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COMMENT





Raw: A draft and a "death"
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling




Once again Vince is letting his ego run the show. In what should be the biggest night of the year with the tri-branded WWE draft, Vince has taken it upon himself to name tonight's show "Mr. McMahon appreciation night" with RAW coming to us from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

In a very intriguing move for WWE creative, the draft slots will be determined by inter-brand matches. The superstar that wins the match wins the pick for his respective brand. A superstar is then "randomly" drafted to said show. In addition to tonight's draft, WWE.com will host a supplemental draft Wednesday at noon on the website. You know, just to shake things up further.

And just to stroke his own ego, Vince is having various celebrities and WWE Hall of Famers say words about him. Something tells me that they all won't be very nice.

Vince kicks off the show from his office, and boy is he low key. Vince reads a prepared statement, saying he is in control of all his faculties. Vince tells us that many people will be sharing their thoughts on him, and tonight will be a defining moment of his life.

All three announce teams are in the house tonight, as they explain how tonight will work.

Match #1 John Cena vs. Edge

Cena and Edge lock up in the corner. Cena hits a suplex, and goes for an early cover. Edge kicks out at one, and gets his head slammed into the turnbuckle. Edge dodges a corner charge and hits Cena with a forearm to the back of the head. Edge hits a series of blows. Edge kicks Cena out of the ring. Cena gets to the apron, and nearly gets a pin with a sunset flip. Edge wears down Cena in the corner, and then nails the WWE champ with a heel kick. Edge has words with the ref, and Cena gets him up for the F-U. Edge slips out, and counters into a roll-up. Cena powers out of the pin, but gets kicked in the mouth. Edge slaps on a reverse chin lock. Cena breaks the hold, and slaps on the STFU, but Edge grabs the ropes. Cena hits a blockbuster. Both men get to their feet, and Cena hits a shoulder block, and then a modified side slam. Cena goes for the five-knuckle shuffle, but Edge lines up a spear. Cena dodges it, and Edge flies to the floor. Cena slams Edge into the announce table, and sets up an F-U on the ring steps. Edge saves himself with a rake to the eyes, and slips back into the ring. The ref hits his ten count, and Edge picks up the win.

Winner via countout: Edge

Pick Number 1 - Smackdown - The Great Khali (Oh, someone got my letters!)

First up on Mr. McMahon appreciation night is Vince's history as an announcer. Jesse Ventura offers the first tribute. He say McMahon hasn't earned the right to be called mister, and then calls him a dictator. Ventura says all dictators fall.

Coach announces that Vengeance will be a night of champions. All belts will be defended. He also says that there will be an open challenge for the WWE title. Any current or former champion on the RAW roster is eligible.

Match #2 Carlito vs. CM Punk

Carlito and Punk lock up, and Carlito slaps him. Punk responds with a kick, but is caught in the corner attempting a knee lift. Punk recovers and kicks Carlito to the mat. Carlito drop kicks Punk out of mid air, as Punk came off the middle turnbuckle with a double axe handle. Carlito drop kicks Punk again, but cannot get the pin. Carlito locks on a body scissors, but Puck counters into a Boston Crab. Carlito crawls to the ropes to break the hold. Punk springboards himself off the ropes and clotheslines Carlito. Punk kicks Carlito in the back of the head, and then hits the knee lift in the corner. Punk goes for a bulldog, but Carlito pushes Punk into the corner, and hits the newly renamed Backstabber. Carlito only gets a two count. Punk gets up and hits his finisher "Go To Sleep" and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: CM Punk

Pick Number 2 ECW The Bogeyman (Is it a package deal? Does ECW get little Boogey, too?)

Next up on Mr. McMahon appreciation night, Snoop Dogg. (WHAT?!?) After the break, we get a recap of what Vince has doen to his friends and famiy over the years, and it ain't pretty. (Where's Dr. Phil when you need him?)

Mick Foley is in the house! Foley seems to have taken a shine to Coach's announcement. Mick officially announces that he will be part of the WWE championship match in two weeks. Foley weighs in on Vince, saying he has the power to do so much good, but has only somewhat followed through. Mick calls him a super-patriot, but also calls him an ego-maniac. Foley references Vince's special club, and wonders if Vince has any real friends. Foley runs down a list of people that declined to appear tonight: Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Triple H, HBK, The Rock, NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol, Trish Stratus, and Ted Turner. They all said Vince wasn't worth their time. Foley asks the crowd if they appreciate Vince, and they respond with a resounding "No!"

Match #3 Balls Mahoney vs. Umaga

(Poor Balls.)

Umaga squashes Balls finishing him off with the Samoan Spike after a kick to the head.

