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WWE RAW FLASHBACK SERIES - 5 yrs. ago (10-08-07): Surprise return, World Title match, more

Oct 8, 2012 - 3:07:44 PM
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WWE Raw Flashback Series - 5 years ago

KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 8, 2007
LIVE FROM GRAND RAPID, MICH.
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR

WHAT HAPPENED: 1ST HOUR

-The show opened with Vince McMahon happily strutting to the ring. He introduced clips from No Mercy, bragging first that he delivered on his promise to make news. Highlights aired of the WWE Title saga over the course of the PPV. McMahon then explained that he is going to invited/order all WWE wrestlers to the ring later so they can shake hands with and congratulate the new champion, Randy Orton. He began talking about the upcoming (all-too-soon) Cyber Sunday PPV where "I don't make the decisions, you do." Triple H interrupted that speech with his full ring intro.

Triple H paced intensely once he entered the ring. The crowd chanted "Triple H." Vince told Hunter to "just calm down." Hunter told Vince to shut up. He said the fans don't care about Cyber Sunday right now, they care about tonight. He said just as Randy Orton did last night, he is invoking his rematch clause. The crowd popped as Hunter said he wants Orton in a rematch tonight. Vince said Hunter was in three matches last night and so he probably shouldn't grant him his wish, but he would. Then he paused and said Triple H would face Orton "and his tag team partner, Umaga, in a handicapped match!" Hunter grimaced as Vince strutted to the back.

-Ross and Lawler promoted the John Cena interview later.

[Commercial Break]

1 -- CANDICE MICHELLE & MARIA & MICKIE JAMES vs. BETH PHOENIX & JILLIAN HALL & MELINA

WINNERS: Candice & Maria & Mickie in 4:00 with a Candice victory roll on Jillian.

STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Good energy and spirit throughout. Phoenix's intro music is pretty cool as it stands out from most everyone else's dancy diva intro music.

-Ross plugged the Hunter vs. Orton & Umaga match.

[Commercial Break]

-Coach was back this week, chatting with William Regal backstage. Coach noticed that Regal was redecorating his office. Regal asked, disinterestedly, how Coach was doing; Coach was walking with a cane. He said Cena deserved what he got and he doesn't feel sorry for him. Regal said the cane suits Coach and makes him look manly. Coach asked about the photos of the Queen of England, Elto John, and George Michael. That was pretty funny. Coach said, "I noticed they're all British, but one other thing I notice they have in common; they're all queens." Regal got bug-eyed as Vince McMahon walked in to check in on Hornswoggle. Regal said the precious little thing is taking a nap. Regal and Coach took turns kissing his ass, telling him how good his suit looked. Regal assigned Coach the job of keeping an eye on Hornswoggle. Coach checked in the closet, and then told Regal that Hornswoggle wasn't taking a nap in there. Regal blamed him for losing track of him already. Lawler laughed and said Hornswoggle might be challenging Danny Devito to a slam dunk contest. Ross held back his disdain. They shifted to talking about Cyber Sunday. Highlight clips aired of past Cyber Sunday events, including when it was called Taboo Tuesday.

[Commercial Break]

2 -- SNITSKY (w/Santino Marella) vs. VAL VENIS

Val limped to the ring. Santino came to the ring to wrestle Val, but then informed Val he had a previous engagement and couldn't wrestle, so Regal had replaced him with Snitsky. Snitsky came out. A crawled on the bottom of the screen announced that the Raw main event for Cyber Sunday will be announced on WWE.com tomorrow at noon.

WINNER: Snitsky in 2:00.

STAR RATING: 1/4* -- Val got in about two seconds of offense.

-They went to a trade-off plug for Evander Holyfield's PPV boxing match coming up soon.

-Ross and Lawler chronicled the Cena injury from last week followed by the beating by Orton.

[Commercial Break]

-The vignette aired with all of the mysterious computer code with the "Borne Identity"-like soundtrack in the background.

