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No time wasted
DETROIT -- Monday was a night of returns as both John Cena and Jeff Hardy appeared on their first edition of Raw after lengthy absences.
Hardy began his comeback by addressing our fans, explaining that he made a mistake and he paid for it.
"Now that I'm back," he said, "I have a lot of things to do."
Before he could announce his plans to regain the Intercontinental Championship, Raw General Manager William Regal turned off his microphone and instantly threw him into a match against Umaga. Despite being caught off guard, Hardy rose to the challenge and surprised the Samoan Bulldozer and the general manager with a victory.
Monday marked Hardy's first appearance since before WrestleMania XXIV. No doubt Hardy has expectations for at least an Intercontinental Championship on the way to WrestleMania XXV. (WATCH)
Golden "pipe" dreams
Carlito & Santino Marella entered the first match of the evening with the opportunity to win the World Tag Team Championship from Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes. Despite not seeing eye-to-eye lately, Santino invited WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper to watch from the best seats in the house at the announcers' table. Unfortunately for "Can-tino" and his partner, that wasn't close enough for Piper, who spoiled the tag team's dreams for the gold.
During the contest, Hot Rod decided to get involved, offering a metaphoric slap in the face to go along with the physical one he provided two weeks earlier. It was distraction enough for Rhodes to take advantage and pick up the victory to retain the titles.
Marella met up with Piper in the locker room later in the night, promising the Legend that he will get payback.
Lance Cade hasn't been shy about his frustrations with Trevor Murdoch and the tag teams' lack of recent success. The sun shined on Cade & Murdoch on Raw, though, as Murdoch notched the three-count to defeat Cryme Tyme in quick fashion, appearing to be back on the winning track. Murdoch sang Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" in celebration. Cade seemed to enjoy his teammate's spirit, but the mood soon changed when he took out all of his pent up aggression on Murdoch, ending the concert early and leaving Murdoch licking his wounds. (WATCH)
A week after Beth Phoenix took an apparently accidental boot to the face from Melina, the two Divas had a chance to put water under the bridge and prove they could coexist against a Playboy cover girl and the Women's Champion. But Maria & Mickie James were as hot as ever, and so was the tension between Melina & Beth.
Maria & Mickie coasted to victory after Beth left Melina's side. When Melina approached her tag team partner afterward, The Glamazon accused her of hitting her with the boot last week on purpose. Melina attacked in response, but Beth took control until Jillian and multiple referees pulled her off.
Mind games and fat lips
Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho offered his apologies to Shawn Michaels for accusing him of feigning an injury. He also gave him a chance to back out of their match this Sunday at Judgment Day. The apology turned out to be too soon, though. HBK joined Jericho in the ring, only to admit he in fact did fake his knee injury. When Y2J thought Michaels was simply playing mind games, The Showstopper backed up his confession with some Sweet Chin Music, assuring that their Judgment Day confrontation would happen. (WATCH)
Talking the talk
Mr. Kennedy was loud as ever after consecutive weeks of cutting off William Regal with his notorious antics on Raw. Kennedy defeated Snitsky in convincing fashion and is not likely to leave Regal alone anytime soon, as the Superstar is still upset he was not included in the King of the Ring tournament that the general manager won.
Our Detroit fans were lucky enough to see John Cena's first Raw since Backlash after receiving a punt in the head from Randy Orton in the WWE Championship Fatal Four Way Elimination Match. (WATCH)
Cena made waves when he confronted Regal to kick off the evening, but that ended in the main event contest between Cena and Orton. Guest referee -- and Cena's Judgment Day opponent -- John "Bradshaw" Layfield called a quick three-count to give Orton the win, spoiling Cena's homecoming. Orton's celebration didn't last for long, though, as WWE Champion Triple H got involved to spoil the party. (WATCH) Read more on this story …