April 5, 2009- April 11, 2009
Welcome to the forty-ninth 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 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania came to you, live on pay-per-view, from the Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX. Confirmed for the silver anniversary of WrestleMania was a very personal match for the WWE Title as Triple H defended against Randy Orton in a match where, if Triple H is disqualified or counted out, he would lose the title. In a Triple Threat Match, Edge would defend the World Heavyweight Title against John Cena & Big Show. Shawn Michaels would look to end the undefeated WrestleMania streak as he took on The Undertaker. In an Extreme Rules Match, brothers would do battle as Matt Hardy took on Jeff Hardy. History would be made at WrestleMania as World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison would face WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito in a Lumberjack Match and the winner would become the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions. Eight combatants would battle for the right to become "Mr. Money-in-the-Bank" as CM Punk, Christian, Kane, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Finlay, & Kofi Kingston square off in the annual Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match. Chris Jericho would face a daunting task as he took on "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, & 2009 Hall of Famer Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat with Ric Flair in their corner in a 3-on-1 Handicap Elimination Match. For the first time since 2002, the Intercontinental Title would be up for grabs as John "Bradshaw" Layfield defended the title against Rey Mysterio. The first ever "Miss WrestleMania" would be crowned in Houston as 25 Current & Former WWE Divas battled in a Battle Royal to earn the inaugural honor. WrestleMania would also feature a performance by Kid Rock & a rendition of "America The Beautiful" by lead Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.
Good Night For: John Cena (regained the World Heavyweight Title)
Bad Night For: Chris Jericho (got knocked out by Mickey Rourke)
And In Other News…
Before The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania came on the air, there was history to be made in Houston as WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito defeated World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison in a Lumberjack Match to become the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions!
The opening match of the night was the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match and for the second year in a row, CM Punk outlasted the opposition to become "Mr. Money-in-the-Bank". The question is- when will CM Punk cash in his golden opportunity?
The 25-Diva Battle Royal saw current and former WWE Divas fight it out for the right to become the inaugural "Miss WrestleMania". In the end, it was "Santina Marella" (Santino Marella’s "twin sister from Italy") who won the honor of "Miss WrestleMania".
In a 3-on-1 Handicap Elimination Match, Chris Jericho defeated the Hall of Fame team of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, & Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. After the match, Chris Jericho laid out "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair. After that, Jericho turned his attention to "The Wrestler" star Mickey Rourke, who was seated in the front row at Jericho’s request. Jericho dared the actor to come into the ring and Rourke reluctantly did so. Jericho underestimated Rourke as the former boxed laid out Jericho with a stiff left hand. Rourke then celebrated with his friend- Ric Flair.
It was a grueling battle of brothers as Matt Hardy faced Jeff Hardy in an Extreme Rules Match. After putting themselves through unimaginable pain, Matt Hardy used a vile steel chair-assisted Twist of Fate to defeat his brother on "The Grandest Stage of Them All".
John "Bradshaw" Layfield was set to defend his Intercontinental Title against Rey Mysterio. Before the match could begin, JBL viciously assaulted Rey and demanded the bell be rung. The bell rung and a short 21 seconds later, it rung again as Rey Mysterio completely dominated JBL and pinned the champion in 21 seconds to capture his first Intercontinental Title! Devastated by his historic and decisive loss, JBL grabbed the microphone and said he "quit"! Have we seen the last of JBL?
In a match for the ages, The Undertaker kept "the streak" alive by defeating Shawn Michaels and going 17-0 at the grand spectacle of WrestleMania.
Before the World Heavyweight Title Match, Vickie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero made their way to ringside.
In a Triple Threat Match tied in with love, betrayal, broken marriages, & bitter hatred, Edge defended his World Heavyweight Title against John Cena and his wife’s lover- Big Show. When it looked like John Cena was set to regain the title, Chavo Guerrero pulled John Cena off of the pin. Cena retaliated by laying Chavo out on the outside. Later in the contest, GM Vickie Guerrero got on the apron and got inadvertently speared by her husband- Edge! In the end, it was John Cena laying out both opponents and pinning Big Show to win the World Heavyweight Title!
The 2009 Hall of Fame Class made a special appearance on the show. Stone Cold Steve Austin rode his four-wheeler and circled the ring a few times before grabbing some beers and celebrating in Stone Cold fashion, even toasting fellow Hall of Famer and good friend Jim Ross at ringside. Austin definitely made it a "hall raising" evening.
In an extremely personal match between former friends and partners, Triple H used his cunning and a sledgehammer shot to successfully defeat Randy Orton to retain the WWE Title.
