Monday Night Raw – July 3, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 3, 2006
Location: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 15,993
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Then Rob Van Dam and Sabu got pulled over and the police found a bunch of drugs, meaning they had to be punished. This is quite the problem when you’re the WWE Champion and have a title defense coming up in a few weeks. Tonight will probably deal with the fallout so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s DX’s parody and their most recent humiliation of the McMahons.

DX arrives in the parking lot and is greeted by Jonathan Coachman and a bunch of security guards. Vince McMahon has barred them from appearing on the show tonight and Shawn Michaels wants to know what they’re supposed to do tonight. HHH has an idea and the team walks away. I have a bad feeling about this.

Opening sequence.

Here are Edge and Lita for an opening chat. Edge promises that he is going to own the summer and tomorrow night, he is getting his shot against Rob Van Dam. Then it’s on to Saturday Night’s Main Event where he will defend against Van Dam and John Cena. Those two are like the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia Eagles, with various insults ensuing. For tonight though, Lita is going to show Torrie Wilson what a cover girl is supposed to look like and Edge is in a triple threat tag team match.

Edge is about to announce his partner but here’s Cena to beat him up. Cue Van Dam, who has heard about how close he was to tapping out. He’s a fighting champion, so Cena can have a title shot tonight. Edge says that’s not fair because he would lose his title shot tomorrow night if Cena wins. That’s cool with Van Dam, so let’s do Saturday Night’s Main Event tonight with a triple threat title match. Edge promises that the next WWE Champion will be Rated R, but Van Dam says the next champion will be Rated RVD. Maybe he does need the suspension to clear his head a bit.

Vince McMahon arrives in the back with Coach greeting him. DX is indeed gone, much to Vince’s approval. The two of them walk inside….and DX drives up in a convertible with women in the back. Where did they get the car?

Batista is back this Friday.

Lita vs. Torrie Wilson

Lita suplexes her down for two to start and gets the same off a Russian legsweep. A knee to the back lets Lita mock her a bit so Torrie slaps her in the face. The comeback is on with some clotheslines but the referee takes the Stink Face by mistake. Lita DDTs her to end the annoyance.

Vince yells at Coach about making sure DX is gone. It feels like a ghost town around here and Vince wants to know what is going on.

Spirit Squad vs. Eugene/Jim Duggan/Viscera/Val Venis/Gene Snitsky

What a horrible assortment of losers, but at least they have the matching cheerleader uniforms. Nicky and Venis start things off and some cheap shots from the apron have Val in early trouble. A suplex allows Venis to make the tag off to Eugene but Johnny comes in off the blind tag to kick him down.

It’s off to Kenny for a jumping back elbow and Mitch comes in for the cover. The rotating beatdown ensues until Kenny misses a splash in the corner. The hot tag brings in Snitsky to clean house as everything breaks down. Duggan gets a rather strong reaction but is sent outside in a hurry. A top rope legdrop/Swanton combination finishes Snitsky.

Rating: D. There’s only so much you can get out of this but it’s the kind of thing that the Squad needed after so many bad losses. The menagerie of numskulls getting to lose to the Squad doesn’t have anything else going on so this wasn’t quite the devastating defeat. It’s going to give the Squad a bit of a push to their next loss to DX though so this is as good as it’s going to get for them at the moment.

We go back to the parking lot where DX is having a 4th of July bash with Shawn working the grill and the women nearby. We get various hot dog jokes about McMahon and DX, but HHH sees Mr. Fuji over there. Shawn: “I LOVE MR. FUJI!” Shawn goes over to see him so HHH has some women come up and flash a WWE bus driver (with the camera not doing the best job of covering things up as the girls walk off). Shawn comes back and is disappointed by the lack of Mr. Fuji. As for the Spirit Squad, they can come out here and take their beating whenever they like.

Highlanders vs. Rob Conway/Matt Striker

Rory headbutts Striker down to start and hammers away in the corner, complete with putting his kilt over Striker’s face. Robbie come in for a Junkyard Dog style headbutt to Conway, who has to suplex his way to freedom. Striker is good without coming back in though, leaving Conway to take the Scot Drop (double fireman’s carry into a faceplant) for the pin. Short and inoffensive as a way to get the team’s feet wet.

Candice Michelle comes up to HHH as Shawn is off in the TV production truck. HHH seems to have some issues standing and then Candice has the same problem. Various issues ensue, complete with Candice shouting YES over and over. They both seem rather relieved and two women pop up from underneath the table. That’s rather risque for this era.

Post break, Shawn tells HHH to come into the control truck, with Candice and the other two girls going with them. There are cameras all over the arena and after having the women get to know one of the production guys over there, Shawn sits down and starts pushing buttons. The feed goes out but they’re still on the air.

Vince goes to the restroom and of course there is a camera in there, which of course WWE has access to. Vince gives commentary (Andre the Giant is mentioned) but Coach comes in to say that Vince is on camera (with Coach’s leg being moistened), freaking the boss out.

