On Monday, March 10, 2008 at 11:56 PM EST WWE RAW
March 10, 2008
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
The opening pyro hit and we get the grand introduction.
Ric Flair came out to the ring and pranced in the most manly way imaginable. He said Michaels didn’t want to face him at Wrestlemania and slammed Michaels for having the audacity to say something that stupid. He said he respected HBK, but he dared him to come out and say it to his face. Michaels’ music hit and he came prancing out to the ring in a slightly less manly way.
Flair got in Michaels’ face and told him that the word ‘sympathy’ didn’t exist when he started and ‘pity’ sure as hell didn’t exist as he’s on his way out. He woo’d in HBK’s face. He said if he couldn’t take on the best, which by the way, he is… then he didn’t want his career to continue. He said he was out there to earn respect, not pity. He said he expected the same from Michaels and said he wouldn’t be ‘the man’ until he beat him at Wrestlemania.
He said his career may end, but he said on any good day, he could beat Michaels and reassured us that his career would never end. Ever.
Michaels put over his Wrestlemania resume and said that Flair needed to understand something. He said he’d steal the show again and told Flair that he was on at Wrestlemania. They hugged before Michaels turned around and promised support for Flair this Friday against the Edge idiots.
WWE Champion Randy Orton’s music hit and he came out to the ramp. He said he was in charge this week and while Triple H was facing Kane tonight, he’d make sure Michaels knew he could be beaten when he faces John Cena in the main event.
Mark Henry v. The Undertaker is next! Wig splittin’!
Wrestlemania Rewind--Casket Match
Undertaker v. Mark Henry
Taker came in and immediately took it to Henry with some big old wind up shots. But this is Mark Henry and he splits wigs and even the eroding wigs of dead guys. Henry comes back with some brutally mean hammer shots before working over the small of the back and slapping on the awesome bear hug.
Henry’s advantage was short lived though and Taker fought out before taking the action to the floor. Taker slammed Henry’s wig off the lid of the casket and tossed the big fat black mang back into the ring. Henry fired back with a pretty awesome power slam. Henry went for the casket lid and went to dump Taker into it, but Taker caught him in a grizzly triangle choke. The big man is caught and he’s out like a light bulb. He rolled Henry into the casket and closed the lid and that’s that. Short and to the point.
Winner: The Undertaker
They showed a jovial, more relaxed and likable Floyd Mayweather backstage with his cronies. They got soundbites from boxing champ Antonio Tarver saying rarely do fighters leave their weight class and Michael Buffer talking about Mayweather's resume and Bert Sugar talking about how Mayweather's payoff will barely cover his hospital bills. Ross and Lawler plugged again the official weigh-in. Lawler said fireworks might break out. It'd be nice if pro wrestling went against type and had things just go smoothly, just to keep everyone on their toes and make things look a little more legit and less staged.
Triple H is doing a testimonial. He says he lives to be champion and that his injury derailed his shot to win a championship at last year’s Wrestlemania. He said at Wrestlemania, he’d be fighting like his life depended on it. Why? Because it does.
Finlay v. Mr. Kennedy
Just as we’re about to get it on, JBL popped up on the tron and started goading Finlay. He said at Wrestlemania, we’ll get a Belfast brawl.
Finlay went right after Kennedy with his shillelagh out of anger causing an immediate DQ. Finlay beat the crap out of Kennedy as Kennedy sold the shots like he got hit with a baseball bat. Finlay held back for a brief bit while the officials checked on Kennedy before laying it in on him some more.
Winner: Mr. Kennedy via DQ
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Jeff Hardy v. Chris Jericho
The two locked horns and staggered off the ropes until they broke it up. Jericho gave Hardy a rather unpleasant slap across the face and before you know it, we’ve got a donny brook! Jericho took Hardy down and began pummeling him on the mat before backing him up with some chops and other run. Hardy blocked a drop kick attempt and countered into his double leg drop to the mid section for a two count.
Jericho didn’t take too well to it after the kick out and came flying at Hardy with a clothesline that sent the champion reeling over the top rope and dumping him to the floor.
The two were still going at it in the corner when we got back as Jericho kept laying the chops in. Jericho hit an Irish whip but whiffed on the follow through and took a nasty bump onto the floor. Hardy hit a baseball slide drop kick to floor Jericho before heading to the outside.
