The opening pyro hit and here we go!
Shane McMahon’s music hit and they came out to the ramp.
McMahon said Randy Orton’s attorneys talked with him and that they didn’t talk about injunctions and law suits, they said Orton wanted a match with him at No Way Out. Shane said he accepted the challenge. He said not only would he beat Orton, but he wanted to make sure Orton didn’t make it to Wrestlemania.
Orton’s music hit and he came out to the ramp and stared down Shane in the ring. He wondered if Shane ever stopped and asked himself ‘how he did it’. How did he single handedly beat up the top three superstars in the WWE. He said the answer was simple. He didn’t. He said the second he saw him lip quivering, he made a decision. He told Ted and Cody then and there not to fight back. Watch the tape, watch the footage. Sure they scuffled with him and tried to contain him, but they didn’t fight back. He said he wasn’t looking at him, but at the Raw roster, waiting for the opportunity to impress Shane or Stephanie. 20 on 3 wouldn’t be happening.
He said he would be able to do to him what he wanted, with no consequences. He said he should call the hospital his father was in and he should order up a bed. Because after No Way Out, his father would have some company. Orton began to walk down the ramp a bit to tease some action and then decided against it.
He made it up the ramp a bit before placing the mic down and heading back to the ring. After an intense stare down, Rhodes and Dibiase sprung up from under the ring and Shane whipped out a kendo stick and fought them off. Orton pulled his accomplices from the ring and they stared down Shane, whose looking plucky in the middle of the ring.
CM Punk & Mickie James v. William Regal & Layla
Regal slapped on a headlock and flat backed Punk with a shoulder block. Punk came back with a wheel kick and after some arm bar counters, Layla and Mickie are in the match. Layla hit a big right before mounting Mickie and landing a flurry of rights and lefts.
Mickie fired back with right forearms and a kick to the gut before popping out of a corner with a big clothesline. Punk and Regal are tagged in while Punk plants some big kicks into the chest of Regal. Regal tried to use Layla as a shield before Mickie cleaned her out allowing Punk to attempt a plancha. Punk crashed and burned and after taking a while to get into the ring, was met with a big Regal running knee to the head for the win.
Winners: William Regal & Layla via pin fall
Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase v. Cryme Tyme
JTG had his way with Ted Dibiase, knocking him back with a drop kick and hitting some sort of two handed face busted before Dibiase rolled through a cover attempt and booted JTG right in the face. Rhodes tagged in and landed some big punches before hitting some strikes to the back of JTG’s neck and slapping on a neck vice.
Shaad eventually got the big hot tag and he cleaned house before hitting a power slam in the4 middle of the ring. Shaad hit a running elbow drop for a one count that was split up by Cody. Shaad went to work on Cody before Dibiase jumped him from behind. The two mugged the Cryme Tymer with strikes and got themselves DQ’d.
Winners: Cryme Tyme via DQ
The two put a pretty mean beat down on Shaad after the match before soaking in some boos from the crowd.
A video recap aired of the going ons between Micky Rourke and Chris Jericho in recent weeks.
Jericho’s out in the ring waiting to give us some words of advice. Jericho attacked Rourke for being a liar and a back tracker. He slammed him and his movie before he said his movie sent the wrong message, that has beens didn’t know when to hang it up. Jericho ran down disgraces like Rowdy Piper and Jimmy Snuka. He ran down Ric Flair as absolutely pathetic, putting down his autograph sessions and working with low-end web sites. Flair has a sickness and he’s not alone. He said all of these ‘legends’ need to be put in their place. He is imploring the WWE to revoke their status as hall of famers, their status that allows them to leech off the business.
World Champion John Cena cut him off from the titan tron. He called Jericho an idiot. He said these guys should let go of the past, but he’s the first one to get fired, still here, and he still won’t shut up. He said every word he says makes him angrier and angrier. He said Jericho crosses the line too much. Cena says they have a match tonight, and while he won’t make him get on his knees, he’ll shut him up and knock his teeth down his throat.
Kofi Kingston & Rey Mysterio v. Kane & Mike Knox
Kofi was able to fight Kane off in the early going, sending him to the outside with a kick.
