January 20, 2009
Matt Peddycord

WWE Raw
January 19, 2009
Rosemont, IL
Allstate Arena

The current WWE Champs were as follows:
World Champion: John Cena (11/23/2008)
Intercontinental Champion: William Regal (11/10/2008)
Women’s Champion: Beth Phoenix (8/17/2008)
World Tag Team Champions: The Miz & John Morrison (12/13/2008)
WWE Champion: Jeff Hardy (12/14/2008)
U.S. Champion: Shelton Benjamin (7/20/2008)
Diva’s Champion: Maryse (12/26/2008)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Carlito & Primo Colon (9/26/2008)
ECW Champion: Jack Swagger (1/13/2009)

Martin Luther King is being remembered and Barack Obama becomes our first president of color, but forget all that noise because VINCE MCMAHON RETURNS TO THE WWE!!oneone11!!!

Your hosts are Vintage Michael Cole & Jerry “I used to say puppies a lot” Lawler!

Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Kane vs. Santino Marella vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes
– Six-Man Over The Top Rope Challenge

Kane beats up the Legacy fellows while Santino and Kofi pair off. Whoops, the lights go out. And they’re back on. Live TV, folks. What can you do about it? The numbers game take over on Kane as Santino stops punching Kingston and wants to join up with the Legacy. Well that just gets him thrown out by DiBiase and Rhodes. The Legacy gangs up on Kofi and gets rid of him pretty easily. Two of the more recent IC champs just tossed aside like yesterday’s garbage. Kane wakes up and eliminates DiBiase and Rhodes, leaving just him and Orton. Kane shoves off the RKO and tries to choke Orton over the top rope. Just when it looks good for Kane, DiBiase runs in and pushes Kane out for Orton to win the match. Awwwww and just when things were slightly looking up for Kane for the first time in many years. (1:49) Shortest battle royal ever? If nothing else, it shows that the Legacy is important and they’re willing to do what it takes to get it DONE. *

Cena/JBL contract signing for the Royal Rumble! Looks like Cena’s getting beat down tonight.

WWE Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly
Kelly wears a Blackhawks jersey to the ring to make them notice her. She tries to get cute with a back flip after the Glamazon grabs her kick, but that’s all she gets. Phoenix nails her with a clothesline and kills her dead with the GLAM SLAM! (1:10) Beth Phoenix vs. Melina this Sunday at the Royal Rumble, folks!

In the back, the Legacy’s got a problem. Cody says Manu and Snuka were in Stephanie’s office earlier today and now she’s going to fire Randy Orton. Randy is perplexed (?) and goes to see if its just her time of the month or what.

George W. Bush got himself a WWE title belt! I’m sure he can’t wait to wear it around the ranch when people stop asking him to do stuff.

Santino meets up with his girlfriend Beth Phoenix and he’s got a present for her! It’s Rosa Mendez! Beth’s kind of freaked out. Santino has given that weirdo fan an internship. Rosa Mendez’s dream is to be a WWE diva. Santino gives her ‘the little kid asking for a dog from his mother’ routine: “Pllllleeeeassssse? Can we keep her?” Beth’s going to have to think it over because this Rosa Mendez chick is creepy. Apparently.

Meanwhile, Randy Orton confronts Stephanie. He backs her up for firing Jericho. She knows he’s sucking up to her, so she lets him know she’s not going to fire him. Orton doesn’t suck up and if anyone should worry about being fired tonight, its her now that Vinnie Mac is back in town. Orton goes a little too far and tells her that the only reason she has the job she has is because she’s a McMahon. That gets Orton slapped for the BIG EPIC STAREDOWN~!

