REVIEW: Monday Night Raw – December 11, 2006: Early Christmas Present

REVIEW: Monday Night Raw – December 11, 2006: Early Christmas Present
REVIEW: Monday Night Raw – December 11, 2006: Early Christmas Present


Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 11, 2006
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re getting close to the end of the year and that means it’s time for a new year. That would be New Year’s Revolution and we are starting to see the card coming together. In this case, that means we need to move forward towards John Cena defending the Raw World Title against Umaga and whatever else is added. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

John Cena vs. Armando Alejandro Estrada

Non-title. Before the match, Estrada says he knows no one here wants to see this match (Lawler disagrees) so we should just call it off. Estrada even offers a box of Cuban cigars to let him out of the match but Cena snaps one of them in half. Estrada: “That’s ok. Smoking’s bad!” How about Estrada’s diamond watch? JR thinks it’s out of the Uncle Elmer collection, and Cena snapping it in half might be proof. With that not working, Estrada busts out some cash and points out that we’re in a casino.

Cena takes said money and throws it into the crowd, meaning the match is still on. The destruction begins early with Cena knocking him around and easily blocking a brass knuckles shot. Estrada’s shirt is ripped open for the loud chops and Cena goes old school for the right hands to the head. The FU, with a smile, finishes in a hurry.

Post match Cena puts on the STFU but Johnny Nitro runs in for the save. Melina comes out as Nitro reminds Cena that he is training Kevin Federline for the Cena showdown on New Year’s Day.

Post break, Cena challenges Nitro for later tonight so Kevin Federline can get a preview.

Carlito/Jerry Lawler vs. Viscera/Chris Masters

This sounds like someone hit the random button on Smackdown vs. Raw. Lawler and Masters get things going with Masters hitting a quick slam. That makes Lawler think twice about things but Masters takes him into the corner for the tag off to Viscera anyway. The missed charge lets Lawler….get shoved by Masters so Viscera can hammer away against the ropes. Viscera drops the big elbow for two and we hit the chinlock, followed by the sitout chokebomb (that’s a big bump for Lawler) for two more.

Masters comes in and takes some forearms to the chest but spends too much time posing, allowing Lawler to get two off a sunset flip. It’s off to Carlito to pick up the pace, including dropkicking Masters down. Viscera cuts him off with a heck of a sidewalk slam but Lawler is back in with the right hands. The splash crushes Lawler in the corner but Carlito slips out of the Masterlock attempt and rolls Viscera up for the pin.

Rating: C-. I can’t believe it but this worked out pretty well. Lawler was working hard in there and Viscera was fine in the monster roll. Leaving Carlito and Masters out of the mix for the most part was probably a good idea, which makes things all the weirder. Lawler continues to be better at this stuff than a lot of people might expect and it worked out well here.

Cryme Tyme played the Highlanders in some Three Card Monte earlier today. The Highlanders get hustled, as you might have expected. Charlie Haas comes in (I didn’t expect that) to say this is perpetuating stereotypes so JTG says they’ll try to make this a more appropriate environment. Shelton Benjamin comes in and doesn’t seem pleased, meaning tonight, the World’s Greatest Tag Team is back. Haas: “HE SAID THE WORLD’S GREATEST TAG TEAM IS BACK! DY-NO-MITE! FOR SHIZZLE!” Haas and Benjamin leave, with Rory saying he didn’t know Haas was black.

We look back at Kenny helping Rated-RKO win a match but get beaten down by DX after the match.

Kenny comes in to see Rated-RKO, who doesn’t like him taking credit for the win. Orton: “As quick as you can say Spirit Squad, you got superkicked and Pedigreed.” Edge tells Kenny to watch him beat HHH tonight.

Next week: a special three hour Raw, featuring a thirty man battle royal with the winner facing John Cena for the World Title the same night.

Highlanders vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team

Haas works on Rory’s arm to start but gets taken into the corner for a top rope ax handle from Robbie. An overhead belly to belly sends Robbie flying and Shelton adds a suplex of his own. There’s a slam onto Haas’ knee but Robbie manages a Russian legsweep, allowing the hot tag off to Rory. Everything breaks down and Shelton kicks Robbie outside. Shelton jumps over Haas to land on the hanging Rory’s back, setting up a rollup with trunks for the pin.

Rating: D+. It isn’t like there are many teams that much better than Haas and Benjamin at the moment so the match result is hardly some horrible decision. The Highlanders stopped mattering a long time ago, even after the boost from Roddy Piper. Getting Haas and Benjamin back to doing something is fine, and this worked for a return.

This Week In Wrestling History: AWA SuperClash III, with a focus on Von Erich vs. Lawler and that horrible finish. Why yes, there is an AWA DVD coming out soon.

Edge vs. HHH

No seconds here, at least to start. HHH goes straight to the brawling and takes it outside to send Edge into the announcers’ table. Back in and the jumping knee to the face sends Edge outside again, followed by an elbow to do it again. HHH follows but here’s Randy Orton for the DQ.

Post match the brawl is on until Shawn Michaels, Kenny and Ric Flair run in for the subsequent saves. Cue Coach for the six man announcement.

