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SCOREBOARD
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COMMENT





Raw: Cena and Lashley face off
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Now that WWE Pay-per-Views are tri-branded doesn't it seem like there is one every other week? The Great American Bash is on Sunday, and we have yet to see John Cena and Lashley together in the same ring since the contract signing.

Corpus Christi, Texas, hosts Monday night RAW, and do they get a surprise. Is that? It is! That's Triple H's music! Unfortunately King Booker and Queen Sharmell walk out of the back. Booker has taken issues with Hunter's entrance music. Book says he is the only king on Monday Night Raw, and strips Triple H of any association with the word king. Booker goes on to address another issue. Jerry Lawler. Booker walks over to the announce table, and asks Lawler to remove "King" from his name. Lawler says he's been King for over 30 years, and there's no reason they can't co-exist. Booker says he is the only king. Lawler says he won't call himself King, but he can't control what the fans or J.R. says. Booker then wants Lawler to kiss his ring. Lawler stands up and tells him he won't do it. Booker says he isn't asking, he's ordering him to kiss it. Lawler sticks to his guns and doesn't do it. Booker punches Lawler, and the real King fights back. Several refs restrain Lawler and Booker.

WWE is going back to asking superstars who they think will win in the upcoming WWE Title bout. First Ric Flair chimes in. He goes with Cena's experience.

Match #1 Santino Marella vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin w/ Charlie Haas vs. William Regal Fatal Four-way Elimination Match

The winner of this match will face Umaga for the Intercontinental Title at the Great American Bash. Benjamin takes Hardy and himself over the top rope, as Marella locks in an arm breaker on Regal. The fighting Brit gets to the ropes, and rolls out of the ring. Hardy and Benji roll back into the ring, but collide as both go for a cross body. Santino hits Regal with a snap suplex, but Shelton blindsides him and hits a suplex. Marella responds by kneeing Benji. Shelton rolls up Marella, who counters into a cradle, but Regal knees Santino in the head, and covers him to get the pin.

Eliminated by pinfall: Santino Marella

Benjamin quickly seizes the opportunity and hits Regal with a back breaker. Hardy chops Regal into the corner, and then mounts Regal. Shelton sneaks in, and drops the electric chair on Hardy.

After the break, Hardy is suplexed back into the ring from the apron by Shelton and Regal. Both men taunt Hardy, as Shelton walks away, Regal punches him in the back. Both men collided in the corner and go down. Hardy hits a forearm to Regal, and then knocks Benjamin from the ring. Regal dodges a low drop kick in the corner. Hardy does hit a the Twist of Fate and gets the pin.

Eliminated by pinfall: William Regal

Benjamin climbs the turnbuckle, and hits a blockbuster when Hardy turns around. Shelton covers, but Hardy kicks out right before the three count. Hardy is whipped into the corner, and counters with a whisper in the wind. Haas is knocked off the apron, and Shelton is tossed out of the ring. Hardy flies over the top rope, taking out both men. Back in the ring, Shelton rolls away from a Swanton. Benjamin sets up Hardy for a powerbomb, but Hardy rolls through and gets the pin with a bridge.

Winner via pinfall: Jeff Hardy

Edge weighs in on the upcoming WWE Title match. Edge talks about his history with John Cena, and he thinks Cena will retain.

Todd Grisham informs Randy Orton that Cody Rhodes as accepted his challenge. Orton says he will end Cody's career before it even starts, and he wants Dusty at ringside.

Maria is trying to comfort Santino Marella after his most recent loss. Marella says he feels like a fraud and he doesn't belong. He thanks Maria for being there for him. Santino tells her to stay the night and he will make her breakfast in the morning.

Batista offers his thoughts. He's going with Lashley.

Snitsky comes on and says he likes hurting people.

Match #2 Snitsky vs. Val Venis

And introducing your new monster heel on RAW, Snitsky! Introducing his first victim, Val Venis. Snitsky dominates the match, finishing Venis off with a pump-handle slam.

Winner via pinfall: Snitsky

After the match, Snitsky hits another pump-handle slam on Val.

Grisham ask Cody Rhodes why he accepted Orton's challenge. Cody says he would never disrespect his father, and there is no way Orton can RKO his father's legacy or concuss his following.

Jerry Lawler is in the ring to break down a Texas bull-rope match. Lawler talks about how Dusty has dominated bull-rope matches over his career.

