Oalkand, California
February 9, 2009

results thanks to pwtorch.com

The show started with a quiet arena, then Lilian Garcia announced Ric Flair to start the show. Plenty of Raw-related signs in the arena. Flair slowly stepped into the ring as Michael Cole said Flair has become an ambassador for this industry since retiring. They showed a picture of Flair and Rourke promoting "The Wrestler" in Los Angeles last year. Flair took the mic and said it's good to be out here again. Flair looked deep-fried in the face. My goodness.

Flair said this time last year, he was fighting for his career. At WrestleMania 24, his opponent was Shawn Michaels and he couldn't have lost to a man he has more respect for. No regrets. Suddenly, Chris Jericho walked out on stage and interrupted without music. He said he won't let Flair waste valuable air time reminiscing like this. Jericho said he has a comment for Flair tonight. Remember the night after WrestleMania when he officially said bye to wrestling. Cue up a slow-motion shot of Jericho stepped into the ring to hug Flair during Flair's farewell speech.

Flair then checked his Rolex watch very slowly before Jericho continued that he hugged Flair out of respect then. Had he known that Flair would start prostituting himself and had he known Flair would become what he became, he would have slapped Flair right in his face. Flair responded that he wishes he would have known Jericho would become a condescending little punk, insecure with himself. Flair said he he's never sold-out and he'll never go back in the ring to wrestle again. He said standing here, he's losing more respect for Jericho by the minute.

Flair said he lives and dies for these people everyday. Jericho asked Flair if he really cares for these hypocrites just because they'll line up to shake hands with Flair for any two-bit promoter who slaps his face on a poster. Jericho accused him of wanting to hog the spotlight. Flair said yes he does want the spotlight because he's the Nature Boy. Flair said he'll never retire from this business because he loves this business and loves shaking hands and telling stories.

Jericho waited out Flair and said since he's an honest man who tells the truth, he gets a lot of people telling him it's none of his business. Jericho said he's a locker room leader and said he has a whole lot of folks who respect him a lot more than they respect Flair. He said Flair can pat himself on the back now for not getting back in the ring, but he knows the day will come when Flair will want to get back in.

He said Flair missed the entire point of Mickey Rourke's movie that the fans don't care about any of the legends. Sure, they'll cheer now, but they'll go home and post their pics on facebook, then completely forget about Flair. Jericho told Flair to stop catering to the fans for their entertainment. Tell them, Flair, that you are better than they are. Flair said, "No, no, no."

Jericho told Flair to start strutting back and forth like a puppet; pander like a good dog to these parasite fans. Jericho started to say, "You know it's true-" but Flair cut him off with a big right hand that connected with the mic and partially Jericho's face. Jericho bailed out of the ring, then Flair strutted in the ring. Jericho slowly walked away from ringside, then stared back into the ring where Flair stared back with an icy glare. Well, that was a hot start to the show.

Video package: They recapped the Randy Orton-Shane McMahon program with Orton punting Vince in the head a few weeks ago before Orton, Cody, and Ted attacked Shane and Stephanie in the hallway last week to set up Orton vs. Undertaker tonight.


[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Santino was in the ring with Rosa, Beth, and Jillian Hall. Next week, it's champion Melina vs. Beth Phoenix for the Women's Title. Tag match to start the action tonight, as Women's champion Melina and Kelly Kelly came to the ring.

1 -- JILLIAN HALL & BETH PHOENIX (w/Santino Marella and Rosa Mendes) vs. Women's champion MELINA & KELLY KELLY

Jerry Lawler quipped that Jillian was disappointed not to be nominated for a Grammy last night. Rosa, the intern, ran interference at 2:30 and yanked Melina off the ring ropes when she wanted a springboard move on Beth. Beth then followed with the chicken wing front-face slam for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Beth Phoenix & Jillian Hall at 2:45. Just a fill-in-the-template standard divas match. At least there's a purpose for next week. (1/2*)

WrestleMania Rewind: They went back to WrestleMania III from March 1987 in Detroit at the Pontiac Silverdome. Classic clips included Piper vs. Adonis, JYD (who lost to Harley Race), a little taste of Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage in one of the best Mania matches ever. Focus was, of course, on Hogan vs. Andre. Subtle plug for the Legends of WrestleMania video game. Surprised they didn't give us Billy Jack vs. Hercules. Sadness.

