The Raw Report (11/27/06): Rated-RKO vs. Hardy Boys (World Tag Title Match)
    Submitted by Chad Matthews on Monday, November 27, 2006 at 11:10 PM EST

    The Raw Report (11/27/06)

    The show opened with JR and King hyping a World Tag title match b/t the Hardys and Rated-RKO…

    Ric Flair was in the ring, in his wrestling gear, to state that while he was victorious last night, he got his butt kicked post-match by a bunch of male cheerleaders. Footage aired of the ending to the Team Flair vs. Team Squad match from last night, as well as the post-match Squad assault on the Nature Boy. The crowd booed as Flair continued, saying that he wants this whole issue with the Spirit Squad to end tonight. He said he wanted them all to come to the ring and face him and his partners. At that point, the Squad’s music hit and the cheerleaders came out to the ramp. They did a cheer about Flair being a toy, not a Nature Boy, and a very old wrestler that should promptly retire. All of the above led to…

    Match 1: The Spirit Squad vs. Ric Flair and Degeneration X
    -(CMV1 note- JR finally acknowledged Flair and HHH’s history. DX did their usual pre-match schtick prior to the start of the match, but also managed to put over how many times they’d kicked the Squad’s ass). The five Squad members tried to Peal Harbor Flair and DX, but the faces turned the tide and singled out Mikey as the match got underway. Trips and HBK made a quick tag in the early going, w/ Trips taking control with a series of clubbing blows in the corner. He followed with a running clothesline in the corner and tagged Flair. Naitch hit a few knife edge chops, plus a back body drop. HBK tagged in and connected on a chop of his own. Flair tagged back in, but soon fell victim to a Kenny cheap shot and a Mikey missile dropkick. All hell broke loose at that point, with all eight men in the ring. DX and Flair tossed all five Squad members out of the ring. HBK followed them out with a plancha. Back in the ring, HBK and HHH joined Flair in a Nature Boy strut. We then got a dreaded mid-match commercial break, but I guess that was to be expected. Back from the break, Johnny had HBK in a headlock, but Michaels countered out of it with a back drop. Nicky tagged in and pushed HBK back into the Squad’s corner. He then distracted the ref, allowing the Squad to gang up on the Heartbreak Kid. Mikey tagged in and hit a low dropkick and an elbow drop for a near fall. He slammed HBK and hit a combination moonsault with Kenny’s assistance. Kenny proceeded to hit a couple of short-arm clotheslines and taunt HBK. Mitch tagged in and connected with a vertical suplex. Kenny came back in and scored with an elbow drop for a near fall. He then slammed Michaels and tagged Mikey. They went for a Mikey splash off of Kenny’s shoulders, but HBK rolled out of the way and tagged HHH. Trips went wild with his signature offense of facebusters, spinebusters, and running high knees. Flair then tagged in and tried to lock in the Figure Four on Mikey. The Squad tried to run interference, but DX took care of them. Kenny and Johnny came in to even the odds, but HHH and HBK locked them in Figure Fours. Thus, Flair and both members of DX had three Squad members in the Figure Four leg lock. The finish came when Kenny, Johnny, and Mikey tapped out. DX and Flair defeated the Squad at 10:22. (CMV1 rating- **) (CMV1 note- entertaining and sufficient action equating to a fairly hot opening segment)

    JR and King introduced home video footage of the Hardy Boyz, as kids, wrestling and cutting promos at their home in Cameron, NC…

    A video recap of the Survivor Series was shown…

    During a commercial break, Triple H got his sledgehammer out from under the ring, prompting the cheerleaders to hightail it…The camera then cut backstage, where Trips and HBK placed the Squad members in a large metal case and locked them inside it. They placed a “Destination OVW” sticker on it. An “OPS” mailing service guy showed up and asked when it needed to be delivered. HBK said “by Christmas.” They said they didn’t need it insured, as HHH said it wasn’t worth crap. HBK signed it “Mr. McMahon.” (CMV1 note- pretty funny segment, but kind of buried the Squad. I bet that will catch some heat from the net fans. I can see where they are coming from, but I still thought that was quite amusing)

    JR and King hyped the Extreme Elimination Chamber for ECW’s December to Dismember this Sunday. They hyped the Hardy Boyz open challenge for the PPV, and said that Johnny Nitro had something to say about that…

