Monday Night RAW July 21, 2008
Mohegan Sun Arena
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- We start off this week’s show with a recap of events from last night’s PPV and then head wade through the smoke filled halls and head into the Mohegan Sun Arena. Actually, we head outside the arena where Batista has commandeered the production truck and cut short the video package of Kane’s attack from last night. We then hit our opening animation before finally heading to friendly confines of the home of the Connecticut Sun where we are welcomed by Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. And after a brief chat about tonight’s card, we are immediately joined by the Animal, who is in no mood for pyro and gyrations as he powerwalks to the ring and grabs a mike. He had planned on coming out as the new World Heavyweight Champion tonight, but since Kane interfered in his match it is not the case. Since Shane McMahon is not in the house and neither is his sister Stephanie, he is putting himself in charge. And with that power, he is only making one match: CM Punk defending the World title against…him. If Kane has a personal problem, he suggests that Kane find him before he finds Kane and makes him pay. Dave is rudely interrupted by JBL on the Titantron. He says that Batista is in charge of nothing and he blew his chance last night. He doesn’t care about any excuses Batista has and he asks who Batista thinks he is that he can walk out there and make a title match. JBL is special though, and he left a NYC parking lot brawl victorious last night. That means that the next World title match is his. Batista finds that funny and tells JBL to come on down and discuss things. JBL asks what is so funny and says he does not answer to Batista as he is the boss and is in charge. It is the law of the jungle and he will take his torch back at Summerslam. His body doesn’t feel like a World title match tonight but that doesn’t mean Batista is getting one. He will finish off Cena tonight in a six man match and tells Batista to go find Kane if he wants a match tonight. And we are finally joined by the man himself, CM Punk, and we will see what he has to say about this mess as he hits the ring. Punk says that JBL is right as this is the law of the jungle. Punk says that if it is a jungle, he must be the king. Last he checked, the king doesn’t have to listen to a word he has to say and says he is going to take care of business. He turns to Dave and tells him that Kane screwed up things for both of them. He wants to prove he can beat Batista and he didn’t get that chance. So, instead of sitting there talking about, Batista gets his rematch here tonight. JBL interrupts again and says he is in charge, but Punk asks for a mute on him and he gets one as JBL is cut off mid-sentence. Batista accepts the challenge and heads off as JBL is silently going ballistic on the screen and we head off to break.
- We are back and Jenny McCarthy is informing us that she will be hopping in the ring to fight autism on Saturday Night’s Main Event on NBC August 2, so check it out and join her.
1) Lance Cade defeats Paul London with a sit out powerbomb
Back in the ring, we get the opening strains of Shawn Michaels’ music, but the tune quickly changes and Lance Cade heads out to the ring. He says that Michaels used to be his mentor and that he took the beating of his life last night. He knows HBK is here tonight and listening and he is inviting Shawn to come to the ring before, during or after his match. He says that he and Shawn will have words that they should have had a long time ago. And with that, Paul London heads down to the ring to defend the honor of the man he idolized growing up. London goes behind off the bell and grabs a waistlock and then slugs away at Cade. Cade misses a clothesline and London hops up top but misses a dive. Cade scoops him up and puts him down with a backbreaker. He drops a knee to the back and then drags Paul up and plants him with another stiff backbreaker, this time holding him on his knee and bending him back. London fights loose but is able to kick Cade on a charge to the corner. Paul hits a cross body for two but eventually gets put back down with a big shoulderblock. Cade pulls London up and yells at him and then viciously sends him stomach first into the post under the turnbuckles. He continues to taunt London and then plants him with a sit out powerbomb for the win. That was a decent enough squash, but nothing too special. Grade: 1
- Cade is back on the mike and says that if that wasn’t enough to bring Shawn out to the ring, maybe this will be. He then brings out Chris Jericho, saying he is the man that may have ended Shawn Michaels’ career. Y2J slowly heads to the ring to a smattering of jeers as we go to break.
- In this split second, everything I have known about wings has changed…this new wing world scares me.
