TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 8/10: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Sgt. Slaughter hosting Raw
Aug 10, 2009 - 10:10:26 PM
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WWE Raw Live Report
August 10, 2009
Live from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
The WWE show started with a dark arena and ring announcer Lilian Garcia announced WWE champion Randy Orton. Orton was center ring in the dark arena greeted by boos. He played up the crowd reaction while Jerry Lawler referenced Bizzaroworld since they're in Canada. Ironically, Bizarroworld started at Summerslam 2004 when Orton won his first World Title against Chris Benoit at Summerslam in Toronto. It was also the show where JBL-Undertaker in the semi-main event was greeted by The Wave.
Randy Orton began his promo saying people have been talking behind his back about facing John Cena at Summerslam. He said people think he's scared; that he bought off Jeremy Piven to do his dirty work last week. Orton said it's a rumor, but fact is that he will beat John Cena at Summerslam. Cena's music interrupted and Cena came right up to Orton with a scowl on his face. Cena said people talk about truth and rumors and gray areas, but when Orton talks about it, it makes...him...angry. Cena said Orton knows what it's like to have a problem that keeps bothering you and bothering you and bothering you until you're ready (removes cap) to snap! Cena screamed at Orton that he's tired of watching Orton walk around acting like this business owes him something and like he thinks he can bully people around. Cena paused to let his passion sink in.
Cena told Bully Orton to bully him. He said so what if they have a match in two weeks. To heck with PPV buys! Cena said Orton is staring at a problem ready to rip him in half. "So, are you going to talk about it...or are you going to do something about it?" Cena shouted. Cena and Orton then went forehead to forehead before Orton slowly walked away. Before he could walk out of the ring, the Big Jericho theme music hit and out walked the Unified tag champs in business suits ready for a corporate board meeting. Cena and Orton were dressed to wrestle by contrast.
Show said it's funny watching them try to intimidate each other when they don't know the first thing about intimidation. He said he breaths...crowd interrupted with "Y2J" chant for Jericho, who no-sold to keep his heel persona going. Show finished that he breathes and people are intimidated. Cena said that's because his breath smells like Shaq's jockstrap. There's your Shaq namedrop to keep him in the picture.
Jericho then picked up the promo and the crowd came alive with a chant for Jericho. Jericho referenced Canada as the place he grew up, the place he trained, the place he ... Cena interrupted and said the place he chose to migrate from to the U.S. Crowd booed, Jericho sneered, and told Cena not to change the subject. Jericho said he already talked to Sgt. Slaughter and got what he wanted: a match one-on-one with Cena. Crowd cheered. Jericho walked up to Cena and said he'll beat him one-on-one tonight in his country. Orton then vowed to pick up the scraps and Punt Cena in the skull. Big Show interrupted and told Orton not so fast. See, Show wanted people to forget about Shaq last week, so he destroyed Kofi Kingston. Tonight, he got what he wanted from Sarge: a match tonight against Orton. Show vs. Orton tonight. Cue up the music to end the segment. PYB (3) talk time: 10:55.
Backstage: They showed Raw guest host Sgt. Slaughter and his giant chin in a tight side profile shot. He turned to the camera and gave a military command before turning back off camera.
Video plug: A graphic for DX came on the screen. Cole and Lawler said Triple H's " Search for Shawn Michaels" in Texas will air tonight.
1 -- GAIL KIM vs. BETH PHOENIX vs. ALICIA FOX vs. KELLY KELLY -- #1 contender's match to Divas Title
Lilian Garcia announced the winner will receive a future Divas Title match. Future was left undefined. All four divas went after each other in rapid-fire fashion to start. Seemed like the end of the six-pack challenge from the Night of Champions PPV. They built up tension between Beth and Alicia early in the match, which came into play at the end after Beth tried a double powerslam off the top that would have been sick. Action spilled to the floor where Kelly landed a plancha on Alicia and Gail. Beth then teased a splash to the floor, but Alicia cut her off. Back in the ring, Alicia took her eye off the ball and Gail rolled her up for a pin to earn a future title shot.
WINNER: Gail Kim at 4:05. High-energy, fast-paced action. Well done. (*)
In-ring: After the divas match, Sgt. Slaughter came out on stage to salute the crowd. Crowd was a bit questionable about Slaughter due to his U.S.A. allegiance. Slaughter complemented the Canadian crowd before leading the audience in a salute to the Canadian flag. After a picture of the flag went on the screen, Slaughter introduced a giant red "x" through the flag. Slaughter entered Promoland and said if it wasn't for the U.S., everyone in Canada would be speaking French and Russian right now. Slaughter then introduced the U.S. flag on the screen and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to little heat. His music played and he shouted "You're dismissed." Pointless segment. Apparently this was WWE's idea of having a heel guest host. We'll see how it plays out on the show.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler did a voice-over about Legacy defeating Triple H last week. Cue up footage of Hunter teasing that "one phone call" after he lost to DiBiase and Rhodes. Cole was shown on-camera saying Hunter traveled to Texas earlier today looking for Shawn Michaels. They'll have footage later.
