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Monday Night RAW July 14, 2008
by Bigelow34

RBC Center
Raleigh, NC
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

- We start this week’s show with a look at last week’s main event and Kane’s subsequent meltdown and assault on Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. We then fade to Shane and Stephanie backstage. They reiterate their pleas for unity, but they have gone ignored over the past few weeks and they run down the hit list. Due to their father’s situation, they have been unable to attend Raw, but if it continues, actions will be taken. They will be watching tonight and ask for one last shot at working together and having a great show. And then we cut right to ringside where Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels are beating on each other. Lance Cade finally comes down and pulls Jericho off, but Michaels is hot on his tail. And as soon as they disappear, through hellfire and brimstone, Kane appears. Cole and Lawler are a bit apprehensive and stand up as Kane makes his way over to their table. Kane faces Lillian, who cowers and then he turns back to the commentary table. Kane angrily yells an apology but seems to be carrying a burlap sack of some sort. And with that, Kane leaves. We now cut backstage where Michaels, Cade and Jericho are still fighting but then head back to the arena for our opening match.

1) Mickie James defeats Katie Lea Burchill in a non title match with a top rope Lou Thesz press
Our beautiful Women’s champion is in the ring and ready for our opening match. Katie and Paul are out next as Cole and King talk of Shane and Steph’s warning from our opening. The bell sounds and we get a lockup to start. Katie goes for a full nelson, but Mickie goes behind and gets a roll up for two. Katie mares Mickie over, but she turns it into a pin combo. Katie eats an elbow on a charge but is able to kick Mickie in the chest to gain control. She spikes her down by her hair and gets two. Katie grabs a reverse chinlock but Mickie fights back with some forearms. Mickie charges but Katie takes her over with a modified Brainbuster for two. Katie drags her by the hair and goes back to a reverse chinlock. Mickie tries to bridge out, but Katie maintains control and pushes her to the corner and buries a shoulder to the gut. Mickie ends up on the top rope and is able to kick Katie off. Katie comes back and yanks her down, but Mickie lands on her feet and fights Katie off and then she heads back up and she takes her down with a headscissors takeover. Mickie heads back up and she hits a Thesz Press for the win. After the match, Paul comes in and grabs hold of Mickie and Katie smacks her around, but Kofi Kingston hits the ring and makes the save. They stare each other down and Kofi wants a piece of Paul as we go to break. Grade: 1.5

2) Kofi Kingston defeats Paul Burchill with the Trouble in Paradise to retain the Intercontinental Championship
We are back and we do indeed get our IC title match as Kofi is working over Burchill in the corner. Kofi grabs an armbar as Cole talks about Burchill’s attack of Kofi last week. Kofi takes Paul over with a hiptoss and gets two before going back to an armbar. Paul breaks free but Kofi nails him with a huge dropkick for a near fall and then goes right back to the arm. Burchill is able to force Kofi to the corner and then whip him across. Kofi tries to leapfrog out of the corner on a charge, but Burchill catches him and then kicks him hard to the gut to get a near fall and grab momentum. Paul grabs a reverse bear hug as we see that Mickie has remained at ringside to root on Kofi. The crowd is rallying Kingston and he fights to his feet. He elbows out of it but gets caught in the air spiked to the mat on a charge. Burchill drops on him with a senton for two. He stomps away and then drops Kofi with a back suplex with Kofi rotating around and landing on his face. Burchill shoots Kofi to the corner but eats a boot on the charge in. Kofi fires away with rights and puts Paul down with a clothesline. He follows with a dropkick and Russian leg sweep and then drops the Boom legdrop. Katie hops on the apron, but Mickie yanks her down and takes her out. Kofi nails the Trouble in Paradise and Kofi is Ghana make me crazy as he picks up the win. Kofi and Mickie dance in the ring as they celebrate their victories. Well, that started off slow but really picked up steam as they headed into the finish. Grade: 2

- Backstage, Santino Marella and Matt Striker are chatting. Santino says that he has made an open invitation to the Raw locker room. After he wins that match, everyone will forget what Rey Mahstrio did to him last week. And with that, Striker quickly walks off as Kane comes in, sack in hand. He asks where Punk is and Santino quips “have you checked the Pepsi machine”. Kane is not in the mood for jokes and asks again and Santino says he is in the locker room. Kane stalks off and Santino downs some Tums as we go to break.

