10 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (8-18-08): Cody & DiBiase vs. Cena, Jericho vs. Punk, plus Santino, JBL, Batista, Mickie James

By Wade Keller, editor

Santino (art credit Travis Beaven © PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

The following report was originally published ten years ago this week on PWTorch.com…


KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 18, 2008
CHICAGO, ILL.

[Q1]

-The show opened cold with Chris Jericho’s entrance. No pyro or even the usual Raw opening. Michael Cole did introduce the show by saying he was responsible for one of the most controversial moments in the history of SummerSlam. Jerry Lawler said some would call it despicable. There’s a problem here with this line. Jericho obviously intended to hit Michaels, so are we supposed to be angry at a wrestler for taking a cheap shot at another wrestler, even if he does have a serious eye condition? Or are we supposed to think Jericho intended to his Michaels’s wife, which he obviously didn’t? And as for Cole’s comment, if Jericho’s is one of the most controversial moments, I would hope Undertaker using his supernatural forces (or connections with the WWE Pyro division) to apparently burn Edge to death would be above it on the list. Anyway…

A fan held up a sign that said: “Rey Mysterio You’re No. 1 Fan Here.” I know, I know, occasionally I might use “its” instead of “it’s” or “you’re” instead of “your” within the context of a live TV report with thousands of words. But if you’re creating a fan sign to hold in public and you use really big markers and put a lot of time into it and it’s just six or seven words, can’t you maybe catch that error? Anyway…

Chris Jericho said he wasn’t there to apologize for what happened at SummerSlam. He said if anyone apologizes, it should be Michaels himself. “I did not put Shawn Michaels’s wife in harm’s way, and here is the proof.” He threw to the big screen where a recap aired of Michaels announcing his retirement with his wife by his side. After the two or three minute recap aired, the crowd booed Jericho as he remained standing mid-ring. He stood totally still and soaked up the boos for a minute and a “You suck!” chant.

Jericho finally spoke. He said Michaels knew exactly what he was doing last night. He said instead of being classy and sending in a letter of resignation or a video, “he had to do things the HBK way. He had to see his names in lights one more time.” Jericho said the fans are partly responsible for what happened to Rebecca Michaels last night, too. He said it’s a shame because to avoid it, all Michaels had to do was look him in the eye and admit he was responsible for giving him the eye injury that ended his career. He said had he shown a little modesty and just admitted it, it could have gone smoothly. He said now he has to live with the last moment of his in-ring career being cradling his wife’s head in his arms. He said he tarnished his career forever and he and his family will have to live with that the rest of his life. He said he thinks Shawn deserves it. The crowd loudly chanted “HBK, HBK.” Jericho then left the ring. Lawler said what happened to Rebecca was “unquestionably an accident” (someone got in his ear, I assume), but Jericho has shown no remorse. Cole said Jericho is relishing the fact that Michaels’s career was tarnished forever.

[Commercial Break]

[Q2]

1 — BATISTA vs. PAUL BURCHILL

Batista came out to his entrance. Cole plugged that 14,497 fans were on their feet for Batista. Batista slipped on his way into the ring. He recovered quickly. The ref pointed at him with a smile. Cole quickly covered for him, saying we were seeing the affects of his injured knee from his physical war with John Cena last night. Lawler noted that he was victorious. Cole said it’d be a huge win for Burchill to beat Batista. That’d be the WWE equivalent of in the NBA last season beating the Celtics one night, and losing to the Heat the next. Lawler said the Batista-Cena match was one of the greatest he’s seen. Cole said it was so competitive. Lawler said Batista would say it was his best match ever last night, but Cena might not agree. I don’t agree. Batista won clean with a Batista Bomb.

WINNER: Batista in 1:00.

-Mike Adamle held a mic and introduced himself as the Raw G.M. He then introduced Primo Colon, the brother of Carlito. As he began to talk, Adamle ran right past him and went up to Cena. He said he wanted to give him a heads up on his match tonight. Cena blew off Adamle and walked up to Batista, who was returning from his squash win. Cena said, “That was the great match last night; the better man won.” They shook hands. Cena added, “But that was last night.” Cena walked away and Batista smiled.

