We start with clips from last week. Yes, I know it was the Cookie Monster and not Elmo. I fail at Sesame Street. We see Jericho’s challenge, Flair’s retirement dodging match with Randy Orton and the subsequent chicanery with Jericho costing Orton the match.
PROMO TIME â<80>” Chris Jericho. As promised he opens the show. I wonder why they didn’t update his music along with his Titantron and ring gear? “Welcome to Raw is Jericho”. He reminds us came back to Raw to win the WWE title. He points out that Chico Morales (heh) was right and he can’t just walk off the street to get a shot at the belt. So he went and upset him and cost him a match with Ric Flair. Jericho tells us that Orton responded after Raw went off the air. We get the footage with Orton telling him he doesn’t deserve a shot but he’ll get it because he screwed with him. Orton promises the “single worst beatdown of your life”. Jericho tells us he’ll win the title at Armageddon but out comes the champ. Randy Orton in the house. He tells Jericho he’s giving Jericho a title shot because he knows he can beat him. He tells Jericho he’s beaten no one in two years but he’s beaten Shawn, HHH and Cena. Jericho reminds us he beat The Rock and Steve Austin the same night. Jericho says he’s been watching for the last two years. He points out all of Randy’s character traits (violent, vicious etc) but so is he. Orton pulls out the “I don’t like you one bit” comeback. Orton threatens violence. Jericho accepts but out comes William Regal. He doesn’t want to give away the Armageddon main event for free but he has an alternative. He does the old “dream opponent” match thing. Orton picks Umaga for Jericho. Y2J selects Shawn Michaels. OOOOH! Double main event people!
BACKSTAGE Maria & Mickie James walk and talk. Diva tag action is next!
JR stops off to plug Armageddon with Beth v Mickie. Three quarters hot. Can’t complain. Maria uses the Miss Thesz press on Melina but that just pisses her off. Beth in and she wants Mickie. Maria foolishly turns her back and gets manhandled but Mickie is in regardless. She brings the fire with forearms and kicks. Beth gets sick of taking those and grabs her leg. She kicks free and boots Melina off the apron too. Maria thinks about running to help but gets laid out. Beth powers Mickie and over the shoulder powerslams her. Dominance! Fisherman suplex and Beth gets the easy win over her challenger at the PPV.
Winners: Beth Phoenix/Melina Perez . I would seriously question that booking. Why not just sacrifice Maria?
BACKSTAGE Todd Grisham is joined by Shawn Michaels. He reminds us that Sweet Chin Music is legal tonight. He gets interrupted by Mr Kennedy on a monitor. He points out he’ll be up next with a blast from Shawn’s past.
BACKSTAGE Todd Grisham is joined by Shawn Michaels. He reminds us that Sweet Chin Music is legal tonight. He gets interupted by Mr Kennedy on a monitor. He points out he’ll be up next with a blast from Shawn’s past.
Mr Kennedy Runs the Gauntlet
He says this may “break your heart”. He’s bringing out three of Shawn’s closest friends and rivals for a chat because he wants to know more about Shawn Michaels the competitor and the man. First up is MARTY JANNETTY!!! He’s back again! Wait a second! That’s not Marty Jannetty! It’s just some jerk in a wig. Next is Razor Ramon. Not the first time a fake Razor Ramon has appeared on WWF TV. The chest hair is glued on this version. TOOTHPICK! Lawler even gets the chance to break out his old Razor oily hair gags from 1994. “â<80>¦hey yo”. “That’s real good. That’s all ya got. Thanks for coming by the way” â<80>” Kennedy (oop, inside shot!) Third and final is Diesel. Lawler with another great sell. “That’s not Diesel?” JR calls this a travesty. I love how Razor and Diesel got their old crappy mid 90’s pyro. Kennedy wants Shawn Michaels out here to cap off the reunion. And it’s another fake complete with a sparkler. He might actually be gayer looking than mid 90’s Shawn. Kennedy wants one word that sums up HBK. “Egotistical” â<80>” Diesel. “Chump” â<80>” Razor. TOOTHPICK! “Traitor” â<80>” Marty. “Shawn” is still flicking at his hair, which is perfect. Kennedy’s word is “loser”. Having seen enough of this the actual Shawn Michaels heads out here. Probably greatly angered that there’s no comedy version of Sid out here. SUPERKICK for Diesel. SUPERKICK for Razor. SUPERKICK for Jannetty. Kennedy bails to avoid one and after a brief mirror bit so does “HBK”.
BACKSTAGE Vince McMahon is on the phone. He says next week is the 15th anniversary of Raw and headlining is HULK HOGAN. Coach tells us Trish Stratus will be here. So’s Mick Foley, Eric Bischoff and Steve Austin. Hornswoggle jogs in. Vince wants to have a chat. He’s having an in ring McMahon Family portrait done next week. He tells Hornswoggle to clean up for it. Vince points out Finlay is in Ireland so the luck of the Irish won’t be on Hornswoggle’s side when he faces his “tough love” handicap match tonight against Carlito & Coach. Vince tells him to be resourceful. Vince left his phone lying around. Hornswoggle decides to get resourceful via telephone.
