Monday Night Raw
Date: July 9, 2007
Location: Cajundome, Lafayette, Louisiana
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We are less than two weeks away from the Great American Bash and the big main event is set. WWE Champion John Cena will be defending the title against Bobby Lashley in a match that has to have Vince McMahon drooling. There are two shows left to build up to the show and that can be the important times on the way there. Let’s get to it.
Bobby Lashley vs. King Booker
Queen Sharmell is here with Booker in a rematch of last year’s King of the Ring finals (which JR mentions during the entrances). Lashley powers him around to start but charges into an elbow in the corner. Booker’s charge is countered into a powerslam though and Lashley plants him again for two. There’s another slam to put Booker down again but he’s back up with a spinning kick. Lashley isn’t having that and hits the Dominator, only to have Mr. Kennedy come in for the DQ.
Rating: C. This didn’t have time to go anywhere but Lashley was beating up a former World Champion and making it look pretty easy. They’re doing a great job of making Lashley feel like an unstoppable monster and that is where Cena shines most of the time. This didn’t need to go on much longer and they made their point while still protecting Booker a bit.
Post match the double teaming is on until Coach comes out to say not so fast. Tonight it was supposed to be Cena/Lashley vs. Kennedy/Booker, but since Cena is in Los Angeles (for a panel on Larry King Live), Lashley can pick another partner. Either that or have a handicap match. Lashley clears the ring to show off a bit.
Coach goes into his office to find William Regal, who he thanks for helping last week. Regal says he got some compliments for bringing something fresh to Raw, but Coach has him in a match with Sandman tonight. Regal doesn’t seem pleased but he’s in.
Intercontinental Title: Umaga vs. Santino Marella
Umaga is defending after taking the title from Santino last week. The strikes to Umaga are as effective as you would expect and he plants Santino with the spinning Rock Bottom. Cue Maria to cheer for Santino (Lawler approves) as Santino is sent chest first into the corner. Umaga does it again as this is total dominance so far. The middle rope headbutt misses though and Santino hammers away, only to get knocked right back down in a hurry. The running hip attack crushes Santino in the corner and the Samoan Spike retains the title.
Rating: D+. Total and complete destruction here and that should wrap it up for Santino’s title shots. There is no reason to believe that Santino can hang with Umaga in a one on one match without assistance so this is the right way to wrap it up. Umaga can find some more people to fight for the title and odds are almost anyone would give him a better challenge at the moment.
Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch vs. Highlanders
Non-title and I had forgotten that the Highlanders were a thing around here. Cage runs Rory over with a shoulder to start and grabs a headlock to take him over again. Murdoch comes in for a headlock takeover of his own as this is another one sided match to start. A running elbow in the corner staggers Rory again and we hit the chinlock with a knee in his back. Rory gets up and his a jawbreaker to get a breather though and the hot tag brings in Robbie to clean house. Everything breaks down and a high/low finishes for Murdoch out of nowhere.
Maria apologizes to Santino Marella for the loss and suggests they go out tonight. Marella suggests he help her at his hotel, with Maria agreeing, as they could watch a movie. Or something.
Charlie Haas makes fun of Shelton Benjamin for kissing King Booker’s hand last night. Shelton, the birthday boy, is so confident that he’ll win tonight that if he doesn’t, he’ll kiss….Haas….on the lips. Haas is down and then realizes what he said. Oddly enough, no Ron Simmons cameo.
Video on John Cena.
Snitsky vs. Super Crazy
Snitsky powers him into the corner to start but charges into a boot. That’s about it for Crazy’s offense as Snitsky hits him in the back and whips him hard into the corner again. The pumphandle slam finishes for Snitsky in just over a minute.
Post match, Snitsky hits another pumphandle slam for a bonus.
We recap Randy Orton disrespecting Dusty and (the debuting) Cody Rhodes last week by slapping Dusty in the face. This week, Dusty wants some revenge.
HHH is coming back.
Here is Dusty Rhodes for a chat and he wastes no time in calling out Randy Orton. Cue Orton, with Dusty saying there was no way that it was going to be over last week when Orton slapped him in the face. Now is Orton just going to stand there and look stupid? Orton doesn’t want to hear the “respect your legends” speech again but Dusty goes on a mini rant about Orton spitting in Harley Race’s face. Dusty wants to hear about what Orton has done in the ring, so Orton talks about injuring Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam. That’s not how you gain respect, and LOOK AT DUSTY WHEN HE IS TALKING TO YOU!