-Ross and Lawler interviewed Cena via satellite from Tampa, Fla. Cena estimated he'd miss 7-12 months. He said he's not going to insult anyone by denying how much pain he went through last week. He said it's like Triple H's pain in last night's Last Man Standing match. He said his no. 1 focus is getting better and getting back into the ring. Lawler said Orton said it was lucky he got hurt so he didn't get hurt against him. Cena told Lawler that's like telling him the Cleveland Indians might as well quit now rather than lose in the World Series. Cena said in a short time, Orton is going to come face-to-face with all of his biggest threats to his title as he shakes hands with every WWE Superstar. He said he has a feeling each of them would love to get a shot at the WWE Championship. Cena honestly didn't seem that broken up about being off the road for 7-12 months. It's gotta be a mixed bag, because an injury, surgery, and rehab is no fun, but he was probably due a breather - and WWE doesn't give extended breaks to wrestlers at good times, only bad times (injuries, suspensions, firings).

-Randy Orton made his ring introduction with his newly won WWE Hvt. Title belt. His first act as champion was to come out first rather than last, as is customary for champions, and stand in the ring like a dope for four minutes waiting for the post-commercial break "top star ring intro" for Triple H.

[Commercial Break]

3 -- RANDY ORTON & UMAGA vs. TRIPLE H - WWE Hvt. Title match

Umaga's ring entrance aired, then Triple H's. Orton and Umaga got to be in the ring at the same time. Hunter knocked Umaga out of the ring early and then he gave Orton a DDT for a quick two count. Umaga yanked Triple H to ringside where he threw him into the ringside security barrier. Hunter bled early as Orton and Umaga double-teamed him in center ring.

WHAT HAPPENED: 2ND HOUR

When Umaga climbed to the top rope, Hunter shoved Orton into Umaga; Umaga crotched the top turnbuckle. Hunter went on a flurry against Orton and set up a Pedigree. Umaga interfered. Hunter threw him out of the ring and then hit Orton with a spinebuster and another Pedigree attempt. Umaga entered the ring with a chair. The ref called for the DQ. Orton gave Hunter an RKO and then returned to the back. Umaga then gave Hunter the butt-splash in the corner followed by a top rope splash and the Samoan Spike. A few fans could be heart chanting "bullsh--." Three referees helped Triple H out of the ring. Hunter shoved the refs away. The crowd reacted with a mix of boos and applause as he collapsed as he tried to make his way up the ramp.

WINNER: Triple H via DQ in 4:00.

STAR RATING: * -- This is just getting embarrassing. Triple H is booked so insufferably. If he's not squashing mid-carders for no reason, he's coming into Raw, the day after wrestling three times including a gruelling Last Man Standing match, he's booked against two top heels - the two very top heels on Raw - and not only does he hold his own, he gets in about half of the offense and all of the near falls and the two hapless heels had to settle for an intentional DQ to "get out of the match" to avoid the humiliation of being beaten single-handedly by Triple H. It's just too much.

[Commercial Break]

-Vince approached Hunter backstage as he was being helped to the locker room. He asked him what happened because he wasn't watching. He told Hunter whatever happened, there's no excuse for him not to be out there to shake Orton's hand later. "I don't care if you have to come out there in a stretcher," said Vince. He told him he'd be the first in line to shake Orton's hand.

4 -- PAUL LONDON & BRIAN KENDRICK vs. THE HIGHLANDERS

Nicely paced action with some dives by London and Kendrick at ringside early and late in the match. In the end, Kendrick charged at Rory, but Rory turned it into a leverage pin with his feet on the ropes to steal one.

WINNERS: Highlanders in 3:00.

STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Too short. Not just too short to be a good TV match, but it's just unrealistically short period for two competitive tag teams.

-A Diva Search 2007 segment aired with Todd Grisham interviewing, hitting on, and being rejected by various contestants. They were asked if they saw a man with his fly down if they'd say something. Most said they'd point it out.

-Coach told a worker backstage that he was looking for a little green guy, "a leprechaun." The guy asked Coach, "What've you been smoking." Coach asked Cody Rhodes. He said he hadn't seen him. Regal approached "Jonathan" to find out if he found Hornswoggle yet. A frustrated Coach said he is trying.

[Commercial Break]

-A video feature aired promoting encore presentations of No Mercy.

-Lillian Garcia performed one of her songs live with a full band on stage. What? She sang in Spanish? How are we supposed to understand what she's saying? Did she know she's on "USA Network"! U-S-A. U-S-A. Okay, I'm just killing time here because there's no wrestling to analyze. She sounded pretty good, but that's no surprise, as she's shown she can carry a tune before. She had some stage presence, too, and seemed more in her element. Santino came out at the end, caller her Jillian and said she was terrible, and then sang himself. The crowd booed. He pretended they loved him. Santino is always fun.

