Monday Night Raw
Date: March 10, 2008
Location: Bradley Center, Madison, Wisconsin
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s a special three hour show as we have Wrestlemania Rewind. In this case that means every match will be a Wrestlemania rematch, which could make for some interesting combinations a few years after the original matches. Other than that, either Randy Orton or HHH will be in charge tonight, which isn’t fair to the other two when they get two hours each. Let’s get to it.
Here is Ric Flair to get things going. Last week, Shawn Michaels came out here and said that he was going to stop Flair’s show at Wrestlemania. That means Flair needs Michaels out here right now in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cue Shaw, with Flair saying that is the best entrance in wrestling today. When Flair got started, the idea of sympathy did not exist and if he can’t compete in the ring with people like Shawn today, he doesn’t to do this anymore. Flair wants to be a franchise player and someone who can beat someone like Shawn on his best day.
Shawn brings up the “to be the man” line, because at Wrestlemania, he IS the man, and Flair’s career is ending. No matter what happens, the show is going to get stolen. Before Wrestlemania though, Flair has a 3-1 steel cage match against Edge and…uh, his Edge guys. Now Shawn’s Friday nights are usually reserved for Dora The Explorer, but he’ll make an exception this time. Cue Randy Orton to interrupt, calling this a touching, touching moment. Orton is in charge tonight, so we’ll have HHH vs. Kane and Shawn vs. the man he couldn’t beat last year at Wrestlemania: John Cena.
Undertaker vs. Mark Henry
Casket match. Undertaker slugs away in the corner to start and hits the jumping clothesline to continue the fast opening. Old School is loaded up but Henry pulls him into a bearhug. With that not working, Henry clotheslines him to the floor, where Undertaker lands on his feet and pulls Henry outside. A whip into the corner slows Undertaker down again so he rams Henry into the casket. Back in and something close to a World’s Strongest Slam gets Henry out of trouble, only to have Undertaker pull him into the choke. That’s enough to knock Henry out and put him in the casket for the win.
Rating: D+. That might be the shortest casket match I can remember and it felt like a way to have Undertaker on the show in some fashion. There was nothing to this one as Undertaker more or less squashed him in a hurry. Granted that’s how it should have been, but this wasn’t the most interesting option.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and company are here.
Boxing people talk about Big Show vs. Mayweather Jr.
Earlier today, HHH talked about being ready to get the title back because it is two years in the making. Cena, Orton, game on.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Finlay
They were in a Money in the Bank ladder match before so this counts as a rematch. Hold on though as JBL pops up on screen to say he’ll beat up Finlay so bad that he’ll be in a bed next to Hornswoggle. The bell rings and Finlay beats on him with the shillelagh for a DQ in about fifteen seconds.
Post match the beating continues and Finlay knocks him silly.
WWE is doing something with Make A Wish. Apparently John Cena does a lot with the charity. Like him or not, that is another level of work.
Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy
Hardy is defending. JR: “One has to wonder what Chris Jericho’s motive is in this match.” Lawler: “To win the Intercontinental Title and be the champion.” They get on with the brawl (based off of some issues on the Highlight Reel a few weeks back) early until Jericho clotheslines him over the top.
We take an early break and come back with Hardy hitting the dropkick through the ropes. Hardy’s barricade running clothesline only hits announcers’ table though and things slow down a good bit. Back in and Jericho bends the back over his knee before kicking Hardy in the head. Hardy finally fights up and hits something like a Sling Blade, plus a Whisper in the Wind for two.
They go to a pinfall reversal sequence until Hardy misses some kind of flip. Jericho’s high crossbody is rolled through to give Hardy two but the Twist of Fate is countered. The Lionsault gives Jericho two but he misses the running enziguri, allowing Hardy to hit the Twist of Fate. Hardy misses the Swanton though and it’s a Codebreaker to give Jericho the pin and the title.
Rating: B. This took some time to get going but the last few minutes were what you would expect from these two. Hardy has been on a bit of a downward slide at the moment, as at some point he has to actually win the bigger matches. Winning the Intercontinental Title doesn’t mean much for him, but it does give Jericho a needed boost. Good match too, at least once things really got rolling.
Nikolai Volkoff/Iron Sheik vs. US Express
Hold on though as Jillian Hall is here for her own version of Born In The USA. That earns her the airplane spin from Mike Rotunda, as we have no match (thank goodness).
Next up for the Hall of Fame: the Briscos. Yeah that works, and as usual the old footage is great.
Video on Big Show.
Kane watches a clip of HHH beating him at Wrestlemania XV. We’re still allowed to talk about that one? Anyway, Randy Orton comes in and wants Kane to hurt HHH tonight but Kane doesn’t want a history lesson.
HHH vs. Kane
Kane slugs him into the corner to start but HHH punches his way to freedom. Back up and Kane takes it outside, where HHH reverses a whip into the post. Kane slugs away back inside and kicks HHH in the face, only to charge into a spinebuster. The facebuster staggers Kane again but the Pedigree is countered. As Randy Orton comes out to watch, HHH slips out of the chokeslam and hits the Pedigree for the pin.
