TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE Raw (03.26.07)

March 26, 2007
Chicago, IL
AllState Arena

The current WWE champions are as follows:
WWE Champion: John Cena (9/17/2006)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Umaga (2/19/2007)
World Tag Team Champions: John Cena & Shawn Michaels (1/29/2007)
WWE Women’s Champion: Melina (2/19/2007)

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

Mr. McMahon’s Executive Assistant Jonathan Coachman is in the ring and immediately announces that the match between Bobby Lashley and Vince McMahon is now a no-DQ match. Any outside interference will lead to a fine and suspension. Before Coach can leave, he’s interrupted by STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN. He will be the special referee during the Battle of the Billionaires match at WrestleMania 23. Austin says that during the week, he was receiving all kinds of gifts. He thought they were from Donald Trump when in reality they were from the offices of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Coach is sweating bullets. Austin considers disqualifying Vince right now and threatens to bring Mr. McMahon out to the ring right now and shave his head bald. Coach admits he was the one who sent Austin the gifts. He was just doing what he thought Mr. McMahon would want him to do, but Mr. McMahon had nothing to do with it. All he can do is apologize. Austin explains that what he says goes in the ring when he’s the special referee at WrestleMania. He tells Coach not to mess with him in the ring or out of the ring. Coach is crystal clear on that and when Austin wants to leave, Coach gets Austin’s attention and exclaims that bald is beautiful. Austin isn’t amused and drops him with a STONE COLD STUNNER. Now it’s Miller time!

Once he’s done pouring beer on his mouth, it’s time to leave. He’s driving out of the arena in his giant Dodge Ram truck when Vince McMahon’s limo pulls in and blocks his path. When Mr. McMahon’s limo pulls up beside Austin, Vince stands up out the sunroof ready to let this guy have it. He decides to play nice when he realizes who the driver is. Austin gives Vince the bird and drives off. Vince then gets out of the limo, beats up his driver, and fires him on the spot.

  • Ashley, Torrie Wilson & Candice Michelle vs. Melina, Jillian Hall & Victoria

Apparently, the WrestleMania match between WWE Women’s Champ Melina and Ashley will be a Lumberjill Match. Melina slaps Ashley across the face, but Ashley NO-SELLS. Candice plays the Playboy Bunny-in-peril. Melina hits a tree-of-woe splash and mocks Candice’s dance. Jillian misses a handspring legdrop. Hot tag to Ashley. Ashley actually hits a hurracanrana before getting her hair yanked by Melina. Ashley still manages to block a Jillian handspring elbow and finish with the Victory Roll. (3:22) And that’s that. ¾*

They air a Bobby Lashley and Umaga hype video for WrestleMania 23.

  • CM Punk vs. Kenny Dykstra

We are in Chicago, motherf-ckers. You know they love their CM Punk. Dykstra attacks before the bell and gets some heat on Punk. The Rolling Clotheslines get two. Finally, Punk knees out of a suplex. Dykstra blocks the corner knee, but takes a springboard clothesline. Punk finally hits the corner knee and finishes with the GO2SLEEP. (3:58) Edge congratulates Punk from backstage and invites him to be on the Cutting Edge – NEXT. *½

More Bobby Lashley and Umaga footage with Lashley flying THROUGH a cage wall to fall onto Umaga from ECW on Sci-Fi.

  • The Cutting Edge

Edge’s guests are all of the other contestants in the Money in the Bank match. That would be the Hardy Boyz, Finlay, King Booker, Randy Orton, Mr. Kennedy, and of course CM Punk. It turns into a verbal sparing session between Edge and everyone else. Matt gets in a dig on Lita as he retorts. Orton accuses Edge of ducking out of matches. Mr. Kennedy gets cut off as Edge yanks the mic away. Jeff Hardy is Jeff Hardy. Punk gets a big pop as he gets in Edge’s face, but Edge shoves him into Kennedy to trigger a pier-six brawl. Edge escapes in the melee, but everyone soon realizes what’s happened and chases after him.

John Cena cuts a promo about the bigness of WrestleMania 23. Maria holds the mic so well. She genuinely looks interested in what he has to say and reacts accordingly to everything he says. Besides she’s wonderful to look at, she actually adds to the promo. She’s not just a beautiful mic stand.

Even more Bobby Lashley footage. He’s about to meet Vince McMahon – NEXT!

