First Time Republished Since February 6, 2006
Triple H wants the WWE Title. Oh yes. He wants that title badly. He's hooted about it. He's hollered about it. He's shouted it from the rooftops.
But now he sings about it. That's right. In a Raw Insanity exclusive, it's the World Premiere of Hunter Hearst Helmsley's hit "Be Prepared." Turn on your speakers. Make sure you have Flash installed. Then click the link.
Triple H's WrestleMania 22 Song
Go check it out. I can wait. When you return, we can watch Raw! Yeah!
So what's on the agenda of the King of Kings tonight? Will he attempt to take out another member of the Guerrero clan? Will he finally be able to take out his aggression on God? Will he be grateful that WWE is turning Randy Orton into such an over-the-top anti-Eddie monger that he'll be able to say whatever outlandish stuff he wants and not look so bad? Will he hey, that's a good point. I gotta remember that one. Anyway, the Cerebral one will have to battle seven other men for the right to go to Mania. How will the drama unfold? Be prepared, kiddies. The Gameboy cometh, yup yup, and he's taking his first step to Chi-Town. Who will be champion when WrestleMania rolls around, though? Edge? John Cena? Mickey Rourke? (JG Note: That would be friggin' awesome.) Buckle up. The Road to RassleMania is bumpy. Your next stop .Raw! Toot. Toot.
Video Montage announcing tonight's tournament to crown the challenger for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. A tournament? It'll be just like WrestleMania IV! Only without Vanna White and Mean Gene and Slick and the One Man Gang and Savage and, OK, OK. It's nothing like WrestleMania IV.
Raw Theme Plays.
Tonight the Road to WrestleMania Tournament begins! Do you want to know the bracks? (JG Note: That's what us cool people call brackets.) It's:
Kane vs. Chris Masters
Rob Van Dam vs. Carlito
Ric Flair vs. Triple H
Shawn Michaels vs. Big Show
Also, we'll be seeing the uncensored version of Candice Michelle's GoDaddy commercial! Now let's go down to gleefully oblivious Maria, who has a microphone and a purpose as she stands center-ring.
Everyone, Maria wants us to join her in welcoming the former WWE Champion Edge. You heard the lady. Get up and dance, bitches.
Edge and Lita arrive on the scene and the R-Rated Superstar looks unusually cheery for someone who lost the WWE Title recently. The cocky Canadian swaggers into the ring and is greeted by a barrage of jeers. When Maria began her questioning, the Edgester cut her off. Shut up, Dum-Dum. Captain Adam has something to say. Next week he's going to be taking on guess. Go on. Guess. It's John Cena! He'll be defending that spinning piece of Gold against the E-Man. Why does Copeland get a rematch? Well, because last week he beat John Cena. He beat him by disqualification. Granted, it was a tainted victory, but a victory nonetheless. What happened? Well, it seems that the most successful alumni member of Team Extreme, Lita, rushed into the ring and hit her own boyfriend in the head with the Championship belt. AC went down quicker than...well, you know, and the ref called for the bell. So everyone has one question. Why? Why? Leetles? Why did you hit your man? Did you have a change of heart? Adam wonders if she's "sick of the ol' Edgemeister." Maybe she digs Cena's cheap sauce. Maybe she did it just to give Edge a victory. What is it, Leets? Why did you do it? Sadly, Miss Amy ain't talking. No matter. Common sense says that she did it to get her boyfriend a victory. I'm going with that. On a side note, when did Lita discover that she can wear window curtains as a shirt? Now there's an easy girl to shop for.
Never you mind Lita, buddy. Edge reminds us that it's not about her. It's about him. It's about his WWE Title. So with a title match set for next week, one thing is certain. The winner of tonight's tournament will face the Edgeatollah. So, being that all this is true, Adam reasons that Miss Maria should introduce him as the "future WWE Champion" from now on, no matter how awkward that sounds. She tries to talk her way out of it, but that just enrages Lita. She calls Mary a "dummy" and demands she gives her boyfriend, Future-Boy, the introduction he deserves.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the future WWE Champion, Edge!"
- Maria, 9:09pm
Edge smiles and some old familiar music plays.
Cue Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Ha ha. Yeah. OK. OK. You cue uh, Butch Reed! Ha ha!
No. I'm serious. Cue Hacksaw. They're playing his music.
