Monday Night Raw
Date: February 20, 2006
Location: Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton, New Jersey
Commentators: Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman
Smackdown is done with its pay per view and that means there is nothing left on the way to Wrestlemania. We need a Raw World Title challenger and that will be taken care of tonight as HHH faces Rob Van Dam and Big Show in a HHH Coronation Special. Other than that, Shelton Benjamin gets an Intercontinental Title shot at Ric Flair. Let’s get to it.
The opening recap looks at the end of last week’s show with Edge blaming guest referee Mick Foley for costing him the World Title match against John Cena and beating him down as a result.
Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson, Ashley, Maria, Victoria, Mickie James
The winner gets a shot at Trish Stratus at some point in the future, so Trish comes out to watch from the stage. It’s a brawl to start with multiple catfights breaking out and Lawler wanting a wardrobe malfunction. Candice turns on Torrie and dumps her, much to Victoria’s annoyance. Ashley and Maria get rid of Candice and Mickie throws Maria out. Mickie tries a hurricanrana on Victoria but Candice dumps both of them for the win.
Rating: D. This was your fast paced nothing battle royal and that’s all it needed to be. Candice winning is fine for now, as it’s pretty clear what Trish is going to be doing at Wrestlemania anyway. They didn’t waste time with this one, but Lawler managed to make me cringe at least twice anyway. That takes talent.
Post match Candice brags about her accomplishments and does the GoDaddy dance while promising to win the title. Cue Edge and Lita to tell Candice (“Toots”) to get out of here because Edge is the one who should be champion. Edge is furious over what happened last week and says that’s what happens to Foley when he messes with the Rated R Superstar. Foley likes doing Jim Duggan impressions about Lita, so Edge wants a match…..with Duggan, which he’ll be getting tonight. Lita wants Duggan out here right now and Duggan isn’t making her wait.
Jim Duggan vs. Edge
Joined in progress. Duggan clotheslines away to put Edge on the floor but Edge snaps him throat first across the top. Now it’s Duggan being sent outside for a whip into the steps, followed by a dropkick back inside. Duggan slugs away and hits the ten right hands in the corner, plus the spinning slam. Lita grabs the foot though and the spear gives Edge the pin.
Rating: D+. In theory that should wrap up the Duggan stuff, which was funny once or twice but got a little annoying over time. Edge getting so frustrated over everything is a good way to go and setting up up against Foley is a promising thing, so hopefully we can get some of the amazing promos the two of them can do.
Post match, Edge asks if Foley saw that. Foley cost Edge his dream so he’ll make it simple because Foley only has one ear: Edge wants Foley at Wrestlemania and Foley has one week to make up his mind. If not, Edge is coming to Long Island.
Big Show talks about how important it is to go to Wrestlemania. He was in the main event of Wrestlemania 2000 and he knows what it takes to get there. Tonight, it’s a chokeslam to Rob Van Dam and HHH to stop HHH from having a chance to be WWE Champion again.
This date in WWE history: Bob Backlund beats Billy Graham to become World Champion.
Video on John Cena going to India. For some reason this isn’t on the Network version.
Kane vs. Chris Masters
They lock up to start and Kane wins a quick slugout. That’s enough to send Masters outside, where he pulls Kane into the post to take over. Back in and Masters grabs a quickly broken chinlock and Kane breaks up what looked to be a belly to back superplex. The top rope clothesline and a side slam drop Masters but he blocks a big boot and tries the Masterlock. That doesn’t work either and Kane tries his own, which is broken up with elbows to the face. The big boot finishes Masters out of nowhere.
Rating: D+. The streak of not so great wrestling continues tonight and I can’t say I’m exactly surprised. What were you expecting from these two? Kane and Big Show continue to forget that they’re Tag Team Champions, which isn’t exactly surprised given how nothing the tag division has been around here for, uh, well almost ever now.
Post match Masters grabs the Masterlock to send Kane outside.
Rob Van Dam wants to go to Wrestlemania. Serious Van Dam is always weird to see.
We look back at last week’s Shawn Michaels’ retirement ceremony.
Vince McMahon is in his office when the Spirit Squad comes in. He’s glad to see them because four of them are going to face Shawn tonight. The one left out tells the others to do it for him. These guys are growing on me in a weird way.
Intercontinental Title: Ric Flair vs. Shelton Benjamin
Benjamin is challenging and has Mama with him. Speaking of Mama, we cut to the back where she is on oxygen and Shelton dedicates the win to her. Flair hiptosses him into the corner to start and that’s a WOO. Back up and Flair hits a running shoulder, followed by some chops to the floor as we take a break. We come back with the Figure Four attempt being broken up with a kick out to the floor. Shelton follows and drives him into the apron, setting up a suplex over the top for two back inside.
