TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 2/8: Complete coverage of Unified tag title match, WWE champ vs. ECW champ, Hart-McMahon
Feb 8, 2010 - 10:15:43 PM
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WWE Raw Live Report
February 8, 2009
Live from Lafayette, La.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
This week's WWE Raw started with a video package on the Bret Hart vs. Mr. McMahon saga going back to January 4 where McMahon kicked Hart in the gut, then last week when McMahon and Hart went back-and-forth verbally before it turned physical with Batista becoming involved. The video package concluded with a look at spit for a spit.
Announcers: Michael Cole started with a plug for the Saints winning the Super Bowl and WWE keeping the party rolling in Louisiana tonight. They plugged the three-team Unified tag title match. They followed with a graphic of Batista's post-Raw attack on John Cena that didn't air last week.
Backstage: They showed a NASCAR vehicle doing donuts in the parking lot. Didn't we see that before with Kyle Busch and Joey Logano? Jerry Lawler plugged the start of the NASCAR season this weekend, then Carl Edwards sped into the arena. Nevermind, WWE pulled the switcheroo with Hornswoggle in the driver's seat. Horny popped out on the hood and did crotch chops for an excited crowd. In the ring was Kelly Kelly to introduce the real Carl Edwards.
Edwards came out on stage flanked by the Bella Twins. He immediately broke the fourth wall grabbing the cameraman on the entranceramp. Edwards hit the ring and proceeded to a patented back flip off the top rope right into center ring. Looked pretty graceful. Edwards said he's always wanted to do that. He got the cheap pop out of the way with a Super Bowl champion reference. Lots of Saints jerseys in the arena. Edwards segued into the Daytona 500 plug for Sunday. Edwards said as a guest host, he has a lot to live up to after Logano and Busch hosted. Boos. Edwards said he has one friend they didn't have - John Cena. After the crowd cheered, Sheamus's music interrupted to bring out the WWE champion.
Sheamus walked out sporting the title belt around his waist and entered the ring to get in Edwards's face. He said his Super Bowl is in seven weeks at WrestleMania and he plans on walking into WM as WWE champion, which means he has to win the Elimination Chamber. As a result, he demanded Edwards make him the last competitor in the Chamber match. He doesn't want Edwards to give Cena any favors either. Sheamus told Edwards he's a guest on his show and he'll do what he tells him. He vowed to make sure Edwards doesn't make it to Daytona. Suddenly, Christian's music hit to bring out the ECW champion. That's a surprise.
Christian hit the ring and introduced himself as the ECW champion. He said he's a big fan of Carl Edwards and NASCAR's getting huge in Canada. He tried to make a WNBA joke, which bombed, then Sheamus asked Christian how dare he interrupt him. Christian said last week, Edge came out here and said he was facing Taker or Sheamus at the Rumble, which offended him. He said it made sense on Tuesday, though, when Mr. McMahon said ECW would be going off the air. Sheamus said that makes Christian a lameduck champ. Christian said actually Sheamus is the one who's lame. Christian and Carl shared some props, then Christian ran down Sheamus's look before asking him if he runs out of money when he hits the tanning salon. "Quite the comedian, aren't ya?" Sheamus asked. Sheamus said the only thing funny is that Christian's going to be unemployed in two weeks.
Christian said the thing is that every ECW wrestler will become a free agent in two weeks, which means everyone will be able to sign with whatever brand they choose. He said he figured the Raw peeps were missing him, so he thought he would dip his toes in the water and feel out Raw by challenging Sheamus to a match right now. Christian said they're both champs, they're both here on Raw, and they were both born without last names. Nice. Edwards then asked for a ref to make this match happen right now. PYB (3): 8:05. Not the best verbal exchange ever, but newsworthy enough. The crowd popped for the Super Bowl reference, but that was about it.
1 -- WWE champion SHEAMUS vs. ECW champion CHRISTIAN -- champion vs. champion
The bell sounded and Sheamus quickly took control before clotheslining Christian to the floor going to break after 45 seconds of action.
