Monday Night RAW September 22, 2008
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler
We skip the opening animation and head right to the ring, where the World Heavyweight Title is hanging above the ring, and a ladder is under it. We then hear the countdown as Chris Jericho, the World Heavyweight Champion comes down to the ring. Michael Cole welcomes us to the 800th episode of Raw from the late Brian Pillman’s hometown. Jericho climbs to the top of the ladder in the ring. He has shaved the evil beard but still looks evil. He says leave it to HBK to attempt to re-write history. Last week, in an attempt to what he said “disfigure” the champion, he coerces GM Mike Adamle into making the World Title match between Shawn Michaels and himself at No Mercy a ladder match. Jericho says Shawn Michaels also did his usual boastful lying by saying he revolutionized the ladder match. All the sycophants in the crowd believed it. Jericho has a news flash. Just because Shawn Michaels says something, doesn’t mean its true. Conversely whenever Chris Jericho says something, you can believe it to be true because he is an honest man. He is a good man who always tells the match. Jericho has won 3 separate championships in ladder matches. He has won more high profile ladder matches than Shawn Michaels has even been in. Here’s another bit of truth, at No Mercy when the ladder match is finished, the last thing you all will see is this. Jericho then takes the belt off of the harness. Chris Jericho, still World Heavyweight Champion. Shawn Michaels wants to disfigure me? He already did that at Unforgiven when he disfigured my back with his leather belt. At the end of that night, he still walked out champion. He’s too good, and he’s better than Shawn Michaels. In a quest to feed his ego and overhype his legacy, he has given Y2J a weapon of destruction. Then out of the blue…we hear VOICES IN OUR HEAD, THEY COUNSEL US, THEY UNDERSTAND. Former champion Randy Orton comes down the ramp. Orton, still injured but without the sling, gets in the ring. Jericho says it was only a matter of time before Randy Orton would come down to the ring. Randy says to Jericho did he say “champion”, because if it wasn’t for Orton attacking CM Punk at Unforgiven, Jericho wouldn’t be champ. As for the ladder match, it doesn’t matter who wins because the winner is on borrowed time. Jericho says Orton is nothing more than a dreamer with a big mouth. Jericho says who’s to stop him from decking RKO right now? Jericho says when he gave Shawn Michaels’ wife Rebecca a fat lip, it was an accident. But with Orton, it will be quite intentional. Orton says you’ll do nothing of the sort, because Mike Adamle has ruled that Orton can’t attack anyone and no one can attack him until he is cleared to wrestle. He’s a third generation superstar and Raw’s top commodity. In other words, Orton is untouchable and since he is a third generation superstar he tends to get what he wants. Jericho says if you want to talk about proven commodities, who’s the champ? As for the best in the world, he gets what he wants too. What Jericho wants is to get away from Orton, so good luck Randy and get well soon. As Jericho walks off, Orton says walk away Chris, but just know that one day Orton will be champion again. He will be champion, long after Y2J’s days are over. Orton says take the ladder with you, and he throws the ladder down the ramp. Just as Orton is about to leave, the straight edge superstar comes down the aisle. Former World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk comes down the ramp, and he doesn’t look happy. Punk gets in Orton’s face, and they are nose to nose. Lawler praying Punk doesn’t hit him, but Punk doesn’t care and he smacks Orton in the face twice. That bring GM Mike Adamle out to calm Punk down, and tell him that he is suspended indefinitely for defying the edict. Just as we thought the opening segment that has reached 15 minutes was over, HERE COMES THE MONEYYYYYY…out comes Shane O’Mac! Shane McMahon comes down the aisle, as his official title is “Executive Vice President”. Shane asks Punk to step back, and he calmly tells Adamle that he knows he was thrown into this job and he’s still training. However what Punk just did to Orton is what we call in the business “a receipt”. So he is calmly overruling the suspension of Punk. Orton is ticked and he tells Shane he can’t overrule the GM. Shane says well, yes he can. Shane says Orton is a third generation superstar and he expects more out of him. As for the no-touch rule, that’s in effect right now. So Orton, leave the ring. As for Punk, since he’s all fired up and ready to go, he’ll kick the show off tonight when he faces ½ of the World Tag Team Champions, Cody Rhodes. He then looks at Mike Adamle and says I can see tonight’s main event in your head, and it will be the World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho teaming up with JBL to face Batista and Shawn Michaels. This segment officially took 18 minutes, that has to be a Raw record, even for the Attitude Era.
