January 11, 2009- January 17, 2009
Welcome to the thirty-seventh edition of the WWE Week In Review. Feel free to contact me on TWO or Wrestling 101 anytime with comments, questions, and anything in between. Also, check out my blog on Wrestling101.com.
The 816th edition of Monday Night RAW emanated, live, from the Tyson Center in Sioux City, IA. Confirmed for the main event was World Heavyweight Champion John Cena taking on Shawn Michaels, with the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble and Shawn Michaels’ employer, JBL, at ringside. Also, Randy Orton would face Kane and CM Punk would challenge William Regal for the Intercontinental Title in a match, where if William Regal is disqualified, he will lose the title.
Good Week For: JBL (got to see the champion worn down & his employee picked up the win)
Bad Week For: Chris Jericho (talked a little too much and got fired by Stephanie McMahon)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Mr. McMahon (to see what the boss does when he returns)
Best Mic Work: Stephanie McMahon
And In Other News…
The night started off inside JBL’s limo with JBL and Shawn Michaels. JBL tells his employee that Shawn Michaels should consider tonight his WrestleMania.
RAW General Manager Stephanie McMahon opens the show and discusses the upcoming Royal Rumble and how happy she is that her father is returning next week. Chris Jericho interrups Stephanie and calls the daughter of Mr. McMahon a liar. Jericho told Stephanie that she is afraid of her father’s return because it means that she will no longer control RAW and that Mr. McMahon respects Jericho. Stephanie told Jericho that RAW is her show and that her father supports her as the GM. She tells Jericho that if he concentrated more on his career than on what she is doing, then he might still be World Heavyweight Champion. Stephanie announced that, on next week’s RAW, there will be an official contract signing for the World Heavyweight Title Match at the Royal Rumble between champion John Cena & #1 Contender JBL. Putting her focus back on Jericho, she tells Jericho that he should get ready for his match. Jericho says he refuses to wrestle in any match that is not for the World Heavyweight Title and that the 2008 Superstar of the Year is above competing in a non-title match. Stephanie informed Jericho that he is not above anything. As a result of his refusal to compete, Stephanie tells Jericho that he is banned from the Royal Rumble Match and banned from ever getting another World Title Match. Jericho tells Stephanie that he does not care about anything she says. Stephanie said that maybe he will care about this and in a shocking move, the RAW General Manager told Chris Jericho the two words he never expected to hear- "You’re Fired!" Now unemployed, Jericho was escorted out of the building by security.
In the opening match of the night, Rey Mysterio defeated one-half of the World Tag Team Champions The Miz. After the match, Mike Knox again attacked Rey, but this time Rey fought back, knocking Knox out of the ring. These two will face off one-on-one on next week’s RAW.
In a rematch from last week, CM Punk would get his second opportunity at the Intercontinental Title after being shafted by William Regal last week when Regal got himself intentionally disqualified to keep the title. This time, if Regal gets disqualified, he will lose the title. In a very controversial call, the referee of the match called for the bell after a punch by CM Punk was questionably close to being a low-blow. Regal managed to hang on to his gold yet again. Later on, Stephanie McMahon informed the Intercontinental Champion that he will defend the gold one more time against CM Punk and that he will do it next week in CM Punk’s hometown of Chicago and this time, it is no disqualification.
In the backstage area, Manu & Sim Snuka confront Cody Rhodes. Manu & Snuka tell Rhodes that they are going after Randy Orton tonight and that Rhodes is either with them or against them and that they will await his decision. Snuka & Manu let Rhodes know that they were bringing another second-generation superstar for backup.
In a monumental announcement, the first inductee into the 2009 Hall of Fame was announced and it is none other than "The Texas Rattlesnake" himself, Stone Cold Steve Austin!
