May 12, 2008
Raw: Returns and splits highlight road to J-Day
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling

Cena's return was not a surprise, but someone else's was...

We’re just a few days away from Judgment Day, so this should be the go-home show for Raw. Right? Well. As it turns out, we got a show that’s a little bit more newsworthy than anyone was expecting ...

We kick off Raw tonight with a black screen, followed with William Regal in the ring, and Lillian Garcia singing God Save the Queen. Regal’s power trip continues as he decides to throw two booing fans out of the arena. Mickie James comes out to protest and is threatened to be stripped of her title.

Eventually, John Cena, appropriately making his return in Detroit, comes out to join the party. The result of his intrusion is that Regal will not fade Raw to black tonight, and our main event, for the 800th time in the last year (not that that’s a bad thing), is scheduled. To cap off the segment, Garcia sings a bit from Aretha Franklin’s classic, Respect.

Match 1 – Santino Marella/Carlito vs. Hardcore Holly/Cody Rhodes

Santino, apparently, has asked Roddy Piper to sit at ringside for the match.

The match goes at the usual speedy pace for tag title matches. As expected, Piper ends up distracting Marella, allowing young Rhodes to get the DDT for the duke.


Winners: Hardcore Holly/Cody Rhodes

Match 2 – Mr. Kennedy vs. Snitsky

Has anyone cared about Snitsky since the baby punt? Didn’t think so. Mic Check finishes things off.

Winner: Mr. Kennedy

Backstage, Marella rambles on about Piper.

Elsewhere, James and Cena chat around a bit. Ugh. Do we really need Mickie flirting with Cena?

Match 3 – Melina/Beth Phoenix vs. Maria/Mickie James

It’s scary how quickly Maria has become an afterthought in the Raw Women’s Division. She was progressing pretty well in her in-ring work, and certainly had the fans behind her. Contrast her with what was done with Candice after her Playboy appearance and I fear for Maria’s future in WWE.

The match progresses pretty well, with the faces firmly in control. At one point, Melina inadvertently knocks Phoenix off the apron, which ends up with Phoenix walking away from the ring. Shortly after we get a pin from Mickie following a Hangman’s Neckbreaker.

Winners: Maria/Mickie James

If I may comment, for a moment, I’m glad to see that WWE is taking the next step with Phoenix. What bugged me about her character before was that if she was truly dominant, she wouldn’t be siding herself with women like Melina, rather she would be destroying everyone on the Women’s side. I hope WWE truly runs with this.

Back from a break, Chris Jericho comes out, not for The Highlight Reel oddly enough, but to apologize to Shawn Michaels. After a review of the last few weeks, HBK comes out and says there is no need for an apology and admits that he faked the injury (for the first time in his career, evidently). Jericho starts to turn a bit crazed from this. The crowd is noticeably silent through this, not sure whether to cheer or boo for Michaels. Even after he Superkicks Y2J, the pop is minimal and has a smattering of boos. This is the very epitome of shades of grey, and I’m now really curious to see what happens on Sunday.

Back from break, Jeff Hardy’s music suddenly starts playing and indeed, Hardy makes his return after 60 days away from the Fed. He begins a return speech before his mic cuts off. Regal then comes out and reveals that he shut off Jeff’s mic. He quickly makes a match of Hardy vs. Umaga, which really doesn’t mean anything since Jeff has beaten Umaga on several occasions. Nonetheless ...

Match 4 – Umaga vs. Jeff Hardy

The match is exceedingly quick, with Hardy winning after the ... Whisper in the Wind? Okay that’s a first.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

It looks definitely like Umaga is headed to Smackdown now.

Match 5 – Cryme Tyme vs. Redneck Wrecking Crew

As always, these two teams have a solid match with Murdoch surprisingly getting the win for his crew after reversing a Sunset Flip.

Winners: Redneck Wrecking Crew

Post-match, Lance Cade gives kudos to his partner and gives him the opportunity to sing again, and then, predictably turns. As good as these guys are as a team, it’s definitely time to see if Cade can make it on his own.

Backstage, Phoenix and Melina continue their bickering and end up going at it pretty hard in the back until Phoenix absolutely annihilates Melina. This was masterfully done and certainly keeps The Glamazon atop the contender list.

Backstage, Todd Grisham chats with Randy Orton, and we get the usual hype job leading up to the PPV.

Match 6 – Randy Orton vs. John Cena

Randy has new ring music and really, it doesn’t fit whatsoever.

The match itself flows extremely well, as always for these guys, until Regal and JBL come out. JBL ends up being the new referee for the match. A very quick count later, Orton gets the duke.

Winner: Randy Orton

Post-match, the heels beat on Cena 2-on-1 until HHH comes down. Cena and JBL fight into the crowd while HHH and Orton continue in the ring, with a cage coming down around them (by the way, great job by the cameras to hide the cage all night). Orton is eventually thrown through the loose cage to the outside as Triple H stands atop the steel.

Jon Waldman, a SLAM!mer since 2000, is also the crew's resident futbol expert. Don't believe him? Visit Winnipeg Men Magazine to learn more.
Highlights from past Monday Night Raws in Detroit, special to SLAM! Wrestling by Jason Smith
Tonight was the seventh Raw in Detroit history. These are the moments Detroiters will never forget...

JUNE 23, 1997
  • ECW's Sabu makes a rare appearance in the WWF against Flash Funk (a.k.a. 2 Cold Scorpio).
  • Owen Hart defends his Intercontinental championship against Goldust & Triple H.

    SEPTEMBER 28, 1998
  • Stone Cold drives a Zamboni to ringside & attacks Vince McMahon.
  • Undertaker & Kane cripple McMahon's leg after Vince gets caught flipping them off.

    APRIL 12, 1999
  • The Rock throws Stone Cold & his smoking skull belt into the Detroit river.
  • The Undertaker leads the Ministry to abduct Ryan Shamrock (Ken's sister).

    OCTOBER 16, 2000
  • William Regal defeats Al Snow to become the new European Champion.
  • Rikishi almost runs over Stone Cold in the parking lot.

    OCTOBER 28, 2002
  • Triple H pulls a dummy of Katie Vick out of a casket to talk bad about Kane.
  • Kane defeats World Champion Triple H in a casket match after Shawn Michaels superkicks HHH.

    MARCH 22, 2004
  • Detroit hosts the first ever WWE Draft Lottery.
  • After Paul Heyman is drafted from his own show, he walks out, refusing to work for Raw's GM Eric Bischoff.

  • CANOE.CA SLAM!