On Monday, July 31, 2006 at 11:23 PM EST WWE Raw
July 31, 2006
East Rutherford, NJ
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler
Report By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
JR and King welcomed us to NJ.
Shane McMahon’s music hit and he came out to the ramp. Vince’s music hit and he came rumbling out to the ring with his son in tow. Vince got on the mic and said despite recent events here on Raw, that we couldn’t get the smile off of his face. He said his daughter, Stephanie, gave birth to a baby girl. He said his new grand daughter was wealthier than anyone in the arena was. Shane said she was far more intelligent too.
Vince put over Summerslam and said they’d dedicate their new tag team match to his grand daughter. He said they would face DX at Summerslam in a tag team match. DX’s music hit and then cut. Shane said that was typical mind games on behalf of the faction. He wondered how Umaga would stack up against HBK. Vince said there would be no place for DX to hide at Summerslam. DX’s music hit again and Triple H and HBK came out to the ramp.
HBK said the two weren’t there to rain on his parade and congratulated the two. Triple H interrupted and told him that the two weren’t Jewish and gave a Jewish salute. HBK said there were a number of things to celebrate tonight. The first was that they had a match at Summerslam. He said he wanted to talk about the newest addition to the family. He said he also heard that Triple H was in the hospital room last week. He said it was also his understanding that Triple H has acquired the entire McMahon family scrap book. Triple H affirmed the assumption. He said he wanted to share the photos. He said he owned the very first photo of Vince McMahon.
They showed a baby photo of Vince with his head imposed on an infant’s head. He said that was taken before Vince started his first club, the Vince McMahon ‘wipe my ass’ club. HBK said they had Shane’s picture too and a baby with Shane’s head on it with a silver spoon in his mouth. HHH said he couldn’t leave out Vince’s grand daughter.
He said he had the first public photo of the newest member of the family and it was a baby with Triple H’s head imposed on it. HBK said the baby looked familiar. Shane called DX the babies. He said at Summerslam, he said they’d change their diapers. HBK and Triple H said they had some advice for the McMahons; that they could ‘suck it’.
Vince told the people in the back to hit his music and the DX music played instead. DX crotch chopped some more and the segment ended.
JR put over a triple threat match for the IC championship tonight and it’s next!
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Johnny Nitro v. Carlito v. Shelton Benjamin
Carlito drop kicked Nitro through Melina’s legs and tore his jacket off. Nitro fought back and the two exchanged blows until Shelton Benjamin launched himself over with a tope.
Shelton Benjamin had Nitro in a rear chin lock. He punted Carlito off the apron before going to work on Nitro. He went for a drop kick but Nitro dodged. Shelton went for a power bomb but Nitro countered it into a sunset flip, which was also reversed by Carlito. Both got close two counts. Nitro and Benjamin worked over Carlito in the corner and whipped him to the opposite set of buckles. Benjamin missed the follow up and Carlito hit the clothesline. Benjamin hit two monster monkey flips on his opponents before Carlito connected with a knee lift and clothesline combination.
Nitro and Carlito exchanged blows before Carlito flung Nitro out of the ring. Shelton hit a huge DDT on Carlito and went for the cover, but Melina broke up the cover attempt. Benjamin jaw jacked at Melina and Carlito went to break up the exchange and dumped Shelton, but Nitro rolled him up from behind for the cover and the win.
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Johnny Nitro
John Cena will take on Matt Striker later tonight. Also, we’ll get the debut of Orton knows best which is next!
Randy Orton was in the ring. He said at Summerslam, he’d kill the legend of Hulk Hogan. He said once he did that, his career would take off. He said he’d write some books, star in movies, etc. He said he even got an offer for a new reality show. He said he wanted to introduce the cast of his new show “Orton Knows Best. He introduced four actors impersonating Hogan’s family.
He said he wanted to thank the ‘family’ for coming. He asked ‘Nick’ what he wanted to be when he grew up and he replied ‘a wrestler’. He said first, Nick would have to go bald and that he’d have to get used to getting beat up, and Orton whooped up on him a bit. He moved onto Linda who was obviously an animal lover and put over Hogan as a beached Walrus. Orton killed ‘Brooke’s’ hand and “Hogan” interrupted. “Hogan” cut a horrible promo on Orton.
Orton said he didn’t want to piss ‘Hogan’ off and put him over as the over protective father. He said he needed to worry about himself and get a reality check. He said at Summerslam he’d kill his legend and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Orton kissed ‘Brooke’ as the crowd chanted for Hogan. He RKO’d “Hogan” and left him in the middle of the ring. Orton circled the ring eyeing the fake Brooke. Orton jumped King and threatened to teach him a lesson.
