Thick as thieves
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Though he has only been back in action for a couple weeks following his emergency neck surgery, John Cena already finds himself and his World Heavyweight Championship in the sights of some of Raw's most devious villains. Going into Raw, The Champ knew he would be facing Kane in the main event, and that in a mere two weeks, he must defend his title against Jericho. But by the end of the night in our nation's capital, three new enemies reared their heads in the form of the multi-generational Superstars Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes & Manu.
World Heavyweight Champion John Cena def. Kane; Cena attacked by Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes & Manu (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Continuing to prove that he is as strong and fearless as before his injury, World Heavyweight Champion John Cena met Kane in Raw's main event. Though Cena's Armageddon opponent, Chris Jericho attempted to become involved, The Champ managed to fight off the interloper and then go on to fell the Big Red Monster. After the match, Cena chased after Jericho, who was attempting to escape. The tables turned, however, when Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes & Manu emerged to attack Cena, allowing Jericho to lock the World Heavyweight Champion into a particularly vicious version of the Walls of Jericho.
Rey Mysterio def. The Miz to advance to the next round of the Eight-Man Intercontinental Title Tournament (PHOTOS)
Though Stephanie McMahon had announced earlier in the night that Rey Mysterio would not be participating in the Intercontinental Title Tournament due to torn ligaments in his elbow suffered at the hands of Mike Knox, the Ultimate Underdog was adamant that he be given a chance to compete. Though still suffering, Mysterio made his way to the ring, where he met an overconfident Miz. The arrogance of the self-proclaimed Chick Magnet was his undoing as the Master of the 619 made his presence known, advancing to the next round of the tournament.
Stephanie McMahon announced the nominees for Superstar of the Year
Having just recently assumed power of Monday Night Raw, Stephanie McMahon appeared before the WWE Universe to talk about the following week's Slammy Awards on a special three-hour Raw, starting at 8/7 CT. The Executive Vice President went on to announce the nominees for what is certainly the most coveted Slammy: Superstar of the Year. She went on to announce Edge, Batista, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, Triple H and John Cena as the nominees. As if that wasn't enough reason to tune in next week, all six Superstars will be competing in matches during the special edition of Raw: Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho, Triple H vs. Batista and champion against champion, World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs. WWE Champion Edge.
John Morrison def. Finlay to advance to the next round of the Eight-Man Intercontinental Title Tournament (PHOTOS)
John Morrison and Finlay faced off on Raw, with both Superstars intent on making it to the next bracket in the ongoing Intercontinental Title Tournament. Though the Belfast Brawler has managed to pull out wins in the past with the help of Hornswoggle, Finlay's diminutive son proved more of a hindrance in his match against the Shaman of Sexy. After Morrison showed aggression toward Hornswoggle, Finlay was distracted long enough for the Tuesday Night Delight to gain the advantage and steal a win, moving one step closer to William Regal's Intercontinental Championship.
Batista def. Dolph Ziggler; Batista will face Randy Orton at Armageddon (PHOTOS)
After introducing himself to countless Superstars in the locker room area and elsewhere, young ring warrior Dolph Ziggler finally made his in-ring debut on Raw. Ziggler's first outing was an intense one, as he had to face none other than Batista. Though The Animal possessed more power and far more experience, Ziggler still managed to hold his own, but it wasn't enough to prevent a Batista Bomb for the win.
Following Batista's victory, Randy Orton appeared to taunt The Animal. Unbeknownst to the Legend Killer, however, Batista had spoken with Stephanie McMahon earlier in the day, and revealed to Orton that they would be facing one another at Armageddon. As Randy Orton made his way back to the locker room area, he was confronted by Chris Jericho, who tried to make an ally of the Legend Killer based on their mutual hatred of World Heavyweight Champion John Cena.
JBL extends the deadline for his offer to Shawn Michaels by another week (PHOTOS)
JBL appeared on Raw ready for business, specifically interested in getting an answer from Shawn Michaels to the offer he made to HBK the week before. While the WWE Universe was still in the dark as to the nature of the original offer, the self-proclaimed "wrestling god" challenged Michaels to a Street Fight. Before the referee rang the bell to start the match, however, JBL clarified his offer for both Shawn Michaels and our fans. The self-made millionaire asked HBK to come work for him, bragging of his ability to make up for all the money Michaels had lost in the stock market. JBL then gave The Showstopper an opportunity to publicly refuse the offer, inviting the conflicted Superstar to give him some Sweet Chin Music right there if he wasn't interested. Michaels refrained from kicking Layfield and slowly walked away from the ring without making a decision.
Melina def. Jillian (PHOTOS)
One week earlier on Raw, Melina proved to the WWE Universe that she was fully recovered from her ankle injury, leading Mickie James & Candice Michelle to victory in a Six-Diva Tag Team Match. In the paparazzi-hounded Diva's first singles match back, however, she was faced with the agile and aggressive Jillian. With Women's Champion Beth Phoenix and her beau, Santino Marella looking on from ringside, Melina proceeded to beat her opponent, and make clear to The Glamazon her intention to win her coveted Women's Title.
World Tag Team Champions CM Punk & Kofi Kingston def. Cody Rhodes & Manu (PHOTOS)
Though they could very well end up facing one another as part of the Intercontinental Title Tournament, World Tag Team Champions CM Punk & Kofi Kingston worked together in their match against Cody Rhodes & Manu on Raw. Facing two ring warriors with such impressive in-ring abilities and lineages as the second-generation Superstars was a difficult task, but the champions proved themselves up to the challenge as Kofi pinned Rhodes for the win.
After the match, as Rhodes & Manu seethed over their loss, they were approached by a fellow multi-generational Superstar, Randy Orton. Having seen what success they achieved as a team at Survivor Series, the Legend Killer claimed it was time they begin working together.
Mike Knox attacked Rey Mysterio on his way to the ring, knocking the Ultimate Underdog out of the Intercontinental Title Tournament
With the WWE Universe cheering his arrival, Rey Mysterio began making his way down to the ring to face The Miz in the Intercontinental Title Tournament's next match. Before the Ultimate Underdog could get to the ring, however, he was confronted by the monstrous Mike Knox for the second week in a row. This time their run-in didn't stop with staring and harsh words, however, as the Desert Destroyer attacked the Master of the 619, resulting in torn ligaments in Mysterio's elbow. After recognizing that the luchador wouldn't be able to compete in the tournament, Stephanie McMahon stated her intention to find a replacement for the high-flyer later in the night.
Chris Jericho opened Raw explaining his desire to beat World Heavyweight Champion John Cena (PHOTOS)
At the top of the show, Chris Jericho made his presence known in much the same way as World Heavyweight Champion John Cena the week before, addressing the WWE Universe as he made his way through the crowd down to the ring. The difference however, was that while The Champ welcomed his fans, Jericho made pains to ignore them. The first-ever Undisputed Champion went on to explain his resentment toward Cena, stating that while away from the ring, Jericho's son grew to be a fan, not of his father, but of John Cena. Now, Jericho hopes to show his son and all of the WWE Universe what a real hero is, by beating Cena for the World Heavyweight Title at Armageddon.