WWE Champion Randy Orton’s music hit and he came out to the entrance ramp with Cody & Ted in tow.
Orton said the McMahon’s pride themselves in listening to their audience. He said they needed to stop listening and start acting like the fans do. He said these people faced adversity every day, life beats them down and they stay beaten down because all the fans, Orton said, were cowards. He said they paid to watch him do the things he does, like last week, when he put an end to the McMahon era.
A video aired putting over the attack on Shane McMahon last week on the part of the Legacy. Orton said this company now aired around him. Randy announced that Raw GM Vickie Guererro had declared there’s be a no physical contact stipulation until Sunday, and that #1 Contender Batista wouldn’t be allowed to touch him until then. He said while they couldn’t fight, they could talk as Orton then invited Batista to the ring.
Batista came out and Orton said he had to tell something he probably already knew, and it was that Batista wouldn’t win the WWE Championship on Sunday, and not ever. Orton said he’d give him the opportunity to be a member of the Legacy, something he hadn’t offered any non-second generation star. Ted Dibiase got on the mic, and put over how getting kicked might suck in the short run, but it did wonders for his career. At one point, he was nothing, and now he was part of the most elite group in pro wrestling.
Orton said when he and Batista were together, the only thing holding them back was Triple H. Orton said that Batista wouldn’t be the champion, but he’d be on the winning team. Orton put over how Arn Anderson was Ric Flair’s ‘enforcer’ for all those years. He wanted Batista to be his enforcer.
Batista grabbed the mic and said it sounded like a good opportunity and that it all made sense. Batista said there was one problem though, and that was that he didn’t like him. Batista said he wasn’t here to help him, he was there to hurt him.
Orton was irate at Batista before the big man cut him off. All of a sudden Raw GM Vickie Guererro sauntered out to the ramp escorted by Chavo. She said she could care less about the no contact stip. She said if they were so eager, it could be just like last week, and Batista would face Rhodes & Dibiase. If he wins, he gets Randy one on one. If the bad guys win, they get to tag with Orton against Batista in the main event.
Batista v. Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase
Batista hit a pair of hard Irish whips before going for a power slam. Dibiase distracted Batista just long enough for Cody to wiggle out of a power slam attempt and hit a chop block. Dibiase tagged in and immediately went to work on Batista’s legs, hammering away at them with a flurry of boots and knee drops.
Rhodes tagged back into the match and went to work on Batista’s legs himself, before switching things up a bit and working over the neck and the back of the head. Rhodes tagged Dibiase who dragged Batista to his back and slammed his leg off the ring apron. The two stable mates took turns trying to work over Batista’s leg, and thwart any comeback attempts he’d gain.
Eventually, Batista was able to counter an Irish whip and connected with a huge shoulder block that sent the younger Rhodes sprawling across the ring. While Dibiase distracted the ref, Rhodes slid a chair under the bottom rope that was intercepted by the big man. Batista took a swing and missed, but it was just as soon as the official turned around, and he was disqualified quickly.
Winners: Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase via DQ
Divas Champion Maryse is in the ring speaking French. She said if she wasn’t Maryse, she would want to be.
Maryse & Jillian Hall v. Mickie James & Kelly Kelly
Jillian grabbed two arm wringers before Kelly reversed. Kelly hit a nice back somersault and then a front kick before hitting her hurricanranna. Maryse was able to distract her long enough to allow Jillian to get back into the match.
Jillian hit a face buster before tagging in Maryse who slapped on a not so nice camel clutch. Maryse however, wouldn’t let go when Kelly Kelly would fight back. She cheap shotted Mickie before Kelly was able to boot Maryse off and get the hot tag. They traded an awesome whip exchange before Mickie was able to counter out of Maryse’s DDT. James hit a flying thesz press for a great near fall. Maryse staggered to her feet and ate a kick to the gut and an implant DDT. Mickie wins two weeks in a row.
Winners: Kelly Kelly via pin fall
Randy Orton is in the back. Ted interrupted his interview to let him know that he can’t find Cody anywhere. The two take off to go looking for him.
