Monday Night RAW July 28, 2008
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- We open this week’s show with a look back at least week’s show and then hit our opening animation before heading into the Verizon Center for the final Raw of July 2008. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcome us to the nation’s capitol and we are ready for some action and so is the capacity crowd. And we waste no time getting right down to it as John Cena is up first and out to his biggest mixed reaction in the last few weeks. Cole says the mixed reaction could be due in part because they are in Batista’s hometown. Cena can tell that by the mixed reaction here that some of them know what he is about to say: he is not perfect. As a matter of fact, he made a mistake and he was raised to be a man and stand up to face the consequences. No why, how or woulda, coulda, shoulda…last week he socked Batista in the mouth and he knows it has consequences. He isn’t hiding, he is in the ring as a man and telling Batista to come out and settle the consequences right now. The crowd likes the idea quite a bit and they rock a “Batista” chant. And the Animal obliges as he comes out adorned in a sweet throwback Washington Bullets jersey. Was that a subtle jab at Cena, perhaps? Batista grabs the mike and tells Cena that nobody knows more than him that things happen in the heat of the moment and he knows Cena didn’t mean it so they are cool. He tells Cena that he likes and respects him, so when he beats Punk at Summerslam for the World title, Cena will be the first guy he defends against. Cena says that is very generous but, no offense, he has already had two shots at the title and has been in a funk lately, as has he. When it comes to Punk, there are a lot of guys deserving of a shot and he isn’t sure Batista should be next. Batista can’t argue with the logic but says the reason he isn’t champion right now is because people keep interfering in his matches. He knows neither Punk nor Cena can beat him. Cena tells Batista it must be good to be home and he knew he would try and sneak something in on Cena. There is no law and order, no McMahons and no GM. Cena thinks he and Batista should headline Wrestlemania, but he asks Batista what he thinks of headlining Wrestlemania tonight on his home turf. The crowd is digging it. Batista says they are in his hometown and has an arena full of friends and family that would love to see him whoop Cena. He is about to make it official…but Here Comes the Money to a huge pop! Shane O’Mac is out on the ramp and says that he and Stephanie have appointed a new GM and that GM will be introduced later tonight. One of the first thing the GM has done is make matches for tonight…including CM Punk taking on one of the most technically sound free agents in the world today. The GM already has plans for Cena here tonight as he will be taking on JBL and Kane in a match, so no fight with Batista. Instead, Cena will be teaming up with Batista to battle JBL and Kane. And with that, we hit our first break.
- We are back and our Soul Caliber IV Slam of the Week looks at the return of D-Lo Brown as well as the special moment shared by Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix last week.
1) Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix defeat Kelly & D-Lo Brown when Marella pins Kelly with a schoolboy roll up
It is so good to see D-Lo back after his five year hiatus and he is ready for some intergender action. Backstage, Santino and the “Glamorous Amazon” debate who kissed whom and Beth said the relationship is strictly professional. Santino tells her to keep the eyes up on his and that he is not a piece of meat. Cole gets a funny line about a special JR & King relationship as Lawler talks about other famous odd romantic couples. Santino and Brown start off and D-Lo hits an atomic drop and then follows with a low clothesline to the seated Santino for two. Santino is sent flying again and D-Lo whips Santino across but misses a charge in the corner. Santino drops him with a neckbreaker and then tries to scoop D-Lo in a Fireman’s Carry, but he can’t get him up. So, Beth tags herself in and lifts D-Lo right up, which elicits a funny reaction from Santino. Kelly is tagged in and Beth puts her down with a backbreaker. Santino tags back in but he misses an elbow drop. He takes out D-lo and then rolls Kelly up for a cheap win. Santino celebrates like he just won the World Cup and Beth approves. They shake hands and stand back to back as Santino ponders his next move. They awkwardly glance at each other and then Santino puckers for a kiss but when Beth turns he quickly turns and walks away. Beth grabs him by the hair and he screams like a girl but she turns him around and plants a huge kiss on him. Beth smirks and heads off as Santino is left digging it in the ring. This whole thing is made of beauty. Grade: 2
- Back from break and Jeff Foxworthy is talking about the perils of Autism. He will be watching this Saturday as Jenny McCarthy hits the ring to wrestle Autism on NBC. Back in the locker room, Shane is staring at a picture of his father. JBL comes in and says Vince was and is a great man. Shane asks how he can help and JBL says that both of them know Batista does not deserve a third chance and Cena’s claim is a joke. He beat Cena 1-2-3 and asks not to do this to the fans. If anyone deserves the shot at Summerslam, it is him. Shane tells him to take it up with the new GM. JBL says that Shane is a McMahon, but Shane still tells him to talk to the GM. JBL says that he is upper crust like Shane and that they are above a psycho walking around with a bag. Shane’s phone blows up and it is awesome as his theme music plays. It is the new GM and he has made some changes for tonight’s show. JBL wants to talk but JBL blows him off and walks out.
