On Monday, April 16, 2007 at 11:50 PM EST WWE RAW
April 16, 2007
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
Coach came out to the entrance and said that he had made a Backlash main event that was overturned last week by the honorary GM Michael Pena. Coach said he would have his way tonight though, that John Cena would take on Rated RKO in a handicapped match later tonight.
Coach introduced WWE Chairman Vince McMahon who was loudly booed by the Italian crowd. BTW, kudos to our Italian friends who really went all out with the signs. Impressive. McMahon said Milan was supposed to be the fashion capital of the world. McMahon mocked the not-so fashionable people in the crowd before letting us all know that garlic was not an aphrodisiac. Funny stuff. McMahon got down to business and introduced The Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga.
Umaga headed down to the ring with his handler Armando Alejandro Estrada. McMahon wanted to remind everyone what Umaga did to Lashley last week. A video aired of the beat down on ECW Champion Bobby Lashley last week. McMahon said at Backlash, that their team would destroy Bobby Lashley.
McMahon said speaking of Shane, he wasn’t here tonight. He was told them that Shane disliked the lack of deodorant in Italy in general. Lashley also isn’t here because customs sent him back to the United States. McMahon extended an invitation to anyone in the back who wanted to take on Umaga. In fact he said, whoever did, would get a shot at winning Umaga’s Intercontinental Championship. The crowd chanted something in Italian and Vince said he couldn’t understand a thing they were saying. Vince said since they were so vocal, he’d put out a challenge to one of the fans in the stands.
McMahon called out a little kid in a red striped shirt and made him cry. Total classic heel stuff here. They plucked a guy out of the stands wearing a brown shirt. The fans went ga ga for whoever he is. McMahon asked him if he understood English and he responded with a ‘si’. The fans broke out a soccer chant. Vince made him agree to a to harm no foul clause. Apparently this guy’s name is Santino Morella. The crowd was TOTALLY molten for this.
Vince made fun of his shoes and even got a referee down. A “Santino” chant broke out and here we go. Santino took his shirt off and I guess we’re off.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Umaga v. Santino Morella
Santino was game hitting some kicks to Umaga’s side before going for a schoolboy. Umaga was dazed before McMahon held the proceedings up. He said there’s been a misunderstanding here. McMahon made the match a “No Holds Barred” match. Jesus. Estrada smacked Morella before Morella responded.
Umaga jumped Morella and dropped a big leg drop on his face. Estrada came back into the ring to slap Morella some more before Umaga hit him with a brutal front slam. Umaga lines Santino up in the corner and hit a second rope splash on the Italian. Umaga picked up his challenger and body slammed him and made his way to the top rope. Lashley showed up out of nowhere and press slammed Umaga off the top rope before landing some big punches and flooring the champion.
Lashley blocked the steel chair shot from Vince and chased him from the ring. Lashley hit some nuclear chair shots on Umaga and then hit him with a spear. He dumped Morella on top of him. Three seconds later, we’ve got a NEW Intercontinental Champion.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Santino Morella
Morella, like everyone /*, was in total shock. Lashley put the belt on him and he celebrated as the crowd sang along for their new champion.
King was in the ring with Lashley and the new Intercontinental Champion Santino Morella. Morella gave us all a thank you and Lashley said some bad lines.
Carlito and Flair were in the back. Carlito said he was beginning to wonder whether teaming up was a bad idea. Flair said not to worry about last week. It was water under the bridge to him. He said a win tonight would put them in contention for a shot at whatever they wanted. They just needed to go out and do it.
Ric Flair & Carlito v. The World’s Greatest Tag Team
Carlito and Shelton locked horns and exchanged some shoulder blocks. Carlito hit a hip lock take over and then repeated the move to Haas. Carlito hit a pair of body slams on the two before dropping a pair of drop kicks into Shelton’s face before dumping Charlie Haas over the top rope with a clothesline.
Haas officially tagged in and so did Ric Flair. Flair and Haas locked and ended up in the corner. Haas hit a shoulder thrust and a punch to the face but the former 16 time World Champ fought back with a bunch of chops before chop blocking Haas from behind. Benjamin came in to save the day before a figure four though with a clothesline.
Haas dragged Flair to the corner and Shelton tagged in. Benjamin connected with a back body drop and got a cover attempt. Haas tagged in and planted some boots into the back of Flair before dropping a knee in his face for another cover attempt. TWGTT exchanged quick tags and boots before Flair eventually fought back with some chops. Haas went for a suplex but Flair countered and tagged in Carlito.