- When we return, Jericho and Cade are in the ring and Jericho takes the mike. As much as Cade wants Michaels to be here tonight and as much as the fans do, the fact is he is not coming. We are going to see some footage of last night’s Bash and that will explain why he may never be in this ring ever again. We have been forewarned of the graphic nature of the video and away we go. The footage is a dramatic piece of the nasty bladejob Michaels did last night and the beating put down on him by Jericho. Jericho says that everything that happened last night is the fans’ fault and is on them. There is no blood on Jericho’s hands because Shawn came out last night despite being hurt to please the fans. The fans inspire him to do things no other human beings should do and he did it one time too many and is now paying for their sins. When he came back, he was gong to save the fans but then he realized they don’t deserve to be saved. They made their choice to side with a liar and egomaniac and they will regret the decision just like Shawn will for the rest of his life. In all probability, Michaels’ career is over. He has cracked ribs, internal bleeding and possibly a detached retina, which will prevent him from seeing properly for the rest of his life. Jericho has no remorse but the irony is that in closing Shawn’s eye, Jericho’s were opened. He doesn’t need to be obsessed with pleasing a group of people with no morals or integrity. They never embraced him or took him in their arms, they vilified him and cut him down. They wanted the wild and crazy guy who told the jokes, but he isn’t that man any more as he has matured and grown up. Michaels never grew up and neither have the fans. He is proud of what he did last night and by possibly ending the career of the most immoral corrupt star in WWE history, he considers himself saved. Man that was beautiful stuff. Jericho is so far above everybody else on the mike at this point it is amazing.
- Coming out of break we get the Verizon Wireless WWE Rewind which recaps the Beth Phoenix/Santino Marella showdown from last week. Inside we get a look inside the Casino of the Sky and then hit the ring for our next match.
2) Beth Phoenix defeats Kelly with an elevated double chicken wing drop
Cole puts over Beth’s win last week as the Glamazon hits the ring. Beth shoves Kelly but Kelly gives it right back. Kelly hits a low dropkick and the goes for a rollup but Beth hooks the rope. Kelly fires away in the corner, but Beth scoops her up and runs her hard into the corner. Beth pulls her out and slams Kelly hard to the mat. She drags Kelly up and spikes her back down and then hooks in a seated abdominal stretch. Kelly works out of it and shoves Beth to the buckle but catches a back elbow. Kelly is able to recover and hit a grazing Enziguri but she then takes Beth over with a spinning headscissors takedown off a charge. Kelly lands a dropkick and goes for a handspring elbow, but Beth catches her from behind and lifts her up into a double chickenwing. Kelly rolls through for a victory roll, but Beth rolls back and deadlifts Kelly back up into the double chicken wing and spikes her to the mat for the win. That was a nifty little squash for Beth and sets her back on the heel side of the fence after last week. Grade: 1.5
- Back from break, Jim Duggan is in the ring. He doesn’t want to take much time, but he wanted to come out and say he is thinking about hanging up the boots. It has been a great 30 year run. He won the first Royal Rumble and he made tons of friends as well as surviving kidney cancer. He thought about what Rhodes & DiBiase said last week and he admits they may be right. It is a game for young men and Duggan’s time has passed by. He thanks the fans for the support, but is interrupted by Jerry Lawler, who gets in the ring. He says he knows it isn’t his business, but there is no age limit in WWE. He doesn’t care what was said last week, as long as you are passionate about getting in the ring and doing what you love, you can do it as long as you want. Duggan can do something that Obama and McCain would kill for…he makes millions of people stand up and chant “USA!” King asks him if he really wants to give it up…and Duggan says he honestly doesn’t. He just needed someone to tell him this and he thanks the King. The happy feelings don’t last long though, as the tag team champions make their way out to the ring. Ted is trying to understand how Jerry Lawler is giving career advice to Duggan as just because he likes to date girls younger than them, that doesn’t mean he relates toted and Cody in any way. They both need to hang it up badly. Cody says that when Duggan won the first Rumble in 1988, he was 2 ½ years old and when Lawler was on Letterman slapping Andy Kauffman, he and Ted weren’t even alive. Lawler says that the Kauffman slap went something like this…and he lays one on Cody, knocking him down. DiBiase says they will continue another day, but that the two old men should leave the ring and leave the guys with a future to do the rest. As Lawler and Duggan slowly leave the ring, the stock market bell rings and JBL heads out for our next match.
