On Monday, March 24, 2008 at 11:27 PM EST WWE RAW
March 24, 2008
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
John Cena’s music hit the arena and he comes trotting out to the ring.
He put over the big main event at Wrestlemania. On Sunday, they dance apparently. He said this Sunday was Wrestlemania. He said after last week, he thought his prospects were pretty good on him walking out once again the WWE Champion. Super mixed reaction here which is always great. Cena started talking before the Big Show’s music hit and he came waltzing down to the ring.
Show said regardless of who won their title match, this Wrestlemania would go down in history for one reason and that’d be him knocking out Floyd Mayweather. He said it would replace Hogan’s slamming of Andre as the most replayed moment in Wrestlemania history.
JBL’s music hit and here he comes. He said he was the one who revealed the true identity of Hornswaggle and was the one who exposed his father. JBL said he was just getting started and at Wrestlemania, he’d offer up the greatest beating in the history of Wrestlemania.
Cena said he remembered when he beat him at Wrestlemania 21 before the WWE Champion’s music hit and Randy Orton came on down to the ring.
Orton said everyone needed to remember about Wrestlemania. Some people think Show would knock out Mayweather. He said some people thought JBL would beat up Finlay. Some people even think that John Cena or Triple H would walk out as champion. Nobody thought however, that he would retain his title, which was the way he liked it. He said he fed off of that. He said that meant to him that he’d be the one everyone was talking about.
UMAGA time! UMAGA HAS A MIC! He said a word! Samoan! The crowd’s reaction with the ‘ooooooohhhhh’ at the end of it all was beautiful. Cena used it all to make fun of Orton for a little while before Triple H’s music hit.
Triple H came down and put over his T-Shirt. He said there was one reason why we were all in this business and one reason we put our bodies on the line and it was that WWE title belt sitting on Randy Orton’s shoulder. He said it was a good thing the Citrus Bowl didn’t have a roof on it, because if it did, it’d get blown off. He said at mania, the king of kings goes back on his throne.
Everyone started to argue before William Regal broke up the fun. He said tonight we’re getting an 8 man no DQ Wrestlemania showcase match. It’d be Big Show, JBL, Umaga & Randy Orton v. Shawn Michaels, Triple H, John Cena & Ric Flair. Holy crap.
Chris Jericho & CM Punk v. MVP & Carlito
Punk and MVP are starting us off here. The two attempted a lock up before CM Punk hit a nice reverse leg sweep before the two went into a criss cross where Punk hit a wheel kick. Punk went for a scoop slam and tagged in Jericho who didn’t get to MVP before he tagged Carlito into the match.
Jericho hit a slam and a few punches before Carlito came back with some punches of his own. Jericho countered a vertical suplex attempt and hanged Carlito up on the top rope before drop kicking him to the outside.
We came back to Jericho giving Carlito a splash on the ropes before nailing a bulldog. Jericho missed a lionsault but managed to land on the feet. He went for the Walls of Jericho but MVP tried to cut it off only to get caught in it himself. Carlito knocked Jericho to the outside and MVP followed him out there to lay in some shots before tossing him back into the ring.
Carlito slapped on a bow and arrow, held it for a little while and then elected to hit Jericho with a spinning neck breaker. MVP tagged in and hit a suplex. MVP went to a cravat. Jericho fought out of the hold and thanks to an MVP missed big boot in the corner, was able to make his way to the corner and make the hot tag to Punk.
Punk nailed a side kick to MVP’s head before hitting a nice looking running power slam for a near fall. Punk planted MVP with the knee and knocked Carlito off the apron before connecting with the bulldog. Punker missed the springboard lariat, but MVP couldn’t capitalize as Jericho came bounding into the ring to take his head off with an enzeguiri. MVP ducked the move and plastered Punk in the head and enabled MVP to get the pin fall victory.
Winners: Carlito & MVP via pin fall
Kennedy’s got some predictions for us for Wrestlemania. He thinks Flair is retiring. Taker’s steak’s gonna end, too. And btw, Kennedy’s winning the money in the bank contract and he’d win the WWE Championship.
Now, we’re getting a Ric Flair music video. Awesome.
Flair’s in the back and he’s going to confront Shawn Michaels tonight.
A video putting over Big Show training for Floyd Mayweather.