Winner via pinfall: Umaga

Pick Number 3 RAW King Booker and Sharmell (I always enjoyed watching him when I covered Smackdown.)

Steve-O from Jackass thanks Vince for years of entertainment.

Match #4 Lashley vs. Chris Benoit

Lashley with a take down, and both men draw on their amateur backgrounds. Lashley picks up Benoit and hits him with a spinebuster. Lashley goes for the leg, again. Benoit is slammed to the mat, but is able to lock onto Lashley's arm. Benoit chops and knees the ECW champ into the corner. Lashley counters with a body slam, and slaps on a reverse head lock. Benoit is able to drive Lashley into the corner, and chops away at the champion. A snap suplex almost gets a pin for Benoit. Lashley whips Benoit into the corner, and lift the Rabid Wolverine on his shoulders. Benoit breaks free, but Lashley gets him up again, and hits a back breaker. Benoit is whipped into the corner, and Lashley drives a shoulder into him. Benoit counters a suplex into the cross-face crippler, but Lashley is able to get to the ropes. Lashley sets up a vertical suplex, but Benoit counters into a sharp shooter, but Lashley blocks it. Lashley gets Benoit up again, and Benoit counters into a German suplex, and follows with two more. Lashley elbows his way out of a waist lock, but runs into a boot in the corner. Benoit locks in the sharp shooter, but Lashley is able to power out. Benoit shoots off the ropes, but Lashley catches him and plants him with the Dominator. Lashley covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Lashley

Pick Number 4 ECW Chris Benoit (Would the last superstar to leave Smackdown please turn off the lights?)

Donald Trump drags Vince through the mud, verbally, that is.

(So Ashley got suspended last week for spilling coffee on Vince. Well at least they never started a feud that way. Oh wait, they did...)

Ashley appears via satellite to thank Vince for the Diva search. She offers Vince two Divas to bark like a dog for him, just like he had Trish do. Enter Mae Young and the Fabulous Moolah. (Thank goodness I taped this, where's that fast forward button!)

Jimmy Snuka and the Iron Sheik want to know why Vince has gone crazy.

Match #5 Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Santino Marella

MVP starts off with a gut-wrench suplex. Marella answers with an arm drag take down. MVP exploded out of the corner with a clothesline. MVP with a head lock, that Santino powers out of. MVP hits a snap mare, and kicks Marella in the back. A shoulder block sends MVP to the mat, but Marella can't get a three count. Porter gets Marella up, and drops him. Marella blocks a kick, and trips MVP to the mat. MVP reverses an Irish whip, and then kicks MArella in the face. Porter follows with the Playmaker and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: MVP

Pick Number 5 - Smackdown - The Great Torrie Wilson (I love this pick, guys. Wilson has TREMONDOUS upside!)

And next up to skewer Vince, none other then Bret Hart. The Hitman says the best thing to happen to Vince is a fist upside the head.

Match #6 The Miz vs. Snitsky

(They have the ENTIRE roster to pick from and they match up these two! Next match please.)

Snitsky gets the pin but continues beat on The Miz after the bell, so the ref reverses the decision, costing ECW their pick.

Winner via reversal: The Miz

Pick Number 6 - Smackdown Chris Masters (Another guy I'm sick of and won't have to deal with. Can this night get any better?)

Bobby "The Brain" Heenan breaks down the McMahon strut.

Rowdy Roddy Piper is here in person to honor Vince. Piper runs down some of Vince's proudest moments, like getting his head shoved in Big Show's rear; or Stone Cold beating him up; or just about anything DX did to him. And finally Vince getting his head shaved by Donald Trump.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban praises Vince as a businessman. (Why don't you ask him how competing with the NFL worked out? You may want to heed that advice.)

Match #7 Candice Michelle vs. Krystal

(Once again, the entire Divas roster is available and they match up these two.)

Candice gets the pin after a spinning heel kick.

Winner via pinfall: Candice Michelle

Pick Number 7 - RAW Boby Lashley (Wait, he wasn't officially on the RAW roster already? Could have fooled me.)

Coach comes out to greet Lashley, but informs him that Mr. McMahon is stripping him of the ECW Title, since he is no longer on ECW. (Hey that makes sense.) Lashley vows he will be a champion again.

Bob Costas thanks Vince for the interview he gave on HBO.

Match #8 Jeff Hardy vs. Elijah Burke vs. Batista Triple Threat Match

(One of these things is not like the others. One of these things doesn't belong. Come on you know the words.)

