WWE Raw Recap 1.21.08
Raw Recap from Hampton, VA:WWE Raw opened with black and white footage of Martin Luther King Jr's speeches in memory of King, 1929-1968. Highlights were shown from last week's Raw main event between Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy. The 2 men fought and Hardy did a Swanton Bomb off the scaffolding down onto a fallen Randy Orton. Both men were taken away on stretchers as Raw left the air.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler announced the new Raw in HD, and said Mr. McMahon has ordered a handshake to take place tonight between Orton and Hardy. Shawn Michaels came out for the opening match and Ross noted Michaels is one of 3 men to win back to back Royal Rumbles, along with Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold.
Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. KennedyKennedy knocked down Michaels early then used several armbar takedowns. Michaels came back and was able to knock down Kennedy after coming off the ropes. Kennedy squeezed his arms around Michaels' midsection and Michaels was able to rise up to escape it. Kennedy sent HBK to the ropes then used an elbow to knock him down. Kenned was able to slam Michaels' back down on his knee and held him there. Ross noted HBK's neck and back were taking a pounding.
Kennedy continued to methodically take out HBK, stomping on him on the apron and punching him in the corner. Kennedy went for the suplex but Michaels slid off then used a swinging neckbreaker. Both men got to their east and HBK took control with chops, then a flying elbow off the ropes. Michaels hit several atomic drops then went to the ropes to connect on the elbow drop. HBK set up Sweet Chin Music as Kennedy staggered to his feet. HBK ran at him and Kennedy took off out of the ring. HBK jumped over the top rope and landed in a pile on Kennedy.
Raw returned from a break with Kennedy stomping on Michaels in the corner. Kennedy ran at a seated HBK and hit him with a boot to the face. HBK kicked out of a pin attempt and Kennedy whipped him to the corner HBK managed to flip up onto the corner ropes, then turned to clothesline Kennedy down. The two continued to fight it out. Kennedy placed HBK on the corner and tried to climb to suplex him. HBK shoved Kennedy down but Kenney caught him with the knees when HBK tried for an elbow. Kennedy was visibly bloody on his forehead. Michaels managed to catch Kennedy with Sweet Chin Music as he got up, and scored the pinfall.
Winner: Shawn Michaels wins via pinfall over Mr. Kennedy.
Backstage, Randy Orton was shown seated on a couch holding his neck. Orton asked Vince McMahon if he seriously wanted him to shake Jeff Hardy's hand after what went down last week. Orton continued to grimace and told Vince he took a vicious fall followed by Jeff Hardy's Swanton. Orton said there's no way he's shaking his hand. Vince said he's had to shake the hands of many people he didn't like. Vince said if Orton shakes Jeff's hand it will give the perception that he's softened, but in reality he's a cold hearted, competitive scoundrel. Vince told Orton when he shakes Jeff's hand it will tell Jeff mentally that he can't beat Randy Orton.
Mickie James vs. Beth PhoenixThe Glamazon took Mickie down early, but Mickie staged a comeback, flying at Beth off the ropes. Mickie whipped Beth to the corner, then climbed up to start punching her. Mickie was eventually flipped over the ropes onto the apron, then Beth charged at her to knock her off to the floor. Beth took control outside the ring, ramming Mickie into the side of the ring, then tossed her back in.
Mickie eventually gained momentum, escaping Beth's submission. Mickie signaled for her finisher on Beth, but Phoenix picked her up and put her onto the ropes. Beth followed up with the fishermen's suplex on Mickie off the ropes. WWE Diva Beth Phoenix then picked up the pinfall victory crushing Mickie's guarantee she'd win tonight.
Winner: Beth Phoenix wins via pinfall over Mickie James.
Todd Grisham interviewed Triple H backstage about his Royal Rumble qualifying match tonight. Triple H said he has no idea who his opponent will be, but that 7 of the last Royal Rumble winners have gone on to Wrestlemania to become a champion. Triple H made the guarantee he'll be in the Rumble this Sunday.
Footage shown from 2 weeks ago when JBL was dragging Chris Jericho around by a cable around his neck. JR said Jericho returns to Raw tonight.
