Monday Night Raw
Date: February 5, 2007
Location: Tyson Events Center, Sioux City, Iowa
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
The Road To Wrestlemania continues as we still need to know what Undertaker is going to do with his Royal Rumble win. There are a few different choices and all three of them have been teased, which makes things a bit more interesting. Granted the chances of Undertaker picking the ECW World Title are the same as me being named Miss Nevada 1978, so there are only two choices. Let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of Undertaker winning the Royal Rumble and teasing the Wrestlemania title match pick.
Here is Undertaker to make his decision. Since that takes quite a long time, here is an impatient John Cena before anything can be said. Bobby Lashley is here as well, with Batista rounding out the quartet. Undertaker stares at all three of them….and then gives Batista the throat slit so set up the match.
This immediately brings out Shawn Michaels to say John Cena needs a Wrestlemania opponent and he is here to help a brother out. Cue Randy Orton to say that he is facing Cena at Wrestlemania. Cue Edge as this is a rather large opening segment. Edge wants the title shot but now it’s Vince McMahon to ask why we’re in the middle of a cornfield in this horrible state.
Vince finds it interesting that no one is challenging Bobby Lashley, so he’ll be defending the ECW World Title against someone from the Raw roster tonight. As for everyone else, let’s have a triple threat between Orton, Michaels and Edge with the winner challenging Cena at Wrestlemania. Undertaker and Batista are left alone for the staredown and Undertaker plants him with a chokeslam (or powerslam as JR put it). This had a lot of people involved but it certainly set up a lot at once, so I think I can forgive it.
Charlie Haas/Shelton Benjamin/Chris Masters vs. Carlito/Cryme Tyme
Torrie Wilson is here with the latter. JR: “King can I give a shout out to my barbecue loving buddies in Oklahoma.” Lawler: “I guess?” JR: “Well I just did.” It’s a big brawl to start until we settle down to JTG Thesz pressing Benjamin to hammer away. Haas, now with cornrows, comes in for an overhead belly to belly to send JTG flying though and it’s Masters coming in to hammer away. JTG slips out of another suplex attempt though and Carlito comes in to clean house. Everything breaks down and Carlito O’Connor rolls Masters, only to get caught with a springboard Blockbuster from Benjamin to steal the pin.
Rating: D+. Normally I’m a fan of merging a few feuds together but I never need to see Masters vs. Carlito in any form again. It has been done on and off for the better part of a year now and wasn’t all that interesting in the first place. Cryme Tyme vs. Haas/Benjamin isn’t exactly great either but at least it is something new.
We recap Fan Appreciation Night last week, with Donald Trump giving the fans money.
Vince McMahon is annoyed at Trump when Kenny Dykstra comes in to ask about the ECW World Title shot tonight. McMahon gives him the match to get rid of him but Coach has a letter from Trump. He’s going to be here next week to up the ante with a business proposal. Vince wants Trump to join his special club.
Ric Flair hits on Maria a bit and says that he is excited by Undertaker vs. Batista. As for tonight, he gets to face Jeff Hardy and if he wins, he gets an Intercontinental Title shot at Wrestlemania.
Melina and Candice Michelle have one of those authentic talks about Candice’s Super Bowl commercial. Candice leaves so here is John Morrison to say Melina looks great and he is ready for Super Crazy. Tonight, Melina is winning the Women’s Title.
Balls Mahoney is in the ring for a match and here is Coach to introduce the special opponent.
Umaga vs. Balls Mahoney
Armando Alejandro Estrada is here with Umaga. Mahoney strikes away to start and is knocked into the corner without much effort. Some choking on the rope ensues and the Samoan drop crushes Mahoney. The running hip attack sets up the Samoan Spike for the easy win.
Johnny Nitro vs. Super Crazy
Melina and Mickie James are here as well. Nitro starts fast and sends him into the corner, with Crazy sunset flipping him for two. That earns him a shot to the face though and Nitro grabs a cravate. Crazy fights up but Melina’s distraction lets Nitro roll him up for two. Mickie trips Nitro right back so Crazy can hit some dropkicks. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker sets up the moonsault but Nitro catches him on top. That’s broken up as well though and the moonsault gives Crazy the pretty big upset pin.
Women’s Title: Melina vs. Mickie James
Melina is challenging and thankfully they didn’t bother redoing the entrances (including for Nitro and Crazy, who are here as well). The catfight is on to start until Mickie James remembers that she’s Mickie James and forearms away. A hammerlock has Mickie in trouble so the fans chant for her, which Lawler calls being “silently” behind her. Melina takes her down by the leg but gets kicked away, giving us a standoff.
Mickie cartwheels into a monkey flip to send Melina bailing over to Nitro. Melina gets in a shot to the face and sends her face first into the mat for two. Back up and they slug it out until Melina sends her into the corner. An elbow to the face staggers Melina so Nitro goes after her, only to get hurricanranaed by Crazy. Melina pulls her outside by the top (Lawler approves) but Mickie is right back with a sunset flip to retain.
Rating: D+. This was one that sounded better on paper than it worked in reality as Melina wasn’t quite ready for the big showdown. Then again, you’re only going to be able to do so much in less than five minutes with two more people on the floor. Mickie was doing her thing well enough, but they didn’t exactly make this work.
