February 1, 2009- February 7, 2009
Welcome to the fortieth edition of This Week In WWE. 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 819th edition of Monday Night RAW came to you from the Scottrade Center in Randy Orton’s hometown of St. Louis, MO. Confirmed for RAW was Randy Orton’s reaction to Shane McMahon’s attack last week. Also, three of the six competitors in the Elimination Chamber Match would face off as Rey Mysterio teamed with Kofi Kingston to face the diabolical team of Kane & Mike Knox. We would also find out the sixth and final entrant in the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match.
Good Week For: Kane (revealed as the sixth participant in the Elimination Chamber)
Bad Week For: Shawn Michaels (got shoved and slapped by his employer and was unable to do anything about it)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Randy Orton (to see if he can survive The Undertaker)
And In Other News…
Shane McMahon opened RAW and revealed that, after last week’s RAW, the legal teams of both Randy Orton & Shane McMahon have agreed on a match between the two at No Way Out. As if that was not huge enough, it will be a No Holds Barred Match, where there will be nobody allowed at ringside, including Orton’s protégés Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. Following this announcement, St. Louis’ own Randy Orton came out to a very unfriendly welcome from his fellow St. Louisman and told Shane McMahon that the son of the Chairman seemed confident. Orton then asked Shane the question of "how did Shane do it? How did Shane assault the three top superstars on RAW?" Orton replied by saying that Shane McMahon did not do that. Orton revealed that he instructed Rhodes & DiBiase to not fight back last week and neither did he. Orton stated that he did this to protect himself, Rhodes, & DiBiase from the beatdown they would receive when the RAW Roster backed up Shane. Orton then advised Shane to get a hospital bed ready and make sure it is right next to his father’s for when Orton sends Shane there at No Way Out. Orton then slowly approaches the ring, sets down the microphone, and starts to get on the apron when Rhodes & DiBiase come into the ring, followed by Orton. Apparently, Shane anticipated such an attack as he pulled out a kendo stick and swung and missed at Orton, but made contact with Rhodes & DiBiase, who fled the ring with Orton. This same type of offense will be legal at No Way Out, but what won’t be legal will be the assistance of "Legacy". Can Orton overcome the raw emotion of Shane McMahon at No Way Out or will Orton claim another victim in Seattle?
The opening match of the night was a Mixed Tag Match that saw Intercontinental Champion CM Punk team with four-time Women’s Champion Mickie James to take on former Intercontinental Champion William Regal & Layla. Due to some crafty timing by the seasoned Regal, William Regal was able to pin CM Punk for the win. These two will face off again next week when CM Punk makes his first defense of the Intercontinental Title against the former champion William Regal.
As if they did not see enough action when they tried to assault Shane McMahon, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase were in action, taking on Cryme Tyme. However, after Legacy refused to stop double-teaming Shad, Rhodes & DiBiase lost the match by disqualification.
In tag team action, three of the six participants in the Championship Elimination Chamber Match at No Way Out faced off the monstrous team of Kane & Mike Knox defeated the high-flying duo of Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston.
Chris Jericho also made an appearance on RAW to address Mickey Rourke. Jericho starts by saying that he respects Rourke’s performance in "The Wrestler", but his problem with the movie was that it focused on the run-down legends of wrestling’s past. Jericho illustrated his point by listing a few "run-down legends" like Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, & "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Jericho turned his focus on Flair and stated that Ric Flair refuses to "back out gracefully" from wrestling and that Flair had a historic retirement match at last year’s WrestleMania, but he is still signing autographs in high schools and putting his face on anything just to get a paycheck. Jericho then called the "Nature Boy" pathetic and said that legends like Ric Flair need their Hall of Famer status revoked. World Heavyweight Champion John Cena interrupted and called Chris Jericho an "idiot". Cena told Jericho that Jericho has been fired twice, but he still refuses to walk away or shut up. "The Champ" promised to shut Jericho up in their match tonight.
Backstage, Shane & Stephanie McMahon are shown walking the hallways of the Scottrade Center when Randy Orton & Legacy attacked Shane, knocking Stephanie down in the process. Legacy assaulted Shane McMahon until security attempted to pull them off of Shane, but then the members of the security force got assaulted by Rhodes & DiBiase. Orton then spotted a sadistic opportunity before him. Orton locked on to a downed Shane McMahon and prepared to punt Shane just like Orton did to his father a couple of weeks ago. However, Orton stopped in favor of a more dastardly and unthinkable plan; Orton then set up to punt Stephanie McMahon in the head! Luckily for Stephanie, Shane jumped in front of Orton mid-kick and took the shot to his ribs. Much like he did after he attacked the Chairman, Orton had a shocked look on his face as if he did not realize what just transpired.
A huge announcement was made on RAW as, after hearing Chris Jericho’s comments, the "Nature Boy" himself, Ric Flair will make a special appearance on next week’s RAW! What will the 2008 Hall of Famer have to say to Chris Jericho next week?
