TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 6/9: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live Raw
Jun 9, 2008 - 10:10:44 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
WWE Raw Live Report
June 9, 2008
The show started with Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler plugging McMoney and WWE champion Triple H against Jeff Hardy. They're also booking Cena vs. JBL again on the show tonight.
On-stage: Vince McMahon walked out on stage and stood behind the McMoney podium to talk about how amazed he is to be giving away $1.0 million of his own money. McMahon said he's nervous for the first time in his life, then he brought out the Money handlers to put the bills in the podium. He then asked for a drumroll before giving out the password... WWE UNIVERSE. McMahon then said he's going to give away $200,000 after the first match.
In-ring: Mr. Kennedy came to the ring for the opener, then Paul Burchill walked out with Katie Lea. So, they're giving away money and potential PPV matches on the show tonight.
1 -- MR. KENNEDY vs. PAUL BURCHILL (w/Katie Lea)
The bell sounded and Kennedy dumped Burchill over the top rope to the floor to start things off. Kennedy tried the mic check at 3:00, but Burchill slipped out. Burchill didn't escape a second time and Kennedy nailed the mic check for the win.
Post-match: Katie got in Kennedy's face and talked some trash before slapping him hard across the face. Kennedy slowly turned to look back at Katie, giving Burchill enough time to nail a swinging neckbreaker from behind on Kennedy. Lawler said he calls it the Twisted Sister.
WINNER: Kennedy in 4:00. Going back to last week, Burchill was the top heel on the show, and they just booked him to lose clean in four minutes. At least he got a measure of revenge post-match, but the match shouldn't have happened to begin with. (*)
On-stage: McMahon, sporting some reading glasses from Walgreen's was on stage dialing a number. He screwed it up the first time, so he dialed again. The number went to someone's ring tone. One of those deals where they play music instead of a dial tone. McMahon had no idea what was going on, then the man answered the phone and McMahon hung up on him. McMahon tried again and got the music again. Daniel from California answered on the second ring and provided the correct password. He must be watching on a satellite TV. McMahon smiled and congratulated Daniel on picking up $200,000.
Ringside: They showed various members of the Oakland Raiders sitting front row. ... In-ring: Mickie James came to the ring for a match. They plugged another McMoney segment after the match.
2 -- Women's champion MICKIE JAMES vs. BETH PHOENIX -- non-title match
Ross and Lawler debated the merits of the Cena/Mickie relationship that's the talk of the locker room while Beth worked over Mickie to start things off. Password for McMoney is still WWE Universe. Mickie came back with a double-foot dropkick to the face for a nearfall at 2:00. Mickie then went up top and landed a Thesz Press into a pin for the win.
Post-match: Beth tried to sneak attack Mickie, but Melina jumped into the ring for revenge on Beth. Melina took Beth face-first into the mat, then she stared down Beth and left the ring. Beth was super-mad afterward and made a mean face toward Melina.
WINNER: Mickie James in 3:00. Another top heel loses clean to start the show. The idea is to build up heels in wrestling. Just making sure that's clear. Decent action while it lasted. (*)
On-stage: McMahon dialed another number and did a stand-up routine in the interim. Dustin answered the phone and said WWE Universe to pick up $75,000. Yawn.
Backstage: They showed Cena and Hunter staring at each other in the locker room. Really close-up shot there. Cena said it's not personal, but about being the best. Hunter repeated the line, then told Cena he's looking at the best. Cena said the one match they had was him winning. Hunter said Cena beat him two years ago, but this is now. Cena said he knows Hunter is WWE champion, but he might not leave Night of Champions as champion. With tension in the air, they told each other good luck for their matches tonight, then Cena left.
On-stage: Charlie Haas joined McMahon on stage for the McMoney part 3. Haas was booed for being on the TV. McMahon dialed a number, but no answer. Just a static line. McMahon told Haas he's bad luck. McMahon dialed a second time with no answer. Fans were restless with this, but McMahon tried a third time. Busy signal on the third time. McMahon asked for Gabe from ePrize to bring out another number. McMahon told Haas to dial the number this time. Yes, we're watching a grown man dialing a phone. They picked up a dial tone this time.
