Monday Night RAW August 4, 2008
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- We fade right into the arena tonight where Mike Adamle awaits us on the stage. He is the new GM of Raw and he doesn’t want to take up too much time, but he has some things to say. The crowd is all over him right out of the gate. He says there once was a man that wasn’t taken seriously and he performed in a circus like atmosphere. And he wasn’t very good in his job. He lets us know that Ronald Reagan is who is talking about. He went from a being a B-rate movie actor to become one of the greatest presidents ever. He is trying to show that first impressions can be misleading. Reagan performed with a monkey while he called Jeff Hardy, Jeff Harvey. Everyone makes mistake but the important thing is that we all grow. He wasn’t the greatest announcer in ECW history and a lot people won’t let it go. There is a petition going around on the WWE.com boards asking for his resignation, and that is our right as Americans, but that isn’t an America he wants to be part of. He wants to be part of the land of opportunity where a man of his size can play seven years in the NFL and be a star. He wants to be part of an America where anything can happen and that is why he made the Lawler/Cole tag match. He wants to inject some enthusiasm into the show. He asks the crowd who wants to see a championship match tonight…or how about two…well, we are in luck, because there are three here tonight. And now the crowd likes him. Adamle begins running down the matches, but he is interrupted by JBL. JBL wanted to be the first person to come out and congratulate him. He says first impressions can deceiving, as for many years many people thought he was a beer drinking, fun loving Texan. They have now learned he is a self made millionaire and he is currently the feature article of Fortune 500 magazine. JBL says they are cut from the same cloth as former football players. He is a born winner, just like JBL, and the Cena/Batista match announcement is a winning one. He implores Mike to announce another Summerslam blockbuster: JBL vs. CM Punk. Mike thanks him for his words, but Chris Jericho comes running out to get involved. He has something to say, but JBL stops him and tells him this doesn’t concern him. Jericho disagrees and says that ending the career of Shawn Michaels should put him in line for the title shot. JBL says that he beat Cena in a street fight at the Bash while Jericho beat someone with one good eye. He asks his fellow ballplayer to listen to him because Jericho is not in his league. Jericho says that Adamle was sitting ringside watching at the Bash and saw the devastation. The last time he faced JBL, he left him unconscious and he reaffirms that he is in a league of his own. They start yelling at each other but Adamle breaks it up. He was anticipating this confrontation and he says the easy way out would be making a three way title match for Summerslam. However, he likes the fair way, not the easy way. So, instead he will make a handicap match with Chris Jericho & JBL taking on CM Punk and whichever man pins Punk tonight will get the title match at Summerslam. Adamle smugly starts to walk away but then he lets us know that if Punk wins, neither man gets a shot at Summerslam. Adamle heads off and we go to break.
1) Kofi Kingston defeats Paul Burchill with the Trouble in Paradise to retain the Intercontinental Championship
We are back and all of the troublemakers in paradise better check themselves before Kofi Kingston wrecks them. The IC champ is in the house and ready to take on his current arch enemy, Paul Burchill. Paul and Katie Lea hit the ring as Cole thanks us for making Raw the top show last week. Burchill grabs an armbar to gain control early but Kofi works his way out of it and sends Paul to the mat for one. Cole tells us of Burchill’s rugby background which gave him the nickname “Ripper”. Kofi leapfrogs Burchill and takes him out with a back elbow. He hammers away at Paul in the corner and then he lands an uppercut for two. Kofi takes a kick attempt at Katie, who hopped on the apron, but that allows Paul to take him out. Paul continues to hammer away at Kofi, but Kingston gets a roll up for two. Burchill snaps Kofi’s neck and then grabs a single reverse chinlock with an armbar. Kofi works his way out with an armdrag and then lands a boot to Paul on a charge. Burchill slows him up but Kofi catches him with a boot to the face and then lands some dropkicks. Kofi hits a high cross body off the middle rope for two and the follows with a side Russian legsweep. He drops the Boom legdrop and then drills the Trouble in Paradise for the win. Kofi and his controlled frenzy pick up a nice win over a game Burchill. Grade: 2
- Things aren’t over, however as Katie gets in Kofi’s face. Paul charges but Kofi dodges him and sends him to the floor. Kofi follows and he and Paul go storming off to the back and as they do, Mickie James’ music hits to a massive pop and she charges the ring. Katie flees to the floor and our next title match is up next after this break.
