Written by: Justin Rozzero
Monday Night Raw
October 8, 2007
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI
Announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler
– Raw starts with Mr. McMahon in the ring, gloating about his predictions coming true about No Mercy. He runs a video package highlighting the title changes as proof that history was made. Vince demands the entire roster come to the ring later tonight to wish good luck to Randy Orton and is ready to announce the Cyber Sunday main event before Triple H comes to the ring and interrupts him. Trips tells Vince the fans only care about tonight right now, and not the next PPV and proceeds to invoke his rematch clause. Vince tells him to be careful what he wishes for, as he went through three matches last night, but goes ahead makes the match for tonight anyway. However, as he is leaving, he adds in that the match will actually be Triple H vs. Orton and Umaga.
1) Candice Michelle, Mickie James & Maria defeat Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall and Melina when Candice pins Jillian Hall with a Victory Roll
Match starts off with a quick pace as the faces beat on Melina a bit before Beth helps turns the tide with a cheap shot for her team. Beth works Mickie’s leg to set up the heat segment for the match. Hot tag to Candice who gets a near fall with a Northern Lights suplex, but Jillian is able to briefly get control back for her team. Jillian goes for a handspring elbow, but Candice jumps up and gets on Jillian’s shoulders and is able to roll her up for the pin. Grade: 1.5
– Regal and Coach are back in the GM Office and Coach pats himself on the back while taking veiled shots at Regal being GM instead of him. Mr. McMahon comes in and again asks Regal to take care of Hornswoggle before quickly leaving. Regal puts Coach in charge of McMahon, Jr. and tell him to check on him, but Hornswoggle is no longer napping in the closet. Regal sends Coach to find him.
– We get a quick look back at the history of Taboo Tuesday and Cyber Sunday to help put over this year’s show and head to break.
2) Snitsky defeats Val Venis with a Pumphandle Slam
We look back at the Marella/Venis confrontation from last week as Santino comes out. Good to see Val getting some face time the past couple of weeks. Santino rolls outside and introduces Lillian Garcia to the crowd and flirts a bit with her, pimping Lillian’s live performance. Santino then says he has a previous engagement and can not face Val tonight. Instead, he asked Regal to provide a “formidable” opponent, and he did: Snitsky. Snitsky goes right after Val’s injured knee and takes control immediately. Val gets a flurry, but Snitsky crushes Val with the big boot before locking in the double underhook submission hold. Snitsky picks up the win with a Pumphandle slam in a decent squash. Grade: 1
– JR pimps Evander Holyfield’s upcoming bout and we get a look back at his appearance from Saturday Night’s Main Event. JR then follows that up with a recap of the Cena ass whipping from last week’s show.
– We get this week’s cryptic video, focusing on the “Rev 22:12” and “2ND_COMING” references this time. And now we cut to the announcers for the live John Cena interview. Cena joins us via satellite and tells us the expected rehab time is 7 to 12 months. Cena says is focused on getting back and getting back to the ring, which gets a pretty good reaction. Cena laughs off Orton’s comments from No Mercy and tells him that he shouldn’t be worrying about Cena right now, but instead focus every superstar that will be targeting him. JR wraps things up and wishes him luck, and that wraps up the brief interview.
3) Triple H defeats Randy Orton & Umaga by disqualification
Match fires up after all three entrances and a break. Heel miscommunication early sends Umaga to the floor and a DDT puts Orton down. Umaga regains control outside by shoving Trips into the barrier. The two work Hunter over as JR puts over his resiliency and injured ribs. While things should be fresher without Cena, they won’t seem it if they work the same exact character and angle with Trips in his place. Hopefully they start shaking up the formula soon here. Umaga and Orton continue to control the match until Trips is able to shove Orton into Umaga on the top rope. He is able to load Orton into the Pedigree, but Umaga makes the save and lines up the Spike. Trips dodges, sending him to the floor and then loads Orton up again. Umaga rushes in with a chair and drills Hunter in the back with it, drawing the DQ. The two men beat on Trips some more and Orton nails the RKO and walks out, leaving Umaga alone with the Game. Umaga drags Hunter to the corner and drills him with a pair of running butt slams. He then drags him to the center of the ring and crushes him with a top rope splash and then ends things with the Spike. Match started off weak, but ended up being a pretty good beat down at the end and added some much needed heat and rebuilding for Umaga. Grade: 2
– We come from break and Triple H is still being helped by officials to the back. Vince runs into Hunter and the refs in the back and takes a dig at Trips being hurt. Vince tells him the injury doesn’t allow Triple H to avoid congratulating Orton in the ring later in the show and that he better be first in line.
