TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 1/22: Live coverage on pre-Rumble edition of Raw
Jan 22, 2007 - 10:10:00 PM
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by James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
Torch editor Wade Keller's VIP-exclusive Raw report will be posted on the Torch VIP site Tuesday morning and emailed to Torch VIP Email Express members. In the mean time, besides this report, Torch Raw Specialist Jamie Penick is providing an "alternative perspective" on the show right now with his "virtual time" coverage. Check back after Raw for Torch Reax on this show. We welcome your feedback after the show (click here) and invite your participation in our Raw 0-10 poll and our Raw MVP poll shortly after the show concludes. Also, I will be by about an hour after Raw's conclusion with an audio analysis of the show exclusively for VIP members with a special guest analyst of the week.
WWE Raw Live Report
January 22 in Lafayette, Louisiana
We open with In Memory of Bam Bam Bigelow.
They showed clips of HBK surviving Team RKO in last week's main event. DX is not dead says Ross. With that in mind, DX's music starts the live portion of the show. Shawn Michaels walked out alone sporting a bandage over his forehead. HBK was just slightly blown up when he took the mic for his opening promo. He said he had a feeling last week that he could overcome any odds and beat up any bully in life. I think John Cena has had that feeling before. HBK said he's done suppressing his rage, like he's done for the last few years. "The Showstopper is back!" HBK said. He said he could once again be WWE Champion. HBK said he's taking his re-born soul to the Rumble and God have mercy on the other 29 men in the Royal Rumble who dare get in his way. Before HBK could promise something, Edge's music interrupted. Edge said HBK's going to have a feeling of disappointment - of depression because he's not winning the Rumble. Edge predicted a Rumble win, then a title win at Mania. HBK cut him off, then said he has a feeling that Edge needs to come to the ring so he can tear him apart. Big pop for that. He called Edge a gutless coward. HBK and Edge then met on the entrance ramp and the brawl was on. Referees ran down as they spilled over the guardrail to the front row. They continued to brawl in the crowd until they cut to a break. Now that's how you start a wrestling show. This brings back great memories of their short feud in 2005, with them having a similar pullapart brawl almost two years ago exactly to the day before a singles match at the Rumble, which was won by Edge.
We're back from the break and Edge and HBK were still tearing each other up backstage. The cameraman was nearly knocked down in the process, with Coach finally restoring order. Dean Malenko joined the fracas as Coach told security to lock up HBK in his locker room.
1 -- JEFF HARDY vs. JOEY MERCURY (w/Nitro and Melina) -- non-title match. Lillian Garcia announced this as a Raw vs. SD challenge. Hardy then jumped over the top rope onto Mercury and Nitro before MNM could complete their ring entrance. Mercury quickly kicked Hardy in the gut and threw him to the outside. Nitro then removed the ringside mats. The referee took some control, though, and booted Nitro and Melina from ringside. Back in the ring, Mercury pounded on Hardy's face with direct right hand blows. Hardy made a comeback before hitting Mercury with a glancing blow with the Whisper in the Wind. He then hit the Side Effect and Mercury came up holding his face in pain. Hardy then made the cover for the win. Nitro and Melina ran back to the ring to check on Mercury after the match. WINNER: HARDY IN 3:00. Mercury has become the designated fall guy in this feud, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him take another loss in the Hardys vs. MNM tag match at the Rumble.
Vince McMahon was looking very grandfatherly sporting gray hair and reading glasses in his office. Coach said he took control of Edge vs. HBK, and was going to throw them out of the building. McMahon said he would have done Edge vs. HBK in a Street Fight tonight. The fans liked it. McMahon then said he had an announcement later tonight.
Well, later tonight came after the break. Vince McMahon strutted out to the ring with The Coach following tentatively behind. McMahon pulled out his letter to Donald Trump. McMahon pulled out his reading glasses and began to read. He said Trump's feud with Rosie has simmered down and Rosie's ratings are in the toilet. McMahon said Trump's ratings could be huge if he were on The Apprentice. He claimed ratings would soar because he's been on TV for over 35 years and people tune in to see him. McMahon said he carries the ratings for Raw and USA Network. He didn't like the What? chants from the crowd.
McMahon claimed people all over the world love him because of his business acumen and great looks. He said he wanted to show fans some love, but they cut him off with an "asshole" chant. McMahon said he would show his love next week. As McMahon wrapped up, John Cena's music hit. And thousands of teen girls screamed. Cena called McMahon Brother Love and a puss bag. He said McMahon doesn't listen to the fans because otherwise he wouldn't be out in the ring talking. A little too close to the kettle and the pot there. Cena reminded McMahon that his obsession with DX led to his head being shoved up Big Show's ass. He reminded McMahon about his obsession with starting his own football league. The fans booed and groaned. C'mon, John, go for the bodybuilder league. No dice. Cena then asked McMahon why he's kissing Trump's ass. He suggested that McMahon and Trump are overcompensating for something downstairs. Coach flew off the handle and said that Trump has more money than McMahon. McMahon cut him off and said there's not a damn thing Trump has more than him. McMahon addressed Cena and said the fans want to see Cena in action tonight for a tune-up match. The fans cheered. McMahon then booked Cena vs..... The Coach for tonight. Cena laughed it off as Coach stared a hole in the ground.