2) Mickie James defeats Katie Lea Burchill with the DDT to retain the Women’s Championship
When we return, Mickie is taking Katie over with a snap mare. Mickie spikes Katie to the mat by her hair and then slugs away at her. Mickie takes her down and then nails a stiff dropkick to the face of the seated Katie. Katie bails to the floor but Mickie leaps off the apron and drills her with a Thesz Press. Mickie is on fire here and Cole reminds us that Kate attacked her in front of her father last week. Katie turns the tables in the corner and snaps Mickie against the middle rope for two. Katie continues to work the back and neck of Mickie and mares her over before kicking her in the head. Katie grabs a bow and arrow submission but Mickie reverses it to a pin attempt. Mickie starts to fight back and is able to take Katie out of the corner with a headscissors takedown. She puts Katie down with a forearm to the face and the drops her with a neckbreaker for two. Mickie pulls Katie up, but Katie drops to her knees and jawjacks Mickie. Katie hits a Northern Lights suplex for two. Mickie recovers and hits the DDT for the win and it is a tough night for the Burchills. Grade: 1.5
- Mickie is in mid celebration when she is jumped by Beth Phoenix. Beth tosses her to the floor and runs her back first into the apron. She shoots Mickie back inside and Mickie starts fighting back, hitting a dropkick to the knee. Mickie charges, but Beth catches her and plants her with the reverse powerbomb. Beth is quite proud, as is Santino Marella, who comes out applauding his new friend. Beth walks up behind Santino and squeezes his but. She turns around to pose for the crowd and Santino gives her butt a tap. Now he turns around and Beth gives a sly smirk before walking off. Cole tells us that Santino admitted on WWE.com that his insides hurt with confusion over Beth. John Cena is chatting with Cryme Tyme as we go to break.
- WWE 24/7 Classics On Demand presents a classic moment. We take a nifty look back at September 8, 1997 when Steve Austin stunnered Commissioner Slaughter. I hope they keep doing these. Backstage, Mike Adamle is on the phone with Stephanie McMahon and he thanks her for the job and for thinking outside the box. Santino and Beth come in and they congratulate him on his new gig. Santino thinks that both he and Beth deserve title matches at Summerslam. They are both former champions and it makes perfect sense. Adamle agrees but says there is only room for one more title match at the PPV, so they need to decide. Santino likes seeing Beth happy, so he wants what the Glamorous Amazon wants: an IC title match. Beth disagrees and wants to see a women’s title match. Santino laughs and says he doesn’t want to be women’s champ, even though he could do it. Beth tries to clear things up, but Adamle interrupts and says he has an Adamle original. At Summerslam, Kofi and Mickie will battle Santino & Beth with the winning team taking home back titles. The new power couple is happy and they seem to be big Adamle fans. We now get a special video look at John Cena, pumping up his big time Summerslam showdown with Batista. Speaking of the Animal, the Grish is with him backstage. Batista thinks this will be a hard match at Summerslam and says it is Adamle’s prerogative to make it. He would rather be competing for the World title, but he will do what he has to do to earn another shot. He warns Cena to stay out of his way tonight and we are off to break.
- We are back from break and Layla is getting down in the ring. Lawler likes this Adamle Original. Earlier tonight, Layla had a little talk with Jamie Noble. Jamie says he tried calling a few times but he must have had a wrong number. To make up for it, Jamie made reservations at the Waffle House for later tonight. Layla says this isn’t working and that Jamie keeps getting his butt kicked whenever he opens his mouth. She doesn’t associate with losers and storms off leaving Jamie alone. Back in the ring, Layla is still dancing but she is quickly interrupted by William Regal, who has something to say. He wanted to come out and remind everyone who he is. Layla isn’t happy but Regal keeps on talking and tells us he earned the title of King by winning the tournament. As King it is his duty to…be interrupted by Jamie Noble, apparently. Jamie storms the ring and goes right for Regal. They hammer away at each other until a swarm of referees hit the ring to break things up. Backstage, CM Punk is walking and his handicap match is next.