[Commercial Break]


Backstage: JBL was shown putting his jacket on, then Shawn Michaels walked in. JBL reminded him of their all-or-nothing match on Sunday, which Michaels said he didn't forget about. JBL said he didn't forget either, and since Michaels is still his employee until Sunday, he's booked him a tune-up match...against Mark Henry. JBL told him good luck.

On-stage: Randy Orton came out with Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes for a promo. Orton is looking much bigger lately, by the way. Orton said he won't be intimidated by Stephanie McMahon, Shane McMahon, or Vince McMahon. See, he was never going to punt Stephanie last week, but only intimidate her to prove a point. Orton wants Steph around so she can see him take apart Shane on Sunday. He then pulled his boys in for a huddle. They walked to the ring for a match on the other side of the break.

[Commercial Break]


Shad was very focused before the opening bell. Priceless waited through the initial flurry, then cornered Shad to work him over. JTG took a hot tag at 2:30 and cleaned house before the action broke down. Cody then grappled JTG from behind and hit a spinning facebuster, the Cross Roads, for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Legacy at 3:25. Would have liked to have seen more between these two teams, as Cryme Tyme has shown improvement in the ring, and it would be nice to see them stretch out a longer match than the standard three-minute TV formula match. (*)


Plug: Cena & Rey & Kofi vs. Kane & Jericho & Knox tonight in a six-man tag match.

Video package: They showed John Cena in Orlando last week participating in a Gillette spot with various sports celebrities, including Reggie Bush, Derek Jeter, and Tiger Woods. Jeter talked about his no facial hair restrictions with the Yankees. Jeter also said he would like to see Cena out for a Yankees game one day. Cena whispered he's not exactly a Yankees fan. (He's a Rays fan. Haha.)

[Commercial Break]

Ringside: Various members of the Oakland Raiders football team took their cue to begin fighting among themselves. Suddenly, Kane's pyro went off to stop them in their tracks. Kane came out, followed by Mike Knox. Chris Jericho then came out wiggling his jaw to sell Flair's punch. Out first for the babyface trio was Rey Mysterio. Kofi Kingston came out, then John Cena's music hit to a huge reaction. Cena led the babyfaces into the ring and held up his World Title bet for Kane and Knox to get a good look. You'd think they could present a few video packages on what it would mean for Kane, Knox, Kofi, and Rey to be in a World Title match on Sunday. Jericho, we know based on his recent title reigns, but WWE hasn't established any sense of jeopardy for Cena's title on Sunday. That's been missing since the night after the Rumble, but apparently they don't feel that element of the pre-match hype will enhance the story or lead to additional PPV buys. Oh well.

[Commercial Break]


Match started in progress out of the break. Early on, Kofi landed a boom-boom leg drop, but Kane came back with a clothesline before tagging in Knox to work on Kofi.

[Q5 -- second hour]

Cena picked up a quick hot tag and he cleaned house on Knox with shoulder tackles and a sit-out slam. He then told Knox you can't see me before delivering the Five Knuckle Shuffle in center ring. Knox popped up to his feet and Cena wanted the FU...sorry, Attitude Adjustlamement, but Kane broke it up after fighting off the ref. On the outside, Cena rammed Kane back-first into the guardrail to allow the heels to work on Cena. Meanwhile, Michael Cole talked up the similar obstacles Cena faces on Sunday. Jericho tagged in and slingshot Cena throat-first across the top rope, then lifted Cena way up in the air for a front slam/toss and a nearfall. Jericho grounded Cena, who tried to power-lift into the FU, but Jericho blocked with a DDT at 4:00 of TV time.

Heels continue to work on Cena as the crowd was pretty involved in the action. Cena teased a comeback, but Kane cut him off with a sidewalk slam for a nearfall. Lawler with a good point that perhaps Cena's partners were allowing Cena to take punishment to soften him for Sunday. Kane wanted a chokeslam, but Cena ducked and nailed the FU. He was worn out, so he crawled across the desert to Rey for a hot tag. Rey came in hot with a sick head scissors on Jericho, followed by a mid-ring huracanrana. Rey with a bulldog for a nearfall when Knox smashed Rey from behind.

