The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com ten years ago this week…
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 13, 2008
LIVE FROM ANAHEIM, CALIF. AT HONDA CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
-The show opened with Chris Jericho scolding Mike Adamle for breaking his word to him last week. He said he promised he was in charge. Adamle pointed out he said he was “temporarily in charge.” (Check the tape!) Jericho also didn’t like Adamle letting fans decide who his referee is at Cyber Sunday. Adamle said if it weren’t for him putting him in the Scramble match, he wouldn’t even be champion. He added that he was under orders or Shane and Stephanie McMahon to empower the fans. Adamle said tonight Batista gets to pick his opponent, but he can pick Batista’s opponent. Jericho lectured Adamle on how he is champion and he needs to take better care of him. He threatened to go over his head. Adamle laughed and said they turn their phone off during the broadcast. Jericho said he has another strategy. Jericho walked out of the office through the backstage area. He walked up to Mickie James, Candice Michelle, and Jamie Noble. Jericho asked Mickie whom she was texting.
-They went to ringside with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. They recapped the Adamle ruling about matches for Jericho and Batista. Cole said Jericho has shown signs of paranoia lately. Lawler rubbed his hands together and said tonight is going to be very interesting.
-Jericho walked to the ring. He said he had a message for Stephanie and Shane. He complained to them through the TV. Great idea, actually. He said every choice for referee is unfair. He said he recently insulted Randy Orton, saying he was irrelevant. He said Orton has incentive to prove him wrong and get revenge. He said he punched Shawn Michaels’s wife in the face – accidentally – so there’s no way he’ll be unbiased. And regarding “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, he said he’s been bragging for seven years that he beat The Rock and Austin on the same night to win the first Undisputed Championship. He said Austin will hold a grudge for that and give him a Stunner and count 1-2-3. He said it needs to change, so he begged and implored them to overrule Adamle’s judgment and abolish the stipulations as soon as humanly possible. He said his reign shouldn’t end due to a biased official or due to the decisions of the hypocrite fans “and their cell phones.” He said “cell phones” with disgust. He said they’re basically handing Batista the title and it goes against everything WWE was built on. Michaels’s music interrupted and he walked out onto the stage.
Lawler wondered if Michaels was walking out to campaign for votes. He walked up to Jericho and said nothing would thrill him more than to be able to come out there and tell him that if he gets voted in as special referee, he’ll put all of their personal differences aside and call the match right down the middle. He said it’s better for him if Jericho wins because then afterwards he can challenge him and beat him for the World Heavyweight Championship. (So are HBK fans supposed to cheer for Jericho at Cyber Sunday?) Michaels said, though, that if he gets voted in as special referee, he’s actually going to do everything he can to be sure Cyber Sunday is the worst day of his life. He said he won’t beg him to vote for him, but he won’t. Instead, he’s going to do to him what Barack Obama and John McCain would love to do to each other. He then attacked Jericho. After a few seconds Jericho scurried away, grabbing at his jaw. Michaels stared him down as he walked to the back. Jericho walked back out onto the stage after a few seconds and said he’s just made his decision who Batista will face later. He said it’ll be Michaels. That’s a damn big match to give away on TV with no build-up or notice. Sure, anything can happen on Raw, but when things happen with a week or two of anticipation, it sure means more and draws better ratings.
-A clip aired from last week’s Raw where Kane chokeslammed Matt Hardy to victory after Mark Henry threw Rey Mysterio into Hardy, knocking him off balance on the top rope.
1 — REY MYSTERIO & MATT HARDY vs. KANE & MARK HENRY
As Rey made his full ring intro, Lawler and Cole introduced the stips for the Kane vs. Rey rematch at Cyber Sunday. It’ll be Falls Count Anywhere, No Holds Barred, or Two out of Three Falls. That’s one of those “who cares” list of options. They showed Johnny Knoxville of “Jackass” fame sitting at ringside. Lawler said he thinks a No Holds Barred favors Kane, while a Two out of Three Falls match would favor Rey. Lawler said a Falls Count Anywhere could favor either wrestler. Kane and Henry took turns beating on Hardy early in the match. At 5:00 Rey got a hot-tag and hit Kane with a 619. Hardy dove onto Henry at ringside. Henry caught him. Rey then dove onto them and knocked Henry over. Henry and Hardy brawled to the back ad Rey dove at Kane in the ring. Kane gave Rey a big boot in mid-air for the win. Lawler said Kane is wise enough to anticipate Rey’s offense and counter it. Cole repeated the oddball plotline of Kane’s grudge against Rey – that he hides his hypocrisy behind a mask like the fans. Rey got some revenge by countering a post-match chokeslam with two roundkicks and dropkick, sending Kane to the floor.
