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WWE RAW - August 6 2007
by Samoa Rowe

-After last week’s terrifying 2.5 rating, the panic button has been pressed and Mr. McMahon returns... with a vengeance!

-Show kicks off with Coach welcoming Vince back to the show. Vince is glad because tonight he wants every WWE superstar under contract to be in the ring when the show goes on live. Vince is a United States citizen and wants to express his freedom of expression. This could be interesting.

-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are our hosts for the evening. They are airing live from Buffalo, New York.

-The entire Raw roster makes their way to the ring for the opening segment. Vince appears on the stage, looking good for a man who was blown up inside a limo. Vince plays the footage of his limo blowing up, from two months ago. Vince says that’s the way he wants to go out, in a blaze of glory. So why would he stage his own demise, and it was because he needed to know if the fans really cared about him. He claims to be a sensitive human being, in need of some positive reinforcement, and he was pleased with the reaction the fans gave him. Vince puts himself over as a pioneer and a fierce competitor, as the “what” chants start. Then Vince catches my attention by bringing up the U.S. congress, who have asked WWE for drug test results. Vince is also going to address the hypocrisy of the news media. Holy crap, I can’t believe he’s saying this on Raw. Before Vince gets to his hot topics, he wants to address the superstars, when he’s joined by Coach on the stage. Vince informs the stars that they are going to have a battle royal, with the winner becoming the new general manager of Raw! Well, Vince wanted to shake things up and it looks like he’s going to.

Battle Royal to become Raw General Manager:
Umaga eliminates someone from the get go, as Super Crazy and Paul London are quickly out. One of the Highlanders is gone too, as well as JTG. King Booker is tossed out, much to Jerry Lawler’s delight. Apparently Booker was eliminated by Sandman, who wasn’t seen on screen when it happened. Shad is eliminated by Umaga. A replay shows that Booker had been distracted by staring down Lawler right before his elimination. I hope Val Venis wins. Daivari prevents Venis from eliminating Carlito. The battle royal will continue after a message from the sponsors... otherwise known as a commercial.

After the break, the battle royal is still going strong. The ring looks emptier, but Jim Duggan and Val Venis are still in it. Everyone but Carlito gangs up on Umaga. Mr. Kennedy ends up attacking Cody Rhodes, while Umaga eliminates the other Highlander. Venis eliminates Lance Cade. YES! Sadly, Umaga then eliminates Venis. Oh well, I can dream. Brian Kendrick is still in there, and is attacking Shelton Benjamin. Sandman rests in the corner, as Duggan fights Kennedy. Umaga catches Kendrick, whie Carlito narrowly escapes elimination. Umaga eliminates himself, along with Kendrick. Kennedy is dumped out by Duggan. Meanwhile on the ramp, Umaga beats down poor Kendrick. Carlito and Benjamin team up to dump Duggan out. The final four are Sandman, Cody Rhodes, Shelton Benjamin, and Carlito. Rhodes hits a reverse elbow on Carlito, and then Carlito narrowly avoids elimination yet again. Benjamin hits a back body drop on Rhodes. Benjamin drops Rhodes on the ropes , and trades some shots with Sandman. Rhodes rolls back into the ring. Rhodes unleashes his fury on Benjamin, while Carlito fails at dumping Sandman out. Benjamin gets a boot to Rhodes’ face. Dropkick on Sandman by Carlito. Rhodes fights back against Benjamin, while Sandman clings to the ropes to avoid elimination. Benjamin dumps Rhodes, who skins the cat. Benjamin hits a kick, that was supposed to eliminate Rhodes, but it was botched. Carlito makes the save, tossing Rhodes out himself. Sandman finds himself on the top turnbuckle and blocks a superplex by Carlito. Benjamin leaps up and hits the superplex instead. Carlito and Benjamin find themselves slugging each other on the apron, and Sandman eliminates them both, seemingly winning. It is then that William Regal leaps back into the ring, who had been hiding out for the entire match, and eliminates Sandman to become the new General Manager at 14:08! I’m glad Regal won, even though that finish sucked. The stipulation made this a more compelling battle royal than usual, **.
Winner: William Regal

-Backstage, Vince and Coach are hanging out. Coach is upset that a foreigner is the new GM. Vince is looking at the letters from congress, who want to investigate the WWE. Vince doesn’t think it makes sense that there are two congressional committees investigating them. Vince takes the time to tell Coach that he still has a job... as Regal’s assistant!

