We are two weeks into the ‘Road to Wrestlemania’ and since the winner of the Royal Rumble was a member of the Smackdown brand, we need to find out who will face the WWE champion at the biggest pay per view of the year in wrestling. Which one of the eight men will end up facing John Cena (or whoever holds the WWE Title on April 2nd in Chicago) at Wrestlemania 22? What will happen next in the Mickie James/Trish Stratus affair? What will happen when we see the ‘unedited’ GoDaddy commercial featuring Candice Michelle? Will Shane’s son be the one to attack Shawn Michaels this week? How will Lita explain her actions from last week? How will Raw survive without Gregory Helms?
Make sure to check out Brian Richey’s detailed ‘Unlimited Report’ on the site.
We begin tonight’s show with a video package showing the importance of Wrestlemania with footage from memorable moments in the first 21 Wrestlemanias reminding us that this is where men are made into legends and ambitions are met. This year, the Road begins again and there are eight men who will contend to see who will face the WWE champion at Wrestlemania.
We are live from Atlanta, Georgia and your announcers are Joey ‘Solie’ Styles, Jonathan ‘Schiavone’ Coachman, and Jerry ‘Crockett’ Lawler.
Maria introduces out the former WWE champion, Edge who comes to the ring with Lita. We see footage from last week when Lita hit Edge with the belt to get Cena disqualified. Maria reminds Edge that Lita hit him with a belt, and Edge cuts Maria off. He says that he is pleased to announce that live, next week on Raw there will be a huge match for the WWE Title. It will be the ‘current and undeserving champion’ John Cena versus The Rated R Superstar, Edge. Edge asks if the people wonder why Edge is getting a rematch; it is because he beat John Cena by disqualification. That is a victory for Edge and that means that he gets a rematch. That disqualification happened when Lita hit Edge with the title belt. Everyone has been asking him what is going on with Lita. He says that some people think that Lita has had a change of heart. Maybe she has feelings for John Cena. Maybe Lita say that Edge was in trouble and cost Cena the match. The only person who can answer that question is Lita. Edge asks Lita why she did it, but then he pulls the microphone away and says that he is always four moves ahead of everyone. Edge says that Lita is not the issue. The issue is Edge beating John Cena and the most watched title reign in over four years will continue. The winner of the tournament will face Edge at Wrestlemania. Edge tells Maria that it means that when Edge is introduced; you don’t call him the ‘former WWE champion’. Maria says that Edge should be happy to be a former WWE champion. Lita tells Edge that she has it. Lita tells Maria that she will make it real easy. She tells Maria to take the microphone and announce Edge as ‘the future WWE Champion’. Maria introduces Edge as the ‘future WWE champion’.
Jim Duggan comes to the ring with his 2×4. Edge tells Duggan that he is going to give him two seconds, but Duggan cuts him off and tells Edge to take it easy. Duggan says that he heard Vince was looking for a special guest referee and he thought who better to call it right down the middle than Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Edge wants to know who would be better, but Duggan stops him and gets the crowd to chant ‘USA’. Edge wants to know what the USA has to do with it. Edge says that he has been making his girlfriend’s life a living hell and now he wants to be the referee. Edge cuts off Duggan before he can say that he called Lita a ‘ho’. Duggan says that he won’t say anything, but then he decides to call Lita a ‘ho’. Edge punches Duggan and then kicks him. Edge gets the 2×4 and then hits Duggan in the back and Duggan falls out of the ring. Lita backs Maria up and then she slaps Maria and then tosses her by the hair. Edge sets up for the spear, but from out of nowhere, John Cena comes out and he gets Edge and Lita to leave the ring. We go to commercial.
On Unlimited, Matt Striker says that a lot of people celebrated yesterday like it was a holiday. Some people took the day off because of the Super Bowl. Matt suggests that some people had too much to drink, or maybe they partook of ‘the pot’. Matt suggests that people celebrate Flag Day. Matt suggests that people are celebrating things they cannot achieve. They wish they can be an athlete. They wish they could be a superstar. They wish they could be smart. They wish they could be Matt Striker.
