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The W - Pro Wrestling - RAW #725, 4/16/07
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geemoney
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.67
TONIGHT: WWE.com says Cena will face Rated RKO in a handicap match. And we’re emanating from Italy for the first time (RAW that is).

-WWE Open.

-RAW Open.

-We are (taped) from Milan, Italy, and JR and King compliment the crowd on their rowdiness. Apparently, we’ll have a diva fashion show tonight, from the fashion capital of the world. Before we can get into the show, Coach’s music hits. He announces the match I mentioned was advertised on the .com. Coach then introduces Mr. McMahon, complete with hat, of course. JR clarifies the Backlash match, as the match for the ECW title will be a 3-on-1 match, not a fatal four-way as announced last week. McMahon does some fan bashing of course. Vinnie Mac brings out Umaga, who’s accompanied by Armando Alejandro Estrada. Umaga looks as if he’d like to tear into McMahon. A video package of the Shane/Lashley/Umaga situation from last week is shown. McMahon is confident Lashley will be destroyed at Backlash. Shane isn’t in the building tonight due to the bad smells from the Italians. I thought that was the French? And Lashley isn’t there either. Vince throws out an open challenge to face Umaga. Nobody accepts, so Vince sweetens the deal by saying Umaga’s IC Title will be on the line. Still no one, so Vince says the only thing left is someone in the crowd. Despite numerous hands being raised, no one steps forward. He picks some little kid, who hilariously hides behind his dad in fear. McMahon finally picks someone, a guy in the front row. Well, he’s got the crowd behind him. What’s with the red shoes? Goodnight. McMahon gets pissed at the crowd’s chants, first yelling, “what the hell does that mean?” then his classic, “SHUTUPP!” McMahon wants to be sure he won’t sue for the injuries he may suffer. Santino Marella is the name (a nod to Gorilla Monsoon?), and the crowd chants his name. According to James Caldwell at the Torch, it’s Boris Alexiev, who has been wrestling dark matches on RAW. Vince finally makes fun of the red shoes and the brown shirt. Referee Chad Patton comes down to ref the match and make it official. Santino takes off his shirt and he’s got a huge lion head tattooed on his back.

Umaga vs. Santino Marella
Umaga bum rushes Santino, but he fights back with some kicks to the legs. He gets out of the way of a dive, and rolls up Umaga for two. Umaga is clearly dazed, so Vince gets back on the mic. He says there’s been a mis-understanding. Vince forgot to announce that it was a no-holds barred match. AAE slaps Santino, who slaps the manager back, but Umaga attacks. He hits a bodyslam, then a legdrop. AAE lays in a couple more slaps for good measure. Headbutt to the chest by Umaga. The man in the red shoes gets dragged to the corner. Umaga hits the splash from the middle rope. Another bodyslam in the middle of the ring and he’s pretty much out of it. The Samoan Submission Machine goes to the top, but Lashley comes out and slams him off. He goes to work on Umaga, and the crowd was more behind the Italian, though they show their appreciation in different ways, I’m sensing. Vince comes in with a chair after Lashley takes out Estrada. Lashley blocks the chair shot and hits Umaga with it right upside the head a few times. Lashley then hits the spear, and puts Marella on top for the pin! I haven’t seen an upset like that since Horowitz beat Skip! AND he’s the new IC Champ!!!

Winner: Santino Marella, to win the Intercontinental belt at 4:26

[Break]

-We see the upset that happened moments ago. The crowd is still buzzing, and Lashley and Santino are still in the ring, as is Jerry Lawler. Lashley said he wasn’t supposed to be there, but came anyway. That doesn’t explain how he got by customs. He said the story is the new IC champ. Marella thanks Lashley, WWE and I think the fans. Sure, this is nice for the crowd, but it doesn’t do much for Joe Sixpack sitting at home (and of course the belt).

-Carlito is backstage, and is approached by Flair. Carlito thinks he let the team down last week (I thought he was mad at Flair), but Flair cheers him up.

[Break]

(2) Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team
Shelton and Carlito start things. Fast-paced action, but a bit sloppy to begin the match. Carlito cleans house of both members of TWGTT. Both teams make tags after Benjamin and Haas re-group. Haas puts a shoulder into Flair, but Flair comes back out of the corner with some chops. Off the ropes goes Haas and he gets hit with a reverse elbow, then a chop block. Benjamin nails Flair illegally to turn the tide. Haas drags Flair to the heel corner and Shelton tags in. He backdrops the old man and goes for a cover that only gets two. Another tag and Haas is in. Haas with some lame punches to Flair, who is on the mat. Shelton is in and he hammers away at Flair in the corner. Tag back to Haas, who fights out with some chops until he’s knocked down by Haas. Back suplex by Flair and he makes the tag to Carlito, after Haas tags Shelton. The southpaw throws a dozen punches at Shelton, and he is certainly more intense tonight, as the King pointed out. Jumping reverse elbow catches Shelton. Flair is distracting the ref enough for Haas to trip Carlito, enabling Shelton to hit the T-Bone suplex for the win.

