TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 11/19: Ongoing virtual time coverage of live Raw
Nov 19, 2007 - 10:09:54 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
WWE Raw Live Report
November 19 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The show opened with a random shot of a guy running outside the building while holding a torch. Apparently they're honoring 20 years and 1,000 issues of the Torch Newsletter.
Jim Ross introduced the show and said Jerry Lawler is competing tonight, so he would join him later in the show.
Shawn Michaels started the show and Ross said Michaels could have won last night if he could have used the superkick. Michaels started by saying there are no excuses tonight. He said the better man won last night. Michaels asked Randy Orton to come out so he could shake his hand. Orton then showed up on the videotron sporting a giant red mark on his forehead. He said his face shows the effect of yet another superkick, and he doesn't believe for one second that Michaels wanted to shake his hand. Michaels then admitted he's right that he would have superkicked him. The crowd popped. Michaels said he would have done it only after asking for another re-match. Orton shook his head and said he proved he's the better man when he beat him, and also beat Hunter and took out John Cena. He said he's not dignifying Michaels's challenge with a response. Orton then brought up the torch-runner from the top of the show. He said that symbolizes the passing of the torch to him as champion. Orton said Michaels had his chance, and now it's over.
Orton left the videotron and Mr. Kennedy walked out to the ring. He stepped into the ring and stood a few feet away from Michaels, who didn't react to Kennedy's presence. Kennedy then made the mistake of looking for his ceiling mic, so Michaels shoved him over the top rope to the floor. Kennedy then yanked Michaels to the floor and they brawled ringside, with Michaels being slammed into the ringpost. Kennedy returned to the ring and said it's his turn since Michaels has had his chance. Michaels then yanked Kennedy to the floor, returned to the ring, grabbed the mic, and said Kennedy just got his opportunity by jumping the showstopper. Michaels stood his ground in the ring and Kennedy slowly approached the ring before stepping down to grab another mic. Kennedy told Michaels not to flatter himself with the showstopper name. He said Michaels is known for losing a lot. Losing an epic ladder match. Losing to John Cena. Losing his smile. Kennedy called him a loser. William Regal then showed up and asked for a referee so they could have a match.
They returned with Michaels and Kennedy brawling on the floor. Ross said the match has not started because they've been on the floor. They neared the ringside area and Michaels dumped Kennedy over the guardrail to the front row. They fought back to ringside and ran around Ross before Kennedy slid Michaels into the ring. The referee urged him to get in the ring to start the match. Kennedy then grabbed a chair and hopped onto the apron, only to find a superkick from Michaels for good measure. Michaels's music hit and Kennedy had the glazed-over look on his face while lying on the floor.
Ross plugged Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga for tonight.
Santino Marella's music hit and Santino slowly walked out dressed to compete. Always gracious for the imaginary crowd applause, Santino smiled and waved to the crowd. In the ring, Santino did a pose, then muttered to himself. They went to a clip from last week when Lawler beat Santino with a small package. Lawler then came out dressed to wrestle in his traditional kingly garb.
1 -- SANTINO MARELLA vs. JERRY LAWLER
The bell sounded and Santino gave the referee some instructions. He demanded no closed fists from Lawler. Santino said without the fists, Lawler can do nothing. So, Lawler busted out a dropkick that sent Santino reeling to the corner. Santino came back with repeated shoulder tackles, then he took a bow. Lawler took advantage and started punching Santino in the gut, but Lawler missed a shoulder tackle and went into the ringpost. Santino followed with a single-arm DDT before going to the second turnbuckle for a leaping missile headbutt. Santino then went to the floor and put on Lawler's crown. He told Ross he's going to beat Lawler like a government dog. Oh wow. Santino then entered the ring and said I'm Jerry Lawler and I look puppies. Big puppies. Small puppies. Lawler answered with a blow to the gut. They did the punch, gut, punch, gut spot from last week. Santino then came back with a yank of the shoulder and went for a hip toss, but Lawler blocked and went for a backslide for a three count.
WINNER: Lawler in 4:00. Nice match. Santino continues to be great, while Lawler did enough in his limited role to put on an entertaining bout. Santino doing running commentary during all of his matches could be quite entertaining. (*1/2)
Suddenly, Orton stormed the ring and dropped Lawler right in the middle of the ring with the RKO. He asked for a mic and apologized to Lawler. He said he just couldn't help himself. Orton then took us to an update on the torch runner running around Miami. He said it seems just like yesterday that he beat Michaels. Oh wait, it was yesterday. Orton said it's only a matter of time before the official passing of the torch ceremony tonight.
