Monday Night Raw – September 4, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 4, 2006
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We are less than two weeks away from Unforgiven and that means it is time to build up the card. The main event was set last week as John Cena will be challenging Edge for the World Title in a TLC match, which does sound like it has some potential. Other than that and a handicap match inside the Cell, you can probably see a lot of the card but there is work left to do. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the TLC match being set up last week.

Here is Edge in the ring with a table, a ladder and a chair (there’s something to that) to get things going. Edge sits on the ladder and says the “Get John Cena Out Of My Life Countdown” is on. After Unforgiven, Cena is going to the CW because Cena Can’t Win. The match is in Edge’s hometown and Edge has never lost.

We see a special video on Edge’s history in TLC matches (Video: “He’s fearless, he’s relentless, he’s Canadian.”) with some rather violent clips. Back in the arena, Edge says he’s getting rid of Cena and proving that he is the greatest WWE Champion of all time….and here’s Cena to turn the ladder over to put Edge through the table.

Jeff Hardy is painting a wall, which he says is like watching Johnny Nitro and Melina’s press conference from last week. Maria comes up and says it looks like Jeff is watching paint dry. Hardy: “Exactly.”

Intercontinental Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro

Nitro is defending and has Melina in his corner. They trade early rollup attempts for two each to start and it’s an early standoff. That means a kick to the chest to put Nitro on the floor and we take a break. Back with Hardy caught in a reverse chinlock and hitting a belly to back suplex to stay on the back a bit more. With the double arm crank not working, Nitro stomps away and cuts off a comeback with a hot shot.

The fans are behind Hardy but a backbreaker into a Russian legsweep cuts them off again. Nitro grabs a waistlock (with JR making a surprising error by calling it a bearhug) but Hardy comes back with an electric chair to put them both down. Hardy makes the clothesline comeback and uses his double legdrop rollup for two. The Whisper in the Wind gets the same and the Twist of Fate connects, drawing Melina in for the DQ.

Rating: C. They went with a different path here and it involved Nitro being a bit smarter than usual. It made sense to ground Hardy and proved to be right as Hardy’s comeback involved going to the air a bit to take over. This is probably leading to a rematch at Unforgiven and that should work out just fine for everyone involved.

Post match, Hardy hits a Swanton to Nitro’s back.

This Week In Wrestling History: Monday Nitro debuts.

Trish Stratus runs into Lita in the back, who isn’t impressed by Trish’s impending farewell. They set up a title match at Unforgiven and Lita slaps her, with the brawl being on. Carlito tries to break it up but gets jumped by Randy Orton.

Video on the Marine.

Lita pounds on Vince McMahon’s door but gets Shane (looking weird in a beige-ish suit) instead. Shane makes Lita/Orton vs. Trish/Carlito for later tonight. Lita would rather be with Edge, so Shane adds in Edge and John Cena to make it a six person. Jonathan Coachman sucks up to Shane, who rolls his eyes and leaves.

Here’s Chris Masters to say his comeback last week was interrupted so it’s open challenge time.

Chris Masters vs. Super Crazy

This is Crazy’s debut as part of the Raw roster and uh…..yay? Masters punches him down in the corner to start and sends Crazy’s shoulder into the post. That’s good for two back inside but Crazy is back with a spinwheel kick to the face. Crazy kicks him to the floor and hits a dive, followed by a sunset flip for two back inside. Masters blasts him with a clothesline but gets his leg dropkicked out, allowing Crazy to hit the moonsault for the surprise pin.

Rating: C-. What a random debut as Crazy was hardly a big star anywhere in WWE so far. That being said, there is nothing wrong with throwing out a high flier because he is the kind of guy who can go out there and pop the crowd. I’m kind of surprised that he beat Masters, but does Masters mean anything in the first place?

As Masters is upset, we randomly look at Maria still watching the paint dry (and possibly sniffing the roller).

We look back at Vince McMahon attacking DX last week and announcing the McMahons/Big Show vs. DX in the Cell at Unforgiven.

Here are the McMahons for a chat and Vince is looking rather happy this week. Before they can say anything, here’s Big Show to join them, with Vince nearly dancing to his music. Shane says last week was just a little preview for what is coming at Unforgiven, where DX will learn to never mess with the McMahons. Big Show talks about DX coming to ECW to face him tomorrow night, where it will be time to pay the price.

Vince says there is something missing this week and realizes what it is: the fans aren’t happy! They aren’t laughing like they were when they saw DX ruining so many of Vince’s things. Last week they destroyed DX and then it is going to be even worse at Unforgiven. So what kind of a chance will DX have against the three of them in the Cell?