Backstage Cody Rhodes was shown talking to Brian Kendrick about being a rookie in the Royal Rumble. Kendrick said he has a big match tonight. Just then Hardcore Holly entered and told Rhodes he better have his back against Carlito tonight. Kendrick and Rhodes joked about Holly dressing as Carlito a few weeks ago. Holly said if anyone gets in his space in the Rumble, even Rhodes, he's tossing them out.
A highlight reel of Randy Orton's achievements as a wrestler was shown. It included early childhood memories, footage of Orton's debut victory and his various matches against Jake the Snake, Shawn Michaels, John Cena and Triple H. The footage ended with Ortons latest feud with Jeff Hardy.
Hornswoggle and Finlay shown walking backstage on their way out for a match.
WWE Slam of the Week presented by Saw IV was shown. Vince put Hornswoggle into a "Mini Royal Rumble" match last week which involved mini Kane, mini Mankind and mini Batista. At the end, the life sized Khali came to the ring. Luckily, Finlay came to the aid of Hornswoggle and fought Khali off. Saw IV (Unrated Widescreen Edition) DVD is available on Tuesday.
Finlay & Hornswoggle vs. The HighlandersEarly on, Finlay took the fight to Rorie and used a leg drop on him. Robbie hit Finlay from behind at the ropes. Rorie went over and pulled Hornswoggle into the ring then started to yell at him. Hornswoggle bit his hand, then Finlay leapfrogged Horney to clothesline down Rorie. Hornswoggle ran over and stomped on the hand of Robby who was outside the ring. Horney then used the ropes to dropkick Robby. Finlay slammed Rorie down, then Hornswoggle tagged to jump off the ropes for a Tadpole Splash. After the victory, Hornswoggle and Finlay cleared the ring of their opponents and dance Irish jigs.
Winner: Hornwoggle and Finlay win via pinfall over The Highlanders.
Chris Jericho shown walking backstage on his way out to the ring.
Highlights shown from last week when JBL denounced Jericho as the "savior of Raw". Footage shown of JBL beating up Y2J 2 weeks ago. JBL also delivered a message to Jericho's kids saying their daddy is a gutless and spineless coward.
Y2J came out to the ring to address the crowd and JBL's remarks. Jericho said JBL refused to enter the Raw arena tonight which is ironic after JBL called him a coward last night. Jericho said a coward attacks someone from behind and threatens their children. Y2J said his son asked if he was really a coward, and that he noticed his son seemed to doubt him. Y2J said this is personal now. Jericho said he's still here despite being beaten up by some of the best in the business. Jericho said he'll be bringing the fight to Madison Square Garden this Sunday.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler ran down the list of matches for the Rumble. Backstage, Vince McMahon confronted Hardy. Vince told Hardy not to ever risk his life or another's again. Vince said Jeff is his investment and he expects a fair handshake later on tonight. Vince asked Jeff if he plans to shake Orton's hand and Hardy said he'll definitely give everyone something to talk about.
Brian Kendrick vs. UmagaIn a Rumble qualifying match, Regal appeared on the screen. Regal told Kendrick to qualify he will need to defeat a man who's already qualified, Umaga.
Early on Kendrick ran at Umaga and Umaga used a shoulder to knock him down. Kendrick started using kicks and qucik attacks, but Umaga used a chop to the throat to knock him back down. Kendrick avoided Umaga in the corner, then climbed the ropes to dropkick Umaga. Kendrick kept flying around the ring trying to knock Umaga to the mat. Off the ropes, Umaga caught a flying Kendrick and used a Samoan drop. Kendrick layed on the mat and Umaga picked him up for the Spike. Umaga delivered the Spike after tossing Kendrick up in the air. Kendrick loses the Royal Rumble qualifying match.
Winner: Umaga wins via pinfall over Brian Kendrick.
Backstage WWE Diva Maria checked on a crying Mickie James. Mickie said she's frustrated and feels like she can't beat Beth ever. Maria told her it would be ok. Ashley showed up and Mickie left. Ashley started talking about the Playboy mansion and Heff. Just then Santino Marella showed up. Santino told Ashley he overheard their conversation and Maria does not need to get him a free subscription to Playboy. Santino took Maria by the hand and led her off as she waved bye to the WWE Diva Ashley.
