Vince McMahon’s music hit and he came out to the ring.
McMahon cut a promo on Bret Hart and began slamming him saying he?d never invite him back to the WWE. He said he did it for the people, because the fans wanted to remember him as he was, the excellence of execution. He said the way Bret ?is? now, is a broken down old warhorse. Vince said Bret was like a disease and he had to make a business decision.
Vince said people could boo all they wanted, but they were all hypocrites and they knew it. Vince bemoaned the fans never being happy and said that he didn?t make the decision, but the fans made it.
The Undertaker’s music hit and the lights went out and he strolled out to the ring. Vince tried to talk, but Taker cut him off saying it was his time to speak now. Taker put over how he was there in Montreal. He said he saw the fear in his eyes then and he sees it now. He said Vince screwed Bret Hart. Not once, but twice. He said now, he’s terrified of the consequences. He said Vince acted like a coward.
Vince said he disagreed, but it was Taker’s time and he scampered off out of the ring. Taker began running down Shawn Michaels saying how disingenuous he was. He said Michaels had been calling him out for a month and Taker wanted to deliver the answer in person. HBK’s music hit and he came down to the ring.
Michaels said he wanted his answer. Taker admitted Michaels came closer than anyone else, but he still failed. Taker said all this year would bring would be bitter disappointment for him. Taker said he has nothing to prove to him and that his answer was ?no?. He said however, he?d give Michaels an opportunity to face him tonight. Michaels retorted that he would refuse that opportunity, but to him, it was clear what he had to do. Michaels said he?d win the Royal Rumble, and when he did, he?d challenge the Undertaker for the belt.
Sheamus vs. Evan Bourne
Sheamus rushed Bourne into the corner and began hammering away at him with right hands as Orton began to stroll down the ring ramp. Sheamus was distracted just long enough for Bourne to mount a counter-offensive. Bourne caught a near fall with his double knees off the top rope but the champion kicked out.
Sheamus hit a one-handed back breaker and a running boot before loading Bourne up with a Celtic cross for the win.
Winner: Sheamus via pin fall
Randy Orton got into the ring after the match and Sheamus posed with the belt.
Don Johnson is with DX in the back. He can?t find John Heder. Triple H told him not to worry, because Heder was kind of an idiot. Triple H said they had a little thing? it was no big deal. Don Johnson should just host on his own. He tells John to have a fun time. Johnson walks off and finds Carlito, dressed up like Napoleon Dynamite.
Jack Swagger came out to the ring, and declared that last week was a fluke. He called Santino Marella out to the ring. Marella came out dressed as Don Johnson. He said there was nothing more Santino would like to do than throw him over the top rope again. Santino said he was President of the Italian Don Johnson fan club, so he was busy. He said however, he found a substitution.
Jack Swagger vs. Mark Henry
Swagger nervously circled Henry who is smiling. Swagger hit some right hands but they had no effect. Henry picked up Swagger with a military press and tossed him like a bag of trash to the floor. Swagger is beside himself.
Winner: Mark Henry via pin fall
A limo has pulled up to the arena. The Bella Twins step out with John Heder. Heder’s speaking to someone in the car and tells them to wait until he calls them to the ring.
John Heder and Don Johnson came out to the ring to a decent pop. Heder is kind of a heel here. He makes some Lane Kiffen jokes before bringing the Miz out. Heder is overly excited about Mizanan being in the ring and it’s pretty great. Miz put both guys over saying it was nice to having celebrities, real ones, hosting the show tonight.
Miz said he got a text message today that said Triple H thought Johnson should host the show on his own. Miz said Johnson WAS what Miz is now, the hottest thing on television. Miz started knocking Tubbs. On Raw, he called him something else, MVP. The guy who thought he could compete on someone else’s level.
MVP’s music hit and he came out to the ramp. MVP put over the Miami kinship between him and Johnson. He was sorry that he had to be in the ring with Miz and Heder. MVP said he was in the Rumble, and if he did nothing else, he?d throw Miz over the top rope. In fact, why wait now? He was going to throw both Heder and Miz over the top rope.
Miz and MVP squared off together only for Big Show’s music to hit. MVP got sandwiched and KO punched. Show came into the ring as Miz backed up. Heder cut them off letting us know Show was just an insurance policy. He was making them a tag team tonight and they?d face DX in the main event.
