On Monday, July 23, 2007 at 11:45 PM EST WWE RAW
July 23, 2007
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
Coach showed up on the TV and put over how wonderful he was for putting on a successful Great American Bash. He said there would have to be a new #1 contender for Summerslam. He said speaking of the championship, every champion on Raw would be competing in one match. Looks like it’ll be Umaga, Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch facing John Cena and Candice Michelle. I love Raw these days.
The opening credits rolled and the pyro went off and here we go.
A big banquet table is set up and of course only King Booker’s music would hit. He came out and began to address “Jerome” Lawler. He apologized for the way things had started off between the two. Booker had ‘refreshments’ set up. He had a beautiful table cloth and bountiful fruit while Lawler didn’t have a table cloth and had a danish on a Styrofoam plate. Lawler’s mic didn’t even work.
Booker put over his earning his kingly title and said that you need to earn it. Booker then put over the Sacramento Kings briefly before ripping them for not winning championships like himself. He said he was writing a petition to David Stern, commissioner of the NBA to rename the Kings the “Peasants”. He asked if people think Ron Artest should be a “King”? No, he said. He asked if Jerry Lawler should be a king? And he said no. He said especially grievous was Triple H. He said the only real King in the WWE was King Booker.
Lawler went to speak before Sharmell cut him off with an “All Hail King Booker!”. Wow, is Booker a heat magnet these days. Lawler said he could make this all real simple. He said a King was only as good as his kingdom. If the people didn’t think of you as a king, then you weren’t a king. He said from what he heard, the people here didn’t think he was much of a king. He said the people think of him the same way he thinks of him; a pompous, self-delusional, royal pain in the arse. The people cheered before King Booker yelled ‘silence’.
He said he was tired of the insubordination. He misused some big words before daring Lawler to tell him that to his face. Lawler said he had a better idea and he decked Booker and booted him out of the ring. Booker got tangled up in his robe as he tumbled to the floor before Lawler took the food and dumped it on Booker’s prone body. Booker was beside himself as Sharmell backed him up the aisle. Fantastic segment.
Beth Phoenix and Melina are on their way to the ring for a match that’s coming up next.
Melina & Beth Phoenix v. Mickie James & Maria (w/ Santino Marella
Santino has joined JR and King on the commentary table.
Beth and Mickie started things off as Phoenix whipped James to the corner only to get nailed with a back elbow and a drop kick. Phoenix spazzed a bit and picked up Mickie and tossed her into the corner hard. Melina tagged in who started putting some elbows to Mickie’s face.
Maria tagged in eventually and ate a Phoenix boot to the face. Melina yanked her hair and put the boots to Maria’s body before Phoenix tagged in and went for a cover. Santino’s obsession with her is almost a little creepy. Phoenix slapped on a double arm chicken wing before spiking Maria’s face off the canvas. Melina tagged in and worked over Maria’s face a little bit more before backing off and planting a brutal kick to the stomach.
Mickie was eventually able to get the tag and hit a head scissors take over before hitting a thesz press on Melina and firing up the crowd. Beth tried to interfere but Mickie fought her off and floored Melina with a double arm chop. Mickie tagged in Maria who hit a high cross body off the top rope for a two count. Santino interjected himself behind the referees back and tripped up the heel ladies. Maria hit her bulldog and got the three count for the win.
Winners: Mickie James & Maria via pin fall
Santino went into the ring after the match and got some loving from the ladies.
A video putting over the Cena-Lashley match aired.
Jack Briscoe was in the back giving Cody Rhodes some advice. Randy Orton interrupted and they had a pretty impressive verbal exchange. Randy turned and looked at someone off camera after Cody left. He said “You did this to yourself”. Wow.
Snitsky showed up in his own little promo segment and put over how much he liked hurting people. Fun.
Todd Grisham welcomed WWE Champion John Cena and congratulated him on his win last night. He asked Cena about how he felt about his match tonight. Cena did some ‘funny’ stuff before Grisham asked him how he felt about a prospective #1 contender tonight. Cena said he’s fought a first ballot hall of famer, a giant and the greatest pure athlete the WWE’s ever seen. Cena said he was always right here, and if that contender wanted some, they could come get some.
