St. Louis. MO
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- We kick off the show with the opening animation before we hit up the Scottrade Center where we are live and in high definition. Cole and King welcome us to Raw and run down tonight’s action as John Cena will go at it with Chris Jericho tonight. Lillian Garcia then brings out Shane McMahon, who dances his way to the ring and he has some explaining to do, I think. As he hits the ring, we get a recap video package from last week’s happenings surrounding Orton, Legacy and the McMahons. Shane says that last week, he was approached by Orton’s legal team and he was surprised by what they had to say. They said that Randy Orton wants to face Shane at No Way Out and he has accepted the offer. The contracts have been executed and the match will be No Holds Barred. Shane won’t be out there to pin Orton, he will be there to get payback. Orton’s audacity to threaten an injunction to cancel Wrestlemania will now cost him as Shane will risk his body to ensure that Orton can’t compete at Wrestlemania, despite his impressive Royal Rumble win. Well, that was the straw that broke the viper’s back as Randy Orton emerges at the top of the ramp. Orton says that Shane seems pretty sure of himself, but after what Shane pulled off last week, he should be. Orton wonders if Shane stopped and asked himself how he single handedly beat up the top three superstars in WWE. Orton says Shane didn’t do it and Orton made a decision that the Legacy would not fight back as soon as they saw Shane head down. Orton tells him to watch the footage and see that none of the three fought back, they just scuffled a bit. Orton says he wasn’t looking at Shane last week; he was looking at the entire Raw roster ready to attack the Legacy and impress the bosses. He wasn’t going to let his odds go from three on one to twenty on three. It was a small price to pay for what he truly wanted: a match with Shane at No Way Out and it is now official. He can do whatever he wants with no consequences. He says Shane should call the hospital that Vince is in and get a bed ready so his father will have some company. Orton slowly walks to the ring and then stops and heads back up the ramp. He stops again and heads back towards the ring as Shane preps for a fight. Rhodes and DiBiase suddenly charge the ring, but Shane pulls out a kendo stick from under the apron and smacks them both, sending them scurrying. The Legacy heads backstage as Shane stands alone in the ring and we go to break.
1) CM Punk & Mickie James vs. William Regal & Layla
We are back and the over CM Punk and the lovely Mickie James are heading to the ring for our opening match. Cole tells us that Regal has invoked his rematch clause for next week’s show. Punk and Regal start things off and Regal grabs a side headlock. He follows with a shoulderblock but Punk comes back with a leg lariat. Punk lands a pair of kicks and Regal scurries over and tags in Layla. Punk goes to tag Mickie, but that allows Regal to charge and take Punk out. Mickie comes in and Regal tries to intimidate her as Layla comes in with a cheap shot. Mickie fires back and they end up hitting a double clothesline. Punk rallies the crowd as both ladies make tags. Punk hammers away at Regal with forearms and kicks. He drills Regal with a roundhouse kick to the head and a knee to the face. Regal bails to the floor and uses Layla as a shield, but Mickie couldn’t care less and she dives out onto Layla with a Thesz Press. Punk comes out on the apron and Regal sweeps Punk off the apron and onto the floor hard. Punk just beats the count, but Regal crushes him with a stiff running knee to pick up the win to build some momentum for next week’s rematch. Regal & Layla d. Punk & James when Regal pins Punk with a running knee; Grade: 1.5
- As we head to break we get a Wrestlemania package, highlighting Wrestlemania II and the decision to have it in three locations. Celebrities and athletes were aplenty in all three cities and one of the big matches was the boxing bout between Mr. T and Roddy Piper. We see some of the build up and clips of the match as well as highlights of Hogan vs. Bundy.
- We are back and checking out the St. Louis arch as Michael Cole references the Lou’s own Harley Race. We find out that JBL will publicly review the performance of Shawn Michaels tonight as we head to the ring.
2) Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vs. Cryme Tyme
Cody and Ted are smarting a bit from the kendo stick shots they ate earlier courtesy Shane McMahon. Shad and JTG are out next to a nice little pop. Ted and JTG start off and JTG hits a somersault shoulderblock. He follows with a faceplant out of the corner and gets a near fall. Ted gets a hiptoss and boots JTG in the chest. He drops an elbow and tags in Cody. Cody takes JTG down by his leg and then he pounds away at him. Cody hits an elbow and then grabs a neck vise. The crowd is behind CT here as Shad gets them going from the apron. JTG fights free and both men hit a shoulderblock at the same time. Both men make tags and Shad hits a big clothesline and follows with a splash in the corner. He sends Ted over with a back body drop and then knocks Cody to the floor. Shad slams Ted and drops an elbow, apparently called the “Thugnificance” for two. Cody comes back in and they start double teaming Shad, drawing the DQ. After the bell, Cody and Ted hit a wheelbarrow DDT. Cryme Tyme d. DiBiase & Rhodes by disqualification; Grade: 1.5
- We check out a video package about the brewing Jericho/Rourke rivalry, including clips from their Larry King appearance. Jericho is walking backstage and we will hear from him next!
