Cassidy’s WWE Week In Review IX
June 29, 2008- July 5, 2008
Welcome to the ninth edition of Cassidy’s WWE Week In Review. Feel free to contact me: Cassidy @ Wrestling101.com (no spaces!)
This week started off in a monumental way with the second annual WWE Night of Champions, where every match was a championship match. New champions were crowned, controversy lingered, and history was made.
The night started off with a match for the WWE Tag Team Championship between the champions, The Miz & John Morrison and the challengers, Finlay & Hornswoggle. The arrogant tag team champions had plenty of confidence coming into the title defense in Dallas and at the end of the night, it was John Morrison pinning Hornswoggle to keep the WWE Tag Team Titles.
The next match was for the United States Title where Matt Hardy defended his gold against Chavo Guerrero. Even against Chavo, Bam Neely, and an injured knee, Matt was able to retain his United States Title on Sunday.
Next up was the Triple Threat Match for the ECW Title as RAW’s ECW Champion Kane defended against SmackDown’s Big Show and ECW’s Mark Henry. In this battle of the behemoths, Kane was apparently injured as he went sailing over the top rope courtesy of Show fairly early in the match. The champion bit the bullet and continued the match, even managing to hit Big Show with an earth-shaking superplex. With both competitors down, Mark Henry took advantage, flattening Kane with a huge splash and pinning the champion to become the ECW Champion and to bring the title back to ECW.
More tag team gold was on the line as Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly defended their World Tag Team Titles against newcomer, Ted DiBiase and a mystery partner. In a shocking turn of events, Cody Rhodes betrayed his tag team partner Hardcore Holly by laying him out with a DDT and making the statement that he was Ted DiBiase’s mystery partner. The young duo would be successful in the 2-on-1 encounter, as Ted DiBiase pinned Hardcore Holly to crown Cody Rhodes and himself the new World Tag Team Champions.
The surprises kept on coming as Chris Jericho defended the Intercontinental Title against a mystery opponent. Jericho belittled the audience and Shawn Michaels by saying that he knows that Michaels is not his challenger since he’s having some trouble with his eye (courtesy of Jericho). Technically, the Intercontinental Champion was right, but was interrupted by the man who would be challenging him, one of RAW’s newest superstars, Kofi Kingston. It would prove to be the biggest night in the Jamaican Superstar’s career, as (with a big assist from Shawn Michaels) Kofi would win the Intercontinental Title in his first championship match in the WWE. After the match, Jericho sucker-punched HBK straight in the eye, but that could not have taken the sting away of losing the Intercontinental Championship.
Mickie James fought throw pain and siblings, as she was able to successfully defend her Women’s Title against Katie Lea Burchill, despite an injured knee and help from Katie’s brother, Paul.
In a match that can only be described as ‘highly controversial’, Edge defended his World Heavyweight Title against RAW’s Batista. Edge told his cronies, Hawkins & Ryder earlier in the night that Edge wanted to beat Batista on his own. Well, Edge did defeat Batista, but it was not on his own. Edge required the help of every single member of La Familia to retain in Dallas. SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero interfered in the match to try and get a disqualification and allow her fiancee to keep the World Title by stopping the referee’s three count. After the referee refused to oblige, Edge way-layed the official on the outside, which prompted the GM to plead for another referee. This second referee was none other than Vickie’s nephew, Chavo Guerrero. This move sent "The Animal" over the edge as Batista grabbed Vickie Guerrero and threw her on top of La Familia, laying the entire family out. This gave the champion enough time to recover and blast Batista with the World Heavyweight Title belt. Edge made the cover and Chavo made the count and Edge keeps the World Title on SmackDown.
In one of the most anticipated rematches in WWE History, WWE Champion Triple H defended the gold against RAW’s John Cena. It was a power-for-power, counter-for-counter match that had Triple H injure his knee and John Cena possibly reinjure his pectoral muscle. Despite Cena’s best attempts, "The Game" reigned supreme on Sunday, pinning the former champion to keep the WWE Title on SmackDown and finally beat John Cena.
