Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- We open the show with a recap of the World Heavyweight title change from last week as Chris Jericho upended Batista inside the confines of a steel cage. We then head directly inside the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England and we are sold out and tape delayed just a bit, but I am spoiler free! We are immediately joined by the Animal as the former champ powerwalks to the ring to a nice ovation. Batista isnít here to whine and cry about last week but he is looking to invoke his rematch clause and win back his Championship. We are now joined by Stephanie McMahon on the Titantron and she is live in Stamford, CT. Steph turns down Batistaís request because Shane made it clear that the winner of the cage match would go on to Survivor Series to face John Cena. Therefore, Cena will battle Chris Jericho. Batista will receive a future title match but it cannot be before Survivor Series and will not be tonight. That said, Mike Adamle resigned and we are approaching a new era of Raw. In an attempt to move forward, they are breaking from the past and wiping the slate clean. They want to add finality to long standing issues on Raw. Kane will face Rey Mysterio in a no disqualification match and Shawn Michaels will face Chris Jericho for the final time on Raw. To really add closure, the Michaels/Jericho match will be Last Man Standing. She thanks us for our time and thanks Batista for being understanding. Batista isnít very pleased with Steph but he is quickly joined by Randy Orton, who heads out to the ring. Orton wants to let Batista know that he must wait in line for a title shot. John Cena gets an opportunity at Survivor Series but it will then be Randyís turn. He is better than Batista and always had been. He was kicked out of Evolution for being the most successful member and the truth is Batista couldnít beat him then or now. If anyone deserves a title shot after Cena, it is Orton. Batista wants to let Randy know that history is written by winners and if you look at their history, Batista has been better than Orton in every way, shape or form. He was better in Evolution and he is better now. The crowd seems to favor Orton here. Batista says that tonight is about settling old scores and they have one to settle, so how about Batista vs. Orton here tonight. Orton confirms the request and then he accepts to a big pop. Once Orton wins the belt back, he will remain champion longer than eight days. Batista tosses his mic at Orton and then kicks him and goes for the Batistabomb, but Orton slips out of the ring and escapes as we go to break.
- The WWE Just for Men Slam of the Week recaps William Regal sneaking a win in the battle royal last week.
1) William Regal defeats Santino Marella to win the Intercontinental Championship with a running knee
We are back from break and Glamarella is heading to the ring, holding all of their gold and preening to each other. Santino has the mic and he is confident that he will retain his title. He has done away with the Honk-a-meter as he has found something better. The Honk-a-Perfect-Mountie-Meter as the combined reigns of Honky, Perfect and Mountie was 123 weeks and Santino clocks in at 13 weeks. He is just two years and four months away from breaking that record. The crowd loves Santino and lets him know it with some loud cheering. The fancy pants, tea sipping, hair like the Jonas Brothers, William Regal will not be taking the title tonight because he is from the greatest country in Europe: Italy. Well, that turned the crowd against him. And they start cheering again as William Regal and Layla make their way to the ring for some title action. We even get the super special Lillian in ring introductions for this one. Regal attacks off the bell and hammers away, putting Santino down with a back elbow. He tosses him over and follows with a big running knee to the temple and he wins the belt! Wow, that one caught me off guard. Poor Santino and his brand new Honk-a-Perfect-Mountie-Meter, but this is a popular victory as the crowd erupted for the three. Grade: .5
- Michael Cole hops in the ring and asks Regal how it feels to be IC champion. The crowd is chanting for him and he waits for them to quiet down. He will be proud to wear the belt with the pride and dignity of an Englishman. He will also be proud to take the spirit of everyone from the UK all around the world. He is honored to be a loyal subject to the Queen and to be our IC champion. Regal and Layla stand proudly in the ring as we go to break.
- We are back and taking a look at London Bridge before visiting with Kane backstage. He welcomes Shane and Stephanie back to Raw and says that is something about Shane that brings out his inner child. It reminds him of how he liked to torture the innocent, which is why he likes beating on Rey Mysterio so much. He will do whatever he wants to Rey tonight and the fans will have to like it. However, he has never liked being liked, not by his brother, the McMahons or the fans. And that means, he will like himself all the more.
