Something to Prove

Tonight on RAW, Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton will compete to see who will become the No. 1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship. It will be the first ever meeting between the two, and both have something to prove with a golden opportunity on the line.

Last week on RAW, Jeff Hardy made an instant impact in his return to WWE. Hardy hadn't been in a WWE ring since 2002, but the high-flying Hardy had his fans buzzing once again when he defeated WWE Champion Edge via disqualification. Hardy was able to hit his picturesque Swanton Bomb, but before he could pin the Rated R Superstar, Lita pulled Edge out of the ring, prompting the disqualification. Can Hardy continue to build momentum and get one step closer to becoming a two-time Intercontinental Champion?

If he can, he will have to do so against one of the most athletic competitors in WWE, a proposition that both thrills and unnerves Hardy at the same time, as he told

"[Randy Orton] is a workhorse. He's a great athlete and he's very intimidating when it comes to endurance. So I'm a little nervous, but I'm also honored and I'm looking forward to the opportunity," he said.

The Legend Killer certainly hopes to bring Hardy's momentum to a screeching halt. Orton was also busy last week on RAW. Frustrated at his controversial loss to Hulk Hogan, Orton challenged a clearly less than 100-percent Ric Flair and had his way with him. Even after pinning Flair, Orton refused to let up in his vicious assault, and the referee reversed the decision, giving Flair the victory. Will Orton be able to keep his emotions in check and earn a chance to become a two-time Intercontinental Champion?

A focused Randy Orton was equally excited for the match, maintaining his cocky swagger as he offered his thoughts to

"I've always followed Jeff's career. When I was just breaking into the business, I was a fan of his work, and I still am. I think I'll definitely come out on top, but at the same time it'll be an honor to be in the ring with Jeff Hardy," said Orton.

As the two have never faced each other in the ring before, neither man really knows what to expect. However, a confident Orton declared that he would not change his approach in preparation for the daredevil style of his opponent.

"A lot of people would think that they would have to adjust their style to someone like Jeff Hardy, but I've never adjusted my style for guys that have had that unorthodox style," boasted the Legend Killer. "I've always made them adjust theirs for me, and I'd say 95% of the time I was on the winning end of things with the RVDs and the Rey Mysterios out there, because I just won't change my style -- and that's what I plan on doing tonight."

Orton became the Intercontinental Champion when he defeated Rob Van Dam at Armageddon in 2002. The Legend Killer held the gold for an impressive seven months before losing to Edge at Vengeance. Hardy shocked the world when he defeated Triple H for his Intercontinental Championship on an April edition of RAW in 2001. His reign was a short one, however, as Triple H regained the gold just four days later. You can bet that Hardy will be anxious to recapture the Championship and begin a much longer reign.

Who will become the new No. 1 Contender to the Intercontinental Championship? Tune in to RAW tonight on Sci Fi (for one night only) at 9/8 CT to find out.

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