TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 5/18: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of MVP vs. Matt Hardy
May 18, 2009 - 10:05:14 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
WWE Raw Live Report
May 18, 2009
The night after Judgment Day, the show started with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcoming us to the show following a "contriver, astonishing, and at times miraculous" Judgment Day. To start the show, WWE champion Randy Orton came out on stage to a big reaction. One of those reactions where people react to some drama going down to start the show. Orton slowly walked out alone with the WWE Title belt over his shoulder as the announcers talked about Orton trying to do everything possible to get himself DQ'ed or counted out to retain the WWE Title.
After WWE replayed practically the entire WWE Title match since Orton takes forever to enter the ring, he started by reminding everyone he is still WWE champion. Huge heat in the arena. Lights were still dimmed for Orton's speech. He said he wasn't just looking to retain the title, but take Batista out for good. Just when he was about to accomplish that, he was stopped ...pause...Whoos...by Ric Flair. He should have expected it since Flair wasn't too fond of him back in the Evolution days because he was a threat to surpass Triple H and him.
Orton said he didn't mind all that much when he Punted Flair hard in the head back in 2007. Maybe just maybe Flair would have had enough to beat Shawn Michaels at WM24 if he didn't Punt Flair and be forced into retirement. Still, though, he's proud to say he's kicked every member of Evolution in the skull and they'll never get the retribution they want. He dared Flair to get in his business again. If he does, he won't hesitate... Flair's music interrupted right on cue.
Flair strutted out on stage in a dark suit looking very happy. He took his time strutting down the entrance ramp flashing the ice on his wrist to the crowd and Orton. Flair popped into the ring and Whooed right in Orton's face before telling him to look right in his eyes. He said Orton might still be the champion, but he did not beat Batista. As a matter of fact, the way he sees it, Orton was "this close" to losing the match so he slapped the ref to get intentionally DQ'ed. Flair asked Orton what makes him a big man. Hanging onto the ringpost sure isn't. He said Orton was supposed to be the heir apparent in Evolution, but Batista blew by Orton and never looked back. Flair said Batista became the man.
Flair re-established eye contact and said Orton might have his little group, might kick people in the head, and kept the title, but he's never accomplished anything. Orton shot back that this title belt means he is the man. Orton said he can beat Batista anytime, anywhere, anyplace. Flair: "Whoo!" Flair said it's so perfect Orton just said that. He said GM Vickie Guerrero is really wrecked about the DQ to her title match last night. She made a match official. Ready, Randy? In three weeks, there's an Extreme Rules PPV. (Fans booed.) Orton is defending the title one more time against Batista. But, don't worry about DQs or count-outs. Don't worry about Cody or Ted. Know why? Cause it's going to be inside a steel cage. Fans popped. Orton turned around and paced.
Orton said he has a message to deliver to Batista for him. Orton punched Flair in the face before stomping down on him. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, Jr. then slowly came to the ring ready to help, but Batista stormed the ring. He tried to make the save, but Legacy stomped him down. Orton kept working on Flair, then John Cena suddenly stormed the ring and the crowd exploded. Cena helped Batista clear Legacy, then he checked on Flair. Loud "Cena, Cena" chant as Batista, Cena, and Flair recovered in the ring. Legacy retreated on the floor, then Flair's music hit. Very eventful and exciting opening to the show. Would have been the perfect set-up for a six-man tag, but Flair's retired..for now. Seems like a handicap match announcement will be coming up. PYB (3) talk time: 12:03.
Moments ago: They recapped the Orton-Flair segment leading to the run-ins from Legacy, Batista, and John Cena.
Backstage: John Cena fixed his hat and Josh Mathews approached him. Why did he intervene in the deal? Cena took a deep breath and said he's been beaten down and broken down forever. He said critics say he's lost a step and even those who believe begin to question his resolve. But, at J-Day, he overcame physics and gravity to beat Big Show. Critics were silenced. Those who believe can once again buy into him. Fix the cap. Cena said he usually doesn't look for trouble, but it's time for him to get back in the WWE Title picture. He said it's only a matter of time until the champ is here. Cena walked off and Vickie Guerrero met him. She said she will have something to say about Cena trying to move on, but for right now, it's going to be Cena & Batista vs. Legacy in a handicap match tonight. Cena sarcastically: "Oh no, don't do that!!! Mass hysteria!" Cena paused. "I'm just kidding, I love it." He walked off to laughter. That was actually pretty good.
