TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE RAW (06.11.07)

WWE: RAW
June 11, 2007
Wilkes-Barre, PA
Wachovia Arena

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: Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch (6/4/2007)
WWE Women’s Champion: Melina (4/24/2007)
ECW World Champion: Bobby Lashley (6/3/2007)
World Heavyweight Champion: Edge (5/11/2007)
WWE United States Champion: MVP (5/20/2007)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Deuce & Domino (4/20/2007)
WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Chavo Guerrero (2/18/2007)

It’s time for the 2007 WWE DRAFT!

It’s Mr. McMahon APPRECIATION Night!

It’s a THREE-HOUR RAW!

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole & JBL, and Joey Styles & Tazz.

The show begins with Mr. McMahon reading a prepared statement with zero inflection in his voice. He says there had been speculation that losing the ECW world title has had an adverse effect on his psyche, but assures us he’s in complete control of his faculties. Being that tonight is Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night, we will hear UNCUT – UNCOOKED – UNCENSORED comments from various people throughout the evening concerning how these individuals feel about him and warns the families watching. He wants tonight to be a true representation of his life. He slowly looks up from his paper at the camera and we are off to the races.

The winner of every match tonight earns a draft pick for their brand!

  • John Cena vs. Edge

They go back and forth to start until Edge kicks Cena to the floor. Edge has a hard time keeping Cena down though. He cuts off Cena with a spinning heel kick, but fights the ref over a two-count. Cena grabs him for an FU, but Edge slips away and rolls him up for two. As soon as Cena stands back up and turns around, he’s met with a big boot. Cena escapes a chinlock and tries the STFU, but Edge is in the ropes. Cena finds the Throwback to mount his VINTAGE COMEBACK~! Protobomb sets up the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Edge knows it’s coming and tries to spear him down. Cena sees the counter coming as well and avoids the charge causing Edge to fly out to the floor. Cena follows him out to the floor and wants to FU Edge off the steps through the ECW announce table, but Edge claws him in the eyes and shoves Cena into the table. With the ten-count still going, Edge sneaks back into the ring just before the ten-count and wins the match. (6:54) Safe finish even though it makes Cena look rather silly. The match was standard for these guys. **½

DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN: The Great Khali! Edge looks scared while Cena appears to be relieved.

We get an excerpt from the McMahon DVD where he briefly talks about his upbringing, an instance where his dad pushed his weight around, how he became an announcer, and the birth of the Mr. McMahon character.

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Governor Ventura. Of course he mentions the Navy SEALS. He refuses to refer to Vince McMahon as “Mr.” McMahon because he never did when they were commentators together. He calls Vince a dictator and not a benevolent one. And in the end, all dictators will and do fail. We’re already off to a worked shoot start!

Outside Mr. McMahon’s office, his executive assistant Jonathan Coachman announces that the WWE title will be defended at the “Vengeance: Night of Champions” PPV with an open challenge in mind. Any former or current world champion currently on the RAW roster can compete in the match.

WWE SLAM OF THE WEEK (brought to you by Gatorade): RAW, 6/4/07. Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade winning the world tag titles and then attacking the Hardyz afterwards.

  • CM Punk vs. Carlito

Punk takes a slap to the face and then returns the favor. He buries some knees into Carlito’s head and goes for the knee in the corner, but Carlito catches him in mid-air. Punk kicks him back and comes off the middle rope for a double sledge only to eat a dropkick. Carlito concentrates on the previously injured ribs, but Punk reverses a body scissors to a Boston crab. He comes back with the Springboard Clothesline for two. Punk hits the Corner Knee and tries the Bulldog, but Carlito shoves him off into the opposite corner and delivers the BACKSTABBER. However, Punk bounces out of the ring. While Carlito probably could have won via countout, we don’t want to see two countouts in a row. He tosses Punk back into the ring for 1-2-NO! Punk then blocks another Backstabber from happening and delivers the GO2SLEEP for the win. (4:51) I feel like these two could have a decent match somewhere down the line with more time. *½

DRAFTED TO ECW: The Boogeyman! No, really!

