June 18 2007
Last week Vince McMahon got into his limousine and the damn thing blew up. ECW and Smackdown spent huge portions of their shows paying tribute to Vinnie Mac. Now, one week after the "tragedy" it is time for this plot to pick up... I hope. The show opens with a video package putting the angle over, complete with the fake spokesperson for the McMahon family.
Mick Foley is in the ring, wearing a suit. Foley got special permission to have this interview time because he feels his words against Vince last week were "inappropriate" and had he known that Vince was going to "spontaneously combust" he would've handled things differently. Between the crowd's reaction to him tonight and last week, Foley seems to have lost his clout with the current audience. No surprise there. Mick is interrupted by Randy "Suckbag" Orton, who grabs the microphone and makes fun of Mick's tie. Orton thinks that Foley meant every bad word he ever said about Vince, and thinks Mick had all the motivation to blow up the limousine. They are now interrupted by King Booker, who is here to straighten things out. Booker claims there is a federal investigator at the arena, who spent an hour speaking to Bobby Lashley. Booker suggests that Lashley was so angry over winning the McMahon feud that he blew him up, and cites Lashley's experience in the army rangers. This brings out Lashley, who pushes Booker out of the ring and stares a hole in Mick. Before any further incident, WWE Champion John Cena graces us with his presence. Cena reminds us that this isn't Law and Order, but Monday Night Raw. Well, that explains why there is a wrestling ring there. Cena puts over how ridiculous it is for everyone to be pointing fingers at one another, mainly because anyone could have done it (especially those associated with the XFL). Cena says we should "Get on with the show" but Coach interrupts. Coach reminds us that the five wrestlers in the arena are main eventing Vengeance, and reminds everyone that he is in charge of Raw. Therefore tonight, we will see King Booker and Randy Orton vs. Bobby Lashley and John Cena. Oh, and Mick is facing Umaga. Oh, and no mention of adding The Sandman to the Vengeance main event, despite him being a former ECW World Champion. All kidding aside, this wasn't a bad opening segment, as it adds some much needed heat to Vengeance, which is coming too fast on the heels of One Night Stand to feel like anything special.
Next Monday: another three hour Raw featuring all the WWE superstars for the continuing federal investigation. Great, another excuse to have interpromotional matches, and only two weeks after the draft.
Brian Kendrick and Paul London vs. Shelton Benjamin
and Charlie Haas
London and Kendrick come out to a nice reception from the crowd, I really hope they aren't about to be completely buried. London and Haas square off. Haas takes London down, but is soon rolled up in an early cover attempt. Haas corners London, who fights off both him and Benjamin. Nasty kick from the apron by Benjamin. Haas stomps and tags Benjamin in. Benjamin does a variation of the throwback and gets a quick cover attempt. Irish whip with authority by Benjamin. London blocks a punch and gets some shots in before Benjamin reestablishes his control. London makes some desperate attempts to a tag and finally gets Kendrick in. Kendrick cleans house with a series of drop kicks and heel kicks. Benjamin interrupts a cover by Kendrick on Haas. London dumps Benjamin from the ring, and Kendrick blocks the German suplex and hits Sliced Bread #2 and pins Haas at 3:21! Hurray, London and Kendrick are being pushed on Raw! Match was too short to go anywhere, but it sure beats London's Smackdown debut, where he was crushed by Brock Lesnar, *.
Winners: Brian Kendrick and Paul London
Backstage, the federal investigator is talking to Coach. I bet Coach was behind this, he's a sick man.
After a break, we are joined in the arena by Carlito! I bet he killed Vince! Remember, Carlito once put a hit on John Cena and had him stabbed in a night club by a sweaty Cuban guy. Carlito reminds us that his name is Carlito and that everyone knows he's cool. Carlito extends his sympathies to the McMahon family, but really just wants to talk about the draft. Carlito is pleased that Flair and Torrie got drafted away from Raw. Carlito is then joined by The Sandman, who is armed with a Singapore cane! Sandman swings at Carlito, who ducks out of the ring and heads up the ramp without any further incident. So Sandman is actually in a feud on Raw? That is surprising, I had predicted his introduction to Raw would have been jobbing to Umaga in a Balls Mahoney fashion.
Backstage, Cryme Tyme pay their respects to Mr. McMahon. Oh wait, it's a swerve! You see, Vince was a capitalist! This turns into a mock infomercial where Cryme Tyme is trying to sell McMahon memorabilia, like his coffee cup and trash can lining. They pimp the WWE's auction website, so maybe this is legit after all. They are interrupted by the federal investigator.
