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WWE pulls double switch with Mayweather, Big Show

The Floyd Mayweather babyface experiment is over, and WWE’s big-money angle for WrestleMania XXIV looks to be back on track.

With wrestling fans loudly rejecting WWE’s presentation of Mayweather as the babyface in the build-up for his match with The Big Show, the company did the smart thing by going with the flow.

Last night on a special three-hour episode of Raw, the cocky, obnoxious Mayweather clearly was portrayed as the heel during the official weigh-in. Big Show, who had a lot of heel heat himself after brutally attacking Rey Mysterio twice recently, won the crowd over by bringing out his “posse,” which consisted of most of the mid-carders – both babyfaces and heels – in the locker room.

The message was simple, clear and effective: Mayweather was an outsider who was going to make more money in one night than most wrestlers would earn in their entire careers, and he was flaunting it.

After some verbal sparring, Big Show grabbed Mayweather, pressed him over his head and tossed him outside the ring onto a group of wrestlers. Mayweather landed awkwardly and did a great job of selling his elbow. A melee ensued between Mayweather’s entourage and the wrestlers, and Shane McMahon ended up getting knocked down hard.

The scene had a chaotic, realistic look to it, just like the initial confrontation between Mayweather and Big Show last month at the No Way Out pay-per-view. The angle last night definitely had the crowd buzzing, which WWE has to be happy about after last week’s Big Show-Mayweather angle was met with indifference.

Here's video of last night's encounter.

Other thoughts on last night’s “WrestleMania Rewind” edition of Raw:

Chris Jericho and Jeff Hardy had their second outstanding match in the past 15 days. I have to admit that the finish, which saw Jericho get the clean pin to capture the Intercontinental title for a record eighth time, completely caught me off guard. Since Jericho had defeated Hardy two weeks ago, I thought for sure Hardy would win this one. I’m not sure where WWE is going with this, but it should be careful not to have Hardy do too many jobs. In his past four high-profile singles matches (against Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels and Jericho twice), Hardy is just 1-3. …

It wasn’t a classic like their match on Raw in London last year or their meeting at WrestleMania 23, but John Cena and Michaels had a very good television main event, which ended in a no-contest when Orton interfered. Cena and Michaels work very well together. Then again, Michaels pretty much works well with everybody. …

The WrestleMania match that has had the best build-up has been Michaels-Ric Flair. Their promos last night were right on the mark. No one needs to turn heel for this match to get over, and, in fact, I think a turn actually would hurt it. WWE has done a great job of establishing that Flair and Michaels have mutual respect and admiration, but also that they both are competitive and will go all out to win at WrestleMania. …

In an effort to make the Big Show-Mayweather angle seem more realistic, Shane McMahon was less in character than usual. When Big Show and Mayweather first got in the ring together, McMahon reminded me of his father (when Vince was an announcer before he became the Mr. McMahon character) by saying, “I’d appreciate some decorum.” …

It was a good idea to try to add some sizzle to the Batista-Umaga match at WrestleMania by having them trade blows, but I’m still not all that excited about it. …

There must be something to the rumors about CM Punk being in the doghouse. It seems like he has been losing quite frequently lately, including last night’s defeat against Edge. I did like the finish, which saw Punk charge after one of the Edgeheads only to get caught by a spear from Edge out of nowhere. …

After the way Finlay beat down Mr. Kennedy, I was wondering if Kennedy is in the doghouse. ..

Melina committed an obvious gimmick infringement when she pilfered ODB’s “I’m not just another pretty face” catch phrase. …

Jerry Lawler finally got his wish, as there was a wardrobe malfunction in the Melina-Maria match. He probably wasn’t too excited, however, as it was just Maria’s sash failing to stay securely around her waist. …

So, WWE brought in Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik to face Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo (who work for WWE as backstage producers) just as an excuse for Jillian Hall to do her bad singer gimmick? It’s not like I actually wanted to see them wrestle – the Sheik looked like he could barely walk – but why even bother flying in Sheik and Volkoff for that?

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