Written by: Justin Rozzero
Monday Night Raw 11/26/07
Time Warner Cable Arena
Announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler
– We open with a look back at last week’s big return of Chris Jericho as he arrived to save us all. Out of that we hit our opening animation and then we are welcomed into the arena where we are live from Charlotte…WHOO! North by God Carolina!
1) Triple H & Jeff Hardy defeat Umaga & Snitsky when Hardy pins Umaga after a Swanton Bomb
We are just moments in when the wonderful voice of Lemmy resonates throughout the arena and Triple H heads down to the ring for our big Main Event tag match. He hits his usual poses and then we are joined by the always over Jeff Hardy who seems as poised as ever for a much deserved main event run. Umaga is out next and he is quickly followed by Snitsky who is looking as beautiful as always. I can’t wait to watch Snitsky in HD every week in 2008. The bell rings and Hardy and Snitsky start things off. Snitsky shoves Jeff down, but Jeff pops up and grabs a side headlock. Snitsky shoves Jeff off and he tags in Hunter. They lock up but neither man can get a true advantage. Snitsky doesn’t break clean and buries his shoulder but eventually misses a charge and hits the post. Triple H works the arm and then tags Hardy in. Lawler reminds us that Snitsky has never been pinned on Raw. Hardy runs into Snitsky and goes careening to the floor. Snitsky follows, but Jeff slides back in around him and hits a slingshot dropkick. Umaga charges but Jeff ducks and he goes crashing outside as well. Jeff dives to the outside with a Plancha but the two men catch him. Hunter then runs along the apron and leaps on the pile, knocking everyone to the floor. Hardy and Hunter get back in the ring as Umaga and Snitsky regroup on the floor and we head to break. We return from commercial and Hardy is taking it to Umaga. Jeff hits the ropes and tries to cross body Umaga, but he gets caught in mid-air and spiked to the mat by the spinning sidewalk slam. Snitsky tags in and hits a suplex for 2. Snitsky scoops up Hardy and locks in the double underhook submission, but Jeff battles his way out. Hardy hits the ropes, but Snitsky takes him down with an elbow. Umaga is tagged back in and lands a couple of side kicks and then a big spinning heel kick to the back of the head for 2. Umaga goes to the head vice to wear Hardy down. Umaga releases and tags Snitsky back in. Snitsky loads up the Pumphandle slam, but Hardy slips down the back and shoves Snitsky to the corner. Jeff slowly crawls to the corner but can’t make the tag before Snitsky drags him back across. Jeff fights up and hits the mule kick and then makes the hot tag. Snitsky tags in Umaga and Hunter takes control by ramming Umaga to the post and then hitting him with a big clothesline, which gets a 2 count. Hunter hits the facebuster and Spinebuster and the crowd is fired up. Hunter goes for the Pedigree but Snitsky breaks it up. He then loads Snitsky in the Pedigree, but Umaga breaks that up as well. Snitsky gets back body dropped to the floor and Jeff tags back in. Umaga drills Jeff with a punch to the throat as he gets in the ring. Triple H runs Snitsky into the post and clotheslines him over the barricade taking him out. Umaga sets up Jeff in the corner and charges but Triple H drags him out of the way and Umaga crashes into the buckle. Jeff hits the Twist of Fate, Triple H lands the Pedigree and Jeff polishes Umaga off with the Swanton for the hot win. Man that was a hellacious ending. These TV Tag matches have some of the best finishing sequences, I must say. Grade: 3
– As Hardy and Hunter celebrate, we are interrupted by Commissioner Regal. He lets us know that he wants to see the Game and Hardy in action at Armageddon. He says that he doesn’t envision an Intercontinental title match, but rather envisions a one on one match between Hardy and Triple H instead. The crowd isn’t impressed and Hardy and Triple H look annoyed. We cut backstage to see a black limo arrive and we find out that the Nature Boy has arrived. Lawler says he hopes we aren’t going to hear the announcement he fears.
