The WWE Vengeance 2006 pay-per-view was a Raw brand show at a time when WWE was running three main roster brands at one time: Raw, Smackdown and ECW. Since ECW had just launched in June of 2006, there were some ECW guys wrestling on this show as WWE tried to elevate the new brand. It didn’t really work in the long run, but at least they tried.
When I glanced at the lineup for this show, I had absolutely no memory of the main event. I did remember some of the other matches, but if you would have told me this match was the main event I would have said no way. I was writing regularly in 2006 although I don’t remember much about this show.
For the past three years, I have been reviewing WWE PPVs starting in 2003 and going into 2006. Check out my WWE Retro PPV archive here if you want to read any of the reviews during that period. Let’s get to it.
Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina
June 25, 2006
This event has a rating of TV-14 and “S” for Sexual Content. No “V” for Violence.
The opening video package focused on the key storylines for the show including John Cena vs. Sabu, Rob Van Dam vs. Edge for the WWE Championship and Vince McMahon sending the Spirit Squad against the reunited Degeneration X duo of Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
The pyro went off in the arena followed by shots of the crowd in Charlotte. The Raw announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were at ringside to call the action. The Spanish announce team was at ringside saying they hope nobody breaks their f’n table. That’s what I assume they said.
Randy Orton was up first still using the “hey, nothing you can say” song that I liked. Kurt Angle is his opponent with Angle as an ECW draft pick in this rematch from One Night Stand, which was a win for Angle.
Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle
Pre-match notes: Orton was a heel and Angle was a face. This was Angle’s last WWE PPV match during his initial run in the company.
There was a slow start with Angle trying to take down Orton with mat wrestling. Orton went to the apron to try to avoid the mat wrestling, Angle teased a German Suplex off the apron and Orton held onto the ropes to prevent it. They went to the floor with Angle avoiding a punch leading to a German Suplex on the floor from Angle. Back in the ring, Angle did a thumb to the eye followed by a standing dropkick to take control. Orton dumped Angle to the floor with Orton whipping Angle into the barricade. Orton slapped on a chinlock, which Angle got out of with a Samoan Drop. Orton got back in control with a back elbow followed by a chinlock. Lawler was mad that fans were chanting for ECW because he was doing the anti-ECW schtick. Orton with a knee drop and another chinlock. When Angle broke free with an arm drag, Orton decked him with a clothesline. Orton went up top, which was rare for him, so it was no surprise that Angle popped up and hit an overhead belly to belly suplex. That looked a bit sloppy, but it got the job done. Angle hit two overhead belly to belly suplexes. Orton came back with his inverted backbreaker for a two count. Angle shoved Orton into the turnbuckle, so Orton took the turnbuckle pad off to expose it. Angle got back up with six German Suplexes in a row and Orton was exhausted, but Angle held on. Angle hit a seventh German Suplex that sent Orton out of the ring. Angle brought Orton back into the ring for a two count. Orton kicked Angle away, the turnbuckle steel was exposed and Angle hit a belly to back suplex. The crowd cheered as Angle was fired up. Angle slapped on the Ankle Lock on the left ankle of Orton and Orton managed to touch the bottom rope followed by a roll through from Orton that sent Angle face first into the exposed steel of the turnbuckle. That stunned Angle, so Orton hit the RKO for the pinfall win at 12:50.
Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton
Analysis: **3/4 It was an average match that was at too slow of a pace especially for an opener. Orton’s chinlocks in the middle portion of the match didn’t help. Orton getting the win was payback for doing the job for Angle at One Night Stand earlier in June. I thought the placement of this match as the opener was weird. These are two of the bigger stars on the show and it should have been later in the night.
After the match was over, Orton was selling the left ankle injury by untying his boot. Angle was selling the turnbuckle to the face and took his time getting to his feet.
Analysis: As I mentioned earlier, this was Angle’s last WWE PPV match during the first seven years of his career. His next WWE PPV match would be at TLC 2017 teaming with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose of The Shield as a last minute replacement for Roman Reigns. I don’t think anybody could have predicted it would take Angle 11 years to have another PPV match, but that’s what happened.
