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

On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #20 Vengeance: Night of Champions – June 24, 2007

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

Ten years ago, on June 24, 2007, Vengeance: Night of Champions 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February. This one was tri-branded and had Raw, Smackdown and ECW matches on the card. It is noticeable for taking place on June 24th, 2007, which was the date that Chris Benoit hung himself after murdering his wife and son. He no-showed this PPV and was replaced by Johnny Nitro in the CM Punk ECW Heavyweight Championship match. I will go into more detail about this horrific crime and the effect it had on the wrestling business as well as myself in the conclusion to this review. For now, I will state that personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next few weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

WWE Vengeance: Night of Champions 2007

Night of Champions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

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

Grade: B.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Man, fuck Chavo.

Grade: B.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Where was Benoit?

Grade: C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

This Santino might be the best champion ever.

Grade: C.

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

Cut to an ad for Summerslam, featuring Jackass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Did we really think Flair could ever win?

Grade: C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

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

Grade: C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edge kisses the belt and the bell is rung.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Disappointed.

Grade: C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

Embarrassing.

2007 comments:

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

Grade: Not a match.

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

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

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

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

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

Bobbo Lasher comes out first with his golden shower.

Micker Foley comes out next, facing it up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

Spotfest, but a fun spotfest.

2007 comments:

Mick was in it. Match of the Year.

Grade: A.

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

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

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

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

Hatches: Jimmy Superfly Snuka.

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

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

On The Card Hall Of Fame

Every “Big Four” PPV (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) I will choose a man and woman to be inducted into the hall of fame. I have done another one today because this is the final PPV in the Ruthless Aggression section of this blog. A man and woman must have been named either a Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches in the previous months since the last “Big Four” PPV (since WrestleMania 23). Once a man or woman is inducted, they may not be inducted again but can still win Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches. Through this, we can course the dizzying highs and savage lows of the wrestling landscape throughout the years. If no one new has been given the title of Man or Woman of the Matches, then a candidate will be chosen from the highest-rated matches since the last “Big Four” PPV – WrassleMania 23. If no one is to be found there, then we go to the next highest-rated matches and so on. If we (unlikely) get to the bottom of the pile, then the Hall of Fame will remain empty to show the excellent calibre of the wrestlers and shallow roster.

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels (Summerslam 06), [REDACTED] Benoit (Survivor Series ’06), Joey Mercury (Royal Rumble 07), Stone Cold Steve Austin (WrestleMania 23).

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

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

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

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

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

In Memoriam

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

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

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

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Ruthless Aggression #18. Judgment Day (May 20, 2007) Part 1

On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #18 Judgement Day – May 19, 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 May 19, 2007, Judgement Day 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February and was spelled “Judgment” without an E, though my MS Word will continue to autocorrect it to “Judgement” because I am living in Scotland and we do not believe in superfluous letters here. 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 Judgement Day 2007

Still no tagline but by Christ, what a poster. Kane, standing on a stairway, surrounded by flames while hands – some skeletal, some still clinging onto flesh – reach up from the fire to grab at him. He also looks super ripped. Great. What I love about these covers is that they have that Wolverine Publicity trope where they fire on wrestlers onto the covers despite them not being that important to the actual PPV. Case in point: Kane does not actually appear in this PPV… unless you were there for the actual live show. Then you would see him… in the dark match at the beginning versus William Regal. Yeah.

Once again, this PPV is attempting to make Khali (a non-wrestler who hasn’t been in the ring in months) look like a credible threat. The promo package begins with him, moves into the Edge vs. Batista, rematch of Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga, Vince and Shane followed by Khali hitting people. He hits all the people and they all take the hits until Jjjjjjjjahn Cena fights back because he’s tip-top.