Carlito came in and hit some punches on Benjamin before booting him in the gut and hitting a running knee lift. Carlito came off the ropes and connected with a reverse elbow for a two count. Flair chased Haas out of the ring but distracted the referee in the process, causing the official to miss Haas tripping up Carlito, who stumbled into a Shelton Benjamin T-bone Suplex. Shelton made the cover for the win.
Winners: The World’s Greatest Tag Team via pin fall
After the match Carlito and Flair argued up the ramp.
Maria is in the back being retarded with John Cena who got REALLY booed. Cena said there were a lot of players around, but only one champ. HBK showed up and said he made sure he had Cena’s back in the past. He said now, he didn’t care what happened to him. He said next week, they’d go at it one on one. He said he’d leave him on his back. He said there wasn’t anything he could do about it.
JR and King put over the new Italian announce team and the new “Condemned” movie. Again, this is the Running Man part 2…
Melina is in the back with Johnny Nitro who gave us an ‘ugh’. Oh crap! A second one! Eugene showed up and did something weird and left. Melina’s in a fashion show later tonight by the way.
Great little promo video of the Great Khali. Head chops next week!
Eugene v. Johnny Nitro
Nitro jumped Eugene and put the boots to our special wrestler in the corner. Eugene fought back with a few punches and reversed an Irish whip but got caught on the follow up. Nitro hit a face buster off the second rope and hit a snap shot neck breaker for the 1, 2, and 3 for the win.
Winner: Johnny Nitro via pin fall
That’s Nitro’s first win in an eternity.
JR and King put over being in the fashion capital of the world. According to them, we will see a Diva Fashion show next!
A man is in the ring speaking in Italian, and I now know what it’s like to be an Italian or any other non-English speaking WWE fan. I understand nothing.
Diva Fashion Show
Candice came out in a little angel thing. Yay. Victoria struggled in her heels and came down in a very nice classy dress. She’s really trying to walk like a model. Mickie James is next and she’s in jeans. God dammit she’s ungodly hot. Maria came out in a Betty Boop sort of thing. Am I the only guy that thinks this sort of thing is dangerous to do in Italy? Torrie came out in a little black thing that looked like a cross between some beach hang out thing and.. well, who cares. Melina came out and yikes she’s in a red dress. The crowd went bananas for her entrance.
The announcer gave us a little more Italian stuff and everyone, especially Maria, looked befuddled. I guess the fans will decide the winner. Candice got a nice little pop. Victoria got booed her reaction was great and called them French people. Mickie James got a great pop as well. The crowd went ape-sh!t for Maria. I told you this was dangerous. Oh here they come for Torrie. Melina got booed but didn’t seem to care. Lots of catcalls. Torrie ended up winning the contest.
Winner: Torrie Wilson
Melina jumped Torrie and here we go. Fight time. The faces chased the heels from the ring while the Italian crowd cheered them on.
Jeff Hardy v. Lance Cade
The Hardy Boyz got a HUGE pop.
The two locked up and Cade immediately overpowered him and bullied him into the corner. Cade hit a nasty kick to the gut and hit a mean clubbing blow to the back. Cade took his time and hit a mean looking body slam and let the crowd absorb it. Hardy avoided Cade in the corner and hit whisper in the wind and a nifty 360 leg drop that bought him a one count.
Cade retreated underneath the ropes but Hardy came out and quickly tossed him back in the ring. Hardy tried to fight Cade off in the ring but Cade managed to toss him to the outside where partner Trevor Murdoch could do some damage. The referee was smart though and jumped between them. Hardy drop kicked Murdoch to the guard rail but almost found himself on the receiving end of a back drop suplex. Hardy flipped out but immediately ate a size 15 right in the face.
Cade stomped away on Hardy in the corner and distracted the referee while Murdoch got in some cheap shots. Cade bullied Hardy into the corner and hit some nasty looking punches before flat backing his opponent with a forearm to the face which got him a two count.
Cade hit a body slam and went looking for an elbow but missed. Hard hit his reverse mule kick and slammed Cade’s face off the buckles in the corner. Cade hit a snap mare and went for a cover but only got two. Cade was furious with the official before going back to beating on Hardy. Jeff hit a kick to the face and a jaw breaker which staggered Cade. Hardy hit a running forearm and some clotheslines and a swinging neck breaker.