The fallout from not only Night of Champions, but the WWE Draft was felt on Monday Night RAW. This historic RAW started off with a statement by WWE Executive Vice President and son of the WWE Chairman, Shane McMahon issuing a statement regarding his father’s condition following last week’s accident. He stated that his father prefers his privacy and he will not be saying anything regarding his well-being. He encouraged all WWE Employees to band together in this time of uncertainty.
‘Uncertainty’ would certainly be the word of the night on RAW. Good Ol’ J.R. Jim Ross opened the show with his RAW Farewell Address. The Hall of Famer proclaimed that SmackDown will be taken to new heights on Friday Nights. Unfortunately, J.R. did not get to finish his emotional farewell address in his homestate of Oklahoma as SmackDown’s World Heavyweight Champion Edge emerged. His first action was to belittle J.R. and tell the legendary announcer that "no one cared about him". Edge proceeded to have J.R. escorted out of the arena by Hawkins & Ryder. Edge proclaimed that RAW was without a General Manager, without a World Champion, and without Edge. Edge stated that he would never be on Monday Night RAW again. As Edge thought he would peacefully head to Tulsa, OK for SmackDown on Friday, he was cut off by RAW’s Batista. After getting cheated out of the World Heavyweight Title the night before, Batista had plenty of revenge on his mind. An emotional Animal beat the champion from pillar to post (to stairs and to the announce table, as well). Batista then laid out The Rated-R Superstar in the middle of the ring with the Batista Bomb. Things would go from bad to worse for the champion from there. As Batista made his exit from the arena, CM Punk’s music hit and Punk emerged with a WWE Referee. After both got into the ring, CM Punk explained to the referee (who explained to Lilian Garcia) that he was cashing in his Money-in-the-Bank title opportunity right then and there. The Straight-Edge Superstar then picked up the champion and floored him with a GTS. Punk pinned Edge in the middle of the ring to win his first World Heavyweight Title. Not only did CM Punk dethrone Edge, but he also brought the World Heavyweight Title to RAW. Punk’s celebration was short lived, however, as JBL accused the new champion of being a ‘paper champion’ and that Punk winning the World Title would always have an asterisk next to his name. JBL then challenged Punk for a World Title Match later in the evening, which Punk readily accepted. John Cena would later throw his name into the championship hat and proclaim that Punk should face Cena for the title. JBL emerged and declared "martial law" on John Cena. With no RAW General Manager and Mr. McMahon out of commission, JBL had his own personal security force escort Cena from the building.
In other RAW action, Mickie James pinned Jillian in non-title action. New World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase dominated the tag team of Wade & Anthony and Kofi Kingston successfully defended his newly won Intercontinental Title against former champion Chris Jericho. Before the match, Jericho officially challenged Shawn Michaels to a one-on-one match at The Great American Bash. It was revealed on WWE.com that Shawn Michaels will be on hand next week on RAW in New Orleans with an answer to Y2J’s challenge.
In the main event, the new World Heavyweight Champion faced his first challenger in JBL. After John Cena & Cryme Tyme came out and fought JBL’s security force, the millionaire took his eye off the champion and paid for it. CM Punk laid out the transplanted New Yorker with a GTS and the 1-2-3 to keep his title. Afterwards, the new World Heavyweight Champion dived out of the ring and took out all of JBL’s security, as well as John Cena & Cryme Tyme.
Tuesday’s ECW started off with the new ECW Champion, The World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry. Mark Henry declared himself the ‘savior’ of ECW by bringing the title back to the ECW brand. Tommy Dreamer & Colin Delaney came out and Dreamer implored the new champion to realize the lineage behind the ECW Championship and what superstars have given to be the champion. Dreamer wanted to face Henry for the ECW Title, but Henry instead challenged Colin Delaney. The stipulation would be that Colin Delaney would have to defeat Mark Henry to get Tommy Dreamer an ECW Title Match, which Colin accepted on behalf of himself and Dreamer.