Then there’s some bad space CGI for some reason. WWE is in space? Is the Day of Judgement about a meteor? It don’t matter none because the farty pyro tells us that we are live in the Scottrade Centre in St. Louis, Missouri, home of Randal Keith Orton and 10,500 other lads who turned up to see this PPV happen. There are 242,000 people watching in at home, a huge dip from the 252,000 the year before (funnily enough, we would see the same number for Judgement Day 2008) but a big rise from the 194,000 that tuned in for Backlash a month ago. It should have been called Backlashley. Oh well, you live and learn.

Our announcers are Jumpin’ Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Joey Styles, Tazz, Maggle Cole and Cunt JBL, who has a face on him like he just ate some shite.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Kane and William Regal. What? Why? Once again, the depth of your roster, boys, fair play.)

Big “Wooo!” as our boy Ric Flair rocks down to the ring with his face all leathered and haggard. Ric Flair is in your curtain jerker. By Christ, it’s an odd time when the only two-time Hall of Famer in WWE history, the sixteen-time champion, is on first. I suppose he needs his sleep.

Then Carlito appears and rocks in and throws his apple at Flair. And almost hits him. Jim Ross tuts at this, saying, “This just shows Carlito’s total lack of disrespect.”

Singles match: Ric Flair vs. Carlito.

I’ve changed up the titles of the matches. Putting champion first or in order of appearance.

Big chops in the corner from Flair and has him on the ropes. Lovely Irish Whip countered into a Sunset flip but Naitch drops to his knees, denying an Aloha Arn and beats on the Carribean. Big chops and Carlito rocks out of the ring. Flair goes to the corner to hit Carlito on the apron but Carlito escapes, the rascal. Carlito attacks Flair’s arm and hand. Ross points out that Flair’s right arm is stronger than his left. Carlito grounds Flair with a hammerlock.

JR and King talk about Flair taking lads underneath his wing to teach them about the game and how Carlito squandered that opportunity. In the corner, Naitch whips at Carlito but he escapes. More attacks on Flair’s left arm on the apron. Big toss into the turnbuckle and Flair is hurt. Pin attempt but there is barely a one. Crowd chant “Let’s go, Flair!” but Flair does not go whatsoever. Carlito wraps Flair’s arm around the turnbuckle twice followed by a lovely missile dropkick. Another cover, another kickout. Sign in the crowd: Umaga ate my homework.

Flair fights back, gives Carlito a slap or two but the younger man takes over again and hits another dropkick and another failed pin. Crowd – specifically someone behind the announcers – roar “Nature boy!” over and over. It’s very loud. Jerry talks about Torrie Wilson, for some reason. He brings it back to the match by saying that Carlito did not want to be distracted by either Wilson or Flair but then follows it up with, “Torrie can distract me any time!” Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

Big claps from the crowd as Flair gets out of an armbar and takes over, hitting a lovely arm drag but is knocked back by Carlito. Armbar city over here. Flair gets to his feet and is in a great amount of pain, but is able to toss Carlito with an armbar again. Another dropkick, another pin attempt but JR points out that the first pins were one-counts, this was a two-count and “one more count bears a beaten man.” Christ, JR, you’re just the best.

Big chops from Flair and Carlito is on the floor. It’s a slobberknocker, an official slobberknocker. Flair takes a back-body drop. JR bigs up Flair’s chops, saying that he would rather take any move than a single Flair chop. Big words. Armbar city again here. Some stomps and more armbars wherein Flair almost gets pinned. Carlito roars something, which Jerry understands. JR: “You speak Spanish now?” Jerry: “Profanely. And profoundly.”

Flair hits back with some big right-hands and a shitty snapmare. Flair has Carlito on the ropes, no-sells a punch, chops Carlito to the ground, gives him a back-body drop and goes for Carlito’s leg. Carlito hits a thumb right to Flair’s eyes, attempts a backstabber, fails and the crowd goes wild as Flair works the legs of Carlito before hitting the Figure Four leglock, getting the tap-out victory.

Ric Flair has submitted Carlito to win the match in 15:34.

2017 comments:

Good opener, I suppose, nice to see Flair once again, though at fifteen minutes, it overstayed its welcome by about five minutes.

