On Monday, March 3, 2008 at 11:34 PM EST WWE RAW
March 3, 2008
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
The three main event participants are in the back with William Regal. He said every week, one of them would be in charge of the fates of the other. This week, Cena’s in charge. Orton tried to wheel and deal, but that didn’t work. Cena said after taking a pedigree and an RKO in back to back weeks, he’d be sure to come up with something very satisfying.
The opening pyro hit and here we go.
The next match is a mixed martial arts special attraction.
The Big Show v. Brandon “The Thrill” Hill
IN case you were wondering, Floyd Mayweather is watching via satellite.
Big Show’s not really cooperating with the whole ‘coming to the center of the ring, please’ thing. The ref runs over the ’rules’ and this is sure to rule. A lot.
The bell rings and Hill immediately hides in the ropes. He has a mouth guard in, this is great. He doesn’t look eager to fight. He tried to flee again and Big Show tried to pull him back in by the trunks, but the ref breaks it up.
Hill came back with some punches to the gut but that didn’t get him anywhere. Show chucked him to the corner and crushed him with a big boot on the rebound. Show loaded him up for the choke slam and that’s it.
Winner: The Big Show by a lot
Show got on the stick and he and Mayweather are talkin’ smack. Show said he was making $20 million and he had better save it, because he’d need it to pay his hospital bills. The two just talked smack more and this is great. Big Show, to prove to us he’s big, guerilla pressed Hill to the floor. Mayweather wants them to fire up the plane because last time he broke his nose, but this time he’d break his jaw.
Wrestlemania opponents Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels are on their way out to the ring to have a match a hee ho.
Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair v. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Flair and Murdoch locked up. A lot of temper tantrums and woo-ing. Lock up and exchange here before Flair hip tosses him and the goes chopping. Irish whip reverse from Murdoch into a big back body drop but he blows the elbow drop and HBK tags in.
Murdoch cuts off Michaels before Cade tags in and gains the advantage with a little cheating’ fun from Murdoch. They hit the double team atomic drop/big boot spot for a near fall before Cade slaps on a vice grip on the dazed Michaels. Michaels fights to his feet and hits some shots to the mid section before planting his former student with a swinging neck breaker.
Michaels hit an enzeguiri, but couldn’t get to his corner. He caught Murdoch coming off the top rope with a boot to the grill before rolling to the corner and getting the hot tag to Naitch. Flair leveled Cade with a back elbow and then tossed Murdoch to the outside.
Flair hit some more chops on Cade, before the youngster slapped on a sleeper hold. Flair fought out of the hold and slapped on a figure four. Michaels put on his Indian death lock and we’ve got dueling submissions for the win.
Winners: Ric Flair & Shawn Michaels via submission
After the match, HBK got on the mic and said he needed to get something off his chest. He said it meant the world what Flair said to him last week, but he couldn’t do the match at Wrestlemania. Michaels said he didn’t want to go down in history as the guy who ended Flair’s career. Flair looks pissed. Michaels recognized that Flair was going to ask him what made him feel like he’d be the guy. He said Flair needed to understand something, that this was Wrestlemania and he was the showstopper. He said if he kept pushing it, it’d be his show that’d be stopped. HBK left the ring saying “don’t make me make a choice, Naitch”.
William Regal’s on the phone and said John Cena was in charge tonight. Cena said he had been thinking about tonight. He said he didn’t need to make Triple H and Randy Orton go through hell together, he’d make them go through each other. He said it’d be Randy Orton v. Triple H tonight. He said he had some business to attend to with Mr. Kennedy. He said since this was Triple Threat take over night, and he was in charge, that Regal needed to leave his office and kicked him out.
Next Monday is going to be a three hour Raw. Glorious.
Umaga v. Super Crazy
Umaga hit a throat thrust and then his tilt a whirl slam and that’s pretty much the match right there. He picked Crazy up by the hair, bear hugged him and then slammed him into the corner. He brought him out and spiked him and that’s that.
Winner: Umaga via pin fall
The Highlight Reel
Look what’s back.