Vickie is in the back with Chavo. Chavo is kind of worried Cena might be milking his injuries. He should compete until Vickie gave him the go ahead to compete at Judgment Day. Vickie likes the idea. She said Cena would compete in an exhibition match against the Miz later tonight.
King and Cole are in the ring and they run down the Judgment Day card.
Dibiase and Orton are looking for Cody and split up. Orton finds Cody who was taking a shower apparently. They hear a crash and rush to find Dibiase, who is laid out on his back. He said Batista got him.
Carlito v. THE Brian Kendrick
Kendrick slapped Carlito before Carlito responded with a big right hand and a back elbow. Kendrick hit a cheap boot to the face and a double stomp before attacking Carlito’s neck. Kendrick flew off the second rope only to eat a boot to the gut. Carlito hit the back elbow/drop kick combo before going for a cover attempt.
Kendrick reversed a whip attempt, and was able to knock Carlito to the ground. Carlito countered an Irish whip, and sent Kendrick in chest first. Kendrick reeled back and Carlito looked for a back stabber, but Kendrick countered and sent him clattering in to the ring post shoulder first. Kendrick caught Carlito on the rebound and rolled him up for the victory.
Winner: THE Brian Kendrick
Kendrick cut a promo after the match, saying he’d be looking for THE tag team partner to take THE tag team titles with.
John Cena v. The Miz
Big Show is sitting on the announce table (yes, ‘on’; not ‘at’).
The Miz is basically running his mouth the entire way down the ramp, trying to get Cena’s attention. Miz continued to run him down up until the bell rang.
Show took Miz down and seemed totally distracted by Big Show. The distraction led to Miz hitting Cena in the ribs and connecting with a back suplex. Miz went to work on the ribs, before breaking out his running clothesline in the corner.
Miz connected with another pair of Irish whips before missing with his clothesline. Cena went immediately into his victory sequence. Cena hit a five knuckle shuffle. He looked for the FU, but Vickie popped up on the titan tron and said she saw enough that Cena clearly wasn’t ready to face the Big Show. Miz hit a DDT, and apparently the match is over.
Big Show eyed Cena through the ropes and then walked off smiling.
Cody is trying to get Orton to go after Batista before he gets them. Orton told him he was right. He ordered Rhodes to find Batista and take him out.
Santina walks in on Chavo and Vickie.. Beth and Rosa walk in later and Vickie wants Santina to get a good luck kiss from Rosa. Santina reveals she’s a lesbian. She makes a piggie noise at Vickie and runs off.
Cody is looking for Batista with a big pipe. He hears a stir in the closet and finds Hornswaggle instead. Batista sneaks up on him and attacks him. He throws him into the closet and closes the door behind him.
Santina Marella v. Beth Phoenix
Marella is enjoying the baby face heat. Beth tattoos her with a forearm and bullied her into the corner and laid some big shots in on her. Santina retreated to the outside where Phoenix guerrilla pressed her back into the ring. They had a little back and forth that culminated in Santina breaking both an abdominal stretch and a full nelson.
Beth slammed Santina to the mat and then raked her back on the mat. Santina grabbed a roll up though and was able to score the pin fall.
Winner: Santina Marella
Josh Matthews wants to know how John Cena will compete at Judgment Day. Cena said he had been going through some hard times, but that doesn’t make him any different from anyone else. He said there were hard times everywhere, but that arena was full tonight and despite everything, people find ways to adapt and overcome. He’d have to do the same. Cena said he’d do better than compete though, he’d win.
MVP’s VIP Lounge
MVP ran down William Regal and then invited him down to the ring. Regal said it was quite revolting that he’d come out to his ring and act as if he owned it. Regal paid his dues and he’s waited his chance to have his turn yet again. He said MVP and the other draft picks came on his show and ignored his tenure and tried to leave him behind in the pecking order.
MVP said Regal was straight up boring. He said unlike him, he doesn’t wait for his turns, he takes them. Regal said MVP perfectly represents the US. He was arrogant, misguided and despised by everyone else in the world.
