Monday Night Raw – September 25, 2006: Kind Of Nice For A Change

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 25, 2006
Location: Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 10,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re still starting of the new John Cena Era and that seems to include one last gasp from Edge, but I can’t imagine him sticking around in the main event scene that much longer. You also have to imagine that the McMahons are going to be back sooner rather than later, because that’s how Raw works. Let’s get to it.

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

Opening sequence.

And the power is out, meaning the commentary intro is in the dark.

Lilian Garcia’s intro can’t be heard and there is no video screen or graphics.

Women’s Title Tournament First Round: Lita vs. Candice Michelle

Lilian’s mic is back up to announce that we’re having a Women’s Title tournament. Lita’s video is at least playing on the screen above the ring. Before the bell, Lita gets a mic and says that thanks to a private meeting with Jonathan Coachman, she gets to pick the guest referee for this match. It’s Edge and, after a rather extensive weapons shirt, he spears Candice to give Lita the pin in about thirty seconds.

Post match (and actually mid match) John Cena runs in for the save as the lights start to come back up a bit.

Back from a break with the power on and Cena talking about Edge sabotaging the lights so he wouldn’t have to face him. Edge and Lita come back out and say that there isn’t going to be a title match tonight. They are going to celebrate, sending Cena into a few jokes about Lita being….yeah I think you get the joke. Cena suggests that various parts of her are as red as the Oklahoma University end zone and says that was for JR (who gives a thumbs up. Lita: “SCREW YOU!” Cena: “I don’t have ten bucks!”

Lita is sick of Cena making fun of her when Cena is the real joke. Edge and Lita are both better wrestlers than him, which Cena says is proof that she has the testicles in the relationship. And yeah, she might be better….if he was blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back (uh oh) and wasn’t afraid of a scorching case of herpes. Edge is ready to fight right now but it’s for Lita, with Cena’s arm tied behind his back.

Footage of the Mexico tour.

Intercontinental Title: Kane vs. Johnny Nitro

Nitro, with Melina, is defending. Kane jumps him during the rather long entrance and a side slam lets Nitro get the fur coat off. Melina’s distraction lets Nitro hit a chop block but Kane boots him out of the air. Cue Umaga with a chair to Kane’s back for the DQ barely a minute in.

Post match Umaga destroys Kane with the running hip attack and the steps to the head.

Shawn Michaels is readying the WWE Magazine but can’t find any advertisements for DX gear. After the plug is done, Maria comes up to ask DX about their gauntlet match tonight. Maria thinks their catchphrase is NO WAY so HHH offers a demonstration, with Shawn pulling him away. Instead HHH whispers it in her ear before leaving, with Eugene replacing them. Maria whispers the same thing in Eugene’s ear and he faints.

This Week In Wrestling History: Andre the Giant vs. Gorilla Monsoon in a boxing match in Puerto Rico in 1977. Monsoon’s selling of the knockout is great.

Jonathan Coachman talks to Shelton Benjamin about his claims of being held down for being a black man last week. Vince McMahon’s hero is Dr. Martin Luther King! Benjamin: “I’m kind of partial to Michael Jordan myself.” Benjamin asks Coach what he knows about being a black man in this business and says Coach is “whitewashed.”

Jeff Hardy comes up with some of the most stereotypical slang you’ll ever hear (Cryme Tyme would think it was over the top) so Coach makes a match between them tonight. Benjamin: “Thanks, brother.” The two of them leave so Edge and Lita come out of Coach’s office and the Cena vs. Lita match is made. Coach even throws in a No Holds Barred stipulation, but if Edge touches Cena, he loses hit rematch. When did Coach grow a backbone?

Ric Flair vs. Mikey

The rest of the Spirit Squad is here too. Flair takes him down to start without much effort and unloads in the corner. Mikey snaps off a dropkick and slaps Flair in the corner, earning himself various shots to the face and chest. A shot to the knee looks to set up the Figure Four but Flair has to throw Nicky onto the rest of the Squad. Flair punches Mikey down for the pin. Yeah off a right hand.

Rating: D+. This mini feud continues and I’m oddly fine with a right hand beating Mikey. No matter how you look at the them, aside from Kenny, the entire Spirit Squad is a bunch of goons who only succeed at anything because they have a numbers advantage. Losing to a right hand might be a bit much, but I don’t think Mikey getting pinned by Ric Flair is going to end him.

John Cena was on MadTV.

D-Generation X vs. ???/???/???

