St. Louis, Missouri
February 2, 2009
results thanks to pwtorch.com
The show started with Michael Cole
and Jerry Lawler announcing John Cena vs. Chris Jericho in the main event
tonight. Cena's WWE World Hvt. Title isn't on the line.
In-ring: Lilian Garcia announced Shane McMahon to start the show. He did the money dance on stage. Great. Shane came to the ring as the announcers talked up his defiant stand against Randy Orton. Cue up a video package from last week when Stephanie brought out Shane to get revenge for Orton punting papa Vince in the head two weeks ago.
Back in the ring, the fans applauded as Shane soaked it in. He said when the show went off the air last week, he was approached by Randy Orton's legal team. Shane said that Orton wants to face him at No Way Out. Yep, figures. And he's accepted. Contracts have been executed by both parties, and it will be a No Holds Barred match. But, he's not looking to score a pin on Orton at the PPV. He wants some payback and he'll get it.
Shane said he's going to do everything possible and sacrifice his body at No Way Out to take out Orton to where he can't make it to WrestleMania. On cue, hometown boy Randy Orton's music interrupted and out walked Orton on stage. Orton stared into the ring and waited out the boos. He said Shane seems pretty sure of himself, but he's just curious whether Shane stopped to ask himself how he did it. "How did you possibly single-handedly beat up the three top superstars in WWE?"
The answer, he said, is simple. "You didn't." The second he saw Shane coming down the ramp, he made a decision. He told Ted and Cody not to fight back. Orton told him to watch the footage, as they tried to contain him, but didn't fight back. He said when he saw Shane coming down to the ramp, he was looking at the entire Raw roster standing behind Shane looking to impress Shane or Stephanie. Orton said if he threw just one punch, the odds would have gone from three-on-one to 20-on-three. He was willing to pay the price for a match at No Way Out without any consequences. Orton told Shane to call the hospital where Vince is, then order a second bed because after No Way Out, papa Vince is going to have some company.
Orton slowly walked down the ramp to tease doing something, but he opted to turn back around and head up the ramp. He slowly placed his mic down on the ramp, then looked back into the ring. Orton turned to walk toward the ring as Shane took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves, then Orton slowly approached the ring apron. He put one hand on the ropes, but backed away. Cody and Ted suddenly stormed in the ring from behind, but Shane busted out a Kendo stick to fight off the ambush attack. Legacy bailed from the ring and slowly backed up the entrance ramp to close the segment.
Caldwell's Analysis: Well, they tried to explain the Shane punch-fest to take the legs out from under the Legacy last week. They get an A for effort, but it still should have been vetoed one week after Orton's mega-heel moment and one day after Orton won the Rumble.
Did You Know: ECW on Sci-Fi related. Am I on the right night?
In-ring: Mickie James is back on the show, as she came to the ring with IC champion C.M. Punk for a mixed tag match to start things off in the ring. As expected, William Regal and Layla came out as the opposition. Cole announced Punk vs. Regal for the IC Title on next week's show.
1 -- Intercontinental champion C.M. PUNK & MICKIE JAMES vs. WILLIAM REGAL & LAYLA
Lawler surmised that Regal has a permanent scowl after eating some bad peanut butter. Too soon. I'm waiting for Layla to throw her shoe at Punk in this one. Punk busted out a series of hard kicks to Regal's body, then to the face that cleared Regal to the floor. Regal tried to use Layla as a human shield, but Mickie took out Layla with a running splash from the apron. Punk, distracted, then ate the floor when Regal yanked him out of the ring. Mickie checked on Punk, who tried to recover before the ten count. Punk barely crawled into the ring, sticking his head out across the bottom rope. Regal took advantage with a running knee to the head for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Regal & Layla at 3:20. Quick match, but put Punk in jeopardy for next week's IC Title match. Here we go with another series of short TV matches this week. (3/4*)
WM video: Take it back to WrestleMania 2 from April 1986 with shows in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Rules were meant to be broken between celebrities in gimmick matches. Plenty of clips of Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T. They showed Hogan in the cage against King Kong Bundy. Interestingly, the only cage match in WM history, they claimed. We need to put that one under the Microscope.
