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Raw: No Cena so more Lashley
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Lafayette, Louisiana plays host to Monday Night RAW, and the champ ISN’T here! John Cena is across the country on Larry King Live, forcing WWE to change up plans for tonight’s show.

Creative isn’t messing around as Bobby Lashley heads to the ring for his match.

Match #1 – Bobby Lashley vs. King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell

Lashley and Booker lock up. Booker breaks with a knee to the gut. He then cuts down a charge from Lashley with a back elbow. Lashley responds with a power slam. Booker is then in a bad position over Lashley’s shoulder and is hit with a gut buster. Lashley shoots Book off the ropes, and takes him down with a shoulder block. Lashley hits Booker with a series of forearms; Booker looks for a desperation spin kick, but Lashley counters into the Dominator. Booker kicks out after two, so Lashey sets up a vertical suplex. Mr. Kennedy runs in, getting Booker disqualified. Booker and Kennedy work over Lashley. Finally, Coach comes out of the back, telling both men to stop. Coach books Booker and Kennedy against Lashley and a partner of his choosing. If Lashley can’t find a partner it will be a handicap match. Booker resumes the beat down on Lashley, but Bobby fights back, knocking Booker from the ring.

Winner via DQ: Bobby Lashley

William Regal is hanging out in Coach’s office. Coach thanks him for taking over last week. Regal gives Coach a back handed compliment on his handling of the Lashley situation. Coach then tells Regal he will face the Sandman, tonight.

Match #2 – Umaga (champion) vs. Santino Marella (challenger) – Intercontinental Title Match

Umaga knocks Santino down and then hits him with a side slam. Maria runs down to ringside to check on Marella. Umaga hits chops, sending Santino to the mat. Umaga drops a knee onto the sternum. Marella is whipped into the corner, and Santino bounced off. Umaga beats on Marella in the corner. Marella is whipped hard into the turnbuckle, again. Umaga drags his opponent to the center of the ring, and then climbs the middle rope. Marella rolls away from a diving head butt. Marella hits a low drop kick, but cannot get a pin. Umaga kicks Marella in the chest, and drags him to the corner. Umaga hits the butt charge in the corner, and pulls Santino to his feet. Umaga hits the Samoan Spike and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Umaga

After the match, Maria checks on Santino.

We see Lashley head into the RAW locker room.

Match #3 – Cade and Murdoch (champions) vs. The Highlanders (challengers) – World Tag Team Championship Match

Cade knocks Rory to the mat with a shoulder block. Cade then hits a fireman’s carry. Murdoch makes a blind tag, but Rory knocks him off the apron. Murdoch gets in the ring and slaps on a chin lock. Rory fights out and hits a chin breaker. Robbie gets the hot tag, hitting a drop kick, and then a one man flapjack. Robbie goes for the pin, and Rory cuts off Cade. The ref admonishes Rory, but Cade and Murdoch high-low Robbie with the ref turned away. Murdoch covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall and: Cade and Murdoch

Backstage, Maria is making sure Santino is okay. Maria wants to take Santino out, tonight. Marella doesn’t want to go, saying everyone will be pointing and laughing. Santino says he shouldn’t be alone tonight, and she should come back to his hotel. Maria agrees, saying they can watch a movie or something.

Backstage, Shelton Benjamin is getting ready. Charlie Haas gives him the business for kissing King Booker’s hand last week. Benji says he is so confident that he will win tonight that he will kiss Haas on the lips if he loses. Charlie doesn’t seem real thrilled about that idea.

A video package about WWE champ John Cena is shown.

Match #4 – Snitsky vs. Super Crazy

Crazy gets a boot up in the corner, but Snitsky runs Crazy into the far turnbuckle. Snitsky tosses Crazy around the ring, and then hits the pump handle slam.

Winner via pinfall: Snitsky

After the match, Snitsky picks Super Crazy up and hits another pump handle slam.