Post break here is Vince in the ring to talk about how humiliating last week is. DX is out there in the parking lot with their barbecue but now they are humiliating him and that’s too much. The mic cuts out and we get some noises, as Vince isn’t happy again.

Vince’s voice is suddenly very high pitched before going to the other direction, with Vince saying he sounds like Darth Vader. Then we get a picture of a rooster drawn on screen, with a word balloon saying “I LOVE COCKS”. HHH’s voice comes over the loud speaker and he says DX can humiliate him even further….so we see last week’s human waste drop again. Vince tells Coach to go deal with this so we see Shawn knocking Coach down with the door of the production truck.

The livid Vince makes DX vs. the Spirit Squad in an elimination tag. That sounds like a very bad idea and the laughter sound effects seem to agree. Then we get crickets instead of Vince’s music, which starts up a few seconds later….and is soon replaced by Stand Back. As funny as this kind of thing is going to get and was a long way around to set up a match that sounds like it should be a Raw main event.

Intercontinental Title: Johnny Nitro vs. Carlito

Nitro is defending and we get some extensive replays of Melina’s entrance. Carlito is taken into the corner to start and Nitro claims a poke to the eye before getting in a cheap shot. The dancing legdrop sets up the chinlock as Lawler talks about Melina’s maracas. Carlito fights up without much trouble with a clothesline and the springboard back elbow. The Backstabber connects but Melina comes in for the DQ.

Post match here’s Trish to start the catfight with Carlito standing back and watching. More replays, this time of Trish running to the ring and the brawl, ensue.

Paul Heyman isn’t sure about Rob Van Dam doing this but Van Dam believes in himself and ECW. Van Dam leaves and Heyman gives him that Brock Lesnar/Big Show Survivor Series 2002 look.

We meet the Diva Search finalists, including Maryse, Layla, Milena (Rosa Mendes) and various others.

Vince doesn’t care about Coach being banged up because he’s leaving and wants Coach to get the limo ready.

Umaga vs. Scott Wright

DX interrupts Armando Alejandro Estrada’s promo with a merchandise plug. Umaga would be a better enforcer for Vince than the Spirit Squad. The Samoan Spike finishes Wright in a little over a minute.

Post match, DX interrupts Estrada’s promo again, this time with various sound effects.

Vince gets in the limo….and a bunch of fireworks go off from it, complete with green smoke. After the driver pulls Vince, covered in smoke and green paint, DX pops up with American flags and sparklers. Happy Fourth of July.

This Week In Wrestling: the NWO debuts.

Here’s Randy Orton for a chat. He was inspired by the NWO video, but not as excited as he was by Brooke Hogan’s music video last week. That would be Hulk Hogan’s 18 year old daughter mind you. Hulk is going to pick Brooke’s date on an upcoming episode of Hogan Knows Best, and if Orton gets to be the pick, he’ll show Brooke why he’s a legend. Oh dear.

Edge says he’s going to win a title, unlike Philadelphia.

Raw World Title: Edge vs. John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam

Van Dam is defending and Edge gets double teamed in the corner to start. Rob and Cena start taking turns, with Van Dam hitting a running spinwheel kick in the corner. Edge gets tossed outside and we take an early break. Back with Edge breaking up Van Dam’s superplex attempt on Cena, who crashes out to the floor. The cartwheel moonsault gives Van Dam two on Edge but Cena pulls Edge outside for a whip into the steps. Rob is right there with a dive onto Cena but Edge is back in to break up the FU on Van Dam.

Cena loads up Edge in a suplex until Van Dam takes both of them down. A double clothesline puts all three down and it’s a three way slugout from their knees. Rob is sent outside and Cena initiates the finishing sequence on Edge. The FU puts Edge on the floor so Lita brings in a chair, earning herself an FU of her own. Van Dam is back in with the Van Daminator to Cena but the Five Star misses. There’s the FU to Van Dam but Edge is in with a belt shot to Cena for the pin on Van Dam and the title.

Rating: B. They kept things moving here and the match was better than I would have bet on as a result. Above all else they weren’t out there too long with the match only running about eleven minutes. Edge winning is quite the big moment and it’s the first time the title has changed hands on Raw since 2001. Good match here, as Van Dam’s main event push loses a leg in a single night.

Cut to a STUNNED Cena fan for a great visual as Edge celebrates (with Lita still down) to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. Aside from the main event, which I liked quite a bit, this was a one note show with the entire night being about DX vs. Vince. That doesn’t exactly make for the best night, though there were at least some funny jokes. It isn’t a good feud because DX feels like they’re toying with Vince and the Spirit Squad, but it hasn’t gone on long enough to completely overstay its welcome. This week used up a lot of that mileage though, as this was a pretty rough show.

As for the title change, I’m not sure how much longer Van Dam was going to be champion anyway, as his title reign seemed to be little more than a way to warm up the debuting ECW. I can’t imagine him making it all the way to Summerslam as champion so there is a good chance that the title change would have gone the same way at Saturday Night’s Main Event. Either way, Van Dam looks like a moron for screwing up the biggest push of his career and it’s pretty hard to feel sorry for him.



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