On Monday, January 14, 2008 at 11:41 PM EST WWE RAW
January 14, 2008
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
A video putting over the Hardy-Orton happenings from last week aired.
Hardy’s music hit the arena and he came out to the ring. The crowd is going ballistic for him as he has the mic. Hardy says he’s excited. He said in less than two weeks, he’d become the WWE Champion. Hardy said as thrilled as he was he was also angry. He said not only will he take the title, he’ll take Orton out. He said that didn’t happen last week, but this week it would. He said Orton could come out now, or he’d come back and find him.
After a little wait, the WWE Champion’s music hit and he came out to the ramp. Orton said if he wanted him that bad, he could have him. He said however, that it would come with one condition. He said only two men had held both the Intercontinental Championship and the WWE Championship at the same time. He said he wanted to be the third. He said at the Rumble, they’d compete for Orton’s title, but tonight, they’d compete for his. Hardy accepted the match.
Orton said he didn’t know what he’d do until the Rumble because he was out of brothers to kick in the head. Hardy said Orton apparently didn’t get it. He’ll take his title at the Rumble, but Orton might not make it that far because tonight, he’d be taking him out.
Ric Flair and William Regal are facing off one on one later tonight.
Six Diva Tag Match
Ashley, Maria & Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix, Melina & Jillian Hall
Jillian’s music is utterly awesome.
Jillian took Ashley down and began pummeling her on the mat. She whipped Ashley to the buckles but ate a boot on the way in and almost got caught in a near fall thanks to a cross body block from the second rope.
Melina tagged in and Ashley plowed her with a clothesline before Maria tagged in and went to town. Maria kept coming at Melina but couldn’t get the bulldog. Melina hung her up on the rope and went back to her always fun choking and throat squeezing fun stuff.
Beth tagged in and laid Maria out with a big side slam. Maria’s wily like a fox though and wiggled away, tagging Mickie James. Mickie quickly went to work and cleaned house before nailing Beth with a Lou Thesz press off the top rope. Beth went for the double armed slam, but Mickie kicked out and hit a DDT. The baby faces cleaned out the heels and Mickie’s got a shot to topple Beth.
The fun doesn’t last long though as Maria got slammed onto the top rope. One fisherman’s suplex later, this one’s in the books.
Winners: Jillian, Melina & Beth Phoenix via pin fall
Vince is in the back with William Regal. He told Regal he had confidence in him that he’d beat Flair and end his career. He said he’d do it in the most un-dignified way possible. Vince got him a gift. Good lord it’s an enema. Snitsky showed up and now things are really weird. He wants to make an impact. Vince said Snitsky could do that against Triple H. Vince gave the enema thing to Regal and wished him luck.
We came back to a replay of last year’s Royal Rumble match where Taker and HBK dueled it out.
Michaels is in a qualifying match and he’s got something to say.
He thinks it’s a little silly that he needs to qualify for the Rumble. He said he was runner up last year and also won the thing twice. But still, somehow, he needed to qualify. He understands the rules and all, but he has an idea. He came out here to challenge Mr. Kennedy so why not make that match a qualifying match, that way he could beat him tonight….
Trevor Murdoch’s music hit and he’s on jobber duty tonight evidently.
Royal Rumble Qualifying Match
Shawn Michaels v. Trevor Murdoch
HBK grabbed an arm wringer before eating a punch. Murdoch leveled him with a shoulder block and began decking him with right hands and an inverted atomic drop punctuated with a running big boot.
Murdoch started leveling HBK with cross faces before killing him with a hard Irish whip for a two count. Murdoch applied the old vice grip of doom before the crowd rallied Michaels. Michaels hit some shots to the mid section and traded shots with Trevor before taking him down with a Thesz Press.
Michaels tossed him off the ropes and hit the flying forearm and the inverted atomic drop. Michaels went into his victory sequence and nailed the elbow drop before tuning up the band. Trevor held up just in time and fell on his back before Michaels locked in a BRUTAL looking death lock to win the match. Holy smokes, cool stuff.
Winner: Shawn Michaels via submission
Kennedy showed up on the titan tron and put over how big HBK’s ego was. He said HBK couldn’t handle the fact that he’s beaten him twice and has passed him by. He said it was all natural and the law of the jungle. He said he couldn’t stand that someone was better so that now he issued a challenge. Kennedy said he didn’t have anything left to prove, but guess what, out of the kindness of his heart, for the respect he has for him, he’d give him one more day in the sun. He said that next week, Michaels would have his last great moment in the wrestling business when he stepped into the ring with the present and future of the Wrestling business, Mr. Kennedy.