Sandman & Hacksaw Jim Duggan v. William Regal & Carlito
Regal and Sandman started off the match. Regal caught a kick to Sandman’s mid section and began pounding away on him. Sandman whipped Regal and hit a back elbow before clearing Carlito off the apron. He caught a front face lock but ended up in the corner with Carlito there who tagged himself in and hit some kicks to the gut.
The two pummeled Sandman in the corner for a little while before Regal tagged right back in and hit a vertical suplex. Sandman got a tag from Hacksaw who came in and cleaned house on Carlito. Duggan hit a rope to the buckles but missed the shoulder tackle. Carlito wiggled out from behind him and hit a back snapper for the win.
Winners: Carlito & William Regal via pin fall
Carlito and Regal were in the back. Carlito said after that tonight, he’d definitely be the #1 contender. He tasted his apple but it didn’t taste so great so he spat it out. He ended up spitting it on Lashley and that’s a bit of a mistake. He took off away from Lashley looking for a place to hide. He grabbed the mic and went into the ring. He said what happened was an accident. Carlito said he would publicly apologize. He said he was sorry.
Lashley came out to the ring and Carlito jumped him. Lashley manhandled Carlito around the ring before nailing him with a big dominator.
Cody Rhodes v. Randy Orton is next!
Randy Orton v. Cody Rhodes
The two circled it up and locked horns. Cody looked for a go-behind but Orton tossed him aside easily. The two got into a little mat exchange before Orton slapped him. He turned to smirk at the crowd only to eat a drop kick in the face.
Orton came right back at Cody and beat him all over the right side of the ring before whipping the youngster to the corner. Rhodes countered wit ha high cross body block but Orton kicked out easily and regained the advantage before Cody attempted a sunset flip. Orton cut that off too and nailed the youngling with a nasty inverted back breaker.
Orton went into the Garvin stomp routine and hit just about every major body part. Orton slapped Cody, mocking him. Cody wouldn’t be intimidated and fought back with some strikes. Cody came off the ropes only to totally eat an Orton standing drop kick to the grill. Orton whipped Cody hard into the buckles before gathering his adversary and killing him with a European uppercut.
Orton choked Rhodes out on the mat before posing for the crowd a bit. Cody almost caught another roll up attempt but Orton kicked out and capped his a$$ with a lariat. Orton allowed Cody to stand toe to toe with him before going for a back body drop. Cody caught a kick to the face before looking for a high cross body block.
Rhodes crashed and burned big time. While he lay squirming on the mat, Orton was coiled up in the corner ready to strike and strike he did, planting the youngest Rhodes with a big time RKO for the victory.
Winner: Randy Orton via pin fall
Orton lined up Cody for the punt to the head, but Dusty came in for the save. While Dusty tended to his son, Orton sneaked back into the ring and kicked Dusty’s head right into the front row directly in his son’s face. The officials came running to the ring to break up the scene. Orton stared down the Rhodes family in the ring, who were lying in a heap.
They carted Dusty Rhodes off on a stretcher during the break.
Mr. Kennedy v. Jeff Hardy
The two circled it up and locked horns and ended up in the corner with a clean break surprisingly enough. Kennedy grabbed an arm wringer and yanked away at the limb of the former IC Champion.
Hardy countered the move and was able to take Kennedy off his feet. It didn’t last long because Kennedy was able to nip up and horde Jeff to the ropes and mug the heck out of the unorthodox baby face. Kennedy hit a clothesline and got a two count out of the deal. Kennedy looked for an enzeguiri but Jeff avoided it and hit a drop kick to the shoulder of Kennedy.
Hardy slammed Kennedy’s head off the corner buckle before Kennedy fought right back with some kicks and punches. Kennedy grabbed a hammer lock before Jeff reversed it. The two exchanged the hold a few times before dancing in and out of the ringside area. Jeff was able to hit a double drop kick to Kennedy’s face and his suicide dive that left both men laid out on the arena floor.
