Monday Night Raw – April 9, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 9, 2007
Location: Harbor Yard Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Attendance: 6,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re officially done with the Wrestlemania victory lap week and that means it is time to start getting ready for Backlash. That could mean more than a few things, but it certainly feels like Wrestlemania fallout is in full swing. Vince McMahon vs. Bobby Lashley and John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels are both continuing and that is likely to be your focus this week. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here is Shane McMahon to get things going. Shane talks about the power of the McMahon name and usually it is greeted with respect. Lately though, it has been greeted with laughter due to what happened to Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania. Tonight is about the McMahon Family dynasty though and it is time to restore honor to the name. Shane calls out Bobby Lashley and his request is granted in a hurry.

Since the McMahons have lost their dignity, Lashley needs to lose what matters to him the most. Therefore tonight, Lashley is defending his title against Shane himself. Cue Umaga and Armando Alejandro Estrada, but Shane says he’d doing this on his own, even getting in Umaga’s face and slapping Estrada. Lashley is down with the title match, but wants Shane’s hair on the line too. That’s cool with Shane, who is showing some moxxy here.

Mickie James/Candice Michelle vs. Melina/Victoria

Candice starts with Melina but she wants Mickie instead. That’s fine with Mickie, who gets punched in the face almost immediately. Mickie takes her into the corner and brings in Candice to start working on the arm. Candice chokes her on the ropes but Victoria gets in a cheap shot to take over without much trouble.

Victoria ties her in the Tree of Woe and egads the crowd is quiet here. Something like an upside down Bronco Buster gives Melina two and it’s time to stretch both of Candice’s arms at once. Victoria misses the slingshot legdrop though and Mickie comes in for a neckbreaker. Everything breaks down and the MickieDT finishes Victoria.

Rating: C. Totally watchable match here as they kept it short and didn’t have Candice on offense that much. Mickie and Victoria can do whatever they need to in the ring and Melina is getting better. Candice is still a work in progress but she has improved and that is a good sign for her future.

We look at Vince McMahon getting his head shaved at Wrestlemania.

Mick Foley is with Michael Pena, a kid who is tonight’s General Manager (thanks to Make-A-Wish). The Highlanders comes in and introduce themselves, with Foley suggesting Pena put them in a wild match. Instead, Pena meets Maria, which goes a bit better. Pena looks at the camera and gets the cheap pop for praising Bridgeport. The more I see of these Make-A-Wish moments, the more I see why the wrestlers rave about them. They’re just cool, especially with the smiles on the kids’ faces.

Ric Flair and Carlito come out for a match, but first, Carlito reminds Flair of the time that he said Carlito had no heart or passion. That made Carlito angry, but you don’t get a wake up call from the 16 time World Champion very often. Carlito talks about how important it is to see someone who paved the way and we get a clip from the Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen DVD (Flair: “MY SHOES COST MORE THAN YOUR HOUSE!”). Back in the arena, Flair is touched and Carlito says that once they win tonight, they get a Tag Team Title shot at Backlash. That’s cool.

Ric Flair/Carlito vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch

Torrie Wilson is here with Flair and Carlito and the winners get the Backlash Tag Team Title shot. We’re joined in progress with Flair chopping away at Cade, who cuts him off with a jumping clothesline. Murdoch comes in and hammers away on Flair, including a slap to the back (that’s a different one).

A belly to back suplex gets two on Flair with Carlito making the save. The neck crank goes on but Flair fights up and starts chopping away. The hot tag brings in Carlito to clean house, including the knee lift into a clothesline for two on Murdoch. Everything breaks down and Carlito misses his springboard back elbow. With Flair on the floor, a High/Low gives Murdoch the pin on Carlito.

Rating: C-. Pretty basic match here with Flair getting to come in and do his chopping, though another loss doesn’t exactly make Carlito look great. The tag division isn’t all that deep in the first place, though Cade/Murdoch vs. the Hardys should be good. I don’t know if Flair and Carlito have much of a future, but at least it gave Flair something to do.

Post match Flair goes to console Carlito, who walks out on him. It’s not like this was going to be some long term story or anything so they aren’t quite cutting it off too soon.

Video on the Condemned. Egads I’m getting See No Evil flashbacks with all of this hype.

Coach tries to talk Shane McMahon out of the title match and is basically told to mind his own business.

Shawn Michaels is tired of how things have been around here so he is going to start telling it like it is. Tonight he is facing Randy Orton in a #1 contenders match and it is going to be about who wants it more. Randy Orton comes in and says Shawn’s days as the top contender are over. Shawn says Orton wins because he is the 1000th man to say Shawn can’t win around here. Orton’s prize: some new teeth after Shawn kicks his out of his mouth.

Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton

Shawn finally comes out to his own theme instead of the DX song. Shawn’s headlock is countered so he grabs a hammerlock instead. Orton gets smart by grabbing the arm to escape, earning herself a headlock takeover. Somehow Shawn’s eyes has been busted open and Orton slams him down but misses a knee drop, allowing Shawn to start in on said knee. We hit the leg crank as they’re still in second gear at most. Orton kicks Shawn away and into the post to take over but here is Edge to watch as we take a break.

Back with Orton hitting a backdrop and elbowing Shawn out to the apron. The leg keeps giving Orton problems but he’s fine enough to hit the hanging DDT for some near falls. Orton grabs the chinlock but Shawn doesn’t waste time before coming back up to escape and hit the swinging neckbreaker. The flying forearm hits the referee but Shawn doesn’t seem to mind and hits the top rope elbow anyway.

Edge offers the distraction though and Orton gets in a Cactus Clothesline. Orton doesn’t like Edge being out there so he throws Shawn back inside and takes a swing, earning himself a spear. Edge throws Orton and the referee back inside, where Shawn hits a quick Sweet Chin Music. Another referee comes in to count the pin…but all four shoulders are down, as pointed out by the original referee. Therefore, Edge’s music plays as the referees aren’t sure who wins.

Rating: B-. This was a messy match with a lot going on with Edge and the two referees. I can go with doing something else to set up a bigger main event down the line though, as the four way at Backlash seems likely. Good enough for a first step though, which shouldn’t be surprising given who was in there.

Randy Orton storms into Shane McMahon’s office to rant about what happened. Shane tells him to go talk to Coach, because Shane has to worry about his hair.

Val Venis and Super Crazy sign autographs for Michael Pena when Cryme Tyme come in. They think they need a raise, but Foley says Pena can’t perform miracles. Johnny Nitro comes in and walks away without saying anything but here is Coach to get in Pena’s face. Coach says he makes the big decisions around here but Edge comes in to say he needs to talk to Coach about what just happened. With the two of them gone, Mick Foley and Pena suggest that they have something planned.

Hardys vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team

Non-title. Haas hammerlocks Matt to start but gets kicked into the corner for the tag to Jeff. The flip dive/fist drop combination keeps Haas in trouble and Jeff gets up, only to have Benjamin jump up and springboard kick him in the head (because Shelton can just do that). Benjamin comes in to grab the chinlock, which doesn’t even last as long as usual. Jeff fights up and makes the hot tag off to Matt as everything breaks down. Poetry in Motion into the Twist of Fate into the Swanton finishes Benjamin.

Rating: C. That certainly was a Hardys match and I’m not sure what else to say about it. They played the hits and they all worked, but it wasn’t like this was anything that they haven’t done a hundred times before. It was certainly good, but it felt like a way to say “hey, the Hardys are still here”.

Here is Edge for the Cutting Edge. Before we get anywhere, Edge wants to talk about what happened with Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton, because they both LOST. Edge has been talking to Coach and they both think that he should be the new #1 contender. Cue Orton to chase Edge off and say HE has talked to Coach too and HE should get the title shot. Now it’s Shawn coming out to say it’s his title shot because he is the better man.

We need the champ out here so it’s John Cena joining everyone. Cena says they all want title shots, but the last time Edge got a shot, it was in his match in his hometown and that didn’t work out for him. Cena is fine with beating him again though, which Edge likes. Orton has been complaining about never having a shot but whose fault is that? If Orton wants to dance, Cena isn’t hard to find. That leaves Shawn, who wants to recreate Wrestlemania, so Cena is with him.

Cue Coach to make a ruling: Cena will defend against Edge and Orton at Backlash in a handicap match….but here is Mick Foley to say hang on. See, Coach just isn’t in charge tonight, so here is Michael Pena to make the four way match at Backlash instead. That’s pretty cool and it’s rather sweet to see.

ECW World Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Shane McMahon

Lashley is defending and it’s title vs. hair. Shane jumps him before the bell and sends Lashley into the post to drop him on the floor. A running shoulder drives Lashley into the steps and there’s the bell so Shane can get two. Shane hammers away in the corner but gets tossed with an overhead belly to belly. There’s a t-bone suplex for a bonus….and then Shane punches the referee for the DQ.

Post match here is Umaga, flanked by Armando Alejandro Estrada and Vince McMahon, for the brawl. The big beatdown is on in a hurry, including the running hip attack in the corner and a chair shot to Lashley’s head. Lashley is busted open and Vince reveals the bald head. Vince rants at Lashley and says it’s 3-1 at Backlash for the ECW World Title. More beating ensues, including the Samoan Spike to end the show. So Shane gets his head shaved for losing by DQ right?

Overall Rating: C+. This show was about setting up Backlash and they nailed the two big matches in one night. That’s all they needed to do here and they even threw in the Michael Pena stuff to make it that much nicer. Raw has been on a role lately and they’re even maintaining it after Wrestlemania. I don’t expect it to last, but dang it has been fun for a little while.




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