- The WWE Rewind is brought to us by Pineapple Express and it is a look back at the six man match from Saturday Night’s Main Event.
3) John Bradshaw Layfield & Chris Jericho defeat CM Punk in a handicap match when JBL pins Punk; JBL earns a World title match at Summerslam
We are back and the closing bell of Wall Street is bringing JBL and his limo out to the ring for our next bout. Chris Jericho is out next and is wearing short tights to emphasize his new change in attitude. That was quite the shock to see. Punk is out next and we are set for some action. Before the match can start, GM Adamle is on the Titantron and lets us know that there is a 10 minute time limit and if nobody wins, the Summerslam match will be a Triple Threat. The clock is on the screen and Jericho and JBL are still perplexed and begin arguing, thus wasting time. Punk attacks but gets beaten down by both men. JBL slugs away at Punk as Jericho holds him and then they trade roles. Jericho lands a stiff kick and smacks Punk in the head. They whip Punk in, but he hooks the ropes and dumps a charging Jericho over the top. JBL catches Punk and tosses him with a fallaway slam for two. JBL continues to kick away at Punk as we tick under 8 minutes. JBL hits a neckbreaker for a near fall and then he heads outside after Jericho. He grabs Jericho, but Chris reverses a whip and sends JBL to the steps. Jericho head back in and puts Punk down with a clothesline. He puts Punk down with a back suplex and gets a near fall. Jericho grabs a reverse chinlock and we are under 7 minutes. The crowd is trying to rally Punk and he works out of the hold with some elbows. He charges Jericho but he is drilled with a knee to the gut. Jericho slams Punk, but Punk turns the tables and puts Jericho on the top rope. He tries for a superplex, but Jericho shoves him off and lands a flying elbow. Jericho grabs an abdominal stretch as we go under 5 minutes. Punk hiptosses out of it and hits some knees to the head but JBL slides in and nails Punk from behind. He drills Punk with a clothesline and gets two before Jericho breaks it up. They start arguing and JBL tells Jericho he is killing their time. They start slugging away at each other and Jericho eats a boot on a charge as we go under 4 minutes. Outside, JBL runs Punk into the announce table and then he tosses Punk inside where Jericho hits a Lionsault for two. JBL pulls Jericho out and they smack each other on the floor. They head back in and continue to go at it. Punk flies in and takes out JBL and then he sends Jericho crotch first into the middle rope in the corner. Punk slugs away at Jericho and then he hits the running knee in the corner on JBL. He gives Jericho one as well. He hoists JBL up and kills him with the G2S but Jericho breaks it up. We are under 2 minutes and Punk hits a snap powerslam for a near fall. The crowd is digging this big time as Punk slingshots Jericho into JBL, sending him to the floor. Punk gets a roll up for two and then he hoists Jericho up for the G2S. Jericho slips out and grabs the Walls as we hit the minute mark. Punk is looking at the clock and trying to hang on as it ticks away. JBL slides in the ring and kicks Jericho in the back breaking the hold. Jericho is on the floor as JBL is trying to pull himself up. Jericho hops on the apron and shoves JBL backwards and he lands on top of Punk for the lucky win with two seconds remaining. JBL is going to Summerslam and that was a really fun and dramatic match. Grade: 3
- We see Shawn Michaels preparing for his interview at home as we go to break.
- Back from break and we taking a look at the University of Tennessee campus before getting a little video recap of the Michaels/Jericho Bash match. Back to the arena, King and Cole are set to talk to Michaels. Shawn says he has been better for sure. There has been severe damage to his eye and his doctors are monitoring it regularly. Before Jericho continues patting himself on the back for retiring Shawn, this is actually a culmination of injuries he has been working with. For the last four months he has been battling broken ribs in addition to his chronic knee injuries and always sore back. So, the deal is this: he has a reevaluation with his doctors on August 15, right before Summerslam. He plans on being at Summerslam to publicly announce what his future holds, but for the first time in his life, he is going to listen to what the doctors have to say. If they tell him he can compete, even on a limited basis, he will do it but if they tell him there is risk with his sight, he is prepared to walk away. He has enjoyed performing in the WWE Universe and he loves it, but he loves his family more. Jericho mentioned that he should look back at his career and spend his time loving his wife and kids and he thinks that is what he should do. King thanks him and tells him to do what is best for Shawn Michaels and we are out to break.
