Monday Night Raw – May 1, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 1, 2006
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler

Backlash has come and gone and that means things are going to be slowing down a little bit. There is no Raw pay per view in May so the next one is coming up in June with One Night Stand. The big story coming out of last night saw HHH pretty much turning face despite losing in the main event where John Cena retained the World Title. Let’s get to it.

Vince McMahon brags about beating Shawn Michaels and God so tonight, he’s taking the night off. As for tonight, the Spirit Squad is in charge as the co-General Managers. The team comes in and says Kenny is going to face John Cena for the World Title, thanks to winning a Spirit Straw drawing. This is going to be a very loud night.

Opening sequence.

Torrie Wilson/Maria vs. Victoria/Mickie James

As per the Spirit Squad’s orders, they’re all in cheerleaders outfits. Mickie and Victoria jump them to start and it’s Torrie in early trouble. She manages a drop toehold to bring Victoria down though and it’s off to Maria to beat up both villains at once. Torrie gives Victoria a Stink Face and Maria hits a Bronco Buster on Mickie, which just annoys Victoria all over again. Mickie tries to suplex Maria back inside but here’s Trish to trip her up, giving Maria the fluke pin.

Spirit Squad vs. Eugene/Snitsky/Goldust

The unlikely trio is dubbed the Odd Squad. Goldust and Mikey (Why did they drop the gear that had their names?) start but it’s quickly off to Eugene to chop him in the head. Eugene misses a charge into the post as we see Candice Michelle sitting on Vince’s lap. Nicky comes in to beat on Eugene and get two and Johnny grabs a chinlock. Eugene fights up and hits a Rock Bottom on Mikey, allowing the hot tag to Snitsky. That means a big boot to Nicky so Johnny comes back in. Everything breaks down and the Johnny Go Round kick finishes Eugene.

Rating: D+. This was just a showcase win for the Spirit Squad and it worked out as well as could be expected. The Spirit Squad is good enough and that means they can get a little something out of a nothing match like this. If nothing else they didn’t bother with drama here because it would have been a pretty big waste of time.

During the break, Mickie James beat up Maria during the Kiss Cam.

Eugene is asked how it feels to lose, sending him into a far more coherent than usual talk about how he still has a job, unlike his Uncle Eric. Matt Striker jumps him with a dictionary.

This Week In Wrestling History: Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon beat Shawn Michaels and God at Backlash 2006.

The Spirit Squad comes in to see Shawn (with Big Show and Charlie Haas for a weird trio). Tonight, he can have the night off as a wrestler but he’s going to be the referee for Kane vs. Rob Conway. Oh and he has a special referee shirt with MAY 19 written all over.

We look back at Kane going nuts against Big Show last night. You remember: when we could hear his thoughts for some reason.

Kane vs. Rob Conway

Shawn Michaels is guest referee and Conway finds his plight rather funny. Therefore, Shawn jumps him and puts the MAY 19 shirt on him. Cue Kane and the destruction is on in a hurry. Kane hammers away as Shawn chills on the middle rope. Conway tries to escape over the barricade and is quickly pulled back by the somewhat partial referee. Shawn grabs a trashcan and just happens to look away when Kane hits Conway in the head. There’s the chokeslam and Kane leaves, only to have Shawn grab a mic and say May 19 a few times. That’s enough for Kane to comeback for a Tombstone to complete the destruction. This was funny.

Umaga vs. Rory Fox

Umaga smashes the guy and finishes with the usual in a hurry.

Candice Michelle is glad that Vince has healed his cold and asks for help with, and I quote, her labiagitis. A very banged up HHH comes in to interrupt and Vince offers him the special guest referee spot in the main event. That doesn’t quite work as HHH should just get the title shot but Vince isn’t sure. HHH sees it as punishment but if Kenny wins the title, he wants the first shot. Otherwise, HHH might not do it. Vince highly suggests that HHH be referee tonight because Vince remembers HHH calling him an old man. If HHH doesn’t do it, he won’t get another title shot until he’s an old man.

It’s time for the Cutting Edge, with Edge not being happy because he wasn’t pinned last night. Therefore, he still has a claim to the WWE Title. He’s used to it though, because his Wrestlemania match was ruined too. Yes he stole the show, but it was called by some ECW reject. Edge: “OH MY GOD Joey you suck.” With that out of the way, here’s Mick Foley as this week’s guest. Foley says he remembers the Wrestlemania match too and has spent the last month trying to find out what went wrong.

The more he watches it though, the more he realizes that nothing was wrong. He was more violent than ever and he was part of maybe the greatest hardcore match in wrestling history. On that one night, he was face to face with the toughest man in the WWE. Foley shakes his hand and the fans are really unsure about this one. Even though he lost the match, he got the defining Wrestlemania moment, just like Edge said he would. We see the end of the match with Edge looking traumatized after the spear into the flaming table. Foley: “THERE IT IS!”

Foley saw the look in Edge’s eyes, knowing that it was all downhill for him. Now Foley wants to go through this again right here tonight. Edge says he’s overcoming strep throat….but Foley is on. (Joey: “NEXT WEEK!”) He’s on crack that is because that isn’t happening. Just out of principle though, Edge will face Foley in any match he wants next week. Foley thinks the name Cutting Edge is appropriate, because next week, he’ll be cutting Edge with anything he can find. Save up that throat so you can scream for mercy. Oh and try to have a nice day. There was something odd about this and I think that’s the point.

Video on Backlash.