Winners: The World’s Greatest Tag Team, at 4:16

-Flair tries to talk to Carlito, who is heading up the ramp, but CCC won’t have any of it.

-Coming up tonight, Rated RKO vs. John Cena in a handicap match.

[Break]

-We see highlights of last week’s honorary GM, Michael Pena, taking care of his duties.

-Maria is backstage with John Cena, who is soundly booed by the crowd. She asks (after a LONG pause) about his match tonight. Before he can get three words out, Shawn Michaels shows up. HBK says he doesn’t care what happens to Cena this week. Next week, in London, the two fight one-on-one again.

-JR and The King throw it over to the Italian broadcasters. Then, we talk with (and about) “The Condemned” star Vinnie Jones.

-Melina is backstage getting dolled up for the fashion show. Nitro has a match with Eugene tonight too. Eugene shows up and says “Hi,” then leaves. Ooo...kay.

[Break]

-For some reason, we get a video package on The Great Khali. Oh, he’s in action next week. ........So?

(3) Johnny Nitro vs. Eugene
Johnny attacks before the bell, and JR clarifies the last segment by saying Nitro took exception to Eugene staring at Melina. Eugene fights back with some closed fists, but Nitro puts the boot in his bread basket to stop him. Nitro takes Eugene down head-first via Nitro’s knee. Nitro hits a neckbreaker (JR dubs “The Snapshot”) for the win.

Winner: Nitro, at 1:12

-The Diva Fashion Show is next!

[Break]

-Todd Grisham introduced a special emcee for the fashion show. I’m guessing he’s someone important in the fashion world. He gets on the mic and speaks Italian. Candice Michelle is out first. And no, I’m not going to be describing what the ladies are wearing. Victoria is next, and she takes off her shoes, clearly not used to being dressed up. Mickie is out next. Apparently, this is more like a real fashion show than a DIVA fashion show, because Mickie is showing very little skin. Maria follows her. Next is Torrie Wilson. Melina follows, with a bit of a different look than we’re used to. They do the crowd voting thing. They announce Torrie as the winner. Melina attacks in rage, and she and Victoria are tossed out of the ring by the other divas.

-Coming up tonight, John Cena faces Rated RKO in a handicap match!

[Break]

(4) Jeff Hardy vs. Lance Cade
Well, at least they’re building toward the tag title match at Backlash. Cade backs Hardy into the turnbuckle off of a lockup. Cade lays some forearms into the back of Hardy, followed by a bodyslam. Hardy grazes Cade with a Whisper in the Wind, then hits a 360 legdrop for a two-count. Before Hardy can hit another move off the top, Cade rolls out. Back in, Cade gets some knees to the stomach, then a mis-communication happens, and Cade finally tosses Hardy out of the ring. Off the ropes, Jeff ducks a clothesline then takes out Murdoch on the outside. Cade though, catches Hardy with a boot right to the mush. While the ref is distracted, Murdoch nails Hardy, then runs as Matt comes over to shoo him away. Cade is in control here. Well, not anymore, as Hardy avoids an elbow. A reverse mule-kick follows for Jeff. Cade catches Jeff with a back elbow though as Hardy was charging at him in the corner. Snap-mare take over into a cover for two. Cade is not happy with the ref. Jawbreaker by Hardy followed by right hands and a running forearm. To the top, Murdoch distracts Hardy long enough for Cade to get the knees up on the Swanton. Matt takes out Trevoer at ringside, but a Big-time clothesline follows by Cade for the pin.

Winner: Cade at 5:59

-Another video package of The Condemned is shown, focusing on Steve Austin and his stunts.

[Break]

-Chris Masters is in the ring, and he has a mic. Masters chastises the artists of Italy, saying they never created a true masterpiece like Chris Masters.

