Monday Night Raw – December 12, 2005

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 12, 2005
Location: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 7,500
Commentators: Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman

It’s officially a new era as Eric Bischoff was fired last week. That ends a three and a half year reign from Bischoff, meaning we now need a new boss. Or maybe not at the time as we have the build for the Elimination Chamber to get us through the next week or two. That could make for some good stuff so let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of last week’s trial and Eric Bischoff being fired.

Here’s Vince McMahon to get things going, but first he has to throw away a microphone that doesn’t work. Last week he fired Eric Bischoff and that isn’t changing. Oh and Merry Christmas to Eric and his family. As for a new GM, Vince has some options. Maybe Stephanie McMahon or Shane McMahon, or Theo Epstein or Ted Turner. It might even be one of the fans here! Vince: “Just ribbing. It won’t be one of you.”

Vince has assigned someone to be the interim GM for tonight. He’s a business genius, handsome and one virile SOB. Naturally that’s Vince himself, and tonight it’s the Elimination Chamber qualifying matches. We’ll start with this, and the fans will NOT be censored during his entrance.

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Ric Flair vs. Kurt Angle

Non-title. Flair headlocks him down to start and Angle is already bailing into the corner. With the WOOing out of the way, Angle drives him into the corner and pounds away. Some chops don’t do Flair much good so it’s a German suplex into the ankle lock. A few dives allow Flair to make it to the rope so Angle grapevines it for the four count as we take a break.

Back with Flair fighting out of a chinlock and belly to back suplexing his way to freedom. The Figure Four goes on but it’s pretty close to the rope and doesn’t last long. The leg is fine enough to pop off an overhead belly to belly but Flair chops him to the floor. Angle grabs a chair so the referee gets rid of them, allowing Angle to whip out a gold medal and knock Flair silly for the pin.

Rating: C+. This was getting good until the end and I’m always appreciative of protecting a champion. Angle beating Flair on his own wouldn’t have been horrible but there’s no need to have the champ lose again so soon after Survivor Series. I could go for more of this, though it would just make me wonder what they could have done in their primes.

Post match Angle goes on a rant about how Raw is going to Afghanistan next week for a Tribute to the Troops. It’s voluntary though and Angle is NOT going because the troops have done nothing for him. MAYBE is they catch Osama Bin Laden, he’ll go over there and sign some autographs.

We cut to Daivari in the back in front of statues of Boston sports legends Larry Bird and Bobby Orr. He whips out some spray paint so he can treat them like Americans treat Angle but here’s angry John Cena to cut them off. Cena goes on a rant about how Angle won’t go honor the troops that keep him safe. Half of the people think Cena sucks too so but that’s because we’re in AMERICA! With no American soldiers there are no American heroes, and you can’t see him, so he spray paints the camera lens.

Edge and Lita mock Flair for being arrested. A fight is teased but goes nowhere.

Shelton Benjamin comes in to see Shawn Michaels and asks him about last week when Shawn wanted an attitude. That’s what Shelton gave him and now Shawn isn’t happy. Tonight, Shelton is qualifying for the Elimination Chamber and he hopes Shawn is there. Shelton hands Shawn a copy of Shawn’s book to show him….I’m not sure actually.

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito

Shelton jumps him at the bell to start and Carlito is stomped to the floor early on. Back in and a quick belly to belly drops Carlito again. Shelton follows him to the floor for some clotheslines but Carlito rams him into the apron. Back in again and the Backstabber drops Shelton, followed by a backbreaker to keep the focus strong.

The Boston crab is broken up in a hurry and Shelton hits a Samoan drop into some clotheslines. A sunset flip connects but Carlito grabs the referee to get a slight delay. Carlito hits him in the back but walks into the exploder….for no cover. Instead Shelton grabs the apple and takes a bite, allowing Carlito to small package him for the pin.

Rating: C-. What does it say that Shelton is moving up in the world by having a reason for him to lose? This just keeps getting worse and worse but for some reason WWE doesn’t see much in Shelton. I’m not a big Carlito guy but in this case, he’s the right choice to put into the match. Granted the match might not be the best idea, though that has never stopped them before.

Trevor Murdoch talks to Vince about being the GM. Vince throws him out for having tobacco and moves on to find Candice Michelle. The word position is mentioned several times and lingerie is revealed. Kurt Angle storms in and Vince is ready to kill him as we go to a break.

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Big Show vs. Shawn Michaels

Shawn gets thrown into the corner to start and has to chop his way out of a chokeslam attempt. A low bridge puts Show on the floor but he catches the dive and throws Shawn back in. The big elbow misses so Show goes with the bearhug instead. That’s broken up so Shawn chops away, only to have the forearm pulled out of the air.

Some more strikes work for Shawn and he counters the chokeslam into a DDT. The top rope elbow connects and so does the superkick…which only puts Show on one knee. Shawn tries it again but gets chokeslammed for his efforts. Cue HHH with a chair to hit Shawn, meaning Show loses so HHH can laugh.

