January 3, 2010- January 9, 2010
Welcome to the eighty-eighth 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. I recommend you also check out an awesome new wrestling website at: 123Wrestling.co.uk (you can also read my WWE Week In Review articles on there).
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WWE.com announced on Monday that World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of Thomas “Tommy Dreamer” Laughlin. Dreamer is the only wrestler in history to have held the ECW Championship in the original and new incarnations of ECW. Dreamer is also a fourteen-time WWE Hardcore Champion and a three-time ECW Tag Team Champion.
The 867th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW was the first of 2010 and it came to you, live, from the Nutter Center at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. The first RAW of 2010 would most certainly be in the running for the biggest RAW in the show’s near seventeen year history as, after a twelve year absence from the WWE, 2006 WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hitman” Hart would make his much anticipated return to the WWE to serve as Guest Host of RAW! Also on this historic RAW, D-Generation X would defend the Unified WWE Tag Team Titles against Jeri-Show, but this time, if Jeri-Show fails to win the titles, then Chris Jericho will leave RAW for good. Plus, in the fourth match in their intense rivalry, Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston would go-on-one following Orton’s vicious attack on Kofi on last week’s RAW.
Monday Night RAW
Good Week For: D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels buried the hatchet with Bret Hart and DX retained the tag titles)
Bad Week For: Bret Hart (thought the hatred had come to an end with Vince McMahon, only to be kicked by the Chairman)
The historic Monday Night RAW kicks off with the moment that wrestling fans the world over have waited twelve years for; the return to the WWE of Bret “Hitman” Hart! Bret says that he has tried over recent years to return, but that Mr. McMahon would not allow it and states that it’s “nice to be back”. Bret then thanks his fans for not allowing him to be forgotten. Bret says he has many great memories of his WWE career and there is one thing that he wants to do first and that is bring Shawn Michaels out to the ring! Michaels comes out and comes face-to-face with his legendary rival and Bret tells HBK that he wants to call for a “truce” between them! Michaels states that there is something that he has waited twelve years to say; that Bret “deserved” what he got in Montreal! Michaels then says that there is a part of him that does not regret it, but that a lot of things have changed in the last twelve years. HBK then says he always “respected” Bret, but he felt that Bret did not “respect” him. Michaels says that when he thinks of Bret, he does not think of Montreal, he thinks of Anaheim, CA and their 60-Minute Iron Man Match at WrestleMania! HBK says that Bret is not the only one who is ready to “move on” from the Montreal incident. Bret says they should take the moment to shake each other hands and “bury the hatchet”! Bret then extends his hand to Michaels and, twelve years after incident in Montreal shook the wrestling world to it’s core, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels shook hands! HBK started to leave the ring and it looked like vintage Michaels would rear his head and deliver Sweet Chin Music to Bret, but HBK turned and hugged the “Hitman”! Michaels then left the ring and Bret called out WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon, who did not answer! What does the “Hitman” have in store for RAW as the Guest Host? Will Bret get his face-to-face confrontation with Mr. McMahon?
Backstage, Mr. McMahon is interviewed and states that he was in a meeting and did not see what happened at the start of RAW! The Chairman then announces that he will call out Bret later in the night!
It was announced on RAW that Divas Champion Melina was injured at a recent RAW Live Event and that the Divas Title has been vacated! To crown a new Divas Champion, eight Divas will face off in a tournament with the winner being crowned the champion!
In the first round of the Tournament to crown a new Divas Champion, former Divas Champion Maryse went one-on-one with Brie Bella. The match spills to the outside of the ring and Nikki Bella gets involved and bounces Maryse’s face off of the announce table! Once again, with the referee back turned, The Bella Twins pulled their signature switch as Brie Bella switched places with Nikki Bella! Unfortunately for The Bellas, Maryse spotted the switch and was still able to hit the French Kiss DDT on Nikki Bella and pick up the win to advance in the Divas Tournament! Who else will be involved in the eight Diva tournament?
