Monday Night Raw – December 17, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 17, 2007
Location: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, New York
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re past Armageddon now and the big Raw story was JBL getting physical for the first time in a long while as he cost Chris Jericho the World Title. That means Randy Orton needs a new challenger and that is exactly what he has in the form of Jeff Hardy. The Royal Rumble is coming up, but so is the end of the year so let’s get to it.

The opening recap looks at Vince McMahon getting beaten up at the Raw 15th Anniversary in a pretty cool moment.

Opening sequence.

Melina/Jillian Hall/Victoria/Layla vs. Mickie James/Michelle McCool/Kelly Kelly/Maria

Santa’s Little Helper match. Jillian tries to sing but gets cut off by the other team’s entrance and we’re ready to go. Maria flips Jillian down to start and it’s Michelle coming in to clean house. A bunch of hiptosses put the villains down before Kelly comes in. That doesn’t go so well as Victoria and Melina double team her down in the corner. Kelly is out in a hurry and brings in Mickie, with the MickieDT finishing Victoria in a hurry.

Rating: D. What are you expecting here? It’s a bunch of women in their festive outfits, which were the stars of the match. There was no story or structure to the match and they were probably told the winner and nothing more. It did its job well enough, but that had nothing to do with having a match.

Post match the winners clear the ring but here is a very shaken looking Vince McMahon to tell them to get out. Vince talks about how last week was supposed to be a celebration of his greatest creation but he was left laying and covered in beer while everyone else celebrated. What he doesn’t understand is how all of these people were so happy to see it.

Cue Jeff Hardy (there’s a pair you don’t see very often) to say that next week they’re going to Iraq. Jeff says that the people celebrated when Saddam Hussein was killed because he was crazed with power. Does that sound familiar? Vince gets the point…and sits down in the corner to cry as we take a break.

Back with William Regal and a referee trying to get Vince to leave but here is HHH instead. HHH calls Regal Liberace and says he’s the closest thing Vince has left to family. Vince cries even more so HHH sits next to him and apologizes for everything that happened last week (which he lists off). HHH: “Now get out of the ring before they cancel the show.”

Regal isn’t having this so he threatens….to have security throw HHH out. Vince forces himself to his feet and tells Regal to get Coach, but no security. Tonight it’s Regal/Coach vs. HHH and Vince hopes something bad happens to everyone. Then he cries some more. Weird Vince can be entertaining Vince and that was the case here.

HHH vs. William Regal/Jonathan Coachman

Everyone is in street clothes for a unique look. A single right hand drops Coach and HHH slugs away on Regal. The numbers game gets the better of things though and HHH gets sent into the post. Then a kick to the head drives it into the post again and Coach gets two. That’s enough for HHH as the comeback is on with right hands all around, plus a facebuster to Regal. The brass knuckles are cut off with a spinebuster to Regal and HHH picks up the knuckles. Coach gets poked in the head with said knuckles, setting up the Pedigree for the easy pin.

Rating: C-. What else is there to say about something like this? It was a quick workout for HHH, who isn’t going to lose often and especially not to these two. Vince losing his marbles is a good sign and if he sends these two do bumble through his bidding, it could be a lot of fun. For now though, HHH got to beat them up and he knows how to do that very well.

We recap JBL costing Chris Jericho the Raw World Title last night.

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

Holly and Rhodes are defending after winning the titles from Cade and Murdoch last week. Cade drives Rhodes into the corner to start but it’s quickly off to Holly to chop Murdoch against the ropes. An atomic drop, with Cade adding a running big boot, cuts that off and an assisted legdrop gives Murdoch two. The dropkick gets Holly out of trouble though and it’s back to Rhodes as everything breaks down. Rhodes DDTs Cade to retain the titles. Well that was brisk.

Here is Ric Flair for a chat before his latest career threatening match. Flair reiterates that he will NEVER retire, even though Vince McMahon said the next time he loses, he will never wrestle again. Apparently Vince doesn’t want to see him get hurt but Flair has been doing this for thirty five years and he has loved doing all of this. Flair has sacrificed everything to be here and he isn’t about to throw it away.

He has traveled the roads for thirty years and we hear about a lot of them (Dusty Rhodes, Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat etc), plus some of the new friends he has made (Batista, Undertaker, HHH, Shawn Michaels etc). Now he has to be the Nature Boy and he respects everyone in that locker room. Tonight it’s another journey because he has Umaga but he is giving it all he has. He wants the best from whoever beats him and isn’t losing without the fight of his life. If he loses tonight, thank you. Rather nice speech there, as Flair knows how to bring the emotion.

