As the first-ever Women's Elimination Chamber Match approaches, former allies realign after Absolution attacks the Raw Women's Champion.02/22/2018 - 13:15
WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's Monday Night Raw to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.02/20/2018 - 14:15
Finn Bálor and Elias collide as Raw's Seven-Man Gauntlet Match rolls on.02/19/2018 - 22:15
Chaos in Columbus
All in the course of one crazy and chaotic night on RAW, WWE Champion John Cena proved once again why he is one of the most resilient champions in WWE history, Shawn Michaels stuck it to the Spirit Squad on multiple occasions to gain some revenge on them and Mr. McMahon from Backlash, and Triple H defied the Chairman's orders when he walked out of his assignment as special referee of the main event.
Mr. McMahon kicked off RAW with a huge announcement, declaring that the Spirit Squad would be the co-General Managers for the evening. And right from the outset, it appeared as though it could very well be John Cena's last night as WWE Champion. After drawing "spirit straws", it was determined that Kenny would challenge Cena for the gold and attempt to become the youngest WWE Champion in history at just 20 years of age.
Before the bell rang for RAW's main event, John Cena's chances of retaining the WWE Championship against Kenny of the Spirit Squad seemed slim to none, and "slim" was headed for the exits of the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH. He was fresh off the heels of arguably the most hellacious Triple Threat Match in WWE history, he had to contend with all five members of the Spirit Squad, and his arch-rival Triple H was the special guest referee. But somehow, some way, The Champ showed his unparalleled tenacity and for the second time in perhaps the toughest 24 hours of his career, successfully defended the WWE Championship against all odds.
Cena knew he was in trouble right from the beginning when he had Kenny up for an FU. Before he could execute his signature maneuver, Triple H decked The Champ. But The Game wasn't doing Kenny any favors either. Upset that he was refereeing instead of competing for the WWE Championship, Triple H took a lackadaisical approach to officiating and was slow to get into position for all of Kenny's pin attempts as well. Kenny was not amused at The Game's lack of enthusiasm and pushed the King of Kings out of frustration. Triple H responded with a thunderous punch and laid out Johnny with a Pedigree before simply leaving the match. One has to wonder what Mr. McMahon thinks of Triple H walking out on his officiating duties.
Since the match needed another referee, Shawn Michaels, who had already officiated one match earlier in the evening, came to the ring. But before he did, he and The Game crossed paths and engaged in a rather uncomfortable stare down. Wanting revenge on the Spirit Squad for their involvement in his match at Backlash, HBK helped Cena clean house. With the ring cleared, Cena hit Kenny with the FU, and HBK counted the 1-2-3, getting back at both the Squad and Mr. McMahon in the process.
But this wasn't the first time the Showstopper got some payback. The Spirit Squad tried to continue to send HBK down the highway to hell when they made him officiate the Kane vs. Rob Conway match. To make it more interesting, or dangerous rather, they forced Michaels to wear a shirt plastered with "May 19" all over it, in hopes of riling up the Big Red Monster. Every time Kane hears or sees that date, which just so happens to be the same date his movie, See No Evil, opens in theaters everywhere, he goes into a destructive fit of rage. So, before Kane came to the ring, HBK low-blowed Conway and put the shirt on him. In just moments, Conway became a casualty to the unfortunate circumstances as Kane destroyed him, and HBK got his revenge.
Not all the action happened inside the ring, though. In fact, there were plenty of fireworks at the broadcast booth. During the night, RAW play-by-play announcer Joey Styles was summoned to the back for a meeting with the Spirit Squad. They informed Styles that he needed to show more spirit otherwise they would force him to wear a cheerleading outfit next week. Jerry "The King" Lawler poked fun at Styles upon his return to the booth, and Styles responded by slapping The King. Lawler shoved Joey down, sending him in retreat. The King tried to get Styles to come back out with an apology, but he wasn't willing to accept.
"I'm going to show the whole world why for seven years I was considered the loose cannon of commentary," said an emotional Styles.
With that, Style passionately let out all of his frustrations, explaining that he was sick of being lectured on the differences between pro wrestling and sports-entertainment. He explained why he was sick of boogers, bathroom humor and a Chairman who mocks "God". But he also said he was sick of all of the fans that buy into it. And just like that, Joey Styles quit as the play-by-play man of RAW. What does this mean for the future of the RAW announce team? Who will be doing play-by-play next week on RAW?
One thing that we do know about next week's RAW is that Edge will face Mick Foley in a WrestleMania Hardcore Rematch. Foley was the guest on the Cutting Edge, and he thanked Edge for helping him have his WrestleMania moment. Foley may have lost at WrestleMania, but according to the Hardcore Legend, his moment came when he looked in Edge's eyes after the match and knew he would never be the same. Foley wanted the rematch right then and there, but he will have to wait one more week.
With the Spirit Squad in charge on RAW, it should probably come as no surprise that there was a Divas Cheerleader Match. Torrie Wilson and Maria teamed up to take on Women's Champion Mickie James and Victoria. Torrie and Maria may not be the most-technically sound competitors inside the ring, but when it comes to Cheerleader Matches, they're a dream team. When Mickie tried to suplex Maria into the ring, the injured Trish Stratus appeared from out of nowhere and tripped up the Women's Champion, allowing Maria to score the upset. An enraged Mickie made Maria pay later in the evening when she attacked the bubbly Diva during the Kiss Cam on WWE.com's Unlimited.
Carlito & Rob Van Dam were victorious in tag team competition against Shelton Benjamin & Chris Masters. Shelton was ready to use the steel chair, but former tag team partner Charlie Haas came from out of the crowd and took away the foreign object. Carlito then scored a roll up for the win.
Plus, Nicky, Johnny and Mikey of the Spirit Squad defeated Eugene, Snitsky & Goldust of the "Odd Squad". After the match Matt Striker attacked Eugene during a backstage interview to get some revenge from Backlash. Striker was still furious over being forced to ingest one of Eugene's boogers on an edition of his Classroom at the pay-per-view.
And the monstrous Umaga continued his streak of dominance with a brutal victory over Rory Fox.
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