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TV REPORTS
KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT 7/3: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live show

Jul 3, 2006 - 10:14:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

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WWE RAW
JULY 3, 2006
LIVE FROM PHILADELPHIA, PA.


Introductory Note: First, happy early Fourth of July to everyone. I hope you're having a great holiday weekend. Rob Van Dam and Sabu apparently were until Sunday night. Thanks to Torch columnist Pat McNeill for reporting that major story on their arrest earlier for drug possession over the weekend. We'll have additional details on the story in this week's Torch Newsletter and various upcoming VIP Audio Updates. I was out today and got in late, so I'm about 30 minutes behind on the show, but by skipping commercials via DVR I should catch up as the show progresses. For up-to-date coverage, check out Torch columnist James Caldwell's "virtual time" coverage on the Main Listing next to this.

-After a three minute recap of last week Triple H and Shawn Michaels spoof of Vince and Shane McMahon, cameras showed Triple H and Michaels arriving at the arena. Coach told them they weren't allowed in. He said it was reported on WWE.com. Hunter said he didn't know how to turn on a computer. What, is he hip or is he George Bush Sr.? Anyway, Michaels and Hunter reacted with sarcastic disappointment and wondered what they'd do to occupy themselves.

-The Raw opening aired, then Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show as pryo shot off. They previewed Carlito challenging Johnny Nitro for the IC Title. It's wise to hype IC Title matches at the start of the show and not just throw them out there unannounced because it makes the match "feel" more like an important happening. They also hyped Edge vs. John Cena vs. RVD in a three-way tag match with each picking a partner.

-Edge walked to the ring with Lita. Lawler said, "Lita is evil and evil should not look that good." Edge began, "The Rated-R Superstar will own this summer." Edge made some local sports references to get heel heat and said, "I'm like Terrell Owens; I just want to get the hell out of this town." He said Lita would beat Torrie Wilson's ass later. Edge mocked fright at having to wrestle in ECW native territory tomorrow night on Sci-Fi. He then was about to reveal his mystery partner for the Raw TV main event. Cena's music interrupted Edge. As Cena walked to the ring, Edge asked why he didn't want to know who his partner is. Cena tackled Edge and kicked him to ringside.

Rob Van Dam walked out onto the stage to boos from the Philadelphia fans, followed by a show of support from the ECW fans in the crowd to counter the boos. Neither response came across as particularly intense on TV. RVD said he keeps hearing people talk about how close Cena came to making him tap out. He said nobody will know for sure, but he is a fighting champion. An "ECW" chant broke out, but it was relatively faint in the large arena. RVD asked Cena if he wants one more shot at the WWE Title instead of the tag match. "Let's do it tonight," he said. Edge interrupted and said if Cena won tonight, that would void his title shot tomorrow night. RVD said they realize Edge would just interfere anyway, so he suggested they do Saturday Night's Main Event tonight (to get the belt off of him quickly due to the drug arrest). Ross said he wants to see it and doesn't want to wait until Saturday night. Edge said he can't wait to humiliate RVD in front of his hardcore Philly fans. Edge said the next WWE Champ will be rated R. RVD said almost right, but he'll be rated "RVD."

-Vince McMahon's limo arrived. He stepped out. Coach welcomed him. Vince shhh'd him. He said all he wanted to know is if DX were there. Coach said no, but they had been. He said they left. Vince put his arm around Coach and chatted. In the background, a bunch of women in a limo drove by screaming like they were four hours into a night on the town.

[Commercial Break]

1 -- LITA vs. TORRIE WILSON

Lita ducked a Torrie slap and suplexed her. Torrie went on offense and knocked Lita into the corner, then clotheslined her. She thonged her shorts and set up the Rikishi butt-rub, but Lita moved and put the ref in that spot. "Wait a minute! Give me my striped shirt," said Lawler. Lita then DDT'd Torrie right away for a pin.

WINNER: Lita at 1:30.

STAR RATING: n/a -- Not enough of a match to rate anything.

-Backstage, Vince asked Coach for assurances that DX is not around. He demanded to know from Coach why his catering is missing, everyone is gone from the backstage area, and the bathrooms are backed up. Coach said it's a holiday weekend and a lot of people have the day off. "Do you realize I haven't had a day off in my life?" he asked. He told Coach to figure out what's going on. He looked unnerved.

[Commercial Break]

-Ross plugged that The Highlanders would be debuted in the ring later. A brief clip aired of their American orientation skits.

2 -- SPIRIT SQUAD vs. SNITSKY & HACKSAW DUGGAN & VISCERA & EUGENE & VAL VENIS

Lawler said because they're male cheerleaders, they're just working in WWE until a good fast food job opens up. Not sure what that means. Ross and Lawler talked more about the new scheduled main event. Ross said, "Whatever you do, don't take your shoes off around Snitsky." The Squad isolated Duggan for a couple of minutes. Ross noted that this arena was where Gorilla Monsoon made his last public appearance. Duggan tagged in Snitsky at 4:00. He slammed several Squaders, then showed fire. Snitsky gave Nicky a sidewalk slam for a two count. Chaos broke out shortly thereafter with nearly everyone in the ring. The Squad eventually cleared the ring of everyone but Snitsky. They finished him off with a simultaneous top rope legdrop and top rope elbow from two Squaders.

