Monday Night Raw – January 2, 2006: The Balancing Act

IMG Credit: WWE

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 2, 2006
Location: Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 17,896
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles

We’re starting off a new year with a go home show as we get ready for New Year’s Revolution. The show is the definition of a one match event and I’m not sure if John Cena is ready to carry that kind of a show on his shoulders. I’m not sure what we’re going to get tonight but hopefully a lot of it is spent on getting the rest of the card ready. Let’s get to it.

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Vince McMahon to get things going. He recaps his Zero Tolerance Policy from last week, meaning no more Mr. Nice Guy. Shawn Michaels doesn’t think much of it and Vince should have fired him on the spot. Everything he has done in his professional life has been for the fans so starting tonight, it’s all about him. That includes tonight’s first blood match, and the match you’re about to see.

Kane vs. Shawn Michaels

Hold on though as Vince has a special rule: if Shawn uses a superkick, it’s an automatic DQ. Shawn chops away in the corner to start but gets knocked down by the uppercuts. A sunset flip gives Shawn two but Kane hits him in the face again as the beating is on. More chops get Shawn out of trouble and he manages to clothesline Kane outside. The slingshot dive connects so Vince yells at Shawn, allowing Kane to get in a cheap shot from behind.

We take a break and come back with Kane driving him into the corner and hitting a belly to back suplex. The choking ensues and a knee drop gets two, much to Vince’s amusement. There’s the neck crank and more choking, plus an uppercut for two. Another neck crank is broken up in a hurry and Shawn slips out of the chokeslam attempt.

Shawn fights out of the corner and hits the flying forearm into the nipup. A DDT gets two on Kane, followed by a swinging neckbreaker for the same. You don’t do that to Kane though as he kicks Shawn’s head off, only to miss the top rope clothesline. Shawn’s top rope elbow connects and he tunes up the band, but Vince threatens to throw him out of the Elimination Chamber. That’s enough of a distraction for Kane to hit the chokeslam for the pin.

Rating: C. Oh yeah it’s going to be a long form story and heavy on the McMahon, which isn’t exactly promising for the near or distant future. Vince being all evil works, but Shawn as the family man Steve Austin isn’t exactly the most interesting adversary. Then again, they’re doing a story built off the Montreal Screwjob so what are you expecting?

During the break, Vince made Shawn the #1 entrance in the Chamber.

Gregory Helms thinks Jerry Lawler is holding him down, but Lawler doesn’t quite agree. Cue Helms to say it to Lawler’s face. Lawler gets in the ring so Helms can ask where the Hurricane jokes are. If anyone is going to be mocked for their appearance, it should be Lawler. That’s fine with Jerry, who thinks Helms is now just a guy, who sucks. The fight is on and Helms is knocked to the floor, allowing Lawler to challenge him for New Year’s Revolution. Game on.

Video on the Elimination Chamber.

Vince McMahon asks Mickie James about kissing Trish Stratus when Kurt Angle and Daivari storm in. Angle wants Daivari to be the guest referee in the first blood match but Vince isn’t happy with Angle’s comments about the military. Vince wants blood from someone tonight so Angle promises to make John Cena bleed so badly that Vince will have to drive him to the hospital.

We look at Mickie kissing Trish last week.

Trish is running the steps and doesn’t want to talk about the kiss. Instead, she’s just focused on the title match, but for now it’s time for a shower.

Maria is hosting the Kiss Cam but here are Victoria (in a neck brace thanks to Carlito), Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle to interrupt. Maria: “Did you guys want to be on Kiss Cam”? Victoria didn’t have a good New Year and Maria probably doesn’t know they have a match tonight. A kick to the ribs has Maria in trouble and the bell rings.

Maria vs. Victoria

Victoria is wrestling in the neck brace and beats Maria down without much trouble. The referee breaks things up and Candice’s interference fails, allowing Maria to grab a rollup for the very fast pin.

Post match the beatdown is on and of course Maria is stripped. Ashley makes the save but gets taken down with the Double D DT.

During the break, Vince made a bra and panties gauntlet match for Sunday.

Mickie steals Trish’s towel so she has to hear Mickie’s apology for last week. She hands over the towel and compliments Trish’s….oh you can figure it out.

