J.R.'s Superstar of the Week - Michael Pena
Greetings from under the 200X, black Resistol hat from your BBQ
lovin’ resident Okie who is ready to be a part of the first Monday
Night Raw to ever emanate from Italy.
This week’s Raw Superstar of the Week is another no-brainer, even for me. Our esteemed panel of Eddie Van Halen, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Eddie “The Barrister” Kaufman and Mr. Ed has unanimously selected Honorary Raw General Manager Michael Pena as this week’s Raw Superstar of the Week. This one wasn’t even close. Michael, with his friend Mick Foley close at hand, outmaneuvered Jonathan Coachman by finalizing the main event for Backlash. Now, outsmarting Coachman is no easy feat…okay, it’s sort of easy. But anyway, great job by Michael Pena on Monday’s Raw! It was truly an honor to work for Michael for one night. Looking back at my track record on Raw, Michael was one of the few GMs we have had who did not relieve me of my post!
While Shane McMahon may have been born with a “silver spoon” in his mouth, personally, I was born with a plastic fork in my mouth. No one can intelligently deny Shane’s competitive nature. Let’s face it, the heir apparent to the McMahon throne likes to fight, and has a Rolls Royce filled with intestinal fortitude. Whether one likes Shane-O-Mac or not, one can’t deny that the moneyed son of a newly bald, rich man will put his own physical well-being at risk for what he believes in. Indeed the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Bobby Lashley will most likely discover at Backlash on April 29 in Atlanta.
The one thing I got out of the Divas tag team match Monday was that Mickie James has Melina in her sights, and it seems like the WWE Women’s Champion isn’t too comfortable about that matter. Melina may end up flat on her back (add your own joke here) the next time she defends the Women’s Title against Mickie.
Cade & Murdoch have seemingly come out of nowhere to become the No. 1 Contenders for The Hardys’ World Tag Team Titles. I would assume that the challengers are definitely the underdogs going into Backlash, but it would not shock me to see Cade & Murdoch leave with the gold. Wrestling exclusively as a team gives the challengers an advantage, whereas the Hardy brothers had excellent singles careers rolling along until they surprisingly won tag team gold a couple of weeks ago in Dayton, Ohio.
I felt bad for Carlito, who was really pumped about becoming the No. 1 Contender for the World Tag Team Titles with Ric Flair Monday night. Flair & Carlito simply lost to a better team on Monday night, but it was refreshing that the usually laid back Carlito was genuinely PO’d after coming up on the losing end of the match. I honestly don’t know how a young, single guy who spends ample “quality time” with Torrie Wilson could be angry about anything for too long.
The officiating in the HBK-Orton match left a little to be desired in my opinion Monday night. Where was Coachman when all this went down? How Orton could even be remotely considered to be the winner is beyond me. It reminded me of the blown instant replay call in last year’s Oklahoma-Oregon college football game. What was that guy watching?! Monday night was not a proud moment in the annals of WWE officiating, but I am pleased that thanks to Honorary GM Michael Pena, the ruling was addressed, and a fair decision was made regarding the Four Way Main Event for Backlash.
I was amazed at the ovation The Hardys received Monday night, especially for younger bro Jeff Hardy. It was “rock star like” from the sold out crowd in lovely Bridgeport, Conn. Even though the World’s Greatest Tag Team lost, they had one of their better outings and seemed “this close” to clicking and becoming the tag team force many have predicted for them. Did someone say “fish or cut bait?” Maybe Benjamin & Haas could use a manager; too bad Bobby Heenan isn’t available.
Unless the rules for the Four Way WWE Title Match change from the norm, John Cena’s odds on retaining the gold in my former hometown of Atlanta seem somewhat slim. The first man to score a pin wins, which means that Cena doesn’t even have to be involved in the equation to lose the coveted championship. Cena is going to need his share of “breaks” and a little luck to continue his reign as WWE kingpin.
Bobby Lashley is a human tank, but even tanks can be disabled. Lashley’s style is smash mouth and power-based, but with three different men looking to take the ECW Champion out, and with Lashley seemingly having no prominent allies to give him a hand, Lashley has stepped into “it” and has tracked “it” into the house. Mr. McMahon can be a vindictive individual, and he rarely doesn’t get his way; after suffering the indignation of having his head shaved ala Baron Von Raschke at WrestleMania 23, the cunning Chairman of the WWE will stop at nothing to humiliate and professionally neuter Lashley no matter how long or what it takes. Lashley’s military training may come in handy for the young ECW top dog, but recently fired radio personality Don Imus was a former Marine and look where he landed, out of work.
I am excited about traveling to Italy for the first time in my career and being a part to Monday Night Raw from Milan. I have plenty of H2O and J.R.’s Beef Jerky (available at www.jrsbarbq.com) all set for this trip, and I plan on doing some reading (including reading The Hardcore Diaries for the second time). One of these days I need to invest in a laptop so I can watch some of my favorite DVDs. I watched the Four Horsemen DVD this week, and really loved it. It brought back some great memories and reminded me once again that I cannot, and never could, hang with a partying “Nature Boy.” I tried, but of course that’s all a steer can do. I have not had a beverage known as a “Kamikaze,” for a decade now thanks to Ric, and the thought of consuming one makes me just a little queasy (wasn’t Queasy one of the King’s vertically challenged tag team partners once upon a time?). Nonetheless, if you don’t like the Horsemen DVD, I will be shocked. It’s one of the best DVDs that WWE has ever done, and the interviews from the Horsemen themselves and others were on the money.
Have a great week, and we will see you Monday night from Milan on Raw.