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Raw: Mama mia! A new I-C champion!
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


It doesn't happen often, but Monday Night RAW isn't airing live. The main reason: I don't think Italians would like to start the show at three in the morning. RAW stops in Milan, Italy tonight, on the WWE European swing.

(On a side note, I have a correction to make. The ECW title match at Backlash is a 3 on 1 handicap match, not a fatal four-way. I just got caught up in the excitement of having to watch ECW.)

Coach starts off the show from the stage. Coach says that even though his match for Backlash was over-ruled last week, it will take place tonight instead. Coach then announces Mr. McMahon.

Vince walks out sporting another stylish hat. Vince rips on the Milan crowd, questioning their fashion sense. Vince then brings out Umaga, and reminds everyone what they did to Bobby Lashley last week. Vince informs us that Shane McMahon didn't make the trip, and Lashley got caught up in customs. Vince issues an open challenge to anyone in the back to face Umaga. There are no takers. Vince then puts the Intercontinental Title on the line, and still no one answers the bell. Vince then turns to the crowd for a challenger. One brave soul (**cough** PLANT! **cough**) in the front row is picked by Vince. He says his name is Santino Marella. Vince calls for the ref, and blames the fans for what is about to happen.

Match #1 -- Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada vs. Santino Marella -- Intercontinental Title Match

Santino attacks with forearms, and then kicks Umaga in the legs. The Samoan Bulldozer charges, but misses Santino, crashing into the ring post. Marella rolls up Umaga, but the big guy kicks out. Vince stops the match, and announces that this is a "No Holds Barred" match. Estrada slaps Marella, and Santino slaps him right back. Umaga takes advantage of the distraction, and clocks Santino in the skull. Umaga drops a leg, and Estrada slaps him around some more. Umaga drags the challenger to the corner, and splashes onto him from the middle turnbuckle. Umaga climbs the turnbuckles, but is cut off by Bobby Lashley. The ECW champion hits Umaga with a Lashley Slam, and then takes out Estrada. Lashley blocks a chair shot from Vince, and tattoos Umaga with three chair shots to the head. Lashley finishes him off with a spear, and then drags Santino onto the prone Umaga. The ref counts the three for Marella, and we have a new Intercontinental Champion.

Winner: Santino Marella

After the match, (and commercials), King is in the ring with the ECW champ and the new IC champion. Lashley says he wasn't supposed to be here, but he is, and he will keep the ECW title after Backlash. Santino (Boris Alexiev in OVW, real name Anthony John Carelli) says something in Italian, and poses for the crowd.

Ric Flair and Carlito talk in the locker room. Carlito tries to apologize for last week's loss, but Flair won't hear of it. The Nature Boy says tonight they will show everyone they belong back in contention.

Match #2 -- Ric Flair and Carlito w/ Torrie Wilson vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team

Carlito and Benjamin start off, with Carlito hitting a series off hip locks. Carlito ducks a Stinger Splash, and dropkicks Benji from the ring, and then sends Haas to the floor. Haas tags in and so does Flair. Flair chops away at Haas, and then hits a rear elbow. Benjamin saves his partner from a figure four with a clothesline. Benji hits Flair with a back body drop, and tags Haas back in. Haas drops an elbow and then a knee, but only gets a two count. Carlito gets the hot tag, and takes it to Shelton. A running knee lift and a clothesline are followed up by a reverse elbow. Haas breaks up the pin, and gets chopped out of the ring by Flair. Carlito shoots off the ropes, but is tripped up by Haas, and stumbles into a T-bone suplex. Benjamin covers for the win.

Winners: The World's Greatest Tag Team

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

Maria interviews the champ John Cena. She wants his thoughts on the handicap match versus Team RKO. Shawn Michaels interrupts, saying before Wrestlemania he had his back, but now he doesn't care what happens.

JR and the King introduce the Italian announcers. (The one guys looks like a fat Tazz, and the other guys looks like he should be selling waterbeds.)

Hey, did you know Steve Austin is in a movie? Neither did I.

Nitro and Melina are getting ready for their appearances, but seems confused when Eugene pops in to say hi.

(I always thought promos were meant to entice me to tune in to the show. Telling me The Great Khali will be in action next week has the opposite effect. Unless, they don't want me to watch ... hmmmmmm.)

