March 31, 2009
Justin Rozzero

Monday Night Raw 3/30/09
American Airlines Center
Dallas, TX
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

- We fade up live into the arena garage where a hearse is backing in and the Undertaker’s music is playing. We quickly transition to our opening animation and then head inside the American Airlines Center as we are just a scant six days away from Wrestlemania. Michael Cole welcomes us to Wrestlemania Week and we find out that the Undertaker will hold a funeral for Mr. Wrestlemania tonight.

1) Melina, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Eve Torres, Tiffany, Kelly, Gail Kim, Maria & Mickie James vs. Jillian Hall, Nikki Bella, Layla, Katie Lea, Beth Phoenix, Maryse, Rosa Mendes & Michelle McCool
Team Melina hits the ring for this 18 Diva tag match to help pump up the Diva Battle Royal on Sunday. Mickie and Jillian start things off and Jillian takes control early, but Mickie fires back with a Thesz press. Mickie tags in Tiffany, who grabs a wristlock. Jillian hammers out and tags in Beth. Tiffany lands some punches, but Beth shoots her into the corner. She eats a back elbow on a charge but takes Tiffany down with a flapjack. Katie Lea tags herself in, but Tiffany quickly rolls her up and gets the easy win! Team Melina d. Team Maryse when Tiffany pins Katie Lea with a roll up; Grade: 0

- As soon as the bell sounds, we are joined by Santino Marella. He comes out in a bathrobe and struts to the ring. He says he went above Vicki’s head and to President Jack Tunney. Apparently, he passed away years ago, but he will be heard. He is an equal rights pioneer like Gloria Steinem and Davey Crockett. He is going to have an in ring swimsuit exhibition to show top show he is more dominant than all the other Divas. After this over, they can all go back to the kitchen and cook him up a calzone. Santino now unleashes the mankini, which is basically Borat’s bathing suit with a little more material. He dances a bit, but Beth isn’t very happy. All the Divas pile on Santino and beat him down and then toss him over the top and to the floor. Santino, Beth and Rosa head off and we join Cole and King at ringside to talk about the Orton/Triple H war that will occur on Sunday. We then go back to last Monday to watch a dramatic video of the Orton assault on the Helmsley family. Randy Orton will address us all tonight. The King’s music fires up and is headed to the ring as we go to break.

- The Just for Men Rewind replays Chris Jericho’s vicious beating of Ric Flair from a week ago.

2) Jerry Lawler vs. Chris Jericho
When we return, the King is in the ring as we are all joined by the Legend Abuser Chris Jericho. The bell sounds and the crowd is pulling for the King. King pushes Jericho into the corner but Jericho shoves him off. King starts hammering away with right hands and then pushes him into the corner and starts yelling at him. Jericho nails a cheap shot around the ref and then puts Lawler down with a clothesline. He follows with some boots and then he chokes Lawler over the middle rope. Jericho paintbrushes King and then sends him down with a back elbow. Cole runs down all of Jericho’s recent transgressions as Jericho keeps clubbing at Lawler’s head. Lawler reverses a whip, but Jericho nails him with another elbow. King comes back with a punch to the gut and the straps have come down! The right hands are flying and King follows with a mare and more punches to the head. Jericho begs off, goes low and takes Lawler down. Jericho locks in the Walls and King taps quickly. Jericho d. Lawler with the Walls of Jericho; Grade: .5

- Jericho comes back in the ring and pulls Lawler up, but King slugs him to the floor with a right hand. Jericho grabs a mic and says he won’t get back in the ring because he has already won. He says that will beat Steamboat, Snuka and Piper at Wrestlemania, but he needs to decide how he wants to win: pinfall, submission or annihilation. Jericho is walking up the ramp as he talks and says that he did not start this, Mickie Rourke did with a challenge he couldn’t follow up on. Because of false bravado, three of Rourke’s friends will meet their demise. He will eliminate and eradicate them from the business. After Wrestlemania, only the name of Chris Jericho will be synonymous with Legend. 12 Rounds is out right now…let’s see what it’s all about! And then let’s take a break!

- The Toasty Torpedo Take Down takes us back two weeks when Edge and Big Show put a world of hurt on Cena, and then last week as well when Show battled Edge. Back live, the Grish is with John Cena in the locker room. Before Cena can speak, Edge saunters in. Given his opponents, the chances of Cena walking out as champion are non-existent. Grish leaves as Edge starts scheming. He says that Show has knocked them both out and that he could pick them off at will. It doesn’t have to be that way, because they could work together to take out Show and then beat each other up. If they don’t get on the same page, they are sitting ducks. Cena says it makes perfect sense, is intelligent and logical and the only way to take out Show. Cena doesn’t like Edge, nor does he trust him. He would rather lose on his own than win with Edge’s help. Neither thing will happen because he is going to Wrestlemania to become the Champion. Back at ringside, Cole is all alone and is brings Rhodes and DiBiase to us from backstage. Cody says that Orton has a lot to talk about after what happened last week, but that isn’t the reason for the address. DiBiase says the address is for the whole WWE Universe and will affect everyone. After Wrestlemania, everything we know will change forever. We cut backstage to check out the hearse as some pall bearers unload a casket from the trunk. The casket pops open and Shawn Michaels sits up. He speaks, but the audio is out and we go to break.

- Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls will be at Wrestlemania. I know because she just told us. We are live, and in Dallas and we go back to Shawn in the casket to see what we missed. It wasn’t much, just Shawn rhetorically asking if he expected someone else. The King hustles back to the desk as we are ready for our next match.

3) Rey Mysterio vs. John Bradshaw Layfield in a non title match
Rey makes his way out and he is followed by his Wrestlemania opponent, JBL. JBL said on Smackdown that he would deliver the most decisive Wrestlemania victory in history. Tonight is driven by psychology as he will beat Rey within an inch of his life so Rey knows what is coming on Sunday. The bell sounds and the two lock up. JBL boots Rey down and clubs at his back. JBL slugs Rey down but Rey comes back with a boot to the face and a headscissors takedown. JBL knocks him back down, but misses an elbow. JBL recovers with a big boot as we go to break. When we return, JBL catches Rey and tosses him over and to the floor with a fallaway slam. JBL follows out and kicks Rey around. JBL tosses him back and gets a two count. Rey fights back with some right hands and hits a seated senton off the top rope. He follows with an Enziguri but misses the 619 and JBL dodges it. He dropkicks JBL into the ropes again and nails the 619 this time. He follows with a springboard splash and picks up the win! Mysterio d. JBL with a springboard splash; Grade: 2

- We go back to Friday night as John Cena talks about his Wrestlemania goals. We then see Big Show walking as we head to commercial.

- Our Wrestlemania moment takes us back to Hartford, CT in 1995 for Wrestlemania XI. And the Monday Night Football theme is getting me pumped to watch LT/Bigelow again! Keeping with the football theme the Dallas Cowboys are in the house tonight and even Michael Irvin was on parole long enough to join us!

4) John Cena vs. Big Show
We are immediately joined by John Cena, who emerges to a humongous pop from the Dallas faithful. Show is out next and Vicki is watching from a wheelchair in her office. The bell sounds and Show takes control with some huge right hands. He follows with a frying pan-like chop before standing on Cena’s chest. Show keeps the assault on with punches, kicks and headbutts. Show chokes Cena in the ropes and then drills him with some stiff kidney punches. Cena starts to fire back, but Show just shoves him off as Cena flies in with a shoulderblock. That was pretty cool. Show stands on Cena’s back again and then headbutts him back down after he gets up. Show misses a splash in the corner and Cena fires away at him, but Show tosses him high in the air and to the mat on another charge attempt. Show knocks Cena down in the corner and heads to the middle rope. He tries a Vader Bomb, but Cena rolls out of the way. Cena comes off the top with a legdrop and goes for the STF, but Show kicks him off. Cena rolls to the apron and Show baseball slide dropkicks him to the floor as we go to break. When we return, Cena is locked in a reverse chinlock. Show releases the hold and then stands on Cena’s ribs. Cena pulls himself up but Show grabs him by the throat. Cena blocks the chokeslam and drops Show with a DDT. Cena crawls over and fights to lock in the STF, but Show blocks it and elbow free. Cena ducks a right hand and goes for the AA, but his back gives way and Show drops him with the chokeslam for the win. Show d. Cena with a chokeslam; Grade: 2

- Edge slinks in the ring and hammers away at Cena as Show watches from the corner. The officials pry Edge off and he and Show exchange looks. We then go back to Smackdown for Shawn Michaels’ awesome Undertaker tribute. Back live, Michaels is backstage, leading the bearers and casket down the hallway.

- We are back and taking a quick look back at Show’s big win over John Cena. Back live, the Undertaker’s music is playing and the ring is set up for a funeral. Michaels’ music then plays and he walks out to the ring, dressed all in black. He stands before us as a man unafraid. The wreath, casket and procession is not for him, it is for Undertaker. This Sunday, the undefeated streak will cease to exist. They have had epic battles in the past and it has always been the Showstopper that came out on top. In Undertaker’s career, the one thing he has never accomplished is to beat Shawn Michaels. This Sunday will be no different as over the past several weeks, he has superkicked him in the face, treaded on the hollow grounds of his graves and he showed how his light will forever outshine Taker’s darkness. He has done it all without consequence or a hint of retribution. He quickly swings open the casket to find it empty. There will be no retribution tonight, Sunday or ever. Taker has said that he uses Wrestlemania to show the world what he represents. Michaels takes the fact that Taker doesn’t think he can end the streak as a personal insult. He is Mr. Wrestlemania and this Sunday, every moment over the past 24 years will pale in comparison to what he achieves. The next day, they will talk about who won the World and WWE Championships, speak of legends and ladders and 70,000 people, but the one moment that will last a lifetime will be when Shawn Michaels pins Undertaker at Wrestlemania. The gong tolls and the lights go out. When they come back on, Taker is in the ring, but Shawn is long gone. Taker starts destroying the funeral set up, showing his frustration yet again. Taker slowly turns his head and looks at the closed casket. He walks over, opens the door and finds it empty. Shawn crawls out from under the casket and crushes Taker with SCM. He even tosses in a crotch chop and prances a bit before taking off. Taker pulls himself up and we go to break.