2) Ted DiBiase, Jr. & Cody Rhodes defeat Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler to retain the World Tag Titles when Rhodes pins Cole with a clothesline
Hacksaw Duggan is making his way out and then we take a look at the showdown between these four from last week as the King hits the ring for this tag title match. Before our champions arrive, however, Mike Chioda sprints out with a piece of paper that he hands Lillian Garcia. She has just been informed that the new GM has changed the match and Michael Cole will be taking Jim Duggan’s spot in the match. I hope Duggan calls the match like he did at Wrestlemania VII. Cole complains a bit ass Lawler and Duggan stand confused and we take a quick break. When we return we see that the commentary table is empty and Cole and Lawler are talking things over with the referee, who has the GM’s decree in his hand. Our Priceless champions are out now and Cole is not pleased at the turn of events. Lawler and DiBiase start things off with a lockup and a clean break. This looks like a Smackdown vs. Raw game with Cole in his suit on the apron. We get another clean break, but Lawler ends that with a slap. DiBiase whips him to the corner but eats a boot on a charge. He recovers and puts King down with a clothesline and the beats on him a bit. He tags in Rhodes who lines up a chop, but King smacks him first. Cody slugs Lawler on a break in the corner, but King turns him around and fires away with fists. Cody catches him with a shot coming out and then drops him with a bulldog from the second rope for two. Cody grabs a keylock but Lawler tired to fight out. Cody kicks him back down but misses an elbow from the middle rope. Lawler lands some punches and then takes out DiBiase as he comes in the ring. Lawler loads up a piledriver on Cody, but DiBiase slugs him down and Cody puts him over with a backdrop. Lawler staggers into the corner and accidentally tags Cole as Michael was helping him up. Cole looks scared shitless. Cody tosses Lawler out of the ring and grabs Cole by the shirt, but Cole lands a quick right to the face. Cody blocks a second attempt and puts Cole down with a stiff clothesline for the win. I actually enjoyed that quite a bit as Cody and DiBiase are really working well out there and the Cody/Cole showdown was good stuff. Grade: 2
- We are back and Mike Adamle is here and says that he has no idea why he is here, but he was asked to be in DC last week, which is quite odd. Lawler rejoins the table and Adamle repeats that he has no idea why he is here. King says that the new GM likes to play games. Jamie Noble and Layla are in the ring and Noble says that the GM needs to realize he is a rising star on Raw. He says he is good looking like Barack Obama and loves oatmeal like John McCain. He has his part-time girlfriend/associate with him so she can see that he has what it takes to be the next IC champion. He calls “Coffee” Kingston out to take a beating like a man.
