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WWE RAW - August 20, 2007
by Samoa Rowe

-The show opens with Randy Orton in the ring to kick things off. Tazz is on commentary, sitting in for Jerry Lawler.

-Orton has lots of heat with the crowd tonight. Orton says this is the last time they will see him without the WWE Championship. Orton refers to Saturday Night Main Event when Orton gave Cena an RKO onto a steel chair (nasty spot, by the way) as the defining moment in his career. They play the footage in slow motion and from different angles just for Orton’s amusement. Orton thinks this footage will replace great moments such as Hogan’s slam on Andre and other great moments, and will play when he is later inducted into the Hall of Fame. Loud “Cena” chants erupts from the crowd. Orton calls Cena out, asking him to just forfeit the WWE Championship now. Instead, Mr. McMahon joins young Randall in the arena. Vince is more concerned with finding out who his son is (he was told earlier that his child is definitely a boy) and he hopes that his son has the same qualities of young Randall. That was a nice way to put Orton over as a heel while being subtle. Vince is determined to find out who his son is tonight and he wants the crowd to accept him with open arms. The crowd doesn’t agree, so Vince goes on another rant against the fans, this time calling them sick. Vince says that he hopes that his son isn’t like John Cena, who has no dignity. Cena appears on the tron, just arriving. The WWE Champion finally oins them in the arena to a lively pop.

Orton flees the ring as Cena makes his entrance. Vince is annoyed with the applause Cena got and shuts the fans up. Cena states the obvious and tells Vince that the fans don’t like him, and neither does Cena. Cena says he would be ashamed to be Vince’s son and have to call him his “father.” Cena has a message for Orton, which is that he’ll be at Summerslam and that he’lll retain the WWE Championship. I was hoping for something a little more clever than that. Vince tells Cena that if he isn’t at Summerslam, he will be stripped of the championship. “And speaking of stripping” that brings Vince to Cena’s mother. Vince suggests that he did Cena’s mom. That’s harsh, man. Cena slaps the taste out of Vince’s mouth. Vince angrily makes a match for Cena tonight, against none other than Snitsky. The crowd doesn’t care for that announcement, and neither do I. As far as opening interview segments go, this was top notch. I was really feeling everyone’s contribution.

Candice Michelle and Mickie James vs. Melina and Beth Phoenix
Candice has a remix of her original music now. It really doesn’t make a difference. Before the match, William Regal comes to the stage and adds a Diva battle royal to Summerslam, featuring Divas from all the brands. The winner gets a future title shot against Candice.

Melina and Beth jump their opponents as the bell rings. Mickie and Beth end up being the legal women and Beth overpowers Mickie, hitting a slingshot suplex. Beth goes for the cover, but it’s no good. Melina tags in and fails at preventing Mickie from tagging in Candice. Candice cleans house on Melina, even getting a near fall. Candice hits a Northern lights suplex for a cover attempt, but Beth makes a distraction. Candice then rolls up Melina for the victory. Talk about short, 1/4*.
Winners: Candice Michelle and Mickie James

-After the match, Mickie James attacks Candice. Melina throws Mickie out of the ring, and then gets tossed out by Beth. These women hate each other. The idea of that battle royal showed their true colors, that’s for sure.

-Later tonight, Umaga is the special guest on Carlito’s Cabana.

-Backstage, Regal is on the phone gushing about his diva battle royal, when he’s interrupted by Santino Marella. Santino calls Regal a “home wrecker” for setting Maria up on that date with Ron Simmons back in the dating game. Regal orders Santino not to interfere with the date, so Santino mutters something about “Plan B” and storms out.

-Elsewhere backstage, King Booker and Queen Sharmell have a message for Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Booker is aware that the Game is in the arena tonight and wants to meet him in the ring. Sharmell basically repeats what Booker said, but adds that they will be attempting to crown “King Bookah” again. They sure do have a lot of trouble just placing a crown on his head. It would be easier if they did it themselves every now and then.

-Elsewhere, Vince and Coach are hanging out. Vince is happy that he doesn’t have another daughter. Coach suggests that Triple H could be Vince’s son. They stop and see Val Venis, who says “Hello, Daddy” as only Val Venis can. Coach thinks it would explain a lot of it were the case (I assume in regards to sexual appetite). They run into Daivari, who gives Vince a hug and puts his head dress on him. Vince barks at Daivari to remove the clothing, and they keep moving until they bump into Mr. Kennedy. They keep moving as Vince goes over the criteria he wants for his son, but we head to a commercial.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Cody Rhodes
Last week Haas lost to Rhodes in a heatless match. Let’s see if Benjamin can’t do any better. Benjamin takes the upper hand, but Rhodes tosses Benjamin into an armlock. Benjamin escapes and dodges a drop kick. Back drop by Benjamin for a cover. There was a minor “Cody” chant, so this crowd is much easier to work with than last week’s (which was NYC). Benjamin catches Cody in a chinlock. Benjamin pushes Cody off the ropes and into his fist. Cody connects with an elbow shot and finally hits his jobber drop kick offense. Bulldog by Cody gets a two count. Jabs by Cody, but gets caught in a vertical backbreaker. Benjamin attempts the Boston crab, but Cody reverses into a roll-up for the win at 3:03. The match was too short to really go anywhere, 3/4*.
Winner: Cody Rhodes

-After the match, Haas enters the ring and helps double team Cody with Benjamin. They hit their finisher on the ropes (did that move ever get named?). Looks as if Cody needs a tag team partner.

Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs. Paul London and Brian Kendrick
This is yet another non-title match featuring the tag team champions. Kendrick and Cade kick things off. Three of these four men were trained by Shawn Michaels. Cade corners Kendrick, but gets a clean break. Kendrick applies the hammerlock, but Cade reverses into a headlock. Cade gets hit by a drop kick, and misses an elbow drop. Kendrick hits some arm drags on Cade, and gets in London. London takes down Cade and gets a one count. Cade shoves off London, and tags in Murdoch, who walks right into a London arm drag. Murdoch sends London landing on the apron, who leaps over with a high kick. Murdoch tags in Cade, who pummels London into the corner. Hard Irish whip by Cade, but London gets a shot in and his a springboard crossbody. Kendrick helps London dump Cade out of the ring and they double team Murdoch to the floor. London and Kendrick hit simultaneous head-first dives over the top onto their foes. Cryme Tyme then run in and steal Murdoch’s hat. They try selling it to fans, but insist on nothing more than ten dollars for Murdoch’s smelly hat. In the ring, Kendrick hits a crucifix pin on Cade for the win! Meanwhile, Cryme Tyme has sold Murdoch’s hat for two dollars to a skinny kid in a Triple H shirt. The actual match was going along really well, as London and Kendrick were on the track to victory even before Cryme Tyme’s involvement. *1/2.
Winners: Paul London and Brian Kendrick

-Backstage, King Booker is heading to the ring for his crowning.

-Meanwhile, Ron Simmons has taken Maria out to a sports grill for their date (cue the romantic music). Simmons feast consists of clam, lamb, and jam. Santino Marella then strolls in with his date, Jillian Hall. Santino invites himself to join them for a double date. Santino wishes Ron no hard feelings over the last time they met when he “smashed in mah head!” Santino Marella continues to entertain.

-King Booker and Queen Sharmell are in the ring for the coronation. Booker reminisces about how “Jerome” Lawler paid for not cooperating with him last week. Cue the video package of Booker beating up Lawler in Madison Square Garden. Booker then calls out Triple H so he can crown him. Triple H’s music plays, but instead we get Chris Hamrick dressed up as Triple H, complete with a fake pointy nose. “Triple H” chokes on his water. The crowd is not pleased about this bait and switch. The fake Triple H crowns Booker without question and bows before him. Booker dismisses the imposter and turns his attention to J.R. (or James Ross, as he calls him). Tazz gets out of the way, leaving J.R. to fend for himself. Booker apparently watched Raw last night and is displeased with what J.R. had to say about him. J.R. can make it all better by kissing King Booker’s ring. J.R. refuses, causing Booker to break into ghetto mode. Unfortunately, Sharmell sneaks up behind Ross and pushes his face into the ring. Booker shoves J.R. down and takes his exit.

-Meanwhile at the restaurant, Jillian Hall is performing some horrible karaoke. Santino claims the restaurant doesn’t have karaoke, Jillian just bring the microphone everywhere she goes. A fan comes up to Santino for an autograph and reads off a script that Santino clearly wrote for him. Maria questions the authenticity of the encounter, but Santino breaks off into the story about how he won the Intercontinental Championship. Simmons calls him a sham. These segments are awesome.

-It’s time for Carlito’s Cabana! Carlito wastes no time introducing the Intercontinental Champion, Umaga! Are we actually going to hear Umaga speak? Carlito puts over Umaga’s status in the company, as Umaga examines the Cabana set. Carlito challenges Umaga to a match at Summerslam for the Intercontinental title. They are interrupted by Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy says Umaga is a two time IC champ, so he should be treated as such. However, Kennedy has beaten Bobby Lashley, something which Umaga hasn’t done. Therefore, Kennedy deserves the shot at the gold. Umaga catches Kennedy off guard with a super kick and trashes the set, as Carlito flees. William Regal then comes out and makes Carlito vs. Kennedy for a shot at the IC title at Summerslam. That match is next.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Carlito
The match started during the break. Kennedy has been in control of Carlito, but Carlito makes a tackle and fires away with shots. Carlito dumps Kennedy to the floor, but Kennedy quickly charges back to the ring and tackles Carlito. Carlito retreats to ringside, causing Kennedy to chase him. Carlito barely misses an elbow drop, as Kennedy takes his time getting back into the ring. Kennedy misses a clothesline, giving Carlito a chance to strike him into the corner. Shoulder thrusts by Carlito and an Irish whip into an elbow shot. Carlito goes for the cover, but it only gets 2. Cue the chinlock by Carlito. Kennedy fights to his feet and whips Carlito into a big back body drop. Kennedy goes for the cover, but gets 2. Kennedy runs into Carlito’s elbow and gets dropped with a clothesline. Carlito attempts a cover, but can’t get Kennedy’s shoulders down. They fight on the apron, as Kennedy tries to suplex Carlito over the ropes to the floor, but Carlito ends up suplexing Kennedy into the ring. Carlito finally gets something resembling a credible near fall. Scoop slam by Carlito, who then goes high risk, but misses the splash. Kennedy attempts the cover, but gets 2. Carlito ducks a clothesline, but gets high by Kennedy’s shoulder. Yet another cover attempt by Kennedy. This match is really, really boring. Kennedy misses the springboard elbow from Carlito. Kennedy rams Carlito shoulder-first into the ring post. Kennedy follows Carlito to the floor, and kicks Carlito’s shoulder into to the steel steps, just like he did to Lashley. And we head to the commercial.

