WWE RAW
January 26, 2009
Cleveland, OH
Commentators: Michael Cole & Jerry ?The King? Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com

A video package aired the events last week between Randy Orton and Vince McMahon.

2009 Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton came out with the Legacy. His lawyers and therapists are also with him. Orton said he was here to discuss the events that happened here last week on Raw. Orton put over how the WWE was a part of him and it was in his blood. He also said he has something else that was part of him, call I.E.D. Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Pulling a card from his trunks he read the statistics about how many Americans were effected by it. He was sufficiently provoked last week. He said WWE knew about the disorder and didn’t do anything about it, so if he gets fired tonight, he’ll sue WWE.

That would be the first law suit. The would be another one. He won the 2009 Royal Rumble, proving his superiority over everyone in the WWE. He will sue over breach of contract over not being allowed into the main event of Wrestlemania 25. He said she would also lose Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase and they would walk if he was fired tonight. With the three of them gone, there won’t be any superstars left on the roster.

He said there was one more piece of business to attend to. Orton apologized for the trauma that befell Mr. McMahon last week. He apologized for the trauma that his family is now suffering. He appreciated the anger and pain they were going through because he’s the father of a new born. He hoped they could put this ugly incident behind them and move forward. He apologizes to the McMahons and all of the fans. He is a man of honor.

Stephanie was backstage scowling.

****Commercial****

World Tag Team Championship
The Miz & John Morrison v. Cryme Tyme

JTG started off with the Miz and hit the mug shot for a two count. JTG was flipped onto the apron and had to fend off Morrison, enabling the Miz to punch him to the floor. Morrison threw him back into the ring for a two count. Morrison officially tagged into the ring and laid in some stomps to the mid section for another near fall.

Morrison slapped on a cravat as JTG fought to his feet. JTG flipped out of a vertical suplex attempt and tagged in Big Shaad. Shaad cleaned house and tossed Morrison hard out of the corner. Morrison managed to tag him with a boot to the grill, but got hit with a running power slam on the follow up for a two count.

The two countered through their finishers until Shaad hit his STO, only for Miz to break the cover up. Miz and JTG battled it out on the outside while Morrison snuck up behind the distracted Shaad and hit the moonlight drive for the win.

Winners and STILL Tag Team Champions: The Miz & John Morrison via pin fall

A video package aired putting over the return of the Elimination Chamber at No Way Out.

JBL came out to the ramp and announced that HBK will be competing for a spot for JBL in the elimination chamber. He’ll be facing John Cena.

****Commercial****

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match
Kane v. Kofi Kingston

Kane hit a big scoop slam before dropping an elbow on his face. Kane bullied Kofi to the corner and hit him with some not so friendly right hands before hitting a big clothesline in the corner for a two count. Kane gathered Kofi and pushed him back into the corner where he whipped him and looked for a charge, but Kofi avoided him.

Kofi tried to charge at Kane but it was in vain as he ate a big boot to the face. Kane scaled the top rope and killed Kofi with a lariat before setting up a choke slam. Kofi hit a desperation kick to the head before trying trouble in paradise only to get caught in another choke slam try. Kane lifted him but Kofi flipped over and rolled him up for the pin fall.

Winner: Kofi Kingston via pin fall

****Commercial****

Chris Jericho came out and started running down Mickey Rourke and ‘The Wrestler’. Jericho said last night on the red carpet, he said Mickey Rourke had ‘this’ to say about him. Rourke called him out on the red carpet last night. Jericho said being a wrestler and pretending to be one were two different things. The last thing they’d want to do was offend Chris Jericho.

JBL’s in the back with Shawn Michaels. He wasn’t happy about the super kick last night and HBK said he did everything in his power to help JBL. He wants him to get the job done tonight. For real.

****Commercial****

Shawn Michaels v. John Cena

The two started off throwing blows before Michaels backed him up with chops. Cena missed a bulldog only for Michaels to slap him. Cena responded by flat backing him to the mat. HBK took a breather with JBL trying to tend to him on the outside.

