On Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 12:24 AM EST WWE RAW
December 1, 2008
Commentators: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Report by: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
Chris Jericho is mingling around the arena concourse with his security. He says he came out to show us the difference between his fans and him. He said he didn't like his fans because they weren't like him. He accomplishes the goals he sets for himself, he has morals and even dresses himself presentably. He never represented these people when he was champion, and won't when he regains his title at Armageddon. Jericho doesn't want to convert any of them, either, because we're all worthless. Yes, we are.
He said one person who was important to him was his son. He said John Cena beat him in a match when his son was 2 years old and caused him to get fired. He was too young to realize how good he was. He said in the three years, following, he started to watch Raw. To his horror, he became a John Cena fan. He would parade around his living room saying the champ is here. He would drop him off at school and he'd tell him he couldn't see him. He said it made him sick that his son's hero was the man who got him fired.
He took action. He banned his son from watching the WWE. He stuck to his principles and made sure he couldn't see people like Cena ever again. He didn't see Cena rob him of his world title and wasn't allowed to watch John Cena jump him and assault him disgracefully last week on Raw. He wants his son to see Armageddon. He wants to see his hero beaten down and exposed as the flash in the pan he is.
The opening credits rolled and now we're off!
Rey Mysterio made his way down towards the ring for his match tonight. Mike Knox showed up and laid in a vicious beating on Mysterio, leaving him writhing in pain on the entrance ramp. As we went to commercial, Rey was screaming about his arm.
Stephanie McMahon came out and let Todd Grisham know that it looked like Rey had torn ligaments in his arm. She didn't look thrilled. Leyla interrupted her in the hallway and said on behalf of Mr. Regal, that they feel if Rey can't compete, he shouldn't be allowed to participate in the tournament. Stephanie agreed.
Kofi Kingston & CM Punk v. Cody Rhodes and Manu
Rhodes and Punk start us off. They exchange hammer lock holds before Punk takes Cody down with a front face look and tags in Kofi who hits a springboard elbow coming into the ring. Cody reeled back before yanking Kofi down by the hair and tagged in Manu.
Manu hit a big shoulder block but was distracted by Punk. He went for a big clothesline, but Kofi ducked under and Manu bounced to the floor. Kofi flung himself over the top rope and crashed into the youthful Samoan as we went to commercial break.
Cody and Manu were double teaming Punk when we got back. Manu went to work, slamming Punk to the mat and hitting a big diving head butt for a two count. Manu laid in some boots to Punk before Cody got on the top rope and laid in an Axe handle. Cody laid in some stomps before wrapping Punk up and stretching him out from the back. Punk powered out of the hold and almost leap frogged Rhodes for the tag, but Rhodes caught a leg and clotheslined him to prevent it.
Manu tagged in and hit an avalanche and got a two count on the pin attempt. Manu kept on stomping Punk on the mat before picking him up and hitting a scoop slam. Cody tagged in and laid in some vicious punches before slapping on a dragon clutch and tagging Manu back in to hit some punches in the gut. Manu went for a senton but Punk moved out of the way.
Punk got the hot tag to Kofi who came flying in with his leaping lariats and clotheslines and chops. He hit his side russian leg sweep and connected with the boom boom leg drop for a two count. Manu dragged him off only to eat a CM Punk Bulldog. Kofi was watching the action on the outside while Cody attempted a roll up, but Kofi held the top rope. Kofi bounded off the ropes and hit trouble in paradise and that's all she wrote.
Winners: CM Punk & Kofi Kingston via pin fall
We came back to Orton smirking at Cody Rhodes and Manu in the hallway. Orton said they could go back and forth or they could talk. Orton said he noticed their collective potential last week at Survivor Series and that they work well together. He had some ideas and if they were interested, he'd be in the locker room.
Chris Jericho is with Kane and his red light. He's antagonizing Kane in the back trying to get him hyped up for the match. Kane told him not to play mind games with him. He'd take care of Cena tonight, but for Kane, not for Chris Jericho. Kane told him he liked the people and that Jericho should never approach him again.
