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: November 26, 2007
Location: Bobcats Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We’re done with the holiday week and the big story coming out of last week is the return of Chris Jericho. You can see the Raw main event of next month’s pay per view from here but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Jericho is an instant main eventer and someone to give Orton a challenge, though he might have some rust to shake off first. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Jericho’s return last week and his challenge to Orton for a Raw World Title shot.
HHH/Jeff Hardy vs. Snitsky/Umaga
Hardy and Snitsky start things off with Hardy being sent straight into the corner for the tag off to HHH. Some shoulders to the ribs slow HHH down but he avoids a charge and goes shoulder first into the post. That lets HHH start in on the arm before both villains are sent to the floor. Hardy dives onto the two of them but gets caught, meaning HHH has to knock the three of them down as we take a break.
Back with Umaga hitting Hardy with the swinging Rock Bottom and Snitsky coming in to crank on both of Hardy’s arms. An elbow to the face drops Hardy and Umaga adds a spinwheel kick for two. The neck crank goes on for a bit before Hardy flips out of Snitsky’s pumphandle slam. A dropkick into the back allows the hot tag to HHH so house can be cleaned. Everything breaks down and Snitsky is sent out to the floor. HHH clotheslines him out over the barricade and Jeff hits a Whisper in the Wind on Umaga. The Pedigree into the Swanton finishes for Hardy.
Rating: C. They didn’t have much drama here and that isn’t the biggest surprise. Hardy is on a roll and HHH is HHH so they shouldn’t be having trouble with Snitsky and a rapidly decreasing Umaga. Hardy seems ready to move up to the next level and being around HHH, in one way or another, is a good way to do that.
Post match here is William Regal to say he wants to see both of them fighting at Armageddon, and they’ll just do that against each other (with the clarification that it will be non-title).
Ric Flair arrives and Lawler thinks he might have a special announcement.
Here is Flair for a chat. Flair seems serious and that he has an announcement to make. The fans here have always been so good to him, as has every city he has ever competed in, the world over. He has been gone for six months because everyone knows that his career can’t go on forever. That’s why he has gotten involved in a lot of other things, but there will be a time when he has to retire. Right now though, he is announcing…..THAT HE WILL NEVER RETIRE! He loves this business and is going nowhere but here is Vince McMahon to interrupt.
Vince said Flair had him going and hopes that Flair goes on forever….as long as he keeps winning. That’s exactly what he said: Flair can keep wrestling as long as he keeps winning, but once he loses, his career is over. Vince: “Good luck Ric, and I hope you don’t die anytime soon.” Vince goes to leave but here is Randy Orton to interrupt. Orton thanks Flair for everything over the years, both in and out of the ring. He also thanks Flair for the pleasure of ending his career tonight, so Vince makes the match for tonight.
Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch/Highlanders vs. Cody Rhodes/Hardcore Holly/Super Crazy/Jim Duggan
Robbie works on Crazy’s wrist to start but Crazy pulls him over to Duggan to take over. The arm cranking ensues until Cody gets elbowed in the face. Cade comes in to knee him in the ribs and it’s off to Murdoch to work on the arm. That’s broken up and Cody sends Murdoch arm first into the post, allowing the hot tag to Holly. Everything breaks down and the Alabama Slam finishes Robbie as Duggan, again, never tagged in.
Rating: C-. As usual, there is only so much you can do with a match like this as they had a lot of people and not much time to use. Holly and Rhodes working well together is somewhat interesting and it isn’t like there are any other teams around to get in the way of their title shot. Duggan never actually tagging in is kind of a funny deal for him, as it isn’t like his team is going to go anywhere anyway.
Jeff Hardy has had fun teaming with HHH but he hesitates to call them friends. HHH comes in to say he doesn’t do the friends thing and at Armageddon, Jeff is in the ring with the Game.
We look back at Shawn Michaels superkicking a chair into Mr. Kennedy’s face last week.
Mr. Kennedy has a copy of the new Shawn Michaels Heartbreak and Triumph DVD but doesn’t sound overly impressed. He talks about Shawn losing matches but also his smile, which is a good lesson. Shawn also whines a lot as he keeps his main event spot in spite of a bunch of young, hungry wrestlers. There are some highs and lows, but Shawn’s lowest point will come when he faces Kennedy.
Ric Flair is in the back with Arn Anderson and Barry Windham for the surprise cameos.
Here is Chris Jericho, who is here to save us from Randy Orton and become WWE Champion. Everyone but Orton gets this and that is because Orton has the IQ of a kumquat. Jericho makes it simple by saying “me want title match.” He even has visual aides with a photo of himself (Me), Cookie Monster (Want), the WWE Title (Title), and a match (Match).
