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COMMENT





Raw: A night of Slammys, solid matches
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on Monday Night Raw: The Slammy Awards are back! With all three brands in the house, it should make for an interesting evening, as we find out who is the Superstar of the Year among others awards. Plus, there's some great matches on tap, as well. Should be a good one!

And we are LIVE! from Philadelphia, Pa. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross and Tazz are our hosts. This show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG,V).

Maria and Festus are out to present out first Slammy, this one for Tag Team of the Year.

The nominees are ... Priceless, Cryme Tyme, Primo and Carlito and John Morrison and The Miz.

And the winners are ...

2008 Tag Team of the Year: John Morrison and The Miz

They come out and celebrate like they've won the Stanley Cup. Miz then taunts Festus and he and Maria leave. They thank a laundry list of people, including Chuck Norris and Mr. T. They break down nearly in tears (actually Morrison does), saying to all the people who said they couldn't: "YES THEY CAN!" Now they are the 2008 Tag Team of the Year...BE JEALOUS!

Match #1 - Intercontinental Championship Tournament Semifinal - John Morrison (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.)

Geez, I come in here to recap Raw and all I get it a match between two guys who I've recapped a ton during their time on ECW.

They both go for quick falls early but to no avail. They go to the outside and battle and Punk gets Morrison up against the apron and hits the running knee to the face in a neat variation of one of his signature moves. He then hits a springboard crossbody off the second rope, sending both men to the floor.

(Ads)

We're back and Morrison is in control, working Punk's right ankle, which was hurt during the break when Morrison suplexed Punk from the ring to the floor where he landed funny.

Morrison goes to the top, but Punk thwarts that. Punk goes to set up a superplex, but instead both men stand and Punk hits a hurricarana from the top rope! Wow. Both men slowly rise and Punk hits the running knee lift in the corner, but can't counter with the bulldog, as Morrison hits a Russian legsweep for two.

The two are duking it out in the center of the ring when Punk tries a roundhouse kick, but Morrison perfectly counters, ducking under and hitting a spinning back-kick to the head. Punk tries a powerslam, but gets two. He goes to apron and springboards onto Morrison, but only gets two again.

Punk puts Morrison up for GTS, but Morrison counters with a roll-through, but Punk gets out at 2 7/8.

They get up and Punk hits a roundhouse kick, sending Morrison to the mat. He then picks him up and hits the GTS for the fall. What a match!

Winner via pinfall: CM Punk

CM Punk now advances to the tournament final.

Following a video package detailing the events of last week, Todd Grisham brings in the World Heavyweight Champion, John Cena. Cena mocks Jericho's promo of last week, saying his dog Lou became a big fan of Chris Jericho during his injury, thus he stopped his dog from watching Raw. Despite his match with Edge tonight, Cena promises to fight Jericho tonight and he'll get a new definition of the word respect.

(Ads)

Now here's Cryme Tyme and Candice Michelle to present the award for Best Finishing Maneuver. The nominee's are: Undertaker's Hell's Gate, Randy Orton's RKO, Evan Bourne's Shooting Star Press and Big Show's Knockout Punch. The winner is ...

2008 Best Finishing Maneuver: Evan Bourne, Shooting Star Press

Unfortunately, Bourne isn't here tonight, so Michelle goes to accept it when noted cruiserweight killer Mike Knox makes his way out. He scares Michelle away and takes the Slammy to a "You suck!" chant.

After a quick throw to the announce table, Randy Orton is out with a microphone. He's upset he was not nominated for Superstar of the Year despite beating all of the nominees, being champion for four months and winning at WrestleMania. Now, instead of Triple H (who he beat at WrestleMania) and Batista (who he will beat at Armageddon) facing off, he challenges those two to a 3-on-2 handicap match where he will join forces with Manu and Cody Rhodes. We'll see.

(Ads)

We're back and MVP is in the ring with a mic. He says the whole losing streak has been thrown out of proportion. He calls out Jimmy Rollins at ringside and says his team is a fluke and it took them 25 years to win something. Then MVP's music hits again.

Match #2 - Montel Vontavious Porter (Miami, Fla.) vs. M.V.C. (Dallas, Texas)

Of course, MVC is Charlie Haas, who is a dead ringer for MVP's mannerisms and even pulls out old-school heel tactics and even gets a large "MVC" chant. His trunks event have "MVC" on it.

MVP hits the Ballin' Elbow and throws MVC to the outside, dropping him on the rail and then back into the ring. He taunts Rollins again, and gets back into the ring where MVC is waiting. He takes him down and tries to hit the Ballin' Elbow himself, but MVP gets his knees up. MVP sets MVC up in the corner and goes for a big kick, but MVC ducks and rolls MVP up for the pin.

Winner via pinfall: M.V.C.

(Ads)

Now here's ECW Assistant to the General Manager Tiffany and ECW Champion Matt Hardy to present the Slammy for Extreme Moment of the Year.

