January 14, 2009
Justin Rozzero

Monday Night Raw 1/12/09
Tyson Events Center
Sioux City, IA
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

- We kick off this week’s show with a shot of JBL’s white limo and then cut inside where JBL and Shawn Michaels are sitting. Michaels is looking solemn, as usual. JBL says that Michaels is taking on John Cena tonight. And after JBL beats Cena at the Rumble, it will be on to Wrestlemania. Shawn could have been JBL if he hadn’t fallen on tough financial times. But, tonight he isn’t fighting for a title; he is fighting for a paycheck from his employer. With JBL in his corner tonight, Shawn can consider this his Wrestlemania. JBL exits and Shawn stares vapidly as we cut to our opening animation. We then cut to the arena and are immediately joined by Stephanie McMahon as Michael Cole welcomes us to Sioux City. Steph walks to the ring and grabs a mic. Steph says that the Road to Wrestlemania begins in two weeks as 30 stars compete for a shot to headline Wrestlemania. We are looking forward to that, but we are also looking forward to next week when Vince McMahon makes his return. Steph can’t wait…but we don’t find out much more than that as Chris Jericho makes his way to the ring to join the GM. Jericho calls Steph a liar and he says she is no worse than the hypocrites in the arena because the truth is she is scared of Vince’s return. When he comes back, her time running the show is over. Jericho is ecstatic about Vince’s return, because he will right all he wrongs. He will read the petition and put Jericho in JBL’s slot at the Rumble. Vince respects the locker room and knows how much Jericho means to Raw. Steph says that Raw is her show but Jericho laughs that off. He says that she doesn’t have a clue what is going on and that she didn’t even know Vince was coming back. Steph says that her father supports her decisions. Jericho asks if he supported the appointment of Mike Adamle. He then says that the Adamle appointment looks genius now because he lowered the bar so low that Steph looks great now. Steph says that Adamle was Shane’s decision and tells Jericho that he would be World Champion if he worried as much about his own career as he did about Steph’s leadership. The Rumble contract is done and will be signed next week. He should focus on winning the Rumble as that is the closest he will come to being Champion. Jericho says he won’t wrestle again unless the title is on the line, because he is above that and won’t lower himself to wrestle just anyone. Steph says that isn’t true, for him or anyone else in the arena. Jericho says he is done talking to her and her time is running out as she is now a lame duck. The real McMahon is coming back and next week at this time, nothing Steph says will mean anything. She says she is still in charge this week and Jericho has now lost his opportunity to speak with Vince next week, his slot in the Rumble and will never receive another World title shot. Jericho says he doesn’t give a damn about Steph or what she has to say. Steph then fires him on the spot to a huge pop. Jericho stares in disbelief as Steph walks out of the ring heads up the ramp.

- To protect the world’s innocent…it will take the world’s most elite fighting force…and we can see Mr. Kennedy lead them in Behind Enemy Lines Columbia!

- When we return, we get a quick video recap of Jericho’s firing at the hands of his arch nemesis, Stephanie McMahon. Back live, we see Jericho being escorted from the arena by a pair of security guards. Back to the arena, Cole and Lawler talk about Jericho’s firing for a moment and then we head to the ring for our opener.

1) The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
And it is all time for us to be jealous as the Miz makes his way to the ring with his tag belt and Slammy in tow. Cole tells us that Miz has joined the Rumble match. His opponent, Rey Mysterio, is also in the Rumble as we found out last week. As Rey heads down, we see highlights of the beating he got at the hands of Mike Knox last week. The bell sounds and the two men lockup. Miz puts Rey down with a shoulderblock but Rey comes back with a dropkick. Cole tells us Morrison is out rehabbing some injuries he incurred on Smackdown at the hands of Triple H. Miz is able to drop Rey into the corer with a snake eyes and then stomps away at him. He nails the charging corner clothesline and gets two. Miz hooks in a surfboard submission as Cole tells us that Miz claims to have 32,000 friends on his WWE Universe page. Rey fights up but Miz clubs him on the back. Rey flips out of a back suplex attempt and lands a forearm, but Miz puts him down hard for two. Rey catches Miz with a boot and then comes off the top with a seated senton for two. Rey is able to hit a drop toehold and send Miz into the second rope. Miz ducks a 619 and then he back drops Rey onto the apron on a charge. Rey comes back in with a sunset flip attempt, but Miz drops down and gets two. Rey takes him down with an armdrag and a headscissors to send Miz into the middle rope again. Rey drills the 619 this time and then drops the springboard splash for the win. That was a good little win for Rey and a nice showing by Miz. Mysterio d. Miz with a springboard splash; Grade: 2

