TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S RAW REPORT 10/9: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live show
Oct 9, 2006 - 11:07:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
WWE Raw Alternative Report
October 9 at the University of South Carolina
- The new Raw intro kicked off the show. Papa Roach with the track and the video was the usual action clips with some "WrestleMania tall building camera shots".
- Ross and Lawler introduced the show. Cole and JBL were also ringside and Cole said there would be a six-man tag match from Smackdown tonight. Styles and Tazz said their brand would be more extreme than anyone else would.
- John Cena opened the show and the crowd exploded. He came out as Ross and Lawler discussed last week's cage match. Cena took the mic in the ring. He welcomed everyone to the season premiere. The kids are already screaming. He said he has a message for Edge. "Damn, it feels good to still say 'the champ is here'." Cena began to close his segment before King Booker's music played. Booker and Sharmell walked out on stage. Booker took forever to walk to the ring. He then corrected Cena that the champion, not a champion is here. Booker said he vanquished three mighty foes at No Mercy last night. He said the last time he was on this "lowly, lowly, cable show," he made Cena kiss his feet. Cena did his fake British accent and said he remembered going to Smackdown and kicking King Booker's ass. He said Booker has lost his mind and he just walked into the snake pit that is Raw. Cena said he's feeling a little frisky tonight and challenged him to a match. Booker removed his royal robe then his blazer. Before they could lock up, Big Show's music hit. Styles and Tazz listed Show's credentials. Show entered the ring and said there's a white guy who talks like he's black and a black guy who talks like Prince Charles. "I beg your pardon," Booker said. Show said he's the only person who is real. Cena said he's never claimed he's the Michelin Man. Actually, that was Hunter when he returned from summer hiatus last year. Cena said there is a name above his, Andre the Giant. Show said Andre's not here and he'd kick his ass if he were still here. Booker wanted Show to get to his point. Show said he is the most dominant champion here. He mocked Cena's new movie then said he was in a movie that did $185 million worldwide, the Water Boy. Show said he did every scene in one take because he's a professional. Booker reminded Show he was in that movie in all of 42 seconds. "I have taken morning constitutionals longer than that," he said. Booker told them to go buy a DVD - the greatest movie of all time - Ready to Rumble. Show and Cena burst into laughter. Cena said everyone knows that movie was a piece of crap. Cena said he has a crazy idea to figure out this situation. He attacked Show then Booker attacked Cena. Show ran over Cena with a big boot then cleared Booker. Referees ran to the ring and stood around. Show's music hit, as he was the last man standing in the ring.
- Ross plugged a Street Fight match between DX and Cade/Murdoch. Cole said Rey, Batista, and Lashley will face Regal, Finlay, and Chavo. Lawler plugged Kane vs. Umaga in a Loser Leaves Raw match.
- Heyman, Coach, and Teddy Long were arguing backstage. That was it. Fade to commercial.
- The three wise men continued their argument. Coach booked Big Show in a match against Jeff Hardy. Heyman said he could top that and he booked King Booker vs. RVD. Teddy Long turned down Cena vs. Miz and booked Cena vs. Taker. Coach and Heyman were quite impressed.
1 -- UMAGA (w/Armando) vs. KANE
They didn't waste any time going at it with clubbing blows. There's a sign in the front row that reads, "Cluck Femson." They're just jealous, Pat. Umaga missed a corner splash and he crashed hard into the turnbuckle. Kane then slammed him to the mat and went up top. Umaga recovered and shoved Kane off the top turnbuckle to the floor below.
Umaga landed headbutts in the corner out of the break. Kane came back with the chokeslam grip, but Umaga escaped and suplexed Kane. He sat up and the crowd popped, but Umaga cut him off again. Umaga then went up and landed a diving headbutt to the chest. Armando jumped on the apron and gave the signal. Kane blocked the Samoan Spike then went for a chokeslam, but Umaga blocked. Kane answered with a sidewalk slam. He went up top and landed a top rope clothesline. Kane distracted himself with Armando, who drove a giant cigar into his throat then Umaga drove the Spike to Kane's throat for the win. Afterwards, Kane sat in the ring in disbelief. He slowly walked out of the ring as Ross speculated when or where we would ever see Kane again.
WINNER: Umaga in 8:00. Good heat for this match. Could have gone another three or four minutes. That's a surprising sentence to write, but the dramatics were well done.
- They introduced the ole ball coach, Steve Spurrier, who was sitting ringside. He was there to see Flair.
- Kane was walking backstage. Highlanders approached him and said it was an honor to be part of the same show as him. Kane didn't appreciate it and sent both men into garage doors. Kane walked past random men who cowered in fear. He left through an exit door.