DX is running a three team gauntlet and dedicate it to Vince McMahon. He isn’t here though, and they have a video on the Cell to explain his absence. The Highlanders are in first and lose in about fifteen seconds to a superkick. Robbie gets Pedigreed for a bonus and it’s Charlie Haas/Viscera as the second team. HHH runs Haas over to start and Shawn comes in to chop away in the corner. It’s off to Viscera, who gets crushed with a sidewalk slam and we take a break.

Back with Haas cranking on Shawn’s arms but he fights up and sends the villains into each other. The hot tag brings in HHH to clean house and a double clothesline drops Viscera. The Pedigree to Haas lays him out and a superkick knocks Viscera onto him for the double pin. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch are in as the third team and a cheap shot to Michaels’ back puts him in trouble, allowing Cade to blast him with a clothesline. Everything breaks down in a hurry with DX being sent into various hard objects. Cade grabs a chair to knock Shawn down for the DQ.

Rating: D+. The longest match we saw was the middle portion, which was cut in half by the break. I’m not sure how this was supposed to be anything more than a workout for DX, but at least they didn’t treat it as anything else. This felt more like DX needing a reason to be on the show and until a new team is built up, that’s about as all as you can do with them.

Post match HHH grabs his own chair to clear the ring.

In two weeks: Family Reunion, a three hour special. Oh…yay.

Cryme Tyme robs a guy near an ATM.

Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin

Shelton knocks him down to start and then does it again for a bonus. A running forearm puts Shelton down for a change but he’s back with right hands and a bit one knocks Hardy into the barricade. Back in the chinlock goes on until hardy jawbreaks his way to freedom. The Whisper in the Wind connects but Shelton jumps up to the top, only to get shoved down for the Swanton. Shelton gets a boot on the rope and grabs the rope to block the Twist of Fate. That’s fine with Jeff, who small packages him for the fast pin.

Rating: C-. I have no idea what WWE is doing with these two and the segment with Hardy earlier was a little more than uncomfortable. At the same time, Shelton finding another way to lose is never a good thing despite how many times WWE has done it. I’ve given up on the false hope of him doing anything important anytime soon, but the racial stuff could get rather bad in a hurry.

John Cena has a wife in the Marina.

Carlito/Super Crazy vs. Randy Orton/Chris Masters

Carlito takes Masters down for an early near fall and it’s off to Crazy, who is powerbombed down in a hurry. Orton comes in and slaps on a chinlock, which is broken up in a hurry for the hot tag off to Carlito. House is cleaned and everything breaks down but Masters avoids Crazy’s moonsault. With Crazy sent outside, Masters tries the Masterlock on Carlito but gets reversed into the Backstabber for the pin.

Rating: C-. Nothing much to this one but it gives Carlito a quick boost to help him up after the Unforgiven loss. There are only so many things that you can do when the match was so definitive but at least they’re trying. The Super Crazy push is still a little odd, though at least they’re trying something new and that’s not a terrible idea.

Post match Orton catches Carlito with the RKO to leave him laying.

Here’s Jonathan Coachman for a chat and he has a surprise: Eric Bischoff of all people, who has not been here since he was fired last year. Bischoff is happy to be back and while he isn’t thrilled with being fired, he has written a book called Controversy Creates Cash. He’s telling the truth in the book, including the fact that Raw would not exist in this form without him and there would be no DX without the NWO. And then the music plays him off because that’s a little too far.

John Cena vs. Lita

Non-title, Cena’s arm is tied behind his back and Edge is here but can’t touch Cena. Lita pokes him in the eye and gets low blowed but the FU finishes her in less than a minute.

Post match here are King Booker, Finlay and William Regal from Smackdown (where Cena will be appearing in a six man tag later this week) for the big beatdown. Finlay gets in some Shillelagh shots and Booker takes off his boot because it’s time for Cena kiss the feet. JR: “WHEN DID BOOKER GET AN ENGLISH ACCENT???” Booker sits on the ropes as the beatdown knocks Cena out and his face is put onto Booker’s bare foot. Booker twirls in the robe before leaving, so Edge grabs a mic. The rematch for the title is next week and it’s inside a cage.

Overall Rating: C-. This was a weird show as there was one match which broke five minutes and it was a three fall gauntlet match. I’m not sure if they were a little spent after the international tour or whatever else but I did like the show flew by with a lot of things getting some time. Granted not everything needed to get time (like that Hardy/Shelton segment) but I did like the structure they were going with here. It wouldn’t work every week, though it worked rather well for a one off change.

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