March 24, 2008
Columbia, SC
Colonial Center

The current RAW champions are as follows:
WWE Champion: Randy Orton (10/7/2007)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho (3/10/2008)
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!

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.

Here we are on the EVE of WRESTLEMANIA 24. It’s a big deal, folks. John Cena kicks off the show to remind us that it’s a big deal and feels pretty good that he’ll leave WrestleMania once again the WWE champion. I bet someone else is going to feel differently about that. I wasn’t expecting the Big Show to interrupt, but here he is. He isn’t concerned with Cena’s match so much as he is knowing that this year’s WrestleMania will go down in history because he ended Floyd Mayweather’s boxing career. It will replace Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant as the biggest moment in the history of the event. Next thing we know, JBL comes down. He will be facing Finlay in a Belfast Brawl at WrestleMania and talks about what he’s going to do to the little mutant’s daddy. All Cena can think about is beating JBL’s ass at WrestleMania 21. The WWE champ Randy Orton joins us next. He is cool that nobody thinks he will leave WrestleMania still the WWE champ because afterwards everybody will be talking about him. Here comes UMAGA. Good grief. He steals the mic out of Orton’s hand – thinks the mic is magic – and threatens Batista in Samoan. Cena translates with jokes on Orton. Randy tries not to laugh as Triple H comes down. He puts over the WWE title saying any of the other guys would change their spot in a heartbeat if they could. HHH vows to go back on his throne this Sunday at WrestleMania. They all start arguing and out comes the RAW GM William Regal. He makes an eight-man no-DQ tag match with Orton, Umaga, JBL, and the Big Show taking on Cena, HHH, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair. Huge pop for the Nature Boy here in his backyard.

WWE Rewind brought to you by God of War: Chains of Olympus. Last Friday on Smackdown, Chris Jericho appeared on MVP’s V.I.P. Longue and knocked MVP off a ladder and held up the MITB briefcase and the IC title.

  • Chris Jericho & CM Punk vs. MVP & Carlito

Everybody in this match will be in the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania this year. The babyfaces run wild to start, culminating with Jericho hitting the springboard dropkick to send Carlito to the floor. Commercials! When we return, Jericho comes back and lands on his feet trying the Lionsault. He goes crazy with the WALLS OF JERICHO and winds up getting knocked to the floor by Carlito for some ringside violence. Back inside, Carlito works the neck for a bit. He tags out to MVP who grabs a cravat. Jericho fights out and ducks the Helluva Kick. HOT TAG TO PUNK! He hits the High Knee, knocks Carlito off the apron, and follows up with the running bulldog on MVP. Time for the Springboard Clothesline, but MVP moves out of the way for two. Jericho tries to hit MVP with the enziguri, but hits Punk instead. Oh well. As Carlito pulls out Jericho, MVP covers Punk for the win. (6:25 shown) With that finish, I suppose any chance of MVP winning the MITB would now be squashed. Match was okay, but didn’t set the world on fire. **


Elsewhere, Mr. Kennedy gives his WrestleMania predictions. He thinks Shawn Michaels will end Ric Flair’s career, Edge ends the Undertaker’s undefeated streak, and he wins the Money in the Bank briefcase again.

They air the “Leave the Memories Alone” video package for Ric Flair. Afterwards, they cut back to the locker room to show Ric Flair sitting in a chair about to explode. Ross says Flair will confront HBK – TONIGHT.

Next up, they show a Big Show/Mayweather video package giving us Big Show’s side of things.

  • The Great Khali vs. Hardcore Holly

Ross and Lawler discuss the 24-man battle royal set for WrestleMania to find a top contender for the ECW title. Not a lot Holly can do with Khali. He gets kicked around. Khali applies a nerve hold. Holly finds his way out, but takes a Brain Chop and the TREE SLAM. Khali covers him for the three-count at 1:51.

WWE SLAM OF THE WEEK (brought to you by Axe): RAW, 3/17/08. We get highlights of Ric Flair and Vince McMahon’s bloody street fight. Flair splashes McMahon through a table to get the win.

Ric Flair comes out and enjoys the respect he’s shown from Columbia – because he feels completely disrespected after Shawn Michaels’ involvement in his match last week with Vince McMahon. He invites HBK out to the ring to talk this out. Shawn comes out and says all he was doing was giving Flair backup, which is exactly what Flair would want. HBK tells Ric Flair that he’ll always be Ric Flair to him. When HBK starts doing Flair’s old shtick, Flair yells at him to SHUT UP and takes off his coat. Oh man, it’s serious now. Flair doesn’t need HBK to tell him who he is. He whips out the NWA world title that he first won in 1981 and puts it over as the championship Shawn Michaels respected when he was growing up. It’s 2008, but Ric says it doesn’t matter what year it is because he wants to prove he can still be the NATURE BOY RIC FLAIR at the highest level. He needs Shawn to bring him the best that he has because Flair needs one more night to be THE MAN. HBK assures Flair that he will give Flair everything he needs. He will give Flair the Headliner, the Main Event, the ICON, and he will give him the SHOWSTOPPER. Come Sunday, Flair will step into the ring with Mr. WrestleMania. Flair says he expects nothing less from him and shakes his hand. As Shawn starts to leave, he reminds Flair a little story called Old Yeller. On Sunday, Shawn looks Flair dead in the eye and tells him that he will take Flair behind a woodshed and put him out of his misery. Well, Flair is pissed. He drops everything, starts disrobing as the crowd gets louder knowing what’s about to happen, stomps his jacket in total Flair fashion, and screams in HBK’s face for the Old Yeller comment. He slaps HBK a couple times daring him to put him down – RIGHT NOW. Shawn wraps up saying he will put Flair out of his misery and then walks out. Well, if that doesn’t sell you on the PPV, nothing will.

