Monday Night Raw – January 16, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 16, 2006
Location: RBC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Attendance: 7,500
Commentators: Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman

We are getting closer and closer to the Royal Rumble but the big story coming out of last week’s show is Ric Flair interrupting Edge and Lita’s special celebration. Edge has something else to worry about with John Cena though and he might have to deal with both of them here. Oh and we get Shawn Michaels vs. new Smackdown World Champion Kurt Angle in case you need a likely instant classic. Let’s get to it.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day video. They never miss those.

Opening sequence.

Tonight: Edge defends against Ric Flair in a TLC match. That sounds like something you might want to promote a little more than an hour and a half in advance.

Here are Edge and Lita for a chat. Edge talks about how people have been calling him a cheap champion and that he stole the title. The truth is he won the title fair and square (indeed) and as champion, he calls the shots. Some people were offended by last week’s celebration but get over it, because it was the highest rated ending to Raw in over two years.

The day after he won the title, over twenty five million people checked WWE.com, making him the most watched WWE Champion of all time. That brings him to Flair, meaning we see a clip of the Conchairto from last week. For now, Edge wants to finish what he started with Lita last week so he grabs a chair….and here’s Kurt Angle, flanked by Daivari, to interrupt. He thinks the YOU SUCK chants refer to Lita and doesn’t like Edge using a briefcase to win the title.

Angle doesn’t take the easy way to the World Title, but Edge thinks Angle ran to Smackdown because he can’t beat John Cena. Angle wants to unify the titles tonight but Edge insults him even more. The suplexes are on but here’s Vince McMahon to interrupt. There isn’t going to be any unification match because Edge is defending against Flair in a TLC match. Edge and Lita leave, with Vince telling Lita to cover up. That’s as out of character as you’re going to get all night. As for Angle, he’s facing Shawn Michaels in a non-title match, but if Shawn loses, his contract is terminated.

Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle

Non-title and the match is joined in progress after the break with Shawn chasing Daivari before heading inside to chop Angle. A headlock puts Angle down and Shawn chops away in the corner again. Shawn goes up though and dives into the belly to belly, which is never a good thing. Angle’s German suplex sets up a bodyscissors to work on the ribs but the Angle Slam is countered into a DDT.

That means a very delayed two but Daivari low bridges Shawn to the floor to cut him off again. A superkick drops Daivari but the Angle Slam drops Shawn on the floor. Back from a break with Shawn’s back in trouble and Angle whipping him hard into the corner. Angle can’t hit a belly to belly superplex twice in a row so he runs the corner for a super Angle Slam and a delayed two.

The ankle lock is countered into a victory roll for two and Shawn starts slugging away. That just earns him another ankle lock but Shawn is out in a hurry and clotheslining away. The top rope elbow misses though so there go the straps. The ankle lock isn’t broken so quickly this time, though Shawn does manage to slap Daivari. That’s enough to bring Daivari in with a chair but Angle breaks it up, only to have Daivari accidentally hit him with said chair. Shawn is right there with a rollup for the fluke pin.

Rating: B. These two have gotten into a formula with Angle overwhelming Shawn, leaving him to have to get in his shots here and there. It’s a formula that works and it did here, as they have spaced the matches out well enough that they don’t feel repetitive. Angle losing a few days after winning the title isn’t the best thing, but the whole situation is a mess and it wasn’t remotely clean so it could have been a lot worse.

Post match Daivari stomps away on Shawn but Angle pulls him off and wants some answers. Daivari slaps him in the face and gets Angle Slammed to the floor. Moron deserves it.

During the break, Angle said Daivari’s services are no longer needed.

We look at Edge’s huge spear at Wrestlemania X7.

Maria interviews Chris Masters and shows him how he lost in the Elimination Chamber. Masters blames Carlito but he’ll take care of him at the Royal Rumble. Tonight though, John Cena loses the Masterlock Challenge.

Ashley vents to Trish Stratus about Mickie James being all psycho. Mickie comes in and doesn’t like being talked about. Yes she is obsessed, about what she did to Ashley last week. For tonight though, they’re a team, with Mickie offering some well placed slaps.

It’s Masterlock Challenge time, with Masters saying he’s doing this to prove that he had the Elimination Chamber won if not for Carlito. Cena comes out to take the challenge, listens to Masters’ trash talk, and then flails around in the hold. He Hulks Up but here’s Edge to blast Cena with the title, busting him open. Edge’s evil smiles are always great.