WWE Intercontinental Champion William Regal (w/Layla London) vs. CM Punk – No-DQ Match
Since we’re in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, he brings his city of Chicago flag with him to ringside. Punk’s been getting screwed the last two weeks, so now we get a no-disqualification match to end this once and for all. Quick feeling-out process. Punk shoves off a headlock and stiff kicks Regal down for two. Regal bows out to sucker Punk into a knee in the gut. Punk avoids a suplex on the floor with a knee to the head up in mid-air and shoves Regal into the ringpost. Back in, he covers for two. Punk maintains control and drives Regal to the mat with an armbar. Regal makes the ropes as we go to a commercial break. When we come back, Punk has Regal in that Tarantula move in the corner. Since it’s no DQ, Layla tries to get him off Regal. Why not go to the eyes, woman? You’re a heel. Do it! Punk lets go of the hold and goes after Layla. I’d go after her too. Wink wink. Regal takes that opportunity to trip up Punk on the apron. With Punk down, Regal places Punk’s head up against the ringpost and kicks his head which meets steel. Such a bad combination. That only gets two. Regal sticks with a full nelson for a bit, but Punk escapes and they get into a forearm exchange. Punk starts with the slaps and the spinning back fist to set up the roundhouse kick, but Regal blocks it once. He walks away to get all psyched up and then turns right back around into the roundhouse kick anyway. Cover, 1-2-NO! Punk hits his running knee strike in the corner and goes for the bulldog, but Regal counters that into a Half Nelson Suplex! SWEET! Delayed cover by Regal gets 1-2-NO! Regal pummels Punk down into the corner and sets him on the top turnbuckle for more shots. He meets Punk on the top, but gets kicked down. Flying bodypress misses, but so does the RUNNING KNEE STRIKE from Regal! Punk lifts Regal up for the GTS! Regal tries to elbow out, but he takes it in the face all the same. Cover, 1-2-3! (6:43 shown) Punk makes history by becoming triple crown champion (World title/IC title/Tag Team titles) faster than anyone else in the WWE. He beats Diesel’s record by just 24 days. Good match. **¾

Cena/JBL/HBK promo airs with clips from last week’s Cena/HBK match where Shawn picked up the win. That leads right into our next segment.

Cena/JBL contract signing: Cena signs the contract immediately. He has nothing to say to JBL, but he has a lot to say to Shawn Michaels. He reminds him of who he is. He is NOT JBL’s puppet and everything. JBL informs Cena that his employees choose to work for him. That is until HBK grabs the mic away from JBL and yells SHUT UP like an angry little teenager. Shawn Michaels tells us all that he hates what he’s become and has unbelievable pressure from his family. His savings has been squandered! Since that’s the case, he’s going to do whatever JBL needs him to do to get money. If it costs Cena the World championship, then so be it. Cena doesn’t believe that. People just want to see HBK, not whatever it is you are now. But you have to make the choice, Shawn. Well, Shawn fakes a punch on Cena and then gets decked FOR REALZ by JBL! Cena ducks some Sweet Chin Music, but stands up into a big boot from JBL. CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL puts Cena down on his back for a little while longer. And we out!

Some black guy from the new Underworld movie is in the audience!

In the back, Todd Grisham interviews Mike Knox. He hurts Rey Mysterio just because he can.

Rey Mysterio vs. Mike Knox
Rey’s quickness works for a while on Knox until he runs into a clothesline while Knox is still down on his knees! Big boot gets two. Rey fights out of a bearhug and a springboard headscissors puts Knox in the ropes to set him up for the 6-1-9! Oh snap, Knox uses the most obvious counter for the move and that’s grab the legs when Rey spins around the ropes and guillotines Rey’s body in the ropes! Knox tastes blood coming out of his mouth and starts beating the holy crap out of Rey Mysterio until the ref calls for the bell. (2:30) Oh the humanity! Afterwards, Rey eats the KNOX OUT! It’s like a swinging reverse STO. I just can’t buy Knox taking Rey Mysterio moves. *½

More craziness is happening in the back. Chris Jericho and his Evil Douche Goatee is hanging out in Stephanie’s office. Okay, not cool Chris. You were fired last week. He’s not going anywhere because he called Vince last week to tell him how stupid it was to fire him because of all his success in 2008. Tonight, Vince is going to let him speak his peace. Nothing will be held back!

The official theme song for the 2009 Royal Rumble is “Let It Rock” by Kevin Rudolf. That might be the worst thing I’ve ever heard.

Last Friday on Smackdown, WWE champion Jeff Hardy was having the worst week ever! First he gets into a car wreck and now he gets burnt by pyro. What a puss. Goldberg used to stand and breathe that stuff in like it was oxygen back in the day.

