TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 1/11: Complete coverage of Mike Tyson guest-hosting and wrestling on Raw
Jan 11, 2010 - 10:15:10 PM
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WWE Raw Live Report
January 11, 2009
Live from Minneapolis, Minn.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
Torch editor Wade Keller is live in Minneapolis for tonight's Raw. Keller will be filing his Raw report after the show.
On the Raw cut-in during the NCIS show on USA Network, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler talked about "Retribution" related to Vince McMahon kicking Bret Hart in the crotch last week. Cole plugged Mike Tyson being the "most iconic sports figure of the 20th Century." WWE has been re-living 1997 lately, but it's time to step into the next century.
Raw then started live with Michael Cole saying there is a "big fight feel" on the show tonight. After a pause, Justin Roberts welcomed out tonight's guest host, Mike Tyson. Roberts with the standard verbiage, then Tyson strutted out alone sporting a black t-shirt, jeans, and Timberland boots. Tyson was playing babyface here slapping hands with fans ringside as Cole plugged Tyson's new DVD.
Once in the ring, Tyson took the mic and let a round of applause interrupt him. He said the last time he was here on Raw was a memorable experience. Cue up the clips from 1998 when Vince McMahon, Mike Tyson, and Steve Austin mixed it up. There's a reason why we went back through the history on the Torch today. "Tyson and Austin, Tyson and Austin," Ross memorably said. They went back to WrestleMania 14 too for Austin's title victory and punching out Shawn Michaels. "Down goes Michaels," Ross memorably said. Back live, two or three fans audibly chanted, "You screwed Shawn." Lawler chuckled. Tyson just laughed and stammered in the ring.
Suddenly, Sheamus's music interrupted to bring out the WWE champion. Cole tried to equate Sheamus to Tyson in the 1980s when Tyson ran through folks. Sheamus hit the ring to boos and said Tyson is nothing but a washed-up, ex-champion. Sheamus then held up the WWE Title belt. "And that makes me the baddest man on the planet," Sheamus said before getting in Tyson's face. Tyson gave him a shoulder fake to send Sheamus reeling backward. Sheamus told Tyson to do it again because if he does, he better make contact. They went nose-to-nose, then suddenly Randy Orton's music hit to bring out Orton.
Orton took the mic and addressed Tyson first. He said he's not interested in creating a SportsCenter moment like some people might be. He's interested in the WWE Title. Orton said Sheamus doesn't have an opponent for the Royal Rumble, so Tyson needs to make him #1 contender. Suddenly, John Cena's music hit to a typically strong reaction to bring out Cena after a one-week absence for the Fiesta Bowl last Monday. Cole noted the "stars in the ring" at the start of Raw, apparently to counter TNA dropping stars on viewers last week.
Cena said hi to everyone and nearly blew his cheap pop saying, "The Packers...er...the Vikings are still in the Playoffs and the Packers are going home." Sheamus said he doesn't want to see Cena here because he gave him his last shot at the title. Cena said last time they fought, Sheamus l-o-s-t lost. Cena said he's beaten Sheamus, Orton, and even Tyson. You could see it coming - Cena said it took virtually all of his youth, but he finally won Super Punch-Out. Cena told Tyson to look no further for a title shot than him.
Suddenly, Kofi Kingston's music interrupted to bring out Kofi, who was looking very serious. Orton wanted to know what he's doing here since he lost to him last week. Kofi said he's right and he probably doesn't have any business being out here except for Cena and Orton having already had numerous title matches while he's never had one. Kofi said he's not going to sit in the back and wait for his opportunity. Kofi made the mistake of pausing for a "Cena Sucks" chant, which Cena covered with a line about not paying attention to that anyways. Kofi said he wants a shot and he won't take no for an answer. Sheamus then stepped in and addressed Tyson, saying he wants the Rumble off from having to defend the title. He told the other three that if they want a title match, then go to the Rumble and earn it like everyone else.