Jericho put over the Money in the Bank Ladder match before introducing our guess, Jeff Hardy. Hardy came out to a big pop from the crowd before Jericho talked about beating Hardy Last week and showed us the footage on the Jeritron 5000.
Jericho cut Hardy off before he could speak. He said he knew it was Wrestlemania and a ladder match with Jeff hardy in it, but he didn’t care because there wasn’t going to be a single thing Hardy could do to beat him at Wrestlemania. Hardy said a lot has changed since Chris left. He wasn’t satisfied being just ’him’ anymore. He said he’d win the match and become champion.
Jericho said if he became champion, he’d get quite the feather in his cap, but he was already the champion. He said from here on out, he wasn’t his friend or peer. He was just a target and from here on out, anything goes. Hardy said he couldn’t agree more and hit a twist of fate on Jericho and left the reaction.
Did I say something about moral authority?
Speaking of Money in the Bank, Kennedy is on his way to face John Cena next.
Mr. Kennedy v. John Cena
Cena’s booked himself in a match. Yay.
Kennedy kicked him in the leg before grabbing a side headlock. Cena tossed him off and ate a shoulder block before the two dipped and ducked a few moves before Cena hit a nice arm drag into an arm bar.
We came back to Cena whipping Kennedy and clothes lining him for the near fall. Kennedy hit some strikes to the gut and then bailed underneath the ropes and took off around the ring. Kennedy finally caught Cena on the top rope and loaded up a nasty looking DDT right off the apron.
Kennedy slammed Cena into the apron while Kennedy mocked him on the floor. Back in the ring, Kennedy went for a cover but only got a two count. Kennedy twisted Cena up and planted him with a pretty sick neck breaker for another two count. Kennedy kept stomping away on Cena’s dome, likely setting up for the mic check.
Kennedy kept up the assault and loaded up a running boot and smashed Cena right in the kisser. Kennedy went for another cover and yet again, Cena kicked out. Kennedy dropped some elbows on the back of Cena’s head before slapping on a cravat. Is it me or has Kennedy been watching WAY too much ROH lately? He’s hit a spot from almost all of their top guys all in a row.
Cena began to fight out of the hold with a great struggle sequence before Kennedy cut him off and slammed him to the mat. Kennedy hit a nice lariat and again went for a cover and again, Cena kicked out.
Kennedy loaded up the running boot again but this time Cena sprung to his feet and hit him with a desperate lariat. Cena took his head off with the second lariat before doing his flippy neck breaker thing. He went to the top rope and dropped the big leg drop that looked AWESOME. He slapped on the STFU and Kennedy tap, tap, tapped.
Winner: John Cena via submission
Maria and Candice Michelle are in the back talking about their boobs most likely.
Snoop Dogg is going to be the master of ceremonies for bunny mania. All of a sudden, it looks like match of the year.
King is hosting and we’re unveiling Maria’s Playboy cover. After some Thank You’s, we get a drum roll and they unveiled the cover, only for all the fun parts to be covered up by Santino Marella faces.
Santino showed up and said he had no choice. He said now anytime someone would try to imagine Maria, they’d think of him and have an erectile malfunction. He asked her to come along and get out of here. Maria refused and Santino said he was the man in the relationship and he made the decision. Maria said she was the woman and no man or woman would make this decision for her.
Santino asked her if it was her ’timing of the month’. He said she was making a scene and they’d talk about it. Santino kept getting more and more forceful before Lawler decked him with an awesome PUNCH to the face. Freakin’ Lawler just needs to have 10 minutes at ’Mania to punch stuff.
Candice said that wasn’t the only cover planned for tonight. She unveiled the good one and Santino is beside himself on the outside of the ring.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Carlito v. Cody Rhodes
Rhodes grabbed a side head lock and shoulder blocked Carlito to the mat before getting a near fall. Carlito reversed the hold before Rhodes tried a backslide on Carilto for a two count.
Carlito tossed him over the top rope but Rhodes skinned the cat only to get punched in the face for another freaking near fall. carlito worked over Rhodes in the corner before gathering him and slamming him into the opposite buckle. Carlito laid in a chop before Cody fought back only to get caught in a swinging neck breaker, but kicked out of the cover attempt.
