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Vince McMahon started the show by saying that he would show his appreciation for the fans, even if it meant doing something that has never been done before. Somewhere Vince Russo panicked, thinking McMahon might beat him to the punch on the 12 diva blindfold weapons reverse cage match concept.
HHH and Randy Orton had a face off. Orton said that everyone downplays his accomplishments. HHH responded that he knows how good Orton is, but that Orton always tries to backdoor his way through challenges. HHH said Orton is trying to convince himself of his greatness because he is a scared little boy. He added that Orton ought to thrive on competition.
Orton asserted that HHH keeps people to close to him so he can manipulate them. Orton noted that he was in Evolution until he became a threat by winning the title, and HHH tried to take him out. HHH responded that he made Orton realize his potential, but then Orton had to fight for himself. Orton said he has passed HHH and will beat the hell out of him Sunday. HHH vowed to leave Orton lying and it will be like the Age of Orton never existed. Both men cut very good promos, particularly HHH.
Melina beat Jillian Hall. Apparently Melina is now a face based on this match, which is weird given she has been beat up by Beth Phoenix at every turn. Beth did commentary. Jillian hit a handspring elbow and choked Melina. Melina hit a dropkick and applied the California Dream for the submission. Backstage Vince McMahon granted Chris Jericho’s request for a match with Shawn Michaels and allowed Cryme Tyme to auction off William Regal’s stuff.
Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes defeated Paul London and Brian Kendrick. Rhodes hit a dropkick on London, so Kendrick and London used a double dropkick on Rhodes. Rhodes used an elbow off the ropes on Kendrick, but missed a crossbody off the top. London tagged in and hit dropkicks and a huracanrana on Holly. Holly went for the Alabama slam, but Kendrick broke it up. Kendrick and Rhodes fought to the outside, and Holly scored with the Alabama slam on London for the pin.
After the match, Ted DiBiase appeared. He said that Rhodes and Holly’s days as tag champions will soon be over, because Ted DiBiase Jr. is here. DiBiase Jr. put Holly and Rhodes on notice he is coming for the tag titles. Sadly they made no reference to the Rhodes/DiBiase WWF feud, but at least we got the Million Dollar Man music. Cody next week needs to say he’s going to beat Ted Jr. to avenge Sweet Sapphire’s betrayal.
Roddy Piper trained the dude from the Kimmel show for a match with Santino. Basically Piper beat the dude up for comedy. Mickie James and Vince McMahon met backstage. Mickie had an idea for sending divas to schools. JBL came in and suggested giving away mat pieces with Cena’s blood. He talked about beating up Mickie’s boyfriend, but Mickie said Cena isn’t her boyfriend.
JBL and Umaga beat John Cena and Jeff Hardy. Cena hit punches and went for the FU on Umaga, but Umaga stopped him with elbows. Umaga hit a spinning sidewalk slam on Cena, but Cena was able to make the tag. Umaga threw Jeff to the floor, and JBL rammed Jeff into the apron. JBL followed with knees, stomps and elbows. Jeff hit the whisper in the wind and tagged Cena. Cena came in with the Cena slam and five knuckle shuffle on JBL. Cena tagged Jeff, but Jeff missed the swanton and JBL delivered the clothesline from hell for the pin. This match was good but unambitious.
Mr. Kennedy beat Carlito. Carlito missed a springboard elbow and Kennedy went for the mic check, but Carlito escaped. Kennedy hit a high kick, clothesline, and fireman carry slam. Carlito hit a power slam, but Kennedy abruptly used the mic check for the pin. After the match, Katie Lea said that William Regal was doing an excellent job, and taking him out made Kennedy an enemy. Paul Burchill attacked him from behind with a neck breaker and curb stomp.
Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho battled to a double count out. Jericho and Michaels did some chain wrestling early. Jericho worked over Michaels, but Michaels came back with an inverted atomic drop and flying forearm. Jericho went for the Walls, but Michaels used a cradle for a near fall. Jericho missed a moonsault, then Michaels missed an elbow off the top, then Jericho missed the code breaker, then Michaels missed sweet chin music.
Jericho finally applied the Walls. Michaels got to the ropes, but Jericho punted him to the outside. On the outside, Jericho applied the Walls again and both men were counted out. Jericho grabbed a chair after the match, but decided to help Michaels up rather than hit him with it. Jericho is teasing an emotional breakdown that is very reminiscent of his first heel turn in WCW. Hopefully Ralphus is on his way back.
Vince McMahon concluded the show with his big announcements. First, he said that in four weeks there will be a draft. I have never liked the draft, but I won’t rehash that argument. This year refreshing the rosters is such an imperative that it almost overcomes the negatives of a draft as the means to that end.
Second, Vince alluded to some sort of promotion where they will give away a million dollars every week on Raw. It would appear Vince is waging war on DVR. Of course, the last time they promised a million dollar giveaway it ended up being a 1 in 25 chance of giving away a million dollars, so we will see if there is some sort of trick involved. Vince said there isn’t, but Vince doesn’t have a longstanding reputation for veracity.
This show was fine. It was entertaining and featured good wrestling. One Night Stand, unfortunately, has little momentum going for it. That’s not really the television’s fault. There’s only so much you can do when you space shows so close together. For sure, WWE should cut One Night Stand from next year’s schedule. This year, they’ve done what they can to create interest, but it’s a hard sell.
I should be on Max Kellerman’s radio show on ESPN 1050 New York tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at around 11:20-11:30AM Eastern talking UFC 84. You can listen here online: http://stations.espn.go.com/stations/1050espnradio/. I’ll update this if there is a change in time coming out of the long weekend.
* Zimbabwe dollars. Lucky reader pays for shipping costs.