A video putting over the Randy Orton-Triple H feud aired. They announced a 2 on 1 handicapped match for tonight with Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibaise taking on Triple H.
Shawn Michaels’ music hit and he came out to the ring. Michaels came out and put over a video package he made for the Undertaker of his most historic Wrestlemania moments. Michaels says he respects the Undertaker, but isn’t afraid of him. He may be 16-0 at Wrestlemania, but HBK, not Taker, is ?Mr. Wrestlemania?. Streaks are meant to be broken, all good things must come to an end and nothing lasts forever. He said at Wrestlemania, something would have to give. The lights went out and a video package putting over the Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania.
Taker popped up behind Michaels. He knew he was there and said he wanted to hear what he had to say. Taker said he fought many people he respected, and they all fell. He said Shawn’s arrogance, as usual, clouded his judgment Michaels said he doesn’t have to justify facing anyone at Wrestlemania, innovating the ladder match, wrestling an hour and retiring Ric Flair. Taker said he had some epic wins, but he also had some bitter defeats. He said that dream he had of beating him at Wrestlemania was just that. A dream.
He said Michaels concerned himself with winning matches and ending streaks. He said he should be more worried about what he’d do to his soul. He wouldn’t need to out perform him or ‘steal the show’, all he’ll need to do is step into the ring for Shawn to realize how dangerous the Undertaker is. He said he should be careful what he wished for.
Shawn cut him off and said the fact remains, that he’s never beaten him, and he never will. He d ropped the mic and walked off.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
CM Punk v. JBL
Punk grabbed a side headlock, only to eat a JBL shoulder block. JBL pummeled the champion to the corner before Punk ducked under a bit boot and he started connecting with a ton of kicks. Punk snap mared the Texan for a two count, but JBL kicked out.
Punk tried to lay in some forearms and some icks on the former WWE champion before looking for a running kick. JBL grabbed a weak sleeper hold, only for Punk to wiggle out and nail a knee in the corner. JBL avoided the Bulldog and rolled to the outside only for Punk to leap to the outside with a tope.
JBL caught Punk with a fall away slam for a two count. After laying in some big knees in the corner, JBL hit a clothesline for a two count. After plopping Punk on the top rope, JBL ate some fists to the face only for Punk to drag a tornado DDT and connect for a near fall. Punk laid in some more kicks and hit a forearm.
Punk hit a wheel kick of the ropes and despite missing the high knee, hit his spring board lariat. Punk hit the knee against and finally hit the running bulldog only for JBL to still kick out. Punk hit a kick to the gut and went for the GTS, only for JBL to rake the champion’s eyes. JBL rolled out, hit the clothesline f rom hall and got the big pin fall for the title.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: JBL via pin fall
JBL celebrated with the title after the match.
JBL’s in the back with Vickie Guererro. He thanked her for doing him the favor and putting him in that match. Vickie said he was quite welcome. He just needed to remember to repay his favor….Edge showed up and wanted to know what John Cena said. Vickie said it wasn’t important. Edge just wanted to sign his Wrestlemania contract.
Randy Orton is with his wife at home. Cole asked him why he violated their agreement. Orton said he didn’t violate anything. He asked for the tape to be replayed f rom Smackdown this past Friday night.
Orton said it wasn’t a violation, it was restraint. He could have RKO’d or punted Triple H, but he didn’t. He said he was proud that he had the self control necessary to take his rightful place at the main event of Wrestlemania. He said Triple H might show up on Raw tonight even. He said every time Triple H shows up, he’ll take a little more out of him. He’d leave just enough so he can defend that championship at Wrestlemania.
Cole said they’d come back to Orton later this show.
The Smackdown and Raw Divas are out around the ring to support their champions.
Melina v. Maryse
Melina hit a leg sweep and immediately grabbed Maryse’s leg. Maryse missed a enzeguiri but was able to push Melina to the outside. The Smackdown Divas whipped her back into the ring where Maryse spiked her head off the mat and then slapped on a mean looking camel clutch.