- DX were standing at a podium backstage. Hunter wasn't happy. Michaels said they took over the show without authorization last week and now they have to apologize to the people they offended. HBK apologized to the entire tag division, but Hunter cut him off and said there wasn't a tag division anyways before they decimated everyone so there's no sense in apologizing. HBK apologized to the Spirit Squad for making them dress in women's cheerleaders outfits. Hunter said they couldn't make them look any more like fairies if they tried so that doesn't matter. Hunter cut off HBK before he could apologize to Coach then Chris Masters for apparent obvious reasons that one's obviously a goof who can't be helped and one's a normal sized man who can't be helped. HBK apologized to Edge for costing him his match, but Hunter cut him off and said it wasn't as if Edge was going to win anyways. HBK apologized to Cade and Murdoch for beating them to within an inch of their lives, but Hunter cut him off and said they can't apologize before they even the match. HBK asked what they were supposed to be doing in that case. "Cutting a promo on live TV," Hunter said. HBK suddenly realized they were on TV and froze. He asked what they should do. They did a dual slow head turn to the camera and stared forward with the deer in the headlights look. They suddenly ducked down and pulled out DX merchandise. They gave another cheap plug then left after saying they have two words.
- Jeff Hardy was shown walking backstage with the IC Title around his waist. He appeared to have a stomachache.
- The voice over man plugged the dames taking it off at the poker tables on ECW tomorrow night.
2 -- BIG SHOW vs. JEFF HARDY -- Non-title match
Hardy attacked Show with successive kicks after the bell rang, but Show shook him off and landed a frying pan slap to the chest. Hardy made a brief comeback, but Show ran him over with a hard clothesline. Show scoop slammed Hardy in the corner then went to the turnbuckles for a Vader Bomb. Hardy moved in time after Show took forever. Hardy then went after the knees with kicks. Show kicked him away to the apron, but Hardy instantly recovered and jumped to the top. He hit the Whisper in the Wind, knocking Show down. Hardy followed with the Swanton Bomb. He made a cover, but Show press slammed him to the opposite corner of the ring. Show then picked up the shocked Hardy and delivered the Cobra Clutch back breaker. Show landed the leg sweep "Showstopper" for the win. Afterwards, Nitro hit the ring and tried to attack Hardy, but Show approached him from behind and landed the Cobra Clutch back breaker before tossing Nitro aside like a rag doll. The fans cheered Show.
WINNER: Show in 4:00. Odd seeing Show cheered as a babyface at the end of this after he's been presented as the big heel bully on ECW for the past four months. Hardy had enough offense to look credible. Actually, Show gave a lot to Hardy before winning.
Lillian gave the details of the anything goes match before DX came out in jeans and DX sleeveless t-shirts. HBK gave Hunter the mic. Hunter started to do the Michael Buffer intro, but he name dropped Vince McMahon. He said Vince is the only guy they really did anything wrong to so they feel bad about it. They wanted to buy him a present, but they just couldn't find one big enough to satisfy Vince. He said he had a revelation since they were in South Carolina and he introduced a giant picture of the Gamecock mascot, Cocky. The fans cheered. Hunter wanterd to know where Cocky was. HBK said Cocky couldn't make it because the school didn't feel as if Cocky being associated with DX would be in the best interest of the mascot. The fans chanted, "Game...Cock...Game...Cock" as if it were Saturday night football. Hunter clarified the situation that he's the Game and that's a cock, referring to the picture of Cocky. Hunter proceeded to make several penis and masturbation jokes. HBK was cringing throughout this. They wrapped up the intro then Cade and Murdoch came out. "The South Carolina Gamecocks will never be the same," Ross said.
3 -- DX (SHAWN MICHAELS & TRIPLE H) vs. CADE & MURDOCH -- Street Fight
This looked like a scene out of The Wrestler with Dusty and Murdoch in the bar. Cade and Murdoch dominated early on. They whipped HBK across the back after slamming Hunter head-first into the Raw announce table ringside. DX made a comeback then Hunter decked his twin, Cade,with a chair shot at 4:00. HBK then back body dropped Murdoch and his Arizona blue jeans over the top rope to the floor. Hunter then set up a table ringside. Hunter battled Murdoch then placed him on the table. HBK, who was up top, flew onto Murdoch and crashed through the table. Murdoch tried to brace himself just before impact. In the ring, DX double teamed the bloody Cade. HBK warmed up the band with his cowboy boots on. He landed Sweet Chin Music then Hunter dropped Cade with the Pedigree. He made the cover for the win. DX celebrated as Ross and Lawler discussed the beating on Cade and Murdoch.
