On Monday, May 22, 2006 at 11:31 PM EST WWE RAW
May 22, 2006
Las Vegas, NV
Commentators: Jim Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
The opening pyro hit and here we go! JR and King welcomed us to the show coming live tonight from Las Vegas, Nevada.
A portrait was covered in the middle of the ring. Mick Foley’s music hit and he came out to the ring. Foley came out to the ring wearing a suit. Foley thanked the crowd for the support he had from the fans despite the events of the last two weeks. He insisted he wasn’t a bad guy. He said it was okay to cheer him. He put himself over as the adorable guy, the human Muppet, and the man of the cheap pop.
He said however, it wasn’t that great to be in Las Vegas. He said he had a problem with million of people looking to change their lives through gambling. He said it was much more admirable to earn accomplishments, like he did. He said he didn’t become champion by rolling a seven at the craps table. He said he didn’t become a two time best selling author by putting a quarter in a slot machine. He earned all of that he said. He said his guest earned all his accolades as well and introduced Edge.
Edge came out to the ring with Lita. Edge said that on behalf of his WWE fans, holy crap. He said he was probably wondering what all this was about and that he wasn’t going to apologize for having the greatest hardcore match in history at Wrestlemania 22. He said he didn’t care about the Tommy Dreamers or Terry Funks of the world, that Edge represented everything that was right about hardcore wrestling.
He unveiled the portrait and gave the old hardcore championship to Edge, as a good will gesture. Edge appeared genuinely moved to receive the title. Foley said he was making it active again. He said he couldn’t accept it. He said everything he said about them was right but he forgot to mention how he was taking Lita to bed tonight. He said Foley toiled in obscurity for years. He said he had to put up with Ric Flair calling him a stunt man. He said while he did beat him at Wrestlemania, he couldn’t possibly take the hardcore title and handed the belt over to Foley.
Foley seemed a little disheartened. He couldn’t believe Edge was giving the belt back. He said he felt that Edge deserved the hardcore championship. He said that was a bit of a problem and said there was only one way to resolve the issue. He said they should have one more hardcore match up to determine who got the belt. Edge asked the fans if they wanted to see it and they said yes. Edge said he had a better idea. Edge had Lillian declare both the co-holders of the hardcore title.
Paul Heyman’s music hit the arena and out he came. Heyman stood at the top of the ramp and asked Las Vegas to give him some advice. He said he never thought he’d see prostitution live on Monday night Raw, despite it’s being legal in Nevada. He called Lita a ho, but then said he was talking about Mick Foley. He said for all the cards on the table, Mick Foley was a prostitute. He said this was a guy who sacrificed so much to entertain the people and took time away from his family and he prostituted himself away from all of that for Edge and Lita. He said he prostituted the fans love and admiration for them. He said he prostituted his name and his legacy. He said he’d be damned to see him prostitute the name of hardcore.
He asked him to tell him what it was like to look in the mirror and see the reflection of a shell of his former self. Foley said he was going to clear things up and he said he saw the co-holder of the WWE hardcore championship when he looked in the mirror. He said he saw a WWE superstar. He said he saw a real life action figure and an author of best selling books, including one he was working on right now that will be available next spring. He said it was ironic to hear criticism of anything from Heyman because he owned nothing these days and had no power whatsoever.
Paul said he was right. He said he was a cog in the wheel, a peon. He did make a challenge though. He said he was involved in ECW: One Night Stand on pay per view and said his suggestion would be for Foley would be to match him up against some dregs of society or ECW scum out of a hole and take the two from an extreme experience that either one of them could meet. Foley suggested he leave their WWE building. He told him he would never fight at that ECW show.
Paul laughed and said he was looking at the three of them and came to the realization that Lita was the only one in the ring with any nuts. Edge said he could take any two of his nobodies and at ECW One Night Stand, they’d take them on. Paul told him if he wanted to do it now, they’d meet their opponents. It ended up being Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk.
