TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE RAW (03.10.08)

WWE: RAW
March 10, 2008
Milwaukee, WI
Bradley Center

The current RAW champions are as follows:
WWE Champion: Randy Orton (10/7/2007)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Hardy (9/3/2007)
World Tag Team Champions: Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes (12/10/2007)
WWE Women’s Champion: Beth Phoenix (10/7/2007)

Read along if you have the WWE Network!

THIS WEEK IS A THREE-HOUR WRESTLEMANIA 24 REWIND NIGHT! What does that mean exactly? Well, you get to see the Undertaker and Mark Henry in a casket match again! YEAH!

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.

Ric Flair starts the show and calls out Shawn Michaels to the ring. Ric says he felt like he was getting sympathy from Shawn last week. He starts getting loud and knows if he can’t compete with the best, he doesn’t want to continue in this business. He wants to be shown respect not for sympathy or pity, but he’s the man. WOO! Flair says he knows his career could come to an end at WrestleMania, but he also feels ON A REAL GOOD DAY he could catch a pinfall on Shawn and his career could continue forever. Flair wants 100% commitment from Shawn – and he wants it now. HBK says every year when WrestleMania rolls around, he can’t control what happens. Whether Flair’s show gets stopped or continues on, the show will get stolen. They shake hands and the match is on. HBK mentions Flair’s 3-on-1 cage match against the world champ Edge and his two Edge Heads on Smackdown. He tells Flair he won’t be going in alone and will be joining him. The WWE champ Randy Orton interrupts and tells us he’s in charge tonight. He announces that Triple H will be facing Kane tonight while Shawn Michaels will be meeting JOHN CENA.

  • Casket Match: The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry

Rematch from WrestleMania 22. Taker runs wild and hits a lariat early. Time for Old School, but gets caught in a bearhug. Taker fights out and they go to the floor for some guardrail violence. Why Mark Henry felt the need to go back in the ring to avoid a countout, I don’t know. Force of habit, I suppose. Taker shoves Henry into the ringpost and bounces his head off the casket. Back inside, Henry pops up with the WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM. Here comes the GORILLA SPLASH. TWO OF ‘EM. Henry calls for the casket lid to open, but Taker pulls him down into HELL’S GATE. Once he’s out, Taker kicks him into the casket and closes the lid for the win. (4:43) Not much in the way of action, but it got the job done and the crowd was actually into it from bell to bell. The Milwaukee Bucks were so terrible in 2008 that I’m guessing this crowd was ready for really any kind of entertainment where their guy wins. ½*

They air an actually funny WrestleMania 24 ad with Carlito hitting on Maria while getting into a fight with a seagull.

Next up, they give us another Big Show and Floyd Mayweather video package with Bert Sugar making some comments, which is pretty cool to boxing nerds.

Triple H cuts a promo about how important his WWE title match at WrestleMania is to him. CENA. ORTON. GAME ON.

WWE SLAM OF THE WEEK (brought to you by Just For Men): RAW, 3/3/08. They show JBL at the hospital with Hornswoggle while Finlay is at the arena. JBL slaps Horny and then turns the lights off to continue the abuse.

  • Finlay vs. Mr. Kennedy

Before the match, JBL appears on the TitanTron and says he and Finlay will meet in a Belfast Brawl at WrestleMania. He can’t wait to put Finlay in the hospital right next to his mutant son Hornswoggle. Finlay gets DQ’ed immediately as he absolutely destroys Kennedy with the shillelagh right here near his home town, which draws boos from the crowd. It gets so bad that more zebra shirts have to come down and help. Finlay finally stops whacking Kennedy totally out cold in the aisleway. N/R

We get a Make-A-Wish ad showing off their charity work.

  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Chris Jericho

Last week on RAW, Jeff Hardy gave Chris Jericho a Twist of Fate on his own Highlight Reel show. Man, this is a schoolyard brawl to start. Hardy catches a dropkick and delivers the double legdrop to the groin. Jericho clotheslines Jeff to the floor as we go to commercial. We come back and see Hardy fighting out of a chinlock. Jericho misses a corner charge and flies out to the floor. Hardy dropkicks Jericho through the ropes and runs across the barricade, but gets planted on the announce table. Back in, Jericho hits a slingshot splash for 1-2-NO! Jericho works a backbreaker and foot chokes Hardy in the ropes. Hardy stops a Bossman straddle with a jumping neckbreaker. Whisper in the Wind connects for 1-2-NO! Jericho comes back with a Northern Lights suplex for 1-2-NO! Hardy bridges up into a backslide for 1-2-NO! Mule kick puts Jericho in the corner, but Hardy misses a corner dropkick. Hardy rolls through a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Jericho shrugs off the TWIST OF FATE and hits the Lionsault for 1-2-NO! This crowd is SOLIDLY behind Jericho. Hardy counters the WALLS OF JERICHO into a small package for a nearfall. Jericho whiffs an Running Enziguri and eats a TWIST OF FATE. SWANTON BOMB is coming up next, but Jericho moves! CODE BREAKER gets the win and Jericho’s record setting eighth Intercontinental championship. (8:10) Fun back and forth match with tons of heat. ***¼

WWE REWIND (brought to you by Auto Zone): WrestleMania 1, the US Express lost the WWF tag titles to the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.

  • Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff

Since this match took place 24 years ago, JR calls this a “deep seeded” grudge. Thankfully, there’s no match as Jillian Hall comes out and calls the US Express has-beens. Since they can’t afford the rights to “Born in the U.S.A.”, she wants to sing it for us. Rotunda stops her from singing with an Airplane Spin – and that’s that. Ross says we will pick up with this feud in another 24 years. Oh boy.

Mike Adamle runs down the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2008. Ric Flair, Peter Maivia, Rocky Johnson, Mae Young, and now Jack and Jerry Brisco.

WRESTLEMANIA 24: 20 DAYS AWAY!

We catch Randy Orton trying to get Kane hype backstage by reminding him of his history with Triple H, but KANE REMEMBERS EVERYTHING.

  • Triple H vs. Kane

Rematch from WrestleMania 15. Kane runs wild early and will not be denied. They go to the floor for some ringside violence where Kane gets whipped into the ringpost. Back inside, Kane comes back with a big boot and slams Triple H for the low dropkick. He pummels Triple H with clotheslines in the corner, but then runs into a AA Spinebuster. That kickstarts the Triple H comeback, but Kane backdrops the Pedigree away. Randy Orton saunters out to the stage. Chokeslam gets countered to a Pedigree, but Triple H spies Orton and gets distracted. Kane hits the Side Slam and comes off the top for the Flying Clothesline, but Triple H kicks him in mid-air and lands the PEDIGREE for the win. (5:36) Match had virtually no heat, but they did work hard for those five minutes. Triple H and Randy Orton stare at each other to close out the segment. *½

John Cena gets some time to cut a promo about what WrestleMania means to him. He has risked EVERYTHING to be at WrestleMania, folks.

  • Melina (w/Beth Phoenix) vs. Maria (w/Candice Michelle)

They show us highlights of the WrestleMania 23 debacle with Melina and Ashley. Melina says she was looking forward to beating Ashley again, but calls her a weak faggot for being injured. Instead, she plans to beat up another Playboy cover girl Maria. Also, Lawler gets to say BUNNYMANIA. Jim Ross gets excited saying “Snoop Dogg”. Santino comes out during the match and rips up a copy of the Playboy magazine. That gets Maria all distracted and allows Melina to do her split inverted Famouser thing for the win. Pro Wrestling Wikia tells me it’s called the Sunset Split. (2:00) After the bell when Candice comes in the ring to protest, Beth Phoenix knocks her for a loop. HA! Santino leaves with the two heels and why not. ¼*

ANOTHER Floyd Mayweather and Big Show promo airs. He claims to be getting $20 million for this match, but it’s more like $5 million in reality. It’s still a ton of money for very little work.

Time for the Floyd Mayweather/Big Show weigh-in. Shane McMahon will be the MC for this thing. He brings out the Big Show first – who gets a warm reception since we haven’t really seen him in a year’s time. Floyd Mayweather who is supposed to be the babyface here gets absolutely BOOED out of the building. He’s got his posse with him, his blang blang, and his fancy sunglasses. Mayweather does a great job getting this crowd to hate on him by merely existing. He weighs in at 159 pounds. Lawler – “Big Show may have eaten meals bigger than that.” Show gets on the scale and weighs 441 pounds. He then gets off the scale and rips the mic out of Shane’s hand. Since Mayweather brought with him his posse, Show brings out his posse, which happens to be a bunch of B-level WWE guys from all three brands. Mayweather FLIPS OUT. Show calls Mayweather the “$20 Million Dollar Man” and thinks maybe he should throw some of that money out to the crowd so they don’t hate you or maybe give it to his posse so they will continue to be friends with you. Show then wanted to know if the reward was really worth the risk because it can only go two ways: 1) he takes it easy on Mayweather at WrestleMania 24 so that he will live to fight another day or 2) Mayweather keeps disrespecting him and then Show will guarantee he never boxes again. Now Show wants an answer. Crowd starts chanting that Mayweather sucks, but then he whips out like $5000 to shut them up. Mayweather throws a few C-notes at Show and then tells him that he respects what Show has done here in WWE, but he doesn’t respect him as a human being. He thinks it’s possible that Show can hurt him, but Show has to be able to catch him first. He then throws more money at the Big Show who picks it up and gives it to Kofi Kingston and Super Crazy. At No Way Out, Mayweather says he broke the Big Show’s nose. At WrestleMania 24, he promises to break Show’s jaw. SNAP. As the segment appears to be over, Show grabs Mayweather on his way out of the ring and tosses him at the wrestlers on the floor. HOLY CRAP. Gee, Mayweather’s posse is really bad at being a posse by just leaving him behind in the ring like that. It gets real crazy for a second between the WWE locker room and Mayweather’s crew, but Mayweather makes it out of there grabbing his elbow. Shane even gets knocked down and I really don’t think that was supposed to happen. Hopefully, nobody is getting a pink slip tomorrow for that. AWESOME.

