Monday Night Raw
Date: February 6, 2006
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman, Joey Styles
We’re on the Road to Wrestlemania and now it’s time to start getting ready, as there is no Raw pay per view for February. That could mean more than a few different ways to go, but with the title back on John Cena, we need a new challenger and that process can start sooner or later. Let’s get to it.
The opening video gets straight to the point: tonight we start a #1 contenders tournament for the Wrestlemania title shot. Makes as much sense as anything else.
Maria brings out Edge and Lita for a chat but Edge tells her to shut up. Edge announces that he is facing Cena again next week, because he beat Cena last week. See, Lita did hit him with the title, but no it wasn’t due to her having some feelings for Cena. Edge is smarter than that and promises to go to Wrestlemania as the WWE Champion again. He doesn’t like Maria calling him the former WWE Champion and Lita insists that Maria make it the FUTURE WWE Champion.
Cue Jim Duggan to offer to be the guest referee for Edge vs. Cena next week. Edge doesn’t think so and keeps cutting off Duggan from the catchphrase about Lita. Duggan gets it in anyway and the beatdown is on. Edge gets in a shot with the 2×4 and Lita beats up Maria for a bonus. Cue Cena to cut off a spear, sending Edge and Lita bailing.
Road To Wrestlemania Tournament Quarterfinals: Kane vs. Chris Masters
Kane sends him into the corner to start and drops Masters with a right hand. The big elbow misses and Masters grabs a swinging neckbreaker, sending Kane into the situp. Back up and Kane kicks him in the face for Masters daring to tease the Masterlock. The chokeslam is broken up with a rake to the eyes so Kane kicks him in the head again. Instead, Masters grabs a rollup with the ropes for the cheating pin.
Rating: D+. This was too short to mean anything but they did something nice with Masters only trying the Masterlock. I’m not sure what it means that he has such a one note offense but it makes sense for him here. It was a punch and kick match otherwise but would you want these two to try anything else?
We get some tournament brackets:
Rob Van Dam
Edge and Lita try to talk Vince McMahon into letting Lita be guest referee. Lita offers various favors, which Vince finds admirable because it means Edge will do anything to be champion. Tonight it’s a mixed tag, with Cena/Maria vs. Edge/Lita and the winning team gets to pick the referee.
Mickie James vs. Ashley
Trish Stratus is guest referee. Mickie runs Ashley over to start but a hurricanrana out of the corner is cut off. Some forearms stagger Mickie but she accidentally runs Trish over. Ashley grabs a rollup for the pin.
During the break, the Spirit Squad gave us a cheer on Raw Unlimited.
Mickie begged Trish’s forgiveness and says she loves her, but Trish’s date, Jack comes in. The glaring is STRONG.
Shelton Benjamin explains to his Mama that he’ll be beating Ric Flair for the Intercontinental Title. He needs to go get his phone, but she is worried about another freak coming in to mess with her. Shelton leaves anyway so here’s Eugene with an action figure to make Big Mama’s House jokes.
Wrestlemania Big Time Moment: Kane beats up Pete Rose. For the first time.
Road To Wrestlemania Tournament Quarterfinals: HHH vs. Ric Flair
Non-title. Flair starts fast with some hair checking and a WOO before hiptossing HHH down. The headlock doesn’t last long for Flair so he unloads in the corner instead. The Pedigree attempt is countered into a backdrop over the top and we take a break. Back with HHH hitting a spinebuster, followed by the Flair style knee drop. Right hands in the corner set up the Flair Flop so HHH hits a delayed suplex. A swinging neckbreaker cuts off Flair’s comeback attempt and there’s the Flair strut.
Flair grabs a rollup and starts chopping away again but charges into an elbow to the face. HHH charges into a boot in the corner and Flair starts going after the leg. The top rope forearm to the head gets two but the Figure Four sends HHH straight to the rope. The ref gets thumbed in the eye by mistake so Flair gets in a low blow (as only he can)….but the Pedigree finishes out of absolutely nowhere. I had to rewind the video to make sure I didn’t miss anything because it really was that sudden.
Rating: C. I’m trying to get my head around that ending because it was one of the most sudden that I can remember in a long time. It’s annoying enough to have the champ get pinned clean but to have HHH just shrug off a low blow and the Figure Four that quickly to win made it even worse. Did they just lose track of time and have to go home instantly or something?
