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!

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Ruthless Aggression #14. Royal Rumble (Jan 28, 2007) Part 1

Ruthless Aggression #14: Royal Rumble – January 28, 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 January 28, 2007, twentieth Royal Rumble aired. It was a WWE PPV with superstars from its Raw, Smackdown and ECW brands, the first of its kind since Survivor Series in November 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.

Royal Rumble 2007

No tagline this time either, though the poster did show lots of WWE superstars photoshopped in doing all their different finishing manoeuvres and hulking up for the camera.

The opening shows a bit of a flashback of the last twenty years of Rumbles, with big winners like Rock, Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels and Trrrrriple H. The announcers remind us that the winner of the Rumble goes to headline Wrasslemania. We see all the competitors having a bit of a fight. Kennedy vs Batista is involved, as well as… Bobby Lashley vs. Test? In what universe would anyone want to watch that? And Cena vs. Umaga for a Last Man Standing match? Didn’t Cena just beat Umaga at New Year’s Revolution? Where could this feud possibly go from here? And who cares? Oh, we saw Umaga beatdown Cena with the help of two other men. So that’s why it’s happening, because Umaga mercilessly hit Cena when he was down.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring JTG (with his Cryme Tyme ally, Shad Gaspard defeat Lance Cade (who was with his partner, Trevor Murdoch). Very exciting.)

Bad CGI’d road to show that it is the Road to Wrasslemania. Big pyro goes off and the arena fills with smoke and signs. Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler invite us to the AT&T Centre in San Antonio, Texas. Ten years previous, the Royal Rumble was in the Alamodome for Rumble ’96 (and they will return there this year – tomorrow night, in fact – for the Royal Rumble 2017. We have 13,500 people in attendance tonight (less than the 16,000 the year previous) and 491,000 PPV buys at home (less than the 550,000 the year previous). Jerry can’t wait but I can because Moustache Michael Cole and Cunt JBL are infroduced as the announcers for Smackdown and Tazz and Joey Styles announce for ECW. Tazz says, “Notwithstanding that,” and wears sunglasses inside because he is an idiot. We don’t get introduced to any foreign announcers because fuck ‘em.

The red carpet! The fur coats! The exposed cleavage! It’s MNM, showing Joey Mercury’s face from the attack at Armageddon, back in December 2006. Melina enters and shows her bottom. They reshow the attack that bust open Joey’s face in super sexy slow motion and-

Wait. Is Joey wearing a tongue piercing? You idiot! Keep all the things that can hurt your face away from your face!

Matt and Jeff enter and we see that Johnny Nitro took down Matt Hardy after he won a match against Joey. Absolute bastards, the lot of them. JR tells us that this match is unique because Matt and Joey are on Smackdown while Jeff and Johnny are on Raw so this is an inter-brand tag team match.

The Hardy Boyz def MNM (w/ Melina) via pin in 15:27.

No titles on the line here and both teams aren’t even in the ring before the bell goes. Woah woah woah, WWE, calm the beans, brother. The crowd bay for the Hardys and Matt and Joey attempt to enter but Johnny jumps in first before tagging in Joey. Matt apparently dislocated his jaw back at the attack on Smackdown, which is dumb of him to come into the ring then, huh? But then again, the Hardys aren’t the smartest boys. MNM work over Matt for a bit but he takes over for a second and tags in Jeffrey who does a little dropkick and attempts a pin from it. Joey knocks him into the corner and Johnny tags in. Jeff does an atomic drop followed by a double leg drop and attempts another pin. Calm down. Jeff tags in Matt.

Double clothesline and JR gets Jeff and Matt mixed up. Matt hits a lovely suplex to Joey and Johnny gets his head bounced off the turnbuckle followed by a swinging neckbreaker from Matthew. Johnny escapes, punches Matt who sells the jaw and tags in Joey. Joey looks great in that mask, better than normal anyways. Joey punches Matt, hurts his hand, tags himself out and Johnny works over Matt with weak and safe offence. Johnny attempts the pin and gets only a two. Johnny and Matt have a chat for a moment as we see a replay of Joey kicking Matt in the head. Joey is tagged back in and hit a double knee-shot as Melina screeches. Another pin attempt, another fail followed by a second of each. Joey beats mercilessly on Matt and follows it up with a clothesline that Joey sells as Matt’s jaw actually hurt him. I like that. Chinlock city for a while. Melina is squinting and needs glasses.