In-ring: Divas battle royal to start the show. Mickie James, Jillian, Bella Twins, Beth Phoenix, and Kelly Kelly to determine #1 contender to Maryse's Divas Tile. Maryse was ringside on commentary. Oh, that should be interesting.
1 -- DIVAS BATTLE ROYAL -- #1 contender match to Divas Title
Mickie and Beth were the final three with Kelly Kelly kind of hanging around in the background. Kelly then tossed Beth, who was not pleased with the deal. She tried to yank Kelly out of the ring in disgust, which allowed Maryse to spray Mickie in the eyes with the Rick Martel gimmick. Mickie was KO'ed, so Kelly just kind of walked over to Mickie and pushed her out of the ring to win and earn a future title shot.
WINNER: Kelly Kelly at 2:40. Well, continues the Maryse-Mickie feud leading to an inevitable title match down the road. Interesting decision for Kelly to win. We'll see how this plays out. (n/a)
In-ring: Santino came to the ring sheepishly waving to the crowd. His body language is so great. He even shook hands with the ref and Lilian Garcia pre-match. Chavo Guerrero then came out to face Santino.
2 -- SANTINO MARELLA vs. CHAVO GUERRERO
Santino sold a leg injury a minute into the match, so he asked for some in the corner. He then comically "walked it off" by bouncing off the ropes with a stiff-legged gait. Chavo then ran him over with a clothesline to end it. Chavo put Santino in a seated stretch, then Santino did a comical "I'm going to explode or break the Masterlock!" expression as he tried to escape. Chavo started slapping Santino, who then started to Hulk Up. "You ah make me ah so mad!" he shouted. Santino landed an elbow smash and discovered he had actual ability to wrestle. Santino landed a clothesline and was shocked at all of these offensive moves working. He was gaining confidence before running into a boot in the corner. Chavo then went up top for a frog splash, but Santino rolled out of the way. He then ducked a corner splash and grappled Chavo with a jackknife pin for the win.
Post-match: Chavo took the mic and said this isn't a joke or funny. He told Santino to tell his sister, Santina, to go get dressed because she's defending the Miss WrestleMania crown tonight against her aunt, Vickie. Santino took it in stride and said she can beat her.
WINNER: Santino at 3:36. Nice match featuring Santino greatness. Very interesting to see if they actually turn him into a legit wrestler who discovers his own super powers week-by-week before becoming unstoppable. Great development with Chavo continuing to book without Vickie's consent out of frustration, this time leading to Vickie actually being in the ring. (*)
Mr. Kennedy video package: This portion of tonight's broadcast brought to you in full by...Mister Kennedy...Kennedy. Cue up the Kennedy clips. "Coming Soon."
Backstage: Maryse was talking French backstage, then The Miz interrupted. He said he has no idea what she is saying, but it's hot. Miz said he's 4-0 against John Cena, so everyone should tell their friends to check out what he has in store for John Cena tonight. He's just getting started with Cena, he said.
Elsewhere Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Matt Hardy to discuss costing Jeff Hardy the World Title last night and now, conveniently, he has a U.S. Title match tonight against MVP. Mathews suggested that Hardy worked with Vickie Guerrero after he helped her husband, Edge, retain last night. Hardy shot that down and said every time he feels pain in his broken hand, he's reminded of how much he can't stand Jeff and will do anything to punish him. He said Vickie's a fair GM, erased the loss to Kofi Kingston a few weeks ago, and gave him a U.S. Title match because he earned it.