The opening match of the night saw United States Champion Matt Hardy, Finlay, & Hornswoggle defeat the team of Chavo Guerrero & WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison. Finlay finished the match with the Celtic Cross on Chavo.
The second match of the night was Armando Estrada Vs. The Newest ECW Superstar Atlas Ortiz. ECW General Manager Theodore Long informed Estrada of the match after Estrada barged into the GM’s office demanding to know the status of his contract. Long announced a ‘New Superstar Initiative’ and told the former GM that he will face Atlas Ortiz in the next match. Ortiz rolled up Estrada with a backslide for the win.
In the main event of the night, New ECW Champion Mark Henry faced Colin Delaney in a non-title match, where if Colin wins, then Tommy Dreamer gets an ECW Title Opportunity. Colin gave his best effort in the match, but it was not enough to topple the World’s Strongest Man. Mark Henry pinned the up-and-comer with ease to keep Dreamer out of title contention.
It was announced by WWE.com on Thursday that the WWE has come to terms on the release of three time World Tag Team Champion, Trevor Murdoch (Real Name- Trevor Rhodes). He is a three time World Tag Team Champion with Lance Cade and was drafted to SmackDown in the Supplemental Draft on June 25, but he never made his SmackDown debut.
Friday Night was host to a special Fourth of July edition of SmackDown. The show opened with MVP and the VIP Lounge; his guest was none other than the WWE Champion Triple H. After having some fun at the expense of the former World Heavyweight Champion Edge, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero informed the champion that he would be defending the WWE Title against Edge at The Great American Bash in three weeks.
On a day for celebration, one man who was definitely not celebrating was "The Rated-R Superstar" Edge. Despite the fact that he is set to be married to General Manager Vickie Guerrero on next week’s SmackDown, nothing could calm Edge down after losing the World Heavyweight Championship to the new champion CM Punk on RAW, Edge was in the foulest of moods on SmackDown. By night’s end, the five time World Champion’s life, both personal and professional, would be on uncertain ground.
The opening match of the night was a "Golden Dreams Match" where five Divas would compete for the right to face Natalya for the new Divas Championship at a to-be-determined date. The whole world got to see the new Divas Title belt, including Natalya, who joined Jim Ross & Mick Foley on commentary. Michelle McCool beat out Victoria, ECW’s Kelly Kelly, Cherry, & Maryse to earn the right to face Natalya to determine the first ever Divas Champion.
As punishment for not being there for their "leader", General Manager Vickie Guerrero put Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder into a match with Jesse & Festus. Jesse & Festus would end up getting the win, but the big story took place after the match. An enraged Edge marched down to the ring, as Hawkins & Ryder knocked down Jesse and dragged and retained him in the corner. The vicious former champion would assault Festus and lay him out with a steel chair; all while Jesse was forced to watch his comatose partner get dismantled.
Jeff Hardy made his return to SmackDown since he was drafted and made it a successful return against one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions John Morrison. Also, Umaga completely demolished Funaki in a very one-sided match.
The main event of the evening saw Matt Hardy defend the United States Title in a Fourth of July Fatal 4-Way against Chavo Guerrero, Mr. Kennedy, & Shelton Benjamin. The elder Hardy would overcome the odds and pin Chavo Guerrero (for the third time in a week) to retain his title.
After two major arguments with his fiancee, Edge came out to the ring and publicly told the world what happened to him on RAW. He also went off about Hawkins & Ryder and his personal problems with the GM. After being called a "fool" by the love of his life and after Edge laid claim to being the "true" General Manager of SmackDown, the relationship exploded in front of the world as Edge looked his fiancee in the face and declared that the wedding (scheduled for next week) was off. This sent Vickie into a tirade that included her taking off and throwing her engagement ring to the ground.
Superstar of the Week: CM Punk
SmackDown: June 27- 2.5 Rating (Up From Last Week’s 2.1 Rating)
RAW: June 30- 3.5 Rating (Up From Last Week’s 3.3 Rating)
ECW: July 1- 1.4 Rating (Up From Last Week’s 1.2 Rating)