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TV REPORTS
KELLER'S RAW REPORT 10/31: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live show

Oct 31, 2005 - 11:58:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 31, 2005
ANAHEIM, CALIF.


-After the show opening, Coach and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. Coach was dressed up like Steve Austin. He got cocky about Austin confronting him later face-to-face.

-Eric Bischoff stood in the ring with Chris Masters. He said tomorrow at Taboo Tuesday, Raw is going to prove its dominance over Smackdown in a special interpromotional tag team match. He said there was a special Masterlock Challenge scheduled for a Smackdown superstar. Teddy Long was introduced on the stage and brought Rey Mysterio with him to answer the Masterlock Challenge. Masters said he was impressed that he had the guts to answer his challenge. Masters lifted Rey onto the chair in the ring and said usually you have to be at least that tall to take part. He asked if Rey had any questions. Rey said he didn't, then he punched him. Bischoff called for reenforcements. Kerwin White, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Gene Snitsky, and Edge attacked Rey. Matt Hardy, Christian, JBL, and Hardcore Holly made the save and cleared the ring of the Raw heels. Rey hit Masters with the 619. Long vowed to the Raw gang that they were going to embarrass the Raw crew on their own turf.

[Commercial Break]

-Backstage Bischoff gave Edge and Masters a stern inspirational speech about representing Raw well.

1 -- KURT ANGLE vs. TAJIRI

Coach said it's bizarro world with fans dressed up in costumes. They showed one fan with rats eating through his cheeks. Tajiri hit some kicks early, but Angle came back and applied a body scissors. Angle eventually forced a tapout with the Anklelock.

WINNER: Angle at 3:58.

STAR RATING: *

-After the match, Angle bragged about "making Cena's ass tap" and then replayed it. Cena charged the ring and attacked Angle. Angle bailed out.

[Commercial Break]

-Coach and Lawler compared costumes. Coach showed off his reddened neck. Lawler said he talked to Austin earlier who said he thought Coach would dress as a vampire because he sucks. Lawler was dressed as the Burger King "King."

-A video recap aired of the Triple H-Ric Flair relationship. Flair then stepped out onto the stage and said the game has just begun. "Hunter, I have kissed your ass for so long, tomorrow night I'm going to kick it," he said (finally). He said he hasn't asked for a lot in his career, but he hopes to god they're in a cage. Very short. Disappointing in that respect, but the line acknowledging that he's been kissing Hunter's ass much too long was good.

[Commercial Break]

2 -- ROB CONWAY vs. EUGENE

Footage aired before the match of an angle between Conway and Eugene on Heat from WWE.com. Decent three minutes of action. Eugene thought he scored a pin, but Conway's foot was on the bottom rope. Eugene was confused. As the ref explained what happened to Eugene, Conway grabbed a chair. When he hit Eugene, the ref called for the DQ. At that point, Kamala, Superfly Snuka, and Hacksaw Duggan stormed the ring. Each hit signature moves on Conway. Then Lawler joined them and hit his fist drop.

WINNER: Eugene via DQ at 3:10.

STAR RATING: *

-Backstage, Todd Grisham was dressed as Harry Carrey. He did a bad imitation, then tried to interview Gregory Helms (formerly Hurricane). He just shook his head and walked away. Mick Foley then arrived. Grisham interviewed him briefly.

[Commercial Break]

-Carlito stood in the ring and promo'd his match with Mick Foley on the PPV. A video interrupted featuring Foley in each of his three personas. He predicted skid marks inside Carlito's Speedo. Coach told Carlito that he shouldn't sweat it because he'll win no matter what persona shows up. Coach then said he's tired of waiting and called for Austin to come out. He then walked to the ring.

[Commercial Break]

-Coach stood in the ring and introduced a new bodyguard of his, Goldust (with Dusty Rhodes in power, this was just a matter of time). Vince McMahon then walked out. He said Austin wouldn't arrive because he was allegedly in an auto accident. He said he didn't know if that was valid or just an excuse because he was scared of Coach. Vince then announced that Coach was the winner by default. No mention of Jim Ross or the stipulation. As Coach celebrated, he said he still had an opponent for him. He said his opponent would be the number one announcer on Smackdown, Funaki. When Funaki arrived at the ring, Goldust attacked him. He and Coach cleared the ring of Funaki. Coach said he wanted tougher competition. Vince said he'd have to wait until Taboo Tuesday to find out who his opponent would be. Batista then came out. Lawler reacted with shock. Batista walked to ringside. Goldust attacked Batista. Vader then came out (yes, Leon White; it looks like he ate Smackdown's entire juniors division). Goldust and Vader double-teamed Batista and left him lying. Lawler said Coach may have made the mistake of his life. Coach then trash-talked Batista. Well, it sounds as if Steve Austin took a stand for his friend. If that's the case, good for him. Especially if the plan was for Austin to lose or turn heel. The lack of mention of J.R. tends to indicate at this time he's through and not part of future plans.

