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10/24 WWE Raw report: Raw Express

Oct 25, 2005 - 2:39:00 AM

By Mike Roe, Torch Team Contributor

WWE Raw review
October 24, 2005
Live from Fresno, Calif.
Aired on USA
Report from Mike Roe, Torch Team Contributor

I'm Dusty Gie-- Oh, wait, no I'm not. With all of the cross brand invasions going on in WWE recently, your usual Raw review host, Dusty Giebink, is taking the week off from Raw this week. No need to fear, though, as I'm here for all your Raw review needs! You can also catch Dusty this weekend doing a Very Special Review of Smackdown. Until then, let's get to Raw Express!


The show opened up with the new "the power is back" video, followed by a recap from last week. Eric Bischoff set up a triple threat match for Taboo Tuesday with John Cena defending the WWE Championship against Kurt Angle, who beat him the week before, and a third man to be determined by fan voting from three men who won qualifying matches. The three winners were Shawn Michaels, the Big Show, and Kane. Big Show defeated Edge thanks to an assist from JBL's music mysteriously playing on Raw, while Kane won a battle royal to be the third member of the triple threat Taboo Tuesday match!

(1) Shawn Michaels defeated the Big Show and Kane when Shawn Michaels pinned the Big Show.

Pre-match analysis: We got no Raw intro video and went right to Shawn Michaels coming down to the ring in one of his ridiculously goofy vests. I think this might be one of the goofier looking ones, as it even had tails dangling off the back. He looked like part knight and part Vegas showgirl. Lawler hyped the triple threat match at Taboo Tuesday for the WWE Championship.

The Big show was out next. I don't notice as much since I'm not usually the guy covering Raw, but he's got some pretty sweet pyro. I still think that he makes for one of the goofiest babyfaces, as he acts angry while also trying to be a gentle giant, which hasn't really worked for anyone since Andre the Giant in the Princess Bride. And maybe Shrek.

Kane was out next, with his pyro interrupting Big Show while Show was still posing for the crowd. What I want to know is why he always has the front half of his head shaved and the back half shaved really crappily. Can't the man hold down the razor?

Match analysis: Kane and Michaels both went after Big Show early, but Show fought back against both men. Lawler emphasized how these wrestlers want to win this match so that they'll get more fan votes to be part of the WWE Title match at Taboo Tuesday. That's code for "whoever wins this match is who WWE will ram into your head over the next couple of weeks to vote for." Show headbutted Michaels and covered, but Kane made the save. Kane tried running into the Big Show, but the immovable object won, as Show no sold it. Show took down Kane with a clothesline, but Michaels covered. Show picked Michaels up and went after him in the corner with a huge chop. Show then tried to chokeslam Kane, but Michaels chop blocked him and Michaels and Kane both went after the even bigger man together again, kicking him to the outside.

Michaels then turned to Kane, chopping him twice. Kane threw Michaels into the corner, who flipped up onto the turnbuckle before flipping back down from the speed of the throw. Kane took down Michaels and dropped an elbow, but when he was running the ropes, Big Show grabbed his leg and pulled him to the outside. Show was bleeding from the middle of his forehead. He lifted Michaels with ease and tossed him outside onto Kane. Actually, it looked like his throw didn't quite make it, as Kane rushed to try to catch Michaels. Show lifted his arm and posed sending us into break.

(Commercial break.)

Show and Kane were in the ring together after the break. Coach said it was an all out war during the break. That's a good idea to help promote the new WWE Unlimited online commercial free Raw service. Show powerslammed Kane and covered, but Michaels ran into the ring to break it up. Michaels chopped Show several times before running into a big fist from Show, but Michaels kipped up. Show grabbed Michaels for a chokeslam, but it was foiled due to a shot from behind from Kane.

Kane big booted Michaels and clotheslined Big Show in the corner. Kane dumped Michaels to the outside before going up to the second rope for a ten punch, but Show threw him off. Kane dodged a Show splash in the corner. Kane tried back suplexing Big Show, but barely got any elevation before dumping him. Kane climbed to the top rope. Michaels went after him, but Kane knocked him to the outside. However, this allowed Big Show the time to get up and move to the second rope for a superplex on Kane. Both men were down, and the size of both men earned an appreciative chant for the move from the fans.

