The show WILL go on
The Royal Rumble is less than a week away, but WWE fans in Lafayette, La., and those watching around the world were treated to an early preview on Raw.
Fresh off last week's victory over Rated-RKO, an overtly emotional Shawn Michaels kicked off Raw with a clear message for WWE fans. Not only did Michaels claim that he will once again be the WWE Champion and said, "The HeartBreak Kid, the Showstopper is back! No mere mortal man will stop me from fulfilling my destiny."
Just then, Edge, a man who thinks of himself as anything but mortal, entered the arena. After the Rated-R Superstar's interruption, the two brawled around the ring, into the crowd and even into the locker room area, where security was finally able to tear them apart.
Mr. McMahon announced the main event of the night: a Street Fight pitting Michaels against Edge, with no disqualifications. Michaels lived up to his words from earlier in the night. Letting his emotions run wild, HBK used a belt, steel trash can, ladder, steel chair, chain and sheer brutality to bloody the Rated-R Superstar. However, as he was about to deliver a Con-chair-to, Randy Orton dove into the ring to aid his tag team partner and deliver an RKO on Michaels. After Edge picked up the three count, Orton surprised everyone and tossed his partner out of the ring, establishing that the Royal Rumble Match will indeed be every man for himself. In the blink of an eye, Ric Flair entered the ring to deliver a series of low blows to Orton; Kenny Dykstra and Carlito soon blasted into the ring to join the chaos, but as Raw went off the air, somehow it was HBK standing tall.
Also on Raw, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon read a letter he wrote to Donald Trump, offering to boost ratings by appearing on The Apprentice. Next, the always surprising Chairman promised a token of his appreciation for WWE fans on next week's Raw. Just then, in walked The Champ. John Cena insulted the Chairman's "manhood," and then went so far as to say that Donald Trump had more money. Once Jonathan Coachman butted in, Mr. McMahon declared a match between Cena and his own Executive Assistant.
Soon after Mr. McMahon left the building, Coachman took the easy way out by forcing Cena to compete in an impromptu Over-the-Top-Rope Challenge. After taking on mighty challengers, including Viscera and The World's Greatest Tag Team, Cena was eliminated by The Great Khali. Coachman then attempted to pin Cena who mustered all his strength to kick out. With help from Armando Estrada and Coachman, however, Cena was splashed through a table by the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship, Umaga.
As doctors and trainers tried to help the badly injured Cena out of the ring, WWE fans must have been wondering if Cena would be able to compete in the Last Man Standing Match against Umaga at the Royal Rumble. Later in the night, WWE Mobile Alerts released the following statement: "John Cena has refused admittance to a medical facility after being driven thru a table by Umaga on Raw. Doctors were concerned that he suffered a ruptured spleen." Current speculation right now is that no matter what the extent of his injuries, The Champ will be far from 100 percent when he defends his title against the Samoan Bulldozer this Sunday.
In other Raw action, Jeff Hardy faced off against Joey Mercury, who still wears the protective face mask he has needed since the Hardy's sent a ladder into his face at Armageddon. Even with interference from MNM cohorts Johnny Nitro and Melina, Hardy was able to pin Mercury and win the special Raw vs. SmackDown Challenge. What kind of action will erupt when the Hardys meet MNM in the ring live at the Royal Rumble?
Chris Masters faced a man who calls himself both super and crazy—the aptly named Super Crazy. Last week on Raw, the high-flying luchador interfered in Ron Simmons' attempt to break the Master Lock. In a surprising turn of events, Super Crazy scaled the ropes to flip over and pin Masters, even while entangled in the powerful Master Lock.
Candice Michelle teamed with Women's Champion Mickie James to defeat Victoria and Melina. The victory was especially sweet for Candice, who pinned Victoria to exact revenge against the woman who broke her nose on Raw last November.
Meanwhile, after telling Maria that he would be the youngest Superstar to win the Royal Rumble and go on to headline WrestleMania, Kenny Dykstra went on to defeat Carlito. Can he put his money where his mouth is this Sunday at Royal Rumble?
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