Ruthless Aggression #16. WrestleMania 23 (April 1, 2007) Part 1

On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #16 WrestleMania 23 – April 1, 2007

The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.

Ten years ago, on April 1, 2007, WrestleMania 23 aired. It was a WWE PPV, the first one since Royal Rumble back in January. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next few weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

WWE WrestleMania 23

All Grown Up.

Ha ha! All grown up. Because, you see, it’s the old blood versus the new blood. Cena and Michaels. Batista and Undertaker.

If there is one thing I love about each year being a wrestling fan, it’s the Royal Rumble. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s WrestleMania. Yep, there, I said it. WrestleMania has so much hype surrounding it that it cannot help but disappoint. The best thing about Mania is normally the entrances and the crazy spots. The matches are sub-par, normally, and half of it is aimed at the people who don’t watch wrestling but want to see celebrities. I would hate, hate, hate to go to WrestleMania and be anywhere but the front row. I’ve seen pictures of the ring from the nose-bleed seats. It is no way to spend your money.

WrestleMania 23 was at a time when wrestling ratings were low but spending was high. Trying to recoup losses, WWE made ‘Mania as crazy as possible and called in some old friends and crazy matches to intrigue and entertain fans. Let’s see if it’s just a full undercard!

Old promo package showing the titles of the last twenty-two WrassleManias. We see Hogan, Andre, Warrior, Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Rock, Shane McMahon, Triple H, Eddit, Cena etc. There’s a big pop for the fact that WrassleMania is all grown up. Hey! That’s the tagline!

Here we are in Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan, the city that never stops stabbing, we join 80,103 people in attendance with 1,188,000 at home (higher than the 930,000 from the year before) as the Queen of Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin sings America The Beautiful with a whole fucking choir and a piano and shit. Lovely promo package showing some soldiers, bombers, mountains, a woman in a sea of soldiers, firemen, the statue of Liberty, Shawn Michaels, more soldiers on parade, John Cena, Maria, a bald eagle, Abraham Lincoln’s statue, more bombers and big pyro. USA! USA! USA!

Fucking jingoistic bollocks.

Cut to everyone in a corridor, being kids, saying one line each and looking into the camera. It’s actually a fucking brilliant promo package. It looks amazing. Except for the laughable bits with the women. You’re not champions, ladies.

Raw, Smackdown and ECW present WrestleMania 23! Big pyro hits and we are officially welcomed in by Jim JR Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler. The other announcers are Cunt JBL and Maggle Cole. ECW is here as well: Joey Styles and Tazz.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Ric Flair and Carlito teaming up to defeat Gregory Helms and Chavo Guerrero. It was a lumberjack match and an excuse for some lads to get a WresleMania payday without doing much. They included: Viscera, Shad Gaspard and JTG of Cryme Tyme, Chris Masters, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas of the world’s greatest tag team, Robbie and Rory McAllister of the Highlanders, Val Venis, Super Crazy, Johnny Nitro, Jim Duggan and Eugene, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, Kenny Dykstra, Daivari, Shannon Moore, Sylvain Grenier, Deuce n’ Domino, Paul London and Brian Kendrick who should really have been on the fucking show, The Miz, Vito, Scotty 2 Hotty, William Regal, Dave Taylor, Jimmy Wang Yang, Jamie Noble, Sho Funaki, Balls Mahoney, Stevie Richards, Little Guido, Cunt Bob Holly and Snitsky. Phew!)

The opening contest, as Lillian and her plunging neckline tell us, is for a contract to allow the winner to have a championship match at any time.

First down is Jeff Hardy, first appearance in five years. He hardly gets halfway down the ramp before Booker T comes down with his King gimmick and his mental wife Sharmell. What a guy. Thankfully, she does not hail him.

Fucking Finlay is next, shaming all Irish people with his bollocks.

CM Punk comes down with his electric guitar entrance. No Cult of Personality to be heard.

Kennedy! Fuck right off. The camera can’t have him at all. His mic actually falls from the roof. That’s quite cool, actually.

Ooooooh yeaaaah! It’s fat Matt Hardy. Jeff! Matt! Hardys! Hardyz! Team Extreme! Same match!

What? Randy Orton! Hey! There’s nothing in my way! Nothing gonna change what you done to me! Brilliant. It’s a great matchup already.

The other member of Rated-RKO turns up. Big Edgey. Down he comes, face on him. He’s desperate to kick the shite out of everyone tonight. The announcers put over tag team dissension.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Mr Kennedy def. CM Punk, Randy Orton, Finlay, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and King Booker (w/ Queen Sharmell) via ascension to the heavens in 19:10.

Referees on the outside. All the men stare at the ceiling and then leave the ring. Kennedy and Randy pair off. Finlay takes his damn time, goes top rope and has a bowling ball spot, knocking everyone off. Edge gets a ladder, sets it up mid-ring and Matt pulls him down from it. Randy and Finlay take their place, punching atop the ladder until it falls over. Jeff goes up, damn near gets the briefcase until Kennedy takes him down. Outside, Booker goes for a ladder and finds a tiny stepladder. It is used by CM Punk as a weapon until Edge tosses it at his face and busts him wide open. Blood already.

