TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 7/9: Ongoing virtual time coverage of live Raw
Jul 9, 2007 - 10:06:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
WWE Raw Live Report
July 9 in Lafayette, Louisiana
Cena & Lashley vs. Booker & Kennedy is tonight, according to the pre-Raw intro on USA. They open with the pyro tonight and Jim Ross introduced the show. Bobby Lashley walked out to start the show off. Let's see. Larry King is talking wrestling on CNN right now and WWE opens their flagship show with Lashley. Sharmell then led out King Booker to the ring. Ross reminded us that Booker beat Lashley in the finals of last year's King of the Ring tournament. They're starting off with a singles match.
1 -- BOBBY LASHLEY vs. KING BOOKER (w/Sharmell)
Lashley went on the offensive early on, snapping off a powerslam before running over Booker with a hard clothesline. Out of nowhere, Lashley caught Booker off the ropes and flipped him into the air for a running powerslam for a close nearfall at 3:00. He then snapped off a suplex, but Mr. Kennedy hit the ring and jumped Lashley, causing a DQ.
After the match, Booker nailed Lashley with a standing side kick before the heels started pounding on Lashley. The Coach, back from his vacation, interrupted and told them to stop. Coach said Lashley deserves a fighting chance. He said tonight's scheduled main event tonight was supposed to be Lashley & Cena vs. Booker & Kennedy, but he sent John Cena to Los Angeles. He told Lashley that he needs to find a partner for the main event, or it would be a handicap match. Booker tried to jump Lashley, but Lashley fought him off and the heels retreated. Ross asked who would step up and compete with Lashley in the main event.
WINNER: Lashley via DQ in 3:00. Good start to the show, setting up some intriguing TV for Lashley tonight. (*)
Backstage, Coach approached William Regal about him stepping in to run the show last week. He thanked him, and Regal proceeded to complement himself on how much last week's show was a breath of fresh air. Coach thanked him, then Regal said the Lashley-pick-a-partner idea was "creative". Coach, not catching on to Regal's backhanded compliments, said now that he's back in control, he's booking Regal in a match with The Sandman. Regal gasped quietly, then pondered the impending meeting with Sandman. He walked away in disdain.
They aired a recap of Umaga beating Santino Marella for the IC Title belt last week, then Umaga walked out with the belt in hand. Santino came out for his re-match. Anytime the babyface gets a re-match the week after losing the belt, he's definitely not winning, and they're just getting the re-match out of the way. For example: Benoit the night after Summerslam 2004.
1 -- UMAGA vs. SANTINO MARELLA -- Intercontinental Title match
A minute into the match, Maria came to ringside to cheer on Santino. Umaga relentlessly worked on Santino as Maria watched on with concern. Umaga dragged Santino to the corner at 3:00, then he went to the middle rope for a big splash, but Santino moved out of the way. Santino tried to rally with a comeback, but Umaga shoved him away before catching him with a big standing sidekick. Umaga then put Santino on the tracks before warming up the train for the big caboose splash. He held up his thumb in the air, then jabbed the Samoan Spike hard to the throat. One hand on the chest and Umaga wins a complete squash.
WINNER: Umaga in 5:00 to retain the IC Title. They're starting the second IC Title run much better than the first run, when Umaga was an afterthought to the McMahons. If they play their cards correctly this time, they can make a superstar on the undercard when someone beats Umaga for the belt months from now. (1/2*)
They cut backstage where Lashley walked into the Raw locker room to find a partner.
Cade & Murdoch walked out to the ring with the tag title belts around their waist. The Highlanders came out to challenge for the belts. Turn 'em heel!
3 -- CADE & MURDOCH vs. HIGHLANDERS (RORY & ROBBIE) -- World Tag Title match
Cade took Rory to the mat with a fireman's carry take over, then Murdoch came in and slapped on a headlock. Robbie took a lukewarm tag at 3:00, then the action broke down. Cade and Murdoch caught Robbie with high-low behind the ref's back for the pin. Ross was outraged about the double team victory, but Michael Cole wasn't outraged on Smackdown when the Major Brothers double teamed their opponents to win.