We came back to Jeff Hardy in firm control with a side headlock. Kennedy tossed Hardy to the corner. Hardy kipped up on the corner but Kennedy caught him and almost Alabama slammed him to the mat for a near fall.
Kennedy hit the running splash on the ropes before hanging on Hardy and wrenching back on his face for fun. Kennedy went for another cover and yet again, Hardy kicked out. Hardy fought back only to get caught in a Kennedy neck breaker for yet another cover attempt.
Kennedy hit some clubbing blows to the back before slapping on a cravat in the middle of the ring, working the back of the head and neck. Hardy went for a whisper in the wind but botched it and landed squarely on top of his head. Kennedy went for a cover and hardy kicked out.
After some time killing, they repeated the spot and Hardy connected this time. Hardy hit some back elbows and the mule kick before the springboard drop kick in the corner. Hardy went for a cover, but Kennedy’s hand was under the ropes. Hardy hit his inverted face buster before going to the top rope.
Kennedy rolled underneath the bottom rope for a breather before Jeff followed him to the outside and ran the railing for a clothesline on the outside. The two brawled up the aisle as the referee counted away. The ref’s count hit ten as Jeff SPRINTED back to the ring in the nick of time for the win.
Winner: Jeff Hardy via count out
Footage was shown in the back of the ambulance containing Dusty Rhodes being carted off.
The World’s Greatest Tag Team v. London & Kendrick
Haas and Kendrick started things off. The WGTT ran a diversion to gain the advantage early on. Kendrick quickly came back with a hurricanranna before scooting to the outside between Shelton’s legs and flap jacking him on the apron. Haas however, quickly followed up with a drop kick to his face.
Shelton used that incident to recover a bit and tag into the match. He slapped on a key lock that Kendrick eventually fought out of . Shelton hit a nice spinning wheel kick that floored Kendrick. Haas tagged in and went to work on the former Spanky, slapping on a body scissors. The hold evolved into a side headlock but Kendrick was able to fight out of the hold and hit a step over kick to the head of Haas.
London cheered Kendrick on and he tagged London. London cleaned out Shelton before hitting some shoulder blocks and some amazingly quick moves before he and Kendrick disposed of Shelton on the outside. Kendrick went to launch himself into Shelton but met nothing but the floor in an absolutely sick bump. That left London all alone in the ring with Shelton and Haas. Shelton hit the leap frog before Haas planted London stupid with a German suplex for the pin.
Winners: The World’s Greatest Tag Team via pin fall
King Booker’s music hit and he came out to the ramp yet again. Sharmell said King didn’t have the intelligence to accept Booker’s peaceful offer earlier in the night. Therefore, he’d have to face a hefty price. Booker challenged Lawler to a match next Monday Night on Raw. He said his reign of blasphemy was over.
Coach seemed ready to make his decision. Todd Grisham asked him about the number 1 contender and Coach said he had made his decision. He said he needed to inform the challenger before he was going to make the announcement. Candice cut him off and pleaded with him not to put her in the match tonight. Coach told her to relax and walked off.
Umaga, Cade & Murdoch are on their way to the ring looking like super posse.
Umaga, Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch v. John Cena & Candice Michelle
Candice’s facial expressions were freaking great coming out of the corner. Cena gave Candice some words of encouragement before charging the ring.
Umaga quickly got a hold of him and made him his woman like only Umaga can. Cade nailed Cena with a ton of stiff shots before tagging in Murdoch and doing the atomic leg drop combo on the champ. Cade tagged back in and got a near fall before tagging in Umaga who laid into Cena with some rights.
Umaga whipped Cena hard to the buckles and then tagged in Murdoch who hit some kidney punches. Cena fought back a bit but was cut off with a Russian leg sweep for a near fall. Murdoch laid in with some right hands before Cena shot Murdoch off the ropes and hit his snap mare. Cena hit an inverted suplex and attempted a cross body block on Umaga only to get a tilt a whirl sidewalk slam.
