Tonight we started off with a boxing like press conference with Triple H, John Cena and Randy Orton squaring off. The verbal spats on this one were a bit off and it really didn’t do much to build on this match. Orton still is the odd man out in this situation and that’s bad for him being the champ. I feel this match is going to hurt Orton as no one likes him as champ now, and with Cena and Triple H no one will care about him at Mania. Orton still has a future as a champion, but this match is only going to postpone his potential greatness as champ. This will only add negative press to him as many have questioned his reign. Hopefully he will find a way to make his mark, but he will be dwarfed by the super-stardom of Cena and H. At least he had the final word by RKO’ing both men tonight.
This would lead to a tag match with Cena and Triple H going against Kennedy and Orton. William Regal put this one together to have a little conflict with team mates who do not like each other. Kennedy let Orton know if he won money in the bank he was coming for the champ that night at Mania, so him and Orton had some beef. This match would see H and Cena win, but not without some controversy. It looked like Triple H was ready to jump Cena at the end, but during the stand off Kennedy put the Mic Check on Cena as Triple H watched and did nothing.
Jericho tonight qualified for Money In The Bank by defeating Jeff Hardy. This match started a little slow and sloppy, case in point the cross body attack off the ropes by each man. It eventually picked up at the end as both men became comfortable in the ring together. Jericho is another good addition to the MITB match has he is also a good high flier. We shall see if this breeds into anything between these two. I doubt it as it almost seemed like Jericho was showing respect to Hardy at the end of the match. Either way these two will bring excitement to the match at Mania.
HBK tonight accepted Rick Flair’s challenge to face each other at Mania after HBK beat Lance Cade. This has been rumored and tonight confirmed it. This is a good choice as I really don’t see anyone else on the roster who would be worthy enough to end Flair’s career. Plus with HBK being his good friend this is the best way for Flair to go out. On a side note, it looks like this may be the start of Cade going solo. He didn’t look to bad up against HBK, so we shall see what his future will be.
Tonight we also had some announcements for Mania weekend. First, the great Samoan legacy in wrestling will be honored at the Hall of Fame with Peter Mavia and Rocky Johnson going in. Of course this brings the Rock back into the picture as he will induct his Father and Grandfather. With Flair also going in, this will make the HOF one hot ticket with all the big names so far announced to be there. It’s also great these two men will be honored as they are part of the great Samoan legacy that has given so much to wrestling over the years. Can we see a DVD soon on the legacy of Peter Mavia. Here’s saying it should be out after Mania sometime.
Also announced was the eye candy match of Maria and Candice up against Beth Phoenix and Melina. Not much to talk about here, but it should be a good match anyway. Three of these ladies are not to bad in the ring. Can you guess which one will lookout of place?
Other matches tonight saw the World Tag champs of Rhodes and Holly take on Carlito and Santino Marella. Things keep getting bad for poor old Santino, as he and Carlito lost again. And Santino got upset at Maria for leaving ringside to talk to Jerry Lawler about her Playboy spread. It looks like the beginning of the end for these two.
And Umaga make a quick exit of DH Smith’s return to TV. It looks like Umaga will find himself up against Batista at Mania. Regal mentioned a challenge by Vickie Guerrero to have a Raw versus Smack Down match. Regal mentioned Umaga and since Batista does not look to be involved in any program he would be the logical choice. Most likely we will find out on Friday who Smack down will send.