We came back to Kofi still trying to do his stick n move strategy with Kane. He tags in Rey and after some kicks, Rey tries to set him up for a 619. Kane cooks it out of the ring, but gets caught with a senton. Rey brought him back into the ring and tried for something, only to eat a big uppercut.
Knox tagged in and bullied Rey to the corner before whipping him to the corner. He missed the follow up and Rey hit some kicks. He charged at Knox and got scooped up for a power slam, but Kofi made a blind tag and flat backed Knox. Rey hit a double stomp and the boom boom leg drop for a two count.
Knox and Kofi tussled around for a while and after Kofi wiggled out of a power bomb attempt, Knox decapitated him with a big boot to the grill for a great near fall. Kane tagged in and hit a back breaker. After a slam to the corner, Knox tagged in and started twisting Kofi’s arm off.
He gathered him and hit a big face buster before bringing Kofi back to the corner and tagging Kane right back in. Kane hit an irish whip but Kofi flipped out of a side slam attempt and hit an enzeguiri. Rey almost got the hot tag, only to eat a kick to the face. Kane dragged Kofi back to his corner and tagged in Knox who began laying in some knees to the side. Knox hit some big rights before eating some boots on an irish whip follow up.
Kofi hit a desperation cross body attempt and crawled to his corner. Rey however, was still on the floor. Before he could get back on the apron, Kane dragged him back to the middle of the ring. Kane went for an irish whip and Kofi tried to counter out of a power slam follow up, and was able to eventually fight the big man off with a back elbow and make the hot tag.
Rey came in and put Kane on his backside, capping off the flurry with a spring board leg drop. Knox tried to break the cover up, but Kofi clean him out of the ring. He went for a plancha, but Knox countered with a knee. Rey set up for the 619 but Knox caught him on the outside swinging around. Rey kicked him off and used the rope to springboard at Kane, but got caught in mid air and was choke slammed to the mat for the win.
Winners: Mike Knox & Kane via pin fall
Backstage, Stephanie and Shane are having a conversation. Orton and company jump the two and Shane knocks Stephanie into the door and knocks her out. Orton, Rhodes and Dibiase do a number on Shane, before Orton fights off some security. He lines Shane up for the punt but sees Stephanie instead. He goes to kick her in the head, but Shane dives in last second and takes the shot in the ribs. Stephanie is finally coming to and is freaking out.
Cole and King ran down the No Way Out card and bemoaned the actions of Randy Orton moments earlier.
Candice Michelle v. Beth Phoenix
Beth tossed Candice to the mat, only for Candice to trip her up and attempt a bulldog. Phoenix caught her in mid air though and hit a back drop suplex on her before pounding her in the face for fun. Phoenix propped Candice up in the good old Canadian back breaker before Candice used the ropes to counter out. She looked for a crucifix, but couldn’t hit it and elected to go for a roll up.
Candice hit some strikes before hitting a neck drop. She connected with a back kick and a springboard roundhouse for a two count. Candice looked for the candy wrapper, but Beth pushed her to the corner. Beth caught her on the rebound and nailed her with the glam slam for the win.
Winner: Beth Phoenix via pin fall
After the match, Beth had Rosa throw Candice to the floor.
Jericho’s preparing for his match in the back. We get word that Ric Flair will be here live on Raw next week.
JBL’s in the ring to conduct a performance appraisal. He said he would be publicly be assessing the value of his employee, Shawn Michaels. HBK came out to the ring.
JBL said he came out and fulfilled his end of the proposal. He said he had no altruistic motive for helping him out. He said the motive was to hire him to get him the world title so he could go to Texas as World Champion at Wrestlemania. JBL asked him what he thought about how his performance had been.
HBK said he did a ton of things for him. He laid down for him and even softened Cena up for him at the Rumble and did what he was asked. He said he’d have qualified him for No Way Out, but he interfered. He blamed JBL for him not winning the title.
JBL said he was a failure. He said he had put up with too much. He was a failure as a wrestler and a failure as a father and a failure at his finances. He told him to think of someone else for a change and stop doing nonsense that makes his family suffer. JBL said it would be all or nothing at No Way Out. He said if he beats him at No Way Out, he’ll pay him everything he owes him. And he’ll be released from the package. But if JBL wins, he owns him. His name. He works for him for the rest of his life. If he wants to put him in a monkey suit and make him dance, he’ll be a dancing monkey working for JBL. He said with his name, he’d be able to make money off it, something Shawn couldn’t do. He said one mistake, Shawn loses and he gets everything. Its a bet. All or nothing.
