On Monday, July 7, 2008 at 11:32 PM EST WWE RAW
July 7, 2008
New Orleans, LA
Commentators: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
A video aired putting over CM Punk’s World Heavyweight Championship victory last week.
Stephanie McMahon is on camera. She said last week’s show was in chaos. She said on behalf of her father, brother and entire family, she implored the superstars, TV crew and everyone /* to please work as one.
The arena’s blacked out and then EXCUSE ME! Rings out and it’s Vickie Guererro time! Oh joy of joys! She’s got so much heat she’s almost laughing. That’s just awesome. She put over her being the General Manager of Smackdown. She said tonight she was here in protest of CM Punk becoming World Heavyweight Champion. She said she wouldn’t leave the ring until Punk surrendered the title to her. In addition, she wanted No! DEMANDING! An apology from him.
The World Heavyweight Champion’s music hit and he came out to the ring. He ran around in circles around Vickie in the wheel chair.. And threw it in her face a little while. She bemoaned his taking advantage of a helpless Edge and stole the World Championship. She wanted to know that his feelings were on knowing he was ruining Edge’s world.
Punker said she’d be hard pressed to get any sympathy from him or the Raw fans. He said what goes around, comes around. Vickie implored him to remember that he’s ruined her life. Punk said there were plenty of fish in the sea for her. Like maybe the Great Khali. Vickie struggled out of her chair and slapped Punk before struggling back down.
Punk went to dispatch of her before JBL’s music hit and he emerged from his limo with a mic. JBL said Punk just bought himself a ticket to the end of his championship reign. He said if it wasn’t for his illegal interference, it’d be him as World Champion, where he rightfully should be.
He said today, right now, he wanted to challenge Punk for his title. Punk said he had his shot and he lost. JBL said he didn’t lose anything. He said Punk’s illegal interference saved his title because one man has a personal vendetta against him.
John Cena’s music hit and he came out to the ramp and sauntered down to the ring. Vickie Guererro, JBL, CM Punk and John Cena in one ring. Raw cannot contain levels of awesomeness such as this. Cena ran down JBL for blaming everyone /* for their problems. He said he should shut his mouth and listen to the new champion. Technically, no one was in charge so why not decide this like two men?
He said Punk needs a challenger in two weeks. He challenged JBL to a #1 contender’s match later tonight. JBL went to respond before Batista’s music hit and HE came down to the ring.
Batista congratulated the champion before greeting his good friend Vickie Guererro. He told her to roll back to Smackdown wheeling a pretend wheel chair around. Batista said Punk probably wouldn’t be champion so the way he so it…. JBL interrupted before being interrupted by John Cena who proposed a triple threat match for the #1 contender’s spot.
After some arguing, JBL agreed but only in time for Kane to show up. Kane’s not happy and he wants to play as well. Looks like it’s a fatal four way.
Rey Mysterio v. Santino Marella
Santino flexed a bit and shoved Rey back only for Rey to hit him back and hit a hip toss to chuck Santino into the corner. Rey tried some sort of head scissors thing only to get yanked out face first for a quick two count.
Santino laid in some elbows and a head butt before slapping on a camel clutch. The crowd rallied Rey who tossed Santino into the ropes. He looked for a 619 only for Santino to clothesline him to the mat. Mysterio ducked under another clothesline attempt and hit a boot to the grill before taking Santino down and hitting a double stomp on Santino’s mid section for a two count.
Mysterio hit a senton then a double drop kick into the ropes. He connected with a 619 followed by a big super man splash from the top rope for the victory.
Winner: Rey Mysterio via pin fall
Todd Grisham was in the back with CM Punk. He asked Punk who he wanted to face at the Bash. Punk began to answer before Snitsky showed up. He said he got drafted last year and didn’t get a title shot. He said Punk gets one in the first night. Punk said if Snitsky was so pissed, he could put it to use in the ring against him tonight.