The ladder is set up against the barricade like a bridge and CM Punk reverses a suplex to avoid being put through it. Booker cleans house in the ring and does a spinneroony before the Hardys knock him down. Matt hits a Side Effect on Edge and set up the ladder in a repeat of the Joey Mercury spot that opened it up but escapes and suplexes Matt onto it instead.

It’s Kennedy’s turn to be in the ring and sets Matt up for the Kenton bomb, bopping the back of his head off the edge of the ladder. Jeff hits the Swanton and both Hardys use the ladder to clear house. They both climb the ladder and fight each other on top. Finlay tosses the ladder over and batters everyone, clearing the house and lifting up the ladder before Edge spear him followed by Randy, Booker, Finlay, Matt, Jeff and attempts to spear CM Punk but he leapfrogs. Then we have a Three Stooges spot with CM Punk putting the ladder on his head and knocking the shit out of everyone.

Edge is alone and getting big boos when he leaves to get the biggest ladder. The announcers make penis jokes.

Edge lifts up the ladder and sets it near the briefcase. Randy is up and pushes the ladder – and Edge! – over, out onto the concrete. Jeff knocks Randy down, sets the ladder up and moves the ladder about. Matt sets up Edge on the ladder-bridge and Jeff decides not to climb the ladder to get the briefcase (it’s miles away anyways) and hits a dumb leg drop onto Edge. Lots of time spent focussing on these two men. Edge looks legit hurt and Matt looks worried.

Randy RKOs Matt then Finlay and Kennedy. He sets up a ladder – very small ladder – and slowly ascends it. CM Punk is up, hits Orton and sets the two ladders next to each other. Both men climb the ladders and the video cuts to Edge being “eliminated” by being sent out on a stretcher. Randy and Punk have a lovely RKO off the top rope but Randy is up to beat on Booker and sets up another RKO but booker reverses into a Book End and goes back up the ladder. Matt Hardy enters and so does Sharmell. He threatens to give the Twist of Fate to Booker’s wife if he doesn’t descend the ladder. Booker, to his credit, does, and gets a Twist of Fate for his effort. Finlay comes in, lifts the ladder, sending Matt flying. Finlay is bust open. He gives Matt the Celtic Cross on the ladder and sells it like it hurt him. It did not.

Finlay is bust badly, having difficulty getting up. And then Hornswoggle comes in. Oh God. He goes up the ladder himself to help Finlay. He’s nearly there and Kennedy is in, up the ladder and shouting at Hornswoggle. Little Bastard slaps Kennedy and gives him a lovely rolling senton from the ladder. Finlay throws the ladder straight at Kennedy’s face. Finlay is climbing, inches away when Punk dropkicks the ladder and sends him off. Punk sets up the ladder, he could win this, there are no others in the ring… until Kennedy comes in and the pair exchange blows. Punk kicks Kennedy and the blonde bastard picks up a ladder, throws it, repositions the ladder mid-ring and gets the briefcase to win the Money in the Bank in 19:10.

2017 comments:

Good opener. High-octane, lovely spots, setting the scene and getting a little blood in already. Only downside is that not everyone in the match was equally used, especially Finlay (apart from the end), Punk (who seemed to just fill in when no one was available), Edge (in, out, shake it all about) and Jeff Hardy (who did one spot and left).

2007 comments:

Fucking Kennedy. Why did it have to be Kennedy?

Grade: B

Kennedy runs out of the ring and up the aisle, away from the ring, happy to be shot of the place. Some great replays of the last few minutes. Hornswoggle took a great hot on the ribs, boy.

Cut to the theatrical release of The Condemned with Stone Cold Steve Austin. The release was basically like a wrasslin’ match. Lots of cheering and that.

Backstage, Todd Grisham is speaking to Mr. Kennedy, who is inspecting his briefcase as if to ask, “How does this open?” and, “Where are the sweets? I was promised that sweets would be inside.”

Oh, Kennedy,

He interrupts Todd, congratulates himself and sends a message to the lads in the back with gold because Kennedy has a contract to kill any of them… with a referee and ring permitting, of course. He is, after all, Mr. Money in the Bank… Bank.

Cut to Baby Batista promo where our boy Dave talks about his childhood. Is it legit? Is it kayfabe? We may never know. He says he has a focus – wrasslin’ – and it’s his passion. That and going to space.

It’s time for the piss break match as Khali enters to a silence. Fuck off. You’re no good and you’re pushed to be better than Taker. Nonsense. He’s fighting Kane and not even Jobber to the Stars can help this nonsense.

Big pyro and down he comes, walking with a purpose and big chubby belly on him. He gets into the ring, smiles creepily and the bell rings.

