Full Credit: PWTorch.com’s Wade Keller
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 8, 2008
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
-Lilian Garcia opened the show mid-ring. She introduced, with a dramatic pause, the new World Champion, Chris Jericho. Jericho walked out with a big smile on his face wearing a suit with the World Title belt over his shoulder. He entered the ring and said, “I am Chris Jericho and I am the new World Heavyweight Champion.” He explained what happened for those who didn’t watch Unforgiven last night and might be confused. A loud “you suck” chant broke out. He said last night he faced “the wrath of a self-righteous hypocrite, Shawn Michaels.” He said he wanted to show what this “good person” Michaels claims to be did to him last night. He took off his suit jacket, his tie, and his shirt. He took his time. Then he showed various nasty welts and scratches and bruises on the right side of his body.
He asked, “What kind of a man would do this to another human being?” He answered his own question, and said Michaels whipped him like a dog. He said the fans savored and loved it. He said when the bravado and pomp and circumstances comes down, what did Michaels get, really? He said Michaels got his hand raised and now he’s at home celebrating with his “precious little family.” He said because the match was unsanctioned, it wasn’t official and “doesn’t really count.” He said, really, Michaels accomplished nothing. Jericho held up the World Title belt and said that’s what he accomplished. He smiled widely and let his teeth shine brightly for the camera. He said he told everyone good things happen to good people, and he’s a good, righteous, honest man who does exactly what he says he’s going to do. He kissed the belt.
He said after he received the brutal beating from Michaels that he didn’t deserve, Mike Adamle came into his locker room and offered him C.M. Punk’s place. He bragged about winning the Raw Scramble and becoming the new champion. He said now he’s not only the man who beat Stone Cold and The Rock in the same match to become he first undisputed champion, but now he’s also the man who beat Kane, JBL, Rey Mysterio, and Batista to become champion once again. He said Batista came very close, “but I outsmarted him and I won.” He said everyone must now recognize and respect how good he is. He said he’s not Shawn Michaels, he’s better, and he’s now the new World Champion.
Adamle appeared on the stage and congratulated Jericho. He said Punk suffered a concussion last night and wasn’t medically cleared to compete. He said he had to find a championship-caliber replacement, “and let me say, Chris, you answered the call.” He said the fact remains that Punk lost his title without having a chance to defend it. The crowd began to applaud. He said Punk isn’t here tonight, but next week, he will be given a chance to regain it. Good move not to rush right into that match this week, but instead milk the hype and let people anticipate it for a week. He said to be sure there’s no outside interference, the match will take place in a cage. Okay, that’s stupid because cage matches should happen for a reason – because there’s a history of interference in a match on behalf of the heel in the feud.
Jericho said if that’s all he has to say, he wants to take his title and go home for the night. Adamle said since the cage match is scheduled for next week, he needs a man event for tonight. He said after what transpired last night, he can’t think of a more exciting match than Jericho vs. Batista. That got the biggest pop of the show so far.
Michael Cole spoke for the first time at this point and said Jericho may be in big trouble since he snuck through the back door and stole the title from Batista. Cole said Batista may finish the job that MIchaels began. Cole hyped Mickie James challenging Beth Phoenix for the Women’s Title next.
-Candice Michelle got a full ring intro and walked to ringside to watch from a director’s chair right in front of Cole and Lawler. Strange placement of the chair.
1 — “GLAMAZON” BETH PHOENIX vs. MICKIE JAMES — Women’s Title match
Back and forth match. Some nice moves, but also a bit clunky in pacing with starts and stops and not a sense of flow. More like a football game than a soccer game in pacing. Phoenix slapped Mickie off the ropes powerbomb style for a clean win. Candice was shown observing at ringside. Cole said Candice probably wanted to take on Phoenix for the Women’s Title at No Mercy to avenge her previous loss.
WINNER: Phoenix in 4:00.
