Monday Night Raw – July 24, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 24, 2006
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Attendance: 12,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re on the way to Summerslam and that means it’s time to start cranking up the build towards the show. You can guess where a lot of the card is going but they still need to hammer home some of the details. That can be quite the tricky situation but hopefully they can figure it out. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Shawn Michaels (and only Shawn, as Stephanie McMahon went into labor earlier in the day so the McMahons and HHH are a little busy) to get things going. A few weeks ago, he and HHH said that Stephanie McMahon had gone into labor and that was a lie. After a quick chat with God, Shawn says that life imitates art because Stephanie is currently in a hospital in Connecticut giving birth. As good family, Vince and Shane are at her side but HHH is at the hospital as well. Now between you and me, Shawn thinks HHH knows who the father is.

Cue Jonathan Coachman, on the phone with Vince, to interrupt. Vince has decided that Shawn won’t be running amuck tonight because the Coach is in charge. Shawn takes the phone and has Cleveland give Shawn two words. Shawn: “No sir they didn’t say that. They said hi!”

Shawn gives Vince some Lamaze lessons and then hands the phone to Coach because Vince is rather annoyed. Coach hangs up and Shawn asks if Vince asked about him. It turns out that Vince has made a match tonight with Shawn vs…..Coach himself. Shawn pauses and then bursts out laughing needing Coach to hold him up. A pause sets up more laughter and Shawn falls to the mat in hysterics. They had to throw this together at the last minute so this was as good of a plan as they could think of.

We look back at Randy Orton attacking Hulk Hogan at Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Lilian Garcia is back so we look at Viscera attacking her two weeks ago.

Tag Team Titles: Spirit Squad vs. Highlanders

The Highlanders are challenging. Kenny sends Rory (not Robbie JR/Lawler) into the buckle and it goes rather badly. Everything breaks down in a hurry with the Highlanders getting in some right hands in the corner. Rory is sent outside and it’s Robbie in trouble until he neckbreakers his way to freedom. It’s off to Rory to clean house but a distraction lets the rest of the team break up the Scot Drop. Kenny Rolls the Dice to finish Rory and retain the titles.

Rating: D. Well that was necessary. They bring the Highlanders in, give them some nothing wins, and then have the Squad beat them in about three minutes. It might not be the end of the team, but were they that bad that you needed to have them lose so soon? Nothing match due to the time, but man that’s a fast defeat after bringing them in.

Mick Foley joins us from WWE Studios and can’t believe that Ric Flair called him “fat boy” last week. It hurt then and it hurt thirty years ago when Foley’s brother used it on him. Flair uses a fourth grade insult because he has nothing left and is nothing but a second rate circus sideshow. What has become of Flair? Now all he is doing is attacking innocent women, one of whom happens to be a friend of Foley’s. He’ll see Flair next Monday.

This week in wrestling history: Great American Bash 1989. Yep that works.

Here’s Ric Flair for a chat. Flair talks about the clip we just saw, which featured him beating up Foley’s mentor Terry Funk. Now all Flair wants is Foley in a match in any arena in this country. Cue Edge and Lita to say that Edge is the man now….and here’s Johnny Nitro to jump Flair from behind. The double teaming is on but John Cena runs in for the save.

Carlito hits on Trish Stratus and they’ll be hanging out after the match.

Coach is on the phone with Vince McMahon to try and get out of the match but Edge and Lita come in to rant about what just happened. Vince has a solution: Edge/Nitro vs. Cena/Flair tonight.

We get an official announcement that Stephanie has given birth to a girl named Aurora Rose.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito

For the #1 contendership to the Intercontinental Title, which Carlito beat Shelton for last week. Carlito grabs some early rollups for near falls to start and a quick dropkick gets two. Benjamin is sent to the apron but pulls Carlito over the top by the arm to take over. Back in and a DDT on the arm sets up an armbar to stay on the shoulder.

Carlito fights up and hits a hurricanrana to head up top, only to dive into a Fujiwara armbar. The rope gives Carlito the break and he counters a powerbomb into a sunset flip for two. The Backstabber connects for two as Shelton gets his foot on the rope. With nothing else working, Carlito takes the turnbuckle pad off so the referee goes to yell. Shelton uses the distraction to get in a low blow for the pin and the title shot.

Rating: C-. They had a little more time here though this would seem to be setting up a triple threat for the title at Summerslam. If that’s the case, I’ve heard of far worse ideas than putting these two with Nitro on a big stage for a title. It could work out well for all three and WWE could benefit from pushing younger stars for the Intercontinental Title.

We look at the Diva Dance Off from Smackdown.