Mercury goes for a Bret’s rope elbow but fails and Jeff jumps in as Nitro follows and the pace speeds up. Hardy hits a lovely top-rope Whisper in the Wind and Joey breaks it up. Matt pops in, hitting a lovely suplex on Joey and a double suplex on Johnny. Both men go for the stereo top-rope attack with Johnny lifting his knees to foil Jeff’s splash, but takes Matt’s leg drop on the throat. Joey is tagged in and Jeff is hurt. A pin attempt fails mid-ring as Joey elbows him and JR gets Nitro and Mercury mixed up! C’mon, bro, get your names right!

Nitro and Jeff are in now, and Joey is tagged in as they do a double leg drop on Jeff. Melina tries to get them going and the crowd chant to raise Jeff to his knees and he goes for a lovely inside cradle, getting only a two but Mercury is angry about it and you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. MNM hit the double gut-buster and Matt jumps in for some reason. Nitro and Jeff have some rest mid-ring as Johnny hits the scissors on Jeff to allow both men to relax and take some air in. The pair get into a scrum as Jeff aims for Matt, building up to the hot tag. Jeff gives Johnny a back body drop and tags Matt in but the ref doesn’t see it. MNM jump in when the ref is distracted and beat on him in their corner. JR reminds us of the rules, “Break on four, disqualified on five.”

Tag has been made but Jeff fights back, causing MNM to hit each other. Hot tag to Fat Matt who cleans house, lovely back body drop on Nitro and Matt bulldog-clotheslines the pair of them. Close pin attempt and Matt goes to Bret’s rope for a weak elbow. Two count. Jeff intervenes and the pair his Poetry in Motion twice. The second time, Nitro escapes and rolls up Matt for a close two-count. Matt hits the Side Effect, Twist of Fate on Nitro, Mercury runs Matt out but on the way through the ropes, he tags Jeff who hits the Swanton Bomb and gets the win by pin in 15:27.

2017 comments:

Once again, a fantastic curtain jerker by MNM and the Hardys.

2007 comments:

Not enough blood this time around, boys. Also, Nitro looks like Batman.

Grade: A

Cut to Teddy Long and The Coach as they pick numbers for the Rumble. Edge comes in, meets Kelly Kelly who tries to rock her way through her six lines. Edge slags her off, asking if her parents named her twice so she wouldn’t forget. Randy Orton comes in, Edge’s Rated-RKO teammate, who says he will not hesitate to toss Edge over the top rope. They draw their numbers and Edge says he will show Randy his if Randy will show Edge his. Booker T comes in and asks if they actually said that. No laughs.

Tazz and Styles introduce the next match: Test versus Bobby.

Cut to promo for the match where Test looks like every inch the Roidy Magoo that he is. He struts about with his big roidy belly and kicks people in the face for a bit and says he’s better than Lashley and RVD and all the rest. He see Lashley his arse and win a match, winning a title, though Test steals the belt because apparently that’s how championships are won in ECW. Fuck the rules, wha?

Back in the Arena, Test comes out, looking awful. C’mon, man. At least try to hide your illegal drugs. Even Jeff did a better job than that.

Bobby’s music hits and here is a man who hides his anabolics. Big pyro hits with Bobby in the middle of it. Isn’t that cute? He thinks that he’s the Undertaker. He is not. And he does a vertical jump. Christ, he thinks that he’s the Brock Lesnar too. Very cute. Big dude with an afro in the front row on the hard cam, by the way. Looks great, big man. Fair play.

ECW World Championship match: Bobby Lashley (c) def Test via pin in 7:18.

Test and Bobby lock up and go for a wee walk around the ring. Test pins bobby into the corner, slaps at him and Bobby spears him in return. Test grabs the ropes and drops Bobby, laying into him and dealing elbows in the corner. Bobby hits Test with a great T-bone suplex and follows it up with a stalling suplex, throwing Test down so hard he needs to have a wee lie down outside the ring. Tazz tells us that, “It is well documented that Test always has something underneath his sleeve,” and that “something” is “throwing Bobby into the turnbuckle from the apron.” Pin attempt and fail.

Test and Bobby have a wee sit down and Test is super gassed. He tells Bobby to shut up. Lashley is fighting to his feet and gets Test in the shoulder but Roidy Magoo fights back and stunners Bobby’s arm in response. Tazz says, “rotator cuff,” like a dope. Test works the shoulder. More sitting. Armbar City over here. Lashley finally breaks out, charges Test, gets an elbow, gives the Canuch a huge back-body drop and charges him in the corner over and over. Lashley gives Test a gorilla press but drops him because of damage to his arm. Test hits the big boot, fails to get a pin and huffs. Test lifts Lashley up for the Fireman Slam but is tossed out. Test then takes the countout to big boos, walking away from Lashley. The bell rings.

2017 comments:

Awful.

2007 comments:

Poor Test. He’s not long for this world.

Grade: D

The crowd chant “ECW!” as Bobby pulls Test back in, beats him up and raises his hands in the air. Boo, the pair of yis.

We see a replay of what caused the countout – a clothesline. Depressing. Sign Guy is there, though, so that’s nice, I suppose. Bobby is pissing with sweat.

On the Card will return on February 4 2017 with the second part of Royal Rumble 2007.

Ruthless Aggression #12: Armageddon (Dec 17 2006) Part 1

Ruthless Aggression #12: Armageddon – December 17, 2006.

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 December 17, 2006, the seventh Armageddon aired. It was a SmackDown! PPV, the first of its kind since No Mercy in October. 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.

Armageddon 2006

The End… Is Only The Beginning

Oh yeah. That’s a tagline and a half. Seems like a movie tagline. Oh, it’s good. I like it. Ten out of ten. The cover has Batista dressed up like one of the Road Warriors or something. Very snazzy.

After ye olde wrasslin’ video, there is – would you believe it – a biblical promo package which defines the word “Armageddon”. We see the MVP vs Kane Inferno Match which involves one opponent setting the other on fire. Then there’s a bible verse and a promo for the Last Ride match where Undertaker and Kennedy fight to throw the other into a hearse. Another definition and we see the team of Batista and Cena get ready to fight Booker T and Finlay. It’s a triple main event! Which, of course, means no mean event. Of course, one of these main events takes place… first. Huh.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Vladimir Kozlov and Scotty 2 Hotty. Yeah, of Too Cool fame.)

Big pyro and we are told that the end is here. Moustache Michael Cole and Cunt JBL invite us to the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia, for the final PPV of 2006. A measly 8,200 people in attendance with a total of $423,500 in ticket sales at the door. Total PPV buys of 239,000, which is down from the 320,000 in 2005. JBL talks about the Inferno match but who gives a fuck because there’s a green-haired kid standing behind my boys, Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera, who actually chat for ages before Tony Chimel interrupts them.

MVP’s music hits and out comes the man himself, who has even more pyro behind him as he enters the arena. Around the ring, there is an odd contraption that the flames roll from. As he walks about the ring, the flames shake scarily. We see a promo for MVP as he jobs out boys left and right. He was desperate for competition and got our boy Kane. MVP kicked Kane in the balls and Teddy Long, upset with this, made the inferno match. Kane racks up losses to MVP Kane is livid. We have a flashback to the first Inferno match with masked Kane.

Back in the arena, the air is thick with smoke already. It is about to be roasting up in there. Big pyro from Kane and he comes down with the worst theme tune he had since the start of his career. He raises his hands and the flame contraption burns higher. What a lad. JBL calls him a bastard. Fuck off, JBL. The flames burn higher and the bell rings as MVP falls to his knees.

Inferno Match: Kane def. MVP via combustion in 22:33.