Hardcore Holly v. The Great Khali
Khali quickly tossed Holly to the corner and laid in some kicks before flattening him with a back elbow. Khali hit a monster chop to Holly’s skull and posed for us all. Holly stumbled to his knees only to get sucked into a big vice grip from the giant.
Holly fought back with some punches but quickly ate a chop on the shoulder and was smashed through the mat with a big choke slam. That’s all she wrote folks.
Winner: The Great Khali via pin fall
A video aired putting over the Taker-Edge match this Sunday.
Ric Flair came out to the ring with a little belt bag.
He said he was glad to know that somewhere in the world, people respect Ric Flair. He said because for the last week, people have come from all over to congratulate him about beating Vince McMahon, but for some reason, he didn’t know if he did. After repeatedly telling Shawn Michaels not to interfere in his matches and in his life, Michaels ignored him and didn’t. He said as a result of that, he felt Michaels had no confidence or faith in him.
He said there was obviously a failure to communicate and he invited Michaels out to the ring to talk about this man to man, eye to eye.
Michaels came down to the ring and said he was sorry to hear that he thought he was losing respect for HBK. He said he didn’t come out last week to do anything. He said Flair was the dirtiest player in the game and he always had his basis covered and always had backup. He was just doing what he thought Flair would do. He said he’d always be the Nature Boy to him. He said as much as it may bother him, he’d always be the limousine riding, jet flying……. SHUT UP Flair screams at him.
He said you hate hearing it, I hate hearing it and we hate it. He doesn’t need anyone to tell him who he is. He said he was feeling pretty good about himself and he was going to show him something and he pulled out the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt that he won in 1981. He said that was what HBK grew up admiring and wondering what made a machine like him go. That was a belt held by Race, Steamboat, Rhodes and the Funks. He said if he were 20 years older, he’d have been in the ring with him. He said he didn’t care what year it was, where it was, he picked him to wrestle him at Wrestlemania. He said he wanted to prove it on the grandest stage of them all that he’d prove he was the best of them all. He demanded he bring the best out in him.
He said he needed it to make it the rest of the way in his life. He needed it one more night. He wasn’t asking too much. Or was it? Michaels assured him of one thing. He said he’d bring him everything he’d need. He said he’d give him Shawn Michaels at his best. He said he had no choice and he’d give him the show stopper. He said on Sunday, he’d step in the ring with Mr. Wrestlemania. Flair said he’d expect nothing less from him.
Michaels paused and said before he went, he wanted to remind him of a little story. Remember the story of old yeller? We loved that dog. But there was a time to take him out back and finish him. He’s going to take old yeller behind the wood shed and put him out of his misery.
Flair backed up and began removing his shirt. He stomped his jacket and got in Michaels face and slapped the taste out of his mouth. He said he had his old yeller and slapped him again. He wants the wood shed right now. He was begging him. Michaels paused and said he’d put him out of his misery and left. Flair is at explosion levels of anger.
A video putting over Floyd Mayweather aired.
Maria v. Melina
Melina’s sporting some Bride of Frankenstein hair.
Quick tussle before Beth chucks Maria off the ropes on the outside. Melina has her way for a little while before Ashley shows up and we’ve got a lot of squabbling. And here comes Santino.
Jerry Lawler’s had enough and it’s time to take care of business. Lawler unloads PUNCHES~ to Marella’s puss and dumps him from the ring. William Regal came shooting out of the pipe and it’s time for an inter-gender tag team match.
Jerry Lawler, Maria & Ashley v. Beth Phoenix, Santino Marella & Melina
We came back to Santino getting drop kicked by Lawler. The two exchanged blows before King hit a fun atomic drop. It’s Melina-Lawler and this has great all over it. Melina wants a shot in the face. Lawler elects to tag in Ashley instead who has no problem punching her.
Melina fires back with some forearms and now it’s Ashley with some. Ashley hit’s a big clothesline and she tags in Maria who loads up the bronco buster. Melina doesn’t like it and hit’s a thumb to the eye, but Maria hits her with a kick. Beth gets the hidden tag and freaking mauls Maria with a baldo bomb before tagging in Santino.
He cleans Lawler off the apron only to eat a series of slaps from Maria and Ashley. CHOPS in the corner. Maria’s putting a serious beat down on Santino and punches him to the outside where Lawler has some fun. EYE RAKE~
While the fun’s going on, Beth and Melina hit a double chop block on Maria. Santino realized it and pinned her.