- Wrestlemania is 62 days away! And backstage, Randy Orton is talking to DiBiase and Rhodes. And in the ring, stands Chris Jericho! He just wants to clarify his Larry King comments. He respects Rourke’s performance and graceful, yet predictable and cowardly backtracking out of Wrestlemania. But he still has a problem with Rourke as his movie is misleading. It glorifies men like Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and Ric Flair, men who are hanging around clinging to their glory days. Flair is the worst of all of them because he cannot bow out gracefully. He had a storybook career with the most epic retirement of all time. He should have it all, living in a mansion spending quality time with his family and friends. Instead, he is doing autograph singings at high schools and doing tell all interviews to third rate websites, tarnishing his legacy and selling his face. He is doing it all for one last chance at the spotlight. He has a sickness and he is not alone and all the legends that suffer from it need to be put in their place. WWE should revoke their Hall of Fame status to prevent them from continually showing up and hanging around. He is interrupted by John Cena on the Titantron. Cena has had enough and says Jericho should thank those men for the chance to be here today. Jericho isn’t fooling anybody with his suits and big words, because he is an idiot. Jericho complains about wrestlers not letting go of the past, but he is the first one to talk endlessly about being the first Undisputed Champion. He says the legends need to walk away, but Jericho has been fired twice but he is still there and still not shutting up. Every word Jericho says makes Cena angrier because he crosses the line on everything Cena believes in. He already apologized for insulting the fans, but he will shut Jericho up in their match tonight when he knocks his teeth down his throat. Lawler wonders what Ric Flair must be thinking of Jericho’s words as we see Kofi and Rey walking backstage as we go to break.
- The Just for Men Slam of the Week recaps Kofi’s win over Kane from last week.
3) Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston vs. Mike Knox & Kane
We then head back inside the Scottrade Center where Rey Mysterio is heading to the ring. Kofi is out next and he is followed by Kane and finally Mike Knox. Cole tells us that Knox dominated a house show battle royal to earn a slot in the Elimination Chamber. Kane slugs away at Kofi to start the match, following with some stiff kicks. Kofi blocks a whip and lands a kick, sending Kane to the floor. They keep Knox at bay as we catch a break. When we return, Kofi is firing back at Kane after a whip. Kofi ends up on the apron and comes in with a sunset flip, but Kane locks it and pulls him up with his throat. Kofi slips loose with a dropkick and makes the tag to Rey. Rey trips Lane up into the rope and sets up the 619, but Kane bails to the floor. Rey runs over and hits a seated senton off the apron to the floor. Back inside, Kane lands an uppercut and tags in Knox. Rey kicks away at Knox’ hamstring after dodging a charge. He tries a springboard moonsault, but Knox catches him. Kofi makes a bling tag and dropkicks Rey on top of Knox. Kofi hits the Boom legdrop and gets two. Kofi hammers away at Knox in the corner but runs into a huge Knox boot on a charge. Knox gets two, but Kofi stays alive. Knox tags in Kane, who drops Kofi with a sidewalk slam. He runs Kofi into the corner and then drags him to the corner and tags in Knox. Knox drops a knee and then stomps away. He drops Kofi with a flapjack and tags Kane back in. Kane shoots Kofi to the corner and tries another sidewalk slam, but Kofi flips free and lands an Enziguri. Kofi crawls for a tag, but Kane kicks Rey to the floor. He drags Kofi back to his corner and tags in Knox. Knox hammers away but eats a boot on a charge and Kofi hits a blind cross body off the second rope. Both men crawl for the tag, but Kofi comes up empty as Rey is still recovering on the floor. Just as Rey comes back to the corner, Kane comes in and drags Kofi back across the ring. Kofi slips off Kane’s shoulder and elbows Kane off him and is able to tag Rey. Rey sends Knox off the apron and takes Kane down with a reverse DDT. He kicks Kane down and hits a legdrop for two. Kofi takes Knox out with a clothesline, sending him to the floor. Kofi comes flying out with a plancha, but Knox catches him on his knee. Back inside, Rey puts Kane into the middle rope. He goes for the 619, but Knox catches him from the floor to block it. Rey knocks Kane back and tries a springboard, but Kane catches him and spikes him down with a chokeslam for the win. Sue me, I love me some formula tag action with a big team vs. a little team. Knox & Kane d. Mysterio & Kingston when Kane pins Mysterio with a chokeslam; Grade: 3
- Backstage, Steph and Shane are walking backstage when they are jumped by Legacy. Steph goes lying down as Shane catches a stiff beating. Security tries to break it up, but Legacy kicks the crap out of them too and leaves a whole bunch of guys laid out. Orton lines up the punt, but instead turns his attention to Steph. He charges and kicks…but Shane dives in front and takes the punt in the ribs. The officials finally push Orton away as a groggy Stephanie asks Shane what happened and we head to break.
