Monday Night Raw – July 23, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 23, 2007
Location: Arco Arena, Sacramento, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after the Great American Bash and it wasn’t exactly the most impactful show. John Cena is still the WWE Champion, having retained over Bobby Lashley in a very good match that didn’t quite make it all the way to the next level. Now it is time to get ready for Summerslam and I think you can figure out the main event from here. Let’s get to it.

Jonathan Coachman is in his office and announces that we will be seeing a new #1 contender crowned by the end of the night. Speaking of champions, the main event will be an All Champions match, as John Cena and Candice Michelle face Umaga/Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch. That doesn’t sound fair.

Opening sequence.

We open with a throne and table set up in the ring so here are King Booker and Queen Sharmell. Booker asks Jerome Lawler to get in the ring, where he sits down to a doughnut with a bite taken out of it. Lawler’s mic doesn’t work so Booker mocks the Sacramento Kings for being royalty without winning anything. He has spoken to NBA Commissioner David Stern to rename the team the Sacramento Peasants! Should the players be kings? But more importantly, should HHH be king?

Lawler tries to talk but gets cut off by ALL HAIL KING BOOKER! Lawler says a king is only as good as a kingdom and these people don’t seem to think much of him. Booker: “SILENCE!” Booker is ready to fight so Lawler punches him down and throws the bowl of fruit at him for a bonus. Points for not doing this match in one night as they’re actually setting it up to become something important.

Mickie James/Maria vs. Melina/Beth Phoenix

Santino Marella is on commentary as Beth and Mickie get things going. Beth powers her into the corner to start and it’s off to Melina, who gets hit in the face a few times. Maria comes in and gets taken down into a fast hammerlock. That doesn’t last long either as she forearms her way to freedom and brings Mickie back in to clean house. Mickie’s monkey flip sets up Maria’s high crossbody for two with Phoenix making a save. Santino gets up and trips the villains down, leaving Maria to bulldog Melina for the pin.

Rating: C-. This was more about Maria and Santino getting closer than anything else, which is not the most thrilling story but it’s better than nothing. I can go for a women’s match that has nothing to do with the title for a change and it is nice to see a group of women who can wrestle a nice enough match. Not great, but it did its job well enough.

Post match Santino celebrates with the winners.

Video on John Cena retaining over Bobby Lashley last night.

Gerald Brisco tells Cody Rhodes to be aggressive with Randy Orton tonight. Cue Orton, who says Dusty Rhodes didn’t teach Cody very well. Cody doesn’t like that and says Dusty wasn’t afraid of Orton, who says Cody should be afraid. He’ll let Cody back out tonight but Cody will see him out there.

Snitsky likes to hurt people and doesn’t feel any remorse.

John Cena talks to Todd Grisham about tonight’s main event by telling him to picture Candice Michelle. Cena lists off some impressive things about him and how Michelle would suggest they can, ahem, wrestle together. Then they’re interrupted by a 400lb Samoan and the cast of Brokeback Mountain. Cena: “That’s where I’m living right now.” Grisham: “Why would you do that to me?” On top of that, Cena isn’t worried about who he is defending the title against because he is ready for anyone.

Sandman/Jim Duggan vs. Carlito/William Regal

This feels like a tag match pulled out of a fish bowl and I kind of love it. Regal takes Sandman into the corner to start the beating and hands it off to Carlito for more of the same. That doesn’t last long as Sandman gets over to Duggan to pound on Carlito’s head. Regal offers a distraction though and it’s a quick Backstabber to give Carlito the pin.

Post break Carlito and William Regal brag about their win. Carlito can’t find a trashcan to spit the apple in so he spits it out….and right onto Bobby Lashley. Who I guess he just couldn’t see. Anyway, Carlito runs into the arena and says that wasn’t his fault. Cue Lashley for some violence and destruction.

Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Orton headlocks him down but Cody is back up with a dropkick and a slap. A crossbody gives Cody two so Orton kicks him into the corner, only to get sunset flipped for two. That’s a bit too much for Orton, who grabs the backbreaker to take over. Cody fights back again but walks into a dropkick for his efforts. A rollup gives Cody two so Orton clotheslines him hard for daring to try something. Back up and Cody misses something off the top, setting up the RKO to give Orton the pin.

