Monday Night Raw – April 17, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 17, 2006
Location: Savvis Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance: 16,108
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles

We are less than two weeks away from Backlash and that means it’s probably time for another handicap match this week. The three way feud between Edge, John Cena and HHH continues, which makes it a lot easier to sit through than Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels/God. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here is Vince McMahon to get things going. Vince: “The question is, will Mr. McMahon go to h***?” Vince was asked that last week by Shane and tonight he needs to set the record straight. The answer is no, because he was there this morning when his driver got lost and he wound up in east St. Louis. He respects all religions and tonight he is going to announce his own. That would be McMahonism, which is based on the principle that he is lord and master of all sports entertainment. Everyone involved with wrestling will worship him, whether you are in the ring or if you buy a ticket.

That makes McMahon wonder what would happen if McMahonism had been around at various points in history. We see a version of Michelangelo’s The Creation Of Adam with McMahon in the middle, with McMahon of course talking about his endowment. Then we have Moses coming down Mt. Cyanide carrying the Ten Commandments while McMahon has his Muscle and Fitness cover. There are some commandments of McMahonism as well. These include screw unto others, do not covet they neighbor’s wife unless she is really hot.

Back to the photos, with McMahon at the Last Supper. Or what if McMahonism went to Asia? That means a photo of him with a statue of Buddha. And another one at Shea Stadium with the Pope. The fans accurately describe this as boring so Vince talks about how we are in America where there are various freedoms. Tonight, Vince allows everyone to join his church.

Shawn Michaels certainly will not convert, but at Backlash, Shawn will worship at Vince’s feet. If he is lying, strike him down right here in this ring. Vince promises to beat Shawn tonight but here’s Shawn to superkick him and throw in a crotch chop for good measure. The joke went on WAY too long here, even though it wasn’t as long as some of the other opening segments. It wasn’t funny in the first place and then they just kept going with it, making things even worse.

Post break Vince yells at HHH for calling him an old man last week. Tonight, HHH vs. John Cena/Edge.

Rob Conway vs. Kane

Conway says he’s sick of being treated so badly and is then chokeslammed for the pin in less than a minute.

Post match Kane goes outside and grabs Lilian Garcia by the throat for mentioning May 19. Big Show, in workout pants for a weird look, comes out for the save. That means a chokeslam to Kane, who sits up and smiles.

We recap Chavo Guerrero failing to win the Intercontinental Title two weeks ago and quitting as a result.

Chavo has a sitdown interview with Jim Ross. Maybe he made a hasty decision, but the more he thinks about it, the less sure he is. He made a promise to his friends, family and to Eddie Guerrero. The loss summed everything up and JR asks if quitting is honoring Eddie’s memory. Chavo thinks Eddie would have been disgusted by his loss so maybe he should go get a real estate license. JR doesn’t buy this but Chavo says his career is at an end. They shake hands but JR doesn’t seem convinced.

Coach takes over as ring announcer as Lilian is traumatized.

Shelton Benjamin vs. ???

Non-title and if Benjamin wins, the Money in the Bank contract is on the line at Backlash but if Haas wins, the title is on the line. The mystery opponent is….the returning Charlie Haas, meaning Benjamin looks like he has seen a ghost. Charlie German suplexes the look off of his face and snaps off some armdrags to keep Shelton in trouble. A clothesline puts Shelton on the floor and Haas chops away against the apron. Charlie: “DID YOU FORGET ABOUT ME???” Well yeah kind of.

Back in and Shelton gets in a running clothesline to cut Haas down, followed by a hard whip into the steps. The chinlock goes on back inside but Haas fights up, only to miss a dropkick. A belly to back drops Haas again and Shelton does the Rob Van Dam finger point to set up his own Rolling Thunder. Shelton has to bail out of his own Five Star though and Haas grabs a rollup for the surprise pin.

Rating: C-. Haas was looking intense here and the match wasn’t bad at all, but it is rarely a good idea to have a champion lose clean, especially when he is heading into a big match against someone else. Throw in that Shelton doesn’t have the best record over the last few months and I wasn’t wild on the pin here. They certainly did have a surprise though and Haas looked good enough.

During the break, Maria held the Kiss Cam. That is all.

Armando Alejandro Estrada comes in to see Vince McMahon and, because he is a follower of McMahonism, he offers Umaga to face Shawn Michaels tonight. Vince says it’s next so Estrada leaves. Shelton Benjamin comes in to say he saw the light that led him straight to the office. Benjamin drops to a knee and says only McMahon can save him. Vince: “I do kind of like people on their knees before me.” Shelton looks a little unsure. And moving on, thank goodness.

Umaga vs. Shawn Michaels

We take a look back at the opening segment and we’re ready to go. Shawn sticks and moves to start until Umaga blasts him with a clothesline. A kick to the chest puts Shawn on the floor and here’s Vince to watch in person. More shots to the chest have Shawn sailing over the announcers’ table and a running knee drop crushes him again back inside. The falling headbutt makes it worse but Umaga charges into a boot in the corner.

Umaga knocks him straight back down but misses the running hip attack in the corner. The forearm puts Umaga down and there’s the nip up into the top rope elbow. Estrada breaks up Sweet Chin Music and Umaga sends Shawn into the Tree of Woe for the running headbutt. Another running headbutt connects and Umaga chokes away for the DQ.

