Monday, July 30, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 07/30/07 from Tucson, AZ.

The Big News: Randy Orton cost John Cena a match against Carlito.

Conclusive Finishes: 6 of 8.

Show Analysis:

I want to thank Steve Khan for filling in last week.

John Cena came out to start the show. He cut a cutesy promo about how he will retain his title against Randy Orton like he always does. Carlito came out and said they would be bringing back Carlito’s Cabana. He pointed out that he beat Cena for the United States title. Cena dismissed Carlito by making jokes about how long ago that was. Mr. Kennedy then came out, and childishly bickered with Carlito over who deserves a title shot more.

Cena challenged each man to prove himself, and suggested Kennedy vs. Lashley and Carlito vs. Cena. This segment was way too cute and joke oriented. It’s an ineffective way to build a title match, and the humor wasn’t even funny. It had that artificial WWE writing team humor where the segment feels fake and the humor totally forced.

Melina, Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall defeated Maria, Mickie James and Candice Michelle. The women looked really motivated, although the match was on the sloppy side. The heels worked over Candice briefly, but Candice hit a side Russian leg sweep and made the tag to Maria.

Maria hit some clotheslines and a bulldog on Melina. Candice was sent to the outside and landed on Santino. I think they were telling the story that he was temporarily infatuated with her, but the camera wasn’t on this and the announcers didn’t sell that at all. With Santino distracted, Melina and Jillian hit a double team face buster on Maria for the pin.

After a commercial break, Santino was complaining in the ring. He said he was disgusted by the officiating, and blamed the referee for missing the double team. The crowd treated this as total comedy. Umaga came down to the ring, at which point Santino said he has no problem with Umaga and asked the referee to please stop him. The referee instead called for the bell. Umaga quickly destroyed Santino again with a running butt drop and Samoan spike. This was an amusing segment.

King Booker backstage said that Jerome’s reign as king is over, and that HHH can watch it on TV. Elsewhere, Randy Orton said that nobody wants to face him, and he will win the title at SummerSlam like he did in 2004 (from Chris Benoit). Sgt. Slaughter made a cameo and challenged Orton to a match.

Cody Rhodes defeated Daivari with a clothesline, crossbody, bulldog and DDT. Prior to the match, Cody Rhodes spoke with Coach. Coach said he didn’t want to see Cody hurt like Dusty. As such, he said that if Cody laid a finger on Randy Orton, he would no longer have a career on Raw. He added that if Cody won this match, he would get to stay on Raw but if he lost he would be gone.

Mr. Kennedy pinned Bobby Lashley. Lashley hit a vertical suplex early, but Kennedy took over by kicking Lashley’s shoulder into the ring steps. The spot looked good, and Kennedy went after the shoulder and arm for the rest of the match. Lashley tried to fight back with clotheslines and went for the spear, but he ran into a knee. Kennedy then scored the pin. This match told a simple but effective story, and it was gutsy of them to put over Kennedy so cleanly. It’s also a positive for Lashley to show vulnerability in an effort to get him over more as a face.

Jerry Lawler beat King Booker via DQ. The crowd seemed really into this. Booker hit some forearms, and Lawler retaliated with punches. Lawler hit an elbow drop, but Booker got his foot on the ropes. Booker hit a thrust kick, and then kept punching Lawler in the corner. Eventually he was disqualified, which was a pretty lame finish but perfectly acceptable when done rarely to set up a future match where the issue will be settled. Lawler attacked Booker again after the match.

Cryme Tyme beat John Mason and Brandon Dentson with the G9. After the match, Cryme Tyme sold off the loser’s boots for $40. That was a cool idea, but it went on for a little too long.

Randy Orton beat Sgt. Slaughter. Orton spent much of the match applying a headlock. It was quite the headlock. Eventually it was broken, and Slaughter used the cobra clutch. Orton got to the ropes, hit the RKO, and scored the pin. He kicked Slaughter in the head after the match for good measure and Slaughter was carried out on a stretcher.

Carlito beat John Cena. Cena dominated much of the match. He hit some shoulder blocks and the Cena slam. He was going for the five knuckle shuffle when Orton attempted to interfere. I say attempt because it didn’t quite work. But in any event, Carlito hit the back stabber from behind for the pin. After the match Carlito spit apple in Cena’s face.

Final Thoughts:

This was a pretty straight forward. I’m glad that the decline in ratings hasn’t resulted in panic and desperation booking.


Anonymous mean dean said...

Pretty much all I saw was the span from Kennedy v. Lashley through Cody v. Daivari, and I enjoyed it pretty well. I was ecstatic at the Kennedy/Lashley match on so many levels:
-Kennedy getting a clean win
-Kennedy getting a clean win over someone they've built as strongly as Lashley
-Working a body part actually being important in a match
-Lashley being shown as having little vulnerability
-Having a finish that wasn't just "finisher or cheap win."

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Dave S. said...

I think the Kennedy-Lashley result indicates a de-push for Lasley, which is fantastic. I just wish they hadn't jobbed out Kennedy since his move to Raw, because this win could have meant even more for him.

Also, I was under the impression that HHH would come back before Summerslam, and his first match back would be against Booker on the ppv. Now it seems like HHH is just going to show up at Summerslam and do nothing. This really seems like a waste.

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The writers try to do that cute comedy stuff because it worked with Rock back in 1999-2000. The argument is that comedy doesn't equate to ratings or ticket sales, but Rock was different. Cena's comedy is just too forced and un-funny, but he's going by what was written.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Lashley is legit injured which explains that result.
-- This new effort to enforce the rules consistently isn't going to work with this writing staff. On one hand, you have Booker DQed for punching Lawler in the corner and then in the womens match, there's no attempt at a five count.
-- Why was Jeff Hardy not on this show? He's the number three babyface on the brand and now number two with Lashley out. And if he's feuding with Umaga, why do that psuedo-face turn of Umaga in the segment with Santino?
-- That Crime Time segment was a total bomb, largely because it went far too long.
-- This edition of Raw featured some of the worst wrestling in a long time between the negative stars womens match, Orton-Slaughter and Lawler-Booker.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous MAZ said...

I took the opportunity to flip the channel from Shark week to see if there was anything worth viewing on RAW. Unfortunately, I changed to see Randy Orton taking on Sgt Slaughter. Quickly flipped back to Shark week.

At some point, they really need to change Orton's name from Legend Killer to Has-Been Killer.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking, man the roster must be REALLY thin for them to put Slaughter back in action.

If they really want to get Orton way over as a heel, have him beat somebody up that's legit. Does anybody really care that Dusty and the Sarge got their heads knocked off?

I think that was the end of the Santino character. Sure seem like they are leading up to that. Talk about burrying someone.

It was a VERY weak show.
Cena/Kennedy/Carlito segment=dud
Santino/Umaga segment=dud
King Booker + Jerry Lawler=dud
Cryme Time=dud

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Last night, Jeff Hardy was sent home by WWE. The reason at this time is not known. Original reports from earlier today indicated that he was a no show. His program with Umaga has been dropped and it seems that Umaga will now be a face character

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Umaga goes face, then you have Cena, Lashley, Hardy, HHH and Umaga as your faces.

Heels seem to be Orton, Booker & Kennedy.

Typically, the productions go much smoother when your heels outnumber the faces. If Lashley and Hardy are out of action, it's less of an issue.

Speaking of the #1 contender, I don't see it for Orton. Orton is sitting at #10 in the WWE Power 25 poll and he's the #1 contender? It makes no sense.

8:38 AM  
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7:15 PM  

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