STAR RATING: *
-Layla said she was surprised that Jamie Noble won last week. He said she inspired him, she was like his own personal lucky charm. He said he need her out there this week for his rubber match against William Regal. Noble said he has a real surprise for her. Jillian Hall danced and sang “Layla” for her. Noble cut her off and said he asked her to sing another song. He began singing. Layla told him to stop and said she’d be out there for him. He got excited and told her she wouldn’t regret it. She still didn’t seem so sure of him.
-In a push of the encore presentation, highlight clips aired of Michaels-Jericho the night before at Unforgiven, plus other highlights including Big Show’s attack on Undertaker, Matt Hardy‘s ECW Title win, Triple H’s title defense, and Chris Jericho’s win.
2 — JAMIE NOBLE (w/Layla) vs. WILLIAM REGAL
Noble gave Layla a chair to sit on at ringside. When Cole said Noble had a little spring in his step having Layla supporting him, Lawler said he might have a spring in his seat having Layla sit so close to him. Layla flinched at every punch Noble took. Regal took control early. He applied an armbar/headlock type move. Noble punched out of it, but Regal drove a knee into Noble’s head and then dropped to a side headlock on the mat. Regal KO’d Noble with a running knee to the temple for the win. Layla was disappointed.
WINNER: Regal in 3:00.
-After the match Regal stood over Noble twitching body. Regal said, “What did you expect, Jamie Noble? Happy endings only happen in fairy tales.” I wonder if that’s a bit of a shoot on his professional life and the problems he’s had. He walked to ringside and stared down Layla. He held up his arm and asked Layla to grab on. She did, but she seemed confused by her own acceptance of Regal’s invite. It was almost as if she was possessed or compelled outside of her own will to join him. She even looked back at Noble as Regal walked up the rampway with her.
-The Power of WWE Fact of the Week: Raw on USA is the longest running weekly entertainment program in history featuring more episodes than The Simpsons, Seinfeld, and E.R. combined.
3 — JBL vs. CHARLIE “CHL” HAAS
JBL walked to the ring first. Haas came out of a limo, too doing his best JBL impersonation. He bragged that he’s a blowhard rich guy with a rich wife. He began mocking JBL’s sex stimulant promo. We got to hear Cole’s phony sounding forced laugh for at least a full minute. He asked aloud why Haas was doing that. Lawler said Bradshaw doesn’t see humor in it. He stared at Haas, who smiled back. JBL said, “You are mocking me?” Haas continued to grin. JBL then just walked out of the ring and got counted out. CHL celebrated his win. Cole wondered if JBL was scared of Haas.
WINNER: CHL in 1:00.
-Cole plugged the teaming of Rey Mysterio and Matt Stryker as “two of the most breathtaking wrestlers in WWE.”
-They showed JBL walking backstage. He walked up to Batista and Kelly Kelly, who were laughing. Batista said Haas was funny. JBL said it was inappropriate for Haas to make fun of him. He said they are both main eventers, so he should know how wrong it is for a wrestler at Haas’s level to mock him. He said they have nothing in common. Batista said he’s absolutely right, they have nothing in common, because Haas won his match tonight.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Rey Mysterio. Grisham said: “I understand you took some time off after Kane attacked you and left you brutalized. Do you know why he did that?” Rey said he has no idea why Kane attacked him, but he did “without no warning.” He said he left him “laying down in a parking lot.” He said he needed to take time off to recover and rehab his body, but he vowed to never let what happened to him happen again. He said if he’s going to be on Raw, he needs to stand strong. He then went into Spanish. He looked at the camera and said Kane may claim he’s his victim, but he didn’t kill his spirit. “My spirit is still alive!” he said. He said he may always be an underdog, but he needs to believe that he’s nobody’s victim.
4 — THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON vs. REY MYSTERIO & MATT BOURNE
Cole said another talent exchange was agreed to between Teddy Long and Adamle. Cole noted that “The Dirt Sheet” is the highest rated program on WWE.com. Miz and Morrison got separate ring entrances. They cut to a break before the babyface ring intros.
