D-Generation X comes out to the ring. They run through their usual spiel before getting into a little back and forth over the Rumble. Michaels says this is his one opportunity to get a shot at the Undertaker, while Triple H says he?d do anything to get another title shot. Triple H said the main event at Wrestlemania was everyone’s dream in this company and if it wasn?t, they shouldn?t be here. He said if he had to step on Michaels? dream to realize his own, then he would.
D-Generation X vs. the Legacy
Rhodes and Triple H started things off, with Triple H working Rhodes into the corner. Rhodes tries a drop kick and burns before Triple H attempts to load him up for a pedigree, but Dibiase makes the save.
We came back to Michaels and Rhodes going back and forth in the ring. Michaels went into victory sequence only to fight off Dibiase on the apron. Michaels hit a cross body block off the top rope into the two heels before gathering Rhodes and tossing him back into the ring.
The referee was momentarily distracted, allowing Rhodes to hit a nasty neck breaker on Michaels before tagging Dibiase into the match. Dibiase went to work, hitting stomps and kicks in the corner. Rhodes tagged back in and leveled HBK with a right hand before going for the pin fall. Dibiase hit a beautiful standing drop kick for a two count.
Dibiase hit another big right hand, flooring HBK before nailing Michaels with a lariat. Rhodes tagged back into the match, working over Michaels some more with punches before a pin attempt. Rhodes hits a side Russian Leg sweep for a two count. Triple H got knocked off the apron and wasn?t there for the first tag, but recovered and HBK got to the corner.
Dibiase and Triple H cris crossed before Triple H hit a spine buster and a face buster before pumping the crowd up. Michaels tagged himself in while Triple H was doing a pedigree. They were run into each other, but Michaels recovered and delivered sweet chin music for the pin.
Winners: DX via pin fall
After some tense moments after the match, the two shook hands.
MVP came out to the ring. He said Miz might be champion, but his problem was him. MVP said the Miz could keep running, but eventually, he?d have to face him. He said he?d become a three time US champion. The Miz came out and cut another fantastic promo on being a star while MVP was making license plates in jail. They went back and forth before the Miz let us know that MVP would be facing his ?friend? Big Show.
Big Show vs. MVP
Show quickly took the initiative and backed MVP up into the corner and chopped him in the chest. Show missed a charge and MVP came bounding back hitting a chono kick. MVP charged him again only to get caught and smooshed with a choke slam.
Winner: Big Show via pin fall
After the match, the Miz got into the ring and celebrated over MVP’s body.
The Legacy are in the back. We?re still fighting. Orton gave them the pep talk. He said they?d better be there to back him up. He’s going to beat Sheamus with or without them.
John Cena and and Dule Hill. Cena had some back and forth with Hill. The Miz came in and he had a back and forth as well. Hill lets him know he has a match later tonight.
Divas Tournament Semi-Finals
Maryse vs. Eve Torres
Shockingly better than expected here. This started out dicey with some weird strike exchanges. Once they got each other’s timing down, it picked up quickly. Maryse hit a VICIOUS slap to the face before Eve hit a running boot. She followed up with a clothesline in the corner and a roaring elbow (!?) before hitting a scoop slam. Eve looked for a moonsault and splatted HARD to the mat. Maryse recovered and looked for the implant DDT, but Eve had a great northern lights roll up counter for a good near fall. Eve, still wobbling from the moonsault crash, couldn?t grab an Irish whip and got kicked in the gut. Maryse hit a kick to the cut and absolutely decapitated her with an implant DDT for the win. Awesome but short Divas match.
Winner: Maryse via pin fall
Vince McMahon came out to the ring. Vince said he?d never bring Bret Hart back to the WWE. He said in economics you buy low, sell high. He sold Bret to WCW when he was at a high value. Now he was at a low value. So he was trying to find a reason not to do it. He said if the fans wanted it that bad, then they?d NEVER get him again in the WWE. He was a business man and does what’s right for business. McMahon went through the crowd and interacted with fans in some pretty hilarious stuff. Vince said he had no interest in bringing a relic from history back.