- Back from break and Matt Striker is in the ring with his chalkboard. Michael Cole reminds us of his background as an estranged teacher and then Striker also reminds us who and what he is. He thanks Michael Adamle for finally allowing him to compete as a member of the Raw roster. It is fitting that it is taking place at an esteemed university…well, a loosely termed esteemed university. He thanks Adamle for giving him some top flight competition…and top flight indeed, as Kane makes his way out.
4) Kane defeats Matt Striker with a Chokeslam
Kane nails Striker with a clothesline and then shoots him in to the ropes. Striker ducks a right hand and tries to slide under Kane, but Kane catches him and slugs him down. Kane kicks Striker in the face and pulls him back up. He lands a clothesline in the corner and then plants Striker with a sidewalk slam. Kane heads up top and hits a flying clothesline. Striker pulls himself up but Kane puts him back down with the Chokeslam for the squash win. Sometimes a nice side of squash hits the spot. Grade: .5
- Kane grabs his bag and heads over to the announce table. He turns and chases off Lillian and the timekeeper and then grabs the mike. He rolls into the ring and lets us know he has been in a bad place lately. He is better now, though, and looks at the bag and says that he is not alive, he is dead.
- Back from break and WWE Mobil brings us the Smackdown Rebound, which takes a look at the phenomenal Foley/Edge showdown from Friday night. At ringside, King and Cole run down our Summerslam card for us. Next up is a Batista package to amp up the Summerslam match. Backstage, the Grish is with John Cena. He says that package shows hwy Batista is adored and respected by fans. It also shows how tough Batista is in the ring. He says time will tell if Mike Adamle has what it takes and Adamle, Jack Tunney or any idiot off the street can tell you Batista/Cena is a huge match. He thinks back to Wrestlemania 21 when the two of them were crowned champion the same night, and then two years later he has to hear how Batista and Undertaker stole the show, and he thought himself: one day. At the draft the rumors started up that both men were two big for one show and that something had to give, and he thought: one day. Now, instead of just letting things build, Mike Adamle had to get cute and make him and Batista team up. They will either win and become champions or lose and tear each other to pieces. He hopes they win but he will be ready for anything.
- Back from break and we are hearing “Ready to Roll” by Jet Black Stare, the official Summerslam theme. Back in the GM office, Kelly visits Mike Adamle and congratulates him on doing a great job here tonight. In another Adamle Original, we are going to find out what is in Kane’s bag next week. If he won’t give it, Adamle is going to take it and open it up. He and Kelly have a seat and settle in for our main event.
5) John Cena & Batista defeat Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, Jr. to win the World Tag Team titles when Batista pins DiBiase with a Batistabomb
Our priceless tag team champions are out next and set to defend their titles. Batista and Cena make their separate entrances next and seem a bit apprehensive as the match is set to start. Cena and DiBiase start off with a lockup and DiBiase grabs a side headlock. Cena takes DiBiase over with a hiptoss and then runs him into the corner. Cena hits a bulldog and gets a near fall. Cena tags in Batista and DiBiase tags in Rhodes. Batista shoves Cody down off a lockup but Cody comes back with a knee to the gut and some rights. Cody goes for a sunset flip, but Batista pulls him up by the neck. He puts Rhodes in the corner and buries his shoulder a few times. Batista knees Cody in the back and gets two. Cody catches Batista with a kick to the face but Batista puts him down with a back elbow. Batista loads up the Batistabomb, but DiBiase hits him from behind. Batista charges Cody in the corner, but Cody dodges him and he hits the post as we go to our final break. When we return, Cody is working the arm of Batista. Batista works out of it and makes the tag to Cena. He nails Cody with a shoulderblock and side suplex and the crowd is all fired up. Cena drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle and hoists Cody up for the F-U, but Cody makes a blind tag to DiBiase, who dropkicks Cena down from behind. Cena falls outside and DiBiase follows, running Cena into the steel steps. He tosses Cena back inside and gets a near fall. Cody tags in and they hit a double suplex for two. He tags DiBiase back in and he drops Cena with a back suplex and then nails a clothesline for two. He tags in Cody who hits Cena with a beautiful