-We are then treated to a comeback video for Triple H. They are playing his normal entrance music now, not the kick ass one that was mixed with his old “My Time” song.

-Backstage, King Booker and Queen Sharmell are being interviewed by Todd Grisham. Booker thinks it’s blasphemy to refer to Triple H as a “king.” Just like “Jerome” Lawler, Booker’s opponent (again) tonight. Next week Booker wants a special ceremony in Madison Square Garden, where the loser of tonight’s match must place a crown on the other’s head. “All hail King Bookah” is Sharmell’s only contribution.

-Later tonight, John Cena is the special guest on Carlito’s Cabana. Last week Carlito picked up a semi-clean victory over Cena, so expect lots of “Carlito is gay” jokes and the like.

Rory McAllister vs. Snitsky
Oh joy. Snitsky goes for the throat, but Rory fights back, but gets kicked down. Snitsky hits an ugly pump handle slam. And wins at 0:27. At least it was short, DUD. Snitsky’s awful push continues.
Winner: Snitsky

-Backstage, Coach runs up to Vince, concerned because he has a phone call that he feels that Vince should take. It’s Vince’s accountant. Vince tells him that he has “nothing to hide” and everything should be audited. This will end just like it did last time, and they will “owe him money.” Vince tells Coach that the IRS is investigating him also. Vince feels that the media will have a field day with this too. Vince imagines the headlines. Sorry Vince, but the media doesn’t care if it isn’t steroids related. Vince claims that the news media is in the entertainment business, and facts don’t mean a thing. The camera pans to the back where IRS is reading a newspaper! It’s always good to see Mike Rotundo.

-Jillian Hall is in the ring, ready to sing for us. Jillian asks Lillian Garcia if she would sing a song off her upcoming album. But Jillian was kidding because “No one wants to hear Lillian sing.” Jillian hogs the spotlight and starts singing a wretched pop song. You have to appreciate how willing Jillian is to make a fool out of herself. Jillian is mercifully cut off by Mickie James! Is it time for a match?

Mickie James vs. Jillian Hall
Jillian is on offense from the get-go. Mickie gets thrashed into the turnbuckles and then trapped in a surfboard stretch. Mickie fights out and takes Jillian down. Shoulder block by Mickie and a head scissors takedown. Series of clotheslines by Mickie and a Lou Thesz press! Neckbreaker by Mickie for a cover, but it only gets 2. Jillian reverses the Irish Whip, but gets rolled up. Jillian escapes and takes a kick to the gut and head. Mickie goes high risk, but Jillian escapes to the apron. Jillian hits a full nelson face buster and covers Mickie for the win at 2:17 as “boring” chants erupt. Fuck this crowd. Match was short, but enjoyable, 3/4*.
Winner: Jillian Hall

-Backstage, Coach begrudgingly congratulates William Regal on his new job. Regal says he always wanted to be the host of a game show, and now that he’s in charge he can do as he wishes. Regal instructs Coach to set up a set and contestants so they can have their own version of the dating game. This sounds like a bad idea to me.

-We take a look back at last week’s Raw, when Carlito spit an apple in Cena’s face. Carlito’s Cabana is up next!

-Carlito makes his way to the ring for the Cabana. There is an audible “Carlito” chant, as he starts speaking. He wastes no time introducing his guest, WWE Champion John Cena. Cena makes his entrance to a very mixed reaction from the New York fans. Cena looks pissed and immediately goes nose to nose with Carlito, as the fans proceed to boo him out of the building. Cena intimidates Carlito off his feet and takes the microphone. Cena renames the show “Cena’s Cabana” and promises a great show, featuring Huey Lewis and the News. Cena interviews himself, playing the cheerful host and the angry guest all at once. Angry guest Cena wants to kick Carlito’s ass, while happy host Cena wants him to calm down and replays the clip of Carlito pinning and spitting on him. This is something different, too bad the fans seem to hate it. Cena turns his attention to Randy Orton, which all he has to say in that regard is “The Champ is Here!” Happy host Cena puts over Raw, Cena, and Summerslam, and now it’s time for the Cabana’s Top Three. They are the top three reasons why Cena should trash the Cabana and kick the crap out of Carlito. Reason three, his coconut is the “only nuts that Carlito will ever have.” Reason two is that Carlito doesn’t really like spitting apples and would rather “swallow a banana.” Hyuck yuck. Reason one is because it is cool. Cena assault Carlito, but Randy Orton runs in. Cena blocks the RKO, pushing Orton out of the ring. Cena hits the F-U on Carlito, making eye contact with Randall in the process. They are joined by William Regal, who makes his first act as GM is to make a match tonight. Carlito and Orton have to decide between themselves on who gets to face Cena. This was an okay segment, that was ruined by the juvenile humor at the end and a vicious crowd. This is also not how I wanted them to follow up on Carlito’s big win last week.

