JG's 4/23 Raw Insanity: Shawn Michaels and John Cena Tear The Bloody House Down
By James Guttman
The Return of The Original Ultimate Warrior
You guys know the rumor that the original Ultimate Warrior died in 1989, right? Well, it's not true. It's a persistent rumor that never seems to die. So let's make it clear right here and now - The Original Ultimate Warrior did not die!
He just got sick and we had to replace him.
When Jim Hellwig took over the reigns of the might Warrior in 1989, no one expected the original Warrior to return, but he did. He did in a big way.
On a 2003 edition of WWF Smackdown, the original Warrior, Harold Jahosky, showed up in full Ultimate Warrior gear. Much older than his original run, Ultimate made an appearance during a live interview segment and let the world know what he had been up to.
"In the days and nights since my little Warri-ahs have begged the Gods for the day that their mighty Warri-ah - The Original Warri-ah - would return from the darkness of the deepest trenches of your hearts, I say this to you! The Warri-ah is here to make things clear and take out any wrong doings in the WWF! Many fans have asked me along my journey where the Warri-ah has been. I say to them, Warri-ahs, the Ultimate One has been doing the work of the God! He has been serving the Gods all the morsels that are fit to eat! He has been making sure those that come unto him have enough delicious Jack Daniels steak to keep them happy! The Warrior has getting their appetizers and their drink orders so that the Gods might not spite those who…."
At this point Michael Cole interrupted.
"Are you saying you work at Fridays?"
"The Warri-uh does indeed. He serves the Gods of man and…"
At this point, Harold's cell phone rang.
"Oh. Hang on, little Warri-ah. I gotta take this."
With that, Harold answered his phone and walked outside to get better reception. Cameras followed as he was unexpectedly and suddenly hit by a bus.
So, we're pretty sure he's dead now. Go on. Tell whoever you want. The original Ultimate Warrior died. Spread it around. We know how much ol' whatshisname loves that rumor.
The Mexi-Call To Action Campaign
Speaking of bus...
In 1993, Lex Luger embarked on a successful, er…well, moderately successful…well, that's not right. OK. Unsuccessful tour of the United States in a bus. While some might call that being a hippie or a member of Scooby Doo's crime solving gang, we here at WWE called it "The Lex Luger Call To Action Campaign."
In 2005, Smackdown tag team "The Mexicools" took off on a similar journey. Their trek involved a tricked-out bus with the words "Mexi-Call To Action Campaign." Unlike Luger, who's campaign was centered around a title match with then-champ Yokozuna, the Cools weren't looking for gold. According to the group's leader, Juvi Guerrero, they were looking for something else.
"Ha! It's a Juicy day in the juicy house! If you cannot see for who is it…then it is not Mexi-Can! It is Mexi-Cool! Ha! It's a juicy Mexicool in your mouth. If you for eighteen charo pitas then it's not for you mouth to be having the explosion! Ha ha! It's too juicy! Too juicy! Too juicy! AHAHAHAHHA!"
Guerrera's explanation did nothing to explain the situation. However, that was the least of the stable's problems. The gimmick was scrapped following an incident at an Iowa elementary school that saw Juvi strip naked in front of a kindergarten class during a reading of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."
"Ha ha! It's meatballs falling on you heads! The snow it's like pancake in your face! Juvi has meatballs! Look! Ha ha ha! Juicy meatballs you bitches!"
The children started to cry and the authorities were called. However, when the police arrived, Psycosis stole their car. The theft made no sense at all considering that he already had a bus in the parking lot.
This didn't end the campaign, though. Super Crazy continued the tour all by himself. He changed the goal and, in the end, was successful in getting what he wanted.
100 matches with Chris Masters. Good for him.
Team 3D - Deuce, Domino, and Dorito The Donkey
Few fans recall that nearly four months prior to their WWE debut, Deuce and Domino arrived on Smackdown with a much different outlook on the company.
The greasers debuted on an edition of Smackdown with a third member. "Dorito the Donkey" was a stuffed talking doll that guided the duo, but was invisible to anyone but them….and the fans. You know, kinda like Great Gazoo on the Flintstones. Actually, it was exactly like Great Gazoo on the Flintstones. Anyway, Dorito would chomp on his favorite snack chips, which we couldn't refer to by name because of legal reasons, and tell the boys how to succeed in the company.
