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COMMENT





Raw: A Flair for the dramatic
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


The description of tonight's RAW is "Countdown to Armageddon", and if you've seen that PPV in the past, it's not something to look forward too. But hey, we are Y2J plus one week, so things aren't all bad.

The main event kicks off the show from Charlotte, North Carolina. Next thing you know there will be cats and dogs sleeping together, it's pandemonium!

Match #1 -- Triple H and Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga and Snitsky

Hardy and Snitsky face off, but Triple H quickly tags in. The two tie up and jockey for position. Snitsky drives a shoulder into Hunter, but Trips dodges a charge and lands against the ring post. Hardy tags back in, avoiding a clothesline, but not a shoulderblock. Hardy then low bridges Umaga to the outside, but gets caught by both men flying off the apron. Triple H leaps into the pile to take down the heels as we got to commercial.

After the break, Snitsky gets a near fall on Hardy. Umaga tags in and keeps the IC champion grounded. Umaga hits a spinning heel kick, and then locks in a chin lock. Snitsky tags in, Hardy floats over an attempted pump handle slam, but can't get the tag. Hardy nails a kick, and Triple H gets the hot tag. Umaga is hung up on the top turnbuckle, and then hit with the face buster and a spinebuster. Triple H goes for the pedigree, but can't hit as he ducks a boot from Snitsky. Trips goes for another pedigree on Snitsky, but is booted in the head by Umaga. Triple H and Snitsky fight to the outside, while Umaga takes it to Hardy. Jeff is knocked down in the corner, when Triple H pulls him away from a charging Umaga. Hardy hits a whisper in the wind on Umaga, and Hunter follows with a pedigree. Hardy hits the swanton bomb and gets the pin on Umaga.

Winner via pinfall: Triple H and Jeff Hardy

After the match, General Manager William Regal walks out on stage. He congratulates Hardy and Hunter on the win. He tells them that they will wrestle at Armageddon, against each other.

A limo pulls up out back, and Ric Flair is in the house.

And Ric Flair makes his entrance and his way to the ring to make an announcement. Flair starts to tear up as he speaks to his hometown crowd, saying he hasn't been on RAW for six months to get involved in businesses outside of wrestling and to ponder his future. Flair says sooner or later there will be a time to retire. Flair makes a proclamation that he will never retire. He can retire when he is dead. Flair's excitement is cut short, as Vince McMahon struts to the ring. Vince says Flair had him going, as Vince seems happy that Flair will never retire. Vince has one condition -- Flair has to keep on winning. The first match he loses from here on out will end the career of Ric Flair. Vince says he doesn't care how he wins, but if he loses it's all over. Randy Orton joins the party to thank Flair for all the advice given, being a friend, being there, being the legend and a thank you in advance for the opportunity to end his career. Vince chimes in with Randy Orton versus Ric Flair tonight.

Match #2 -- Hardcore Holly, Cody Rhodes, Super Crazy and Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. The Highlanders and Cade and Murdoch

These matches are always total clusters, and at one point all eight men will end up in the ring together. Cade works over Rhodes, and tags in his partner to take over. The ref loses control and all men brawl in the ring. When order is restored Holly hits the Alabama Slam on one of the Highlanders and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Hardcore Holly, Cody Rhodes, Super Crazy and Hacksaw Jim Duggan

The Grish is with Jeff Hardy and wants the thoughts on his match with Triple H. Hardy says it's an honor to face Hunter and hopes the match doesn't get in the way of their friendship. Hunter interrupts saying he isn't real good with the whole friends thing. Hunter says he is the best, and he will be stepping into the ring with The Game.

Kennedy has a copy of the new Shawn Michaels DVD and wants to give us a sneak preview. Kennedy mention Shawn turning on tag team partners and losing in big matches and, of course, losing his smile. Kennedy calls it very emotional, but you also get to see Shawn politicking his way to top.

Flair is in the back talking with Arn Anderson and Barry Windham.

