Monday Night Raw
Date: February 15, 2007
Location: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the go home show for No Way Out, though that only affects one match on this show. Other than that, it is, ahem, a special show as Donald Trump is here in person. I think you know what is going to get the focus this week and it could be a bit of an effort to get through. Let’s get to it.
This is a Thursday show due to some unspecified scheduling issue.
Vince McMahon comes out to start and wastes no time in introducing Donald Trump, who is flanked by Torrie Wilson and Ashley. Trump shakes Vince’s hand but Vince dismisses the women in a hurry. Vince talks about how Trump has hosted Wrestlemania but this is the first time he has stood in a WWE ring. Trump insists that he is not intimidated so Vince talks about the things that he has done to get on Vince’s nerves. That includes the Rosie O’Donnell segment (Trump: “She really is ugly.”), but Trump messed with Vince’s Fan Appreciation Night by dropping money from the ceiling.
Trump says they’re going to do it again tonight….but Vince found out about it in advance and cut it off. Trump: “I tried!” The fans call Vince an a****** until he asks why Trump is here. Trump: “I’m taller than you, I’m more handsome than you, I think I’m stronger than you.” He’s here to challenge Vince to a match at Wrestlemania, which Vince instantly dubs the Battle of the Billionaires. Vince is injured, but he has an idea of his own: they both pick a representative.
Trump doesn’t like it, because he knows he can beat Vince on his own. They need to raise the stakes, which Vince thinks means money. That’s fun, but they both deal with money all the time, so let’s make it more interesting: hair vs. hair. Trump talks about rumors that they both wear a hairpiece, but Trump heard the story about himself in a big newspaper.
Vince asks the fans what they think and then says no anyway. As Vince leaves, Trump suggests that Vince is a coward before bringing up the Trump vs. Rosie match. He didn’t like it because the actress who played Rosie was too good looking…which is enough to make it work. Art of the Deal or something I guess.
JR and King freak out about what we just heard. As usual, JR is great at getting the point that matters over: “One of the billionaires is going to leave BALD!” I know it is a tagline and whatnot, but that is the thing that you need to remember for the match and JR made it very clear at the end. In other words, that is your parting shot: buy this show and you get to see one of them get their head shaved, so make sure you watch. That’s announcing 101 and it is amazing how you never hear it today.
Melina/Johnny Nitro vs. Super Crazy/Mickie James
The women get in a hair pulling fight before the bell but it’s Nitro shouldering Crazy down to start. Crazy snaps off a monkey flip and hammers away in the corner as Melina gets in a cheap shot on Mickie. There’s the screeching as Nitro knocks Crazy off the top for two. Melina comes in to kick Crazy, who grabs it without much trouble. That lets Mickie come in for an easy shot and there’s the Thesz press to drop Melina again. Everything breaks down and the villains are sent outside, setting up the stereo baseball slides. Morrison posts Crazy, leaving Melina to send Mickie head first into the mat and grab the tights for the pin.
Rating: C-. Kind of a messy match but Melina continues to beat Mickie on the way to her title match. Nitro vs. Crazy isn’t exactly a great feud but it’s also not the point here. Still though, they have done a nice enough job of building Crazy up, even if he is not likely to be anything long term.
Here’s how John Cena became the new #1 contender to John Cena’s WWE Title.
Great Khali vs. Eugene
So much for Eugene’s heel turn, thank goodness. Eugene offers Khali his stuffed Ric Flair bear, earning himself the chop and the chokebomb for the pin in less than a minute.
Shawn Michaels is on the phone with someone but stops to shill the DX merchandise. It’s HHH on the phone, who is watching at home and suggesting how to showcase the gear. With that out of the way, Shawn talks about headlining Wrestlemania for the fifth time (dang I hadn’t realized it was that many) and goes over each match. He was too cocky before, but this time, Mr. Wrestlemania has arrived. Shawn turned it on here and the fire was picking up.
Ric Flair looks at his awesome promo on Carlito last week and says…..nothing actually as here is Carlito to say Flair needs to apologize. Flair goes into another rant about how nothing has changed in a week. Carlito has all the talent in the world but he has not guts or passion. That fires Carlito up and the challenge is on for tonight, with Flair saying that is the first time Carlito has stood up and walked on his own feet.
Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Masters
Non-title but Masters gets a title shot if he wins. Masters jumps him to start but gets sent outside, setting up the slingshot dropkick through the ropes. There’s the slingshot dive but Masters catches him with a powerbomb back inside. The chinlock is broken up with a quick jawbreaker and the mule kick sends Masters into the corner. Hardy gets crotched on top and the Masterlock goes on. A lot of struggling lets Jeff get his legs over the ropes for the break, setting up a rollup to give Hardy the fast pin.
