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

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

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

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

WWE WrestleMania 23

All Grown Up.

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

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

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

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

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

Fucking jingoistic bollocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Fucking Kennedy. Why did it have to be Kennedy?

Grade: B

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

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

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

Oh, Kennedy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Oh Kane, how far have you fallen?

Grade: F

Khali chokes Kane, gets some extra heat and leaves.

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

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Ruthless Aggression #15. No Way Out (February 18, 2007) Part 5

Previously on On the Card: Deuce and Domino and Cherry.

Cole is fucking up his voice as he shows us Bobby’s family. His dad was never there. He was a college wrassler. He walked up a mountain. He wrassled for the army.

Cut to Kennedy, the fucker. Kristal is smiling at him. She asks him what Kennedy thinks of Bobby Lashley’s recent success. He likens them to LA: phony wannabes. The crowd boos. He slags off the crowd. His promo is going nowhere so he brings it back to Bobby, saying he’s beaten him once, he can beat him again. Bobby turns up and the two square off. Kristal gets straight out of the shot, knowing full well that the pair of them were going to punch each other out.

Bobby’s music hits, fresh from punching out Kennedy. Bobby takes his damn time coming out, though. Obviously the interview was miles away from the Titantron. The cameras make sure that they stay away from the entrance until he appears. The pyro goes off mere feet from Bobby’s back and he’s not even three steps away from the entrance when Mr. Kennedy rocks down, beating lumps out of the ECW champ.

Lashley fights back, rips the shirt off Kennedy. An official arrives to remind the boys to get to the ring. Lashley drags Kennedy and tosses him into the ring. Once both men are inside, the bell goes.

ECW World Championship match: Mr. Kennedy def Bobby Lashley (c) via disqualification in 15:27.

Lashley hammers on Kennedy and Cunt JBL says that this is Darwinism at its best. Surely that’s just evolution? Cunt JBL then bigs himself up, saying that he was the first man to have a championship match with Lashley. The two men roll out of the ring then toll back in. Not much is happening, both men are playing it very conservatively until Bobby hits a lovely back body drop on Kennedy. After a faired Irish Whip, Bobby ruins Kennedy with a clothesline. Lovely delayed vertical suplex and a pin attempt.

Kennedy gets Bobby into the corner and kicks him for a bit. This match is very, very slow. They don’t do any spots at all, it’s just two men slapping each other. Kennedy goes for the pin, fails, and attempts some odd leg extension. It looks clumsy as shit. Kennedy is working on Bobby’s ankle and it is very slow. Not much to say. Lots of rest holds. Half Boston crab. Bobby reaches the ropes. Bobby fights back and the crowd wake up for a bit before Kennedy takes the knee out from underneath Bobby, pin attempt. More slow action… or lack of action. Kennedy missile dropkicks Bobby, pin attempt, fail. Choking in the corner for a while. Michael Cole isn’t speaking at all and Cunt JBL is taking over, which makes the match even more boring.

Really crappy DDT by Kennedy, a pin attempt – as in, he attempts a pin and somehow cannot figure out how to pin Bobby – and fails. Cunt JBL gives off to the crowd for a while. Another half-Boston crab. Bobby’s laces are out. Kennedy does a rolling Samoan drop followed by a Swanton bomb, but Bobby gets the knees up. Both men have a sit down for a bit. The men punch each other, Bobby hits a fallaway slam and a delayed back body drop which gets a pin fail. Another torture rack followed by a backbreaker and Kennedy kicks out. Ref takes a bump. Kennedy hits the leg. He jumps out, gets the chair for no reason, bops Bobby in the back. Bobby attacks, dodges, gets the chair, hits Kennedy, gets the DQ in 15:27.

2017 comments:

It was not a match. It was an exercise in stalling the crowd.

2007 comments:

Shameful, horrible attempt on both parts

Grade: D.

Bobby beats on Kennedy as he rolls away. Weak chair shots. Super, duper weak ones where he hits the ground instead of Kennedy. Officials pop out and they break it up. Bobby poses and his music hits.

On the Card will return on March 25 2017 with the sixth and final part of No Way Out 2007!

Ruthless Aggression #14. Royal Rumble (Jan 28, 2007) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Good opener and crappy Test match.

Cut to backstage where John Cena is getting the once over from a tuxedo doctor. He winces in pain. Vince comes in to look at John and tries to get him to step down. Vince makes fun of John and says that they cannot see each other and Vince certainly can’t see John as WWE champion. Closeup on John looking concerned.

Cut to outside, showing the AT&T centre. Cunt JBL and Cole big up the Batista vs. Kennedy match. Cunt JBL says that Smackdown is headlining… which they are not.

