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Running the Gauntlet
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- With less than a week to go before Cyber Sunday, Monday Night Raw came roaring into the Lone Star State, with WWE Superstars battling it out leading up to the one day of the year where you, our fans of the WWE Universe, are in control. Before they face off on Sunday with a referee of the WWE Universe's choosing, the two ring warriors with the most at stake, World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho and No. 1 contender Batista, were forced to run the Gauntlet, facing the same three opponents in another Adamle Original. WATCH all of the action now in the Raw Quick Cut and check out WWE.com's exclusive ringside PHOTOS.
Batista outlasted Chris Jericho in a Gauntlet Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
For the first time ever, World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho and Batista were forced to take turns competing against the same three impressive athletes in a Gauntlet Match as the other ring warrior stood in the opposite corner. The Animal was the first one up, defeating the Brawling Brit, William Regal. Not letting the No. 1 contender show him up, Jericho defeated a weakened Regal, and competed first in the next round.
The next challenger was a decidedly larger one: former ECW Champion Mark Henry. Chris Jericho hit the World's Strongest Man with his title, losing the match by disqualification. While Henry recovered from the blow, Batista took advantage, pinning the behemoth. The third and final hurdle in the Gauntlet Match was none other than the Big Red Monster, Kane. After an impressive performance, Jericho was overpowered by the Big Red Monster. But Batista quickly stepped in, defeating the 7-footer, and boasting to the battered World Heavyweight Champion, just days before their match at Cyber Sunday, where the WWE Universe will decide who will officiate the contest. Vote now!
Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase & Manu assaulted Cryme Tyme (PHOTOS)
Though World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase and Cryme Tyme both have a chance to compete in the Pick the Tag Team Match at Cyber Sunday, they were set to battle one another on Raw. Before the match could even begin, however, the champions, along with fellow second-generation Superstar Manu, assaulted their opponents. They proceeded to brutalize Shad & JTG, after which Manu raised Rhodes & DiBiase's hands in a show of their ruthless strength and ability. Vote now!
Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella and Women's Champion Beth Phoenix attacked "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella came out to the ring accompanied as usual by Women's Champion Beth Phoenix, but the Italian Superstar was oddly attired in a mix of clothing representative of the three former Intercontinental Champions he could potentially face at Cyber Sunday: "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Goldust and Honky Tonk Man. After degrading the three ring legends, Marella was interrupted by the fan-favorite entrance of "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, incensed by the Intercontinental Champion's lack of respect. After Duggan suggested that the Italian Superstar wouldn't have his title if not for his girlfriend, Beth Phoenix, Marella clobbered him in the head with the guitar he brought to the ring in imitation of Honky Tonk Man. Vote now!
The Miz & John Morrison def. CM Punk & Kofi Kingston (PHOTOS)
Both CM Punk & Kofi Kingston and ECW's The Miz & John Morrison had a chance on Raw to show the WWE Universe why they should be the ones to compete in the Pick the Tag Team Match at Cyber Sunday. It was the self-proclaimed "chick magnet" and the Shaman of Sexy that proved themselves, however, as The Miz managed to pin former World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk. Vote now!
Rey Mysterio def. Snitsky (PHOTOS)
Though he will be facing Kane at Cyber Sunday in a match type of the WWE Universe's choosing, Rey Mysterio faced another monstrous Superstar, Snitsky. In spite of some vicious pre-match threats from the yellow-toothed ogre, Mysterio proved why he is the Biggest Little Man in WWE, cutting Snitsky down to size. Vote now!
JBL def. "Stone Cold" Steve Haas-tin (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Continuing his string of Superstar impersonations in the Texas Rattlesnake's home state, Charlie Haas interrupted JBL's pompous rantings dressed as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin himself. Haas-tin paid homage to Stone Cold's legendary mic skills and promptly began his slobberknocker of a match against the self-made millionaire. JBL was able to turn things around, however, defeating the disguised Haas.
Raw GM Mike Adamle announced a Gauntlet Match between World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho and Batista; Jericho attacked The Animal (PHOTOS)
World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho came to the Raw ring with his characteristic cockiness and demanded that the WWE Universe give him the respect he believes he deserves for winning the first-ever World Heavyweight Championship Scramble as well as his recent defenses of his title. He was interrupted by his Cyber Sunday opponent, Batista, declaring that Jericho has to earn respect. Before their confrontation could escalate, however, Raw General Manager Mike Adamle emerged with an opportunity for both men to gain respect: Another Adamle Original, a Gauntlet Match in which each ring warrior will face the same three opponents of the GM's choosing. After receiving the brief explanation, the World Heavyweight Champion slapped Batista before retreating to the locker room area.
Kelly Kelly & Candice Michelle def. Jillian & Katie Lea Burchill (PHOTOS)
Jillian attempted to open Raw in a rather painful manner, with her excruciating rendition of Willie Nelson's "Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys." Luckily, Jillian & Katie Lea Burchill's opponents for the night, Kelly Kelly & Candice Michelle, were standing by to rescue the WWE Universe from the tone-deaf songstress' screeching. Kelly interrupted Jillian's solo, and even went on to pin the Diva for the win.