Carlito slapped on the rear chin lock of death before Cody fought back again. Carlito missed the back snapper and Cody came back with punches and hit a cross body block for a two count. Carlito hit a boot to the gut and went for a suplex, but Cody fought out. He went for a DDT but Carlito got a roll up. Rhodes countered again and we’ve got a near fall. Cody flies off the ropes with a bulldog and there’s just too much stuff here.
Cody got whipped to the buckles but avoided Carlito on the rebound with a leap frog. Carlito caught him on the leap though with a back snapper and that’s that.
Winner: Carlito via pin fall
They recapped the events from the Mayweather stuff earlier. We’re interviewing him now.
He said he wasn’t afraid of Show and he’d break his jaw. He said it was all about the money and he’d show why he was worth it.
Mike Adamle is introducing the newest Hall of Fame inductee. Is this interview botch mania tonight or what?
The inductee is………. MAE YOUNG. Freakin’ best female clothesline you’ll ever see. Hopefully she humps her induct-or.
Vince walked out to the ramp while Finlay waited in the ring. Vince said he had a few questions for him. He wanted to know if it’s true that he conspired with his family against him and Finlay said it was indeed, true. He asked him if he was Hornswoggle’s son. Finlay said he wasn’t good enough to be his father. Finlay said he was indeed the father and he was proud of it.
Vince said he regretted to inform him that JBL couldn’t be here tonight. He said however, that he was able to hook JBL up via satellite. JBL said it was more important that he be with his son and there he is in the hospital. JBL said he knew Horsnwoggle was innocent, but he needed to know he preyed on the innocent. He said that’s how he made his money and frankly, it was fun.
JBL said if he wanted to fight him, it’d be on his terms at Wrestlemania. JBL told him to sit up and say hello to his father. JBL slapped him back to the bed. He said he didn’t think anyone would want to see what he was about to do. He turned the lights off and he went to town on Hornswoggle. Finlay’s helpless to do anything.
Cena’s in the commentary booth for Orton v. Triple H.
Triple H v. Randy Orton
Cena’s been pretty good on commentary so far.
The two locked up and struggled into both corners before Orton gained a bit of an advantage before it was all broken up. The two locked it up again and again, a clean break. After some cleanliness, we are soiled by a Triple H right hand to the face.
Triple H won a brief exchange and grabbed a side headlock takedown before wrenching it in on the mat. The two traded head scissors before they rose to their feet and Triple H decked him with a right hand. Orton kept getting frustrated as HHH floored him with a shoulder block and followed it up with a clothesline for a two count.
Orton reversed the whip attempt and fanned on a drop kick attempt and Triple H is one step ahead. Triple H charged the weakened champion and fell through the ropes to the floor. Orton followed him out to the ringside area and went to smash his head on the ring steps but instead found HIS head slammed into them.
Back in the ring Triple H stalked Orton but lolly-gagged a little too long and got caught with the inverted back breaker. Orton covered Triple H for a two count. Orton went into his Garvin stomp sequence slowly picking apart the limbs of the game.
Orton settled into the driver’s seat, dropping a knee across Triple H’s face for a near fall and then started pummeling the 11 time champion in the corner. Triple H fought back with some right hands and managed a face buster before hitting the high knee.
Triple H whacked Orton around on the outside for a little while before hitting a spine buster. Orton fled the ring and gathered his belt and began walking to the back. Triple H caught site and nailed Orton who clattered into Cena who was trying to stop him.
Triple H followed Orton into the ring and loaded up a pedigree after a missed belt shot from Orton. Cena came in and caused a DQ and FU’d the game to the mat. As he went to celebrate, Orton popped up and hit an RKO and posed above the two fallen opponents.
Winner: Randy Orton via DQRAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- This is probably the first bad Raw I’ve seen in a long time, and sure, you can’t expect them to knock it out of the park every night, but this isn’t the time to be calling weird audibles.