****Commercial****

We came back to HBK kicking out of two near falls before Cena slapped on the chin lock. HBK fought out only for Cena to back body drop him to the mat. Cena whipped the crap out of HBK to the buckles, who bumped hard off the corner pads. Cena decked him in the face before Michaels peppered him with a kick and some chops. Michaels hit the flying forearm and then the inverted atomic drop followed by the body slam.

Michaels went to the outside, but Cena stayed on him and Michaels had to fight him off to get back in the ring. Cena looked for an STFU but Michaels whipped out. Cena hit his shoulder blocks and inverted power bomb. Cena went for the five knuckle shuffle but HBK grabbed him in mid taunt and slapped on the cross face. Cena powered up out of the hold looking for an FU but HBK held onto the top rope.

Cena tripped HBK up again and slapped on the STFU. They teased the finish from two weeks ago, but HBK was able to make it to the ropes clean this time. Michaels struggled to his feet as Cena looked for the FU. HBK rolled him up for a two count then came with the hate filled chops. Yes, hate-filled HBK chops.

They brawled to the corner where Michaels looked for another Irish whip only for Cena to reverse it. Michaels rebounded though and hit a clothesline. The two fought to their feet as Michaels hit a body slam. Michaels went to the outside and went for an elbow drop to the protests of JBL. He got up on the apron and was pushed into Michaels who crash to the canvas. Cena pounced and hit the FU for the win.

Winner: John Cena via pin fall

JBL climbed into the ring afterwards and looked down at the fallen Michaels.

Todd Grisham was with Stephanie. She said she would reprimand Randy Orton tonight to his face.

****Commercial****

Kelly Kelly & Melina v. Beth Phoenix & Jillian Hall

Santino is on commentary. Beth came right at Melina and began beating the crap out of her in the corner. Melina came bounding off the ropes and hit a thesz press in addition to some punches. Jillian tagged in only to get arm dragged by the new women’s champion.

Kelly tagged in and hit a sunset flip for a two count. Kelly hit a flippy arm drag before Jillian recovered and whipped her. Kelly fought her off on the apron but got hit to the outside. Beth tagged in and went to work, slamming Kelly’s face off the mat. She whiffed on an elbow drop but caught Kelly by the leg. Rosa intercepted Melina to disallow the tag. Beth raised Kelly into the air and hit the glam slam for the win.

Winners: Beth Phoenix & Jillian Hall via pin fall

****Commercial****

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match
Rey Mysterio v. William Regal

Regal grabbed the arm while Rey fought out with kicks and went for a headlock. Regal threw him off but ate a knee in the gut. Mysterio hit a senton only to get Killed with a face buster. Regal hit a kick and some strikes in the corner before being admonished by the ref. He floored Rey with a European uppercut for a one count.

Regal slapped on a neck vice as Rey fought out. He hit a kick to the face only to get suplexed out of his boots on a wheel barrel attempt for a near fall. Regal dropped a brutal knee to Rey’s face for another near fall before bullying him to the corner with punches. Regal whipped him hard and hit a stiff lariat for yet another near fall.

Regal began punching away at Rey’s face before kicking him in the head just because. Rey fought back with strikes of his own only to eat a knee to the gut. Rey countered a double under hook with an arm drag and booted him in the head. Regal caught him though and hit an overhead gut wrench for yet another near fall. Regal missed a charge only to get booted to the ropes. Rey hit a 610 and a big splash and that was that.

Winner: Rey Mysterio via pin fall

****Commercial****

Rosa is with Santino and going crazy, taking stands for women everywhere. Beth walked in and we’ve got an awkward moment until Beth says we can keep her. Jesus.

A trailer for 12 Rounds airs.

****Commercial****

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match
CM Punk v. Chris Jericho

Punk hit a side slam for a two count before slamming Jericho into the corner buckles. Punk hit some lariats and knocked Jericho into the corner with the big knee and then hit the bulldog. Punk hit the springboard lariat and got a two count.