CM Punk vs. World Tag Team Champion Cody Rhodes
Cody looks like he’s beefed up a little. They lock up and they roll on the ropes, and break clean. They lock up again and Punk breaks clean. They lock again and Rhodes with a headlock. Punk pushes Rhodes into the corner, and Rhodes with a leapfrog and a right hand. Punk responds with a forearm. Punk grabs the leg and hits an elbow. Punk goes for a right hand but Cody grabs the ropes and Punk is tossed out. Punk sweeps Rhodes’ legs out and elbows him. An armbar by Punk on the floor, but as Punk tries to slam Rhodes’ head on the canvas Cody blocks and slams Punk’s head. Another slam of the head and both men are back in. Cody on the top rope with a high cross body for 2. Punk gets on top and throws haymakers. Ref breaks them up and Rhodes’ with a kick. Rhodes looks to slam Punk’s head on the top turnbuckle but Punk blocks and slams Rhodes’ head. More forearms by Punk and a snap mare followed by a punt in the back. More right hands by Punk but his whip is reversed and Rhodes drives him into the corner. Rhodes with a boot to the head for 2. Rhodes drops an elbow to the neck, but Punk with a boot to the face. Punk goes for the GTS but Rhodes bails as we go to break. When we return Rhodes is wrenching on Punk’s leg. Punk starts punching back and some sweet knee lifts but Rhodes doesn’t break, so Punk spins down and snags Rhodes leg for an anklelock of his own. Rhodes is squirming but finally gets to the ropes. Punk with some slaps, a forearm and 2 kicks to the head. Punk with a kick to the gut and a knee lift. Punk with his patented corner knee lift. He goes for a bulldog but Rhodes slips out. No matter, Punk just lifts him up and hits the GTS for the win. Pretty good little match, as Punk was his efficient best but Rhodes looks like he’s maturing. WINNER: CM Punk (Grade: 2.5)
-Ted DiBiase and Manu hit the ring and attack Punk, but Kofi Kingston hits the ring and drop kicks all the heels out of the ring.
-We return from break with an outside shot of the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, as Michael mentions for the 4th time that it’s the 800th episode. We go the Smackdown Rebound by WWE Mobile, including the busy night for Vladimir Kozlov, who attacks Jeff Hardy and Triple H.
-Backstage with Mike Adamle and Shane, as Mike was a little embarrassed about being overruled in front of everyone. Shane says don’t be, we have to step on toes. Still, Shane says Mike is doing a wonderful job. We hear the door burst open and in comes Kane. He looks at Shane and says “Long Time No See”. Was it almost 5 years ago that Kane zapped Shane’s nuts? Kane wants Rey Mysterio, so Mike says fine. The match is made for No Mercy. As Kane leaves, he says to Shane, “Say hi to your mom for me…” Mike asks what that was about, and Shane recaps the 2003 feud, including Linda being tombstoned on the stage and the aforementioned testicles incident.
Kelly Kelly is talking to a photographer when Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella come by. Kelly wonders why Santino has a protective guard on his face. Beth reminds them about what Batista did to them last week and they saw Kelly laughing. She denies it, but Santino (who says Kelly three times) says he knows why. It wasn’t because Batista said something funny, and then Santino hysterically mocks Batista’s entrance. Well in the old Attitude era style Batista walks up behind and freaks him out. Beth says to Batista he hurt her bad, and she’s going to take it out on Batista’s friend Kelly. Beth says if Batista wants to interfere, her boyfriend will mess up his face. Beth pushes Santino up to Batista, and Santino is probably peeing himself, but his music plays and he tells Batista he’s lucky, then runs off. Beth is embarrassed.
Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella vs. Deuce
We see the recap of last week when Batista spinebusted Santino, then spinebusted Beth Phoenix on Santino. Santino says that’s not funny, but what is funny is the Honk-a-meter update. The Honky Tonky Man had the IC Title for 64 weeks, Santino has had it for 5 weeks. I think this is Deuce’s first match since being drafted from Smackdown. Santino says down the aisle to “Baptista” that if he interferes in the match, he will beat him up, just like he’s going to beat up Fonzie here. I can’t keep a straight face as Santino’s wrestling with his singlet and the face mask. They lock up and break in the corner. Deuce with a low knee and Santino’s face goes into the turnbuckle. Deuce with some punches and Santino’s crying. Deuce with a big fist drop for 2. Santino reverses a whip into the corner and gets a head butt, forgetting the guard is on his face. Deuce goes for something in the corner, but Santino with a pretty swift roll-up for the win. WINNER: Santino Marella (Grade: 1.5)
-After the match Santino says Kelly Kelly Kelly will get the same fate as Fonzie, from the woman that orders him to buy the contraceptives. Awesome.
-Backstage Rey Mysterio is talking to Evan Bourne, who faces Kane next.
Kane vs. Evan Bourne
I like Kane’s music, it needed some refreshing. It sounds more like his first theme again. Bourne off the ropes ducks a Kane clothesline, hits a leapfrog and a kick to the arm. Bourne ducks the lockup and drills Kane with a kick to the head. Bourne is cornered and fights with forearms. He continues to dish out the kicks but Kane comes off the ropes and hits a boot of his own. Kane misses the elbow and Bourne dishes kicks out. Bourne hits some weird stomp but Kane grabs the leg. Bourne tries a crucifix but can’t get the leverage so he tries a sunset flip but Kane with a punch to the head breaks it. Kane whips Bourne into the corner but a blind charge leads to a Bourne head butt and mule kick. Bourne tries a whip but Kane reverses into the corner. Another blind charge and another high knee from Bourne. A second high knee staggers Kane but Kane pushes back. He tries for a high boot but Bourne ducks and Kane’ leg is over the rope. Bourne goes to the top rope as Kane’s on the floor and Bourne hits a plancha. Kane rolls back in as Bourne is on the floor. Bourne gets to the top rope and hits a double knee for 2. Bourne goes off the ropes and is lifted and punched. Kane in the corner with right hands and stomps. Kane with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, followed by the more conventional one a couple of times. Kane with a running powerslam, Then he drops the chokeslam and its all over. WINNER: Kane (Grade: 2)
-After the bell Kane goes to chokeslam Bourne again but Rey Mysterio comes in to stop it. He gets some moves in but when he goes off the ropes Kane punts him. He gets over Rey and beats down on him, finishing him off with a clothesline. He calls Rey a coward for wearing a mask and leaves.
-Backstage Jamie Noble is talking to Shane McMahon when Dolph Ziegler comes in to introduce himself, and then leaves. So Noble starts talking again when Randy Orton comes over. Noble is shooed off by Shane and Orton says he respects Shane but what he did earlier was not cool. Shane says he respects all of Orton’s accomplishments but Punk was owed those shots. Orton says he and Shane are both third generation superstars in our own way. Shane says he’s actually 4th Generation.
Smackdown is getting ready for its 10/3 debut on My Networks with a broadcast airing of Wrestlemania XXIV the night before.
Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly
They lock up and Phoenix with a headlock and some punches. She whips Kelly into the corner but misses the charge and Kelly with a kick. Kelly works over the arm, including a nice flip/toss off the rope, but she gets caught mid-move and Beth power bombs her into the turnbuckles. Beth starts raking the face, then some elbows into the shoulder as we see Candice looking on backstage. Beth with the hammerlock, but Kelly powers out with some forearms, but Beth throws her down. Kelly with forearms fights back and a clothesline, and a cross body for 2. Kelly goes off the ropes and Santino trips her. Beth tries to get her from behind but Kelly ends up rolling Beth up for the upset win. WINNER: Kelly Kelly (Grade: 2)
-Beth and Santino start ganging up on Kelly, but then the…ANIMAL IS UNLEASHED. Batista comes down to help Kelly. Santino throws a couple of punches, but Batista ends up snapping the mask into his face, then spearing him.
-We get a piece on the Miz and John Morrison making fun of Cryme Tyme, and vice versa.
John Morrison & The Miz vs. Cryme Tyme
JTG starts with Morrison and they lock up. Morrison gets him in the corner and JTG punches out. Morrison gets Shad to get out of the corner, and when he does the ref turns and the Miz cheap shots JTG. Morrison works JTG over with punches and a reverse DDT for 2. JTG with a headlock and a tag to Shad who hits a press slam. Tag to Miz who eats a reverse elbow. Miz gets a punch and knee lift in but Shad responds with a high knee himself. Miz bails outside, but while he and Morrison regroup Shad backdrops JTG over the top rope and onto Miz & Morrison. They’re down as we go to break. We return with Morrison having JTG in a hammerlock. He tires to tag Miz but JTG gets a quick roll-up for 2. Morrison is stomping and a tag to Miz. JTG is whipped in the corner and Miz with a big clothesline for 2. Miz with a chinlock/armbar combo. Miz & Morrison working JTG over in the corner but he fights back with elbows and right hands, but Miz with a drop toe hold as JTG goes for the tag. Miz beats him down and tags Morrison. Morrison with a headlock, but he and Miz miscommunicate on some move which allows JTG to get the hot tag on Shad, who clotheslines both men. Shad with a power slam on Miz but Morrison breaks the 3 count. JTG pitches Morrison out, but while Shad as Miz in the air Morrison triple JTG and Miz almost gets the pin on Shad. Really good match here. Shad lifts Miz up for a gourdbuster for 2. Morrison and JTG fight outside, then Morrison posts JTG’s head. In the ring Miz grabs Shad by the waist but Shad elbows him off. The ref turns to Miz which gives Morrison a chance to hit the apron and punt Shad in the head. He’s out and Miz gets the pin. Very exciting match that didn’t slow down. WINNERS: Morrison & The Miz (Grade: 3)
-Backstage Chris Jericho is with Mike Adamle, who tells him the only reason Shane McMahon is here is to test him, to see how he would react as GM. Remember, he’s a McMahon. He doesn’t want a yes man, he wants to be challenged. So he has an idea for the main event tonight.
Michael and the King go over our No Mercy card, October 5 in Portland:
World Heavyweight Championship ladder match: Chris Jericho © vs. Shawn Michaels
Rey Mysterio vs. Kane
Undertaker vs. Big Show
#1 Contender match: Batista vs. JBL
WWE Championship: Triple H © vs. Jeff Hardy
-We then go to a clip of Charlie Haas at a local Dave & Buster’s, paying homage to Mr. Perfect by putting on a blonde wig and screwing up all the games. Haas is absolutely hysterical here, missing the basketball shots and accidentally punching a kid while boxing.