CM Punk is with Mickie James. He was talking to her before Kelly Kelly popped up asking Mickie to get ready for their tag match. Mickie introduced Kelly as the newest Raw Diva. Cena asked her if Teddy Long let her out of her ECW contract. Kelly wondered if Divas even had those. Mickie and Kelly giggled and walked off.
Jillian Hall is singing for us all. This week is sucks worse than usual.
Mickie and Jillian kicked things off. They exchanged headlocks and head scissors before Mickie hit a nice drop kick to Jillian’s legs to take her down. Mickie dispatched of Leyla before hitting a back kick on Jillian and tagging in Kelly.
Kelly hit a sunset flip into the ring for a one count before hitting a huricanranna roll up for a two count. Jillian hit some strikes before nearly getting chucked to the floor. Kelly attempted to fight her way back into the ring before Leyla bombarded her out of nowhere and shoved her to the floor.
Jillian had her way with Kelly, tossing her around by the hair in the ring for a two count. Jillian slapped on a standing bow and arrow but Kelly was able to toss her off. The respite was short lived however as Jillian mounted Kelly and began laying in some pretty nasty shots. Jillian slapped her in the corner before whipping her to the buckles and attempting the hand spring elbow, only to get suck in a victory roll for a win out of nowhere.
Winners: Mickie James & Kelly Kelly via pin fall
As the two girls celebrated, JBL’s music hit and and we’ve apparently got the four way next!
JBL’s wandering around his limo baffled. Obviously it doesn’t look like it’s match time yet and he’s trying to figure out whose in the limo. The doors are locked but eventually John Cena emerged. He said last week he had him thrown out of the arena for JBL’s safety or ‘protection’.
He said Louisiana had strict laws regarding limos and he was only here to him. He had two guys who could help him find parts for cheap. Of course it’s Cryme Tyme.
Cena asked if LA required rearview mirrors. JTG smashed the mirror off and he said he didn’t see one. Shaad took care of the windshield and everyone took care of the tint. This limo….Good lord this car is a mess.
Cena said JBL needed to get the car up to code and maybe a custom paint job would do it. “JBL is poopy” is on the front hood. JBL looks like he’s going to cry. Cena said the car was now up to code.
Another video aired of CM Punk defeating Edge last week.
Snitsky v. CM Punk
Punk tried to take it right to Punk, but got caught leaping off the second rope and was rammed into the corner. Snitsky stomped away on the champion in the corner before hitting a stiff upper cut. The big man hit a scoop slam and a few elbows for a two count, but no dice there.
Snitsky slapped on a bear hug while Punk tried to battle his way out. Snitsky hit a back elbow to cut the comeback off and went for a leg drop, but no one was home. Punk kicked away on the legs and the face before hitting a nice step up enzeguiri followed by a leaping lariat.
Punk hit the knee-bulldog combo out of the corner before connecting with the GTS for the win.
Winner: CM Punk via pin fall
Shawn Michaels is meandering in the back and he’s going to address Chris Jericho next!
A video recap aired, putting over Chris Jericho’s issues with Shawn Michaels.
HBK’s music hit and he came out to the ring. Michaels said last week Chris Jericho challenged him to a match at the Great American Bash and he accepted his challenge. Chris Jericho’s music hit and he came out to the ramp with Lance Cade to a boat load of heat.
Jericho said he knew Michaels was accepting his challenge. He said even though the eye was a lot worse than he’s letting on, he knew his ego would supersede all of his concerns about his personal health. He wondered how dumb Michaels was.
He said Michaels has taken a lot of beatings and just because he hadn’t tried to attack him was evidence enough of it that he was scared. He said win or lose, it didn’t matter, he was still the injured legend who would pull out all the stops to put on a great performance for the fans. Does he want to be a martyr for them, the fans? He said they wouldn’t visit him in the hospital, pay his mortgage, pay for his kid’s education?