Hardy ascended the top rope and went for the swanton bomb but was briefly distracted by Trevor Murdoch long enough to enable Cade to get his knees up. Cade hit a NASTY lariat out of the corner that completely cold cocked Jeff and left him out on the mat. Three seconds later, Cade was the winner.
Winner: Lance Cade via pin fall
Another promo video for the condemned aired.
Super Crazy v. Chris Masters
The commentators put over Super Crazy’s upset over Masters a few months ago.
Crazy looked for a drop toe hold but Masters wasn’t having it and used his strength to bully Crazy to the corner. Crazy sneaked out and hit a drop kick sending Masters to the outside and then launched himself over the top rope with a suicida. Back in the ring, Crazy went for a moonsault, but Masters rolled out of the way.
Masters took the legs and hit some boots to the mid section, which would likely make it more difficult to do a moonsault. Nice. Masters bullied Crazy to the corner again and murdered him with a powerful Irish Whip which got him a two count. Crazy held off Masters with some boots to the gut and came out and looked for a crucifix. Masters didn’t budge though and fell back and nearly got a cover.
Masters hit some boots to Crazy’s back before slapping on the timeless rear chin lock. The crowd began rallying Crazy but then they began rallying MASTERS. Wow, fun. Crazy fought back with some punches to the gut but got back body dropped hard to the mat. Masters hit a snap mare and a nasty knee to the upper back before going right back to the rear chin lock.
Crazy eventually fought back and hit some clubbing blows to the legs. It bought him enough time to hit some boots to the legs, bringing Masters to his knees. Crazy hit a drop kick to the face and a standing moonsault for a two count. Crazy went looking for some wheel barrel action, but Masters wasn’t having it and freaking PLANTED Crazy with a suplex for the 1, 2, 3 and the win.
Winner: Chris Masters via pin fall
Wow, that was a really good five minute match.
Tonight, we’ve got Cena v. Rated RKO in a handicapped match which is coming up later tonight!
A video replay of Santino Morella’s Intercontinental Championship victory aired. The commentators ran down the card for Backlash. Here it is:
World Heavyweight Championship—Last Man Standing
The Undertaker v. Batista
WWE Championship—Fatal Four Way
John Cena v. Shawn Michaels v. Randy Orton v. Edge
ECW World Championship—Handicapped Match
Bobby Lashley v. Umaga, Vince McMahon & Shane McMahon
WWE Women’s Championship
Melina v. Mickie James
World Tag Team Championship
The Hardy Boyz v. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Randy Orton approached Edge in the back. Edge said he knew he was there to get on his back. Orton said he was willing to let bygones be bygones. Both ran down a short list of ‘besmirchments’ before they agreed to get on the same page and at least bury the hatchet for tonight.
Next week, John Cena will face Shawn Michaels! Yeah!
2 on 1 Handicap Match
John Cena v. Randy Orton & Edge
Edge and Cena started things off and the two exchanged moves before Cena connected with a fisherman’s suplex and went for a cover. Cena grabbed a front face lock and a quick roll up for a two count. Edge forced Cena into the corner and raked the eyes to gain the advantage.
Orton tagged in and landed some mean right hands and laid the boots to Cena. Cena rushed Orton to the corner and did the old Chris Jericho whip/bulldog combo. Cena hit some forearms before getting a boot in the chin looking for a back body drop. The crowd got behind Orton and Orton turned around and got on their case. Nice gesture for him to try and get some heat off Cena.
Cena fought back with some punches and whipped Orton but Edge sneaked in a blind tag and dropped a mean elbow. Edge, unlike Orton, sucked up the crowd approval as we went to commercial.
We came back as Edge knocked Cena down onto the ring apron. Edge came off the ropes and shoulder blocked Cena off the apron into the Italian announce table. Orton tagged in and dropped Cena onto the table face first. Orton broke the ten count before gathering the champion and tossing him back into the ring. Orton hit some punches to Cena’s head and dragged him to the corner to tag in Edge who hit a soft kick to the gut.
Cena began to fight back a little bit with some big right hands but Edge floored him quickly with a big boot to the face. Edge kept hammering away at the head of the champion while eating up the adulation from the crowd. Orton tagged in and hit a nice standing drop kick before clubbing away at Cena. No covers have been made, as the two want to punish Cena. Love that.
