March 29, 2009- April 4, 2009
Welcome to the forty-eighth 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. This will be the final edition of This Week In WWE before The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania!
The 827th edition of Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. Confirmed for the last RAW before WrestleMania was a one-on-one match between two-thirds of the Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania as John Cena took on Big Show. Also, Jerry "The King" Lawler would try to avenge the victimized legends as he would take on the victimizer- Chris Jericho.
Good Week For: Shawn Michaels (once again laid out The Undertaker with Sweet Chin Music)
Bad Week For: Santino Marella (got attacked by 18 WWE Divas following his Swimsuit Exhibition)
And In Other News…
RAW kicked off with a shot of a hearse backing into the arena. Later on in the show, a casket would be pulled out of a hearse and the casket would contain, not The Undertaker, but Shawn Michaels, who would have a "funeral" for The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Streak later on RAW.
The opening match of the night was a gigantic 18-Diva Tag Match that saw the multi-branded team of Women’s Champion Melina, former Women’s Champion Mickie James, Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly, Maria, Eve, Tiffany, Alicia Fox, & Brie Bella defeat the interpromotional team of Divas Champion Maryse, the first Divas Champion Michelle McCool, former Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes, Natalya, Katie Lea Burchill, Layla, Jillian, & Nikki Bella when Tiffany rolled up Katie Lea Burchill for the win. After the match, a robe-clad Santino Marella made his way to the ring. "The Odd Italian" revealed that he would be taking part in a "Swimsuit Exhibition". Marella then disrobed to expose his "mankini" to the world in his campaign to prove that he is "man enough to be Miss WrestleMania". After the laughter subsided, all eighteen of the WWE Divas in the ring attacked Marella and tossed him out of the ring.
Prior to his match with Jerry "The King" Lawler, special stipulations were announced for Chris Jericho’s 3-on-1 Handicap Match against The Legends at WrestleMania. The stipulation will be that Jericho must defeat each of the three legends individiually to win the match, while the three legends must only defeat Jericho.
Jericho sent a strong message to his WrestleMania opponents as he forced Hall of Famer Jerry "The King" Lawler to submit to the Walls of Jericho in their match. After the match, Jericho tried to assault Lawler like he has all the other legends over the past several weeks, but Lawler caught Jericho with a right hand and dared the narciccistic Jericho to come back into the ring. Jericho refused, proclaiming that he already beat Lawler and had nothing further to prove to him. Jericho then vowed to defeat The Legends at WrestleMania and become a legend himself.
Backstage, John Cena comes face-to-face with the World Heavyweight Champion Edge. "The Rated-R Superstar" proposes a plan to Cena; a plan to eliminate Big Show before WrestleMania. Given the option of eliminating a legitimate threat to his chances of becoming champion or trusting the conniving Edge, Cena opted to refuse Edge’s proposal and take his chances with Big Show on his own.
Also backstage, Legacy member Ted DiBiase reveals that Randy Orton will make his "WrestleMania Address" on RAW tonight and that what Orton has to say will "change the WWE Universe forever".
In a non-title preview to their encounter at WrestleMania, Rey Mysterio defeated Intercontinental Champion JBL. Can "The Ultimate Underdog" do the same this Sunday and capture the title from JBL?
Then it was time for John Cena to take on Big Show as two-thirds of WrestleMania’s Triple Threat Match faced off. In the end, the size and power of "The World’s Strongest Athlete" was too much for Cena and Big Show was able to pin Cena to pick up the all-important win en route to WrestleMania. After the match, World Heavyweight Champion Edge slid into the ring, but upon being spotted by Big Show, Edge decided to assault John Cena. Big Show looked on as Edge had to be seperated from Cena. Something has to give between these three come WrestleMania. Big Show has established a seemingly unstoppable ride to WrestleMania over the last few weeks, knocking out both of his opponents and defeating John Cena, all powered by his love for Vickie Guerrero. Edge is out to prove his love for Vickie is too much for Cena & Big Show to handle and vows to leave Houston the World Heavyweight Champion and the champion of Vickie’s heart. While Edge & Big Show seem pre-occupied with Vickie, John Cena has his sights set on the World Heavyweight Title and only the World Heavyweight Title. Will his focus bring him the title at WrestleMania?
