Monday Night RAW March 16, 2009
San Antonio, TX
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler - We start the show off with highlights of the World Heavyweight Championship contract signing from last week�s show. We then transition to our opening animation before heading inside the AT&T Center for this week�s episode of Raw. We are live and in high definition as Michael Cole reminds us that we are just three weeks away from Wrestlemania. Cole and Lawler give an in depth preview of tonight�s lineup before we head to the ring for our opening contest. We do find out that Edge will battle John Cena in a non title match with Vicki Guerrero as the special referee.
1) Shawn Michaels & Undertaker vs. John Bradshaw Layfield & Vladimir Kozlov
And the crowd is off to a hot start right out of the gate as their hometown hero, Shawn Michaels heads to the ring. The pop continues as his partner, the Undertaker, also emerges after he hits the ring. The cheers quickly turn to jeers as the opening bell sounds and the new Intercontinental Champion strides to the ring. Kozlov is out last and he powerwalks to the ring. Taker and Michaels stare at each other as the bell sounds. Michaels and Kozlov will start things off and we know where the crowd�s allegiances lie. Shawn and Taker trade some looks and words and then Shawn turns and charges Vlad. Vlad catches him and puts him down and Shawn tags in Taker. Taker lands some rights and catches Vlad with a boot as he charges in. Taker clotheslines Vlad to the floor as we take our first break. When we return, JBL is in the ring and caught in a Taker arm wringer. Taker tags in Shawn and he is a house of fire. He hits an inverted atomic drop and then slams JBL. Shawn heads up top and nails the big elbow. Shawn tunes up the band and is able to duck a Kozlov clothesline attempt from the apron. However, when Shawn turned, JBL caught him with a big boot. JBL tags in Vlad, but Shawn is able to turn him around and land a chop. Kozlov reverses a whip to the corner and then lands some headbutts to the chest. Vlad takes Shawn over with a powerslam and gets two. Vlad tags in JBL and he keeps stomping away before hitting a clothesline for two. JBL makes the quick tag and Vlad hammers away and then locks in a bear hug. Shawn fights free but Vlad catches him by the throat. He lifts Shawn up, but Shawn hooks his head and takes him down with a DDT. Shawn crawls for the tag and makes it as Vlad tags in JBL. Taker works over JBL in the corner and lands a pair of clotheslines. He grabs JBL�s arm and heads up top to go old school. Taker slugs Vlad off the apron and then drops JBL with snake eyes and puts him down with a big boot. Taker drops the leg and then preps for a chokeslam. As he does, Shawn tags himself in and nails JBL with SCM to steal the win.
Michaels & Undertaker d. JBL & Kozlov when Michaels pins JBL with Sweet Chin Music; Grade: 2
- Taker isn�t happy and Shawn quickly bails. Taker follows after him and Shawn quickly backpedals up the ramp and to the back. As Taker looks to the crowd, Shawn comes back out and drills Taker with SCM! Wow, that was awesome. The crowd seemed split for a while, but a huge �HBK� chant breaks out as Shawn yells at Taker before taking off.
- We are back and taking a look at the replay of last segment. Backstage, Vicki is in her office and about to make a call when her husband walks in. Vicki immediately starts to cry and says she feels horrible that they haven�t spoken all week. Edge tells her to stop talking and says he has something to tell her after thinking for a week�he forgives her. Vicki says that Big Show is so big and overpowering that she had to give in. Edge tells her that Show doesn�t love her and is just using her to get ahead. Show is a home wrecker and he will pay but he wants Vicki to know that what they have is real. Edge blames Cena for all of this because he understands Show�s motivation. He says Cena tried to ruin her life and embarrass her. Tonight, Edge will face Cena and if Cena lays one finger on Vicki, he is out of the match at Wrestlemania. Edge says that nobody can take away what they have and Vicki tells him she hopes he wins. They kiss and embrace and we then head to an extended recap of the Triple H/Orton house brawl last week. Back live, we are told that Triple H was arrested and then posted bail and released. Apparently, Orton did not press charges and Triple H is here tonight and he will take on Cody Rhodes. The Grish is with Legacy backstage and Grish asks why Orton dropped the charges. Orton says that Hunter is a homicidal maniac that broke in his house, scared the TV crew and neighborhood and traumatized his wife. Triple H was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, trespassing, breaking and entering and aggravated assault. He could have gone to prison and pay his debt to society, but he wouldn�t have paid his debt to Orton. That debt will be paid at Wrestlemania and Orton will deal with him rather than a public court. At Wrestlemania, it will be Orton�s law and he will pass sentence on Triple H when he becomes Champion.
2) Beth Phoenix, Layla & Jillian Hall vs. Kelly, Mickie James & Melina
Back in the arena, Beth, Jillian, Layla, Rosa and Santino are all headed to the ring as we head to break. We are back as Kelly, Mickie and Melina head to the ring and Santino joins us on commentary. He calls Melina an ostrich. Beth and Mickie start off as Santino talks about his travails in the women�s locker room. Beth controls and stomps away at Mickie. Beth mares Mickie over and gets a near fall. She lands a stiff elbow and locks in a dragon sleeper as Santino talks about Rosa. Mickie wriggles free but Beth puts her down with a shoudlerblock. Mickie tags in Melina who hits a springboard elbow and a dropkick. She takes Beth down with a faceplant for two. Beth catches Melina and plants her with a stiff backbreaker for two. Santino leaves the booth but Mickie catches him with a boot to the gut. Beth grabs Mickie, but Melina comes in from behind and rolls up Beth for the win.