Vince and Shane were in the back talking. Armando Alejandro Estrada walked in and thanked them for the HBK match. He congratulated him on becoming a grandfather and Shane an Uncle. He gave the two of them a cigar. They were Cubans. Estrada said he’d get them some cigars out in the car. Shane took Vince’s cigar and told him he didn’t smoke anymore.
JR and King put over Randy Orton’s cheap shot on King earlier. King told everyone to check into a little bit of reality. He said next week, Raw was in Memphis and that he was challenging Orton to a match next week.
JR put over the 2006 Diva Search and we got another testimonial from one of the Divas, this time Erica.
Trish Stratus & Candice v. Mickie James & Victoria Special Guest Referee: Torrie Wilson
Victoria and Candice started off. Victoria pulled Candice down to the mat by the hair. The two locked up again and Candice got a go behind and a fireman’s carry take over and a brutal knee to the head. Candice hit an arm bar of her own then another fireman’s carry with a knee to the arm. Candice worked over Victoria’s shoulder but was quickly met with Victoria’s knee to her face.
Mickie tagged in and came off the top rope with an axe handle to the shoulder. The two exchanged blows before Mickie took Candice down by the hair. James stomped Candice before slamming her on her back by the hair. She went for a cover and only got a one count. Mickie again took her down before trying to sucker punch Trish. With Torrie’s back turned, Victoria and Mickie attempted a double team but Candice pushed the two into each other and got the hot tag.
Trish came in and hit the stratusphere and then hit a double takedown on both women. Trish chopped Mickie hard twice before whipping her to the buckles. Trish missed the follow up and Mickie went for a head scissors but Trish caught her in a big power bomb. She got a two count before Mickie went back on the offensive. Torrie called her on pulling Trish’s hair and Trish took advantage, hitting the stratusfaction for the three count.
Winners: Trish & Candice
Mick Foley was in the back talking with Nitro and Melina. Foley asked Melina and Nitro to introduce him seeing as this was his first appearance live on Raw in quite some time.
Foley thanked Melina for introducing him and said important people should be here for important times in life. He said tonight, he would give the fans what they wanted and that was himself and Flair in the same ring tonight. He feigned a tag team before going over their similarities. He said they both believed in helping out younger superstars. He said Flair took Randy Orton under his wing and Foley took Melina under his. He said Ric Flair was a personal friend of the President of the United States. He said he was the personal friend of porn icon Christy Canyon. He said one of those made it to the top by screwing a lot of people and the other by being in porn.
He said Ric Flair and him made national headlines, his on Katie Couric’s show and Flair’s road rage incident in North Carolina. Flair’s music hit and he came out to the ring.
Foley said he had been expecting Flair. Flair told him to keep his mouth shut. He removed his jacket and said that he had been waiting for three weeks which in his life was a long time because he had overstayed his welcome many years. He wondered whether this was really Mick Foley here in New Jersey. Was this the badass Mick Foley? He said Foley could shove it. He said no one cared about a book they wanted him to kick Foley’s butt.
He said Foley was lazier than A-Rod. He said he drank more than one glass of wine and his book was a life time of greatness. He wanted to know where Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, and Harley Race were because Foley called them imaginary. He said those guys would walk over Foley on the way to the bathroom. He said he wouldn’t open his mouth for one second. He said those were badasses. He said he had nineteen stitches and asked Foley if he tasted his blood, because Flair wanted to taste his. He said he wanted Cactus Jack, Mick Foley or whomever and he’d take Socko and shove him up Foley’s ass. He asked the crowd if they wanted to see that match. He asked the people if they wanted a hardcore match. He said he tasted Flair’s blood and he wanted to taste Foley’s. He wanted whatever Foley could dish out.
He said most of all, he wanted Foley to finalize this. He said what made him mad was Foley talking about his family because it was a joke. He pointed to Melina and said 15 years ago, he ran around all night long with Divas like her.
Foley interrupted and said that was the difference. He said Flair looked at Melina and he saw a conquest, Foley said he looked at Melina and he saw a friend. He said he had a friend in the porno business, but he saw the work she did with kids over seas. He said he couldn’t take tips from a man who was an absentee father twice and married three times. Flair backed him into the corner. Foley said he was wrong. He said since Flair’s book came out there was something they needed to talk about. He brought up a flight from Manilla and they disagreed on politics, wrestling, etc., but they agreed on family. He said Flair told his kids he loved him and it touched him. He said he envied Flair because Flair had the bonding experience he never had. He said he could never look his kids in the eyes and tell them he got arrested. Flair attacked him but Coach’s music hit and he came out to the ring.
He said Mr. McMahon authorized a match that everyone wanted to see. He said it would be Flair v. Foley at Summerslam. Foley said Mr. McMahon needed to read over his contract because he wrestled who he wanted to when he wanted to. He said after 20 years of stunts, he suffered. He said he would be dammed if he would waste one moment of his life wrestling a piece of crap like Flair and walked out.
