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Raw: HBK, HHH conversation gets heated over Undertaker
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on Monday Night Raw: It's almost a running joke. It's WrestleMania Season so Shawn Michaels is here. But what he's here for is no laughing matter. He's out to convince his best friend, Triple H, to accept the Undertaker's challenge at WrestleMania, leading to the DX founders getting into a very heated argument. Should be a good one!

We are LIVE! from San Diego, Calif. Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler are our hosts and this show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG, V)

We open with an extreme close-up of Kane. He says there's no line he won't cross to get John Cena to embrace the hate. He says tonight, two things will happen: Cena will embrace the hate and 2) someone will take a ride in an ambulance. Oh boy. We're off to a rousing start here.

Lawler is in the ring and apparently he is here to moderate a debate between all six participants in the Raw Elimination Chamber match. They all have podiums in front of them. I know you must think I'm joking right now, but I'm not. Welcome to wrestling in 2012. Before Lawler can get this off the ground, he is interrupted by Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis. He just wants to make it known that he is still here and has not been let go.

Lawler first asks Punk about the odds going into Elimination Chamber. Punk says he has three things to say: This debate will not end in violence, he wants to congratulate Laurinaitis on retaining his position because he has naked pictures of bestiality, or because he's been doing a lot of begging and lastly, he's the best wrestler in the world.

They go to Dolph Ziggler. Before he can talk, Vickie Guerrero asks the crowd to excuse her and asks that there is no booing allowed. Ziggler makes a crack about R-Truth and Truth says if he's elected, he's trading Ziggler and Vickie to Smackdown for Hornswaggle and a box of spiders.

He goes on. He'll make it legally required to yell "What?!" during every line of the Pledge of Allegience. He says he'll take that box of spiders, stomp on them, put them in a blender and make his grandma's favorite spider stew. He says his running mate Little Jimmy will watch him take down the spider stew, which will give him the energy to win the Elimination Chamber match and the championship.

Miz goes on a diatribe, running down all the other people in the match. He gets buzzed off but keeps going for a little bit. Kingston takes offense to Miz calling him an afterthought, but he could walk out the next champion.

Here is Jericho. He calls everyone neophytes. He notes no one has been in more Chamber matches than he. Nor has anyone eliminated more people in those matches than he. And the last time he was in a Chamber match, he won it. He tells Punk that he might has well just give him the title now because the Master has come to claim what is his.

Punk blows Jericho off, saying he wasn't listening and was instead thinking about how Jericho finished 7th on Dancing With the Stars.

Lawler says they'll be competing in individual matches tonight, starting with Kingston facing Jericho.

Jericho starts flipping podiums and gets in Punk's face. He turns around right into Trouble in Paradise from Kingston. So, are we going to have a match? I guess we'll find out.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Kofi Kingston (Ghana, West Africa) vs. Chris Jericho (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Kingston in control until Jericho power bombs him out of the corner. Now Jericho goes to work with a side suplex and a headlock. Kingston works to his feet but misses a dropkick. Kingston fires up, though. He hits a couple dropkicks and springboards off the top rope, but Jericho catches him by the legs and locks in the Walls of Jericho. Kingston fights, and he is near the ropes, and finally works his way to the bottom rope.

Jericho argues with the referee and then again runs into Trouble in Paradise. Kingston is slow to cover, though, and Jericho gets his leg on the bottom rope. Kingston puts the boots to Jericho and has to be pulled away by the referee. As he does this, Jericho thumbs Kingston in the eye, hits the Codebreaker and that does it.

Winner via pinfall: Chris Jericho

(Ads)

Match #2 - The Big Show (Tampa, Fla.) vs. Randy Orton (St. Louis, Mo.)

Orton gets up high and lands a picture-perfect dropkick on Show for two. Show goes outside and looks at Daniel Bryan at ringside. He gets back on the apron and eats another great dropkick that puts him over the top rope. Orton pulls him over some more and hits the draping DDT. He follows that with the RKO, but Orton is too banged up to follow up. The two rise and Show goes to fire, but Orton hits another RKO. Before he can go for the cover, Bryan comes into the ring and decks him with the belt.

Winner via disqualification: Randy Orton

For good measure, Bryan drills Show with the belt, as well.

(Ads)

Heeeeeeeeeee's baaaaaaaaaaaack. 2011 WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels is here! He talks about how he was riveted to his television set last week watching Raw. He says he was waiting for Triple H to say he accepted The Undertaker's challenge, but those words never came. HBK says he was shocked when Triple H didn't say it. He says he sat back a few days and realized it was a ploy by Triple H and he was just saving it. So come on down, Triple H, he says, and let the fans hear what they want to hear.

Triple H says he'd personally like to see HBK a lot more instead of just during WrestleMania season. HBK says maybe they'll work on that and asks Triple H to give everyone the good news. Triple H, though, breaks the bad news to him: He won't be facing Taker at Mania this year. He says he knows to beat the Undertaker, he has to end him, and he's not that guy anymore.

