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Raw: Shane McMahon feels Legacy's wrath
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


Last week we saw occasional wrestler Shane McMahon end the show with an unstoppable rampage that singlehandedly took out top contender Randy Orton and his cohorts in Legacy. While we await word of whether gamma radiation was involved or a latent mutation simply activated in the heat of the moment, we move on to further amazing feats from St. Louis, less than two weeks away from No Way Out.

Shane comes to the ring as we watch a replay of his attack on Legacy. As luck would have it, Orton’s legal team contacted him to issue a challenge for a match at No Way Out. It’s now official that it will be Randy versus Shane, no holds barred. McMahon vows to do everything in his power to beat Orton and render him unable to compete at WrestleMania. Orton isn’t going to let that kind of talk go unanswered in front of his hometown fans, and he comes out to the ramp to ask Shane a question that may or may not be rhetorical: how did you do it? He clarifies by summarizing the thoughts of many fans and asks how it was possible that Shane ran through three top Superstars (his words). Orton says it was because he didn’t, that Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes were instructed not to fight back for fear that the wrath of the assembled Raw roster would turn a three-on-one beating into a 20-on-three massacre. Well… it’s an explanation. Not a great one, mind you, but at least there was one. Orton says the “loss” was a small price to pay to get to face McMahon at the pay-per-view, and advises Shane to have the hospital ready another bed next to his dad. Randy teases going to the ring, but (cue Admiral Ackbar voice) it’s a trap. Rhodes and DiBiase converge from the sides of the ring only to find that Shane had a kendo stick ready. He swats away the junior Legacy members, who regroup with their leader on the ramp.

Did you know that more people watched ECW than some other shows on TV last Tuesday? And this just in, there were also some shows that had more viewers than ECW.

Match 1 – CM Punk vs. Mickie James vs. William Regal and Layla

Regal is looking for some payback for losing his Intercontinental Title to Punk. With the current champ distracted by the women fighting on the outside, Regal smacks his head off the apron. Punk has to scramble to beat the ref’s count, and Regal times his re-entry perfectly, pinning him after a running knee to the head.

The latest installment of WrestleMania Moments rewinds to the truly groundbreaking WrestleMania 2, which featured three main events from three different locations (New York, Chicago and L.A.). Highlights included Mr. T versus Roddy Piper in a boxing match and Hulk Hogan versus King Kong Bundy in the only cage match in WrestleMania history. At least I think it was the only one. I’ll have the SLAM! Wrestling Stat Diva (recently hired to replace the research intern) check on that.

Later tonight we’re going to see another Raw first when JBL gives Shawn Michaels an employee performance appraisal. No one likes those.

Match 2 – Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase vs. Cryme Tyme

Shad and JTG actually hold their own pretty well until some crafty double teaming turns the tide. DiBiase gets bailed out by Rhodes, and the ref is forced to call for the bell as the heels refuse to stop beating on Shad, finishing with a cool move that’s a DDT with the other man holding the victim’s legs. The fans boo while the ref desperately tries to get Legacy to go to the back.

A video package recaps the war of worlds between Chris Jericho and Mickey Rourke, which seems to have ended with Rourke backing out of a match at WrestleMania. In the back, Orton gives Legacy a pep talk, but we’re not privy to the details.

And now for more on the Mickey Rourke situation, we go to Jericho in the ring. He clarifies his earlier comments by saying he does respect The Wrestler and Rourke’s performance in it. What he doesn’t respect is the theme of the movie itself, as he feels it glorifies has-beens who would do anything for one last shot at fame and glory. Take Ric Flair for instance. Jericho says that instead of enjoying his retirement, Flair has been selling his face and name to anyone who will give him a paycheck, and that’s pathetic. Jericho goes on to ask for all of the so-called legends to be stripped of their Hall of Fame status so they stop leeching off the business. There’s more, but John Cena interrupts from the video screen. The champ comes to the defense of the legends and offers to shut Jericho up the only way he knows how – by knocking Chris’ teeth down his throat. And oh by the way, they meet each other in tonight’s main event.

Match 3 – Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston vs. Kane and Mike Knox

Like a flashback to the good old days, Knox apparently won his way into the Elimination Chamber match at a house show last night. That’s right: something happened and it was not televised! How delightfully quaint. After a commercial break, the heels are showing some nice teamwork despite the fact that they are both characterized as antisocial loners. Kingston takes a heroic beating, finally making the hot tag to Mysterio. Ray hits a springboard legdrop on Kane, forcing Knox to make the save. Mysterio goes for the 619, but Knox halts it and gives Kane time to recover. Another springboard attempt is caught in mid-air by the Big Red Machine, who hits a chokeslam to get the pinfall.

