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WWE RAW FLASHBACK - 5 yrs. ago (11-12-07): Final Survivor Series hype, Lawler wrestles, Hardys & Rey, Triple H main event

Nov 12, 2012 - 1:17:06 PM
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KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 12, 2007
WICHITA, KS.
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR


-A video message aired paying tribute to veterans.

-They went live to the arena where Batista's music played and he walked out to his full ring intro and pyro. Jim Ross acted surprised. Jerry Lawler said, "Pinch me or am I really seeing Batista in a Raw ring?!" It was almost like when Scott Hall and Kevin Nash showed up on Nitro! Or Lex Luger on the first Nitro! Or Booker T at Genesis! Batista said he was invited to be on Raw by G.M. William Regal to "take on some Raw competition" (and hot-shot away even more of the money-potential in interbrand matches down the line). Batista said Regal will regret it. He said he's confused because he's gearing for Hell in a Cell and Undertaker. He said he's going to be locked in a 20 foot high cell with a man who wants to kill him, "a man I don't like, a man who doesn't like me." Undertaker then came out next. Maybe that poll at WWE.com that showed fans cared a lot more about the HIAC than they do Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton or the big tag match prompted this. Or that desire to keep ratings at their former average level, which is now celebrated as a feat, by hot-shotting away the one thing WWE held off on with some signs of self-discipline, which was Undertaker appearing on Raw, because they're worried about renegotiating leverage with USA Network (the deal runs out next fall and they're in talks on an extension). WWE doing this is like parents dipping into their retirement fund to pay off a credit card bill - a price they're paying for a lack of discipline in the past. In WWE's case, their lack of discipline was treating their mid-card developing talent so poorly and doing a weak job of creating new stars and scouting new talent that they have to resort to bringing the two biggest stars from Smackdown onto Raw to try to sustain last-week's ratings pop and to sell Sunday's PPV.

William Regal stepped out onto the stage and he said he invited them to Raw, but not to face each other. Instead, he's teaming them against "the finest tag team on Raw." Out walked the tag champs.

1 -- LANCE CADE & TREVOR MURDOCH vs. BATISTA & UNDERTAKER

Ross said Batista and Undertaker are arguably the two biggest stars on Smackdown and hyped it as a big match because they were taking on Raw's tag champs - as if the tag titles haven't been beaten down and destroyed over the past year or two to the point that the title holders are seen as jobbers before they're seen as big stars. Taker walked the top rope and came down with a forearm on Cade in the opening minute. Batista tagged himself in and worked over Cade. When he shook the top rope after a spinebuster, Taker tagged himself in and gave Cade a chokeslam. Murdoch interrupted the count with a stomp. Batista nailed Murdoch. Taker signalled for a Tombstone, then delivered it to Cade and scored the three count. Batista entered the ring and exchanged stern looks with Taker. Batista then gave Murdoch a Batista Bomb. They had a staredown.

WINNERS: Batista & Undertaker in 2:00.

STAR RATING: 1/4* -- What was gained? Raw fans got to see that Batista and Taker don't like each other, but get along well enough to sorta cooperate in a tag match and not take each other's heads off. What's lost? The idea that Taker and Batista are going to tear each apart next chance they get, and the chance they had to hard-sell down the line the first appearance in years of either of them on Raw for some bigger purpose. I don't think it's worth it, especially not in the first quarter hour without any hype. It just seems like a real inefficient use of limited brand-split star-power equity.

[Commercial Break]

-A sponsored clip aired of last week's Steve Austin-Santino Marella angle.

2 -- BETH PHOENIX vs. MARIA

WINNER: Phoenix in 2:00.

STAR RATING: 1/4* -- Just a dominant squash to further establish her as a level above most divas in the ring.

