Monday Night RAW April 21, 2008
Monday Night Raw is broadcast from Greenville, SC on the USA Network.
Ringside announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Ring announcer: Lillian Garcia
Interviews: Todd Grishman
This week’s Raw marks the return of the King of the Ring and will be a three-hour show with a special Obama vs. Hillary match. Jim Ross informs the audience there will be an eight-man tag team match and that tonight all three candidates for the presidency will be addressing the WWE fans. Among the contenders for the King of the Ring will be Raw, Smackdown and ECW wrestlers.
First Round Tournament Match:
Y2J Chris Jericho weighing 226 lbs., WWE Intercontinental Champion
M.V.P from Miami, FL, weighing 248 lbs. – representing Smackdown, WWE United States Champion
M.V.P. comes out swinging and takes Jericho down to the mat. Jericho is back to his feet and he goes after MVP with the same vigor. The ref backs MVP out of the corner and Jericho catches MVP with a boot when he comes back in Jericho’s direction. Jericho sends MVP out of the ring and delivers a slide that sends MVP down to the floor. Jericho goes out after MVP but rolls him back in at the count of four. MVP is back to his feet and stops Jericho when he tries to get back in the ring. MVP goes for two quick covers but can’t get the three count. MVP goes for a submission move but Jericho works his way back to his feet and gets out of the hold. Jericho off the ropes and takes MVP down to the mat, but MVP catches him when he comes off the ropes a third time and goes for a cover. He gets a two count. Jericho goes for a bridge cover and he gets a two count. MVP gores for a roll up and gets the two count. MVP nails Jericho in the face with a boot and again goes for a cover but he gets another two count. MVP takes Jericho up on his shoulders and drops him face first on the mat but is caught by Jericho’s clothesline when MVP comes off the ropes. Jericho goes for the cover and gets a two count. JR points out that Jericho has a goose egg over his right eye and he does. Jericho face plants MVP on the mat and goes for the lionsault but MVP gets out of the way. Jericho counters an MVP maneuver and has MVP in the walls of Jericho. MVP taps out. Time: 6 minutes
Winner:Y2J Chris Jericho by submission
I’m not sure I remember seeing these two wrestlers in the ring before but they did a great job working against each other. The match could have been longer but MVP did get a major bump on the forehead during the course of the match. The camera shows MVP who is still in the ring and that lump has got to hurt. Jericho goes up to the King’s throne and takes a seat.
First Round Tournament Match:
CM Punk from Chicago, IL, weighing 222 lbs. – representing ECW, Mr. MITB
Matt Hardy from Cameron, NC, weighing 236 lbs. – representing Smackdown
CM Punk got a Raw deal on Raw tonight. I like Punk a lot but Hardy may just be a little bit better. Punk tests a few kicks but Hardy steps out of the way. The two lock up and go around the ropes and back into the center of the ring with Matt applying a wristlock. Punk delivers an elbow that backs Hardy up. Punk delivers a neck breaker and goes for a pin but only gets a one count. Punk goes for a cover and he gets a one count. Punk has Hardy down in a headlock and the audience is chanting for Hardy. Hardy is back to his feet but Punk takes him back down to the mat. Punk has Hardy in the corner but the ref backs him up. Punk has Hardy up on the top turnbuckle but Hardy fights him off and delivers head butts to get Punk to release. Hardy comes off the second rope and nails Punk in the back. Punk delivers a knee to Hardy’s face and takes Hardy down with a bull dog. Punk goes for the cover. He gets a two count. Punk springboards off the ropes and gets caught in a side effect. Hardy goes for the cover and gets a two count. Hardy waits for Punk to get to his feet, tries for the twist of fate, countered by Hardy, countered by Punk with a roll up and Punk gets the three count. Time: 4 minutes
Winner: CM Punk with a roll up
This was a shorter match but it was intense with constant contact between the wrestlers. A good match for the time allotted between two very talented wrestlers. Punk goes up to the throne with his MITB briefcase and takes a seat.
JR introduces a video of the match last week between Triple H and JBL. The Fatal Four Way Match at Backlash is now an elimination match with the WWE Championship title on the line. John Bradshaw Layfield is on camera in his business suit. Shall we assume that he is not going to a participant in the King of the Ring action on Raw tonight?
