Billion dollar burn
In an unbelievable turn of events in front of 14,740 WWE fans in Washington, D.C., Raw went off the air with Donald Trump laying Mr. McMahon out right on his billion-dollar backside.
With Trump, Mr. McMahon, ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley, Intercontinental Champion Umaga, Armando Estrada and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin all in one ring for the Battle of the Billionaires contract signing, tensions were understandably high. But who would have guessed that it would be Trump who would make the first move by shoving the WWE Chairman right over a table? Trump seemed very confident with his choice of Bobby Lashley, who will act as his representative in what will no doubt be one of the most exciting WrestleMania matches of all time.
When the night first got under way, a confrontation between World Tag Team Champions John Cena and Shawn Michaels lit up the Verizon Center. With Cena still wary of a double-cross by HBK, the two Superstars looked ready to brawl when Jonathan Coachman arrived to inform of his intentions for later in the night. With Mr. McMahon busy preparing for the Battle of the Billionaires contract signing, Coachman decided to pit Cena and HBK against three other tag teams in a Gauntlet Match, that would end inside a steel cage.
After disposing of The World's Greatest Tag Team and Cade & Murdoch, a kick from HBK got a little too close for comfort for John Cena. As the 15-foot steel cage lowered onto the ring, the World Tag Team Champions were staring daggers at each other. MNM stepped into the ring next and put up quite a fight.
After Cena gave Joey Mercury an FU and the cage was lifted, all eight competitors mixed it up in a burly free-for-all. Suddenly, Cena swung a chair, HBK ducked to avoid it, and it landed hard on Charlie Haas. Some say if Cena had wanted to hit Michaels with the chair he would have done it, while others say Cena was just waiting for the right moment to strike. With two weeks left until WrestleMania, only time will tell.
WWE fans were on their feet as The Rock delivered a message via the Titan Tron. The Most Electrifying Superstar in sports-entertainment had a statement for Mr. McMahon: "You will get your head shaved bald at WrestleMania, Vince. That is a guaran-damn-tee."
Randy Orton claimed the final spot in WrestleMania's Money in the Bank Ladder Match by eliminating both Carlito and Ric Flair during a Triple Threat Qualifying Match. Although the fact that the match involved eliminations was a surprise to all, Orton was able to deliver two devastating RKOs and smoothly roll with the punches (literally).
Orton's Rated-RKO partner and fellow WrestleMania competitor was up to his old tricks. In one night, Edge managed to back his way out of a match with Jeff Hardy (claiming he wouldn't perform in a city whose football team was callously named the Redskins), arrange for Randy Orton to face ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley, and get into a heated face-off with third generation Superstar Orton. In lieu of competing in his match, Edge brought out a worthy competitor for Hardy, The Great Khali!
Last week on Raw, Khali stormed into the arena and shouted, "I want Kane!" Later on SmackDown, the Punjabi monster split Kane open in a locker room area ambush. The tension obviously got to the demented Kane, who entered the Verizon Center this week with his eyes on Khali. With hook and chain in hand, Kane looked frighteningly like his character Jacob Goodnight from See No Evil. Kane used his hook to topple the announce table in an effort to make his message clear. As J.R. so eloquently put it, "Kane wants to get his hooks in Khali!"
In other Raw action, Chris Masters demanded a challenger to compete in his Master Lock Challenge. When no one stepped up, Masters decided he would like to lock it up with Lilian Garcia. Just then, Super Crazy rushed in to rescue the beautiful Raw ring announcer. All too soon, Super Crazy became another victim of the Master Lock, which has yet to be officially broken.
Also, Women's Champion Melina defeated Torrie Wilson in a non-title match. After Melina picked up the victory, she took a cheap shot at Torrie that brought Mickie James (and later Victoria) rushing to the ring. When Melina's WrestleMania opponent and current Playboy cover girl, Ashley, showed up, the scene looked like an impromptu Diva Lumber-Jill Match had broken out.
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