Ric Flair came out to the ring and put over how he missed the fans. He said his time came and went last year, and he had absolutely no regrets. Chris Jericho cut him off and said he wouldn’t be wasting anymore valuable air time.
Jericho said he had one more comment for Flair. He wanted him to think about last year, when he officially said good bye to the business for good. He showed him a video the night after WM, where the two were hugging. He said he respected him then. But had he known what he’d become, he wouldn’t have hugged him, he’d have slapped him in his face.
Flair said he was an insecure little punk. He never sold out and never wanted to go back to ring and had too much respect for Shawn Michaels and the WWE to do that. He said however, looking at what Jericho’s become, he’s lost so much respect for him. Flair said he respected the people here. He lived and died for them every day.
Jericho said it wasn’t these people that were the problem. It was Flair who was the problem. Flair said he definitely was. Yes, he retired, but he’d NEVER retire from the business. He loves every moment he has with fans. He said Chris Jericho would never wake up a day in his life with the power to tell Flair how to live his life. He lives his life the way he wants to because he can.
Jericho said when you’re an honest man telling the truth like him, then everything was his business. He said they respected him more than they respected Flair. Jericho said Flair couldn’t walk away with any dignity whatsoever and he’d return to the ring. He said Flair missed the point of ?The Wrestler?. He said it was about people who didn’t know when to stop. Jericho said unlike Rourke, Flair didn’t have a director. He would step in and be that director and tell him to stop. Jericho implored him to tell the fans he could live without them. Flair said no.
Jericho said he could have it his way. He told Flair to walk like the puppet he was. Flop on his face like the circus clown he was. Jericho kept running down Flair before Ric popped him in the mug. As Jericho walked off, flair strutted around the ring.
A video aired putting over the events last week between Randy Orton and the McMahons.
Melina & Kelly v. Beth Phoenix & Jillian Hall
Jillian grabbed an arm bar on Kelly before knocked her to her back a few times. Kelly flipped out and hit a dropkick. She tagged in Melina who continues the arm wringer and then whipped Jillian to the corner. She hit the double knees in the corner before Jillian fought back with forearms to the face.
Beth interfered on the outside, dragging Melina to her back and enabling Jillian to tag her. Beth hit some right hands to the face for a one count before going back to stompin’ and slammin’. After a scoop slam, she missed a legdrop. Melina and her began slugging it out in the middle of the ring before Melina hit an enzeguiri for a two count.
After thwarting Jillian’s attempts at interfering, Melina went for some springboard like move, only for Rosa to interfere by tripping her up. Beth gathered her and connected with the glam slam for the win.
Winner: Beth Phoenix via pin fall
A video putting over Wrestlemania III.
JBL was in the back with Shawn Michaels. Michaels said JBL wanted to see him. JBL said he wanted to remind him at No Way Out, there was an all for nothing match… to which HBK cut him off and sarcastically to imply that he did forget about it. JBL said Michaels would have a match tonight to ‘tune up’ for the match, seeing as he still was his employee. He said he’d be fighting Mark Henry.
The Legacy came out to the ramp. Orton said lost in the controversy of the McMahon stuff, was that he won the Royal Rumble and had to challenge a champion. Orton said he hadn’t stopped thinking about it and had given careful consideration to who he’d face. Nothing and nobody could stand in his way of becoming champion, not even the McMahons. He said Stephanie has been hiding from him, scared that he was going to punt her last week. He said he was never going to do that. He wanted to show Shane McMahon what could happen had he wanted it to happen.
He wants Stephanie to be around when he takes out another member of her family. He said the Undertaker couldn’t stop him at the Royal Rumble, and wouldn’t stop him tonight. If the Undertaker can’t beat him, what kind of a chance does Shane really think he has?
Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase v. Cryme Tyme
Shad bum rushed Cody and threw him into the corner, hitting him with forearms before slamming him to the mat. Shad charged him only for Cody to get a boot to the grill and then a tag to his partner. Dibiase completely mugged him with rights and lefts before Cody tagged back into the match to hit some strikes of his own.
Cody stomped away on Shad in the corner before tagging Dibiase who took part in doing much of the same. The two whipped Shad into the corner chest first until he slapped on a cravat and a knee to the skull for a two count. The crowd rallied Shad out of a headlock. After a scuffle, Shad broke free and got the hot tag on JTG.