Promo for this match where Kennedy took part in a Beat the Clock challenge and fucked it up for everyone else, including Taker, who lost by one second. Kennedy attacks Batista and as Taker attempts revenge, Kennedy ducks and the Phenom hits the Animal. Old Drax gets a boot in the face.

Kennedy comes out, ready to say his name because that’s a fun gimmick. Not live we’ve ever seen that shite before. Say what you want about him, though, he puts his hand right up to catch the mic. He doesn’t miss. He says his name on the turnbuckle. Good man yourself, Kennedy. Mind the last time you fought Batista though? He bust your head open pretty bad. Kennedy says his name twice. Cunt JBL says that Kennedy is like New York – you have to say it twice.

Batista’s music hits and the pop is enormous. Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph. He comes out, goes left, goes right, hops in a corner and hits the machine gun pyro. Sign Guy has a “Bombs Away” sign with Batista’s face all up on it. Crazy. Kenny can’t wait to get a hold of him, though. Calm down, brother. Wait until the match starts, Christ. Kennedy won’t take his eyes off the belt. He’s in lurve.

World Heavyweight Championship match: Batista (c) def Mr. Kennedy via pin in 10:29.

The two men circle the ring together and Batista actually hissy slaps Kennedy. He does. Batista throws Kennedy about for a bit and the two men go into the corner together. Kennedy goes for the knee, tries to take Batista down, fails and throws Kennedy into the corner. He pinches Kennedy’s face and then gets an elbow in the face for his efforts. Big boot and bad suplex where Kennedy falls on his arse. Pin attempt. Pin fail, brawl to outside. Both men bounce about, hitting the steel steps and Batista has a go at the back of Kennedy’s head and then the front of his head and then both men are back in the ring.

Batista gives Kennedy some chops and… he hurts his knee? Kennedy gives it a dropkick and gives Batista a big boot in the hole. Kennedy works the knee for a while and Kennedy goes for a pin, but a kickout before even one. Kennedy attempts… some weird figure four move… it looks odd, I tell you what. Batista is having a bad time and Kennedy uses the rope for leverage because he’s a heeling cunt. Batista is in the corner and Kennedy works his knee for a while. Kennedy has a bust nose and I can’t tell how he took the shot to do that. What happened, Kennedy? C’mon, brother, you’re always bleeding. See a doctor.

Kennedy gets the half-Boston crab and these two boys have spent half the match sitting and selling… badly. Batista is starting his slow, laborious crawl towards the ropes but Kennedy pulls him back. Batista knocks him off and tries for the roll-up, fails, attempts to lift Kennedy, fails, gets hit on the knee and gets a great-looking spinebuster in but then rolls about holding his knee, in great pain. Kennedy goes for the punches but Batista blocks him, hits the clothesline, a great back-body drop that seems like a botch, lifts Kennedy for the Samoan drop, chucks him, hits a rolling senton, goes for the Batista bomb but is thwarted and there’s a ref bump.

Kennedy hits the neckbreaker, goes for the pin, gets up, gets the referee up and goes for another pin but Batista kicks out. “What in the hell?” Cunt JBL asks. The crowd bay for Kennedy. Batista jumps up, hits Kennedy as he goes for an axe-handle-nothing. Batista hits the Batista Bomb, gets the pin in 10:29.

2017 comments:

Batista is really showing his lack of ability here. Lots of botches. Lots of problems on his end. Kennedy tried his hardest, but it wasn’t good enough to salvage this match. Kennedy is showing that he’s a bit like Alberto Del Rio – not amazing, but consistent and eager to please. If only Batista were there to help him.

2007 comments:

That boy Kennedy does nothing but bleed.

Grade: C

Batista celebrates. He (finally) sells his injuries. About time. Looks legit, actually.

Backstage, we have Kevin Thorn, an awkward Coach and Booby LaRue herself, Ariel. They go to take Mr. Thorn’s number from the Rumble Tumbler. Then Little Bastard comes in and causes trouble. He attacks Coach. It’s a terrible segment made worse by Khali entering and taking his number… but he takes three. Coach tells him he should only take one and so he drops them. Kelly picks them up, says that they’re the biggest balls she’s ever held and then Ron Simmons appears and says, “Damn.”

I’m not even making this up.

Saliva are in the crowd. Very exciting. Cut to Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler as they introduce the semi-main event of the Last Man Standing match betwixt Cena and Umaga.

Promo for the match, showing Cena getting his arse handed to him by the big Samoan. We see Cena beating Umaga at New Year’s Revolution only a few weeks previous. Coach introduces Estrada, who reveals that it’s a Last Man Standing match and tells us the rules – the only way to win is by beating someone so badly that they cannot stand after a count of ten. Cena signs the contract, attacks Umaga and the two scrap for a while. Umaga splashes Cena through a table. This will surely come into play this evening, I guarantee it.