[Commercial Break]

2 — JILLIAN HALL & KATIE LEA vs. KELLY KELLY & MICKIE JAMES

Jillian sang (poorly) before the match a song by “Chicago” as a tribute to one of her favorite bands. During Kelly’s ring intro, Lawler plugged the 300th edition of WWE Magazine featuring the 300 greatest stories from the magazine’s history. I remember buying the first issue. Mickie hit a neckbreaker at 3:00. Jillian broke up the pin attempt on Katie. Micie and Kelly dropkicked her out of the ring. Katie snuck up and schoolgirled Mickie with a yank on the tights for a two count. Mickie fired right back with her leaping DDT for the win.

WINNERS: Mickie & Kelly in 4:00. They gave divas more than two minutes on Raw!

[Q3]

-A music video recap aired of SummerSlam hyping the replay.
[Commercial Break]

-What used to be called “Did You Know?” switched to the title “The Power of the WWE Universe.” The fact this week was: More viewers watched Raw last Monday than Monday Night Football. WWE should enjoy that claim while they can as it ends in September.

-Cole plugged that Adamle just announced Cena would have to face both Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes (just to prove that Triple H isn’t the only insecure prick out to ruin the tag team division any time it gets any momentum?).

3 — JBL vs. JAMIE NOBLE

Cole said JBL fired a lot of people in his company today for no reason just because he’s upset over losing to C.M. Punk at SummerSlam. JBL tossed Noble off of him during an early flurry of punches. Noble used his speed and agility to show early signs of life, but eventually JBL just beat him to smithereens. Noble took a great flip bump off of a Clothesline from Hell. After one count, for some reason the ref stopped the count and called off the match. What the?? The ref told JBL to back off and just stop the beating. Lawler said that was a couple minutes too late. Cole said he’s never seen that expression on JBL.

WINNER: JBL in 3:00.

-Lawler plugged a “Blockbuster Announcement” from Shane and Stephanie next.

-A commercial aired for Smackdown’s move to MyNetwork. They played off of the “My” theme with Kennedy saying “It’s My Voice” and Big Show saying “It’s My Show” and Maria saying “It’s My New Home.” It moves Oct. 3. There’s a lot of panicked WWE fans who have never heard of the My Network.

[Q4]

[Commercial Break]

-Adamle stepped out onto the stage to boos. He announced that later in the show, Punk was booked to face Jericho. He said Shane and Stephane have “compelled” him to make this announcement. He said Unforgiven would introduce a new championship concept – five “Superstars” including the current champion would compete in a 20 minute match. Once the bell rings, anyone can pin or submit anyone else. The one who does that becomes the new champion and can remain that until another pinfall or submission. He said the title will change several times in 20 minutes, but whoever has the title at the end of the match will officially be recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion. The five in the match are Punk, Kane, JBL, Batista, and John Cena. Who did Cena beat lately to earn that spot? So someone can add seven title reigns to their record within this one match? If so, in a way that would be good because it would render the whole “count your reigns” ridiculousness moot since what should matter is either length of time holding a title or number of title defenses, not how many times you lost the belt before regaining it. This “Championship Scramble” would reduce the once prestigious “former World Champion” status to the equivalent of being a Hardcore Champion. If that’s the not the case, and only the last pin or submission counts before the 20 minute time limit, then Adamle did a terrible job of explaining it – and he was reading from a script!

4 — CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE vs. JOHN CENA

Rhodes and DiBiase came out first. Instead of their announced opponent Cena coming out, Cryme Tyme ran to the ring. They took the tag titles and ran to the back. Speaking of WWE stealing booking ideas from TNA – and bad ones at that. What’s going on? Guest booking week for Vince Russo, getting a chance to book Raw again for old time’s sake? Cena then came out to his music. Right as the bell rang to start the match and Cena moved toward center ring, they cut to an annoying break.

