WWE Raw Live Report
Report by: PWTorch.com
November 12 in Topeka, Kan.
The show opened with a tribute to Veteran's Day. The live portion started with Smackdown's champion Batista. From ringside, Ross and Lawler asked why Batista is here tonight on Raw. He half-heartedly said he's grown fond of his new home on Smackdown, then said he was invited to Raw by William Regal to take on some Raw competition. Batista switched gears and talked about The Undertaker and his Hell in a Cell match. He dragged this out for a while, then he called for his hand-picked opponent, but Taker's music hit, the lights went down, then Taker walked out to the ring. Taker did his entrance and a ref was in the ring, but Regal's music hit and he interrupted the proceedings. He said he invited them to the show for some competition, but not against each other. Regal booked them in a tag match against the finest time on Raw. The country music song hit and the tag champs Cade & Murdoch walked out for a special challenge match.
1 -- UNDERTAKER & BATISTA vs. CADE & MURDOCH
Taker didn't waste any time going right after Cade. Batista tagged in and warmed for a finish on Cade, but Taker tagged himself in and gave Cade a quick chokeslam. He had the easy win, but Murdoch broke up the pin. Batista cut him off, then Taker gave Cade a Tombstone. He draped Cade's arms over his chest and scored a pin for the win. Afterward, Batista gave Murdoch a Batistabomb because he can. Taker and Batista then had a staredown afterward.
WINNERS: Taker & Batista in 2:00. I just don't get it. Out of all of the crappy tag teams on Raw and Smackdown, why waste the tag champs in a squash match? I wish I could say I'm surprised, but I'm not. The tag division is wasted about as much as the X Division in TNA. Unbelievable. (n/a)
Ross and Lawler talked about Michaels vs. Orton while plugging the new video game coming out tomorrow. They showed Michaels giving Orton a superkick, meaning a DQ in real life at Survivor Series. They showed Orton hitting Michaels with a chair, which would be a DQ in real life at Survivor Series.
They showed a replay of Austin vs. Santino last week and Santino getting the beer bath. That transitioned to Beth Phoenix walking out with the Women's Title. Ross and Lawler then plugged a ten-diva tag match at Survivor Series. Maria walked out to face Beth.
2 -- Women's champion BETH PHOENIX vs. MARIA -- non-title match
Maria was frightened as Beth stalked her to lock up. Beth missed with a corner clothesline and Maria tried a Keibler leg smash, but Beth shoved her away and landed kicks to the stomach. Maria made a mistake of going for a wheelbarrow bulldog ala Rey Mysterio, and Beth stretched her in mid-air before landing a front slam. She finished off Maria with a fisherman buster suplex for the win.
WINNER: Beth in 2:00. Just more reinforcement of Beth's dominance over the lesser divas. (1/2*)
Afterward, Santino Marella stormed the ring and chased Beth away. He then checked on his-a-Maria and grabbed a mic. He said she'll be OK, then he addressed Steve Austin's brutal attack last week. Santino said he was slipping around in the Steveweiser and it's obvious that Austin can't take criticism well from his poor acting in that movie. Santino demanded an apology from Austin. He called him out, but no one showed up. Santino said if Austin's not here, he's going to turn to his good friend, Jim Ross. Santino said he got mad last week when he saw that stupid smile on Ross's face, then he demanded an apology. Lawler stood up instead of Ross and Santino told him to meet him in the ring. Lawler slowly walked around to ringside after Santino said, "I'm a gonna beat you up." Santino offered the first punch, so Lawler slipped into the ring. Santino held out his chin for Lawler, who landed a quick jab beneath the chin. Santino, stunned, slipped out of the ring and screamed, "I hate you!" He told Lawler that he's going to pay for that. Lawler then re-joined Ross ringside. Ah, the greatness of Santino!
They returned to recap Lawler's KO punch on Santino in the previous segment. They cut backstage where Santino was checking on his jaw. Todd Grisham tried to get an interview, but Santino ripped the mic away and mocked Grisham's name. He turned to the camera and challenged Lawler to a match tonight. He concluded, "I'm a gonna beat you up." Santino slammed the mic into Grisham's chest, then Lawler accepted the challenge from ringside.
They recapped Michaels's superkick spree on Randy Orton since his return from Orton's punt to the head earlier in the year. Ross filled in the blanks of Orton's arrangement with William Regal after Raw. They showed the Mobile exclusive of Orton negotiating the Survivor Series match stipulations. Michaels is DQ'ed if he uses the superkick and Orton loses the belt if he tries to get DQ'ed.
Matt Hardy came out as a special guest from Smackdown for a six-man tag match. Rey Mysterio then came out second and Ross called it a WWE All-Star game. Yeah, but can the National League finally win one of these? Jeff Hardy rounded out the field for the babyface trio. They cut to a break before the heels came out.
They aired a Survivor Series classic from 1987. Hey, kids, play along at home. Name the wrestlers who are still alive!