Elsewhere Backstage: Vickie asked Chavo what he was thinking booking her in a match. Chavo freaked and said he was embarrassed and just wasn't thinking out there. Chavo claimed to have a plan. Randy Orton stormed in and said he's the WWE champion and she can't just book steel cage matches without consulting him first. She needed a match that ensures a winner and that's why she booked it. She told him to worry about his match later tonight. Orton threatened Vickie to make sure she stays on his good side.
In-ring: Unified tag champs Carlito and Primo Colon came to the ring for...gasp...a tag match. The Brian Kendrick was already in the ring with...Goldust. This was Kendrick's The Partner? Eek.
3 -- Unified tag team champions CARLITO & PRIMO COLON vs. THE BRIAN KENDRICK & GOLDUST
First blow to the Denver Nuggets a minute into the match. I didn't catch the exact quote, but Jerry Lawler threw a line out about Goldust's early match ineptness being similar to Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke. Kendrick got tired of Goldust screwing up, so the Colons took advantage and Carlito easily pinned Kendrick with the backstabber for the win. Afterward, Kendrick blamed Goldust for screwing up. Hornswoggle suddenly showed up behind TBK's back and bit him in the leg to fight off Kendrick and make the save for Papa Goldust. Cole called them the Odd Couple.
WINNERS: Carlito & Primo at 2:25. Okay tag match. Focus was just on the challengers being in no position to win due to Kendrick's mismanagement. (1/2*)
Backstage: Miz was wearing John Cena gear and doing the You Can't See Me hand-wave. Miz flashed the Chain Gang sign to some stage hands before strutting down the hallway. He's talking up next.
[Q5 -- second hour]
In-ring: The old-school John Cena "Word Life" theme music hit and The Miz strutted out to the ring sporting John Cena gear like a fanboy. (Subtle merchandise plug.) Fans booed and Miz did the Scott Hall finger-waggle to the fans. Miz said the big news from J-Day is Miz 4-0 against Cena. He said he's going to show us a re-mix of Cena's "World Life" music video. He paused for a "You Suck" chant before introducing us to "Nerd Life."
- Yo, Cena was first in line to see Star Trek: the movie. The Dude was 25 before he even touched a booby.
- Yo, Cena is like the Steve Urkel of handsome. Did I do that?
- For the Cena fans (girls screamed), you see Cena's face and you're like buy, buy, buy. Here's a new Cena merchandise idea: Cena two-ply. He pulled out a roll of toilet paper.
- 12 Rounds was terrible. You're a wannabee actor. Everybody go buy the DVD and put it in the crapper.
Miz said he's the new face of Monday Night Raw. No sign of Cena as Miz kept calling him out. Fans chanted "Cena, Cena." Miz then declared himself 5-0. Jerry Lawler stepped up and entered the ring. He said Miz needs to stop talking because the commercial breaks are getting higher ratings than his promo. Lawler then called out Batista. No sign of him. Lawler said he should be 1-0 now. Lawler said well, how about Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin? No sign of them. He said he should have wins over all of them right now. Lawler told Miz to go talk to Vickie Guerrero about a match. Miz then said he's not talking out of his ass; Lawler is every week on commentary. Miz started to leave, but Big Show stormed out not appearing to be in a good mood.
Show took the mic and said make-believe time is over. He told Miz to step off before saying Cena might think he's done with him, but he is not done with Cena by far. Show said he just talked to Vickie G. about a match for Extreme Rules. It's a submission match. (Since Cena couldn't do the STFU last night.) Show told Miz he's just going to have to wait. Miz said he can wait to beat Cena...that's cool...after he's done beating you, Show. Miz then hid behind Lawler, who took Show's wrath as Miz ducked out of the ring. Show then took out his frustration on Lawler by putting him in a Camel Clutch. Crowd heat was great for this. Refs then checked on Lawler as Show left the ring. Miz great again in his smarmy heel role. They went back to Lawler before fading to commercial. (3) PYB time: 9:35.
Announcers: Michael Cole was joined by Jim Ross, who was replacing injured Lawler. Whoa, Ross back on Raw. They recapped the last segment where Show snapped on Lawler after being upset by Miz.
