TV REPORTS KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT 5/19: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live show
May 19, 2008 - 10:05:50 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT
MAY 19, 2008
KANSAS CITY, MO. - AIRED LIVE ON USA
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. Ross hyped Batista vs. Shawn Michaels as the headliner.
1 -- JEFF HARDY vs. UMAGA
Ross talked about Hardy "shocking and rocking" MVP in an impromptu match at Judgment Day. When the crowd gave Hardy a standing ovation, Ross said it was like the reception Lawler receives at a shopping mall in Memphis, Tenn. The crowd loudly chanted "Hardy, Hardy" before the match. Umaga charged and pummeled him. Hardy came back quickly and went for an early cover which was barely good for a one count. Umaga followed with a sudden Samoan Drop. Umaga dominated for a couple minutes. Hardy attempted a Whisper in the Wind. Umaga swatted him away like an insect, said Ross. Umaga followed up with a corner butt charge, but Hardy moved. Hardy pummeled Umaga in the corner with punches and a swing kick. He then knocked Umaga to the floor with a reverse side kick followed by a flip dive onto Umaga on the floor. Umaga charged at Hardy on the floor, but Hardy moved. Hardy dove at Umaga, but Umaga caught him and slammed him onto the mat. The bell rang to signal a double countout.
WINNER: Double countout in 7:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- That was a high-octane way to kick off Raw. Great crowd heat and fast-paced, high-impact action from both wrestlers.
-After the match, Hardy didn't get up. He was on the ground, stunned and wincing. Trainers checked on him on the floor.
-They cut to Chris Jericho in the back. Batista approached him and told him he has a serious issue with Shawn Michaels, so don't get in his way. Jericho said he's the mighty Batista and he knows he's better than him, with a dose of sarcasm added. He said maybe he should just forfeit the match. "Or maybe I'll just beat the living hell out of you tonight and take out the rest of my aggressions against Shawn Michaels at One Night Stand." Batista said Jericho and Michaels beat the hell out of each other last night and he's in no shape to compete. Jericho wished him luck tonight. Batista said if that's the way he wants it, good luck to him, too. Jericho had to be standing on a phone booth for that interview. He was almost eye-to-eye with Batista.
-William Regal stood in the ring and said Hardy vs. Umaga would wrestle a no holds barred match at One Night Stand (in just two weeks!). He addressed Randy Orton and JBL on the big screen. He said they'd team up against John Cena & Triple H with the winners getting to choose the stips for their singles rematches at ONS. Oh, wait, not exactly. If Cena & Triple H win, they actually will face each other in a match where Regal chooses the stip. What, is this TNA all of a sudden with complex stips. Mr. Kennedy's music interrupted Regal. He walked out to the ring and walked up to Regal. Regal said there are consequences to interrupting him. Kennedy said he's had a question for him ever since he won King of the Ring. He said he's going to ask him yet again: "You versus me one-on-one tonight. Come on. What's it going to be?" Regal said Kennedy isn't his equal. He said he doesn't take challenges from "common wrestlers." (He actually said "wrestlers" instead of "Superstars" or "sports entertainers.") He said the next person to interrupt him will be fired on the spot. He said he is his superior and his king. Vince McMahon's music interrupted.
Kennedy told Regal, "Awww, you shouldn't have done that! Go ahead, fire him!" McMahon leaned in and told Kennedy, "Shut up!" McMahon turned to Regal and said he recently gave him a 100 percent endorsement. He said ever since then, he has received due to his "abusive power and arbitrary decisions" more complaints than ever in their history. He said "viewer dissatisfaction abounds." He said he doesn't care what the fans think about him, but he does care about money. Regal said it takes a step back to take two steps forward sometimes. McMahon said they're the highest rated show in all of cable, but for some reason when he comes on the air, the ratings plummet. He said the longer he stays on the air, the ratings go down even further. McMahon said he does want Kennedy gone as much as Regal does. He said the viewers want Regal gone, though. The crowd cheered. He booked Regal vs. Kennedy and the loser will be "gone... as in fired!"
