TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 2/5: Ongoing coverage of live edition of Raw
Feb 5, 2007 - 10:06:00 PM
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by James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
Torch editor Wade Keller's VIP-exclusive Raw report will be posted on the Torch VIP site Tuesday morning and emailed to Torch VIP Email Express members. In the mean time, besides this report, Torch Raw specialist Greg Parks is providing an "alternative perspective" on the show right now with his "virtual time" coverage. Check back after Raw for Torch Reax on this show. We welcome your feedback after the show (click here) and invite your participation in our Raw 0-10 poll and our Raw MVP poll shortly after the show concludes. Also, I will be by about an hour after Raw's conclusion with an audio analysis of the show exclusively for VIP members with a special guest analyst of the week.
WWE Raw Live Report
February 5 in Sioux City, Iowa
We open with no fireworks and Undertaker's entrance music. Jim Ross explained why Taker's on Raw to make his WrestleMania opponent decision. Taker did his slow entrance, then John Cena's music hit and the kids started screaming. Cena held up his WWE Title belt in Taker's face, then Lashley walked out with the ECW Title around his waist. Taker stared down both men, then Batista came back to Raw with the World Hvt. Title around his waist. Taker slowly looked over his potential dance partners for the senior prom and did the throat slash gesture in front of Batista. Ross speculated it would be Taker vs. Batista, but DX's music hit and Shawn Michaels came out. HBK said he's quite the party crasher and said he noticed that Cena is without an opponent for Mania. Before HBK could make a formal challenge, Randy Orton interrupted. He said he's facing Cena for the WWE Title at Mania. Orton said he's not asking; he's demanding it. Of course, Edge interrupted next and he walked out past Orton. He reminded everyone that he's never lost at Mania, which means he takes precedence over everyone. Edge claimed it's his God-given right to the title shot. Now, it's Mr. McMahon interrupting.
McMahon asked what in God's name they're doing standing in the middle of a cornfield called Iowa. He said everyone wants a shot at Cena, but no one wants a shot at Lashley because he's the best champion standing in the ring. McMahon said Lashley would defend his title against someone from the Raw locker room tonight. McMahon then said they need to find out Cena's opponent tonight. He booked Orton vs. Edge vs. HBK in a three-way #1 Contender match. McMahon said he's not dropping money from the ceiling tonight, but a triple threat match is giving the fans value. Taker and Batista were left in the ring after everyone cleared out. Batista tried to leave, but he felt Taker staring at his back. Batista then slowly walked up to Taker and went nose-to-nose before raising up his title belt. Out of nowhere, Taker grabbed Batista by the throat and gave him a chokeslam in the center of the ring. Taker left and Batista slowly reached his feet to see Taker give him the Black Power right hand in the air. Batista wasn't happy. Game On.
They came back and recapped Taker's first shot in the war vs. Batista.
1 -- CARLITO (w/Torrie Wilson) & CRYME TYME (SHAD & J.T.G.) vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN & CHARLIE HAAS & CHRIS MASTERS
Carlito jumped Masters before the bell to jumpstart the match. Things calmed down with the heels cornering JTG for a few minutes. He then escaped a suplex and hot-tagged to Carlito at 3:00. He hit a double back elbow on Haas and Benjamin before catching Masters with a knee lift. Shad then clotheslined himself and Masters to the floor. It came down to Carlito and Haas with Carlito having a roll-up pin, but the ref was distracted. Shelton then gave Carlito a springboard Blockbuster and Haas rolled through to pin Carlito for the win.
WINNERS: Masters & Benjamin & Haas in 4:00. A chance to kill two birds with one stone here, but it doesn't make the two feuds any more important than they've been the past few months. They weren't in a good position having to follow the opening segment with an entire roster full of star power.
They announced Jeff Hardy vs. Ric Flair for the IC Title and Mickie James vs. Melina for the Women's Title in addition to the triple threat match.
They recapped McMahon's Fan Appreciation night last week before Donald Trump ordered money to be dropped from the ceiling.
Vince McMahon had a discussion with Coach about Trump dropping cash on the audience. He said the fans don't need or love cash. Someone knocked on the door and Kenny interrupted. He apologized for interrupting, then said he wants to face Lashley tonight. McMahon said Kenny would be the youngest WWE champion in history if he beats Lashley. He agreed and gave him the title match. Coach then pulled out a letter delivered by Trump earlier in the afternoon. McMahon demanded his glasses to read the letter. He then read the letter addressed to "Vince". Trump said he's going to up the ante and appear on Raw next week to make a life-changing business proposal to McMahon. Coach suggested banning Trump from the building, but McMahon cut him off and said Trump needs to join a very elite club next week. Coach exchanged a knowing glance as McMahon envisioned the return of the KMAC.
