Written by: Justin Rozzero
Monday Night Raw
November 5, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
Announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler
– We fade in to the tribute graphic for the Fabulous Moolah, who passed away over the weekend and then head right to our opening animation. JR welcomes us to the Staples Center, as we are live as can be for Monday Night Raw from the City of Angels. JR is still talking about tonight as the all too familiar theme of D-Generation X fires up and the crowd is red hot. This feels a lot closer to the DX of 1997 as Shawn is rocking the beard and cowboy hat. The crowd is awash in DX signs, glow sticks and shirts as Triple H and HBK pose and play to the fans. Both men grab mikes and have to wait for the crowd to stop chanting and screaming before they can talk. Hunter lets us know this is for one night only and asks if we are ready. No…are we ready?? Just as Trips is about to tell us to get ready to suck it, the beautiful theme of Hornswoggle fires up and the little guy pops out from under the ring. He climbs in and lands a couple of crotch chops while chasing Michaels around the ring. Hunter tells him he needs to go back under the ring, but Little Mac refuses. He asks Michaels if he has a run sheet for the show, but Shawn digs under his shirt and rattles off all the DX merchandise he is smuggling before finally finding the run sheet in his boot. Hunter tells him that is good in case he forgets his lines. He then shows Hornswoggle the sheet and says how segment 1 is at 9:00 PM (ET) and is a DX promo. He tells him that his segment will be later and is listed as the “short” segment. Michaels yuks it up, but Little Mac takes him down and locks in a short arm scissors. Shawn officially says he will induct him in for the night. Triple H says no and that he needs go back, but Hornswoggle says no because there is a monster under there. Hunter sends Shawn down to check it out, but something grabs Shawn’s feet and pulls him under ring. HBK reappears and has worms hanging out of his mouth, which cues up the Boogeyman’s music. Boogey slides into the ring and Little Mac takes cover behind Hunter. Triple H gets another round of laughter by saying “Yes, that is a midget between my legs.” Boogeyman asks if he can join DX as well. Michaels makes another executive decision and lets him in too. Trips tells him to get in line and says that you can never have enough “nerds, freaks and weirdoes.” The four men line up to do the catchphrase, but get interrupted by the Great Khali’s music, as the big man heads to the ring. Shawn cuts Hunter off and tells him “not to go there” because he always gets hurt when Hunter stirs shit up and that he doesn’t want to end up like a Slim Jim tonight. Shawn says they should just ignore him and move along. Triple H tells him if he wants in, he should get in line…and he does, which is funny. Hunter breaks his promise to Shawn and goes into his Indian voice to poke fun at Khali. Hunter gets a little further into the catchphrase, but this time we are interrupted by an angry Coach. Coach is fired up, but Hunter calls him George Jefferson and tells him to cool down. Hunter impresses by knowing the name of Khali’s translator, Runjin Singh, and says he will tell him what Coach allegedly said about Khali earlier tonight. He whispers in the Singh’s ear and tells him to confirm what he says with Shawn, who “can’t lie”. Shawn gives a funny look as he considers his response, but backs Hunter up. Singh drops the dime and tells Khali what the Coach said, leading to Khali smacking Coach right out of the ring. Coach runs to the back with Khali in hot pursuit. We come back to the ring and Hornswoggle and Boogeyman are gone. Michaels gets a funny line saying he “is too old for this” and wonders who writes this crap and adds that this is the worst thing to air since Katie Vick. Hunter agrees but says no one wrote it because all writers are on strike…but they aren’t and they finally hit the catchphrase to take us out to break.
– Back from break as we take a look at the exterior of the sold out Staples Center. Inside we see that Tom Green and Dylan McKay…I mean Luke Perry are at ringside. JR takes us to a look back at least week’s Diva Battle Royal, which leads to our next match.
1) Beth Phoenix defeats Kelly with a Fisherman Buster
I love Beth’s music and Beth in general. Poor Kelly looks worried, as she should. JR sends out get well wishes to Candice as Beth enters the ring. The bells rings and we are under way. Beth grabs Kelly’s hand and just smacks her down to the mat. She hoists her up and drills a sweet Fisherman Buster for the quick win. I love this push and hope it lasts forever. Grade: 1
– And we head backstage as the best wrestler ever, Santino Marella, is on our screen. He greets us with a hearty “Bonjour” and lets us know that Steve Austin will not show his face this week. He says just on the off chance that he does show up, he brought a paper bag with him to see if Austin can act his way out of it. And with that we head off to commercial.