After breaking the hold, Melina fought back with some kicks and slaps. She spiked Maryse hard off the mat before setting her up in the corner and hitting the double stomp. She went for a charge but missed by a mile and got PLOWED into the mat head first by Maryse for the three count.
Winner: Maryse via pin fall
After the match, the Maryse kind of threw it in Melina’s face a bit. The bragging provoked Rosa, who flew into the ring ahead of the Raw Divas. A huge brawl ensued.
The Smackdown rewind aired.
Vickie Guererro is in the ring. She announced a Divas battle royal for Wrestlemania that will feature divas f rom Smackdown, Raw, ECW and the past.
She then went on to get us ready for the WM contract signing. Big Show came out followed by World Champion Edge. Edge said he was at Wrestlemania VI. He said that he knew Show was better than the Warrior and he knew that he himself, was greater than Hulk Hogan. He said he didn’t care if the people liked them or not, they’re the top two superstars in the WWE today. Edge said they needed to put the past in the past and concentrate on making history at Wrestlemania.
Show said he was glad to hear him say that and he agreed with him 100%. Both signed the contract before John Cena’s music hit and he came out to the ring.
Edge wanted to know why John was here and Vickie Guererro looks guilty. Edge said he wasn’t in this match before he turned to Vickie and asked her if she had told him. Edge and Show were about to go after Cena until Vickie stopped them. She said out of fairness to the fans, she added John Cena to the match.
Edge and Show flipped out before Cena stopped them. He said he came to the ring last week because he had to tell Vickie something before it all became official. That he loved her. The crowd was shocked. Cena said he wanted two things. The belt and Vickie’s love. He walked up the ramp. Edge was going bananas and he stopped Cena and said Cena tried to worm his way into the match.
Cena said Edge was right. He was repulsed by Vickie. He said he told her Raw was in Boston. He had a lot of friends. Ticket takers. Vendors… also the guys who work security cameras. A video showed with Vickie kissing Big Show. After it was over, Cena said Vickie had some explaining to do. Edge was shocked. Big Show looked embarrassed and Vickie was sobbing.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Chris Jericho v. Kofi Kingston
The two criss crossed before Jericho hit a shoulder block. Kofi hit a flying back elbow and a d rop kick that sent Jericho to the corner. Kofi flew at Jericho and hit some punches before he got power bombed hard to the mat for a two count.
We came back to Jericho in full control with a sleeper. Kofi fought out of the hold and landed some strikes and went for a cross body and connected, but Jericho rolled through for a two count. Kofi shot up after the kick out and Kofi went for a boom boom leg d rop. Jericho shoved him back and went for the Walls. Kofi bounded off the ropes only to get hit with an enzeguiri for a two count.
Jericho followed up the near fall with a bulldog and went for the lion sault, but Kofi moved out of the way. Kofi hit the boom boom leg d rop and went for a pin fall but Jericho kicked out. Kofi went for trouble in paradise but Jericho caught him and locked on the Walls of Jericho. Kofi struggled for the ropes only for a big ‘woooo’ to ring out over the loudspeaker. Ric Flair walked out to the ramp and stared at Jericho. It distracted long enough for Kingston to hit trouble in paradise for the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston via pin fall
Kingston celebrated with Flair on the ramp as Jericho looked on.
Randy Orton is live via satellite. Grisham asked why he wasn’t at Raw. Orton said he wouldn’t tempt himself and he isn’t always in control of his actions. He wasn’t hiding. He was showing restraint. Orton was interested to see what’d happen with Triple H tonight.
Jericho says Ric Flair took away his Wrestlemania moment away. He dared Flair to come out of retirement and face him next week on Raw. He said he had his chance to relive his glory days and step into the spotlight. He said just like Micky Rourke’s character in ?The Wrestler?, his story would end forever.
Hall of Fame announcement time! The next member is: Koko B Ware.
Kane, John Morrison & The Miz v. Rey Myserio, Christian and Finlay
Miz slapped a headlock on Christian before Christian whipped him and hit a wheel kick. He choked Miz out on he ropes before hitting his reverse DDT for a two count. Miz fought back with a kick and tagged in Kane. Kane missed aright hand but blocked an Irish whip. He hit a whip only to eat an elbow. Christian looked for a sunset flip but Kane fought it off and tossed Christian to the corner.