  • No-DQ Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Vince McMahon

McMahon comes out wearing a sweat shirt and jeans. The barber shop gimmick is set up by the ramp and Vince makes sure to play around with the scissors. Of course, this is all just a ruse to get Lashley out here so Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch can attack him. It seems like Vince should be able to pay for better help because Lashley quickly disposes of them. Chris Masters runs out and tries to apply the Master Lock, but Lashley counters to the Uncle Slam. Johnny Nitro comes down and takes a spinebuster and a powerslam. Finally, Umaga comes down – AND IT’S BREAKIN’ LOOSE IN CHICAGO! Umaga and Lashley go toe-to-toe until Vince kicks Lashley in the nuts. That leads to the Samoan Drop and Vince covers Lashley for the win. (2:27) The beating continues as Umaga gives Lashley a flying splash, the Buttalanche, and the SAMOAN SPIKE. Hoping he’s foreshadowing what will go down this Sunday, Vince pins Lashley again for the lulz, I suppose. ½*

During the break, Todd Grisham asked Vince McMahon about the controversial ending to his match. Vince pinned Bobby Lashley just like he said he would and is convinced Umaga will do it again this Sunday at WrestleMania. In case Grisham doesn’t believe Vince, Vince decides to ask Donald Trump himself what he thinks. A shaven Eugene dressed as Donald Trump appears. McMahon thinks that anyone who bets against him is mentally retarded. He pulls off the wig and makes Eugene open his limo door. Poor Eugene. He looks like a less retarded Howard Finkel.

  • The Hardy Boyz vs. Randy Orton & Mr. Kennedy

Kennedy and Orton’s tag-team chemistry is a bit off early as Kennedy puts his boot up on the buckle, but Orton has a front facelock on Jeff. Arn and Tully, they ain’t. Kennedy tosses Jeff to the floor. Garvin Stomp from Orton. Randy really needs to start wearing a towel around his neck to complete the image. Matt gets the hot tag. There’s a Side Effect for Kennedy. And one for Orton. The Hardyz hit Poetry in Motion on Orton, but Kennedy simply gets out of the way. Everyone else in the world is an idiot for not doing that. Matt tries to improvise with a Twist of Fate on Kennedy, but Kennedy shoves him into an RKO for the win. (4:28) Orton and Kennedy should be a decent tag team, but this was not their finest moment. **

Your next inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame is Jim Ross! Best PBP guy ever – hands down.

  • The Great Khali vs. Ric Flair

Flair fires off several chops, but Khali NO-SELLS and backdrops him. Khali takes it to the floor and he’s about to TREE SLAM Flair on the steps, but Carlito makes the save and takes a TREE SLAM instead. That’s enough for the DQ. (0:58) Kane comes down carrying a hook on a chain and chases Khali into the crowd. Yes, Kane versus Khali is actually supposed to be a match at WrestleMania 23. ¼*

Shawn Michaels gets his own promo time, but no Maria. He says John Cena represents every other big name that ever said they were the greatest.

  • John Cena & Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker & Batista

We have about five minutes left so this probably isn’t going anywhere interesting especially since the Undertaker’s entrance eats up half of that time. Taker attacks Cena, but Cena fires back. Huge heel heat for that. Cena avoids a boot and goes for the FU, but Taker slips off his shoulder and goes for the chokeslam. Shawn makes the save, but Batista clotheslines him over. Taker sends Cena out and the Smackdown guys are about to go at it. Cena breaks it up though. Taker and Cena trade blows with the crowd going YAY and BOO. Batista tags himself in and clotheslines John Cena. Taker boots Shawn as Batista spinebusters Cena. Batista calls for the Demon Bomb, but Taker press slams Shawn into him. Taker walks out leaving Cena and Shawn to hit Batista with every finisher known to man. The 10-Knuckle Shuffle connects. Oh, but Shawn hits Cena with Sweet Chin Music becoming the biggest babyface in Chicago! Batista rolls into a cover and picks up the win. (6:39) I think everyone had to see that coming. **

So that’s the hard sell for WrestleMania 23 from the RAW brand. We will still be looking at ECW and Smackdown brand, so expect more Bobby Lashley!

Until next time, so long for now.

WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Batista (c) vs. The Undertaker
BATTLE OF THE BILLIONAIRES HAIR MATCH w/ Stone Cold Steve Austin as Special Guest Referee:
Bobby Lashley (Donald Trump) vs. Umaga (Vince McMahon)
WWE U.S. Championship: Chris Benoit (c) vs. MVP
Lumberjill Match for the WWE Women’s Championship: Melina (c) vs. Ashley
Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
Edge vs. Finlay vs. King Booker vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy vs. CM Punk vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Randy Orton
Kane vs. The Great Khali
The Sandman, Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer & Sabu vs.
Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Matt Striker & Kevin Thorn

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