Bobcats Arena – Charlotte, North Carolina – June 25, 2006
This is a Raw brand pay-per-view but it will also feature some ECW talent. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are calling the action from ringside.
MATCH #1: Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton
Angle is one of the aforementioned ECW representatives. Orton channels his inner Larry Zbyszko and stalls in the early going. An aggressive Angle gives chase and almost German Suplexes Orton of the apron. Angle settles for a release German Suplex on the floor. Back in the ring Angle tries to wrestle his opponent, but Orton thumbs him in the eyes. Orton hits a dropkick and hurls Angle to the floor. Back in the ring Orton uses the dreaded chinlock and thwarts Angle’s comeback attempts. Orton goes up top but Angle pops up there and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Now Angle starts throwing suplexes, but when he goes for the Angle Slam Orton counters with the inverted backbreaker for two. Orton loosens one of the turnbuckle pads, and then gets trapped in the rolling German Suplexes – eight of them! The last one sends Orton rolling to the floor, and Angle has to retrieve him before making the cover and getting a two-count. Angle goes for the Ankle Lock but Orton kicks out of it and pulls off the turnbuckle pad, giving Angle the chance to hit another German Suplex. The straps come down and Angle locks on the Ankle Lock! Orton rolls through and is able to kick Angle into the exposed turnbuckle and then the RKO to get the pin at 12:45. If I’m not mistaken this would be Angle’s last pay-per-view match before making the jump to TNA. I think eight straight German Suplexes is a bit much but other than that the match was rock-solid and a good choice for an opener to get the crowd going.
MATCH #2: Eugene vs. Umaga
Umaga is accompanied by his manager Armando Alejandro Estrada. Eugene counters with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Doink the Clown, and Kamala! I’m sure everyone else is as shocked as I am that Umaga dominates and no-sells Eugene’s offense. Umaga hits a kick to the chest and the running hip attack in the corner. The Samoan Spike finishes the match at 1:39. I see nothing wrong with Umaga squashing Eugene, or putting it on pay-per-view actually. Duggan and Doink also get beat up, but when it’s Kamala’s turn, Estrada herds Umaga to the back.
MATCH #3: Two out of Three Falls Match – Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley
Foley has vowed to outwrestle Flair, to counter his claims that Foley is nothing more than a “glorified stuntman.” They chain wrestle a bit to start but it doesn’t take long for Foley to unleash a series of right hands and the running knee to the face. Foley hits the Double-Arm DDT and pulls out the Stylin’ and Profilin’ Mr. Socko. Before he can use it Flair grabs the testicular claw and hits a series of chops. Flair goes up top and hits the double axe handle! That’s rare. Flair looks to have injured his knee on that so Foley goes right after it. Foley tries a Figure-Four Leglock but Flair rolls it into a cradle to win the first fall at 4:09! An angry Foley throws Flair to the floor, but he suffers for it when Flair throws him knees-first into the steps. Now Flair is the aggressor and the take it to the floor, where Foley backdrops Flair from the crowd over the guardrail. Foley grabs a trash can and takes it in the ring, but before he can use it Flair locks on the Figure-Four! Rather than tap out, Foley grabs the trash can and waffles Flair with it to drop his second straight fall to Flair at 6:59. After the bell Foley grabs a barbed wire baseball bat and pulverizes Flair with it. I like the story of the match, with a hardcore guy versus a wrestler, and the hardcore guy snapping when he realizes he can’t outwrestle his opponent. Unfortunately, these two in 2006 were just not the performers they once were and the match was just kind of sad.
