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 18, 2009
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
-After pyro blasted and they panned the crowd, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. They talked about Orton’s attempts at Judgment Day the night before to save his WWE Title belt by countout and eventually hitting the ref for a DQ. They showed still-photos of the events on a split screen as Orton made his way to the ring.
-Orton stood center ring and said, “As you all can see, I am still WWE Champion.” He held his title belt in the air and milked the moment. He said last night he wasn’t just looking to retain his title, he was looking to take Batista out for good. He said Ric Flair stopped that from happening. He said Flair was never fond of him back in the Evolution days. He said he has surpassed him on all levels. He said he didn’t mind kicking in the skull back in the summer of 2007 and he’d like to think if he hadn’t done that, maybe Flair would have had enough to beat Shawn Michaels at last year’s WrestleMania and still be competing today. He said he is proud to say he has kicked every other member of Evolution in the skull, too. He said they want retribution, but they will never it. He said Flair merely delayed the inevitable.
Flair then came out to his music. He strutted into the ring wearing a suit and let out several “wooos!” (When ratings were down for Nitro, they called Flair despite several powerbrokers resenting him behind the scenes. When ratings are down for Raw, more than ten years later, they call Flair again. It didn’t hurt Flair badly wanted back on the big stage.) Flair said last night Orton didn’t beat Batista. He said he was so close to losing the match, he slapped the referee to get himself intentionally disqualified. (Nobody did that more in his day as a top heel champ than Flair.) He told Orton he was talking to him and to look him in the eye. He said he might have his own little new group and he might talk trash, but until he beats The Man, he hasn’t accomplished anything.
Orton said the championship belt on his shoulder means he is The Man. Orton said he can beat Batista anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Flair interrupted with a “whoo!” and asked, “Did he just say he can beat Batista?” Flair said that’s perfect because he saw Vickie Guerrero about an hour ago and she’s “wrecked” over the DQ finish of her title match last week. He revealed that Vickie made it official that in three weeks on pay-per-view he’s going to defend the title again against Batista. He said he won’t have to worry about DQs or countouts or Cody Rhodes or Ted DiBiase or even him. He said the title defense this time will be in a cage. Orton sold it like he didn’t want to sell it, but that news stung. Cole interjected that the PPV name is “Extreme Rules.” Flair left that out.
Orton said he wanted Flair to give Batista a message for him. He punched Flair and then began stomping on him. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase walked out. Batista jumped them from behind, then slipped into the ring. Orton stomped on him and Legacy triple-teamed him. Orton shifted over to Flair and punched away at him. John Cena then ran out and made the save, going right at Orton. Legacy bailed out quickly. Batista and Cena checked on Flair, who made it to his feet after about 30 seconds.
-Josh Matthews interviewed Cena backstage, asking why he interjected himself in that situation earlier. He talked about silencing critics by beating The Big Show. He said he wants his followers to realize with pride he will not let them down. He said it’s time for it to be said that the best man should win. He said he doesn’t care whether Orton or Batista wins, “because it’s only a matter of time before the Champ is Here!” Vickie walked up to him and said based on what she just saw, she’s booking tonight’s main event: Cena & Batista vs. Legacy. Cena reacted with over-the-top sarcasm and then said, “I’m just kidding. I love it.”
-They went to Cole and Lawler at ringside, who reviewed the news regarding the Extreme Rules PPV.
1 — DIVAS BATTLE ROYAL
Mayrse joined Cole and Lawler on commentary. She corrected Cole’s pronunciation of her name. She said it’s “Mah-reese'” rather than “Mauw-reese.” Mickie James, Bri Bella, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendez, Jillian Hall, Beth Phoenix, and Kelly Kelly. First out were Rosa Mendez and Bri Bella in the opening minute. It came down to Mickie, Kelly, and Phoenix within two minutes. Maryse said there’s nothing glamorous about Phoenix. Kelly re-entered the ring and dropkicked Phoenix out of the ring. Maryse sprayed Mickie in the eyes with something as the ref was occupied on the other side of the ring. Kelly then kicked Mickie to the floor, not knowing what happened, and got the win.
