Monday Night Raw
Date: June 11, 2007
Location: Wachovia Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz, John Bradshaw Layfield, Joey Styles
It’s time for a special three hour edition (like that has a future) as we have the annual Draft. This show will include all three brands, including ECW for a change. They have really hyped up the idea that ANYONE can be drafted to any show and that seems like they are primed for something interesting. These things can have quite the batch of surprises so maybe we can get that again this time. It’s also Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night, which I’m sure won’t go anywhere. Let’s get to it.
Vince McMahon reads us a prepared statement, saying that he is in full control of his mental faculties and tonight, you will hear uncensored comments on him from various people. Tonight will be the defining moment of his life.
All of the commentators welcome us to the show, saying that there will be interpromotional matches tonight, with the winning brand getting a Draft pick. I’ve heard worse ideas.
John Cena (Raw) vs. Edge (Smackdown)
Non-title. They lock up to start with Cena whipping him hard into the corner and getting one off a suplex. Edge is right back with a running forearm to the back of the head, followed by some shots to the jaw. A kick to the chest puts Cena on the apron and there’s a baseball slide to put him outside. Back in and Edge scores with a clothesline (JR: “Slobberknocker style.”) and a spinwheel kick gets two more.
Cena tries a quick FU but gets kicked in the face instead, setting up a chinlock as they’re certainly at a pretty fast pace early on. After powering up, Cena tries the STFU but Edge is straight into the ropes for another break. The Throwback has some more effect for Cena and now the real comeback is on. Edge misses what looked to be a spear and crashes out to the floor, where Cena loads up the super FU. Since that would cause quite the amount of damage, Edge rakes his eyes and dives in to beat the count for the win.
Rating: C. This was a televised version of a post show dark match they probably did about a hundred times, albeit with a countout instead of a DQ. They didn’t have much time to do anything here but there is nothing wrong with flying through a match when you have this kind of experience and chemistry with someone. It might not have been a classic, but it did what it needed to.
The Draft pick sends….Great Khali to Smackdown, meaning he has now been on all three brands since the beginning of the year. Cena smiles and Edge realizes he’s in trouble. Khali (with interpreter) comes to the stage and Edge panics.
We get a video on Vince McMahon’s introduction into wrestling (from the McMahon DVD, as will be the case with all of his clips tonight) and how he didn’t want people to know he owned the company for a long time. Other than a few quick notes, it wasn’t acknowledged very often on WWF TV until the late 90s.
Jesse Ventura says Vince hasn’t earned the title of Mr. just yet. This company is a dictatorship and Vince isn’t a benevolent dictator. Like the rest of them, Vince will fall one day.
Coach informs us that Vengeance will now be a Night Of Champions (we knew that already) and any former World Champion on the Raw roster at the end of the night can challenge for the WWE Title in the main event. Even if the WWE Title isn’t on Raw? Isn’t that kind of missing the point of the show?
CM Punk (ECW) vs. Carlito (Raw)
Punk knocks him down to start but Carlito manages to dropkick Punk out of the air to take over. A suplex and elbow stay on Punk’s bad ribs and it’s time to grab a bodyscissors. That’s broken up in a hurry and Punk grabs a bodyscissors to put him in trouble instead. The corner bulldog is broken up though and Carlito scores with the Backstabber to send Punk outside. Back in and Punk hits the GTS for the pin out of nowhere (it’s as sudden as it sounds).
Rating: C-. This came and went without much trouble as you can only get so far with a five minute match without that much drama. Punk isn’t going to lose to Carlito, as Carlito has fallen down pretty far in recent months. At the same time, Punk is rising up through the ranks and there was no reason to suggest he was in trouble here.
The Draft pick sends….the Boogeyman to ECW. That makes all the sense in the world actually. Joey: “Just what ECW needed: more freaks.”
Snoop Dogg likes Vince McMahon bringing in great wrestlers…who can beat Vince up.
Another McMahon clip looks at Vince tormenting various people over the years because he is a rather evil man.
Here is Mick Foley for a surprise chat. Normally he doesn’t like listening to Jonathan Coachman, but he heard something mentioned about former WWE Champions being allowed to take part in an open challenge match. Since he was rehired last year, he’s technically part of the Raw roster so he’ll be at Vengeance, assuming he isn’t drafted. As for Vince, he’s an arrogant, misogynistic and horrible person.
Sure Vince has money, but does he have any friends? Of course not! Foley reads off a list of people who won’t be participating tonight despite being asked: Hulk Hogan, HHH, Eric Bischoff, The Rock, Dick Ebersole, Shawn Michaels, Trish Stratus (Foley: “My unofficial fifth child.”) and Ted Turner, all because Vince isn’t worth their time. They don’t appreciate Vince, so should anyone else? The fans say no and Foley agrees, so have a nice day! My biggest take out of that: it’s weird to hear Foley talking about Hulk Hogan.
