Source: Pro Wrestling Torch
This report was prepared by Pro Wrestling Torch. All opinions and star ratings contained here-in are not necessarily those of this site or its owners.
WWE Raw Live Report
May 28 in Toronto, Ontario
We open with the Memorial Day tradition of a tribute video package to the American troops.
Live in the arena, a parade of divas came to the ring for a Memorial Day bikini divas battle royale.
1 — MELINA vs. KRYSTAL MARSHAL vs. JILLIAN HALL vs. KELLY KELLY vs. BROOKE vs. MARIA vs. CANDICE MICHELLE vs. MICKIE JAMES vs. LEYLA vs. MICHELLE MCCOOL
Everyone ganged up on Melina to start things off. Lots of jiggling here. Krystal was the first one out. Brooke had to fix her top a few minutes in. She was then eliminated, followed by Maria. Leyla was eliminated hard on her back through the middle rope. Lawler went back to his Sable Playboy quote that he can’t stand up right now. Kelly then took a bath from McCool, who promptly eliminated her. Melina, appearing in white tennis shows, helped McCool eliminate Mickie. Final four are Candice, Melina, McCool, and Jillian. Jillian then eliminated Candice from behind. I think they’re going to have to change the canvas after this one. Melina and Jillian then stretched McCool in center ring, but she escaped and gave Melina a belly-to-belly suplex. She then eliminated Jillian. We’re down to Melina and McCool. Melina stretched McCool against the ropes, then she tried to dump her over the top rope, but McCool blocked and kicked Melina into the ropes, and Melina rolled to the floor, giving McCool the win. Melina was upset after the match, and McCool looked down at her from the ring. Looks like a tease for Melina vs. McCool after the draft lottery.
WINNER: McCool in 6:00. Well, time for a cliché. It was what it was. (n/a)
They cut to Shane McMahon walking backstage. Ross and Lawler talked about his major announcement.
Shane McMahon walked out. He said it’s almost the start of the summer and the start of something exciting at WWE. He said in two weeks, all of the wrestlers from Raw, Smackdown, and ECW will gather on Raw for the first-time-ever tri-branded WWE draft. No superstar is exempted. Men. Women. Wrestlers. Legends. Even leprechauns. Everyone’s lives are subject to change. He said change is usually inevitable, except as it relates to Vince McMahon. He said some things don’t change, though, and his father will walk into One Night Stand and leave as ECW champion. Shane then said he’s taking the initiative to defeat Lashley one, two, three in the main event handicap match. Loud boos for Cena’s name. Shane went into a rap. He promised that he would beat Lashley so bad that Lashley would call him honey because he would find out why he’s The Money. He did his dance on the stage before leaving. Very even keel delivery without any changes in tone or demeanor.
The Hardys came out for an eight-man tag match. They replayed footage from last week when the Hardys beat Nitro & Dykstra before Shelton & Haas teamed up on the Hardys until Cade & Murdoch made the save for the Hardys. Dykstra came out wearing one of Melina’s old skin animal type wraps. WWE better hope PETA isn’t watching.
2 — MATT & JEFF HARDY & CADE & MURDOCH vs. KENNY DYKSTRA & JOHNNY NITRO & SHELTON BENJAMIN & CHARLIE HAAS
Cade and Murdoch exchanged tags working on Nitro to start things off. Lawler was itching for the turn by the cowboys. Matt took a tag and the heels cornered him until Haas was caught in the babyface corner. The action quickly broke down and Jeff cleared Shelton & Haas from the ring. Murdoch then went up top and hit a flying splash on both men. They cut to a break with the Hardys staring at Murdoch as if he had two heads resting on his neck.
They came back and recapped Murdoch’s belly flop splash onto Shelton & Haas before the break. Back live, Jeff walked into a standing side kick from Shelton. The heels took advantage and began working on Jeff in their corner. Shelton kept control with a spinwheel kick on Jeff before grounding him with a reverse chinlock. Haas came in with a chinlock of his own and let out several caveman-like grunts. Kenny came in and worked on Jeff with a chinlock while mixing in a quick bite to the forehead. Matt suddenly took a hot tag and dropped Nitro and Dykstra with a dual DDT and reverse DDT. The action quickly broke down and Matt hit the Twist of Fate on Kenny. Jeff then hit a top rope Swanton Bomb for the win as Cade and Murdoch cleared out the rest of the competition.