Match Number One: Kane versus Chris Masters (with Amazing Technicolor Ring Robe) in a First Round Match of the Road to Wrestlemania Tournament
Masters backs Kane into the corner and tries to punch Kane, but Kane blocks the punch and Kane responds with a series of punches. Kane with a back elbow, but he misses an elbow drop. Masters with a punch and then he goes up for the punches of ten, but Kane pushes him off. Kane with a roundhouse to Masters followed by a forearm to the back, a kick, and a punch. Masters with a swinging neckbreaker, but Kane sits up. Kane chokes Masters and tosses him into the corner. Kane charges into an elbow from Masters. Masters with Snake Eyes to Kane and then he sets up for the Master Lock, but Kane with a punch. Kane with more punches followed by a big boot and a two Irish whips and running clothesline and a side slam. Kane goes up top for the jumping clothesline, but Masters moves out of the way and Masters tries for the Master Lock. Kane with a snap mare, but Masters blocks the choke slam with a thumb to the eye. Masters tries for the full nelson again, but Kane drops down and kicks Masters. Kane punches Masters and then gets Masters up for a slam, but Masters counters and tries for the Master Lock. Kane drops down, but Masters with a rollup and a hand on the ropes for the three count.
Winner: Chris Masters (advances to face the winner of Carlito versus Rob Van Dam)
Edge is in the hallway with Lita and Vince McMahon. Vince says that there will be a guest referee. Edge suggests that Lita should be the guest referee. Vince asks Edge if Lita would be a little biased. Lita suggests that she could try to convince Vince to let her be the guest referee. Vince says that it is repugnant and repulsive that he would try to pimp out his girlfriend to get an advantage. Vince says that is admirable because he would do anything to win the championship. Vince says that he will give Edge the chance to see if Lita can be the referee. Vince will have a match with Edge and Lita against Maria and John Cena to see who will get to announce the guest referee.
Ashley is in the back stretching before she walks to the ring for her match.
On Unlimited, Todd Grisham wants to see the signs of Atlanta.
Before the next match, we see footage of Ashley calling Mickie a psycho followed by Mickie attacking Ashley in the ring.
Match Number Two: Ashley Massaro versus Mickie James with guest referee Trish Stratus
Mickie with a running back elbow to Ashley as the bell rings and then she kicks Ashley and throws her by Ashley’s hair. Ashley with an Irish whip, but Mickie charges into an elbow. Ashley with forearms to Mickie. Mickie tries for a flying forearm, but she accidentally hits Trish when Ashley moves. Ashley with a rollup for the three count. We go to commercial.
Winner: Ashley Massaro
On Unlimited, the Spirit Squad comes out with air horns and pom poms wanting to know who has spirit. They introduce themselves to the crowd before doing a brief cheer and leave the ring.
We are back with footage of the Spirit Squad during Unlimited.
Jerry talks about Unlimited and how you can watch what happens during the commercials. Jerry goes to WWE.com and makes his vote for the poll.
Trish is walking in the back and Mickie comes by and apologizes to Trish for hitting her. Mickie knows that Trish made the right call. Mickie says that she can be very passionate, but she loves Trish . . . as a friend. Trish introduces Mickie to her ‘date’ Jack. Trish and Jack walk away and Mickie has an evil look in her eye.
Shelton Benjamin is pushing his Momma and he tells her that he confronted Ric Flair and said that he would take the Intercontinental title and then he tells her that Ric called her a ‘Momma’s boy’. Shelton says that he left his phone in the locker room. She tells him that every time she is left alone there is some freak. First, it was Viscera and then Goldust. Shelton reminds her what happened to those two. He goes to the locker room. She is given a Shelton Benjamin action figure, but she turns around and it is Eugene. He says that he saw her movie ‘Big Momma’s House 2’. He wants to know if he can take off her wig. She says that it isn’t her wig. Shelton returns and he wants to know what Eugene is doing. She slaps Shelton in the head and says that she needs some oxygen. We go to commercial.
On Unlimited, Ric Flair is interviewed by Todd Grisham and wants to know what Ric Flair’s thoughts are. He says that he was there on several occasions when he won the title. He said that Evolution was created to protect him and get the title match at Wrestlemania each year. Now Evolution is gone. Flair reminds Todd that Hunter tried to end his career. Tonight, Ric Flair is going to walk the aisle in Atlanta and he will be on the Road to Wrestlemania to become the seventeen time World Champion. Ric woooos as he walks away.
