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Raw: No Way Out and 'Mania take shape
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Iíll give credit where credit is due, and WWE did a great job with keeping John Cenaís comeback under wraps. No one, and I mean no one, saw it coming, especially since the man himself said he wouldnít be ready for Wrestlemania. Instead we may get an answer tonight in Philadelphia to the question, who will John Cena face at Wrestlemania 24.

Cena gets booed by the Philly crowd, (but keep in mind these people booed Santa Claus.) Cena cuts right to the chase and answers how he could be back so soon after getting hurt in October. Cena says his dreams were fading as he was hurt, so he made a decision. He risked his career for a chance to go to Mania. Cena says he is back and he is going to Wrestlemania! That is unless, the Philly crowd wants to see Wrestlemania tonight, and Cena wants to challenge Orton for his WWE championship. Cena calls out Orton, and the champ walks out on stage. Orton says he has beaten every challenger. Cena tells Orton that he will take the match because it is the best opportunity, even though Orton has never beaten him. Cena dares Orton to give him more time to heal, so he can whip him all over Disney World. Orton says he has become a very big deal, and he will never defend his belt for free. Orton says he will give him a match at No Way Out, unless he wants to wait to Wrestlemania. Cena takes him up on it, and then tells Orton he didnít forget that it was Orton that took him out.

Match #1 -- Ashley and Mickie James vs. Jillian and Beth Phoenix

Beth Phoenix pins Mickie after the delayed fishermanís suplex. Ashley never sets foot in the ring during the match.

Winner via pinfall: Jillian and Beth Phoenix

Vince McMahon tells William Regal to make the match, Orton vs. Cena, at No Way Out. Vince wants to know who will face the winner of that match at Wrestlemania, Regal has an idea, and Vince tells him to make it so.

Regal walks out on stage and announces six men will compete for a WWE title shot at Wrestlemania in the elimination chamber. Umaga, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, JBL, Jeff Hardy, and Triple H will get their shot at No Way Out.

JR introduces the newest member of the RAW family, Mike Adamle, who introduces the upcoming matches.

Match #2 -- Carlito w/ Santino and Maria vs. Cody Rhodes w/ Hardcore Holly

Carlito smashes Cody into the turnbuckle and then works him over with fists and chops. Cody reverses the situation with a chop, and gets a near fall with a roll up. Rhodes goes to work on the arm of Carlito. Rhodes then knocks Carlito off the apron. Santino distracts Cody, allowing Carlito to hit the backstabber.

Winner via pinfall: Carlito

Triple H and HBK lament the fact that last night didnít work out like either one of them planned. Hunter brings up No Way out, but that is three weeks away, and tonight he needs a tag team partner. Shawn says he needs a wardrobe change as HHH breaks out his DX shirt. Seconds later HBK is ready for action.

(Thereís a commercial for Brock Lesnarís UFC match. Does anyone else want to see him get his butt handed to him?)

Match #3 -- DX vs. Umaga and Snitsky

Triple H and Snitsky start things off. HHH goes for a lock up, but then grabs a mic and wants to know if anyone has a toothbrush. Snitsky beats Hunter into the corner, but Trips explodes with a clothesline out the corner after an Irish whip. HBK tags in, chopping away at Snitsky and then hits a flying forearm. HBK climbs the turnbuckle, but is kicked to the floor by Umaga. Snitsky locks in a bear hug and then tosses HBK into the corner. Umaga tags in, locking in a nerve pinch, and then another bear hug.

After the break, HBK is in a tree of woe, and Umaga lands a head butt. Snitsky returns to the ring with a bear hug. Shawn fights out with chops, but cannot make a tag. Umaga tags in with HBK down in the corner. Michaels dodges a corner charge, but still cannot get a tag as Umaga catches him over the shoulder. HBK counters with a DDT, and both men go down. Triple H gets the hot tag. Triple H runs into a Samoan drop on Triple H, but HBK catches him with Sweet Chin Music that sends Umaga to the floor. Michaels follows him with a plancha. Hunter hits a spinebuster, and is able to pedigree Snitsky to get the win.

Winner via pinfall: DX

JBL tells Orton that history will be made tonight as they team up. And at Wrestlemania JBL takes on Orton. The champ says he knows he can beat JBL.

The Grish is with Jeff Hardy. The IC champion says he can win the elimination chamber; last night wasnít the end of the road it was the beginning.

Vince tells Hornswoggle he let him down. Vince is upset he came back a loser.

Match #4 -- Mr. Kennedy vs. Brian Kendrick

Kendrick slaps Kennedy as soon as he hits the ring, but Kennedy beats Spanky into the corner. Kendrick drop kicks Kennedy and goes to the top. Kennedy avoids a thrust kick and hits the mike check. Kennedy covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Mr. Kennedy

Finlay is extremely upset with Vince, who says he had nothing to do with Khali. Finlay tells him not to back out on their deal. Vince tells him not to mention the deal, and go take care of Khali himself.

Kennedy gets on the mike and says he asked not to be in the elimination chamber, because he wants to end Ric Flairís career. Kennedy says he will put Ric Flair down. The Nature Boy doesnít waste anytime with an answer and walks out on stage. Flair says good luck and WOOOOOOO!

Match #5 -- Melina vs. Maria

(Two Diva matches in one night! What did we do to deserve this?)

Maria drops onto Melina after getting her pants pulled down. Maria gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Maria

Santino covers Maria up and letís the crowd know he is upset, and says they will never see Maria in Playboy.

The Grish is with Chris Jericho. Y2J says last night a new Chris Jericho emerged and he likes him. And the new Jericho wants to spend some time with JBL.

Match #6 -- Chris Jericho and Jeff Hardy vs. JBL and Randy Orton

Orton and Jericho start things off with Jericho slapping on a side head lock. Jericho nails knife-edge chops and then a vertical suplex. And then lights up Orton with an elbow. Jericho hits the codebreaker, but JBL runs in. Jericho beats JBL out of the ring, and Hardy hits a Swanton Bomb and covers Orton. JBL pulls Hardy off and we go to commercial.

After the break, Hardy hits a body press and gets a near fall. Orton tags in JBL. Bradshaw misses an elbow drop, and Hardy drops both legs into the abdomen. Orton distracts Hardy, who turns right into a big boot from JBL. Orton tags back in, and Hardy hits a lariat takedown. Jericho and JBL get tags, and Y2J is all over JBL. Jericho ducks a cheap shot from Orton, and drop kicks him off the apron. A forearm knocks JBL to the mat, and Jericho hits the Lionsault. Orton breaks up the pin. Hardy goes to the top rope only to be pushed to the floor. The ref checks on Hardy, as Jericho locks in the Walls on JBL. Orton breaks it up with an RKO, and JBL covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Orton and JBL

After the bell, Cena heads down the ramp. JBL rolls out of the ring, leaving Orton alone. Cena F-Uís Orton to end the show.

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale missed last week as he fell ill trying to collect cans to raise funds for an HDTV to watch RAW on. If you would like to donate to the Let Dale Watch RAW in HD Fund, send donation to DPlummer627@yahoo.com.