TONIGHT: The final Raw before the Granddaddy of them all. Iím starting to get Wrestlemania fever! The fans will be flamed tonight no doubt, when John Cena takes on The Big Show, two-thirds of the World Heavyweight Title Match in six days. Also, Jerry Lawler faces Chris Jericho and there will be an 18-diva tag match to preview their Battle Royal coming up on Sunday. And of course, the final plugs for the biggest show of the year.
-A hearse backed up into the Raw parking lot.
-Raw is LIVE from a sold out American Airlines Arena. Tonight, weíll have a funeral for Mr. Wrestlemania, courtesy of The Undertaker. Plus, John Cena faces Big Show.
Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Gail Kim, Melina, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Tiffany, Maria, Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes, Natalya, Jillian Hall, Layla, Nikki Bella, Katie Lea Burchill, Maryse, Michelle McCool- 18 Diva Tag Match Heels were already in the ring, faces got the entrance (to Melinaís music). Mickie and Jillian started the match off for their respective teams. Tiffany was next in, and was this the first time weíve seen her in the ring? She got face-planted by Beth. Katie Lea tagged herself in, much to the chagrin of Beth. Tiffany small-packaged Katie out of nowhere for the win.
Winners: The Faces, at 1:40.
Santino came out after the match with a robe on and said he went over Vickie Guerreroís head and talked to President Jack Tunney. Well, he said it wasnít Tunney, but heís making a point nonetheless. Santino said it was time for the swimsuit edition, to show that he has what it takes to be Miss Wrestlemania, then told the divas to get in the kitchen. Isnít this what happened with him last year? Santino showed off his man-kini (Borat style) and did some dancing to the music. Beth got mad and started yelling at Santino. She tried to cover him up, but the other divas all combined to beat him up and throw him out of the ring. Beth and Rosa covered Santino up as they went to the back.
-Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler talked about the Orton vs. HHH feud and showed clips of what happened last week.
-Later tonight, Orton will address what he did last week.
-Coming up, Jerry Lawler faces Chris Jericho.
(2) Jerry Lawler vs. Chris Jericho They locked up with the crowd very pro-Lawler. Y2J shoved Lawler, and King returned the favor. A few punches and kicks later, Lawler taunted Jericho with pushes in the corner. Jericho sucker punched Lawler and put the boots to him. Hard back-elbow by Jericho caught Lawler coming off the ropes. Jericho did some trash talking to the Hall-of-Famer. Jericho came off the second rope and got caught with a punch to the gut. Weíve got ďvintage King LawlerĒ said Cole, as Lawler pulled down the straps on his tights. More right hands and he pummeled Jericho into the mat with fisticuffs. Out of desperation, Jericho got a punch to the stomach and locked in the Walls of Jericho. Lawler immediately tapped.
Winner: Jericho, at 3:25. So I didnít know this would be a gauntlet match at WM, as Cole said Jericho would have to beat each legend individually. I guess they had to stack the deck even more against Jericho.
After the match, Jericho picked Lawler up by the ears and got in his face with more trash talk. Lawler then punched him. Jericho got on the mic and said he wasnít getting in that ring against Lawler again because he beat him. Jericho said this Sunday, itís not going to be how he beats the legends, but how bad he beats them. Jericho said he knows heíll be called heartless and disrespectful by the fans, and now because of Mickey Rourkeís challenge that he couldnít back up, three of Rourkeís friends will pay the price. He said heíd eradicate them from the business forever. Only one man will by synonymous with legend after Wrestlemania- Chris Jericho.
-A ď12 RoundsĒ trailer aired.
-Big Show takes on John Cena later tonight.
-Todd Grisham was backstage with John Cena. Grish was in the middle of asking a question when Edge barged in. He said Cenaís chances of walking out as champ are virtually non-existent. Grisham took a hike at this point and Edge tried to butter Cena up, saying he knocked both of them out in the past two weeks. He said they should put aside their differences to take out Big Show, then beat the hell out of each other all night long. Cena said it makes perfect sense, itís logical and possibly the only way to take out Big Show. But heís not doing it. Thatís like the opposite of his reasoning from Smackdown this week. He said heíd rather lose on his own than win with Edgeís help. But neither are going to happen on Sunday.
-Cole sent it to the back where Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase were standing by. Cole asked what Orton was going to address tonight. Rhodes ran down the basics and Dibiase said what Orton has to say affects not only HHH, but the entire WWE Universe. Dibiase said that after Wrestlemania, everything we know about WWE will change forever.