Godsmack’s “The Enemy” is the official theme song of Summerslam. Here’s the card so far.
WWE Championship—If Edge gets DQ’d, he loses the title
Edge v. John Cena
Mick Foley v. Ric Flair
DX v. The McMahons
Randy Orton v. Hulk Hogan
Matt Striker came out and said Cena was no ‘doctor’. He said there was no definition for the word ‘homey’. He said what was a legitimate word was something like ‘brilliant’, ‘handsome’, or ‘athletic’, and they described him, our teacher, Matt Striker.
John Cena v. Matt Striker
Before the match got started, Edge came out to the ramp. They unveiled and announce table of their own and took their seats.
Striker tried to jump Cena but to no avail. Lita and Edge’s booth cut into the broadcast. Cena hit a snap mare. Cena hit his proto plex and signaled for his five knuckle shuffle. He nailed it all the while staring down Edge. He jacked up Striker and nailed him with the FU. He clamped on the STFU and made Striker tap out quickly.
Winner: John Cena by Submission
Cena and Edge yapped at each other some more to end the segment.
The Spirit Squad gave us a chant.
Johnny v. Rory McAllister
The two circled up and locked up. Rory took the advantage with a headlock before plastering Johnny with a big head-butt to the back of the head. One of the Spirit Squad members tripped up Rory on the outside and were admonished by the official. The referee took their megaphone and ejected all four.
Johnny reluctantly backed up into Rory. Rory whipped Johnny off the ropes and hit a big back elbow. Johnny pulled Rory to the buckles before stomping away on the Scotsman in the corner. Johnny continued to pummel McAllister before hitting an inverted neck breaker. Johnny followed up with a nice knee drop, which got a two count on the cover attempt.
Rory fought out of a rest hold and whipped Johnny off the ropes and nailed a hard running double sledge. Rory hit another big back body drop before hitting a hard one handed back breaker that got a two count. Rory went for a back suplex, but Johnny flipped out and hit a spinning wheel kick. Johnny celebrated a little bit but got caught in an inside package roll up for the loss.
Winner: Rory McAllister
Diva Search Segment
Miz introduced Jen, Layla, Erica, Marlena, Rebecca, and JT to the crowd. Miz broke the news that despite JT winning, every girl was up for elimination. Rebecca was eliminated from the competition.
A video clip aired putting over the Wrestlemania 23 fan rally in Detroit this weekend.
Agents walked into DX’s locker room and said that they may be in possession of some illegal substances. The FBI found some Cuban Cigars and told Triple H he needed to come with them downtown for some questions. Vince and Shane were in the hallway talking on his way out. He said if they wanted to play, they’d play.
Shawn Michaels v. Umaga
Umaga jumped HBK but he was avoided. HBK hit some chops and caught Umaga coming into the corner. HBK hit two more chops before Umaga caught him, but was sent to the corner. HBK mounted Umaga in the corner but got ripped out quickly. HBK went for the sunset flip but Umaga avoided him and went for the sit out but HBK rolled out just in the nick of time.
Michaels ran out of the ring to take a breather before Vince and Shane showed up.
Umaga was working over HBK in the ring and landed a big diving head butt. Umaga chopped HBK clean over the top ropes. Umaga came off the apron and rammed HBK’s head into the announcer’s table. Umaga tossed HBK into the ring with one hand before planting Michaels with a hard right hand.
Umaga kept pouring it on, hitting a running knee lift, which floored a thoroughly beleaguered Michaels. Umaga kept stomping away, cinching in a hard chin lock. HBK fought back but was quickly planted back to the mat thanks large in part to a huge body slam. Umaga lined up HBK for his big butt splash in the corner but HBK ducked out of the way and attempted to fight back.
Michaels landed some chops and his flying forearm, which took his foe down. Michaels went to get back to his feet but Estrada yanked him down. Umaga went to rush him but HBK moved out of the way and he clattered into his manager. Michaels came flying at Umaga, but got caught in another monster Samoan drop by Umaga. Umaga left the ring to tend to his manager. He went ballistic on the outside tearing the whole ringside area apart.
He went for his Samoan Spike, but HBK ducked and caught a low blow. He ascended to the top rope and dropped his elbow. He began tuning up the band but McMahon grabbed his leg. HBK clocked Vince then nailed Shane with his flying forearm. He turned around just in time for Umaga to plant him with a running Samoan Spike. He got the cover for the win.
Winner: Umaga via pin fall
After the match, Vince and Shane went to work on what was left of HBK. Shane held Michaels down while Vince shipped him with his belt. Vince continued the assault, choking him out in the corner. Shane brought a chair into the ring. Vince held the chair up to Michael’s head while Shane ‘tuned up the band’ and cold cocked Michaels. The McMahons stood over HBK and told him that Triple H would get Umaga next week. RAW THOUGHTSThe Good-- The promo work tonight was done very, very well. The Flair-Foley segment might be the best feud segment I’ve seen in a long, long time. It was that good. There was a great mix of shoot and kayfabe and of all the feuds on the brand right now, this one certainly has the most heat.
