Monday Night RAW September 1, 2008
St. Louis, MO
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- If you are looking to continue to watch the US Open and live on the East Coast, head to CNBC right now! If not, stick here for Monday Night Raw, where we are on tape and I am spoiler free! We get a nice little In Memoriam tribute graphic for Killer Kowalski, who passed away over the weekend, and then…go to a local commercial. And then we abruptly return and Randy Orton is heading down the ramp, arm still in a sling. Cole and King talk about Orton’s injury and tell us Randy had something he wanted to say here tonight. First off, we can see that he still injured. He didn’t want to come back until he was 100% but had something to get off his chest. He believes a brand is only as strong as its champions. When he was champion, Raw was the strongest brand in WWE, but now it is an absolute joke. Take Beth Phoenix, for example, as she runs around like a lovesick teenager. This isn’t 90210, it is Raw and she is embarrassing herself. She is supposed to be in love the weakest IC champion in history, Santino Marella. Even with a broken clavicle, he can bet Santino. But at least he has a belt, as DiBiase and Rhodes may call themselves Priceless, but he calls them Worthless. If thugs stole his belt while Champion, he would track them down, beat them to a pulp and take back his belt. However, the real problem is that there is a guy running around disgracing the World Championship and his name is CM Punk. Four years ago, when he won his first World title, Punk was wrestling in no name towns for a no name promotion and was a nobody until he grabbed the briefcase and got a lucky win. He takes offense to Punk and it insults everything he stands for. He would love to challenge Punk tonight and take back what is his, but he can’t do it because he isn’t medically cleared. But when he is, and it won’t be long, he will challenge Punk and reclaim raw, thus making everyone forget about the sorry history of Raw, known as CM Punk. And, our Champion has had enough as he makes his way out to face Orton in the ring. Punk says the only thing he got was a headache from listening to Orton. He doesn’t look to the past and says not everybody has family to usher them into WWE and some people need to work hard to get there. It doesn’t matter how he won, the fact is he is Champion. He doesn’t drink or smoke and he doesn’t take joy rides at 3AM, trying to pop wheelies and delaying a return. He went from the Age of Orton to a complete afterthought. He doesn’t blame Orton for running down the champions, because he would be jealous too in Orton’s situation. Orton says he isn’t jealous, but Punk disagrees. Punk would love for it to go down right now, but this conversation can take place at a later date because he has a match to win tonight and a Scramble to win Sunday. There is only one pathetic person in the ring and it isn’t Punk. Orton can see that the conversation will continue at a later time and he slowly leaves the ring. Punk says they will talk later and he will do all he can to hold on to the belt so Orton can see what he is about when he returns. As Orton leaves, the Opening Bell of the stock market rings and JBL saunters out to the ring. Cole reminds us that Punk has an 80% chance of winning Sunday. JBL says that fairy tales are not real and in six days, it will strike midnight for Cinderella and the ballgame will be over for the fluke run. He repeats the 80% stat and says that the odds are quite a bit higher, because of one move that can come from anywhere as one Clothesline from Hell will allow JBL to leave as champion. As much he would love to pin Punk, it doesn’t have to be. It could be Batista, Kane or Mysterio. We have another interruption as the fire and brimstone hits the arena and Kane heads out to the ring. Kane laughs at the idea of a CFH, and says he has been to hell and didn’t see JBL’s clothesline anywhere. One thing he did see in hell was Rey Mysterio. Adamle can make all the announcements he wants, but Rey will not be here tonight or Sunday and he has made sure of it. That means there is one less person in the scramble match, which means he is one step closer…from being interrupted by the Animal! Batista hits the ring and spears all three men to a huge pop. He heads back up the ramp and we are off to break.
- Smackdown comes to MyNetwork TV on October 3rd and don’t you forget it! Back in the arena, Michael Cole and the King wish us a happy Labor Day and run down the card for tonight. There will be some ECW stars on the show tonight thanks to a one time agreement between the brands.