Well, let’s get into this piece of shit quickly. Kane hits the big boot, throws MVP into the corner and the crowd apparently cheer and ooh and aah as MVP climbs to the corner and regrets it. Each big bump makes the flames burn higher. MVP crawls about and is beaten down. Kane gets MVP into the corner and is about to hit the superplex when MVP fights back, flames jumping. MVP throws Kane down, but he just sits up. Michael Cole reminds us that the competitors cannot leave the ring. Kane calls for the chokeslam and the flames burst. Cole then calls them, “the exclamation point.” Yes, Cole. We got it.

Kane removes the turnbuckle covering and leans over the flames to set it alight. As Kane goes to hit MVP, he drops the cover. MVP lands on it briefly, but quickly takes and chucks it out to safety. Kane has MVP in the corner and beats him without mercy. He who is without mercy now pleads for it. Lovely Bossman Slam from Kane. Cunt JBL speaks for a while though no man cares.

Kane shouts at MVP in the corner and gets a punch for  his efforts. MVP goes to the top rope and is pushed off onto the floor. Kane then goes to the top rope and actually jumps! The two men fight and struggle to push the other into the flames. Why does Kane like fire so much? He was burned as a child! Crazy stuff. Kane has the hand on MVP’s throat and pushes MVP into the flames, burning his arse where he has fire-retardant pants on, giving Kane the win in 8:14.

2016 comments:

I was thinking it was going to be a shitshow, but it was actually good. The whole gimmick of an Inferno match requires that the wrestlers be a bit more careful with one another, and they were. The entire piece was a well-rehearsed piece of very dangerous theatre and because there was a clear and present danger there with the flames, the audience were rapt, knowing that at any point, one of the two of them could be hurt.

2006 comments:

Did you see your man’s arse get set on fire?

Grade: B

MVP runs up the aisle before men with fire extinguishers put him out. It’s actually pretty fucking awesome. We see replays. It’s fun. Cunt JBL gives off that no human being should be set on fire… he seems to forget about his time as a crucifier back in the day.

Cut to the ladies in Teddy’s room. We have Forgettable Girl 1-4 and Teddy Long. Teddy tells them that there’s going to be a Naughty or Nice lingerie contest. Who gives a fuck?

Back in the arena, Cunt JBL ruins the craic.

The tag team champs appear first, sliding out and getting little applause. Regal and Taylor soon follow. Dave Taylor looks to be at least one hundred years old. Teddy Long comes out and tells all the players that there will be a Lingerie contest. No cunt cares. He then informs everyone that the tag match will be a ladder match… and some ladders appear, as if to punctuate the sentence. He then reveals that two teams have been added to the match: MNM (with Melina), who are apparently back together; and The Hardys, who the crowd are already clamouring for. When the two daredevils come out, the crowd go bananas. The Hardys pose for a while before the bell rings

Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Paul London and Brian Kendrick (c) def. William Regal and Dave Taylor, MNM (w/ Melina) and The Hardys via ascension in 20:13.

The matchup is underway and already there’s a schmoz. Everyone is chucked out except London, Kendrick and the Hardys. London (white pants) gets a jawbreaker and the Hardys hit a lovely swinging backdrop on Kendrick. Regal, Taylor and MNM come back in, desperate to slow the match down to a crawl. Regal and Taylor aren’t really known for their skill in a ladder match but if they’re rough enough, it shouldn’t matter.

This match is so hectic and hard to write about, I’m just going to hit the big spots. Lovely Poetry in Motion in the corner followed by a Snapshot. All four teams are in the ring now as well as three ladders. Jeff doesn’t know what to be doing with himself. Kendrick and London are thrown out, leaving only the Hardys. Matt Irish Whips Kendrick into the corner where Jeff waits with a ladder to throw it into his face. Nitro jumps into the ring and misses the ladder. Joey Mercury has the ladder, goes up it and is inches away from winning when Hardys and Kendrick/London lift the ladder up and toss him into Nitro on the outside.

Hardys set up a ladder in the corner and whip Kendrick, then London into it. Attempt at Poetry in Motion but London moves. Double suplex from London and Kendrick to Matt. Matt tosses London off the ladder and then does the same to Kendrick. On the outside, the other two teams fight but no one cares. Matt goes to suplex London but he fights back. Matt falls onto the ladder and Kendrick stops him from the turnbuckle. MNM hit the double gutbuster on London and the pace slows as the two men set up the ladders for a superplex spot onto a ladder. Jeff is top rope and Matt helps him fight off MNM. Jeff jumps onto the ladder and, like a see-saw, one end propels upwards, cracking Joey Mercury with a legit injury to the face.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Although we have seen many legit injuries on this blog – some serious and some superficial and many more self-inflicted – this one is legit dangerous and could have ended far worse for our boy Mercury. He received five stitches on the inside of his nost and fifteen on the outside of his nose and cheek. His eye swelled shut pretty much instantly and he received four fractures on the inside of his nose including his orbital bone.

Like a tap, blood streams from our man Mercury. He is crawling backstage as the match continues, the camera moving back and forth when necessary. In the ring, the action never stops. A replay shows the ladder hitting Joey, his body remaining static and his head moving unnaturally from the force of the shot. Christ of almighty. This is wrestling, I suppose.

Taylor tosses Kendrick onto a ladder and Regal German suplexes London onto it. The crowd cheer for the Hardys as Regal rises up the ladder. He stops, terrified of heights and Taylor takes his place. Great storytelling here. If Regal goes to the top rope and then steps down because of his vertigo, this would be perfect. Jeff brings another ladder in as Matt hits two Twist of Fates on Taylor and Regal. Just as Jeff is about to jump, Nitro baseball slides the ladder, knocking Jeff off. Nitro has the ladder and bulldogs it onto Regal. Cunt JBL says that he now likes MNM. He’s still a cunt, but now a gloryhunting cunt. A glorycunter.

Nitro goes to the top of the ladder and London dropkicks him. Matt goes up a ladder and tosses boys off left and right. We have London vs. Matt at the top of a ladder, inches from the belt. Matt gives him the back body drop and Jeff appears with a ladder, climbing but too far away from the belts. Jeff sunset flips him, hitting a powerbomb and essentially legdropping the canvases. Matt sets up two ladders and Regal and Taylor move them apart, wishboning him. The two powerhouses set up the ladder to great boos. Regal goes a bit higher, overcoming his fear of heights, and Kenrick is up, punching at Regal until Taylor drags him off. Kendrick attempts the Shiranui and does not land it. Potential botch two of the night.

London is dragging himself towards the middle of the ring. Matt Hardy is back in, and London just… gets the belts in 20:13.

2016 comments:

Great match except for the beginning and the end. The teams were great at parts, but, the parts did not mesh together as well as they should have.

2006 comments:

If Mick were in the match, it would have been best match.

Grade: A

The winners celebrate, the losers go to the hospital and we see Joey Mercury’s face erupt.

On the Card will return on December 24 2016 with the second part of Armageddon 2006.

Ruthless Aggression #11: ECW December to Dismember (Dec 3 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 December 3, 2006, the second and final December to Dismember aired. It was an ECW PPV, utilising the new (and soon to be defunct) ECW brands, the first of its kind since One Night Stand back in June. 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.

December to Dismember 2006

You better watch out…

Oh, here we go, back to taglines. Nice. This cover shows Sandman’s arm peeking out of a chimney, holding his Singapore sticks with blood on the snow to spell ECW. is like one of those Christmas-themed horror movies like Jack Frost or Silent Night, Deadly Night… in fact, the cover seems to parody that film! The cheek of these cover designers.

There is no ye olde wrasslin’ video. Instead, we are shown the elimination chamber along with the edict, “Six men will enter… knowing they will suffer the unimaginable…” and the Elimination Chamber is shown as some kind of super-hell-in-a-cell. And no other match is advertised. We just have the main event and I should mention that the wrestlers in the main event are Bobby Lashely (yay), ECW Champ The Big Show (eeey), CM Punk (now, yay, but back then, eh?) Sabu (well, someone’s going to die), RVD (Okay!) and Test (oh Christ)? I mean, come on.

Big Christmas coloured pyro in the ECW presented December to Dismember 2006. The place is the James Brown (get down!) Arena in Augusta, Georgia and with a tiny 4,800 fans in the place with only 90,000 PPV buys (the lowest buyrate in Fed history), this is due to be a great, great, great clusterfuck. Bear in mind that only two matches were advertised before the PPV – the Elimination Chamber main event and the Hardy Boys vs. MNM. So stoked, though, right?

Our commentary team is the annoying Joey Styles and Tazz with two Z’s. One of the best things about this PPV is that the theme tune is fucking Bodies by Drowning Pool. Tazz tells us that the Elimination Chamber is ten tons of steel. Good Lord. Who cares about them, though, when we have the motherfucking Spanish Announcers, Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. Cabrera, once again forgets the announcer’s names and Savinovich does an awesome tongue roll because the man is a hero.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Stevie Richards and René Duprée. It is unknown how long it lasted.)

MNM’s music hits and… wait, didn’t you guys split up? They are wearing fluffy jackets with LED signs on the side that scroll through some words that no one sees. Melina is really hamming it up this evening, kissing and dancing and looking just like the ecstasy dropped before she walked into the arena. Good woman yourself.

Hardy’s music hits and the pair get a bit of a pop for their entrance as… Team Extreme? What? Since when? And the title says “The Hardys”. Make up your mind, boys. Joey says that both teams plan on splitting up again after this evening. So it’s like a Bizarro team-up. Right. That makes sense.

The Hardys (Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy) def. MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro (w/ Melina)) via pin in 22:33.

Let’s get right into it. Tazz is being a pervert, as usual. He’s the Jerry Lawler of ECW. Lots of hugs between Joey and fat Matt in some sort of test of strength. Tazz considers that Mercury and Nitro may be related. What an odd thing to say. Weird announcers. A bit of scrapping and everyone runs into the ring to square off. The ref tells them off and the crowd chant for the Hardys. Matt and Joey tie up again and Mercury is thrown into the corner with Jeff tagging in. Lovely arm drag and knee drop before fat Matt comes in and Joey escapes to tag in Nitro. Big boos from the crowd and Jeff comes in, botching a jump over the rope like the dumb guy he is. Double clothesline from the Hardys and senton drop. Mercury comes in and they do an odd double team where they lift him from his back to… backdrop him. Nitro takes over and Mercury is tagged in as Melina screams because fuck Melina.

Jeff is trapped in the corner and Nitro hits a lovely elbow drop and standing shooting star press that misses as fat Matt comes in, hitting Nitro with a super sit-out-powerbomb. Mercury runs in and in the confusion, Melina pulls on Matt’s leg. Matt goes after her but gets a clothesline for his effort. MNM hit a doubleteam gutbuster on Matt. The ref is distracted and Melina hits the head-scissors on Matt to which Tazz says, “Hellooooo!” Melina screams again as MNM hit a double facebuster on Matt. We’re really gearing up for the hot tag here. MNM hit a double stalling suplex but Matt lands it and double-neckbreakers the bastards. As he goes for the hot tag, MNM fight back. MNM hit a Poetry in Motion as Melina screams once again. Mercury goes for the Twist of Fate but is countered. Hot tag and Jeff comes in.

Jeff predictably cleans house, hitting all the bases before Nitro pounces in to break the count but gets a lovely sit-out suplex. Suicide dives to the outside from Matt, Nitro and then Jeff. The crowd chant “ECW! ECW!” even though none of these men are ECW boys. Matt hits Poetry in Motion but MNM roll out of the way before Jeff can hit the Swanton. Melina screams. Nitro hits the springboard dropkick and fails to get the pin. Jeff is being beaten on in the corner and MNM hit the double catapult into the turnbuckle. It is followed by a long stretch from Nitro. Tazz says, “Simple but good.” Because he’s an idiot. Nitro hits some strange spinneroony leg drop and some punches are traded mid-ring. Matt comes in and as the ref is distracted, Melina and Nitro beat on Jeff. Mercury is tagged in and a pin gets nothing. A second and a third get nothing either. Mercury hits the backbreaker and Nitro does the springboard elbow. A lovely sunset flip by Jeff and Nitro Aloha-Arns for a bit before tagging in Mercury. The match has slowed down to a crawl.