- And as Rey celebrates, we get our weekly Knox appearance and subsequent beatdown. Knox beats on Rey in the corner but eats a boot on a charge. Rey hits a headscissors takeover from the middle rope and sends Knox flying out to the floor. Knox stares him down and Rey shoots a glare right back. Backstage, Candice is talking about the shock of Vince’s return. She is talking to CM Punk, who didn’t hear a word she was saying because he had his ear buds in. He apologizes and says he was focusing on his IC title match, which is coming up after this break!

- When we return, we get a Vince retrospective package pumping up his big return next week. We then head to the ring for our IC title match.

2) CM Punk vs. William Regal for the Intercontinental Championship; If Regal is disqualified, he loses the Championship
As Punk makes his entrance, we see clips from last week’s match when Regal was DQ’d. Regal and Layla are out next and looking focused as always. The bell sounds and the crowd is behind Punk out of the gate. Punk grabs a side headlock and puts Regal down for a one count. Regal comes back with an uppercut, but Punk nabs a backslide attempt. Regal reverses it but Punk is able to go back to the side headlock. Regal takes Punk down and grabs a wristlock. Punk turns it back into a side headlock and gets one. Regal fights up but Punk is able to slip out of a back suplex attempt. He hits the running knee and bulldog for two. Regal is able to send Punk crashing into the middle rope, but Punk comes back with a low blow as Regal charges him and the ref calls for the bell. Punk begs the ref, but he has none of it as the match is over and Regal retains. Regal d. Punk by disqualification; Grade: .5

- Punk continues to plead as Regal falls outside and tries to shake it off. Backstage, Mickie James is talking to Cody Rhodes about the horrible snowstorm going down outside right now. Cody concurs and wonders why they are even in Iowa but he is interrupted by Sim Snuka and Manu. They are angry that Cody joined Orton without them. Cody said he made the most out of his opportunity and says they would have done the same thing in his shoes. Manu gives warning to Cody that they are coming after Orton tonight and Cody is either with or against him. Sim says they brought some backup tonight, someone who feels the same way and is second generation just like them. Cody wonders who it is as Sim and Manu walk off and we go to break.

- We are back and Regal is hobbling along with Layla backstage. The Grish happens upon him and asks if he is happy with the outcome of the match. Regal says the challenge is over and he stands tall as IC Champion and he is satisfied. He turns around and sees Steph standing there. She is not satisfied and we will get the third and final match between the two next week and it will be no DQ. Michael Cole then tells us we have another big announcement here tonight and sends us to a dramatic video package. The package officially announces that Stone Cold Steve Austin will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame in April. The package highlights his whole career and switches from a dramatic instrumental piece to Cult of Personality, which is pretty awesome. Coming out of that, Cole and King talk about the ceremony and Austin before we cut to Shawn backstage. JBL comes in and asks if he thinks Steph will still be running things come Wrestlemania. JBL says that Steph can’t fire Shawn, because he works for JBL. He tells Shawn not to worry about Jericho, because he didn’t lose all his money in the stock market like Shawn did. Shawn says if it is his Wrestlemania, he doesn’t need JBL tonight because he is the showstopper, etc. JBL says that is why he hired Shawn and Shawn walks off as we go to break.

- We return from break and get to check out another Vince McMahon video package. After that, Cole and King inform us of another big match for next week as Rey Mysterio gets his crack at Mike Knox.