First Round Tournament Match:
The Great Khali from Indian, 7’, weighing 420 lbs. – representing Smackdown
Finlay from Belfast, Northern Ireland, weighing 233 lbs. – representing Smackdown
I thought the feud between Finlay and Khali was over. It may be renewed during this match. Finlay obviously can’t wrestle him and unless he finds a way to cheat behind the referee’s back, I don’t see how Finlay can win. He is down as soon as the match starts but Khali misses a drop and Finlay delivers a short dropkick but it doesn’t last. Finlay tries to come off the second rope but he is greeted by Khali’s boot. Hornswoggle runs into the ring with the shillelagh and is spotted by the ref and Khali at the same time. Finlay is getting back to his feet and tries to get Hornswoggle out of the line of fire. Hornswoggle gets out of the ring but Finlay gets a chop to the head. Khali climbs out of the ring and slams Finlay’s leg against the ring post. The ref starts counting but Khali ignores the count and continues to slam Finlay’s leg against the post. The ref rings the bell. Time: 2 minutes
Winner: Finlay via disqualification
Khali continues even after Finlay is named the winner and Big Show’s theme music begins. Show heads down the entrance ramp toward Khali. Khali doesn’t move until Show gets close and then he begins backing around the ring with Show stalking him. Show climbs into the ring and stares down Khali but Khali doesn’t attempt to get into the ring.
Finlay is being helped out of the arena by refs with Hornswoggle in tow.
Final First Round Tournament Match:
Raw General Manager William Regal from Blackpool, England, weighing 244 lbs.
Finlay is still limping up the ramp and he grabs Hornswoggle around the neck and tells him he can’t wrestle. Regal rolls out of the ring and heads up the ramp, grabs Hornswoggle and rolls him into the ring. The bell rings and Regal immediately has Hornswoggle in the Regal stretch, Hornswoggle taps out. Time: Less than 1 minute
Winner: William Regal with the Regal stretch
Finlay has made it back down to the outside of the ring as Regal still has Hornswoggle locked in the submission hold. The ref has pulled Regal off Hornswoggle and Finlay crawls back into the ring to protect Hornswoggle. Finlay will be forced to face Regal in the semi finals. Regal delivers a kick to Finlay’s injured knee much to the dismay of the audience. Finlay and son are still down in the ring.
It appears that Michaels has again appeared to address Batista yet again. He has addressed Batista, sometimes twice a week, since Michaels retired Nature Boy Ric Flair at Wrestlemania XXIV. Michaels calls out Batista, telling him that he has one more question he wants to ask him. You couldn’t send him a text message Michaels? Batista appears to enter the ring. Michaels wants to ask Batista why he didn’t answer the question Chris Jericho asked him last Friday on Smackdown. Michaels wants to know if Batista really wanted to be the man who faced Flair at Wrestlemania. Batista says it isn’t about Ric and it isn’t about Wrestlemania, it’s about the two of them. Batista says that this is the last thing he is going to say to Michaels – at Backlash Batista is going to finish this. Michaels tells Batista that he appreciates his honesty. Michaels says that he is everything that Batista says he is and now he is The Man. Michaels tells Batista good luck because he’s going to need it and holds out his hand to shake with Batista. Batista shakes his hand and then won’t release it. We have another stare down in preparation for Backlash. The audience is still sounding pro Michaels.
Hillary Clinton is on camera addressing the audience. I skipped it. I am of the opinion that the WWE writers much have come up with Clinton’s lines.
Hardcore Holly from Mobile, AL, weighing 243 lbs.
One half of the WWE World Tag Team Champions
Accompanied by Cody Rhodes, the other half of the WWE World Tag Team Champions
Carlito from the Caribbean, weighing 220 lbs.
Accompanied by Santino Marella, his tag team partner
Both of these man do know wrestling but they both know cheating and hard hitting. Carlito sends Holly down but Holly returns the favor and goes for the pin. He gets a two count. Holly delivers an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline and again goes for the cover. He gets another two count. Carlito delivers a knee to the abdomen and then beings punching Holly in the head and face until the ref backs him off. Carlito slams Holly to the canvas and goes for the cover but he only gets a one count. Rhodes is working the audience and getting them involved as Holly gets back to his feet. Holly comes off the ropes and is hit by a dropkick. Carlito goes for the cover and gets a two count. Carlito works on Holly’s back and uses the ropes for some extra leverage. Carlito body slams Holly to the canvas and goes for the cover. He gets another two count. Carlito slams Holly’s head into the top turnbuckle and again goes after the lower back area. Holly sidesteps Carlito and Carlito crashes into the corner post. Holly follows up with a right fist and the two exchange punches in the center of the ring. Holly drops Carlito with a clothesline then catches him with a dropkick as Carlito comes off the ropes. Holly works the audience and tries for the Alabama slam, Carlito counters and nails Holly with a backstabber, goes for the cover and gets the three count. Time: 5 minutes
Winner: Carlito with a backstabber
The match actually seemed to go longer than the 5 minutes it took. It may not have been the best match of the night but it was worth watching. Marella gets in the ring with a mic in hand to trash talk Holly and Rhodes since they are the #1 Contenders for the tag team titles. Rhodes takes the mic and asks Santino if he ever shuts up. Rhodes nails Marella in the head with the mic and sends him out of the ring while Holly sends Carlito out to the floor.
