Date: April 4, 2008
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Michael Cole
It’s the first show after Wrestlemania and the big story is the Undertaker defeating Edge in the show’s main event to get the World Title back. You can all but guarantee that won’t be it between the two, as a match like that is primed for rematches. Other than that, we might be seeing some new stars around here, which tends to be the case after Wrestlemania. Let’s get to it.
Here is La Familia to get things going and none of them look happy. Edge has never been so upset as he felt he left everyone down. Most of all, he feels like he let Vickie Guerrero down but swears on their love that he will get the World Title back. Chavo Guerrero feels like he let La Familia down and says Kane cheated to beat him at Wrestlemania. Vickie, after a rather mild “excuse me”, says Edge and Chavo will get their next title matches at Backlash. As for tonight, their opponents can face each other, as it’s Kane vs. Undertaker.
Matt Hardy vs. MVP
Non-title as the battle rages on. MVP drives him into the corner to start and fires off the shoulders to the ribs. A neckbreaker gets Matt out of trouble and they fight to the floor as Cole recaps this rather long feud. Back in and Matt drops an elbow for two and a clothesline has MVP outside again.
That doesn’t last long this time either as MVP hangs Matt over the ropes for something like a Nightmare On Helm Street to take over. MVP sends him outside in another heap and Matt goes into the announcers’ table to make it worse. We hit the reverse chinlock back inside before MVP goes simple by stomping on Matt’s face.
Back up and Matt goes after the knee (feels like some poetic justice), including wrapping it around the rope in the corner. More cranking ensues on the mat, followed by the Side Effect. The Twist of Fate is broken up but MVP’s knee is too banged up to try the running boot in the corner. Now the Twist of Fate can finish MVP off.
Rating: B-. This was a slower paced match than the two usually have but they both have the skills to have a quality match like this one. MVP almost has to lose the title to Hardy sooner than later as that is entirely the point of picking this feud up after such a long hiatus. Granted it won’t mean as much due to MVP’s consistent losing, but at least they are tying up the loose end.
Festus vs. Zack Ryder
Jesse and Curt Hawkins are here too. Before the match, Hawkins and Ryder didn’t have many nice things to say about Festus. The bell rings so Festus beats both of them up on the floor without much trouble. Back in and Festus beats on him in the corner as commentary talks about Snoop Dogg at Wrestlemania. A bunch of headbutts keep Ryder down but he manages some forearms to the face. The fall away slam sends Ryder flying though and a running knee makes it even worse. Festus grabs the fireman’s carry flapjack for the pin.
Rating: C. This was little more than a squash but Festus can do the power stuff well enough to make it entertaining. If nothing else the flapjack looks like something that could wipe someone out, which is not something every finisher manages to accomplish. I’m a bit surprised that Ryder lost to someone who is little more than half of a comedy team, but maybe the reheating is upon us.
Long video on Ric Flair losing to force his retirement, plus his farewell.
Here is Shawn Michaels to address what he did to Ric Flair. Shawn talks about being face to face with Flair on Raw and feeling his eyes well up with tears. Cue Batista to interrupt though and he isn’t looking happy. Batista says that he isn’t over what happened to Flair yet, because he won’t get to see his friend wrestle again. Shawn says it killed him too but Batista doesn’t want to hear it.
Shawn talks about how Flair wanted his best and Batista would have done it too. Batista says not so fast and says that while Shawn had a job to do, Shawn doesn’t do jobs. If Shawn had laid down JUST ONCE, Flair would still be here. Because Shawn wouldn’t do the right thing, Batista will never ride with his best friend again. Does Shawn really see Flair as Old Yeller? Like some sick old dog? Batista walks away, still making it sound like Flair died.
Undertaker and Kane meet in the back but don’t say anything.
Vladimir Kozlov vs. Matt Bentley
Bentley is an OVW mainstay while the debuting Kozlov comes to the ring to no music for a bit of an eerie vibe. Kozlov flips him over to start before firing off some kicks. The boot choke in the corner sets up a headbutt to the chest and a torture rack drop finishes Bentley fast. Total squash and impressive enough while it lasted.
Miz/John Morrison vs. Jimmy Wang Yang/Shannon Moore
Non-title. Miz drives Yang into the corner to start but misses a clothesline. Moore comes in with a dropkick for one but it’s off to Morrison as there are a disturbing amount of empty seats opposite the hard camera. Morrison finishes fast with the flipping neckbreaker.
Post match Great Khali comes out to wreck everyone. Cue Big Show to say he is getting in Khali’s face instead, with Khali leaving again.
Here are Teddy Long and the owners of Beverly Hills Choppers to announce the winner of the Divas contest. Michelle McCool wins but here is Victoria to interrupt. Victoria says the contest was fixed and the brawl is on, but a mystery woman jumps Michelle from behind. Said mystery woman also knocks Cherry (here for the finals) down as well and leaves with Victoria. No name is given but you might know her better by her name in OVW: Nattie Neidhart.
Long Wrestlemania video.
Kane vs. Undertaker
Non-title. They shove each other around to start so Undertaker goes after the arm. Some arm cranking has Kane down until he powers out, only to have Undertaker take out the leg instead. With that not working, Undertaker switches back to the arm as Coach says they aren’t going as hard as usual due to not wanting to hurt each other.
Kane backs him into the corner for some shots to the face as the pace picks up fast. The slugout actually goes to Kane, who drops him with a big boot. The right hands in the corner just wake Undertaker up and the brawl heads to the floor. Back in and they fight over a chokeslam attempt until stereo big boots put them both down. They both sit up but here is La Familia to jump both of them for the double DQ.
Rating: C. This was little more than a way to have a big main event without having either champion lose. The match was barely a thing as they spent about half of it in slow motion, which did kind of make sense for the story they were telling. Thankfully they didn’t have either of them lose, so they were thinking here, even if the stakes were nonexistent.
Post match Undertaker and Kane fight back, including double chokeslams and Tombstones, to clear the ring and end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. They kept the pace going here and had a few debuts to go with the next steps in the big stories. Other than Batista’s weird way of talking about Ric Flair being gone, there wasn’t much that didn’t work here. While nothing was through the roof, it was a show that felt like it came in with momentum and then moved towards Backlash. Good, efficient show here and a great breath of air after the last few weeks.
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