Michaels decked Murdoch with sweet chin music for fun and that’s that.
A video aired of the Flair goodness from the last few weeks.
Hornswoggle and Vince are having another tender moment. Vince said he was proud of Hornswoggle for getting into the Rumble match. He said he wanted to give Hornswoggle some experience in a Rumble match in a mini match of sorts. He said Hornswoggle would be #1 and he’d see Mr. Kennedy, then Mick Foley and then probably someone like Batista. Heck, maybe even a surprise or two. He said if he was successful, he’d have a shot at winning the Rumble match. He said though, it probably wasn’t too likely to happen. Hornswoggle started to get sad and Vince lost his mind. He grabbed Hornswoggle by the throat and said he was a McMahon and anything could happen and not to forget it. He was proud though.
Triple H is drooling which means it’s Game time. He faces Snitsky next!
Triple H v. Snitsky
The two locked horns and Snitsky quickly backed HHH to the corner. The Game reversed him and hit some right hands before Snitsky turned the tables and came back with some blows of his own. Triple H reversed an irish whip attempt and hit some kicks to the gut to regain the initiative.
Snitsky came back himself with some stiff blows but missed Triple H and clattered over the top rope and to the floor.
Snitsky was in full control as we returned from the break, keeping the Game slumped in the corner as he delivered a flurry of boots to the body. Snitsky hit some shoulder thrusts to Triple H’s mid section before flinging him to the opposite buckles.
Snitsky kept up the heat and hammered Triple H’s head off the buckles before hitting him with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Snitsky hit a scoop slam and dropped an elbow before backing up and hitting another one for a two count.
Triple H fought back on the mat before bounding off the ropes only to find himself caught in a bear hug. The fans rallied the Game but the initial comeback failed. Triple H rallied again and this time broke the hold. Snitsky attempted to cut it off with a pump handle slam, but Triple H wiggled out and nailed a DDT.
The two traded blows before Triple H hit the face buster followed by the spine buster, but got dumped to the floor attempting a pedigree. Snitsky pounced and immediately gained the advantage, hurling Triple H into the steel ring steps before looking to bash Triple H’s head in on them. Snitsky got the steps out but missed the shot. Triple H hit Snitsky with a chair causing the DQ and ending the match.
Winner: Snitsky via DQ
Triple H isn’t happy about the decision and retrieved his version of “My Buddy”, the trusty sledge hammer. Triple H hit a hammer shot to the gut and punctuated it with a pedigree. Triple H is a little cranky about not being in the Rumble match.
Vince is in the back and pops up on the video board. He said Triple H gets more angry and violent every week just because he’s not in the Rumble match. He advised him to calm down and take a chill pill. Triple H doesn’t like it so he broke the titan tron with the sledge hammer.
A replay of Triple H’s killing of the titan tron aired.
Vince confronted Triple H in the back. He said Triple H was back in the Rumble match. He said he was back in the match as long as we won the match next week. Vince smiled and said, ‘yeah, you’re match’.
JBL came out to the ring with all sorts of balloons and birthday fun stuff.
He asked Jericho how last week went for him before they aired a video of him hammering Jericho silly. JBL said Jericho should’ve never come back. He said he didn’t want to talk to Jericho, he wanted to talk to his kids. He asked them to look at his neck and his face. He said their dad just realized that there are people bigger, stronger and better than him. He said their Daddy was gutless and spineless and all the fight was taken out of him thanks to JBL. He said didn’t want to make this personal. He wanted him to look at his kids right now and tell them he’s better than him. Tell them he had given up and that their Daddy was a coward. He said if Chris showed up to the Royal Rumble, the savior would need to be saved from him. Holy smokes that was brilliant.
Looks like the JBL pyro hasn’t emptied from the arena. Holy smokes… or something.
Mini Royal Rumble Match
The number 1 entrant is Hornswoggle and #2 is Kennedy.
Oh good lord. Kennedy is a mini Kennedy. Yah. Oh good lord, we’re even getting the mic intro. Looks like the mic is up a little too high.
Mini Kennedy tried to toss Hornswoggle, but got decked with a lariat. Hornswoggle hit a drop kick before missing a charge in the corner where he ate the buckles. The clock is counting down and #3 is: Mini-Mankind!
