Monday Night Raw – January 28, 2008
By Thomas Hall on 30th September 2022
Monday Night Raw
Date: January 28, 2008
Location: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
The Royal Rumble has come and gone and that means it is time to start the Road To Wrestlemania. Randy Orton retained the Raw World Title over Jeff Hardy last night, but the big story is the return of John Cena, who is back months ahead of schedule and wont he Royal Rumble. That means Cena is going to be coming for Orton sooner than later so let’s get to it.
Royal Rumble recap.
Here is John Cena to get things going. Cena is a bit more serious than usual and says he knows this town is always going to tell him the truth. He is here tonight to answer a question that has been on everyone’s mind: how could this be possible? Back in October he suffered a major injury….and we pause for a CENA SUCKS chant. Cena: “Right now, that’s music to my ears.” Cena was supposed to be out for a year and that meant no Wrestlemania.
Some things have changed around here and in a hospital bed, he made a decision that would change everything. Now he is back for one chance just to maybe get an opportunity to go to Wrestlemania. Maybe it was luck, but he stands before you the winner of the Royal Rumble and he is going to Wrestlemania. Unless of course the people here would like to see Wrestlemania…..tonight. That gets the fans’ attention so Cena throws out the challenge to Randy Orton for the title TONIGHT.
Cue Orton to list off the people he has beaten since winning the title, which is quite the impressive collection. Cena cuts him off and says yes, Orton has beaten them all, in addition to putting him on the shelf. That’s because Orton is smart, and that’s why he is going to take this match tonight. Orton is smart enough to think that there is no way Cena has healed in four months.
Cena says Orton is too smart to let Cena have eight more weeks to heal up and make it easier to whip Orton all over Disneyland (World. Get it right.). Orton isn’t buying it and says he only defends the title if people open their wallets and pay to see it, so no match tonight….but they can do it at No Way Out. Cena is in but says he wants some tonight, so he’ll get some. This was a weird way to go, but Cena being back boosts up any show so there was no other way to start things up.
Ashley Massaro/Mickie James vs. Jillian Hall/Beth Phoenix
Mickie and Jillian start things off with Mickie taking her down for a fast two. Beth comes in to mock Mickie for crying over last week’s loss before being sent….mostly into the post. A side slam plants Mickie so Jillian comes back in, only to get rolled up for two. Mickie neckbreakers her for two but gets dropped by Beth, setting up the fisherman’s suplex to give Beth the pin (Jillian was never in).
Post match Mickie is distraught again.
Vince McMahon and William Regal are in the back where Vince makes Cena vs. Orton for No Way Out. They need a Wrestlemania match though, with Regal saying they can have THAT match with the winner facing the winner of Cena vs. Orton at Wrestlemania. Vince: “Not THAT match.” Vince lets Regal go make it.
Here is William Regal to announce that the Elimination Chamber is back at No Way Out. After a video on the match, Regal explains the concept and announces Umaga, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, JBL, Jeff Hardy and HHH for the Chamber.
Mike Adamle announces what is coming tonight.
Cody Rhodes vs. Carlito
Hardcore Holly, Santino Marella and Maria are here too. Cody armdrags him into an armbar to start before winning a strike off in the corner. Another armdrag into an armbar doesn’t go so well but they roll with it anyway and it’s off to an arm crank to keep Carlito down. Carlito gets sent to the apron for a springboard punch to the face to send him outside. Back in and Cody gets distracted by Santino, allowing Carlito to grab a Backstabber for the pin.
Rating: D+. Not exactly good stuff here and the ending wasn’t quite inspired. At the same time, it isn’t a great sign that Carlito and Santino Marella seem to be the top challengers to the Tag Team Titles. If Rhodes and Holly as champions wasn’t enough proof, what other evidence do you need?
HHH and Shawn Michaels both want to get back into the title picture at No Way Out, but for tonight they need partners. As luck would have it, they both have their DX gear so it’s reunion time (and WWE Shop plug time).
