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WWE RAW - August 13 2007
by Samoa Rowe

-Last week Mr. McMahon was stepping into his limousine when a bombshell hit him... that he has an illegitimate child! Also, Umaga decided he would rather fight Randy Orton and Carlito instead of John Cena, so we have a new babyface in the making. Tonight’s main event will appropriately be Cena and Umaga vs. Orton and Carlito. Also, Jerry Lawler will be forced to crown King Booker.

-Our hosts for the evening are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. They are airing live from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

-The show opens with superstars from Raw, Smackdown, and ECW surrounding the ring. Of course they are gathered here to listen to Mr. McMahon talk. Vince is shocked that he has an illegitimate child, though I’m more shocked that he only has one. Vince believes that the woman should have been on the pill, but he’s thankful for the support he’s getting from his family, the WWE superstars, and fans. The crowd disagrees. He is interrupted by his daughter, Stephanie. For once, Stephanie’s appearance doesn’t annoy me, as she gets to the point and actually drops another bombshell: Vince’s child is a current WWE superstar! Vince is frazzled and looks questioningly at Mr. Kennedy... and Mark Henry! This was a good opening segment, but would have been more effective without the countless following McMahon segments.

-A video package for Bobby Lashley plays. We see him in the hospital, going through shoulder surgery, and looking forward to his return and revenge on Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy vs. The Sandman
Sandman takes longer getting to the ring than usual, which is annoying when I’m not in a patient mood. They lock up and go to the corner, with Kennedy rubbing Sandman’s forehead mockingly when forced to break. Sandman goes for the waistlock, but Kennedy counters into a hammerlock. Sandman escapes and they get into a shoving contest. Weak punches by Sandman, sends Kennedy into the ropes for escape. Kennedy misses the clothesline and gets hit by the sloppiest side Russian leg sweep I’ve ever seen. Sandman goes high risk, and Kennedy hits the snap mare off the turnbuckle. Kennedy hits the running boot to the face, as Sandman is dead in the corner. Kennedy hits his somersault drop and pins Sandman at 2:23. Kennedy looked good, but Sandman looked drunk, 1/2*.
Winner: Mr. Kennedy

-Backstage, Coach asks Mr. McMahon how old he was when he became sexually active. The answer is 12. This is extremely poor taste. Ric Flair pops in (who claims to have lost his virginity at 13 in his book) and teases Vince with the possibility of being his son.

-The first of many “Legend Killer” vignettes in honor of Randy “Suckbag” Orton air. Let’s look back at him putting Shawn Michaels on the shelf, shall we? Despite all of this work on Orton, he still bores the hell out of me.

-Backstage, William Regal is preparing for his new game show, WWE Idol. He is joined by JBL and Michael Cole, doing their worst Hall and Oates imitation. JBL tells Cole that he has less talent than Oates, which he didn’t feel possibly. Regal, in Simon-mode, tells them it was ghastly. They are joined by Maria and Ron Simmons, who are going on their date next week. Santino Marella interrupts, and he is still grumpy about the date. So tonight, he plans on singing a song so romantic that Maria will come back. Regal already has his contestants, but Santino insists. Ron wanders and sees JBL and Cole still goofing off. They ask him what his favorite 80’s band was, which was, you guessed it, “....WHAM!”

Cryme Tyme vs. Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade
There is no mention of Cade and Murdoch’s tag titles being on the line. Before the match, Cryme Tyme played to the crowd for “hometown boys” heat. They pull a chair out from under Lillian Garcia and attempt to sell it to the fans in front row. We head to a commercial.

The match started during the break. Cade and Murdoch have been trapping Shad in their corner. Cade shoulder thrusts Shad into the turnbuckles, as he makes another quick tag to Murdoch for a double team. Shad fights back against Murdoch, but gets caught in a good side Russian leg sweep. I hope Sandman was watching that. Cade and Murdoch keep up the tags, with Murdoch ultimately going for the rest hold. Shad knocks Murdoch off him by diving for the corner. JTG finally tags in, and he cleans house on Cade and Murdoch. JTG hit a nice leg drop off the turnbuckle onto Murdoch! Cade interrupts and helps double team JTG with Murdoch with the High/Low. Murdoch goes for the cover, but Shad breaks it up with a chair, giving Cade and Murdoch the DQ victory at 3:05 (shown). Cade and Murdoch have developed into an excellent team, and carried Cryme Tyme to an enjoyable, short match, *.
Winners by DQ: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch

Gene Snitsky vs. Robbie McAllister
Snitsky hits a kick to the gut, and a clothesline. Snitsky hits the pump handle slam and covers Robbie for the win at 0:19. Unless they are serious about developing Snitsky into a main eventer, he should not be dominating members of the official Raw roster this easily, DUD.
Winner: Gene Snitsky