Maria interviewed Ric Flair backstage. Flair got up tight to Maria and stared her down before cutting a promo. He said that if he beats Hardy tonight, he would face him at WrestleMania for the IC Title. Flair stumbled through the bullet points, but the energy behind his words was a breath of fresh air.
Candice Michelle stood backstage with Melina to discuss her Super Bowl commercial. Candice said the spotlight would be on Melina tonight for when she goes after the Women's Title. Nitro interrupted and offered a cheesy pick-up line before saying Super Crazy needs to learn a lesson for putting his hands on her last week. Nitro then did a cocky Zoolander pose and wished Melina luck. Melina went back to powdering her nose for the title match.
Balls Mahoney was in the ring for an apparent match. Coach then interrupted and said Balls is an ECW original. He said McMahon has had some problems with his type recently and McMahon would deal with the OG's tomorrow night. He introduced Umaga to take care of Balls tonight.
2 -- UMAGA (w/Armando) vs. BALLS MAHONEY
Umaga absorbed an early Balls punch and smashed Balls in the face with a right hand. He then sat down on Balls's chest, which prompted the following line from Lawler: "I think Umaga is just playing with Balls right now." Umaga lined up Balls and squashed him with the running rear splash. Armando called for the Spike and Umaga finished him off for the easy win. Ross said it could be symbolic of tomorrow night when McMahon appears on ECW.
WINNER: UMAGA in 2:00. Standard squash match for Umaga. He's back to summer '06 when WWE wasn't sure how to use him, but they still wanted to protect him.
3 -- JOHNNY NITRO (w/Melina) vs. SUPER CRAZY (w/Mickie James)
Nitro's face looks six shades of tanning-bed-brown on a high-def screen. Just an observation. Nitro went right to work as Lawler called Crazy a bumble bee and essentially said he's too fat to fly around the ring. Crazy came back with a scoop slam and went up top, but Nitro cut him off. Crazy fought him off, then hit a moonsault for the win.
WINNER: Crazy clean in 3:00. Wow. Who's coffee did Nitro piss in? Ever since Federline left four weeks ago, Nitro has been completely wasted on this show. That was a unique opportunity to make a new star, but that obviously isn't the plan with Nitro right now.
4 -- MICKIE JAMES vs. MELINA -- Women's Title match
Ross and Lawler discussed some sort of issue between Nitro and Crazy during the commercial break. The match then started with a new referee in the ring. Mickie put Melina in a hammerlock and Melina began screaming before landed a knee to the face. She went for a roll-up that resulted in a nearfall. She then gave Mickie a Curb Stomp as Mickie watched herself take the move on the Titantron.
Both women recovered on the mat after executing the always dangerous double hair-toss maneuver. Mickie landed a back elbow smash before hitting a head scissors out of the corner after Crazy knocked Nitro off the apron. Melina then pulled Mickie through the ropes to the outside, but Mickie came back with a roll up for the win after the referee blocked Melina from scoring a pin with additional leverage.
WINNER: Mickie in 5:00 to retain the Women's Title. Crowd was into the action, so that's a positive. The action was sluggish, though.
After the match, the paparazzi entered the ring for photos of Melina having a rough moment.
Backstage, Shawn Michaels was taping up his wrists when John Cena walked in. HBK said he knows that Cena wants him to win since they would have a classic Mania match. Cena cut him off and said he wants Edge to win because he knows he can beat Edge. He then told HBK to stay safe out there since they're the tag champs. HBK had a sly grin after Cena handed him his tag title belt.
Ross plugged Donald Trump on the Thursday edition of Raw next week at 8 p.m. EST.
5 -- JEFF HARDY vs. RIC FLAIR -- non-title match
Hardy came out first and gave Flair a round of applause as Flair made his entrance. There was an early "Hardy" chant after the opening bell. Flair locked up and gave Hardy a "Whoo" before Hardy came back with a hard slap to the face. Flair then came back with a series of chops. Hardy suddenly came up favoring his left knee and ankle, which gave Flair the opening to exploit the knee. He pushed hardy onto his stomach and worked the back of the knee before Hardy came up to one foot and gave Flair a surprise enziguri kick. After a Flair flop, Hardy came back with a one-legged jawbreaker. He then landed a back elbow smash and the Whisper of the Wind followed by the Twist of Fate. Hardy hobbled to the corner for the Swanton Bomb, but Flair moved at the last split-second. Flair then went back to work on the left knee and strutted around the ring, but he took too long going for the figure-four and Hardy rolled him up for the sudden win.
WINNER: Hardy in 6:00. Good action early on before things slowed down when Flair worked on the left knee. Intriguing finish if they keep the new feud going, although it's another situation where Flair looks a senior citizen who's being outsmarted by these youngsters.
