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Re: WWE: The Platinum Era
Machine ... Or Madman?
January 30th, 2006 | Preview
Following on from an amazing Royal Rumble just 24 hours ago, the RAW superstars roll on into Orlando, Florida, with what promises to be a phenomenal showcase of the RAW talent.
Last night at the Royal Rumble we saw thirty men all battle for glory in an attempt to fulfil their dream of main eventing WrestleMania 22 by challenging the world champion of their choice at the granddaddy of them all. Unfortunately for the fifteen RAW superstars who participated, a SmackDown! superstar was victorious, as Randy Orton used Kurt Angle’s own pit-bull like tenacity to send him over the top rope and out to the floor in an incredible showing of both brains and brawn. Many of these superstars will have to put aside their disappointment and compete here tonight, and with no number one contender for WrestleMania announced on the red brand, any and all victories could go a long way to putting a superstar forward in the mind of RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff.
One man who has to be extremely disappointed following the events of last night is the man who was the final superstar eliminated from the match, ‘The Olympic Hero’, Kurt Angle. Showing amazing grit, skill and determination, Angle went on a rampage, showing just why it is that many call him ‘The Wrestling Machine’. What must really be getting at Angle is the fact that he was runner up, yet, had he not been attacked by a mystery assailant before entering the Royal Rumble, he may well be calling himself the number one contender to the WWE Title right now. This of course begs the questions of who attacked Kurt Angle, and why they did it? While Angle will not be in action tonight, we can be sure to know that following the events of last night, he will not be in a good mood. Just what can we expect to see from Angle tonight?
Another man who will be extremely disappointed is the former WWE Champion, John Cena. Going into the Royal Rumble, many thought that Cena would be able to regain his WWE Championship from Edge, having fought off all challengers in the Elimination Chamber, only for Edge to steal the title from Cena by cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase and becoming WWE Champion at New Year’s Revolution. However, following last night, we now know that Edge deserves to be champion, following a remarkable victory over Cena, even with a little assistance from Lita. Following this near miss for Cena, the man they call ‘The Champ’ is certainly no longer a champ, and is certain to be disappointed. Will this provide an opportunity for Cena to be vanquished, as he goes one on one with long-time rival, Carlito, or will Cena be able to overcome all adversities and defeat the cool Puerto Rican? At the same time, what can we expect from the champion Edge, having just retained his title that no one thought he could one night ago?
On the theme of Carlito, his friend, ‘The Masterpiece’ Chris Masters will be in action, as he faces a man making his return to Monday Night RAW in Rob Van Dam. Having made his return to the WWE last night at the Royal Rumble, RVD went after the man, who six months ago, prolonged Van Dam’s absence with a knee injury, in Carlito. Carlito tried every trick in the book to escape from Van Dam, even sacrificing his buddy Masters, only to be eventually bested by Van Dam and thrown from the ring. Many sources have informed us that Van Dam asked to face Carlito tonight, however, Carlito instead agreed to face John Cena, showing his determination to get away from RVD, leaving ‘The Masterpiece’ to face the returning ‘Mr. Monday Night’. Can Masters crash the party at the Amway Arena, or will ‘The Whole Damn Show’ put on a show to remember in his return to RAW?
Another man disappointed with the results of last night’s Royal Rumble is Triple H. After promising Mr. McMahon that should Shawn Michaels still be in the Royal Rumble Match when he entered the match, he would eliminate Shawn should McMahon keep his lackeys out of the way, the anger of Triple H would be unparalleled when Shane McMahon, acting under the orders of his father to come in and attempt to eliminate Shawn Michaels, would inadvertently cause the downfall of Triple H himself. With Triple H sure to be mad, what can we expect from him tonight? With neither him, nor Shawn Michaels scheduled for action, we may well see Triple H out and looking for vengeance against anyone and everyone.
Also last night, we saw the WWE Women’s Champion, Trish Stratus retain her title which she has held for over a year when she pinned long-time rival Victoria in a tough battle between two fierce warriors. With the action swaying back and forth, the turning point may have come when Mickie James distracted Victoria, only to be accidentally nailed with a Chick Kick by Stratus. Though Stratus retained the gold moments later, her concerns post-match were immediately with Ms. James, who appeared to be knocked out following the blow. Knowing that Mickie has suffered from mood swings in the past, what can we expect from her tonight? And will Stratus be able to focus on her own match, as she faces Victoria’s friend, Candice Michelle in non-title action.
The World Tag Team Champions will be in action tonight, as Kane & Big Show take on the team of long-time friends, Ric Flair & Chavo Guerrero. Despite Flair & Chavo having known each other for the longest of times, the duo has never teamed together in a WWE ring. Their first time will surely be a test, as there is no tougher team than the twin towers of Kane & Big Show. Which team will come out on top in this non-title affair?
Three weeks ago at New Year’s Revolution the unexpected return of Charlie Haas shocked his former partner Shelton Benjamin, as Haas confronted Benjamin about his losing streak and told him that if he feels he’s better off in the tag division, he knows where to find Haas. Since then Haas has continued to ask Benjamin about rejoining with him to no success, while Benjamin has continued his losing streak. Last week a loss for Shelton came at the hands of Lance Cade, as with a little help from partner Trevor Murdoch, the big Texan picked up the win. That, however, was not enough for The Redneck Wrecking Crew, as they proceeded to beat Benjamin down post-match, only for Charlie Haas to run in and make the save for his ex-partner. Now tonight Charlie finds himself making his return to action on RAW, as he goes one on one with Lance Cade. Despite it being a noble battle that Haas is fighting, will he find the odds to be perhaps too much in his return, with Cade no doubt having Murdoch in his corner, and perhaps Shelton Benjamin also an interested onlooker?
For the answers to all these questions, and more, be sure to tune into the USA Network, 9/8 C.