Bourne opened against Morrison. Cole said Bourne was a vice president at a sales and marketing company. He said he honed his “sports entertainment skills” in Japan and Mexico, leaving out his U.S. indy scene and ROH experience. Rey tagged in against Miz a minute in. Bourne hit a top rope double knee shoulder driver, then he flipped Rey onto Miz. Morrison broke up the pin attempt. Rey tossed Morrison out of the ring, then Rey backdropped Bourne onto Morrison at ringside. “How did Bourne do that?” asked Cole. Bourne went to the top rope, but Morrison kicked him on the back of his head. The heels then settled into controlling offense. Bourne snuck in a backslide for a near fall. The heels continued to tag in and out and hold Bourne near their corner. The crowd applauded for a Bourne comeback. Bourne hot-tagged Rey in at 6:00. Rey cleaned house. he round kicked Morrison in the head from behind and scored a two count. Rey then set Morrison up for a 619, but Miz tripped Rey. Morrison then gave Rey a knee to the temple for a near fall, broken up by Bourne. Miz kneelifted Bourne out of the ring. Morrison hit a springboard roundkick on Miz by mistake when Rey ducked. Rey then successfully hit the 619. Rey paused and tagged in Bourne, who hit his shooting star press finisher for the win. Cole raved about the shooting star press by Bourne.
WINNER: Bourne & Rey in 7:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 – Really good seven minute TV match. Good action, well constructed, well executed, good finishing sequence.
-As Rey and Bourne celebrated, Kane’s music played. I was waiting for Kane to come out and beat them both up, following WWE’s rich history of big lugs destroying smaller wrestlers, cutting off their potential drawing power. Instead, Kane appeared on the big screen. He said next week he’ll face Rey one-on-one and then everyone will understand why he is a victim. “I chose you, and as for the reason why, I’m not going to tell you that just yet.” He said he had a very special hint. He held up a Kane mask and laughed. Rey shook his head with a look combining confusion and fear. They seem to be largely saving this angle, which seemed to be derailed and destined for the “Abandoned Storyline Bin.”
-They showed Randy Orton heading for the entrance tunnel backstage. He’s become a regular on TV during his injury recovery, a rare practice, but appropriate in this situation as he has something productive to do as the head of the group of legacy wrestlers.
-A clip aired of Orton attacking Punk backstage at Unforgiven.
-Orton walked out to his full ring intro. He said there was no worse feeling than to be on the global stage with the world title within his grasp, but unable to compete. He said he’s not talking about Punk, he’s talking about himself. He said a few months ago he broke his collarbone in a match against Triple H, leaving him defenseless and unable to retain his title. He said the difference between Punk and himself was he actually earned his championship. “I won the main event match at WrestleMania,” he said. Punk’s luck came to an end at the hands of a one-armed man, he said. He said he did what he did because he felt threatened and felt concerned for his safety since he is injured already. He said Punk shouldn’t be mad, but should be thankful that he spared him being exposed in the championship scramble where he’d have been beaten over and over and over again in that 20 minutes. He told Jericho to feel free to also thank him anytime because if it weren’t for him, he wouldn’t be champion right now. He said when he’s 100 percent, he’ll have no problem beating Jericho and taking back what is his. He was interrupted by Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, and Manu. Cole called Manu a “mysterious stranger.” Orton didn’t seem aware of their plans to interrupt him.
Cody asked Orton, “C.M. Punk got taken out by who? A one-armed man? Randy, I think you need to check your facts because if the three of us didn’t do what we did, you’d have never been able to punt Punk unconscious.” He detailed how they fended off Kofi Kingston, then added, “Don’t you dare come out here and take credit for something you didn’t do.” Manu said Randy isn’t the only one who has been blessed with god-given ability from his father. He said his father, too, is a Hall of Famer. Manu told Orton that he is no better than all of them. DiBiase closed out by saying what Orton did to Punk was impressive. Orton didn’t want to hear any more. He slapped DiBiase and rolled out of the ring. He walked backwards toward the stage, staring them down the whole way. Lawler plugged that Kofi & Cryme Time would face Cody & DiBiase & Manu next.
-Another Raw Fact: Did you know that WWE is broadcast in 23 languages in more than 130 countries worldwide.