With United States Champion The Miz on commentary at ringside, a Fatal 4-Way would determine the next #1 Contender for the United States Champion as MVP, Jack Swagger, Carlito, & Mark Henry faced off for the title opportunity. In the end, it was “The Ballin’ Superstar” MVP who was able to win the chaotic Fatal 4-Way Match to become the new #1 Contender for the United States Championship! When will MVP get his title shot and can “The Ballin’ Superstar” earn his third run with the United States Title?
Backstage, Chris Jericho confronts old friend Bret Hart and asks Bret to be the Special Guest Referee and to “screw” DX out of the Unified WWE Tag Team Titles! Bret tells Jericho that he wants to put the Montreal incident to rest and that Jericho will have to take care of things on his own! Can Jeri-Show regain the Unified WWE Tag Team Titles or will DX retain and force Chris Jericho off of RAW, for good?
It was then time for DX to defend the Unified WWE Tag Team Titles against Jeri-Show with Chris Jericho’s career on RAW on the line. The end of the chaotic match came when Hornswoggle came into the ring and attempted his rendition of Sweet Chin Music, but Jericho countered by blasting Hornswoggle with a boot to the head! Jericho was able to get Triple H into the Walls of Jericho, but Jericho turned right into Sweet Chin Music by Shawn Michaels, which led to DX retaining the tag titles! After the match, Big Show simply walked away from his former partner, Chris Jericho, as Jericho sits in shock after being forced back to SmackDown! Now that Jeri-Show is officially done, what does the future hold for Big Show on RAW and Chris Jericho on SmackDown?
Backstage, Randy Orton confronts Mr. McMahon and McMahon tells Orton that what Bret did to him and his company pails in comparison to what Orton did to him and his family in 2009. Orton then offers a sinister plan to the Chairman as “The Viper” offers to punt Bret Hart in the skull in exchange for Mr. McMahon placing Randy Orton in the Royal Rumble Match as entrant #30! The Chairman tells Orton then he has his own security force at his beck and call and McMahon then tells Orton to never confront him again!
After being denied approval for his diabolical plan by Mr. McMahon, Randy Orton was confronted by his Legacy cohorts, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, and the duo gave Orton the same ultimatum that Orton gave them last week; either Orton wins his match against Kofi Kingston or Orton is out of Legacy! Can Orton remain the leader of Legacy or will his protégés overthrow their leader?
Legendary boxer “Iron” Mike Tyson will be on hand for next week’s RAW to serve as Guest Host! What will “Iron Mike” have in store for RAW?
WWE Champion Sheamus made an appearance on RAW and proclaims that John Cena could not “beat” him last week and that he did last week what he said he would do. Sheamus then reveals that he will be defending the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, but that it will not be against John Cena because he has already defeated Cena. Sheamus then states that Bret Hart may be the “best there ever was”, but he is the “best there is and the best there ever will be”. Sheamus then challenges anyone to come out and state otherwise. Evan Bourne answers the call and tells Sheamus that the only reason Sheamus has the WWE Title is because someone “gave” him the opportunity and that, given the same opportunity, he can defeat Sheamus and that he wants his opportunity right now! Sheamus refers to Evan as “little Evan Bourne” and states that, if Evan can beat him, then Bourne will get a shot at the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble! “The Celtic Warrior” then states that Bourne will not get the title opportunity, but he will get the “worst beating” of his life!
With a shot at the WWE Championship on the line, Evan Bourne would face WWE Champion Sheamus in a non-title bout! While Bourne came in strong against Sheamus, it did not take long for Sheamus to finish off Evan Bourne and dash Bourne’s title aspirations. Who will get the opportunity to challenge Sheamus for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble?
Last week on RAW, Randy Orton delivered a vile RKO to Kofi Kingston on the arena floor and this week, Randy Orton would go one-on-one with Kofi Kingston in the fourth match in their intense rivalry. While Kofi was out for revenge on Orton, Orton was out to remain a part of Legacy as, if Orton loses to Kofi, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vowed to kick Orton out of Legacy! After hitting the RKO out of nowhere, Randy Orton was able to pick up the victory over Kofi Kingston and remain the leader of Legacy! After the trials and tribulations Randy Orton & Legacy have been through in the last couple of weeks, is the end of Legacy on the horizon?
