February 17, 2009
Justin Rozzero

Monday Night Raw 2/16/09
Spokane Arena
Spokane, WA
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

- We open in the arena and Lillian Garcia brings out Vicki Guerrero, who arrives to a chorus of boos, as usual. It is her pleasure to announce the new World Heavyweight Champion: Edge! Edge is in the house and he leads Vicki to the ring. The King said it is official that Edge is the World Champion, having won the Raw Elimination Chamber last night, dethroning John Cena. Since he is a Smackdown star and he stands on raw as champion, he thinks the “R” in Rated R Superstar stands for remarkable, resplendent or really, really smart. After he lost his WWE Championship, he could have packed it up, gone home and cried, looking for sympathy. But that is something all of us would have done because we are big fat failure turtles that would have curled up in our shells. But that isn’t him as failure is no option. He took matters into his own hands last night after all the fans called him a loser after the first match. But, we were all wrong and Edge runs around ringside pointing out all the fans that were wrong. He tells a little kid that when he grows up, he is going to be wrong. Last night, he competed in two Chamber matches and he is a living, breathing, walking miracle. Jesus turned water into wine and he turned the WWE Title into the World Heavyweight Championship. Vicki says that Stephanie accompanied Shane to the hospital last night; therefore Vicki became the highest ranking WWE official in charge. When Kofi Kingston became physically unable to compete, she had to make an executive decision and find Kofi’s replacement, a man that had to be deserving of the slot. And no one was more deserving than her husband. After speaking with the Board of Directors, she can confirm that Edge is officially the World Heavyweight Champion. We may not like it, but we have to accept it. Edge and Vicki make out but they are interrupted by John Cena, who gets a mega pop for his arrival. Cena thanks the fans for the response and then congratulates Edge. Nobody thought he could pull it off, but he did it. Other superstars would come down and complain, threaten to sue the company and shut things down. How Edge got in the match is irrelevant, but fact of the matter is he got in it and he won fair and square. He doesn’t like it, but he is out to say congratulations. Cena says that “R” also stands for really, really lucky, right place, right time and…rematch! Edge says he competed in two Chamber matches last night, something nobody has ever done. Therefore, he will not be competing tonight, next week or maybe even the whole month. If Cena wants to see Edge and his wife, they will be on Smackdown. Cena agrees and says he wants Edge to have no excuses. He tells Edge to go to Smackdown and tell Festus and Funaki he said hello and says he and Vicki can go and do whatever it is they do together. But, Vicki did say he is officially the World Heavyweight Champion and he officially has a rematch. Edge says he forgot all about the cute Cena wit. He then rehashes the Cena/Edge history, pointing out all the times Edge got the best of him. Cena can talk about rematch all he wants but it doesn’t change the fact that the champ is here! Edge mocks the “you can’t see me”, but Cena grabs him by the shirt. He tells Edge that if he tries to hide, he will find him. If he tries to run, he will catch him. They will fight and Cena will hurt him. Edge stands stoically and Cena returns the glare. Edge and Vicki take off as Cole recaps last night’s Chamber happenings. King and Cole tell us that Shane McMahon is standing by and we cut to him backstage. He is proposing the following to Randy Orton: they go to the ring, no rules, referee or Legacy. Just two men in an unsanctioned fight and things will end tonight. And we are out. That was a good opening promo as Cena and Edge still have their chemistry.

1) Cryme Tyme & CM Punk vs. William Regal, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
We are back and Cryme Tyme is in the ring and is joined by CM Punk. Regal is out next and then is followed by Regal and DiBiase. Cody and Punk start things off and they trade holds and shoves before Punk kicks Rhodes in the head. Punk nails the G2S but Regal breaks things up. Regal and Legacy bail to the floor as we go to break. When we return, Punk is still in control but Regal distraction allows DiBiase to nail Punk from behind and take over. DiBiase tags in Regal, who gets a near fall. Regal wrenches in a stiff chinlock, but Punk works free and kicks away. Regal stops him and he tags Rhodes back in. Cody stomps away and gets a near fall. He slams Punk down and drops a stiff knee for two. DiBiase tags back in. He mares Punk over and drills him for a near fall. He tags Cody back in and works Punk over with some boots, but Punk is able to land an Enziguri. Both men tag out and JTG comes in firing away at DiBiase. JTG lands a dropkick and he knocks Regal off the apron. He slams DiBiase and gets two before Cody breaks it up. All hell breaks loose, as Cody tries to atomic drop JTG. JTG blocks it, but DiBiase sneaks up from behind and hits the Dream Street for the win. Fun non stop six man featuring great heel teamwork as usual. Rhodes, DiBiase & Regal d. Cryme Tyme & CM Punk when DiBiase pins JTG with the Dream Street; Grade: 2