- We are back and recapping the tremendous last segment. Cole and King talk about it and Cole asks if we should have expected that type of attack. King says we could see that Orton was sorry for his actions right away. They then run down the No Way Out card for us. We then get another Wrestlemania moment, this time showcasing Wrestlemania X. It highlights the celebrities, battle between the Hart brothers and the ladder match. We then see JBL watching a monitor before heading to break.
- We are back and checking out downtown St. Louis before heading back to the ring.
4) Candice Michelle vs. Beth Phoenix
Move your body and raise your hands up as Candice is making her way to the ring for some Diva action. Beth is out next along with Santino and their intern. Rosa Mendez. Beth and Candice lock up, with Beth taking control and grabbing a side headlock. Candice yanks Beth into the middle rope but Beth recovers and takes Candice over with a slingshot back suplex after blocking a bulldog. Beth slugs away and gets two. Beth hoists Candice up into a backbreaker and then shakes her violently. Candice kicks off the ropes to break free and tries for a crucifix. Beth holds steady but Candice eventually gets a sunset flip for two. Candice takes Beth down and then heads to the middle rope. She comes off with a kick to the head and gets two. The crowd has gone silent. Beth runs Candice into the corner and plants her with the chicken wing powerbomb for the win. Phoenix d. Michelle with the chicken wing powerbomb; Grade: .5
- Rosa attacks Candice after the match and chucks her to the floor at the command from Beth. Santino trumpets the win, literally, as Rosa cheers happily. Jericho is warming up backstage as Cole tells us that Ric Flair will be on Raw next Monday! Woo! And we go to break.
- We return and thank Saliva for "Hunt You Down" the official No Way Out theme song. The opening bell of Wall Street sounds and JBL heads out to the ring as it is performance review time. We see highlights of last week’s Cena/Michaels match before listening to JBL. He says he is set to publicly assess the value of his employee, Shawn Michaels. And that brings HBK out to the ring. JBL says that he offered Shawn the chance to be bailed out of financial crisis that he brought upon himself. He fulfilled his end of the proposal and Shawn agrees with that point. He says that is the difference between great businessmen and amateurs. He wasn’t trying to do the right thing as he is to Machiavellian for that. He only hired Shawn to get him to Wrestlemania as World Champion and he asks Shawn if he fulfilled his end. Shawn says he was hired to make sure JBL was Champion for Wrestlemania. He says he has done all he could for JBL, he lied down for him, put JBL on top of Cena at the Rumble and he had Cena beat last week before JBL interfered. Shawn says the blame doesn’t go on him, it goes on JBL. JBL says the answer is no, Shawn failed just like he did with his finances and his family. He can blame whatever he wants but JBL has put up with way more of Shawn than he wanted to. JBL offers Shawn a full release, and Shawn says he wants to kick JBL’s teeth down his throat. JBL believes it because he knows Shawn sees what a failure he is. He says if Shawn does it, he will be fired and he will be a deadbeat that will cause problems for his family as well. He tells Shawn not to be selfish for once. Shawn asks JBL what he wants from him and JBL makes a proposal: Michaels vs. JBL at No Way Out, winner takes all. If Shawn wins, JBL will pay the full one year contract as a severance package and Shawn will be free. If JBL wins, he owns Shawn Michaels’ name and Shawn works for JBL for the rest of his life. It will be all or nothing and the ball is in Shawn’s court. When JBL owns the name, he can make a movie and force Shawn to do endorsements. He could even build a restaurant named “Shawn Michaels” and have Shawn dress like a monkey and dance around out front. JBL can make money off of the Michaels name for long after Shawn is retired and dead. He will own Shawn Michaels’ name and it will be property of JBL Enterprise. JBL says that Shawn always talked about getting himself out of the trouble, so he should roll the dice. It is all or nothing. JBL says that one day Shawn’s kids will look up at him and ask their father if they were worth fighting for. Shawn pauses and then accepts. Shawn still works for JBL and if he puts his hands on JBL, the deal is off the table forever. JBL pokes Shawn and asks if he understands the terms. Shawn refuses to strike back as JBL shoves and taunts him. He says there is no way Shawn can beat him. JBL slaps him across the face and tells him he should have just got fired instead. Shawn starts to shake and looks like he is about to cry, but he won’t hit back. Shawn fights the urge and leaves the ring and heads up the ramp. Man that was some great stuff.