Match #3 Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes w/ Dusty

Rhodes and Orton size each other up, circling the ring. Rhodes leap frogs Orton in the corner, but Orton clotheslines him hard to the mat. Orton punches Cody across the sternum, and then tosses him to the outside. Orton follows and jaws at Dusty. Cody slams Orton into the apron, and rolls him back into the ring. Rhodes shoots off the ropes, but Orton ducks the cross body. Orton stomps on Cody. Rhodes blocks a punch, but is then kneed in the gut. Orton hits a power slam. Orton hits a back body drop, and goes back to stomping on Cody. Orton continues with the right hands. Orton nails a snap suplex, and slaps on a rear chin lock. Cody fights out, but runs into a high knee from Orton. Cody fights back with punches. Orton tries to drop him over the ropes, but Cody lands on the apron. Rhodes climbs the turnbuckle and hits a missile drop kick. Rhodes covers, but Orton kicks out at two. Orton hits an inverted back breaker, and then stalks Rhodes. Cody staggers to his feet and Orton hits the RKO. Orton covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

Dusty enters the ring to check on his son, and catches Orton trying to sneak up on him. Orton backs up the ramp as Dusty checks on Cody.

Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold offers his thoughts on the upcoming title match. Austin goes with Cena, but says anything can happen.

Match #4 Melina w. Beth Phoenix vs. Mickie James w/ Candice Michelle

Mickie James goes for a victory roll, but Melina kicks out at two. Mickie hits a monkey flip, and then tosses Melina into the corner. Mickie whips Melina into the corner, and climbs the turnbuckle. Melina kicks James out of mid-air, and then slams her head into the mat. Mickie is hung between the ropes, and Melina drops her knees into her. Mickie hits a neck breaker, but can't get the three count. Mickie hits a head scissors. Phoenix distracts Mickie, allowing Melina to set up a guillotine leg drop. Melina covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Melina

William Regal asks Hacksaw Jim Duggan for his 2x4 so Coachman can have it bronzed. Duggan says no one touches his hardware. Regal demands he put his wood in his hands. Ron Simmons? Your thoughts? "DAMN!"

Mick Foley says you have to play the odds. Cena has to lose sometime, and Lashley is in a great position to take the title.

Match #5 Carlito vs. The Sandman

Sandman starts off with a hammerlock. Carlito gets to the ropes to break the hold. Carlito slams Sandman to the mat, and then works him over in the corner. Carlito wrenches Sandman neck. Sandman breaks free and hits a scoop slam. William Regal hits the ring and attacks Sandman. Hacksaw makes the save, and Carlito and Regal run off.

Winner via DQ: The Sandman

JBL thinks Cena will win.

Match #6 Ken Kennedy vs. Super Crazy

Super Crazy hits a rolling heel kick. Kennedy hits a shoulder block coming off the ropes. Crazy works over Kennedy in the corner. Kennedy reverses the situation, putting the boots to Crazy. Kennedy kicks Crazy in the face. Kennedy locks in an abdominal stretch, grabbing the ropes for leverage. Crazy tries to escape, and Kennedy goes for a roll up. Crazy kicks out and then blocks a splash. Super Crazy hits a springboard moonsault, twice. Crazy climbs the turnbuckle and Kennedy crotches him on the ropes. Kennedy hits a reverse suplex off the top turnbuckle, and Kennedy covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Ken Kennedy

So Triple H is coming back as the Bionic Man?

Coachman introduces Booby Lashley, and then the champ, John Cena. Both men stand behind their respective podiums. Coach asks Cena about getting speared by Lashley, and if he thinks his championship reign will end. Cena mocks Coach, answering yes it will, because that spear hurt so much, and there is no way he can win this match, and the real shame is he never learned to read. Cena tells Coach that was the worst question ever. Cena addresses Lashley, telling him he has stood toe to toe with the best, and never backed down. Cena promises to be at his best. Coach asks Lashley if he was trying to send a message. Lashley says he doesn't talk, he fights. He'll let Cena, the hype-man, talk about the match, and he'll be standing there ready to fight. Coach scolds both men for not taking this seriously. Lashley heads out of the ring and goes after Coach. Cena gets on the mike and tells him his aggression will be his down fall. The champ says don't be concerned with Coach, be concerned with greatest opportunity of his life. Cena lists Lashley's accomplishments, and says he will put Lashley to the test. Both come face to face in the ring, and Lashley shoves Cena. The refs separate the two as the show goes off the air.

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003.