Punk perched Jericho in the corner before laying some kicks into the side of his head. He hit a hurricanranna for a two count. Punk loaded him up for GTS, but Jericho rolled him up for a two count. They traded near falls before Jericho went for the Walls. Punk fought out of the attempt and went for a jack knife cover before Jericho powered out and hit a code breaker. Jericho went for the cover and that’s all she wrote.

Winner: Chris Jericho via pin fall

****Commercial****

Stephanie Raw came out and said just because Orton won the Rumble and threatened the company with law suits, that she’d just back down. He was wrong. He needed to come out and face his punishment.

Orton came down to the ring not looking happy.

Orton said Stephanie needed to ask herself a question, if she wanted to go through with this. If she fires him tonight, she would be subjecting herself to a nightmare. He listened to his lawyer who took the mic. He reiterated his client’s condition and said that the company displayed extreme negligence. He said if she fired him, there’d be extreme consequences.

Stephanie said if that was a threat, it sucked. Orton said it was a threat. He had a legal right to be in the main event of Wrestlemania, but not only that, he’d file an injunction to prevent Wrestlemania from even happening. That wasn’t a threat, it was a promise.

The Raw locker room came out to the ramp not looking too happy. Orton said he didn’t care about whether these people have a Wrestlemania. He said if they thought if he was fired he wouldn’t take all of them down with him, they were crazy. Orton said that was exactly what he wanted them to do. He was begging Stephanie to fire him and put everyone out of work.

Stephanie and him were literally nose to nose. Stephanie said firing him would be too easy. She said they had bigger plans. Shane’s music hit and he came out to the ramp. He looked livid.

He stared Orton in the face after taking off his jacket. Orton backed up to let Cody and Ted do the work. Shane charged him as the stooges pulled him off. Shane fought them off and he went after Randy again. The two heels kept trying to hold Shane down as he was able to fend them off before POPPING Orton in the face.

Shane just kept coming after the heels as Dibiase tried to get Orton off to safety. The scene is bedlam as the superstars are trying to pry everyone apart.


RAW THOUGHTS

Show Thoughts— Really the big news tonight is all about the ending Orton-McMahons story line, so I’ll cut to the chase.

Tonight’s angle from the get go was a lose-lose proposition. No way they were coming out tonight looking like they were in a ‘better’ position. With the new TV rating, they’re basically hamstrung in the sense that they can’t use weapons, so it makes things complex. Tonight, The McMahons HAD to have a response and a strong one. Had Orton come out the stronger, they’d be risking him getting a face reaction. They obviously don’t want that. So, the McMahons have to win tonight.

So its a question of HOW much weaker Orton looks tonight heading out of the angle. Shane came in and cleaned house tonight, and yes, I agree with most that he looked way too strong and Orton and company bumped way too much for him. But at the same time, if you can’t use weapons, what DO you do?

So did the WWE miss here? Very much so, but it was almost unavoidable. Hopefully they get back in the saddle and while they DID drop the ball there, they didn’t drop it to the point where its like this program is wrecked. Far from it. Without the use of weapons here, there’s zero way Shane makes hay on Orton and doesn’t make him look like crap. Crappy angle this week, take it on the chin and move on.

The rest of tonight’s show I thought was pretty darn decent. Heck, I thought 90% of the Orton angle was for the most part, its just that the punctuation mark didn’t stick. Such is life. We really DID get a lot of good match ups, with Cena-HBK, Rey-Regal and Punk-Jericho. I felt that most of the stuff hit.

The JBL-HBK thing seems to be stuck transitionally a little bit here, mostly because it looks like the WWE is going to go ahead with the originally planned HBK-Taker match at Wrestlemania. So what we’re likely to see is this thing getting really accelerated. I’d bet they’ll likely lean on these two as the headlining singles match for No Way Out.

Everything else was pretty fun I thought, especially Jericho’s solid promo on Mickey Rourke, now that we’ve pretty much been reassured that he’ll be facing Jericho at Mania. I’m intrigued by the possibilities for the program, which I think should be pretty strong.

All in all, once you take a step back to look at this show in perspective, people would have been all about this had it not been for the ending. I think it absolutely hurt the show, but on the whole, the show was totally solid stuff.