The 828th edition of Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. Confirmed for the night after WrestleMania was a special WrestleMania All-Star Tag Team Match as new World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, "Mr. Money-in-the-Bank" CM Punk, Jeff Hardy, new Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio, & WWE Hall of Famer Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat teamed up to take on former World Heavyweight Champion Edge, Big Show, Kane, Matt Hardy, & Chris Jericho.
Good Week For: Batista (made a shocking return to the WWE and decimated Legacy)
Bad Week For: Legacy (felt the wrath of "The Animal")
And In Other News…
The night started off with former #1 Contender for the WWE Title Randy Orton. Sporting the wound that was given to him by still WWE Champion Triple H and his trusty sledgehammer. Orton started by saying that he is "sickened" by Triple H using the sledgehammer on him in order to gain the victory at WrestleMania and that Triple H knows he can’t beat Orton without the hammer. Orton then proclaimed that "last night proved nothing" and vows to get a rematch for the title. Orton stated that The McMahons, the company, and the WWE Fans "owe" it to him. Orton then said that "God help any McMahon who tried to get in my way". After Orton contemplated the idea of "visiting" the wife of the WWE Chairman- Linda McMahon and the grandchildren of the McMahon, a furious Mr. McMahon made his way to the ring. Seeing the fury in the eyes of the Chairman, Orton made a hasty exit from the ring. Mr. McMahon challenges Orton to fight him and refused Orton’s "request" of a rematch. The WWE Chairman then announces a blockbuster match for Backlash on April 26; it will be Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, & Ted DiBiase (Legacy) taking on WWE Champion Triple H, Mr. McMahon, & Shane McMahon in a 6-Man Tag Match! Randy Orton responds by accusing Mr. McMahon of being "terrified" of him. The Chairman then boldy states that, without Legacy, Orton is a "failure". An irate Randy Orton then challenges Mr. McMahon to a one-on-one match tonight! Orton then guarantees that Mr. McMahon will not make it to the 6-Man Tag at Backlash. Orton then states that he will put Mr. McMahon down permanently. Thie fired up the Chairman, as he emphatically accepted the challenge to a one-on-one match tonight.
The opening match of the night was a WrestleMania Rematch as new Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito defended their newly acquired gold in a Lumberjack Match against The Miz & John Morrison. The Colons battled through the Lumberjacks and Miz & Morrison to retain the tag titles in their first defense.
RAW also hosted a special RAW Vs. SmackDown Divas Tag Match that saw the RAW Divas (Women’s Champion Melina, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Layla, & Jillian) defeat the SmackDown Divas (Divas Champion Maryse, Gail Kim, Maria, Eve, & Natalya).
A huge WrestleMania All-Star Tag Team Match also took place as the team of new World Heavyweight Champion John Cena teamed with "Mr. Money-in-the-Bank" CM Punk, "The Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy, new Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio, & 2009 WWE Hall of Famer Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat to defeat the team of former World Heavyweight Champion Edge, "The World’s Largest Athlete" Big Show, "The Big Red Machine" Kane, "The Evil Enigma" Matt Hardy, & "The Narcicist" Chris Jericho.
Interim RAW General Manager & SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero made a special appearance on RAW, as well. Vickie reveals that, when she was named Interim RAW General Manager, that there was a provision that stated that she must choose which brand to be General Manager of following WrestleMania. Vickie then announced that she is now the permanent General Manager of RAW, sacrificing her position on SmackDown. New RAW General Manager Vickie Guerrero then makes a huge announcement for Backlash as John Cena will defend his newly won World Heavyweight Title against former champion, and Vickie’s husband, Edge in a Last Man Standing Match! On top of that, Vickie announced that the 6-Man Tag between the team of WWE Champion Triple H, Mr. McMahon, & Shane McMahon and the team of Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, & Ted DiBiase would now be for the WWE Championship! If Triple H’s team wins, Triple H retains the title, but if Legacy wins, then Orton wins the title.
The first ever "Miss WrestleMania" Santina Marella makes an appearance and makes her acceptance speech of the first-time honor. "The Glamazon" Beth Phoenix interrupts and tells Santina that "she" is embarassing "herself" and then challenges the new "Miss WrestleMania" to a match right then and there. Santina states that "she" is more of a woman than Beth Phoenix can ever be and accepts Phoenix’s challenge. The brawny "Miss WrestleMania" was able to counter Beth Phoenix and pin her for the win.