Mercury has Jeff in a crossface and Jeff fights back. A rollup is so strong that when Jeff hits out, Mercury is thrown from the ring. He turns to Jeff and drags him off the apron and Nitro is back in the match with Jeff. Another double-team catapult but Jeff stops it, top-rope moonsaults and gets the hot tag to Matt. Matt cleans house as much as he can, hitting a bulldog and catching Nitro on the way down. Two Side-Effects followed by a pin attempt. Bret’s rope leg drop gets nothing so Jeff is tagged in and Nitro is picked up for a powerbomb. Mercury pushes his tag team partner up which forces the hurricanrana! Jeff is down and a pin attempt fails to keep him out. Nitro goes to the top rope but Jeff is up and all four men are in with MNM on the turnbuckles. The Hardy’s hit stereo superplexes. Tazz sings the theme song. Melina is distracting the ref and as Jeff goes to chastise her, Nitro hits the dropkick, missing Jeff and hitting Melina. MNM hit the Snapshot but Matt breaks it up. He is removed from the ring and MNM turn to Jeff, attempting a superSnapshot but Matt jumps in with the double neckbreaker and a Swanton on top of both members on MNM. Jeff hits the pin and the Hardys win in 22:33.

2016 comments:

Bit of a spotfest, but a lovely spotfest nonetheless.

2006 comments:

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss MNM.

Grade: A

The Hardys leave and we see replays of the best spots of the match. Melina looks legit hurt but the camera doesn’t hang around enough to show any blood.

Back to the announcers and both men drag themselves through the script, screwing it up wherever they can.

Cut to prerecorded footage of RVD understanding that the Elimination Chamber is a tough match. It isn’t as tough as any other match, they’re just being fools.

Matt Striker’s music hits and down he comes to the ring, shaking his head at the swearing of the crowd. Striker has the mic, which is where he should be. He makes fun of Balls Mahoney, the awful “wrestler” who is a parody of what ECW used to be. Matt tells us that he has a responsibility to all of us to restore order. He asks the official to enforce the following rules: no gouging of the eyes, no pulling of the hair, no manoeuvres off the top rope and, most importantly, no foul language. Fair play, Matt. This is a Striker’s rules match.

Balls comes down. He has class music. He’s a shit wrestler, but he’s a great showman. Matt has a picture of his own face on his arse. Pantastic.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Balls, whose real name was Jon Rechner, sadly died on April 12, 2016 at the age of 44 of a heart attack, yet another performer in wrestling who left us too soon. Despite my personal feelings for Balls as a wrestler and performer, it is a tragedy for anyone to lose a life. He passed away enjoying himself – watching Jeopardy and answering questions on the couch – and is survived by his wife Gayle and his son Christopher.

Striker’s Rules match: Malls Mahoney def. Matt Striker via pin in 07:12.

Bell goes and Balls is discussing things with Balls. There is a test of strength where Balls wins. The announcers tell us that Balls has an accomplished amateur wrestling career. Balls botches a jump over Striker and attempts the armbar but Stiker breaks it on the bottom rope. Striker is having pants trouble at the moment. Another test of strength is called but Striker beats on him, bouncing his head off the turnbuckle, reversing an Irish Whip and hitting an armbar on Balls, which he botches. Striker is doing things differently and it works. Striker actually pulls on Ball’s hair, though.

Striker hits more arm-based moves and Tazz calls Striker effeminate. Nice, Tazz. Keep it classy. Bit of an armbar city over here with Striker having a good long hold of some Balls. The announcers keep telling us how smart Matt is and how he is working on Balls’ arm. A run to the corner is stopped with a boot to the face but Matt gets another armbar on. The crowd chant his name each time Mahoney has offence, but it is never for too long. Mahoney goes to the top rope, but that is clearly against the rules so the ropes are shaken and Balls falls. Great rolling armbar and Balls is held there until he can break hold by grabbing the ropes. Great back drop and a bunch of knockdown strikes followed by a back body drop and Mortal Kombat Strikes, each with a “Balls!” from the crowd. Balls hits the spinebuster and pins Matt in 7:12.