The Great Khali def. Kane via pin in 5:31.

Khali pushes Kane to the ground and the Big Red Machine sells it like a shotgun blast. Kane boots him in the nuts, runs the ropes and Khali says no. Chop attempts from the Punjabi Playboy and Kane goes flying. Kane gives Khali a wee guillotine, gets a clothesline for his efforts. JR and King are trying to put over this match and failing. Khali hits the Vulcan Nerve Pinch and Kane fights to his feet. The crowd are dead. No interaction with them. Khali has Kane in the corner and chokes him for a bit. Kane fights back, gives Khali big right hands and is tossed back. Kane goes top rope, attempts a clothesline and a boot. Khali gets stuck in the ropes, tied up like Andre. Kane goes under the ring, gets a hook and chain – like the ones used in See No Evil! – and it hooks onto the ropes. Khali rips off the turnbuckle pad and Kane uses the chain to hit the low blow. Big body slam from Kane and there’s a huge pop! WrestleMania 3 callback! Andre! Hogan! Kane! Khali! Kane and Khali shake chokes for a bit until Khali chokeslams Kane, puts a foot on his chest and gets the pin in 5:31.

2017 comments:

I love Kane and this was guff. Other than the body slam and the pop, this was a waste of time.

2007 comments:

Oh Kane, how far have you fallen?

Grade: F

Khali chokes Kane, gets some extra heat and leaves.

On the Card will return on April 8 2017 with the second part of WrestleMania 23.

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Ruthless Aggression #15. No Way Out (February 18, 2007) Part 1

The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.

Ten years ago, on February 18, 2007, No Way Out 2007. It was a Smackdown the first of its kind since Armageddon in December 2006. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

No Way Out 2007

No tagline this time either. The poster is The Undertaker in a dark hallway, looking through his eyebrows. Behind him is a barred door. The “No Way Out” at the bottom has chains on it. I see the subtle innuendo.

The opening is a slow walk through a prison. “Tonight, for these four superstars… There is no way out.” Vince says that there is going to be a tag team match between Cena and Michaels vs. Undertaker and Batista. He says this match is one the likes of which will never be seen before. It’s a match where there’s no trust between the tag teams. Nope. Never seen this before in my entire life ever.

We see some sort of labyrinthine hallway of doors and cells before we are told that SmackDown! presents WWE No Way Out. Just as the superstars are stuck in a prison of their own creation, we too are stuck in the fucking Staples Centre, Los Angeles, California where 14,000 people are in attendance with a buyrate of 218,000 at home, a tiny drop from the 220,000 the previous year. There’s big pyro and my heart stops as Moustache Michael Cole and Cunt JBL invite us to the detour on the Road to Wrasslemania. They say that this last-minute crap tag is the biggest main event in SmackDown history. We are about to be introduced to our Spanish colleages but Cunt JBL shouts racist things about hating bi-lingual places. I tell you what, I can’t wait to see the back of him.

Despite his racism, we see our lovely Spanish colleagues, Carlos Cabrera and Hugo Savinovich. A great pair of lads. They hammer on in Spanish for ages. What a pair of lads. Hugo ends it with, “Waaaaow!”

 (Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring… Rob Van Dam against Shelton Benjamin?! What did either of them do to deserve that?)

Oh great, the first match is a six-man tag. Fucking Teddy Long and his love for tag matches. There will be four this evening. This… displeases me. The first one out is MVP, our boy with his big-ass legs and awesome pyro. He’s a great heel. We need someone like him. Cole says that this is, “a treat”, similar to how someone might give you fruitcake as a treat, which is neither a fruit nor a cake.

Big red carpet and down comes Mankin- sorry, it’s MNM. Joey is still rocking that mask, though. Fair play to you, big man. Take a bow. Melina is there with an ill-fitting top on. JBL quotes The Mask, which is not the first time. Melina lifts her legs onto the apron and we see her bottom. JBL: “Even you would like that, Michael.” Cole: “I… love it.” And now JBL likes Mexicans.

Hardys come out. Jeff is raving away there, winged off his tits. The annoucners really big up the match at Armageddon where the Hardys hit the leg drop and bust open Joey.

Down comes [REDACTED] Benoit. No big entrance for him. He just walks down and lifts his US championship belt. JBL gives off because Cole says, “Ohhhh my!”

Siz-Man Tag Team match: [REDACTED] Benoit and The Hardy Boyz def Montel Vontavious Porter and MNM (w/ Melina) via submission in 14:19.

No titles on the line here, no one cares. It’s a payday for the lot of them. Jeff and Joey maybe have beef over the ladder incident and although Johnny and Matt will stand up for their partners, MVP and Benoit are just along for the ride. Big “Hardy!” chant rises from the crowd as Joey and Matt square off. Cole bigs up the rivalry between MNM and Hardys as Melina screams at ringside. Joey gets a boot to the face and Matt hits the axe-handle nothing. Jeff comes in and goes for the pin instantly but gets naught. Matt is back in and Johnny is tagged. Lovely hip toss by Matt followed by slaps on the back. MVP tags himself in and goes for a dodgy bodyslam. Benoit is in and rips on MVP. Cole tells us that he has only one gear – fifth gear.

