TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 12/18: Ongoing "West Coast virtual time" coverage of show
Dec 19, 2006 - 1:03:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
WWE Raw Alternative Report
December 18 in Washington, D.C.
I might not live near an In-N-Out Burger anymore, but I can still get back in touch my with West Coast side with tonight's special West Coast Live Raw Recap Thanks To The Magic Of DVR. We've got some sort of battle royale and a WWE Title match and a senior citizen promoting a movie tonight. No, I'm not talking about Hogan. I'll be at the Rumble in San Antonio in a month and a few days, so why not get a sneak preview to start the show?
- We start with random men in the ring. Reminds me of some early '90s Raw battle royals with the Brooklyn Brawler as the original M.V.P. and everyone ganging up to eliminate Giant Gonzalez. Jim Ross welcomed us to the show and he said Jerry Lawler has entered the match. Shawn Michaels started the show with his entrance. Carlito came out next followed by Randy Orton. Triple H finished the intros, of course.
1 -- 30-MAN BATTLE ROYALE
Edge stood on the outside instead of getting in the ring. Carlito slipped to the outside to chase Masters, then Edge clotheslined him hard on the floor and tossed him back into the ring. Carlito was the first one eliminated when Masters tossed him out. Brawler, Duggan, and Slaughter were out next. There was random action for a few minutes with no one being eliminated. Goodness, this is horrible television. Hunter and HBK ganged up on Viscera to eliminate him. Ya know, because they're DX.
There were three eliminations during the break, but we didn't find out who were tossed. Suddenly, Simmons eliminated Val Venis and Johnny. Cryme Tyme then eliminated Simmons. He grabbed the mic and said, "Damn!" There was a flurry of eliminations, with DX dominating. DX stopped Eugene short and told him to look into the camera. Eugene began waving, so DX tossed Eugene to the outside. How admirable. After Flair was eliminated, it came down to DX vs. five heels. They cut to a break.
The heels worked on DX after the break. It was Masters, Nitro, Cade, Edge, and Orton vs. DX. Hunter then clotheslined Masters out. The four remaining heels grabbed Hunter and tossed him over the top rope. HBK recovered in the corner, then he fired off on everyone. He superkicked Nitro over the top rope, then Edge disappeared. HBK dropped a top rope elbow on Orton, then he warmed up the band. Suddenly, Edge appeared on the apron and HBK sidekicked him. That allowed Cade to attack HBK. However, Orton turned on Cade and clotheslined him to the outside. Orton then stalked HBK for the RKO. HBK turned around and blocked the RKO to a big cheer. Orton then charged HBK, but HBK back dropped Orton to the floor. HBK thought he had won, but Edge grabbed HBK from the apron and pulled him down to the floor to win the match.
WINNER: Edge in 29:00 to win the battle royale. The type of cheap win you'd expect for the crafty Edge, which is a good thing. The split-second tease of Cena-HBK was really smart. I think fans would pay to see that down the line. The first portion of the match was a bore, but it picked up at the end once the fat was trimmed.
ORDER OF ELIMINATION
(1) Carlito by Masters
(2) Brooklyn Brawler by Lawler
(3) Jim Duggan by the camera didn't cach it.
(4) Sgt. Slaughter by Viscera.
(5) Viscera by DX.
(9) Venis by Simmons.
(10) Johnny by Simmons.
(11) Simmons by Cryme Tyme.
(12) J.T.G. by the camera didn't catch it.
(13) Shad by Haas & Benjamin.
(14) Haas by Triple H.
(15) Shelton by DX.
(16) Lawler by Masters.
(17) Super Crazy by Jeff Hardy (simultaneous).
(18) Jeff Hardy by Super Crazy (simultaneous).
(19) Eugene by DX.
(20) Snitsky by Masters.
(21) Murdoch by Flair.
(22) Kenny by Flair (simultaneous).
(23) Flair by Kenny (simultaneous).
(24) Masters by Hunter.
(25) Hunter by Edge & Orton & Cade & Nitro.
(26) Nitro by HBK.
(27) Cade by Orton.
(28) Orton by HBK.
(29) HBK by Edge.
- Vince McMahon did a voice-over on footage promoting next week's Tribute to the Troops show.
- They recapped the ending to the battle royale. Jim Ross thoroughly explained how Edge won the battle royale after slipping under the ropes to the outside a few times.