– We are back from break and the Nature Boy is out to a big pop and a standing ovation from his hometown crowd. JR and Lawler are praising Flair for all his accomplishments as Natch gets into the ring. Lawler says that wwe.com reported that Flair is here to make an announcement about his career, and Lawler still fears the worst. Flair grabs the mike and thanks the crowd. He says there has been a lot of discussion as to why he chose Charlotte to make his announcement tonight. The answer is very simple: Charlotte has been very good to him. Flair is tearing up as the crowd won’t quiet down for him. He also says that every city he has ever competed in has been good to him. He says there is a reason he hasn’t been on Raw for 6 months and it is because we all know his wrestling career can’t go on forever. He has gotten involved politics and marketing and has pondered his future while he was out. He knows sooner or later there will be a time for him retire. The crowd doesn’t like that at all. He says he has always compared himself to Cal Ripken and Brett Favre: Iron Men. He says that right here tonight in Charlotte…he must announce that he…will never retire! He will only retire when he is dead. He has too much juice left and he loves the business too much to go anywhere. The crowd is pumped, but the euphoria is destroyed by “No Chance in Hell” as Mr. McMahon makes his way to the ring. Vince picks up Flair’s jacket and hands it to him and then grabs his own mike. Vince says that Flair had him going as the crowd gets all over him with a “you suck” chant. Vince is happy that Flair will never retire because he means a lot to the audience and is a good piece of property. He hopes Flair goes on forever as well…as long as he keeps on winning. Vince repeats that last part again and then verifies that Flair’s career will carry on as long as he continues to win. The first match that Flair loses will now be his last. Vince asks if he understands and says that he can win any way possible, but if he loses, his career will be done. Vince wishes him luck and says that he hopes he doesn’t die anytime soon. The crowd calls for an ass kicking, but before anything happens, our WWE Champion has arrived to the party as well. Orton comes into the ring and has a mike in his hand. Vince proudly introduces Orton to a chorus of boos. Orton says he came out to thank Flair for all the advice early in his career and for being a friend in his formative years, as well when he had personal problems. Orton thanks him for being a legend and role model and then thanks him in advance for the honor and pleasure of ending his career tonight. Vince makes the match official and Orton and Flair stare down as we go to break.
2) Hardcore Holly, Cody Rhodes, Super Crazy & Jim Duggan defeat Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch & the Highlanders when Holly pins Robbie after the Alabama Slam
Crazy and Rory start off and lockup to start, but Crazy flips out of an armbar and tags in Hacksaw. Duggan slugs away and works the arm. Cody tags in and comes off the buckle with an elbow to Rory’s shoulder. Rory tags in Cade and he lands a boot to Cody’s gut. He runs Rhodes’ shoulder into the buckle and works him over in the corner. Cade grabs the arm and tags in Murdoch. Murdoch clubs away and then grabs a key lock off a snap mare. Cody pushes Murdoch into the post and then tags in Holly. Murdoch tags in Robbie and Holly hits a double chop to the chest. Holly shoots Robbie in and hits his dropkick for 1. Everyone gets into the ring for a quick skirmish and then they all spill outside except Holly and Robbie. Holly drapes Robbie on the top rope and then boots him in the groin. He picks him up and hits the Alabama Slam for the win. Grade: 1.5
– We are back from break and the Grish is with Jeff Hardy. Jeff says it is honor to face Hunter at the PPV and that he has had a great time teaming with him since Survivor Series. He says he hopes the match doesn’t ruin their…and Hunter interrupts. Hunter says he has a hard time with friendship and that he has turned on every partner he has had. He says that he does business and that is why is an 11 time Champion. He tells Hardy he isn’t facing a friend, buddy or partner…he is facing the Game. We head over to JR and the King and they recap last week’s segment between Mr. Kennedy and Shawn Michaels. We cut to Kennedy backstage and he pimps the HBK DVD that is available tomorrow. He says before Shawn gets the opportunity to shill the DVD himself, Kennedy wants to give his take. He says it is chock full of various things, such as Michaels betraying all his tag team partners, coming up short in every main event match and also says that he as good at losing his smile as he is at losing big matches. He says it is really touching, heartbreaking and emotional, but says there is some triumph as we see Michaels at his best: whining and politicking his way to Main Event status. Kennedy says that we will watch the DVD and feel enriched as HBK has had incredible highs and abysmal lows, but nothing will compare to the low Shawn will feel when he faces Mr. Kennedy.