The nominees are: Cena and JBL's Parking Lot Brawl, Undertaker's crash landing, Jericho putting Shawn Michaels through the Jeritron and Jeff Hardy's Swanton off the RAW set.

And the winner is ...

2008 Extreme Moment of the Year: Jeff Hardy's Swanton

This one is no surprise. A loud Hardy chant erupts. Hardy says it doesn't matter what happens, he is leaving Armageddon as WWE Champion. He then heads to the ring.

Match #3 - Jeff Hardy (Cameron, N.C.) vs. Chris Jericho (Manhasset, N.Y.)

(Ads)

We're back and both men are going at it, but Jericho gets the upper-hand and works a modified-chinlock. Hardy gets out and sets Jericho up and goes to the top, but Jericho springs to life to stop him. Hardy knocks Jericho off the rope but misses the Swanton. Jericho follows up with a Lionsault for two and then goes to lock in the Walls of Jericho, but Hardy kicks him off. He tries again, but Hardy rolls him into a small package for two.

Hardy hits some kicks and the Whisper in the Wind, but again gets two. He goes for the Twist of Fate but Jericho counters with the Codebreaker.

Winner via pinfall: Chris Jericho

(Ads)

Now here to present the award for "Couple of the Year" is Kelly Kelly and Kane. Kelly starts to talk and looks at Kane, who informs her the last time he was in a relationship, he Tombstoned a priest.

The nominees are: Glamarella, Edge & Vickie Guerrero, William Regal & Layla and Finlay & Hornswaggle.

And the winner is ...

2008 Couple of the Year: Edge & Vickie Guerrero

Guerrero is out to accept the Slammy. (Excuse me!) You almost can't hear her over the booing of the crowd. (Excuse me!) This award means that true love prevails, she says. They did it!

As Guerrero walks off, Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix take to the stage and go to the Slammy set. Santino says you've got to be kidding him. Santino calls Vickie the Cougar of the Year. He says Glamarella deserves the award and have challenged any of the other couples to a match.

(Ads)

Match #4 - Santino Marella (Calabria, Italy) & Beth Phoenix (Buffalo, N.Y.) vs. Finlay & Hornswaggle (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Oh boy. Finlay beats on Santino for a little bit then tags in Hornswaggle, who hits a tornado DDT and then the Tadpole Splash for the win. Beth Phoenix is not happy.

Winners via pinfall: Finlay & Hornswaggle

Here to present the award for Diva of the Year are Melina and ECW General Manager Theodore R. Long

The nominees are: Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly and Michelle McCool.

And the winner is ...

2008 Diva of the Year: Beth Phoenix

Phoenix, who was still assisting Santino in the ring, dumps him to the mat and runs to the top of the ramp to accept the award. She then gets into a scuffle with Melina, who ends up pushing Phoenix into Marella's nether-regions. He coughs and almost throws up on the ramp.

(Ads)

Now, here's Joey Styles and Alicia Fox to present the "OMG Moment of the Year." Of course, Styles hits the "Oh my God!" The nominees are: CM Punk cashing in Money in the Bank, Undertaker sending Edge to Hell, Floyd Mayweather breaks Big Show's nose and John Cena's return at the Royal Rumble

And the winner is ...

2008 OMG Moment of the Year: CM Punk cashes in Money in the Bank

Punk says this was his miracle year. He thanks Batista for the assist and Edge for being in the right place at the right time. He then promises to have a lot more moments to make you say ... and then he goes to the back and pulls Styles back out to say "Oh my God!" He then re-iterates his statement, but Styles twice refuses to say it. He finally relents when Punk reminds him that this is Philadelphia. Funny stuff.

Match #5 - Intercontinental Championship Tournament Semifinal - Kofi Kingston (Jamaica) vs. Rey Mysterio (San Diego, Calif.)

As you'd expect, it's a fast start to this match. Kingston hits a big dropkick for two. They trade some shots for awhile but then Kofi misses a flying crossbody and Rey rolls through and gets the fall.

Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio

(Ads)

Now, here to present the award for Match of the Year is Eve Torres and Mr. Kennedy.

And the nominees are: Money in the Bank (WrestleMania 24), the Royal Rumble Match, Undertaker vs. Edge (SummerSlam) and Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair (WrestleMania 24).

And the winner is ...

2008 Match of the Year: Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair (WrestleMania 24)

In the middle of his acceptance speech, JBL comes out and accepts the award for himself. HBK just stands to the side and lets him take it. We go to commercial with Shawn looking confused.

(Ads)

Match #5 - Batista (Washington, DC) & Triple H (Greenwich, Conn.) vs. Randy Orton (St. Louis, MO), Cody Rhodes (Charlotte, N.C.) & Manu (Lehigh Valley, Pa.)

Batista gets the best of Rhodes early before he and Triple H double-team Rhodes. Manu gets involved and the duo send Manu into Rhodes and they both go tumbling over the top rope and onto the floor. Orton tries a sneak-attack from behind, but they turn around and Orton slithers out of the ring.