Umaga (Raw) vs. Balls Mahoney (ECW)
Samoan Spike in less than forty seconds.
The Draft pick sends…..King Booker to Raw. I had forgotten he was a thing. Booker, with Queen Sharmell, comes back to pose for a bit.
Steve-O from Jackass rhymes about Vince McMahon and seems to be a fan.
Bobby Lashley (Raw) vs. Chris Benoit (Smackdown)
Non-title. Lashley tries a spinebuster to start but Benoit grabs the arm and ties it up on the mat. The power can’t quite get Lashley out of trouble so Benoit gets up and chops away. That’s reversed so Lashley can kick away, which the fans don’t quite appreciate. A front facelock slows Benoit down but he is right back to strike away in the corner.
The snap suplex gets two on Lashley and an attempt at a Crossface gets quite the positive reaction. Lashley powers out of that and tries a gorilla press, which is countered into a Crossface (that’s good for a reaction). The rope is grabbed so Benoit takes him down again and grabs the Sharpshooter, which is broken up with straight power. Back up and Lashley tilt-a-whirls Benoit up into a running powerslam for the fast pin.
Rating: C. This is a match that could have been much better with more time and a better story, though what we got was a nice tease. Power vs. technical is a style that has worked for years and it worked well enough here. Not enough time to make it work here, but what we got worked out well enough.
The Draft pick sends….Chris Benoit to ECW. They could use someone like him.
Lashley and Benoit shake hands.
We recap the Draft picks so far.
Donald Trump doesn’t think much of Vince McMahon and talks about how awesome Wrestlemania was. Maybe he should have his own appreciation night.
Ashley Massaro joins us via satellite and thanks Vince for inventing the Diva Search. She does however bring up making Trish Stratus bark like a dog….so here are Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young to disrobe, get on all fours, and bark like dogs (complete with a dog house and food bowl). That’s one of those things that has been forgotten for all the right reasons.
Jimmy Snuka and Iron Sheik join us to thank Vince McMahon for everything he did, though Sheik goes into a rant about Donald Trump and racket ball.
MVP vs. Santino Marella
Non-title. MVP gutwrench suplexes him to start and a clothesline gets two. We hit the cravate to hold Santino in place for a bit, followed by an exchange of kicks to the ribs. Santino gets the worse of things and gets caught in the chinlock, only to fight up with the variety of offense you would expect from someone who has had about five minutes. A fireman’s carry face first drop gives MVP two and a running boot in the corner connects. The Playmaker finishes Santino in a hurry.
Rating: D+. This was little more than a squash, which might not be the best way to present the Intercontinental Title. Then again it does kind of make sense for Marella, who isn’t supposed to be the most polished star in the world. MVP is starting to come into his own and a win like this helps push him a bit further, though I’m not sure how much value Santino had in the first place.
The Draft pick sends….Torrie Wilson to Smackdown.
Bret Hart wants to punch Vince McMahon in the jaw. There’s a name you wouldn’t expect to see on the show and I can go with the surprise.
Miz (Smackdown) vs. Snitsky (ECW)
Snitsky throws him into the corner for the Tree of Woe to start as commentary wonders if Snitsky gets the concept of the Draft. A big boot finishes Miz in a hurry.
The Draft pick….actually goes to Smackdown, as Snitsky keeps stomping away and the decision is reversed.
The Draft pick sends…..Chris Masters to Smackdown. Dang that show is getting wrecked in this thing.
Bobby Heenan talks about everyone Vince has fired and tries to figure out what is up with that walk.
Here is Roddy Piper to introduce a bunch of embarrassing Vince McMahon clips. That’s what you bring in Roddy Piper to do?
Mark Cuban calls Vince McMahon a winner who is living the American dream.
Candice Michelle vs. Kristal
Kristal takes her down and kicks away at the legs but Candice snaps off a backbreaker. The Go Daddy dance gets two and there’s a triangle choke over the ropes to make things worse for Kristal. The spinwheel kick finishes Kristal in a hurry.
The Draft pick sends….Bobby Lashley to Raw. That’s a big one and you had to know Lashley was getting off of ECW one way or another.
Lashley comes out to pose but here is Coach to cut him off. Since Lashley is no longer on ECW, he can’t be the ECW World Champion. Lashley isn’t happy, but promises to be a champion again.
Bob Costas says he wanted to be a WWE broadcaster but Vince McMahon said no. We hear about their infamous interview together and Costas was glad to have a calmer person like Bobby Knight on next.
Jeff Hardy (Raw) vs. Elijah Burke (ECW) vs. Batista (Smackdown)
Burke bails straight to the floor to start but Hardy jumps him from behind. Back in and Batista fires off the shoulders to Hardy’s ribs in the corner, only to have Hardy slip out of the Batista Bomb. Hardy takes him down and hits the Swanton for a very early two with Burke making the save. Batista gets sent outside, leaving Hardy to hit Burke with the slingshot dropkick. Back in and Batista runs Hardy over, setting up the Batista Bomb to finish Burke.
Rating: C. This was more interesting than I would have expected and it was cool to see some people going at it that you wouldn’t usually see get together. If nothing else, it made me want to see Hardy vs. Batista, which somehow never happened in a singles match. You would think their paths would have crossed at some point somewhere over the years.
The Draft pick sends….Ric Flair to Smackdown. Flair could use the change of scenery.
John Cena was at a car race.
Captain Lou Albano talks about how great he is. Vince McMahon is ok too.
Here’s a recap of the Draft picks. There will also be a supplemental Draft on Wednesday.
Here is Dusty Rhodes to talk about Vince McMahon loving to say “perception is reality”. Dusty says that you might not like Vince, but look at the reality of what he has done. You have to respect him.
Gene Okerlund talks about Vince McMahon letting him become the new host of Tuesday Night Titans….while knowing it would be canceled. We also hear about a bunch of horrible things Vince has done, as Gene doesn’t seem to be a fan.
Smackdown: Matt Hardy, William Regal, Chavo Guerrero, Mark Henry, Chris Masters,
ECW: Kevin Thorn, Matt Striker, Marcus Cor Von, Sandman, Tommy Dreamer
Raw: Johnny Nitro, Eugene, Kenny Dykstra, Randy Orton, Johnny Nitro
The winning brand gets two picks. It’s a brawl to start (as battle royals tend to do) and Striker is gone in a hurry. Sandman, Regal and Chavo are out as well, with Dreamer following them as the ring is clearing in a hurry. Thorn gets knocked out too and it’s time for Viscera and Henry to have the big showdown.
Henry can’t get him out but he can clothesline Viscera down, followed by the big elimination. We take a break and come back with Eugene and Dykstra gone to leave us with Henry, Cor Von, Orton, Nitro, Masters and Hardy. The Pounce is loaded up but Hardy low bridges Cor Von out to get rid of ECW.
Masters throws Nitro out but Hardy gets rid of him as well, leaving us with Henry, Hardy and Orton. Matt can’t get rid of Henry but it’s enough for Orton to come over and toss Henry out, leaving us with two. A Side Effect drops Orton but the backbreaker cuts Hardy down as well. Hardy is back with the middle rope elbow to the head but Orton tosses him out to give Raw the win anyway.
Rating: C-. You can only get so far with a battle royal where there are brands instead of individual winners, though they did a good job of having Orton get the win. It’s pretty clear that he is on his way to a huge showdown with John Cena so having him get a win here was a nice little boost. The rest of the match was your usual battle royal stuff, so it wasn’t quite the most thrilling part of the show.
The Draft picks send….Snitsky and Mr. Kennedy to Raw. One of those things is a little better than the others. I mean Snitsky for having no hair of course.
Here are the final Draft picks:
King Booker w/Queen Sharmell
Vince McMahon is in his office and seems a bit nuts.
Steve Austin laughs off the idea of Vince McMahon Appreciation Night and goes over some great moments of their rivalry. He doesn’t appreciate anything about Vince at all. Swearing ensues.
Since the rosters are now set (as we are already ignoring the supplemental draft), the main event of Vengeance will see Mick Foley, Bobby Lashley (still with the ECW World Title in the graphic), Randy Orton and King Booker challenging John Cena. That is some serious star power.
Here is Vince McMahon for the big closing. Vince, with his hand shaking, picks up the microphone and then drops it back down. Without saying anything, Vince slowly walks to the back, passing by the wrestlers (who are all standing in line for no logical reason). Coach pops in to say the limo is the other way so Vince turns around, passes more wrestlers, plus Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, before heading outside.
Vince hesitates to get into the limo, gets inside….and it blows up as the door closes. The limo burns to end the show. And now we have a rather big/hot top story. I remember watching this live and thinking it would blow up as he looked at it like that. No idea why, but it’s the kind of thing that WWE would do.
Overall Rating: C+. It certainly wasn’t a boring show and a lot of things did happen, but it also wasn’t exactly great. This wasn’t the kind of show where you should have expected anything great in the way of wrestling, but what we got was good enough to carry the night. The shakeups needed to happen, though Smackdown is looking more and more like the dumping ground for wrestlers with nothing else to do on Raw.
Then there is the Vince stuff, and again the story feels rushed. The testimonials from the people might not have been great, but some people did say nice things about Vince. That being said, it does make sense that he would be crushed when he wasn’t in his right mind to begin with. The whodunit story is on though, and I’m sure it will reach a satisfying conclusion.
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