Vince comes into the training room to see Shawn and throws him out for the evening. Ric Flair is next to him so Vince says Flair could become the 17 time World Champion (Flair looks straight at the camera as Vince says 17, likely wanting to go on a promo with a lot of numbers). Candice Michelle comes in to flirt with Vince and do the Go Daddy dance.

Trish Stratus/Mickie James/Ashley vs. Torrie Wilson/Victoria/Candice Michelle

During the entrances, we see a clip of Candice’s Go Daddy Super Bowl commercial, involving various parts of her washing a window. Victoria works on Trish’s arm to start and is quickly pulled down into a rollup for two. It’s off to Ashley, but Mickie spears her down and goes nuts as Victoria watches on like a smart villain. Trish argues with Mickie and it’s the Widow’s Peak to finish Ashley in a hurry. Trish vs. Mickie continues to be one of the more interesting stories on the show.

Classic Edge TLC Moment: TLC I.

Rob Van Dam is back at the Royal Rumble.

Carlito doesn’t understand why Rob Van Dam coming back is a big deal and we see a clip of Carlito attacking him in June. The reality is that Carlito is on a roll and was THIS CLOSE to winning the title at New Year’s Revolution. Don’t worry though, because he’s winning the Royal Rumble and heading to Wrestlemania. No one on Raw or Smackdown can stop him so here’s Kane to put an apple in Carlito’s mouth and throw him over the top.

Someone wants to see Vince and he seems to think it going to be Candice.

Post break, Vince starts stripping for Candice but it’s Mama Benjamin and Shelton. Well at least it wasn’t Moolah and Mae. Anyway she wants Shelton to have a match tonight and sends Shelton away. Mama offers Vince chocolate thunder and brown sugar. Even Vince seems disturbed by that one.

We look at Chris Benoit’s Swan Dive only hitting a table in TLC III.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Big Show

Mama Benjamin is here and looks close to passing out when Show’s music hits. Shelton hides behind Mama but Show is kind enough to hold the ropes open for her. Mama: “Shelton, you’re on your own.” Shelton slugs away to no avail and has to go after the broken hand to escape a chokeslam attempt. A fall away slam works better for Show as Shelton is sent outside. Show throws him back in but here’s HHH for the brawl to cause the countout, giving Shelton the win.

Rob Van Dam hit the Van Terminator in TLC IV.

Raw World Title: Edge vs. Ric Flair

Only Edge (with Lita) is defending in a Tables Ladders and Chairs match (the first ever singles edition). Before the match, Flair hugs his daughter Ashley, better known as Charlotte (so yes, she was getting TV time before she even debuted). The title is raised and we’re ready to go. Edge hammers away to start and drops some elbows before throwing in the toys. A ladder to the face has Flair down and Edge crushes him in between. They head outside with Flair knocking him up against the barricade.

That means Edge gets knocked into the crowd but Flair follows and is quickly backdropped to ringside. Edge suplexes him on the floor and loads up another Conchairto on a table, but Flair fights up this time. Lita goes after Flair so Edge chairs him down like a true villain. As you might expect, Flair is busted open (I’m surprised it took him this long) and Edge puts him on the table. A splash off the ladder in the ring destroys Flair and we take a break with both of them down.

Back with Edge getting crushed in a ladder for a change and Flair chairing the ladder to make it worse. A nasty chair shot to the head lets Flair climb a ladder (gulp) so Edge superplexes him right back down for the double knockdown. Edge’s missile dropkick misses though and they’re both down again. It’s Edge up first to chair him to the floor but Flair turns over the ladder, sending Edge crashing through a table on the floor (there’s your crazy crash of the match). Lita makes the save this time and gets Figure Foured so Flair goes up again. This time Edge knocks him off though and retains in a hurry.

Rating: B. There is something so wrong yet so fascinating watching Flair in a match like this. One thing I have to give him is that he threw himself into it and almost looked comfortable out there. The lack of drama didn’t help things, but the constant shots of Ashley made me believe that there was a chance. It was a fun match, though building it up more than an hour and a half could have been advised.

Post match Edge loads up another Conchairto, drawing out Cena for the save. Cena swings the chair but can’t hit anyone to end the show.

Overall Rating: B+. It’s hard to screw up a show with a big main event and Shawn vs. Angle and they were a strong enough combination to work here. What mattered here was getting the Flair vs. Edge feud out of the way and now we are moving full steam ahead to the Rumble. Cena vs. Edge is feeling like a big deal and then the Rumble itself can carry the rest of the card. Very good show here, but how could it not be given how stacked the card was?

 

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