Mini Kennedy and Mini Mankind are, uh, going at it before Hornswoggle whipped the two into each other. Mankind hit a clothesline before pulling out a baby bootie version of socko. Hornswoggle blocked it and hit a low blow before making him eat his own move. Hornswoggle GUERILLA PRESSED Kennedy over the top rope to the floor.
Oh my it’s #4 and mini-Batista. That entrance f-ing ruled ridiculously. He hit a big spear before he hulked up on the ropes. Mini Batista loaded up Hornswoggle for the Batista bomb but got back dropped. There was some squabbling before good lord, it’s mini-Kane. He’s shorter than I remember.
He hit some Kane like upper cuts before Batista spine bustered him. Mini Batista Batista-bombed him out of his boots before getting chucked by Hornswoggle. He shook the ropes to mock him. Glorious. Kane came back to life and hit some upper cuts before hitting a big running clothesline. Choke slam time but he can’t lift him. Hornswoggle hit him with some elbows and then his own version of the Celtic cross. Seriously cool.
Oh it’s Great Khali time. I have a feeling mini Khali isn’t going to be so mini. This isn’t going to go well. Finlay showed up with a freaking SPORT COAT on! Shillelagh on the dome and Finlay looks like he’s got the advantage. He stooges with Singh for a little while and that’s that.
We’re experiencing our first technical difficulties of the year… Glorious.
Vince and Finlay aren’t too happy about life. Vince asked Finlay if he wants to blow off some steam, he could do it against Khali one on one. Vince told him to never ever put his hands on him ever again. Finlay called him a liar. Vince told him to take care of his own business.
Career Threatening Match
Ric Flair v. William Regal
Regal looks insane. I love insane Regal.
We’ve joined the match in progress. Regal’s got Flair in a half crab and Naitch is trying to stay alive. Flair reached the ropes and broke the hold but ate some boots to the dome for his efforts.
Flair tripped Regal up and slammed his leg off the apron a few times before running into the ring post a few times. Back in the ring, Regal was on the retreat trying to avoid more damage to the leg. Flair hit the shin breaker and slapped on the figure four and Regal’s in trouble. Flair is ripping a tearing but Regal managed to get to the ring ropes.
Regal grabbed a dopey headlock and went for the roll up but the ref caught him with the tights. The ref admonished Regal and Flair was able to pounce and grab the tights himself and score the win.
Winner: Ric Flair via pin fall
Regal’s going ballistic in the ring.
Randy Orton and Jeff hardy are on their way to the ring and that’s next!
Randy Orton v. Jeff Hardy
Orton watched Hardy come right at him and HAMMERED him with a shot to the fun bag. That’s over.
Winner: Jeff Hardy via DQ
Orton immediately got on the mic and said the show wasn’t over. He chucked Hardy to the floor like garbage and began ripping up the mats near ring side. Orton went for an RKO, but Hardy fought him off. The two fought up the ramp furiously. Orton slammed Hardy into the titan tron and is in complete control. JR is having a panic attack. Orton lined up the big boot only to get back body dropped BIG TIME off the stage. Orton’s somewhere off stage dead. Holy crap. Hardy has that look. Oh good lord he’s going up the light fixtures. Jeff Hardy has hate. He gazed down and then jesus christ. He’s going up higher. Oh my god. Hardy leaps from the second light scaffold. The EMT’s are FRANTICALLY trying to get at them. As they cart him off, Hardy motions to the crowd. Wow.
What an ending.RAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Wow, after that last section, I don’t know what to say.
Raw, even though it’s been pretty great for the past year, has really lacked in the ‘shocking moments’ department. Sure, it’s tougher to pull it off these days with us net dorks and all. The Matt Hardy return a few years ago was cool, the HBK heel turn on Hogan was out of nowhere, but the ending to tonight’s show was as shocking as you’d expect.
Yeah, yeah I know, tons of mats and what not, but really, that’s the kind of thing that just escalates the feud to a new level. So much hate from a guy in Hardy whose hard to get a lot of emotion from. He and Orton are REALLY going all out here to get this program over and kudos to both. Orton’s lacked that definitive feud during his reign despite going over Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chris Jericho. Of all the programs, you’d expect the WWE to just tease this and play it safe, especially when you’ve got Edge-Rey Mysterio and JBL-Jericho on the same card, but they’re putting the pedal to the medal. Sure, they were trying to sell concern, but you could almost see Mike Rotunda and Ricky Steamboat smiling a bit at just how cool that angle came off and it’s good to have a title program in Orton’s reign with some genuine insanity. Orton and Hardy are two guys who aren’t afraid at all to take the bumps. Sure, it’s not good business to risk these two like this two weeks out, but to hell with that. It worked.