2) Snitsky defeats Joey with a Pumphandle slam
Carlito is in the ring and questioning the jobber about who he is. He says his name is Joey and that is all we discover about him. Carlito backs out of the match and provides a replacement in Snitsky. The bell rings and Snitsky just tosses Joey around the ring. He lands a huge boot to the face and a Pumphandle slam for our second squash of the evening. Carlito gets in the ring and shakes Snitsky’s hand, but before Carlito can spit the apple at Joey, Snitsky lands a boot and Pumphandle on Carlito before heading out of the ring. Grade: .5
– As we head to break we get a delightfully interesting Jeff Hardy retrospective package set to the Lost Prophets’ Rooftop that highlights his whole career. It was nicely done and captures all the big moments and also makes him look pretty important on a whole. They need to keep doing these things as well as packages like we saw on ECW last week to put the talent over and let newer fans see what they are all about.
3) Jeff Hardy & Rey Mysterio defeat Mr. Kennedy & Finlay when Hardy pins Kennedy with the Swanton Bomb
Well, here we go with a nice Inter-promotional match that helps set up the Traditional Survivor Series match that was announced on WWE.com today. JR reviews the match, and I agree with him that it will be great. Jeff and Rey both get good pops from the LA crowd. Finlay and Jeff start things off and we are ready to rock. Tie-up to start and we get a clean break. Finlay grabs a side headlock, but Jeff whips him and we have a standstill off a shoulderblock. Finlay grabs the arm and takes Jeff down for a quick 2. Jeff reverses a chancery and gets a near fall of his own. Jeff smacks the shit out of Finlay, but Kennedy distracts him and Finlay sends him to the floor. Rey is over to help as Kennedy and Finlay double team Jeff, but some miscommunication leads to a stare down between the two as we head to break. We return and Rey and Kennedy are in the ring. Rey hits a nice springboard body press and then lands a headscissors take down. Kennedy is finally able to dropkick Rey’s knee to slow him up. Finlay is in and goes right to work on the knee as JR references Rey’s knee surgery. Finlay with a stiff slam and then locks in a half crab as the crowd tries to rally Rey. Rey is crawling to the corner, but Finlay smacks Jeff and then goes and tags Kennedy back in. We get some quick tags as the heels continue to work over Rey’s knee. Kennedy grabs a near fall and then quick tags Finlay back in as the two continue to double team and keep control. Finlay pushes Rey into the corner but Rey is able to avoid a charge and hit a big bulldog. Rey hobbles over and hot tags Jeff as Kennedy is tagged in as well. Jeff hits the Poetry in Motion and then drills the big swinging dropkick in the corner for a 2. Kennedy sends Jeff to the corner, but he hits the Whisper in the Wind and goes for the cover. Finlay breaks it up and sends Jeff to the floor. Rey comes in and trips up both men and is able to nail a 619 on Kennedy, while Finlay ducks out of the ring. Rey comes off the apron and nails a West Coast Pop to the floor on Finlay, as back inside Jeff hits the Swanton for the big win. Man that was a hot ending. The match could have been even better with a longer heat segment, but was rock solid as it was. Grade: 2.5
– Backstage we see Santino and Maria, as she tells Santino she heard that Austin is in the building. Santino says LA is full of rumors and says the chances of Austin showing up tonight are just as good as him winning an Oscar. Santino is heading to the ring and we are heading to break.
– We are back and get a little recap of the Wrestlemania ticket sale opening in Orlando. We even see some foreign fans that flew over just to buy the tickets. Jimmy Hart is wandering around pumping up the fans as well. And we head back to the arena as Raw’s MVP heads out to the ring to his fantastic theme music and arm in arm with his beautiful valet. JR calls the relationship between Santino and Maria a great mystery, and the King backs him up. Santino with the mike and he says he will put the rumors to rest and that Austin will not be here. He compares him to Kobe Bryant in that he is bald, popular and does not want to be in Los Angeles. Santino says we have an absolute celebrity in the audience and then points out the director of the Condemned, Scott Wiper. He says that Wiper should not get upset because not everything can be good and asks him if he wished the prop guns were real so he could blow his brains out durign shooting, but corrects himself and says that was the audience who wished that. He says we will have no glass breaking, no can of the ass whip, no stomping of the mud pie and no JR reaching the point of orgasm here tonight. Santino is about to punctuate it with the bottom lines, but the glass does break and Stone Cold is heading to the ring. The crowd is hot for Austin as he does his customary poses and we can see that he has the Condemned DVD in hand. Austin introduces himself and says he has heard the things that Santino has been saying and that he is doesn’t like how Santino has been mis-quoting Austin. He explains what a can of whoop-ass and stomping a mud hole are all about, nearly cracking up in the process. Santino says he understands and that he