Winners: Santino Marella, Beth Phoenix & Melina via pin fall
Triple H interrupts Cena whose kidding around with Val Venis and Cody Rhodes. Triple H said it burnt a hole in him that he lost to Cena at Wrestlemania 22. He said it hurt because he knew he was the better man. He said when Cena came back at the Rumble, Cena was stole his thunder. Triple H said after he beat everyone in the Elimination Chamber, it’s Cena whose in his way again. He said if Cena was in his way he’d tear him apart.
Cena said if he wanted burning a hole, he should try sitting on the sidelines watching some guy parade around with the title he never lost. He said on Sunday, the WWE title comes home.
John Legend is singing “America the Beautiful” at Wrestlemania 24 this weekend.
We’ve got seven in the WWE hall of fame. Tomorrow night on ECW, we’ll get the last one.
JR and King run down the Wrestlemania card.
WWE Championship-- Triple Threat Match
Randy Orton v. Triple H v. John Cena
World Heavyweight Championship
Edge v. The Undertaker
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Chris Jericho v. CM Punk v. Kennedy v. MVP v. John Morrison v. Shelton Benjamin v. Carlito
Ric Flair v. Shawn Michaels
Big Show v. Floyd Mayweather
Batista v. Umaga
JBL v. Finlay
Bunny Mania Lumberjack Match
Beth Phoenix & Melina v. Maria & Ashley
24-Man Battle Royal-- Winner Gets a Shot at the ECW Championship
A fantastic video putting over the triple threat championship match at Wrestlemania aired.
No DQ 8-Man Tag Team Match
Randy Orton, Umaga, JBL & Big Show v. John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair
Michaels and Orton are kicking things off and the lock horns in the middle of the ring. The two exchanged arm bars before HBK gained an advantage. They exchanged whips before Orton finally connected with a boot to Michaels’ face and slapped on an arm bar.
Finaly’s music hit and he’s on the ramp. JBL doesn’t look excited. Or maybe he does. He went right at Finlay and the two began FIGHTING all over the ringside area.
JBL’s gone but the match is still going on. Umaga has tagged in and is laying it in on Michaels. Michaels fought back with some chops but got kicked in the chest and flat backed in pretty short order.
Umaga bullied HBK into the corner and smashed away and the show stopper’s face. Umaga hit the running ass to the face and the baby face reaction on the apron is great. Umaga gathered Michaels and went for a spike, but Batista’s music hits and some more interference.
Umaga wants some. Big ole brawl. Batista hit’s a spear and the two begin hammering each other up to the back.
It doesn’t get any better for Michaels though as now he has Big Show to contend with. He chucks Michaels into the corner and demands someone tag him. Flair comes running in only to get plowed with a big clothesline. Flair fought back with some chops only to get military pressed through the f-ing mat.
Show chopped Flair in the corner before picking him up and doing it again. Show choked Flair out with a boot in the corner before Flair stumbled out and flopped for us. Flair fought back with more chops, but got whipped and back dropped on the rebound. Orton keeps shouting commands from the outside and Big Show’s not wild about it.
Cena tags in and Triple H is coming with him and they’re hammering away at Show. The two went for a suplex, but Big Show countered and suplexed BOTH of ‘em. Show and Orton aren’t exactly getting along before Show decides to toss Orton into the ring, too. He picks up Orton and choke slams the crap out of him and then walks over him and out of the ring. Wow, was that awesome.
Now it’s Orton v. Everyone. Cena pushed Triple H off Orton and slapped on the STFU before Triple H came and kicked him in the face. Cena and Triple H are all over each other and Flair’s getting ready to take Orton to school only to have Michaels deck him in the face. This has totally broken down.
Michaels goes for his hold and Flair hits him in the balls and Michaels stumbles out of the ring.
Flair’s got the figure four on Orton and he taps! Holy crap!
Winners: Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Triple H & John Cena via submission
Flair’s strutting and woo-ing and appropriately, that’s the image we’re left with.RAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Well, as far as ‘hard sell’ shows go, this was as intense as they come. Everything was putting over everything for the big show to the umpteenth degree. So I suppose I’ll just go down the line chronologically.
Decent stuff out of the gate with the promo from all the major players. Again, a fun showcase promo that actually got upstaged by Umaga speaking, which was awesomely weird.