Rey and Knox battled, then Rey pulled down the top rope to send Knox flying to the floor. Jericho then ate the middle turnbuckle from Rey and Kofi took a hot tag to throw Rey into Jericho. Kane then grappled Rey and flipped him to the floor to cut off the red-hot Rey. Meanwhile, Kofi and Jericho battled in the corner. Kind of a weird sequence that ended with Kofi trying a springboard dive that Jericho countered in mid-air with the codebreaker. He covered Kofi and scored the pin for the win. Afterward, Knox and Kane weren't too happy with Jericho for winning. He smiled, then quickly ducked out like a good heel when he felt threatened.

WINNERS: Team Jericho at 7:20 of TV time. Really hot six-man tag match that allowed all six men to get some quality TV time. Nice use of Cena in peril to convey Cena in jeopardy on Sunday. The finish was a little off live, but a post-match replay made it look acceptable. Magic of replay. (**1/4)

Stephanie's office: Stephanie was on the phone very exasperated. Maid? Nanny? Someone kept cutting her off on the other line. She said she's not provoking Randy Orton. Stephanie said she heard what Orton had to say earlier and she will be careful. She can handle herself. Stephanie signed off, then hung up the phone. Um...okay.

Backstage: Shawn Michaels was shown walking down the hallway in preparation for Henry tonight.

[Commercial Break]


In-ring: Shawn Michaels came to the ring a little more chipper than the past several weeks where he was playing JBL's sad, depressed, puppy-dog-eyed puppet. Mark Henry then came out with Tony Atlas following close behind. Poor Atlas got a face-full of Henry's hair product and/or water from his hair when Henry threw his head back before entering the ring. Instead of getting the ring bell, the bell from JBL's music hit and JBL walked to ringside. Michaels lost his chipperness, then JBL tossed out the production assistant to get a seat ringside. Before the opening bell, Michaels jumped Henry in the corner. Ref separated them, then called for the bell.

4 -- SHAWN MICHAELS vs. MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas)

Michaels tackled Henry again, then the action moved to the floor. Michaels grabbed a chair and tossed it into the ring for use on Henry, but Henry stole it from him. No problem, as Michaels superkicked the chair into Henry's face to cause a DQ. After the bell, Lilian began to announce Henry as the winner, but JBL took the mic and reminded HBK that if he gets DQ'ed or doesn't adhere to the ref's rules on Sunday, then he owns Michaels forever. JBL said he will turn Michaels into Mickey Mouse and slap his likeness on everything that is JBL Corporation.

JBL then suggested Michaels bring his wife to No Way Out so she can watch a broken down man gamble away his life. JBL said he'll do what he always does: win. JBL began to leave, but he paused on the ring apron and re-addressed HBK. With a straight face, he said speaking of Michaels's wife, he thinks there will always be a place for such a beautiful and talented lady. JBL stormed out, then HBK let out some of his frustrations. He's ticking time-bomb ready to explode on Sunday.

WINNER: Henry via DQ at 0:58. Very nice set-up for Michaels vs. JBL on Sunday, which was somewhat lost in the shuffle before tonight's show despite the high stakes on the match. JBL's promos are rock-solid in not over-playing his hand as a heel and using the Jericho strategy of being subtle in his verbal attacks. (n/a)

Up next: Punk vs. Regal, which has received zero hype. Well, it is the IC Title.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: IC champion C.M. Punk came out first to defend the Intercontinental Title tonight. They showed new Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia ringside taking in the action. William Regal then came out with Layla.

5 -- IC champion C.M. PUNK vs. WILLIAM REGAL -- Intercontinental Title match

Regal landed a big knee smash early on, but Punk fought back with trademark body kicks. He wanted the G2S, but Regal slipped out with elbow smashes before slapping on a straight-jacket submission hold. Regal followed with Bryan Danielson elbow strikes, but Punk kicked out of a pin attempt. Very aggressive from Regal early on.