3) Kofi Kingston defeats Jamie Noble with the Trouble in Paradise in a non title match
Adamle is right back on Kofi’s jock and you could tell he has missed him on ECW. Noble attacks off the bell and slams Kofi down hard. Kofi fights back with a right hand and a dropkick. He follows with the Boom legdrop and then kicks Noble in the knee. Kofi heads up top and hits a cross body which Noble rolls through for a two. Kofi recovers and hits the Trouble in Paradise for the win. “Kingston rides his elevator and Noble gets the shaft” says Adamle, and I can’t disagree. Grade: 1
- We are back from break and JBL has joined our commentary team. He tells Adamle that he belongs on Home Shopping Network and to let the future Hall of Famer call the action. Adamle completely ignores that and asks JBL if he is here to scout but JBL says he is here to prove a point
4) CM Punk defeats William Regal with the Go 2 Sleep to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Punk is out first and his mystery opponent is the man who beat him a couple of months ago, William Regal. Regal’s hair is looking as beautiful as ever as JBL puts over his toughness. Regal grabs a side headlock and grinds on Punk. Punk turns it into a top wristlock, but Regal slips out and takes Punk down with a drop toehold. Punk turns it back to a hammerlock, but Regal reverses it into a pin combination for two. Regal grabs a reverse chinlock, but Punk fights to his feet. Punk hits a jawjacker and gets one. Punk hits some knees, but Regal fires back and takes control in the corner. He drags Punk to the post and kicks his head into it. JBL continues to put himself over and says he should be GM. Punk is busted open and Regal is all over him in the ring, locking in a full nelson. He pulls Punk up and drops him neck first on the top rope and then grinds him to the mat for a near fall. Regal goes to a half nelson but Punk fights out and gets a roll up for two. Regal grabs Punk’s bloodied nose and just yanks on it. Regal is pulverizing him and goes back to a half nelson. Punk rallies his way out and lands some rights hands, kicks and slaps. He hits a big kick and gets two. Regal takes Punk over with a nasty half nelson suplex and Regal is trying to roll him over, but Punk is able to fight to his feet with Regal on his back and he hits the G2S for the win. That was a really good match and the visual of a vicious Regal working over a bloody Punk was great. Grade: 3
- JBL hops in the ring to confront Punk, but Kane is making his way out, bag in hand. Kane drills JBL but Punk kicks him. JBL is up and he sends Punk down with a boot and then he and Kane stare each other down as we go to break.
- We are back from break and it is time for the Highlight Reel as Chris Jericho and Lance Cade are making their way out. Jericho is decked out in a suit and according to our announcers; word in the locker room has it that this will be the final highlight Reel. The Jeritron is still shattered, which is a nice touch. Once again, last week, he told the truth but he was still vilified and ostracized. He has grown up and the fans haven’t. He has matured and moved on and taken his life and career to a whole new level. For all those years, Jericho was seen as a performer and entertainer and not a world class athlete. He was a showman and he played the part to keep the fans happy. He did what they wanted instead of what he wanted. It was a mistake, however, and he realized that he decided to host a talk show instead of reaching for another World title. He will never settle for second best again so this is the last Highlight Reel that we will ever see. He has put together a special farewell to one of the greatest stars in history and a man that he put on the shelf for good. The video isn’t about HBK, it is about Y2J. And the video is a package of some of Jericho’s goofier and funnier moments throughout his career. He asks if the fans miss that wild and crazy guy but Jericho doesn’t and he is embarrassed to watch that footage. He could have entertained the fans for years, dancing like a puppet but he would have never been respected or idolized like Shawn Michaels and that is not fair. He had to take matters into his own hands so he put Michaels’ head through the Tron and beat him to a pulp at the Bash by damaging his eyesight beyond repair. Those highlights mean more to him than all the other highlights of his career. When he destroyed Shawn Michaels, he also destroyed all of the fans. Cade takes the mike now and says that it is obvious the fans don’t appreciate him, but he does. Before being taken under Chris’s wing, he was floundering and was stuck with a singing cowboy. Jericho saved him and he will be forever grateful. Chris appreciates Lance as well and also appreciates that Michaels is sitting in a dark room trying to watch the show with his damaged retina. He asks Shawn to listen to him for the first time in his life: Shawn, stay home and move on with your life, hold on to your wife, raise your precious children and enjoy life away from wrestling. He should be thankful that he has any sight left at all. He has moved on and Shawn needs to as well. He hears JBL, Cena and Batista jockeying for a title match, but with the way he put Michaels out, there is nobody that deserves the Summerslam title match more than him. He stares off into the crowd as we go to break. That was another killer promo in a series of them and that crowd can go screw crowd for chanting boring on and off.
