On Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 12:13 AM EST WWE RAW
November 24, 2008
Commentators: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Report by: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
Shane McMahon pulled up to the arena and went running through the back and up onto the stage. He said tonight, Chris Jericho and Batista both had rematch clauses in their contracts for another world title shot against John Cena. They would be facing each other for a shot at Cena at Armageddon.
As soon as he got it out of his mouth, Stephanie McMahon's music hit and she came out to the stage. She mentioned that Randy Orton had a stake in this as well and she was adding him to the match. Shane didn't seem to disagree. Stephanie made a snide comment about Shane loving surprises... They then tried out doing each other before putting the mics down and having quite the back and forth.
Stephanie said she ran Raw, not Shane. He ran the corporation, she ran the wrestling. She told him to beat feet and that it wasn't his chance just to have fun and make matches with championship implications. After more arguing, Shane asked her if she was just going to sleep with another WWE Superstar to get back into a position of power. After the crowd calmed, Shane said if Stephanie wanted to run Raw, she could... but he bet she'd run it into the ground.
Miz & John Morrison v. Shawn Michaels & Rey Mysterio
The match started off with Michaels taking it to Morrison a bit before Morrison hit a face buster. Morrison hit a back kick to floor Michaels. JBL popped up on screen, saying he wanted to go to the ring. The driver asked him why. JBL told him he paid him to drive, not to think. He came out to watch the match from the outside.
Miz hit a vertical suplex on Michaels for a two count as we went to commercial.
We came back to Miz in full control, hitting a back breaker on Michaels. Miz wrapped HBK up in an arm bar while JBL looked on from the hood of his car. HBK fought out of the hold and hit a back suplex and went to look for the hot tag, but Mysterio was still on the floor, having been chucked into the barricade earlier in the match.
Morrison dragged HBK back to the middle of the ring and hit some strikes before placing HBK on the top rope. He looked for a super plex but Michaels threw him off face first. HBK hit the hot tag to Mysterio who hit a big hurricanranna on the incoming Miz.
Mysterio kept up the pressure and hit a split legged moonsault for a two count. He fought off the oncoming Morrison before hitting the senton on Miz. He set up for the 619 and connected before going to the top rope. Michaels took Morrison off the apron but got tossed into the ring post.
Miz and Mysterio fought it out on the top rope until Mysterio hit a sunset flip powerbomb for the win.
Winners: Rey Mysterio & Shawn Michaels via pin fall
After the match Morrison jumped Mysterio and quickly tossed him to the outside. Morrison laid a VICIOUS beat down on Michaels in the middle of the ring as JBL came down the aisle. Morrison set HBK up for JBL to boot. However, instead of booting Michaels, JBL hit Morrison. Michaels and everyone was dumbfounded. JBL just walked off to the back.
Todd Grisham asked JBL what he was doing. JBL said he made HBK a business offer. He said he was just showing his side of the offer was in 'good faith'.
Mr. Kennedy popped up to plug his new movie and his little adventure outside in the ticket line with the fans. He wants to know which WWE superstar reminds them most of Barrack Obama.
Todd Grisham is with Batista. Batista congratulated John Cena on winning the world title last night. He said he'd win his match tonight.
IC #1 Contenders Tournament-- Quarter Final
Kofi Kingston v. Kane
Kane went right at Kofi and body slammed him before dropping an elbow across his back. After a quick near fall, Kofi tried to fight back a little bit and went for a running kick of sorts only to eat a big Red boot to the grill for a two count.
Kane hit an Irish whip but Kofi flipped out of the side walk slam and tried some mounted punches in the corner. Kane tossed him off but ate another kick and a big cross body block for a two count. Kingston missed a wheel kick and Kane looked for the choke slam, but Kingston avoided it and drop kicked Kane to the outside. Kofi hit a springboard splash before Kane quickly recovered.
Kane tossed Kofi into the ring post before stretching Kofi's back around the ring post. Kane refused to let go of the hold and got disqualified.
Winner via DQ: Kofi Kingston via DQ
Kane went flip-o after the match and decided to knock out Kofi with the ring steps. Stephanie McMahon stepped out and gave Kane two options. He could either take his aggression out on Kofi tonight, or wait until next week for John Cena. Kane smiled. She said that's what she thought.
