Cyber Sunday Blockbuster
The action packed, three hour season premiere of RAW kicked off with a monstrous pyrotechnics display and a brand new theme song… but there was also something else. Something so colossal that's never before happened in WWE: the champions from all three brands stood in one ring at the same time.
RAW's WWE Champion John Cena, ECW World Champion Big Show and SmackDown's World Heavyweight Champion King Booker were face to face to argue who the most dominant champion in sports-entertainment actually is… but by the evening's end, the time and place to where that question would be answered was decided on. Mr. McMahon, in his first appearance on WWE Television since Unforgiven, emerged to declare that the main event for Cyber Sunday would bring the speculation to an end.
"What would happen if we had the ECW Champion, the WWE Champion and the World Heavyweight Champion in one match? What if all three champions were represented in a Triple Threat Match to determine once and for all who would be the Champion of Champions? I have a date, say Nov. 5 — Cyber Sunday," stated the Chairman with a devious smile.
And with that, the main event for Cyber Sunday was set. Who will walk out of Cyber Sunday with the ultimate bragging rights? Which Champion will elevate his legacy by becoming the foremost champion in sports-entertainment?
With that blockbuster announcement shaking the foundation of RAW during its Family Reunion, perhaps nobody could explain the type of environment all three brands create better than one of RAW's newest Superstars, Super Crazy. Not known for his verbal skills, the former ECW Extremist and SmackDown Superstar surprised WWE fans as well as ECW representative Paul Heyman, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long and Mr. McMahon's Executive Assistant Jonathan Coachman when he said, "Actually, all three [brands] offer, drama, action, suspense; three amazing shows for all [WWE] fans to enjoy."
Mr. McMahon couldn't have put it any better himself.
The way the Cyber Sunday announcement unfolded stemmed from the champions' conflicting views -- which eventually evolved into trading blows -- and also the bickering of the three brands' representatives, Coachman, Long and Heyman. So, in an attempt to find an answer to the hanging question of the most powerful champion, they made matches for all three champions to compete on RAW.
Coachman chose RAW's Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy to take on Big Show; Heyman chose King Booker to go head to head with ECW Original Rob Van Dam; and Long chose SmackDown's Undertaker to take on Cena.
In Big Show's match with Hardy, the ECW champion proved his dominance by staying in control for most of the match. Hardy showed his toughness by standing toe to toe with the Extreme Giant, but he was never able to overcome the huge weight and power disadvantage Big Show held over him. After an arena shaking Showstopper, Big Show was able to get the cover and the win.
After the match, former Intercontinental Champion Johnny Nitro tried to extend the beating on Hardy, but with a chance to put an exclamation point on his dominance, the Extreme Giant re-entered the ring and tossed Nitro aside like a rag doll.
In King Booker's match, he looked fresh as he took on RVD even though the King was involved in a Fatal Four Way at No Mercy. In a physical match that saw the former "Mr. Monday Night" compete like he'd never left RAW, King Booker was able to utilize the assistance of Queen Sharmell to propel himself to victory. Regardless of how he won, the King reigned supreme and -- perhaps for the first time -- made SmackDown GM Long proud.
Undertaker was coming off a fierce match with Mr. Kennedy at No Mercy, but the Deadman showed no signs of being worn. At first, Cena tried to enter a slugfest with Undertaker — which proved to be a horrible idea for The Champ. Then, Cena switched to rely on his quickness and athleticism to battle the 16-year veteran. The two battled back and forth and just as Undertaker delivered a vicious Chokeslam, Big Show and King Booker rushed the ring and the match was ruled a No Contest. While Undertaker fought off the SmackDown and ECW Champions, the Deadman's No Mercy opponent, Mr. Kennedy, tried to blindside Undertaker— but he failed.
As Undertaker and Mr. Kennedy fought back to the locker room area, Big Show, Cena and The King battled it out, giving a preview of the carnage of what will take place at Cyber Sunday on Nov. 5. Cena focused on Big Show at first, locking in the STFU on the Extreme champion. But, after King Booker stomped on Cena to break the hold, The Champ turned his attention on the King. Cena stood tall at the end of the night after he dropped King Booker with a booming FU. Is this what's to come at Cyber Sunday?
With all of the special guests on the season premiere of RAW, D-Generation X decided to apologize for the antics they pulled on Jonathan Coachman last week -- including dumping him in a trash bin and having a janitor haul him away -- and for making the Spirit Squad compete in feminine cheerleading outfits.
Well, it began as an apology but ended up as more of a mock apology. Afterwards, The Game and HBK took on two spurs that have been sticking in their sides for the past few weeks: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.
In a hellacious Street Fight that disallows countouts or disqualifications, the scales seemed to be tipped in favor of Cade & Murdoch, two southerners that look like they're more accustomed to fighting alligators or bears than people. In a Street Fight, the only way to win is to get the pinfall. In the match, Cade & Murdoch were unrelenting and showed DX they'll back down from nobody — not even two veterans as decorated as HBK and The Game.
The southern duo took advantage of DX early, using a belt to horsewhip HBK while using the steel ring steps to smash Triple H's face. For Cade & Murdoch, it was the opportunity they've been waiting for to prove how tough they really were. While they no doubt got their point across, they weren't able to overcome the vast experience and craftiness of the two former World Champions. Once again, DX was able to fend off their competitors as HBK landed Sweet Chin Music on Cade and Triple H hit a Pedigree for the cover and the win.