Back in the arena, Lillian Garcia introduces the match. She is wearing… an odd top with flames. She looks like a hot rod. But not the Hot Rod of either Rowdy or Autobots fame.

Umaga comes out and JR wonders why Armanda Alejandro Estrada got to choose the stipulation for the match. Sign Guy has a “Last Man Eating” sign and Umaga almost actually bites him. Jerry says that Umaga’s music is like King Kong’s music. Hmmm.

Cena’s music hits and there is a thunderous applause from the crowd. He enters, looking concerned, steel-jawed and does not run but instead walks down to the ring. Umaga watches him, snarl upon his face. Jerry says that Cena looks worried and is clearly in pain. He lifts the belt, though. The ref does, too, but the spinny WWE logo is upside down. Cena has bandages on his belly.

WWE Championship match: John Cena (c) def Umaga (w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada) via staying down for ten seconds in 23:09.

Down, let me rap with you real quick. I put the results and timings for the matches before the match begins for a good reason: wrestling isn’t really about the results, it is more about the journey to the results. It’s about the process, not necessarily the product. Yes, we all want our favourites to win, but we’ve all watched a match and thought, “The best man won,” even if the best man is someone you hate. Equally, we have all watched a match and thought, “That was a shit ending.” Wrestling is about a story and I know that as a reader of this blog, you are not concerned about spoilers; likely you have seen the PPV already and want to read some analysis on the matches. If I ruin results for you, whoops, but it is always interesting to walk into a match knowing the outcome and not watching it for the spectacle of the sport, but the thrill of the story and how the winner makes his journey through the match, following the highs and lows and emotions towards the eventual end.

That being said, with a twenty-three-minute match ahead of me, I am apprehensive especially knowing that we have SuperCena here vs. Once-was-tough-but-then-lost-lol-foreigner. I am a firm believer that any result, no matter how screwy, can be saved with good booking and talented wrestlers. I know that a Last Man Standing match must last some time otherwise it’s a squash. There are no roll-ups of DQs here, the only way to end is by the loser staying down for ten seconds. Although I know that these twenty-three minutes will justify the match ending… I do not think that it’s going to be a great match considering the competitors, their characters and the storyline thusfar. Cena is going to win and Umaga will lose his credibility. End of.

Both men square off mid-ring and Umage pushes Cena but he punches back. Lovely moving around, jawbreaker and Umaga punches Cena right in the gut. He falls out of the ring and the ref starts his count. There are no countouts, so why doesn’t Cena just walk off? Umaga throws Cena into the steel steps and Estrada speaks to Umaga, telling him what to be up to. The crowd cheer of Cena and the two men go for a walk up the aisle. Cena punches back, forgets to sell his ribs and Cena gives Umaga a toss into the apron. Umaga fights back and Cena jumps into the ring, hits him with a headbutt and kicks him in the tummy again. Poor Cena tummy.

Cena is on the ropes and Umaga punches him. Cena rolls as much as he can and gets a foot up in the corner but as he jumps out, Umaga knocks him right back down. Another ref count and he gets to seven before Cena is on his feet. Body slam from Umaga and he goes to get the steel steps. Estrada asks him to stop to see if Cena stirs. He does and the steps come in. As Umaga is getting to the apron, he hits the guillotine and chucks the steel steps out to hit Umaga in the beak. The crowd count along with referee Mike Chioda but the Samoan is up. Cena is on him quickly and has a head of steam but a spinning heel kick sends the champ to the ground. More tummy punches and a bear hug attempt that Cena blocks. No submissions here. Belly to belly finishes the hug. Umaga goes outside, gets the other part of the steps, gets them in and Cena is on his feet at eight. The crowd is chanting something unintelligible.

Umage sets the steps up in the corner and leans Cena up against them, punching him down. The crowd cheer. Umaga smiles. He builds up to the Ho Train, Cena moves, Umaga batters the steps. Cena picks the steps up and runs into Umaga with them in his hands. Ref and crowd count as one. Umaga gets to six and Cena goes top rope but Umaga predictably catches him and gives a lovely tiltawhirl sidewalk slam. Just great. Ref starts counting but Umaga almost helps him to his feet and then stomps him down, going for a big sit. He does it twice! Twice! On the third, Cena gets the knees up and becomes Supercena, hitting the facebuster to the steps and follows it up with a sit-out powerbomb on the steps. Ref counts both men and Cena hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle but the ref had stopped the count. He goes for the FU but drops Umaga halfway through. They both hit the steps. Another count by the ref and it reaches eight as Cena blades himself. Umaga batters him as the crowd tell Cena he sucks. He does not suck. Man’s a hero.