2007 comments:

Is Ric Flair ever going to retire?

Grade: B.

Ric is done. Absolutely wrecked. Sign Guy in the crowd has a massive sign that he puts over his head saying, “Beat That Hairball!” He has another, which is a picture of a man’s lower body, which he constantly low-blows with the caption, “Ric Flair Training.”

Cut to Shawn Michaels backstage with Todd as they show footage of Shawn beating Edge on RAW. But then Randy came out, punt-kicked Shawn, stood over him and had his face on. Shawn calls Todd by his full name, Todd Grisham, and just as Shawn is about to speak, Randy comes in and tosses him into the background. Shawn needs help.

Cut to a promo for the Bobbo Lasher match versus Shane, Vince and Umaga, showing how Vince stole the belt by letting the others beat up Lasher and pinning him to win the ECW championship. Lasher gets his rematch at Judgment day, but it will once again be a handicap match. Lasher is not allowed to touch Shane, Vince or Umaga unless physically provoked… so he beats on Jonathan Coachman instead. Both Umaga and Shane provoke him, so they get a paddlin’.

Back in the ring, here comes the money! Dollah dollah! Shane O Mac comes to the ring, jogging like the jobber he is. Sign Guy has “ECW: Extremely un-Cool White guy” sign with a picture of Vince all up on it. Umaga comes does next, roaring and pulling at the rope. Vince comes down next, having a big swagger all on him as he rocks to the ring. Once again, the champ comes to the ring before the challenger. That’s nonsense.

Big “Bobby!” chant rises as his music hits and Lasher comes to the ring, roided up and standing in his own pyro. Lasher is angry. He jumps to the apron, big pyro hits.

Handicap match for the ECW World Championship: Mr. McMahon (c), Shane McMahon and Umaga vs. Bobby Lashley.

The bell goes and Lasher runs for Umaga, knocking him out of the ring. He punches Shane, beats on Vince and Shane gets tossed around like a ragdoll. Umaga tries to get to the apron but is knocked off. Bobby goes for Vince but Shane Pearl Harbours him. Lovely overhead suplex and Umaga is in , running at Bobby but Lasher moves out of the way, hits the spear, pins Shane and wins the championship.

Bobby Lashely has pinned Shane McMahon to win the ECW World Championship in 1:13.

2017 comments:

Thanks for the waste of ten minutes worth of promos and entrances for barely a minute of “wrestling”.

2007 comments:

I blinked. What happened?

Grade: F.

Tazz tells us that Bobby has exploded all over the McMahons. And the WWE just exploded all over paying customers.

Vince is ticked off. He walks from the ring, away from his son and Umaga. He slowly walks towards the ring but Umaga Pearl Harbours Lasher and gets his heat back with a Samoan Spike. Vince takes the ECW belt back, walks up the steps into the ring with a mic, congratulates Bobby but says that he did not win the belt as Bobby did not pin Vince. The crowd boos, the announcers shit on it and the heels leave with the belt. Devils.

Tazz calls him “ingenious”. What?

Recap of the match, almost in its entirety due to its brevity.

Backstage, a bowtie doctor is telling Shawn that he can’t wrassle. That’s it.

Back in the arena, CM Punk pre-Cult of Personality music hits and he comes to the ring, all wrapped up in bandages. He shouts, “It’s clobbering time!” to the crowd, because he is actually The Thing.

Elijah Burke rocks out, towel in hand, ready for the match to dab his sweating brow.

Singles Match: CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke.

Punk has his ribs taped. The crowd bay for him and Tazz checks it, like an idiot. The pair circle each other and lock up. Punk gets caught in a waistlock and kicks Burke away. Punk would later say that Burke is his least favourite opponent ever and would describe him as, “Absolutely the worst.” Let’s see how this plays out.