"Hee-haw! G'wan out there, Deuce. F**k that boy up. Uh-huh. Uh-huh!"
Other aspects of Dorito's character included his obsession with '90s pop band Ace of Base, his hometown of "Gravy Spit, Montana," ability to speak Portuguese, and hatred for John McCain.
This gimmick lasted for only one day and resulted in one of our top Smackdown writers being sent to rehab. Cherry was chosen to replace the Donkey and we figured it was better because, well, she's hot.
Divas Fire Pit Match
This one was Randy Orton's idea. As if you had to ask.
WWE divas had always had a propensity for wrestling in ridiculous things. Past matches included bouts in tubs of Egg Nog, Thanksgiving Dinner scraps, mud, oil, and other assorted pools of goo (that many of the boys took turns "adding their own flavor" to backstage beforehand.) For some in the company, a fire pit match in July 2006 seemed like the perfect idea.
The contest took an immediate and stunning turn as soon as it began. The pit burned all three girls who began the fight. Jessica, Toni, and Sally Sweetie Buns were quickly burned to death while the fourth competitor, Stacy Keibler, watched in astonishment from the outside. John Layfield, who had just debuted on commentary, loved the event and for the duration of the burning repeatedly screamed the phrase "Yeah! Bitches on fire! Bitches on fire!"
"Sure. In hindsight we should have gimmicked it," WWE Executive Vice-Freebird Michael Hayes explains. "But whatever. We were gonna make the fire fake at first, but stuff came up and we forgot all about it. We don't exactly have the longest attention spans here at World Wresting…hey. What's that? Is that a butterfly? Hey. Look! Look at that butterfly! Ooooo. I'm hungry."
After the match, Stacy, who never entered the pit, spoke to WWE.com in an exclusive interview.
WWE: Stacy, tonight we saw a really hot situation - no pun intended. Many of your fellow divas were burned alive, yet you didn't enter the pit. That makes you the winner by default. What do you have to say now, as the new defending fire pit champion?
Stacy: Uh…f**k this. I quit.
WWE: Pretty fiery statements there, Stacy. Who's the first diva on your hitlist?
Stacy: Are you listening to me? I just quit.
WWE: Oh yeah! The heat is on, Stacy. What do you have to say to the families of your deceased opponents?
Stacy: Hello?! Are you there?! I just quit! Leave me alone!
WWE: Thank you for your time, Stacy. We'll all look forward to seeing you next week for the big rematch.
Stacy: Go to hell.
There never was a rematch. Apparently some divas are too good to burn themselves alive for the wrestling business. Friggin' prima donna…ClubWWI.com Members, Check Out - JG’s 4/23 Raw Insanity Extra:
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More Forgotten Moments From The First 400 Smackdowns
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Tally-ho, mate. Welcome to another edition of Monday Night Raw. Live on tape from the U.K. We have a bloody stonking great show tonight guaranteed to knock you arse over elbow and take the biscuit. That's no codswallop, bloke. The crowd is shirty and they have good reason to be. The frightfully wicked Mr. McMahon is in full swing across the pond and prepared to put paid to the ECW Champ Bobby Lashley. Sound good? Not your cup of tea? Horses for courses. Have a go at this one - No doubt Umaga is brassed off at Stantino "Don't Call Me Joey" Marella. Is revenge on his Samoan Bullbrain? What about the big WM rematch? Will Shawn Michaels make the WWE Champion John Cena look like a nesh wimp in their WrestleMania return bout? What will stroppy Carlito whinge about? So many questions! So quit pissing around. Grab a totty and make sure she's a slapper. Cause it's time for Raw…and it's the Dog's!Right off the bat, it's the Manuel to Mr. McMahon's Basil Fawlty, Shane McMahon. Clad in his Shane-o Jersey, Shane enters the ring and promptly dances funny. That's alright. He's from Barcelona. McMahon takes the microphone and speaks his mind. Seems that Bobby Lashley isn' tin the building tonight. Nope. He's caused enough trouble, don't ya think? The McFamily thinks. He's had a hand in shaving Big Mac's head and costing Umaga the IC Title. Don't remember? Watch this little movie on the Titan Tron.
Video Package of The Samoan Bulldozer falling victim to Santino Marella. Thanks to help from Lashley, Santino became the new Intercontinental Champion. Umaga's two friends in cool hats were not happy.