Tonight: JBL gives an "Employee Performance Appraisal" of Shawn Michaels tonight. Well, that should be fun.
In-ring: Priceless's music hit and out walked Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase for a tag match. They were still selling the effects from Shane's Kendo stick shots in the opening segment. When you think about babyface tag teams remaining on Raw's roster, the only team that comes to mind is Cryme Tyme. On cue, they came to the ring to face the Legacy reps.
2 -- PRICELESS (TED DIBIASE, JR. & CODY RHODES) vs. CRYME TYME (SHAD GASPAR & JTG)
Ref called for a DQ very quickly in this one. Not sure who was disqualified, as Shad was working on DiBiase in the corner. Perhaps Cody was in the ring too long as the illegal man? In any event, Priceless took Shad apart with a double-team front-face slam to cap off the segment. Ref admonished them, then refs checked on Shad, who remained out cold in the ring.
WINNERS: No Contest in 3:00. No official decision was ever announced, so I'm going with Cryme Tyme picking up the win because Cody was in there too long as the illegal man. Announcers had no clue what the decision was, either. If you want people to buy PPVs to see matches, it's best to get your stuff right on TV where the application of rules is conveyed to viewers. (1/2*)
Jericho-Rourke video: They showed a video package on Hollywood news sources recapping Mickey Rourke's long week of changing his mind on whether to face Chris Jericho at WrestleMania. Showed a clip of Ric Flair hugging Rourke at the Hollywood premiere of "The Wrestler." Cue up Jericho's cartoon, play-to-the-masses heel promo on Larry King Live. Edited the footage to show Rourke saying he wouldn't wrestle, but without showing Rourke saying he would do a fight, bareknuckles brawl, whatev.
Backstage: Jericho was shown walking in his suit to address Rourke on the other side of the break.
WrestleMania is 62 days away. ... Backstage: The camera spotted Randy Orton giving Cody and Ted a pep talk. One of those annoying "secret" meetings the wrestlers pretend like they don't know the camera is picking up.
In-ring: Chris Jericho was in the ring staring into the crowd to control everyone with his eyes. Jericho wants to clarify his comments made on Larry King Live last week. He said he respects Mickey Rourke's comments on the show and predictable back-tracking out of a match at WrestleMania. Jericho said "The Wrestler" glorifies the pathetic has-beens hanging on to one last shot at fame. Men like Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, and Ric Flair. Jericho said as a matter of fact, Flair is the worst of all of them because he won't bow out gracefully. He was 16-time World champ, millions of fans, and millions of dollars made, including the most-epic retirement of all-time, and he should be spending quality time with his family, but Flair's not. He's doing autograph signings and Q&A sessions. Tell-all-interview to low-rent websites. He'll give his name to anyone who will give him a paycheck.
Jericho said Flair has a sickness and he's not alone. He said all of these "legends" need to be put in their place. Jericho said he's requesting WWE revoke their Hall of Fame status. Suddenly, John Cena interrupted on screen, saying "enough, enough!" Cena said if it wasn't for those legends, Jericho wouldn't be able to stand in that ring. Cena said it's the same thing every week. Jericho has some fancy suit and big words with some point to prove. He said Jericho is the first one to say these guys need to quit the past, but he's always talking about being the first Undisputed champion. He said Jericho wants the legends to walk away, but Jericho's been fired twice.
Cena continued that with every word Jericho says, it makes him more and more angry. Cena accused Jericho of the ultimate sin of Crossing the Line. He said they have a match tonight and Jericho needs to be shut up tonight. So, he's going to shut him up the only way he knows how. Cena channeled Shawn Michaels and said he's going to knock Jericho's teeth down his throat. "See you out there," Cena said before smiling and walking off camera.
