Monday Night Raw – December 18, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 18, 2006
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Attendance: 11,324
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the last regular(ish) Raw of the year as next week is a trip to Iraq for Tribute to the Troops. This week is another big one though as we have a special three hour edition. The opening match will be a thirty man battle royal for a shot at John Cena’s WWE Title later in the night, so they’re going pretty hard with this one. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Battle Royal

Shawn Michaels, Jerry Lawler, Rory, Robbie, Edge, Val Venis, JTG, Shad Gaspard, Viscera, Jim Duggan, Carlito, Snitsky, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, Chris Masters, Sgt. Slaughter, HHH, Jeff Hardy, Johnny Nitro, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Ron Simmons, Shelton Benjamin, Brooklyn Brawler, Super Crazy, Charlie Haas, Eugene, Kenny, Johnny, Rob Conway

The brawl is on in a hurry and egads I’m going to have a hard time figuring out who all is in this. Edge chills on the floor to start (as you would expect) and it’s a huge brawl otherwise. Carlito chases Masters outside and gets speared down by Edge, who throws him inside so Masters can get the elimination. Duggan gets rid of the Brawler and Shelton has to hang on with his feet dangling over the floor.

Duggan is put out and Slaughter is tossed as well to clear the ring out a bit. Flair can’t toss Orton as Edge has gotten in and has to save himself from a HHH elimination attempt. The brawling continues as we have gone a good while now without an elimination. HHH facebusters Viscera though and DX gets rid of him as we take a break. Back with JTG saving himself, though Johnny and Venis aren’t so lucky as Simmons gets rid of them.

Cryme Tyme gets rid of Simmons as well, which does not seem to please him. He even grabs the mic and says the catchphrase. JTG is out (with JR calling him Shad) as the Highlanders seem to have been put out during the break. Shad is tossed as well, followed by Haas and Benjamin. There goes Lawler and Super Crazy eliminates both himself and Hardy (in a bit of an upset).

The ring has been cleared out a lot and HHH DDTs Snitsky to put him down (though not out). DX uses the hard camera to distract Eugene and get rid of him, with Snitsky and Murdoch following him. A bunch of people get together to get rid of Johnny and Flair, leaving us with HHH, Shawn, Cade, Nitro, Masters, Edge and Orton. DX stares everyone else down and we take a break.

Back with DX getting beaten down by two different sets of villains. HHH fights back and clotheslines Masters out but the other four get rid of HHH, leaving Shawn, Cade, Nitro, Edge and Orton. Shawn starts fast and throws Nitro out, setting up the flying forearm to Edge. Atomic drops slow down Cade and Orton and the latter gets hit with the top rope elbow. The non-eliminated Edge chills on the floor as Shawn gets knocked down again, only to have Orton toss out Cade. Back up and Shawn tosses out Orton but Edge sneaks up on the apron and pulls him out for the win and the title shot.

Rating: C. These things are always hard to rate but the long stretch near the beginning with so few eliminations hurt it a bit. Edge vs. Cena will be fine as a main event as they can have a fine match without saying a word to each other and the ending had some drama to make things work better. That being said, the “hey he’s not out” ending needs to be erased from any and all history. The rest of the match was a battle royal, so you should know what you’re getting out of it.

Vince McMahon invites us to watch Tribute To The Troops next week. I’d come for the Creed songs.

Edge is ready to win and tells Randy Orton that he is looking for bigger goals. Like the WWE Title.

We look at Chris Masters Masterlocking Torrie Wilson last week until Carlito made the save.

A scared Maria talks to Chris Masters about what happened last week. Masters threatens to put her in the Masterlock and is ready to beat Carlito tonight.

We look at Joey Mercury’s nose being destroyed last night.

We meet Russian mixed martial artist Vladimir Kozlov, who is glad to be in America and would love to wrestle one day. Russian is spoken and booing is heard. Granted that might be for Todd Grisham calling him Victor.

Carlito vs. Chris Masters

Or maybe not as Carlito jumps Masters and the fight is on before the bell. Carlito gets sent into a cameraman and is busted open hardway but manages to chase Masters into the crowd and away anyway.

