May 29, 2007
Live, Toronto shows no love for Cena
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling
TORONTO -- Monday Night Raw is live in Toronto and a boisterous crowd could mean some strange fan reaction for WWE Superstars. Will Toronto live up to their reputation of going against the typically expected fan response for wrestlers?
Technical wrestling fanatics are in for a couple of solid outings tonight, including one of the last show’s for RVD. Also, a special feature on a young fan who is in the match of his life, and what you can do to help. It is go time at the Air Canada Centre so let’s get raw!
This SLAM! Wrestling reporter had the privilege of meeting a little warrior named Nicky Malfara. Nicky is no ordinary eight-year-old fan, because this youngster is in a truly heroic fight against cancer. Currently undergoing chemotherapy at Sick Kids Hospital, Nicky was accompanied by his friend Porter, and loving mother Angie. To keep her promise to her son of always being by his side Angie sold her business and now splits time between home and week long therapy sessions at Sick Kids. "We do everything together, I never want him to feel alone," she said.
The reason Nicky was at Raw is because of a fundraiser held by American Express president, Denise Picket. She put up the corporate Air Canada Centre box in a silent auction with all proceeds going to a personal fund for Nicky. A Malfara family friend, Carol McLean, bought the seats and allowed the young fan to live out a dream and see the WWE live. When asked who his favourite wrestler was Nicky took a bite of ice cream and shyly whispered to his mom, "Batista and The Undertaker."
If you would like to make a donation to the Nicky Malfara cancer fund you can make a direct deposit into Scotia Bank account #: 507320164984
Dark Match: The Highlanders vs. Lance Malibu & Ruffy Silverstein
The Highlanders slap to the face tag still makes me laugh. The Ontario indy guys actually put up a half decent fight with some double teaming. The jobbers are DQ’d for not breaking a strangle hold in the corner.
WINNERS: The Highlanders
Match 1: Memorial Day Match- Candice Michelle vs. Mickey James vs. Maria vs. Jillian Hall vs. The Extreme Expose (Layla, Kelly, & Brooke) vs. Michelle McCool vs. Kristal vs. Melina
Why they are having a Memorial Day match in Canada I don’t know. Water guns, water balloons, and pool noodles are set up all over the ring; and the girls decide to blast Melina simultaneously. This is a big mess both with in-ring work and from all the "weapons." Apparently this is now a modified Battle Royal and in the end McCool wins by dropkicking Melina to the floor.
WINNER: Michelle McCool
Shane-O-Mac dances out onto the entry ramp and is soundly booed. He announces that in two weeks on Raw there will be the first ever tri-brand draft. During Shane’s rant the crew quickly replaces the soaking wet ring mat.
Todd Grisham then appears and gets the Toronto crowd excited by trying to find "sign of the night."
Match 2: 8 Man Tag- The Hardy Boys, Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team, Johnny Nitro & Kenny Dykstra
For a television battle this one is given a lot of time and the fans are into it all the way. The Hardys keep control for their team and Murdoch nails a surprising cross body splash from the top turnbuckle to the outside. Dykstra and Nitro are able to turn the tide with some solid double teaming including a nice slingshot/forearm combo. The finish comes when Jeff connects with a swanton bomb on Kenny. After the bell Benjamin challenges The Hardys to a tag title match at One Night Stand. Matt agrees but only if it’s a ladder match!
WINNERS: Hardy’s, Cade & Murdoch
Cue *bizzaro land* moment as John Cena is soundly booed the moment his face appears on the big screen with Todd Grisham -- unless Toronto all of a sudden had something against Grisham. As the show goes to commercial Todd walks down the aisle to do crowd trivia and give away t-shirts.
Maria is shown in the back interviewing the Intercontinental champion Santino Marella. Randy Orton interrupts and talks about RVD running him down on WWE.com. The Legend Killer then challenges him to a match later on tonight.
Match 3: RVD vs. Randy Orton
Audience was not as into RVD as I expected being that this will probably be the last time Toronto fans see Van Dam in a WWE ring due to his contract expiring. A scattering of TNA chants can be heard at times throughout the arena. A back and forth affair for the majority of this match-up as no one holds an advantage for too long. Orton botched a side power bomb attempt and after doing it right the second time bows to the jeering fans. These two are doing a great job of story telling with solid technical wrestling. Following a series of high impact head shots the referee deems RVD unfit to continue and stops it. Randy delivers a vicious RKO for good measure, which in turn brings out officials to assist Van Dam.
WINNERS: Randy Orton
Match 4: Ric Flair & Torrie Wilson vs. Carlito & Victoria
Carlito and Flair charge right in at one another with Flair getting the better of the exchange by giving out some chops. The end occurs when Torrie turns to walk away after slapping Carlito and the ex-boyfriend nails a back cracker.
WINNERS: Carlito & Victoria
In the lockerroom The Great Khali and Umaga yell at each other in their own language. Shane comes in between them to remind the two monsters to take out Cena and Lashley later on, but to let him make the pin.
Maria is out in the ring and starts having the Kiss Cam shoot around. The Masterpiece interrupts to challeng Santino Marella to break The Masterlock. The Italian runs down and jumps Masters, however, a shoulder breaker eventually stops him. Masters slaps on the full nelson and despite a valiant struggle, Santino cannot escape.
Match 5: Main Event- Shane McMahon, Umaga & The Great Khali vs. Bobby Lashley & John Cena
*Bizarro Land* moment as Khali is receiving some cheers, while Cena once again hears "Cena sucks." The WWE champ was isolated in the corner by all three opponents for quite some time until finally making the hot tag to Lashley. The babyfaces are able to double team Khali and temporarily get his arms tied up in the ropes. The 7 footer escaped, two hand choke slammed Lashley, and then allowed Shane to land a top rope flying elbow for the cover on him.
WINNERS: Shane, Umaga & Khali
Cena tries to sucker-punch Lashley during a handshake and the former ECW champion turns it into a running powerslam. When Cena eventually rises he is greeted with a mixed reaction and looks confused in the ring. Before leaving the stage Cena looks back to raise the belt; when he hears nothing but negativity he shakes his head and walks out.
Saturday Night’s Main Event matches:
John Cena vs. The Great Khali
Vince McMahon vs. Bobby Lashley in an Arm Wrestling contest
Batista & Chris Benoit vs. MVP & Edge
Finlay & Hornswaggle vs. The Boogey Man & Little Boogey Man
Kane, Doink The Clown & Eugene vs. Kevin Thorn, Viscera & Umaga
Check the SLAM! Wrestling site for spoiler results and fan reaction
Andy McNamara is a freelance writer and the play-by-play broadcaster for Toronto Maple Leafs intercounty league baseball on Rogers television, and for Durham College sports. If you would like to make a donation to the Nicky Malfara cancer fund you can make a direct deposit into Scotia Bank account #: 507320164984. Contact Andy at email@example.com.