December 27, 2009- January 2, 2010
Welcome to the eighty-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. I have added a new section at the end of the article highlighting a different WWE Superstar or Diva every week. Please contact me if you have a request for a Superstar or Diva you would like to see highlighted in an upcoming edition. I have also added a section that lists where WWE will be hosting their weekly shows.
You can follow me on Twitter at Wrestling101com. I will be posting the latest news from the wrestling world via my Twitter account, as well as Wrestling101.com. Also, make sure and follow TWO on Twitter at talkwrestling for all the latest, as well.
The votes, courtesy of TalkWrestlingOnline.com, have been counted and here are the Top Five Superstars of 2009:
Top Five Superstars of 2009
5) Kofi Kingston (30.43%)
4) Randy Orton (56.52%)
3) Jeff Hardy (73.91%)
2) Chris Jericho (82.61%)
1) CM Punk (86.96%)
John Cena, The Undertaker, Christian, John Morrison, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, & The Miz made up the rest of the votes. Twenty-three votes were cast in this poll.
In addition to the Top Five Superstars of 2009, here are the 2009 Statistics (as of December 14, 2009):
New Champions: 43 (14 more than in 2008)
New WWE Champions: 9 (6 more than in 2008)
New World Heavyweight Champions: 8 (3 more than in 2008)
New ECW Champions: 4 (same number as 2008)
New Intercontinental Champions: 7 (3 more than in 2008)
New United States Champions: 3 (1 more than in 2008)
New Women’s Champions: 2 (same number as 2008)
New Divas Champions: 3 (1 more than in 2008)
New Tag Team Champions: 7 (same number as 2008)
WWE Pay-Per-Views: 14 (1 more than in 2008)
Released Talent/Employees: 46 (9 less than in 2008)
RAW Guest Hosts: 27
Happy New Year!!!
The 866th edition of Monday Night RAW was the final RAW of 2009 and it came to you, live, from the XL Center in the capital of Connecticut- Hartford. Two weeks after losing the WWE Championship to Sheamus in a Tables Match at WWE TLC, John Cena would get his rematch as challenged Sheamus for the WWE Title. WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon would make a special appearance on RAW to address the rumors saying that Bret Hart will soon be returning to the WWE. Plus, rapper and producer Timbaland would serve as the final Guest Host of 2009.
Monday Night RAW
Good Week For: Sheamus (though by questionable means, retained the WWE Title)
Bad Week For: John Cena (narrowly misses regaining the WWE Title and gets laid out by Sheamus)
The show opens with Chris Jericho, outside the arena, asking fans to sign a petition that would allow Jericho to come back to Monday Night RAW!
Back inside the arena, John Cena comes out and proceeds to grab a table from under the ring and sets it up in the ring! Cena explains that, two weeks ago at WWE TLC, the table is how Sheamus became WWE Champion. Cena then proposes that they have the rematch right then and there; in the same match that Cena lost the WWE Title in; a Tabled Match! WWE Champion Sheamus then comes out to respond to the challenge proposed by John Cena. Sheamus tells Cena that the former champion has “something to prove” and proclaims that he is the champion and has “nothing to prove”! Sheamus then states that RAW “belongs” to him and that they will have the match on his terms and it will not be a Tables Match! “The Celtic Warrior” then vows to beat Cena in a regular match and that the last RAW of 2009 will end with the image of Sheamus holding the WWE Title! Following his bold declaration, Sheamus turns to leave the ring, but Cena attacks the WWE Champion and delivers the Attitude Adjustment through a table! Cena seems poised to regain the WWE Championship from Sheamus, but Cena once again become “The Champ” or will Sheamus make his first title defense a successful one?
Backstage, Randy Orton proposes the end of Legacy following their 6-Man Tag loss last week! Orton cites that none of them are champions, so he considers Legacy a “failure”! Legacy defends themselves by saying that they are the ones who were responsible for Orton’s three reigns with the WWE Championship since the forming of Legacy. Orton reveals that he is placing them in two separate one-on-one matches to prove their worth with Ted DiBiase taking on Evan Bourne, while Cody Rhodes faces Mark Henry! Not only that, but if they fail to win their matches, they will be kicked out of Legacy and Orton vowed to “beat the hell” out of them as well!
Back outside the arena, Chris Jericho continues to try and draw support for his petition to stop the supposed “Jericho Embargo” that is keeping him off of RAW!
Following his surprising ultimatum to his protégés, Randy Orton comes out and takes a seat at ringside as Ted DiBiase faces off with Evan Bourne! With his role in Legacy on the line, Ted DiBiase picks up the win over Evan Bourne! Ted DiBiase has retained his role in Legacy, but can Cody Rhodes do the same against “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry?
