TD Banknorth Garden
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- We open the show with a recap of the Orton/Triple H/McMahon saga that has unfolded over the last few weeks and then hit our opening animation before heading inside the TD Banknorth Garden, home of YOUR 2008 NBA World Champion Boston Celtics. We are rocking on the road to Wrestlemania as we are 34 days away and we are coming to you live and in high definition. Tonight, Randy Orton makes his championship decision and we also have big news regarding the World Championship. Cole tosses it to Lawler, who is in the ring. GM Vicki Guerrero asked him to make the following announcement and it is the biggest one he has ever made on Raw. Tonight, there will be a World Heavyweight Championship match as Edge will defend his title against John Cena! Off of that, the bagpipes flare up and we see the classic Piper’s Pit set on the ramp but the bagpipes quickly turn into Chris Jericho’s music and he walks out to the set. He wasn’t planning on doing this today, but he welcomes us to Piper’s Pit. He has been berated for disrespecting the legends but tonight he went to great lengths to procure the original Pit set and he will host the show himself. It was a groundbreaking talk show that saw many classic moments, including the infamous Snuka coconut incident and we see a clip of that on the Tron. On that note, Jericho brings out his guest for the night…”Superfly” Jimmy Snuka! Snuka comes out to a nice pop and takes a seat next to Jericho. Snuka gets right in Jericho’s face as Chris talks about the classic footage and classic matches that ensued. He now shows us footage from some of the great Piper/Snuka matches of 1984. Jericho says they looked good back in those days and tells Snuka to wait his turn. He tells Snuka that he is a worthy Hall of Famer but is also a grim reminder of what can happen. He is a poster boy for the Wrestler. Most Hall of Famers are retired, but Snuka is in his mid-60s and still wrestling small shows every weekend across New Jersey. He even entered the Royal Rumble last year, selfishly stealing a spot from a young star just to hear the roar of the crowd one last time. Whatever few functioning brain cells were left in his broken down mind just had to hear the fans one more time. All of the broken down stars are sick in the head and too preoccupied with their egos to pack it in. It is time to give it up and he brought Snuka out here to show the other superstars what they could become if they don’t walk away. They will end up a pathetic disgrace like Snuka. Snuka gets up in Jericho’s face but Jericho tells him he doesn’t have the right to be angry. He tells Snuka he is finished and that nobody cares about him any more. He tells him to pack it in, go home and stay home. Snuka says he doesn’t understand and Jericho says it is obvious he isn’t getting through to anyone. Piper said old school is cool, so Jericho wants to go old school. And he brought a bag of stuff to bring Snuka back to the glory days. Jericho busts out a pineapple and some bananas. He is doing what Piper told him to do…embrace the past. So, he pulls out a coconut and asks Snuka if he wants to relive the past. Snuka grabs the coconut, throws the table down and Jericho begs off, telling Snuka not to disgrace himself. Jericho ducks off behind the set and takes off. Snuka drops to a knee and tosses up the “I Love You” sign as his music plays. However, Jericho isn’t through as he busts through the set and takes Snuka out. He screams at him about being a legend and then stomps away at him. Jericho pulls off his belt and starts whipping Snuka, yelling that he is reliving the old days. Jericho shoves a banana in Snuka’s face and the crowd isn’t too pleased with all of this. Jericho glares at the fans with a smirk on his face as we fade to break.
- We are back and we get a quick replay of the last segment. Back at ringside, Lawler isn’t very pleased and he says Jericho’s actions are inexcusable. The MITB briefcase is hanging high above the ring and our next qualifying match is next.