Donna Rose answered the phone and said the password with her line breaking up. She won $50,000, then McMahon told Haas to help out Donna. All he had to do was kiss a diva to give Donna $100,000. Haas then kissed Maria, giving Donna $100,000. McMahon brought out another diva to give even more money to Donna. Out came Mae Young. Oh dear. Mae nearly pulled down Haas's trunks, leading to a long liplock on stage. Ron Simmons suddenly walked out on stage and shouted Damn while Mae tackled Haas on stage. Words cannot capture this.
Backstage: They showed JBL staring into the camera. He told the fans they don't deserve any of McMahon's money.
Did You Know: A new feature told us that WWE is broadcast in 23 languages in 130 nations worldwide. Media-friendly movement goes to Raw.
In-ring: Triple H walked to the ringside area to join the announcers on commentary. JBL then came out to face Cena. Big heat on JBL. Even bigger reception for Cena, who came out to the typical huge reaction. Ross gave Cena's boyhood dream story, which Hunter said doesn’t mean a crap because he's had his own dreams and aspirations. Ah man, Hunter is that one-up kind of a guy. Feel more sorry for me, please!
3 -- JOHN CENA vs. JBL
Bell sounded and Cena took his eyes off JBL to stare down Hunter, who stood up ringside. JBL then jumped Cena to get the ball rolling. Hunter complemented Cena on his freakish strength while JBL worked over Cena with successive boot strikes to the head. JBL then walked to the outside and stared down Hunter, who stood up to stare back at him.
They returned with Cena on hands and knees on the floor in front of the announce table. JBL then bounced Cena's hands off the table in front of Hunter, who simply stared down at the action. Back in the ring, Cena slipped out of a sleeper hold, but he walked into a big boot to the noggin from JBL. Cena ducked a Clothesline from Hell, however, and started his traditional comeback. Cena tried the FU, but JBL nailed the Clothesline from Hell. JBL took too long to make a cover allowing Cena to position himself near the ropes for a rope break on the pin.
JBL walked to the outside after the nearfall and cleared the announce table of monitors. Hunter said frustration has set in. JBL slowly walked back into the ring to pick up Cena, but Cena got him with an inside cradle for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Cena in 10:00. JBL had enough offense to stay credible here. Well, relatively credible compared to the previous two heels losing clean on this show. Hunter was fine on commentary. (*1/2)
Post-match: Cena walked to the outside and stared down Hunter. Both men then hopped onto the announce table and had a staredown. Hunter stepped off the table to stand on the ground, then he swiped out Cena's legs and Cena fell ass-first onto the table. Are these grown men or five year-olds in the sandbox? Hunter sniffed the air, then walked to the back while Cena simply watched Hunter leave.
Announcers: Ross and Lawler hyped Hunter vs. Cena at Night of Champions. Lawler then hyped the Incredible Hulk movie coming out. Probably a compromise over the trademark issues.
[Q5 -- second hour]
On-stage: McMahon was on stage for another round of dial-the-number. He told Lillian Garcia to stand up, and he said he overheard Lillian giving Jim Ross her measurements of 38-24-36. He said that adds up to $98,000, which is what they'll be giving away next. McMahon dialed a number incorrectly the first time, then he dialed Stephanie again. Stephanie was so pumped to say WWE Universe to pick up the dollars. Lawler, "That wasn't his daughter, Stephanie, was it?" Ha. Nice save of the segment.
Highlight Reel: Chris Jericho walked to the ring to host his TV show segment. He hyped Shawn Michaels, then welcomed him out to the HR. McMahon came out on stage dressed in a cowboy hat, tank top, and blue jeans. Jericho clapped it up while Michaels slowly made his way to the ring. With both men in the ring, the fans chanted, "H-B-K" and Jericho had a big smile. Jericho tongue-in-cheek talked up Michaels's performance at the PPV against Batista, which made Michaels leery of where Jericho was going with this.