We are back with a Wrestlemania Moment: Pete Rose being choke slammed by Kane in 1998.
Match Number Three: Ric Flair versus Triple H (with GameFountain) in a First Round Match of the Road to Wrestlemania Tournament
Before they lock up, Flair struts and woooos. Hunter with a side head lock and shoulder tackle. Flair with a hip toss and side head lock take down for a one count. Flair with a side head lock before Hunter backs Flair into the corner. Hunter tries to punch Flair on the break, but Flair blocks it and chops Hunter twice before punching Hunter and chopping him two more times. Hunter with a jawbreaker and then he tries to Pedigree Flair, but they are too close to the ropes and Flair back body drops Hunter over the top rope to the floor.
On Unlimited, Hunter walks around the ring while the referee counts. He re-enters the ring and kicks Flair in the ribs before punching Flair. Flair responds with chops and punches followed by a back body drop. Flair chops Hunter and he goes down. Flair with a side head lock take down and he gets a two count. Hunter sends Flair off the ropes and connects with a back elbow. Hunter throws Flair out of the ring to the floor and then he goes out after the Intercontinental champion. Flair reverses an Irish whip and Hunter goes into the ring steps.
We return to USA and Flair punches Hunter in the center of the ring followed by a chop. Flair backs Hunter into the corner and chops him followed by a punch. Flair with a punch to the abdomen. Hunter with an Arn Anderson spinebuster. Hunter punches Flair in the forehead followed by a knee drop. Hunter mocks Flair and woooos before hitting a knee drop. Flair backs into the corner and Hunter punches Flair in the head. Flair comes out of the corner and it is time for the Flair Flop. Hunter with another knee drop to the forehead and Hunter gets a two count. Flair rolls to the apron, but Hunter suplexes Flair back into the ring with a delayed vertical suplex. Hunter covers and gets a two count. Hunter punches Flair, but Flair responds with chops until he gets the advantage. Hunter with a swinging neckbreaker to Flair and Flair backs into the corner again. Hunter with a snap mare and then Hunter does the ‘Flair Strut’. Hunter gets ready for the figure four, but Flair is able to kick Hunter into the corner. Flair with a rollup for a two count. Flair chops Hunter and backs him into the corner for more chops and punches. Flair with an Irish whip, but he charges into an elbow from Hunter. Hunter goes up to the second turnbuckle, but Hunter’s head meets Flair’s boot. Flair clips Hunter twice in the left leg.
Flair goes up top and Hunter tries to slam him, but since Flair is a face, he pushes Hunter off and hits a punch to Hunter’s head for a two count. Flair with a chop to Hunter and then he stretches the hamstring and he locks in the figure four leg lock. Hunter finally makes it to the ropes and Flair releases the hold. Hunter backs into the corner and Flair punches and chops Hunter. The referee gets between Hunter and Flair and Flair with a thumb to the ref’s eye. Flair with a low blow to Hunter while the ref was not looking. Flair with more chops. Hunter with a Pedigree for the three count.
Winner: HHH (advances to face winner of Shawn Michaels versus Big Show)
Jerry Lawler mentions that he watched the Super Bowl for the GoDaddy.com commercial. Jerry reminds us that Candice will be on the Tonight Show. We see the ‘uncensored’ version of the GoDaddy commercial featuring Candice Michelle. Jerry says that you can see more at their website.
John Cena is in the locker room lacing up his boots. Maria walks in and she looks confused. Maria says that she cannot do it tonight. Maria says that they are going to lose, but Cena kisses Maria to shut her up. Maria says that she feels much better. We go to commercial.
On Unlimited, Todd Grisham is with Triple H in the interview area. Hunter is still holding his groin and his voice is a little high as he is asked about the Shawn Michaels/Big Show match. Hunter says that it does not matter who wins because he has told the world that Wrestlemania is his time. He started on the Road to Wrestlemania and it will not matter who is the champion because they will need to step in the ring with the best in the business. At Wrestlemania, the King of Kings goes back to his throne.
