WWE Raw Live Report
November 10, 2008
Report by James Cadwell of PWTorch.com
The show started with a recap of last week’s Raw 800 when Chris Jericho escaped the cage to capture the World Title from Batista. So now it’s Jericho vs. John Cena at Survivor Series in Cena’s return match to WWE.
In-ring: Batista came out to start the show. He didn’t look happy. No tape on the wrists, but he was dressed to wrestle otherwise. Batista grabbed a mic on the way to the ring and surveyed the crowd with a piercing look in his eyes. Once his music stopped, the crowd booed more than cheered. Interesting. Batista said he’s not here to cry about last week. He’s here to invoke his re-match clause. Batista said he’s taking back the World Title.
Stephanie McMahon then showed up via satellite on the Titantron to interrupt. She said Batista can’t take his re-match tonight. Steph said Shane made it clear last week that the winner last week would go on to face John Cena. Therefore, Cena will be taking on the new champ. She promised Batista a future championship re-match, but it can’t be before Survivor Series.
In some other news, Mike Adamle resigned last week, so they’re wiping the slate clean tonight. Tonight, Kane will compete against Rey Mysterio in a No DQ match. And for the very last time on Raw, Jericho will go head-to-head with Shawn Michaels. Oh snap. In order to ensure closure, this match will be Last Man Standing. Steph then gave an insincere thanks to Batista for being so understanding.
Randy Orton decided now would be a good time to come to the ring to chat with Batista. Orton told Batista that when it comes to a World Title shot, he’s going to have to wait in line. He said after Cena, it’s his turn. Orton: “I’m better than you, Dave. I’ve always been better than you.” Orton said he was kicked out of Evolution four years ago because he was the most-successful. He said Dave couldn’t beat him then and can’t beat him now. Batista didn’t quite agree with that sentiment.
Dave told Randy that the history is written by winners. And if you look at their history, he’s been better than Orton in every way, shape, or form. Loud boos against Batista there. He claimed to be better when they were in Evolution and better than him now. Batista said Steph is about settling old scores tonight. And they have a score to settle, so tonight, it’s Orton vs. Batista to get this thing behind them. Crowd popped for that.
Orton shrugged his shoulders a little, then asked Dave to confirm the challenge. Orton said the answer is yes. Batista smiled, then Orton stared him down. He said once he wins back the World Title, though, he’s going to remain champion a lot longer … than eight days. Crowd was vocally behind Orton here, then Batista chucked the mic toward Orton and went for the Batistabomb, but Orton squirmed out of the ring to avoid Dave’s grasp. They had a stare down to close the good opening segment.
In-ring: Santino Marella’s music hit to a strong reaction. Santino then came out with Beth Phoenix and he coaxed her to flex, then Santino kissed her bicep. In the ring, Santino said he is so confident he will remain IC champion that he has done away with the Honk-a-Meter. Don’t worry, he has one better. For the first time, the Honk-a-Perfect-Mountie Meter. See, the combined total reigns of Perfect, Honky, and Mr. Perfect is 123 weeks. He, on the other hand, weigh in tonight at 13 weeks. Sarcastic cheer from the audience was so great.
According to his calculations, that will be two years (pause for “Santino” chant) and four months until he breaks the record. He’ll be one step closer to becoming greatest IC champion of all the times. Santino said that tea-sipping William Regal won’t take the belt from him tonight, especially because he’s from the greatest country in Europe, Italy. And turn the crowd. William Regal’s music interrupted, then Regal stormed out with Layla by his side.
2 — IC champion SANTINO MARELLA (w/Women’s champion Beth Phoenix) vs. WILLIAM REGAL (w/Layla) — Intercontinental Title match
Lillian Garcia handled the formal ring intros, with Regal clearly the babyface in his home country. Santino had a good mix himself. And ring the bell. Regal absolutely smashed Santino with a running knee lift about 30 seconds into the match, then he pinned Santino for the easy pin and the win. Beth was shocked, as was the crowd. Beth then helped Santino out of the ring and checked on his KO’ed boyfriend.