They returned with the torch-runner continuing to run along the beach.
They went backstage where Todd Grisham asked Mr. Kennedy for his thoughts on Michaels. Kennedy breathed heavily and clutched his jaw with his hands. Kennedy said all he did was go out to the ring to show Michaels some respect. But, that's not what happened. He said what happened was Michaels decided to superkick a chair into his face. Kennedy re-opened his eyes and begged Michaels to explain why he did that. He said Michaels did that because Michaels sees his career evaporating before his very eyes. Kennedy said Michaels wants to hold him down, but it's not going to happen. Kennedy said father time catches up with everybody, even Shawn. Kennedy said next time their paths cross, Kennedy won't have to worry about father time. He'll have to worry about Mr. Kennedy. Nice promo. Good range from Kennedy beyond the usual limited talking points.
Ross talked ringside about the tough love from Mr. McMahon to Hornswoggle, then they showed clips from last night when Hornswoggle was saved by Finlay.
Back in the GM office, Vince McMahon posed a question to Regal and Coach. McMahon said it was an all-time great Survivor Series. Regal said his favorite moment was Hornswoggle pacing the locker room before the match. Coach mocked McMahon for his motivational speech to Hornswoggle before the match. McMahon wasn't amused by the back and forth between Regal and Coach. He remained silent for quite some time before clearing his throat. McMahon wasn't happy that it was Regal's favorite moment on the card. Carlito then barged in and McMahon asked him what he's doing here. Carlito said he enjoyed the tough love fm McMahon to Hornswoggle last night. McMahon asked Carlito how tough he is. Carlito said he's very tough. McMahon asked Carlito what he would do if he took on a McMahon - mainly Hornswoggle McMahon. Carlito laughed at the thought of the match. McMahon then proposed Carlito vs. Hornswoggle. Carlito laughed and said it would be his pleasure. Carlito left, then Regal and Coach laughed it up some more. McMahon asked if he said something funny. They went silent. That took forever to get the point across.
Jeff Hardy walked out to the ring. Ross plugged Hardy vs. Umaga next.
Umaga slowly made his entrance while Lawler joined Ross at the broadcast table. Lawler asked where Orton's RKO came from.
2 -- IC champ JEFF HARDY vs. UMAGA -- non-title match
Hardy knocked Umaga to the floor in the opening minute and followed out, only to find a blow to the head. Back in the ring, Hardy came back with a low dropkick on the face for a nearfall. Umaga quickly came back with a nerve hold to ground Hardy on the mat. Umaga slammed Hardy face-first into the turnbuckle, then Umaga warmed up for a big splash, but Hardy moved. Hardy then landed a DDT in the corner and went to the corner. Before Hardy could even reach the turnbuckle to go up top, Umaga shoved Hardy off the apron and into the guardrail on the floor.
They returned with Umaga still in control on Hardy. More nerve holds on the mat. Crowd wasn't too forgiving of the abundance of rest holds here. Hardy finally made a comeback and went up top for a big splash, but Umaga caught him in mid-air and nailed the big swinging sidewalk slam to take the air out of the building. Umaga then made a cover for a nearfall, which popped the crowd.
Umaga settled into another nervehold on the mat. The crowd was more into this round after the big sidewalk slam spot. Hardy fought out, but walked into a big boot to the face. Umaga then went to the second rope for a leaping dive, but Hardy moved in time. Both men reached their feet, but Umaga knocked Hardy right down with a clean blow to the face. Umaga then charged Hardy for the rear splash, but Hardy moved and hit the Whisper in the Wind for a nearfall. Hardy then built a head of steam, trying to knock Umaga down, but Umaga didn't go down until he hit his head on the corner turnbuckle. Jeff then went for the Swanton Bomb, but Umaga moved. Good stuff here. Umaga then wound up for a big Spike to the throat on Hardy, but Hardy ducked and nailed the Twist of Fate in center ring. Umaga rolled to the outside, then Hardy hit a flying splash on the floor. Hardy returned to the ring and waited for Umaga to enter the ring, but Snitsky snuck in from behind and attacked Hardy for a DQ. Ah, geez, re-start no. 5,305 for Snitsky to kill a heck of a finish.
