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 10/273 episode of RAW

A memorial placard for Special Delivery Jones filled the screen before the episode began.

The Kingfish Comments: How well I remember Special Delivery Jones from the old WWWF days. He was what might be called an “elite jobber,” along with Johnny Rodz. SF Jones didn’t win a lot of matches, but he worked hard and well in the ring, so it was always a good sign when he was the opposition for whomever WWWF was trying to put over at the time.

The closest current equivalent might be Sho Funaki. Jones had a few moments in the limelight during his long career, such as Kung Funaki is now enjoying, but he was basically one of the bit players in the wrestling show. Yet Special Delivery Jones embraced his role and made the most of it. He will be fondly remembered.

A video showed how Batista beat Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship at Cyber Sunday.

The Kingfish Comments: This episode of RAW had two main objectives: inform fans about what happened at Cyber Sunday and hype the three-hour 800th episode of RAW, a three-hour extravaganza scheduled for November 3.

Boos greeted the arrival of Chris Jericho for a mid-ring rant. The dethroned champion claimed he lost his title as a result of “the biggest screwjob in WWE history.” Chris made a point of including the fans in his indictment.

When Jericho invoked his rematch clause and set the contest for the 800th RAW on 11/3, Mike Adamle came out to announce that it will be a cage match.

The Kingfish Comments: WWE always like to have a cage match at the top of an important card, so this is their standard operating procedure.

Randy Orton came out to complain about being ill-used as a special guest referee after the one the fans selected got temporarily sidelined.

Talking directly into the camera, Orton demanded that Shane and Stephanie come to the next RAW to address Mike Adamle’s fitness for the job of General Manager.

“Either he goes or I go,” THE THIRD-GENERATION WRESTLER DECLARED.

When Orton impugned Adamle’s worth as a husband and father, the irate GM slapped his face!

The Kingfish Comments: I don’t see how Randy Orton is going to leave. For one thing, WWE knows that TNA would snap up his contract in a heartbeat, While I don’t think Mike Adamle is scintillating as General Manager, it’s hard to believe that he would get canned so soon after his appointment.

My guess is that this is part of a build-up to a team versus team match at Survivor Series. Orton’s faction will fight a team of Adamle loyalists with the GM’s job hanging in the balance.

CM Punk & Kofi Kingston d. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase (with Mannu)
World Tag Team Championship

Rhodes took a lot of punishment, first fro Kingston and then from Punk. He broke out with a Jawbreaker and tagged in his partner, who turned the tables on CM Punk with a Leg Trip.

Kingston kicked DiBiase out of the ring after he and Kingston had sent Rhodes in the same direction. Kofi’s Cross Body Block knocked them both flat on the arena floor.

When Punk went for the GTS, Rhodes rolled out of it and made the tag. Kingston came in to level DiBiase with Clotheslines. Rhodes carried the match to Kingston, repeatedly keeping him from making a tag. DiBiase replaced Orton, but the ground-and-pound continued.

Punk finally got into the match and wasted no time sending Rhodes flying out of the ring. While Kingston occupied Rhodes in the ringside area, CM Punk uncorked a Go-To-Sleep that finished DiBiase and took the belts for the fan favorites!

Grade: B+

The Kingfish Comments: They’re now calling Rhodes & DiBiase “Priceless. They’ve also put them in differently colored trunks to help fans tell the two somewhat similar young men apart from each other.

Free Mannu! Free Mannu! Free Mannu!

I don’t think Punk and Kingston will hold the title for long. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if Rhodes and DiBiase won it back at the first opportunity.

This was another “Death or Chi Chi” match. Fans voted for Cryme Time versus Miz & Morrison, so they put this on the first RAW after the pay per view. If you count up all the instances of such booking, both at Cyber Sunday and subsequently, it makes it crystal clear how little the fans actually got to decide.

All three of the former Intercontinental Champions who appeared at Cyber Sunday came to the announce table before Santino Morella and Beth Phoenix came to the ring.

Santino did his countdown, again stating that he world eclipse Honky Tonk Man “in a week – and a year.”

Morella said that the three veterans were “a warning to women not to do drugs while you’re pregnant.”

The IC title-holder told the camera to focus on Beth Phoenix – and then out came Charlie Haas, looking amazingly like the Glamazon!

Santino Morella (with Beth Phoenix) vs. GlamaHaas (Charlie Hass)

Santino attacked Haas from behind as the costumed wrestler posed with a phony title belt. When Morella went into the ringside area after Haas, he took time out to smack Honky Tonk Man.

This turned out to be a very bad idea, because it resulted in Santino Morella getting massacred by the old-timers.

Grade: N/A

The Kingfish Comments: There’s no grade, because it turned out not to be a true match. This whole segment was a mistake; it repeated what happened at the [pay per view and not much more except for Haas’ impersonation. Morella’s monologue essentially repeated the one he did at Cyber Sunday.

Michael Cole introduced a jubilant Batista. The animal thanked everyone and celebrated his triumph.

Batista welcomed the match against Jericho and called the cage “my playground.”

The Kingfish Comments: The title win restored Batista, who is currently the lead babyface on RAW, to his position as the man who makes the main event. It does make you wonder, though, if John Cena will go to Smackdown when he returns to avoid having two of the company’s marquee faces on the same show.

Mickie James, Candace Michelle and Kelly Kelly d. Layla, Jillian Hall and Katie Lea Burchill
Six-Diva Tag Team

With everyone else fighting in the ringside area, Jelly Kelly dispatched Katie Lea Burchill with her K2 finisher.

Grade: C+

The Kingfish Comments: Nothing wrong with this match, except that it was a complete waste of time that accomplished nothing. Dumping six women into the same match is hardly the way to get them over to fans as individuals.