Tyson said he never ducked a fight in his life, so Sheamus is defending the title at the Rumble. He then stammered out a booking decision of a triple threat tonight with the winner facing Sheamus at the Rumble. Cena then translated for Tyson that it's three of the Punch-Out stars vs. the lame Soda Popinski, Sheamus. Sheamus glared at Cena, then Tyson's music hit to wrap the segment. PYB (3) 11:25. JC: Plenty of good star power, but Tyson was pretty awkward here. They limited his talking points effectively, though, to allow the wrestling stars to be seen on the same level as Tyson. I was disappointed in no punch, kick, or bite from Tyson, though. And it was pretty comical that Cena nearly blew the cheap-heat sports reference in Minnesota.
Raw plug/recap: They went back to last week when Vince McMahon kicked Bret Hart between the legs. Cole posed the question of whether McMahon regrets his actions last week.
In-ring: Kelly Kelly came out for a first round Divas Title tournament match. She's up against Alicia Fox in a Superstars-quality re-match.
1 -- KELLY KELLY vs. ALICIA FOX -- First Round Divas Title tournament match
Kelly held control initially, working over Alicia's neck. She then tried to win with her usual head scissors-like maneuver, but Alicia countered with a powerbomb for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Alicia Fox at 2:25. The match happened, but it was typically short. Now Alicia, Maryse, and Gail Kim have advanced. Need a second babyface to complete the four semi-finalists.
[Commercial Break. The new Mattel toy commercial debuted with focus on Rey Mysterio, naturally.]
Video package: They focused on John Cena being part of the Fiesta Bowl last week, including Cena flipping the coin at the game prior to TCU vs. Boise State. One referee did a "You Can't See Me" towards Cena. Must have been one of those idiot refs in the National Title game. Cena with Jerry Jones. That's a sight. The eventual emphasis was on WrestleMania 26 being at the Fiesta Bowl in March.
In-ring: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase came to the ring for an apparent match. Cody said things will be different at this year's Rumble when Randy Orton doesn't win. DiBiase said that's right because it will be him. Cody was thinking other thoughts that it would be his. DiBiase referenced himself being a movie star and having a superior "Marine" movie compared to the original. Cody said his fifth-grade graduation video is better than the original, so what's his point? Oohs from the crowd-members who recognized they were ripping Cena. DiBiase said his point is that he's winning the Rumble. Cody got in Ted's face for some jaw-jacking, then Mark Henry's music hit to bring out Henry and Evan Bourne. Cole said all four men in this match will be part of the Rumble.
2 -- LEGACY (CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE, JR.) vs. MARK HENRY & EVAN BOURNE
Legacy isolated Bourne early on as the announcers speculated whether the Rumble will drive a stake through Legacy. Cody then busted out a beautiful dropkick on Bourne before slowly taking him apart. Bourne eventually made the hot tag to Henry at 3:15, leading to Henry cleaning house. Henry then tagged in Bourne for the Air Bourne on Cody, but DiBiase yanked Cody out of harm's way. DiBiase followed by suckering Henry into a dive over the top rope. Bourne then smashed Rhodes with a knee strike, but Cody caught Bourne from behind with Cross Rhodes for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Legacy at 4:15. Summary of this is that Legacy teased tension yet again, Bourne was a ragdoll, and if WWE wants to utilize Henry and Bourne, there is potential for a nice tag team here. Something about this power & size combo would work if Henry can soften up an opponent, then Bourne can hit his Air Bourne finisher. (*)
Backstage: DX appeared on TV 37 minutes into the show. Hunter asked Michaels if he really wants to do this - make peace with Mike Tyson. Michaels said he made peace with Bret Hart last week and he wants to do the same with Tyson tonight. Hunter said Tyson is...insane. "Mike Tyson is the man who knocked you out for four years," Hunter said. Michaels said the documentary (product placement) says he's a changed man and he's going to find out. Short and sweet and effective.
ECW plug: It's the biggest eight-man battle royal in ECW history. Have there really been that many? Winner gets ECW champ Christian at the Rumble.
