TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 7/21: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live USA Network broadcast
Jul 21, 2008 - 10:05:52 PM
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WWE Raw Live Report
July 21, 2008
Mohegan Sun Casino, Ct.
The show started with a recap of the Punk vs. Batista World Hvt. Title match at the PPV when Kane interrupted. Heavy emphasis on Punk as a "dead carcass" prior to Kane's interference.
Production truck: They cut to a shot of Batista standing in the production truck watching the monitor with disdain for what happened at the end of the PPV. He turned and abruptly left the truck. ... Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged yet another six-man tag match for tonight with Cena & Cryme Tyme vs. JBL & Cody & Ted, Jr. Yipee.
In-ring: Batista's music hit and he stormed the ring dressed in street clothes. His music stopped and there was a round of boos mixed with "Ba-tista, Ba-tista" chants. He said he planned to show up tonight as the new World Hvt. champion (boos), but since Kane interfered, that is not the case. Batista said this is what's happening tonight. He's putting himself in charge since Stephanie and Shane aren't here. His one match for tonight is Punk defending the World Title tonight against...me. Batista told Kane to find him so they can solve the personal problem lingering.
JBL interrupted on the video screen and told Batista he's in charge of absolutely nothing. He said Batista had the title shot last night, but he didn't get the job done. JBL said Batista can't just walk out with his big, strong muscles and big neck to demand a title shot when he left the PPV last night victoriously. JBL said the next World Title match will be his. (Boos.) Batista laughed at that notion and said there is an obvious difference in opinion. He suggested JBL come out to the ring so they can discuss it.
JBL said he doesn't find this funny. He said he's the boss and people answer to him. JBL decreed a title shot at Summerslam. He said his body doesn't feel like a world title match, but he's finishing off Cena tonight. JBL stumbled a little, then suggested Batista find himself a piece of Kane.
Suddenly, C.M. Punk's music hit to interrupt. A little bit of the Cena pop from the females in attendance. Punk stormed the ring shaking his head at all of this talk. Punk said this is the law of the jungle, just like JBL said, so that makes him the king. JBL turned his nose down. Punk said the last time he checked, he doesn't have to listen to a word JBL has to say. Punk then walked over to Batista and said Kane screwed up things for both of them. He said he wanted to prove to everyone that he can beat Batista. Punk said that instead of talking about it, why don't they just get it done tonight? He suggested a title match, but JBL interrupted and said he's in charge. Batista called for the mute button and someone in the truck obliged. Batista confirmed with Punk that if he's agreeing to the match, then he's on. Batista threw down his mic and left with Punk smiling in anticipation.
Video promo: Jenny McCarthy did a promo for Saturday Night's Main Event on August 2. There's another one? She's apparently doing a campaign to fight autism, which she'll be promoting at the show.
In-ring: Shawn Michaels's music hit, but instead, Lance Cade's music interrupted and he came to the ring trying to strut like Steve Austin, but looking more like the Ringmaster. Cade said he knows Michaels is here tonight and he knows he's listening to him, so he's inviting him to show up and listen to him. Paul London then came out as his opponent.
1 -- LANCE CADE vs. PAUL LONDON
Cade won this on pretty quickly with a hard shoulder tackle to work over the shoulder before landing a sit-down Rock Bottom for the easy pin.
WINNER: Cade in 3:00. Not much here. Crowd was into it early, but the outcome was inevitable. Hopefully it leads to something for London after losing a series of squashes. (3/4*)
Post-match: Cade took the mic and said that if that wasn't enough to bring out Michaels, then maybe this will. He brought out Chris Jericho to take a bow for ending Michaels's career last night.