– We are back and see Flair chatting with Arn Anderson and Barry Windham backstage and then head back to the arena for the countdown and arrival of Chris Jericho. Jericho has some pretty swank tights on that are quite reminiscent of his old school tights circa 1999. Jericho has the mike and the crowd greets him with a big “Y2J” chant. He says that the second coming of Y2J is here and there is only way to rock and only reason why he came back: to save us from Randy Orton and become the new WWE Champion. He says the message is clear: he wants a title match. He says he hasn’t heard from Orton all week or gotten an answer to his request. He says that Orton isn’t scared, but rather he is just too dumb and didn’t understand it because he used too many big words last week. He says he will ortonize the question: “Me want title match!” He says he has also brought visual aids and we get a nice little pictogram on the screen. He says he will wait all night long until Orton heads down and gives an answer. We get a moment of silence and then the confrontation we have all dreamed of as the absolutely perfect music of Santino Marella fires up. Santino heads out and tells “KYJ” that things have changed since he left. He can’t march in like a bum who snuck by security and has a Lindsay Lohan haircut. Jericho asks who Santino is and says that he knows Lillian, the cameraman, the timekeeper and the popcorn salesman but not him. He then says he remembers and the two have a funny back and forth as Jericho keeps butchering his name and Santino keeps correcting him. Jericho punctuates it by saying “yeah, we all know that you are Santino Marella” which was pretty funny. Santino says that Orton didn’t give an answer because Jericho doesn’t deserve one and says that he can beat him up right now. Jericho says OK, but Santino says that Jericho hasn’t fought for two years and he doesn’t really want to wrestle him. Jericho says yes he does and Santino rolls outside and says he has to warm up with squat thrusts, pushups and a Maria massage. Santino says he wants to give Jericho something to remember while he preps, and then he turns and jumps on Lawler, pounding on him on the ground and then gets up and mugs for the crowd. Santino backs up the ramp and taunts Y2J and the crowd as we go to break.
3) Chris Jericho defeats Santino Marella with the Codebreaker
We return and Marella is just climbing into the ring. The bells rings and we are ready to go. Jericho grabs a side headlock and turns into a hammerlock. The two trade rights and the Jericho lands a chop and boot. Jericho hits a nice delayed vertical suplex and follows with more boots and rights. Marella goes to the throat, but Jericho responds with an eye gouge. Marella goes up and over with a monkey flip and Jericho hits a springboard dropkick, sending Marella to the floor. Chris heads out and lays in some kidney shots on the floor. Both men are back in and Jericho lays some more kicks in. Jericho shoots Santino in, but misses a dropkick as Marella hangs on to the ropes. Santino slugs away at Jericho and then lays some forearms to his back. Santino gets a 1 and then hits a nice back suplex for another 1 count. Santino locks in a nice underhook submission, but Jericho breaks out and hits a clothesline. Chris lands a hiptoss and atomic drop and then the running facebuster. Santino staggers to his feet and Jericho charges, jumps and pulls Santino’s head down to his knee as he falls backwards and picks up the victory. It was sort of a modified G2S, I guess. I like it though, as he definitely needed to ditch the Walls of Jericho. Jericho turns towards the table and tells Lawler to come get him some. The King heads into the ring and puts a beating on Santino as Jericho jumps in on commentary. Chris lets us know that his finisher is called the Codebreaker and lays his challenge out to Orton one last time. Grade: 2
– We cut backstage to see Flair getting dressed for his match. HBK comes in and they embrace. Michaels says he came tonight just to see Flair and says he can’t believe this could be the last time he sees him wrestle. Michaels warns Flair that Orton is on a roll, but that he is the Nature Boy and they are in Charlotte and that he is the 16 Time Real World Champion and that he is the one and only legend the industry will ever have. Michaels says Flair is still the best wrestler alive and that to be the man, Orton will have to beat the man. Flair thanks him and says that he promises due to all that respect, admiration and their bond, Flair will give his all and go down in a blaze of glory. Flair heads off and Shawn ponders as we go to break.
