TV REPORTS 4/3 WWE Raw: Caldwell's ongoing Alternate Perspective review
Apr 3, 2006 - 10:05:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
WWE Raw Alternative Report
April 3 in Chicago, Illinois
- The show began with boos. Well, that's because John Cena's music hit. Cena smirked on top of the entrance ramp. He defiantly walked to the ring. Lawler said Cena retained much to the surprise of many people. Coach said some people don't believe it or appreciate, but the fact remains that Cena is champ. He soaked in the boos. He smiled. He laughed. The camera focused on pro-Cena fans. "The champ...(boos)...is still here," he said. The boos increased. Lawler said Cena is sticking it to the haters. Going into Mania, he said he didn't expect to be holding the belt on Raw. Cena said he and Hunter beat the crap out of each other at Mania. He said it's not about winning a popularity contest. "This means you rise to the occasion," he said. "This means you stand up in the face of adversity. It means you meet each and every challenge head on. Hit hard. Fight hard. Stand tall." Fans aren't buying it. Loud "Cena sucks" chant. Triple H's music interrupted. Hunter came out to his blasphemous new theme music. Hunter was cheered heavily. He stared at the fans. They went face-to-face in the ring. Hunter extended his hand. Cena thought about it for a while. He went in for the shake, but Hunter pulled away. Cena smirked. Hunter said he kicked Cena's ass last night. Boos instead of cheers. He acknowledged that Cena found a way to win. More boos. He said he's pissed about it, but not at Cena. He said he's mad at himself because he has made the same mistake everyone else has made. "You tapped out," chant started. He said he underestimated Cena. He acknowledged that he tapped out to the first cheers of the show. He said he underestimated the champ. "Trust me, it will never happen again," he said. Hunter said the belt is his. Boos. (They don't want anyone as champion!) "I want another shot," he said. They went face-to-face.
Edge and Lita walked out. Edge said the problem with Hunter is that he thinks he owns the place just because he's the almighty Triple H. Edge had a newsflash: Hunter lost. Edge said Hunter goes to the back of the line because he didn't have a re-match clause. Edge said he gets to the front of the line because he destroyed Mick Foley. He said he's perfect at Mania. Hunter pointed out that Edge never main evented. He told Edge to go to the back with the rest of the curtain jerkers so the main eventers could sort things out. (Great line from Hunter to acknowledge Cena on his level and a legitimate main eventer.) Edge said he doesn't dress up like Conan the Barbarian and book his own title matches. They bantered back and forth before Cena suggested that Hunter face Edge. Edge didn't like that idea because he was burned last night. He suggested himself and Hunter team up against Cena. Hunter didn't like the idea initially. (Probably because it wasn't his own idea.) Cena didn't respond so Hunter and Edge egged him on. Cena feigned leaving then said he might be stupid, but he's a fighter. He accepted the handicap match because half of the fans in the arena wanted to see him get his ass kicked anyways. He flipped the mic at Edge and Hunter then left. Hot opening segment. Well done.
(1) Kenny & Mikey (w/Spirit Squad) beat Big Show & Kane to capture the World Tag Titles. Kane tossed around Kenny and Mikey early on. Coach pointed out that they enjoy spending time together. Last week, the Dick jokes were transferred to the Spirit Squad. This week, the jokes intensified. The match lost believability when Kane sold for weak offense from much smaller opposition. Big Show took a hot tag. The Squad knocked down the referee then all five lifted Show up into the air and slammed him on his back. Kenny hit the top rope leg drop for the pin. Spirit Squad celebrated with the straps. Coach talked them up. We'll re-evaluate this decision in a few months.
- Maria welcomed Spirit Squad to the backstage area. They celebrated by doing a cheer. They introduced themselves.
- We saw a video package on the Money in the Bank match. No clips from Flair being hauled away. They showed RVD winning.
- RVD came to the entrance ramp with the briefcase. He called himself Mr. Money in the Bank. He said he broke through the glass ceiling last night. He rhetorically asked when he would cash in the briefcase. He said he isn't going to wait as long as Edge did. He said he has good timing - in this case, "extreme" timing. His music hit. Now, it's a matter of whether it's Hunter-RVD or Cena-RVD.
- Chris Masters came to the ring. No fancy entrance tonight. He flung his jacket to the ground and went right after the designated jobber in the ring.
