SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following report was originally published ten years ago this week on PWTorch.com…
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
MAY 11, 2009
LIVE FROM COLUMBUS, OHIO
-Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. No video package tonight. Instead, Lilian Garcia introduced Randy Orton.
Orton said the McMahons pride themselves on listening to their audience, but they need to stop listening and start acting like them. He said when the fans deal with adversity, they don’t fight back – they sit there and take it. “Why? Because all of you are cowards. You pay to live your life through people like me. You pay to see me do the things that I do, like last week when I put an end to the McMahon era.” A clip aired of Orton bashing Shane McMahon’s ankle with the metal steps. He said the fans and all of WWE needs to realize WWE revolves around him. He said that applied especially to Batista. He said Vickie Guerrero enacted a no physical contact rule between he and Batista between now and Sunday. He said just because they can’t touch doesn’t mean they can’t talk. He said Batista is going to want to hear what he has to say, so he called him to the ring “for a little chat.” Batista’s music instantly played. Lawler said, as Batista made his way to the ring almost instantly, that there was no hesitation from him in answering Orton.
Orton said he’s going to tell Batista something he already knows, which is that he’s not going to win the WWE Title – “not this Sunday, not ever.” He then said he hasn’t offered this to a WWE Superstar unless he was second or third generation, but he wanted to offer Batista a slot in Legacy. Ted DiBiase stepped up and said he’s still upset over Randy kicking him in the skull, and he can relate, but he called it the best thing that ever happened to him. He said it was a wake-up call for him. Orton said if he joins Legacy, it would be bigger than the Four Horsemen, bigger than DX, and “even bigger” than Evolution (the implication being that Evolution was bigger than the Horsemen or DX, when in fact it is historically behind those two in most measurable and intangible categories).
Orton said a future Hall of Famer, Arn Anderson, was Ric Flair’s enforcer and right hand man. He said he wanted to give him the opportunity to be his enforcer. “Well, it seems like a great opportunity. And I have to tell you that everything you said makes perfect sense,” said Batista. “But there’s just one problem. I don’t like you. Wait, no, no. I take that back. I despise you. No, no, no. I loathe you!” The crowd cheered. He said he’s never been and will never be his back-up. Batista told Orton that he’s not there to help him, he’s there to hurt him. He said there is nothing he can do to stop him. Orton said it’s a good thing there’s a no physical contact ruling or else he’d drop him right now. Batista laughed and said he’s tired of listening to him and Vickie. “I don’t know about you and all of you, but I’m tired of hell as waiting, as hell of waiting,” he stumbled. He then said he doesn’t think there’s a chance in hell Vickie would call off the main event at Judgment Day, so there’s nothing stopping him from destroying him.
Vickie interrupted with, “Excuse me! Excuse me! I said excuse me!” She said to prove she’s not predictable, she’s tearing up tonight’s no physical contact rule. She said she’s fine with that. But she insisted the title match will take on Sunday no matter what. “In the mean time, things are going to get interesting,” she said. She then booked a two-on-one handicapped match and if Batista wins, then Judgment Day comes early as he’ll face Orton one-on-one tonight, but if Rhodes & DiBiase win, then Orton will join Rhodes & DiBiase in a three-on-one match later. She announced Batista vs. Rhodes & DiBiase was up next.
1 — BATISTA vs. TED DIBIASE & CODY RHODES
Lawler said Batista could suffer the same fate as Shane McMahon last week with these odds. The heels worked over Batista’s leg early. Lawler said Shane is still at a “medical facility” (what’s with the aversion in WWE to the term “hospital”?) with a “crushed ankle.” Batista made a comeback against Rhodes at 3:00. He knocked Rhodes to the floor. Rhodes threw a chair into the ring. Batista grabbed it. The ref turned and saw Batista swing it and he DQ’d him.
WINNERS: Legacy in 4:00 via DQ.
STAR RATING: 3/4* — Not a lot to it. But it set up the three-on-one match later.
