Tonight, John Cena takes on HBK, and William Regal defends the Intercontinental Championship against CM Punk, with a catch: if Regal loses by DQ, he also loses his title!
Full review after the jump!
JBL & HBK are in JBL’s limo. JBL says that if HBK hadn’t fallen on hard times, it may very well have been him getting the shot at John Cena at the Royal Rumble. Since he’s wrestling Cena tonight and has JBL in his corner, maybe he can look at tonight as his WrestleMania.
Stephanie McMahon talks about the Royal Rumble and how excited everybody is about Mr. McMahon’s emminent return.
BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!
She’s interrupted by Chris Jericho. Jericho calls her a liar. He says she’s no worse than the hypocrites in the crowd. The truth is, she can wait for Vinny Mac’s return, because when he comes back, her run of RAW is over. Jericho says that Mr. McMahon will right all the wrongs. He’ll take JBL out of the title match at the Rumble and put Jericho in his place. Steph says that RAW is her show. Jericho says she doesn’t have a clue. She says that Jericho doesn’t have a clue, and her dad supports her. In fact, next week we’ll have the contract signing for JBL vs. John Cena. Jericho says that he doesn’t think Vince supported her decision to hire Adamle as GM, which makes her leadership skills seem much better in comparison. She says if he worried more about his own career than her leadership skills, he’d still be World Champion, and suggests he win the Royal Rumble or else he’s never going to get another shot at the title. Jericho says he refuses to wrestle unless the title is on the line. Stephanie says he’s not above her authority. He says that next week nothing she says will matter. She says that it’s not next week, it’s this week and she’s still in charge. He argues with her. She says that he won’t get to speak to Mr. McMahon next week, he won’t be in the Royal Rumble, and he’ll never get a shot at the World Title again. Jericho says that nothing she says holds any weight and he doesn’t give a damn what she says. She says that maybe he’ll give a damn about this: “You’re fired!”
SO, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WITH SHORT ATTENTION SPAAAAAAAANS: Jericho was fired before the break
During the break, security escorted Jericho out of the arena
The Miz makes his way out to the ring for competition. Who’s his opponent?
BOOYAKAH, BOOYAKAH! Whatever that means.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Mike Knox assaulted Rey Mysterio after a match last week.
Rey Mysterio def. The Miz
A back and forth matchup that I paid pretty much no attention to. Mysterio missed a 619 at one point, but managed to hit it a second time around to pick up the victory.
Mike Knox once again assaulted Mysterio after the match, but this time Mysterio battled back, sending Knox to the outside via a Hurricanrana.
Some chick is talking to a non-listening CM Punk, saying she thought Mr. McMahon was dead. Punk takes his headphones off and rushes off for his rematch with William Regal, which is apparently next! (Apparently, the chick was Candice Michelle. I seriously didn’t recognize her. I was just thinking “who’s this ugly bitch on my TV?”)
Mr. McMahon returns next week. We then see some clips from the McMahon DVD that was released a few years back. Speaking of DVDs, I (and JT as well) highly recommend “Edge: A Decade of Decadence,” which I picked up over the weekend.
The following contest is scheduled for one fall, and it is for the Intercontinental Championship. Oh yeah, and if Regal gets DQed, Punk is the new champ.
William Regal def. CM Punk via DQ to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Well, I was just about to start typing about this match, and I was going to say that William Regal looked aggressive tonight, but just as I was going to type, Punk punched him in the midsection, but from the referee’s vantage point, it was a low blow, so he disqualified Punk.
Backstage, Mickie James is whining that they might get snowed in to Cody Rhodes. Sim Snuka comes by and complains about getting kicked out of Legacy last week. Cody says that he and Manu shouldn’t take it so personally. Sim says that they got another second generation superstar and they’re coming after Orton, so Rhodes is either with them, or against them.