Ric Flair vs. Umaga

Flair strikes away to start to the same amount of avail that you would expect. Umaga shoves him down without much trouble and grabs an early nerve hold. Back up and a clothesline drops Flair again, setting up a belly to belly for two. Some cannonballs down onto the chest keep Flair down and we’re right back to the nerve hold.

Umaga misses the middle rope headbutt though and now Flair’s chops work a bit better. The chop block doesn’t do much though and Umaga knocks him outside. The big running charge misses though and Umaga crashes through the barricade, allowing Flair to beat the count back in and survive.

Rating: C-. That’s how this should have gone, as Umaga was squashing Flair until he managed to escape rather than win. Flair shouldn’t be able to beat someone like Umaga at this point and they didn’t bother trying to do anything else. That kind of emotional trip is something Flair can sell as he knows how to do as well as anyone. Not a great match, but a properly told story.

Flair: “One more thing: WOO!”

Here is Chris Jericho to call out JBL. He should be happy with what he did last night because he beat Randy Orton, but it was by DQ. We see a clip of JBL interfering to cost Jericho the title and he wants an explanation. JBL isn’t here tonight, so Jericho will be heading to Smackdown to get some answers in person.

Cue JBL on the Titantron to say he’s too busy to be in a place like Buffalo. Jericho is low on JBL’s list of priorities and he blames Jericho for causing his own problems. Apparently this means Jericho being sent into JBL last night, which sends Jericho into a rant about how everyone is knocked over out here. Timekeeper Mark Yeaton got superkicked last week but he didn’t storm the ring. JBL: “MARK YEATON NEEDS AN APPOINTMENT TO TALK TO MY DOORMAN!”

Jericho promises to be at Smackdown but JBL warns him that a deal will be made to prevent that. JBL knew this would happen and talked to Vince McMahon, saying that if Jericho goes after him again, there is no Royal Rumble and no future title shot. That makes Jericho think that JBL has lost his killer instinct and is now listed with the talk show hosts and broadcasters. That’s too far for JBL, who is coming to Raw next week because he is a wrestling god. Seems to work for Jericho.

Santino Marella/Carlito vs. Paul London/Brian Kendrick

Maria is here with Santino and Carlito. Hold on though as Carlito and Santino aren’t sure who should start because they’re new at this teaming together thing. Kendrick takes over on Santino’s arm to start and hands it off to London to stay on that arm. London’s running dropkick puts Santino down again so it’s off to Carlito to try his luck. A high crossbody takes Carlito down but Santino offers a distraction. That’s enough for a Backstabber to finish London for quite the upset.

Post match Santino thinks Carlito is Colombian and makes a spitting joke as the new team doesn’t seem to be the greatest idea.

Randy Orton says he did exactly what he promised to do last night by beating up Chris Jericho. Now he is ready for Jeff Hardy at the Royal Rumble.

HHH congratulates Ric Flair on his win. They’re both rather happy but here is wacky Vince McMahon to say HHH can face Flair in a career threatening match in two weeks.

Jeff Hardy/Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Kennedy/Randy Orton

Orton runs Hardy over to start but Hardy kicks him away for a standoff. Kennedy comes in to knock him into the corner, only to get knocked down for the legdrop between the legs. A crossbody hits Kennedy and everything breaks down with the good guys hitting stereo dives to the floor.

We take a break and come back with Hardy missing Whisper in the Wind to put him in trouble for a change. Orton stomps away before handing it right back to Kennedy, who gets caught with a clothesline. It’s back to Shawn to clean a few rooms before Orton cheap shots him from the apron.

The chinlock goes on for a bit before Shawn is whipped hard into the corner for a crash to the floor. Back in and Orton starts the circle stomp before Kennedy grabs a camel clutch of all things. With that broken up, Shawn enziguris his way to freedom and falls into the corner for the tag to Hardy. The pace picks up (as it tends to do with Hardy) and everything breaks down (as it tends to do with main event tag matches). Hardy hits a Twist of Fate and a very fast Swanton to finish Orton for a statement win.

Rating: C+. This match was designed to do one thing and one thing only: make it clear that Hardy could win. Hardy is on a roll at the moment and all roads lead to the Royal Rumble, where Hardy might be able to pull off the miracle. The fans are behind him and he is racking up win after win, so why can’t he make something like this work? That seems to be the idea they are focusing on at the moment and that could wind up being great. Shawn and Kennedy were there too, but this was all about Hardy beating Orton.

Overall Rating: C. You could definitely tell this was a show where they were taking things a bit less seriously as it was a more lighthearted and easy week. The main event served a purpose, but the only other story that was treated seriously was Flair. Vince was being his over the top self and that tends to be more humorous than anything else, though it’s not like HHH beating up Coach is ever going to get old. Not the most interesting show, but an easy watch.



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