Post match Melina is rather annoyed at the paparazzi trying to take her picture.
John Cena wishes Shawn Michaels good luck tonight but he would rather Edge win. Cena knows he can beat Edge and reminds Shawn that they’re Tag Team Champions. That sounded like a bit of a wink about how little they care about the titles.
Jeff Hardy vs. Ric Flair
Non-title but if Flair wins, he gets an Intercontinental Title shot at Wrestlemania. Hardy shoulders him down to start so Flair pops back up for a WOO. The chops have Hardy in the corner but he switches places to take Flair down. Hardy goes up but tweaks the knee on the landing, allowing Flair to chop block him down. Some leg cranking has Hardy in more trouble and the fans are behind Flair.
Hardy fights up and scores with an enziguri (breaking up a WOO in the process), setting up the sitout jawbreaker. The Whisper in the Wind connects and there’s the Twist of Fate. The Swanton misses though and Flair is right back on the knee. Flair loads up the Figure Four but stops to strut, allowing Hardy to small package him for the pin.
Rating: C-. I’m going to assume that the ending was designed to make Flair look stupid and it certainly worked in that regard. There was no reason for Flair to start strutting around when he had Hardy in that much trouble. The match was good enough up to that point, but I would assume that it was setting things up for later, as otherwise that is pretty out of character for this version of Flair.
Post match Hardy praises Flair, who shakes his hand.
Wrestlemania is 55 days away.
We recap Undertaker’s selection from earlier tonight.
Batista isn’t intimidated and is ready for some payback. He’s fine with teaming with Undertaker at No Way Out too. That’s quite the calm champion.
ECW World Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Kenny Dykstra
Lashley is defending and scares Dykstra over to the apron to start. Back in and a single right hand sends Dykstra over the top and out to the floor for a great visual. Lashley knocks him off the apron for a bonus but Dykstra gets smart by dropkicking the knee out. Some stomping gives Dykstra two and we hit the chinlock.
That’s broken up and Lashley hits some clotheslines, setting up a t-bone suplex. A dropkick puts Lashley on the floor though and we take a break. We come back with Dykstra holding a front facelock but Lashley powers up without much trouble. The delayed suplex sets up the gorilla press powerslam to retain.
Rating: D+. What else were you expecting here? Dykstra is a generic heel and Lashley doesn’t know how to do much other than his power stuff. Lashley has all of the tools to be a major star but you need to give him a good bit more seasoning. That is showing in places like this, as he wasn’t able to get anything out of Dykstra, who wasn’t ready to do something like this on his own.
Edge comes up to Randy Orton, who doesn’t want to talk. They aren’t partners tonight because Orton wants the Wrestlemania title shot. That’s fine with Edge, but he wants to make sure Shawn Michaels doesn’t get the shot.
Carlito and Torrie Wilson are going out and say goodbye to Ric Flair. They’re going out, but Flair doesn’t want to hear it after Carlito lost his match earlier tonight. Flair goes into a huge rant about how Carlito isn’t in the main event because he’s a lazy SOB. Guys like Carlito have no passion or guts but want to fly first class with someone like Torrie Wilson. Carlito hasn’t bled, sweat or paid the price but he’s taking Flair’s spot.
Flair has been here forever but Vince McMahon has told him that if he wants to stay, he has to prove it. Now Flair is trying to prove himself but Carlito is going out before the main event. Flair walks off, leaving a stunned Carlito with something to think about. This felt like Flair being told to go and let loose and he made it work because that is the kind of emotion he can bring like almost no one else.
Shawn Michaels vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton
The winner gets the WWE Title shot at Wrestlemania. At least Shawn has his title here, which doesn’t help him out as he gets double teamed down. Shawn comes back with a double clothesline and some atomic drops with Orton being tossed outside. Back up and Orton shoves Shawn off the top for a crash but only teases the RKO to Edge. We take a break and come back with Shawn tossing Orton and suplexing Edge. There’s a baseball slide to knock Orton onto the announcers’ table and a Thesz press to Edge as Shawn keeps the pace up.
Edge boots him in the face but gets caught going up top. A crotching puts Edge on the floor but Orton is back in with the backbreaker to Michaels. The RKO connects but Edge makes the save. Edge and Orton shake hands but then instantly turn on each other to start the fight. Stereo crossbodies put both of them down, allowing Shawn to drop the top rope elbow on Edge. Sweet Chin Music is blocked so Shawn sidesteps a spear, which hits Orton instead. A superkick drops Edge and Shawn pins Orton for the title shot.
Rating: C+. This is one of those matches where there wasn’t a ton of drama to the ending but at least they did well on their way to the finish. Michaels getting the shot at Cena was pretty much locked up last week but they had to make it official here. The action was good as you would expect and it set up Wrestlemania, so there isn’t much to complain about here.
Post match John Cena in for the staredown but here are Batista and Undertaker to stare at the top of them and then each other to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This show had a couple of positives, including setting up a pair of Wrestlemania title matches and not having Donald Trump. You can tell that things are getting important around here again and the energy is rising. Throw in Flair’s great promo and there were parts of this show that worked very well. Unfortunately there were also parts that didn’t work, which was most of the actual wrestling. That wasn’t what mattered, but it did bring down a lot of the show.
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