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The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com ten years ago this week…
KELLER’S RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 29, 2008
-After the Raw opening, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show as pryo blasted inside Target Center. They hyped that Mike Adamle had booked Chris Jericho and Lance Cade to face Shawn Michaels and a partner of his choosing. Cole also plugged that there would be a preview of the “World Television Premiere of WrestleMania.”
1 — BATISTA vs. SANTINO MARELLA (w/Beth Phoenix)
Batista came out to his full ring intro first. The had yet to announce his opponent. Lawler and Cole hyped JBL vs. Batista at No Mercy to determine the no. 1 contender. Santino then walked out with Pheonix. He put up the Honk-A-Meter, which is 64-6. He said in just 58 more weeks he will tie the “Honkytonky Man’s record” and be the greatest IC Champion ever. He added the “Brain Barometer.” He said the average human brain has 6 trillion brain cells. He claimed his brain has 10 trillion brain cells, 40 percent more than the average human. He said Batista has just 12. Batista laughed throughout Santino’s routine. Santino said he’s about to knock out 10 of those 12 cells right now and leave him in worse shape than the U.S. economy. Batista took Santino down quickly with a clothesline, then shouldered him in the corner and followed with a Spinebuster and a Batista Bomb for the decisive win. Lawler said, “No disrespect to Santino, but he’s no JBL.” Santino’s Honk-a-Meter is fun for comedy, but having the IC Champ get squashed like this – even to someone of Batista’s stature – isn’t helping the already faded prestige of the IC Title.
WINNER: Batista in 1:00.
-After the match JBL blindsided Batista with a Clothesline from Hell, then left the ring.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Michaels. He said he knew years ago when he trained Cade how good he could become, but he never imagined he’d show the world that fact at his expense. He said tonight he’ll get his chance at revenge. He also predicted that he would beat Jericho for the World Title this Sunday night. Grisham asked if he’s picked his partner yet. Michaels said last week’s tag partner Batista would be an obvious choice, but he’s got his hands full with JBL, “and let’s face it, Big Dave and I haven’t exactly been getting along.” He proposed a tag alliance between himself and “a man who considers himself a Real American.” He paused and there was no response. He said, “Nothing? Okay, how about Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels and a Texas Rattlesnake.” When the crowd popped, he said he was getting warming and then offered up a “a man who considers himself the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.” He admitted he was pushing it there. He said he’s given it a lot of thought and wants to find a tag partner “who actually likes me.”
-WWE Fact: Last week WWE Superstars wrestled in Munich, Germany; Bacelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Innsbruck, Austria; and Paris, France.
2 — J.T.G. (w/Shad Gaspar) vs. THE MIZ (w/John Morrison)
A clip aired of “The Dirt Sheet” featuring Morrison and Miz doing a supposed imitation of Cryme Tyme’s parents. They said J.T.G. was born via a bowel movement. Cole said he didn’t think that was funny at all. Lawler agreed. Miz took early control as the WWE crawler plugged various WWE-related announcements including the “World Television Premiere” of WrestleMania on MyNetwork. JTG came back with a cradle for a near fall, but kicked out and quickly regained control. When JTG made a full comeback, Morrison jumped onto the ring apron. Shad tripped him from behind. Meanwhile, though, Miz surprised JTG with the Reality Check finisher for the win.
WINNER: Miz in 4:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2* — Fine for a short TV match. Miz and Morrison are genuinely successful at being very obnoxious.
-Jamie Noble walked up to Jillian Hall backstage. He said every time she opens her mouth and those god-awful sounds come out, he almost swallows his Skoal. He said desperate times call for desperate measure, and Jamie said he “desperately needs a partner of the female anatomy.” Jillian said if Layla didn’t want to be seen with him what makes him think someone ten times hotter like herself does. She sang Beck’s “Loser.” Dolf Ziggler introduced himself to Jillian. When he tried to shake Jamie’s hand, Jamie sneered that he heard him introduce himself the first ten times and walked away.
-A video aired on the ladder match at No Mercy.
-A commercial hyped ECW at its new start time – one hour earlier. No specific match was announced; rather, it hyped that there’d be developments in the Matt Hardy-Mark Henry feud.