Daivari vs. Jeff Hardy
The new World Tag Team Champions, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, are at ringside. They will be facing the Hardy's at Vengeance. Daivari and Hardy lock up, with Daivari taking control in the early going. Hardy hits a head scissors takedown and a scoop slam. Hardy goes high risk, but Daivari crotches him on the turnbuckle and pulls him to the mat. Daivari pounds on Hardy and twists the head for a rest spot. Hardy fights out, but Daivari slams him to the mat for a cover. More resting by Daivari. Hardy fights out and a slug fest occurs. Daivari runs into a takedown. Hardy gains momentum, hitting the whisp of the wind for a very close fall. Mule kick by Hardy sends Daivari to the turnbuckles. Turnbuckle stomp by Hardy gets a close fall. Suplex by Hardy gets another cover. Daivari comes back with a power slam and gets a two count. Hardy then hits the Twist of Fate and goes high risk. Swanton Bomb by Hardy is enough to put Daivari away at 4:27! Not a bad little match, and it was good to see some effort to make Daivari look strong at points, *1/4.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
After the match, Lance Cade takes the microphone and claims that Matt and Jeff showed him and Murdoch some unsportsman-like conduct. Murdoch claims that he and Cade were merely responding and did not start anything. Hardy slingshots himself onto the champions and single handedly wins the exchange. Way to put over your tag team champions.
Backstage, Coach is complaining on the phone about him being treated like a suspect. Coach had no idea how much McMahon was responsible for, and he's trying to fill his shoes. There's a knock at the door, and Coach is joined by the Iron Sheik, who rambles about wanting his own talk show. Considering I can barely understand a word Sheik is saying, I would have to recommend against allowing any such thing to take place. Coach leaves while Sheik continues the rant, and Ron Simmons comes in for the trademark "DAMN!"
Elsewhere, William Regal introduces himself to Maria. They are joined by Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella. Regal is stuck on Santino being Italian and storms off. Maria wants Santino to say something in Italian, because she is a moron and is amused by it.
Todd Grisham then conducts the interview the world has been waiting for: he has Vince's limo driver! Thomas Pagliaro is his name, and he claims that he was away, talking to his wife on the limo when the whole thing went down. "If I had been near the limo, I would have been blown up to" is the best insight he has to offer.
Mick Foley vs. Umaga
Foley cheap shots Umaga on the apron, resulting in a ringside brawl. The action spills into the ring, and the bell hasn't even rung yet. Foley pounds Umaga into the corner, but is taken down by a clothesline. Umaga beats Foley out of the ring and leaps for an ax handle, but Foley strikes him in mid-air. Foley grabs a chair and cracks it over Umaga's skull. Umaga doesn't go down and grabs the chair to crack on Foley's skull as an act of revenge. Umaga sets up Foley against the steps for the running ass shot, which looked absolutely brutal! The brawl appears to be over, as Umaga leaves satisfied. No rating, since the match was not official. No contest.
Backstage, we see the investigator talking to John Cena from afar. Meanwhile, a limousine pulls into the parking area, but the camera fades to a commercial before we get to find out who was inside.
After a break, we see Foley receiving medical treatment. The investigator comes in and thinks now is an appropriate time to question Foley, but the doctor send s him away.
Injury-prone Mr. Kennedy comes to the arena for an interview. The crowd is really into his act. Kennedy is furious for many reasons, including the loss of McMahon. Kennedy is also mad that he got drafted to Raw! Yes! Awesome! I like where this is going! Kennedy says he didn't get along with the Smackdown audience, but he really doesn't like the Raw audience at all. The Raw has no respect for talent, and cites the treatment they used to give Mr. McMahon. I was hoping Kennedy would be complaining about being taken away from Smackdown to gain revenge on Edge, but whatever. Kennedy continues to put over how wonderful Vince was and dedicates the remainder of his career to him. Good introduction promo by Kennedy, even though it didn't go in the direction I was hoping it would.
Backstage, we see the parked limousine, with the driver standing by the door. Still no clue as to who is inside.
We take ten seconds to remember Sensational Sherri with a graphic. Nice, WWE, now let's spend another hour paying tribute to Vince.
Melina and Jillian Hall vs. Mickie James and Candice
Yes! It is high time Jillian got a shot on Raw. Unfortunately, she's still doing the delusional singer gimmick. Don't get me wrong, it cracks me up, but it's the type of dead end gimmick that usually results in a wrestler being fired because "creative had nothing for them." On a side note, it looks as if Candice is having much more fun out there now. It may be due to her face turn, but it's kind of charming.
Jillian and Candice start things off, with Jillian
working the arm. Candice reverses, and rolls up
Jillian for a cover. Melina distracts from outside,
but Candice kicks her off. Jillian swings Candice by
the hair. Jillian hits a cartwheel elbow shot for a
cover. Melina tags in, and Jillian holds Candice still
for some kicks. Melina ties Candice up in the ropes
for some heel trickery. Cover by Melina gets two.
Jillian tags back in and stomps and pulls on the hair.
Jillian directs Candice's head into Melina's boot.
Melina tags in and quickly botches a flap jack move.
