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COMMENT





Raw: Hardy pins the champ
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on Monday Night RAW: It's all the fallout from Armageddon as Jeff Hardy begins his chase toward the WWE Championship while Chris Jericho and JBL clash after their confrontation at the pay-per-view. Should be a good one!

And we are LIVE! from HSBC Arena in Buffalo where tonight we will see Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy take on Jeff Hardy and Shawn Michaels and the Ric Flair Retirement Tour continues as The Nature Boy battles Umaga.

Match #1 - Santa's Little Helpers Match - Jillian Hall (Louisville, KY), Layla (Miami, Fla.), Melina (Los Angles, Calif.) & Victoria (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. Mickie James (Richmond, Va.), Michelle McCool (Jacksonville, Fla.), Maria (Chicago, Ill.) & Kelly Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla.)

It seemed the main purpose of this was to continue all the current Divas feuds, as Kelly Kelly and Layla fought along with Michelle McCool and Victoria continuing their hostilities.

Mickie James comes in for the faces and cleans house on Victoria and hits a Tornado DDT for the victory.

Winners via pinfall: Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Maria & Kelly Kelly.

After the match, the heels crash Mickie but are quickly disposed of. With the winning team in the ring, Mr. McMahon slowly walks out to the ring without music and boots the Divas out. He has a mic.

Vince goes over his humiliation from last week, where he was beaten down by Mankind, Undertaker and Steve Austin. Vince says he doesn't know how anyone could celebrate and it seemed like everyone enjoyed his anguish. He then meekly says his feeling have been hurt, his heart has been broken and that he is a human being.

With Vince looking all emo, Jeff Hardy's music hits and out he comes.

Hardy rips the microphone away from Vince and compares Vince to Saddam Hussein (in relation to WWE being in Iraq next week). Hardy lays a verbal beatdown on Vince that leads Vince to go sulk in the corner almost in tears. With that, we see some...

(Ads)

We're back and Vince is still in the corner and William Regal is out trying to console him and get him to leave the ring. But before Regal can make any headway, a familiar tune hits and out comes Triple H, presumably to continue Vince's misery.

HHH tells Regal to let him handle it since he's the closest thing he's got to family. He tells everyone to mark the time as Vince McMahon has officially flipped. Triple H then sits down and puts his arm around Vince and says he's sorry for what he did to him last week and asks Vince, "for the love of God, get out of the ring before they cancel the show." But General Manager Regal says he has a better idea: For HHH to leave the ring or he'll get security to throw him out.

Regal then helps McMahon to his feet and he slowly walks over to Triple H and snatches the microphone from him. Vince, in his psycho voice from earlier this year, tells Regal to get Coach and that Regal and Coach are going to face Triple H tonight and that he hopes something bad happens tonight.

The match is next, folks!

(Ads)

Match #2 - Triple H (Greenwich, Ct.) vs. William Regal (Blackpool, England) & Jonathan Coachman (Wichita, Ka.)

Both Regal and Coach are in their Sunday best while Triple H is in blue jeans. I'm sure this'll be a Five-Star Classic.

On the outside, Regal kicks HHH's head into the post but Coach can only get two on the cover. The duo double team the former champion but Triple H fires up and starts a punch-kick offense on the two.

Regal then grabs his handy brass knuckles but is thwarted with a spinebuster. But they fall to Coach who picks them up but it caught red-handed. HHH takes them, hits Coach over the head with them, hits the Pedigree and that's all she wrote.

Winner via pinfall: Triple H

We're then thrown to a video package of the WWE Championship match from last night to chronicle the dispute between Chris Jericho and John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

Tonight: Chris Jericho has invited JBL to RAW

(Ads)

Match #3 - World Tag Team Championship - Hardcore Holly (Birmingham, Ala.) & Cody Rhodes (Charlotte, NC) (c) vs. Lance Cade (Nashville, Tenn.) & Trevor Murdoch (Waxahachie, Tx.)

The challengers have their way with Holly early on, but he hits a dropkick on Murdoch that allows him enough time to get the tag to Rhodes.

Rhodes hits a bulldog on Cade but the cover is broken up by Murdoch. Holly then goes after Murdoch and they battle outside the ring. Back in the ring, Rhodes counters a Cade clothesline and hits a DDT for the win.

Winners via pinfall and STILL World Tag Team Champions: Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes

(Ads)

Match #4 - Ric Flair (Charlotte, NC) vs. Umaga (The Isle of Samoa)

Flair has a mic at the top of the stage and says that he will never retire and that Vince McMahon doesn't want him to get hurt on his watch. He says he never gets hurt. He says that he loves the business, the fans and being the Nature Boy. He says he's sacrificed a lot and that walking away isn't an option. He says he that he's going to bring his best every night and that he will not get beat without the fight of his life.

(Ads)

Flair hits Umaga with his signature chops but they are promptly no sold and Umaga takes over the match, hitting Flair with everything but the kitchen sink, including a nasty kick to the back of the head.

Umaga starts working over Flair's neck region. He goes for a running knee drop, but Flair gets out of the way and hits a little bit of offense but is caught by a Samoan Drop but it only gets two as Flair gets his arm around the bottom rope. Umaga hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two and then hits two Bonzai Drops from the second rope. He then goes to work on Flair's neck again and is just working him over from pillar to post.

