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COMMENT





RAW: Who isn't in the Royal Rumble?
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


With the Royal Rumble less than two weeks away, Monday Night RAW stops in Knoxville, Tennessee. Don Johnson and Jon Heder guest host from the campus of the University of Tennessee, as well as plug their new movie.

Vince McMahon kicks off the show. (Never a good sign.) Vince talks about decisions, like bringing Bret Hart back and then kicking him in the stomach. Vince says he got rid of Bret for the fans; so we would remember the way he was, not the way he is now. Vince says it’s his job to put down these old wrestlers. Vince tries to turn the situation around on the fans. Luckily for us, a bell tolls and interrupts Vince. The Undertaker walks to the ring.

Vince is a little shaken up by Taker, who says it is his time now. Taker wants to address HBK, but since Vince is in the ring, he has something to say. Undertaker says he is one of the few left that was there in Montreal. He saw the whole thing, and he saw the fear in Vince’s eyes then, and he sees the same fear now. Taker says he screwed Bret Hart twice, and now he is terrified of the consequences. Undertaker calls Vince a coward.

Vince disagrees with Undertaker, but leaves the ring to the Dead Man. Taker acknowledges that HBK is Mr. Wrestlemania, but the streak is still alive. Undertaker is ready to deliver his answer personally to Shawn.

Michaels makes his entrance, walking to the ring. Undertaker tells Shawn another Wrestlemania match will just end in bitter disappointment. Taker has nothing to prove, and says no to the match. However, if HBK is truly convinced he can beat him, he will get that opportunity tonight. Shawn says no. HBK says he will beat him on the grandest stage of them all, which is why he has turned down the match. Shawn says he only has one option. He will enter the Royal Rumble and win it, and then face Undertaker at Wrestlemania for his World Heavyweight Title. Taker says that will be is only chance at salvation.

Match #1 – Sheamus vs. Evan Bourne

Really?? Why? Well, Randy Orton walks to ringside, so that adds something to this match. Evan Bourne takes advantage of the distraction and hits the double knee drop off the turnbuckle, but Seamus kicks out and follows with a back breaker. Seamus follows with a big boot, and finishes Bourne of with the Celtic Cross.

Winner via pinfall: Sheamus

Orton joins Sheamus in the ring, all the champ does is raise the WWE Title over his head and walk away.

Triple H joins up with HBK in the back, when Don Johnson walks up. He is looking for his co-host Jon Heder. HBK says he doesn’t even know who Heder is. Hunter says he’ll talk to Shawn later. Hunter says he doesn’t care if Heder shows up, as they have some history. Don thinks he sees Heder in his Napoleon Dynamite outfit, but it’s just Carlito.

Match #2 – Jack Swagger vs. Santino – Over the Top Challenge

Before the match, Swagger says getting tossed over the top rope last week was a fluke. He is going to issue another over-the-top-rope challenge, but just to Santino.

Santino comes out dressed as a Miami Vice era Don Johnson. Santino says he is too busy tonight, so he has a replacement, Mark Henry.

Match #2 – Jack Swagger vs. Mark Henry – Over the Top Challenge

Henry picks up Swagger and dumps him over the top rope.

Winner: Mark Henry

Jon Heder finally shows up at the arena with the Bella Twins and a secret guest.

Heder and Johnson make their way to the ring with an escort from the Bella Twins. Johnson wants to get right down to it, and announces the main event involving DX. But Heder has other ideas, first getting cheap heat by mentioning Lane Kiffin, and then introduces his good friend, The Miz.

The Miz thanks Jon for entering him in the Rumble. The Miz reveals that Triple H didn’t want Jon Heder to host. The Miz then insults MVP, who walks out on stage. MVP apologizes to Johnson for getting caught up in the nonsense, and then announces he is officially in the Royal Rumble. MVP says why wait, and heads to the ring. The Big Show hits the arena, and MVP is caught in the middle. MVP attacks Miz, but gets knock out by Show. Heder says Big Show is his insurance policy, and tonight DX will take on Show and Miz.

Match #3 – John Cena and Kofi Kingston vs. Legacy

Cena and Rhodes lock up and Cena tosses him to the mat. Dibiase gets a quick tag, and Cena smashes him into the turnbuckle and follows with a bulldog. DiBiase kicks Cena, and makes a tag. DiBiase chokes Cena in the corner, as the ref is distracted. Kofi gets the tag, and he cleans house. Kofi goes into the controlled frenzy, and hits the Boom Drop. DiBiase ducks the Trouble in Paradise, but a distraction from Rhodes allows DiBiase to hit a clothesline, and we go to commercial.

