The student has become the master. After suffering three consecutive defeats at the hands of Hardcore Holly, Cody Rhodes has finally managed to top the former World Tag Team Champion.
The young upstart spent months trying to earn the veteran's respect. Now, it seems, Rhodes has drawn on those experiences to overcome his mentor.
Rhodes' win comes just one day after he and Holly teamed up to challenge reigning World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch for the title at Survivor Series. While the duo lost the match, Rhodes nonetheless gained valuable ring time.
Just one day before the match, Holly spoke with WWE.com about how Rhodes was still green and how he was teaching his young partner to toughen up and kick ass.
Mr. Holly, consider those to be lessons learned.
Before Rhodes could celebrate, though, Randy Orton dropped both he and Holly with RKOs. It seemed the WWE Champ didn't appreciate having to share the spotlight on what he perceived as his night.
In other Raw action:
After another humiliation last week, compliments of Jerry "The King" Lawler, you might expect to find Santino Marella hiding out in a dark basement. But no, the hot-headed grappler challenged Lawler to a rematch. After suffering Marella's disrespectful words, Lawler pulled out the win. But Randy Orton cut any celebrating short when he dropped Lawler with an RKO, just as he had done with Rhodes and Holly.
It probably wasn't nearly as satisfying as laying out Randy Orton with Sweet Chin Music, but Mr. Kennedy would have to do. As Shawn Michaels taunted Orton, the Green Bay, Wisc., native shot into the ring and challenged HBK. After a give-and-take brawl, Michaels finally put Mr. Kennedy to sleep with Sweet Chin Music through a steel chair.
In his matchup against Jeff Hardy, Umaga appeared determined to down the man who had eliminated him the night before at Survivor Series. Just as it appeared the aerial artist would divebomb the Samoan Bulldozer again, yuck-mouthed ogre Snitsky trounced into the ring and dropped blows on Hardy. Not one to let Umaga gain any sort of advantage, Triple H shot in and helped Hardy repel the twin terrors.
Diva Four Play
In a Divas Tag Team Match, Mickie James paired with Maria to take on Jillian Hall & Melina, the woman James had pinned the night before at Survivor Series. After hitting a rough patch with Jillian, James showed why she's been on a tear lately as she laid the Kiss of Death on the tone-deaf Diva and pinned her for the three-count.
No Small Feat
The night after going face-to-knee cap with The Great Khali at Survivor Series and being rescued by Finlay, Hornswoggle appeared pumped to take on the challenge of Carlito. At the behest of Mr. McMahon, the Caribbean Bad Apple was sent to teach the leprechaun some tough love. Instead, Finlay intervened and pushed Hornswoggle over the top again.
An excited Randy Orton could hardly wait. The WWE Champion stood poised to accept a torch that he said symbolized the ushering in of the Orton era. But as he awaited the hand off of the torch, one man stood in his way: Chris Jericho. The "Sexy Beast" interrupted the ceremony and let Orton know that he's intent on capturing the WWE Championship.