I almost feel bad for Jericho and JBL, who’ve built their program about as well as one could possibly ask. JBL cut the best promo on Raw in like, ever. Lots of hate there, too. It’s almost like the WWE’s going to have to watch themselves or they’re going to kill the crowd before they hit the Rumble match.
This Raw had such a fantastic flow to it. The bait and switch for Orton and Hardy worked beautifully. The JBL promo was awesome. The Vince-Hornswaggle stuff was fun.
Save for a lackluster Divas match, this entire show was good. Every freaking segment. The Kennedy promo was fantastic. The Flair-Regal match was about as good as a four minute match can be. Triple H losing his mind works. Finlay going berserk is awesome. Finlay running in wearing a mother f-ing sports coat rules. Even the Triple H-Snitsky match was decent.
Since Rotunda, Steamboat, Finlay and Hayes really took over the road agent thing in the back, the quality of the WWE product has sky rocketed. If you want a place to lay the compliments, it’s on them. This show is so much better than it was a year or so ago.
Overall Grade: A-
Beth, Melina & Jillian def. Mickie, Maria & Ashley
Shawn Michaels def. Trevor Murdoch
Snitsky def. Triple H
Hornswoggle won a mini Royal Rumble
Ric Flair def. William Regal
Jeff Hardy def. Randy Orton
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Jeff Hardy
2. Triple H
3. Shawn Michaels
4. Ric Flair
1. Randy Orton
3. Vince McMahon
4. Mr. Kennedy
Match of the Night: Ric Flair v. William Regal **
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 0-1, 0pts. (Last Week: WWE Champion) -- Mike in the forums pointed it out tonight and like I said last week, It’s the little things that make Orton so f-ing good. He nails Hardy in the junk and the look on Mike Chioda’s face was disbelief like ’what the f---- are you doing!?’. Orton’s so hateful.
Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Hardy 2-0, 4pts. (Last Week: IC Champion)— It wasn’t even the bump that made this so good, it was the set up to it that was so good. Hardy’s really learned how to make his big spots actually count for something rather than just the run of the mill suicide dives. He’s proved he belongs thus far.
1. Shawn Michaels 2-0, 3pts. (Last Week: 2) —I liked the promo I guessed and as much as I like grumpy Shawn Michaels, it’s just been hard to get into his stuff lately. Part of me feels like he’s not too wild about wrestling anymore.
1. Triple H 1-1, 2pts.(Last Week: 1) -- Triple H needs to stop forcing the face stuff by over doing it. His biggest problem in the face role is his tendency to just over do it. The hammer the titan tron stuff tonight was a little cheesy.
3. Chris Jericho 1-0, 2pts. (Last Week: 3)-- Jericho needs to tell his kids the truth like JBL says.
4. Ken Kennedy 1-0, 1pt. (Last Week: 4)-- I’m glad they’re taking him out of the ring more and focusing on his promo work. That’s his strong suit. The ring stuff will come as long as he’s working the right guys. If they’re going to push him, they need to push the strengths, and ring work isn’t one of them yet.
5. Ric Flair 1-0, 2 points (Last Week: 8) -- Great short match with Regal tonight. Both go for the jugular early. Regal lays in some hellish offense, Flair lays in some hellish offense. Regal gets suckered into fighting dirty and as we’ve learned at least a million and one times by now, no one out-dirties Ric Flair.
6. Umaga 0-1, 0 points(Last Week: 5) -- Not in action this week.
7. JBL 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: 10) -- Seriously, the promo tonight was as good as I’ve seen on any wrestling show in quite some time. So sadistic. So ego-maniacal. So evil. Great heat.
8. Hardcore Holly 1-0, 1pt.. (Last Week: 6) — Not in action.
9. Cody Rhodes 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: 7) -- Not in action.
10. Snitsky 1-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR) -- Snitsky didn’t look too bad tonight surprisingly. He might have been punked, but a win is a win I suppose. He gets into the 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)
Santino Marella 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: 9)
Paul London 0-0, 0 points(Last Week: NR)
Brian Kendrick, 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Trevor Murdoch 0-2, 0 points (Last Week: 7)
Super Crazy 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
William Regal 0-2 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)