Cade and Murdoch bullied Candice into the ring for Umaga. Time for lunch. The two held Candice in the corner as Umaga looked for the running a$$ to the face. Jeff Hardy came running in out of nowhere with the stiff chair shots to everyone. He fought Umaga back to the entrance area as the crowd went completely ballistic.
Cade and Murdoch tried to get a hold of Cena, but he fought both off before delivering an FU to Murdoch for the win.
Winners: John Cena & Candice Michelle via pin fall
Cena stood in the ring celebrating before Randy Orton popped up from behind him and nailed him with an RKO. Coach came out and announced that Randy Orton is the new #1 Contender for the WWE Championship. Orton stood stoically over Cena’s prone body as we went off the air. RAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- In my opinion, wire to wire, this was the best Raw of the year and that’s probably saying something considering just how good the show was back in March-April. This was better than any of those episodes. This was the result of a lot of work over the course of the late spring-early summer and it’s come together nicely. Toss in an uncharacteristically MOLTEN Sacramento crowd and it just made things that much better.
Every match on the show was good. From beginning to end, this is the best ‘in ring’ Raw I’ve seen in a while. Orton-Rhodes wasn’t mind blowing or anything, but a significant step up from what I felt was a flat match last week. Cody came off like he learned a little more and the match up just worked better this time.
Hardy-Kennedy was fun and it’s nice to see WWE using count outs and DQ’s to decide matches again. I know people have a thing for clean finishes, but honestly, the count out worked super-well here and neither guy looked weak. So long as they use the extra outcomes well, they can be a tremendous tool to use and here’s a match was you kind of ran into a spot where you didn’t want either guy looking bad.
Speaking of Hardy it may be time to push him somewhere. I’m not wild about him in the ring and I think he’s horrendous on the mic, but the crowd is just bonkers for him. That run in tonight was as big if not a bigger pop than his brother Matt got when he returned out of nowhere in 2005. It might be time to seriously consider a push for Jeff. It’s probably the best match I’ve seen from Hardy where he isn’t being shot out of a cannon or through something.
What made this show great was the whole roster was involved from the bottom to the top. The lower mid card was represented nicely in a fun little tag and the women put on a fun enough tag to kick the show off. The Santino obsession with Maria is an interesting angle that’ll be worth keeping an eye on as it unfolds.
The most unique match definitely goes to The World’s Greatest tag team and London & Kendrick. Their match tonight, despite the crowd being oddly dead for it, was really a super-fun little spot fest and it might have been one of the faster WWE matches I can remember seeing in quite some time.
The final match was all to set up the payoff angle at the end with Orton nailing Cena with the RKO. All that build up, the angle earlier in the night, etc., made this totally fulfilling and the main event for Summerslam has a TON of heat behind it. Umaga-Hardy definitely has some juice to it as well and that’ll be a likely addition.
Hats off to King Booker again this week for putting together one of the most hilarious promos I’ve heard in the WWE in a long time. Dusty Rhodes and Jerry Lawler are the only two guys I’ve ever seen that can literally turn a crowd off and on at will and both delivered tonight, putting their respective adversaries over well.
This was a genuine team effort though tonight and everyone on the show contributed in one way or another. Everyone came off looking strong and all the big payoff moments, well, paid off and the Summerslam build has gotten off to an absolutely sensational start.
Overall Grade: A
Maria & Mickie James def. Melina & Beth Phoenix
Carlito & William Regal def. Sandman & Jim Duggan
Randy Orton def. Cody Rhodes
Jeff Hardy def. Ken Kennedy
The World’s Greatest Tag Team def. London & Kendrick
John Cena & Candice Michelle def. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Jeff Hardy
2. John Cena
3. Dusty Rhodes
1. Randy Orton
2. King Booker
3. Mr. Kennedy
Match of the Night: Randy Orton-Cody Rhodes, **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 (20-7-1, 56 points) (Last Week: WWE Champion)— Well after last night, I don’t think it matters much what anyone does, Cena’s the walk away wrestler of the year. He’s worked wild hardcore brawls, mat clinics, played Dragon slayer and then dragged a plucky green horn to a Warrior-Hogan-esqe epic. The scope and breadth of the work is pretty impressive. The quality is even better. This reign’s time to end is now, while Cena’s hot. Expect him to drop it to Orton at Summerslam.