Umaga shouts at Cena in Samoan and stands back to let Cena stand up. The ref gets to eight once again and a “Let’s go, Cena! Cena sucks!” chant rises. Umaga slaps and chops Cena and big John actually punches himself in the head to bleed more. He jumps off the ropes and Umaga hits a Samoan Drop, calls for the Samoan Spike but stops the thumb on the way down, getting a headbutt instead, yo. Umaga sets him up for the tree of woe that makes the bladejob bleed more. Cena sits up as Umaga does for the flying headbutt and hits a wonderful fucking leg drop that legit made me go, “Oooooooh!” as he fell. Some elevation on it, good man John. Cena tosses Umaga into the ring post, gets a monitor and tosses Estrada away.

Cena busts Umaga with the edge of the monitor and dents the fucker. Ref starts the count and Umaga is up by seven. Cena pushes Umaga outside, goes for an axe-handle nothing and Umaga catches him, hits him against the ring post and bends him over the table. Sexy. All three announce tables are stripped and Umaga gets on one, runs across, gives it the big splash but Cena dodges, destroying the table. Luckily, he misses the monitor. Ref starts the count but Umaga is up at nine. Wonderful. Estrada is by a turnbuckle, fucking with it and unscrewing it. Estrada tells Umaga to lift it and beat Cena with it as a super Samoan Spike. But Cena is up! He hits the FU! He beats Umaga with it! He wraps the ring rope around Umaga! He chokes him out, looks legit painful, though Umaga is still breathing. The crowd go silent. Umaga gets up almost instantly and Cena is right back to choking him again. The crowd die again, thinking that this is pretty bad taste. Cena is up and the crowd chant away. JR reminds us that they’re looking for ten numbers. The ref reaches it and Cena wins in 23:09.

2017 comments:

I stand by my words up there but by Christ I am happy that match lasted that long. Not a minute was wasted. What a fucking great match.

2007 comments:

Whelp there goes Umaga’s winning streak.

Grade: A

Supercena wins again! But it’s a justified win. We see replays of that horrible choke spot. Cena walks down the aisle, walks backstage, salutes, ends his match.

On the Card will return on February 11 2017 with the third and final part of Royal Rumble 2007.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

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

Grade: B

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

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

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

Kristal comes out first, wearing a silken red gown.

Layla El comes out, wearing a silken pink down.

Jillian comes out, wearing a silken light pink gown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

Who cares who won? Nothing was on the line.

Grade: C

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dispatches: None.

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

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

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

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

Ten years ago, on November 26, 2006, the twentieth annual Survivor Series aired. It was a WWE PPV, using a mixture of the RAW, Smackdown! and ECW brands, the first of its kind since Summerslam way back in August. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

Survivor Series 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

Fuck the Spirit Squad and fuck Ric Flair.

Grade: C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah ha! Take that, you bastard!

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

Chavo and Vicky are dicks.

Grade: A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

A shame that that was Lita’s last match.

2006 comments:

Cryme Tyme are dicks.

Grade: C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

Needed more Hardy.

Grade: B

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

That’s some blood. When did Taker blade?

Grade: C

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

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

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

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

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

Umaga comes out with Armanda Alejandro Estrada.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Umaga has been disqualified in 58 seconds.

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

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

MVP has been eliminated by RVD in 5:31.

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

RVD has been eliminated by Test in 5:47.

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

Test has been eliminated by Sabu in 6:19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

SuperCena.

Grade: C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

Did… Did Batista just turn heel?

Grade: B

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dispatches: None.

On The Card Hall Of Fame

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

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels.

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

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

Previous Women of the Matches: Queen Sharmell.

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

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

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

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

Ruthless Aggression #8: No Mercy (October 8, 2006) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Great Tag Team match, as usual.

Cut to backstage and Regal is asking lads for Finlay and finally finds Vito backstage wearing a dress. Regal is disgusted at this, attempts to skip rope, walks into a trolley of hamburgers and is covered in condiments, slipping and sliding like a newborn deer. What the fuck?

Back in the ring, Teddy Long is walking to the ring with his big swinging arms and a box mid-ring. Teddy announces that it is Miz’s birthday. Oh Christ. Down the Miz comes to the ring, hamming it up, getting nuclear heat from the crowd. Cole loves him, JBL doesn’t, which doesn’t make sense because surely the heel announcer should love the heels? Miz has a wee dance in ring and Teddy announces that Layla is going to come to the ring and come she does, botching an entrance to the ring as well. Layla is better than this nonsense. She asks for a chair and makes the Miz sit on it. His face is wonderful. There’s music and Layla does a wee striptease for him as Miz gives running commentary. Layla puts a blindfold on him and we can all see where this is going, can’t we?

