PROMO TIME â<80>” Ric Flair. WOOOOOOOOO! He points out that HBK said last week he didn’t want Flair at Wrestlemania because he didn’t want to be the guy to end Flair’s career. He says Shawn said he’d “stop his show”. Flair calls SHAWN MICHAELS out right now, WOOO, in Milwaukee because he’s got something to tell him. Shawn is all happy and smiles on the way out here and why wouldn’t he be? Flair says that’s the best entrance in wrestling. Flair says when he started in wrestling there was no sympathy and he’s never felt pity, ever. Flair says last week he felt Shawn feeling sympathetic for him. Flair, WOOOOOO, tells Shawn he’s the best and if he can’t compete with the best then he doesn’t want his career to continue. He doesn’t want to be saved week in week out. He wants respect not sympathy or pity. Flair tells Shawn if he wins at Wrestlemania he’s the man. But if Shawn wins he’s beaten the man and he’ll retire. If he has a good day he’ll win and his career could go on forever. Flair wants 100% out of Shawn at Wrestlemania. HBK gets the mic and tells Flair he didn’t mean to show pity but he loves Flair but he’s Mr Wrestlemania. Mixed response for that. He says he made the ladder match at Mania and wrestled for over an hour and had the greatest moments in Wrestlemania history. Shawn says at Wrestlemania he IS the Man. He says he can’t control himself. Shawn says the show is getting stolen at Mania by them. “Let’s do it”. Shawn says Flair is in a 3 on 1 against Edge and his cohorts but Shawn volunteers to be in his corner and skip Dora the Explorer this week. This brings out RANDY ORTON. He’s GM this evening. He books Triple H in a match against Kane in a re-match from Wrestlemania 15 (I think). Orton points out Shawn lost at Wrestlemania last year and he gives him a shot at revenge tonight when he wrestles John Cena.
Casket match â<80>” Undertaker v Mark Henry
This is a re-match from Wrestlemania 22. The match where Taker did a tope over the casket. Henry gets booted in the face right at the start and knocked over with the flying clothesline. Old School is blocked into a bearhug. That swiftly becomes a BORE-HUG so Taker breaks it with elbows. Outside and Henry meets ring post face first. Back inside Henry grabs Taker and slams him before adding in a few splashes. Henry tries to drag the corpse to the casket but Taker gets the MMA choke he’s been using as a submission of late. Henry taps then passes out. Taker kicks him into the casket and slams the lid.
Winner: The Undertaker via casket closing . Â½*. Handy how they used Taker’s new weapon of choice to finish the match but the rest of it was dull.
SHILL â<80>” Snow (Hey Oh) from Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is the Wrestlemania theme song.
BACKSTAGE Floyd Mayweather hangs out with his entourage. We get an assortment of boxers (including Rocky Balboa star Antonio Tarver) and boxing punters putting over Big Show is being hard to beat because of the size difference. We get that bump from Brandon Hill last week again. Harsh bump for a jobber. Could have easily broken a hip.
ELSEWHERE Triple H says he lives to be WWE champion. He points out last year should have been Cena-HHH II but he was injured and when he came back Cena was injured so he won the 11th title. Lost it to Orton and never had a shot back at either guy. He’s had a hole burning in him for 2 years because the WWE title is his life and he wants his life back.
Mr Kennedy v Finlay
Kennedy wants the mic but Finlay isn’t in the mood to wait around for that. JBL interrupts on the Titantron however to confirm Finlay accepted a match at Mania. And it’ll be a Belfast Brawl. JBL says he’ll put Finlay in hospital next to his “mutant son”. Finlay looks as if he’s contemplating something and it’s BEATING THE SHIT OUT OF KENNEDY WITH A SHILLELAGH! That’d be a DQ then!
Winner: Mr Kennedy via DQ . No match. Finlay continues the assault and specifically thwacks the weapon off Kennedy’s ribs. This is what we call a “message”. The “look at what I can do under no DQ rules” message. After beating the piss out of him for a couple of minutes he nails Kennedy in the head with it and walks off leaving Kennedy unconscious.