JBL just kept taunting Michaels and treating him like garbage. Michaels took it and walked off totally mangled.
Chris Jericho v. John Cena
Cena went right after Jericho, hitting him with punches before Jericho fought back, ripping his shirt off and doing the old shirt over the head hockey shirt deal. Cena slammed him into the buckles and whipped him to the buckles before hitting him with Jericho’s own spot (the whip bulldog).
Cena hit a big back suplex before hitting a big shot to the gut and dispatching Jericho to the floor. Cena chased Jericho to the ring apron before being kicked over the announce table.
We came back to Jericho holding Cena in a tree of woe. WTF with the Japanese moves? Jericho went for a cover, but Cena kicked out. Jericho spring boarded off the ropes and hit Cena with a drop kick, sending him to the floor. Cena barely beats the ten count before Jericho goes right back on the assault and steps on the back of his neck.
Jericho slapped Cena in the head a few times before Cena hit a nice belly to belly. Jericho responded with a nice drop kick that got him a two count. Jericho pounded Cena into the corner and after jaw jacking at him, whipped him only to miss the spear and crash into the ring post.
Cena went into his victory sequence and looked for a five knuckle shuffle. Jericho however, popped up and went for the walls but Cena attempted a roll up. Jericho kicked out and almost got snared in the STFU but he rolled Cena up. The two slugged it out before Cena charged him and Jericho hit a running power slam for a good near fall.
Jericho bounded towards Cena and got hit with the inverted power bomb a second time and ate a five knuckle shuffle. Cena looked for the FU but Jericho flipped out and looked for a code breaker only for Cena to push him to the buckles. Jericho fought him out with legs before Cena looked for another FU. Jericho rolled out and slapped on the walls of Jericho. Cena looked for the ropes but was dragged back to the middle of the ring. Cena powered out though and countered into the STFU which Jericho quickly tapped out of.
Winner: John Cena via pin fall
Show Thoughts— The WWE had pretty much one major goal they needed to accomplish tonight and I feel, for the most part, that they succeeded in it, and that was getting Orton back on track after the debacle from last week.
The opening segment was pretty good at setting some tension that would be consistent for the rest of the night. Instead of going through the motions of just doing the beat down right off the bat, they let it play out over the course of the night, which I thought was a good thing. When they finally DID do the segment, I thought they hit it as well as they could have, with Shane doing the good guy deed by sacrificing himself for Stephanie. So all in all, they did what they needed to do in damage control and then even got ahead a little bit, getting Shane some baby face heat there. Yes, people are still smarting from last week, but covering the basis with the promo, making Orton look strong and getting Shane some baby face heat is a ‘win’ for the program any way you cut it.
For weeks I’ve been rambling about the JBL-HBK feud needing more JBL bully cowbell and finally tonight, they really went in that direction and IMO, got the best heat for any segment they’ve done thus far. The moralistic undertones in this program have really helped pace the program, with the focus being constantly on the concept of personal choice. Its a fantastic segue into the inevitable Undertaker-Michaels feud, which will play off of that in many ways, likely being Michaels paying for those sins. Some sins are necessary, or so they seem like they are such, but in the end, they’re still sins and we all must take responsibility. Think along those lines and you’ll ‘get’ the Taker-Michaels program in pretty quick order. Religious silliness aside, they nailed it tonight.
I know there’s been a lot of talk about all the media posturing of late with whose going to face Jericho and whose in the main event and whatnot and I’ll just be frank; it’s all spin. With the HBK/Taker script getting leaked, the WWE is in overdrive it seems, trying to ‘throw us off’ of the trail on a lot of these matches. I’d say right now, Orton-Cena and Jericho-Rourke are still pretty safe bets. Austin might be on the show, but its going to be hard to put him anywhere and not leave a huge-name star doing something a little pointless.