John Cena & Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase
Cena locked up with Cody Rhodes and flung him across the mat. Dibiase tags in and squares off with Cena. The two locked horns again only for Cena to cuff him with a right hand. Cena began whipping him all over the ring and spiked him with a bulldog for a two count.
Cena hammered on Dibiase’s back only to eat a kick to the shoulder. Rhodes tagged in and started stomping on Cena’s shoulder. Rhodes worked over Cena in the corner before Dibiase choked him out in the corner. Dibiase punched away on Cena’s forehead only for Cena to fire back with punches. Cena missed the follow up on an Irish whip attempt and at a lariat for a two count.
Kofi got the hot tag and hit some drop kicks before loading up a boom boom leg drop. Kingston hit some mounted punches in the corner only to get distracted so the heels could regain control.
Rhodes hit a standing drop kick on Kofi for a two count. After a double team, Rhodes hit a body slam before lining up a knee, but he whiffed and crashed into the canvas. Kingston looked for the tag, only for Dibiase to attempt to cut him off. Dibiase whiffed only to tag in Cody who saves the day. Dibiase tags back in and slapped on the rear chin lock as Kofi tried to fight back. Kofi fought out of the hold only for Dibiase to cut him off again. After a great struggle to break the two free, Kofi finally hit the tag to Cena.
Cena hit his shoulder blocks and running shoulder block before lining up a five knuckle shuffle. Cena loaded up an FU, but Cody countered out with a side Russian leg sweep. Cena reversed an Irish whip and ate an elbow in the face. Cody whiffed on a bulldog and Cena connected with an FU only for Dibiase to break up the near fall. Kofi blind tagged to Cena and came sailing off the top rope as Dibiase dodged him, causing Kofi to hit Cody with the cross body block for the win.
Winners: John Cena & Kofi Kingston via pin fall
Big Show, Miz and Hornswoggle are in the back with Heder. Hornswoggle is challenging Heder to a match, at least from Triple H’s translation he did. Heder and Hornswoggle are added to the match to make it a six man.
Gail Kim & Eve Torres vs. Maryse & Alicia Foxx
Gail attempted a roll up right off the bat before whipping Maryse to the corner and hitting a drop kick for a two count. Gail hit some strikes only for Maryse to reverse it. Alicia interfered a bit allowing Maryse to knock her to the outside. Maryse hit some forearms and a back breaker for a two count.
Alicia tagged in and the two heels slammed Kim before Foxx went to work. Alicia hit a tilt a whirl back breaker on Gail, before missing the axe kick. She missed a clothesline in the corner before Eve tagged in. Alicia hit a nice boot to the face only for Gail to dodge and hot tag Eve.
Eve missed a first drop kick but hit the second. Eventually the action spilled to the turn buckles where Eve came off with a cross arm breaker submission for the win.
Winners: Gail Kim & Eve Torres via submission
Don Johnson and Heder are arguing in the back. Miz and Show tell him he?ll be fine.
Randy Orton vs. Chris Masters
Sheamus came out to the ringside area to keep an eye on the match.
Orton locked up with Masters who flat backed him to the mat. Orton caught Masters with a boot to the gut as Masters staggered back. Masters looked for a master lock only for Orton to wiggle out. Orton had a whip reversed and hit a boot coming in.
Orton charged Masters only to get caught in a running power slam. Orton came back with an inverted back breaker. He went for an RKO only to get caught in a master lock. Orton nearly went out and after a fun struggle, Orton reached the ropes and broke the hold. Masters moved in for the kill, only for Orton to nail him with an RKO for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton via pin fall
Sheamus jumps in the ring after the match and boots Orton in the face, knocking him out.
The Miz, Big Show and John Heder vs. DX & Hornswoggle
Miz hit a shoulder breaker and a reverse DDT for a two count. Big Show tagged in and picked Michaels up off the floor and dropped him with a side slam for a two count. Miz tagged up and lined up a big boot on Michaels in the corner before Michaels reversed him and hit some chops. The two charged each other and hit double clotheslines, flat backing both.