Back from break, Christian made a comeback as Cole hyped the new TV show on Tuesday nights. He pronounced it "N-X-T" rather than "NXT" without an "e." Christian hit a trademark running splash off the top rope on the floor, then Sheamus reversed a whip and sent Christian into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Sheamus went to work on Christian by driving his neck into the mat. Cole inserted a plug that WWE will announce the first official Hall of Fame inductee later in the show. Christian then made his comeback at 7:00 and nailed an open-hand slap. He followed with flying European uppercut from the second rope before landing right hand blows from a mount position. Christian then wanted a tornado DDT, but Sheamus blocked. Christian then ducked the bicycle kick, but Sheamus hit a clothesline. Christian came back with a pendulum kick out of the corner before hitting a Tornado DDT out of the corner for a two count only.
Christian then did his clap routine to get the crowd stomping as he set up the Killswitch, but Sheamus shoved him over the top rope. Christian landed on the apron, though, and tried a top rope move only to take a big corner clothesline. Sheamus then followed with his bicycle kick to the face. Sheamus tried to follow with the running Outsider's Edge and he connected. Sheamus then made the cover for the pin and the win. The crowd was like "what?" in shock that Christian would lose after "re-debuting" on Raw. Sheamus stood tall over Christian to close the segment.
WINNER: Sheamus at 9:37. Boy, I don't know about that booking. Sure, McMahon is of the belief that Christian is at a certain level and no more, but booking Christian to lose clean to Sheamus his "first night on Raw" was questionable. Sure, Sheamus needed the win to pick up some credibility, but that victory at Christian's expense clean in their first match-up is a little sketchy in my view. We'll see where it goes from here. The match itself was good in a way that it looked like a legit competition to win a match rather than a choreographed dance routine. They were off at times, but in a way that played into the legitimacy of the match. (*3/4)
Backstage: They showed Triple H watching the match intently. Shawn Michaels then walked in to a large pop and said he knows he's been a little distracted lately with the Taker. He said it was a rough 24 hours last week. Michaels said there's always a light after the darkness and he knows X has never been to WrestleMania. Maybe this year for the first time ever, DX could be part of WrestleMania. Hunter cut him off and said that sounds good, but he did qualify for the Chamber and, while going to Mania as DX sounds great, the Chamber is what it's all about. He said he just wins, baby. Hunter vowed to win and go on to Mania as WWE champion. "So it's all about you now?" Michaels asked. He walked off, leaving Hunter frustrated and shaking his head.
Video plug: Cole said they'll show the footage from after Raw of Batista giving Cena a powerbomb on the ring steps.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera to talk about Vince McMahon trying to get closure last week by spitting in Bret Hart's face. Cole said McMahon has banned Bret Hart from the building tonight. Cole then introduced footage from after Raw went off the air.
After the Show: They showed John Cena making the save and helping Bret Hart to his feet as Batista walked off. Cena and Hart hugged. Then, Batista returned and threw Cena into the ringpost before smashing him into the ring steps. They showed Cena taking a powerbomb on the ring steps.
Backstage: They randomly cut to Ted DiBiase standing at his locker. Cody Rhodes then walked in asked if he's feeling good about himself after qualifying for the Elimination Chamber. Rhodes said he got Cena while DiBiase got Henry. Cody said he beat Henry once before and he could have done it again. DiBiase told Cody to stop complaining. Cody asked DiBiase if he really could have beaten Cena. DiBiase said this is an example of him being better than Cody. Randy Orton then walked in and asked DiBiase if he thinks he's better than him. "Well, are you?" Orton asked. DiBiase said they'll find out at the Chamber. Orton then told DiBiase he's facing Cena tonight. Orton asked Cody what he's so happy about when he got him DQ'ed at the Rumble. Orton said he knows Cody was trying to help and his heart was in the right place, so he appreciates the effort. Orton being very calculating and cerebral here. "By the way, Cody, you're facing me tonight," Orton said. Nice segment.
Backstage: They showed C.M. Punk, Luke, and Serena walking backstage in anticipation of the tag title match tonight.
[Commercial Break. They showed a Subway commercial featuring Carl Edwards and his NXT-colored NASCAR #99 car.]
