Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 10, 2007
Location: Arena At Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Attendance: 7,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s time for a special show this week as it is the fifteenth anniversary celebration of the show. That means not only do we have a bunch of guest stars, but it is an extra large three hour edition. Throw in that it is also the go home show for Armageddon and this is going to be a busy night. Let’s get to it.

We open with a mash up of Raw intros over the years, though oddly enough they aren’t in chronological order.

Here are the McMahons (minus Linda of course) for a chat. Vince is ready for the McMahon Family Portrait but first, he needs to brag about how great Raw has been over the years. Tonight it is time for a family reunion, though minus Linda McMahon who has some stomach issue. Instead, he has Shane and Stephanie out here and wants the photographer but gets Hornswoggle. That means Hornswoggle grabs the leg, so Shane has to pull him off. Vince says he loves Shane, Stephanie, and the fans.

It’s time for the picture, but here is HHH to interrupt. Vince: “What are you doing here?” HHH: “I’m waiting on that pop to die down.” HHH says he’s here for the family portrait because everyone knows what is going on here. It’s like he could be Vince’s son! HHH: “Sup Steph?” Anyway, HHH wants to bring out some of the Divas, past and present, that Vince has loved before. This includes Melina, Sunny and….Mae Young! Vince: “It was at Moolah’s funeral I had a lot to drink. Steph…..and I was thinking of your mom!”

HHH calls out any WWE employee who has been mistaken for a woman and that Vince has attempted to love, drawing out the Fink, Big Dick Johnson, Bastion Booger, Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco and Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz. HHH: “I guess the Brooklyn Brawler was busy tonight.” Stephanie says she’s embarrassed by Vince so it’s time that she embarrassed him. She kisses HHH for the first time in a good many years and leaves. HHH: “I’ll see you at home. Uh, I mean your brother’s a gnome!”

Vince to HHH: “I HATE YOU!” HHH tells Vince to just go away but realizes that Hornswoggle is sad. All he wanted was to be happy, so HHH brings out the Godfather, complete with women. JR: “Even Patterson is happy!” Hornswoggle’s mind is blown and dancing ensues to wrap up a hilarious segment, with HHH getting to do the humor that suits him best.

Intercontinental Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Carlito

Hardy is defending in a ladder match. Carlito kicks him down and sets up the ladder way too early, only to have to stop for a clothesline. Hardy gets in a shot of his own but a slingshot dive only hits ladder. A dropkick knocks Carlito off the apron and into a ladder bridged against the barricade so Hardy goes up. That means Carlito has to springboard in to land on the ladder (Shelton Benjamin style), setting up a sunset bomb to leave them both laying.

We take a break and come back with Jeff missing a legdrop over the ladder to send him crashing down. Carlito crushes the leg in the ladder and then drops a ladder onto it to make Hardy scream even more. Hardy can barely move so Carlito….puts the ladder in the corner instead of climbing, earning himself a backdrop onto said ladder. The Swanton connects but a Backstabber sends Hardy into the ladder. Carlito goes up but this time Hardy shoves him down and retains the title.

Rating: C+. They weren’t going for anything groundbreaking here but Jeff can do this match in his sleep (and probably came close to it at various points). Carlito was just a challenger of the week as Jeff is on his way up, as he isn’t going to be losing less than a week before his pay per view showdown with HHH. They had some big spots here, but it’s just a quick ladder match with as much drama as that can bring.

Shawn Michaels can’t believe it has been fifteen years of Monday Night Raw. He was on the first show and defended the Intercontinental Title against….someone (Max Moon). While Shawn can’t remember fifteen years ago, he can remember Mr. Kennedy bringing in an impostor Marty Jannetty. That’s why he brought in the real one this week to face Kennedy, because he faces MR. HBK……HBK…..this weekend.

We take a look at some classic OMG Raw moments. I know these things are done over and over but there really have been some great ones on this show over the years.

Here are Santino Marella and Maria, with the former being tired of all this….and here’s a surprise.

Santino Marella vs. Rob Van Dam

Kick to the head and the Five Star finish in less than forty five seconds. Very nice cameo as Van Dam is always going to pop the crowd.

Long video on Evolution, which really was a special stable in a lot of ways.