Dusty Rhodes heads to the ring, and he wants a meeting with Randy Orton face to face. After a moment, Orton walks to the ring. Dusty tells Orton his entrance was pretty impressive. Dusty asks Orton if he thought last week was going to be it after he slapped him. Orton says he has heard this legends speech a hundred times. Dusty said this about being disrespectful to the people that brought you into the business. Orton says people that live off the past don’t deserve respect. Orton says he gets respect for what he does, like ending careers. Dusty says you won’t gain any respect kicking someone when they are down. Orton wants a match at the Great American Bash. Dusty doesn’t jump. Orton tells Dusty to do it for his son. Orton then threatens to end Cody’s career before it starts. Dusty offers to meet Orton at the GAB, but in a Texas Bull Rope Match. Orton accepts, but tells Dusty his kid better bring a broom to clean up what ever is left. Cody hits the ring. Orton tells him to get out before he gets hurt. Cody slaps Orton. Orton slips out of the ring, and heads to the back.

Match #5 – Shelton Benjamin vs. Paul London

London and Benjamin tie up to start. Benji hits a shoulder block. London then knocks Benji from the ring. London tries to leap Shelton, but Benji catches him and hits a backbreaker. London is shot off the ropes, but kicks Benji. He follows with a huricanrana. London gets a two count with an inside cradle. Benji hits an armbar slam. London misses an enziguri, but is able to combo into a roll up and gets the three count.

Winner via pinfall: Paul London

Backstage, Haas tells Shelton that he doesn’t have to kiss him on the lips, but he does have to kiss his hand. Benji is upset, until Haas says he was just kidding. Haas and Shelton embrace, and Ron Simmons walks in. He has one thing to say, “DAMN!”

Match #6 – Candice Michelle and Mickie James vs. Jillian Hall and Beth Phoenix

Melina was supposed to wrestle, but can’t compete because of a sprained ankle, so Beth Phoenix will replace her. Candice gets the win with a backslide on Jillian.

Winner via pinfall: Candice Michelle and Mickie James

After the match, Melina, Beth, and Jillian team up on Candice. Melina hits a seated senton splash, before Mickie can clear the ring.

Backstage, Lashley is talking with Arn Anderson.

Ken Kennedy tells Booker Super Crazy is taken care of, so there’s only one piece of business left. Booker says he was robbed last week, so tonight he will be victorious.

Match #7 – William Regal vs. The Sandman

Carlito joins JR and King on commentary. Regal goes after Sandman as he gets in the ring. Regal attacks a series of lefts and knees. Sandman hits a knee lift. Regal tosses Sandman from the ring. Carlito gets up and Sandman clocks him with the Singapore cane. Sandman then hits Regal and gets DQ’ed.

Winner via DQ: William Regal

Bobby Lashley gets the pre-championship PPV match video treatment.

John Cena joins us via satellite from Los Angeles. Cena thanks Larry King for having him on the show. Cena calls Lashley’s spear competitive intensity. Cena says he will address Lashley next week.

Match #8 – Bobby Lashley and ??? vs. King Booker and Mr. Kennedy

Lashley’s partner is Jeff Hardy. Hardy and Booker start off, with Booker talking trash. Hardy runs into a back elbow, but ducks an axe kick. Hardy drop both legs into the lower abdomen of Booker. Hardy is kneed in the corner. Kennedy tags in, smashing Jeff’s face into the turnbuckle. Kennedy blocks a kick, but Hardy hits him with a mule kick. Hardy then hits him with a low drop kick in the corner. Lashley tags in, driving Kennedy into the corner. Lashley tosses Kennedy into Booker's boot, and knocks Booker off the apron. Hardy tags in and hits Poetry in Motion on Kennedy. Jeff is whipped into the rope, but Booker gets a boot up on the ropes, knocking Jeff to the mat. Booker tags in, whipping Hardy to the corner. Jeff counters with a whisper in the wind. Lashley gets the hot tag, spearing Kennedy in the corner. Lashley hits a back body drop, and then a back breaker. Booker breaks up a pinfall. Jeff hits the ring, taking Booker out. Kennedy goes up and over. Lashley leap frogs him coming off the ropes, and then hits the spear on Kennedy.

Winner via pinfall: Bobby Lashley and Jeff Hardy

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. If anyone has seen Armando Alejandro Estrada or has information on his whereabouts please contact Dale at DPlummer627yahoo.com.