Jericho said Michaels lied to everyone about the knee injury, then Michaels cut him off and said he only lied to Jericho. Jericho said he doesn't understand the crowd cheering Michaels pulling a fast one, then whenever he tries to do the right thing, he gets booed. He said the fans would rather boo him and chant H-B-K. This, of course, led to another chant for Michaels. Jericho then posed his question of how Michaels turned into such a lying, cheating, pathetic worm of a human being.
Jericho then reached over and attacked Michaels with a forearm blow, leading to a big brawl. Michaels got the best of it until Jericho kicked him between the legs. Michaels gasped for air while Jericho quietly talked trash to Michaels, saying he started all of this by lying. Jericho helped Michaels to his feet and said the worst is yet to come. Jericho then slammed Michaels head-first into the Jeritron 3000. Not quite Jannetty going through the barber shop window, but the crowd "ooohed" big time for the spot. Fans were hot on Jericho, who simply surveyed the crowd before leaving the ring. Michaels held his head in pain while Jericho walked out of the ring to huge boos. A trainer then hit the ring to check on Michaels, who sold a head injury while Jericho walked through the curtain. JC: That, my friends, is a money segment.
Announcers: Ross and Lawler recapped what happened at the end of the previous segment. They focused on the low blow and big toss into the Jeritron. Several replays of that, then Ross said they have not received a medical update on Michaels just yet.
In-ring: Umaga and Snitsky walked to the ring for a tag match. From possibly feuding against the Undertaker to being stuck with Snitsky as a tag partner. Yeesh. Lawler said, "This tag team is uglier than Hulk Hogan's divorce." Ouch. Ross added, "And that's ugly, brother." Double ouch.
4 -- World tag team champions HARDCORE HOLLY & CODY RHODES vs. SNITSKY & UMAGA -- non-title match
Cody took a hot tag and walked into a big swinging sidewalk slam in center ring. Crowd oohed for that. Umaga then smashed Cody in the throat with the Spike for the win. Ross talked up the Samoan wrestling history in the Bay Area to explain why the fans cheered Umaga winning.
WINNERS: Umaga & Snitsky in 3:00. Good to see a heel pick up a win on the show. Umaga was the star here, which was perfectly fine considering he should be protected on the show. (1/2*)
Post-match: Ted DiBiase, Jr. walked out on stage and said the champs just don't seem to be on the same page right now. He said their time as champions is running out. In two weeks, there will be new World tag team champions, he said. DiBiase said that moment will be... simply priceless. Awwww.
They plugged Hunter vs. Hardy later tonight.
Video package: They continued to promote WWE as being media-friendly with a Make-a-Wish video on wrestlers making wishes come true for sick kids. Segue to a close-up of Vince McMahon's face on a dollar bill.
On-stage: Vince McMahon said it's time for their version of American Idol. Trevor Murdoch and Jillian Hall were in the ring for a sing-off. Murdoch started singing country, then Jillian cut him off and said it's so embarrassing. Jillian said the fans came here to hear her sing, so she started singing to a round of boos. McMahon cut her off and Jillian asked, "Did I win?" He said dogs are barking all over the U.S. right now.
Back to McMahon dialing a number. McMahon rhetorically asked Sarah how much that segment was worth. He said that was worth the sum of $2. Poor Sarah. The lights went down in the ring as Murdoch and Jillian took their leave. Gabe then came back on stage and handed McMahon another card for a $200,000 giveaway. More slow-dialing. Ross is great here with the quiet one-liners. Josh Smith answered the phone and his line was cut off trying to say the password. McMahon asked him to repeat it, and he did. McMahon told him he won $200,000. Fortunately, this was on a seven-second delay, as Josh exclaimed, "Oh, s---" with WWE bleeping the profanity. McMahon laughed as the announcers reminded us it's live TV and money is being given away.
ECW plug: It's Kane & Punk vs. Miz & Morrison for the WWE Tag Titles tomorrow night. Ross said it should be a big night tomorrow night with The Adamle and The Tazz.