2 — MARYSE & JILLIAN HALL vs. MICKIE JAMES & KELLY KELLY
Before Mickie’s ring intro, Maryse stood in the ring and spoke in French. She closed in English with: “If I wasn’t Maryse, I wouldn’t want to be.” Kelly hit Jillian early with a flying head scissors. Mickie got a hot-tag at 2:00. Mickie gave a Thesz Press to Maryse for a two count. When Jillian interfered, Kelly knocked her to the floor and leaped off the apron with a flying clothesline. Mickie, meanwhile, DDT’d Maryse for her second straight non-title match victory over her.
-Josh Mathews interviewed Orton backstage. DiBiase interrupted and said, “Cody’s gone.” Orton asked what he meant. DiBiase said he couldn’t find him. Orton shoved the camera away and then they went looking for Batista.
-WWE Fact: last week ECW was the SciFi Chanel’s most-watched telecast for the 32nd straight week. (It’s not a great week for WWE when bragging about ECW being a top rated show on SciFi makes it to Raw.)
-They showed Cole and Lawler on camera. They threw to highlights of Big Show throwing John Cena through the search light at Backlash. Lawler said that could have ended Cena’s career. They went to a clip of Show attacking Cena last week on Raw, also.
-Chavo Guerrero sat next to Vickie backstage and said he was really proud of how she handled Batista and Legacy earlier. Chavo said he’s not trying to step on her toes, but he had an idea for Cena. He said he thinks he should be forced to compete tonight, not in an official match, but in an exhibition match. He said that would show that Cena would be ready to face Show at Judgment Day. He said then Cena could prove to her he’s ready to wrestle. She liked Chavo’s idea and booked Cena against The Miz in an exhibition match. He then wished her a happy Mother’s Day.
-Cena and Lawler stood center-ring to hype Judgment Day. That’s a new setting, an attempt to grab people’s attention, apparently. They plugged the line-up: Cena vs. Show, Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho, Edge vs. Jeff Hardy, and Randy Orton vs. Batista.
-They cut to Orton and DiBiase splitting up to try to find Rhodes. Orton found Rhodes. Rhodes didn’t get why Orton was so panicked. Orton said they now had to go find DiBiase. He said it wouldn’t surprise him if Batista tried to take one of them out, so they have to watch each other’s backs. Suddenly there was chaos and people calling for a doctor. Rhodes and Orton rushed over to see DiBiase knocked down and groggy. Rhodes immediately said aloud, “Batista, Batista.” Orton shook his head.
-A vignette aired hyping the return of Mr. Kennedy.
3 — CARLITO vs. THE BRIAN KENDRICK
Cole said they were feverishly trying to get info on DiBiase’s condition as Kendrick danced and pranced to the ring. Carlito got in the offense in the opening minute, but Kendrick shoved Carlito shoulder-first into the ringpost and then schoolboyed him for the quick surprise three count.
WINNER: Kendrick in 1:00.
-Kendrick said afterward that was step one. Step two is finding a partner, but not just any partner – Thee Partner. And then he and his partner would become tag team champions.
-Cole and Lawler plugged Cena vs. Miz next.
-An ECW commercial aired hyping Jack Swagger, but no specific match.
-Lawler thanked Chuckcherry whose “Resure Me” is the official theme song of Judgment Day.
-Lawler and Cole plugged the Batista vs. Legacy three-on-one match later.
-The Big Show’s ring intro took place. Lawler and Cole weren’t sure what to make of it. He stood at ringside and watched as Cena came out.
4 — JOHN CENA vs. THE MIZ
Cole said Cena’s not even ready to wrestle yet so he shouldn’t be out here. They have yet to explain the difference between an official match and an exhibition match. Apparently we’re to assume this outcome won’t be in the record book, but it’s not like there’s an actual record book of wins and losses anyway. Miz taunted Cena on his way to the ring, asking if “poor poor Cena” is hurt. He said he should be excited that it’s just an exhibition. “It’s not ’12 Rounds.’ People are actually going to see this,” he said. Miz said he’s been picking on his movies, but his rap album sucked, too. He predicted he’d be 3-0 against him even though this is supposedly just an exhibition match. Cena took early control, but Miz soon took over on a lethargic-looking Cena who was constantly distracted by Show’s presence at ringside. Cena made a comeback and went into the Five Knuckle Shuffle routine. Vickie then appeared on the big screen and said she had seen enough and was stopping the match. She said it’s obvious he has no chance against The Big Show. Miz jumped Cena from behind and DDT’d him. He then declared: “Three and oh!” Show smiled as he stared at the KO’d Cena on his back in the ring.