WINNER: DX in 6:00. Goodness, unless NWO or the McMahons - heaven forbid - show up on the show, DX will have no one to occupy their time with going forward. They've killed all the heels and did even more damage to Cade and Murdoch, who could be a solid tag team if given just the slightest amount of credibility.
- Edge and Lita were watching the show backstage on a monitor. Todd Grisham hesitantly approached Edge and Lita about DX costing him his title match last week. Edge said there is no question about it and he would have answers to all the questions on the returning Cutting Edge. It's about time. Edge shoved Grisham aside then left with Lita.
- They revisited Kane losing the opening match. Ross said Kane has left the arena. The Raw and SD announcers broke down the champions matches. JBL reminded Ross that OU lost on Saturday. Ah, yes, a good win for the Longhorns. JBL and Ross then debated the only game that matters on the college football schedule.
- Shelton Benjamin stormed to the ring and said there's no way WWE is having a card in his hometown without him. He quickly turned heel by saying he's embarrassed by his hometown and he's really from Minneapolis. He challenged anyone to the back to get to the ring and have a match. Chris Benoit walked out.
4 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. CHRIS BENOIT
Michael Cole said Benoit returned from his sabbatical after being sick of sports entertainment. Shelton caught Benoit with a side slam early on. The Raw and SD announces argued over each other then Ross plugged his website and JBL plugged Fox News. Cole said he has nothing to plug. "That's what your wife says," JBL said. Benoit snapped off successive German Suplexes then went for the diving headbutt, but Shelton moved. Benoit caught Shelton out of nowhere with the Crossface. Shelton fought it for a few moments before tapping out.
WINNER: Benoit in 3:00. That dream match should have been saved for a dual brand PPV. Of course, that would require WWE giving Shelton a shred of credibility to make money with it.
- Teddy Long and Heyman were sitting on a couch backstage. Long praised Benoit for winning. Coach then interrupted and brought in Super Crazy to put over the Raw brand. Coach asked if Raw was the best brand. "Si," Crazy said. Teddy then asked Crazy about getting his WWE start on Smackdown and if that makes Smackdown the best brand. "Si," Crazy said. Heyman then reminded Crazy that he got his start in America wrestling in ECW and if that makes ECW the best brand. "Si," Crazy said. He then spoke in English about all three brands offering action, drama, and suspense for all fans. Teddy took off his glasses in shock. "You speak English?" he asked. "Si," Crazy said. He then walked off. Cole said he was on Smackdown all that time and Teddy never knew he spoke English. JBL said he just didn't care.
- Cole and JBL talked about the Rey vs. Chavo street fight last night.
5 -- CHAVO GUERRERO (w/Vickie) & WILLIAM REGAL & FINLAY vs. REY MYSTERIO & BATISTA & LASHLEY
Cole made a case that Booker lucked out to retain the title last night. Bischoff said he's worse than Bischoff in re-writing history. Rey and Chavo started things off. Rey cleared Chavo to the outside with a head scissors. Finlay and Regal inexplicably walked to the corner as Rey was perched on top. They caught him in mid-air, but Rey turned a dicey situation into a dual huricanrana. He then set up for a double 619, but they slipped to the outside. Rey went for a baseball slide on Finlay, but Finlay pulled up the apron and Rey disappeared inside the apron. The heels quickly kicked Rey through the apron before Lashley and Batista shooed away the heels and checked on Rey. "I'll knock your head off!" Finlay screamed at Batista before they faded to a Burger King commercial.
They showed clips from during the break when the leprechaun attacked Rey. JBL speculated as to whether the subhuman leprechaun has parents. In the ring, the heels took turns working over Rey. He rolled through a corner move and kicked Chavo in the face. Rey crawled to his corner and made the tag to Batista, but the referee didn't see it so he disallowed the tag. That spot has been done too many times lately. Rey dropped Chavo with a bulldog out of the wheelbarrow position then Batista took the hot tag. He cleaned house then stacked up Finlay and Regal in the corner. Batista slammed Finlay onto Regal with a powerslam then gave Chavo the Jackhammer. After Finlay and Regal broke up a pin, Lashley speared both men. Rey then gave Chavo a huricanrana and Chavo just stumbled over to the ropes so Rey could hit the 619. Batista quickly dropped Chavo with a spinebuster. Rey then came off the top with a frog splash for the win. JBL, the heel announcer, was indignant that Rey would disservice Eddie's name by using the frog splash. Cole, the babyface announcer, said it was paying respect.
