Itâ€™s Monday night and as we close in on the end of 2008, let us help you get over your Monday blues by following along with Pulseâ€™s Raw Report. Paul Marshall, your regular host, is out this week so Iâ€™m filling in for him. Tonight is the Fatal Four Way to decide who will face John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championshipâ€¦
THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING
Monday Night Raw is being aired from Manchester, NH, on the USA Network with Michael Cole and Jerry â€œThe Kingâ€ Lawler as our ringside announcers. This is the final Raw of 2008.
Mysterio is in the ring with a mic to complain about his loss last week to JBL due to the interference of â€œHeartbreak Kidâ€ Shawn Michaels. Mysterio calls Michaels out and Michaels obliges. Mysterio says he doesnâ€™t want Shawnâ€™s spot in the Royal Rumble match, he wants to face him one on one tonight with the winner competing in the Fatal Four Way at the end of the night. HBK accepts and they shake on it but Layfield shows up to tell Rey that the answer is no and tells Michaels to get out of the ring and he does as he is told. Mysterio is attacked by Mike Knox and JBL stops Shawn from returning to the ring to help him out. John Cena, however, charges the ring and takes out Knox and we go to commercial break.
Randy Orton is backstage with Manu, Sim Snuka, and Cody Rhodes and appears to be giving them a pep talk. They must all win matches to stay in the group.
Cody Rhodes vs. CM Punk
Punk has what looks like a nasty bruise on his right upper thigh. Before the referee calls for the bell, William Regal and Layla come to ringside. Regal will face Punk next Monday for the Intercontinental Championship. The bell rings and Rhodes goes for a quick roll up, getting one. This match is moving fast and Iâ€™m glad Iâ€™m not trying to do a play by play report. Punk goes to work with kicks, covers and gets one. Cody goes for a jackknife cover and Punk kicks out. Punk goes for a cover and gets two. Punk misses a DDT, hits the mat and Rhodes goes for a cover, getting two. Cody drops a knee to the face, covers and gets two. Punk delivers two kicks and goes to the top, comes off with a cross body block, rolls through, Rhodes covers and gets two. Cody ends up on the floor, Punk delivers a suicide dive and nails Rhodes and the announcerâ€™s table, nailing his own arm. The fight is on the floor and the ref is counting, Regal causes a distraction and Punk doesnâ€™t make it back into the ring in time.
Winner: Cody Rhodes via count out
An excellent match between these two even though I wasnâ€™t fond of the ending. Punk bails back into the ring, takes down Rhodes with a bulldog, but Regal is in the ring to deliver a knee to Punkâ€™s head. Cena is backstage with Stephanie McMahon and she tells him he will be ringside for the Fatal Four Way Match to do the commentary. Cena wants to do something great like a big match and we go to commercial break.
Mr. Marshal picks up the action again on Thursday with Total Nonstop Weekly!
Goldust does a Christmas poem indicating he will be facing Santino Marella. We see a replay of 2 weeks ago on Raw when Orton attacked Batista with a kick to the side of his head and Cole tells us that Batista had to have surgery on his jaw, has a concussion and got a hamstring taken care of that was a previous injury and then we see a video of Batista in the hospital.
Diva Battle Royal to Decide Number One Contender for Womenâ€™s Championship: Kelly Kelly vs. Melina vs. Mickie James and we go to commercial break.
Katie Lea Burchill vs. Jillian Hall vs. Candice Michelle
Beth Phoenix and Marella are at ringside to watch the action and deliver commentary. Candice is eliminated by Burchill. Kelly Kelly is eliminated. Katie seems to be having a problem keeping her tights up. Katie and Jillian are eliminated leaving Mickie and Melina in the ring. Melina again appears to be improving in her work. Mickie is eliminated.
Winner and Number One Contender: Melina
Melina and Mickie did a good job. After the match, Beth attacks Melina, Melina gets the upper hand and Bethâ€™s fan comes over the rail to save Phoenix. Todd Grisham is backstage with Chris Jericho who is in the main event tonight. Jericho says he was named the Superstar of the Year but he says he has also been named the Jerk of the Year and he wants to complain about the latter and we go to commercial break.
I respectfully send regards to Slash â€œThe Killerâ€ who holds all he faces in fear of his power and strength. He backs down from no man and has battled one on one against such greats as Ricky Banderas and Billy Kidman. Learn more about the immortal Slash and Revolution Xtreme Wrestling at Slash vs. Billy Kidman, facebook groups Slash El Asesino and RXW #1 en Panama or Puerto Rico Wrestling.
Translation: Quiero enviar un respetuoso saludo a Slash “el asesino” quien mantiene a toda la competencia en terror y suspenso por su poderÃo y fuerza. El no se aparta de ningÃºn reto, y ha batallado contra grandes exponentes como Billy Kidmany Ricky Banderas. Conozcan mas del inmortal Slash y la Revolution Xtreme Wrestling en Slash vs. Billy Kidman, y en su grupo de facebook Slash El Asesino and RXW #1 en Panama or Puerto Rico Wrestling. DEL CARAJO!
Sim Snuka vs. â€œSuper Haasâ€ Charley Snuka
Snunka, the real one, treats the match as a beat down, attacking Haas as soon as the bell rings. Charley comes back, but catches a high knee to the face. Snuka covers and gets two. Super Haas comes back again, goes for the cover and gets two. Haas delivers a backbreaker, puts on his wig again, goes to the top, goes for the superfly and catches knees in the ribs. Snuka delivers a kick, covers and gets three.
Winner: Sim Snuka
It wasnâ€™t a bad match but not the best I have seen Haas in. Haas seems to have the fan support with his wrestler imitations. Cena and Mysterio are backstage and McMahon has decided to do a big match and we go to commercial break.
