Entertaining build up for Mania, though Criss Angel was god awful.
The Undertaker starts off the show, to a tremendous pop. He says Shawn has a dark cloud that now hovers over him, unable to be shaken and that Shawn's obsession of ridding the cloud will result in him paying the ultimate price. Taker says it brings him no joy in saying this, but there will be no sense of triumph at Wrestlemania, and in three weeks he will rest in peace. Shawn interrupts and says The Undertaker hasn't earned the right to get the last word in. Shawn claims Taker gave him no choice but to cost him the title, and thinks Taker fears him. Taker says if he were Shawn, he would choose his next words very carefully. Shawn refuses to back down and says Taker knows how close Shawn came last year. Taker says he can't tell if he's looking at a man who exudes confident or has pitiful desperation. Shawn says last year he would have taken anything to get the victory, and wants this year to be no holds barred. Fantastic segment, these two continue to conduct magnificent promo's with one another.
Kelly&Gail Kim&Eve Vs Maryse&Alicia Fox&Katie Lea. Better than most of the crap on raw, but that's not a compliment. Eve is improving, and wins with an arm submission hold?.
To no one's surprise, Hornswoggle is with Criss Angel backstage who is joined by The Bella's, who want to be his assistant. They ask to at least see a demonstration. He pulls a thread off one of their suits, and puts it in his mouth and pulls it out his eye. Jillian shows up, and Criss makes her disappear. Terrible segment.
Miz&Big Show Vs Morrison&Truth. Nothing more to advance a storyline here, and pretty pointless if you ask me.
Cena is interviewed by Josh Matthews, who asks Cena if he expects Batista to get involved. Cena says he doesn't expect it, he's counting on it. Short, but intense.
Criss is in the back with Evan Bourne, who has match against Regal to qualify for Money In The Bank. Some nonsense I honestly didn't pay attention too with Regal and Angel.
Handicap Match. Legacy Vs Randy Orton. Orton attacks Legacy before the match. Pretty good stuff here, with the crowd completely behind Orton, chanting "Randy, Randy" Loudly. Match wise it's pretty solid, and it set up Orton's face turn nicely. Legacy wins, and mocks Orton in the end, with his old pose.
Josh catches up with Batista. Dave says Cena is just paranoid and well not get involved. He also says Cena needs a confidence booster. OK than...
1 1/2 /5
Triple H is out. Trips says he kinda respects Sheamus for what he pulled, and that if someone cost him the WWE title, gave him a concussion he'd wanna do the same thing. Sheamus interrupts and says he'll make his statement against Triple H at Wrestlemania, and asks Trips if he has the guts. Trips says Sheamus has had a hell of a 1st year, and that he might have had the best 1st year, then anyone in the business, but says he's never been to the big dance, and until he wins one he hasn't accomplished a thing. Trips says he was once where Sheamus was at, wanting to pick a fight with the biggest dog in the company, and in the end he got humiliated|Warrior reference perhaps at Wrestlemania 12?| and also mentions that anyone who's faced him at Wrestlemania, has gone onto stardom, just ask Batista and John Cena. Sheamus goes to attack Trips, but Trips gets the better of him. Solid stuff with what little they had to work with.
More pointless stuff with Criss Angel, only with Santino, Yawn.
Money in the Bank Qualifier.
Evan Bourne Vs William Regal. Christian is out for commentary, along with his rookie Heath Slater. Way too short to make an impact, but Bourne wins with the shooting star press. Bourne in MITB= money!.
John Cena Vs Vince McMahon. Vince says Cena has to run the gauntlet before getting to him. Out is Kozlov 1st, then McIntyre and Swagger. After a handful of damage, Vince tries to persuade Henry, to only limited avail, while Kofi tries to come to Cena's aid. Batista is predictably out, while Cena has a failed comeback bid. He hits a spear, then a Batista bomb, while Vince covers him, and that's all she wrote!. Disgusting, but advanced the storyline beautifully.
2 1/2 /5
Bottom line. Nothing classic match worthy wise, but the storyline buildup is incredibly solid, and the Taker and HBK interaction was gold!. Criss Angel stunk up the screen, but that's what the fast forward button is for. Recommended
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