WINNERS: Spirit Squad in 6:00.

STAR RATING: 3/4* -- What a weird mix. Spirit Squad kept it athletic.

-DX threw a Fourth of July BBQ bash outside the arena in the parking lot. Hunter pointed out that the small hot dog is "McMahon sized" and the DX-sized ones were "foot longs." Two women took off their tops, but first Hunter tricked Michaels into running away to look for Mr. Fuji so he didn't have to be around for such debauchery. Hunter told Spirit Squad if they're not down with that, they've got two words for them. Everyone (except Michaels and Hunter) shouted, "Suck it!"

[Commercial Break]

3 -- THE HIGHLANDERS vs. MATT STRYKER & ROB CONWAY

Rory pulled his kilt over Striker's head and punched his face, stealing a little thunder from Smackdown's Vito. The Highlanders argued with each other a little as part of their gimmick when their double-teaming didn't go as planned. Less than two minutes into the match, Striker bailed out on Conway, saying they're just too weird for him. The Highlanders then finished off Conway with their Scot Drop finisher.

WINNERS: Highlanders in 2:00.

STAR RATING: 1/2*

-Candice and Hunter chatted out back. Hunter acted sick, like he was about to throw up. Then Candice had the same food poisoning type reaction. Very strange minute of TV. Hunter squirted mustard into the air for some reason, as if it was involuntary. Candice began making orgasm sounds. A woman then popped up from underneath Hunter. Another woman popped up from underneath Candice. Hunter and Candice both took post-orgasm deep breaths. Michaels was nowhere to be seen, of course. Candice's oral pleasurer went for a kiss on the lips, but Candice turned a little to avoid lip-to-lip contact. That was the least pleasant display of anything sexually implied ever.

[Commercial Break]

-Now it was time for Michaels to be naughty in a Christian way. He called for Hunter to enter Vince's production truck. "The whole show is controlled from here," shouted Michaels. Hunter bent down and watched the women's asses as they got into the truck. The cameras followed them into the truck. They walked around the production workers. Michaels wanted to push a button. The production staff stopped him at first, but they eventually commandeered a seat. They pushed a button that took them off air.

-They cut to Ross and Lawler at ringside. Ross said, "Are we on? It's been a wild ride tonight."

-They cut backstage to Coach telling Vince he needs to talk. Vince interrupted and said he had to go to the bathroom. He said there are no working private rooms, so he needed Coach to stand guard as he used a public one. DX cut to camera ten inside the bathroom, which showed Vince relieving himself at a urinal. Coach walked in on McMahon and shocked him. Vince turned and sprayed Coach. Coach told Vince that DX has taken over the production truck and he's on worldwide television right now. Vince said dammit and stormed out. Ross noted under his breath that he didn't wash his hands.

[Commercial Break]

*** START SECOND HOUR ***

-Vince McMahon stood center-ring and said last week was the most humiliating of his entire life when he and his son were showered with excrement. Vince said when they entered the production truck, they crossed over the line and he wouldn't take any more. His mic stopped working. He grabbed another. His voice sounded like a chipmunk. He demanded they fix it. Then it got deep. He said he had enough. They showed shots of the fans laughing. Then it went back to normal. He said he felt better. The sound system let out a big fart noise. Vince said DX has no respect for him, his family, the business, or the fans. He said DX is really children. A rooster was drawn on the screen and the caption read, "I love cocks."

Hunter's voice asked Vince if he thought they could embarrass him anymore. Then a video played of last week's poop storm. Coach went to the production truck and pounded on the door. Michaels opened it, and knocked Coach to the ground. Vince said that next Saturday, he was booking Michaels & Hunter against all five Spirit Squad members in an elimination match, meaning if they eliminated either Michaels or Hunter, it would be five-on-one. Then canned laughter aired. Then crickets. Vince asked for the respect of having his music played "so I can leave the ring." Apparently he cannot leave the ring unless his music plays. I didn't know that. Once he stepped to the floor, they played the "Stand Back" video again. Vince stormed to the back.

[Commercial Break]

4 -- JOHNNY NITRO (w/Melina) vs. CARLITO -- IC Title match

The under-the-rope splits entrance by Melina was rewound and replayed at double-speed a half dozen times. Lawler said the usual production crew could take a lesson from DX. Carlito took Nitro over with a head scissors early, then went for a bodyslam. Nitro reversed it into slam to the mat and a break dance legdrop leading to the first two count of the match at 1:00. Nitro went to a cobra clutch on the mat. Carlito came back and hit a running kneelift followed by a running clothesline. Melina distracted Carlito. When Nitro went to hit Carlito, Carlito moved. Then Carlito surprised Nitro with a back cracker. Melina ran into the ring and yanked Carlito off of Nitro for the DQ. Trish then ran to the ring and attacked Melina. Melina turned Trish onto her back and punched her. Trish reversed it. Carlito leaned in the corner and watched. Trish yanked on Melina's hair from behind then kicked her off the apron to the floor. DX replayed Trish's run to the ring so her bouncing breasts could be reappreciated over and over. They did the same on Melina and Trish rolling each other up on the mat. Carlito and Trish chatted afterward.