MVP fights back and a lovely snapmare and pin but gets nothing. MVP escapes, tags in Joey, who refuses. MVP is back in and gets tossed about by Benoit. Lovely snap suplex and pin attempt. Jeff is in and beats on MVP in the corner. Johnny scrambles about the place and gets a backwards enziguri and double leg drop to Johnny’s balls. Nitro slaps Hardy and they chase each other when Little Naitch’s back is turned. Crappy snapmare – crapmare – and Johnny is holding Jeff in a little spooning cuddle mid-ring. Jeff gets to his feet, batters Johnny in the midsection and Melina is frustrated that a pin attempt did not work. More chinlocks on Jeff. Chinlock city.

MVP is back in and distracts the ref while Johnny hits on Jeff. Nice suplex and pin attempt. Johnny is back in and hits Jeff with an attempted backdrop but Jeff hits Whisper in the Wind. Matt is in for the tepid tag and clears house, hits the bulldog from the corner, hits the Side Effect. Matt gets a backdrop from MVP and a snapmare followed by chinlock city. MVP hits the gutwrench and hits an elbow with theatrics. Benoit breaks up the pin. Mercury is in, getting the thumb in Matt’s eye like Umaga. Gimmick infringement. Melina goes to slap Matt but the ref turns around. Joey is in the corner with his team mates, beating on Matt. Nitro attempts the pin but gets nothing. Facelock city.

The crowd claps, attempting to get the hot tag up. Matt hits the clothesline, can’t seem to get to Benoit but goes eventually. Benoit clears house and hits a lovely suplex of Joey onto MVP followed by a double German suplex as MNM hold on to each other for dear life. Hardys hit Poetry in Motion. Matt hits the Twist of Fate but Cole calls it a side effect. Jeff hits the Swanton, Benoit gets the flying headbutt and MVP breaks up the pin. Jeff attempts a sunset flip on Nitro outside but fails. MVP tries to DQ Benoit with a US Championship to the face but Johnny breaks it up. Joey beats on Benoit and MNM go for the Snapshot, attempts the cover, fails and hits the crossface instead, getting the win in 14:19.

2017 comments:

Not a great curtain jerker and has crescendo booking with nothing happening for most of the match then everyone hits their finishers and the faces win.

2007 comments:

Why was Benoit there?

Grade: B

Backstage, the “vivacious” Kristal is there, forgetting her lines. “The wife of Eddie Guerrero… (legit pause of about five seconds)… Vicky Guerrero.” Christ, you’re a terrible woman. Big boos and big pauses again. Kristal and Vicky shamble their way through a shitty promo and awkward hug.

Cut to Finlay and Little Bastard as they cut a shitty promo on little people. Finlay tells Little Bastard to stay where he is. He refuses so Finlay puts him in a bin, which smokes and turns red. It turns out that Little Boogeyman was inside. Repulsive.

Back in the arena, it’s time for the Cruiserweight Open. It’s basically a shitty Royal Rumble.

Oh wait, no, I take that back. The first entrant is Scotty 2 Hotty. This is going to be the best match of the card, y’all haters can go fuck yourselves. Out comes the hyped up – and best – member of Too Cool.

Daivari’s music hits. He comes out with little fanfare but by gum he looks great. He was given such a shitty gimmick.

Cruiserweight Open for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Chavo Guerrero def. Gregory Helms (c), Scotty 2 Hotty, Daivari, Sho Funaki, Shannon Moore, Jimmy Wang Yang and Jamie Noble via elimination in 14:11.

A First Challenger Appears: Scotty 2 Hotty.

A Second Challenger Appears: Daivari.

NOTE: The times given for each elimination are how long the competitor stayed in the ring.

Daivari has an earring. The fool. Daivari goes for three pins in a row instantly, followed by a bodyslam and some punches to the face. Daivari gets some heat from the crowd for being Middle-Eastern. Racists. Scotty hits the facebuster and hits the WORM. Brilliantly awful move. He gets the pin from it.

Daivari has been eliminated by Scotty 2 Hotty in 1:39.

A Third Challenger Appears: Gregory Helms.

It’s the current Cruiserweight Champion! Down he comes to the ring, gets bopped a few times by Scotty and the pair of them trade blows in the corner. Scotty looks like he’s crying and gets a slingshot to the throat. Pin attempt and fail. The crowd bay for Scotty, but we know he’s done. He charges Helms into the corner, follows it up with smacks to the face and Scotty hits the backdrop, attempts another WORM, gives Scotty a knee to the face and the pin.

Scotty 2 Hotty has been eliminated by Gregory Helms in 2:06.

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Sho Funaki.