WINNER: Kelly Kelly in 3:00.
-Cole and Lawler plugged MVP vs. Matt Hardy and Batista & Cena vs. Legacy.
-A sponsored clip aired of Santino mocking The Miz at Judgment Day, then Miz firing back with a punch, and Chavo Guerrero running out to frog splash Santino.
2 — SANTINO MARELLA vs. CHAVO GUERRERO
Santino acted like he got a leg injury in the opening minute. He did a comedy bit where he walked it off by going back and forth in the ring with a silly strut, but Chavo clotheslined him mid-stride and then choked him against the ropes. Santino hulked up a minute later and knocked Chavo to the mat with a punch and a clothesline. When Chavo charged Chavo in the corner, Chavo caught him with a kick. Chavo set up a frog splash, but Santino rolled out of the way before Chavo jumped. Chavo charged at Santino seconds later, but Santino ducked and Chavo went face-first into the turnbuckle. Santino then rolled up Chavo for the win.
WINNER: Santino in 4:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4* — Fine short comedy match.
-Chavo asked the celebrating Santino that this isn’t a joke. He told him to go tell his sister Santina to get dressed because she’s going to defend her Miss WrestleMania crown against his aunt Vickie. Santino said she could beat Vickie just fine, acting like he wasn’t nervous at all. Lawler said he’s never seen Vickie “compete” so this should be great.
-WWE Fact: Last month, WWE.com had more U.S. visitors than pop culture website Disney.com. I hope they give PWTorch.com a boost one of these weeks by bragging about how much bigger they are than PWTorch!
-A vignette aired hyping the return of Mr. Kennedy to Raw soon.
-Miz approached Maryse backstage. He said he had no idea what she was saying, but it’s really hot. He bragged about being 4-0 against Cena and told her to tell everyone they won’t want to miss what he has in store for Cena tonight. She wasn’t sure what to think of him. She mouthed, “Oh my God!” as he walked away.
-Matthews interviewed Matt Hardy backstage. He held his cast in full camera view as Matthews asked him about costing his brother Jeff his title match against Edge at Judgment Day. Matthews said critics believe Vickie is rewarding him with a U.S. Title match tonight. Hardy disagreed. He said three weeks ago Jeff broke his hand and treid to take away his livelihood. He described his injury and the pulsating pain he feels, which reminds him of what Jeff did to him. He said there was no way he was going to let Jeff become champion and get the accolades he deserves. He said Vickie erased his loss to Kofi off the record books forever, and the only reason Vickie is giving him a U.S. Title match is because he earned it. Hardy’s best promos of his career are easily these smarmy, whiny ones he’s now doing as a heel.
-Elsewhere, Vickie asked Chavo if he was out of his mind for booking her in a match against Santina later. Chavo said he was embarrassed and he just reacted. He said tonight the games are over, though. Orton then barged in and said he is the WWE Champion, so she shouldn’t make steel cage matches without consulting him first. She stood up to him and said she doesn’t have to consult anybody. She said she wants to be sure there’s a winner at Extreme Rules. She told him to worry about his match later. He told her to worry about staying on his good side.
-Cole and Lawler plugged the Legacy vs. Cena & Batista main event.
3 — PRIMO & CARLITO COLON vs. GOLDUST & THE BRIAN KENDRICK
Cole and Lawler wondered if Goldust is “Thee” tag team partner Kendrick is looking for. Kendrick yelled at Goldust for not being aggressive enough. He tagged himself in and went after Carlito, setting an example for Goldust. He settled into a chinlock and then yelled at Goldust, “See that?!?!” Kendrick shoved Carlito into his corner and distracted the ref. Goldust didn’t go after Kendrick. Kendrick said, “What’re you doing? You’re supposed to be on him!” Carlito came back and tagged in Primo. A nice fast-pace ensued with Carlito scoring a two count after a Russian leg sweep. Primo finished Kendrick seconds later with a springboard bodyblock.
WINNERS: Carlito & Primo in 3:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4* — Short but good action mixed in with the storyline of Kendrick being a hard-ass partner.
