Anaheim, California
October 13, 2008
Results thanks to pwtorch.com

Backstage, they started with World Hvt. champion Chris Jericho and Mike Adamle having a little discussion. Jericho was complaining about how things went down last week, but Adamle told him that he made Jericho temporary special referee for the main event. Jericho said it's also not fair about the special ref stipulation at Cyber Sunday for his match against Batista. Adamle said he was told by Steph and Shane to empower the fans, so he did just that. He then booked two matches for tonight where Jericho will face an opponent Batista picks and Batista will pick an opponent Jericho picks. Jericho still wasn't so happy, so he vowed to go over Adamle's head. Adamle laughed and said they shut off their phones during the broadcast. Jericho wasn't satisfied, so he decided to do something about it.

Jericho walked backstage to the ring after checking out Candice and Mickie's texting while Jamie Noble supervised. He complained about the special ref stipulations facing him where Orton, Michaels, and Austin (big reaction) have a grudge to settle if any of the three is chosen as special ref. Jericho told Steph and Shane to abolish the stipulations, as it would basically give the World Title to Batista.

Shawn Michaels's music interrupted the proceedings, and Michaels walked out to the ring for a staredown with Jericho. Michaels said he would like to stand here and say that if he's voted in as special referee, he would call things right down the middle. But, he can't lie like politicians because if he were voted as special ref, he would make sure Cyber Sunday is the worst night of Jericho's life. Strong crowd reaction for that line. Michaels then finished that unlike Obama and McCain, he's going to do something about their disagreements.

Michaels suddenly lunged at Jericho and nailed successive right hands. Jericho managed to roll to the floor, then he quickly walked up the entrance ramp while holding his jaw. Jericho disappeared, but then returned on stage. He pointed at Michaels and said he's decided on Batista's opponent for tonight. Jericho booked Michaels vs. Batista, then he left as Michaels's nose flared in disgust inside the ring.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Rey Mysterio came out to the ring out of the break, then Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler announced Rey vs. Kane at the PPV. They're using the house show gimmick of fans voting for Falls Count Anywhere, No Holds Barred, or 2 out of 3 falls. Something tells me we aren't getting 2 out of 3 falls. ECW champion Matt Hardy then came to the ring as Rey's partner. Mark Henry and Tony Atlas followed out next, then Kane. They showed Johnny Knoxville sitting ringside prior to the match starting.



Hardy and Henry started things off, with Hardy losing control early on. The heels worked over Hardy for a few minutes before Rey accepted a hot tag at 4:00. He knocked Henry off the ring apron, then kicked Kane in the face before snapping off a head scissors. Rey then dialed up the 619 and connected. On the floor, they repeated the spot from ECW where Henry caught Hardy in mid-air. But, this time, Rey came flying off the apron and sat on Hardy to push him down onto Henry. After a big collision, Hardy beat Henry up the entrance ramp to the back. Back in the ring, Rey tried a top rope splash, but Kane straight punted him in the gut to knock the wind out of Rey and the fans. Kane then made the cover for the win.

Afterward, Kane wanted to inflict more punishment, but Rey slipped out of a chokeslam and dropkicked Kane through the ropes to the floor. Kane and Rey then had a staredown to end the segment.

WINNERS: Kane & Henry in 6:00. Fine match playing off the recent ECW TV match. Kane continues to show he has smarts to go with being an overpowering big man. (*)

Backstage: They focused on Batista with his unshaven beard, then Todd Grisham interviewed Batista about facing Michaels tonight. Batista said he knows Jericho isn't dumb, which is why he booked him vs. Michaels. He briefly acknowledged their history and feud earlier this year, but said he respects Michaels. However, if Michaels tries to take him out tonight, he'll beat him to the punch. Short and to the point effective promo.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: JBL's white limo emerged near the stage area, then JBL came out dangerously close to the unclean fans. JBL cursed his limo driver for a poor parking job, then he jawed with the fans some more. He stepped into the ring and cut his financial promo. JBL said he keeps hearing people asking if their entire live-savings will evaporate, but he's not concerned. He said he's making bank right now because the poor will always be here, while the rich must be taken care of at all extremes. JBL said he is America and he is a real American. Hm... Suddenly, Hulk Hogan's music hit and out walked fake Hogan with the real Hogan video playing on the Titantron. It was Haas Hogan playing the imitation Hogan, allowing Lawler to crack all kinds of Hogan jokes. JBL was simply stunned into silence.