Here’s Hulk Hogan (the greatest sports entertainment attraction of all time according to JR) and the ovation takes a rather good while, with the song starting over. Hulk talks about how crazy these Cleveland fans are but he knows that Randy Orton is crazy too. This wouldn’t even be the first time that he has dealt with the Orton family. Back in the 80s, Hogan dealt with Randy’s dad Bob.

When the blood was shed, there was respect on both sides. Now Hogan has to deal with Randy, who comes out to cut Hogan off. Randy is here to talk about Brooke Hogan and yes there was chemistry there. You could see it, even with Hulk’s fading eyesight. He and Brooke talked for at least five or ten minutes before Hulk showed up.

Brooke told him how handsome he was and how she loved the color of his eyes. The only bad thing is that Brooke is going to have to see her father’s legend killed. Hulk is ready to fight right now so Orton heads to ringside but takes his time. Hogan knocks him off the apron and into Jerry Lawler, who throws Orton inside for some right hands. Orton bails from the threat of the big boot. Nice little tease of the match here.

Mickie James vs. Candice Michelle

Non-title. Mickie kicks away for an early two and the chinlock goes on. Lawler makes his usual jokes as Mickie gets in the shoulders to the ribs. Candice is back with the figure four neck lock over the ropes, only to have Mickie roll through a high crossbody and grab trunks (or something close to them) for the fast pin.

Jerry Lawler threw out the first pitch at an Indians game.

Shawn Michaels vs. Jonathan Coachman

Shawn’s pyro is missing so he blames Coach. The bell rings so hang on a second as Shawn rolls outside to grab a skullcap. Coach nearly loses his pants and there’s the forearm into a nip up. The atomic drop sets up the top rope elbow….and here’s most of the Spirit Squad. Shawn dispatches them in a hurry so Sweet Chin Music drops the coach. Cue Umaga to jump Shawn for the DQ. This was an angle instead of a match but it worked fine.

Post match Umaga hits Shawn with the Samoan Spike to leave him laying as DX might have to sweat a bit for the first time in a few months.

John Cena thinks Maria is a little confused. Yes she’s beautiful, but sometimes he thinks she ate paint chips when she was a kid. Then sometimes he looks at her and thinks about things he only see in Penthouse Forum and….where was he going with this again? Anyway the show is being run by a phone tonight because Stephanie had a baby (Cena: “And HHH might have an inside track on knowing who the father is. He knows somebody or something.”). Then you have Edge, who is really rated PG-13 and Lita is rated NC-17 (Cena: “No Cold Sores In 17 Days!”).

Then there is Johnny Nitro, who is named after a natural gas and I’ll let you figure out the jokes yourself. Then you have the Legend Killer trying to put the moves on the legend’s daughter (Cena: “And I can’t blame him.”) but remember: Hogan Knows Best. Cena runs down the rest of the midcard and says that the big point is so clear even Maria can understand it: his partner is Ric Flair and they get to beat up Edge. Cena tells Maria to call him to wrap up a rather all over the place promo. Again though: the show was rewritten in a hurry so maybe he was told to just go fill time.

It’s time for the Diva Search elimination with Maryse being eliminated. I’m sure we’ll never see her again. This Friday: it’s musical chairs, with Miz nearly cracking up at the idea.

John Cena/Ric Flair vs. Edge/Johnny Nitro

Flair and Nitro lock up to start with Nitro getting smart by going to the eye. Everything breaks down in a hurry with the villains being cleared out as we take a break. Back with Cena getting beaten down with Edge getting in a little dance. Cena fights out and gets over to Flair for the tag as the pace picks up. The Figure Four goes on Nitro but Edge makes the save and hits the spear.

Nitro grabs a neckbreaker to send Flair outside but he’s back in with the chops. A clothesline takes Flair down though and he is knocked outside again to keep up the beating. Back in and Edge gets chopped out of the air, allowing the hot tag to Cena so house can be cleaned. Lita offers a distraction though so a chair to the back can give Nitro two. Cena is fine enough to grab the STFU to make Nitro tap.

Rating: C. Just a run of the mill main event tag here and that’s fine. I know the Intercontinental Champion had to tap out but it’s not like Nitro is anywhere near Cena’s level at this point. They’re still teasing Cena FINALLY getting his hands on Edge and I think you know where this whole thing is going. Not a great match or anything, but for a one off main event, it worked well.

Cena and Edge yell at each other a lot to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. They didn’t have much to offer here but it worked out well enough all things considered. Again though, how much can you really complain about when the show is thrown out of wack due to Stephanie having a baby? There is still time to set up Summerslam and it’s not like you can’t see the card from here anyway. Not a very good show, but it didn’t need to be this week.



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