July 11, 2006
Raw: DX's late, late show
By BRIAN ELLIOTT - SLAM! Wrestling
Since Vengeance, and the "official" DX reunion, Shawn Michaels and Triple-H have taken it upon themselves to irritate Shane and -- in particular -- Vince McMahon at every RAW opportunity. So far, the elder McMahon has been showered by poop, parodied by Triple-H, humiliated by DX's high-jinx in the WWE video trunk, and had fireworks set off in his limousine. Gearing up for Saturday's Night's Main Event, one could only expect DX to be the focal point of RAW once again, most likely to McMahon's detriment.
The show began with a recap of Edge's WWE Championship win last week. A still-jubilant champion arrived on the scene with Lita, but instead of taking his expected place in the ring, he unveiled a special announce desk for himself and his tongue-dancing girlfriend, at which they sat for the evening's opening contest.
Match #1: John Cena vs Shelton Benjamin
I can only imagine that Shelton Benjamin was involved in this match because Rob Van Dam isn't currently available due to suspension. To say that his inclusion was an abrupt surprise would be an understatement, and the crowd clearly shared that view by greeting the former Intercontinental champion with a deafening silence.
Still, as far as RAW matches go, this was good. Benjamin displayed his athleticism by landing on his feet as Cena tried to suplex him in from the outside, completing the counter with a neckbreaker. After Edge distracted Cena, Benjamin was also quick to deliver a fantastic enziguri as the WWE's resident rapper was perched on the top rope.
Having been the brunt of most of the offence, Cena turned things around, hitting the Five Knuckle Shuffle fistdrop, before going for the F-U, which Benjamin remarkably countered into a Samoan Drop. This was mere respite, however, as Cena recovered quickly and hit the F-U, followed up by the STFU for the submission win.
Winner: John Cena
Match rating: 6/10
After the bout, Cena immediately attacked Edge, who quickly beat him down in the ring with the Edgecution, followed by a Spear. He then announced that he and Lita were leaving the building.
After a vignette which confirmed that Hulk Hogan would be "returning home" to NBC's Saturday Night's Main Event, and after Jim Ross explained that DX was yet to arrive at the arena, last week's DX shenanigans were re-capped. Backstage, Snitsky, Torrie, and Eugene were seen laughing at the happenings, but the former two scampered upon seeing the McMahons, who crept up behind Eugene. As a result of his insubordination, they insisted that he face them in a handicap match later in the show.
Match #2: Melina (with Johnny Nitro) vs Trish Stratus
Former Women's champion Stratus didn't appear in particularly good mood as she walked down the aisle to face her opponent, and with recent rumours regarding her WWE status, one couldn't help but wonder what was in store for her here. Melina took the early advantage by rolling underneath the ring, before appearing behind Stratus for the sneak-attack. Stratus soon countered though, hitting a headscissors as Melina sat on the top rope, before connecting with some nice chops. But she was soon distracted by Nitro, however, which allowed Melina to grab the roll-up win, with aid of the tights.
Match rating: 6/10
Having earlier left the building, Edge and Lita checked into their hotel. Edge made fun of the attendant, who had told them that their room was not yet ready. He suggested that they visit the bar in the meantime, which Edge saw as a good idea.
The Highlanders vs Rob Conway & Matt Striker
"This is wrestling," proclaimed Striker as he took Highlander Rory to the mat, in a manner that would not have impressed the NCAA. Striker clearly considered that his work was done, as he tagged out to Conway, who proceeded to get bounced around by the "Scotsmen", who quickly finished him off with the Hotscot, as Striker decided not to aid his partner-in-need.
Winners: The Highlanders
Match rating: 3/10
Ric Flair came to the ring promising to "tell the truth about Mick Foley". But before he could even get into flow, he was interrupted on the big screen by Foley himself, who gave an excellent, all-too-close-to-the-truth promo about how Flair's main moves are low-blows and deliberate cheat-tactics, before finishing by saying that "The Nature Boy" was "a used-up hack" whom he would not grant a Vengeance rematch. Before Flair could retort, he was interrupted by Paul Heyman and Big Show, the latter of whom proclaimed himself the only ever person to win the WCW, WWE and ECW titles. Flair accepted his challenge for tomorrow night's live ECW show on Sci-Fi, but was then struck by Big Show's Cobra-Clutch-into-a-backbreaker finisher.