WINNERS: Rey & Batista & Lashley in 10:00. They obviously didn't have much faith in Lashley in the ring, as his involvement was limited to one move. Good ten minutes of wrestling to fill two segments and get the crowd involved.
- The announcers hyped the two upcoming champions matches.
- Another Eric Bischoff interview aired. He said WCW re-invented the wrestling business and forced WWE to change when he pushed Monday Nitro. Bischoff said everyone wants to blame WCW, but no one gives WCW credit for their place in wrestling history. He said DX was a really good rip-off of the NWO and the evidence is all there in his book.
- Lillian Garcia introduced Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. They walked out on stage. Mae needed a walker to walk out on stage. No crazy skits?
- They showed clips of John Cena going through basic training.
- Booker and Sharmell were backstage. Booker said he must face this rogue, Cena. He said that when he was originally on Raw, he was a lowly peasant trying to make the commoners happy. Booker said he went to "Smackethdown" and became champion of the world. He said he must prove to the world that he is the champion of champions by beating RVD. Sharmell did All Hail.
- Melina walked to the ring for a Women's tournament match. She refused to do her intro.
6 -- MELINA vs. TORRIE WILSON -- First round Women's Title tournament match
Before the match started, all the divas participating in strip poker tomorrow night came out as lumberjacks. Trinity covered her breasts with Caution tape. "That's an interesting top," Ross said. He then said viewer discretion is advised for ECW tomorrow night. Melina wasn't happy being upstaged by the divas. Torrie knocked Melina to the outside and the lumberjills attacked her. Then, Melina returned the favor and the divas helped Torrie back into the ring. "I think Torrie just got groped," Ross said. "Do they have a law about that in South Carolina? Is same sex groping OK?" Back in the ring, Melina screamed at attacked Torrie, but she came back with a neckbreaker for a nearfall. All of a sudden, the other announcers chimed in. Melina then rolled up Torrie off the ropes after Krystal distracted Torrie. Melina hooked the underwear for the win. Afterwards, Torrie gave Krystal the self-thong stink face. The babyface divas celebrated in the ring.
WINNER: Melina in 3:00. Despite winning, Melina was a complete afterthought here.
7 -- KING BOOKER (w/Sharmell) vs. ROB VAN DAM -- Non-title match
Booker worked on RVD in the corner early on. The fans chanted "R-V-D". The ECW and SD announcers began arguing. Well, actually, it was Tazz and JBL. Tazz said he's short, which is why he didn't get his break here. He then told JBL to stop getting himself over and get the guys in the ring over. JBL told Tazz that he spent five years on SD getting himself over. They continued to argue before Cole tried to reel the commentary back to the match. RVD, with a bloody mouth, rallied out of a reverse chinlock and dropped Booker with a back kick. He then went up top, but Sharmell shoved him to the mat while Booker distracted the referee. Booker then hit the Axe kick on RVD for the win.
WINNER: King Booker in 4:00. Well, that was short. The commentary overshadowed the in-ring product, the announcers sounded like little kids arguing over meaningless issues that no one cares about, and no one got over. If I were Booker and RVD, I would be upset with how this match was presented.
- They aired a video promo on the Brian Pillman DVD.
- Cryme Tyme video package time. They were training in the gym for their debut next week. They recapped the previous few weeks of segments. The voice over man commentated on Gaspar doing a military press with a Caucasian female. JTG did rowing exercises with her legs.
- Mitch of Spirit Squad was backstage. He said he has a confession to make that he sucks. He said that's all changing tonight because he's going to beat Flair tonight. He said he's going to do it with help from Squad.
- Coach, Heyman, and Long argued over who has the better night tonight. Vince McMahon walked in and shook hands with everyone. Coach tried to kiss ass. McMahon over-did his greeting. What was that talk to Grisham on Byte This all about? The three not-so-wise men argued who had the better champion then Vince called for silence. He booked a triple threat match between each brand's champion at the Cyber Sunday PPV. The not-so-wise men were dumbfounded then went silent.
- They aired a recap of the premiere of The Marine at Camp Pendleton. This makes me even more sick of Coach seeing this video for a fourth time.
8 -- MITCH (w/Spirit Squad) vs. RIC FLAIR (w/DiBiase, I.R.S., Arn Anderson, and Roddy Piper)
Squad was already in the ring when Flair came out. He then called down for help. First was Piper then DiBiase and I.R.S. as Money Inc. Flair then called down Arn Anderson. The classic Horsemen theme played as Anderson soaked up the moment with four fingers in the air. Ross said he had goosebumps. The fans roared. Some of the remaining members of a generation who had to draw a gate to earn a check. The producers chased Squad to the back then Mitch landed a thumb to the eye on Flair to start the match. Flair quickly made his comeback then applied the Figure Four on Mitch, who tapped out. The producers celebrated in the ring as the fans roared again.