Matt Hardy’s music hit and he came out to the ring. He said he had been forced to compete despite being injured. He said the board had ignored him since he got here. He started arguing with Regal before Kofi Kingston popped up and jumped Hardy.
Chavo Guererro announced there would be a tag match right now since everyone wanted at each other so bad.
William Regal & Matt Hardy v. MVP & Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston caught a high cross body on Regal for a two count. Hardy was able to use his broken hand to subdue Kofi and Regal almost caught a roll up for the win. Hardy tagged in and hit a series of kicks to the gut before hitting a body slam that earned him a two count.
Hardy slapped on an abdominal stretch, as the crowd tried to rally Kingston. Hardy broke up the comeback with a kick to the gut. Regal tagged in and started working over the mid section. Regal connected with the Regal plex for a two count before tagging Hardy back into the match.
Hardy went back to the abdominal stretch, using Kofi’s knee pads for leverage. Eventually, Kofi was able to break the hold, but Regal tagged in to keep him at bay. Regal hit a back elbow to the gut, and then slapped on a sit out abdominal stretch before moving that into a dragon sleeper.
Kofi caught a sunset flip and then a hurricanranna before sneaking under Regal and hitting the hot tag. MVP reigned right hands into Regals face before hitting a throat thrust and a face buster. MVP hit the ballin’ elbow for a two count. Hardy ended up checking out of the match, leaving MVP in the ring with Regal. MVP hit a play maker for the three count and that’s all she wrote.
Winners: MVP & Kofi Kingston via pin fall
Randy Orton came out and said Batista made his point. He babbled on a bit before Batista’s music hit.
Randy Orton v. Batista
The two went at it right away, and the action quickly spilled to the outside. Batista hit a big spine buster once they were back in the ring and then followed it up with a second. Batista went to ringside and grabbed a chair and began beating the heck out of Orton with it. He capped the attack off with a few shots to the leg. He retrieved the ringside steps from the outside, but before he could maul Orton, he was attacked by Ted & Cody. He took both men out as Orton slithered away. Batista tossed the ring steps at him on the way out.
Winner: Randy Orton via DQ
Show Thoughts— Tonight might not have had the big, spectacular feel, but I’ll be damned if they aren’t booking this show perfectly right now.
For the most part, this is the first time in forever that the mid card seems to have real order and actual stuff going on. MVP seems to be the guy they want to separate out from the pack, but they seem to be building everything more or less around him and its working. William Regal is a perfect foil for him right now and crash booking the Kofi-Matt Hardy deal into the segment tonight was a good move. We got a little more information about all of the characters so again, while the fireworks aren’t exactly going off yet, everyone’s getting camera time and the chance to get over. Even Kendrick and Carlito got a little time and it seems like they’re willing to go forward with a program involving the tag belts.
John Cena seems to be making a really, really hard baby face turn ala Dusty Rhodes, and to be honest, its needed right now. If I were to lodge my biggest complaint about WWE programming in the past few years, its been the lack of strong, genuine baby face characters. It always seems to be the bad guy v. the badder guy. Cena’s been fantastic on the sell in this program with Big Show and frankly, there isn’t a better guy right now to go with to help Cena get to that point.
The main event scene seems to be more or less humming along as well, as they seem very deliberate in their attempt to turn Batista heel. They even went as far as to really drop some hard hints tonight and with each pressing week, Batista is getting more and more uncontrollable. At this rate, I’d suspect they pull the trigger within the next few weeks.
Oddly enough, of all the people that really impressed me tonight, it was Maryse, who I felt single-handedly took a really bad Divas match and her presence and charisma really helped carry things through to the finish, even with a well-built near fall plopped in there for good measure. Mickie was fantastic as the fired up baby face, but I’ve seen a ton of matches where no matter how good Mickie’s offense might be, it can’t make up for zero build leading up to that hot tag. Its just a taste of how good both Maryse and Mickie can be with competent opponents.