Oh no! It’s the sneaky Japanese!

Funaki slides in, wearing his Smackdown trunks, goes for the cross-body but Helms rolls through, grabs the tights, shows off Funaki’s arse and gets the pin.

Sho Funaki has been eliminated by Gregory Helms in 26 seconds.

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Shannon Moore.

Looking like a Jeff Hardy from some alternate universe, Shannon Moore rocks up with his Mohawk and mental makeup. The two roll out and Shannon hits a lovely springboard to hurricanrana. Shannon hits the spinebuster and pin attempt but fails. Shannon hits a lovely bridging pin followed by a jumping neckbreaker. Cunt JBL and Cole share homophobic remarks. Helms hits the superplex on Moore and a knee to the jaw followed by a pin.

Shannon Moore has been eliminated by Gregory Helms in 2:02.

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Jimmy Wang Yang.

This has been a great match so far… for Gregory Helms. It’s okay, though, our resident redneck is down to kick some arse and take some names. Lovely standing moonsault and “yahoo!” from Jimmy Wang Yang. He goes for the ten-punch and fails. Lovely roll-up and Wang Yang hits the side-Russian leg sweep followed by a weird submission. Top-rope moonsault that misses and Helms knocks him down. Jimmy Wang Yang hits the hurricanrana and gets the pin.

Gregory Helms has been eliminated by Jimmy Wang Yang in 1:49.

A Seventh Challenger Appears: Jamie Noble.

Before Noble comes out, Helms hits the neckbreaker, laying Jimmy Wang Yang out. Noble goes for the pin as Gregory Helms watches on. Big slaps from Noble and another pin attempt. Lovely body slam and leg drop and Cunt JBL keeps talking despite the fact that no one wants him here. Chinlock city. Awkward Irish whip and Noble attempts the pin but fails after Jimmy rockets into the turnbuckle. Jimmy stunners Noble and hits the Atomic Drop. An almost pin after a dropkick. Suplex attempt and Noble escapes, hits the spinning leg kick. Jimmy goes to the top rope and slaps at Jimmy. Goes for the superplex but Jimmy says no and hits the top-rope moonsault for the pin.

Jamie Noble has been eliminated by Jimmy Wang Yang in 3:43.

Jimmy Wang Yang is the Winner of the WWE Cruiser-

Ohhh, Chavo!

An Eighth and Final Challenger Appears: Chavo Guerrero.

Whaaat? A surprise entry? Christ!

Chavo jumps in and the pair of them square off before Chavo hits the side-suplex and boots on Jimmy. Roidy Guerrero attacks Jimmy and takes a spinning leg kick to the face. Chavo is sent out over the top and Jimmy goes to the top-rope, hits a monstrous cross-body, rolls Chavo in, hits a missile dropkick but Chavo counters and hits the Three Amigos, goes to the top, gets mega boos for attempting the frog splash but Jimmy hits a top-rope Hurricanrana, almost gets the pin. He goes top rope again but Chavo is there to stop him. He is knocked off the top rope. Jimmy attempts the corkscrew moonsault, Chavo dodges, hits the Frog Splash and the pin.

Jimmy Wang Yang has been eliminated by Chavo Guerrero in 4:07.

Chavo Guerrero is the Winner of the WWE Cruiserweight Open and new WWE Cruiserweight Champion in 14:11.

2017 comments:

I don’t understand the point of this. Is there a feud developing here? Who is supposed to go over? Had Helms squashed everyone but just been barely able to put Jimmy Wang Yang away and Jimmy had fought Jamie for a good few minutes followed by a tough match with Chavo, I can understand it. Add six minutes onto the runtime and add that into the last three bouts and I can get it: Jimmy Wang Yang is good enough not only to put away a tired Gregory Helms, but also fight toe-to-toe with Noble and Guerrero before he finally loses. Then Helms would go over – a tough champ who put away all other challengers – and Jimmy would go over – he beat the champ – and Chavo would go over – he beat the tired winner. But… it was a clean finish. Jimmy just lost. And who wants to see Chavo with a belt? No one.

2007 comments:

I like Jimmy Wang Yang.

Grade: B

Disappointing, both for the fans and the wrestlers. We already hate Chavo. No need to make us hate him more. I see that Vicky isn’t there to congratulate him. Obviously they’ve split up and expanded their evil into other areas of the Fed. Replays of the win. Cole calls him disrespectful and the crowd can’t give less of a shit about him.

On the Card will return on February 25 2017 with the second part of No Way Out 2007!

Ruthless Aggression #11: ECW December to Dismember (Dec 3 2006) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Drizzling shits.

Backstage, Sabu is being loaded into an ambulance. Don’t know why it’s taken so long for that to happen. RVD and CM Punk are there, ready to look disappointed.

Out come Daivari and the Great Khali. Well, they can go fuck themselves. Daivari shouts in a foreign language. The cheek of him! Don’t he know that this is America? The announcers attempt to big up Khali, who is not even wrestling this evening.