Vince McMahon was in the office talking on a cell phone when a kid was wheeled into the room on a wheelchair. McMahon wondered where the kid’s DX friends were. He ranted about space aliens and the gay male dancers. Vince said the kid was there to tell him that Stephanie was in labor, the kid said no and Vince told the wheelchair boy that he would take him on a ride, so Vince shoved him out the door with the kid screaming “no” at him. Jonathon Coachman said that he found a “pump” outside on Vince’s door. Vince said that joke is on them. Coach said that he invited a family friend to the building and the kid is his hero – it was the kid in the wheelchair with Coach saying he’ll stay that way for the rest of his life. Vince had a guilty look on his face while Coach said he’ll let Vince know when he gets there. Vince just stood there silently.
Analysis: What a lame skit showing off a terrible sense of humor that WWE’s creative team (mainly due to Vince) sometimes has. It was likely a Vince idea. Anyway, the story was that Vince thought it was Degeneration X prank, so that’s why Vince was a jerk to the kid.
Umaga entered with Armando Alejandro Estrada with Estrada doing a pre-match promo. Estrada said that Eugene can bring any friends because it doesn’t matter because nobody can stop the Samoan bulldozer Umaga. Eugene was joined by Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kamala and Doink the Clown. The Eugene gimmick was dying by this point, so utilizing “legends” to help was a way to help Eugene’s reactions.
Umaga (w/Armando Alejandro Estrada) vs. Eugene
Pre-match notes: Umaga was the heel and Eugene was the face. This won’t take long.
Umaga decked Eugene with a clothesline. Eugene got in a few punches that did nothing, Umaga with a punch and a kick to the chest. The fans chanted “USA” after Hacksaw’s encouragement. Umaga hit the running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Umaga hit the Samoan Spike thumb to the throat for the pinfall win at 1:26.
Winner by pinfall: Umaga
Analysis: 1/2* A squash match to put over Umaga, who was a star on the rise. There wasn’t much else to it.
After the match was over, Duggan went into the ring and Eugene hit him with a clothesline. Umaga decked Doink with a back elbow to the chest and a Samoan Spike. Kamala went into the ring last, did some belly slapping Estrada told him to leave the ring by Estrada. Umaga left while Kamala stood in the ring.
Analysis: They did the Umaga match with Kamala one night later on Raw with Umaga winning in two minutes. As I said, Umaga was in the middle of a big push where he beat everybody in his path.
Mick Foley was interviewed by Todd Grisham in the interview area. Foley was a heel as he opened Ric Flair’s book, which Foley called a novel and Grisham said that it’s an autobiography while Foley added that there was fiction in it. Foley read something from Flair’s book where he mocked Foley for his hardcore style of wrestling where Flair called Foley a “glorified stuntman.” Foley said he’ll outwrestle Flair.
Analysis: I enjoyed the heel run of Foley that started as they went towards One Night Stand and continued through the summer.
Mick Foley entered first wearing a “Wanted” Cactus Jack shirt where he was going by the Foley name. Ric Flair got a huge pop because he was in his hometown of Charlotte, NC. As the match began, there was a shot of Ric’s daughters Megan and Ashley (Charlotte Flair when she was around 20 years old) at ringside.
2 out of 3 Falls Match: Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley
Pre-match notes: Flair was the face and Foley was the heel. Flair was 57 years old while Foley was 41 years old, which is not that old, but it was also six years after he retired as a full-timer.
The fans chanted “Foley Sucks” at Mick as they fought over a wristlock because Mick tried to make the point that he could outwrestle Flair. Foley took over with a punch followed by several more punches to the head. Foley nailed the running knee attack against the turnbuckle and a double arm DDT. Foley signaled for Mr. Socko, but he ended up taking out a Ric Flair version of Mr. Socko from under his shirt. Flair slapped on the testicular claw where he grabbed Foley’s groin followed by punches. Flair up top and he hit Foley in the back with a double axehandle. Flair was selling a left knee injury, so Foley hit a chop block to the back of the knee. Foley hit an elbow drop to the knee. Foley teased a Figure Four Leglock, but Flair gave him an inside cradle to win the first fall.
Ric Flair leads 1-0
Foley tossed Flair outside the ring where he worked him over with punches. Flair came back by whipping Foley into the steel steps at ringside. Flair sent Foley back into the ring to work him over with chops. Foley left the ring, he went over the barricade and they did a back body drop with Flair taking the back drop hard on the floor. Foley sent Flair back into the ring. “Foley sucks” chants again from the crowd. Foley brought in a trash can from under the ring. Foley charged with it, Flair tripped him up and slapped on the Figure Four Leglock submission. Foley grabbed the trash can and hit Flair in the head for it for the disqualification at 7:32.
