Toward Taboo Tuesday
Come Taboo Tuesday on Nov. 1, John Cena will be defending the WWE Championship against an Olympic gold medalist as well as the largest athlete in the world, "The Showstopper" or a Big Red Monster.
It's up to the fans to decide.
Mr. McMahon challenged RAW General Manger Eric Bischoff to come up with innovating, ground-breaking main event for Taboo Tuesday that puts the power in the fans' hands. Bischoff responded by ordering a series of three Taboo Tuesday qualifying matches — the winner of each receiving a spot on the Triple Threat Match ballot as a potential challenger to join Cena and Kurt Angle.
In the first qualifying match, Edge seemed assured victory after hitting Big Show with a spear. Then, inexplicably, JBL's music hit. Edge pounced up looking for the SmackDown Superstar, only to find himself caught in a Big Show chokeslam. A three-count later, it was Big Show who gained a spot on the Taboo Tuesday main-event ballot, sending Edge into a frenzy.
Edge stormed into Eric Bischoff's office, where RAW's General Manger told Edge to do something about the SmackDown disturbance. Edge responded by saying that Bischoff will just have to tune in to SmackDown on UPN this Friday to find out what's in store.
In the next qualifier, Carlito took on Shawn Michaels. Carlito started off strong, running up the ramp to surprise HBK and pummeling him all the way to the ring area. But it wasn't long before "The Showstopper" had taken control, eventually connecting with his signature top-rope elbow drop to Carlito's sternum. HBK then "tuned up the band," but Carlito had the wherewithal to duck. In the chaos that ensued, the referee was knocked out of the ring, allowing Carlito an opportunity to grab a chair from ringside to use as a weapon. Instead, HBK connected with a superkick that rammed the chair straight into Carlito's face. The referee recovered in time to count the cover, and Michaels advanced to the Taboo Tuesday ballot. Michaels is the only Superstar entering familiar territory; he won a fan vote that placed him in last year's Taboo Tuesday main event. Will he fair as well this time around? It's in the fans' hands to decide.
The final Taboo Tuesday main-event qualifier was a huge, 18-man Battle Royal. It was a crucial opportunity for a host of Superstars to earn their way into the spotlight. The competitors were: Edge; Chris Masters; Shelton Benjamin; Carlito; Rob Conway; Eugene; Tyson Tomko; Kerwin White; Snitsky; Trevor Murdoch; Lance Cade; Viscera; Val Venis; Rosey; Tajiri, Antonio, Romeo; and — returning to RAW — Kane!
The Big Red Monster immediately notched his first elimination by dumping Carlito over the top rope. He followed up by eliminating Viscera in the second of nine such occurrences.
The final four were Heart Throb members Antonio & Romeo, along with Kane and Chris Masters. Kane then delivered a double-chokeslam to both Heart Throbs, then eliminated them both. "The Masterpiece" tried to take advantage of Kane's turned back by attempting the Master Lock, but the powerhouse Kane was able to fight out before Masters could get the hold fully applied. Kane then eliminated Masters to win Battle Royal and earn his spot on the Taboo Tuesday main-event ballot.
Meanwhile, the rumors proved true: Stone Cold not only made a RAW appearance, he drove his pickup truck straight into the arena to ringside. There, he drank a few beers and called out Mr. McMahon to answer for good friend Jim Ross' firing. Instead, the "Billion Dollar Princess" Stephanie McMahon emerged. She warned Stone Cold not to touch her again, or else J.R. would never be re-hired. Amid the verbal spat that followed, Jonathan Coachman interjected on behalf of Stephanie. That prompted the self-proclaimed "Bitch" to make a match for Taboo Tuesday: It'll be Stone Cold vs. "The Coach" — if Austin wins, J.R. is rehired; if Coachman wins, Stone Cold is fired.
Coachman was stunned by the news. His demeanor noticeably changed after celebrating being named RAW's new lead announcer by Mr. McMahon earlier in the evening.
A number of other Taboo Tuesday matches were also made. Following his appearance on the Cabana, Mick Foley will face Carlito. Also, Bischoff is bringing back the ever-popular "Fulfill Your Fantasy" Diva Battle Royal. And in a clash of former best friends and Evolution members, Ric Flair will face Triple H.
Flair was on RAW this week, having somewhat recovered from the sledgehammer beating he took from Triple H. Flair reminded "The Game" that he's survived a plane crash and a lightning strike, so he's not afraid of the Cerebral Assassin. With blood pouring down his face from his freshly removed stitches, Flair called out The Game, then chased him off with a baseball bat.
Plus on WWE.com Unlimited, The Hurricane ripped off his superhero mask, handed it to Rosey and stormed off.
All the Taboo Tuesday voting begins next Monday exclusively on WWE.com.