On Monday, January 22, 2007 at 11:57 PM EST WWE RAW
January 22, 2007
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
A video aired putting over the HBK-Rated RKO happenings from last week.
The DX theme music played and Shawn Michaels came out and made his way to the ring. HBK sort of groaned (literally) for a little while before asking Lafayette if they could feel it. HBK said he felt a feeling he didn’t think existed anymore last week. A feeling that made him feel like he could overwhelm even the worst of odds. He said over the years he had suppressed those feelings, but he said that it would all stop today.
He said no matter what the odds or obstacles, HBK was back. Michaels said that he believed he could be, once again, the WWE Champion. He said this Sunday, the road to Wrestlemania begins at the Royal Rumble. He said he was going to take his reborn passion and toss his hat into the Royal Rumble. He said no mere mortal man is ever going to keep him from fulfilling his destiny.
Edge’s music hit the arena and he came out to the ramp. Edge asked him if he had a feeling he was going to win the Royal Rumble. Edge said he had a feeling too, it was that Shawn’s feelings were going to be nothing but disappointment and depression after the Royal Rumble because he wasn’t going to Wrestlemania. He said he’d win the match and once again become WWE Champion.
HBK told him to shut up. He said he had a feeling Edge needed to come down to the ring so he could tear him apart and called him a gutless coward. Edge removed his hoodie and came down to the ring. Edge met him at the bottom of the ramp and here we go.
The two brawled around the ringside area before spilling into the crowd. Eventually security separated the two but they couldn’t hold them apart. The two continued to brawl until the commercial break.
Michaels and Edge were brawling in the back until Coach eventually separated them from each other.
Smackdown v. Raw Challenge Match
Jeff Hardy v. Joey Mercury
Mercury was wearing a good old face guard on his way to the ring.
Hardy came sailing over the top rope and met the incoming Mercury with a flying senton before tossing the Smackdown star into the ring. Mercury came back with a kick back inside the ring and tossed Hardy immediately right back to the outside.
Johnny Nitro began peeling back the concrete cover before the referee tossed him from the ringside area. Mercury began working over Jeff in the ring, hitting some clotheslines and some right hands to Jeff Hardy’s face. Mercury slapped on a side headlock but Hardy fought out with some elbows. Hardy hit some forearms before hitting Whisper in the Wind.
Hardy capped it off with a twist of fate which mauled Joey Mercury’s face and enabled him to get the pin fall victory.
Winner: Jeff Hardy via pin fall
Vince McMahon was in the back looking over a memo. Coach came running in and said he had the Edge-HBK thing under control, or at least he thought he did. Vince asked him what he was going to do. Coach said he thought about throwing them out of the arena, but wanted to know what Vince would do. Vince said tonight, he had the good mind to have Edge fight HBK in a street fight.
He said that wasn’t the only announcement he had tonight as he’d be making one more in a few minutes out in the ring.
Vince McMahon and Coach came out to the ring. McMahon said he read a letter from Donald Trump last week. This week, he was going to read a letter from him to Trump.
He said now that Donald’s feud with Rosie was over, her ratings were in the toilet. He said the Apprentice could be doing better so he suggested that Trump invite him on the show. He said by having a special star on Trump’s show, ratings would soar. He said he had been on television for over 35 years. He said wherever he went, people went to see him. Hell, he single handedly carried the ratings for Monday Night Raw and was responsible for making USA #1 of all cable networks.
He said he didn’t know whether it was his good looks, charisma or his business acumen or maybe his Herculean physique, it didn’t matter, because everyone loves him. He said in fact, the people loved him so much that he loved them back. He said as a token of his appreciation he was going to do something special next week.
John Cena’s music hit out of nowhere and the WWE Champion came down to the ring. Cena told Vince to ease up. He asked him what happened to him and when did he become Brother Love? He called him a puss bag and said he didn’t give a crap about the fans. He said he just talked about nothing every week. He said the Trump thing was a weird obsession of his. Remember the DX obsession? That got his head stuffed way up the Big Show’s ass. He said it was tough to call, but he wouldn’t say he came out a winner there.
Cena reminded him about his football league. Now it’s Donald Trump. He got it though, because he said Vince McMahon and Trump were egomaniacs. Coach stepped in and said Trump was way more of an egomaniac. He said they must be overcompensating for something. Coach then said mistakenly said Trump had more money than Vince McMahon.
