Monday Night Raw

Monday Night Raw

By Mike Mooneyham

Dec. 4, 2005

It’s been nearly four years since World Wrestling Entertainment has brought a nationally televised Monday Night Raw to the Lowcountry. The drought, however, ends Monday night when WWE brings its top-rated show to the North Charleston Coliseum with a star-studded array of characters.

The biggest buzz leading up to the show revolves around the storyline status of Raw general manager Eric Bischoff. Last week WWE owner Vince McMahon threatened to can the figurehead GM, and local fans are hoping to witness McMahon say the two words he’s infamous for: “You’re fired!”

[ad#MikeMooneyham-336×280]Most of the top stars on the Raw roster will be on hand, as will the announce team of Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler and Jonathan Coachman doing live play-by-play for the national audience.

The Raw crew will head for Afghanistan following the local stop for a special holiday tour for the troops stationed there. MSNBC anchor and University of South Carolina grad Rita Cosby will accompany the grapplers. The WWE performers will live and sleep in the barracks and eat in the mess halls along with the soldiers, while filming a series of appearances with the troops. The tour will culminate in a live performance of Monday Night Raw, presented as the “WWE’s Tribute to the Troops” holiday special, to air on USA Network at 9 p.m. Dec. 19.

– Ric Flair, who was served with arrest warrants Tuesday six days after an alleged road rage incident in Charlotte, has proclaimed his innocence and says he will be exonerated.

Flair, who has been put under a gag order by his attorney, denies the allegations, claims there were witnesses and says the truth will come out in the end. The charges stem from an incident on Interstate 485 near Charlotte the evening before Thanksgiving. A 29-year-old driver claims Flair got out of his vehicle, grabbed him by the neck and kicked the driver’s side door of his Toyota 4Runner, leaving a large dent. The driver also told police Flair left two bruises on his neck.

A magistrate later issued warrants charging Flair with injury to personal property and simple assault and battery, both misdemeanors. Flair surrendered to authorities at the Mecklenburg County Jail Tuesday morning after returning home from a WWE show. Flair, 56, was released on $1,000 bond less than two hours later. He was charged with injury to personal property and simple assault and battery, both misdemeanors. His court appearance is set for Jan. 12.

– Former ECW lead announcer Joey Styles reportedly has been offered and has accepted the job as the permanent host of Raw. Styles had been working on a week-to-week deal with WWE for his first several weeks as host of Raw, while taking vacation time from his full-time sales job in Georgia.

Former pro wrestling star Rick Steiner recently was elected as the newest school board member in Georgia’s Cherokee County.

Steiner, who now splits his time wrestling and selling real estate, was elected by a 4-2 vote to assume a vacated seat on the board. He will stay in the post until the end of 2006 when the seat is up for re-election.

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“Last time I was in front of a microphone five years ago, I was hollering and screaming and ranting and raving. This is a lot more terrifying,” Steiner told the board before the vote, according to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Steiner, 44, who works for a real estate firm in Woodstock, Ga., praised the district’s anti-bullying program and said he would encourage the district to use retired teachers as volunteer tutors. He wants to provide more learning opportunities for teachers and improve technology use in the schools. On the issue of growth, Steiner said more pressure should be put on land developers to donate sites to the school system. He also emphasized his experience as a teacher, fundraiser and businessman.

“I want to focus my attention on what’s best for the kids,” he said. “I want to be a spoke in the wheel and do whatever I have to do for the kids,” said Steiner, who has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan.

– WWE recently announced that NBC’s Saturday Night’s Main Event, a staple in the mid-’80s, will return to the network in March.

NBC aired 29 90-minute Saturday Night Main Event specials between April 1985 and April 1991.

– WWE has re-signed Eddie “Ekmo” Fatu, known in his last stint with the company as Jamal, and part of the Three Minute Warning team with Rosey (Matthew Anoai).

– “Pretty” Paul Ellering, longtime manager of The Road Warriors, has written a new book titled “Wrestling The Iditarod” covering Ellering’s real-life story of competing in the annual race. The Anchorage Daily News reported last week that Ellering will be competing in the Iditarod for the first time since 2000 this year.