1) Rey Mysterio vs. Mike Knox vs. Kane in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Rey Mysterio is out first and he is followed by Knox and then Kane. Cole tells us that See No Evil debuts on SciFi Saturday night. He will also be in action on ECW tomorrow night to help pump up the movie debut. The bell sounds as Rey stands on the floor. He slides inside when Knox comes at him. He attacks Kane and then dropkicks Knox back the floor. He and Kane trade shots and Rey punches out of a powerbomb attempt but Knox comes in and sends Rey crashing to the floor stomach first. Knox and Kane take each other out with two big boots to the face and all three men are recovering as we take a break. When we return, Knox is pressing Rey over his knee and Kane is nowhere in sight. Rey knees Knox in the head to break the hold. He ducks a kick and hits the ropes, but Kane trips him up and whips him out to the floor. Kane comes back in but Knox catches him and runs him into the corner. Knox works him over and lands a big splash in the corner. He mares Kane over and grabs a chinlock, but Kane fights to his feet and he takes him over with a big back suplex. Kane gets up but eats a big boot when he charges in. Rey fights back up to the apron and takes Knox over with a springboard huracarrana. He takes Knox down with a bulldog and gets two that was actually a three because Knox forgot to kick out. Knox recovers and puts Rey down for a two count of his own. Knox picks Rey up but Rey swings around and snaps Knox down with a stiff DDT for a near fall that is broken up by Kane. Rey sends Kane into the middle turnbuckle with a flying headscissors. He charges Knox, but Knox tosses him up and over into Kane. He sends Knox into the middle rope but the 619 is intercepted by Kane. He goes for the chokeslam, but Rey slips out and sends Kane into the middle rope. He nails the 619 and springboard seated senton but Knox breaks up the pin. He takes Rey out with the STO, but Kane grabs Knox and crushes him with a big chokeslam for the win. That wasn’t a bad little match as it had no dead spots and Kane and Knox pulled out some good big man moves on each other. Kane d. Knox & Mysterio when he pins Knox with a chokeslam; Grade: 2
- After the match, Kane spikes Rey with a chokeslam and then stares up at the briefcase as we go to break.
- Coming out of break we get a Wrestlemania Moment. This one highlights the Wrestlemania XII Iron match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. We then go backstage where the Grish is with the Heartbreak Kid. He asks Shawn how he expects to defeated the undefeated Vladimir Kozlov. Shawn knows what Kozlov is made of and he says this past year has been the most traumatic of his career. Eleven years ago, in this very building, he headlined Wrestlemania as his back was broken and his career was over. Since his comeback, he has stolen Wrestlemania each and every year. He is the icon, the showstopper and the main event. Tonight, he ends Kozlov’s undefeated streak and then he goes to Wrestlemania to end Undertaker’s as well.
2) Mickie James & Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix & Jillian Hall
Back in the arena, Mickie James is out first and then is joined by Kelly as we go to break. We are back and Melina and Maryse are joining King and Cole at ringside. Kelly and Beth start off as Maryse and Melina jaw a bit. Maryse is so perfect I am already lost with following this match. Beth powerbombs Kelly too close to the corner and she smacks her head hard on the buckle. Maryse says she can’t beat Beth in five minutes and Melina says she heard Maryse is on her back within five minutes of meeting a guy. Jillian works over Kelly but she eats a boot. That allows Kelly makes the tag. Mickie mares Jillian over and hits a low dropkick as Maryse continues to brag. Jillian attempts a handspring elbow but Mickie kicks her in the back. Mickie hits the Thesz press off the middle buckle but Beth breaks up the pin. Mickie tags in Kelly, who gets a sunset flip off the top rope on Jillian for the win. Kelly & Mickie d. Beth & Jillian when Kelly pinned Jillian with a top rope sunset flip; Grade: 1
- Rosa Mendes hops in the ring and attacks Mickie, but Beth breaks that up. They brawl in the ring and Melina gets up on the apron, but Maryse yanks her off and takes her out with a stiff DDT on the floor. Melina is out cold as Maryse prances her hot self around the ring. Cole then sends us to the same video package that we opened the show with. Back live, Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase and a hoard of armed security and men in suits are heading to the ring. Orton will fill us in on his Wrestlemania decision when we return.