WINNER: Regal in 1:00 to capture the IC Title. Well, that was decisive. You could almost see that coming. Let’s hope Regal can bring some prestige back to the IC Title and set up some nice title feuds. (n/a)
Afterward, Michael Cole got a post-match word with Regal after the IC Title victory. Regal soaked up the crowd response before saying he will be proud to wear this championship with the pride and dignity of an Englishman. He’ll also be very proud to take the spirit of every fan in the U.K. all around the world. Pause for “Regal” chant. Regal said he’s truly honored to be the U.K.’s IC champion.
Raw plugs: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler plugged Orton vs. Batista and Rey vs. Kane. And, the year’s “most emotional and personal rivalry ends tonight” with Jericho vs. Michaels in Last Man Standing.
[Commercial Break. UFC 91 commercial plug with Lesnar vs. Couture. That’s a sweet video package.]
Backstage: They post-produced a video of Kane standing backstage in a dungeon-looking area for a promo. Kane extended a warm welcome to Shane and Stephanie, then said there’s something about seeing Shane that reminds him of his childhood when he tore apart insects and small birds. That’s the greatest line in Raw history. Kane said he’ll do the same thing to Rey tonight. He doesn’t like the McMahons or his brother, and after tonight, the fans will like him even less. Cue up the maniacal laugh.
In-ring: Former European champion D-Lo Brown was in the ring for a battle with someone. Ah, the good days of D-Lo sporting a beret. And here comes Mike Knox as the opposition. His chest hair is uneven. I can’t focus on this match now.
2 — MIKE KNOX vs. D-LO BROWN
Michael Cole said the ECW brand was glad when Knox skipped town. We don’t know how or why, but the ECW locker room said good riddance to the bearded mountain man. Knox with a high knee, then the Knox Out on Brown for a very quick win. All righty. Lawler said he had some things to say about Knox, but Knox didn’t give him time to say much.
WINNER: Knox in 1:00. Welcome to Raw. Snitsky left his toothbrush by the door. (n/a)
Video package: They went to clips from the WrestleMania 25 tickets going on-sale on Saturday at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Cue up the fan shots. It was a much better scene on Saturday at Reliant than on Sunday when the no-account, pathetic Texans were blown.
Backstage: Beth Phoenix was shown walking around, then she found Santino texting on his phone. She tried to console him, but Santino said he will be fine and he should never have had to defend his title tonight. So, he called Shane to let him know what’s on his mind. Santino said he’s not scared of Shane, but he thinks Shane is taking it out on her. It’s Beth vs. um… Mickie James tonight. Santino tried to break the news casually that her belt is on the line, but Beth was not pleased. She chucked his phone into the wall, shattering it, then walked off. “My phone,” Santino whispered with his lip a quivering.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler hyped Cena’s return at Survivor Series, then they went to the Cena Rough Cut. We’re back to June 6, 2005 when Cena was drafted to Raw with Chris Jericho handling the announcement. Triple H said he recognized the skill … and flaws Cena had when he first came to Raw. Hunter said what was evident from Day One was his heart. Batista said he earns your respect. JBL said he’s here because he loves this business. They showed clips of Cena interacting with all kinds of fans all over the world. Clips of Cena in the entertainment world. Hunter said it doesn’t matter if Cena is supposed to be at home, he’ll go do promotional work at the last second. JBL said he’s not trying to use this as a platform for something else. Clips of Cena training in the gym. Batista said he’s probably more passionate about this business than anyone else he’s met. John Cena Returns at Survivor Series.
On-stage: Back in the building, the fans booed the Cena video package. Chris Jericho then walked out on stage with no music. He sarcastically said that’s such a heart-warming tale. Awww. Jericho said Batista is the guy who put Cena on the shelf and the guy he beat last week to become World champion for the fifth time, once again proving he is the best in the world today. Jericho said there’s the Shawn Michaels story. It goes that he had the conviction to expose Michaels and his fans as the liars, cheaters, and hypocrites they all are.
Jericho said he upped the ante by punching his wife in the mouth, accidentally. He said it’s something that Michaels might make light of now, but deep, down inside, it eats him up inside. Awesome line to get heat back on the program after last week’s flippant “don’t mess with the chaps” line from Michaels. Jericho said now ends the last chapter in the sad, pathetic story of Shawn Michaels. He told Cena to pay attention because the Survivor Series return is going to end badly. Jericho claimed to be at the top of his game and Cena is returning from a major injury. He said not every story has a happy ending. Jericho then walked back with no music.