MATCH #4: Intercontinental Championship Match – Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro
Benjamin has been the champion since 5.15.06, and this is his third defense. Nitro gets dumped to the floor early on as Carlito and Benjamin trade holds and stuff. After a minute and a half or so Nitro gets back in the ring and Benjamin nails Carlito with a kick to the face. That leaves Benjamin and Nitro battling now, until Carlito clotheslines Benjamin to the floor, and then slingshots Nitro to the floor. All three get bits of offense in on each other, and while Nitro and Benjamin are trading shots Carlito hits an amazing double springboard somersault onto both opponents. Man, what a waste that guy has turned into. All three battle in the ring some more, until Benjamin dumps Nitro to the floor and goes to work on Carlito. He hits a Samoan Drop and Nitro breaks up the cover. Carlito winds up with a cover on Benjamin and Nitro once again breaks it up. Nitro tries a superplex on Carlito but Benjamin thwarts that. They manage to work in a Tower of Doom spot without looking totally contrived. Eventually we get back to Carlito and Benjamin in the ring, and Carlito hits the Backstabber. Nitro takes that opportunity to pull Carlito to the floor and take the cover himself to get the pin at 12:03. That was a much better match than I remember it being, and it’s really unfortunate that Nitro is the only one who has made any growth, while Benjamin has remained stagnant and Carlito has severely regressed.
MATCH #5: WWE Championship Match – Rob Van Dam vs. Edge
RVD has been the champion since 6.11.06 and this is his first defense. He comes out with both the WWE and ECW belts, and is announced as simply “The Champion.” This is curious card placement for a WWE Championship Match. They go back and forth a bit, with RVD mostly controlling the opening minutes until Edge is able to hit a nasty Sunset Bomb to the floor. Back in the ring that gets him a two-count. Edge works RVD over now, focusing on the back. RVD fights back and sends Edge to the apron, and then he cross body blocks him to the floor. He follows up with the spinning leg drop but Edge moves out of the way and RVD falls hard on the guardrail. That gives the advantage again and he dismantles the champion. RVD fights back with kicks as the crowd gets behind him. He goes for Rolling Thunder but Edge catches him in a powerslam. RVD hits a thrust kick off the top rope. He goes up for the Five-Star Frog Splash, but Edge rolls out of the way so he hits a leaping Rolling Thunder instead! The champ follows up with a split-legged moonsault for a near-fall. RVD goes for a spinning heel kick but Edge ducks and referee Mike Chioda takes the shot instead. Edge grabs the belt and tries to hit RVD with it but it gets kicked back into his face! RVD goes up top but Lita pulls him down on the top rope. Edge hits an awesome elevated DDT but the referee is slow to make the count and RVD kicks out! Lita sets up a chair in the corner and Edge tries to deliver a Spear but RVD moves and Edge crashes face-first into the chair! RVD then goes up and hits the Five-Star Frog Splash to get the pin at 17:54. These two had good chemistry together and this match really played up their individual strengths. Edge was getting so much fun to watch by this point. This probably should have been the main event.
MATCH #6: Kane vs. “Impostor” Kane
Everything about this match is pretty stupid as far as I remember. The Impostor attacks right away and knocks Kane to the floor. Back in the ring Kane takes over and goes after the mask but can’t rip it off. Impostor comes back and hits a side suplex and unloads with hard right hands. They continue going back and forth with their power moves but Imposter seems to mostly have the upper hand. Impostor goes to the top rope but Kane knocks him down and hits a superplex. Kane goes for the Chokeslam but settles for a big boot. He goes up top and jumps right into a Chokeslam, which is enough for Impostor to get the upset win at 7:08. That wasn’t actually bad if you could get past the inherent stupidity of it. But since I couldn’t, it was pretty bad.
MATCH #7: Extreme Lumberjack Match – John Cena vs. Sabu
Sabu attacks Cena before the bell and stomps away at him. Cena fights back with a fisherman’s suplex for two. Sabu continually tosses Cena to the floor so that the ECW lumberjacks can abuse him. Out on the floor, Sandman drills Cena with a Singapore Cane. Sabu follows up with a triple jump moonsault for two. He continues abusing Cena, hitting another triple jump maneuver and then the Arabian Face Buster for another two-count. He goes for a one-man Poetry in Motion but Cena moves and Sabu crashes into the turnbuckles. Cena fires up now, hitting a powerslam and a fight breaks out on the floor amongst the lumberjacks. Chaos ensues ad Sabu throws a chair at Cena’s face, and then Al Snow holds Cena for another chair shot. Tommy Dreamer and Sandman try to hold Cena on a table, but Viscera of all people makes the save and Cena cracks Sabu in the head with a Singapore Cane. Back in the ring Cena throws a chair at Sabu’s face. Cena then delivers the F-U from the ring through the table on the floor! Viscera and Snitsky toss Sabu back in the ring and Cena locks on the STFU for the win at 6:48. I thought they would have (and could have) gone about twice as long as that. I really enjoyed that while it lasted; the energy was good and they hit the crap out of each other.
