Monday Night Raw – July 7, 2008: Hurry Up So They Can Bash
Monday Night Raw
Date: July 7, 2008
Location: New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler
It’s probably not a good sign that I haven’t done one of these in so long that I barely remember what is going on. The big story is CM Punk cashing in Money In The Bank last week on Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship, bringing a World Title to Raw. We’re also on the way to the Bash and that is going to need a card. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Punk winning the title and his first title defense against JBL last week. JBL declaring martial law is not exactly the most interesting idea, and John Cena/Cryme Tyme seem to agree.
Stephanie McMahon asks everyone to pull together in Vince McMahon’s absence.
Here is Vickie Guerrero in the ring to get things going. She is here to protest CM Punk being the World Heavyweight Champion and is not leaving until the title is surrendered to her. An apology is demanded and here is Punk to respond. Vickie yells at him and says Edge is so close to falling apart that he has called off their wedding! Punk says he probably did them a favor and explains the Money In The Bank concept. Maybe Vickie can find someone cute on Smackdown, like the Great Khali! Vickie stands up and slaps him, so Punk wheels her into the corner.
Cue JBL in his limo to interrupt and say Punk’s reign is coming to an end. JBL challenges for the title, saying Vince McMahon would give him the shot. Punk brings up that Vince isn’t here, but John Cena certainly is. Cena mocks JBL for blaming a variety of things on not being champion and doesn’t really want to hear about it. Maybe Cena should listen to Punk, who shakes Cena’s hand.
In reality, there is no one in charge around here, so we need to figure out Punk’s next challenger. Cena thinks he and JBL should have some kind of #1 contenders match, but here is Batista who wants in as well. Batista says Punk deserves the title after last week and also says hi to Vickie, who made him miserable on Smackdown. He feels sorry for her…but nah, because he really can’t stand her.
As for the title, Punk cashed in after Batista took Edge out but JBL cuts Batista off instead. Cena calms things down by suggesting a triple threat #1 contenders match tonight. JBL doesn’t like it so Cena says that means JBL is out entirely. That gets JBL in the triple threat, but now it’s Kane interrupting. He wants in too so Punk thinks we have a fatal four way. And that’s finally it!
Rey Mysterio vs. Santino Marella
Rey sends him into the corner to start but a faceplant gives Marella a breather. A camel clutch is broken up but Rey misses a 619, only to knock Santino down without much effort. Rey hits a jumping double stomp of all things and the 619 into the top rope splash gives Rey the fast pin.
CM Punk is…interrupted when a light falls down. Anyway, he’ll face anyone but Snitsky of all people comes in to say he wants a fight. Works for Punk.
John Cena and Mickie James are talking about last night when Kelly Kelly comes up to talk about their tag match. Cena is amazed that Kelly got out of her ECW contract, but apparently it didn’t exist.
Kelly Kelly/Mickie James vs. Jillian Hall/Layla
Jillian grabs Mickie’s arm to start and is quickly pulled into a headlock. Kelly comes in with a sunset flip for two and a hurricanrana gets the same. Layla gets in a cheap shot though and Jillian rams Kelly’s face into the mat over and over. They go to the corner and Kelly manages a victory roll for the fast pin.
Rating: C. This was about all you could expect from this match as Mickie was barely involved. It seems that Kelly might be the next in line to get a push but she is going to need a lot of work in the ring to really make that happen. She has to start somewhere though and the whole gymnast thing can get her at least a few steps forward.
Here is JBL’s limo…with JBL walking beside it. He can’t open the doors….so here is John Cena, holding a crowbar, to pop out instead. Cena says Louisiana has strict laws involving limousines and this one will never pass inspection. Fortunately for JBL, Cena knows two guys who can help get parts quick. We hear about some of those limo laws, with Cryme Tyme (carrying some large bats/pipes) helping to fix the limo up a bit. One more thing though: it needs a custom paint job! Spray painting ensues as a bonus. Cena: “Fine work by the Cryme Tyme Body Shop. It is sure worth the drive.”