<COMMERCIAL BREAK> (note to the guys who came up with the ad for the movie Taken. I don’t want to watch a mini movie in the middle of my ads during wrestling. Especially with worse acting than I would normally find Monday nights on the USA network)
Todd Grisham asks Regal if he’s satisfied with his win tonight. Regal says he’s glad the challenge is over, and yes, he’s very satisfied. Stephanie McMahon is not satisfied. Next week, a third and final match between the two. And it’ll be a no disqualification match. Nope, I didn’t see that coming.
WHAT!?! STONE COLD! WHAT? STONE COLD! WHAT? IN THE HALL OF FAME! WHAT?
It’s official, kids, The Rattlesnake will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania 25! And the video package is set to “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour for some reason.
JBL tells HBK that Stephanie can’t fire him, because he works for JBL. Jericho saved his money, so he’ll be alright. HBK says that he doesn’t need JBL in his corner if this is his WrestleMania. He’s the main event, the show stopper. JBL says “That’s why I hired you.”
More clips of Mr. McMahon. Here’s an observation – Kurt Angle has been showin in a lot of video packages tonight. In this one, he’s getting fired by Mr. McMahon. Earlier he was getting beaten up by Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Next week: Rey Mysterio vs. Mike Knox.
Kane makes his way out, he’s got himself a match tonight against Randy Orton. Orton doesn’t come alone though, he’s got Cody Rhodes with him. Rhodes takes more than one glance back up the ramp as Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler ponder whether Rhodes is with Orton or against him.
Randy Orton def. Kane
Kane starts off on the aggressive offensive. He makes the mistake of telegraphing a clothesline, which Orton counters, but gets caught with on a second attempt, sending Orton to the floor and us to a…
Orton is in control when we come back, and manages to hang on to control pretty well. He takes a flying Kane down with a dropkick, and covers him for three.
A replay shows that Kane had his shoulder up at three, but it doesn’t matter. Manu and Snuka come out and say that they told Rhodes they were coming for Orton. They also brought backup – Ted DiBiase!
The three men make their way down to the ring. They get in the ring as Rhodes stands outside. Orton looks back at Rhodes, who then comes in. He looks at Orton, and the four men surround the Legend Killer. Orton looks around nervously before taking a swing at Snuka. Rhodes and DiBiase attack Manu! Rhodes, DiBiase and Orton beat down Snuka and Manu. Orton asks Rhodes which one he wants. Rhodes points at Snuka as Orton tells DiBiase to get on Manu. Rhodes drops Snuka with a Roll of the Dice or whatever you want to call the reverse swinging neckbreaker, and DiBiase drops Manu with the Million Dollar Dream/Russian Leg Sweep combo. Orton, Rhodes, and DiBiase leave the ring, looking back at the carnage they left in the ring.
Earlier tonight, Stephanie McMahon fired Chris Jericho.
Todd Grisham is backstage with John Cena. Cena says that he knows about the Royal Rumble. The fans know about the Royal Rumble. So now he’s going to tell Grisham about the Royal Rumble. Anything can happen at the Royal Rumble. This year, anything has happened. JBL has HBK working for him. Then I stopped paying attention, because it’s John Cena babbling. Something about tonight being Shawn Michaels’ WrestleMania.
WWE REWIND: Rosa Mendez gets attacks Melina and gets banned from WWE events.
Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall are in the ring, set for tag team action. Kelly Kelly’s horrible music hits, and she makes her way to the ring. She’s followed out by Melina as a fan jumps the guardrail and is attacked by one of her paparazzi – who is really Rosa Mendez in disguise. As Rosa is taken away by security, all hell breaks loose, and Melina gets slammed against the guardrail. Jillian hands Beth one of the paparazzi cameras, and she gets in Melina’s face, screaming about how Melina’s never glamorous. Jillian raises Beth’s hand and says “this is your champion, right here.”
Mr. McMahon returns next week. We reminisce about the time he got his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
We’re reminded that “Let It Rock” by Kevin Rudolf (which decidedly does not rock) is the theme for the Royal Rumble before we get a quick rundown of the card.