Backstage: Rey was shown walking backstage. Lawler said it’s one last time against Kane. Thank goodness.
3 — REY MYSTERIO vs. KANE — No DQ match
Rey with a quick kick to the leg, then he bailed to the floor to set up cat and mouse. Rey went for a flying splash off the apron, but Kane caught him in mid-air. Rey fought back with kicks, though, before nailing a moonsault off the barricade. Rey then ran back into the ring. And another commercial break a minute into the match.
Back from break, Kane booted Rey in the head before throwing him into the corner to land some haymakers. Rey then suddenly Kane in position for the 619, but Kane slipped to the floor and chucked Rey hard into the guardrail. That looked sick. Kane then went to work on Rey’s left arm and shoulder to try to force him to give it up. Kane then exposed the corner turnbuckle and wanted a powerbomb, but Rey moved and kicked Kane in the chest before snapping off a huracanrana.
[Q5 — second hour]
The match moved into the second hour with Rey making his comeback by kicking Kane over the top rope to the apron. Rey then yanked Kane’s right arm across the top rope to avoid a clothesline. He tried to follow with a springboard splash, but Kane caught him in mid-air with an uppercut. Kane then pulled back the ringside mat to expose the concrete floor. He wanted a Tombstone, but Rey slipped out and countered into a weak DDT that kinda sent Kane to the concrete floor.
Rey then brought Kane back into the ring for a nearfall. Rey followed with the 619, then he landed the big splash. Suddenly, Kane reached up for a chokeslam to stop a pin attempt, but Rey escaped and sent Kane face-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Rey then came off the top with a leaping kick on Kane to score the pin and the win.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio in 12:00. Okay match. Had your usual take-it-or-leave-it spots in a Kane match that were a little off, but it was a fine conclusion to their feud. At the end of the day, Kane was elevated during this feud by re-gaining his killer instinct, while Rey benefited from just staying relatively health. (*1/2)
Backstage: Randy Orton was shown taping up his wrists in the locker room area before Manu and Cody Rhodes stepped in to confront Orton about giving Ted DiBiase, Jr. a concussion. They’re not going to let that slide. Orton said DiBiase was the weak link in the group by losing the tag belts, eliminating them in the battle royale, and interfering in his match. Orton said he did what they didn’t have the guts to do. He said neither one of them are in his league. Cody then slapped the crap out of Orton and Manu instantly stepped right into Orton’s face to hold him back from doing anything to Cody. Nicely done by Manu. Orton thought things over, then walked away. Manu, welcome to the show.
Smackdown plug: Jeff Hardy vs. The Undertaker in an Extreme Rules match.
In-ring: Batista came out first for the match against Orton. He had tape on the left knee, so you know where this one is going. Randy Orton then slowly walked out with a slight gimp to his step. Batista didn’t appreciate having to wait so long for him to finally enter the ring. Before the bell could sound, the Priceless theme music hit. Cody and Manu walked out, then Cody took the mic and told Orton that he can’t beat him, and they both know he can’t beat Batista. Cody decided to enter the ring, then he said he can beat Batista. Batista laughed it off, then Cody asked for the bell. Orton slipped out of the ring and Cody confidently squared off against Batista.
4 — BATISTA vs. CODY RHODES (w/Manu and Randy Orton)
They started with a headlock, then Cody tried to target the left knee, but Batista punched him away. Batista teased a Batistabomb toward Orton, who had moved on stage, but Cody slipped out and landed a bulldog for a two count. Cody then took Batista into the corner with a drop toehold before Manu landed a cheap shot behind the ref’s back.
Batista came back with a boot to the gut, then a hard forearm smash. Cody slipped out of a shoulderbreaker, but he ran into a spinebuster. Manu was knocked off the apron, then Batista set up for and connected with the Batistabomb in center ring. Batista made the cover for the win.
Afterward, Manu took a spear for good measure. Batista then stared up at Orton, who simply looked into the ring from the stage. Batista then walked out to the entrance ramp. He approached Orton, but Orton walked backward through the curtain to leave Batista on stage by himself.