-Backstage, Regal asks Carlito and Orton if they’ve decided on who will face Cena. Orton says he doesn’t want the match because he’s already got Cena at Summerslam. Carlito isn’t interested either, so they actually decided to select Umaga. That works for me. They leave, and Vince enters. Vince wants to confide with Regal. Vince is upset that Shane was nowhere to be seen during his staged death. Vince claims that Stephanie had been visiting lawyers to see how much money she could get off of him. And his wife was being consoled by another man. Vince needs to find a way to bring his family back together, so the “goodness” in him must come out. Sophie says that Vince has been used too much and that the fans are getting sick of him.

Winner crowns the loser:
King Booker (with Queen Sharmell) vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler

One smart fan has a sign reading “All hail Queen Booker.” I bet he didn’t graduate from 8th grade. Booker and Lawler tie up after some stalling by Booker. Booker corners Lawler, but doesn’t believe in clean breaks. Hard shots by Booker, but Lawler answers with shots of his own. Booker heads to ringside to regroup. Booker returns and puts Lawler in a hammerlock. Lawler counters the lock, but Booker elbows out. More punching by Lawler. Booker gets cornered, but fights back with... punches! Lawler answers with even more punches. Booker heads to ringside and trips Lawler. Booker hits the super kick and stomps. Booker sets Lawler up in the corner and hits some shots and a chop. Big kick by Booker. Booker goes for the cover, but it only gets 2. Overhand wristlock by Booker. Lawler fights out to a loud “Jerry” chant. Booker dodges a dropkick. That was a nice looking dropkick though, I didn’t know Jerry still had that in him. Booker taunts and finally goes for the cover, which only gets 2. Sleeper hold by Booker, which Lawler quickly fights out of. Booker misses the scissors kick and gets caught in a flurry of punches from Lawler. They have a brief brawl at ringside, before heading back to the ring. Booker hits the scissors kick and gets the win at 6:48. The match was slow and dull, and couldn’t match the energy of their match from last week, *1/4.
Winner: King Booker

-A video plays highlighting the Mr. Kennedy vs. Bobby Lashley match from last week. Kennedy brutally attacked Lashley’s shoulder and picked up the clean victory, which was quite the upset. Lashley is going to be out for a while.

-Mr. Kennedy makes his way to the ring. A lot of fans are holding anti-Kennedy signs and putting their thumbs down, yet all of them are smiling. That’s what makes Kennedy a great heel, the fans love to hate him. Kennedy gets his hanging microphone. He asks us what Bobby Lashley is hearing right now. It is the same thing that everyone will be hearing from now on, which is “KENNEDY! I bet you didn’t see that one coming. This particular Kennedy is so important that it echoes eight times! It looked as though it kept going as we head to a commercial.

-Backstage, we see Randy Orton and Carlito motivating Umaga, though it seems that they are offering him a human sacrifice.