#1 Contenders Match-- Triple Threat Match
Batista v. Randy Orton v. Chris Jericho
Batista started off with shoulder thrusts for everyone. He whipped Jericho to the buckles and hit a shoulder block for a two count before going back to Orton. Batista laid in some big rights before whipping Orton off the ropes and flat backing him with a back elbow. He dispatched of Orton before going back to Jericho and bounded into the ropes only for Orton to drag him out of the ring and to the outside. Batista fought him off only to eat a springboard drop kick from Jericho on the apron that sent him back to the floor.
Jericho took control of Orton and hit his whip-bulldog combo. Jericho attempted the lion-sault only for Orton to move out of the way. Orton's looking for an RKO as we head to break.
We came back to Jericho looking for a cover on Batista, but Orton broke up the cover and began stomping away on Batista. After a big stomp to the mid section, Orton picked up Batista and started pounding away on his chest on the mat before dropping a big knee on his chest.
The stomping is so much fun that Jericho jumps in and joins in the fun. Orton seems ok with the team work. Jericho whipped Batista into Orton's clothesline before eating an Orton clothesline of his own. Thanks to the miscommunication between the heels, Batista was able to get back in the mix, hitting a lariat on Orton and a tilt a whirl on Jericho. Orton broke the cover up but only ate a whip and a power slam for his efforts.
Jericho came off the ropes but Orton tagged him with a running powerslam before going back to Batista. Batista hit a spine buster and went for the Batista bomb on Jericho. Jericho flipped out and went for the walls of Jericho. Orton came running from behind with a forearm to break up the hold. Orton hit his inverted back breaker before looking for the RKO.
Orton went for the punt, but Batista intercepted it with a spear. He went for the cover only for Jericho to pop up and hit him with a drop kick that sent him reeling back. Jericho slithered onto Orton and stole the pin fall victory.
Winner: Chris Jericho via pin fall
IC #1 Contenders Tournament-- Quarter Final
Santino Marella v. Goldust
Santino is disgusted by Goldust. He quickly finds himself snap marred and placed in a rear chin lock. Marella fought back with rights and lefts only to eat a Jaw breaker. He connected with an inverted atomic drop and a twsity neck suplexy whatever... Final Cut. Match over.
Winner: Goldust via pin fall
Orton walks past Cody and Manu. He doesn't look happy.
IC #1 Contenders Tournament-- Quarter Final
CM Punk v. Snitsky
Punk grabbed an arm bar but was quickly tossed to the ropes and side walk slammed. Snitsky got a one count and then began laying in some elbows for a two count. Snitsky whipped Punk to the buckles and grabbed a bear hug and bore down. Punk fought out wit ha series of head butts only to get flat backed with a right hand. Snitsky dropped a leg drop for a two count before going back to the bear hug.
Punk hit a jaw breaker before hitting some solid strikes. Snitsky reversed a whip but missed the clothesline. Punk hit his springboard lariat for a two count before hitting his knee in the corner and not hitting the bulldog as Snitsky got a foot up and went right back to bear hug city.
Snitsky slammed Punk to the mat and went for the pump handle slam but Punk countered out and hit Go 2 Sleep for the pin fall victory.
Winner: CM Punk via pin fall
Todd Grisham is with Rey Mysterio. He's wrestling Miz next week. He put over the importance of the Intercontinental Championship before Mike Knox popped up and stared Mysterio down.
DX Plugged some merch and Jillian's singing...
Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall & Katie Lea v. Mickie James, Candice Michelle & Melina
Jillian and Candice exchanged some leg trips before Candice hit a drop kick and boot in the corner. Jillian yanked her down by the hair before tossing her across the ring. She bull rushed Candice to the corner where the heels went to work. She hit her hand spring elbow and tagged in Beth Phoenix.
Phoenix hit a big back breaker or three before stretching her out over her knee. Melina ended up getting a hot tag and she went right after Beth. She Matrix dodged a lariat from Katie Lea and hit a FLIP SUNSET DRIVER on Katie. One big split leg drop and WOW, Melina's back with a bang.
Winners: Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall & Katie Lea via pin fall
Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon met in the hall. She wants to know where he's headed. Jericho said he was heading to the ring to serve as his one man welcoming committee.