-Backstage, the hearse driver finally got out of the car. Some pallbearers were bringing the casket out. Michaels popped up in it and said something but there was no audio. Whatís wrong with his eye?
-Nicole Scherzinger, in a pre-taped promo, plugged her Wrestlemania appearance.
-They showed the clip of HBK again, where he asked, ďyou were expecting someone else?Ē Cole said Michaels has other ideas than Undertakerís funeral for him.
-Jerry Lawler came back down to ringside to continue his announcing duties.
(3) Rey Mysterio vs. JBL
JBL came out and said tonight, he asked for this match to beat Rey within an inch of his life. I canít believe theyíre giving this one away for free six days before the show, though they did have JBL give a reason. JBL got an early advantage, but was then set up for a 619. It didnít hit though. More back-and-forth action, including Rey coming off the ropes and JBL booting him in the stomach. More to come!
JBL hit a fallaway slam and Rey rolled out of the ring. On the outside, JBL stepped on Reyís hand. Back in, Rey kicked out of a pin. JBL propped Rey up in the corner and unleashed a flurry of right hands on him. Rey fought back after JBL placed him on the top rope, and Rey hit the Seated Senton. Enziguiri followed. 619 missed as JBL got up, but Rey dropkicked him back into position, hit the move and then the springboard cross-body for three.
Winner: Mysterio, at 6:46. I think most of the match was during the break. Still, this feud isnít very deep, other than JBLís planned ďsurprise.Ē
-They showed Cenaís speech from Smackdown.
-Big Show was walking backstage. His match is next.
-This weekís Wrestlemania moment: Wrestlemania XI in 1995.
-Some Dallas Cowboys, including former Cowboy Michael Irvin, were shown in the front row.
(4) John Cena vs. Big Show Show beat up Cena at the outset with apparently the theme for tonight: punches. He then stood on Cena (well, stood on the bottom rope, with Cena underneath it). Big headbutt put Cena down again. He stepped on, then over Cena. John fought back but his right hands had little to no effect. He tried a shoulderblock but Cena just bounced off Show in an impressive looking move. Show missed a big splash in the corner but Show picked Cena up and gravity did the rest. Show tried a combination Vader Bomb/elbow, but missed. Legdrop by Cena, who tried the STF but Show kicked out of it. They went to break just as Cena got hit with a baseball slide and went to the floor.
Show had Cena in a rear chinlock out of break. They showed what happened during the break on the outside of the ring, where Show beat up Cena pretty good. Show stood on Cena AGAIN, which is what I feel like he does when he doesnít know what else to do. Cena dodged a Show chokeslam by hitting a ďDDT,Ē and Iím using that term loosely as Show just seemed to kind of roll over. Cena again tried an STF, only for Show to punch Cena in the head. So use the Attitude Adjustment. His bad back came back to bite him, as he couldnít keep him up. Show then hit the chokeslam for the win.
Winner: Big Show, at 10:39. Not a good match.
After the match, Edge came out and beat up Cena some until some referees came out to stop him.
-Tonight, Randy Ortonís Wrestlemania Address.
-They showed a video package of Michaelsí Undertaker tribute from Friday.
-Michaels was walking backstage, heading to the ring with pallbearers and casket in tow.
-They showed what happened moments ago, with Show finishing off Cena.
-Undertakerís music played, the lights were dimmed and the ring was set for a funeral. Then HBKís music hit and the lights came out. Heís dressed all in black, unlike Smackdown, where it was nothing but white. Once he got in the ring and mic in hand, everything went darker again with Takerís music playing. Shawn said tonight, he is a man unafraid. He said everything in the ring is for Taker, not him. Pictures of HBK were also in the ring. Michaels again brought up the fact that Taker has yet to beat Michaels. He described what heís done to Taker over the past several weeks. He said everything he has done has come with no consequence and no hint of retribution. Michaels opened the casket and said there will be no retribution. He said Taker has always used WM as a show for his peers as to what he represents. He said heís insulted that Taker thinks he canít beat the streak. Michaels said the day after WM, people will talk about who won the titles, theyíll speak of legends and ladders and 70,000 people- but the one moment that will last a lifetime will be when Michaels pins the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
The lights then went completely out and HBK dropped the mic. Lights came on and Taker was in the ring alone. He looked confused as to where HBK went. Taker went on a rampage, tearing apart the funeral set. FWIW, the casket is now closed. Taker slowly turned his head and noticed the same thing. Taker opened it and it was empty. Michaels came out from under the table that the casket was set upon and superkicked Taker, then crotch-chopped him several times.