2016 comments:

Not amazing, but a good comedy match with a weak ending.

2006 comments:

I can never get enough of Matt Striker being hurt

Grade: B

Backstage, we see CM Punk punching the air. Sabu, however, has been hurt in an unseen attack. It appears that he will not be taking part tonight. In comes our favourite Jew, Paul E. Dangerously, who rambles for a while and looks on helplessly. The Elimination Chamber is down to five. The crowd chant, “Bullshit!” knowing that it is, indeed, bullshit.

Old Elijah Burke and Sylvester Terkay come out to the ring with their towels and angry faces. Both of them have “Terkay” on the back of their tracksuit tops. I love the gimmick of legit sportspersons and having cornermen. It makes it seem more like the wrestlers are taking themselves seriously.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Elijah Burke used to be an officer in Jacksonville but would segue into wrestling through boxing. He had an impressive 98-1/103-1 win/loss record (depends on whether you ask Club 5, Club Plush or WWE themselves) and could not pull his punches in the ring so never threw worked punches. Sylvester Terkay is just as impressive, being a 5-time NCAA Boxing Champion, a 4-time NCAA National Heavyweight Champion and has the honour of being named number one Gaijin during his time in Japan.

Double Trouble Straight-up Shoot Fact: Balls Mahoney was the evil Xanta Klaus in In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings… and Sylvester Terkay was Santa Imposter during an episode of In the House. Facts!

Elijah has the mic and gets heat from the crowd for smiling and talking about himself. He says that, “like a wild animal in heat, we will leave our mark!” which is a nice way of saying that they’re going to pee everywhere.

Out come the FBI (Full Blooded Italians), Little Guido Maritato and Tony Mamaluke with Trinity, who is a woman.

Elijah Burke and Sylvester Terkay def. The FBI (Little Guido Maritato and Tony Mamaluke) (w/ Trinity) via pin in 6:41.

The bell goes and Elijah is in the ring with his hat still on. Little Guido gets a quick full-nelson slam followed by Elijah spinning on him and slapping his face. Guido is not happy. Elijah is still wearing his hat. Guido gives Elijah the drop-toe hold, steals his hat, hits the armbar and tags in Tony Mamaluke. Tony drags Elijah about, tags in Guido and they hit the double elbow-drop. Tony is back in but gets knocked back before Sylvester gets in, beating on Tony in the corner, who slaps him back. A powerful Irish Whip is reversed and as the FBI attempt to double team Sylvester, he takes over, catching Guido mid-air, doing the big boot on Sylvester and chucking Guido out. The crowd reply with, “You still suck!”

Elijah comes in and there’s some headlock city going on there in the middle of the ring. Guido fights back, is thrown into the corner with Terkay and the Man-Bear is tagged in to delivery an amazing kick to Guido. MMA training, brah. Terkay Irish whips Guido into the corner and then does the same to Elijah. More headlock city from Elijah and Guido. Guido escapes, tags in Tony, who starts gaining momentum, but is stopped when Terkay comes in. The FBI double team Terkay and double flapjack Elijah. A close pin attempt. Elijah throws Tony into Terkay’s fist and hits the Elijah Experience for the pin in 6:41.

2016 comments:

Good half a match that finished too early.

2006 comments:

Terkay is the weak link in this match but was used well. Not a bad match.

Grade: B

Terkay hits the Muscle Buster on Tony and get some good old fashioned heat back. I tell you, December to Dismember is known as one of the worst PPVs of all time, but at the moment, it’s… okay. I know that I’m just cursing myself now, but for real, it’s been enjoyable. Only three matches left though and they might well be the drizzling shits.

On the Card will return on December 10 2016 with the second and final part of ECW December to Dismember 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.