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Crime against nature
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- With Extreme Rules only days away, WWE Superstars should have been conserving their energy, and resting up for the maelstrom their bodies are about to go through. But on Raw, things got extreme early, as Big Show manhandled John Cena, Santino Marella was covered in slop, and most distressingly, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair was on the receiving end of one of WWE Champion Randy Orton's infamous punts.
WWE Champion Randy Orton def. WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair in a "Fight to the Finish" (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Not all of the Raw action took place in the arena, as one of the evening's most anticipated battles took place in the parking lot. Earlier in the evening, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair challenged WWE Champion Randy Orton to a "Fight to the Finish," as a way of competing against "The Viper" without dishonoring his official retirement from the ring. It appeared that The Dirtiest Player in the Game would live up to his moniker as he took control of the contest, wailing on Orton and bringing him back into the arena. Once there, ‘Naitch continued to attack The Legend Killer and even applied his legendary Figure-Four Leglock.
But as Flair applied pressure to Orton's legs, The Legacy attacked, brutalizing the Hall of Famer before locking him inside the steel cage with the recovered Legend Killer. Though Batista tried to honor his friend and mentor's request to let him handle Orton on his own, the sight of Flair with The Viper at his throat was too much, and lured The Animal down to the ring. As The Animal struggled to get inside the cage, his Extreme Rules opponent, Orton, first leveled Flair with a thunderous RKO and then finished off the Legend with one of his trademark punts to the skull as Batista looked on in a primal rage.
Santino Marella vs. Miss WrestleMania Vickie Guerrero ended in a no contest (PHOTOS | WATCH)
In a rare intergender singles match, Santino Marella faced off against his twin sister "Santina's" Extreme Rules opponent, Miss WrestleMania Vickie Guerrero. Though the Raw General Manager was initially reluctant to face the Italian Superstar, she was convinced by Matt Hardy and William Regal that their plan would pay off in spades. After Vickie came to the ring with two buckets of slop (a reference to her and Santina's impending Hog Pen Match), Santino retrieved one and began to threaten the GM with it. Meanwhile, William Regal and Matt Hardy rushed to Vickie's aid, storming the ring with ill intentions. But as they crept up behind the Italian Superstar, Santino whirled around, dousing Regal in the slop. Enraged, the two devious Superstars attacked Santino, giving Vickie an opportunity to cover him with the contents of the second slop bucket.
Kofi Kingston def. MVP to become the new United States Champion (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Though all of the WWE Superstars are tremendously talented athletes, it is rare to have a championship match where the two ring warriors respect one another as much as Kofi Kingston and MVP. After exchanging some competitive words in an interview prior to the match, The Ballin' Superstar went to defend his United States Title against Kingston's controlled frenzy. In a clean match, The Jamaican Superstar defeated MVP, becoming the new United States Champion in the process.
John Cena & Chavo Guerrero def. Big Show & The Miz (PHOTOS | WATCH)
With his randomly selected partner, Chavo Guerrero, in cahoots with Big Show, John Cena faced The World's Largest Athlete & The Miz in what amounted to a handicap situation. The former World Heavyweight Champion did manage to win the match, but certainly not in the way he would have liked after being unable to use the STF maneuver on his Extreme Rules opponent, Big Show. While Cena attempted to recover from an attack at the hands of The World's Largest Athlete, The Miz refused to tag in his partner to finish the job. Infuriated, the 7-footer laid out the self-proclaimed "chick magnet" with a punch to the back of the head, at which point Chavo Guerrero leapt into action, pinning Miz for the win.
Following the match, Cena attempted to fight off his nemesis, but Big Show was too much for him, sealing the deal with his devastating Cobra Clutch Backbreaker.
Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito & Primo def. Matt Hardy & William Regal (PHOTOS)
Though their contest on Raw was a non-title match, if Matt Hardy & William Regal had managed to defeat Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito & Primo, they would have earned themselves a title match on the following Raw. The two devious Superstars had received the opportunity on account of the assistance they had rendered to Raw General Manager Vickie Guerrero in recent weeks. Unfortunately for Hardy & Regal, however, they'll have to keep waiting to grasp that championship gold, since the Puerto Rican brothers were able to secure victory after Hardy inadvertently clobbered his teammate with his cast.
Divas Champion Maryse & Beth Phoenix def. Kelly Kelly & Mickie James (PHOTOS)
Just a week after disqualifying herself in a match against Kelly Kellty to retain her Divas Title, Maryse faced the blonde bombshell again in a match featuring four of WWE's sexy, smart and powerful Divas. The Divas Champion joined forces with Beth Phoenix to take on Kelly and the fan-favorite Mickie James. With some assistance from The Glamazon and Rosa Mendes, Maryse pinned her rival, Kelly Kelly, to pick up the win.
Batista def. Cody Rhodes in a Steel Cage Match; Chavo Guerrero chosen to partner with John Cena against Big Show & The Miz (PHOTOS | WATCH)
When Cody Rhodes won a coin toss between himself and Ted DiBiase, he didn't realize that his prize was a brutal beating from Batista. Despite The Animal's massive size putting him at a disadvantage when attempting to escape a steel cage, Batista dominated the second-generation Superstar, securing victory as his Extreme Rules opponent, Randy Orton looked on from outside the cage.
Meanwhile, Vickie Guerrero consulted with Chavo Guerrero and Big Show in her office. Raw's General Manager had decided to pit The World's Largest Athlete & The Miz against Big Show's Extreme Rules opponent, John Cena, and a randomly selected Superstar. Though the 7-footer was reluctant to team up with the annoying Miz, the tables turned in his favor when Cena's partner was revealed to be none other than Vickie's nephew, Chavo.
Cody Rhodes won a coin toss to face Batista in a Steel Cage Match; WWE Champion Randy Orton accepted WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair's challenge to a "Fight to the Finish" (PHOTOS)
As announced earlier on WWE.com, mere days before his Steel Cage Match against WWE Champion Randy Orton at Extreme Rules, Batista was set to face one of "The Viper's" minions on Raw, also in a steel cage. To determine who would take on The Animal, Orton flipped a coin between Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. It was Rhodes who won the toss, eagerly accepting the opportunity to do some damage to his leader's nemesis.
The Legacy was then joined in the arena by WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. Since ‘Naitch is prohibited from competing in an actual match, The Dirtiest Player in the Game wanted to face The Legend Killer to a "Fight to the Finish" in the parking lot, a challenge which Orton readily accepted.