Dallas, Texas
March 30, 2009

results thanks to pwtorch.com

The show started with a backstage shot of a hearse. Undertaker's old school church organ theme music was playing in the background. Cue the opening Raw video package. Michael Cole then welcomed us to WrestleMania week. Over 16,000 in Big D tonight. Jerry Lawler then explained the hearse: a funeral for Mr. WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels. Also, Big Show vs. John Cena.


Nine of the heel divas were already in the ring. Babyfaces ran through intros. ECW assistant Tiffany of all people scored the pin on Katie Lea. It's obvious WWE is more concerned about ring intros than actual in-ring action. Santino then showed up in a robe. He wants in the Miss WrestleMania match at WrestleMania, then he pulled out a man-kini. What happened to the bro or manzierre? Beth Phoenix continued the storyline that's well-beyond-played-out by being embarrassed by Santino's actions before the divas tackled him. Wonderful.

WINNERS: Team Tiffany in 2:00. (n/a)

Announcers: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler took us back to Randy Orton's despicable actions on last week's show. After a video package aired on Orton taking out Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, they said Randy Orton will be on the show tonight. Cole then plugged Jericho vs. Lawler up next. Lawler took off his announcer outfit and prepped to enter the ring.

[Commercial Break]


In-ring: Jerry Lawler was already in the ring ready to face Chris Jericho. Jericho came out and Cole said Jericho must beat all three Legends at WrestleMania 25 among Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, and Jimmy Snuka.


Bell sounded and they had a lock-up. Lawler shoved Jericho, then Jericho shoved Lawler. Lawler answered him with a big right hand, but that was virtually all of the offense for Lawler, who took a whopping until Jericho put him in the Walls of Jericho in center ring. Lawler quickly tapped.

Post-match: Jericho wasn't done and he re-entered the ring to pick up Lawler. Suddenly, Lawler sprung to life and punched Jericho in the face. Jericho took the mic and said he's already beaten Lawler and he doesn't need to get back in the ring. He said he won't apologize for what he does to the Legends at WrestleMania because Mickey Rourke started this mess and he'll watch his "friends" face their demise. He said he will humiliate and eradicate the Legends from wrestling forever.

WINNER: Jericho in 3:00. Odd booking of Lawler to take a decisive loss like that, but Lawler at least got some measure of revenge back. Cole can't even muster enough life for commentary on his co-partner's match. Jericho with a good promo for Mania, but nowhere near the level this program was at five weeks ago. Sadness. (*)

12 Rounds Video: Please watch the movie. We'll even show you most of the movie's plot.

[Commercial Break]


Backstage: Todd Grisham brought in a very smiley John Cena for an interview. Before Cena could utter a word, World Hvt. champion Edge stepped in to try to convince Cena to take out Big Show tonight or before their WrestleMania match, then they could battle between the two of them. Cena had a stern look on his face, then he said it's intelligent, logical, and makes great sense. Cena said he doesn't care, though. He's going to WrestleMania to become World Hvt. champion. No dice on the plan.

Announcers: Michael Cole, by himself now, sent it backstage to Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, who spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME IN THE TANNING BED. Goodness, I hope he doesn't get skin cancer. Cody said Randy Orton will give his WrestleMania address tonight. Teddy said everything you know about WWE will change forever after Mania.

Backstage: Another shot of the hearse. A random man then walked to the coffin where Shawn Michaels popped out sporting all-black this time. He had one eye open and the other one looked really messed up. He then said something, but the audio wasn't there. Rewind the DVR for lip-reading...Maybe something like "You were expecting someone else."

[Commercial Break]

Video correction: They re-aired Shawn Michaels surprisingly popping out of the casket and saying, "You were expecting someone else."

In-ring: Jerry Lawler ran back to the broadcast table to re-join Cole. Rey Mysterio came to the ring for a "WrestleMania preview" match, as Cole called it. JBL then came out of the white limo. He cut a promo that he will beat Rey within an inch of his life to let Rey know that on the biggest PPV of all-time in six days, he will show up Rey. But, nothing personal, amigo. Why in the world are they giving away a WrestleMania match six days before the PPV?