Hardy swooped across the guard rails and went for a splash on Jericho but Jericho avoided him and Hardy smashed into the announce table. Jericho stood over his foe briefly before gathering Hardy and tossing him in the ring. Jericho planted Hardy with a lion sault for a great near fall.
Jericho hit a back breaker and kept on the pressure with the stretch following it. Hardy fought out but Jericho was still in control and he choked the champion on the ropes, pressing his advantage. Jericho kept up the pressure and came looking for the body splash, but Hardy nipped up and clotheslined Jericho to the mat, leaving both out on the mat.
Hardy hit the flying forearm and successfully avoided a bulldog attempt and hit whisper in the wind for a two count. Hardy missed some strikes only for Jericho to hit a northern lights suplex for a two count. The two traded suplexes before Hardy hit another drop kick to the grill of Y2J and again, we’re on the outside.
Ok, maybe we’re not. Jericho’s back up on the top rope and went for a body splash, but Hardy rolled through for a near fall. Hardy loaded up the twist of fate but Jericho shoved him off and hit a lion sault for a super near fall.
Hardy went for a suplex but Jericho countered and almost slapped n the Walls of Jericho. Hardy countered that looking for a roll up before Jericho kicked out. Hardy nipped up immediately and hit the twist of fate. He got ready for the Swanton, but completely missed Jericho and crashed to the mat.
Jericho coiled up and nailed the code breaker and got the cover for the win and the IC Championship.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho via pin fall
The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff are on their way to the ring. This is officially the greatest Raw ever.
Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham v. Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik
This rules so hard it’s ridiculous. Sheik flies off the handle, I’m singin’ the Russian national anthem and thank god for pro wrestling. Sheik is so insane but still is better at getting heat than three quarters of the roster.
Now Jillian Hall is here. Holy smokes this just exploded off the awesome scale to a realm of which is beyond this simpleton’s comprehension.
Now we’re gonna brawl.
Hall of Fame induction time….
It’s the Briscoe Brothers. All is right in the world.
A video putting over Big Show aired.
Randy Orton is in the back with Kane. Kane’s not into Orton’s pep talk. He said he didn’t need a history lesson. He remembers everything.
Triple H v. Kane
The two locked horns and Triple H started whaling on Kane in the corner but it didn’t do much. Kane began hammering away at Triple H in the corner and floored him with a big uppercut.
Kane kept up the pressure and forced the Game into the corner and laid him out with some good looking punches before whipping the game to the buckles. He missed the follow up and again, we’ve got a brief strike exchange before Triple H attempted a whip of his own, only to get dumped up and over the corner and to the floor.
Kane followed Triple H out to the outside and the two brawled some more before Triple H was able to send Kane clattering into the ring post. Triple H began hammering away on the chest of Kane with some big forearms on the apron before taking the Big Red Machine back into the ring and cracking him in the jaw a couple of times in the corner.
Kane caught Triple H with a big boot and then a follow up drop kick (!?) for a two count. Kane hit a big irish whip and followed up with two clotheslines before Triple H caught him coming off the ropes with the trusty spine buster.
Triple H eventually went for the pedigree, but Kane back body dropped him to the mat. Randy Orton came out to get a closer look at the match while Kane went to drill Kane with the choke slam. Triple H avoided the hold and got ready for another pedigree but got side tracked by Orton.
Kane hit a back body drop and went for his lariat but Triple H countered with a kick to the gut in mid air before nailing the pedigree to win.
Winner: Triple H via pin fall
John Cena’s talking about what Wrestlemania means to him. He said he’s coming back to show that he’s one of the top dogs fighting for the top prize on the biggest day. He said at Wrestlemania, his time would be coming again.
Melina and Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix came to the ring. Melina’s apparently more than a pretty face. Sure. Anyways, fight time.
Maria v. Melina
Melina began hammering away at Maria’s midsection before the two traded some counters. Maria hit a whip only to get stuck with a foot in the face in the corner. Maria regained the advantage and started choking Melina out with a boot in the corner.