Melina, Kelly & Mickie d. Beth, Jillian & Layla when Melina pins Beth with a roll up; Grade: 1
- Kelly, Mickie and Melina quickly escape as team Glamarella recovers in the ring. Cole then sends us to another 12 Rounds trailer and then we head to break.
- Wrestlemania is 20 days away and we are thanking AC/DC for Shoot to Thrill, the official Wrestlemania theme song. It is then time to play the game and time for our next match.
3) Triple H vs. Cody Rhodes in a non title match
Triple H is out first to a huge pop and he looks to be locked in the zone. Cody is out next and he is alone�but not for long as Randy Orton�s music fires up and he and DiBiase head out as well. Hunter takes Cody down and hammers away. He tosses Cody to the floor and then follows him out and runs him into the steps. He runs him into the barricade and then tosses him over the table. DiBiase and Orton walk down the ramp as Hunter tosses Cody back inside. Hunter grabs the sledge and Orton and DiBiase back off and stay in the aisle. Cody fights to his feet, but he eats a boot and a Pedigree. Triple H grabs the sledge and keeps Orton and DiBiase at bay. He then points up and a steel cage starts to lower. Hunter leaves the ring and chases after Orton and DiBiase with the sledge. Hunter hustles back and slides in as the cage lowers. DiBiase and Orton try to get inside but they can�t and the bell officially rings to kick off an impromptu cage match. Orton stars to climb up, but Triple H runs Cody into the cage and knocks Orton off. He does the same to DiBiase as he tries climbing. Hunter runs Cody into both men as they climb again. He taunts Orton with the sledge and then turns to see DiBiase almost at the top of the cage. Hunter drills the cage with sledge and knocks him off. Hunter lines up Cody, looks at Orton and then drills Rhodes in the face with the sledgehammer. He covers Rhodes and picks up the easy win.
Triple H d. Rhodes with a sledgehammer to the face; Grade: 1
- Hunter scales the cage as DiBiase and Orton stand below it, staring up at him. Hunter sits perched up top and stares back down. We get some replays before heading to break.
- We are back and checking out the San Antonio Riverwalk. We see a clip from earlier tonight as Ric Flair arrived in a limo. Will he come out of retirement? We will find out tonight.
4) Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Rey will be heading to Smackdown for their 500th episode this Friday, so check that out. Dolph grabs the arm off the bell and plants Rey with a clothesline. Cole tells us that Rey has issued a challenge to JBL for an IC title match at Wrestlemania. Dolph drops some elbows and stands on Rey�s face for two. Dolph grabs a full nelson as the crowd rallies Rey. Dolph drops Rey but Rey catches him with a boot. He sends Dolph into the post with and then hits a springboard seated senton. He dropkicks Dolph into the middle rope and drills him with the 619. He lands a big splash off the top rope and picks up the win.
Mysterio d. Ziggler with a big splash; Grade: 1
- We are back and Chris Jericho is strutting to the ring as we take a look back at all the legends he has attacked over the weeks. Thanks to Ric Flair he is not going to Wrestlemania. He stole his chance and he is left with nothing. That is why he took matters into his own hands and challenged Flair to face him here and now. Tonight will be his Wrestlemania. Let�s be honest, it is obvious that Flair can�t stay on the sidelines. He has been waiting to bask in the spotlight and come out of retirement and this is his chance. Flair is not a man; he is a coward and a joke. He is a pathetic, washed up has-been but Jericho is giving him a chance to return and bask in the adulation of the hypocrites. Flair can have it all with this golden opportunity. He was presented a golden Rolex watch at his grandiose retirement ceremony last year, but he needs to take this chance right now. We are finally joined by the man himself as the Nature Boy walks out. He is bedecked in a suit, though, so it does not seem that Jericho will get his wish. Flair says that even though he knows he can beat Jericho, he is officially retired as an active competitor. But make no mistake; he will always be The Man. However, he will not tarnish the great retirement and send off given to him by the world a year ago. He won�t let everyone down because that was the greatest night of career. He can�t wrestle Jericho but he has found some men that can. And we are joined by Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat and Roddy Piper. The Hall of Famers powerwalk to the ring and surround Jericho. They all climb up on the apron as Jericho looks at all of them and points. They climb inside and pounce on Jericho as he tries to run. He is able to wriggle free but Flair decks him with a right hand as he scampers away. This week�s Wrestlemania moment looks back at XV, highlighting all of the classic moments, including the Brawl for All match and the Rock/Austin match.
