Monday Night Raw
Date: January 14, 2008
Location: Mobile Civic Center, Mobile, Alabama
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
The rise of Jeff Hardy continues as we are less than two weeks away from his showdown with Randy Orton at the Royal Rumble. You can feel the momentum building and Hardy feels like he could actually pull off the miracle win. Why the Intercontinental Champion feels like such an underdog is beyond me, but we should be in for more of him tonight. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s highlight reel moment of Jeff Hardy Whispering In The Wind off the top of the cage to beat Umaga.
Here is Hardy to get things going. Hardy has a chance to become WWE Champion at the Royal Rumble but he wants Randy Orton out here right now. Cue Orton to the stage to say he wants Hardy to defend the Intercontinental Title against him TONIGHT. Hardy is in and we have a main event.
We look at Vince McMahon putting Ric Flair’s career in jeopardy in case you haven’t been watching in a few months.
Ashley Massaro/Maria/Mickie James vs. Melina/Jillian Hall/Beth Phoenix
Jillian takes Ashley down and hammers away to start as commentary talks up the ring attire. Maria comes in for a scorpion kick to Melina, who chokes her on the ropes to even things up. We complete the trio of pairings as Mickie comes in with a headscissors to Phoenix as everything breaks down. Everyone else fights to the floor and Beth drops Mickie throat first onto the top rope. The fisherman’s buster gives Beth the pin.
Rating: D+. This was exactly what you would expect from it as Mickie and Beth did the only wrestling of the match while the rest of it was built around brawling and catfighting. Beth still needs a new challenger and other than Mickie, I’m not sure who could give her a serious challenge. At least it was short, but that quiet crowd tells you a lot.
Vince McMahon yells at William Regal, who promises to end Ric Flair’s tonight. McMahon whips out….an enema, which belongs in Mobile, Alabama. Snitsky comes in to say he wants to hurt Flair, but Vince gives him HHH instead.
WWE HD is coming!
Classic Royal Rumble clip: Shawn Michaels vs. the Undertaker in the final two last year. Yep that fits.
Here is Shawn Michaels for a chat. Shawn can’t believe that he has to win a qualifying match because he is the defending runner up and a two time winner. He was going to challenge Mr. Kennedy Kennedy anyway, so let’s just make that the qualifying match instead. Here’s his real opponent though.
Royal Rumble Qualifying Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Trevor Murdoch
Murdoch strikes away to start and hits a quick atomic drop. A whip into the corner gives Murdoch two but Shawn is back with chops and a Thesz press. There’s the top rope elbow and a little dance sets up the superkick….but Murdoch is ready for it. That’s fine with Shawn, who sweeps the legs and puts on something like an inverted Figure Four for the tap.
Post match Mr. Kennedy pops up on screen to say he can’t believe how bad Shawn is at letting things go. Shawn can’t handle that Kennedy beat him and has passed him by. Someone has proven that he is better, but why would Kennedy accept the challenge for next week? Eh why not though? Kennedy is in for next week. Murdoch tries to jump Shawn and gets superkicked.
We look back at Ric Flair surviving against Randy Orton.
We look at Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VI, I’m assuming because Randy Orton could win the Intercontinental Title tonight.
Royal Rumble rundown.
Vince McMahon is worried about Hornswoggle being in the Royal Rumble so let’s give Hornswoggle some experience tonight. We’ll have a mini Royal Rumble, with Hornswoggle in at #1 and then Mr. Kennedy, Mankind and Batista, plus some surprises. Hornswoggle knows he isn’t likely going to win the Royal Rumble but Vince chokes him anyway. That was harsh.
HHH vs. Snitsky
Snitsky kicks him in the corner to start but HHH clotheslines his way to freedom. A missed charge sends Snitsky outside and we take an early break. Back with Snitsky whipping him hard into the corner and dropping some elbows for two. The bearhug goes on and HHH actually goes down to one knee, but he’s fine enough to reverse a pump handle slam and hit a DDT. The Pedigree is countered with a backdrop over the top, with Snitsky sending him into the steps to increase the pain. A big steps shot misses though and HHH hits him with a chair for the DQ.
