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Monday Night RAW April 7, 2008
by Sassy

Monday Night Raw, broadcast from Albany, NY, on the USA Network.

Ringside announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler

Ring announcer: Lillian Garcia

General Manager William Regal is in the ring, mic in hand. Regal says that the next WWE Championship match, held on April 27 at Backlash, will be Randy Orton, WWE Champion, defending his title against John Bradshaw Layfield. Regal introduces both men and they enter the ring – separately, of course. JBL is having quite a bit of trouble figuring out who he is feuding against these days. JBL holds out his hand for Orton to shake but Orton refuses. Regal begins to talk about how fierce their match is going to be and the audience hears the entrance theme for Triple H.

Triple H enters the ring and even I would prefer to listen to him instead of JBL or Orton. The live audience appears to prefer seeing Triple H and “Triple H” chants begin. Triple H has the mic and he says that he is a little bit confused. He asks Regal if he is out of his mind. Triple H says that while Orton says he is finished with Triple H and even though Orton won the match at Wrestlemania, Orton really didn’t beat anyone. Orton argues and Triple H asks Orton what the big move Orton hit Cena with right before he got the 1,2,3 was. Triple H says Orton didn’t do anything. Orton took a cheap shot and was lucky enough to fall on Cena and get the win. Triple H then turns his attention to JBL and wants to know how someone who has spent the last two years retired as an announcer on Smackdown get to be the number one contender since his biggest claim to fame since he has been back was slapping around a midget. Triple H says that everyone, including him, thought the midget thing was pretty funny but it certainly doesn’t put JBL in line for a title shot. JBL argues with Triple H but Regal breaks in and says that if Triple H wants to be in the main event at Backlash, he will have to earn his way into it and tonight Triple H will be in a Handicap Match against JBL and Randy Orton. Regal says if Triple H wins, then a Triple Threat Match will take place at Backlash but if Triple H loses, he’s out of the main event at Backlash. JBL and Orton aren’t happy with the Triple Threat Match that could happen at Backlash.

Umaga from the Isle of Samoa, weighing 350 lbs.
Vs.
Val Venis from Las Vegas, NV, weighing 255 lbs.

Audience favorite: I’m not sure
My favorite: I like them both

Val Venis comes off an elbow injury and gets put in some of the worst squash matches. This match is no different. Val does try to fight back but Umaga is a hard man to take down. Umaga drags Val over to the corner in order to back across the ring, charge and deliver a squash and follows up with the Samoan spike, goes for the cover and gets the three count.

Winner Umaga

At what point did Val Venis sign a contract with WWE to become a jobber? He had talent once…I remember it. We just never get an opportunity to see him in wrestling action.

Tag Team Match
Jillian Hall & Melina
Vs.
Mickie James & Ashley

Audience favorites: Mickie James & Ashley
My favorites: Mickie James & Melina

I am not a fan of Ashely. I don’t care how many times she has posed for Playboy. I am not a fan of Jillian Hall. I don’t care whether or not she can really sing. I am, however, a fan of Mickie James and could not believe she was not in the match at Wrestlemania. I am not that taken with Melina’s wrestling skills although she has been improving but she does make one great heel.

Did I mention that Melina is a great cheater on top of being an excellent heel? Mickie finally gets into the ring and does a little high flying before she is stopped by Melina. The match ends with Ashely and Jillian battling it out on the floor while in the ring Mickie James delivers a DDT and gets the win.

Winners Mickie James & Ashley

Lawler informs the audience that tonight Y2J Chris Jericho’s guests on the Highlight Reel will be Batista and Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels.

The audience sees the end of the Wrestlemania XXIV Career Threatening Match in which Nature Boy Ric Flair was defeated by HBK Shawn Michaels, part of the Farewell Address Flair delivered last week on Monday Night Raw and the former WWE Wrestlers and current WWE Wrestlers who came out to pay tribute to Flair.

Tag Team Match
Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
At a combined weight of 532 lbs.
Vs.
Paul London & Brian Kendrick
At a combined weight of 382 lbs.

Audience favorites: I’m not sure
My favorites: I like them all

These two tag teams couldn’t have more different styles. Kendrick and London are quick and use high risk maneuvers while Cade and Murdoch are more of a brawling, bullying tag team. I have to ask this – does anyone else notice that Murdoch appears to have gotten himself a little sun since last Monday night?