With a funeral set up in the ring, Shawn Michaels makes his way to the ring to present his "funeral" for Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak. HBK proclaims that he is a "man unafraid" and says that the "funeral" is for Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak and tells the audience that Undertaker has never defeated him and that WrestleMania will be no different. Michaels vows that his "light will forever overshadow the darkness of The Undertaker" and that his actions over the past several weeks have come without retribution and that will be the same this Sunday. "Mr. WrestleMania" states that he takes it as a "personal insult" that Undertaker does not think HBK can beat him at WrestleMania and that the greatest moment at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania will be when Shawn Michaels pins The Undertaker and ends the legendary streak. The lights then go out in the arena and Undertaker appears in the ring. However, when Undertaker appeared, Shawn Michaels dissappeared. Undertaker wrecked the funeral set and looked in the casket for Michaels. However, Michaels emerged from underneath the casket and once again laid out The Undertaker with Sweet Chin Music! HBK has definetly had the upper-hand in this feud as of late, can Michaels end the streak of The Undertaker this Sunday or will The Undertaker finally get his revenge on "Mr. WrestleMania" and stop the show of Shawn Michaels?
RAW also hosted a special 8-Man Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royal featuring the eight participants in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match this Sunday at WrestleMania. In the end, it was "The Big Red Machine" Kane who won the match and stood tall above the ladder with the briefcase in his hand. Will the same scene be seen this Sunday?
Then it was time for Randy Orton’s WrestleMania Address. Orton states that Triple H ruined his life back in 2004 when Randy Orton won the World Heavyweight Title and became the youngest World Champion in WWE history and Triple H excommunicated Orton from Evolution. Orton said that he had to wait for the right opportunity to ruin Triple H’s life in exchange. Orton proclaimed that earning the opportunity to take the WWE Title from Triple H at WrestleMania was not enough for him, which is why he assaulted Triple H’s family- The McMahons. Orton then reveals that he does not have IED; that he knew what he was doing the entire time. Orton said that he had to let Triple H build confidence so that he could do what he did to Triple H last week. Orton then reveals that he had a talk with Interim RAW General Manager Vickie Guerrero and, if Triple H gets disqualified or counted out at WrestleMania, then Orton will become the WWE Champion. Orton states that he has taken everything away from Triple H except for the WWE Title and he will do that this Sunday and that, by doing so, the landscape of the WWE will change forever and a shift of power will take place. A limo speeding into the arena interrupted Orton’s WrestleMania Address. Orton quickly ordered Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase to come to the ring with the security force. The limo is shown backstage, but it is empty. Orton then implores Triple H to come out there and fight him. However, Orton did not get Triple H. What Orton got was the return of Mr. McMahon! The WWE Chairman then introduced another return; the return of his son Shane McMahon! Finally, Triple H came out to join his father-in-law and brother-in-law. Triple H & The McMahon Men then made their way to the ring, easily disposing of the security force. Orton, Rhodes, & DiBiase came out to meet them and a brawl ensued between the six combustible elements. Triple H & Randy Orton were then left alone in the ring and champion and challenger fought it out as RAW went off the air. What will happen when these two men finally collide for the WWE Title at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania? Orton has revealed that his actions against Triple H & The McMahons has been a plan all along; will Orton’s plan for revenge culminate this Sunday or will Triple H avenge his wife and family by defeating Orton on "The Grandest Stage of Them All"?
The 147th edition of ECW on Sci-Fi came to you from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. Confirmed for the final ECW before WrestleMania was a special tag team match featuring four of the eight competitors in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at this Sunday’s WrestleMania as Christian teamed with Finlay to take on the team of Kane & Mark Henry. Also, the Bella Twins would do battle as Brie Bella took on Nikki Bella.