During the commercial break, Paul Heyman asked Candice Michelle -- who looked totally different this week with whatever make-up she's wearing -- to come to ECW for a dance contest with Kelly. Candice instead insisted that she be allowed to dance with Kelly, as opposed to competing against her.
In the McMahons' locker room, Eugene apologised to father and son for making them mad. Rather than being mad, however, here they simply wanted to give Eugene a DX shirt as a present. When Eugene noted that DX green was his favourite colour, Shane dumped green paint all over him, and held his head into the toilet bowl as Vince flushed.
Match #3: Charlie Haas vs Viscera
It's difficult not to feel a little sorry for Charlie Haas, given the storyline that he is currently involved in here. But at least in this match, he didn't end up taking a boot to the face from Big Vis, since although Haas sold it, it nowhere near connected. That was the only noteworthy thing about the bout, until Lillian Garcia climbed into the ring and pleaded with the men not to hurt each other any more, because she wasn't interested in either of them other than being "just friends". This seemed to please neither, but after Haas raked Viscera's eyes, the 500lb-er attacked Lillian with a Samoan Drop, apparently thinking that she was Haas. After a moment's concern, both men soon realised that Lillian had dumped them, and were thus rather pleased with the outcome of their altercation as Garcia was taken away on a stretcher.
Winner: No Contest
Match rating: 1/10
Now at the hotel bar, Lita and Edge were drinking cocktails, none of which Edge seemed to have a problem finishing off in one swig. The hotel attendant then informed them that their room was almost ready, and Edge demanded that room service be awaiting them.
Next up was the Diva Search contest, which apparently is to be decided by either going to the WWE's website, or by texting your favourite's name to the given number. I know this in spite of, not because of, Diva Search host The Miz, who embarrassingly fluffed his lines and only just recovered his composure enough to get through the segment, where each Diva had twenty seconds to explain why they should win. None of the entrants showed any speaking ability, or any charisma whatsoever, so it was left to Miz to fluff his lines again, literally reading the text messaging number from the back of his hand. Wonderful!
Backstage, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan confronted Shane over his earlier treatment of Eugene, only for Vince to sneak up and crack Duggan with a chair to the back. Given "his turn", Shane this time hit Duggan hard in the head with the chair, leaving him laying.
Match #4 Randy Orton vs Val Venis
Orton entered the ring and gave a short promo about how he'll be delighted to officially introduce himself to Hulk Hogan as "The Legend Killer" at Saturday Night's Main Event. It then took him around ten seconds to pin Venis with the RKO, before adding that he can't wait to officially introduce himself to Brooke Hogan, too.
Winner: Randy Orton
Match rating: 1/10
Back at Edge's hotel, he and Lita were in their quarters when room service arrived. However, the attendant failed to bring champagne, so he was angrily sent back to get some. Although the attendant did not return, however, John Cena did, and he attacked a supposedly-drunken Edge, leaving him unconscious after a title belt shot to the head.
The McMahons vs Eugene
Eugene was particularly tentative as he came to the ring, still soaked in the green paint he was earlier doused in. The Spirit Squad appeared and distracted Eric Bischoff's nephew, who was then blind-sided by Shane who took the advantage to the ring. Eugene, however, responded by "Hulking Up", although just as he prepared to hit the big legdrop, he was stopped by the Spirit Squad, who pounded on him until DX appeared. Vince had the microphone and was desperately trying to get DX to stand in the middle of the entrance way, but DX saw through his plan to gain revenge on them for their poop-attack of two weeks ago. As McMahon was incensed that his plan to trap DX with a net had failed, Eugene schoolboyed "The Boss" for the three-count, and DX had another one over on Vinnie Mac, as the show came to a close.
Match rating: 3/10
Brian Elliott is a freelance journalist, specialising in pro wrestling, MMA, and soccer. Please visit his website at http://spaces.msn.com/brianelliott