Well that would be no chance in….and here’s DX, looking serious this week. HHH, with the sledgehammer (complimented by Shawn and his chair), says thank you for waking them up last week. They go to the ring and wreck security as the McMahons and DX leave. I can go for serious DX as they go into a major match for a change.

Highlanders vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch vs. Viscera/Charlie Haas

The winners get a shot at the Spirit Squad (on the stage) at Unforgiven. Cade and Murdoch clean house at the bell with Haas having to save Rory early on. Murdoch elbows Haas in the face but gets flattened by Viscera. Everything breaks down with Viscera flattening various people and Haas loading up a German suplex on Murdoch. Robbie comes in with a sunset flip to Haas, which send Murdoch flying as Robbie gets the pin and the title shot.

Rating: D+. It was energetic but there wasn’t much to see here. There also wasn’t much drama, as the Highlanders had been built up as the next challengers for a long time now, leaving this as more of a foregone conclusion. That isn’t the worst thing though and they were smart to keep this moving as quickly as they did.

Smackdown Rebound.

Carlito rants to Trish about Randy Orton, who he calls a fraud. Tonight, he’s spitting in Orton’s face.

And now, Maria with the Kiss Cam but here’s Ric Flair to interrupt. Maria certainly seems to approve of Flair, who says the only thing that would make this better would be a kiss. Flair gets what he asks for and Maria could not seem happier. It even makes Flair drop his microphone but here’s Armando Alejandro Estrada to interrupt. Estrada talks about Flair saying “to be the man, you gotta be the man”, but who has beaten Umaga? He wants Flair to pass the torch but that isn’t going to be the case. Cue Umaga but here’s Kane right after him. The brawl is on and Umaga is knocked to the floor in a hurry.

We get the first vignette of Cryme Tyme’s training, who rob a smoothie shop. They do make sure to get in a shout out to their friends though, which makes this somehow even more racist than it did before. These things would get half the company fired today.

Teddy Long is in a sky box.

Maria is back with her paint.

Unforgiven rundown, with Carlito vs. Randy Orton and Johnny Nitro defending the Intercontinental Title against Jeff Hardy confirmed.

Big Show knows he can destroy DX but Vince McMahon, holding his DVD, has a better idea: next week, he’s main eventing the show against HHH. It’s in Madison Square Garden you see.

Trish Stratus/John Cena/Carlito vs. Randy Orton/Lita/Edge

Edge has some very taped up ribs after the opening segment. Orton hammers Cena down to start but Cena runs him over with a running shoulder. It’s off to Carlito for the slugout until Orton pokes him in the eye like a villain should. Edge comes in so Carlito hands it off to Cena, sending Edge running off. The women come in to slug it out as well, with Lita blasting her with a clothesline.

Trish is right back up with a slap to Orton and everything breaks down as we take a break. Back with Lita chinlocking Trish, who comes back with a neckbreaker for a breather. The double tag brings in Carlito and Orton again, with Carlito nailing the springboard back elbow to the face. A quick distraction lets Orton send Carlito outside though and the stomping is on to put the villains in control again.

Edge hits a dropkick and the running spear in the corner but hands it off to Orton to kick away instead of covering. That never seems like a good idea but maybe it’s a Canadian thing. Lita gets in a bit of choking of her own and Edge nails a hard clothesline for two. Orton grabs the abdominal stretch but gets caught grabbing the rope. Come on man your dad taught you better than that.

Edge’s chinlock doesn’t do much on Carlito so Orton shows him how it’s done. This time Carlito fights up and hits an enziguri so Edge pulls Cena to the floor. Trish gets the tag instead and everything breaks down in a hurry. The Stratusphere takes Lita down but it’s an RKO to drop Trish and give Lita the pin.

Rating: C+. I can always go with the idea of taking a bunch of feuds and putting them into one match and that is what they did rather well here. The action was good enough and they had a pretty nice heel moment at the end with Orton laying out Trish to make Carlito even angrier. Solid main event here, as they went smart by doing everything at once.

Overall Rating: B-. As usual, a wrestling show is at its best when it has something to focus on and that was the case again here. With less than two weeks to go, the Unforgiven card is starting to look a heck of a lot better. I’m curious to see how things are going to go, but at the same time, what they already have is looking pretty good. Hopefully they don’t take a step back next week, because what we have here is making me want to see the show.

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