Tomorrow night on ECW is a recap of last week's ECW Title match. Actually, it's Lashley vs. Holly in Extreme Rules.
2 -- CHRIS MASTERS vs. SUPER CRAZY. In an inset promo from earlier in the day, Crazy explained that he attacked Masters last week because he's super...and crazy. Masters countered a wheelbarrow into the Masterlock, but Crazy slipped out. Masters then flipped Masters over his head with a suplex. Masters then put Crazy in a reverse chinlock and Crazy fought back to his feet. They had a mix-up before Masters pounded Crazy down to one knee. Crazy then came back with a spin kick and double foot kick. He went for a corner splash, but Masters applied the Masterlock. Crazy used the ropes to push himself and Masters down, though, and he pinned Masters's shoulders down to the mat while Masters had the Masterlock locked in. Masters thought he won the match, but Crazy was announced as the winner. WINNER: CRAZY IN 4:00. Creative finish for Masters to lose, yet again, and still maintain the Masterlock streak, as much of a joke as it has become. Fans haven't been given reason to care about Crazy. He's Super and he's Crazy won't cut it.
They cut backstage where Coach was talking up McMahon's wealth. McMahon said the only thing on his mind right now is showing love for the WWE fans next week. Coach said he didn't want the match with Cena because there's a good possibility he would have his ass kicked. McMahon suggested Coach have lunch with Trump next week, but the match was still on. McMahon then limped away as Coach stared into space with a look of fear.
WrestleMania is 69 days away. Steve Austin was all over the Mania hype video package.
They showed HBK taping up his wrists in his locker room.
Maria stood backstage with Kenny Dykstra to talk about the Rumble. Kenny said he's going to make history at the Rumble by becoming the youngest man to win the Rumble. Maria didn't believe Kenny. He then said he beat Ric Flair three straight times before Flair cheated last week. Kenny said 2007 is the year of Kenny Dykstra. Needs Improvement.
Edge was taping up in his locker room, then Randy Orton walked into the shot with a giant red circle around his eye and some serious bruising. Orton talked about Edge leaving him for dead last week. He screamed that they're partners and Edge should have been there to help him. Orton said every man for himself is at the Rumble, but it wasn't supposed to be like that last week. Edge tried to avoid the subject, then he asked Orton if he has his back tonight against HBK. Orton said they would just have to see what happens. Nice interaction to follow up on last week's big show-closing moment with Edge leaving Orton alone in the ring.
[Q5 -- Start 2nd Hour]
Coach interrupted Cena's music after Cena walked out to face The Coach. He said that since McMahon has left, he can change up the match. Coach booked a gauntlet/mini-Rumble match and if Cena survives, then he'd face The Coach tonight. Cena said to bring it on.
3 -- JOHN CENA IN 1 vs. 100. Murdoch, in new trunks, came out with Murdoch. They double-teamed Cena, then Coach called for more wrestlers. No one came down, though. Cena made his big comeback and kicked Murdoch between the legs. He then gave Murdoch an FU over the top rope to the floor. Shelton and Haas then hit the ring and Cena knocked them all down. Viscera came out next as the heels held down Cena in the ring. Viscera gave Cena a big elbow smash to the gut, then Great Khali walked out. Khali suddenly turned on the heels and threw Shelton over the top rope. He then picked up Haas and threw him to the outside. Khali raised his arms and received a strong reception. Viscera tried to land blows, but Khali blocked. He then hit a big boot and knocked Viscera to the outside. Cena went for a top rope move, but Khali blocked and threw Cena to the floor. WINNER: KHALI IN 5:00. Well, if they want to turn Khali face, the door is wide open.
Afterward, Khali threw Cena into the ring steps. He then took Cena into the ring and chopped Cena down. He stood over Cena's chest as Ross talked about Khali being a possible Rumble winner. Coach then ran into the ring and tried to cover Cena after Khali's work, but Cena kicked out for a big pop. Cena told Coach to bring it, but Umaga jumped Cena from behind. Umaga gave Coach a swinging sidewalk slam as Armando and Coach slid a table into the ring. Umaga gave Cena the Samoan Spike, then Coach and Armando held Cena down on the table. Umaga gave Cena a top rope splash through the table and Armando made a ten count to promote the Last Man Standing match. They did an injury angle with team doctors spilling into the ring to check on Cena.
They recapped the end of the Cena-Umaga segment and showed a slow motion replay of Cena taking the big splash from Umaga. They cut back live where Cena slowly sat up and shoved the cameraman aside. He collapsed to one knee, then the doctors and referees rolled Cena out of the ring. He was helped up the entrance ramp as he took deep breaths. Ross said they hope to have an update on Cena before the end of the show.
4 -- CANDICE MICHELLE & MICKIE JAMES vs. MELINA & VICTORIA Candice walked out and they replayed footage of Victoria breaking Candice's nose two months ago. Victoria walked out and pointed at Candice's nose with feigned concern. Mickie and Melina started things off, with Mickie spanking Melina. She then gave her a rolling head scissors out of the corner. Melina and Victoria took control, then they miscommunicated on a corner move. Candice took a hot tag and hit a series of clotheslines. Mickie took out Melina on the outside, then Candice hit a combo elbow/spin kick on Victoria for the pin. WINNERS: CANDICE & MICKIE IN 4:00. They had a good back-story to work with, but you would think they would have stretched out Candice getting her revenge so early in her return.
5 -- CARLITO (w/Torrie Wilson) vs. KENNY DYKSTRA. Carlito snapped off a series of clotheslines early on. Jerry Lawler talked about there not being enough camera shots of Torrie ringside. It's become a case of Torrie being a more of a distraction than enhancement to Carlito. At the end, Carlito and Kenny exchanged roll up attempts, before Kenny schoolboyed Carlito and hooked the tights for the win. Torrie and her dog were shocked after the match. WINNER: KENNY IN 4:00. Another short match with little relevance or importance on the show.
They recapped last week's main event where HBK survived the handicap match against Edge & Orton.
They showed Cryme Tyme talking to Crazy and Eugene backstage about the Royal Rumble. Crazy told Shad to give him any number he had, but it cost him some pesos. Crazy was happy with his number. Eugene then pulled out a wad of cash from his boots. They gave him #30, but Shad convinced Eugene that it's a bad number. They convinced him to take #1 in exchange for some cash. He pulled out a wad of bills from his trunks and Shad reluctantly took the money. Eugene left and Cryme Tyme mocked Eugene being mentally challenged. Here are your babyfaces, folks. JTG then asked Shad if the numbers were even real, and he said they weren't. Shad then said he sold a fake painting earlier. They agreed they made some money, though, and left. Ron Simmons then walked into the picture holding a hot famous painting that Cryme Tyme apparently sold him earlier. He screamed, "Damn." Lawler said they need to practice saying, "Not guilty." Ross called them entrepreneurs.
Ross and Lawler Cena said the preliminary diagnosis on Cena is a ruptured spleen and he was taken to the hospital. They discussed the Royal Rumble card.
Shawn Michaels was shown walking backstage. They recapped the fight between HBK and Edge earlier in the show.
6 -- EDGE vs. SHAWN MICHAELS -- Street Fight. HBK came straight to the ring and ripped off Edge's t-shirt. He then whipped Edge across the back with his leather belt. HBK then went for a plancha on the outside, but Edge caught him in the face with a trashcan lid. They cut to a break with both men recovering on the floor.
Back live, HBK was bleeding from the forehead after taking a facebuster into ring steps. Edge pulled out a chain and jabbed HBK in the ribs. He then pulled a ladder over the ropes into the ring and smashed it over HBK's left arm. Edge then placed the ladder across two ring steps. He went for a powerbomb, but HBK fought out with right hand blows to the head. They had a great standing exchange before HBK hit a flying smash and kipped up at the top of the hour.
[Q9 - Over-run]
HBK grabbed a chain and wrapped it around his fist. He then raked Edge's face and slammed him into the turnbuckle repeatedly. There's a little bit of Terry Funk in the way HBK is walking around the ring tonight. Edge came up bleeding from the forehead as HBK continued to work on Edge's cut. HBK then slammed Edge onto the ladder across the ring steps, then he went up top. Oh no. HBK took too long, though, and Edge met him with right hand blows. They fought up top before HBK tossed Edge stomach-first across the ladder. HBK then went up top again and dropped an elbow. HBK warmed up the band as the arena shook. Edge ducked Sweet Chin Music and Edge dumped HBK on the back of his head after struggling with an electric chair-like move. Edge came to and set up for a spear, but HBK blocked with the Thesz Press. He then picked up a chair and hit Edge on top of the head. The heat here is amazing. HBK then set up Edge for a Conchairto. Suddenly, Randy Orton slipped into the ring from behind and gave HBK an RKO. Great camera work with Orton slipping in undetected ala a scene in a horror movie. Edge then rolled on top of HBK and covered him for the win. WINNER: EDGE IN 15:00. Just a good old fashioned brawl with two great wrestlers and tremendous heat. I hate to put a label on anything as an early contender for Match of the Year, but it was just that good because of the storyline, wrestlers, and crowd response.
After the match, Orton helped Edge to his feet and suddenly threw him over the top rope to the floor ala the Rumble. The fans cheered momentarily before Orton set up HBK for a Conchairto. Before he could take out HBK, Ric Flair hit the ring and gave Orton a series of low blows. He mounted him for punches before Kenny jumped Flair from behind. Carlito then hit the ring and jumped Kenny. HBK came to and brawled with Orton. He then dropped Kenny and Carlito with Sweet Chin Music. HBK finished off Orton with SCM and sent Orton flying over the top rope to the floor. Edge crawled up the entrance ramp as DX's music hit. HBK went down to both knees in center ring and stood off like Terry Funk with the crowd going nuts. Goodness, what a finish. That's why you watch wrestling 52 weeks in a year for moments like that.
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