– We are back and take a quick look back at Flair’s promo from earlier tonight and then head to the ring.
4) Mr. Kennedy defeats Brian Kendrick with a Flatliner
The bell sounds and we get the lockup to start. They trade side headlocks, but Kennedy shoves Kendrick off to the mat. Kennedy slaps him as Lawler lauds him as a future star. Kennedy hits a big clothesline and then slingshots Kendrick throat first into the bottom rope. Kennedy picks him up and then takes him down with a Flatliner to pick up the quick win. Kennedy is up and his mike is lowered. He says that was a nice sample of what we will see him do to Shawn Michaels at Armageddon, as he officially announces the match for the PPV. He says he will win the match and then hits his tagline. Grade: 1
– We get the Smackdown Rebound, recapping Edge’s return, the backstage confrontation with Vicki and the Cutting Edge and then go off to break.
– We are back and Mr. McMahon and his little bastard son are together. He says that Hornswoggle has the Luck of the Irish going for him. He recaps Little Mac’s big week for us and emphasizes Khali beating down Finlay. Vince says they will give Finlay what he wants: a match with Khali at Armageddon. He then sends Little Mac to get him an ice cream sandwich. When Little Mac leaves, Vince grabs a walkie talkie and says that “Mr. Rogers has left the neighborhood.” We cut to Little Mac walking down the hallway and he sees a door that is marked “Free Ice Cream sandwiches.” He enters and Carlito is waiting, saying he will teach Little Mac tough love. Hornswoggle grabs a can of spray paint and paints a black door on the white wall. He then runs circles around Carlito and leaps into the painted door. Carlito is stunned, takes a bite of his apple and takes a charge at the door, but of course he just hits the wall and falls to the ground. He is writhing in pain as Ron Simmons comes in and drops the Damn on him. We then cut over to see Melina walking as we go to break.
5) Mickie James defeats Melina with an Implant DDT to become the #1 contender to the Women’s Championship
Beth Phoenix is out to scout her two potential challengers. Mickie is out first to a nice little pop and Melina follows with her usual paparazzi entrance. The bell rings and we get a big charge and lockup to start. Beth is seated on a nice red carpeted podium to observe. Melina get a quick near fall as she works over Mickie’s face. Mickie hits a spin kick, but eats boot on a charge. Melina goes up top, but Mickie catches her and tosses her to the mat. Mickie hits a Lou Thesz Press for a 1. Melina gets a roll-up for 2 and then spears James into the corner. Mickie hits an elbow on the charge and hits a nice headscissors takeover. Mickie scoops up Melina and hits an implant DDT for the win. Mickie and Beth stare each other down, but Phoenix does not seem impressed. Grade: 1
– We head backstage to see Flair heading down the hallway and as he emerges into the main area, he gets a standing ovation from everyone. Hunter appears, shakes his hand, hugs him and tells him to “show him who you are”. Flair walks off to more applause and we go to break.