So Santino Marella’s on his way to the ring and doesn’t look excited about the magazine he has in his hands. Maria grabbed ago behind but got distracted by her ex boyfriend, who ripped up her magazine in her face. Melina hit a cheap shot and the sit out leg drop and that’s that.
Winner: Melina via pin fall
Candice went to help out Maria after the match, but got hammered with a Beth Phoenix clothesline. The heels goaded the beaten faces from the entrance ramp.
A video put over Floyd Mayweather and his loads of money.
Shane O Mac comes out to the ring and we’re going to get the official weigh-in for the Big Show-Floyd Mayweather match.
This segment is awesome. Mayweather’s getting plenty of heat here and playing ‘heel’ pretty well. Mayweather weighs in and all is good. Big Show intimidates Mayweather’s posse some and then grabs the mic from Shane O Mac.
Show said that he saw that Floyd brought a lot of his posse. Show said he brought his own posse as well. Wow. Big Daddy V, Hardcore Holly, Carlito, and a ton of others. Mayweather’s having a fit here. Show said he told him last week that no one in the locker room likes him. He said they had this weigh in thing going on and they were all just curious to see what the $20 million dollar man looked like. He said maybe he could toss some money to the crowd to get them to stop boo-ing him. He said maybe he could pay his goons to keep on pretending to be his friends…
Big Show said he could quit and not embarrass himself. Or, he could take him in the ring and make sure that Floyd never boxed again. He said the decision was entirely up to him. Show called him a runt. Floyd backed off and smelled some money like we all do when we’re stressed.
Floyd said Show was right, he WAS the $20 million man. He said he respected what Show’s done in the WWE. He said he didn’t respect him as a human being. He said it was possible, like he said possible that he could be hurt by Show, but he’d have to catch him first. Every time the crowd boos, Floyd smells money. This is WAY better than last week.
He said the biggest and best Wrestlemania would be in a few weeks. He said just like at No Way Out where he broke his nose, he’d break his jaw at Wrestlemania XXIV. Floyd flicked a $100 bill in Show’s face and walked off. His posse left the ring and Show picked him up and tossed him into a crowd of wrestlers. The Mayweather posse is brawling with the wrestlers and we’ve got a great brawl. Even Shane eats it a bit.
Big Show, defender of the wrestling universe!
Randy Orton’s talking about what makes him the perfect champion. HE said he was as smart as Triple H and as strong as Cena. The desire of Cena and the drive of the Game. He said he was all those things combined into one. He said he had one thing the other two didn’t have, and that was the WWE Championship.
World Heavyweight Champion Edge and his goons are on their way to the ring and he’s in action next!
CM Punk v. Edge
Punk and Edge locked up before Edge squeaked out of a go behind. Punk countered that as well and took Edge down to the mat. Edge grabbed an arm wringer and Punk reversed to a hammer lock until Edge gave him a back elbow. Edge hit a hot shot on Punk on the top rope before hitting a drop kick.
Punk fought back but only ate a knee to the gut from the Champion. Edge hit a forearm to the face of Punk before whipping him hard to the corner. Edge went for a suplex but Punk kicked out and then hit a thrust kick to the gut of the champion and capping the comeback off with a big heel kick for a two count.
Punk ended up on the apron and avoided an Edge spear and connected with some stiff kicks to Edge’s grill and hit his springboard lariat for a two count. Punk went for an irish whip only to have it reversed right into an implant DDT for a two count.
Edge missed a spear and Punk loaded up Go to Sleep. He knocked Ryder off the ropes and as he was in mid stride to nail Hawkins, Edge ran him over with a spear. Three seconds later it’s all over.
Winner: Edge via pin fall
Raw GM William Regal’s in the ring and putting over the Batista v. Umaga match at Wrestlemania. He said a battle is an equally contested match, and this one would be horrendously one sided. An AWESOME video putting over Umaga aired. Glory to god.
Umaga is introduced and he comes out to the ring to hopefully address us all in the only way he knows how. Regal puts over Umaga as unstoppable and then Batista’s music hit and Umaga’s ready to fight.
Fist fight! The two go at it, Umaga floors Batista with an upper cut only for Batista to counter with a spine buster. Umaga clears out to the ringside area and goes berserk on the outside of the ring. He’s not very hurt, just angry.
John Cena v. Shawn Michaels is next.