Rating: C. They kept this VERY simple and to the point, as HHH gets to beat up the monster clean. Then again it isn’t like Kane is worth much at the moment and has just been kind of going through the motions. What matters here is HHH though, as he gets the big win and builds momentum towards Wrestlemania, meaning they accomplished the goal.
John Cena talks about how important Wrestlemania is. It’s the reason why he worked so hard to come back from his injury so soon, because Wrestlemania is what matters more than anything else. He respects Randy Orton, but it is going to be a fight to be the best. Cena’s time will come again.
Melina vs. Ashley
Beth Phoenix is here with Melina but there’s no Ashley, as she is hurt. We have a replacement though.
Melina vs. Maria
Beth Phoenix and Candice Michelle are here too. Maria charges into a boot in the corner to start as the shrieking is on to start. Now it’s Santino Marella coming out to watch, complete with a copy of Maria’s Playboy. Santino rips it up for a distraction, allowing Melina to hit a reverse DDT for the pin.
Post match Beth helps Melina beat the other two down.
Video on Floyd Mayweather Jr. He has a lot of money.
Here is Shane McMahon for the official Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. weigh-in. Mayweather weighs 159lbs and Show weighs 441. Show isn’t interested in the photo, but he does bring up Mayweather’s posse. Instead he brings out his own posse in the form of the locker room. Show points out that no one here likes Mayweather and promises pain at Wrestlemania. Mayweather pulls out cash, smells it, and talks about how he respects Big Show.
As the WHAT treatment goes on, Mayweather says Show has to catch him to hurt him. Show takes the case and hands it to some of the wrestlers so Mayweather promises to break Show’s jaw at Wrestlemania. Everyone goes to leave, but Show grabs Mayweather and throws him over the top, onto a bunch of the wrestlers. Mayweather comes up favoring his shoulder and runs to the back with everyone else going behind him.
Randy Orton says he’s HHH and John Cena plus more rolled into one. Wouldn’t that get a little cramped?
Edge vs. CM Punk
Non-title and the Edgeheads are here with Edge. Punk kicks him in the face to start but walks into a hot shot for his efforts. Some strikes don’t work very well for Punk but he is fine enough to fight out of a suplex. A knee to the face and some kicks set up the springboard clothesline for two on Edge. That earns Punk a quick DDT from Edge but Punk is back up with the GTS attempt. Cue the Edgeheads for a distraction though and the spear gives Edge the pin.
Rating: C. Punk has taken a few hits as of late and doesn’t seem to have much going in the way of momentum. Granted some of that might just be due to feuding with Chavo Guerrero for weeks on end, but losing to Edge isn’t quite as bad. Punk certainly has the talent, and now all he has to do is put the pieces together to make it work
Here is William Regal to talk about the Raw vs. Smackdown match between Umaga vs. Batista. Regal isn’t worried about Batista, which sends us to a video on Umaga. As Regal talks about how he pities Batista at Wrestlemania, here is Batista to interrupt. The fight is on with Batista hitting the spinebuster to send Umaga running.
Vince McMahon is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena
They trade hammerlocks to start as we talk about their history against each other. Neither can get very far until it’s Cena trying to get the STF, sending Shawn to the floor and us to a break. Back with Cena cranking on the arm until Shawn swinging neckbreakers his way to freedom. Cena gets tossed over the top and it’s time to start in on the knee back inside.
A quick AA attempt doesn’t work as the knee gives out, with Shawn chop blocking Cena to damage the knee even worse. Cena is fine enough to kick Michaels into the corner though and the clothesline comeback is on. The Shuffle connects but the FU is countered into a pinfall reversal sequence.
They collide for a double knockdown and a breather, allowing Shawn to hit the flying forearm. The top rope elbow looks to set up Sweet Chin Music but Cena grabs the foot. That’s fine with Shawn, who pulls him into that reverse Figure Four. With that broken up, Cena is sent outside and Shawn hits a dive, only to have Randy Orton run in to deck Cena for the DQ.
Rating: B-. These two are always going to work well together so the quality was hardly a surprise. It also helps that they got some time, but Orton running in was the best way to go given how strong both of them need to be going into Wrestlemania. It’s no classic, but Shawn vs. Cena in any form is at least worth a look.
Post match the RKO onto a chair is countered into a shove onto the chair, setting up the FU to drop Orton.
We cut to HHH in the back, who is in charge next week. Therefore, next week it’s John Cena and Randy Orton teaming up to face….the entire Raw roster. Oh boy.
Overall Rating: C. The nostalgia was fun, but it was also pretty limited, with some random rematches and cameos, plus some rematches that only kind of took place originally. I can go for an old school show, but this wasn’t exactly their best effort. They’re making me want to see Wrestlemania though so they are getting the big picture right.
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