In-ring: Jack Swagger came to the ring for an unadvertised, unannounced match. Cole let us know it's the rubber match between Swagger and Bourne. Amazing. They still won't give this feud any pre-match hype or attention or focus or build-up or anything to make this seem like an important match in both men's careers. Not even an interview or an inset promo. Evan Bourne came out second for the match. Announcers did the best they could to hype this before the bell sounded.
2 -- JACK SWAGGER vs. EVAN BOURNE
Swagger went right after Bourne after the bell sounded. Bourne took him to the floor, though, and landed a splash. Back in the ring, though, Bourne ate Swagger's knee back-first. Swagger then worked over Bourne's back with a nice knee-to-the-spine stretch on the mat. Bourne then tried a spinning head scissors, but Swagger blocked in mid-air. Crowd oohed as Swagger was ready to smash Bourne, but Bourne countered with a roll-up for a two count. Bourne with a double knee smash beneath the chin, but Swagger tossed him into the turnbuckles. Swagger had enough and dropped Bourne on his back with the gutwrench powerbomb for the pin and the win. Swagger then stared into the hard camera with an evil look before playing to the crowd.
WINNER: Swagger at 2:50. Didn't do much for Bourne. Swagger looked good as a bruising wrestler, though. It's nice to watch a show in front of a Canadian crowd because they seem to be more into the match action and hang on every move. You get the feeling with most WWE crowds in the U.S. that they're waiting for something to cheer about instead of getting involved. Like being at a baseball game surrounded by kids and families who don't cheer until the giant "GET LOUD...ER!!!" graphic flashes on the screen. (*1/2)
Post-match: Swagger took the mic after the match and said the two-time, two-time All-American ... pause for boos ... Jack Swaggah. Suddenly, MVP's music hit and MVP came out on stage dressed for the club. MVP said Swagger is always talking about being an All-American, but the only people who care less about that are these Canadians. MVP went the Christian route of mocking Swagger's lisp. He said he wasn't blessed with a trust fund like Swagger, but he will beat him in the ring. MVP then challenged Swagger to a match tonight unless he's an All-American wimp. Wimp? That's not even PG, that's like G or Y-7. Swagger said maybe next week. MVP smirked, then shoved Swagger flat on his back. Swagger was ready to pop or explode, then he slowly rolled out of the ring and checked himself to make sure all his teeth were in place. Crowd hot with an MVP chant as Swagger walked away. MVP was the most popular he's been in weeks since he came to the Raw brand. Nice segment.
Up next: The Search for Shawn Michaels.
Video earlier today: They showed an exterior shot of a parking lot, then Triple H was shown walking into a restaurant/office building. Hunter called up Michaels and started to leave a voice mail. He cut it off, then walked up behind someone with a ponytail. Of course, dude wasn't Michaels when he turned around. Guy looked Hunter up and down said he gets off work at seven. Hunter then walked over to the counter as a girl was slamming the bell asking for her hamburger. Shawn Michaels then popped up with a shot of the tattoo of his ring. Michaels's first TV appearance since WrestleMania 25...in a chef outfit. Michaels cut a promo on the daughter of some corporate type that she needs to sit down and eat some tater-tots so he can cook her burger. Michaels was so great with facial expressions and tone almost literally taking crap and making a crap sandwich. She walked off, then Michaels slowly turned around to face Hunter, who did a jaw-on-the-ground facial expression. Michaels walked back to the kitchen to end the video segment. ... Back live, Cole and Lawler played up being shocked. They laughed at the bit as Cole tried to regain control of the show with a plug for Hunter on Jimmy Fallon's show tomorrow night.
On-stage: Sgt. Slaughter's music hit and he came back on stage. He said he was just playing early. He got someone to sing the Canadian National Anthem. Sarge introduced...Celine Dion. No sign of her. He's just playing. He got someone better. Out came Jillian Hall in an Uncle Sam outfit singing "God Bless America." After she butchered the song, Sarge and Jillian hugged. End segment. What in the world is going on here?
[Commercial Break. They included a promo for the Series Finale of The Monk with Vince McMahon and Eve. They created the Monkinator. He uses a broom. Finisher would be the Clean Sweep. Monk is afraid of sweat and touching. And giants. Enter Great Khali with his arm around McMahon, who was about to do the Big Gulp.]