Rating: C-. Another quick match here and I’m glad they didn’t bother setting up Masters’ title match. It isn’t going to happen with Masters and I think WWE has started to figure that out when it comes to giving him anything important. Hardy survived the big hold and won clean, so that should take care of Masters for the time being.
Jerry Lawler is in the ring to introduce Portland’s own Roddy Piper for his first appearance since beating cancer. Piper says it’s nice to be home because Portland, Oregon is a place of class. That makes him think of Wrestlemania and the first inductee into the Hall of Fame: Dusty Rhodes! We get the Hall of Fame video, with some pretty awesome old school footage, as usual.
Dusty comes out and talks about how humbled he is to be here in front of these people in front of Piper’s town. He talks about how he wants his back to crack and his liver to quiver while Piper is out front smoking and shaking. Dusty brings up living the American Dream but here are Umaga and Armando Alejandro Estrada to interrupt.
Piper goes to leave but Dusty opts to fight, even though Umaga might have been there to deliver him some meatballs and toast. The running hip attack crushes Dusty so Piper comes in with a chair to Umaga for the expected no effect. There’s the Samoan Spike to both legends and Umaga stands tall.
Carlito vs. Ric Flair
Torrie Wilson is here with Carlito. They take turns striking away in the corner until Carlito takes over with a backdrop. There’s a dropkick for two, followed by a suplex for some near falls. Some quick choking in the corner sets up another two and it’s time to strike out of the corner. Flair gets the better of the chops and avoids another dropkick before chopping away even more. Carlito manages to send him chest first into the buckle but the Backstabber is blocked with a grab of the rope. The rollup with feet….not on the ropes is enough to pin Carlito.
Rating: C. The ending was a little weird as Flair started to raise his foot but just rolled Carlito up instead. Without the cheating, Carlito looks like even more of a loser than he did last week, which isn’t a great idea when he already doesn’t have a great reputation. Maybe this can go somewhere for him, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
Post match, Carlito is annoyed but shakes Flair’s hand anyway.
Melina is annoyed that there is no media here to announce that she is challenging Mickie James for the Women’s Title next week.
Ashley is excited to unveil her Playboy cover on Smackdown. For this week though, here is a preview of her photo shoot. When asked what one word she would use to describe her Playboy experience, it would be…..and here’s Ron Simmons to hit the catchphrase for a good moment.
MVP and Mr. Kennedy are in the back when Edge and Randy Orton pop in. They are teaming together tonight in an eight man tag, but Orton calls Raw the A show. Edge breaks up that argument and says they’re fighting the people who either have the titles or the title shots. That’s why they need to beat up the other four tonight so they can take the spots.
No Way Out rundown.
Rated-RKO/Mr. Kennedy/MVP vs. John Cena/Shawn Michaels/Batista/Undertaker
After entrances take their sweet time, Orton pounds on Cena, who is right back with a fisherman’s suplex for two. It’s time to crank on the arm but Kennedy comes in to punch Cena in the face. That earns him a shoulder and it’s off to Undertaker for the shots to the face. Old School sets up a Downward Spiral for two with MVP having to make an early save. Shawn comes in for a few shots of his own but Kennedy takes him into the corner so MVP can stomp away.
It’s off to Edge, who gets enziguried down so Batista can come in and powerslam Edge in a hurry. Batista catapults him into the corner and spinebusters everyone in sight. We take a break and come back with Cena coming in off the tag to drop the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Edge. A cheap shot lets Orton come in to work on Cena but Undertaker makes a save of his own. It’s back to MVP for a cravate, setting up Kennedy’s running knee in the corner for two.
Orton’s dropkick gets the same and a hard clothesline gets two more. A double clothesline puts Orton and Cena down though and the hot tag brings in Undertaker to clean house. Snake Eyes into the big boot drops Kennedy but Shawn tags himself in to drop the top rope elbow. Sweet Chin Music is loaded up and everything breaks down, as nature intended. Undertaker teases chokeslamming Shawn but takes out MVP instead. Orton uses the distraction to shove Shawn into Undertaker, who does not take it well. With Undertaker on the floor, Shawn superkicks Orton for the pin.
Rating: C+. You’re only going to get so much out of a match that has so many people involved and that was the case here. They did what they could with everything going on and having Undertaker come in at the end to wreck people is good. I want to see both Wrestlemania matches, but man alive is it a long way to get there.
Post match it’s a chokeslam to Shawn, so Cena is in to go after Undertaker. A big boot drops him and it’s a Batista Bomb to Cena to end the show. High levels of glaring end the show.
Overall Rating: C. Very run of the mill show here, with the Trump deal bringing it down a bit more. They had a bit of a weird trick to pull off as part of it was building to No Way Out but other parts were setting up things for after the pay per view. Outside of the main event, the action was mostly in the middle, leaving this as quite the ho him show. You can feel Wrestlemania season though and that’s what matters most.
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