WINNER: No decision in 3:00.
-Rhodes told Orton if it was Batista who attacked DiBiase, they need to get to him before he gets to another one of them. Orton said he’s right. He said it’s time to prove himself by finding Batista and taking him out.
-As Vickie and Chavo congratulated each other for their Cena-Miz idea, Santina walked in and said, “Excuse me! Excuse me!” She said it’s fun to say that. Chavo told her to give up on pretending to be a woman. Vickie said she has a way to prove it. She called in Rosa Mendez and Beth Phoenix. She asked Rosa to give a good luck kiss to Santina before the match. She kissed his cheek. Santino couldn’t resist and turned it into a full on lip kiss. Chavo said he knew he couldn’t resist Rosa. Santina said, “Fine, I admit it. I am – how you say – a lesbian.” Cole and Lawler laughed like third graders throwing spitballs. Santina then said she has always preferred women, but not pigs. She looked at Vickie and snorted. Cole and Lawler had to laugh uproariously for an uncomfortably long time on camera. I’d rather they just add a laugh track than subject us to Cole’s forced laughs every week after these lame skits.
-They showed Rhodes backstage looking for Batista. He opened a door to a room, but Hornswoggle was in there. Batista then came up behind him and threw him into the room, then followed and closed the door. They cut to a break.
-They aired a “Please Don’t Try This At Home” P.S.A.
-On camera, Lawler and Cole said it appears confirmed that Batista was behind the assault on DiBiase earlier based on what they just saw him do to Rhodes. They wondered if the three-on-one would now be one-on-one.
5 — BETH PHOENIX (w/Rosa Mendez) vs. SANTINA MORELLA
Cole said Phoenix must be very frustrated that she almost proved that Santina was actually Santino, only to be foiled again. Maybe yank off the wig next time. The crowd loudly chanted, “San-tin-a! San-tin-a!” Santino surprised Phoenix with a small package for the win out of nowhere. She did the post-match celebration dance with the referee.
WINNER: Santino in 2:00.
-Did You Know? Last Monday, nearly four times as many people watched Raw than the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs?
-Matthews interviewed Cena backstage. He asked how he’s going to be ready to compete on Sunday. Cena said he’s been going through some hard times lately, “but Josh, how does that make me different than anyone else? There are hard times everywhere.” He complimented the fans for filling the arena tonight because despite everything, people have found a way to adapt and overcome. (Actually, the entrance stage is pushed well into the center of the arena to cover for all of the unsold seats on one side of the arena.) Cena got hyped up and said he’s going to Judgment Day to win.
-MVP came out for an “MVP Lounge.” He said last week William Regal decided to interject himself in his business. He called Regal to get his swagger on and dress on, because it’s Ladies Night in the VIP Lounge. Regal walked out smiling. He said it’s revolting to him that he’d walk out on his precious Raw and act as if he owns it. He said a year ago he was G.M. of Raw and the King of the Ring, “but then I was unjustly removed from my position.” He said he has valiantly returned as an in-ring competitor, paid his dues, and waited his chance to have his chance yet again. He said MVP, though, has come onto the show, ignored his tenure, and decided to try to leap above him in the pecking order. MVP said he understands now that Regal is miserable, but he and the people are ballin. “But you are straight up boring,” MVP said. Regal said MVP represents America well since he’s arrogant, misguided, and despised by everyone else in the world. As Regal took off his jacket, Matt Hardy walked out onto the stage. Cole and Lawler wondered what he was up to.
Hardy walked onto the stage and said since everyone is expressing grievances, he has one of his own. He said he was forced to wrestle the last two weeks despite his arm being broken in three places. He said his formal written requests he’s turned into the WWE Board of Directors have been completely ignored. He said what would be fair is to erase his loss to Kofi last week and take it off the record books forever. He walked into the ring and told Regal that he needs to wait his turn. He said nobody has defeated MVP more than he has, so he should get an opportunity at the U.S. Title. Kofi then snuck into the ring and jumped Hardy from behind to get back at him for Hardy hitting him with his cast last week. Chavo walked out and ordered that the ring be cleared now. He said Hardy and Regal will team to face MVP and Kofi right now.
