WWE RAW Rewind: The Ayatollah Strikes Back

Ron JohnsonSenior Writer IDecember 1, 2008

Tonight's RAW was all about momentum. With the Slammy Awards on the horizon next week, and Armageddon around the corner, the superstars of RAW had to find ways to step up and gain some ground on their potential opponents heading into the final stretch of 2008.

With that, here's what happened on tonight's RAW broadcast.

No Guts, No Glory

One of tonight's biggest stories was the fight to become the #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship. While William Regal was away on business, his associate Layla took it upon herself to oversee all aspects of the tournament. But if anyone knows Layla, she will do whatever it takes to make it easy for her King to stay the Intercontinental Champion.

With The World Tag Team Champions already advancing to the semifinals, it was now time for another tag team to try to make it a clean sweep. The Dirt Sheet were in separate matches with John Morrison advancing with an impressive win over The Fighting Irishman Finlay. But his partner...not so lucky.

The Miz was slated to face Rey Mysterio to start off competition tonight, but thanks to Mike Knox, Mysterio's chance to compete was thrown in question. As Mysterio attempted to fight off Knox, he suffered torn ligaments in his right elbow during the battle. Layla tried to lobby for Mysterio to be eliminated due to injury from the tournament, proving she'd do anything for her King.

Stephanie McMahon was inclined to agree with Layla...but Mysterio, however was not. As the night began to draw to a close, The Miz figured he would get a free pass into the next round. But Mysterio had other plans in mind. Despite having only one arm to work with, Mysterio did enough to get the victory and advance to the final four.

So the stage is set for next week: Kofi Kingston will face Rey Mysterio while John Morrison will renew an old rivalry when he faces CM Punk. The winners face each other for the #1 contendership.

The Price of Fame and The Reward of It

JBL finally admitted his offer to Shawn Michaels tonight. It was supposed to be a street fight between the two, but Layfield instead gave him an offer it looked he couldn't refuse: Come work for me. In a way to show that he is a businessman all the time, the Longhorn Loudmouth offered Michaels a way to ensure his family's future.

But instead of fighting and kicking Layfield's teeth down his throat, the Heart Break Kid just hung his head and walked out of the ring.

In other WWE news, Stephanie McMahon came out to unveil the nominees for the WWE Slammy Superstar of the Year Award for next week's Slammy Awards. The nominees are: WWE Champion Edge, Jeff Hardy, Batista, Chris Jericho, Triple H and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena.

She also made three huge matches for next week's historic RAW broadcast: Chris Jericho from RAW will face Jeff Hardy from SmackDown!, Triple H from SmackDown! will face RAW's Animal Batista, and in an epic main event it will be champion vs. champion as WWE Champion Edge will represent SmackDown! when he faces RAW's World Heavyweight Champion John Cena!

Strength In Numbers Leads To One Fallen Champ

Chris Jericho spent the entire evening in a business suit as a way to motivate other superstars to join his campaign in the exile of John Cena from RAW. He first lifted a ban he placed on his five-year-old son, who is shockingly enough a John Cena fan. He then went on try to coerce Kane into crippling Cena in their match tonight. But Kane gave him a stern warning instead: Don't come see me again.

Jericho then tried his persuasion on Randy Orton. Orton was already having a busy night when he decided that instead of fighting against the remaining members of Priceless, he would join them and form a dangerous union. Orton also found out that at Armageddon, he would face The Animal in an Evolution Showdown four years in the making. He brought up some valid points to the Legend Killer in the fact that Orton's injury return was overshadowed by the return of Cena from injury.

So as Cena fought off interference from Jericho, he countered the chokeslam into an FU to pick up the win and then turned his attention to an escaping Jericho. But the duo of Cody Rhodes and Manu came out and turned up the intensity...but it was Orton that proved to be the equalizer. After Orton dropped a devastating DDT off the entranceway, Jericho landed a few shots before he locked in the Walls of Jericho as RAW drew to a close.

Conspicuous by their absence in the end were Kingston and Punk, who defeated Rhodes and Manu earlier that evening, and Batista, who dropped the bombshell to Orton about their epic battle at Armageddon. Will the three men who didn't make an appearance at nights end try to get another ounce of redemption on the three men who are determined to rid RAW of them once and for all?

Stay tuned next week to find out.

Next Week: It's a Special Three-Hour Broadcast of RAW as it's the return of the WWE Slammy Awards! Plus, three huge matches are already set for next week's RAW as SmackDown!'s Jeff Hardy, Triple H and WWE Champion Edge will lock horns in singles competition to face RAW's Chris Jericho, Batista and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena!