March 17, 2009
Raw: A Texas-sized love triangle and a steel cage showdown
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
You know we’re in the final sprint toward WrestleMania when episodes of Raw start originating from the same state. San Antonio is home to tonight’s broadcast, which features rivals Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker teaming together and the latest on Vickie Guerrero’s love life… unfortunately. On with the show!
Speaking of Vickie, a recap package shows us the showdown between Edge, Big Show and John Cena that featured Cena confessing and then quickly withdrawing his love for Guerrero. Oh, and Vickie getting caught in the act smacking Big Show on the rear, something I now can’t un-see. Cena and Edge will compete tonight with Vickie as special guest referee, and I’m sure she’ll call it right down the middle. Wink, wink. We’ll also maybe possibly see Ric Flair wrestle Chris Jericho and we’ll get an update on Triple H after he took the fight to Randy Orton a week ago.
Match 1 – Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker vs. JBL and Vladimir Kozlov
Can HBK and the Dead Man play nice? They don’t right away, but they start working together right before the commercial break. Michaels takes a beating like we’ve seen him do so many times before, but he eventually makes the hot tag to ‘Taker. His subsequent burst of offense leaves him in position for the win, but HBK tags himself in and pins JBL with Sweet Chin Music. Undertaker isn’t amused, and he chases Michaels up the ramp. Shawn ducks behind the set, but when the Phenom turns around to acknowledge the fans, Michaels sneaks back out and levels him with Sweet Chin Music. And a game of “Can you top this?” has begun.
A WWE Encyclopedia? Really? Actually, that looks like it would be cool to have if I didn’t have two small children who would quickly shred it.
Vickie gets a visit from Edge. Awkward! Surprisingly, Edge says he’s there to forgive her. He says he knows Show is using her to get a title shot, but he doesn’t love her. Edge also doesn’t blame his wife, instead pointing the finger at Cena for attempting to ruin Vickie’s life. She says that if Cena lays a finger on her tonight, even by accident, he’ll be out of the triple threat match at WrestleMania. Edge assures her that no one can take away what they have, and they kiss. Yuck.
And now for something completely different. Footage is shown of Triple H’s home invasion that wasn’t really at Randy Orton’s house, but was still wildly entertaining. The Game will face Cody Rhodes in singles competition tonight. As for Orton, he’s backstage with Ted DiBiase and interviewer Todd Grisham. Asked why he dropped police charges against Triple H, Randy says that his attacker would have paid his debt to society had he gone to prison, but not his debt to Orton. At WrestleMania, it will be Orton’s Law that rules. To paraphrase Zapp Brannigan, Randy doesn’t pretend to understand Orton’s Law, he merely enforces it.
Match 2 – Layla, Jillian Hall and Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly, Mickie James and Melina
Sometimes I think the WWE must be contractually obligated to show a six-woman tag match every week. This one sees Santino Marella try to help his girl Phoenix. Only it’s not much help, and she’s soon pinned by Melina.
A video package gives us a look at Cena’s character in 12 Rounds, Detective Danny Fisher. He’s an ordinary cop doing extraordinary things, don’t you know.
Match 3 – Triple H vs. Cody Rhodes
Surprise! Orton and DiBiase come out too, just in time to see Triple H chuck Rhodes out to the floor and bounce him off the steps. Back in the ring, The Game uses his trusty sledgehammer to deter the rest of Legacy from intervening. Rhodes gets a Pedigree and Triple H motions to the sky. A steel cage lowers from the ceiling, trapping Rhodes inside and keeping Orton and DiBiase out. HHH drops his hammer, and only now does the match officially begin. Poor Rhodes is tossed around like a rag doll, knocking his teammates off the outside when they try to climb the cage. A hammer shot to the face puts Cody out of his misery, and Triple H celebrates his win by climbing to the top of the cage and glaring down at his foes.
Flair pulls up to the arena in a limo. Will he wrestle tonight? Signs point to no.
Match 4 – Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler
This is kind of a filler match. No, scratch that – it’s definitely a filler match. Rey wins with the 619/splash combo.
Jericho comes to the ring and does some verbal trashing of Flair, calling him a coward, a joke and a pathetic, washed-up has-been. But Chris, what do you really think? The Nature Boy comes out in a suit, not dressed to wrestle. Flair says he can’t wrestle because he is officially retired, and he won’t ruin his amazing final night as an active competitor last year. Fortunately, he does know some men who would like to wrestle Jericho, and he brings out Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat and Roddy Piper. The legends surround, then invade, the ring. Jericho tries to make a run for it, but he’s stopped in his tracks by a right hand from Flair.
This week’s WrestleMania Moment spotlight falls on WrestleMania XV, which showed off the good (Steve Austin versus The Rock), the bad (Pete Rose gets a second Tombstone) and the ugly (Brawl For All!). Back in real time, Jericho tells Grisham he wasn’t embarrassed by the old guys. Still, he’d like a chance to embarrass them in a handicap match at WrestleMania. Jericho demands that Flair appear to work in their corner, and he wants Mickey Rourke to show up to watch too.
Match 5 – Kofi Kingston, MVP and CM Punk vs. Shelton Benjamin, Kane and Mark Henry
Christian, Finlay and Hornswoggle all join the announcers. All six men eventually end up in the ring at once, leading to a commercial break. Tony Atlas tries to get involved a few minutes later, but it’s not enough to stop Punk from pinning Benjamin with the GTS.
Another look at 12 Rounds focuses on Danny Fisher’s girlfriend Molly. Elsewhere, Vickie angrily asks Big Show what he’s doing there. She accuses him of using her, but Show flips the script by suggesting that it is actually Edge who is insincere. He also claims to be “anatomically superior” to Edge. Big Show says Edge doesn’t love Vickie, but he does, and they kiss. Oh come on!
Announcers Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler run down the WrestleMania 25 card as it currently stands. Grisham tries to ask Triple H how he got Vickie to agree to lower the steel cage, but he gets into a waiting Hummer, kisses his wife Stephanie McMahon and drives off. I think we have our answer. Also, this is the third time in one report I’ve talked about kissing. I feel like I’m recapping a soap opera.
Main Event – Edge vs. John Cena with special guest referee Vickie Guerrero
Cena strikes first with a hard Irish whip and a suplex, He smiles as Vickie makes no count. Edge attacks from behind and throws Cena out to the floor. After hurling him into the steps, Edge takes Cena back in the ring but misses a Spear. Cena sets up the Five Knuckle Shuffle only to see Guerrero prevent it by physically placing herself on top of Edge. She also saves Edge from the Attitude Adjustment and slaps a headlock on Cena when he goes for the STF. Here comes Big Show. The heels actually work together, snaring Cena’s arms using the top two ropes. Edge hits a Spear, Guerrero slaps Cena and Show unleashes a flurry of punches to the body and head. Sadly, he doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head, and Edge ambushes him. The World Heavyweight Champion has the last laugh this week, leaving both of his rivals out cold. See you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk is just an ordinary writer trying to write ordinary Raw reports that occasionally feature extraordinary sarcasm. Email him at email@example.com or get his running thoughts on Monday nights by following his Twitter feed @Nick_Tylwalk