WHAT YOU THINK
What was the biggest surprise from the WWE draft? Benoit to ECW - 33%
Lashley to Raw - 19%
Kennedy to Raw - 15%
Flair to Smackdown - 12%
Snitsky to Raw - 6%
Torrie to Smackdown - 5% Khali to Smackdown - 3%
Boogeyman to ECW - 3%
Booker T to Raw - 3%
Masters to Smackdown - 1%
Burke rolls from the ring, only to be attacked from behind by Jeff Hardy. Back in the ring, Batista hits Burke with a power slam. Hardy breaks the pin, then Batista takes Hardy with a clothesline. Hardy counters the Batista Bomb with a head scissors. Hardy hits a whisper in the wind, and then a swanton bomb. Burke breaks up the pinfall. Burke tries to cover, but Batista kicks out. Burke hits Jeff with clothesline and then knocks Batista from the ring. Hardy hits Batista with a drop kick through the ropes, and follows with a plancha. Hardy continues to work over Burke with a drop kick in the corner. Hardy climbs the turnbuckle, and Burke rolls away from a swanton. Batista hits Hardy with a spinebuster, and plants Burke with a clothesline. Batista picks Burke up and drops him with a Batista Bomb. The Animal covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Batista

Pick Number 8 - Smackdown Ric Flair (I got nothing.)

Captain Lou Albano chimes in with his thoughts on Vince.

Dusty Rhodes actually has some kind words for Mr. McMahon. He tells the crowd you don't have to like Vince, but you have to respect him.

The next person to honor Vince is Mean Gene Okerlund. He thanks Vince for getting him a good job -- with WCW!

Match #8 15 Man Battle Royal Matt Hardy, William Regal, Chavo Guerrero, Mark Henry, Chris Masters, Matt Striker, Kevin Thorn, Marcus Cor Von, Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Nitro, Kenny Dykstra, Eugene, Viscera, and Randy Orton

It's every man for himself, but there are five members from each brand, and the last two picks are up for grabs.

The first elimination is Matt Striker by Matt Hardy. William Regal is the next to go, and Chavo is eliminated by Mark Henry. JBL and Michael Cole wonder why the brands don't work together. Mark Henry then eliminates Kevin Thorn. All men are down in the ring, except for Vis and Henry. The two superheavyweights collide, and Henry gets the upper hand. Mark Henry lifts Viscera up and over the top rope to knock him out of the match.

After the break, we find out the Kenny and Eugene were eliminated. Matt Hardy low bridges Marcus Cor Von, and ECW will not be drafting any more tonight. Nitro is then drop kicked off the ropes, and spills over the top. Matt Hardy eliminates Masters with a Twist of Fate on the apron. Mark Henry works on Hardy, but Matt won't go without a fight. Matt clings to Hardy, and Randy Orton knocks Henry to the floor, as Hardy rolls back in. Hardy blocks an RKO, and counters with a Side Effect. Orton responds with an inverted back breaker. Hardy stops a corner charge with a back elbow, and then looks for a Twist of Fate. Orton counters, picking Hardy up and dropping him over the ropes to the apron. A European uppercut sends hardy to floor, and Orton wins the Battle Royal.

Winner: Randy Orton

Pick Number 9 - RAW Snitsky (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

Pick Number 10 - RAW Ken Kennedy (YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!)

Vince is shown pacing in his office with a strange grin on his face,

Stone Cold Steve Austin offers his thoughts on Vince, most of which have to be bleeped out. Austin talks about what he has done to Vince over the years, and how Vince has tried to shaft him ever since the day he signed.

HMMM...
Not to demean the tragic "death" of Vince McMahon last night on Raw at all, but an interesting fact was brought to our attention by staff McMahonite Ryan Nation -- Vince's grandfather Jess McMahon actually DID die in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on November 22, 1954. He was 72.
Vince walks to the ring with a very strange look on his face. Once there, he looks around and drops the mike. Vince walks to the back, and then by almost every superstar in the hall. Coach stops Vince and tells him he is walking the wrong way, and his limo is the other way. Vince walks to his limo, and looks back with a smile on his face as he gets in. The door closes and the limo explodes. The show goes to black as the limo burns.

(Um ... Uh ... I don't know what to say, that's how mad I am. I hope this was a giant F-U to The Sopranos for a series ending that let a lot of people down, other then that, this makes NO sense, even by WWE standards. And then to have WWE.com report it as a real story minutes after the fact. Way to flush a very good show right down the tubes.)

Draft Recap

Pick #1 Smackdown - The Great Khali

Pick #2 ECW The Boogeyman

Pick #3 RAW King Booker

Pick #4 ECW Chris Benoit

Pick #5 Smackdown Torrie Wilson

Pick #6 Smackdown Chris Masters

Pick #7 RAW Bobby Lashley

Pick #8 Smackdown Ric Flair

Pick #9 - RAW - Snitsky

Pick #10 RAW Ken Kennendy

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale can't believe he was passed over in draft again. He's only 29 with two bad knees and a bum shoulder.