    Backstage, Nitro and Melina introduced Joey Mercury, who said they accepted the challenge and would reform their three-time WWE tag team title winning team, MNM, for one night only. (CMV1 note- Sweet! That beefs up the ECW PPV card nicely. Still needs some more juice, but I’ve got confidence in any show whose head writer, no matter who has the final word, is Paul Heyman)

    Match 2: Battle Royal- Melina vs. Candice vs. Torrie vs. Victoria vs. Maria
    -(CMV1 note- Women’s Champion Mickie James joined JR and King for guest commentary. This bout was for the #1 contendership to the women’s title). Candice and Torrie double-teamed Victoria, as Melina immediately went after Maria and tried to throw her over the top rope. Victoria took control of her attackers and singled out Torrie. Melina then joined the fray and ran at Torrie, but Victoria blasted her with a clothesline. Victoria eliminated her. Maria tried to eliminate Victoria, but Victoria reversed it and knocked Maria over the top rope. Maria held on for dear life and eventually got knocked off the apron and to the floor. Torrie was eliminated, too. Candice nearly had Victoria out of the ring, but the former women’s champ recovered and got the win. Victoria became #1 contender at 2:52. After the match, Victoria taunted Mickie with a Widow’s Peak on Candice. (CMV1 rating- ½ *) (CMV1 note- Victoria is the logical next opponent for Mickie, as she’s the most seasoned veteran left on the roster. I think Melina will eventually be the go-to heel Diva, but in the meantime this is a good call)

    JR and King introduced another classic Hardy Boy moment (specifically their debut against Taka and Funaki on Heat back in 1998)…(CMV1 note- they are really pushing the Hardys tonight. ECW did its best rating in 2 months with the Hardys’ reunion as the featured attraction. It should be interesting to see if this WWE attempt to see if lightning strikes twice will work when they put them in tonight’s Raw main-event)

    Match 3: Eugene vs. Jim Duggan
    -(CMV1 note- The WWE Rewind highlighted Eugene turning on Hacksaw Jim Duggan 3 weeks ago). Duggan yelled in Eugene’s ear before the match. Eugene offered a handshake. Duggan shrugged it off, so Eugene slapped him in the face. Hacksaw then took early control with repeated bodyslams. The crowd chanted “USA,” as Duggan got in his three-point stance. Eugene rolled out of the ring, though. Duggan grabbed him by the hair and tried to pull him back in the ring, but Eugene dropped his neck across the top rope. The finish came when Eugene pinned Hacksaw at 1:59. After the match, Eugene got a mic and screamed for the crowd not to laugh and make fun of him. He said he was special, damn it! (CMV1 rating- ¼ *) (CMV1 note- crap match, but an interesting character direction for Eugene’s character…he’s a talented guy, but he was strapped with a dead end gimmick. Is Eugene Dinsmore talented enough to pull this off? He was talented enough to pull off the original gimmick and get it very over with the crowds, at first anyway. We’ll see what he can do this time around).

    Backstage, Dusty Rhodes and Arn Anderson thanked DX for their show of respect for Ric Flair. HBK invited them to a party with gingerale, a karaoke machine, and some other PG-13 entertainment. The Legends didn’t seem happy, but Trips reassured them that what they could actually expect from said party was brauds and booze. Ron Simmons showed up for a “Damn!” (CMV1 note- DX are on tonight…another amusing segment)

    WWE 24/7’s moment in wrestling history for this week was HHH crashing the Test and Stephanie McMahon…

    The Rated-R Superstar came to the ring for a special edition of the Cutting Edge, which was hyped to have a special guest. Before the segment began, Edge congratulated DX for beating up the Squad for the millionth time. He said that failed in comparison to the number of times he had beaten the Hardys in his career. He said he and Orton would do it again tonight and dedicate their victory to the greatest Women’s Champion of all-time, Lita. Edge tried to introduce his guest, but no one showed up. Orton showed up and said that his guest was backstage, but he needed Edge to come back there and confirm it. Edge headed to the back to check it out. The World Tag Champs proceeded to drag Ric Flair’s bloody and beaten body out to the ring. Edge asked if this wasn’t the part where DX came down and made the save. Orton said that they were cowards. Edge said DX only thought about themselves. He told the crowd that DX didn’t care about them either. Edge then drilled Flair with a one man conchairto. Orton gave him one, too. (CMV1 note- good segment)

