The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com ten years ago this week…
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 6, 2008
LIVE ON USA NETWORK
-After the Raw opening, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. Then they went right to Chris Jericho’s full ring intro.
As Jericho walked to the ring, Lawler and Cole raved about the ladder match the night before. Jericho, sporting a fat lip and bruised face from the ladder match stared down the crowd. He said it was announced on WWE.com earlier that Mike Adamle had a high-level meeting with Shane & Stephanie McMahon, so he was handed full decision-making power in his absence to run the show. Whatever happened to that Vince McMahon fellow, by the way? Is he still recovering in a hospital? Jericho showed off the chipped front tooth. He said he’ll have to live with that the rest of his life. He said every time he walks past a mirror or smiles, he’ll think about Shawn Michaels. (I hear dentists can fix that with a cap; someone should let him know about that technology.) He then smiled and said: “I beat Shawn Michaels. I didn’t just beat him. I brutalized him. I destroyed him. I embarrassed him. And I defeated him in a match that he supposedly could not lose, and that makes me smile.” He said Michaels is at the arena and he’ll want some revenge, but he said he won’t get it. He said he’s through with him, so he’ll hand him over to someone who isn’t done with him. He said he’s booking Michaels vs. Lance Cade in an anything goes no-DQ mach tonight. He said he has nothing left to prove to Michaels or all of the hypocrites in the arena or watching at home. He said they now are forced to admit he is the real true World Champion and “the best, most dominant performer in this business in the world today.”
Batista’s music played. Cole said Jericho is indeed the World Champion, but asked for how long. Batista, the new no.1 contender, walked out. Batista congratulated Jericho and then asked him to “pick a number.” Jericho asked, rightfully, “What the hell are you talking about?” I second that. Batista explained that he wanted him to pick the number of days he’s got left as champion. He said: “Seven days. Fourteen days. To-day?” Jericho said he figured he’d see him come out to the ring and posture. He warned him he just might get what he asks for. Jericho said even though he had one of the most brutal matches in the history of the business, if they wrestled tonight, he’d fine a way to beat him. He said he doesn’t get it because while he calls himself an animal, he is an animal. He said he’ll scratch and claw and bite – whatever it takes to survive. He said when it’s all said and done, he’ll be sure the name Batista is synonymous with “failure.” Batista grinned throughout Jericho’s speech. Jericho advised him to get out of his ring “right now.” Batista, sporting large diamond ear rings, told Jericho whether he likes it or not, he’ll be defending that World Hvt. Title against him. He then gave him a spinebuster. “Mess with the bull, you get the horn!” Jericho winced in pain and grabbed the back of his head. Batista walked away with a broad smile.
-Cole plugged Kane & Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy & Rey Mysterio. They don’t even bother to acknowledge the cross-brand excuse anymore.
-They replayed the spinebuster, then showed footage of Jericho during the commercial break ordering Batista to put his no. 1 contendership on the line against JBL once again tonight. He said the special guest referee will be him. Lawler said thatmakes two totally unfair matches Jericho has already made for Raw tonight. How is Michaels vs. Cade in a no-DQ match “unfair”? Just because Michaels is beat up from the ladder match, I suppose, to answer my own question.
1 — JAMIE NOBLE & MICKIE JAMES vs. SANTINO MARELLA & “GLAMAZON” BETH PHOENIX
William Regal and Layla were at ringside, Regal sitting in his throne with Layla standing behind him. In one of the most heelish things ever, Santino said he’s been accused of being not American enough and too Italian, so in an effort to become more American for the fans, he adopted a new favorite NBA team. Santino took off his Santino t-shirt and revealed a t-shirt for the Oklahoma City Thunder, the new name and home city for Seattle’s beloved Sonics. Having seen my beloved NHL team growing up, the Minnesota North Stars, leave for Dallas 15 years ago, I think I would have rioted if a heel wrestler did that when the wound was still fresh back then. The crowd booed. Lawler explained the circumstances. Santino said it’s time a “city like Oklahoma” got an NBA team of its own. That could kill the crowd the rest of the night. They’ll be too sad to cheer for anything. Beth and Mickie began the match. Mickie got early control with a barrage of punches. Santino tagged in, so Jamie also tagged in. Beth yanked on Santino’s tights. He turned around. Santino rolled up Jamie from behind for the pin.
