For seven weeks, Randy Orton mocked Mick Foley. He called him a coward. He discredited Foley’s status as the Hardcore Legend. His claims were so strong and so loud that even Foley’s friends began to wonder if Orton was telling the truth. On RAW, it became clear that Orton’s efforts did not put to rest the legend of Mick Foley … all Orton did was awaken a raging beast. Now Mick Foley was back, but this time he had hatred in his heart. And if Orton and Evolution thought they had their hands full the last time Foley was around, they may have been in for the shock of their lives.
In an outburst reminiscent of the Mick Foley from several years ago, Foley called Orton’s claims of Hardcore Legend status “one big pile of crap,” and proceeded to back up his words with actions … namely, Foley took on Orton, Ric Flair and Batista, forcing all three from the ring with a steel chair. As they retreated up the ramp, the looks on the faces of the Evolution members said one thing – the Hardcore Legend had returned.
While Foley did not make his intentions clear as to whether he would again compete in the ring, it was clear that he would stop at nothing to defend himself from all of Orton’s verbal and psychological assaults. Foley proved that he is no coward, as Orton claimed, and appeared to be intent on taking on anybody who would try to prove otherwise.
In other action on RAW, just when it seemed as if the rivalry between Shawn Michaels and Triple H was about to open yet another chapter, a new and unprecedented twist appeared that shook the very foundation of RAW. While the two were in the process of challenging each other after their draw at the Royal Rumble, Stone Cold Steve Austin appeared and laid down the law – saying that Royal Rumble winner Chris Benoit, a SmackDown superstar, had the right to challenge for either Championship and called Benoit to the ring to make his decision. Benoit stunned the Hershey crowd by saying that he would face the World Heavyweight Champion – a RAW Superstar – at WrestleMania XX. It now appeared that the battle for the World Heavyweight Championship had three prime contenders with Triple H, Michaels and Benoit engaged. As Benoit’s appearance on RAW suggested, with seven weeks remaining until WrestleMania, anything can happen!
While Benoit seemed to be in all of his glory after his performance at Royal Rumble, one man who did not share Benoit’s joy was Eric Bischoff, who was fuming after a SmackDown superstar won the Rumble for a second consecutive year. On RAW, Bischoff’s growing tension with SmackDown! General Manager Paul Heyman grew even further when Heyman threatened a lawsuit if Benoit appeared on RAW.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Evolution (Batista, Randy Orton & Ric Flair) defeated Chris Jericho & Rob Van Dam in a Three On Two Handicap Match (17:11)
- Lita & Victoria (w/ Steven Richards) defeated Jazz & Molly Holly (w/ Theodore Long) (5:53)
- Bubba Ray Dudley defeated Kane by DQ (2:20)
- Rico (w/ Miss Jackie) defeated Rob Conway (3:20)
- Goldberg defeated Jonathan Coachman (w/ Mark Henry & Teddy Long) in a No Disqualification Match