10 YRS AGO: Keller’s WWE Raw Report (10-23-06): Hunter vs. Orton, Spirit Squad’s Kenny vs. Ric Flair, Jeff Hardy, Cena, Cryme Tyme, Mickie James

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


John Cena (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 23, 2006
LIVE FROM CHICAGO, ILL.

-As the camera panned the crowd after the opening, Jim Ross said: “Welcome, ladies and gentleman, to the longest running entertainment broadcast in television history. This is the 700th episode of Monday Night Raw!”

-They went to clips of various entertainment TV shows giving publicity to the K-Fed and John Cena angle from last week’s Raw, including E!’s Daily Ten, TV Guide Channel, VH1 Best Week Ever, and that ABC late night talk show with the squinty-eyed guy on from The Man Show. Hey, they left out Joe Scarborough on MSNBC covering the angle.

-Ross and Jerry Lawler plugged the main event of Raw would be a Triple H vs. Randy Orton rematch.

-Kevin Federline came out again this week to a chorus of boos. He said he was there again for one reason – payback. He said everybody was talking about his appearance on TV and the Internet. He said everyone has been talking about John Cena gave him an FU and humiliated him on national TV. He said he’s not like the Chicago Cubs, “a lovable loser.” He said he would get his revenge tonight. He introduced King Booker.

King Booker and Sharmell walked out onto the stage. Sharmell said King Booker had something to say. Booker said he listened to his CD “and it is a treasure.” He said he is a “gifted and talented ar-teest.” He vowed that Cena would pay for his actions. He called K-Fed a trendsetter and all of the people in the crowd want to be like him. He said he would get revenge for K-Fed and win Cena’s title at Cyber Sunday.

Big Show then walked out. He said he agreed that Cena’s title should be on the line at the PPV. When he called Booker “Booker,” Booker interrupted and said, “That’s King Booker.” Show said he’ll call him whatever he pleases. They argued over who would be victorious at Cyber Sunday.

Then John Cena’s music interrupted. Cena walked out and said, “I know what you’re all thinking. This here is the dumbest line-up in the history of Celebrity Jeopardy.” He then said he sees a “big… royal… pain in the ass.” Cena joked that Show was in Ghost Busters as the big marshmallow man and in Return of the Jedi as Jabba the Hut. He said his newest role will be as the White Fat Albert. Booker laughed and Show chewed him out. He told Booker “You have officially lost your status as a black man” for calling K-Fed’s new CD a “treasure.” Out walked Ron Simmons, a/k/a Faarooq of the APA. Simmons grabbed mic, looked on at them with disgust, and said, “Damn!” Then he walked away. He said instead of playing with fire, K-Fed would have better luck playing with himself. For that type of segment, better than usual for WWE and Cena.

[Commercial Break]

1 — MICKEY JAMES vs. MELINA — Women’s Title Semi-Final

They were both very loud as they chopped and slapped and punched each other. Melina screamed after James kicked out after a neckbreaker. James caught Melina with an elbow as charged and gave her a DDT leading to the pin.

WINNER: Mickey James in 3:00.

STAR RATING: 3/4* — Decent short women’s match. Good intensity.

-They aired a clip of the finish of last week’s Hunter vs. Orton main event, and said Orton demanded a rematch because of the way last week’s match ended.

[Commercial Break – Everybody must watch the Borat movie, by the way]

-Ross announced that fans get to choose which wrestler – Carlito, Shelton Benjamin, or Johnny Nitro – will get a match against Jeff Hardy at Cyber Sunday. That’s right, which match that you’ve seen in various incarnations for free do you want to see again on PPV.

2 — JEFF HARDY & CARLITO vs. CHRIS MASTERS & SHELTON BENJAMIN

Ross and Lawler talked about this being the 700th episode of Raw. Ross said they’ve been together for most of them and they hope to have 700 more in them. Shelton beat on Hardy for a couple minutes including a mid-ring sleeper. Hardy punched his way to a comeback attempt, but Shelton cut him off with a knee. Hardy came back with a Whisper in the Wind, then dove to hot-tag Carlito. Carlito went after Shelton. Master entered the ring. Hardy cut him off. Carlito then flip sentoned onto both men followed by a springboard moonsault. Masters shoved Hardy into Carlito, then Shelton schoolboyed Carlito and used the ropes for leverage to score the pin. After the match, Carlito and Hardy argued and shoved each other. Masters and Shelton joined in the argument. Carlito and Hardy dumped them out of the ring, then went back to arguing.

WINNERS: Shelton & Masters in 4:00.

STAR RATING: *1/4 — It’s so sad to see the long-running, well-established friendship and alliance between Carlito and Hardy coming to a premature end. This tease of a break-up wouldn’t have meant as much if these two didn’t have such a long history on-air as friends and partners, though.

[Commercial Break]

-They showed the outside of the arena and then showed some of the Chicago Bears play-fighting in the front row.