- We are back and taking a look back at the final moments of our tremendous last segment. The King believes that Michaels is in Taker’s head. We get some talk about the Hall of Fame and check out a video package highlighting Steve Austin. The King runs down the whole class for us and then tells us he will be hosting the event. Cole and King then read off the entire Wrestlemania card for the last time on Raw.

5) Battle Royal featuring CM Punk, Kane, Christian, Finlay, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin & Kofi Kingston
Punk heads to the ring and is followed by Kane as we go to break. When we come back, we get a video package on the Hardy/Hardy Mania match. Back in the arena, Shelton has hit the ring and the bell sounds as we get under way. All eight men start brawling and then pair off. Punk fights off Kane and stays alive, same for Finlay with Mark Henry. That doesn’t last long, as Henry ends up tossing Finlay. Hornswoggle starts yelling at Henry, which leads to Kane an Christian tossing him from behind. MVP and Shelton fight on the apron but Kane comes over and clotheslines them both to the floor. Kofi gets tossed by Punk and Kane does his best to fight off Punk and Christian as it is down to those three. Punk and Christian have a little mini match that ends with Kane knocking them both to the floor to win the match. Kane wins a battle royal; Grade: N/A

- Kane grabs a ladder and slides it into the ring. He sets it up, climbs it and grabs the MITB briefcase. Backstage, Rhodes and DiBiase are leading some security down the hallway. They sop and knock on Orton’s door. He emerges and they all start heading to the ring as we go to break.

- Kid Rock hits the stage at Wrestlemania…he is a cowboy, you know. I wonder if he hears voices like Randy Orton does. Speaking of Orton, we are back in Dallas and he is sauntering to the ring all by himself. There will be a big Wrestlemania press conference at the Hard Rock Café in NYC tomorrow, so check that out if you are in the area. Orton has the mic and begins to speak. At the age of 24, he became the youngest World Champion in WWE history. It was the greatest moment of his life, but it was short lived because the next night, his mentor and friend turned on him in a fit of jealous rage. We now travel back to 2004 and take a look at that fateful night when Evolution dumped Orton from their ranks. That night, everything started to fall into place. Triple H ruined his life, so he made a vow to himself to ruin his. He had to wait until he found the talent to start a group of his own. He had to wait until Triple H was more powerful than ever before. And he had to wait until triple He found something he cared about more than the WWE title. It started in January when he eliminated Triple H to win the Royal Rumble. And we get clips of that now. He earned the right to face Triple H and take his title at Wrestlemania, but that wasn’t enough. He had to raise the stakes to take everything away and destroy it, so he chose his family: the most powerful family in wrestling, the McMahons. We now get a video of Orton taking out all of the McMahons. Almost five years after Triple H turned on him, he RKO’d his wife. He knew exactly what he was doing the entire time. IED was not the reason, because he knew what he was doing. He tells the crowd to sit down and shut up before he gets pissed off. He knew Triple H would retaliate and he did. He broke into Orton’s home and took a sledge to Rhodes and DiBiase, but that was all to make Hunter feel confident and in control. That would allow Orton to attack when Hunter’s guard was down. And he did just that last week, which we also see video of. Every time Hunter goes to lock up or throw a punch, he will be looking at the man who DDT’d his wife and sealed it with a kiss. Orton talked to Vicki Guerrero and if Triple H is disqualified or counted out, he will lose the WWE title. If he shows up with the sledgehammer, it is an automatic DQ and he will be the champion. So it comes full circle, as he has taken everything from Triple H, everything except the WWE title, which will come this Sunday and when that happens, the entire WWE landscape changes permanently. In six days, his ascension to the top of the business will finally be realized when he beats Triple H. We cut backstage, where a limo flies into the garage. Orton calls for DiBiase and Rhodes and they come charging out with security. Orton says the beating won’t be fast as they will take their time. But, hold the phone…as Mr. McMahon is in the house to a massive pop. He rips off his jacket and tie, rolls up his sleeves…and looks to the back as Shane O’Mac comes out to join his pops. And they aren’t done, as they are joined by the Game as well. He walks out and joins his in laws on the top of the ramp as Legacy stands tall in the ring. The McMahon boys charge the ring and take out the wave of security that stood in their way. The crowd is digging this as they charge and Legacy meets them on the floor. All six men brawl around the ring for a bit. Orton and Hunter end up inside and the crowd is going insane as they brawl. The fight rages on as we fade out. See you Sunday at Wrestlemania!

Final Grade: C

MVP: Shawn Michaels
Runner Up: The McMahons & Legacy
Non MVP: John Bradshaw Layfield
Runner Up: Jerry Lawler

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