February 22, 2009- February 28, 2009
Welcome to the forty-third 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.
WWE.com announced on Monday evening that World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of RAW Superstar Manu (real name- Afa Anoa’i, Jr.).
The 822nd edition of Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Sommet Center in Nashville, TN. Confirmed for RAW’s night in Music City was a much-anticipated confrontation between Triple H & Randy Orton. RAW would also feature a match between former boss and employee as Shawn Michaels took on John "Bradshaw" Layfield in a match where the winner would go to the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania to face The Undertaker. However, Vladimir Kozlov vowed to be on RAW and to destroy either JBL or Shawn Michaels. We would also find out who would be the first superstar to qualify for the annual Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania as Intercontinental Champion CM Punk took on World Tag Team Champion The Miz and World Tag Team Champion John Morrison in a Triple Threat Match.
Good Week For: CM Punk (qualified for the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match)
Bad Week For: Triple H (did not get his hands on Randy Orton)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Shawn Michaels & Vladimir Kozlov (to see who faces The Undertaker)
And In Other News…
The night kicked off with SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero. The wife of the World Heavyweight Champion started with some big news- with RAW General Manager Stephanie McMahon recovering from Randy Orton’s attack, the WWE Board of Directors has placed Vickie in charge of RAW as the Interim RAW General Manager, meaning that Vickie temporarily has control of both RAW & SmackDown! Vickie wished The McMahons the best and stated that she would do as well for RAW as she has been doing for SmackDown. John Cena interrupts the Interim GM and immediately questions the Board of Directors’ choice to select Vickie as the Interim GM. Cena says he won’t fight "city hall" and then he congratulates Vickie. Cena then tells Vickie "not to lie" and pretend to care about The McMahons’ well being. Cena then tells Vickie that she only cares if Edge is the World Heavyweight Champion. Cena reminds Vickie of his rematch clause and announced that he was cashing in the opportunity on tonight’s RAW. World Heavyweight Champion Edge interrupted with some major backup in Big Show. Edge came to the ring and tells Cena that it’s time for him to be intimidated. The champion stated that he does not answer to Cena and says that Cena wants to be a role model for the fans, but that can’t and won’t happen because Edge will not allow it. Edge boasts that he is the smartest and most talented World Heavyweight Champion in history. The champion recommends that Cena hold off on the rematch and avoid getting beat by him and subsequently leaving the fans with "nothing". Cena responds by saying he is one match away from becoming the World Heavyweight Champion again. Cena again pressures Vickie to make the rematch tonight. Big Show takes the microphone and tells Cena to respect Vickie Guerrero. Cena responds by accusing Big Show of having an affair with Vickie. Vickie responds by telling Cena that Edge is her "family" and Big Show is her "friend". Vickie then announces that Cena will face either "friend or family" in the main event tonight. Cena says that he is either going to chop down a giant or regain the World Heavyweight Title.
In the parking lot, Randy Orton and Legacy are shown arriving to the Sommet Center and sneaking into the building to avoid any "trouble" from Triple H.
The opening match of the night saw Intercontinental Champion CM Punk battle World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison in an every man for himself, Triple Threat Match. The tag team champions had their share of disagreements, but in the end, it was CM Punk picking up the win to become the first Superstar to qualify for the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. Can CM Punk be the first repeat winner of the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase?
Backstage, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase state that Randy Orton is not to blame for last week’s attacks and if Triple H shows up on RAW, then Orton & Legacy are ready for him.
In a 6-Person Mixed Tag Match, Women’s Champion Melina teamed with Cryme Tyme to defeat the team of Glamarella and Dolph Ziggler.
Then it was time for a match where the winner would earn the opportunity to head to WrestleMania to face The Undertaker and attempt to end the 16-0 undefeated streak of "The Deadman". The two men facing off were no strangers to each other- JBL and Shawn Michaels. However, before the match could get underway, it was revealed that Interim RAW General Manager and SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero had changed the stipulation of the match and now the winner of the match, either JBL or Shawn Michaels, will face "The Undefeated Moscow Mauler" Vladimir Kozlov on next week’s RAW and the winner of that match will face The Undertaker at WrestleMania. In the end, it was Shawn Michaels out maneuvering JBL to get one step closer to facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania. His opponent next week, Vladimir Kozlov, came to the ring. The two faced off and Michaels tried to attack Kozlov, but Kozlov laid out HBK in the middle of the ring. Will this monstrous Russian crush the WrestleMania hopes of "The Showstopper"?
Jamie Noble appeared in the ring and vowed that, if he lasted longer than 15 seconds in his match, that he would go to WrestleMania. Noble stayed true to his promise by lasting 29 seconds against Mike Knox. Is Noble just shooting off at the mouth or will Noble really set his foot in Houston for WrestleMania?