Winner 2 falls to 0: Ric Flair
Analysis: *1/2 They are two legends and two of my favorites, but this was a boring match. It really became more about the post match angle than what happened in the ring. The story of the match was that Foley tried to outwrestle Flair, but he couldn’t do it and Foly had enough of it, so he did the cheap attack.
After the match, Foley threw the trash can in Flair’s face. Flair got back to his feet, Foley grabbed a barbed wire bat from under the ring and Foley hit Flair with it. Flair bladed from the forehead as Foley drove the barbed wire in Flair’s face. Flair was a bloody mess as Foley hit Flair in the head with the barbed wire baseball bat. Foley hit Flair in the head with the baseball bat. There were shots of concerned fans in the crowd as Foley walked away while doctors checked on Flair, who was a bloody mess. Flair was helped to the back.
Analysis: The bloody attack was vicious by Foley with Flair doing a nasty blade job to really put it over. The storyline continued for two more months leading to a bloody I Quit Match at SummerSlam that was one of the bloodier matches in WWE in the 2000s. With Foley and Flair, that’s not a surprise since both did some of the nastiest blade jobs in wrestling history.
There was a Carlito interview conducted by Maria, who went over his “cool” gimmick and wanted an explanation for who the cool people are. Carlito said whether he beats Shelton Benjamin or Johnny Nitro there’s nothing that can be cooler than him becoming Intercontinental Champion. Torrie Wilson showed up in a bikini (because why not?) and she asked Maria to rub baby oil over her body. She asked Carlito to hold her puppies, so she put her tiny dogs in Carlito’s hands. Maria put baby oil on Torrie while dance music played. Carlito’s music played, so he had to go have his match.
Analysis: I could post a pic of Torrie and Maria rubbing eachother with oil, but I chose not to. Cheesy segment, but two hot women doing that makes it okay to me. In case you don’t know about the “puppies” thing, that was the term WWE used for women’s breasts going back to Debra’s days in 1999 when Road Dogg christened the term in a promo. Jerry Lawler pushed it more by screaming “puppies” at women for years, so that’s how it really grew to be a big thing. Eventually, it went away, which is probably a good thing.
The order of entrants for the IC Title match were Carlito out first, Johnny Nitro with Melina, who was looking great, and Shelton Benjamin was last as the Intercontinental Champion with Benjamin wearing shades as well as a dress shirt for his entrance.
Intercontinental Championship: Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro (w/Melina)
Pre-match notes: Benjamin was the heel champion, Nitro was a heel and Carlito was becoming a face. If I type Morrison for Nitro, I apologize, but that’s what his name became in WWE.
Carlito dumped Nitro out of the ring to start the match. There was a lot of blood in the ring after what happened to Flair. Carlito got multiple rollups on Benjamin. Nitro avoided a kick and Benjamin kicked Carlito. When Carlito got back up, he knocked Benjamin out of the ring with a clothesline followed by a catapult that sent Nitro out of the ring. Melina pulled Nitro out of the way of an attack, Nitro tripped up Carlito on the apron and he sent Carlito into the steel ring post. Benjamin slammed Nitro on the floor. Carlito went to the apron and hit a springboard somersault dive onto Nitro and Benjamin! Wow, that was an impressive spot. That drew a big pop from the crowd. I don’t remember Carlito doing that very often. He hit it perfectly. Back in the ring, Nitro hit a Russian legsweep on Carlito followed by a loud Melina yell. Carlito came back with a hurricanrana on Nitro. Benjamin came back in the ring and launched Carlito in the air after running the ropes, so that was a big bump by Carlito. Benjamin gave Nitro a T-Bone Suplex over the top rope to the floor. Benjamin hit a Samoan Drop on Carlito. Nitro went back in with Benjamin setting him into the turnbuckle for two with Melina putting Nitro’s foot on the bottom rope. Carlito attacked Benjamin with a victory roll for two.