Backstage: After the break, Michaels was shown talking to Tyson. Michaels said it was good for him and Bret Hart to bury the hatchet last week, so he wants to do the same here. He said he forgives Tyson for knocking him out at WM14. (Apparently the consistency in the storyline is that Michaels isn't really sorry about anything.) Tyson said there's one problem because he doesn't really need Michaels's forgiveness. He said he didn't regret what happened and he would like to do it again. In walked Chris Jericho, who is apparently back on the show without needing a protest or buying a ticket. Jericho said he procured Tyson's phone number to talk to him about a deep, personal friendship to get him on the show. Jericho said Tyson has booked DX in a match tonight and if DX loses, Jericho stays on Raw forever. Tyson booked it for tonight - DX vs. Jericho and...Mike Tyson. Jericho smirked while Michaels glared at Tyson. "I still owe you one," Michaels shot back. Tyson said he's looking forward to a payment. Michaels left, then Tyson called DX "dumb fools" while Jericho laughed. (Worth noting Hunter wasn't part of this segment so he wasn't associated with Michaels's failed plan.)
Ringside: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were shown on camera. Cole went nuts pretending to box to hype excitement for Tyson in the ring. No one knows how to kill a moment more than Cole. He then transitioned to a look back at Raw last week.
Video package: They spliced together clips of Bret Hart back on Raw last week with the Survivor Series '97 events. They showed Vince McMahon's personal note of gratitude toward Hart while they showed clips of Hart's WWF career high points. Suddenly, it came to a screeching halt when McMahon kicked Hart between the legs. ... The announcers plugged "retribution?" for Hart or McMahon adding fuel to the fire tonight.
In-ring: Back from break, Jack Swagger was shown running around the ring in circles. Swagger cut off Michael Cole trying to plug Tyson's match and offered a news flash that he's going to win the Rumble and go on to headline WrestleMania. Swagger said he's never been in the Rumble, but he guarantee, guarantee, guarantees that no one on any show has the ability to eliminate him. Swagger is issuing an All-American, American, American challenge to anyone who thinks he can throw him over the top rope. On commentary, Lawler told Cole go on out there. Cue up Santino's them music, which Swagger met with a look of frustration. Santino took the mic and said this is so embarrassing because he was just going to issue the All-Italian over-the-top-rope challenge. Santino told Swagger he's going to drop him like a bicycle with no kick stand. Wow.
3 -- JACK SWAGGER vs. SANTINO MARELLA -- Over-the-top-rope challenge
Swagger rammed Santino across the turnbuckles before hitting his running Vader Bomb. Swagger then tried to run Santino over the top rope, but Santino pulled a trick out of the bag ducking down to eliminate Swagger over the top rope. Swagger sold anger ringside post-match, then he tried to chase Santino, who bolted up the entranceramp to the back.
WINNER: Santino at 0:52. Pretty darn pointless. The carnival wrestler is supposed to win the first few, but look vulnerable, to get the marks in the crowd to think they have a shot. Swagger wasn't supposed to lose the first challenge. The highlight of Swagger's night was cutting off Michael Cole. (n/a)
1998 Flashback: They went back to clips of Mike Tyson and Steve Austin's memorable brawl on Raw to plug Tyson's return to the ring with Jericho vs. DX tonight.
Backstage: They showed Cena, Kofi, and Orton walking down the hallway on a split screen. They're up next in the three-way #1 contender match.
[Q5 -- second hour]
Main event plug: At the top of the hour, the announcers plugged Tyson & Jericho vs. DX in the main event. Randy Orton then came out first for the three-way #1 contender match. Kofi Kingston came out second as Cole said Kofi is stepping up looking for his shot. Lawler said he wants his shot too...but Kofi lost to Orton last week. Lawler dropping those hints of wanting a WrestleMania match. John Cena then came out and did his pre-match routine while staring down the opposition.
4 -- RANDY ORTON vs. KOFI KINGSTON vs. JOHN CENA -- #1 contender match
The bell sounded and Orton kicked Cena in the gut. Kofi and Cena then double-teamed Orton and some awkward in-ring wrestling occurred. Orton tried to bail, but Cena threw Orton into the ring. Worth noting Orton is the heel here, but he's getting double-teamed. Kofi then chucked Orton to the floor, leaving Cena and Kofi alone in the ring. Sheamus then came out on stage for a closer look. Cena told Sheamus to come on down, but then Orton caught both Cena and Kofi from behind to take control going to break. Poor first three minutes to start the match.