Caldwell's Analysis: Vince McMahon isn't happy. Jericho got his full promo out there to get a McMahon point out there about wrestlers using the WWE platform for their own gain, then Cena came out for the "pour some sugar on the McMahon-is-mad" segment to make it go down easier and build up the Cena vs. Jericho match tonight.
Announcers: Jerry Lawler wondered aloud what Ric Flair would think about what Chris Jericho said. ... Backstage: Kofi and Rey were shown walking to the ring in anticipation of their tag match against Knox & Kane.
In-ring: Rey Mysterio quickly came to the ring, then Kofi Kingston. They're in a hurry, apparently, as Kane quickly came out, followed by Mike Knox. Announcers said Knox qualified for the Chamber at a house show last night.
3 -- MIKE KNOX & KANE vs. REY MYSTERIO & KOFI KINGSTON
Kane was cleared to the outside like ten seconds into the match. Kofi then stood off against Knox as Cole said Rey and Kofi are rolling. How are they rolling? They had like one move right before the break, which came very suddenly. Apparently they really needed to grab that break.
Back from break, Kofi fought back against Kane and tagged out to Rey. Rey wanted the 619, but Kane wisely rolled to the floor. Rey followed with a seated sentaun running off the apron, but Kane uppercut him once they were back in the ring. Enter Knox, who stomped on Rey. Rey tried a springboard moonsault, but Knox caught him in mid-air. Rey managed to blind tag out to Kofi, though, who caught Knox by surprise and hit the boom-boom leg drop for a two count. Knox came back at 6:30 with a big bicycle kick on Kofi, who rolled a shoulder to escape a pin attempt.
[Q5 -- second hour]
Kane nearly lost control against Kofi, but Kane walked over to Rey and gave him a big boot to the face to knock him off the apron and prevent the hot tag. Kofi nailed a cross-body on Knox at 10:00, then Kofi went for the tag to Rey again, but Rey was nowhere to be found. Rey finally made his way back to the apron, but Kane yanked Kofi back to center ring. Kofi finally broke free and hot-tagged Rey, who landed a sick spin-over reverse DDT on Kane. Rey then dropped the dime with a springboard smash, but Knox broke up the pin. Kofi took out Knox, then knocked him to the floor. Kofi ate Knox's knee on a dive, and back in the ring, Kane was set up for the 619. Rey wanted it, but Knox grabbed Rey's legs in mid-air. Rey kicked him away, then wanted a springboard on Kane, but Kane caught him in mid-air and nailed a huge chokeslam for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Kane & Knox at 11:40. Very nice tag match. Heck, we got ourselves a new tag team in WWE. Cole said it best that they're two of the strangest men in WWE, so they're a natural fit. It would be nice to see them jump to Smackdown as a tag team and give some heel star power to the brand holding the tag belts. Yes, I put Knox in a sentence with star power. That subtle promo he had two weeks ago was a career-changer. (**1/2)
Backstage: Stephanie was giving Shane some advice about being careful with No Holds Barred on Sunday. Suddenly, Randy, Ted, and Cody jumped Shane and knocked down Stephanie. They beat down Shane and fought off a few security dudes. Meanwhile, Orton measured Shane for the big Punt. He stopped short, though, and spotted Stephanie knocked down out of the corner of his eye. He measured Steph for the big Punt, but Shane suddenly flew in there to take the bullet. Shane sold a ribs injury, then Orton snapped out of his IED syndrome as Malenko & co. told him to get away. Steph checked on Shane as Orton walked away. Oh, dang, it's all coming back when I saw that look on Orton's face a second time. They're taking it back to when Orton had the concussion storyline with Triple H starting at the 2005 Royal Rumble.
Moments ago: Michael Cole did a solemn voice leading to a recap of the previous segment when S&S were blindsided by Legacy. Cole and Lawler then talked about what happened. They agreed Orton knew what he did was wrong, but how will that affect the No Holds Barred match at No Way Out? No plug for the final qualifying match for the Chamber, which is scheduled for tonight.