Carlito whipped Nitro into Benjamin leading to a monkey flip from Nitro and Carlito took advantage of that with a dropkick on Benjamin for two. Nitro set up Carlito on the top rope, he teased a superplex, but Benjamin shook the ropes to stop that. Benjamin jumped up top, then Nitro got back up against the ropes and hit a German Suplex into a superplex spot leading to a loud “Holy Shit” chant from the crowd. That was an awesome Tower of Doom suplex spot. Nitro got a two count on Carlito. The three men exchanged punches, Carlito got an inside cradle on Benjamin and Nitro broke it up. Carlito followed up with a springboard back elbow on both guys. Carlito sent Nitro out of the ring and Benjamin kicked Carlito in the back of the head for a two count. Carlito hit the Backstabber double knees to the back of Benjamin. Nitro pulled Carlito out of the ring and covered Benjamin for the pinfall win at 12:01.
Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: Johnny Nitro
Analysis: ***1/4 Good match with an exciting finishing sequence even though the “steal the pin” finish became repetitive during this period. It was the start of Nitro getting a push as a singles wrestler after being a tag team wrestler on Smackdown. Carlito did well as the face in the match with some high flying moves that he didn’t usually do. Those are the kinds of moves that are going to get the fans behind you. Benjamin had some cool moments too. I thought Nitro and Carlito stood out more in this match.
After the match was over, Nitro and Melina posed at the top of the ramp as the “paparazzi” took photos of them.
The five-man Spirit Squad group were shown backstage talking about how they were going to destroy DX. Vince McMahon showed up asking if they are proud of themselves and asked if they got over the embarrassment from Monday night. Vince said nobody makes a fool out of them. Vince said that DX are a disease and they’re the cure for the disease. Vince picked up the “penis pump” package that was in his office, looked at it a few times and then took it into the bathroom. There were sound effects when he went into the bathroom and then it was revealed that he had green spray on his face. Vince: “That damn DX!” The fans laughed.
Analysis: It was a motivational speech from Vince to get his guys ready to beat DX. As for the pump thing, again that’s Vince comedy.
The video package aired about the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam defending against Edge. RVD won the title at ECW One Night Stand 2006 when Edge hit John Cena with a Spear and RVD hit the Frog Splash to win the title. RVD was the WWE and ECW Champion. Edge was a former WWE Champion that said he was going to take back the WWE Championship, so that set up this match.
Edge entered first with the lovely Lita by his side. This was the era where she looked the hottest, in my opinion. Edge did a pre-match promo saying that the WWE Title in ECW was just as ridiculous as the Stanley Cup being in North Carolina while noting that Canadians won the Stanley Cup for the Carolina Hurricanes. Edge said he’s taking back the WWE Title and he and Lita are going to have a live sex celebration. He said just like the fans celebrations except they aren’t brother and sister. Good line.
Rob Van Dam entered to a pretty good pop with the WWE and ECW Titles around his waist.
WWE Championship: Rob Van Dam vs. Edge (w/Lita)
Pre-match notes: RVD was the face WWE Champion while Edge was the heel challenger.
It was an even matchup for the first couple of minutes. RVD hit a monkey flip followed by a pin attempt rolling him up using the legs for a two count. They did an exchange of moves where they kept avoiding eachother, Edge missed a cross body and RVD hit a standing moonsault for two. RVD with a spin kick, which led to Edge bailing to the floor. Van Dam with a dropkick to the back that sent Edge to the barricade and RVD hit a moonsault off the barricade on Edge on the floor. Lita grabbed RVD’s foot with the referee not seeing it, so Edge hit a knee to the ribs and Edge hit a sunset flip over the top that was a Powerbomb on RVD on the floor. That looked and sounded like a rough landing for RVD. Edge with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. When Lawler said he was focused on Lita, JR asked: “Is everything in your life focused on sex?” Lawler said yes to that one. Edge pulled back on RVD’s arms while putting a knee to the back, which RVD fought out of with a kick to the face. RVD sent Edge to the apron and RVD jumped over the top with a running cross body block that sent both guys to the floor. That was an impressive bump by both of them. RVD set up Edge on the barricade and went for the spinning leg drop, but Edge moved. RVD hit his leg hard against the barricade. Back in the ring, Edge got a nearfall and then he tossed RVD out of the ring. Edge gave RVD a Powerbomb into the barricade outside the ring. That led to Edge rolling RVD back into the ring for another two count. Edge hit a backbreaker followed by a submission attempt stretching RVD’s back across his leg with RVD getting out of that with a knee to the head.