If the three major matches just announced for this show were hyped this week for next week, they'd probably pop one of the bigger ratings of the year, but instead they're pretty much set with whoever decided to tune in tonight. It's a curious, impatient strategy.
2 -- "GLAMAZON" BETH PHOENIX vs. MARIA
Melina joined Ross and Lawler on commentary. As Glamazon walked to the ring to her music as Lilian introduced her, Melina began talking but it was tough to hear anything with her talking over Lilian. They went to a shot of Melina at ringside and you could see Lawler signaling with his hand for her to wait until the ring intro was over. In the end, Glamazon smashed Maria's face into the mat and then applied a surfboard type submission for the win.
WINNER: Glamazon in 2:00.
-Afterward, Melina charged after Phoenix (running into and out of the ring on her way, for some reason) and jumped her from behind. Phoenix tossed her over her head onto the ramp with a snap and a thud. Ross said Melina "was in a bad way." What does that mean? "Way" is a "means" or a "path" or a "method," not a "state of being" or "a place," so how can one be "in a bad way"? It's always driven me nuts. Can anyone help explain that, other than it's stupid figure of speech that never did make any sense?
-They finally got around to plugging Roddy Piper's special "Piper's Pit." Make that the fourth thing that, if hyped this week for next week, could have helped pop a rating. Lawler talked about Piper appearing on Jimmy Kimmel's talk show on ABC. A clip aired of Piper showing up at a special birthday party for Kimmel's Cousin Sal. Santino showed up and crashed the party. Piper made a Betty Ford reference. Seriously, a Betty Ford reference regarding alcohol. Santino said he doesn't care about Johnny Camel and slapped his buddy. Piper slapped Santino. Santino slapped back. Sal threw the cake in the face of Santino. Ugh.
-Backstage, Katie Lea accused Mickie James of trying to sleep her way to the top. Mickie said Cena was a complete gentleman last week. She told Mickie to get in line for Cena. She said if Cena went out with her and her brother Paul Burchill, Cena would have had a different kind of fun. Mickie said, "Is that a fact? Classy!"
-Back in his office, Michaels approached Regal. He wished him luck in his match against Mr. Kennedy. Michaels said he'll enjoy sitting back and watching his match. Regal said he has a lot on his mind, but he promises that at One Night Stand, Michaels will be in a stretcher match against the winner of Jericho vs. Batista tonight.
-Ross plugged that Jericho vs. Batista was up next.
-They showed a clip from last Friday in Washington D.C. at the G.I. Film Festival. WWE was honored for the Tribute to the Troops. Ric Flair accepted the Corporate Patriot Award on behalf of WWE.
3 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. BATISTA
Jericho opened with a flurry of punches against Batista, who fought back and took control including a hard clothesline in the corner, then another in the opposite corner. Batista showed ballerina flexibility with a boot shoved against the face of Jericho. Batista whipped Jericho out of the corner. Jericho went down and grabbed his knee. The ref checked on Jericho who rolled to the floor and limped. They cut to a break.
-A commercial aired hyping Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston on ECW on Sci-Fi tomorrow night.
The match continued with Batista still on offense and Jericho still limping. Ross said Batista doesn't buy that Jericho's knee is injured. Jericho ducked a Batista charge and flew over the top rope to the floor. He clutched his ankle. Jericho looked down skeptically. After watching a replay, Lawler said it appeared Batista's leg slipped out from underhim. Jericho roundkicked Batista's leg and clipped it, then dropped some elbows. Lawler said it appears Jericho's leg made a remarkable recovery. Jericho applied a single leg submission hold. Batista swung to try to get out of it, but couldn't reach Jericho. He yanked on Jericho's arm and almost got a straight-arm submission of his own applied. Jericho released and continues to kick Batista's leg.
