Ruthless Aggression #20. Vengeance: Night of Champions (June 24, 2007)

On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #20 Vengeance: Night of Champions – June 24, 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 June 24, 2007, Vengeance: Night of Champions 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February. This one was tri-branded and had Raw, Smackdown and ECW matches on the card. It is noticeable for taking place on June 24th, 2007, which was the date that Chris Benoit hung himself after murdering his wife and son. He no-showed this PPV and was replaced by Johnny Nitro in the CM Punk ECW Heavyweight Championship match. I will go into more detail about this horrific crime and the effect it had on the wrestling business as well as myself in the conclusion to this review. For now, I will state that 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 Vengeance: Night of Champions 2007

Night of Champions

Did it just use its own name as a tagline? My God.

The promo package tells us that everyone wants to win the gold, which is true, and that this PPV has a gimmick where every belt is on the line! Whaaat? I’m sure this has happened before.

Batista and Edge in a Last Chance Match. Yeo. Will Batista win? Probably.

Bobbo Lasher and Mick Foley and Randy Orton and Booker T and John Cena for the WWE Championship. Mentalnuts.

There’s a shot of an altar with… wrought iron? Tentacles? Who knows? We are welcomed into the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas by Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler. But first, Justin Roberts introduces Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo! That’s right, old Blackjack Winham and IRS, brothers-in-law and members of the US Express. They won the belts twice in 1985 and held them for a total of 137 days. Not too shabby. Cut to some lovely footage of the lads with Captain Lou Albano.

No time! No time to talk! Old Jeff and Fat Matt Hardy are rocking to the ring, beltless. They lost the belts to Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch on the June 4th RAW, one day after beating the World’s Greatest Tag Team in a ladder match at One Night Stand. Some facts there for you.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Super Crazy and Carlito. At least one of them should not have been there.)

Finally, JR and King introduce us to the announce team alongside 15,000 roaring fans in the arena and 247,000 at home (a drop, once again, from the 337,000 the year previous). JR and King represent RAW and… there are other announcers, too, apparently, but we will get to them soon enough. JR states that Cade and Murdoch are opportunistic for taking the belts one day after a big ol’ ladder match. The crowd bay for the Hardys.

Tag Team Match for the World Tag Team Championship: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch (c) vs. Matt and Jeff Hardy.

Champs never come out first but always get first billing. Them’s the rules.

We have nine matches on the card. Almost all of them will be sub-ten-minutes. Fat Matt to start off against Cade. JR gives off about Cade and Murdoch for a while. Despite their match at Judgment Day, Cade and Murdoch are the nasty heels. Cade holds out his hand, shit eating grin upon his face, and Matt takes advantage, making the audience cheer for him. Lovely running of the ropes and Jeff hits a cross-body to knock Cade down. Jeff is in and they botch a leg-drop-senton double team. Murdoch comes in and a botched swinging neckbreaker. Murdoch gets a kick in the face and lovely enziguri before Matt comes in with an axe-handle nothing. Lovely Poetry in Motion and slingshot baseball slide. Matt comes in and both Hardys clean house. Matt and Jeff stand in the ring as Cade and Murdoch say, “fuck it!” and walk off. Hardys roll out and beat on them for being cowards.

Both Cade and Murdoch rock in and Matt takes pity on Murdoch, who begs for his life. Murdoch tags in Cade sneakily and as Matt squares up to Murdoch, Cade Pearl Harbours him. Crowd bay for Jeff and the hot tag is built up. Murdoch’s eye is hurt from an injury at Smackdown, I think. Cade pops in and works on Matt’s left knee. Murdoch comes in and does the same. Matt fights back but Murdoch takes over with a single legged Boston Crab. Matt crawls away to the ropes and fails to reach them. More pressure applied to Matt’s knee. Matt might tap out. Jeff is desperate to get in and Matt kicks Murdoch on the face, runs up the hot tag, Jeff bounces in and botches his way through a clearing of the house.

Cade gets pinned but kicks out. Jeff retaliates, hits a lovely twisting moonsault, fails another pin. Sit-out vertical suplex and Jeff goes to the top rope and twice does Murdoch knock him off. Lovely sit-out spinebuster by Cade and they retain by pin.

Lance Cade has pinned Matt Hardy. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch retain the World Tag Team Championship in 08:55.

2017 comments:

Good opener. Both teams are very good, though have distinctly different styles. Although the Hardys were not as high-speed as they usually are, it was a clean win and both teams go over. Well, it wasn’t totally clean and the champions are obviously cheaters, but that’s that.

2007 comments:

No Swanton? No Twist of Fate? No wonder they lost.

Grade: B.

Matt looks on in horror as Lance and Trevor leave. Trevor has a wee word with the US Express there. Neither look impressed. Matt sits near Jeff as replays the closing moments, including the seemingly botched interruption. The champs say, “All by the rules!”

Cut to Booker and his mental with Sharmell. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Booker – since Wrestlemania 23, in fact. Booker – in an English accent, no less – states all of his championships and gives his Queen a resume that proves that he should be a champion tonight.

Cut to Cowardly Cole and Cunt JBL. They talk about Eddie and JBL talks about his Eddie’s career will be intertwined with his own. Yes, but not because you’re a good wrassler, JBL, but because Eddit accidentally cut himself badly in a fight. We see a match betwixt our boy Eddie and Bork Lensar, who is a shaved gorilla, but otherwise a lovely bloke.

Crowd chant for Eddie as his less-interesting nephew Chavo comes out.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Chavo was one of the gentlemen who Benoit got in contact with regarding his suicide. Chavo had spoken to Benoit on Saturday and Benoit had told Chavo that he loved him, which Chavo later said sounded “off” to him. Chavo was also a recipient of a text from Benoit and his wife’s phone giving their address. Spooky.

Chavo is the Cruiserweight champion… and comes down first, apparently. God dammit, Fed. Is it just me? Am I wrong. No. No, it is the Federation who is wrong.

Cut to Dean Malenko, the man of 1000 holds, which would be interesting, of course, if not for Jericho, who knows one more.

Jimmy Wang Yang turns up, the resident redneck. What a lad. I love this boy. He’s brilliant. He’s a real lad. Look at him, with his moustache and the whole wife-beater-and-jeans thing going on. He’s like Dean Ambrose, only with talent.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship match: Chavo Guerrero (c) vs. Jimmy Wang Yang.

Referee Charles “Little Naitch” Robinson there as Cole tells us that the first Cruiserweight Champ was Brian Pillman. That was back in WCW, but they don’t tell you that. Jimmy hits a lovely hip toss and a roll-up but fails. Chavo’s father, Chavo Classic was also Cruiserweight Champ. Chavo calls the ref over, takes advantage of the situation and attacks Jimmy before tossing him into the corner. Jimmy takes over, hits a lovely dropkick and an amazing suplex. Pin and fail.

