The following report was published five years ago this week on PWTorch.com…
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 17, 2008
LIVE FROM ATLANTA, GA.
-After the Raw opening, Jerry Lawler introduced the show. He said the show would open with a first-ever Raw Forum. Michael Cole stood center-ring with the Raw roser of wrestlers. He introduced Stephanie McMahon. She walked out onto the stage as her music played and stood in front of a podium. She said she has been inundated with questions from WWE “superstars” since Mike Adamle resigned, so she’s opening the floor to questions.
Randy Orton stepped up first and asked why John Cena gets a title shot before him. He asked what is so special about Cena. Stephanie said that decision was made without her input. She said before Cena was injured, he was a top contender and deserves the shot. Orton said, “Fine, fine.” He turned to the wrestlers and said whoever wins, he’s next.
Cody Rhodes stepped up next. He said two weeks ago Orton kicked his tag partner Ted DiBiase in the head, giving him a concussion, and instead of being punished, he was named a captain of a tag team at Survivor Series, “and even worse, I’m on that tag team.” He asked why Orton wasn’t suspended. Stephanie said instead of suspending Orton, he will have to face C.M. Punk tonight. Orton acted shocked. Then Stephanie said it’ll be a 30 man lumberjack match. Orton protested, saying that will ensure nothing but chaos. Stephanie “respectfully disagreed,” then asked for the next question.
Santino Marella said rap singer “Akon” was present, but he called him “Acorn.” They showed him smiling in the crowd. Santino said to him, “I notice you noticing me.” He said he will offer his question in “the form of a rapping song.” Rap music played. He put a baseball hat on sideways. He rapped about losing to Regal last week and said he wants his title back. He looked at Regal and said, “You’re not even in a restaurant and you just got served.” He said, “Hey, Acorn, you think this is so funny. I hope a squirrel gnaws on your privates and stores you for the winter.”
Steph asked for any other questions. JBL stepped up. He said, “Where is your father? Nobody seems to know where Mr. McMahon is and I need to talk to him.” He said he has a problem with Shawn Michaels and he knows Mr. McMahon has a history with him. Steph said, “As far as my father is concerned, he is out of the picture.” She said she and Shane are running the show. As far as Michaels is concerned, they are both team captains and in six days they’ll face off. Michaels stepped out of the crowd of wrestlers and stepped up. He asked if hypothetically one didn’t want to wait six days, could a mac be moved up? Stephanie said he’d have to be patience. Michaels said that’s a fine attribute, then apologized for what he was about to do. He then dove onto JBL and punched him with a towel over his head.
Lawler plugged the lumberjack match later as the wrestlers cleared the ring and JBL protested the attack on the rampway as Michaels stood his ground in the ring.
-Raw Fact: Raw was the most watched entertainment program on cable televsion Monday night for the fourth week in a row, beating shows on MTV, TBS, TNT, VH1, and NBC.
1 — VICTORIA vs. KELLY KELLY
Kelly hit a handspring elbow in the corner early. Victoria came back with a backbreaker and her Arachnophobia, a torture rack dropdown, for a near fall. Kelly followed up with a schoolgirl for a three count, which Cole deemed “what an upset!” Afterward Victoria beat up Kelly, including giving her a Widow’s Peak. Other Kelly Kelly teammates showede up to save her from further attack – Candice Michelle, Jillian Hall, and Mickie James. Then Beth Phoenix charged down the aisle and jumped Victoria from behind. She threw her into the ring and executed her finisher. Phoenix exchanged uneasy looks with her partners.
WINNER: Kelly in 1:00.
-Cole said the Survivor Series could lead to a four-on-one situation because they are fought elimination style. Lawler and Cole plugged the other Survivor Series matches.
2 — BATISTA vs. MANU (w/Cody Rhodes)
Orton walked out at the start of the match to obsever. When Batista went for a Batista Bomb early, Manu countered with a Samoan Drop. After a kick, he scored a two count. He applied a nerve hold, then dropped a headbutt onto his shoulder. Batista kicked out at two, then soon made a comeback with a kick to the face. He followed up with a spinebuster, a spear, and a BatistaBomb for the win.
WINNER: Batista in 4:00. Nothing memorable about Manu’s performance. It’s just astounding WWE feels it’s wise to put someone as new as Manu in the ring on national TV losing in four minutes to a top star if they have any hopes for him to be a useful member of the roster. Manu wasn’t given opportunity to build up any in-ring credibility or establish his signature moves before he loses a singles match to Batista decisively.