Regal hit a t-bone suplex before measuring Punk for a running knee to the face. Punk popped up, though, and kicked Regal in the face. He then lowered his kneepad and hoisted Regal up for the G2S directly on his exposed knee. Punk scored the pin for the win before selling some pain from Regal's early knee smash.

WINNER: Punk at 2:45 to retain the IC Title. Another quick match in this series. Just no reason to put any faith in WWE to build up the IC division when they didn't even pre-hype the only title match on the show and only give it three minutes of TV time. Match was good in the limited time given. (*1/2)

WrestleMania Rewind: Take it back to WM 13, which featured young WWE stars Steve Austin, Triple H, and The Rock. They showed the Austin vs. Bret Hart star-making match for Austin. In the main event, it was Taker vs. Sid with Taker scoring the WWE Title victory. The Streak continues. Tonight, it's Taker vs. Orton in a WM 21 re-match.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler talked up Mickey Rourke winning the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in the U.K. last night. They rolled footage of Rourke accepting the award and complemented Marisa Tomei for putting up with him filming "The Wrestler." ...

Back ringside, Lawler gave Rourke best wishes for the Oscar later this month. Roll footage of Rourke's good friend, Ric Flair, being interrupted by Chris Jericho earlier tonight. ... Announcers then plugged the No Way Out PPV card. ... Next, another video package recapping the Orton-McMahon feud. ... Backstage, Orton was shown slowly walking by himself down the hallway in preparation for Taker.

[Commercial Break]


In-ring: Randy Orton came to the ring for the main event. They showed Stephanie McMahon tensely watching Orton's entrance from her office monitor. Orton slowly looked around the arena before coldly staring toward the entrance in anticipation of Undertaker. Feels like we're on Smackdown with Cole calling a Taker entrance. Orton clenched his jaw as Taker did his pre-match routine, then Taker circled around the ring before the bell sounded.


Hot start for Taker, who landed some furious fists before clotheslining Orton to the floor. Orton tried to gain control when Taker followed out, but Taker landed a chinbreaker across the top rope. Orton retreated on the floor again, but Taker snuck up on him with a hard clothesline to the floor.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Orton was in control after nailing the trademark horizontal DDT from the second rope. Taker then fought back at 5:30 with rapid-fire right hand blows, but Orton snapped off a very impressive-looking powerslam to cut off Taker. Orton and Taker then had a standing exchange of right hand blows before Taker landed snake eyes in the corner and a big boot to the face for a two count following a leg drop.

[Q9 -- over-run]

Taker wanted the chokeslam at the top of the hour, but Orton kicked him in the gut. Orton tried to sneak in an RKO, but Taker blocked. He wanted the Tombstone Piledriver, but Cody & Ted stormed the ring to cause a DQ. Legacy worked over Taker three-on-one for a few minutes, then Orton cleared his boys back. He went down for an RKO, but Shane McMahon snuck in behind and tackled Orton. Taker chokeslammed Cody, then Shane landed some classic horrible punches on Ted to set up Taker for a chokeslam on Ted.

Meanwhile, Orton was on stage pacing around and yelling into the ring. Shane picked up a trashcan to a crowd pop and set it up on DiBiase in the corner for his classic coast-to-coast dropkick. Shane then went to the opposite corner and pointed toward Orton. After surveying the water below off the high dive, he leapt across the ring for his coast-to-coast. (The camera made a quick cut to a back-shot just in case Shane missed badly.) He did smash the trashcan, but came up holding his back. Shane then pointed to Orton, who was very upset on stage. They replayed the wide angle of Shane connecting, then closed with a stare-down between Shane (ring) and Orton (stage).

WINNER: Undertaker via DQ at 8:50. Well, you had to expect there wouldn't be a finish involving Raw's top heel and Taker (because it's Taker) right before a PPV. I wouldn't have closed with a non-finish before a PPV, nor another Shane McMahon moment, but the positioning on the tonight's Raw shows where WWE believes priority should be in selling the PPV. To think on the Raw before WWE's last PPV, Orton was mega-heel status. Three weeks later, he's playing that generic heel role once again.