speaks English, as well as “Italian, obviously”. Santino says he likes to say more than one thing sometimes, which is why he pluralizes “bottom lines”. Santino thanks him for the education. Austin asks him if he watched the Condemned and Santino says yes. Austin asks him what he thinks. Santino says he is a redneck, but Austin cuts him off and asks about the movie again. Santino says the movie was so violent that he almost threw up and had to leave the room. Santino says he did not watch the extras because he had to turn off the TV as soon as the movie ended. Austin appreciates the honesty, but is upset that Santino ran his mouth for weeks. Austin offers a beer to Santino to bury the hatchet. Santino says he would rather have a glass of wine as Austin’s beer burns his throat. Austin says that is OK and offers to give Santino a copy of the Condemned DVD as a gift and olive branch. Santino mockingly reads the cover of DVD and then tosses it to the mat and steps on it. Marella says he won’t put himself through that again and Austin nails the stunner. Austin says he will be right back and sits Santino up in the corner, putting the DVD in his mouth. Austin heads to the back and Maria heads in the ring to tend to Santino. The glass breaks again and Austin drives out in a Budweiser truck and it looks like we are in for a beer bath. Austin has the hose and he gets in the ring and blasts Santino with it. Marella is great here as he flips and flops around. Austin finally puts him down with a right hand and celebrates with a few beers of his own. The music stops as Austin catches a glimpse of Maria. Maria is up and begging Austin off, but Steve turns the hose on her and blasts her as well. That was a pretty fun segment. Yeah, I know people will have issue with Austin laying him out, but the crowd loved it and I don’t think Santino looked nearly as bad as he could have. They didn’t have him back off or cower from Austin, but instead he stood right up to him and talked shit to his face. Austin didn’t dominate him too badly, just landing a Stunner before busting out the beer hose. It was a fun segment overall and I enjoyed seeing Austin back out there having fun. Plus, how can you possibly hate any segment where we see Maria soaking wet in a flimsy dress and rolling around the ring in a puddle of beer?
– Back from break and we get our weekly SAVE_US video. This one asks us if we can break the code, which is where the answer apparently lies. JR and King recap the madness that we just experienced. We head to the back and Vince is with his illegitimate son. Vince says he knows a lot about parenting, as he is not the Coach of the Eagles. Vince says it was him that got Little Mac out of all his situations with the Coach. Vince tells Hornswoggle that he loves him, but that he will have to stand on his own two feet at Survivor Series. Vince says size does matter and that we will learn that at Survivor Series when Hornswoggle takes on…the Great Khali, who walks in and stares down Little Mac. JR is aghast and wishes it was joke, but assures us that it is not. JR and King run down the PPV card for us, just reviewing the four matches we already know. We head backstage again and Triple H lets us know that management wants him to waste some time while the ring is cleaned up. Michaels comes in and says he took care of everything. Triple H introduces the “D-Generation X dancers” and we get the return of Big Dick Johnson, oil and all. Trips is pissed and said he asked for dancers, plural. Michaels says he is sorry but that he is a father of two and only knows Hinckley Town Heroes and Dora the Explorer and that he doesn’t know cool. Hunter says it is a good thing he is always prepared as introduces the real DX dancers, straight from the Playboy Mansion: Kendra and Bridget, the Girls Next Door. They get down with Hunter as we head to break.
4) Cody Rhodes defeats Trevor Murdoch with a sunset flip
JR lets us know that Wrestlemania has already broken the Rolling Stones’ ticket sales record at the Citrus Bowl. Cody makes his way to the ring and is flanked by Hardcore Holly. We cut backstage to see Cade and Murdoch walking to the ring. Mickie James pops in and wishes Trevor luck, but Cade pushes him along and tells him to stay focused. The bell rings and Murdoch starts things off with a big chop. Cody quickly reverses things, but Trevor is able to land a kick to the throat to put Cody back down. Murdoch lands a snap mare and reverse chinlock. Cody battles up and lands a big bulldog and then drives a knee to the head for 2. Trevor back up and he whips Cody to the buckle, but catches a knee on a charge. Holly keeps Cade at bay for a moment as Cody heads up top. The ref admonishes Holly allowing Cade to trip Cody up, but he recovers and leaps over a charging Murdoch. Cody then lands a sunset flip for the win. Cade is pissed at Trevor as Holly gets in the ring and stares at Cody. Grade: 1.5
– We head back to the table as JR and King give a nice eulogy for the Fabulous Moolah and then we get a touching tribute package celebrating her career and life. We fade back and the crowd gives a really nice ovation and breaks into a “Moolah” chant which was really classy.
– Back from break and we see Dusty Hill from ZZ Top and Jamie Kennedy in the crowd and then head to the ring.