Tommy Dreamer’s music hits and the man himself comes out, not getting as big a pop as he should, really. The crowd chant for ECW as the bell rings.

Daivari (w/ The Great Khali) def. Tommy Dreamer via pin in 7:22.

Why isn’t Beulah out? She should be there, taking chokeslams from Khali or whatever. Daivari takes over at the start and Tommy goes after Khali until Daivari rolls back in the ring and gets a lovely hip toss for his effort. Daivari goes outside, takes an almost-countout and Tommy drop toe-holds him. Lovely baseball slide to Tommy’s head and Daivari is thrown into the barricade. In the ring, Dreamer give Daivari a lovely suplex and goes to bounce off the ropes but Khali pulls on them, causing Dreamer to fall outside the ring and for Khali to be ejected from ringside. Brilliant. Crowd are loving it.

In the ring, Tommy is being beaten on by Daivari and gets into a chinlock in the centre of the ring. Tommy gets slammed to the floor, gets an elbow drop and knees to the spine and elbows to the neck. The crowd urge Dreamer to “Fuck ‘em up.” More chinlocks, a rear-naked choke to be exact. Tommy’s fist pounds, fighting to his feet and lifting Daivari on his back until Dreamer falls back, slamming the pair of them down. Fists swing mid-ring and Daivari goes on his back. Lovely back-body drop and Dreamer gives Daivari the inverted DDT but gets no pin. Fireman’s carry followed by a rake to the eyes and Daivari goes top-rope. Dreamer attempts to throw him off but Daivari jumps for the headbutt and misses. Tommy fires Daivari into the Tree of Woe and the dropkick. Then Daivari hits the roll-up and wins.

2016 comments:

Crappy start, good middle, shitty ending.

2006 comments:

I was almost enjoying that.

Grade: C

Tommy, embarrassed, goes after Daivari. Khali appears and throws Tommy onto the Titantron. It is shitty and weak-looking even in the replay. In fact, they show the replay a number of times. Is Tommy legit hurt? Who is to know? Wait… wait… Tommy is sitting up! He’s fine. He’s back! He’s alive! Fuck yeah! Tommy Dreamer! ECW! Etc.

Paul Heyman is looking for someone and he finds Hardcore Holly. We all know what’s going to happen here. He suggests that Hardcore Holly replace Sabu. Bob Holly can’t act to save his life. God damned Sparky Plugg.

Mike Knox’s music plays and he comes out hand-in-hand with Kelly Kelly. It’s a mixed-gender tag team match. Yeo. This is going to be worth the airtime, I tell you what. Mike gives off to Kelly Kelly and as he goes to the corners, Kelly wishes CM Punk good luck in the Elimination Chamber. Christ.

Then Ariel and Kevin Thorn come out. They’re goths, you see. They’re called “two followers of vampirism”. As a kid, I loved Ariel, I thought she was the bees knees. Now, I see her as a semi-talented wrestler. Bell rings.

Intergender Tag Team match: Kevin Thorn and Ariel def. Mike Knox and Kelly Kelly via pin in 7:43.

The thing with having a male/female tag matches is that there are two kinds: intergender and mixed. In intergender, it works like a normal tag match where the legal partner tags in the one on the apron to help out in ring; in mixed, when two males are squaring off and one tags in his female partner, his opponent’s female partner must also tag in. The first is for hardcore and to allow lads to hit ladies; the second is a bit more PC and family friendly and stops the misogyny… or at least cuts back on it.

Thorn and Knox start off with Mike giving a few stretches and Kelly jumping on the apron. Kevin and Mike lock up. It is clear that Mike is the stronger of the two and Thorn wants to figure out his weaknesses. Quick dodge from Thorn and a punch to Knox’s face to knock him down. Ariel is distracting the cameraman with her arse. Knox tages over, pulling Thorn by the hair and knocking him to the ground with a huge punch. The pace here is slow and Ariel screams more than Melina. Lovely clothesline from Thorn and he gives Kelly a good hard stare. Tazz: “Good look there, Joey, like kismet… kismet, I say!”

Knox gives Thorn the big boot and goes for the pin but Kevin’s foot is on the rope. The crowd are going mental as Ariel is jumping up and down on the Apron as Knox gets Thorn in the headlock. The ladies haven’t been in yet but Ariel tags herself in and calls for Kelly Kelly to enter the ring. Kelly, just happy to be in attendance, points at herself as if to say, “My name is Kelly.” The crowd go mental. Ariel hits the big boot and gives Kelly a semi-tarantula on the ropes. A few punches and a crowd-pleasing boot to the throat follows. Ariel pulls on Kelly’s hair a lot. Kelly escapes Ariel’s hold and reaches for Mike but gets pulled back. Ariel does a bad dance and as Kelly goes to tag in Mike, he walks away, keeping her in the ring. Ariel takes over, giving her the fallaway chokeslam and sitting on Kelly’s face for the pin in 7:43.

