JG's 4/30 Raw Insanity: Vince McMahon Has The ECW TItle, Great Khali Wants the WWE Title, and Mister WrestleMania...24
By James Guttman
So Backlash is over. The show was historic. Monumental. Monustoric. It was everything. The biggest story of all? This:
Vince McMahon is the new ECW Champion. Sadly, a statement like that doesn't even shock me anymore. If you told me that Vince McMahon had edited old footage to make it look like he pinned Strangler Lewis, I wouldn't be surprised anymore. It's just become something we expect. That doesn't mean that WWE's website wasn't celebrating. Here…see for yourself:
It's more a visual thing. Clicking on the links will bring you to ClubWWI.com . That's not a bad thing, though. If you head over to the Club, you can check out an extra special Raw Insanity Extra.
Get this - I saw the Condemned. Yup. The whole thing. Saw it. Opening weekend. Why? For you. So I could bring you my spoiler-free audio review of it. I wanted to keep it free of spoilers because, from the looks of things, a ton of you didn't see it...ClubWWI.com Members, Check Out -
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Let's just jump right into this thing. Vince McMahon's ECW Champ. That's all you need to know for now. Let's go right to the USA Network and wrap our heads around this insanity....
We're in the parking lot and the Champ is here! John Cena has his camouflage cap upon his head and the WWE Title over his shoulder. Suddenly, he's stopped by another Champion. The ECW Champion Vince McMahon. Oh God. Vinnie Mac talks some Barbara Bilingsly jive and pals up the WWE Champion.
"What's up, Holmes? Peace out. The champ is here. I served Bobby Lashley. I served him good. Now there' s a new ECW Champion. Vincent Kennedy McMahon. The King of Extreme!"
John tells Mr. McMahon (in his Shelton Benjamin pre-Raw headrag) that the only way he's the ECW Champion is if ECW stands for "Extremely Crazy White Guy." ECWG. Just as the talk is about to get heated, Shawn Michaels shows up. His mere presence stops the conflict. Amen.
HBK stands face to face with the WWE Champion and asks for one more title match. One more shot. Let's do it. Cena tells The Boy Toy that he's been lucky. Nothing more, nothing less. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Hold up, homeboys. Daddy Mac makes the decisions here. He's the boss…and Champion of one of the brands…which isn't a conflict of interests or anything so shut up. Anyway, Vince has made a decision. You wanna hear it?
We're going to do Michaels-Cena III tonight. That match is happening. But wait...there's more. Here's the deal. If the Rocker wins, he gets a title shot next week. If not, then he…uh, doesn't. Cool? Cool. With that, VKM gives the high sign and tells his boys to peace out.
As the Extremely Crazy White Guy leaves, John turns to Shawn and says, "See you tonight." They both smile slyly. Kinda weird. I hope they're talking about the match. It sounded s lot like one of those, "Hey baby. See you tonight" things. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Uh…yeah. Just listen to the Raw theme.
On the steak, icy clearing. Everything has calm to life. Aero planes and a broken dream and will Lee be far behind?
Dude. What are you singing?
Edge's theme song.
You seriously think those are the words?
1. Edge pinned Randy Orton after a Spear
This was a great match. From a pure storytelling point, there are few Raw matches like this one. I really enjoyed it and thought they timed everything really well throughout the entire encounter. Things started off with a bang when Edge knocked Randy Orton from the apron and sent him flying into Jerry Lawler. The King was knocked out of commentary commission for a brief while, but the battle raged on. Adam Copeland applied one of the stranger rest holds I ever seen when he snuck up behind a seated Legend Killer and locked his arms around him. From behind, he hugged Randy from under his left armpit to his right shoulder. It looked like the end of a love story. That was just one mere awkward moment, tough. The rest of this match was really good and both these guys deserve respect for what they can do. We all jump on Orton for his backstage antics, but in the ring, you can't take a thing away from him. He's not the greatest of all time - at least not now -but he's a very good performer. Surprisingly, the crowd got behind him in this match and he was applauded for all his offense. There was even a brief "Randy" chant. As former partners, the story here was that both men thought alike. There were counters left and right, with the real damage coming from a double cross-body. When The R-Rated Superstar got back up, he removed the turnbuckle, but was rolled up from behind. Two count. At two, Copeland rolled through and covered Randy. Two count again. Crazy. Even when using the ropes for leverage, neither man could get the three. Finally, with Cowboy Bob's kid bleeding from a Snake Eyes on the exposed turnbuckle, Adam slammed a DDT and went for a three…but only got a two. He tried to follow up with a Spear, but missed and nailed the turnbuckle. Randall laid in wait. As The Edgehead got to his feet, he got nailed with the RK..No! Edge slipped out at the last second and - out of nowhere - hit the Spear. With The RKO Kid down for the count, the ref counted three and the victory went to Mr. Money in the Two Years Ago Bank.