WINNERS: Cade & Murdoch in 4:00 to retain the tag titles. Eh match. WWE is so inconsistent with their application of the rules from show to show that the average viewer doesn't care whether a team uses a double team to win. (1/4*)
Backstage, Maria tried to console Santino about his loss. She suggested they go out and have some fun to take his mind off the loss. Santino said he can't go out when everyone will be pointing at him and saying he was just a fan who didn't deserve to wear the belt. Maria said that wouldn't happen. Santino said he probably shouldn't be alone tonight, so he invited Maria to his room. Innocent Maria said they should watch a movie or something. Santino said that's fine, but he just shouldn't be alone tonight. The obvious implication was sexual in nature, but the other suggestion was something along the lines of Santino not trusting himself for how he alleviates the pain Umaga gave him.
Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin talked backstage in the locker room. Haas made fun of Shelton kissing King Booker's hand last week. Shelton said it's birthday tonight, so he's only concerned about winning his match tonight. Haas held up his hand and said he should kiss his hand. Shelton mock laughed and said that's not funny. He said if he doesn't win his match tonight, he would kiss Haas on the lips. Haas laughed, agreed, then when Shelton walked away, he stopped laughing and thought about what he just agreed to.
They aired a desire video package on John Cena, starting with his childhood and his debut five years ago against Kurt Angle. Old school rapper Cena gimmick from the early 00's. They showed his championship runs, and focused on Cena being a "controversial" champion with fans and haters.
Snitsky video package. Now, a Snitsky match.
4 -- SNITSKY vs. SUPER CRAZY
Lots of power offense from Snitsky to dominate the smaller man. Snitsky with the pump handle slam for the win in two minutes.
WINNER: Snitsky in 2:00. Super Crazy picks up a surprise victory last week over Mr. Kennedy that could have been the start of something big for Crazy to prove that WWE pushes smaller guys, but he's squashed in two minutes tonight. By a much larger man. Nothing changes in this company. (n/a)
Ross and Lawler talked about Randy Orton disrespecting Dusty and Cody Rhodes last week. They aired a video from last week when Orton slapped Dusty across the face.
They cut backstage where Dusty Rhodes was walking to the ring to confront Orton.
They aired a video package on Triple H set to the King of Kings theme music. Triple H returns.
Dusty Rhodes came out to the ring. Ross apologized for Randy Orton's actions last week. Dusty took the mic, scratched the side of his face in thought, then reminded the viewers of the challenge he laid out to Orton last week. After a pause, Orton's music hit and he walked out to the ring. Orton stood in the ring and Dusty asked him if he thought things would be done after Orton's slap last week. He called him a punk, and Orton smirked. Dusty asked him if he's just going to stand there with a goofy look on his face. Orton said he's heard the legends speech a hundred times. Dusty said we're talking about Orton being disrespectful to the people who brought him into the business.
Orton said he's heard it before, growing up in the wrestling business. He said people like Dusty who live off the past don't deserve respect. Orton said he gets respect for the things he's accomplished. Dusty asked Orton to fill him in on how bad he really is. Orton said he single-handedly ended HBK and RVD's careers. Dusty said that's what he's talking about - that you don't kick a man while he's down. Orton told Dusty to put his money where his mouth is and face him at the event Dusty created - the Great American Bash. Dusty said he doesn't have to excuse himself for not being able to meet him at the bash at this stage of his career. Orton said if not for himself, do it for his son. Orton asked Dusty if he wants to make his boy proud, or should he end Cody's career before it even starts. Dusty backed up, then said he would meet him at the Bash on his terms: a Texas bullrope match. Eddie vs. JBL at the Bash three years ago.
