On Monday, January 7, 2008 at 11:31 PM EST WWE RAW
January 7, 2008
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
A video aired recapping the events of the Flair-Triple H match from Raw last week.
William Regal is in the back with Vince McMahon. Vince asked him if he knew what this was. He said this was the first Raw of 2008 and they were expecting something big tonight as well as innovative. He said we had Raw Roulette. McMahon said they were starting the new year with a bang.
Regal said he had to make a decision last week. He wondered what if Triple H were injured and he would get a match against William Regal. The wheel has spun. Good lord it’s a first blood match. Regal left the office only to get attacked by Triple H. Triple H-William Regal is on.
The opening Raw credits rolled and here we go!
HBK’s music hit and he came out to the ramp for a little match.
Before Kennedy did his mic shtick, McMahon spun the wheel. It’s a strange bedfellows night. That means Kennedy and Michaels are tag team partners.
Shawn Michaels & Mr. Kennedy v. Charlie Haas & Trevor Murdoch
Yeah, no kidding, this is weird. Kennedy worked over Haas in the middle of the ring before having a throw to the ropes reversed. HBK tagged himself into the contest, booted Kennedy and tossed him to the outside before tossing Haas aside as well. The crowd likes the whole HBK-attitude thing.
Uh, Charlie Haas has put on a mask and says ‘now it’s time’. No, not a joke.
So Haas thinks he’s a super hero or something and tags in Murdoch who kills HBK with a boot and a lariat before going for a quick cover attempt. He laid the legend out with some cross faces before tagging in his masked friend who, by the way, is still posing. He jumped off the top rope for an elbow but instead landed on his feet and then dropped the elbow.
Kennedy backed away from the idea of a tag while the masked sensation lost his, uh mask. Michaels was a house of fire and went to work on Haas with the usual victory sequence stuff. HBK hit the big elbow and then super kicked Murdoch off the apron. Kennedy distracted Michaels and tagged himself in.
Michaels hit sweet chin music on Haas before turning right into a Kennedy Mic Check. Kennedy made the cover for the win.
Winners: Mr. Kennedy & Shawn Michaels via pin fall
Kennedy had some nice pillow talk with HBK after the match. King calls it the strangest match HBK ever won. I’d have to agree.
We got it tonight! Regal v. Triple H in a first blood match.
Dress Up Like Your Opponent Match
Hardcore Holly v. Carlito
This is gloriously stupid. Holly looks like an idiot in that whig. Apparently Carlito agrees and is taking it right to him. After whipping Holly a few times he went for a back suplex and connected for a near fall before slapping on the trusty bow and arrow.
Carlito pressed the pace here, landing a big chop and proclaiming himself to be hardcore. Holly didn’t like that and spat some fire back at the youngster before taking him down with a back body drop. Holly connected with a drop kick before catching and apple and eating some.
Shortly thereafter we’ve got an Alabama slam and that’s that.
Winner: Hardcore Holly via pin fall
Maria’s in the back with Vince. He said she could determine the match all the divas would be in tonight. It landed on a submission match and Vince made her close her eyes and Vince, that sly fox, adjusted it to a lingerie pillow fight. Maria says we won’t have to worry about foreign objects, her pillows are all natural.
A video aired of the Jeff Hardy-Randy Orton fun from last week. Hardy cut a promo about Orton. He says he’s got a message. Not only is he taking his WWE Championship, he’s taking Orton out altogether. Tonight, Hardy will face Umaga in a cage match tonight.
The wheel is a spinning and Hornswoggle is running laps around it. There are some audio issues and they cut away from the segment. The Lingerie pillow fight is next.
A taped version of the segment from before aired. It looks like Hornswoggle has a chance to qualify for the Royal Rumble. In fact he and his partner have a chance to qualify. Finlay isn’t here, but he can choose whomever he wants.
Lingirie Pillow Fight
Melina v. Maria v. Mickie James v. Jillian v. Ashley Massarro
Jillian is singing her own entrance music. Glory of god.
Melina is jumping on the bed with Jillian. Jesus good lord. The work rate is incomparable, the execution is flawless, not since Flair-Steamboat have we seen such athleticism, not since Slaughter-Iron Sheik have we seen such toughness. Melina got power bombed on the bed and Ashley at a back body drop. Vicious pillow attack.
