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Bobby Lashley beats the clock on RAW

No more Mr. Nice Guys with the belt on
the line.

The night began with a ring of full of competitors for John Cena’s WWE Championship belt, but by the time RAW and a “Beat the Clock Challenge” had ended, it was Bobby Lashley who was declared the No. 1 contender. So, at The Great American Bash it will be Cena and Lashley hooking it up in the battle of the golden boys.

But just when it looked like Cena and Lashley we’re going to play nice, Lashley delivered a wicked spear to the champ and started gloating with the belt. Way to walk on the wild side, Bobby. This rivalry is all well and good, but we’re just not really feeling it. We’d much rather see one of the big time RAW heels get a shot at running the show, like Randy Orton, King Booker or Mr. Kennedy. Wait, scratch Kennedy off that list; there’s no way we can root for him after Super Crazy beat him last night in about 30 seconds. Unfortunately, everyone knows that the spinner belt is firmly tightened around Cena’s waist and it would take an epic effort from Lashley to steal it away. Either way, we’re pretty sure the encounter is going to end with a handshake and a rematch.

In other news from RAW, Umaga finally beat down that Italian guy and promptly celebrated his newly won Intercontinental title by attempting to eat the belt. Where’s Armando Estrada when you need him? It was not too long ago that the Italian guy got called out of the crowd to get slaughtered by the Samoan Bulldozer, but, instead, won the belt with a little help from Lashley. So, it’s only fitting that Umaga was the one to put this chump back into his rightful place: watching the show in the crowd. Santino Marella was seriously one of the most pathetic champions in the history of WWE, and if that guy is capable of holding gold then we’re only an eyelash away from seeing Eugene walk to the ring sporting the Intercontinental title. The only thing that could be less believable than that would be if Johnny Nitro was a brand’s champion…oh,wait, nevermind.

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Chris Benoit: the ultimate professional

In an unbelievably surreal moment, Vince McMahon stood in the middle of the ring at the beginning of Monday Night RAW and announced that Chris Benoit had died. What was scheduled to be a tribute to the “presumed dead” McMahon instead turned into a numbing tribute to the fallen former champion.

Benoit, 40, was found dead along with his wife and seven-year-old son in their Fayetteville, GA, home on Monday around 2:30 p.m. No details are being released, but the Fayette County sheriff’s office reported that the deaths are being investigated as homicides. However, a detective allegedly told an Atlanta television station that the events are being investigated as a murder-suicide with Benoit murdering his son and wife sometime during the weekend before ending his own life on Monday.

On Sunday, Benoit was scheduled to take on CM Punk for the ECW Championship but was replaced by Johnny Nitro for what Jim Ross called “personal reasons.” Before arriving in the ECW via the draft a few weeks back, Benoit had already carved out his legacy in championship gold as he is one of the few wrestlers to hold titles in the original ECW, WWE, and WCW. But The Rabid Wolverine’s crowning moment came at WrestleMania XX when his crippler crossface forced Triple H to tap out, giving Benoit his first and only World Heavyweight Championship title reign in the WWE.

There was no flair in Benoit’s style; he was a strategic, methodical, no-nonsense, in your face, beat down machine. Benoit was one of the few guys who didn’t need a gimmick; he walked to the ring and his reputation did all the talking that was needed. Whether it was from the fans or the wrestlers, Benoit earned respect from each and every person who saw him perform inside the ring. His passion and intensity were palatable and the WWE and its fans will sorely miss his old school skills in a business obsessed with the next big thing.


[]: WWE wrestler Benoit & family found dead in home
[]: Wrestler Chris Benoit, wife and child found dead

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John Cena holds onto the title at Vengeance; no, you don’t say

Unfortunately, the champ is still

Okay, so we’re going to admit that we didn’t buy the latest PPV from the WWE, but that doesn’t mean we can’t feel screwed by the results. Not only did the rappers delight and WWE king John Cena hold onto his belt, AGAIN, by Mick Foley and getting the one, two, three, but Johnny Nitro became the ECW World Champion. No, folks, that’s no typo; Johnny freaking Nitro is holding significant gold. This loser with a 12-pack wasn’t even scheduled to compete in the match but he grabbed the slot after Chris Benoit had to pull out. Now, we know that Nitro has some seriously talent and potential (he didn’t pull down Melina by being a loser), but we never thought that the WWE would give him this kind of push this early. After all, he’s only been in ECW for a week now. But this will definitely spice things up on ECW where Nitro can build on his rivalry with CM Punk and start new battles with guys like Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Benoit and the Boogie Man. Okay, forget the Boogie Man; the WWE would really have to be desperate for spice to give him a title.

In the other big title match of the evening, Edge defeated Batista by count out and, therefore, the Animal will not receive another title shot as long as the World Heavyweight Championship belt is around the Rated R Superstar’s waist. With Batista out of the way, it looks like JBL could be right and Edge just might end up going down as the greatest of all time. We really can’t find anyone on the SmackDown roster who can handle the Ultimate Opportunist right now. Oh, wait, we didn’t realize that King Leonidas was kicking ass in the squared circle.

Here are the rest of the results from Vengeance: Night of Champions:

World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch defeated The Hardys

Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero defeated Jimmy Wang Yang

Johnny Nitro defeated CM Punk to win the vacant ECW World Title

Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella defeated Umaga (DQ)

United States Champion MVP defeated Ric Flair

WWE Tag Team Champions Deuce & Domino defeated Sgt. Slaughter & “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka

World Heavyweight Champion Edge defeated Batista (Count out; Last Chance Match)

Candice Michelle defeated Women’s Champion Melina

WWE Champion John Cena defeated King Booker, Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley & Mick Foley (Challenge Match)