After the match, the Hardys had their hands raised with Cade & Murdoch. Shelton then took the mic and told them not to leave. Lawler laughed as he said Shelton Benjamin with a microphone. Shelton then congratulated them on a victory, but said they didn’t beat them tonight. Shelton challenged the Hardys to a tag title match at One Night Stand. Matt took the mic and accepted their challenge, but in a ladder match. Cade and Murdoch were a little disappointed to be left out of the picture. Shelton & Haas left the ring, then the four victors celebrated in the ring.
WINNERS: Hardys & Cade & Murdoch in 15:00. Good action. Crowd was quiet early on, but it was nice to see them give all eight men enough time to develop a solid tag match. More intrigue with Cade & Murdoch seemingly giving and giving, the Hardys taking and taking, and there being no bone tossed to C&M. (**)
Backstage, Todd Grisham was standing outside John Cena’s locker room, readying for an interview.
They cut to a video package for Saturday Night’s Main Event, going back to pro wrestling’s carny roots for the theme of the video.
Backstage, Grisham pulled John Cena aside for an interview. No shoulder-smacking from Cena. Grisham then asked Cena whether he’s scared of Khali now, after what happened last week. Cena said a man of his position doesn’t have many friends. He said he doesn’t go back on his word, either. Cena said he’s not scared of Khali. He said if he were here right now, he’d look high into his eyes and say he’s not afraid of him. Cena said he’s also not deaf or invincible either. He said it’s not fear, but it’s doubt whether or not he can get the job done. “Yes, I did make the Great Khali tap out, but in a match where there was doubt whether I won or lost,” he said. Cena said all the submissions are out the window at ONS. He said all the critics are asking whether Cena can get the job done in a Falls Count Anywhere match where he’ll need to hit the FU on the canvas, the rampway, the floor, or the beer stand across the street for three seconds to slay the mighty Great Khali. He said he takes great pride in shutting up the critics. Cena gave us his word that he can and will beat Khali. Still a lot of boos in the arena, but a brief high-pitched cheer as Cena walked away and they cut to commercial.
Promo analysis: He covered all the bases with that one. Last week, I criticized the scripting of his promo because he said he doesn’t fear Khali in the ring anymore, which would mean no one needs to buy a PPV to see them in the ring. This week, he came back and created a sense of doubt that maybe Khali can win when the in-ring rules are different and he can’t use the STFU. Strong delivery and a good promo to create interest for the PPV match.
Tomorrow night on ECW, more hype for Vince vs. Lashley.
Backstage, Maria interviewed Santino Marella about the WWE draft. Maria started giggling when Santino started talking. She explained that she loves his accent. He said that his accent is New Jersey, but said he’s joking and it’s actually Italian. He checked on Maria following the battle royale. Randy Orton then interrupted with tons of bruises on his chest. He sarcastically said he hated to interrupt Maria’s fine piece of journalism. He then said he challenged RVD to a match because of what RVD said on WWE.com about Orton having no respect for the business after what he did to Shawn Michaels in possibly ending his career. Orton said he actually has respect for HBK, but he has no respect for RVD, which is why he’s going to enjoy what he does to RVD tonight.
RVD walked out and Ross brought up RVD’s comments about Orton having no respect for the business. Lawler then asked Ross if he thinks before he posts comments online because some people reading might be affected by what they read. Ross said of course he thinks about it, but it doesn’t look like RVD is backing down from Orton. Someone in WWE didn’t like what someone wrote online this past week.
3 — ROB VAN DAM vs. RANDY ORTON
Orton went to a side headlock to start things off. RVD then countered out into an arm drag. The ringside fans then started a “T-N-A” chant. Orton bailed to the outside when he saw a spin kick coming for his face. He then slowly re-entered the ring and ducked a lock up for a knee to the gut. RVD quickly came back with a monkey flip out of the corner before Orton drove another knee to the gut to cut him off. RVD then came back with a kick to the face and went for Rolling Thunder, but Orton rolled to the outside again. On the floor, Orton gave RVD a blow to the face before rolling him back into the ring. RVD found himself up top and Orton launched himself into the air with a dropkick that sent RVD flying to the floor and into the guardrail.