John Cena came out and said he never had a problem with Vince until now. Cena said Vince treated Roddy Piper like he was nothing. He said he treated Bret like crap. Cena said wardrobe aside, he had a lot of help building an empire and becoming a billionaire. Cena cut a great promo, putting over how much the wrestlers work for him and the fans. He said maybe he was just cattle to Vince to get mauled and thrown away when his expiration date hits. Cena told Vince to stop being a coward and do the right thing. Vince snapped and said he?d invite Bret Hart back to Raw next week.. Cena left the ring only for Vince to stop him and run him down. He said tonight if Cena wanted to be the center of attention so bad, he could be? he?ll get WWE champion Sheamus later tonight.
Kofi Kingston vs. the Miz
The two started off fast until Miz gained an advantage with a big boot for a two count. Miz hammered away on Kofi’s chest before slapping on a rear chin lock. Kofi didn?t sell for much for it and came back quick, only for Miz to cut him off and boot him in the ribs for a two count.
Miz laid some kicks into Kofi’s side before dropping a leg drop and going back to another rear chin lock. Kofi eventually threw Miz off and hit a high-elevation frog splash that Miz kicked out of. Kofi came off the ropes only for Miz to counter with the shoulder breaker-neck breaker combo. While Miz loaded up the skull crushing finale, MVP’s music hit and distracted him long enough for Kofi to hit the Trouble in Paradise for the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston via pin fall
Carlito’s in the back with Dule Hill. Hill gives Carilto a match against a random star. That random star is going to be Kelly Kelly. Carlito’s wicked excited.
Carlito is in the ring for his match. Santino comes out and plugs the 2009 Raw DVD. He says 2010 is a new year for him and he?d be stepping things up. Jack Swagger jumped him from behind and posted him.
Cena and Dule are in the back on the speaker phone with the other Psych guy. Alicia walks in and Dule is smitten. There’s some back and forth, Cena makes a funny and we?re done!~
Divas Championship Tournament ? Semi Final
Alicia Foxx vs. Gail Kim
Alicia grabbed a side headlock takedown before Gail monkey flipped her and they got torn up bad. Alicia whipped Gail to the corner and made google faces at Dule before running directly into a power slam from Kim. Gail loaded Alicia up only to get rolled up. Gail shot back with a big side kick and an elbow. Alicia went for a whip only for Gail to reverse it and slip a kick into the jaw. Three seconds later, this is over and Gail’s onto the finals.
Winner: Gail Kim via pin fall
After the match Gail went over to Dule who was at the commentary booth. After a brief back and forth, she hauled off and smashed him in the face with a smack.
John Cena vs. Sheamus
The two circled it up and locked horns. They broke in the corner and Sheamus hot dogged some. Cena grabbed a go behind and Sheamus grabbed the ropes. Cena decked the champion with a right hand and hit a bulldog. He followed up in the corner only to eat a back elbow and a big lariat. Sheamus backed Cena up and began pounding on him in the corner.
Sheamus had a whip reversed before Cena hit a vertical suplex. Cena whipped Sheamus only to eat a lariat. Sheamus loaded up a vertical suplex for a pin fall but Cena kicked out. Sheamus hit a big right hand and an explosive Irish whip for another two count.
Sheamus pursued Cena to the ring apron and began stomping on Cena’s throat and hit a great running knee that sent Cena to the outside. Cena caught Sheamus on the way back in and went for a quick FU, only for Sheamus to easily counter it and hit DDT and a power slam for a near fall. Sheamus kept up the pressure, slamming Cena into the ring steps.
The came back into the ring where Cena caught Sheamus in an STFU attempt, only for Sheamus to break the hold. They two rolled out of the ring only for Sheamus to connect with the bicycle kick and KO Cena. He rolled back into the ring to wait for Cena to get back in the ring only for Randy Orton to pop up and RKO him for the DQ.
