Monday Night Raw – March 27, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 27, 2006
Location: Qwest Center, Omaha, Nebraska
Commentators: Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman

It’s the go home show for Wrestlemania and I’ve been digging the heck out of the last few shows. Tonight features a match which would be a much bigger deal at a different time but for now it’ll do well enough: John Cena vs. Vince McMahon. Other than that it is time to build things up for Sunday. Let’s get to it.

A rather enthusiastic Vince McMahon is in his office to welcome us to the show and hypes up his match with John Cena. Just to be fair though, his Wrestlemania opponent Shawn Michaels will be in action tonight too, against HHH.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Mick Foley, with wet hair and carrying a red box. He is ready to face Edge in a hardcore match on Sunday but it does not give him the right to stick his fingers down Lita’s throat. That is why he has brought an apology gift for Lita: a bouquet of roses from inside the box. There is another box for Edge on the stage, so Foley invites Edge and Lita to join him. Edge and Lita come out but Edge doesn’t want to hear it because the present could be a trap.

Foley says it is something Edge can use at Wrestlemania, so Edge says that Foley could use a win at Wrestlemania. All Foley does anymore is dip into his legacy in the name of a paycheck and one day the account is going to run dry. Foley cuts him off to say that it’s all about the Wrestlemania Moment and he has something in mind. He pictures Edge bleeding all over and begging for mercy but since Foley has lost his ear, he can’t hear any of it.

Foley wants Edge to hear the pitter patter of blood drops and then Foley being announced as the winner. Now Edge needs to open the box and he finds…a baseball bat. Edge comes to the ring with it so Foley reaches down into the box and pulls out a barbed wire baseball bat and Edge bails from the threat of pain and suffering. Good promo, but I think they were as ready as they were going to be last week.

We see the trailer for Edge vs. Foley and come back to Foley craddling the barbed wire bat as the Cactus Jack theme plays.

Kane vs. Carlito

Carlito jumps him for an early two and that’s about it for his offense at the moment as the left hands have no effect. The sleeper doesn’t work either as Kane uppercuts him down and hammers away in the corner. The running clotheslines set up the side slam to drop Carlito again but he kicks the knee out. A DDT gives Carlito two but Kane is right back up with a hand around Carlito’s throat. Carlito grabs the referee for the fast DQ.

Post break Kane chases Carlito into the back where Chris Masters, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch all jump him. They throw him in a closet and put a forklift in front of it but Big Show comes in for the save. There is no key though and Kane is trapped.

It’s time for the Masterlock Challenge for Big Show but he is still in the back, trying to shove the forklift. Kane pops up behind him though and Show is stunned. Show: “How did you get out???” Kane: “There’s another door.” That’s one of the funnier things I’ve seen WWE do in this era. So we go to the ring where Kane chases Carlito off. Masters can’t get the hold on so he jumps Show and gets chokeslammed. So much for that.

Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child will be singing America the Beautiful at Wrestlemania.

Long and well done video on John Cena’s training in the gym and road to the top of WWE. None of his friends are betting against him, but Cena knows what it means if he loses. He has made a living out of proving people wrong though.

The final inductee into the Hall of Fame: Tony Atlas.

Shawn Michaels vs. HHH

The slugout is on to start with Shawn hammering away in the corner and doing the same on the mat. HHH gets knocked to the floor and then over the announcers’ table. Shawn posts him and they head into the crowd with a backdrop sending HHH right back to ringside. Back in and HHH grabs the facebuster but the Pedigree attempt is backdropped to the floor. Cue Vince to menacingly point though and we take a break.

Back with HHH hitting a nice spinebuster and a knee to the back of the head for a bonus. Some right hands to the head and an elbow to the jaw put Shawn on the floor, meaning HHH can send him into the steps. Back in and Shawn gets in the forearm into the nipup and the crowd is rather pleased.

Vince grabs the foot and gets on the apron though, only to have Shawn catapult HHH into him. The top rope elbow hits HHH but Vince breaks up Sweet Chin Music. That earns him a right hand but HHH uses the distraction to grab the Pedigree. Vince comes in and holds Shawn so HHH can pull out the sledgehammer. Cue Cena for the save and the ring is cleared for the no contest.

Rating: C+. These two can have a good match with each other in the right circumstances and this one was close enough. They did what they could do here given how much there was going on elsewhere and that worked out well enough. I want to see both Wrestlemania matches and they can only have so many things to help set the two of them up at this point.

Wrestlemania Big Time Moment: the first Money in the Bank match.

During the break, Vince said that Shawn can be in Cena’s corner because HHH will be in his.

