Monday Night Raw – March 6, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 6, 2006
Location: Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Joey Styles, Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler

We have less than a month to go before Wrestlemania and that means we need to get in some more build between HHH and John Cena. That being said, the bigger story going on is Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels, which is likely to get a lot more time tonight. That and maybe some more Money in the Bank setup. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Marty Jannetty trying to get a job last week, leading to Shawn Michaels having to save him from Chris Masters. Shane McMahon got involved as well and forced Shawn into Vince McMahon’s Club instead.

Here are Vince and Shane, flanked by a bunch of security, to open things up. With the camera pointed at the ramp for a weird visual, Vince talks about the Oscars last night and seeing three hours of a** kissing. That was weird to see, but it was nothing close to what we saw last week. Of course we have visuals on the screen, but Vince has some people to thank, complete with music playing behind him.

He thanks the Spirit Squad and Chris Masters, the latter of whom was so helpful that he and Carlito are now receiving a Tag Team Title shot at Wrestlemania. Then there is Marty Jannetty, who will not be here tonight and will never be in the ring again. The fans deserve some thanks as well because they are willing do do anything to keep their jobs. Finally there is Shane, who humiliated Shawn, which is why Vince loves him so much.

That brings us to Wrestlemania, where Shawn is facing a 60 year old man on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine. Shawn’s music hits so security runs to the floor, because they’re really stupid. Shawn runs in through the crowd and jumps Vince until security pulls him off. Vince and Shane escape, with Vince saying Shawn faces Shane at Saturday Night’s Main Event in a street fight. Tonight though, Shawn is facing…..Shane!

Post break Shane doesn’t get it but Vince says he is going to ruin Shawn’s life.

Intercontinental Title: Ric Flair vs. Shelton Benjamin

Shelton is defending and has Mama Benjamin in his corner. Flair goes after him to start but walks into an early Samoan drop for two. A delayed suplex gets the same but Flair slugs his way out of the corner. Shelton even reaches out for his Mama as Flair keeps hammering away. It’s too much for Shelton so he pokes the referee in the eye. Flair grabs the Figure Four to make Shelton tap but the referee calls for the DQ instead.

Post match Flair is livid and beats Shelton up with Mama’s oxygen tank.

During the break, Teddy Long announced that Money in the Bank was now inter-promotional, with qualifying matches continuing this week on Smackdown. Rob Van Dam was there too. Yeah it’s quite the unnecessary cameo.

HHH vs. Kane

Wrestlemania XV rematch. HHH circles around a bit to start and gets in a poke to the eye, earning himself a beating in the corner. Kane goes up top but gets crotched back down, leaving HHH to not be able to hit a suplex. It’s too early for the Pedigree as Kane backdrops his way to freedom and hits a delayed side slam. Now the top rope clothesline connects but Chris Masters runs in for the distraction. HHH clotheslines Kane outside so Kane grabs his feet and HHH grabs the referee. That’s enough for Carlito to run out and spit apple in Kane’s face and post him, setting up the Pedigree for the pin.

Rating: D+. You wouldn’t usually expect a match in 2006 to be about as overbooked as the original version booked by Vince Russo. At least there was nothing that left you scratching your head this time and the Tag Team Champions finally have someone to face for the titles. HHH getting a win on the road to Wrestlemania helps, even if it took a distracted referee and two people interfering.

Victoria and Torrie Wilson are ready to unveil Candice Michelle’s Playboy cover. Torrie is upset over Candice being mad at her but Victoria says Torrie messed up and Candice is under a lot of pressure. Torrie implies Candice might be naked in the ring tonight.

Stephanie McMahon comes in to see Shawn and tries to apologize for Vince and Shane, plus everything she has ever done. She goes to leave but has some pregnancy issues. Shawn goes to get her a water and Stephanie spikes his water.

Video on Candice Michelle’s Playboy shoot.

Victoria and Torrie are in the ring and unveil the Playboy cover. The cover rises up and Candice herself is inside for the Go Daddy dance. She says she is hotter than Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler (Candice: “Congratulations on finishing third by the way Stace.”) and has the hottest Playboy cover of all time. Right Torrie? That’s a little too far for Torrie but Candice keeps pushing until Torrie calls her a b****. Candice backs off and they hug, with Candice winking at Victoria, who jumps Torrie from behind. Victoria and Candice even have a quick kiss as they leave.

Shawn isn’t feeling right but drinks more water.