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Snoop Dogg. He appreciated everything Vince had done for wrestling, such as monopolizing it and taking all the money for himself. He reminded Vince of being humbled by Cena and Austin and having his head shoved up Big Show’s butt. Hilarious.

They next air a video package that highlighted the worst side of Mr. McMahon.

Next up, Mick Foley comes out to say he is still on the RAW roster and since he is a former three-time WWE champ, he’s throwing his hat into the ring for that open challenge WWE title match at Vengeance: Night of Champions. He talks about Mr. McMahon and how he had money and power, but zero friends. He runs down a list of people that refused to comment on McMahon which basically says Vince wasn’t worth their time. He checks with the fans to see if they appreciate Mr. McMahon and they all scream “NO”, so there ya have it. McMahon has zero friends. Even though the WWE title match at the PPV is an open challenge for any former WWE champions on the RAW roster, it still seems like if you want to be in that match you wouldn’t say something negative about the man who can decide whether you wrestle in said match. I know they were going with the backhanded and passive aggressive style of appreciating Vince all night, but this just goes against common sense.

  • Umaga vs. Balls Mahoney

Balls has no chance. SAMOAN SPIKE wins in :28.

DRAFTED TO RAW: King Booker w/Queen Sharmell! So much for the breakup.

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Steve-O. We’re only three deep into these segments and we’re at Steve-O. He has a rhyme for Vince and possibly wants to fight him. Nah, he’s just kidding. Such a jackass.

  • Bobby Lashley vs. Chris Benoit

They work MMA style on the mat early on here. Lashley overpowers Benoit, but Benoit tries to use leverage to grind Lashley into the crossface. Here come the chops and the Snap Suplex gets two. Benoit tries to prevent a torture rack, but Lashley drops to his knees for a backbreaker. Cover, 1-2-NO! Benoit chops back and reverse a suplex into the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! Lashley gets in the ropes. Again, Benoit reverses the suplex into the Sharpshooter. Lashley kicks him away and tries a gutwrench powerbomb, but Benoit fights him off and delivers the Hat Trick of Germans. Benoit applies the SHARPSHOOTER for real, but Lashley power out and catches him with a powerslam for the win. (7:24) Fun match. Benoit could make just about anybody look good. **¾

DRAFTED TO ECW: Chris Benoit! Just imagine all the great matches he could have had on that show.

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Donald Trump. Being that it’s ten years later and he is the POTUS, this little segment is all the more hilarious. Since subtlety has never been Trump’s strong suit, he doesn’t hold back and calls Vince pathetic for creating his own appreciation night yet considers having one for himself very soon.

Ashley and her lip rings have to join us via satellite because she spilled coffee on Mr. McMahon and has been suspended indefinitely. She appreciates Vince for the Diva Search, but then brings up the time he made Trish Stratus strip down to her bra & panties and barked like a dog on all fours. In order to recreate that moment for Vince, she has the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young come out in lingerie to get down on all fours and bark like dogs by a makeshift doggie area on the stage. This goes on for far too long and hardly got any laughs as you would imagine. No matter how much Ashley wanted to be in WWE, she has been a complete and utter failure. Right?

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Jimmy Snuka and Iron Sheik. Snuka has the gall to call McMahon crazy. Iron Sheik sticks up for McMahon instead. At least I think he does. Where is the other half of his mustache?

  • Santino Marella vs. MVP

Almost no reaction for these two mid-card champs. MVP wears down Marella with a cravat and a chinlock. Marella comes back with some basic stuff, but MVP is clearly the better man here. He catches Marella with the Helluva Kick and the PLAYMAKER ends the rookie. (4:59) This had zero heat. MVP is still the man though. They also need to get the IC title already off Santino. It’s been almost two months now and he was just a dude that came out of the crowd at a show for crying out loud! ¾*

DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN: Torrie Wilson! So, they are getting nothing?