- Todd Grisham approached Edge for some thoughts on the title match vs. Cena. He said he's going to defend the WWE Title against Umaga when he beats Cena tonight. Randy Orton walked into the shot and offered some congrats. Edge said he's setting his sights higher than the tag titles. He walked off. Orton tried to feign happiness for Edge, but he looked annoyed that Edge blew him off.
- They recapped Masters's dastardly attack on Torrie Wilson last week.
- Maria interviewed Chris Masters backstage as he oiled himself up again. Maria tentatively put the mic next to Masters. Masters said the only reason why he put Torrie in the Masterlock last week was because Carlito spit apple in his face. He said he's not the bad guy here. Masters said he's going to make Carlito experience the Masterlock, just like Torrie experienced last week. Good promo.
- Ross and Lawler promoted an interview with Sylvester Stallone later in the show.
- They showed footage of Mercury getting his face shattered by a ladder at the PPV last night. More slow-motion footage and a close-up of Mercury's face swollen shut before he was taken out of the match. That's still brutal to see 24 hours later.
- Todd Grisham stood next to "Vladimir Koslov" for an interview. I'm assuming Jerry Jarrett's boy here. Grisham asked him about competing in America. Koslov said it's great wrestling for Double-Double-E. Koslov did his best Great Khali impersonation, making no sense. Grisham thanked "Victor Koslov" for his interview. So, is it Vladimir or Victor or Oleg?
- Chris Masters came out for his entrance for a match against Carlito. Ross called Masters a carpet stain that just won't go away. Nice. In this new age of babyface booking, Carlito jumped Masters from behind. They brawled ringside with Carlito landing left hand blows. They brawled into the stands and Carlito came up bleeding heavily after Masters threw Carlito into a camera. Masters then ran for the exit through the stands. Carlito threw a chair into the ringpost after watching Masters run away. Carlito slowly backed up the entrance ramp with a very mad look on his face and blood covering his forehead.
- They showed Nitro and Melina walking backstage.
2 -- NITRO (w/Melina) & SHELTON BENJAMIN & CHARLIE HAAS vs. MATT & JEFF HARDY
Ross said it's a special guest appearance by Matt tonight. Is he still a guest if he spends as much time on Raw as on Smackdown? It's like when the girlfriend of your roommate spends more time living in your apartment than she lives in her own place. Is she still a "guest"? Matt and Shelton went at it early on and Melina started screaming. Shelton worked on Matt's injured left arm before Jeff tagged in and World's Greatest Team isolated Jeff. Is it just me or does Melina sound like Sunny when she talks in a normal, non-screaming voice? Matt took a lukewarm tag after Haas lost control of the match. Jeff then flew off Matt's back for a splash on Haas and all heck broke loose. Jeff hit a slingshot splash on WGT, then Matt came off the top with a moonsault onto everyone. "There may be casualties here!" Ross said. A few fans ringside chanted, "Holy s---" as they cut to a break.
The heels isolated Jeff in their corner once again. Shelton worked on Jeff's left knee and ankle after taking him out with a chopblock to the back of the leg. He then put Jeff in a half crab. Lawler with the line of the night: "Shelton says the rules are like Joey Mercury's nose. They're made to be broken." Haas came in and put Jeff in a modified Indian deathlock. "Or should I say a Native American deathlock?" Ross rhetorically asked. They continued to isolate Jeff for several minutes. Melina screamed after Nitro did some good work on Jeff's knee. Ross retorted, "She's louder than Al Sharpton's wardrobe." Shelton put Jeff in another half crab and he tried to grab some hair for extra advantage as Melina stared a hole in Jeff. Jeff spun out of a hold into a spin kick on Shelton before tagging out to Matt. He came in with a combo bulldog and clothesline on Shelton and Haas. Matt dropped Haas with the side effect, then he followed up on Shelton with a side effect for a nearfall when Haas broke up the pin. Shelton blocked a Twist of Fate, then Haas smashed Matt in the face from the apron. Shelton then rolled up Matt and hooked the tights for the win.
Afterward, the heels knocked Jeff to the floor. Haas went for a suplex, but Jeff ran back into the ring. The heels then beat down Jeff in center ring. Nitro landed right hand blows after mounting Jeff. Melina then grabbed the IC Title belt and brought it into the ring. Nitro gave Jeff a wheelbarrow face buster, then he threw the title belt down onto Jeff. Ross and Lawler plugged the steel cage IC Title match at New Year's Revolution.