Orton accepted. But. But. He told Dusty to tell his son to bring a broom to the match to clean up what's left of Dusty. Cody quietly snuck into the ring from behind as Orton and Dusty went nose-to-nose. Orton told Cody to get out of the ring before he gets hurt. Orton then went nose-to-nose with Cody while Dusty watched. Cody answered Orton with a slap to the face, then Orton backed away and stared down Cody, who clenched a fist. The fans started a "Cody, Cody" chant as Orton slowly circled Dusty and Cody before leaving the ring. Ross said Orton deciding on discretion tonight was probably in his best interest. That's a money segment right there.
Ross plugged an interview with John Cena from L.A. later tonight after being interviewed on Larry King live.
5 -- PAUL LONDON vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN
No Brian Kendrick with London tonight. Commenting on Shelton's shades, Lawler said Shelton's future is so bright that he wears sunglasses at night. The match started with London applying a headlock center ring. Shelton broke free, then London smashed him in the face with a hard kick. A really hard kick. Shelton recovered underneath the apron, then he fired back with a hard slam. Shelton, with a noticeable red mark on his forehead, threw London shoulder-first into the corner turnbuckle then wrenched London's shoulder in center ring.
London came back with a running huracanrana, and followed with an inside cradle for a nearfall. Shelton cut him off with a spin kick, though. He pounded on London against the bottom rope, then took him to his feet. Suddenly, London surprised Shelton with a very quick forward roll up for the win. After the match, London celebrated in pain. Meanwhile, Shelton contemplated his predicament in the ring.
WINNER: London in 4:00. Not surprisingly, the crowd was quiet, since all WWE has done on this show is showcase larger wrestlers beating the crap out of smaller wrestlers, such as Shelton and London. (3/4*)
They cut backstage where Super Crazy was walking with the help of a trainer. Kennedy then approached him and asked what happened last week. He threw him into the side of a dumpster, then ripped off the tape around his ribs. Kennedy, holding Crazy's face inches from his fist, said he knows last week was just a misunderstanding because of the language barrier. He landed another blow for additional effect.
They cut to the other side of the arena where Candice Michelle and Mickie James were walking to the ring.
Backstage, Shelton approached Haas in the locker room. Shelton said he was just kidding about the kissing on the lips bit. Haas said he understands, because that would be weird. He instead asked Shelton to kiss his hand. Haas held out his hand, then Shelton tried to muster enough energy to kiss it until Haas said he was just ribbing him. Ron Simmons walked in as they were hugging each other with Shelton relieved that Haas was just kidding. "Damn!" Simmons shouted, then Haas and Shelton had a moment of realization and stepped away from each other.
Candice Michelle and Mickie James walked out to the ring for a tag match. Melina and Jillian Hall walked out, and Melina said she's exercising her no-compete clause at the Bash against Candice. She said she's suffering from a sprained ankle, so she has a replacement tonight. Melina brought out Beth Phoenix, who we last saw in June 2006 doing the childhood friend angle with Mickie James.
6 -- Women's champion CANDICE MICHELLE & MICKIE JAMES vs. MELINA & JILLIAN HALL
Candice took a hot tag at 1:00 and ran over the heel divas. Ross talked around the past behind Mickie and Beth. The action broke down, then Jillian landed a sidewalk slam on Candice in center ring, but it was good for a nearfall only. Candice suddenly came back with a backslide on Jillian for the win.
After the match, Beth jumped Candice from behind and threw her to the mat. Melina then hopped into the ring and splashed Candice as Beth and Jillian held her in the air. Ross talked about the miraculous recovery for Melina, then Mickie cleared the Mean Girls from the ring.
WINNERS: Candice & Mickie in 2:00. Just a match. Too short to amount to much, with the post-match angle being the story.
They aired the Smackdown Rebound.
Backstage, Arn Anderson talked to Lashley about something while Ross did a voice-over. Lashley made weird facial expressions while listening.
They aired a video package on Triple H set to the King of Kings theme music. Triple H returns.
