Monday Night Raw – April 2, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 2, 2007
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Wrestlemania has come and gone and that means it is time for one of the other biggest shows of the year. Granted that is in theory at least as the tradition has only kind of been set so far. John Cena beat Shawn Michaels to retain the Raw World Title, but (possibly) more importantly, Vince McMahon is now bald. I sense fallout so let’s get to it.

We don’t even open with a recap as here is John Cena to get things going. The fans really don’t sound happy to see him, but he holds the title up because the champ is here. Before he can say anything else, here is Shawn Michaels to interrupt. Shawn says this is like reliving a bad dream because he’s right here again. Last night wasn’t about sportsmanship or mind games and politics (Shawn: “BROTHER!”) but about winning and losing.

Shawn lost, but he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like having to stick out his hand and tell someone that they are the better man. That isn’t happening this time anyway because Cena ISN’T the better man. Cena: “Anytime, anyplace.” Shawn isn’t busy right now so Dayton, Ohio sounds like a good place for him. Hold on though as here is Coach to say the Tag Team Titles need to be defended, so let’s have a ten team battle royal for those titles.

Tag Team Titles: Battle Royal

John Cena/Shawn Michaels, King Booker/Finlay, Kenny Dykstra/Chris Masters, Rob Van Dam/Sabu, Cryme Tyme, Deuce & Domino, Elijah Burke/Matt Striker, Eugene/Jim Duggan, Highlanders, Chavo Guerrero/Gregory Helms

Cena and Michaels are defending and only one member has to be eliminated. We’re joined in progress with Dykstra being tossed to clear the ring out a bit and the general brawling is on. Deuce gets rid of JTG and Burke dropkicks Eugene out as we’re already down to six. Er, five as Guerrero and Helms are missing too, though I don’t know if they were even in there when we came back from the break.

Anyway the Highlanders are tossed as well and Deuce & Domino go after Shawn, earning themselves an elimination from Cena. Striker is out as well and there goes Van Dam after him, leaving us with Finlay/Booker vs. Cena/Michaels. Finlay clotheslines Booker by mistake so Cena sends Finlay to the apron, where Shawn can superkick him out to retain.

Rating: D+. To paraphrase Statler and Waldorf, it was boring, it wasn’t very good, it was….short. That’s how you need to run something like this, as while Cena and Michaels can drop the titles, they probably aren’t dropping them to most of these teams. You have a bunch of jobbers, a few teams who have vanished in recent weeks and a few teams who might have teamed together on Heat at most. Where exactly was the drama here?

Hold on though as here is Coach again to say we need to do this again, with NINE MORE TEAMS!

Tag Team Titles: Battle Royal

John Cena/Shawn Michaels, Hardys, Paul London/Brian Kendrick, William Regal/Dave Taylor, Kevin Thorn/Marcus Cor Von, Gregory Helms/Chavo Guerrero, Sandman/Tommy Dreamer, Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch, Val Venis/Viscera, Johnny Nitro/The Miz,

Cena and Michaels are defending and either Guerrero/Helms are working a double or Lawler got confused when he mentioned them being in the first battle royal and there were only nine teams. Anyway, it’s a big brawl to start and the mob can’t get rid of Viscera. Growing brains at the same time though, they toss Venis in a hurry and we’re down to nine. Regal and Taylor are gone and Dreamer/Sandman join them as we take a break.

Back with JR’s voice going in a hurry and the champs getting rid of Miz and Nitro (in their first time teaming together for some trivia)….and then Shawn dumps Cena. Well that’s a curve ball. It’s smart, but it’s a curve ball. Kendrick and Chavo eliminate each other (with no mention of London and Kendrick possibly becoming double champions) so we’re down to the Hardys vs. Cade/Murdoch.

Jeff goes stupid (shocking I know) by hammering away with right hands in the corner on Murdoch but manages to get back down. An atomic drop/big boot combination knocks Jeff silly but Matt cuts off the toss attempt. The Hardys hit stereo middle rope legdrops, setting up Poetry In Motion to get rid of Murdoch for the win and the titles.

Rating: C-. The Hardys winning is completely fine as they are the veteran teams who can get the titles back and then drop them to someone in a bigger match. There is some value in one more run with the Hardys as champions so this is about as safe of a way to go for the titles as you can have. Cena and Michaels didn’t need the titles to continue their story so letting them go and be built back up again is the right move.

Timbaland (music producer) is here and does not want to be on camera.

Shawn Michaels did that because he wants the WWE Title and nothing more. Randy Orton comes in to say Cena can’t beat Shawn, but not him. We’ll see about that.

Wrestlemania highlight package set to Ladies And Gentlemen. That really is a heck of a show.

We go to the back to see Vince McMahon….or at least from his eyes (as in his eyes are serving as the camera) as he walks down the hallway. He takes off his hat to show Maria and Candice Michelle his hat. They, uh, like it, though Eugene and Cryme Tyme laugh. Ron Simmons can barely get his catchphrase out, so Vince is going to the ring so he can yell at the people. Vince: “I HATE TRUMP!”

