On Monday, April 9, 2007 at 11:34 PM EST WWE RAW
April 9, 2007
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
Welcome to the first LIVE edition of the Raw Recap! I’m here in a nice luxury box at the Arena at Harbor Yard covering via wireless!
Shane McMahon’s music hit and here we go! Shane put over the name “McMahon” and talked about how prestigious it was. He said when the name was mentioned, it was garnered with fear and respect. He said the last couple of weeks, the laughter that has surrounded his name is soiling it. He talked about how it stemmed from Wrestlemania 23. He said tonight would be all about the McMahon family dynasty. He said tonight he was going to put respect back into the family name. Shane called out Lashley and demanded he come to the ring.
Lashley’s music hit and he came down to the ring. Shane said he took his family’s dignity at Wrestlemania. He said tonight, Shane planned on taking his. He said tonight, he was going to take the ECW championship from him. He said it would be him v. Lashley 1 on 1. As they stared each other down, Umaga’s music hit and he came down to the ring with Armando Estrada.
Shane cut them off in the ramp and demanded they head to the back and smacked Estrada. The two headed up the ramp after a long stare down with Shane-o-Mac. Shane said tonight he’d give Shane the beating of his life. Lashley said they should make this interesting. He said if he won, he’d get to shave Shane’s head. Shane cut him off and told him he works for him. He said he made the matches here. Shane said if Lashley wanted the match that bad, he could have it. The two stared each other down as Shane walked up the ramp.
Mickie James & Candice Michelle v. Victoria & Melina
Victoria grabbing her crotch in ‘pain’ when Melina did her entrance was hilarious.
Melina said she wanted Mickie. Mickie tagged in and Melina jumped her. The two tussled around before James gained control with a snap mare and sit out drop kick to the face. James grabbed an arm bar and tagged in Candice Michelle. Candice bull rushed Melina into the corner and hit a few back elbows before doing her upside down head scissors thingy.
Victoria hit a nasty running boot to the head before tagging in and going for a quick cover. After beating her around for a little while, Victoria hung Candice upside down in the corner and tagged in her partner who hit a splash to the former Playboy playmate. Melina went for a cover but Candice kicked out. The Champion pressed her advantage cinching in a pretty nasty looking bow and arrow. After smashing Candice’s head off her partner’s knee, Melina hit a body slam and tagged in her partner, who missed a sling shot leg drop.
Candice made the hot tag to Mickie James who of course cleaned house and hit a hurricanranna on Victoria for a brief cover attempt. Mickie intercepted Melina with a spear, breaking up the cover before hitting a neck breaker on Victoria. Candice cut off the recovering Melina, while Mickie finished off Victoria with a nasty implant DDT.
Winners: Mickie James & Candice Michelle via pin fall
A video replay of McMahon getting his head shaved aired.
Mick Foley was with Michael Pena, who is the honorary Raw GM from the Make a Wish Foundation. After ogling Maria’s boobies and threatening to shave the Highlander’s beards, the little f__ker got a cheap pop. What a mess.
Carlito got on the mic amidst a sea of ‘woo’s’. Carlito said he had something to say. He said he was ticked off about Flair saying he had no passion. He said the more he thought about it, the more he realized that it wasn’t every day someone gets a wake up call from a 16-time World Champion. He said he knew Flair was a picky guy, and then showed a clip from the New Four Horseman DVD coming out. I will buy it.
Carlito said like in the clip, if they won their match tonight, they’d get a shot at the World Tag Team Championship at Backlash.
#1 Contender’s Match for the World Tag Team Championships
Ric Flair & Carlito (w/ Torrie Wilson) v. Cade & Murdoch
We came back to the match in progress. Flair backed up Cade with a few chops before Cade uncorked a grizzly looking lariat to take the champion down. Murdoch tagged in and began exchanging strikes with Flair. Of course that’s a mistake, so Murdoch tagged his partner in who hit another clothesline before tagging Murdoch back in.