After that though, I’m pretty much at a loss. The booking, for the first time in recent memory, is really on target and I’m a big fan of nearly every single match up they have here. They seem to be doing the right things. While the fireworks aren’t here YET, they will be should the WWE stick to this plan.
Overall Grade: B-
Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase def. Batista
Mickie James & Kelly Kelly def. Maryse & Jillian Hall
The Brian Kendrick def. Carlito
John Cena v. The Miz went to a no contest
Santina Marella def. Beth Phoenix
MVP & Kofi Kingston def. William Regal & Matt Hardy
Randy Orton def. Batista
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
3. John Cena
4. Shane McMahon
1. Randy Orton
2. Vickie Guererro
3. Big Show
4. Matt Hardy
Match of the Night: MVP/Kingston v. Regal/Hardy *3/4
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
1. WWE Champion: Randy Orton 7-3-3, 17 pts. (Last Week: WWE Champion)— I thought Orton had a good night tonight all things considered. He’s been so strong the last few weeks, that booking him a little weaker at least fora week to segue him into the main event works.
United States Champion: MVP 1-1-1, 2 Points (Last Week: US Champion)— He seems to be the guy they really want to set apart from the rest of the pack in the mid card. His punches tonight were seriously great.
1. Triple H 1-2-0, 1 Point (Last Week: 1)— Not in action.
2. John Cena 9-6-2, 21 points. (Last Week: 2)— I like the fact that Cena’s going hard Dusty Rhodes baby face. A big problem in wrestling these days its that its bad guys v. Badder guys, so having a strong top hard babyface act is a smart move. Being booked against the Big Show will make it easier to pull off.
3. Shawn Michaels 6-3, 10 pts. (Last Week: 3) — Not in Action.
4. Batista 3-4, 5 Points (Last Week: 4)— He technically lost two matches tonight, but his freak out at the end of the night was worth keeping him here. They really seem to be planting seeds everywhere that he’s going to go heel.
5. Cody Rhodes 7-2-1, 9 points (Last Week: 5) — I like the continued character development route they’re going with right now. In a few weeks though, they’ll have to start booking these two to be a bit stronger in their matches. Their records are great, but the credibility needs to come along with it.
6.Ted Dibiase, Jr. 7-1-2, 8 Points (Last Week: 6)— See Cody.
7. Kofi Kingston 8-3, 13 points (Last Week: 7)— He’s working with exactly the kinds of people he needs to be working with right now. They seemingly have him ‘right’ for the time being. Onus is now on him to improve.
8. Matt Hardy 3-3-0, 4 Points (Last Week: 8) – – I’ve really enjoyed whiny heel Matt Hardy thus far. He’s got a simple, but very effective shtick right now, that so far, has worked.
9. Big Show 1-1-0, 2 Points (Last Week: 9)— Quiet week from Show this week. I’m really looking forward to see what he and Cena are able to pull off on pay per view.
10. The Miz 0-1-1, 0 Points (Last Week: 10)— More strong mic work and a nice put over from Cena without taking a fall. Still, its not a win, but its strong enough to keep him in the top 10.
Chavo Guererro 0-1-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Mr. Kennedy 0-0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Hornswaggle 0-0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Primo Colon 1-0-0, 1 Points (Last Week: NR)
Carlito Colon 2-1-0, 3 Points (Last Week: NR)
Brian Kendrick 1-2-0, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Festus 0-0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
William Regal, 3-6, 4 points (Last Week: NR )
Santino Marella 1-2, 2 points (Last Week:NR)
Sim Snuka 1-0, 1 Point (Last Week: NR)
Jamie Noble 0-2, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Kane 7-7, 12 Points DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN
Mike Knox 3-3 4 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
JTG 2-4, 2 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Big Shaad 2-3 2 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Charlie Haas 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Dolph Ziggler 0-3, 0 Points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
CM Punk 9-7, 17 Points DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN
Rey Mysterio 11-6, 22 Points DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN
Chris Jericho 6-6 13 pts. DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN
JBL 1-6, 4 points (Last Week: 7) RETIRED