-Another ďmoments ago,Ē with Shawn disappearing and then reappearing.
-Cole and Lawler plugged the Hall-of-Fame Induction Ceremony, including a portion that will be shown on USA Saturday night. We then got a video package on the Steve Austin, to ďCult of Personality,Ē which is ingrained in my head thanks to my roommate playing it what seemed like a million times on ďGuitar Hero.Ē
-Lawler and Cole previewed the WM card.
-Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase were discussing plans with security, no doubt getting things ready for Ortonís Wrestlemania address.
-Kane and CM Punk made their entrances for a MITB battle royal next.
-A Matt vs. Jeff recap aired.
(5) Eight-Man Battle Royal featuring Money-in-the-Bank Competitors Henry almost eliminated Finlay within the first minute. Finlay was eventually tossed about :40 in. Everybody ganged up to throw out Henry after a distraction by Hornswoggle at about :50. Punk and Christian were both teetering on the ropes thanks to Kane. Shelton almost threw out MVP, and both men ended up on the apron. Kane clotheslined them both out at 2:02. Down to four now: Kingston, Kane, Punk and Christian. All three went after Kane. Punk turned the tables and threw out Kingston at 2:40. Christian held onto the ropes and did so successfully. Punk and Christian went at it and Christian ended up on the apron. Kane picked Punk up over his head and threw Punk into Christian, ending both menís night.
Winner: Kane, at 3:38. Fine match I suppose.
Post-match, Kane got a ladder from ringside, climbed int in the ring and grabbed the briefcase.
-Dibiase and Rhodes were backstage, walking with security to Ortonís locker room. Their ďLegacyĒ tees look an awful lot like the ďEvolutionĒ ones from back in the day. They started walking backstage toward the entranceway. His address is next.
-A video plugged Kid Rock performing at Wrestlemania on Sunday.
-Randy Orton came out for the main even interview. He came out alone, by the way. Orton started off by talking about becoming the youngest champion in WWE. He said it was short-lived because the man who claimed to be his friend turned on him. They showed clips of that, by the way. Everything started to fall into place, he said, as Triple H ruined his life. He made a vow to ruin Hunterís at that point. But he had to wait to find the talent to start a group of his own, a time when Triple H was at his most powerful and a time when HHH had something that meant more to him than a title. He said the moment began when he beat Triple H in the 2009 Royal Rumble (I believe he said 2008). They showed that as well. Orton said he earned the right to face Trips and takes his title at the 25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania. But that wasnít enough he said: He had to take everything away from Trips, which included his family. They showed Orton taking out the McMahons. He said it was almost five years since HHH turned on him. Orton said he knew exactly what he was doing the entire time. Orton then yelled at the fans and said heíd get real pissed off. Then they showed what happened last week, with Orton attacking Steph again. Orton said every time Triple H will look to do something to him at Wrestlemania, heíll be looking at the guy who DDTíd his wife. Orton said he talked to Vickie Guerrero and if Triple H is disqualified or even counted out, then he loses the WWE Title. Orton said he has taken everything from Trips except the WWE title, and heíll do THAT this Sunday. He said the balance of power will shift when that happens. Orton said young superstars will try to impress him so that one day theyíll stand at his side.
As Orton continued to talk, a limo pulled up backstage. He saw it on the Titan-Tron and told the crew to turn on the lights. He then called for Cody and Ted to come out with security. They all stood at the base of the entryway. Back to the limo- both back doors open, no one inside. Orton said he has no problem taking out Triple H tonight. He said he has no problem taking the title from Trips by forfeit. Hmmm...that didnít seem to be the case when he couldíve had HHH put in jail. Instead, Vince McMahonís music played and the Chairman came out. He took his jacket off, popped his collar and rolled up his sleeves. Then, Shane-O-Mac came out. Finally, Triple H walked out. All three stood on the stage, then made their way to the ring. They easily beat up the three security guards. All this while Legacy stood in the ring. I wouldíve attacked when they were beating up security! They all started brawling, with Orton & HHH, Dibiase & Vincce, Shane & Cody all matched up. HHH and Orton took their fight to the ring, where The Game speared Orton and they brawled as the show faded out.