-After the match, as Phoenix was leaving, Santino walked toward the ring to his intro music. He checked on Maria briefly, looked frustrated with her, then went to ringside to grab a mic. He said he was brutalized last week by Steve Austin. The crowd cheered. He said when he was sprayed down with the Steveweiser and flipping and flopping, that wasn't funny for one second. He said Austin obviously couldn't take criticism about his dumb movie. "Whatever happened about the first amendment rule of America?" he said. "Stone Cold Steve Austin, you owe me an apology." He said if he's here, come out. Lawler laughed. The camera pointed toward an empty stage. Santino said if Austin's not there, he's going to turn to his friend, Jim Ross. "I'm going to get my apology tonight, so who better than good ol' J.R.?" he said. He said when saw his "stupid crooked smile" las week, he got mad, but then he realized he has that "stupid crooked smile" every week. Santino told Ross to stand up and apologize. Instead, Lawler stood up. Santino told him to come in the ring if he wants a piece of him. He said he'd give him the first punch. Just like Vince McMahon in that Montreal locker room with Bret Hart ten years ago. Lawler took advantage of that first punch. He took Santino down. Santino rolled out of the ring holding his jaw and returned to the back quickly. He was fuming mad. "You'll pay for that, Jerry Stupid Lawler!"

-Ross plugged the Triple H vs. Umaga lumberjack match coming up later.

[Commercial Break]

-Todd Grisham approach Santino backstage. Santino challenged Lawler to a match later in the show. He said, "I won't be so easy like that guy from Taxi. I'm going to beat you up." Lawler said even though he doesn't have any wrestling gear, he's going to accept that challenge. Too bad Lawler stopped wearing his wrestling singlet at ringside even when he just did commentary.

-A video recap aired of the Shawn Michaels-Randy Orton feud.

-A clip aired from last week after Raw of Randy Orton sitting backstage with William Regal. It was called a WWE Mobile Exclusive. Orton suggested that if Michaels uses his Sweet Chin Music, he can never wrestle him for the WWE Championship again, but if he intentionally gets disqualified, or it appears he's trying to do so, he loses the title.Regal agreed to it. Lawler then plugged the Michaels-Orton debate moderated by Mr. McMahon later.

-Matt Hardy came out. Then Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy. Matt Hardy?! Rey Mysterio?! Anything can happen on Raw! Ross said it's like a WWE All-Star Game tonight.

[Commercial Break]

-A clip aired of Survivor Series 1997 with teams captained by Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan. These clips are always a bit morbid given how may have died. For instance, Bam Bam Bigelow was in the clip.

3 -- MVP & FINLAY & MR. KENNEDY vs. JEFF & MATT HARDY & REY MYSTERIO

A minute into the mat, Matt wanted to fight MVP. MVP said they were partners, so he tagged out to Kennedy. At 2:00 Kennedy threw Hardy to ringside and they cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

They returned to Kennedy with the obligatory commercial break resthold chinlock on Hardy. When the red light came back on, Hardy escaped and tagged in Rey. Kennedy also tagged in Finlay. Ross called Rey "the biggest little man in WWE." Rey ended up taking a beating from the heel trio for several minutes. At 10:00 Rey hot-tagged Hardy against MVP. Ross said he is "formerly known as the Rainbow Haired Warrior." Not that it ever caught on, but that was a bad nickname. It sounds like a parade float or something. Rey recovered and gave MVP and Kennedy a stereo 619, which Ross dubbed at Lawler's prompting a "1238." Then Jeff hit the Swanton to score the three count. Kennedy must be slightly out of the dog house if he wasn't the designated jobber there, or else it's to provide a reason for Matt and MVP to argue about something new on Smackdown this week.

WINNERS: Mysterio & Hardys in 12:00.

STAR RATING: *3/4

-The Save_Us video aired and practically outright said Chris Jericho was debuting next week since it said X+1=Y, J=9+1, which is the code X_29, so it's not Oct. 29, but instead 1 had to be added to both numbers to equal Y2J. It also said 07.XI/MIII. Then it said 6_DAYS, 23 HOURS, AND 33 MINUTES - which aired at 9:55 p.m., meaning he's scheduled to show up 27 minutes short of a full 24 hours from that moment, which would mean 9:28 p.m. is Jericho's scheduled arrival. Then, for anyone who didn't get it, it said "Next Monday" and "Break the Walls."