Punk gets Burke in a headlock and gets a punch to the rib for his effort. Joey says that Punk is giving “leg-kicks”, which he means as kicks to the leg rather than kicks with the leg. Punk in the corner with a rib shot and punch to the face that topples him. Punk gives him a lovely receipt to the back. Body slam and pin attempt. Neither men are wrestlers, more of a case of being strikers or, as the kids are want to say these days, strong-style specialists. Punk lands a lovely bodyslam and hits an exploder suplex that gets only a two-count.

The suplex is the first real wrestling move so far, followed by a lovely delayed vertical suplex where punk holds Burke aloft for about ten seconds. Very impressive. Burke fights back out of a chinlock and must be held back by the ref before he hurts Punky Magoo. Not very Extreme, is it, ECW? Punk hits a crossbody but fails to get the pin. The rascal.

Burke hammers Punk in the corner until the Chick Magnet gets a knee up. This is followed by a pathetic toss over the top rope. Shame upon the pair of you. Great shame. Punk slides underneath the rope, hits what Tazz calls a “sunset flip” even though no flips were involved at all. More of a sunset slide. Lovely headlock followed by hip toss reversals into a fireman’s carry and dropkick to send Burke to the outside. He looks about centre ring and hits a lovely suicide dive between the top and middle ropes. Great lad. Fair play. Pin attempt. Fail.

This is a lovely match so far. I can’t see why Punk would hate wrasslin’ Burke unless Punk is carrying him, which seems unlikely. Likely, Punk is just a bollocks. Burke reverses Punk’s moonsault attempt and beats on the ribs, holding Punk on the top rope and delivering a kick that could shatter bones right into Punk’s chest. Lovely leg scissors to Punk’s chest and Burke has his where he wants him. Punk fights back but gets a suplex followed by a backdrop and pin attempt. Something is happening offscreen and the crowd are chanting for JBL. He’s probably being a cunt and distracting them from the match.

More leg scissors from our boys and CM Punk escapes, beats on Burke, hits a lovely Irish whip, bit of a botch as both men kick. Cradle suplex into small package. Burke goes top rope, Punk hits him, gets ready for the superplex and hits it. My only complaint is that there are no flashbulbs anymore as phones nowadays have no need for flashes. Both men are up before the ten count and Punk hits a lovely clothesline followed by a baseball slide and enziguri onto Burke, going for the pin and Burke kicks out. Brilliant. Great match.

Bulldog attempt but Burke fights out. Burke tries the Elijah Express, misses, Punk attempts the GTS, fails, Burke hits the Elijah Experience but fails to get the pin. Burke pops punk up onto the turnbuckle and hits the Express. Punk falls into the tree of woe, but is released by the ref. Pin attempt and Punk escapes with a hand on the bottom rope, rolls away from the Elijah Experience and hits the GTS. Great match. Great pin.

CM Punk has pinned Elijah Burke to win the match in 16:50.

2017 comments:

Punk is one of those wrestlers who is beloved by fans despite being above average but being consistently above average in my estimation. This match reminds me why he’s one of the best in the business.

2007 comments:

This young whippersnapper CM Punk is going to be dead by the time he’s forty if he keeps up this caper.

Grade: A.

Hard to see why Punk would hate working with Burke as both men were complicit in a pretty great match. We see some lovely reversals of the two men kicking seven shades of shite out of one another as Punk ascends the ramp to the heavens.

On the Card will return on May 27 2017 with the second and final part of Judgment Day 2007.

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

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

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

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

WWE WrestleMania 23

All Grown Up.

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

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

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

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

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

Fucking jingoistic bollocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Fucking Kennedy. Why did it have to be Kennedy?

Grade: B

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

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

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

Oh, Kennedy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Oh Kane, how far have you fallen?

Grade: F

Khali chokes Kane, gets some extra heat and leaves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2007 Royal Rumble.

A First Challenger Appears: Ric Flair.

A Second Challenger Appears: Fit Finlay.

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

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

A Third Challenger Appears: Kenny Dykstra.

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

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Matt Hardy.

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

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Edge.

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

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

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

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

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Tommy Dreamer.

