Monday Night Raw – February 19, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 19, 2007
Location: Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield, California
Attendance: 8,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re done with No Way Out and that means we have less than six weeks to go before Wrestlemania XXIII. The main events are set but we still need a bit more of the card to come together. That means we could be in for something good tonight, which will likely not include another appearance from Donald Trump. Let’s get to it.

We open with a barber’s chair and barber shop pole in the ring (which is thankfully minus any windows). Vince McMahon comes out to say the Battle of the Billionaires is ready on and he can’t believe it. Donald Trump is going to come into his most prized creation, where Vince’s representative is going to beat him. Then McMahon is going to go over and beat Trump up, so that he can tell Trump that it’s time to be bald.

The good thing is that being bald is en vogue right now, so we look at Brittney Spears with her shaved head. Vince talks about the various haircuts he might give Trump, which means we get a McMahon favorite: WACKY PHOTOSHOPPED PICTURES!!! Anyway, Vince wants us to meet his personal representative, so here is Umaga. Armando Alejandro Estrada talks about how Umaga is happy to be Vince’s representative, but Vince isn’t done. Right now, Umaga is going to become…..the Intercontinental Champion!

Intercontinental Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga

Umaga is challenging and we are joined in progress with Hardy sending Umaga outside. The baseball slide through the ropes staggers Umaga but the slingshot dive is pulled out of the air. That’s escaped as well so Hardy runs the barricade, only to have his dive knocked away with ease.

They head back in where Umaga drops a leg and we hit the nerve hold as Lawler talks about how horrible it is to have your head shaved. Hardy manages to avoid the charge in the corner so Umaga’s head slams into the post. The Whisper in the Wind gets two but Umaga catches him with the Samoan drop. The running hip attack in the corner sets up the Samoan Spike to give Umaga the pin and the title.

Rating: C. Hardy was the sacrificial lamb here and that’s all he was supposed to be. They needed to make Umaga look like a bigger deal going into his huge Wrestlemania match so putting him over a popular star like Hardy makes sense. Umaga winning the title is hardly some big upset so go with the right move here and everyone wins. Well maybe not Hardy.

Ric Flair/Carlito vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch

Torrie Wilson is here with Carlito and Flair, the latter of whom takes over on Cade’s arm to start. Carlito comes in for the springboard elbow to the face and the running knee lift. A distraction lets Cade hit a Side Effect though and Murdoch comes in to hammer away. The villains take turns stomping away and we hit the neck crank on Carlito.

A back elbow to the face puts him down again but Murdoch misses an elbow. It’s back to Flair for the rapid fire chops and right hands, setting up the chop block. The Figure Four is paused so Flair can punch Cade out of the air, allowing Carlito to come in for a double clothesline to the floor. Flair hits Murdoch low and the Backstabber gives Carlito the pin.

Rating: C-. Just a tag match here as Carlito and Flair are starting the mentor/mentee deal. Granted it might be a bit better if it was anyone but Carlito, though at least they have something going on here. I’m not sure how far this is going to go, but Flair in a midcard role to give Carlito a rub is going to work out well enough.

John Cena and Shawn Michaels are happy they won last night but Shawn’s goal is still to keep Cena safe until Wrestlemania. Violence is teased….but Shawn plugs the new DX DVD instead. Cena counters with the unrated version of the Marine DVD. They brag about their DVDs until Big Dick Johnson comes in to dance. Shawn superkicks him, earning a thank you from Cena.

Rated-RKO is getting a Tag Team Title shot next week and Randy Orton is ready to destroy John Cena tonight. Edge is more excited about Money in the Bank so he better go qualify.

We look at Edge winning Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania XXI.

We look at Rob Van Dam winning Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania XXII.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Edge vs. Rob Van Dam

Edge’s wristlock doesn’t get him very far to start as Van Dam slips away and hits the finger pointing. Some kicks put Edge into the corner for the monkey flip and it’s time to go to the floor for a break. Back with Van Dam working on an armbar and then cranking back on said arm for two. Rob knocks him outside and hits the spinning kick to the back over the barricade.

Edge is rocked but he is fine enough to come back with a hanging swinging neckbreaker. It’s Rob in trouble for the first time and Edge goes really evil by mocking the finger point. Dude, gimmick infringement is never cool. The chinlock goes on until Rob kicks him in the head for the break and there’s the running spinwheel kick in the corner. Rolling Thunder is loaded up but Edge reverses into a powerslam in a nice counter.