Overall Grade: B-

Quick Results
The Miz & Morrison def. Cryme Tyme to RETAIN the Tag Team titles
Kofi Kingston def. Kane
John Cena def. Shawn Michaels
Beth Phoenix & Melina def. Melina & Kelly Kelly
Rey Mysterio def. William Regal
Chris Jericho def. CM Punk

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?

Biggest Pops
1. Shawn Michaels
2. John Cena
3. Rey Mysterio
4. Cryme Tyme

Most Heat
1. Randy Orton
2. Stephanie McMahon
3. JBL
4. William Regal

Match of the Night: John Cena v. Shawn Michaels **3/4

Power Rankings

Points
4 Points= World Title defense/win
3 Points= Singles PPV Win
2 Points= Tag PPV Win
2 Points= TV Singles Win
1 Point= TV Tag Win
0 Points= Loss

World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena 2-1, 7 points. (Last Week: World Heavyweight Champion) — Cena and HBK work so well together, and I like the pseudo heel HBK for John to play off of. He turned up the grumpiness a bit this week and overall, while its not the stuff we usually get, it was a super solid 10-15 minute match.

Intercontinental Champion: CM Punk 2-2, 6 Points Points (Last Week: 4) — Punk’s not the greatest in terms of actual execution, so anytime he executes well, it should be pointed out, and tonight, he really held the match with Jericho together. I’m really hoping we get a pay per view match with Regal.

1. Randy Orton 3-1, 6 pts. (Last Week: 1)— Its weird because despite looking pretty goofy tonight, I didn’t feel like Orton lost much momentum if any. It’s kind of hard to stem the tide of a guy who just won the Rumble and kicked Vince’s head into the 14th row. Hopefully, the McMahon deal rebounds next week.

2. Shawn Michaels 2-1, 3 pts. (Last Week: 2) — The seeds seem to be sprouting for Michaels to split from JBL and make their arrangement a short lived one. Another strong effort from Michaels who really put some mustard on his strikes tonight. Makes a world of difference in his matches.

3. Chris Jericho 1-1 2 pts. (Last Week: 3)— His promo was great but man, he didn’t seem with it in his match at all tonight. They had him everywhere with the match, the promo and the scene at the end of the Orton-Shane brawl. Seemed like a bit much.

4. Rey Mysterio 3-1, 6 Points (Last Week: 5) — God, I could get used to more matches with Rey and Regal in them. Hard not to like that. I can’t wait to see him get massacred in the Elimination chamber. It should be spectacular.

5. JBL 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: 4)- – JBL seemed a little off kilter last night at the Rumble, but was better in the man on the outside role tonight. Not as good as a few weeks ago, but still pretty darn solid stuff.

6.William Regal, 1-3, 2 points (Last Week: 6)— Another loss for Regal tonight. Hopefully they’ll figure out a way to inject him into a pay per view match with Punk for No Way Out. I’d love to see these two go 10-12 minutes.

7. Cody Rhodes 1-0, 1 point (Last Week: 7) — Getting owned by a 40+ year old guy doesn’t do Ted and Cody many favors, but they DID look like a million bucks last night.

8.Ted Dibiase, Jr. 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: 8)— See Cody Rhodes.

9. Kofi Kingston 1-1, 2 points (Last Week: 10) — Surprising upset over Kane. Kofi’s an interesting choice in this match. They seem on the fence as whether or not they want to really push the kid or not. Nothing like a spot in a multi-man main event to let management see if he can perform when the chips are down.

10. Kane 0-2, 0 Points (Last Week: 9) — Nice of him to do the job to Kofi, but he’s clearly headed nowhere. Again.

OTHERS:
Mike Knox 0-1 point (Last Week: NR)
Batista 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Santino Marella 0-0, 0 points (Last Week:NR)
Sim Snuka 1-0, 1 Point (Last Week: 10)
Mike Knox 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
JTG 1-2, 1 points (Last Week: NR)
Big Shaad 1-1 1 points (Last Week: NR)
Jamie Noble 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Manu 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Dolph Ziggler 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)