In-ring: Time for the three-team Unified tag title match. Elimination style. Out first were C.M. Punk & Luke Gallows accompanied by Serena Deeb and a chair. Cole then plugged Taker, Batista, Edge, and Rey Mysterio at the Smackdown TV taping in Baton Rouge tomorrow night. They just sold it as a house show with lights, camera, and Titantron rather than advertising they tape Smackdown on Tuesdays. Smackdown GM Teddy Long was sitting ringside to observe.
Punk cut a promo to begin, saying this region of the country usually turns to drugs and alcohol for everything, whether it's Mardi Gras or celebrating "some little football game" they won yesterday. The fans chanted, "Who dat?" as Punk continued to plug that he's better than them. Punk said he will save one lost soul here tonight in Lafayette and he's talking about a "celebrity" in the house. He turned his attention to Jared from Subway on the front row. Jared back to work another WWE angle. Jared over-sold a reaction when Punk said Jared reminds him of him because Jared sells propaganda for Subway. Punk asked Jared to be the spokesman for the Straight Edge Society. Jared refused. Punk said he's going to make an example out of him right now. Luke and Jared then approached Jared, who was standing next to a guy wearing an NWO t-shirt.
DX's music then hit to interrupt and save Jared from embarrassing himself any further. Cole said this is one society everyone wants to be part of. Moving along. DX did their full ring intro complete with Hunter tossing glowsticks into the arena. Michaels didn't have quite the usual "pep in his step," as Cole said to sell Michaels's "thoughts elsewhere" persona right now. The Miz then came out first and alone for one-half of the third team in the match. Big Show followed out and Cole said Show was fined an undisclosed amount of money for striking a ref last week. Two weeks in a row with consequences attached to negative actions against refs. Nice.
Before the opening bell sounded, Gallows and Big Show went after it to set off a wild brawl in the ring. Hunter and Michaels then cleared everyone out of the ring and the heels untangled themselves on the floor before they cut to break. Match to begin next. They've managed to really stretch out this first hour of the show in a good way.
2 -- Unified tag champions DX (SHAWN MICHAELS & TRIPLE H) vs. U.S. champion THE MIZ & BIG SHOW vs. C.M. PUNK & LUKE GALLOWS (w/Serena) -- Unified tag title match -- Elimination match
The action was joined in progress with Michaels and Punk battling. Punk nailed a high knee in the corner followed by a running bulldog. Show then entered and threw Punk into Michaels in the corner. Show then warmed up for a big charging corner splash, but Punk and Michaels moved. Hunter then tagged and entered. Apparently it's three men in the ring at one time. Show, Hunter, and Luke were in the ring for Hunter to knock down some big pins, which led to Hunter teasing the Pedigree on Show, but Show back dropped him over the top rope to the floor. 2:25 into the somewhat-awkward start with three men in at once, they cut to a break.
Leading back to the match, they plugged the end of ECW with more to come on tomorrow night's show. Back live, everyone was still in the match as Punk, Hunter, and Miz were three men in the ring. The action built to a hot tag for Michaels just at the top of the hour.
[Q5 -- second hour] Michaels came off the top with an elbow drop on Punk, then the action broke down as Michaels tuned up the band. After the action cleared out, Michaels escaped a G2S and dropped Punk with the superkick. Michaels then made the cover on Punk for the first elimination at 8:45. So, now it's Show & Miz vs. DX. After Hunter and Michaels came together to exchange glances, Show clotheslined both of them. Show then talked trash to Michaels that he's weak and he's nothing. Show proceeded to headbutt Michaels after Michaels tried to land a chop. Show then slowed things down slowly working over Michaels, who took repeated blows to the gut that drew maniacal chuckles from Show. Michaels fought back with a boot to the chin before Show landed a back drop for a two count.
Miz tagged in at 11:55 to get some TV focus. Miz taunted Michaels before coming off the ropes with a kick strike to the face for a two count only. Miz then hit a running knee off the ropes followed by a neckbreaker that put Michaels on the mat. Miz didn't make a cover and instead wanted the Skullcrushing Finale, but Michaels fought out of the hold and kicked Miz away. Show took a tag from Miz, then Show grabbed Michaels only to take a superkick. Show collapsed to the mat, then Hunter took a hot tag from Michaels. Hunter teed off on Miz with the classic moveset before knocking Show off the ring apron. Hunter hit the spinebuster, then Michaels blind-tagged in as Hunter was preparing for the Pedigree. Hunter and Michaels had a verbal exchange, then Miz shoved Michaels into Hunter in the corner. Miz then rolled up Michaels from behind and scored the pin for the win to capture the tag titles to the shock of the crowd.