Yeah. Ha ha. You go tell, uh, Ronnie Garvin to come stomp his ass out here. They're playing his music too! Ha ha ha!
Hacksaw Jim Duggan's here. Hacksaw Jim Duggan? No shit? No shit. Ol' Hacksaw is on the scene because, well, he says "Ho" so WWE pairs him up with Lita. It's kind of funny. (JG Note: I'm glad they're finally acknowledging that he was chanting "ho." Even back when we were kids, it was kinda funny sometimes because of the double meaning. We didn't think much of it because there wasn't such risqu material back then. My how times have changed. If Duggan was an active wrestler in
today's WWE, his character would not only chant "ho," he'd probably sell them or kill them or something.) Jim looks great for his age. Honestly, he's the best conditioned legend WWE's brought back yet. Duggan says that he's here to throw his name in the hat to be the special guest ref for next week's title match. He then leads the crowd in a USA chant, that totally confuses Edge. It plays out pretty funny. In a take-off on all the nonsensical USA chants of Duggan's time, Copeland asked "What the hell does the USA have to do with this? What the hell are you doing?" Good stuff. Adam calls out the former Team Canada member for harassing Lita. Jigsaw Jim says it wasn't a big deal. He was just calling her a "Hoooooooooooo!"
Dugz got taken down mid-Ho by the R Rated Ho-Lover. He pummeled Hacksaw and then waffled him with his own trusty 2X4. Once Jimmy was disposed, Brad and Angelina turned their attention to a trembling Maria. Now it's your turn, brainless. Lita slapped her to the mat and cleared the path for her man, who was poised to deliver his patented
Gore Spear. Before he could get out of the starting gate, John Cena rushed in and the two rolled around together. Punches were thrown. Feelings were hurt. Adam Copeland made his leave.
In the ring, The Mighty JC shouted while Adam and Amy taunted from the ramp. I liked this segment. The only drawback was that it seemed to imply that Duggan was going to be the guest ref, when he wasn't. That kind of threw me for a second. Other than that, it was good. Hacksaw played to a hot audience and really connected. If the crowd keeps up this excitement level, we're in for a good night. (JG Note: At this point, the audience falls asleep for the bulk of the evening.)
Up next: "Mr. Wonderful" Lex Luger faces the Eye Scream Man.
Commercial Break. Tom Cruise is starring in Mission Impossible 3. In this third installment, Tom fights the evil-doers by "crazying" them to death.
Road to WrestleMania Tournament: Chris Masters pinned Kane while holding the ropes for leverage
Dead crowd. Blah match. Nothing to write home to your mother about .you know, provided that you write home to your mother about wrestling matches. Joey, Jerry, and John urge me to go to WWE.com and vote for who I think will win the tourney tonight. Not who I want to win, but who I think will win. (JG Note: In other words, "vote for Triple H.") This match actually had one of the weakest finishes I've ever seen. Masters went to slap on a Full Nelson, but Kane dropped to his back. The Monster raised his legs in an attempt to roll Chris up, but was countered. The Masterpiece grabbed his legs and sat down for the pin. In a kneeling position, with his knees across the Big Red Machine's arms, Masters leaned back and grabbed the ropes for leverage. Two problems there. First, his arms were no longer hooking Kane's legs. Secondly, he was leaning so far back, that his knees weren't even on Kane-o's arms by the count of three. So essentially, Chris wasn't even touching Big Red when he pinned him. No matter, though. We all were so happy that the match was over, we didn't even notice. The announcers call this the biggest win of Chris's career. Sorry, Viscera.
In a hallway backstage, Edge runs into the tan face of Vince McMahon. Will you let Lita ref next week's match, Vince? Huh? Please. Lita'll scrog you if you do. McMahon is incredulous. He goes into the whole "what kind of man are you" speech and chastises Copeland for pimping his woman. He does it in that predictable Vinnie Mac way, where you just know he's going to contradict it all after he says it. He does just that. As he reaches the end of his scolding, he suddenly tosses in the ol Kaysar Soze twist and tells Edgy that he finds this pimping trait to be "admirable." That means he'll do whatever it takes to win. As a reward, Big Mac will put the guest referee selection on the line tonight in a tag match. You win, you pick the ref. You lose, you don't. Sound good, Mr. R? Here's the match. It's Edge and Lita again John Cena and Maria! Oh. It's awwwn.
