Monday Night RAW September 8, 2008
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Fort Wayne, IN
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- No opening animation, as we fade up in the arena this week where Lillian Garcia brings out our new World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho who enters to a loud chorus of boos. He is decked out in his now normal suit and is walking a bit gingerly but is all smiles as he climbs up the stairs and into the ring. He is Chris Jericho and he is the new World Heavyweight Champion. For anyone that didn’t see Unforgiven last night, he goes ahead and explains how he became World Champion. The crowd is unrelenting here. First he faced a self righteous hypocrite like Shawn Michaels, a man who preaches that he is a good person, but Jericho shows us what that good person did to him by taking his jacket and shirt off to reveal some pretty nasty bruises and welts on his side and back. He wants to know what kind of man would disfigure another man. Michaels whipped him like a dog and mauled him and all of the fans savored every moment. But when all the bravado calms down, he didn’t really win anything. He may have been announced as a winner and he may be home celebrating, but that match was unsanctioned so it wasn’t official and never really happened. That means Michaels accomplished nothing while he accomplished winning the World Championship. Six months ago, he told us good things happen to good people and he is a good, righteous and honest man that does what he says he is going to do and now he is Champion. After he received the brutal, undeserved beating from Michaels, he was in the dressing room trying to stand up straight when Mike Adamle came and told him that Punk was out of the scramble match. He stepped in and now he is the new Champion. So, not only did he beat Steve Austin and the Rock in the same night to become Undisputed Champion, but he is now the man who beat Kane, Batista, Rey Mysterio and JBL to become Champion again. Batista was close, but he outsmarted him, and now the fans are forced to respect just how good Jericho is. Michaels told Jericho he would never be Shawn Michaels, and he was right, because Jericho is better and is Champion. Mike Adamle heads out on the ramp and congratulates Chris on winning. CM Punk suffered a concussion and was not medically cleared to compete, so he had to find a Championship caliber replacement and Jericho answered the call. But the fact remains that Punk lost his belt without being able to defend it. Punk isn’t here tonight, but next week on Raw, Punk will be given his chance to regain the title when he faces Chris Jericho. And just to ensure that there is no outside interference, the match will take place inside a steel cage. Jericho isn’t bothered by it, because he beat Punk in his hometown and he will beat him again next week. He is sick of the abuse of the fans and is heading out. Adamle says there is more, and he needs a main event for tonight’s show. After what transpired last night, he can’t think of a more exciting match than Chris Jericho taking on Batista here tonight. Jericho is not happy as King and Cole pump up the match and the rest of the night’s action before we go to break.
1) Beth Phoenix defeats Mickie James with a snap spinebuster to retain the WWE Women’s Championship
We are back from break and Candice Michelle is making her way out to watch our next match as she will face the winner at No Mercy. Mickie is out first and she is followed by the Glamazon who is on her own this week. Mickie grabs a go behind to start but Beth hoists her up with a fireman’s carry and drops her down across the top rope. Mickie rolls out to the floor and Beth follows and whips her hard into the ring post. She shoots Mickie back in and gets a near fall. Beth grabs an armbar and deadlifts Mickie by her arm. Mickie is able to get her legs around Beth’s head to force the break. Beth seats Mickie on the top and then mares her off to the mat. Beth tries the slingshot suplex, but Mickie floats out of it and hits a neckbreaker. Beth regains control and hits a charge in the corner but Mickie fires back and hits a huracarrana from the corner. She follows with a Thesz press but Beth recovers and buries some forearms after missing a charge. Mickie goes for another headscissors takeover from the apron with her hands on the top rope, but Beth blocks it and snaps her over with a nasty spinebuster for the win. Grade: 1.5
- Backstage, Jamie Noble is chatting up Layla and wants her at ringside in his rematch with Regal tonight. She says it was a surprise that he won last week. Noble says that was no surprise as that was the real Noble. He then says he does have a surprise for her tonight and Jillian Hall is in the background and belts out Eric Clapton’s “Layla” for her. Noble tells her to “git out” and he wants his five bucks back. Noble apologizes for the performance and Layla says she will be at ringside tonight. Noble says she won’t regret it and that they will go to Olive Garden after the show and then runs off as we run off to break.
- Back from break and we have the Burn After Reading Rewind which recaps Jamie Noble’s defeat of William Regal from last week’s show.
