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TV REPORTS
KELLER'S RAW REPORT 10/17: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live program

Oct 17, 2005 - 10:07:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 17, 2005
SACRAMENTO, CALIF.


-The show opened with a lengthy recap of last week's show-closing angle with Jim Ross being fired by Linda McMahon. Then the Raw opening aired.

-Vince McMahon stepped out without any introduction from any announcers and stood on the stage with a mic. He reminisced about how proud his wife made him in the way she fired Ross. He said Linda would address the J.R. situation later live from their World headquarters in Connecticut. He said there is a nasty rumor going around that a certain individual is on his way to the arena. He said that person alleges to be J.R.'s best friend - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. WWE.com had teased that all day. "Don't be surprised if I kick Stone Cold's beer swilling, pick-up driving ass. I don't want to, but I might." He said he isn't there to appease the fans or "good ol' J.R." He said J.R. has made some contributions to WWE. The fans began an "asshole" chant (it's noteworthy that there is no "J.R." chant so far). Vince said they put together a video compilations of some of Ross's better contributions. This sure appears to be a major endorsement and push of J.R. as a personality to lead Raw on USA in the future, rather than a true last chapter of his career as a lead announcer on TV. The clips showed J.R. kissing Vince's ass, having beer poured on his bloodied face, being stomped into the mat, and kicked between the legs by Linda.

Vince then introduced the "new permanent announcer for Raw." Out walked Coach in a cowboy hat. McMahon referred to him as "Good ol' Coach." The crowd booed. Coach then said, "Thank you to Mr. McMahon." He said J.R. was a father figure to him, "although a fat Texas father figure." He said all of that was about to change. He was going to pick up the slack J.R. left behind. He said that as of now, he was "the new voice of the people." He then put on his headset.

-They went backstage where Kurt Angle met McMahon and said he had to talk to him. He said before he fired J.R. last week, he was about to announce a new no. 1 contender. He wanted to know if he deserves that slot after beating Cena last week. Vince said he is on his way to talk to Eric Bischoff about the Raw main event. Hurricane then showed up and asked him "what's up w'dat?" regarding Ross being fired. McMahon ordered Angle to attack him. Angle did so, throwing him into the equipment chests and then dragged him through the crowd to the ring. Coach then called the attack solo. He reiterated he is the new voice of Raw. Hurricane made a comeback. Coach's call of it already accentuated the value of Ross, which at this point may have been intentional since they left Jerry Lawler off commentary. Conspicuously, there was no reference to Lawler yet. Angle applied the Anklelock with viciousness. Four referees pried him off of Hurricane.

-Coach plugged that Mick Foley would be on Carlito's Cabana later.

-A vignette aired advertising the pending return of Kane, with him saying, "I'mmmm baaaack!" Of course, maniacal laughter followed.

[Commercial Break]

-Coach introduced Lawler. He apologized for taking so long to bring him out.

-Backstage, McMahon told Eric Bischoff he expected to give the audience something they've never had and empower them with choices. He wanted him to present a main event that is "absolutely compelling." Bischoff said he is glad he asked, in full ass-kiss mode. He said at Taboo Tuesday, there would be a three-way match featuring John Cena defending against Kurt Angle and a third man the fans decide. He announced Shawn Michaels vs. Carlito as a match where the winner would be one candidate. He said Big Show vs. Edge would face off for a spot on the ballot. He also booked an 18 man battle royal, with the winner also being listed as a candidate for a title match Taboo Tuesday. Lawler said it looks like Bischoff hit a homerun with his line-up, at least as far as Vince McMahon was concerned.

1 -- EDGE (w/Lita) vs. BIG SHOW

When Coach said, "Big Show is so big." Lawler mocked him for that being the type of analysis he'll provide in Ross's absence. Show tossed Edge over the top rope and they cut to a break at 1:10.

[Commercial Break]

Edge worked over Show's chokeslam arm. He grasped at his shoulder right away as if he might have popped something. Lita then hung from his arm. Show grabbed her by the hair. Edge hit Show with a forearm from behind. Show came back, but Edge used a low blow to regain control a minute later. He then hit a spear, but Coach yelled "Gore! Gore! Gore!" Lawler corrected him, saying it was a "Spear! Spear! Spear!" They're trying to play up Coach's incompetence, setting up J.R.'s big comeback or set the bar so low J.R.'s eventual replacement will seem like a gift. Edge grabbed his briefcase. JBL's introduction then played. That distracted Edge just as he was about to hit Edge with the briefcase. Show then surprised Edge with a chokeslam for the win. Show favored his right arm after the match, and appeared to be in pain.

