TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE RAW (04.23.07)

WWE: RAW
April 23, 2007
London, England
Earls Court

The current WWE champions are as follows:
WWE Champion: John Cena (9/17/2006)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Santino Marella (4/16/2007)
World Tag Team Champions: The Hardy Boyz (4/2/2007)
WWE Women’s Champion: Melina (2/19/2007)

Read along if you have the WWE Network!

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

Shane McMahon comes out to start the show. He looks “dressed to compete” in his baseball jersey. Shane sets up a video package highlighting audience member Santino Marella upsetting Umaga for the IC title last week with some huge help from Bobby Lashley. Being that it is St. George’s Day in the UK, someone in the audience will get the opportunity to slay the biggest, meanest dragon of them all: Shane McMahon himself. To up the ante, he makes it a NO-DQ match. Shane says most of these ham and eggers wouldn’t last mere seconds. Premier League football manager José Mourinho gets pointed out for a loud negative reaction. Shane says he has hand-picked a guy he saw beat up most of Mourinho’s football club last night in a pub – and the crowd loves it turning Shane face. McMahon brings out Liverpool’s own Robbie Brookside. He looks like a smaller version of Edge from 1998 with the long hair. Brookside wrestled all across the world for nearly thirty years and won championships in the UK and Germany. He wrestled for a short time in WCW in 1997. Although he has worked dark matches for WWE in the past when they came to England, this is the one and only time he has appeared on WWE TV. Brookside currently works for WWE as a coach for NXT.

  • No-DQ Match: Shane McMahon vs. Robbie Brookside

Being several pounds (or stones) heavier than Brookside, Shane wrestles him down and gives him the COAST TO COAST with the trash can. Shane gets on the mic and makes this a handicap match by bringing out his tag partner UMAGA. Awesome.

  • No-DQ Match: Shane McMahon & Umaga (w/Armando Alejandro Estrada) vs. Robbie Brookside

Umaga comes out and gives Brookside the Buttalanche followed by the SAMOAN SPLASH. Shane forgot to mention that this is a 3-on-1 handicap match. Everybody makes mistakes! Mr. McMahon comes out wearing a sweet derby hat to cover that bald head.

  • No-DQ Match: Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon & Umaga (w/Armando Alejandro Estrada) vs. Robbie Brookside

Vince sees Brookside as some sort of sacrifice to him and aggressively covers him for the super easy three-count at 6:50.

LIVE! TOMORROW NIGHT ON ECW: ECW world champ Bobby Lashley takes on Umaga!

They air a dramatic video recap of the WrestleMania 23 main event with what sounds to me like background music from “The Princess Bride” OST.

WWE REWIND brought to you by Just for Men: RAW, 4/16/07. Lance Cade destroys Jeff Hardy with a lariat.

  • Matt Hardy (w/Jeff Hardy) vs. Trevor Murdoch (w/Lance Cade)

Ever notice they book the tag title feuds the same no matter which brand? The heel challengers win a non-title match, split the teams up into singles matches where the heels win, and then boom: time for a PPV match where you decide where to go with the tag belts. Murdoch cools off Matt’s hot start by yanking him out of the corner causing him to crash on the back of his head. Lawler thinks Murdoch should have covered him there, but he’s just too mean and wants to beat up Hardy up some more. Murdoch misses a flying elbow drop allowing Matt to come back. The running bulldog, the Side Effect, and the Flying Leg Drop all score. Lance Cade distracts Hardy as he calls for the Twist of Fate. Murdoch then grabs Matt from behind and throws him into the corner for the ACE OF SPADES (modified Canadian Destroyer) to get the three-count. (3:46) Does Murdoch really need that type of finish? It seems like a brainbuster or a heart punch would suit his character more than something flashy. ¾*

  • Melina vs. Maria

Todd Grisham is fairly cringey at ring announcing. Maria slams Melina’s head into the mat with a handful of hair a few times and hits a clothesline before Melina slings her face to the canvas for the win at 1:05.

In the back, Ric Flair goes up to Carlito only to be blown off by him. Nobody blows off the Nature Boy. Kids today, I tell ya.