[Commercial Break]

Cole and Lawler say Cena dominated early. At 4:00 DiBiase blind-tagged in; the ref saw it, but not Cena. He jumped Cena from behind and pummeled him with punches.

[Q5]

Lawler noted that as the heel duo dominated Cena, the crowd was mixed in their reaction to his teases of comebacks. Lawler said he knew Cena would be tired after last night, but he expected more from him than this. At 10:00 Lawler said there is no quit in Cena. At 11:00 Cena made a comeback when Cody got a little cocky and let Cena take his time standing up. Cole called Cena’s flurry of offense “ground and pound” which made less sense than usual, somehow. Cena then went into his You Can’t See Me routine on Cody as DiBiase yelled at him from the apron. Cena lifted Cody for the FU, but DiBiase jumped in. Cena dropped the FU and knocked DiBiase out of the ring. He then slipped Cody into the STFU for the tapout win.

WINNER: Cena in 12:00.

STAR RATING: * — Cena’s superman comeback after taking a beating from two people tagging in and out staying fresh for over five minutes was just ridiculous. He didn’t show any signs of the beating once he made his miraculous Tommy Dreamer Comeback. Having the current tag champs lose to Cena in a two-on-one match further undermines – needlessly – the credibility of the young up-and-coming tag champs. It’s one of those decisions that makes total sense to those in the WWE bubble but is just pure needless business-damaging destruction of the potential of the tag titles to ever be a draw and for Cody & DiBiase to remain on the fast track to becoming credible young heels. It’s so sad to watch these types of booking decisions.

-Cole plugged that Michaels would be heard from next.

-A commercial hyped that next week Raw is on Sci-Fi at the usual time instead of USA Network. DVR and TiVo users, check your scheduling now!

[Commercial Break]

-A recap aired again of the Jericho-Michaels angle at SummerSlam.

[Q6]

-Lawler and Cole were shown on camera. Lawler said Jericho hitting Rebecca was obviously accidental, but he’s showing no remourse. Cole said they’ve been trying all day to get updates on her condition. He said rumors were circulating of a broken jaw. He said Shawn and Rebecca are at home and want privacy, which is understandable. Cole said he did catch up to Michaels at SummerSlam last night before he left the arena. A clip aired of Cole asking Shawn and Rebecca for an update. Her lip looked like it took a shot of Novocain. He at first said nothing and began to walk away, but then walked back to the mic and said he just wants to go home and comfort his wife and kids, “and then… and then.” He left it at that, but seemed to be implying revenge was in the cards.

-Todd Grisham (isn’t he host of ECW?) interviewed Punk backstage. The crowd popped at the site of Punk. Punk said Jericho last night did one of the lowest things any human being did. Wait, did he do it on purpose or not? Or was it just that Jericho said some mean things to Michaels that was one of the lowest thing any human being has done? WWE needs to get their story straight. In any case, Punk said in Chicago they deal with people like Jericho a certain way. The crowd cheered as Punk said Jericho has a whole lot coming at him tonight not on his terms, but Chicago-style.

[Commercial Break]

5 — SANTINO MARELLA vs. D-LO BROWN

Kofi Kingston joined Cole and Lawler at ringside. He said he wonders who wears the pants in the Santino-Glamazon couple. Lawler said Santino wears them, but she tells him which ones to wear. As D-Lo was setting up a frog splash, Glamazon entered the ring and got in the way. D-Lo jumped down and got in her face. She slapped him. The ref called for the bell.

WINNER: D-Lo via DQ in 2:00.

-Afterward, Santino told Glamazon he’d take care of things. D-Lo beat him up and threw him to ringside where he landed on the announce table. Kofi stood up and rammed his head into the announce desk. Glamazon helped a punch-drunk Santino toward the back, grabbing their title belts first.

-They showed Kane heading toward the entrance tunnel. Cole talked about his mysterious and disturbing revelation on last week’s show regarding what was in his burlap bag. “Why? How?” asked Cole.