In-ring: After a break, Cade handed over the mic to Jericho, who said Michaels is not here tonight. So, Cade is an idiot. Got it. Jericho solemnly said the following footage is disturbing, graphic, and horrific, so beware. They cut to a video package of Michaels taking the elbow to the head at the PPV that led to Michaels bleeding buckets all over the ring. They returned to the ring where Jericho said that blood is on every single fan's hands, not his own. He said Michaels wrestled hurt to make the fans happy. Jericho said he came back to save the fans, but he realized they don't deserve to be saved. Jericho said the fans made a choice to side with an egomaniac and now the fans can regret that decision just like Michaels can regret the end of his career. He said Michaels now has a detached retina that will cause him to see improperly for the rest of his life.
Jericho said that by closing Michaels's eyes, he opened his own eyes. Jericho said he sees that the fans have no morals or ethics. They didn't embrace him when he first come back. They booed him and wanted the crazy guy with the long hair. He said he grew up and matured, but the fans have not. Jericho paused and said he's proud of what he did last night. He said that by possibly ending the career of the most corrupt and amoral individual in WWE history, he now considers himself... saved. They faded to commercial with Jericho's words lingering in the air. Man, this is easily Jericho's best work of his career.
In-ring: Kelly Kelly came to the ring for a match. We'll see if Teddy and Cody interrupt like last week. Nope, Beth Phoenix came out as the opposition. Apparently her babyface turn was only for one week.
2 -- KELLY KELLY vs. BETH PHOENIX
Bell sounded and Beth bullied Kelly into the corner with a shove to the chest. Kelly tried to use her quickness with a leg sweep and short dropkick before attempting a roll-up in the corner. Beth blocked, however, and took Kelly in the air for a running slam across the way. Beth slapped on a mat hold as the fans tried to rally behind Kelly. Kelly made a nice comeback and countered the double chicken wing stretch into a roll-up, but Beth rolled through into a wheel barrow implant buster for the decisive pin.
WINNER: Beth in 3:00. Actually, this was a good divas match. Kelly showed good offense and Beth was able to show off her power offense in a decisive win after Kelly put up a competitive fight. Nicely done. (*)
Announcers plugged Punk vs. Batista and the six-man tag later tonight.
In-ring: Jim Duggan was in the ring in street clothes to have a heartfelt promo before the next match coming up. Duggan said he's thinking about hanging up his boots after a great 30 year run. He said he won the first Royal Rumble, made a lot of friends, and by the grace of God, he survived cancer. Duggan said maybe Cody and Ted, Jr. were right last week that wrestling is a game for young men. He started to say good-bye, but Jerry Lawler interrupted and entered the ring.
Lawler said this might not be his business, but in case Duggan hasn't figured it out, there is no age limit in the WWE. He said that as long as Duggan is passionate about getting in the ring, he can do this as long as he wants. Lawler said Duggan has one thing that McCain and Obama would kill for: being able to walk into a room and have millions of people chant, "U-S-A." Duggan smiled and said honestly he doesn't want to give that up, and maybe he just needed someone to tell him that.
Duggan shook his hand, but Cody and Ted's music interrupted. The tag champs entered the ring and Teddy took the first blow at Lawler, citing his desire to date women younger than both of them. Cody said that when Duggan won the first Rumble in 1988, he was only 2 1/2 years old. They weren't even born when Lawler went on Letterman and slapped Andy Kaufman. Lawler said that he could give a demonstration. Lawler reached back and slapped Cody, which set him off. Ted restrained Cody, then suggested the two old men leave the ring so the guys with the future take care of the rest. JBL's music hit and he limped out as the tag partner for the tag champs.
ECW promo: How did Tommy Dreamer fare at the Bash PPV against Mark Henry? Not so much.
In-ring: JBL finally made it to the ring where the tag champs awaited. Cryme Tyme then came out as two-thirds of the opposition. They have a .com segment, "Word Up," every Wednesday now. John Cena then came out the usual superstar pop with a huge bandage over his left elbow where he smashed the glass at the PPV. Cena told a nice story, favoring his elbow during his pre-match rituals all the way to his squat-into-word-life signal to the crowd.