Shawn Michaels v. John Cena
I swear to god, the COOLEST thing in the world these days is a PURE 50-50 split John Cena pop. So cool.
The two locked horns and traded some arm work fun. We got some fun chain wrestling where Cena tried to move HBK with his strength and HBK using his speed to maintain control. HBK eventually worked Cena to the mat to neutralize the power but Cena inevitably rose to his feet.
HBK works that headlock really well and hangs on despite Cena’s attempts to toss him. Cena finally gets him off and gets taken off balance with the shoulder block. Michaels out smarted Cena and went for the death lock but Cena quickly countered himself and almost locked in the STFU. Looks like Cena can wrestle, too.
We came back to Cena holding Michaels in an arm bar. Cena used his weight to basically hold HBK to the mat and continue to work the arm. Cena lost his grip on Michaels and HBK quickly hit a swinging neck breaker. His arm ain’t feeling too good though.
Michaels hit a chop or two and Cena comes back with some punches. That’s bad news for HBK who eats some lefts and rights and gets knocked stupid with two shoulder blocks. Cena went for a home run shot but HBK avoided him and the former champion went sailing over the top rope and crashed to the floor.
Michaels went and retrieved Cena from the outside and then chop blocked the bejesus out of Cena’s leg. HBK went to work on the leg and slapped on a good old toe hold. HBK kept ripping and tearing at Cena’s leg only to get kicked off and onto the top buckle. Cena booted him off and began dropping some big bombs.
Cena called for the five knuckle shuffle and connected. Cena went for an FU but Michaels countered out. Cena dropped down and got a two count only to get sunset flipped for a near fall against him. HBK hit a back suplex and both staggered to their feet.
Cena reversed a whip and dumped HBK upside down but Michaels hit a hard lariat on the rebound. HBK hit some chops and a forearm and it’s nip up time. HBK went into his victory sequence and floored Cena with the usual sequence. He scaled the top rope and went for the elbow and nailed it.
Michaels tuned up the band and went for the super kick. Cena countered though and went for the STFU but HBK fought out and slapped on his submission. Cena looks like he’s dying. Cena desperately reached for the ropes and got there to break the hold.
Cena’s leg is shot. HBK baseball slide drop kicked Cena to the outside and went out after him and nailed a big springboard moonsault. Michaels sent Cena reeling into the ring post but Randy Orton popped up out of nowhere and sent Michaels into the post as well.
Winner: Shawn Michaels via DQ
Randy Orton grabbed a chair and set up the RKO. Cena countered though and dropped Orton onto the chair. Cena hit a big FU and he’s left walking tall.
Triple H was in the back. He said it was entertaining with Cena and Orton in charge. He said next week though, he was in charge. Next week, it’d be Cena and Orton in the ring. The catch would be though, that they’re partners. Triple H said facing them would be the entire Raw roster. Triple H smiled as Cena looked despondent in the ring. RAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Better show tonight all the way down the line.
Wrestlemania build is usually a little different from other pay per views in that it’s really a strong sell promotion rather than a storyline like build, especially in the last few years. In the past few weeks, we had that build but without any real ‘catch’ so to speak, but this week’s show had more of a hook to it.
In triple threats, the most oft overlooked feature in the build is actual role-establishment and this week, although the match still doesn’t have the buzz of past main events, it had more of the ‘here are the players and why they’re here’ type thing that considering the way this match came about, was really necessary. Triple H is the thinker, Cena’s the comeback story and Orton’s the perfect champion. While it doesn’t have the heat yet, it’s got a good foundation to work off of now so hopefully in the next two weeks we get some real, genuine build to the match.
WWE’s obviously got some big plans for Jeff Hardy and I think his dropping the IC title this week is a good move. They’ve over pushed him a bit as almost ‘too hot’ and to cool him off a bit and add a little more mystery to the match, he loses his belt to Jericho, who despite Hardy’s hot streak, seems to be the guy whose got his number. It makes Jericho more of a legitimate threat to win the match while making Hardy look a little more human.
The one match I think they missed the boat on tonight was Batista-Umaga, who should’ve probably been kept away from each other. The pay off is watching these two murder each other and I think they might have blown their wad a little too quickly here.
