Date: March 7, 2008
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman
Wrestlemania is less than a month away and that means we should be seeing some of the lower level matches starting to come together. Most of the card is already set with Undertaker vs. Edge feeling like a huge match. Other than that we have Batista vs. Umaga in a Raw vs. Smackdown match and Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a match that could go on either show. We’ll need more than that so let’s get to it.
We open with Vickie Guerrero and Edge, with Teddy Long in the corner, on the Cutting Edge. After praising Vickie, Edge talks about how he has never lost to Undertaker, making him the real Phenom. Vickie makes Edge/the Edgeheads vs. Undertaker for tonight, which Edge finds very hot. With that out of the way, there is someone else who is going to be losing his 35 year career at Wrestlemania.
That brings us to tonight’s guest, so here is Ric Flair. Edge welcomes him to the show but wants to know what it’s going to be like when Flair loses at Wrestlemania. Flair promises to beat Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania but Edge doesn’t exactly sound convinced. Fans: “YOU SUCK!” Flair: “Your fans are talking to her.” Edge asks Flair about losing to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, which Flair says is something you never forget.
Losing to Undertaker didn’t hurt his career, but he came at it differently. Edge is the one with a sham of a relationship, which sends Vickie into a rant. After calming her down, Edge says Flair needs to watch the handicap match tonight, because he’ll have his own next week. Oh and let’s make that a cage match. Edge WOOs in his face but gets slapped, with Flair bailing from violence.
CM Punk/Jesse & Festus vs. Miz/John Morrison/Chavo Guerrero
That’s quite the good guy team. Festus clears the ring at the bell until we settle down with Miz vs. Punk to start. Miz manages a quick hot shot and brings in Chavo, who gets backdropped just as fast. Jesse comes in for a backdrop and basement dropkick but Morrison shoves him off the top. This has Festus ready to smash but we take a break instead (probably a good idea).
We take a break and come back with Morrison working on Jesse’s arm. That doesn’t last long either as Jesse slips away and hands it off to Festus to clean house. Everything breaks down with Jesse and Punk hitting dives onto Morrison and Chavo. Back in and the fireman’s carry flapjack gives Festus the pin on Miz.
Rating: C. What else were you expecting here? The good thing is that we didn’t have to sit through too much more of Chavo vs. Punk, as that is a match that has been driven into the ground in recent weeks. Other than that, Miz and Morrison get beaten again, even if it is from a team that is little more than a one off idea. Just find some more interesting challengers for both titles. It shouldn’t be that hard.
Jamie Noble is in the back with Michelle McCool and says he knows she has a thing for him. Noble gets it, but he’s a one woman man. She’s ok with it, and seem to have thought the same thing as Noble.
US Title: MVP vs. Batista
MVP is defending. They fight over a lockup to start with Batista powering him outside without much trouble. Back in and Batista knocks him outside again, though this time he follows him out to keep up the beating. They get back in with Batista starting in on the leg for a change, including a half crab. That’s enough for MVP to bail to the floor and we take a break.
Back with Batista hitting a running corner clothesline but MVP kicks the leg out. A running boot to the head, with the bad leg, gives MVP a bit of a desperation two and we hit the chinlock. Another kick to the leg takes Batista back down and a facebuster, on the bad knee, gives MVP a delayed two. It might not sound logical, but commentary is selling the idea that MVP is desperate to fight Batista so it does make some sense.
MVP kicks him out to the floor for another two and we’re off to a leglock to keep Batista down. Back up and MVP misses the running boot in the corner, allowing Batista to come back with the swinging Boss Man Slam for two. The spinebuster crushes MVP, whose low blow is blocked without much effort. They fight outside with Batista keeping up the beating, but MVP kicks him into the announcers’ table and beats the count to win.
Rating: C+. Well, at least MVP didn’t lose again. This screams setup for another match, hopefully where MVP can retain the title by pinning Batista, likely through some kind of shenanigans. These two got some time here and it was a decent match, though Batista in the US Title scene feels so out of place and it’s hard to fathom in a lot of ways.
We look at Hornswoggle being beaten down again.
Jamie Noble interrupts Edge and Vickie Guerrero, saying he wants a match with Chuck Palumbo. Vickie is annoyed so she gives him Big Show instead.
Mae Young Hall Of Fame video.
Kim Kardashian will be the guest hostess at Wrestlemania.
And now, a Divas swimsuit contest, featuring Eve Torres, Cherry, Maryse, Michelle McCool and Victoria. Apparently this is the first week of a four week competition to determine the Top Diva on Smackdown with one woman being eliminated each week. Not only will the winner get bragging rights but they will also win a….custom motorcycle? They all disrobe (Cherry looks nervous and Victoria dances badly) and we get the results next week because this is another Diva Search style contest. Oh and a fight breaks out because of course it does.
Video on Rey Mysterio being injured and having to undergo bicep surgery.
Kane vs. Chuck Palumbo
Kane powers him into the corner to start but Palumbo is back with some right hands of his own. A clothesline gives Palumbo two but Kane grabs the side slam. Palumbo tries to headbutt his way out of the chokeslam, only to get chokeslammed for the fast pin.
Rating: C-. Palumbo was trying here but we are way beyond the point of him meaning anything. The feud with Jamie Noble worked for a little while and then just went on for so much longer than it needed to that it killed any momentum. Kane is getting back on a roll and there is no reason to have him be in any major threat from Palumbo here.
Big Show vs. Jamie Noble
Show throws him into the corner and gets kicked low for the DQ in short order.
Show shrugs it off and chops Noble down before promising to end Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s career at Wrestlemania.
Undertaker vs. Edge/Edgeheads
Undertaker beats up Hawkins to start and throws him into the corner, allowing Ryder to come in and get beaten down as well. Edge certainly seems nervous as Undertaker kicks Ryder in the head. A cheap shot cuts Undertaker off though and Edge gets to hammer away for a bit. The Edgeheads take turns splashing Undertaker but Edge’s swinging neckbreaker is countered into a DDT. Old School is loaded up but a distraction means that it has to be switched into a top rope armdrag (ok then). The Edgeheads distract Undertaker again though and Edge hits the spear for the pin.
Rating: C-. It was quick and to the point here but at least Edge finally got something over on Undertaker. You can only have Undertaker beat him up every week for so long before it stops having any real impact. There is almost no way that Undertaker is leaving Wrestlemania without the title, but at least they are putting on a good story on the way there.
Edge and Undertaker glare at each other to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. They were going up and down this week and that wasn’t the most thrilling show. Undertaker vs. Edge is good and Batista vs. MVP, while not a long term story, is doing well enough, but stuff like the women fighting over a motorcycle isn’t exactly thrilling. Get rid of some of the lame parts and the better portions can take over.
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