-Afterward, Batista addressed Orton directly. He said for three years he’s been listening to him badmouth him and Evolution, so he can’t wait to whip his ass on Sunday. He told him to stop whining about who’s next in line and start worrying about what he’s goingto do to him at Survivor Series. Orton glared back.
-Cole plugged JBL & Kane vs. Cryme Tyme. He touted that CT are an “established team” as their advantage. Lawler plugged Michaels & Rey vs. Miz & John Morrison.
-Stephanie McMahon introduced “Chief” Jay Strongbow. He wore an unfortunately pink shirt and waved to the largely indifferent crowd. Cole then plugged the Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov and Big Show vs. Undertaker matches at Survivor Series.
-Orton gave Cody a hard time backstage about backing out of a fight with Batista. He threatened to kick him off of his team. Orton said Cody can watch him beat Punk up close as a lumberjack. Cody told Orton to keep talking because right now, that’s what he’s best at.
-Grisham introduced a video of Evan Bourne, touting him as one of the most innovative superstars to come along in a while. He said he suffered a knee injury, but he’s here tonight. Bourne walked out on crutches with a cast on his leg. He smiled and looked out at the crowd. He said he’s stuck in a boot, but his ankle is getting better all the time. He said he’ll be back and pick up where he left off. Mike Knox walked out and got in his face. After an awkward minute of a staredown, Knox turned and walked away.
-They showed Michaels and Rey heading toward the entrance tunnel. Michaels said he’s made that walk a lot of times with a lot of people over the years, including Marty Jannetty, Triple H, and even Hulk Hogan. He pretended to be nervous to be sharing the ring with Rey. Rey gullibly believed him and told him to relax and take it one step at a time. It was a practically a scene out of “What About Bob?” Dolph Ziggler walked up to them. Michaels told Zolph that he’d be teaming with Rey next, then he looked at the camera and plugged the match. It was a bit weird. Nothing at all about any personal grudge he has with Miz and Morrison over what they said about DX a few weeks back. Nothing to really indicate any motivation to beat them.
3 — MIZ & JOHN MORRISON vs. SHAWN MICHAELS & REY MYSTERIO
During the Michaels & Rey ring intro, Cole talked about Michaels being captain of a Survivor Series tag match and wanting to get his hands on JBL earlier. They went to the clip. Early, Miz tripped Rey running the ropes. Michaels slidekicked and then dove at Miz at ringside. Rey dove onto Morrison on the other side of the ring. Michaels and Rey celebrated in the ring as they cut to a break at 1:00.
The heels controlled the match for a few minutes. Rey made a comeback by catching Morrison with a dropkick as he springboarded off the ropes. He hot-tagged Michaels at 8:00.
Michaels knocked Miz to the mat and hit a top rope elbow. Michaels played to the crowd and then signaled for Sweet Chin Music. Miz ducked, but Michaels went for a figure-four. Miz kicked out of it. Michaels chopped him in the corner. Miz whipped Michaels into the corner. Michaels fired back with a clothesline. Four-way action broke out. Rey hit Miz with the 619. Michaels gave Miz his Sweet Chin Music. Before Michaels could make the cover, Morrison surprised Michaels with a superkick as the ref tended to Rey. The ref turned and made the three count.
WINNERS: Miz & Morrison in 10:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 — Solid formula tag match. Good win for boosting the credibility of Miz & Morrison.
-They went to Cole and Lawler at ringside. They talked about it being green week at NBC Universal. Cole said he tries to be green by re-using grocery bags while shopping with his wife. Lawler said he follows his girlfriend round and when she turns on a light, he switches one off. They threw to another video on John Cena to the song “This Could Be The Year” by Ryan Star. In the video, A voice said if Cena could plan a comeback from an injury, this would be it. They showed him outside of the Boston Garden. His family, colleagues, and friends talked about what a swell, hard-working guy Cena is.
-They cut to Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon backstage. Jericho said he’s glad she granted him equal time. He said next week Cena returns to Raw. He said that will change everything around there. He said he will cause more controversy than she can imagine. He said he knows that Stephanie and everyone else in the locker room hopes he still has his title because it’s the only thing that will prevent mass chaos and riots. He told her to think about it. She looked like she was thinking about it.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Punk backstage. He threw to a clip of Orton kicking him. Punk said the lumberjacks will be sure he isn’t allowed to escape. He said he’s been working hard for two months to get payback and he plans to get it. Very low key interview from Punk.