The WWE champ Randy Orton gets his chance to speak about how he’s the perfect WWE champion because he combines all the greatest attributes of Triple H and John Cena. The only difference is that he has the WWE championship.

  • Edge (w/Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins) vs. CM Punk

This is somehow a WrestleMania Rewind match because they were both in the Money in the Bank match last year. It’s a stretch, but whatever. Waistlocks and headlocks to start. Edge takes control with a hotshot and dropkicks Punk down for two. Punk counters a suplex though with knees to the head in mid-move and mounts a comeback with a knee lift. Edge sends Punk to the apron and tries to spear him down, but Punk moves and kicks him back for the Springboard Clothesline for two. The running knee and the bulldog gets countered by Edge for a DDT. Cover, 1-2-NO! Punk avoids the spear a second time and tries the GTS, but then has to start knocking Ryder and Hawkins off the apron. Edge, however, intercepts Punk with a SPEAR and that’s going to do it. (4:02) This was mildly exciting, but had no heat like everything since Hardy and Jericho. *½

The RAW GM William Regal is now in the ring to talk about the Raw vs. Smackdown battle at WrestleMania. He hypes up Umaga to set up a sweet Umaga video package. THIS GUY IS A MONSTER. Back to the ring, Regal brings out Umaga and starts putting him over big some more as BATISTA decides to show up. Man, that’s a lot of pyro. A brawl erupts, but the uppercut to the throat puts Batista down. He tries a RUNNING SAMOAN SPIKE, but Bats catches him for a Spinebuster and Umaga rolls out totally losing his freaking mind. Awesome.

Vince McMahon gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 3/14 – if you can BELIEEEEVE THAAAAAT.

Ross announces that Floyd Mayweather’s elbow has indeed been injured. Oh dear.

  • John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels

Rematch from last year’s WrestleMania main event. Ross and Lawler recall the match these two had back in April that was excellent. Shawn outwrestles Cena to start controlling a front headlock. They tease the STFU and HBK takes a powder as we go to commercial. When we come back, Cena has grabbed an armbar. As Cena sends Shawn into the ropes, he lowers his head and receives a swinging neckbreaker to turn the tide. Cena wins a slugfest and starts coming off the ropes with shoulderblocks only to get tossed to the floor. He begins to sell a leg injury, so Shawn takes Cena back inside and starts dismantling the leg – just like the NATURE BOY RIC FLAIR WOO! Cena kicks away a figure-four and mounts his comeback. The Protobomb leads to the Five Knuckle Shuffle. The FU gets countered to a backslide though. They trade nearfalls which leads to a back suplex by Shawn. HBK does the Ray Stevens corner bump and runs back into Cena with a clubbing clothesline. The Jumping Forearm leads to the kip-up and the rest you can probably see in your mind right now. The SWEET CHIN MUSIC is blocked. Cena wants the STFU, but Shawn kicks him away to apply the Inverted Figure-Four. Cena is SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER here, but makes the ropes. HBK hits a baseball slide to knock Cena to the floor for an Asai Moonsault. Cena then gets sent into the ringpost, but then RANDY ORTON comes out of nowhere and shoves Shawn into the ringpost as well for the weak DQ. (12:50 shown) Orton brings Cena in the ring and takes a chair with him. He wants to RKO Cena on the chair, but Cena shoves him down onto the chair. FU to Orton! They tried to have some fun with Shawn utilizing the Ric Flair gameplan. This was well done, but ultimately meaningless. ***

From the back, Triple H gloats on camera telling us that he’ll be in charge of RAW next week and he wants to see Randy Orton and John Cena team up against the ENTIRE RAW ROSTER! Muahahahahahahaaha.

BIGGEST NEWS FROM THE NEXT TWO WEEKS: Not only does Jeff Hardy get suspended for sixty days for violating the WWE Wellness Policy a second time and missing his WrestleMania payday, but his house burns down along with his dog and all of his possessions. Very, very sad.

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