WINNER: Kane & Henry in 7:00.
STAR RATING: *
-Grisham interviewed Batista backstage regarding facing Michaels later. Batista said Jericho is a lot of things, but he’s not stupid and he’s aware of the game he’s playing. He said he knows that he and Michaels don’t always see eye to eye and he has a lot of pent up rage, but he promised to beat him to the punch if he tries to take him out.
-A Smackdown commercial hyped Vladimir Kozlov vs. Jeff Hardy this Friday night.
-JBL yelled at his limo driver for parking his limo in a place where he could barely get get out without being really close to the fans and brushing up against the security wall. They showed Nancy O’Dell from “Access Hollywood” sitting in the front row. JBL said everywhere he goes everyone is talking about the economy, especially if banks are going to fail, or people are going to lose their homes, or their 401Ks being cut in half. JBL said people ask him with puppy dog eyes, “Am I going to lose everything.” He said there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. He said the bailout plan from Congress will make sure he will keep all of his money, but he’s “making bank.” He said Congress knows the poor will always be here, but the rich must be taken care of at all extremes. He said he is America, a real American. Hulk Hogan’s “Real American” music interrupted. Out came Charlie Haas doing a Hogan impersonation. Hogan’s new “Celebrity Championship Wrestling” show premieres on CMT this weekend, so not sure if this is meant to help publicize it or demean it. Cole did that phony laughter as the phony Hogan came out.
2 — JOHN “BRADSHAW” LAYFIELD vs. HAAS HOGAN
JBL beat him up at the start. Haas began a Superman comeback right away. He actually hit the big boot and then went for the legdrop. JBL avoided the legdrop and then flattened him with a Clothesline from Hell.
WINNER: JBL in 2:00.
-Grisham interviewed Knoxville and his “Jackass” sidekick. Knoxville said Great Khali issued a challenge and they decided to take him up on it. Grisham repeated some insults they’ve aimed at Khali lately. They showed some juvenile attempts at humor from their website insulting Khali for having a “small wee-wee.” Grisham asked Knoxville what he thinks so far of Raw. Knoxville said it’s been great so far, but they can’t wait to see the midgets. He said they didn’t bring theirs.
-Cole and Lawler plugged Michaels vs. Batista again. Lawler said it’ll be a classic.
-ECW Fact: ECW was the most watched telecast on Sci-Fi last Tuesday night. That’s pretty unremarkable.
-A video package aired on John Cena. Triple H said the Cena on TV is the real guy. Edge said Cena can be put in any situation and deliver. Batista said he can’t live without WWE. JBL said he does more things and sleeps less often and enjoys life as much as Cena. Hardy said, “Sometimes I wonder how he does it.” Probably without recreational drugs and booze. His brother, Dan Cena, said it’s amazing to see how far he’s gone. Soundbites also aired with Ross, Michaels, and Mickie James praising him. Maria said he gets a thrill out of making people happy. Jericho said nobody gets a reaction like Cena does. Triple H said, “He is who he is and you either like him or you don’t.” The graphic said “Cena Returns.” They didn’t say when.
-Randy Orton walked out onto the stage with mic in hand as his music played. Orton said he finds it funny that nobody had any kind words to say about him when he got hurt. He said he broke his collar bone and finished his match against Triple H, but he’s apparently “no John Cena.” He added, “Thank God!” He begged fans not to vote for him because he could get injured shortly before his scheduled return. He said whether he faces Jericho or Batista, when healthy he will become champion again. He said what’s great is the fans have no say in that matter. Short and to the point. Lawler plugged the 99 cent text voting for the special referee.
-They showed Batista heading toward the entrance tunnel for his match.
