Kansas City, Missouri
March 23, 2009

results thanks to pwtorch.com

The show started cold in the ring with Ric Flair. Flair said that on behalf of Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, and Jimmy Snuka, he accepts Chris Jericho's three-on-one handicap match at WrestleMania 25. Flair said he will be happy to stand ringside, then hold their hands high after they beat Jericho. Suddenly, Jericho's voice appeared in the arena. Cue up old school video packages on Piper, Snuka, and Steamboat. Jericho was then shown in the production truck saying he will become a bigger star than any of them. Jericho told him to wait for a message.

Cut back to Flair, then back to Jericho walking through into the backstage area. Jericho said this is real, not "The Wrestler" where Mickey Rourke can take a break during filming and wonder how he blew the Oscars. Jericho said Rourke's movie gave Flair the false impression that Flair still matters. Jericho walked to the Gorilla position, then up the steps to the curtain. Jericho emerged through the curtain on stage to no music, then Jericho walked down the entrance ramp to the ringside area.

Jericho said he knew the legends would accept his challenge because they're afraid of being forgotten or washed up. Jericho said Flair is afraid of becoming a washed-up hypocrite. Jericho said he's going to inflict a disgusting beat down on the legends as Flair cries tears and tears. He said he's going to keep going and going with the beating while Rourke watches the carnage he ultimately caused and thinking, "What have I done?" Jericho said despite all of their Hall of Fame accomplishments, PSS will be remembered by this generation as the washed-up has-beens who were destroyed by Jericho.

Flair waited and waited then rebutted that Jericho is wrong. He said they refuse to be judged by insignificant little punks that will never be Hall of Fame material. Flair said they will decide on their terms when it's time to quit. He said they respect the folks who respect them. Flair said Jericho needs to understand that he will be so proud to stand by his Hall of Fame brothers and peers as they beat Jericho.

"Are you finished, Flair?" Jericho said. "Nooo I'm not," Flair said. Cue up Flair promo time. He said he can't wait to stand in the middle of the ring and get Rourke in the ring to stand alongside Naitch, Hot Rod, Superfly, and the Dragon while looking down at the broken body of Chris Jericho. And then - theeeeeen - in front of 70,000 fans in Houston and millions around the world that are watching WrestleMania go Whoooo! Jericho then reared back and popped Flair in the face with a right hand.

Jericho landed successive right hand blows as Flair practically no-sold on the mat, then Jericho knocked Flair to the outside. Flair recovered against the guardrail, then Jericho followed on the outside to inflict more of a beating on Flair. Jerry Lawler was becoming indignant on commentary as Jericho dragged Flair toward the announce table. Flair then ate the table and spilled into Michael Cole's lap. Flair was bleeding from the forehead as Jericho landed more right hands that Flair no-sol. Jericho dumped him over the guardrail to the front row, then Jericho landed more right hands. Apparently Flair gets a PG-13 rating for the blood. Jericho smashed Flair with the announce table cover as Lawler pleaded with him to stop.

Flair briefly Hulked Up, but Jericho cut him off with another round of right hand blows. Jericho went over the timekeeper table and stole a TV camera after ripping Flair's wifebeater undershirt off. Jericho ripped away the camera to smash Flair, then he smashed Flair square in the forehead. Flair collapsed to the ground and flopped around like a speared fish. Huge head on Jericho for this. "You suck, you suck" was the chant. Jericho then took off Flair's prized WrestleMania 24 watch and placed it on the ringsteps. Jericho placed his boot over it, then smashed it into tons of little pieces. I hope that was a $10 knock-off replacement prop. Jericho then slowly walked away as Flair writhed on the floor.