I just really wish I could of supported team McMahon-Helmsley as they took on Orton's Legacy for their current crimes. If only the years and years of double-crosses and crimes the McMahon-Helmsley Regime committed on so many Superstars in the past wasn't so high. It almost seem ridiculous that they we're presented as Faces in the first place.
So, just to understand, the General Manager says that if Triple H gets disqualified or counted out or brings his sledgehammer, he get stripped of the title... and the owner, the CEO and the owner's son and daughter can do nothing to change that stip?
This angle makes less sense than Con Air.
Kevin Kelly: "Mr. Austin, would you like to comment on Wade Keller's Take that endorsing the XFL hurts your anti-authority character?"
Steve Austin: "Oh shit, he actually said that? I thought the boys in the back were ribbing me!"
Kelly: "No, he really said that. Did they tell you the part about you sitting in the stands, looking all skeptical?"
Austin: "AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah... oh man that was too much."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't HHH hit Randy Orton at the climax of tonight's show, without any physical provocation? Doesn't that mean that the title match is off? Granted, there's already a match for the other world title...maybe Orton can challenge Jack Swagger instead. B^)
Forget about Vince overruling Vickie's stipulation about the HHH/Orton match; he couldn't even get the security guards to let him through! Isn't he their boss? And speaking of the McMahons as unlikeable faces, they really laid the beatdown to those security guards on way too thick for faces.
I don't think having the 8 MITB participants in all these matches together does one thing to sell that match. Singles and tag matches to build some heat for in-match storylines would have made more sense. And I didn't get home in time for the 18-diva tag match but I can't imagine it served any purpose whatsoever.
As they like to say, the time for talking is done. Thank God. Every time Randy Orton opens his mouth, this angle gets dumber and dumber.
What a *horrible* retcon that promo was. So, everything Orton has been doing is his five-year revenge plan coming to life, right? If Orton had beaten HHH last year in the cage match or in the last man standing match, then he wouldnít have been satisfied because he didnít have a posse? Or because HHH didnít have something he cared about more than a world title (so was HHH married to Steph last year or not?)? At the Royal Rumble, Orton & Legacy were THAT good that they made sure HHH was the last man left so Orton could eliminate him? Never mind the fact that when Orton won the Rumble, HHH didnít have a title to challenge for. And Orton did nothing to ensure that HHH won a title between RR and WM.
The real beauty of this promo was when Orton dropped his Game-changing bombshell - that he knew what he was doing the entire time - the crowd met him with total silence. Orton did however pull out a nice improv immediately after (yelling at the crowd) in order to get a reaction. If you only watch A.M. Raw, then magical editing will get you to believe this promo got over.
The one result of this that was kind of cool was when Orton feigned challenging Cena or Edge for the World title, which baited HHH into a WWE title match.
Was the retcon really necessary? Wouldnít it have been better to just cut your losses with this angle and move forward? The show-ending brawl with Vince & Shane was really all you needed to sell more buys.
That main-event segment did nothing for me. Orton's big bombshell that his IED bullshit was just that, bullshit, wasn't given any recognition by the crowd at all. Plus, it's hardly believable to see Shane and Vince wipe out security and get the better of well-conditioned, 20-something wrestlers, especially since Shane has still not learned to throw a decent punch.
A simple Orton promo, with him taunting Trips, and then having Trips (minus McMahon Power) go through the same ending would've made him look like a monster and gotten a bit of revenge for last week's ass-whooping. You can then add McMahon-ference to WM or preferably the Raw after and setup Legacy v McMahon Family Males for Backlash.
This show delivered absolutely nothing in terms of wrestling. This is perhaps excusable since it's the go-home show for WrestleMania, but then outside of Taker/Shawn, the final builds for the respective feuds pretty much petered out, particularly for the Cena/Show/Edge match, which I thought had taken a turn for the better after the promo on Smackdown. But the Cena/Show match stunk up the joint for 10 minutes, and you have to question the decision of jobbing Cena clean the week before Wrestlemania. In all, a terrible show, with very little in terms of redeeming quality.