Kane and Randy Orton also faced off on this night. After a rough match and a controversial win by Randy Orton, Manu & Sim Snuka appeared and told Rhodes that it was time for him to choose his side. Manu & Sim then introduced their backup- the man who Randy Orton punted in the head and put out of action a couple months ago- Ted DiBiase. DiBiase, Snuka, Manu, & Rhodes all surrounded Randy Orton, but then in a shocking development, Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, & Ted DiBiase joined together and decimated Manu & Sim Snuka; leaving them laying in the ring as the trio celebrated.
More participants for the 2009 Royal Rumble Match were announced on RAW. Kane, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Santino Marella, and World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison are all in the Rumble Match.
It was then time for the main event that would see World Heavyweight Champion John Cena compete in a non-title match against Shawn Michaels, with Michaels’ employer and the #1 Contender for the title, JBL in his corner. While in the STF-U, the employer helped the employee get to the ropes for the break against HBK’s creed to be "Mr. WrestleMania" without JBL’s help, but it was a momentary distraction by JBL that allowed Shawn Michaels to hit Sweet Chin Music and pin "The Champ". What will happen when Cena & JBL face off next week in the official contract signing for their title match at the Rumble? Not to mention what will happen when the boss comes back- Mr. McMahon. What will the Chairman of the WWE have to say to his daughter? Where has he been for the past several months? How will he react to the firing of Chris Jericho? What effect will he have on RAW and the entire WWE?
The 136th edition of ECW on Sci-Fi came to you from the Tyson Center in Sioux City, IA. Confirmed was Matt Hardy defending the ECW Title against the undefeated "All-American American" Jack Swagger.
Good Week For: Jack Swagger (won the ECW Title)
Bad Week For: Matt Hardy (lost the ECW Title)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Jack Swagger (to see who will challenge the new champion first)
Best Mic Work: Tommy Dreamer
And In Other News…
The opening match of the night saw DJ Gabriel & Alicia Fox defeat Paul Burchill & Katie Lea in a Mixed Tag Match.
Tommy Dreamer also made a special appearance on ECW. The ECW Original told the fans that he has had the privilege of living his dream for 19 years and that ECW means the world to him. However, he stated that he feels that he does not measure up to the level of the new talent in ECW today. In a shocking announcement, Tommy Dreamer gave himself an ultimatum and said that if he does not win the ECW Title by the time his WWE Contract expires on June 6, he will leave ECW!
The Boogeyman was also in action, defeating Sammy Savard.
In the main event of the evening, Jack Swagger did the unthinkable and was able to use the exposed turnbuckle and his patented gutwrench powerbomb to do what Finlay, Chavo Guerrero, Evan Bourne, & Mark Henry could not do- pin Matt Hardy to win the ECW Title!
WWE.com announced on Friday that World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of Hardcore Holly (real name- Bob Howard).
The 492nd edition of WWE SmackDown came to you from Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, NE. Confirmed for the night of SmackDown action was The Cutting Edge with WWE Champion Jeff Hardy & the last match in the career of Victoria.
Good Week For: MVP (finally ended his losing streak with some help from Triple H)
Bad Week For: Jeff Hardy (another accident occurs with Jeff’s pyro going off in his face)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Triple H & Vladimir Kozlov (to see who emerges in their match)
Best Mic Work: Edge
And In Other News…
The show opened with SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero. Vickie warns the WWE Superstars of what will happen if they disrespect her. The GM shows footage of last week’s "Triple Jeopardy" that Triple H had to endure for disrespecting her. Vickie said that Triple H ruined her wedding, her marriage, and her reputation. Triple H comes out and apologizes to the GM and tells Vickie that she sure taught him a lesson last week. "The Game" tried to make it up to Vickie by giving her the original nude photos that were leaked onto the Internet. Vickie said she accepted Triple H’s apology, but that was not enough. She then informed Triple H that he will face Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match again tonight and this time, Triple H’s spot in the Royal Rumble Match will be on the line. Triple H responded by revealing Vickie’s nude photos for the world to see on the tron. A furious Vickie fired back and told "The Game" that she was making a change to her announced match. Instead of Triple H battling Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match for his Rumble spot, it would be the man who has been on a losing streak since August, MVP, that will be responsible for Triple H’s Rumble spot. To ensure that things went her way, Vickie banned Triple H from ringside during the match.