In the post-match, Hardy slipped out of a running powerslam, but Umaga caught him from behind with a running clothesline. Snitsky and Umaga then tossed Hardy to the floor. Suddenly, Triple H's music hit and Hunter stormed the ring in street clothes. Hunter slipped into the ring and ran over Snitsky with a clothesline before brawling with Umaga. Big crowd pop for the brawl, with Hunter catching Umaga with a spinebuster in center ring. Hunter ripped off his shirt and clotheslined Umaga to the floor before landing right hand blows on Snitsky. Hunter caught Snitsky with a knee smash, then he clotheslined Snitsky over the top rope to the floor. Hunter stood tall in the ring, then Jeff Hardy returned to the ring and had his hand raised as the victor of the match. Hardy and Hunter stood together in the ring while Umaga and Snitsky took their ground on the floor.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy via DQ in 18:00. I like them giving these two plenty of time to tell a story in the ring. I really like it. Did it have some down time with the abundance of restholds? Yes. Does that mean WWE should give up on longer matches because of the five minute lull? No, because it built to an incredible crescendo for the finish when each man avoided the other's signature finisher. They eventually got the crowd red hot for the finish, then it carried it over to the post-match. Yes, Hunter ran over the heels like usual, but that's what crowds pop for and that's what gets the energy level up. So, I don't have a problem with it this week. (**3/4)
They showed another clip for the torch-passing, then a Save_Us video briefly interrupted. Very quick clip before they went to commercial.
They came back and Ross recapped the end of the Hardy-Umaga match. They went backstage where Hunter and Hardy talked things over. Hunter slapped Hardy on the chest and they parted ways. Grisham then asked for an interview with Hunter to get some thoughts on why Hunter came out during Snitsky and Umaga's beating on Hardy. Hunter sarcastically said he's the good Samaritan of the WWE. He said no one's buying that one. Hunter said that when two guys walk around calling themselves badasses, he has to show up and make sure everyone knows who the real badass of the WWE is. Fans popped. As for Hardy, he said that they don't have anything in common other than respect. A good promo turned silly when Hunter said it's like how he and Grisham don't have anything in common, such as going after a transvestite on South Beach. Hunter smirked and left, then Grisham sheepishly said he didn't know. He lowered his head in utter shame.
The odd couple of Holly and Rhodes came out for a singles match against each other. Why? Who knows.
3 -- HARDCORE HOLLY vs. CODY RHODES
Holly beat up Cody in the early going. Holly went for the Alabama Slam, but Cody slipped out and nailed a DDT on Holly. He covered Holly for the win.
WINNER: Cody in 2:00. For goodness sake, can we get a promo from these two to explain what the heck is going on here? This makes no sense and the matches aren't anything to sneeze at with no semblance of a back story.
Immediately after the match, Orton showed up and dropped Cody with an RKO. He said he's not supposed to be out here. He then saw that Holly was on his feet, so he dropped the mic and dropped Holly with the RKO. Orton resumed his promo that he wasn't supposed to be out here quite yet, but he wanted to provide another update on the torch-runner. They showed the dude running to Ft. Lauderdale. Orton's music hit.
Ross and Lawler talked about Orton, then Ross reluctantly rolled footage of an Orton tribute video package. Lawler rolled his eyes before it started airing.
They went backstage where Finlay surprised Vince McMahon with an appearance in his office. McMahon brought up the Hornswoggle match at Survivor Series and McMahon said he doesn't like surprises like Finlay showing up in Hornswoggle's match. Finlay and McMahon went back and forth on how Irish they actually are. McMahon said what's important is that they go out and have a beer. Finlay said he'd drink some whiskey, then buy McMahon a glass of hot milk for someone his age. McMahon got serious and Finlay said he was just kidding. He slapped him on the chest and left. McMahon then had a chuckle to himself before turning serious again. What is going on here?
They went backstage where Mickie James and Maria were on the way to the ring for a divas tag match.
A Ric Flair video package greeted us upon the return from the break. They showed classic Flair clips from NWA, WCW, and WWE. He's back on Raw next week. Ringside, Ross and Lawler talked about Flair returning in Charlotte next week. They talked about CEO Linda McMahon being named one of the most powerful women in business during 2007.