Caldwell's Analysis: Wow. We wanted the WrestleMania 25 hype to pick up and WWE said, "Here you go. How you like them apples?" Amazingly intense segment that should set up Jericho vs. Lawler if they want to go that route. Flair's rebuttal promo next week could sell a few PPV buys. Place your Bets (3) time: 13:45


[Commercial Break]

Ringside: Jerry Lawler indignantly recapped what just happened. He said Jericho is a disgusting punk just like Flair said. ... In-ring: Jeff Hardy came to the ring for the opening match. Can you have a Draft if there's no brand split? He's in Extreme Rules vs. Dolph Ziggler, who was already in the ring.

1 -- JEFF HARDY vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER -- Extreme Rules match

Just like I said in my Smackdown report, WWE should put together The Brian Kendrick, Jamie Noble, and Dolph in a Job Squad 2009 stable. Jeff ran through TBR on Smackdown, he'll run through Dolph here, and maybe he'll run through Noble on ECW soon. In any event, Dolph tried to introduce a steel chair into the match early on, but Jeff turned it into his advantage. Hardy then dumped Dolph gut-first off the top rope into a trashcan below. Jeff then delivered Twist of Fate on the can and sprung up top. Hardy wanted the Swanton Bomb, but he decided to bring a chair back into the ring and smash Dolph several times across the back. Ouch. Hardy delivered a second Twist of Fate for added impact directed toward Matt Hardy, then Hardy came off the top with a Swanton Bomb for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Jeff Hardy at 3:02. Pick up the Smackdown build-up with Jeff snapping into Extreme Rules mode in anticipation of facing Matt at WrestleMania. Effective. (*)

Post-match: Jeff took the mic and addressed Matt. He said what he just saw wasn't extreme, but what Matt feels at WrestleMania will be. Focus on the WM logo hanging above the arena.

Video package: Back to Smackdown for the truce-gone-wrong between Edge and Big Show leading to Vickie Guerrero being knocked down and dragged out of the ring.

Via satellite: John Cena was shown via satellite to read a "Get Well Soon" card to Vickie Guerrero. He rhymed through an anti-Vickie/Edge poem that included a Conan O'Brien graphic of what the love child of Vickie and Edge, then Vickie and Big Show would look like. Edge and Show love Vickie, but would they even look at her if she weren't the GM? Cena said the night after WrestleMania 25, the champ will be here. He cheerfully said he hopes Vickie gets better. Michael Cole then plugged Cena on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno later tonight.


[Commercial Break]

WM Rewind: They went back to WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles for the movie parodies setting up the top feuds, debut of Money in the Bank, and the Rise of Edge. ... In-ring: Eight men were in the ring to set up the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania 25 with Kane's music playing.


Back-and-forth action with a focus on MVP vs. Shelton early on following their U.S. Title match on Smackdown. Sounded like Ric Flair's voice came screaming into the broadcast a minute into the match, but nothing followed. Cut to break with a power struggle in the ring.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Punk tagged in Christian, who received a strong reaction and cleaned house on Shelton. Christian monkey-flipped Shelton out of the corner, then landed his sidewinder kick out of the corner turnbuckle. Finlay then accepted a slap to the face from Christian and Finlay broke up a pin setting up a melee in the ring. Things breaking down, but Kofi nailed Kane with a dropkick. Henry suddenly ran over folks before MVP took his legs out. Punk with a plancha on the floor, then Shelton gave MVP the paydirt. Christian then snuck in behind Shelton and gave him the Unprettier for the pin and the win. Hot finish.

Post-match: Finlay introduced a ladder into the ring and cleaned house on Christian and Punk. He knocked Tony Atlas to the floor with the ladder, then stood tall with Hornswoggle.

WINNER: Team Christian at 7:11. Strong finish. Exciting action to give a taste of the Money in the Bank match. WWE is turning on the jets tonight to sell WrestleMania. There's definitely a sense of urgency to the show tonight. (*1/2)

"12 Rounds" promo: They focused on John Cena's character vs. Miles Jackson. Comes out Friday. Cole and Lawler then plugged Hunter vs. Orton & DiBiase later tonight. "It's almost like WrestleMania!" Cole said as his voice went up and up.


