Katz Files: My Weekly RAW Notebook!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

My Weekly RAW Notebook!

The Kingfish Arnie Katz presents his analysis and insights inspired by the 10/6 episode of RAW

RAW, from the Key Arena in Seattle, opened with an in-ring scene.

Chris Jericho came to center-ring to proclaim himself the General Manager for the night, since Mike Adamle was absent due to a high-level strategy meeting with Shane and Stephanie McMahon.

He admitted that Shawn Michaels had achieved at least one goal in their match at Mercy He showed his broken tooth and his ripped lip. The acting GM said that he, too, had achieved his goal when he destroyed HBK.

Chris said he was through with Shawn and made a No DQ match between HBK and Lance Cade.

Batista came to the ring to advance his right to a title shot. Jericho didn’t seem to love the idea and it ended up with Batista reminding him about his right to such a match – and shaking him up with a Spinebuster!

The Kingfish Comments: Chris Jericho again did a fine job with the mic. He led fans through a recap of the pay per view and began his feud with Batista.

During the commercial break, the acting GM made Batista-HBL with himself as guest referee as the night’s main event.

The Kingfish Comments: Really, this was a tour-de-force for Jericho. Batista did his usual good job, too.

Beth Phoenix & Santino Morella d. Jaime Noble & Mickie James
Mixed Tag Team Match

William Regal and Layla sat at ringside.

Before the match, Santino perpetrated an affront by announcing that he had become an ardent fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Beth Phoenix’s interference allowed Santino to roll up Noble for the pin and the win.

Grade: C+

The Kingfish Comments: You know, throw in the Burchill’s and they actually have four established inter-gender teams. Maybe they should have a little tournament.

After the match, a fight broke out in the ringside area featuring Regal and Noble. Ultimately, the babyfaces emerged triumphant and left with heads held high.

The Kingfish Comments: Clearly, WWE plans to do more with the Noble/James and Regal/Layla teams. They made need to spice it up with an entertaining stip, though, if they expect fans to reaction well to the idea.

HBK told Todd Grisham that Jericho had set up Lance Cade to do his dirty work.

Shawn said that he wanted to show everyone that he has plenty of gas left in the tank.

The Kingfish Comments: Maybe it’s that long lay-off he had, but HBK looks remarkably viable for someone who had his first big run in the 1980’s. The Heartbreak Kid character is a bit threadbare, given Shawn’s obvious signs of aging, but the guy works great in the ring and performs well with the mic, too.

Ted DiBiase (with Cody Rhodes & Mannu) d. Kofi Kingston (with CM Punk)

Kingston fought off outside interference from both of DiBiase’s buddies, but the total effect left him vulnerable to the man he was actually fighting.

DiBiase won with the Million Dollar Dream to a Russian Legsweep and cover.

Grade: B-

The Kingfish Comments: Singles matches are the way WWE usually builds to an extended tag team program. That’s sure what it looks like in this case – and it’s a damn good move. Kingston and Punk have been in limbo since they lost their titles. A tag team run seems like the ideal way to start putting them back in the mix.

Both are young, good performers who will probably have many future main event runs, but this is the best way to handle them now. One thing’s for sure, they are an electric tag team and should have some fine matches with Rhodes and DiBiase.

Having Mannu as the champs’ accomplice is a two-edged sword. The connection should help build up the rookie, but on the other hand, he isn’t actually wrestling matches. Of greater worry is that Mannu’s presence seems to be an irresistible temptation to do a screwjob finish for every Rhodes/DiBiase match.

Randy Orton and Chris Jericho conferred in the backstage office. Jericho said it was time for Randy to get back to work. The camera turned elsewhere before fans could overhear the plan.

A video reminded fans of John Cena.

The Kingfish Comments: I always like to see videos like this, because it means that we can soon expect Cena to come back to the show.

Rey Mysterio & Matt Hardy d. Kane & Mark Henry (with Ezekiel Jackson)

Rey and Matt stood toe-to-toe with the monsters. They used speed and teamwork to overcome the size and strength advantage the heel team held.

The World’s Strongest Man Clotheslined his arch enemy, Matt Hardy, but his Kneedrop misfired. That allowed Mysterio to get back into action and the Masked Marvel went on a strong offensive run.

With the referee’s attention engaged elsewhere, Kane blasted Mysterio with a kick to the head and Mark Henry chucked him out of the ring! Kane Headbutted Mysterio and rammed that masked noggin into a turnbuckle!

Mysterio catapulted Kane into the ropes with a Flying Head Scissors and, finally, made the tag to his partner. Matt jumped into the ring and almost immediate made Kane pay with a Side Effect. The ECW kingpin ducked a big boot and hit a Bulldog Takedown coming out of the corner.