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

A Seventh Challenger Appears: Sabu.

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

An Eighty Challenger Appears: Gregory Helms.

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

A Ninth Challenger Appears: Shelton Benjamin.

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

A Tenth Challenger Appears: Kane.

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

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

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

Sabu has been eliminated by Kane in 5:28.

The announcers say that Kane is the favourite now.

An Eleventh Challenger Appears: CM Punk.

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

A Twelfth Challenger Appears: King Booker.

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

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

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

A Thirteeth Challenger Appears: Super Crazy

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

A Fourteenth Challenger Appears: Jeff Hardy.

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

A Fifteenth Challenger Appears: Sandman.

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

Sandman has been eliminated by Booker T in 13 seconds.

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

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

A Sixteenth Challenger Appears: Randy Orton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Seventeenth Challenger Appears: [REDACTED] Benoit.

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

An Eighteenth Challenger Appears: RVD.

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

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

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

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

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

A Nineteenth Challenger Appears: Viscera.

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

A Twentieth Challenger Appears: Johnny Nitro.

Nice.

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

A Twenty-First Challenger Appears: Kevin Thorn.

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

A Twenty-Second Challenger Appears: Hardcore Holly.

He can fuck off. Old Sparky Plugg.

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

A Twenty-Third Challenger Appears: Shawn Michael.

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

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

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

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

Then Shawn tosses out Shelton Benjamin.

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

He beats Viscera by sixteen minutes. Yeo.

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

A Twenty-Fourth Challenger Appears: Chris Masters.

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

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

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

A Twenty-Fifth Challenger Appears: Chavo Guerrero.

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

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

Who is left to come out? Who really cares?

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

A Twenty-Sixth Challenger Appears: MVP.

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

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

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

A Twenty-Seventh Challenger Appears: Carlito.

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

A Twenty-Eighth Challenger Appears: The Great Khali.

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

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

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

Ten boys still in and we reach our penultimate challenger!

A Twenty-Ninth Challenger Appears: The Miz.

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

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

Good.

Khali then throws out RVD.

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

Then he throws out Punk!

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

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

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

Then he throws out Chavo!

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

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

At some point during this, Benoit gets eliminated too.

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

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

The Thirtieth and Final Challenger Appears: The Undertaker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then he tosses Edge out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

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

Grade: B

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

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

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

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

Hatches: None.

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

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

On The Card Hall Of Fame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Year in Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ruthless Aggression #13: New Year’s Revolution (Jan 7 2007) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: A great opener and a “special match” which was shite.

Cut to the back and Vince and Coach as they speak about Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell. Very relevant, considering today. Vince books Donald vs. Rosie for Raw the next night. Coach sucks up to Vince, who walks away, disgusted. Ron Simmons appears behind Coach and says “Damn.”

Back to the arena, JR and Jerry big up this match as Kenny Dykstra comes down, dressed as Ric Flair and tells the ref to hold the ropes open for him. We show from Raw last week where Rated-RKO beat on the Nature Boy after Kenny beat him. Kenny cuts a shitty promo and Ric interrupts him.

Flair comes down and his robe is superior in many ways. Flair himself, of course, is one hundred and something years old, made of leather and is, in many ways, very disgusting.

Kenny Dykstra def. Ric Flair via pin in 10:02.

Lots of “wooo!”s from the crowd as the pair lock up. Kenny knocks Flair to the ground and gives it the Flair strut. Crowd start telling Kenny that he sucks and King calls them on it. Kenny punching Flair in the corner and Ric returns a few slaps that the crowd react to. Crowd is mostly dead despite a lovely back body drop from the Nature Boy. Kenny is thrown outside and the crowd cheer as Flair struts. Flair hits the hangman and Flair woos and runs around the ring. Flair hits a suplex to the outside as JR says “Golly” and “Doggone” in the same sentence. Kenny attempts the cover but gets naught and so gives Flair another suplex.