D-Generation X vs. Snitsky/Umaga
After the usual pre-match chattering, HHH and Snitsky start things off. Hang on though as HHH grabs the mic and asks if anyone has a toothbrush, Tic Tacs, mints or ANYTHING before he has to fight Snitsky. HHH hits an early clothesline and slams his way out of trouble, meaning it’s off to Shawn. Umaga isn’t having that though and kicks Shawn off the top for the big crash. Back in and Snitsky takes us back to the 80s with the bearhug before choking in the corner. Umaga grabs his own bearhug and we take a break.
We come back with Shawn caught in the Tree of Woe and…Snitsky grabbing another bearhug. Shawn gets sent into the corner where he avoids the running Umaga attack. A DDT is enough for the tag off to HHH for the house cleaning but Umaga grabs a Samoa drop. Shawn superkicks Umaga in the back of the head and out to the floor for the dive, setting up the Pedigree to finish Snitsky.
Rating: C. Pretty paint by numbers tag match here with no drama about the result. It was more about whether HHH or Shawn would get the pin over Snitsky, as Umaga still has just enough star power to avoid taking a fall here. HHH and Shawn have much bigger deals to get to in the next few weeks and Umaga needs to be kept strong for the Chamber, leaving Snitsky getting pinned as the only way to go.
JBL comes up to Randy Orton, his partner in the main event, in the back and says they’re partners tonight but he’s taking the title at Wrestlemania. You know, assuming Orton wins at No Way Out. Orton likes the idea because he knows he can beat JBL.
Jeff Hardy is ready to get back to the title scene so he is ready to win the Elimination Chamber and go on to Wrestlemania.
Hornswoggle is in Vince McMahon’s office, where Vince berates him for being a loser.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Brian Kendrick
Kendrick charges into the ring to start and gets sent into the corner. The running boot misses but Kennedy is back up with a shoulder first ram into the buckle. Kendrick gets in a kick to the face but misses a charge, setting up the Mic Check to give Kennedy the pin.
Post match Kennedy says he wanted in the Elimination Chamber, but he’ll settle for retiring Ric Flair at No Way Out instead. Cue Flair for some WOOing.
Maria vs. Melina
Santino Marella is here with Maria. Melina takes her down early but Maria is back up with a kick to the ribs. There’s the Bronco Buster in the corner but Maria misses a charge, allowing Melina to forearm her in the back. Maria hits a gutbuster (belly buster according to JR) but misses a charge in the corner. Melina tries a rollup but only pulls Maria’s tights down, allowing Maria to sit down on her for the pin.
Post match Santino runs in and throws his shirt around Maria’s waist and rants about her wanting to be in Playboy.
Chris Jericho is ready to be serious instead of the goofy guy so he can go to Wrestlemania.
Mike Adamle gives us the No Way Out rundown.
Jeff Hardy/Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton/John Bradshaw Layfield
Jericho wastes no time in suplexing Orton down and elbowing him in the face. Double knees to the face drop Orton again and Hardy hits a very early Swanton for two, with JBL pulling Orton out. We take a break and come back with Hardy hitting a running forearm to drop Orton, who pulls him into the corner by the throat.
Orton takes him down again and works on an armbar until Hardy fights up and hits a swinging sleeper drop. It’s back to Jericho to try the Walls but he has to stop and dropkick Orton off the apron. The Lionsault gets two on JBL as everything breaks down. The Walls go on JBL again but Orton makes the save with the RKO to give JBL the pin.
Rating: C+. Pretty standard main event tag match here with the villains stealing the pin and giving JBL some momentum heading into the Chamber. It isn’t like he has any real chance to win so boosting him up even slightly in a match like this isn’t going to hurt. It makes more sense than Orton getting the pin so at least they thought about this one.
Post match here is John Cena to lay out Orton to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This wasn’t the strongest show coming out of the Royal Rumble and a lot of that is due to the lack of Jeff Hardy energy. That story was carrying the show for a good while and now that Hardy has lost, most of it is gone. Cena being back is the big deal of course, but moving the match to No Way Out in less than three weeks feels rushed to say the least. Pretty disappointing show here and that’s never fun to see.
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