Ashley hit’s a big elbow drop and this is over.
Winner: Ashley via pin fall
Well, Triple H is on his way to the ring and the match with Regal is next!
First Blood Match
Triple H v. William Regal
Regal came at Triple H and it’s punches galore. Regal exited stage right before Triple H chased him to the outside and tried to knock his head off the steps unsuccessfully. Triple H instead hit some rights into the forehead of Regal before grating his face on the steps.
Triple H chucked the steps at Regal, but Regal avoided them and ran Triple H into the ring post. Regal went for a knee, but missed and hit the post and is looking a little lame. Regal hit some punches before bashing the Game’s head off the ring steps.
Regal stood on the Game’s head in the ring before hitting a double under hook suplex. Regal untied the corner buckle to expose the steel bolt. Triple H fought back but Regal won the exchange and slammed Triple H’s head off the buckle. Regal kept laying in with left hands before backing up and dropping a nasty looking knee to the face of the 11 time champion.
Triple H blocked the bash attempt in the corner before Triple H got two nice revenge spots before backing up Regal into the ropes. He nailed the face buster and looked for the pedigree, but Regal countered into a sling shot into a padded corner. Regal hit a nasty running knee to Triple H’s face before backing off and going for some toys at ringside.
Regal grabbed the brass knucks he had before and went for the big shot, but Triple H countered into a spine buster. Triple H kept hitting straight, hard right hand shots in the face before ripping and tearing at Regal’s forehead. Regal’s bleeding BUCKETS already.
Winner: Triple H
Triple H kept going afterwards and laid in some more shots to the head before hitting a nasty pedigree to put the punctuation mark on it all. Great freaking match.
Santino and Hornswoggle put together a fun little segment backstage. Small people creep Santino out.
A video package aired putting over the JBL-Jericho feud. It’s on officially for the Royal Rumble. Chris Jericho comes out to the ring for his match tonight.
Chris Jericho v. Snitsky & JBL
Snitsky jumped Jericho right off the bat and backed him to the corner before losing him in the ropes as Jericho fought back with some strikes. Jericho tried to get some offense in before Snitsky laid him out with a clothesline and some stomps.
Snitsky tossed Jericho clean across the ring but missed the big boot allowing Jericho to hit a springboard drop kick. JBL came rushing in and bull rushed Jericho to the outside. The two brawled all over the outside of the ring before JBL cold cocked him with the ring bell. JBL killed the referee too and smashed Jericho’s face off the ring steps.
JBL choked Jericho out with the TV cables on the outside and then tied him in a noose like thing and began dragging him around the outside. JBL mauled him with a clothesline on the outside and this is full blown out of control. JBL dragged him down the aisle and began hammering him to pieces on the steel wall near the ramp. JBL went to literally hang him before the refs stepped in.
Winner: Chris Jericho via DQ
Royal Rumble Qualifying Match
Hornswoggle & Mick Foley v. The Highlanders
Swear to god, I was just resetting my power rankings points at the break, and I think to myself, should I just eliminate Foley? Guess not.
Foley and Robbie started things off and Foley connected with some rights for a near fall.
Hornswoggle tagged in and hit some drop kicks and a sit out thing a ma jobber. Rory tagged in and slammed Hornswoggle to the match hard but Foley interrupted the count. Hornswoggle made a hot tag and Foley came running in and did a number on Rory in the corner. Bang Bang.
Foley hit a running knee in the corner before hitting a kick to the gut and a nasty little knee lift. The Highlanders regained some momentum and used some double team moves to earn themselves the initiative.
Both went for a back body drop but Foley caught them both and ejected Rory to the floor. He pulled out Socko and went for the mandible on Robbie, but caught the incoming Rory. After dispatching him, Hornswoggle tagged in and hit a tadpole splash on Robbie for the win.
Winners: Mick Foley & Hornswoggle via pin fall
Steel Cage Match
Jeff Hardy v. Umaga
WWE Champion Randy Orton has strolled down to ring side.
Umaga tossed Hardy back hard before flat back the oncoming up and comer with a back elbow. Umaga tossed hardy into the ropes and almost got sunset flipped, but went for the sit out, Hardy avoided the move and kept sticking and moving before eating a running big boot from the big Samoan.