Shawn Michaels vs. Shane McMahon

Vince McMahon is here too. Shawn charges in and slugs away with the chase being on. Shane gets in a cheap shot though and Shawn looks a little shaky. Some right hands in the corner have Shawn in more trouble but he comes back with a right hand. He can’t follow up though and the chops have little effect. There’s the nip up but Shawn can’t get all the way to his feet. Shane punches him down again and here are the doctors but Vince won’t let them come to the ring. Shane dances around as Shawn can’t even stand up. Shawn finally collapses and Shane gets the easy pin.

Rating: D. The match wasn’t the point of course, but the McMahons really need to work on their poisoning skills as Stephanie did the whole thing on worldwide TV. The point here was the angle advancement as we continue to get ready for Shawn to destroy Vince once and for….well probably at least a day or so.

Post match Shane tells Lilian Garcia that Shawn has another match right now.

Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels

Vince covers him for the pin in about five seconds.

Post match the McMahons do the big celebration until the Spirit Squad comes out and puts the McMahons on their shoulders.

Eugene vs. Kenny

Hold on though as we need a quick dance off and then a game of hide the air horn. Kenny uses the distraction to get in a cheap shot and the beating is on in a hurry. A jumping elbow to the face and another to the chest give Kenny two and we hit the chinlock. Kenny hits a basement dropkick for two and we’re back to the chinlock. Some forearms to the head get two more and the chinlock goes on again.

That doesn’t last long though and Eugene is sent into the buckle, meaning it’s time to get fired up. The airplane spin into a bulldog gives Eugene two and a bridging O’Connor roll is good for the same. Eugene hits a Rock Bottom but a distraction lets Johnny come in for a kick to the head. Kenny adds the top rope legdrop for the pin.

Rating: D+. You do need to have the Spirit Squad get in the ring at some point as they are just glorified background characters otherwise. That being said, it is rather amazing to see that they have turned so many OVW stars, including Eugene, into this stuff. It is good to have them on the show and that is the point for all of them, but how long were they expecting these characters to last?

Video on Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Lita vs. Maria

Lita is out for revenge from a few weeks back when Lita pinned her in a mixed tag. Edge is here too and Maria is looking a little nervous. A clothesline and some knees have Maria in early trouble and Edge mocks her from ringside. We stop for a quick kiss from Edge, allowing Maria to grab a rollup for two. The cockiness continues with Lita talking trash but the fans are right there with the Jim Duggan catchphrases. Lita finally plants her with the DDT for the pin.

Rating: D. Another match built around the story more than anything else and that’s fine. They made it very clear that Lita is a Women’s Champion and Maria is there because of the Diva Search. It didn’t make for the most exciting match but it was what they should have done here from a logic perspective.

Post match Edge loads up the spear on Maria but Mick Foley comes in for the save. Lita offers a distraction though and Edge spears Foley. The Conchairto follows and Edge accepts the challenge for Wrestlemania.

Sherri Martel is going into the Hall of Fame. That’s a good choice.

Mickie James is very happy with Sherri being inducted when Trish Stratus comes up. Trish says they need to talk and finally cuts Mickie off, saying she’s going too far and they need to be apart. Trish leaves and Mickie is devastated.

Saturday Night’s Main Event rundown.

Big Show vs. John Cena

Non-title Wrestlemania XX rematch. Show shoves him down to start and Cena isn’t sure what to do here. The big shots knock Cena into the corner and there’s a beal back out of it. Cena gets slammed as Show stays on his back and a side slam cuts him off for two. We hit the required bearhug but Cena fights out and low bridges Show to the floor. Cue HHH with the sledgehammer and we take a break.

Back with Cena hitting a delayed vertical suplex for two with Cena getting his foot on the ropes. Another slam gets another two but Cena gets the boots up in the corner. A middle rope crossbody is pulled out of the air though and Cena is down again. Cue Carlito and Masters but Kane jumps them from behind.

That lets Cena catch Show on the middle rope with a suplex (with the camera cutting to a shot of HHH, though they show the full thing on the replay). Cena stares at HHH though and gets shouldered down, only to counter the chokeslam into a DDT. Another chokeslam attempt is escaped and it’s the FU for the pin, much to HHH’s shock.

Rating: C. This was another match where it was all about the angle advancement with HHH vs. Cena and there’s nothing wrong with that. They took a step here with HHH realizing he might be up against something special with Cena and that could bring out the bigger, more evil HHH. Granted that might not be the best thing in the world, but at least they have a reason for going there.

The big staredown ends the show.

Overall Rating: C-. We are firmly to the point where the wrestling does not matter and that was the case right here. The wrestling was mostly bad tonight but that is far from important whatsoever at the moment. They advanced some stories here and that is one of the best things that they can do with less than four weeks to go before Wrestlemania.

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