Coming Up: Shawn Michaels-John Cena 3.
Ah. Ciao. It's'a me! Santino Marella! I love Double Double E! Mama mia. Santino is a'sitting with a'Toddido Grishamino. Toddido gives us all the background on our favorite little Chef Boy R Dee with a title. Apparently, Santa is Italian. He came to America to train to wrestle three years ago. He went home to visit his family in Italy two weeks ago and, as luck would have it, was in the crowd when Vince McMahon offered an IC title shot to anyone in attendance. Well. That's just swell. Bella. Bella. Next'a week'a Marella will be in action on Raw. So keep your eyes open.
Santino Sincere is coming to WWE...Sincerely.
Big duh on this whole thing. The biggest duh of the whole interview was when he called Bobby Lashley "Roberto Lashley." Ugh. Gag me with a loaf of garlic bread.
By the way, anyone who's offended by the Sopranos, should stay away from this segment. If you closed your eyes, you'd picture Mario curling his moustache and standing in front of a pizza. Good luck, new IC Champ. I hope you're able to hit a brick and get a mushroom before your match. You could use a boost.
In a WWE.com exclusive, Rob Van Dam delivers a mono(s)toned promo about how Vince McMahon has tarnished ECW's legacy. Uh…why is a WWE.com exclusive being shown on TV?
Coming up: Umaga vs. Ron Vam Dam.
Vince McMahon has his do-rag and ECW title backstage. It looks like he's doing a New Jack impression. Anyway, LL Cool Vince tells his son, Shane, that everyone hates him. That's right, Shane-o. They all hate your pops. We're going to make them pay tonight, though. Oh, hey. While we're chatting here, Little Mac, Daddy wants to thank you. Thanks for helping him out at Backlash. With a look of acceptance in his eyes, the McSon tells VKM that he loves him. Ain't no thing, Daddio. With that, he hugs the ECW Champ, which is met with a stunned look. Touched by the weird show of love, Vinnie walks off, but leaves his title behind. Here, kid. You hold it. As Big Mac struts away, his son looks down at the ECW title and starts to chant "EC-Dub." Seems like he's dreaming of being champeen himself. Vince McMahon vs. Shane McMahon in a feud for the ECW Title? Isn't that one of the signs of the apocalypse? You guys enjoy the match. I'll be in my underground bunker.
Maria is losing her voice. She sounds like Joey's agent on Friends. Anyway, the dimwitted deep-voiced girl is joined by Edge, but he's not playing games tonight. After that match with Randy Orton, Copeland has to do a lame-ass interview? Meanwhile, The Hunter Buddy Kid Shawn Michaels gets another title match. Eff dat. No answers for you, bimbo. Adam is too irate to deal with this promo junk. Go to a commercial.
2. Jeff Hardy pinned Johnny Nitro after the Swanton Bomb
Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch did commentary for this one. It was weird because every time Trevor speaks, I expect him to do blue collar comedy. He just looks like one of those guys. That being said, they did a good job. Lance said they were taking their Backlash tag title loss in stride. They did their thing against the Hardys, but couldn’t come out on top. It's all good, though. While Jeff and Johnny did their thing in the ring, most of the focus stayed on the Garrison and Murdoch at the announce table. The only drawback seemed to be that their commentary was almost melodramatic in how overly-sweet it was. It almost screamed out "Hey. We're going to go crazy. You just wait." When Hardy hit the Swanton and got the pinfall over Nitro (JG Note: Remember when Nitro won matches?), they were the first two to jump to their feet and applaud. Three cheers for the Emo Kid!
Taking matters a step further, Cade grabbed the microphone from Lillian Garcia and announced Jeffery as the winner. He then joined his partner, entered the ring, and extended his hand in friendship. Weirded out, Hardy opted to walk away. As he did, Trevor and Lance stood there and clapped. They were like Stepford Wives. Poor Jeff had to wonder if they were being overly nice…or if he was just having a tripped-out flashback.