3 — JAMIE NOBLE & MICKIE JAMES vs. PAUL BURCHILL & KATIE LEA
Noble came out alone at first, looking nervous about not having found a female partner. William Regal then walked out with Layla to watch the match from the stage on his king’s throne. Just as it appeared he’d have to wrestle alone, Mickie’s music started and she skipped to the ring enthusiastically. She hugged Jamie, who applauded with vigor at having round a willing partner.
After a couple minutes of Mickie vs. Katie, the men tagged in. Noble hit a top rope dropkick for a two count broken up by Katie. Mickie gave a Thesz press to Katie in response, then tossed her over the top rope to the floor. Burchill went after Jamie with forearms. Noble maneuvered quickly into his armbar submission for the win.
WINNERS: Noble & Mickie in 3:00. Good set-up for Regal & Layla vs. Noble & Mickie. Noble and Mickie could have a good chemistry. Noble is an utterly likable guy despite being a sexist hornball.
-Cole and Lawler plugged a big eight-man tag match featuring Kofi Kingston & C.M. Punk & Rey Mysterio & Evan Bourne vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase & Manu & Kane. That’s a pretty big match to wait 35 minutes to plug.
-Cody, Manu, and DiBiase went looking for Kane. When Manu said maybe he should talk to him, Cody got irritated and said he’d do it. Cody said Paul Bearer is Kane’s father, so that makes him a second generation superstar like they are. He timidly said if they act like a unit out there, they can win their match. DiBiase said they didn’t ask for the match, but they want to be sure they’re all on the same page. He asked Kane if they are. Kane had his back turned the whole time. He finally turned and got in DiBiase’s face and said he doesn’t take orders from anyone. He said he plans to massacre Rey Mysterio whether they’re all on the same page or not. He said the way he sees it, “stay out of my way.” He then said he was off to see his “good friend Mike Adamle.”
-They showed the exterior of Target Center. Then a clip aired of last week’s Raw with Cade attacking Michaels.
-Cade walked out onto the stage with a mic in hand. He said last week he beat his one-time mentor, Michaels. He said in the last three months he learned more from Jericho than he learned from Michaels in ten years. He said it proved that Jericho is just better, period. He said he could care less who Michaels chooses as his partner (he meant he could not care less). He said after Sunday it will be Jericho who is still World Heavyweight Champion. Whatever that intangible is that makes someone a star, Cade isn’t showing it yet.
-Ring intros for Punk and Rey took place.
4 — C.M. PUNK & EVAN BOURNE & REY MYSTERIO & KOFI KINGSTON vs. KANE & TED DIBIASE & CODY RHODES & MANU
After the break, Kofi and Bourne were already in the ring. That’s always a sign of management not having great confidence in viewers’ interest in a wrestler – when they choose to skip their ring intros. In this case, they also skipped the heel trio’s ring intro, but did show Kane’s. Manu began against Bourne. Things broke down quickly with the faces doing a series of dives onto heels at ringside including Rey landing on Kane. They cut to a break at 1:00. That’s the quickest sequence of two commercial breaks on Raw I can remember in a long time.
-An ECW TV plug focused on Bourne. Not a match, just him. Good sign there that management is really seeing that fans like his style.
Back from the break, they showed the dives again, The heels took control after the break, with Manu beating on Bourne. Punk tagged in, but Manu immediately took him down with a sweep. Cody tagged in and focused on Punk’s legs. Kane tagged in and stomped away at Punk.
At 12:00 Punk finally hot-tagged Kofi who did a nice job showing incredible fire as he went to work on Cody with a barrage of offense. Manu broke up his pin attempt. Bourne knocked Manu out of the ring in retalliation. Kane tagged in and stalked Kofi. Rey dropkicked him and then head scissored DiBiase out of the ring. Kofi dove at Kane, but Kane caught him and chokeslammed him to the mat for the win. Kane didn’t get his hands on Rey as promised, but Kane did trash talk Rey and stare him down from ringside afterward.
WINNERS: Kane & DiBiase & Rhodes & Manu in 13:00.
STAR RATING: ** — Basic, solid eight-man tag match.
-Cole plugged the mystery over Michaels’s partner again. The mystery partner gimmick is always a good trick to pull out of the bag-o-tricks every now and then.