3 on 2 handicap match: World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho, Lance Cade, and John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Batista and Shawn Michaels
With Edge on break, Jericho is officially the top heel in the company, conniving his way into having his protégé put into the match. Cade starts with HBK and they lock up and break. Shawn slaps Cade and they exchange punches, Cade whips Shawn into the corner and he flips, then Cade goes for a spinebuster but Shawn punches him down. Shawn goes after Jericho but JBL cracks him with a right hand. Tag to Jericho who works HBK over. Jericho with a reverse suplex, and a snap mare into a headlock. Shawn’s head goes into the turnbuckle. The ref pushes Jericho back but when he comes forward HBK with come chops, which Jericho stops with an Enziguiri. Tag to JBL who throws the soupbones. JBL with a neckbreaker and an elbow for 2. JBL with a boot to the head into an abdominal stretch. Shawn hip tosses out of it, but JBL regains control and tags to Cade who throws some rights and boot chokes him. Batista distracts the ref and Jericho with some choking in the corner. Tag to JBL who keeps stomping. JBL is punching but Shawn punches back. He comes off the ropes and gets clocked. JBL throws an extra punch to Batista which draws the ref over and Jericho gets a cheap shot on HBK. JBL with a 2 count. More clubbing blows by JBL but Shawn fights back with right hands, but he goes for a cross body and JBL catches him. He sets up for the fallaway slam but Michaels reverses it into a DDT. Both men down and the crowd is crazy. JBL tags Jericho but Shawn gets to the corner and finally tags Batista in, who drills the champ with shoulder blocks and a spinebuster. He takes the other two guys out, drills Jericho with a power slam and tags Shawn who drops the elbow from the top. Shawn starts tuning up the band but Jericho ducks. He goes for the Walls but Shawn rolls him up for 2. Jericho went for the Codebreaker but Shawn pushes off and gets a roll-up that JBL breaks. Batista comes in and he and JBL brawl. JBL backdrops Batista over the top rope. JBL falls outside and Batista spears him. In the ring Jericho bulldogs Shawn but misses the Lionsault. Jericho tags Cade, but Shawn throws the forearm, the Nip Up. Jericho gets in the ring which diverts Shawn’s attention, and that allows Cade to hit the power bomb for the victory. Real fun match that had no dead spots. And we’re out. WINNERS: Jericho, Cade, & JBL (Grade: 3)
The opening segment was very long and probably could have stopped with Punk smacking Orton around, and later in the show Mike Adamle could have reprimanded him. The Jericho-Orton part of the segment was really good and shows both men really taking their characters to a higher level. CM Punk has officially graduated to legitimate contender for me. He definitely looks like he fits with the big boys. I always like seeing Shane McMahon, as he’s good for a shake-up and I liked the Kane interaction, but otherwise he wasn’t really necessary here. One thing that’s made all the shows enjoyable lately is that there’s hardly any McMahon interaction. Plus the continuity isn’t there. They come on Raw to bother Adamle but won’t do anything about Vickie Guerrero’s abuse of power on Smackdown. Punk and Rhodes was a solid match, as Cody looks like he’s putting on some weight and looking less scrawny. He also meshed well with Punk’s style. The Santino/Beth/Kelly/Batista segment and match was awesome, as I like the Honk-o-Meter as he calls him the Honky Tonky Man. Santino is definitely making the most of this comedy. Heck he’s carrying a title in this role. Kane is also working well in his twisted heel role, with the demented music and the mannerisms in the ring. Solid match with he and Evan Bourne, who you can see really cares about learning the business and the ways to handle it. Kelly Kelly is learning slowly and knows a spot or two, but unfortunately just like Maryse and Maria on Smackdown a spot here and a spot there won’t cut it against the Beth Phoenix’s and Mickie James’ of the world. I really enjoyed Cryme Tyme’s performance against a more talented Miz and Morrison, but its evident the company thinks highly of the “Dirt Sheet” as even matches like this usually determines who’s higher on the pecking order. Charlie Haas in hysterical in this role and should keep it up, as there are plenty of guys to mimic. The main event was what you would expect from 4 talented guys and an up and comer. It was nice to see Cade get the pin on Shawn here (take lessons Triple H) to forward the feud for No Mercy. Speaking of No Mercy, it looks like its turning into a pretty good card. All in all this was a solid effort, but there was some fluff that could have been cut out. FINAL GRADE: B-
MVP: Lance Cade
Runner Up: CM Punk
Non MVP: Cryme Tyme
Runner Up: Shane McMahon