On Monday, December 29, 2008 at 11:42 PM EST WWE RAW
December 29, 2008
Commentators: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Report by: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
The opening credits rolled and Michael Cole and King welcome us to the show.
Rey Mysterio is in the ring looking a little upset. He said he was one match away from competing for the World title, but someone took that away from him. He said he respected Shawn Michaels and he understood he had fallen on hard times. But the fact was, that they have a problem now. He said he would like for Shawn Michaels to come down to the ring, because he had something he wanted to say to him.
HBK came out to the ring. Rey said he knew HBK was a good person and understood he did what he had to do. He didn't want Michaels to give up his spot or anything. He just wanted to face him one on one tonight. He said if he accepted, the winner would move on. He just wanted HIS opportunity back. Rey was just asking him to do the right thing. HBK accepted.
JBL interrupted however, and said there would be no match. He told Shawn he would appreciate it if he left the ring. Now. Rey tried to persuade HBK to stay and Michaels didn't listen. He left the ring and as Rey pleaded for him to stay, he got tackled from behind by Mike Knox. Knox began beating him up before John Cena popped up and made the save.
Orton was in the back with the Legacy. He said he wouldn't accept losers. He said if they won their matches, they were 'in'. If not, they were 'out'.
Cody Rhodes v. CM Punk
Cody went for a roll up, only for Punk to roll through. Punk grabbed a side headlock and snapped Rhodes to the mat before landing some kicks and going for a quick cover attempt. Punk hit a flying heel kick for a two count before stalking the youngster to the corner.
Rhodes shot up with a big boot to the gut and wiggled out of a DDT. Rhodes hit a body slam before backing off and dropping in a big knee for a two count. Rhodes slapped on a full nelson before Punker broke the hold with some elbows and a pair of big kicks. Punk hit a high cross body block but Rhodes rolled through for a two count.
The two ended up tussling on the ring apron and Punk won the exchange, totally decking him in the head with a side kick. He came through looking for a plancha and crashed head first into the announce table. The two grappled on the outside before Regal distracted Punk just long enough for him to lose track of the count. Rhodes snuck back into the ring for the win.
Winner: Cody Rhodes via count out
After the match CM Punk was livid and went to give Rhodes a Go 2 Sleep for the heck of it. Regal came flying in from behind with a high knee and cold cocked his challenger in the coming week.
Stephanie said she was 'serious' to John Cena in the back. She's got him doing commentary for the main event tonight and he wants something more. He does an impression of Harry Caray and its pretty on target. She might makey more matcheys.
#1 Contender's Match – Divas Battle Royal
Melina v. Kelly Kelly v. Mickie James v. Jillian Hall v. Katie Lea v. Candice Michelle
Order of elimination
1.Candice Michelle by Jillian and Katie Lea
2.Kelly by Jillian Hall
3.Katie Lea by Mickie James
4.Jillian Hall by Mickie James
5.Mickie James by Melina
After the match, Beth went to send a message, but Melina was pretty ready. Melina came flying at her and the two brawled to the announce table. Her crazed fan whose shown up the last couple of weeks came over the guard rail and attacked Melina. Everyone's kind of shocked. Security carried her out through the crowd.
Todd Grisham is with Chris Jericho. He said it seemed that being named superstar of the year, it wasn't the only accolade he won. He said the WWE Magazine called him the 'jerk of the year'. He wanted to know what that criteria was. Telling the truth? People making new year's resolutions and breaking them two days later? He used the word 'solupscistic'. Glorious. He said he'd win the title again in the coming year. He said if they wanted to see the jerk of the year, he recommends the fans use a mirror.
Sim Snuka v. “Superhaas” Charlie Snuka
Snuka's not crazy about the joke and immediately goes after Haas. He chopped away at him before hitting a bit face buster and a knee drop. Snuka hit this weird reverse pedigree looking thing for a two count.
Snuka choked him out on the ropes before Haas caught him on the ropes and came back with some Jimmy Snuka like offense. Snuka came roaring back with a high knee only to settle into a rear chin lock. Snuka hits a back elbow and then some punches to the head before landing another knee drop and going for some sort of bow and arrow hold.
Haas came back with some forearm blocks and a strikes and managed a two count. Haas hit a back breaker and then went up to the top rope for the big splash only to EAT some knees. Snuka hit a stun gun kick to the back of the head and that's all she wrote.