Michaels climbed to the top rope and dropped an elbow onto the Big Show. Show quickly started standing up, so Michaels set up and delivered Sweet Chin Music. However, Kane came from the side and clotheslined Michaels. Kane covered Show, but Show kicked out before the three count. Kane yelled in frustration. He grabbed Lillian Garcia's chair, along with the timekeeper's chair and two more chairs, tossing three in the ring and one to ringside. The ref was handling the ones in the ring, and while he did that, Kane leveled Big Show with a chairshot. The Big Red Cerebral Monster Assassin! Kane went up to the top rope and was trying to come down on Show, but as he jumped off, Michaels superkicked him. Well, he was supposed to, but Michaels didn't really get anywhere near Kane with the superkick. Kane sold it anyway as Michaels superkicked Big Show and picked up the pinfall victory.

Post-match analysis: Lawler talked about how this could have swung the fan voting in Michaels' favor. Gee, ya think? I wonder who they're going to vote for, the little babyface who just defeated two giants, or the Kane who was just in jail and the Big Show who hasn't had a meaningful feud during his time on Raw. They showed the recap of Big Show getting taken out with a chairshot from Kane and Michaels hitting his second superkick to Big Show of the match. Michaels was limping a bit after the match, likely selling the effects of taking on two giants.

Match grade: B-. This match was well booked for these three, with Michaels carrying the athleticism while Show and Kane did the big man spots, but there was some definite failure when it came to execution, with two big blown spots (Michaels' attempted superkick on Kane and Kane trying to suplex Big Show).

Tonight: Coach promoted that John Cena will be taking on Kurt Angle with special referee Mick Foley later tonight. Fo-ley! Fo-ley! Fo-ley!

They went to a clip at Martinsville, Virginia of John Cena participating in the NBC Wally World NASCAR segment. Cena showed the charisma that he usually shows in media appearances, although he also managed to work in a poop joke, saying that riding in the car at that speed made him feel like he just crapped his pants. Cena must have some scatological trauma in his past. Cena dropped a little hip hop lingo, talking about the tricked out cars he was going to stick to instead of the race cars.

(Commercial break.)

Promo time: Raw is coming to a town near you! Especially if you live in... Australia?! Really? I can't get a WWE house show here in the northwest to save my life most of the time, but they're going to Australia? Gee, thanks.

Moments ago: They showed a recap of Kane hitting Big Show oops, upside the head with a steel chair, with Big Show then getting taken out with a superkick.

Lawler and Coach promoted the Taboo Tuesday polls, which were opening up at ten o'clock east coast time. The goofy part is that the timer was still there for us west coast folks. Thanks for assuming that we're all morons, WWE! Lawler grabbed the mic and said that he was going to interact, just like Taboo Tuesday, with the fans in Fresno, California.

*** Lawler asked how many of the fans thought Coach was doing a good job, which got loud boos from everyone in attendance. Wait, how do they know how good a job he's doing? They can't even hear him! He could be better than JR, Gordon Solie, and me combined for all they know. Then King asked if they enjoyed seeing Coach get humiliated by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin last week. The fans enthusiastically cheered. Coach asked if King had a point to all of this. King said that he did, and it was that they should watch Coach getting humiliated again! They played the clip of Stone Cold pouring beer in Coach's JR style black Resistol cowboy hat and then dumping it on his head. Back live, King said that the fans had three choices for what sort of match Stone Cold and Coach would have. The three choices were verbal debate, arm wrestling match, and street fight. The fans booed the first two choices and loudly cheered the third. Gee, you think this thing's at least a little bit rigged? The fans started chanting "Street fight! Street fight! Street fight!" Coach snatched the mic from King and said that he had something to say. The fans started chanting "You suck!" Coach said he wasn't afraid of Stone Cold and that he was going to call him out right now. The best part of this was that it gave them an excuse to play Coach's awesome, awesome music as he walked down to the ring.

(Commercial break.)

Promo time: Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, and John Cena thanked fans for watching Raw Homecoming in a Raw commercial. Gotta love that two of the three wrestlers featured in their commercial are semi-retired.

*** Coach said that he was giving Austin until the count of three to come down to the ring. He was about to say "three" when the glass broke and out came America's favorite redneck (Sorry, Jeff Foxworthy and George W. Bush). Stone Cold was whipping his truck around the back of the arena and drove out next to the stage. Wait, that's not Stone Cold! Out of the truck came Stephanie McMahon wearing a Stone Cold hat and drinking a pair of beers. She was also quite conspicuously showing off her pair. I swear, she wasn't that far from that J. Lo dress a few years back.

