Monday Night Raw – July 16, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 16, 2007
Location: American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Attendance: 7,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home show for the Great American Bash and that means we need to finalize some of the card. The show’s main event is set as Bobby Lashley will challenge John Cena for the Raw World Title, but there are still a few things that can be added. Maybe we can even get an interesting card together. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

We open with HHH’s King of Kings theme, but it’s King Booker and Queen Sharmell coming out instead. Booker thinks you might have been expecting someone else, but suggesting that HHH is the King of Kings is blasphemy. There is one King on Raw and it is NOT HHH. Therefore, as of right now, HHH is stripped of the name king, leaving Booker alone as the King. Well save for one person, which sends Booker over to Jerry Lawler.

Booker has respected him for many, many (of) years but now he wants Lawler to drop the King name. Lawler says he’s been a fan of Booker for many years, but he has been the King for thirty years and thinks they can co-exist. That’s not cool with Booker because it DEFIES THE VERY NATURE OF MONARCHY! Booker wants Lawler to kiss his ring, but that is a flat out no. You don’t tell Booker no so he ORDERS Lawler to do it instead. Still a no, so Booker is ready to fight, only to get punched down. Referees break it up and I think we have a match for later. Lawler looked fired up here and the fans seemed into it.

Ric Flair picks John Cena over Bobby Lashley. This goes on a bit longer than it needs to.

Jeff Hardy vs. William Regal vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Santino Marella

Elimination rules and the winner gets an Intercontinental Title shot against Umaga at Great American Bash. Hardy and Benjamin go to the floor to start, leaving Santino to cross armbreaker Regal to the ropes. The other two get back in with Shelton suplexing Santino for two, allowing Regal to knee Santino in the head for the fast pin. Benjamin goes after Regal but has to catch Hardy in an electric chair.

We take a break and come back with Hardy taking a double suplex for a double two. Benjamin and Regal get into a fight because they’re kind of schnooks, including Regal suplexing him down. The villains ram heads, leaving Jeff to unload on Regal in the corner. The slingshot dropkick misses though and Regal gets to hammer away again.

A missed charge goes badly though as Hardy grabs the Twist of Fate to get us down to two. Benjamin is right back up with the Blockbuster for two of his own but Hardy sends him outside for the slingshot dive. Back in and the Swanton misses but Hardy kicks out anyway. Benjamin grabs a piledriver, which is reversed into a quick rollup to give Hardy the pin (that was kind of sudden so I wonder if something was changed on the fly there).

Rating: C. The ending was a bit odd but moving Hardy into this spot is a good idea. He and Marella were the only realistic options and I don’t think anyone is overly interested in another Marella vs. Umaga match. Hardy is the kind of guy you can get behind in a hurry and that should work out fine for Sunday.

Edge picks John Cena.

Randy Orton is ready to destroy Cody Rhodes. Look at what he did to Shawn Michaels and imagine what he can do to Cody. Then imagine what he’s going to do to Dusty Rhodes on Sunday. Orton wants Dusty there ringside so he can get a preview.

Maria tries to console Santino Marella, who talks about watching Transformers yesterday. He feels like he doesn’t belong here….but spending the night with her could help him. Maria seems game, mainly due to the offer of pancakes the next morning.

Batista picks Bobby Lashley.

Snitsky likes to hurt people.

Snitsky vs. Val Venis

Snitsky powers him down to start with the shoulders and clotheslines. The pumphandle slam is good for the fast pin on Venis.

Post match, Snitsky hits another pumphandle slam for good measure.

Cody Rhodes talks about how proud he is of his dad and knows he could never be a bigger star than Dusty. There is no RKO that can slow down and he’s ready for Orton.

Here is Jerry Lawler in the ring to explain the Texas Bullrope match. Lawler goes over the rules, including the things he has seen Dusty Rhodes do to people in this match before. Cue Randy Orton to cut him off though….and doesn’t actually do anything. This is something Lawler should do more often, as he can explain things well and is someone fans will listen to.

Video on Randy Orton ending some careers.

Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton

This is Cody’s in-ring debut and Dusty Rhodes is in his corner. Cody jumps over him in the corner to start but gets blasted by a clothesline for his efforts. Orton takes too much time yelling at Dusty so Cody can start the comeback, only to miss a crossbody. There’s the powerslam into a knee drop as Orton is getting into a more serious mode. A snap suplex sets up the chinlock before Orton can hammer away again. Cody manages a shot to the face though and a missile dropkick gets two (with a big reaction from the crowd). The backbreaker cuts Cody off though and it’s the RKO for the fast pin.

Rating: C-. It wasn’t much more than a squash, but that’s all it should have been. Cody is in his first match on Raw so what would you expect him to be able to do to someone like Orton here? Orton wasn’t even all that evil here but he never felt like he was in any serious danger. This went as it should have and it could have been a lot worse, as Cody does seem to have been well trained.

Post match, Dusty comes in to check on Cody but glares at Orton for teasing the Punt.

Steve Austin picks John Cena.

Melina vs. Mickie James

Beth Phoenix and Candice Michelle are here too. Melina glares at Candice so Mickie rolls her up for a fast two. Back up and Mickie sends her face first into the corner but a Beth distraction lets Melina score with a kick to the ribs. A neck crank keeps Mickie in trouble but she fights up and grabs a neckbreaker for two. Mickie’s hurricanrana out of the corner has Melina rocked but Beth grabs Mickie’s leg. That’s enough for Melina to hit the standing legdrops for the fast pin.

Rating: C. This was a fine way to build Melina back up to the next title match as now Candice might have to worry about Beth as well. Mickie is bulletproof in this division so having Melina beat her while cheating is hardly a horrible situation. Not exactly a must see match, but it got things ready for the Great American Bash.

Smackdown Rebound.

William Regal comes up to Jim Duggan (what a pair), who gives us some fast catchphrases. Coach has sent Regal to get the 2×4 because he wants it bronzed. Duggan says no one puts his hands on his hardware, sending them into a series of innuendos (being down on knees and wood in hand are mentioned). Ron Simmons comes in for the catchphrase and Regal does his disgusted face.

Mick Foley picks Bobby Lashley.

Carlito vs. Sandman

Sandman goes technical to start with a wristlock and manages to take Carlito down. Back up and Carlito slugs away, even busting Sandman open a bit. The neck crank goes on but Sandman fights up without much trouble. Cue William Regal (who Sandman took out last week) to jump Sandman for the DQ.

Post match Jim Duggan makes the save to actually pay off the earlier segment. I wouldn’t have bet on that one.

JBL picks John Cena.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Super Crazy

Fallout from Crazy stealing a pin on Kennedy a few weeks ago in the Beat The Clock Challenge. Kennedy shoves him into the corner to start but Crazy comes out with a spinwheel kick. Crazy hammers away in the corner until a forearm cuts that off in a hurry. They slug it out again until Kennedy goes to the eyes for a breather. The abdominal stretch goes on but Crazy escapes and slugs away again, including a running clothesline. Back to back moonsaults look to set up a third, only to have Kennedy crotch him on top. A reverse superplex finishes Crazy off.

Rating: C. Another short and to the point match here to blow off the mini feud. Crazy got a nice rub out of the whole thing but ultimately there is only so far for him to go. Kennedy is likely on his way back to the main event scene so there was no reason to not give him this win. I’m not sure what is next for him, but a win over Crazy at least gives him some momentum.

Great American Bash rundown.

Here is Coach to emcee the Bobby Lashley vs. John Cena face off. Coach lists off the people Cena has beaten and asks why Cena believes he can survive. Yes, Cena, with some fake tears, feels that his title reign could end because Lashley speared him a few weeks ago. And even worse: he never learned to read! We get the Billy Madison “I award you no points” line before Cena gets serious with Lashley.

Cena has fought the best and won and lost, but Lashley will get his best. Lashley isn’t into talking and turns over his podium but Coach cuts them off. That’s too much for Lashley, who goes after Coach, only to have Cena tell him to focus on what matters. They do the big showdown but referees get Lashley to the back. Cena promises to test Lashley on Sunday so here is Lashley again, meaning the brawl is on to end the show. This was a pretty by the book segment but it worked, partially due to Cena’s energy.

Overall Rating: C+. There wasn’t much in the way of wrestling here but they made me want to see more than one match at the pay per view. Cena vs. Lashley went from big to epic in a hurry so points for doing what they do well. I’m looking forward to the pay per view and that’s a lot more important than having a good match on Raw.




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