Kiss of death

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March 23, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania right around the corner, Raw was a tense affair. After World Heavyweight Champion Edge leveled Big Show with a spear the week before, the two's relationship deteriorated to a point where they were ready to face off on Raw -- a match that ended with The World's Largest Athlete K.O.ing The Rated-R Superstar. Even more brutal however, The Legend Killer and his "Legacy" viciously attacked not only WWE Champion Triple H, but also his wife, Stephanie McMahon, whose unconscious body Orton kissed as a restrained Cerebral Assassin had no choice but to look on.

WWE Champion Triple H vs. Randy Orton & Ted DiBiase ends in a brawl; Orton & "Legacy" attack Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Hoping to deliver some payback to WWE Champion Triple H after he decimated Cody Rhodes the week before, Randy Orton faced his WrestleMania opponent in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match, with Ted DiBiase at his side. Triple H had barely entered the ring when the three men launched themselves at each other. Looking for an equalizer, The Game went under the ring apron to retrieve his signature sledgehammer, but was confronted by Rhodes, who had been lying in wait. The Legend Killer and his fellow multi-generational Superstars then attacked the WWE Champion, handcuffing him to the ropes.

With The Game restrained, Orton said that there was only one person who could save Triple H and that she better come out. Against the warnings of the WWE Champion, a terrified Stephanie McMahon made her way down the entrance ramp. After climbing onto the ring apron, the Executive Vice President had second thoughts and tried to get away, but her path was blocked by Rhodes & DiBiase. Orton then grabbed her, delivering a vicious DDT from the second rope. Playing further mind games with The Cerebral Assassin, The Legend Killer leaned down and kissed the unconscious Stephanie, taunting Triple H before clobbering him with a sledgehammer.

Mickie James def. Santino Marella in an Intergender Match (PHOTOS)
At the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, an appropriate number of Divas (25) will compete in a Battle Royal to determine who will be given the title of Miss WrestleMania. Santino Marella, however, was incensed that he would be denied an opportunity to compete in this match solely due to his gender. So, Raw's interim General Manager, Vickie Guerrero, told The Italian Superstar that he could earn a spot in the match by defeating Mickie James with one arm tied behind his back. Unfortunately for Marella, he missed out on his opportunity to become Miss WrestleMania after The Glamazon inadvertently knocked him off the turnbuckle, allowing Mickie to pick up the win after a quick kick.

Undertaker appears to warn Shawn Michaels; HBK addresses The Phenom from a graveyard
(PHOTOS | WATCH)
SmackDown Superstar Undertaker emerged on Raw to warn his WrestleMania opponent of what's in store for him on The Grandest Stage of Them All. The Phenom noted that while it's true that he has never defeated HBK, the last time they faced, Michaels' body was so broken that he spent the next five years recovering. Not one to be outdone, Shawn Michaels appeared, addressing Undertaker from a graveyard. HBK made it known that he isn't afraid of his match with Undertaker, and won't be intimidated. The Showstopper went on to promise that Undertaker would be the one to rest in peace.

Rey Mysterio def. William Regal (PHOTOS | WATCH)
The week before, new Intercontinental Champion JBL accepted Rey Mysterio's challenge to a match at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania with the title at stake. On Raw, the self-made millionaire gave William Regal and Layla a lift to the ring in his limo for The British Brawler's match against The Master of the 619. During the contest, the Intercontinental Champion sat at commentary, laying out his plan to experience one of the most decisive victories in WrestleMania history. Mysterio experienced a decisive victory of his own, hitting Regal with a 619 and pinning his opponent. After the match, JBL approached the ring, clapping and mocking The Ultimate Underdog, but Mysterio had the last laugh, delivering a sliding kick to The Longhorn Loudmouth.

World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Big Show ended in a no contest (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Prior to the match between World Heavyweight Champion Edge and Big Show, John Cena sent a special get well card to Vickie Guerrero and promised that he would be on Raw the following week. During the match, Edge's wife and Big Show's lover, Vickie Guerrero, looked on from ringside with her nephew, Chavo Guerrero. Upset by the sight of her two men beating the living daylights out of one another, Vickie sent Chavo in to break them up. Edge went to spear Big Show, but when The World's Largest Athlete moved out of the way, Chavo was the recipient of Edge's attack. This gave Big Show just the opportunity he needed, clobbering Edge with a knockout punch.

CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Christian & United States Champion MVP def. Kane, Mark Henry, Finlay & Shelton Benjamin (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Giving the eight participants a chance to size one another up prior to the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Christian & United States Champion MVP took on the team of Kane, Mark Henry, Finlay & Shelton Benjamin. Sending a clear message to the other ring warriors, Christian pinned Shelton Benjamin to lead his team to victory. But his celebration was cut short as another ECW Superstar, Finlay attacked, clearing the ring with a ladder.

Jeff Hardy def. Dolph Ziggler in an Extreme Rules Match (PHOTOS)
In just a matter of weeks, Jeff Hardy will face his brother Matt in a contest at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, contested under Extreme Rules. In an effort to show his devious brother just what's in store for him, The Charismatic Enigma competed in an Extreme Rules Match against the ambitious Dolph Ziggler. However, Ziggler's aggression wasn't enough to stand against the relentless assault of Hardy, who picked up the win. Afterward, Hardy promised his brother that what he just saw wasn't extreme, but their match at WrestleMania will be.

Ric Flair accepts Chris Jericho's challenge on behalf of Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka & Ricky Steamboat; Jericho attacks Flair, prompting Jerry Lawler to challenge Jericho to a match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Raw was opened by none other than WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, accepting Chris Jericho's challenge to a 3-on-1 Handicap Match at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania on behalf of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Ricky Steamboat. Additionally, The "Nature Boy" announced that he would be watching all of the action from the WWE Legends' corner. ‘Naitch was then interrupted by Chris Jericho, who, continuing to kick dirt on Piper, Snuka, Steamboat and Flair himself, announced his intention to beat and humiliate the WWE Legends.

The "Nature Boy" had other ideas, and began describing how he imagined the night going, but was interrupted by a vicious punch from Jericho. The first-ever Undisputed Champion proceeded to brutally beat Flair, smashing him into the steel stairs, tearing his suit off of him and even destroying the gold watch given to 'Naitch by Shawn Michaels after WrestleMania XXIV . Later in the show, fed up with the complete lack of respect Jericho has shown toward the WWE Legends, Lawler challenged the first-ever Undisputed Champion to a match on the next Raw.

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