After witnessing his tag team partner, Ted DiBiase, succeed against Evan Bourne to keep his spot in Legacy, Cody Rhodes would be put in a similar situation against “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry! Rhodes was able to overcome the size and strength of Mark Henry to plant “The World’s Strongest Man” with a DDT and keep his spot in Legacy! Does doubt still linger in the mind of Randy Orton when it comes to Legacy or have Rhodes & DiBiase proven themselves to Orton once and for all?
The Divas were in action on RAW as Maryse avenged her 6- Diva Tag loss last week by defeating Kelly Kelly. Following her victory, Maryse proclaimed that she will be the next Divas Champion before delivering a vile kick to the mid-section of Kelly Kelly! How will Divas Champion Melina respond to Maryse’s verbal and physical statements?
Outside the arena, Chris Jericho is still protesting his exile from RAW, but Jericho is confronted by Big Show! Show urges Jericho to “let it go” before handing Jericho an envelope; an envelope whose contents makes Jericho very happy. What is inside the envelope that put a smile on Jericho’s face?
WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon makes a much-anticipated appearance and states that there is “nothing” he would not do for the fans. The Chairman then addresses the rumors that Bret “Hitman” Hart will be returning next week on RAW to serve as Guest Host! Mr. McMahon then presents a look at the WWE career of Bret Hart; a highlight reel that ends with the controversial events that rocked the wrestling world at the 1997 Survivor Series. Like he did after the controversial events in 1997, McMahon still proclaimed that “Bret screwed Bret”! McMahon revealed that he met up with Bret after the induction of Hart in 2006 and claimed that Bret showed him nothing but “contempt” in their meeting. McMahon then begrudgingly begins to announce Bret as next week’s Guest Host, but the Chairman states that he “just can’t do it” and vows that Bret Hart will “never” serve as Guest Host of Monday Night RAW! Mr. McMahon starts to exit the ring, but, against the plea of his partner, Triple H, Shawn Michaels comes out to confront the Chairman! HBK states that some rivalries are bigger than wrestling and that he is not talking about the HBK/Hart rivalry, but about his rivalry with The Undertaker! Michaels states that he knows he can end the undefeated streak of The Undertaker and tells McMahon he is appealing to McMahon’s “wallet” and tells McMahon to make the match! McMahon then denies HBK and tells Michaels that HBK will have to “make it happen”! HBK then tells the Chairman that he can understand why McMahon is afraid of The Undertaker, but did not realize McMahon was afraid of Bret Hart! HBK tells McMahon that the Chairman needs to “close the chapter” on the Bret Hart saga and says that “only good things will happen” if Bret returns to the WWE! McMahon states that he is “fearless” before announcing, with a smile on his face, that Bret “Hitman” Hart will serve as Guest Host of next week’s RAW! What has changed the mind of Mr. McMahon? What will happen when Bret Hart appears on Monday Night RAW for the first time in twelve years on next week’s RAW?
Backstage, John Cena is discussing his rematch for the WWE Championship when Cena is ambushed and laid out by the WWE Champion, Sheamus! How will the champion’s and challenger’s attack on their adversary affect the WWE Title match in the main event?
After witnessing the arrogance of United States Champion The Miz in person, Guest Host Timbaland changes the non-title match between The Miz and Kofi Kingston to include the stipulation that, if Kofi defeats Miz, then Kofi gets an immediate rematch for the United States Championship! Kofi takes his first step toward regaining the United States Title by quickly and soundly defeating The Miz with Trouble in Paradise!
Following his swift non-title victory over The Miz, Kofi Kingston would immediately face The Miz a second time; this time with the United States Championship on the line! After hitting The Miz with Trouble in Paradise, Kofi Kingston was poised to regain the United States Championship, but Randy Orton emphatically dashes the hopes of Kofi with a vicious attack and an even more vicious RKO on the floor! How will Kofi Kingston respond to the surprise attack by “The Viper”?
Backstage, Randy Orton states that his rivalry with Kofi Kingston is “not over” until he says it’s over and, on next week’s RAW, he and Kofi will “finish” it! Orton then states that it would be perfect to kick off 2010 by punting someone in the skull! Can Kofi Kingston get the win over Orton next week or will Orton put a definitive end to his rivalry with Kofi?