Speaking of Matt Hardy, Ashley is walking to the ring. She's busting out of her camouflage and she's next.
Commercial Break. Next week Raw goes to the dogs (JG Note: The Westminster Dog Show that is - yuk, yuk.) So Raw will be airing on Thursday in the US. Consider it WWE's way of preparing you for Thursday wrestling in April. Thanks, Vince!
Special Referee Trish: Ashley pinned Mickie James with a roll-up
They showed some footage from Mickie James's meltdown last week. Her spiral into psychoville is documented for all the world to see. The introductions for this one were twice as long as the match. Mick accidentally hit Trish while aiming for Ash. Shocked by what she had done, James stopped what she was doing to show concern for her fallen idol, but was rolled up by Ashley for the three count. Mickie didn t seem happy with the result. Well, no duh. She lost. You didn't need me to tell you that.
The Road to WrestleMania Tournament continues next with Ric Flair meeting Triple H. Of this pairing, John Coachman says:
"When these two drew each other, you had to believe they were lovin' it!"
- Jonathan Coachman, 9:33pm
I certainly do believe that, Coach. I'm would imagine they loved every minute of it. (JG Note: I sure hope he wasn't using some sort of street slang there.)
Commercial Break. Triple H stars in one of those weird abstract music video-like supplement commercials for a product called "No Xplode." Well. That's good, I guess. One of the first things I check for in an exercise supplement is that it doesn't make me explode.
During the break, the Spirit Squad appealed to people's intolerance of feminine men in an effort to get a reaction. The weird thing? They didn't get one.
At the announce table, they're voting for the winner of the Tournament on WWE.com. Coachman reminds Lawler to vote with his
Triple H, I mean "head" and not his
Triple H, I mean "heart." So go on, fans. Vote for whoever
Triple H you think will
Triple H win tonight's
Triple H tournament.
In the backstage area, Trish is still wearing her little referee lingerie. Mickie James catches up to her. Look, Trisha. It's cool. James is OK with you. You were just doing your job as an official. So you counted the three. So what? No biggie. Hell, Mickie loves you like a friend. Stratus is relieved to hear the term "as a friend" and introduces MJ to "Jack," her date. (JG Note: They found a plain looking guy so that all of the people at home can be like, "Yo. I could get Trish if I wanted to.") The best part of the night comes up when Jack turns to Trish and asks "Mickie?" He says it as if he knows her only from stories that Trish has told him. Yeah. So, let me get this straight. Even the guy who's dating the Women's Champion doesn't watch Raw?! Does anyone watch this show besides you and me anymore?! What the hell?! F**k you, Jack! I hope Mickie boils your bunny, pal. I may get my wish actually. Harassment of Captain Jack and Strats seems imminent as MJ appears to be seething while the happy couple march off to their dinner reservations.
Elsewhere, Shelton Benjamin is wheeling his momma around backstage. He tells her how he confronted Ric Flair last week. Before he can settle into his story, he has to leave. Sorry, Moms. Shelly left his phone in the locker room. She begs him not to go. Everytime he leaves, some freak comes and messes with her. Be it Viscera or Goldust, some freaky deaky weirdo always comes poking around Big Bad Momma. Benjamin has no choice, Mommy. Don't worry. Shelty has taken care of anyone who bothered you. If someone messes with you, they'd have to be a damn fool. He needs to go, so he does. Sure enough, Eugene arrives to harass Thea. He tells Mama B that he loved her movie,
Big Momma's House
, and asks if he can take her wig off. Shelton returns just as Gene finishes trying to pull his mother's hair off her head. He sends the nephew of Eric Bischoff (remember him?) off and gives his momma a huff off her oxygen mask.
Commercial Break. Toyota has 40% more cargo space. Now I just need to get me some cargo.
Road to WrestleMania Tournament: Triple H pinned Ric Flair after a Pedigree
You'd think this would have been a more exciting match, right? The most exciting part of the match was the announcement that Saturday Night's Main Event will be returning to NBC on March 18th. Get ripped on Green Beer and then enjoy your hangover with the Superstars of WWE! Ric came out looking somewhat respectable despite being defeated, which is good considering that, you know, he's Intercontinental Champion. Also, Flair got a chance to grab Hunter's nuts in this match and we all know how he enjoys that sort of thing. So that's good for him, I guess. Naitch actually hit a top rope move, which is a rarity, and tried to slap on his Figure Four leglock. The Game sold the pain, but booty-scooted his way to the ropes. The end came quickly and suddenly when RF whipped the Gamy One into the ropes and bent over for a backdrop. The King of Queens caught Slick Ric in the OZ position and slammed him to the mat with a vicious Pedigree. Mr. McHelmsley advances.