Last night, John Cena won the Fatal Four Way. Your boos only make him stronger. He feeds off of them. If we don't stop booing, he'll become so powerful that he'll take over the world. For the sake of you and your children and your children's children, stop booing John Cena. If not - you'll be sorry. God help us all. You'll be sorry.
Commercial Break. Snoop Dogg knows how hard it is to be a wrestler. Um. Ok.
Video Recap of Backlash: Vince McMahon wins the ECW Title. I guess ECW is officially dead now, right? We can stop playing and pretending that it should be anything like the original now. No more, "Well, they should do extreme rules more." Nah. Argument's over. It's just a show on at 10pm. It's Velocity without the green lighting.
Shane McMahon is in the ring and he's ready to do some ring announcing. Let's bring out the man who made Vince's Extreme Title Win possible…
MUWAUAHAHAIHGIHAIAIHGIA! WAMAMAMAMAAAAAHAHAHA! YAAAAAA! Yeah. What's up, baby? I'm just playin'. This is Umaga. I'm out. Leave me a message. Oh yay-eah…..
3. Umaga pinned Rob Van Dam after the Samoan Spike
It doesn't seem like Rob's being buried at all here. If anything, he's being featured more than he has before. The King explained that Vince's title win has changed his perception of the former Heyman playground.
"I've always referred to ECW as Extremely Crappy Wrestling, but now that Mr. McMahon's champion, you won't hear those words out of my mouth anymore."
As for Van Dam, he really came off great here. He was on top for a good amount of time and seemed on the verge of taking Umaga down with a sleeper. Although The Samoan Bulldozer came back for a while, it wasn't enough to last long. RVD fought his way back and took the upper hand. It wasn't until the finish that he lost control. "Mr. Monday, Tuesday and Sometimes Sunday Night" landed the Five Star Frog Splash. The only problem? Maggie grabbed his throat when he hit. He tightened his grip and jerked Robbie to his feet. One Samoan Spike later and Sammy Bulldozer gets another victory.
Commercial Break. Order Backlash. It sounds like Michael Cole might have said "shit." Did he? Find out. Order Backlash.
Ric Flair is drinking prune juice from a cup backstage when Carlito approaches. Flair stops him. Hold up, Carly. Ric got your message on his voice mail. He knows your deal. Apparently Carl's deal is that he wants one more chance to prove his worth to the Nature Boy. Tonight, it's going to be Mr. Cool and Mr. Naitch against the World's Greatest Tag Team (who only fight on Heat all the time because they, uh, like it). If Haas and Benjamin win, then Coolio won't bother you anymore. It'll be the end of the whole thing. Deal? Deal. Slick Ric walks off and Torrie Wilson, who's been quiet up until now, speaks up. She asks her afro headed boyfriend if he's making a wise move. Angered, Caribbean Cool tells her that knows what he's doing! Now shut your face! No wonder your dad faked his own death on Smackdown. He couldn't take your mouth! Your damn mouth! Ahhhh!
Oh yeah. We're all set for the match to determine whether or not there will be another match between Shawn Michaels and John Cena. Yes. It's the War To Settle The Score To Decide Whether There Will Be Another Match In The Score To Be Settled.
Or not…the camera shots backstage and Shawn Michaels is dead. Dead. He's all sorts of messed up on the ground and no one knows who could have done this. Once again, in typical HBK form, Michaels has been attacked off-camera. How many times has that happened to him? He's the king of getting attacked off camera. We always shoot backstage to find Shawn dead. The only person who might be close to his record is Ric Flair. He gets attacked off-camera a lot too. But The Heartbreak Kid - he's the king. He's the king. Anway, King Shawnathon is all sorts of messed-up. Whodunit? Could it be the same person who dropped a cinderblock on Steve Austin's head the night that Chris Jericho debuted? I don't think they ever caught that guy either. Too much to think about. Go to a commercial.
There's still a frenzy over the attack of Shawn Michaels. A number of people are backstage including Val Venis playing his new character: guy-standing-around-backstage. John Coachman shows up and is playing the role of accuser. He fingers John Cena. (JG Note: As a suspect. Geez. Get your mind out of the gutter.) Where were you, Champ? Did you do this?! Cena responds the only way the Marine should. He chokes Coach against the wall. Coachman responds the only way that he should. He wheezes and makes funny faces.
