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Monday Night RAW August 25, 2008
by Bigelow34

- We start the show with our opening animation and then head inside the Wachovia Arena where Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcome us to Raw as we are just two weeks away from Unforgiven! We are rocking it in HD on Sci-Fi this week and set for our opening match, which is a big one.

1) CM Punk defeats John Bradshaw Layfield with the Go 2 Sleep in a non title match
CM Punk returns to the Sci-Fi network and is set to kick off Raw by taking on his current arch nemesis. As Punk readies himself in the ring, the opening bell of Wall Street sounds and JBL is driven out to the aisle. Cole runs down the rules for the Championship scramble at Unforgiven as JBL saunters to the ring. The bell sounds and we are underway as the crowd is solidly behind Punk. JBL clubs his way into control and grabs a side headlock. Punk works his way out of it but JBL puts him down with a shoulderblock. He misses an elbow drop and Punk mares him over and kicks him in the back. He hits a low dropkick and gets two. JBL regains control and hammers away at Punk. The King says his sources have informed him the John Cena is injured and that we may find out more tonight. Punk lands a reverse kick to the face and gets a near fall and then hammers away in the corner. He follows with a dropkick and then grabs a side headlock. JBL misses a boot after whipping Punk and Punk is able to hiptoss him over. JBL lands a right hand but misses a clothesline and Punk kicks him in the face and then dropkicks him to the floor. Punk follows with a tope and then tosses JBL back in. He hits a springboard cross body for two coming back in. JBL tosses him outside, but he skins the cat. As he gets back in, JBL kicks him in the face and sends him back to the floor with a kick to the face as we go to break. When we return, JBL has a side bear hug on Punk and then takes him over with a belly-to-back suplex. JBL pulls him up and takes him back over with a suplex for two. He drags him up again and locks in an abdominal stretch and then rolls him up for two. JBL hits a stiff clothesline and follows with an elbow drop for two. They trade punches, but JBL is able to knee Punk back down. He picks him up and hoists him into a torture rack, continuing to work the injured ribs. Punk slides loose and hits a kick. He charges JBL but gets caught and slammed down for two. He runs Punk to the corner and then sits him up on the top rope. He slugs away at Punk with huge right hands and then heads up himself. Punk pushes him back down and comes off with a tornado DDT. Punk crawls over and gets a very close near fall. Punk nails some punches and a kick and then hits the springboard clothesline for two. He hits the running knee in the corner and nails the bulldog for another near fall. The crowd is digging it big time. Punk lines up JBL and goes for the G2S, but JBL slips loose. JBL dodges a charge and hits the Clothesline from Hell but Punk grabs the rope at 2. JBL heads outside and grabs a chair and climbs back inside. Chad Patton grabs the chair and when JBL turns around, Punk nails the G2S for the win! That was a really good TV match and the crowd was into it the whole way through. Punk celebrates and we go to break. Grade: 3

- We are back and GM Mike Adamle is gracing us with his presence and tremendous Titantron video. He walks out onto the ramp and asks everyone to turn to the Titantron and check out some footage from Summerslam. The video is a highlight package of Cena/Batista, focusing on a powerbomb Batista hit as Cena came of the top rope and then the punishment that ensued from it. As a result of the Batistabombs, Cena suffered a severely herniated disc in his neck. He tries to fight through it, but the MRI was much worse than thought. He will require surgery and be out indefinitely. This means he is out of Unforgiven but Adamle promises to name a worthwhile replacement before the end of the night. Backstage, Kane says that pain can be beautiful but what Batista did to Cena is nothing like what he did to Rey Mysterio. A body broken does nothing, but a spirit broken makes him salivate. Placing his hand on a throat and feeling a pulse accelerate as he crumbles to the mat. The victim is left wondering if they are alive or dead. Kane laughs and we cut to Adamle’s office. He is meeting with Primo Colon and apologizes for cutting him off last week. Primo says it is OK. Adamle has the apples and Cabana set up for tonight, but Primo says he is nothing like his brother. Carlito is a jerk to the family and everyone and he is a better man than his brother. Adamle laughs and Primo wants to know what is up. Adamle says we will find out before Primo’s match. Adamle turns around and Shawn Michaels storms in and gets in his face. He asks if Jericho is there and Adamle says no and that Shawn can take all the time he needs. Adamle asks how Rebecca is, but Michaels just glares at him and walks off as we go to break.