Stephanie said that Coach deserved an Emmy for his acting skills. That may be the biggest lie in wrestling history (Sorry, Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon). Steph then went on to say that she and Coach had an announcement to make: Stone Cold wouldn't be there. I'm sure the live fans loved that. Coach then called out Stone Cold for next week, which also surely made the fans in the arena warm down to the cockles of their hearts. The fans started chanting "Slut! Slut! Slut!" at Stephanie. Stephanie criticized the fans for using the same old chants and not showing some creativity. Hm, good point. I guess it's easier than chanting "Bad writer with annoying voice and unnecessary breast implants! Bad writer with annoying voice and unnecessary breast implants!" Steph said that JR had successful colon surgery this week and that the McMahon family is happy for him. Wait, what? She didn't even rip him after that. That was... weird. Steph went over the stipulations for Stone Cold versus Coach, with Stone Cold winning meaning JR would be rehired, while Coach winning would mean that Stone Cold would be fired. I didn't even know Stone Cold was still employed. Stephanie said that Coach winning and getting Stone Cold fired would be a great service to the McMahon family. Stephanie said that her dad would be there later tonight, and that he would be happy to take Coach's place in his match against Stone Cold, and that over the last two weeks he had put on twenty pounds of muscle from training! Twenty pounds in two weeks! Yeah, I'm sure that came from "training." He must have bought a whole lot of "training." As Stephanie was going on and on about papa bear, out came Mick Foley!

Foley was wearing his goofy ref shirt with the spraypainted ref stripes, with a JR's Barbecue Sauce t-shirt on underneath. Foley said he couldn't stand someone talking who was so full of crap so he had to come out. Stephanie said that JR was the one full of crap, but that's been taken care of. Oh, there's the ripping I was looking for before. Classy. Foley referenced the McMahon-Helmsley era and how Steph went out of the way back then to make his life a living Hell, and also talked about what an asshole Vince was. He got the fans to say it for him so he wouldn't get bleeped. Foley talked about how he thought Linda could be trusted, but he was wrong. Foley couldn't stand back and watch Stephanie and her family destroy the business that he loves. Steph asked when Foley would realize that, without her and her family, there wouldn't be a business that he loves. Steph complained about Foley criticizing a poor, defenseless woman like Stephanie. Steph then introduced Foley to his opponent for Taboo Tuesday, Carlito! Now that's cool.

As Foley watched Carlito come to the ring, Stephanie gave Foley a kick to the nether regions from behind! Owie. Carlito then beat on Foley in the ring with punches, followed by a knee drop to the testicular fortitude! Oh my! Carlito then started chewing apple as Foley tried getting back to his feet. Carlito knocked him down again, then spit apple in Foley's face. Well, last time Foley got spit in the face, by Randy Orton, he put on a great, career making match. Is it Carlito's turn to get made by Mick Foley?

Up next: Triple H versus... Viscera?! Really? Viscera. Huh. Shelton Benjamin can't get on Raw to save his life, but... Viscera. King tried selling this match, with Triple H versus the five hundred pound Viscera, but you could tell that even King was dying a little inside trying to make this match sound remotely exciting.

(Commercial break.)

Promo time: Kurt Angle versus John Cena and someone else voted by fans at Taboo Tuesday! They're doing a nice job promoting this show, as it's got a ridiculously loaded lineup with Foley, Austin, ad a lot more, though it does seem that most of the votes are weighted in particular directions, which is a bit of a buzzkill.

Moments ago: We saw the recap of Stephanie kicking Foley where the sun don't shine (Well, the front of where the sun don't shine) and Carlito taking him out and spitting apple in his face.

*** Foley was backstage with a trainer, coughing a lung out, which makes sense considering where he was just kicked. Eric Bischoff came in and gloated.

(2) Viscera versus Triple H never got underway due to Ric Flair attacking Triple H.

Viscera was in the ring waiting for Triple H. Lillian announced Big Vis. Triple H was out next. Someone had a great fan sign with a little moveable sledgehammer hitting Triple H on the head over and over. Triple H did his little water spritz on the ramp, when out from behind him came Ric Flair, whooooo!

