Monday Night Raw – February 25, 2008
By Thomas Hall on 20th November 2022
Monday Night Raw
Date: February 25, 2008
Location: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We’re still on the Road to Wrestlemania and now we have a new participant in the Raw World Title match. Last week, John Cena defeated Randy Orton in a non-title match to make the title match a triple threat match. Other than that, we’re setting up some Money in the Bank participants so now we get to see who else gets to join. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of John Cena beating Randy Orton last week to get into the Wrestlemania title match, only to have HHH lay them both out.
Orton, Cena and HHH are in the ring for what seems to be a photo opportunity, as moderated by William Regal. With the photo taken, each one gets to say something so we can know their thoughts heading into the match. Cena goes first and says he was raised that if you have a problem with someone, you say it to their face.
With that, he gets in HHH’s face and thanks him for not throwing out last week’s match, allowing Cena to go to Wrestlemania. He does have a problem with the Pedigree, but HHH says he wants Cena in the ring at Wrestlemania. HHH thinks a lot of the fans liked the Pedigree and Cena better get used to it, because at Wrestlemania, he’s getting another one. Cena remembers HHH tapping out at Wrestlemania, which is enough for HHH to take off his jacket.
The staredown is on but Orton says one thing is going to remain the same: he is still WWE Champion. The two of them have come after him but he still has the title. You might even say THE CHAMP IS HERE! Orton says the two of them can’t do anything about it, which is enough for the fight to be on. With Orton sent outside, HHH punches Cena down but Orton is back in with the RKO to both of them. Orton poses, leaves, then poses again. Good segment to get everyone in the ring and doing something in less than ten minutes.
Post break Orton is in the back when he runs into Mr. Kennedy. Since Wrestlemania is right around the corner, Kennedy has been thinking about winning Money In The Bank and cashing in that night, so Orton loses no matter what. Orton promises violence if Kennedy tries.
Carlito/Santino Marella vs. Hardcore Holly/Cody Rhodes
Non-title and Maria is here with Carlito and Santino. Marella and Rhodes start things off with Rhodes slamming him down and dropping a knee. Rhodes gets sent into Carlito on the apron and Santino gets in a takedown. That’s enough for Carlito to come in and stomp away as Lawler is trying to get Maria to come sit next to him. A swinging neckbreaker drops Rhodes for two but he Russian legsweeps his way to freedom. Holly comes in to clean house as Lawler throws his crown at Maria to get her attention. The distraction lets Holly slam Marella off the top and hit the Alabama Slam for the pin.
Rating: C-. Well at least Lawler’s jabbering turned into a little something with the ending. I’m not sure why they didn’t just make this a title match for the sake of giving the champs a successful defense, especially when it’s Carlito/Marella. The match was short and to the point, which was mainly about Maria, who is higher profile than the four people in the match at the moment.
We recap Big Show agreeing to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. last week.
We go to the Wrestlemania press conference, with Mayweather vs. Big Show confirmed for the show. Mayweather, standing on something, had a staredown with Show, who promised to explain pain.
William Regal is happy with the controversy and promises more of it when Mr. Kennedy and Randy Orton team up to face John Cena and HHH tonight. Chris Jericho comes in to mock Regal’s hair and offer him some tea (in a seven year old call back) before getting to the point: he wants in Money In The Bank. Regal is cool with that, but Jericho has to qualify against Jeff Hardy. Oh and it’s next. Cool with Jericho, but Regal’s shirt and tie aren’t.
Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho
Non-title and Hardy is already qualified but doesn’t seem to lose anything if Jericho wins. Feeling out process to start with Jericho going after the arm so Hardy mule kicks his way to freedom. A high crossbody gives Jericho two and a suplex is good for the same. The enziguri is countered into a catapult over the top but they both dive back in for a standoff as we take a break.
Back with Jericho cranking on both arms and then punching Hardy down for two. They both try crossbodies and crash to give us a double knockdown. It’s Hardy up first to knock Jericho into the corner, where he avoids a bulldog to really take over. The fans are behind Jericho as he breaks up a Whisper In The Wind, which is broken up as well so Hardy’s second attempt works just fine.
Hardy loads up a hurricanrana but gets countered into the Walls, sending Hardy over to the rope. Jericho gets dropped again but is fine enough to avoid the Swanton. The Lionsault connects for two so Jericho tries the Walls again. With that broken up, Jericho grabs a rollup for the fast pin.