- We are back and Orton is set to talk to us. As the winner of the Royal Rumble, he is entitled to a championship match at Wrestlemania. So, he is officially challenging the winner of the John Cena/Edge match. We may have thought that he would challenge Triple H, but that isn’t going to happen. Triple H isn’t going to Wrestlemania, he is going to jail. Tonight, he is pressing charges against Triple H for his assault with a deadly weapon last week. He wanted to fight like men, but Hunter pulled out a concealed sledgehammer and used it on DiBiase and Rhodes and could have potentially ended Orton’s career and life. It is time for Triple H to face the music and he invites him out to chat as very soon, he is going away for a very long time. Hunter and his sledgehammer oblige as he heads out on to the ramp. He tells Orton that his doctors and lawyers say he has a disease called IED and that he isn’t in control of his actions. He wants to make something clear: he is in complete control of his. And Triple H starts powerwalking to the ring, eyes locked on Orton. The security guards all stand in front of Orton as Hunter approaches. Hunter gets in the ring and says this is not about the fans, it is about Orton. Hunter says that Orton needs the story to end with him going to Wrestlemania to beat Hunter for the title. He says this goes back to Evolution. He watched Orton become the youngest champion in history, but the next night he turned on Orton and beat the hell out of him. He only had the belt for a month. He doesn’t run from his past and he has never been a good person. He wasn’t happy for Orton’s success and he made a conscious decision and took his title back. Now Orton has the opportunity to beat Triple H for the title at Wrestlemania and put it all behind him. Yet, Orton makes a conscious choice to run because he is afraid. Deep down inside, Orton knows he doesn’t have what it takes. He can stand in the ring and hide behind everyone while talking tough, but the truth is that Orton is the same little kid carrying Hunter’s bags around in Evolution. He is the same little boy with all of the talent in the world, but ultimately gutless. Orton’s lawyer tells Hunter that his client has nothing left to say. He advises Hunter to turn himself in or be forcibly removed. Hunter doesn’t budge, so security grabs him and start to lead him off before Orton interrupts. They release Hunter and back off and Orton says he thinks he has changed his mind. He won’t face Edge or Cena at Wrestlemania…he will face Triple H. But, under one condition: they settle this at Wrestlemania. If Hunter puts his hands on Orton unless physically provoked, the match is off and charges are pressed. Hunter accepts but Orton has one more thing to say as Triple H walks off. He says it felt great when he kicked the old man in the skull, even better when he did the same to Shane, but when he hit the RKO on Hunter’s wife he replayed it over and over in his head. He can still smell her scent, her skin was so soft and that is what he remembers. He wonders what the last thing Steph remembers after getting her face slammed to the ground. Hunter charges back into the ring and gets in Orton’s face but holds off on hitting him. Hunter says the last time they fought, he broke Orton’s collarbone. That was just business, but this is now personal. He is going to break Orton’s neck. Well, despite Hunter’s heel-esque promo that nearly emasculated Orton that was a hell of a segment and it put a lot of intrigue into the Wrestlemania title match. I will let Hunter’s antics slide due to Orton getting a lot of shots in over the past few weeks and he held his own tonight, but this better not deteriorate into Hunter being the charming heel-face totally bashing Orton on the mic week in and week out.
- Coming out break, the Slam of the Week takes us back seven days to see Shawn Michaels defeating JBL and then getting laid out by Vladimir Kozlov.
3) Shawn Michaels vs. Vladimir Kozlov for the right to challenge Undertaker at Wrestlemania
Shawn is out first to a nice pop and he is followed by Kozlov. As Vlad heads to the ring, we see clips of him defeating Undertaker clean last Friday night to remain undefeated. The two men square off as the bell sounds and Vlad tosses Michaels into the corner. Shawn slips free and they reset. Shawn grabs a side headlock but Vlad pounds out and hammers away at Shawn. Kozlov blocks a sunset flip and hoists Shawn into a bear hug. Shawn claps his way free and then breaks Kozlov down. Shawn locks in a figure four but Vlad quickly reverses the hold to break it. Vlad goes for a chokeslam, but Shawn wriggles free and bails to the floor as we go to break. When we return, Vlad is hammering away at Shawn in the corner. Shawn catches him as he charges in and lays into him with some chops. Kozlov reverses a whip and sends Shawn upside down into the corner. He lays Shawn across the top rope and then rams his back with some headbutts. Vlad hoists Shawn onto his shoulder and plants him with a running powerslam for two. Vlad plants him with a backbreaker and then lifts him back up and drills another. Shawn fights to his feet as the crowd tries to rally him. Vlad pulls him up and locks him in a torture rack. Shawn fights free but Kozlov clubs him down for a near fall. Vlad hammers away at the prone Michaels and then locks in a bear hug. The crowd starts cheering for Michaels again and Shawn starts punching his way out of the hold. He lands some chops but Kozlov shoots him into the ropes. Michaels goes for the flying forearm, but Kozlov headbutts him out of midair for two. Vlad hoists him up and runs him into the corner. He hammers away in the corner and then sits Michaels on the top rope. Vlad follows him up but Shawn fights him off and shoves him back to the mat. Shawn comes off the top and nails the big elbow. He cues up the band as Kozlov gets to his feet. Shawn nails SCM and picks up the hard fought win. That was a pretty good match as Shawn sold like a champ for all of Vlad’s power offense. Michaels d. Kozlov with Sweet Chin Music; Grade: 2.5
- As Shawn celebrates, the lights go down and Undertaker’s music fills the arena. The crowd explodes as Taker emerges and walks out on to the ramp. He and Michaels stare each other down and Taker crosses his throat, which I am guessing is Taker speak for accepting the challenge. Cole tells us that we will find out the next HOF inductee after this break.
