Date: February 29, 2008
Location: Convention Center, Tuscon, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman
We are just over a month away from Wrestlemania XXIV and most of the top of the card is set. That means that the following weeks can be for a mixture of firming up the main events and building up the lower half of the card. That can include quite a few things and we’ll start this week. Let’s get to it.
We open with a look at the Wrestlemania press conference.
Big Show vs. Joey Ryans/Jay Garland
Ryans is….well I think you can guess and this is Show’s first WWE match in over a year. We hear about Show wanting to be a boxer but not being able to get anyone to take his fights. Garland gets chokeslammed and Ryans gets punched in the corner. A right hand knocks Ryans silly for the easy pin.
Post match Show talks about how Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be facing Oscar de la Hoya in September. It’s just a rumor, and Show is here to stop that rumor. Show is going to break everything in Mayweather, including his spirit. There isn’t going to be a Mayweather vs. de la Hoya fight, but Show vs. de la Hoya is possible. That $20 million that Mayweather is getting for the Wrestlemania match (right) isn’t going to be enough for the pain he’ll be experiencing.
Deuce N Domino vs. Jimmy Wang Yang/Shannon Moore
Cherry is here with Deuce N Domino. Yang and Domino get things going with Domino missing an elbow drop so Yang can grab a headlock. Moore comes in and gets hit in the face a few times before headscissoring Domino into the corner. Back up and Domino sends Moore HARD out to the floor (that was a scary landing), setting up something like a seated abdominal stretch back inside.
Commentary argues about old westerns and whether Asians can be rednecks (oh dear) as Domino pulls Moore down by the hair and knocks Yang off the apron. Not that it matters as the hot tag goes through a few seconds later, with Yang getting to clean a few rooms. The moonsault press misses though and Cherry pulls Moore off the apron. That leaves Yang to slip out of a belly to back suplex and now the moonsault press can connect for the pin on Deuce.
Rating: C. I’m glad to see Yang and Moore sticking around a bit longer, as they have been a rather nice little bright spot between here and ECW. I’m not sure what that is going to mean for them in the long term, but at least they are doing something for the time being. Deuce N Domino….yeah how long were you expecting a greaser gimmick to last? Maybe having them actually do something as champions might have helped.
Edge and Vickie Guerrero make honeymoon plans, with Edge thinking Canada. Vickie loves Canadians but the Edgeheads interrupt their romance. That’s ok with Edge, who sends Zack Ryder after Undertaker tonight.
Chuck Palumbo vs. Jamie Noble
Yes, AGAIN and Michelle McCool is here with Noble. Palumbo misses a charge into the corner and Noble strikes away before pulling on an armbar over the ropes. Back up and Palumbo dumps him to the floor without much effort but a McCool distraction breaks up whatever Palumbo has planned (probably some kind of wrestling move).
They head back inside with Palumbo hitting an overhead belly to belly superplex for two, leaving Palumbo stunned. Noble manages a Fujiwara armbar until the rope is grabbed, allowing Palumbo to hit a hard slam. An enziguri sends Palumbo into the corner for a Cannonball but he rakes Noble’s eyes across the top. The Overdrive finishes Noble off.
Rating: C. The more I watch these matches the more I believe WWE has just forgotten where they were going with the story but keep it going for lack of anything better for the two of them. Palumbo is still his old, not that interesting self and now Noble, who has been the good guy in the whole thing, is a loser. What else is there for these two to do? And it isn’t like McCool has gained anything either, making this quite the waste of time.
Vickie Guerrero is in the back with Teddy Long and Maryse, with the latter praising Vickie until Batista comes in. Batista has heard about this Raw vs. Smackdown challenge and wants to face Umaga. Maryse likes the idea (and maybe Batista) so Vickie sets the match.
Batista/Kane vs. MVP/Great Khali
Feels like they pressed the random button in Smackdown vs. Raw. Kane and Khali start things off with Khali pounding him into the corner. MVP comes in and gets backdropped, setting up the basement dropkick, which always feels weird from Kane. It’s off to Batista, who charges into an elbow in the corner.
Kane is right back in to big boot MVP down for two as commentary thinks we’ll be talking about the recent Elimination Chamber match for years to come. I wouldn’t get my hopes up on that one. The spinebuster plants MVP but Khali breaks up the Batista Bomb as we take an early break.