HBK laughs at this, noting Triple H is that guy. That's how he got to where he is. That's what made him The Game. HBK wants to know if Triple H because "one of them" once he married "that chick?" Is he now a corporate sellout? Hunter says he's not being a sellout, he's investing in the future. He tells HBK he's not in his shoes, so he can't understand. HBK says he might be a simple man, but he does know that when a man challenges you and you back down, that makes you a coward.

Triple H tries to leave, but HBK pulls him back, telling him he's not finished. He says he doesn't care how you dress it up, how much money you put around it, at the end of the day, a coward is still a coward. Triple H walks away again and HBK goads him again. Triple H comes back and gets in his face and notes he has real life responsibilities. He says all of this is going to be his and this is his responsibility and the weight is real heavy on his shoulders. He says he doesn't look at the Undertaker as an opponent anymore, he looks at him as a brand, and he can't end that brand because that would be bad for business. He says he, Taker and HBK are the end of an era of a different breed.

Hunter notes the Undertaker is all that's left from that era, and he'll be damned if he ends that era. He's not going to do it to feed his ego, nor HBK's ego, which is living vicariously though Hunter to get the things done that he couldn't get done. HBK says that was an awesome speech, one that would work on a lot of people. He says he's a peace where he's at in his life, but Hunter has no peace. He says he wants Triple H to look him in the eye and tell him he doesn't want to end the streak, doesn't want to end Taker, that he doesn't want it, doesn't need it. He wants him to look him in the eye and tell him no. Hunter goes to walk away but HBK pulls him back again. Triple H takes off his suit jacket, gets in Michaels' face and emphatically says no.

HBK looks at Triple H disappointingly and walks off. He heads to the back and when Triple H goes to leave, the Undertaker's gong hits and another video, like last week, appears on screen. Undertaker says he will get what he wants. Then we see him cutting off his hair with a straight edge razor. He wants Triple H to give him what is his: Immortality.

(Ads)

Match #3 - Dolph Ziggler (Hollywood, Fla.) vs. R-Truth (Charlotte, NC)

Early part of the match is Ziggler hitting moves and then showing off. He starts doing sit-ups next to Truth and when he goes up for a third one, Truth grabs him in a small package and gets the fall.

Winner via pinfall: R-Truth

(Ads)

Match #4 - Brie Bella (Scottsdale, Ariz.) vs. Tamina Snuka (Fiji Islands)

Tamina hits a jaw breaker on Brie, then a headbutt on Nikki, who jumped on the apron. Brie goes for a backslide, but Tamina hits a Samoan drop and heads to the top, where she hits the Superfly Splash. Good night now!

Winner via pinfall: Tamina Snuka

(Ads)

John Cena is talking to Josh Mathews when he hears a woman screaming. It's Kane forcing Eve Torres into the back of the ambulance. He closes the doors, but Cena makes the save. He bashes Kane briefly, but Kane makes a comeback. Kane hops in the driver's side and goes to drive away, but Eve hops out into Cena's arms. And then she starts making out with him. He's stunned. And then they turn and there's poor Zack Ryder with his roses for Eve. Ruh roh.

(Ads)

We see Ryder wheeling away as Eve runs to catch up to him, apologizing. She claims it was the heat of the moment and she's sorry he had to see it. She says she really cares about him, never thought they'd be together and just wants them to be friends. The crowd "ooooohs" at that one. He wheels off.

Match #5 - The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) vs. CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.)

High knee/bulldog combo connects for Punk. He goes for the GTS, but Miz escapes and hits a DDT for two. Corner clothesline connects for Miz. Miz goes to the top, but misses. Punk responds with a power slam for two. Now Punk goes to the top but Miz cuts him off. Punk, though, chops Miz off and hits the flying elbow. He goes for GTS, but Miz counters. He goes for the Skull-Crushing Finale, but Punk reverses that into the Anaconda Vice and Miz taps.

Winner via submission: CM Punk

We see Kane backing the ambulance back into the loading dock.

(Ads)

John Cena is out. He says the moment by the ambulance was awkward. He says he tried to apologize to Ryder, but he wouldn't listen. He says he's sorry. He said this was Kane's plan all along: Turn his friends against him, turn the WWE Universe against him, leaving him with no choice but to embrace the hate. He says it was a solid plan, one that would work on anybody else, but he's not anybody else.

Cena promises Kane will leave the arena in an ambulance Sunday. He moves on and says he has a message for "Dwayne" when Ryder wheels out onto the ramp. He raises from the chair and crutches his way to the ring. He gets in and swats the mic out of Cena's hand then slaps him in the face. Uh oh.

Cena takes off his shirt. Ryder takes a swing at him, but Cena blocks it and Ryder goes stumbling back to the canvas and gets out of the ring. As he walks away, Kane comes on the Tron, telling Cena he's in denial. He says he stole the one true love of his only friend, sinking to depth he couldn't dream of. He says he finally embraced the hate. He says Sunday will be the last time anyone sees Cena compete in a WWE ring until WrestleMania. He says before he leaves, he wants a round of applause for Cena. As Cena goes to grab a mic, Kane comes out and grabs Ryder, who was on the ramp in his wheelchair, and throws him off the stage.

Cena rushes over, puts up the "X" and medics come out and stretcher Ryder off.

Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.