(5) Chris Masters vs. Super Crazy
Crazy tries to take Masters down by the leg, but Masters grabs him by the throat and tosses him into the corner. Whip into the buckle, but Crazy takes him down, then Masters goes to the outside. Crazy follows him by hitting a plancha. Crazy goes high-risk one too many times, as Masters dodges the moonsault back in the ring. Masters puts some elbows into the mouth of Crazy. Hard whip into the opposite turnbuckle. Crazy fights back with (surprise) some kicks. Crazy tries a crucifix, but Masters just falls back and slams him. Another kick out on a pin attempt though. Masters works on the neck of Crazy now in a rest-hold. Crazy gets away but gets back-body dropped for his troubles. Snap-mare take over and Masters goes back to work on the back/neck. Crazy comes back again with some punches to the gut, then the legs. He softens up the leg muscle with some kicks. Standing moonsault gets a two-count. Masters grabs Crazy and with a wheelbarrow throw, tosses him over his head. Pin attempt is succesfful.

Winner: Masters at 5:11

-Coming up tonight, Cena vs. Rated RKO in a handicap match.

[Break]

-Earlier tonight, a nobody beat Umaga for the IC Title. I can’t wait for the Lashley/Santino training videos for when Santino is inevitably shown to train to be a wrestler and defend his title. Or, they’ll just ignore the fact that he was a fan and he’ll wrestle like everyone else.

-After sending it to the Italian announcers, we get a rundown of the current Backlash card.

-Backstage, Randy Orton happens upon Edge. Orton wants to forget the past, and team up to take out Cena tonight. Edge agrees that they need to be on the same page. Aw, it sounds like two old flames getting back together.

[Break]
-Next week, a WrestleMania re-match between Cena and HBK!

(6) Rated RKO vs. John Cena, Handicap Match
Edge starts thing off against Cena. Cena quickly hits his “fisherman suplex” for a two-count. Side-headlock takeover and goes to a front-facelock on Edge. Roll-up gets two for the champ. He sticks to the facelock. They go into the corner, no clean break from Edge, and he tags Orton. Cena backs Orton into the corner and hits a face-buster as The King tells us why Cena is “cool.” Hmm, not the demographic Cena is going for I’m sure. Orton is back on the advantage as the crowd chants “RKO, RKO.” Big European uppercut from Randy. Cena comes back with right hands. Blind tag in to Edge and Orton boots Cena right under the jaw as Edge drops an elbow. We take a break here.

[Break]

Back in Italy, Cena is out on his feet on the apron and Edge shoves him off, with Cena hitting the Italian announce table. Orton drops him on the announce table again. Orton pushes Cena back into the ring and starts laying in with the right hands. Tag in to Edge, and he comes in with a boot to the chest. Cena tries fighting back but catches a boot from Edge as he was coming off the ropes. Orton is in, hits a dropkick and clubs away at Cena’s back and chest. Knee drop finds the mark for Orton, who then tags Edge. Cena is able to pick Edge up into the FU, but can’t hit it and he’s back down. Edge punches away as Cena is on rubber-leg street. JR notes that Cena has taken a lot of head shots tonight. Edge props Cena onto the top rope as he goes up for a super-plex. Cena though comes back with right hands of his own, knocking Edge off the second rope. He hits a jumping fame-asser but Orton comes in to prevent the pin. Shawn Michaels slowly makes his way to the ring. Edge tries to bring in a chair but the ref stops, at the same time, Michaels low-bridges Orton. Cena hits his signature moves on Edge in the ring. Five-Knuckle Shuffle hits and its time for the FU. Orton comes in and dropkicks Cena though, and they take out the ref with them. All three men are down in the ring. Edge is the first to his feet and he sets up for the spear, and we can see the ending coming a mile away. On cue, Cena moves and Orton gets speared. Michaels is in and tries to superkick Cena but hits Edge. Cena then hits the FU on Michaels and covers Edge for the win.

Winner: Cena at 12:29

-Cena stands tall with the title over his head as we head out.



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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.76
OK, someone please let us know, (I can't be the only one asking), 'Who the heck is Santino Marella !'

There had got to be a few guys furious that he got this chance over all the rest.

Marella of course was the real name of Gorilla Monsoon and his referee son, Joey, er Marella !

(edited by mikebuk on 17.4.07 0421)


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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.64
Before anything else, I must comment that I was watching the fashion show portion with the girlfriend. When Melina came out, she said "I like her the best. She's dressed so classy." To which I replied, "Yeah, but this is the backwards world of professional wrestling, where dressing like a classy lady will probably get her booed." And sure enough, she was, because a woman dressing classy apparently makes her a heel nowadays. Miss Elizabeth is rolling over in her grave.

