Monday Night Raw
Date: March 12, 2007
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We are less than three weeks away from Wrestlemania and it’s another Donald Trump show as the contract has to be signed. Other than that, the World Title situation has been picking up as you can feel the tension building between Shawn Michaels and John Cena. The shows have actually been working well as of late and that might be the case again this week. Let’s get to it.
In Memory of Ernie Ladd.
We open with a recap of Shawn Michaels and John Cena not needing the other to save them, with Shawn barely saving Cena to end the show.
Here is John Cena to get things going. Cena knows there is tension in the air because he doesn’t know if he can trust Shawn Michaels. When is Shawn going to betray him and get it over with? If Shawn wants to turn on his tag partner then fine, but if Shawn wants to kick his teeth down his throat, come out here and do it right now.
Cue Shawn, but Cena cuts him off to say this is all about the title. Shawn says he isn’t going to win Good Samaritan this year because all he cares about is being WWE Champion. People have been asking when he is going to turn on Cena, but why aren’t people asking when Cena is going to turn on him? Cena will do anything to be champion and that’s what Shawn likes about him. As much as Cena wants to be champion, Shawn wants one more day in the sun that much more.
Violence is teased but here is Coach to interrupt. All this talk about the WWE Title has taken focus off of the Tag Team Titles and there are a lot of teams ready to take their heads off. That’s why tonight, it’s a gauntlet match against three teams. It seems to be three straight title matches, and the third is going to take place inside a steel cage.
Celebrities pick who they want to see bald.
Donald Trump arrives.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Randy Orton vs. Carlito vs. Ric Flair
Elimination rules so Orton has to fight off a double team out of the corner. Back to back dropkicks put Carlito and Flair down but Flair is back up with the chops. Carlito does the same in the corner and gets two off a back elbow to the face. Flair takes out the knee and Carlito hits the springboard elbow. For reasons of good guys in wrestling are idiots, Carlito wants to put on the RKO so a fight breaks out with Flair. The Backstabber to Flair sets up the RKO for the elimination and we take a break.
Back with Carlito crawling to the ropes to get out of a Boston crab. That’s fine with Orton, as he gets in the Garvin Stomp into the jumping knee for two. Orton punches him down in the corner and we hit the chinlock. Carlito, eventually, fights up and snaps off a hurricanrana into a flapjack for two. The springboard spinning Swanton gets two but Orton crotches him on top. The RKO sends Orton to Wrestlemania.
Rating: C-. The elimination rule was little more than a way for Carlito to look like a moron, which he tends to do on his own. The Carlito/Flair stuff makes sense on paper, but then falls apart when you realize that it’s a story about Carlito. Orton going on makes sense as he needs something to do at Wrestlemania and he looked pretty dominant on the way there.
Video on Bobby Lashley vs. Vince McMahon.
It’s time for a Masterlock Challenge but no one comes out. Chris Masters offers Lilian Garcia a chance but here is Super Crazy for the save. Crazy gets in a few shots but gets Masterlocked down. This was every Masterlock Challenge for months now.
Vince McMahon arrives and tells Donald Trump’s driver to tell Trump that his is bigger than Trump’s. The limo that is.
Video on Ernie Ladd, who I like more and more every time I see something from him.
Edge and Randy Orton are getting ready in the back but stop to bicker about winning Money in the Bank. Edge is undefeated, but the only reason is he never faced Randy Orton.
Lilian Garcia asks us to look at the Titantron for a public service announcement. Someone is reading the Los Angeles Times and talking about the Battle of the Billionaires. The paper is folded down…..and it’s the Rock. Well that wakes the crowd up. Rock talks about being Samoan himself and knows that Umaga is Samoan for shriveled up monkey censored. How is Vince going to win with a shriveled up monkey censored? Rock hits some catchphrases and we’re done in a hurry. This was as fast paced of a cameo as you’re going to get.
Ashley had a Playboy signing in New York City.
Tag Team Titles: Gauntlet Match
John Cena and Shawn Michaels are defending in three straight matches. First up is the World’s Greatest Tag Team so Cena hiptosses and elbows Benjamin down to start. The release fisherman’s suplex gets two but Benjamin gets him into the corner for the tag to Haas. Some right hands and a slam set up more right hands but Cena runs him over. The hot(ish) tag brings in Michaels to clean house until Cena tags himself back in. The STFU, with a glare at Michaels, makes Haas tap.
Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade are in next with an atomic drop/big boot combination to take over on Michaels. Murdoch’s slingshot knee gives Cade two and a jumping clothesline is good for the same. The bearhug doesn’t last long as Michaels punches his way out and hits an enziguri. Cena gets the tag and starts to wreck things, including the FU to Murdoch….at least in theory, as Shawn superkicks Murdoch for the pin instead. The cage is lowered and it’s MNM as the third challengers.
We’re joined in progress with Nitro getting two on Cena before grabbing the chinlock. That doesn’t last long as Cena is up in a hurry for another tag back to Michaels. Nitro takes Michaels down as well and it’s time for some choking. A neckbreaker gives Nitro two but the yet to be named Starship Pain misses.