We see Shane McMahon ambush Shawn Michaels while Vince tried to get Shawn to hit him. Before the match begins, there is NO CHANCE that Vince McMahon wouldn’t come out to make Shawn’s life miserable. Vince says that it is Shawn’s lucky night because Shane McMahon isn’t here tonight. Vince says that Shane would come down there and kick Shawn’s butt. Vince says that he has changed his mind about things that Shawn would do in his dilemma. He says that Shawn might want to walk out on his contract, but he did not want to be sued. Vince says that he will let Shawn walk out on his contract. As a matter of fact, he insists that Shawn walk out on his contract. Next week, there will be a Shawn Michaels retirement party if Shawn signs his release. Vince says that he will not let Shawn Michaels change his mind. That appearance is mandatory. Vince suggests that since Shawn is going to retire next week, and won’t be in the main event at Wrestlemania, he will not even be in the tournament. He has been replaced.
Match Number Four: Big Show versus Shawn Michaels in a First Round Match of the Road to Wrestlemania Tournament. Since that match never happened, it is replaced with:
Match Number Four: Big Show versus Shelton Benjamin (with Momma Benjamin) in a First Round Match of the Road to Wrestlemania Tournament
Show backs Benjamin into the corner, but Benjamin goes outside the ring to talk to his Momma. Shelton hugs his Momma before returning to the ring. Show backs Benjamin into the corner again and when Benjamin tries to escape, Show tosses him into the corner. Benjamin is caught by Show and Show hits a fallaway slam. Shelton goes outside and gets some moral support from his Momma.
We return to USA and Benjamin with a thumb to Show’s eye followed by punches. Show with a chop to Benjamin in the corner followed by the Shhhh chop and Benjamin goes down. Show with another Shhhh chop and Benjamin goes to the other corner. Show with an Irish whip, but Benjamin goes up to the turnbuckle for a corkscrew splash, but Show catches him and tosses Benjamin into the corner. Show puts Benjamin on the top turnbuckle and hits a Shhhh chop. Show goes up to the second rope, but Benjamin punches Show and then drops Show on the top rope. Benjamin with the Dragon whip, but Show does not do down. Benjamin with a springboard bulldog for a one count. Benjamin with a neck breaker for a two count, but Show with a kick out with enthusiasm. Show with two clotheslines followed by a power slam. Show with a running butt splash into the corner. Show with a shoulder tackle to Benjamin, but Shelton’s momentum knocks the ref down. Shelton’s Momma grabs Show’s leg. Shelton gets knocked off by Show. Benjamin with a kick to Show’s temple and Show goes outside the ring. Benjamin from the apron, but Show with a punch to Benjamin’s abdomen. Show presses Benjamin and slams him over the top rope back into the ring. Show yells at Shelton’s Momma. The referee finally recovers as Show returns to the ring. Shelton’s Momma collapses. Show grabs Benjamin and hits the choke slam for the three count.
Winner: Big Show (advances to second round where he will face Triple H)
After the match, Show notices that Shelton’s Momma has collapsed and the referee calls for medical attention. They try to resuscitate her. Shelton sees that she is down as we go to commercial.
On Unlimited, Shelton’s Momma is put on a stretcher and she is wheeled to the back.
We are back with footage from WWE Unlimited when Shelton’s Momma was taken to the back on a stretcher.
Todd Grisham is with Carlito in the interview area. He wants to know if Carlito is worried about Van Dam seeking revenge for what Van Dam did to him. Carlito speaks in Spanish. Carlito says that what he did to Van Dam happened a few months ago. Van Dam disrespected him by eliminating him at the Royal Rumble. Carlito has a chance to go to the main event at Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania needs Carlito in the main event. If he can beat Rob Van Dam in the process, that is cool.
Time for the Smackdown Rebound.
Match Number Five: Carlito versus Rob Van Dam in a First Round Match of the Road to Wrestlemania Tournament
Van Dam chases Carlito outside the ring and he punches Carlito outside the ring. Van Dam slams Carlito’s head into the apron before they return to the ring. Carlito kicks and punches Van Dam as the bell ring. Van Dam with a jumping back kick and Carlito goes outside the ring. Van Dam kicks Carlito and then puts Carlito over the ringside barrier. Van Dam with the corkscrew leg drop from the apron and we go to commercial.