Umaga’s in total control now, whipping Hardy into the buckles. Umaga ate some steel cage though as Hardy avoided the follow up and hit the torpedo drop kick in the corner for a near fall. Hardy kept clubbing away on Umaga before the big man vaulted him into the cage. Hardy caught the cage though and tried to escape.
Umaga ripped him off the walls and slammed him hard to the mat, much to the delight of the champion on the outside.
Over the break, Umaga literally steamrolled Hardy, and now has him in a vice grip. Great visual here with Hardy helpless, Orton antagonizing and the referee WAY into the hold. Umaga just kept on smashing the side of Hardy’s face and going back to the hold. Hardy fought to his feet but ended up getting back dropped into the steel cage.
Umaga did some beating and what not on the cage before hitting a big splash into the steel for a two count. Orton’s asking him if he wants some help and is now tossing weapons into the ring.
Umaga is going to kill Hardy and absolutely pelts him with a chair shot off the spine. Umaga went for the cover and Hardy kicked out. Umaga is climbing the cage and before you know it, he got hung up on the top rope. Hardy’s got a chair and uses it as a vault to hurdle himself into the beast.
Orton is beside himself on the outside. Hardy’s egging on Umaga and that could be stupid. Hardy went for a twist of fate, but Umaga tossed him off and clotheslined him to the mat. Umaga lined him up for the running ass and completely missed. Hardy came flying back and hit his mule kick into the corner.
He grabbed a chair and flung it into Umaga’s head. Hardy brought him out to the middle of the ring and DDT’d him off a chair for a great near fall. Hardy went to walk through the door and Orton slammed it on his head. Umaga went for the cover but Hardy still kicked out.
The concern Orton has for this match is making it real important. Umaga’s lining up a Samoan spike. Hardy countered out into a twist of fate. Hardy’s climbing the cage trying to escape but Orton’s waiting for him. Hardy’s looking back and and HOLLLLYYT L:KJNF:DJKLNAKLANSDFNKQNK “LKNMJKL:J “:!!!!!!!!
Whisper in the wind off the top of the cage and Hardy wins without dying!
Winner: Jeff Hardy via pin fall
Hardy stood on top of the cage and stared down Orton on the floor below. RAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Well, I guess this show is almost entirely BIG hit and BIG miss.
First the crap. The pillow fight was awesomely bad and man oh man that’s as dead a crowd as I’ve heard for any match anywhere. There was some funny stuff that made it somewhat bearable. I mean Jillian sings her entrance music and that’s great, but on the whole, it lasted entirely too long.
The opening tag match was incredibly weird and one of the weirder matches I’ve seen. The Kennedy stuff at the end was cool and all but man oh man was that match a debacle.
Now onto the good.
The Triple H-Regal match was great. Tight, no stupidity or outrageous weapons shots, just two guys punching till the other bleeds. After all, that’s the point right? Still, great psychology here as Regal didn’t come off looking like a chicken, looked tough, but just not tough enough. Triple H looked nasty vengeful and focused. Ditching the knucks early and then going back to them in the end was cool in addition to well done revenge spots. This isn’t a match of the year candidate or anything, but it just had some good heat and was worked really well for a 7-10 minute match. Didn’t need to be anything more than that.
The JBL-Jericho feud is awesome. I’m sorry, but I just dig two guys who’ve got the ‘itch’ again going at it and trying to put each other back on the map. What I like is that that very thing, making themselves relevant, is what’s driving the supposed hate they have for each other. Not the bump, not whose better, just a desperate desire to prove that they’re still relevant in today’s wrestling world. While on the surface you’d have to wonder why there’s this much hate so early on, once you look at it, it makes all the sense in the world.
And the cage match. Good lord, the cage match. That’s as good a cage match as I’ve seen on WWE TV. All three guys really were awesome here (Orton too!) and delivered a fun match. The one thing I really hate about cage matches in general is the tendency to want to bleed all over the place, use excessive weapons and rely on the same old finishes. It makes the cage less relevant. In the first two thirds of the match, the cage isn’t an advantage for either guy. It’s an extreme disadvantage. Umaga crashes into the cage frequently and it screws up his rhythm and because he’s hitting the cage instead of air, it gives Hardy that extra bit of time to actually get something together and climb back into it.