-Kendrick got in Goldust’s face afterward. Hornswoggle came out and helped Goldust knocked Kendrick out of the ring. Goldust and Hornwoggle together… Why not?
-They showed Miz heading to the entrance tunnel. He was as obnoxious as humanly possible, but in the way a heel should be obnoxious. The strange part is they had him as a babyface M.C. of Smackdown a couple years back acting this same way. That was tone deaf at the time for sure.
-The Miz walked to the ring wearing Cena’s “HLA” t-shirt and hat. He said Cena still won’t come out and face him despite his being 4-0 against him The crowd chanted “You suck! You suck!” He said, “Haven’t heard that one before.” He said he made a remix of the old “Word Life” rap song he did. He said he calls it “Nerd Life.” He said: “Yo, Cena was first in line to see Star Trek the movie. The dude was 25 before he even touched a booby.” He went on and on with lines such as, “He’s the Steve Erkel of handsome.” He went Carrot Top and pulled out some toilet paper with Cena’s face on it. He said he’s not from the streets, he drives a “soccer mom van.” He said while he dates girls who look kind of funny, The Miz is dating Playboy Bunnies. And on and on. He called out Cena and said said, “Quit trying to stall because you’re looking at the new face of Monday Night Raw.” Cena didn’t answer, so he said he is now 5-0 against Cena. He said Cena is dead like a possum and he’s awesome.
Lawler had enough and stepped into the ring. He said he has a news flash for him. He said with that rap he’s doing, the commercials are doing better ratings than they are. He said just because he called someone out and they don’t come out, that doesn’t mean you get a victory over them. Lawler said if he’s confused, he’d give him an example. Lawler called out Batista. Batista didn’t reply. Lawler said since Batista didn’t show up, that doesn’t make him 1-0 against Batista. He then called out Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. He said he wants a three-on-one handicapped match against them. They didn’t reply. Lawler said Miz’s logic is messed up and he’s just talking out of his rear end. He told Miz to go ask Vickie for a match against Cena. Miz said Lawler talks out of his rear end every week on commentary. The Big Show’s music then played and he walked out onto the stage.
Show said he’s not done with Cena. He said Vickie just made a match for Extreme Rules, a match Cena cannot win – a submission match. He said until then, Miz will have to wait. Miz got behind Lawler and said, “That’s cool. I can wait to beat John Cena, afterhe’s done beating you.” He shoved Lawler at Show and then fled the ring. Not sure why they’re putting Show, Cena’s opponent, in a position to be cheered briefly against the obnoxious Miz. Miz fled, so Show took out his frustrations on Lawler with a camel clutch of sorts. Lawler was KO’d in the ring. The crowd chanted “You suck!” at Show.
-Cole solemnly plugged the Legacy vs. Cena & Batista match and Hardy vs. MVP.
-They showed several referees checking on Lawler.
-They went to ringside where Jim Ross joined Cole. This is weird. Are viewers wondering what is Ross doing at Raw? He’s a Smackdown announcer, after all. Does he just hang out backstage at the “other brand” every week “just in case” Lawler or Cole get a sore throat?
4 — MVP vs. MATT HARDY — U.S. Title match
Matt got early advantage with a shot with the cast. Cole said there are rumors that Hardy is lying about the broken bones in his hand. Hardy worked over MVP’s legs. Ross said he’s not a doctor. At 4:00 MVP made a comeback and dropped his signature elbow for a two count. Hardy threw MVP to ringside and kicked his leg from behind. MVP returned fire by bashing Hardy’s arm against the ringside steps. Back in the ring MVP stomped on Hardy’s cast twice. Hardy screamed in agony. Then MVP hit the Playmaker for the win.
WINNER: MVP in 5:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 — Good short match.
-They showed the exterior of Freedom Hall in Louisville. Then they replayed clips of the show-opening angle with Flair.