Prior to their non-title match against Big Show and a partner of Show’s choosing, Unified WWE Tag Team Champions D-Generation X are speaking to the fans in attendance when their attention turns to Chris Jericho, who is among the fans in attendance! Jericho makes his way to the front row and reveals that he has a ticket to be in the arena!
As Chris Jericho looks on from the front row, Unified WWE Tag Team Champions D-Generation X face Big Show and Show’s hand-picked replacement for Jericho- Chavo Guerrero! With the referee distracted by Shawn Michaels, Hornswoggle enters the ring and tries to get the Pedigree on Chavo, but Chavo counters the attempt! While Chavo avoids the Pedigree from Hornswoggle, “The Latin Warrior” could not avoid the Pedigree by the originator of the maneuver as Triple H plants Chavo with the Pedigree to pick up the win! After the match, an irate Chris Jericho jumps the barricade and tries to enter the ring to confront DX, but Shawn Michaels catches Jericho with a rendition of Sweet Chin Music! Triple H then announces that, on next week’s RAW, DX will defend the Unified WWE Tag Team Titles against Chris Jericho & Big Show once again, but if Jericho loses this time, he must leave RAW and agree not to come back! Will Jeri-Show regain the Unified WWE Tag Team Titles on next week’s epic edition of RAW or will DX finally rid RAW of Chris Jericho?
Following their two prior “meetings” earlier in the night, it was finally time for Sheamus to make his first defense of the WWE Championship against former champion John Cena. Cena looked poised for victory after hoisting Sheamus up for the Attitude Adjustment, but Sheamus saves his title by putting his hands on the referee and throwing the referee down! Cena delivers the Attitude Adjustment, but the referee rings the bell for the disqualification for Sheamus’ attack! Still the WWE Champion, Sheamus exits the ring, but is caught on the ramp by Cena! Cena throws Sheamus in the ring, but “The Celtic Warrior” is able to recover and deliver his signature and vile kick to Cena! Following a second kick to the former champion, Sheamus closed the final RAW of 2009 just like he said he would; with the WWE Title intact! How will Cena respond to the actions of Sheamus? Will Cena receive another rematch for the WWE Title?
The 186th edition of ECW on Syfy was the final ECW of 2009 and it came to you from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ. As the ECW Homecoming Finale Battle Royal looms near, two more ECW Homecoming Qualifying Matches would take place as Matt Hardy & Evan Bourne return to ECW to battle for their spots in the Battle Royal.
ECW on Syfy
Good Week For: Matt Hardy & Evan Bourne (advanced to the ECW Homecoming Finale)
Bad Week For: Tommy Dreamer (lost to Zack Ryder and ended his legendary WWE career as a result)
Backstage, Zack Ryder confronts Tommy Dreamer and asks “The ECW Original” why Tommy is still there. An irate Dreamer gets in the face of Ryder and says he is “sick and tired” of facing guys like Zack Ryder each and every week. A determined Tommy Dreamer then shockingly tells Ryder that, if Ryder can beat him, Dreamer will leave ECW forever! Can Tommy Dreamer defeat Zack Ryder or will Ryder end the storied ECW career of Tommy Dreamer?
Ezekiel Jackson makes an appearance on ECW and states that he and William Regal decided to “rid” themselves of a “traitor” in Vladimir Kozlov. “Big Zeke” says their goal was to “dominate” ECW and Kozlov was a “liability” to the group. An angry Vladimir Kozlov interrupts Ezekiel and knocks “Big Zeke” out of the ring!
In the second ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match, RAW Superstar Evan Bourne would return to ECW to face a fellow returnee in SmackDown’s resident evil genius, Mike Knox. The smaller Evan Bourne was able to overcome the sheer size and power of Mike Knox to win the match and qualify for the ECW Homecoming Finale Battle Royal in just two weeks time on January 12?
Next week on ECW on Syfy, three former ECW Champions will return to ECW to face each other in a Triple Threat ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match as CM Punk, Mark Henry, & Chavo Guerrero return to vie for the seventh spot in the ECW Homecoming Finale Battle Royal! Who will join Kane, Ezekiel Jackson, Yoshi Tatsu, Vance Archer, Evan Bourne, & Matt Hardy in the Finale Battle Royal for a shot at the ECW Championship at the Royal Rumble?
In what could be the final ECW for “The ECW Original”, Tommy Dreamer went one-on-one with Zack Ryder in the main event and, if Dreamer loses, he will leave ECW forever. At one point in the match up, it looked like Tommy Dreamer had kept his ECW career alive following his signature DDT, but the referee nullified the decision after discovering that Zack Ryder’s foot was under the bottom rope. From the brink of success to the ultimate loss, Tommy Dreamer was defeated by Zack Ryder and, by Dreamer’s own decree, will never step foot in ECW or the entire WWE again.