Then it was time for the confrontation twelve years in the making as WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon would come face-to-face with Bret “Hitman” Hart. Mr. McMahon comes out for his legendary face off and states that there is “no reason” for him to call out Bret! McMahon proclaims that what happened between Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels at the beginning of the show has brought the Montreal incident to an “end”. The Chairman then moves on and discusses next week’s Guest Host, Mike Tyson, but Bret Hart interrupts the Chairman by coming out and coming face-to-face with McMahon! With the “Hitman” standing before him, McMahon states that he still believes that Bret “screwed” Bret and that he will never forget Bret spitting in his face or punching him after the Montreal incident. McMahon then says he wants to know what Bret thinks of him and he hopes that it starts with Bret apologizing! Bret tells McMahon that the Chairman wants the Montreal incident to come to a close just as badly as Bret does! McMahon states that he does want to bring closure to the incident and says that he wants to nominate the late, great Stu Hart to be in the 2010 Hall of Fame! Bret thanks McMahon for the nomination of his father and McMahon thanks for Bret and his legendary career and contributions. Mr. McMahon then extends his hand to Bret Hart followed by Bret Hart & Vince McMahon shaking hands and holding each other’s arms in the air! Amidst the supposed celebration, McMahon delivers a quick kick to the mid-section of Bret Hart! With a look of utter contempt on his face, Mr. McMahon leaves the ring as Bret gets to his feet.
The 187th edition of ECW on Syfy was the first ECW of 2010 and it came to you from Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY. Two former ECW Champions would go one-on-one as “The Straightedge Superstar” CM Punk would face “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry in an ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match.
ECW on Syfy
Good Week For: CM Punk (was able to earn the final spot in the ECW Homecoming Finale, with a big assist by Luke Gallows)
Bad Week For: Vladimir Kozlov (was defeated by Ezekiel Jackson)
The show kicks off with the ECW Champion Christian, who reminds everyone that the ECW Homecoming Qualifying Matches will conclude. The champion is quickly interrupted by CM Punk and his “Straightedge Follower” Luke Gallows! Punk states that “nothing” is more important than what he has to say and proclaims that he intends to “beat” Christian for the ECW Championship at the Royal Rumble! Punk then states that he is a “natural born leader” and he will become that for ECW after he wins the championship. Punk then vows to show the ECW roster the “straightedge way”. Christian responds by telling Punk that he will get “squashed” by Mark Henry and that he will not be facing Christian for the ECW Title at the Royal Rumble! Does the ECW Champion speak the truth or will CM Punk be able to overcome “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry and qualify for the ECW Homecoming Finale next week?
Two spots remained in the ECW Homecoming Finale as Shelton Benjamin went one-on-one with former ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero with a spot in the Finale Battle Royal on the line. After hitting Chavo with Pay Dirt, “The Gold Standard” Shelton Benjamin secured his spot in the ECW Homecoming Finale. Who will join Kane, Ezekiel Jackson, Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Yoshi Tatsu, Vance Archer, and, now, Shelton Benjamin in the Finale Battle Royal next week? Will it be CM Punk or will it be Mark Henry?
With William Regal in his corner, Ezekiel Jackson went one-on-one with his former Ruthless Roundtable cohort, Vladimir Kozlov. With Regal mentoring “Big Zeke” from ringside, Ezekiel Jackson picked up the win over Vladimir Kozlov.
Then it was time for the main event as the final entrant into the ECW Homecoming Finale would be determined as “The Straightedge Superstar” CM Punk went one-on-one with “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry. With a huge assist by Luke Gallows, CM Punk was able to use one of his signature kicks to finally put down Mark Henry and earn the last spot in the ECW Homecoming Final! Kane, CM Punk, Ezekiel Jackson, Matt Hardy, Vance Archer, Evan Bourne, Yoshi Tatsu, & Shelton Benjamin will all go to war next week in the ECW Homecoming Finale Battle Royal. Who will emerge from the star-studded Finale and earn a shot at the ECW Championship at the Royal Rumble?