Winner: Sheamus via DQ
After the match, Randy Orton went to DDT John Cena and Cena popped up and FU?d him. Cena celebrated as we went off the air.
Show Thoughts– While the lead up to the Rumble stuff certainly seemed rushed, the show overall, was pretty good tonight.
On a segment to segment standpoint, everything tonight seemed much better from a promo standpoint. It was like the writers gave the wrestlers the mic and let them mostly do their own thing. John Cena sounded as good as he ever has. The DX stuff didn?t seem forced, it seemed natural. The Miz kept up the good work and MVP held his end of the bargain, too. On the whole, the promo work seemed to be significantly better than the past few weeks.
In terms of the matches, we got some hits and some misses tonight. On the negative side, Alicia Foxx and Gail Kim looked atrocious in the ring tonight. There seemed to be a miscommunication every five seconds. That was probably made worse by the fact that Maryse and Eve had a pretty good match, and were able to overcome a pretty slow start.
Cena-Sheamus might have been their best match yet, and this was at least Sheamus? best outing since the Goldust series over on ECW. The match was really well paced, with Sheamus keeping things moving along, but also escalating the violence. One of the things really missing from wrestling these days is the whole concept of escalating tension by escalating the violence. He floors Cena with kicks and punches. Cena comes back. Sheamus cuts him off. Sheamus works his back and neck, goes to a rest hold, Cena fights back, Sheamus cuts him off and then chucks him into ring steps. That set up well for the finale, with Cena getting a great hope-spot with the STFU and Sheamus cutting his head off with a bicycle kick on the outside. Great ebb and flow. Wasn?t OMGMATCHOFTHEYEAR~, but it was a solid effort.
The Miz is really starting to hit a significant stride now, and the crowd reaction is reflecting that. His promos are way more involved and interesting than just about anyone else’s, and his ability to differentiate himself so well from MVP, has in turn, helped MVP as much as it’s made Miz look new and unique. The ring work is definitely coming along, as he’s scaled back a lot of the work rate BS and simplified, which always makes me a happy panda.
I?m admittedly underwhelmed at the prospects heading out of the Royal Rumble. Cena, as good as he is, would be a very underwhelming winner, but maybe not nearly as underwhelming as Shawn Michaels or Triple H would be, and they?re the projected winners for all intents and purposes. Michaels is so broken down at this point that I can?t see him working for long stretches and considering how smashed up Taker is right now, I can?t help but feel their Wrestlemania rematch would be a mess. Triple H, well.. we?ve been there and done that. Even Edge, who?d be a surprise to some, I would consider foolish. An achillies tendon isn?t something to be played with. You don?t REALLY recover from those in five to six months. You just don?t. If Edge’s back, it?ll be at 70% and it?ll be a matter of time before it’s torn again or he’s back out with some sort of aggravation and if it was me in booky book land, I wouldn?t want to bank my Wrestlemania main event on a guy who’s foot was detached from the rest of his body six months ago. That’s just me.
The Bret stuff, well? the kid in the crowd who was clueless as to who he was should tell the story. Despite him not being very relevant anymore, the feud has been booked well. Bret’s simply not going to be able to get himself over like Vince can, so that’s why you?re seeing more Vince than Bret. Give it some time and we?ll see where it leads, but the only really excited fans are going to be attitude era fans who still haven?t married yet.
A good show, but in the big picture, there’s just so many questions.
Overall Grade: B-
DX def. The Legacy
Maryse def. Eve Torres
Big Show def. MVP
Kofi Kingston def. The Miz
Gail Kim def. Alicia Foxx
Sheamus def. John Cena
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. John Cena
2. Kofi Kingston
3. D-Generation X
4. Kofi Kingston
1. Randy Orton
2. The Miz
4. The Legacy
Match of the Night: John Cena vs. Sheamus **3/4