Vince flipped out and said Vince doesn’t have anything more then him. Vince said he hated insults. He said Cena had a match at the Rumble, but Cena needed to have a tune up match on his way to the Royal Rumble. He said tonight we’d see Cena go one on one with…… Coach. Cena started laughing like crazy again.
Super Crazy v. Chris Masters
Super Crazy gave some promo in Spanish. It was hilariously bad. In a good way.
Masters came right at Crazy hitting him in the back and smashing his head off the buckles, which sent Crazy to the floor. Back in the ring, Masters decked crazy and sent him to the corner, but Crazy hit a cross body. Crazy went for a wheel barrel thingy and Masters tried to counter into a master lock. Crazy wiggled out and went for the wheel barrel thing again but Masters suplexed him hard.
Masters hit some boots to the back before hitting a nasty looking back breaker on the Mexican Superstar and clamped on a nice rear chin lock. Crazy fought back with some punches and broke the hold, but got caught by Masters coming off the ropes and was slammed to the canvas. Masters went for the cover but only got a two count.
Masters hit some brutal clubbing blows to razy’s back but Crazy fought back a bit with a back elbow and a lariat, but couldn’t move Masters anywhere. He hit a low drop kick and leg lariat that sent Masters into the corner, but not down. Crazy hit a missile drop kick and a standing moonsault which got him a two count.
Crazy missed a splash in the corner and ended up caught in the master lock. Crazy used the ropes and did the Bret Hart-Roddy Piper flippy thing and ended up getting the pin fall. Awesome little match.
Winner: Super Crazy via pin fall
Coach was following Vince around kissing his butt. Vince stopped him. He said the only thing on his mind was how he was going to show his appreciation for the fans next week for the WWE fans. He said the proposed Cena-Coach match wasn’t in Coach’s favor and he knew that. Vince asked Coach to have lunch with Donald next week and the match was still on.
HBK was in the back taping his fists up for the street fight later tonight.
Maria was in the back with Kenny Dykstra. She asked him about how he felt about being in the Royal Rumble match. Kenny said he was going to make history, he’d be the youngest person to ever win the Rumble match. He said he’d also be the youngest person to ever main event a Wrestlemania. He said he beat Ric Flair three straight times. He said he’d go through whoever, including Carlito later tonight. He said 2007 was going to be his year, the year of Kenny Dykstra.
Randy Orton approached Edge who said he didn’t expect to see him here. Orton lamented his injuries and hammered Edge for leaving him there alone. He said Edge had no excuses and that they were partners and he should have helped him out. Edge said he didn’t come here for a social visit so he wanted to only know if Orton was going to be out there or not. Orton said he’d have to see what happens.
Coach said their match would still happen, as Vince had left the arena and he needed to obey his orders. However, he could make Cena compete in a different match. In the spirit of the Rumble, everyone was going to try and toss Cena over the top rope.
John Cena Rumble Mini Match
Cade and Murdoch were the first two down the pike and beat Cena all over the ring. Murdoch hammered Cena with some shots to his head before trying to dump Cena. Cena came back with some fists and took both down.
Cena whipped Cade into the buckles and went into his victory sequence. He FU’d Murdoch to the floor, who btw, ATE the bump. Cade got a five-knuckle shuffle to the face before Coach called down the next team.
Here come Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin followed by Viscera. Looks like it’s four on one. The three smaller men laid Cena out for Viscera to make the big splash. Before you knew it, it was Khali time.
Shelton was all happy to see him but got chopped in the head. Awesome. Khali dumped Benjamin and Haas in short order before disposing of Lance Cade. Khali took Viscera out with one hand. Khali got all excited before Cena came sailing off the top rope at him only to bounce off Khali like he was nothing. Khali killed Cena with a lariat before dumping him to the floor like nothing.
Winner: The Great Khali
After the match, Khali tossed Cena like a lawn dart into the steel steps. Khali tossed him back into the ring and knocked out the champion with a chop to the head. He did a little pose above him
John Cena v. Coach
Coach wiggled into the ring to make the cover but somehow Cena kicked out. Cena amped up and was about to give it to Coach before Umaga showed up and gave him a swinging sidewalk slam.
