By Ed Williams III
July 3, 2006
Ever since ECW One Night Stand, RAW has been without a WWE Champion, but after one wild night in the city of brotherly love, that is no longer the case. In a No Disqualificaion, No Count-out, Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship, John Cena looked to have everything wrapped up. Cena had laid out Van Dam with his patented FU, but right before he could make the cover, Edge came in from out of nowhere and leveled the Dr. of Thuganomics with the same Championship belt that they were both vying for. With that, the calculating Edge made the cover on the already fallen RVD and score the easy 1-2-3. Edge had stolen the WWE Championship from John Cena.
You can argue that Cena should have won. You can argue that Edge’s actions were somewhat underhanded. But one thing that you cannot argue is that the Rated R Superstar is the new WWE Champion, and the WWE Championship is back on RAW.
Any time the WWE Championship changes hands, it’s a huge deal, and any time it changes hands on RAW, it’s an extremely rare occurrence. But before RAW went on the air tonight, the Championship wasn’t even scheduled to be defended. The Triple Threat Match was supposed to take place at Saturday Night’s Main Event, and a Pick Your Partner Triple Threat Tag Team Match was supposed to take place on RAW at the Wachovia Center. But RVD changed all of that when he decided to prove that he was a fighting champion and defend the gold right then and there in Philadelphia. He did prove that he was a fighting champion, but he certainly didn’t prove that he was a smart one.
The result was the exact thing that ECW’s Paul Heyman was afraid of. Heyman tried to discourage RVD from going through with the match since it was in a WWE ring, with WWE referees and against both Edge and Cena. But RVD said that he believed in himself and he believed in ECW. Heyman wasn’t the only one who seemed to have some psychic powers on the night. Right before the Championship Match took place, Edge told Todd Grisham backstage, “Despite being completely unprepared for this match, I’ll walk out with something that this city hasn’t seen in 23 years – a champion.” And that’s exactly what he did.
What does this mean for Saturday Night’s Main Event? And how will Cena react to having the WWE Championship so close to his grasp that he could taste it, only to have it ripped away by his arch nemesis?
But not all of the fireworks took place in the ring on RAW. Last week, Mr. McMahon placed a ban on D-Generation X, refusing to let them into the Wachovia Center. Upon DX’s arrival, Jonathan Coachman and a barricade of security personnel informed them that they were barred from entering the arena and had to leave the premises. With that, DX did what they normally do—they improvised. A DX-sponsored BBQ was thrown outside the area, and with HBK and The Game behind the party, it’s not surprising that it attracted more than a few bubbly females, as well as some beer-thirsty dudes looking to snack on a smorgasbord of holiday food, including a DX-specialty—Mr. McMahon-size cocktail wieners.
As the party outside raged, Triple H took a break from his grilling duties just as Candice Michelle approached wanting to lure The Game into some post-dinner activities. Unfortunately for her, his services were already being rendered by a groupie hiding under the table. The good thing for Candice—not to mention for us viewers—groupies don’t travel alone, and the second DX groupie hiding under the table was in a very giving mood, and Candice certainly seemed to have no problem receiving.
Meanwhile, believing he could finally let his guard down and concentrate on running his company, Mr. McMahon had no idea the type of night he’d be in for. His plan to ban DX backfired horribly, and it began when DX seized control of the WWE production truck. Realizing they had access to every aspect of production, DX took control of RAW and ruined another Monday night for the Chairman.
Without access to his private bathroom, Mr. McMahon was forced to use the public facilities. During the epitome of private moments, Mr. McMahon talked to himself about his Andre the Giant sized ‘frankfurter,’ never stopping to think DX had activated the camera installed inside the Wachovia Center’s restrooms.
Realizing his boss was again the butt of a DX joke, Jonathan Coachman burst into the bathroom to warn Mr. McMahon of their latest stunt. But he startled The Chairman before he was finished doing his business, and Coachman’s suit got spritzed by the remainder of his boss’ ‘relief.’ Embarrassed, with wet pants, and with unwashed hands, Mr. McMahon fled to the ring to address DX’s latest scheme. His announcement turned into another debauchery, as DX toyed with the microphone, altering The Chairman’s voice to sound as child-like as Michael Jackson’s to as deep as Darth Vader’s. He had just enough time to reveal that on July 15, at Saturday Night’s Main Event, DX would again take on all five members of the Spirit Squad, but this time it would be in an Elimination Match, stacking the odds even more in favor of the Squad. With that said, a response was made DX-style with a doodle of a rooster on the screen adjacent to The Chairman’s head, reminding viewers of Mr. McMahon’s infatuation with cocks.