6 — MVP & KOFI KINGSTON vs. WILLIAM REGAL & MATT HARDY
The match was joined in progress after the break with Kofi on a roll against Regal. He hit his double legdrop for a two count. He mounted Regal in the corner, but Hardy hit him with his cast. Regal then covered Kofi for a two count. Hardy locked Kofi in an abdominal stretch next. Regal tagged back in and worked over Kofi. Lawler made a case to Cole that Hardy was right to be upset about wrestling with a broken hand. Matt tagged in and applied an abdominal stretch. Regal tagged in and settled into a mat hold on Kofi at 4:00.
MVP got a hot-tag and worked over Regal. Hardy broke up his momentum. Kofi kicked Hardy on his cast and that was the last we saw of Hardy. Regal threw Kofi over the top rope to the floor. MVP tackled Regal and mounted him with a barrage of punches and then finished him with a running boot and a Playmaker for the win. Afterward, MVP and Kofi celebrated as Lawler made the case that Regal had to basically wrestle by himself.
WINNER: MVP & Kingston in 6:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4
-They showed Orton alone heading to the entrance tunnel.
-An ECW commercial hyped the return of “The Peep Show” hosted by Christian. His scheduled guest: Swagger.
-Orton walked out alone, without his scheduled partners DiBiase and Rhodes. He told Batista he proved his point, but there’s no reason for them to wrestle tonight since he can’t win the title anyway. Batista came out to his music looking ready for a fight.
7 — BATISTA vs. RANDY ORTON
Orton went for an instant RKO, but Batista shoved him off of him and hit a clothesline. Orton tried to escape through the crowd, but Batista yanked him back to the ring and hit a spinebuster. Batista grabbed a chair from ringside and bashed Orton across the abck and shoulder with it four times, then jabbed his ankle with it. He swung the chair at the ankle, then dropped it as Orton writhed on the mat. Batista kicked apart the ringside steps. Batista brought the stair bottom into the ring, but before he could repeat what happened to Shane last week, Rhodes ran out for the save. DiBiase joined in a three-on-one attack. Batista set up a Batista Bomb on Orton after fighting off Rhodes and DiBiase, but DiBiase intervened. Batista clotheslined DiBiase hard to the mat, then threw the ringside stair bottom over the top rope at Orton. Orton moved. Lawler said Batista had snapped. Cole said the raging animal is back.
WINNER: Orton via DQ in 3:00.
STAR RATING: 1/4* — Not really meant to be much of a match as they didn’t want to give away too much of the PPV main event, but overall a good angle weaved throughout the show positioning Orton as a heel in this situation. Batista fans will like his chances headed into Sunday’s event based on his hurting Orton’s ankle.
FINAL THOUGHTS (5.5): It wasn’t a hot show by any means, but in the end Batista fans have reason to think he’s in a good position to win the title from a hobbled Orton on Sunday’s PPV. Batista was set up as being a step ahead of the heels throughout the show. The only thing missing was Batista convincing fans with a promo that he’s going to win the title for them on Sunday. If Batista cut better promos, that’d have been a strong addition to the end of the show. I’d still have voted for it even with his mid-level mic skills. The mid-card stuff was just there. I’m not sure MVP, Regal, Kofi, and Hardy can elevate one another, though. Good to see Kendrick getting a useful role with a search for a new tag partner to challenge the Colons. The women’s division needs a single top centerpiece babyface for fans to rally around. WWE might not to position anyone in a position to demand a high salary in contract negotiations, but they’re biting off their nose to spite their face in the sense that the division is going to make less money for them because they won’t let anyone stand out. Cena’s plea for fans to find a way to attend WWE events despite hard times might have been good for business, but it seemed a little tacky considering as a multi-millionaire he’s essentially pushing little kids to nag their debt-laden, jobless parents to ante up and buy WWE tickets and PPVs to prove something. At least that was the message I got out of it. But it was a good earnest delivery by Cena otherwise.