Winner: Sim Snuka via pin fall
10 Man Tag Match
John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston & Cryme Tyme vs. Mike Knox, Kane, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz & John Morrison
JTG and Ziggler start us off. JTG hits a knee to the gut and then a second to the back of Ziggler's neck for a two count. He rushes Ziggler into the corner and tags Shaad. They hit a double team move before Shaad begins whipping him around the ring. Shaad misses a lariat on Ziggler, who tags Morrison, but connects with the shot on Morrison and tags in Kofi Kingston.
Kofi tagged in and hit a good looking monkey flip and a flying clothesline before everyone's in the ring and things look like they might be a problem. The two teams are facing off as we head to commercial.
We came back to Miz locking in a chin lock on Kofi. Kofi broke the hold and hot tagged Rey who came in and hit a nifty kick on Miz before hitting a hurricanranna. He hit a revenge shot on Mike Knox before hitting a kick to the back of Miz's head for a two count.
He hit a big knee lift on Miz and mounted him before Kane knocked him off the shoulders. Kane tags in and hits a big side slam on Mysterio before tagging in Mike Knox. Knox rolled his knee over Mysterio's head and knocked him to the corner so he could whip him. Knox hit that whip and then a follow up knee lift. Dolph Ziggler tagged back into the match and slapped on his rear chin lock.
Mysterio began fighting to his feet and flipped out of a suplex attempt only for Ziggler to cut him off with a clothesline. John Morrison tagged in and began hammering away on Rey on the mat. He hit some strikes that ended up sending Rey to the corner. He perched Mysterio up on the top buckle and after a struggle, Mysterio fended him off before hitting a hootakanranna.
Knox got a tag only for Rey to evade the cltohesline and tag Cena. Cena began to clean house before all hell broke loose. Kane popped up from behind and went for a choke slam, but Kofi saved the day. Cena hit his inverted slam on both Ziggler and Knox and it's taunt time for him and Kofi. The two hit the leg drop and five knuckle shuffle. Dolph gets cleaned out by Kofi and Cena FU's Cena.
Rey wants the tag and Cena gives it to him. Rey flies off with his big splash for the three count.
Winners: John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston & Cryme Ryme via pin fall
Todd Grisham and HBK are talking in the back. HBK said he was “Mr. Wrestlemania”. He said he was concerned with one thing there, and that was stealing the show.
Kelly wanted to know why he didn't help her. She wants to know why 'he' wouldn't call her. She thought their night together was 'special'. Randy Orton told her to face it that he used her. Quite the surprise.
Manu v. Matt Hardy
The two exchanged some arm bars before Manu flat backed Hardy with a shoulder block. He grabbed a side headlock. Hardy attempted a headlock, but got flat backed with a clothesline and a body slam for a two count.
Manu grabbed a rear chin lock. Hardy fought out of the hold and back dropped Manu to the floor. Hardy drop kicked him to the guard rail before slithering to the outside. He gathered Manu and tossed him back into the ring before dropping a pair of elbow drops for a two count.
Manu hit a thrust uppercut before dropping Hardy on the top rope throat first for a two count. He landed some stomps on the back of the ECW champion before slamming him again and hit a running head butt. Manu grabbed a sleeper hold in the middle of the ring. Hardy flailed about but Manu was able to wear him down.
Manu went for, of all things, a springboard moonsault, but Hardy rolled out of the way. Hardy hit a clothesline and some forearms for a two count. Hardy hit a side effect for another two count. He went for it again and Manu rolled him up and almost got the cover but Hardy kicked out. He hit a follow up in the corner followed by a swinging neck breaker for another two count.
Manu hit a drop kick for a two count, but still can't put the champion away. Manu went for a suplex but Hardy wiggled out and hit a twist of fate for the win.
Winner: Matt Hardy via pin fall
Race to the Rumble Finals
Randy Orton v. Chris Jericho v. Shawn Michaels v. JBL
Michaels tussled around with Jericho to open things up only for us to quickly head to commercial.
We came back to Orton and Jericho. The two locked up and Orton slapped on a side headlock. Orton hit a shoulder block only for Jericho to hit a standing drop kick for a one count. Jericho stalked Orton to the corner and began kicking and stomping him before bullying him to the corner. Orton reversed a whip but ate a Jericho boot. Jericho charged out of the corner only to get snatched up in a running powerslam for a two count.