The four began brawling and after Foley was cleaned out and Edge and Lita took off, Funk and Dreamer got in the ring and celebrated with the fans. JR said that ECW made a huge statement tonight.
King and JR put over the upcoming Raw Diva Search.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Shelton Benjamin v. Rob Van Dam
The two locked up and RVD was sent off the ropes and the two met with a shoulder block. RVD came back at Shelton with a high knee and a close pin fall attempt. Van Dam hit a fold over and got yet another near fall but was cut down by a Benjamin lariat. Shelton worked RVD to the corner with punches and whipped him to the buckles. RVD dodged the follow up and missed a follow up heel kick but Shelton escaped to the outside.
We came back with Shelton in control, cinching in a rear shin lock on the challenger. Van Dam tried to fight out of the hold but Shelton regained control. RVD hit a roll up for another near fall after fighting out of a body slam attempt. Shelton countered a vertical suplex into a neck breaker and nearly got the pin fall. Shelton clamped on a nasty grapevine chin lock on RVD and bore down. Van Dam fought out but was slammed to the mat by Shelton, who went right back to the chin lock. RVD again fought back but was again cut off. Shelton whipped him to the buckles but missed the splash attempt. The two exchanged blows to the corner where Shelton got his head knocked off the top buckle. RVD followed up with a back kick, three clotheslines, a martial arts kick, and then rolling thunder but couldn’t quite hold the cover. Van Dam rolled up the champion again but Shelton kicked out. RVD hit yet another rolling thunder but yet again, Benjamin kicked out.
The two exchanged more blows before Shelton ducked under a kick and hit a Samoan drop, which clipped the referee’s leg. While the ref tended to himself, Benjamin grabbed his title belt and brought it into the ring. RVD kicked Shelton in the face hitting a Van dominator but the referee caught him and disqualified him.
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Shelton Benjamin
RVD was incensed after the match and hit a huge five star frog splash on Benjamin. RVD grabbed his brief case and went to the back.
Vince McMahon was in the back with ZZ Top. He said about seven years ago, he beat Triple H in that arena for the WWE title. Candice walked in and they introduced each other. Vince said he was going out to the ring to get his apology. She said ZZ top was her favorite band. She asked them if they liked the pearl necklace and they agreed.
A video clip aired of Shane getting bludgeoned by the sledgehammer shot last week.
Vince’s music hit the arena and he came out to the ring. Vince said he promised an apology and we’d get one and he called Triple H out to the ring. His music didn’t play the first time he called him to the ring. Vince asked again. Finally, “King of Kings” hit the arena and he came out to the ramp. Vince motioned to his watch as The Game walked down to the ring.
Vince said he had something he needed to say to him. Vince cut him off quickly and said he was going to remind him of a few things. He said that HBK told him to act his age and move on and since then, his life had become a living hell. He said if there wasn’t a meaningful apology, there would be swift, vengeful retaliation. He said he was waiting for those two words.
Triple H asked him for two words. He said that worked out well because he had two words for him, “I’m Sorry”. Vince gloated and said he’d accept his apology but accept it on one condition. He said after the Spirit Squad dismantled HBK, that he would command him to crush HBK’s skull with a sledgehammer, then he’d accept the apology. He asked Triple H if they understood each other.
Triple H extended his hand and they shook. As Vince went to pull away, Triple H hung on. He said they definitely had an understanding. Vince’s music played and the segment was over.
Todd Grisham was in the back with Kane. He said May 19th was the day that his mother and his adopted family were killed in a fire. He said he fought his entire life to suppress those demons. He said the day had come and gone and that he had a movie out that had him killing people in excruciating and unique ways. He said he had a match tonight that would allow him to exercise that kind of ruthlessness on someone /*. He said he had never been happier.
John Cena v. Chris Masters
The two locked up and Cena backed Masters into the corner. Masters cheap shotted Cena and punched away at Cena. Cena whipped Masters to the rope and floored him with two shoulder blocks then dropped an elbow. He got a near fall but Masters kicked out. Cena went for a quick FU, but Masters kicked out and nailed Cena from behind with a huge lariat.