3) Kane vs. Randy Orton
Back to the arena, Kane makes his way to the ring through hellfire and brimstone! Cole tells us that Kane has entered the Rumble as well. Orton and Cody are out next and Orton slowly stalks up the steps and enters the ring. Orton attacks off the bell, but Kane drops him with a right hand and follows with a back elbow. He hammers away in the corner as Cole talks about Kane’s past Rumble success. Kane eats an elbow on a charge, but recovers and sends Orton crashing to the floor as we go to break. When we return, Orton has a chinlock clamped on Kane. Orton caught Kane with his rope assisted DDT to take control. Cole wonders where Cody’s allegiance lies as Orton slugs away at Kane. Kane comes back with an uppercut but Orton recovers and kicks Kane in the head. He drops a pair of knees and stomps Kane’s face. Orton delivers the rest of the Garvin stomp as the King points out that Cody is very fidgety on the floor. Orton rakes Kane’s eyes with his bootlaces and the stomps away at the midsection. Orton goes back to the chinlock but Kane breaks it and takes Orton over. Kane lands a right hand and a big boot to the face. Kane nails a clothesline in the corner and drops Orton with a sidewalk slam for two. Kane grabs Orton by the throat, but Orton kicks free and snaps him down with a reverse neckbreaker. Orton lines up the RKO, but Kane shoves him off in the middle of the move. Kane heads up top but Orton dropkicks him on the way down and picks up the win. It looks like Kane got his shoulder up, but Orton and the ref quickly bail. Kane follows after the ref pleading his case as we check out the replay and Kane did indeed get his shoulder up. Orton d. Kane with a dropkick; Grade: 1.5

- Orton is celebrating in the ring but we are joined by Manu and Sim. Manu says that Orton should listen up and they ask Cody is he is with them or with Orton. Sim says they brought backup and out comes Ted DiBiase. DiBiase leads Manu and Sim to the ring as Orton stands alone. Sim and Manu circle around all three men slide inside and face off with Orton. Cody slides in now and he two stares down Orton. They all start to close in on Randy, but he attacks Sim. Cody and DiBiase help Orton and the three of them beat down Sim and Manu. Orton tells Ted to watch Manu as he pulls Sim up and tosses him to Cody. Cody drops him with the STO and then Orton has Ted drop Manu with the Million Dollar Legsweep. Orton, DiBiase and Rhodes walk off as Sim and Manu are left lying in the ring. Back at ringside, Cole sends us to another clip of Jericho’s firing from earlier tonight. We then cut backstage, where the Grish is with the Champ. Grish talks about the Royal Rumble, but Cena cuts him off and says he knows all about the Royal Rumble so he and the fans will tell Grish about it instead. It is an amazing event and it starts the Road to Wrestlemania. Anything can happen and this year that is true because he has to defend his title against JBL. JBL is a former WWE Champion and is responsible for some of Cena’s most brutal matches. And he now has another ace up his sleeve as he has bought himself the best. Shawn Michaels stands firmly in the corner of Team JBL and he is every bit as good as he says he is. Cena says that Shawn is Mr. Wrestlemania, but he has no Rumble or Wrestlemania this year because of JBL. So, tonight, Cena has to face off with Shawn in his Wrestlemania. Cena walks off and we go to break.

- The Paul Blart: Mall Cop Rewind takes a look at Glamarella’s war with Goldust and Melina last week and the subsequent attack by Rosa Mendez. Back in the arena, Beth and Jillian are in the ring and set for some tag action. The wonderful Kelly is out next and she is followed by Melina. Rosa Mendez attacks Melina as she heads down the aisle. Rosa had been dressed as one of the paparazzi and she is quickly dragged off by security. Kelly goes to check on Melina, but Beth and Jillian head out as well and they beat down both of them in the aisle. Beth tosses Melina into the barricade and then grabs a paparazzi camera as she screams at her to smile and yanks her hair. Beth and Jillian soak in the jeers as Melina writhes on the ground and we head to break.