[Commercial Break]

-Vince McMahon introduced Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton, who each came out to their own ring entrances. They stood on either side of face-to-face podiums in mid-ring. Orton reminded Michaels of the stipulation. He said he can't use or even attempt to use the superkick or he's DQ'd. Michaels said he gets the rules. He reminded Orton that if he once gain tries to get DQ'd, then he wins the belt. Orton interrupted and said he's sick and tired of hearing people say he got intentionally DQ'd at CyberSunday. He said he was defending himself against him and his superkick. Michaels said the reason he got the superkick banned is because for the last five weeks, he's been feasting on nothing but Sweet Chin Music. The crowd popped. "And you knew number six was coming at Survivor Series, and when it lands, that championship title is coming to HBK." Orton told him to "come off of it." He said Michaels is a hot-head who gets frustrated when he loses his temper. Michaels said he likes that train of thought and asked him to bring that to Survivor Series. "Without the kick, what am I?" Michaels asked. "For years, I've heard people say if Michaels can hit the kick, he can beat anybody. But when I think about that, I'm beginning to wonder if that's a compliment or a criticism. I've never seen myself as a one-hit-wonder with an axe to grind, but who knows, maybe it's true. Maybe everything I've accomplished over the last 20 years has been just a fluke." He said maybe it's been luck. Then he said maybe he could walk into Survivor Series and win a match with a submission hold. He said, dripping with sarcasm, "Gosh, I don't know if I'm all technically sound for that kind of stuff." He told Orton to ask himself how it will feel to be the only guy in WWE history to lose the championship to him when he didn't have the option of using the superkick. "You know somethin', I don't need it," he said. "All I need is the memory of what you did six months ago when you tried to end my career by kicking my head off not once, but twice." He said all he needs is the memory of his wife's tears when he was loaded into the ambulance and his kids wondering if he'd ever work again. "All I need, Randy, is a memory of you trying to end my livlihood. That's all I need," he said. A big "HBK" chant broke out.

Orton told Michaels to tell his wife and children to prepare for the same feelings this Sunday. Michaels made a move around the podiums toward Orton. McMahon grabbed him. Michaels turned to McMahon, then back to Orton. When he sensed Orton was moving toward him, he started a kick. Orton collapsed, then took a shot at Michaels's knee. Michaels went down and Orton pounded at his head with a barrage of punches. McMahon stood and snarled as Orton set up a Career Killer punt to Michaels's face. McMahon stepped in and said not now, he can do it on Sunday. Orton instead gave Michaels his RKO, did a little trash-talking, and then left the ring. The crowd chanted "HBK, HBK."

[Commercial Break]

-After a plug for Kane and Rey Mysterio appearing on ECW tomorrow night, they went to a lengthy recap of the Orton-Michaels angle.

4 -- LEYLA & JILLIAN & VICTORIA & vs. KELLY KELLY & MICKIE JAMES & MICHELLE MCCOOL

Mickie finished Leyla with a kiss and then a roundhouse kick on the rebound. Lawler said he'd love one of those kisses, but couldn't take the aftermath. He said he didn't know what was going on, but his eyeballs loved it. Mickie even pulled her hair back so fans could see she really laid on a kiss on the lips. That'd be a great finisher for Hardcore Holly, too.

WINNERS: Mickie & Kelly & McCool.

STAR RATING: 1/2*

-Lawler took off his shirt and watch to prepare for his match up next against Marella.

[Commercal Break]

-A clip aired of The Rock beating Mick Foley on a double-cross by Vince McMahon to join The Corporation in 1988.

-A vignette aired Snitsky saying "pain is his pleasure." Good to know.

5 -- JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER vs. SANTINO MARELLA

Lawler got in offense at first, but Santino kicked Lawler on a backdrop attempt and took over. Ross said this is the last thing Lawler expected to be doing tonight. Santino caught a charging Lawler with boots to the face. When Santino called to Ross, "Watch this, J.R.," Lawler small packaged him for the three count. WWE announcers don't call "school boys" or "small packages" by their long-known names anymore. It must be too old school, you know back before pro wrestling was reinvited as sports entertainment. Who konws. Lawler joined Ross at ringside and with a wide smile, asked Ross what he thought of that Divas tag match earlier.

WINNER: Lawler in 2:00.

STAR RATING: 1/4* - Served its purpose just fine.

-They showed scenes outside the Wichita, Ks. arena, then as Ross and Lawler began talking, the Save_Us video aired again, with the same countdown clock, so maybe he's appearing twice. Back at ringside, Lawler said he's cracked the code and it's next week. Ross said, "I'm not so sure about that." Ross threw to a video of William Regal training Hornswoggle earlier that day for his match at Survivor Series against Great Khali with help from Coach.