When RVD got back up to his feet to try to get some momentum going, Edge decked him with a kick to the head. Edge sent RVD into the turnbuckle, RVD with a kick to the face and a springboard back kick. RVD with two clotheslines, a back body drop and a bridging German Suplex got a two count. RVD did a good job of selling the back after that rough landing on the floor. RVD went for the Rolling Thunder, but Edge got back up and hit a powerslam for a two count. Nice spot. Van Dam up top and he hit a thrust kick to knock Edge down. Van Dam went up top for the Frog Splash, Edge rolled away, so RVD hit a modified Rolling Thunder to the back of Edge. Split legged moonsault by RVD got a two count. RVD went for a spin kick, Edge ducked and RVD hit the ref with his foot. Edge hit a clothesline and realized that the referee was down. Edge was handed the WWE Title from Lita, so RVD did a spin kick that sent the title into Edge’s face. Edge was bleeding from the belt shot. RVD went up top and Lita tripped up RVD to crotch him on the top rope. Edge hit a draping DDT off the top rope. RVD always sold DDT’s in a great way. The referee was slow moving as he counted one…two…and no because RVD got his left shoulder up. Lita held up a steel chair against the turnbuckle, Edge charged with a chair, RVD moved and Edge hit the chair while Lita bumped to the floor. RVD capitalized on that by going up top and hitting a Five Star Frog Splash on Edge for the pinfall win at 17:55.
Winner by pinfall: Rob Van Dam
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good WWE Title match with some creative spots as both guys showed off their athleticism throughout the match. The spot with the ref bump was also well done because of the nearfalls that took place right after it. They had some fun moments there and I liked the finish a lot. It showed that RVD was a resilient face champion while Edge was a cheating heel that tried everything he could to win, but he couldn’t do it. Fun match. I think it should have been the main event of the show as well, but they wanted the focus to be on the DX return.
RVD celebrated with his two titles while Edge and Lita left as the losers.
Analysis: The title reign of RVD didn’t last much longer because he was arrested for drug possession when he was driving with Sabu. RVD was speeding, then they found some drugs on him (he likes marijuana) and WWE didn’t like that. That led to Edge winning the WWE Title on the July 3 edition of Raw in a match also involving RVD and John Cena. RVD did not serve jail time and just paid a fine. WWE suspended RVD for 30 days after he dropped the WWE Title to Edge and ECW Title to Big Show. That meant that this match at Vengeance was RVD’s only PPV WWE Title defense.
The ECW locker room guys were celebrating the win by RVD by chanting “ECW” and “RVD” repeatedly. Paul Heyman said one down, one more to go. Heyman hyped them up for this John Cena vs. Sabu match that was a Lumberjack Match. Heyman said that according to Vince McMahon, not only will there be Extreme Lumberjacks at ringside, but also Raw Lumberjacks. Heyman said they’re there to support Sabu, see John Cena go down and support ECW. That led to more “ECW” chants.
Analysis: Good sense of unity from the ECW guys.
Kane made his entrance with no mask and the bald head. He was a face that got no reaction. The Imposter Kane made his entrance wearing a mask looking like the original Kane. Ross and Lawler tried to tell the story that Kane knew who he was, but it fucking sucked. No other way to say it.
Analysis: The imposter Kane was Luke Gallows when he was first signed by WWE before the Jesse and Festus days and the Straight Edge Society days.
Kane vs. Imposter Kane
Pre-match notes: Regular Kane is the face and Imposter Kane is the heel. I’ll refer to the masked Kane as “Imposter” in my review. This is going to be shit.
Kane punched Imposter down and a clothesline sent the Imposter over the top to the floor to land on his feet. Clothesline by Imposter on Kane on the floor. Back in the ring, Kane with a shoulder tackle and he tried to rip the mask off, but Imposter stopped it and hit a sidewalk slam. Imposter worked over Kane with a blatant choke. Suplex by Imposter. Kane came back with a boot to the face, but Imposter hit a powerslam for two. The crowd was dead for this match as Imposter slapped on a chinlock. Some fans were chanting “boring” and I agree. Imposter with a choke around the throat, Kane with a thumb to the eye and a jumping DDT. Kane with a powerslam on Imposter. Kane with two running clotheslines on Imposter followed by a sidewalk slam. Imposter got back into it with a whip into the ropes followed by a boot to the face. Imposter went up top, Kane tried to stop him with punches and Kane tossed Imposter off the top with a slam. Imposter bounced off the ropes and Kane hit a boot to the face. Kane went up top, he jumped off with the clothesline, but Imposter grabbed Kane by the throat and hit a Chokeslam. JR was shocked by the result. Lawler said that everybody in the arena was stunned, but really they were quiet because it was boring. It went 7:01.