10 Man Tag Team Match: John Cena and Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston and Shad and JTG of Cryme Tyme vs. Kane and John Morrison and The Miz and Dolph Ziggler and Mike Knox
The ref calls for the bell and itâ€™s Ziggler facing JTG who covers for one. Shad gets the tag, a little double-team effort but Shad misses a corner charge and Morrison gets the tag. Kingston gets the tag, covers and gets one and everyone is in the ring before we go to commercial break.
Back to the action, Miz has Kofi down on the mat although Kingston is doing much better this week than he did last week. Kofi tags in Mysterio who comes in fired up and delivers a punch to Knox on the apron before going for a cover. The ref gets distracted and Kane delivers a punch, Miz covers, Mysterio kicks out and Kane gets the tag. Kane works on Rey before tagging in Knox. Mike works over Mysterio and tags in Dolph. Ziggler tags in Morrison. John pounds on Rey with a few fists, sits him up on the top, climbs up after him but Mysterio fights back and delivers a hurricanrana off the top. Morrison tags in Knox, Rey tags in Cena and as Kane goes for John, Kingston takes out Kane. Cena drops Mike and Dolph and points to Kofi. Kingston takes out Ziggler as John delivers the FU to Knox. Mysterio goes to the top, frog splash, cover and the win.
Winners: Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Kofi Kingston, Shad and JTG of Cryme Tyme
An action filled match with loud fan participation. Grisham is backstage with Michaels who says he will do his job when he gets to his match and we go to commercial break.
You can have me all to yourself on Friday nights by joining me for Pulse Wrestlingâ€™s Real-Time Smackdown Report!
Kelly Kelly is backstage with Randy Orton who must have been her one night stand. It appears Orton is no longer interested. Oops.
Manu vs. ECW Champion Matt Hardy
The ref calls for the bell and the match begins with nice holds and counters. Manu goes for an early cover and gets one. Hardy sends Manu over the top and delivers a baseball slide, then goes out after him. Matt rolls Manu back in the ring, drops a couple of elbows and covers for two. Manu goes for a cover getting one. Manu delivers head butts, goes for a cover and gets two. Manu comes off the second rope but Matt gets out of the way and Manu meets the mat. Hardy goes for a cover and gets two. Matt nails the side effect, covers and gets two. Manu goes for a roll up for two. Manu delivers a neck breaker, covers and gets two. Manu delivers a drop kick, covers and gets two. Hardy is favoring his left arm. Manu delivers a splash in the corner but Matt delivers a twist of fate and gets the win.
Winner: Matt Hardy
This was a nice match with some great wrestling in the beginning of the match. Manu has a tantrum in the ring after the match. It appears Manu has failed the Orton test and we go to commercial break.
Circling the globe for those indy promotions, I was introduced to WWP Thunderstrike in South Africa, by none other than Zizou, who is a second generation superstar. His father, Terri Middoux, also a wrestler with WWP Thunderstrike was previously under contract to WWF. I hear you can see this father and son in tag team action as The French Foreign Legion! You can read up on the promotion at their website and then go over to WWP Thunderstrike on You Tube to catch some of the action!
Race to the Rumble Four Way Elimination Match: Randy Orton vs. â€œHeartbreak Kidâ€ Shawn Michaels vs. Y2J Chris Jericho vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
The ref calls for the bell and then gives the workers directions with Michaels facing Jericho. HBK goes for an early roll up and a backslide for two each time. Chris rolls out and we go to commercial break.
Back to the action, Orton is in the ring with Jericho. Chris goes for a cover for two. Randy delivers a power slam and goes for the cover getting two. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho but ends up delivering a springboard kick to Orton who ends up on the floor. The ref starts the count Randy makes it back into the ring and tags in Michaels. Both men end up on the top, Shawn delivers a head butt and comes off with an elbow before firing up for the super kick but JBL tags himself in, covers and gets two before Michaels breaks it up. HBK tags himself in, covers and gets three. Orton and HBK face each other and we go to commercial break.
Back to the action again, JBL is in the ring with Orton and is attempting a sleeper hold. Randy delivers a back body drop but catches a boot to the face as he comes off the ropes. Layfield covers and gets two. The fans are calling for the RKO but JBL has Orton down in the corner. John pounds away at Randy who is down on the mat. Back in the corner, Orton nails JBL with a boot. Layfield again goes for a cover and gets two. Randy delivers a drop kick as Layfield comes off the ropes and then stomps away at his opponent. Randy goes for the head kick but JBL tags in Michaels. Orton catches Michaels in a backbreaker, delivers stomps to the chest and waits for HBK to get back to his feet. Randy misses the RKO and Michaels is back on his feet. He goes to the top and comes off with the elbow and fires up for Sweet Chin Music, nails it and covers for three, leaving JBL and Michaels as the last two in the match. Layfield points for HBK to lay down for the count and itâ€™s a face off as Shawn tries to make up his mind. He starts to but canâ€™t quite do it as JBL runs his mouth and the crowd delivers chants of HBK. Michaels lays down on the mat but then gets to his feet and again Layfield tells him to lay down. HBK tells JBL to hit him and the ref should be calling this for lack of action. Layfield delivers the clothesline, covers and gets three.
Winner and Number One Contender: John Bradshaw Layfield
The match, at least until the end, was a decent main event. JBL didnâ€™t even break a sweat and heâ€™s going to face Cena for the title?
Thank you for joining us. Everyone have a safe and Happy New Year! Check Pulse Wrestling every day for the best in professional wrestling news, updates, columns and reviews. And join me this Friday night for the live Smackdown Report!
Special reads on Pulse Wrestling this week:
Vinny gives us an alternate lesson in the history of TNA with Alternate Reality: The road to victory?
John Wiswell continues his top matches of the year with The Riren 100: Matches 49-25!