They came back with Orton in control of the match. Orton settled into a headlock and a fan in the front row tentatively held up a sign that read: “Another headlock, Randy?” RVD powered to his feet at 9:00, but Orton pulled him to the mat with a handful of hair. Orton did the Randy Orton stomp as Ross told us that Shawn Michaels has been released to go home and recover. Orton then settled into another headlock and RVD powered out before hitting a thrust kick. Both men recovered on the mat, then they went into a standing exchange of right hand blows. Orton missed with a dropkick, and RVD answered with Rolling Thunder.
At 12:00, RVD ran over Orton with clotheslines before catching Orton with a kick to the face for a nearfall. RVD caught his breath, then picked up Orton and scoop slammed him. RVD went to the corner and teased a frog splash, but opted for a quick moonsault from the second rope for a nearfall. Orton then thumbed RVD in the eye, but walked into a roundhouse kick to the face. RVD took advantage and went up top, but he became woozy. Orton then rolled to the apron, but RVD met him with another thrust kick to the face. RVD tried to re-enter the ring, but Orton met him with a spike DDT with RVD hanging across the middle rope. RVD kicked out of a close pin attempt, then the ref checked on RVD, who appeared to be KO’ed. The ref checked on RVD, who didn’t respond. Orton then stalked RVD for the RKO, but opted for a hard punch to the forehead. RVD wasn’t moving as the ref checked on his condition. RVD then pulled himself up in the corner and Orton lined him up for a kick to the head. The ref saw that RVD wasn’t responding, so he called for the bell and gave Orton a victory by referee stoppage.
After the match, the ref called for help, and Orton gave RVD his own form of help by bringing him to his feet before delivering an RKO. RVD had drool hanging out of the side of his mouth as the ref checked on him again. Doctors and medics then spilled into the ring to check on RVD. Orton left the ring and stood on the entrance ramp with a sinister look on his face. They replayed footage from during the match when RVD took several blows to the front and back of his head.
WINNER: Orton via referee stoppage in 16:00. Decent action for the most part. Slow in spots with, of course, the barrage of headlocks. Not surprising to see RVD used in this capacity to continue Orton’s program of taking out top wrestlers, and we can see where this is leading to Triple H eventually making his return to set back Orton as “punishment” while showing that he’s superman. (**1/4)
Up next is Torrie & Ric Flair vs. Carlito & Victoria.
Ross and Lawler spoke in serious tones about RVD’s condition as they showed footage from during the break of RVD being hauled out of the ring with a faraway look in his eyes.
Flair and Torrie came to the ring, and they recapped footage from last week when Carlito gave Flair two backcrackers (backstabber) on the floor. Boy, Carlito’s moves must not mean much if Flair appears to be in great condition tonight.
4 — RIC FLAIR & TORRIE WILSON vs. CARLITO & VICTORIA
Flair and Carlito started things off, then Victoria took a tag and slapped Flair across the face. Victoria taunted Flair, so Flair dropped her on her back and went for a figure four. After a few moments, Carlito broke it up and nailed Flair in the back of the left leg. He then began a pre-emptive attack on the knee. Victoria tried to get some of Flair, but Flair ducked and Carlito took a blow from Victoria. Torrie then took a hot tag and worked on Victoria while, on the floor, Carlito took out Flair’s knee. Torrie hit a facebuster on Victoria, but Carlito broke up the pin attempt. Carlito then tagged in and cornered Torrie. He gave her a sudden kiss on the lips before Torrie slapped him across the face. Carlito took offense and gave Torrie a backstabber. Big oohs and aahs in the crowd. Carlito then made the pin for the win.