Cover by Melina gets two. Candice recovers and slams
Melina's skull to the mat. Melina repeatedly prevents
Candice from making the tag, but Mickie finally gets
in and cleans house. Jillian storms in, but Mickie
fights her off with a head scissors takedown. Mickie
hits a neckbreaker on Melina, but Jillian breaks up
the cover. Jillian and Melina double team Mickie, but
Candice takes out Jillian with a spear. Meanwhile
Mickie rolls up Melina for an extremely close near
fall. Melina then slams Mickie and covers her for the
victory at 4:49. This was a generally sloppy match,
which is sad considering that this is really the best
the Raw women's division has to offer anymore ,*.
Winners: Melina and Jillian Hall
After a break, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler pay more tribute to Vince. Seriously, enough is enough. We are then treated to the footage of Vince's limousine blowing up again, in case you missed last Raw, ECW, and Smackdown. I will also note that so far there has been a total of three matches and less than 15 minutes of wrestling, and it's currently 10:35. After watching the firemen put the fire out for the millionth time, we see the new limousine parked outside the arena yet again. Dammit, I'm actually curious to see who's in there, but it looks as if we'll have to wait until the end of the show.
Randy Orton and King Booker (with Queen Sharmell) vs.
John Cena and Bobby Lashley
Lashley and King Booker start off the match, because their partners are racist. They stare each other down and have a shoving match. They lock up, but it turns into a slugfest with Lashley coming out on top. Suplex by Lashley for a failed cover attempt. Booker thumbs the eye while Lawler thinks this is the first time Lashley and Booker have been in the ring together (except they were the two in last year's King of the Ring finals, and had a pretty good cage match and feuded over the U.S. title, but Smackdown doesn't count for anything in Raw?s continuity). Meanwhile, Cena and Orton are tagged in, with Cena getting the upper hand. Lashley breaks up a double team, and the heels are both dumped to ringside. And it's time for a commercial!
After the break, we find Cena trapped in Randy Orton's
patented reverse chinlock. Seriously, these matches
are becoming so predictable that it's reaching levels
of self-parody. For now on when a match comes back
from commercial with the face trapped in a rest hold,
I'm automatically deducting half a star. Cena fights
out, of course, but King Booker is tagged in and takes
control. Lashley interrupts a cover attempt. Cena is
then trapped in an exciting sleeper hold by Booker.
Cena fights out, but Booker knocks him down and tags
in Suckbag. Orton randomly decides to stomp on Cena's
heels. Orton redirects his attack to Cena's chest area
and goes for a cover. That doesn't work, so it's time
for the chinlock! This is why Orton can never main
event Wrestlemania, because it would be the first time
the crowd chanted "boring" during the main event. Cena
gets to his feet and needs a tag, but Orton's chinlock
is just too much. Oh, but Cena gets second wind and
frees himself. Cena collides with Orton and they both
hit the mat hard. Lashley and Booker are both tagged
in, but Lashley dominates. Booker gets a boot to the
face, but eats a T-Bone suplex. Lashley goes for the
Dominator, but Orton breaks it up. Cena tries to get
involved, but gets kicked out by Booker. Lashley hits
the spinebuster on Booker, but Orton runs in and hits
the RKO on Lashley and gets the win at 12:52. This was
hideously boring and predictable, *.
Winners: Randy Orton and King Booker
Backstage, the limo door opens and out steps Stephanie McMahon (to no crowd reaction). Great, nothing makes a good show like a Stephanie appearance.
Snitsky gets a hype package! Now here's someone I don't regret not seeing on the show this week. Oh, but he's advertised for the three hour Raw next week. Oh well.
After the break, we see Stephanie and Coach having a heart felt talk. Coach asks her if she's sure she doesn't want him to escort her to the ring, but Stephanie has something she must do on her own. Like what, learn how to write a decent show?
Ross and Lawler are still mourning the loss of Mr. McMahon, but that doesn't stop them from shilling the (bad) Vengeance card.
It's time for the main event interview! Stephanie McMahon makes her first Raw appearance in ages, yet somehow I can't help but know that I'm going to be sick of her again about five minutes from now. Stephanie thanks everyone for their sympathy. Stephanie announces that next week's Raw will be a special three hour "celebration" of Mr. McMahon. What? Last week was Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night. This week's WWE shows were all Mr. McMahon Tribute Nights. And next Raw is the Mr. McMahon Celebration Night? This is a little much. Stephanie is on the verge of tears, but becomes vindictive when it comes to finding out who was responsible for the bombing. Stephanie can't contain her sadness and tosses the microphone. And the show ends. Seriously.
Final Thoughts: What. The. Fuck. This "death of McMahon" has provided some humorous moments, but this is becoming too much. Another three hour Raw? More phony tribute shows? And don't get me started on the wrestling this week, as it was mostly boring and uninspiring and had main event that doesn't well represent the talent involved (save for Randy Orton, who is constantly reminding us of how incredibly useless he is). However, I think the worst part of this show was the building up of "who's in the limousine" and for it to turn out to be Stephanie McMahon, someone the current audience isn't even all that familiar with, and to have the main event segment being her announcing the theme of next week's show, which is a theme that has been overdone to begin with!
So big thumbs down to Raw this week.