- We are back and taking another look at the Legacy assault of the McMahons from earlier. Elsewhere, Kane is walking around when Steph approaches. She asks Kane if “he talked to him” and Kane says he will be here. Steph puts Kane in the Chamber and says that next week…Orton goes one on one with…the Undertaker!
5) John Cena vs. Chris Jericho in a non title match
And back to ringside as our savior, Chris Jericho is coming down the aisle for our main event. The Champ is here and he is out next and arrives to a solid pop. Cena jumps Jericho before the bell and pounds away at him. He keeps the assault on as Cole reminds us that Cena made his Raw debut in St. Louis on the Highlight Reel in 2005. Jericho turns the tide, but Cena fires back with fists and an elbow. He takes Jericho down with a bulldog and the boos emerge for the Champ along with a “Cena” chant. Cena takes Jericho over with a back suplex Cena clotheslines Jericho to the floor. Cena comes out, but Jericho turns the tide and whips Cena into the announce table as we go to break. When we return, Jericho has Cena clamped in a reverse chinlock. Cena fights up and hoists Jericho onto his shoulders, but Jericho works out of it with a DDT. Cena ends up on the apron, which allows Jericho to springboard dropkick him to the floor. Jericho barley beats the count back in and Jericho continues to hammer away at him. Cena takes Jericho out and both men are slow to get up. Cena charges but eats a dropkick and Jericho gets a near fall. He shoots Cena to the corner, but Jericho nails the post on a missed charge. Cena hits a pair of shoulderblocks and the spinning slam. He follows with a Five Knuckle Shuffle attempt but Jericho pops up and tries for the Walls. Cena turns it into a small package for two. He goes for the STF, but Jericho gets a roll up for two. Jericho nails the Lionsault and gets two. Cena catches Jericho and takes him over with a back suplex and follows with a fist drop. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjuster (formerly known as the FU), but Jericho slips free and goes for the Codebreaker. Cena blocks it and goes for the AA again, but Jericho slips free again and locks in the Walls. Cena reaches for the ropes, but Jericho pulls him back into the middle of the ring. Cena reverses the hold and locks in the STF for the win. That was a fun finish to a good match. Cena d. Jericho with the STF; Grade: 3
- Cole reminds us that Ric Flair will be here next week, as will the Undertaker and we are out!
The opening promo was solid with Shane setting up the NWO match and Orton clearly explaining the mess at the end of last week’s show. I think the easy and understandable explanation should prove that fans need to let things play out before they start crying about the world ending each and every week. Sure it was a questionable segment last week, but it was easily explained away and Orton still looks just as tough. Anyway, I also love that Orton is over enough as a heel that he was even booed in his hometown. Regal picked up a win on Punk after Punk took a nasty spill off the apron. This was just to set up the rematch next week, which I would assume Punk will win to officially end the feud. The Legacy tag match was pretty good while it lasted and the cheap ending worked to get Rhodes and DiBiase’s frustration across. Jericho’s promo was fantastic as usual and he made a lot of sense in what he was saying. It was clearly setting up Flair being in Rourke’s corner at Wrestlemania. The mid show tag match was really fun and all four men busted their asses. Knox is taking advantage of his push and he and Kane made a good big man team. The Legacy assault backstage was much needed and a great piece of business. Shane taking the punt was good stuff. The Diva match was nothing as poor Candice is dead in the water at this point. All her heat left after that second injury and the crowd just wasn’t digging her at all. Maybe she should move to Smackdown for a change of scenery as she has been surpassed on Raw. The JBL/Michaels interview was fantastic stuff and the emotion in this feud is amazing. It all has tied together wonderfully and JBL is playing the role he was born to play. And nobody sells the agonized soul like Shawn so it is really clicking at this point. The main event was solid, as you would expect between these two and the crowd was split as always. The show as a whole was pretty good tonight as we got a couple of good matches and some killer promo work plus the swank backstage assault by the Legacy. The also added a lot build for No Way Out as well as stacking next week’s show. The crowd was pretty good all night long, outside of the Diva match, and the show was focused and flowed well. Raw recovered from that slight hiccup at the end of last week’s show and we shall see if they can keep rolling into No Way Out. Final Grade: B
MVP: John Bradshaw Layfield & Shawn Michaels Runner Up: Legacy Non MVP: Candice Michelle Runner Up: CM Punk
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