- We are back and the Grish is catching up with Jericho. He rips on the legends and says his Wrestlemania was ruined. He isn�t embarrassed because he was assaulted by four men at once. He pauses and says it is time to teach the legends about embarrassment. He is going to challenge Snuka, Piper and Steamboat to a match at Wrestlemania and he demands that Flair show up at Wrestlemania and be in their corner so he knows that the pain inflicting be on his hands. He tells Mickey Rourke that he will buy him a front row seat so he can see what happens to all his friends. Unlike the Wrestler, the ending here won�t be ambiguous, it will be tragic as he puts an end to all of them.
5) MVP, Kofi Kingston & CM Punk vs. Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry & Kane
Back live and our next combatants are in the ring. Finlay, Hornswoggle and Christian have joined us on commentary as well. Shelton and Kofi start things off as Hornswoggle is already annoying me with his gibberish on commentary. Henry tags in and puts Kofi down. Kofi fires back but Henry stops him and he shoots him into the corner. He misses a charge but tosses Kofi off as he tries a headlock. Kofi tags in MVP who comes in with three dropkicks. Henry stumbles back and tags in Kane. After a back and forth, MVP hits the running kick on Kane in the corner and then all six men filter into the ring and square off as we go to break. When we return, Kane has Kofi bent over his knee as he took control during the break. We see that Kane leveled Kofi with a big boot when we were away. Kane plants Kofi with a sidewalk slam for two. Finlay wants to see someone turn on their partner here to eliminate them from MITB. Shelton tags in and slugs away at Kofi and then hits a belly-to-belly. Shelton locks in an abdominal stretch as Christian talks about his return and desire to be champion. Kofi tags in Punk and takes Shelton down with a swinging neckbreaker. He lands the charging knee in the corner and the bulldog for two. Finlay says that he will use the MITB that night if wins it. Kofi takes Kane out of the ring with a clothesline. Henry gets dumped to the floor too as Atlas gets on the apron and starts yelling. MVP takes advantage and snaps Shelton�s back across the top rope, sending him right into Punk and the G2S for the in. Christian guarantees victory as the winners celebrate.
MVP, Kingston & Punk d. Benjamin, Henry & Kane when Punk d. Benjamin with the G2S; Grade: 1.5
- We get another 12 Rounds feature, this time focusing on the character of Molly Porter. After that, we head backstage where Vickie finds Show in her office. Show says that she shouldn�t believe what Edge says. She says that Show is using her to get into the Wrestlemania match. Show says that she pursued him, not the other way around. They both know that he is anatomically superior to Edge. She is confused because she is hearing different things from both men. Show says that Edge is accusing Show of doing exactly what he did. Only Edge took it one step further and married her. Show says that Edge doesn�t love Vicki, but that he is does and he will prove it. Show plants a kiss on Vicki and tells her she looks sexy in her referee shirt. Show walks off and we go to break.
- We are back and thanking AC/DC for �War Machine� which is another Wrestlemania theme song. We check out the Alamo and then look back at the Michaels/Taker happenings from earlier tonight. Cole and Lawler then run down the full Wrestlemania card for us. Backstage, the Grish catches up with Triple H. He wants to know how Hunter got Vicki to cooperate and lower that cage. Hunter ignores him, hops in his car and we see that Stephanie is awaiting him. They drive off and we head back inside.
6) John Cena vs. Edge in a non title match
Vickie Guerrero heads down in her referee shirt as we take our final break. When we return, Edge makes his way to the ring. Cole reminds us that if Cena touches Vicki in the match, he is out of Wrestlemania. John Cena is out next and gets a warm reception from the San Antonio faithful. He hits the ring and it is main event time. Edge grabs a side headlock off the bell and this crowd is behind Cena for sure. Edge hammers away and puts Cena down. He runs Cena into the corner but Cena comes back with a fisherman�s suplex and a cover, but Vicki refuses to count as she just stands there. Cena looks at her and smirks. Edge comes from behind and decks Cena as he talked to Vicki. Edge stomps away but Cena eventually gets up and fires back. Cena hits the ropes but Edge grabs him and tosses him over the top and to the floor. Edge follows him out and rams Cena�s head into the announce table and the runs him into the steps. Edge slides back and Cena slowly makes his way in as well. Edge sets up for the spear, but Cena avoids it and he crashes into the corner. Cena hits a shoulderblock and his spinning suplex. Cena attempts the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Vicki lies on top of Edge to protect him. She finally gets up and he drops the Shuffle. He pulls Edge up into the AA, but Vicki saves Edge. Cena locks in the STF but Vicki slides in and grabs Cena�s head. Cena breaks the hold as we are being joined the Big Show. Cena turns to face him and meets him with some right hands. Edge gets up and drops Cena. Show lands a headbutt and he and Edge lock Cena in the ropes. Edge drills him with a spear and then Vicki walks over and smacks him in the face. Show lands some stiff right hands to the gut and one to the face. Show turns around and Edge takes him out with a spear. Edge stands tall as we go to break.
Cena & Edge wrestle to a no contest when Big Show interferes; Grade: 1.5
Final Grade: C-
Runner Up: Shawn Michaels
Non MVP: Cody Rhodes
Runner Up: JBL & Vladimir Kozlov