Kane hit a huge power slam for a one count. Morrison tagged in and connected with some right hands before hitting a running knee to Christian’s face. Miz tagged in and he got a near fall out of a double gut buster. He slapped on a rear chin lock that Christian fought out of. Miz missed a follow up on the knee and Finlay got the hot tag.
Finlay hit some clotheslines and cleaned out the heels before capping off the run with a big double clothesline on the tag champions. Rey Mysterio tagged in and hit a cross body on Morrison before loading Morrison up on the top rope and hitting a hurricanranna that would have won him them match had Miz not broken it up. Rey fought off Miz and went for a 619, but Kane caught him off. Christian and Finlay fought off Kane and Rey connected with the 619 and a west coast pop for the win.
Winner: Rey Mysterio, Christian & Finlay via pin fall
Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase are on their way to the ring.
Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase came out to the ring to face Triple H, but he didn’t show up… Rhodes and Dibiase won as the result of a forfeit.
Randy Orton popped up and was furious. He said he wanted Triple H to actually show up. There was a knock on the door and Orton’s wife screamed as Triple H came through it with a sledge hammer. Orton ran off.
Triple H stalked through the house looking for Orton. He went through the kitchen, into the laundry room and even upstairs. Finally, Orton leapt out f rom under the stairs and jumped the Game. They fought into a living room where triple h hit him with a picture frame and tossed him into the wall behind the couch. Triple H threw him through the window as the police sirens whaled in the background. Triple H beat the heck out of Orton on his front lawn before the cops intervened. They arrested Triple H as Orton went berserk. He tried to attack Triple H himself as he got into the cop car. The cops separated the two and dragged Orton into the house. Triple H is the police cruiser as we go off the air.
Show Thoughts— Good show tonight.
The pacing and overall organization of the segments tonight was as good as they’ve done in a while and everything that needed the time got it. I thought all the major segments were at least a little strong and while we didn’t get any blow-away matches or anything, the action we did get was fun stuff. Overall, it made for a solid effort.
I expect the Orton-HHH segment to draw a mixed reaction. Yes, it did feel a little re-hashed, but people also forget that it’s been almost 12 years since the Austin-Pillman home invasion, so its not like the angle isn’t fresh to the vast majority of the audience. The execution was pretty good although I felt like there were a few missed opportunities to get some more heat on Orton, particularly in using his wife to maybe defend her husband a bit and add to the general unlikeability factor of it all. Cowboy Bob would’ve been great here taking a few bumps as well. Despite that though, it all worked out in the end, and I think it was a strong showing. Orton might have looked a little cowardly on the surface, but his character is SO MUCH more complex than just the various things he does that it all comes into play in one way or the other.
The Taker-HBK promo was dynamite tonight for being so ‘foundational’ in nature. I think the thing that is often overlooked in big programs is the necessity of defining characters and giving us reasons as to why the match is important and what, at the core of their being and in the context of the feud, the major traits we should focus on. Taker’s pointing out of Shawn’s arrogance often getting the best of him, Shawn firing back by knocking how people shouldn’t be as afraid as they are and that this time Taker won’t be able to rely on that trick… all good stuff. We got the reasons why we’re here and why its important, which gives them a tremendous base with which to work off of in the coming weeks.
The triple threat segment was so bizarre and convoluted that it really worked. Everyone really did a great job in their roles and Cena especially, as a guy who has good content in his promos, but not always the best delivery, really stuck out tonight, carrying a promo that was really dependent on delivery, so that’s worth tipping a cap to. It freshens up the typical approach to Edge feuds and gives us a reason to inject a little ‘feeling of displeasure’ amongst the three: Edge angry at Show for messing around with his wife, Show at Cena for blowing the secret and Cena for getting his title back. Everyone’s got motive to do bad stuff to each other now, which I think will make this more interesting.