Jimmy does a sweet run up Chavo’s body and backflips. Chavo baseball slides Jimmy on the apron and tosses him back in, going top rope but getting an enziguri from Jimmy to knock him to the outside. Jimmy goes top rope and hits a cross-body. Jimmy rolls Chavo back in and hits the pin but fails. Fantastic hip-toss from Chavo into the corner, by Christ. Nice side-suplex from Chavo and a pin but fail. Chavo gets Jimmy in a hold and he fights back, tosses Chavo, gets reversed, falls, and Chavo hits the senton. Very confident Guerrero. The crowd chant, “We want Wang!”

Jimmy fights back and hits a wonderful backdrop followed by an Atomic drop onto Chavo’s balls. Jimmy hits an odd cartwheel attack, another cross-body from the top rope and almost a pin-fall. Chavo hits the Three Amigos and gets boos. Jimmy escapes, goes for a pin but Chavo has the bottom rope. Chavo rolls out of the way of a moonsault and hits a Gory Special attempt. Roll-up and Chavo kicks out. The crowd boo. Jimmy is lifted onto the turnbuckle, is knocked onto the ground and Chavo hits the frog splash for the win.

Chavo Guerrero has pinned Jimmy Wang Yang and retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in 10:16.

2017 comments:

Good old match. Not as flippy as we expect from Jimmy, but he was so over, it didn’t matter.

2007 comments:

Man, fuck Chavo.

Grade: B.

JR uses the Owen Voice to tell us about Vince McMahon’s alleged death by limo explosion.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: This is infamous because the Raw following Vengeance was due to be a tribute to our man Vince, but it was changed, obviously, to a tribute to Benoit before the news was revealed hours later about the truth of Benoit’s actions. At the ECW the following night, Vince took back the Benoit reference and began the long, arduous process of bleaching him from the WWE.

JR introduces a look into Vince’s “mindset”, showing his last moments and the premonition he had about a dark cloud that then was revealed to be his upcoming death. Twice, Vince looks behind himself and then he hesitates before opening the door to his limo, he steps in, steps out and blows up. The footage was made from spliced footage filmed the Sunday before Raw and an outside agency – Zenith Pyrotechnology – was called in to make it look as effective as possible. Crowd sing, “Na na na na! Waaaay, goodbye.”

Then there’s an opinion piece as to who was responsible for Vince dying. Cut to Bobby Lashley being asked if he had anything to do with the death. He says he wishes Vince was alive to see the look on his face when he wins the belt tonight.

Cut to Tazz and Joey Styles wanking off about Tazz being the greatest ECW Champion of all time.

CM Punk comes down. This is a match to determine who should be the ECW Champion. As mentioned, his opponent in this match was going to be Benoit. Punk half-heartedly throws his t-shirt into the crowd.

For some reason, Justin Roberts introduces Johnny Nitro before he enters the Titantron. No Melina or paparazzi or Joey Mercury tonight so it’s clear that Johnny was added as an afterthought. But Melina is actually on the card tonight, so I don’t see why they couldn’t have her walk him to the ring?

Match for the vacant ECW World Championship: CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro.

Johnny takes the time to get out of the corner as the crowd chant, “We want Benoit!” Gulp.

The two circle one another and Johnny actually checks the chants before CM Punk kicks the shite out of Nitro, who rolls out of the ring, steps on the apron, slaps Punk and is chased about the ring. Punk slaps the face off Nitro and he gets a lovely springboard kick to the head from Nitro. Punk shakes off the cobwebs as Nitro gets him into a rest hold for a bit as they decide on the next spot. Punk fights out, gets a clothesline to the face and then a boot from Nitro.

Lovely armbar. The crowd want Benoit and he shouts, “You got Johnny Nitro!” The announcers discuss the late change and what that means for Johnny in Kayfabe. Backbreaker and another sleeper hold. Punk fights out of it, gives a lovely enziguri to Nitro and both men take their time getting up. Punk takes over, booting Nitro all about the place and attempting a pin. Nitro reverses a knee lift and Nitro gets a pin with his feet on the ropes but the ref sees it. Punk goes for the GTS but Nitro escapes into a sunset flip which Punk refuses to Aloha Arn. A bulldog from Punk and he pops up to the top rope, attempts a springboard which Johnny escapes from. He then hits a swinging elevated neckbreaker and get the pin.

Johnny Nitro has pinned CM Punk to win the ECW World Championship in 8:00.

2017 comments:

Going through the motions. Neither of the men had a chance to put on a great match and you could see Punk was Grumps McGraw in this match.

2007 comments:

Where was Benoit?

Grade: C.

So, it turns out that Punk was going to fail anyways. That’s a kick in the teeth, isn’t it?

Cut to WrestleMania XII where Bret and Shawn squared off in an Iron Man match for the championship. Shawn refused to submit at the end of the match and it continued under Sudden Death, which is a nice way of saying that now it is a normal match, I guess. Shawn got the pin after a Sweet Chin Music.

Cut to Mick Foley in the locker room, wrapping his knuckles. Randy is there and threatens Mick saying that he has ended careers. Mick reminds Randy that he’s an absolute headcase. Randy says that he won the last match they had. He won it. He won that match.

Cut to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and his Intercontinental Championship win. He then pops out himself, waves to the crowd and gets more than the US Express earlier.

Out comes the current Intercontinental Champion, Santino Marella, who was apparently just a fan until he beat Umaga in Milan.

Out comes Umaga, who was an absolute murderer until Cena destroyed him. Now he’s back to just being another wrestler. He shouts at the ring steps for being a mean old set of steps.

WWE Intercontinental Championship match: Santino Marella (c) vs. Umaga.

Umaga screams and Santino dodges out of the way of his charge, attempts a roll-up and fails. Santino is on Umaga’s back and the Samoan drops backwards, squashing Marella. Umaga goes for a splash and Santino gets the knees up but no joy. The crowd chant, “Umaga’s gonna kill you!” and the Samoan gets the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on Santino. Marella fights back, attempts to run away and he sells his hand being paralysed. Umaga lifts him up, beats him in the corner and after the shortest five count in history, the ref calls for a DQ.

Umaga has been disqualified by failing to move away from the corner after a five count. Santino Marella retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship by default in 02:34.

2017 comments:

Ugh. If you’re going for a short match, make it believable. Have Umaga fight the referee, maybe, toss him, refuse to let go, bloody Santino up. It just looks like Umaga has been unfairly treated. Shit. Who is the heel here?

2007 comments:

This Santino might be the best champion ever.

Grade: C.

Umaga chases the referee, goes top-rope and splashes Santino. Why? He should be mad at the ref. The crowd chant for “U-Mah-Gah!” and he leaves. He’s clearly not a heel. He rolls back in, shots the thumb and hits the Samoan Spike into Marella’s throat. The crowd chant, “One more time!” but he does not hit it one more time. Maria rocks down the ramp and rolls into the ring to look after Santino. Replays of the ref giving a five count and instantly calling DQ. As Daniel Bryan would say, “He has until five, referee.”

Cut to an ad for Summerslam, featuring Jackass.

Cut to Coward Moustache Michael Cole and Cunt JBL as they talk for some time about the limo explosion. Daniel Beck, the lead federal investigator for the incident. He tells us that forensics have confirmed DNA evidence for Vince, the limo driver and another third party, who is a “well-known personality”.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Cunt President Donal Trump legitimately thought that Vince was dead. I would normally take the time to point out how imbecilic this was… if not for the fact that stocks dropped because of the storyline, showing that money doesn’t necessarily equate to common sense.

Reminder that tomorrow is a three-hour celebration of Vince. Eep.

Cut to Magnum TA, former US Champ, who survived a car crash that left him in the wreck for two hours before ambulance arrived. This car crash ended his career and it was feared that damage to his vertebrae would leave him paralysed for life, but he was able to walk again with the aid of a cane.

MVP appears, ready to kick arse in his onesie. Farty pyro fires off. He squares off to Magnum TA who is standing beside Sign Guy, who has a sign that says, “A Horseman vs A Horse’s Ass”. Brilliant. The jerk beside Magnum TA is doing the Cena, “U Can’t C Me” sign.

Big woo as walking leather handbag Ric Flair walks to the ring. His entrance is cut short as MVP dives out of the ring to jaw off to Flair. Flair has been drafted to SmackDown at the grand old age of 58. Oy vey.

WWE United States Championship match: Montel Vontavious Porter (c) vs. Ric Flair.

Bell rings and MVP jaws off to Flair before the two lock up. MVP gets Flair in a corner, shouts shit in his face and the two argue before Flair woos and gives MVP a slap. Flair struts in the centre of the ring, MVP takes his time on the outside before rolling back in. The two bucks shout at each other and taunt. Flair gets cheers and MVP gets booed. Flair gets MVP into a leg lock and there’s a lovely wee rest hold. MVP gets to the ropes and Flair attempts a leg snap. Rake of the eyes and Flair is lifted onto the apron before being booted off. The champ goes out, picks up Flair and hammers his head off the apron. Pin in the ring followed by another and some punches before another pin and rest hold. Flair has bladed.

Flair gets to the ropes to break the hold and MVP stomps him. Flair is in the corner, takes some shots but survives. Some Flair chops and punches before a big back drop from MVP. He checks his chest and zips back up his top. Yeo. Rest hold city over here. A lone fan in the crowd woos. Flair fights back and knocks the champ back. Lovely fireman’s carry into gorilla press and a pin but still no win. The announcers talk about other champs and how they would feel about MVP. Flair hits a jawbreaker and slaps MVP on the ropes. Dodgy botched choke into backdrop and Flair chops away at MVP, runs the ropes and hits the high elbow. Back body drop and Flair is still in control, going for the ten punch in the corner but only getting five before MVP escapes.

MVP goes for another boot in the corner but misses. Flair attacks the knee, struts and attacks the knee again. Figure Four is locked in and MVP is reaching for the ropes before reaching it easily. Flair takes a thumb to the eye, hits the Playmaker for the win.

MVP has pinned Ric Flair and retains the WWE United States Championship in 8:43.

2017 comments:

Nice of them to unwrap Flair and feed him the Lazarus Solution to resurrect him once again.

2007 comments:

Did we really think Flair could ever win?

Grade: C.

Maggle tells us that Flair was in control. We see the ref pull Flair away – not DQing him like they did to Umaga – and MVP leaves, still the champ.

Backstage, Todd Grisham speaks to John Cena, who hits Todd and gives the big thumbs up to the camera. Edge appears and the pair waste time talking about the failed Vince McMahon Whodunnit. Cena tells Edge that he’s too soft to kill Vince. Edge basically implicates himself and the FBI guys appears to ask Edge some serious questions about a death that never actually happens.

By the side of the crowd is Rick Martel and Tony Garea, who were Tag Team champs back in the day. A different tag team, of course, to the World Tag Team Champions earlier… Confused much?

Deuce ‘n Domino come out, all shoo-bopping and doo-wopping with Cherry on her roller blades. I like this gimmick. It’s silly. Deuce lifts up Cherry and walks her three steps. They won the tag team belts from Paul London and Brian Kendrick. Deuce and Domino make fun of Martel and Garea, saying that the place stinks and that they thought the old champs were dead. Stay classy.

Sgt. Slaughter’s music hits and out he rocks, saluting to everyone, pointing and shouting. Then out comes legit murderer, Jimmy Snuka. This is the second match in a row with ancient wrestlers fighting new wrestlers. Cunt JBL talks about calling Ron Simmons and starting up the APA. Cole tries to be his friend. JBL turns him down.

Tag Team Match for the World Tag Team Championship: Deuce ‘n Domino (c) (w/ Cherry) vs. Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.

Deuce starts off and Cole tells us that it’s a bit odd that Snuka and Slaughter are tagging together as they feuded back in the day. Botched running of the ropes and jumping as Domino jumps too early and lands on Snuka’s neck. He hits Domino a bunch and tags in Slaughter, who hits a pump-handle gutbuster and snapmare for a pin. Big fail. Slaughter tosses Domino about and gives him a back body drop. Another pin. Another fail.

Slaughter hits the Cobra Clutch and finds the rope pretty quickly. Big elbow shots and Domino takes a big old clothesline. Another Cobra Clutch and Deuce walks back. Deuce hits Slaughter, why he doesn’t tag in is beyond me. Finally, he does and a ref distraction causes the choke from Domino. Domino tags Deuce in.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Deuce is, of course, the son of Jimmy Snuka.

Deuce is beating on Slaughter, looks at his dad, goes to the top rope, hits a taunt on Superfly, does a big splash but fails. Slaughter goes for the tepid tag and the dad whups his son for a while. Snuka pins his son and Domino jumps in to break it up. Slaughter pulls him out and Superfly hits his son with a ribbreaker. He goes to the top rope and Cole fucks up the naming of the splash. Domino fails to knock him off – probably a botch – and Snuka hits the splash, rolls through and Deuce gets the pin.

Deuce has pinned Superfly Jimmy Snuka to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship in 6:34.

2017 comments:

Jesus, boys, at least do a bit of training before getting into the ring.

2007 comments:

Did we really think that Deuce ‘n Domino won by accident?

Grade: C.

The heel champs beat on the losers and Martel and Garea run in to save them. Big cheer as the winners run off. Then Superfly’s music hits as the old men are awkward mid-ring. Replays of the “win” and subsequent beat-down.

Coming up next, it’s the last chance match for the World Heavyweight Championship, Edge vs. Batista. Replays of their last few matches and we’re all very impressed with Edge’s thong.

Cole talks about Harley Race, an eight-time NWA champion and King of the Ring winner.

The champ, Edge comes out first once again. Because why wouldn’t he? Edge lists his belt for the farty pyro. He is called the “Ultimate Opportunist”, which is not really true, is it? If it were, he’d be taking every opportunity he could, including DQing himself in order to retain quickly.

Batista rocks out with his new haircut, hits his gatling gun pyro and strolls to the ring, rocking on his toes. Cole tells us that he asked Batista, “What are you gonna do tonight? It’s your last chance,” which is almost as stupid as when he asked Austin, “Are you ready to enter hell?” back in 2001, the fucking ghoul.

Batista rolls out, chases Edge off and hugs Harley Race. Real babyface.

Edge kisses the belt and the bell is rung.

Last Chance Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. Batista.

Batista cannot wait to get his hands on Edge, going for his legs almost instantly. The pair hammer on each other and Batista hits the pin pretty early on but fails to keep him down. A wee rest hold from the two men and Batista stalks his enemy, constantly holding onto rest holds. Edge fights back and gets the Animal in the corner, but is limping from the damage pretty early on. Lovely Bossman Slam from Batista followed by a pin that fails. Annoying whistling person in the crowd. Batista gets thrown out of the ring and lies there for a while. Edge rocks out, hitting the axe-handle-nothing from the apron. Batista lifts Edge up but he escapes and reverses it into a lovely push into the steel ring post.

Batista reenters the ring and Edge is on him, hammering him on the back of the neck. Edge runs Batista’s shoulder into the steel post and we stand around for a while. Very slow pace here. Batista goes to the apron and gets hit with a baseball slide. Edge hot-dogs and grandstands for the crowd as Batista really sells the baseball slide. Batista rocks back into the ring and he have… armbar city. Both men are either gassed or purposely bringing the pace down. I can’t wee why. Batista hits an arm drag, is thrown – once again – into the corner, shoulder first, and follows it up with a short, sharp tug. Batista falls back, has trouble getting to his feet and does so, fighting back before a drop-toe-hold moves straight into an armbar. Armbar city.

Batista lifts Edge into a fireman’s carry into a Samoan Drop but Edge holds on, holding as tight as he can. Batista battles to his feet, punches Edge, lifts him into the corner and gets a boot to the face for his effort. Batista’s veins are all twisted and gross. Edge drives at Batista, but the Animal hits a murderous clothesline. Ten count starts.

Both men are up and Batista hits a looooovely back body drop. It is beautiful. Batista then hits a swinging Rock Bottom on Edge but fails to hit the pinfall. He sets up the Batista Bomb but Edge escapes and hits the DDT. Edge is amazed that it means nothing. He rocks out, grabs his belt and the ref shouts at him. Roll-up from Batista. Roll-up from Edge. Dominator attempt by Batista, Edge-O-Matic from Edge. Both men are down, both men are up and a spear from Batista knocks the champ down. Edge whups his arm right up to hit the Animal with a low blow.

Edge has disqualified himself by an illegal action. Batista is the winner of this match but Edge still retains World Heavyweight Championship in… 16:50?

Something fucky’s going on here. Same thing happened ten years ago at In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker with Owen Hart and British Bulldog being illegally pinned by the Legion of Doom.

Teddy Long rocks out and restarts the match. He adds the stipulation that a further DQ will cause Edge to lose his championship. Edge bounces back in and the bell goes despite the fact that Batista is not ready. Edge prepares for the Spear, hits it and almost gets the pin! Almost! Edge runs out, gets a chair, remembers that it will mean he loses and rolls in only for Batista to attempt the Batista Bomb and throw Edge over the top rope. Batista gets thrown into the steel steps and then hits Edge with the Batista Bomb. However, he took so long that Batista gets counted out.

Batista has gotten himself counted out. Edge is the winner of this match and retains World Heavyweight Championship in 16:50.

2017 comments:

Have a screwy ending, only to restart the match… and have another screwy ending. Nice, guys. Very nice.

2007 comments:

Disappointed.

Grade: C.

No good storyline in this match. Batista has lost his chance to win the championship. He’s furious. He picks up the champ and hits a second Batista Bomb, his music plays and he leaves the ring. Batista punches the ring a bunch of times and the replays of his loss play. Distraught, he walks up the tron.

Cut to JR and Jerry, who talk about Fabulous Moolah, the madam. They have a wee laugh and show the original screwjob where Moolah was the “Spider Lady”, completely revising history, the bastards.

Melina appears with her paparazzi, smiling as she rocks down and splits to enter the ring. Bless her, she tries awful hard.

Candice Michelle appears, slapping hands and wearing… a garter belt to hold up her trousers? Weird. So weird.

WWE Women’s Championship: Melina (c) vs. Candice Michelle.

Right, everyone, take a knee. This is the piss break match, I guess.

Melina raises her hand for a test of strength, kicks Candice right between the legs and is thrown into the corner, hitting Melina with a head-scissors submission, moving into a tarantula before being kicked outside. Melina sits on the apron and tries a head scissors of her own, rolls into the ring and attempts a pin. Melina pops Candice into the corner, hits the double knees and gets another head-scissors on her before attempting a takedown. The announcers call Melina a “playboy wannabe”, reducing her to a glamour model. Bow and arrow submission followed by a pin attempt. Melina goes over the top rope and Candice hits a weak powerslam, shakes her hips and hits an elbow. Pin attempt and fail.

Bulldog by Candice and another pin attempt. Melina hits a Neckbreaker and fails again on the pin. Both women run the ropes and Candice wins by a pin after an embarrassing roundhouse kick. Her top also falls down.

Candice Michelle has pinned Melina to win the WWE Women’s Championship in 4:07.

2017 comments:

Embarrassing.

2007 comments:

She’s crying because she knows how shit it is.

Grade: Not a match.

Awful, just awful. Women wrestlers deserve better than this.

Cut to a promo for… WrestleMania? Oh, on DVD. Three discs, or so I’m told. Five hours of extras. Four hours of actual WrassleMania. Cunt Trump gets top billing.

Justin Roberts introduces Cunt JBL, who used to be a WWE Champ. He gets the grip to hand a piece of paper to Roberts and says that he must read from the paper, exactly. It wanks JBL off for a while. Fuck JBL.

Promo for the Five-Pack Challenge, which JR says is… “So unique.” It’s not. We see Mick, Booker, Cena, Randy and Bobbo Lasher as champions as they say what it means to be a champion. The five men tell the camera who they are. We see their “best moments”, which involves mostly Mankind.

Justin Roberts describes the chaos that will unfold: all five men will fight and the first to get a pinfall or submission will win. No eliminations.

Bobbo Lasher comes out first with his golden shower.

Micker Foley comes out next, facing it up.

Booker comes out with Queen Sharmell, the best queen. He has an odd animal fur cloak on. Weird dude. JR calls Sharmell beautiful. She is, she’s great looking. Long bloody entrance, mind.

Then Randy comes down with his great entrance theme tune, taking half an hour to get to the ring, jogging for a bit like the smelly jobber that he is. He hits the legend killer pose mid-ring and that’s him.

Cena keeps us waiting, you know, all four men await him and the crowd goes ballistic the second that his music hits.

Five-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Mick Foley vs. King Booker (with Queen Sharmell) vs. Randy Orton.

All five lads are in the ring, finally, and the match begins. Booker leaves and Sharmell gives him a lovely massage. Cena bops Randy, who gets a back-body drop from Lasher and is tossed over the rope by Mick. Booker comes in, tosses Cena out and hammers Lasher. Lashley hits a thunderous clothesline and tosses him out, hitting a very dangerous looking suicide dive onto all four men, picks up Booker and rolls him back in. Mid-ring, Lasher hits the Rack Attack and Cena breaks up the pin to big boos. Both big men face off and trade punches mid-ring. Lasher hits a great spinebuster and both men roll to the outside. Cena takes a bomp to the head from the steel steps and Lasher begins to prepare an announcer’s table for a bump.

Randy and Foley interrupts it as Booker and Foley fight by ringside. All the other men have a wee lie down, waiting for their own personal spot. Foley takes a real bad looking steel ring step bump and it’s Randy and Lasher’s turn to fight. Lasher counters an RKO, walks straight into an FU and is clobbered through the ECW announce table. Booker and Cena have a scrap in the ring mit Flair chops. Booker cracks Cena in the face with a boot and some lovely knees and Irish whip. Cena fights back and clobbers Booker before taking a Scissors kick to the back of the neck. Randy breaks up the pin and gets a punch to the face before Cena – no selling the Scissors kick – knocks him out, hits the sit-out powerbomb, attempts a Five Knuckle Shuffle but eats an RKO. Randy attempts the pin and Foley breaks it up, cracking Orton with elbows and a knee to the head before turning on Booker for a boot and hitting the double underhook DDT.

Foley whups Mr. Socko out of his jocks, eats a superkick from Booker and both he and Randy fall with a double clothesline. Foley throws the sock into the crowd and takes a steel chair into the ring. Cactus bops Bobby with the chair followed by Booker. Cena gets to his feet and eats a chair before Randy stops the carnage. The Viper stalks Foley, gives him the punt kick. And Cena gets ready for the FU with Booker, tosses him out and hits Mick with one instead for the pin.

John Cena has pinned Mick Foley to retain the WWE Championship in 18:08.

2017 comments:

Spotfest, but a fun spotfest.

2007 comments:

Mick was in it. Match of the Year.

Grade: A.

The DVD I was watching had the match at maybe 10 minutes, they must have cut out some rest holds. Cena celebrates and the WWE moves into a new and terrifying era.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No big stand-out winners but I’d say the final match was fast-paced and fun and put the onus on John Cena’s shoulders.

Woman of the Matches: Am I to choose between Melina, Candice Michelle and Sharmell? I choose Sharmell.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: John Cena

Best Spot: The parade of specials at the end of the Five-pack challenge.

Hatches: Jimmy Superfly Snuka.

Matches: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch retain their World Tag Team Championship; Chavo Guerrero retains his WWE Cruiserweight Championship; Santino Marella retains his WWE Intercontinental Championship; Montel Vontavious Porter retains his WWE United States Championship; Deuce ‘n Domino retain their WWE Tag Team Championship; Edge retains his World Heavyweight Championship belt; Candice Michelle has the only title change of the evening, winning the WWE Women’s Championship from Melina for her first reign; and Cena retains his WWE Championship.

Dispatches: We say goodbye to everyone: Batista, Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Candice Michelle, Carlito, Chavo Guerrero, Cherry, CM Punk, Deuce, Domino, Edge, Jeff and Matt Hardy, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Jimmy Wang Yang, John Cena, Johnny Nitro, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, Mick Foley, Melina, MVP, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter, Sharmell, Super Crazy and Umaga.

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. I have done another one today because this is the final PPV in the Ruthless Aggression section of this blog. 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 (since WrestleMania 23). 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 – WrassleMania 23. 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 (Summerslam 06), [REDACTED] Benoit (Survivor Series ’06), Joey Mercury (Royal Rumble 07), Stone Cold Steve Austin (WrestleMania 23).

Nominated for Man of the Matches: John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge and Shawn Michaels (Backlash 07), CM Punk and Elijah (Judgment Day 07), Batista and Edge (One Night Stand 07), John Cena (Vengeance: Night of Champions 07).

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… CM Punk and Elijah Burke!

Previous Women of the Matches: Queen Sharmell (Summerslam 06), Trish Stratus (Survivor Series 06), Victoria (Royal Rumble 07), N/A (WrestleMania 23).

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Mickie James (Backlash 07), N/A (Judgement Day 07), N/A (One Night Stand 07), Queen Sharmell (Vengeance: Night of Champions

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Mickie James because Queen Sharmell cannot win twice!

In Memoriam

Each WrestleMania (and the final PPV in this case), I will go through the people who we have seen wrassle and lament for their passing. This list is a bit shorter due to the fact that the shows have been so recent.

  • Andrew James Robert Patrick Martin AKA Test, March 17 1975 – March 13 2009; accidental overdose of oxycodone.
  • Christopher Michael Benoit, May 21 1967 – June 29 2009; hanging.
  • Edward Smith Fatu AKA Umaga, March 28 1973 – December 4 2009; heart attack caused by acute toxicity.
  • Harry Fujiwara AKA Mr. Fuji, May 4 1934 – August 28 2016; old age. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 by Don “The Rock” Muraco.
  • James Reiher Snuka AKA Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, May 18 1943 – January 15 2017; unidentified terminal illness. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996 by Don Muraco, though his profile is no longer available due to his alleged murder of Nancy Argentino in 1983.
  • Jonathan “Jon” Rechner AKA Balls Mahoney, April 11 1972 – April 12 2016; heart attack.
  • Lance Kurtis McNaught AKA Lance Cade, March 2 1981 – August 13 2010; heart failure caused by intoxication from mixed drugs.
  • Nelson Lee Frazier Jr AKA Viscera AKA Mabel AKA Big Daddy V, February 14 1971 – February 18 2014; heart attack.
  • Roderick George Toombs AKA Rowdy Roddy Piper, April 17 1954 – July 31 2015; cardiopulmonary arrest caused by hypertension. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Ric Flair in 2005.
  • Virgil Riley Runnels Jr AKA Dusty Rhodes, October 12 1945 – June 11 2015; a bad fall. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 by his sons, Cody (Stardust) and Dustin (Goldust).

Closing Statements: I think that it’s only fair that I explain why I have decided to end this section of the blog at this PPV and it will come as no surprise that it is because of Chris Benoit. At the time of his death, professional wrestling had been an interest that had dwindled for me to a once-a-month event, more frequently if a match on Raw or Smackdown was highly gimmicked or was heard to be amazing. The only thing keeping me watching was – as I’m sure other fans were – the anticipation that if I stopped watching, I would somehow miss something amazing. Chris Benoit’s murder/suicide (although completely unrelated to storyline professional wrestling) stopped me watching for a while. As the details about the weekend of murders came to light, I realised that I could not watch a sport that allowed its employees to take such a punishment that would cause them to have brains in such disrepair that they could be brought to kill their son and wife. I still sometimes feel conflicted about it. The WWE, in fairness to them, took precautions to ensure that their employees are healthier today than they were back then. I feel that the wrestling now is better than it was in 2007 and even during the Attitude Era. Now, the wrestling is the best in the world and that is because the wrestlers are healthier and not taking chair shots every night. It’s a shame three people had to die for that to happen.

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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.

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

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

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

No Way Out 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Why was Benoit there?

Grade: B

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

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

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

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

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

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

A First Challenger Appears: Scotty 2 Hotty.

A Second Challenger Appears: Daivari.

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

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

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

A Third Challenger Appears: Gregory Helms.

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

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

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Sho Funaki.

Oh no! It’s the sneaky Japanese!

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

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

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Shannon Moore.

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

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

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Jimmy Wang Yang.

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

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

A Seventh Challenger Appears: Jamie Noble.

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

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

Jimmy Wang Yang is the Winner of the WWE Cruiser-

Ohhh, Chavo!

An Eighth and Final Challenger Appears: Chavo Guerrero.

Whaaat? A surprise entry? Christ!

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

I like Jimmy Wang Yang.

Grade: B

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

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

Ruthless Aggression #12: Armageddon (Dec 17 2006) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: A well-choreographed Inferno match and one of the worst injuries so far.

Kristal is wearing less clothes backstage. Cunt JBL drops a shitty quote, “Somebody call the fire marshal… she’s smokin’!”

Out comes The Miz, way before he could actually wrassle. He gets the mic and puts over the next match: Miz vs. Boogeyman. Cunt JBL speaks over The Miz.

The Boogeyman comes out and Miz looks actually scared. Cunt JBL calls Miz Red Rooster, which is funny. Out comes the Boogeyman, crawling and eating worms and carrying about a damn clock and so on and so forth. Big stick of smoke and pyro. Boogeyman could be over if he weren’t so damn bad at wrestling.

The Boogeyman def. The Miz via pin in 02:51.

Let’s get this piss break over with.

Boogeyman moves towards the Miz, spitting out worms and being weird. Boogeyman crawls backwards and pulls Miz in by his hair. Boogeyman beats on Miz as Cole tells us that MVP has been brought to a burn unit – potentially fake story – and Miz almost pins Boogey but our worm-eating friend fights back. Worms fall on the ground and Cole tells us that Mercury has a broken nose and is in hospital. Boogeyman hits the falling chokebomb and gets the pin in 2:51.

2016 comments:

Fuck the Miz.

2006 comments:

Fuck the Boogeyman.

Grade: F

Boogeyman pits worms into Miz’s mouth and runs out of the ring. Replays of the incident which I did not watch because they are disgusting. Cunt JBL sandbags the entire thing.

Backstage, Layla and Jillian Hall wear little clothes.

Cut to Chavo and Vicky. Vicky has a neck brace. The pair of them call [REDACTED] Benoit less than a real man. We see a flashback of Survivor Series as Benoit gets pushed into Vicky.

Chavo’s music hits and he comes out with Vicky, pointing at the crowd for a while. Vicky is described as being his business manager. Vicky keeps holding the neck brace, as if afraid it might fall off.

Benoit’s music hits and down comes Roidy Magoo himself, the [REDACTED] Wolverine. He’s the Us Champion despite being Canuck. The greatest betrayal. Chavo attacks him, starting the match.

WWE United States Championship match: [REDACTED] Benoit (c) def. Chavo Guerrero via submission in 12:14.

Chavo is getting Benoit into the corner and the two men have a fast-paced battle, quick snap suplex and a massive backdrop from Benoit. Still smoke in the arena, though, and a huge back body drop rocks the arena. Benoit attempts the Sharpshooter and catapults Chavo out of the ring. Big “Woo!”s from the crowd after a Flair chop. They then chant, “Let’s go, Benoit!” and he replies with lovely triple German suplexes. Benoit goes to the top rope but Chavo is up and hitting Benoit, making him fall onto the turnbuckle. Benoit gives Chavo a bunch of headbutts and finally Chavo gives him a monstrous superplex. Both men have a wee lie down.

Chavo is up first and laying boots into Benoit, taking over and throwing Benoit into the turnbuckle. Vicky claps on as Chavo wraps Benoit around the turnbuckle and baseball slides him in the bum. Chavo goes for the pin but gets naught so gives Benoit a wee boot in the back. Benoit fights back with Flair chops. Chavo gives Benoit a Camel Clutch, breaks back, makes humble. Both men have a lovely sit for some time until Benoit gets to his feet, attempts a back drop and Chavo reverses it into a pin. Great lad. Chavo then chokes Benoit on the bottom rope. Chavo goes for a punch but Benoit grabs his arm, desperate for the Crossface but gets nothing. Benoit is trying to get to his feet but gets a bunch of shots to the back for his effort. Chavo hits a lovely side backdrop and another to big boos.

Chavo lifts Benoit to the top rope and sets Benoit into the tree of woe. A dropkick followed by a missed baseball slide makes Chavo hit his balls on the turnbuckle. Chavo lifts Benoit for the Electric Chair but Benoit escapes. Chavo goes to hit multiple suplexes but Benoit escapes and hits eight German suplexes in a row. Standing ovation from the crowd. Benoit goes for the pin but Chavo’s leg is on the bottom rope. Benoit goes for the Sharpshooter and Vicky grabs the US Title. Benoit tells her, “Don’t do it!” and releases the Sharpshooter to apply one on her. Benoit delays, is rolled up by Chavo, who pulls on the tights. Benoit rolls through, hits the Sharpshooter and gets the submission in 12:14.

2016 comments:

An okay match with some lovely actual wrestling, but the introduction of Vicky ruined it.

2006 comments:

I’m quite happy Vicky’s tits didn’t pop out.

Grade: A

Cunt JBL is a cunt and Ashley is wearing hardly any clothes backstage. Guff.

Out comes my boy Hurricane Shane Gregory Helms. He is the WWE Cruiserweight Champion and he is the longest reigning champion of its name and in Smackdown history, reputedly.

Yee-haw! It’s Jimmy Wang Yang, the Resident Redneck, with his leathers and shit. He has a great handlebar moustache as well. Christ, that’s some great facial hair your man has. Greg has a great beard too, as does the ref. Amazing.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship match: Gregory Helms (c) def. Jimmy Wang Yang via pin in 10:51.

Cunt JBL hates Jimmy, which means he must be the comedy face. Helms gets all serious and there’s some lovely matwork from the pain, including a great kip-up from Jimmy. Helms slaps Jimmy and the redneck takes over, though Jimmy hits a great backflip, landing on his feet as Helms escapes from the ring like a big old coward. Back in the ring, Jimmy slides under Helms and delivers a lovely head scissors followed by a fantastic suplex but fails to get the pin.

Jimmy is in control and bumping like a boss as he flies over the top rope after a failed run to the corner and is rolled in by Helms for a failed pin. Helms guillotines Jimmy and hits a lovely snapmare and leg drop. Helms gets Jimmy in a nice little headlock and follows it up with a punch to the beak. Some gobshite in the audience seems to have stolen the belt but Helms cares not. Another pin and Helms is getting angry. Jimmy fights back, tosses Helms over the top rope and hits a lovely cross-body from the turnbuckle to the outside. Helms quickly takes over and gives Jimmy a bunch of chokes followed by a crossface as Cole and Cunt JBL discuss Wang Yang, Ying Yang and other racist things. Jimmy hits a bunch of strikes on Helms followed by a back body drop, a spinning back kick in the corner, dropkick from the top rope and Helms is still in it.

Helms dives out of the corner and Jimmy is down. Helms takes over, going to the top rope and hitting a super swinging neckbreaker. Cunt JBL checks the crowd chanting, “Boring!” like a fucking smark. Helms is bust on his lip and goes to the top rope but Jimmy catches him mid-air with a spinning heel kick. Helms kicks out. Jimmy can’t believe it. Helms and Jimmy go to the top rope. Helms is down. Jimmy attempts the corkscrew moonsault, Yang Time, but Helms rolls away and hits a double knee facebreaker for the win in 10:51.

2016 comments:

It was the piss-break match before two-thirds of the main event, but I really liked it and I fucking loved Jimmy Wang Yang. He seemed like a good, solid performer and didn’t botch.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Jimmy Wang Yang was suspended from the Fed in 2008 for testing positive for cocaine, which he partook of during his birthday.

2006 comments:

Is this gimmick racist? Wrestling is normally about ten or fifteen years behind the curve but I don’t know if this still would have been cool in 1991.

Grade: B

Big blob of blood falls from Helm’s mouth and Helms has won, retaining his championship. We see replays of the end of the match.

On the Card will return on December 31 2016 with the third and final part of Armageddon 2006.

Ruthless Aggression #8: No Mercy (October 8, 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 October 8, 2006, the PPV No Mercy aired. It was a SmackDown! PPV, and the first SmackDown! PPV since The Great American Bash way back in July. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

No Mercy 2006

Once again, there was no tagline for this PPV. I’m beginning to feel like the tagline thing isn’t such a big deal. I should probably stop talking about it at the beginning of each of these PPV reviews, probably. The poster makes up for it, however, as it shows King Booker and Queen Sharmell standing over the body of a slain dragon. Great.

We see King Booker force Bobby Lashley to kiss his feet and Teddy Long sets up a fatal-fourway match to see who will be the new World Heavyweight champion. Batista, who fought Booker at SummerSlam and won by DQ, thus failing to win the belt and Finlay, sometime ally to Booker but recent enemy, are also in the match. Lashley loves his steroids. So does Batista, actually. The pair of them.

There’s actually no promo for any other match. We have The Undertaker battling Mr. Kennedy, we have Benoit vs. Regal, we have Rey vs Chavo with Vickie. Great matches, great storylines, but we focus on the main event. What you’re saying there is that the rest of the card is shit.

Overly complex CGI welcomes us to WWE No Mercy. Pyro hits and the smoke fails to clear as we are introduced to the RBC Centre, Raleigh, North Carolina. 9,000 people in attendance with 197,000 PPV buys, a drop from the 230,000 buys the year previous and the 232,000 buys at The Great American Bash. Your announcers are moustache-and-soul-patch Michael Cole who says that we are on the campus of North Carolina State University, on the Legendary Tobacco Road, which seems unhealthy for students, but there you go; and Cunt JBL who is sticking around despite his utter lack of talent. JBL says nothing of consequence, which should go on his headstone. They are joined by oft-forgotten and regularly cut-off Mexian commentators, mental Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera.

 (Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Jimmy Wang Yang and Sylvan. It was of little import.)

Out comes Fat Matt Hardy, all fired up on McDonalds and cocaine. Raleigh is near enough his hometown of Cameron, NC and, according to Google Maps, is little under an hour away by car.

Gregory Helms comes out, introduced as the “longest running Cruiserweight Champion.” We see a flashback to SmackDown where the men share low blows. Helms is not putting his belt on the line at this PPV out of spite towards Matt Hardy, the rascal.

Matt Hardy def. Gregory Helms via pin in 13:07.

The bell rings and the two men square off. Matt has a wee sticker on his nipple, there, like a wee plaster. Reportedly, it is due to an infection there, although one reputable blog claimed that he was growing a third nipple, which as we all know is false. If anything, it should be a fourth nipple, the third one being his brother, Jeff Hardy.

The two of them start off and Michael Cole already fucks up, mixing up Hardy and Helms. Helms, in a fit of anger, throws his doo-rag at Hardy and shouts at the crowd. Hardy hits a full nelson slam and Helms goes for a leg lock, getting shoved away. This match comes across already like it is a straight-up shoot fight, with lots of shoving, pushing, shouting. They finally do the test of strength and the heel Helms wins, booting Hardy in the back, choking him in the corner. Helms drags Hardy to the middle of the ring but his suplex attempt is denied and Hardy hits it before throwing Helms outside of the ring, suicide diving out himself. Great.

The boys are back in the ring and Matt is giving Gregory hell, a pin attempt followed by a four-punch in the corner. They never reach the lofty heights of ten punches. JBL sucks up to Vince on commentary as the two men in the middle of the ring take their time. Matt goes to top rope and hits a Russian Leg Sweep from the top rope. JBL states that such a move hurts the guy giving it as much as the guy taking it, which is true out of kayfabe but cannot be true in kayfabe because otherwise only an idiot would do it. Helms is choking Hardy again, really living up to his heel persona. He hits Hardy with a Codebreaker but only gets a two-count for his efforts. Hardy might have a bust lip.

JBL states that this match “means the world to both of these guys,” which is a bit of an exaggeration. Rest hold city followed by an attempted fireman’s slam reversal to a reverse DDT. The ref starts his ten count and the men are up, punching each other like madmen. Hardy takes over and hits the running bulldog to a two-count. Hardy hits the body slam, moves to Bret’s rope, hits the leg drop, calls for the Twist of Fate but it’s reversed and Helms is back in control with a close two-count. Helms hits another Nightmare on Helms Street/Eye of the Hurricane (spinning headlock elbow drop) followed by a third but is unable to get the pin. Michael Cole calls it, “an almost backwards DDT”. Fucking idiot.

Helms goes to the top rope and Hardy is to his feet, countering Helm’s top rope axe-handle nothing with a punch to the gut. Hardy hits three Side Effects and goes for the moonsault, but Helm’s knees are up. Helms goes for the Shining Wizard to a roll up. Another Shining Wizard, a close two-count. Helms sets hardy on the top rope and attempts a superplex but is thrown off. While Hardy gets steady for the Swanton, Helms chucks him onto the ropes where he smacks his nuts. Helms hits the top-rope Shining Wizard, lands badly. Helms goes for the pin but Hardy’s leg is on the rope. Helms goes for another Eye of the Hurricane, is reversed into a Twist of Fate followed by a pin for the win in 13:07.

2016 comments:

Good start. Lots of tiny botches though, like the boys were trying too hard to get all their spots out and weren’t being careful enough. Good thing no one got injured.

2006 comments:

Great, great match but not enough high flying from the cruiserweights.

Grade: B

As Hardy celebrates and almost falls into the crowd. Helms still has the Cruiserwight belt, but he has lost his pride.

Cut to Booker and Sharmell backstage. Sharmell attempts to calm her king down and is interrupted by “Sir Regal”. Regal and Booker do a great job of pretending that they are in a royal court. Booker calls his opponents in the Fatal-Fourway as “fire-breathing dragons” and calls Finlay a “fallen Knight”. Good times. Booker orders Regal to convince Finlay to be Booker’s ally. Regal disappears and Booker stares into middle-distance.

Back to ringside and Cole and JBL run through a badly-scripted interaction. The music hits and out comes Teacher Michelle McCool with KC James and Idol Stevens AKA Damien Sandow. He looks young, fresh, cared about. How times have changed. KC James looks like a roided-up Gangrel.

Generic rock hits and down run the Tag Team champs, Brian Kendrick and Paul London with bad-jogger Ashley Massaro, who looks amazing but has less talent than clothes on. Little Naitch is the ref and holds the belts aloft to signal the start of the match.

WWE Tag Team Championship match: Paul London and Brian Kendrick (c) (w/ Ashley Massaro def. KC James and Idol Stevens (w/ Michelle McCool) via pin in 9:35.

Stevens starts off with London and the man in pink beats on the man in white in the corner. London hits a beautiful flying head scissors and tags in Kendrick to deliver stereo kicks to Idol’s heads. Revolving door of tag teams as the champs tag in, beat on Idol, tag out and wait for a bit. Stevens finally takes over and tags in James but it doesn’t take long for the champs to beat on him for a while. Idol attempts to jump in but gets a kick to the tummy for his effort. The challengers are thrown out of the ring and stereo suicide dives to either side of the ring. Good stuff, boys.

Stevens and Kendrick are in the ring but as London attempts to go in, he is harassed by McCool and James, falling to the outside. Stevens gets London in the old headlock but it doesn’t take long for London to hit the sunset flip, some Aloha Idol and eventually lose the advantage. James is working on London in the ring and there is some chinlock city in the centre of the ring followed by an absolutely brutal backbreaker. Stevens is back in and London is being tossed about like a ragdoll. Mrs. Undertaker watches from the outside as Stevens roars to some unknown god. London fights to his feet, lays the boots into Stevens, goes for the hot tag, but is literally dragged kicking and screaming to his opponent’s corner. James takes control once again and is rewarded with a head to the turnbuckle for his effort. London is going for the hot tag but once again he is denied by the heel challengers.

London escapes a double team, gets the hot tag and Kendrick cleans house in predictably high-flying fashion. Stevens sabotages the runnin’ wild, brother, but London suicide dives through Bret’s rope to knock him to the outside. Superplex from Stevens to Kendrick but only gets a two-count. Double team attempt from the challengers but it is beaten away by Kendrick and a pin attempt is thwarted by McCool casually placing James’ foot on the rope. As Ashley gives off on the apron, Idol hits a high-impact backbreaker on Kendrick but only gets the two count. Michelle once again attempts to interfere but Ashley runs to her, starting a caaaaaaat-fiiiiiiight. Ugh.

Stevens and James attempts a double suplex on Kendrick but he is saved by London and the two lads clean up, getting the pin in 9:35.

2016 comments:

Very fast paced, no storyline and unnecessary women. This match was brilliant without the inclusion of McCool and Massaro. In truth, they took away from the match and that is a shame. They should have been kept for less-talented teams than these two. Kendrick and London continue to be God’s gift to tag-team wrestling.

2006 comments:

I am sick of these motherfucking women taking away from my motherfucking wrestling.

Grade: A-

Ashley beats on Michelle as the champs celebrate in-ring. We see a replay of the last few double-team moves including an impressive shooting-star press from London off Kendrick’s back. JBL has the gall to say, “that reminds me of the old APA, flying around everywhere!” which is bollocks because the APA were a shite tag team whatever way you slice it and I doubt JBL has jumped for joy never mind off another man’s back.

On the Card will return on October 15 with the second part of No Mercy 2006.