After making sure it was safe, Murdoch came into the ring and hit a back suplex before slapping on a neck vice. The control didn’t last too long as Flair tried desperately to fight his way out of the corner. Murdoch hit a desperation drop toehold to cut Flair off. There was another strike exchange before Flair won it and tagged in Carlito.
Carlito hit a kick to the gut and hit his knee lift, clothesline combo for a near fall. Flair came into the ring but was quickly expelled by Lance Cade. Carlito fought off both and went for the springboard back elbow, but both moved out of the way and hit the Over & Under for the win.
Winners: Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Flair went to tend to Carlito but the youngster steamed off while Flair watched from the ring. As a result of winning the match, Cade & Murdoch get a title shot at Backlash.
A video aired putting over “The Condemned” starring Steve Austin. Anyone /* think this looks like a MEGA rip-off of “Running Man”?
Shane was in his locker room when Coach barged in. Coach commended him for defending the family name but offered a little guidance. Shane cut him off and said Coach’s ‘guidance’ hasn’t gotten him anywhere. He said he was going to do things his way. Shane said he needed to focus on his day to day duties and leave the big picture stuff to him.
HBK was with Todd Grisham. HBK admitted he wasn’t the smartest guy in the world, but nice guys don’t finish first. HBK said this #1 contender’s match was just as important as a Championship match. He said it would be about who wants it more. Orton stepped up to the mic and said HBK had his shots and he hadn’t. He said he was plenty hungry. HBK stepped in and said he was the thousandth person to tell him that and that the only thing he’d be winning was a new pair of dentures because he was going to kick his teeth out of his head. Orton said we’ll see about that and walked off.
#1 Contender’s Match for the WWE Championship
Randy Orton v. Shawn Michaels
HBK came out to “Sexy Boy” for the first time in forever.
Michaels grabbed a side headlock to open the match. Orton tried to power out of the hold and succeeded momentarily before HBK countered into a hammerlock. Orton grabbed one of his own but again, couldn’t maintain control. The two traded a key lock and some leverage before Orton yanked the hair and got a near fall.
Orton went right back to the hammerlock and yet again, HBK reversed. Orton hit a back elbow and then the two traded some moves off the ropes before HBK grabbed a headlock. Michaels is bleeding thanks to the elbow. Orton tossed HBK into the ropes and hit a knee lift to get the advantage. Orton booted HBK in the gut a few times before coming across Michaels’ chest with some clubbing blows. Orton hit a body slam but missed a knee drop.
HBK zeroed in on the knee, hitting a chop block on Orton, sending the second-generation star reeling to the mat. HBK put the boots to the left leg of Orton before twisting it around for fun and dropping a nasty looking elbow on it. Orton managed to toss HBK into the ropes, but HBK grabbed the leg and hit a dragon screw. HBK went at the leg again but Orton kicked him into the ring post.
Edge showed up out of nowhere to a chorus of boos. Orton went to scream at him but HBK sneaked up from behind and almost scored a roll up. Orton kicked out and sent HBK hard into the buckles. Orton stared down Edge as we went to commercial.
Orton was still favoring his leg but managed to connect with a clothesline. He sent HBK into the ropes and elbowed him to the ring apron. Orton dragged HBK in by the head and DDT’d him hard to the mat. Orton went for a cover but HBK kicked out.
Orton went into his Garvin Stomp Michaels fought back from the ground with chops and the two ended up coming off the ropes. HBK went for a sunset flip but only got a two count. Orton kicked out and nailed a lariat for a two count before grabbing a rear chin lock.
HBK fought to his feet but Orton cut him off with another clothesline. He went for a back body drop but got caught with a swinging neck breaker. The two struggled to their feet and began exchanging strikes. HBK came off the ropes looking for his flying forearm and missed, clattering into the official. HBK went into his victory sequence and capped it off with a top rope elbow. HBK went to tune up the band. Edge distracted Michaels just long enough for Orton to take HBK over the top rope and to the floor.