Melina v. Jillian Hall
The two locked up before Jillian connected with a forearm in the face. Jillian shoulder blocked and kneed Melina to the outside before Jillian pounded her head off the ring apron. Melina mounted a mini-comeback but was caught with a side slam for a two count. Jillian hooked her up in a reverse bow and arrow trying to get Melina to tap, but Melina didn't appear to be having it.
Jillian hit some vicious cross faces before hitting a shoulder block. She went to hit the hand spring elbow but Melina got some knees up. She hit a thesz press for a two count before snap mare and a spinning leg drop. Melina hit a shot to the mid section and hit the last call for the win.
Winner: Melina via pin fall
Santino got on the mic after the match, declared that 'Melanie' couldn't beat Beth. Then said Melina was full of herself and anyone could do her entrance. Then he fell off the apron and screamed my loins and everyone lost it, totally killing the segment but it doesn't matter, because it was that funny.
Santino's icing his nuts. No, I'm not kidding and someone is massaging him in the back. And it's Goldust. Santino shrieks and runs away.
JBL comes down to the ring and said he made HBK an offer last week. He made him an even simpler one for this week, one for a street fight tonight. HBK's music played and he's wearing hunting camo.
JBL v. Shawn Michaels
JBL got on the mic and put over the state of the economy and how much it effected HBK. He lost his retirement, their education and everything. JBL said he'd offer him a job. He wants him to come work for him. JBL ran up and down HBK and how wrestling wouldn't help him out. He said Michaels wasn't a picture of health, either and he was one more big fall or ladder match and it's over for him. JBL said that was the offer, a second chance in life. He was going to help him and his family out. He asked him what it was going to be.
JBL goaded Michaels to kick him or accept his offer. He said either way, he got what he wanted. If he took the shot, the offer was off the table forever. After a long, tense stare down, HBK walked off silently. JBL sneered at him as he walked up the ramp before telling him “I look forward to doing business with you, Shawn”.
Batista v. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph introduces himself to the crowd and then to Batista but Bats doesn't seem to care. Bats mocks him and gets slapped. There's a scuffle before Dolph starts playing mind games with him before hitting a SICK enzeguiri off the ring apron. Ziggler pounded Batista around the ring side area before Batista overpowered him and drove him into the ring apron.
Ziggler wiggled out of a power slam and hit a neck breaker for a two count before dropping an army of elbows on Batista' neck before going for yet another cover. Ziggler came bounding at Batista only to hit a big boot. Batista amped up and looked for the spear only for Ziggler to dodge and pound away on him in the corner. Batista went for the bomb but Ziggler wiggled out of the way and hit another enzeguiri. He came running at Batista again, only to get caught in a big spine buster. After that, it's Batista bomb time and that's all she wrote.
Winner: Batista via pin fall
Randy Orton's music hit and he came out to the ramp. He congratulated Batista on his win. He knows someday it's going to be him vs. Batista. Bats said it was funny he should say that because he knows something he doesn't. At Armageddon, it is him v. Orton. Orton said he's been waiting for four years for this match and he can't wait for Armageddon.
Chris Jericho stopped Randy Orton in the hall. He says he wants to divide the show between the people who liked Cena and disliked him. Orton said he'd face whomever he had to and wasn't interested in fighting Jericho's battles for him. Jericho said maybe that was because he pinned Cena at Wrestlemania and now one remembered it... Orton looked a little broken up by the remark.
IC Championship #1 Contenders Tournament – Quarter Finals
Finlay v. John Morrison
Morrison took control until missing a springboard leg drop. Finlay drove Morrison to the corner before eating a wheel kick to the face. Morrison went for a cover but only got a two count. Morrison worked over Finlay in the corner before flat backing him with a right hand for a two count.
Morrison slapped on a cravat that Finlay broke but couldn't establish any momentum from. Morrison hit a drop kick to the face and walked over Finlay before going to the second rope. Finlay caught up to Morrison and flung him across the ring by the hair before bullying Morrison to the corner and hitting a shoulder thrust. Finlay kept up the pressure with a bunch of lariats and a sit out senton for a two count.