Later on in the evening, former WWE Champion Edge gave a special edition of his talk show "The Cutting Edge." His guest was the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history, Randy Orton. After some minor pleasantries, Edge got right to the point, insulting Orton by telling him he's done nothing since winning the World Championship in 2004.
"For two years straight, you've consistently dropped the ball," Edge said. "Every misstep, every bump in the road can be traced back to one, single solitary moment."
The moment the former champion meant was two years ago when Evolution, led by Triple H, turned on Orton and beat him to a bloody pulp. Edge pointed out that the attack stemmed from jealousy on The Game's part and that Orton should avenge Triple H's betrayal.
Once Orton realized that Edge had a point, he was receptive to his advice.
"We should own this show. We should own the championships. We should be the future of this industry, not some tired act from a decade ago," screamed Edge.
The Rated-R Superstar has called himself a master tactician before, a living chess player in the realm of sports-entertainment. But, after pinning the blame on DX -- especially Triple H --the two shook hands in unity, showing that they can put their massive egos aside to form an alliance for the same goal: destroy D-Generation X. How will DX react to a newly formed alliance that, as Orton put it, "has two words for them: It's over."
Also, the undefeated Umaga kept his win streak alive and at the same time single-handedly changed the landscape of RAW in a Loser Leaves RAW Match against Kane. In what will be remembered as a turning point in RAW's history, the Samoan Bulldozer was victorious over the Big Red Machine, and for the first time since the brand extension of 2002, Kane will no longer be a member of the RAW roster.
In the match filled with backbreaking slams and face denting punches, Kane nearly delivered Umaga's first defeat. But with the help of manager Armando Alejandro Estrada, the Samoan Bulldozer was able to land the deadly Samoan Spike to emerge victorious.
Next week, for the first time in four and a half years, RAW will be without the Big Red Machine. On his way out of the arena for the last time as a RAW Superstar, the University of South Carolina crowd gave Kane a standing ovation for his dedication. Where will the Big Red Monster roam to next? Have the WWE fans seen the last of Kane?
Luckily, none of the applauding fans made the same mistake as the Highlanders. Robbie and Rory McAllister approached Kane to give their condolences, but weren't met with the same kindness they showed. An irrational and emotional Kane answered their compliments by nailing Rory with a devastating punch to the throat and tossing Robbie through a stack of milk crates.
SmackDown's presence was well represented on RAW. In a Six Man Tag Team Match, one night after all six combatants competed at No Mercy, Batista, Lashley and Rey Mysterio took on Finlay, William Regal and Chavo Guerrero.
Neither Lashley nor Batista seemed to hold any ill will towards the other after competing against each other at No Mercy for the World Heavyweight Championship. Although the argument could be made that Lashley's spear on Batista is what allowed King Booker to steal the cover over Finlay, the Animal and Lashley looked to be on the same page during their match. As for Chavo and Rey, they picked up right where they left off at No Mercy. The two battled nearly the entire bout on RAW, but it was Mysterio who finished it off with a Frog Splash off the top rope for the pinfall over Chavo.
Also, Regal's opponent from No Mercy, Chris Benoit -- fresh off a win at No Mercy and a five month sabbatical -- made an appearance on RAW, much to the surprise of hometown Superstar Shelton Benjamin. For weeks, Benjamin has complained that he's overlooked because of the color of his skin, but after Benoit destroyed him in the ring he may have to come up with another reason to complain. Benoit locked in the Crippler Crossface and made Benjamin submit.
Benjamin wasn't the only home state native in attendance. Two more locals, Mae Young and WWE Hall of Famer The Fabulous Moolah, were at the University of South Carolina to watch the third match of the opening round of the Women's Championship tournament. Torrie Wilson took on Melina under Lumberjack Rules, where the lumberjacks were the same Divas that will appear on Extreme Strip Poker on ECW on Sci Fi, Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET on the Sci Fi channel. Melina was able to leave with the victory, but the action didn't stop there. Torrie attacked Kristal after the match and delivered her signature Facial to the SmackDown Diva.
Plus, what RAW Reunion would be complete without WWE Legends making an appearance? Mitch, a member of the World Tag Team Champion Spirit Squad, made a surprising declaration prior to his match with the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
"I have a confession to make. I suck. But tonight, I'm going to do the unthinkable; beat the 16-time World Champion, Ric Flair."
Mitch believed he'd have the other members of the Squad to back him up against Flair, which would give him a five-on-one advantage. Well, he thought wrong. WWE Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper and WWE Legends Ted DiBiase, Irwin R. Schyster and Arn Anderson -- a former member of the legendary Four Horseman came to ringside to support the "Nature Boy." The Squad was shocked at the sight of the WWE greats, and was even more puzzled as the Legends pushed them away from ringside. Once the Squad was safely away from the ring, the crafty Flair made quick work of Mitch, making his declaration prior to the match seem truer than ever. After Flair got the submission victory from the Figure Four Leg Lock, the Legends climbed into the ring and joined Flair in celebrating his victory.