Monday Night Raw
Date: February 27, 2006
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles
We’re just over a month away from Wrestlemania and the show is starting to take some shape. The big story coming out of last week is HHH becoming the new #1 contender to John Cena’s Raw World Title, which could mean some extra long promos without much being said. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the Spirit Squad attacking Shawn Michaels last week, with Marty Jannetty making the save. Marty can have a job tonight, if he joins Vince McMahon’s special club.
Here are Edge and Lita to get things going. Edge says Mick Foley’s time is up because it has been a week since Edge challenged him. Foley might have something planned for April 2 but maybe he would rather not waste himself at another indy show or write another book that no one will read. Lita pulls out a pair of tickets to Long Island and if Foley isn’t here, they’re coming to his house.
Cue Foley to say it isn’t that he isn’t man enough to come to Washington DC. It was Edge who lost to John Cena at the Royal Rumble and last week on Raw. Edge was the one who choked, so Edge threatens to choke Foley at Wrestlemania. Foley turns down the Wrestlemania match but points out that he was a three time transitional champion, making him the greatest transitional champion of all time! Edge says Foley will be remembered for three things: having his ear ripped off, being thrown off the Cell and showing up in Vince McMahon’s hospital room with a sock puppet.
See, Foley has never won at Wrestlemania. Yeah he has had his disqualifications and such, but he has never had that classic. Edge is undefeated at Wrestlemania and has had his share of great moments. It’s true that Foley would lose a wrestling match at Wrestlemania, but he would like to challenge Edge to a hardcore match. Lita panics so Foley goes to the back to get some extra incentive. That would be the barbed wire baseball bat so Edge and Lita run off.
Saturday Night’s Main Event is back on March 18.
Tag Team Titles: Kane/Big Show vs. Viscera/Val Venis
Kane and Big Show are defending. Venis strikes away at Kane to start, earning himself a big boot and side slam. Joey tries to shift things over to Jannetty and McMahon but Lawler of all people gets them back on track. Viscera comes in for a Samoan drop and his own near fall but it’s off to Show for the big flying shoulder. A somewhat delayed slam puts Viscera down again and Venis has to make the save. Kane clotheslines Venis down and it’s a double chokeslam to retain the titles.
Rating: D. Another match as we wait around to find challengers for Kane and Show. That has been the case since they won the titles, which is hardly the biggest surprise. There isn’t much that you can do with them, which is a big part of why they have been doing singles stuff for so long. Venis tried as usual though and seeing Viscera thrown around is somewhat impressive.
Ric Flair talks about turning 57 over the weekend and maybe he has one more title run in him.
Shawn Michaels comes up to Marty Jannetty and apologizes for what Marty has gotten into. Marty talks about quitting and getting fired but never doing something like this. He needs to do what he needs to do at the moment though because he needs this job.
Carlito insults Maria and announces that Money in the Bank is coming back at Wrestlemania. Qualifying matches begin tonight.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Trevor Murdoch
Murdoch jumps him to start but Rob sweeps the leg and twists it around. A basement dropkick keeps Murdoch in trouble and a kneebar sends Murdoch to the ropes. Murdoch bails outside but Rob’s dive only hits the floor. We get some TREVOR MURDOCH chants as he grabs a reverse chinlock, as the RVD chants take over. The regular chinlock goes on for a bit until Rob sends him into the corner. A running spinwheel kick sets up most of a Rolling Thunder and another kick to the face. The Five Star sends Rob on to Wrestlemania.
Rating: D+. Rob seemed especially sloppy this week but at least they kept it short. These qualifying matches can get a little annoying when they don’t have much drama but Murdoch is someone who is believable enough to make something like this work. At the same time though, there isn’t much that can be done when Rob isn’t exactly nailing his signature stuff.
Video on the Philippines tour.
Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Candice Michelle
Trish is defending and Mickie James and Torrie Wilson handle the respective introductions. An early Torrie distraction lets Candice get in a wand shot to take over. Some knees in the corner set up the Go Daddy dance but Trish takes her down and hammers away. Candice chokes away on the ropes but Trish grabs a sunset flip. Torrie grabs Candice’s hands, only to have the referee break that up. Trish rolls her up to retain. Not that it matters of course, because Candice’s Playboy cover is unveiled next week, and that’s what really matters.
Mickie is rather happy that Trish won.
Candice slapped Torrie during the break.