Chris Jericho makes his way to the ring. Jericho says the only reason he came to RAW is to save us from Orton and win the WWE Title. Jericho wants a title shot, and Orton hasn't said a word. Jericho runs down Orton and asks again, "Me want title match." (He Ortonized it, just for Randy.) Jericho also spells it out visually, and says he will wait all night long until he gets an answer. Y2J gets Santino Marella instead. Marella calls him KYJ and says he can't come in off the street and demand a title shot. Jericho keeps calling Santino different names to get him riled up. Marella tells him he doesn't deserve a title match, and Santino could take him. Jericho says okay, beat me up. Santino says he has to warm up first, and he jumps Jerry Lawler.

Match #3 -- Chris Jericho vs. Santino Marella

Jericho starts off with an arm bar and head lock. Jericho fights Marella into the corner, and then hits a vertical suplex. Jericho follows with a springboard drop kick, knocking Santino to the outside. Jericho misses on a drop kick, and is mounted by Marella, who punches away at Jericho. Marella hits a back suplex. Jericho hits a clothesline and follows with a hip toss. Jericho hits an atomic drop followed by a bulldog. Jericho seals the deal with a double knee (aka The Codebreaker) to Santino's face.

Winner via pinfall: Chris Jericho

After the match, Jericho allows Lawler to get some revenge on Marella as Jericho gets on commentary. Lawler drops a big fist from the second rope.

Ric is lacing up his boots and gets a big hug from HBK. Michaels said he isn't ready to embrace a wrestling world with out Ric Flair. HBK doesn't think Flair can win, though. Flair says worst case scenario is he goes out in a blaze of glory.

Match #4 -- Ken Kennedy vs. Brian Kendrick

Kendrick hits a low drop kick, but is then clothesline by Kennedy. Kennedy hits a reverse ??? and covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Ken Kennedy

Kennedy says that is just a sample of what HBK is going to get.

It's time for the Smackdown Rebound, and I am so glad I don't cover that show anymore after seeing what I just saw.

Vince is with his little boy and calls him lucky. Vince says they can surprise Finlay with a match against Khali. Vince wants Horny to get him an ice cream sandwich. Vince gets on a walkie talkie and I think he has set up Hornswoggle. The little guy enters a room and finds Carlito. Hornswoggle breaks out some spray paint, making himself a tunnel on the wall. He then disappears into it, ala the Roadrunner. Carlito doesn't watch his cartoons, because when he tries to follows he smacks into the wall. Ron Simmons has one thing to say about that, "Damn!"

Match #5 -- Mickie James vs. Melina -- Number One contenders match

The ladies lock up, and Mickie hits the first punch. Mickie kicks Melina in the gut, knocking her into the corner. Melina gets her feet up to blocks a charge. Mickie uses a Thesz press to take down Melina, who responds with a spear into the corner. Mickie hits a Hurricanrana and follows with a DDT. Mickie covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Mickie James

Ric Flair gets an ovation from the superstars backstage, and a hug from Triple H.

Match #6 -- Randy Orton vs. Ric Flair

Orton and Flair lock up, and Flair uses knife-edge chops. Flair chops away at Orton, and takes him down with a back elbow. Orton turns the tables in the corner, and beats Flair down in the corner. Orton hits a back body drop. Flair uses and inside cradle for a two count. Orton continues with the beat down, stomping away at Flair. Orton misses a knee drop, but connects with a drop kick. Orton stands Flair up and hits another one. The champ slaps in a reverse chin lock. Flair fights out, only to get clothesline out of the ring. Orton follows and hits flair with a suplex on the floor. Orton rolls back into the ring, as Flair tries to pull himself up to the ring. Flair gets in on the eight count, and Orton hits him with a leg drop. The champ uses a side head lock. Flair counters with a back suplex, and then blocks an RKO. Flair hits a chop block, and then a shin breaker. Flair locks in the figure four in the middle of the ring. Orton is able to pull himself to the ropes to break the hold. Orton hits an RKO, but hurts his knee. Flair grabs the rope to break the pin. Orton punches away at Flair. Orton locks in a neck vice, but Orton is then distracted by Chris Jericho. Flair takes advantage of the referee looking the other way, and hits a low blow on Orton. Flair covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Ric Flair

Jericho helps Flair from the ring as the show goes to black.

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale never, EVER thought he would see a Coyote vs. Roadrunner gag on Monday Night RAW.