Edge crotches him on top but the superplex attempt is broken up with another crotching. Rob kicks him to the floor and follows with a nice dive. Back in and Edge dropkicks him out of the air for two, only to have the spear hit the corner. The split legged moonsault gives Van Dam two more and there’s the step over kick to the face. The Five Star is loaded up but Randy Orton comes out for the distraction, allowing Edge to hit the spear for the pin.

Rating: B-. These two were having a heck of a match and I was getting into the back and forth stuff to the point where the Orton interference surprised me. Edge winning is fine and it makes sense to push a Raw star over one of the only ECW stars, so go with what makes the most sense in a pretty big match. The fact that it was good made it even better.

Women’s Title: Melina vs. Mickie James

Melina is challenging and even JR is half drooling over the two of them. They fight over a lockup to start with neither being able to get very far. Mickie takes her down by the hair and hits a basement dropkick to send Melina outside. The baseball slide is cut off and Mickie is sent into the barricade for a crash.

Back in and Melina throws her down by the hair before tying up the legs. That goes nowhere as Mickie sweeps the legs and hammers away, followed by some hair tosses. The Thesz press lets Mickie hammer away even more but Melina grabs the ropes to counter a hurricanrana. Mickie lands HARD on her head, allowing Melina to grab a jackknife cover for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. That felt like an injury ending and if that is the case, good for them for wrapping up the match as soon as they did. It was a nasty landing and the medics checking on Mickie after the match was hardly surprising. Melina winning the title makes sense as she has been the biggest star in the division as of late so let her run with the thing.

Post match Mickie is checked on while the paparazzi swarm Melina.

Post break, Mickie doesn’t want to talk about what happened and slaps Todd Grisham for not getting it.

Great Khali vs. Highlanders

Khali knocks both of them around like he’s the Great Khali and they’re the Highlanders and the chop puts Rory on the floor. Robbie gets chokeslammed for the pin with a boot on the chest.

Some of the cast of Grindhouse is here.

We look back at the opening sequence and the HILARIOUS Trump photos. There was a Mr. T. and Hulk Hogan version for Wrestlemania flavor.

Kenny Dykstra is asking Coach for more competition but Great Khali comes in to scare Kenny off. Khali wants better competition and Coach agrees. That’s enough for Khali to leave, so here is Ron Simmons for a subdued catchphrase.

Ashley revealed her Playboy cover on Smackdown.

Melina is happy to have won the title but she wants to know why Ashley is getting all of the attention. Do you know how many times she has turned Playboy down?

Mr. Perfect is going into the Hall of Fame, as he should. We get a montage of Perfect being amazing at sports, which it turns out he could do, but not when the camera was on. The solution? Lie to him about the camera being on.

Wrestlemania Recall: Wrestlemania I.

Randy Orton vs. John Cena

Non-title. Orton drives him into the corner to start and stomps him down without much effort. Cena is right back with the release fisherman’s suplex for two, with JR connecting the bridges and calling it a near PerfectPlex. A slam and elbow get two on Orton but Cena misses a charge and gets clotheslined down for the same. It doesn’t seem to bother Cena, who is right back with a bulldog to send Orton outside. Back in and it’s a double clothesline to put both of them down for a breather. Orton rolls outside again and grabs a chair as we take a break.

Back with Cena missing the shoulder and Orton hits the hanging DDT. Orton hammers him down in the corner and it’s time for the circle stomp. The big knee drop gets two and we hit the rare standing chinlock. Make that the seated chinlock but Cena powers out, only to get punched in the face. Cena makes the clothesline comeback and it’s the Throwback into the Shuffle. Orton rakes his eyes to escape the FU and there’s a dropkick to put Cena down again. The high crossbody connects but Cena rolls through for two. Orton is back with the backbreaker but the RKO is shoved away. The FU is loaded up again, drawing in Edge for the DQ.

Rating: B-. It’s so weird to see this as a fresh match but these two do work well together. You can see them doing their things and setting up their big stuff but neither of them could get that far ahead. Edge running in for the DQ wasn’t the biggest surprise after Orton ran out earlier, but they were having another good match on the way there.

Post match the Conchairto is loaded up but Shawn Michaels runs in for the save. Shawn grabs the chair and teases hitting Cena but throws it down instead. Shawn: “Not this time.” A tease of a superkick ends the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This show started slowly but picked up near the end, which is always nice to see. You can feel the Wrestlemania build coming and that is a nice feeling, as they are getting the big pieces in place early. Money in the Bank is going to give some other people something to do and the rest of the card can fill itself out. Good enough show here, as the Road to Wrestlemania is starting to come together.

 

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