In-ring: Lilian Garcia announced a pole match. Eugene was in the ring. There's his big return on TV. Lilian said the person who wins the contract receives a WWE contract to be on Raw. Out came his opponent, Calgary Kid. Wrestler was sporting a red mask and Calgary Flames jersey. Cole said he Googled Calgary Kid before the show.
3 -- EUGENE vs. CALGARY KID
Calgary Kid tried to distract Eugene with a shiny nickel on the ground to climb the pole, but Eugene cut him off. Eugene then teased the People's Elbow and connected on CK. Eugene started to climb the pole, but CK punched him in the gut. They battled on the pole reaching for the contract, then Calgary Kid flung Eugene to the mat. Kid then grabbed the contract to win the match and a WWE contract.
After the match, Calgary Kid helped Eugene to his feet, then he gave Eugene a facebuster out of the Russian legsweep position. Kid then removed the mask to reveal...The Miz. Well, that was creative. Miz played to the crowd as the announcers said Miz found a way back onto the show after losing his Raw job last week. Miz then took the mic and said he's the Miz and he's awesome. Miz was sporting flatter hair since he was sporting the mask. Different look with the Lance Storm trunks and kick pads.
WINNER: Calgary Kid / Miz at 1:17. Good way to get Miz back on the show, but they really didn't even try milking it, rendering last week's entire show a complete waste now. Very anti-climatic return. Announcers sold it like, "All right, Miz is back on the show. Cut to a commercial." (n/a)
ECW plug: Who will emerge to challenge Christian for the ECW Title at Summerslam?
In-ring: They showed WWE champion Randy Orton walking down the hallway before the commercial, then he came to the ring for the first of two main events. Next Monday: Orton in his hometown of St. Louis before Summerslam. Evan Bourne's hometown area, too, so perhaps an Orton vs. Bourne "make yourself a star, kid" match. Naw, that won't happen.
4 -- WWE champion RANDY ORTON vs. Unified tag champion BIG SHOW -- non-title match
The match started with Big Show slowly walking toward Orton to intimidate him. This was a follow-up from last night's house show in Colorado Springs where Orton worked babyface against Show, who worked heel in the house show main event. Crowd was behind Orton, who absorbed punishment early on before landing the horizontal DDT across the middle rope. Orton wanted the RKO, but Show flung him away. Show teased the chokeslam, then grabbed Orton and delivered a chokeslam. Orton was KO'ed, but Orton managed to get a foot on the bottom rope to escape a pin. Show then blasted Orton with stomps and kicks out of frustration. Show readied the Big Right Hand, but Orton ducked and slithered out of the ring. Orton stood on the outside as the ref applied a ten count. Ref reached eight and Orton teased re-entering, but he opted to walk away. Show with the count-out victory. Show wasn't too pleased with Orton bailing.
WINNER: Big Show via count-out at 6:05. There was more emphasis on making Show seem like a monster (to build up for the Shaq deal down the line) than making Orton seem like a credible wrestler on any level, nevertheless the champion. Orton's credibility is just gone. It's just not there at all. Raw before the Royal Rumble seems like forever ago. (*)
Hunter in Texas: Back to the video where Hunter tried to figure out how to address Michaels in a chef suit. Michaels corrected him that he's not a cook, but a chef. He's The Chef. Michaels told Hunter he just wouldn't understand. He doesn't need the wrestling business anymore. Michaels said Hunter wouldn't understand that these corporate nimrods he cooks for are like brothers. Michaels took a deep breath and said these people like and respect him. "These tater tots taste like crap, monkey!" shouted the daughter from the earlier segment. Hunter said he needs Michaels's help against Legacy. Michaels cut him off and said he's really good at what he does now. Meanwhile, in the background, the stove was raging out of control. Hunter, "Really, Chef-Boyardee?" Michaels turned around and ran over to the stove to turn it off. He came out with black char on his face. "Okay, I'll listen," he calmly said.
In-ring: MVP's music hit. Lilian announced a one-fall match for some sort of unadvertised singles match. Chris Masters then came out to face him again from the Beat the Clock deal. Masters came out on stage in the dark and rotated around. I'm sure someone has made this connection before, but he's basically Paul Roma's twin.