Winner: John Cena via DQ
Estrada and Coach retrieved a table from the ringside area. Umaga hit the Samoan Spike before Coach and Estrada dumped Cena on the table. Umaga ascended the top rope and hit a huge big splash through the table. Not the best day for John Cena. Cena looked like he got shot out of a cannon afterwards. Umaga posed above his splattered body while the referees tried to attend to the champion.
Cena was struggling to get back to his feet when we came back as JR and King lamented over the recent attack. The officials carried him to the back. Cena looks like a mess.
Candice Michelle & Mickie James v. Melina & Victoria
Candice is back after suffering a broken nose a few weeks back at the hands of Victoria. Victoria mocked her on the way to the ring.
James and Melina started us off. Mickie hit an arm drag take down before drop kicking Melina in the face and then, uh, spanking her. Melina whipped her to the corner only to get caught in the face with an elbow and get a hurricanranna. Victoria interjected herself to flatten Mickie enabling herself to get the tag.
Victoria went for an immediate cover and got a near fall. She tagged Melina back in and the two hit a double boot to the mid section. Melina did this vicious chin lock choke thing and followed it up with a kick before going for the cover. Candice broke up the fall. Victoria tagged in and missed the double team attempt before Candice got the tag.
Candice came in a house of fire, flattening Victoria and drop kicking Melina to the outside. Victoria recovered and knocked Mickie James off the apron and set up for the widow’s peak but Candice Michelle wiggled out.
Mickie cleaned house for Candice, leaving her one on one with Victoria. Candice mounted the second rope and hit a spinning wheel kick (where’d she learn THAT) that flattened her foe. One cover attempt later and that’s all she wrote.
Winners: Candice Michelle & Mickie James via pin fall
Carlito w/ Torrie Wilson v. Kenny Dykstra
The two locked up and Kenny backed Carlito into the corner. Carlito hit a chop and a head butt to gain the upper hand. He hit a brutal lariat and followed it up with a nice standing drop kick to send the youngster reeling into the corner. Carlito missed a follow up off an Irish whip attempt and Kenny yanked him to the mat by his hair.
Kenny went for a cover but only got a one count before Dykstra went to work. Kenny landed some punches to Carlito’s head before hitting a nice leaping back elbow. After a few knee drops he clamped on a rear chin lock, trying to keep he who is cool at bay.
Carlito amped up with the help of the crowd and fought out of the hold. Carlito missed a moon sault, but was able to take Kenny down and hit a bunch of punches. He hit the kick to the gut, knee lift and clothesline before hitting a hurricanranna. Carlito went for the cover but only got a two count. Carlito hit his springboard elbow and went for a sunset flip but Kenny countered. The two exchanged counters until Kenny finally got a hand full of tights to score the roll up win.
Winner: Kenny Dykstra via pin fall
A replay of the Rated RKO-HBK match showed to set up for the main event in a little while.
Cryme Tyme was trying to sell numbers for the Royal Rumble match to Super Crazy. It looks like Super Crazy drew #30. This is hilarious. Eugene wants a number too. He gave them some money, and they gave him what actually turns out to be #30. They said he wants to be #1, not number 30 and gave it to Eugene. Eugene went off all happy. Turns out that not only is Eugene NOT in match to begin with, all the numbers are fake. Great segment.
Ron Simmons is looking at art, for no reason other than to say ‘damn’.
JR and King ran down the Royal Rumble card. BTW, it appears John Cena has injured his spleen. Here’s the card:
30-Man Over-The-Top Rope Royal Rumble
World Heavyweight Championship
Batista v. Kennedy
ECW World Championship
Lashley v. Test
WWE Championship—Last Man Standing Match
John Cena v. Umaga
MNM v. The Hardy Boyz
Edge v. Shawn Michaels
The two went right at it before HBK gained the upper hand and began to use his leather belt to whip Edge like the woman he is, or he thinks he is, or whatever. Michaels went shopping under the mat and brought a garbage can into the ring and flattened the Rated R Superstar with it before clotheslining him to the floor.
Michaels flung himself over the top rope only to get rapped in the face with a trash can lid. The two are licking their wounds as we head to commercial.