2) William Regal defeats Jamie Noble with a running knee to the head
We head back to the arena where Jamie Noble is out first and Layla is by his side for his rubber match with King Regal. Regal powerwalks to the ring and disrobes. He goes right at Noble off the bell and hammers away at Noble in the corner. He hiptosses Noble hard and stomps away but Noble takes him over with a flying headscissors. Regal comes back and sends Noble flying with an overhead throw and then just pounds away at him. He locks in a neck vice and breaks Noble down to his knees while wrenching it in. Noble goes for a sunset flip but Regal drops a stiff knee on his head and then grabs a side headlock. Noble lands a desperation kick and then he hits a dropkick off the second rope for two. He follows with an Enziguri and attempts a somersault attack in the corner but Regal gets his knees up in time. Noble staggers out of the corner and Regal nails the running knee to the head for the win. Regal has just been a beast since coming back. Regal grabs the mic and says that happy endings only happen in fairy tales. He then heads over to Layla and puts his arm out and Layla hesitantly accepts the offer and walks off with the King arm in arm. She keeps looking back at Noble and looks a bit worried for him before disappearing to the back. I will continue to hope for a longer PPV between these two. Grade: 2
3) Charles Haas Layfield defeats John Bradshaw Layfield by count out
We are back and JBL is making his way out for our next match. Cole tells us that JBL is an even fouler mood than usual after last night. All of a sudden we hear someone screaming that they are stuck in the trunk of the limo and that they can’t breathe and need to get out. The banging continues until the driver open the trunk and Charles Haas Layfield emerges. He is a blowhard from New York City and he is rich and has a rich wife and dog as well. He plugs his energy drink and he loves to hear himself talk. The crowd lets loose on a great “CHL” chant and My Lord Charlie just may be getting over. JBL is not impressed and says with his pedigree and resume does Haas think he is just an over the top caricature? He calls Haas a disrespectful punk and says he deserves better and he deserves respect. The crowd keeps up the “CHL” chant and the bell rings. JBL hits the floor and walks off, disgusted with the goings on. The ref counts and JBL loses by count out as CHL picks up the big win and he celebrates it like crazy. Haas is doing a great job in this role and is getting over. Grade: N/A
- Backstage, JBL is walking the halls and happens upon Batista and Kelly who are having a good laugh. Kelly leaves and JBL asks Batista what he is laughing about. He says that Batista should understand that it is inappropriate for Haas to make fun of him like that. He may not like Batista but they are main eventers and former champions and Haas has no right to make fun of him. He says that he and Haas have nothing in common. Batista agrees and says that Haas actually won his match tonight. JBL walks off angrily. Elsewhere, the Grish is with Rey Mysterio. He asks if Rey knows why Kane brutalized him and Rey has he does not know why, but Kane put him on the shelf. He vowed to never let what Kane did happen again. If he is going to be on Raw, he must stand strong, and speaks some Spanish for us. Kane, you claim that Rey was a victim, but despite those claims, Kane did not kill his spirit and he still stands strong and is alive. He may always be an underdog but Kane needs to believe he is nobody’s victim. And with that we hit the ring for our next match, courtesy the new ECW/Raw talent exchange.
4) Rey Mysterio & Evan Bourne defeat John Morrison & the Miz when Bourne pins Morrison with the shooting star press
Miz is out first and Cole tells us that the Dirt Sheet is the highest rated program on WWE.com. Morrison is out next and we go to break. When we return, Evan Bourne is making his way out and then is followed by Rey Mysterio. Bourne and Morrison start things off and we get a lock up. Bourne hits a nice armdrag and a quick pin attempt. Evan grabs an armbar and makes the tag. Rey comes in and gets the pin. Morrison tags Miz and they hit a double stomachbreaker. Miz grabs an armbar and Rey kicks his way out of it. Rey hits a senton out of the corner and tags in Bourne who back flips Rey onto Miz, Morrison gets tossed to the floor and Bourne dives out of the ring with a flying headscissor. He comes back in and heads up top but Morrison nails him with a leaping Enziguri and he crashes to the mat. Morrison gets a near fall and then goes to a reverse chinlock. The crowd is rocking here as Bourne tries to fight up and he actually gets a backslide attempt for two. Morrison tags Miz and he locks in a rear chinlock. Bourne kicks his way out but Miz scoops him up and tags in Morrison. Bourne slips out and shoves Miz into Morrison and is able to make the tag to Rey. He hits a double cross body on both men and then takes Miz over and outside with a headscissor takeover. Rey hits a stiff kick to the head and gets two on Morrison. He goes for the 619, but Miz trips him up from outside. Morrison hits a knee to the head but Bourne breaks up the pin. Miz sends Bourne to the floor with a knee. Morrison tries a springboard kick but Rey ducks and he hits Miz. He sends Morrison to the middle rope and hits the 619. Bourne heads up and hits the beautiful shooting star press for the biggest win of his WWE career. That was a manic match and my write up does it no justice. Grade: 3.5
- As Rey and Bourne celebrate, Kane appears on the Tron and says that he and Rey will fight next week and everyone will understand why Rey is a victim. Kane chose him but he won’t tell us why just yet. He does give a hint: and he holds up his old mask. Rey looks on as we go to break.