-Coach plugged Mick Foley on Carlito's Cabana again.

-A video aired of the ticket sales launch for WrestleMania 22. They aired clips of WWE fans who had spent between 24 and 48 hours camping out for tickets. One fan said he saved up his money to get a $500 ticket to Chicago just to stand in line to get a ticket. They showed fan celebrating getting tickets.

-Edge complained about the JBL music playing. Bischoff asked what he's going to do about it. Edge told him to tune into Smackdown to find out what he's going to do.

-Carlito's Cabana: Carlito introduced Foley. Foley said it was an honor to be in the same ring with him. Foley said he was there to talk about the travesty that happened last week. He said J.R. may not be cool, but he is the best announcer in WWE history. He said he was disappointed in Linda, whom he felt was a voice of reason within the McMahon family. Linda said that they have been flooded with emails. She said many were concerned with J.R.'s condition because he is scheduled for colon surgery tomorrow. She said there were accusations that her kick to his groin added to his problems. She said that is not true and a lawsuit would be unsuccessful. She said everyone is praying for his health and wished him the best for his years of service with the company. She then told Foley, "Have a nice day." The fans chanted, "That's not cool." Carlito said, "Let's face it, J.R.'s gone. He's not just a fat, out of shape loser. Just like you." He said that is why he brought him to the Cabana. He said, and we quote: "You must be the least coolest person Carlito's ever seen. How does it feel to be so uncool." Foley said, "You got me! I'm here to make a shocking confession. You see, I, Mick Foley, the hardcore legend, am not cool. I'm not even sure I want to be cool." He asked him to hear him out before spitting on him for not wanting to be cool. He said even though he doesn't have cool friends or travel to cool places, "with the exception of Sacramento, California" (cheap pop), he said after fans talk to him, they inevitable say, "Mick Foley, he's cool." He said on the other hand, Carlito dresses cool, has a cool accent, cool hair, but despite all that, after fans talk to him, they inevitable say, "Carlito is a horse's ass." He asked Carlito not how he feels, but what is he going to do about it. Carlito smiled and then grabbed an apple. Foley told him to go ahead and spit an apple in his face. He said it wouldn't be the first time he was spit on. He said he shouldn't worried about produce (i.e. an apple; get it?), what he should worry about is whether he can produce inside the ring later against Shawn Michaels. He said when it's all said and done, HBK would beat him like a government mule. "And that would be cool," he concluded. "Have a nice day!" Coach said Foley always wears out his welcome. Lawler said Coach shouldn't talk about people wearing out their welcome.

-The showed the outside of the arena and Coach said rumors persist that Steve Austin was going to make a surprise appearance.

[Commercial Break]

2 -- SHAWN MICHAELS vs. CARLITO

Carlito attacked Michaels on the rampway during his intro. Coach said, with absolutely no semblance of context or authority, "Viewers, settle in, this one will be a classic!" He said he is trying to wean people off of J.R.'s style, you can't expect people to go cold turkey. Coach said fans should embrace he and Carlito as a youth movement. Lawler sarcastically said the fans would be doing what he says. Carlito dominated early, clotheslining Michaels over the top rope. Coach said that in his "25 years in the business," he's never seen a talent such as Carlito be so aggressive. Lawler called him out on that outrageous exaggeration. Michaels showed the first sign of life at 5:00 by rolling through on a Carlito bodyblock off the top rope for a near fall. Michaels threw chops at Carlito, then applied a sleeper. Carlito came back with an Abdominal Stretch at 7:00. Michaels came back with a suplex, but both men ended up spilling to the floor. Coach then tried to create drama by saying, "They're down, they're down, they're down!" It sounded as convincing and authentic as when those kids read scripts of pundit arguments on "The Daily Show." Coach is absolutely terrible, and it's not just him being terrible on purpose for effect; he just is the wrong person to be doing play-by-play. It's greatly affecting the quality of the entire show.

[Commercial Break]

Michaels eventually made a full-fledged comeback at 13:30. He played to the crowd well as he climbed to the top rope and hit an elbow. He then signalled for the Sweet Chin Music. Carlito ducked the telegraphed finisher and rolled up Michaels and used the ropes for leverage to score a very near fall, albeit clumsy looking. Carlito nearly whipped Michaels into the ref, but Michaels stopped short. Carlito then shoved Michaels into the ref, then retrieved a chair. Carlito swung the chair, but Michaels ducked. Carlito tried again, but Michaels kicked the chair into his face. The ref returned to the ring and counted to three.