  • The Great Khali vs. Carlito

Carlito runs into Khali early and decides to try to chop his legs out from under him. That doesn’t work either. Carlito rakes the eyes and goes up, but Khali just swats him out of the air. There’s the Brain Chop and the TREE SLAM to put away Carlito. (2:02) Ric Flair tries to check on Carlito and gets chewed out in Spanish. Didn’t catch it all, but Carlito said something about heart. ½*

Backstage, Mick Foley talks about the Make-A-Wish foundation and hypes the RAW main event for Backlash. Edge appears out of nowhere and thanks the kid who got his wish made by becoming RAW GM for a night a few weeks back and made the fatal four way match. Tonight, Edge plans to take out Randy Orton in their main event match. Before that though, he plans to sit down on a comfy recliner and watch Shawn Michaels and John Cena tear each other apart. I like the idea that they have this stand-by match planned for after the Cena/HBK match. Just like the old days, it gives you the feeling that you don’t have any clue how long their match will go.

  • John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels

Cena plays some head games with HBK to start attempting the STFU whenever he can get it. Shawn has enough and decides to stop trying to wrestle and turn this into a brawl. Cena proves he brawl too! So yeah, let’s go to a commercial. We return to see Cena grounding Shawn with a headlock. Shawn fights out and starts chopping, but then runs into a boot in the corner and eats a clothesline. Back to the headlock, Shawn escapes again and goes for SWEET CHIN MUSIC as Cena comes off the ropes. Cena sees it coming and puts on the brakes. HBK charges and runs into a possible FU, but Shawn grabs hold of the top rope and heads to the floor to regroup. Commercials! AND NOW WE’RE BACK! Shawn has Cena cornered and delivers some back elbows. Cena fires back and catches Shawn for a front powerslam. That gets two. Release fisherman’s suplex gets two. Throwback gets two. They exchange blows, but then Cena delivers a backdrop for two. Suplex by Cena fails as Shawn lands on his feet and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Flying Forearm has both men down. Shawn kips up and makes his comeback. Flying Elbow Drop? Yes! He tunes up the band and instead surprises Cena with a backslide instead of SWEET CHIN MUSIC for 1-2-NO! Cena misses a crossbody block and tumbles to the floor. Shawn goes to meet him with a pescado, but Cena catches him in mid-air. A snake eyes into the ringpost misses as HBK slips out and shoves Cena into the ring steps! Another commercial break! We come back to see Michaels working over Cena’s arm by running him into the ringpost. Shawn grabs a hammerlock on the mat and hooks the other arm to try and get a pinfall, but he only gains nearfalls. Cena slams out and starts unloading with running shoulderblocks. As we have come to expect, the Protobomb sets up the Five Knuckle Shuffle. The whole time Cena is selling the left arm and shaking it loose to ‘get the feeling back’ in it. They trade finisher attempts – ending with an FU from Cena! Cover, 1-2-NO! Commercials.

When we return, Cena literally dumps Michaels to the floor and backs him into the ringpost. Back inside, he gets a two-count. Shawn tries to avoid a suplex and Cena pounds the back to assure Shawn that he is going to in fact pull off this suplex. Nice bit of psychology there. Anyways, the suplex gets two. Cena grabs a bearhug, but leaves himself wide open for Shawn to elbow his way out, which he does. Cena reverses a cross corner whip and sends HBK out as now he’s doing the Harley Race bump. Back in the ring, the Flying Famouser by Cena gets 1-2-NO! Cena takes a limp Shawn Michaels over to a corner for a SUPER FU, but HBK avoids that and powerbombs Cena out of the corner! As both men get to their feet, Cena tries to sneak in the STFU, but Shawn kicks him out to the apron. Once Cena stands up, Shawn charges and bumps Cena off onto the announce table. Now Shawn gets serious as he takes off the top half of the ring steps for a possible piledriver, but Cena backdrops out and crawls back into the ring. More commercials. We return to see Cena and Shawn scrambling on the announce table beating the heck out of each other. Before ref Mike Chioda DQ’s Cena, they head back into the ring for the STFU, which is the move that made him submit in their match at WrestleMania 23. Will Shawn tap?! Nope. He makes the ropes. Once again, they trade finisher attempts and this time Shawn pulls off SWEET CHIN MUSIC. Slow cover gets 1-2-NO! Cena grabs the bottom rope. Shawn corners Cena and starts to unload again, but then Cena reverses the cross corner whip. Shawn does his VINTAGE corner bump and turns around into the FU, but he LANDS ON HIS FEET after he leaves Cena’s shoulders and hits SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Unbelievable. Michaels falls on top of the champ for the 1-2-3. (38:07 shown) Now THAT’S more like it. Shawn carried Cena on an unbelievable 55-minute ride and showed him the proper way to work a match if you’re going to be a WWE champion when you don’t have relaxed rules like for example a no-disqualification match to protect you. ****¾

If you go back and watch any part of my Ten Years After series from 2007, GO BACK AND WATCH THIS ONE MATCH. It was excellent.

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