-Cole plugged the WWE Magazine’s “Winners and Losers of the Year” so far, plus the power rankings. Check out our weekly Power Rankings of all WWE Champions and Contenders here (free site) or here (VIP members)
-RIng intros took place for Michaels and Batista. Jericho then walked out and made it a lumberjack match. As lumberjacks made their way to the ring, they cut to a break.
-A commercial aired for ECW pushing Chavo Guerrero in a generic sense as a “Latino warrior” trying to make a splash. Boy, gotta watch tomorrow night!
3 — BATISTA vs. SHAWN MICHAELS
The match was joined in progress. The lumberjacks were JBL, Cody Rhodes, Manu, Deuce, Mark Henry, Tony Atlas, Chavo Guerrero, Snitsky, William Regal, Mike Knox, Randy Orton (don’t get hurt!), and Bam Neely. At 2:00 Michaels applied a figure-four leglock mid-ring. Batista eventually rolled over to reverse the pressure. Batista applied a body wrap on the mat with his arms and legs. Michaels fought out of it and threw some elbows at Batista’s head. Batista did not go into a guard, but he should have. After a Batista backdrop, Michaels said, “Usually when you go that high in the air, you get a bag of peanuts… from a flight attendant.” I’m just amazed he said “flight attendant” instead of “stewardess.” And didn’t airlines cut out of the “expense” of peanut bags on flights?
At 8:00 Michaels tried to bodyslam Batista, but his back gave out. Batista clotheslined him and scored a near fall. Lawler admired the resiliency of Michaels. Batista tossed Michaels over the top rope. Michaels skinned the cat back in, but walked right into what Cole called “a tilt-a-whirl sideslam.” It was a turning sideslam, but there was no tilt-a-whirl. Cole repeated that description twice. It led to a two count. Batista waited for Michaels to drag himself to his feet up the ropes, only to be clotheslined to ringside. Henry shoved Neely away and put Michaels in his bearhug for a few seconds, then tossed him back into the ring. Batista went for a quick cover for a near fall. They cut to a break at 10:00
Batista had Michaels in a bearhug after the break. They showed Jericho watching on a monitor in the back. Michaels side-stepped a charging Batista and tossed him to the floor. Orton went for a Legend Killer punt kick. Batista avoided it and rolled back into the ring. Michaels hit a flying clothesline, but both were slow to get up. When Michaels climbed to the top rope, Regal distracted the ref as JBL shoved him to the mat. The ref counted both men down for nine counts, but both got up just before ten. Batista caught Michaels right away with a spinebuster, then set up a Batista Bomb. As Michaels tried to escape, both he and Batista ended up tumbling over the top rope to the floor. The lumberjacks swarmed both men. Then when Michaels and Batista rolled back into the ring, several lumberjacks followed them and continued to beat on them. The ref called for the bell. Michaels superkicked JBL. Batista went for a spear on Michaels, but Michaels moved and Batista hit Henry instead. There’s a feud I don’t want to see. They played Batista’s music after the match for no apparent reason.
WINNERS: No contest in 16:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 — Slow at times, but pretty good overall. The finish was fine as it’s doubtful anyone expected a clean finish here. Not sure if they’re setting up Batista-Henry and JBL-Michaels feuds or if those late spots were relatively random.
-Afterward, Batista and Michaels rested for a minute as Batista’s music continued to play. They finally stood up and approached each other. Batista offered a handshake. Michaels accepted the handshake. Cole called it “mutual respect.” Cole wondered whom Batista would pick to face Jericho later. It must not be a big deal or they would have advertised it by now.
-Lawler and Cole plugged the “99 cents per vote plus standard message rates” text message voting for whether Triple H should face Jeff Hardy, Kozlov, or both at Cyber Sunday.
-Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix walked out to the ring. More text message plugs for Santino’s match at Cyber Sunday. He again talked about chasing Honky Tonk-a-Man’s IC Title reign record. He said he has a chance to face face him at Cyber Sunday or one of two crossdressers “Goldendust or my good friend, Rodney the Piper.” He said they are both former IC Champions and “perverted beyond your wildest imaginations.” A little shoot comment there. Santino turned to Knoxville in the front row, calling “Johnny Knock-ville.” He invited him into the ring. Santino asked why he made fun of the Great Khali. Knoxville said it was no big deal, he just asked about his tally-whacker. He looked at Santino and Phoenix and said, “I’m sure you two get asked about yours all the time.” Phoenix slapped him across the face, then bodyslammed him. She gave him the worst bodyslam in the history of anything. The crowd groaned. Santino said, “You don’t mess with her.” They left the ring. Hornswoggle then gave him a tadpole splash.”