Match #3 -- Nitro vs. Eugene

Yea, this is a squash. (A failed heel turn, a shaved head, squash matches. What's next? Getting stuffed into a container and getting shipped to OVW?)

Winner via pinfall: Nitro

Diva Fashion Show

(Where's that fast forward button?) Torrie Wilson wins by a show of cheers from the crowd. A jealous Melina jumps Torrie, but the face divas clear the ring of the heels.

ANOTHER look at The Condemned!

Match #4 -- Jeff Hardy w/ Matt vs. Lance Cade w/ Trevor Murdoch

Cade and Hardy lock up, and Cade drives him into the corner. Cade clubs Jeff to the mat, and then taunts him. Hardy ducks a clothesline and hits the Whisper in the Wind. He follows with a 360-degree leg drop, but only gets a two count. Cade clubs Hardy in the back, and then shoots Jeff off the ropes. Hardy ducks a clothesline, and drop kicks Murdoch through the ropes. Cade catches Jeff with a big boot, and Murdoch gets in a cheap shot. Cade beats on Hardy in the corner. Jeff rolls away from a elbow, and then hits a reverse mule kick. A timely elbow sends Jeff to the mat. Jeff responds with a jawbreaker, and a couple of clotheslines. Jeff climbs the turnbuckle, but Cade gets his knees up on the swanton. A clothesline puts Jeff down, and Cade gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Lance Cade

Does anyone know what this movie The Condemned is all about?

Match #5 -- Chris Masters vs. Super Crazy

Masters tosses Crazy into the corner, but Super ducks out of the way. Super Crazy can't take down Masters with a drop toe hold. A drop kick sends Masters to the floor, and Super Crazy hits him with a plancha. Masters rolls away from a moonsault back in the ring. A hard Irish whip into the corner sends Crazy to the mat. Super Crazy tries a crucifix, but cannot bring down Masters. Super Crazy fights out of a hold, only to get hit with a back body drop. Masters slaps on a rear chin lock. Crazy works on Masters' legs, and hits a low dropkick in the face. Crazy hits a standing moonsault, but cannot get the pin. Masters counters a wheelbarrow into a wheelbarrow suplex, and Masters gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Chris Masters

(More from the Italian announcers. Fat Tazz still looks like Fat Tazz. The other guy looks like a guy who still goes to the club, but he's 20 years older then everyone else and still stuck in the '80s. I can't do it justice.)

Randy Orton drops in on Edge. Orton wants to let bygones be bygones and just be on the same page tonight. (Can you feel the bro-mance in the air?)

Match #6 -- John Cena vs. Randy Orton and Edge: Rated RKO -- 2 on 1 Handicap Match

Edge kicks the champ in the gut, but is then whipped into the corner, and Cena hits him with a fisherman's suplex. A roll-up into a cradle gets a two count. Orton tags in, and stomps away at the champ. Cena hits Orton with a bulldog. A clubbing blow from Orton sends Cena to the mat. Edge makes a blind tag, as Orton catches Cena with a big boot.

After a break, Cena is on the apron. Edge knocks him into the announce table. Orton bounces Cena's skull off the table, and then lifts the champ into the ring. Orton hits mounted punches, and then Edge works over the champ with right hands. Cena fights back with his fists, but then runs into a big boot. A standing dropkick lays out Cena, and Orton works over the champ with closed fists. Cena sets up Edge for the F-U, but Edge counters into a modified driver. Edge sets Cena up on the turnbuckle. The champ fights back, knocking Edge to the floor. Cena hits a flying leg drop, but Orton prevents a cover. Shawn Michaels walks to the ring, as Edge is prevented from bringing a chair into the ring. Cena whips Orton out of the ring, with help from a low bridge by HBK. A clothesline, shoulder block, and a back suplex lay out Edge. Cena hits the five-knuckle shuffle, but a dropkick from Orton stops an F-U, and both Edge and Cena fall on the ref. Edge looks for a spear, but Cena sidesteps it, and Orton takes the full brunt of the hit. HBK slips in the ring, but Cena ducks the Sweet Chin Music that connects with Edge's face. Cena F-U's HBK, and covers Edge for the win.

Winner via pinfall: John Cena

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale is boycotting Starburst candy until they stop airing the commercial with the creepy singing and dancing lad.