- Anything surely is possible in this new wing world.

- Backstage, Kane has found Punk. He has that deep down inside, he knows he is dead. Punk asks who he is talking about. Kane says that they have been partners before, but Kane needs him one on one tonight. Punk says he has the biggest match of his career in six days. Kane says it isn’t about the title, but he needs this tonight and asks again. Punk wants to prove he isn’t a fluke and show that he has a chance on Sunday, so he accepts the challenge. Punk asks what is in the bag, but Kane giggles and walks off. Back at ringside, Cole has our text poll: which champion is in most jeopardy come the Great American Bash. We now go backstage where the Grish is with John Cena. Grish asks if Cena knows the stipulations of the NYC parking lot brawl. Cena says that every week he has tried going to the ring with a smile on his face and be as upbeat as possible due to Vince’s condition and the pleas of his children. But he can’t do it anymore, because of the challenge JBL has thrown down. For those of us that don’t know what this match is about, it is two men in a parking lot, surrounded by cars and all weapons are in play. Come Sunday, we won’t find out who the best athlete is, we will find out a myriad of violent things that Cena runs down. He says the question shouldn’t be what the match is about; it should be why Cena would accept it. He says he doesn’t like JBL and JBL doesn’t like him. They go way back to Wrestlemania 21 and Cena said if they had one last match between them; it may as well be at the Great American Bash because JBL considers himself a great American, which makes Cena sick. It will make him proud to smash JBL’s body on the concrete and hope he breaks some bones. He hopes to see real fear in JBL’s eyes. He may have laid down the law, but he didn’t pick a fight with a fair haired pretty boy, but rather with a battle ready, war hardened son of a bitch. He will not be arrogant and predict victory, but he will give us fact: at the Bash, hell will come to earth. He has walked through it and looked the devil in the eye and he will come with a rage of 1000 pit bulls and he will not stop until JBL remembers the name John Cena. The NYC parking lot brawl is his kind of fight and he accepts. He also has a challenge of his own for tonight…and Cryme Tyme come in. He found two guys who like to fight and hate JBL as much as he does. He tells JBL to find a couple of partners and if he has a pair he will meet them in the ring for some six man action. Tonight, if JBL wants some…come get some. And we are out. That was a really good promo by Cena as he showed a lot of fire.

- We are back and Santino is in the ring and wants to know who has the cannolis to accept his challenge. Whoever accepts the challenge is “death meat”. And we have a challenger…Beth Phoenix!

3) Beth Phoenix defeats Santino Marella with a roll up
We get a lockup to start as Cole tells us that Santino said women need to get back in the kitchen on his latest Casa on WWE.com. We get a flex off but Santino puts Beth down with a spinebuster. Beth turns him over and starts slugging away at Santino. Marella grabs a side headlock, yelling “the power of a man!”, but Beth picks him and drops him with a backbreaker. Beth scoops him up and slams Santino down hard. Santino misses a charge in the corner and Beth rolls him up for the shocking win. Santino is in shock and Beth is way over after that. If they wanted to turn her face, that was certainly the way to do it. Grade: 1.5

- Kelly is stretching backstage as we head to break.