The Miz & John Morrison vs. Cryme Tyme
Miz and Morrison want to beat up the first Royal Rumble winner Jim Duggan tonight. Cryme Tyme interrupts and makes a challenge. If they win, they get a tag title shot. If not, they have to leave the champs alone. Morrison kicks Shad down and knocks JTG off the apron. Morrison turns around and starts taking clotheslines. Shad goes for THUGNIFICENT (an STO), but Morrison elbows out. Miz necksnaps Shad, but JTG trips up Morrison as he attempts the springboard roundhouse kick. THUGNIFICENT! Cover, 1-2-3. (1:23) So Cryme Tyme pretty easily earn a tag title shot. ½*

Royal Rumble facts video! Pretty cool.

Goldust stops Cody Rhodes in the locker room and tells him he needs to watch the new Essential Starrcade DVD. Cody reminds him that there’s a 2/3 falls match on that DVD set with Dustin Rhodes and Steve Austin where Dustin lost. Long story short, Cody doesn’t need any more advice from his freaky effeminate stepbrother who dresses up in gold. When the Cody Rhodes DVD set comes out, he’ll be sure to send Dustin and the American Dream a copy. I think we can all agree that that would absolutely suck.

A limo is here! Who could possibly be in it?

Jillian Hall vs. Melina
This is a rematch from last week as Rosa Mendez attacked Melina in the aisleway before the match. Jillian Hall ties and stretches Melina in the corner while Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendez and Santino come down to ringside. They mess up a possible tilt-a-whirl spot and then Jillian screams in Melina’s face. Enough of that. Melina comes back with the LAST CALL for the win. (1:23) Rosa Mendez attacks after the bell to soften Melina up for the GLAM SLAM from Beth Phoenix. They meet for the Women’s title this Sunday! ¼*

In the back, Dolph Ziggler talks about himself with Candice Michelle. Vince McMahon shows up beside Ziggler, but the man for the first time ever is speechless. To the ring we go.

Main Event Interview Time: Vince McMahon’s glad to be back. He’s going to let Chris Jericho have his platform to explain his grievance against the WWE. Vince asks Jericho if he thinks Stephanie has been a successful Raw GM? Jericho thinks she’s - in a word – dumber than ever. Vince starts calling her princess again. Oh boy. She holds his job over his head by forcing him to either beg for forgiveness DOWN ON HIS KNEES. You know if this was the year 2000, I’m sure Jericho would have had a rather witty response to that request. Jericho does eventually get down on his knees and apologizes if in case he had offended anyone. Stephanie asks Chris to leave and he does so with an extremely disgusted look on his face. The McMahons embrace as Randy Orton’s music hits. Since we’re all about apologizing tonight, Randy Orton asks Vince to demand that Stephanie apologizes to him for slapping him in the mouth. He deserves it because he’s worth more money to his company than she is. Since Stephanie has had children, she’s become completely worthless. ZING! Vince holds Stephanie back and asks her to step down from the ring. Now it’s just Vince McMahon and Randy Orton. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, RANDY? Vince reminds Orton that he’s privileged to be in his ring. He also reminds him that if it wasn’t for Vince making Cowboy Bob Orton a superstar, Randy Orton would probably be a gym teacher in St. Louis right now. Now Vince wants an apology. Hey, it could be worst Randy. He could want you to kiss his posterior. Randy stays quiet even though it would cost him his job if he doesn’t. Vince starts to yell YOU’RE FIRED and gets slapped hard across the face! OWNED! Randy then proceeds to FIELD GOAL KICK Vince in the head! Big mistake, pal. He knows it too as he looks on at Stephanie and some EMT people as they rush in to help Vince. Rhodes and DiBiase walk Randy Orton to the back as Raw comes to a close.

Final Thoughts: Not much on the wrestling side apart from the Punk/Regal title change. Otherwise, an uncertain ending to the show leaves a lot to be desired as we head into the Royal Rumble, which is how it should be. I pick either Shawn Michaels or Randy Orton to win the Rumble. Honestly, I could see them going both ways with it.

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