WWE Heat Report (01/27/08) Taped in Hampton, Virginia

WWE Heat Report: 27th January 2008
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Commentators: Todd Grisham & Jack Korpella
Ring Announcer: Lilian Garcia

Farewell Bobby Lashley. This week’s show begins with an awesome five minute Royal Rumble package, highlighting its history and importance. It counts down the ways which make this match special. Here we go:-

20: 20 years of history and 20 winners.
569: The number of superstars since 1988 that have tried to win the Royal Rumble.
36: The record number of people eliminated by one person. Stone Cold Steve Austin.
11: Shawn Michaels will be appearing in his 11th Royal Rumble match. That is the most by any superstar in history.
11: The record number of eliminations made by one person in a single Royal Rumble match. That was Kane in 2001. Kane is now entering his 10th consecutive Royal Rumble match.
3: The appearances made in one match by Mick Foley in 1998.
2: The number of feet that must touch the floor in order for an elimination to count.
1: In 1999, the 9th wonder of the world Chyna was the first and only woman to compete in the Royal Rumble. Stone Cold Steve Austin eliminated her.
62:12: This is the record longest appearance in a Royal Rumble match. That was made in 2006 by Rey Mysterio en route to winning.
2 seconds. The Warlord holds the record for the least amount of time spent in a Royal Rumble. In 1989, Hulk Hogan clotheslined him out as soon as he entered.
3: Stone Cold Steve Austin has the most victories of anyone in history.
1: The disadvantage of coming out first means that time isn’t on your side. Shawn Michaels is shown winning it from number one in 1995 but we hear and see nothing of Chris Benoit from 2004.
Only one person who has came out last has ever won the Royal Rumble. That was The Undertaker last year.
Apparently number 27 is the best number to draw. Will that number be successful tonight (the 27th)???
Since 1993, 73% of the winners have gone on to win the big one at that year’s WrestleMania.
Tonight is the 21st Royal Rumble match. With only one road to WrestleMania, it begins tonight, at the Royal Rumble. Onto Heat, three matches and we begin with……