2) Mike Knox defeats D-Lo Brown with the Knox Out
When we get back inside the arena, D-Lo is already in the ring for our next bout. He will be facing Mike Knox, who is making his Raw debut. Cole says that many in ECW were glad to see Knox go. They trade blows to start and Knox takes control in the corner with fists and knees. He shoots Brown to the corner but eats a back elbow on a charge. Knox recovers and kicks D-Lo in the face and then takes him down with the Knox Out spinning STO for the quick win. Grade: .5
- At ringside, Cole and Lawler talk about the success of the Wrestlemania ticket sales this past weekend and we get a quick video package of that event. Backstage, Beth is looking for Santino and she finds him. He says he will be fine and what happened tonight was a tragedy. He should not have had to defend his title against Regal tonight. He called Shane McMahon, whom he says he never liked. He told Shane he wasnít scared of him and Shane took it out on Beth as she now has to face Mickie James for the championship tonight. Beth is not happy, slams Santinoís cell phone into the wall and then she storms off angrily as we storm off to break.
- The Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 WWE Rewind recaps Jerichoís title win from last weekís show. Cole reminds us that Jericho will have to battle John Cena in two weeks at Survivor Series. We then get the next installment of the John Cena story, this time picking up with his move to Raw in June 2005. Chris Jericho joins us on the ramp and mocks the John Cena story. He knows Cena is watching and he wants to remind him of the Batista story. Batista destroyed Cena at Summerslam and put him on the shelf and Batista is the man that Jericho beat in a cage last week. He proved he is the best in the World today. We can now talk about the Shawn Michaels story. He had the conviction to expose Michaels and his fans as the lairs and hypocrites they are. Shawn took exception, so he tossed Shawn through a monitor and then punched his wife in the mouth, accidentally. Michaels can make light of it now, but that just helps him cope. He has destroyed him time and again and then destroyed him in his very own type of contest: a ladder match. Tonight is the final chapter of the sad, pathetic story of Shawn Michaels. Cena should pay attention, because the same thing is going to happen to him. Survivor Series will end badly, because he is the World Champion and on top of his game. Cena is coming off a major injury and Jericho will show everyone that not every story has a happy ending. He walks off and we see Rey walking backstage as we go to break.
3) Rey Mysterio defeats Kane with the West Coast Pop in a No Disqualification match
We are back inside the Manchester Arena and we are being joined by Rey Mysterio. Kane is out next and we are ready for a grudge match. Rey bails to the floor off the bell and Kane stalks out after him. Rey slips under the ring as Kane kicks at the steps. Rey comes up from behind Kane and sends him flying into the steps. Rey hops on the apron and comes off with a cross body, but Kane catches him. He tries to run Rey into the post but Rey slips loose and kicks away at him. Rey hops up on the barricade and hits a moonsault, sending Kane down hard. Rey slides in the ring as we go to break. When we return, Kane is in control and smacking Rey around. He pulls him up and then slugs him back down. Kane continues to hammer away and then whips Rey hard into the corner. He drags Rey back up, shoots him into the ropes and attempts a sidewalk slam, but Rey sends him into the ropes with a headscissors takeover. Kane bails to the floor to avoid the 619. Rey tries a baseball slide, but Kane catches him by his feet and swings him into the barricade like a baseball bat in a sick spot. Kane works over Reyís arm, pulling it onto the post and yanking hard. He runs Rey into the steps and then tosses him back inside. Kane continues to ravage the arm as the crowd is trying to rally Rey. Rey is able to sneak in a bulldog takedown and then starts to kick away at Kaneís leg but Kane puts him back to the mat with a boot to the face. Kane heads over and takes the top two turnbuckle pads off. He grabs Rey and loads him for a splash mountain bomb. Rey slips loose and kicks Kane in the chest. He hits a flying Huracarrana off the top but Kane lands a big right hand. Kane misses a charge and gets hung up on the ropes and Rey kicks him to the apron. Rey charges but Kane garbs him by the throat. He tries for a Chokeslam, but Rey snaps him over the top rope instead. Rey comes flying out after him but Kane punches him in mid air. Kane pulls away the padding on the floor and goes for a Tombstone, but Rey slips out again. He charges and is able to DDT Kane on the concrete floor. He shoves Kane back inside the ring and gets a near fall. Rey hits an Enziguri and sends Kane into the middle rope. He hits the 619 and follows with a springboard splash, but Kane catches him throat. He tries for a chokeslam, but Ray slips out again and sends Kane face first into the exposed buckle. He hops to the middle rope and comes off with a sloppy West Coast Pop for the win. That was a decent match and both men worked hard, but it was just a bit too sluggish and never really got into a groove. Grade: 2
- Backstage, Manu and Cody confront Orton about his attack on DiBiase last week. Ted has a concussion and they arenít letting it slide. Orton says that DiBiase was the weak link in the group. He cost them the tag belts, screwed them in the battle royal and interfered in his match last week. What he did to DiBiase is what they didnít have the guts to do and neither Manu nor Rhodes is in Ortonís league. Cody smacks Orton and Manu stands between them as Orton looks to fire back. Orton stares at them and then storms off as we go to break.