Rating: C. This was HHH fighting a monster and getting tired of things getting that violent so he went bit with a weapon of his own. Snitsky is fine as a monster of the week/month because he looks that evil but it wasn’t like he was a threat to HHH. I can go for something like this over Snitsky taking the Pedigree so at least they mixed it up a bit.
Post match, a sledgehammer shot and the Pedigree leave Snitsky laying again. HHH goes to leave but Vince McMahon pops up on screen to say HHH can’t keep being violent just because he isn’t in the Royal Rumble. He needs to calm down, but HHH hits the video screen with the sledgehammer to make it explode a bit.
Post break Vince yells at HHH and says he can be back in the Royal Rumble, but only if he can win next week against….someone.
Here is JBL, complete with balloon drop, to say that someone promised to return to Raw to save the show. That would be Chris Jericho, who was a complete failure. We look at JBL taking Jericho out last week and choking him with a cable. So where is Jericho now? He’s at home, recovering, where he belongs. Last week, it was like JBL was carrying everyone around this arena. Now JBL wants Jericho to talk to his children and tell them that JBL is just better. If Jericho comes to the Royal Rumble, the Savior is going to need to be saved. Pyro ensues.
HHH was both WWE and Intercontinental Champion at No Mercy 2002. Good thing they had these clips ready just in case Orton challenged Hardy tonight.
Mini Royal Rumble
We have five entrants and thirty second intervals. Hornswoggle is in at #1 and….a miniature Mr. Kennedy in at #2. Since Kennedy can’t reach the mic, Hornswoggle hits a dropkick to start fast but misses a charge into the corner. Mini Mankind is in at #3 and busts out Mr. Socko but Hornswoggle puts it in his mouth and tosses him out. Kennedy is eliminated as well so here is Mini Batista in at #4.
This one is a bit bigger and hits a spear but can’t get rid of Hornswoggle. Mini Kane is in at #5 and gets Batista Bombed, only to have Hornswoggle toss Batista. Kane hits the uppercuts and the middle rope clothesline but Hornswoggle elbows his way out of a chokeslam. The Celtic Cross lets Hornswoggle get rid of Batista…..and the real Great Khali is in at #6. Batista jumps Hornswoggle but here is Finlay to jump Khali and beat up Runjin Singh for a bonus. Singh is tossed and that’s enough for Hornswoggle to win.
Rating: D. I chuckled a few times but Vince sending Khali after Hornswoggle and having Finlay make the save was a tired idea a long time ago and now it is only getting worse. How many times can they do the same bit with these guys? Some of the minis were funny enough though so it could have been worse, but this story needs to end already.
Post break, Finlay storms into Vince McMahon’s office and yells at him, but Vince says Finlay better keep their deal. An annoyed Finlay leaves.
William Regal vs. Ric Flair
We’re joined in progress with Regal working on Flair’s knee but Flair dives over and reaches the rope. Flair shows him how to start working on the knee but lets go as soon as Regal makes the rope as well. Back up and Regal yells at the referee, allowing Flair to grab a rollup for the pin. This feels like it was cut for time.
Intercontinental Title: Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy
Hardy is defending. The bell rings and Orton kicks him low for the DQ.
Orton says we’re not done and the fight is on, with Hardy fighting back as they go up the ramp. Hardy knocks him off the stage….and then goes up onto the lighting structure. And I mean WAY up onto the structure, far higher than you would see on the top of a cage. The biggest Swanton ever crushes Orton and they’re both done in a heap. Medics tend to both of them (as commentary is SILENT) to end the show. This wasn’t as good as last week’s Whisper In The Wind but DANG Hardy was up there.
Overall Rating: D+. This wasn’t great, but the problem with the last shows before the Royal Rumble is that the card is mostly set and the Rumble itself doesn’t need much build. Hardy vs. Orton feels like a major showdown and the Rumble will be big by definition, so that doesn’t leave much left to do on this show. Maybe next week can be a bit better, but I’m not exactly looking forward to what we’re getting.
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