Murdoch doesn’t need a microphone for the audience to hear him. And, as I guessed, Cade and Murdoch are bulldozing their way over their opponents. Lawler notices Murdoch’s tan, too, and mentions it during the commentary. Cade and Murdoch have a problem keeping up with the speed of Kendrick and London but Cade and Murdoch do a much better job of being sneaky in the ring, doing what they need to do and then getting caught before they get out of the ring. It backfires as the referee is trying to get Cade back out of the ring and Kendrick catches Murdoch in a roll up to get the win.

Winners Brian Kendrick & Paul London

After the match, Cade gets in Murdoch’s face. If I recall correctly, last week Murdoch got pinned and Cade was not happy with the loss. This time the two of them have words in the middle of the ring before exiting.

Orton is backstage and JBL approaches him. JBL wants Orton to listen to him but Orton says that JBL needs to listen to him. Orton says that he has beat Triple H before and he will beat him again. All JBL needs to do is stay out of Orton’s way. Translation: If JBL beats Triple H, Orton take you out with a sneak attack and get the three count.

Main Event
2 on 1 Handicap Match
The Game Triple H from Greenwich, CT, weighing 255 lbs.
Vs.
John Bradshaw Layfield from New York City, NY
&
Randy Orton, from St. Louis, MO, weighing 245 lb.
WWE Champion
Audience favorite: Triple H
My favorite: Triple H

JBL and Orton were already in the ring when Triple H made his entrance. I’m not sure why that was just announced as the main event. There is still quite a bit of time left for the show to continue.

Triple H should be able to outwrestle Orton and I don’t believe Triple H would have a problem taking on JBL in a brawl since JBL has appeared to be out of shape since he returned to the ring. William Regal is seated in front of the announcer’s table watching the match. I’m holding my breath hoping Finlay shows up to take out JBL and Cena shows up to take out Orton. That would be a nice Game Over. JBL and Triple H spend a few minutes standing toe to toe and trying to intimidate each other. The live audience certainly doesn’t care for Orton and they don’t hesitate to tell him so. JBL and Orton are working well in the ring as a team even though the aren’t up against another tag team. Triple H is taking a beating in this match as Orton and JBL take turns keeping him down. The audience begins a very loud “Triple H” chant and it does seem to help Triple H fight his way out of the corner. Body slam by Orton and an attempt at a cover but he only gets a two count. Orton tags in JBL. JBL and Triple H exchange blows in the middle of the ring before JBL sends Triple H into the ropes. As Triple H comes off the ropes, JBL applies a sleeper hold and the audience again begins the “Triple H” chant. Triple H fights back and delivers a face buster. Triple H makes the mistake of running into JBL’s boot. Orton’s been having fun tagging himself into the match and this time JBL takes exception to Orton’s actions. Orton gets in the ring, argues with JBL and goes for the RKO. Triple H shoves Orton and he slams into JBL, knocking JBL down to the mat. Orton turns back around and gets caught with a pedigree delivered by Triple H. Triple H goes for the cover and gets the three count.

Winner The Game Triple H
Qualifies for WWE Championship Match at Backlash

After the match, Regal is in the ring with a mic. Regal tells the audience that at Backlash it will be Triple Threat for the WWE Championship.

John Cena’s entrance theme begins and Cena enters the arena. Cena congratulates Triple H for winning a spot in the WWE Championship Match at Backlash. Cena has a proposition Cena reminds Triple H that he beat Triple H at Wrestlemania last year and that he beat JBL for the championship and then he beat JBL again and made him quit. Cena reminds everyone that last year he beat Orton. Cena tells Regal it should be a Fatal Four Way match for the WWE Championship at Backlash. Orton is still down on the canvas but JBL is telling Regal no way. And the live audience who was delivering “You suck” chants to Cena as he got into the ring is now chanting “Cena”. Regal says that Cena has given him a fantastic idea. Regal tells Cena that if he wants to be in the main event at Backlash, he will have to do the same thing that Triple H did. He will have to be in a Handicap Match tonight against JBL and Triple and if he wins, the WWE Championship Match at Backlash will be a Fatal Four Way.

Wait a minute. We just had the Main Event and now we have another match? I thought the Main Event was the last match of the show. Tag Team Match
Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes
At a combined weight of 462 lbs.
WWE World Tag Team Champions
Vs.
Santino Marella & Carlito
At a combined weight of 447 lbs.

Audience favorites: I’m not sure
My favorites: Hardcore Holly, Cody Rhodes and Carlito

Cody Rhodes can be a true wrestler and I enjoy watching him when he gets a chance to show it. Hardcore Holly has been a favorite of mine and he and Rhodes do have a certain chemistry as a tag team. Carlito has talent as well but he never seems to be in matches that show the fans how well he can work in the ring.