Trevor Murdoch vs D.H. Smith
Murdoch’s partner Lance Cade is still out rehabbing his separated shoulder. He is expected back in a few weeks. Murdoch seems impressed by the new WWE set. He takes it all in on his way out. Neither combatant is in this year’s Royal Rumble match. Grisham brings up Smith’s first loss last week and talks about his winning streak when he first came in. Hopefully Smith can rebound this week. Murdoch begins with a boot, club and punch. Smith ducks a second punch, boots back then winds up an arm. Smith uses his strength to fling Murdoch in the air and to the mat by the arm a couple of times. Murdoch knees the gut and clubs the back to escape Smith’s grip. Smith goes to the corner. Murdoch Irish whips, charges, Smith gets a leg up, Murdoch catches, so Smith uses his other leg to kick Murdoch off. Smith ducks Murdoch’s swing, catching him with an atomic drop then an inverted atomic drop. Smith hits a running clothesline (just the way like the old Hart Foundation did on their Hart attack finisher) for a nearfall. Smith winds up an arm and sends Murdoch off the ropes. Murdoch counters a backbodydrop with a back club. Smith counters a neckbreaker by attempting a rollup off the ropes. Murdoch hangs on, Smith rolls back before charging into a drop toehold against the ropes. Murdoch quickly nails a big boot to take Smith down. The commentators remark on Smith wanting to be his own man and get out of his dad’s shadow as Murdoch lands a series of slugging crossfaces to the head. Murdoch sets Smith up for a neckbreaker only to drop him down with an elbow to the head for a nearfall. Murdoch applies an armbar while rubbing his forearm into Smith’s face. Murdoch then pushes at Smith’s face with his hand. Korpella brings up Murdoch being trained by Harley Race. Smith gets up and starts to forearm free, until Murdoch counters with a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall. Murdoch stomps the back then sets Smith up for a suplex. Smith manages to block then reverse it but he can’t follow up. Murdoch boots the chest then forearms Smith into the ropes. Murdoch sends Smith off the ropes into a backelbow for a nearfall. Murdoch applies a front facelock. Smith rallies to the crowd, gets up and rams Murdoch back first into the corner twice to escape. Smith can’t take advantage again so Murdoch charges, taking Smith down with an elbow. Following a snapmare, Murdoch goes back to the front facelock. Murdoch breaks to drive a knee into Smith’s head. Murdoch sends Smith off the ropes who gets a sunset flip for a nearfall. Murdoch immediately boots the chest then hits a side russian legsweep for a nearfall. Murdoch goes to a third front facelock. Smith gets up and starts to punch the gut, so Murdoch knees the gut then shoves Smith down in the corner. Following a boot choke and a referee reprimand, Murdoch turns back to Smith who uses kicks to the leg to chop Murdoch down. Smith sends Murdoch away with a kick to the head then gets up and lands a flying shoulder tackle from the second rope. Smith follows up with two dropkicks and a flying double forearm attack off the ropes for a nearfall. Smith sends Murdoch off the ropes into a backelbow for another nearfall. Murdoch off the ropes, telegraphs a backbodydrop with a boot to the shoulder. Murdoch runs the ropes but gets caught in a powerslam for a very near fall. Smith beats on Murdoch’s head with several punches then fires up. Murdoch goes to the corner. Smith charges into an elbow to the head. Murdoch drops Smith with a high knee. Murdoch from the second rope, attempts a double axehandle but gets both of Smith’s feet in his face. Murdoch staggers, Smith runs the ropes, Smith ducks a lunge but Murdoch recovers to clothesline Smith down. Murdoch gets Smith up to hit a mini canadian destroyer which didn’t look too good for the 1-2-3. Grisham reveals it’s Murdoch’s new move called the Ace of Spades. Here is Your Winner: TREVOR MURDOCH. Post match, Smith favours his head on the mat. Murdoch celebrates then struts to the back Good opener despite the finish. It doesn’t look like Smith is one of WWE’s immediate priorities which is a shame. He’s more talented than being dubbed and treated as an unproven rookie.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Wayne Kostyal
Kostyal, who is dressed like a Basham has appeared on Heat before. Hacksaw receives the usual fanfare. As soon as Hacksaw puts his 2 x4 down, Kostyal attacks from behind with punches. Hacksaw reverses off the ropes and lands three clotheslines as Kostyal staggers into a corner. Hacksaw lands punches and a head ram in the corner. Hacksaw drives an albow into Kostyal’s arm. Hacksaw ties Kostyal’s arm behind his back then rams his shoulder into the corner. Hacksaw lands some forearms then sends Kostyal off the ropes into a hiptoss. Hacksaw boots the gut, forearms, then rams Kostyal’s head into the corner. Hacksaw works over Kostyal with more corner punches before yelling at the referee. Kostyal boots the gut then gets some punches in before Hacksaw punches back. Hacksaw clubs Kostyal down three times. Hacksaw applies a brief front facelock. Hacksaw breaks to send Kostyal off the ropes. Hacksaw puts his head down too early, allowing Kostyal to kick and send Hacksaw staggering into the ropes. Kostyal chokes Hacksaw in the middle rope with his hands before punching and applying a side headlock. Hacksaw punches free, elbows the arm then pushes Kostyal to the mat with an arm hold applied. As Hacksaw twists at the arm, he also presses on Kostyal’s shoulder with his boot. Hacksaw sends Kostyal off the ropes before catching him, spinning him aound and dropping him with a slam. Hacksaw finishes things with the three point stance clothesline. Here is Your Winner: HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN. Post match, Hacksaw tosses and catches his 2 x4 in celebration. Hacksaw gives the crowds the thumbs up as he leaves. I give the match a thumbs down.

