First time's the charm
By Louie Dee
June 25, 2006

It seems like the first time is the charm for Johnny Nitro. In his first championship opportunity on SmackDown, Nitro won the WWE Tag Team Championship; lightning struck again at Vengeance, as the red-carpet darling defeated Carlito and Shelton Benjamin in a Triple Threat Match to win the Intercontinental Championship.

Before the match even began, Carlito may have been thrown off his game. While watching Torrie Wilson and Maria rub baby oil on each other, he was interrupted by the sound of his music in the arena. While he was able to maintain an early advantage in the match, the chaotic nature of all three men being legal kept anyone from really staying on the offensive for too long. In fact, it was that same rule that helped Nitro win the gold.

At one point, Nitro was hung in the tree of woe with Carlito standing above him on the top rope. Somehow, the insanely athletic Benjamin popped up onto the top rope, and in a moment that has to be seen to be fully appreciated, Nitro hit a German suplex on Benjamin as the champion pulled Carlito over in a superplex.

With all three men shaken, Carlito managed to go on the offensive once again. After hitting a springboard elbow on both men, the Caribbean Superstar avoided a charging Nitro by pulling the ropes down, sending him crashing to the floor.

With Nitro seemingly out of the way, Carlito nailed Benjamin with the back cracker, a move that usually leads directly to a victory for the Caribbean Superstar. Before he could cover, however, Nitro pulled him out of the ring. Ever the opportunist, Nitro then slid into the ring and covered the still shaken Benjamin, getting the three count to become Intercontinental Champion.

Neither Carlito nor the former champion could believe what had just happened, but the opportunistic Nitro was the one who walked out with the bling-bling around his waist. Stunned, Carlito and Benjamin were forced to watch as the paparazzi surrounded the new champion and his lovely manager Melina at the top of the entrance ramp.

Following the match, Nitro gave away his “secret” that led him to victory. “Well, luckily for me I'm very talented, and I have the best and most beautiful manager in history,” the new champion told WWE.com. “Put those together and I'd expect a lot more in my future.”

Melina also chimed in, adding that “we were already the top stars on SmackDown, so it was inevitable that we were going to be the top stars (on RAW) too.”

And when asked about the way he won the match, Nitro offered a simple rebuttal. “Call me what you want, but you have to call me champion.”

Click here to get the gear the Superstars were sporting at Vengeance.