Intercontinental title â<80>” Jeff Hardy (c) v Chris Jericho
See folks, there IS an IC title. This match came about because Hardy laid Jericho out on his own talk show last week. Intense lock up and Jericho slaps Hardy. They catfight into the ropes then start catfighting on the mat. Jeff does his double legdrop to the midsection for 2. Jericho repays him by clotheslining him out of the ring and we go to commercial. We return with Jericho in control still until he misses and charge and hits the post. Jeff tries the Railrunner but Jericho moves and Hardy hits the announce table HARD. Crowd just dies because they think he’s seriously hurt. Replay shows he bumped it fine. Now that’s good stuff. Jericho tries to hang on to a backbreaker but Hardy has more edge these days and goes to the eyes to break it. Hardy with a desperation flying neckbreaker. Hardy ducks the bulldog into the Whisper in the Wind for 2. They counter standing and Jericho gets a Northern Lights for 2. Hardy bridges out at the second time of asking into a roll up for 2. Jeff tries his corner dropkick but Jericho bails out of the ring to avoid it. Great recognition stuff here. Jericho with a high crossbody but Hardy rolls through it for 2. Jericho blocks the Twist of Fate and hits the Lionsaultâ<80>¦for 2. Countering. Tasty. Crowd is pro-Y2J. He sweeps Hardy’s legs looking for the Walls of Jericho but Hardy counters that into a roll upâ<80>¦for 2. Hardy ducks an Enzuigiri and hits the Twist of Fate. He wants the rope finish but it backfires because Jericho MOVES and the Swanton gets nothing. CODEBREAKER! NEW CHAMPION!
Winner and NEW IC champion: Chris Jericho via pinfall. Not only that it was a great match with countering and false finishes. ***1/2. Neato.
BACKSTAGE Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff walk! We’re going WAY BACK on this next Rewind!
Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff v US Express (Barry Windham/Mike Rotunda)
Volkoff asks we rise and respect the Soviet National Anthem. Still as good as ever Nikolai. I love how it still gets heat like it’s 1985. “Russia nummer one. Iran nummer one. USA hack ptooey” â<80>” Sheik. Awesome. This is a re-match from Wrestlemania. Sheik and Volkoff won that match for the tag titles. We’re interrupted by Gillian Hall who wasn’t even born when they fought at Wrestlemania. Gillian points out Barry can’t afford the rights to “Born in the USA” anymore because they’re has-beens. But luckily she’s here to sing it for them. Oh boy. Give the mic back to Volkoff! Rotunda gives her the airplane spin SO FAST she loses her shoes. And that’s your match. Why even bait and switch that?
HALL OF FAME â<80>” Mike Adamle runs through the class for this year so far; Flair, Maivia, Rocky Johnson, Mae Young. Andâ<80>¦a tag team THE BRISCO BROTHERS. Jack and Gerry. We get clips of the Brisco’s holding 20 tag titles. Gerry held a few singles titles but Jack was NWA world champion. Twice. When that meant something. We get a plug for the Brisco Brothers Body Shop in Tampa. JR calls them the greatest brother tag team in wrestling.
SHILL â<80>” Wrestlemania XXIV (24). The video now has highlights of the feuds going in. 20 days away.
VIDEO â<80>” We see Big Show’s various feats of strength including pressing several wrestlers and slamming Undertaker through the mat. Hill’s bump from last week looks worse every time I see it. How’d he not break his hip? We get clips from Wrestlemania 15 and HHH v Kane at that show. Ah, I got the year right. Spoot.
BACKSTAGE Kane looks angry. Randy Orton comes in to see him. He says HHH embarassed Kane over the years and even unmasked him. He’s about to refer to Kane as “Triple H’s bitch”. Kane grabs him by the throat and says he doesn’t need a history lesson because he remembers everything. He storms off and Orton gives a tiny smile.
SHILL â<80>” John Legend will be singing America the Beautiful at Wrestlemania.
Triple H v Kane
Wrestlemania Rewind match from 1999. Kane no sells the opening shots and punches away in the corner. Kane’s looking a little doughy these days. He pounds away but runs into a back elbow. H’s replies with his own punches but gets whipped over the top. H’s gets his face introduced to the announce table but retorts by whipping Kane into the ring post. H’s works over the neck. He probably sees this as a tune-up match. Kane with a big boot and a low dropkick of all things. Corner clothesline but following up H’s counters into a spinebuster. Facebuster. Kane won’t go over. H’s wants the Pedigree but Kane backdrops out. Orton is out to look at this. Kane wants a chokeslam. H’s counters out and looks for the Pedigree again. This time Orton’s presence distracts. Kane with a sideslam but when he comes off the top H’s boots him and hits the Pedigree.
Winner: HHH via pinfall. Â½*. Kane looks terrible these days. He flubbed a couple of things due to age, which means he won’t be around that much longer. Sadly.
EARLIER John Cena talked about Wrestlemania. He says Wrestlemania means everything. He was injured and expected to be out until October. He says he risked his health and career to come back and get a shot at being at Wrestlemania. He says he thanks Randy Orton for taking away his title because he made him hungry again to come back and be the best. He says Wrestlemania is about the top dogs fighting for the biggest prize. He says his time will come again at Wrestlemania.