Flair way laid him and they started going at it. Triple H threw Flair into the steel steps. Triple H hammered away at Flair at ringside. Refs tried dragging them apart. Triple H actually knocked out one of the refs in a nice spot before Flair and Triple H started going after one another again. Flair and Triple H kept breaking free, with refs and agents pulling them apart several times. Flair managed to jump Triple H from behind once more before getting pulled off. All you could hear was a chorus of "whoooooos!" over and over again from the crowd. That was a nice segment to allow you a mini-preview of Triple H versus Ric Flair without giving it all away.

Ric Flair took the Band-aid off his head and threw the microphone that was in the ring away before getting another microphone from ringside. Ric Flair begged for the fans to put him in a cage with Triple H. He kept saying "A cage! A cage! A cage!" over and over again. These attempts to influence fan voting are getting absolutely ridiculous. They might as well not pander to the fans by making them think they're really voting for anything, because as it stands, they're really not. Look, just have King tell us who to vote for and we'll do it, just don't make us sit through this ridiculosity. They showed a recap of the Triple H versus Flair melee.

*** JBL's limo pulled up in the parking lot! JBL is at Raw, but why? As long as he gets to cut a JBL promo, I'll be a happy, happy man.

(Commercial break.)

*** Eric Bischoff was confronting JBL in the parking lot. Bischoff said it was his show, while JBL said that he's, well, JBL, and does what he wants. JBL said Bischoff better have a lot more security, and Bischoff said he did. They showed a clip from Edge invading Smackdown last week, spearing Mysterio and causing JBL to lose via disqualification. JBL chased off Edge, but Chris Masters came in and locked the masterlock on Mysterio.

Edge, Lita, and Chris Masters were in the ring. Edge said that JBL had made his way to the A show. As a Smackdown review representative, boooooo! Edge then said that the reason he attacked Rey Mysterio is that no one cares about JBL, and that Mysterio is a bigger star than JBL is. Edge said not to get his cowboy hat in an uproar, as he might get his chance for revenge, because at Taboo Tuesday, it's Raw versus Smackdown. It's going to be Edge and Chris Masters against two of five Smackdown superstars. Masters said that, since they're talking about Smackdown, most of the fans have never heard of these guys.

The first option was Matt Hardy. Edge mocked Hardy's "V one!" slogan, and said that he didn't think there was another match they could invent for Edge to beat him in. Edge asked Lita to remind him why Matt Hardy was on Smackdown, and Lita said that it was because Edge beat Hardy's ass and put him there. Edge asked what would happen if all of the fans of Matt Hardy's website voted for him, and said that he'd still finish fourth (since JBL would be in fifth, of course).

Masters said that Mysterio was from San Diego, so it'll be a short ride home from the hospital after Taboo Tuesday. Lita thanked him for being the inspiration for Smackdown's new "midget" division.

Edge's ol' buddy Christian was up next. Edge said that he carried Christian for the first six years of his career, so what's one more match? Edge congratulated Christian on being the only guy to get less votes than Matt Hardy.

The next was Hardcore Holly, who Masters said was Mr. Tough Guy. Masters said that a guy who walks around with bleached blonde hair, wears spandex and talks about being "hardcore" would probably rather have Chris Masters in the shower than the ring. Says the guy in the bikini bottoms whose finisher involves him grabbing a guy from behind. Masters said he doesn't swing that way.

Finally, choice five was JBL. Edge says that he calls himself Mr. Smackdown, and asked whether that wasn't a little like calling himself Mr. Enron, Mr. Hindenberg, or Mr. Titanic, as Smackdown is a disaster. Masters called it "Suckdown."

JBL told Masters to do the English language a favor and shut his hair lipped mouth that sounds like he's talking with a mouthful of marbles. JBL said that he knew Edge didn't have the courage to come out and face them, so he challenged Masters to try putting the masterlock on someone a little bigger, so he called the "monkey boy" out to come get him. Masters left the ring and started running to the parking lot.

Edge said that JBL's going to get the masterlock locked on him, but it doesn't matter who wins the fan voting, Edge is a bigger superstar than all of them. JBL talked about the second hand merchandise that Edge calls a girlfriend. Hey-ohhhhh! When Masters got to the parking lot, JBL said that he fell for the oldest trick in the book. Back in the ring, Mysterio flying dropkicked Edge before setting Lita up for and delivering the 619! He then left through the crowd. Edge got back in the ring and checked on his lovely lady. Edge was incensed and yelled for the "little prick" to come back. This was a career promo from Edge, and Chris Masters showed some of his best mic work to date as well. This match could definitely sell some pay-per-views, though it's yet another example of the voting being tilted by the only two Smackdown guys of the five choices to show up being JBL and Rey Mysterio.