[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler recapped the "sickening things" Jericho did to Ric Flair at the top of the show. More previews of what's to come tonight. They cued up a video package on the Triple H vs. Randy Orton feud including the home invasion two weeks ago and cage match beating on Cody Rhodes last week.

Backstage: Todd Grisham brought in Randy Orton for comments on the previous video package. Well, the graphics were off, the sound was odd, and Stephanie McMahon needed to powder her nose. Okay, he didn't say that. Orton said Triple H accused him of being a coward, but Hunter is the one who broke into his home. You see, Orton is the one who kicked Vince and Shane so hard in the head that he felt their skulls crack and he put his hands on Stephanie for the RKO. Orton warned Hunter that he better remember who he's dealing with. See, Hunter wanted to raise the ante, but he's going to match that. Evil glare in his eyes. Whoa. Orton said he's going to raise the level of his attack on the McMahon family tonight. Remember, Hunter, you brought this upon yourself.

In-ring: There was a silence in the arena, then Edge's music came on and out came the World Hvt. champion. Before Big Show came out, Lilian Garcia announced Vickie Guerrero, who was brought out by Chavo Guerrero in a wheelchair. Gopher Chavo slowly wheeled Vickie down to ringside as Edge gave a smirk about this being over-done.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Edge walked over to Vickie and tried to whisper comforting words in her ear, but Vickie looked away not wanting to make eye-contact with her husband. Sure seems like Edge is being turned babyface in this program. Big Show then slowly came out to face Edge. He had a look of consternation. Show then slowly walked over to Show and tried to share a word, but Vickie turned and looked away too. Vickie is not happy with either one. Suddenly, John Cena appeared on camera from California. He said he wishes he could be there to watch them beat the holy hell (oxymoron) out of each other, but he'll simply watch from California as the two of them make fools out of themselves fighting over Vickie. He said they need to be at their best at WrestleMania because there's a good chance they will have slept with Vickie for absolutely nothing. Good luck, fellas.

[Q5 -- second hour]

3 -- World Hvt. champion EDGE vs. BIG SHOW -- non-title match

Edge was knocked silly early in the match following a Show headbutt, so he rolled to the outside for a breather. Show dragged Edge back into the ring and beat on Edge while shouting down to Vickie that he doesn't deserve her. Edge rolled to the floor again as Chavo wheeled Vickie out of harm's way. Show with a frying-pan-like chop to the chest, but he took his time capitalizing back in the ring, which allowed Edge to catch him in the ropes and begin his comeback working over the knees. Edge executed a DDT, but Show came back with a press-slam across the top rope. Show tied up Edge in the ropes, then Vickie got up out of the wheelchair and pleaded with Show not to strike Edge with the right hand punch. She told Gopher Chavo to do something, so he stepped into the ring and the ref threw out the match.

Post-match: Show readied for a right hand smash to Edge, but Chavo brushed him from behind. Show cornered Chavo, then Show moved and Edge speared Chavo on accident. Show then decked Edge with a right hand and Edge fell face-first on the mat. Show stepped out of the ring, then approached Vickie to tell her he did that for her. Vickie was flustered by the whole mess.

WINNER: No Contest at 3:40. More drama between the lover and husband. At least the issue is clear after being a complete mess two weeks ago, but it's still so silly. John Cena's role in this has been the jerk babyface, which isn't exactly an honorable position if he's supposed to be a role model for the kids. Babyfaces defend women, not verbally attack, belittle, and humiliate them. But, apparently in 2009 where morals and ethics are constantly being re-written to the detriment of society, this is what we end up with: Cena tormenting women, Samoa Joe threatening to kill another man, Triple H breaking & entering and getting away with it, and A.J. Styles a thief and robber. Thanks, pro wrestling. (*1/4)

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Rey Mysterio came to the ring as Lawler talked about JBL promising to do something historical at WrestleMania. Rey vs. JBL is booked for Mania for the IC Title, then JBL's music hit. Out from the limo was JBL, followed by William Regal and Layla. Regal vs. Rey is booked. Meanwhile, check out the sneak peek of "12 Rounds" after Raw tonight.

