Monday Night Raw
Date: February 4, 2008
Location: Frank Irwin Center, Austin, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
So we are firmly into the build for No Way Out, which will feature John Cena challenging Randy Orton for the Raw World Title, plus an Elimination Chamber match for the Raw World Title shot at Wrestlemania. Thankfully we’re only getting the build toward one Elimination Chamber match, which should fill in most of this week. Let’s get to it.
Randy Orton is in the ring to start things off and it looks like we’ve got a contract signing. Orton recaps the setup of his title match with John Cena at No Way Out, which is Cena’s Royal Rumble title shot. That’s not good enough for Orton though, which is why he wants a contract signed so Cena has no way out. Orton’s lawyers have already signed the contract and he has signed it, so get Cena out here to sign it too.
After a quick walk through the back, here is Cena to quite the ovation. Cena wastes no time in signing and Orton is rather pleased, because the match is on no matter what happens to Cena, including in his arm wrestling match with Mark Henry tonight. Cue Henry for a distraction so the RKO can lay Cena out. They certainly didn’t waste time here.
Post break, Henry and Orton deny planning anything in advance. Violence is promised for later tonight.
Kelly Kelly/Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix/Victoria
Kelly goes after Victoria to start and manages a backslide, which has commentary far too impressed. Mickie comes in to go after Beth but gets pulled off the top, which might be a knee injury. A guillotine works a bit better for Mickie but Beth powers her into the corner. Everything breaks down and Mickie hits a tornado DDT to finish Victoria.
Mickie wants the title.
William Regal tells Hornswoggle to get ready to join Vince McMahon’s special club. Regal: “I’m in it!”
Here is Shawn Michaels, with JR saying HHH isn’t here tonight due to a family emergency. Shawn talks about how close he got to winning the WWE Title last year at Wrestlemania but he doesn’t want to be second place. He is ready to go back this year so everyone in the Elimination Chamber is on notice. Shawn: “Friend, family and Umaga….whatever he is, he’s on notice too!”
Cue Chris Jericho to interrupt to say he respects Shawn and how much he loved their Wrestlemania match. But then Shawn suggested he is going to win the Elimination Chamber and that’s too far. Jericho has been inside the Chamber three times and knows what it takes to make it to the main event of Wrestlemania. Cue Jeff Hardy to interrupt to say that he’ll be going to the main event of Wrestlemania for the first time.
Now it’s JBL interrupting to say he gets what he wants. He has bought Umaga to get him to the main event of Wrestlemania….so here is Umaga to interrupt. After staring down the good guys, Umaga turns to JBL and backs him into the corner, which brings out Snitsky, to say the other five have had their chances. Fans: “BRUSH YOUR TEETH!”
Shawn doesn’t care for threats and mocks Snitsky’s teeth before hitting him in the face. The brawl is on and we probably have a six man for later. Indeed as William Regal comes out to make the six man tag. This took a long time to get to the point and was mainly there to get all six of the Elimination Chamber participants out there.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Super Crazy
Kennedy dropkicks the knee out to start and hammers away at the leg. The knee is twisted back and then around the post but Crazy uses the free leg to kick Kennedy in the head. That’s broken up and Kennedy grabs…kind of an inverted Figure Four for the fast tap. At least the hold was different than just a copy of Flair’s Figure Four.
Post match Kennedy shows us a clip of MVP taking out Ric Flair’s knee last week on Smackdown. Therefore, Kennedy is giving Flair a chance to come here next week and forfeit the No Way Out match and save his leg. They’re taking a different path to Kennedy vs. Flair and it’s more interesting than I would have thought.
Mike Adamle hypes up the Raw Elimination Chamber.
Video on the Chamber itself.
Carlito/Santino Marella vs. Paul London/Brian Kendrick
Maria is here with Carlito and Marella. Kendrick dropkicks Carlito for a fast two but Marella low bridges him to the floor. London chases Marella around the ring, leaving Carlito to hit a Backstabber to finish Kendrick. Remember when London and Kendrick were one of the best teams in the company?
Vince McMahon is preparing for Hornswoggle to join his, ahem, special club. This involves a, quote, “Professional a** buffer” and “a** cream”. Vince: “Mr. McMahon’s a** in HD!”
Here’s Vince to humiliate Hornswoggle again. He talks about how you can’t reason with a child, so you have to discipline them. After ranting about children in the audience, Vince says you have to literally make them kiss your a**. Cue Hornswoggle, who Vince blames for the whole thing and it’s going to hurt Vince more than him.
Vince drops his pants and asks for a pardon of the tan lines. Hornswoggle goes to kiss it but Vince demands that he kiss it (that felt like a missed cue). Cue Finlay to ask what is wrong with Vince, who threatens a firing. Actually, Finlay can kiss it instead, but Hornswoggle gives it a bite. That doesn’t work for Vince, who makes himself vs. Hornswoggle next week, No DQ, and if Finlay interferes, he’s fired. This was WAY longer than any segment involving Vince not wearing pants should have been.
Cody Rhodes/Hardcore Holly vs. Trevor Murdoch/Lance Cade
Non-title. Holly elbows Murdoch down to start so it’s off to Cade to run Holly over right back. That doesn’t last long and Cody comes in with a top rope ax handle, setting up a bulldog. Everything breaks down and Cody DDTs Murdoch for the pin.
Post match Carlito and Santino Marella come out to challenge for the titles. Egads that’s a rough time for the belts.
No Way Out rundown.
Shawn Michaels/Jeff Hardy/Chris Jericho vs. John Bradshaw Layfield/Snitsky/Umaga
Shawn and Umaga start things off with Shawn’s chops having no effect. Umaga misses a sitdown splash so Jericho comes in and gets headbutted down without much trouble. It’s off to Snitsky to miss a big boot, allowing Jericho to triangle dropkick him out to the floor. Hardy comes in (big reaction for that) and gets slammed by Snitsky, allowing JBL to pound away.
A hard shoulder drops Hardy but Snitsky comes in and allows the tag off to Shawn. Something like an Indian Deathlock has Snitsky in trouble but everything breaks down. The good guys hit triple dives and we take a break with the fans sounding rather enthusiastic. Back with Jericho in trouble and getting caught in the wrong corner.
Umaga grabs a bearhug before hitting the Samoan drop for two. Jericho tries to fight out but gets kicked in the back to cut him right back down. An enziguri gives Jericho a breather though and the hot tag brings in Hardy to clean house. Everything breaks down and the Twist of Fate into the Swanton finishes Snitsky.
Rating: C+. Pretty standard, long form six man here with Hardy winning for the feel good moment. Hardy is going to be the fan favorite in the Chamber and giving him some momentum on the way there is the right thing to do. The fans wanted to see him do anything here and it’s not like Jericho and Shawn need to pin Snitsky. Basic six man formula here and it worked just fine.
And now, arm wrestling between John Cena and Mark Henry. As expected, Henry takes forever to start and gets in a cheap shot on Cena’s recently injured chest. They go, Henry is about to win, Cena is about to win, Randy Orton runs in to jump Cena. The RKO and AA are blocked and Orton runs, leaving Cena to AA Henry to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This was a weird show as they had two stories, with the Elimination Chamber stuff and John Cena vs. Randy Orton. That filled in part of the show, but there wasn’t much else to fill in time other than those two stories. Unfortunately the other big story was Vince/Hornswoggle and….yeah that was as Vince of a segment as you could have had. No Way Out is all but set and that has me wondering how bad things are going to go next week when they don’t have much to say. For now though, it was just an ok show without much to fill in the gaps between the big stuff.
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