JTG hit some arm drags and dropkicks before lining Cody Rhodes up in the corner. He hit the mug shot out of the corner for a two count, but Dibiase broke up the fall. Dibiase and Shad scuffled only for the two to spill to the outside. Rhodes waited for JTG to turn around and hit ‘the crossroads’ for the win.
Winners: Ted Dibiase & Cody Rhodes via pin fall
Chris Jericho, Mike Knox & Kane v. Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston & John Cena
Kane and Kofi were going at it when we got back. Kofi hit a dropkick to the legs before Kane charged into the buckles only to eat a right foot and a body press. Kofi got the crowd going and hit the Ernie Ladd legdrop for the two count.
Kofi hit some kicks before Kane finally caught one and turned Kofi into dust with a lariat. Mike Knox tagged in and began hammering away on Kofi’s skull. He slapped on a rear chin lock as the crowd tried to rally him. After an Irish whip, Kofi avoided him and was able to tag Cena.
Cena came in and cleaned out Knox with his victory sequence, but thanks to Jericho distracting the ref, was unable to hit the FU. Knox threw him to the outside and let his buddies mug the champion before throwing him back in the ring and tagging in Kane. Kane hit and uppercut and stomps before Jericho came in to pick the bones.
Jericho hit a sling shot before taunting Kofi in the face corner. Cena shot back only to get flap jacked bad by Jericho for a two count. Jericho slapped on the rear chin lock as the crowd attempted to rally Cena. Cena powered up into the FU, but Jericho countered out with an implant DDT. Kane tagged in and hit a right hand whipped Cena before uncorking his second big clothesline of the match for a two count.
Kane slapped on the rear chin lock. Cerna fought out of the hold only to get slammed back to the mat with a side slam for a two count. Kane looked for a choke slam, but Cena countered into the FU. Cena crawled to the corner and hit a hot tag to Rey Mysterio.
Mysterio hit a senton on Jericho before taking him down with a hurricanranna and a hooda-kin ranna. Mysterio hit the wheel barrel bulldog for a near fall, but Mike Knox decapitated him with a big boot. Knox charged Mysterio but got dumped to the outside. He tripped up the oncoming Jericho and Kofi whipped him into Jericho.
Kofi and Jericho were left in the ring. Kofi went to hit a springboard body press only for Jericho to his a code breaker in mid air for the win.
Winner: Chris Jericho via pin fall
Stephanie is on the phone. She said she doesn’t trust Orton, but she knows security is not far away. She said she’ll be careful and she can handle herself.
HBK is on his way to the ring.
Mark Henry v. Shawn Michaels
Shawn was all over Henry, totally enraged and trying to take it to the big man. The action spilled to the outside where HBK ran him into the ring post. Tony Atlas distracted the ref and tossed a chair into the ring. When he turned around, Henry and HBK were fighting over the chair and he DQ’d HBK.
Winner: Mark Henry via DQ
JBL was taunting Michaels after the match. JBL told him to bring his wife to the show this Sunday. He wanted his wife to witness first hand what a broken down, old man her husband has become. He wants to see her face when she realizes he gambled and blew their future together. JBL said he’d just do what he always does. Win.
CM Punk v. William Regal
Regal bum rushed Punk and hit him with a flurry of blows before Punk fought back and rushed him to the corner. Punk booted him in the head a ton of times before loading up Go 2 Sleep. Regal fought out with punches and knees and got a two count. He slapped on a side key lock on the mat.
Regal hit some knock out elbows and got another near fall. Regal hit an exploder for another near fall before gathering the champion and punching him back down to the canvas. Punk cut a charge off with a big kick and went for Go 2 Sleep and connected. Punk went for the cover and got the win.
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: CM Punk via pin fall
A clip putting over Mikey Rourke winning a Golden Globe was aired before they recapped what happened earlier in the night between Chris Jericho and Ric Flair.
A video aired putting over the Legacy beat down on the McMahons last week.
Randy Orton v. The Undertaker
The two locked up and backed into the corner. Taker reversed fortunes and hit some punches of his own before flooring Orton with a right hand and sending him to the outside with a clothesline. Orton spiked Taker’s face off the guard rail before getting hung up on the top rope.
Taker laid in some strikes before Orton bailed back to the outside, where Taker followed him, and laid him out with a clothesline.