Masters hit a big standing vertical suplex and followed with a cover attempt, but the champion kicked out. Masters signaled for the master lock but Cena tried to block it. The two struggled in the ring before Cena ran to the outside with Masters in tow.
The two exchanged blows in the middle of the ring before Cena hit a big back body drop and two clotheslines followed by a flying shoulder block. Masters whipped Cena to the buckles but got caught before Cena clotheslined him from behind. Cena immediately clamped on the STFU and Masters tapped out.
Winner: John Cena via submission
Cena celebrated with the crowd until Rob Van Dam’s music hit the arena. He came out to the ramp and down to the ring. Van Dam confronted Cena in the middle of the ring. He told him to savor the time he had with the title while he explained something. He said he had a free shot at the champion and it wasn’t easy to get it. He said he won the Money in the Bank match at Wrestlemania. He said otherwise, he would never have been awarded what he deserved. He said he wouldn’t waste this opportunity getting screwed out of what he earned. He wanted it to see it take place somewhere where he was a lot more comfortable for him, where the conditions worked extremely well in his favor. He said he was cashing in his shot at June 11th at ECW One Night Stand.
RVD threw away the briefcase and the mic and the two went head to head in the ring. Van Dam slapped him and the two began exchanging blows. Van Dam was whipped to the buckles and got slammed to the mat. Masters ran in but was taken out quickly. Van Dam hit a Van Dominator on Cena with the brief case and got himself some crowd heat for it. Cena looked on when he came to with a shade of befuddledness.
A video recapping last night’s Judgement Day Pay Per View aired.
Carlito was hitting on Maria in the back teaching her how to cheat playing cards. He pulled one out of his hair before they bumped into Snitsky in the back. He said he called and ad in the back of the paper and he’d be hooking up with a real life show girl. Maria spotted her and Snitsky got aroused and went over to Goldust. He went for her ‘tootsies’ without realizing whom it was. Once he noticed it was Goldust, he explained that he just liked feet. Carlito said what happened in Vegas was “not cool”.
Triple H was in the back looking at his sledge hammer. HBK came up to him and asked him what was wrong with him. HBK said it didn’t matter what they were doing with each other, he always respected him because Triple H handled things like a man. He said he sold his soul to the devil out there. Triple H said he needed to do what he had to do. HBK called him a sell out and it visibly bothered Triple H.
Kane v. Trevor Murdoch
The two went right at it but Kane floored Murdoch. He whipped Murdoch to the buckle hard and nailed him with a clothesline. Murdoch fought back with some punches and a chop block but got nailed with a choke slam quickly and scored the victory.
Kane went right back after Murdoch and hit another choke slam leaving Murdoch practically dead in the ring. The fans asked for it one more time and Kane delivered one more, leaving Murdoch for the buzzards.
The lights went off and the voices said this was only the beginning. Kane looked perplexed in the ring.
Torrie Wilson v. Mickie James
Torrie leapfrogged over James’ charge and rolled her up but only got a one count. She followed with a swinging neck breaker and got another near fall. Torrie charged Mickie again but got hot shotted on the top rope and Mickie went to work on Torrie on the canvas.
Mickie signaled for her huge implant DDT and nailed it for the pin fall victory.
Winner: Mickie James via pin fall
Trish Stratus’ music hit and she came out to the ramp. She said she didn’t need to worry about Beth Phoenix illegally attacking her because she could do it legally now. Beth emerged from the crowd and nailed Mickie from behind. Mickie took off through the crowd and to the back.
Viscera was in the ring. He said he had some big news for everyone. He said he knew he had problems with Lillian In the past. He realized it was time for him to settle down. He invited her into the ring. Lillian told him last time they were in Vegas, he dumped her for a bunch of godfather ho’s. He said he realized that but he wanted to give her something. He told her if she went with him to an all night chapel in the city, he would come home to her home cooked food. He said he was 500 lbs. of loving, hungry and horny. He proposed to her in the ring. He asked her again and was interrupted by Armando Alejandro Estrada. He congratulated the happy couple. He said he was sure their future children would give a lot of people a lot of nightmares.