Same problem exists for Hardy. He’s a high flyer, so being confined in a cage isn’t a good thing. The struggle for Hardy to find the right spacing is highlighted well here, as he gets trapped up on the wall and in between the ropes a lot and that costs him as much as Umaga crashing into the cage affects Umaga.
The match comes down to both themes. How can Hardy actually use the cage to his advantage and how can he find the space to do his thing? Well the ending high spot is where we get it and we get the win on a suicidal move. Absolutely excellent match. Orton made it seem just that much more important.
So sure, Raw was really hit and miss tonight, but the hits are good enough for you to really not care about the bad all that much. The two main event matches were SO good, that is bumps this Raw up a little higher than it maybe should be as a whole.
Overall Grade: B-
Mr. Kennedy & Shawn Michaels def. Charlie Haas & Trevor Murdoch
Hardcore Holly def. Carlito
Ashley won a Divas pillow fight
Triple H def. William Regal
Chris Jericho def. JBL & Snitsky
Mick Foley & Hornswoggle def. The Highlanders
Jeff Hardy def. Umaga
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Triple H
2. Jeff Hardy
3. Shawn Michaels
4. Chris Jericho
2. Randy Orton
4. Mr. Kennedy
Match of the Night: Jeff Hardy v. Umaga ***1/2
Power Rankings5 Points= Title Win
4 Points= World Title defense/win
3 Points= Singles PPV Win
2 Points= Tag PPV Win
2 Points= TV Singles Win
1 Point= TV Tag Win
0 Points= Loss
WWE Champion: Randy Orton (Last Week: WWE Champion) -- Again, Orton does the little things that matter and his presence at the cage match and subtle involvement made it mean that much more. The fact that his efforts were thwarted helped this feud more than if he had done the typical beat down.
Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Hardy 1-0, 2pts. (Last Week: IC Champion)— Hardy’s the hottest act in the WWE right now, period. Deserves the spot. End of discussion.
1. Triple H 1-0, 2pts.(Last Week: 1) -- As sound a match as you could possibly hope for. When Triple H doesn’t allow himself to get caught up in extra cirriculars he’s awesome. Regal hates extra cirriculars. That means a good Triple H.
2. Shawn Michaels 1-0, 1pt. (Last Week: 2) —I got a distinct feeling that Michaels wasn’t crazy about being there tonight. He phoned it in tonight. A win’s a win, but still, Kennedy’s bringing all the energy to this right now.
3. Chris Jericho 1-0, 2pts. (Last Week: 3)-- Jericho did such a good job of looking like a beat puppy tonight it made me squeal. Seriously, it was pretty great. I’m liking where this JBL thing is headed.
5. Ken Kennedy 1-0, 1pt. (Last Week: 5)-- The last three-four weeks he’s looking better, but still, that match was wicked weird.
4. Umaga 0-1, 0 points(Last Week: 4) -- Such a good reserved role from Umaga tonight. Destroy, destroy, destroy. He wasn’t worried about winning and that’s how the character should be.
6. Hardcore Holly 1-0, 1pt.. (Last Week: 6) — Holly does a good job in a foreign role, the comedy act tonight.
7. Cody Rhodes 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: 7) -- Not in action.
8. Ric Flair 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: 8) -- Not in action.
9. Santino Marella 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: 9) -- Not in action. Little people freak him out.
10. JBL 0-1, 0 points -- Takes a loss but delivers a brutally awesome beating in the process. Earns him his debut in my top 10.
John Cena 0-0, 0 points. (Last Week: INJURED)
Jerry Lawler 0-0 points (Last Week: 10)
Lance Cade 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: 8)
Snitsky 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Paul London 0-0, 0 points(Last Week: NR)
Brian Kendrick, 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Trevor Murdoch 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: 7)
Super Crazy 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
William Regal 0-1 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Bobby Lashley 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: INJURED)
Ron Simmons 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Harry Smith 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Rory 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Robbie 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Mick Foley 1-0, 1 point (Last Week: NR)
Sgt. Slaughter 0-0. 0 pts. (Last Week: NR)
Val Venis 0-0 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Carlito 0-1, 0 pts. (Last Week: 10)