Here are all four members of Evolution (or “original” members according to the introduction, even though there were only ever four of them) for a reunion. Randy Orton comes out last but says he’s going to stay on the stage instead of having the rest of the teams ride his coattails. Orton remembers what happened when HHH turned on him the last time he was champion. HHH: “Yeah that was pretty cool.”

They beat him up because hes was annoying, but Orton would rather be remembered as part of Rated-RKO with Edge, who comes out as well. Edge says he’ll take the World Title from Batista on Sunday, but Ric Flair says find a partner and let’s fight. Orton has already done that so we’re ready to go.

Evolution vs. Umaga/Rated-RKO

Joined in progress with Batista handing it off to Flair to lock up with Edge. As Lawler clarifies that the “Flair retires if he loses” only applies to singles matches, Umaga takes Flair down and grabs a nerve hold. Orton comes in to stomp away and the knee drop gets two. A backdrop gets Flair out of trouble and it’s Batista coming in to clean house. Everything breaks down and Umaga cleans house….but also shoves the referee for the DQ.

Rating: C. This was all about the reunion and I get why they didn’t have one of the #1 contenders lose. That being said, Umaga has lost to HHH on his own how many times now but can’t take a fall to most of Evolution? As has been the case with everything on this show, this is about the moment instead of the match and that’s not a bad thing.

Post match Orton and Edge leave Umaga on his own, meaning it’s big beatdown. Couldn’t they have just done that for the finish to the match?

More classic Raw moments, this time involving vehicles.

Hornswoggle annoys Mickie James and Molly Holly until William Regal breaks that up. Regal talks about Vince McMahon’s tough love, which tonight will be shown in a match against the Great Khali. Oh and as luck would have it: Finlay’s plane ticket from Ireland was canceled so Hornswoggle is on his own.

Hornswoggle vs. Great Khali

The bell rings….and it’s Hulk Hogan (in black) for the save. We get the big staredown and Hogan hammers away, eventually knocking Khali down. That’s enough for Khali to bail as we get a tease for one more Hogan match. Hogan thanks the fans, talks about American Gladiators, does a Randy Savage OH YEAH (ok then), and poses with Hornswoggle for the funny moment.

Here are some classic D-Generation X moments.

Another classic moment: the debut of Mr. Socko, which has to be up there on the “how did they get this stupid thing over”, with the answer being “because Mick Foley is really awesome”. Vince throwing him out and sealing his own fate because he has no protection from Steve Austin a few minutes later makes it all the better.

Legends Battle Royal

Al Snow, Bart Gunn, Doink The Clown, Repo Man, Steve Blackman, Pete Gas, Bob Backlund, Gangrel, The Goon, Skinner, Flash Funk, IRS, Scotty 2 Hotty, Sgt. Slaughter, Jim Neidhart, Gillberg

For some reason there are sixteen people in a fifteen man battle royal but oh well. Gillberg gets the big entrance, but the impressive one here is Blackman, who looks better than he did in his career. Everyone gets together and tosses Gillberg before Backlund is knocked out as well. Snow knocks Doink out with Head and then does the same thing to Gangrel. Head Cheese explodes for a bit but Funk kicks Snow out.

A bunch of people go out in a hurry and suddenly we’re down to IRS, Slaughter, Scotty and Skinner. IRS grabs his briefcase but Scotty knocks it into his face, setting up the Worm. Skinner dumps Scotty but gets caught in the Cobra Clutch. That’s broken up as Slaughter tosses Skinner, only to get dumped by IRS for the win.

Rating: C. This was more or less the poor man’s version of the Gimmick Battle Royal and that is not a bad thing. Again, this was all about the wrestlers having one more moment and the winner wasn’t important in the slightest. Just let the fans have some fun with the “oh I remember him” moments.

Hold on though because here is Ted DiBiase….who pays off IRS to eliminate himself and give DiBiase the win. That’s always great.

People have been slapped over the years.

Here is Eric Bischoff to talk about how things keep changing but always stay the same. At the end of the day, he is here to take your money and people like the McMahons need him to reinvent the business. So now give him a round of applause! Or have Chris Jericho interrupt, and Bischoff knows this isn’t good.