WHAT HAPPENED: 2ND HOUR
Jericho tried to drag Batista to the floor from ringside, but Batista kicked Jericho into the announce table. Back in the ring, Jericho charged right into Batista's extended foot. Batista followed with a spinebuster. Batista limped over to Jericho and set up a Batista Bomb. Jericho dropped Batista, though, and applied a one-legged Boston Crab. He followed with an attempted Lionsault. Batista moved for some reason (even though the move obviously doesn't hurt) and set up a Batista Bomb again. Jericho held onto the top rope and pulled himself free. He climbed to the top rope and dove at Batista. Batista nailed him with a clothesline, although Jericho came up short and pretty much landed before Batista hit him. Jericho kicked out at two. Both were slow to get up. Jericho got up and went for a Code Breaker. Batista caught him and slammed him to the mat with a Batista Bomb for the clean win. Michaels walked out afterward and looked at Batista, who stared back at him intensely. Lawler said one of those two will leave ONS on a stretcher.
WINNER: Batista in 13:00.
STAR RATING: *** -- Batista is going to make a case as Most Underrated when it comes to in-ring work. There are only certain opponents he has good matches with, and they have to be much more athletic than him and able to take bumps and create movement around him, but when that happens, he carries his end really well.
-Lawler plugged Cena & Triple H vs. JBL & Orton. He explained the TNA-style overly complex stips. Ross plugged the return of Piper's Pit.
-McMahon approached Regal backstage as he was doing squats. He said he understands he wants to ask him a question. Regal asked why he's booked that match. McMahon said he has his destiny in his own hands. He said there are reasons behind everything he does. Ted DiBiase walked in. McMahon asked Regal if he would excuse them for a moment as they had business to discuss. The cut away just as McMahon and DiBiase sat down and McMahon said, "If we take my money..." Are they hinting at DiBiase becoming the replacement G.M. (Useless Tidbit: My spell check offered "dibbles" for "DiBIase," by the way.)
-Santino Marella walked out doing a hilarious Piper imitation. He stuffed his Hot Rod shirt with about seven pillows to replicate Piper's recently acquired huge gut. Santino said Piper has been irritating people all over the world for decades. "Just when you think you have the answers, I babble incoherently like a lunatic person," he said. Hilarious. He said he's sick to death of Roddy Piper. They went back to the Jimmy Kimmel clip. (Really, twice in one show?) Santino made fun of Kimmel and his cousin. He said since this his "Pit of the Piper," he's calling out Cousin Salvatore. Santino asked Sal why he idolizes Piper. He asked if it was his failure to win the World Title, his penchant to cross dress, or his string of horrible movies. Sal said he admired his ability to back up everything he says. Sal said he spoke to Maria before the show and she said he is "hung like a fourth grader." Ron Simmons shows up on the big screen and said, "Damn!" Lawler chuckled. Santino said, "First of all, fourth graders today are maturing at a very fast rate. I have pictures. I mean, I seen an article. National Geographic." This isn't really typical areas comics on mainstream cable venture. For a reason.
Santino uncovered a cake in mid-ring that said "I'm Sorry" on it. He said his cousin, Jimminy Kimmel, can't save him. He said he must apologize or that cake is going to find its way to his face. Santino lifted the cake and told Sal to apologize. Sal crossed his arms. Roddy Piper showed up behind Santino. He put his hand on his shoulder. Santino looked nervous. Piper tasted the cake. Sal shoved the cake into Santino's face. Santino fled to ringside. Sal and Piper hugged. Lilian got some cake on her courtesy of Santino. Santino challenged Sal to a match. Piper said he got it. Sal didn't seem as enthusiastic as Piper was. Okay skit considering it's mainly to get some mainstream pub on a network late night talk show.
-They showed Mr. Kennedy approaching the entrance tunnel backstage. Ross reminded viewers that the loser of Kennedy vs. Regal would be fired.
-A clip aired of Lance Cade turning on Trevor Murdoch last week. Ross said on the street if you do that, you'd be charged with felony assault. He said he heard they're done as a team. Lawler said maybe Cade just doesn't like country music. Ross asked if there is any other kind.