On Unlimited, Van Dam rolls Carlito back into the ring followed by a slingshot leg drop. Carlito backs into the corner and he punches Van Dam. Van Dam responds with a standing drop kick and then he puts Carlito in the Tree of Woe. Van Dam with a baseball slide into the corner. Can Dam pulls Carlito into the center of the ring and Van Dam goes up top, but Carlito rolls outside the ring. Van Dam tries for a cross body onto Carlito on the floor, but Carlito moves out of the way and Van Dam hits the ringside barrier. Carlito kicks Van Dam and then rolls Rob back into the ring. Carlito gets a two count when they return to the ring. Carlito punches Van Dam and then kicks him. Van Dam with elbows and punches, but Carlito with a kick and snap mare for a two count. Carlito with a reverse chin lock.
Back on USA, Carlito still has Van Dam in the reverse chin lock. Van Dam with elbows to escape, but Carlito with a drop kick and then he mocks Van Dam. Carlito with a two count and then he kicks Van Dam in the back. Carlito with a back elbow and a two count before he returns to the reverse chin lock. Van Dam with elbows followed by a drop kick to Carlito’s knee and a corkscrew leg drop and a somersault into a splash. Van Dam with the rolling senton splash for a two count. Van Dam with a standing power slam followed by the split legged moonsault, but Carlito blocks it. Carlito with a rollup for a two count. Van Dam with a body scissors and rollup for a two count. Carlito drops Van Dam on the top rope followed by a double jump somersault senton for a two count. Carlito with a waist lock, but Van Dam blocks a suplex attempt. Carlito pulls Van Dam by the hair and hits the lungblower, but he can only get a two count. Carlito rolls outside and gets a chair. The ref stops Carlito, but Van Dam with the Van Daminator. Van Dam goes up top for the Five Star Frog Splash for the three count.
Winner: Rob Van Dam (advances to face Chris Masters)
We see that the fans online think that Rob Van Dam will win the tournament. We will have the two semi-final matches next week on Raw.
Edge and Lita are walking in the back as we go to commercial.
On Unlimited, Victoria and Torrie Wilson (with ‘Little Billy’) come to the ring. Torrie says that since Maria is in the back getting ready to get her ass kicked, it is time for the two . . . three hottest Divas to go to the Kiss Cam. Torrie asks the fans if they want to see her and Victoria kiss. They tease it and then ‘Little Billy’ blocks the shot.
We go to an Earlier Tonight Moment when Lita slapped Maria and tossed her by the hair. We also see Maria get saved by John Cena.
Match Number Six: Edge and Lita versus John Cena and Maria in a ‘Name Your Referee’ Match
Edge tries to attack Cena before the bell rings, but Cena blocks it and Cena with an elbow. Cena with two Irish whips followed by a suplex for a two count. Cena charges at Edge, but Edge moves out of the way and Cena goes into the ring post. Edge tags in Maria and then Edge with an Impaler DDT to Cena. Edge throws Cena out of the ring and then he goes out after Cena. Edge with an Irish whip that sends Cena into the ring steps. Edge tags in Lita. Edge holds the ropes open for Maria. Maria refuses to enter the ring so Lita pulls her into the ring. Lita throws Maria down to the mat. Lita kicks Maria down to the mat and spanks her. Lita puts Maria on the rope and Lita chokes her. Lita with a boot to Maria’s back and then Lita fixes Maria’s hair before continuing the match. Lita with a knee to Maria’s head followed by an arm bar and side Russian leg sweep. Lita tries for a spear, but Maria moves out of the way. Cena tags in and hits a clothesline followed by a shoulder block and Blue Thunder Driver. Cena prepares for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Lita distracts Cena and that allows Edge to hit Cena from behind. Lita goes up top for a rana, but she hits Edge when Cena moves out of the way and Edge is sent out of the ring. Lita shows Cena her bra and Cena moves out of the way and Edge spears Lita. Cena sends Edge out of the ring and Maria tags in to get the three count.
Winners: Maria and John Cena
After the match, John Cena says that since they won, he gets to pick the guest referee for the title match next week. John says that he found someone in the back. He asked that person already and they accepted. Cena says that he will tell us right now who the referee will be. Cena says that it is the right person in case the Rated R Superstar is feeling hardcore. The referee will be Mick Foley. We go to credits.