- Backstage, Steph is chastising Shane for his challenge tonight. Last night he was in the hospital and in and out of consciousness. The doctors didn’t even want him to fly. Steph tells him to wait till next week because he isn’t thinking clearly. Shane says that Orton is hurting too and the fight happens tonight. We are off to break.

- We are back and are being joined by Chris Jericho. He says the Academy Awards are Sunday and he implores the voters to not vote for Mickey Rourke. It could spark a chain reaction that would send a message to all of the old Hall of Famers and washed up stars that are leaching onto the business to take a shot at one last run of success. It will not happen and Jericho is the only one with courage to tell the truth. The fans respect the legends, but they enable them because they are all weak, shallow human beings and are hypocrites and liars that need to be shut down for their own good. The fans can boo him, but they boo an honest man. The truth hurts…but so do the bagpipes! Roddy Piper is in the house and he looks pissed off. Piper is going to shoot with Jericho on this one. He has watched Jericho his entire career and he liked him because he always said what was on his mind and he had the guts to come in the ring and back it up. He respected that because it reminded him of somebody he knew. Now, Jericho gets on TV and runs his mouth, calling the legends out. He used to be entertaining, but now he is judging and is patronizing. He tells us what to do and what not to do. Piper tells him to shut the hell up. Jericho tells Piper to keep dancing like a puppet to make the fans cheer. Piper says he isn’t finished yet. Mickey Rourke is his friend and he watched the movie and he cried. The movie isn’t about a bunch of all timers wanting another run. The movie is about the honor and respect they have for everyone. It is about the pain, physically and emotionally, and most of all it is about why they do what they do for the thrill of performing. Flair was right…they live for this. He has people come up to him and talk about remembering him slapping Mr. T and shaving Adonis’ head. And Jericho wants to bury these moments, but these moments are to be celebrated. Last year, he was in the Royal Rumble and when he came out, 20,000 people jumped to their feet and for a split second he felt like he was back at the first Wrestlemania. That was a thrill of a lifetime. Piper sounds like he is on the verge of breaking up the whole way through here. He has one hip and he hurts all the time, but as long as the fans say so, he will crawl down on his hands and knees to give them one more memorable moment because old school is cool. Jericho kicks Piper down. He boots him in the gut and mocks him as he writhes on the ground. He tells Piper to go ahead and crawl as he walks off to jeers. Lawler is pissed off and implores Piper to get up. That was great stuff and a killer passionate promo from Piper. I love that he was on the verge of breaking up the whole time and Jericho just assaulting him was great too. We cut to the Grish backstage, who is with Randy Orton. He asks Randy his thoughts on Shane’s announcement. He has no problem facing Shane, but he is bothered by the idea that he needs DiBiase and Rhodes to win it. They weren’t there when he punted Vince and they weren’t there at the finish last night. If Shane wants this to end with somebody not moving, he can make it happen. Orton leaves and so do we.

- Our first Wrestlemania Moment gives an overview of Wrestlemania IX, highlighting the spectacle and the World title shenanigans at the end of the show. Back in the arena, Jamie Noble is in the ring. Wrestlemania is a beautiful thing and the night after No Way Out is a huge night. He has never been in MITB or danced in a chorus line with Liberace. When he appears at WM, he will not fumble his chance. Chavo Guerrero only lasted nine seconds last year and he knows he can last longer than that. Poor Jamie is interrupted by Kane as their match is next.