WINNER: Michaels at 15:51.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Above-average, but bland and one dimensional for several stretches of time. One of Michaels's worst singles matches in a while.

-As Michaels returned to the stage, Ric Flair walked out to his music. He looked serious, but gave Michaels a handshake first.

[Commercial Break - 10:13 p.m.]

-Ric Flair was standing mid-ring. He said Triple H has told the fans that he (Flair) is the greatest wrestler in history and worships the ground he (Flair) walks on. He said that signal of respect shows he has a soft spot, but after what he did two weeks ago, "he has now lit a fire under my ass." He said he has a desire right now to achieve at a level he hasn't achieved at for 15 years. "God I'm feeling good," said Flair. "I, for 20 years, carried that brass ring we talked about in my back pocket. I owned it. No one could take it from me. I knew day in and day out I was the best wrestler alive today. And you knew it. Nobody walked out of that arena without saying god, Ric Flair put on a show tonight. He did it all.' Well, Triple, now you've got that ring. You are considered the man. God, I question that call." He said he knows he's 20 years older, but then he dropped an elbow on the sports coat he shed a minute earlier. He said he wanted to get everyone up to speed on him. He said he was in a plane crash which killed a pilot and paralyzed two other wrestlers. He said doctors said he'd never wrestle again. He said six months later he was in the ring wearing gold. He said in 1981, he got off an Eastern airlines jet in Richmond, Va., it was raining so hard, lightning hit his umbrella and killed the guy standing three feet from him dead. "You think I'm afraid of you, Triple H? God!" He pulled off his bandage and said every day he has to look at his cut. He punched away it and said he got the stitches out just a few minutes ago. He began bleeding heavily. He rubbed the blood all over his face and shirt. He said he has taken two of his sledge hammer shots. He called him out to the ring. "Come out here to see what Nature Boy has for you," he said. Then he rubbed the flowing blood on his face like aftershave. "God, I want you bad! Where are you?" he said. Triple H walked out with a mic in hand. When Flair made a move toward him with a baseball bat, Hunter bolted to the back. Flair chased after him. He said he wouldn't stop until he found him. He asked why he would run from him.

[Commercial Break]

-They again teased the arrival of Steve Austin.

-Maria was going to interview Carlito. He yanked the mic out of her hand and in a rage said he didn't win his match because of Mick Foley. He challenged him to a match at Taboo Tuesday. "I don't care if you're retired." Maria was flown into Sacramento for that?

3 -- MICKEY JAMES & TRISH STRATUS & ASHLEY vs. VICTORIA & TORRIE WILSON &

Coach plugged that after Raw, USA would show exclusive footage of Rock's new movie, "Doom."

-They showed Steve Austin driving into the arena in his pick-up truck. He crashed into a few things as he drove right up to ringside. Austin entered the ring and stood on the top rope, saluting the fans from each corner. They cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

-Austin said he came to the arena because he has something important to discuss. He said he has been with WWE for ten years and he gave the place his blood, sweat, and tears. He said there have been some good times and some bad times. "I ain't never backed down from anybody in this sum-bitch company. I fought everybody in this company. I can honestly say through all the times I've been here, only one person has been my friend. That is Jim Ross. He has been like a father to me, and a brother to me. I sat there in my house and watched him get treated like a dog. It was completely unacceptable. It was complete... you know what I'm saying." He said he has to address one man - Vince McMahon. He called him to the ring and said they had business to take care of. He said he had 48 beers so he could stay there all night long. Stephanie McMahon walked out instead.

She said, "What's the matter? Steve. You look disappointed to see me." He said he doesn't understand what's wrong with the McMahon family. He said they seem obsessed with balls and grapefruits. He said last week she even claimed to have the biggest balls in the company. "Am I about to slam a transvestite?" he asked. He said her breath stinks. She said he won't lay a hand on her because then it would be his fault if J.R. stays fired. Austin swigged a beer and said, "Let me understand this. You fired J.R. why?" He said because he gave each of the family members Stunners. Steph began talking over Austin and asked, "Where is J.R.?" Austin asked if it was J.R.'s fault. "You're not making a lick of damn sense to me," Austin said. "He had nothing to do with what happened to you and your little family." He said, "Since you're in the ring, what if I just put you over my knee, pull your little dress up, and I have to be careful because I don't want your balls to fall out." That got a big crowd pop, and Austin even cracked himself up. He asked the crowd for a "hell yeah."