[Q5 -- second hour]
3 -- JBL & World tag champions CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE, JR. vs. JOHN CENA & CRYME TYME (J.T.G & SHAD GASPAR)
Cena started off with Cody and maintained eye contact with JBL throughout his work on Cody. Ted and Shad then took tags, and Ted took the wrong end of a t-bone suplex that knocked him silly for a few seconds, almost to the point of not being able to kick out of a pin attempt in time. Ted slingshot JTG across the top rope to regain control for his team, then the heels worked over JTG for some time. JTG tried to come back with a roll-up, but Cody kicked out and made another tag to Ted to continue working over JTG. Fans chanted for Cena as Cody eventually lost control for the heels. JTG crawled over to his corner and finally made the tag to Cena. DiBiase also took a tag as Cena went off on DiBiase with trademark moves. The action broke down into a melee as JBL took off running through the crowd. Cena piled up the tag champs in the corner, then took them up on his shoulders. He flung Cody off with an FU, then dropped DiBiase with a traditional FU for the pin and the win. Impressive. Cena then hugged his dad ringside before celebrating the victory with Cryme Tyme.
WINNERS: Cena & Cryme Tyme in 10:00. Formula six-man tag match, but they laid out a nice, smart match to eventually showcase Cena's strength 24 hours removed from the beating at the PPV. I would have liked to have seen WWE get some more mileage out of the JBL-Cena brawl, but the announcers did a fine job mentioning the injuries from last night throughout the show. Tag champs aren't at that Spirit Squad level of jobbing-to-the-stars, as they have a credible program to work with, but it's worth keeping in the back of the mind. (**)
Backstage: Jericho and Cade were shown walking backstage when they bumped into Kane emerging from the locker room. Jericho and Cade slowly backed down, then Kane left to walk down the hallway.
Video package: They focused on Jenny McCarthy promoting her cause to fight autism, with Maria commenting on the event. McCarthy said WWE approached her about using the SNME slot to promote her cause. Tim Allen and Jim Carrey (not wearing McCarthy's swimsuit outfit) were among the notables who name-dropped WWE in the video promo.
4 -- Women's champion MICKIE JAMES & IC champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. PAUL BURCHILL & KATIE LEA
Action broke down early with Burchill tackling Kofi from behind with a chopblock to start an attack on Kofi's lower body. At 2:00, Mickie and Katie started brawling on the floor. Burchill and Kofi got involved, then Burchill smashed his ankle into the ringpost. Burchill then hit a neckbreaker in center ring and made the cover for the win.
WINNERS: Burchill & Katie in 3:00. Good win for the heels to establish some credibility for their respective title chases. The villains have to get the upper hand at some point on the show, so this was a good spot. (*)
Backstage: Jamie Noble was trying to work up on Layla again. Suddenly, Batista interrupted and asked if he's seen Kane. Noble said he saw Kane earlier, but not recently. He played nice and said maybe they could do some dumbbell work later on. Batista wanted none of that, so he shoved Noble into the wall and told Noble to let him know if he sees Kane.
Backstage: Todd Grisham brought in C.M. Punk for an interview ahead of facing Batista. He said he accepted the re-match against Batista because he'd rather lose with integrity than hold onto the Title by a technicality or a fluke. JBL interrupted and went face-to-face with Punk. He told Punk good luck, then told Punk he'll always be known as an asterisk or...a transitional champion. Punk said that's fine for JBL to think that, but it remains in the history books that his first successful title defense was against JBL. Punk smiled and walked off.
ECW promo: Fatal four-way to determine a new #1 Contender to the ECW Title. Miz vs. Morrison vs. Finlay vs. Hardy. Basically, all of the losers from the Bash.
Announcers: Cole did a voice-over on a shot of the casino, then Lawler cut him off and said they want to re-visit the graphic footage from the Michaels vs. Jericho match at the PPV last night. They showed black-and-white clips of Michaels being knocked silly before Jericho was deemed the winner by referee stoppage.