The next inductee in the 2009 WWE Hall of Fame was also revealed to be Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat; a former NWA World Heavyweight and WWE Intercontinental Champion. "The Dragon" would be inducted by fellow Hall of Famer "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Steamboat spoke on his induction and thanked the fans for his induction and stated that being an inductee in the Hall of Fame is the greatest honor of his life. Chris Jericho interrupts the legend and thanks the Academy for not giving Mickey Rourke an Oscar last night. Jericho turns his attention to Steamboat, calling Steamboat a "loser", just like Ric Flair and Roddy Piper. Jericho says he is a "man of truth". Jericho claims that Steamboat "feeds the stereotype" by wearing a headband and practicing martial arts. Jericho called Steamboat a "lifelong sellout" and also called him "pathetic" and a "hypocrit". Steamboat responds by saying that he remembers signing an autograph for a young Chris Jericho twenty years earlier and that on that day, Jericho told Steamboat that he was his hero and that Jericho even wrote that in his autobiography! Steamboat continues by stating that, ever since debuting, Jericho has loved the fans and hated the fans and loved the fans again and tells Jericho that that is a "hypocrite". Steamboat said he has "never changed, not once" and added that "legends know who they are". Steamboat says he rejoined the WWE to help the WWE talent of tomorrow and he does it because he love the business and says he is not a hypocrite. Steamboat tells Jericho that he will be something that Jericho will never be- a Hall of Famer. Jericho then brutally attacked Steamboat, leaving him laying on the stage.
As John Cena is in the ring for his match against "a friend or family", the General Manager of RAW and SmackDown coems out and denies Cena’s demands for a title rematch. Cena responds by telling the GM that he will follow her everywhere; to SmackDown, back to RAW next week and will keep doing it until she grants him his rematch. Vickie then reveals John Cena’s opponent- her nephew, Chavo Guerrero. Cena made short work of Chavo, making him submit and never taking his eyes off of Vickie Guerrero.
Then it was time for the confrontation between Triple H and Randy Orton. Orton came to the ring with a sledgehammer and Legacy for backup. "The Legend Killer" says that he has been waiting for Triple H all night and that Triple H would be "stupid" to show up. Orton adds fuel to the fire by saying that he is the victim, not Stephanie and blames The McMahons, saying that they would not stay out of his way and all of The McMahons pushed him to do what he did to them. Orton claims that his RKO to Stephanie McMahon was "instinct". Orton says that the fans have no idea what he is going through; the pressure he is under. He states that The McMahons do, however. Orton said that Stephanie should have "known better" and he hopes Triple H and Stephanie’s kids were watching so they could learn from Stephanie’s "mistakes". Apparently hearing all he could take, Triple H made his way to the ring, sledgehammer in hand. Orton tells Triple H that someone is going to hurt. Orton then recommends that they borh put their sledgehammers down and settle it like men. Orton drops his and Triple H does as well. Triple H then faces off with Orton & Legacy. Triple H then pulls out another sledgehammer and hits Cody Rhodes with it as Orton escapes with Ted DiBiase. Orton & DiBiase escape to a locker room and they barricade themselves inside the room. Triple H eventually breaks through and traps Orton & DiBiase. Triple H gets DiBiase with the sledgehammer, Triple H then corners Randy Orton. Orton dodges out of the way and Triple H hits the mirror with a sledgehammer. Triple H regains his sledgehammer and pursues Orton, however Orton had reunited with Rhodes & DiBiase and the three of them hopped into a car. Triple H smashes the car door, but Orton & Legacy escape as a maniac Triple H throws the sledgehammer at the speeding car. It is safe to assume that this is not over. What will happen when these two cross paths again? How many times can Orton escape his destruction at the hands of Triple H?
The 142nd edition of ECW on Sci-Fi came to you from the Sommet Center in Nashville, TN. Confirmed for ECW was an ECW Championship Match as "The All-American American" Jack Swagger would defend his title against "Captain Charisma" Christian.
Good Week For: Jack Swagger (retained the ECW Title against Christian)
Bad Week For: Christian (injured shoulder cost him the ECW Title)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Jack Swagger & Christian (to see if their rivalry is through)
And In Other News…
The opening match of the night saw "The World’s Strongest Man" Mark Henry defeat DJ Gabriel.
Tyson Kidd was also in action, defeating Matt Boyce.
Tommy Dreamer also took on Paul Burchill. With Paul Burchill in the tree-of-woe position, Dreamer was set to deliver his signature baseball slide when Paul’s sister- Katie Lea Burchill rescued her brother from the maneuver and possibly saving the match for Paul. However, The Boogeyman tried to drag Katie Lea under the ring. While Katie Lea escaped, Paul Burchill was distracted enough by the scene that Tommy Dreamer capitalized and hit his patented DDT to pick up the win.