The McMahon siblings are walking backstage when they are jumped by all three members of Legacy. Some security guards try to play hero and are quickly added to the beatdown list. Orton thinks of punting Shane before switching targets to Stephanie. But Shane slides in the way at the last minute, taking the shot square in the back. Medical attention arrives as Orton comes to grips with his latest bout of IED.

Moments ago… well, it was actually the paragraph prior to this one. Michael Cole asks whether we should have expected something like this from Orton. All signs point to yes. A quick rundown of the No Way Out card shows the Smackdown Elimination Chamber looking better than its Raw counterpart at this point.

WrestleMania Moments makes a stop at WrestleMania X, which returned to Madison Square Garden. The matches in the spotlight are Bret Hart versus Owen Hart and the first televised ladder match between Razor Ramon and a certain Heartbreak Kid.

More men watched Smackdown last Friday than 20/20 or Dateline. More men also watched Smackdown than whatever was on Lifetime at the time, but that fact must have slipped through the cracks.

Match 4 – Candice Michelle vs. Beth Phoenix

Phoenix is accompanied by Santino Marella and Rosa Mendez. Candice shows off a few nice offensive moves, but she’s ultimately just cannon fodder for the Glamazon. Mendez gets in a few extra licks after the bell.

Flair will be in attendance next week to address Jericho’s remarks. Out in the ring, it’s time for HBK’s appraisal. JBL says he fulfilled his end of their contract by helping Michaels escape his financial troubles. But did Shawn fulfill his end and get his employer to the main event at WrestleMania? Considering he laid down for JBL, put his boss on top of an unconscious Cena and had Cena beaten until some ill-timed interference, Shawn thinks he did everything he possible could have done. JBL disagrees and is considering releasing Michaels from his contract, but he has a better idea: a match at No Way Out, winner takes all. If Michaels wins, he receives the rest of the money due him on his one-year deal and doesn’t have to work for JBL any more. If JBL wins, he owns the Shawn Michaels name and his services for good - even if it means making him a dancing monkey at a Shawn Michaels restaurant. Layfield keeps goading him, because since Michaels is still an employee until the match, he can’t touch his boss or the deal is off the table. HBK resists serving up Sweet Chin Music and slinks away to the back.

The attack on the McMahons is replayed for those joining us extremely late. Steph is in the back talking to Kane, asking if he’ll be here, and Kane assures her he will be. Then it’s settled, Steph says. In exchange for a spot in the Elimination Chamber match, Kane has secured the services of his brother, the Undertaker, to battle Orton next week.

Main Event – Chris Jericho vs. John Cena

Cena doesn’t even wait to take his shirt off before tearing into his foe. Jericho gets his bearings and the shirt finally comes off. Cena uses a bulldog, a belly-to-back suplex and a clothesline to send Jericho out to the floor. Ultimately, Cena ends up draped over the table and we go to commercial. Coming back, Cena just beats a ten count and slides back in. He hits a belly-to-belly suplex and both men are down. The champ revs up with his flying shoulders and looks for a Five Knuckle Shuffle, but a series of reversals leads to small packages both ways. An elbow and a Lionsault get Jericho another near fall, but Cena rallies and finally finishes the FKS. Cena looks for his finisher – I swear Jerry Lawler calls it the Attitude Adjuster – but more counters are exchanged and the Walls of Jericho win out. Cena strains for the ropes to no avail, but he eventually summons up the strength to roll through into the STF. Jericho taps out as Raw wraps up.

Final Thought

I’m not sure exactly where the Orton versus McMahons storyline is headed, but there’s still a chance that it’s an elaborate ruse for Stephanie to eliminate her family members. Usually I like when the WWE surprises me, but I’d actually be happy if that’s how it ends up, because the writers have set it up so well in this case. See you in seven!

Nick Tylwalk thinks a dancing monkey at the Shawn Michaels Restaurant (home of the Sexy Boy Sirloin!) would actually be pretty cool, but he acknowledges there could be other intriguing possibilities for potential mascots. Send your suggestions to ntylwalk7@yahoo.com.