He told Lillian to hold up before giving an answer. He said he was hungry for action, but so was Umaga.
Umaga v. Viscera (unofficial)
Viscera went right at Umaga and knocked him to the outside. The two big men exchanged blows on the outside but none of Viscera’s offence could phase the Samoan. Viscera clattered into the ring post Viscera climbed into the ring but was met with the diving head butt. Umaga flew off the apron hitting Viscera with a shoulder block. Umaga hit his spike on the outside leaving Viscera unconscious.
Umaga certainly won the encounter.
Another promo package for “See No Evil” aired.
This Spirit Squad was in the back getting hyped up for their match. They ran into Triple H and they told him what his role would be for the night. They gave a cheer.
McMahon came out before the match and said that for this match, he wanted to relive the referee of his duties.
5 on 1 Handicap Match
The Spirit Squad v. Shawn Michaels
The Squad jumped Michaels and began to beat down on him badly. All five stomped away and they gave him High Spirits, leaving Michaels in a heap. All five continued to stomp away at what was left of Michaels. They held him down and each of them hit a springboard moonsault on the lifeless Michaels. McMahon looked on in approval. Michaels threw a lazy left but was quickly cut down by the numbers. The Squad hit a double vertical suplex before he got hit with a huge elbow drop off the top rope.
They dumped HBK in the corner and hit some shoulder thrusts before hitting a human pyramid elbow drop on him. The Squad taunted Michaels as they continued to beat him down. Mickey tossed a chair to Nickey but Michaels hit him with a boot to the face. Michaels came to and began to get some retribution, nailing Kenny and Johnny with chair shots. He slammed Mickey and ascended the ropes to drop his elbow. He connected with the shot and began to amp up.
Michaels tuned up the band and flattened Kenny with the shot and connected on Johnny before getting nailed by Nikki in the leg with a chair. They ripped apart his ring attire and did a demolition job on his leg. They tore off his leg brace and continued to stomp on the knee. The crowd began to chant for Triple H. They put HBK’s leg in the chair and Nikki hit his flying leg drop, ‘breaking’ his leg. Vince called out Triple H.
Triple H came out with his hammer and he gazed on from the ramp. He came into the ring and stared down all the members of the Spirit Squad. He motioned for them to help HBK to his feet so he could deliver the fatal shot. Kenny encouraged him apart from the group. He took the sledge hammer out of the Game’s hand and said he’d deliver the blow. He went to nail Michaels and the Game stepped in his way.
He nailed Kenny with a spine buster and then unloaded on the entire Spirit Squad, ending up with a huge pedigree on Kenny. He stared down McMahon from the ramp defiantly as the show went off the air. RAW THOUGHTSThe Good-- This show started off with a great bang with the Heyman promo and all the way up to the Kane match, it was bumping on all cylinders with a great RVD-Shelton Benjamin match followed by a surprise title challenge. Everything had a purpose and we got to see a ton of stars on the air tonight. Snitsky and Carlito’s promo was very funny and everything seemed to be going well.
The show cooled down big time in the second half but all for the big Triple H face turn, which we finally got tonight. The Game is unproven as a face, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does with it. The turn was done perfectly. No crotch chops, no peace making with Michaels, just Triple H kicking ass and leaving the end open for next week. Great stuff.
The Heyman promo was outstanding, as should be expected. The Foley/Edge-Funk/Dreamer match is going to be a total blood bath at ECW: One Night Stand 2.
The Bad-- As I mentioned, the show cooled down big time with about 45 minutes left to go. I felt like I was watching what we’re used to seeing during that time span. The matches and segments however, did have a point, which is something they never used to have. Even the Umaga-Viscera segment, which wasn’t pretty by any means, was left open ended a bit, as even the jobbers are getting a little build even though it probably won’t add up to much in the end.