2) Jamie Noble vs. Kane
Jamie attacks off the bell but gets caught as he comes off the middle rope and Kane chokeslams him for the quick win. Kane takes off and that is that. King tells us the match was 16 seconds. Kane d. Noble with a chokeslam Grade: 0

- King and Cole talk about the All or Nothing match last night. JBL has paid for time tonight and will make a major announcement…next!

- We are back and JBL is joining us for his major announcement. As of last night, Shawn Michaels is no longer his employee. His people cut Shawn a huge check last night and he gets to keep his image and name. He is now financially stable and he couldn’t care less. Despite the large check, he is still wealthy and he has more money than Shawn Michaels or all of us ever will have. He hired Michaels to help make him Champion because he had a date with destiny at WM in his hometown. After last night, he had an epiphany. He realized that those goals were too small and temporal. His goals are much grander and are about immortality. He has a date to do something historic at Wrestlemania: and that is to end the Undertaker’s streak. His date with destiny is to go to WM, end the streak and cement his legacy as the greatest wrestler of all time. He is now interrupted by a very jovial Shawn Michaels. Shawn says he had an epiphany last night too. He can’t spell it, but he had one. He is no longer “Shawn Michaels: Employee of the Month” or “Shawn Michaels: Conflicted Family man”. He is the Heartbreak Kid, the showstopper, the Main Event and Mr. Wrestlemania. He has his life back and is free at last. Last month at the Royal Rumble, Undertaker told Shawn it was Hell trying to get to Heaven. As he stands here tonight, seeing Wrestlemania on the horizon, he realizes he is living Heaven on Earth. So, as far as he can tell, there is nobody better to wrestle Taker than Shawn Michaels. Since it is only a two hour show, he will stop listing his credentials and get to the point. If there is anyone who should face Undertaker at Wrestlemania, it is Shawn. JBL says Shawn has had a resurgence in his manhood now that he can pay his bills. Beating the Undertaker at Mania is his destiny, not Shawn’s. Shawn says that JBL can’t tell him what to do anymore, so he has a proposition for JBL. Next week, they fight and the winner earns the right to challenge Undertaker and his streak at Wrestlemania. .JBL accepts and Shawn says they are doing business one more time. And this time, it will be a little bit different because when he gets pushed, he can push back. When it is all said and done it will be HBK and Undertaker on the grandest stage of them all and JBL will be lucky to even make it there. As we go to break, we get a video package recapping the Orton/Shane feud, starting with his attack on Vince. Back live, Shane is prepping in the hallways as we go to break.

3) Rey Mysterio vs. Mike Knox
Rey is out as we return from break. He had a stellar showing in the Chamber last night and Cole and King discuss that very point. Mike Knox and his amazing beard are out next as this feud rages on. Knox assaults Rey off the bell and hammers away. He kicks Rey in the gut and then hoists him on his shoulder, but Rey slips free. Rey ducks a clothesline and a kick but gets crushed with a second clothesline attempt. Knox gets a near fall but misses a knee drop. Knox eats a boot on a charge but flapjacks Rey off a whip. Knox sends Rey flying to the floor stomach first as we go to break. When we return, Rey is trying to regain control. Knox catches him and plants him with a spinebuster and then drops a leg for two. Knox grabs a chinlock but Rey fights up and they trade shots. Knox plants him with a nasty tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Knox whips Rey hard into the corner. Knox stomps on Rey’s chest and gets a two count. Knox hoists Rey up and locks him in a bear hug. Rey slips free and takes Knox over out of the hold. He hits Knox with a bulldog and an Enziguri. Knox falls into the middle rope and Rey drills him with 619. Rey pulls himself up by the ropes but Knox avoids him as he comes in. He tries a springboard moonsault, but Knox catches him and locks him in the Tree of Woe. Knox slugs away and drops a nasty knee to the face. Knox, charges, but Rey sits up and Knox hits the post. Rey rolls him up and gets the win. That was a really fun match and I loved the story of an exhausted Rey just fighting to stay alive before sneaking out the win. Knox worked hard too. Mysterio d. Knox with a roll up; Grade: 2.5

- Backstage, Glamarella and Rosa are walking and Beth is giving instructions and we are going to break.