Johnny Nitro/Charlie Haas/Shelton Benjamin vs. Hardys

Shelton mocks Matt for being banged up after last night’s ladder match before grabbing him with a waistlock. An armbar on the left arm has Matt in more trouble but he’s able to get over to Jeff for the tag anyway. A belly to back suplex takes Jeff down and Haas gets to stomp away. Nitro hammers on the back and knocks Jeff into the other corner to punch him in the face (as you do in wrestling).

The yet to be named Sling Blade gets Jeff out of trouble though and Matt comes in to take over on Haas. Poetry In Motion connects as everything breaks down. The Hardys clean house and Jeff dives onto Haas and Benjamin, leaving Matt to moonsault onto everyone. Back from a break with Shelton working on Jeff’s leg, which means it’s time for the villains to take turns on it.

Nitro hangs it over the rope and hits the slingshot dive onto said leg, meaning Melina can get in a shot of her own. Back in and Shelton pulls on the leg again but Jeff flips up and manages a mule kick for the hot tag Matt. Everything breaks down and a shot to the bad leg sends Jeff outside. Matt gets his neck snapped across the top rope though and Shelton grabs a rollup with tights for the cheating pin.

Rating: C+. This took its time but it told a nice story with the leg keeping Jeff down throughout. That’s all you need for something like this most of the time and it possibly sets up Haas/Benjamin vs. the Hardys in the near future. I’m not sure what to think of the idea of multiple top level tag teams in WWE at this point, but a match at New Year’s Revolution could work out rather well.

Post match the Hardys take quite the beatdown to leave them laying again.

Armando Alejandro Estrada doesn’t care if Umaga faces Edge or John Cena at New Year’s Revolution, but they want it to be Cena for some revenge.

Kevin Federline is here and tells Melina and Johnny Nitro that he has something he has to do.

Quick trailer for Rocky Balboa.

And now, Jerry Lawler interviews Sylvester Stallone about Rocky Balboa. Stallone says the series is done after this because he wants to wrap it up on a high note. He thinks a wrestling reality show (like his Contender boxing series) could work because he remembers the boxing vs. wrestling scene in Rocky III. Hogan would beat Rocky Balboa too and Kevin Federline has a death wish to fight John Cena on Raw. Stallone actually talked like a person here instead of a celebrity who wanted to promote something.

Ric Flair vs. Kenny Dykstra

That wold be the same Kenny from the Spirit Squad. They grapple around to start before going outside, where Kenny grabs a suplex. Back in and another suplex gets two, followed by the chinlock. Kenny rains down right hands in the corner until an atomic drop cuts him off. Flair goes up top and, of course, gets caught, allowing Kenny to miss the top rope legdrop. Kenny’s running knee in the corner hits corner but he’s fine enough to grab a sunset flip for the completely clean pin.

Rating: C-. Naming Kenny after a baseball player (Lenny Dykstra) isn’t exactly the best way to make him into a star but giving him a pin over Flair could help a bit. They’re trying something with him after the Spirit Squad and Kenny was presented as the only one of them worth anything, but they really can’t just let him be Ken Doane? It sounds better than what they went with, which is going to be another problem for him.

Post match Flair offers a handshake but Kenny walks away.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Edge

Cena is defending and grabs a headlock to start as we go with one of the classics. That’s broken up with a toss to the floor and Cena goes face first into the steps. Back in and Edge grabs a neckbreaker over the ropes for two. The neck crank goes on but Cena fights up for a double clothesline. We take a break and come back with Cena fighting out of a sleeper on the mat. That earns him a headbutt into a reverse cross armbreaker (that’s a new one) but Cena powers out again.

Cena has to power out of a cravate as well and this time he hits a running Blockbuster to get a real breather. The comeback is on with the flying shoulders into a ProtoBomb but the Shuffle misses for a change. Edge hits the spear for two with Cena having to grab the rope for the save.

With nothing on the mat working, Edge puts him on top but gets shoved down, allowing Cena to hit the top rope Fameasser (which Lawler implies is making its debut) for two. The FU is countered but the counter is countered into a reverse DDT to give Cena two more. The ref is bumped as another FU is countered so here’s Randy Orton for the RKO to Cena. Cue DX to take care of Rated-RKO though, including the Pedigree to Edge. Cena wakes up and retains the title.