4 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. WILLIAM REGAL (w/Layla and IC champion JBL)

JBL joined commentary. Opening line to Lawler and Cole: "Hello, King, and queen." Regal and Rey battled to the outside early on and Regal smashed him face-first into the mat when JBL provided a distraction. JBL wondered what Rey's excuse is going to be at WrestleMania when he loses. He said so many folks would have loved to be on a Mania card, including Jerry Lawler.


Lawler asked JBL what the historic moment at Mania will be. JBL said he won't reveal anything, but said he will make it the most-decisive match in Mania history when he beats Rey. Rey sold a major injury and the ref checked on Rey, who suddenly snapped to attention and ripped off his trademark moves including the 619 and springboard splash on Regal for the pin and win. Post-match: Rey gave JBL a dropkick through the ropes and talked trash.

WINNER: Rey Mysterio at 2:57. Nice change-of-pace finish of Rey out-smarting Regal to secure victory and show he can hang with a tough wrestler to show he can hang with JBL at WrestleMania. (*)

Video package: They focused on the Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker program including Michaels surprising Taker with sweet chin music on Raw last week. Up next: The Undertaker is on the program. Hm...would have advertised that ahead of time.

[Commercial Break]

WM plug: Kid Rock was announced to perform at WrestleMania 25.

In-ring: After a pause, The Undertaker's music hit. Taker was suddenly in the ring standing in a blue fog. He said Shawn Michaels's recent behavior has taken their program to a whole new level. Taker said Michaels's obsession with defeating him and stealing the show has impaired his ability to decipher reality from fantasy. He said it's true he hasn't beaten Michaels one-on-one before, but he also cost HBK six months after Hell in a Cell.

Suddenly, HBK's music interrupted and Michaels appeared on the video screen from a graveyard. Well, a portion was probably green-screened. Michaels was in his Cowboy hat at the graveyard. Nice. Michaels said the 16 souls Taker has taken at WrestleMania doesn't intimidate him. He went back through all of Taker's victories. Only name he mentioned from the early years was "Diesel Power" for Kevin Nash.

Michaels said a fresh grave has been dug for this year, but this grave isn't for him. It's for Undertaker. He said this is where Taker's undefeated Mania streak will be buried forever. Cut to a tombstone that read "16-1." Michaels kicked the tombstone away and said, "Undefeated streak? Rest...In...Peace." Michaels slung some dirt into the grave. Back live in the arena, Taker shook like SuperHunter and wanted a piece of Michaels. Taker paced around the ring, then shook the ropes in anger.

Caldwell's Analysis: Ugh. I don't see why WWE needed to go this route of death and mutilation, etc. Taker vs. Michaels is an easy storyline to write, yet WWE feels the need to over-complicate this. Taker vs. Michaels was a guaranteed WM money match and they turned it into a mythical gloom-and-doom storyline to satisfy some crazy desire to use special effects to over-compensate for a weak writing team.

[Commercial Break]


Hall of Fame plug: They showed the current list of Hall of Famers, then announced that the final inductee will be announced on ECW tomorrow night. Well, there you go.

In-ring: Some new Italian music was playing. In the ring was Santino Marella with Beth Phoenix and the assistant. Santino plugged the 25-diva battle royale and said he will be the winner of the battle royale. See, when Mickie James assaulted him last week, he went to Vickie Guerrero and demanded to be in the match. He claimed sexual discrimination and Vickie gave him a match against Mickie James tonight to enter the battle royale if he wins. And he must have one arm tied behind his back. Santino said he will prove he is man enough to be in the diva battle royale.