Michaels hot tagged Hornswoggle who hit a running drop kick and then got murdered by Miz. Heder wants in and takes the tag. Heder kicks Hornswoggle but badly misses the follow up in the corner. Hornswoggle bites Heder in the backside before tagging in Triple H. Triple H corners Heder who is thrown back into the ring by Don Johnson. Heder takes a big punch to the forehead before Big Show comes rumbling in. Michaels KO’s him with a super kick and Big Show falls on top of Heder. Michaels kicks MIz off the apron before Hornswoggle tags back in and hits the tadpole splash for the win.
Winners: DX via pin fall
After the match, Triple H and Michaels try to have their ?talk?, but John Cena comes out and interrupts them. He said he was in the Royal Rumble two years ago and won. This year, he said, he?d win again. Big Show made his way back into the wing and decided to show everyone why he?d win and a brawl ensued. Show got clotheslined out by John Cena before DX tossed Cena over the top rope. Triple H then chucked Michaels over the top and announced that he?d be in the Royal Rumble, too, and that Michaels would have to find another way to face the Undertaker.
Show Thoughts– To start, thanks everyone for being patient. We?re finally back to business as usual. There, that’s done.
Raw was pretty decent tonight, especially in terms of what we got in the ring. If there’s one good thing to come out of this whole deal with TNA ?pushing? the WWE, its that the WWE is picking up it’s game a bit just in case. From a fun divas match to a REALLY good tag match between Cena/Kofi and the Legacy, we got plenty to be happy with.
I?m a little undecided as to how I feel about a second Michaels-Taker match. It’s going to be nearly impossible to top last year’s match and to be honest, if they ARE flirting with ending Taker’s streak, Michaels isn?t the guy to burn that card on. Michaels is 44, has two bad knees, is cross eyed from punishment and has his famously horrible back. There’s only so much they can get out him. I?m not opposed to the idea of Taker jobbing at Mania, but you?d figured it?d be against a guy who’s going to be a player for years to come. The Michaels rematch however, DOES throw fans for a loop a bit, and I think there’s a little added suspense that might not have been there last year. Either way, you?ve got to figure the WWE’s a bit frustrated at the situation as they were hoping they would push a younger kid in the Rumble, and now they?re going back to a guy who’s last Rumble win was 13 years ago.
What’s disheartening I suppose, is the fact that the booking is just really, really lazy. Do the WWE have anyone who is ready for that spot that’s a young gun? No. But that doesn?t mean you can?t find a stop gap that’s fresh and can buy you some time. Why not a guy like Christian? He won?t be a central to the company kind of guy, and I don?t think anyone’s making the case that he should. But we DO know he’s over, he’s a fantastic wrestler and can cut a heck of a promo. Positioning him to win would be easy, considering how strong he’s made to be on the ECW brand. Sure, he’s not a guy you tack the label of ‘star of the company? on, but he’s a guy that buys you extra time to get younger guys that have higher upside over. Plus, he’s a guy who can job the belt to them without having to burn through a big match with a Cena, Orton, Taker, Triple or Shawn Michaels. He’s not the ‘solution?, but more of a ?bridge to the solution?. Anything is better than the laziness they?ve got going on right now.
Sheamus is definitely getting the ?going to be a main eventer for a long time who needs to get over quick?. Angle got Taker, Triple H and the Rock in his first run while Chris Jericho, a year later, got the Rock and Austin in succession. Now Sheamus is getting Cena and Orton back to back. Obviously, they?re putting him over pretty big, but I don?t know if he’s going to be ready to headline a Wrestlemania in time. While he may be the guy tentatively slated for the main event, I still think it’s a big question as to whether or not he?ll get there. IMO, THIS is the guy who should have faced Taker at WM.
The Miz is so clearly the best mid carder on this show right now that it’s almost disappointing to see how little progress his contemporaries have made. He’s comfortable on the mic, improving slowly but steadily in the ring, and all in all, seems to be on the right track. Still, it’s too early to push him.
Overall, a fun show, but this brand SO feels like it’s caught in the doldrums right now, it’s not even funny.
Overall Grade: B-
Sheamus def. Evan Bourne
Mark Henry def. Jack Swagger
John Cena & Kofi Kingston def. The Legacy
Gail Kim & Eve Torres def. Maryse & Alicia Foxx
Randy Orton def. Chris Masters
DX def. The Miz, Big Show & John Heder
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 & Kofi Kingston vs. The Legacy ***