The WWE Divas were also in action as former Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix defeated Candice Michelle.
JBL also made an appearance for an "employee performance appraisal". JBL explained that he will publicly assess Shawn Michaels’ performance. JBL’s employee Shawn Michaels then makes his way to the ring and JBL told Michaels that JBL forfilled his half of the deal, which Michaels agreed with. JBL explained to Michaels that he hired HBK to get him to WrestleMania as the World Heavyweight Champion. JBL then asked Michaels if Michaels felt that he forfilled his part of the deal. Michaels responded by telling his boss that the failed opportunities were JBL’s fault; bringing up his match last week with John Cena as an example. JBL said that the answer to the question would be "no". JBL tells Michaels that HBK has failed him as an employee. JBL asks the Heartbreak Kid if he wants JBL to release him from his contract. JBL says that he knows Michaels wants to assault him right then and there, but the always cunning JBL informs Michaels that if HBK puts his hands on JBL, JBL will fire Michaels and Michaels will have to return home penniless to a family he can no longer support. JBL then offers a proposal to Shawn Michaels- a match between them at No Way Out. JBL then explained that if Michaels wins, he will get all the money he will ever need in his lifetime. However, JBL stated that if he wins, that lifetime will be spent working for him and Michaels will never get a dime. A confident JBL told his employee that after he wins at No Way Out, he will not only own Shawn Michaels, he will also own Michaels’ name, his legacy, everything associated with the career of Shawn Michaels. JBL asks Michaels if he wants to "roll the dice" and risk walking away from No Way Out with nothing and risk Michaels’ children looking at him and asking their dad if it was worth it. Michaels accepts the Winner-Takes-All Match. JBL then reminds his employee that Michaels can not lay a hand on him or he will be fired. The brash JBL then starts shoving Michaels several times, then slaps HBK. A very emotional Shawn Michaels exits the ring.
Backstage we see Kane & RAW General Manager Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie asks Kane if "he" is coming next week and Kane says yes. Stephanie then reveals that Kane will be rewarded with the sixth and final spot in the Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title at No Way Out. Stephanie then drops the bombshell that Randy Orton will go one-on-one next week with none other than "The Phenom" The Undertaker! Is there a more cruel revenge the McMahons could have plotted than to place Orton in the ring with The Undertaker?
Then it was time for the main event as World Heavyweight Champion John Cena faced Chris Jericho in a non-title match. The two fought back-and-forth, but in the end, "The Champ" was true to his word to "shut Jericho’s mouth" as he made the narcissistic Jericho tap out to pick up the win. Is this a sign of things to come in the Elimination Chamber?
The 139th edition of ECW on Sci-Fi came to you from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. Confirmed for the night in the "Gateway To The West" was a non-title match between ECW Champion Jack Swagger and "The Fighting Irishman" Finlay. Also, Tommy Dreamer would face Paul Burchill.
Good Week For: Finlay (pinned the ECW Champion and ended his undefeated streak)
Bad Week For: Jack Swagger (got pinned in singles action for the first time in his career)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Finlay (to see if or when he gets an ECW Title Match)
And In Other News…
The opening contest of ECW saw "The Ripper" Paul Burchill defeat ECW Original Tommy Dreamer.
Backstage, Jamie Noble from RAW confronts the ECW General Manager Theodore Long. Noble stated that he was there to "save the show" now that Matt Hardy is on SmackDown. GM Long agreed with Noble and now Jamie Noble is a member of the ECW Roster.
Back in the ring, World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison come to the ring, where Tommy Dreamer is still recovering from his match with Paul Burchill. The braggadocios duo mocked the ECW Original, telling Dreamer that he was too slow to even exit the ring in a timely fashion. The tag champions called him "fat boy" and mocked his passion for ECW, as well as claim that champions do not look like Tommy Dreamer, that champions look like The Miz & John Morrison. Dreamer stood up and got into the tag champions’ faces as Miz & Morrison continued their verbal mockery of the proud Superstar by saying that Tommy Dreamer should just go home and wait for the call for him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, which will never happen. However, the duo crossed the line by telling Dreamer that even his family would not want to see him. This caused Dreamer to snap and briefly assault The Miz before John Morrison got involved. The two double-teamed Dreamer and put an exclamation point on the beat down when The Miz laid out a prone Dreamer with the Reality Check. This issue is certainly not done between these three after this attack. Will Tommy Dreamer retaliate? If so, how will he combat the numbers game?
Jamie Noble also made his debut as an ECW Superstar. Unfortunately, it was against the mysterious Boogeyman, who picked up the win over Theodore Long’s latest acquisition.