Carlito puts himself in the ring, sends Marella out and then gets caught by the ref – no tag. Carlito gets sent back out on the ring apron. Holly is having a tough time in this match. Carlito and Marella work him over and continue tagging each other in and keeping Holly away from his own corner. I don’t believe it! Marella delivers a diving head butt off the top turnbuckle, covers Cody and gets the three count.

Winners Santino Marella & Carlito

Cryme Tyme is on camera. They are having a Cryme Tyme Wrestlemania Clearance Sale. They have a Rocky Johnson Shaker of Soul, an autographed copy of Playboy featuring Maria – and then decide not to sell, they tout Kim Kardashi’s underwear, but it appears they actually belong to Mae Young.

JR gives the audience a rundown of the feud that is brewing between The Great Khali and The Big Show.

Triple H is backstage and his is approached by JBL. JBL tells Triple H they have a better chance at Backlash if they eliminate Cena. Unfortunately Triple H has earplugs in and doesn’t hear a word JBL says.

Maria from Chicago, IL Vs. The Glamazon Beth Phoenix from Buffalo, NY WWE Women’s Champion
Audience favorite: I’m not sure
My favorite: Beth Phoenix

Are we really going to call this a match? Or will it be more of a squash? JR messes up and calls Maria “Melina”. Melina should be insulted. A slam by Beth, a cover and a three count.

Winner: The Glamazon Beth Phoenix, WWE Women’s Champion

Batista and HBK Shawn Michaels are heading to the ring for Y2J Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel.

Y2J Chris Jericho enters the arena with his WWE Intercontinental Title in tow. He welcomes the crowd to the Highlight Reel and introduces his guests. First out is The Animal Batista. Then Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels enters the ring. Jericho informs Michaels of the results of the test message poll WWE took during the event

Did Shawn Michaels do the right thing at Wrestlemania?

The fans voted:
Yes 65%
No 35%

Jericho then shows clips of the match Michaels had against Nature Boy Ric Flair Michaels says he is sorry about what he did but Batista breaks in and that he doesn’t believe Michaels is truly sorry. Jericho asks Batista if he wouldn’t have done the same thing and Batista said he would not have done what Michaels did. Michaels tells Batista that he had a lot of chances to talk Flair out of the match against Michaels before the match took place and he didn’t do it. As the two men get into a verbal confrontation, the audience appears to be split between loyalty for the two of them. Michaels tells Batista that if he doesn’t like what he did to do something about it. Batista says that he already has and exits the ring.

William Regal is backstage on his cell phone and is approached by Orton. Regal says that he just got off the phone with Smackdown’s General Manager, Vickie Guerrero and at Backlash it will be HBK Shawn Michaels versus Batista. Orton says that he isn’t worried about that match. He tells Regal he overstepped his bounds by giving them a Triple Threat or a Fatal Four Way Match. Regal says that he will teach Orton about respect and next week on Raw, Orton’s opponent will be William Regal.

2 on 1 Handicap Match
John Cena from West Newbury, MA, weighing 240 lbs.
Vs.
John Bradshaw Layfield from New York City, NY
&
The Game Triple H from Greenwich, CT
Audience favorite: Cena got a nice round of applause when he entered the arena & Triple H.
My favorites: John Cena & Triple H

JBL and Triple H can’t seem to decide who will begin the match. Orton appears on the entrance ramp and walks down to ringside, giving JBL a chance to attack Cena from behind. JBL began the match but he refuses to tag in Triple H when Triple H asks for a tag. Orton is standing outside the ring mouthing off at Cena who is down on the mat. JBL again refuses to tag in Triple H. Cena ends up out on the floor. JBL get himself in trouble and tries to tag in Triple H but this time Triple H refuses the tag. Cena hits the five-knuckle shuffle, JBL gets back up and tries to tag in Triple H but Triple H refuses the tag. JBL takes a shot on Triple H, Triple H blocks it and comes into the ring after JBL. Orton is on the floor and tries to hold Triple H but JBL nails Orton in the face instead. Orton comes in the ring after JBL and delivers an RKO; Cena shoves Orton through the ropes and out of the ring and goes for the cover to get the win.

Winner John Cena
Qualifies for WWE Championship Match at Backlash.

It was a fairly entertaining match although I think most fans knew where it was headed. The battle for the WWE Championship at Backlash will now be a Fatal Four Way: Randy Orton, WWE Champion, defending his title against John Bradshaw Layfield, The Game Triple H and John Cena.

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