Good Week For: Nikki Bella (defeated her sister in the main event)
Bad Week For: Brie Bella (got cheated out of a win by The Miz & John Morrison)
And In Other News…
The opening match of the night saw half of the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match competitors face off as the monstrous team of Kane & Mark Henry defeated the team of Christian & Finlay. After the match, Mark Henry laid out his tag team partner- Kane.
With some help from The Miz & John Morrison, Nikki Bella was able to defeat her identical twin sister Brie Bella in the main event of the evening.
The 502nd edition of WWE SmackDown was a special WrestleMania Axxess Edition featuring matches from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX and live coverage of Axxess in Houston, TX. Confirmed for the final SmackDown before WrestleMania was Jeff Hardy going one-on-one with Ezekiel Jackson. Shelton Benjamin would also get his rematch for the United States Title as he challenged new champion MVP for the gold.
Good Week For: Jeff Hardy (defeated Ezekiel Jackson)
Bad Week For: Shelton Benjamin (failed to regain the United States Title)
And In Other News…
The opening match of the evening saw Gail Kim team with Maria to defeat the team of Divas Champion Maryse and former Divas Champion Michelle McCool. All four of these Divas will take part in the 25-Diva Battle Royal at WrestleMania, where the winner will be crowned the inaugural "Miss WrestleMania". In a match that is bound to be full of surprises, who will walk out of WrestleMania with this honor?
World Heavyweight Champion Edge made a special appearance and revealed that he had a "moment of enlightenment" while he was assaulting John Cena on RAW. "The Ultimate Opportunist" said that his vision has been clouded as of late with all of the "activities" his wife have been involved in, but the beating on RAW that he dished out reminded him that he is the best in the business and the World Heavyweight Title backs him up on it. A disturbed Edge stated that, as long as he had the title, everything else would "fall into place". Edge then said that "Big Show is bigger, but I am better" and "John Cena is stronger, but I am better". Edge vowed that he will prove that he is better at WrestleMania.
SmackDown also hosted a rematch for the United States Championship as new champion MVP made his first successful title defense of the new reign against former champion Shelton Benjamin. These two will see each other again this Sunday when they are joined by six other competitors from RAW & ECW as they battle it out to determine who will leave Houston as "Mr. Money-in-the-Bank".
The main event of the evening saw "The Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy defeat Ezekiel Jackson en route to his Extreme Rules Match against his brother Matt at WrestleMania.
Superstar of the Week: Big Show
The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania will come to you, live on pay-per-view at a special start time of 7/6c from the Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX.
The WWE Championship will be on the line as champion Triple H looks to exact his revenge on Randy Orton for the dastardly deeds that "The Legend Killer" has done to The McMahon Family and Triple H himself. The whole thing began back in January when Randy Orton vilely attacked WWE Chairman and Triple H’s father-in-law Mr. McMahon, putting the 63-year-old man in the head. Less than a week after this attack, Randy Orton would go on to win the 2009 Royal Rumble. The night after No Way Out, Orton struck again, punting the head of Shane McMahon. However, Orton went too far when he hit the RKO on Triple H’s wife Stephanie McMahon. Orton incited the wrath of "The Game", but Orton revealed that he knew what he was doing the entire time. Will "Orton’s Law" reign supreme at WrestleMania or will Triple H destroy Orton and retain the title?
In a Triple Threat Match, the World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line in a match fueled by love, passion, physicality, and personal animosity. The champion Edge will defend against "The World’s Largest Athlete" Big Show and the determined John Cena. Things got interesting in this match when John Cena revealed to Vickie Guerrero that he had some security camera footage of Vickie and Big Show engaging in a "more than professional" way. Afraid of her marriage being ruined, GM Vickie Guerrero placed John Cena into the match. However, Cena revealed the footage anyway and this enraged "The Rated-R Superstar" Edge; Vickie’s husband. Vickie has vowed that if Edge or Big Show win at WrestleMania, they will be the champion of her heart. However, Cena does not want any part of Vickie and Cena will be heading to Houston to regain the World Heavyweight Title. Are Edge & Big Show too focused on Vickie Guerrero to be able to leave WrestleMania the World Heavyweight Champion or has John Cena inserted himself into an explosive match and tempted fate by messing with the love between Edge, Vickie, & Big Show? Big Show has the power, Edge has the cunning, and Cena has the mental edge; who will reign supreme this Sunday?