We get some clips from Regal announcing HHH v Jeff Hardy last week.
BACKSTAGE Triple H is trying to select a t-shirt. William Regal comes in. HHH says he has some sort of ulterior motive. Regal says they both survived the Survivor Series match. He adds in the extra bonus of the winner getting a title shot at the Royal Rumble. Regal wonders if HHH can beat someone he doesn’t hate. HHH says he doesn’t hate Jeff Hardy but he’d Pedigree his own grandmother to get a title shot.
ELSEWHERE Umaga walks. He’s next.
Umaga v Chris Jericho
Did Lillian bill Jericho as 280lbs? Sure sounded like it but there’s no way in hell he weighs anything close to that. The only logical thing I can think is she actually said 218lbs. Match is JIP as we start during the ad break. Apparently we missed a Jericho pescado but we get a replay of that along with a springboard dropkick. Jericho grounds Umaga and elbows at him, which is a cool strategy but Umaga just picks him up and throws him over the top rope. Clothesline and a running splash gets 2. Umaga pounds away and goes to the nervehold. Jericho does a nice drop toehold out of it. Umaga clocks him a thrust kick though and Jericho just crumples. That’s awesome selling. MMA style. Like he’d been legitimately knocked out. Assalanche misses. Jericho heads up top quickly and hits a diving bulldog. Of sorts. Jericho starts ducking and unloading. Step kick. Bulldog. Lionsault to the back! That was cool. Nice impact. Umaga power kicks out. Umaga misses in the corner and hits the turnbuckle. CODEBREAKER~! Randy Orton promptly runs in for the DQ. RKO!
Winner: Chris Jericho via DQ
Carlito/The Coach v Hornswoggle
This is no DQ. Coach is rockin’ the Raw t-shirt. Carlito is already mocking Hornswoggle’s height before he gets out here. Hornswoggle seems unusually confident. He whispers something to Lillian Garcia. He’s hired protection for this match apparently. Carlito is all “whatchu talkin’ bout”. HOLY CRAP! APA REUNION! JBL & Ron Simmons in the house! Bradshaw gives Coach a sloppy swinging neckbreaker. Hornswoggle is quite thrilled with this turn of events. Coach gets a tiny Irish kick to the face. CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! Tadpole Splash assisted gets it done.
Winner: Hornswoggle via pinfall .
POST MATCH the crowd chants “APA”. JBL says they don’t discriminate. If you have money you can hire the APA. JBL keeps sweeping the mic away from Ron Simmons. He plugs Smackdown calling himself one half of the greatest commentary team in history. Ron has had enough and grabs the mic as JBL starts listing time zones. “Damn”.
BACKSTAGE Snitsky gets promo time. He says he wants the IC title. Snitsky is all up for inflicting pain because he likes that sort of thing. That guy is freaky big.
IC title â<80>” Jeff Hardy (c) v Gene Snitsky
JR makes me chuckle by pointing out he does know what the Whisper in the Wind is. Hey, he’s man enough to admit his mistakes. Gotta respect that. Crowd gets some Hardy love from the opening bell. Snitsky muscles Jeff up and slams him into the buckles. Snitsky clubs away, which JR calls “a deliberate pace”. Butterfly lock. Jeff can’t get out. He kicks his way out but runs into a sidewalk slam for 2. Jeff covers up as Snitsky throws more punches. Crowd is totally out of this one. Every now and again there’s a girly “Hardy” chant. That’s about it. Snitsky misses a legdrop. Jeff kicks at his legs to get him down then basement dropkicks him for 1. Whisper in the Wind (called by JR!) gets 2. Snitsky misses a big corner boot. Jeff dodges and hits a quick Swanton for the pin.
Winner: Jeff Hardy via pinfall.
POST MATCH Snitsky boots Jeff in the face. Not content with that he bails for a chair. Triple H and Sledgey make the save. HHH stalks the fallen Hardy and the crowd smells a heel turn. HHH helps him up as JR grumbles about HHH’s general attitude. HHH makes a point of telling Jeff he’s in trouble come Armageddon. Point made. HHH takes a walk.
– Still to come; Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton
– J.R. and The King run down the ArmAgeddon card
– Backstage Regal informs Mr. McMahon, Stephanie McMahon is on her way to the arena!
(5) Shawn Michaels vs. WWE Champion Randy Orton (non-title)
– Backstage Steph is in Vinceâ<80><99>s office, she tells him she is concerned for his well being as he has invited many superstars to Raw next week that canâ<80><99>t stand him. She says in 15 years the guy who has got beat up most is Vince. She asks him not to go to Raw next week. Vince says he loves confrontation and if anyone thinks heâ<80><99>s not going to show up to his own show next week, they can go straight to hell. Steph shrugs her shoulders and leaves as Raw goes off air.