The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com ten years ago this week…
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 10, 2008
TAPED IN MANCHESTER, ENGLAND
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
-A clip aired of last week’s World Title win by Chris Jericho over Batista, framed around how John Cena is now scheduled to face Jericho at Survivor Series.
-They went to the arena where Michael Cole introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd. No pyro… yet. Batista came out right away sans a title belt. Pyro blasts. Cole said Batista must be very emotional after last week’s loss. Jerry Lawler lamented the loss last week.
-Batista entered the ring, mic in hand, and he said he wants to invoke his rematch clause. Stephanie interrupted on the big screen. She said she’s watching Raw from WWE World Headquarters in Stamford, Conn. She said sternly: “As far as invoking your rematch clause tonight, I’m afraid that’s just not possible.” She said her brother Shane McMahon made it clear that last week’s winner would go on to defend against John Cena at the Survivor Series. (Not quite. Shane said if Jericho won, he’d face Cena. He never said if Batista won, Cena would face him.) Steph said Batista will get a rematch, but not until after Cena’s title shot. Steph said since Mike Adamle resigned as the G.M., it’s time for the dawn of a new era on Raw. She said it’s time to wipe the slate clean and break away from the past. She said she and Shane want to “place the stamp finality on some of the longest running issues here on Raw,” she said. Then she announced Kane vs. Rey Mysterio in a no DQ match and “for the very last time on Raw,” Chris Jericho would face Shawn Michaels. She said to “ensure closure,” it would be a Last Man Standing match. She thanked viewers for their time, then said, “Dave, thank you for being so understanding.”
Randy Orton walked out and said he wanted to let Batista know that when it comes to a World Title shot, he’ll have to wait in line. He said Cena gets his opportunity at Survivor Series, but then it’s his turn. He said he’s better than Batista and always has been. He said because he’s better than him, he deserves the title shot. He referenced being the best member of Evolution. Batista let out his signature chuckle. He then told Orton that history is written by winners. He said he’s been better than Orton in every way, shape, and form. He said he was better than him in Evolution and he’s better than him now. He said as Steph said, tonight is about settling old scores, and they have a score to settle. He challenged him to a match tonight. Orton said, “The answer is yes.” Orton said when he regains the title, he’ll remain champion a lot longer than eight days. An “RKO” chant broke out among some fans. Batista tossed Orton the mic and shoved his head between his legs. Orton scurried away because Batista’s not his type. Or to avoid the Batista Bomb. One or the other.
-Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix walked out. Santino said he is so confident he will remain IC Champion that he has done away with the Honk-a-Meter. He said he has one better. He said tonight he presents for the first time the Honk-a-Perfect-Mountie-Meter. He said the combined length of all of their reigns was 123 weeks. He said he is at 13 weeks. So he has just under two years left to beat their combined record. A “Santino” chant broke out. The crowd cheered him. He said after tonight he’ll be one step closer to being the greatest IC Champ of all time. “Trust me when I tell you that fancy boy, tea sipping, haircut like a Jonas Brothers, William Regal, he’s not going to take my title from me tonight. After all, I’m from the best country in Europe, Italy.” That turned the crowd quickly against him. Regal’s music then played and he walked out Layla.
1 — SANTINO MARELLA (w/”Glamazon” Beth Phoenix) vs. WILLIAM REGAL (w/Layla) – IC Title match
Regal went topless for the first time since his return from his suspension. Maybe it’s a heel thing, and since he’s booked as the babyface in his home country, he’s stripping down to an outfit less laughable. Regal caught Santino with a nasty running knee to his temple and scored a quick three count less than a minute in. Does WWE think people who watch pro wrestling hate pro wrestling?
WINNER: Regal in under 1:00 to capture the IC Title. Boo. The world will never be the same. This kinda offsets whatever excitement there was just six days ago worldwide over the election of Barack Obama. It’s pretty much a wash now.
-Cole interviewed Regal mid-ring about his win. Regal said he will be proud to wear the belt with the spirit of his fans from the U.K. all around the world. A loud “Regal, Regal” chant broke out. He said is very proud to be a loyal subject to Her Magesty the Queen. Lawler said it was a gracious acceptance speech and that home field advantage paid off for Regal tonight.
-Cole and Lawler plugged the Jericho-Michaels match.