They cut to Booker and Sharmell watching a monitor backstage. Sharmell asked why Booker is distressed. He couldn't answer, as Mr. Kennedy interrupted and said he took care of Super Crazy, now they have to take care of Lashley. Kennedy said they were made to look like fools last week. Booker cut him off and said Kennedy looked the fool.
Regal was in the ring for his match with Sandman, with Carlito on commentary. Sandman then made his entrance.
7 -- WILLIAM REGAL vs. THE SANDMAN
Regal jumped Sandman right after the bell rang, then Carlito tried to jump Sandman on the outside, but Sandman caned Carlito. Sandman then hopped on the apron and caned Regal, giving Regal a DQ win. Afterward, Sandman celebrated with a beer.
WINNER: William Regal via DQ in 2:00. Nothing happened. (n/a)
They plugged Cena's interview from the set of Larry "Rita Cosby" King up next.
They aired a video package on Bobby Lashley's amateur wrestling and military background. They showed his WWE debut match on Smackdown in 2005 against Simon Dean, then his U.S. Title victory over JBL and ECW Title victory over Big Show in the Elimination Chamber match. Lashley said his ultimate goal is to become a household name in wrestling by taking the business to another level. "I'm doing it, but I'm not done," he said. They showed Lashley spearing Cena at the end of Raw last week.
Ross and Lawler then interviewed Cena from the set of Larry King Live. Lawler asked Cena if he came off more intelligent than Paris Hilton. He said a kindergartener could have. Ross asked about the Bash and Bobby Lashley. Cena said he would address Lashley next week. He then said Lashley is an uncrowned champion, and they're going to find out who the real champion is at the bash. Ross asked about competing against a physical specimen like Lashley. Cena did the underdog speech about his never-say-die attitude. Lawler said Cena would be on the show next week. Ross and Lawler then broke down the Bash card.
King Booker and Sharmell walked out for the main event tag match.
Mr. Kennedy came out as Booker's partner. Mr. Kennedy then took the ceiling mic and announced himself. Bobby Lashley walked out, then he hopped on the apron and entered the ring. Booker and Kennedy talked trash as Lashley smiled. Lashley then looked to the entrance ramp and Jeff Hardy's music hit. Jeff walked out as the mystery partner.
8 -- KING BOOKER (w/Sharmell) & MR. KENNEDY vs. BOBBY LASHLEY & JEFF HARDY
Booker and Hardy went face-to-face to start things off, and Booker knocked him around with right forearm blows. Hardy then came back with a double leg drop to Booker's stomach. Booker quickly recovered and tagged out to Kennedy, who worked on Hardy. Hardy came back with a back kick on Kennedy to regain control. He made a cover for a nearfall at 2:00.
[Q9 -- over-run]
Lashley took a tag and ran over Kennedy in the corner with a hard clothesline. He followed with an elbow to the back of the head and made a cover for a nearfall. Lashley then knocked Booker off the apron and got down on all fours so Hardy could run off his back with a leg whip splash on Kennedy in the corner. Booker recovered and nailed Hardy from behind with the ref's back turned, which allowed Kennedy to land a clothesline to regain control for the heels. Hardy came back with the Whisper in the Wind on Booker, which elicited screams from the kids. Lashley then took a hot tag and cleaned house. He took Kennedy up for the torture rack back breaker, but Booker broke up a pin attempt. The action broke down, then Hardy and Booker fought to the outside. In the ring, Lashley went for a running powerslam, but Kennedy escaped. Lashley then amazingly leap frogged Kennedy and hit a charging spear in center ring for the pin and the win. Ross reached a new level of excitement calling this finish. Great call and finishing sequence, even though the heels had egg on their faces yet again.
WINNERS: Lashley & Hardy in 7:00. Very solid final few minutes. They continue to build up Lashley effectively as a star. Good match to save an otherwise weak show. (**1/4)
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