Back with Khali shoving Batista down and sending him outside without much trouble. Khali runs him over again back inside and actually covers for two, showing more mobility than usual. Batista gets over for the tag off to Kane to fire off on Khali in the corner. This lasts all of five seconds before Khali knocks him backwards. MVP comes in so Kane grabs him by the throat, earning a chop from Khali on the apron (makes sense).
The cravate doesn’t hold Kane down for very long as he powers up and slams MVP down for a breather. MVP cuts him off with a kick to the head though as this heat is getting some time. Kane finally knocks MVP down though and the hot tag brings in Batista to clean house. Everything breaks down and Khali chops Batista right back down, only to have the Vice Grip reversed into the spinebuster. MVP makes the save so Batista spears Khali down for the pin.
Rating: B-. This was a near shockingly good match as they worked the formula and got some time, making it into a match where I wanted to see how it ended. What mattered the most here though was MVP didn’t take the fall, which had me worried throughout. Khali has nothing going on at the moment and thankfully WWE realized he should be taking the pin.
Eve Torres comes out to introduce High Chief Peter Maivia and Rocky Johnson for the Hall of Fame, with the Rock inducting them. I get that she has to do something, but the Hall of Fame announcement (even one repeated from Raw) doesn’t feel exactly right for someone who has been around for all of a few months.
Jesse & Festus vs. Miz/John Morrison
Non-title but before the match, we get a clip from the Dirt Sheet with a completely genuine conversation between the teams, which makes Jesse & Festus sound a bit dumb. The bell rings and Festus jumps Miz and Morrison before sending the former into the corner for a running shot to the face.
A headbutt lets Jesse come in with a middle rope elbow and even knock Morrison off the apron. Miz gets smart by taking a breather on the floor and Jesse gets taken down back inside. That lasts all of a few seconds as an easy escape sets up the hot tag to Festus. House is cleaned and Festus sits on Morrison’s chest and grabs the fireman’s carry flapjack for the pin.
Rating: C. The champs lose again (after losing on ECW to Tommy Dreamer and Colin Delaney), which is far too common of a trope in WWE. At least Jesse and Festus are a bit better team, but it isn’t like they’re the next great thing. Other than the good looking flapjack, there wasn’t much to be seen here, especially after that rather awesome…Khali match?
Big Daddy V vs. Balls Mahoney
Matt Striker is here with V. Mahoney gets beaten down to start and there’s the swinging Boss Man Slam. The corner splash and Samoan drop crush Mahoney….and there’s the Undertaker’s gong. The lights go out and Undertaker POWER WALKS to the ring (egads) to beat V outside. Mahoney gets chokeslammed too as it’s a no contest because DQ’s are passe or something.
Post match Undertaker says death waits for no man, so Edge needs to send his minion to Undertaker’s yard.
Undertaker vs. Zack Ryder
Edge and Curt Hawkins are here too. Ryder bails to the floor to start and a distraction lets him get in a few cheap shots. That earns Ryder a hard posting and there’s the kick to the side of the head. The beating continues back inside before Undertaker throws him over the top in a heap. Ryder tries to come in off the top but Hawkins has to save him from a chokeslam. Some right hands in the corner just annoy Undertaker so he throws Ryder into the corner to hammer away. Snake Eyes into the big boot set up the chokeslam and choke, which is enough to draw Edge in for the DQ.
Rating: C-. More or less a squash here for Undertaker and that’s all it needed to be. A heel like Edge has minions for a reason and Undertaker got to wreck one of them on the way to Wrestlemania. Ryder is nowhere near ready to be a challenge to Undertaker so this went as it should have gone. It doesn’t make it interesting, but it was logical.
Post match Undertaker is having none of this and beats up the Edgeheads, including the choke to Hawkins. Undertaker holds up the title to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Undertaker vs. Edge is starting to feel like a big deal and that is how a major Wrestlemania match should come off. The match got another hard push here and when you add in….Great Khali having the match of the night…..it was a pretty decent show. They need something else to build up aside from Edge vs. Undertaker, but they still have a few weeks to make that work.
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