- We are back and checking out another Mr. McMahon montage, this time looking at when he received a Hollywood star. Cole and Lawler talk about Vince’s return and the Royal Rumble. We are also listening to “Let it Rock” by Kevin Rudolf as it is our official Royal Rumble theme. Cole and Lawler run down the Rumble card for us and we then cut backstage where Orton, DiBiase and Rhodes are celebrating. Orton says that both men proved tonight that they wanted to be part of the Legacy. He tells Ted that he kicked him in the head to help him. DiBiase says the past is the past and now they look to the Royal Rumble, which they are all competing in. Orton says there can only be one winner and they all nod. We now cut to Stephanie’s locker room door where a line has formed outside. The line consists of Jamie Noble, Dolph Ziggler, Goldust and Cryme Tyme. They are all talking about trying to get a Rumble slot from Steph, but Santino emerges and says Steph gave him a spot in the Rumble. He taunts everyone in line and smugly walks off as Dolph introduces himself to Noble. We then see Shawn and JBL walking as we go to break.

4) Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena in a non title match
We are back and JBL and Shawn are driving into the arena. JBL’s music stops as they emerge and Shawn’s starts up. Shawn heads to the ring and is very focused as JBL walks a few paces behind him. Cena is out next to a big pop. Cena offers his hand and Michaels accepts as we go to break. And at that point, my computer froze for a while, so I apologize for the lack of detail. Both men traded control throughout with the highlights coming when Shawn locked in a figure four and a crossface for submission attempts. Cena would gain control and punish Shawn for a while, specifically wearing him down with a bear hug. Cena tried for Throwback off the top, but Shawn turned it into a powerbomb. He tried for the big elbow, but Cena avoided it. My computer was now back. Cena nailed a top rope legdrop and the crowd is pretty split at this point. Cena drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle and then goes for the Throwback again, but Shawn counters and takes Cena down with a DDT. Shawn goes up and connects with the elbow. Shawn setup for SCM, but Cena ducks it and nails the Throwback for a close near fall. Cena pulls Shawn up, but Shawn drills him with SCM for another super close near fall. The crowd is totally split here as both men fight to their feet. Cena goes for the Throwback again, but Shawn slips loose and gets a roll up for two. Cena takes Shawn down and looks in the STF. Shawn fights for the ropes as JBL subtly pushes the rope into Shawn’s hand to cause the break. Shawn pulls himself up and is able to slip out of another Throwback attempt. Cena hits the ropes, but JBL hooks his leg and allows Shawn to nail another SCM and get the big win on the Champ! Shawn quickly slides out of the ring and staggers to the back. Michaels d. Cena with Sweet Chin Music; Grade: 3

- JBL climbs in the ring as we check out a replay. He stands over Cena as we fade out.

Final Analysis
The opening promo was quite good and that is one of Steph’s best in a while. She was clear and concise and she still has good chemistry with Jericho. It will be interesting to see how Jericho gets his job back. Rey and Miz had a nice little TV match with Rey picking up a solid win. He continued his successful night by getting the last lick in against Knox as well. The Punk/Regal match was nothing once again and this must be building to a big blowoff where Punk wins or it makes no sense. As it turns out, Raw is in Chicago next week, so Punk may very well be winning then. I liked the backstage bit with Cody, Sim and Manu as well as it foreshadowed what was to come nicely. Even though it was an obvious one, the Austin HOF announcement was neat and the package was well done. I am looking forward to the rest of the inductees. The Kane/Orton match was decent enough, but a bit sluggish. The end was kind of weird as well. However, that all just set the stage for the return of Ted DiBiase as he rejoined the Legacy and helped eliminate Sim and Manu. I am glad they kept Ted heel instead of having him lead a face team against the Legacy. The Diva segment was good as Melina took a stiff beating by Beth to add some heat for their Rumble showdown. Cena and Shawn delivered their usual really good match with a fun back and forth pace filled with submissions and big moves building to a great climax that really hooked the crowd. The hard sell for the Rumble continued tonight with a solid show. There were only four matches and only the Main Event was of substantial length. Still, the angle and character development was the focus, as was the build for the Rumble, and all of that was well done. The crowd stayed fairly hot all night, despite a lot of down time and a couple of bland matches. They did set the stage for a pretty big show next week as well. This was really just a placeholder show, but they pumped the PPV the whole way through so it was successful in that regard. Final Grade: C+

MVP: Shawn Michaels & John Cena
Runner Up: The Legacy
Non MVP: Manu & Sim Snuka
Runner Up: CM Punk

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