-Backstage, Mr. McMahon is reminiscing to Coach on how he had a challenge to “do it” in every state in the union. Coach proposes that Vince give him a list of all his “indiscretions” so he can cross-check them in regards to the backgrounds of each WWE superstar. They are joined by Cody Rhodes, who gives Vince a condom. Vince looks angrily amused and days “Damn kid.” He also wants to sue Trojan Man, over their magnum division. Just when you thought this segment couldn’t get any more strange, The Boogeyman shows up behind them, singing “Cat’s in the Cradle” and smashes the clock over his head. Coach thinks The Boogeyman has Vince’s eyes.

-It’s time for WWE Idol! Todd Grisham introduces the show on the stage, as well as the judges, whoa are William Regal (who hilariously tells Grisham that he looks more womanly than Ryan Seacrest), Maria (who thinks Grisham is a contestant, which is just adorable), and Mick Foley!

The first singer is, you guessed it, Jillian Hall! Jillian sings a wretched version of “Memories” with her own lyrics. Foley is glad that he’s missing an ear. Maria searches for something nice to say and all she has is “you look really pretty!” Regal tells Jillian that this was an abortion and orders her off the stage.

The second singer, accompanied by Howard Finkel, are Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik! Volkoff is going to sing the Soviet National Anthem! The crowd is booing this, and it reminds me of Borat singing his anthem in front of a redneck rodeo crowd. Maria actually stood up to respect the anthem, which is again very adorable. Foley’s critique is nothing more than starting a “USA” chant. Maria thinks that Volkoff has a wonderful voice but was sad she couldn’t understand him. Regal is upset that Volkoff didn’t lose his voice the same way Sheik lost the WWE title in MSG. Sheik grabs the microphone and goes on a rant, of which I didn’t understand a single word. That was awkward.

The final singer is Lillian Garcia, who would seem to be the clear winner. Lillian is interrupted by Santino Marella, who will not be denied his song. He makes fun of Lillian, calling her a “filthy prostitute” missing from Times Square. Santino sings for Maria, which she naively soaks up. Foley cuts him off, saying that ‘listening to that was almost as painful as watching him wrestle!” BURN! Santino invites Maria out to Little Italy, but Maria can’t because she’s “still judging.” Ron Simmons comes out , and Santino asks if he’ll start rhyming like on Seseame Street. “Look at me, I’m cookie monster, ah hah ha!” That just made my day. Simmons knocks Santino into the stage, knocking him out. Regal pronounces Simmons the winner because that was music to his ears. Just like last week, this was about ten times more amusing than I would have predicted, as the personalities involved are all very entertaining and it’s getting Santino over.

Cody Rhodes vs. Charlie Haas (with Shelton Benjamin)
I like Cody’s music. They lock up, with Haas getting a waistlock takedown. Haas gets caught in a hip toss by Cody, but he goes for a slam. Cody escapes and gets a roll-up. Side headlock by Cody is broken by Haas in the ropes. Elbow shot by Cody, who goes for a leg sweep, but Haas grabs the ropes to block it. A “boring” chant breaks out amongst a portion of fans. Lateral press by Haas only gets a two count. Haas applies the reverse chinlock. Haas breaks and goes for the cover, but goes back to the chinlock. Haas needs to stop studying Randy Orton tapes. Haas hits some strikes and goes for another cover, and back to the chinlock. Haas breaks the hold himself and knocks Cody into the turnbuckle. Cody counters with a jawbreaker. Knee lift by Haas and an over head belly to belly suplex! Haas goes for the cover and then applies the body scissors. This transitions into another chinlock. The “boring” chants return. Cody counters a clothesline. Jabs by Cody, in honor of his dad. Running knee drop and drop-kick by Cody. Big bulldog by Cody, who goes high risk. Cody hits the flying crossbody, but Haas rolls through, for a cover attempt. Cody barely kicks out, but catches Haas with an inside cradle for the victory at 5:03! The match was slow and heatless, but was picking up around the quick finish, *1/4.
Winner: Cody Rhodes

-King Booker and Queen Sharmell are in the ring so Jerry Lawler can crown him. Lawler is reluctant to go through with it, causing Booker to break out in an angry rant in his old Booker T persona. Booker is gold. Lawler questions Booker, saying he’s not going to crown him because Booker is not the only king, and he’s going to have a match at Summerslam against Triple H! This cues the Triple H hype video. Well, Booker, you had a fun year as a main eventer, sorry to see that it’s going to end soon. Lawler stomps on the crown, which causes Booker to angrily beat up the poor color commentator.