DX/Ric Flair vs. Rated-RKO/Kenny

We’re joined in progress with Flair chopping Kenny into the corner so HHH can come in for a delayed suplex. There’s the knee drop as Lawler gets in a South Park reference. Shawn comes in to use Kenny’s headband for a choke, because veterans can cheap and be charming. HHH adds a chop block so it’s off to Edge, who gets taken down by the leg as well. That’s enough for Orton to come in and break up the Figure Four, meaning it’s time to hammer on Flair.

The villains start taking turns on Flair, with Edge forearming him down in the corner to cut off a comeback bid. An elbow to the head gets two on Edge and the armbar goes on. With that dropped, Flair chops him out of the air and hands it off to Shawn to start picking up the pace. Shawn superkicks Edge but walks into the RKO from Orton to put them both down.

We take a break and come back with Shawn and Orton striking it out until Shawn grabs a swinging neckbreaker. Edge comes in but misses the high crossbody, meaning HHH can come in to really clean house. It’s quickly back to Flair for the Figure Four but everything breaks down again. Kenny tries his own Figure Four but Flair small packages him for the pin.

Rating: C+. This did what it needed to do, including letting Flair come back and get a win to put him back on the right track. There wasn’t much to the wrestling but it told a nice enough story. Also, having Kenny in there to take falls should help Edge and Orton from taking all of the falls.

Post match the good guys celebrate but Edge and Randy Orton come back in to clean house. The Conchairto is loaded up but HHH makes the save with the sledgehammer, including using it to knock a chair out of Edge’s hands in a cool visual.

Johnny Nitro and Melina are on the phone with Kevin Federline, who remind him that they are going to take care of John Cena tonight (along with reminding him of who they are). Coach comes in and says hi but Federline doesn’t know who Coach is. With that out of the way, Coach announces that Nitro is going to challenge Jeff Hardy for the Intercontinental Title at New Year’s Revolution in a cage. Melina looks nervous here and they all walk off, leaving Ron Simmons to come in for the catchphrase while Federline is still on the phone.

Torrie Wilson is freaked out about facing Victoria because she is on the hit list. Carlito calms her down, partially with his lips.

Victoria vs. Torrie Wilson

Torrie looks terrified and gets kicked down without much effort to start. There’s a catapult to send Torrie throat first into the bottom rope and Victoria bites off one of Torrie’s fingernails. Torrie grabs a rollup for two, earning herself the Widow’s Peak for the fast pin.

Post match Victoria checks Torrie off the list. Cue Chris Masters to hit the ring with the Masterlock on Torrie. Carlito makes the fast save and staring ensues.

Umaga vs. Jeff Hardy

Non-title, Armando Alejandro Estrada isn’t here and Hardy gets shoved down in a hurry. The sunset flip is blocked but Umaga misses the sitdown splash. That lets Hardy hit a slingshot splash for two and the Whisper in the Wind sends us to a break. Back with Jeff kicking away at Umaga from the apron until Umaga pulls him down. They head back inside for the nerve hold, followed by….another nerve hold.

Hardy fights up so Umaga blasts him with a running clothesline for another knockdown. Umaga misses a top rope splash though and Hardy has a chance. The Swanton connects for two with the kickout launching Hardy. Umaga ties him in the Tree of Woe for the running headbutt. Back to back running hip attacks knock Hardy cold and the referee stops it.

Rating: C+. This was a pretty clever way to give Umaga a win without taking the title off of Hardy or having him get pinned. Umaga as being even more of a monster without Estrada around was a little more interesting and they are making the idea of Cena going after the monster more appealing. Nice storytelling here and it helped make the title match that much better.

Post match Umaga hits another hip attack and Samoan Spikes Hardy and the referee. So why would Estrada be at ringside for the Cena match?

John Cena vs. Johnny Nitro

Non-title and Melina is here with Nitro. Cena charges straight in and starts the fight early, including an elbow to the jaw. An even harder clothesline takes Nitro’s head off as JR is going on a rather long rant about respect. Nitro gets knocked outside as we hear about Cena being a huge wrestling fan as a kid. Lawler comments by talking about how Melina has some magnificent Muracos.

Melina pulls Nitro outside so Cena glares at her and clotheslines Nitro again. A legsweep lets Nitro put his feet on the ropes for one, followed by a dropkick to finally put Cena on the floor for a change. With Melina hitting a rather long scream, Nitro sends him into the steps for two and Melina yells even more. A neckbreaker gives Nitro two and he low bridges Cena outside to make it worse.

Back in and Cena wins the slugout, only to get poked in the eye. We hit the sleeper so Cena drops backwards for the crash break. Nitro puts it on again but Cena fights up to power out of it again. A belly to back faceplant gives Nitro two and the corkscrew moonsault connects, even if it almost wound up looking like a Swanton to the knee. Cena fights back up and initiates the finishing sequence, capped off by the FU for the pin. It’s as sudden as it sounds.

Rating: C. I’m curious if that landing knocked Nitro a little silly and they went to the finish in a hurry as a result. The landing looked awful as Nitro almost landed on his own head so there wasn’t much room for error. Cena winning isn’t going to hurt Nitro, as he and Hardy can have a rather good match under any circumstances. Good enough main event here.

Overall Rating: C+. This show had the focus that they have been needing to get ready for the pay per view. Between the main event guys looking unstoppable and the other matches getting some attention of their own, I’m wanting to see the pay per view that much more. They still need to add a few more things, but we can cover that on next week’s special show. This week had its own tasks though and for once, WWE took care of them and more.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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