Backstage, Legacy is discussing what happened earlier. Orton says he knows that DiBiase knows that when Orton kicked him in the head he was just trying to knock some sense into him. He knows now that DiBiase and Rhodes want to be a part of Legacy.
Santino Marella comes out of Stephanie McMahon’s office, where Jamie Noble, Dolph Ziggler, Goldust, and Cryme Tyme are waiting outside. Santino is in the Royal Rumble. The blonde haired kid’s name is Dolph Ziggler.
Cena vs. Michaels is next!
JBL’s music hits, and his limo rolls out. HBK and JBL emerge and the music changes to that of the Heart Break Kid. He doesn’t preen for the fans, just walks to the ring. He gives us the classic HBK pose once he gets into the ring, but that’s it. John Cena, on the other hand enters the arena with all the flash and flare he normally has. The two men shake hands before the match.
John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
The bell finally rings when we come back from a commercial. What the hell were they doing during the break? Both men are hesitant early on, feeling each other out and countering everything each other does. When things start to pick up, it still keeps that back and forth balance, and Cena narrowly avoids a quick Sweet Chin Music attempt. From there, HBK takes over, giving Cena Flair-like chops in the corners, but Cena battles back. He hits a huge backdrop and then clotheslines the Showstopper to the outside. HBK drops Cena over the top rope on his way back in and takes the momentum back. It doesn’t take long for Cena to battle back, but HBK reverses a suplex attempt and locks Cena in the Figure Four. Cena screams in pain, but finally manages to turn over, reversing the pressure and forcing HBK to break the hold. Cena goes for a rocker dropper from the top, but HBK moves out of the way and cinches in a Crossface a la he-who-shall-not-be-named. Cena picks HBK up out of the Crossface, but HBK holds on and cranks up the pressure on the hold as Cena crashes to the mat. Cena finally gets to the ropes, forcing HBK to break the hold. He rolls to the outside, which seems like an opportune time for a…
Cena’s actually in control when we come back, dropping HBK with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Apparently HBK hurt his back during the break. Cena makes an attempt at his finisher (which has allegedly been renamed “The Throwback,” which leaves me to wonder what they’re going to call the move that he’d been calling “The Throwback” since his days as a heel on SmackDown), but HBK hangs on to the ropes. He then locks on a reverse bearhug. After HBK escapes, both men, weary, start trading blows. Once again the match starts to go back and forth. HBK powerbombs Cena off the middle rope for two, then climbs the ropes, but Cena moves out of the way of the top rope elbow drop. This time he connects with the rocker-dropper from the top rope. He then calls for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, nailing it on HBK. He then goes for his finisher again, but HBK gets out again, dropping Cena with a DDT for two. He then connects with the top rope elbow drop, and starts to tune up the band. Cena ducks out of the way, and drops HBK with his finisher, which the announcers don’t mention by name, and gets a two count. HBK drops Cena with Sweet Ching Music, rolls over him for the cover, but only gets a two count! Cena goes for the FU, but HBK rolls out and rolls him up for two. Cena locks in the STF (no more U, apparently), and HBK reaches for the ropes as JBL cheers him on. HBK managed to grab the ropes when JBL sort of leaned on it in HBK’s general direction, and Cena had to let go of the hold. Cena once again goes for the FU, HBK once again gets out of it. Cena allows himself to be distracted for just a split second, and HBK drops the Champ with Sweet Chin Music for the three!
After the match, HBK leaves the arena, and JBL enters the ring, standing over a fallen John Cena.
My thoughts: Holy crap, that was an awesome match between Cena and HBK. MOTY candidate early on, and quite simply the best thing I’ve seen on RAW (aside from Santino Marella) in months. I started out tonight dreading doing a review, even inviting anybody from the message boards at World Wrestling Insanity to do it for me, but after that match, I’m glad I was the one to write it. It’ll be interesting to see where the angle with Chris Jericho goes – I definitely didn’t see that one coming, and it’s rare I can say that without being sarcastic anymore. Anyways folks, time for me to get back to work. See you tomorrow for ECW!
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