We look at the cash-in again.
CM Punk vs. Snitsky
Non-title. Punk strikes away to start but dives into a bearhug, allowing Snitsky to drive him into the corner. Snitsky’s elbow gets two and the bearhug goes on again. More strikes get Punk out of trouble again and the running knee in the corner sets up a bulldog. The GTS gives Punk the pin.
Video on Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho, with Michaels’ eye being heavily damaged.
Here is Michaels to say he accepts Jericho’s challenge for the Great American Bash. Cue Jericho with Lance Cade, with Jericho saying he knew Michaels would accept. Michaels can’t help himself because all of the beatings haven’t taught him anything. Now Michaels is going to get beaten up again, even though he’s just another legend fighting for one more chance. Does Michaels want to be a martyr for all of these people? Are they going to pay for him if he loses everything?
Like every other martyr, Michaels is going to be swept underneath the rug and forgotten. Michaels talks about how he could leave wrestling today and be remembered forever. No matter what he has done, the fans seem to keep giving him a pass. Jericho doesn’t think that’s fair, but Michaels talks about what Jericho has done in his career. In spite of all that though, Jericho will never have peace because he will never be Michaels. And there’s the core of the story and that makes the story so much better.
Kofi Kingston vs. Charlie Haas
Non-title. Haas grabs a headlock to start but can’t get very far as Kofi strikes away. A cravate with knees to the face have Kingston down for two and we hit the chinlock. Kofi fights up with some dropkicks into the Boom Drop and the spinning kick to the face finishes Haas off in a hurry.
Rating: C. Not much to this one as they only had a few minutes. It doesn’t help that Haas hasn’t meant anything in a long time now so there was only so much drama about anything happening. I’m sure Kingston will get an opponent worthy of a title shot soon enough, but that isn’t Haas right now and they didn’t treat him as anything else.
Post match Paul Burchill runs in and lays Kingston out.
Batista is walking….and a fan randomly runs in to do his pose before running off again.
Batista vs. John Bradshaw Layfield vs. John Cena vs. Kane
For the World Title shot at the Great American Bash. The brawl starts fast with JBL booting Cena down for an early two. All four of them slug it out and we take an early break. Back with Kane elbowing Cena in the face and ripping at said face in the corner. Batista hits a spinebuster for two on JBL with Kane making the save and planting Batista with a chokeslam. JBL breaks up the FU to Kane and everyone is left down.
It’s Cena up first to clean house, including an FU to Batista for two. We take another break and come back again with Kane breaking up the Shuffle to JBL. Batista starts cleaning house and kicks a downed Kane in the face. The Clothesline From JBL hits Batista but Cena pulls JBL into the STFU. That’s broken up so Cena and JBL double team Kane down. Everyone but Cena fight to the floor, with Kane knocking JBL over the barricade. Back in and Batista spears Kane for the fast pin and the title shot.
Rating: B-. This wasn’t some kind of a classic or anything but they kept things moving here and it made for an entertaining match as a result. I had fun with this and giving Batista the title shot is an interesting way to go. Punk vs. JBL isn’t interesting, Cena would be an overwhelming favorite over Punk and Kane doesn’t feel like a World Title challenger. That leaves Batista as the just right choice and he got there in an entertaining fight.
Post match Batista leaves so Kane can snap and beat up people working at ringside. Kane yells at commentary and drags Cole inside, telling Cole to ANSWER ME. Jerry Lawler chop blocks Kane to save Cole but gets beaten up to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. They don’t have much time to get ready for the Great American Bash at this point so moving rather quickly like this is a good idea. The World Title match is now set and Michaels vs. Jericho got a nice boost. This show felt like it got some things done in the span of two hours and that is not something you often see with Raw. Good enough show here, as the Bash is coming together rather quickly.
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