We get another Show/Mayweather video package highlighting Floyd Mayweather.

  • Maria vs. Melina (w/Beth Phoenix)

Candice Michelle will no longer be at WrestleMania since she’s rebroken her clavicle. Ashley catches Beth Phoenix cheating and comes out to disrupt things. All four of the girls argue with the ref as Santino Marella comes down. As soon as he sees the man, Jerry Lawler takes his headset off and helps the good girls clean house on the heels. RAW GM William Regal comes out and makes this is a six-person tag.

  • Jerry Lawler, Maria & Ashley vs. Santino Marella, Beth Phoenix & Melina

JIP as Lawler catches Santino coming off the top rope. Lawler follows up with a standing dropkick. An atomic drop is more than Santino can handle as he tags out to Melina and sells the atomic drop on the apron. Ashley runs wild on Melina and tags in Maria for a Bronco Buster. Beth Phoenix cuts off Maria with a sitout spinebuster. Now of course Santino wants into the match. He takes a slap across the face from the Divas and gets chopped in the corner. Ross makes a Three Stooges reference. As Santino escapes to the floor, Lawler gives him what for. Back in, Phoenix and Melina clip Maria from behind. Not knowing what happened, Santino crawls back anyways and cradles up Maria for the win. (3:27 shown) Santino gets the other two girls to clap and drum while he blows his trumpet. The man is straight up bonkers. ½*

Triple H catches John Cena backstage having fun with Val Venis and Cody Rhodes and puts a stop to it. He lets Cena know he will mow him down if he gets in his way of winning the WWE title at WrestleMania. Cena isn’t impressed with HHH’s hardships because he sat at home watching another man carry his WWE championship that he never lost. Cena tells Triple H that he will be standing in his way because at WrestleMania, the WWE championship comes home. Triple H always has to have the last word.

John Legend will be performing “America, the Beautiful” at WrestleMania.

Ross and Lawler run down the WrestleMania 24 card. This is followed by an epic WrestleMania 24 promo video hyping you up for triple threat main event.

  • No-DQ Match: Triple H, John Cena, Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair vs. The Big Show, Umaga, JBL & Randy Orton

This will be Flair’s final match on RAW here on episode #774. His first match on RAW was on the second episode back on January 18, 1993 where he wrestled Tito Santana. Mr. Perfect ended up ruined the match for Ric as he pulled Flair out of the ring for a big pull apart brawl that added some extra tension for their memorable “loser leaves the WWF” match the following week. Orton and HBK start us off with some feeling out stuff. Once they settle down in an armbar, Finlay comes out and brawls with JBL. Commercials! I guess that takes care of JBL – making it now four on three. When we return, Umaga is beating on Shawn, which is a feud they should have already done to get him over. Shawn takes the buttalanche. As Umaga stands up HBK for the Samoan Spike, Batista runs down and they brawl in the aisle to once again help out the babyfaces. Back in the ring, Show tosses HBK over to Flair for a tag. Big Show wipes the babyfaces off the apron. Flair tries to chop him back, but winds up taking a press slam. Good grief, Ric. Take it easy. Show slaps on Flair and chokes him with his boot. We get the Flair Flop as the crowd chants, “Please don’t go”. This whole time, Orton has been barking orders from the apron and Show is sick of him running his mouth. While they argue, Flair slides over and tags Cena. For some reason, the ref is cool with Triple H and Cena double-teaming Show. The double suplex Show of course gets countered as he suplexes them both over. Finally sick of Orton, Show tosses him into the ring for a CHOKESLAM. Not really having any more to prove, Show steps on Orton and walks right out of the ring. Now Triple H and Cena are fighting over who is going to put their finisher on Orton. As they brawl to the locker room, Flair sneaks in and tries the Figure-Four until Shawn walks in and drops him with a right hand. HBK thinks he’s now going to put Orton in his Inverted Figure-Four, but Flair low blows him out of the ring. Like, he literally sells the low blow by falling through the ropes out to the floor. Now it’s just Flair v. Orton. Flair locks in the FIGURE-FOUR. Orton does a GREAT job selling and flailing around in the hold until he finally taps out to give Flair the win over the WWE champ. (8:47 shown) Flair closes out the show looking like the freaking man once again as he goes into WrestleMania 24 for his final encounter. Not sure the booking in this match did much of anything for the other WM matches, but you got to have Flair go out on top. **

There’s still ECW on Sci-Fi and Smackdown to come before WrestleMania 24. After that, I’m ending the TEN YEARS AFTER series and going back to the original plans because I just don’t have the time to do 1998 and 2008 and ever finish either. I started with WrestleMania 22 and I’m ending it at WrestleMania 24. Hope you have enjoyed it!



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