On the other hand, Mayweather-Show was MUCH better than it was last week. Mayweather worked the heel shtick well this week and the constant shifting of the face-heel alignment in this match up has really helped the match not get bogged down in the traditional issues celebrity involvement in Wrestlemania brings with it. Mayweather getting injured lends itself a bit to garnering a little sympathy for Mayweather while getting over the fact that Show can indeed hurt him. It’s got more of a legit fight atmosphere about it which it should have rather than just the typical wrestling build.
The rest of the show was a nice exhibition of the rest of the company and for all intents and purposes, hit on the notes it needed to put on a decent show. While this wasn’t bite your nails good build, it was a nice hard sell for the show.
Really, this was an ‘average’ show by Raw’s standards the past year or so, but I’ll tack on a “+” for the Soviet National Anthem, Iron Sheik screaming, Jillian Hall singing and Barry Windham digging it.
Overall Grade: C+
The Undertaker def. Mark Henry
Mr. Kennedy def. Finlay
Chris Jericho def. Jeff Hardy to WIN the WWE IC Championship
Triple H def. Kane
Melina def. Maria
Edge def. CM Punk
Shawn Michaels def. John Cena
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Jeff Hardy
2. Chris Jericho
3. Triple H
4. Shawn Michaels
1. Randy Orton
3. Floyd Mayweather
4. Mr. Kennedy
Match of the Night: John Cena v. Shawn Michaels **3/4
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 4-4, 7pts. (Last Week: WWE Champion) -- Orton played a pretty decent master of ceremonies this week. He ate it a bit at the end of the show but all things considered, played ‘master manipulator’ well.
Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho 5-4, 12pts. (Last Week: 6)-- You know, despite the buzz not sustaining itself well upon his return, Jericho’s been damn solid in the ring since then and again tonight, puts in another really strong effort with Hardy and wins the IC belt for the eighth time. I don’t expect him to hold it too long, but he’ll serve his purpose in the role.
1. Triple H 6-2, 10pts.(Last Week: 2) -- Another week, another win for the Game to vault him up into the #1 ranking. Next week with him in charge should be interesting.
2. John Cena 6-2, 8 points. (Last Week: 1) -- Cena brought the goods in the ring big time tonight and his selling was pretty darn top notch. His promo was outstanding and despite losing, came away looking strong. Good night for Cena.
3. Shawn Michaels 8-2, 12pts. (Last Week: 3) -- Michaels has gotten a lot more ‘technical’ in the ring the past few months. I like the surly, grumpy old man he’s become.
4. Jeff Hardy 5-5, 9pts. (Last Week: IC Champion)-- So Hardy at long last loses the IC Championship in an attempt to make him look more vulnerable heading into WM. Still, he’s going to win.
5. Ken Kennedy 5-4, 11pts. (Last Week: 5)-- Takes a pretty wild beating tonight, but manages a win to keep his head above water. I’ll keep him in this spot.
6. Ric Flair 4-0, 8 points (Last Week: 4) -- Cuts a sensational promo tonight. Sounds like an average Flair promo.
6. JBL 2-4, 4 points (Last Week: 7) -- JBL’s such a great antagonist and honestly, I’m drooling at the thought of this belfast brawl. It’s gonna be nuts.
7. Umaga 3-4, 6 points(Last Week: 8) -- They might have shot their wad a bit early on this one, but Umaga the out of control maniac still rules even when things don’t hit the way they’re supposed to.
9. Carlito 4-2, 7 pts. (Last Week: 9) -- Not in action tonight.
10. Hardcore Holly 3-1, 3pts. (Last Week: 9)-- Not in action tonight.
Cody Rhodes 2-2, 2 points (Last Week: 9)
Paul Burchill 2-0, 4 points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 0-0 points (Last Week: NR)
Lance Cade 0-3, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Santino Marella 1-1, 1 point (Last Week: NR)
Paul London 0-1, 0 points(Last Week: NR)
Brian Kendrick, 0-4, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Trevor Murdoch 0-4, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Super Crazy 0-3, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
William Regal 0-2 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Ron Simmons 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Harry Smith 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Rory 0-2, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Robbie 0-2, 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 0-1 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Snitsky 1-4, 2 points (Last Week: NR)