5) Jim Duggan and Super Crazy defeat the World’s Greatest Tag Team when Super Crazy pins Shelton Benjamin with a roll up
We start off with dueling “Ho” and “Si” chants from the faces. Crazy and Haas start things off as Duggan rallies the crowd. Haas takes control and tags Shelton in. Shelton keeps control and the two quick tag a bit as they keep beating down Crazy with some basic offense. Shelton is taunting Crazy as he crawls towards Duggan, but knocks Hacksaw off the apron just before Crazy can tag. Crazy floats over and is able to roll up Shelton for the shocking win. Duggan is in and knocks Shelton to the floor. That was just an odd mess but at least it looks like we are getting the tag division back up and running a bit. Grade: .5
– Damn, just when I thought we could get through the night without the X-Box ad with the kids singing, it shows up in the last quarter hour to haunt my dreams. The WWE Rewind recaps the happenings from last week that set up tonight’s Main Event.
6) Triple H & Shawn Michaels defeat Randy Orton & Umaga when Shawn Michaels pins Randy Orton after a Superkick
DX enters the ring and the four men go at it immediately. Orton is tossed out and DX assaults Umaga, ducking a charge and sending him out as well. Shawn lands a somersault Senton on Umaga and Triple H heads out to beat on Orton. Randy and Hunter end up in the ring, where DX takes control, working the arm. Orton is able to reverse momentum and tag in Umaga. Shawn goes for a sunset flip, but Umaga blocks it and tries to sit on him. Shawn moves and is able to tag Hunter as Umaga lands hard on the mat. Trips hits a DDT and then lands a boot to Umaga on a charge in the corner. Trips charges, but Umaga catches him and lands a big sidewalk slam as we head off to break. We are back and Umaga is still in control on the Game. Hunter is slumped in the corner and Umaga charges, but Trips is able to avoid the impact. Umaga tags Orton, but Hunter takes him down as well and both men are down. Hunter crawls over and hot tags Shawn, who comes in and lands a flying forearm on Orton. Inverted atomic drop and bodyslam lead to the big elbow by Shawn. However, Umaga comes in and catches Michaels with a big clothesline. Orton and Umaga continue to beat on Michaels and regain control the match. Orton lands a really nice standing dropkick for 2 and then goes for the Orton Stomp. Umaga in and lands a huge splash as Michaels is near death. After more of the beatdown, Umaga heads to the second rope, but HBK is able to avoid the diving headbutt and the crowd is trying to rally him to a tag. Shawn is able to slowly crawl over, but Umaga grabs Shawn’s foot leading to a Michaels Enziguri. Umaga crawls over and Orton tags himself in, but Michaels hot tags Triple H and is in and is a house of fire on both men. Hunter sends Umaga into the ring post and lands a huge Spinebuster on Orton. He loads up the Pedigree, but Umaga breaks it up with the Samoan Spike. Both men are down, but Orton eventually crawls over and gets a 2. I thought for sure that was the finish. Umaga is tagged back in and he drags Triple H to the corner. Umaga charges again and this time he lands the running butt slam. He then heads over and knocks Michaels from the apron. Umaga goes for a springboard butt splash off the bottom rope, but Triple H gets his knees up. Orton tags himself back in again and lines up the RKO as Hunter struggles to his feet. Triple H shoves Orton off on the attempt, and Randy careens into Umaga, who was on the apron. Hunter tags Michaels who crushes Orton with a quick Sweet Chin Music for the victory in a really hot match. That was just a classic tag match and all four men looked really good in it, especially Umaga. I liked how they basically had 4 heat segments mixed in as well, which worked out nicely since the crowd was so into it. Grade: 3
Well, the in ring action was nothing special, but this show was a ton of fun to watch and felt a bit reminiscent of an episode from 1999, beer bath and all. I also think we may have seen the most tag matches on one episode of Raw since the promotion was loaded with teams at the turn of the century. JR was on fire tonight as well, landing some good lines and a couple of funny jabs throughout the night. Hell, even the King was pretty tolerable tonight, which is always a plus. The Santino/Austin showdown was a good payoff to all the build and, as mentioned above, I thought Santino came out of it all just fine. The tag match in the middle was really good and Jeff seems so primed for a Main Event run it isn’t even funny. I hope they pull the trigger as he is just super over and on fire in the ring. In lieu of solid in ring action, we got a ton of storyline and character development tonight, which is just as good when done right. In addition, we got a touching Moolah tribute combined with a classy “Moolah” chant by the fans. The Main Event was also really good and all four men looked excellent in it. To top it all off, the crowd was red hot all night and that always makes a show even better. If they can stay this hot over the next two weeks, Survivor Series can end up being one of the hottest shows of the year and that…is a good thing. Final Grade: B+
MVP: Santino Marella
Runner Up: Jeff Hardy
Honorary MVP: Fabulous Moolah
Non MVP: World’s Greatest Tag Team
Runner Up: Mr. Kennedy