Orton dropped a pair of knees on the back of Jericho's head. Orton went to try and pick Jericho up only for Jericho to roll through and look for a walls of Jericho. Orton kicked him off and rolled to the apron but quickly ate a Jericho springboard drop kick that sent him to the outside.
Orton came back into the ring and wiggled out of a suplex before flat backing Jericho with a clothesline. HBK is tagged in.
HBK fought Jericho back with some chops before getting an irish whip reversed and flipped upside down in the corner. The two struggled on the top rope and Michaels was able to fend him off with a head butt. Michaels flew off the top with an elbow drop and went to tune up the band. JBL tagged himself in and looked for a cltohesline from hell, only for Jericho to hit the code breaker, but Michaels broke up the pin fall.
Jericho went for a walls of Jericho but HBK blind tagged in and cold cocked him with sweet chin music and eliminated him.
Chris Jericho is eliminated
We came back to JBL holding Orton in a sleeper and making some progress. JBL broke the hold however and hit a big boot and an elbow drop for a two count. JBL smashed away on Orton in the corner. JBL kept on beating down Orton with right hands as Orton attempted to get to his feet.
He whipped Orton to the corner but Orton got his boot up. Orton fought back with some hard strikes and punches but only ended up eating a shoulder block from the Texas millionaire. JBL kept on peppering in the right hands. Orton however, caught JBL with a big right hand and popped a couple of stomps all over JBL's body.
Orton went for a punt, but Michaels tagged in. Orton hit his inverted back breaker and then began booting Michaels around the ring. Orton looked for an RKO but Michaels pushed him away. The two exchanged strikes in the middle of the ring before Michaels hit his flying forearm. Michaels kipped up and hit his inverted atomic drop and body slam. He went for the big elbow drop and connected. He tuned up the band and nailed the move for the pin fall.
Randy Orton is eliminated
JBL and Michaels stared each other down and while Michaels anguished, JBL began to point to the mat. Michaels teased laying down a few times but couldn't bring himself to do it. After some rather forceful persuasion from JBL, he laid on his back. Instead, Michaels closed his eyes and begged for 'it'. JBL cold cocked him with a clothesline from hell for the win.
Winner: JBL via pin fallRAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Looks like the WWE Superstars ate too much Turkey and drank too much Egg nog.
Tonight's show was just really, really boring. I know a lot of people like to sort of throw the term 'boring' around a lot these days and IMO, it rarely applies to WWE shows of late, but wow, tonight's show was coma-inducing.
I guess the thing that really just isn't clicking at all is this whole Legacy faction, which is getting to bomb-worthy territory if they don't give it some serious CPR in the coming weeks. Manu, while there's obvious talent there, isn't ready for this kind of exposure yet and Snuka might be the worst wrestler on this roster. Manu couldn't get the crowd going with Matt Hardy, easily the best television match worker in the company. Snuka did nothing but literally look like he was going through practice, with moves that are just sort of 'there', make no sense in some sort of sequence or anything. Both matches were pretty awful. The crowd's total lack of reaction should be a red flag. They took care of Manu, but if they think Snuka's the dude to replace him, they're smoking something.
To make matters worse, Cody has a sort of off-kilter match with CM Punk that couldn't decide which angle it was putting over more, the Regal-Punk mini-program, or Cody making it into the Legacy deal. It was only capped off with Randy Orton getting gang raped in his four way tonight after spending an entire night, uh, making a gang. And after months of being a jerk, HE'S the guy whose supposed to be the guy getting double teamed in a #1 contenders match? Was Rey just not in the mood to work the match tonight or something?
Speaking of the four way, the end angle came off pretty good, but I'm still a bit wary of things here. I've said the past few weeks, that this angle is going to depend mostly on JBL garnering heat for being a jerk than it is Michaels garnering sympathy for getting belittled. I still don't know if they're moving enough in the 'JBL is a jerk' direction to really get this to click yet. Better for sure this week, but still needs some work.
One big bright spot was the women's battle royal, surprisingly, which I thought came off fantastic. The match was NOT a botch-a-thon. Despite some boring mat work in a battle royal of all things, the angle with Melina and Beth was pretty cool in the end. Santino played his part well to boot so overall, the segment really worked.