Here’s Chris Masters to say that last night’s loss to Carlito was a fluke. If Carlito tries that again, he’ll be spitting teeth instead of apples. Moving on though, Rob Van Dam may have won the Intercontinental Title but he can’t break the Masterlock. Cue Van Dam to take the challenge but here’s Shelton Benjamin to jump Van Dam as the hold goes on. Carlito runs in for the save with a chair so here’s Nicky to cheer a tag announcement.

Carlito/Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin/Chris Masters

Joined in progress with Masters holding a chinlock and we cut to Vince and Candice canoodling. Back with Shelton holding his own chinlock as Joey has received a note at ringside. The Spirit Squad wants to see him in the back right now as Shelton gets two. So Lawler is on his own on commentary as Rob scores with a spinwheel kick on Masters.

The hot tag brings in Carlito as Lawler is actually managing to do play by play. Masters decks Carlito from behind and Shelton adds a kick to the head. Van Dam comes in with the top rope kick to the face and Carlito Backstabs Masters. A rollup with trunks gives Carlito the pin on Shelton.

Rating: C-. They got some action into a pretty short match, though I’m almost scared to see where the Styles deal is going. What we got was good enough and the Intercontinental Title picture is starting to get interesting. Van Dam tends to be the placeholder champion more than anything else so I’m not sure where this is going, but it could work well.

Smackdown Rebound.

The Spirit Squad shoves Joey onto a couch and says they want to hear more spirit from him. Otherwise, they’ll have Vince make him wear a cheerleader outfit for commentary next week. They want extra spirit when he announces that Kenny is the new WWE Champion.

Post break Joey returns to commentary and Lawler calls him a cheerleader. Lawler wants to hear the Kenny line but Joey doesn’t want to do this. ECW is mentioned, and Joey says if this was ECW, he wouldn’t be working with a hack like Lawler. Joey takes off his glasses and slaps Lawler, who calls him a little idiot and shoves him down. Styles walks off and then runs to the back. Well that made the show better. Joey being gone, not the angle.

Post another break, Lawler apologizes and asks Joey to come back out here and finish the show. Joey, sans glasses, comes out to the stage and says he isn’t coming back. Thanks to the magic of live TV, he is going to show the world why he was the uncensored loose cannon of commentary for seven years in ECW. Six months ago, WWE called him because they had humiliated and fired JR again.

From week one, he has gotten an ongoing lecture between wrestling and sports entertainment. He can’t say things like wrestler or wrestling because it’s sports entertainment with superstars. Styles is supposed to ignore the moves and holds to tell stories. Well that’s insulting to wrestlers who leave their families to ply their craft in that ring. That’s why he was pulled from Wrestlemania because he doesn’t sound like Jim Ross. Then he gets bumped from BACKLASH? He called live pay per views in ECW because he was good enough to do it on his own.

Joey is sick of sports entertainment and storytelling and bathroom humor. He’s also sick of Vince McMahon mocking God and making out with the Divas for his own amusement. Finally he’s sick of the fans who buy this garbage. He never needed this job or wanted this job so he quits. Lawler isn’t impressed and seems to be finishing on his own.

It was a nice speech, but at the end of the day, Joey is hardly some saint of commentary and I’ll be glad to have JR back. Yeah Joey can call a lot of moves. That would make him a heck of a radio announcer, but when I can see all of the moves as they happen, I don’t need to have someone calling every single one of them. That being said, a lot of the other things that he said was rather accurate, though there is no reason to believe that this is going to be some big game changer.

Todd Grisham joins commentary.

Raw World Title: Kenny vs. John Cena

Cena is defending, HHH is guest referee and the rest of the Spirit Squad is here. Cena isn’t looking thrilled here but he hammers Kenny into the ring and hits a delayed vertical suplex. The FU is loaded up but HHH punches him in the face (I can go with not wasting time with being subtle) and the Squad piles onto him outside. Back in and Kenny hammers on the wounded head from last night.

Cena is sent outside for another group beatdown, including a whip into the steps. That’s good for two, as is a jumping elbow to the face. Kenny does a You Can’t See Me neckbreaker, causing HHH to rather halfheartedly go does to cover again. That’s enough for Kenny, who shoves HHH and gets punched down. There’s the Pedigree and HHH tells the Spirit Squad to bring it.

They only get on the apron and that’s enough for HHH, who walks off. Cue Shawn Michaels in his own referee shirt but first he has to have the big dramatic staredown with HHH. Kenny hits the top rope legdrop so Shawn comes in to count two before stopping. Sweet Chin Music drops Kenny and it’s Cena and Shawn beating up the Squad. Shawn superkicks Mikey and feigns sleepwalking, leaving Cena to FU Kenny to retain.

Rating: C. The wrestling wasn’t the point here as this was a pretty easy way to end the show. There was no chance that Kenny was winning but they didn’t really waste time teasing that he would. The Shawn/HHH/Cena stuff is interesting as they’re swapping Shawn into Edge’s spot (yeah I’m stunned too) but at least we got something pretty fast paced which didn’t waste time before getting to the obvious finish.

Post match Shawn and Cena shake hands with Shawn throwing him the title to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This was definitely the night off show after last night’s pay per view, but they set some stuff up for later. The part that worries me is setting up Joey Styles as the big angle, even if it isn’t going to be some top story. Angles involving people like commentators or referees rarely work because they aren’t the important parts of the show, but if it gets JR back, I’ll take it. Other than that, the show was a lot of short matches, though they should set up some important stuff later.



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