March 31, 2008 – Recap by Sassy
WWE Hall of Fame
Induction Ceremony for the Class of
2008, Saturday, March 29, 2008
Rocky Johnson inducted by his son,
Soul Man Rocky Johnson accepted his
award in person to a standing ovation.
Peter Maivia inducted by his
daughter, Ata Johnson.
High Chief Peter Maivia is deceased.
John Cena gave a rousing speech
about the Hall of Fame members.
Jack and Gerry Brisco, Gordon Solie, Mae Young and Eddie
Graham were inducted before the televised show began. Jack and Gerry Brisco and Mae Young accepted their awards in
person. Gordon Solie is deceased, his award was accepted by The Gordon Solie
family, Eddie Graham is deceased, and his award was accepted by his son, Mike
Nature Boy Ric Flair, the only active wrestler to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame,
was inducted by Triple H
Nature Boy Ric Flair accepted his award in person,
To a thunderous, standing ovation.
I have watched Ric Flair for years, drooled over him,
wanted to smack him for his arrogance and screamed for him to get beat,
especially when he was beating on one of my favorite wrestlers. Ric Flair got
through it all and is retiring from the ring after thirty-five years with the
respect of fans the world over and his fellow wrestlers. He is The Man. And The Man shed some tears at the podium…and
he wasn’t the only male in the building that had tears in his eyes.
Stone Cold Steven Austin and Mick Foley were in the audience.
Harley Race, and Superfly Jimmy Snuka were in the audience.
Vince McMahon was not in the audience. Reports from other
sources indicate McMahon was working backstage during the ceremony.
24 Man Battle Royal
The World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry, The Great Khali, The
Big Red Machine Kane, Elijah Burke, Lance Cade, Deuce, Domino, Tommy Dreamer,
Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Festus, Hardcore Holly, Jesse, Brian Kendrick, Kofi
Kingston, The Miz, Shannon Moore, Trevor Murdoch, Jamie Noble, Chuck Palumbo
Cody Rhodes, Snitsky, Matt Stryker, Val Venis, Jimmy Wang Yang
Winner: The Big Red Machine Kane
WWE ECW Championship Match
Chavo Guerrero, Champion vs. The Big Red Machine Kane,
Winner and new ECW Champion: The Big Red Machine Kane
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
CM Punk vs. M.V.P. vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Carlito vs. John
Morrison vs. Y2J Chris Jericho vs. The Gold Standard Shelton Benjamin
Winner: CM Punk
No DQ Must Be A Winner Match
Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs. Big Show
Winner: Floyd “Money” Mayweather
Bunny Mania Match
The Glamazon Beth Phoenix & Melina vs. Ashley & Maria
Winners: The Glamazon Beth Phoenix & Melina
WWE Championship Match
Triple Threat: Randy Orton, Champion vs. John Cena,
Challenger vs. The Game Triple H, Challenger
Winner and still Champion: Randy Orton
Smackdown versus Raw
The Animal Batista vs. Umaga
Winner: The Animal Batista
Finlay vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
Winner: John Bradshaw Layfield
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
The Rated R Superstar Edge, Champion vs. The Undertaker,
Winner and new WWE World Heavyweight Champion: The
Career Threatening Match
Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels
A few words about Wrestlemania XXIV – I did not see the
pay per view but did read up on the show before, during and after the program.
I was surprised, pleasantly I might add, that Kane not
only won the Battle Royal but also took home the WWE ECW Championship belt.
I was pleased to see that CM Punk won the Money in the
Bank Ladder Match
Beth Phoenix and Melina deserved the win.
I should just skip over the WWE Championship match
altogether – something about if you can’t say something nice, don’t say
anything at all – but I was not the only wrestling fan disappointed that Orton
kept the title. Had I purchased the event, I would have asked for my money back
after this match.
In the Smackdown versus Raw match, either winner would not
have upset me but I was hoping Umaga might come out with a victory.
Finlay did not win the Belfast Brawl, which did surprise
Floyd “Money” Mayweather taking out Big Show was not a shock and neither was the fact that he had to use a chair to do it. No wrestling fan should have been prepared for Mayweather to actually wrestle Big Show. Not only is Mayweather not a wrestler, the size difference alone would have put the skids to any wrestling match.
Floyd "Money" Mayweather's Wrestlemania outfit was made from
chinchilla fur. As an animal lover and rescuer (I have two chinchillas
that were rescues), I find this disgusting and unnecessary. When I first saw
Mayweather on WWE, I was planning on seeing his next boxing match. I can tell
you without absolute certainty, I would NOT pay to see Mayweather in any match
at any time.