[Commercial Break]

-A video package aired on the Australian tour. The wrestlers talked about what a great reception they received from the fans.

3 -- TRIPLE H vs. VISCERA

WINNER: Triple H at 0:15 with a Pedigree.

STAR RATING: n/a

-Triple H said Flair knows he's done a lot of bad things in his life and he takes responsibility for them, but he will not take responsibility for what he does to Flair at Taboo Tuesday. He said he won't do it because he wants to, but because he has to, "because that's who I am. Ric, it's who you used to be."

[Commercial Break]

-Coach and Lawler ran down the line-up for Taboo Tuesday. It now includes Batista vs. Coach & Vader & Goldust.

-Grisham, still in a Cubs outfit, interviewed John Cena backstage. He told Grisham he was sad, then promo'd his match against Michaels. Cena said he never backs down and he'll never quit. "The champ is here," he said. "And at Taboo Tuesday, the championship stays here. If you can't see that, you can't see me."

[Commercial Break]

4 -- BIG SHOW & KANE vs. THE HEART THROBS - Texas Tornado Rules

The Heart Throbs were dressed up as Batman and Batman. Lawler said he couldn't wait for Show to get his hands on them. Show executed a superplex during the match. Kane hit a flying clothesline.

WINNERS: Kane & Big Show after a double chokeslam at 2:45.

STAR RATING: 3/4*

[Commercial Break]

-Clips aired from the Taboo Tuesday press conference with some good exchanges between Triple H and Ric Flair.

-Jerry Lawler introduced a Diva Costume Party. Ashley dressed as a dark angel. Lawler:
"She could tell you to go to hell and make you look forward to the trip." Maria came out as a regular angel. Lawler said: "I'd love to get inside those pearly gates." Candice Michelle came out as Cat Woman. (Would it be a trademark violation if Team 3D dressed up as the Dudleys for their Halloween costume on TNA Impact?) Mickie James came out dressed as Terri Runnels... oh, as Trish Stratus. Pretty good imitation, actually. Victoria came out dressed as a baseball player. She was booed for dressing as a Chicago White Sox. Trish Stratus then came out dressed as Wonder Woman. Lawler: "I wish I was Superman right now to use my X-Ray vision." Trish looked a little creeped out that Mickie dressed up as her. The fans then indicated with cheers who had the best costume. Mickie grabbed the mic and told the fans to stop cheering for anyone but Trish. She continued doing a good job playing the role of Trish's insane "number one fan." All of the women teamed up against Michelle by grabbing her legs and arms and whipping her into the air. Victoria threw Mickie over the top rope. Trish then gave Victoria the Chick Kick.

-Coach plugged the John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels TV main event was next.

[Commercial Break]

5 -- JOHN CENA vs. SHAWN MICHAELS

Michaels and Cena shook hands at the start. Michaels released the handshake and chopped Cena. Cena fired back with punches. A portion of the crowd booed Cena right away. They also chanted "You tapped out!" at Cena. Michaels grounded the match in the opening minute with a headlock. Cena escaped, but Michaels quickly took Cena back down to the mat. When Cena made a comeback and was booed, Coach pointed it out. Lawler said that was because Michaels won his first WWE Title in that arena and fans remember it. Nice try. Cena's getting the same treatment Rock got - having to earn his stripes and being rejected by male fans for being a nice guy with good looks and an early top push. Cena might end up making a good heel if they take their time with it and turn him after another year of being a top babyface who is rejected by a segment of the fans. Michaels methodically controlled the match, basically filling time before whatever non-finish is planned. Michaels applied a sleeper at 6:00. When Cena's arm didn't drop a third time, the crowd reaction was predictable as the high-pitched fans cheered and the low-pitched fans exploded with boos. Cena made a full comeback and went into his finishing routine. More boos. Cena set up an FU, but Michaels escaped and chopped away a Cena, then a forearm. Both men were down. Michaels nipped up and then took Cena down with two clotheslines and a bodyslam. Michaels went for his top rope elbow, but Cena moved. Angle ran to the ring and attacked both Michaels and Cena. Cena came back with a clothesline on Angle. When he lifted Angle for an FU, Michaels superkicked Cena in the face. Cena fell backward and dropped Angle. Michaels then called for the WWE Title belt. He seemed unsure how to handle the situation. He stood over Cena with the belt, looked down at him pensively, eyed the belt, spun the plate, and then set it in Cena's arms. At the risk of derailing Cena right now, Vince McMahon should strongly consider building around Michaels sooner than later as the champ. He's as good as he's ever been, has credibility with all fans, and could have a great run as WWE Champ for another year or two. The crowd reaction to Michaels compared to Cena should tell McMahon what fans want. Why not give it to them?

WINNER: No contest at 9:18.

STAR RATING: ** -- Methodical opening few minutes and it never caught fire. Decent action, but just an average match.


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