Cena overcomes the odds

RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff and Chris Jericho did everything they could to stack the deck against WWE Champion John Cena one week after enduring a painful F-U. Chris Jericho will be facing Cena for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, so he came up with what he thought was a brilliant plan to soften him up in the weeks leading up to their clash. At the beginning of RAW, Bischoff informed the raucous Philadelphia crowd at the Wachovia Center that Cena would face Snitsky in a Lumberjack Match. To make matters worse for Cena, Bischoff would be hand-picking the lumberjacks. It seemed as though Cena would be in for an awfully long night.

Just as the WWE Champion has done ever since coming to RAW, however, he overcame all the obstacles in front of him, and at the end of the night, he was the one with his arm raised in victory. Every time Cena looked to be going on the offensive, the lumberjacks (Kurt Angle, Intercontinental Champion Carlito, Rene Dupree, Rob Conway, Danny Basham, The Heart Throbs, Kerwin White, Chris Masters, Tyson Tomko and Chris Jericho) attacked like a pack of rabid dogs. But help was on the way.

Just as it seemed like Cena was down and out, Big Show, Shelton Benjamin, The Hurricane, Rosey, Tajiri, Val Venis and Viscera came to the champion's aid. Amidst the chaos, Jericho snuck into the ring with a chair, but Cena cut him off and took him out of the equation. Snitsky picked up the chair and went for a big blow, but he missed and Cena scooped him up for the F-U and the win, once again overcoming all odds.

Not only did the Wachovia Center witness a heroic effort from John Cena, but earlier in the night they found out if Hulk Hogan would accept Shawn Michaels' challenge for a match at SummerSlam. The Philadelphia crowd went crazy when the Hulkster hit to the ring, greeting  him with a deafening "Hogan" chant. Hogan admitted that Shawn Michaels got his attention, but he didn't want to answer the challenge without being face-to-face with HBK. Shawn Michaels came out to the rampway, but decided not to go to the ring, saying that if he did he might knock Hogan out once again and deprive the people of hearing his answer. HBK reminded Hogan that immortality has a price and asked Hogan if he had what it takes to pay that price.

Hogan said he has been paying the price for years and accepted the challenge. He then left Michaels with one question to think about in the weeks leading up to what will surely be a classic confrontation: "Whatcha gonna do, brother, at SummerSlam when Hulkamania destroys you?!"

Kane and Edge also continued their bitter rivalry on RAW, this time in the brutal confines of a steel cage. Kane was busted wide open early on, but he came back on numerous occasions to gain the upper hand. Edge tried to escape through the cage door, but Kane caught him. Before the door was closed, though, Lita tossed Edge's briefcase. Kane survived two briefcase shots, but then Edge started to scale the cage. Kane caught him once again, but Edge nailed him with the briefcase again, causing him to fall to the mat. With Kane down, Edge was finally able to escape with a victory over the Big Red Monster.

One week after coming within one second of losing his Olympic Gold Medal to Matt Striker in the Angle Invitational, Angle put the gold on the line once again. Striker, this time using the name of Matt Martel, answered the challenge. Angle said that Striker or Martel or whatever his name was already had his chance. As Martel was getting ready to exit the ring, Angle cheap-shotted him and said that he had changed his mind. Angle went on the offensive, but Martel surprised him with a vicious choke. No matter what Angle tried to do, Martel would not relinquish his hold. Finally, Angle was able to throw Martel throat-first into the ropes and hit the Angle Slam, following it up with the Ankle Lock for the win with 24 seconds remaining.

It was also time for the second elimination in the 2005 RAW Diva Search contest. Earlier in the day, all of the remaining contestants revealed who they thought should be voted out next. Leyla and Summer both said Simona, Ashley said Cameron, Cameron said Ashley, Kristal said Elisabeth, Elisabeth said Kristal and Simona said Summer. The fans agreed with Leyla and Summer and voted out Simona. Who will be the next to go home? You will decide!

Chris Masters opened up the Master Lock Challenge once again, this time upping the ante to $20,000. One half of the World Tag Team Champions, Rosey answered the challenge. Masters knew he was in for his toughest challenge to date, but didn't back down and made the big man submit. Masters then claimed that it didn't matter how big his opposition was, no one was a match for the Master Lock. Then Big Show came down and wanted to give the Master Lock Challenge a try, but Masters denied him that chance.

After defeating Carlito by a count-out last week, Shelton Benjamin got another crack at the Intercontinental Champion -- except this time if Carlito lost by count-out, he would lose the championship. Carlito looked to have things going his way hitting a DDT and Flapjack, but Benjamin kicked out and went for the T-Bone. Carlito reversed it and hit a low-blow, thus causing a disqualification. Benjamin won again, but just like last week, was denied the Intercontinental Championship.

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