1) Kofi Kingston defeats Charlie Haas with the Trouble in Paradise
And the good times keep rolling on as John Cena’s music fires up and the crowd is jacked. However, it isn’t Cena but rather it is Charlie Haas in Cena’s gear and looking damn near like his twin brother! He says that Cena may be out of action tonight, but the Haas is here and we can’t see him! And with that, the ultra catchy music of Kofi Kingston hits and the former IC champion is out for the opening match. Haas lands a knee off a lockup, but Kofi takes him over with a monkey flip. He hammers away in the corner, but Haas slugs him down with a right hand. He sets up for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Kofi kicks him. Kofi hits some a dropkick, forearm and a cross body. He follows with a side Russian legsweep and the Boom legdrop. Haas gets a boot up as Kofi charges him and then he goes for the F-U. Kofi wriggles free and they trade roll up attempts. Kofi bounces up and hits the Trouble in Paradise for the quick win. That was a fun, albeit short, match and the pace was rocking. Grade: 2
- We are back and listening to “Rock Out” by Motorhead as it is the Unforgiven theme song. Backstage, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase are laying the law down to Randy Orton. Randy asks Cody if he remembers when they first met and asks if he remembers how he slapped his father in the face. Cody says yes, that he remembers, and then Randy smacks him as well. Cody is pissed and asks Randy what his problem is. Orton says that DiBiase and Rhodes are the most talented guys in the locker room, but then they lose to Cena 2-on-1 and after that they have their titles stolen by Cryme Tyme. Until they step up and take some action, he stands by what he says. Elsewhere, Teddy Long and Tiffany are with Mike Adamle. She flirts with Mike a bit and then he welcomes them to Raw. Mike thinks this could be a new Labor Day tradition, like the Jerry Lewis telethon but without the sick kids. Teddy is taken aback, but Kane storms in and they step back. Last week, Adamle said Rey is coming back, but Kane says it isn’t true and wants to know why Mike would lie. He announced Rey because he wanted to send a message to him that Raw needs Rey and hoped that he would take the message and show up. Kane says that his body is massacred and his soul is extinguished, but Adamle should go ahead and keep on hoping.
2) Mark Henry defeats Matt Hardy, Chavo Guerrero, Finlay and the Miz in a Battle Royal
Back in the arena, the ECW stars are filing out for their scramble preview battle royal. As Finlay and Hornswoggle head out, we head to break. When we return, the Miz is heading out and then he is followed by Mark Henry and Tony Atlas. Eliminations can come via pinfall here as well. All four of the challengers go right at Mark Henry, but he shoves them all away and slugs them down. Matt and Miz take him down with a double DDT and then work him over with elbows. Finlay slams Chavo on Henry as Miz and Hardy trade suplex attempts by the ropes. Miz almost has Finlay out, but he turns around and walks into a Side Effect. Hardy tries to toss him, but Miz hands on. Matt and Finlay clothesline each other as Chavo double crosses Miz and he tries to toss him. Mark comes from behind and tosses both Chavo and Miz out and then he works over Finlay and Matt. Mark splashes Finlay in the corner as the crowd is nuts for Matt. Matt and Finlay recover and double team Henry but they aren’t able to put him out. Henry deadlifts Finlay and tosses him out over the top. Tony Atlas’ cutoff dress shirt and tie combo is a thing of beauty. Matt goes for the Twist of Fate, but Mark picks him up and dumps him over the top for the win. That was an impressive showing for Mark as he tossed all four men in the match. Grade: 2
- We are back from break and Chris Jericho and Lance Cade are reviewing some paperwork with a lawyer backstage in preparation for the contract signing later tonight.
3) Jamie Noble defeats William Regal with a roll up
Jamie has asked Layla to come out one last time so he can prove to her that he has what it takes. Layla is seated at ringside and we shall see if Jamie can back up his words. Regal attacks off the bell and hammers away at Jamie in the corner. He takes him over with a throw and slugs away. Regal grabs a full nelson but Noble is able to get a roll up. Regal puts Noble right back down with a right hand and the just barrels him down again with a shoulderblock. He stomps away, hits a modified T-Bone suplex and then picks him up, but Noble gets a roll up for the flash pin. Layla is in shock as Jamie runs over and brags to her. That was fun while it lasted once again. Grade: 1
- Mickie James and Kelly are chatting backstage as we go to break.
4) Mickie James, Kelly & Candice Michelle defeat Jillian, Katie Lea Burchill & Beth Phoenix when Candice pins Beth with a roll up
When we come back from commercial, Jillian is in the ring and singing some Nelly for us as we are in the Loo and it would seemingly be a fitting tribute. Lawler says that Nelly is turning over in his grave right now. Beth grabs the mike upon hitting the ring and calls out Randy Orton for ripping on her earlier. She says she is clearly the most talented and beautiful diva in wrestling history. Beth is interrupted by the returning Candice Michelle, who was hurt by Beth earlier this year. Katie and Kelly start things off and they trade some shots. Kelly hits a dropkick to the ribs and tags in Mickie. She heads up top and hits a Thesz Press. She follows with a low dropkick and gets two. Katie drives her back to the corner and tags in Jillian. They double team Mickie in the corner but she gets a boot up to the charging Jillian. She tries for a headscissors, but Jillian blocks it and Beth helps to powerbombs her. Beth comes in and hits a slingshot suplex for two. Beth runs her into the corner and tags in Katie. Katie slugs away at her back and tags in Jillian. Mickie ducks a clothesline from Jillian and takes out Katie. She drops Jillian with a neckbreaker, but Jillian tags Beth. Mickie crawls over and tags in Candice. Candice is all over her and knocks Katie to the floor. Candice floats over a charge and continues the assault on Beth. She heads up top but gets caught by Jillian and Katie. Mickie and Kelly stop them and Candice hits a cross body. Beth rolls through and dead lifts her but Candice gets a roll up for the surprise win. The match was a bit sloppy outside of Beth’s offense but the crowd was into Candice’s big return, so that was nice. Grade: 1
- At the table, Cole talks about the upcoming Michaels/Jericho unsanctioned match Sunday and then we get a package hyping the bout before going to break.