The box rises and Big Dick Johnson comes out in a thong and dances on the Miz, spraying lube on him. One of the commenatators is genuinely laughing his ass off. I think it’s Cole. Only he could find this bollocks amusing. The Miz gets angry as the two pranksters dance mid-ring. Wrestling! Yay! Cole asks what Miz might be doing now. A cold shower, perhaps? JBL replies, “I don’t know, he might be looking for Big Dick.”

Cut to the Titantron and there is a countdown as Montel Vontavious Porter arrives. Old MVP. Most Valuable Player. I see what they did there. He gets mega pyro as well as he walks to the ring in a form-fitting singlet. It is not a nice look. Even JBL gives off about him, saying he stole his outfit from a Power Ranger. MVP has the mic and claims that he will dominate this PPV like no one ever has. The crowd chant, “Power Ranger!” and Cole checks it.

Down comes Marty Garner, a man famous for being the first to receive a Stone Cold Stunner and also botched a Pedigree by assuming it was a powerbomb, jumping too high and landing on his head, suffering neck damage as a result. JBL states that MVP stole his outfit from Battlestar Gallactica. How dare he?

MVP def. Marty Garner via pin in 2:28.

MVP slaps Marty before the match begins. Cole and JBL give off about MVP, not putting him over at all, which goes against the point of a colour commentator, who is supposed to put the heels over. Useless JBL. MVP dominates Garner, sits on Bret’s rope and chain wrestles Garner for a bit. He does squats in the corner and the crowd chant that he is boring. Cole once again checks it like a damn fool. Garner fights back but MVP is stronger, hitting him with a clothesline, bouncing Garner’s head off the mat and hits the Playmaker for the pin in 2:28.

2016 comments:

In terms of the cocky-heel-character-who-underestimates-their-opponent-and-then-gets-angry-when-losing-and-wins-through-sheer-strength-and-or-rage match, even this one was shit. I hate MVP now and it’s not good heat, it’s X-Pac heat.

2006 comments:

Well it’s a good thing that torture didn’t last long.

Grade: F

Embarrassing for all concerned, especially the announcers who should know better. JBL doesn’t seem to understand his role in the announcing team. If Jerry were here, MVP would be over the moon.

Cut to the locker room and there’s William Regal coming out of the shower, wearing literally only a towel. Vito is right after him, singing, “London Bridge is falling down”. They share penis sizes, with Regal asking Vito if “[his] father were a donkey.” Regal runs outside, hit towel falling, exposing himself to ladies and to Teddy Long, who stops him, naked in the middle of the corridor. We can see Regal’s arse as well, blurred in the version I’m watching. Teddy then responds to this… by putting him in a match. Makes little sense.

Cut to WrestleMania 23 in Detroit promo.

We see a promo for the Mr Kennedy and Undertaker match coming up next, showing a lot of images from the promos maybe ten years ago, seeing Kennedy put him over, showing a horribly gimmicked microphone exploding in Kennedy’s hands. We see Undertaker brutally destroying the greats over the years like Stone Cold, Mankind and a limousine. Kennedy tells Undertaker that he is the future.

Out he waddles, the ring announcer calling him too early. Kennedy gets the mic as it lowers from the sky, shouts at the crowd, hits a weak promo and paces the ring awaiting the Undertaker’s entrance.

When the bell tolls, Kennedy visibly falters. Smoke fills the arena and Undertaker starts his three-day walk to the ring, sure to stop by all the stations of the cross. Michael Cole puts Undertaker over, though it is unnecessary as we all know who the Undertaker is and we all know that Kennedy is fucked. Taker slowly removes his hat and coat. He looks phenomenal. He was 41 at the time, looking the best he’s ever looked. Both Taker and Kenny stare each other out as Little Naitch rings the bell and the match begins.

Mr. Kennedy def. The Undertaker via disqualification in 20:34.

It seems like forever since I’ve seen the Undertaker in a non-gimmicked matchup. How is this possible? Taker rushes towards Kennedy with the Big Boot but Kennedy escapes, running into the boot a few seconds later. Taker hammers on Kennedy, throwing him into the turnbuckle and getting an Old School attempt for his effort. Kennedy escapes and Taker follows, thrashing on Kennedy’s left arm as much as he can. Kennedy, apparently, said that he should move to Raw because he had defeated everyone on Smackdown. That’s how you get a slap in the face.