Forfeit the game, before somebody else takes you outta the game, and puts your name to shame Cover up your face, you can't run the race The pace is too fast, you just won't last - "Points Of Authority" - Linkin Park
Santino needed a bow tie, the music Go Fabs Go, and the Fab Ones strut. Lawler vs. Jericho was a disappointment, as that match was the perfect opportunity for a nice game of Hide The Chain. Still weird to see Lawler cheered in Dallas. One of the problems for Orton will always be they will never show who he beat for his first World Title, thus the youngest world champion ever should be something they don't bring up. Only thing they can do with that win is show how he is turned on. Vince probably looked as good physically as he has in 5 years though.
Originally posted by used2bcool But the Cena/Show match stunk up the joint for 10 minutes, and you have to question the decision of jobbing Cena clean the week before Wrestlemania.
I agree the show was terrible overall but I liked the Big Show vs. Cena match. For once Cole made the correct, observant call: Big Show hasn't looked that good in months. He used his size and weight to his advantage and pummeled Cena's lower back so he couldn't use the FU. Even the psychology of Show being too tall for Cena to reach his head in the STFU was clever. And Cena wasn't his usual Superman "take punishment for a while and brush it off like nothing happened" self. Show owned Cena and beat him clean. All of this, and the stipulation that the winner gets Vickie Guerrero, tells me Cena's winning at WrestleMania, but I don't mind. Between getting squashed by show and his movie tanking, Cena's had a rough week.
Shawn Michaels has been phenomenal selling his match with Undertaker. He's as obnoxious and irritating as he was in his prime without actually turning heel. I believe Michaels can end the streak. I know he won't, but still. Shawn Michaels gets the benefit of the doubt. Michaels has done his job so well I want to see Undertaker murderize him. Michaels has been just great, and so is Undertaker for getting all emotional, frustrated and bent out of shape. Even with the ending that I'm 100% certain we'll see, getting there will be an emotional roller coaster between these two.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaEven with the ending that I'm 100% certain we'll see, getting there will be an emotional roller coaster between these two.
Shawn has carried this feud to the point that Taker is the underdog. The one time Taker got his hands on Shawn, he escaped the chokeslam. And Taker has sold like a champ. But the long-standing rule of the go-home show says Taker wins, right? And Rey loses?
I wish I was sold more on this WM. The WWE has done what it can to package the angles, but it's missing that spark that makes the purchase mandatory. I think the problem is that WM now sets up the draft, and I'm looking forward to new organization than I am the biggest PPV of the year.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
What was even the point of that 18 Diva match? They announced only half the competitors and Teddy Long's assistant gets the pinfall after less than two minutes of ring action? I know nobobdy cares about the Divas, but if we don't care about them, why cart them out and do, well nothing?
I'm not a fan of non Rumble/Guantlet for the Gold style battle royales and I asbolutely hate ones with only a handful of people. It's just as cluttered and ends so fast you wonder why it wasn't a tag match. (Though in this case it's because they've done the tag thing about three times already)
What sense does it make to have JBL/Rey six days before the PPV? I saw it mentioned else where, but why not add the Hardy's? I mean it's not like Jeff wasn't there last week. JBL was Matt's biggest cheerleader on SmackDown and I'm sure he approves of the heel turn. Rey and Matt could carry the match, while JBL brutalized Jeff when Matt ducks out of the ring. That's just off the top of my head.
I thought Show and Cena dragged a bit, but I did like the pyschology of the match.
I've been coming around on Orton lately, but this angle is keeping him from me actively appreciating his work. What was with recapping the entirety of their history in numerous video packages. Orton's promo was basically "remember this?" video clip. So his five year plan to get back at HHH was to beat up his wife? Sure, let's roll with that.
Cena can't be beat because he's some unholy genetic recombinate of superstars past. I mean, you might as well call him John "Realest of the Real, Sargent Rock - Cold - A - Mania" Cena.
Originally posted by CruelAngel777I just really wish I could of supported team McMahon-Helmsley as they took on Orton's Legacy for their current crimes. If only the years and years of double-crosses and crimes the McMahon-Helmsley Regime committed on so many Superstars in the past wasn't so high. It almost seem ridiculous that they we're presented as Faces in the first place.
It's like cheering for Hitler over Stalin.
I'm sorry, but I hardly feel sympathetic towards a megalomanical CEO, his son (who throws punches like an idiot), and a backstage politician who married into wrestling royalty.
One would think that the montage of Evolution turning on Orton would garner him some sympathy (or at least justification of his actions).
Yeah, WWE still owns it for some time to come. They just felt it was too expensive to maintain a restaurant/store there. Plus, didn't some manager steal a bunch of money from them around the time the thing closed down?