Here is Vince, in a snappy hat, and he tells Lilian Garcia to stay in the ring. Vince talks about what a travesty of justice took place last night at the hands of Steve Austin. Had it not been for him, Donald Trump would be bald. Therefore, by his authority, Wrestlemania DID NOT HAPPEN for him, so Lilian gets to announce Vince as the winner of the Battle of the Billionaires.

To further prove his point about having authority, Bobby Lashley is defending the ECW World Title against Umaga tonight. As for Vince, you won’t be seeing him bald tonight (Vince: “You like the hat?”) because he has had his hat surgically attached to his head until his hair grows back. It’s going to be fast too, because his surgeon says Vince has more testosterone than an all male prison. He is happy to disappoint everyone and there is no chance in h*** that you will see his bald head.

Cue Lashley to rib the hat off (Lawler: “HIS HEAD’S POINTY!”) so Vince covers up with a towel. That’s covered up as well, so Vince hides under Lilian’s skirt. Lashley rips that off and Vince runs away. This was the good old fashioned humiliation segment and Vince excels at them like no other.

Ric Flair/Carlito vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team

Torrie Wilson is here with Flair and Carlito as JR’s voice is almost completely gone. Benjamin clotheslines Carlito to start but walks into a knee lift. A kick to the face drops Carlito and Haas drives him into the corner. More pounding sets up a Benjamin suplex for two but Carlito is back up with a springboard elbow to the face. The hot tag brings in Flair to start chopping away but Benjamin grabs a backdrop. Carlito breaks up the Broken Arrow though and it’s the chop block into the Figure Four to make Haas tap in a hurry.

Rating: C-. Totally basic tag match to get Flair and Carlito out there for a fast appearance. I know the team is just a short story to give Flair something to do but there is something nice about seeing him celebrating any kind of a win. Flair has won more titles than he knows what to do with, but he seemed happy to have won a nothing tag match on Raw. That’s kind of the point, and it is so often forgotten.

Video on the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Timbaland is here as a fan and wants to hear a WOO. Some of the Divas are going to be in his next video and he is making his picks soon. He seemed rather down to earth here and like he was having a good time.

Here’s Melina for a Special Photo Op. She thinks she should be in Timbaland’s video and he seems to approve. Last night she proved that Ashley was nothing more than a pretty face, and being Women’s Champion means more than posing in Playboy. Therefore, to commemorate her win last night, she is going to have a special photo op for the paparazzi. Cue Mickie James to lay Melina out, including with the jumping DDT.

Mick Foley talks about how much WWE does with Make-A-Wish. Next week, we are going to see a special wish granted. That’s always cool.

Great Khali vs. Super Crazy

Crazy goes right at him and hits a missile dropkick. That’s about it though as the double chokeslam finishes him in less than a minute.

Vince McMahon is mad about Bobby Lashley and adds Armando Alejandro Estrada to the Lashley vs. Umaga match. Estrada better not fail him.

We look at Shawn Michaels turning on John Cena, followed by the Hardys winning the Tag Team Titles.

The Hardys are happy to win their sixth Tag Team Titles.

JR’s voice is DONE as he introduces the video from the premiere of the Condemned.

Here is Edge on the stage, saying a lesser man would not be standing here tonight. It took everything he had to get himself out of bed this morning. Edge talks about how he knows he can beat John Cena, Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels. They can call themselves whatever they want, but he calls himself the best. Everyone else can get ready to call him champion.

ECW World Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga/Armando Alejandro Estrada

Lashley is defending but gets jumped before the bell and sent face first into the steps. Umaga charges into an elbow in the corner and Lashley drives Estrada into the corner with a shoulder. That’s broken up from behind though and Umaga sits on Lashley’s chest for two. Umaga chokes away on the rope and cuts off a comeback with the Samoan drop. A kick to the face gives Umaga two more but Lashley is able to chase Estrada outside.

Another slugout goes to Umaga and Estrada gets a quick two. A splash gives Umaga two more and he punches a charging Lashley down. Some choking puts Lashley down in the corner but Umaga has to cut him off again. The running hip attack connects in the corner and Umaga loads up the Spike. The shouting takes a bit too long though and Lashley knocks it away, setting up a spear to Umaga. Estrada makes the save but Umaga splashes him by mistake. Another spear sends Umaga outside and the running powerslam retains Lashley’s title.

Rating: D. House show style main event here with Lashley not doing much besides punching and the spears. I like that they didn’t do the same match two nights in a row and the Estrada factor let Umaga save some face. Not a good match or anything close to it, but what more could you want in a match like this one? If nothing else, it was interesting to hear Lawler call a match on his own as JR’s voice was completely gone.

Overall Rating: C. The wrestling wasn’t the point here and a lot of the show felt like they were taking the night off. The big story was Shawn vs. Cena continuing and getting rid of the Tag Team Titles. It was a fast moving show, but you’re only getting so much when they’re more or less basking in the Wrestlemania glow. Not a great show, but an easy one to watch after the pressure over the previous weeks.




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