Edge watched both rise to their feet. Orton hit an RKO on the floor out of nowhere, cold cocking the former champion. Orton picked up Michaels and dumped him into the ring. Orton and Edge began arguing before things came to blows. Orton ate a spear on the outside before Edge rolled him into the ring.
Both made it to their feet as a new referee counted away and HBK kicked Orton and fell on top of him for the pin fall. The original referee said HBK’s shoulders were also on the mat. Looks like we don’t have a winner.
Winner: Double Pin Fall
Edge paced around on the ramp after the match wondering whether or not HE was the #1 contender.
A replay of the silliness from before the break aired.
Randy Orton barged into Shane McMahon’s office demanding he do something about what just happened. Shane scolded him saying he knew better and that there were more important things for him to worry about tonight.
Our honorary GM was walking around when Cryme Tyme shilled a T-Shirt to him. Coach walked up and made fun of his clip on tie. The kid said he had something to say to Coach, but as soon as he was about to tell him what he had to say, he was cut off by Edge, who needed to talk to Coach about something. Pena and Foley talked about how they tried to tell him, but some people just never want to listen.
The Hardy Boyz v. The World’s Greatest Tag Team
Haas and Jeff squared off and Haas whipped Hardy and hit him with a follow up clothesline. Haas went for a quick cover but Jeff kicked out. Shelton tagged in and went to work on Jeff, hitting some knees to the sternum before bullying Hardy to the floor and hitting some punches to the head.
Shelton slapped on a rear chin lock, which Jeff kicked out of and tagged in his brother Matt. Matt cleaned house, hitting his bulldog-clothesline combo and then hit a side effect on Shelton. Matt back dropped Haas to the mat and Jeff cleaned him off the apron. Matt hit a twist of fate on Shelton and let Jeff hit the Swanton bomb to win the match.
Winners: The Hardy Boyz via pin fall
The Cutting Edge is next!
Another commercial for “The Condemned” aired.
The Cutting Edge
Our special guest tonight will be WWE Champion John Cena.
Edge said before we got to the champion, he wanted to comment on the contenders, who both just lost a match. He said he just had a conversation with Jonathan Coachman back stage and they agreed HE should be the new #1 contender. Edge went to bring out Cena and instead Randy Orton’s music hit and he came down to the ring and trashed Edge’s set.
He said he had talked to Coach, and he said that Edge wouldn’t be getting a WWE title shot. Orton went nuts for a little while longer before HBK’s music hit and he came out to the ring. He said last week he looked Cena right in the eye and told him what he thought. He said he was going to look at those two and do the same thing. He said he was the better man and as far as he was concerned, he would be getting a shot at the WWE Championship, again, at Backlash.
John Cena’s music hit and he came out to the ring. He said he knew everything went horribly wrong. He said apparently all these guys wanted to do was talk about their packages. Cena ran down the whole lot of them. He said last time that he faced Edge, it was in a match Edge picked, and that didn’t end to well for him. Cena looked Randy Orton and told him that he only had him to blame. He said he never turned down a challenge. He said Orton never had the guts to step up. He told Orton that if he wanted to dance, he was easy to find.
Cena came to HBK last. He said he’d hate to see his former partner upset. He said his former partner wanted to re-create Wrestlemania. Cena said he’d love to do it. Cena talked some more before being cut off by Coach.
Coach said he made the decisions around here. He said after the controversy Orton and Edge found him and gave him the respect he deserved. He said at Backlash it would be Randy Orton & Edge v. John Cena in a handicapped match for the WWE Championship. Mick Foley’s music hit and he came out to the ramp. He let Coach know he didn’t get to make the decision. He said the decision laid in the hands of Michael Pena, who came out to the ramp.
Pena exherted his authority and overruled the decision. Pena grabbed the mic and said at Backlash it would be John Cena v. Randy Orton v. Edge v. Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship.