He said they might be asleep, but he and Cade aren’t asleep. He said if HBK wants to be a martyr, go ahead. He told him he’d be swept under the carpet and forgotten like every other so called martyr.
HBK said that was it. The whole time, he thought Jericho despised him because he thought he was a phony. He said no one was more real than him. He’s opened his book wider than anyone ever. Every blemish, every flaw. He said Jericho knew he could leave the business today and in spite of all of it, they just like him.
Jericho interrupted him and said they gave him a free pass and it wasn’t right. HBK said there wasn’t anything Jericho could do. Like he said, it wasn’t fair. He understood Jericho. He said he was the epitome of success, held every title he’s ever gone after, sold out arenas and made a lot of money. He said he’s accomplished it all but in spite of all of it, he’s not content. In spite of it, he’s got no peace. He said despite it all or whatever he ever achieves, he would never be him.
Kofi Kingston v. Charlie Haas
The two exchanged holds in the early going before Kingston fought out of a headlock. Haas hit a shoulder block but soon found himself hip tossed by the champion. Haas recovered quickly to nail Kofi with a right before choking him out on the ropes and laying some boots in for good measure.
Kofi fought back with some chops but found himself pounded back to the mat by Haas. Haas hit a stiff kick or two to the back before going for a cover and only getting a one count. Haas went back to the side headlock as the crowd tried to rally Kingston.
Kofi fought back with some flailing shots and ducked under a lariat attempt and hit a cross body. Kofi hit some rights and hit the double leg drop to the chest of Haas. He connected with a big spinning heel kick for the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston via pin fall
Kingston celebrated a bit before Paul Burchill popped up out of nowhere and hit a nasty curb stomp on the champion, leaving him in a heap.
Batista is getting ready and some fan pops up in front of him and gives us some machine gun action before running off and being chased by security. Random.
#1 Contender’s Match-- Fatal Four Way
John Cena v. Batista v. JBL v. Kane
The bell rang and everyone’s all over the place as we head to the break.
We came back to a debacle unfolding in the ring. Kane had Cena in a headlock while Batista was laying it in on JBL in the corner. Kane hammered Cena with a big back elbow while JBL tried to mount a little comeback.
Batista connected with a spine buster on JBL but Kane broke it up and choke slammed Batista to the mat. Cena broke up that cover attempt and beat Kane back only to almost eat a choke slam but countered into an FU attempt. JBL hit a running big boot to save Kane, and attempted the same on the Big Red machine, but both have the same idea and level each other.
Everyone’s a mess in the ring right now. JBL and Cena got to their feet first and Cena went into victory sequence on everyone and it concluded with an FU on Batista, but JBL broke up the cover.
Cena was in total control once we got back and went for a five knuckle shuffle on JBL but Kane cut him off. Batista laid them in on Kane and hit a big whip to the corner followed by a clothesline and decked JBL while he was at it. Batista hit a drop toe hold of all moves on Kane before connecting with the spine buster on Cena. He amped up only to get nailed with the clothesline from Hell.
Cena went for an STFU on JBL before Kane interrupted. JBL tried to crash the party. Both fought him off and leveled him with a shoulder block before Cena chased JBL out of the ring only to be whipped to the steps.
Batista loaded up the Batista bomb, but Kane fought him off and chucked him into the corner ring post. JBL’s got the ring steps and decked Cena with them, leaving him in a heap. Kane popped up on the outside though and dumped JBL over the guard rail.
Kane went back into the ring and went for the flying clothesline but Batista dodged the attack and connected with a big spear for the pin fall victory.
Winner: Batista via pin fall
Kane was irate after the match. He booted one of the ringside guys before chucking another one over the barricade. He grabbed Michael Cole asking if he was alive or dead. Cole crawled across the ring as Cole screamed and pleaded. He went for a choke slam, but Jerry Lawler came in and made the save with the chop block. Lawler went to usher Cole to the back, but Kane grabbed him and laid in a nice beat down. He walked away as the crowd boo’d in disapproval.RAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Definitely another really solid Raw with too much going on to keep track of.