WINNERS: Haas & Shelton & Nitro in 15:00. Solid, time-filling tag match serving multiple purposes. They gave Haas and Shelton some more momentum as a tag team and they set up Jeff for revenge on Nitro.
- Grisham was backstage with Umaga and Armando. Grisham asked who Umaga would rather face - Edge or Cena. Armando said it makes no difference because no one can stop Umaga. He said he would rather face Cena, if given a choice. Armando said he could beat Cena a lot easier than he could beat Edge. Is that a first for that question to be answered? Armando said his second reason is because Cena put him through pain and embarrassment last week and he wants Umaga to inflict that same pain on Cena at the PPV. Umaga screamed into the camera.
- Nitro and Melina were walking backstage with Nitro trying to wipe off the sweat. They walked up to Kevin Federline, who was standing off to the side by a truck. Melina asked Federline if he was ready to go through with something. Federline said he's sure about it.
- Ross and Lawler discussed the new Rocky movie. Ross said it's the final Rocky...well, he thinks. They aired a trailer on the movie, then Lawler set up his interview with Stallone. They cut to Stallone sitting down in front of a Rocky poster. Stallone talked about the Christian values behind the movie. I was certainly surprised when I heard Stallone being interviewed on the local KSBJ Christian radio station on the morning drive to work last week. Stallone said it's the final good-bye to the Rocky character. He talked about wrestling with Hulk Hogan and working with him on the Rocky III set. Lawler asked who would win a boxer vs. wrestler fight between Rocky and Hogan. Stallone said Hogan would win easily. He said wrestlers are so powerful and fast that he has nothing but respect for wrestlers. Lawler asked Stallone about celebrities trying to wrestle, with an example being Federline in the ring. He said Cena would beat Federline easily and it's a death wish for any celebrity to get in the ring. Lawler wrapped up the interview.
- They cut to Cena warming up backstage.
3 -- RIC FLAIR vs. KENNY
They threw "Dykstra" on the end of Kenny's name this week. Maybe I've watched too much baseball in my life, but Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton came to mind immediately. Flair went off on Kenny's chest with hard chops to the chest. The action spilled to the outside and Kenny suplexed Flair hard on the floor and Flair just barely turned his back in time before landing wrong. Back in the ring, Kenny worked on Flair's lower back. Flair blocked ten punches with an atomic drop. He then caught Kenny with a back elbow smash and went up top, but Kenny press slammed him to the mat. Kenny went up top for the big leg drop, but Flair moved out of the way. Flair made a full-fledged comeback with a series of chops and body blows and punches to the chin. Kenny missed with a knee smash in the corner, which set up Flair for some work on Kenny's knee. However, Kenny flipped over Flair and pinned him clean for the win. Afterward, Flair came up with a look of disbelief. He extended his hand and Kenny didn't react. He feigned a handshake and said, "I'm the man" right in Flair's face. Kenny stormed off, leaving Flair in the ring.
WINNER: Flair in 5:00. Solid, competitive singles match. It would be nice to see a Flair match treated as a special event, but that's just not a priority for WWE.
4 -- JOHN CENA vs. EDGE -- WWE Title match
Cena went right at Edge with a side headlock to start the match. Cena then caught Edge with a boot to the face for a quick one count. Edge blocked a corner move with a boot of his own, then he tossed him over the top to the floor. They fought on the floor and back into the ring where Edge caught Cena with a swinging neckbreaker. The dueling chants started: "Let's go Edge" and "Let's go Cena." The crowd was ridiculously hot early on. Cena and Edge ran into each other at 3:00, and they cut to a break.