Taker lifts Kennedy and drops him from seven-plus feet and Taker attacks Kennedy’s damaged elbow. JBL says something… nice for a change. He lists who Undertaker has beaten – Stone Cold, Psycho Sid – and says Taker has been world champ four times. Only four times in fifteen years. Why? Because he does not believe in titles, he believes in causes. Wow. That’s good. Putting him over. Undertaker attempts Old School again and Kennedy pulls him off the turnbuckle, tossing him across the ring. They beat on each other for a while, with Kennedy in control until Taker fights back and goes for his third Old School attempt, finally hitting it. Taker then hits the Russian Leg Sweep and pin but Kennedy kicks out.

In the corner, Kennedy loosens the turnbuckle cover to reveal the steel ring holding the ropes together. Rascal. JBL and Cole argue for a while on the mic and it is all very uninteresting. Naitch, for some reason, leaves the ring and Undertaker is knocked from the apron to the barricade. Taker busts his head on the barricade and legit checks himself for an injury. Taker takes the time to return to the ring and Kennedy takes the initiative to jump on him. Taker catches Kennedy mid-air and smashes him spine-first into the turnbuckle. JBL: “You can breathe after the match.” Shut the fuck up. Pin attempt and Kennedy kicks out.

Kennedy pulls Taker out of the ring and calls for Little Naitch to start counting, which he does because he’s a great lad. Kennedy hits the DDT on Taker, goes for the pin but Taker’s foot is on the rope. Good man yourself. Kennedy hits Taker with some great forearms followed by a choke on the ring and another pin attempt. Kennedy chokes Taker, who is finding it difficult to get to his feet. The crowd chant, “Taker! Taker!” and Cole checks it by saying, “Undertaker chants throughout the crowd.” Kennedy lays the boot into Taker’s face like the bastard he is but Taker refuses to die. Another pin attempt, another fail and the turnbuckle is still exposed. Chekov’s Turnbuckle.

Undertaker fights back, striking on Kennedy over and over. A fan leans over the railing and roars at Kennedy before asking Taker for a high five. Taker hits Kennedy with a leg drop on the apron. Cole asks how the leg drop feels and JBL sells it like a car on his chest. Kennedy hits an almost-botched and certainly brutal tombstone attempt but misses two pins before hugging Undertaker for some time. Nice wee hug. A replay of the piledriver. Brutal looking. I’m surprised the Undertaker isn’t dead. Little Naitch hits the best spot ever where the ref lifts the hand and drops it once, twice, thr-NO! UNDERTAKER IS UP!

Taker backdrops Kennedy and the two men have quite a bit of a sit. Running of the ropes followed by the jumping clothesline and Taker hits two clotheslines mid-ring followed by a toss into the turnbuckle, Big Boot, leg drop and pin attempt. Kennedy kicks out so Taker goes for the Chokeslam but Kennedy grabs the ref, goes for the swinging neckbreaker and hilariously attempts the pin. Taker misses two kicks, finally hits the Chokeslam. Taker goes for the Last Ride and Kennedy escapes. Little Naitch is in the corner and Undertaker removes him, allowing Kennedy to hit Taker will a bulldog to the exposed turnbuckle. Senton Bomb from Kennedy and he barely gets the two. Taker sits up and Kennedy grabs his US Championship belt and goes to hit taker but Little Naitch stops him before Taker knocks him down. The Deadman lifts up the belt and finally cracks Kennedy in the skull, calling the DQ for Kennedy’s win in 20:34.

2016 comments:

Amazing match. Really good psychology that is ruined by the shitty ending. I get that no one went over clean and Kennedy looked like a million bucks but Taker looked like a child at the end, throwing his toys out of his pram.

2006 comments:

Poor Ric Flair.

Grade: A

Taker goes to chokeslam Little Naitch, decides against it, attacks Kennedy instead and sets up the Tombstone Piledriver before turning onto Little Naitch and hitting him with the Tombstone too. Cheeky man. Is it a heel turn? Is it a face turn? We may never know…

On the Card will return on October 22 with the third part of No Mercy 2006.

Ruthless Aggression #5: The Great American Bash (July 23, 2006) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Bra and panties.

Cut to the motherfucking Miz in his “hosting” duties backstage. He interviews Mr. Kennedy. Ken chews the scenery for a while so much so that his face goes red. The Miz appears unimpressed.

Batista’s music hits and the crowd pop for him. He’s wearing Bo Dallas white pants and jaws off to the crowd for a while before hitting his machine gun pyro. He is the epitome of mid-2000s wrestler. Pair of women behind him mime pinching his bum, as well, so fair play to both him and them. Batista was supposed to fight Mark Henry, but Henry suffered an awful injury and will be out for eight months.

Out comes Mr. Kennedy. No posturing here, just walks out like the gangster he is. As Kennedy points to the heavens, Batista gets a cheap shot in, starting the match.

Mr. Kennedy def. Batista via pinfall in 8:38.

You know that part of the movie where the hero is down on his lucky and he has one final Hail Mary shot at redemption? We’re talking about a final chance to score a goal (or touchdown as you yanks call it) or he puts all of his chips all in on one final hand of poker or she has one bullet left to take that shot? That’s where I was right before this match. This is my last shot because I quite like Mr. Kennedy and Batista and although I love Rey and Booker, their matches are never amazing, they are simply okay. So this is going to be my last shot at getting an A match after the first fantastic one.

Batista has Kennedy in the corner, bouncing him off turnbuckles, choking him. This looks like two men who want to have a fight, a fight, not a match. JR said that at one point during the HHH/Rock feud where Rock had made fun of Stephanie. This is not a match, this is a fight. Kennedy is bust open from the steel steps, apparently, and Kennedy had no real chance to blade, so it was probably legit. Batista is cracking Kennedy in the forehead, really getting the blood flowing. Kennedy goes to leave, turns and jaws off to Batista, pointing to his forehead and calling Batista a piece of garbage.

As he slips into the ring, Batista spears him. Reportedly, the wound on Kennedy’s head exposed his cranium! It’s impossible not to look for it during the match. Kennedy beats on Batista mercilessly and it is difficult to imagine that this isn’t because of the forehead injury, as one big long receipt. Batista gets a kick on the back of the head and wastes some time outside. Kennedy is in control right now and both men are trying to get the match over and done with as quickly as possible. Paradoxically, they get into a rest hold for a while and we get a nice shot of that exposed cranium. Took twenty stitches to close the wound!

The rest hold lasts for a while and Batista is trying to stand up as quickly as he can, his one arm shaking in anger. Kennedy’s wound seems to have stopped bleeding and he beats on Batista and the Animal retaliated with a choke hold followed by bunch of shoulder barges in the corner. Kennedy’s wound is reopened as Batista throws him into the corner and he hits his head again, pissing blood everywhere. Batista holds his boot on Kennedy’s throat and gets DQ’d in 8:38.

2016 comments:

Not a great match and my focus was on poor Kennedy’s head.

2006 comments:

Blood! Blood! Gallons of the stuff!

Grade: C

Batista hits Kennedy with three spinebusters as the bell rings. He follows this up with a Batista Bomb. He then rubs his hand over Kennedy’s forehead and smears himself in blood. He looks like an absolute monster, but his eyes are terrified, scared, haunted. The poor son of a bitch. Both of them are poor sons of bitches.

Remember my analogue earlier about the Hail Mary shot? Well this is the point in the movie where the heroes are up shit creek. The best they can hope for is an okay finish to this entire thing.

Lots of recaps of the blood from Kennedy’s face as the Animal looks on, genuinely concerned. Old Drax the Destroyer has a heart of gold, it seems.

We have a lovely recap of Booker T becoming King of the Ring, looking humble as usual. We see him winning the Battle Royale on SmackDown! to earn a match with our boy Rey. Rey is really sold as being an underdog champion because they never shut up about it. He 619’s Booker around the ring post and the King sells it like he’s been shot. Brilliant.

King Booker’s music hits as the man himself comes down on a weird float with a throne on it, driven by a God damned knight. Pyro goes off behind him and both Booker and Sharmell sell it like they are humble monarchs, waving to the booing crowd and smiling. JBL cunts it up, standing with his hat over his heart. Maggle is stupefied by this. Booker takes his time getting to the ring and the music is getting quite repetitive now. I want this entrance to last forever, but I want the music to stop. And I want JBL to stop too.

Rey’s music hits and out he comes, exploding from behind a moderately sized box. He’s facing it up, clapping hands on the way to the ring. He’s a more universally liked John Cena. Maggle and Rey argue about who is more deserving of the championship as the ring causes epileptic fits throughout the venue. Despite the boos, Booker is very humble during his introduction, thanking the crowd. Rey gets a big kiddie-pop and is called “The Master of the 619” amongst his other achievements. Booker squares up to Rey and yells, “Eddie can’t help you!” into his face.

World Heavyweight Championship match: King Booker T (w/ Queen Sharmell) def. Rey Mysterio (c) via pinfall in 16:46.

The crowd are chanting “Eddie! Eddie!” as the bell rings and Maggle fucks it up by calling Booker T the champion. Way to foreshadow, Freddy Foreshadowing. Rey looks like a child beside Booker, which is normal for the champ. Booker knocks Rey to the ground and kicks him mercilessly. Booker beats on Rey in the corner but he is reversed and Rey goes for the pin but gets a one. The crowd get another, “Eddie!” chant going. Some terrible knees from Booker followed by a bodyslam and a great Irish whip and clothesline.