Jillian Hall and Melina walked out for the tag match. Melina started to cut a promo, but Jillian stole the mic and cut an unbelievably annoying promo to Jon Secada, who co-sang with Lillian Garcia on her album. Jillian started doing a Gloria Esteban number, which drew boos. She opted for opera next. This was one of the worst segments of all time on Raw. Mickie and Melina eventually came out to start a match.
4 -- MELINA & JILLIAN HALL vs. MICKIE JAMES & MARIA
Jillian went for a top rope splash on Maria a few minutes in, but Maria moved and Jillian smashed Melina on the way down on accident. Mickie then took a tag and worked on Jillian before Jillian made a comeback. She tried to get Melina involved, but Maria yanked her down and pulled her to the floor. Mickie then dropped Jillian with the long kiss goodnight and kick to the mouth for the win.
WINNERS: Mickie & Maria in 4:00. Possibly the ten worst minutes of TV on Raw this year. Not a good match. This show had a ton of momentum about 30 minutes ago, then fell off a cliff. (n/a)
Tomorrow night on ECW, it's Kane vs. Matt Striker with V looming large in a handicap match.
Hornswoggle's music hit and he slipped out from under the ring for his match against Carlito. It's No DQ tonight. Carlito then walked out with a confident smile on his face.
5 -- CARLITO vs. HORNSWOGGLE
Carlito extended his hand upward for a test of strength, but Hornswoggle obviously couldn't reach. Carlito then dropped to both knees for a test of strength, but Carlito shoved Horny down. Carlito celebrated, so Horny bit him on the rear end. They did the referee spots with Horny going between the ref's legs. Hornswoggle ran to ringside and grabbed Jim Ross's hat. He gave it to Lillian, who smiled. Hornswoggle then ran under the ring and Carlito slowly walked to the other side. Hornswoggle outsmarted Carlito, though, and emerged from the other side with a bucket of water. He waited for Carlito to turn around and he splashed him with the liquid. Carlito then caught Hornswoggle in mid-air and dumped him into the ring. He gabbed an apple, took a bite, and measured Hornswoggle for a spit, but Finlay slipped into the ring. Carlito directed his apple to Finlay, who didn't appreciate the taste of apple. Finlay then took off Carlito's head with a clothesline and he dropped Hornswoggle on top of Carlito for the pin and the win. Afterward, Horny spit Carlito's apple onto Carlito.
WINNER: Hornswoggle in 5:00. I hope this leads somewhere, because it's completely pointless right now. (n/a)
The torch-runner was shown running to the arena. He's up next.
They plugged Hardy & Hunter vs. Umaga & Snitsky on Raw next week.
Randy Orton walked out with the title belt over his shoulder. The lights were turned down as Orton set the mood by saying there are no more challengers left. Well, we can see where this is going. Orton said he has managed to do the impossible: beat all that there is to beat. He said now it is time for the Torch to be passed to him. They showed the torch-runner struggling to complete the journey to the building. Orton said he deserves this. He has earned this. The dude reached the building, but a man clotheslined him to the floor. They only showed the back of Jericho, and the fans in the arena popped before chanting "Y2J".
[Q9 -- over-run]
The Save_Us video came on, then the Save_Us22 turned to Save_USY2J. A big countdown clock went up, then Jericho's music hit. Jericho appeared on the stage flexing his back, then Jericho turned back to face the audience, but the camera missed his big turn. The camera went back to Jericho with his new haircut and he walked from side to side on the stage with a big smile on his face. Orton was speechless and emotionless in the ring. Jericho soaked up the crowd reaction for a while as Ross and Lawler talked about the big return. His music eventually stopped and the crowd continued to cheer as Jericho held up his mic. Jericho continued to smile before welcoming everyone to Raw is Jericho. Jericho said this is real, this is the second coming of Y2J. Jericho told everyone to pick up a phone, send a text, make a call, or take a photo because the sexy beast is back. Jericho said it's now time for 100 percent entertainment, electricity, and Jericho.
Orton finally spoke and asked who the hell Jericho thinks he is. Orton said the last time he saw Jericho, he was fired on Raw. He said it's a good thing, too, or else he would have kicked Jericho in the head and ended his career. Orton asked the savior what he's saving us from. Jericho said one thing is Orton's boring personality. He ripped on Orton on and on down the line. Orton had this look of I'm going to kill you. Jericho said he's going to take the WWE Title from Orton and the entire world and existence will never eeeeeeeever be the same again. Jericho danced on the stage while Orton maintained his killer look.
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