Orton dropped a knee on Cena’s face before tagging Edge right back in. Cena grabbed Edge and went for an FU, but Edge wiggled out and hit the good old Edge-O-Matic. Haven’t seen that in a while. Edge kept beating on Cena, hitting some nasty kicks to the head. Cena was picked up from his slumped over position on the ropes and perched up on the top rope in the corner. Edge mounted the second rope but Cena began to fight back a bit. He managed to knock Edge off the ropes and came off with a top rope leg drop.
Orton jumped right in and began hitting fore arms galore on Cena before HBK showed up. HBK low bridged Orton out of the ring and let Cena get into a groove and go into his victory sequence on Edge. Cena hit the five knuckle shuffle on Edge and looked for the FU. Orton popped back into the ring and hit a drop kick, knocking Edge into the referee.
Cena clattered into Orton and the three are out on their feet. Edge got to his feet first and looked for a spear. Edge missed Cena and nailed Orton before HBK missed Cena and nailed Edge with sweet chin music. Cena grabbed a stunned Michaels and nailed him with an FU before tending to Edge and making the cover for the win. Great ending.
Winner: John Cena via pin fall
Cena celebrated above the other three as we went off the air. RAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Wow, what a fun Raw. This really was one of the best foreign shows they’ve put on in quite some time.
The opening angle was done really well. It reeked of 80’s Memphis Style with the long promo leading into the match, which was just really a continuation of the angle. I don’t know what to really think of Morella, but he can’t completely suck if the WWE’s willing to put him out there that quickly. I know most fans aren’t a huge fan of the ‘put the mid card belt on the newcomer’ story line, but I think it might work. The verdict is out big-time on this guy, and how American crowds react to him is going to be the decider.
As for the whole Lashley-Umaga-McMahon thing, this was obviously done deliberately. I think Umaga screams ECW star and I’ll bet good money he walks out of Backlash as ECW champ. Sure, have him drop the belt back to Lashley by the end of the feud, but to really go out and REALLY stack the deck against Lashley, he needs to drop the belt. I’m thinking this was done in order to do that.
Hats off to the mid card tonight. Believe it or not, they really made the show for me. Masters-Crazy was a sensational five minute match. These two have really good chemistry in the ring together and tonight was easily their best match. The constant back and forth, the power v. speed, it was all done really well. The big spots were done well and the end was awesome. Very good match.
Lance Cade worked the best match I’ve seen him work in forever and so did Jeff Hardy. They worked the whole heel-face dynamic really well. Cade constantly cheated and all his moves were meant to humiliate and beat down Hardy. While the structure of the match was executed well, I’d personally like to have seen them commit to one style or the other. Cade’s a big, believable tough guy. He shouldn’t have to cheat. They meshed the two and again, there were many streaks of ‘good’ in there, and I can’t remember the last time I said something ‘good’ about either guy.
The crowd was great tonight and really made a lot of otherwise average segments better, including their reaction to the Diva fashion show. Victoria stole the show for me though. First she struggles in the heels, second she over-does the runway walk, THEN after being booed, she calls everyone ‘French’. Awesome.
The main event was done really well too. JR and King were very ‘on’ on commentary tonight and really got the point of everything the guys were doing in the ring and it really leant itself to the handi-capped match. Orton and Edge didn’t go for covers and saw the thing as a way to soften up Cena for their big match at Backlash, both strictly being on the same page. The irony is that Edge accidentally hit Orton and then if that weren’t a big enough bone to choke on, gets caught with Sweet Chin Music unintentionally from a guy who’s trying to do the same thing they’re all doing: wearing down Cena. Cena manages to luck out and end the match quick and survive. Good stuff.
I’ve got a feeling we’re going to get a twist at Backlash with the title. We’re sort of at a point that after almost two solid years with Cena at the top, I’d kind of like to see the title skip around a bit. I’m not a fan of frequent changes, but there comes a time where it’s completely healthy for the belt to change 5-6 times a year. Maybe they should do that this year. Edge, Orton, HBK and Cena are all really good choices, so why not go with all of them? Heck, even Triple H when he comes back wouldn’t be a bad idea. Just seems we’re at that point again.
Overall- B+ -- This was a really good show. The only ‘bad’ I can pull from this is that they pulled the trigger on Carlito-Flair way, way too late and it showed. Everything /* was fun and exciting. Great booking enabled them to squeeze everyone onto the card and we got six matches tonight. Great stuff.