Jericho's out in the ring reminding us all about the time people thought things were going to change. That was when Batista beat him and of course, he got his belt back and nothing changed. He said in three week's time, the exact same thing could happen to Cena. He said he would still be the World Champion again. Cena popped up on the Titan tron with fans.
Cena said the fans were good people. He said they knew what they liked and disliked. He said they didn't like a stuck up snob telling them they weren't good enough. He had a problem and if he was a welcoming crew, he'd have to welcome all of them. He came waltzing down to the ring and asked Jericho if he could hear it.
He told Jericho to look around. They might all not like him, they might not like Jericho, but they love the business. They love wrestling. He said his goal in the WWE was to put it all on the line for the fans week in and week out whether they love him or hate him. Jericho disagreed. He began running down the fans again, berating Cena before Cena snapped and decked him with a brutal lariat.
Cena laid a big beat down on Jericho, slamming him into the ring steps, pouring soda on his head, throwing him over the table, slamming him around on the mat, punching him in the face and finally making him tap to the STFU. Cena stood over Jericho's body in the middle of the ring, belt above his head. RAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Just a huge improvement over the past couple of weeks. This week's Raw left a lot of stuff open for interpretation tonight, which is always a key to great TV.
The first thing I'm sure everyone's cooking about is John Cena winning the World Title back last night at Survivor Series and while it might be frustrating, you can't get past the fact it's probably the right move. In these economic times, I think the WWE's going to keep their titles on the waists of the guys who can draw and while Jericho is a ton of fun to be sure, he's not the draw Cena is.
In addition, the WWE finally has the Raw roster back almost injury free. Orton, Batista, HBK, Jericho and Cena are all ready to roll here. I think because of that, you're going to see a lot of consolidation. They'll be tiering the roster out for the next month to start the push to Wrestlemania. I fully expect Punk and Regal to start a program, and I think they'll make Punk, Dibiase, Rhodes and Kingston more or less the face of the mid card. While it might be frustrating for some to see promising young stars worked back down into the mid card, it makes sense and all things considered is the right move.
My biggest fear in that is the fact that of course, it could be stale and get stale quick, but the writers seem to have some tricks up their sleeves. JBL's got a business proposal out there for Shawn Michaels and even helped him in his match tonight. Stephanie and Shane seem to be at odds over whose running the show. The Cena-Jericho feud looks like it's going to get a lot more personal. We've got an Intercontinental title #1 contenders tournament and for the first time in forever, everyone's talking about the IC belt. What a novel concept, a champion talks about his title. Kudos Sir Regal. So there's a lot to be really excited about in what is almost always a throw away month in the WWE booking schedule.
The Triple Threat match tonight was the best triple threat I've seen in a long, long time. We had actual action with all three, great transitions, double team moves, double crossing, spots, everything. Triple threats almost always fall into that 'one guy fights, other lays out' rotational bore-fest, but this really stepped away from that and was a truly exceptional TV triple threat match.
We've got William Regal inexplicably praising CM Punk, the dude that wants to kill him and take his belt. We've got JBL helping out Shawn Michaels. We've got the tension with Rhodes and Manu. It's coating the show with a shade of Grey we haven't seen in a really, really long time.
And btw, how good did Melina look tonight? So much for the broken ankle.
The final segment between Cena and Chris Jericho tonight was super-well done. I know people probably don't like the sucking up from Cena, but it felt really different tonight. It really painted the difference between him and Jericho super well, and that kind of role establishment is something the WWE so regularly glosses over, but is so important to a good feud. He worked it in with the sucking up and worked the old political trick: If your opponent is unpopular, make the election a referendum on the him, not a choice between you and him. People hate change no matter what and will almost always side with the status quo. Cena made the feud about Jericho's hating the fans and put himself at the spear head of that retaliation. Yes, he beat the bag out of Jericho tonight, but I'm expecting some big time pay back in the next few weeks. It was a really great segment.
But seriously, this was a really fun show with a lot of unexpected twists and turns, most of all, that WWE is giving a crap about a late November-early December show. Absolute step up and after a frustrating evening last night, they bounced back really quickly with some strong TV.
