Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- We open with a video package highlighting last week’s battles between Randy Orton and Triple H. Out of that, we get a live look of the outside of Randy Orton’s house as we will hear from him later tonight. We then head into the area where Shawn Michaels comes out to chat about Wrestlemania. And this is where my computer froze, so I can’t deliver my usual play by play. He talks about his Wrestlemania track record and says that streaks are meant to be broken. A video of Undertaker’s Wrestlemania highlights interrupts Shawn and when the lights come up, Taker is in the ring. Taker tells Shawn that his arrogance clouds his judgment and that he has fought and defeated many men he respected. Shawn says a man with his record shouldn’t have to qualify to challenge anybody at Wrestlemania because he is still the showstopper. Taker tells him not to be concerned with breaking the streak or tearing down the house, he should focus on the physical pain Taker will put him through. He should also be concerned with the future of his soul. Taker doesn’t need to steal the show or outperform anyone; he will just prove to Shawn that he is the most dangerous wrestler in WWE history. Taker starts to tell Shawn to rest in peace, but Shawn cuts him off and tells him he will rest well after ending the streak. Shawn walks off and Taker stares him down as we go to break. Trust me, that promo was way more epic than I could describe right now. It added a lot of heat to their match for sure and Taker seemed to be favored more by the crowd.
1) CM Punk vs. John Bradshaw Layfield for the Intercontinental Championship
The early part of the match was fast paced and Punk gained the advantage with a plancha as we head to break. And my computer is finally back up and running as we return. JBL has Punk in an abdominal stretch as the crowd tries to rally Punk. JBL breaks the hold and tosses Punk with a fallaway slam for two. JBL lands some knees to the head and then puts Punk down with a clothesline for two. Punk hammers back but JBL slugs him back in to the corner. Punk catches JBL with a tornado DDT and crawls over for a near fall. Punk follows with some stiff kicks and a leg lariat. Punk hits a springboard clothesline and then buries the running knee and bulldog out of the corner for two. Punk hoists JBL up for the G2S but JBL rakes Punk’s eyes and crushes him with the CFH to pick up the win and the title! JBL d. Punk with the Clothesline from Hell; Grade: 2
- We are back and JBL is celebrating and talking to Vicki Guerrero. Vicki says she gave JBL a title match but now he has to do something for her. Edge comes in and tells JBL that he needs to talk to his wife. Edge says he has calmed down but he needs to know what Cena whispered in her ear when he messed up the contract signing last week. Vicki says it doesn’t matter what Cena whispered in her ear. Edge agrees and says the only thing that matters is that he signs his contract tonight. At ringside, the King still wants to know. Cole now introduces Randy Orton, who is at home and with his wife Samantha. Cole talks about Orton’s stipulation from last week and asks why he violated it on Smackdown. Orton asks Cole to show everyone the clips from Smackdown for anyone who may have missed it. The clips show the Legacy assault on Hunter from Friday. Orton says Cole may call it a violation but he calls it restraint. He could have easily ended everything right there with a kick or RKO, but he didn’t and he is proud of it. He knows Hunter will show up at Wrestlemania and Raw tonight due to his McMahon pride. Every time he does show up, Orton will take a little bit more out of him. But, he will leave just enough so Hunter can defend the title at Mania. Cole says they will be back with more questions as the night progresses. Orton says he isn’t going anywhere as he sits back with his wife to watch the show.
- Our Popeye’s Rewind takes back seven days when Maryse put a hurting on Melina, setting up our next match.
2) Melina vs. Maryse in a non title match
Divas from both shows are standing around ringside to cheer on their respective champion. The beautiful Maryse heads to the ring and I fall in love all over again. Melina is out next as Cole talks about Melina showing up on Smackdown to get some revenge. Both ladies attempt some kicks off the bell but Melina scores first. Maryse misses an Enziguri but is able to toss Melina to the floor. The SD Divas toss her right back inside and Maryse spikes Melina’s head into the mat. She locks in a reverse chinlock and then sits back, bridging Melina backwards. Maryse lets go of the hold but Melina comes back with a huge slap. She kicks Maryse in the head and then comes off the middle rope with a seated senton. She plants Maryse with a facecrusher and gets two. Melina lays Maryse across the middle buckle and kneels on her stomach. Melina charges, but Maryse dodges it and she crashes into the corner. Maryse snaps her back hard to the mat and picks up the big win. Maryse d. Melina after spiking her to the mat out of the corner; Grade: 1
- All the Divas slide into the ring and a huge brawl erupts to a big pop from the crowd. Bodies start flying and an array of face Divas stand alone in the ring as they have forgone their allegiances. We now get clips of the World Heavyweight Championship contract signing from Friday night. We will attempt the signing again after this break.