Defeated yet again by DX, Mr. McMahon tried to pack it in early and flee the arena, but he was one step behind. An onslaught of fireworks smoked him out of the limo just as it began to pull away As he rolled out of the car, his face as black as a coalminer’s, The Game and HBK stood over him, sparklers in hand, letting him know that banning DX from an arena is something that should never be done again.
The Spirit Squad will have DX at Saturday Night’s Main Event, but they also had their hands full on RAW. But in the end, their supreme teamwork led to a 10-man tag team victory over Eugene, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Val Venis, Viscera and Snitsky.
Plus, while the WWE Championship ended up changing hands, the Intercontinental Championship did not. Johnny Nitro put his gold on the line against Carlito in his first Championship defense since winning the title at Vengeance. It was at Vengeance that some say Nitro stole the gold from Carlito. After hitting the back cracker on Benjamin at Vengeance, Nitro swooped in and made the pin. And just last week, Nitro and Carlito were at odds again as they were involved in a confrontation between Melina and Trish Stratus. It looked as though Carlito was going to exact revenge on Nitro to once again become Intercontinental Champion, but it just wasn’t in the cards for the Caribbean native. Carlito was able to once again hit his back cracker, but when he went for the pin, Melina jumped in the ring and broke things up causing a disqualification. The Intercontinental Championship once again slipped through Carlito’s fingers. After the match, though Trish Stratus made a mad dash to the ring, and immediately started a vicious cat fight with Melina. While both Divas looked to be suffering some stiff punishment, DX, who was outside in the production truck, was having a good ol’ time, showing replays of the cat fight, which showcased the Divas in revealing positions.
Shawn Michaels and Triple H also decided to have some fun with Armando Alejandro Estrada. Before Estrada could finish introducing his man, Umaga, HBK interrupted with an impromptu advertisement for the new DX T-shirt. An enraged Estrada stormed out of the ring leaving Umaga to dismantle Scott Wright. After the match, Estrada tried to address the crowd once again, but DX struck again, this time piping in belching noises every time Estrada tried to talk.
One person who wasn’t interrupted on the microphone was the Legend Killer, Randy Orton. After seeing a video package highlighting Hulk Hogan joining the nWo at Bash at the Beach in 1996, Orton came out and noted that it was an inspirational piece of video. But it was nothing compared to last week, when he saw Brooke Hogan’s (Hulk Hogan’s daughter) new music video. Orton noted that on an upcoming episode of Hogan’s hit show on VH1, Hogan Knows Best, the Hulkster will be picking a date for his daughter, Brooke. Orton decided to send a message to Brooke on the topic.
“If things go our way, you might see why I’m a legend,” said Orton. “And if your daddy has a problem with that, he’ll find out why I’m the Legend Killer.”
Orton has gotten the best of several huge legends in sports-entertainment history including the likes of Mick Foley, Ric Flair, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Sgt. Slaughter and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, but none are as big as Hulk Hogan. Does Orton realize what repercussions his words might have?
After weeks of taking a look at the Highlanders’ journey from Scotland to the United States, the new tag team made their debut on RAW. The duo looked very impressive taking out Rob Conway & Matt Striker. Although that’s the team they were billed against, it was more like a Handicap Match. After getting a glimpse of the Highlanders in action, Striker refused to tag in saying that the Highlanders were crazy and he was too smart to get in the ring with them.
Not only was it a great night for Edge, but Lita also picked up a big win on RAW. One week after helping to ruin Torrie Wilson’s WWE Magazine Cover Unveiling, Lita went one on one with the sexy Diva and came up big with a crushing DDT.
Lita def. Torrie Wilson
The Spirit Squad def. Eugene, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Val Venis, Viscera & Snitsky
The Highlanders def. Rob Conway & Matt Striker
Carlito def. Intercontinental Champion Johnny Nitro (DQ)
Umaga def. Scott Wright
Edge def. WWE Champion Rob Van Dam and John Cena (Triple Threat Match – new Champion)