On Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at 12:40 AM EST WWE RAW
December 18, 2006
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
30-Man Battle Royal—Winner gets a WWE title shot later tonight
Pretty decent little battle royal. Carlito was a pretty big surprise going out first. The ‘classic’ stars followed. Much of the focus for the next five minutes was on Viscera as he dominated the competition for a brief time before being disposed of by DX. Some unknown star and both Highlanders were eliminated over the commercial break. Ron Simmons provided a moment of entertainment after his elimination by giving us all an indignant ‘DAMN’ much to the crowd’s delight.
Most humorous elimination was perhaps Eugene, who Triple H tricked into waving to the crowd before dumping him to the outside. Snitsky’s may have been the ugliest elimination, as an attempted big boot missed and sailed hard over the top rope. Snitsky made zero contact with the ring apron due to his momentum and he crashed right to the floor. Something about Snitsky and mean eliminations.
It eventually came down to five heels against DX. Things seemed to go the traditional ‘face makes comeback’ way with Triple H disposing of Chris Masters, but surprisingly enough, Triple H got tossed to the floor in short order. HBK ended up side stepping Johnny Nitro to eliminate him leaving us with a final four of Garrison Cade, HBK, Randy Orton & Edge.
HBK cleaned house and ramped up the crowd but got briefly distracted by Edge just long enough for HBK to get plastered with a Cade lariat. Cade celebrated and Orton tossed him out. Edge was out on the outside while Orton went for an RKO on HBK. Michaels blocked the RKO and caught Orton charging him to eliminate him. HBK thought he had the battle royal won, but Edge came in from nowhere to dump Michaels over the top and win the title shot later tonight.
Order of Elimination
2. Brooklyn Brawler
3. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
4. Sgt. Slaughter
6. Val Venis
7. Some random guy #1
8. Random guy #2
11. Ron Simmons
13. Big Shad
14. Charlie Haas
15. Shelton Benjamin
16. Jerry “The King” Lawler
17. Jeff Hardy
18. Super Crazy
22. Ric Flair
24. Chris Masters
25. Triple H
26. Johnny Nitro
27. Garrison Cade
28. Randy Orton
29. Shawn Michaels
Highlights of Smackdown’s “Armageddon” Pay Per View aired.
Todd Grisham was in the back with Edge. Edge put over how he was going to foil WWE’s plans for New Year’s Revolution by beating WWE Champion John Cena later tonight. Randy Orton came in to congratulate him. Edge said he was setting his sights higher than the Tag titles tonight and walked off. Orton looked a little upset.
Maria was in the back with Chris Masters. She asked him about the Torrie stuff last week. Masters said Maria shouldn’t be afraid. He said Carlito was the person who spat in his face first before he got his ‘pay back’. He said this week, Carlito would experience what his girlfriend experienced last week, the Master Lock.
JR and King put over Sylvester Stallone’s presence at Raw tonight and he’ll be interviewed later on tonight.
Clips of Joey Mercury’s face getting smashed in last night at Armageddon
Todd Grisham was with Vladimir Kozlov. Kozlov clearly doesn’t speak english well. Looks like he’s going to be a new star on Raw. He like the Double e double e e. Awesome.
Chris Masters v. Carlito
Carlito jumped Masters during his entrance and beat him down the aisle and the two fought around the ring until Carlito hit a flying forearm that sent both men into the crowd. The two fought through the crowd until Masters took a TV camera and swung it into Carlito’s head, busting him open. Masters high tailed it out of the arena shortly thereafter. Carlito was incredibly pissed off after hitting the ring post with the ring.
Winner: No Contest
The World’s Greatest Tag Team & Johnny Nitro v. The Hardy Boyz
Both Hardy Boyz walked very gingerly to the ring. Shelton mocked Matt Hardy a little before locking up with him. Benjamin clamped on a front face lock while Hardy tried to fight out. Shelton caught an arm wringer and worked Matt to the mat before getting caught briefly in a head scissors. Benjamin quickly regained the advantage and bullied Hardy in the corner before Matt fought his way out and tagged in Jeff.
Jeff hit some boots to the gut before Shelton connected with a big back suplex. Charlie Haas tagged in and hit Jeff with some clubbing blows to the back before choking him out with his knee. Haas bullied Jeff to the corner and hit some shoulder thrusts before distracting the official allowing Nitro and Shelton to give some more grief to Jeff.