2016 comments:

Godammit, so close to being a good match! If the boys had a bit more back-and-forth and the hot tag were better built up, this could have been a winner.

2006 comments:

If I just, like, hang about in Hot Topic, can I find a girl that looks like Ariel? I wouldn’t want to go out with her, just look at her for a while.

Grade: C

Ariel is about to leave but returns to Kelly to beat on her some more. The bell rings and… Oh yeah, it’s Sandman. Coming in for what reason? It’s in his contract, probably. The man stops, busts open a beer, busts open his own face, goes into the ring, swings his Singapore cane about and whips Kevin Thorn like a motherfucker. Sandman chases him up the ramp and whips him backstage, taking out a second beer and guzzling it, throwing it to the crowd afterwards. What a guy. What a terrible, terrible guy.

We’re getting ready for the Extreme Elimination Chamber and backstage, Rebecca DiPietro interviews Bobby Lashley, showing a promo of Bobby being screwed over by Paul Heyman during a match with Big Show. Bobby is upset about that. Rebecca mutters her way through a question and Bobby stumbles through his answer.

Cut to the Big Show, Bob Holly and Test walking to the ring with Paul E Dangerously and his goon squad.

Cut to a promo of the six men who will be fighting in the elimination chamber. This one is different because there are weapons. Funnily enough, this promo still has Sabu in it, which is good Kayfabe, I suppose. We see Bobby, CM Punk, RVD, Test, Sabu and Big Show hit people. Two miles of chain in the Elimination Chamber, apparently. The other stats don’t matter.

ECW music hits and out comes Paul E Dangerously himself, now known as Paul Heyman. He’s a great lad all together. He tells the crowd that this is their main event. The crowd cheer. As he talks, one member of the crowd tells him he sucks. He name-checks Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair – big woos from the crowd – and makes it out that he’s some sort of god in wrestling. He mentions Sabu and the crowd are not happy about this.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Sabu was removed from the chamber due to rumours that there was aminosity surrounding him and the Fed don’t respect him due to his reliance on hardcore matches.

Paul tells us that the time of Sabu and RVD has come to an end. Big boos. Heyman is riling the crowd up and the chamber lowers. The crowd is dead, no one is moving, no one his happy. Tazz says that he felt like he was welcome in the chamber. That’s true. He isn’t welcome anywhere near the damn thing.

The rules pop up, telling us that five minute intervals will open each pod with a new wrestler and new weapon.

Big Show’s music hits and the man comes down to the ring with his ECW world championship. He enters the chamber, look around and is ordered into a pod with the barbed wire baseball bat. He tests the barbed wire. Apparently, it is real.

CM Punk’s music hits and down he comes. Big Show’s face is against the plastic like a dog stuck in a car. Punk hops into the ring and is asked to go to a pod. He does, but not before harassing the Big Show in his. Big Show has forced his arm out of the pod already.

Test’s music hits and the crowd is silent. Ould Roidy Magoo comes down with his huge belly and his lack of talent. Tazz calls him one of the most intense athletes in the ECW roster, which is a lie. Big Show claps for Test and the ear-pierced idiot is put into a pod with a crowbar. By Christ, what is Gordon Freeman doing in a wrestling match?

Three pods filled and number four comes down: Bobby Lashley. Pathetic pyro. Lashley is the babyface, but not the fan favourite. Lashley is put in a pod with a table so that he can begin to make a refreshing meal for the other gentlemen. Paul Heyman is watching intently.

Hardcore Holly’s music hits and old Elroy Jetson himself comes to the ring with no humour at all. Awful. The crowd are going to hate him because he’s not Sabu and he’s terrible. Test applauds him with much difficulty.

Finally, we have our man RVD, coming to the ring stoned and all stretched out with his Ying and Yang. He takes his time coming to the ring because he, like everyone here, is not looking forward to this shitshow. RVD and CM Punk are good but Big Show gets gassed early, Holly has no empathy, Bobby is good but too much of a babyface and Test might well eat someone by mistake. The bell rings and the clock starts counting down from five minutes.

Extreme Elimination Match: Bobby Lashley def. Big Show (c) (w/ Paul Heyman), Rob Van Dam, Hardcore Holly, CM Punk and Test via elimination in 24:42.

Twenty-four, forty-two. The palindromic number. RVD and Holly lock up and bounce back and forth as the announcers remind us of the last ten minutes of intros. Holly throws Van Dam out of the ring and in reply, RVD jumps to the cage wall from the turnbuckle and back at Holly. Tazz wonders, “How does he do that?” By jumping. Holly throws RVD into the side of the chamber and gives him a gentle bodyslam before going to the top rope and attempting a top-rope nothing to which RVD reverses. RVD gives a huge Rolling Thunder over the top rope. Holly has a lovely wee lie down and RVD gets a suplex into the ring. Holly attempts a pin and fails. Tazz tells us that the biggest weapon in the Elimination Chamber… is the chamber itself.