Then it was time for the main event- Jack Swagger Vs. Christian for the ECW Championship. During the course of the match, "Captain Charisma" ran into some trouble with his right arm. This injury would cost Christian in the end, as he was unable to pull off the Killswitch and Swagger took advantage by hitting his finisher and retaining the ECW Title. Has Jack Swagger seen the last of Christian?
The 498th edition of SmackDown came to you from the Rose Garden in Portland, OR. Confirmed for SmackDown was a special appearance by RAW’s John Cena. Also, World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison would attempt to make history as they would challenge Primo & Carlito for the WWE Tag Team Titles and if they won, they would be the Undisputed Tag Team Champions. Vladimir Kozlov would take on The Undertaker for the first time ever and it would be Brother Vs. Brother as Jeff Hardy took on Matt Hardy.
Good Week For: Vladimir Kozlov (pinned The Undertaker)
Bad Week For: John Cena (got dominated by Big Show in the main event)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Edge & John Cena (to see the next chapter in their budding rivalry)
And In Other News…
The show kicked off with a special appearance by RAW’s John Cena. The former champions stated that the World Heavyweight Title is being held by a "coward". Cena demanded his rematch against Edge for the World Heavyweight Title and he wanted it tonight. He declared that he would not leave the ring until he got an answer. World Heavyweight Champion Edge came out and surprised the world by accepting Cena’s rematch! Edge stated that he was doing it so Cena would quit following him. However, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero comes out and states that her husband will not compete tonight. Cena starts to come after the champion, but Vickie stops Cena and introduces Cena’s opponent in the main event of SmackDown- "The World’s Largest Athlete" Big Show!
The opening match of the night was for the WWE Tag Team Championship as Primo & Carlito defended against World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison. If Miz & Morrison snagged the WWE Tag Team Titles from Primo & Carlito, they would make history by becoming the Undisputed Tag Team Champions in the WWE. However, The Colons were able to hang on to their tag titles against a very game Miz & Morrison. Not only did Primo & Carlito walk away with the WWE Tag Team Titles, they also left with The Bella Twins.
Vladimir Kozlov was out to prove that he could beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania by facing "The Deadman" on SmackDown. In a stunning match, "The Moscow Mauler" was able to pin The Undertaker! Could this be a preview of what we may see at WrestleMania? Can Vladimir Kozlov pin Shawn Michaels on RAW and earn the right to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania? If so, can Kozlov do it again and end "the streak"?
Then it was time for the Brother Vs. Brother Match as Jeff Hardy would face his brother Matt Hardy. However, Jeff Hardy came out in his street clothes. Jeff told Matt that he has done nothing to deserve the treatment he has received as of late by his brother. Jeff proclaims that he will never fight his brother. Matt stated that they were not brothers. Matt said that this was about him, not Jeff and the fans that cheer for Jeff make him "physically sick". Matt told Jeff that his career has been mediocre while Jeff’s has skyrocketed. Matt also laid claim to being the most talented Hardy. Matt then implores his brother to fight him. Jeff keeps refusing to fight Matt. Matt then slaps his brother and calls him a "coward". Matt then backhands Jeff, but Jeff opted to leave the ring, refusing to fight his brother.
With MVP on commentary, United States Champion Shelton Benjamin was in action against Chavo Guerrero. In the middle of the match, the United States Champion became distracted by the presence of MVP at the announce table. Benjamin then deliberately threw Chavo into MVP! From that point on, Benjamin did not take his eyes off of MVP, which ended up costing him the match as Chavo rolled up the U.S. Champion to pick up the win! To add insult to injury, MVP hit Benjamin with the Drive-By Kick after the match.
Then it was time for the main event as RAW’s John Cena took on "The World’s Largest Athlete" Big Show. The behemoth Big Show dominated Cena in the match, but when Cena started to make a comeback, World Heavyweight Champion Edge made his presence known by distracting Cena. This gave Big Show the opportunity to hit Cena with his knockout punch and hit the chokeslam on Cena to pick up the win. After the match, Edge stood over Cena and yelled at Cena that SmackDown was "his show". Edge then stood tall over Cena with the title belt in the air. When will Cena get his mandatory rematch against "The Rated-R Superstar"? With Vickie Guerrero controlling both RAW and SmackDown, will Cena ever get his rematch?
It was announced on Friday by WWE.com that "Cowboy" Bill Watts will be the next inductee in the 2009 Hall of Fame.
Superstar of the Week: Vladimir Kozlov