Winner by pinfall: Imposter Kane
Analysis: * Boring match with the heel Imposter Kane getting the win to try to put him over as a force. I’ll give Gallows some credit for doing some of the Kane mannerisms well and looking like the original Kane with a lot of his actions. It was still an awful feud that ended soon after this because the story was not working. Kane beat up Imposter Kane backstage, then they fought in the backstage area and that was it for fake Kane.
John Cena is up next against Sabu and they get a video package. Cena was used to try to get the new ECW brand some attention by showing up on the first WWE ECW show and then Paul Heyman brought ECW guys to Raw to attack Cena, which led to Sabu hitting a leg drop off the top that put Cena through a table.
The ECW wrestlers made their entrance for the Extreme Rules Lumberjack Match. They were guys like Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Justin Credible, Al Snow, Balls Mahoney, Stevie Richards and others. Sabu made his entrance and was announced at 235 pounds, which was probably 20 pounds more than what he really is. I don’t pay attention to that stuff usually, but it stood out when Lilian Garcia announced him.
The Raw wrestlers made their entrance for this Lumberjack Match. It was the lower card wrestlers like Rob Conway, Viscera, Charlie Haas, Snitsky, Matt Striker (who became an ECW guy), Val Venis and others that barely had a role on Raw.
John Cena got a big reaction as the top guy on the brand. It was weird not seeing him in the main event on a 2006 show, but that’s what it was.
Extreme Rules Lumberjack Match: John Cena vs. Sabu
Pre-match notes: Cena was the face representing Raw while Sabu was a heel representing ECW although people still liked Sabu.
When Cena entered the ring, Sabu jumped Cena with a punch to the back. Sabu dumped Cena out of the ring near the ECW guys, but Cena fought his way back into the ring. Cena with a kick to the gut and a suplex for two. Cena sent Sabu to the Raw guys, so they sent Sabu back in the ring. Cena with a back elbow that put Sabu down and then Sabu dumped Cena to the floor. The ECW guys stomped on Cena and then sent him back in. Sabu sent Cena out of the ring and Sandman hit Cena in the head with a kendo stick shot to the head. Sabu hit a triple jump moonsault off a chair and off the ropes for a two count. Cena drove Sabu into the turnbuckle and Sabu kicked him in the groin, which is legal in this match. Sabu a triple jump attack to the ribs of Cena. Sabu grabbed the chair and hit the Arabian facebuster leg drop into the chair onto Cena for a two count. Sabu went for a running corner attack after jumping on the chair, but Cena moved and Sabu hit the turnbuckle. Cena with a boot to the face followed by a powerslam. The Raw and ECW wrestlers were brawling on the floor. Cena left the ring and gave Stevie Richards the FU on the concrete. Sabu went after Cena and threw a chair at Cena’s face. Sabu threw another chair at Cena’s head while Snow held Cena. Cena was placed face first onto a table by Dreamer and Sandman, but the Raw guys helped and Cena hit Sabu with a kendo stick to prevent a dive. Cena went back into the ring where he threw a chair at Sabu’s face. Cena picked up Sabu and wanted a FU in the ring, but then he gave Sabu the FU over the top rope through a table on the floor. That was a rough landing for Sabu right on his ass. Cena slapped on the STFU submission on Sabu and Sabu tapped out for the loss at 6:38.
Winner by submission: John Cena
Analysis: ***1/4 That was very entertaining for the time given. I don’t know why it was kept under ten minutes because if they went another four minutes it would have helped. Cena was hit in the head with a few different objects and he toughed it out by coming back for the win. Most of the match was Sabu on offense with Cena making the big comeback when he got some help from the Raw guys. That FU that Cena gave Sabu through the table was a very rough landing for Sabu, who is a notorious tough guy that was known for taking a beating during his career. Give Cena credit for successfully putting on good performance a match type that he was not used to. As for the outcome, that was no surprise as Cena got some revenge on the ECW guys.