Morrison bolted for the outside and while the ref was distracted, flung Hornswaggle into the guard rail. Finlay came running out only to get flung into the steps himself. Morrison hit a big springboard kick to the back of Finlay's head and that's all she wrote.
Winner: John Morrison via pin fall
IC Championship #1 Contenders Tournament – Quarter Finals
The Miz v. Rey Mysterio
Rey came out a house of fire, hitting 619 quickly but missed the splash off the top rope and landed on the injured wing. Miz attempted a super plex but Mysterio fought it off. Miz recovered and hit a flying arm breaker off the top rope. He dragged Miz into the corner and booted him in the head and hit the senton and a hurricanranna.
Mysterio connected with a flying cross body but Miz rolled through for a quick two count. After a series of roll up near fall exchanges, Miz ate a kick in the face for a near fall. Mysterio ducked under a clothesline but ate a wheel barrel suplex. Miz loaded up for the knee lift-neck breaker combo. He connected with the knee, but got rolled up with the back slide for a three count.
Winner: Rey Mysterio via pin fall
So the Semi Finals of the tournament are set:
Kofi Kingston v. Rey Mysterio
CM Punk v. John Morrison
Kane v. John Cena
The two started things off slugging it out before Cena tried a shoulder block only to bounce back. Cena came right back at him and got hammered with a clothesline. Kane beat the champion over the back along the ring apron before tossing Cena back into the ring. Kane booted Cena around the ring before slapping on a rear chin lock.
Cena powered his way to his feet and broke the hold and attempted an FU only for Kane to easily fight out and douse Cena with a drop kick to the face for a near fall. Cena again found himself in the chin lock and again fought to his feet and again was put back on his back but a Kane side suplex. Kane went to the top rope and looked for his flying clothesline but no one was home.
Cena slapped on the STFU but broke the hold when he saw Chris Jericho running to the ring. Cena intercepted him and fought him off. He went back to Kane only to get completely caught in a choke slam attempt but he fought out of that as well and hit a big FU for the big finish.
Winner: John Cena via pin fall
After the match Cena and Jericho stared each other down. Cena chased Jericho down the aisle only for Cody Rhodes and Manu to pop up and help Jericho in his beat down. Cena was able to keep them at bay until Randy Orton swooped in and decked Cena with a right hand. He draped Cena off the ring ramp and DDT'd him into the concrete below. Jericho slapped on a lion tamer as Cody, Orton and Manu looked on. Cena looks like he's passed out.RAW THOUGHTS
Show Thoughts-- Just a really great show tonight. Everything hit on what it needed to.
Jericho's promo to start the show off was the best promo done on any brand or any promotion this year. I feel like I say that almost every week, but seriously, he's in another realm this year with his mic work. Every good feud MUST have character definition and have a strong establishment of roles and Jericho and Cena have done a BRILLIANT job of that thus far. There' no gray area. Cena is what he is, Jericho is what he is. The post match Cena beat down was that much more gratifying to boot.
Speaking of that beat down, I suppose it's the official union of Cody Rhodes, Manu and more importantly, Randy Orton. This has been coming for weeks, but man is it ever needed. I'm so excited about the potential of a heel stable on Raw. We haven't had one in eons. At least a competent one.
Dolph Ziggler's debut was pretty fun tonight. Batista seems to be in a generous mood these days after letting Manu pound him around a bit before pinning him. I guess he's still in happy-mode, because Ziggler got in A LOT of stuff and countered a ton of Bats' best stuff. I kind of like this whole debut the newcomer against a superstar thing. I feel like the journey gets off to a better start that way.
The IC title tournament also progresses along at it's almost overly deliberate pace I guess. The Morrison-Finlay match was surprisingly not very good as Morrison over sold for almost everything Fit pulled out of the bag. Finlay wasn't really all that intriguing and the end sort of felt like it came from nowhere. The Mysterio angle was well intentioned and made sense, but it didn't really bite for me for whatever reason. The match was decent enough and served it's purpose though. Rey-Kofi should be fun next week. Morrison-Punk should be even better.