[Commercial Break. More plugs for The Rock's new movie.]
Back from break, Sheamus was still on the entranceramp and Orton was still in control. Orton then dropped Cena with his "vicious" horizontal DDT from the middle rope. Orton got up, but walked into a high cross-body splash from Kofi, who scored a two count. Orton came back with a fallaway backbreaker on Kofi, but Cena attacked Orton. Kofi then hit the SOS sweeping back drop on Orton for a two count. Kofi warmed up the Boom Drop on Orton, but Cena caught him with the STF in center ring. Kofi held on forever before Orton finally broke up the hold. Cena then fired up his usual routine on Orton before delivering the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena wanted to follow with the FU, but Kofi yanked Orton down and chopped Cena across the chest. Kofi followed with a dropkick and leaping clothesline before hitting the Boom Drop. Crowd seemed to die as Kofi took control here. Kofi then hit the Trouble in Paradise, but Cena rolled to the outside.
Kofi turned to Orton for ten punches in the corner, while, suddenly, Cody Rhodes showed up ringside to kick the ring steps into Cena. The ref reprimanded Cody while Kofi and Orton waited forever for DiBiase to show up and interfere on Orton's behalf behind the ref's back. Orton then stalked Kofi, who was on his feet at this point, and hit the RKO center ring. Orton sold frustration with the finish, then made the cover for the win. Post-match: Sheamus glared back at Orton, who stood tall in the ring with Legacy. Sheamus vs. Orton at the Rumble.
WINNER: Orton at 11:15. Clunky, disappointing match. Kofi was off, Kofi and Cena working together in the beginning was off, DiBiase was slow with the final interference, and the finish was off. Orton vs. Sheamus is an all right match-up. (3/4*)
Backstage: Josh Mathews recapped the DX vs. Tyson & Jericho development, then Mathews brought in Tyson. Suddenly, Hornswoggle interrupted and Tyson smiled. Tyson went down to one knee and told Horny if he sees Hornswoggle in his match tonight, he's going to rip out Hornswoggle's intestines and do jump-rope. Tyson was amazingly intense here after what seemed like the final cut after several takes. Hornswoggle then backed off as Tyson glared him down.
Backstage: After they rolled footage of MVP winning a #1 contender match for the U.S. Title last week, they showed U.S. champion The Miz holding a mic while standing outside a locker room door. Miz said when he first showed up in WWE, people made his life a living hell because the wrestlers hated him. Miz said he was banned from the locker room for six months after spilling a few crumbs over a ref's bag. He name-dropped JBL, then did a big Texas accent on JBL berating him. Miz said he used JBL's fuel and other people's hate to fuel his rise to the top of Raw. He said that locker room is for the Evan Bourne and MVPs of the WWE roster. Miz then continued his walk down the hallway into the arena setting. Miz mocked MVP for joining a long list of people who have been publicly humiliated by him. He said MVP doesn't even deserve to be in the same ring as him. Miz made it to the ring and said he thinks MVP deserves to be in jail because he's been perfect his whole life. He said he'd rather have the fans hate him for everything he is than love him for everything they're not. "I am the reason you people watch Monday Night Raw, not MVP," he said. Miz said MVP comes out here with his designer suits, fancy watches, and ballin', but he's still a mutt at the end of the day. He told the Miztakes and wrestlers in the locker room that they will respect their United States champion. "Because I'm the Miz...and I'm awesome," Miz said over the "I'm Awful" interjections from the crowd. One of the best WWE promos I've heard in a long time.
MVP's music then interrupted to bring out MVP on stage sporting a designer suit. MVP said he doesn't hide from his past; rather he embraces it. He said he doesn't want people to make the same mistakes he made. MVP said he does have an affinity for the good stuff, but he worked hard for everything he has. Fans weren't buying the babyface promo. MVP said he's earned the respect of the fans, which is something Miz hasn't done. MVP said he's worked hard to become a superstar in this circus called WWE. MVP said they are all animals in this circus, but he's no mutt. MVP told Miz to bear with him for a moment by standing there to "suck." MVP then undressed himself while a few fans got a "Miz is Awesome" chant on the air. MVP said as far as animals go in the circus, he's a Bengal Tiger (um...not a good NFL Playoffs reference) while Miz is a monkey flinging poop. MVP bragged about his wardrobe in response to Miz claiming he's tame.