Post-match: Hunter sold disbelief as Michaels tried to explain what happened. Big Show and Miz got their focus with the tag title belts with Show overshadowing Miz size-wise. Michaels told Hunter he didn't want to hear about his screw-up, then he threw off the wrist tape and stormed out of the ring. The camera focused on Michaels leaving up the entranceramp.
WINNERS: The Miz & Big Show at 14:20 to capture the Unified tag titles. Good tag match after they got away from that awkward three-men-in-the-ring tag format. The focus was on teasing more dissension between Hunter and Michaels, which will most-likely lead to them agreeing to go their own way going into WrestleMania rather than actually having a singles match against each other at WrestleMania. Show over-shadowed Miz a bit in most respects, so it will be interesting to see how their dynamic as tag champs plays out. I imagine there's a Taker vs. Show match and Miz vs. McIntyre match down the road with Show and Miz able to appear on Raw and Smackdown now. (**1/4)
In 2 Weeks: The Season begins...the NXT Evolution of WWE. Two weeks from tomorrow, which would be February 23. Hmm... Is WWE presenting a "seasonal" TV show building to a championship or something? The clues are certainly intriguing.
Replay: Cole sold disbelief DX lost the belts as they replayed the finish of the match.
Backstage: Big Show and The Miz were celebrating with the tag belts. Show said their team is better than him and Jericho because they beat DX their first time going after them. Miz said they're going to run the show and get all the gold. Miz said they're the Miz-Show and they're...awesome. Show said he likes ShowMiz better. Ya know, like Showbiz. Miz agreed, not wanting to upset his giant meal ticket, and they walked off.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera plugging the Elimination Chamber PPV, starting with Taker defending the World Title from the Smackdown brand. They followed by plugging the Raw Elimination Chamber match. So, how else will they fill out the PPV line-up?
Backstage: They showed Shawn Michaels walking down the hallway. He stopped by Carlito and Alicia Fox to find someone. Michaels then grabbed Teddy Long and said he needed a word with him. Long tried to interrupt, then Michaels asked Long to trade him to Smackdown right now. Long asked him about DX. "I don't care about DX," he said. Michaels wanted to replace someone in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. Carlito was still lurking in the background throughout this. Long said he can't change the Chamber match just because Michaels wants in. Michaels sold disbelief, then he grabbed Long around the throat. Hunter then entered and grabbed Michaels away, asking him whether this obsession has gone too far. Michaels sternly said, "My career is over." He then stepped back and popped Long with the superkick. "Oh my God!" Alicia said off-camera. Michaels then walked down a long hallway with the camera focusing on him as they faded to commercial. This is some darn good TV right now. Great stuff.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler recapped the ongoing Michaels saga in quiet tones. Maryse was then shown ringside. They officially announced it will be Maryse vs. Gail Kim for the vacant Divas Title at the Elimination Chamber PPV.
3 -- GAIL KIM vs. JILLIAN HALL
The match went a minute with Gail hitting a fallaway boot smash beneath Jillian's chin for the win. Post-match: Maryse entered the ring and did her "I'm a normal person" promo continuing from last week. Gail was still equally confused. Maryse then asked for a handshake and Gail accepted. Maryse slowly walked away and left the ring to continue her mind games.
WINNER: Gail at 1:03. Well, they used about two minutes of TV time to tell a story to sell the Divas Title match. That's a positive to pull from this. (n/a)
Ted DiBiase video: They rolled old-school footage on "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, including some old school "I'm richer than everyone else" vignettes. They had the classic clip of the kid dribbling the basketball before DiBiase kicked the ball away. Focus on the Million Dollar Title belt. After more old-school DiBiase clips, they transitioned into selling Ted DiBiase, Jr. as the next legendary DiBiase. They made the official announcement that DiBiase is the first official inductee.