-A backstage promo aired with Kane. He welcomed Stephanie and Shane McMahon back to Raw. He said there’s something about Shane that brings out his inner child and reminds him of when he used to tear wings off of insects and small birds. He said he loves to torture the innocent, which is why enjoys beating on Rey Mysterio so much. He said tonight in a no-DQ match he is free to do anything he wants to Rey and the fans won’t like it, “but I’ve never liked being liked.”
2 — D-LO BROWN vs. MIKE KNOX
This feels like one of those “last matches before being released” for D-Lo. It’s that kind of week. Cole said this is the long-anticipated Raw debut for Knox. No explanation for how he was moved from ECW to Raw. Was there a secret draft? Or just a complete disregard for any internal logic for the tri-brand roster set-up? Knox went after D-Lo aggressively at the start. He finished him in a minute with a big boot to the face and his face plant finisher. Lawler said he had a lot to say about Knox, but he didn’t give him much time to say it.
WINNER: Knox in 1:00.
-Cole and Lawler were shown on camera. He said they are celebrating 25 years of WrestleMania this coming April. He avoided saying “25th Anniversary,” though. Lawler talked up the ticket launch. They went to clips of fans waiting in line in Houston to get tickets with interviews with fans talking about how awesome it will be and how it’ll help the economy and boost morale.
-Backstage Phoenix went looking for Santino. She found him and asked if he was going to be fine. He said what happened tonight was a tragedy because he should have never been expected to defend his title tonight against someone like Regal. He said he called Shane and gave him a piece of his mind. He said he put Phoenix in a match against Mickie James later. Beth shouted, “What?!” He said it’s for her title. She got in Santino’s face and said, “I can’t believe you did that to me.” She threw his cell phone against the wall and broke it. Santino seemed more upset about his broken phone than losing the IC Title.
-They went back to Lawler and Cole at ringside. They talked about Survivor Series and John Cena’s comeback. They threw to footage of Cena’s “shocking debut” on Raw on June 6, 2005. Another video package aired about what a swell guy Cena is with complimentary soundbites from Michaels, Triple H, Gerald Brisco (who said he’s here because he loves the business, not because he wants to use it as a platform to go somewhere else; take that, Rock), Batista (who said Cena’s more passionate about “this business” than anyone he’s ever seen), his brother, and others.
-Chris Jericho walked out onto the stage wearing his World Title belt. He mockingly said what a heart-warming story that was. He said he wants to talk about the Batista story. He moved to talking about the Shawn Michaels story, how he accidentally slapped his wife and then beat him in his own match, the ladder match. He said tonight will be the final chapter in the “sad, pathetic story of Shawn Michaels.” He said Cena should pay very close attention to that story because the same thing is going to happen to him. He vowed to beat him and show the world that not every story has a happy ending. He then walked off stage.
-They showed Rey Mysterio heading toward the entrance tunnel.
3 — REY MYSTERIO vs. KANE
Will this get us past three minutes of total in-ring wrestling more than 45 minutes into the show? Rey kicked Kane and then bailed out to ringside. He crawled under the ring, then popped out the other side and upset Kane with his clever trickery. Rey dropped Kane face-first over the ringside steps, then dove off the apron into his arms. Kane tried to shove Rey into the ringpost, but Rey blocked it and slipped out of his grip. Rey then caught a charging Kane with a kick and then moonsault pressed Kane off of the ringside barricade. A Kane caught his breath, they cut to a break.
Rey made a comeback at 6:00 and set up a 619. Kane avoided it and then yanked him to the floor by his legs, ramming his head into the ringside barrier. Kane took control for several minutes until Rey came back with a flying huracanrana. Kane went for a chokeslam, but Rey countered and dropped Kane throat-first over the top rope.
CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S POST-RAW EDITION OF THE “WADE KELLER PRO WRESTLING PODCAST”
PWTorch editor Wade Keller is joined by cohost Cameron Hawkins from the PWTorch East Coast Cast to discuss WWE Monday Night Raw from Kansas City, Mo. including Becky Lynch’s bloody invasion, Ronda Rousey’s odd millennial and avocado toast rant, the latest Survivor Series developments with Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and much more including an on-site correspondent and mailbag.
Rey dove at Kane on the floor, but Kane hit him mid-flight with a punch. That look and sounded cool. Kane lifted the ringside mat and tried to slam Rey onto it. Rey countered with a DDT onto the floor. At 12:00 Rey hit a 619 and then a Drop the Dime. Kane powered out of the pin attempt with a throat grab. Kane charged at Rey, but Rey moved and Kane hit the turnbuckle face-first. Rey then dove at Kane off the ropes and scored the pin.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio in 13:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 — Damn good TV match between those two. Kane is so much better working with a smaller guy who can move.