After the match, Sabu had to be helped to the back by his ECW buddies while the Raw guys went into the ring with Cena.
John Cena was shown walking backstage and he walked up to Rob Van Dam with the WWE Title on his shoulder. RVD said that he thought Cena had balls to show up at One Night Stand and he admired Cena for going into the ECW locker room. RVD said he knows John feels slighted because he never got a return match. RVD said that he’s the champion and he’s the man that will back that up. RVD suggested a match on Raw tomorrow night for the WWE Championship. Cena said that he didn’t come into his house to beg RVD for the rematch and Cena said that RVD took everything away from him. Cena said that title is his life. Cena said if RVD wants to come to Raw to defend that WWE Title, Cena will see him tomorrow night and they shook hands.
Analysis: They did not do the title change the next night on Raw. It was eight days later on Raw on July 3 with Edge beating RVD for the title in a triple threat with Cena due to RVD’s arrest for drug possession.
A video package aired about DX vs. The Spirit Squad. The video starts way back in December 2005 at the start of the Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels feud leading to their WrestleMania 22 match that Michaels won. Vince wanted Triple H to attack his former best friend Michaels, but Triple H was reluctant and instead, Triple H turned face by helping his buddy Michaels. When the Spirit Squad tried to finish off Triple H, Michaels saved him and it was the official reunion of Degeneration X. That led to some WWE comedy bits featuring Vince “loving cocks” (an actual chicken), male strippers, a penis pump, DX beating up little people dressed like the Spirit Squad and green slime on the Spirit Squad. Vince set up the Spirit Squad vs. DX in a 5 on 2 match at Vengeance.
Analysis: The big selling point was that Shawn and Hunter were officially back together. Hunter was a face for the first time since he turned on Michaels in the summer of 2002, so about four years.
The Degeneration X duo of Shawn Michaels and Triple H made their entrance to a big ovation. They did not have the glowsticks yet, but that would come in the future.
Triple H did a promo doing the “Are you ready?” bit to a huge ovation saying “let’s get ready to suck it.” Michaels did the “if you’re not down with that, we’ve got two words for ya” bit where he held up the microphone and the fans yelled “suck it” right on cue.
The Spirit Squad entered as the World Tag Team Champions on Raw. They were a five man group were five male cheerleaders comprised of Kenny, Nicky (later known as Dolph Ziggler), Mikey, Mitch and Johnny. They were booed while their annoying music played. They were all in their early to mid-20s.
Analysis: Kenny was only 20 years old at the time of the match and the biggest guy in the group at around 6’6” and 250 pounds. Most people would have thought he would be the biggest star in the group. Nicky/Ziggler was by far the biggest name. Mikey had a decent run in the business as Mike Mondo. Mitch (Nick Mitchell) and Johnny (Jeter) didn’t stay in wrestling that long.
Degeneration X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) vs. Spirit Squad (Kenny, Nicky, Mitch, Mikey and Johnny)
Pre-match notes: DX were the faces and the Spirit Squad were the heels.
Michaels started with Mitch leading to a slugfest between them with Michaels dominating that with a hard chop to the chest. Hunter tagged in, all the Spirit Squad guys went into the ring, so DX cleared them from the ring easily. Johnny was busted open with a bloody nose. I didn’t see what caused it, but there was a lot of blood coming from the nose. Johnny put on a headband followed by some ninja yelling, so Michaels tagged Hunter in. Hunter hit a suplex on Johnny followed by a DX chop and a knee to the face. Hunter distracted the referee, so Michaels sent Johnny’s knees into the ring post repeatedly. Johnny did some comedy selling and Hunter punched him. Johnny broke free with a kick to the head. Mikey into the ring, so Hunter threw him over the top to the floor. Michaels sent Mikey groin first onto the barricade at ringside. The heels took control after a knee to Hunter’s back and then when Hunter was on the floor, he was whipped into the steel steps by four Squad guys. Kenny tagged in, missed a clothesline and Hunter hit a neckbreaker. Michaels back in against Mikey with a flying forearm, a kip up and Michaels hit multiple atomic drops followed by a body slam on Mikey. Michaels up top and he hit the elbow drop to Mikey. The entire Spirit Squad group went into the ring, the ref was distracted by Hunter and Johnny hit a jumping kick to Michaels. The heels worked over Michaels with cheap tactics including a spot where they pulled Michaels out of the ring and Kenny hit Michaels in the head with a steel chair. Michaels got his hands up to block it, but the idea was it hit him in the head. Mikey did a running attack where he jumped off the trampoline and into the ring with a bulldog on Michaels. Hunter picked up the trampoline and threw it towards the heels. Kenny back in with a jumping elbow attack on Michaels. Nicky (Ziggler) with a jumping clothesline on Michaels against the turnbuckle. There was a double team flapjack leading to Kenny getting a two count on Michaels. When Michaels got back up, he did a double clothesline spot with Kenny. Mikey got a cheap shot clothesline on Michaels. Nicky was launched to the turnbuckle to attack Michaels, but Michaels moved leading to Nicky bumping over the top to the floor. Michaels kicked Mikey in the back to put him down. Johnny back in leading to Michaels hitting a double DDT on Johnny and Mikey at the same time.
