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Breaking the news
BOSTON -- With just weeks to go before the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, Raw rolled into Boston -- the very city that hosted WWE's biggest event in 1998 -- for a show full to the brim with shocking announcements regarding the matches set to take place on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Both World Title Matches were set on Monday night, as 2009 Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton announced his intention to challenge Triple H for the WWE Title, and Vickie Guerrero informed her shocked husband, World Heavyweight Champion Edge, that he would be defending his title against The World's Largest Athlete, Big Show.
John Cena def. World Heavyweight Champion Edge by disqualification; Edge retained the title and will defend it against Big Show at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Following a knockout defeat at the hands of Big Show on SmackDown the Friday before, John Cena was in just the kind of shape that World Heavyweight Champion Edge wanted him in for their World Title rematch. But in spite of the beating he suffered just days before at the hands of The World's Largest Athlete, Cena was in rare form, taking the fight to the Rated-R Superstar with such intensity that his victory seemed to be imminent. Sensing the danger that his title was in, the Master Manipulator Edge ended the match by disqualifying himself, preventing his opponent from regaining the title.
As the World Heavyweight Champion sat on the stage, finally thinking himself safe, he was joined by his wife Vickie Guerrero, who shocked her husband by announcing who he would defend his title against at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania: Big Show.
Cowboy Bill Watts joined the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2009
The newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2009 was announced: Cowboy Bill Watts. Watts will join "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Funks and Ricky Steamboat as they are inducted the weekend of the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. WWE Hall of Fame
Shawn Michaels def. Vladimir Kozlov, ending his undefeated streak and earning the right to face Undertaker at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania; The Phenom appeared (PHOTOS | WATCH)
The week before had seen Shawn Michaels defeat his former employer JBL in an effort to earn the right to face Undertaker at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. But there was another Superstar who harbored ambitions of ending The Phenom's historic 16-0 streak at WrestleMania: SmackDown's Vladimir Kozlov. On Raw, HBK squared off against the imposing Moscow Mauler, with the winner earning his spot on The Grandest Stage of Them All. In spite of Kozlov's superior strength and power, Michaels persevered, putting an end to his opponent's winning streak, and earning an opportunity to end that of Undertaker as well. But HBK's celebrations were cut short by the sound of a bone-chilling gong that heralded the arrival of Undertaker, who made an ominous gesture toward his WrestleMania opponent.
Randy Orton decided to face WWE Champion Triple H at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, stipulating that The Game may not touch him until then
(PHOTOS | WATCH)
Arriving with a full entourage including his "Legacy," a group of lawyers and a team of security, Randy Orton took to the ring on Monday night to make a huge announcement regarding the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. Defying the WWE Universe's expectations, the 2009 Royal Rumble winner announced that he would not be facing WWE Champion Triple H, but would instead challenge the winner of the World Heavyweight Title Match between John Cena and Edge, scheduled for later that evening. Furthermore, the Legend Killer stated his plans to press charges against The Game for his sledgehammer assault the week prior.
As if on cue, the WWE Champion himself appeared and entered the ring. Triple H taunted Orton, stating that he doesn't have what it takes to face him and even calling the young Superstar gutless for refusing to challenge him -- an act The Cerebral Assassin claims that the third-generation Superstar desperately wants to commit. Giving in to the pressure, Orton changed his mind, deciding that he would face Triple H at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania for the WWE Title, stipulating that if the WWE Champion lays his hands on him before then, that he would move forward with the aforementioned criminal charges. After The Game agreed to these conditions, it was Orton's turn to do the taunting as he described to Triple H how good it felt when he RKO'd his wife, Stephanie. Though The Cerebral Assassin kept his agreement not to touch Orton, he promised that when they meet, he'll break the Legend Killer's neck.
Mickie James & Kelly Kelly def. Beth Phoenix & Jillian; Divas Champion Maryse attacked Women's Champion Melina after the match (PHOTOS)
As usual, Beth Phoenix came to the ring in full force, accompanied by her beau Santino Marella as well as her fanatical intern, Rosa Mendes. As both Women's Champion Melina and Divas Champion Maryse looked on, The Glamazon and her tag team partner, Jillian, took on the team of Mickie James & Kelly Kelly. In spite of Phoenix's immense power and her unscrupulous associates, she was unable to score a victory as Kelly Kelly pinned Raw's tone-deaf songstress for the win. Not content to walk away with a loss, Beth & Jillian started a brawl with their opponents, drawing Melina to the ring. But when the Women's Champion was climbing up, Divas Champion Maryse pulled her off of the apron and hit the Women's champion with a vicious DDT, the culmination of the two's verbal sparring throughout the match.
Kane def. Rey Mysterio and Mike Knox in a Triple Threat Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
(PHOTOS | WATCH)
With the Money in the Bank briefcase motivating them high above the ring, Rey Mysterio, Kane and Mike Knox faced off in a Triple Threat Match with a slot in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match on the line. Though recent weeks had seen the two gigantic Superstars work together, Kane kept his eyes firmly on the prize as he pinned the Desert Destroyer to earn his spot at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. Following the match, the Big Red Monster chokeslammed his other opponent, leaving the Master of the 619 lying on the mat in his destructive wake.
Chris Jericho hosted Piper's Pit, then insulted and attacked WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Mocking the classic interview segment hosted by WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Chris Jericho held with his own version of Piper's Pit, even making use of the original set. The nefarious Superstar proceeded to show footage of the segment's most infamous incident, in which Piper brutally attacked Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, before welcoming Snuka himself to his imitation Piper's Pit. Continuing the trend established in recent weeks, Jericho insulted Snuka, going so far as to call the WWE Hall of Famer a disgrace.
Further crossing the line, the self-proclaimed "best in the world today" imitated Piper and Snuka's classic confrontation, offering "Superfly" various tropical fruits. But Jericho's arrogance once again got the better of him, as Snuka grabbed hold of a coconut, using it to threaten the first-ever Undisputed Champion and chase him from the set. As soon as Snuka began to take in the WWE Universe's adulation however, the cowardly Jericho carried out a craven attack, knocking the Piper's Pit set on top of Snuka and then whipping the Legend with his belt.
World Heavyweight Champion Edge will defend his title against John Cena
Raw opened with a huge announcement for later in the night. As decreed by Raw interim General Manager Vickie Guerrero, just days after his knockout defeat at the hands of Big Show, John Cena would be awarded his rematch against World Heavyweight Champion Edge, with the title on the line.