Bell sounded after Haas ripped off his t-shirt, then JBL started working him over. Haas suddenly Haased up and did the "you!" point before blocking right hands and nailing a big boot. Haas tried the leg drop, but JBL moved and smashed Haas with the Clothesline from Hell. Lawler said he might have broken his hip. JBL with the cover for the easy win.

WINNER: JBL in 2:00. Eh. The joke worked slightly in So Cal, but JBL is going nowhere right now and Haas's bit is on the verge of getting old. (n/a)

Ringside: Grisham brought in Johnny Knoxville's Jackass crew for some discussion. Knoxville said he's here because Great Khali extended an invitation for him to show up tonight. Grisham then brought up some photos on Knoxy's website making sport of Khali. They even misspelled "Khali." More awkward exchanges occurred as Knoxville claimed to have nothing to do with the photos making sport of Khali. This was like a pretty rough post-game interview. Knoxy gave a shout-out to WWE's midget, which they hoped to see tonight. And break. Thankfully.

[Commercial Break]

Cena Rough Cut: They picked up John Cena's story from last week with Triple H commenting on Cena being the same guy on TV that he is in the locker room. Edge said he doesn't have to like the guy to admit he delivers in the ring. Batista said Cena can't live without wrestling. JBL said he's never seen a guy do more things for WWE and live life more fully than him. Hunter said whether you like him or hate him, he's going to give every drop of sweat to represent the best of WWE. They played some anti-Cena clips (from the ECW PPV when he lost to RVD) to show the kind of passionate response he can generate and Hunter said he makes no apologies about who he is. The screen closed: "Cena Returns."

On stage: Randy Orton showed up to point out that no one had nice words to say about him when he was injured. He said he must not be John Cena... thank God. Orton addressed the fans and told them at Cyber Sunday, "Do not vote for me." He said he needs to be healthy for his imminent return. Orton told the fans to vote for Michaels or Austin or don't vote at all. He said that when he gets his title shot, they'll have no say in that matter.

Backstage: Batista was shown preparing to fight Michaels. We'll get it after the break.


[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Batista came out first for the end-of-the-first-hour main event up. Lillian Garcia then introduced Shawn Michaels to set up a PPV main event-quality match-up on free TV up against the Super Bowl champs on ESPN and baseball playoffs on TBS. Interesting to see how this quarter hour shakes out in the ratings.

Before the bell sounded, Cole recapped some of the history between these two men dating back to WrestleMania. Jericho then appeared on screen and said this will now be a lumberjack match. Ah, there was the idea for last week. Out walked a cast of thousand heels, led by Mark Henry and Tony Atlas. Snitsky, Burchill's bacne, and Mike Knox's beard picked up some quality TV time before they cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

ECW plug: Can Chavo Guerrero to do anything of merit on ECW as the competition rises? Yeah, I can't wait to find out!

3 -- SHAWN MICHAELS vs. BATISTA -- heel lumberjack match

They returned with the action in progress as the heels looked on. Batista teased a powerbomb at 1:00, but Michaels slipped to the floor and accepted a blow from a lumberjack. Michaels then slipped back into the ring and dropped Batista on the mat to slap on a figure four. They showed Jericho standing in his locker room watching as Batista powered out of the figure four. Both men slowly recovered, then Michaels nailed a swinging neckbreaker. Batista came back with a powerslam at 3:00, then he grounded Michaels on the mat with a rear naked choke.

[Q5 -- second hour]

They rolled to the top of the second hour with Michaels struggling out of the choke. Batista then gave him a high back body drop before settling into another mathold. Cole took us back to a few months ago when the Michaels vs. Jericho feud was born out of the Michaels vs. Batista feud that came out of WrestleMania. Good acknowledgement of history from Cole tonight. Batista then took Michaels to his feet and nailed a series of clean blows to the lower back. They blew a corner spot, then Michaels got a boot up on a corner whip and rolled up Batista for a two count. Just noticed Randy Orton is ringside for this. Michaels was then tossed over the top rope, but he skinned the cat back into the ring where Batista nailed the Black Hole Slam on the injured back for a nearfall.