Despite Mercury getting in a cheap shot on Cena, Michaels gets over for the tag anyway and it’s time to clean house. Everything breaks down and it turns into a contest to see who can abuse Mercury worse. Mercury is busted open but Michaels and Cena get into it again, this time over which finisher to use. Nitro gets dropped so it’s a superkick to send Mercury into the FU to retain.
Rating: C. This was little more than a workout for Cena and Michaels, as the other three teams just aren’t close to them. It took about six minutes to beat the first two and then not much more than that to take out MNM. The feud has been doing good things for Cena and Michaels but it has shown how weak the tag division is. Then again, that has been pretty clear for a long time now.
Post match the cage is raised and the other teams come in to go after Michaels and Cena. That’s fine with Cena, who grabs a chair to wreck everyone. Cena teases hitting Michaels but everything is cool and the champs leave everyone laying.
Jeff Hardy vs. Edge
Hold on though as Edge is in street clothes. He would love to come down and beat up Jeff Hardy but he isn’t wrestling in a city with a football team named after a racial slur. Replacement time, as Edge has a friend of Indian descent.
Jeff Hardy vs. Great Khali
Hardy isn’t sure about this but hammers away to no avail. Khali throws him down without much trouble, hits him in the head, and yells a lot. Cue Kane though…..and he has some meat hooks on a chain (his See No Evil weapon) so we’ll call it from here.
Post match Khali runs away from the threat of likely death so Kane uses the hooks to destroy the announcers’ table instead.
Donald Trump wants to know if Vince McMahon’s hair is fake.
Mr. Fuji is going into the Hall of Fame. Other than Billy Gunn and Kofi Kingston, he held a Tag Team Title longer than any man in company history so yeah, he belongs in there.
Mick Foley is proud of his new book, the Hardcore Diaries, and talks about some things he discusses, including Vince McMahon’s lack of creative genius and ECW. Cue Ashley, who offers a copy of Playboy for the book. Foley says he won’t look at the pictures because he can’t look at Ashley that way. As luck would have it, Foley has a page marked in his book about his thoughts on his co-workers in Playboy. He turns around to the open magazine and Ron Simmons comes in for his catchphrase.
We get a Battle of the Billionaires tale of the tape.
Vince is getting his hair ready and reminds the hairdresser that he is bigger than Trump. Coach comes in to praise Vince’s hair but Vince goes on a rant about how Coach’s bald head reminds him too much of Trump.
Melina vs. Torrie Wilson
Non-title. Torrie gets two off a bridging rollup, which has commentary rather approving. Another rollup gets another two as commentary talks about various magazines. Melina fights up but gets knocked down, allowing JR to mention that Torrie is from the potato state of Idaho. That’s enough for Melina, who grabs a rollup with trunks for the pin.
Post match the beatdown stays on until Mickie James runs in for the save, with Victoria right behind her. Melina is left alone so here is Ashley to beat her down instead.
Edge comes up to Vince McMahon in the back and offers to have Rated-RKO take care of Bobby Lashley on ECW. How about tomorrow, Lashley faces Randy Orton? If Orton can’t go though, he should be thrown out of Money in the Bank. Vince is good with that.
Here is Vince McMahon for the contract signing, though first he has to slip on the way into the ring. Vince talks about how Donald Trump won’t be able to get out of this one and brings out Umaga, with Armando Alejandro Estrada of course. There is no Trump though and Vince thinks it is due to cowardice.
The threat of a Billionaire B**** Slap brings out Trump, flanked by Maria and Candice Michelle. Trump: “Vince, your grapefruits are no match for my Trump towers.” He brings out Bobby Lashley (Trump: “Love you Bobby. Do we love Bobby? Do we love Bobby?”) and says these people seem to like him. Vince doesn’t care what the people or celebrities think and they both sign.
Cue Steve Austin to keep the star power and Vince’s panicking going. Austin asks the fans about their picks for the match before telling Trump that he is in his ring. Trump does nothing but tell people they’re fired, but don’t get on Austin’s bad side or he’ll take him out. Trump smirks it off so Austin goes over to Vince to ask about his problem with bald people (as we cut to Lashley and then back to Austin).
Vince isn’t happy so Austin grabs him by the tie and threatens various acts of violence. Austin leaves so Vince recaps everything again before leaving. Hold on though as Trump has something of his own: FAKE PHOTOS OF A BALD VINCE!!! Trump wants to fight Vince right now so Vince gets back in, only to be shoved over the table to end the show. This was the big angle of the night and while things are a bit different in hindsight, they knew what they had here and the money they made on Wrestlemania showed how right they were.
Overall Rating: C. This one is going to depend on how you look at it. While the wrestling itself was nothing memorable whatsoever, they’re in a bit of a unique spot. Wrestlemania is set and there is nothing else that really needs to be added. That means the rest of the time is going to be spent firming things up, hence the 20+ minute main event segment. The show isn’t very good on its own, but as part of the build to Wrestlemania, it worked rather well.
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