FEBRUARY 26 RAW RECAP: BATTLE OF THE BILLIONAIRES SET
The last RAW of February saw secrets revealed and promises kept. After weeks of media attention, Donald Trump finally named his representative who will face Intercontinental Champion Umaga in the Battle of the Billionaires at WrestleMania 23: ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley.
"Umaga is an animal," Trump informed WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon from the TitanTron. "And what do you do with animals? You tame them. You find someone or something to tame them. Allow me to introduce you to the man who will be responsible for me shaving your head at WrestleMania."
And with that, out walked Trump's representative. Even with dozens of security guards lining the ring, Lashley and Umaga viciously brawled right out the ring. They nearly couldn't be contained, but security was finally able to separate the ECW World Champion and the Samoan Bulldozer.
Mr. McMahon's night didn't end there. A member of the WWE Board of Directors phoned the Chairman to inform him that, in order to protect the integrity of the match, a guest referee might be appointed for the Battle of the Billionaires. Mr. McMahon then left the arena for San Jose, Calif., site of ECW on Sci Fi this Tuesday, saying that he would attend ECW to make Bobby Lashley's life a "living hell."
There were also some serious head games courtesy of Rated-RKO earlier in the night. Edge & Randy Orton seemed intent on causing dissention in the ranks of the World Tag Team Champions John Cena & Shawn Michaels. After Orton called HBK a liar, he rolled a tape highlighting Michaels' controversial history dealing with allies.
"Having your back and stabbing you in the back are two entirely different things," Edge warned a conflicted Cena. And when the four met in the ring later that night, a kick from Michaels intended for Orton came dangerously close to HBK's partner, the WWE Champion.
But after the referee was knocked out, HBK slammed Edge with the World Tag Team Championship and then tossed it to Orton. Thinking his own partner attacked him, Edge left the Legend Killer alone in the ring, where some Sweet Chin Music from Michaels and an FU from Cena helped the World Tag Team Champions retain their titles.
Only a week after losing the Intercontinental Championship to Umaga, an undeterred Jeff Hardy defeated Shelton Benjamin in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match. Hardy will join King Booker, CM Punk, Edge and four other yet-to-be-determined Superstars in the annual Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 23, where the winner will earn a guaranteed opportunity at the World Championship of their choice.
"It's a real positive rush for me," Hardy told WWE.com moments after the win. "Ladder Matches are my comfort zone, and to compete in one at WrestleMania is a dream-like position for me to be in."
The Great Khali, meanwhile, may have placed himself in a les enviable position after wanting to take the Master Lock Challenge Monday night. Before Chris Masters could even apply the maneuver, both men were attacked by SmackDown's Kane. The Big Red Monster seemed intent to pay Khali back for the Punjabi Warrior's interference on Friday Night SmackDown, which cost Kane his chance to participate in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Is another brawl between these two monsters inevitable?
In other RAW action, Carlito once again impressed Ric Flair by pinning Kenny Dykstra. Two weeks ago on RAW, the "Nature Boy" admonished Carlito for lacking passion. Out of respect, Carlito asked to team with Flair, and the two defeated Cade & Murdoch last week. After Carlito's win, the "Nature Boy" applauded from the ramp.
WWE Fans, meanwhile, saw no reason to cheer for Johnny Nitro, who destroyed Super Crazy before their match even began. Prior to the bout, Melina was ranting about various things when Nitro told her off, saying he needed to blow off some major steam. He did just that, beating Super Crazy so badly that their match never actually happened.
One of the things Melina was upset about was her match next week; thanks to a rematch clause, Mickie James will face the Women's Champion in a Falls Count Anywhere Match for the gold. Inside the ring this week, however, that didn't seem to faze Melina; despite putting up a valiant effort, Maria was no match for the Women's Champion. But what will happen when Melina is face-to-face with Mickie James again next week?