The Three Count

T3C: WWE Raw Homecoming Preview

A new beginning for Raw this Monday with a three hour special packed with legends, lingerie and a loser leaving Raw. Time to preview this three hour extravaganza…

Welcome Home Vince

This coming Monday sees Raw Homecoming, as the show returns to the USA Network after its time on Spike TV. To celebrate this, there’s a three hour live event, thankfully on Sky Sports 1. It almost has a PPV feel to it so here’s the preview of what should be an historic night.

WWE Title: John Cena v Eric Bischoff

I think it’s a shame that such a great night is topped by a joke match. Since his arrival in WWE, Bischoff has had matches with Austin and Shane McMahon and neither were that entertaining. The whole Cena v Bischoff storyline is just a second-rate Austin v Mr McMahon effort without the great stunts that Austin used to pull. Of course Cena is going to win this, it’s just another part of McMahon’s humiliation of the guy who nearly put him out of business. Then again, what if Vince was actually on Bischoff’s side and helped him cheat Cena out of the title perhaps starting another family feud as either Shane or Stephanie came back to take Cena’s side? That won’t happen though and it’s probably just me wishing Vince would turn heel again. I expect interference from Angle in this match helping to resurrect the real top line feud on Raw, but it’s Cena to retain.

Thirty Man Iron Man Match: Shawn Michaels v Kurt Angle

Now this should be a classic though I fear it might get ruined by ad breaks and run-ins. There’s the possibility of Chris Masters or Carlito making appearances, even Cena but this really should be left to Angle and Michaels. This is the rubber match after their encounters at Wrestlemania and Vengeance and so far Angle has not pinned Michaels but that’s bound to happen on Monday evening. Angle has to win this match to keep his momentum going in what is a Number One challengers match in all but name and win he will. I’ve mentioned those possible run-ins, what about Hogan, well a gentle walk-in perhaps. Could his feud with Michaels be resurrected on Monday and if so will Michaels have to resort to being a temporary heel again because we know Hogan as a heel in WWE just won’t work. An interesting half hour for sure.

Loser leaves Raw Ladder Match: Edge v Matt Hardy

So it comes down to this, the day when Matt Hardy learns that he has no future on Raw and makes history. You see, after losing this match, Hardy will be back on Smackdown and become the first wrestler since the brand extension to start on Raw, go to Smackdown, come back to Raw and then go back to Smackdown. Or of course Vince could decide he’s made enough money out of Matt since he returned to the company and he can go off to TNA. The feud started slowly, the Summerslam match being a major disappointment but if this ladder match is anywhere near as good as their recent PPV match it’ll be a classic. It’s obvious that Vince still sees Edge as a main eventer, if not a WWE Title holder. Can you really see Matt winning this and getting that title shot? No, nor can I, Edge to win.

Handicap Bra and Panties Match: Trish and Ashley v Torrie, Victoria and Candice Michelle

Well at least the women’s division on Raw has come alive again, even if out of these five women there’s only Trish, Torrie and Victoria who can wrestle. So it’s bra and panties time again and Jerry Lawler will probably keel over with all those puppies on show. Mind you, we’ve all seen Torrie in Playboy (I just read the articles) so what’s left to see? Perhaps we could have an X-Ray match where if she loses we get to see her internal organs? I go for Trish and Ashley to win but fully expect all five to end up shedding their clothes. Where next? I imagine Trish v Torrie.

Smackdown match: Batista/Mysterio/ Benoit v Guerrero/JBL/Christian

Well this will keep the No Mercy PPV push going but what kind of match will it be? Elimination tag perhaps ending with Batista facing off with Eddie Guerrero? One thought, if the loser of the Edge v Hardy match is on his way to Smackdown, then will there be someone going in the other direction, could there be some kind of stipulation that determines who that might be? Could Triple H interfere to get his own back on Batista? An interesting match for sure.

The return of Triple H

You know what, I’ve actually missed this guy these past few weeks. This should be an interesting but possibly predictable return. Ric Flair is IC Champ, Triple H a former World Heavyweight Champion, a title he can’t get back now Batista is on Smackdown. Flair is counting on Triple H to help him in his battles against Carlito and Chris Masters so it’s almost inevitable that Trips will turn on Flair to start their feud. The big question though is will this herald the arrival of Evolution II with Trips, Carlito and Masters, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

The rest of the night will be spent on returns of legends such as Hogan, Austin, Jimmy Hart etc and Mick Foley in Piper’s Pit. The latter should be the most interesting as Foley has signed a new long-term deal with the company and of course has a book to plug. Where will this lead to?

This should be a great night, though probably best taped. Two hours of ads is bad enough, three could be intolerable.

Stephen Ashfield