Coach stood up and said, "Hell, no. Don't you even think of attacking a defenseless woman. Don't you get it, Steve. J.R. isn't coming back. Nobody wants J.R. here and nobody wants you here." He told Austin to get in his truck and drive away like the scolded dog he is. Austin cleaned out both of his ears with his finger, then said, "I don't remember talking to you, you kiss ass son of a bitch." He said after he's done kicking Vince's ass, he was going to kick his ass anyway, so he might as well do it now. As he was about to leave the ring, Steph asked him to wait a second. Austin mocked her tone of voice. He said he'd do whatever he wants. "I've got a proposition for you, but not the kind you want to hear," she said. Austin said, "I don't think I've got a 20 on me." She said she had a proposal to get J.R. back. Austin said he was listening.

Steph said he gave her a hell of an idea. She said if he faces Coach at Taboo Tuesday and he wins, he'd win J.R.'s job back. She said J.R. would be rehired if he could win. Austin said since she's a McMahon, he doesn't trust her. He wanted to get it straight, and then repeated her proposal. Steph said, "As a McMahon, and as your boss, I guarantee it." Austin said, "I can drink to that. Give me a damn beer." He then told Coach he had ass whippin' coming. Lawler gloated. As Austin celebrated, Steph said from the stage, "Oh, one more thing. If you lose to Jonathan Coachman at Taboo Tuesday, then you're fired." Austin said, "Oh, Stephanie. I fully understand if I lose, I'm fired. It won't be the first time I'm fired. Here's to ya'." He gave her the finger, then called for more beers.

Austin walked up to Coach at the broadcasting desk. Austin said he could have the first shot. He said, "You know what bothers me, when I talk to a sum-bitch like you and you disrespect me." He mocked his sunglasses, flipped them off, then asked if that made him mad. He asked if he was okay. He ripped his shirt open and knocked off his hat. Coach got wide-eyed in a cartoonish way. Austin asked if he was going to do something. Coach said, "Not tonight." Austin said he was giving him a free shot. Austin poured a beer into Coach's hat, then put it over his head. He told him he'd see it in two weeks and "a war machine is rolling into town named Stone Cold Steve Austin."

[Commercial Break]

-With a bunch of wrestlers standing in the ring, Bischoff stepped out and announced that voting for Taboo Tuesday begins next week on Raw. He said fans could vote on stips for Triple H vs. Ric Flair. He also said they'd be able to vote on Carlito vs. Mick Foley. He said there would also be a "Fulfill Your Fantasy Diva Battle Royal." John Cena walked to this music, adjusted Bischoff's collar, waved his hand in his face, and then joined Coach and Lawler at the announcers' desk. He said he is doing his homework and scouting the battle royal. Bischoff went back to announcing a surprise entrant in the battle royal, the seven foot Kane. Carlito took a big bite out of his apple as Kane entered the ring. The entire riing of wrestlers backed off to one side of the ring. Carlito went to spit at Kane, but Kane grabbed him by his throat to chokeslam him. Carlito showed what happens when a wrestler attempts a chokeslam without help. On the second chokeslam, Carlito leaped into the air so Kane got good height on it. They cut to a break.

[Commercial Break - 10:58 p.m.]

It came down to Chris Masters vs. Kane after just a couple minutes. Kane blocked the Master Lock and then backdropped Masters for the win. Cena stood up and looked at Kane. Kane shot back a look in his direction. Kane then signalled he wanted the belt. Nice finish to the show to add a refreshed Kane into the mix headed into Taboo Tuesday. I suspect Shawn Michaels will run away with the voting, but Kane isn't a bad third wildcard to include in voting. Other in the battle royal were Edge, Kerwin White, Trevor Murdoch, Lance Cade, Rob Conway, Viscera, Rosey, Shelton Benjamin (take him off the milk carton), Gene Snitsky, Tyson Tomko, Eugene, Heart Throbs, Tajiri, and Val Venis.

WINNER: Kane in 6:00.

STAR RATING: 1/2* - Not a memorable battle royal.

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, click here.

Be sure to check out Dusty Giebink's new "Raw Deal" recap later tonight.


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