Rating: C. They didn’t do anything wrong here as it advanced the story, kept Shawn from taking a loss and gave Umaga a dominant performance. It wouldn’t make a ton of sense for someone presented as a savage to care about a disqualification so the ending is as logical as they could have had. Good enough here, especially for such a short match.

Post match Umaga beats Shawn down some more but Vince calls him off from using the Samoan Spike. Vince wants to do this himself and ties Shawn in the ropes. He goes to grab a chair….and an explosion comes out of the ring post. Then another explosion comes out of another post, sending a worried Vince running. Another explosion goes off on the stage and now we have a wall of fire keeping Vince from the ring. We officially have divine intervention.

Vince sped away in the limo during the break.

This Week In Wrestling History, Rock held a funeral for Steve Austin and revealed that he still had the Smoking Skull Title. As a result, Austin crushed Rock’s Lincoln Continental with a monster truck.

Here’s Matt Striker for Striker’s Classroom. He says what we just saw from Austin and Rock is everything wrong with this nation today. Students at his school in New York couldn’t even tell him about the Bill Of Rights so imagine how bad it is here in St. Louis. Everyone is so obsessed with being cool and being like Nelly or whomever that is rather than learning about Nixon. Everyone here gets an F, but here is Carlito to interrupt. The fans are rather pleased to see Carlito, but he isn’t happy that Striker STOLE HIS APPLE.

Teachers didn’t get him back in the day and kept sending him to detention, so he spat the teacher’s apple in his face. Carlito thinks Striker looks like his old teacher so let’s do it again. Striker has an analogy for him (Carlito: “Anal what?”) and it involves giving Carlito a beating. The fight is on but here’s Chris Masters with the Masterlock to Carlito. I never cared for Carlito as a heel so maybe the face turn can help him a bit.

Rob Van Dam vs. Spirit Squad

The Money in the Bank briefcase has been spray painted for a change. Speaking of the Money in the Bank briefcase, it is on the line along with the Intercontinental Title at Backlash should Van Dam lose here. Van Dam tries to send the Squad outside as fast as he can but they finally get him down. The High Spirits (appropriate) set up the guillotine legdrop for the pin in just over a minute.

Trish Stratus, as Mickie James, has a surprise for the real Mickie James.

There is a big gift box in the ring for James (Where do you buy those things?) and here’s Trish (as Mickie, complete with entrance and outfit) to remind us of the time where Mickie gave Trish a present just before Wrestlemania. Since Trish is going to be challenging Mickie at Backlash, she has a gift for her this time around. Cue Mickie, as Trish, to sound rather nervous about what could be in the box.

Trish insists though and it’s….Trish’s boyfriend Jack, tied to a chair. Trish ungags him and he says that he thinks “both of you b****** are crazy.” With the gag put back in, Trish sits down on his lap (the fans seem to approve) and says if Mickie is really Trish, she’ll be worried right now, but if she’s really Mickie, this means nothing.

Trish: “Ya dig?” Mickie: “GET YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF MY BOYFRIEND!” Trish leaves so Mickie (seemingly with some issues of her top not holding up) helps Jack…who she accuses of cheating on her and kicks him in the head. That’s not how it played out when Mary Ann thought she was Ginger on Gilligan’s Island so I’m completely lost.

HHH comes up to Edge and Lita in the back with Edge promising to pin HHH tonight. HHH says it’s possible, unless John Cena does something about it. What has Edge done about Cena taking his title? Think about it.

Here’s the See No Evil trailer, plus some people in the crew talking about the movie. This isn’t on the Network of course.

We look back at Kane snapping on Lilian Garcia.

Backlash rundown, including Big Show vs. Kane.

John Cena/Edge vs. HHH

Lita is here as well. HHH jumps Cena to start and Edge is more than happy to start on the apron. Cena is back up with the whips into the corner and the release fisherman’s suplex for two. A back elbow cuts Cena off though and the fans are VERY pleased. HHH throws in a crotch chop before dropping the knee for two but Cena is back up with the clotheslines.

The Shuffle is countered with a spinebuster though and now Edge is willing to tag himself in. Edge gets in a shot to Cena but then walks into a spinebuster of his own. There’s the facebuster but Edge goes old school with a spinwheel kick. Cena is back in to suplex Edge and the referee gets bumped. HHH whips out the sledgehammer and lays out Cena but walks into the spear to give Edge the pin.

Rating: D+. Just like last week, the wrestling wasn’t the point here and that’s ok. I can go with everyone going for the mind games and getting the pins, as they at least have some bearing on what we will be seeing at Backlash. The falls don’t mean anything about elevating everyone and in this case, that’s an acceptable situation.

Overall Rating: C. The McMahonism stuff is going to be hit or miss for everyone and that’s understandable given the subject matter and how over the top it is. It is rather dumb, but Vince can make something like this work and is certainly trying to do so. Other than that though, Backlash is still a two match show, though Mickie vs. Trish is so goofy and borderline insane that I’m liking it more every week. They’re doing well enough for a show that is nothing but Wrestlemania fallout though and that’s a nice surprise.

 

 

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