- Piers Morgan is here to talk about Autism as well and implores us to watch Jenny McCarthy this Saturday night. And as we return we are now being joined by Jim Ross and Adamle is as confused as I am apparently. JR says he got a call to be here and he is happy to be on Raw.
5) Mickie James defeats Jillian Hall with a tornado DDT in a non title match
And JR wastes no time talking down to Adamle as he tries to plug Survivor Series tickets going on sale. Adamle is apparently a fan of Jillian as he downloaded her songs on iTunes. And apparently he confused her with Lillian which is funny. Jillian attacks to start but Mickie hits a back elbow on a charge. She tries a headscissors takeover, but Jillian yanks her off the ropes and spikes her face first. She follows with a handspring elbow and gets a two. Jillian grabs a Dragon sleeper but Mickie turns and knees out. Jillian puts her back down with a boot but Mickie is able to roll her up for two. Jillian regains control with some right but misses a kick and Mickie hits the Thesz press for two. JR and Adamle continue to snipe at each other as the match wears on. Mickie blocks the X-Factor and hits a tornado DDT for the win. Mickie visits her dad who is in the crowd, but she gets blindsided by Katie Lea Burchill. Katie gives her a facebuster on her knee and then stalks off as Mickie is left lying. Katie grabs the mike and hopes the new GM is watching as that attack was just for him or her. Grade: 1
- The Smackdown Rebound is brought to us by WWE Mobil. Backstage, the Grish is trying to get the scoop on the GM from Shane. He says the GM is here and that he will find out when everyone else does and tells him to just enjoy the show and then we go to break.
- Back to the show and we are checking out the White House as Adamle welcomes us back to Raw. And it is time to talk about Summerslam and our announcers run down the announced card. The King wants to know when we will get some Raw matches for Summerslam and Adamle thinks the GM should be adding some soon. Jenny McCarthy now gives one more plug for Saturday Night’s battle against Autism. We get comments from more celebrities asking us to check out the show. Backstage, Cryme Tyme offers their help to Cena and they tell Cena that he can’t trust Batista. Cena says he will be fine with the whole thing and Batista walks in. Cena asks his boys to take off and solidifies the CTC team name as they head off. He tells Batista they need to just get through tonight and see what the new GM has to say. Batista doesn’t trust Cena and tells him to stay out of the way. Cena says he took the words out of his mouth. They cautiously walk off as we go to break.
- We are back and the King has a big announcement as we will have an interview with Shawn Michaels next week on Raw.