5 — CRYME TYME vs. CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE & MANU
At 2:00 Manu tagged in and hit a diving headbutt, then tagged out. Lawler said he doesn’t remember seeing an entire three-man team made up of second generation wrestlers. Actually, DiBiase is third generation. When Shad tagged in, he did his best Road Warrior Animal impersonation with a barrage of power moves including a press slam and turning powerslam. Manu surprised Shad with a finisher. He didn’t do much in the match, but looked good in what he did. Too early to judge much.
WINNERS: Cody & DiBiase & Manu in 4:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4*
-Cole hyped Jericho vs. Batista.
-An ECW ad hyped Matt Hardy’s first show as ECW Champion.
-A WWE 24/7 Classics onDemand clip was from the Nov. 24, 1983 Starrcade main event – Ric Flair vs. Harley Race. The narrator said, “It was as if Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripkin could have played on the same field.” It’s nice that people who haven’t seen early-’80s Flair footage got to see that much footage on Raw. Lawler and Cole hyped the 24/7 service live.
-Santino Marella walked out with Phoenix and showed the Honk-a-Meter. He has now held the IC Title three weeks while HTM held it just 64. He said The Mountie only held the title two days, and he’s already 19 days ahead of him, which makes him 19 times better than him. Odd math, but okay. “Shove that in your blog, Paris Hilton,” he added. He said he will prove he is the best.
6 — SANTINO MARELLA (w/Beth Phoenix) vs. SNITSKY — Intercontinental Title match
Santino is wearing a more body appropriate singlet now. Snitsky nailed Santino with an early nasty clothesline for a two count. Cole plugged that Santino talks about how to deal with bullies when you go back to school. Santino surprised Snitsky with a schoolboy after a missed knee in the corner for the win. Santino and Phoenix kissed afterward. Cole referenced Santino’s pet name for Phoenix, “Smoochie Cakes.”
WINNER: Santino in 1:00 to retain the IC Title.
-Adamle asked Kelly what he was supposed to do last night. He said he took great pride in the Raw Scramble. He said he chose Jericho to replace Punk because everyone in the ring was already a former champion. Kelly said she just feels bad for Punk. Adamle said he’ll get his rematch next week. Jericho interrupted and said he’s in no physical and mental shape to wrestle Batista. He said he’s not a machine, he’s a human being, and he needs the week off. Adamle insisted he did Jericho a favor last night, so he owes him a favor. “I want some reciprocity – a main event performance against Batista.” He said the match will happen and it will happen next.
-WrestleMania 25 promos have begun.
-Cole and Lawler hyped next week’s Raw line-up: Rey vs. Kane and Jericho vs. Punk in a cage for the World Title.
7 — CHRIS JERICHO (w/Lance Cade) vs. BATISTA
Batista beat up Jericho for two minutes, totally overpowering and dominating him. Adamle walked out and said the match should stop. He said he’s new at his job and he needs to reevaluate his decision. He misdiagnosed Jericho’s condition and he wants to make the match fair, so he’s making it a handicapped match with JBL teaming with Jericho against Batista. JBL’s ring entrance began.
7b — CHRIS JERICHO & JBL vs. BATISTA
Back live, JBL had Batista in a sleeper. Jericho took some cheap shots and tagged in rested and got in some offense. Batista made a comeback at 8:00. Cade distracted Batista as he set up the Batista Bomb. JBL then nailed Batista with a surprise Clothesline from Hell. Jericho pounced into the ring and stole another pin. JBL didn’t seem thrilled with Jericho stealing his glory. Jericho grabbed his title belt and snuck to the back quickly, showing the effects of his beating at the hands of Michaels the night before.
WINNERS: Jericho & JBL in 9:00.
-Afterward, JBL and Cade double-teamed Batista. Batista rebounded off the ropes and shoulder tackled and speared both men. He gave Cade a spinebuster and then a Batista Bomb. Cole said that was a direct message to Jericho, who was watching from the stage. Cole said there will be nowhere for Jericho to run next week.
Full Credit: PWTorch.com’s Wade Keller