(Commercial break.)

Promo time: A new commercial for the Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD aired. Jericho, Vince, Christian, and Mean Gene were shown talking about Warrior, and they showed several clips of Warrior promos. The best part was Christian's imitation, which was pitch perfect. This DVD is a must see.

Moments ago: They showed JBL telling Chris "pee brain" Masters that he just fell for the oldest trick in the book, followed by Mysterio whupping up on Edge and Lita.

The Taboo Tuesday graphic wasn't working when they tried promoting the voting for the match, but we were informed that the polls for Taboo Tuesday just opened.

(3) Mickie James (with Trish Stratus and Ashley) defeated Victoria (with Torrie Wilson and Candice).

Pre-match analysis: Mickie came out with Trish Stratus and Ashley Massaro. She came out to Trish's music. All three women were looking stunning tonight, particularly Mickie and Trish. Mickie really pulls off the overly enthusiastic crazy character quite well. Mickie hugged the other two girls, with a big hug for Trish, putting many the lesbian fantasy in the minds of perverted Raw fans.

Victoria came out with Candice Michelle and Torrie Wilson. Candace and Torrie had pearl necklaces, and all three women were in lingerie. Gee, I wonder what they're trying to get the fans to vote for? Victoria looked a bit Xena-esque in her black bra and tights. Very dominatrixy. If the fans don't vote for cheerleader outfits, I'm going to lose my mind. So, expect me to lose my mind in just over a week.

Match analysis: Victoria and Mickie locked up, with Victoria getting the early advantage with a headlock into a takeover. Mickie has the world's best scream. Seriously, this was horror movie good. Victoria kneed her in the side of the head. Candice Michelle held up a star wand, cheering on her girl. King and Coach talked about the way she was handling that wand, but somehow didn't go for the hot girl/"wand" joke. Victoria hit a shoulder thrust to Mickie. Mickie followed up with a sunset flip, but Victoria kicked out. Mickie hit a nice kick and went for a front dropkick, but Victoria stopped herself on the ropes to avoid it. Victoria stomped Mickie twice in the midsection. While Mickie was getting up, panty shot, and while I shouldn't enjoy that... I did. Victoria chopped Mickie and kicked her down, then covered, but Mickie kicked out. Victoria locked on a chinlock. Mickie made her way to her feet and hit a nice hurracanrana with the aid of the ropes to get up for the move.

Mickie started firing up with several shots and a nice dropkick. Mickie covered, but Victoria kicked out. Mickie was going for Stratusfaction, but Torrie Wilson grabbed her leg to stop her. Victoria went for a delayed suplex, but Mickie countered into a cradle pin cover. While Torrie distracted the referee, Candice ran in and tilted it so that Victoria was on top, but then Trish ran in and tilted it back, allowing Mickie to get the win.

Post-match analysis: After the match, all six girls went at it (not like that, fanboy!), with action happening all over the ring. The faces chased off the heels and finished standing tall in the ring.

Match grade: C+. A good effort from Mickie James in her debut WWE match. Her hurracanrana was a nice piece of work, and hopefully we'll start seeing some more athletic competition in the women's division. Of course, I say that as they build to the Fulfill Your Fantasy battle royal at Taboo Tuesday.

Tonight: John Cena versus Kurt Angle with special ref Mick Foley!

*** Vince McMahon was marching through a hallway on his way to the ring backstage, with the world's fakest smile on his face. You could tell because real smiles involve the muscles around the eyes, while this one looked like his mouth was completely detached from the rest of his face.

(Commercial break.)

They played a recap segment of when Linda McMahon fired JR with Vince and Stephanie at her side and then kicked him in the crotch, showing how much WWE loves their loyal employees.

