3/24 WWE Raw Live Coverage: Final hype for WrestleMania 24, and possibly Ric Flair’s final Raw appearance as an active wrestler
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Columbia, S.C.
[Q1] The opening video and the lousy bubble gum pop theme song kicked off the show... Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show... John Cena’s music played and he walked to the ring for a promo. Cena went through a long spiel about everything that has taken place between him, Triple H, and Randy Orton, and said, “On Sunday, we dance.” Cena pointed at the WrestleMania 24 sign hanging in the rafters.
Big Show walked out and said regardless of what Cena or anyone else thinks, WrestleMania 24 will be remembered for him ending Floyd Mayweather’s career. He said footage of him knocking out Mayweather will replace the shot of Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant as the most replayed moment in WrestleMania history.
JBL’s music played and he walked to the ring and said he would offer the greatest beating in the history of WrestleMania, ‘because my match has no rules.” He stressed that there’s nothing or no one who could stop him from beating Finlay. Cena said he wasn’t paying attention. “I was just thinking about how I beat your ass at WrestleMania 21,” Cena said. “Man, those were good times. What were you saying?
Randy Orton’s music played and he walked to the ring. He said he likes that no one thinks he’s going to retain his WWE Title. Orton said he feeds off that and it means he’ll be the one everyone is talking about after WrestleMania.
Umaga’s music interrupted and he walked to the ring. Umaga took the mic and delivered a promo in his native tongue. Cena took the mic and said he’s fluent in Samoan. He turned it into a joke about things Umaga was supposedly saying about Orton.
[Q2] Triple H came out and pimped his new t-shirt. He said everyone made convincing arguments about what they intend to do. He said there is one reason they’re all in the business and put their bodies on the line and that’s the WWE Title. He said everyone in the ring would trade their places for a spot in the WWE Title match. Hunter got in in Cena’s face and said, “The King of Kings goes back on his throne and there’s not a damn thing that you of you (looking at Orton) can do about it.”
Hunter, Cena, and JBL started bickering at each other over separate microphones. It sounded a lot like the Big Show segment with Floyd Mayweather live via satellite from a few weeks ago. William Regal booked John Cena and Triple H and Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton and JBL and Big Show and Umaga in an eight-man, no DQ match... [C]
Powell’s POV: Cena was a good choice to set the tone for the show. It was cool to see Big Show come out, but JBL seemed really out of place. I dig his mic work, but it was a stretch to have him compare his match to Cena and Show’s matches. By the way, JBL and Umaga would trade places with JBL, but I’m sure Show is just fine with his match against Mayweather.
Black and white footage aired of Flair pinning Vince McMahon last week...
1. MVP and Carlito defeated Chris Jericho and C.M. Punk at 9:00. Ross hyped the latest WrestleMania press conference for Wednesday at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. He mistakenly said the press conference was tomorrow, but Lawler quickly corrected him. One can only assume that Vince McMahon wasn’t as polite as Lawler was while correcting Ross through the headset. Standard action before the break two minutes in. [C]
[Q3] Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Carlito avoided the move. Jericho landed on his feet and immediately clutched one of his knees. Later, Jericho ran in to break up a pin attempt, but MVP saw him coming and stood up. They traded punches and Jericho went for the enziguri, but MVP ducked and Jericho’s foot hit Punk. MVP capitalized and scored the pin... [C]
Powell’s POV: Disappointing match. Forgettable action and no real drama. Even the finish didn’t seem to lead to much, but maybe they’ll do something backstage to build up some tension between Jericho and Punk.
The WrestleMania video aired and noted that the show is only six days away...
A pre-taped interview with Mr. Kennedy aired. He said everyone wonders what will happen at WrestleMania ever year. He said history will be made when Flair retires, Undertaker’s streak ends, and he wins the Money in the Bank match. He vowed to cash in the briefcase and become a champion. He said he will be the story of the show...
Powell’s POV: I don’t like seeing guys like Kennedy and JBL make promises they can’t keep. I know they’re heels, but I think even casual fans roll their eyes when they hear these guys claim they’re going to steal the show.
A Ric Flair music video aired with brief clips from WCW and WWE...
Powell’s POV: Great video. Where has that been for the last few months? Hell, where has that been for the last few weeks? I’m sure his swan song will be great, but it could have been so much better.
[Q4] A shot aired of members of Flair’s family sitting in the front row... A shot aired of Flair sitting backstage in the locker room. Ross said this is not a day of reflection for Flair. He said Flair is ready to blow a gasket when he confronts Shawn Michaels... [C]
Video footage aired of Big Show training in a boxing ring and watching footage of Mayweather’s fights. Show said Mayweather is too short and won’t be able to strike his face. The video concluded with a shot of Show punching Jericho from last week...
Powell’s POV: By the way, why wasn’t Jericho wearing makeup tonight to sell Show’s punch from last week?