3 -- IC champion JBL vs. REY MYSTERIO -- non-title match

Rey tried to build momentum early, but JBL ran him over with a shoulderblock leading to commercial.

[Commercial Break]


JBL knocked Rey to the floor out of the break. Back in the ring, Rey fired back on JBL with kicks to the face. He then hit a seated sentaun and an enziguiri kick. Rey wanted the 619, but JBL moved. Rey then kicked him to another set of ropes and nailed the 619 this time. Rey then hit the springboard splash on JBL for the win. JBL was shocked post-match.

WINNER: Rey in 6:00. Rey with a solid win to set up the IC Title match at Mania. I just do not agree with giving away any WM match on free TV six days beforehand. Doesn't make Mania seem special. That said, good use of Rey on TV to build excitement for Mania. (*1/2)

Smackdown Rebound: John Cena is going to WrestleMania to fight, to win, and to become World Hvt. champion. ... Backstage: "Andre the Giant" shot of Big Show slowly walking toward the ring for his match against Cena. Made Show look 18 feet tall by design.

[Commercial Break]

WM 11 Video Recap: They went back to WrestleMania 11 for Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Taylor. No pads, no helmets, just man on man. Remember Salt-n-Pepa and Papa Shango/Godfather with a side fade? Hey, look, it's Steve McMichael. Suddenly, Taylor went wild on Bigelow and pinned him. Cue up the NFL player celebration with those early '90s track pants just needing their fannypack friends.

Ringside Segue: Dallas Cowboys players were shown fighting ringside. Michael Irvin was in the second row playing chaperone. Lawler: "Where's TO?" Up in Buffalo.

In-ring: John Cena's music hit to a huge reaction and Cena came out to face Big Show. Cole said Cena is ready to head down I-45 to Houston to re-gain the World Title. Yeah, it was a pretty good ride home to Houston last October after Texas beat Oklahoma 45-35 in Dallas's Cotton Bowl. Oh yeah, that game never happened. Sorry, I forgot. Just whatever you do, don't get stuck at a Pizza Hut in the middle of nowhere in between Dallas and Houston. Big Show then came out to face Cena, who took a big breath pre-bell.

[Q5 -- second hour]


Cena went for a leaping shoulderblock at 2:00, but Show brick-walled him into a flat back bump on the mat. Impressive spot that looked even better on replay. Show tried to squash Cena in the corner, but Cena moved. He tried to build momentum, but Show tossed him high into the air to land a stomach-first on the mat. Show wanted the Vader Bomb out of the corner, but Cena moved and sprung up top for the leaping guillotine leg drop. Cena wanted the STFU, but Show kicked him away. Show then drop-kicked Cena off the apron to the floor going to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Show was sitting on Cena's back with a modified Camel Clutch. Cena made his face turn purple as he tried to grit his way into a squat, but Show just sat on his back to cut Cena off. Show then wanted the chokeslam, but Cena countered into a DDT. Crowd popped as Cena tried to follow with the STFU, but Show's body is too huge. Show elbowed him in the face to escape, then he avoided an attempted FU and gave Cena a chokeslam. Show with the pin for a clean win on Cena. Wha?

Post-match: Edge snuck into the ring and stared down Show, then he tackled Cena and started beating the crap out of him. Show just stood back in the corner and sweated while watching. Another ref stormed the ring to pull Edge off Cena, who struggled to collect his breath as Edge had that "Edge look" in his eyes.

WINNER: Show in 11:00. Really good TV match with strong crowd involvement, but very odd to see Cena taking another TV loss. So weird when he used to never lose. Apparently this is punishment for his movie sucking at the box office. Show looked good in the ring thanks to WWE booking around his limited mobility and Cena creating a lot of movement. (**)

Smackdown Rebound: Back to Shawn Michaels on Smackdown wearing all-white and quoting Revelations before The Undertaker popped out to scare HBK out of the ring.