Holly dropkicks RVD and the crowd counts down as the flashing roulette of fear opens up CM Punk’s pod. The straight edge lad jumps out, throws a chair at Holly and springboards right off the ropes onto RVD. He throws the chair at RVD, who catches it and throws it back. Then the two put on a better show in a minute than Holly has done in his entire career. Van Dam got bust open at some point and has his head put through the chair in the corner. Holly goes to pin Punk after flinging him into the side of the chamber and fails. Holly boots on Punk and the crowd chant for our boy Phil. RVD is badly bust and there are still two minutes to wait before someone else comes in. Holly suplexes Punk onto the ropes. Holly lifts Punk onto the top rope and there is a huge superplex from the top rope. RVD takes advantage and tries to pin Punk but fails. We have thirty seconds before another pod opens and the crowd are crazy for RVD.

The roulette of pain spins and Test comes out, the useless fuck. He sticks the crowbar’s spike into RVD’s forehead and gets a stunner from Punk. RVD is up with a chair, hitting Test a shot in the head followed by Holly and finally a dropkick with the chair to Punk. Five-Star Frog Splash and Punk is pinned.

CM Punk has been eliminated by RVD in 12:35.

Well that’s the crowd off side now. They’re not going to like that. Test big boots Holly and pins him for the elimination to no fanfare.

Hardcore Holly has been eliminated by Test in 12:45.

RVD climbs on top of the Big Show’s pod and the man leans through to grab him. Test gets up and hits RVD twice with a chair. Test pulls RVD off the pod, puts a chair on him and climbs up top to hit the massive elbow drop for the pin.

RVD has been eliminated by Test in 14:15.

Big Show watches on, a look of horrific ecstasy on his face. The crowd are calling “Bullshit!” even though Test’s elbow drop was pretty impressive… for Test. We’re not dealing with Match of the Year types here, guys. We have New Year’s Baby and Roidy Magoo in here. C’mon. Lower the old standards.

The timer counts down and the penultimate pod opens: Bobby Lashley. But wait! Someone outside is keeping the pod locked. What is the meaning of this? Is there an unknown rule whereby if Bobby fails to leave his pod then he will be disqualified? It’s okay, though, he just uses his table to smash through some steel chains and escape. What a shitty spot.

Lashley escapes, beats on Test mercilessly and throws him into the blocked pod, smashing it open. Bobby throws Test around. The crowd are rabid by this point. Test takes over and holds Lashley by the foot, goes to take his chair and Bobby boots him in the face followed by a fair few clotheslines and a lovely suplex. Lashley gets the crowbar and spears Test, pinning him.

Test has been eliminated by Bobby Lashley in 19:42.

Here we go… Bobby alone in the Elimination Chamber with our boy The Big Show. Paul Heyman is giving Show a bit of a pep talk and with forty seconds left, Bobby is setting up a table to throw at Show, who stares out at him. Bobby chucks a chair at it, too and the pod opens when the time runs out. Big Show slowly walks out with the barbed wire baseball bat and wails on Bobby who only has the chair to protect himself. Bobby ducks and the barbed wire baseball bat is stuck in the chains. The ref has to remove it. Big Show is bust and Bobby throws him into a pod, beating on Show mercilessly.

Show smashes out, damn near knocking a cameraman over. Bobby bounces off the wall as if it is a ring rope. Show chucks him over the rope into the ring. Show calls for the chokeslam and Lashley is about to take it, countering it into a DDT. Paul Heyman looks on in horror. Lashley is up and the two men are swinging fists at each other. Bobby jumps into Lashley’s arms and escapes, bouncing about to give a huge spear to Big Show, winning the match in 24:42

2016 comments:

Good start, shitty middle, horrible ending.

2006 comments:

I don’t understand.

Grade: C

Bobby celebrates as our boy Paul looks on in horror and dismay. Tazz wonders how Lashley did it. With little difficulty. CM Punk and RVD did most of the hard work, being honest. He leaves, clapping hands and holding the championship aloft. Big pyro hits and Bobby’s dead happy.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I gotta say for the ten seconds or so that CM Punk was in this PPV, he kicked arse.

Woman of the Matches: Ariel. No doubt.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: CM Punk!

Best Spot: Jeff’s catapult-to-moonsault onto MNM.

Hatches: Kevin Thorn, Balls Mahoney and Daivari.

Matches: Only one title was on the line and it changed hands: Bobby Lashley wins his first reign as ECW champion.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: This is renowned as the worst PPV of all time, certainly the worst-grossing, but was it really that bad? The last match was an indication of the entire PPV: It started okay and got steadily worse except for a bit in the middle where it was okay again. This PPV could have been so much bigger and better but backstage squabbles, lack of planning and preparation makes it just so. It’s still better than wrasslin’ used to be, mind.

On the Card will return on December 17 2016 with the Smackdown PPV Armageddon 2006.