We came back to Orton holding Taker in a side headlock on the mat. Orton moved into a rear chin lock, holding Taker to the mat. Taker fought out with some body shots before uppercutting Orton in the chin. Orton however, reversed a whip attempt and hit a running power slam for a two count.
Orton went into his Garvin Stomp deal before capping it off with a big knee to the face for a two count. Orton went back to the chin lock Taker powered out of the hold with a back suplex before the two got to their feet and began slugging it out. Orton stuck with Taker until he was whipped to the corner and unloaded on with a big clothesline.
Taker whipped him to the opposite buckle and hit snake eyes before dropping a leg for a two count. Taker slapped a hand on his throat and went for a choke slam, but Orton countered out. He went for an RKO but Taker pushed him off. Taker went for the tombstone, but Rhodes and Dibiase came running down to the ring.
Winner: The Undertaker via DQ
The Legacy laid in a pretty mean beat down after match. As Orton set up for the RKO, Shane McMahon came sprinting down to the ring, and helped Taker clean house. Orton and Rhodes sprinted for cover, leaving Dibiase to bear the brunt of the assault. Shane set up a garbage can in the corner on Dibiase. He hit coast to coast as Orton looked on from the ramp.
Show Thoughts– Tonight certainly wasn’t the most spectacular show on earth, but it was a very solid effort for a go-home edition of Raw.
The angle they went with tonight should’ve been exactly what they went with two weeks ago, as opposed to the Shane beat down that really hurt this feud over all. Dibiase and Rhodes bumping like crazy men, while Orton is FRUSTRATED, not actually thwarted. All things considered though, they did a good job getting this thing turned around and from the reaction of the crowd tonight, it seems like they’re plenty hot enough heading into the pay per view.
Chris Jericho’s mic work is pretty much second to none at the minute, and his brutally sharp criticisms of Ric Flair were really great. Jericho has done a superb job putting this character in a position of moral authority, which is something a lot of heels simply just aren’t good at it seems these days. A lot of people forget that if you look back on a lot of the big feuds over the course of wrestling history, that the heel was often in the RIGHT. Vince McMahon, technically, was ‘right’ in his feud with Austin, however the program did a masterful job of playing to people’s innate inability to admit fault in their own opinions. Jericho cut a promo that was pretty much right along those lines tonight, talking about Flair as a circus act (which really, EVERY wrestler was).
At this point, there’s been a ton of speculation as to what the plans are for Wrestlemania are heading forward, and IMO, I really don’t think things have changed as much as people might have been led to believe. The past few weeks have been chalked FULL of countermeasures from the WWE, and there seems to be a deliberate effort to try and throw people off as to what their plans are. The Mickey Rourke stuff is perhaps the most glaring example. As someone whose spent a lot of his professional life in the media and public relations, its pretty A-Typical diversionary tactics from the WWE here. Every time there’s a Jericho promo, we quickly get videos of the wrestler and Mickey Rourke, despite them saying he’s not likely to wrestle. Flat out, expect him to be there. There’s a GOOD shot he might not wrestle, but I’d say its next to stupid to assume he won’t be involved in some way, shape or form. The whole thing has smacked of a guy who maybe spilled the marbles before they wer! e supposed to, and simultaneously, an effort to both cover that plan up AND make sure we don’t forget about Rourke all at the same time. Bet on him being there.
The JBL-HBK thing the last two weeks has really ‘clicked’ for me, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that JBL being emphasized as the antagonist, rather than the guy on the receiving end, has really accelerated this program. I’m also pretty happy they decided to NOT go with a gimmick match. For one, Michaels isn’t a guy who tends to excel in brawls and second, the whole ‘not getting himself DQ’d’ deal is a nice twist in the story. For once, Michaels will have to put the old HBK on the shelf, which I think is far more interesting.
The wrestling action was fine and fun, even though we didn’t get a bang up main event like we’ve been expecting. The Six Man tag was a lot of fun and benefited from a very hot crowd. My only real issue with the match was Kofi Kingston. Kofi is a guy with a lot of talent and natural ability for sure. His problem is his tendency to get carried away and total inability to pace himself. Someone in the back needs to sit him down and figure out a way to slow him down, ground him and help him pace his fun spots out. I feel like he places a huge emphasis on incorporating speed into his matches and while that’s all well and good, its often unnecessary. Especially when no matter how fast he works, he’ll always look slower if Rey Mysterio’s in the ring. Patience, poise and CONNECTING with spots is as important as GETTING TO them. Kid’s got a lot of talent and management obviously has some confidence in him, as he wouldn’t be in the title match to begin with on Sunday. But bottom li! ne is, heading forward, he’s GOT to learn to pace himself, or he’ll find himself to be jobber fodder sooner rather than later.