The Ugly-- Um, the Diva search is coming back.
Overall B+-- So much happened tonight, I almost felt like I was watching an older episode. Take 20 minutes out in the second hour and this was about as good as anyone could and should expect. Great, great stuff and I think WWE is really beginning to turn a significant corner. You know it’s a good night when even RVD sounds great on the mic.
Shelton Benjamin def. Rob Van Dam
John Cena def. Chris Masters
Kane def. Trevor Murdoch
Mickie James def. Torrie Wilson
HBK v. The Spirit Squad went to a no contest
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Triple H
2. Shawn Michaels
3. John Cena
2. Mick Foley
3. Mr. McMahon
4. The Spirit Squad
Match of the night: Rob Van Dam v. Shelton Benjamin **3/4
Power RankingsWWE Champion: John Cena (Last Week: WWE Champion)—Cena is gaining his crowd heat back again. I was surprised to see the crowd side more with him than Van Dam, given RVD’s over-ness in the past months. He’s getting back to where he needs to be. WWE is handling him very, very well.
Intercontinental Champion: Shelton Benjamin (Last Week: Intercontinental Champion)—Another wrestler who’s being booked the right way. Let Shelton’s athletic ability speak for him. The look is great and the match played out beautifully tonight as Shelton looked like the overly opportunistic heel he needs to look like. Makes up for the mismanagement last week.
1. Triple H (Last Week: 1)—Triple H takes a radical turn and it was played off perfectly. He’ll continue to be an interesting fixture on the Raw brand in the coming weeks. For all his accolades, the one thing Triple H lacks on the resume, in my view, is a credible run as a baby face. This is the right time to go with it though.
2. Edge (Last Week: 2)—Edge was money on the mic tonight which usually isn’t his thing. Foley is the right guy at the right time for him. He can learn to work the mic from Foley and that’s the piece he’s lacking. He looked great tonight.
3. Rob Van Dam (Last Week: 5)—Tonight was RVD’s best night in a long while. He jumped Cena, put on a good match, and cut a solid promo. I’m unsure of his long term viability as WWE Champion, but in an ECW atmosphere, I don’t think you could find a better person. We’ll see how this all plays out. I just can’t see him losing in the ECW show.
4. Shawn Michaels (Last Week: 3)—HBK is getting great heat but has been held up in order to turn Triple H. It’s going to be really interesting to see what they do with him once the whole DX thing is over and done with. It brings their story full circle.
5. Kane (Last Week: 6)—Kane is getting re-pushed but I’ll admit that I’m a little disappointed to see him NOT on the blue brand permanently. Only issue is where he fits in the big picture on either show. They could have worked the Big Show angle a little longer, but it looks like they’ve put that one to rest for a while. Keep an eye on Kane though as I see him as a legitimate title contender if this keeps up for another few weeks.
6. Umaga (Last Week: 7)—Like him or not, he keeps winning and is getting a strong mid card push. He’s in this spot by virtue of his wins alone.
7. Carlito (Last Week: 4)—Doing a lot of nothing right now, but getting the anti-hero cheating face thing over. With no real programs for him to work, this is probably the safe way to go for now, but it doesn’t help him work up the rankings. I see a program with Shelton in the future. Both are dramatically improved from this time last year, so it should go over fairly well this time.
8. Chris Masters (Last Week: 8)—Masters is totally floundering right now. It’s a shame because it couldn’t come at a worse time. I’d drop him further down had he not seen action this week.
9.The Big Show (Last Week: 9)—Inexplicably out of action again. I’d like to see them do SOMETHING with him as he’s such a valuable tool for the brand to use in their booking scheme. Once he pops back up, I’ll be interested to see if they push him or give him a program. I think he and Chris Masters would be a good call at this point.
10. Mick Foley (Last Week: 10)—I’d rank Foley up higher if I had some indication he’d be around for longer. I can’t make him even a minor player until we see him around for more than a month.
Dropping Out: None