John Bradshaw Leyfield said that he is all about business and that Shawn Michaels had cost him a lucrative deal with Chris Jericho.

In a pre-taped interview, Rey Mysterio talked about his match with Kane. E said that such situations may crush some men, but it makes other grow in courage.

Evan Bourne joined the interview. He said he planned to beat Mysterio in their upcoming match. Both men treated it as friendly competition and they shook hands.

The Kingfish Comments: I like the way they handled Bourne-Mysterio much, much better than the old way they used to do it. It always seemed so phony the way they’d have one babyface suddenly develop an inexplicable hatred of the other babyface in the match.

The way they do it now, neither man suddenly has to become the devil.

Rey Mysterio d. Evan Bourne

Rey Mysterio pulled off the first big move of the match, a Swinging Neck Scissors to a Tornado DDT! They both banged into the ropes, but Bourne jumped onto the middle rope and then sent Mysterio flying with a Springboard Armdrag!

Mysterio rebounded off the ropes right in Bourne’s clutches and suffered a Tilt-a-Whirl Across-the-Knee Backbreaker! The Masked Marvel did a Float Over to escape Bourne’s corner charge. When Evan tried to do the same thing, Mysterio Dropkicked him!

Mysterio hit a Springboard Thesz Press, but Evan Bourne replied immediately with a Running Enzuiguiri! Bourne added a Standing Moonsault, but the Masked Marvel beat the referee’s count.

Bourne went to the top turnbuckle. When Mysterio tried to follow, the young wrestler knocked him to the canvas. Bourne hit a Flying Cross Body Press, but Mysterio rolled through and kicked Bourne into position for a 619! Mysterio hit it, but he missed the West Coast Pop! Bourne tried for a pin, but Mysterio reversed for a quick, effective cover.

Grade: B+

Just as Mysterio and Bourne shook hands after the match, Kane came to the ring! Rey told Evan he would take care of it himself.

Kane tried to tear off Mysterio’s mask. Air Bourne went to Mysterio’s aid and the two of them beat up Kane.

Mark Henry came to the ring, where he and Bourne got into it in the ringside area. The World’s Strongest Ex-Champion smashed Bourne’s back into a convenient ring post.

Kane gave Mysterio a Chokeslam! Henry squashed Bourne with the World’s Strongest Slam!

The Kingfish Comments: Flushed with the success of Kane-Mysterio, WWE evidently plans to give us Big versus Small in stereo. Kane/Henry is one huge tag team and Mysterio-Bourne could be the smallest team working in either WWE and TNA. (Whatever Happened to the SATs?

Pairing these two teams could be the ultimate test of the whole Big versus Small philosophy. It usually works better when only one of the men on the team is as small as either Bourne or Mysterio. Still, if anyone can make it work, it’s these two extremely athletic performers.

A video chronicled the early life of John Cena from the cradle to the WWE.

The Miz and John Morrison came to the upper stage. They apologized to the fans for their jokes about Degeneration X, which they characterized as over the heads of the audience.

Then they announced that they will fight Triple H and Shawn Michaels on the three-hour RAW.

They had two words for DX: “Be Jealous!”

The Kingfish Comments: The Miz and John Morrison have become a significant tag team, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a little fine-tuning. Although they did this spiel pretty well, they need to respect the difference between television and the Internet. The Dirt Sheet can ramble, because people are specifically clicking to see it, but a rant on TV is only a small part of the total show and should be done shorter and punchier. A TV segment needs to be a lot tighter than a video clip.

Chris Jericho had just gotten into the ring for the main event when the cameras abruptly switched to the back. What they revealed to a shocked audience was John Bradshaw Leyfield beating HBK to a bloody pulp!

After Batista got in the ring, Jerry Lawler announced that Michaels would be unable to compete.

Batista & HBK d. Chris Jericho & JBL

Chris Jericho let John Bradshaw Leyfield carry the fight to Batista at the opening bell. Batista dealt the Cowboy Financier a Clothesline to a Suplex. The cover didn’t quite earn the pinfall.

The heels did a lot of double-teaming. The announcers speculated that the two-on-one situation might be very costly for the new champ as he goes forward to face the former titlist next week.

Batista took a lot of punishment on his already heavily bandaged leg. The Animal fought back and Front Suplexed Jericho across the top rope, backed up, and crashed into him so hard that the former champion hit the outer barricade!

Batista fought off some outside interference from JBL, but it left him open to Jericho’s attack! The pugnacious blond turned it into a two-count cover.

The odds began to wear down Batista. The heels spared no effort to add agony to insult. Jericho’s two Low-Altitude Dropkicks drove Batista through the ropes and into the security barrier!

Batista rocked JBL with a Back Suplex and went to work on Jericho with a ring-shaking Side Slam! Chris blocked a BatistaBomb and somehow landed his Codebreaker! Batista only barely beat the final count.

The Citified Texan missed his Clothesline from Hell, but Batista hit his target with the Spear!

That’s when a bedraggled Shawn Michaels hurried down the aisle and into the match. Unfortunately, Mike Chioda didn’t see the tag and made him get right back out again.

Chris Jericho missed a belt shot, but HBK didn’t miss with the Sweet Chin Music that took down Leyfield. The Animal immediately gave JBL a BatistaBomb and pinned him.

Grade: B

The Kingfish Comments: The gimmick of having a seemingly eliminated wrestler make it back in time to help his partner has been played out in many wrestling rings. It didn’t really work that well this time. There was no explanation for how Leyfield so easily overpowered Michaels in the first place, Michaels arrival came at a time when Batista seemed about to win on his own and Michaels’ entry in the match didn’t have an immediate effect.

The finish was short and exciting, which certainly helped, but the main event as a whole was a little flat.

I’ll be back during the weekend 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
[email protected]
(10/31/08)