3) John Cena & Cryme Tyme defeat John Bradshaw Layfield, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, Jr. when Cena pins DiBiase with the F-U
We are back live and set for a big time rematch from last week’s show. Cryme Tyme are out next and then joined by their new running buddy, John Cena. Cena’s arm is bandaged up as he, Shad and JTG dive in the ring and they send JBL and the tag champs sliding out to the floor. JBL and Cena are set to start things off as the crowd is fully behind Cena here tonight. JBL backs up and tags in Cody to start instead. Cody grabs a side headlock but Cena shoves him off and takes him over with a hiplock for one. Cena punches Cody and then shoots him into the corner and plants him with a bulldog as Cody bounces out. Cena sends Cody over with a back drop and then he tags in Shad. Shad plants Cody and gets two. He whips Cody to the corner and charges hard into him. He shoots him across the other side and charges again but eats a boot this time. Cody tags in DiBiase, but Shad catches him with a t-bone suplex for two. Shad tosses Ted to the corner and tags in JTG. Shad whips JTG hard into Ted in the corner and he gets a near fall. JTG lands a right as Ted ducked on a whip, but Ted catches JTG and drops him stomach first on the top rope. Ted tags in JBL and he heads in and slugs away at JTG in the corner. Cole calls JBL a paradox as he is a wealthy millionaire who is also a nasty brawler. JBL tags Cody back in and he grabs a reverse bear hug. JTG elbows his way out of it and slugs Cody down hard, but Cody goes to the gut to regain control. Ted is tagged back in and they hit a double punch to the stomach for a near fall. Ted slams JTG and goes to the middle rope and comes off with a double stomp for two. Ted buries a boot and then runs JTG into the corner where he tags in JBL. JBL buries a series of knees to JTG’s gut and then just clubs away at him. He kicks JTG in the back and tags in Cody, who heads up top and comes off with a boot to the gut. Cody goes back to the reverse bear hug, this time on the mat. The crowd is rallying JTG and he fights to his feet and gets a roll up for two but Cody just punts him in the gut to take back control. Cody tags Ted back in and he works the stomach some more. Ted makes me smile by dropping a patented million dollar punch and then going to a bodyscissors. I must mention JBL hilariously berating the ref throughout all of this. JTG fights to his feet and lands a dropkick. Both men are crawling to their corner and Ted tags Cody who comes in and stops JTG from tagging. Cody lands a big right hand and then buries his shoulder to the gut in the corner. The crowd is hot for Cena as JTG is able to send Cody shoulder first into the post. Both men are crawling again and JTG is able to hit the hot tag to Cena as Cody tags Ted. Cena is all over DiBiase, taking him down with a side suplex. JBL comes in, but Cena takes him down and pounds away. JBL hits the deck and takes off through the crowd. Cena works over the tag champs in the corner and impressively lifts both men on his shoulders in the F-U position. He tosses Cody off first and then plants Ted with it for the win. Well, that was a ton of fun again. It was not as great as last week, but was still pretty damn good. DiBiase and Rhodes are really good as a heel tag team and JBL was fun screaming the whole match when he was on the apron. Grade: 3.5
- Backstage, Jericho and Cade are walking but they run into Kane as they try and pass through a doorway. We get an awkward staredown and then Kane finally walks pass them into the arena.
- When we return we get a special video package highlighting Jenny McCarthy’s war on autism and plugging her appearance on Saturday Night’s Main Event. The package also sees some celebrity comments about the cause and Jenny’s appearance on August 2.