HBK had brought in two chairs and the steel steps but was bleeding as is par for the course for these matches. Edge was gathering a ladder when HBK came back and punched Edge in his taped ribs. Edge hit a low blow and retrieved a chain from the outside and nailed HBK in the gut with it.
Edge climbed to the top rope and suplexed the ladder onto HBK in the middle of the ring. Edge went for a cover but HBK kicked out. The two, both groggy, traded blows in the middle of the ring and Edge got the better of the exchange. Edge set up the ladder on top of the two steel steps and went to power bomb Michaels on it, but he fought out.
They traded blows again in the center of the ring before Edge hit a boot to the gut, but HBK came flying back with a flying forearm. He went into the old victory sequence. He wrapped his hand in the chain and wrapped it around Edge's face and rammed his head into the turnbuckles before pounding away at his head, leaving him busted open and bleeding.
Michaels scooped up Edge and body slammed him onto the ladder. That was sick. HBK mounted the ropes to go for his elbow drop. Edge came to his senses though and decked HBK. He mounted the ropes and went for the super plex onto the ladder. The two fought like crazy on the rope before Michaels dumped Edge right onto the ladder. This is nuts. Completely nuts. HBK mounted the next buckle and hit the elbow. He nipped up and it’s sweet chin music time.
He tuned up the band with the crowd going ballistic but missed the kick and got dropped right on his head with what looked like a botched move. Edge lined up the spear but HBK hit a press to counter and landed fists of fury. He clocked Edge with a chair shot and went for the con-chair-to. He set up Edge and grabbed the chair only for Randy Orton to pop up out of nowhere and plaster HBK with an RKO. He glared at them in the corner as Edge made the cover for the win.
Winner: Edge via pin fall
Orton offered his hand to his partner afterwards before tossing him over the top rope and to the floor. He took the chair and laid HBK’s head face up on it. He grabbed the steel chair before Ric Flair popped up out of nowhere and gave him two low blows. Kenny Dykstra popped up and came at Flair. And dumped him over the top rope. Here comes Carlito at Dykstra. All four were all over the place before HBK dumped Orton and laid out Carlito and Dykstra with sweet chin music.
HBK stared down Edge from the ring as JR went bonkers and put over the Rumble for Sunday. RAW THOUGHTSThe Good-- This was the best Raw I’ve seen in two years. The whole card built well to the main event, all the right guys went over, all the feuds progressed, we got a few swerves and everyone looked awesome… and I mean EVERYONE.
Edge-HBK was a great main event and pay per view quality the whole way. Everything they did was wild and meant to hurt the other guy. There were innovative spots and the atmosphere was awesome. That’s how it’s done. Edge and Orton are left in limbo, not so much as to their break up, but to who the fans will side with. I’ll get to HBK in a minute.
The Cena-Umaga build was perfect. Umaga looked like a totally mean monster, although I do question using him and Khali so close together. Nonetheless, I bought both and Cena sold his a$$ off for both.
Khali looked like a total stud tonight and I almost feel funny saying stud and Khali in the same sentence. The Shelton-Khali exchange was the best moment of the night for me. Shelton looked like a kid in a candy store he was so excited to see Khali and then gets chopped in the head. I love wrestling.
Chris Masters and Super Crazy put on a really fun little match that protected Masters and his finisher while giving fans a reason to care about this program by making Super Crazy look like a plucky thorn in the side of Masters. Great selling in the match on the part of Super Crazy and Masters look of complete befuddled-ness sold the ending perfectly. Great work by both.
Even the Women were great tonight as they built the whole match around Candice and Victoria’s exchange. Candice looks like she’s been working on her move set as she pulled out some stuff that was pretty cool looking tonight. Sure, it left a lot to be desired in the execution department, but regardless it was a fun match and served it’s purpose.
Carlito-Kenny was a little all over the place, but good for what it was and again, the right guy goes over, further establishing Kenny in the mid card, while keeping Carlito strong.
And then there’s Shawn Michaels. HBK pulled off the best single night performance on WWE TV I’ve seen in a long, long time. The crowd ate up everything he did and the promo to kick off the show really was just sensational. The match with Edge was awesome and finally, HBK does the job but ironically, comes out looking stronger then he would have if he had won. Just freaking awesome.