Rating: B-. These two having a good match is no surprise whatsoever and they had the time to make it work. I still don’t know why Hardy needed to take a fall here when he was already in the ladder match, but at least Jericho has something to do at Wrestlemania. You know, because he was stuck in the cold otherwise.
Here is Vince McMahon to discuss Hornswoggle’s beating last week. Vince says last week was a mistake, as Hornswoggle was beaten into oblivion by JBL. Therefore, he apologizes to Hornswoggle and wants JBL out here right now. A rather nervous looking JBL comes out and Vince demands an apology for taking it too far last week.
JBL apologizes….for not doing it sooner. See, he has it on good advice that Hornswoggle is NOT Vince’s son, but rather Finlay’s. Hornswoggle didn’t know, but Finlay knew the entire time and JBL has the documentation to prove it. Now JBL is going to make Finlay pay. Well that moved things forward fast, and it’s only a few months too late.
John Cena comes in to see HHH, who says to save the “we don’t like each other but we have to work together”. HHH wants to go out there and win because that is what he does best. Cena feels the same and tells HHH to watch his own back.
Umaga vs. DH Smith
Smith pounds away to start for a grand total of no avail. A splash, the running hip attack and the Samoan Spike finish Smith off in a hurry. Total squash.
We go to William Regal’s office where the Burchills are impressed with Umaga. Regal says he’s perfect, as he has received a challenge from Vickie Guerrero for a Raw vs. Smackdown showdown at Wrestlemania. Katie Lea thinks Paul would be better, but Regal needs to see more first. The Burchills go to leave, but Paul comes back to say Katie might like Regal.
Lance Cade vs. Shawn Michaels
Trevor Murdoch is here with Cade. They start fast with Cade hitting something like a Side Effect but Michaels gets up before Cade can hit anything else. Shawn misses the top rope elbow but manages to pull Cade into the Crossface. That’s enough for Murdoch to run in for the DQ.
Rating: C-. This felt like an excuse to get Shawn in the ring and that is probably leading somewhere with Ric Flair. Other than that, it is kind of sad to see Cade and Murdoch reduced to almost nothing. WWE doesn’t have many tag teams so why have one of them turn into such an unimportant pair?
Post match Shawn cleans house and has a bloody nose. Cue Ric Flair to interrupt (well kind of, as Shawn was just standing there) and Shawn immediately pays respect. Flair can’t believe what an honor it is to be the first active wrestler in the Hall of Fame. The one thing he wants to do to make it even better is to wrestle Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania.
Shawn brings up the “you lose, you’re done” stipulation and he doesn’t want to be the one to end Flair’s career. Flair doesn’t like Shawn’s tone because who says Flair would be losing? All of the respect that Shawn gave him last week means nothing if Shawn doesn’t give him this match. That’s enough for Shawn and he’s in. Well that didn’t take much of a push. They leave together and everything is cool.
Mike Adamle announces the next inductees into the Hall of Fame: High Chief Peter Maivia and Rocky Johnson. This would be in no way a gift to get the Rock to be happy with the company.
Lawler announces Bunnymania: Maria/Candice Michelle vs. Beth Phoenix/Melina.
We get a behind the scenes look at Maria’s Playboy shoot.
John Cena/HHH vs. Mr. Kennedy/Randy Orton
Cena and HHH clear the ring to start and we take a break less than thirty seconds in. Back with HHH sending Kennedy into the corner and Cena coming in to do the same. HHH tags himself back in and throws a crotch chop at Cena, allowing Kennedy to get in a cheap shot. Orton comes in and stomps away before dropping a knee for two.
We hit the chinlock to keep HHH in trouble before Orton sends him out to the apron. HHH finally kicks Kennedy down but Orton is right there to block the hot tag to Cena. The RKO is blocked though and HHH calls into the tag off to Cena to clean house. Orton has to break up the FU on Kennedy so HHH takes Orton outside, leaving Kennedy to tap to the STFU.
Rating: C. Totally run of the mill main event style tag match but so much of it was during the break that there wasn’t much to be seen. You can only get so much out of a match that only had about eight minutes of TV time and there was no reason for anyone but Kennedy to take the fall. The triple threat match is looking good, but this wasn’t the best way to set it up.
Post match Cena and HHH have a staredown, allowing Kennedy to Mic Check Cena to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. Well, the wrestling wasn’t great, but they have Wrestlemania in sight and a good portion of the card is either set or all but set. That being said, you can only get so much out of a show with almost nothing in the way of very good action. WWE needs to find a way to do both or the next month could get pretty rough in a hurry. For now though, this was just ok and that’s not the best way to get to Wrestlemania.
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