A Hardy Leg Trip sent Kane sprawling across the middle rope, where Rey hit him with a 619! Mark Henry disrupted the babyfaces by shaking the ring ropes. Kane pounced on Mysterio with a Chokeslam that led to the decisive cover.

Grade: B

The Kingfish Comments: Is this a oneshot for the heel or the formation of a monster team that could fight some high-profile matches? Kane and Henry certainly do make an imposing duo, but it seems more likely that each will continue a singles program for a while. This tag match gave WWE a way to highlight the feuds without burning up a singles match that would otherwise be on a pay per view.

The WWE 24/7 classic showed Kane, in a babyface role, meting out some punishment to Pete Rose at WrestleMania 14.

Shawn Michaels d. Lance Cade
No Disqualification

The brutal fighting quickly spilled into the ringside area, where Cade sent Michaels through a table!

When Cade brought a chair into the ring, Michaels struck first and smashed it back into his face!

Michaels swung from the heels and connected with a chairshot that dropped Kane to the canvas. HBK went a little crazy and bashed the bigger man with about a dozen more chairshots. The announcers said that, to him, the victim was Chris Jericho.

Shawn Michaels essential beat Cade into submission and got a referee’s decision.

Shawn stood in the corner of the ring with an inscrutable expression on his face. As Cade roused himself a little, Michaels rushed to center-ring to deliver another half-dozen chairshots!

Grade: B-

The Kingfish Comments: The match was fast and violent, but it is likely to be mere prelude to yet another Jericho-Michaels war. HBK is unlike to work a full program against Cade, who is fairly far down in the WWE pecking order.

Jerry Lawler, speaking from center-ring, told fans that they will get to choose Santino Morella’s opponent for his match at Cyber Sunday. The choices are Roddy Piper, Golddust and Honky Tonk Man.

The Kingfish Comments: This gives new meaning to the bartender’s stock quip: “What’s your poison?” Choosing which of three elderly gentlemen will shuffle into the ring for a horrendous match with Santino is sure not my idea of an exciting proposition.

Viewed in that light, let’s bring back Honky Tonk <am/ At least the non-wrestling aspect of the confrontation should prove interesting.

They’ve drummed up a little feud between Great Khali and Johnny Knoxville, an outgrowth of a dumb interview that Khali did on JackassWorld.com. Knoxville asked about his cock and the Punjabi Nightmare took offense.

Khali, speaking through his interpreter, invited Knoxville to the next RAW.

The Kingfish Comments: If they’re going for C-List celebrities, why not make a deal with Dr. Drew Pinsky to use a group of WWE superstars for the next season of Celebrity Rehab? Let the train wreck commence!

Great Khali hosted the “Kiss Cam” which toured the arena in search of smooching couples. When he had shown a few, Khali got into the spirit by kissing Lillian Garcia. Her reaction seemed to be stunned surprise more than actual dislike.

The Kingfish Comments: Surrealism meets WWE! What’s next, Jim Duggan in a maid’s uniform cleaning the ring with a feather duster? If this is a build-up for a Khali turn, let’s hope they reconsider. Not only is he hardly the stuff of fan favorites, but turning him into the kissing bandit is probably not going to do much to disturb his heel status.

Kelly Kelly d/ Jillian Hall

Jillian started to sing, but Kelly Kelly came out to stop her.

Both the Miz & Morrison and Cryme Tyme clustered near the announce table and exchanged insults without let-up through the entire match.

Kelly Kelly jumped on Jillian Hall’s back and rolled forward. It led to a match-winning Small Package.

Grade: C+

The Kingfish Comments: The low grade resulted as much from the annoying ringside distraction as the actual match. Jillian Hall and Kelly Kelly did some fairly good work in there, but it was impossible to concentrate with the incessant jabbering.

Both teams have done good work in fostering the Internet-based feud, but it really went off the rails here. Someone needs to explain to all four men that they have to take turns talking or have it dissolve in an unintelligible torrent of words.

In this textbook example of how <I<not to do it, occasional funny zingers were audible, but 90% was audio mush.

Batista d. John Bradshaw Leyfield
Number-One Contender Match
Chris Jericho was Guest Referee
William Regal was Guest Timekeeper
Randy Orton was Guest Announcer

Regal interfered and got pounded, Orton sulked at the announce table and Jericho did his best to harm Batista with fast counts when his shoulders were on the mat and slow ones when JBL was in danger of suffering a pin.

The odds against The Animal looked grim until Mike Adamle suddenly appeared at the top of the ramp. He sent a replacement official to the ring who counted Batista’s victory.

Grade: B+

The Kingfish Comments: Given that this was an unnecessary and redundant match, it turned out to be reasonably exciting. Randy Orton didn’t do or say much, but Jericho and Regal worked hard in their roles as corrupt officials.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you’ll come back then – and, please, bring your friends.

– Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
Crossfire4@cox.net
(10/8/08)

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