So Punk gets the VIP treatment and we’ve learned that Batista is going to be his first major challenge and I can’t say I disagree with that pick. Despite Batista being due for his fifteenth title match in two years on pay per view, this match up seems inexplicably fresh and just good booking. Batista kicking the crap out of Punk for 20 minutes should be pretty good stuff. Punk will be the HUGE underdog in a kayfabe sense and from a smark’s point of view, so I think it lends itself already to be a good match. This is going to sort of be a new role for Punk, but it should suit him well. Toughing out a win over Batista, help or no help, could do wonders for him. At the same time, losing the strap wouldn’t hurt him at all, especially to a guy like Batista if they make Punk out to be uber-gutsy. So I like this booking.
John Cena and JBL seem to be headed to gimmick match land (likely or hopefully a bull rope match) and I can’t say I’m disappointed to see that. Cena’s finally acting a little bad, has friends, etc. And look at the reactions. I’ve discussed it before as I’ve felt the key component missing from the Cena character was a sense of moral authority. That same thing that made it ok for Hogan to manhandle Sherri and Austin to kick the crap out of his boss unprovoked. Cena smashing up a limo with his thug-ish buddies is a good thing. They’re doing a good job of giving him a break from the title scene and getting his character back over as a baby face and it seems to be working.
Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels have put on easily the program of the year thus far and to be honest, whether they continue it or not after The Great American Bash is kind of ok with me. Even with a loss, I think Jericho’s received the rub he really needed from this feud that can propel him into a program with CM Punk. The best thing about the feud is that they’ve really established who they are as characters and why we’re at where we’re at. I miss strong ground work in feuds these days in the WWE, as I feel the company tends to be a little lax in terms of laying the foundation. From beginning to end, this has just been a brilliant program.
What’s perhaps most telling about tonight’s show is the incredible depth the brand has right now. We’ve got three VERY well built programs for the coming pay per view and a bunch of side things going on that are just as entertaining as the big feuds. We’ve got the Kane heel turn going on, which is due and fresh. We’ve got Kofi Kingston in general, but now his program with Paul Burchill. We’ve got great, young tag champions who could be the best thing to hit those belts in forever. And that’s WITH Rey Mysterio more or less floating around doing nothing and Randy Orton being out with injury. The Divas division is as good and deep as it’s ever been. And remember that whole Vince McMahon thing?
I just can’t remember the last time this show had this much good stuff happening all at once. It’s fresh, exciting and new. Sure, this wasn’t SHOW OF THE YEARZ~! Or anything, but a really solid establishment show with a super fun main event.
Overall Grade: B
Rey Mysterio def. Santino Marella
Mickie James & Kelly Kelly def. Leyla & Jillian Hall
CM Punk def. Snitsky
Kofi Kingston def. Charlie Haas
Batista def. John Cena, Kane & JBL to become the #1 Contender for the World Title
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. CM Punk
2. John Cena
4. Shawn Micahels
1. Vickie Guererro
3. Chris Jericho
Match of the Night: Batista v. JBL v. John Cena v. Kane **3/4
Power Rankings5 Points= Title Win
4 Points= World Title defense/win
3 Points= Singles PPV Win
2 Points= Tag PPV Win
2 Points= TV Singles Win
1 Point= TV Tag Win
0 Points= Loss
World Heavyweight Champion: CM Punk 3-0, 11 Points (Last Week: NR) -- Punk got some pretty hefty treatment tonight, being all over our screens. A nice win against Snitsky isn’t bad, but getting to headline a pay per view with Batista is pretty interesting. Every match he’s going to have he’s going to be the underdog. A win does HUGE things for him.
Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston 3-0, 9 points (Last Week: NR) -- A decent enough showing in a surprisingly good match with a surprisingly game Charlie Haas tonight. The role is fitting him well. Looks like Burchill will be his first legitimate challenger and needless to say, I’m looking forward to it.
1. John Cena 14-9, 25 points. (Last Week: 1) -- I’m going to keep Cena here almost solely based on the fact that this was his best night as a character in eons. They gave him a little moral authority and wouldn’t ya know, the crowd responded positively towards him. Seems to be happening more and more these days and it’s a good thing.
2. Shawn Michaels 15-3-1, 20pts. (Last Week: 2) -- Sensational promo work with Jericho tonight. Easily the best built feud of the year thus far and I’m more than looking forward to their match at the Bash. Either this is a huge springboard for Jericho getting a title shot or it’s one more stop gap on the way to a major blow off match at Summerslam. Either way, I’m entirely satisfied with what we’ve had so far.
3. Chris Jericho 10-13-1, 21pts. (Last Week: IC Champion)-- Jericho really deserves the win in this feud, but more importantly he’s already received the credibility I feel he deserves to be a title contender once this is over. He’s getting the Randy Orton treatment this year and honestly, who can complain. He’s been money since around January.
4. JBL 9-14, 16 points (Last Week: 5)-- JBL’s definitely stepped into that working heel role well. While I think Jericho and Orton are the two the company is looking towards on this brand over the long haul, they’re going to have to rely on guys like JBL to step into that top heel slot when needed and he’s done a great job since the draft. He’s another guy I could see as a strong contender to Punk’s title.
5. Batista 1-1-0, 2 Points (Last Week: 8)-- Looks like he’s got another title shot, but despite being in a title match for the fourteenth time in two years, it seems oddly fresh. He’s going to make Punk look like a huge underdog and I’m sure the match should be fun with Batista chucking Punk around the ring like a rag doll. Perfect match up, really.
6. Paul Burchill 4-1, 5 points (Last Week: 5)-- He slips a bit this week, but it’s not a demotion as much as it’s just that he’s clearly not in the top six-seven guys on the show. The IC title match with Kingston will be good sauce for him, but I do question where they go with him after that. Nice to see two young guns battling over that belt again though.
7. Rey Mysterio 1-0, 3 Points (Last Week: 8) --Nothing spectacular, but seems to be on the back burner for now. He’ll be right back in the mix soon enough.
8. Ted Dibiase, Jr. 1-0, 4 Points (Last Week: 9)-- NOT IN ACTION
9. Cody Rhodes 7-5, 7 points (Last Week: 10)-- NOT IN ACTION
10. Kane 0-2, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)--I can’t remember the last time Kane was actually interesting. Now that he’s a heel again, you can bet he will. Part of me always is apprehensive about these things as he’s always good for a few crappy programs a year, but this time they may actually ‘get it’.
Santino Marella 5-7, 5 points (Last Week: 7)
Jamie Noble 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Deuce 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Chuck Palumbo 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Matt Striker 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR
Randy Orton 10-9-2, 20pts. (Last Week: INJURED)
William Regal, 3-4, 9 points (Last Week: NR)
Paul London 3-4, 3 points(Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Lance Cade 1-5, 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Rory 0-2, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Robbie 0-2, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Mick Foley 1-0, 1 point (Last Week: NR)
Sgt. Slaughter 0-0. 0 pts. (Last Week: NR)
Val Venis 0-1 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Snitsky 2-6, 3 points (Last Week: NR)
JTG 2-2, 4 points (Last Week: NR)
Big Shaad 2-2, 2 point (Last Week: NR)
Ken Kennedy 10-7, 22pts. (DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Carlito 9-9, 13 pts. (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Brian Kendrick, 3-8, 3 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Trevor Murdoch 0-8, 0 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)
Super Crazy 0-3, 0 points (Last Week: DRAFTED TO ECW)
Harry Smith 0-1, 0 points (DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN)