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 2

Previously on On the Card: Benoit was there!

Backstage and Kristal has actually read her lines as she introduces Joooooohn Cena!

Cena rips the piss out of her and people’s perception of Tag Team Champions. He says that he and Shawn are not the best of pals but they’ll fight hard together.

Then Finlay comes out. I am ashamed to say that this man is from the same country as me. Anyone who deals in this shite is no Irishman. Let me rap real quick about little people wrestling with big people: it’s not funny, it’s not cool, it’s not nice. I’m not trying to say that there should be no little people wrestlers. There should be. I’m not trying to say that they are not athletes due to their stature. They are. What I am saying is that the way they are utilised is wrong. They are either there to be laughed at or beaten up. Undertaker would never fight a little person because either he looks like a bully if he wins or a fool if he loses. There is no way to be involved in a match with a little person without coming across as petty or pathetic and I don’t think little people want to be the catalyst for either of those choices.

Then the lights go red and fucking Boogeyman comes out. Fuck off. Red smoke and eating worms. The announcers go quiet and I am tempted to skip this match all together. Cunt JBL and Cole sandbag the whole fucking thing. Cunt JBL calls them epileptic.

Finlay and Little Bastard def. The Boogeyman and Little Boogeyman via pin in 6:44.

I muscle through. It’s only… what? Seven minutes? Seems doable.

JBL calls Cole anti-immigration and xenophobic. Cole’s voice breaks. Finlay and Boogey circle each other. The crowd is dead. No one cares. This is garbage, nonsense wrestling. Boogey hits some crappy offense and pulls Finlay out of the ring, hits his head off the barricade, throws him back in, attacks Finlay on the apron, does a lovely powerslam and Little Booger soes some leg drops, eats some worms and Little Bastard comes in. The crowd laugh and cheer as Bastard throws off his jacket. Finlay lives the Booger a superkick.

Small package and Finlay kicks out. Elbow drop. Finlay hits an armbar. It’s a little person, Finlay! Booger is thrown outside where Little Bastard drags Booger under. Boogeyman then appaears and… apparently is the legal man…?

Boogeyman gets some offense in and a few atomic drops. Irish whip and Boogey almost hands in mid air as he jumps. Little Boogeyman is thrown on top of Finlay and Bastard saves his team member with a shillelagh. Boogeyman gets the worms, eats them and chases after Bastard. Finlay hits Little Boogeyman with his shillelagh, gets the pin in a painful 6:44.

2017 comments:

Shit.

2007 comments:

Less than a match.

Grade: It deserves no grade.

Cunt JBL says it is fun to watch. It was not.

On the Card will return on March 4 2017 with the third part of No Way Out 2007!

Ruthless Aggression #14. Royal Rumble (Jan 28, 2007) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Brilliant Cena match. Fair play to the pair of them.

Backstage, Sandman interrupts Coach and the rest of them. Takes a number, takes a drink, busts himself open with his cane and leaves. Ric Flair comes in and Kelly Kelly mutters a line. The lights dim and Layla comes in and dances. Shite, shite, shite.

Back in the Arena we have Jerry, Cunt and Moustache and they are  – regrettably – announcing the Rumble.

Promo showing the last twenty years of the Royal Rumble, from Hogan and Warrior to Kane dominating, to Trips and Shawn winning, to The Rock’s fantastic win in 2000 and Stone Cold clearing house in 1997. We see Vince win, [REDACTED] Benoit win, Mysterio win. Apparently it’s a star-studded Rumble. I’ll be the judge of that. Shawn Michaels is in it. Edge is in it. Kenny is in it. Benoit, Khali, Kane, Booker, Taker, all participants.

Lillian Garcia looks like a car. She reminds us of the rules, but, c’mon, we know the rules, girl.

A question I have is… does the winner fight Cena or the champ in their own brand? That’s not explained.

Ric Flair’s music hits and out he comes, fresh from his dance twenty seconds ago. He was number 3 in 1992. He almost lasted an hour back then. Doubt he’s going to last that long.

Then Finlay’s music hits and the crowd go mild. Little Naitch tells him that he can’t have the shillelagh. The pair of them square off and the Rumble begins.

The 2007 Royal Rumble.

A First Challenger Appears: Ric Flair.

A Second Challenger Appears: Fit Finlay.

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

Finlay tosses Flair to the ground and they get into the corner together. Finlay slaps Flair and the Nature Boy returns it, getting big “Woo!”s from the crowd. Flair gets a back body drop and Finlay lifts Flair up, tries to toss him out and gets a rake in the eye.

A Third Challenger Appears: Kenny Dykstra.

Twenty years old, it’s our boy Spirit Squad Kenny. Flair goes straight for him. Lots of slaps which Finlay stops. Kenny boots Flair and Finlay tries to get Kenny out. Kenny gets back in and there are more slaps and punches in the corner.

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Matt Hardy.

He’s in twice tonight! Fat Matt Hardy, holding the old jaw and going straight for Kenny, hitting the Side Effect and almost kicking Kenny out. Flair and Finlay in one corner and no eliminations yet. The competitors have paired off but once again, Kenny holds Flair and the partners swap as Finlay and Matt tussle. Lots more chops from Flair.

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Edge.

Here we go, a talented wrassler. Out he comes, sprinting to the ring, spearing Flair, spearing Finlay, goes for Matt who skips out of the way and hits the Twist of Fate. Flair is outside, he’s under the ring, he’s got a steel chair – legal but only as long as he introduces it during the match as opposed to before it. Edge grabs Flair and the crowd boo as he gets tossed out.

Ric Flair has been eliminated by Edge in 5:40.

Kenny and Edge high five and as Dykstra does the Flair dance, Edge tosses him out.

Kenny Dykstra has been eliminated by Edge in 4:05.

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Tommy Dreamer.

No time to mourn the Spirit Squad boy. It’s time for Tommy. He runs in, the crowd chant “ECW!” and he gets Edge in the tree of woe, baseball slides him and is knocked down by Finlay. Four men in the ring now. Both Tommy and Edge are about to be thrown out but no dice. We’re going to see lots of that shite.

A Seventh Challenger Appears: Sabu.

Oh fuck. Here’s Botchy McCan’tmanoeuver. He runs to the ring, grabs a table from below first, sets it up outside the ring, goes straight for Tommy. Sabu hits the springboard crossbody and does it again but Dreamer hits the weak punch and gets him mid-air. More “holding on the ring rope” spots.

An Eighty Challenger Appears: Gregory Helms.

He comes in, goes for Matt and Finlay is almost thrown out. Six men in, all in pairs, nothing exciting happening and none of them are winners, really. Sabu is getting chants and goes for Helms, ready to toss him out.

A Ninth Challenger Appears: Shelton Benjamin.

The World’s Greatest Tag Team member 1 is in. He tries to toss out Tommy and fails. He tries to toss out Matt and fails. People waste time here as Finlay tries to toss Shelton out. Both men hold on. Matt tries to help and fails. We have Sabu/Tommy and Greg/Edge. Matt is trying to suplex Shelton out.

A Tenth Challenger Appears: Kane.

Big pop for the pyro from Kane. He holds the record for knocking the most people out at 11 until Roman Reigns beat him. But fuck Reigns. Kane hits the tiltawhirl Bossman slam, chokeslams Edge and tosses Tommy out.

Tommy Dreamer has been eliminated by Kane in 6:41.

Tommy has the record for lasting the longest before being eliminated, but obviously that must be beaten tonight. Sabu has Kane on the ropes. He tries to clothesline him out, lands on the apron and Kane chokeslams him out, through the table.

Sabu has been eliminated by Kane in 5:28.

The announcers say that Kane is the favourite now.

An Eleventh Challenger Appears: CM Punk.

Out he comes! The up and comer! He goes straight for Edge and Cunt JBL calls him boring because he’s straight edge. Finlay almost tosses him out, but fails. CM Punk gives Edge a wee knee to the face. Finlay has been in for over fifteen minutes, which is fourteen minutes too long, being honest with you. Final lifts Punk over but fails.

A Twelfth Challenger Appears: King Booker.

Sharmell is with him! Yo! He takes his time to come in, starts on Helms and beats him like a government mule, tossing him out.

Gregory Helms has been eliminated by King Booker in 6:50.

Well done, Hurrcicane, you beat Tommy by nine seconds. Seven men in the ring and all of them wasting time. Cole tells us of all the brands but fuck the brands.

A Thirteeth Challenger Appears: Super Crazy

It’s Super Crazy! He’s going in and goes after the tough guys and gets beaten down almost instantly. More wasting time here with everyone holding onto ropes. Finlay almost goes out and Shelton Benjamin is in trouble but survives.

A Fourteenth Challenger Appears: Jeff Hardy.

Both Hardys! They double team Finlay, they double team Edge! They double team Super Crazy! They botch that, though. They double Team Kane, but he gets them in the old double chokeslam and they hit back with Poetry in Motion.

A Fifteenth Challenger Appears: Sandman.

Here he is, coming down the crowd, spraying beer over someone who works there, like a goose. He comes in, Singapore cane in hang and busts both Hardys and Crazy before Booker tosses him out.

Sandman has been eliminated by Booker T in 13 seconds.

Good. Get rid of you and that shite theme music. Use Metallica. Fuck sake.

The crowd boo, though. They obviously like the talentless fuck. Finlay almost tosses out Jeff but he skins the can and jumps back in. Punk attempts it but fails.

A Sixteenth Challenger Appears: Randy Orton.

Both Hardys are in, both Rated-RKO are in. Both King Booker and Sir Finlay are in. Rated-RKO toss out Super Crazy.

Super Crazy has been eliminated by Rated-RKO in 4:32.

Randy hits Matt with a backbreaker. The Tag Team Champs try to toss him off but Jeff goes before Matt.

Jeff Hardy has been eliminated by Edge in 3:39.

Matt Hardy has been eliminated by Randy Orton in 18:55.

I’ll bet Matt said he didn’t want to be eliminated by Edge. Rated-RKO go for the others and more wasting time. No spots other than Sabu’s shite table spot. Finlay and Booker try to toss out Kane.

A Seventeenth Challenger Appears: [REDACTED] Benoit.

The man that time forgot pops in, chopping Rated-RKO, goes for Booker, goes for Finlay, German suplexes him to the mat. Booker goes for the kick, gets a suplex. Shelton tries to grab Benoit, gets a suplex. What a guy. Cunt JBL calls him a cardio machine.

An Eighteenth Challenger Appears: RVD.

The whole fucking show! Rob Van Dam comes in, knocks down Benoit, knocks down Edge, knocks down Shelton. Booker throws him into the corner and Kane throws Booker out.

King Booker T has been eliminated by Kane in 9:22.

Booker cannot believe it! He is upset and so is Cunt JBL. Booker comes back in, beats on Kane, hits the Scissors Kick, tosses Kane out.

Kane has been eliminated by Booker T in 13:21.

Is this legal? In 1997, I asked the same thing when Ahmed Johnson returned to the ring to hit Faarooq with the biggest 2×4 I had ever seen. This should not be legal and there should be rules against it, at least having Kane go back into the ring or restart the match. Alas, Booker and Kane start a feud outside.

A Nineteenth Challenger Appears: Viscera.

Big Daddy V walks down and the camera focuses on Kane. The announcers argue about whether or not Booker’s attack is legal or not. Cole tells us that it took seven men to eliminate Viscera (then called Mabel) in 1992. The announcers make fat jokes.

A Twentieth Challenger Appears: Johnny Nitro.

Nice.

Nitro goes for RVD and does not get him out. Viscera squashes Punk in the corner. There are nine people in the ring and we have ten people left. Shelton Benjamin holds on, his feet hovering off the ground.

A Twenty-First Challenger Appears: Kevin Thorn.

Ariel is not with him. Disregard. Discount Gangrel beats on people and we see Shelton holding on tight to the bottom rope. Big Daddy V has RVD over the top rope but none can help. Viscera is on the ropes and RVD gets a great clothesline to knock him to the ground. The eleventh person in the ring is about to arrive.

A Twenty-Second Challenger Appears: Hardcore Holly.

He can fuck off. Old Sparky Plugg.

Christ, there are a lot of men in this fucking ring. Bob Holly legit punches Viscera, the prick. Cole tells us that the ring is filling up. Good man. Six men are on Viscera. Come on, boys, you need at least one more there.

A Twenty-Third Challenger Appears: Shawn Michael.

He enters to his fucking DX music. C’mon, Shawn. You can do better than that. The ring clears as Shawn goes on Finlay and knocks him out with a clothesline.

Finlay has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 32:33.

That is too long for Finlay to be anywhere. Viscera knocks everyone back, Shawn superkicks him and the lads go for the World’s Biggest Love Machine once again, getting him over the top rope. Eight men, apparently.

Viscera has been eliminated by Rob Van Dam, Edge, CM Punk, Chris Benoit, Johnny Nitro, Shelton Benjamin, Hardcore Holly and Kevin Thorn in 6:22.

Then Shawn tosses out Shelton Benjamin.

Shelton Benjamin has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 22:22.

He beats Viscera by sixteen minutes. Yeo.

Shawn beats on Bob Holly and then Holly beats on Michaels.

A Twenty-Fourth Challenger Appears: Chris Masters.

Roidy Magoo rolls in and the ring is full again with ten men all up in it. Nitro goes top rope and Benoit knocks him down.

Johnny Nitro has been eliminated by [REDACTED] Benoit in 6:18.

Fair play to Johnny, actually. He lasted ages for a man who had a huge match earlier in the night. Edge is the longest-serving man in this Rumble.

A Twenty-Fifth Challenger Appears: Chavo Guerrero.

He runs in and does a lovely roll, goes for Masters and Kevin Thorn is tossed out.

Kevin Thorn has been eliminated by [REDACTED] Benoit in 6:55.

Who is left to come out? Who really cares?

Michaels beats on Randy. Punk and RVD hug each other. Masters beats on Chavo. Edge hangs out on the floor. The crowd are quite dead. Ohhhhh, the timer comes back up!

A Twenty-Sixth Challenger Appears: MVP.

Montel Vontavious Porter! It’s himself! He slides in, burns and all, goes for Benoit. Ten men are in the ring again. Masters falls out. Derp.

Chris Masters has been eliminated by RVD  in 3:32.

RVD is very pleased with himself. Punk is almost out on one corner, Holly almost out on t’other. Punk is holding on but the timer is coming up!

A Twenty-Seventh Challenger Appears: Carlito.

Ohhhhh, the boy himself is in. Brilliant. I love Carlito. Tenner says he lasts two minutes. The ring is very full, eleven men in the ring and only three men left. Shawn Michaels almost goes over the top rope. He’s holding, he’s teetering, he’s tottering, but he stays in. Fair play. Rated-RKO attack Carlito and the timer comes up again.

A Twenty-Eighth Challenger Appears: The Great Khali.

The crowd groan. Who cares about this shitehawk? No one. The crowd die and the wrasslers stop, watch. Edge and RVD get tossed. Orton goes, Benoit goes, MVP goes, Shawn goes, RVD again, Chavo. The crowd boo. Everyone is on the floor. They’re all getting chops and they’re all sitting down.

Just before the timer hits zero, Bob Holly is tossed out by Khali. Good. Shove it up ye.

Hardcore Holly has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 10:21.

Ten boys still in and we reach our penultimate challenger!

A Twenty-Ninth Challenger Appears: The Miz.

Wow. He can go fuck himself. Khali tosses him right out.

The Miz has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 7 seconds.

Good.

Khali then throws out RVD.

RVD has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 16:28.

Then he throws out Punk!

CM Punk has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 27:16.

Then he almost throws out Carlito. Then he does toss out Carlito.

Carlito has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 3:19.

Then he throws out Chavo!

Chavo has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 6:24.

Jerry says, “Somebody dropped the ugly bomb on him.” Bit harsh, the lad has a disease. Either way, he also has been given a push and one that he, like many before him, simply does not deserve.

At some point during this, Benoit gets eliminated too.

[REDACTED] Benoit has been eliminated by The Great Khali  in 17:52.

Shawn is up and chops Khali. Khali grabs Michaels and the crowd boo. He takes a chokebomb as number 30 comes in. Cole has a lovely soundbite, “Who can beat Khali?”

The Thirtieth and Final Challenger Appears: The Undertaker.

Just like ten years before, Taker is number thirty! Khali looks worried. The pair batter in the middle of the ring and Taker fights back, finally tossing the cunt out.

The Great Khali has been eliminated by the Undertaker in 3:45

Undertaker raises hell in the middle of the ring. No one else will join these five men. We have MVP, Orton, Edge, Michaels, Taker. He knocks everyone down, hits Old School on MVP. Balls on him. Undertaker tosses MVP out.

MVP has been eliminated by The Undertaker in 7:32.

Taker hits Edge with the jumping clothesline. MVP takes a chair into the ring and Taker almost throws Edge out as Randy Orton busts Taker in the head with the chair. Taker is up, though and Edge is calling for Orton to turn around. Randy sees it, though and the pair shout at each other mid-ring. Randy hits the RKO on Shawn and he rolls out. Rated-RKO chat and they both turn on Taker. Taker is bust open and the two men beat on the Phenom without mercy. Taker fights back and rains fists on the Tag Team Champs, running into the corners. Taker is about to hit the double chokeslam but they fight out, give him the Irish whip and he hits the double clothesline, hits Snake Eyes and Big Boot on Edge. He goes for the Chokeslam on Orton but Edge Spears him before he can do it. Edge has the chair in his hand, cracks Taker on the head for the second time.

Edge rolls out, gets another chair and they get ready for the Conchairto, which is a stupid name. Shawn’s up, though! And he tosses Orton out!

Randy Orton has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 27:15.

Then he tosses Edge out!

Edge has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 44:02.

Both men are lying on the ground. The crowd is going wild. Taker sits up first. Shawn kip-ups. They both get ready, put their dukes up and Shawn has Taker in the corner, going for the ten-punch but Taker pushes him off twice and chokeslams him into the corner. Taker punches Shawn and he damn near flies out of the ring.

Shawn gets back in and there are chops from Shawn. Taker reverses an Irish whip and Shawn is damn near turned inside out. Taker goes for the big boot but Taker falls onto the apron. Shawn attempts to knock him off but fails. Taker goes to back body drop Shawn but gets a swinging neckbreaker instead. Big punches. “HBK!” chants rise. Taker gives Michaels the Big Boot. The San Antonian crowd is silent. Taker lifts up Shawn, tries to toss him off but Shawn holds on, throws him into the turnbuckle. Shawn goes up top and is almost thrown off. Undertaker goes for the superplex. They headbutt each other. Taker goes to toss Michaels onto the mat but Michaels fights back. Taker is in the ring. Shawn is on the turnbuckle. He hits the elbow, jumps up and leans against the corner. He starts to tune up the band. The crowd are baying for Sweet Chin Music and count with the stomps. Taker catches the boot! Taker hits a thunderous chokeslam. He runs his thumb over his throat and lifts up Shawn, is about to hit the Tombstone but Shawn escapes and hits Sweet Chin Music!

Both men are down. Both men are fucked. They’ve been the last two men for ages. Shawn is getting the superkick ready but Taker tosses him over the top rope!

Shawn Michaels has been eliminated by The Undertaker in 24:11.

Entrant number thirty, The Undertaker is the winner of the 2007 Royal Rumble in 56:18 after surviving for 13:15.

2017 comments:

Very, very good finish. Everything up to that was filler.

1997 comments:

I like how they just put a Shawn vs. Taker match on the end of this disappointing battle royale.

Grade: B

Taker stands centre stage, looks out at Shawn, nods and the camera focuses on both men, showing the emotion behind the match. Fair play to the pair of yis. Taker looks at the Wrestlemania 23 sign, checks out the hard cam and points at Shawn. Cunt JBL says that they don’t know what title he is going to go after… so presumably he can choose any. He kneels mid-ring and big pyro hits.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: Good God Almighty, I have to give it to either Shawn, Cena or Umaga. I’m going to go with Shawn Michaels.

Woman of the Matches: There were literally no women in this PPV other than backstage bimbos.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Shawn Michaels.

Best Spot: There were none, really, but I’d say Taker’s sit up followed by Shawn’s kip up was brilliant.

Hatches: None.

Matches: Bobby Lashley retained his ECW World Championship belt; Batista retained his World Heavyweight Championship belt and John Cena retained his WWE Championship belt.

Dispatches: Sadly, this is the last we will see of Roidy Magoo Test.

On The Card Hall Of Fame

Every “Big Four” PPV (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) I will choose a man and woman to be inducted into the hall of fame. A man and woman must have been named either a Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches in the previous months since the last “Big Four” PPV. Once a man or woman is inducted, they may not be inducted again but can still win Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches. Through this, we can course the dizzying highs and savage lows of the wrestling landscape throughout the years. If no one new has been given the title of Man or Woman of the Matches, then a candidate will be chosen from the highest-rated matches since the last “Big Four” PPV. If no one is to be found there, then we go to the next highest-rated matches and so on. If we (unlikely) get to the bottom of the pile, then the Hall of Fame will remain empty to show the excellent calibre of the wrestlers and shallow roster.

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels, [REDACTED] Benoit.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: CM Punk, Joey Mercury, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Joey Mercury for busting his face and returning!

Previous Women of the Matches: Queen Sharmell, Trish Stratus.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Ariel, Queen Sharmell, Victoria, No one.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Victoria!

The Year in Reviews

Each Royal Rumble, I will give you some information of the past year of reviews for you stat-heads out there.

In 2006, the biggest movie at the time was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which made $1,066,179,725 worldwide, followed by The Da Vinci Code and Ice Age: The Meltdown. There were a lot of things going on in the world of music but the top best-selling album was… The High School Musical Soundtrack? What the fuck?

There was the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, a Jackson Pollock painting sold and people cared for some reason, North Korea conducted its first-ever Nuclear Test and Steve Irwin died.

In wrasslin’ news, the WWE Championship was brought into 2006 by Cena for 280 days since April 3 2005 until Edge held it for 21 days from Jan 8 2006 to Jan 29 where Cena held it for 133 days until June 11 at ECW One Night Stand where RVD took it. He held it for 22 days until July 3 when Edge took it back, then it passed to Cena after 76 days at Unforgiven on September 17 and he would take it into the New Year.

Batista had the WWE World Heavyweight belt from April 3, 2005, brought it into 2006 but lost it after 282 days when he had a triceps injury. Kurt Angle took it, held it for 82 days, Dropped it at WrestleMania 22 to Rey Mysterio (winner of the Royal Rumble 2006) and he held it for 112 days until Booker T won it at The Great American Bash on July 23. He lost it Batista after 126 days at Survivor Series and he would bring it into 2007.

Ric Flair held the Intercontinental Championship for 155 days from Sept 18 2005 to Feb 20 2006 when he dropped it to Shelton Benjamin. He had it for 69 days, dropping it to RVD at Backlash who held it for a measly 15 days until Shelton got it back on May 15. After 41 days, Jonny Nitro took it at Vengeance and he had it for 99 days before dropping it to Jeff who gave it back to Johnny after 35 days who dropped it again to Jeff after a week. Jeff would bring it into the New Year.

Booker T had the United States Championship at the beginning of 2006 and held it for 40 days, dropping it to Benoit on Feb 19th, who would drop it to JBL on April 2 after 42 dats, who gave it to Bobby Lashley after 51 days and then to Finlay. They both held it for 49 days each. Mr Kennedy won it on August 29 and dropped it to Benoit 42 days later on October 10, 2006. He would take it into 2007.

Kid Kash was the Cruiserweight Champion at the start of 2006 but he dropped it to Gregory Helms who held it into the New Year.

Rob Van Dam won the reactivated ECW World Heavyweight Championship on June 13, 2006 and held it for 21 days until July 4 when The Big Show beat him to win it. He held it for 152 days until Bobby Lashley won it at December to Dismember and took it into the New Year.

MNM were the Tag Team Champions at the start of 2006 and dropped it to Paul London and Brian Kendrick after 145 days on May 21. They held it into 2007.

Kane and The Big Show were World Tag Team Champs at the beginning of 2006 but they dropped it to the Spirit Squad after 153 days on April 3. They then let Ric Flair and Roddy Piper take it from them on Cyber Sunday and eight days later, Rated-RKO got it from them on Nov 13. They brought it into 2007.

Finally, Trish Stratus was the WWE Women’s Champion at the beginning of 2006 and dropped it to Mickie James at WrestleMania 22 on April 2 after 448 days as champion. Mickie held it for 134 days until Lita took it from her on August 14. Trish won it back at Unforgiven and retired, vacating the title. Lita would win it on November 5 at Cyber Sunday and then Mickie won it 21 days later in Lita’s last match. Mickie would be Women’s Champ into 2007.

2006 was the last full year of separate PPVs for separate WWE brands until it happened again ten years later and it was the last year of the Ruthless Aggression Era as the PG Era came into play shortly after the Benoit Tragedy. The roster was thick and so was the blood.

Closing Statements: A good PPV, more spectacle than actual wrestling but the matches were fun and the end of the Rumble was fantastic.

On the Card will return on February 18 2017 with the Smackdown PPV No Way Out 2007.

Ruthless Aggression #12: Armageddon (Dec 17 2006) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Two good matches and the Boogeyman.

Promo for the Last Ride match and we see Undertaker vs. Kennedy for the first blood match. Teddy Long introduces the Last Ride match at a Smackdown. The hearse is being driven in and it drives without anyone behind the wheel. Undertaker bursts out and just appears everywhere – in a match, behind Kennedy, in a hearse etc. Blood falls on Kennedy. The entire thing is so corny and supernatural. It’s great.

The monks chant and Cunt JBL keeps telling us that he was in the first Last Ride match. Absolute shitehawk. Announcer Tony Chimel reminds us of the rules.

Kennedy appears, stares out the hearse and enters the ring, pulling the mic down and dropping a phat beat. I’m joking, he paces about and cuts a shit promo about how he’s going to defeat the Undertaker for the third time, which would be true if you count a DQ win and MVP interfering as a win each. He then says his own name and the crowd goes mild.

The crowd chants, “Rest in peace!” as the bell tolls, signalling the Undertaker’s three-hour-long walk to the ring. Cole and Cunt JBL consider what Kennedy might be thinking as the Undertaker walks towards him. He’s probably shitting himself, to be fair. I would. Big Red is scary as fuck. Cunt JBL keeps reminding us he fought the Undertaker a few times. They tell us that it doesn’t get much better than this, which is watching two men get ready to fight. Kennedy moves into the ring hesitantly and the bell finally rings.

Last Ride match: The Undertaker def. Mr. Kennedy via Sunday drive in 19:08.

Taker moves to Kennedy like an MMA fighter, far faster than a Dead Man should move. Kennedy is caught in the corner and beats Kennedy down, knocking him out of the ring and throwing him into the steel steps before tossing him onto the Spanish Announcer’s table. Taker tosses Kennedy onto the apron – which we must remember, is the hardest part of the ring – and rolls him back between the ropes. Kenny is beat in the corner and Taker gives Kennedy a Flair chop. Taker goes to give Kennedy the jumping boot but Kennedy dodges out of the way, tossing Taker out. Kennedy launches himself off the apron but is caught in mid-air by Taker, who drives him into the ring post.

Taker carries Kennedy out of the ring to the hearse but Kennedy fights back, pushing Taker into the back of the car repeatedly, delivering strikes to the Phenom’s face, opening the back of the hearse and shoving Taker in. They both are half inside the hearse yet the door will not close. Taker bursts out, gives Kennedy a high knee and as he tries to crawl away, Taker drags him back over the barricade and into the steel steps. Lots of head shots so far, no one is bust. Taker gives Kennedy a lovely boot to the head followed by a leg drop off the apron onto Kennedy’s neck. Undertaker is taking over now, stalking Kennedy and causing pain the entire time.

Taker pops Kennedy up onto the top rope and sets up a superplex, which Kennedy lands on his arse. Taker sits up almost instantly. Kennedy is tossed over the top rope and as Taker is carrying him, Kennedy hits on the rear naked choke. Both men fall to the floor and have a little chat. After the shortest sleeper in the world, Undertaker is “out cold”. Kennedy drags him to the hearse, throws him in and closes the door! But the match isn’t over yet! Kennedy has to drive the hearse out of the arena. He opens the door and Undertaker is there, in the seat! He throws Kennedy into the ring post again and then into the timekeeper’s area. Taker removes the monitors from the announcer’s take but Kennedy fights back with a steel chair, delivering shots to Taker’s ribs.

In the ring, Kennedy hits Taker in the back, goes for a second, reconsiders and hits Taker in the skull twice. Taker just sits up. What a guy. Kennedy runs to the hearse, slips past and goes backstage. Kennedy tries to scale the castle set and Taker is after him. Taker punches Kennedy and Kennedy punches back. They are high up, legit maybe 20-30 feet. Undertaker calls for the chokeslam but is denied and Kennedy tosses him off onto a mattress below. Kennedy is watching, descends the ladder as Little Naitch tells Kennedy to give Taker a moment. Kennedy does not, and goes to open the hearse, returns for Taker and begins to drag Taker to the back of the vehicle.

Kennedy laboriously tosses Undertaker into the back of the hearse and gets into the driver’s seat. Crappy camera from inside the hearse shows Taker sitting up and dragging Kennedy into the back of the hearse. Both men fall out of the back of the hearse and Taker has his wind back, beating on Kennedy, picking up a chair and hitting Kennedy with it. He gets a steel pipe and misses Kennedy, putting it through the window of the hearse instead. Steel chair to Kennedy and he’s bust, having bladed at some point in the last minute. Taker tosses Kennedy up on top of the hearse and calls for the chokeslam, landing Kennedy on the roof of the hearse. Undertaker calls for the Tombstone and hits it.

Kennedy is thrown off the hearse and Taker opens the back of the vehicle, covered in glass. Taker throws Kennedy inside, starts it up, revs the engine and drives out, winning the match in 19:08.

2016 comments:

In terms of gimmick matches, it wasn’t bad. Undertaker must be the most gimmicked-up wrestler of all time but he’s not great at using the gimmick in the match. The hearse was only used for a handful of spots with the rest of it being ring-based.

2006 comments:

Apparently Cunt JBL was once in a match with the Undertaker.

Grade: B

Both announcers get the match we just watched over as if we weren’t already excited for it.

Backstage, Booker and Finlay have a wee chat. Finlay reassures Booker that they are a team. Booker suggests that the pair of them go out and not be pricks for a change. Queen Sharmell agrees. Finlay does a shite southern accent and then slags Sharmell.

In the arena, it’s Big Dick Johnson dressed as Santa Claus, throwing sweets to the kids. Little children in the audience look on expectantly, yet receive naught. Santa gets the mic and drops a promo about this Naughty and Nice Lingerie shite. Fantastic. Very family friendly. Fuck this.

Kristal comes out first, wearing a silken red gown.

Layla El comes out, wearing a silken pink down.

Jillian comes out, wearing a silken light pink gown.

Ashley comes out, wearing a silken black gown. Of course she is.

Santa tells us that the contest will work like this: each lady will come up, take off their robe and model their lingerie. Kristal is first and she walks for about ten seconds. Shit. Layla does the same but with high kicks this time. Same music, though. Her dance lasts forever. Jillian does it, having little to no charisma and removes her bra to show another bra below with peppermint candies. She touches her tits. Ashley goes up, does the same as everyone else. The announcers big up the fact that Ashley was on Playboy. She attempts to remove her skirt and that takes a bit more time than it should. Finally, Santa points at each Diva, looking for cheers. Kristal gets boos, Layla gets a big pop, Jillian gets boos and Ashley gets a rapturous pop. Santa reveals that everyone is the winner. Shit.

Santa tells us to hit the music and reveals that it’s Big Dick Johnson! He dances, everyone is disgusted and they take forever to leave the ring. It’s depressing.

Promo for the third main event, Batista and Cena against Booker and Finlay. We see the teams fight one another and the question of whether or not they can coexist is asked repeatedly. For the first time ever, two world champions are on the same team, though neither title is on the line.

Back in the arena, King Booker starts his slow crawl to the ring with his shite music and mental wife telling us to hail him. She is saying it a little faster than usual, however, and he seems to be walking at a snail’s pace as opposed to a glacier’s. Fair play to the pair of them. Sharmell shouts at members of the crowd. They give her the finger. A little respect for the woman. Booker is holding his hands at five to two.

Finlay comes down. Little pomp and circumstance with this boy. He has his shillelagh and that’s enough, I suppose. Booker and Finlay shake hands.

Big John Cena’s music hits and the time is up, the time is now, you can’t see him, but he’s there, in plain sight. Tony Chimel completely destroys the, “Jeeeeeeaaaaaaahn Cena!” roar. Cena doesn’t enter the ring.

Batista’s music hits and down he comes, all pumped up and full of cocaine and piss and vinegar and testosterone and steroids. He hits his gun pyro and the crowd is pumped for this. Finally the faces enter the ring and pose. Cena throws the hat hella far. It’s an impressive distance, I tell you what.

John Cena and Batista def. Finlay and King Booker (w/ Queen Sharmell) via pin in 11:29.

The bell goes but the boys just stand in the ring for a while, trying to remember how to start a main event that is a wet fart. Do we want to see these superstars? Yes, of course. Do we want to see a tag match? No.

Cena and Booker chat in the corner and a lovely hip toss is followed by another chat in the corner. Cena hits a lovely arm drag and tags in Batista to little applause. Finlay comes in and the two weakest competitors square off. Big headlock from Batista followed by shoulder barges forces Finlay up to Bret’s rope, where he is caught by Batista, dropped, slapped and put into a catapult and gets double knees in the back. Batista hits the Muscle Buster on Finlay, which is nice, but gets nothing in the pin.

Booker is tagged in and the pair circle each other. The crowd chant for Batista, and the announcers remind us that Booker and Batista have fought over the belt in the past. Very vague, lads. Cena is tagged in and the crowd boo for him until Booker gets the upper hand, hitting Cena with an awkward kick to the jaw. Cena hits a lovely bulldog followed by a spin-out powerbomb into Five Knuckle Shuffle. He lifts Booker for the FU, fails, gets a drop-toe hold into STFU. Christ, he is hitting all of his damn finishers. Sharmell slips Booker the sceptre and he uses it to hit Cena in the throat while the ref’s back is turned. Booker hits the superkick but fails to get the three.

Finlay is in now and holding John’s neck in a lovely hug. The crowd chant, “Let’s go Cena,” but there is no, “Cena sucks,” afterwards. How odd. Then in comes Little Bastard-slash-Hornswaggle, who goes to kick Cena, misses, kicks himself in the head, rolls out of the ring and Booker and Cena hug in response. A sign in the crowd tells us that Michael Cole Sucks. This sign is quickly removed and – I assume – taken by the ushers. Cena is searching for Batista, but cannot find him. He hits the hot tag and Batista is in, hitting the powerslam to Finlay, the spear to Booker, the spear to Finlay, runs out of steam and is caught by Finlay but ducks the superkick. He attempts the powerbomb, is stopped by Finlay and Cena comes in to take care of bidness.

Finlay cracks Batista on the back with a steel chair as Sharmell distracts the ref. Batista no-sells it, knocks Finlay out, hits the spinebuster, the Batista bomb and gets the pin in 11:29.

2016 comments:

Nothing match. No storyline, no tension, just faces being faces and heels being heels. I wouldn’t normally be annoyed except this is the main event. This is a Smackdown match.

2006 comments:

Who cares who won? Nothing was on the line.

Grade: C

Cena and Batista celebrate in what is a mid-card bout presented as a main event match to please the little boys and girls. This was a nothing match and a crappy end to the PPV as both faces hug each other and both heels shake their fists and grumble. Cunt JBL recounts the main bouts – Inferno, Last Ride, Diva’s Lingerie, Cena/Batista. One of those things is not like the other, boys.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I can’t give it to anyone other than Joey Mercury.

Woman of the Matches: Queen Sharmell. And she was only on screen for about ten seconds.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Joey Mercury.

Best Spot: Although botched, the leg-drop-to-ladder-shot that damn near killed Joey Mercury.

Hatches: Vladimir Kozlov and Scotty 2 Hotty, Dave Taylor, The Boogeyman, The Miz as an in-ring competitor, Jimmy Wang Yang.

Matches: Paul London and Brian Kendrick retain their WWE Tag Team Championship, [REDACTED] Benoit retains his WWE United States Championship, Gregory Helms retains his WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: A filler PPV that suffers from some of the same issues that ECW December to Dismember suffered from – bad booking, coming in shortly after another PPV and a nothing main event – or triple main event, if you believe that shite. We are truly within the darkest timeline.

On the Card will return on January 7 2017 with the Raw PPV New Year’s Revolution 2007.

Ruthless Aggression #10. Survivor Series (Nov 26 2006) Full review

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 November 26, 2006, the twentieth annual Survivor Series aired. It was a WWE PPV, using a mixture of the RAW, Smackdown! and ECW brands, the first of its kind since Summerslam way back in August. 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.

Survivor Series 2006

No tagline this time either. The poster shows a skull with most of its teeth missing and tribal tattoos running up the side to join together in the shapes of Big Show, John Cena and King Booker T on its forehead. Ominous.

After ye olde wrasslin’ video, we are treated to a Survivor Series retrospective, showing huge schmoozes In the middle of the ring. We have Team RKO vs. Team DX. We have Mr. Kennedy vs. Undertaker for a First Blood match, Batista vs. Booker for the World Heavyweight championship. The next Survivor Series match is Team Big Show vs. Team Cena. Exciting stuff… in theory.

Big pyro in the Raw, Smackdown and ECW presented Survivor Series 2006. According to our first announcing team of Michael Tache n’ Soulpatch Cole and Cunt JBL, 17,893 souls are packed into the Wachovia Centre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the land of the worst fans and a sandwich made of meat and cheese. An apparent 383,000 fans bought Survivor Series at home, a drop from the 400,000 the year previous and continuing a trend of dropping buys that peaked in 1998 and has not yet recovered.

Cole introduces Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jumpin’ Jim Ross. They speak for a while but fuck them because it’s time for the motherfucking Spanish Announcers, Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. Cabrera legit forgets Jerry’s name because he says, “Gracias, Jim Ross, gracias… uh…. Senor,” and then turns to Savinovich and speaks in rapid Spanish to dispel the fact that he doesn’t know The King. As usual, Cabrera is sensible and Savinovich goes mental and has to be cut off by…

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Carlito and Charlie Haas. It lasted five minutes exactly and I am annoyed I missed it.)

It’s our girl, Lillian Garcia who introduces the first Survivor Series match and explains the rules: elimination-style match where someone can be eliminated the traditional way and the team with the last remaining members wins.

Ric Flair comes to the ring. No one seems to care.

Sgt. Slaughter comes with different music than usual and barely makes it to the ring before his music is cut.

Out comes the American Dream Dusty Rhodes and is clearly the most charismatic man in history.

Wait a minute… what is that…? Is that…?

HOLY SHITSNACKS IT’S FAAROOQ. He comes to the ring, blessedly, without Bradshaw and is addressed as Ron Simmons because the Fed were scared of Islam. Weren’t so scared when he was the leader of the Nation of Domination, were you, lads?

Out comes Arn motherfucking Anderson. What an absolute hero. I love Arn. He looks like a proto-wrassler, the one from whom all other wrestlers were formed.

Then the Spirit Squad come down. Shower of bastards, the lot of them. Now, there are five legends and five Spirit Squad members but Arn isn’t taking part, he’s on the outside, and so Mitch is excluded from the Spirit Squad match.

Survivor Series match: Team Legends (Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, Dusty Rhodes and Ron Simmons (w/ Arn Anderson)) def. The Spirit Squad (Kenny, Johnny, Nicky, Mikey (w/ Mitch)) via elimination in 10:31.

Ron starts off with Mikey and the latter attempts to shoulder barge the former and fails. Lovely lockup and Ron tosses Mikey. Mikey takes over with some great punches followed by a lovely powerslam from Ron. The rest of the Spirit Squad get involved and Ron takes them out. Mitch pulls on Ron’s leg and the two square off before Arn gets involved. The ref sees that Mitch was being a bit cheeky and so disqualifies him. Ron spinebusters Mikey, dragging him down the aisle and Arn is disqualified too. The crowd chant, “Bullshit!”

Slaughter and Nicky pop into the ring. USA chant starts up as Nicky Ziggler tries to salute Slaughter. Slaughter salutes, offers his hand and hits triple powerslams on Nicky. Apparently, Ron has been disqualified as well…? I missed that.

Ron Simmons has been apparently eliminated by countout in 1:54.

Dusty comes in, hits a weak arm bar and tags in Flair who chops away on Nicky’s chest, who bumps like a boss. Slaughter comes in, hits a lovely clothesline followed by a Cobra Clutch, to which the ref does my favourite spot, the lifting and the dropping of the hands. Johnny comes in, causing a disruption and rolling Slaughter over, plopping Nicky on him and he gets the pin.

Sgt. Slaughter has been eliminated by Nicky in 6:27.

Dusty is in and moving to Nicky instantly. He hits a great elbow and gets the pin.

Nicky has been eliminated by Dusty Rhodes in 6:54.

Mikey comes in to attack Dusty, pulling him into the corner and beating on him with the other members of the Spirit Squad. Kenny pops in, Dusty tries to walk it off and gets his comeback with great punches and an elbow to the face. Kenny forces the roll up and eliminates Dusty.

Dusty Rhodes has been eliminated by Kenny in 8:25.

Only Flair is left and Kenny drags him over to the Spirit Squad corner to take over. Flair gets beat on in the corner by… Mitch, I think. Or is it Mikey? It’s probably Mikey. Flair hits the inverted atomic drop and pins Mikey with his legs on the turnbuckle.

Mikey has been eliminated by Ric Flair in 9:13.

Two on one now with Kenny back in the match. The crowd are excited as Flair gets hit with a lovely back body drop. Flair gets hit by the Irish whip and Kenny ducks to hit another back body drop but Flair rolls it into an inside cradle and gets the pin.

Kenny has been eliminated by Ric Flair in 9:49.

Kenny and Flair push each other until Johnny comes in. The pair slap each other silly and Flair attacks his knee, finally going for the figure four, to which he taps almost instantly.

Johnny has been eliminated by Ric Flair in 10:31. Ric Flair is the Sole Survivor!

2016 comments:

It’s a standard good vs. evil opener to get the crowd rallying behind the faces. Ten minutes is enough for this match. Any more would have been painful. I get that it’s nice to let the legends have a win, but what does it say when four geriatrics are better than the young bucks? I mean, does it mean to say that wrestlers get stronger as they age until they reach the cured leather of Ric Flair and become immortal?

2006 comments:

Fuck the Spirit Squad and fuck Ric Flair.

Grade: C

The Spirit Squad get their heat back by running in and beating on Flair.

Cole tells us about Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, apparently, despite the fact that everyone there hates everyone else.

Cut to promo showing [REDACTED] Benoit winning the US Championship. What a great guy. Chris tries to speak to Vicky about Chavo and his recent murder of Rey Mysterio’s leg. Vicky wanted to beat on Rey was well, but [REDACTED] ran in, saving Mysterio’s knee in the process. They bring up Eddie because God forbid we forget about him.

Chavo’s music hits and down he comes with Vicky. I like Vicky but she’s not a wrestler… or should be involved in wrestling at all. Chavo, according to a sign in the crowd, stinks.

[REDACTED]’s music hits and down he comes. The announcers mention Eddie’s estate, which is a bad show all together. Let the man stay dead, Chris Almighty.

WWE United States Championship match: [REDACTED] Benoit (c) def. Chavo Guerrero (w/ Vicky Guerrero) via submission in 8:19.

Benoit starts off with some heavy punches followed by a body slam. Absolutely no time wasted here. Bossman slam and pin attempt. Benoit is throwing Chavo about as Cunt JBL has a go at the [REDACTED] one. Each shot from Benoit is sold so well including the lovely suplex. More pin attempts. More fails. Vicky is clapping and cheering for Chavo and it helps as Chavo takes over, hammering on Benoit in the corner. Good man yourself.

Chavo lifts up Benoit and it is twisted into a Crossface but Vicky grabs Chavo’s foot and places it on the rope to break the hold. Lovely backdrop from Benoit followed by Chavo throwing him shoulder-first into the turnbuckle. Chavo hits a lovely side suplex but then there’s a bit of rest holds so we can show the play. Chavo is stretching Benoit’s shoulder and the pair struggle for a while before Benoit lifts Chavo up for the Samoan Drop followed by a dropkick and another close two-count.

A great uppercut from Chavo leads to Benoit on the mat. Benoit hits triple German Suplexes and calls for the diving headbutt. Vicky is up to no good at the turnbuckle but the diving headbutt misses as Chavo rolls out of the way. Chavo hammers away on Benoit, hits a lovely vertical suplex, goes to the top rope, hits the frog splash and a two count.

Ah ha! Take that, you bastard!

Benoit is still in and the crowd are chanting for Eddie. Benoit goes for the Sharpshooter and as Chavo kicks him off, Benoit hits Vicky who was on the apron. In the confusion, Chavo is hit with the Crippler Crossface and submits in 8:19.

2016 comments:

Great match from our man [REDACTED] which makes it ever harder for the following months to take.

2006 comments:

Chavo and Vicky are dicks.

Grade: A

Cunt JBL claims Benoit hit Vicky on purpose. Ohhh, lighten up you droning arse. He calls him a son of a bitch as well. Cheeky rascal. Benoit retains and Chavo stinks, still.

Backstage, we have Edge and Lita being interviewed by Todd Grisham. Lita is still going to retire after the match tonight. She could either retire a heel champ or drop the title in Philly. Edge drops some sort of sports reference. Edge begins to cut a promo but in the background, Cryme Tyme are sneaking into Lita’s dressing room with a box. They leave a minute later with a box filled with underwear and threaten Todd, saying, “You ain’t seen nothin’!”

Back in the arena, Mickie James skips to the ring. Very exciting stuff. Bit upsetting that last month, we lost Trish and now we lose Lita, arguably two of the best female wrestlers of their generation and certainly the best in the Fed until the Four Horsewomen turned up.

Lita appears after Lillian gives her a particularly long pause in her intro. She comes down, heelish and smug, gives the belt over and competes in her final match.

WWE Women’s Championship Match: Mickie James def. Lita (c) via pin 8:18.

Given only one second less than the United States championship match, this better be wonderful. Lita starts by taunting Mickie and gets a drop-toe hold and some dodgy punches for her effort. Jerry is being a bit disgusting about Mickie as she takes a bad bump into the corner. JR states that Philly are not Lita fans, which makes no sense as they hate everything. Trish is name-dropped and Jerry makes a diaphragm joke as nothing of interest happens in the ring.

JR bigs up Lita and her innovation including the Litacanrana. Lovely side-Russian leg sweep from Lita but she only gets the two. The Philly crowd call Lita a crack whore. Nice, Philly crowd. Lovely suplex in response but only a two-count. Lita jumps on Mickie’s back and attempts the sleeper hold but Mickie rolls away from her and gets to the ropes. Lita goes to the top rope with a cross-body but Mickie rolls away. Lita is lying in the ring and Mickie goes to the top-rope, receiving a backdrop for her effort. The Philly crowd tell us Lita has herpes. Punches in the ring and a great bunch of clotheslines followed by boots and a great kick but gets only a two-count. Fisherman suplex gets the same result. Bunch of false finishes and Lita goes top-rope again. JR accidentally calls her top-rope moonsault a Litacanrana like a goose.

Mickie escapes a DDT and gets the pin for a two-count. Lita attempts a roll-up and gets the same. Two more close roll-ups before Mickie James hits Lita with a jumping DDT for the pin in 8:18.

2016 comments:

A shame that that was Lita’s last match.

2006 comments:

Cryme Tyme are dicks.

Grade: C

JR says, “Lita, finishing her career on her back.” Lillian is invited to the ring by Lita and she gets called the greatest women’s champion of all time, receiving only boos. She gets the mic and starts rambling for a while, calls herself disgusted and cannot think of a better crowd to leave in front of. Then Cryme Tyme come out with Lita’s underwear in a box. They say they’re wanting a tribute sale but then change it to “ho-sale” and a damned fan actually buys some. Christ of almighty. They take out yeast infection medication. Hilarious. They go for JBL and he gives them $100 for her panties. They take his money and throw the panties into the crowd. Cryme Tyme take out a dildo and this joke got old about five minutes ago. They run out of stuff and sell the box. Lita is upset mid-ring and the line has been crossed.

JBL shouts nonsense and is clearly having some sort of embolism on air. Man should be put down. Cut to a pre-recorded interview between Cole and Batista. Cole reminds him that he lost his championship eleven months ago due to injury. Batista is silent. Cole asks him if he has any reason to believe that tonight will be different to all other championship matches. Cole reminds him that tonight is his final chance to get Booker’s championship. They show the contract signing where Booker predictably attacked Batista. Back in the interview, big Drax the Destroyer just stares ahead before finally taking off his glasses, looking Cole square in the eyes and tells him that he is leaving tonight World Heavyweight Champion.

Cut to a statue of Rocky Balboa of Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, Balboa and Creed fame.

Out come the Hardys to their rockin’ music. They’re part of Team DX but known as Team Extreme… Or is it Teem X-Treem? I give up.

Who is this motherfucker? It’s Chick Magnet Punk! Coming out to his generic Killswitch Engage This Fire Burns music, not the old Cult of Personality. He’s shouting at the crowd and hopping so he must be face. He gives the Hardys double high-tens.

Are you ready? The crowd is… ready for a fucking seizure with their strobe lighting effects and weird video. Trips and Michaels come out for their 9th and 14th Survivor Series appearance respectively. Team DX is complete and crotch chop to show so. Are they going to spend, like, twenty minutes spouting the same old shite off to the crowd?

Wait, why are the face team coming out first? No time to consider that, Trips has a microphone. Best go to the loo now, so.

Trips wants to hear the crowd and he and Shawn have duelling crowd-points and cheers including Hardys and CM Punk. Jerry asks, “Does it seem like everyone’s ready?” The crowd fucking chant for CM Punk and Trips steals his thunder by handing him the mic. Punk asks the crowd if they are ready and Trips runs off before they really have a chance to answer. Trips bigs up the talent in the ring. Trips does that hateful “llllllet’s get ready to suuuuuck it,” shite while Shawn reminds them that if they’re not down with that… they’re going to suck it anyway. Wrestling is so silly sometimes.

Johnny Nitro’s music hits and out he comes with Melina. K-Fed is mentioned as going one-on-one with Cena on Raw.

Out comes my boy Gregory Helms, the longest-reigning champion in sports entertainment. I love The Hurricane.

Mike Knox comes out, making his debut. Kelly Kelly is there too, wearing not much.

The World Tag Team Champions, Edge and Randy Orton slide in and Jerry tells us that business has just picked up. There are three long coats in the ring just now – Edge, Nitro and Hurricane.

I remember looking at this match and thinking, “Christ alive, look at all those amazing lads! This is going to be terrific!” I won’t lie to you… I feel similar just now.

Survivor Series match: Team DX (Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Triple H) def. Team Rated-RKO (Edge, Randy Orton, Johnny Nitro, Mike Knox and Gregory Helms (w/ Kelly Kelly and Melina)) via elimination in 11:30.

The bell rings and we all wonder who is going to be first in the ring. Knowing that this is essentially a Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs. Edge and Randy Orton match with some lovely tasty flavouring to the side, it makes sense that they start it off, take a sideline and then just watch for a while until the end.

And wouldn’t you know it, Trips starts off, wanting to see Kelly Kelly’s tits. She goes to the apron, ready to show (as Shawn comically averts his eyes) and Mike Knox takes offence to this. Shawn superkicks him, goes for the pin and…

Mike Knox has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 40 seconds.

I say. Good show. Shawn walks to Trips and asks, “Who was that?” He asks some other questions.

Shot to the outside and a hilarious look from Mike and Kelly Kelly. He has fire in his eyes and she has this wee smile that seems to say, “Whoops.” Actually made me laugh.

Inside, Shawn and Nitro go head-to-head. Lovely running of the ropes from these two men. Shawn slides outside, puts his arm around Melina and she relaxes… until she realises that it’s Shawn and screams. Shawn slides in and takes our boy Jeff who does nothing and tags Fat Matt in for the Team Extreme Double Team. Helms jumps in, punches Matt for a while is thrown off the turnbuckle. Edge is in, stomping a mudhole in Hardy, throwing up the Hardy sign and tagging Helms back in. In comes Randy – Christ, it’s a revolving door out there – and Matt is bust open, bleeding from the mouth. Melina screams as Nitro pops in. Matt hits Nitro with the Side Effect and goes for the hot tag on CM Punk.

Punk uses high knees a lot followed by a bulldog and attempts a sleeper but is reversed. He tries again, gets the Anaconda Vice in and Nitro taps out.

Johnny Nitro has been eliminated by CM Punk in 4:54.

Melina is upset and both women are now leaving the arena. Edge is in, beating Punk in the corner. Punk goes for the ten-count and Helms distracts the ref as Randy attacks Punk. Randy tags in with a lovely dropkick, tags Helms in and he gives Punk the Gator Roll. Helms hits Punk with the double knees and Randy pops in again. Punches are shared and Randy gives Punk the RKO. He goes for the pin and Shawn pops in to break the pin. Edge is in, desperate for the spear but misses Punk and hits the turnbuckle. Hot tag for Trips and he cleans house, knocking Helms down with the high knee, followed by Randy then Helms again. Edge pops in to break up the Pedigree. Jeff and Shawn come in and hit stereo suicide dives. Fat Matt Hardy is in, bloody mouth and all, hits the Twist of Fate on Helms followed by the Swanton by Jeff and the pin.

Gregory Helms has been eliminated by Matt Hardy in 9:23.

Randy and Edge are outside the ring with their belts in hand. They climb to the apron and decide not to go inside. Big boos from the crowd followed by the Hardys dragging them back in. Trips and Shawn beat on them and everyone gets a shot on Edge before Shawn Sweet Chin Musics him for the pin.

Edge has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 10:35.

Randy is the sole survivor on his team and he has just realised it. He attempts to leave via the audience and Punk, Matt and Jeff chase after him. He goes into the ring, gets a Sweet Chin Music, a Pedigree and goes down for the pin.

Randy Orton has been eliminated by Triple H in 11:30. It is a clean sweep for Team DX!

2016 comments:

An okay match, but it’s basically a comedy matchup, isn’t it? All it needed was ball shots.

2006 comments:

Needed more Hardy.

Grade: B

As the boys celebrate mid-ring. Jerry wonders if this is the first clean sweep in Survivor Series history. I can only think of one other that happened before 2006 and that was the 1993 Survivor Series with Four Doinks.

The announce team reverts to Cole and JBL. Shite. Promo for the First Blood match. This is the eighth First Blood match in WWE history and the second last ever, probably. Stone Cold was in three, this is the Undertaker’s third as well. Kennedy bigs up our man The Undertaker and his sixteen years of wrestling. Taker came out and Kennedy beat him, busting him open with the microphone. Taker sat up, though, because he’s awesome. He has seen the best, fought the best and beaten the best. He has sneaked up behind men and poured blood on them like that bit in Carrie. He’s an absolute headcase.

Backstage, Kennedy is staring into middle distance. Kristal is interviewing him and asks him if he has any thoughts. Kennedy says that this match is the biggest match of his carrier. MVP appears and points out the Vaseline on Kennedy’s head to stop him getting “cracked open”. He pledges his allegiance to Kennedy.

Tony Chimel does a Lillian and introduces the match that everyone understands the stipulation of.

Kennedy comes out, very serious and very scared. He goes straight to a turnbuckle and starts removing the protective covering from them. The mic comes down and reminds everyone of his name. Twice. Idiot.

Undertaker’s bell goes and the Deadman comes out. Kennedy continues to remove the protective covering from the turnbuckles. Taker walks super slow because why would he move quickly? Waste of energy if you ask me. It’s times like this that you miss big Paul Bearer. That was a man who could dress the Undertaker like a motherfucker.

First Blood match: Mr. Kennedy def. The Undertaker via haemorrhaging in 09:15

Kennedy slides outside and Undertaker circles the ring. Taker knocks Kennedy down and tosses him outside. He knocks Kennedy against the announce table. It must be difficult to have a First Blood match when bleeding happens accidentally all the time. Kennedy is in the audience now, harassing the fans. Taker is giving Kennedy mad licks here, smashing him about the race loads. Taker is thrown against the steel steps and the cameraman gets involved by mistake. Silly cameraman.

Charles Robinson is the ref of this match and watches as Undertaker throws Kennedy into the steel post, bouncing him off the announce table once again. JBL points out that Taker is going for Kennedy’s ribs, which is not the way you want to go to make someone bleed, really. Taker goes to the top rope with Kennedy and hits the superplex, which is great but not where you go if you want blood. Kennedy hits the low blow because he’s a cunt. Taker busts Kennedy with the unprotected turnbuckle. JBL mentions that men can also bleed internally, which is true.

Kenny is bleeding from his mouth and, oh, he’s bleeding internally, just like JBL said. But Little Naitch has seen nothing. MVP turns up to clean up the blood and rolls Kennedy back in. Little payback there for you. Taker continues to beat on Kennedy in the corner. JBL tells us that you do not bleed internally unless something is wrong. He then questions why anyone would sanction this type of match. The action pauses while we see if Taker is bleeing. MVP pops in with the steel chair and after a coffuffle, he accidentally hits Taker with a chair, busting him wide open. Naitch pops back in, sees the blood and calls the match in 9:15.

2016 comments:

Weak, weak, weak match. Not smart, very boring.

2006 comments:

That’s some blood. When did Taker blade?

Grade: C

The bell rings as Kennedy beats on Taker. He calls down the microphone and tells the audience that he is the winner. Undertaker grips his throat mid-Kennedy and attacks Kennedy in the corner. He gets the steel chair and busts Kennedy so hard I actually winced. The crowd chant “Holy shit!” and Kennedy is now bust open on the announcers table. Taker pulls Kennedy by his pants, botches a Tombstone Piledriver, removes his gloves and punches Kennedy with his exposed fists. JBL gives off for a while. Undertaker’s music plays and Taker gets the chair to hit Kennedy again but throws it down when Little Naitch removes Kennedy from the ring.

Replays of the infamous chair shots and botched Tombstone. Undertaker raises his hand on the ramp.

Backstage, Sharmell and Booker T remind us that this is Batista’s last chance match. Booker is mispronouncing words in an attempt to speak with an English accent. He says, “world,” like, “waaahl!”

MVP’s music hits and he walks to the ring with little fanfare, looking over his shoulder as his pyro hits… but only one flame keeps burning. JBL tells us that he is looking over his shoulder because of the last match. Yeah. We get it, Bradshaw.

Test’s music hits and HOLY FUCK IT’S ROIDY MAGOOOOO! I love Test, but I hate his body shape and his mental bachne. The man is dead. Look at that huge roid belly. Christ. Legend has it that his name is because he failed a roid test.

Umaga comes out with Armanda Alejandro Estrada.

Finlay follows with his shillelagh and it is removed from him by some crazy officials.

Big Show comes out very slowly. He is the ECW world champion and is the only man to have won ECW, WCW and WWE championships.

Rob Van Dam’s music hits and down he comes, stoned as all hell.

Sabu’s music hits and RVD actually does his point. Cheeky. Sabu is great. Let’s see what he botches today.

Bobby Lashley comes out, gets hit by pyro and his shoulder veins are mental. Jesus, the testosterone in this match.

Kane’s pyro hits and he comes out slowly… does he have a pierced bellybutton? It looks pierced.

The Champ Is Here! It’s my man John Cena! Look at him, all happy and shit. I love Cena. He raps his own theme song. Two fans in the front row also love Cena as Umaga is freaking out over the lights and music. Jesus, it must be awful for him. Poor buck. I love how they let Cena’s music go until the first chorus before they cut it off.

Survivor Series match: Team Cena (John Cena, Kane, Bobby Lashley, Sabu and Rob Van Dam) def. Team Show (Big Show, Test, Montel Vontavious Porter, Finlay and Umaga (w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada) via elimination in 12:35.

Umaga squares off against Cena and the Samoan hits our boy with a few punches before knocking Sabu and RVD off the apron. Cena clotheslines Umaga out and goes on Finlay. On the outside, Umaga is messing with a monitor, runs in and cracks everyone with it, disqualifying himself like an idiot. Schmoz soon follows.

Umaga has been disqualified in 58 seconds.

He doesn’t even make it to the one-minute mark. What an idiot. In the ring, Bobby and Kane throw everyone out until order is resumed. Finlay and RVD face off but roid-belly Test jumps in. Test catches RVD’s jump off the turnbuckle and Finlay comes in to work on Van Dam. The crowd are chanting for RVD but that doesn’t stop Finlay… and it certainly doesn’t stop a douche in the crowd doing Hulk Hogan poses.

MVP is in and RVD is bleeding from the mouth. Lots of blood tonight. JR tells us that Van Dam has “educated feet”, which is definitely a phrase I will be using in the future. Van Dam springs about until Test runs in and is thrown out. Finlay takes a wicked kick to the head and Show takes one to the knee. Bacne Test drags Van Dam out and tosses him against the ring post. In the ring, Kane slips in and chokeslams MVP. Van Dam hits the five-star frogsplash on MVP and pins him for the elimination.

MVP has been eliminated by RVD in 5:31.

Test fires in, gives ould RVD the big boot and eliminates him.

RVD has been eliminated by Test in 5:47.

Sabu slides in, hits the schoolboy on Test and Test botches the kickout but it doesn’t count. On the outside, Bobby spears Test and Sabu hits the leg drop over the rope, DDT and finally the pin.

Test has been eliminated by Sabu in 6:19.

Sabu points to the sky. Big Show pops in, hits the body slam and eliminates Sabu.

Sabu has been eliminated by Big Show in 6:35.

Kane and Show face off. Show goes to chokeslam Kane and the pair hold each other’s necks for some time. Hornswoggle slides in, stands between the two and disappears back under the ring. Finlay runs in, hits Kane with the shillelagh, allowing Big Show to finish the chokeslam and get the pin.

Kane has been eliminated by Big Show in 7:26.

And now it’s two-on-two: Cena and Bobby vs. Show and Finlay. Cena runs in, beating on Show and getting a huge powerslam for his effort. Finlay jumps in and leg drops Cena’s belly for some reason. Finaly harasses Lashley and as the ref is distracted, Big Show beats on Cena and bullies him. Huge slaps to Cena’s chest. Absolutely monstrous. Finlay is tagged in and a great shoulder barge to Cena. Finlay goes to Bret’s rope, but it is countered by Cena. Hot tag to Bobby and a fisherman’s suplex that Show interrupts. Show runs in and Cena and Lashley double-team him but he double-teams them on his own!

The Hornswoggle comes in and it all goes to hell for a while and in the mix, Finlay is pinned.

Finlay has been eliminated by Bobby Lashley in 10:28.

Big Show and Lashley fight once the little bastard leaves. Cena is tagged in to huge boos and a double DDT on Big Show for a two-count. Cena attempts to suplex the Big Show and Lashley comes over to help. Cena goes for the Five-Knuckle-Shuffle and gets mad boos once again. Show goes to chokeslam Cena but Lashley spears him. Cena then give Show a monstrous FU and gets the pin.

Big Show has been eliminated by John Cena in 12:35. The survivors are John Cena and Boby Lashley!

2016 comments:

Not amazing. Some very fast eliminations but none of them are very exciting, sadly.

2006 comments:

SuperCena.

Grade: C

Cena and Lashley celebrate. During the replay we see that one fan just had his fingers in the air, shaking his head and saying, “no, no, no,” to himself like a mental smark.

Back to JBL and Cole as we approach the main event: Batista versus King Booker for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Bit of a promo where people say “all Hail King Booker,” a lot. Batista comes off as a real babyface here as he drags his way through a shitty promo. Big music in the background for these two men, making it seem like a real hero vs villain affair.

Teddy Long is talking to the ring with his mad arms waving. He reminds the crowd that Batista signed the “royal declaration”, which is apparently legally binding. Teddy says that he is adding an extra stipulation: titles can now change hands on the count-out or DQ… at least if it happens to King Booker. JBL tells us: “We are going to have a winner or we will have a loser tonight.” Fucking idiot.

Batista comes out, running and hitting his big babyface pop with the pyro. Someone has a sign that says, “We want Lesnar.” No. No one wants Lesnar.

King Booker’s music comes on… and we have confetti? Gold confetti? Is Goldust in the house? Oh, man, if Goldust turned up here I would lose my shit. I love me some Goldust.

Batista, obviously infuriated with King Booker’s blatant infringement of Goldust’s gimmick, runs out and beats on him in the aisle. Both men make their way to the ring and the bell has not even started the match yet! Get in the ring, boys, c’mon! You’re letting the side down. The ref tells them both to get into the ring and the bell finally calls.

Last Chance match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Batista def. King Booker (c) (w/ Queen Sharmell) via pinfall in 13:58.

Batista goes for the pin right away but fails to get anything other than a kickout. Booker takes over and is quickly beat upon by the Animal. They go around the corners for a while and a great suplex in the middle of the ring by Batista forces Booker to roll out of the ring and consider leaving before he remembers that a countout will result in him losing the match. He goes back in and is quickly worked on by Batista who awkwardly hits a ribreaker. JBL threatens that this match may go on for thirty minutes. Let’s hope that it does not. Booker drops Batista on his neck and works him over.

Booker hits a slingshot on Batista, ramming his throat into the bottom rope. He then hits the superkick but gets only a three count for his efforts. Booker cracks Batista a few times in the corner and Sharmell shouts his name. Brilliant heel. Best heel.

Batista gives Booker a handful of slaps and hits a great jackhammer cuplex in the middle of the ring. Goldust is lying everywhere. He’s been here. Batista catches Booker with a swinging Bossman Slam. Batista and Booker fight on the apron and as Booker is thrown in, Sharmell grips Batista’s foot, distracting him enough for Booker to superkick him into the barricade. Batista’s head is bounced off the steel steps and Batista is rolled back in the ring. Booker goes for the pin with his foot on the rope but gets only a two.

Booker is in control as JBL calls Teddy Long a racist because he dislikes Booker. Black on black crime, huh?

Booker hits the jumping kick but still fails to get the pin on Batista. The announcers are reminding the audience of the stipulations as Sharmell is riling up the crowd. Batista gets mental chants as he climbs to his feet and finally beats on Booker, taking over and hitting a belly-to-belly suplex on the King. Booker takes some wonderfully powerful clotheslines and a big boot to the face that knocks him out of the ring. Batista takes the time to throw Booker into the steel steps. Batista rolls back into the ring then goes to the top rope to hit the shoulder barge. A big man actually hits a top-rope move! What?!

A huge spinebuster gets only a two-count. It’s heating up now as Booker hits the Bookend but Batista kicks out at two. Booker’s mouth is bust but Batista hits the Batista bomb, goes for the pin in one, two, Booker kicks out. Sharmell slides over, hands Booker the title. Batista goes to hit Sharmell with the Batista Bomb and Booker attempts to hit him with the title. Batista ducks the attack, takes the belt, cracks booker with it and wins the championship in 13:58.

2016 comments:

I, for once, agree with JBL: this is a hollow victory.

2006 comments:

Did… Did Batista just turn heel?

Grade: B

Batista is happy about winning but the success seems empty, somehow. Even the crowd feel the same, with little being excited over this. Shameful way to end the PPV.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No matches were wonderful except for the one with [REDACTED] Benoit so he wins it.

Woman of the Matches: The women’s match was crap but Lita retired so I will pick her.

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

Best Spot: Jesus Christ, John Cena’s FU to Big Show.

Hatches: Mike Knox, Arn Anderson, Ron Simmons, Test.

Matches: [REDACTED] Benoit retained his WWE United States Championship, Mickie James won the WWE Women’s Championship for the second time, Batista won the World Heavyweight Championship for the second time.

Dispatches: None.

On The Card Hall Of Fame

Every “Big Four” PPV (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) I will choose a man and woman to be inducted into the hall of fame. A man and woman must have been named either a Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches in the previous months since the last “Big Four” PPV. Once a man or woman is inducted, they may not be inducted again but can still win Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches. Through this, we can course the dizzying highs and savage lows of the wrestling landscape throughout the years. If no one new has been given the title of Man or Woman of the Matches, then a candidate will be chosen from the highest-rated matches since the last “Big Four” PPV. If no one is to be found there, then we go to the next highest-rated matches and so on. If we (unlikely) get to the bottom of the pile, then the Hall of Fame will remain empty to show the excellent calibre of the wrestlers and shallow roster.

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: John Cena, Edge, Carlito and [REDACTED] Benoit, [REDACTED] Benoit.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… [REDACTED] Benoit for being a great lad in the ring.

Previous Women of the Matches: Queen Sharmell.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Trish Stratus, Queen Sharmell, Queen Sharmell, Lita.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Trish Stratus for being terrific.

Closing Statements: Survivor Series 2006 was a weak, weak PPV with very little exciting matches and its only real draws were the star-studded elimination matches that were about five minutes too long.

On the Card will return on December 3 2016 with the ECW PPV December to Dismember 2006.

Ruthless Aggression #8: No Mercy (October 8, 2006) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Good Booker/Batista match and the DX/McMahon match was acceptable…

Cut to the back and King Booker is harassing Regal for not doing his job. Regal, bleeding from his head, is apologetic. Finlay turns up, says he came for two things: to fight and to take Booker’s World Heavyweight Championship. Booker blames Regal and calls him pathetic, useless and that he makes him sick. Regal fights back with a great punch to Booker, knocking the king to the ground. Booker gets so angry that he reaches for his crowd to stamp to the ground but finds that it is not there.

Cut to the pre-main-event-promo. King Booker is king. Batista is a destructive monster. Lashley is an absolute machine. Finlay… is the weak link, but the obvious superheel. Teddy Long announces the Fatal-Four-Way and all the lads beat on each other to show that there are no allegiances.

Cut to the back and Bobby is taping his wrists when Drax the Destroyer comes in. Bobby reminds Batista that they are fighting in, like, a minute. Batista tells him there will be no mercy, which is the name of the PPV.

In the ring, the rules of the Fatal-Four-Way are announced and Finlay arrives to little applause. I just noticed that he is from Belfast, Ireland as opposed to Belfast, Northern Ireland, which pleases me greatly. Toicfaidh ár lá.

Bobby’s music hits and the monster walks to the ring with his crazy eyes and no emotion on his face. He looks amazing, like a handsome Ahmed Johnson.

Batista’s music hits and there’s a pop like no other. Down he comes, doing a wee dad jog and hopping about, machine gunning his pyro and… he shaved? He shaved between his Lashley promo and now. Priorities. He runs up the steps and eyes up his enemies.

Booker’s wonderfully repetitive royal music hits and out he comes with his mad, lovely, lovely wife. Cole tells us that Booker’s palace is crumbling, which is not true as he holds no land nor titles. Cole and JBL bicker on the mic about statistics. The ref holds the belt aloft and the bell is rung.

Fatal-Four-Way match for the World Heavyweight Championship: King Booker (c) (w/ Queen Sharmell) def. Bobby Lashley, Batista and Finlay via pin in 16:52.

Finlay rolls out of the ring as soon as the bell goes and leaves Bobby and Batista to beat on Booker by the ‘buckle. Sharmell is not happy as the two friends double-team the King of the Ring. Finlay returns to batter Lashley and remove him from the situation. He turns on Batista and as Booker goes for the Irishman, there is a pause and a temporary allegiance as they attack Batista in the corner. Bobby returns and tosses Finlay out. JBL states that there will never be a pin-attempt over the two-count unless the men are isolated, which is, of course, totally true. Bobby hits a great body slam on Booker and Finlay pulls his king from the ring. Bobby chases after them and is beaten to the ground for his effort. The King and his Knight hammer mercilessly on Batista mid-ring.

Booker and Finlay continue to batter the fan favourite with some great chops and an Irish whip to the corner is followed by a betrayal by Finlay. JBL calls him a bastard. Finlay batters Booker for a while and Bobby tries to get involved but is hindered. A two-count is interrupted by Batista, who gets an arm-lock for his trouble. The veins on Batista’s arm. Batista lifts the arm-lock, hits a fireman’s suplex but Finlay holds the arm-lock on. Lashley gets involved and Finlay gets Lashley into a half-Boston-crab. Booker arrives, superkicks Finlay and attempts a pin but is broken by Batista.

It is the Animal’s turn to beat on the champ and beat he does, Irish whipping Booker into the ropes as he ducks a clothesline and retaliates with a jumping kick. Batista attempts again and this time hits the Bossman Slam on the champ. Bobby is up, though, throwing both Batista and Booker out of the ring. Finlay runs in with… the belt I think? Either way Bobby attacks him. Little Bastard sneaks in, low-blows Bobby and Finlay takes the time to batter Bobby with the shillelagh. A pin attempt, broken by Booker then another broken by Finlay.

The Irishman gets kicked in the corner and Batista is back in, taking turns to hit Booker and Finlay, finally getting Booker in a stalling jackhammer suplex but failing to get the pin. It is only Batista and Bobby in the ring. The two friends must face off. Great moment in the ring followed by a brutal spear but Bobby stays in the match. Three pin attempts, each one followed by a successful kickout by Lashley. Batista is trying everything and Bobby spinebusters Batista, busting him open. Lashley wastes no time in clotheslining the Animal, knocking him out of the ring and doing the same to Finlay. Booker hits the Book-End on Lashley but he kicks out. Bobby and Booker are mid-ring now, and a suplex is reversed into a small package.

Running the ropes and another two-count. Booker removes his hairband and is about to hit his scissor kick when Finlay arrives, breaks the count and Batista spinebusters everyone in the ring, channelling his inner Ultimate Warrior and hits Finlay with a Batista Bomb before Bobby spears him off his feet. Booker gets up, sees the carnage and pins Finlay for the win in 16:52.

2016 comments:

Great main event. Lots of good spots, bit of blood, very frantic action and little rest holds. Tiny storylines here and there, nothing amazing, but a thoroughly enjoyable main event. Well done, lads, you left everything in the ring. Screwy finish, mind.

2006 comments:

I have never been more impressed by these four mediocre wrestlers.

Grade: A

JBL and Cole argue as Booker leaves and the PPV ends with an, “All Hail King Booker!”

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I am loath to say this, but Mr. [REDACTED] himself, Chris Benoit.

Woman of the Matches: No women’s match this time around so, once again, the best woman in the PPV is the fantastic Queen Sharmell, who was far better than Ashley Massaro, Michelle McCool and Vickie Guerrero combined.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Chris Benoit!

Best Spot: Finishing spot with the triple spinebusters, Batista Bomb and spear. Very fast, very frantic, very fun.

Hatches: Jimmy Wang Yang, Sylvan, Montel Vontavious Porter, Marty Garner, KC James, Idol Stevens, Vito.

Matches: Both Paul London and Brian Kendrick retained their WWE Tag Team Championship belts and King Booker retained his World Heavyweight Championship.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: Probably one of the better Smackdown PPVs that I have seen. Long may this level of wrestling reign.

On the Card will return on November 5 with the RAW PPV Cyber Sunday 2006.

Ruthless Aggression #5: The Great American Bash (July 23, 2006) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: We had a great tag match. Let’s hope this level of quality continues…

Cut to Khali and Daivari as the big man garbles in some attempt at language, his manager translates for the audience. Apparently Khali wants to call the Undertaker out now, before their match together. Khali then lifts Daivari up and the feed cuts to SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long coming out. He walks like a robot and wears his father’s suit. He tells the audience that he has some bad news. He tells the audience that Bobby Lashley has “elevated enzymes in his liver” and cannot compete.

As the crowd boos, out comes Lashley to a pop. He is dressed to compete and Cunt JBL says that Bobby is a coward. The crowd cheer for Bobby and the boy has difficulty talking. He also has tiny ears. I never noticed that before. Bobby says that there isn’t a damn thing wrong with him. Cut to a girl in the audience chanting, “Let him fight!”

Teddy tells Bobby that he wants Bobby to compete, but is thinking about Bobby’s health. Big boos from the crowd. Bobby goes to leave the ring, very upset about the entire thing. Finlay’s music hits and both he and Regal walk out and around Lashley. The entire thing is like a wet fart. Both Regal and Finlay shake hands with Teddy. The two men tell Teddy to raise Finlay’s hand in victory as Bobby has forfeit. Teddy then says that there will be a match for the US title and it will be between Regal and Finlay, right now.

JBL then says that the “elevated levels” remark is nonsense and that he, himself, has “a liver like Jake Roberts” and that he never had any problems. Absolute cunt.

WWE United States Championship match: Fit Finlay (c) def. William Regal via pin in 13:49.

I’m a huge fan of William Regal and I should be a huge fan of Finlay because we’re both Irish and he seems like an amazing guy, but I find it difficult to get behind his character. Nonetheless, I’m settling down to be entertained by these two young gentlemen (Finlay was about 47 at the time and Regal was 38, though the lifetime of drug abuse makes them look a similar age).

Regal rolls outside to see if The Little Bastard AKA Hornswoggle is under the ring. Finlay goes for a quick roll-up and Regal slaps him. JBL talks gibberish about the English and the Irish fighting each other, which is interesting because Finlay describes himself as an Irishman from Northern Ireland and straddles the two worlds of Irish and British politics. He doesn’t come across as a member of the IRA or even states that he has any Republican or Nationalist opinions. JBL, as usual, is a cunt.

The two men scrabble to the outside and walk about the place, hugging. The crowd are booing them because it appears boring. Michael states that Regal and Finlay have not fought in ten years and the last time they scrapped, Finlay suffered from a broken nose and cheekbone (or Finlay was responsible for Regal’s broken nose and cheekbone; Cole is not clear). Great tiltawhirl by Final and Regal tosses him outside followed by an uppercut by Regal. Hornswoggle appears and grabs Regal’s leg. A pantomime follows where Regal walks about with Hornswoggle chasing him with a shillelagh. Lots of kicks and punches in the ring.

Bunch of uppercuts for a while, which is the more exciting version of rest hold city. JBL starts giving off to Cole because he doesn’t know anything about Europe even though seconds ago, he was making fun of the Mexican announcers. What a c- you know that? I’m not even going to. If I have a buck for each time JBL is a cunt, I’ll be rich by the end of this. Hornswoggle appears again and bites Regal’s fingers. Finlay… pushes Regal’s hand into the ring ropes. Very weird. Some ground-based wrestling. JBL talks more nonsense about Irish history, saying that the six counties of Ireland took on the whole British Empire… which is… very wrong.

Finlay gets Regal into a rest hold and it lasts for some time. Both men are knocked down, butting heads before Regal walks all over Finlay, blocking the ref’s view as he keeps Finlay in a chokehold for ages. Very bad dropkick and lots of close counts. Regal hits a beautiful suplex followed by a dropped knee. The crowd chant, “Boooooring! Boooooring!” and Cole actually checks them on it! Motherfucker! Finlay beats Regal by the apron and the cover is removed from the side of the ring to expose the underside of the ring. Regal’s shoe has been removed, probably by Hornswoggle. Cole calls JBL a “goof”.

Regal gets the pin and almost gets the two-count. Regal goes for the shilleilagh and as the ref removes it from him, Hornswoggle appears, gives Final Regal’s boot and he cracks him with it to get the pin in 13:49.

2016 comments:

Awful, just awful. These two men can have a great match without interference. Hornswoggle cheapened the whole deal.

2006 comments:

I’m happy Finlay beat Regal but I’m unhappy that this match ever felt the need to take place.

Grade: C

Finlay’s belt gets stolen by Hornswoggle and he chases him about for a while before kicking him beneath the ring. Cole says, “This is absolutely ridiculous,” and it is. JBL says, “This is SmackDown!” and it is suddenly clear why WWE’s stock was falling at this point in time.

Back in the locker room, Rey Mysterio is having a wee chat to Chavo Guerrero Jr. Chavo tells Rey that he is an honorary Guerrero and that Eddie’s fans are proud of him. This is building up to a heel turn of some description. They share a hug. It’s very sweet.

Then Fat Matt Hardy rocks in, happy as fuck. Look at him smile. He’s set for a match with his lookalike, Gregory Helms, who comes in with his Cruiserweight belt. This is not a Cruiserweight Championship match, however. Cole tells us that Helms is the longest-running champ currently in the Fed, which goes to say how the titles were moved about like hotcakes at the time. The bell rings and Helms doesn’t remove his hat.

Gregory Helms def. Matt Hardy via pin in 11:43.

Why is the Hurricane still wearing his Ali G hat/do-rag? JBL gives off about Maggle telling him off for his syntax. He then rags on George W Bush. In the ring, Fat Matt and Helms lock up and push each other about. Gregory loses the hat and there’s a beautiful hip toss before some matwork. The ref is wearing SmackDown blue as Matt Hardy does the Hurricane’s pose, causing the audience to pop. The two men roll over the top rope. Lovely roll-up and Helms gives Hardy two neckbreakers.

Helms hits another neckbreaker, goes for the cover and only gets a two. Tazzmission city for a while. Matt gives Greg’s thigh a wee squeeze. Hardy drops Helms with another neckbreaker and more Tazzmission city. Maggle and JBL give off to each other. It really undermines the action in the ring when the commentators can’t even focus on the match. That and acknowledging negative chants from the crowd takes away from the action in the ring. Even the worst match needs to be sold.

Russian Leg Sweep followed by another close pin. JBL talks about Dusty Rhodes for some reason. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dusty, but he has nothing to do with this match. JBL then mentions enzymes again. Matt goes for the superplex but it is countered in a super neckbreaker from the rop rope. Jeepers, it’s been neckbreaker city tonight. Lesnar would be proud, if only he were capable of emotions. Pin attempt and Hardy had his leg on the rope. Another two pin attempts and Helms gets his anger up.

Wee spoon on the ground for a while and Helms knees Hardy in the face for a spell. JBL makes fun of internet fans as a guy in a referee outfit sells candyfloss in the background. Blow exchange in the middle of the ring before Hardy hits the Side Effect but gets only a two-count. Hardy hits a bulldog and goes for another pin but gets two. What can these two men do to each other?

Some reversals, Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate, reversed again and Helms goes for the Shining Wizard but Hardy kicks out. Helms brings Hardy over to the turnbuckle and places him on it. Hardy fights back, hits a moonsault but only gets a two count. Hardy goes up to Bret’s rope and hits a double axe-handle nothing. Matt goes to the top rope again, Helms tosses him off and gets a roll-up for a weak win in 11:43.

2016 comments:

Some great psychology here and fantastic spots that are ruined by the weak ending.

2006 comments:

Bring back Jeff.

Grade: B-

Another cut to Khali and Daivari walking through the corridor. Taker turns up and the two square off until ECW’s Big Show arrives to beat on Undertaker. Teddy Long stands by and Khali kicks the Undertaker in the head. JBL and Cole recount the Khali and Show on Undertaker fights that have been happening backstage and in the last few matches.

On the Card will return on August 6 with the third part of The Great American Bash 2006.

Ruthless Aggression Era #2. Judgment Day 2006 (May 21, 2006) 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 May 21, 2006, the PPV Judgement Day aired. It was a Smackdown event and the calibre of matches and their content are drastically different to what we have now. Personally, it 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 and I remember this one well. 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.

WWE Judgement Day 2006

This PPV had no tagline, which is a nice way for the Fed to say that they didn’t give a rat’s ass about the damn show, which makes sense as Smackdown was (and still is) considered to be the B-Show with Raw being the A-Show. Not that the show is entirely populated by untalented wrestlers. If you look at the card, we have Benoit, Angle, Undertaker and Rey Mysterio… but we also have Cunt Bradshaw, Mark Henry and The Great Khali. The Lord giveth and he taketh away, especially now that Vince McMahon has defeated him in a tag contest (though God forfeited by leaving the arena).

The PPC starts with the Ruthless Aggression opener showing wrasslin’ through the ages. It moves into some wicked bible quotes. Can’t help but love a show that starts with bible quotes. You know they’re mean the business when Leviticus and the lads are involved. Who is it they’re pulling on today? Is it Matthew? Luke? I like a bit of Psalms now and again.

No, it’s Job 19:29. Wouldn’t be my choice, personally, but I can see how people would like it. Let’s give it a read… “…FEAR the sword; for wrath will bring PUNISHMENT by the sword, and then you will know that there is JUDGEMENT.”

Nice stuff. Personally, I think they just chose any old quote with the word “Judgment” in it, but then again, I spell it “Judgement” so I’m not really one to pick holes at things.

Fade to black and we see all the lads look dead serious and stare middle distance. The narrator asks if we are able to fulfil promises, dreams etc. It’s bigging up the Khali vs. Taker match, Angle vs. Henry, Lashley vs. T. Bradshaw was just a deplorable arse when he was heeling it up. He’s never really lived that down or grown out of it. It took Jerry Lawler years to stop being a dick on commentary and I suppose Bradshaw will get there eventually. But until then, fuck him.

CGI intro of lots of blades and chains and guillotines and so on. Looks like an awesome into to some medieval Doom clone. Some brilliant music from our boys Killswitch Engage. Michael Cole and Taaaaazz at ringside. Tazz wearing sunglasses indoors and Michael Cole with a depressing moustache. Cut to the Spanish announcers, Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. Savinovich always looks like he has memorised a bunch of Spanish words and is just waiting for Cabrera to stop talking so he can spout them off. This month, it is “brutaaaal!”

Papparazzi come out and the red carpet is laid out for Cameron’s favourite wrestler, Melina. She is followed by Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro, MNM. The lads are wearing fur coats with LEDs on them stating their names. Better than his and hers bathrobes, I suppose. They are also the Tag Team champions, although they’re giving those belts to anyone these days. Tazz pervs over Melina’s entrance to the ring. Is it necessary to have one lecherous announcer? Is that written into the very fabric of announcing? There’s an awful lot of choreography from Melina. She can’t just choose one pose, she pulls about sixty.

Paul London and Brian Bendrick’s music hits and the two masked loons sprint down to the ring right and hit stereo backflips. Very impressive. Music is shite, though. London and Kendrick are wearing PVC pants too big for them. Doesn’t Nitro look like British Bulldog? He does.

Tag Team Championship Match: Paul London and Brian Kendrick def. MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro) (c) w/ Melina via pinfall in 13:43

Maggle Cole says 15,000 people in attendance. Bulldog Nitro screaming at London whilst nothing happens in the ring. Great running the ropes followed by Nitro tripping onto his face like a goon. London and Kendrick doing the revolving door of tag teams followed by a close two-count. Bulldog Mercury is in and gets a great hip toss onto his arse for another close two-count.

London is in and the two men in red parachute pants hit a beautiful hip toss followed by a crap elbow. Nitro and Mercury run to the outside and London and Kendrick hit a grrrreat suicide dive to the outside. Kendrick can’t remember which of the two men is legal and after a wee chat to them both, throws Bulldog Mercury in. Missed crossbody and Nitro is in control. Mercury is tagged in and Melina is screaming like a harpy. Big boos from the crowd, and for good reason. The referee is distracted and Melina gets London in head scissors on the apron. Ohhh! What a bitch!

London and Mercury run the ropes and bop heads. Nitro and Kendrick tag in and Kendrick runs roughshod over everyone with a bunch of missile dropkcicks, only to be knocked down with a Snapshot (elevated DDT). Melina has another ear-piercing screech and it’s only a two count as London breaks it up. A bunch of close counts as Kendrick is being held down by Nitro. Lots of rest holds too, with the match entering its seventh minute and both teams gassed. Kendrick gets a roll-up but Mercury is gabbing with the ref. Double leg drop and MNM are back in control.

Kendrick gets a delayed vertical suplex from Mercury, one that hurts his shoulder. With the dreads and the pink skin, the suplex just makes Mercury into a mini Bulldog each and every second. Melina lays some boots into Kendrick after some close counts, but the ref doesn’t see it. Nitro is tagged in and lays into Kendrick some more. This poor guy has taken a beating and the crowd are ready for some hot tag action. Mercury is back in, despite is sore shoulder and Melina talks away to herself. Lots of shots of the crowd reacting as well, it’s all very nice. Kendrick fights back and the crowd is with him. Mercury gets an accidental boot from his own partner and London is tagged in.

Standard hot tag fare here – London hits a bunch of punches, shoulder barges, irish whips etc, building momentum. He’s quickly double teamed but reverses it into a double clothesline and gets a close two-count. Nitro grabs him from behind and London hits a great dropsault – missile dropkick into a moonsault. He’s about to get the pin and then Melina jumps into the ring with her harpy scream. Why she isn’t sent out is beyond me. Kendrick is in and does a great suicide dive outside but Melina pushes Nitro out of the way. Nitro grabs London from the apron and – you can see this coming a mile off – Mercury goes to punch London but he ducks and bops his partner instead. Roll up and London and Kendrick get the pin in 13:43.

2016 comments:

It was an okay match as far as tag matches go. Some good tense moments here and there, but it was too formulaic. London and Kendrick came across as the underdogs and so you knew that the hot tag was coming and how good it was going to be. They didn’t win because they were the best, they won because they made the tag team champions hit each other by mistake.

2006 comments:

Fuck off, Melina.

Grade: C

MNM look so upset in the ring as London and Kendrick escape like cowards. Good job of selling the face win there, Fed. Big boos as the heels are left in the ring. Melina is upset as Maggle says that he is enjoying it. Melina beats on Mercury and he hits back. She slaps him and he grabs her wrist. Nitro beats on Mercury and now we don’t know who is face and heel as Melina kicks her defender in the face! Then the ref gets a boot between the legs. What the fuck is happening here? Should we like Nitro because he fought back against Heel Melina? Or should we like Melina and Nitro because they beat up Woman-Beating Mercury? The crowd are chanting, “Teddy! Teddy!” as Theodore Long, Esq. makes his way to the ring, only to be pushed on his arse.

Bit of a promo for the Lashley vs. T match later on this evening. Maggle says that the King of the Ring match (the very one that Bobby and Booker are in later) has catapulted superstars to elite status, which is not really a true fact. The winners of the KotR include Randy Savage, Bret Hart and Stone Cold, but also include Mabel (Big Daddy V) and Bad News Barrett, who the Fed love so much that they just fired, just over a year after he was crowned King of the Ring. We see Bret Hart beat Bam Bam Bigelow. Then we see the King of the Ring throne, sceptre, robe etc.

Music hits and The Rabid Wolverine, Chris Benoit (who?) arrives down the Tron, covered in REDACTED and CENSORED signs. Not really, but that’s what the Fed wants from the murder-suicider. Which is fair enough, considering what he done, but (and this might come as a bit of a peculiar thing to say) Benoit was a fucking good wrestler. He had problems, yes, and it’s a shame that they only came to light after the deaths of his family, but let’s not take away that the man was brilliant at the job that finally killed him.

He’s billed from Atlanta, Georgia, despite the fact that he is clearly Canadian. Wolverine was Canadian. Finlay’s music hits and my neighbour Fit Finlay comes down with his shillelagh. Benoit is roidy Magoo here, but he had turned 39 the day before, so he’s allowed a bit of human growth hormone with his cake, surely.

Chris Benoit def. Finlay via submission in 21:10.

Benoit’s big barrel chest looks so unnatural. Little Naitch Charles Robinson is the referee today and he’s watching these two men walk each other about the ring. Maggle is telling Tazz about how good a wrassler Benoit is as the two men go to the outside, walking each other about for a while. Benoit can’t seem to be able to close his mouth. The two men stand nose to nose and butt heads for a while before Benoit goes for the legs. This match is set to be a great mat-based match, which is not exciting to watch, really, but can build the suspense so much.

Benoit is in control and has Finlay on the ground. Benoit is a great face here, like Stone Cold, one that is so near to being a thug. Finlay pretends that Benoit thumbed his eye and uses the distraction to get the jump on Benoit. Final is in control now, getting a short-lived “Finlay sucks!” chant. Both Finlay and Benoit have gaps in their teeth, which makes sense as they’re both rough bastards. Finlay is shouting at Benoit and finally the Wolverine takes over, battering the shite out of my neighbour. Great backbreaker and a two-count. This is real wrestling, not the type of wrestling I got into back in the day, but one that I like now. Big rest hold, though, super long. Shame on Benoit.

The thing is, these two men really excel in using their strength and expertise to win the match. Finlay takes a shot to Benoit’s eye and a couple of pins for the two-count. Finlay gets Benoit in some sort of odd arm-stretch/head/neck/twist-combo. Some lad in the crowd goes absolutely mental. Finlay turns it into some legal-choke move where he uses Benoit’s own arm to choke him with it. Benoit fights out of it, goes for the elbow drop and misses. Finlay is back in control. Benoit’s trunks say 4 REAL, which is X-TREME. He goes for the flying headbutt and misses. The two men lie about for a while.

Benoit goes for the sharpshooter and Finlay escapes, jumping to the outside to get a chair. Benoit does a mental baseball slide, cracking Finlay in his nuts. He hits the flying headbutt and only gets a two-count. Finlay fights back and Irish whips Benoit into the turnbuckle, followed by an odd neck-hold into a pin that gets a two. Finlay roars, “Count faster!” to the ref. Lots of neck hits and Benoit’s lip is bust a bit, but no blood. Finlay sits on Benoit and apparently it’s a good move. The match has become slow-paced strikes instead of mat-based now and the crowd are chanting away. Maggle tells us that the fans are “jacked up tonight!” Just like Benoit, then.

Lots of shots of the crowd having a good time. I’ve never seen so many reaction shots of the crowd. Obviously the editor wants to show people having a good time. Either that or someone is farting around on the hard cam. Finlay is still in control and annoying Benoit by kicking his head. This is going to backfire!

And it does as Benoit slaps my neighbour but Finlay fights back and pretty soon Benoit is down. The tension has been lost in the match. Finlay gets a “Finlay sucks!” chant and another close two-count. The crowd is bored now. Benoit has lost his teeth. He is probably going to have a big comeback, a lucky break and that will lead to the win. Like clockwork, Benoit gets Finlay into two German suplexes followed by an enziguri that knocks Finlay outside. He goes for the shillelagh and it is knocked away by Benoit and turned into another German suplex to the floor. Little Naitch begins to count.

Finlay is on the apron and Benoit suplexes him in, followed by two more. Maggle reminds us that this is something Eddie did. Benoit goes to the turnbuckle but Finlay is up and fighting back. Benoit is outside and Finlay barrels him into the barricade. They go back into the ring and, with little tension, Benoit gets Finlay in the crossface for the tapout in 21:10.

2016 comments:

The start of this match was probably the most tense I have felt watching a wrestling match in years. So good. It devolves into something less impressive later and the end-up is that the match as a whole is underwhelming. We didn’t get the Frog Splash that Benoit was hinting to. As soon as Benoit went for the crossface, he got it and Finlay tapped out in less than a second. If the end of the match had the same tension as the beginning, it would have been amazing. As such, it was okay.

2006 comments:

I love Benoit. I hope he wrestles forever.

Grade: B

The crowd go bananas as Benoit celebrates. This was a feud match, so his win means nothing in the long run. Tazz tells us that, “you can bet your bottom dollar that Benoit respects Finlay after that,” which is nonsense because Finlay did nothing but cheat the entire match. Why would anyone respect that? Benoit, all hopped up on muscles and butt injections, looks like a monster in the ring.

Cut to a reminder of WrestleMania 22 and the great matches. You can buy a DVD of it, if you want. It blanks out Vince’s middle finger, but not the blood.

Jillian Hall ties her boots and we see the beginning of the feud as Melina and her fight over the makeup table. Chriiiiist.

Jillian comes out to a big pop. Her shoulders are back and she looks thrilled to be here. Cut to Superstar Billy Graham in the audience, who looks like he might have haemorrhoids. Melina comes out with Nitro, who instantly goes to Jillian and shouts at her. The ref spends no time in removing him, which is something he should have done back in the first match!

Jillian Hall def. Melina via pinfall in 04:18.

This is a match that should not happen. Neither of these women are talented enough to have any sort of match at all (even if one of them is half of Cameron’s favourite match ever). The entire point of women’s wrestling is to show women wrestling. It is not for titillation any more as we have the internet. It is not to fulfil some feral love for catfighting as we have had the Jerry Springer show for months. Neither of these women are good wrestlers. They should not be given the airtime.

The match is just lots of rest holds and complaining. The crowd wolf whistles. Botched Irish whip and Melina screams. Melina hits the double-knees to Jillian (something that Sasha banks does now) and hits a Bret’s-rope-double-axe-handle-nothing. Face to the turnbuckle. Crap roll-up. Jillian wins.

2016 comments:

I’ve said enough.

2006 comments:

I’ll get myself a cup of tea then, I guess.

Grade: F.

This sham of a match is made even worse by the fact that the pin is contested by Melina because she grabbed the rope. And the feud between two crap women continues. Crystal is there on the ramp, ready to ask Melina a question. She takes almost exactly one minute to ask her this question: “It hasn’t been a good night for you, has it?” This is, apparently, a question that is on “each and everyone’s mind here tonight.” Melina replies with, “you bitch!” and the two fight. I’ll go get myself another cup of tea then, I guess.

When I come back from my cup of tea, Cunt JBL is there, being a cunt as usual. JBL bigs up Rey, saying that he defeated Khali, Kane and Mark Henry, which is something that no one should be proud of, even someone two feet tall like Rey. JBL shouts off camera at someone and it’s Chavo Guerrero Jr! JBL drops Eddie’s name (Eddie died about six months earlier and his name was still being used to generate heat). Chavo’s lines are hidden behind the deafening roars of the audience.

On the Card will return on May 28th with the second part of Judgment Day 2006.