Another pleasant, although not surprising, title change
when Undertaker defeated Edge. I understand from reviews that this was a great
And last but certainly not least,
Nature Boy Ric Flair losing to HBK was not a surprise. I knew it was coming. Not
even the greatest can stay in the ring forever. I applaud Flair for bowing out
at this time and whether he lost the match or not, he left Wrestlemania XXIV –
and the wrestling ring - a winner.
Last week on Raw
CM Punk defeated Carlito on a one of the best Raw matches
I have seen.
Snoop Dogg made an appearance regarding his role in
The Samoan Bulldozer Umaga defeated Paul London &
Brian Kendrick in a 2 on 1 Handicap match. Kendrick bailed on London, leaving
him alone in the ring with Umaga.
John Bradshaw Layfield defeated Colin Delaney in a joke
– not a match.
The Nature Boy Ric Flair defeated Vince McMahon in a
Career Threatening Street Fight with a little bit of help from Heartbreak Kid
Shawn Michaels and by being the dirtiest player in the game.
Candice Michelle & Maria defeated Jillian Hall &
Victoria in a tag team match. Santino Marella attacked Jerry “The King”
Lawler and stole his Subway sandwich.
Y2J Chris Jericho retained his WWE Intercontinental title
by getting himself disqualified in a match against The Big Show
John Cena & Randy Orton faced the entire Raw roster in
a 17 on 2 Handicap match. After eliminating most of their opponents, the rest of
the opponents got themselves disqualified. Triple H showed up after the match
was over and delivered a pedigree to Cena & Orton.
NOTE: I had
previously stated on a message board that if Orton kept the title at
Wrestlemania, I would stop watching the show, however, that would be unfair to
the webmaster who expects a report from me now and then and it would not be fair
to the wrestlers that deserve recognition. So message board pals, I am going back on my word but
certainly not because I think Orton deserves any praise.
Night Raw is being broadcast from Orlando, FL
the USA Network.
Ringside announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King”
Ring announcer: Lillian Garcia
Expect numerous repercussions from yesterday’s Wrestlemania
Jim Ross tells the audience that tonight will be Ric
Flair’s Farewell Address.
John Cena’s music begins but he doesn’t enter the arena.
Triple H’s music begins but he doesn’t enter the arena. I’m
fast-forwarding through this because you and I both know what’s going to show
up to start this edition of Raw. John
Bradshaw Layfield shows up during the fast forward to tell Orton that Orton
can’t beat JBL and he will be the number one contender for the WWE
Championship. Through some more fast forward, JBL has left and Matt Hardy has
entered the ring and please, for all of us, kick Orton’s ass. No such luck.
Security is on it for the first time ever…they are there immediately.
Matt Hardy is backstage and Raw General Manager William Regal
is in his face for attacking Regal’s champion. Matt says he wants Orton in the
ring and Regal says he will have to think about it.
At a combined weight of 532 lbs.
Cryme Tyme from Brooklyn, NY
At a combined weight of 525 lbs.
Audience favorites: I think its Cryme Tyme
My favorites: Trevor Murdoch is my favorite but I like
them all in the ring.
It appears that Cryme Tyme has been forgiven for their
previous WWE indiscretion – it had something to do with a match and a referee
– and they are back to take out their aggression on team of Cade and Murdoch.
These four are fairly close in size but Cade and Murdoch
aren’t having very much luck against the returning tag team. And as soon as I
say that, Cade manages to get the upper hand and tag in Murdoch. Murdoch goes
for the cover but can’t get the three count. Murdoch gets himself caught in a
roll up and Cryme Tyme win the match.
I’m going to try to be unbiased here since I think Trevor
Murdoch has all the makings of an A-1 heel and I like him when he’s a bully.
Any day now I think he and Lance Cade will suddenly turn on each other and brawl
all over the arena. Cryme Tyme was an audience favorite before their hiatus and
it appears they haven’t lost their appeal. This was a little bit more of
punching match than a wrestling match but not a bad first match and a nice
surprise to have Cryme Tyme appear.
After the match, Cade appears to be very angry and Murdoch
appears to be trying to explain what just happened in the ring. Cryme Tyme and
the audience celebrate but Cryme Tyme didn’t sell anything off to members of
The audience sees part of a match where Ric Flair took the
NWA title away from then seven-time Champion Harley Race in a steel cage match.
Okay, Ric, I love you but you took the belt away from my hero Harley Race! How
COULD you, Ric?
NOTE: Harley Race was in the audience at the WWE Class of
2008 Induction Ceremony.
Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels is heading toward the ring,
dressed in his street clothes.
Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, now known as the wrestler who
ended the career of Nature Boy Ric Flair, is in the ring. The audience doesn’t
seem to be angry with Michaels until he reminds the audience that he is the one
that beat Flair at Wrestlemania XXIV. He doesn’t stay in the ring long, but
puts down the mic and leaves the arena.
JR informs the audience that tonight Y2J Chris Jericho, WWE
Intercontinental Champion, will face CM Punk. Punk and Jericho were the last two
men on the ladder in the Money in the Bank match at Wrestlemania XXIV. CM Punk
won the match.
Lawler tells the audience that tonight Matt Hardy will face
Randy Orton in the ring. I guess Regal made up his mind.
HBK is backstage and is approached by Regal. Regal tells HBK
that he did what he had to do and Regal says that he thinks it is something that
should have been done a long time ago. Batista appears in camera range, staring
at HBK. Batista does not look happy.
Tag Team Match
At a combined weight of 382 lbs.
WWE World Tag Team Champions
At a combined weight of 452 lbs.
Audience favorites: I’m not sure
My favorites: I like all four wrestlers
Kendrick walked out on London the last time they were in a
match together. JR tells the audience that they have worked out their issues
since their match against Umaga.
Kendrick seems to have a problem being a bit of a show off
and Cody is no slouch. Kendrick gets himself caught by not paying attention.
Cody tags in Holly and Kendrick tags in London. Holly makes a clean break when
the referee calls for one, but London takes advantage with a cheap shot and that
could be a mistake. London pays with several hard chops to the chest. London
goes out on the floor and Holly goes out on the floor to bring London back in.
Holly goes for the cover and gets a two count before tagging in Cody. Cody goes
for the cover and gets a two count. Cody goes up high with a cross body block
with Kendrick yelling at London to tell him that it’s coming. London takes the
hit and then manages to get to Kendrick for a tag. Kendrick comes out fighting
but Cody delivers a bulldog. London comes out of the corner and pulls Cody off
of Kendrick, Holly comes into the ring and London takes him out over the top
rope, Cody sends London over the top rope after Holly and in the fray Kendrick
manages a bridge roll up and gets the three count.
These are wrestlers with very different wrestling styles.
Kendrick and London always work well together as a tag team and Cody Rhodes has
all the makings of an up and coming world champion. And I have to say that Cody
and Holly have been working well together as a tag team.
London’s chest is awfully red as he and Kendrick celebrate
their win the in ring.
The audience sees a film clip, May 7, 1989:
Ricky The Dragon Steamboat versus Ric Flair. Flair wins the match and for
the sixth time takes home the World Heavyweight title belt.
Rev Theory is in the front row of the Raw audience tonight.
The audience sees highlights from Wrestlemania XXIV. They
could show the entire match between Chavo Guerrero and Kane. It may have been
the shortest title match in history. Matt Hardy did make an appearance during
the Money in the Bank Ladder Match just long enough to spoil M.V.P.’s chance
of getting the briefcase and the title shot. The parts of the match they showed
between Flair and HBK looked like a hard fought battle. Flair may be going out
but I’d say he went out with a bang. Mayweather beat Big Show with the use of
a set of brass knuckles. It was a No DQ match, after all. And the final match
was The Undertaker taking the WWE World Championship from The Rated R Superstar
in the Bank Ladder Rematch
Y2J Chris Jericho weighing 221 lbs.
WWE Intercontinental Champion
CM Punk from Chicago, IL, weighing 222 lbs.
Winner of the Wrestlemania XXIV Money in the Bank Ladder
Audience favorite: I’m not sure
My favorite: I like them both
Punk comes to the ring carrying his MITB briefcase.
The match begins with a kicking contest but Jericho gets the
upper hand early on. Jericho goes for a roll up and Punk reverses it, neither
one gets the two count. The audience initially seemed to be split fifty-fifty
between the two wrestlers but then the fans begin chanting for Y2J. I have a lot
of respect for these two knowing they already been in a ladder match yesterday
and the hard bumps they had to have taken and here they are back in the ring
tonight like they didn’t go through that match. Has anyone noticed how much
Jericho seems to enjoy himself in the ring? Punk goes out on the floor and
Jericho goes for the baseball slide but Punk sidesteps and delivers a kick to
the back of Jericho’s head. Jericho appears to have injured his knee and Punk
takes advantage. Jericho nails Punk with a bone breaker, goes for the cover and
gets the win.
CM Punk and Chris Jericho never disappoint me even if the
match is a short one. This match showed the athleticism and talent of both men
in and out of the ring.
The audience sees Ric Flair in a match from the Royal Rumble,
January 19, 1992 for the WWE title. Ric Flair wins the match and the title.