5 -- CHRIS MASTERS vs. MVP
Masters showed off his strength early on by tossing MVP across the ring. MVP came back with a nice overhead throw off the ropes. He followed with the Big Ballin' elbow drop and wanted the Chono Boot, but Masters avoided. He tried the Masterlock, but only got one arm locked. Wait for it...he couldn't find the right combination, then MVP countered right into the Playmaker for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Jack Swagger walked out on stage. He took his time coming down the ramp allowing Masters to sneak up from behind on MVP to slap on the Masterlock. MVP was brought to his knees (fulfilling Swagger's theme music), then Masters dropped the hold and Swaggaer nailed the gutwrench powerbomb. Swagger pounded his chest, then stared into the hard camera proud of himself.
WINNER: MVP at 2:33. I might soon regret this next sentence... Swagger and Master could make a good tag team. Although I'd rather see Swagger receive a credible singles push, Swagger and Masters could be a good tag team where Swagger can be featured on Smackdown (to actually have time to wrestle) and build up his credibility as a legit star. Masters would benefit from working with Swagger, who can provide the personality while Masters provides the muscle. (*)
Last week Raw recap: They showed clips of Dr. Ken and Jeremy Piven hosting Raw along with clips of their appearances on mainstream TV talking about Piven trying to attack Cena. They showed clips of Piven and Dr. Ken cutting promos on Cena on Jimmy Fallon's show. Back live, Lawler said Dr. Ken had "a big emotional lump on his head." They plugged Cena vs. Jericho later tonight.
Earlier today in Texas: Hunter was now behind the counter working with Michaels, who kept flipping burgers. Hunter said Michaels deserves to be back in WWE. Hunter flipped a burger himself. Not very sanitary. Michaels told him to put a hat on for the "hair law or something." Hunter dropped a burger, then put it back on the grill. Hunter said he needs him at Summerslam. "I thought it was Summerfest?" Michaels said. Hunter said whatever the case, he needs him. Someone stormed in shouting "Hickenbottom!" Michaels looked at Hunter and said he has to protect his anonymity. The cookie-cutter Angry Manager cut a promo on Michaels that he's a dime a dozen and he could replace him anytime he wants to. Suddenly, Michaels reared back and popped Vince...er...the manager with Sweet Chin Music. Michaels then looked to Hunter and slapped him on the shoulder. "I'm in!" They said they have two words for them. Cut to a shot of an older lady who said "Suck it" into the camera. The little girl started complaining again off camera. Michaels had some unfinished business. He walked over to the girl, who got right in his face. Michaels then reared back and popped the girl off camera with Sweet Chin Music. Salad bar went flying. Apparently child abuse is welcome in a DX segment. Michaels and Hunter threw their chef stuff down and walked off after Michaels said, "I quit!"
Announcers: Cole and Lawler revealed the answer for the Slaughter trivia question. Who did Slaughter beat for his WWE Title victory? 51 percent picked Warrior, 33 percent for Hogan, and 16 percent for Savage. Answer was Warrior, of course. Brings back memories of Sensational Sherri. Lawler said he picked Savage. No, Savage and Sherri just helped Slaughter win the belt from Warrior. Cole sarcastically called Lawler the "best commentator in the business" after missing the question.
On-stage: Slaughter cut another promo. He tried a gracious babyface promo saying he's just had some fun tonight. He then introduced the Best There Is, the Best There Was, the Best There Ever Will Be. Crowd wasn't ready to buy into this. Bret Hart's music played, but no sign of Hart. After Hart's music stopped, Hacksaw Jim Duggan's music played for the third scripted bait and switch of the night for Slaughter. Duggan came out sporting the U.S. flag, then entered the ring. Any chance of Duggan shaving his head and re-starting the WCW "Team Canada" stable with Lance Storm tonight? Duggan paraded around the ring as they cut to break.
ECW tomorrow night: Abraham Washington hosts ECW champion Christian. Oh joy.
In-ring: Hornswoggle came out on stage. "There he is!!!!!!" Cole shouted excitedly. Mark Swoggle Henry then came out sporting the green derby as Horny's tag partner. The endorsement deal with the Jolly Green Giant has to be coming up soon. Chavo Guerrero's music hit, then he came out on stage to continue this never-ending feud. Chavo wasn't dressed to wrestle. He said he was looking forward to finding a partner to get some revenge tonight, but that's not happening tonight because he was injured last week. He did find a replacement tag team, though. Crowd with a "We want Bret" chant in the background. Cue up Legacy's theme music. Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes bounced out on stage and surveyed their competition.