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Bret Hart. Okay, why was he even asked? Why is he in a public gym? Didn’t WCW pay him enough to build his own private gym? The best thing that could ever happen to Vince is punching him in the face. He calls Vince an “asshole”.

  • The Miz vs. Snitsky

Snitsky and his baked bean teeth make short work of the Miz with a Mafia Kick. (1:28) Unfortunately for ECW, he continues to beat up the Miz after the bell and the decision gets reversed giving Smackdown another draft pick. ¼*

DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN: Chris Masters! I didn’t even know he was still around.

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Bobby Heenan. He explains Vince is responsible for creating more jobs in wrestling than anybody else, but yet he’s also responsible for killing more jobs than anybody else. Due to his fantastic walk to the ring, Heenan also says Vince must either have the worst case of chafing in history or his balls were gigantic. Always good to see Bobby.

Roddy Piper makes his first appearance in WWE since February, I believe. Man, I love me some Piper. He introduces some a video package for Vince’s proudest moments, but they are of course just clips of Vince being humiliated. DX making dick jokes, Steve Austin giving him Stone Cold Stunners, his own Shane buying WCW out from under him, and Donald Trump cutting his hair are all featured. Back to Piper, he appreciates Vince for what he truly is to close out the segment. Awesome.

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Mark Cuban. He’s the only guy to sincerely put Vince over as he talks about him being a great entrepreneur.

  • Candice Michelle vs. Kristal

Aren’t the Divas theme songs completely cringe-inducing? Good grief. Isn’t Candice Michelle legging things completely unnecessary? I understand they are there to help catch your eye to see her kicks and separated to expose her wonderful butt cheeks, but just from a practical standpoint her legging things serve no purpose and seem like a pain to put on. Anywho, there is absolutely nothing unnecessary on Kristal right now. She looks amazing as always. Since Candice is the one getting pushed, Kristal is just here to take her moves. Her SPINNING HEEL KICK catches Kristal for the win. (1:42) I don’t think Savio Vega has anything to worry about with that kick of hers. ¼*

DRAFTED TO RAW: Bobby Lashley! A much more vocal reaction to this than I figured there would be. Jonathan Coachman comes out and immediately strips Lashley of the ECW world title with the authority of Mr. McMahon. Lashley says something about still being a champion and how he’ll prove it on RAW, but not without a title belt you won’t. Duh?

So apparently there was a pre-taped promo sent in by Bob Costas that was cut from the WWE Network version of this episode of RAW. Costas says he didn’t appreciate how Vince passed him up for a job as announcer in favor of Gene Okerlund because he ended up spending his life doing stuff like broadcasting for the Olympics. OUCH.

  • Jeff Hardy vs. Batista vs. Elijah Burke

Booking this match is like playing a WWE 2K game and selecting random opponents in a triple-threat match. Cole says if Batista gets drafted somewhere else, he would still get his last chance title shot against Edge at Vengeance: Night of Champions. Why? It was just established mere minutes ago that you can’t be champion if you get drafted to another brand. Burke gets owned by Bats and Hardy to start. Once Bats goes for a pinfall after a powerslam, Hardy breaks it up and they go at it. These two could actually have had a decent match together. Batista wants to end this early going for the Demon Bomb, but Hardy ranas out and hits Whisper in the Wind to set up the SWANTON BOMB. Cover, 1-2-NO! Burke pulls Hardy to the floor and runs him into the post. He then kicks Bats out of the ring once Hardy returns and takes him on, but fails. Hardy takes out Batista with a pescado and then mule kicks Burke into the corner for the basement dropkick. He misses the Swanton Bomb though and staggers around into a Spinebuster from Bats. Burke then charges into a Spinebuster and takes the DEMON BOMB as Batista picks up the win. (3:33) Actually not that bad, but criminally short. **

DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN: Ric Flair! WOO! Batista seems pretty happy about his buddy coming over.