2) Kelly defeats Beth Phoenix with a roll up in a non title match
We are back and the beautiful Kelly is making her way out to the ring for our next match. We are then joined by the awesome power couple of WWE, Glamarella. Beth and Santino carry their gold to the ring and Beth is set for non title action. Kelly grabs a side headlock, but Beth scoops her up and sits her on the top rope as Santino laughs it up. Kelly smacks her but Beth buries a knee. She shoots Kelly in but catches a boot to the face. She gets a La Magistral for two but Beth mows her down with a shoulderblock. We see that Beth’s nose is busted as she grabs a reverse chinlock. She works Kelly over and gets a near fall. Beth yanks on the hair but Kelly kicks her in the head and gets a roll up for two. Kelly hammers away but gets whipped to the corner. Beth charges and catches Kelly’s foot on a kick attempt. Kelly wriggles out and hits a drop toehold. Beth gets distracted by Santino when he tries to help her and she gets rolled up by Kelly for the flash pin. Beth is not happy as Santino tries to explain himself to her. Beth takes him down and smacks him around on the mat, kicking him to the floor. Santino scurries to the back as Beth seethes in the ring and we go to break. Grade: 1.5

- WWE 24/7 Classics On Demand gives us a sneak peak at a tremendous bout between Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart from a Maple Leaf Gardens house show on April 23, 1989 as we come out of break. In the arena, Cole and Lawler talk about the greatness of 24/7 and I will back them up.

3) Primo Colon defeats Charlito with a high cross body
OK, we are set for our next match and Carlito’s music fires up, but Charlie Haas comes out dressed as Carlito, afro and all. We get an inset promo and he lets us knows that he is Charlito and he spits some apple. It seems odd to bury the poor guy when he still on the roster, but Haas does a good job with the role. Primo is out next and doesn’t seem impressed at Haas’ antics. Primo hits a back elbow on a charge and then takes Charlito over with an armdrag. Charlito kicks him down and hits a knee and then drills him with a clothesline for two. Charlito hits a back suplex and gets another near fall. He grabs a reverse chinlock and then releases it and grabs his apple. He takes a bite but primo slugs him in the face. Primo hooks the ropes on a whip and Charlito misses a dropkick. Primo hits a couple of his own and then hits a big monkey flip out of the corner. The wig is gone but Haas ducks a big charge in the corner. He goes for the backstabber, but Primo hooks the ropes and Charlito crashes to the mat. Primo goes up top and hits a high cross body for the win. Charlito was funny but Primo was a bit off. Hopefully it was just his first match jitters coming out. Grade: .5

- Backstage, Shawn Michaels is walking and we are set to hear from him after the break.

- We are back and looking at footage from the Michaels/Jericho confrontation from Summerslam interspersed with Jericho’s comments from last week on Raw. Back in the arena, Michaels’ music fires up and HBK is out to a great reaction. Shawn has the mike and lets everyone know that Rebecca is hurt, but after being married to him for nearly 10 years, she is tough and will be OK. Last week he went home to take care of his wife and children and tried to look at this as a rational human being and that it was an accident and Jericho didn’t mean to hit his wife. But then he sat down to watch Raw and he saw Jericho come out and blamed him and the fans and showed no remorse what he had done. Shawn did not send in a letter of resignation because he has earned the right to come out and thank his fans. He didn’t realize that coming out and saying goodbye for the last time would be so hard, and that is why he had his wife with him so she could support him as always. However, all she got was punched in the face. As they watched Jericho blame her for what happened, he turned to her, looked into her eyes and knew that he was not going anywhere. The crowd likes that one, but the cheers turn to boos as Chris Jericho appears on the Titantron. Chris says that Shawn is lucky he is at WWE studios and not at Raw. He was asked not to be there because everyone was afraid what would happen if he were. Last time the fought, Jericho destroyed him but he could walk away. If they fight again, Shawn won’t walk out. He knows how conniving and selfish Shawn is. He knows that Shawn is trying to goad him into a match so he can take a beating and sue to Jericho. But in the ring, he can legally do whatever he wants and do whatever it takes. He will sign anything, any waiver, a release and there can be no rules, no constrictions or liabilities if Chris accepts the match. Jericho says Michaels should look in the mirror to remind himself of the damage he has inflicted. He should look at his damaged eye and his wife’s swollen face as reminders. If Jericho accepts an unsanctioned match, Michaels needs to worry about his life not just his career. Shawn cuts him off and challenges him again and says that if Jericho says no, then he proves that Rebecca is tougher than Jericho. Chris accepts but tells Shawn not to let his kids and wife watch the match. Jericho says the match will happen in two weeks. Shawn says Chris doesn’t know the meaning of the word Unforgiven and he will never forgive him for what he did to his family. He couldn’t care less about pinning Jericho or stealing the show, the only thing he has in mind is an eye for an eye. The stare each other down and we go to break.

4) Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes defeat Jerry Lawler & Jim Duggan when DiBiase pins Duggan with the Million Dollar Legsweep
The champions are out but they are beltless thanks to Cryme Tyme lifting their straps last week. The Legends are out next and it looks like will finally get the showdown between these four men. The match stems from Rhodes & DiBiase running down Lawler & Duggan last month right after Lawler talked Duggan out of retirement. Lawler and DiBiase start tings off with a lockup. Lawler lands a shot to the gut but DiBiase takes him over with a backdrop. DiBiase hammers away but Lawler hits a backdrop of his own. We get another lockup and Ted lands a shot on the break. Ted ducks for a backdrop, but Lawler punches him in the face. Ted lands a shot and runs Jerry to the corner. He tags in Cody and they double team the King with some rights. Cody hammers away with elbows and grabs a crossface chicken wing. King tries to fight out, but Cody keeps yanking him back down. He takes Lawler over with a suplex and then smacks Lawler a bit. Jerry fires back with some fists and sends Cody flying into the corner where he tags in Ted. Ted shoots Lawler in and grabs a sleeper, but Jerry hits a jawbreaker and makes the tag. Duggan hammers away and slams Ted down hard to the mat. He nails the three point stance clothesline but Cody breaks up the pin. Lawler and Cody fight to the floor and Ted hits the Million Dollar Legsweep for the win. Grade: 1

- Cody walks over and grabs the microphone from Lillian and hops in the ring. He calls out Cryme Tyme and lets them know they will hunt them down and get their belts back. Last he checked, you don’t steal championships, you win them and that is something Cryme Tyme will never do. And with that, CT’s music fires up and they appear up in the Uecker seats. They are in shock at the accusations and Shad says that collectively, they are Cryme Tyme. That means, don’t do the crime, if you aren’t willing to do the time, and they are willing to do the time. It is time that DiBiase & Rhodes put the belts up, so they borrowed them. They want a tag team title match at Unforgiven. DiBiase says they should have acted like normal people and went through the regular channels for a tag match. They don’t know what they have gotten into and he gives them a title match at the PPV. They will take back far more than they took from them and it will be priceless. JTG calls DiBiase a silly white boy and says nothing comes without a price as it is always about that money, money, yeah, yeah. They continue to chant as we go to break.

- We are back and Cole talks about the Scramble rules and he reminds us that Cena is out and we will find out the replacement later tonight. Backstage, the Grish is with Batista and he wants some thoughts about his match with Kane tonight. Before he gets to that, he wants to talk about Cena. Their match at Summerslam was one of the toughest of his career and they were both banged up. John lives his life by hustle, loyalty and respect and he has never seen John back down. He has full respect for John and hopes he has a full recovery and comes back soon. Tonight, he doesn’t care what Kane is capable of and he isn’t intimidated. He will win his belt back at Unforgiven, but tonight is not about titles, it is personal.

5) Santino Marella pins Kofi Kingston after Beth trips Kofi and his head hits Santino’s knee to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Back in the arena, we are joined by Santino Marella, who is flying solo for his title match. Kofi is out next and I will be subjected to another three days of his music looping in my head non stop. Kofi gets a quick roll up for two off the bell. He grabs an armbar but Santino turns it into a side headlock. He puts Kofi down with a shoulderblock, but Kofi hits a leaping sidekick for a near fall. He grabs the armbar again and then follows with a monkey flip. He hammers Santino the corner and lands an uppercut for two. Santino whips Kofi to the corner and then Kofi comes off with a cross body that Santino ducks out of the way of. Santino hits a gourdbuster for two and then locks in an abdominal stretch. Kofi hits a chop and a dropkick and follows with a chop to the head off the middle rope. Kofi hits a legsweep and then lands the Boom legdrop. Santino bails to the floor, but Beth comes down and tells him to get back in the ring. As Santino slides in, Beth trips Kofi and he hits his head on Santino’s knee. Santino covers and picks up the win. Beth backs Santino to the corner and then plants a big kiss on him. Santino reciprocates and waves to the crowd and then they head out as we head to break. Grade: 1.5

- I hate this loser in the Arby’s commercial. I will Jamocha shake his face if I ever run into him.

- We are back and taking a look at WWE’s involvement in the Democratic National Convention as part of the Smackdown Your Vote campaign. Back to the arena, Adamle has joined us to announce the top notch Scramble replacement for Cena. The replacement is a former World Heavyweight Champion and his name is…Rey Mysterio! The crowd likes it and Cole is surprised. King and Cole now run down the Unforgiven card for us. We then see Batista warming up as we go to break.