ECW World Championship—Title v. Hair
Bobby Lashley (c) v. Shane McMahon
Shane came right at Lashley, spearing him through the ropes onto the floor. Lashley scooped up Shane, but Shane wiggled out and slammed him into the steel ring post. Shane climbed back into the ring and hit a baseball slide drop kick and then tackled Lashley right into the ring steps.
The bell rang for the match to begin and Shane went right for a cover. Shane landed some kicks to the Champions’ sides and laid some punches into the gut. Shane controlled the action in the corner as Shane did a little dance. He wasn’t dancing for long though, as Lashley shot out of the corner and hit a belly to belly overhead suplex.
The champ followed up with a back body drop, flat backing the younger McMahon. Shane decked Mike Chioda to disqualify himself out of nowhere.
Winner via DQ: Lashley
Umaga’s music hit and he came into the ring. Umaga pummeled the ECW champion in the corner. Umaga hit a huge big splash before sitting Lashley in the corner and hitting his running ass to the face. Umaga hit a second for fun.
Vince handed a steel chair to Shane who promptly cracked Lashley with it. Vince grabbed the mic and walked into the ring as Umaga punched away at the now bleeding champion. Vince got in Lashley’s face and told him that tonight, it wasn’t about the title. But it would be. At Backlash, Lashley would put the ECW World title up against Umaga, Vince McMahon and Shane. Vince took some free shots at Lashley as we went off the air. RAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Tonight, unfortunately, was one of those nights where EVERYONE seemed ‘off’ a bit. Wasn’t for a lack of trying, it just wasn’t there. We get one of these every few years. HBK looked about 10 steps off in his match, Flair and Carlito looked beyond terrible and even Lashley and Shane just seemed /*where tonight. It’s not like tonight was a horrible Raw, or was laid out poorly. It was just that everyone seemed to have a bad night.
Cena’s promo seemed off, Orton seemed really off on the mic, HBK’s promos were off, etc. Everything about tonight was a little strange it seemed.
Booking-wise though, this was actually done really well. We had a nice little controversy that leads to a multi-man match for the WWE Championship which we haven’t had in god knows how long. If I remember correctly, the last one we got on a pay per view was Backlash last year. This is a strong choice. Any three of these guys could walk out with the belt.
I THINK (I’ll admit it I’m lazy) I mentioned last week, that Cena struggled in his first two reigns because there was never a good time for him to ‘drop’ the title. The old summer camp adage applies to booking wrestling champions. End the reign at ‘peak fun’. ‘Peak fun’ is when people are having a lot of fun with the champion or activity so you end it when it’s at it’s most fun. If you don’t, you run the risk of it getting stale and people aren't ever really able to re-capture the first or most enjoyable experience. Same applies here.
In Cena’s first two runs, he never hit that ‘peak fun’ point where there was a good time to take the belt off him. He’s there now and that’s why we may get a title change at Backlash or at least very soon. It made no sense to take the belt off your top guy at Wrestlemania, so why not do it at Backlash? The last title change we had at Backlash was way back in 2002 when Triple H dropped the Undisputed title to Hulk Hogan. It’d be nice to see WWE shake things up a bit with a title switch at the late-April show.
Just a few other thoughts before I hit up the arena bar and head home:
The Carlito-Flair thing is heading nowhere. It seems utterly direction-less and everything about it right now seems out of whack. It sort of seems like no one has any idea which direction they want to go in.
WWE REALLY needs to cut down the movie trailers for their crappy movies. It kills the crowd. There was a lot of dead time because of the two or three movie trailers they played. It really killed the crowd. By the time the fourth or fifth trailer aired on the Titan Tron, the crowd was boo-ing it. I know they plug it on TV for obvious reasons, but at the live shows, maybe they can show a cartoon or something.
There seemed to be some considerable build around the tag title match for Backlash. From all indications, it looks like fans may get a focused tag division they’ve been craving for so long.