- We are back and looking at the Manchester United soccer stadium and then we head back inside for our next match.
4) Batista defeats Cody Rhodes with the Batistabomb
The Animal is out first to another good pop and he is followed by Randy Orton who will be taking part in his second match post injury. We are now joined by Cody Rhodes and Manu. Cody has the mic and says that Orton canít be himself or Batista. Cody says he will beat Batista and calls for the bell. Orton obliges and hops to the floor. Batista pushes Cody to the corner and he lands the shoulderblocks. He shoots Cody across to the other corner and outs him down with a clothesline. Batista scoops him up and loads up the Batistabomb, but Cody slips out and kicks away at Batista. He lands a back elbow and a bulldog from the middle rope for two. Orton is watching from the ramp as Cody goes to work on Batistaís dinged up leg. Batista shoves Cody to the corner but Cody is able to get his boot up and drop toehold Batista to the bottom buckle. Manu gets a cheap shot and Cody stays in control. Batista lands a big boot to the face and follows with a forearm. Cody works out of a powerslam attempt but gets planted with a spinebuster on a charge. Batista shoves Manu to the floor and plants Cody with the Batistabomb for the win. Manu comes in but he eats a spear. Grade: 1
- Batista stalks up the ramp and Orton backs off and heads through the curtain before we get any kind of confrontation. Batista stands there staring as we go to break.
5) Beth Phoenix defeats Mickie James to retain the Womenís Championship after she runs Mickieís head into the ring post
When we return, Glamarella is in the ring. Mickie is out next and Cole reminds us that Mickie beat Beth for the belt in England earlier this year. Beth attacks off the bell but Mickie slips out of a suplex attempt and gets a roll up for two. Mickie gets another pin combination for a near fall. Beth misses a forearm and Mickie hits a clothesline. Mickie hits a clothesline and gets another near fall. Mickie buries some knees in the corner and follows with a back elbow. Mickie ends up on the apron and heads up top, but Santino trips her up. She walks the apron and kicks Santino in the head, but that allows Beth to run her hard into the post. Beth drags her in the ring and picks up the win. Santino and Beth put on a fantastic celebration as we go to break. Grade: 1
- We are back and Cole sends us to an extensive video package summing up the lengthy Jericho/Michaels feud.
