April 1, 2008
Raw: Thank you, Ric
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling
It's the first RAW after Wrestlemania and we all know what that means, it‘s time for a recap show. JR and The King have stayed in Orlando, but have moved indoors for tonight's show.
John Cena's music kicks off the show, followed by Triple H's theme, but instead Randy Orton is the only man to walk out from the back. Orton addresses the crowd, telling them they now have to show him respect. (Crowd reaction: Boooooooo!) Orton says Triple H and Cena don't deserve a rematch. The champ says to forget about Hulkamania and the Attitude Era; this is The Age of Orton.
DING DING DING DING! Beef it's what for dinner. I mean JBL walks to the ring and confronts the champ. JBL tells Orton his entire reign in predicated on luck. JBL says his reign was based on domination, just look at his Wrestlemania match. Bradshaw tells Orton he is the new number one contender for the WWE Title. JBL leaves the ring, and Orton orders him back to the ring. Matt Hardy comes from nowhere and attacks the champ. Orton and Hardy fight to the floor, where they are separated.
Regal yells at Hardy for attacking Orton, and Matt tells him he wants him in the ring. Regal says he'll think about.
Match #1 -- Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs. Cryme Tyme
YEEAAA!!! Cryme Tyme's back!!!!!!!!!!! Money, Money, yea, yea!
Cade takes it to Shad, beating him into the ropes. Shad ducks a clothesline and hits a forearm. Cade is slammed to the mat, and JTG tags in, and scores a near fall with an Oklahoma roll. Murdoch tags in, knocking JTG to the mat with a right end, and then an elbow. Murdoch hits a leg drop with some help from Cade. Murdoch runs into the turnbuckle, and JTG rolls him up for three count.
Winner via pinfall: Cryme Tyme
Shawn Michaels makes his way to the ring as we go to break.
HBK says he is feeling a lot of emotions and none of them good. Shawn is sure how to feel about doing his job last night, by bringing his "A game" at Wrestlemania. HBK pulled the trigger and ended the career of the greatest wrestler to ever live. Shawn has to carry the burden that he ended Flair's career. Michaels drops the mike, and heads to the back.
We see Shawn pacing in the hallway, when William Regal walks up to him and tells him he did what he had to do. We then see Batista standing in the doorway, staring HBK down.
Match #2 -- Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes vs. Brian Kendrick and Paul London -- Non-Title Match
Kendrick and Rhodes lock up. Rhodes uses and arm bar and then locks in a head lock. Kendrick hits scoop slam after leapfrogging Rhodes. Holly and London tag in. London hits a right, but Holly responds with chops in the corner. In fact, he chops London over the ropes to the floor. Rhodes tags in and they hit London with a dual suplex. Rhodes hits a cross body, but London rolls through. Kendrick tags in, dropkicking Rhodes all over the ring. Rhodes hits a bulldog and goes for the pin, but London saves his partner. Holly is lowbridged by London, and Kendrick rolls up Rhodes and bridges him to get the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Kendrick and London
Highlights from Wrestlemania are shown. Instead click here to read the recap and all the other stories by the men that were there.
Match #3 -- Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
(Please move Punk to RAW. PLEASE!)
Jericho and Punk exchange kicks, and Punk is snapmared to the mat. Punk wrenches in an armbar; Jericho counters with a headlock. Jericho goes for a backslide, but Punk kicks out. Jericho nails a clothesline, and then a back breaker. Jericho catches Punk with a knee to gut, and then drops an elbow. (The crowd is split 50-50 in the match, interesting.) Jericho hangs Punk on the ropes, but misses a springboard drop kick. Punk dodges a baseball slide, and hits Jericho with a roundhouse kick. Punk avoids the lionsault, and hits a knee breaker. Punk then drives a knee into Jericho in the corner. Y2J fights his way off Punk's shoulders. Punk counters the Walls, but cannot avoid the Codebreaker, and Jericho gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Chris Jericho
Big Show walks to the ring with a huge smile on his face. Show congratulates Mayweather, his chair shots, and brass knuckles. Show is out here because of the Hall of Fame and Ric Flair. The Nature Boy told Show he is the greatest big man he has ever been in the ring with. Show says he is going to go back to doing what he does best. He is interrupted by the Great Khali. Show and Khali stand toe to toe. (Crowd chant to Khali: "You can't wrestle. Show's gonna kill you!") Show tells Khali to get out of his face. Khali shakes his head, and Show drops the mike. Khali backs down and leaves the ring.
Santino is in the back doing lunges when Maria finds him. Maria wants him to stop the "anything goes" match against her. Santino is upset he was stuck in the Bunny match, which he called the lowest form of sports entertainment. Santino says he needs a release, and unless Maria can provide another way, the match is going on. Maria slaps him, and Santino storms off.
Match #4 -- Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton
Orton and Hardy exchange blows, and Hardy kicks Orton in the ribs. The champ rolls to the outside, and Hardy slams Orton into the security barrier and then the ring apron. Orton is hung up on the ropes. Hardy smashes Orton into the turnbuckle, and follows with a clothesline. Orton rolls out again, and Hardy smashes him into the steps. Hardy connects with a swinging neckbreaker. Orton pulls Hardy off the ropes, and we go to break.
Orton is in control, after the break. Orton stomps away at Hardy. Orton connects with a knee. Hardy fights Orton off the turnbuckle, and hits a moonsault, and follows with a bulldog headlock. Hardy hits the Side Effect, but can't get the pin. Orton nails a European Uppercut. Hardy hits a neck breaker, and climbs the turnbuckle. Orton rolls out of the ring, only to get jumped from the apron. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate on the floor. Hardy rolls Orton back in the ring, but Orton hits an RKO out of nowhere. Orton covers and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton
Dusty Rhodes chimes in with his thoughts on the Nature Boy.
Orton is in the locker room when JBL drops by. Bradshaw picks up the title belt, looks at it, and drops it back in Orton's lap.
Match #5 -- Maria vs. Santino Marella -- Anything Goes Match
Santino tosses Maria to the mat, when the other Divas hit the ring and assault Santino. They hold him down as Maria hits a diving head butt to groin. Maria covers for the pin. She then kick Santino in the butt.
Winner via pinfall: Maria
Ric Flair heads to the ring to give his farewell address. Flair says he will never, ever wrestle again. Flair says he isn't sad, and tells the fans they shouldn't be sad, because he has had the greatest career in the history of pro wrestling. Flair says he lost to great wrestler and a better man last night. (Crowd reaction: Thank you, Ric!) Flair thanks the fans for making him who he is.
Triple H walks out on stage with
microphone in hand. Hunter hugs Flair, and thanks him, and tells him he loves him. Flair is in tears, as Hunter bows to the Nature Boy. Hunter says there are some other people that want to say thanks. In fact there are four of them; the Four Horsemen -- Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, with JJ Dillon -- walk to the ring. Batista is out next, followed by Ricky Steamboat. Harley Race, Greg Valentine, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, and John Cena join the party. Ric's family then joins him in the ring. Shawn Michaels is the last out, and hugs Flair. Hunter then asks the entire roster to come to the ring. They all applaud Flair, and start a "Thank you, Ric!" chant to end the show.
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale says, "Thank you, Ric."