[Commercial Break]

-They actually plugged Hardcore Holly vs. Cody Rhodes for next week's Raw. Of all matches they fail to promote ahead of time, they chose this one as something worth hyping a week ahead?

5 -- MR. KENNEDY vs. JEFF HARDY

Ross noted during Hardy's ring intro that it is Raw #750 tonight. Ross and Lawler had a silly discussion over whether Hardy had colors in his hair. Ross saw colors, Lawler didn't. It was like two old men in a nursing home arguing over whether they were eating cream corn or corn chowder at dinner. Good pace to this one from the opening seconds. Hardy speared Kennedy through the ropes to the floor. He returned to the ring, climbed to the top turnbuckle, and then leaped toward Kennedy. Kennedy moved and Hardy landed on the security railing.

[Commercial Break]

After the break, Kennedy applied a half-Boston crab. Hardy sold his left knee for a while afterward. He limped to the corner and climbed to the top turnbuckle. Kennedy dropkicked him off and went for a pin, scoring a two count. Now that Cena's gone, the crowd had to find something to argue about, so the women and kids chanted, "Let's go Hardy!" and the rest chanted, "Let's go Kennedy." Lawler acknowledged that Kennedy had some fans. The wrestlers seemed energized by the crowd, but in reality - and there's a lesson here - the crowd was energized in the first place by how hard these two worked and how athletic they were. There really is a pace and quality of action that entertains fans, and once that level is attained, you get special moments like this with a great crowd reaction for what management saw as basically filler before the "handshake ceremony" main event. Kennedy went for a backslide at 10:00 and put his feet on the middle rope for extra leverage, but only got two. Hardy snapped back with a Russian leg sweep. Hardy followed up with a modified brain buster. The crowd went nuts, rising to its feet as Hardy climbed to the top rope. Kennedy moved out of the path of the Swanton. Kennedy made the cover, but Hardy rolled Kennedy over and crucifixed his way to a three count. "Hey, I like this rivalry," said Ross.

WINNER: Hardy in 12:00.

STAR RATING: *** -- They really turned it up for this one. Too bad they didn't give the TV viewers at home the feeling this was something special beforehand with some hype and promos throughout the show leading up to it. Hopefully, though, management builds on this match by elevating this to a position as a money feud.

-Vince asked Regal about Hornswoggle. Regal said he was taking a nap. Coach barged in and told Regal he couldn't find him. Vince asked who they were talking about. Regal went into some hilarious double-speak to try to talk his way out of it. Vince turned to Regal and got upset. Hornswoggle popped out of a chest and yawned. Vince told Regal to bring him to the stage. Vince walked away. Regal then told Coach to bring Hornswoggle to the stage. Hornswoggle slammed Coach's fingers in the chest. Hornswoggle then beat Coach with his own cane.

-Wrestlers began to walk out onto the stage.

[Commercial Break]

-Vince, standing in the ring, addressed everyone on the stage. He said each of them would walk down the stage, enter the ring, and congratulate the new champion. He said they had to show respect, just as the fans were going to as the new champ walked out. Orton stood on a mini stage in center ring. He said he sees a lot of looks of jealousy on that stage. He told them to get used to it. He told them when they shake his hand, he wants them to say, "Congratulations, Champ." Vince wanted to start with Triple H, but he wasn't on the stage. He said if Hunter wasn't going to come out himself, Orton would go back there and drag him to the ring himself. Orton made his way to the back. Instead, Shawn Michaels's music played. He stepped out onto the stage. "Randy Orton, the man who put Shawn Michaels into near retirement - the Show Stopper is back on Monday Night Raw! What an ovation, a standing ovation!" exclaimed Ross. Orton stepped back to the ring as Michaels slowly, methodically walked his way. Then he exploded and charged into the ring with a spear, then hit Orton with a KO superkick. Michaels stood on the mini-stage and celebrated. Ross said, "The Show Stopper has stolen the show! What a Monday Night Raw moment." McMahon chewed on his lip at ringside as he watched.


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