Overall, it was a pretty good go home show. No Way Out should be a fun pay per view, although I’m a little concerned at the fact that they’ve got far too many BIG matches no the card right now. Its great to have hot programs heading into every show, but when you’ve got four really, really big ones, its going to be hard to not gas the crowd. They’re going to have to take extra care to make this card work.
Overall Grade: B
Beth Phoenix & Jillian Hall def. Melina & Kelly Kelly
Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase def. Cryme Tyme
Chris Jericho, Mike Knox & Kane def. John Cena, Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston
Mark Henry def. Shawn Michaels
CM Punk def. William Regal
The Undertaker def. Randy Orton
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Shawn Michaels
2. John Cena
3. Shane McMahon
4. Rey Mysterio
1. Randy Orton
3. Chris Jericho
4. William Regal
Match of the Night: Six Man Tag Match **1/4
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 3-2, 9 points. (Last Week: World Heavyweight Champion) — Decent enough night for Cena tonight. His selling helped carry the middle end of a fun match, but other than that, an unusually quiet night for a champion on the eve of an elimination chamer title defense.
Intercontinental Champion: CM Punk 3-3, 7 Points Points (Last Week: 4) — Seems like the same thing every week, but another really fun, short match with William Regal. Kind of a shame we’re not getting a pay per view match out of this, but a positive week for Punker none the less.
1. Randy Orton 3-2, 6 pts. (Last Week: 1)– All things considered, the angle has been a success, especially given the set back from a few weeks ago. It’ll be interesting to see which direction they’re going with heading forward.
2. Chris Jericho 2-2 3 pts. (Last Week: 3)– More fantastic mic work from Jericho this week and a good excuse to use Flair if they need to heading forward.
3. Shawn Michaels 2-2, 3 pts. (Last Week: 2) — Sometimes its not what you DO, but rather what you DON’T do that can make for a really good feud. Michaels allowing himself to take more of the verbal beatings has added a lot to the feud. Should be a fun match heading forward.
4. JBL 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: 4)- – JBL’s bullying antics really played well again tonight. Should be an interesting mix with Michaels on Sunday’s pay per view.
5. Rey Mysterio 3-3, 6 Points (Last Week: 5) — They did a good job of filling roles tonight in the six man tag, with Cena primarily being used to slow the match down with his selling and Rey being used to accelerate it with his speed. Good stuff from Rey and he should be a lot of fun in the elimination chamber.
6. Cody Rhodes 3-0, 3 points (Last Week: 7) — I thought Cody in particular, looked really strong in their match tonight. His stomps and strikes are really beginning to come around. Nice to see him get the opportunity to play the more dominating of the two, as opposed to the Buddy Roberts type stooge that bumps a lot.
7.Ted Dibiase, Jr. 2-0, 2 Points (Last Week: 8)– As mentioned with Cody, they sort of swapped roles tonight and Dibiase was the guy who got to flop around and bump and he did a pretty good job of it. Good for his overall development heading forward. They’re starting to expand the ‘range’ of these two a bit more in terms of what they get to do in matches, which is positive.
8. Kane 2-2, 2 Points (Last Week: 9) — Kane’s always been a guy who seems to get booked with guys either considerably smaller than him or guys about equal to his size. Seeing his interactions with John Cena was pretty cool and its pretty interesting to see how a guy’s offense can look a lot better with a guy who can actually sell his stuff.
9.Mike Knox 2-1 2 points (Last Week: 10) — Another strong night for Knox. Heading forward, its important, especially being a big man, that they protect him and give him short bursts of offense where he can showcase and refine is signature stuff. He’s looked a million times better in the past few weeks as a result.
10.William Regal, 2-4, 3 points (Last Week: 6)– Regal takes a bit of a tumble this week, but you can’t fault him in terms of how good he looks in the ring. He seems to always be able to get the most out of the time he’s given. He’s one of the most ‘sure things’ in the company these days.
Kofi Kingston 1-3, 2 points (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: NR)
JTG 1-3, 1 points (Last Week: NR)
Big Shaad 1-2 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)
Rory 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Robbie 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)