United Kingdom Come
UNITED KINGDOM -- Hardcore Holly continues to play professor to the young upstart Cody Rhodes. This Monday night marked the third time Rhodes has challenged the six-time Hardcore Champion and the third time he's been taught a lesson in humility.
This week the tenacious Rhodes battled valiantly for the capacity crowd at England's Birmingham National Indoor Arena, displaying flashes of brilliance and a never-say-die attitude. Unfortunately for Rhodes, Holly's experience proved too difficult to overcome.
However, Rhodes continued his pursuit of excellence despite the odds. After suffering a harsh beating from the veteran, Rhodes gave as good as he got, scoring five near-pinfalls before succumbing to an Alabama Slammer from Holly.
Has Holly had enough of schooling the rookie? Or is Rhodes' dogged determination finally earning him the respect of the Hardcore veteran?
In other developments on Raw:
Last time Santino Marella had to face Val Venis, the Italian arranged for a substitute in the form of the yuck-mouthed monster himself, Snitsky. This Monday night, though, Marella and Venis went head-to-head. The former Intercontinental Champion proved his in-ring abilities outweighed his singing chops when he defeated the former adult-film star as his "girlfriend" Maria looked on.
Anyone wondering whether or not Candice Michelle could bounce back from the loss of the Women's Championship to Beth Phoenix had their doubts put to rest Monday night. Despite losing the gold at No Mercy, Candice continues to display heaps of heart, this week defeating fellow Diva Jillian Hall. At the conclusion of the match, the Glamazon announced that the Candy-coated Diva had invoked her rematch clause. The two will battle for the Women's Championship next Monday, and Phoenix has promised to bring the Candy-coated Diva to her knees.
Plaid About You
Highlander Rory McAllister faced off against Brian Kendrick in a singles match, giving their respective tag partners the night off. Robbie McAllister and Paul London watched ringside as their partners did battle. Also observing the bout ringside was reigning World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch, who called the Highlanders the "most improved tag team of the year." As if to drive home the point, Rory slammed Kendrick to the mat and chalked up the win.
Ring of Fire
Poor Jonathan Coachman. The conniving Raw Executive Assistant can't seem to grasp how Hornswoggle outsmarts him time and time again. Still on "manny" duty, Coachman had his hands full again Monday night. Mr. McMahon's newest son had Coachman chase him down on bike, through the Divas locker room and finally down to the ring, where their explosive hijinx looked like a scene out of a Looney Tunes episode. (WATCH)
Randy Orton got off to an inauspicious start with Raw General Manager William Regal after dubbing audience members "English rogues." The British GM took umbrage and arranged three matches for the WWE Champion against his three possible Cyber Sunday opponents: Jeff Hardy, Mr. Kennedy and Shawn Michaels.
First up to make his case for facing Orton at Cyber Sunday was the "Rainbow-haired Warrior." Hardy soared several times during the match, knocking the Legend Killer on his back. As the aerial acrobat prepared to drop a Swanton Bomb onto the Champion, Cyber Sunday rival Mr. Kennedy decided to make his presence known. Story | WATCH
The Ego Has Landed
When the time came for Mr. Kennedy to tangle with the Legend Killer, the loudmouth from Green Bay, Wis., had his elevated ego shot down in flames. In retaliation for Mr. Kennedy's earlier interference, Hardy charged the ring and played some dirty Cyber Sunday politics of his own. Story | WATCH
In his third match of the evening, Orton met up with the returning Shawn Michaels, the man who put him to sleep last week with a lullaby of Sweet Chin Music. This week, HBK was determined to send the Legend Killer off to slumber land again. But with Cyber Sunday less than two weeks away, Mr. Kennedy and then Jeff Hardy had something to say about that, especially to impressionable WWE voters. Story | WATCH