Monday Night Raw – May 15, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 15, 2006
Location: United Spirit Arena, Lubbock, Texas
Attendance: 6,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Things are getting interesting around here as we have the mostly uncombined forces of John Cena, Shawn Michaels and HHH vs. Vince and Shane McMahon, plus the Spirit Squad. It’s certainly a different enough looking feud and I’m curious about how it is going to go. Throw in the new alliance of Edge/Mick Foley/Lita and things are actually getting good. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. HHH

Must be sweeps week. Cena is defending…or at least he would be if Vince McMahon didn’t come out instead of him. Vince says the title match is being changed up, because the Intercontinental Title will be defended at the same time. It’s going to be a three on two handicap tornado tag team match with both titles on the line.

Raw World Title/Intercontinental Title: John Cena/Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin/HHH/Chris Masters

Cena and Van Dam are defending, there are no tags and one fall to a finish. It’s a brawl to start with Cena and HHH brawling on the floor while Van Dam hurricanranas Shelton. Van Dam hits a big running flip dive to take everyone out and we take a break. Back with Cena hitting a running shoulder into a powerslam but HHH sends him outside.

Shelton hits a spinwheel kick to send Cena over the barricade and it’s Van Dam getting triple teamed. HHH and Shelton get in an argument over the pin so Masters puts Van Dam in the Masterlock, which is the smartest thing he has ever done. That’s broken up so Van Dam spinwheel kicks Benjamin and Cena is back in for the running clotheslines.

There’s the Shuffle to Masters but Cena has to backdrop his way out of the Pedigree. Masters breaks up the STF on Benjamin but Rob comes back in with the Five Star. HHH gives Van Dam the Pedigree and there’s an FU to Masters. Another Pedigree takes Cena down but Shelton covers Van Dam for the Intercontinental Title just a second before HHH covers Cena for a nice annoyed visual from HHH.

Rating: C+. This was a complete action match and I liked the concept. There’s something fun about the complete insanity and having different options for people to win titles. Shelton getting the title back is a little annoying but Van Dam can move on with the briefcase, which is a lot more important anyway.

During the break, HHH wasn’t interested in commenting.

Here’s Trish Stratus, with the arm still in a sling, for a chat. She and Mickie James have some unfinished business so get down here right now. Mickie comes down and she’s ready to go but the blonde fan from last week jumps in. The fan chases Mickie off and Trish names her as Beth. The new woman shouts that Mickie is a psycho and Beth isn’t forgetting what Mickie did to her.

Clip from the See No Evil premiere with a bunch of wrestlers in attendance.

This week in wrestling history: Bruno Sammartino b. Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds to win the World Title. This isn’t on the Network for some reason.

Shane McMahon comes in to see HHH, who wants to know what that was. Apparently that was HHH’s title shot so now it’s time for HHH to return the favor. Shane mentions the main event, where he’ll be the guest referee. I’m not sure what that has to do with HHH but how else were they going to make that announcement?

Tag Team Titles: Spirit Squad vs. Goldust/Snitsky

The Squad (Johnny/Nicky) is defending. Johnny’s headlock doesn’t work so it’s off to Goldust for the jumping hip attack. Nicky comes in and gets his arm cranked a bit until the rest of the Squad trips Goldust down. The front facelock keeps Goldust in trouble and a clothesline gives Johnny two. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Goldust fights up for the powerslam. The hot tag brings in Snitsky to clean house but it’s a springboard bulldog from Mikey to put him down and give Johnny the retaining pin.

Rating: D+. There was no drama and it was the usual shenanigans from the Squad. They’re exciting enough with the trampoline and all that jazz, but they work a lot better as the goons than as the team holding the titles. It was passable for a short enough match, but that’s about all you can give it here.

Here’s Mick Foley, who says it’s true: Melina was looking at him at Kane’s movie premiere (Foley: “YES!”). As for last week, it’s true that he attacked Tommy Dreamer and kissed Lita, the girlfriend of his sworn enemy, on the hand. He owes us an apology, so he does just that but since Tommy Dreamer can’t be here due to a bad reaction to a barbed wire baseball bat.

Instead, Foley has a special guest: TERRY FUNK, complete with a clip of the dumpster match from Wrestlemania XIV. Foley gives him a warm greeting but Terry says not so fast Cactus. Funk wants to know why Foley did what he did to Tommy Dreamer. Foley: “You don’t want to know.” Mick talks about the history he made with Edge at Wrestlemania but now you have ECW freaks coming in and trying to talk about hardcore.

There are three things Foley will defend with his life: the honor of his wife, the honor of his children and the honor of his legacy as a hardcore wrestling. Funk says Foley is ECW, which means he’s family. They have broken each others’ bones over the years and fought together, but Funk has always put his arm around Foley. Funk says Foley is like a son to him and they hug, with Foley seeming touched.

Foley says this is the first time they have been in a WWE ring together since 1998, but it wasn’t supposed to be that long. Back in 2003, Foley was honored in a ceremony on Raw with all of the hardcore legends….except Terry Funk. Foley asked where Funk was but was told that Terry was at home because he wanted too much money to be there. Funk gets serious and Foley tells him to shut his mouth.

Foley is going to get a phone call a few years from now, saying that Funk is gone and they want him at the funeral. He’ll come but it’s going to cost a lot of money to make Foley come to a dump like west Texas. Foley will cash in the frequent flier miles if he has to but he’ll there just so he can spit on Funk’s grave. Funk: “YOU GOT YOUR NERVE FOLEY! I’M GONNA JOHN WAYNE YOUR A**!”