WINNERS: Marella & Phoenix in 1:00. Ridiculously short.
-As Marella celebrated, Jamie chased him into the crowd. Regal went after Noble. Those two brawled at ringside. Really intense. One referee, though, managed to separate them and actually hold Regal down as Jamie and Mickie stood by and watched. It was actually kind of awkward, and the camera didn’t even focus on Regal being held down by the ref since it made no sense a ref could do that.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Michaels backstage, asking him about Jericho’s match-making. Michaels said he’s tired and sore and pain reverberating throughout his body, but what can he do? He asked Grisham to ask Jericho if he’s going to defend the World Title because he feels the same way he does. Michaels said he wants Cade to do his dirty work and finish him off for good. Michaels closed his eyes, paused, and took a deep breath. He said he’s on the brink of insanity and hopped up on adrenaline. He said he’s going to show Jericho, Cade, and everyone else that he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
-A picture of Jericho and Michaels tugging on the belt at the top of the ladder at No Mercy last night aired. Lawler thanked Metallica for their No Mercy theme song, “All Night Long.”
2 — KOFI KINGSTON (w/C.M. Punk) vs. TED DIBIASE (w/Cody Rhodes, Manu)
Cole said Kingston was outnumbered. Punk then came out to ringside to soften the odds advantage Priceless had. DiBiase got in some early offense. Kofi came back at 1:00 with a flurry of hammer fists, a dropkick, and a flying forearm. He also flipped through the ropes and surprised a charging DiBiase with a Pele type kick. Cody distracted Kofi, but Kofi came right back with a sweep. Cody distracted Kofi again, but this time DiBiase jumped a distracted Kofi with a Million Dollar Dream into a leg sweep for the with. Punk took care of Cody at ringside, but it was to late.
WINNER: DiBiase in 3:00. Still way too short. This pattern of matching up name wrestlers and putting them in unusually short matches has been the norm since the Monday Night Wars, but there’s just no reason to rush these matches now. It defines down the importance of matches, which ultimately are what wrestling promoters are asking fans to pay to see at PPVs. It makes no sense to cheapen them week after week with this one, two, and three minute matches between equals.
-An ECW commercial hyped that Kofi and Punk would return to ECW for one night only to team with Evan Bourne & Ricky Ortiz against Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase & The Miz & John Morrison. As predicted, with ECW ratings crashing, they had to load up the show with an announced main event and some talents from Raw.
-WWE Fact: Last Monday, Raw was the most watched entertainment program on cable television.
-They showed Jericho talking to someone off camera. He told this person they’re not friends, but he said they should both agree that it doesn’t benefit either of them that Batista is the no. 1 contender. The camera panned over to reveal Randy Orton, who asked Jericho what he wants from him. Jericho said lately Orton has been reminding people how great he once was, so tonight he’s putting him to work. The camera cut away before the conversation continued. That prompts the question: Why did the director cut away from that conversation at that key point? I get that in a pretaped drama or movie, that’s a technique, but Raw is presented as a sporting event with a camera crew covering it as best they can from all angles, so why would the director cut away and cheat fans out of Orton’s potential follow- up question or Jericho revealing what he meant?
-The went to Lawler and Cole at ringside. Lawler said there’s no telling what’s in store for Orton tonight. Cole said Cena is on the injured reserve list. He threw to a video package on Cena. With ratings shaky for Raw lately, start the hype and teasers for Cena’s return. The video package focused on Cena’s injury with Batista talking about facing Cena one-on-one for the first time ever at SummerSlam. A doctor then updated Cena’s condition, five weeks after his surgery. He said Cena had partial paralysis in his arm from the nerve being damaged. He said the long-term nerve damage will be minimal. He said Cena has been working hard in rehab. He said it will be three to four months before he can return, but he said that’s right on target. Let’s see. October, November, December, January. Cena can make a triumphant surprise return as the 30th entrant in the Royal Rumble. Just a crazy idea, I know.