-Backstage Flair said he wants to call out Orton. “Just because I’m retired doesn’t mean I can’t fight,” said Flair. Batista said he’s the greatest of all time. (Wasn’t that officially Triple H?) Batista said he doesn’t need to let Orton get under his skin like that. Flair said, “You’re not giving me that look everybody else gives me. I don’t want to be retired. I didn’t decide to retire. They retired me.” Flair said he can still beat up 90 percent of the guys on the show. He told Batista he doubts him. He said next week he’s going to beat up Orton. He said if Batista doesn’t believe in him, he’s not going out there with him for the main event.
-They went backstage to Chavo lying on his back. He tried to teach Vickie how to leap off a couch and hit a frog splash. Vickie said she can’t do it. Santina walked in and said the only way Vickie could beat her is if pigs could fly. Vickie got upset and said the match is on. Santina snorted and then said, “I just said good luck in your language, but you probably already knew that.” Funny line (that is, if you can get past the mean-spirited gag that Vickie is a “pig” because she’s not super-thin).
-An ECW commercial hyped that David Hart Smith would wrestle on ECW tomorrow night against Finlay.
5 — SANTINA MARELLA vs. VICKIE GUERRERO
Ross said this might be the biggest match he’s ever called. He asked Cole if he seemed serious. He laughed and insisted he meant it. Santina came out first. Then Vickie, without any music, was led to the ring by Chavo who continued to coach her. Ross said, “Thank god it’s not an Iron Man match.” Cole said this is the first time Santino and Santina have wrestled the same night. Santina called for a timeout before the bell rang and said she knows Vickie is jealous because of her body. Santina said she came out as a lesbian last week. She said she is lesbian who likes it rough. Santina kissed Vickie. Vickie made a grossed out face. Santina did, too. She said she’s never tasted anything like that before. She corrected herself and said it tastes like “the other white meat.” She made squealing noises. Chavo said now this is a no-DQ match. The bell rang to start the match. Chavo went after Santina at the start of the match, beating down Santina. Santina made a brief comeback and the crowd chanted for her. She backdropped a charging Chavo over the top rope to the floor. William Regal then charged into the ring and stomped a mud hole in Santina. He gave Santina an exploder suplex and a knee. Vickie made the cover and got the win. Cole said, “What a bizarre night this has been.”
WINNER: Vickie in 2:00 to become the new Miss WrestleMania.
-Vickie squealed with excitement at the win and being given the Miss WrestleMania sash by Chavo. She could barely contain herself as Chavo put the crown on her head. She waved like a beauty pageant contestant.
-Cole announced that next week Flair is going to call out Orton. Ross said it won’t be a debate, it’ll be a fight.
-Legacy’s ring entrance took place as Ross and Cole set the stage.
6 — RANDY ORTON & CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE vs. BATISTA & JOHN CENA
The match began 11 minutes before the top of the hour, giving plenty of time for a full-fledged TV main event match. At 2:00 Batista and Cena cleared the ring of Rhodes and DiBiase with clotheslines over the top rope. Orton slithered at them, but they turned and slithered out.
Orton had Batista down as they came back from the break. He tagged out to DiBiase who remained on offense. Cole said DiBiase and Rhodes are almost sponges, absorbing Orton’s style and almost mirroring him in the ring. At 8:00 Batista hot-tagged Cena into the ring. Ross and Cole took turns calling the action. Rhodes tagged in Orton without Cena realizing it, and Orton jumped Cena from behind.
Rhodes tagged in and hit a nice moonsault bodypress for a two count. Orton demanded to be tagged back in. Ross put over Rhodes’s move as “brilliant.” Cena, while in a chinlock, worked his way to his corner to tag in Batista. Batista powerslammed Orton for a two count. The cameras cut to Cena hitting Big Showon the aisle with a chair to his back. They brawled to the back as Batista hit Orton with a spinebuster. Batista knocked Rhodes out of the ring as he interfered. Flair showed up at ringside. Batista speared a distracted Orton. The crowd popped big. Good enthusiasm from the crowd. Batista and Flair strutted together to celebrate.
WINNERS: Batista & Cena in 15:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 — Really good main event tag match. Nothing spectacular, but good energy and pacing and star power. The crowd was into it and that helped. It had a good payoff with the satisfying finish.
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