After the break, Kofi runs into a dropkick from Rhodes. Kofi avoids a knee drop, but cannot make the tag. Kofi uses a chin breaker to get free of Dibiase, and then hits a back suplex. Cena gets the hot tag, and hits Rhodes with a side slam, and then the five knuckle shuffle. Rhodes fights out of the Attitude Adjustment, and counters with a side Russian leg sweep. Cena reverse an Irish Whip, and then hits the AA on Rhodes. DiBiase breaks the pin. Kofi makes a blind tag and climbs the turnbuckle. DiBiase avoids the cross body block, but he connects with Rhodes and gets the cover for the win.

Winner via pinfall: John Cena and Kofi Kingston

After the match, Cody pulls away from DiBiase’s help.

Heder is in the back with Show and Miz, when Hornswoggle gets in Heder’s face, with the help of a ladder. Heder turns around and comes face to face with Triple H. Hunter says Hornswoggle doesn’t like him, and wants to face him in a match tonight. Hunter suggests the make it a six man match tonight by adding Heder and Hornswoggle. The Miz and Show tell Heder he’ll be fine.

Match #4 – Maryse and Alicia vs. Gail Kim and Eve

Eve gets Alicia to tap with an arm grapevine.

Winner via pinfall: Eve and Gail Kim

Don Johnson is spending some quality time with Kelly Kelly when Heder walks in freaking out about his match. Heder wants Johnson to take his place, when the Miz tells him to relax. Show says they will do the heavy stuff, and Heder can finish them off. Miz presents him with a robe and calls him, “The Flame.”

Vince is talking with Triple H about his confrontation with The Undertaker. Hunter tells him to let Taker go and worry about Bret. Hunter also says Vince needs to let things go, but now he is in a tight spot. He either needs to bring Hart back and give him more publicity, or let it go and be perceived as a coward.

Match #5 – Randy Orton vs. Chris Masters w/ Eve

Sheamus walks to ringside to watch his opponent. Orton blocks a Masterlock, and responds with punches. Orton runs into a scoop slam, but counters an Irish Whip with a back breaker. Orton looks for the RKO, but Masters catches him in the Masterlock. Orton fights Masters, but the hold is locked in. Orton manages to get to the ropes, and Masters is forced to break the hold. Masters looks for his hold again, but Orton hits an RKO out of nowhere. Orton covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

After the match, Sheamus slips into the ring, and bicycle kicks Orton, knocking him out.

Match #5 – DX and Hornswoggle vs. The Big Show, The Miz, and Jon Heder

We return from break with the match all ready under way. Miz gets HBK in a headlock and tags in Big Show. HBK is slammed to the mat, but kicks out of the pin. The Miz tags back in, kicking Shawn in the skull. HBK turns the tables with a series of chops. Both men collide on clotheslines. Hornswoggle tags himself in. He hits Miz with a dropkick, but Miz clotheslines the little guy. Heder wants the tag, and gets it. He kicks Hornswoggle, but misses on a charge. Horny bites Heder and then tags in Hunter. Heder runs out of the ring, but Don Johnson tosses him back in. Hunter takes out Heder in one punch, but Show grabs HHH. HBK makes the save with Sweet Chin Music, and then knocks the Miz off the apron with a super kick. Show falls on top of Heder, and Hornswoggle hits the tadpole splash on both. Hunter pulls Big Show away, and Hornswoggle pins Heder for the win.

Winner via pinfall: DX and Hornswoggle

Hunter finally gets to talk to HBK. He tells Shawn he needs a new plan. John Cena hits the ring before Triple can finish his thoughts. Cena tells everyone to calm down; he has an announcement. Cena says he will be in this year’s Rumble, and he will win. Show staggers into the ring, and says he has news. He’s in the Rumble, too, and he will win, and will show us why. Show attacks HBK and HHH, but Cena takes him out. Hunter and Shawn toss Cena, but then HHH tosses his partner. Hunter finally tells Shawn what he has tried to all night -- that he will win the Royal Rumble.

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale has a wish list of guest hosts for RAW starting with Conan O’Brien and closely followed by the cast of Jersey Shore. Email your suggestions to DPlummer627@yahoo.com or tweet him @DPlummer627