After his most significant loss, Dreamer told all the WWE fans that he considers all of them his “family”. With his wife and daughters in tears in the front row, Tommy Dreamer gives his heartfelt goodbye to all the fans who have supported him in his life and career before carrying his two daughters and exiting the arena for the final time.
On the final night of 2009, the 38th edition of WWE Superstars came to you from the XL Center in Hartford, CT and from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ. “The Ballin’ Superstar” MVP would team with “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters to face the team of Carlito & “The All-American American” Jack Swagger. “The Gold Standard” Shelton Benjamin would have the unenviable task of going one-on-one with Vance Archer. The Divas would be in action on Superstars as Divas Champion Melina would face Alicia Fox in a non-title match.
Good Week For: Carlito (took advantage of a chaotic tag match to pick up the win for himself and Jack Swagger)
Bad Week For: Chris Masters (momentary distraction cost himself and MVP the match)
ECW was represented on WWE Superstars as “The Gold Standard” Shelton Benjamin went one-on-one with Vance Archer. The end of the match came after Shelton Benjamin slapped Archer across the face! The slap by Benjamin sent Vance on a rampage; a rampage that got the big man disqualified after he ignored the referee’s five-count! With his level of intensity, will Archer be a force to be reckoned with in the ECW Homecoming Finale?
SmackDown hosted tag action on WWE Superstars as Cryme Tyme picked up a victory over the first-time pairing of Mike Knox & Charlie Haas.
The main event of the evening was from RAW and it saw the team of Carlito & Jack Swagger pick up the win over MVP & Chris Masters in a chaotic tag match.
On the first night of 2010, the 541st edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you on New Year’s Day from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ. The Beat The Clock Challenge would make it’s return to SmackDown to determine who will challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. Plus, after losing his Intercontinental Championship to Drew McIntyre at WWE TLC, John Morrison would get his rematch against “The Chosen One” with the Intercontinental Title on the line.
Friday Night SmackDown
Good Week For: Batista (got a second chance to become the #1 Contender, thanks to Vickie Guerrero)
Bad Week For: Chris Jericho (came within seconds of beating the clock and Rey Mysterio)
The Beat The Clock Challenge will feature a number of competitors competing in a series of matches. The object of the match is to defeat your opponent as quickly as possible. In the case of the first match in the challenge, whoever wins will set the time for all the other competitors to beat in the following matches. Whoever gains the quickest win will head to the Royal Rumble to challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship.
After proclaiming victory in the Beat The Clock Challenge, CM Punk would go one-on-one with Matt Hardy with the winner setting the time to beat in the challenge matches to follow. CM Punk was able to come one step closer to his proclamation to regain the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Matt Hardy with a time to beat of 7:20! After picking up the win, Punk’s “Straightedge Disciple” Luke Gallows assaulted and laid out Matt Hardy! In the other Beat The Clock Challenge matches, Kane would face Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho would go one-on-one with Rey Mysterio, & Batista would square off with R-Truth! Can any of these six Superstars beat CM Punk’s time of 7:20 or will CM Punk become the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title?
The first two Superstars to step up to the task of beating CM Punk’s time of 7:20 were “The Big Red Machine” Kane and “The Platinum Superstar” Dolph Ziggler. While Ziggler had Kane exactly where he wanted him in the clutches of a sleeper hold, the time expired before either man could get the win, which means that CM Punk’s time of 7:20 still stands! After failing to beat the clock, Dolph Ziggler took his frustrations out on Kane by laying out “The Big Red Machine” with the Zig Zag! Can Batista, R-Truth, Chris Jericho, or Rey Mysterio beat the clock and earn a World Heavyweight Title match at the Royal Rumble or will CM Punk’s time of 7:20 be unbeatable for the four potential contenders?
The Great Khali was in action on SmackDown as “The Punjabi Playboy” picked up a one-sided victory over The Carolina Panther.
In a rematch from WWE TLC, “The Friday Night Delight” John Morrison would look to regain the Intercontinental Championship as he challenged “The Chosen One” Drew McIntyre with the gold on the line. In his first title defense, Drew McIntyre was successful amid controversy as, in the middle of the contest, McIntyre exposed the steel underneath the turnbuckle. McIntyre threw the turnbuckle pad into the middle of the ring, which led to the referee retrieving the pad. With the referee’s back turned, McIntyre shoved John Morrison into the referee! Thinking that Morrison did it intentionally, the referee called for the disqualification; meaning that McIntyre would retain his Intercontinental Championship! After being cheated out of the Intercontinental Championship, John Morrison attacked McIntyre on the ramp and the two Superstars brawled until a slew of referees were finally able to separate the two of them! With the level of intensity in this rivalry, what measures will these two Superstars go to in order to get a piece of one another?