In-ring: Santino Marella came to the ring looking very upset with his hands on his hips. Santino quickly brushed off the imaginary cheers to show how mad he was after losing to Beth last week. Santino said he wanted to clarify something. He said that last week, his open challenge was for a man. He said he fights people with an ah adam apple. And now, he reissues the same challenge for ah tonight against a man. D-Lo Brown's music hit and he came out to answer the challenge. Same pudgy look, but more of an "in-shape" pudginess. Cole said Brown told him that he has matured and he's older and wiser. Before the match started, Beth Phoenix came to ringside for a closer look at the action.
5 -- SANTINO MARELLA vs. D-LO BROWN
Good response for Brown here despite being off TV for seemingly forever. Brown with the signature set-up moves leading to a top rope Lo-down for the easy pin and the win.
Afterward, Beth hopped into the ring to stare down Santino. She just stood there glaring at Santino, who finally pulled himself to his feet and begged off. Beth then smacked Santino in the face. They had a mini-brawl that consisted of exchanging standing waist locks until pausing to stare down each other. Breathing heavily, they stopped and stared at each other. Santino then put his hand on Beth's shoulder in a forward manner. Beth did the same. Oh dear. This led to a brief, awkward liplock that popped the crowd. Santino was so confused by what just happened. He quickly left the ring with a Mr. Bean-like random series of facial expressions. Beth was merely mad. Or just confused. Oh, this was great.
WINNER: D-Lo Brown in 2:00. Good return for Brown, but the obvious story was the liplock between Santino and Beth. That was classic. (1/2*)
Video package: Toby Keith was shown reading a message to promote SNME featuring Jenny McCarthy's fight against autism. ... Announcers: Cole and Lawler segued from that to talking about Shane and Stephanie looking for a new GM for Raw. Cole then excitedly rubbed his hands together and sent it to the ring for the World Title match. That was so not a smooth moment.
In-ring: Batista came out first to challenge Punk for the World Title. Before Punk came out, Kane's music hit and he came to the ring with the bag in hand. Kane charged the ring and they started brawling in the ring. Kane gave Batista a weak chokeslam, then C.M. Punk stormed the ring. He clotheslined Kane over the top rope to the floor, then officials ran to ringside to hold back Kane. Suddenly, Kane stormed after a cameraman, who high-tailed it up the entrance ramp.
Turning our attention back to the ring, the ref checked on Batista whether he wants to have this match or not. Punk threw in a snide remark, which prompted Batista to weakly shove him in the chest. Punk wanted a piece of Batista, but the ref held them both back. Cut to break.
6 -- World Hvt. champion C.M. PUNK vs. BATISTA -- World Heavyweight Title match
They returned from break and Lillian Garcia handled the formal ring intros after the ref gave Batista the commercial break to regain his bearings. Punk quickly focused his attack on Batista's head to work on the body part affected by Kane's pre-match chokeslam. He continued to work over the body part until Batista started his comeback at the top of the hour.
[Q9 -- over-run]
Batista made his comeback, then Punk went for a turnaround splash off the top, but Batista ducked and nailed a big spear. Batista wanted the finish, but JBL suddenly ran to the ringside area and Batista ran to the outside. The ref called for the bell when JBL attacked Batista. Groan. The action spilled into the ring where JBL KO'ed Punk with a clothesline from hell. Cena then sprinted into the ring and brawled with JBL until JBL ducked a punch and Cena accidentally hit Batista. Cena and Batista had a stare down, then they teased finishers on each other. Referees spilled into the ring to break up a potential fight as the show closed.
WINNER: No decision in 9:00. Well, that's another disappointing ending to a major title match. WWE is playing with fire with the non-finishes, even if it did lead to the inevitable Cena vs. Batista confrontation. Punk's "journey" to a credible title defense is an interesting story that seemingly will be followed for weeks and possibly months at this pace. Plenty of potential match-ups going forward with SNME and Summerslam on deck. Probably a tag match on SNME, but I don't see WWE giving away Cena vs. Batista at Summerslam. (*1/2)
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