As for the rest of the show, I was shocked that they didn't try and pipe in cheers for John Cena before the taping aired. Milan just shit all over Cena tonight and it didn't look good at all on television.

SOMEONE must be really high on Santino Marella to give him a pinfall win (no matter how tainted) over Umaga and the IC title in his very first match. That kind of treatment indicates he'll get pushed to the moon, no matter what. He's the next Bobby Lashley!!!




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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.10
    Originally posted by It's False
    Before anything else, I must comment that I was watching the fashion show portion with the girlfriend. When Melina came out, she said "I like her the best. She's dressed so classy." To which I replied, "Yeah, but this is the backwards world of professional wrestling, where dressing like a classy lady will probably get her booed." And sure enough, she was, because a woman dressing classy apparently makes her a heel nowadays. Miss Elizabeth is rolling over in her grave.


Well, Melina is a heel. And let's be honest, Maria looked by far the hottest of the bunch. She was robbed!

In-depth analysis of the fashion show aside, this was a pretty forgettable RAW. So, 'Some Guy' is now the IC champ? WTF? Even worse, 'some guy' got a near-fall against the dominant monster heel even before the crazy stips? Boy, this made Umaga just looks like a pile of junk.



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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by mikebuk
    OK, someone please let us know, (I can't be the only one asking), 'Who the heck is Santino Marella !'

    There had got to be a few guys furious that he got this chance over all the rest.

    Marella of course was the real name of Gorilla Monsoon and his referee son, Joey, er Marella !

    (edited by mikebuk on 17.4.07 0421)

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.51
    Originally posted by Spaceman Spiff
      Originally posted by mikebuk
      OK, someone please let us know, (I can't be the only one asking), 'Who the heck is Santino Marella !'

      There had got to be a few guys furious that he got this chance over all the rest.

      Marella of course was the real name of Gorilla Monsoon and his referee son, Joey, er Marella !

      (edited by mikebuk on 17.4.07 0421)

    Santino (ovwrestling.com)


Lovely, he was a Russian, he's been turned into a Italian. Well, that's still pretty close. I agree...someone must REALLY see something in him.

Secondary guess is he drops it next week or we actually see him make it back to the states with it. Wait...that means Lashleys droping his belt. Umaga is going EXTREME! That's a wild guess but I'm actually going to leave it. The matches were ok but RAW at least had a hot crowd.

Jeez...Cena is so tainted. Fans over there can't stand him like the fans in Chicago and Detroit the past two Manias.



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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.94


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    Originally posted by jwrestle
      Originally posted by Spaceman Spiff
        Originally posted by mikebuk
        OK, someone please let us know, (I can't be the only one asking), 'Who the heck is Santino Marella !'

        There had got to be a few guys furious that he got this chance over all the rest.

        Marella of course was the real name of Gorilla Monsoon and his referee son, Joey, er Marella !

        (edited by mikebuk on 17.4.07 0421)

      Santino (ovwrestling.com)


    Lovely, he was a Russian, he's been turned into a Italian. Well, that's still pretty close. I agree...someone must REALLY see something in him.

    Secondary guess is he drops it next week or we actually see him make it back to the states with it. Wait...that means Lashleys droping his belt. Umaga is going EXTREME! That's a wild guess but I'm actually going to leave it. The matches were ok but RAW at least had a hot crowd.

    Jeez...Cena is so tainted. Fans over there can't stand him like the fans in Chicago and Detroit the past two Manias.


Except he's an Italian-American (en.wikipedia.org) to begin with. So it's more of a turning back into an Italian.

(edited by drjayphd on 17.4.07 0058)


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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.96
Super Crazy vs Masters gets a DOUBLE CHANT~!! "Let's go masters!" "Su-per Crazy!" Who would've thought? Not that I'm complaining, Super Crazy looked sharp as usual, and the two of them have been having pretty decent matches over the past few months, so it's nice to see them get some appreciation for it.

Also, Santino's back tattoo puts Batista's to shame.



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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
I'm all for this Santino Marella character if it somehow leads to the reformation of the entire F.B.I. Otherwise, it seems a bit out of nowhere and strikes an odd note with me.



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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
I think it's a great way to introduce a new, different character in a big way. The guy's pretty good, apparently, so putting him over BIG in his first appearance in his "home town" is an excellent way of debuting him memorably. Plus, they had to get the IC title off of Umaga somehow, and I'd much rather see it go to a new guy in a hot situation than just Jeff Hardy again or whomever.



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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
    Originally posted by geemoney
    JR clarifies the Backlash match, as the match for the ECW title will be a 3-on-1 match, not a fatal four-way as announced last week.