WrestleMania video: Back to WrestleMania X where it all began again. Focus on Bret vs. Owen, and the Michaels ladder match. But, back to Owen vs. Bret. No titles at stake. Just personal and family pride. They showed Owen winning in a "match for the ages," then showed footage of Michaels in the epic ladder match against Razor with Diesel following HBK to the ring. All of that led to a plug for the current Money in the Bank. ... Backstage: JBL was shown watching the HBK footage on a monitor in his locker room.
Smackdown plug: Triple H & Undertaker vs. Big Show & Edge.
In-ring: Candice Michelle came to the ring for a divas contest. She dropped the all-black "heel turn" get-up and added some funky "heart-thumping" motion along with her robe-revealing entrance. Beth Phoenix then came out with Rosa Mendes and Santino.
4 -- BETH PHOENIX (w/Santino and Rosa Mendes) vs. CANDICE MICHELLE
Beth went to work on Candice and slammed her hard to the mat with a back suplex. Beth put her in the air for a gut wrench submission, but Candice slipped out into a roll-up for a two count. Candice began slapping/chopping Beth, then she went to the second rope for a turnaround spin kick. Santino was concerned as Candice continued on the offensive. Beth then came back with the double chicken-wing facebuster for the pin and the win. Afterward, Santino and Rosa celebrated with Beth, who wanted to pose herself.
WINNER: Beth Phoenix in 2:30. If you "placed your bets," there's your winner for shortest match of the night, won by Beth. Glamarella just isn't the same right now. (1/2*)
Announcers: Cole and Lawler said Ric Flair will be live on Raw next Monday to respond to Jericho's comments.
In-ring: The white limo pulled up ringside, then JBL walked to the ring for a performance evaluation of Shawn Michaels. They showed a clip from last week when HBK didn't get the job done against John Cena to qualify JBL for the Chamber. Back to the ring where JBL said he would like to conduct a performance appraisal right now. It's something management does to assess the value of employees, so he would like to assess Michaels's work right now.
Shawn Michaels's music hit and he came out to the ring looking very tired in the eyes. Michaels waited for JBL to speak and JBL took us back to a few months ago when JBL offered to buy Michaels out of a bad financial situation. He fulfilled his end. What about you, Shawn? He confirmed JBL has. JBL said he had no ulterior motive for helping Michaels out. His only reason for doing it was to hire him for him to get to WrestleMania 25 as World Hvt. champion.
JBL said it leads to this question: "Did you fulfill your end?" Michaels said JBL hired him for that purpose and he's done so many things he's not proud of, including laying down for JBL in a #1 Contender match, putting JBL on top of a lifeless Cena at Rumble, and had Cena beat last week, but JBL interfered in his business affairs. HBK said the blame doesn't go on himself, but on JBL. JBL thought it over and said Michaels failed. He said Michaels failed himself, his family, and him. JBL said he's put up with more from Michaels than he should have, so now the question is whether he wants to be released from his contract.
Michaels said what he wants to do is kick JBL's teeth down his throat. "Sure you do," JBL said. JBL said Michaels does that and he loses his job and becomes a pathetic bankrupt. He told Michaels to think about someone other than himself for a change, and think about making his family suffer. HBK wanted to know what he wants from him. JBL proposed the two of them one-on-one at No Way Out. Winner Take All. If Michaels wins, he will pay everything owed and it will be a healthy severance package if he wins. If JBL wins, then he owns Michaels. The whole name. Everything. HBK works for JBL for the rest of his life. All or nothing. The ball is in HBK's court.
JBL said he'll own the name. If he wants HBK to star in a movie, he owns it. If he wants Michaels to sell Layfield Energy products, he'll make him do it. If he wants to open a restaurant and make Michaels dance out front in a monkey suit, then he'll make him a dancing monkey. JBL said he'll own Michaels's name long after Michaels's wrestling career until the day he dies. He said Michaels has a chance to get himself out, so roll the dice. All or nothing. One clothesline. You slip on a banana peel and I get everything, JBL said. And HBK gets absolutely nothing. JBL said one day his kids are going to look him in the eyes and ask what he was fighting for.