(2) Chris Masters beat Jobber #1 in 1:00. Masters jumped his opponent; press slammed him, and applied the Masterlock for the quick submission. Joey Styles said they didn't even know who the opponent was. Carlito came out smiling. He was impressed by the quick victory. He chewed apple and feigned spitting on Masters then spit on the jobber. They smiled and shook hands. Masters turned his back and Carlito hit the lung blower to a big pop. Carlito pounded away on Masters. He spit in Masters's face. Coach said Carlito over-reacted. Lawler defended Carlito. Usually, the heel turns on the babyface, but the tables were turned in this case. Joey pointed out that the fans enjoyed Carlito's attack.
- Shawn Michaels's music hit. Michaels came out in a finely tailored suit. Joey pointed out that HBK had a DX attitude last night. Plenty of HBK signs in the audience. "HBK" chants. The progression from the reaction at the Hall of Fame to Raw was noticeable. One great WM match will do that. HBK said things got ugly with Vince McMahon last night. He said he could have ended the match any time he wanted to with Sweet Chin Music. He said last night wasn't about a wrestling match, but forcing McMahon to endure his own personal hell. HBK said a great weight has been lifted from his shoulders. He said he moved on from McMahon and now he wanted to beat up John Cena for the WWE Title. Shane McMahon interrupted. HBK introduced Shane McMahon as the "newest member of the Vince McMahon kiss my ahahaha club." Shane said Vince was wheeled out of the arena on a stretcher. He introduced Vince, who slowly walked out wearing a neck brace and bandages.
Vince spoke in a robotic tone. Vince said Linda and his "sweet innocent daughter, Stephanie" witnessed the destruction. The fans booed the fact that Stephanie is six months pregnant. He said the emotional destruction was worse for Shane than for Stephanie when HBK forced Shane to kiss Vince's ass then handcuffed him to the ring ropes. Vince said there's no chance for HBK to have a title match. HBK led Chicago in a chant of "Suck it." They chanted, "DX." HBK wasn't so sure about the chants. Vince came back with "divine intervention." He said he was on his way to ripping HBK apart until he had unexpected help from God. "It became a handicap match when it became me vs. you and God," he said. "There ya go again, God, picking on me again." HBK called it a delirious rant and Vince has finally gone completely insane. HBK asked if he had a rant. Vince said HBK couldn't win against a McMahon. "You can't beat the McMahons," he said. "You might win a battle or two here and there, but you will never win the war against the McMahons. That's exactly what you're in, pal, a war. My son Shane will get over this emotional scarring." Vince announced a tag team match for Backlash. He announced HBK and God vs. himself and Shane. Vince called Shane the product of his semen. Shane wasn't sure about that description. HBK just shook his head as if Vince was off his rocker. Oh boy.
- We saw clips from Mickie James's Women's Title victory last night. We saw a recap of Carlito's heel turn on Masters.
- Trish Stratus came to the ring without the women's title. Something didn't look right with Trish not holding the belt. Torrie and Trish talked strategy while Candice Michelle sauntered to the ring. Mickie James used Trish's opening theme music and wore Trish's outfit to the ring. Trish was incredulous.
(3) Mickie James & Candice Michelle beat Trish Stratus & Torrie Wilson. Mickie and Torrie squared off. Mickie sidestepped Torrie and kicked Trish's injured knee. Trish fell off the apron to the ground. Mickie hit the Chick kick for the quick win. Afterwards, Trish grabbed the title. Mickie demanded that she give her back the belt. Trish handed the belt over and Mickie clutched it like a little child who wanted her toy back in the sandbox. Mickie's facial expressions are top notch. The ring entrances lasted longer than the match.
- Joey Styles introduced a Hall of Fame video recap package. Mean Gene, Eddie Guerrero, and Bret Hart were focused on. Really classy speech from Bret.
- Awkward segue to Chavo Guerrero, who came out to the entrance ramp in full wrestling gear. Loud "Eddie" chants. He introduced himself. He said he was never more proud than last night at WrestleMania when the fans kept Eddie's memory alive. He said Eddie lives inside each person. He congratulated Rey Mysterio on winning the title at Mania. Chavo said it was his night to go for a championship. He called it his WrestleMania - going after the IC Title. He dedicated his match to Eddie. Some boos. Chavo said Eddie passed him the torch and he would not let his fans or Eddie down. He basically guaranteed victory. This was really, really, really uncomfortable for religious and posthumous reasons.
- Ja Rule walked to the ring to defend the IC Title. Shelton has gone from momma to sunglasses and ice around his neck.