-Backstage, they showed Kane, Mark Henry, and Tony Atlas heading toward the entrance tunnel. Dolph Ziggler tried to introduce himself to Henry and Kane. They gave him a cold stare. He tried Atlas. Atlas just walked away, too.
3 — REY MYSTERIO & MATT HARDY vs. MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas) & KANE
Lawler said Rey took quite a beating at No Mercy like Michaels did. Yeah, the last we heard from Rey was, “I can’t feel my legs.” The camera cut away and until now WWE hadn’t provided any update. Good news: Rey walked to the ring. Cole talked about the DQ finish at No Mercy. He said Kane is still obsessed with Rey and his mark. Hardy was introduced second, wearing the ECW Title belt. Cole touted how impressive Hardy was in his title defense at No Mercy. As the match began, Cole thanked viewers who were just joining them. Did Monday Night Football just go to halftime? Cole began recapping the show’s earlier happenings and hyping the main event later. Cole plugged the new timeslot for ECW as the match began with Hardy vs. Kane. Hardy and Rey worked well as a team to take Henry down and then knock Kane out of the ring. They cut to a break at 2:00.
Back from the break, Kane had Hardy in a chinlock mid-ring. They showed a clip from during the break of Rey splashing Henry’s leg as Hardy held it stretched out. Rey hot-tagged in and went after Henry at 7:00, but Kane hit Rey from behind as he bounded into the ropes. Henry powered out of a pin attempt and then tossed Rey to the floor; Rey landed with a thud. The heels took turns beating on Rey for a few minutes.
Rey hot-tagged Hardy at 10:00, who dove onto Kane and hit a quick swinging neckbreaker. He knocked Henry off the ring apron, then gave Kane a bulldog off the ropes. Hardy signalled for the Twist of Fate, but first had to fend of interference from Henry. He then set up Kane for a 619. Rey entered the ring and nailed it. Hardy then climbed to the top rope. Henry threw Rey into the top rope from ringside, knocking Hardy off balance. Kane then chokeslammed Hardy and scored the pin. In one of the least apt descriptions you could come up with, Cole immediately said: “Kane and Mark Henry, dominant.” Uh, it took outside interference to stop the momentum of Rey and Hardy who appeared to be on the verge of victory. So how is it that Kane and Henry’s performance can be summed up as “dominant?”
WINNERS: Kane & Henry in 11:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 — Basic action. Okay and what you’d expect, with some good surges of action late.
-They showed Michaels heading toward the entrance tunnel.
-A commercial announced Triple H vs. Big Show for the WWE Title. Well, that came out of nowhere.
-A commercial for “WWE 24/7” went to 1998’s WrestleMania 14 featuring Pete Rose’s appearance. They had to blur out the WWF scratch logo on his mic. What a fiasco that whole World Wildlife Fund court decision has continued to be. Anyway, they showed Kane gave Rose a Tombstone.
4 — SHAWN MICHAELS vs. LANCE CADE — No DQ match
Code opened with a clothesline and then tossed Michaels to the floor. Cade pulled a table out from under the ring. He dropped Michaels face-first into the announce table, pounded on him on the floor, and then set up the table. The crowd chanted “HBK, HBK.” Lawler said this is as close to helpless as he’s ever seen Michaels. Cade slammed Michaels through the table. Cade threw Michaels back into the ring, then followed with a chair. Cole said there’s nothing the ref can do since it’s no-DQ. Michaels came back with a dive at Cade after being given 30 seconds to rest as Cade moseyed into the ring with a chair. He swung the chair and hit Cade. He followed with repeated blows to Cade’s body. Cole called it frightening. Michaels made the cover and scored the pin. Lawler said Michaels took out his aggression as if Cade were Jericho. Michaels leaned in the corner in a trance-like state, frozen other than rhythmic breathing as he stared down at Cade. He then broke from the trance and attacked Cade with the chair again. Michaels’s music played as he walked away. Lawler said if he were Jericho, he wouldn’t turn his back on Michaels anytime soon.