WrestleMania will also see "The Streak Vs. The Showstopper" as The Undertaker puts his 16-0 undefeated WrestleMania streak on the line against "Mr. WrestleMania" Shawn Michaels. Michaels has done the unthinkable by getting the psychological edge over "The Deadman". Is HBK setting himself up for another epic WrestleMania moment or will The Undertaker make Michaels just another victim of The Streak?
Vengeance will be on the mind of Jeff Hardy as he faces off against his own flesh and blood; his brother Matt Hardy in an Extreme Rules Match. Matt Hardy, fueled by rage and jealousy, crushed the dreams of his younger brother at the Royal Rumble in January by costing him the WWE Title. Jeff refuses to fight his brother for the longest time, until Matt revealed that he is the one responsible for Jeff’s "accidents" as of late. These two brothers will do battle in Extreme Rules at WrestleMania; which brother will come out of Houston knowing that he is the better man?
Eight men from all three brands will compete at WrestleMania to decide who is worthy of being "Mr. Money-in-the-Bank" as CM Punk, Kane, Mark Henry, United States Champion MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian, & Finlay all square off in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match. CM Punk won the briefcase last year and went on to become World Heavyweight Champion. Every man who has won the title opportunity won a World Title by cashing it in. Kane was in the first Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match and no doubt has to be considered a favorite in this one. Mark Henry is not a name you would associate with heights and ladders, but "The World’s Strongest Man" vows that he will stack up bodies if he has to in order to get that title shot. Ever since his 20-week losing streak came to an end, MVP has been on top of the world; winning matches left and right and even regaining the United States Title, could MVP be "money" come April 5? Shelton Benjamin calls himself "The Gold Standard" and he may be just that given Benjamin’s unmeasurable experience in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match. The former United States Champion has been in all but one of these matches and has done some amazing things in them. Could he finally win the opportunity? Competing at his first WrestleMania, Kofi Kingston definitely has the skill set to thrive in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match, will Kofi get the biggest win of his career in Houston? Christian has to considered a strong favorite, given Christian’s experience in all different types of ladder matches. Christian has the most ladder match experience of any of the opposition in this one. Could "Captain Charisma" become "Mr. Money-in-the-Bank"? Finlay is a veteran of the business and has been in this situation before and with his son Hornswoggle by his side, could the Irishman get the golden opportunity?
The top two tag teams in the WWE will be out to make history at WrestleMania as World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison take on WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito in a Lumberjack Match that will determine the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions. Which team will prove that they are the best tag team in the WWE today?
For weeks, Chris Jericho has been berating and assaulting the legends of the WWE all in response to Mickey Rourke’s movie "The Wrestler". Chris Jericho feels the need to rid the WWE of the legends forever, but there are some legends who are out to prove that "old school is cool" as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, & Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat face Chris Jericho in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match. The Legends will be backed by none other than "Nature Boy" Ric Flair by the request of Chris Jericho. Has Jericho dug his own grave by challenging these legends? Jericho has also personally bought a front row ticket for Mickey Rourke, who will no doubt be backing the legends. Can Jericho do what he has set out to do and rid the WWE of The Legends or has Jericho backed himself into a corner that he can not get out of?
John "Bradshaw" Layfield has vowed to make history at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. While it remains a mystery what JBL is talking about, it is not a mystery as to who JBL will be defending his Intercontinental Title against at WrestleMania- Rey Mysterio. In his first WrestleMania since winning the World Heavyweight Title in 2005 at WrestleMania 22, Rey will step into the ring with the much larger JBL. Can Rey beat the cocky JBL for the title or will JBL deliver on his promise of the most one-sided victory in WrestleMania history?
Twenty-five WWE Divas from the past and present will battle it out in a Battle Royal to determine the first ever "Miss WrestleMania". There is bound to be some surprises in this one. Which lovely lady will be crowned "Miss WrestleMania" in Houston?