Melina Perez w/Beth Phoenix v Ashley Massaro Maria Kanellis w/Candice Michelle
We get clips of Melina defending her title against Ashley last year. Melina says she was really looking forward to beating Ashley again but she’s injured. Typical Playboy covergirl, great on the outside, nothing on the inside. Melina intends to rough up another Playboy covergirl instead. Playboy featuring Maria is now on sale. Maria kicks Melina in the tits and goes for a jackknife cradle for 2. Melina kicks her in the face but Maria comes back with a snapmare for 2. Maria chokes with her foot as Santino Marella comes out here. He has a copy of Playboy. Maria gets a jawbreaker but Santino rips up Playboy. The dastard! Melina takes advantage with her inverted DDT/legdrop move for the pin.
Winner: Melina via pinfall . Â¼*.
POST MATCH Beth lays out Candice as well and Santino leaves with the heels.
Shane McMahon is out first. He’s here to introduce the whole thing. Mayweather’s name gets booed. Shane points out Big Show is the only guy to hold all the major world (well, American) heavyweight titles (apart from AWA but that’s not been a major title for a long time). Shane calls Mayweather the “greatest fighter in the world today” and tells us he’s 39-0. The boos are getting louder every week. As per usual he has an enormous entourage. He also has serious bling and is wearing sunglasses indoors. One of his medallions reads “philthy rich”. Mayweather is up first and takes the bling off to get weighed. Crowd boo the shit out of him. His entourage applaud. Mayweather weighs in at 159lbs. Show is up. He weighs 441lbs. Show grabs the mic to point out Floyd brought a posse so he’s about to bring out his posse. Out comes the WWE locker room to surround the ring. Floyd whinges about it. Show says no one in the locker room likes Mayweather and they came out here to see the $20M man. Show suggests Mayweather throw some money into the crowd so they don’t hate him so much. Or perhaps give some to his posse so they can pretend to be his friends for longer. Show talks about Mania and says he may take pity on Floyd and just embarrass him. Or if he continues to disrespect him Show will guarantee he’ll never box again. Show asks him what’s it going to beâ<80>¦little runt? “You suck” chant the crowd at Floyd. Floyd pulls out a handful of money, which he smells, and starts throwing at Show. Crowd starts with the WHAT after each sentence. He says he respects Show’s achievements but not him as a human being. He says Show might be able to hurt him but he’s got to catch him first. Show pays off some of the wrestlers with the money on the canvas. Floyd says this is the biggest Wrestlemania ever. Floyd promises to break Show’s jaw at Wrestlemania. Show takes offence and PRESSES MAYWEATHER ONTO SOME WRESTLERS AT RINGSIDE! Huge scuffle between the wrestlers and the posse breaks out. Mayweather is holding his elbow. Oh, that doesn’t look good. I hope he’s selling.
EARLIER Randy Orton calls himself the perfect champion. He says he has the strength of John Cena and the intelligence of HHH. He mentions a lot of other attributes they both have and says he’s a mix of them all. But he also has the WWE title.
Edge w/Ryder/Hawkins v CM Punk
Nice pop for Punk. They start with waistlocks counters then hammerlock counters. Edge sets early but recovers quickly into a Hot Shot then a dropkick for 2. Spinal tap and Punk starts selling the back hard. Edge goes for a suplex but Punk knees out of it. Mr Wrestling II kneelift and a spin kick gets 2. Edge goes to spear Punk off the apron but Punk blocks him with kicks. Diving lariat gets 2. High knee in the corner but Edge escapes the bulldog into a tight DDT for 2. This crowd has gone very quiet. Edge wants a spear but Punk leapfrogs it. He goes for the GTS but has to go and knock Ryder off the apron. He goes to get Hawkins too but gets cut off with a SPEAR FROM THE SIDE.
Winner: Edge via pinfall. *3/4. Some nice wrestling but the crowd weren’t into it. The match showed how Edge will utilise intangibles at Wrestlemania and the numbers game is too much for most WWE talent. Of course the Undertaker isn’t most WWE talent. This is one of those matches where the outcome being predictable hurt it somewhat.
PROMO: RAW GM William Regal is in the ring. he talks about the Raw vs. SmackDown match at Mania. We are shown a video package on Umaga. Regal says no bdy can beat him. Batista makes his way to the ring. they start brawling. Batista gets the best of Umaga with the spinebuster.
Up next; Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena
This Friday, Mr. McMahon will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
J.R. and King confirm Mayweather injured his elbow earlier
Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena
The usual mix of cheers and boos for Cena. Early in the match, Cena went for the STFU, but Michaels dodged the move he tapped out to at WrestleMania 23 by reaching the ropes.
The match ends in a DQ after Randy Orton shoves Shawn Michaels into the ring post. Cena gives Orton the FU in the ring. backstage Triple H was watching the match, he turns and talks into the camera informing us that next week, when he is in charge, Randy Orton & John Cena will be forced to team up, against the entire Raw roster! Raw ends with Triple H grinning down the camera.