WWE Raw Flashback: The first Raw of 2009 featuring William Regal vs. C.M. Punk for the Intercontinental Title, John Morrison and The Miz defend the World Tag Titles against Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston
The following is a flashback to Jason Powell's live coverage of the January 5, 2009 edition of WWE Raw. Join him tonight for live coverage of the first WWE Raw of 2013. He will also be recording a audio review exclusively for the Prowrestling.net Members. Join us on the ad-free version of the website and listen to several hours of new audio content each week by signing up via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from New Orleans, La.
[Q1] The show opened with a recap of the Shawn Michaels and JBL angle from last week, including the four-way match that led to JBL scoring the title match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view...
Lillian Garcia introduced Randy Orton and Chris Jericho. They were already standing in the ring when the announcers Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler checked in for the first time. Jericho complained that the rules of a Fatal Four-way match clearly state that it's every man for himself. He said the working relationship between HBK and JBL compromised the integrity of the match.
Jericho said he and Orton filed a formal complaint regarding the match last week. Orton said they wanted JBL removed from the title match, and asked that Michaels not be allowed to compete for the title again. Orton said he and Jericho agreed to face off on the show to determine the real No. 1 contender. Jericho stated, "We will not leave this ring until our..."
JBL's music interrupted Jericho's rant. JBL arrived in the building in a limo. Michaels exited the limo and was followed by JBL. They walked to the ring together. JBL took the mic while Michaels stared at the ground. JBL said Jericho and Orton could complain all they wanted, but he would be facing and beating John Cena at the Royal Rumble.
"You have the audacity to cast dispersion at me?" JBL said. "Knowing your two track records? You would have done the exact same thing if you had the resources." Jericho denied JBL's claim and then turned his attention to Michaels. He said he spent months saying HBK was a phony and it turned out he was right. He said Shawn's actions made him look like a prophet.
Shawn said that if there's one thing that helps him sleep at night, he personally made sure the Jericho and Orton would not fight for the World Championship. Orton said HBK could try to justify it all he wants, but he has to accept that he took a turn for the worse. "It turns out that Ric Flair's career was ended by a weak, pathetic, sellout," Orton said. Orton predicted that the result of the match would be overturned.
Stephanie McMahon's music played and she walked onto the stage. The camera panned her entire body and showed that she was wearing a skirt. So much for the "waist up" camera rule. Steph announced that the referee's decision will stand and that JBL will go on to challenge Cena at the Rumble. She said they could take solace in the fact that they are both entered in the Rumble match.
Jericho got upset and said HBK doesn't deserve to be in the match. "He should be not allowed to be in the Royal Rumble match," Jericho said. JBL said he made it clear that Shawn's soul purpose at the Rumble is to help him. He said Shawn will be in his corner when challenges for the World Title. "And that will be his only function," JBL said.
Steph said she would accept that, but she's focussed on tonight. She said it would be easy to book a tag match, but instead she wants to put Shawn's integrity to the test. Steph booked Micahels and Cena vs. Jericho and Orton...
Powell's POV: Good segment. Jericho really shined on the mic and Michaels did his usual good job of looking sympathetic. Steph looks really good. Just had to add that given how much grief she's taken over the "waist up" edict. By the way, Twilling has the night off because he's having computer issues.
The announcers hyped William Regal vs. C.M Punk for later in the show... [C]
[Q2] Highlights aired fro last week of Rosa Mendez saving Beth Phoenix during her brawl with Melina...
1. Goldust and Melina defeated Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix in 3:20. The announcers hyped the Beth vs. Melina match for the Rumble. The men opened the match, but eventually tagged in the women. After a brief, yet entertaining exchange, Melina pinned Beth. Afterward, Rosa Mendez threw her sign at Melina, who then challenged her. Rosa jumped the guardrail and locked up with Melina at ringside, but security dragged Rosa away...
Powell's POV: Good action when the women were in the ring. I'm looking forward to their Rumble match. Melina has added some flashy moves to her offense and she's clearly working harder than ever.
Backstage, Todd Grisham interviewed C.M. Punk, who said the Intercontinental Title has been "the thing to watch" for him since he's been a kid. He said his hero Ricky Steamboat had the title and mentioned others including Bret Hart. Punk said he hasn't forgotten that William Regal beat him in the King of the Ring. He said he's looking to start the new year off with a bang... [C]
Powell's POV: Nothing special from Punk. He was a little too happy go lucky and he didn't command attention. Solid opening 30 minutes.