Shane-o Mac isn't happy with this thing and decides to mix things up tonight. In honor of St. George's Day in the U.K., McMahon is giving the crowd a chance to slay a dragon tonight. That dragon? Shane himself! That's right. Tonight, in this very ring, someone will face Shane-o Insane-o. Who will it be? The McSon looks around the arena and pretends that he might actually pick someone from amongst the British crowd.
But wait. Wait. Hold up. Mac wants to sweeten the deal. How about we make it no DQ? That works in honor of St. George. (JG Note: I think someone must have lies and told Shane that St. George was actually George "The Animal" Steele.)
Macky cant find anyone in the crowd that could make it work. He looks to a few, but finally lets everyone in on a secret. All this, "Who wants to fight me" stuff is pretend. You know. For fun. The McKid already has someone chosen. It's someone that he saw in a pub last night. Yup. While munching on his fish and chips, Shane saw the following fella beat six guys. That man's name? Robbie Brookside. Let's bring him out.
Robbie Brookside comes to the ring. He's thin, pale, and has Avril Lavigne's hair.
1. Shane McMahon, Vince McMahon, and Umaga defeated Robbie Brookside
At first, this match was just Shane McMahon vs. Robbie Brookside. The two of them did some chain wrestling until the evil McMahon knocked Rob to his stomach. He then climbed onto his back and slammed himself into Brookside over and over again. In between the dry humps, the Former European Champion tossed in punches and elbows...thank God. After some more beating and screaming, Little Mac retrieved a trash can and did
Panting and sweating from his knees, Shaney grabs the microphone and informs Rob that the match isn't one on one. It's one on two. You ever meet Umaga, Brooksie? No. Well, I'm sure he can get his butt out here in the next three minutes. Did somebody say…three minutes?
Jamala arrives and goes to town on the Mulkey-looking Brookside. He pummels him with punches and nails his trademarked running butt-bump. Robert collapses and Maggie responds by going to the top rope and hitting the Money Shot.
…uh, Money Shot - the wrestling move. You know. The Val Venis thing. That's what I meant. He didn't whip out his…well, you know. I meant the top rope splash. What did you think I meant? Come on. What type of show you think this is? Sicko.
Anywho, following the Superfly Splash, Shane takes the microphone and makes it official. This is a three-on-one handicap match! Let's bring out the third member of our team. He's bald! He's wearing a plaid coat. That can only mean one person to UK fans….
Uh…OK. So it could mean two people to UK fans. The person it means tonight is Vince McMahon. Wearing his Mr. Fuji hat, Vinnie Mac strolls to the ring and, after allowing everyone else to kick Brookside's backside, pins him soundly. The implication, of course, is that Vince can win the ECW Title on Sunday.
God help us all.
It's pretty possible that Bobby could lose his title to the WWE chairman. Lucky for him, he still has Donald Trump's unending and unconditional love. Aw. Love.
Recap of Michael-Cena at WrestleMania 23. It's set to epic music. Good piece. Not as good as "Tell Me A Lie." But, then again - what is? What is?
2. Trevor Murdoch pinned Matt Hardy with a roll-up
The repush of Lance and Trevor is horrible. I can't stand it. Sometimes I think WWE purposely books themselves into ridiculous and misguided situations just so they can prove to themselves that they can sell anything. Cade and Murdoch debuted in a huge way. They were undefeated. They won the tag team titles. At the time, WWE knew they had no tag teams. The teams they had were all on-again, off-again and none seemed to want the tag belts. Knowing all this, the company chose to depush these two cowpokes down to Heat and bring them up for sporadic roles as easily beatable henchmen (JG Note: Like real life members of Shredder's Foot Soldiers.) They show up. Attack big. Lose. Go home. Now, here we are. After all that depushing. After all the losses. After all the forgettable appearances, Garisson and Larry The Heat Guy suddenly can't lose. Why? Did they get a new trainer? Johnny Rodz, maybe? A talking ventriloquist dummy? The eye of the tiger? Can of spinach? Head? Nope. Nothing. Just one day, they started winning. It drives me crazy. To go back and repush two guys who have spent months sliding down the ladder without any sort of explanation as to why they no longer stink like rotten kippers is just…well, insane. So, in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty much par for the course. Never mind. Trev got a three count thanks to a roll-up. They call him Tater Salad. Get 'er done!
Commercial Break. Axe has "Bum Chicka Wah-Wah." For those wondering, "Bah Chicka Wah-Wah" is slang for "mace."