Afterward, Hardy clapped it up and Flair got in his face. Flair shook Hardy's hand and gave him a quick hug. Hardy then hobbled out of the ring.
They recapped Undertaker making his WrestleMania decision to face Batista. Todd Grisham then interviewed Batista backstage. He said he's not intimidated by Taker's chokeslam at the top of the show because payback's a bitch. He said he doesn't have a problem with teaming up with Taker at No Way Out either.
6 -- LASHLEY vs. KENNY DYKSTRA -- ECW Title match
Lillian Garcia did the formal in-ring introductions. Lashley decked Kenny with a hard right hand early on before landing hard shoulder thrusts to the chest. The match moved to the outside where Kenny landed a dropkick to the knees. Kenny went on the offensive back in the ring and landed a hard back elbow smash. As Kenny settled for a headlock, Ross and Lawler talked in vague terms about McMahon making the ECW Originals pay on Sci-Fi tomorrow night. Lashley slipped out and landed a hard clothesline, but Kenny knocked Lashley to the outside as they cut to a break.
Kenny was still in control out of the break before running into a back body drop. Lashley then hip tossed Kenny across the ring and gave him a high-elevated suplex. He went for a spear, but Kenny caught him with a casual kick to the face. Kenny made a mistake of charging Lashley, and Lashley gave him a military press into powerslam for the win.
WINNER: Lashley in 11:00. Lashley matches up much better with smaller wrestlers rather than larger stiffs. Kenny isn't quite there just yet. He has time on his side, fortunately.
They showed Randy Orton taping up backstage when Edge interrupted. Orton said they're not talking strategy because it's not a tag match tonight. Edge said that if they have any pride, they need to make sure it's not HBK who win the triple threat match.
Carlito and Torrie Wilson were walking backstage when Ric Flair stopped them short. Flair asked Carlito why he was leaving. Carlito said he didn't win his match tonight and he's not in the main event, so he doesn't care. Flair got in Carlito's face and said Carlito's a lazy sonofabitch who's lucky to be on the roster. Carlito asked Flair what his problem is. Flair said Carlito has no passion or no guts, and he doesn't deserve a spot on the roster. He said McMahon told him tonight that he has to earn his keep while guys like Carlito keep taking his spot without doing anything. Flair said he's going to work his ass off to keep his spot and try to figure out who he is and what his name is. Flair stormed off and Carlito frowned after Flair. Wow. That's a promo and certainly newsworthy.
7 -- EDGE vs. RANDY ORTON vs. SHAWN MICHAELS -- #1 Contender's match for the WWE Title
Edge and Orton walked out first before HBK came out with his tag title belt. HBK slid into the ring and instantly found a two-on-one beating. HBK came back with a double clothesline followed by individual atomic drops. He tossed Orton over the top rope to the floor before giving Edge a scoop slam. HBK came up holding his lower back and went up top before Orton shoved him off the top rope. HBK then rolled to the outside to recover. Orton stalked Edge for the RKO, but Edge quickly moved away and asked Orton what his deal is.
HBK and Edge were locked up near the ropes out of the break when both men back suplexed Orton over the top rope to the floor. Orton crashed into the announce table and came up holding his right shoulder. HBK then baseball slide kicked Orton into Ross and Lawler's lap. Back in the ring, Edge pounded on HBK with right hand blows. Orton came back into the picture and picked up where Edge left off. Orton then hit an RKO on HBK, but Edge broke up the pin. Edge went for the pin, but Orton pulled him off. Orton and Edge had a shoving match, then tried to calm each other down. They shook hands, slowly backed away, and then each went for right hand blows. Orton then went for the RKO, but Edge shoved him into the corner. He went for the spear, but Orton leap frogged him and Edge crashed into the turnbuckle. They hit a double cross body block and collapsed to the mat as HBK came to his feet. He went up top and landed an elbow smash on Edge at the top of the hour.
[Q9 - Over-run]
HBK came to his feet first and rallied the crowd. He tuned up the band as Edge and Orton came to their feet. HBK missed Sweet Chin Music, then shoved Edge into Orton for a spear. HBK surprised Edge with Sweet Chin Music and pinned him for the win.
WINNER: Shawn Michaels in 14:00. Not quite at the level of previous main event matches featuring a combination of these three, but a good main event nevertheless.
Afterward, John Cena entered the ring and held the WWE Title belt in HBK's face. Batista's music hit and he walked out on stage holding his title belt. Taker's music then hit and he came through the stage just like last week. Taker stared down Batista and they went face-to-face before turning to face Cena and HBK, who stood together in the ring. Ross talked about the implications of champion and challenger teaming together at No Way Out before WrestleMania. Cena's music played as all four men stood like statues to close the show.
They closed with a final plug for Raw on next Thursday night.
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, click here.
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