6) Chris Jericho defeats Shawn Michaels in a non title Last Man Standing match after JBL hits Michaels with a chair
After that tremendous video, we head back to the ring for our Main Event as the World Heavyweight Champion is heading to the ring. Shawn Michaels is out next and we head to break as he hits the ring. When we return, the bell rings and Shawn starts things off by going for SCM but Jericho avoids it. Michaels hits a clothesline and gets a four count. Shawn lands a chop and the flying forearm. He kips up, slams Jericho and heads up top. Shawn goes for the flying elbow, but Jericho gets the knees up. Jericho climbs to his feet and gets a five count. He clotheslines Shawn to the apron but misses a springboard body block and flies out to the floor where Shawn gets a four count. Michaels hits a springboard cross body to the floor and then crawls in the ring as the ref counts to six. Michaels jumps Jericho in the aisle and hammers away at him. Jericho dodges SCM and Jericho bulldogs him to the floor. Mike Chioda gets to seven before Michaels fights to his feet. Jericho slugs him back down and is stalking Shawn as he gets back. We donít get the payoff though as we hit our final break before Jericho strikes. When we return, Shawn is down on the ramp and Chioda is counting. He gets to eight as Michaels gets to his feet. Jericho charges but Michaels scoops his legs and slingshots him into a prop mailbox. Both men are u pat six and Michaels is able to hiptoss Jericho onto a prop car. Shawn climbs up on it and he pulls Jericho to the roof. He is trying for a piledriver, but Jericho blocks and takes Michaels down and turns him into the Walls atop the car. Jericho has it wrenched in as Michaels yells in pain. He finally releases and shoves Michaels to the floor. Chioda counts to nine as Michaels just beats the count. Jericho leaps off the car, but Shawn meets him with a punch to the gut. Both men are down again both they get back up and Shawn is able to send Jericho flying off the stage and to the concrete. Shawn swings around a giant camera crane and smacks Jericho with it for an eight count. Michaels drags Jericho back to ringside and he pulls a ladder out from under the ring. Jericho is able to recover and shove the ladder into Shawn. Jericho picks the ladder up and runs it into Shawnís face for a nine count. Jericho charges with the ladder again, but Shawn ducks and he hits the post. Shawn grabs the ladder and smacks Jericho with it. Chioda gets to seven as Shawn clears off the announce table. Jericho climbs to his feet, but Shawn is right on him and he lays Jericho across the announce table. He sets up the ladder and climbs up to the second step from the top. He does a crotch chop and then comes off with a big elbow through the table. Both men get to their feet at eight. JBL comes charging out, but Michaels ducks him and sends him flying into the crowd. Jericho takes the chance to grab the title belt and smacking Shawn in the head with it. Shawn gets up at nine and nails Jericho with SCM but JBL smashes Michaels with a chair from behind right afterwards. Jericho is able to pull himself up at nine and Michaels tries but canít do it as Chioda hits ten. Grade: 3
- Jericho celebrates and we get some replays as we fade out.
The opening segment was efficient and set the table for the nightís festivities. Stephanie was to the point and coherent in setting the stage for the show and the direction of Raw. The Orton/Batista showdown was good too and the crowd was into it as they set up their match. The IC match was quite brief as Regal picked up the surprising win in his home country. The pop was great and Regal deserves it. Santino did a great job on the mic and with his selling, as always. Knox made a strong debut and will probably get a decent push but it was disheartening to see D-Lo job so quickly. He really needs to head to Smackdown to beef up their upper mid card. Jericho delivered another killer promo that made perfect sense and set the tone for his match with Cena. The Rey/Kane match was decent enough and I am glad to see that feud put to bed for a while. They had a couple of good matches mixed in, but this blowoff was nothing special. The backstage confrontation with Orton and Priceless was great and this continues to be the best story on Raw each week. The bait and switch on the Orton/Batista match was kind of cheesy, but it makes sense to save that match for a PPV showdown. The bout with Cody was weak and the crowd was dead for it. Batista got good pops for his entrances, but the crowd was not digging him in the match at all. The womenís title match was another quickie and it seems that all is well in Glamarella land once again as Beth retained. I was hoping the Main Event would really deliver and salvage the show, but it came up short for me. The match was fundamentally good but just didnít have much excitement to it and they seemed to be a bit in slow motion throughout. As great as their feud has been, they definitely need a bit of a break before facing off again. This was a weird show as the energy was high and the angles and storylines were all progressed nicely, but they just didnít deliver in the ring as the matches, outside of the Main Event, were all relatively short. The crowd was fired up for most of the night, but between the bells they were pretty quiet and it sort of killed the show. We did get a nice title change as a surprise, so this was a somewhat memorable show and it was also an enjoyable one, but it felt like it was missing something to help make it really good or even great. We are now under two weeks away from Survivor Series and not much has been revealed, so next weekís show will be a key go home edition. Grade: C
MVP: William Regal Runner Up: Rey Mysterio Non MVP: D-Lo Brown Runner Up: Santino Marella
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