5) Santino Marella defeats D-Lo Brown in a non title match when Brown misses a frog splash
We are back and our awesome IC Champion is out to his beautiful music. Santino has the microphone and he hopes Randy Orton is satisfied. He calls him a “sonomagun” as he insulted Glamarella. He will prove to be the greatest IC champion of all time and he puts up a graphic entitled the “Honk-a-Meter” that will track Santino’s title reign against the all time record holder. According to the meter, Santino has just 62 weeks remaining to become the greatest champion of all time. Santino control to start with some shoulderblocks to the gut but D-Lo comes firing back and hits a leg lariat. D-Lo follows with a clothesline in the corner for two. He slugs away at Santino and hooks the ropes as Santino crashes on a dropkick attempt. D-Lo hits a shining wizard and heads up top. He tries for the frog splash, but Santino sits up and D-Lo crashes to the mat. Santino turns and covers and picks up the win, surprising even himself. Grade: .5
- Shawn Michaels is with his lawyer backstage as we go to break.
- WWE 24/7 Classics presents a look back at Raw’s first show at MSG on September 22, 1997. The piece chronicles the night’s events, focusing on Steve Austin’s run of terror, capped off with his stunner on Vince McMahon that night.
- Back in the ring, the Shaman of Sexy John Morrison and his running buddy, the Miz, are awaiting some interbrand tag team action. Shad and JTG have the stolen belts with them as they head out. Miz and Morrison jump them in the aisle and trigger a brawl. As they battle, DiBiase and Rhodes come out and beat Cryme down. They grab their belts and proceed to DDT JTG on one of them in the ring. DiBiase and Rhodes stand proudly as we go to commercial.
- When we return, the tag champs are walking briskly backstage when they run into Randy Orton. They stop and hold up their belts for Orton, who looks on in approval, and then walk off. In the arena we see that some members of the St. Louis Rams are in the crowd and then get a PR package on WWE’s presence at the Hall of Injustice…err…the Republican National Convention where Josh Matthews, Mickie James and Mr. Kennedy talk about the importance of voting. Backstage, the Grish is with Batista. He says there is speculation that Rey won’t be here tonight and asks him about his game plan for tonight as well as Sunday. Batista says his game plan is to destroy everyone and quickly walks off. Cole and Lawler then give us the final run down of the Unforgiven card before we go to the ring for our main event
6) Kane defeats CM Punk, Batista and John Bradshaw Layfield in a Battle Royal
Batista is out first and followed by JBL as we go to break. When we return, we see that Randy Orton had made his way out and will observe the match from ringside. CM Punk is out next and Kane is out last and it looks like Rey isn’t coming as the match starts/ Batista and Kane battle in the corner, but JBL comes and woks over JBL. Batista takes both men out and then puts Kane down with a spinebuster. He nails JBL and Punk with clotheslines in the corner and then hits JBL with a spear. He tries to put Punk out but CM hangs on. Batista puts him down with a spinebuster, but Punk recovers and clotheslines Batista out of the ring to eliminate him. JBL charges and Punk ducks and tosses him out as well. Punk kicks away at Kane, but Kane slows him up and then runs him to the buckle. He follows with a charging clothesline in the corner and then tries to eliminate Punk. Punk hangs on but Kane boots him down. Kane hits a sidewalk slam, but misses a charge and eats a troika of running knees. Kane lands another boot but Punk hits a back elbow and hoists Kane up into a fireman’s carry. Kane fights loose and catches Punk in a choke as Punk springboards in. Kane pushes him back by the neck and tosses him out over the top. Grade: 1.5
- At ringside, Punk tosses water in Orton’s face as Randy was mocking him. Now, Rey Mysterio’s music hits and Rey is in the house. The crowd is going crazy for Rey as he charges the ring. Rey attacks the knee of Kane and follows with a dropkick. He chop blocks Kane down and slugs away. He hits a dropkick to the knee and sets up the 619, but Kane bails. Rey hits a baseball slide dropkick and then tries a headscissors takeover off the apron. Kane catches him and goes for a powerbomb, but Rey slips loose and runs Kan to the post. Rey swings around the post and nails the 619. Kane hoists Rey up on top of the security wall by the throat, but Rey slips loose and takes Kane over the wall with a headscissors. He hops in the ring and stands on the middle rope as Kane slowly walks off.