4) Paul & Katie Lea Burchill defeat Mickie James & Kofi Kingston in an intergender match when Paul pins Kingston with a neckbreaker
Forget Kofi, Mickie is Ghana drive me to break one of the commandments if she keeps all of this up. In any event, the two champions are joining forces here tonight to take on the Burchills. Cole lets us know that Katie Lea is the Daily Diva today on WWE.com. And the bell rings as Katie and Mickie quickly start things off. Mickie hammers away at Katie and then takes her down with a headscissors takeover. Mickie slugs Paul as he tries to get involved drawing Burchill into the ring. As he stalks Mickie, Kofi flies in from off camera with a high cross body. That was pretty sweet. Kofi leapfrogs Burchill and hits him with a back elbow and a dropkick for one. Katie comes in and distracts Kofi, allowing Paul to clip him from behind. Paul works the knee as Cole goes over his background. Kofi is able to get a sunset flip for two and continually fight off Burchill as he tries to grab the leg. Kofi pounds away at Pail in the corner and Mickie helps him by dropkicking Katie off the apron. Paul shoves Kofi off and heads outside where he pulls Mickie off of Katie. Kofi goes outside to help but Paul ducks and Kofi spin kicks the post. Back in the ring, Burchill kicks him in the knee and puts him down with a neckbreaker for the win. The match was full of energy but was too short to really mean anything. Grade: 1.5
- Backstage, Jamie Noble is talking to Layla and saying with her by his side in the casino, he would hit 23 every time. Batista interrupts and asks if he has seen Kane. Noble says he hasn’t seen him lately and that he is about to take Layla upstairs to shoot “crabs” and catch a magic show. He tells Batista to move along and go do some dumbbell flies or something instead. Batista isn’t amused and he chokes Noble up against the wall and tells him to let him know if he sees Kane before stalking off.
- Back from break, the Grish is wondering why Punk accepted Batista’s challenge tonight. Punk says he would rather be an ex-champion with self respect than a champion who hangs on to his belt by technicalities. He wants to go down swinging when he goes down. He is interrupted by JBL, who says he fully intends on becoming World champion at Summerslam. JBL doesn’t care if Punk loses tonight to at Summerslam because Punk will always be known as a footnote…or rather, a transitional champion. Punk says that JBL doesn’t know that for sure but there is one thing that is true: Punks’ first successful title defense came against JBL.
- We are back from break and checking out the casino floor once again before taking another look at the bloody Michaels footage from last night.
5) D-Lo Brown defeats Santino Marella with the Lo Down
Back in the arena, we are joined by your hero and mine, Santino Marella. Cole talks about the ribbing Santino has been taking since his lost to Beth last week. Santino wants to clarify and says his challenge last week was to fight a man. He doesn’t fight people with fallopian tubes; he fights people with an Adam’s apple and a cannoli. So, he is offering a challenge to a man…and holy crap, D-Lo Brown answers the call! D-Lo looks great as he gets in the ring and Cole says that D0Lo has said he is older and wiser this time around. Before we start, Beth walks out to the ring to observe things. D-Lo puts Santino down with a shoulderblock and then chops away at him. Santino turns the tables and lands some shots to the lower back, but D-Lo catches him with a knee and puts Santino down. Brown drops the vintage legdrop and then crushes him with a clothesline as Santino was seated on the mat. D-Lo heads up and drops the Lo Down on Santino for the quick win in his return. Match was a quick squash but it is awesome to see D-Lo back in the house. Grade: 1
- In the ring, Beth climbs in and stares down Santino. Marella begs off and Beth smacks him. Santino goes behind and grabs a waistlock and screams for no more punches. Beth reverses it but Santino returns the favor and yells at her to relax. They both stop and stare each other down. Santino grabs Beth behind the neck, Beth reciprocates and they share a kiss to a huge pop. Both have looks of shock on their faces as Santino heads up the aisle and we go to break.
- We get some more Generation Rescue autism talk as we come back and then we head to the table. Cole hopes that the civil unrest will calm down by the time we get to Saturday Night’s Main Event and the King says that Shane and Stephanie are searching for a new GM and I weep inside.