Nitro tagged in and hit some knees in the corner before putting the boots to Jeff. Nitro connected with some stiff forearms before knocking Jeff back to the corner. Nitro landed some punches before Jeff reversed positions and landed some shots of his own. Nitro whipped Hardy to the corner, but Jeff countered with a whisper to the wind.
Jeff struggled to his corner but Nitro beat him to the tag. Haas came in and went for a back body drop but Jeff countered and tagged in his brother Matt. Matt hit a vertical suplex and went for the first cover attempt of the match but Haas kicked out.
Matt whipped Haas to the corner and Jeff came in and hit the leap frog senton into the corner. Jeff and Matt tossed out the WGTT before Matt picked up his brother and tossed him to the outside, sending him crashing into their opponents. Matt quickly followed up with a top rope moonsault to the floor. The crowd chanted ‘holy sh_t’ as we went to commercial
We came back to Charlie Haas holding onto a rear chin lock on Jeff. Jeff pushed Haas off of him but Shelton came in from behind and hit a chop block on Jeff to keep him neutralized. Shelton tagged in and cinched in a half crab. Jeff fought out eventually but Shelton tracked him down before he could get to the corner to tag in his brother. Shelton dragged Jeff far away enough before cleaning out Matt on the apron to prevent a tag.
Haas tagged in and continued to work over the knee of Hardy. Haas put Jeff into an Indian death-lock and used Shelton for some leverage near their corner. Nitro tagged in and continued the leg-assault, playing the boots to Hardy on the mat. Nitro pulled out all the stops to continue the assault on the leg , using the apron to do his dirty work before drop kicking him to the outside. Melina took some liberties with Jeff before Haas tossed him back in the ring.
Shelton tagged in and went back to the half crab while yanking away at Jeff’s hair. Jeff eventually fought back and hit a wheel kick before finally tagging in Matt. Matt cleaned house on the World's Greatest Tag Team, hitting the clothesline/bulldog combo. Matt hit the side effect on both Shelton and Haas, before going for a cover on Benjamin, but Haas broke it up. Matt tossed Haas to the outside and went for the twist of fate on Benjamin. Haas recovered quickly while Johnny Nitro assaulted Jeff Hardy on the outside. Haas leapt up on the apron and brained Matt in the head. Shelton rolled up Matt and held the tights to score the pin fall.
Winners: Johnny Nitro & The World’s Greatest Tag Team via pin fall
After the match Nitro continued the assault creaming Jeff Hardy with his own belt. After a few more minutes of beat down, he plopped Jeff’s Intercontinental Championship belt on his waist and stood above him, saying he’d see him at New Year’s Revolution.
JR and King showed footage of John Cena’s dismantling of Estrada last week.
Todd Grisham was in the back with Umaga and Estrada in the back. Girsham asked him who he’d rather Umaga face next week. Estrada said it didn’t make a difference. He said nobody on earth could stop the Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga. He said if you really had to choose though, they’d choose Cena. Estrada said there were two reasons. He said Umaga could beat Cena easier than he could beat Edge. The second was to get revenge for Cena’s beat down on him last week.
Melina was in the back walking around with Johnny Nitro. They walked around and saw K-Fed. Nitro said if he does to Cena what he did to Hardy, K-Fed will have no problems ‘bitchifying’ John Cena next week. K-Fed said he was here to address America. Melina said he was brave and gave him a hug.
JR was live with Sylvester Stallone. He asked him about his Rocky movie. Stallone said he wanted to have a certain emotional ‘good bye’ for his character. Stallone said the character was fairly biographical for him and maybe he was in denial. King asked him about a concept like the ‘contender’ in the WWE. Stallone said people didn’t understand their ability to absorb punishment and they are incredibly underrated as athletes. Stallone said he knew, because he was in the ring with Hulk Hogan early on in his career. He said he had nothing but respect for it.
King asked him about what he thought about celebrities wrestling like K-Fed. Stallone said K-Fed would struggle to beat Cena’s wardrobe and that it was a death wish. King thanked Stallone and Stallone in return thanked King.
Cena was in the back ‘thinking’.
Kenny Dykstra v. Ric Flair
Flair came right at Kenny chopping away at his chest in the early going. After a criss-cross, Kenny was able to dump Flair to the floor where he went out and hit a nice suplex. Dykstra tossed Flair’s body into the ring and put the boots to him on the mat and even threw in a choke or two for good measure.