Bischoff: “Didn’t I fire you in this ring a couple of years ago?” Jericho remembers being fired but he thanks Bischoff for reigniting a fire in him. That’s why he’ll be the new WWE Champion on Sunday, which has Bischoff laughing. Jericho laughs at Bischoff for being fat and going bald but Bischoff suggests Jericho just forfeit the match to Orton right now. After some rhyming, Jericho knocks him down and takes out Randy Orton for trying to interfere. This felt like the “oh yeah we should do something about that match” segment.

Tag Team Titles: Cody Rhodes/Hardcore Holly vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch

Rhodes and Holly are challenging and Dusty Rhodes is on commentary in case you needed a hint about the result. Dusty is very excited (believe it or not) as Cody starts with Murdoch, who slams him down for an elbow drop. Cade misses an elbow of his own though and the hot tag brings in Holly to clean house. The dropkick hits Murdoch and Cade hits him by mistake to make it worse. The Alabama Slam gives Holly the pin and the titles. Nothing wrong with a title change to make a show like this feel special, especially with Dusty there too.

Celebrities have been on Raw over the years.

Video on the Divas over the years, which has been up and down to put it mildly.

Here is Jillian Hall, who has a Christmas album out. She starts singing the 12 Days Of Christmas but Trish Stratus interrupts. Trish doesn’t like Jillian’s singing but Jillian doesn’t like Trish’s ego. Cue Lita for the staredown with Trish but they team up in hatred of music. Those two deserve a quick moment on this kind of a show and this was good.

Also on Raw over the years: comedy hijinks! Oftentimes minus the comedy, but Edge and Christian on the kazoos continue to reek of awesomeness. Thankfully Mick Foley getting the Rock with an IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK and taking a lap around the ring is still one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

And now, weddings! They are quite the tradition and they still work, at least most of the time.

Lita watches the wedding video when Kane comes up to her. Awkwardness ensues, with Kane asking if she’s seen any good movies lately and Lita asking about the weather. Ron Simmons gets his cameo.

Armageddon rundown.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Marty Jannetty

Marty goes after the arm to start but Kennedy kicks the knee out and grabs a half crab. Back up and an enziguri gets Marty out of trouble, allowing him to hammer away for two. The right hands in the corner are countered with Kennedy’s atomic drop but Marty is back with the Rocker Dropper. Kennedy breaks up the top rope fist drop though and the Mic Drop gives him the pin.

Rating: C-. Just a quick match here that ties into something that happened last week. Marty wasn’t bad, but what are you supposed to get out of a four minute match that didn’t have a ton of drama? Not an awful match or anything close to it, but Marty felt like a relic from the past instead of a threat.

Post match Kennedy stays on Marty but Shawn Michaels runs in Kennedy gets on him too, drawing out HHH for the save and (another) DX reunion.

Here is Vince McMahon to name the Greatest Superstar In Raw History. There are maybe three realistic options for that pick, but Vince announces……HIMSELF as the winner. Cue Mankind for the Mandible Claw to leave Vince laying for a nice reaction. Then the lights go out and a gong strikes, meaning it’s the Undertaker (coming to the ring…..slowly…..methodically…..at his own pace) for a chokeslam. As you might imagine, with Vince down and mostly done, the glass shatters and here’s Steve Austin, who still seems rather popular.

Austin thinks fifteen years of Raw is impressive and deserves a toast so he’ll drink to that. Vince needs to get up, but Austin lays down next to him for the toast, only to realize that this isn’t going to work. Austin gets him up and Vince tries to drink, only to get cut off by the Stunner.

With Vince done, Austin says the card Vince had didn’t matter, because the greatest star in the history of Raw is the fans. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home watching on TV or in this arena in the cheap seats or front row, you’re the reason this show has worked for so long. Austin calls out the locker room for a beer bash (William Regal and CM Punk seem to have something else in hand) and one more punch to Vince wraps us up, as only it could.

Overall Rating: A. This is a great example of a show that was not about the wrestling whatsoever and that is not a bad thing. This show was all about nostalgia, with Armageddon being something that was kind of in the background. I had a blast with the nostalgia between the clips and the appearances, and the big ending at the end was great. WWE knows how to do reunion shows well and this is one of the better ones they’ve ever done.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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