Candice Michelle's "uncensored" GoDaddy commercial airs.
In the co-ed locker room, Maria is upset over her chances tonight. John Cena tries to console her, but she's too flustered to concentrate. So, in an effort to give Dr. Thuggy the "Rocky Maivia" vibe, WWE has him grab her and kiss her. It may have worked a bit. Then again, with a segment like this, you have to be careful. There's the section of the audience that will think he's cool for getting a hot girl to melt over him. Then, there's the section of the audience that will resent him for taking their woman away. Either way, Cena doesn't care. He got to make out with Maria. Oh, and he got paid for it too. Bastard.
Up next: Bentley's cousin versus Andre's son.
Commercial Break. "At the Karat Shop, you'll find the same diamonds you find at those foo-foo stores for a lot less." Foo-foo stores! I love it.
Big Show's here. Shawn Michaels is here. You know what that means. Hide your bronzer. The Mac Daddy is on his way. Vince McMahon shows up on the ramp and begins to laugh about HBK's vicious beating at the hands of his spastic son, Shane, last week. Seems that Kid Heartbreak didn't know what hit him. Well, lucky for you Rocker-boy, Shane-o isn't in the arena. If he was, he'd Macarena his goofy ass to the ring and pound you a new one, pallie. Now, Shawnathon, while we're revisiting last week, let's revisit your face-to-face with the chairman. Mr. McMahon told you that if you walked out of your contract, he would sue you. Well, you know what? After some consideration, Vinnie Mac is going to let you walk out of your contract. Even better? He's going to make you walk out of your contract. Next week we're going to have ourselves an old fashioned retirement party. That's right. At this point, Mac gets a bit flustered and repeats the same statement twice, reminding us that the Boy Toy's presence at the party will be mandatory. He closes by announcing that since Michaels won't be in the company for Mania, he won't be in the Tournament for a title match. On that note, he yanks the Source of All Strength from the ring and names his replacement Shelton Benjamin
Road to WrestleMania Tournament: Big Show defeated Shelton Benjamin
This was Big Show vs. Shelton Benjamin. Close your eyes. Picture Big Show vs. Shelton Benjamin. That's what it was. There were a few good spots with Benji working heel stronger than he has before. He nailed Show with a good springboard bulldog at one point. Mama Benjamin interjected herself halfway through by grabbing Biggie's foot and distracting him. This allowed Benji to run in and plaster the Show with a kick, knocking him from the ring. He chased the Giant to the floor, but was tossed back in. When Bigs tried to climb in after him, Mama began to beat on him with her fists, demanding that, "You leave my baby alone." The Showster turned to her and bellowed. Moms backed up, clenching her chest and it was all downhill from there. She collapsed just as BS hit her son with a choke slam, handing him his first loss in a while. Shelton's out of the tourney, but Mom looks like she's out of commission.
EMTs gather around Sapphire in Bertha Faye's clothes and call for a gurney. Someone mumbles that there's no pulse and it's kind of being done in a strange way. To have such a serious tone to such a comedic character makes little sense. Although, I see the end result being a positive one (JG Note: An insane Benjamin goes after the Show for hurting his momma.) We cut to a commercial while Momma is taken care of by the medical staff. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McNabb family at this horrible time.
Commercial Break. Der Burger!
Dennis the Menace's Dad is standing by with Carlito Cool backstage. He munches his apple and answers questions about his match with Rob Van Dam. Will there be bad blood based on that burtal Cabana attack six months ago? What?! Cabana? Carl can't believe his ears. Come on, Grisham. That's old news. Come on. So Carlito spit a little apple on Rob's face. So what? Big deal. Ain't no thing. Now it's Van Dam who's out of line. He's standing in Coolio's way of a WrestleMania title shot. Now Triple C gets a chance to get a Mania title match and beat the resin out of RVD all at once? That's cool. That's hella cool, Toddly.