With Women’s Champion Michelle McCool & Layla at ringside cheering Beth Phoenix on, Phoenix went one-on-one with the target of McCool & Layla’s recent torment, Mickie James. The end of the match came when McCool & Layla got on the apron to try and assist Beth Phoenix, but an errant kick by Michelle McCool found it’s way to Beth Phoenix! Following this inadvertent assist, Mickie rolled up Phoenix to pick up the win! Post-match, Team Lay-Cool assaulted Mickie James, but Beth Phoenix made the unlikely save for her former rival! After Mickie & Phoenix sent McCool & Layla packing out of the ring, the two Divas came face-to-face. However, Phoenix wanted no part of any partnership with Mickie James as “The Glamazon” left Mickie lying with the Glam Slam! What will 2010 have in store for these four SmackDown Divas?
Before facing Rey Mysterio in a Beat The Clock Challenge match, Chris Jericho stated that SmackDown isn’t “big enough” for him! Jericho then proclaims that he is “bigger” than the WWE and vows to defeat D-Generation X on RAW and regain the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions! Jericho then claims that, after he and Big Show regain the titles, he will be the face of the entire WWE and that his New Year’s Resolution is to win every championship in the WWE! Jericho then states that, in 2010, he will become the “epicenter” of the WWE!
The time for talk was over as Chris Jericho would face one of his prominent rivals in 2009, Rey Mysterio, in a Beat The Clock Challenge match where one of them must beat CM Punk’s time of 7:20 to advance in the Beat The Clock Challenge for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. Both Superstars gave each other everything they had and then some, but in the end, it was the unreal quickness of Rey Mysterio that allowed “The Ultimate Underdog” to roll up Chris Jericho to win the match with one second remaining! Rey Mysterio has beat the time of CM Punk and eliminated Punk from the Beat The Clock Challenge with a time of 7:19; can Batista or R-Truth beat Rey Mysterio’s time or is Rey on the fast track to getting a second title shot against The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble?
Rey Mysterio would be at ringside as his former friend and intense rival, Batista, went one-on-one with R-Truth in the final phase of the Beat The Clock Challenge as both men would try and beat Rey’s time of 7:19. With a minute left on the clock, Batista had R-Truth beat, but with Rey Mysterio at ringside, Batista decided to rub it in the face of his former friend as he watched Mysterio while delivering the Batista Bomb to R-Truth. With just mere seconds remaining on the clock, Batista pinned R-Truth, but Rey had a plan in mind to repay Batista for Batista costing Rey the World Heavyweight Title last week as Mysterio pulled the referee out of the ring at the very last second to prevent Batista from beating the clock and ensuring that Mysterio would be the one to challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship! Per the rules of the Beat The Clock Challenge, Rey had survived to become the new #1 Contender. However, SmackDown Consultant Vickie Guerrero had a different view of the title picture. After telling Rey that everyone on SmackDown must obey the rules, Vickie made the surprise ruling that Rey is not the #1 Contender! Vickie then announced that, on next week’s SmackDown, Rey Mysterio and Batista will go one-on-one with the winner of that match being the “true” #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship and will face The Undertaker for the gold at the Royal Rumble! Can Rey Mysterio beat Batista like he did two weeks ago and become the #1 Contender for the third time in a month or will Batista defeat Rey and challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble?
Superstar of the Week: WWE Champion Sheamus
Superstar Profile of the Week
Name: Mark Henry
Born On: June 12, 1971 in Silsbee, TX
Resides: New York City, NY
Billed From: Silsbee, TX
Wrestler Since: September 22, 1996
Trained By: Stu Hart & Bret Hart
One Time ECW Champion
One Time European Champion
Did You Know?
In 2002, Mark Henry won the Arnold Classic Strongest Man competition and also competed in the 1992 & 1996 Olympic Games.
Next Week’s WWE Television Schedule
Monday, January 4: RAW, LIVE from the Nutter Center at Wright State University in Dayton, OH
Tuesday, January 5: ECW on Syfy from Freedom Hall in Lexington, KY
Thursday, January 7: WWE Superstars from Dayton, OH & Lexington, KY
Friday, January 8: Freedom Hall in Lexington, KY Hosts SmackDown