*** Vince made his way down to the ring. Vince said that he doesn't like it when the people second guess the decisions of his family, so when his wife Linda decided to fire JR, "by god, his ass is fired!" Vince then said that, when he decided to hire the Coach to take JR's place, the Coach is the man. Vince said that JR served them well for a while, even very well, but Vince knew that JR was full of crap. The fans started chanting "We want J.R.!" They showed a JR sign and a "Coach is a brown noser" signs in the crowd. Vince said that, if God wanted to give America an enema, he'd stick it right here in Fresno. Vince said there was enough of the toilet humor, but that he knew JR was full of crap, which was proven last Tuesday, and that's what he's going to talk about tonight. The fans chanted "asshole," and in a great line, Vince said that's exactly what he was talking about. Vince said it was standard procedure for WWE to send a camera crew with injured superstars, which they did with JR. Vince said that they had to take a foot of blockage out of JR, which probably isn't much considering how much he had in him.

They showed an outside shot of Harborview Medical Center. They then went to a sketch with Vince McMahon as "Dr. Hiney," a nurse with big boobs named Nurse Slobberknockers, and an assisting surgeon. They revealed a fake butt, which made a farting noise when revealed. Vince applied his stethoscope to the big breasted nurse to check it out, then tried it out on the butt, and hurt some bubbling first, and then the sound of the Sooners football song. They played clips of JR slogans while they were working, such as "This is a combustible situation!" The nurse put lube on Vince's hand, and reached in, but out came flying some barbecue sauce. "I don't like the looks of this!" A football was out next. This is the worst skit in Raw history. And I'm including the Mae Young hand thing. A stuffed owl was out next. Vince asked JR if he was a pervert. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Vince started applying a plunger to the rear end. Vince pulled out... and I'm quoting Vince... "Mae Young's other hand." Speak of the Devil. God, this is horrible. They played JR saying "This is heinous!" You're damn right. Vince said that something smelled fishy, so he of course pulled out a goldfish.

Vince stuck a crowbar in next to pry things open more. This sketch was filled with more cartoon sound effects than a Looney Tunes cartoon. Vince said he could see all the way to Oklahoma, so out came an Oklahoma Sooners football helmet. Vince stuck a jackhammer in JR's ass next. When will this end. Please. Help me. Vince said he could see all the way to China, as his voice started echoing in the butt. He pulled out a Stone Cold sippy cup. They played JR yelling "Stone Cold!" over and over again. Vince said that he'd like to have Stone Cold back up there, so he put him back in once before pulling it back out. Vince said Stone Cold wouldn't help him get his job back.

Vince used the jaws of life next. I don't like wrestling anymore. Vince and the nurse pulled hard and pulled JR's head out of his ass. Well, a model of it at least. Vince said that they solved the problem, that JR had his head up his ass. This makes me sick. Vince shoved the fake JR off the table, then took the nurse onto the table for him to have his way with her. He was sticking his mouth on her boobs as she yelled out "Oh, yes!" and the camera panned to JR's head, with virtual JR saying "Look at the carnage here!" Thank God it's over. I feel like I just got out of 'Nam.

The fans booed. Duh. Vince said that, based on the reaction he got tonight, JR's condition must be contagious, as all the fans obviously have their heads up their asses. Coach said it was priceless. King asked if Coach thought it was high class entertainment. Something tells me that Vince does. Vince milked the crowd for cheers as he walked up the ramp. King said that he wants to forget that if he possibly can. Me too, but I don't think that's possible. Like the horrors of a death camp, that one's permastamped on my brain. I guess skits like this are what make Raw the A show, right?

(Commercial break.)

(4) Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch defeated the Hurricane & Rosey.

Pre-match analysis: World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch were in the ring coming back from break. They're going to be taking on the two men who aren't voted into the WWE Championship match for the tag titles at Taboo Tuesday. Rosey came out first, but Hurricane wasn't at his side. King and Coach talked about how, on's unlimited service, Hurricane was injured thanks to Kurt Angle and, when Rosey came down to check on him, Hurricane slapped him in the face and took his mask off. Hurricane never showed up.

Match analysis: Rosey knocked Murdoch off the apron, but this allowed Cade to go to work on Rosey, throwing shoulder thrusts in the corner. Hurricane walked out on the ramp, dressed in street clothes with sunglasses and his hair spiked. Coach said that Hurricane wanted to be known as Gregory Helms now. Rosey took out the tag champs and grabbed the tag rope, yelling for Helms to come down to the ring, but Helms just stood on the stage watching. He shook his head at what was happening as the tag champs systematically took Rosey apart.