-They went to an empty arena with Regal asking Lilian to introduce Hornswoggle. Out came Hornswoggle. The camera panned the arena like a crowd was cheering. Hornswoggle came out from under the ring. Regal asked Lilian to introduce his opponent, The Great Khali. Lilian made the ring intro, and Khali's music played. Hornswoggle looked worried, but a fake Khali walked out. It was a shirtless Coach wearing a wig. Coach climbed over the top rope like Khali, but of course barely made it safely. Coach had a fake Runjin Singh, too, accompany him. Coach threw off his wig. Regal told him he had to and insisted he pick up the wig. The fake Singh did a bad, insulting imitation of the real Singh ending with a strange stereotypical Native American chant. The ref gave them instructions, then Regal told Coach to be a tackling dummy and not lay a hand on Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle kicked at Coach. Coach yelped in pain. Regal told him to "stop being such a girl." Coach complained to Regal. Hornswoggle kneeled as Regal tripped him. Hornswoggle pulled down his pants. Regal told Coach to pull his pants up because his mother was watching. Hornswoggle hit a top rope splash on Coach for the three count (it was a fast-count!). Coach wept in the corner. Hornswoggle took his wig, put his hat on Coach, and ran away. Well, it was better (and shorter) than last week's DX skit. That's all I'll say, though.

-Lawler and Ross ran down the entire announced line-up for Sunday's Survivor Series. They're not acknowledging at all Edge appearing in the graphics with a chainsaw.

-Todd Grisham interviewed Triple H backstage, Hunter's first appearance on Raw. Hunter said Survivor Series is about who can survive, just as the name implies. He said when all is said and done, if there's only one man standing, it will be him. He said Umaga will be lucky to survive tonight. He vowed that the final chapter of the Triple H-Umaga saga will be written tonight by the one true conquerer, the King of Kings. Good, straight-forward promo. He's not the most interesting character, but at least Triple H has some dignity and credibility when he carries himself like that.

[Commercial Break]

-A clip aired of Lawler vs. all the Doinks and Dinks at the 1994 Survivor Series. Ross chuckled. Lawler said it must've been Ross's idea to dig that out.

6 -- TRIPLE H vs. UMAGA in a Lumberjack Match

Lumberjacks representing Hunter were Rey Mysterio, the Hardys, and Kane. Umaga was represented by his PPV tag partners, also: Kennedy, Big Daddy, V (w/Matt Striker), MVP, and Finlay. That underlighting during Hunter's ring intro pose is not flattering at all, and it's only going to get less flattering as he ages into his 40s if he keeps that same ring entrance. Umaga was introduced second. The main event began with eight minutes left in the second hour. A minute into the match, Umaga dove at Hunter at ringside, but Hunter moved and Umaga flew into the ringpost. Hunter then kicked Umaga in the ring and went for an early Pedigree. Umaga backdropped Hunter to the floor. Umaga's lumberjacks attacked him, but Hunter's lumberjacks forced them to take a step back. They cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

Umaga took control after the break. Ross talked about the mismatch possibilities at the PPV, such as if Hunter's partners are eliminated and he's left against Umaga's entire team. "Talk about surviving, if you're lucky," Ross said. Lawler wondered what would happen if it was Rey left alone. Ross said it would be great to see Matt and Jeff together again. Umaga settled into a nerve hold in mid-ring at 10:00. Hunter's teammates slapped the edge of the ring canvas to get the crowd to clap for Hunter. Umaga beat on Hunter in the corner with a barrage of punches. The lumberjacks got into a scuffle at ringside. Umaga went for the corner butt splash, but Hunter moved. Hunter then threw Umaga into the ringpost from inside the ring twice, followed by a DDT for a two count. Hunter did the DX chop and set up a Pedigree. Umaga countered into the Samoan Drop and signalled for the Samoan Spike. Hunter ducked and hit the spinebuster, at which point Finlay interfered. All of the lumberjacks entered as the ref called for the bell. They went off the air with everyone brawling.

WINNER: Hunter via DQ in 14:00.

[Torch art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch.com]


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