Then it was time for the main event as "The Legend Killer" Randy Orton went one-on-one with the WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon. After a see-saw battle between the two, Orton picked up the advantage and hit the RKO on Mr. McMahon. Orton then readied himself to punt the Chairman again when Shane McMahon made the save by attacking Randy Orton. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase rushed to the ring and the three-on-one assault began on Shane. Triple H then made his way to the ring and attacked Legacy, but the numbers game took over and Triple H was overwhelmed by the trio. After laying out Shane, Legacy commenced the beatdown of Triple H. However, the beatdown stopped after an old friend of Triple H’s and bitter rival of Randy Orton made his surprise return to RAW- none other than "The Animal" Batista. Several months ago, Randy Orton punted Batista and put "The Animal" out of action. Batista returned with a vengeance and, with the help of Triple H & Shane McMahon, decimated and rid the ring of Orton, Rhodes, & DiBiase. Mr. McMahon then made a major change to the 6-Man Tag Match for the WWE Title at Backlash. He announced that he will be replaced by Batista! So now, half of Evolution will reunite as WWE Champion Triple H, "The Animal" Batista, & Shane McMahon take on Legacy at Backlash!
Next week, WWE will hold the annual Draft. Everyone from all three brands are eligible to be drafted. Who will be going where when the WWE gets shaken up in Atlanta?
The 148th edition of ECW on Sci-Fi came to you, live, from the Frank Erwin Center at UT Austin. Confirmed for the first ECW after WrestleMania was a 6-Man Tag Match where Evan Bourne would team with the new Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito to take on the team of Tyson Kidd, The Miz, & John Morrison.
Good Week For: Tiffany (got promoted to the Interim General Manager of ECW)
Bad Week For: Mark Henry (got eliminated from the Elimination Chase To Backlash)
And In Other News…
The night started off with ECW General Manager Theodore Long in the ring. Long then made a major announcement- with Vickie Guerrero choosing to be the new General Manager of RAW instead of remaining on as General Manager of SmackDown, Theodore Long was given his old job and is now the new General Manager of SmackDown! Theodore Long then announced his temporary replacement- his now former assistant, Tiffany! As the new Interim General Manager started to express her feelings about the new position, ECW Champion Jack Swagger interrupted. Swagger told Tiffany that he adheres to a "special set of rules". Tiffany responds by saying that she gives the fans what they want. Then, in her first act as new Interim General Manager of ECW, Tiffany revealed that Swagger will be defending his ECW Title at Backlash! She then made a huge main event for ECW as she announced an "Elimination Chase To Backlash". The participants would be Finlay, Mark Henry, Tommy Dreamer, & Christian. The four men would compete in a Fatal 4-Way in the main event and whoever was pinned or made to submit in the match would be eliminated from the Chase. The three remaining participants would go on to next week’s ECW and face off in a Triple Threat Match and whoever is pinned or made to submit will be eliminated. Finally, on the April 20 edition of ECW, the final two will face off and the winner of that match will go on to Backlash to challenge Swagger for the ECW Championship.
The opening match of the night saw the team of Evan Bourne & Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito defeat the team of Tyson Kidd, The Miz, & John Morrison.
The main event saw Finlay pick up the win in the first round of the Elimination Chase To Backlash by using his trusty shillelagh to take out Mark Henry; Finlay pinned "The World’s Strongest Man" and now Henry is out of the running for the title opportunity. The remaining three participants will compete in a Triple Threat Match next week as Finlay, Tommy Dreamer, & Christian square off. Who will be the next man elimination from the Chase? Who will be challenging Swagger for the title at Backlash? Will Jack Swagger & the ECW Title even be on ECW next week following the WWE Draft?
The 503rd edition of WWE SmackDown came to you from the Frank Erwin Center at UT Austin in Austin, TX. Confirmed for the first SmackDown after WrestleMania was a special edition of "The Cutting Edge" with special guest- the new World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. Also, in a non-title match, new Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito would take on 2/3 of Legacy- Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. In Divas action, former Women’s Champion Gail Kim would take on former and first Divas Champion Michelle McCool.
Good Week For: Matt Hardy (defeated his brother for the second time within a week)
Bad Week For: Jeff Hardy (lost to his brother for the second time this week)
And In Other News…
The night started with Matt Hardy. Fresh off of defeating his brother, Jeff, in an Extreme Rules Match at WrestleMania, Matt stated that memories and moments were made at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. Matt proclaimed that the biggest moment of them all was when he defeated Jeff in an Extreme Rules Match. Matt then calls his brother an "extreme disappointment". Matt said that, at WrestleMania, he proved that he is the superior Hardy and always has been. Matt revealed that he is not satisfied to just defeat Jeff, but he wants to "erase" Jeff from the WWE so that there will only be one Hardy in the WWE. Matt then demands that Jeff come out and apologize to him and the fans for being an "extreme disappointment". Matt then threatened to put Jeff on a stretcher if Jeff does not come out. Jeff enters the ring and tries to attack Matt, but Matt makes a hasty exit from the ring. The new General Manager of SmackDown Theodore Long came out and revealed that Matt Hardy will take on Jeff Hardy in a Stretcher Match in the main event!