Flair made his comeback a little while later coming at Dykstra with some chops before hitting an inverted atomic drop. Kenny avoided a Flair charge and beat down on Flair some more. He went for his top rope leg drop but Flair rolled out of the way just in the knick of time. Flair chopped some more and landed some forearm, bullying Dykstra to the corner. Dykstra eventually turned the tables and went for a running knee, but again missed Flair with another sloppy high risk move.
Flair went to land his atomic knee drop, but Kenny rolled out of the way and rolled Flair up for a clean pin fall win.
Winner: Kenny via pin fall
Flair got in Kenny’s face after the match but extended his hand instead. Kenny went to shake his hand then walked off bragging.
John Cena v. Edge
Cena took down Edge and slapped on a headlock. Edge broke the hold in the ropes before Cena fought out of the corner with punches. Cena took early control with a boot to the face and Edge quickly retreated through the ropes. After taking a quick breather,. Edge connected with a big boot of his own before dumping Cena to the mat. Edge worked Cena over a little bit on the outside before bringing him back into the ring and slapping on a side head lock in an attempt to wear the champion down. Cena of course eventually fought out and the two came bounding off the ropes only to both connect with flying cross body blocks which left both men laying in a heap as we went to commercial break.
We came back to Edge putting the boots to Cena on the mat before slapping on an arm bar. The hold evolved into a rear chin lock. Cena fought out with some elbows before hitting a swinging neck breaker, which left both men out on their backs.
Cena rose to his feet and connected with three clotheslines in a row. The Champ followed up with a flying shoulder block and the inverted supelx. He went for the five knuckle shuffle but Edge rolled out quickly and hit Cena out of nowhere with a spear that got him a near fall.
Edge gathered his senses after arguing forever with the referee. He perched Cena up on the top rope and went for a super plex attempt but Cena blocked it. Cena tossed Edge off the top rope and came off with his own flying leg drop off the top rope and went for a cover but only got a two count. Cena picked up the challenger and dropped him on the top rope on the neck before hitting the five-knuckle shuffle. Cena loaded up the FU, but Edge slipped out and went to go for a neck breaker. Cena reversed that hold with his inverted suplex and got a two count. Cena went for the FU but Edge kicked the referee in the head accidentally.
With the referee down, Randy Orton ran down and RKO’d the hell out of Cena before tossing the official back into the ring. Edge crawled over to make the cover, but DX showed up out of nowhere. While HBK took care of Orton on the outside, Triple H loaded Edge up for the pedigree and nailed him with it. He draped Cena over Edge’s body and the referee counted Edge’s shoulders to the mat.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: John Cena via pin fall
After the match, John Cena went up and thanked DX for having his back. Edge and Orton looked on from the ring irate.
We find out that we’ll get a special main event. DX and John Cena will face Rated RKO and Umaga.
Cryme Tyme came down to the ring. They got on the mic. They bashed the World’s Greatest Tag Team for ‘hatin’” on them. They brought out a President Bush impersonator and after some jokes, punked him out and took off on their way to the back. The crowd seemed to enjoy it.
Mickie James v. Victoria
Why this match is on right now, instead of making us pay for it, is beyond me, but oh well.
Victoria pretty much squashed James here. She opened up the match by pretty much taking James’ head off with a big boot. She laid the boots to James in the corner and took some vicious shots at her on the mat. She gathered the women’s champion and flung her to the opposite corner but missed the follow up.
James went for a Tornado DDT off the second rope, but Victoria just picked her up and tossed her back first to the mat. Victoria picked up James and set up the Widow’s Peak and connected. She made the cover shortly thereafter for the win.
Winner: Victoria via pin fall
After the match, Victoria crossed James off her list and added the Women’s championship to it.
JR was in the ring and introduced Kevin Federline. K-Fed got on the stick and says JR gave a nice introduction, but says that knows that he can’t stand him. He said he’s really not who he’s portrayed as that it’s just an invention of the media that everyone has bought into. He tells the crowd that the real Kevin Federline never backs down from a challenge. He said just like he’s done before, he’ll shock the world and defeat John Cena. He said he’d be the one laughing on New Year’s Day. Before he leaves, he tells John Cena that he DOES want some. In fact, he’s coming to get some.
The Main event is next!