They returned to Raw where Finlay walked out after Kennedy and MVP came out during the break.
3 -- IC champion JEFF HARDY & MATT HARDY & REY MYSTERIO vs. FINLAY & MVP & MR. KENNEDY
Finlay landed a big smashing clothesline on Matt to open things up. MVP tagged in and didn't want to square off with Matt, so Kennedy came in and battled with Matt. Kennedy then dumped Hardy to the floor before they cut to a break.
Rey and Finlay took tags out of the break and Rey scored a nearfall on Finlay, but missed with a turnaround splash off the ropes. Finlay then kicked him in the face for a nearfall. Finlay stomped on Rey, then MVP tagged in and started pounding on Rey. The heels continued to work on Rey, but Rey finally came back with a swinging DDT on MVP. He then reached out to Jeff, who took a hot tag and cleaned house on MVP. He then hit the Whisper in the Wind out of the corner and had a cover, but Kennedy broke up the pin. Jeff then drop kicked Kennedy to the middle rope. MVP took a similar fate, then Rey dialed up 619 on both men. MVP fell to the center of the ring and Jeff instantly nailed the Twist of Fate on MVP for the win.
WINNERS: Rey & Hardys in 12:00. Too much isolation in a six-man tag match, but a feel-good finish to the end. Good showcase for Survivor Series. (*1/2)
They cut to Vince McMahon walking confidently backstage in preparation for the face-to-face with Michaels and Orton.
Suddenly, the Save_Us video interrupted. X + 1 = Y. Break the Walls. Canyon. 6_days. 23_Hours. 33_minutes. Next_Monday.
Vince McMahon was in the ring to moderate the face-to-face between Orton and Michaels. Two podiums stood in center ring facing each other, then Michaels introduced Shawn Michaels, who came out dressed for a Thursday night at the dance hall. Michaels posed in the ring, then jogged past McMahon, who smirked at him.
McMahon then introduced the reigning WWE champion Randy Orton, who strutted out with WWE Title over his shoulder. Orton reminded Michaels of the stipulations for their title match at Survivor Series. Michaels said he knows the rules, so he reminded Orton that he can't get himself DQ'ed or he loses the belt. Orton said he's tired of hearing that he got himself intentionally DQ'ed at Cyber Sunday. He said he was just defending himself. Michaels said the reason why Orton got the superkick banned is because he's tired of getting a taste of sweet chin music. Orton told Michaels to get real about it being about revenge at Survivor Series. He said Michaels is frustrated and his instincts take over with the superkick. Michaels said it must be a deal where if he doesn't have The Kick, he's useless. Tongue-in-cheek, Michaels said he must have won all those matches over his career by fluke, so maybe he'll just use a wrestling hold or a submission hold. Michaels asked Orton how it's going to feel to lose the belt when the superkick wasn't even a choice. He said all he needs is the memory of Orton trying to kick his head off twice and the tears in his wife's eyes and the fear from his kids as Orton tried to end his livelihood. He said that's all he needs. The fans chanted, "H-B-K" as Orton geared up for a response. Orton said Michaels can tell his wife and kids to have the same feelings after Survivor Series.
Michaels tried to attack Orton, but McMahon suddenly pulled him back. Michaels then went for a superkick on McMahon, but Orton took out his left knee. Michaels collapsed to the mat, then Orton landed a punt to the gut. Michaels crouched on his knees where Orton could punt him in the head, but McMahon stepped in and told him to save it for Sunday. Michaels slowly got up to his feet, but Orton dropped him with the RKO. Michaels collapsed to the mat and Orton stood over him with a menacing look. He held the title belt next to Michaels's face and glared at him. Orton slowly left the ring with McMahon hanging back ringside.
JC Analysis: Good promo exchange. Michaels slowly built to the crescendo of explaining what his revenge is all about, but did in a way to where it was still about the title. The Sting-Angle storyline in TNA had a similar personal feel, but Sting continually said it's not about the title. The WWE version is still centered on a wrestling match with the title belt on the line, plus with a clearly defined heel and face. Now, the fans watching on TV have a reason to order the PPV so they can see that dastardly heel Orton get his comeuppance after getting everyone's blood boiling. Well done.
They came back and recapped the Orton vs. Michaels segment.
4 -- MELINA & JILLIAN HALL & LEYLA vs. MICKIE JAMES & MICHELLE McCOOL & KELLY KELLY
The pretty in pink babyface tandem started off with Kelly, who was dominated by Melina. Kelly escaped Jillian, then tagged out to Mickie, who cleaned house. Suddenly, the action broke down and six-woman mayhem broke out. Mickie and Leyla were left, then Mickie gave her the kiss of death and a back kick to the face for the pin. Afterward, Kelly kicked Leyla out of the ring for good measure.
WINNERS: Pretty in Pink in 2:00. Basic divas match to showcase the ten-diva match at the PPV. Nothing particularly memorable other than the outfits. (n/a)
Jerry Lawler's music hit and he took off his shirt to prepare for the match against Santino.