WINNER: Flair via submission in 2:00. Good "feel good" moment on the show. A chance for the "teachers" to pull out their old uniforms for the high school reunion and give the fans a show.
- Edge and Lita were shown walking backstage.
- Edge and Lita walked out for the Cutting Edge segment. Edge took the mic and welcomed everyone to the show. He introduced Randy Orton as his special guest. "I don't think the ring is big enough to hold all these egos," Ross said. Orton walked out in a snappy suit. Edge said Orton has impressed him, especially when he became champion in 2004. "But, since then, you've done absolutely nothing," he said. Orton was taken aback and stood up to Edge. Edge then pointed out that Orton has been in big matches lately, but he lost all those matches. He said Orton has consistently dropped the ball. Orton threatened to drop Edge. Edge said his point is that every misstep can be traced back to one moment. Yep, they went back to when Evolution turned on Orton the night after Summerslam 2004 when Orton beat Benoit for the belt. That's right on because Orton was in position of being the babyface not because of anything he did to earn the fan's respect, but because the fans were supposed to feel sorry for him. Orton looked at the footage with disdain. Edge smirked then said Triple H's selfishness cost Orton everything. Edge said there was a travesty of justice last week then he introduced footage of Triple H and HBK costing him the title match last week. Edge said Shawn Michaels cost him the WWE championship. He said he's the same man who taught Triple H every power-hungry move he knows. Edge said DX thinks everyone is a joke, but they need to take a stand. He said he called Orton out to help him take a stand against DX. "We should own this show!" Edge said. "We should have all the championships. We are the present and the future of this industry; not some tired act from a decade ago." He said Orton could get mad at him or he can he join him in taking a stand against DX. All the destruction of the tag division and elimination of any possible heels to go against DX led to this moment. Orton took the mic from Edge as the fans chanted, "R-K-O". Orton said he has two words for DX as far as them running the show. "It's over," he said. Orton and Edge shook hands.
- Does anyone know where Carlito is?
9 -- JOHN CENA vs. THE UNDERTAKER -- Non-title match
Cena came out first and saluted Marines who were sitting ringside. Lawler talked about Cena being on Conan O'Brien tomorrow. I wonder if he'll call Sabu a genie this time. Taker made his lengthy entrance. Cena and Taker locked eyes in the ring and Cena was expressionless as Taker stared a hole in him. Cena showed a slight trace of fear when Taker rolled his eyes in the back of his head. Taker went after Cena early on. He drove him to the corner and choked him. Cena ducked a clothesline and landed punches to the gut, which the males booed. Taker came back with intense right hands, which were 15,000 times more believable, and the males cheered. Taker ran over Cena with a big boot after Cena landed weak right hands. His strength is not a right hand so no one should ever lay out a match that includes Cena throwing a right hand ever again. Taker went for old school, but Cena blocked and superplexed Taker to the mat. Taker ducked a clothesline and applied a bearhug. Cena escaped the hold by biting Taker's forehead. He then went for the You Can't See Me, but Taker sat up and grabbed Cena by the throat. Cena escaped a chokeslam attempt then snapped off a DDT for a nearfall. Cena went for a Tombstone, but Taker countered into a Tombstone attempt. Cena slipped out then walked into a chokeslam. Taker called for the end, but Booker and Big Show hit the ring. The match was thrown out. Yippee.
Afterwards, Undertaker battled the Smackdown and ECW champions until they cleared him to the outside. Mr. Kennedy then ran to the ring and Taker dropped him with a big boot. Taker chased him up the entrance ramp to the back. That's real cute that Kennedy's only appearance on the show is taking a big boot to the face then scampering up the ramp. In the ring, Booker and Show temporarily agreed to go after Cena, but Booker turned on Show. Cena then cleared Booker and dropped Show with a DDT. He applied the STFU and Show tapped out. Booker then airballed a kick to the back of the head to broke the hold. Booker stomped on Cena before he caught him with the FU. Cena celebrated on the outside with his title belt. Ross signed off.
WINNER: No Contest in 6:00. After last night, the last thing viewers wanted to see was another a non-finish in an Undertaker match. Taker is leading the league in non-finishes per match average this year. Not as much heat on this as you would expect. Cena progressively lost the fan support as the match wore on and as he kept trying to land punches. Weak conclusion to the show.
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