Overall- C -- Nothing structurally about this show was bad. The wrestlers just really seemed out of sync tonight. Everyone seemed ‘off’. Again, no one’s fault, really, these nights happen from time to time. Even the Heat guys seemed sloppy tonight. Good job laying the groundwork for Backlash though.
Mickie James & Candice Michelle def. Melina & Victoria
Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch def. Ric Flair & Carlito
Randy Orton v. Shawn Michaels ended in a No Contest
The Hardy Boyz def. The World’s Greatest Tag Team
Lashley def. Shane McMahon
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Shawn Michaels
3. John Cena
4. Ric Flair
2. Mr. McMahon
3. Shane McMahon
Match of the night: Randy Orton v. Shawn Michaels *3/4
Power Rankings5 Points= Title Win
4 Points= World Title defense/win
3 Points= Singles PPV Win
2 Points= Tag PPV Win
2 Points= TV Singles Win
1 Point= TV Tag Win
0 Points= Loss
WWE Champion: John Cena (12-4, 29 points) (Last Week: WWE Champion)—I’m a little surprised they laid off the Wrestlemania rematch, but I’m honestly looking forward to seeing Taker-Batista get the exposure it deserved. It’s hard to say at this point whether or not Cena’s going to hold the belt longer. He’s sort of in a good place to lose it, a place he hasn’t been before.
Intercontinental Champion: Umaga 6-4, 15 Points (Last Week: IC Champion) — I’ve got a sneaking feeling that Umaga’s going to be ECW Champion after Backlash. Having Lashley chase him would be great for ratings. Sure, I’m sure the feud will get stale with smarks pretty quick, but this is a great program for the ECW brand to help get it over some more. Personally, I’d put the belt back on Lashley once the feud’s over, but to get over the ‘screwed’ dimension this feud’s sure to have, they need to get the strap off him.
1. The Great Khali, 8-0-1, 16pts. (Last Week: 1 )— No Khali=A Bad Night For Me.
2. HBK 8-4-1, 15 points (Last Week: 2) — Michaels seemed way off tonight for some reason. The promo lacked and he had his first bad night in the ring in quite some time. One night out of how many though? Gets his title shot, and he may be the guy who ends up walking away with the gold.
3. Jeff Hardy (12-5-1, 25 points.) (Last Week: 53) — Another super quiet night for one half of the new tag champs. An otherwise meaningless win over Haas & Benjamin sets he and his brother up for a date with Cade & Murdoch at Backlash.
4. Edge 4-6, 10pts. (Last Week: 4) — Edge was way, way, way, way, way over as a heel tonight. There’s Edge up here, and everyone down there in terms of heel heat. Just his presence in the #1 contender’s match annoyed the hell out of the Connecticut crowd tonight, which is doing something. Connecticut crowds are usually as dead as they come. For a heel to really get under their skin is doing something. They hate this guy.
5. Randy Orton 3-9-1 , 7 pts. (Last Week: 5) -- Orton surprisingly looked FAR better than HBK did tonight. Michaels looked a step or six behind. A good showing for Orton, who’s finally getting a long-awaited title shot. If memory serves me correctly, this is his first World Title Shot since late-November 2005.
6. Ric Flair, 4-6-1, 6pts. (Last Week: 6) — God oh mighty this Carlito program has veered off track. Flair looked REALLY ginger in the ring for some reason tonight. Another guy who just seemed off.
7. Carlito 5-7-1, 8pts. (Last Week: 7) —Again, just looked sloppy and sort of gliding through the motions tonight.
8. Chris Masters, 3-5, 6 pts. (Last Week: 8) — Disappeared again tonight
9. Super Crazy 3-4-1, 5 points (Last Week: 9) ) — Spoke some Spanish with a kid in the back stage area.
10. Johnny Nitro, (2-6-1, 2pts ) (last week: 10) — Who?
OTHERS : Kenny Dykstra 3-7, 6pts. (Last Week: NR)