Backstage: Edwards and Jared the Subway guy were talking up Subway, then Santino walked in to botch the "$5 Footlong" jingle. Jared with more Subway plugs before giving Santino a Subway Nation card. He's sporting a new t-shirt featuring the Cobra gimmick. Edwards suggested a match-up for...Superstars. Santino vs. Jack Swagger. Santino liked it. Kofi Kingston then walked in and Edwards said he's feeling bad he didn't get him in a match tonight. Kofi said it's all good, but he has an idea for next week with all six Elimination Chamber participants in singles matches. Edwards asked if they should save it for next week's guest host. Santino said yes because he's sure next week's host is full of credibility and civility and order. The other three shook their heads with the joke on Santino. Cue up classic Springer clips of mayhem and craziness and brawls. Springer was shown in a pre-tape announcing he's coming to Raw next week. They had some confusion with a cut back to the four men standing in the back with no audio but they were talking.
In-ring: Cody Rhodes was in the ring for his match-up not happy watching the backstage happenings on the Titantron. Randy Orton then walked out probably faster than any other time in months. They're obviously short on time.
4 -- RANDY ORTON vs. CODY RHODES
The bell sounded and they came face-to-face. Orton teased Cody by slapping him. Cody then slapped back and followed with a high dropkick. They proceeded to engage in a standard wrestling match after deciding to find out who the better man is in the ring. Cody then missed with a top rope splash and Orton teased the RKO by going into his snake-like crouch. Suddenly, WWE champ Sheamus teased entering the ring, only to back off. Cody then took advantage of the distraction by hitting Cross Rhodes on Orton. Cody made the pin for the win and shouted toward Orton that he won the match.
Post-match: Sheamus hit his big bicycle kick to the face on Orton. He then wanted another impact move, but Cody shooed Sheamus away with a chair. Cody stood over Orton to protect him, which seemed to be a tease for Cody to turn on Orton, but they didn't book that development. Sheamus then slowly walked away before they cut to the announcers. Lawler said the whole situation just has a weird smell.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes at 2:45. Fine match with focus on the story to set up Orton for revenge on Sheamus at the Chamber. More Legacy tension potential with Cody scoring a win, then allowing Sheamus to get in a shot on Orton before making the save. (*)
Raw exclusive: They went back to the post-Raw happenings from last week when Batista blasted Cena on the ring steps.
Backstage: They showed John Cena walking down the hallway in anticipation of the main event against DiBiase next.
Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Carl Edwards for a "major announcement." Edwards said he wants to leave a mark for the WWE audience to never forget. Edwards booked all six Elimination Chamber participants in singles matches. His first match-up will be Sheamus vs. Randy Orton. His next match-up will be Ted DiBiase vs. Kofi Kingston. That leaves the final match-up of Triple H vs. John Cena. They're playing that card on TV again.
In-ring: Ted DiBiase came out to the ring for the TV main event against John Cena. Cena's music then hit and they did the shaky camera effect for Cena's reaction. Cena had a stern look on his face, then he stormed the ring and went right after DiBiase. Cena smashed DiBiase to the floor, then chucked his shirt and hat into the crowd. No official start here. Cena then put DiBiase in the STF on the floor and DiBiase tapped out repeatedly. The announcers sold Cena losing it after having pent-up anger for a week.
Cena then entered the ring with a mic. He said he didn't show up for a match and he's not wasting any more time. Cena said he doesn't want to know why Batista did what he did, but he wants to fight him. He said Batista was sent here last week to take him out, but the news is that he's still here. Cena told Batista to come down and finish the job. He said he's going nowhere until Batista shows up. No sign of Batista as they cut to break.
Back live, Cena was still talking on the mic. We joined him mid-sentence that Batista is scared for his life. Cena looked directly into the camera and said he should be. Cena said maybe Batista's unwarranted attack was some sort of business decision. He said when he hears those words, he thinks Vince McMahon. Two weeks ago, he looked McMahon in the eyes and called him pathetic, which McMahon obviously didn't appreciate after being embarrassed. Cena said he believes McMahon is behind all this, so if he's not going to fight Batista, he'd really like to talk to McMahon. Cue up McMahon's theme music.