WINNER: Batista in 3:00. That’s one way to get around giving away a major Batista vs. Orton match without pre-show hype. Disappointing segment in the short-term, but we’ll see how it plays out over time. (1/2*)
In-ring: Beth Phoenix was in the ring with Santino, who tried to play nice after inadvertently getting Beth a title match tonight. Beth raised her arms in the air as she was announced, then Santino put his hand on Beth’s arm, which prompted Beth to snap back at him. Mickie James then came out as the challenger.
5 — Women’s champion BETH PHOENIX (w/Santino Marella) vs. MICKIE JAMES — Women’s Title match
A little off tonight with the in-ring chemistry. Finish happened after Mickie knocked Santino off the ring apron when he tried to interfere, then Beth rammed Mickie head-first into the corner turnbuckle. Mickie was KO’ed, then Beth dragged Mickie into the corner for the pin and the win. Santino, surprised, hopped up to celebrate over-the-top in the ring with Beth.
WINNER: Beth in 2:00 to retain the Women’s Title. Unfortunately, this was a rushed match with only a few minutes allotted in the ring, leading to a below-average match. They just couldn’t settle into any sense of flow. (1/2*)
Up next: Michaels vs. Jericho.
Video package: They recapped the epic Jericho vs. Michaels feud, going back to when Michaels was going to quit wrestling with his wife by his side. They added in voice-overs from Jericho’s subsequent promos that followed Jericho punching out Michaels’s wife.
In-ring: Chris Jericho came out first for the main event non-title match. Shawn Michaels then came out with a gritty look on his face in a change of pace from last week’s DX look. Michaels posed for the crowd while Jericho met him with a deep stare before they cut to a break.
6 — World Hvt. champion CHRIS JERICHO vs. SHAWN MICHAELS — non-title Last Man Standing match
The bell sounded 20 minutes before the top of the hour, so they have plenty of time tonight. They quickly went to the traditional last-man-standing spots in this one before moving to the floor and up the entrance ramp. Jericho landed a right hand smash on Michaels, who needed six seconds to stand up. They suddenly cut to break with Jericho approaching Michaels for another knock down blow.
Back from break, the men were brawling next to the traditional U.K. stage with the cab vehicle. Jericho rammed Michaels head-first into the cab, and Michaels made his feet at eight. Michaels then slingshot Jericho into a cheap-looking plastic mailbox. Not the greatest spot in U.K. set history. Jericho and Michaels then battled onto the hood of the cab where Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho. Michaels cried out in pain as Jericho kept it locked in, then Jericho threw down the hold and rolled Michaels off the hood to the ground below. Michaels made it back to his feet at nine, but the drama wasn’t there with the audience taken out of the match based on how isolated they are fighting on the stage area.
Michaels then threw Jericho off the stage to the concrete below. Not much of a drop, then Michaels grabbed the camera rigged on a crane and rammed it into Jericho’s face. Jericho made it to his feet before ten, then the brawl moved through the stands to the ringside area. Michaels then retrieved a ladder, but Jericho stole it and rammed it into Michaels’s head. Michaels then avoided another ram shot before throwing Jericho onto the Raw announce table. Michaels set up a ladder, then he climbed the ladder, did a crotch chop, and nailed the big flying elbow smash that took Jericho through the table.
Both men then made their feet at eight while the fans booed for some reason. We found out why, as JBL then showed up ringside. Michaels ducked his attack, though, and dumped JBL into the front row. Jericho took advantage with a belt shot to the face and Michaels stirred at seven. The ref reached nine and Michaels reached his feet just barely. Michaels suddenly nailed Sweet Chin Music on Jericho, but JBL smashed Michaels with a (protected) steel chair shot to the head. Both men were down as ref Kiota made his count. Jericho reached his feet at nine, but Michaels couldn’t get up, giving Jericho the win.
WINNER: Chris Jericho in 19:00. Just didn’t quite meet the expectations built into the show based on the hype as the final encounter between these two. The crowd never really got into the match with so much action taking place on the floor and isolated from the audience. Both men put in commendable efforts, but there was just something off. The execution just didn’t have the “it” factor tonight. (**1/2)