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Hoops hoopla comes to head on Raw

WWE's much-publicized feud with Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke played out in the ring Monday night on Raw, making for a unique episode of the show. But was it entertaining?

Personally, I thought the opening segment, in which Vince McMahon confronted a Kroenke impersonator, went a little long and made the WWE chairman come off as childish and petty. Think about it: A 63-year-old man was making fun of another man's first name (Kroenke's first name is Enos; Stanley is his middle name).

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However, I did think that having five babyfaces in Lakers uniforms wrestling five heels in Nuggets uniforms – with NBA-style introductions done by the Lakers' public address announcer – was a creative way for WWE to have some fun with the situation without making it so personal.

Still, I understand why WWE staged the McMahon-fake Kroenke confrontation, which ended with McMahon shoving the impersonator down after cutting a promo on him. McMahon is never going to take the high road when a golden opportunity for free publicity falls in his lap.

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The Associated Press wasted no time filing a story on the skit, and I'm willing to bet that SportsCenter and other sports shows will air the clip.

Unfortunately for McMahon, he cannot script NBA games. While WWE and the fans at Staples Center in Los Angeles were having fun at the expense of the Nuggets owner, the Nuggets were doing a number on the Lakers at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Other thoughts on Monday's show:

I enjoyed the 10-man tag match main event. I especially liked that MVP was the one who scored the winning pin. He needs feathers in his cap such as this if he is ever going to get to the next level. Given the events of last week, I knew there was no way that five guys wearing Lakers jerseys were going to lose in L.A., but I would have bet anything that Batista would score the winning pin on Randy Orton. On a side note, The Big Show looked like he was about to bust out of his Nuggets jersey, while Jerry Lawler's Lakers jersey looked like a dress. …

It was good to see Mr. Kennedy back in action. Having him come out unannounced and confront Orton was a great way to re-establish him as a guy with main-event potential. …

Ric Flair and Orton were both good on the mic during their confrontation. It came across more as two guys who were really angry at each other rather than a typical wrestling angle. It will be interesting to see where this Flair story line is going. …

The dumbest line in McMahon's promo was when he said that he was starting a new basketball league to take on the NBA called the XBA. He then said that it would fail miserably because he would put Kroenke in charge and he would mismanage it. OK, so whose mismanagement caused the miserable failure of the XFL? …

I'm never going to complain about watching two of my favorite divas – Maryse and Kelly Kelly – wrestling each other, but there were a couple things about their match that I didn't like. One was that Maryse was disqualified for shoving Double K over the announce table. Why did that warrant a DQ when there have been countless matches over the years in which wrestlers have put their opponents through the table and not been DQ'd? Also, Double K did not do a good job of selling being hurt from going over the table, as she got up pretty quickly and had a spring in her step as she went after Maryse after the match. …

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That was fun little triple-threat match between Kofi Kingston, Matt Hardy and William Regal. I'm looking forward to the Kingston-MVP U.S. title match next week. …

I wish WWE had a better role for The Brian Kendrick than being a mid-card comedy act who jobs most of the time. …

Speaking of comedy acts, I can't help but laugh at Goldust's "neurological disorder" gimmick, which he revived on this show. I remember laughing so hard that I was crying when he did the act on The Howard Stern Show about six years ago. …

So we're getting Santina Marella vs. Vickie Guerrero in a Hog Pen Match at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on June 7. That should be fun. I wonder if WWE will bring up the last time there was a Hog Pen Match on pay-per-view. It was in 1995 and the participants were Henry Godwin and some guy named Hunter Hearst Helmsley. …

Before deciding on a Hog Pen Match, Santino Marella considered making it a Pasta Primavera on a Pole Match. Hasn't Vince Russo already done that one?


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