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Captain Lou Albano. He cuts a 1970s-style promo on Vince still calling him a kid.

Dusty Rhodes comes out to talk about Vince. He really has a southern preacher style that never before translated quite as much as it does here with so much room to move around and talk. You don’t have to like McMahon or agree about his philosophy of wrestling, but you have to respect him. That’s a FACT.

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Gene Okerlund. He thanks Vince for giving him his biggest break in the business and says Vince is simply the best.

  • 15-man Tri-Brand Battle Royal

RAW: Johnny Nitro, Kenny Dykstra, Viscera, Randy Orton, and Eugene.

SMACKDOWN: Matt Hardy, William Regal, Chavo Guerrero, Mark Henry, and Chris Masters.

ECW: Kevin Thorn, Matt Striker, Marcus Cor Von, The Sandman, and Tommy Dreamer.

The winner of this match gets two draft picks for their brand. Standard battle royal stuff until Mark Henry and Viscera are the only two men standing with everyone left down on their butts. They go back and forth trying to eliminate one another with Henry eventually winning out. Commercials! When we come back, Hardy avoids the POUNCE-ah and pulls the top rope down to eliminate Cor Von, leaving ECW out in the wind. As Orton eliminates Nitro, we’re down to four.

FINAL FOUR: Matt Hardy, Mark Henry, Chris Masters, and Randy Orton. Matt takes care of Masters with a TWIST OF FATE on the apron. Henry tries to take out Hardy, but they do the 2004 Royal Rumble finish as Hardy brings Henry over the top rope to the floor with a little help from Orton. Matt counters the RKO and hits the Side Effect. Orton stuns him with the Inverted Backbreaker, but Hardy fights back and delivers the AHH elbow drop. Orton stops the Twist of Fate though, dumps Hardy on the apron, and knocks him off to the floor to win the whole thing for RAW. (10:16 shown) There’s another singles match that could be awesome if they would just do it. The Hardyz were really hot in 2007. *½

DRAFTED TO RAW: Snitsky! Big whoop. Mr. Kennedy! Well, he’s injured so this won’t affect anything for a while. Plus, he won’t be able to go after Edge who cost him everything in 2007, so that makes zero sense.

Backstage, Mr. McMahon is standing around looking like his brain has left for another planet. And he walks out the door. Someone go check on him STAT.

MR. MCMAHON APPRECIATION NIGHT: Stone Cold Steve Austin. He recalls all the times he made McMahon’s life a living hell and then cusses him out because he’s Stone Cold Steve Austin and he can do whatever he wants. Best one of the night.

They announced that the Vengeance main event would be Cena vs. Foley vs. Orton vs. King Booker vs. Lashley for the WWE Title. What a hodge-podge of a match.

Mr. McMahon comes out to the ring looking sedated. Amidst some very unflattering chants, Vince mutters a “thank you” to the crowd and then drops the mic. He slowly walks towards the back, took one last look at the people, and then left. Ross found this to be rather disturbing. Once Vince was gone, the people cheered like crazy. He walks backstage past all the wrestlers who didn’t have anything better to do tonight. Look at Paul London’s face! Coach corrects Vince telling him he’s going the wrong way to his limo. Check out Maryse! Holy moley. Vince then leaves the building and walks towards his limo. There were two guys sitting outside on a production box. Vince looks at them like they might be up to something, but keeps walking forward. He went to get into the limo, paused as if to reconsider, then stepped in and closed the door. It’s at this moment that his car explodes leaving absolutely nothing unburned. The Mr. McMahon character is now dead and has left our planet in a blaze of glory. Well, *certainly* a blaze, anyways.

I believe this clip pretty much sums up the Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night – maybe with a little less mention of night crawlers though.

WHO KILLED MCMAHON? That’s got to be the next hot angle, right? Oh what might have been, folks.

Until next time though, so long for now.

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