Semi Final Tournament Match:
Y2J Chris Jericho, WWE Intercontinental Champion
CM Punk, Mr. MITB
The two men lock up and Jericho takes Punk down to the mat in a side headlock. Punk is back to his feet, Jericho off the ropes and takes Punk down with a shoulder block. Punk drops Jericho to the mat and tries for the cover. Punk uses a little footwork to go after Jericho’s legs before taking him down to the mat and trying again for a cover. He can’t get the three count. Jericho slams Punk on the top rope and he goes down to the canvas. Punk is up on the apron and tries to spring in after Jericho but Jericho trips Punk up. Punk again hits the canvas. These aren’t smooth fluid moves but they are effective. Jericho works on Punk’s back, both men back to their feet. Punk comes off the ropes with a kick to Jericho’s chest. Punk takes Jericho down with a clothesline and goes for the cover. Punk gets a two count. Jericho takes Punk down with a hurricanrana and we have several counter roll ups, Jericho goes for the walls of Jericho, Punk counters with a roll up. Punk power slams Jericho to the canvas, goes for the pin and gets a two count. Punk has Jericho up for the GTS, Jericho counters, comes off the ropes and nails Punk and goes for the walls of Jericho. Punk is trying to get to the ropes and he makes it. The ref makes Jericho break the hold. Jericho goes back to work on Punk’s back until the ref backs him off. Punk tries to send Jericho over the top rope but Jericho lands on the ring apron. Jericho goes up to the top turnbuckle; Punk delivers a kick to throw Jericho off balance. Punk has Jericho up on his shoulders and hits the GTS, goes for the cover and gets the win. Time: 7 minutes
Winner: CM Punk with a GTS
Both of these wrestlers had decent first round matches. This match was a good one for both of them although some of the moves looked a little off. It sounded as though the audience was pro Jericho through most of the match but Punk didn’t slack off. He took as many hits as Jericho took if not more.
Barack Obama addresses the WWE audience. Again, I fast-forwarded through the speech.
Semi Final Tournament Match:
Raw General Manager William Regal
Finlay has his left knee taped as he limps to the ring. Regal is trying to get to Finlay’s knee but Finlay takes Regal down. Regal comes up with Finlay’s leg but Finlay kicks Regal back. Finlay sends Regal over his head and down to the mat. Regal rolls out of the ring and Finlay goes out after him. Regal slams Finlay, leg first, into the steel steps. Finlay manages to roll back into the ring and Regal goes after him. Regal continues to work on the knee. The audience is loudly chanting “Regal sucks” as Regal continues to work on Finlay’s knee. The ref keeps pulling Regal out of the corner and Finlay manages to comes out swinging then sends Regal shoulder first into the ring post. Finlay sends Regal to the mat and goes for a cover but can’t get the three count. Finlay goes for a backslide, grabs Regal by the hair, but Regal kicks out. Regal has Finlay in another submission move and the ref rings the bell. Time: 4 minutes
Winner: William Regal by submission
Finlay has taken a lot of hard shots tonight. It appears that Regal will now face Punk for King of the Ring. Finlay’s matches tonight were not his best but you can never say he isn’t tough. Regal could have his hands full. Punk isn’t injured.
John McCain addresses the WWE audience. Same as before, fast-forwarded.
Democratic Primary Presidential Smackdown:
Accompanied by Bill Clinton (I hope everyone in the audience has a good grip on their daughters, wives, mothers, etc., etc., etc.)
I just don’t think I’ll call this one wrestling fans
Both candidates are down on the mat and Umaga enters the arena. I think Umaga may win the election. Obama receives a Samoan Spike. Umaga scares Bill out of the arena and then delivers a Samoan drop to Hillary. Time: 5 minutes
Winner: Umaga with a Samoan spike and a Samoan drop to everyone within reach
The divas enter the ring. JR says it’s always good to see authentic divas. It would be even BETTER to see authentic women WRESTLERS! They are here to introduce the new WWE Women’s Champion, Mickie James. Mickie James is a wrestler. Mickie attempts to talk to the audience but is interrupted by The Glamazon Beth Phoenix with the rest of the women’s locker room. The rest is a bunch of women in heels making fools out of them selves on the television screen.
Final Match - King of the Ring:
Raw General Manager William Regal from Blackpool, England, weighing 240 lbs.