Police pin city but Rey escapes, goes for a stunner and flips Booker over for some reason. Running of the ropes followed by hurricanrana and Rey gets Booker in a corner but receives an eye poke for his effort. Rey avoids a shoulder barge and Booker falls outside like a silly goose. Mysterio gives Booker a seated senton, smacking Booker in the face with his balls. Mysterio misses a Bret’s rope moonsault and a superkick takes the Mexican down. Booker hits Rey with a clothesline and gets a two-and-a-half pin. Booker responds by choking him on the ropes and as the ref berates him, Sharmell rakes Rey’s eyes. Booker gets Rey in an arm lock and boots him in the face. Cheeky.

Maggle does an actual good job of mentioning the chants and Rey attempts to repeat his stunner flip but is thwarted. Booker gives Rey a great suplex from the apron and references Eddie by holding on and repeating the suplex twice with a great spinaroonie at the end. The crowd chant, “619!”. Rey dodges a kick and fights back. He goes for the 619, Booker dodges and Rey gets only a two count. He goes to get another 619 but Sharmell trips him. The ref sees it and sends her from ringside. I like that spot as it evens out the match, but maybe we could have done with a few more Sharmell incidents to really rile the crowd up. Booker hits Rey with a brillian back drop before going to Bret’s rope with a stomp but Rey boots him in the face. Both men are down, Booker’s knee is injured.

Rey beats on Booker, goes for a great head scissors that sends Booker to the floor. A Bret’s rope cross-body and a shot of the crowd where one kid screams, “You can’t see me!” at the camera. At least… I think it was a kid. Honestly, I could have sworn it was just an empty space in the crowd…

Rey hits Booker with a DDT and gets a two count. It’s that part of the match where a wrestler farts and goes for a pin. The ref is knocked down as Booker tosses Rey across the ring, hitting the official. JBL states that Rey did that on purpose to be disqualified and keep the belt. Seated senton from Rey and Booker gets kicked with the 619, saunters over to the turnbuckle and frog splashes onto Booker. The referee is out, though, and as he goes to get the official, Booker low blows him, hits him with the Book End and gets a chair. He misses his shot and Rey jumps up, dropkicks Booker in the face. Out comes Chavo and you can smell it in the air… what is that scent? Oh, now I know! It’s… BETRAYAL!

Chavo predictably hits Rey in the face with the chair (and what a chair shot it is) and Booker goes for the pin, the referee rolls into the ring and hits the slowest pin in the world for Booker to win the match and championship in 16:46.

2016 comments:

An okay match from two okay competitors. Saw the Chavo angle coming miiiiles away, though, and the finish lacked the finesse that it required. If Booker had taken advantage of the chair shot to give Rey a Super Book End off the top rope or something similar, then it would have been different. As it was, the match lacked that special something.

2006 comments:

Did you hear that chair shot? Christ of almighty!

Grade: B

Booker cries mid-ring as JBL tells us that we cannot trust a Guerrero, which is a slightly racist but fairly obvious thing to say. Sharmell screeches, “All Hail King Booker!” into the mic about twenty thousand times. That and the repetitive music really grates. I love you Booker and I love you, Sharmell, but, by God, shut up. Come on.

We see one last shot of the chair shot that damn near killed Rey. What a chair shot. There’s a reason they don’t do them like that anymore.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I’m going to say Paul London because not only was it the best match of the card, but he took a fair pounding.

Woman of the Matches: The women’s match was pish and other than that, the only woman was Queen Sharmell, who was fantastic. So she gets it. The best woman in the PPV was the one who didn’t even compete. What does that tell you?

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

Best Spot: Irish whip to catapult to superkick combo from Carlito, Shelton Benjamin and Johnny Nitro.

Hatches: Jamie Noble, Kid Kash, William Regal, Fat Matt Hardy, Ashley Massaro, Michelle McCool, Mr. Kennedy, Batista.

Matches: King Booker defeated Rey Mysterio to begin is one and only World Heavyweight Championship title reign. Both Paul London and Brian Kendrick retained their WWE Tag Team Championship belts and Final retained his WWE United States Championship.

Dispatches: Simon Dean, Kid Kash.

Closing Statements: Another SmackDown! event where not much happens and it’s all quite embarrassing. I am completely okay with matches that experiment with style, such as the Punjabi Prison match, but anyone with half a brain would look at that and say, “Yeah, this won’t work. This sucks.”

On the Card will return on August 20 with the WWE PPV Summerslam 2006.