-They showed RVD wrapping his wrists backstage. Paul Heyman walked up to him and told him he respects him so much as a double champion. He told him no one has ever had a schedule of defenses like his. Heyman said yet another defense on their turf scares the hell out of him. RVD said it's justified, but he believes in himself and ECW, "so I got this."

[Commercial Break]

-A segment aired on the Diva Search with a personality profile on them. Next week the finalists will be live in person at Raw.

-Backstage Coach held an ice pack on his head. Vince said he didn't care if he got hurt because he was more concerned with the embarrassment he suffered at the hands of DX. Vince said he is leaving because he is through with being embarrassed. He told Coach to go get his limo and be happy he has a job.

5 -- UMAGA (w/Armado Alejandro Estrada) vs. SCOTT WRIGHT

After the usual squash win for Umaga, Estrada tried to talk into the mic, but DX made burping sounds every time he opened his mouth.

WINNER: Umaga in 1:00.

STAR RATING: 1/4* -- Usual squash.

-They showed Vince walking out to his limo. As soon as he got in, fireworks blasted from it. He then came rolling out of the limo as green fog escaped, too. His face was covered in black soot. Hunter and Michaels walked up to him and held up sparklers to his face. Hunter wished him a happy Fourth of July and said next time, maybe he'll let them in.

[Commercial Break]

-The "This Week in Wrestling History" segment featured Scott Hall and Kevin Nash facing Sting & Lex Luger & Randy Savage. The mystery partner was revealed to be Hulk Hogan. (The latest VIP Torch Newsletter back issue details the politics behind the scenes regarding Hogan's turn and who the other candidates were going into that weekend.) "A new era in the Monday Night Wars was about to begin," said the voiceover.

-Randy Orton walked out (relieved that he's no longer the number one screwup in the company). He said last week's video of Brooke Hogan caught his attention. "There's no gettin' around it, that girl is hot," he said. Orton noted that on an upcoming edition of "Hogan Knows Best," Hogan picked out a date for his daughter. Orton said if things work out, she can find out why he's a legend and if her dad doesn't like it, he can find out why he's called the Legend Killer. Ross said, "That is going to reverberate all the way to Southern Florida."

-Todd Grisham interviewed Edge and Lita backstage. Edge said even though he's completely unprepared for the match, he's going to walk out as something the city of Philadelphia hasn't been for many years - a champion.

[Commercial Break]

6 -- ROB VAN DAM vs. EDGE (w/Lita) vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title match

Ross noted that Steve Austin began his third WWE Title run at WrestleMania 15 in that arena. RVD and Cena beat up Edge together for two minutes, then threw him out of the ring. They cut to a break at 2:00.

[Commercial Break]

Back from the break, RVD set up Cena for a top rope superplex, but Edge knocked Cena to the floor and scored a near fall on RVD. RVD took over on Edge and got a near fall after a Rolling Thunder. Cena yanked Edge to the floor and rammed him into the ringpost. RVD dove onto Cena at ringside at 6:00. All three battled in the ring a minute later. Cena lifted Edge for a suplex and then RVD hit a bodyblock on Edge in a Rocker-style move, but Cena wasn't in on it. The landing for all appeared a bit awkward. RVD went for a Rolling Thunder, but Edge and Cena teamed up to slam him instead. Lawler celebrated as he had suggested all along that the two Raw wrestlers work together to get rid of ECW's RVD. Edge and Cena immediately clotheslined both of them. As the ref began counting, Ross said, "I don't know why the ref is counting! The match can only end by pinfall or submission." Lawler said the ref was obviously confused. Good for Ross. That stuff needs to pointed out until it's stopped. Ref's so often count during no DQ or no countout matches for no reason, and it waters down the effectiveness of counts when something is really on the line in regular rules matches. RVD knocked both Cena and Edge down with kicks. Cena hit Edge with shoulderblocks and a suplex. He did the You Can't See Me routine. When Cena went for an FU, Edge grabbed the top rope and dumped Edge over the top rope to the floor. When Lita ran into the ring with a chair, Cena gave her an FU. RVD did a jump spin sidekick to the chair, knocking it into Cena's face Van Daminator style. RVD then went for a Five-Star Frogsplash. Lawler moaned that RVD was going to win, which gave away that he wasn't. Ross noted that 16,000 fans were standing for this monumental main event. Cena then gave RVD an FU, but Edge KO'd Cena with a title belt and then stole the pin on RVD for the belt. Ross lost a lung as he screamed that Edge was new WWE Champion. Ross said history was made tonight in Philadelphia. Edge and Lita celebrated as the show ended.

WINNER: Edge in 12:00 to capture the WWE Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Above-average title match. Felt a bit rushed in 12 minutes, but it was exciting throughout. They really did have to get the WWE belt off of RVD right away due to the out-of-ring situation.

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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