Backstage: Shawn Michaels now in all-black leading a casket backstage toward the ring. Will we find out Taker's fate next?


[Commercial Break]

In-ring: A funeral procession was set-up in the ring. Shawn Michaels then came out in his black get-up to proclaim this procession is for The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak. There was a blown-up photo of Michaels draping his arm over Taker back in the 1990s. Michaels in the cow-patch-designed trunks and Taker in his old mid-90s get-up. Michaels cut a promo about everything he's done against Taker to show no fear. He said his light will out-shine Taker's darkness. Michaels said he's done it all without the slightest bit of consequence. Without a hint of retribution. Michaels then opened the casket. It was empty. He said there will be no retribution for himself. Michaels takes it personally that Taker doesn't think HBK can end the streak. He said he's Mr. WrestleMania. This Sunday, every moment over the past 24 years is going to pale in comparison to what he achieves. No guarantee of victory. Michaels said the next day, they'll talk about who won the World Title. Who won the WWE Championship. They'll speak of legends and ladders and 70,000 people, but the one moment that will last a lifetime forever will be when Shawn Michaels pins The Undertaker at WrestleMania. There's your guarantee.

Taker's music then hit and the lights went out. Some banging and a toll. Taker was the only man left in the ring when the lights came back on. Taker then tore apart the Funeral Parlor set. He didn't like the mid-90s portrait. Only the coffin was left unscathed. Taker smelled a rat, then he turned toward the coffin, which was now closed. Taker slowly walked over to the coffin and opened it up, but the coffin was empty. Taker slammed his fists down, then turned his back. Suddenly, Michaels popped out from under the coffin and gave Taker the Sweet Chin Music. Michaels went nuts celebrating with crotch chops and such, then he dipped out of the ring with a smirk on his face as Taker came to. Michaels backed up the entrance ramp as Taker made it to the bottom rope to stare irately toward Michaels. It's on this Sunday. Pencil in four stars.

[Commercial Break]


Announcers: Cole and Lawler introduced a Hall of Fame video package. Focus on Steve Austin walking down the hallway set to the background of his Austin 3:16 promo. Cue up classic Rattlesnake clips to remind viewers of the good times watching wrestling. Foley blasted, Rock blasted, D-Lo blasted, Angle blasted, Lesnar stunned, McMahon blasted, Rock Stunned, Nash Stunned. Tune in this Saturday at 10:00 EST for the Hall of Fame. Lawler then talked about hosting the Hall of Fame. Cole hyped it as a four-hour PPV before the announcers broke down the PPV card.

Backstage: Cody and Teddy were talking to security to set up Randy Orton's speech later in the show.

In-ring: C.M. Punk came out first for an eight-man over-the-top-rope battle royal. His right elbow was heavily-taped. Kane out next. Lawler said a Money in the Bank preview battle royal is next.

[Commercial Break]

WM plug: They showed the Variety cover stories on WWE and WrestleMania. Turned into a video package on Brother vs. Brother between Matt and Jeff, which has received less-than-adequate hype, in my estimation.


Henry tried to press-slam Finlay out of the ring, then Henry eventually just tossed him out. Hornswoggle was none too pleased, which allowed everyone else to toss out Henry from behind. Punk tried to eliminate Christian, then Kane tried to eliminate both of them. Kane then turned his attention to MVP and Shelton Benjamin to get rid of them simultaneously.


Final four: Punk (Mich. St.), Kane (UCONN), Christian (UNC), and Kofi Kingston (Villanova). Streeeetch. Kane tried to eliminate Christian, but the former TNA star held on to the top rope. In any event, Kofi was knocked out, then Kane press-slammed Punk onto Christian to eliminate both men and win the battle royal. Post-match: Kane grabbed a ladder and slid it into the ring. Kane then scaled the ladder and retrieved the MITB briefcase.