After the break, we see Carlito trying to fight out of a rest hold. Hard Irish whip by Kennedy, who then chokes Carlito with his boot. Desperate chop by Carlito, but Kennedy hits another hard Irish whip. Kennedy chokes on Carlito in the corner, and then cleans his boot on his face. Kennedy goes for the running boot, but Carlito surprises him with a clothesline and a cover for 2. Carlito returns the favor by ramming Kennedy shoulder first into the ring post. At ringside, Carlito pushes Kennedy into the ring post again. back in the ring, Carlito hits a drop kick for another cover for 2. Neckbreaker by Carlito for another cover for 2. Carlito goes high risk, but Kennedy trips him on the top. Carlito lands on his stomach on the top, so Kennedy climbs for a Kenton bomb attempt. Carlito and Kennedy pin each other around the 14 minute mark. Fourteen minutes of boredom for that finish? Screw that, *.
Draw

-Regal storms out and makes the triple threat match for Summerslam, pitting Umaga against Kennedy and Carlito. I wish he had just made that decision in the first place and used this time to get someone else on the show.

-Meanwhile, the double date is still in progress. Santino turns serious and warns Simmons never to put his hands on him again. Simmons summons the waiter, named Sam, and Simmons pushes the waiter’s tray onto Santino, covering him in food. Simmons ends the entire thing with a “...DAMN!” I’m glad they are keeping Santino on television while injured, he is entertaining as hell in this role.

-J.R. and Tazz run down the Summerslam card. The card is still very uninspiring in my eyes. I’m curious to see who leaves the show as champion between Batista/Khali and Cena/Orton, but that’s about it. The matches themselves are nothing I would care to plop down 40 bucks for.

-Backstage, Mr. McMahon is hanging out with Melina. Vince wants Melina to apologize for threatening to sue him if she was her daughter. Vince grabs an issue of WWE magazine and basically invites Melina for some sex. He is interrupted by Snitsky. Snitsky says he never knew his parents or family, he only knows pain. Snitsky is going to cause Cena the type of pain that fathers try to protect their sons from. This is the type of slightly goofy promo Snitsky should be cutting every week.

John Cena vs. Snitsky
These poor fans didn’t realize they’d be treated to a Snitsky main event when they bought their tickets. They lock up, with Snitsky overpowering Cena. Snitsky knocks Cena down. Cena has already lasted longer than both Highlanders combined when it comes to facing Snitsky. Cena knocks Snitsky down and goes for the quick cover. Cena hits some shots, but runs into Snitsky’s boot. Elbow drop by Snitsky, and more punching. Cena fires back with some shots, but Snitsky whips him into a hard clothesline. Cena rolls out of the ring, while Snitsky pouts in the ring. Snitsky knocks Cena’s head into the apron and rolls him back into the ring. Cover by Snitsky gets 2. Scoop slam by Snitsky. Cena blocks a punch but gets taken down by Snitsky’s shoulder. Snitsky catches Cena in a double underhook submission. I like this much more than the Master Lock. Cena breaks free, but Snitsky hits another clothesline. Hard Irish whip by Snitsky, but he misses a running boot to the corner. Cena knocks Snitsky down and goes high risk with the leg drop to the head! Cena goes for the F-U, but Randy Orton runs in and hits the RKO for the disqualification at 4:52. Snitsky really earned his paycheck tonight, providing Cena with a good, but short, power match, *1/2.
Winner by DQ: John Cena

-After the match, Orton hits another RKO on Cena. Orton grabs the WWE title belt and just gazes at it instead of attacking Cena even further.

Final Thoughts: Though the star ratings wouldn’t indicate it, I liked this week’s Raw quite a bit. Most of the matches were good, just too short to really advance to the next level, but unfortunately the only match that got time was a tedious Carlito/Kennedy encounter. The subplot with the double date was some good fun, and the paternity angle didn’t overwhelm this show like it has in recent weeks. In the mean time, the Cena/Orton feud advanced quite nicely and they actually made me care about Snitsky for the first time in almost three years. I have no complaints this week.

Thumbs up for Raw.

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