6) CM Punk wrestles Batista to a no contest; Punk retains the World Heavyweight Championship
The Animal is out first to a good pop as we are ready for our Main Event. As Batista waits in the ring, the hellfire and brimstone fires up as Kane stalks down to the ring. Batista attacks and Kane fires back, putting Batista down with a chokeslam. Punk hits the ring and sends Kane out to the floor with a clothesline. Kane turns his attention to a cameraman and chases him to the back. Mike Chioda is asking Batista if he is able to compete tonight and Punk half mockingly joins in asking as well. Batista doesn’t appreciate the question and shoves Punk away as we go to break. When we return, Lillian is doing the ring introductions and it looks like we will get our title match after all. Punk goes behind to start and grabs a side headlock, riding Batista down to his knees. Batista sends Punk into the ropes and puts him down hard with a shoulderblock. Punk comes back with a flurry of rights but Batista puts him down with a boot to the face for a near fall. Batista puts his head down on a whip and Punk takes him over with a spinning neckbreaker. Punk lands some elbows in the corner as Batista is clearly rattled. He mares him over and dropkicks him for a one count. Punk kicks Batista in the back and then pulls him up and punches him in the face. Batista fires back but Punk takes him down with a drop toehold and goes to work on the neck. Punk grabs a front chancery but Batista slowly fights to his feet and tosses him off. Punk regains control and puts some knees to Batista’s neck and then hits a sliding legdrop before going to a crossface. They are losing the crowd a bit here as Batista fights to his feet. Punk puts him back down with a neckbreaker and gets two and then grabs a headscissors around. Batista breaks loose but eats a boot from Punk. Batista shoves Punk to the buckle but Punk drop toeholds him into the middle buckle on a charge. Punk hits the running knee in the corner and then he hits the bulldog for 2. Batista recovers and plants Punk with a spinebuster. Both men are up and Batista charges and runs Punk into the corner. He follows with a clothesline but gets caught with a boot on another charge. Punk misses a cross body from the top and drills Punk with the spear. Batista is ready to put Punk away, but JBL runs down and Batista meets him in the aisle. JBL nails Batista with the Clothesline from Hell and works him over. Cena hits the ring, but JBL dodges him and Cena clocks Batista by accident. Batista isn’t happy and goes for the Batistabomb, but Cena reverses it and goes for the F-U. Batista slips free and the two are trying to go at it but the officials step in and hold them apart as we fade out. The match was pretty good until the last few moments and it kind of put a damper on what was a pretty good show up until this point. Grade: 2
The opening segment was quite good as the anarchy of Raw continues to be the overwhelming story of the show. I was glad to see Punk exert his authority out there and he seemed at home with the big boys. The opener was decent enough, but only served as a backdrop to the fantastically awesome Jericho promo. I can’t say enough good things about Jericho as he just continues to dominate week in and week out. Everything he says makes sense and he conveys it confidently. He is truly threatening to pass Edge as the top heel in the promotion if he hasn’t already. It is so great to have true heels back on the shows each week. Beth picked up another win as it seems like they may abort what seemed like a face turn last week. The Duggan & Lawler segment was good as Rhodes & DiBiase continue to impress in their role. They are so great at being arrogant pricks and it is fun to watch them shred people on the mikes as they draw some great heel heat. The six-man was excellent once again as well as the heels worked like a well oiled machine and JTG sold like a champ for them. Cena picked up a needed win to get some heat back, but JBL escaped his wrath for the most part. The Burchills got back in the win column and it looks like an IC title match between Paul and Kofi is in the cards. That spin kick to the post was pretty nasty I will say. It was awesome seeing D-Lo back and he should be a nice addition to the mid card. The Santino/Phoenix showdown was done very well as you could feel the sexual tension throughout the whole segment leading to the kiss and the crowd pop showed that they built it perfectly. The Main Event was solid and Punk looked good as he controlled most of it but the crowd just wasn’t buying it for some reason. The finish was not very good at all though and they could have had Punk get the win before the interference. I liked that he dominated the match, but he was just brushed off too quickly at the end. Outside of the Main Event, the crowd was pretty good for the most part and seemed to be the most into Cena out of everybody. The show was pretty tight tonight and flowed nicely. It was light on in ring action, outside of the six-man but heavy on angle development, which is fine for a post PPV show. Things never really slowed down and the hot streak continues on. I just hope they don’t ruin it by going back to the typical heel GM crutch. Final Grade: B
MVP: Chris Jericho
Runner Up: Santino Marella, Beth Phoenix & D-Lo Brown
Non MVP: Paul London
Runner Up: CM Punk & Batista