest is WWE champion John Cena. Edge addresses the number one contender situation. He says that since HBK and Randy Orton lost, Coach agrees that Edge is the number one contender.

Randy Orton interrupts. Orton says Edge cost him his shot at the title. Orton says Coach agrees with him that Edge doesn't deserve a title shot.

HBK comes out to say his piece. Michaels says he is better than both of them, and at Backlash it needs to be the rematch of all rematches.

Finally the champ arrives. Cena wants to talk about the WWE championship. He tells Edge he couldn't get the job done in a match he made in his home town. He tells Orton that he has no one to blame but himself. Orton has never had the guts to step up, Cena says he's easy to find. The champ then tells HBK he doesn't want to see his former partner disgruntled. Cena wants to decide who gets a title shot.

Coach walks out on stage and tells Cena that he will make the decision. Since Edge and Orton sought him out, they will get a title shot in a handicap match. The winner will be whoever makes the pin. Mick Foley brings out Michael Pena, who has other ideas as honorary GM. Foley gives the mike to Pena, who announces a four-way dance at Backlash between the champ, HBK, Orton, and Edge.

Match #5 -- Bobby Lashley vs. Shane McMahon -- Title vs. Hair Match

Everyone knows this match is a sham, and Shane acknowledges this by taking out the ref with a blatant right cross and getting himself DQ'ed. The ref calls for the bell.

Winner via DQ: Bobby Lashley

Immediately after the bell, Umaga, Estrada and Mr. McMahon hit the ring. Umaga beats on Lashley in the corner, as Estrada holds the ECW Champ down. Umaga hits the running butt splash, twice. Shane calls for a chair, and absolutely tattoos an unprotected Lashley. Umaga beats on the champ, and Shane drops a few elbows. Vince gets in Lashley's face, telling him that at Backlash the ECW belt will be on the line in a four-way dance against Umaga, Shane, and Vince. Shane and Estrada hold Lashley up, and Umaga spikes him to the mat.

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Since there are already two four-way dances on the card for Backlash, that should be the theme. Every match a four-way dance!