The opening match of the night was a special tag team match featuring the Superstars of ECW as former ECW Champion Matt Hardy teamed with "The Belfast Brawler" Finlay to defeat the new ECW Champion Jack Swagger & "The World’s Strongest Man" Mark Henry. For the first time in his career, Jack Swagger was pinned, and it was by Matt Hardy. Though still undefeated, Matt still pinned the new champion, certainly giving him momentum as the two will have a rematch for the ECW Title at the Royal Rumble. Can Matt defeat the undefeated and make it a short title reign for Jack Swagger?
Two more participants for the 2009 Royal Rumble Match were revealed on SmackDown- The Brian Kendrick & R-Truth. These two "Rumblers" faced off, with R-Truth getting the duke over The Brian Kendrick. After the match, however, Truth was laid out at the hands of Ezekiel Jackson. What role will Ezekiel play at the Royal Rumble with his "advisee" in the Rumble Match?
WWE.com later announced that WWE Tag Team Champion Carlito is in the Royal Rumble Match.
The time had come for MVP and that time would either be the time that saw him end his losing streak or it would be the time that he got "introduced" to Triple H’s sledgehammer. Luckily for MVP, the only one who got acquainted with the sledgehammer was Big Show, who "The Game" cracked in the back of the head with the weapon, which gave MVP the upset win over Big Show in the Last Man Standing Match. Not only did MVP end his long and costly losing streak, but he kept Triple H in the Rumble Match and that proved beneficial for MVP, who has to be back to "straight up ballin" with this big win.
Speaking of the Royal Rumble Match, The Undertaker made an appearance as well. The 2007 Royal Rumble Winner stated that "darkness will fall over those who try to stop my destiny". "The Phenom" said that the Rumble Match will have 29 mortals, but only one immortal being- him. He made the guarantee that he will bury the other competitors in Detroit.
Friday night was a sad night for Victoria. As announced a couple of days ago on WWE.com, Victoria would have her final match in Omaha on SmackDown. The two-time Women’s Champion hoped to go out on a high note with a big win, however Michelle McCool had different plans and defeated Victoria.
General Manager Vickie Guerrero called Triple H into her office and informed Triple H that, because he interfered in the Last Man Standing Match, he was out of the Royal Rumble Match. "The Cerebral Assassin" informed the GM that she clearly said that he was banned from ringside. Triple H stated that he was on the stage, quite a ways from ringside. In irate Vickie informed Triple H that he will be in action next week against "The Undefeated Moscow Mauler" Vladimir Kozlov. Will "The Game" survive Kozlov just two nights before the Royal Rumble?
Edge came out to present "The Cutting Edge". The #1 Contender for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble stated that ever since Armageddon, distractions have kept him from regaining his WWE Title from Jeff Hardy. "The Rated-R Superstar" said that Jeff has a "dark cloud over his head" and that at the Rumble, he will prove to everyone that the title reign of Jeff Hardy was an "accident". Those words could not be more prophetic as Edge introduced his guest- the WWE Champion Jeff Hardy. However, during Jeff’s entrance, the pyro Jeff uses exploded in the champions face, leaving him writhing on the stage. Medics and various Superstars came out to aid to Jeff, including his brother Matt. Edge & Vickie Guerrero look concerned as Jeff is wheeled out on a stretcher. Is Edge right about Jeff having a "dark cloud over his head"? It certainly seems to be true with all that has happened to Jeff over the last couple of months. What is the status on Jeff Hardy? Is he out of the Rumble picture? What does Edge have to do with this whole ordeal? Is he telling the truth? Is he really concerned with the safety of the champion?
Superstar of the Week: Jack Swagger