Funk tells him to take his best shot and slaps him in the face over and over but Foley won’t fight back. Funk: “Hey Foley! If I had a head like yours, I’d have it circumcised!” That’s almost too far for Foley, so Funk says it again. Foley goes to leave so Funk says his wife is a wh***. Funk: “HEY FOLEY! HEY FOLEY! YOUR KIDS ARE B*******!” Funk says the WWE sucked and that’s enough to get Foley swinging but Funk punches him back. Cue Edge, who gets knocked into the corner as well but Lita gets in a low blow. A barbed wire bat shot puts Funk down and it’s Mr. Socko into the spear to leave Funk laying.

The Funk vs. Foley stuff was outstanding for more than a few reasons. First and foremost, it’s Terry Funk, who is someone where the more I see of him, the more in awe I am of him. He has been around forever but there is such a reputation there that you can’t help but respect him. On top of that, he is such an awesome promo that you believe every single thing he says.

Then there’s Foley, who is a legend in his own right but you can feel the respect that he has for Funk. It’s such a personal connection and that is the kind of thing that made Foley seem vulnerable. You can see both sides of this and why Foley is angry, but Funk is trying to patch things up and Foley is having none of it. Then Funk pushed every button the Foley told him would work and it all spilled out from there.

In other words, they set up the stakes, they gave it an emotional aspect and then it all played out as it should have. This was two great talkers doing what they know how to do and sucking the fans in the whole way. The history between them made this the kind of thing that was going to work for these two more than anyone else. This was excellent and I was pulled all the way into it at the beginning and never left.

Here’s Matt Striker to insult Texas for not being that smart. Oh and immigrants are bad.

Matt Striker vs. Eugene

Eugene has a big red cowboy hat and Striker cracks up a bit. After a run around the ring with the hat, Eugene gets caught in the corner and the beating begins. A cravate and some shouting has Eugene in trouble, followed by the right hands to the head. Striker calls him a moron, but then does the moronic thing of ramming him head first into the buckle. The comeback is on and it’s the big boot into the legdrop for two. Striker grabs a neckbreaker though and puts a knee on the back of Eugene’s neck before snapping him backwards onto the knee (Zack Ryder’s Zack Attack) for the pin in a hurry. This was fine.

Video on Kane as the movie press junket continues.

We look back at the double title match earlier.

Maria asks Carlito why he attacked Matt Striker and Eugene last week. Carlito ignores the question to hit on her but she likes the Spit Or Swallow shirt. I think you know where this is going and Carlito finds it cool.

Vince McMahon is trying to kiss Candice Michelle when an annoyed HHH comes in. Vince praises him a bit and hands him a sledgehammer to bash Shawn Michaels’ head in. Do that, and it’s a new era. Vince: “Go get em champ.”

Armando Alejandro Estrada introduces Umaga’s opponent. He is the toughest man in Texas, but Umaga (now officially dubbed the Samoan Bulldozer) isn’t from Texas.

Umaga vs. Chris Wellman

The running splash in the corner starts the destruction (Estrada: “I think that hurt.”) and it continues on the floor, complete with a choke toss off the steps for a good crash. Back in and it’s the corner headbutt into the running hip attack into the Samoan Spike for the easy pin. Another total squash.

Smackdown Rebound.

The Spirit Squad has a special cheer for Shane McMahon.

Third look at See No Evil.

Shawn Michaels vs. Kenny

Shane McMahon is guest referee and HHH, with sledgehammer, is in Kenny’s corner. Shawn wastes no time in knocking Kenny outside before hammering away in the corner back inside. Shane gets in a cheap shot so Kenny can hammer away but Shawn takes it to the floor. Some chops rock Kenny but Shane throws Shawn off the top to put him in trouble again. Kenny gets a quick DDT for a quicker two and a jumping back elbow to the face gets the same.

Shane takes off his belt, hands it to Kenny, and can’t help but yawn. The belt goes around Shawn’s throat and we hit the chinlock. Kenny holds Shawn up and Shane tells HHH to do it now. Shawn fights out and hits the flying forearm before taking the belt away to send Shane running.

The top rope elbow hits Kenny and it’s Sweet Chin Music to knock him silly. Shane is back to hit three straight backbreakers and hold Shawn up for HHH. The sledgehammer hits Shane by mistake and knows he screwed up. Cue Vince to wave medics down and hold Shane like he’s been shot. HHH apologizes and leaves to end the show as the match is a no contest.

Rating: D+. This was as good as it could have been as it was angle advancement rather than a match. There was no need for it to be anything else as the Spirit Squad isn’t going to go any higher or lower with or without a win. HHH screwing up and hitting Shane means Vince isn’t going to be happy and you can feel the momentum for the turn coming. They’re taking their time though, as they should. You can’t turn a huge villain like HHH face instantly so he should be taking his time. Oh and Shawn was here too.

Overall Rating: B-. The show was starting off rather well but then it hit a big bump halfway through. The Foley/Funk segment was very good and the opener was very energized, but then the main event and the squash matches didn’t exactly help things. Overall it’s a good show and I want to see where some of these things go, so they’re doing something right. Just get rid of the bad and they’ll have a hit on their hands.



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