Michaels clenched his jaw and said, "I accept."
JBL smiled and said Michaels is still working for him until No Way Out. So, he can't put his hands on him. JBL poked Michaels in the chest several times to get the point across before starting to bully Michaels. He made sure HBK knows he's putting his entire life on the line. JBL called him a broken-down old man who has no chance of beating the wrestling god. JBL slapped him across the face and Michaels backed into a corner with his face quivering and shaking. JBL backed up a few steps as HBK went into his superkick stance, but he opted to duck out of the ring. JBL smiled as HBK left up the entranceramp.
ECW plug: Jack Swagger found his ECW Title, now he defends it against Finlay tomorrow night.
Earlier tonight: Cole narrated clips of a "frightening situation" when Orton & Co. knocked down Stephanie and Shane, then punted Shane in the ribs when Shane saved Steph from a punt to the head.
Backstage: Kane was shown pacing around, then Stephanie approached him. She wanted to know if everything was in place. Kane said it's been taken care of. Stephanie said at No Way Out, Kane is in the Elimination Chamber and next week, Randy Orton goes one-on-one with The Undertaker.
In-ring: Chris Jericho came out first for the main event. John Cena then came out and stared down Jericho while the announcers talked up Jericho's earlier promo. Cena didn't waste any time playing to the crowd and went right after Jericho.
5 -- WWE World Hvt. champion JOHN CENA vs. CHRIS JERICHO -- non-title match
This was a slugfest early on without much dependence on wrestling holds. Cena then busted out a running bulldog out of the corner after Cole made a point that it was St. Louis where Cena jumped to Raw in the 2005 Draft. Fans chanted Cena's name as he stalked Jericho for a sit-out slam. Cena then clotheslined Jericho to the floor and gave Jericho some time before running after him on the outside. Jericho took advantage by kicking him away into the announce table. Cut to break.
Back from break, Jericho had Cena in a headlock. Cena started to fade as Jericho whispered sweet-nothings in Cena's ear. Jericho fed his arm to Cena, who wanted to power into the FU, but Jericho slipped out into a DDT for a two count. Cena recovered on the apron, then Jericho hit a springboard dropkick that sent Cena to the floor. Cena made it back into the ring at a nine count, and Jericho went back on the attack.
[Q9 -- over-run]
Jericho paintbrushed Cena at the top of the hour, then Cena pulled out a belly-to-belly suplex. Both men recovered on the mat before Jericho missed with a corner shoulder tackle and ate the ringpost. Cena built momentum with shoulder tackles before setting up the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena took forever, and Jericho popped to his feet to block the Five Knuckle Shuffle. They went into an exchange of pins before having a battle of right hand blows. Jericho cut off a shoulder tackle with an elbow, then he hit a Lionsault for a two count at 10:30.
Cena got up, ducked a clothesline, and hit the sit-out slam before finishing off that Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena wanted the FU, which Lawler re-called the Attitude Adjuster. Jericho slipped out, though, but Cena blocked the codebreaker. Another great exchange leading to Jericho slapping on the Walls of Jericho. Cena inched to the ropes as Jericho watched the hold on the Titantron to know when to yank Cena back into center ring. Jericho wasn't paying attention and Cena suddenly rolled through into a leglock for the STFU. Jericho instantly tapped out to put Cena's hold over huge.
Post-match: Cena celebrated in the ring as the announcers plugged Flair on Raw next week. Also, Taker vs. Orton in a WM 21 re-match. they closed with one final shot of Cena celebrating in the ring.
WINNER: John Cena via submission at 12:25. Very strong finish as usual between these two. Cena is pulling out some quality TV matches to start the year and Jericho had enough offense to retain credibility, outside of tapping out in less than two seconds to the STFU. Strong 30 minutes to conclude this show after a weak first 90 minutes. (***)