[Q3] 2. C.M. Punk beat William Regal (w/Layla) by DQ in an Intercontinental Title match in 3:00. Punk hit the high knee at 2:40, but Regal avoided the bulldog. Punk set up Regal for the GTS, but Regal grabbed the ropes and then the referee, who disqualified him. Layla grabbed the belt and gave it to Regal at ringside.
Stephanie McMahon appeared on the big screen and said she couldn't let the first title match of 2009 end that way, so Punk would get a rematch. She said Regal would lose the belt if he was disqualified.... [C]
Powell's POV: Um, Steph, the first title match of 2009 did end in DQ since you didn't restart the match. Here's hoping the rematch lasts longer than three minutes.
Backstage, JBL said he would give Shawn a bonus if Jericho or Orton hit their finishers on Cena. He said Micahels would hit the lottery if he superkicked Cena and it led to Cena taking a punt kick from Orton. JBL said Shawn has to get over the Rumble. "I hired you, Mr. WrestleMania, to get me to WrestleMania as the World Champion," he said. JBL explained that he wants to headline WrestleMania 25 in Texas. He said it would buy Shawn financial security for the rest of his life...
Powell's POV: Great work by JBL. I'm digging this storyline more every week.
Backstage, Randy Orton told Cody Rhodes and Sim Snuka that they passed phase one. He said they would be in his group if they won their matches this week. Manu entered the picture and asked for another chance. He pointed out that even Orton lost his match. Orton got offended and asked Manu what he's ever done. Randy said Manu and his father are nothing compared to him and his father. "You will never, every be a part of my group," Orton said. He said he doesn't want to see Manu's face again...
Powell's POV: Manu's look of the week is a wild afro. Not good.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler introduced himself to Mickie James. The camera focussed on Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston walking by. Cole hyped that their tag title match was coming up after the break... [C]
[Q4] An ad hyped Triple H in Triple Jeopard for Friday's Smackdown...
3. John Morrison and The Miz defeated Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston to retain the World Tag Titles in 11:55. Before the match, Miz took the mic and complained about the fans booing them. Morrison said the murder capital of the United States had no room to boo them. It was announced before the match that Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston will be in the Rumble match. The show cut to commercial less than a minute into the match. [C] The heels worked over Kofi after the break.
[Q5] Kofi made the hot tag to Rey, who hit some flashy offense on Morrison. Kofi tumbled over the top rope while clearing Miz from the ring. Kingston came up holding his knee. Moments later, Mysterio hit the 619 on Morrison. He turned his attention to kick Miz off the apron, but jumped into a Chuck Kick from Morrison, who scored the pin.
After the match, Mike Knox hit the ring and attacked Mysterio. Kofi tried to help, but Knox gave him a shot that sent him back to ringside. Knox continued his assault on Rey and left him lying at ringside...
Powell's POV: Nice to see the heels get a clean win (at least by tag team standards). I don't care if WWE calls Morrison's kick the Chuck Kick. Morrison called it that in a recent interview and said it's a tribute to Chuck Norris, which is good enough for me.
Backstage, John Cena approached Shawn Michaels. Cena said the situation is what it is. He asked whether he was getting HBK or JBL's puppet. "I'm nobody puppet," Michaels screamed back. "As far as what to expect, what does history tell you to expect from me," Michaels said before walking away... [C]
4. Kelly Kelly defeated Jillian Hall in 4:20. Before the match, the announcers noted that Kelly's mystery boyfriend was Randy Orton, who wants nothing to do with her. Jillian sang "When the Saints Go Marching In" on her way to the ring. Jillian talked throughout the match by saying, "Watch this," and howling for the crowd at one point. After Jillian controlled the offense, Kelly hit the usual backflip spot.
[Q6] Kelly went for a victory roll, but Jillian sat down on her for a nearfall. Jillian went for a cartwheel into an elbow in the corner, but Kelly caught her with a kick to the back and then hit a Rocker Dropper for the win.
After the match, Jillian attacked Kelly until Kane's music played. Kane walked to the ring and Jillian split, leaving Kelly in the ring. Kane took the mic and said the truth finally came out in that she never liked him and was protecting Orton. Kane said Randy rejected her and asked, 'It doesn't feel good, does it, Kelly." Kane said he has a match with Orton next week. "Feel free to watch," he concluded... [C]
Powell's POV: The sexy Diva wants the pretty boy heel, who used her and said she wasn't very good. Now the ugly heel is going after the pretty boy heel, who doesn't want the sexy Diva anyway. Strange storyline.