At 10:00, Batista stalked his prey and clotheslined him hard over the top rope. Bam Neely wanted a piece of Michaels, but Henry shoved Bam aside and put Michaels in a vicious bear hug. He then rolled Michaels back into the ring where Batista made a cover for a nearfall. Things have been just a bit off thus far. Let's get a break.

[Commercial Break]

They returned with Batista clutching Michaels in a bear hug. Michaels escaped, then he side-stepped Batista to fling him to the outside. Orton desperately wanted to punt Batista in the head, but Batista moved just in time and he fought off Atlas to get back into the ring. Michaels wanted to nail a top rope move on Batista, but JBL attacked Michaels with the ref distracted by another jack. Batista and Michaels recovered on the mat, then Batista nailed a spinebuster at 15:00. he wanted to end it with the Bomb, but Michaels punched out and flipped Batista to the floor. The jacks pounced on both men to assault them, but both men fought them off. Suddenly, they entered the ring and the ref called for the bell.

Batista and Michaels fended off the heels, then JBL snuck up behind Batista. But, Michaels went right past Batista and superkicked JBL in the corner. Henry tried to sneak up on Michaels, but Batista went right past Michaels to spear Henry hard in the corner. Michaels and Batista then recovered in neutral corners while Jericho was shown frustrated in his locker room. After highlights aired on the match, Batista locked eyes with Michaels and Michaels questioned whether the spear was for him. Batista then extended his hand and Michaels hesitated before shaking. Michaels winced, then dipped out of the ring while Batista mulled his options on who he would pick to face Jericho tonight.

WINNER: No Contest in 15:00. Hard to be upset with the non-finish when it was 100 percent clear this was ending without a clean finish. Nice tension between Michaels and Batista, but there was just something off with this entire thing. Crowd couldn't really get into the action with the cast of thousand generic heels ringside blocking the action. (**)


[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix walked out to the ring. Ah, good times ahead. They then rolled a video package promoting Piper, Goldust, and Honky Tonk as the three potential challengers to the IC Title at Cyber Sunday. After the videos aired, Santino asked for the Honk-a-Meter. His voice inflection is just unbelievably gold. We're at 64 weeks for Honky vs. 9 weeks for Santino. Santino said it's his understanding that if you text the incredibly racist term "Honky," he could face the Honky Donk Man. Or, you could vote for two cross-dressers: Golden Dust and Rodney the Piper. Santino then addressed Johnny the Knockville. He called him out to the ring and promised not to put the ah mustard on his eh privates.

Knoxville hopped into the ring and Santino asked him what he was thinking to make fun of Great Khali. Knoxville said he just wanted to ask Khali about his tallywacker. He suggested you dudes get asked that all the time. Beth took exception to that and Knoxville tried to retrace his steps, but Beth weakly slapped him. She then executed the worst powerslam of all time. Hornswoggle suddenly ran into the ring and landed the tadpole splash on Knoxville, who tried to sell this.

Knoxville's friend, Chris, then entered the ring to check on him, but Big Dick Johnson showed up on the scene to strip down to his thong and dance for Chris. We weren't done here, as Chris stripped off his Steelers t-shirt and pants to reveal a white thong. Just not right. They proceeded to dance, but Boogeyman's music hit and he made his eighteenth return. He then shoved worms down Chris's throat and left. Chris quickly no-sold, got up, then left. Knoxville then woke up and said that wasn't too bad.

Great Khali had something to say about that, as he entered the ring with Singh to address Knoxville. They shared a good, hesitant laugh, then Knoxville made the "your penis is this small" signal with his thumb and forefinger. Khali's smile left, then he put Knoxville in the vice grip. He proceeded to chokebomb Knoxville into the worms while the announcers provided plug number 1,432 for Knoxville's website. Referees checked on an apparently lifeless Knoxville to close the segment. This started awesome with Santino, fell apart, then ended as a dud/waste of a segment.