dropkick off a DiBiase whip. Cena starts fighting back, but Rhodes takes him down a side Russian legsweep. He tags in DiBiase who comes off the top with an axehandle to the arm of Cena. DiBiase gets a near fall. Cody tags back in and they hit a double back elbow to put Cena down. Cody continues to kick away at Cena, but Cena fights his way back in. Cena hits the ropes but Cody grabs a sleeper. Cena fights his way to the corner and tries to tag, but Batista pulls back and he can’t make the tag. Cody tags in DiBiase who also now grabs a sleeperhold. Cena breaks out and gets a sleeper of his own, but Cody comes in and hits him from behind. Cena reverses an Irish whip and puts DiBiase down with a sidewalk slam. Cena walks to the corner and Batista calls for the tag, but Cena slaps him in the face instead. Batista laughs it off and takes his aggression out on DiBiase and Rhodes instead. He catches a boot on a charge but recovers and plants DiBiase with a spinebuster. He drops DiBiase with a Snake Eyes and then kills him with a spear. Batista loads up the Batistabomb and Cena takes out Cody. Batista drops DiBiase and gets the win, giving him and Cena the win and the belts. They take turns raising the belts for the fans and trading off pops and it seems like Cena is getting the edge. The match was great textbook tag action but the ending left a sour taste with me. Grade: 3.5
The hot streak continues on as we get another fun show. The opening segment was pretty solid and Adamle can do well out there if he doesn’t try to do too much. I actually wouldn’t mind the GM being back in the picture if he isn’t an overbearing one that dominates the show. If he almost takes a Jack Tunney role it would be a nice change of pace. JBL and Jericho held up their end of the bargain as well and added some nice intrigue to both Summerslam and later in the show. Kofi and Burchill had a decent little bout and Kofi picked up another nice win as his reign continues on. Burchill seems to be poised to head back down the card for a bit, which is fine, as he needs to work on garnering more heat. The Mickie/Katie match was good as well and Mickie is just super over out there. She polished off Katie for now but Beth is back in the picture and I liked the match Adamle made for Summerslam. With all the rumors out there regarding Santino’s stable, I am thinking they will take home the gold. The Adamle/Santino interactions should continue to be golden as the weeks progress. I am glad to see Jamie Noble continuing to get face time and I think he can get over as an underdog face if they keep booking him this way. A nice stiff match with Regal on Raw or at Unforgiven will do a lot for him as well. The handicap match was great stuff with lots of drama and tension throughout. Punk looked really good in battling two men and JBL’s pin was just dumb luck. I dug Jericho’s new look and it adds to the refocus of his character. Shawn Michaels delivered another really good performance and added some good intrigue to what will happen with him and Jeircho at Summerslam. The Kane squash was just that, a way to get him a quick win and give him a chance to update us where he is. I don’t think this bag angle is done yet, instead this is just a diversion to further along how unstable and manic he is. Striker should be a good little jobber to the stars as he bumps and sells like a champ. The basic build for Cena/Batista is good stuff as the marquee value of the match itself is enough of a selling point. Cena’s promo with Grisham was well done and strong overall. The Main Event was really fun and DiBiase & Rhodes are just a great heel tag team. They do everything crisply and the right way and they are only going to get better. It also helped the Cena & Batista are super over and generate good face in peril heat. I didn’t really care for the ending though, as they didn’t need to win the belts to make this work and it only hurts the credibility of DiBiase & Rhodes. The whole show ran smoothly and every angle and wrestler got some time to further their storyline or character. Nothing felt forced or rushed and the show had an organic feel to it. I think that has to do with Adamle’s laid back GM style. The crowd was hot all night long and into everything which also always helps. We didn’t have many matches but, outside of the Kane squash, they were all lengthy and good. Even Cole and Lawler sounded a bit more cohesive. Summerslam has come into focus and next week we hit the go home show so it may be a bit more frantic than tonight’s show. The Adamle Era is off to a good start and I hope it continues on. Grade: B
MVP: John Bradshaw Layfield
Runner Up: John Cena & Batista
Non MVP: Paul & Katie Lea Burchill
Runner Up: Matt Striker