BACKSTAGE Triple H, Randy Orton and John Cena hang out. William Regal is on hand. He’s called them together in order to spice up their match at Wrestlemania. He says for the next 3 weeks they’ll be taking turns in charge of Raw. Starting with tonight; John Cena is in charge of the show. Orton tries to make a pact so no one gets hurt over the next 3 weeks. H’s is distrustful of his motives. Cena thinks that after getting hit by the other guys finishers over the past two weeks he can come up with something satisfying.
Mixed Martial Arts Exhibition match â<80>” Big Show v Brandon “The Thrill” Hill
Wins by pinfall, submission or KO. Apparently “The Thrill” is unbeaten as a boxer although I’ve not heard of him. The idea being he’s a boxer and he’s about the same size and trained in the same discipline as Floyd Mayweather. Show is super-intense and doesn’t even listen to the referee. Hill eyeballs Show’s general chest area. Oh, he’s dead. Hill is wearing boxing gloves, which has never ever worked in a shoot. He tries to dance but Show cuts the ring off. If they’re trying to pitch this as Ali v Foreman its not working. Hill repeatedly hides in the ropes until the referee admonishes his cowardice. Hill throws some tame shots to the midsection. Show throws him into the corner and levels him with a big boot. Lawler reminds us Hill is the same size as Mayweather as Show chokeslams Hill and pins him with one foot.
Winner: The Big Show via pinfall. Squash!
POST MATCH Show gets the mic to run down Floyd Mayweather saying he’s going to break his legs and his back claiming Floyd’s payday at Wrestlemania will be the last money he ever sees. Floyd retorts by saying he’ll break Show’s jaw next time after he broke his nose. He claims to be the “main event and the main attraction”. He claims he’s willing to die at Wrestlemania. Either Floyd’s comments or pre-recorded or they’re talking over each other, which is really irritating. Floyd claims he’s coming here via private jet right now as Show presses Hill out of the ring. DAYUM! That was a sick bump but they didn’t show him landing. Floyd is still running his mouth when Show’s music kicks in.
Shawn Michaels/Ric Flair v Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch
The former tag champs don’t get an introduction. No prizes for guessing who wins here. Flair starts with Murdoch. The latter gets in a cheeky WOO before Flair starts unloading with chops. Murdoch backdrops him but Flair dodges an elbow drop. HBK in. He uses chops too. Murdoch cheap shots him though and Cade hits a back suplex. Murdoch pops in to add a big boot. They try and keep Shawn isolated but he hits an Enzuigiri and boots Murdoch in the face. Hot tag to Flair! Chops for Cade! Chops for Murdoch! Cade tries for a sleeper but Flair shinbreakers out. FIGURE FOUR! Cade sells it huge and Shawn stops Murdoch from interfering. Flair gets the tap.
Winners: Flair & Michaels via submission. Â¾*. Fun stuff but very short. Hey, it’s TV that happens. Note that Shawn hooked his own leg submission at the end as to be not totally shown up.
POST MATCH Shawn gets a mic. He says he can’t do Wrestlemania because he doesn’t want to be the man that retires Ric Flair. HBK says he loves Flair but at Wrestlemania Shawn Michaels is the showstopper. Shawn tells Flair if they meet at Wrestlemania it’ll be Flair’s show that’s stopped.
Umaga v Super Crazy
Regal joins the commentary crew. Umaga will be representing Raw in the battle of the brands against Batista at Wrestlemania. Crazy gets murdered. WIND UP RELEASE URINAGE! Pounding in the corner. Samoan Spike.
Winner: Umaga via pinfall. Squash! If that sounded short it’s because it was. Very short.
HIGHLIGHT REEL â<80>” Chris Jericho’s chat show returns. The returning show gets its own pyrotechnics. He claims this chat show spawned all the immitators including Cooking with Snitsky. He talks about Money in the Bank and says his guest is the first qualifier for the MitB match; Jeff Hardy. They shake hands. Crowd chants “Hardy”. Big reception for him. Jericho points out he beat Jeff last week and we see that on the obscenely expensive Jeritron 6000 in HD. Jeff is about to big himself up in ladder matches but Jericho cuts him off and says he’s winning at Wrestlemania and a Swanton off a ladder won’t stop him. Crowd boos him and once again chants “Hardy”. Hardy says he’s not the dude that shakes hands, wishes luck and walks away. He says he’s going to beat everyone in that match to get his title shot and then he’ll win the title. Jericho once again reminds us he was the first undisputed WWE champion. He tells Jeff he’s no longer a friend or a peer he’s just a target. Jericho tells him anything goes between now and Wrestlemania. Jeff agrees and counters the leaving handshake into the Twist of Fate to a huge pop.