3. The World's Greatest Tag Team vs. Ric Flair and Carlito was ruled a no-contest.
Since Charlie Haas is wrestling, I have to once against say that he was the first ever guest on Radio Free Insanity. I feel the need to say it every time he wrestles on Raw. I also feel the need to say that the interview, along with all 66 other editions of the RFI, is available on ClubWWI.com. There. Said it. Anyway, this match followed the questionable HBK attack and the focus seemed to be on that. The match itself wasn't bad, though. Haas was pretty intense here and Benjamin followed suit. They showed some great teamwork and proved why they deserve to be pushed the way they were years ago. As a duo, they can hang with the best of them. When Jim Ross questioned their team name, Lawler was all over him. It caused J.R. to flip out - as he does sometimes - and say that he never questioned their abilities. He only critiqued the "world's Greatest Tag Team" moniker. When Carly finally tagged in George Washington after taking abuse for most of the match, things looked like they were headed in the right direction. But, that's when Carlito abruptly changed the path…
…Cool rushed in and attacked The Nature Boy. He tackled his now-former partner to the mat and slammed him with punches and kicks. Naitch started to come back from the Pear Harbor Job © Gorilla Monsoon and Carly took that as the cue to leave.
He must have forgotten that he was dealing with the Dirtiest Player in the Game. Ric chased him down each time and took him back to the ground. Carl slithered away, but it would just happen again. The split has happened. It's all done. Looks like the whole Colon-Flair tease is finally over. So weird. I don't remember what Raw was like before it. I feel like it's been going on since they started Monday Night Raw. Wasn't the first Ric-Carlito breakup-tease segment done after that Max Moon match? Right before Damian DeMento came out. Right? Man. Good times. Good times.
Hey. We're backstage and guess who else is knocked out? Edge. Yup. Looks like someone beat him up. I know it's not like he got into a car accident or anything, but Matt Hardy's still happy nonetheless.
Commercial Break. What type of steroid is the woman in the Toyota commercial on? Damn.
J.R. and Jerry Lawler are asking the big question at ringside. "Who attacked Shawn Michaels?" No one knows. Everyone seems to hate Shawn. The two discuss possible choices. Hey, maybe it could be...
…suddenly we break into a very unexpected and unintroduced piece on the behind-the-scenes stuff from Stone Cold's Condemned. As I mentioned, I was one of the 11 people who saw it this weekend. You can check out my ClubWWI.com audio recap on The Condemned. It's spoiler-free, in case you want to see it. I know. Just play along.
Knock. Knock. Who's there? Misterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Kennedy.
Mr. Money in the Bank is with the gimmicked MSG ceiling mic and spotlight. Ken Kennedy has the briefcase and has the opportunity so anyone who thinks he might be the one that had to attack Shawn Michaels is insane. Why? He doesn't have to. He has the shot already! Now lots of you thought he was going to use the MITB chance last night, right? Huh? Well, that didn't happen. You see, Kenny doesn't respect the way Edge did it when he used the briefcase. You don't use this opportunity to cheat youself a title. You don't use this opportunity to cheat the fans. You use this opportunity to tell people when it's going to happen and hype the eventual match. When is Mr. K going to use his title shot? When's he going to cash his Money in the Bank shot in?
WrestleMania 24. That's right. The countdown begins. Tick Tock. Ding Dong. And all that jazz.
Besides. Who can think at a time like this? Backstage, it looks like Randy Orton's dead now too. Another one bites the dust. So that makes three out of last night's four Backlash main eventers violently attacked backstage. Who has done this? We don't know who the culprit is. Could it be....?
Commercial Break. Netzero asks, "If all Internet providers bring you to the same Internet, why pay more to get there?" Um, I thought it was so we can get there faster.
5. Candice Michele and Mickie James defeated Melina and Victoria when Candice pinned Mickie
One segment until the main event. Better throw a bunch of divas out there. Great. Everyone who's been saving his/her pee for the last hour and a half - go to it. Sadly, if you did run to the restroom, you missed an OK match. Candy ended up getting the pinfall and giving her team a check in the W column.
All of these backstage attacks have got Vince McMahon in a tizzy. He doesn’t know what's going on here, but he has an idea. Mr. McStreme tells John Coachman to inform John Cena that he needs to get to the ring. Something tells the chairman that if the C-Man heads to the squared circle, we'll see the real culprit. What does that mean? Who knows? Sketchiness - Fun for the whole family.