The 39th edition of WWE Superstars was the first Superstars of 2010 and it came to you from the Nutter Center at Wright State University in Dayton, OH and Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY. In a First Round Match in the Divas Tournament to crown a new Divas Champion, Gail Kim would go one-on-one with Jillian. “The Fighting Irishman” Finlay would go one-on-one with Mike Knox. Plus, Caylen Croft would make his one-on-one in-ring debut as he faces off with Yoshi Tatsu.
Good Week For: Gail Kim (advanced in the Divas Tournament)
Bad Week For: Mike Knox (was defeated and left laid out following a shillelagh shot by Finlay)
The opening match of the night was from RAW and it saw Gail Kim pick up the win over “The Sour Songstress” Jillian to advance in the Divas Tournament. Gail Kim joins Maryse in advancing in the Divas Tournament, but who else will join these two Divas in the tournament to crown a new Divas Champion?
Also from RAW, Legacy member Ted DiBiase was in action, picking up a hard-fought win over “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters.
In the ECW contribution to WWE Superstars, Yoshi Tatsu went one-on-one with Caylen Croft, who was making his singles match debut in the WWE. With Caylen Croft’s tag team partner, Trent Barreta, in his corner, Yoshi Tatsu brought friend and mentor Goldust to even the odds. In the end, it was Yoshi Tatsu who picked up the win over Caylen Croft. Will Yoshi have the same success in the ECW Homecoming Finale?
The main event of the evening was from SmackDown and it saw Finlay go one-on-one with Mike Knox. Utilizing his trusty shillelagh behind the referee’s back, Finlay was able to waylay Mike Knox and pick up the win!
The 542nd edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY. After having his spot as #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title taken away by SmackDown Consultant Vickie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio must go one-on-one with intense rival, Batista, with the winner heading to the Royal Rumble to challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Friday Night SmackDown
Good Week For: Mickie James (got payback on Beth Phoenix from last week)
Bad Week For: Batista & Rey Mysterio (were both laid out in a mysterious attack by The Undertaker)
The show kicks off with “The Animal” Batista, who says he is the “rightful” World Heavyweight Champion before ordering General Manager Theodore Long to the ring! However, Batista did not get the GM, but he did get “The Master of the 619”, Rey Mysterio! Mysterio says that Batista is “blinded” by his “selfishness” and “greed” and that everyone can see it. The bold Mysterio then calls Batista an “arrogant crybaby” before explaining that, what he did last week, was “payback” for Batista costing him the title against The Undertaker. Rey then says that he is “ready to go” against Batista and asks “The Animal” if he is “scared”! Batista fires back and says that Rey does not “deserve” to face him and that he will make sure that Rey does not walk out of the arena! Rey then vows that he will walk out of the arena as the #1 Contender! Who will win in this escalating rivalry between two former friends? Who will challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble?
In a rematch from last week, “The Platinum Superstar” Dolph Zigger went one-on-one with “The Big Red Machine” Kane. Like last week, Dolph Ziggler applied a sleeper hold to Kane; but this time, the sleeper hold won the match for Dolph! Dolph locked in the classic submission maneuver on the outside of the ring and the quicker Ziggler was able to get back in the ring before the ten-count, while Kane just missed beating the count; giving Dolph the count-out victory!
After being unceremoniously kicked off of RAW after losing to DX, Chris Jericho was in 6-Man Tag action on SmackDown as Jericho teamed up with The Hart Dynasty to face the team of R-Truth & Cryme Tyme. In a chaotic match, it came down to Chris Jericho forcing JTG to submit to the Walls of Jericho, which won the match for Jericho and The Hart Dynasty!