4) Beth Phoenix vs. Melina for the Women’s Championship
We are back and Melina is joining us for her title defense. Beth, Santino and Rosa are out next as Cole reminds us that Rosa helped Beth win last week. Santino looks to have some funky highlights going on. Maybe he did a bit of manscaping? Beth attacks off the bell and gets a near fall. She spikes Melina down with a faceplant for two. Beth hammers away in the corner and then whips Melina hard into the opposite buckles. Beth follows with a slingshot suplex for two. Beth locks in an armbar variation but Melina hammers free. Melina tries for a bulldog, but Beth catches her and lands a backbreaker. Beth tosses Melina to the floor and Rosa puts the boots to her. Mickie, Kelly and Candice all come out and assault Santino and Rosa on the floor. Beth is distracted and Melina rolls her up for the win. Both ladies played their best roles there: Beth overpowers while Melina sells like death. Melina d. Phoenix with a roll up; Grade: 1.5

- Cole and King talk about the HOF, reminding us that Steve Austin is leading the class. They then send us to a package announcing our second inductee…the Funks! Dory and Terry will be enshrined and we look back at both of their careers. And we find out that Dusty Rhodes will be inducting them!

- We are back and thanking Saliva for “Hunt You Down”, which was the official No Way Out theme song. You can read all about it on WWE.com right now! We then go back to earlier tonight as Cena and Edge threw down some verbal barbs, with Cena calling for a rematch and Edge ducking it. Backstage, Steph is on the phone, saying she tried to get Shane to back out. She tells whoever she is talking to that they need to hurry and get to the arena. The phone connection dies and we go to break.

- Next week, JBL and Shawn Michaels will go at it to determine who gets to challenge Undertaker at Wrestlemania…be there! Ching, ching and bling, bling as Shane-O Mac is making his way to the ring for an unsanctioned fight. He is dressed for one too, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Randy Orton makes his way out next and he slowly stalks to the ring. Shane meets him in the aisle and they slug away at each other. Shane knocks Orton into the crowd and Shane drills him with a clothesline off the barricade. Shane pulls Orton up and drops him on the edge of another barricade. Shane smacks him with a drink and then peppers him with punches. Randy clubs back and lands a knee to the gut. He slams Shane into a barricade and then drags him back and tosses him over to the ringside area. He spikes him into the announce table and then rams him into the steps. Orton clubs away some more and then tosses Shane in the ring. Randy rakes his eyes with his bootlaces and then follows with a portion of the Garvin Stomp. Orton tosses him back to the floor and follows him outside. He runs Shane’s spine into the ring apron twice but Shane makes a desperate lunge and knocks Orton over the announce table. He leaps after him and hammers away. Shane grabs the bell and bashes Orton in the head with it. Shane drags Orton to the ring and tosses him inside. Shane sits Orton in the corner and then bashes him in the back of the head with the bell. Shane puts a chair against Orton’s face and heads to the opposite corner. Before he can leap, DiBiase and Rhodes attack and beat Shane down. Orton backs them off and then finally punts Shane into next week. Orton is maniacal as Steph comes in and checks on Shane. A medic joins her as Orton clearly is lining up for the punt on Steph. More trainers come out and start to load Shane on a gurney. Orton stares at them crazily but Steph starts screaming in his ear. Orton finally snaps and drops her with an RKO! Orton looks like did after he kicked Vince and Legacy bails as Triple H comes charging to the ring. He kneels over Steph, looking quite upset as the crowd chants his name. Orton looks on and then closes his eyes and looks down. Man that was a killer closing as Steph and Shane both took the death strikes like champs. That kicked off the Wrestlemania build nicely. Hunter looks on angrily as we fade out for the night.

Final Grade: B+

MVP: Shane McMahon & Randy Orton
Runner Up: Roddy Piper & Chris Jericho
Non MVP: Jamie Noble
Runner Up: Beth Phoenix

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