MATCH #8: Handicap Match – D-Generation X vs. the Spirit Squad
Kenny, Johnny, Nicky, Mikey and Mitch are all recognized as the current World Tag Team Champions. Shawn Michaels and Mitch start it off. Just guess how that one goes. The Squad tries to play the numbers game but D-X quickly dispatches of all five of them. Somehow Johnny has been busted open pretty badly; looks like a broken nose. Johnny is game though, and wants to battle the Game himself. That doesn’t really go well for him, as Triple H dominates. Eventually the numbers game does take effect and the tag champions work HHH over in their corner. HHH makes an unceremonious hot tag. The crowd loves D-X but they just don’t care about this match because it’s a joke. It gets a little more serious when the referee gets distracted and Kenny BLASTS Michaels in the face with a chair. That gives the Squad a chance to go on offense on Michaels for quite some time. This time the hot tag is a little bit more than lukewarm though. I credit Michaels for that. HHH throws spinebusters around and takes out everyone. Kenny gets caught alone and takes a Pedigree and Nicky takes Sweet Chin Music and D-X gets the simultaneous pin at 17:50. That wasn’t a bad match per se, but the crowd was just not that into it for the most part and a five-on-two handicap match is kind of a joke to begin with.
BONUS MATCH #1: WWE Championship Match – Rob Van Dam vs. John Cena, Raw, 6.26.06
RVD has been the champion since 6.11.06 and this is his second defense. Cena attacks right away and hits the falling hip toss and covers for two. RVD fights back with a kick to the face. RVD goes up top and Cena pushes him all the way down to the floor as we cut to commercial. Back from the break Cena is wearing RVD down. They go back and forth and keep the match going at a fast pace. RVD goes on a sustained bit of offense and tries to introduce a chair, but when the referee argues with him, that gives Cena the chance to fire up and unleash his signature offensive spurt. Cena goes for the F-U but RVD counters and hits a windmill kick. RVD keeps up the attack, hitting a bridging German Suplex for two spilt-legged moonsault for another two. Cena fights back with a sort-of powerslam for a two-count. RVD recovers first and hits the thrust kick off the top rope. He goes up top for the Five-Star Frog Splash but Cena rolls out of the way so RVD tries the leaping Rolling Thunder and Cena gets his knees up! Cena then hits the F-U and locks on the STFU! Edge comes running out and attacks Cena for the DQ at 7:56 (shown). I wish I could have seen the match without commercial because what they did in that short amount of time was really quite good; bummer of a finish though.
BONUS MATCH #2: Gauntlet Match – Triple H vs. the Spirit Squad, Raw, 6.12.06
Mr. McMahon comes out to talk some trash and tells the referee to get lost. The first competitor in the gauntlet is Mikey, who walks right into a right hand. HHH takes control and doesn’t appear to be sweating the male cheerleader. A frustrated McMahon calls Kenny out to make this a handicap match. Even then HHH stays in control, so McMahon sends Johnny and Nicky to the ring and it’s four-on-one now. The crowd chants for HBK. It gets ugly now, as the Squad quadruple-teams the Game and dissects him. Kenny grabs a steel chair and they look to injure the Game’s ankle, but McMahon requests the neck instead. McMahon calls Mitch out, but he actually gets thrown out from backstage by Shawn Michaels! The crowd pops huge! Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music and then hits the ring! HHH recovers and together he and Michaels dispatch all five Squad members. They hit the Sweet Chin Music and the Pedigree and then tell McMahon to Suck It! There was no closing bell, so let’s call it a no-contest at approximately 7:01. That was an angle-enhancement match but it served its purpose well.