And lastly, of course we have the JBL-HBK feud over whose name can be abbreviated in a cooler way. I actually really like the direction they're going with this as I think it makes Michaels a heel Joe-Schmo and half the people sitting in that arena tonight could identify with. SO LONG as JBL lays OFF the economy speeches, it should work. I think it's important to let his speech tonight sink in. Tease what he's going to do for a few weeks and go with it. This could be tremendously over if they work it the right way.
Overall, a VERY strong edition of Raw and Armageddon is looking SHOCKINGLY strong. I'll take good wrestling any day.
Overall Grade: A-
CM Punk & Kofi Kingston def. Cody Rhodes & Manu
Melina def. Jillian Hall
Batista def. Dolph Ziggler
John Morrison def. Finlay
Rey Mysterio def. The Miz
John Cena def. Kane
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: Batista v. Dolph Ziggler **
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 21-13, 41 points. (Last Week: World Heavyweight Champion) -- After struggling a bit in terms of getting his selling back, it seems back. The chug chug charge at Kane only to get wasted with a clothesline was there. Getting floppy flat backed by the big boot was there. Back to the old Cena. So far, so good.
Intercontinental Champion:William Regal, 7-7-1, 19 points (Last Week: Intercontinental Champion)-- Not in action.
1. Chris Jericho 22-20-1, 54 pts. (Last Week: 1)-- Jericho hands down has carried the Raw brand through the second half of the year with strong mic work, with each promo getting better and better each week. This week's was seriously the best. He's become one smarmy, caculating heel.
2. Shawn Michaels 23-8-2, 41pts. (Last Week: 2) -- Hate to beat a dead horse, but this was a lazy, do-nothing feud until last week. I think this feud will really resonate with people. I don't know how well the matches will turn out, but Michaels playing the sympathetic face should work here.
3. Batista 15-9-3, 35 Points (Last Week: 3) -- Well, looks like Orton's on tap for Armageddon and honestly, I'm really looking forward to this. Bats' work on television has been a little up and down, but he's really showed up in a big way for all his big pay per view matches. It should be a goodie.
4. CM Punk 14-8-2, 36 Points (Last Week: 4) -- Decent enough night for Punk. He really carried the meat of his tag match with the selling. I'm very excited for his match with John Morrison in the coming weeks.
5. Rey Mysterio 10-7, 20 Points (Last Week: 6) -- Decent match with the Miz tonight, but for whatever reason the angle didn't quite work for me. However though, the fact that the WWE's trying to give some meaning to their TV matches is pretty cool. Missed that.
6. Randy Orton 12-11-2, 24pts. (Last Week: 7)-- It's amazing how effective this kid is with only a little TV time. Starts a stable and then buries Cena's head in the floor of the MCI Center. He doesn't wrestle a match but looks better than anyone who did. Get ready for Orton-Cena. It's coming.
7. Kane 9-13, 13 Points (Last Week: 5) -- I'm really interested in what they're going to do with Kane. I'm hoping they stick with this extension of Steph's wrath. That way they can leave him more or less free from a program while maintaining a sense of oomph.
8. JBL 19-27, 33 points (Last Week: 6)- - JBL and Kane really are those perfect gate keeper types. One minute they can be totally cold and one strong promo or match makes them instantly credible again. Great promo from JBL tonight.
9. Kofi Kingston 11-9, 25 points (Last Week: 10) -- Kofi's gotta find some offense. His lariat looks like crap and I don't think he hit a single move on his feet tonight. He's a great flyer but even flyers shouldn't be flying through the air ALL the time.
10. Cody Rhodes 14-13, 22 points (Last Week: 9) -- Flips spots with Kofi again. He loses tonight and falls back to the #10 spot, but no doubt about it, his new alliance with Orton is a HUGE step forward.
Santino Marella 12-14-1, 19 points (Last Week: NR)
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 2-2, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 2-5-1, 4 points (Last Week: NR)
Deuce 0-2, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Dolph Ziggler 0-1, 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