6) Ric Flair defeats Randy Orton in a non-title match after a low blow; Randy Orton retains WWE Championship
Randy Orton heads out to the ring first and is looking to add another legend to his list. The Nature Boy is out to another big pop and the big match is now upon us. The bell rings and the two men lock up to start things off. Orton grabs control of the arm, but Flair chops his way out. Flair shoots him in and takes Orton over with a back body drop. Orton is pushed into the corner and Flair lights him up with more chops to the delight of the crowd. Flair chops him down and then steps on his face. Ric scoops him up and lays in more chops. Orton turns Flair around and lands some rights to the head, sending Flair down into the corner. Orton drags him up and takes him back down with an uppercut for 2. JR calls Orton a sociopath, which seems a bit much. Orton whips Flair in and takes him over with a high back body drop and then gets 1 off it. Orton pulls him up and goes for a suplex, but Flair grabs an inside cradle for 2. Orton pops up and hits a clothesline, but Flair lands some chops. Orton drills him back down and stomps away. Orton drags him to the middle of the ring and hit the Garvin Stomp. The crowd is rallying Flair as Orton stomps away. Randy goes for a big kneedrop, but Flair moves and he crashes to the mat. Orton reverses and Irish whip and gets a big dropkick for 2. Orton pulls him up and hits a standing dropkick for another 2. Randy pulls Flair up and goes to a chinlock, wrenching it in. Flair fights out and hits a chop, but Orton clotheslines him to the floor. Orton follows and the trade rights and chops. Orton gains control and takes Flair over with a cringe-inducing suplex to the mat. Orton rolls back in and the ref is counting as the crowd gets antsy. Flair is pulling himself up and rolls back in at 9 to save his career. Orton hits a big leaping Legdrop for 2 and then goes to a side headlock. Flair fights to his feet and takes Orton down with a back suplex. Orton almost gets the RKO, but Flair pushes him off and hits some more chops. Flair hits the ropes and takes Orton down with a chop block and now…we go to school. Flair hits the shinbreaker and then locks in the Figure 4 as the crowd is going crazy. Orton is writhing in pain as he is trapped in the middle of the ring. The crowd is begging for a tap out here but Orton grabs the rope. Flair goes for the hold again, but Flair kicks him off. Both men are up and Orton hits the RKO but is too injured to capitalize. Orton crawls over to cover but Flair gets the rope to break the count. Orton slugs away on Flair’s head and then rakes his head with the bootlaces. The crowd is yelling for Flair as Orton continues to slug away on Flair’s head but the ref pulls him off. Orton goes to a front facelock and then sets up another RKO, but Jericho gets on the apron and distracts him. Flair hits a low blow and gets the big win to keep his career alive. Jericho gets in the ring and congratulates Flair as the crowd is fired up. Flair heads to the back as Orton is seething in the ring. Jericho and Orton have a stare down as we fade out. That was about as basic as you can get, but it was still fun as hell. The crowd was rocking the whole time and the Figure 4/RKO sequence was great. The angle is going to be a ton of fun as it moves along, as no one plays the plucky veteran role quite like the Nature Boy. Grade: 3
I really enjoyed the show tonight. We got a few solid matches, including the red hot opener and even hotter main event and, more importantly, we got some really solid build up for Armageddon. I liked that they announced some matches tonight and began building them up and adding some intrigue to the card. I think the PPV will be pretty good as we are getting some fresh matches on the Raw side of things. I also continue to enjoy Triple H’s mid card run as every time you think he may be moving back into the title picture, he takes an interesting turn. I will be interested to see how strong he makes Hardy looks, as he is reportedly championing him backstage. I love the Flair storyline and this should be an interesting roller coaster ride into Wrestlemania. Jericho looked pretty good in his first match back and his confrontation with Santino was great as expected. All in all, this was a good show that had focus, build and a nice show long story arc featuring the returning Nature Boy. It was solid episodic wrestling TV and that is all you can ask for as they build to another PPV. Final Grade: B+
MVP: Ric Flair
Runner Up: Jeff Hardy & Triple H
Non MVP: Carlito
Runner Up: Brian Kendrick