They went to a Survivor Series Classic from 1998 with The Rock vs. Mankind with the storyline version of the SS '97 screwjob. Look at the size of Rock compared to now. He was huge back in the day.
They aired the usual freaky up-close and personal Snitsky monologue. Basic stuff about Snitsky pleasuring himself on other people's pain. Or something like that.
Santino walked out to the ring where Lawler awaited.
5 -- JERRY LAWLER vs. SANTINO MARELLA
Santino took a back body drop in the opening seconds. Lawler then landed right hand blows all over the body before Santino landed a kick to the gut. Lawler had enough and started kicking Santino around the ring. Santino came back and told Ross to watch this, but Lawler quickly rolled up Santino for the pinfall. Lawler then quickly rolled to the outside and re-joined Ross ringside to talk about the divas.
WINNER: Lawler in 2:00. Basic match. Here's hoping Santino has a verbal battle with Jericho next week - Jericho vs. Rock - just for one night before Jericho gets serious with a legit feud. (1/2*)
Ross was about to talk about Survivor Series, but the Save_Us video interrupted again. Ringside, Ross and Lawler talked about it and Lawler said he broke the code that it's next Monday. Ross said he's not so sure about that.
Ross then introduced a video clip of Hornswoggle in training earlier in the day. They showed Regal in an empty arena with Lillian Garcia. Lillian introduced Hornswoggle, who bounced out from under the ring. He slid into the ring, then waited for Khali to come out with Runjan Singh. Only, it was Coach sporting a wig while playing the role of Hornswoggle. Some random guy who looked like Michael Myers came out as Singh. Defeats the purpose of the Andre camera shot to use it on Coach and pull the curtain back on Khali a bit. Appealing to the lowest common denominator, the white guy translator did a lame promo with an Indian accent that made Triple H's last week seem ground-breaking. The translator threw in a Native American war dance for good measure just to get in WWE's quota for the show. Regal called for a bell and Hornswoggle knocked Coach around the ring before landing a tadpole splash for the win. Horny danced around the stage afterwards, while Coach sat in the corner holding his arms. Completely and utterly pointless.
Back live, Ross and Lawler plugged the PPV card. Backstage, Grisham interviewed Triple H about the Survivor Series match. Hunter rolled his eyes as Grisham set up the line of questioning. Hunter then said Survivor Series is about survival. Wow. That's deep. He said the one man standing will be him, but Umaga will be lucky to make it there when he faces him tonight. Hunter said when the smoke clears, it won't matter if he has to go through all of Umaga's guys to get to him, because he'll finish off Umaga like he should have done three months ago. He said the final chapter of the Hunter vs. Umaga saga is written tonight and the author will be the destroyer, conqueror, and king of kings.
Time for a '94 SS classic with Doink's clowns vs. Lawler's royal family. Oh, goodness, what a terrible memory of that one.
Triple H came out for the main event, then Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and Kane followed out. Hunter shook hands with each man before Umaga walked out. He was followed out by MVP, Kennedy, Finlay, Striker, and Big Daddy V.
6 -- TRIPLE H vs. UMAGA -- lumberjack match
Umaga tossed Hunter to the outside early on, so Hunter stood his ground against the heel jacks before lambasting Striker with a right hand blow. Suddenly, Hunter dove off the apron and splashed all of the heels on the floor. Umaga came back with a right hand jab on Hunter before missing a corner splash against the ring steps. Hunter then went for the Pedigree, but Umaga dumped him to the floor. The heels tried to gang up on Hunter, but the face jacks stood over Hunter's body before they cut to a break.
Umaga dropped Hunter with a swinging sidewalk slam out of the break, then Umaga started working over Hunter. The heel lumberjacks got themselves a piece of the action for good measure.
[Q9 -- over-run]
Umaga stalked Hunter, who tried to pull himself up. Hunter suddenly tried a scoop slam, but Umaga fell on top of him. He slapped on a nerve hold as Hunter remained bent over at the stomach. Umaga drove Hunter to the corner, then he went for a big running splash, but Hunter moved out of the way. Hunter made his comeback and landed right hand jabs, followed by a DDT for a nearfall. Hunter went for the Pedigree, but Umaga countered into a Samoan drop. The heel jacks told Umaga to make a cover, but Umaga went for the Samoan spike instead. Hunter ducked it, though, and landed a spinebuster. Suddenly, Finlay jumped Hunter and the ref called for a DQ. After the bell sounded, the action broke down into a wild mess. Ross called it a bar room brawl and they suddenly cut away with the wild brawl in the ring without Ross having the chance to give the final hard sell for the PPV.
WINNER: No Contest in 12:00. Tough call on ending the show with this wild brawl instead of the Michaels vs. Orton confrontation for the final images to sell the PPV. Match wasn't very good, which didn't help the sales pitch for Sunday.