Charlie Haas vs Super Crazy
Main event time. Grisham wonders if Haas is past the mask phase as both men come out. Somehow I think not. Haas takes Crazy down with a wristlock. Haas switches to an armbar after some shoulder thrusts. Haas drops his weight down onto Crazy’s arm to break the hold. Haas kicks the arm. Crazy stares then retaliates with a punch and kick. Haas applies a side headlock then hits a shoulder tackle. After a couple of blocks, Crazy manages a hiptoss, kick and drop toehold. Crazy gets a nearfall off of a la mahistrol cradle. Crazy hits a wheelbarrow snapmare followed by a baseball slide dropkick to a seated Haas for a nearfall. Now Crazy applies an armbar. Haas gets to the ropes then sucker punches Crazy. Haas punches Crazy into the corner then lands a knee. Crazy counters a short arm clothesline with a crucifix pin for a nearfall. Crazy ties Haas’ arm behind his back then armbars him. Haas punches free, Crazy reverses an Irish whip. Crazy charges but gets pressed out onto the apron. Crazy slaps Haas’ chest then armdrags his way back in. Crazy connects with two dropkicks. Haas rolls outside to kick and slam the ringsteps with his fists. Haas then disappears under the ring and as the referee lays the count on Haas, he comes back out with his mask on. Heat cuts away for a brief Royal Rumble commercial. We return to see Haas working over one of Crazy’s legs with a series of kicks. He must have hurt it during the break. Crazy counters a short arm clothesline into a rollup for one. Haas continues to work over the leg with various shots as Grisham speculates on the mask being a confidence booster for Haas. Haas applies a single leg boston crab. Crazy inches towards the ropes, finally getting to them to force Haas to break. Haas drops both of Crazy’s knees into the mat before kicking and dropping his weight onto Crazy’s leg/knee. Crazy pushes Haas over with his other leg to get a nearfall but he can’t get Haas’ weight off him. Crazy uses his good leg to finally kick Haas off of him. Crazy tries a comeback with punches and a kick and even rips Haas’ mask off. Haas boots back then goes to throw Crazy off the ropes but Crazy collapses in a heap. The referee offers to stop the match but Crazy says no as Haas puts the mask back on and chopblocks Crazy’s leg. Haas continues to work over the leg/knee with a wrench, kick and pulling grapevine. Crazy uses his other leg to kick Haas off so Haas drives his knees into the leg/knee then rolls over Crazy into a cover with a bridge on the leg for a nearfall. Haas applies a kneelock with both of his hands before moving further down the leg. Haas breaks to kick at the leg as Crazy slithers towards the corner. Haas gets Crazy up to ram his head into the corner. Haas ties the leg up in the middle rope to pull at it then kick. Crazy fires back with forearms and an Irish whip. Crazy climbs to the second rope, lands a series of punches, pulls Haas’ mask off again then manages to land a monkey flip. Crazy is in pain but he goes to the top rope as Haas makes his way to his feet. Haas easily avoids a dropkick as Crazy crashes and burns. Haas puts his mask back on then applies the Haas of Pain. Crazy quickly submits to end a good match. Here is Your Winner: CHARLIE HAAS. Post match, Haas celebrates in ecstacy, leaving his mask on as he celebrates in the corner. Grisham speculates on an injury to Crazy saying we may not see him again for quite some time. This was a really good match with a nice story being told. I’m really liking the addition of the mask to Haas’ character. He’s having good matches on a weekly basis but he is Charlie Haas so I’m not surprised.

Korpella tells us to enjoy the Royal Rumble before thanking us for watching to end the show.

Best Match: Charlie Haas vs Super Crazy.
Worst Match: Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Wayne Kostyal.
Show Verdict: Thumbs in the middle. The first and last matches were really solid if not spectacular. Both told contrasting stories. First of the ‘rookie’ constantly getting shut down then the mat tactician working a body part to perfection. Another positive was there was no sign of the Highlanders this week. For that I am thankful.

Royal Rumble predictions
RIC FLAIR: JBL: EDGE: JEFF HARDY: UNDERTAKER

I can see Matt Hardy coming back to cost MVP his match to re-ignite their excellent feud. I’m torn over the JBL-Chris Jericho match as to who goes over. Jericho seems to have lost favour already which is a shame and I think JBL is getting groomed for a future title run. He doesn’t deserve it. Tonight’s match will be a brawl and I see it being a non-finish to protect both men. Edge’s allies will all get involved to derail Rey. Jeff Hardy’s time has come. The fans love him, his all around work has been great for a long time and he would really freshen things up as champion. It’s a bold place to go but WWE should capitalize and give Jeff the ball. I don’t want to see Orton vs Triple H again. Been there, seen that too many times. Jeff as champion would be very much like the Rob Van Dam moment at One Night Stand and would be the smashing of a glass ceiling. Finally as for the Rumble itself it’s out of Batista, Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. I’ll go for Undertaker to go back-to-back then go on and face Edge at WrestleMania. That’s my predictions. Enjoy the Royal Rumble wherever you are and I’ll see you next week for Heat. Shaun.

If anyone wants to sound off, chew the fat or talk wrestling get in touch. Comments/praise/feedback/criticism/discussion points please direct to shaunmb1@hotmail.com.

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