6 -- MARK SWOGGLE HENRY & HORNSWOGGLE vs. LEGACY (TED DIBIASE, JR. & CODY RHODES)
Cole and Lawler said DX might be returning at Summerslam to face Legacy. Trivia note: Cody Rhodes is actually the same height as Henry, if not with an inch advantage. Henry flung Cody out of the ring, then gave DiBiase a World's Strongest Slam in the corner. Horny then went up top and wanted the Tadpole splash, but DiBiase moved. Henry was stunned, then Cody kicked him off the apron. DiBiase stalked Horny, then grappled him from behind for the Dream Street in center ring for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Henry stood over his fallen comrade and nearly performed CPR on Hornswoggle as Legacy walked out of the ring satisfied with the match victory. They replayed the high points of the match before cutting to a shot of DiBiase holding a mic on stage. DiBiase said it appears they have the re-formation of DX. As if that's supposed to scare them, he said. DiBiase answered Hunter's question from last week: "We Are Ready." He said they'll make Michaels's comeback the shortest ever. Cody said if you're not down with that, they have two words: Too Bad. Right up there with "wimp" from MVP earlier tonight.
WINNERS: Cody & Ted at 2:38. Match was there. Cody and Ted look real tough beating Hornswoggle to set up their Summerslam match. *End sarcasm*
Backstage: ECW announcer Josh Mathews brought in Chris Jericho, who vowed to beat John Cena for the first time. He said he dedicates his victory tonight to Calgary, where he lived and trained and grew up in the Stu Hart Dungeon. Jericho was interrupted by Big Show, who said he can't believe what Orton did earlier tonight. Jericho told him he has it under control. They walked off camera and Jericho sold that he didn't realize the camera was still rolling. He proceeded to cut a promo on Canada and Calgary to Show in conversational tone. He said the audience will buy anything he tells them. Mathews then snuck in and told Jericho the cameras are still rolling. Show shot the camera a side eyebrow look. A deep bellowing laugh at Jericho's plight was appropriate as Jericho rubbed his head in disbelief he blew his babyface crowd reaction. Crowd in the arena didn't react, though, as it came across like a forced attempt to "break the fourth wall."
Smackdown plug: John Morrison has been on a roll after knocking off C.M. Punk twice when he was champ. Now, the third match on SD this week.
Next week's Raw guest host: Freddy Prinze, Jr. ... Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged the Summerslam card.
In-ring: John Cena came to the ring first for the TV main event. Split crowd reaction. Boos and apathy. Chris Jericho then came out as Cole gleefully talked about Jericho ripping the city in the previous segment when he didn't realize the cameras were still rolling. Match up next.
7 -- JOHN CENA vs. Unified tag champion CHRIS JERICHO
Jericho and Cena exchanged control early on. Crowd wasn't buying the previous segment with Jericho obviously being scripted to cut an anti-Canada promo and continued to cheer Jericho. Lawler reasoned that the crowd still didn't want to cheer Cena because he's American. Actually, it's because they don't think highly of his wrestling ability.
[Q9 -- over-run]
Jericho controlled the match going into the over-run. He landed an elbow to the back before making a cover for a two count. Cena then went into "vintage Cena" mode of the flying shoulder tackle and Five Knuckle Shuffle combo. Cena smirked at the mixed crowd reaction. He started the "You Can't See Me" hand motion, but Jericho grabbed at him. Spot was blown, so Cena did the gesture again and Jericho tried a small package, but only got a two count. Cena then rolled through a cross-body block and wanted to power into the FU, but Jericho escaped and slapped on the Walls of Jericho. Jericho sat down on it to big cheers. Cena escaped, then countered into the STFU. Randy Orton then snuck into the ring and the bell sounded for the match to be thrown out. Crowd went from being red hot to dead silent as Cena and Orton just kind of stared at each other.
WINNER: No Decision at 6:46. Jericho is the best performer in this company right now. Morrison, Punk, and Hardy are close, but Jericho had the audience eating out of his hand for seven great minutes. Cena worked well too. Match finish was unclear, but that was expected when WWE booked this match. (**1/2)
Post-match: Jericho gave Cena the codebreaker from behind. Orton then dumped Jericho to the outside leading to Big Show sneaking in the back door to chokeslam Orton. On cue, Slaughter came out on stage and said the maggots gave him a good idea. As his final act of duty, he's going to make a tag match for next week: Big Show & Jericho vs. Cena & Orton. Crowd apathetic to a match for next week. Orton and Cena then snuck up behind Show and clotheslined him to the floor. Cena wanted the FU on Jericho, but Orton snuck up behind Cena and delivered the RKO on Jericho while Jericho was in FU position. Credit to Sean Radican for a text on this one: the FUKO. Jericho's neck was snapped back on the landing. Ouch. Orton and Cena then circled around Jericho's fallen body staring at each other with questioning eyes since they're opponents at Summerslam, but worked together at the end of Raw tonight. End show.
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