McMahon strutted out to the ring surrounded by security guards. McMahon smiled and did his big McMahonisms before asking Cena what's up. Cena mocked McMahon for needing ten security guards. He said the sad thing is McMahon thinks that can stop him. He told McMahon to show up with a tank next time. Cena told McMahon to get in the ring and they talk like men or he sends them all in there, he'll run 'em all down, then he'll be much more angry. McMahon then walked into the ring alone. "You think I'm not man enough to stand in the ring with the almighty John Cena?" McMahon said. He said he is the ultimate supreme Alpha Male. Cena scratched his head. McMahon proceeded to say when God created the heavens and the earth, he had him in mind, not Adam. McMahon smiled as he talked about the business deal of hiring Batista simply to screw Bret again last week. McMahon talked excitedly about spitting in Hart's face last week. He had nothing to do with Batista attacking Cena, though.
Cena said the man Batista paid off to take out Hart conveniently attacked him, why? McMahon said perhaps it's because Batista eliminated him in the Rumble or he just doesn't like him. McMahon said a lot of people don't like him. He ripped Cena's colors, GI Joe jaw, and the "Louisiana hayseeds" who like him. McMahon said he likes him because of the business side...Cena interrupted and said it's all about the money, isn't. He told McMahon they cheer him and not McMahon because all he cares about is the money. Cena said he corrupted a good guy like Batista. He said everyone has to make a living, but McMahon does it for money, while he does it because he loves it. "I do this for the moment; moments like this where I get to stand in the middle of Louisiana moments after the Saints win the Super Bowl and feel the energy of the crowd," he shouted with the crowd hot.
[Q9 -- over-run] The fans chanted, "Who dat?" as Cena said you can't put a price tag on that. He said he does it for moments like going into the Chamber knowing he's going to take a beating and walk out as the WWE champion. He said he does it for WrestleMania 26 to stand there with the WWE Title held high. Cena said the wrestlers do it for the moment; Ted DiBiase did it for the moment. He said he had a chance to talk to Bret Hart last week and apparently Hart wants another moment. McMahon smirked and shook his head. Cena said he heard Hart say something he never thought he would hear Hart say again: he would like to wrestle another match. Cena said Hart wants another match at WrestleMania and he wants his opponent to be Vince McMahon. McMahon stood there and took it in before shaking his head no.
McMahon said that's the one thing Hart doesn't want. Cena said Hart does. So, guess what? Here's your chance, McMahon, to have a WrestleMania moment. Is it "yes, no, or are you about the money or the moment?" (points to WM26 banner). Cena slipped out of the ring, then McMahon said he's about the money and the moment. He said he really doesn't think Hart wants any of him. Cena again: "Yes or No?" Cena built up Hart and said he wants to dance with McMahon at WM26. McMahon then shouted at Cena to shut up because he'll tell him to his face: Yes, Yes, YES! McMahon shouted it to the audience too. Cena smiled and thanked McMahon. He then said McMahon has one more person to tell. Cena left the ring.
McMahon said he knows Bret Hart is sitting up there somewhere in Calgary freezing his butt off but he knows Hart doesn't want to be embarrassed like he was last week. Cue up the video package from last week when Hart tried to get his revenge on McMahon before Batista made the run-in. Back live, McMahon was greeted by cheers off-camera as Bret Hart suddenly stormed the ring and attacked McMahon from behind. They brawled for a bit in the ring, then McMahon ran away as security tried to intervene. Hart punched them away as McMahon hit the top of the ramp.
Hart ran up the ramp with a chair in hand as McMahon said he's changed his mind and now it's "no" because Hart deserves to be screwed. Hart then threw down the chair and walked over the technical area. He started tearing apart the Raw set and fireworks shot off. Hart then surveyed the audience as he stood there with his hands on his hips. Hart then walked back to the ringside area and started tearing apart the Raw announce table. Hart threw down the monitors and turned over the table before sliding into the ring. Hart walked past a live mic, stared up at the Titantron, then at the WM26 banner. His music hit and Hart surveyed the scene before posing for the hard camera. They closed the show ten minutes past the top of the hour with Hart still center ring and WM26 hanging over his head.
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