Santino Morella def. Umaga to WIN The Intercontinental Championship
The World’s Greatest Tag Team def. Ric Flair & Carlito
Johnny Nitro def. Eugene
Torrie Wilson won a Diva Fashion Show
Lance Cade def. Jeff Hardy
Chris Masters def. Super Crazy
John Cena def. Randy Orton & Edge
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Santino Morello
2. Shawn Michaels
3. The Hardy Boyz
1. Mr. McMahon
2. John Cena
4. Chris Masters
Match of the night: Super Crazy v. Chris Masters **1/2
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 (13-4, 31 points) (Last Week: WWE Champion)— In what’s probably about as predictable as the sun coming up, John Cena becomes the first guy to eclipse the 30-point mark. It’s looking like his title might be on shaky ground though. I’ve got a feeling WWE may be looking to do a swerve.
Intercontinental Champion: Santino Morello 1-0, 5pts. (Last Week: NR) — Big surprise of the night. Verdict is out in a big way on Morello, but hopefully, we get something good out of him.
1. The Great Khali, 8-0-1, 16pts. (Last Week: 1 )— To be honest, I was looking at moving Khali out of the top spot, but with HBK more or less screwing himself tonight and Edge and Orton losing, Khali stays put.
2. HBK 8-4-1, 15 points (Last Week: 2) — Considering how over he was, I was a little surprised we didn’t see more of Michaels this week. The ending angle was a good one. I can’t WAIT for the WM 23 rematch next week with Cena.
3. Edge 4-7, 10pts. (Last Week: 4) — Sure, Edge lost tonight and even took the fall, but I’ll move him up for a really strong heel performance. The crowd ate him up and unlike Jeff Hardy, he didn’t lose to Lance Cade.
4. Randy Orton 3-10-1 , 7 pts. (Last Week: 5) — Again, a lot stronger than his terrible record really indicates but clearly the #4 guy on the Raw brand (if not #5 behind Umaga). Hardy’s getting pummeled by Cade and Umaga losing to a guy on his first night bump Orton up by default.
5. Umaga 6-5, 15 Points (Last Week: IC Champion)-- A few months ago, Umaga was undefeated. Now, he’s a former IC champion and five times defeated. Now he’s a hair above .500. I will say though, tonight’s dropping of the IC title seems like they’re making room for the ECW title. I think the smart move is to put the belt on Umaga and have him gain a little credibility. You heard it here first: Umaga wins his first world title in a few weeks.
6. Jeff Hardy (12-6-1, 25 points.) (Last Week: 3) — He lost to Lance Cade who hasn’t even won a game of horse shoes on Television in forever. Still, it was a strong match and Hardy’s record is strong enough to keep him near the top 10.
7. Chris Masters, 4-5, 8 pts. (Last Week: 8) —Every Net dork wrestling fan has a guy they really want to see a push and I guess I’ll throw Chris Masters as the guy I want to get a push out there. Masters has improved HEAPS in the ring and looked absolutely awesome tonight. He’s miles ahead of Johnny Nitro on the mic and is leagues ahead of Carlito in the ring but management doesn’t seem too interested in pushing him. I hope he gets the push he’s ready for.
8. Johnny Nitro, (2-6-1, 4pts ) (last week: 10) — After a month or two of being off of TV, Nitro shows up, drops some ‘ughs’ on us and beats up a retard. Awesome.
9. Carlito 5-8-1, 8pts. (Last Week: 7) — I was really big on Carlito around late summer last year but since Unforgiven, he’s been terrible to watch in the ring. He’s got ZERO intensity. Flair is one of those guys that can get a feud over just because he’s in it and Carlito’s kind of struggling to pull his end of the bargain. He hasn’t been too convincing. Again, I think they really waited too long to pull the trigger on this one.
10. Ric Flair, 4-7-1, 6pts. (Last Week: 6) — I feel a little bad for Flair because I think this feud has been horribly handled by management and flat out, Carlito ain’t carrying his load.
OTHERS : Super Crazy 3-5-1, 5 points (Last Week: 9)
Kenny Dykstra 3-7, 6pts. (Last Week: NR)
Eugene 0-6, 0 pts. (Last Week: NR)
Lance Cade 2-7, 3pts. (Last Week: NR)
Trevor Murdoch 1-7, 1 pt. (Last Week: NR)
Shelton Benjamin 1-5, 1pt. (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 1-4, 1pt. (Last Week: NR)
Viscera 0-2, 0 pts. (Last Week: NR)
Rory 0-3, 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Robbie 0-4 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
JTG 3-5, 4pts. (Last Week: NR)
Big Shad 2-5, 2pts. (Last Week: NR)