Backstage: Shad Gaspar and Kelly Kelly were shown walking together sharing a surface-level conversation, then JTG was spotted digging into a bag. He pulled out a Might Ducks hockey mask, then said he likes ice (around his neck), but not necessarily hockey. Everyone shared an awkward laugh, then they kept walking in anticipation of a six-person tag.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Miz and Morrison were in the ring with Jillian Hall before the six-person tag. Miz and Morrison proceeded to cut a rap on Cryme Tyme with Jillian interjecting an overemphasized line or two at the appropriate time. Morrison with the line of the rap that the ladies want a piece of "peanut butter and johnny." Jillian got carried away on her final line, so Cryme Tyme's music interrupted to set up the six-person tag.


Kelly started things off working on Jillian, then Jillian tagged out to Miz, meaning Kelly had to tag out. JTG came in, but Jillian screamed in his ear, causing a distraction. Miz and Morrison then went to work on JTG in their corner. Shad took a hot tag at 4:00, then the action broke down. In the interim, JTG picked up the Ducks mask and cracked it over Morrison's back. Shad then made the cover for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Cryme Tyme & Kelly in 5:00. The sad reality of this is that most of the demo in WWE Universe has no idea what JTG was referring to with the Mighty Ducks series of classic movies that inspired a generation of youths to overcome all odds, rise to greatness, and play for a coach with a police record. (1/2*)

[Commercial Break]


Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged the Taker vs. Show feud that picks up at Cyber Sunday. They then broke down the PPV card and various stipulations before recapping what happened with Michaels vs. Batista earlier in the night.

In-ring: Chris Jericho's music hit and the World champ strolled to the ring with the gold belt around his waist. His face looks too manicured after sporting that huge bruise on his cheek last week. We'll see who his opponent is after the break.

[Commercial Break]

ECW plug: Mark Henry is thirsty.

In-ring: Jericho stood confidently in the ring while rolling his wrists (which reminds me... where is C.M. Punk tonight?), then Punk's music hit. Oh my. Jericho with a subtle give-away on Punk being picked by Batista tonight. Punk hit the ring all-smiles and ready to face Jericho, who wasn't particularly impressed. Batista then appeared on the screen with a towel wrapped around his shoulders. He said there is now a special guest referee. Batista dropped the towel, revealing a referee t-shirt. He made a ta-da! motion before strolling out to the ring. The shirt simply did not fit. At all. Comically bad fit. He then sent Mike Kiota to an early exit and called for the opening bell.

5 -- World Hvt. champion CHRIS JERICHO vs. C.M. PUNK -- non-title match -- Batista special referee

After Jericho argued with Batista, Punk tried to roll him up, but Jericho kicked out. See, with a babyface referee, it makes sense for him not to just call a three count because he wants to see the heel take a beating. And he is a man of virtue and dignity. Jericho tried to escape, but Batista dragged Jericho back into the ring and fed him to Punk. Jericho was locked up in the ropes for a good while as Batista let Punk get away with more than a five count.

[Q9 -- over-run]

Jericho came back with a leg trip as Punk stood on the top rope, then Jericho went on the offensive while trading verbal jabs with Batista, who simply smiled at him. Punk then side-stepped Jericho in the corner and nailed a series of kicks to build momentum. He nailed the high knee and bulldog combo, then wanted the G2S, but Jericho elbowed out and nailed the codebreaker in center ring. Jericho then made the cover, but Batista suddenly had something in his eye. He stopped his count, then Jericho argued and took a Batistabomb for good measure. Punk then took advantage and rolled on top of Jericho for the easiest pinfall of his career.

Afterward, Batista raised Punk's hand in victory, then he moved to the stage for a big laugh at Jericho's expense. They replayed the ending, then Cole signed off as Jericho tried to collect himself in the ring.

WINNER: Punk in 6:00. Eh. Sent the (unenthusiastic) crowd home happy, but it fed into that sucks-to-be-you babyface booking that is far too pervasive in wrestling these days. Punk didn't gain much here other than a TV main event slot. Jericho was taken down a notch and that doesn't help selling an "off-brand" PPV in eight days. (*1/2)