    Match 4: Jerry Lawler vs. Chris Masters
    -The crowd lightly got behind Lawler as the two locked up. Masters picked him up and slammed him with ease. He tried to follow with an elbow drop, but Lawler moved. It didn’t matter, as Masters easily regained momentum with repeated hard Irish whips into opposite turnbuckles. He then locked on a bear hug. King bit his way out of the hold and scored with a dropkick and a fist drop off the second rope…and then another one…and yet another one. Masters came back with a two-handed choke and a backbreaker. The crowd was dead. Masters stomped Lawler in the abdomen and followed with a snap suplex. He went to the second rope for a fist drop of his own, but Lawler moved. King came back with a series of jabs and a hard right hand. Masters raked Lawler’s eyes and choked him across the top rope in retaliation. He then geared up for and applied the Masterlock. As Lawler wore down, Carlito’s music hit and CCC came to the ringside area chewing an apple. Masters let go of the hold to tend to Carlito. CCC spit apple in his eyes, allowing Lawler to get the win with a roll-up at 4:43. (CMV1 rating- *) (CMV1 note- boring match...I kind of enjoyed the Carlito-Masters feud from earlier in the year. At least it gets Carlito on TV, right? I guess he’s not going to make it otherwise since he isn’t “acting like the Rock” like they reportedly wanted him to)

    The next Hardy Boyz classic moment was the No Mercy ladder match they had with Edge and Christian…a true classic…

    The Steelers are in the house! Hey, I know that guy in the #54 jersey! That’s John Dekker…he played football at Princeton with a friend of mine (and is now on the Steelers practice squad, I believe)! Sweet!

    Umaga and Armando Alejandro Estrada came to the ring. AAE said that Umaga was unstoppable at Survivor Series last night and introduced footage of him taking out Team Cena with a video monitor. Estrada hyped the list of competitors that Umaga has beaten since April. He said that the time has come for Umaga to become WWE Champion. Estrada called out John Cena, put him on notice, and made the official challenge for a WWE title match. At that point, the WWE Champion John Cena came to the ring. Cena ripped the mic away from Estrada as the crowd chanted his name. He said he accepted the challenge and the two had a stare down in the middle of the ring. Cena took off his hat and shirt and got ready for battle. Umaga responded in kind. Estrada didn’t want Umaga to fight and convinced him to leave the ring. (CMV1 note- had to happen eventually and this is as good a time as ever. Odds are against them having any strong matches, but the feud could be good if booked well. Tonight was a pretty solid start to the Cena-Umaga hype machine)

    JR and King introduced footage of a comedian’s bad routine that included several racist comments about black people and Indians, among others…Cryme Tyme showed up to respond to the guy. They punked the guy out, making the guy apologize repeatedly. Cryme Tyme beat the guy up to the delight of the crowd.

    Backstage, IC Champ Jeff Hardy was warming up when Edge approached him. He asked Jeff if he and Orton’s beat down of Flair was a painful reminder of how he used to beat down he and Matt back in the day. Edge reminded Jeff of his impressive resume and called Matt Hardy the most overrated piece of crap on the roster…claiming that Matt was holding Jeff down. Orton and Matt showed up to give final hype to their upcoming tag title bout…