Rating: B. The ending was a fine way to get out of the match without either of them taking a fall or of course changing the title. It is always nice to see a pay per view match get some extra build like this and they did that rather well with the finish. This was a good TV match on a big show, which shouldn’t be shocking given who was in there.

Later tonight: Edge/DX vs. Rated-RKO/Umaga. Dang Edge better get a big bonus for this show.

Here is Cryme Tyme for a chat. They don’t like what Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas have been saying about them so it’s time to set the record straight. So here’s George W. Bush, or at least someone bearing a passable resemblance, flanked by the best developmental/local indy wrestlers portraying Secret Service agents available. Bush talks about how Cryme Tyme are his friends, because that rapper Kanye West is wrong about him hating black people.

How can he hate black people when he is friends with Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice (Bush: “There’s one hot little black b****!”) are friends? Then there is George Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence! Bush: “He’s my ni….” Shad: “WHOA WHOA WHOA! Secret Service or not, you’ll get your a** beat right here.” Bush doesn’t like Haas and Benjamin and that’s it. Well after Bush dances to Cryme Tyme’s music….and finds out they stole his wallet. Bush leaves but flips off the crowd on the way out. This was even worse than it seems if you can wrap your head around that.

Victoria vs. Mickie James

Non-title, as the title match is announced for New Year’s Revolution. Victoria kicks her in the face and puts her on top, meaning it’s a superplex right back down. Mickie is right back with a victory roll for two so Victoria sends her face first into the buckle to knock her silly again. That doesn’t last long either as Mickie hits a running clothesline and elbow to the face (as opposed to doing the same thing over and over, which gets really old) but the MickieDT is countered into a drape over the top rope. A kick to the face sets up the Widow’s Peak to give Victoria the pin.

Rating: D+. Not much time to use here and it’s annoying to have the champ lose to set up a title match. Losing to Victoria is hardly some big upset, but she won clean here. I’m not a fan of letting a champ lose like this but it is a common trope for WWE and that has been a problem for a long time.

Post match, Victoria checks Mickie’s name off the list. I’m sure that won’t come back to haunt her.

Jim Ross is in the ring and talks about how so many comedians have used Kevin Federline as a punchline. Some people say he is just misunderstood though, so here is Federline himself to address the world. Federline says there is no K Fed, because that is a personality the media invented. The real Kevin Federline takes pride in overcoming the odds and shocking the world. That’s what he is going to do against Cena on January 1 because 2007 is a new year. He wants some and he’s going to get some. That match can’t get here soon enough so we can be done with this goon.

New Year’s Revolution rundown.

We recap Edge’s long night.

Rated-RKO/Umaga vs. John Cena/D-Generation X

Cena and Orton start things off with the former hitting a release fisherman’s suplex for an early two. Shawn comes in to punch Orton and then does the same thing to Edge. Umaga comes in with a clothesline and then stomps away at Shawn (with some bonus yelling). Edge tags himself back in and Estrada has to stop Umaga from eating him. A suplex drops Edge to give Shawn a breather and sets up the falling tag to bring in HHH.

Umaga comes in as well though and a series of clotheslines finally manage to put him down. Everything breaks down and the Samoan Spike takes HHH down. Cena gets hit in the throat (sans spike) but is right back up with a HARD running shoulder to put Umaga on the floor. The two of them brawl to the back and Cena throws Umaga through part of the stage. That leaves HHH to be sent into the steps and a heck of a chair shots knocks him over the barricade for the DQ.

Rating: C+. I can always go for a main event six man tag and this one worked out rather well. There is something fun about combining two feuds into one as you can have some combinations to keep things fresh and also set up the major matches themselves. Good stuff here, with the ending being a fine way to make Rated-RKO look like threats.

Post match it’s a double RKO onto a chair to knock Shawn out, setting up the Conchairto on the announcers’ table to HHH. Orton adds another one to the very bloody HHH but referees save Shawn (also bleeding) from the same fate inside. Everyone is scared as DX is shaking to end the show (and the year for all intents and purpose).

Overall Rating: C+. They made this feel like a special show and then as usual, the year ends on a big note. I had fun with this and it didn’t feel like it was three hours, though I doubt Edge feels the same way. New Year’s Revolution is looking good so far and they should be fine after losing next week. Granted the Federline stuff was annoying, but one or two bad things in a three hour show isn’t bad.

 

 

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