(4) Shelton Benjamin beat Chavo Guerrero to retain the Intercontinental Title. Chavo hit a side suplex for a quick nearfall within the first 20 seconds. Shelton slapped Chavo across the face and Chavo came back with right hands. Chavo missed a drop kick off the ropes. Shelton caught Chavo in the ropes and Chavo took a flat back bump from the apron to the floor. Chavo broke out of a sleeper hold and hit a standing drop kick. Chavo made his comeback and scored a nearfall following another drop kick. He hit a head scissors then did the Eddie shake. He hit three suplexes then went up top. Shelton rolled out of the way of a frog splash. The fans' adulation turned into despair. Shelton hit the T-bone suplex for the win. Joey and Coach discussed Chavo's embarrassment. Lawler said he put too much pressure on himself. Chavo despondently walked out of the ring as the fans tried to cheer him up.
- This Week in Wrestling history is Flair-Steamboat from Clash of the Champions 6 in the Superdome. WWE should consider changing PPV title matches to best-out-of-three falls.
- During the WWE.com break, Chavo said he let Eddie and the fans down. He broke down into tears. "Maybe I'm not supposed to be a wrestler," Chavo said. He walked off. Joey Styles said he quit.
- Interesting segue to Ric Flair's music. Jerry Lawler said Flair should not be walking after taking a fall at Mania. Flair said he has had some unbelievable moments in Chicago. (Chi-Town Rumble comes to mind.) Flair said he would chase after the title once again. Osama Rodrigues Alejandro came to the ring with a new ring name. Osama said it's time for a change. Flair cut him off. Osama said he grew up watching Flair growing up in Cuba. He called Flair a bandejo. He also said he enjoys nice clothes, women, and cash. He was about to introduce someone, but Flair cut him off and said no one interrupts him. Flair called out Osama's acquaintance. He introduced Umbaga (sp?). This was who WWE would have turned Samoa Joe into - the stereotypical savage Samoan type character. The reaction was a cross between the Gobbledy gooker and Shockmaster. Umbaga destroyed Flair. Coach said people would be talking about the new person around the water cooler tomorrow. Yeah, because of how ridiculous, asinine, and embarrassing this was. Not even Lawler and Coach could make it work.
- Ozzie Guillen was shown ringside. I'm sure TNA management just loved seeing that. If there's one thing WWE won't stand for, it is a competing promotion seizing an opportunity WWE overlooked.
- Edge and Triple H were at the Gorilla position trying to apologize for getting caught up in the heat of the moment earlier in the show. They talked strategy. Hunter told Edge to go beat up Cena. Edge left with Lita. Hunter stuck around and thought about the match. Hunter turned his nose up and made a face as if he just smelled what his dog dropped on the floor. Edge came out with Lita. Hunter's old theme music hit. (Can't he just decide on one or the other?) Hunter walked out to the ring.
- Hunter and Edge stood in the ring. Cena's music hit to a chorus of boos. He walked straight to the ring without the usual playing to the crowd on the entrance ramp. Cena entered the ring and stared down both men. Hunter sat on the top turnbuckle and told Edge to go get 'em. Edge wasn't sure what Hunter was up to.
(5) Triple H & Edge beat John Cena. Cena slapped Edge across his thumbtack-punctured back. Cena dropped Edge with a right hand. Lita tripped up Cena, allowing Edge to take control. Loud "Cena sucks" chant. Lawler asked why fans are against Cena. "Sometimes you get tired of the hustle and flow," Coach said. Lawler said he was initially turned off by the "Eminem" look, but Cena turned him into a believer. Cena dropped Edge on his head. Hunter hopped off the top turnbuckle and feigned a lock up, but Edge attacked Cena from behind. Edge hit the impaler for a nearfall as Hunter watched from the top turnbuckle. They hit a double clothesline and Hunter just watched both men recover. Hunter inched close to Cena, but he caught him. Cena turned around, avoided Edge, and Edge speared Hunter. Cena cleaned house on Edge. Hunter popped back into the ring and laid out Edge. Cena smiled and pointed out Hunter's change in heart. Cena went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle like a rookie greenhorn and walked right into the Pedigree for the win. The fans popped big time. Hunter remained on top of Cena for an extra few seconds to rub it in. Edge stared at Hunter in disbelief. Hunter did the "title belt" around the waist and "one more time title" signal as he walked up the entrance ramp. Edge and Lita stared at Hunter from the ring. Well, there's the indirect Hunter babyface turn. However, WWE can't turn Hunter babyface until they gauge the response in other arenas to determine what the exception is and what the rule is. Booking Cena to be easily one-upped didn't help his popularity.
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