WINNER: Kane in 4:00. More focus on Kane as the dominant star heading into MITB. Probably means he won't win, but he's been built-up effectively with an eye on post-Mania for a potential main event program on Raw, Smackdown, or ECW depending on Draft. (*1/2)

Backstage: Cody and Ted knocked on Orton's dressing room door. Orton then slowly emerged and checked to make sure SuperHunter wasn't anywhere to be found. Legacy, with their snazzy new t-shirts with a giant "L" in the middle, then surveyed the hallway on the way to the ring.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Randy Orton came out alone for the main event segment. They plugged the NYC press conference tomorrow afternoon. Orton stood center ring and waited out the boos with the lights dimmed. Orton took us back to age 24 when he became the youngest WWE champion ever. That is, until Triple H turned on him the next night. Back to the night after Summerslam 2004 when Batista was given the thumbs up/thumbs down for Evolution to take out Orton. No shots of Chris Benoit, who he won the belt from and defeated the next night.

After the video aired, Orton said he's been waiting for the right time to align with a group of talent that could challenge Hunter and when Hunter became so powerful and when Hunter cared about something more than the WWE Title to extract his revenge. Cue up a shot of the Royal Rumble when Orton eliminated Hunter to win the guaranteed WM title match. Orton said he plotted to systematically take apart Hunter's family as part of his plot. Cue up video of Orton taking out Vince McMahon, then Shane McMahon, then Stephanie McMahon.

[Q9 -- over-run]

Orton said nearly five years after Hunter turned on him, he RKO'ed Hunter's wife. He said he wants to be clear. He knew exactly what he was doing the entire time. Where does IED come into play here? Whoa, I just wrote that sentence and he name-dropped IED. Orton said, "No, no, no, I knew exactly what I was doing the entire time." Orton suddenly snapped on the audience and told them to sit down and shut up. Orton paused and said he was willing to sacrifice Rhodes and DiBiase with the sledgehammer chase so that Hunter would feel in control and let his guard down, so it would allow him to do this...

Cue up the video from last week of Orton's actions that included Stephanie taking a DDT right in front of Hunter, who couldn't do anything about it. Crowd booed. Orton smiled. Now at Mania, every time they lock up in center ring, Hunter will have to face the man who DDT'ed his wife. Orton said he talked to Vickie Guerrero that if Hunter is DQ'ed or even counted out, then he loses the WWE Title. If he shows up to the ring with the sledgehammer, then it's an automatic DQ and he becomes champ without even lifting a finger.

So, it comes full circle. He has taken everything from Hunter except the WWE Title. That comes this Sunday. When that happens, the entire landscape challenges. Balance of power shifts permanently. Young stars will try to impress him so they may one day stand at his side. In six days, his ascension to the top of this business will be realized. Finally. Suddenly, they cut backstage where a black limo pulled up. He demanded the lights turned up. Cody and Ted were beckoned to the ring with security while Orton looked at the screen. Camera focused inside the limo. There was no one inside the limo. Apparently Orton didn't get that camera shot.

Suddenly, Vince McMahon's music hit. Oh snap. Out strutted Mr. McMahon. He came out on stage and took off his jacket, then Shane McMahon's music hit. Shane stepped out on stage and danced loose. Vince's sleeves were rolled up and he looked quite jacked. Triple H's music hit and Hunter emerged with only a profile shot. He then turned to look toward the ring huffing and puffing. Hunter in the middle, Shane on the left, and Vince on the right. The three McMahons stood tall on stage while Orton, Cody, and Ted stood in the ring. No one moved a muscle. Hunter then looked toward the McMahons and they started walking to ringside. "Oh my God, it's on!" Lawler exclaimed. McMahons went through Orton Security in no time, then they stood ringside facing Legacy.

Hunter ripped off his t-shirt, then stormed ringside for a brawl. Shane on Ted, Orton on Hunter, Shane on Cody. Camera focused on Hunter vs. Orton, which went around ringside, then back into the ring. Hunter tackled Orton and the fight was on. They rolled around in the ring with the WrestleMania banner looming over the arena. Fade to black with Hunter and Orton duking it out six days before Mania. Now, that's how you sell WrestleMania, even if it was McMahon-O-Rama.