Murdoch tagged in and made his goofy faces. Murdoch hit a shoulder block in the middle of the ring, followed by a shot from Murdoch to take Rosey down. Murdoch mocked Rosey and got in the corner, reaching out like he was Rosey's partner, and the stunned Rosey "tagged in" Murdoch. Cade tagged back in, and as Murdoch held Rosey, Cade jumped off the ropes with an elbow to the head. Rosey started making a comeback and went for a clothesline, but Cade ducked and hit a flying shoulder block. Cade called in Murdoch and they hit a double suplex. Cade tagged Murdoch in and they hit their double team finisher, Sweet and Sour (also known as the High-Low), with a Cade clothesline while Murdoch chop blocks him. Murdoch covered for the victory.

Post-match analysis: Helms watched from the stage in disgust. I loved the Hurricane character, and even went as him for Halloween twice (including wearing the Hurricane outfit in college to all of my classes, and the next year wearing it to church), but if this means a bigger push for the talented Gregory Helms, hey, I'm all for it.

Match grade: D+. Not really much of anything but a showcase for the tag champs, which is fine. The intriguing part is the future of Mr. Helms, and whether his size means he'll just get buried again, or if his charisma can carry him. He's a nice enough guy, but Rosey might want to be looking into unemployment as well.

Up next: John Cena versus Kurt Angle in a non-title match with special ref Mick Foley, and it's next!

Promo time: A commercial aired for Taboo Tuesday focusing on Ric Flair versus Triple H. They actually had to black and white out part of Triple H's head in one scene due to all of the blood. The three possible stipulations are one fall to a finish, steel cage, and submission, but we all know that fans are going to vote for steel cage. If any weren't going to, after Flair begged them tonight, they will. I think the submission match would be more interesting, but it doesn't look like I'll get my wish.

(Commercial break.)

They showed the standard outside shot of the arena.

Smackdown Rebound: Booker T won the previous week's fatal four way for a U.S. Title shot thanks to an assist from Sharmell, so on last Friday's Smackdown, Booker faced off against Chris Benoit. They focused on when Benoit overshot with his suicide dive and his back rammed into that announce table without Booker there to break his fall. Benoit hit a superplex and was about to win, when Sharmell distracted him when she grabbed a steel chair .She didn't get the chance to use it, but booker made a comeback. Then, while the ref was distracted, Sharmell hit a low blow to allow Booker to win the title Booker and Sharmell celebrated backstage. Chris Benoit showed a ton of fire yelling at Booker and Sharmell over what happened. Booker didn't look like he knew what had happened, but he defended his wife and called Benoit a sore loser.

(5) Kurt Angle defeated John Cena via submission (non-title; Mick Foley as guest referee).

Pre-match analysis: Foley came out first, and the announcers talked about how he was walking a little gingerly thanks to his encounter with Stephanie and Carlito earlier in the night, which they replayed. Kurt Angle was down next, complaining to Foley, but Foley said that he would call the match right down the middle. Angle took off his t-shirt and pulled up his singlet straps. Cena was out next. He always looks pretty cool coming out, but then immediately becomes less cool when Lillian reminds us that he's from West Newbury, Massachusetts.

Match analysis: They locked up, with Angle taking him down, but Cena quickly countered. Cena hit two shoulder blocks and psyched Angle out teasing a third, but Angle rolled to the outside. Angle talked trash from the outside before getting back in the ring. I love that black mouth guard Angle wears. Angle got a go behind, but Cena got a go behind of his own before Angle took Cena down into a side headlock on the mat. Cena moved to a vertical base, and in a great moment, the fans were engaging in dueling chants of "Let's go Cena!" and "Let's go Angle!", with Angle getting the better of the chants. Lawler countered this by pointing out that most of the fans were chanting "You suck!" at Angle when he came out. Cena hit a big hiptoss followed by a scoop slam. Cena was going for an elbow drop, but Angle rolled out of the way. Angle telegraphed a back body drop, allowing Cena to kick Angle and send him to the outside.

(Commercial break.)