Orton challenges him to a match at the Great American Bash, but Dusty says not so fast because he’s old and retired. That’s not cool with Orton, so he suggests that he’ll just end Cody Rhodes’ career instead. Dusty is willing to fight, but we’ll make it a Texas Bullrope match. Deal, with Orton saying Cody needs to be there to pick up the pieces. Cue Cody (Runnels according to JR), with Orton telling him to get out of the ring before he gets hurt. Cody slaps Orton in the face and Orton bails without going after the two of them.
Paul London vs. Shelton Benjamin
This could be good. Shelton powers out of a top wristlock attempt to start and then takes London down into a front facelock without much trouble. Back up and London kicks away at the ribs for little effect so he grabs a front facelock of his own. That’s broken up as well so Benjamin snaps off a backbreaker, setting up an armbar of all things. London fights up with a hurricanrana into a small package for two, only to have Benjamin go right back to the arm. That doesn’t seem to bother London, who grabs a victory roll for the fast pin.
Rating: C. This was good while it lasted but it didn’t have a ton of time to go anywhere. That being said, this is about as good as you’re going to get from these two as far as time goes, as WWE has never exactly shown much interest in a serious push for London. Then there is Benjamin, and there is no reason to believe in any push he receives ever again.
Mr. Kennedy jumps the banged up Super Crazy for last week.
Shelton Benjamin seems hesitant to kiss Charlie Haas but Haas will settle for a kiss on the hand. They hug, and NOW Ron Simmons comes in for the catchphrase.
Melina/Jillian Hall vs. Candice Michelle/Mickie James
Hold on though as Melina has a sprained ankle, but she has a replacement: the returning Beth Phoenix. Melina sits in on commentary as Beth hits Mickie with what would become known as the Glam Slam. Candice gets the tag just a few seconds later as everything breaks down in a hurry. Jillian side slams Candice for two but gets caught in a backslide to give Candice the fast pin. This was nothing.
Post match Beth and Jillian beat down Candice, with Melina literally jumping in to help as a villain should.
HHH is still coming back.
King Booker isn’t happy that HHH is coming back but here is Mr. Kennedy to interrupt. Kennedy says Bobby Lashley made them look like fools last week but Booker says that was just Kennedy. Revenge will be theirs!
Sandman vs. William Regal
Carlito is on commentary. Regal hammers away in a pair of corners to start as Carlito accuses Sandman of being drunk. Sandman comes back with a knee to the face but has to go after Carlito with the kendo stick. Another shot drops Regal to DQ Sandman.
Video on Bobby Lashley.
John Cena joins us via satellite and talks about how nice it was for Larry King to have people willing to have an intelligent discussion on wrestling on his show. As for Lashley, it’s true that he is an uncrowned champion. At the Great American Bash, we’ll find out who the real champion is.
Great American Bash rundown. That’s not a bad looking show.
Bobby Lashley/??? vs. Mr. Kennedy/King Booker
The mystery partner is….Jeff Hardy. I’ve heard worse ideas. In something I wouldn’t have guessed, Hardy is a bit taller than Lashley. Anyway, Booker and Hardy get things going with Booker missing an early ax kick attempt. Hardy starts in on the arm but gets taken into the corner for some knees to the ribs. Kennedy comes in and gets to stomp away in the corner until Hardy mule kicks his way to freedom.
The tag brings in Lashley to clean house, including a suplex to Kennedy. Booker gets knocked to the floor and Lashley plays Matt Hardy for some Poetry in Motion. A cheap shot from the apron lets Kennedy take Jeff down but he’s right back with the Whisper in the Wind. Now the hot tag can bring in Lashley to clean house as everything breaks down. The spear hits Kennedy with Booker making the save, so Hardy takes Booker outside. A leapfrog over Kennedy sets up another spear to give Lashley the pin.
Rating: C. This was a house show main style match and that’s all it was supposed to be. Cena had WWE business to tend to so putting Hardy in at the last minute was as good of an option as they probably had. The match wasn’t anything memorable, but it gave Lashley the chance to wreck some people and look great on the way to the pay per view title match.
Overall Rating: C-. There were some good pieces on the show but it felt like they were going through stuff as fast as they could have. Cena not being around changed a few things but I don’t think him being here would have brought the show up that much. It’s much more skippable than bad, though in a way that’s a worse situation to have.
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