Here are Edge and Lita on the platform for a chat. Edge talks about Ric Flair being a legend but anyone who respects Flair is full of it. See, Edge is one of a kind and would be whether there was a Ric Flair or not. We get some amateur video of Flair’s road rage incident….and it’s Edge in a Flair costume cutting off the car, chopping the driver, and putting him in the Figure Four on the highway. You knew the impression was coming somewhere in this feud.

Back in the arena, Edge talks about Flair’s divorce and Lita hopes Flair’s wife takes everything. On Sunday, Edge is rescuing the Intercontinental Title but here’s Flair for the brawl. They fight to the ring with Edge getting beaten up in the corner but Lita breaks up the Figure Four. That just earns her the Figure Four as Edge bails. This hasn’t been bad, even though referencing Flair embarrassing himself (again) might not be the best idea.

Video on Stacy Keibler competing on Dancing With The Stars.

Chris Masters vs. Shelton Benjamin

Masters powers him around to start and hammers Shelton for daring to try a backslide. A hard clothesline gives Masters two but Shelton punches his way out of the corner. The running forearm and a running knee lift sets up a kick to the head for two. Well three but Masters had a foot on the ropes at two. Shelton is getting annoyed at the pace of the count but he’s able to reverse the Masterlock into a backbreaker for two. A missed clothesline lets Masters grab the Masterlock on the second attempt though and Shelton is done.

Rating: C. I can’t even get annoyed at Shelton losing anymore as that phone call last week seemed rather ominous. The same could be said about losing clean to Masters, even if he is heading to the pay per view main event. Masters isn’t going to win the thing, but they’re doing a good enough job of building him up for a short form push.

Another Elimination Chamber video.

Ben Roethlisberger was at a house show.

Here’s HHH for a chat. He talks about people who want to get things done but then fail miserably. That doesn’t apply to him of course, because he knows how to find the right tool to accomplish the job. There are no chances in the ring because he always knows what is going to happen. Big Show thought he had it figured out but then last week happened.

We see a clip from…five weeks ago of Show yelling at HHH, which isn’t the footage that was supposed to air. HHH talks about breaking Show’s hand with the sledgehammer and the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Cue Show with a giant cast on his hand so he can punch a chair and a monitor out of HHH’s hands. HHH bails because this wasn’t what he had planned.

Smackdown Rebound.

Shelton is in the back….and here’s his Mama. She came all the way from South Carolina to see him lose and that’s not what the Benjamins do. He needs to start doing what she says and get in the shower because he stinks. And that would be it for Shelton’s career prospects for a long, long time.

Elimination Chamber rundown.

One more Elimination Chamber video.

Here’s Cena for a chat before the main event. He isn’t worried about his opponents in the Chamber, because Masters can’t smell WWE, Carlito bites pillows, Angle doesn’t like the troops…and here’s Angle to cut him off.

John Cena vs. Kurt Angle

Non-title, first blood and Daivari is in Angle’s corner. Joined in progress with Angle rolling the German suplexes to quite the popular reaction. Daivari takes a turnbuckle pad off as the crowd is either very interested in this or sweetened. Cena fights back and sends Angle hard out to the floor but Daivari gets in a gold medal shot. Back in and Angle pounds at the unopened head before sending him face first into the exposed buckle. The straps come down for the Angle Slam and it’s time for a chair. Cena slugs him down but Daivari jumps on Cena’s back before he can swing the chair. The ankle lock is broken up and we get a ref bump (to go with the interference and first blood rules five minutes into the match), allowing Angle to chair Cena in the head. Cena is busted but reverses Angle’s FU into the STFU, only for the referee to see the blood (and it is EVERYWHERE) to give Angle the win.

Rating: C+. These two always had good chemistry together and that was the case again here. Throw in a gory blade job and Daivari interfering as he should have and it was a fast paced and violent main event. It doesn’t hurt Cena to lose a match like this thanks to cheating so they kept it safe while doing what they needed to do.

Post match Carlito and Masters run in for the big brawl but it’s Kane to clean house. Shawn comes in to superkick Kane but Cena is back up with the FU and all six are down.

Overall Rating: C+. This show had a weird balance to maintain as there is a card on Sunday aside from the Elimination Chamber, but I’m not sure if anyone is even remotely interested in most of it. They did a good enough job of making me interested, though it’s all about that one match and that’s very obvious. At the same time though, this show included the debut of Mama Benjamin and any show that does that is not going to receive the highest grade. They did a nice balancing act here though and that’s harder than it seems.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

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