Intercontinental Champion: Umaga 17-10-1, 38 Points (Last Week: IC Champion) — Umaga’s great every week. Last night was no exception and tonight wasn’t an exception either. He’s the right guy to be holding the IC title.
1. Randy Orton 11-16-2 26pts. (Last Week: 1) -- In the span of three months WWE’s resurrected Orton yet again from circling the drain to being easily the most menacing heel on the roster. He’s in prime position to take the title from Cena. The time to do it is soon.
2. Jeff Hardy 24-11, 45 points (Last Week- 2) — Wow is Jeff Hardy getting over in a big way. And his matches have improved to boot. The match with Umaga last night was the best mid card match WWE’s put on all year. Hardy’s one dimensional, but man he does the baby face in peril thing better than anyone.
3. King Booker 2-3, 3 pts. (Last Week: 4) — Booker’s basically kicked off Raw two weeks in a row now and has knocked two promos completely out of the park. Booker’s been fun on the stick, but right now, no one’s working the mic like he is. Not Kennedy, not anyone. Booker’s the man on the stick.
4. Carlito 11-11-3, 19 pts. (Last Week: 5) )-- Carlito has a very Carlito night. He lolly gags in his match, gets a cheap win, comes to the ring and does the chicken-sh!t shtick before getting mauled by Lashley. God I hope these two don’t end up in a feud together.
5. Bobby Lashley 3-3 5pts. (Last Week: 3)— Lashley’s green, but he’s improving and he more than carried his weight against Cena last night. I thought it was a legit MOTY candidate and easily Lashley’s best match yet. The loss is a very positive step in the right direction for him.
6. Snitsky 2-0, 4pts. (Last Week: 9)-- Snitsky moves up pretty much by default as all three guys in front of him last week lost. Once Triple H comes back and Kennedy finds his groove, I think you’ll mostly see Snitsky heading up the bottom part of this top ten but until then I’m sure keeping him here isn’t all that unrealistic, at least for now.
7. Trevor Murdoch 6-11, 11pts. (Last Week: 6) — Dull night for the Tag champs. They basically did the punching bag thing they were doing back in January after a really strong run in the spring-summer. I’d like to see these guys back on track in the next couple of weeks.
8. Lance Cade 5-10, 9pts. (Last Week: 7)-- See Murdoch.
9. William Regal 2-1, 3pts (Last Week: NR) -- So Regal finally gave me a reason to put him in the top 10. A tag win is a tag win. Regal’s been a very strong utility guy in the mid-lower mid card since coming over from Smackdown.
10. Ken Kennedy 1-3, 2 pts (Last Week: 10)-- While London’s loss was a definite loss, Kennedy didn’t really come off like a loser, despite losing. Thus, I’ll keep him around. He seems to be the odd man out for now, but in a month or two I expect him to have plenty to do. Orton’s in line for the belt and I don’t think ANYONE expected King Booker to be THIS good so far. So he’s odd man out. Patience, people.
Santino Marella 5-4, 13pts. (Last Week: NR)
Shawn Michaels 10-7-1, 19 points (Last Week: INJURED)
Super Crazy 4-7-1, 7 points (Last Week: NR)
Shelton Benjamin 2-10-1, 2pts. (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 2-8-1, 1pts. (Last Week: NR)
Rory 0-5, 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Robbie 0-6 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
JTG 4-5, 5pts. (Last Week: NR)
Big Shad 3-5, 3pts. (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-4, 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Val Venis 0-3 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Triple H 2-0, 4pts (Last Week: INJURED)
The Sandman 1-4, 2pts. (Last Week: NR)
Daivari 0-1, 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Mick Foley 0-1-1, 0 pts. (Last Week: NR)
Brian Kendrick 1-1, 1pt. (Last Week: NR)
Cody Rhodes 0-2, 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Paul London 2-1, 3pts. (Last Week: 8)