5 -- SANTINO MARELLA (w/Beth Phoenix and Rosa Mends) vs. MICKIE JAMES

Santino tried to talk trash to Mickie James, but Mickie threw him on his stomach and tied up both of his hands with the ropes as if she were in the rodeo. Santino then decided to use his feet and head to attack Santino. He got a bright idea to head up top, but he struggled to make it to his feet on the top turnbuckle. Santino took too long and Mickie crotched him. Mickie then landed a kick to the head and scored the pin for the win.

WINNER: Mickie James at 2:20. Dang, that would have been fun with Santino in the divas battle royale. Oh well. Just a typical make-Santino-the-fool match. (n/a)

[Commercial Break]


ECW plug: MVP brings the VIP Lounge to ECW tomorrow night.

In-ring: Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase, Jr. came to the ring first for the TV main event. Camera focused on Baby Oil Orton before cutting to a break.

[Commercial Break]

Recap video: They went back to the opening segment when Chris Jericho cut off Ric Flair's promo with a right hand followed by a complete beat-down on Flair. Cole said it's questionable whether Flair will even be at WrestleMania. Lawler then addressed the camera and said he's calling out Jericho for a one-on-one match next week. He said he's sick and tired of Chris Jericho. Boom, there we go.

In-ring: As Orton and DiBiase stood by in the ring, Triple H's music played and out came Hunter.

6 -- WWE champion TRIPLE H vs. RANDY ORTON & TED DIBIASE, JR. -- handicap match

Orton and DiBiase charged him in the ring before they could get an opening bell, then the fight moved to the floor. Hunter smashed Orton into the announce table, which has taken a beating tonight. Hunter suddenly took control and went under the ring for the hammer, but there was Cody Rhodes with tape all over his upper body to sell last week's beating from Hunter. Cody pulled out some handcuffs, then Legacy dragged Hunter into the ring and cuffed him to the top rope. Hunter tried to fight back with his uncuffed right arm, but Legacy subdued him with punches and kicks.

Orton took the mic and said there is only one person that can save you now, Hunter. She had better hurry, Orton said. Orton then retrieved a sledgehammer and threatened to lay out Hunter, but Stephanie McMahon ran to ringside and pleaded with Orton not to do anything. She cried as Hunter told her to fall back because he has this under control. Stephanie hopped on the ring apron with her tears as Hunter struggled to his feet and Orton stood center ring. Stephanie was suddenly cornered and Stephanie walked into position for Orton's elevated DDT. Orton teased it several times while Hunter pleaded with him not to do anything. Orton then dropped Stephanie with the DDT and Hunter buried his head in his hand.

[Q9 -- over-run]

Hunter screamed out at Orton and tried to grab the hammer, but Orton pulled it away. Orton then turned Stephanie over so she was face-up and teased a sledgehammer shot. Huge heat as Hunter tried to reach his feet to stop Orton while cuffed to the top rope. Orton slowly placed the hammer down by Stephanie's head, then he knelt down next to Stephanie in a viper-like position. He then planted a kiss on Stephanie and smiled toward Hunter. Orton waited through Hunter's violent outbursts while cuffed to the top rope, then he picked up the hammer and smashed Hunter in the face. Orton seemed to drift in and out of an IED/Herbal Essences state while the ref talked to him. Orton slowly left the ring to a chorus of boss as Hunter was motionless cuffed to the top rope and Stephanie remained out cold in the ring. Orton stared longingly into the sledgehammer with Cody and Ted by his side. They showed Hunter coming to his senses in the ring but unable to reach Stephanie as Orton stared into the ring to close the show.

WINNER: No Match. Very intense angle and exactly what WWE needed to get heat back on Randy Orton as a vicious, unethical heel. Violence against women isn't acceptable, but it's typical McMahon fare of proving they will do anything for the business. Orton's stalking became very graphic to the point where it looked like he was going to do unmentionable and unairable things to Stephanie. Perhaps WWE's idea of PG TV is different than mine, but that pushed the limits of decent TV to go-away TV despite bringing Orton back to a very vicious heel level.