Umaga goes for the flying headbutt but Flair is able to move and now both men are down. They get up and Flair lights Umaga up with chops before going to work with some chop blocks. He goes for the Figure Four but is pushed away and sent to the outside.

Umaga follows and rams Flair into the ring post. With Flair against the guardrail, Umaga goes for the Running Butt Slam but Flair moves and Umaga goes flying through the rail and into the crowd.

The referee's count is at six and Flair climbs in at eight while Umaga is nowhere to be found.

Winner via countout: Ric Flair

Chris Jericho is on his way to the ring.

(Ads)

We're back and Chris Jericho hits the ring wearing his new shirt that looks like the makers of Guitar Hero made it.

Jericho once again runs us through what happened last night and tells the Monkeys to run the video package that we've already seen twice tonight.

Jericho says all he has now is questions and he has invited JBL to RAW tonight, but his invitation was declined. He says because of that, he'll have to go to Smackdown!.

But we hear the familiar voice and it's JBL on the TitanTron via satellite. He tells Jericho that he is very low on his list of priorities.

They go back-and-forth for a while and Jericho reiterates that since he's not getting answers, he'll be going to Smackdown! this week. JBL says that he's spoken to Mr. McMahon and Jericho will not be getting a rematch with Orton. If he comes to Smackdown!, he won't be in the Royal Rumble. If he touches JBL, he won't be champion ever again.

Jericho says he thinks JBL is a fat cat and is no longer a Wrestling God. Instead, he is a Wrestling Afterthought.

JBL says it's not enough that he has to put over matches with guys that couldn't lace his boots but JBL will be coming to RAW and will prove why he is a Wrestling God.

(Ads)

Match #5 - Santino Marella (Patterson, NJ) & Carlito (The Caribbean) vs. Paul London (San Antonio, TX) & Brian Kendrick (Olympia, Wash.)

London and Kendrick take turns beating on Santino before he gets the tag to Carlito. He gets hit with a few moves that leads to Kendrick getting a two count that Santino breaks up. London charges in to even it, but Santino bails to the outside where the two brawl.

Distracted by this, Kendrick leaves his back open and Carlito hits the Back Stabber for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Santino Marella & Carlito

After the match, Marella grabs a mic and spews on about how good a tag team the two will be. It's an Italian and a Colombian together! Carlito reminds him that he is Puerto Rican and then goes on to say something about how it'll be Santino and Carlito who "swaps spit with men who don't want to be cool."

HA!

That pretty much wraps it up as Marella hugs Carlito and Maria.

(Ads)

Tomorrow night on ECW: It's Champion vs. Champion as ECW Champion CM Punk takes on United States Champion MVP! I can't wait!

Backstage, Todd Grisham brings in WWE Champion Randy Orton who says that last night, he killed the virus. He then moves onto babble about Jeff Hardy and says that becoming No. 1 Contender is the worst thing to ever happen to him.

We then go backstage to Ric Flair who is with a production assistant and in comes Triple H who gives him a pep talk but the duo is interrupted by Vince McMahon who puts his arm around Flair and tells him that on New Year's Eve, two weeks from tonight, his career is on the line again as he will have to face Triple H. (Ruh-roh!) Happy New Year!

(Ads)

Match #6 - Jeff Hardy (Cameron, N.C.) & Shawn Michaels (San Antonio, TX) vs. Mr. Kennedy (Green Bay, Wisc.) & Randy Orton (St. Louis, MO)

Kennedy is selling a broken hand from his match with Michaels last night.

Hardy and Orton start but that doesn't last long as Kennedy gets the tag. Hardy and Kennedy do a lot of the leg work early. Hardy goes for a cover but sees Orton coming in and attacks him and throws him outside. Michaels does the same to Kennedy. Then Hardy and HBK each hit slingshot planchas on the heels.

(Ads)

We're back and Orton and Kennedy are taking over the match, using good teamwork to work over Michaels. Orton continues the beatdown and tags Kennedy in who continues the whoopin', including a kick to HBK's prone head that was propped up by the bottom turnbuckle.

Kennedy works Michaels over with a Camel Clutch, but works out of it and hits Kennedy with a series of chops and, after having the Superkick blocked, hits an Enziguri. Both men are down and both get the tag and Hardy comes in and is running all over Orton.

Orton goes for the RKO, but it's blcoked into the Twist of Fate and then into the Swanton for the pin!

Winners via pinfall: Jeff Hardy & Shawn Michaels

And that's all she wrote!

This was another strong showing from RAW. I think this was the type of show they needed, especially coming off a strong pay-per-view and bringing in a lot of old viewers for last week's show. The McMahon going crazy thing has potential, but we did sort of see it earlier this year. I laughed then and I'll probably laugh again. Crazy Vince voice is hilarious. The matches ranged in unoffensive to good and the chatter set up a lot of what's to coming in the following months, including a strong promo between Jericho and JBL. It's just too bad we have to wait two weeks for the follow-up show.



Matt Bishop is proud to have filled in to report on a show that people actually watch. Send Matt e-mail at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. And if you're interested in mixed martial arts, check out Matt's weekly podcast Lights Out Radio. Should be a good one!.