Back from break, Cena was on the outside, with Foley checking on him as he grabbed his arm in pain. Angle went to the outside. They showed a replay of Angle clotheslining Cena to the outside. Angle bounced Cena off the steel steps before taking him back in the ring and covering, but he kicked out. King mentioned that Angle is undefeated against Cena since coming to Raw. Those matches haven't exactly always been fair, but it's true. Angle hit a nice uppercut to Cena in the corner, followed by standing on his neck in the ropes with both feet, holding himself up with the ropes. Angle hit a backbreaker and covered, but Cena kicked out of the near pinfall. Angle yelled at Foley, but Foley assured him it was only two. Angle applied a bodyscissors around Cena's torso. Cena fought to escape while making ridiculously fake looking facial expressions. Cena fought out and made his way to his feet and began punching Angle in the torso. Cena was running the ropes but ran right into a belly to belly suplex. Angle whipped Cena into the corner, and he bounced off into another belly to belly. Angle covered, but Cena kicked out. Angle wasn't happy and shoved Foley, but Foley shoved back, allowing Cena to roll him up for a two count. Cena hit a sunset flip, but Angle kicked out. Cena hit a headbutt, but Angle dodged Cena in the corner and hit a German suplex followed by a cover for just short of a three count.

Angle applied a rear bearhug to Cena before floating over into a cover, but Cena kicked out. Angle went back into the rear bearhug. Angle turned Cena so that his shoulders were down, but Cena got his shoulder up. Cena powered his way to his feet and elbowed Angle in the side of the head twice to break free. Cena hit a DDT, and both men were down. There was a double count by Foley, but both men got to their feet before ten. They exchanged punches, and Cena got the best of the exchange and was on fire, sending Angle down, followed by a pair of clotheslines and a flying forearm, followed by a T-bone suplex! Wait, from Cena?! Insane! Carlito ran down to ringside to go after Foley, so Foley went to ringside to deal with Carlito. Carlito rammed Foley's head into the steel steps and hit a DDT on the outside of the ring. Back in the ring, Cena was still in control, delivering the five knuckle shuffle. He was going for the FU when who ran out but Eric Bischoff in a referee shirt! Angle got a couple of covers, and while Bischoff tried to fast count him, he couldn't do it. Angle locked in the ankle lock as Bischoff yelled at him that he was going to tap over and over again. Cena screamed in pain and was reaching for the bottom rope, but Bischoff pushed the rope away, grabbed Cena's hand and pulled it to the mat, saying that Cena had just tapped.

Post-match analysis: Cena reversed the ankle lock, flipping Angle to the outside. Cena hobbled around due to his injured ankle. Angle's music played as he celebrated outside the ring. Bischoff smiled his priceless evil smile at ringside. Angle did the "You can't see me!" as he walked up the ramp. They showed a replay of Bischoff forcing Cena to tap. Bischoff yelled at Cena in the ring.

Match grade: B+. Angle was fantastic as always, and while it was a screw job ending, for a TV main event, that's fine as long as they don't do it week in and week out. The memorable spot of this match was Cena hitting a T-bone suplex for the first time I remember.

Show grade: D+ (4.0). This was a show that featured one of John Cena's best matches to date in the main event, a solid three way to kick things off, a fine debut by a wonderful women's wrestler, excellent brand warfare, and more, but it will only be remembered for one thing, and that is the McMahon family's lack of class. Vince McMahon wants to complain about how his show can't get a car company to advertise on their program, but then he not only airs a disgusting sketch like tonight's sketch mocking a man who just had surgery, but is personally involved in it. This is the kind of thing that makes you ashamed to be a wrestling fan and causes you to think twice when you thing about telling your friends to check out this pro wrestling thing.


Newsworthy countdown

1) Vince McMahon produced the most tasteless skit in wrestling history, mocking JR's colon surgery with middle school humor.

2) Smackdown invades Raw, with Rey Mysterio taking out Edge and Lita and JBL continuing his babyface turn.

3) Edge has a career promo ripping the Smackdown roster to pieces, with Masters lending an assist with strong mic work of his own.

4) The Hurricane reverts back to Gregory Helms, dropping the superhero gimmick, hopefully on his way to a renewed push.

5) WWE legend Mick Foley gets punked out by Stephanie and Carlito with apple in the face and shots from both to the balls.


Thanks for tuning in, everyone! Be sure to check out my OVW Specialist column later this week, and I'll be back to doing my Specialist column on Mondays beginning next week. You can also check out regular Raw review host Dusty Giebink covering Smackdown this weekend before he returns right here next week. Be sure to drop me a line with your thoughts at Until next time, do good works and remember to smile!

Mike Roe reviews Friday Night Smackdown every week for Mike always wants to hear from you at with your thoughts, comments, questions, critiques, or whatever else you want to share. He also writes an OVW Specialist column for every Monday.

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