-Todd Grisham interviewed Orton and Edge backstage. Edge said last week was typical DX, with cheating and then crotch chops. Orton said, “We are Rated R-K-O.” He said they are the two biggest superstars WWE has ever seen. Edge said they invited Vince McMahon, Coach, and Eric Bischoff to be at ringside.

-They showed Ross and Lawler on camera. They discussed the main event briefly, then cut to a clip of WWE “Superstars” commenting on who is tougher, John Cena the wrestler of the Marine he plays in the movie. Cena himself said it was the character in the Marine.

-Johnny Nitro and K-Fed talked backstage about Cena’s music and acting. Nitro said he plans to prove he’s better than Cena in the ring. K-Fed plugged his CD again and said he’d be there with Nitro for his match. Ross said it was up next.

[Commercial Break]

3 — JOHN CENA vs. JOHNNY NITRO (w/Melina, K-Fed)

Cena dominated early, but K-Fed distracted Cena, giving Nitro the opening to attack Cena from behind. At 3:00 Nitro backdropped Cena over the top rope to the floor, then K-Fed approached him and slapped him. That woke Cena up and he put his hands on his hips. Nitro then surprised Cena with a dive over the top rope. Back in the ring, Nitro put Cena in a mid-ring sleeper. Cena worked his way to his feet while still in the sleeper. Nitro shook his head and Cena dropped straight down. The ref began counting both men down. Cena got up and hit Nitro with two flying shoulder blocks and a running clothesline followed by a side slam. He glared at K-Fed at ringside, then signalled for and expected the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He then gave Nitro the FU for the clean pin as Melina cried at ringside.

WINNER: Cena in 7:00.

STAR RATING: *3/4 — Solid TV match. They did a nice job building the tension between Cena and K-Fed, who is playing his role in WWE note-perfect. Not all “celebrities” from outside of wrestling know how to play up their role (i.e. the Jackass guy last week), but K-Fed plays it straight. That’s the role Johnny Fairplay would have been great at when his reality star was shining brighter.

-Cena followed a backtracking K-Fed up the rampway. Just as he tripped and fell backward, and Cena moved in, Big Show and Booker came out and attacked Cena. They threw him back into the ring and double-teamed him. Show gave Cena a big chokeslam as K-Fed looked on smiling. Booker then surprised Show with a Book End, then gave Cena his scissors kick just as Cena began to stand up. Booker celebrated, then left with K-Fed.

[Commercial Break]

4 — MIKEY & NICKY (w/the rest of Spirit Squad) vs. CRYME TYME

Cryme Tyme came out to almost zero response, and the camera showed a bunch of white thirtysomething male fans just standing there shaking their heads as if to wonder why WWE expects them to cheer two guys who for no reason beat up people and stole money from people who look just like them on TV for four weeks. Ross referred to Shad as “unrefined raw power,” which is the Ross euphemism for “really, really green.” At 2:00, Cryme Time finished Mikey with their finisher. Ross said Cryme Tyme has figured out the formula for how to beat the tag champs. There’s a formula? How about entering the ring. Everybody beats Spirit Squad, yet someone they still have the (meaningless) tag titles.

WINNERS: Cryme Tyme in 2:00.

STAR RATING: 1/4*

-After the match, Kenny attacked Mikey. He grabbed the mic and told the rest of Spirit Squad that they’re losing all the time and holding him back. He said it’s time for him to get the job done against Ric Flair because there’s no reason any of them should be losing to someone who should have long ago retired. He said he’d win by himself. Lawler wondered if that was the end of Spirit Squad.

-Ross plugged the TV main event again – Orton vs. Hunter.

[Commercial Break]

-The WWE 24/7 “This Week in Wrestling History” segment flashed back to Oct. 27, 1991 to a “match with no rules and no logic,” WCW Halloween Havoc presented “the first and thankfully only Chamber of Horrors.” The voiceover guy called it a monstrosity and made fun of the fact that the match ended via electric chair. He mocked that there were zombie paramedics at ringside “for apparently no reason.” They showed Abdullah the Butcher being zapped to end the match. He said, “The screams of a smoldering Abdullah the Butcher were heard above the capacity crowd’s rousing round of indifference, a fitting end to a match that still haunts fans to this very day.” The participants were Sting, Vader, Cactus Jack, Ric Steiner, Scott Steiner, El Gigante, Abdullah the Butcher, and Diamond Studd (Scott Hall). That match actually was the opening match at Halloween Havoc, and I remember it because I had two TVs on that night and was watching the PPV at the same time I was watching the Twins win the World Series. Ron Simmons vs. Lex Luger for the WCW Title was the headline match and it also featured Paul Heyman introducing Rick Rude as his new wrestler.