4) The Highlanders defeat Paul London & Brian Kendrick when Robbie pins Kendrick with a low blow in the corner
This match is based on the Highlanders attack and heel turn from two weeks back. I am still digging the black kilts for Robby and Rory. It was nice to see London & Kendrick get on PPV at No Mercy, now lets see if they follow up it up with a win here. They start off in control, but Rory gains control after Robbie distracts London and the two Scots take turns wearing him down. London gets a quick hot tag after a brief heat segment. Kendrick comes in flying and takes both men out with dropkicks, leading to a near fall. London takes out Rory on the floor and Kendrick charges Robbie in the corner, but Robbie headbutts Kendrick low as he comes in and picks up the win. Grade: 1.5
– Diva Search segment allows me to catch up in the recap here, so that works well. We get disturbing shots of a shirtless Grish in bed for some reason. Visit WWE.com now for the next challenge. Coach is backstage searching for Hornswoggle and asks an arena worked for help. The arena worker asks Coach what he has been smoking when he says he is looking for a leprechaun. Coach also asks Cody, who provides no help in the search. Regal comes up and berates Coach and tell him to try harder.
– Back from break and we get a special live performance by Lillian Garcia, singing “Quiero Vivir” in Spanish off her new CD. She actually gets a really nice reception which was good to see. The segment gets better by 100% as Santino makes an entrance. He tells Lillian to “scramola” as he has his own song to sing. And he makes it even better by singing “Rehab”, only substituting “watch the Condemned” in place of “go to Rehab”. That definitely needs to be seen to be appreciated as Santino continues to rule it hard.
– Out of the break we get a bump for next week setting up Hardcore Holly vs. Cody Rhodes as he goes for a win in his third attempt against the veteran.
5) Jeff Hardy defeats Mr. Kennedy with a Crucifix to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Kennedy does his usual in the ring and is followed by the I-C Champ’s entrance. Huge “Hardy” chant as the match starts up. Kennedy had a shot at the World Champ last week, but lost clean there. Let’s see if he can grab gold this week. Hardy takes control and picks up a two count. Crawl at the bottom of the screen lets us know that the Cyber Sunday main event will be announced at Noon tomorrow. The two fight on the outside and Kennedy rolls Hardy back in, but gets hit with a baseball slide. Hardy goes to the top and comes off with an axehandle attempt, but misses and hits the guardrail. We take a break and when we return Kennedy is in control and working a submission hold. Hardy gets back in it and heads up top, but Kennedy dropkicks him and knocks him to the mat hard. Kennedy back to the single leg crab and continues to work on the leg of Hardy. Hardy is able to kick him off a couple of times, but Kennedy catches him with a chop block for a near fall. Kennedy grabs another near fall with a backslide. Hardy battles back again and gets a near fall with a Legdrop pinfall combination and then follows it up with a modified Brainbuster. Hardy goes up top, but misses the Swanton. Kennedy goes for the pin, but Hardy reversed it with a crucifix and gets the win in a really good match. Grade: 3
– Vince talks to Regal in the back and tells him everyone, including Hornswoggle, needs to be at ringside to congratulate Orton. Coach comes running in saying he “couldn’t find him”. Regal tries to downplay things and doesn’t elaborate who “him” is. Vince threatens Regal, who claims “him” isn’t Hornswoggle, but then a trunk opens and Hornswoggle pops up, stretching from his long nap. Vince leaves and Coach goes to get the little guy, but he gets attacked with a cane and scampers off as McMahon, Jr. laughs heartily. The troops begin pouring out to the ring as we head off to our last break of the night.
– We return and Vince is speaking in the ring, running down what is going to happen next as the whole locker room is standing at the top of the ramp. Orton makes his entrance, walking through the troops and to the ring and he steps up on a large platform in the center of the ring. Vince wants to be the first one to shake his hand, and he does just that. Orton takes the stick and pumps himself up as being the most deserving wrestler on the roster to hold the belt, playing up his physical attributes. He calls the other stars jealous, dubs his reign the “One Man Dynasty” and claims that he will be Champion for a long, long time. Vince is ready to start the procession, but then notices Triple H is missing. He keeps calling for Trips and then says that Orton will go back and drag him out. Orton starts stalking up the ramp and…HOLY SHIT…”Sexy Boy” fires up and Shawn Michaels comes out looking like he was straight out of 1997, rocking the cowboy hat and five o’clock shadow. Michaels backs Orton into the ring and then jumps him in the middle of the ring. Orton up and Michaels drills him with Sweet Chin Music to knock him out. We fade out as Michaels celebrates in the ring and stares down the Boss.
We get a fun show here coming off the PPV. It was far from fantastic or spectacular, but it was a good two hours of episodic wrestling. We got a few long matches, with the highlight being the I-C Title match. What seemed to be a lame ending segment ended up being really hot with the surprise return of Shawn Michaels, which should add some intrigue to the Main Event scene now. It was nice to hear them play up their history as well, referencing that Shawn got revenge for Orton taking him out. Santino was great as always, as was Regal. It was also nice to see them rebuild Umaga after he was taken down a bit the last couple of weeks. All in all, an entertaining couple of hours that advanced some big stories and provided a memorable moment. Final Grade: B-
MVP: Jeff Hardy & Mr. Kennedy
Runner Up: Santino Marella
Non MVP: Paul London & Brian Kendrick
Runner Up: Jonathan Coachman