BACKSTAGE Mr Kennedy walksâ<80>¦
Mr Kennedy v John Cena
They run the International from the off into a Cena backdrop, which gets booed. Cena grabs an armbar as we head into the a commercial break. That gives me time to point you’re reading the Raw report on 411Mania.com. Except no substitute. We return with Cena hitting a bulldog for 2. Kennedy bails out so Cena gives chase and tries the cut off but Kennedy hangs him up on the ropes and DDT’S HIM ON THE APRON! Hello! Cena can’t see him! Kennedy scoops Cena up and backs him into the apron. We’re into hour two. If this was Nitro we’d get a load of pyro. Kennedy rolls Cena back inside for the pin for 2. Neckbreaker gets 2. Kennedy with the mudhole stomping and the face wash. Ref shows concern and backs Kennedy up before he drags Cena out for a near fall. Kennedy hooks up a cravat and Cena isn’t going to tap to that but it’s wearing him down somewhat. Cena breaks Kennedy’s hold but Kennedy knees him in the ribs and takes back over. Kennedy frames up for another face wash but Cena meets him with a clothesline. BOO! He runs through him with a much stiffer one. Throwback! Cena heads up top for the diving Rocker Dropper. STFU! Kennedy has nowhere to go and taps for the second straight week.
Winner: John Cena via submission. **. Decent little match. Nice to see Cena altering his usual finishing sequence too. Mix it up a bit. That’s what people want.
PROMO TIME â<80>“ Maria. Jerry Lawler is in the ring to introduce her. Lawler also announces that Snoop Dogg will be at Wrestlemania. They unveil the cover but Santino Marella’s face appears pasted over Maria’s face, chest and crotch. He comes out to join us. Maria tells Santino its not his decision because its her decision to make and she’s already posed for Playboy and she wants the whole world to see it. Santino blames her actions on her period and tells her she’s making a scene. Santino tries to drag her to the back, which leads to Lawler popping him in the jaw and the divas throwing the bogus Playboy cover at him. Candice tells us that she has the real cover around here and they drop down another one from the rafters.
SHILL â<80>” Someone who was at a WWE event won a NASCAR race. Someone Edwards. We get some clips of Edwards hanging out with John Cena.
Money in the Bank qualifier â<80>” Carlito v Cody Rhodes
Cody is still one half of the tag team champions. He sneaks in a cheeky roll up from the opening for 2. Carlito returns the favour and they do some near falls countering. Cody over the top but he skins the cat. Carlito sees him coming back in and dropkicks him for 2. Carlito starts unloading in the corner and he’s unleashing a mean streak. They counter standing and Carlito hits a neckbreaker for 2 at speed. Chinlock. Crowd is immediately restless. Cody grabs the ropes to avoid the Backstabber and rolls â<80>~Lito up again for 2. Cody with a crossbody for 2. Lots of near falls in this one. Carlito grabs the ropes on another one but the ref sees it and Cody counters back. Bulldog! That gets 2. These guys are really going for it. Shame the crowd don’t care. Carlito gets caught charging but escapes a victory roll into the BACKSTABBER.
Winner: Carlito via pinfall. **1/4. Strong effort from both guys here. Exciting but brief match as a result.
On next weeks 3 hour Raw; Big Show and Floyd Mayweather will have an official weigh-in
J.R. and King interview Floyd Mayweather â<80>” Iâ<80><99>m not reporting it, because it sucked.
Mike Adamle talks about the Hall of Fame. The latest inductee is announced as Mae Young!
PROMO TIME â<80>“ Finlay makes his way to the ring to new music followed by WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon. McMahon asks him if itâ<80><99>s true Finlay worked with Vinceâ<80><99>s family against him, Finlay says yes. McMahon asks if itâ<80><99>s true that Hornswoggle isnâ<80><99>t his son, Finlay says Vince isnâ<80><99>t good enough to be Hornswoggleâ<80><99>s dad. Vince then lastly asks if itâ<80><99>s true Finlay is Hornswoggleâ<80><99>s dad, Finlay confirms that he is in fact Hornswoggleâ<80><99>s dad. McMahon informs Finlay that JBL couldnâ<80><99>t make it to the arena tonight but he is with us via satellite. JBL is with Hornswoggle in Hornswoggleâ<80><99>s hospital bed. JBL intimidates Hornswoggle and challenges Finlay to a match at WrestleMania. JBL then turns out the lights in Hornswoggleâ<80><99>s room and beats the hell out of him. Finlay looks on in shock.
The main event is up NEXT.
Non-Title â<80>” WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. Triple H
Cena gets in Ortonâ<80><99>s face outside the ring. Triple H knocks Orton into Cena. Back in the ring Orton goes to hit Triple H with the belt but Triple H avoids it, Cena runs in the ring and FUâ<80><99>s Triple H to end the match in a DQ. Cena then turns around into an RKO from Orton. The WWE Champions is standing tall as Raw goes off air.
Winner: Triple H via DQ.