    Don’t forget about Cena vs. K-Fed on New Year’s…

    Match 5: World Tag Team Champions Randy Orton and Edge vs. Matt Hardy and Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy
    -(CMV1 note- the tag titles were on the line). Jeff started against Orton. The crowd got behind Jeff, as Orton grabbed a headlock. Hardy fought out, but got knocked down with a shoulder tackle. Jeff came back with a monkey toss and tagged Matt. Matt rammed Orton shoulder-first into the turnbuckle and tagged Jeff. Orton regrouped, blasted Jeff with a hard forearm shot, and tagged Edge. Hardy tried to comeback with a jawbreaker, but Edge blocked it with his knee. Orton tagged in and wailed away on Jeff with hard punches and stomps. He followed with a jumping knee drop for a near fall and tagged Edge. The Rated-R Superstar scored with a running elbow drop and a standing dropkick. Edge then locked on a surfboard stretch. Hardy battled back to his feet, but Edge yanked him back to the mat via the hair. Orton came back in and choked Jeff across the second rope. The Legend Killer maintained control and tagged Edge back into the match. Edge taunted the crowd and prevented Jeff from tagging Matt. Orton and Edge tried for a double team, but Hardy countered into a double DDT. Hardy then dove to the corner and tagged Matt, who came in and cleaned house with clotheslines, a running splash on Edge, and a bulldog-clothesline combo on the both of them. The Hardys hit a double suplex on Orton. They went to opposite top turnbuckles for the Event Omega, but Edge pushed Jeff off the top rope. Orton, meanwhile, caught up to Matt. Matt pushed him back to the canvas and went for a top rope moonsault. Unfortunately for V1, Orton moved and tagged out to Edge. The former WWE Champion set-up in the corner for a Spear, as we got a dreaded mid-match commercial break. Damn! Back from the break, Orton had Matt in a rear chinlock with a grapevine. Hardy battled back to his feet, but Orton took him right back to the mat with a knee lift. Edge tagged in and taunted the crowd. Matt tried to take advantage and get to his corner, but Edge grabbed him with a rear necked choke and grapevine. During the break, Edge speared Matt, but Jeff broke up the pin. Back to live action, Hardy again battled back to his feet, but Edge back body dropped him to maintain control. Edge backed Matt into the corner with forearm shots. Hardy fought back, but Edge gave him a drop toehold and tagged Orton. Randy came in and proceeded to give Matt three consecutive jumping knee drops. The Legend Killer then blasted Matt with several clubbing forearm shots to the chest before again grabbing a rear chokehold with a grapevine. The crowd chanted for Hardy. Edge tagged in and placed Matt on the top turnbuckle for a super back drop. Hardy fought back and hammered Edge off the turnbuckle. Matt connected with his moonsault this time! 1…2…No! Edge kicked out and tagged Orton, who prevented Matt from tagging Jeff. Hardy fought back again and traded blows with Orton in the middle of the ring. Matt eventually got the best of him, countered an Orton back drop, and made the hot tag to Jeff. Jeff came in on fire with a double dropkick and the Whisper in the Wind on Orton for a close near fall. Matt hit the Side Effect on Edge and combined with Jeff for a double Side Effect on Orton for a very close near fall. They proceeded to combine for a second rope leg drop and leg drop to the groin combo. Edge pulled Jeff out of the ring, but Matt caught him with a plancha over the top. The Hardys went for Poetry in Motion on Orton, but Randy moved out of the way and went for the RKO on Jeff. Jeff countered and pushed Orton right into a Matt Hardy Twist of Fate. Jeff hit the Swanton Bomb! 1…2…No! Edge broke up the pin with the help of the tag title belt, prompting the DQ. The Hardys defeated Edge and Orton via DQ at 16:49. After the match, Edge and Orton took turns hitting their finishers on the Hardys. JR hyped that DX would be back to pick up business next week. (CMV1 rating- ***) (CMV1 note- damn good tag title match with a crappy ending. The Hardy Boyz are good for this show. It’d be nice to see them, MNM, and the World’s Greatest Tag Team all reform to help rebuild the struggling division. They can all still have their singles careers, too, but it’s not like any of them are headed for the main-event any time soon)

    All in all…From top to bottom, this was probably the best Raw since prior to the summer. The storytelling was much better than usual, in that many feuds were given new direction and there was better overall flow. The Flair beat down adds a nice second tier reason for Edge and Orton to feud with DX. Speaking of DX, they were much more amusing tonight with their insider jokes. They ought to do that more often, rather than try and act 15 years old. Cena-Umaga, love it or eventually hate it, got off to a nice, definitive start. The main-event and opening matches were both good for different reasons. The Flair/DX vs. Squad match was the sports entertainment kind of good that we saw an abundance of last night on PPV, while the tag title match was my kind of good…the exciting wrestling kind of good. The Hardys are such a breath of fresh air in tag team wrestling. I’m giving tonight’s show a very strong (and CMV1 record tying) 7/10 and calling it a night…

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