The Jericho stuff on the surface is a bit concerning, just because he doesn’t have an opponent yet, but he’s been solid enough in his promos to at least compensate for that and at least keep me curious as to the direction they should go. I think the opponent will be ‘less sexy’ than what people are thinking, but I think in the end, there’s just so many ways they can go with it, that the ‘on the fly’ nature of everything really isn’t as bad as it might appear.
The show overall was a strong one and despite not having any real high-end action, delivered big time in presenting the programs and doing a lot of the ground work that hasn’t been done yet. So I’m interested to see where this goes. Strong showing tonight, even if it might not have been everyone’s cup of tea.
Overall Grade: B
JBL def. CM Punk to WIN the Intercontinental Championship
Maryse def. Melina
Kofi Kingston def. Chris Jericho to qualify for Money in the Bank
Rey Mysterio, Christian & Finlay def. The Miz, John Morrison & Kane
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. John Cena
2. Shawn Michaels
3. The Undertaker
4. Rey Mysterio
1. Vickie Guererro
3. Chris Jericho
4. Big Show
Match of the Night: JBL v. CM Punk, **
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
Intercontinental Champion: JBL 1-3, 4 points (Last Week: 6)- – I’m very interested to see where they go with Layfield, considering his mic work is so strong and that he’s the kind of guy that won’t blow you away in the ring, but can get feuds over so effectively. Definitely worth keeping an eye on in the next couple of weeks.
1. Randy Orton 4-2, 9 pts. (Last Week: 1)— They rehashed the Pillman-Austin sequence f rom 12 years ago and all in all, it worked pretty well I thought. I’d have liked to have seen them incorporate Randy’s wife in a bit, but other than that, this moved along nicely this week.
2. Shawn Michaels 5-2, 9 pts. (Last Week: 2) — Great promo with him and the Undertaker tonight. Laid out the importance of the match, ramifications and some of the key qualities about the two that will warrant attention. Taker’s off delivery wasn’t even a problem.
3. John Cena 5-4, 12 points. (Last Week: 3)— For as fantastically ridiculous as that whole segment was, it was odd that the guy who struggles with delivery was able to carry it so well and Cena did just that tonight. It’ll be interesting to see where they head with all of this long term.
4. Rey Mysterio 5-5, 9 Points (Last Week: 5) — Again, the center of attention in a big multi man match. He’s easily the best worker on the roster without anything to do at Wrestlemania, so here’s hoping they find something for him to do. Guy’s earned it.
5. Chris Jericho 2-4 3 pts. (Last Week: 4)— God his facial expression after losing was pretty great. I’d like to see some refined direction in his feud, but for the most part, he’s doing ok.
6. CM Punk 4-5, 9 Points (Last Week: Intercontinental Champion)— I’m kind of interested to see where they’re heading with Punk. He seems like a guy who could head to Smackdown, could be an outside shot to win MITB. I’m not really down on him losing the IC title, as I don’t think it helped nor hurt him to be champion really. While he seems a little ‘down’ lately, I’d keep an eye on him.
7. Kane 4-3, 5 Points (Last Week: 9) — I thought Kane was ok tonight. He’s very much all over the chart but now that it seems a spot in WM is settled, he seems pretty motivated.
8. Cody Rhodes 4-0, 4 points (Last Week: 7) — Marginally used tonight, can’t can’t a forfeit in their favor.
9.Ted Dibiase, Jr. 3-0, 3 Points (Last Week: 8)— See Cody.
10. Kofi Kingston 2-3, 4 points (Last Week: NR) — Strong week for Kofi. Jericho seems to be good at reigning Kofi’s spots over than others. Looked better tonight than he has in a while.
Mike Knox 3-3 4 points (Last Week: 10)
William Regal, 3-4, 4 points (Last Week: NR )
Batista 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Santino Marella 0-1, 0 points (Last Week:NR)
Sim Snuka 1-0, 1 Point (Last Week: NR)
JTG 2-4, 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Big Shaad 2-3 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Jamie Noble 0-2, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Dolph Ziggler 0-1, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)