Rated RKO & Umaga vs. Degeneration X & John Cena
Orton and Cena start the match off. Cena punches Orton and knocks him down before whipping him into the corner and hitting a nice fisherman’s suplex and gets a quick two count. He bullies Orton to his corner and tags in HBK
HBK comes in and chops away at Orton and takes him to the corner to his right. Orton fights his way out after raking the eyes and tags his partner, Edge. HBK cuts off Edge with some chops. Edge kicks Michaels in the gut to break up the chop flurry and tags Orton right back in. Orton whips him to the ropes but gets clocked with a flying forearm but Umaga comes out of nowhere and flattens HBK.
Umaga gets the official tag and starts beating Michaels down into the corner. Edge tags himself in and takes some punches of his own. Orton chokes HBK while Edge distracts the official. Edge whipped HBK to the buckles and followed up with a spear. HBK ducked and Edge follow up punch and hit a back suplex, knocking both men down. HBK gets to the corner first and tags in Triple H while Edge reaches Umaga.
Triple H comes at Umaga with some right hands and a face buster but the big man won’t go down. Triple H follows up with a clothesline but again, Umaga won’t budge. Finally he brings Umaga down with a flying clothesline. Orton comes running in and Triple H hits the spine buster. Triple H loads Orton up for the pedigree but Umaga gives him a Samoan Spike out of nowhere. Umaga goes right for Cena and knocks him down before planting HBK with an elevated Samoan Drop. Cena jumps on Umaga and the two brawl to the floor and up the aisle.
The two make it to the entrance area before Cena tosses Umaga through the staging glass. Umaga gets up immediately and the two continue to brawl to the back.
Back near the ring, Edge whips HBK into the ringside steps before clocking Triple H into the crowd with a chair shot, busting him open. Edge and Orton hit a double RKO onto a steel chair on HBK in the ring. Triple H goes for his sledge hammer, but Edge drop kicks him into and over the announcer’s table. Edge lays a chair on the announcer’s table and he and Orton both his a conchairto on the Game each. They go to do more damage to HBK, but the officials in the back come out and prevent them from doing so. JR and King freak out.
Winners: No Contest
We watched the WWE officials and medics tend to DX as we went off the air.RAW THOUGHTSThe Good-- It’s really odd that WWE has been emphasizing not only this much wrestling on TV, but GOOD TV wrestling. Every match was, on some level, entertaining and all were effective for the most part in advancing their angles, minus of course, the women’s match. Why anyone would bother to pay something they just saw is beyond me, but that’s saved for the ‘bad’ section.
WWE may have single handedly saved the DX-Rated RKO angle tonight. Hats off to Triple H and HBK who sold their backsides off for those chair-shots. Triple H looked like he was about to die, as in circling the drain about to die. HBK looked great too. The officials coming out from the back, Cena NOT coming in to save the day just gave this angle the heat it needed. Now we have a real genuine reason for DX to want to get revenge on Rated RKO. Edge and Orton went from a weekly nuisance this week to a legitimate threat.
Flair and Kenny wrestled an incredibly solid match and left a little open for the next week. I’d like to see Kenny maybe factored in a bit with Rated RKO again, but he was solid again tonight.
I love this newfound emphasis on kick-ass tag team wrestling. The handicapped match was worked incredibly well. Usually it’s just the other team taking advantages the whole time trying to overwhelm, which comes off as aggressive usually, but not genuinely heelish. The purpose of a handi-capped match is to give the other team the advantage. The stip was worked well and realistically, the faces didn’t come back out of nowhere. The World’s Greatest Tag Team is freaking awesome and play the heel tag team role better than anyone in the WWE these days. Please, at some point, give us the Hardys v. The World’s Greatest Tag Team 1 on 1.
The Stallone and K-Fed appearances made the show feel a little more ‘big time’ so to speak as well and lent an aura of credibility that always seems to be lacking from today’s product. Even K-Fed sounded awesome on the stick in front of the fans. I guess it was just one of those nights.
The WWE title match was awesome and built up to the main event, which was executed brilliantly on all levels.
The Carlito-Masters issue escalated and now I’m really buying it. Kudos across the board tonight to WWE.
The Bad-- This is one of the issues I have with WWE at times. Don’t give matches away for free that you just told us we should spend $35 to see again next week. Victoria was played off as a credible monster heel and although the feud’s ending is somewhat predictable, it’s still been executed well and we’ve got a back story with a credible challenger. That’s sort of the way all title feuds should be built at base. I liked it.
The Ugly-- Not a thing. Wow.