6) John Cena & Batista defeat Kane & John Bradshaw Layfield when Cena pins Kane with the F-U
And back the ring as JBL is making his way out for our main event. Adamle says that he has been supporting JBL by purchasing cases of Mamajuana, but JBL dissed him earlier. JR still has no idea why he is here and Adamle also wonders why JR is there. Kane is out with his bag and then he is followed by Cena and eventually Batista, who gets another nice pop from his hometown fans. JBL and Cena start things off and JBL takes early control. Cena battles back and gets a near fall but Batista tags himself in from behind. Batista slugs away at JBL and JR is still being a dick to poor Adamle. Batista scoops JBL up and puts him down with a powerslam for two. Kane breaks up the pin and Cena is in to clear house, but he and Batista end up staring each other down as we hit our last break. When we return, JBL is working over Cena. He drops Cena with a neckbreaker and then he tags in Kane. Kane puts Cena down for two and he slugs away in the corner. Kane grabs a reverse chinlock but Cena fights to his feet. Kane tags in JBL and he keeps control with some strikes. He drills Cena with a right hand and tags Kane back in. JR thinks the man who gets the pinfall here may become the top contender. Kane misses a charge in the corner but he plants Cena with a sidewalk slam for two. Kane misses a clothesline off the top and Cena DDTs him. Both men are crawling foe the tag and both reach their partners. Batista kills JBL with a pair of clotheslines in the corner and then he puts him down with a spinebuster and the crowd is off the hook. He puts Kane outside with a clothesline, but Batista goes tumbling out as well when Kane hooks the ropes as Batista hits them. JBL slugs Batista on the floor and tosses him back in for two. Kane tags back in and he works Batista over with some kicks and shots in the corner. Kane takes Batista down and locks in a bodyscissors. Batista punches his way out of the hold but Kane tags JBL and he stomps Batista and cheap shots Cena. JBL works Batista over in the corner and goes for the CFH but Batista nails him with a spear as he comes in. JBL recovers after Kane runs interference and he puts Batista down with a boot. JBL accidentally nails Kane in the corner and Kane is not happy. He comes in and grabs JBL by the throat. Batista takes Kane down as Cena tags himself in. He sneaks in and drops Kane with the F-U for a much needed win. The match was slow to start but the finish was really good and the crowd got into it. Grade: 2.5
- As Cena celebrates, Shane McMahon makes his way back to the ramp and introduces the new GM of Raw…Mike Adamle! Yeah! Adamle is in the ring and asks Dave how he is doing. As GM, he is proud to announce that at Summerslam, John Cena will take on Batista. He wishes them luck and heads out of the ring as we fade out.
The opening showdown was good stuff as Cena was acting a bit heelish out there in a condescending way. It was good to see Shane back and he got a warm welcome. He is still really good at clearly getting things out there without being longwinded or overbearing. The opening tag match and angle was all types of awesome and a Beth/Santino relationship should be loads of fun as the weeks go on. I could also watch D-Lo all day long out there too. Speaking of great talkers, the JBL segment backstage was good too and I like that so many guys can lay claim to the title as it improves the importance of the gold. DiBiase & Rhodes continue to kill it out there every week and they play the role of arrogant pricks to a tee. Cole was good in the role and got a nice pop for the right hand he landed. I also like the touch of Adamle saying he was told to be there instead of him being there for no reason. He did an admirable job considering he was live as he got his calls in but let Lawler run the broadcast. Jamie Noble continues to be a good contributor each week and was funny in his promo again. Kofi picked up another win as his title reign continues on. It was nice seeing Regal back on Mondays and he looked quite motivated to get back out there and do some damage. Punk took a stiff beating and got busted open but still grabbed a win over his former rival. There isn’t much else I can say about Chris Jericho as this point as he is just gold on the mike and the true MVP of 2008. His whole delivery and beliefs are just spot on and you can empathize with him but also hate him for how he goes about his business. The Mickie/Jillian match was basic stuff and just there to further push Katie Lea as the top challenger. The main event was solid with a hot finish. The announcement of Mike Adamle was a big shock but I think he will do well in the role as a smarmy prick. I like the announcement but the crowd was shocked silent by it. The speculation over the new GM was a fun hook throughout the night and I like how they had random things happen during the show to build the anticipation. The show as a whole was fun mainly thanks to the twists and turns in the GM search. All of the action was solid, with the best match being the World title bout. The crowd was pretty hot all night and they were only annoying while chanting “boring” during the awesome Jericho promo. Hopefully the new GM keeps the shows interesting and I hope they don’t totally quash the anarchic feel that has carried the show over the last few weeks. Final Grade: B
MVP: Chris Jericho
Runner Up: CM Punk & William Regal
Non MVP: Jim Ross
Runner Up: Michael Cole