Maria is in John Cena’s locker room and completely panicking so Cena kisses her calm. A quick slap to the back of her tights and a “see you out there” leave Maria looking rather pleased.
We get the full, uncensored GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial featuring Candice Michelle. This is edited off the Network of course, but the advertisement for it at the beginning isn’t.
Road To Wrestlemania Tournament Quarterfinals: Shawn Michaels vs. Big Show
Hold on though as here’s Vince McMahon to say it’s Shawn’s lucky day because Shane McMahon is gone tonight. Last week Shawn said he wasn’t going to walk out on his contract, but that’s what Vince wants. Next week, Shawn can have his retirement ceremony where he signs a contract and walk away with no threat of a lawsuit. That’s going to be mandatory, so he’s out of this match tonight and we have a replacement.
Road To Wrestlemania Tournament Quarterfinals: Shelton Benjamin vs. Big Show
Mama Benjamin is here with Shelton and we’re joined in progress with Show chopping away in the corner. Shelton tries a spinning dive off the top but gets pulled out of the air and sat on top again. That means another set of chops but this time he manages to drop Show throat first across the top. The Dragon Whip doesn’t even put Show down so Shelton goes with a springboard bulldog for two instead.
A neckbreaker gets the same but the kickout sends Shelton flying. Show powerslams him down and hits a running shoulder to send Shelton into the referee. Mama offers a distraction so Shelton kicks him in the head to the floor. Another charges goes badly for Shelton so Mama yells some more and it’s time to tease the heart attack. Show doesn’t matter and hits the chokeslam for the pin.
Rating: D+. The match wasn’t much to see but there is only so much that you can do with someone who wrestles like Shelton against Big Show. They did the best thing they could have done here by having Shelton bounce off of him but Mama was getting the focus here, as she tended to do in most of Shelton’s matches. Not terrible, but it just came and went, as it should have.
Post break, Mama seems to have had a heart attack. Oh well, time to move on.
Carlito rants in Spanish about Rob Van Dam.
Road To Wrestlemania Tournament Quarterfinals: Carlito vs. Rob Van Dam
Rob is still mad over Carlito making his already injured knee even worse last week so the fight is on before the bell. Some shots to the head rock Carlito as the bell rings, followed by the spinning kick to the back on the barricade. We take a break and come back with Carlito knocking Van Dam for two and we hit the chinlock. Rob fights up for a kick to the face and hits the Rolling Thunder splash, followed by the regular Rolling Thunder.
The split legged moonsault hits knees but Rob is right back with a rollup for two. Carlito’s double springboard flip dive takes Rob down and the Backstabber gets a very delayed near fall. Frustration is setting in so Carlito grabs the chair, only to get caught with the Van Daminator. The Five Star gives Rob the pin.
Rating: C. This was a nice two fold match with Rob getting his revenge and moving on in the tournament. Rob is the kind of guy you can drop into a tournament like this and have him make a nice run without having much of a chance of winning the whole thing. Carlito….well he’s a person who is around here too. Yeah it’s still not working for me and I don’t see that changing.
Here are the updated brackets:
Rob Van Dam
Edge/Lita vs. John Cena/Maria
The winning team gets to pick the guest referee for next week’s title match. Edge jumps Cena from behind to start and sends him into the post before forcing Cena to tag Maria. With Maria panicking, Edge sends Cena into the steps for a crash. Lita pulls Maria in and doesn’t seem all that threatened as she kicks Maria around and knees her in the ribs. Cena comes back in and starts the shoulders to Edge but Lita breaks up the Shuffle. The Litacanrana hits Edge by mistake so she flashes Cena, only to get speared down by Edge. Maria comes in and steals the pin.
Rating: D+. This was little more than an angle to set up the guest referee and there’s nothing wrong with that. They weren’t even in there for five minutes so it’s not like it had much time to do any real damage. Edge vs. Cena III with a guest referee is fine enough and they got there with Maria and Lita involved. Not too bad all around, even in a not so great match.
Post match Cena says he ran into the perfect guest referee earlier today so here he is: Mick Foley! Edge panics to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. I’m always a fan of these streamlined, “here’s the one big thing we’re pushing tonight plus a little something extra” shows and that’s what we got here. This was almost all about the tournament as the sights move over to Wrestlemania in a hurry. That’s how this should go, as there isn’t anything left to take care of on the way to Chicago. Give us the biggest build possible to get there, which they started tonight. Not a great show, but certainly an efficient one.
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