-Adamle stood mid-ring and said earlier Kane made a request. He said he’d grant him his wish if he won his match. He said this Sunday, should Kane beat Rey, Rey will have to take off his mask in the middle of the ring. Randy Orton’s music interrupted before Adamle could further elaborate. Orton asked Adamle if he has his cell on him so he can check with Shane McMahon to get this Kane request okayed. He asked if he has to shine Shane McMahon’s shoes and pick up his dry cleaning first. Adamle said, “I’m not sure I like your tone.” Orton said he didn’t like that he let McMahon overrule his decision to suspend Punk after he laid his hands on him. He insisted Adamle re-suspend Punk. He said he’s Adamle’s most valuable commodity and if he’s not happy, he can make life miserable for him. He said when he’s healthy again, he will own things on Raw again. He said he’ll need him on his side a whole hell of a lot more than he’ll need Shane on his side. JBL’s music interrupted. Lawler asked if anyone around here to can finish a thought.
JBL walked toward the ring with a mic in hand. He said he’s having a very bad week because with the market down, he’s lost more money than most people will ever see. He said he’s not in favor of the government redistributing his money to the poor and homeless “who screwed up their lives and my economy.” He said he is JBL and his wife is one of the most powerful people in the world who will testifying in front of Congress next week. He also said next week he will be in that ring as the no. 1 contender ready to face Michaels or Jericho. He asked Orton where he’ll find solace. He said his past was so glorious, but what is he now? He called him a one-armed gimp living in the past. He told Adamle to make a ruling that “Bozo the One-Armed Clown” never gets a title shot once he’s champion. Batista’s music then interrupted. JBL turned toward the entrance stage. Batista came up behind him and speared him hard to the mat. He celebrated his revenge as his music played.
-Santino chatted on his cell phone in the hall way. He said, “How did you get my number? If you want, I can give you mind.” Phoenix asked who he was talking to. Santino seemed a bit guilty, then said it was a sick kid, Frankie. He said he promised to win the match for him tonight. He said no thanks to Batista, he has taken a turn for the worse. He shifted to a pep talk for Phoenix and offered to help. She told him that’s not a good idea. She said she is the most dominant diva in WWE and she can’t risk him messing up her matches. Santino said it’s a good thing she doesn’t have a Fabulous Moolah-o-Meter because she’d have another 22 years to go. Phoenix looked disgusted and told him to stay there. Santino said he didn’t want to go to the ring anyway and blamed her mood on a “female problem.”
-They showed Candice Michelle and Kelly Kelly high-fiving and chatting on their way to the entrance tunnel backstage
-WWE Fact: Last week more people watched Raw than any other show on TNT, Fox News, MTV, Disney Channel, TBS, or Nickelodeon. Yes, but what about History Channel and Fine Living and Cartoon Network and ESPN 2?
5 — KELLY KELLY & CANDICE MICHELLE vs. “GLAMAZON” BETH PHOENIX & JILLIAN HALL
A clip aired before the match of Santino’s attempt to help Phoenix backfired, leading to her getting pinned by Kelly. Back and forth match, longer than usual for the Divas even at just five minutes. Phoenix finished Kelly shortly after Hall yanked Candice from the ring by her legs to keep her from making the save.
WINNERS: Phoenix & Jillian in 5:00.
STAR RATING: *
-Cole and Lawler talked about last week’s historic 800th episode of Raw again. Then they plugged the main event tag match again.
6 — DEUCE vs. THE GREAT CHARLIE (w/Runjin Singh)
Lawler talked about Deuce having “quite an impressive background.” He didn’t elaborate. Charlie Haas came out with a Khali wig and pants and a fake large chin. He did the Khali walk. Deuce didn’t seem to knowwhat to make of it. Singh for some reason was laughing along with the joke, applauding by Haas’s side on his way to the ring. Haas rambled into the ring. Cole and Lawler laughed. Singh interpreted for him, such as: “When curry is prepared properly, it is both nutritious and delicious.” The crowd booed it. Cole unfortunately had to fake-laugh for another 30 seconds. Deuce broke up the Charlie Bomb attempt early and then dropkicked him to the mat. When he went for a fistdrop, Great Charlie blocked it and nipped up, losing the wig in the process. Haas followed up with a high dropkick and then a top rope clothesline for the win. Lawler said he didn’t think he ever saw Khali come off the top rope.