A kick to the neck gets two and Shelton’s frustration is setting in. Flair charges into a boot in the corner and a top rope clothesline gives Shelton two more. Shelton tries his own Figure Four but gets kicked to the apron. A springboard back in is chopped out of the air though and now the Figure Four goes on. Benjamin makes the rope and gets outside, where Mama is having another heart attack. With the medics running out, Shelton gets in a pair of oxygen tank shots into the exploder suplex for the pin and the title.
Rating: C-. That’s your match of the night so far as Mama continues to get more attention than Shelton, even as he wins a title. Flair wasn’t exactly doing anything as champion so Shelton is a better fit, even if he has fallen off the face of the planet since Mama showed up. Granted he was almost all the way down before she showed up so maybe it wasn’t the worst thing imaginable.
Post match Mama dances with the title and Flair is all upset.
Video on Stacy Keibler on Dancing With The Stars.
Shawn Michaels vs. Spirit Squad
It’s a four on one handicap match with Kenny hitting a hiptoss into a dropkick to put Shawn in some mild trouble. Johnny comes in but Mikey gets in a cheap shot from the apron, allowing Johnny to kick Shawn in the face. Nicky grabs a chinlock for a bit, followed by Kenny low bridging Shawn to the floor.
The trampoline is set up on the floor and Kenny bounces off of it with a clothesline. Back in and Johnny’s assisted moonsault gets two but Shawn is back with a swinging neckbreaker. Kenny comes back in and misses his top rope legdrop, with Shawn nailing the running forearm. The top rope elbow hits Mikey and Shawn nails the superkick, drawing in the rest of the team to lay Shawn out for the DQ.
Rating: D+. The wrestling hasn’t exactly been hot tonight but this was angle advancement rather than the match itself. The Squad is fine enough in the ring, but it isn’t a good sign when your big draw is having a numbers advantage. If nothing else, it’s kind of a shame after watching these guys do so well in OVW and then get turned into a comedy heel act.
Post match the beatdown is on but Marty Jannetty of all people runs in for the save.
Carlito vs. Nick Burke
Carlito takes the mic from Lilian Garcia and punches Burke down while doing his own commentary. He talks about how he has an idea for Wrestlemania, hits the Backstabber and Rolls the Dice for the pin, then says it’s going to be Money in the Bank.
During the commercial, Matt Striker plugged his profile in GQ Magazine.
Eddie Guerrero is going into the Hall of Fame as well. Yeah that’s as much of a layup as you’re getting.
Here is Vince, who thinks Marty Jannetty should be rewarded for what happened. That’s why next week, Marty is getting a full time contract….if he’ll join Vince’s special club.
HHH talks about how important it is to go to Wrestlemania. He’s that big of a star and deserves to go to the biggest stage.
Wrestlemania Big Time Moment: “This is the biggest match in the history of professional wrestling.”
Road to Wrestlemania Tournament Finals: HHH vs. Big Show vs. Rob Van Dam
Show jumps HHH from behind to start and gorilla presses him without much effort. Rob breaks up the cover so Show chops him away. The beating continues with HHH being knocked outside and chopped into the crowd. Rob is right back with a kick to Show but he catches the spinning kick from the apron. HHH gets knocked down again and we take a break.
Back with Show shoving them both into the corner but Rob kicks Show in the head. The alliance forms to try and knock Show down and they finally put him on his knees. Show pops up with a double chokeslam though and they’re all down. A powerslam plants HHH and Rob is sent outside. Rob comes right back in with a top rope kick to Show’s face to put him on the floor for a change. That leaves HHH to get kicked in the face and the split legged moonsault gets two.
The stepover kick puts HHH down again and the Five Star connects but Show is back in. Rob kicks Show down again but HHH knocks him outside. A heck of a chair shot to Show’s head sets up the Pedigree for two, with Van Dam’s save getting a huge reaction. The Five Star connects on Show but HHH grabs the referee. The Pedigree finishes Van Dam to send HHH to Wrestlemania.
Rating: C+. The ending was inevitable as even Show talked about how it was more important to stop HHH from going to Wrestlemania. They didn’t exactly hide what was going on here but Cena vs. HHH does feel like a Wrestlemania main event. Cena is a star, but HHH is always hanging over the whole thing. Not a bad match, even with the obvious ending.
Post match Cena comes out for the big staredown to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This was a rough sit as there wasn’t much to see until the main event. What matters here though is setting things up for Wrestlemania and you can see a good chunk of the Raw side from here. That’s what matters more than anything else, but it would have been nice to have some better wrestling at the same time.
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