5. Cody Rhodes and Sim Snuka defeated Cryme Tyme in 5:20. Lawler joked that the mayor gave Cryme Tyme the key to the city and then changed the locks. Ugh. Very good reaction for Cryme Tyme from the live crowd. In the end, Rhodes put JTG in a Scorpion Death Drop-like position and then spun him around into a reverse neckbreaker-like move.
Powell's POV: Apparently, Rhodes and Snuka are now in The Legacy. Yippee! I want to be excited about the faction, but everyone other than Orton looks weak.
[Q7] A shot aired of JBL walking backstage... [C] Another ad aired for Mr. Kennedy's new movie, which comes out tomorrow... Backstage, Orton congratulated Cody and welcomed him. "Sim, you're out," Orton said. Orton explained that Cody got the pin, so he's in. Sim complained that it was a tag match. Orton asked Cody if Sim had a point. "All I know is that I won the match," Rhodes said...
Powell's POV: Honestly, I'm more excited about the faction without Sim.
Backstage, Steph told Santino and Beth that Rosa Mendez is banned. Beth said she understood, but Santino interrupted and said it's not her fault that she's attracted to him. Beth thanked Steph, grabbed Santino by the back of the head, and dragged him out of the room.
Jericho entered Steph's office and asked if JBL paid her off. "Like I need the money," she said. Jericho brought up Vince McMahon. Steph said Vince has been out of the picture since the accident. Jericho said he got a call from Vince's office and was told that Vince McMahon is returning to Raw in two weeks. Jericho left the room as Steph stood there with her jaw dropped...
A shot aired of John Cena walking backstage... [C]
Powell's POV: I hope they have something special in mind for his character. I guess the latest McMahon family feud will kick in two weeks from now.
[Q8] The announcers noted that C.M. Punk would get his rematch with Regal on next week's show... Ring introductions for the main event took place...
6. John Cena and Shawn Michaels defeated Randy Orton and Chris Jericho in 17:35. Michaels and Jericho opened the match. Michaels controlled the opening minute of action. JBL walked onto the stage and the show cut to commercial with Micahels looking at JBL. [C]
Powell's POV: Nice hook leading into the commercial break.
After the break, Cena dominated Orton and went for the FU. Jericho ran in to break it up, but Michaels cut him off. Orton raked Cena's eyes to break the hold. Cena blindly hoisted Michaels onto his shoulder, but Michaels told him it was him. Nice tension builder, and the announcers immediately noted that Cena didn't know he had grabbed HBK.
[Overrun] JBL was shown watching the match from a backstage monitor, so he simply walked onto the stage only to head backstage earlier. The heels worked over Cena for a few minutes. Michaels reached out for the tag, causing Lawler to wonder what JBL would think of Shawn reaching out so far for the tag.
Later, Orton went for a dropkick, but Cena held the ropes. Cena made it to the corner and tagged Micahels, who entered the ring and looked down at the fallen Cena. Jericho charged at Michaels and got the better of their exchange. Jericho went for the Lionsault, but Michaels lifted his knees. Shawn went to the top rope and went for the big elbow drop, but Jericho returned the favor by lifting his knees.
Jericho tried to apply the Walls of Jericho, but Micahels rolled him over into a pin. Orton ran in and broke it up. Orton went for the RKO, but Cena pushed him off into a superkick from Michaels. Shawn also hit Sweet Chin Music on Jericho and scored the pin. After the match, Michaels and Cena glared at one another. Cena smirked while standing outside the ring and appeared to mouth the words, "Good job."
Backstage, Grisham asked JBL about Shawn keeping his integrity during the tag match. JBL announced that he spoke to Stephanie McMahon, who agreed to a singles match between Michaels and Cena for next week. "And just to make sure Shawn maintains his integrity, I'm going to be in his corner," JBL said. They cut back to the ring for a show closing shot of Cena and Michaels celebrating with no knowledge of JBL's announcement...
Powell's POV: A good show whenever Michaels was involved. The rest was fairly forgettable. Well, other than the big announcement regarding Vince. Next week's show looks good on paper, particularly the WrestleMania 23 rematch between Cena and Michaels.
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