- We are back and thanking American Bang for “Move to the Music” which the official GAB theme song. Back to the ring and the sultry Kelly is making her way to the ring for our next match. As Kelly awaits her opponent, we are interrupted by the tag champions, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. They make their way to the ring and grab hold of the mike. Ted says they don’t care that she had a match tonight. They have something to say so they ask her to leave and she obliges. Cody says that he and Ted have received a lot of unwarranted criticism and that they somehow went bad. They aren’t bad people though, they are realistic. They aren’t their fathers, they are better. They became tag team champions in less than a month of being partners. When you are this talented, you don’t pay dues. Ted says they are still in their early twenties and ten years from now, they will just be in their prime and you can’t put a price on that. They are the future…but here comes the past as Hacksaw Jim Duggan makes his way out. Hacksaw came out to talk from the heart. He has known them since they were kids; he knew their dads as he teamed with Dusty and wrestled Ted. They are all old school and unlike Cody & Ted, Jr., they always respected and appreciated those who paved the way. He says Cody is very talented and as performers they are at a whole other level but, as people, they have a lot of growing up to do. Cody says that Jim makes some valid points and he says that “grow up” could apply to them, but when he hears “grow up” he thinks of a 50 year old man who comes out in gym shorts trying to relive his glory days, but in actuality those days weren’t too glorious to begin with. Ted quotes Steve Austin and says “unless you think you have what it takes to become a champion, then you shouldn’t be in WWE”. He asks Jim if he thinks he has what it takes to win a title. He still carries around the same 2x4 from 25 years ago and yelling the same lame chants begging for a reaction. Ted calls Jim pathetic and says that if anyone needs to grow up, it is him. Cody and Ted walk off as JBL appears on the Titantron. JBL is impressed and says they don’t have to pay any dues. JBL gives them the opportunity to team with him tonight to take on Cryme Tyme and Cena. He says it will be the first main event of many for them. Cody and Ted smirk and head up the ramp as Duggan remains in the ring dejected. That was an awesome segment. The idea of Cody and Ted as JBL’s running buddies is a glorious one.

- We are back and the Just for Men Slam of the Week is a recap of last week’s main event which saw Batista earn a title shot at the Great American Bash.

4) CM Punk defeats Kane by countout in a non title match
Kane is out first and still has his sack in hand as he solemnly stands in the ring. Our Champion is out next as he has a heck of a warm up match for Sunday. Kane grabs Punk by the throat as he tries to hot and move. Punk fires back with some rights but gets caught by the hair as he tries to slide between Kane’s legs. Kane slugs Punk down and then works him over in the corner. Punk hits a boot as Kane puts his head down and Punk is able to send him out to the floor. Kane stares a steel chair as the ref counts. He staggers back and pulls Punk to the floor and slugs him down. Kane tosses him back in and works him over and then buries him with a clothesline in the corner for two. Kane slams Punk down and hits a low dropkick for two. Kane boots Punk down and grabs a reverse chinlock. Punk fights back and hits some fists and kicks and staggers Kane with an Enziguri. He hits a pair of running knees in the corner but Kane is able to shove Punk off on the bulldog attempt. Punk hits an elbow on a charge and then kicks Kane to the mat with a big boot to the back of the head. Punk heads up top and gets a cross body for two. Punk hoists Kane up for the G2S but Kane slips free and grabs his throat. Punk kicks Kane in the head and heads to the apron. He starts the springboard clothesline but Kane shoves him off to the floor. He follows out, but Punk is able to run Kane into the ring post. Punk hits a flying bulldog off the apron and he beats the count to pick up the countout win. Kane starts tossing chairs in the ring and then charges in and takes Punk down. He starts slugging away at Punk’s head and then stomps away at him. He picks up a chair and hooks it around Punk’s neck. He heads up top but Batista’s music fires up and the Animal is out to save Punk. He nails Kane with a spear and crushes Kane with a chairshot to the head. Batista helps Punk up and Punk extends his hand. Batista wants no part of it and says he only came out to protect the title match, so Punk shoves him and Batista spikes him with the spinebuster and then walks off. That was a really fun match that was aided big time by the crowd and Punk’s comeback spots. Grade: 2.5

- We get a quick look at last week’s beatdown of JBL’s limo before heading to break.