In-ring: Matt Hardy came out first for the U.S. Title semi-main event match. No crazy ring jacket tonight. Still had the cast on his right hand. MVP then came out to defend the title. Jim Ross with a second blow against the Nuggets: Matt Hardy has been acting rather dubious, like the Denver Nuggets.
4 -- U.S. champion MVP vs. MATT HARDY -- United States Title match
Matt did a run-around with the top turnbuckle pad to distract the ref, allowing Matt to take out MVP's knees from behind. Matt worked on MVP's legs before MVP made a comeback with a flying hair-toss. MVP set up the Ballin' elbow drop and connected center ring. MVP couldn't score a three count, though. Matt then grabbed MVP by the Power Ranger trunks and flung him to the outside. On the outside, MVP came back by tossing Matt broken-hand-first into the ringpost. Back in the ring, MVP stomped on the hand as Matt begged him off. MVP then delivered the Chono Boot in the corner before nailing the Playmaker center ring. MVP with the cover for the win.
WINNER: MVP at 5:17 to retain the U.S. Title. Not a surprising finish since they had the MVP vs. William Regal feud going before this week. Match was pretty good for five minutes. Ross back on Raw was a sound for sore ears. (*3/4)
Up next: Vickie vs. Santina in a match near-and-dear to Jim Ross's match, according to Cole. Backlash already seems so long ago.
Video package: They recapped the opening segment when Randy Orton blasted Ric Flair, Legacy ran into the ring, Batista tried to make the save, but then John Cena cleared the ring.
Backstage: They showed Ric Flair sipping a drink and smiling. He was smiling from ear-to-ear. Batista walked in and asked Flair what's up. Flair said he's going to call out Orton next week and beat him. Batista reminded him he's retired. Flair said he doesn't want to be retired. He didn't want to retire; they retired him. He asked Batista if he really thinks he can't do this. "You don't think I can do it, can you?" Flair asked 100 miles an hour. He repeated the Alex Marvez interview quotes, then stomped off after pouting that he won't be in Batista's corner if he's going to be like everyone else and say he can't do it.
Vickie Guerrero Office: Chavo was giving Vickie some pointers about how to hit the frog splash. Chavo was flat on his back and Vickie vowed to call the match off. Santina Marella then walked in and said it's a shame if she calls the match off. She(he) said the only way she'll win is if...pigs fly. Vickie declared the match is back on. Santina did some more oink-oinks, then walked off. Chavo told Vickie to trust him. So, does Santino get paid twice?
ECW tomorrow night: D.H. Smith shook up ECW last week. Now, how will he react when he faces Finlay?
In-ring: Santino(a) Marella came to the ring for the match against Vickie Guerrero. Ross sarcastically called this perhaps the biggest match he's ever called. I mean it! Lilian Garcia then introduced GM Vickie Guerrero and Santino(a) grimaced.
5 -- VICKIE GUERRERO (w/Chavo Guerrero) vs. SANTINO(A) MARELLA
Bell sounded and Santina took the mic to say something. She (he) knows Vickie is jealous because he/she has a body like this and she has a body like that. Vickie slapped Santina and reminded her that she's a lesbianio. They shared an unfortunate liplock and Chavo stormed in not amused by this. Chavo then re-booked this as a No DQ match. Santina acted shocked. So, how would Spike TV handle this potential half-man on woman violence? In any event, Chavo stormed the ring and beat down Santina from behind. Chavo pounded on Santina, who fought back with some manly right hands. Crowd did the "booh/yay" for when they switched control. Santina then dumped Chavo over the top rope to the floor. Suddenly, William Regal jumped into the ring and beat the crap out of Santina. Regal landed a huge knee smash, then Vickie pounced on Santina for the pin and the win. Vickie howled and screamed in delight for winning the new Miss WrestleMania. Chavo then brought out the sash and crown to give to Vickie, who paraded around the ring.