Even the Vince segment was fun tonight. Hardy-Mercury no doubt gets lost in the shuffle, but at least it builds the right way to the Rumble match.
Hats off WWE, I underestimate you guys sometimes.
The Bad-- I can’t think of a single ‘bad’ thing on the show tonight. Everything was at the very least good.
The Ugly-- Nothing.
Overall- A --- Flat out, this is how WWE should be every week. All the right guys went over and none of the losers looked bad or weak. The Cryme Tyme segment was very, very well done and even Vince’s thing leaves a little to the imagination. Maybe WWE swerves us and gives us Umaga-HBK at Mania or the big cash cow, Cena-HBK. All the wrestlers were put over and EVERYONE looked awesome. Tons of great little work here and there, outstanding character development and one hell of a way to segue into the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania time. There were two or three well-worked matches and everything had some sort of value attached to it. There isn’t a single thing I’d have done differently if I were booking the show. This is the best episode of Raw in the last two years, bar none. Nothing comes close.
Jeff Hardy def. Joey Mercury
Super Crazy def. Chris Masters
The Great Khali won the mini-Royal Rumble
John Cena def. Coach
Candice Michelle & Mickie James def. Victoria & Melina
Kenny Dykstra def. Carlito
Edge def. Shawn Michaels in a street fight
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Shawn Michaels
2. John Cena
3. Ric Flair
3. Chris Masters
4. The Great Khali
Match of the night: Edge-HBK ***1/4
Power Rankings5 Points= Title Win
4 Points= Title defense
3 Points= Singles PPV Win
2 Points= Tag PPV Win
2 Points= TV Singles Win
1 Point= TV Tag Win
0 Points= Loss
I figured that’d be the most fair way to do it. Again, I won’t entirely be ranking guys based on their points, but it’ll give us an idea of how WWE is pushing their guys and how they view their own stars over time. More of an ‘interesting to see ‘ type thing than anything super official.
WWE Champion: John Cena (2-3, 6 points) (Last Week: WWE Champion)—Cena was busy as usual picking up a DQ win and losing an otherwise insignificant Royal Rumble teaser to put over Khali. Good build for the Umaga match, but other than that, nothing of real note from Cena.
Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Hardy (5-0, 13 points.) (Last Week: IC Champion)—Hardy’s the winningest star on Raw right now, picking up another win over Johnny Nitro. There seems to be a lot of development going on below him which seems to point to WWE wanting to possibly take the title off him. Irregardless, he’s the hottest of anyone on the show right now.
1. Umaga (1-1, 1 Point.) (Last Week: 1)—They did a fantastic job of putting Umaga over as a complete monster this week in his demolition job of Cena. It doesn’t seem like the buzz is still around Umaga though with the presence of Khali which makes me think they might be sending him to Smackdown sooner rather than later. It’s a big question mark as to what they’ll do with him at Wrestlemania, although I’ll give him an outside shot at toppling Cena on Sunday.
2. Edge 2-1, 6pts. (Last Week: 3)—Edge gets the win, and maybe wins the war with DX on his own, but it looks like he and Orton are headed for splits-ville in a big way.
3. HBK 1-2, 1 pt. (Last Week: 2) )—Despite losing, he was probably the biggest winner of anyone tonight. He was sensational, flat out, on the stick tonight and with Edge, put on one of the best Raw main events we’ve seen in forever. He really showed everyone how it was done tonight.
4. Randy Orton (1-1 , 4 pts.) (Last Week: 4)—It was a quiet night for Orton, for the most part, tonight although the turn on Edge is big news. The big loser in that feud will be whomever ends up playing the heel role, IMO, as neither guy is really all that great at it. But time will tell, this could be the basis for a big Orton push people have been waiting for for nearly two years now.
5. The Great Khali, 2-0, 3pts. (Last Week: 7)—Khali looked great tonight and it was the first time I really took him for a monster. Cena and company sold their rear ends off for him. Nonetheless, Khali continues his rapid climb of the Raw ladder.
6. Kenny Dykstra 3-2, 6pts. ( (Last Week: 9)—Dykstra picks up another win and seems to be getting a decent little establishment push in the mid card. We’ll see if he can keep up his momentum as his work thus far has justified his mini push.
