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Raw: Cena-Orton rematch impacts Mania's main event
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


We are officially on the road to Wrestlemania, as RAW makes a stop in Anaheim, the night after No Way Out. (Speaking of No Way Out, did anyone else see the kid dressed like JBL? It was disturbing.)

The new number one contender for the WWE Title, Triple H, makes his entrance. Hunter says he is very happy, since last year he was in a wheelchair. The Game is back where he belongs, in the main event at Wrestlemania. WWE champion Randy Orton cuts Hunter off. Orton says things have come full circle, as Orton beat Hunter for the title once upon a time. Orton calls Triple H jealous. John Cena joins the party; saying Orton is the first WWE champion to be a liar and a loser. Orton has brought disgrace to the WWE title by becoming the only champion to lose his way into Wrestlemania. Now, Cena wants a rematch. The winner will be champion and face Trips at Wrestlemania. Orton tries to appeal to Hunter, but Trips doesnít care who he faces. General Manager William Regal walks out to settle things. Regal tells Orton he will face Cena tonight, but not for the title. And if Cena loses he is done, but if Cena wins he will face Orton and Triple H in a triple threat match. Hunter isnít pleased, until he is named special referee for tonightís match. (Well, he still isnít really happy, but ...)

Match #1 -- Jeff Hardy vs. Snitsky -- Money in the Bank Qualifier

(I like qualifying matches, but only if you think either man could win. There is NOOOOO way Snitsky is going to be in a MITB match at Wrestlemania.)

After killing a good amount of time, Hardy wiggles out of a pump handled slam and hits the Twist of Fate, and then finishes Snitsky off with a swanton bomb.

Winner via pinfall: Jeff Hardy

Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather is talking with Rey Mysterio.

Mike Adamle introduces Shawn Michaels who has a big WWE Hall of Fame announcement. HBK says he is sore, tired, and beat up, but Wrestlemania is right around corner, along with the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. The first wrestler in this year's class will be none other then the Nature Boy Ric Flair!

Match #2 -- Paul Burchill w/ Katie Lea vs. Super Crazy

(At this point letís start calling him Mediocre Crazy or So-So Crazy, because he hasnít been Super in a while. And he heís just cannon fodder for Paul Burchillís creepy my-sister-likes-me-a-little-too-much character.)

Burchill wins with the same face stomp into the mat he used last week.

Winner via pinfall: Paul Burchill

Shane McMahon and Big Show talk briefly in the back before heading to the ring.

Triple H is on the phone, when approached by Randy Orton. The champ tries to plead a case for a one on one match at Wrestlemania. Hunter asks Orton who taught him how to play mind games. Hunter did, and Triple H says tonight he will favor himself.

Big Show apologizes for his actions last night, but he thinks Mayweather went to far. Show wants to make a public apology, and he asks Floyd "Money" Mayweather to come to the ring. Mayweather and crew hit the ring. Floyd says he loves publicity and has been a WWE fans for years. He says he is sorry for last night, but he is the best fighter in the world. Mayweather says he was called out and retaliated. Show says he never called him out; he just wanted a moment. Show mans up and says he is sorry. Mayweather reluctantly shakes Showís hand, and leaves the ring. Big Show isnít done, though. Show decides to get something off his chest; Show says the only way he could be hurt is on his knees, and even on his knees Show is bigger. Show says he could take him out in two minutes, and he let Mayweather leave the ring. The crew tries to hold Floyd back, but he answers Showís challenge to a one on one showdown. Mayweather runs to the ring, accepting the offer. Mayweather feints toward Show, who flinches. Mayweather chuckles and leaves the ring.

Match #3 -- Kennedy vs. Val Venis -- Money in the Bank Qualifier

(Please refer to my remarks in the Hardy-Snitsky match. Val Venis, come on, at least trot out Carlito or Cody Rhodes.)

Kennedy squashes Venis, hitting the Mike Check to finished him off.

Winner via pinfall: Kennedy

Match #4 -- Vince McMahon vs. Hornswoggle w/ Finlay -- Steel Cage Match

Vince and Finlay exchange words before the bell, until Finlay is asked to leave by the refs. JBL comes from out of nowhere, slamming the cage door on Finlay. JBL proceeds to handcuff Finlay to the ropes as Hornswoggle and Vince look on. Vince turns to his son, taking off his belt. Vince whips the little guy, beating him (to borrow a phrase from JR) like a government mule. Vince leaves, and JBL turns his attention to Hornswoggle. Finlay pleads with JBL, but Bradshaw slams Horny into the cage. Finlay begs Hornswoggle to come to him, but JBL takes him out with a kick to the head. Bradshaw continues the assault with an elbow drop, and then kicks Finlay. JBL tosses Hornswoggle into the cage with a fall away slam. Vince calls off JBL, and calls for some help. Finlay continues the verbal assault on Vince, as he apologizes to his son.

Winner: No Contest

Santino and Maria head to the ring; and Santino says he has great news. Maria is going to pose in Playboy, and he has the contract, but first she will take on Beth Phoenix.

Match #5 -- Beth Phoenix vs. Maria

Santino "reads" the fine print, and says Maria must win this match if she wants to pose in Playboy. (Ummm ... since these spreads are shot months in advance, and Maria was in the preview section of this monthís Playboy, Iím pretty sure she is going to win. And yes, I will be buying at least one issue for, ummmm, research.) In fact, Candice Michelle walks to ringside, distracting Phoenix. Maria rolls her up for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Maria

Match #6 -- John Cena vs. Randy Orton -- Cenaís last chance -- Triple H guest referee

If Cena wins he will be in the WWE Title match at Wrestlemania, if he doesnít he is done. Itís that simple. Orton gains the upper hand, clubbing Cena over the back and head. Cena fights back with fists. Orton knocks Cena off the apron and into the announce table. Hunter starts the ten count as we go to commercial.

Cena drops an elbow, and gets a two count. Orton rolls from the ring, but Cena tracks him down, slamming Ortonís head off the announce table. Orton cuts Cena off coming back into the ring, dropping him with a DDT. Orton covers, but only gets a two count. Cena fights back, but runs into a power slam. The champ stomps away at Cena, and then drops a knee on his head. Orton only gets two, but moves right into a chin lock. Cena counters with a side suplex, but misses Orton on a charge, and runs into the turnbuckle. Orton pounds away at Cena in the corner. Cena fights back, hitting shoulder blocks and then a side suplex. He follows with the five knuckle shuffle. Cena pick Orton up, but Orton blocks the F-U, countering by hanging Cena up on the top rope. The champ charges, but Cena pulls on the rope to send Orton to the outside. Orton whips Cena into the ring steps. Orton stalks Cena in the ring, waiting for him to get up. Cena blocks the RKO, and then uses a drop toe hold to get in position for the STF-U. Cena holds Orton in the middle of the ring, as Orton strains for the ropes. Orton grabs hold, and Cena breaks the hold on a four count. Trips has some words for Cena. Orton goes for a cheap shot, but Cena picks him up, and F-Uís him. Cena covers for the win, but is immediately Pedigreed by Triple H after the bell. Orton staggers to his feet, only to get a Pedigree of his own.

Winner via pinfall: John Cena

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale is wondering how many issues of Mariaís Playboy he can buy without getting dirty looks.