3. WWE Women's Champion Melina pinned Maria after slamming her face into the mat
I don't get why Maria has to wrestle. Does every person on the show need to wrestle? Miss Elizabeth didn't wrestle. Jack Tunney didn't wrestle. Not everyone has to. There's no reason why Maria can't smile, do interviews, act silly, and serve as a manager or something. Sometimes I seriously can't comprehend why all these young beautiful women are so eager to slam their own faces into a ring canvas. That's like having amazing singing ability and then taking a job where your tongue gets stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver every day. I just don't get it. But it's all good. Do what works for ya, Screwdriver Tongue. Melina made short work of the interviewer and scored a fairly quick victory.
Carlito Cool is preparing to die at the hands of the Great Khali when Ric Flair approaches. The Giant Killing Machine versus The Guy That Always Loses. Who will win? Find out next!
Carlito. You're up next. You got Khali tonight.
Yeah right. I doubt you can reach.
Oh. Good point. Uh….I spit in the butt of the Great Khali! Ha! That one works.
Sure. Whatever you say. That's much better. Just grab an apple and get out there, Fuzzy
4. The Great Khali pinned Carlito after a Tree Slam.
Luckily his bushy hair softened his fall, I guess. Jerry Lawler compared Giant Khali to "Big Ben." Hmmm. I never even realized that was his first name. You learn new stuff every Raw. Anyway, Ben Khali made quick work of Sideshow Carl and, in one of the worst spots in a while, Cool jumped from the top rope and Benny just stood there and watched him fall. If anything, he lightly hit him in the stomach. J.R. fought to sell it and said that the Great One simply "swatted" his opponent away. Blow spot? So what? Great rules the roost and showed it here. It all came to a quick close when Khalito hit his 7 foot Tree Slam and scored the pinfall with his foot on Carly's chest. Humiliation - that's cool.
After the bell, Ric Flair came out to talk to his fallen partner. Rather than take the good sentiments and move on, Carlito chose to rant and rave. Shocked and angered, Flair backed away. This breakup has definitely been a slow process. I feel like they've been teasing it since Starccade '86.
Guess who's right here…in London, England! Yup. It's Mick Foley and the human Muppet couldn't be happier. He claims that he's not on Raw much (JG Note: Compared to Jim Ross…or Jerry Lawler…or the ringposts) so it's special when he is. Two weeks ago, he brought out Michael Pena, a young man with one wish. He wished to be GM for the night and, by God, he was. Little Michael made it official. Backlash - WWE Title - Michaels vs. Cena vs. Randy Orton vs…this man. Edge! The R Rated Superstar runs into the scene and seems to chum it up with the former Mankind. He tells Foley not to sweat the situation. If anything, Adam Copeland is grateful. You've given him the chance to beat three guys in one night. Now that, will be sweet. On the way out, Adam Copeland gives Dude Love one last accolade.
Steve Austin's "Condemned" opens April 27th. Why does that date sound familiar? Oh…anyway. The movie looks pretty good. Then again, Nathan Jones is also in it. Any movie with Nathan Jones is automatically high on my list. Gotta love Nathan. The man who's wrestling legacy in ten years will be that, when looking back, he's the guy people will confuse with John Heidenreich.
In one of the stupidest promos in a while, John Cena confronts Shawn Michaels and proceeds to deliver a speech that's almost exactly the same as the one Edge gave a few weeks ago. He tells HBK that everyone here has something.
"Legend Killers. Show Stoppers. Rated R Superstar. You know what they call me? They just call me John Cena."
Uh…"Doctor of Thuganomics?" That doesn’t count anymore, I guess.
The Showstoppa, The Main Event, The Headliner, The Heartbreak Kid, The Icon That Can Still Go, The Midnight Rocker, the Boy Toy, Michael Hickenbottem, the Source of All Strength, the Dude With Attitude, Mr. WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels tells the WWE Champion that he'll do his talking in the ring.