- This week’s Wrestlemania Moment takes us back 19 years to one of the most epic Manias of all time: Wrestlemania VI. Back live, Vicki Guerrero is in the ring along with a table and some chairs and she has a major announcement. At Wrestlemania, we will have a 25 Diva battle royal with Divas from Raw, Smackdown, ECW and the past and the winner will be crowned Miss Wrestlemania. Now, back to business, Vicki is here for the contract signing. She first brings out the challenger: the Big Show. Show struts down with a smirk on his face and stands tall at the table. Vicki then brings out her husband and the Champion, Edge. Edge heads out and both men take a seat as Vicki starts the proceedings. Edge has some things to say first. Last week, he and Show said some harsh things that neither will take back. We just watched clips from Wrestlemania VI and he talks about being there and all of the great energy in the building. He knows Show is better than Ultimate Warrior and he is far better than Hulk Hogan. They have the chance to have an epic, historic match at Wrestlemania and he doesn’t care if the people like it or not. They are the top two superstars in WWE today. He wants to put the past in the past so they can concentrate on making history at Wrestlemania. Show nods as Edge signs the contract. Show is glad to hear Edge say that and he agrees 100%. Show signs and it is official. They stand up and shake hands but the good times are fleeting as John Cena’s music fires up and he heads down to the ring. Edge asks Cena what he is doing here as he doesn’t belong. In case he missed it, the title match is official and Cena is not in it. Cena remarks that Vicki didn’t tell Edge something…and Cena asks her who should tell him. Edge says it doesn’t matter and he tells Show they should get Cena out of the ring. Vicki says she invited Cena out here. After a lot of consideration, she thought it was fair to the audience to allow Cena to compete for the title at Wrestlemania. Cena now signs the contract and Show is livid. He doesn’t care about the audience and says he is the number one contender. Cena tells Show to take it easy and tells Vicki it is time to tell the truth. Vicki begs him not to, but Cena says everyone will find out any way. He came to Smackdown because he had to tell something to Vicki. He had information she needed to hear before this became official. So, he told Vicki that he loves her. Vicki smiles and Edge and the crowd are in shock. Cena says it may be weird because they may be legally married. He can’t control who he falls in love with and what happened, happened and he knows she has feelings for him as well. If not, she wouldn’t have let Cena to sign the title. The heart wants what the heart wants and his heart wants the title and Vicki Guerrero. He knows he loves her and he knows that he will see them at Wrestlemania. Cena looks longingly at Vicki and then heads off as Show and Edge try to sort things out. Edge tells Cena to hold on and says that Cena doesn’t love her and is just playing on her emotional state to get into the match. Edge says it won’t work because she is going to tear the contract up right now. Cena says she isn’t going to do rip it up…but he can’t do it any more. He doesn’t love Vicki and to be honest the sight of her makes him sick. The real truth is that, on Smackdown, he told Vicki that Raw was in his hometown last week and he had some friends there. He happened to know the guy that worked the security cameras. And we get some hidden footage from last week of Show and Vicki talking about their urges and the need to slow things down until after Wrestlemania. Show asks for one more kiss and he gets it. Vicki says she hopes Show wins at Mania and smacks his ass as he walks off. Back live, Cena gives a funny shoulder shrug and tells Vicki she has some ‘splaining to do. Edge stalks at Vicki, grabs her and starts yelling at her to look at him. Vicki starts crying as Edge glares at Cena and Show gives a funny shocked look as we go to break. That was a really good segment and the best Cena has been in a while. It also added some intrigue into the three way at Mania.
- The Star Ocean Rewind takes us back to last week’s great Piper’s Pit reenactment with Chris Jericho and Jimmy Snuka.
3) Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
We are back live and Chris Jericho slowly heads to the ring for a shot to qualify for MITB. Five men are in and three spots are open. Punk, Benjamin, Henry, Kane and MVP have locked up spots. Lawler talks about his disappointment in Jericho as Kofi makes his way out to try and earn a trip to his first Wrestlemania. The bell sounds and Jericho grabs a side headlock and then puts Kofi down with a shoulderblock. Kofi leapfrogs Jericho twice and hits a leaping back elbow. He lands a dropkick and leaps on to Jericho in the corner, but he gets caught and Jericho powerbombs him for a near fall. Jericho kicks Kofi in the back as we take a break. When we return, Jericho has a half nelson choke locked on. Kofi elbows free and hits a big flying clothesline. He lands some rights and a springboard cross body, but Jericho rolls through and gets two. Kofi regains control and attempts the Boom legdrop, but Kofi grabs his legs and goes for the Walls. Kofi wriggles free, but Jericho hits an Enziguri for two. Kofi avoids the Lionsault and nails the Boom legdrop this time. He covers and gets a close near fall. Kofi measures Jericho as he gets up, but Jericho blocks the Trouble in Paradise and locks in the Walls. Kofi is hanging tight and all of a sudden, we hear a loud…WHOO! The Nature Boy is here and he walks down the ramp. Jericho breaks the hold and stares at Flair. Jericho turns around but he eats the Trouble in Paradise and Kofi is going to Houston! Kingston d. Jericho with the Trouble in Paradise; Grade: 2.5
- Kofi is pumped as he heads to the back and Jericho looks on in shock. Kofi embraces Flair on the ramp and Cole tells us that there will be two more MITB qualifying matches this week. There will be a battle royal on ECW and an unnamed match on Friday night. Cole now brings Orton back in and asks him why he isn’t here. Orton says he isn’t afraid; he is just scared of what he would do to Triple H if he were there. He would like to say he would take him apart little by little, but he is not always in control of his actions. He is showing restraint and that is why he is not here tonight. He assures us he will enjoy the main event tonight as we go to break.