Rating: C+. Shawn was moving out there and had you believing that this could go either way, which is hard to do in about five and a half minutes. The ending sets up a match at No Year’s Revolution and gave us a few entertaining minutes of action. Not too bad, but Shawn can make something work out of almost any situation.

Kurt demands a title match against Cena tonight but Vince reminds him that this isn’t Eric Bischoff’s Raw anymore. Instead, Vince gives Cena a You Can’t See Me match against Daivari, meaning Cena will be blindfolded. Oh and you can disrespect the troops and Larry Bird, but NEVER interrupt him. Angle and Daivari leave so Vince can admire Candice’s magic wand (minus Candice).

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Chris Masters vs. Viscera

Masters powers him into the corner but Viscera comes out with a slam. An elbow gives Viscera two and he falls on top of Masters for daring to try a slam of his own. The Masterlock doesn’t work as Viscera drives him into the corner, setting up a side slam. A Samoan drop puts him down as well, only to have Masters drop toehold him into the corner. The Masterlock to a kneeling Viscera is good for the submission.

Rating: D+. You know, this wasn’t too bad all things considered. Who would have expected anything from these two? Masters getting the hold on Viscera was kind of impressive and the match wound up being a decent enough power showdown. I still don’t see Masters as anything more than a midcarder, but like Carlito, he’s the right choice at this point.

Smackdown Rebound.

Trish Stratus went to talk to Mickie James but Mickie tells a story about growing up watching wrestling with her grandfather. He took her to Wrestlemania X7 where Trish stood up to Vince McMahon (Mickie: “You were totally sleeping with him!”) and then he died soon after. Now she has a #1 contenders match and might get to be in the ring with Trish! Mickie starts crying and Trish suddenly can’t remember what she came here for. Sounds like a delayed breakup.

Here’s Matt Striker to teach us something. His blackboard says Family Values, which have been forgotten. Like working mothers. What happened to mothers who did work when they weren’t on their back? Striker wants to know where the fathers are, but here in Massachusetts, they’re probably marrying each other.

Striker brings up the gay marriage law in Massachusetts and says “that’s the sort of thing that is ruining our country.” The people here are uneducated and that’s where he comes in. He’ll be your father figure! There’s a line in there that wasn’t good when it aired and has aged even more horribly. That would be “Here’s Matt Striker.”

Chris Nowinski and Dusty Rhodes both apply to be General Manager.

Victoria vs. Mickie James

The winner gets Trish, on commentary, for the title at New Year’s Revolution. Victoria starts fast with the spinning side slam for two but a standing moonsault hits knees. Mickie slugs away to knock her into the corner as Trish sounds nervous about the idea of facing Trish. Victoria comes back with a quickly broken Boston crab so it’s the MickieDT to give Mickie the pin and make Trish a little more anxious.

Rating: D+. Another match that didn’t have the time to go anywhere and that’s fine. You’re only going to get so much out of a short match like this, which is even more frustrating when these two are capable of doing more. The women’s division has been three people for a long time now and that needs to change. I mean it probably won’t, but it should.

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: HHH vs. Kane

HHH charges into a clothesline to start and Kane hammers away in the corner. The big choke has HHH in more trouble so he goes to the knee. Kane whips him over the corner for the big crash to the floor though and we take a break. Back with HHH hitting a spinebuster but the sleeper is broken in a hurry.

The powerslam sends HHH down again but HHH rolls outside before the top rope clothesline can launch. Back in and the facebuster connects, only to have Kane kick the referee down by mistake. The distraction lets HHH pull out the sledgehammer but here’s the Big Show. Kane gets back up and it’s a double chokeslam for the slow three.

Rating: C-. This was another storyline match but at least they had some time to make it work out a little better. HHH vs. Big Show is a fine enough match, but it’s a little strange to see a Tag Team Champion in a singles match. Much like the women’s division, it’s not like Kane and Show have much competition though so there aren’t many other options.

John Cena vs. Daivari

Non-title, only Cena is blindfolded and yep that’s a major hometown pop. Daivari claps to get Cena’s attention and Cena misses a charge. A slap to the back of the head annoys Cena again and Daivari even talks some trash. Believe it or not that’s not a good idea as Cena gets in a shot to the face. Cena starts pointing for the YES/NO chants from the crowd but Angle gets in a cheap shot. Cena catches Daivari anyway though and it’s the STFU for the fast tap.

Rating: D. These matches almost never work but the fans helping Cena here and keeping it short made this a lot easier to get through. Angle vs. Cena has been done for weeks now though and I really don’t need to see any more of it, even an offshoot like this. At least the hometown boy wins for once though, which shouldn’t be that big of a surprise.

Overall Rating: C-. This was a theme show and those can be hit and miss. They did what they needed to do for the Chamber though and that’s a good thing. There were a few other things going on and those feuds are only decent. I’ll give them points for having SOMETHING during the December lull though, as that isn’t often the case. Not a bad show, but it was almost all about one idea and if you didn’t care for it, you weren’t getting much out of this.

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