- The Mercenaries II Slam of the Week looks back at the Jericho/Michaels Summerslam showdown of awesomeness. Back to the arena, we are set for our contract signing. Chris Jericho is out first and is decked out in a suit as usual. Jerry Lawler is in the ring and informs us that Mike Adamle asked him to moderate the signing. He says this contract will absolve WWE from any legal ramifications for Sunday’s match and then brings out Shawn Michaels. Jericho is seated and refuses to look Michaels in the eye as he enters and sits down at the table. Lawler says that both lawyers have reviewed the document and informs both men that if there is any physicality tonight, the Unforgiven match will be called off. So, all there is to do it sign the document. Jericho, still avoiding eye contact, grabs the contract and signs away. The crowd is chanting for HBK as he also signs the document. Lawler thanks both men, but Jericho cuts him off. He asks Shawn why he insisted on having security around the ring. Why would Jericho attack him now and ruin his chance to end Michaels’ career Sunday. Shawn says it wasn’t his security and if it were up to him there would be nobody out here. Jericho wants everyone to leave as he has something important to say and doesn’t need to be monitored like a caged animal. Michaels agrees that the men are no longer needed, so they all leave at Jericho’s urging. Jericho said he followed Michaels’ advice from Summerslam and sat his wife and kids down to tell them he will never be like Shawn Michaels. He also forbade them from watching Unforgiven to avoid seeing what he is capable of in the ring. He wants to be clear about something: if Shawn thinks he will be easy on him, he is wrong. He will end Shawn’s career for good and show the people what happens to a man that lives a life like Shawn. He will put Shawn out of his misery at Unforgiven and he won’t apologize like Shawn did to Ric Flair when he said the same thing at Wrestlemania. He is proud of what he has done to Shawn’s family and he will finish him off forever Sunday. Jericho wants Shawn to remember that he can only blame himself for what happens. Shawn is glad that Jericho’s kids won’t be watching and his won’t be either. Some day, he will tell his kids about this. It may be considered a strength to turn the other cheek, but sometimes you need to look evil in the face and spit in its eye. All the pain and suffering that Jericho put him through will reign down on Chris with no remorse. He will never apologize for who he is and the life he lived. And he will have no regrets about what happens to Jericho. He will never forgive Jericho, but he hopes some day God will forgive him for what he does to Jericho. They stare each other down and stand up as the crowd is slowly erupting. Cade comes in from behind, but Michaels slugs him down. He hammers away at Cade, but Jericho comes over lands a cheap shot. Michaels continues to hammer away at Cade as Jericho backs up the ramp, smirking and we are out.
Despite being pre taped, this week’s show was actually quite fun. The opening promo was really good and kept flowing right along. It was good to see Randy Orton back and he was on his game as he was his usual dickhead self and did a really good job out there. Punk dished it right back to him and looked strong as well. The whole segment was tight and to the point and the crowd was into Batista. The opener was good and I like Charlie Haas’ new gimmick of copying other wrestlers. I hope they keep it up and keep it fresh at the same time. Kofi looked good as well and picked up a needed win in an energetic match. The Orton/Team Priceless tease was great stuff and it looks like they are foreshadowing a stable for when Orton returns. The ECW battle royal was good too and they never slowed down at all. The crowd was nuts for Matt Hardy but Henry looked the strongest as he tossed all four men. That would seem to hint at a new Champion come Sunday, but who knows anymore. I was happy to see Jamie Noble finally get a win and I am still holding out hope that he and Regal get a longer PPV match at some point as we know they could deliver a gem. The women’s six man was a bit of a mess but Beth looked great as always and it was nice seeing Candice back and I hope she stays healthy. Santino was funny as usual and the Honk-a-Meter has some potential for more comedy. D-Lo looked good and I wish they moved him to ECW or Smackdown where could be more involved week to week. The brawl was neat and DiBiase and Rhodes went and asserted themselves and took their belts back and also added some fuel to the fire for Sunday. The Raw battle royal was decent enough and Punk looked strong in losing, but the real story was the red hot return of Rey Mysterio. He looked great and the crowd was into his non stop attack on Kane. The contract signing was fantastic as expected and Jericho is on a whole other level right now and the heat for the unsanctioned match is off the charts. Hopefully they can deliver come Sunday despite Shawn’s injury. The crowd was red hot throughout and despite the short amount of in ring time the matches were all pretty energetic and had a good pace. The ECW presence helped mix things up a bit as well and the focus was all on Unforgiven, as it should be in the go home show. Lawler and Cole continue to gel nicely and have done a good job the last few weeks. The show kept chugging along, they pushed the PPV and there were no wasted segments, so no complaints here this week. Final Grade: B
MVP: Shawn Michaels & Chris Jericho
Runner Up: Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio & Kane
Non MVP: D-Lo Brown
Runner Up: William Regal