5. Shawn Michaels pinned John Cena in a Non-Title Match
This was pretty epic, folks. It went for almost an hour. Insane. I can't remember the last time a non-iron man match went this long on WWE TV. Sure it started off slow, but what did you expect? That's the way it works. They can't go out there and give you max speed for the entire duration. They'd explode. You want that? You want to see Shawn Michaels explode? Of course you don't. So, chill. I think the coolest thing about this was watching the crowd get more and more into it as time went on. People started to stand more and lean forward. They were into what they were seeing and appreciating the work that was being put forth. There were near falls everywhere here. John hit the F-U and couldn't keep the Rocker down. On the flipside, Cena had been taken down with numerous arm holds by the Boy Toy, ensuring he couldn’t' lock on an STFU. Weird vibe here too. Most Raw matches seem like a car crash mixed with a sprint. Everyone seems to be racing to the finish. A long drawn-out contest allows both guys to tell a story. That's what these two did. They pulled out all the stops. The WWE Champion even busted out a bear hug. Yeah. Bear hug. What was so unique about this? John used a new hold and didn't name it. The offensive arsenal didn't end there. Dr. Thuggy followed that up with a flying Fame-Asser from the top rope and Kid Heartbreak's mug bounced off the canvas. The DX Member bounced back - no pun intended. He regained control and attempted a piledriver on the ring steps. However, the Champ had his wits about him and reversed the move. Shawnathon was flipped and fell to the floor, holding his achy, breaky back. There's a few more near-pins between that spot and when Johnny finally catches Shawn in the STFU. Although the hold was tightly locked in, The Rocker refused to tap and he was right to do so. He mounted a comeback and landed his Sweet Chin Music before collapsing on the Champion and scoring a non-title pinfall win.
Great match. Great Raw moment. Great finish.
The victorious Michaels grabbed the Spinny title and knelt over the fallen Champion. Shawn placed the belt on top of Cena and gave him the ol' Crotch Chop as we fade to black.
All in all…One match show. Then again, that was one good match. This is a Raw you'll remember for a while. That's a good thing.
The Shawn Michaels-John Cena match was great. It shows the real difference between giving away a dream match for free (like TNA is doing with Angle-Sting) and cashing in your dream match while still showing it on television. WWE didn't "give away" Michaels-Cena tonight. They already charged you for it at WrestleMania. They made their money. However, they still were able to put the two of them on Raw and tear the house down in England. Once you sold a solo match on PPV, you can put it on free TV as much as you want. The first time is the only time that should be saved for pay-per-view. You can put the second or third on any channel you want.
That's what WWE did tonight and did it well. If the idea of televised wrestling is to sell the pay shows, then Raw did that. They sold fans on the fact that these guys can perform like no one's business and, if you buy the PPVs, you'll see that for yourself. The company really gave the audience something to enjoy tonight and, years from now, people will still bring up the HBK-Cena match from England. It was the type of TV match you don't forget.
As for John and Shawn themselves, I'm totally thrilled with everything they've done together. Both guys work really well and have presented a terrific conflict. From the initial tag-team trust issues to their subsequent matches, Michaels and Cena have done great. In many ways, this feels like J.C.'s real breakout performance. Forget Angle and Hunter. It really wasn’t until his program with HBK that I started to look at The Marine with some real credibility as champion. They've both done great and no matter how hostile the audience or critical the critics, The Boy Toy and The Doctor of Thuganomics can take pride in what they've done.
As for the rest of the show - yikes. Nothing great. Then again, as I mentioned, it was all about HBK and Cena. So you don't think about the other stuff. What other stuff?
No Santino Marella. Barely a mention. What a lame way to follow up a "major upset." You get the feeling he'll be at Backlash, but he wasn't there tonight. Blah.
Another McMaga three-on-one bully attack. Throwaway women's match. Bait and switch Edge-Orton promotion. I already complained about the Cade and Murdoch thing earlier too. There were just a ton of low points throughout the night. At the end of the day, none of that meant jack squat. When the main event goes nearly an hour, all the crappier moments can be ignored.
If you're lucky, you tuned in after the show was already an hour old. If not, you sat through the first hour and appreciated the second more when it finally came.
That's it for me, guys. Be sure to check out all the content on ClubWWI.com Over 60 shoot interviews with the industry's top names. Everyone from Samoa Joe to Dennis Stamp are available with off-the-cuff, no-holds-barred discussion. Stay tuned for another edition of one of our Superstar-Hosted Audio Shows and a new uncut interview this week. All information on Club content (along with free audio clips) can be found on the main free page of ClubWWI.com
|© 2005-2007 All content contained here Copyright 2006 by James Guttman *** World Wrestling Insanity and ClubWWI are not affiliated with any wrestling promotion.|