With his “Straightedge Disciple” Luke Gallows accompanying him, “The Straightedge Superstar” CM Punk made an appearance to “save” a member of the audience, as promised last week. Punk states that, unlike those in attendance, he “keeps” his promises. Punk then selects a member of the crowd and tells the fan that he has “nothing to fear” and tells the apprehensive audience member to have a seat in the middle of the ring. Punk then has the fan raise his right hand and asks if he is going to stop treating his body like a “sewer” and, after the fan says he has “tried” to stop smoking before, Punk screams that trying is “not good enough” and explains that straightedge is about “doing” and not “trying”. The fan vows that he is going to “change” and Punk states that “actions speak louder than words” and that there is “one more thing” that the fan needs to do. Luke Gallows then pulls out hair clippers and Punk asks the fan if he “accepts straightedge” into his life before Punk proceeds to shave the fan’s head in the middle of the ring! Punk then says that, when the fan looks in the mirror, he will know he is “stronger” than his fellow audience members. Punk & Gallows then raises the arms of the appreciative fan.
After assisting CM Punk in Punk’s first “straightedge salvation”, Luke Gallows was in singles action against Matt Hardy. After a timely distraction by CM Punk, Gallows planted Matt with the Gallows’ Pole to pick up the win. Will either CM Punk or Matt Hardy win the ECW Homecoming Finale this coming Tuesday night?
“The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix was in action on SmackDown, picking up a dominant win over Layla. After the match, Michelle McCool & Layla double-teamed Phoenix and McCool delivered a vicious kick to “The Glamazon”. The 2-on-1 beat down continued until Mickie James made the save! Mickie & Phoenix cleared the ring of Team Lay-Cool, but, in a dose of payback from last week, Mickie lays Phoenix out with the Mick Kick! What will go down next between these four Divas?
Backstage, Intercontinental Champion Drew McIntyre stated that, last week, McIntyre “dominated” John Morrison last week and vows to be the first Intercontinental Champion to win the Royal Rumble Match! John Morrison then confronts the champion and says he “dares” McIntyre to say something to his face. McIntyre tells Morrison that it’s time Morrison accept that it’s “over” and that he is moving on to “bigger and better” things. Morrison responds by slapping the Intercontinental Champion in the face, which sparks a brawl between the two rivals! What will happen next between Drew McIntyre & John Morrison?
Then it was time for the main event as personal rivals Batista and Rey Mysterio went one-on-one to determine, once and for all, who will challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. Batista looked to be poised for victory when he had Rey set up for the Batista Bomb, but then the familiar gong of The Undertaker sounded and the lights went out in the arena! When the lights came back on, Batista was down in the ring! Rey took advantage and hit the 619 on Batista, but then the gong of The Undertaker sounded a second time! The lights once again went out and, when the arena was lit back up, Rey Mysterio was laid out! Following an apparent and mysterious attack by World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker, both Batista & Rey Mysterio were laid out in the ring, which leaves two very big questions unanswered; who is the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship and why did The Undertaker bring a halt to the match that was supposed to determine who would face him for the World Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble?
Superstars of the Week: CM Punk & Luke Gallows
Name: Bret Hart
Born On: July 2, 1957 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Billed From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Wrestler Since: 1976
Trained By: Stu Hart, Katsuji Adachi, Kazuo Sakurada, & Harley Race
Seven Time World Champion (5x WWE & 2x WCW)
2006 WWE Hall of Famer
1994 Royal Rumble Winner
1991 & 1993 King of the Ring
Four Time WWE Intercontinental Champion
Two Time WCW United States Champion
Three Time Tag Team Champion
Two Time WWE World Tag Team Champion (w/ Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart)
One Time WCW Tag Team Champion (w/ Goldberg)
Three Time Slammy Award Winner
Son of Stu Hart
Did You Know?
Bret Hart is the only wrestler to have been King of the Ring twice.
Next Week’s WWE Television Schedule
Monday, January 11: RAW, LIVE from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN
Tuesday, January 12: ECW on Syfy from the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI
Thursday, January 14: WWE Superstars from Minneapolis, MN & Green Bay, WI
Friday, January 15: The Resch Center in Green Bay, WI Hosts SmackDown