Monday Night Raw
Date: July 30, 2007
Location: Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We’re coming up on Summerslam and now we have a big time main event with Randy Orton challenging John Cena for the Raw World Title. That alone is almost enough to carry the Raw side but they could add in a few more things to boost things up a bit. One thing that won’t be included is Jeff Hardy, who has been suspended for thirty days for violating company policy. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Randy Orton becoming the new #1 contender and laying out John Cena to end last week’s show.
Here is John Cena for a chat. Cena is ready for a WWE Title match at the biggest party of the summer and he is ready to face Randy Orton. They got started fast with Orton making an opening statement. Great Khali did it, Bobby Lashley did it, and now Orton did it and CENA WAS DOWN! Orton got the first chapter right, but now he needs to flip to the final chapter, which will have the same four words that we’ve had since September: THE CHAMP IS HERE!
Cue Carlito of all people, to say that Cena is a lucky man, because he is the first guest on the new and improved Carlito’s Cabana. The set is thrown together in a hurry and Cena has a seat as Carlito asks him why he is a liar. We hear about Carlito beating Cena in his debut (because we are bringing this up AGAIN), with Cena throwing in the stabbing in the club.
Cena says that was three years ago, when Britney Spears was still hot, when Michael Jackson wasn’t creepy, when Abraham Lincoln wrestled a bear on the White House lawn and when Lindsay Lohan did her first line…..of dialogue. Cena: “It was Herbie: Fully Loaded! We all saw it!” Carlito says he has Cena’s number but here is Mr. Kennedy to interrupt. Kennedy says he should be #1 contender because Carlito has apples but no grapefruits.
They get in an argument about who should be #1 contender ala Daffy and Bugs. Kennedy: “KENNEDY!” Carlito: “CARLITO!” Cena: “RANDY ORTON!” Cena talks about how Orton is #1 contender because he earned it, not by having a mic drop or stuttering on your last name. If they want to do something, Kennedy should challenge Bobby Lashley and Carlito can do something for the first time in three years by facing Cena himself. This was your usual interrupting segment but at least they set things up.
Melina/Jillian Hall/Beth Phoenix vs. Candice Michelle/Mickie James/Maria
Santino Marella is here with Maria and company. Maria cranks on Beth’s arm to start and it’s off to Mickie to stay on said arm. That doesn’t work for Beth, who powers her into the corner and brings Melina in. Mickie clotheslines her down and it’s off to Candice for a sloppy looking double rolling flip (they aren’t as good as the Hardys). Jillian comes in to take Candice down by the hair as we go to a wide shot for some reason. A Russian legsweep gets Candice out of trouble though and Maria comes into clean house. Everything breaks down and Jillian lifts Maria up for a running faceplant from Melina for the pin.
Rating: D+. It wasn’t a great match, but you could tell that they were having to cram in a bunch of stuff into just over three minutes. You can’t get very far with six women in that length of time and it was showing badly here. The division is getting better though, in that it is an actual division for the first time in a good while.
Post break, the women are gone but Santino is still here to blame the referee for Maria’s loss. We have an interruption though.
Umaga vs. Santino Marella
Non-title and the Samoan Spike finishes in about a minute. A heel turn is a good idea for him as there is nothing to him outside of being Italian so this is a needed change.
King Booker and Queen Sharmell hope that HHH is watching Booker beat up Jerry Lawler tonight.
Cody Rhodes comes in to see Coach and we see a clip of Randy Orton attacking Dusty Rhodes last week. After a long (and readily produced) video, Coach says that Cody can’t go after revenge on Orton. As for Cody’s career, he’s 0-2 so he needs to go win his match. Win and stay, but lose and leave. Cody thanks Coach for showing him the footage.
Randy Orton is ready to compete tonight but doesn’t have an opponent. Cue Sgt. Slaughter of all people to say he’ll do it because Orton is a maggot.
Daivari vs. Cody Rhodes
Cody cuts off Daivari’s pre-match rant and we’re ready to go in a hurry. Daivari shrugs off some early right hands in the corner and sends him into the corner. We’re already on the neck crank as the fans chant USA. Cody hits a crossbody and bulldog for two, followed by a Dustin Rhodes powerslam. A pretty good DDT finishes Daivari in a hurry.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley powers him down to start and grabs a front facelock to limited avail. Back up and Kennedy gets punched into the corner, setting up the vertical suplex. The threat of a spear sends Kennedy bailing to the floor, where he kicks Lashley’s shoulder into the steps. Back in and we hit the logical armbar to stay on Lashley’s bad shoulder. The arm is snapped across the top rope for two and the referee considers stopping the match. Another armbar has to be broken up and Lashley makes the comeback. The spear is loaded up but Kennedy kicks him in the arm and gets the clean pin.
