WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 08/25/08 from Wilkes-Barre, PA.
The Big News: For the second week in a row, a strong Shawn Michaels/Chris Jericho segment overshadowed the rest of a largely bad edition of Raw.
CM Punk beat JBL. Michael Cole began to explain the rules of the scramble match by noting, “The rules are quite simple.” After 30 seconds of explanation, Jerry Lawler noted that he was still confused, but that the rules are available on WWE.com for people to read and digest. Lawler then asked Cole to clarify the rules for him.
JBL started with slugging blows on Punk. Punk retaliated with a variety of kicks, a tope, and a crossbody off the top. JBL got offense of his own with a big boot, fall away slam, bear hug and abdominal stretch. JBL then brought back the human torture rack, which will always be the rebel rack to me.
Punk hit a tornado DDT, springboard clothesline, high knee and bulldog. Punk went for the GTS, but JBL escaped and hit the clothesline from hell for a two count. An exasperated JBL brought a chair into the ring, but the referee took it away and Punk hit a weak-looking (but safe) GTS for the pin. It was smart of them to give the champion Punk a solid win after he was pinned last week.
Mike Adamle announced that John Cena has a herniated disc in his “necks” from the Batista match, and will be out indefinitely. He promised to announce a worthwhile replacement for the Raw scramble match. Kane cut a promo backstage saying that what Batista did to Cena is nothing compared to what he did to Rey Mysterio.
Backstage, Adamle met with Primo Colon, and apologized for last week. Primo said that he is nothing like Carlito, who he labeled a jerk. Primo said he is a better man than Carlito, which made Adamle smile. Shawn Michaels showed up, looking for Chris Jericho. It struck me here that they should have milked this angle a little longer. It feels too soon for Michaels to be back after the angle with his wife. I would have called an audible, but Jericho in the scramble, and held off Michaels-Jericho for October.
Kelly Kelly beat Beth Phoenix. Kelly used la magistral for a near fall. Kelly busted up Beth’s nose badly with a kick. That Kelly Kelly is a shooter. Kelly went for a handspring elbow, but Santino pulled Beth out of the way. Beth got mad at Santino for that and as she was yelling at Santino Kelly rolled her up for the pin. A livid Beth attacked Santino for comedy after the match.
Primo Colon beat Charlito (Charlie Haas in Carlito attire). Primo hit a huracanrana. Charlito used a knee lift and clothesline. Primo hit a clothesline and did a goofy dance that just isn’t going to fly for a WWE face in 2008. He followed that with a monkey flip. Charlito went for the back stabber, but Primo got out and hit a crossbody off the top for the pin.
Shawn Michaels came to the ring and said that his wife is tough and she will be okay. He said he came to SummerSlam to thank the people and his wife was there to support him. She got punched in the face and Jericho blamed her. Michaels said that when he looked in his wife’s eyes, he knew he wasn’t going anywhere.
Michaels and Jericho have done all the little things in this angle right, but I really think he should have said that he knew he had to come back to get revenge on Jericho as opposed to knowing that he would continue wrestling more broadly. Framing it as a pseudo-last stand (without explicitly saying that) is more dramatic and bankable.
Chris Jericho appeared on the screen, and said that Michaels was lucky Jericho was at WWE studios because if he was at Raw he would destroy Michaels like he did the last time. Jericho continued that if they wrestle again it will be worse. Jericho said that Michaels will try to sue him for the beating. Michaels said that if he does what he wants to Jericho he will be thrown in jail. Michaels agreed to waive all liability, so they settled on an unsanctioned match. Michaels said he will never forgive Jericho and at Unforgiven it will be eye for an eye. This was a very good segment.
Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase beat Jerry Lawler and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. It’s too bad there was such a break before this match took place, because Duggan and Lawler did a tremendous job building it. The heels worked over Lawler, who eventually pulled down the strap, made his comeback, and tagged Duggan. Duggan came in with clotheslines and hit the three point stance on DiBiase, but Rhodes broke up the pin. DiBiase then hit the cobra clutch leg sweep for the pin.
After the match, Cody Rhodes vowed that they would get back their titles from Cryme Tyme. He added that Cryme Tyme will never win the titles. Cryme Tyme showed up, and said that they borrowed the belts because they weren’t getting a title shot. They asked for a title shot at Unforgiven, and the tag champions agreed.
Santino Marella beat Kofi Kingston. Kofi hit a dropkick and European uppercut, but missed a springboard crossbody. Santino used an abdominal stretch, but Kofi escaped and hit the side Ghanan leg sweep and high double leg drop. Santino started to leave, but Beth came to the ring and told him to get in there and fight. Beth then tripped Kofi, who fell and was knocked out on Santino’s knee. Santino covered for the pin. Beth backed Santino into the corner, but she kissed him. Santino returned the favor. This was a fun segment.
They did a Smackdown Your Vote segment from the Democratic Convention. This is a big year for Smackdown Your Vote. If they don’t endorse one of the presidential candidates, it will only be a minority of elections that they have endorsed a presidential candidate since instituting their bipartisan voting campaign. Mike Adamle also announced Rey Mysterio for the scramble match. Sticking his return in a multi-person match is stupid and desperate.
Batista beat Kane via DQ. They traded punches. Kane went after Batista’s leg, and worked it over for approximately five hours. Batista applied a fully extended arm bar. Kane sat in it, grabbed the ropes, and sold this arm bar by shaking his hand. The man needs to fight Frank Mir.
Batista hit a powerslam and spine buster, but Kane attacked Batista’s leg with a chair for the DQ. Batista gained control and attacked Kane’s leg with a chair as well. This was a painfully boring match. It was the worst long match on Raw in a very long time. And it didn’t feel like a main event at all. I didn’t even realize it was the final segment until they went off the air.
This was not a good show. The main event was really bad, Cena’s absence was notable, and there wasn’t much that advanced stories in a positive direction. Jericho/Michaels continues to be the clear highlight of Raw, with Santino always livening up the midcard.