(Ads)

We're back and Orton is in control of Triple H, working a Level 5 Randy Orton Chinlock on The Game. But Level 5 isn't enough, as HHH gets up, but Orton brings him right back down. He tags in Rhodes, who goes back to work before tagging Orton back in, who applies another chinlock, but HHH gets out, but Orton tags in Rhodes, who gets to Triple H before he can make the tag.

Rhodes goes for a bulldog, but HHH literally launches him across the ring. Both men go for their corners and both get there as it's now Batista and Manu. Batista disposes of the opposing corner and hits a spinebuster on Manu. He loads him up for a Batista Bomb but sees Rhodes on the top rope. He launches Manu into Rhodes. While Batista is tied up with Rhodes, Orton blind tags himself in. He tries to sneak up on Batista for the RKO, but that is thwarted. Batista then goes for the Batista Bomb, but Rhodes breaks it up and Orton drops right into the RKO out of nowhere.

Winners via pinfall: Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes & Manu

Another good match.

(Ads)

Now, here to present the Slammy for "Damn! Moment of the Year" is Mickie James and Ron Simmons.

And the nominees are: Khali's Kiss Cam, CM Punk surprising Chavo, Sailor J.R. and Santino's Melina Impersonation.

And the winner is ...

2008 Damn! Moment of the Year: Khali Kiss Cam

Khali is out in a full suit. That's a "damn!" moment in itself. The Great Khali says that awards are a frivolous thing and we shouldn't be obsessed with material possessions. The Great Khali also says that it's more important to focus on the depletion of our national resources so our children will have a bright future and a better tomorrow. BLARRRRRGH!

Then he goes to make out with Mickie, but Jillian Hall interrupts singing Celine Dion from Titanic. This draws Kung Fu Naki, Howard Finkel, Sgt. Slaughter and Hacksaw Jim Duggan out to wave their arms in the air to the music. Khali picks Mickie up and they start going at it. Of course, all this is a ploy for Simmons to take to the mic. DAMN!

(Ads)

Match #6 - R-Truth (Charlotte, N.C.) vs. Dolph Ziggler (Hollywood, Calif.)

R-Truth impresses early with some athleticism, but Ziggler sends him through the ropes. Ziggler continues to work a chinlock, but Truth gets out with a back elbow and sends him chest-first into the corner. Truth sends him over the top and J.R. busts out "I'd like to introduce myself to the mat." HA!

They fight on the outside and the referee's at eight and R-Truth goes to climb back in, but Ziggler kicks him off and races back in for the win.

Winner via countout: Dolph Ziggler

(Ads)

And here to present the Slammy for 2008 Superstar of the Year is Stephanie McMahon.

The nominees are: Jeff Hardy, Batista, Edge, Triple H and John Cena.

And the winner is ...

2008 Superstar of the Year: Chris Jericho

Jericho makes his way from the podium to the ring, looking over his shoulder the entire time for Cena.

He says he's glad the people didn't vote because they are sheep who are steered into things. He says he'll be the three-time World Heavyweight Champion this year, the third time coming this Sunday at Armageddon. He can't think of a better finish to 2008 than beating Cena on Sunday. This brings out Cena, who charges to the ring, sending Jericho into the crowd. The referee restrains him from going further.

Match #7 - John Cena (West Newbury, Mass.) vs. Edge (Toronto, Ontario)

It's a brawl to start out, with Cena knocking Edge out of the ring and then pursuing him on the floor.

(Ads)

And the tides have now turned, as Edge has Cena completely grounded in a chinlock. Cena struggles to a standing base and breaks free and comes off the ropes only to eat an enziguri. Edge works the neck again and again Cena gets out but gets a big boot in the face for his trouble.

Edge goes to the corner looking for the spear, but Cena explodes with a shoulderblock and follows that up with the Five-Knuckle Shuffle (which took him five minutes to hit, making Edge look horrible). Edge then gets out of three straight FU's before Cena locks in the STFU. Cena sees Jericho entering and lets go of the hold and meets Jericho in the aisle. They start brawling into the crowd.

No Contest?

Back in the ring, Triple H comes out to attack Edge, which draws Jeff Hardy into the fray. He dropkicks both of them and spears Edge before Triple H throws him out of the ring.

HHH hits a spinebuster on Edge and clotheslines him out of the ring. Both Hardy and Edge are on the floor and Hardy uses the stairs to propel himself into a dropkick on Edge, who quickly heads to higher ground. Cue Triple H's music.

Well, I'd call that a great show. While the Slammys were essentially used to set up angles, the awards were pretty much genuine and they didn't lose the comedy element they're known for. On top of that, there were two great free TV matches on the show and everything really helped set up the pay-per-view on Sunday. Successful show, no doubt.

Matt Bishop is SLAM! Wrestling's regular ECW reporter. You can e-mail him 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!.