6) Batista defeats Kane by disqualification when Kane hits him with a chair
We are back and the Animal is making his way out for our Main Event. Kane’s cool new music fires up next and the Big Red Machine hits the ring as we are set to go. Batista grabs a headlock as Cole talks about Batista defending his good friend, Rey Mysterio. Batista takes Kane down with a chancery but Kane turns it into a hammerlock. Batista takes him over with a fireman’s carry and grabs an armbar. Batista hits a shoulderblock and goes back to the armbar and then turns it into a bodyscissors. Kane turns out of it but Batista holds onto the armbar. Back up, Batista lands a shot to the face in the corner and then works the midsection with his shoulder. He goes back to an armbar, but Kane shoves him into the corner and kicks him off the break. Batista fires back but catches an elbow on a charge. Batista lands a boot and puts Kane down with a clothesline. Batista sends him outside with another clothesline and Kane stalks around the ring and tosses stuff around as we go to break. When we return, Kane is in control and has a reverse chinlock on. Batista works free and hits a shoulderblock. He goes for the spear, but Kane nails him with an uppercut. Kane drills Batista’s banged up knee and then starts to work it over. Kane hits a shinbreaker and then kicks away at Batista in the corner. Kane continues to work the leg but Batista shoves him off. Kane kicks the knee again and Batista crumbles to the floor. Kane follows him and runs the knee into the stairs. He rolls back in and Batista pulls himself in too. Batista lands some right hands as he tries fighting his way back into this, but Kane goes back to the knee. Batista is able to reverse the Leglock into a cross armbreaker but Kane is able to reach the ropes. Batista tries to hobble up to his feet, but Kane chops him back down. Kane charges, but Batista hits a desperation clothesline. Kane eats a boot on a charge and then is Powerslammed by the Animal. Batista hits a drop toehold, sending Kane into the buckle. Batista charges, but Kane grabs him by the throat. Batista elbows free and hits a spinebuster. Batista goes for the Batistabomb, but Kane nails the knee. Kane drags Batista to the post and then nails his knee with a chair to draw the DQ. He keeps drilling the knee with the chair. Batista hobbles up and is able to kick a charging Kane. He nails Kane with the spear and grabs the chair and nails Kane in the back with it. He drags Kane to the post and works his knee over with the chair now. The psychology of the knee work was solid, but that was about it as the pace was too slow and the cheap ending didn’t help things. Both men are laid out as we fade out for the night. Grade: 1

Final Analysis
We got another good show this week. It wasn’t as strong as last week, but still very entertaining and it had a good flow throughout. We had some hot action right off the bat tonight as JBL and Punk had their best match yet. I am digging Punk in the classic Bret Hart role and he plays it to perfection and it has gotten him over as a result. JBL looked good in the loss and Punk picked up a needed win after a loss last week. The Kane//Rey thing continues to be intriguing and Kane has been good so far carrying this angle. I like Adamle a lot in this role, mainly because of how he is being used. He comes out early and makes his big announcements and then is used sporadically through the show backstage. Plus he is at his peak as far as confidence goes and that makes him a whole lot better with his delivery. Beth and Santino continue to bring the goodness and Kelly looked good as well as she continues to improve. The Charlito stuff was funny but Primo had a weak debut and wasn’t too impressive. We will let it slide until we see his next outing. I have nothing left to say about Michaels & Jericho. They continue to deliver week in and week out, both in the ring and in promos. This storyline continues to chug along and stay interesting and fresh. The intrigue for their unsanctioned match in two weeks should be quite high as we know they will deliver a classic. DiBiase & Rhodes picked up a good win in an OK match but more importantly, we are getting a PPV tag title match which is always nice to see. Also good to see Cryme Tyme gets some promo time out there. The Santino/Kofi match was decent until the cheap ending, but it was necessary to keep the Glamarella team rolling. Kofi looked good though in the brief bout. The Rey announcement was a good one and I am curious if they will have him look any different due to Kane’s alleged attack. He adds a different dynamic to the match as well and should be flying around out there. The crowd was good all night tonight and they were even into the Main Event for the most part, despite it being a pedestrian brawl. As I said, the show was good overall but we only got one really good match instead of the couple we have been getting. Still, it was a well booked show that put a lot of focus on Unforgiven and the titles as well. The loss of John Cena may hurt a bit but it should open up a spot for some other guys to step up, so that can be a good thing but we shall see as the weeks go on. I actually had a higher grade setup, but that Main Event just wasn’t very good and kind of ended the show on a flat note after a relatively jot first hour and 45 minutes. Final Grade: C+

MVP: Shawn Michaels
Runner Up: CM Punk
Non MVP: Primo Colon
Runner Up: Kofi Kingston

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