The Triple Threat build was REALLY heat-less tonight and frankly, there’s no reason to put heat behind it. We essentially had the same ending as last week and the build seems like something more appropriately used for a mid-summer pay per view than a Wrestlemania. Orton didn’t come off too great, Triple H didn’t either and Cena, although really great at putting over why the match was taking place tonight on commentary, didn’t bring the goods either…
Carlito being in Money in the Bank is also kind of weird. In fact, he’s easily the guy you can bank on NOT having a ghost’s shot in hell of winning and while every money in the bank has those guys, this year’s edition has two who even the most whimsical of fantasy bookers couldn’t rationalize or conjure up a scenario that would make a win by Carlito or Shelton look like it should be, uh, happening.
Mayweather-Show was REALLY forced tonight. I think the match at Mania has a lot of potential, way more than may most think, but the build tonight was pretty bad. Again, they just recycled what they did on Smackdown.
The other frustrating storyline twist is the Hornswoggle-Finlay-JBL-McMahon thing that’s so unnecessarily complicated that it makes it hard to actually get stoked for what should be a FANTASTIC match up at Wrestlemania between Finlay and JBL.
Really, everything came off forced and frankly, just didn’t do anything to generate a buzz heading into next week. It’s a bad night for Raw and it seems like forever that we’ve actually had a legitimately terrible Raw, but I suppose you can’t win ‘em all.
Overall Grade: D
Big Show def. Brandon Hill
HBK & Ric Flair def. Trevor Murdoch & Lance Cade
Umaga def. Super Crazy
John Cena def. Mr. Kennedy
Carlito def. Cody Rhodes
Randy Orton def. Triple H
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Jeff Hardy
2. Chris Jericho
3. Triple H
4. John Cena
1. Randy Orton
3. Mr. McMahon
4. Mr. Kennedy
Match of the Night: John Cena v. Mr. Kennedy **1/4
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 looked a little overlooked tonight. Not buried or anything, just overlooked.
Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Hardy 5-4, 9pts. (Last Week: IC Champion)— Typical night for Hardy tonight. He goes out, gets a huge reaction, puts on a good match and calls it a night. Despite the loss, that’s a good night.
1. John Cena 6-1, 8 points. (Last Week: 2) -- Cena had a good match for the most part with Kennedy and gets himself bumped up a spot, but really, neither him or Triple H is looking particularly strong heading into Mania yet.
2. Triple H 5-2, 8pts.(Last Week: 1) -- The Game suffers only his second loss of the year, albeit by DQ, but still, slides a spot.
3. Shawn Michaels 7-2, 10pts. (Last Week: 3) -- Mostly by the numbers HBK tonight but a win is a win and Michaels stays firmly at #3.
4. Ric Flair 4-0, 8 points (Last Week: 7) -- Say what you want, Flair’s still undefeated and because he’s essentially in the biggest non-title match at Mania this year, he moves up.
5. Ken Kennedy 4-4, 9pts. (Last Week: 4)-- Kennedy’s gotta stop rippin’ the indy spots in all his matches. Joe’s big boot, Danielson’s ko elbows and then moved into a Nigel McGuiness cravat all in a row. Take that out and he was ok tonight.
6. Chris Jericho 4-4, 7pts. (Last Week: 5)-- Really, Jericho and Hardy’s mic work didn’t do anything other than generically build to their money in the bank match. They’re quite obviously the two major players in the match this year.
6. JBL 2-4, 4 points (Last Week: 8) -- I’m really kind of dumbfounded as to why the WWE decided to jerk this angle into soap opera land so quickly, but I suppose if there’s anyone who can get the angle over on the mic, it’s JBL.
7. Umaga 3-4, 6 points(Last Week: 8) Absolutely murders super crazy in a glorious squash.
9.>Carlito 4-2, 7 pts. (Last Week: 9) -- Tonight was a rare good night for Carlito. He had quite obviously a match of the decade candidate with a sea gull and then qualified for money in the bank. By all accounts, he wrestled his way onto the top 10.
10. Hardcore Holly 3-1, 3pts. (Last Week: 10)-- 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)