Here’s Ric Flair, with a ladder in the ring, to talk about losing the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania VIII. People thought that was it for him but he has won the title again since. He has one more title run in him so he can finish his career with seventeen, and he is starting with that briefcase. Flair starts climbing the ladder but here’s Shelton Benjamin to tell him to shut up.

Shelton thinks he needs to shut up because Wrestlemania is his night. The fight is on and Shelton goes up but here’s Rob Van Dam to pull him down. Rolling Thunder onto Shelton onto the ladder lets Van Dam say Sunday is every man for himself. Flair pokes him in the eye and gets in a ladder shot to leave them both laying.

Spirit Squad vs. Val Venis/Viscera/Eugene

Kenny, Johnny and Mikey for the Squad here and it’s Viscera with a swinging Boss Man Slam to plant Mikey early. Eugene comes in to ride Mikey like a horse so Johnny comes in to send Eugene into the corner. That means some Michael Jackson dancing, allowing Kenny to come in for an elbow. Eugene gets over for the hot tag to Venis so commentary can make some innuendo jokes. Kenny uses the trampoline to jump up and break up the Money Shot though, allowing Johnny to steal the pin.

Rating: D+. You’re only going to get so much out of a team of jobbers who sound like they are the kind of people who would walk into a bar. The Squad needs to actually win some matches for the sake of actually having a point around here other than cheering so this worked as well as anything else. They kept it short too, as they should.

Post match the beatdown stays on, including the quintuple slam to Eugene. The Squad throws in a bonus cheer on the stage. On a minor note, Venis seemed to hurt his shoulder here, which was an excuse for him to go away for three months for elbow surgery. Why WWE felt the need to write off Val Venis isn’t clear but well done on the attention to detail.

We get a video on HHH, talking about how he is the top star in WWE and how no one can do it like him. This includes his Wrestlemania training, with him working to get in the best shape of his career. He even went to Brazil to train with a special trainer. That’s some dedication.

William Perry is going into the Hall of Fame as well. Makes sense for Chicago.

Wrestlemania rundown.

Earlier tonight, Mickie James, surrounded by candles, was sitting in a shrine to Trish Stratus (there are a bunch of magazine clips and a sign saying LIAR). Mickie says her obsession is Trish’s destruction.

Trish is disturbed but Torrie Wilson, and her dog, are here for the tag match.

Trish Stratus/Torrie Wilson vs. Candice Michelle/Victoria

Torrie wants to start with Candice so Victoria knocks her down for suggesting that she can intimidate anyone. Candice comes in to drop Torrie again and hit the Go Daddy dance. Victoria comes in but misses a charge into the corner, where Candice is sitting on the top. The hot tag brings in Trish to clean house, including the spinning anklescissors to Victoria. Candice and Torrie get in the catfight on the floor as Trish escapes the Widow’s Peak and hits Stratusfaction for the pin.

Rating: D. Yeah I’m not sure what else you were expecting as Trish is FINALLY getting on to someone else who can give her a good match other than Victoria. It’s a little strange to see Trish and her serious story mixed with the goofy Playboy stuff but waiting for Trish vs. Mickie was as good as you were going to get at this point.

Video on Mickie’s obsession with Trish.

Vince McMahon vs. John Cena

HHH and Shawn Michaels are the seconds. Actually hang on as Vince insists that Shawn and HHH are handcuffed to the ropes to make sure that it’s one on one. Vince dodges to the side to start because he needs to pull on the ropes a bit. They lock up and go nowhere as the fans are behind Cena (shocking). There’s a head/throat lock from Vince but Cena powers out with a top wristlock. Back up and Vince calls for and receives a test of strength. This goes as you would expect with Vince in some serious pain, so he kicks Cena low for the DQ.

Rating: D. This wasn’t exactly a normal match and that’s a good idea. You don’t want to risk Cena getting hurt six days before Wrestlemania and Vince is only going to be good for a garbage brawl anyway so this was as good as you were going to get. It’s more of an historical curiosity if nothing else and that’s fine enough for the circumstances.

Post match Vince uncuffs HHH, who grabs the sledgehammer. A shot to Cena’s head busts him open and a rib shot to Shawn lets Vince get in a chair shot to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. It’s kind of a weird show as they had me wanting to see Wrestlemania on the way in and while they set things into stone a bit more, I’m not sure if I want to see the show all that much more. The wrestling wasn’t all that great of course, but this was the show designed to keep people safe, with only Shawn and HHH having a match with any substance and that included a lot of brawling. Not terrible, but this show is always a little weird.

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