- Just for Men presents the WWE Slam of the Week which highlights Randy Orton’s attack on CM Punk last night at Unforgiven. Back in the arena, Randy Orton makes his way out to the ring to speak his mind. Orton has the mic but it doesn’t seem to be working as he starts speaking. He gets a new one and starts over. There is no worse feeling than to be on a global stage with a title in your grasp but tragedy striking and leaving you unable to compete. He isn’t talking about Punk, he is talking about himself. He broke his collarbone in a match with Triple H, leaving him defenseless to take his title. The difference between Punk and himself was that he actually earned his Championship but Punk got lucky. Last night, karma caught up to him and a one armed man took him out. He did what he did because he felt threatened and being injured, he was concerned for his safety. Punk should not be mad, but he should be thankful for kicking his face to prevent him from being beaten over and over in the scramble. As for Jericho, he can feel free to thank Orton as he wouldn’t have been in the match without him. When Orton is fully recovered, he will have no problem beating Jericho and taking back his title. He is cut off mid sentence by Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase and Manu. Manu is sporting black tights and has his fro tied back tonight. Rhodes wants to know who took Punk out, because it wasn’t the one armed man who did. If the three of them didn’t do what they did, Orton would not have been able to punt Punk. They beat him down and took out Kofi Kingston for trying to save him. Orton shouldn’t take credit for something he didn’t do. Manu says Orton isn’t the only one blessed with God given talent. His father Afa was also a Hall of Famer and Orton is no better than any one of them. DiBiase says that last week, Orton smacked Cody in the face but he must admit that what they did to Punk last night was impressive. Orton now smacks Ted in the face and heads to the floor and backs his way up the ramp as we go to break.
5) Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase & Manu defeat Cryme Tyme & Kofi Kingston when Manu pins Shad Gaspard with a backdrop neckbreaker
We are back and Cryme Tyme is heading out for six man action. They are joined by Kofi Kingston and all six men are set to go. Cody and JTG start off with a lockup which JTG wins with a shove to the corner. JTG kicks Cody on a charge but Cody hits a kneelift to the gut and tags in DiBiase. JTG takes Ted down and grabs a headlock before tagging in Kofi. He comes off the top with an axehandle and then leaps up top in the corner and pounds away at Ted. They toss Kofi to the floor and Manu lays him out. He tosses Kofi back in and they get a near fall. Manu works Kofi over and then tags in Ted, who hits an elbow from the middle rope. He tags Cody back in and then hit a double punch to the stomach. Cody grabs a seated abdominal stretch but Kofi fights up and punches his way out of it. Kofi tries for a high cross body off the middle rope, but Cody ducks and he crashes and burns. Kofi gets a roll up and is able to tag Shad as Cody tags Ted. Shag puts Ted down with some clotheslines and then press slams Cody to the mat. Shad whips JTG into Cody and they go tumbling out to the floor. Manu blind tags Ted and hops in and hits a backdrop neckbreaker for the win. Grade: 2.5
- WWE 24/7 takes us back to November 24, 1983 when Ric Flair defeated Harley Race for the NWA Championship inside a steel cage at Starrcade.
6) Santino Marella defeats Snitsky with a roll up in a non title match
Back from break, Glamarella are making there way to the ring. Santino presents the Honk-a-Meter for us and he is now up to 3 weeks, just 61 short of the record. He says the Mountie only held the title for 2 days and he has held the titles 19x longer than him now. He tells Perez Hilton to shove that in his blog and he will prove that is the greatest Champion of all time. Snitsky is out and he puts Santino down with a shoulderbreaker. He follows with a clothesline and gets a near fall. He tosses Santino to the corner by his neck but misses a charge and Santino gets a roll up for the quick win. He celebrates with his lady and we even get a couple of quick kisses from the two. Snitsky does not look happy as Glamarella celebrates. Grade: .5
- Backstage, Mike Adamle is talking to Kelly and he says he was backed into a corner last night and that he chose Jericho to replace Punk because he was a former champion. Kelly feels bad for Punk, but Adamle says he will be back next week and will have a chance to get his belt back. Jericho interrupts and says this isn’t fair and that he needs the rest of the week to heel up for the cage match next week. He wrestled two matches last night and he is not a machine. Adamle says that he did Jericho a favor last night and now Jericho owes him a favor and he needs a main event performance here tonight and the match will happen next.