Edge had Cena in a rear naked choke on the mat out of the break. Edge delivered headbutts to the back of Cena's head before turning the hold into a cross armbar. Cena then used his upper back to power Edge onto his back into a pinning predicament for a nearfall. Edge finally released the hold, then applied a neck vice. Cena broke free and ran off the ropes with a float-over Blockbuster. Both men recovered on the mat. Cena ducked a clothesline, then he ran over Edge with a flurry of clotheslines and shoulder tackles. He dropped Edge and set up for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Edge rolled out of the way to avoid the move and Cena came up holding his fist. Edge then speared Cena, but Cena draped his arm on the bottom rope to prevent a three count. Ross and Lawler debated whether Cena actually got a body part on the ropes. They showed an instant replay to confirm the referee's call. Subtle, but effective to give the ref credibility. Cena blocked a corner move, then he came off the top with a surprising guillotine leg drop as Edge was bent over at the waist. He made a cover for a close nearfall. Cena came back with another sit out slam, then he hit the Shuffle on the second try. Cena stalked Edge, then he went for the FU, but Edge slipped out. Cena countered the Impaler into a flip-over-front-face suplex for another nearfall. Great match so far. Cena caught Edge in the corner and hoisted him up for the FU, but Edge kicked the referee in the face. Ref bump. Randy Orton ran into the ring and gave Cena the FU. Suddenly, DX ran down to the ring. HBK kicked Orton aside, then Hunter ran into the ring and gave Edge the Pedigree. Cena rolled over and covered Edge as the referee came to and made the slow three count. Cena saluted DX and the crowd after the match. Edge came up ready to kill someone. Orton and Edge were steamed in the ring as Cena and DX posed on the stage.
WINNER: Cena in 15:00 to retain the WWE Title. Amazing heat for this match. It's the same thing we've seen all through 2006 between Edge and Cena and I would put this feud right up there with Danielson-Nigel for feud of the year. One is about pure wrestling competition. The other is about great WWE main event style drama and red-hot crowds. Looking at the finish of the match, DX costing Edge a match sets up the DX vs. Orton & Edge tag match at the PPV. The other part is that Hunter showed his finisher is more deadly than Cena's.
- They recapped the end of the title match. Ross said Coach was booked a six-man tag match at the end of the show with DX & Cena vs. Team RKO & Umaga. Goodness. Ross talked about Cena and Umaga not being allowed to touch for the rest of 2006 unless they're in a match.
- Cryme Tyme walked out to the ring. They didn't appear to be ready to wrestle, although their wrestling gear and street gear is the same. J.T.G. took the mic and said they've been hearing everything Shelton and Haas have been saying about them. Shad said they brought a special guest with them to prove they are good characters. Shad said George W. Bush and the crowd booed. Of course, since D.C. votes about 90 percent Democrat. "Secret service agents" led out "the president" to the ring. Bush said he's here on behalf of his friends, Cryme Tyme. He said a rapper by the name of Kanye West started a rumor that George Bush doesn't like Black people and that couldn't be further from the truth. He said he's homies with Collin Powel and Condaleeza Rice. He called her a hot little black bitch. He said he's done with George Jefferson and said he wrote the Declarations of Independence. "You know he's my nig-" Cryme Tyme cut him off. Shad said he would get his ass beat with secret service here or not. Bush said he gets excited sometimes and misquotes himself. He seemed to forget the next part of his speech. He said if Haas and Shelton are the greatest tag team in the world, then he must be the greatest President in the world. The fans booed. Bush shared awkward hugs with Cryme Tyme. Shad stole his wallet from the back of his pants. Bush began break dancing in the ring, then Cryme Tyme flashed money from the top of the stage. Bush demanded they be arrested. The "Secret service" just stood there. Bush finally walked out of the ring. He stood on the top of the stage and flashed a double bird to the crowd. Pointless segment that killed the momentum of the show.
5 -- VICTORIA vs. MICKIE JAMES -- non-title match
Victoria walked to the ring with her checklist. She placed it on the announce table. Ross and Lawler said Mickie-Victoria has been signed for the PPV. Victoria chopped Mickie hard across the chest to start the match. She took Mickie to the corner and scored a nice superplex, but it was good for only a two count. Suddenly, Mickie rolled up Victoria for a close two count. Mickie came off the ropes with a cross body block, then she caught Victoria in the corner with a head scissors take over for a nearfall. Mickie countered a power move out of the fireman's carry into a head scissors take over for a nice spot. Victoria cut off Mickie's momentum with a hard kick right in the face as she was hung out to dry on the top rope. Victoria followed with a Widow's Peak for the win. Afterward, Victoria checked off Mickie's name. She added "Women's Champion" to the end of the checklist, then she put the clipboard on Mickie.
WINNER: Victoria in 6:00. Competitive match continuing the build up to the PPV match. About what you'd expect and effective serving its purpose.
- They showed Federline walking backstage.