7. Chris Masters, 2-2, 5 pts. (Last Week: 5)—Masters takes a bit of a fall this week, but still looks great. He put on a great little match with Super Crazy despite there being some sloppiness here and there. Masters, despite the loss and the brief tumble, is looking good.
8. Ric Flair, 1-2, 2pts. (Last Week: 7)—Flair has a nice little run in on an otherwise quiet night for the Nature Boy. No losses though, so I can't justify too much of a slip.
9. Carlito 1-3, 3pts. (Last Week: 8)— Carlito falls again this week, and can’t seem to get much in the way of wins. WWE seems intent on building some solid mid card heels at the moment and with Carlito working face, he’s sort of the odd man out, although I don’t think his de-push is really anything to worry about. He’s just not on the front burner right now.
10. Super Crazy 1-2, 1 point) (Last Week: NR)— Super Crazy gets a rare win tonight. Hats off to WWE for doing it too. He performed well tonight and to really create ANY heat for the mini-program with Masters, it made a ton of sense for him to win. They put him over while keeping Masters looking strong. Kudos to WWE.
Dropping Out : Triple H (0-1, 0 pts.) (Last Week: 5)
Royal Rumble Predictions
So the Rumble is upon us and we get the first peak at what Wrestlemania 23 is going to look like in a few months. Here are my picks as usual:
The Hardy Boyz v. MNM-- I’m fully expecting MNM to go over here. They’ve been jobbing their pants off to both Matt and Jeff for a while now and it’s time to give these two a push on their respective shows. Nitro is probably in a bigger slump than anyone right now and Mercury is coming back and could use some momentum. This should be a very entertaining match though and we’ll get some good old fashioned, real tag team wrestling. PROJECTED WINNER: MNM via pin fall
ECW World Championship
Lashley v. Test-- I’m really at a loss for words to describe how uninterested I am in this match in general. It makes perfect sense as I think Test is probably the best call at this point, but there’s just no ‘buzz’ around the match itself. I’m fully expecting Lashley to retain his belt, but ECW is hard to call when there aren’t a lot of pay per views and no real sensible build from one thing to the next. I’ll say Lashley gets the win here. PROJECTED WINNER: Lashley via pin fall
World Heavyweight Championship
Batista v. Mr. Kennedy-- Kennedy’s got absolutely no shot in this match. None, whatsoever. It’s all about giving Kennedy the rub of being in a World Championship feud to set him up for a high profile match at Wrestlemania. I’m figuring he gets the win here by DQ to set up for a No Way Out rematch between the two where we get some play between Taker and Batista. I’ll go out on a limb and give Kennedy the win, but only by DQ. PROJECTED WINNER: Kennedy via DQ
WWE Championship—Last Man Standing Match
John Cena v. Umaga-- This feud has lost a ton of steam despite some pretty good work from both guys. With Umaga losing the first match, it kind of deflated the whole “Can Cena really beat him”? Aura the feud had to begin with. Add in Khali taking away from Umaga’s monster status on the show and it really doesn’t have much left. I’m expecting Cena to retain, although I wouldn’t rule out a possible swerve. I’m not a gambling man on this one though, so I’ll go with Cena. PROJECTED WINNER: John Cena
30-Man Royal Rumble Match-- I think at this point, it’s a safe bet it’s going to either be Shawn Michaels or the Undertaker that win this thing, although I’m probably more likely to pick Taker based solely on the fact he hasn’t won this thing before. I see Orton and Edge canceling each other out. CM Punk isn’t far enough along yet. Chris Benoit is in no position to win while King Booker is ‘been there, done that’. RVD’s a pot head and wont’ ever get a serious push so long as he’s in the WWE ever again. With Umaga and Kennedy being the only other two viable options in title matches, the only other guy I could make even a remote case for at this point would be The Great Khali, but he seems headed for a match up with Hulk Hogan. So that really leaves HBK and Taker as the only viable options. Michaels is bat-sh!t over at this point and is wrestling as well as he has in forever. Taker hasn’t been too shabby himself and with a possible match up with Batista looming, you can bet WWE is going to want to make it HUGE. Taker hasn’t won this thing and Michaels has won it twice. So on that alone, I’m going with Taker, although I fully expect to see HBK-Cena at Wrestlemania as well. PROJECTED WINNER: The Undertaker
So there you have it.