The 10 man tag was a lot of fun with lots of big taunt-ish spots and crowd pleasing stuff. It seemed to be the only segment all night that really woke up the crowd at all.
Overall, this was a pretty bad show. They've got some damage control to do on the Legacy, but everything /* is more or less in a good spot heading to the Rumble.
Overall Grade: D
Cody Rhodes def. CM Punk
Melina won a Battle Royal to become #1 Contender for the Women's Championship
Sim Snuka def. Charlie Haas
John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston & Cryme Tyme def. Kane, Mike Knox, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz & Morrison
Matt Hardy def. Manu
JBL def. Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton & Chris Jericho
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. John Cena
2. Shawn Michaels
3. Rey Mysterio
4. Matt Hardy
2. Randy Orton
3. Chris Jericho
4. Cody Rhodes
Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels v. JBL v. Randy Orton v. Chris Jericho *1/2
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 25-13-1, 48 points. (Last Week: World Heavyweight Champion) -- Another pretty easy night for Cena before he heads into Rumble build with JBL next week. Dealing with Michaels on the side should be pretty interesting, to boot. Overall though, a good night for him. He was the only guy outside of the JBL-HBK stuff that could get the crowd to wake up.
Intercontinental Champion:William Regal, 7-7-1, 19 points (Last Week: Intercontinental Champion)-- Quiet night for Regal. I wish they'd have done something /* with him to build him up before this match with Punk.
1. Chris Jericho 24-22-1, 58 pts. (Last Week: 1)-- I'm intrigued to see the direction Jericho heads after the Rumble. He's certainly a bonafide main event guy now and with Batista out of the picture, he might be sliding into a good spot for Wrestlemania.
2. Shawn Michaels 24-9-2, 43pts. (Last Week: 2) -- I'm still not digging on the fact that they're trying to make Shawn too much of a sympathetic guy through HIS emotions rather than JBL's antagonistic actions. Still, the angle tonight worked, but to really point this in the right direction, it'll need that.
3. JBL 21-27, 37 points (Last Week: 6)- - After a really stale last quarter of the year or so, he's finally in something that can really play to his strengths as a character. Hopefully, WWE starts actually doing that.
4. Randy Orton 14-14-2, 27 pts. (Last Week: 5)-- Totally non-sensical stuff tonight with the Legacy. They've gotta sit down and hash out a direction here.
5. CM Punk 16-12-2, 41 Points (Last Week: 4) -- Tonight was a weird night for Punk. I don't feel like the Regal stuff really hit tonight with a wicked strange ending to their match and all. I dunno, just wasn't feeling it.
6. Rey Mysterio 13-9, 24 Points (Last Week: 7) -- Was fun enough in the 10-Man tag tonight. Nothing super special, but fun.
7. Kane 9-15, 13 Points (Last Week: 8) -- Guy seems to have all sorts of newfound energy but they flat out just don't seem to have anything for him to do right now.
8. Kofi Kingston 13-12, 28 points (Last Week: 9) -- Has a strong week getting a good rub in some taunt spots with Cena to try and gloss over the damage from the botch fest from last week.
9. Cody Rhodes 16-14, 25 points (Last Week: 10) -- Getting into the legacy is nice, but the match itself was pretty off kilter.
10.Mike Knox 1-1-0. 2 points (Last Week: NR)-- Knox has a fun night. With Bats failing and everyone /* being bad to average, I'll give Knox a top 10 spot.
Batista 17-11-3, 39 Points (Last Week: 2)
Santino Marella 12-15-1, 19 points (Last Week:NR)
Ted Dibiase, Jr. 9-5, 19 Points (Last Week: NR)
Mike Knox 1-1-0. 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Paul Burchill 5-5, 7 points (Last Week: NR)
JTG 9-8, 10 points (Last Week: NR)
Big Shaad 8-7, 9 points (Last Week: NR)
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 3-5, 3 Points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 3-7-1, 6 points (Last Week: NR)
Sim Snuka 1-3, 2 Points (Last Week: NR)
Dolph Ziggler 2-2, 4 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)
Sgt. Slaughter 0-0. 0 pts. (Last Week: NR)
Val Venis 0-1 0pts. (Last Week: NR)