MVP said he acted like an animal and he spent seven years in the Florida State prison system. He said this animal survived in a world Miz has only seen on TV. MVP told Miz to open up the cage and see how tame this tiger really is. MVP won over the majority of the crowd with his passion here. They got in each other's faces and MVP told Miz he dares him to find out. Miz glared at MVP before taking a few steps back. Miz then made a motion forward, but MVP chucked his mic into Miz's gut. They broke out in a mini-brawl before MVP nailed a leaping leg drop and running boot to the head that sent Miz rolling to the outside. MVP then posed in the ring with the U.S. Title belt while Miz checked his jaw and glared back at MVP.
JC: That was some darn good TV right there. A very memorable segment with WWE giving them almost ten minutes of TV focus. MVP's passion on the mic was tremendous and Miz's cockiness was a great complement. No word on when the actual U.S. Title match will take place, but this was great.
Hall of Fame recap: They went back to the 2009 Hall of Fame with a look at the Funks, Bill Watts, The Fink, Steamboat (with a Mickey Rourke cameo), and Vince McMahon introducing "the greatest WWE Superstar of all-time" Steve Austin. WWE is heavy on Austin clips tonight. Perhaps foreshadowing for a future guest-hosting gig.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged the Hall of Fame tickets going on-sale this Saturday. Lawler was shown on-camera talking about the special annual event. They went back to 1998 for Austin vs. Michaels where Tyson KO'ed Michaels before raising Austin's hand in victory. Tonight, it's DX vs. Tyson & Jericho. Cole and Lawler plugged the McMahon-Hart follow-up coming up too.
DVD plug: They gave a hard sell for the Mike Tyson DVD. Better sales pitch than the "Marine 2" DVD plugs.
In-ring: Eve was on her way to the ring for a Divas Title tournament match against Katie Lea Burchill, who was already in the ring after being "banished" from ECW with Paul Burchill. Maryse was ringside on commentary and she called out Cole immediately. "You vintage nerd," Maryse said after he mis-pronounced her name in her eyes.
5 -- EVE vs. KATIE LEA BURCHILL -- First Round Divas Title tournament match
Eve made a comeback at 1:25 after Katie held the early advantage. Katie became frustrated when she couldn't put Eve away, then Eve rolled her up for the pin and the win. There's your second babyface in the next round of the tournament. Post-match: Maryse threw down her headset and did a hand-motion telling Eve to get out of her immediate vantage point. Such great charisma.
WINNER: Eve at 1:52. Just there and expectedly short. The brackets were shown on the screen showing Maryse vs. Eve and Gail vs. Alicia in the semi-finals.
Tyson video: They rolled footage of Mike Tyson's career highlights in boxing, with emphasis on his strikes and punches and blows. Don't forget: DX vs. Tyson & Jericho tonight.
Backstage: Carlito was trying to sweet-talk Gail Kim, then Vince McMahon walked past him with a glare on his face. Carlito clapped and smiled in the background anticipating McMahon's upcoming promo on Bret Hart.
Smackdown plug: So, it's going to be Rey vs. Batista in another #1 contender match, this time in a steel cage.
Rumble plug: Cole and Lawler officially announced Sheamus vs. Orton for the WWE Title at the Rumble.
In-ring: Vince McMahon stomped out to the ring as they rolled footage of McMahon kicking Hart in the groin last week. McMahon opened his promo saying he wants to end rumors of him hiring extra security tonight to prevent Bret Hart from appearing on the show. He said Hart is not here because he's intimidated. McMahon said 12 years ago, Bret screwed Bret. However, last week, "I screwed Bret," McMahon said. McMahon said Hart wanted to play nice last week and bring closure to the whole thing, but he doesn't play nice. McMahon said he doesn't forgive or forget. His blood boiled at an audible "boring" chant, then McMahon talked about closure last week when Hart was left on the mat in pain and humbled by him. He said Bret won't be here this week, next week, or any other week because Bret will never be seen in WWE again. After a pause, they cued up McMahon's theme music. He turned to look toward no one in particular, then he slowly walked out of the ring mouthing the words to his song. JC: Perhaps the shortest McMahon promo ever, clocking in around 2:35. This was fine to set up intrigue for how Hart finds his way back on the show, but WWE seemed to lose some momentum with the storyline this week, even though they can easily get it back in the weeks to come.