-Eugene was standing in the ring wearing a Chicago Bears Brian Urlacher jersey and shooting t-shirts into the crowd. Lawler said Eugene should be the poster boy for family planning. Before the match, Estrada said his open challenge to Smackdown and ECW for Cyber Sunday has been accepted. He said the fans can choose for Umaga to face Chris Benoit, Sandman, or Kane. He then turned to insulting Eugene. Eugene accidentally shot a t-shirt into Estrada’s crotch. Umaga then attacked Eugene.

[Commercial Break]

-They showed a highlight video of WWE wrestlers on tour in Japan last week. Randy Orton said he feels good that he could brighten the Japanese fans’ week with his presence.

-They went backstage where Hacksaw Duggan was checking on Eugene. He told Eugene to stop being such a nice guy and let the monster loose. Eugene then snapped and attacked Duggan.

5 — KENNY (w/three Spirit Squaders) vs. RIC FLAIR (w/Piper, Sarge, Dusty)

Flair walked out and said he has his back covered. Out walked Sgt. Slaughter, Roddy Piper, and Dusty Rhodes. Dusty came out to his old WWF intro music. He wasn’t wearing polka dots, though. Flair opened with chops. Kenny fired back with a top rope dropkick early, then a barrage of punches. Flair made a comeback and hit his kneedrop. After a distraction by the ringside Squaders, Kenny rolled up Flair and scored the pin with a handful of tights. The Spirit Squad attacked Flair afterward. Piper, Dusty, and Sarge made the save. Kenny fled, leaving his partners along to get beat up the “legends.” Afterward, Flair and Dusty hugged. Flair strutted. Then the rest shook hands and hugged, too.

WINNER: Kenny in 2:00.

STAR RATING: 1/4*

-A vignette aired on “The Marine.”

[Commercial Break]

-Todd Grisham interviewed Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Michaels plugged their merchandise again. Hunter joined in, then they looked at the camera with those goofball smiles. Then they talked about the main event and closed with the “Two words for ya’!” bit. Hunter pretended to ride an elevator down, then Michaels “took the stairs.” Do they realize that in “The Office” (the best sitcom on TV today), the boss who did that stairs bit was written to be a complete oblivious dork and everyone was rolling their eyes and mocking him behind his back? I guess it’s appropriate, but not at all what Hunter and Michaels intend.

-Ross and Lawler plugged the Cyber Sunday line-up. They added that Ric Flair a partner of the fans’ choosing (Dusty, Piper, Sarge) would face Spirit Squad for the tag team titles.

[Commercial Break]

-Backstage, Bischoff and Coach chatted. Then Vince McMahon walked up to them. The Vince-Bischoff handshake was a little tense. Vince asked Coach if he could have a private chat with Bischoff. Vince said, “The past is the past… We don’t have to like each other; I think we can work together.” He said they can do something for each other. He said he’s had personal problems with DX and he thinks he could help him, and he could help Bischoff promote his book. Vince got a call on his cell phone. He said he got a call from his broker and he had to take it. He asked Bischoff to take care of business with Coach.

[Commercial Break]

-Bischoff and Coach were at ringside, but not Vince. DX came out first and did their pre-match routine. Hunter called Orton and Edge “the most dynamic duo since Siegfried and Roy.” They couldn’t go a whole show without a lame gay joke. They’re just sad right now. Edge and Orton came out to separate ring introductions.

[Commercial Break]

6 — TRIPLE H (w/Shawn Michaels) vs. RANDY ORTON (w/Edge, Lita)

Orton and Hunter took turns punching each other. Hunter took control and hit Orton with a kneedrop. After Hunter took a few seconds to stare down Edge at ringside, that gave Orton a chance to recover and yank Hunter’s throat over the top rope. Then he gave Hunter a standing dropkick and a DDT. Orton then gave us our favorite front facelock. Hunter punched out of it. They crisscrossed, and Hunter took Orton down with a high-knee. Lita tripped Hunter. As Hunter chewed out Lita, Orton gave Hunter an inverted backbreaker. Hunter shoved Orton into the ref and Edge on the ring apron. As Hunter set up a Pedigree, Edge hit a spear on Hunter. Michaels then threw Edge into the announcing table at ringside. Coach entered the ring to count a pin on Hunter, but Michaels yanked him out of the ring and superkicked him. Edge then threw Michaels into the ringpost. Edge then entered the ring and charged at Hunter with a Spear. Hunter side-stepped the Spear, but Bischoff then gave Orton a chair. Orton KO’d Hunter with the chair. The ref came to and counted the pin.

WINNER: Orton in 5:00.

STAR RATING: *1/2 — Basic solid action between these two. A Booking 101 scenario to hype their tag feud, which isn’t bad, but it’s doesn’t have the feeling of being a huge boost to business, either.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS KELLER’S RAW REPORT FLASHBACK: 20 YRS AGO – WWE Monday Night Raw (10-14-96): Michaels vs. Austin, Hunter vs. Freddy Joe Floyd, plus Taker, Jake, Mankind

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