WINNER: Vickie at 3:03. Just a buffer match to the main event to incorporate some absurd comedy and apparently begin a William Regal vs. Santino program. Or, Regal just isn't a fan of bad TV storylines and did something about it. (n/a)
Backstage: They showed Orton, Cody, and Ted slowly walking down the hallway in preparation for the main event. It's getting Extreme...next.
Announcers: Cole and Ross said Ric Flair might be retired, but he's looking for a fight against Randy Orton next week. Ross said he knows this is isn't going to be a debate.
In-ring: Randy Orton and Legacy came to the ring first for the TV main event. Extreme Rules is June 7. Presented by AT&T. That's a pretty strong PPV corporate sponsor. After a pause, Batista's music hit to a strong reception. John Cena came out to a similarly hot reception running out very amped up. He took his time playing to the crowd since they have a good 15 minutes of TV time counting standard over-run time. Orton took his time getting the troops back in the ring to officially start things off.
6 -- WWE champion RANDY ORTON & TED DIBIASE, JR. & CODY RHODES vs. BATISTA & JOHN CENA
Cena started with a collar-and-elbow tie-up with Cody, then Orton tagged in. Cena tried to make a quick tag to Batista, but Orton went right over to his corner to make a tag to DiBiase. Nice heel move. Batista and Cena then double-clotheslined Legacy over the top rope. Orton slithered into the ring from behind as the audience screamed in horror, but Cena and Batista turned around to slowly scare Orton out of the ring. Orton did his snake-like glare toward the babyfaces as they cut to break. Hot main event.
Back from break, Orton was working on Batista on the floor before he rolled him back into the ring. Orton did the Orton Stomp as crowd was red-hot with a "Batista" chant. DiBiase cut Batista off with a drop toehold before landing a series of elbow drops for another two count. Cole and Ross talked up Rhodes & DiBiase improving week by week as they hang around Orton. DiBiase and Batista then butted heads leading to the tease of a hot tag. Cena took the hot tag at 8:00 and exploded on Cody, who was the legal man. Cena did the You Can't See Me in Orton's direction before dropping the Shuffle on Cody. Cena wanted the FU and he delivered it, but Cody made a blind tag to Orton while on Cena's shoulders. Orton came in and hammered away on Cena, who teetered on the middle rope before DiBiase kicked him in the head. Apparently didn't quite have the Orton finesse to KO Cena for five weeks. He'll learn.
[Q9 -- over-run]
Match continued with Legacy cornering Cena and cutting him off from the hot tag. Fans did a "Let's Go Cena" chant, but there was no dueling "Cena Sucks" echo this week. DiBiase kept working on Cena before bringing Cody back in. Soccer Dad Orton shouted instructions to Cody to maintain control. "Don't let him breathe!" Cody tried a top rope moonsault and he connected. Whoa. He made a cover, but Cena kicked out. Orton then took a tag and kicked Cena in the gut to work him over. Cena tried to make a comeback, but Orton cut him right off with a clothesline.
At 13:00, Orton slapped on a standing headlock to wear down Cena. Cena tried to drag himself over to Batista and he finally reached out and touched Batista to get Batista his target of Orton for revenge from last night. Crowd exploded as Batista went after Orton. Meanwhile, Cena cut off Big Show on the entrance ramp and knocked him to the back with a chair. Batista cleared Cody and Ted. Suddenly, Ric Flair showed up off camera and shoved Cody off the top turnbuckle. It looked like Cody just kind of fell down. They cut to a shot of Flair to show why Cody fell off the top. Batista then found Orton and gave him a mid-ring spear. Batista made the cover for the win.
Post-match: Batista and Flair celebrated while they replayed what the heck happened. Apparently Flair ran a chair down to Cena, who bashed Show and then Flair went to ringside to KO Cody. Flair and Batista celebrated one more time in the ring while Legacy regrouped on the stage, not pleased with the finish.
WINNERS: Batista & Cena at 14:45. Excellent TV main event. Chaotic, action-packed, hot crowd, good storyline development for Extreme Rules and Flair's confrontation with Orton next week. Just felt like an old-school, star-power-filled main event with an exciting round of action to conclude the show. Good start to the next PPV build. (***1/2)
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