Todd Martin's WWE Raw TV report

WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
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Date: 07/21/08 from Uncasville, CT.
The Big News: Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix find each other oddly
Show Analysis:
At the beginning of the show, Batista was shown leaving the production
truck. There was no reference to Shane or Stephanie McMahon, which is
odd given last week was clearly booked as if to set up an intervention
this week. The episode description for Raw even said that the McMahons’
plan to reel in Raw would be revealed. I’m not sure why they changed
Batista made his way to the ring and blamed Kane for costing him the
title. He said that since Shane and Stephanie weren’t there, he was
putting himself in charge and making Batista vs. CM Punk for the title.
JBL appeared on the screen and pointed out Batista already had his
title shot and didn’t win. JBL noted that he beat John Cena and said he
deserves the next title shot at SummerSlam. Punk came out and said he
wants to prove he can beat Batista, so he accepted the title match for
Raw. JBL was livid but Batista had his mic cut.
Shawn Michaels’ music played, but the crowd sensed something was up
because there wasn’t much of a pop. Lance Cade then came out and
invited Michaels to join him. Cade defeated Paul London in a short
match with a back breaker, shoul
der block and sit down power bomb, and
again called out Michaels. The announcers played up that Cade was
trained by Michaels, but not that London was as well or that he was
looking for revenge.
Cade called for Chris Jericho to join him. Jericho said that Michaels
wasn’t coming, and that what happened to Michaels is on the fans.
Michaels wanted to please the fans, and now his career is over with a
detached retina that will prevent him from seeing properly for the rest
of his life.
Jericho admonished the fans, saying he came back to save them but that
they don’t deserve to be saved. Jericho said he is proud of what he did
to Michaels, and that he is saved for getting rid of Michaels. Jericho
was very good here. This program really has been booked perfectly for
Bryan Danielson to come in with a big push immediately.
Beth Phoenix beat Kelly Kelly. Beth is still a heel, and it would be
apparent later in the show where they were going with last week’s
Beth/Santino angle. Beth slammed Kelly into the turnbuckle and hit a
body slam. Kelly fought back with forearms, a whirly bird, and a
dropkick. Kelly went for the handspring elbow but Beth caught her and
set up for the glam slam. Kelly rolled out but Beth held on and hit the
glam slam for the pin. They gave Kelly a surprising amount of offense
Hacksaw Jim Duggan announced that he is thinking about retireme
nt. He
said that he has had a great run, made a lot of friends, and survived
cancer. However, he feels that Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes may be right
that time has passed him by. The crowd didn’t want Duggan to quit, but
Duggan said he just wanted to say thanks.
Jerry Lawler interrupted him, and said there is no age limit in WWE.
Lawler posited that Duggan should continue for as long as he enjoys
wrestling. Lawler noted Duggan’s presence gets people to chant U.S.A.
This made Duggan happy. He said he doesn’t want to give up wrestling,
and thanked Lawler.
This brought out the dastardly DiBiase and Rhodes. DiBiase made fun of
Lawler for dating girls younger than him, and said both Lawler and
Duggan need to retire. Rhodes said that when Duggan won the Royal
Rumble he was two and a half and when Lawler slapped Andy Kaufman he
wasn’t even born. Lawler offered to show him what the moment was like
and slapped him. This was a great angle. Duggan has done a tremendous
job the past two weeks.
John Cena and Cryme Tyme beat JBL, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. The
heels worked over JTG forever. JBL used a clothesline and shoulder
block and DiBiase used a body slam and double foot stomp off the second
rope. JTG finally tagged Cena who came in with the Cena slam on DiBiase
and spear on JBL. JBL left and Cena hit the double FU on the tag
champions for the pin.
I get that they wanted to put Cena over strong after last night, but I
really disliked this finish. They are in the process of pushing DiBiase
and Rhodes and this is the sort of loss that conditions fans not to
take them seriously. If JBL was going to leave, they could have just
booked Cryme Tyme and Cena to comically beat them up 3 on 2 and it
wouldn’t do nearly the damage of Cena beating them by himself.
Katie Lea and Paul Burchill beat Kofi Kingston and Mickie James. Kofi
did a bunch of his jumping moves, but Katie distracted him and Paul hit
a chop block. Paul worked over Kofi’s leg. Kofi went for a kick on
Burchill but hit the ring post on the outside, and Paul hit a neck
breaker for the pin.
Jamie Noble and Layla were chatting backstage. Batista wanted to find
Kane. Noble kind of blew him off, so Batista choked Noble and told him
to let Kane know that he is looking for him. Elsewhere, Punk said he
doesn’t want to hold onto his title through technicalities. If he goes
down, he wants to go down swinging. JBL interrupted and said that at
SummerSlam he plans on wrestling the champion. Punk pointed out his
first successful title defense came against JBL.
Santino came to the ring and said that his challenge last week was to
men, not women. He challenged any man to come fight him. D-Lo Brown
made his return. He didn’t get much of a reaction, a
lthough he did get
some chants during the match. D-Lo hit a slam, leg drop, clothesline
and the frog splash for the pin. After the match, Beth attacked
Santino. They struggled for a while, and then they kissed. They then
both backed off, confused by this turn of events.
Batista beat CM Punk via disqualification. Kane attacked Batista before
the match and gave him a choke slam. Punk made the save and knocked
Kane out of the ring. The match started and Punk did well for himself.
He hit kicks, forearms, elbows, knees, a neck breaker and a bulldog.
Batista responded with a spine buster and spear.
JBL then ran in for the DQ and gave Batista the clothesline from Hell.
Cena came out to fight JBL but accidentally nailed Batista. Batista
went for the Batista bomb on Cena and Cena went for the FU on Batista.
Neither man succeeded and they had a pull apart brawl at the conclusion
of the show.
Final Thoughts:
This was a decidedly average, cookie-cutter version of Raw. It felt
booked mostly just to maintain the status quo. It wasn’t a bad show by
any means, but it was uneventful. It would appear they are setting up a
multi-person title match for SummerSlam. Perhaps there will be a 6 man
Hell in a Cell. Finally, if they want to get Punk over, they are going
to eventually need to start putting him over. This role of continually
getting lucky is not doing him any favors.

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