WINNER: Carlito in 3:00. Ross was the voice of the fan here questioning the rules of the match that the women and men could mix it up in the ring, which led to Torrie taking the backstabber from Carlito. Early in the feud, it seemed like they were trying to get over Flair at Carlito’s expense. The last two weeks, it’s been more about trying to get over Carlito as a ruthless heel. (3/4*)
Ross and Lawler plugged the SNME show on NBC on Saturday night. They broke down the Lockdown, oops, One Night Stand card. Ross clarified that the Cena vs. Khali match is Falls Count Anywhere, but can only be won by pinfall.
Backstage, Umaga stepped up to Khali and screamed in his language. Khali then argued back in his language. Shane intervened and told of them to calm down. He called them worst prom couple ever. Shane gave Khali instructions to take out Cena. He told Umaga to take out Lashley. He said he makes the pin. Umaga and Khali seemed to have an understanding. Well, maybe.
We joined Maria in the middle of the Kiss Cam. One couple just got married, apparently. Chris Masters then interrupted. He took the mic from Maria and told her that he couldn’t help but notice how charming Santino was earlier in the night. Masters then challenged Santino to break the Masterlock. Santino didn’t show, so Masters told Mozzarella to come out. He then said it could be the final Masterlock on Raw with the draft lottery coming up. When masters threatened to Maria in the Masterlock, Santino hit the ring and pounded on Masters with right hand blows. Masters then caught Santino in mid-air and dropped him with a shoulderbreaker. He then slapped on the Masterlock in center ring. The fans chanted for Santino, who powered up to his feet, but Masters drove him to one knee and shook him around like a ragdoll. Masters eventually dropped Santino to the mat and left the ring as Maria looked on with concern.
Shane McMahon came out first, followed by Umaga and Khali separately. Lashley came out and stood on the floor before Cena made his entrance. Cena and Lashley shared a moment, then entered the ring to face off with Shane’s team.
5 — JOHN CENA & BOBBY LASHLEY vs. SHANE MCMAHON & UMAGA & GREAT KHALI
Cena started things off with Umaga. Hasn’t been the bizarroland crowd from Summerslam 2004, but loud boos for Cena and a “Cena sucks” chant as Umaga worked on him in the corner. Khali tagged in and worked on Cena. Deep voices with the “Cena sucks” against the high-pitched “Let’s go Cena” chants. Shane then tagged in and pounded on Cena’s back with forearm blows. The heels continued to work on Cena in their corner before Cena fired up with right hands. Umaga cut him off, though, with a Samoan Drop after Shane kicked Cena in the back from the apron. Khali tagged in and casually walked over to Cena and dropped a leg across the throat. Shane came back in and rolled around with Cena before applying a weak body scissors hold. The fans kept up the dueling chants as Cena powered out of Shane’s hold and lifted him in the air for a running slam in the corner. Shane then took a sit out suplex.
[Q9 — over-run]
Both men recovered on the mat before Cena finally tagged out to Lashley for the first time tonight. Lashley came in and worked on Umaga with right hand blows and a big corner splahs. He then went for a suplex, but he couldn’t get Umaga up in the air, so he nailed a DDT. Umaga blocked a spear with a big boot, then the action broke down. Lots of awkward brawling involving Khali, then Lashley and Cena gave him a dual shoulder tackle to tie up Khali in the ropes. On the floor, Umaga suddenly gave Cena a Samoan Spike. Lashley then pulled Shane into the ring, but Khali broke free and gave Lashley a two-hand chokebomb. He then tagged out to Shane, who went to the corner and landed a top rope elbow drop on Lashley for the pin and the win.
After the match, Shane led the monsters up the entrance ramp. Vince McMahon, with his hair starting to grow back, then walked out on stage and hugged Shane. He brought everyone together and all four men raised their hands in victory. No final camera shots of Cena and Umaga in the ring.
WINNERS: Shane & Umaga & Khali in 8:00. Surprise, surprise – SuperShane gets the victory and the big crowd reaction. It’s not too difficult to see how Shane continues to be one of the most over persons on TV since he doesn’t sell and seems to always have the upper hand on TV. Crowd was very hot throughout the match, which was carried by Cena. Lashley and Cena weren’t hurt too much by being in the match, but their position certainly wasn’t improved. (*3/4)