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This weeks’ Monday Night RAW took place in Gund Arena in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio. I grew up in c-bus, so seeing The Gund on TV was something of a homecoming for me. Meaning the crowd was filled with fat, pasty-white Midwesterners. (Man, I miss having funnel-cake pancakes for breakfast.)
Tonight’s episode was centered around respect. John Cena didn’t respect Eric Bischoff. Shelton Benjamin didn’t respect Eric Bischoff. The people of Cleveland didn’t respect Chris Jericho, the self-proclaimed “Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla”. Nobody respects the mullet. But by night’s end, you wouldn’t be able to swing a dead cat without it getting covered in crunchy kibbles of respect.Kurt Angle, who actually won a Gold Medal in the 1996 Olympics, opened the show with the Angle Invitational, where he challenges the local “Hometown Hero” to a match. If they can survive three minutes in the ring with him, they win his medals. So far, Angle has yet to be defeated. Would tonight be any different? Does the Rock love pie? Because Angle’s Cleveland opponent was none other than Eugene, general manager Eric Bischoff’s “special” nephew. Eugene is something of a wrestling savant, meaning he knows every move of every wrestler in the history of professional wrestling. And the TV schedule for Judge Judy no matter what city he’s in. Eugene managed to throw Angle out of the ring with just ten seconds left, and Kurt couldn’t make it back into the squared circle in time, meaning Eugene now has Angle’s Olympic Gold Medal, which, no doubt, is already covered in drool.
Viscera was up next in tag-team action. His partner? A midget named Cloacas. Viscera (or “Big Vis” as he’s known today) used to be scary in an evil way. Now, he’s scary in a “sweaty fat man in a velvet sweat suit” way. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to all of Al Sharpton’s old track suits, wonder no more: they’ve been repurposed into one Big Vis love glove.
As I said, Big Vis teamed with a midget. Do you remember how funny it was on Seinfeld watching tall, lanky Kramer roll around on the floor with Mickey, his vertically challenged acting partner? Yeah, Vis’ match was like that, only less sophisticated. Still, it’s hard to go wrong with a midget. If only they’d been able to figure a way to add a monkey and a couple of boobs (apart from the Heartthrobs, that is) to the mix, it’d have been Man Show heaven.
Tonight was also the much-hyped “Battle of the Bands” between John Cena, the current rapping World Champion (and by that, I mean he’s a world champion who raps, not the world champion rapper), and former world champion Chris “Y2J” Jericho’s metal band, Fozzy.
Cena is just the latest in the long line of successful white rappers to emerge from the WWE. He kind of reminds me of Mark Wahlberg in his Marky-Mark Calvin Klein days, except Cena didn’t get his big break because of his older, boy-band brother. NKOTB 4VR!
Anway, Cena came out, and to quote Randy Jackson, he did his thing, dawg. Jericho’s band Fozzy then refused to play, supposedly because they felt the Cleveland crowd was biased toward Cena’s crew, and thus not giving them the respect they deserved. In reality, however, it was because the band suddenly realized their singer was actually a professional wrestler named Y2J.
After a brief backstage bit ‘o banter between Bischoff and Carlito “Caribbean” Cool (I just love saying that name), the Heartbreak Kid (aka Shawn Michaels) came out, yammering on about his upcoming match with Hulk Hogan. (Yes, that Hulk Hogan.) I wish I knew more about these two old-timers, but my grandfather’s been dead for years, so I couldn’t call him up for the back story. My bad. (Well, actually it’s my grandpa’s bad for dying, but who’s counting.)
Time for little A-R-E-T-H-A, as Shelton Benjamin, who a few weeks back lost his Intercontinental Title to Carlito “Caribbean” Cool (see!) was put in a handicap match against Snitsky and Chris Masters, ostensibly for disrespecting Bischoff. Shelton lost when he couldn’t escape from Masters’ signature move, the Master Lock. (When I was a kid, we called this hold the Full Nelson, which just shows how much more cleverer the WWE writers are than a bunch of 8-year olds.) Just to drive the lesson home a little further, Masters refused to unlock the Master Lock, until the 7 ft, 500 lb giant, Big Show, came down and picked it. (See how I worked all that “lock” humor in there? Try the veal.)
Also, the RAW Diva Search is still going on. This week, they had a hot dog eating contest. As funny as seeing a bunch of stripper-wannabes yummy down on some hot dogs was, it paled in comparison to hearing Jerry “The King” Lawler carry on about watching a bunch of stripper-wannabes yummy down on some hot dogs.
Next up was the Kane/Edge “Stretcher Match”. A little back-story on these two: Kane, who in the WWE universe is the Undertaker’s brother, used to be married to Lita, who, in the WWE universe, is supposedly hot. Kane once forced Lita to have sex with him so he’d stop beating up her old boyfriend, Matt Hardy. Lita got pregnant by Kane, and ended up marrying the freak. How do we know he’s a freak? Because he wears one of those creepy Marilyn Manson white contact lenses. Oh, and he once set the show’s announcer, JR, on fire during an interview. Since losing their baby after a vicious attack by Snitsky, however, Kane and Lita’s marriage has been on the rocks. Kane’s fairytale finally came crashing down a few months back when Lita betrayed him and helped Edge, who looks way more like the Vampire Lestat than Tom Cruise ever did, win their PPV match. Now, the two are married and mocking Kane every chance they get, thus setting the stage for tonight’s carnage.
In a “Stretcher Match”, the first person to put his opponent on a stretcher and roll it past the finish line wins. In the beginning, Kane held his own, despite being choked out, hit over the head with the steel steps and having a Kendo stick cracked over his noggin, but eventually he lost thanks to some timely cheating from Lita and Edge’s metal briefcase. But wait! Before Edge and Lita could escape, Kane rose from the stretcher, ala Michael Myers in Halloween, threw Edge into the video monitor wall, and pile-drove Lita onto the stage. Lita’s original ex, Matt Hardy, took this opportunity to bumrush the ramp and attack Edge. (Gotta say, Matt’s gut is looking pretty hardy these days.) Kane then hijacked the ambulance, but not before asking Lita if she’d ever been on the Highway to Hell. (Cue evil music.) I hope there’s a Waffle House on this highway.
Finally, after a two-hanky retrospective on Hulkamania, it was time for the Main Event. John Cena versus Carlito “Caribbean” Cool. Personally, I’m not sure which is cooler about Carlito: his Justin Guarini hair or his love of a good Granny Smith spit-take. Regardless, my mom thinks he’s the bee’s knees.
RAW general manager Eric Bischoff, who earlier in the night said he was going to teach Cena some respect, assigned Y2J as the special guest referee to do just that. Surprisingly enough, Jericho called a pretty fair match, up until the time it looked like Cena was about to deliver his signature move, the FU. Y2J then reverted to form and delivered a low blow to the champ, followed up by a Bulldog and Lionsault. From there, hilarity ensued, with Carlito getting the pin, and consequently, a title match with Cena next week.
So, what do you think? Does a RAW recap belong on TVgasm? If so, gimme a “Hell Yeah!” If not, then it sounds like you need a big glass of shut-up juice.