Forgive, don't forget
ST. LOUIS -- Less than a week before Unforgiven, the participants of the World Heavyweight Championship and ECW Championship Scrambles faced off in over-the-top-rope Battle Royals. In addition, Raw was the site of several shocking returns, including Randy Orton, Candice Michelle and the high-flying Rey Mysterio.
Back from Hell
At the beginning of the night, the still-injured Randy Orton appeared in his hometown to belittle Raw's champions, drawing World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk out to the ring. After their exchange, two of Punk's Championship Scramble opponents, Kane and JBL, made their presence known, boasting of their chances at Unforgiven. They were interrupted by another Scramble competitor, however, when Batista made his way to the ring, gunning for the Big Red Monster, who had brutalized The Animal's friend, Rey Mysterio. Afterward, he turned his attack on the Straightedge Champion and the self-proclaimed "wrestling god," spearing them both. (WATCH)
All four men faced off later in the night in a Battle Royal meant to feature all five competitors, but Rey Mysterio was still missing. Though Punk performed well, eliminating Batista and JBL, the ferocity of Kane was too much for the World Heavyweight Champion. After Punk was thrown from the ring, he had another confrontation with Randy Orton, dousing the Legend Killer with water. Meanwhile, Kane's victory was interrupted by Rey Mysterio's familiar entrance music, as the Master of the 619 ran straight for the ring and dismantled the Big Red Machine. (WATCH)
In the ring together for the first time since Chris Jericho inadvertently punched Shawn Michaels' wife, the two Superstars met to sign the contract waiving personal liability for whatever might happen in their Unsanctioned Match at Unforgiven. HBK and the first-ever Undisputed Champion shared harsh words, promising to do heinous things to one another on Sunday night. Hoping to get the jump on his former teacher, Lance Cade rushed the ring, but was caught by the ever-alert Michaels, who proceeded to viciously batter Jericho's protégé. HBK's assault was so aggressive and intense that he severely injured his arm, jeopardizing his match at Unforgiven. (WATCH)
Raw goes extreme
As part of a cooperative effort between Raw General Manager Mike Adamle and ECW GM Teddy Long, ECW Champion Mark Henry and his four Championship Scramble opponents also competed against one another in a Battle Royal. The World's Strongest Champion showed why he deserves to have the coveted title around his waist as he eliminated Chavo Guerrero, The Miz, Finlay and Matt Hardy, to victory. (WATCH)
Killer pep talk
In his address at the beginning of the night, Randy Orton also took aim at World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, saying that a better name for the "priceless" Superstars would be "worthless," since they allowed two "thugs" to steal their titles. Later, in the locker room area, the champions confronted the Legend Killer, who slapped Rhodes and encouraged both young Superstars to take some action and "grow a set."
Later, Cryme Tyme and The Miz & John Morrison prepared to face one another in a tag team match -- a result of the rivalry seen on their programs on WWE.com: "Word Up" and "The Dirt Sheet." Before the four Superstars could even make it into the ring, World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase took Orton's advice, brutally attacking Cryme Tyme and taking back their stolen titles.
All eyes on her
Though Orton is still recovering from his injuries, former Women's Champion Candice Michelle appeared on Raw fully healed and ready to go. The returning Diva worked together with Mickie James & Kelly Kelly to take on the team of Women's Champion Beth Phoenix, Jillian & Katie Lea Burchill. In spite of The Glamazon's boasts about her strength and power, Candice led her team to victory by pinning Phoenix, the woman who injured her months ago. (WATCH)
Though one-half of "Glamarella" had difficulties securing a win on Raw, Beth Phoenix's beau, Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella, tasted victory in a match against D-Lo Brown, as he commenced the countdown to breaking Honky Tonk Man's record for longest Intercontinental Title reign, with only 62 weeks to go.
The who is here?
When John Cena's entrance music played in St. Louis, the crowd's response was one of surprise and excitement, since the former WWE Champion had just undergone successful emergency surgery for a herniated disk in his neck. They were even more surprised when they saw who was wearing Cena's signature gear: Charlie Haas. Though the former WWE Tag Team Champion continued his trend of dressing up like other Superstars, Cena's moves and appearance weren't enough for him to defeat the Jamaican Superstar, Kofi Kingston.
As Layla looked on, Jamie Noble competed against William Regal. Though the 2008 King of the Ring was in brutal form, Noble shocked and impressed the beautiful Diva at ringside by rolling Regal up for the pin.