7) Chris Jericho wrestles Batista to a no contest in a non title match
We are back from commercial and it is Main Event time as the World Champion limps his way to the ring along with Lance Cade. Batista is out next and gets his weekly huge pop from the fans. Cole talks about Batista narrowly missing winning the Championship once again but he has a chance to work out his frustrations here tonight. Batista powers Jericho to the corner and buries his shoulder to the midsection. He hip tosses Jericho out of the corner and then clubs him down with a right hand. He follows with a boot to the face and gets two. He shoots Jericho to the corner and plants him with a powerslam as he rebounds out. Jericho bails to the floor for a breather as Mike Adamle comes out and tells the ref to stop the match. He apologizes to Batista and says he is learning on the job. In his haste to make a Main Event, he misdiagnosed Jericho’s physical shape. He needs a match that is star driven and competitive so he wants to make the match a handicap match instead with Batista taking on Jericho and JBL. Grade: .5
8) Chris Jericho & John Bradshaw Layfield defeat Batista in a handicap match when Jericho pins Batista after a JBL Clothesline from Hell
JBL makes his way out as we go to our final break of the night. When we return, JBL has a headlock on Batista. He breaks loose, but Jericho distracts him and JBL drills him and gets a near fall. He tags in Jericho and he works Batista over in the corner. Batista fires back nit Jericho corrals him in the corner and tags JBL. JBL distracts the ref and Jericho works over Batista in the corner. JBL puts Batista down with a clothesline and a series of elbows for a near fall. JBL hits a neckbreaker for another near fall. He tags in Jericho, who slaps Batista in the head. Batista fires back with some right hands and a clothesline. He knocks JBL down off the apron and set up for the Batistabomb but Cade hops up on the apron. Cade gets knocked down but Batista walks into a Clothesline from Hell and Jericho grabs the pinfall. Grade: 1.5
Cade and JBL beat down Batista after the match and JBL taunts him the whole time. Batista hits a double clothesline and follows with a spear on JBL and a spinebuster on Cade. He plants Cade with the Batistabomb and we are out.
This week’s show was another non stop effort and featured more in ring action than the last few shows. The opening promo was good stuff as Jericho continues to bring the goods. This is the best he has ever been booked and he sure is scoring touchdowns left and right. I liked the announcement of the two blockbuster matches right off that bat as well and it shows that Adamle is only out or make the show great and doesn’t favor faces or heels, which I like. Well, that is the façade he puts on anyway. The women’s title match was good and kept up a nice pace and I like that they are already building to the Candice/Beth match at No Mercy. Jamie Noble was funny as always as was Jillian’s performance. William Regal has been a motivated monster in the ring since returning from his suspension and he is getting over again based on his in ring skills, which is nice to see. It will be interesting to see what happens with Layla in the coming weeks as well. Charlie Haas is actually getting over and his impersonations have been great. His over the top celebration was good stuff too. It looks like they are going the disrespected veteran route with JBL and his promo with Batista seemed to be shooting from the hip a bit. The tag match was awesome and that was a huge win for Bourne. Rey as Bourne’s mentor would be a really good role for him and assist in getting Bourne over. The crowd was into him and rallied behind every one of his comebacks. Miz and Morrison continue to rule it as well. The Orton segment was interesting and it seems as if Manu is also good on the stick like his running buddies. I like that they are slow burning this angle as the young guys keep aiming for Orton’s approval. The six man was good but lacked the usual awesome DiBiase/Rhodes heat segment. Manu looked good in his debut match as well. The Glamarella juggernaut rolls on another week as Santino gets a fluke win to add another week onto the Honk-a-Meter. The Main Event was a bit of a mess and the match was nothing special. Jericho is clearly the star of the show but his supporting cast is surprisingly strong now thanks to the infusion of young talent that is being pushed strong and well. I liked the pacing of this show and the crowd was hot all night long. Everyone got some face time and all of the major feuds got pushed along. Manu and Evan Bourne picked up big wins in what ended up being a fun post PPV show with a lot going down all night long. Final Grade: B+
MVP: Miz, Morrison, Evan Bourne & Rey Mysterio
Runner Up: Batista
Non MVP: John Bradshaw Layfield
Runner Up: Mickie James