-Todd Grisham replaces Jerry Lawler at the commentary booth for the rest of the show. They highlight the Summerslam card, which isn’t doing a lot for me right now.

-Randy Orton makes his way to the ring for his match, but not before he cuts an evil heel promo. Orton says that he will end the fairytale joy-ride that Cena has had with his 11 month title reign. Orton acknowledges the portion of the crowd that doesn’t like Cena, saying he will be their hero whether they like it or not. And the people who like Cena? Well, Orton is going to be their worst nightmare. I’m still not sold on Orton, and I wouldn’t say it’s completely his fault. His character and promos are not believable. The best heels have motives that make sense and are fleshed out. Orton likes beating up legends. Why? We are only offered that it is because he’s a bad man. It would have been so much more fascinating if when they had his father on the shows, it had been for a feud with Randy, under the angle that Randy resents how his father was never there for him, and he hates all the legends of wrestling for that very reason. There, you have a logical, complex character with Randy Orton, and a believable main event persona. Instead, we get Randy Orton, a very bad man who you should boo.

John Cena and Umaga vs. Randy Orton and Carlito
Umaga and Orton kick things off. The New York fans are lively and are having dueling chants over whether or not Cena sucks. Umaga takes Orton down with an elbow and pummels him into the corner. Umaga misses a splash into the corner on Orton, who tags Carlito in. Umaga blocks the double team by clotheslining both chickenly heels. Cena helps Umaga toss the bad guys over the ropes as we head to the commercial.

We come back from the break to see Cena and Umaga having their way with Carlito. Cena foolishly goes for a cover on Carlito, and then punches him around a bit. Cena charges at a cornered Carlito, who gets his boot up. Cena shrugs it off, hitting his running shoulder and suplex. Cena hits the five knuckle shuffle on Carlito and goes for the F-U, but Orton grabs Carlito’s hair to block the move. Cena swings at Orton, allowing Carlito to push him out. Orton attacks Cena at ringside. Carlito rolls Cena back into the ring and annoys me by going for the cover. Orton tags in and punches and stomps away at Cena. Big drop kick by Orton, who then goes for yet another cover. Tag is made to Carlito, who is also very fond of stomping. Cena blocks a suplex by Carlito, who then improvises and hits a neckbreaker. I liked that spot. Carlito goes for the cover and then the chinlock. Damn, there is absolutely no variety in WWE. None. Cena escapes, slamming Carlito. Orton tags in and hits a big clothesline for a cover. Cena is hurt, and Orton capitalizes by stomping on his hand. Orton leaps onto Cena, who moves out of the way. Carlito quickly tags in and brawls with Cena. Carlito hits Cena with his knee and goes for another cover. Orton tags in double teams with Carlito. Uppercut by Orton, as a portion of the crowd chants “Randy Orton” with the other half adding a “sucks” at the end. I enjoy New York wrestling fans. Orton does the smart thing and goes for the chinlock to kill the portion of the crowd cheering for him. That was a nice touch on behalf of Orton. Cena eventually fights out of the chinlock and hits the bulldog. Carlito tags in and prevents Cena from making the tag. Cena hits the back body drop and leaps for Umaga, but Umaga doesn’t hold out for the tag. Huh. Umaga charges in and cleans house. Orton breaks up a cover on Carlito, but Umaga hits a big kick on Orton and the running ass shot. Umaga blocks the backstabber from Carlito, so Cena hits the F-U and pins Carlito. I missed Cena tagging back in, but okay. There was a lot to like in this match, but it was also painfully by the numbers. The confusion at the end also hurt it, **1/4.
Winners: John Cena and Umaga

-Backstage, Vince is pleased that the night is over. Coach asks if they’ve gone over all of Vince’s indiscretions, and Vince says it’s all of them... from the 70’s. Vince enjoys reliving all of these memories. Vince begins a story involving him and two flight attendants in the bathroom, when he realizes that his wife, Linda, is standing behind him. Linda tells Vince that he no longer has a home and storms off. It was one thing to forgive Vince for drugging her and keeping her in a wheel chair for months on end, but this has crossed the line.

Final thoughts: There was an awful lot of filler and very little wrestling on this show, but there was also a lot to like. The paternity angle is good in that it’s actually leaving cliff-hangers at the end of shows, giving fans a reason to want to tune in to see what happens next. It would be amazing if they would give these types of storylines to someone other than Vince, maybe to a member of the roster. Just like last week, I was too entertained to give this show a bad review, despite the very noticeable flaws.

Mild thumbs up.

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