WINNER: Michaels in 3:00. Why didn’t Jericho recruit twenty other wrestlers to attack Michaels at the start of the match? It was no DQ, after all. Maybe Jericho wanted to test Cade. Obviously he underestimated Michaels’s physical condition after last night’s ladder match. But still, for insurance, why not send a few heels to the ring just to be sure.
-Cole plugged the JBL vs. Batista match with Jericho as special ref coming up later.
-A commercial hyped the Hell in a Cell match DVD set featuring 14 such matches “unedited and uncensored.”
-WWE Fact: Last Friday, Smackdown was the most watched show in the history of MyNetwork TV. On camera Cole stated the same fact, then hyped Triple H vs. Big Show. Apparently USA Network is okay with blatant plugs for Smackdown on MyNetwork, but wasn’t when it was on The CW.
-Jerry Lawler was standing mid-ring as his music played. He said Santino claims to be the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time, and in three weeks he can prove that at Cyber Sunday. He said fans can choose his opponent from this list of former IC Champions: Roddy Piper, Goldust, or Honkytonk Man. They’re charging fans 99 cents plus standard text message fees. This is such a throwback to the 900 number days. Man, with all that HTM has said bad about both WWE and Lawler over the last ten years, it’s amazing to see them give him this type of publicity. I think in legit voting, HTM would win at this point.
-The Great Khali and Runjin Sing walked out together. Cole and Lawler talked about Khali having a confrontation with Johnny Knoxville recently on his show. Lawler said Khali has been ranting and raving backstage all day about it. Okay, Khali is a Smackdown wrestler. This whole brand thing is just more and more ridiculous all the time. They say Punk and Kofi will be making “one-time” only appearances on ECW tomorrow night, yet ECW wrestlers consistently appear on Raw without explanation. Then Khali is appearing on Raw and the announcers don’t even bother to acknowledge he’s a Smackdown wrestler or explain an exception being made. They threw to a clip of Knoxville asking if his tallywacker was in proportion to the rest of his body. Singh said that was personal and offensive. I’m glad my job isn’t asking celebrities stupid questions like that under the guise of it being wit; reporting on it is bad enough.
Khali stood live in the ring with Singh. He ranted, then Singh said Khali invites Knoxville to Raw next week. He said he promises to show him the true meaning of entertainment. If by that he means being raped to show him personally whether his tallywacker is proportional, that should make for quite a newsworthy show. They broke into the Kiss Cam. After showing a few fans, they showed Lilian Garcia and Khali on camera. Khali pulled Lilian to mid-ring. Lawler chuckled and said this should be really interesting. Khali forced a kiss on Lilian. If wrestling’s pattern continues, not only don’t women ever sue over being forcibly kissed by a man, but they always like it, although it usually takes them a few seconds to realize how much they just wanted to be forcibly kissed. Khali smiled and walked out of the ring as Lilian calmly contemplated what just happened. How about she sue and retire.
-Morrison and Miz joined Lawler and Cole at ringside. Morrison had glitter sprinkled and glued to his six pack. In the ring, Jillian sang Nirvana. Kelly Kelly’s intro song quickly interrupted.
5 — KELLY KELLY (wCryme Tyme) vs. JILLIAN HALL
Miz and Morrison protested when Cryme Tyme walked out with Kelly. They said they’re from the suburbs, not the ghetto. Morrison said Kelly and Cryme Tyme are the most clueless wrestlers in WWE. Cryme Tyme crowded the other side of the announce table. The two duos exchanged insults. Morrison called Cryme Tyme “Jonas Brothers groupies.” JTG said, “Do us a favor and go back to the Real World.” JTG asked Morrison if he prettied up his abs with the Bedazzler. Good line. Morrison told Cryme Tyme: “Your dad is no nerdy he wears his pants higher than HBK. Your mom is so far, she had to borrow Mark Henry’s belt extension. Your sister is so nasty, she has less teeth than Chris Jericho.” The insulted flew so fast they talked over each other. Lawler tried to tell them there was a match they were trying to call. Morrison asked which one was dumb and which was one of them was dumber. Three minutes in, Lawler actually called a little of the action in the ring. Kelly eventually won with a victory roll.