The Money in the Bank Tag Team match was really bad and almost all of it was a result of Carlito. I’ve gotta say he’s probably the guy I’d say wins the ‘worst of the guys we regularly see’ award. Example? Jericho and MVP build to this Walls of Jericho stooge spot, Jericho hits it. Carlito cheats and knocks him to the floor where MVP heels it up and works up some heat. So to follow it up? Carlito slaps on a bow and arrow. Jesus. He more or less floated around the ring rather aimlessly while the other four tried to bring some intensity to the match. Just the wrong guy to have in this match. That moved into a really ho-hum Kennedy promo about him cashing in the contract.
Really though, the highlight of the night was next and that was the utterly sensational Flair-HBK promo. Flair was just off the charts here and they finally put some real heat on this thing. It wasn’t as much HBK calling him old yeller as it was Flair’s reaction to it. It’s seriously one of the best promos I’ve seen from Flair.
The throw away matches were just that. Santino pinning Maria was fun, but I could’ve cared less about Holly and Khali. From there we get music video mania and sure, we got some good stuff there.
The main event was really deliberate, but I suppose it did it’s trick. They did a good job of knocking off all the heels to build up for the faces all turning on each other. The Show-Orton interactions were really great and the end with Flair getting the tap out win was as hot a finish to a match as they’ve had this year so far.
In all honesty though, I’ve gotta question why Orton had to be the guy to take the fall, but really, I don’t think it hurts him or anything.
All in all a solid hard-sell show, but not much more than that.
Overall Grade: B-
MVP & Carlito def. CM Punk & Chris Jericho
The Great Khali def. Hardcore Holly
Santino Marella, Beth Phoenix & Melina def. Jerry Lawler, Maria & Ashley
Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, John Cena & Triple H def. Randy Orton, JBL, Big Show & Umaga
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Ric Flair
2. John Cena
3. Triple H
4. Shawn Michaels
1. Randy Orton
2. Big Show
4. Santino Marella
Match of the Night: 8-Man Tag Match **
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 4-5, 7pts. (Last Week: WWE Champion) -- For being the champion, I’m really surprised they didn’t try to make him look as strong as possible heading into WM weekend, but alas, they could be tossing a swerve out there.
Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho 5-6, 12pts. (Last Week: 6)-- Despite the match sucking, Jericho was solid enough. He’s really the only guy I’d be interested to see win the contract.
1. Triple H 7-2, 11pts.(Last Week: 1) -- Lots of fun spot promo segments from Triple H tonight. He’s great when he’s all about the belt and looks good heading into this weekend.
2. John Cena 7-2, 9 points. (Last Week: 2) -- Cena was pretty good. He’s got to tone down the over the top ness on the delivery, but his second segment with Triple H was really great stuff from him.
3. Shawn Michaels 9-2, 13pts. (Last Week: 3) -- Michaels was good enough tonight. I think Flair blew him out of the arena, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. Michaels has done what he’s had to.
4. Ric Flair 6-0, 12 points (Last Week: 6) -- I suppose it’s appropriate that Flair’s the guy looking the best out of anyone on the roster heading into what really, for all intents and purposes, is Ric Flair appreciation weekend. Flair was just unreal tonight bumping all over the place, flipping out and then taking us all to school. Long live the naitch.
5. JBL 3-5, 6 points (Last Week: 7)-- To be honest, I’m really hoping JBL gets the win at Mania. I really think he’d make a great challenger for Triple H or John Cena at this point and Mania would be a good place to start that build up.
6. Umaga 4-5, 8 points (Last Week: 8) -- Umaga’s still the highlight of Raw pretty much every week. I mean it sucks when you deliver easily the promo of the year then Ric Flair comes out and steals your thunder. BAAAHHHTIIIIISSSTAAA!
7. Ken Kennedy 5-4, 11pts. (Last Week: 5)-- Cuts a promo and is there, but little /*.
8. Jeff Hardy 5-5, 9pts. (Last Week: 4)-- Suspended
9. Carlito 5-3, 8 pts. (Last Week: 9) -- Someone please teach this guy how to bring a little intensity to a match. Please.
10. Santino Marella 2-1, 2 points (Last Week: NR) -- Gets punched by Lawler, beat up by a chick and then pins his ex girlfriend. Good week.
Cody Rhodes 2-2, 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Paul Burchill 2-0, 4 points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Lance Cade 0-3, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Hardcore Holly 3-2, 3pts. (Last Week: 910
Paul London 0-2, 0 points(Last Week: NR)
Brian Kendrick, 0-5, 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)
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)