Jim Ross noted that Vince McMahon will make a cameo on Celebrity Apprentice this coming Thursday on NBC. Previews were shown with Trump discussing how he was the man to make Vince go bald.
Footage shown featuring highlights of Jeff Hardy's career with WWE so far, from his days with Matt Hardy as a tag champ to his current Intercontinental reign. Various Money in the Bank and ladder matches also shown.
Hardcore Holly vs. CarlitoEarly on, Holly attacked Carlito in the corner. Carlito managed to turn things around and knocked Holly down off the ropes. Carlito went for several early pin attempts with Santino and Maria looking on.
Holly re-gained momentum, flipping Carlito over him off the ropes. Holly set up the Alabama Slam, but Santino got onto the side apron to distract. Cody Rhodes pulled Santino off to beat him up outside the ring. With Holly's attention turned away, Carlito grabbed him and did the Backstabber to capture the pinfall win.
Winner: Carlito wins via pinfall over Hardcore Holly.
Footage shown from the 2002 Royal Rumble where Triple H eliminated many opponents. It ended with HHH facing off against Kurt Angle. Angle thought he eliminated HHH to win, but HHH was back in to toss Angle over the ropes.
Triple H - Gauntlet MatchTriple H's second qualifying attempt for this year's Royal Rumble. Regal said HHH would have to face 3 opponents in an over the top rope Gauntlet Match. Regal said if HHH throws his 3 opponents over the top rope, he wins and will enter the Rumble. Regal said if HHH is thrown out, he loses the match and his entry to the Rumble. Regal introduced the first opponent as Snitsky.
HHH beat up Snitsky early then tried to toss him to the ropes. Snitsky held his ground then came back to slam HHH down. Snitsky continued to try to beat up the Game. HHH tried to lift Snitsky over the ropes, but Snitsky knocked him back into the ring. Snitsky staggered as he climbed over the ropes into the ring. HHH finally recovered to clothesline Snitsky over the top ropes. Regal introduced the next opponent, Smackdown's Mark Henry.
Henry dominated HHH and slammed him to the mat. Henry picked up The Game and went to throw him out, but HHH grabbed the ropes to hold himself. HHH got back into the ring where Henry whipped him to the corner. HHH eluded a charging Henry, then tried to pick him up near the ropes. Henry fell on top of HHH. Henry started to take control again and charged at HHH near the ropes. The Game pulled down the top rope and Henry fell over the top.
Regal dropped the mic and ran to the ring as HHH's final opponent. Regal started punching away at the Game then tried to hoist him over the top rope. HHH held on to the top rope then came back to do a Spinebuster on Regal. HHH picked up Regal and easily tossed him right over the top rope. Triple H now qualifies for a spot in the 2008 Royal Rumble!
Winner: Triple H wins the Over the Top Rope Gauntlet to qualify for the 2008 Royal Rumble.
The Handshake: Orton & HardyVince McMahon came to the ring first, then introduced the current WWE champion, Randy Orton. Vince introduced Hardy to a roaring crowd response next. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler showed a page from current WWE magazine with Jeff Hardy in chains under water.
Vince said he would normally hype a championship match now. Vince said he knows we will see 2 athletes in their prime giving it their all. Vince said he would like them both as world class athletes to put their differences aside and shake hands. Vince asked both men for any last minute comments. Orton spoke first, saying that Jeff's done amazing things but never come close to becoming WWE champ. Orton said although Hardy won't win the title on Sunday, he has won Orton's respect.
Hardy took the mic next and told Orton he doesn't care about earning any respect. Jeff said he did the Swanton to hurt him and to get revenge for Matt. Jeff said he's ready to do what it takes to win the WWE Championship. Jeff told Orton there's alot of people there he respects alot more than him. Jeff exited the ring and shook hands with Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, then Lillian Garcia. Jeff went into the audience and began to shake hands with numerous fans and yelled out their names afterwards. Jeff got back into the ring and walked up to Orton who put his hand out for Jeff to shake. Jeff stared down Orton who became angry. Orton demanded Jeff shake his hand and Jeff grabbed him. Jeff hit Orton with the Twist of Fate, leaving Orton layed out on the mat as Raw left the air.
Check out more info about the WWE Raw TV show here.