How does a 3-on-1 match for a title work exactly? If one of them pin Lashley, that means all 3 of them won the match. Do they share the title? Since Vince and Shane are both supposed to be non-wrestlers, (though of course Vince did hold the Heavyweight belt before) I suppose they could both agree that they don't want the ECW Championship. Just kind of strange.




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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.33
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
      Originally posted by geemoney
      JR clarifies the Backlash match, as the match for the ECW title will be a 3-on-1 match, not a fatal four-way as announced last week.

    How does a 3-on-1 match for a title work exactly? If one of them pin Lashley, that means all 3 of them won the match. Do they share the title? Since Vince and Shane are both supposed to be non-wrestlers, (though of course Vince did hold the Heavyweight belt before) I suppose they could both agree that they don't want the ECW Championship. Just kind of strange.
My guess is that a fatal fourway sees all four wrestlers in the ring at one time, whereas the three on one tag match would have two in the ring at one time.

Oh, and I could have sworn they put the IC title on Steve O from Jackass. To the casual eye, Steve and Santino almost look like twins. (NB: please note that I've seen all of three or four episodes of Jackass)



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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
That Lashley match ain't complicated. If Shane pins Lashley, he's the ECW champ, if Vince pins Lashley he's the champ and so on and so forth.

It's not totally unprecedented for a title to change in this sort of tag situation.

At King of the Ring 2000 The Rock, Kane and The Undertaker defeated HHH, Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon. H was the champ at the time, but Rock won the title by pinning Vince.

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.07
    Originally posted by oldschoolhero
    I think it's a great way to introduce a new, different character in a big way. The guy's pretty good, apparently, so putting him over BIG in his first appearance in his "home town" is an excellent way of debuting him memorably. Plus, they had to get the IC title off of Umaga somehow, and I'd much rather see it go to a new guy in a hot situation than just Jeff Hardy again or whomever.


The Lovely Mrs. Tracker, who normally watches with a cold observation, adored this entire scenario. She was creeping forward on the couch -- literally on the edge of her seat -- cheering him on with every punch.

I haven't seen anything like this since John Tenta emerged from the audience to help Dino Bravo against Ultimate Warrior. Each was well done. Now I'm incredibly curious about this guy and can't wait to see him defend the belt.



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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.44
    Originally posted by Big Bad
    And let's be honest, Maria looked by far the hottest of the bunch. She was robbed!


Micky James was far hotter than Maria.
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.58
Call me old fashioned, but I don't like the recent trend of giving a guy a belt in his 1st match. They did that with Carlito when he debuted on SD! a few years ago (over Cena, no less) and MNM won the tag belts in their debut match. What happened to paying dues, at least for a few matches??

That was a unique way of doing it last night, though.

After not being defended at the last 3 or 4 WrestleManias, and Umaga using it as a prop for the last few months, the IC belt continues to not be worth shit.






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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.11
I agree Mickie was, but she needs to lose the fascination with the jeans...I preferred looking at her legs.




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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.67
    Originally posted by oldschoolhero
    I think it's a great way to introduce a new, different character in a big way. The guy's pretty good, apparently, so putting him over BIG in his first appearance in his "home town" is an excellent way of debuting him memorably. Plus, they had to get the IC title off of Umaga somehow, and I'd much rather see it go to a new guy in a hot situation than just Jeff Hardy again or whomever.

That would be swell if he was actually introduced as a wrestler, but his character is a fan picked out of the stands. And he beats Umaga?!? I don't care how much interference it takes from Lashley, no way Umaga should've lost the title to a fan.

I'm sure we'll get the explanation that Marella is training to be a wrestler or is one or something, meaning Vince picked the ONE fan in the crowd who was a wrestler.



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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.07
    Originally posted by geemoney
    That would be swell if he was actually introduced as a wrestler, but his character is a fan picked out of the stands. And he beats Umaga?!? I don't care how much interference it takes from Lashley, no way Umaga should've lost the title to a fan.

    I'm sure we'll get the explanation that Marella is training to be a wrestler or is one or something, meaning Vince picked the ONE fan in the crowd who was a wrestler.


Click Here (WWE.com) goes one better to say that they picked the one guy living in Canada who moved to the U.S. to be a wrestler who visited Italy, attended the show, and was picked to wrestle for the title.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker

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Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 4 hours
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.70
Hotshot angles like this rarely last. I imagine he will be teaming with midgets soon ala HillBilly Jim or in TNA.
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That match went 16'58".
- SC, How much time.... (2004)
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