-Kane walked up to JBL and asked if he has anything to say about their match. JBL said they should be able to coexist even though Kane doesn’t take orders from others well. Kane said JBL’s specialty is giving out financial advice, whereas he finding victims and electrocuting their groins with car batteries. Kane said he doesn’t take orders from anyone and if he upsets him, he’ll find himself facing a full scale mutiny.
-Cryme Tyme made their ring intro.
-WWE Fact: Smackdown has been the most watched show in MyNetwork TV history five of it’s seven weeks on the network.
-They showed that during the commercial break Cryme Tyme got the crowd to chant, “Money, Money.” Aww, what role models for the kids in the audience.
4 — CRYME TYME vs. KANE & JBL
CT got in some early offense on JBL. JBL tagged in Kane at 2:00. He took control quickly. A minute later JBL blind-tagged himself in and hit the Clothesline from Hell to steal the winning pinfall from Kane. Kane yapped at JBL for the unsportsmanlike move.
WINNERS: JBL & Kane in 3:00.
-Backstage Kofi Kingston chatted with Bourne. Kofi said he hopes he’s back in time for the Royal Rumble. Bourne said he hopes so. Knox then attacked Kofi, throwing him into the wall and kicking him. He knocked over Bourne. Bourne tried to get up, but Knox knocked him back down and stood on his crutches. He told Knox, “Don’t do it.” Knox broke the crutch over his bad ankle. Bourne clutched it and winced in pain.
-A commercial aired for the Eddie Guerrero DVD.
5 — MATT HARDY vs. WILLIAM REGAL
Champion vs. Champion, and pretty much zero hype. Regal did give a short generic promo before the match about England being more respected than America. No wonder they didn’t hype. It lasted one minute. They brawled to ringside early and then just brawled until they were both counted out.
WINNER: No contest in 1:00.
-Footage aired of WWE on tour in Germany and Italy last week. Cole thanked everyone for making the tour a huge success.
-Chris Jericho walked out to his full ring intro. He said since everyone has been hearing the John Cena Story in recent weeks, he wanted to talk about his story. He narrated clips of him pinning both The Rock and Steve Austin in one night to become the Undisputed Title. He said it superseded anything in Cena’s career. He said that wasn’t enough for him, though, so in September at Unforgiven, he won the very first Scramble Match. He beat four of the top WWE stars – Kane, Batista, JBL, and Rey – to become the World Champion. Then he bragged about beating Punk, then Batista in a cage to become a five-time World Champion. He said he has attained more success than any champion in the history of the business and beaten everyone thrown in front of him, yet all of the hype and pomp and circumstances has been centered around Cena. He said Cena has never conquered him. He said every fairy tale on Raw has ended the same way, with him (Jericho) holding the title high above his head. He said he is at the top of his game and he refuses to allow Cena to waltz into the ring and take what is his. He said contrary to what everyone has been led to believe, the centerpiece is not Cena, it is Jericho. He said he will end the phenomenon that is John Cena, and “then and only then will Monday Night Raw be saved.” He dropped the mic and left the ring. Good promo. He makes a good case and he’s going to have some fans on his side on Sunday as a result.
6 — RANDY ORTON vs. C.M. PUNK — Lumberjack Match
The lumberjacks surrounded the ring. Lawler explained early in the match the history of the lumberjack match and why it is called that. Punk threw Orton to the floor. Orton punched lumberjack Jamie Noble when Noble moved toward him. A minute later Henry yanked Punk to the floor and then threw him back into the ring. Orton scored a two count. A minute later Orton hit a great high standing dropkick for another two count. Orton settled into a chinlock – the obligatory Orton mid-match chinlock – at 4:00.
Orton hit a snap powerslam for a two count. Punk came back at 7:00 and hit an enzuigiri leading to a near fall. He followed with a running knee in the corner and then a bulldog for another near fall. Not much crowd heat or energy here. When Orton turned to look at Batista, Punk grabbed him from behind for a Go To Sleep. Orton escaped and gave him a backbreaker. He set up the Legend Punt, but Punk caught him with a kick instead, sending him to the floor. Batista took a shot at him. Punk dove off the top rope at Orton and a few lumberjacks. Regal distracted Punk back in the ring and Orton hit an RKO out of nowhere for the pin.
WINNER: Orton in 9:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 — Okay. Nothing all that wrong with it. It just didn’t really have a lot of energy or urgency.
-Afterward, Batista saved Punk from a punt kick. Michaels, Kane, and Mysterio got involved, followed by all of the lumberjacks for a show-closing “taste of Survivor Series,” said Cole.