- We are back and checking out snowy Boston as Cole and King send us to a 12 Rounds trailer. After that, Cole sends us to the next HOF nominee announcement and this week’s nominee is…”Cowboy” Bill Watts! We get the standard video package and then find out that he will be inducted by Jim Ross as expected. Backstage, the Grish is with Edge. Grish says it is a bit obvious that Edge would put the belt up against Cena just three days after he got knocked out by Big Show on Smackdown. Edge says this has nothing to do with that, he just wanted to face Cena in his hometown so his friends and family could watch Cena’s dream get squashed. By the end of tonight, Edge will let Cena know that the belt is his just like he did on Friday. Edge heads off and we go to break.
- The Watchmen Smackdown Rebound takes us back to Friday when Show knocked out Cena with a huge right hand and a chokeslam. Back live, Edge makes his way out to the ring for our main event.
4) Edge vs. John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship
The crowd is chanting for Cena as Edge stands alone in the ring. The music hits and they get up on their feet as Cena comes home to the arena where he last won the World title in November. These two men also fought here at Summerslam 2006. He charges the ring and everyone is fired up for this big championship match. Lillian even breaks out the big time in ring introductions for this one. The bell sounds as Cena and Edge square off. Cena grabs a side headlock and takes Edge down to start. Edge fights up and reverses the hold, taking Cena down. Edge puts Cena down with a right hand to the jaw but he is able to duck an Edge charge and Edge careens to the floor as we go to our final break. When we return, Edge is cranking in a reverse chinlock. Cena works free but Edge puts him down again and gets a near fall. Edge elbow’s Cena’s surgically repaired neck to keep on the offensive. He hammers at Cena in the corner and then puts him down with a clothesline for two. Cena comes back with a pair of shoulderblocks and a spinning sidewalk slam. Edge avoids the Five Knuckle Shuffle and rolls Cena up for two. Cena goes for the AA, but Edge slips free and hits the Edge-O-Matic for the near fall. Cena ends up on the apron and floats in for a sunset flip attempt, but Edge blocks it and drops an elbow. Cena gets a roll up for two but Edge catches him with a boot and the Edgecution for two. Edge is busting out all the old finishers tonight! Edge heads up top but Cena follows him up. Edge fights out of an AA attempt and sends Cena careening over the post and to the floor with a shove. Cena barely beats the count as he slides in at nine. He turns the tide and hits Edge with a blockbuster. He follows with a top rope rocker dropper and then drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He hoists Edge up for the AA, but Edge slips loose and turns Cena into the Edgecator but Cena grabs the ropes. Edge sets up for the spear, but Cena avoids it and locks Edge in the STF but Edge grabs the ropes. Cena gets to his feet but Edge drills him with a spear for a great near fall. Edge is frustrated and rolls to the floor. He grabs his belt and charges, but Cena hoists him up into the AA. Edge swings the belt and drills Cena with it for the DQ. Man that was shaping up to be a red hot finish before the cheap finish. Cena d. Edge by disqualification; Grade: 3
- Edge sits on the ramp recovering but Big Show appears next to him and stares at Cena before glaring down at Edge. Edge sticks his hand out, but Show refuses to help him up. Vicki Guerrero now comes out and introduces Big Show as the number one contender for Edge's belt at Wrestlemania. The crowd doesn't seem pleased and Edge is sitting in shock as Cena looks on dejectedly. Vicki and Show walk off as we fade out.
Final Grade: B-
MVP: Randy Orton & Triple H Runner Up: Chris Jericho & Jimmy Snuka Non MVP: Rey Mysterio Runner Up: Vladimir Kozlov
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