CM Punk from Chicago, IL, weighing 222 lbs. – representing ECW
The bell rings and the two men lock up, Regal shoves Punk back into the corner post and goes after Punk with fists. Punk delivers a boot to the abdomen, backs Regal into the corner and delivers a high knee, tries for the bulldog but Regal delivers a back body drop and goes for the cover. Regal gets a two count. Regal works on Punk’s already damaged back but Punk makes it back to his feet. Punk delivers a boot but Regal kicks back. Regal takes Punk down to the mat and continues to put pressure on Punk’s back. Punk makes it back to his feet and breaks the hold, then delivers a high kick to the head and then another. Punk delivers a few fists and then another hard kick to the skull. Punk goes for the cover and gets a three count before Regal kicks out. Punk tries to pick Regal up but Regal gets the ropes and comes back with a knee to Punk’s head. Regal tries to set up the Regal stretch and he gets it locked in. Punk taps out. Time: 4 minutes
Winner and 2008 King of the Ring: Raw General Manager William Regal
Regal goes up the ramp and takes his place on the throne. How long has it been since Regal spent any real time in the ring? His match last week against Orton.
Eight-man Tag Team Match:
Randy Orton from St. Louis, MO, weighing 245 lbs.
John Bradshaw Layfield from New York City
Chavo Guerrero from El Paso, TX, weighing 215 lbs.
The Rated R Superstar Edge from Toronto, Canada, weighing 250 lbs.
The Game Triple H from Greenwich, CT, weighing 255 lbs.
John Cena from MA, weighing 240 lbs.
The Big Red Machine Kane weighing 320 lbs.
WWE ECW Champion
The Undertaker from Death Valley weighing 299 lbs.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion
Undertaker and Orton begin the match but Edge doesn’t leave the ring and now it’s Edge against the Undertaker. Undertaker takes Edge down with a flying clothesline and then goes old school, driving Edge back down to the canvas. Undertaker takes a second to clear Orton’s tag team partners off the ring apron and before a full minute is up we go to COMMERCIAL BREAK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MAIN EVENT! Back in the ring, it’s Guerrero and Triple H in the ring. Guerrero tags in Edge who tries for a spear but it caught by a spine buster. Both men are down on the mat. JR tells the audience that during the commercial break, Orton and Triple H went at each other. Triple H makes to Cena for a tag and Cena has Edge down on the mat. Orton gets in the ring and as the ref’s back is turned, Guerrero pulls down the top rope and sends Cena over the top and down to the floor. Triple H goes around the ring and is stopped by the ref while JBL goes after Cena on the floor and then rolls him back in the ring. Orton is now the legal man and he keeps Cena away from his corner before tagging in JBL. JBL goes for the cover and gets a two count. JBL drops Cena with a clothesline and again goes for a cover. JBL gets a two count. JBL tags in Edge and they double team Cena until the ref breaks it up and sends JBL out to the apron. Cena is back to his feet and as he comes off the ropes, he is met by Edge’s boot. Edge goes for a cover but can’t get the three count. Edge tags in Orton. Orton has Cena I a headlock but Cena is trying to get to his corner. The headlock becomes a sleeper hold but Cena slams Orton into the ring post. The two men meet in the center of the ring with double clotheslines and now both men are down on the mat. The ref gets to the count of 6 before the men are up. Cena tags in Kane and Orton tags in Guerrero. Kane clears the ring apron and delivers a side slam to Guerrero then comes off the top rope and connects. Kane goes for the cover but Guerrero’s teammates break it up. Most of the men end up out on the floor. Guerrero goes up to the top and Kane has him and drops him with a choke slam. Edge is back in the ring and he catches Kane with a spear and goes for the cover to get the win. Was Edge even the legal man? Time: 1 minute before commercial, 6 minutes after commercial, 7 minutes total I don’t know why exactly this match was scheduled but due to time constraints and the commercial break, it wasn’t a full match.
Winners: The Rated R Superstar Edge & Chavo Guerrero & John Bradshaw Layfield & Randy Orton
After the bell rings, Cena enters the ring and delivers the FU to Edge. Triple H is back in the ring and he and Cena go after each other. Triple H tries to set Cena up for the pedigree but JBL nails Triple H with a clothesline. Orton is now back in the ring and he takes Cena down with an RKO and now its Orton and JBL face to face in the ring. Undertaker appears and he delivers a double choke slam. Undertaker is the last man standing in the ring.
I realize that WWE is all about building up their Backlash pay per view but between the political mumbo jumbo and the eight-man tag team match and Shawn Michaels yet again having words with Batista, the King of the Ring matches were shoved to the back burner. While I am not a programmer or booker for any wrestling organization, it would seem that making this night all about King of the Ring would have made for a more entertaining show.