As Knoxville’s buddy entered the ring to check on him, Big Dick Johnson danced his way to the ring. He challenged Knoxville to adance off or something, and then stripped to his lime green speedo and and lime green bowtie. Knoxville’s pal ripped off his clothes, too. They both danced in outfits smaller than G-strings. The Boogeyman then showed up and clotheslined Knoxville’s pal. Johnson fled the scene. Boogeyman then shoved worms in his mouth. The looks on the faces of the fans at ringside said a lot. Knoxville took a swig of water and then plugged his website. The Great Khali’s music then played. This segment will never end. Khali squeezed Knoxville’s head, then slammed him onto the worms. Runjin Singh applauded. Terrible segment and, sadly, probably Vince McMahon’s favorite segment of the year.
-They showed Shad Gaspar chatting with Kelly Kelly backstage. They walked up on JTG stealing an Anaheim Ducks mask out of a big duffel bag.
4 — MIZ & MORRISON & JILLIAN HALL vs. CRYME TYME & KELLY KELLY
Miz and Morrison did a rap and then Jillian made it 10 times worse with her terrible singing. Cryme Tyme’s music stopped the horror. Cole plugged the “Dirt Sheet” on the WWE website. The women started against one another. Kelly gave Jillian a spinning head scissors. She tagged in Miz. Kelly tagged in JTG. Two minutes later JTG hit Morrison with the Ducks mask from behind as the ref was distracted by Miz, leading to Shad getting the three count.
WINNERS: Cryme Tyme & Kelly in 3:00.
-A commercial aired for Hardy vs. Kozlov on Smackdown this Friday.
-WWE Fact: Raw was the most watched entertainment program on cable television last Monday night for the third week in a row.
-Cole and Lawler plugged the voting for Undertaker vs. Big Show with the stips being announced on Friday. A video package aired on the Big Show-Undertaker feud.
-Cole and Lawler were shown on camera. They plugged the special referee voting for Jericho vs. Batista.
-Chris Jericho walked to the ring wearing his World Heavyweight Title belt. Lawler said we’d find out his opponent next.
-A commercial plug for ECW hyped that Mark Henry would be on the show. “How far will he go to regain the ECW Championship.” Translation: We haven’t gotten around to writing the show yet.
5 — CHRIS JERICHO vs. C.M. PUNK
Before the match began, after Punk was revealed to be the mystery opponent, Batista revealed that he was the special guest referee. He revealed a referee shirt. Batista’s ring intro then took place. Jericho hung his head in frustration and anger at Batista’s move. Adamle didn’t say they could pick a special guest referee. Punk went for a quick schoolboy win, then he clotheslined Jericho over the top rope to the floor. Jericho threatened to walk to the back.Batista chased him down and threw him back into the ring. Punk threw kicks at Jericho and a knee to the gut. Punk wrapped himself and Jericho in the ropes. Batista just stared and didn’t count to five. Punk leaped off the top rope with a bodyblock for a near fall. Punk KO’d Jericho with a roundkick to the chin. Jericho went down with a thud.
When Punk climbed to the second rope, Jericho yanked him by the legs to the mat and took over the match. With Punk back on offense at 5:00 Cole said Jericho seemed off his game, perhaps because Batista was the special ref. Jericho escaped a Go To Sleep and then surprised Punk with a Code Breaker for the apparent win. After two mat slaps, Batista reached to his eye as if he got something in it. Jericho yelled at Batista. Batista gave Jericho a kick to the gut and a powerbomb. Punk then made the cover and Batista counted to three.
WINNER: Punk in 6:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 — Short match, but as decent as you’d expect from Punk and Jericho. Batista appointing himself special ref added to the magnitude of the match, which otherwise would have seemed to be a below par main event. Punk just isn’t at the level where he can be in a match without considerable hype and have that main event feel.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS FLASHBACK: 10 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (10-6-08): JBL vs. Batista, Kevin Kelly vs. Jillian Hall, Michaels, Jericho, Mickie, Santino, Kofi, Rey, Kane