5) Chris Jericho defeats Paul London with the Walls of Jericho
We are back and Chris Jericho is making his way out to the ring and we get clips from earlier tonight as Michaels and Jericho were going at it. London is in the ring and Cole talks about how London grew up idolizing Shawn Michaels. We get a lockup and Jericho knees London in the corner. London comes back with some kicks but Jericho puts him back down. Jericho whips London out to the floor and then heads out and kicks him. He tries yanking the protective padding off the rail, but a fan won’t let him. He rams London into it anyway and then tosses him back in. Jericho continues the assault and chokes London on the middle rope. London catches Jericho with a spin kick and then boots Jericho on a charge but Jericho dodges a dive. He nails Paul with a clothesline and then breaks out the old double underhook backbreaker. Jericho calls for Michaels as he turns London into the old school WCW style Walls of Jericho for the win. That was fun as hell squash match. Grade: 2

- Jericho tells London to take this loss as a sign to change his career right now. He can follow Jericho’s road of integrity and honesty or follow the Shawn Michaels path of lies and cowardice. He can become a legend like Jericho or be full of disgrace and pain like Michaels. And with that, HBK makes his out to the ramp. Cade stand stall with a chair as Michaels starts to talk. He says that he can’t change Jericho’s mind and he can assure Jericho that can not change his. He says Jericho does not know the meaning of righteousness and truth. They can agree on one thing: this Sunday at the Bash, the worst is truly yet to come. This feud is just all kinds of awesome.

- Backstage, Jamie Noble is talking to Layla. He says with the McMahons gone, this is their chance to hook up and become Raw’s power couple and that people love when beautiful people hook up. Layla says she doesn’t date short men. Noble says she can Google it and see the 5’6” is the average male height. He will prove that he is above average in all aspects, especially in the ring. He will take the next person who comes through the curtain and take him out in the ring. Snitsky walks in and tells Noble to shut his mouth and Noble backs off. Layla isn’t impressed so Noble calls Snitsky back and lays into him about his ugliness and broken nose from last week. Layla tries to stop him but Noble continues hilariously calling him out and heads to the ring. Noble and Layla head to the ring and Snitsky is right behind them. Noble tries to attack, but Snitsky keeps shoving him off and puts him down. Snitsky whips Noble to the corner and charges but eats a boot. Noble hops up to the middle rope but he eats a huge boot on the way down. Snitsky plants him with the Pumphandle slam and that is that.

- When we return from break, we get a reply of the Shane & Stephanie announcement from earlier tonight. Cole then gives us the results of our text poll and 55% of the fans think Punk is in the most jeopardy Sunday, with 25% choosing Mark Henry and 20% taking Triple H. King and Cole then run down our Bash card for u before we head to the ring for our Main Event.

6) John Cena & Cryme Tyme defeat John Bradshaw Layfield, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase by disqualification
JBL and the tag champs are on their way to the ring and we go to break as our Main Event is next. And when we return, Cryme Tyme hit the ring and are followed by John Cena. Cena and Cody start things off as Cole talks about the history between Cena and JBL. Cena lands a couple of punches and sends Cody into the corner and then takes him over with a big suplex. Cena lays in some more rights and then tags in Shad. He puts Cody down with a clothesline and then presses him up, but Cody slips loose and is able to tag DiBiase. Shad puts Ted down with a shoulderblock and then runs him to the corner and takes him out with a double underhook float over suplex. Shad tags in JTG and Shad slams him on top of Ted for a near fall. Ted gains control and tags in Cody who puts JTG down with a dropkick. Cody jukes and jives and hits some rights. He keeps dancing, but JTG plants one on him and takes him down with a flying clothesline. Cody hits a knee but JTG catches one to the back from JBL as he hits the ropes. JBL is tagged in and slugs away at JTG and then taunts Cena as the champions choke JTG in the corner. JBL tags Ted back in and he stomps away at JTG. Shad fires back but Ted takes him down with a dropkick to the knee to stop the flurry. Cody is back in and he works JTG over some more in the corner. Cody grabs a Leglock and tags in Ted. The crowd is calling for Cena as Ted works the leg of JTG as we go to our final break. When we return, Cody is working over Shad in the ring. He tags in JBL and he slugs away at Shad in the corner and then knocks Cena around with a cheap shot. JBL puts Shad down with a short clothesline and then drops some elbows on him. He tags in Cody, who comes off the top with a right hand to Shad’s midsection. Cody grabs a step over toehold as the crowd is still calling for Cena. Cody goes for a bulldog, but Shad shoves him off and send shim crashing to the mat. Shad slowly crawls over but Cody takes out Cena to prevent the tag. He grabs a leglace on Shad and tags Ted back in. Ted hammers away at Shad, but Shad fires back at him. Ted rams a knee to the gut and tags Cody back in and he works Shad over in the corner. Cody runs Shad into the buckle and heads up top but he misses a moonsault which finally allows Shad to make the super hot tag to Cena. He takes Cody down with a shoulderblock and puts Ted down with a back suplex and then clocks him with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Ted staggers into the F-U and Cody walks into a Throwback and the crowd is off the hook. Cena goes up top and hits a top rope legdrop to a bent over Cody. Cena grabs the STFU on Cody, but JBL breaks it up to draw the odd DQ. Not sure why that was a DQ and Lawler seems to agree. Grade: 4