Big Show makes his way to the ring with a standing ovation
from the live audience. Lawler reminds the audience that Mayweather beat Big
Show with a set of brass knuckles. Big Show comes out to talk to everyone about
the Hall of Fame. Big Show says he is going to go back to doing what he does
best. No one can stop him one on one, no one can stand up to him one on one but
he is interrupted by the music of The Great Khali. Khali appears at the top of
the entrance ramp and makes his way to the ring. Big Show tells Khali to get out
of his face but Khali refuses and then takes a step back. Big Show drops the mic
and puts up his fists. There seems to be a lot of trash talking going on at
least on Big Show’s part and Khali steps out of the ring and walks back up the
entrance ramp. The audience definitely favors Big Show as Khali is trying to
decide whether or not to go back down to the ring. Khali finally turns and
leaves the arena.
Matt Hardy is backstage getting ready for his match tonight
Santino Marella is backstage working out? And Maria
approaches. Santino is upset because Maria made out with Snoop Dogg at
Wrestlemania after the match. Maria is supposed to be in a match against Maria
tonight but Maria wants him to stop it. Marella refuses and says that he needs
to release some frustration unless she can find some other way for him to find
that release. Maria slaps him and it looks like the match is on.
Randy Orton from St. Louis, MO
Matt Hardy from Cameron, NC, weighing 243 lbs.
Audience favorite: Matt Hardy
My favorite: You really have to ask – Matt Hardy, of
Matt comes out swinging and the audience is chanting
“Hardy”. Orton rolls out of the ring and Matt goes after him, slamming him
into the guardrail around the audience twice, slamming his head into the ring
apron and pounding on him outside the ring. Orton makes it back into the ring
and tries to take a shot at Matt as he climbs back in but Matt hangs him up on
the top rope. Matt goes for the cover but only gets a two count. Orton again
rolls out of the ring but again Matt goes out after him, sending him back into
the ring. Matt goes again for the cover but can’t get the three count. Matt
nails Orton with a neck breaker, goes for the cover and again gets a two count.
The audience is chanting even louder for “Hardy” and we go to
BREAK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MATCH!
It appears that Orton is now in control of the match. Matt
comes back with the live audience cheering him on. Matt comes off the top
turnbuckle with a moonsault, goes for the pin and gets a two count. Matt
delivers a bulldog, goes for the cover and nearly gets a three count. Once again
Matt goes for the cover and gets a two count. Matt has Orton in a backslide and
again gets a two count. Matt goes up to the top turnbuckle but Orton rolls out
of the ring, but Matt dives off the apron and takes down Orton to the floor and
then comes up to deliver the twist of fate. The referee is in the ring counting
as Hardy tries to pick up Orton to get him back in the ring. He makes it but
Orton catches him with an RKO and goes for the cover and guess who gets the win.
Is it my imagination or does Orton spend as much time out on
the floor as he does in the ring?
Dusty Rhodes is on camera to talk about Ric Flair. Dusty
Rhodes calls Ric Flair a national treasure.
Intergender Anything Goes Match
Maria from Chicago, IL
Santino Marella residing in Patterson, NJ
Audience favorite: Maria
My favorite: I don’t care, does that count?
Marella seems to have made sure that Lawler can’t get
involved in this match. Lawler said that Regal told him he could in no way get
involved in the match. Marella hits Maria and he is attacked by all of the WWE
divas. Maria goes for the pin and gets the three count.
Maria with the help of the entire female locker room.
Ric Flair’s Farewell Address is next.
Ric Flair enters the arena to a standing ovation. Ric says
last night he wrestled his very last match at Wrestlemania and he will never set
foot in a WWE ring again. Ric says that no one should be sad they should be glad
that he has had the greatest career in the history of wrestling. The audience
chants “Thank you, Ric” and Ric thanks the audience for the memories, the
support and for making him who he is today. WOOOOO!
The Game Triple H’s music begins and Triple H enters the
arena. Triple H says that if Flair thinks only the fans in Orlando and the
millions of people watching TV are the only ones who want to say thank you, then
he has another thing coming. Triple H hugs Ric and Ric is getting teary eyed.
Triple H thanks Ric Flair and then gets down on his knees and bows before him.
Rick makes him get up. Triple H says there are a few other people that wanted to
say thank you too. Triple H shows four fingers and
The following enter the ring to say goodbye to the one and
only Nature Boy Ric Flair:
The Four Horsemen: J.J. Dillon, Arn
Anderson, Barry Wyndham, Tully Blanchard.
The Animal Batista
Ricky The Dragon Steamboat
Greg The Hammer Valentine
Y2J Chris Jericho
Ric Flair’s wife and children.
Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels
And my DVR cut off before the end of the show.