In-ring: Santino Marella and Carlito walked out to the ring. Santino saluted the crowd while they showed footage from Smackdown of Cousin Sal defeating Santino. Carlito is sporting the PPV t-shirt, by the way, so he has officially achieved j-status. Cryme Tyme then came out as the opposition. Lawler made a crack about the California State University system, which is re-sent considering my degree is from the illustriously under-budgeted Cal State system.
Cryme Tyme with a nice combo move with Shad whipping JTG over his head for a big splash on Santino. JTG and Carlito had a miscalculation on a spot, which Ross attributed to JTG's sightlines and distance calculations being off. Ross and Lawler just kept ripping jokes about the McMoney deal to keep this interesting. Shad then finished off Santino with a boot and front slam combo for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Cryme Tyme in 4:00 excruciating minutes. Ross and Lawler made this bearable. (1/4*)
On-stage: McMahon told JTG and Chad (yes, he called him Chad) to come on stage. McMahon said at the end of the main event, he's going to give away $250,000 to one person. But, right now, he wants them to help him give away $51,998 to make it an even $1.0 million. Frank answered the phone and provided the password, which left Cryme Tyme dejected because they would have won if Frank got it wrong. McMahon then asked them what it's all about. McMahon and CT proceeded to chant, "Money, money, yeah, yeah." Oh my.
Backstage: They showed Jeff Hardy walking in anticipation of facing Hunter.
Ringside: John Cena was kinda walking around ringside as they returned from break. He then joined Ross and Lawler on commentary. They're doing the $250k giveaway after the match, but it's the old deal about what happens if the match goes 30 minutes and they run out of TV time? We'll set aside that internal logic hole as Hardy came to the ring for the main event. Cena said Hunter got the first shot earlier, but all is fair in love and war. Triple H then walked out to the ring with a full ring entrance. Hunter finished his entrance and stared down at Cena, who said he respects Hunter, but he doesn't fear him.
6 -- WWE champion TRIPLE H vs. JEFF HARDY -- non-title match
Hardy was pretty aggressive early on, landing forearm and right hand blows. Nice to see that from Hardy, even if it was ever-so brief. Hunter cut off Hardy with a high knee to the face, then Hunter started working over Hardy while Cena cut a ra-ra promo about being WWE champion.
[Q9 -- over-run]
At 6:00, Hardy made his comeback while Ross reset the situation. Hunter went back on the offensive, methodically working over Hardy and sneaking a peek at Cena. Hardy tried to come back with the Whisper in the Wind, but Hunter moved in plenty of time. Hunter then clotheslined Hardy over the top rope to the floor. Hunter followed to the outside, but Hardy reversed a whip into the guardrail. Hunter rolled over to the announce table where he hip-tossed a charging Hardy into Cena's lap. Hunter then rolled Hardy into the ring at an eight-count. Hunter tried to re-enter the ring, but Cena yanked him off the apron and Hunter ate the mat. The ref reached a ten count, giving Hardy the win.
After the match, Hunter slowly reached his feet and stared down Cena, who ripped off his t-shirt and told him to bring it on. They went nose-to-nose, and suddenly Jeff Hardy came flying over the top rope with a plancha onto both men. Hardy then hopped back into the ring to get his hand raised while the champion and challenger recovered on the floor. $250,000 next...
WINNER: Jeff Hardy via count-out in 9:00. Serviceable TV main event. I'm thinking Jeff as special referee for the title match at the PPV. (**)
They returned from break with an extended over-run tonight. Did You Know that Raw is one of the most-watched TV programs on cable TV? Yippee. They returned with an exterior shot of the arena. The announcers plugged a sneak-peek of the Incredible Hulk.
On-stage: McMahon walked out on stage one more time for the $250,000 giveaway. Before that, though, McMahon thanked each fan for showing up tonight. He thanked everyone who tuned into Raw, and thanked USA Network. McMahon said the crazy chairman is giving away another $1.0 million next week. He then dialed the final number of the night. No old-man glasses for this big money giveaway. Phone rang and Steve answered. Steve something-or-another answered and he provided the password to win the big bucks. McMahon thanked everyone for participating, then signed off the show. ZZZ.
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