- JBL is calling for Cena as he walks alongside the ramp and to the back. He continues to run backstage and Cena is stalking after him. Cena makes it to the back door but JBL is gone and some random dude in a suit is standing there. Cena kicks the door open and cautiously heads outside and starts looking around for JBL. Cena walks around the parking lot, pauses to look around and continues on, but JBL blindsides him with a pipe and knocks him out cold. He drags him and props him up against car and then gets into another car, guns it and careens into the car Cena was leaning against. JBL gets out, looks around nervously and we fade out. I have no idea if we are supposed to assume Cena moved or just be left in the dark for now? Either way it was a weird ending to what had been a fantastic show.

Final Analysis
Well after a sluggish outing last week, we got an excellent outing this week. The draft has totally reenergized this show and everyone went out and delivered in front of a hot crowd tonight. The opening segment was just fantastic and a nice callback of the old crash TV format. I loved the initial brawl to start the show and it kept on rolling from there. The Kane stuff was interesting all night and I am curious as to what is in the bag. The first two matches were both good as Mickie and Kofi picked up nice wins at the hands of the Burchills. Cena’s promo was really good this week and set the tone for what should be a violent street fight. I also like his alliance with Cryme Tyme as it elevates them up a level. Santino continues to rule it as well in both his backstage segment and in the ring. I am not sure if turning Beth face is wise, but she was sure over in that showdown. I flat out loved the Rhodes & DiBiase segment as they just tore into Duggan and told the truth the whole way through. That is what makes them top flight heels at this point, because they are just speaking what they believe and telling the truth out there. I also like the alliance with JBL and the three are tailor made for this alliance and I hope it lasts past this week. The Punk/Kane match was good too and it was cool that they brought up their past as a team. I know some people will say Punk looked weak, but he won the match and looked strong towards the end of it and being laid out by a fresh Batista doesn’t really hurt him at all, especially since it seems like Kane will now cost Batista the match at the Bash to start a feud between them as Punk rolls on as champ. The Jericho squash was goodness as London sells like a champ and makes guys look great. He needed a win heading into Sunday for the most anticipated match of the show. Their feud has been booked to perfection from the start and has been the highlight of Raw over the past few months. I am glad to see Jamie Noble get some face time too as he is really funny when they let him go out and ramble. He will get over as a plucky underdog if he keeps getting beat down and that will be a good thing. The main event was all kinds of awesome and had such an old school feel to it. Cody and Ted work really well as a team and have some crisp heel offense in there and with JBL as their evil mentor, they are set up for a while. Man, what a great match. The whole show was just great and the crowd was with them the whole way through…until the end that was. The finish was just bizarre and really left a sour taste on what had been a great show. I am sure it will be revealed that Cena dodged the car and survived but it was unnecessary. Still, for now, it wasn’t bad enough to totally tarnish a great show. Final Grade: A-

MVP: Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
Runner Up: Chris Jericho & Shawn Michaels
Non MVP: Paul & Katie Lea Burchill
Runner Up: Paul London

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