Rating: C. That was a rather surprising result with Lashley going from the top of the show to losing clean in about six minutes. Granted the fact that he had a legitimate shoulder injury and needed surgery might have had something to do with it. As a result, that would be the last Lashley match around here for over ten years, as he would need months off to recover and then be released. It’s great to see Kennedy get the credit for injuring him, which isn’t something that is done nearly often enough. You have something handed to you, so run with the thing.
We recap King Booker vs. Jerry Lawler, which started over Booker’s obsession with being the only king.
King Booker vs. Jerry Lawler
Queen Sharmell is here with Booker. They stare each other down to start and circle a bit until Lawler scores with some shots to the face. More right hands knock Booker down in the corner but he comes back with a spinning kick to drop Lawler. Back up and the strap comes down to start Lawler’s comeback, meaning it’s time for a bunch of right hands. An elbow gets three but Booker’s foot is on the ropes to kill the celebration. Back up and Booker kicks him in the face again before hammering away in the corner enough to draw a DQ.
Rating: C-. This was a bit confusing as you would think that Booker would pin Lawler when he seems to be set for a big showdown with HHH at Summerslam. Lawler is still great at everything he does though and can draw a crowd in without much effort. Odds are we’re getting a rematch, which I guess is serving as a surrogate since HHH isn’t around.
Post match Lawler is back up and jumps Booker on the ramp. The beating is on until referees break it up.
Cryme Tyme vs. John Mason/Brandon Gatson
JTG punches Mason down to start so it’s off to Gaspard to beat up Gatson. The G9 is good for the pin on Gat on in a hurry.
Post match, Cryme Tyme steals Watson’s boots and offers them to the crowd, with the starting bid at $10,000, cash only. That’s dropped to $5,000 and then all the way down to $20, with the autographs thrown in! Final sale price: $40. Pretty funny bit here with Cryme Tyme showing off some great charisma.
Randy Orton vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Lawler is back on commentary. Orton goes right for the leg to start and we’re in the chinlock early on. Slaughter fights up and grabs a quick cobra clutch but Orton is in the ropes in a hurry. A headbutt staggers Slaughter and the RKO finishes in a hurry.
Rating: D. I still don’t know why Slaughter is trotted out for matches like this, as it’s quite the downgrade from Orton beating up Dusty Rhodes to beating up Slaughter. You knew what you would be seeing as soon as Slaughter showed up, but at least they kept it short. This didn’t really make me want to see Cena beat Orton any more, and it would have been more effective to have him take out Lashley earlier tonight.
Carlito vs. John Cena
Non-title and Orton is at ringside. Cena grabs a headlock to start and messes with the hair, which is too far for Carlito. A way too early FU attempt lets Cena go after the hair again as Cena doesn’t seem to be taking this very seriously. Cena grabs the hair for a bulldog and hits a rather high backdrop. The fisherman’s suplex drops Carlito again and Cena glares down at Orton. Carlito avoids a charge though and grabs a neckbreaker for two. The chinlock goes on but Cena fights up in a hurry. Cena loads up the Shuffle but Orton offers a distraction, allowing Carlito to hit the Backstabber for the fast pin.
Rating: C-. This was more of an angle with a match included, as Carlito barely got in anything until the end. I know pinning Cena is a boost for Carlito, but it doesn’t do as much good when Cena beat him up and looked bored doing so at times. Then again, we’re pretty far beyond the point of Carlito being taken seriously so that shouldn’t be the biggest surprise.
Post match, Carlito spits the apple on Cena, who looks furious to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. I’m not quite sure what to think here, as this was a show that didn’t really add anything new, but rather worked on what was already established. The problem is that it wasn’t a very good show with no matches worth seeing. While it wasn’t exactly a terrible show, it wasn’t one that you needed to watch and that is often worse. Maybe the Hardy situation changed a few things, but I can’t imagine it shook the show up that much. Orton vs. Cena is going to carry Summerslam on this side, so hopefully it’s more of the end of the show than the beginning.
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