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Raw: Mo' money, mo' problems?
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Week two of McMahon's Money Mania is upon us, which means that another group of Americans get a share of $1,000,000. No, I'm not bitter. Why do you ask?

We start off tonight's show with happy-go-lucky John Cena, i.e. the version of Cena that smarts hate with a passion. The crowd's pretty happy, so we know we're in Markville (or is that Markham?) tonight. Cena rambles on about Kodak moments (without the free pub for the camera company) then talks about the Night of Champions match with Triple H, which brings out the King of Kings himself. The two have an interchange about the matches last week and other issues, and a damn good one at that.

Things are about to get physical when Vince McMahon comes out and announces that tonight's password for the money is Watch Raw and Win. He also announces Cena will face Umaga in a Street Fight immediately. Oh lord, more burial?

Match 1 - Umaga vs. John Cena (Street Fight)

Okay before anyone asks, I do like these guys in the ring together, but I've just seen it so many times, and also seen Umaga job on Raw too many times against the top-carders.

We get good mix of both in and out-of-ring action. A couple times, Cena teases lifting Umaga only to fail both times. I'd be more convinced this was a serious problem had John not FU'd Big Show just a couple short years ago. Eventually, Cena does get the FU for the duke.

Winner: John Cena

Before we go to break, Mr. McMahon makes the first money call, worth $125,000. First go doesn't work (again), due to some sort of phone issues. No Rick Roll this time. Instead, it's Denzel Parker, who is actually excited, which is different than last week's winners. For gits and shiggles, McMahon makes Parker bark like a dog before announcing a summertime bikini beach blowout. There goes any sort of progress the Women's Division was making

"Match" 2 - Maria vs. Eve Torres vs. Jillian Hall vs. Layla El vs. Lena Yada vs. Maryse vs. Melina

The Blowout is hosted by Charlie Haas, who affects a bit of Val Venis rasp. The crowd dies after Melina, but comes alive (with boos) for Jillian. Explain why she's not getting a bgger push, please? Maria, of course gets the biggest pop. In the end, the crowd picks Maria.

Winner: Maria

The next lucky winner, who gets $100,000, is Mike Leyva. Leyva isn't as excited. McMahon asks Leyva who was the most handsome man ever born in North Carolina (Leyva's home state), and of course he answers Ric Flair. Vinnie says that's incorrect (which is true, since Naitch was born in Minneapolis). Afterward, the girls dance.

Backstage, Chris Jericho oils up and chats with one of the makeup ladies before we go back to the heel turn from last week. Apparantly, Shawn Michaels now has some sort of eye problem.

Our third winner is chosen tonight with the help of "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, who comes out in a tuxedo. The apparent winner, Ron, appears to be on the phone as the call goes directly to voice mail. That's $50,000 down the tube. The next call gets a D-Generation X Rick Roll treatment from Jesse Jordan. Jordan is also excited and also just about tells Vince to suck it, before Vinnie Mac cuts him off and gets him to give a hooo instead.

Match 3 - Jeff Hardy vs. Carlito

Punishment match, maybe? Or, is this a way of appeasing the hot-blooded Puerto Rican?

As one would expect, the match between these two is extremely strong. At one point, Carlito drops a couple bombs. After a brief exchange, Hardy gets the win with the Swanton.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

Next up is another money call, this time to Kyle Mathisen, who picks up the call. Vince makes him sing some bars from the Star Spangled Banner and gives him $175,000.

Right after, Y2J comes out to address the situation with Michaels. Jericho then blames the crowd for what happened to HBK and says rather than saving the fans, he's now saving himself from the "morally corrupted" fans. Please Y2J, call out the American fans! Jericho then says he will punish Michaels for the sins of the crowd. Y2J asks for Michaels to come out and instead, we get Ric Flair coming out. That's a surprise for sure. Nice unintentional allusion earlier in the show as well.

Back from a break, we have Flair now face-to-face with Jericho in the ring. Flair wants Jericho in the parking lot for a fight. The two indeed head to the back. Y2J heads partway out the back before Triple H stops him in the doorway. The result is an apparent match between the two later in the night.

Backstage, Flair and Triple H have a reunion when McMahon comes into the picture and has security escort Flair from the building. McMahon then confirms the Jericho-HHH match.

Match 4 - Cryme Tyme vs. Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes

Before the match really begins, Ted DiBiase Jr. comes down to the ring, which distracts Cryme Time, allowing Hardcore Holly the quick pin. The hell? That made no sense whatsoever.

Winners: Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes

Next up is another money call. The winner this time is Beckey Corman. Corman, is a North Carolinian as well, and since Flair was a 16-time champ, Corman gets $16.

Match 5 - Mixed Tag Match - Paul Burchill & Katie Lea vs. Mickie James & Mr. Kennedy

I like the potential that Mickie and Katie have in the ring together, especially after getting a good tease in tonight's bout. Katie Lea, surprisingly, gets the pin for her crew after the Randy Orton Backbreaker (shall we call it the Union Jack?).

Winners: Katie Lea & Paul Burchill

Again, we go to the money, with Alana Ayres who stumbles over the password in her excitement. She reacts like she just met a New Kid on the Block. For her suck-up-itude, she wins $174,984.

Back from break, it's another cash giveaway. This time Peter Mauer picks up and wins $75,000.

Before our main event, Cena wishes Triple H luck in his match.

Next up, Vince announces that he will give away another million next week. Why? The final winner for the night, who gets $300,000 is Frank Turbeville.

Match 6 - Triple H vs. Chris Jericho

Considering the two had a couple runs with good matches, one would expect a lot and we indeed get a good match. Jericho, despite the heel turn, gets cheers in this bout, probably for the sake of tradition as much as anything else. Jericho does, however, show that he needs to be a bit more of a jerk to get the turn on the fans. Late in the game, both men are outside when Lance Cade(!?!) interferes and assaults Triple H for the DQ.

Winner: Triple H (DQ)

Post bell, Cena comes out to even the odds before the main event competitors turn on each other. This allows the heels to come in and clean house as we fade to black.

Okay, I can understand wanting to push Cade, but the guy just lost to a non-roster guy last week. I'm very, very confused now. Hopefully we'll get more explanation during the Draft next week.


Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.