Hunter got the hot tag against Kenny while the other Squad guys got into the ring as well. Hunter with a jumping knee on Nicky and a spinebuster on Kenny as well as Mitch. Hunter with a facebuster on Kenny and he wanted a Pedigree, but Nicky broke it up. Hunter with a clothesline on Kenny and Michaels with a clothesline on Nicky. Mikey tried for an attack off the trampoline, but Michaels ducked and Mikey took out his guys. Kenny tried to get away, but Michaels blocked him from leaving the ring and Hunter hit a Pedigree on Kenny. Mikey went into the ring, so Michaels hit him with a Sweet Chin Music superkick. Hunter pinned Kenny (they were the legal man) and Michaels pinned Mikey for the pinfall win at 17:45.
Winners by pinfall: Degeneration X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H)
Analysis: *** This was just a standard WWE tag team match that got a lot of time. It didn’t feel like a PPV main event level match, but it was put in this spot because of the return of DX. I don’t think anybody watching this show thought that DX was going to lose, so that hurt the quality of the match because it was so predictable. The last few minutes were pretty good when Hunter got the hot tag and it led to the obvious finish.
After the match, Mitch went into the ring and Michaels hit him with a superkick. Hunter hit a Pedigree on Johnny. Michaels also hit a superkick on Nick.
When Michaels wanted to leave, Hunter whispered something in his ear. They dumped three Spirit Squad guys from the ring with Mitch still in the ring. Hunter pulled down the back of his tights, Michaels grabbed Mitch and put Mitch’s face in Hunter’s ass for his own version of the Kiss My Ass club that Vince McMahon has. JR: “Mitch’s face buried deep in the buttocks of The Game!” That’s what happened.
Analysis: That’s a visual that I didn’t need to see.
Hunter and Shawn celebrated their victory in the ring. Vince McMahon showed up on the stage. Vince didn’t have a microphone, but the camera was on him. Vince said “congratulations” and he’ll see them tomorrow night on Raw. Hunter and Shawn posed to end the show.
Analysis: It gave the fans the happy ending they wanted with the popular DX duo celebrated the win.
This event had a run time of 2:40:33 on WWE Network. That’s a few minutes shorter than a regular PPV, so maybe something was edited out or they just ended it sooner.
Show Rating (out of 10): 6
It was a slightly above average show with several matches around the three-star level meaning they were pretty good, but the show was lacking in terms of standout matches. I thought RVD/Edge was solid and a bit of a forgotten WWE Title match because I don’t think people really remember that match or feud. The main event was a rare handicap tag team main event where the outcome was obvious, so that hurt the match in terms of my excitement level.
The women’s division was ignored on the show, which was a shame because they had a lot of talent there with Mickie James, Trish Stratus, Victoria and Lita to name a few. I looked it up to see that they did Mickie vs. Trish the next night on Raw.
Best Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Edge (***1/2 out of 5)
Worst Match: Umaga vs. Eugene (1/2*)
Five Stars of the Night
- Rob Van Dam
- John Cena
- Shawn Michaels
Next up: Great American Bash 2006, which is a Smackdown show.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – mrjohncanto[email protected]
Check out my other retro WWE PPV reviews here as well.