Jericho wants an answer but gets Santino Marella instead. Marella calls him KYJ but Jericho can’t get his name right either (Sandusky? Santana? Santa Maria?). Finally Santino snaps and shouts his name, with Jericho managing to get it. Santino says he’s ready to beat Jericho up so Jericho wants a referee out here right now. Hold on as Santino needs to warm up, meaning he decks Jerry Lawler and we take a break.
Santino Marella vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho kicks him into the corner and chokes a bit to start, setting up a suplex. The triangle dropkick puts Marella on the floor but he’s back in with a neckbreaker for two. The chinlock goes on but Jericho is right back up. An atomic drop and bulldog set up the debuting Codebreaker for the pin to finish Santino.
Rating: C-. Nothing much to see here other than “hey Jericho wrestles too”. Oh and that new finisher thing but I can’t imagine it goes anywhere. Jericho still looks weird with the hair but the charisma that he has is more than enough to make up for anything that is off with his look. Marella continues to become one of the most annoying things in WWE and that is a good thing to have around.
Post match Jericho has Lawler come in the ring to beat on Santino a bit. Jericho jumps on commentary as Lawler drops the middle rope fist for the feel good beating.
Shawn Michaels wishes Ric Flair good luck and gives him a pep talk. Flair promises to go out in a blaze of glory, which has Shawn thinking.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Brian Kendrick
Kennedy shoves him around to start and shrugs off a dropkick. Some stomping in the corner sets up a Downward Spiral to put Kendrick away fast.
Post match Kennedy challenges Shawn Michaels for Armageddon.
Hornswoggle is in Vince McMahon’s office, with Vince going over Hornswoggle’s recent luck. Finlay has been around a lot in those moments though, and that’s why Vince is giving Finlay a match with Great Khali at Armageddon. As for Hornswoggle, Vince sends him to get an ice cream sandwich. With Hornswoggle gone, Vince grabs a walkie talkie and says “Mr. Rogers Has Left The Neighborhood. Repeat: Mr. Rogers Has Left The Neighborhood.”
We cut to Hornswoggle with a box of ice cream sandwiches, but then he sees a sign for FREE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES. He goes into the room, where Carlito is waiting. Hornswoggle is scared, but pulls out some spray paint and paints a hole in the wall. He runs through said hole, and disappears. Then Carlito tries to do it and hits his face on the wall. Ron Simmons cameoing ensues. Eh Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner did it better. The breaking the laws of….I guess matter, not the cameoing.
Mickie James vs. Melina
The winner gets a Women’s Title shot at the pay per view so Beth Phoenix is at ringside. Feeling out process to start until Melina kicks her in the face for an early one. Mickie takes her into the corner and tosses her back out though, setting up the Thesz press for two. A hurricanrana out of the corner sets up the MickieDT to finish Melina fast.
The roster applauds Ric Flair on his way to the ring. HHH shakes his hand and hugs him, telling Flair to show them who he is.
Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton
Non-title and Flair’s career is on the line. Flair chops away to start and drops Orton with an elbow to the face. Back up and Orton punches his way out of the corner, setting up the backdrop to put Flair down again. That means the circle stomp is on but Orton misses the big knee. He settles for a dropkick to take Flair down again though and we hit the chinlock.
Flair fights up and gets clotheslined to the floor, where Orton suplexes him for a bonus. The headlock goes on back inside but Flair is out again, this time starting in on the leg. The Figure Four is locked in the middle of the ring (the fans are WAY into this) but Orton makes the rope. Orton hits the RKO for two, with Flair grabbing the rope as well. A bunch of right hands to the head have Flair in more trouble but here is Chris Jericho to distract the referee. Flair uses said distraction to get in a low blow and rollup (with trunks) for the upset pin.
Rating: C+. This is a good example of a match that wasn’t anything of note on its own but was boosted up by the crowd’s reactions. The fans were into everything that Flair was doing and that is enough to move things up all the higher. The ending gives Orton some protection and should further set up the already set Jericho title match so at least they got somewhere with the result.
Overall Rating: C-. Forgive me for not being thrilled with a show that featured all kinds of Flair praise and Hornswoggle running through a hole in the wall. The rest of the show was pretty lame as well, as Raw continues to trail pretty far behind Smackdown week to week. Jericho vs. Orton should be good, but this show has me worried about how the top stories for this show are going to go in the next few weeks.
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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