2. Great Khali beat Hardcore Holly at 1:51. Squash match. Ross slipped and referred to the WrestleMania battle royal as a Royal Rumble battle royal, but quickly corrected himself. If you listen quietly, you can probably hear Vince screaming through the headsets no matter where you are in the world... [C]
[Q5] Highlights aired from last week of Michaels saving Flair from being pinned by Vince McMahon...
Flair’s music hit and he walked to the ring dressed in a suit and carrying what appeared to be a title belt inside a black carrying case. Flair took offense to Michaels interfering in his match and said he lost respect for him. He called Michaels to the ring for a confrontation.
Shawn walked out and said the Flair he knows always had his bases covered and backup. “You’re always going to be the Naitch to me,” Michaels said. “You’re always going to be the 16-time World Champion. Flair interrupted Michaels and took his jacket off.
Flair said he doesn’t need Michaels to remind him who he is. Flair pulled out the NWA Title out of the carrying case and identified it by name. “This is what you grew up admiring, wanting to know what made a machine like me go.” Flair ran through his list of past opponents and said HBK would have been among them had he been born 20 years earlier. Flair said he wants HBK to bring the best out of him.
Ric said he picked Michaels to be his final opponent regardless of what anyone says. He said he needs Michaels to give him this match because he needs it to get through the rest of his life. HBK got serious and vowed to give Flair what he’s looking for. “I would expect nothing less from you,” Flair said while shaking Shawn’s hand.
HBK started to leave the ring, but he stopped and recalled the story of Old Yeller and how the family had to take him out back and finish him. “Come Sunday, the Showstopper is going to take you, Old Yeller, and put you out of your misery,” Michaels said. Flair responded by removing his shirt and kicking his jacket and the belt out of the ring.
Flair slapped Michaels across the face twice. “Are you kidding me?” Flair asked. He challenged Michaels to do it now. Michaels remained calm, looked Flair in the eye, and responded, “Like I said, I’m putting you out of your misery.” Michaels left the ring and took once last look back at Flair, who stared at Michaels...
Powell’s POV: Awesome. Great intensity by Flair and great lines and delivery from Michaels. This should have closed the show because nothing will be able to top that.
A Floyd Mayweather video aired. Nothing special. How do you follow up that Flair and Michaels segment?... Ross hyped the eight-man tag main event... [C]
[Q6] Highlights aired of Big Show's appearance on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien"...
Ross announced that Candice Michelle underwent surgery “hours ago” to repair her broken left clavicle. Melina and Maria started a match, but Beth Phoenix and Ashley got involved less than a minute in. Santino walked out to help the heel team and Lawler jumped in from ringside. Regal came out and booked them in a six-person tag match... [C]
3. Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix and Melina beat Jerry Lawler and Maria and Ashley vs. at 6:40. A mess of a match that concluded with Santino pinning Maria. Only a couple minutes aired because they took a commercial break right after the bell rang...
Backstage, Triple H interrupted Cena while he was talking to Val Venis and Cody Rhodes. Hunter said his loss to Cena at WrestleMania 22 eats at him because he knows he didn’t lose to the better man. Cena stood up to Hunter and told him to try watching from the sidelines for six months while a man defends a title he never lost...
[Q7] [C] The announcers ran through the WrestleMania 24 card. Lawler noted that Ashley Massaro will replace Candice Michelle in the BunnyMania match... A video hyped the Orton vs. Cena vs. Hunter three-way for the WWE Title... Orton was introduced for themain event... [C] The ring introductions for the main event continued...
[Q8] 4. Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels and John Cena and Triple H defeated Big Show and Randy Orton and JBL and Umaga at 11:38. Less than two minutes into the match, Finlay walked onto the stage. JBL left ringside and brawled with Finlay at ringside. [C] After the break, Batista came to ringside and lured Umaga to ringside for a brawl, leaving Show and Orton to face the four babyfaces.
[Overrun] At 9:30, Triple H and Cena teamed up on Show and tried to suplex him, but he fought them off and suplexed them both. Orton ran his mouth in the corner, so Show flipped him into the ring and chokeslammed him. Show stepped on Orton and left the ring, leaving Orton to face all four babyfaces.
Cena locked Orton in the STFU, but Hunter kicked him in the head. Cena and Hunter brawled to ringside and headed backstage. In the ring, Flair set up Orton for the figure-four, but HBK punched Flair. Michaels went for his submission hold, but Flair recovered and caught him from behind with a low blow. Flair locked in the figure-four and Orton tapped out.
Flair looked emotional at the end of the match as he looked up. Flair strutted in the ring and let out a series of “Woooo’s” to close the show...
Powell’s POV: Flair getting the win was nice, but I thought the main event and some of the final hype for the WrestleMania 24 matches was a mess. I’ll have more to say during the WWE Raw Hitlist on Monday.
Would you be satisfied with this show if it turns out to be if it turns out to be Flair’s final appearance on Raw? What did you think of the final hype for WrestleMania 24? Let me know by sending a paragraph of two on either or both topics to email@example.com for a possible Mailbag feature on Tuesday.
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