Finally, The McMahons got the better of DX. I’m not overly excited for their match at Summerslam, but at least the feud is starting to have some actual life.
Nitro, Carlito, and Shelton Benjamin continue their stellar work over the last few months and put on a great match. I just wish they’d install some sort of story-line in there.
Orton’s segment came off very bland to me tonight, but it wasn’t exactly horrible. It almost seemed more geared towards building heat for Orton-Lawler next week than Orton-Hogan at Summerslam.
The Bad-- The DX stuff took up far, far too much time, adding up to nearly 35-45 minutes of air time. That’s flat out, way, way too much time for any one feud to take up.
BTW, why WWE even bothers with the Diva Search is beyond me. I’ve yet to hear the ‘ratings spike’ they were supposedly getting in year’s past. You could hear flies fart tonight during the segment. At least they’re keeping it nice and short.
The Ugly-- The Edge-Cena feud has been done terribly. It’d be nice if WWE could TRY to make the outcome a little less obvious. Edge gets no stick time and when he does, it’s short before Cena monopolizes all the time. Edge doesn’t seem like a threat in any way, shape, or form to Cena at this point and I think that’s killing the heat this feud should be getting. Also, the goofy stipulation doesn’t help things for Summerslam. Cena could use some time away from the title scene, not because I dislike the guy, but because the title needs a little different direction for a little while.
Overall C+ – The promo spots were great. The in ring action was very bleh. The only real down point of the night was the Cena-Edge segment, which did little to nothing to build any heat whatsoever to their already fading feud. DX went too long, but Flair-Foley knocked one out of the park. A slightly above average Raw.
Johnny Nitro def. Shelton Benjamin & Carlito
Candice & Trish def. Victoria & Mickie James
John Cena def. Matt Striker
Rory def. Johnny
Umaga def. Shawn Michaels
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
2. John Cena
3. Ric Flair
1. Vince & Shane McMahon
2. Mick Foley
3. Randy Orton
Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels v. Umaga *3/4
WWE Champion: Edge (Last Week: WWE Champion)—I’m beginning to feel terrible for this guy. He’s served as a pawn two times in one year to the same guy in feuds where the outcomes couldn’t possibly be more obvious. WWE doesn’t seem even the slightest bit interested in his making any progress while champion.
Intercontinental Champion: Johnny Nitro (Last Week: Intercontinental Champion)—Nitro’s performed exceptionally in the ring since coming to Raw. What he’s lacking though, is a good feud to get the ball really moving on him.
1.John Cena (Last Week: 1)—Cena wasn’t really out there long enough to do much of anything as his segment with Striker and Edge lasted all of four minutes. Nothing all that new this week.
2. Umaga (Last Week: 2)—Umaga was able to hang with HBK well enough tonight but I couldn't help but feel as if he was almost forced to slow the action down for the sake of killing time tonight. A win over HBK is a win over HBK, dirty or not. His second big win in the last three weeks.
3. Randy Orton (Last Week: 3)—I can’t fault Orton for much of anything tonight, but I can’t praise him either. Tonight’s segment strayed off the beaten path a shade. Not enough to push him down the rankings however.
4. Ric Flair (Last Week: 4)—Flair’s promo work tonight with Foley was flat out awesome. This has been the best built feud of the year, in my opinion, and with the possible exception of the Triple H-Cena-Edge feud, this is a runaway right now for feud of the year.
5. Triple H (Last Week: 6)—He didn’t win or do much of anything tonight, but Michaels lost, so he gets the bump by default.
6. Shawn Michaels (Last Week: 5)—Falls ever so slightly. A decent showing against Umaga tonight, but like this whole program, he just doesn’t seem into anything he’s doing out there. Same old act.
7. Shelton Benjamin (Last Week: 8)—So let’s get this straight. Shelton Benjamin wins the #1 contender’s spot last week, then is forced to have his title shot be a triple threat for no reason? Then he doesn’t take the fall? Wins this week’s ‘most confusing character’ award.
8. Carlito (Last Week: 7)—Carlito looked good this week, but for the second straight week, takes the fall. How can he legitimately be considered ‘in the title hunt’ after losing three title shots and a #1 contender’s match?
9.Mick Foley (Last Week: 9)—Again, the ONLY reason I’m not moving Foley up higher is because this program with Flair is certainly a one shot deal. Can’t justify putting a part timer farther up the roster.
10. Matt Striker (Last Week: 10)—Squash city for Striker tonight. At least he made the tapings.
Dropping Out: none