With that being said, Jericho’s promo tonight was absolutely sensational. Get used to more of it. His match with Cena was outstanding as well. Its amazing to see how far Cena’s come in his offense that that he can hang in there with guys who’re great at counter-wrestling like Jericho. They both brought the hate and some fun learned psychology spots to boot. From Jericho’s pulling Cena’s shirt over his head and hitting him hockey fight style to Cena’s doing Jericho’s whip-bulldog spot, this was a lot of fun.
The rest of the show was pretty darn solid. The Kane/Knox-Mysterio/Kingston match was surprisingly strong and did well in terms of building up Mike Knox’s credibility for the Elimination Chamber on pay per view. It amazed me this week how many people were bagging on the idea of Knox in the chamber. Not surprisingly, these are the same people who’re always complaining that the WWE isn’t pushing its younger talents, yet they’ve got two of them featured in a high profile match where they’re all likely to flourish in.
The Beth-Rosa-Santino thing really intrigues me as does the potential of a Regal-CM Punk pay per view match, which looks like a strong possibility. Stephanie getting Kane to bring Taker onto the show next week gives us lots to look forward to in addition to Ric Flair popping back up.
All in all, a solid show that accomplished what it set out to do.
Overall Grade: B+
Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase def. Cryme Tyme
William Regal & Layla def. CM Punk & Mickie James
Beth Phoenix def. Candice Michelle
Kane & Mike Knox def. Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston
John Cena def. Chris Jericho
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. John Cena
2. Rey Mysterio
3. CM Punk
4. Cryme Tyme
1. Randy Orton
3. Chris Jericho
4. William Regal
Match of the Night: John Cena v. Chris Jericho ***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 3-1, 9 points. (Last Week: World Heavyweight Champion) — Another really great match from Cena again this week. His offense has improved exponentially and he actually can work counter spots well now. He’s really on top of his game lately and it couldn’t be coming at a better time. I’m a fan of angry Cena.
Intercontinental Champion: CM Punk 2-3, 6 Points Points (Last Week: 4) — Had a fun, quick match with Regal. I’m really hoping they use this match as an excuse to give us a pay per view match between the two. It’d be a perfect curtain jerker for No Way Out.
1. Randy Orton 3-1, 6 pts. (Last Week: 1)— They did the damage control they needed to do this week and the jump scene in the back was good stuff and a great way to get some babyface heat on Shane. So disaster has been avoided and we move forward.
2. Shawn Michaels 2-1, 3 pts. (Last Week: 2) — Man he was great taking the abuse tonight. With the JBL feud looking like it’ll blow off at No Way Out, it virtually assures Taker-HBK at Mania.
3. Chris Jericho 1-2 2 pts. (Last Week: 3)— No one works the mic better right now. We’ll see where they head with the Mickey Rourke stuff. I think the company’s been throwing out some counter measures so as not to show their cards too early. Either way, great match and promo again tonight from Jericho.
4. JBL 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: 5)- – I’ve said a million times JBL needs to be the focus and his abuse of HBK needs to especially be the focus and the ‘performance appraisal’ segment was the best segment they’ve had in this feud. Hats off to JBL, he was fantastic tonight.
5. Rey Mysterio 3-2, 6 Points (Last Week: 4) — Surprisingly good stuff in the tag match tonight and him and Kofi flailing about made Kane and Knox look great.
6.William Regal, 2-3, 3 points (Last Week: 6)— Another really fun short match from Regal tonight. The win gives him a little momentum heading forward and hopefully a higher profile match with Punk on pay per view for the belt.
7. Cody Rhodes 2-0, 2 points (Last Week: 7) — He and Dibiase are really beginning to click as a team. I’d like to see them with a little more mic time with Orton, but for the most part, they’re on the right track.
8.Ted Dibiase, Jr. 1-0, 1 Point (Last Week: 8)— See Cody Rhodes.
19. Kane 1-2, 1 Point (Last Week: 10) — Kane’s a streaky fellow and looked better tonight in the tag match than I’ve seen him in a while. Hopefully he brings the fury to the chamber.
10.Mike Knox 1-1 1 point (Last Week: NR) — Flat out his best performance on live TV thus far. He looked like a killer tonight. Great counters to some of Kofi and Rey’s signature stuff to boot. Definitely worthy of sneaking him into the top 10.
Kofi Kingston 1-2, 2 points (Last Week: 10)
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 1-2, 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)