WINNER: The Great Charlie (Haas) in 3:00.
-Afterward, the real Great Khali walked out with Singh. Haas encouraged him to head to the ring. Singh excitedly introduced The Great Charlie to The Great Khali. Haas walked up to Khali and imitated him. Khali broke into a smile. Cole had to continue to fake laugh. Khali then chopped Haas to the mat with one swing. Cole said Haas ought to choose more carefully whom he imitated.
-Cole and Lawler again plugged the main event tag match.
-On camera, Cole and Lawler talked about a big week for WWE. Cole said Raw is one of cable’s all-time highest rated programs. Then he hyped the earlier start time for ECW, the Thursday “World Television Premiere” of WrestleMania (I swear I watched WrestleMania on my television the first time). Then the debut of Smackdown on MyNetworkTV with the All-Star Kickoff. And then No Mercy on PPV on Sunday. Cole then threw to a “sneak peak” at the WrestleMania special. After a well-produced video of many past WrestleMania moments, Cole and Lawler hyped the No Mercy line-up.
-The ring intros took place for Jericho and Cade. Jericho said someone had the audacity to wish him luck in his match. He said it offended him because he doesn’t deal in luck. He said he is better than Michaels. He said he wanted to demonstrate what he’ll do to Michaels on Sunday. He asked Cade to get him a ladder. Just call him Devon Cade. Jericho said he’s obsessed with what he’s going to do to Michaels. Cade began throwing the ladder around ringside, into the ringpost and the steel steps. A few fans tried to start a “boring” chants. Jericho began slamming the ladder around in the ring. The crowd booed. He said he planned to use the weapon to carve in his chest. He bashed the ladder into the mat. He said there is not another man on the planet who knows how to maim with a ladder better than he does. He said he will retain the World Title on Sunday, not because of luck, but because he’s the best in the world. He walked under the ladder to prove he doesn’t need luck.
7 — CHRIS JERICHO & LANCE CADE vs. SHAWN MICHAELS & TRIPLE H
Michaels came out for his ring intro, then ran to the back shortly after dancing onto the stage. Lawler said Michaels had to find someone who likes him. Then the DX music played. Cole said, “No way.” Lawler said, “It’s got to be.” And then out came Triple H. Cole and Lawler acted as if it were the biggest surprise and coolest gift ever to civilization. The ridiculousness of the so-called “brand split” just got worse. Maybe WWE’s theory of Raw’s flat ratings is the lack of Triple H on Monday nights. Having him be a mystery partner at the end of the show isn’t going to prove anything in that regard, though.
The bell rang to start the match as Jericho and Cade conferenced in their corner. Triple H began the match against Jericho. At 1:00 Michaels tagged in and went after Jericho. Cade hit a distracted Michaels to take control. At 4:00 Triple H hot-tagged Michaels into the ring. He knocked Cade off of the ring apron and then turned to Cade. Cade briefly got in some offense, but Triple H came back with a spinebuster. Jericho, though, surprised Triple H with a Code Breaker to stop his attempt to give Cade a Pedigree. Michaels charged into the ring and hit Jericho, but Cade blindsided Michaels with a clothesline. Jericho and Cade double-teamed Michaels. The ref almost immediately called for the bell. The crowd booed. Afterward, Cade held Michaels as Jericho brought a ladder into the ring. Triple H entered with the sledgehammer. Jericho retreated. Triple H hit Cade in the gut. Michaels then gave Cade his Sweet Chin Music. Triple H followed with a Pedigree. Michaels climbed to the top of a ladder, then splashed Cade on the mat. Jericho watched from the stage, wincing at the impact of the move on Cade whom he totally abandoned.
WINNERS: Triple H & Michaels in 5:00.
STAR RATING: * — Decent action while it lasted, but the finish was about as flat as it gets. The match felt like an excuse to get to the post-match attack.
-Lawler and Cole snuck in last second plugs for the early ECW start, and MyNetwork shows, and No Mercy.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS FLASHBACK: 10 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (9-22-08): Opening segment with Shane McMahon, Jericho, C.M. Punk, Orton, plus Punk vs. Cody, Batista & HBK vs. Jericho & Cade, Miz & Morrison vs. Cryme Tyme