- Jim Ross stood in the ring to introduce Kevin Federline. He said some people think Federline deserves the bad rap he gets, from people such as Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O'Brien. Ross said some others think Federline is misunderstood and he's just an artist trying to express himself. Ross introduced Federline, who walked out to boos. Ross handed over the mic to Federline, who thanked Ross for the nice intro. He said he's going to face it that everyone hates him. Federline said he's not really "K-Fed" because it's just a character that the media made up to make their jokes and their money. Federline said the real Kevin Federline doesn't back down from a challenge, overcomes all obstacles, and takes pride in shocking the world. He said that's what he's going to do when he meets Cena in the ring on New Year's Day. "January 1st - K-Fed is dead. Kevin Federline will be whooping Cena's ass." He said everyone can make their jokes until Jan. 1 when he's going to be the one laughing. Federline slapped hands with fans ringside and trash talked on the way up the ramp. Good promo to build up the match. Federline is a natural heel and he's more than willing to play the role.
- Ross and Lawler broke down the PPV card and talked about the big matches. They recapped what happened during the battle royale when Edge eliminated HBK, and then recapped DX costing Edge the title match. Good reinforcement setting up the main event.
- Edge and Orton slowly walked out for their dual entrance. The combo entrance music has improved drastically since they first mixed the two themes. Umaga followed out before they cut to a break.
- Ross and Lawler discussed next week's Tribute to the Troops show. Lawler said it's a family event next Christmas night with presents, Christmas dinner, and gathering around with the relatives for the show. That used to be the formula for big stadium shows on Thanksgiving and Christmas night. Now, it's about drawing ratings, not fans in seats. Cena walked out first before DX came to the ring. The heels bailed to the outside as DX and Cena stood their ground in the ring before the bell rang.
6 -- JOHN CENA & DX (SHAWN MICHAELS & TRIPLE H) vs. UMAGA (w/Armando Alejandro Estrada) & EDGE & RANDY ORTON
Cena and Orton started things off. The babyfaces isolated Orton early on, with Orton appearing a bit wobbly. Edge took a tag and battled with HBK. Everyone looked a step slow and the crowd seemed worn out after a long night of wrestling. HBK smashed Orton with a flying fist, but Umaga cut him off with a sick clothesline. Umaga then tagged in per Armando's directions. He went to work on HBK, choking him near the ropes and scaring the ref out of the ring. Umaga ran over HBK with a headbutt, then Edge tagged in and took control. They continued to isolate poor HBK, who never gets to wait on the apron for the tag. Eventually, Hunter took the tag and worked on Umaga, who airballed on a series of right hand blows. Hunter landed a facebuster, but Umaga wouldn't go down. He then dropped Umaga with a clothesline, followed by a spinebuster on Orton. Umaga suddenly ran over Hunter with the Spike. He did the same to Cena, then Umaga threw HBK into the air for a big Samoan Drop. Dang, that was nice. Cena and Umaga battled out of the ring and to the stage area. Cena threw Umaga into the base of the stage and they disappeared from sight. Back ringside, Orton threw Hunter into the ring steps. Edge grabbed a steel chair and smashed it hard over Hunter's face. The referee called for the bell, ending the match. In the ring, Orton and Edge grabbed HBK. They gave him a dual RKO on a steel chair. Hunter staggered back to ringside with his face bleeding heavily. Hunter went for the sledgehammer, but Edge baseball slide kicked Hunter into the announce table and into Ross's lap. That's a reward for asking for the day off. Edge put Hunter face-first on a steel chair. He then slammed the back of Hunter's head with a steel chair into the second chair. Edge screamed at Ross to shut up as Orton repeated the chair shot blow. Hunter came up bleeding like Joey Mercury last night. HBK was motionless in the ring as the crowd chanted for Cena, but he was nowhere to be found. Agents and refs spilled into the ring to send Orton and Edge away. They stayed in the moment as HBK and Hunter remained motionless with medics tending to them while they showed crowd reactions to hammer home the emotional ending.
WINNERS: DX & Cena via DQ in 8:00. They closed the final regular-airing Raw of the year on a sour note if you're strictly a fan of babyfaces having the advantage 100 percent of the time, but if you're more of a fan of good wrestling angles and compelling TV, this was the perfect note to close a pretty strong TV show. DX needed to show vulnerability and Edge & Orton needed to show that killer instinct. They took care of that right here.
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, click here.
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