- We are back and the Grish is with Jericho backstage. Flair took away his Wrestlemania moment and he would have won MITB and reclaimed his title. He wants his Wrestlemania moment next week. He dares Flair to come out of retirement and face him next week. He knows Flair has been waiting for that since last year. He is giving him one last shot at his glory years. He should come back next week and enjoy his last bask because just like Mickey Rourke’s character, the story of Ric Flair ends forever next week. The King hopes Flair takes Jericho up on his offer next week. It is now time for this week’s HOF inductee announcement and it is…the Birdman, Koko B. Ware! Koko is going to the Hall of Fame…yeah! Do the bird, bird, bird! Koko will be inducted by the Honky Tonk Man and I am sure that will be interesting.
4) Rey Mysterio, Finlay & Christian vs. John Morrison, Miz & Kane
Rey is out first and he is followed by Finlay and Christian. Christian is making his return to a Raw ring for the first time since the 10/30/05 show when he showed up with some other Smackdown wrestlers in the build up to Taboo Tuesday. We are back and Miz and Morrison are ringside as Kane heads out. Christian and Miz start things off and Christian lands a spinning heel kick. He chokes Miz on the middle rope and hits a reverse DDT for two. Miz lands a knee and tags in Kane. Kane eats a back elbow but blocks a sunset flip and tosses Christian into the corner by his neck. Kane powerslams Christian for two and then he tags in Morrison. Morrison sends Christian down with an uppercut and then tags in Miz. They hit a double stomachbreaker and Miz covers for two. Miz grabs a reverse chinlock but Christian quickly fights up. Miz misses a charge in the corner and Christian kicks him down. Miz tags in Morrison and Christian tags Finlay. Finlay takes down Morrison and then mares Miz into the ring. He hits a double clothesline and tags in Rey. Trey hits a springboard senton Miz and a high cross body on Morrison. Morrison misses a charge and Rey seats him on the top rope. Rey takes him over with a huracarrana but Miz breaks up the cover. Miz misses the charging corner clothesline and Rey sends Morrison into the middle rope. Rey goes for the 619, but Kane catches him by the neck. Christian and Finlay take Kane out of the ring and Rey hits the 619 and West Coast Pop for the win. Mysterio, Finlay & Christian d. Morrison, Miz & Kane when Mysterio pins Morrison with the West Coast Pop; Grade: 2
- DiBiase and Rhodes are walking backstage as we go to break.
- We are back and Cole tells us that Undertaker and Shawn Michaels will team up to take on Vladimir Kozlov and JBL in San Antonio next week. 12 Rounds debuts in a few weeks and we take a video look at the movie, highlighting the villain of the movie, Miles Jackson.
5) Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vs. Triple H in a non title handicap match
Back live, DiBiase and Rhodes are heading to the ring for our main event. We see Randy and Samantha Orton watching the main event in their home as the Legacy climbs inside the ring. Lillian introduces the Champion, but he is nowhere to be found. Mike Chioda confers with Lillian and they officially name DiBiase & Rhodes as the winners by forfeit. Rhodes & DiBiase d. Triple H by forfeit; Grade: 0
- Orton interrupts and tells everyone to cut the music. He says nobody should be smiling right now because Triple H let everyone down. He gave Hunter too much credit and says he probably won’t show up at Mania now. If he doesn’t show up at Mania, he will have no choice to send him to the hospital with the rest of his family. Samantha gets up to answer the door but Orton quickly hops up and tells her not to get it. It is too late as we see that Hunter has bashed the door in with his sledgehammer. He starts chasing after Orton, who quickly takes off. Hunter happens upon some random lady in the kitchen as the search is on. He walks around the kitchen and finds Samantha hiding behind the island. He asks where Orton is but she can’t answer. Hunter continues to stalk around the house as we hear random screaming. He slowly walks up the stairs, but stops as he hears some movement. He comes back down the stairs and circles back to the kitchen but he is ambushed by Orton, who leaps out of a closet. The brawl is on in the living room as they crash into the wall and bust some pictures. Hunter gains control and pounds on Orton, eventually throwing him through the front window. He steps through the window and kicks Orton in the gut and then pounds on him. We hear sirens and the cops come pulling up. They cuff Triple H as Orton yells that he broke into his house and attacked him. Orton charges at him, but the cops pull him off. We see Hunter in the back of the squad car as we fade out. Well, the house hunt was a bit goofy, but the actual brawl was pretty stiff and fun.
Final Grade: B-
MVP: Shawn Michaels & Undertaker Runner Up: Kofi Kingston Non MVP: CM Punk Runner Up: Melina
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