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On a hectic night of Raw action, Umaga stole the spotlight when he was named by Mr. McMahon as his representative in the Battle of the Billionaires at WrestleMania 23 and later went on to decimate Jeff Hardy en route to capturing the Intercontinental Championship. Also, HBK lived up to his promise to watch John Cena's back, Melina became the new WWE Women's Champion and Edge punched his ticket to Detroit, all as the Road to WrestleMania blazed a trail through Bakersfield, Calif.
Surrounded by a barber chair and the respective tools of the trade, Mr. McMahon opened Raw by showing WWE fans a blueprint of his plans for Trump's treasured head of hair. The Chairman unveiled a series of photos, each depicting a different hairstyle which McMahon was considering for "The Donald's" dome should his representative win in WrestleMania's Battle of the Billionaires. After promising to "beat the hell out of" Trump, Mr. McMahon revealed the man who will fight on his behalf at WrestleMania, the Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga. Next week, Donald Trump will reveal his selection, but can anyone stop Umaga and protect The Donald's golden locks?
Seconds after he was revealed to be the Chairman's choice, Umaga was given an opportunity to face Jeff Hardy for the Intercontinental Championship. Perhaps in a display of what he has in store for Trump's representative at Detroit's Ford Field, Umaga manhandled the popular Superstar. The Bulldozer finished off Hardy with a devastating Samoan Spike, and made the pin to capture his first taste of WWE gold.
"Everybody saw it Amigo," said Armando following Umaga's big night. "The Samoan Bulldozer destroyed Jeff Hardy and became the new champ. Now, he will go to WrestleMania and destroy Donald Trump's representative."
Recently, Shawn Michaels promised John Cena that he would watch his back on the Road to WrestleMania. On Monday night, HBK lived up to his word on two occasions. Early on in the evening, Cena was accosted by everyone's favorite corpulent male stripper, Big Dick Johnson. It appeared for a few seconds as if the champ was going to vomit, until HBK saved the day by giving the chunky dancer a dose of Sweet Chin Music.
Later, HBK came to Cena's rescue again during the Raw main event. The Champ faced off with Randy Orton in non-title action. At one point, Cena had Orton up for the FU, and appeared to be seconds away from another victory when Edge stormed the ring and assaulted The Champ, causing the ref to call for a disqualification. For a few moments, Rated-RKO stood over their fallen prey like a pair of starving wolves, salivating at the thought of the damage they could do to the prone WWE Champion. The duo set Cena up for the con-chair-to, but before they could pull the trigger, HBK ran to the ring and took out Rated-RKO with a chair. For another week, Michaels lived up to his promise. Next week, he will be put to the test again when HBK and Cena defend their tag titles against Rated-RKO on Raw.
The Money in the Bank Ladder Match will again be a part of WrestleMania this year. The first man to qualify for this year's edition is former Money in the Bank winner, Edge. The Rated-R Superstar took advantage of an assist from Randy Orton to defeat last year's Money in the Bank winner Rob Van Dam and confirm his ticket to WrestleMania. Edge has proven how valuable the opportunity can be. Will he provide a repeat performance?
A new Women's Champion was crowned on Raw. With the paparazzi surrounding the ring, Melina shocked the Bakersfield fans when she rolled up Mickie for the win to claim her first WWE title. In a post-match interview with Todd Grisham, Melina seemed more interested in complaining about all the recent attention SmackDown Diva Ashley has received over her appearance on the cover of Playboy.
Two weeks ago on Raw, an angry Ric Flair scolded Carlito for his apparent carefree attitude following a loss on Raw. A week ago, the Nature Boy faced Carlito in singles action, and the 16-time World Champion prevailed. Out of respect for Flair, Carlito requested the opportunity to tag with the Nature Boy this week on Raw. The new duo worked together to dispose of the veteran combination of Cade & Murdoch. Is Carlito finally back on track after a lesson from the Nature Boy?
In other Raw action, The Great Khali demolished the Highlanders in a Handicap Match and later told Jonathan Coachman that he wanted some tougher competition.