Overall Grade: A-
Rey Mysterio & Shawn Michaels def. The Miz & John Morrison
Kofi Kingston def. Kane
Chris Jericho def. Randy Orton & Batista
Goldust def. Santino Marella
CM Punk def. Snitsky
Melina, Mickie James & Candice Michelle def. Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall & Katie Lea
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. John Cena
3. Rey Mysterio
4. Shawn Michaels
1. Chris Jericho
2. Randy Orton
3. Stephanie McMahon
Match of the Night: Chris Jericho v. Randy Orton v. Batista ***1/4
Power Rankings Points
5= 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: John Cena 20-13, 39 points. (Last Week: NR) -- Pretty good last to nights for the Champ. Wins the world title and puts a pretty great returning beat down on his first challenger. Strong first two nights back for the company ace.
Intercontinental Champion:William Regal, 7-7-1, 19 points (Last Week: Intercontinental Champion) -- I'm just so relieved that an IC Champ is finally talking about their belt for a change. That alone gets him some props. Belts are is important and the champion who holds it says it is.
1. Chris Jericho 22-20-1, 54 pts. (Last Week: World Heavyweight Champion)-- Sure, frustrating set back for Jericho, but a pin win over Batista and Randy Orton certainly puts him in a good spot. Losing the belt always hurts, but it's hard to say Jericho's worse off than he was last week.
2. Shawn Michaels 23-8-2, 41pts. (Last Week: 2) -- For what was a totally lazy and paint by the numbers program with JBL, they certainly spiced things up a bit tonight. Both really needed it.
3. Batista 14-9-3, 33 Points (Last Week: 2) -- It looks like he's heading towards a feud with Orton which of course is one of the big matches we've yet to see and makes too much sense not to do at some point soon. Really though, Orton's got a lot of steam, Batista seems to be running on empty. I'm guessing he heels it after this feud. Either way, hopefully this feud gets back some lost wind in Batista's sails.
4. CM Punk 13-8-2, 35 Points (Last Week: 3) -- It's looking like Punker is going to be sitting on top of the mid card pile, which is the right place for him. He pulled a shockingly strong match out of Snitsky tonight.
5. Kane 9-12, 13 Points (Last Week: 4) -- Kane's kind of the wild card here who looks like he might be the 'disciplinary' arm of the neo-Steph McMahon regime. Hopefully this ends up panning out for him.
6. Rey Mysterio 9-7, 18 Points (Last Week: 6) -- Quiet night for Rey. Looks like he's dipping into the babyface gate keeper role in the main event. He'll be used to get Kofi and Punk over in the tournament and then likely begin crawling up the ladder again.
7. Randy Orton 12-11-2, 24pts. (Last Week: 7)-- Has looked pretty darn impressive and with a big RKO win over Batista last night, he starts to shoot up the rankings. Expect a Batista program in the next few weeks.
8. JBL 19-27, 33 points (Last Week: 6)- - He's really floundering but tonight's dip into ambiguity I hope will pay some big dividends.
9. Cody Rhodes 14-12, 22 points (Last Week: 10) -- Seems to be pretty darn interesting these days. A quiet night from Rhodes, but the glance makes it look like Rhodes knows Orton can't do it all by himself.
10. Kofi Kingston 10-9, 24 points (Last Week: 9) -- He advances, which is all that matters. He played a great punching bag tonight.
Santino Marella 12-14-1, 19 points (Last Week:8)
Ted Dibiase, Jr. 9-5, 19 Points (Last Week: NR)
Mike Knox 1-0-0. 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Paul Burchill 5-5, 7 points (Last Week: NR)
JTG 8-8, 9 points (Last Week: NR)
Big Shaad 7-7, 8 points (Last Week: NR)
Paul London 3-6, 3 points(Last Week: RELEASED)
Lance Cade 3-7, 5 points (Last Week: NR)
Jamie Noble 2-5, 4 Points (Last Week: NR)
Primo Colon 1-0, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
D-Lo Brown 2-3, 4 points (Last Week: NR)
Snitsky 2-7, 3 points (Last Week: NR)
Manu 2-1, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 2-5-1, 4 points (Last Week: NR)
Deuce 0-2, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Chuck Palumbo 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Matt Striker 0-1, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 0-2, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-2, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Rory 0-2, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Robbie 0-3, 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