WINNER: Kelly in 4:00.
-They showed Batista warming up backstage.
-Another video package aired on John Cena’s recovery from neck surgery. The usual Triple H formula touting how manly Cena is when it comes to his rehabbing. Michaels called Cena a “freak of nature” with special qualities not a lot of folks have. The doc said they operated on him at 11 a.m., and five hours later he asked to go to the area to say hi to the wrestlers. Triple H laughed about Cena arriving with a couple Band-aids on his neck “as if a bug bit him.” Miz said, “Honestly, I’d have been chilling.” Triple H said he didn’t do that to create an image, it’s just who he is. He added: “This is his life, this is his wife, this is his kids, this is everything that John Cena is. It’s the WWE.” I still hate that they say “the WWE.” It’s not “the World Wrestling Entertainment.” The McMahons should have realized that when they chose the stupid name WWE when they had to “Get the F out” and come to terms with the fact that there would be no the, or else go with something like “World Wrestling Enterprise,” in which case “the WWE” would be fitting.
-Chris Jericho came out as special ref for the main event first. A clip aired of the Batista-Jericho faceoff earlier. JBL walked out. Jericho whispered something to Lilian. She then said there will be a special guest time keeper – William Regal. Regal then walked out. Lawler wondered what that was all about. “Is the deck not stacked enough?” Lawler asked – prematurely. Jericho whispered something else to Lilian. She said there is also a special guest commentator, Randy Orton. Orton then walked out. Lawler said Batista stands “absolutely no chance whatsoever.”
6 — BATISTA vs. JBL — No. 1 Contender’s Match
Orton said as the bell rang that he doesn’t care who wins and he doesn’t know why he’s out there. Batista shouldered JBL to the mat and sored an early one count. Jericho was slow to move into position to make the count (on purpose). Batista applied an early figure-four leglock. Cole brought up Ric Flair being Batista’s mentor once. JBL reached for the bottom rope. He came up short, but Jericho insisted that Batista break the hold instead. The crowd booed. Lawler said even if he touched the rope, that shouldn’t force a break. JBL gave Batista a neckbreaker and made the cover. Jericho counted very fast for a quick two count. JBL beat down Batista in the corner. Batista came back with a suplex. Jericho didn’t count when Batista made the cover. Batista stood up and protested. Jericho bailed out to ringside. JBL blindsided Batista with a punch, knocking him to the floor. JBL went after Batista. Jericho ordered JBL to get back inside the ring. Meanwhile, Regal attacked Batista. Back in the ring JBL made the cover and Jericho made another fast count. Batista kicked out suddenly. JBL applied a full nelson. He shifted to a sleeper. Batista back suplexed out of it at 5:00. Jericho tried to wake up JBL. He shook him and practically helped him stand up. Batista got up and clotheslined JBL to the mat. He clotheslined him in the corner.
Lawler said Jericho must think he’d have a better chance to beat JBL than Batista. Cole said, “Unless they struck some sort of deal, King.” What kind of deal would that be? As Batista charged JBL in the corner, Jericho tripped Batista. Batista got up and powerslammed JBL. He had to fend off Regal when he jumped onto the ring apron. He turned and went for a spear on JBL, but hit Jericho and JBL at the same time. Batista looked like he shouldn’t have done that because it could prompt a DQ. They showed Mike Adamle on the stage. He sent another referee to the ring. What kind of jet did he take from Stamford to Seattle? In any case, Batista hit a spinebuster on JBL and then a Batista Bomb for the three count.
WINNER: Batista in 7:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 — Entertaining in a chaotic farcical way, but the stips called for that.
-Afterward, Adamle said it’s ironic that Jericho named himself the special guest referee tonight because that was something discussed when he met with Shane and Stephanie earlier. He said at Cyber Sunday will defend his World Title against Batista and fans can choose the special referee. The choices are: Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
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