Smackdown Rebound: WWE has Randy Orton redefine cheap heat by screaming that Eddie Guerrero is "in hell." You know what? Brace yourself. As bad as that is, something tells me this whole thing is about to get a lot worse.
Road to WrestleMania Tournament: Rob Van Dam pinned Carlito after a Five Star Frog Splash
This is the second anti-climatic appearance for RVD in two weeks. After such an absence, how can you not have him cut a high-profile in-ring promo? Why not involve him in some sort of major angle? It makes no sense. With Van Dam, you need to strike early and keep him on top while the fans are still going ga-ga over him. After three months of being an afterthought, pushing him won't mean anything. Do it now or else it's meaningless. Then again, maybe that's the idea. I don't know. Whatever. Anyway, Robby V won this one and the fans at home couldn't be happier. What do I mean? Well, we go back to the announce table and get some funny internet-related news.
Apparently Rob Van Dam got 45% of the vote in WWE.com's poll on "Who Will Win the WrestleMania Tournament." Hunter got 24%. That's hilarious. That's why they kept urging me to vote with my head and not my heart. I love how people vote on WWE.com. It's never pretty. Could you imagine if WWE had a voting thing that involved write-ins? That would be awesome. I'd vote for Irwin R. Shyster over and over again - no matter the poll. Wouldn't you?
Next Thursday: It's Round Two of the King of Cable Tournament. "Mr. 45%" Rob Van Dam faces off against Christopher Masters. Also, Triple H faces off against the Mama-Killer. Then from there, we're all invited to the mandatory Shawn Michaels Retirement Party! Ooooo! I'm gonna buy him a JVC Kaboom Box!
Commercial Break. I quit smoking a year and a half ago. Know what made me quit? Nothing. I just decided that I was done with the whole thing. All the Truth.com power-ads with gurneys being wheeled down a street didn t change my mind. Most smokers laugh at that stuff.
Tobacco is whacko. Now
that was a slogan.
6) Maria and John Cena defeated Edge and Lita when Maria pinned Lita
Maria is pretty over with the audience. She has a natural charisma about her and a sweet look that separates her from other divas. The match progressed as you would expect. When Lita was in there with Miss Maria, she pummeled her. The basic concept here was to get the win for Cena's team. John eventually found himself in the ring with Leets. Coachman said that JC couldn't hit her because this wasn't "an intergender match. It's a mixed-tag match." That totally blew my mind. My head was swimming for like two seconds. Dr. Thuggypants didn't need to hit her. He had to simply side-step Edge's Spear and allow him to hit her. Dumas fell and Maria rushed in for the cover. Count three. The Legion of Poop pick up the win.
After the bell, John declares that his choice for guest ref next week is none other than .
Mankind shows up and waves to the crowd. He's hairy and smiling while the announce team sell us on next week's special Thursday edition. Old school ending doesn't see any dramatic cliffhangers or unanswered questions. We get all the participants in next week's main event in one place at one time and the reminder that Raw's being dogged off of Monday. Bang. Bang. Hooooo. Fade to black.
All in all Not an overly memorable Raw, but not bad. To me it was right down the middle, leaning a little bit towards the good side.
The crowd was going nutty at first, but seemed to fall asleep after the first segment, which was disappointing. They perked up now and then, but based on the Hacksaw skit, I thought we were in a for a crazy night of roaring applause. Didn't happen.
The tournament was pretty predictable. That may have been the biggest downfall. Pulling Michaels from the match was a good move and mixed things up unexpectedly. I wish I could get more excited about the HBK-VKM feud, but I can't. Sorry.
Mama Benjamin went and had herself a heart attack. Where's this going? Who knows. Maybe it'll involve Randy Orton peeing on her grave.
You know what? Might as well mention this. It seems like a little thing, but I have to compliment it. At the end of the show, Foley was running around the ring with one arm in the air. They shot to a graphic of Cena and Edge, hyping next week's match. I fully expected them to play a graphic of Mick in a ref's shirt, but they didn't. That was good. It added to the sense that this was "unexpected." It seems like a small thing, but it makes a world of difference.
So there you go. Raw's done. It seemed more like a buildup for next week's show, right? Anyway, we'll be watching that one too. Join me on 2/16 for a Special Thursday edition of JG's Raw Insanity. Don't feel bad watching wrestling. Momma Benjamin would want you to have fun. She'd want you to enjoy life. Do it for Momma, people. Do it for Momma.