Backstage: They showed Chris Jericho warming up Mike Tyson for the main event to come.
Raw next week: Jon Heder and Don Johnson guest-host Raw. Cole said Lawler and he could be Crockett and Tubs ringside. Lawler dissed the Miami Vice reference before DX's theme music hit.
In-ring: Shawn Michaels and Triple H chucked glowsticks into the arena on the way to the ring. There just isn't that sense of anticipation for something potentially as big as Tyson in the ring here. Perhaps it's the sterile WWE Raw look & feel, not having the gritty feel of the late '90s Raws, or having Michael Cole on commentary, but this just feels like another Raw main event. Once everyone settled down, Hunter did the intro before asking Michaels if he's ready. Michaels: "Undertaker, I'm ready for an answer." He said next week, he wants an answer. "Will you or will you not face me once again at WrestleMania?" Hunter said if you're not down with that, they have two words.
[Q9 -- over-run]
At the top of the hour, Jericho came out alone for the main event. Lawler said he's the master of turning up like a bad penny. Jericho smiled as he hit the ring with Cole reminding viewers Jericho will legally be allowed to appear on all WWE shows if his team wins. Out came Mike Tyson sporting a black t-shirt and black pants to cover for not being in the greatest shape. Jericho and Tyson shook hands before the bell sounded.
6 -- Unified tag champions DX (TRIPLE H & SHAWN MICHAELS) vs. MIKE TYSON & CHRIS JERICHO -- non-title match
Michaels and Tyson were in the ring to start. There should be a sense of anticipation in the arena, but there isn't just yet. Tyson took control early on by shoving Michaels down three times in a row. Michaels tried to surprise charge Tyson, but Tyson answered with a shoulder tackle. Hunter then entered the ring to stare down Tyson and try to intimidate him. They locked up and battled to the corner where things got intense with Tyson shoving Hunter after Hunter tried to shove him. Jericho then tagged in and DX worked him over. Michaels tried to roll up Jericho from behind, but Jericho kicked out and smashed Michaels. Jericho then tagged in Tyson and told him to KO Michaels. Suddenly, Hornswoggle's music hit and Horny danced to the ring in a green boxing outfit. Tyson laughed and tagged in Jericho.
All five men were in the ring together with Tyson standing behind Jericho. Tyson then took off his black t-shirt to reveal a DX t-shirt. Jericho heard the crowd roar, then he slowly turned around to see Tyson sporting the DX shirt. Jericho begged off, then Tyson landed a right hand blow. Jericho ducked too soon and Tyson grazed his chin. Multiple replays were shown, but they were all from angles not to reveal how much light there was between punch and chin. Michaels then covered Jericho for the win. Post-match: Tyson and DX celebrated in the ring. Hunter scooped up Tyson's son from ringside and he celebrated with Tyson. DX, Hornswoggle, and the Tysons then closed the show with the DX crotch chops and poses to close the show.
WINNERS: DX at 4:40. A "feel good moment" that captured everything that is wrong with WWE's top show in terms of being captivating episodic TV. There are no hot angles (which is why WWE is depending on 12 years ago for material). This was unbelievably predictable. There was no anticipation for next week at the end of the show. DX as a unit is the centerpiece of the show, but not involved in an actual feud. The guest hosts are involved in each week's self-contained storylines, but the hosts disappear next week after having a "feel good moment." WWE is left starting over the following week with a new guest host incorporated into storylines. It captures why there was no anticipation for this match at the beginning of the main event because WWE is now just presenting safe, basic TV fit for house shows and not for TV main events trying to compel viewers to tune in. (n/a)
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