Rating: C. Not too bad for the story they were telling, as Orton knew he wasn’t in danger and toyed with Cody before finishing him off. That’s how this should have gone, as it would have been ridiculous for a rookie to give Orton a serious threat. This should wrap up Orton vs. the Rhodes Family and now he can move on to something bigger.

Post match Orton loads up the Punt so Dusty Rhodes comes out for the save. Orton teases leaving and then Punts Dusty instead, drawing out the annoyed referees.

Post break, Dusty goes out on a stretcher.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Jeff Hardy

Before the match, Kennedy promises to become #1 contender. They lock up to start with Hardy driving him into the corner without much trouble. An armdrag into an armbar keeps Kennedy in early trouble and he misses a dropkick to make it worse. The legdrop between the legs connects and it’s time to trade hammerlocks. Kennedy is sent outside with Hardy hitting a big dive as we take a break. Back with Kennedy hitting an Alabama Slam for two as Hardy seems rocked.

The neckbreaker gives Kennedy two and we hit a cravate to stay on the neck. Jeff fights up and tries the Whisper in the Wind but slips and falls backwards onto his head in a scary landing. Not that it matters as Hardy fights back up and slugs away, setting up the slingshot dropkick in the corner. The Swanton is loaded up so Kennedy rolls outside, allowing Hardy to hit the running clothesline off the barricade. Hardy sends him up to the stage and then sprints back to the ring for the win. It works in Wrestlemania 2000 and No Mercy so it works here too.

Rating: C. This was a good way to get Hardy back on track after his pretty awesome fight against Umaga last night. That’s exactly what he needs to bring him back up a bit, as he could be in for a pretty solid push in the near future. Kennedy doesn’t take a fall either, making this a rather nice way to present both of them.

Commentary gets serious when talking about Randy Orton attacking Dusty Rhodes.

HHH is coming back at Summerslam, complete with the Six Million Dollar Man theme.

Charlie Haas/Shelton Benjamin vs. Paul London/Brian Kendrick

Haas takes London into the corner to start and it’s off to Benjamin for a chinlock. That’s broken up so it’s off to Kendrick, who gets kicked in the head. Now it’s Haas grabbing a chinlock of his own, which is broken up just as fast. London comes back in as everything breaks down but Kendrick misses a dive to the floor. That leaves Benjamin to jump onto London’s back, setting up a German suplex for the pin.

Rating: C+. Believe it or not, two very talented tag teams were able to deliver a good tag match. I could have gone for a good bit more of this as the technical abilities vs. the high flying should have made for a heck of a match. Instead, we got a fun but rushed match as Haas and Benjamin get reheated.

We look at Randy Orton taking out Dusty Rhodes again.

Here are King Booker and Queen Sharmell again. Sharmell talks about how Jerry Lawler took things too far earlier and wouldn’t take Booker’s offer. The challenge is on for next week and Booker promises to end the reign of blasphemy.

Candice Michelle cries to Coach about the main event but Coach doesn’t care.

John Cena/Candice Michelle vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch/Umaga

Non-title and No DQ. Cena goes after the three of them to start until Umaga takes him down and hammers away. Murdoch takes Cena down from behind and hammers away with crossfaces. Umaga powers Cena into the corner but Candice gets chased into the ring. Cade and Murdoch hold her for the running hip attack but here is Jeff Hardy with a chair (including some scary shots to Umaga’s head) so Candice can escape. Cade is sent outside and Murdoch walks into the FU for the pin.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t much more than a way to have Cena out there so we could find out the #1 contender. That being said, it’s also pretty lame to have him go over the three champions, even with Hardy helping. Nothing to the match of course, though Candice did at least look terrified.

Post match Cena celebrates and walks into the RKO as Randy Orton is the next challenger.

Overall Rating: C-. Kind of a weird show as they were so focused on the World Title challenger that nothing else felt important. The Booker vs. Lawler stuff should be good, though that is only going to get you so far. It didn’t help that Orton was the only logical choice for a challenger, leaving really only Lashley as a (distant) secondary option. Not the worst show, but it was a long time to get to a fairly obvious ending.

 

 

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