Overall- A- --- This is the way Raw should be every week really. Consistently good, but purposely not great, with build on all the feuds with there being a slow build to a main event of sorts with a pay off. I don’t know what’s happened to this creative team in the past three weeks, but whatever has happened I’m really, really liking. They’re thinking out of the box on things, and while they’re not perfect by any means, they’re at least delivering an enjoyable WRESTLING show week in and week out.
Edge won a 30-man battle royal
Carlito v. Chris Masters went to a No Contest
Johnny Nitro & The World’s Greatest Tag Team def. The Hardy Boyz
Kenny Dykstra def. Ric Flair
John Cena def. Edge to retain the WWE Championship
Victoria def. Mickie James
DX & John Cena v. Rated RKO & Umaga went to a No Contest
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. John Cena
4. Ric Flair
1. Rated RKO
3. Johnny Nitro
4. The World’s Greatest Tag Team
Match of the night: John Cena v. Edge ***1/2
Power RankingsWWE Champion: John Cena (Last Week: WWE Champion)—Cena was a stud tonight. He wrestled a longer than expected title match before working the main event, all within an hour of each other. The Umaga thing has come along nicely in my view. The two had a wild brawl to establish them as being equal. At New Year’s Revolution they can take steps to make one look stronger than the other to build to the Royal Rumble.
Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Hardy (Last Week: IC Champion)—Great tag work tonight and I think ultimately, we’re going to see a Hardy Boyz reunion become more of a permanent thing. Hardy is a spot machine as a single's worker but is an outstanding tag worker, if not the best tag worker in the company. He really has built the matches of the past few weeks and has really delivered. I’m fully expecting Nitro to resume his dominance of the Intercontinental Championship scene after New Year’s Revolution.
1.Umaga (Last Week: 1)—Umaga looked as good as he needed to look tonight. He dominated his match for the most part and Cena again tossed everything he had at Umaga but still only came out looking equal. Umaga’s looked decent leading up to this feud and they’ve done a good job of building towards a ‘big match’ in WWE’s view.
2. Randy Orton (Last Week: 5)—Edge lost a match tonight so I’ll bump Randy ahead of him. Orton’s heel work has just gotten consistently better over the weeks and IMO, he’s been the glue that’s held this feud from completely falling into a bottomless chasm of hopelessness. He’s earned a #2 spot, his highest ever on the top 10 rankings.
3. Edge (Last Week: 4)—Let’s see. Edge won a battle royal, started to lay some seeds of dissention with his partner, worked an excellent title match then came back and helped pull off the most effective single angle WWE’s run in about a month or two. Why this brand isn’t being built around this guy is beyond me.
4. Triple H (Last Week: 2)—For the first time since September, DX looked like the beaten team this time around. Triple H’s selling was flat out fantastic. Again, this angle may save the feud ultimately.
5. HBK (Last Week: 3)—See Triple H.
6. Carlito (Last Week: 6)—Comes away looking pretty strong again this week and a new scene, a bloody and angry Carlito. This guy is likely to be WWE’s pet project in 2007. If he’s not, they’re making a mistake. He played ‘pissed off’ very effectively tonight as well. Everything he did, much in the Ric Flair flavor, was done a little more. Instead of jus landing the old clubbing blow to the back of the head, he jumps on the steps to make it hurt a little more. He tosses the chair off the ring post. Great pissed off baby face work tonight.
7. Kenny Dykstra (Last Week: 7)—Kenny’s just a flat out solid young prospect. He’s going to really have to work on developing this character. The ring attire isn’t too flattering either. However, given some tweaking and of course some growth by working against guys LIKE Ric Flair, he’s going to go places.
8. Johnny Nitro (Last Week 7)—Nitro’s really starting to turn the corner on the mic. Yes, some of the content may be a little juvenile but just the general delivery has improved leaps and bounds. He performed well tonight and is likely to re-take his spot at the top of the IC division.
9.Chris Masters (Last Week: 10)— The #1 rule in playing a heel is that a heel always feels his actions are justified. What’s the first thing Masters does in his promo tonight? He justifies his actions. Perfect. He runs his mouth some more then runs off. This kid is finally learning how to work heel.
10. Ric Flair (Last Week: 9)— Flair dips down a slot due to the loss, but he’s still Ric Flair. He rounds out the strongest top 10 I’ve ever had top to bottom. Every single one of the people on this list should be here. For the first time I ever remember, there are about 5 other people you could make a case for being here as well. Kudos WWE.
Dropping Out: Shelton Benjamin (Last Week:9 ); Mickie James (Last Week: 10)