Then it was time for a very personal main event; after Jack Swagger viciously shoved his son, Hornswoggle, down last week, "The Great Protector" Finlay was out for revenge as he faced the ECW Champion, the "Undefeated All-American American" Jack Swagger in a non-title bout. During the match, Swagger got a hold of Finlay’s signature shillelagh and threw it way out of the Irishman’s reach leaving Finlay without his "backup". However, Swagger forgot about Finlay’s "plan C", better known as Hornswoggle, who got out a bigger shillelagh and cracked the ECW Champion in the ankle with it. This was enough for Finlay to hit the Celtic Cross on the champion and end the undefeated streak of Jack Swagger by defeating him in a one-on-one match! Now that Finlay has done what so many others have failed to do in defeating Jack Swagger one-on-one, can Finlay take the ECW Title from Jack Swagger? How will Swagger react to his first singles loss?
As announced on WWE.com after ECW concluded, Jack Swagger will defend the ECW Title against Finlay at No Way Out on February 15 in Seattle. Can Swagger keep the gold or will Finlay pin Swagger again and get the ECW Title?
The 495th edition of WWE SmackDown came to you from the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. Confirmed for SmackDown was a huge tag team main event featuring the four known Elimination Chamber participants as WWE Champion Edge teamed with Big Show to take on "The Game" Triple H & "The Phenom" The Undertaker. Also, we would find out the final two participants in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match.
Good Week For: Vladimir Kozlov (dominated in a Battle Royal & earned the final spot in the Chamber)
Bad Week For: Edge (got knocked out by Big Show, Tombstoned by Undertaker, & pinned by Undertaker)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Jeff Hardy (to see what Jeff does when he returns to SmackDown)
And In Other News…
SmackDown opened with a Battle Royal. Before the Battle Royal could get underway, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero came out and made two blockbuster announcements- first, Jeff Hardy will get his rematch for the WWE Title at No Way Out inside the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match and second, the Battle Royal about to take place would decide the final entrant into the Chamber.
The Battle Royal decided the final participant in the Elimination Chamber Match and no one man was more dominant than "The Moscow Mauler" Vladimir Kozlov, who eliminated both WWE Tag Team Champions, R-Truth, & "The Punjabi Playboy" The Great Khali to win the Battle Royal and secure the final spot in the Chamber Match at No Way Out. The field is now set for the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match as WWE Champion Edge will defend the title against five of the WWE’s greatest superstars- "The Game" Triple H, "The World’s Largest Athlete" Big Show, the man who was robbed of the title Jeff Hardy, "The Undefeated Moscow Mauler" Vladimir Kozlov, & "The Deadman" The Undertaker. How can Edge possibly survive the Chamber? How will he survive the tag team main event later that night?
Fresh off of competing in the Battle Royal, MVP was able to defeat United States Champion Shelton Benjamin in a non-title match to continue his new winning streak and, no doubt, earn a future United States Title match.
Backstage, Hurricane Helms is being interviewed regarding the dissension of his lifelong friends- Matt & Jeff Hardy and Helms states that Matt Hardy has always had an ego about him, but now Matt is an "egotistical jerk". Helms said that Jeff Hardy is not here, but he is and he will be looking for Matt Hardy.
Matt Hardy made an appearance and told Hurricane Helms that Helms does not need to look for him, because he is in the middle of the ring. Matt calls out Helms and Helms makes a b-line for the ring and the former friends brawl with each other. After a back-and-forth battle, Matt gets the upper hand and brutally assaults an unconscious Helms until WWE Referees come to the ring to get Matt off of Helms.
In 6-Man Tag Team Action, The Brian Kendrick & World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison got a big win over R-Truth & WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito.
A huge announcement was made in regards to next week’s SmackDown as Jeff Hardy will return to SmackDown! Jeff will be making his first appearance since his brother cost him the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. What will Jeff have to say regarding Matt? Will he be able to focus on regaining the WWE Title inside the Elimination Chamber with all of the personal turmoil he is in the middle of?
Eve Torres also made her in-ring debut on SmackDown, unfortunately, she was forced to submit to Michelle McCool. After the match, Maria ran McCool out of the ring.
Matt Hardy was asked about Jeff’s return next week and the elder Hardy stated that "a lot can happen in seven days" and that "it would be unfortunate if Jeff suffered another ‘accident’ in the next week". Matt added that he would "welcome Jeff back with open arms". What does Matt planned for the man he no longer recognizes as his brother?
Umaga was in action, completely dominating Kung Fu Naki.
Then it was time for a big time tag team main event with some major Elimination Chamber implications as WWE Champion Edge reluctantly teamed with one of his challengers at No Way Out, Big Show, to face two other challengers, Triple H & The Undertaker. Edge let his mouth lead his body when addressing Big Show and Show responded by knocking out the champion with a straight right hand. Big Show then placed himself on the apron and watched as The Undertaker tombstoned and pinned his "partner". Edge got two valuable lessons from Big Show- don’t boss around "The World’s Largest Athlete" and, at No Way Out, it’s every man for himself. What "interactions" will we see between the six Chamber participants next week on the last stop before No Way Out?
Superstar of the Week: Finlay