-And now it’s time for the WWE Dating Game. Regal has a stupid looking game show set-up in the ring. Yeah, this is what the fans paid to see. Bachelor number one is Jim Duggan, who hides his wedding ring. Haha, that was actually funny. Bachelor number two is Ron Simmons, who enjoys drinking, gambling, and having a very limited vocabulary. All he has to say is “...DAMN!” Bachelor number three is none other than Santino Marella, a man who brutalizes the English language. “I’m in lots of pain” is Marella’s statement. The participating diva loves sunsets, walks on the beach, and Rainbow Bright, and it’s Maria! Regal explains the rules, where Maria asks the bachelors a series of questions and then decides which one to date. Duggan is asked if he’d be a gentleman, and he promises to never call her a “HOOOOOOOOOO.” The crowd hates this, by the way. Simmons is asked what he would make her for breakfast in bed. He’d make her “... SPAM!” Ah, how humorous, Maria claims that she loves spam. Santino interrupts Maria, and asks that she just pick him. Maria claims that was the “Worst Santino impression” she’d ever heard. Simmons is asked which war he’d stop if he could, his answer being “....NAM!” Oh, the hilarity. Santino interrupts again, claiming that Duggan and Simmons are talking about how much they hate babies and puppies. Duggan cuts him off, telling him to take his lies back to Italy, because right now he’s in the “USA” which kicks off the chant. Regal screams at them to shut up, and it’s time for Maria to select her bachelor. Regal goes over her choices, and Santino gets HUGE heat from the crowd. Maria selects Ron Simmons! Santino is upset and cuts Regal off before he can reveal the prize. Simmons tells Santino to “... SCRAM!” Santino is furious, he’s going to leave with Maria and no one can stop him. Except for Umaga that is, who comes out to add to rumors of a face turn. Santino runs out as fast as he can as Umaga threatens to trash the stage. This segment didn’t suck half as much as I expected it to, as it actually developed the angle with Santino and Maria. My hats off to that, as Santino was awesome here!

-Backstage, Coach is approached by some stranger, who wants him to sign a summons. He provides a copy for Mr. McMahon, which Coach looks through.

Non-title match:
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Intercontinental Champion Umaga

Cena gets a mixed reaction again, as the women and children all adore him. Cena dodges the charging Umaga and hits some right hands. Umaga thrusts Cena into the corner and stomps on him. Hard chop by Umaga and a club to the back. Hard Irish whip by Umaga sends Cena crashing to the mat. Umaga sends Cena into the ropes for a hard shoulder block. Umaga repeats the spot. Cena slides through Umaga’s legs and hits the blockbuster. Umaga hits a rolling kick, sending Cena through the ropes. And we head to a commercial.

After the break, we see Umaga clutching the shoulder of John Cena. During the break, Umaga rammed Cena off the apron, sending him flying into the announce table. Cena fights out of the claw and goes for the F-U, but his knee buckles. Umaga punches Cena around, but Cena drops him neck-first onto the ropes. Umaga catches Cena and hits the sidewalk slam! Umaga goes high risk and misses the flying headbutt. Cena locks in the STFU! The match ends by DQ at 7:57 when Randy Orton and Carlito run in and attack Cena. **1/4, as I would have liked this to have lasted longer.
Winner by DQ: John Cena

-After the match, Orton and Carlito encourage Umaga to attack Cena. Umaga resents this treatment and attacks Orton, sending him to ringside. Umaga hits a big kick on Carlito, cornering him. Umaga has to choose between attacking the cornered Cena or the cornered Carlito. Umaga picks Carlito, but he escapes before connecting with Umaga’s ass. Regal comes out and makes a match next week between Orton and Carlito vs. Cena and Umaga. Hey, that sounds like a match I’d like to watch. Cena then chases Orton out of the arena as Carlito flees from Umaga.

-Elsewhere, Mr. McMahon is hanging out backstage, talking to several superstars. He bumps into London and Kendrick, and London brings back the goofy smile! “Keep that smile on your face” chuckles Vince. Yes! That was awesome! Vince leaves the building, and notices a couple guys sitting on the dumpster... just like the night his limo blew up. Vince looks suspicious , but heads to his limo again. Oooh the suspense of it all, is it safe? Coach runs up and stops Vince from closing the limo door. Coach shows Vince the summons. Apparently the state of Connecticut has evidence of an illegitimate child of Vince’s, so there is another member of the McMahon family running around out there. I bet it’s Paul London. Anyway, we get a nice cliffhanger as the show goes off air.

Final Thoughts: This was an episode of Raw that would sound horrible if I heard about it secondhand, but it wasn’t so bad watching it. The things that looked stupid (the game show) turned out to be redeemable because it progressed an angle. The matches weren’t much to talk about, other than Umaga/Cena, which was really heating up when the out of nowhere finish showed up. Otherwise, there was a bit too much Vince on this show, as it got tedious, and his comments regarding the news media and congress were more restrained than I was hoping for. But I was entertained, which is all I can really hope for.

Mild thumbs up for Raw.

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