Here’s Coach to interview John Cena. Coach talks about how tough of a challenge HHH is going to be but before Cena can respond, here is HHH to interrupt. HHH gets rid of Coach and says that he is the greatest today. Cena talks about how he has been here four years and HHH probably didn’t think he would last two weeks. It’s true that Cena had to work hard to get to the top and now he is here to headline Wrestlemania XXII. HHH laughs it off and talks about Edge and Foley bringing up transitional champions.
That’s all Cena is because he’s just holding it for HHH. Cena is a tough guy, but he’s like Rocky Balboa. He has a lot of passion and pride, but he isn’t a very good wrestler. Rocky always finds a way to win, but this isn’t the movies and Cena can’t beat the bad guy. After that not so great illustration, Cena talks about how he has heard that from a lot of people, so what makes HHH different? HHH says Cena knows he’s different and he can see it in his eyes.
Cena lists off all of HHH’s accomplishments, including HHH being the kind of person who can walk around without the title and have everyone know he’s one of the best in the world. HHH has beaten a lot of names but Cena isn’t on that list. Cue Vince on screen to say that they will be facing off at Wrestlemania but before then, they are going to be teaming together against Kurt Angle/Rey Mysterio/Randy Orton on Saturday Night’s Main Event (with Vince making sure to get in all of the programming information, because he’s a promoter at heart). Good, intense segment, but the SNME announcement felt like it belong elsewhere.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Shelton Benjamin vs. Chavo Guerrero
Non-title and Mama Benjamin is here too. Shelton hammers away and hits a faceplant as Mama seems rather pleased. Or maybe it’s menacing. The chinlock doesn’t last long and Chavo is up with some quick shots to the face. A running headscissors sets up Two Amigos but the third is blocked for a whip out to the floor. Mama glares at Chavo and seems to have more health issues. Back in and Chavo counters a suplex into a DDT but the referee is with Mama. That lets Randy Orton run in for an RKO to give Shelton the pin.
Rating: D+. You know, if you need Randy Orton to help you beat Chavo Guerrero, you might not be the strongest choice for Intercontinental Champion. This Mama deal has crippled any credibility that Benjamin had left and I don’t see it getting any better. The match was short and to the point, though Orton vs. Chavo sounds rather….nothing.
Gene Okerlund is going into the Hall of Fame. The interview highlights alone are worth it.
Shawn begs Vince to not make Marty do this. Vince compares it to the President of France having to do this to George Bush, because that’s still a thing in 2006. Shawn better not get involved.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Carlito vs. Ric Flair
Flair headlocks him over for some one counts to start until Carlito drives him into the corner. A running shoulder puts Flair down and Carlito slaps him in the face. That means a series of chops from Flair and Carlito bails to the floor as we take a break. Back with Flair getting backdropped on the floor but Carlito has to hold his chest.
They head back inside and we hit the chinlock, with Flair chopping his way up. An enziguri into the Flair Flop gives Carlito two but he misses the knee drop. Flair gets in a few shots to the knee but Carlito dropkicks him out of the air. Carlito goes after the leg, only to have Flair sweep him down and grab a rollup (and ropes) for the pin.
Rating: C-. Another short and to the point match here, which wasn’t exactly thrilling stuff. Seeing Carlito take a beating is always nice though and Flair grabbing the ropes for the pin made me smile a bit. It was also nice to have a little drama to the match as you could go either way here, which is often a nice feeling to have.
Here is the Spirit Squad to sing about Marty joining Vince’s club. Vince comes out and talks about Marty leaving before so he must need this job. That brings out Marty, who looks defeated but willing to do what he has to do. Vince knows that Marty needs this job and demands that he get on his knees. Marty eventually does so Vince takes down his pants (Vince: “What are you smiling at Lilian?”), revealing the thong so Vince can deem everything magnificent.
Vince orders Marty to do it like everyone else does and, while Marty seems like he’s about to crack up, Marty gets to his feet and asks if there is another way. Fine enough, so here’s Chris Masters as Vince demands a chair. The Masterlock Challenge is on and Vince adds a low blow before insisting that Marty is going to kiss it.
Cue Shawn Michaels for the save but Shane McMahon pops out from under the ring to chair Shawn down. Vince makes Shane vs. Shawn at Saturday Night’s Main Event in a street fight. Shane makes Shawn kiss it instead and Vince promises to kick Shawn’s at Wrestlemania to end the show.
And then Marty was fired less than a week later and was never seen again.
Overall Rating: C+. They have a focus and that’s what matters most at the moment. The show itself was average with some not great wrestling but good segments to advance stories, but the important thing is those stories exist to be built. They have a framework in place for Wrestlemania and you can see where most of the show is going. That’s a rather good sign over a month out and now they just need to hammer in the details over the next few weeks.
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