Commercial Break. The Muppets are in bed with Big Tobacco. Great. Another reason to be disillusioned with the world.
WWE.com caught up to the ECW Originals. They're all distressed over Vince McMahon's title win. RVD, Sabu, Sandman, and Tommy Dreamer all spoke from the heart about how terrible this whole thing is. Good piece. I was expecting Tommy to start slitting his wrists at any minute.
The Champ is there! Where? The ring. John Cena stands up straight and tall. Who's the big secret, huh? Who's beating up all the contenders? Whoever you are…show your face! Show your face!
Cue Chris Jericho.
No. I'm just f**kin' witcha. Cue Great Khali.
Aw man. That sucks.
Welcome to the company, kid.
Vince McMahon is already ECW Champ. If Great Khali wins the WWE Title, the damn planet's going to blow up.
Kahli holds up the title and the second sign of doomsday plays out as we fade to black.
All in all…Not a bad a show. Then again, we're at a really bizarre time in the WWE world right now.
New Jack McMack is cracking me up. It's as if the wrestling world has gotten so ridiculous that there's nothing you can do put throw your hands in the air and laugh. I mean, Vince McMahon is ECW Champion! Is there anything more ridiculous than that?! When they first brought back ECW as a brand, they had Big Show vs. Ric Flair for the belt. I went on this whole thing about how it was so weird to think that Flair-Show would be for the ECW Title. Compared to Vince as ECDub Champion, that's nothing. We've gone past the point of Insanity and ended up on the other side. It's an Insanity Wormhole.
I'm going to reserve judgment on his ECW Title win until tomorrow's SciFi show. Gotta say, though. It's hard to find a reasonable argument that a 62 year old man as the World Champion of any wrestling for any reason could be a good thing. Still, I'll give it a chance before I predict that the sky is falling and all that fun stuff.
Great Khali is after John Cena. Well. OK. I don't think many people were expecting that. For good reason too. It's not good. WWE had to realize that Khali would be a letdown in the big whodunit thing. I think the only reason most people popped when his music first hit is because they thought it was Muhammad Hassan.
The Orton-Edge match was great. It was really solid and will always be a tremendous standalone match. It brought us all back to a time when a tag team splitting meant that two guys knew all the weaknesses and strengths of the other. It hasn't been that way for a while. Ort and Adam did it tonight, though. They did it well too. It was the best outing I've seen Randy have in a while too. Both of these guys deserve praise for what ended up being the match of the night.
Usually a match on Raw is match of the night because all the other matches stink. Not tonight, though. RVD vs. Umaga told a great story too. Van Dam hasn't been this exciting in a while and the finish was just terrific. It took a few seconds to realize that Rob was choking. When you saw that it was because the Samoan Bulldozer grabbed his throat as he hit the Five Star Frog Splash, you couldn't help but lean back and yell, "Oh snap. Snap."
Altogether good show. The finale may have been the lowpoint, which is weird. Something tells me tomorrow night is the real show to watch. Mr. McChamp has a new pet project.
This week on ClubWWI.com we'll have an all new edition of The Lo-Down hosted by the former WWE Inter-European Champion, D-Lo Brown. Be sure to check out this week's show too. The latest edition of Lisa "Ivory" Moretti's Smack Talk went on for 95 minutes and featured tons of thoughts on the business. Lisa and D-Lo join Kevin Kelly and Orlando Jordan (as well as Dr. Tom Prichard's audio archives) to give you the most in-depth analysis of the wrestling industry with former WWE stars that you'll find anywhere.
Also, if you're in the mood for some free audio, be sure to check out this week's edition of JG‘s Radio Free Insanity featuring Dustin Rhodes. The former Goldust spoke for 45 minutes in his uncut ClubWWI.com interview. We talked Hall of Fame, the time Vince McMahon scolded him in front of the locker room, the wrestler he credits for getting Goldust over, and much more. Dustin joins Jerry Lawler, Kevin Nash, Samoa Joe, Christian Cage, DDP, Road Warrior Animal, AJ Styles, Bobby Heenan, Ted DiBiase, and over 60 other guests over on the Club. You can get all the information on these shoots and superstar-hosted audio shows (along with free clips) on our free main ClubWWI.com page.
Be Well! Thanks for sharing the Insanity!
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