4 -- MR. KENNEDY vs. WILLIAM REGAL
Regal began aggressively. After some back and forth action, by 2:00 Regal was in control. Kennedy caught a charging Regal with a punch. Kennedy took Regal down with a 360 degree roundkick for a near fall. Regal came back with a kneelift to knock Kennedy to the floor. Regal grabbed the mic at ringside and said he's still General Manager, so he's making this a no-DQ match as of this moment. Regal asked for his brass knuckles from a worker at ringside. Regal threw Kennedy into the steps, then threw him back into the ring, mic still in hand. Regal set up a punch with the knux. Kennedy kicked Regal to escape and gave him the Mic Check for the pin. Ross declared, "Kennedy wins! Regal's fired! William Regal has been added to the unemployment ranks in America!"
WINNER: Kennedy in 6:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Good action. Also, good intrigue over Regal's future.
-After the match, Regal gathered himself and took in the moment. Fans chanted "Na na na na, good bye" at him followed by "USA, USA." Ross said there are a lot of smiling wrestlers in the back. Regal held himself together and walked backward to the back, staring at the ring as he moved. Lawler said, "Bye Mr. Regal."
-They showed Regal approach his locker room, which was locked. He begged Mr. McMahon to let him in. The door opened and inside was Teddy Long with a big smile on his face. He said, "What's up, playa?" He patted him on the shoulder with a big smile and walked away.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Triple H. Grisham congratulated Triple H on his win at Judgment Day. He asked if JBL and Randy Orton have the edge because of all that's at stake. Hunter said he doesn't see it that way. He said he and Cena each won their matches last night, so that makes them the favorites. Hunter said he doesn't care if he faces Orton or Cena. He said there's a lot of change going on around there, but there is one constant - he is the best the business has to offer.
-Ring introductions took place for Orton and JBL.
5 -- RANDY ORTON & JBL vs. TRIPLE H & JOHN CENA
Ring introductions took place for Cena and Triple H after the break. The bell rang to start the match with six minutes before the top of the hour. Cena opened with a headlock on Orton. Orton quickly escaped and punched Cena in the corner. Cena fired back with a running face-plant, then he tagged in Triple H. Orton caught a charging Triple H with an elbow. Two minutes in, Hunter tossed Orton to the floor when Cena held down the top rope to clear Orton's path to ringside. They cut to a break at 2:00.
Hunter tagged in Cena after the break. He exploded at Orton, then taunted JBL with the You Can't See Me hand wave. When he turned to Orton, JBL jumped him from behind. Triple H entered the ring. Cena picked up Orton for an FU. JBL gave Cena a boot to the face. Orton scored a convincing near fall. Orton continued to batter Cena. At 8:00 Cena tagged Triple H back in. He went to work on JBL. After a neckbreaker he scored a two count. Hunter followed with a spinebuster. Orton charged. Hunter side-stepped him. Cena applied an STFU on JBL. Orton attempted to give Cena a punt kick to the head. He almost totally missed. Cena sold it anyway. Ross was in a bad spot as he paused before selling it. JBL made the cover and got the three count.
WINNERS: Orton & JBL in 10:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Good frenetic pace to the match, but that kick at the end missing wasn't good. Afterward, Orton gave Triple H an RKO after JBL set him up for it. JBL leaned over Triple H and said, "Cena, you and me, First Blood." Orton announced, "Triple H, I'm gonna take back my WWE Title the same way that I won it from you in the first place - a Last Man Standing match." He said it like it would be the scariest thing fans ever heard, but it doesn't really seem like a step up from a cage match. Ross said, "It will indeed be a night of extreme." I can't believe it. They actually replayed the kick. Lawler said it caught Cena "right in the temple." Okay. Cena remained knocked out as the show ended, as Hunter was just regaining consciousness. Orton's (lousy) new intro music played as the show ended. At least this week they got it right and gave the heels some heat on the babyfaces.
If you saw the show, send your 1-10 score, picks for best and worst matches, and a paragraph of thoughts on Raw to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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