The opening match of the night saw Big Show take out his WrestleMania aggression on Kofi Kingston, defeating the high-energy Jamaican with his knockout punch.
Santino Marella makes a special appearance on SmackDown and congratulates his "twin sister" Santina Marella on becoming "Miss WrestleMania" and defeating Beth Phoenix on RAW. Santino then issues an open challenge to anyone willing to face him in a match; an open challenge that was answered by the 7’3" tall Great Khali. Through his translator, Ranjin Singh, The Great Khali revealed he had a "thing" for Santino’s twin sister and that he would like to kiss her. Disgusted by the idea, Santino refuses the giant’s request and suffered the consequences as The Great Khali made quick work of Santino to pick up the win.
Former World Heavyweight Champion Edge comes out to host "The Cutting Edge". Edge reveals that he has not slept all week since losing the World Heavyweight Title to John Cena at WrestleMania. Edge stated that he was supposed to have his greatest career win in Houston, but that win and the title were "stolen" from him by his guest and Backlash opponent in a Last Man Standing Match- John Cena. Cena comes out and Edge tells "The Champ" that the World Heavyweight Title is his life; that he can handle anything as long as he is the champion. Cena responds by telling Edge to get over himself. Cena also reminds Edge that he lost on Sunday. Edge then states that Cena ruined his life. Cena tells "The Rated-R Superstar" that Edge is wasting his time. As Cena tries to leave the ring, Edge tells Cena that he hates him and proclaims that their rivalry ends at Backlash and he will be the last man standing on that night. Cena responds by calling Edge "desperate" and saying that he is tougher than Edge. The champion then proclaims that he will be the last man standing at Backlash and that is why Edge hates him. Cena says that Edge also hates his ability to take all that Edge has and still get up. Cena then dares Edge to hit him. Edge prepares to hit Cena, but drops his hand. Edge then turns and walks away from Cena. There will be no walking away at Backlash when these two clash for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing Match. In Edge’s last opportunity to reclaim the gold, can "The Ultimate Opportunist" seize the World Heavyweight Title from the grip of John Cena or will "The Champ" finally end things with his rival and prove his dominance as World Heavyweight Champion?
In Divas action, Gail Kim defeats Michelle McCool with a roll-up. Gail Kim has her sights set on Maryse and the Divas Title, when will she get her shot?
The new Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito were also in action against 2/3 of Legacy- Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. In the end, it was Cody Rhodes getting the win over Carlito that gave Legacy the momentum heading into the big 6-Man Tag for the WWE Title at Backlash. Legacy’s leader, Randy Orton, made his way to the ring and raised the hands of his two protégées. Orton calls Legacy a "well-oiled machine" and describes the team of WWE Champion Triple H, "The Animal" Batista, & Shane McMahon as a team of "hot heads" and "egomaniacs". Orton then vows to become WWE Champion at Backlash. With Legacy’s win over the tag team champions, is Legacy on their way to claiming gold for their leader or is the team of Triple H, Batista, & Shane McMahon too much for the trio to endure?
Then it was time for the main event as Matt Hardy took on his brother Jeff Hardy in the first ever Stretcher Match to air on SmackDown. Much like WrestleMania, the bad brotherly blood between these two caused them to do unbelievable things to each other. However, it was another risk taken by Jeff that ended up costing him the match as Jeff missed the Swanton Bomb and landed right on the stretcher. Once again using the trusty steel chair, Matt knocked his brother out with a swing of the chair and was able to pick up another win over his brother. After the match, Matt showed his lack of concern for his brother’s well-being by sending an unconscious Jeff Hardy on an unwilling ride down the ramp on a stretcher that crashed into the ring. Matt is now 2-0 over his older brother in an Extreme Rules Match and now a Stretcher Match, is Matt satisfied with his destruction of Jeff? How far will these two go in their quest to rid themselves of their brother?
With the 2009 WWE Draft on Monday, who will be leaving Friday Night SmackDown and who will be joining "The Blue Brand"? The landscape of the entire WWE will change on RAW this Monday Night.
Superstar of the Week: Batista