-Backstage Manu and Cody Rhodes approached Orton. They said Orton has a concussion. He said they’re not going to let that slide. Orton said Ted DiBiase was stupid enough to interfere in his match, so he did what those two didn’t have the guts to do. He said they can keep telling everyone that they’re the future, but the fact remains that neither of them are in his league. Cody slapped Orton Manu stepped in before Orton could retaliate. Orton snorted and huffed, then walked away.
-Batista came out to his full ring intro. Orton came out to his full ring intro. Cody and Manu walked out. Cody said, “Randy, you can’t beat me and we both know you can’t beat Batista, but you know what? I’m going to beat Batista.” Batista laughed. Orton looked confused, but stepped out of the ring. Some scattered boos as the fans realized they were getting a different match. Lawler said he’s more and more impressed with Cody’s moxy.
4 — BATISTA vs. CODY RHODES
Batista dominated early. Lawler said Batista was already in a surly mood. Cody escaped an early Batista Bomb attempt, then hit a bulldog off the ropes for a two count. Orton watched cross-armed from the stage. Manu took a cheap shot at Batista from ringside. He seemed more impressed as the match progressed. Batista hit Cody with a spinebuster at 2:00, then shook the ropes. Manu went after Batista. Batista knocked him off the ring apron. Batista then Batista Bombed Cody for the three count. Manu charged at Batista, but he easily fended him off, then turned his attention to Orton on the stage. Cole and Lawler said Batista was taking out a week of frustrations on them. Batista limped up the rampway toward Orton after the match.
WINNER: Batista in 3:00.
5 — “GLAMAZON” BETH PHOENIX vs. MICKIE JAMES – Women’s Title match
Mickie dominated early. When Santino grabbed her from ringside, Mickie kicked him. That was the opening Phoenix needed to move in throw Mickie head-first into the turnbuckle and score the pin. Santino hugged Phoenix afterward. She still seemed miffed that he caused her to have to wrestle in the first place. Santino picked her up on his shoulders.
WINNER: Phoenix in 2:00 to retain the Women’s Title. Way too short.
-They showed a scene at a pub in England.
-They went to a video package on the Jericho-Michaels feud.
-Ring intros took place for Jericho and Michaels.
-A commercial aired for next week’s Raw plugging C.M. Punk vs. Orton.
6 — SHAWN MICHAELS vs. CHRIS JERICHO
After back and forth action early, at 3:00 they brawled up the rampway. Jericho took control as they cut to a break at 4:00.
They continued to brawl on the stage. Michaels made a comeback by catapulting Jericho into a fake mailbox that was part of the U.K.-themed entrance set. Michaels went for a piledriver on the roof of an old European cab. Jericho escaped and applied a Walls of Jericho. Jericho released the hold. The ref began a ten count. Michaels got up right before the count of ten. Jericho dove off the roof of the car toward Michaels. Michaels punched him in the belly. Both were down and the ref began another count. Michaels swung a camera crane at Jericho, knocking onto his back. Jericho got up at the count of nine. Michaels dragged Jericho back to ringside at 13:00. They began using the ladder as a prop and weapon. Michaels rammed the ladder into Jericho. Michaels then set Jericho on his back on the announce table. He then climbed a ladder at ringside, crotch chopped, and then leaped onto Jericho with a flying elbow, breaking the table beneath him. Both men were down and the ref began his count. Both men got up at eight. JBL charged at Michaels. Michaels ducked and JBL fell into the front row. Jericho then hit Michaels with his World Title belt. The ref began a new count at 17:00. Michaels got up just before ten. He surprised Jericho with Sweet Chin Music, but JBL then hit Michaels with a chair across the top of his head. Michaels put his hands up to blunt the blow, although it wasn’t clear if it did any good. The ref again began counting. This time Jericho got up just before ten, but Michaels didn’t.
WINNER: Jericho in 19:00.
STAR RATING: *** — Good TV match. The pauses for ten counts tend to take the sense of momentum and breathlessness away from the flow of the match. It’s a format with a lot of starts and stops. It was also clearly a set-up all along to forward the JBL-Michaels feud. A suitable TV main event for sure, but not a classic between those two.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A show that felt like it was booked long-distance right in between two PPVs, but not right after or right before one. Some newsworthy happenings such as the end of Santino’s IC Title reign and some good in-ring action. An okay show overall.