-A commercial aired for ECW tomorrow night hyping Teddy Long ordering a Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy rematch. Gee, do you think Matt really deserves it?

[Commercial Break]

[Q7]

-A “WWE 24/7” clip aired featuring Trish Stratus, Torrie Wilson, Tajiri, and Stacy Keibler from May 16, 2002.

-Cole had to fake-laugh, something he’s just not good at so they shouldn’t make him do it, as they showed he and Lawler react to that Trish clip. He’s not very convincing when he talks about how “you can’t miss” the opportunity to watch 40 hours of classic wrestling a month for just 48.

-Kane full ring entrance took place. He addressed the fans and said they must’ve been shocked when he pulled Rey’s mask out of his bag. He said it made him feel good and it comforted him to carry it around. He said it even put a smile on his face. He said Rey hasn’t been seen for about six weeks. He said there’s a reason for that. He said he never liked Rey Mysterio. “I don’t like him and I don’t like people who do,” he said. “He’s a slithering little slime who hides behind a mask. He’s that fly in the room that contaminates everything it touches. He’s like a fungus that grows in the marshes of your psyche.” He said six weeks ago in a parking lot he figuratively eviscerated Rey Mysterio, but spared his life. “Rey is still alive, but his spirit is broken, crushed, dead,” he said. “Is he alive? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Or is he dead? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” So that’s their attempt to tie up that loose end? And we’re supposed to believe Rey could disappear off the face of the Earth and nobody would notice? Batista’s music played and he came out to the ring and jumped Kane, slamming him and setting up a Batista Bomb. Kane hit Batista’s leg to break free and then took Batista down with a chokeslam. Okay, one thing 2008 did not need was another Kane vs. Batista match.

[Commercial Break]

-When Lawler and Cole plugged Raw moving to Sci-Fi next week. Lawler said Cole will look normal over there. Then they plugged the Unforgiven main event – the World Title Scramble.

[Q8]

6 — C.M. PUNK vs. CHRIS JERICHO (w/Lance Cade)

Cole noted that Punk has over 100 friends and family in the crowd. After three minutes of offense by Punk, they cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Jericho had Punk tied up on the mat with a cobra clutch. They showed a clip of Jericho knocking Punk off the top rope during the break. Jericho paced things methodically, shifting to an abdominal stretch a minute later at 9:00. Punk caught Jericho coming off the ropes with a surprise roundhouse kick, blocking a bulldog attempt. Punk gave Jericho an underhook backbreaker for a two count. Punk followed with a running knee in the corner. He went for a bulldog, but Jericho pushed out of it and hit a quick Lionsault which looked like it actually made some impact for once. He then went for a Walls of Jericho. Punk escaped and hit a quick victory roll for a near fall at 11:00. Jericho reversed Punk into the corner. There seemed to be a miscommunication as Jericho went for a clothesline and Jericho went for an elbow. Jericho went for another Walls of Jericho, this one successfully applied. Punk crawled toward the bottom rope and eventually forced the break. Cole complimented his will to win. When Punk stood, Jericho charged. Punk backdropped him onto the apron. Jericho elbowed Punk in the kidney area, then climbed to the top rope. Punk gave him a running knee to the jaw and a bulldog off the second rope. Both men were slow to move after that. As Punk set up a GTS, Cade distracted him from one side of the ring. Jericho then gave him a Code Breaker for the win.

WINNER: Jericho in 14:00.

STAR RATING: **1/2 — Okay match. Should have been better, but something just didn’t entirely click. Probably their complete lack of feud and any build-up other than Punk’s promo (which was good, but not enough). Punk looked competitive against Jericho, but given Jericho’s in the midst of a highly personal feud with Michaels, a loss by Jericho would have hurt less than a win by Punk would have helped his attempt to seem legitimate.

-There was no overrun again this week.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 10 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (8-11-08): Cena discusses facing Batista at Summerslam, plus Cody, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Punk, Jericho, Kane, DiBiase, JBL, Santino

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