Kenny gets Flair in the old Boston Crab. Turns out that Kenny had just turned twenty in March 2006, so he is super young to be in this at all. Great stuff. Flair is having a lovely lie down and that super fan with the red hat in the front row is roaring at Flair. “Get up!” he cries, “Get up, you wallet!” Flair finally breaks the hold and Kenny gives him a couple of boots to the chest for his effort. Flair chops back and gets a big reaction from the crowd. Flair flops but Kenny returns to him, goes to apply the figure four but Flair reverses it into a roll-up. Flair goes to the top rope. Super fan says no. Kenny gives Flair a body slam from the top rope. Kenny jumps to the top rope, hits the missile dropkick and gets the shoulder up. Flair gives the thumb to the eye followed by two shots to Kenny’s knee. He gets ready for the figure four and the crowd goes wild for Kenny to tap. Oh, by Christ, they’re going bananas. Each time Kenny falls back, the ref goes for the pin. Kenny finally reaches the bottom rope.

Flair is going crazy on Flair in the corner and Kenny hits the low blow followed by a roll-up for the win in 10:02.

2016 comments:

Technically a good match, but a mess in the execution and crowd were so quiet that you’d think it was the piss-break match.

2006 comments:

Eugh.

Grade: C

Cut to Johnny Mundo in the backstage and he tells Melina to call Joey and tell her that the Hardys must pay. His balls are sore as well and that is important. Melina leaves and is intercepted by Victoria who needs Melina to write her name on a piece of paper so that Victoria can have a chance at the Women’s Championship. She then leaves before Melina signs.

Quick promo of Victoria coming to the ring for weeks with a checklist of her opponents, knocking them all off and ticking their names off on the list. We see that the crowd is dead during each match despite Victoria trying to do her best.

Back in the arena, Victoria’s must hits and she comes down to the ring with a pout on her face. She tells JR and King to “watch and learn,” to which JR replies with, “Happy new year.” JR puts her over.

Mickie’s music hits and down she skips to the ring with a face on her. Mickie taunts the crowd and Jerry tells us that he loves women’s matches and he is sure his fans do too. Yes, they do, Jerry, but they are the wrong type of fans.

WWE Women’s Championship match: Mickie James (c) def Victoria via pin in 6:49.

The women circle each other and Victoria gives Mickie a push. JR puts Victoria over. Awful full Nelson slam followed by a submission from Victoria. Mickie escapes an armbar with a cartwheel and the pair hold each other for a while. Shitty crowd, by the way. Some arm drag takedowns followed by a dropkick and Mickie is in control. Mickie goes to Bret’s rope but is kicked out to the outside by Victoria, who gives her a baseball slide followed by a Samoan Drop onto the barricade. Victoria gives a look to Lilian, who stands, hands on hips, confused. Mickie attempts a roll-up but fails. Victoria heels it up with some lovely chokes and a knee to the back. Victoria gives Mickie a hair pull toss and JR calls her a “sexy little Frisbee.” Victoria hits the Brets-rope-standing-moonsault but Mickie rolls away. Lovely bunch of clotheslines and Mickie is in control, punching Victoria in circles, hitting the clothesline and just failing to get the three. Victoria takes over but Mickie hits the head-scissor takedown, runs at Victoria on the apron and the crowd boo as Melina turns up to help Victoria. Melina gets slapped, Mickie goes for the DDT but Maria and Candice turn up, messing up the next few spots until Mickie reverses a powerslam into a DDT and gets the pin in 6:49.

2016 comments:

Wow. An actual not-bad women’s match. The ending made it look shit, but everything before was fine, just fine.

2006 comments:

Is… is this what women’s wrestling is supposed to be like?

Grade: C

Promo for the upcoming Tag Team match with Edge introducing Ric Flair onto the Cutting Edge. He arrived covered in blood and got a bunch of chair shots to the head. Pretty gruesome. Shawn is pretty upset that Rated-RKO did that. Edge hits Trips with a steel chair at a RAW and then the Rated-R superstar and the Legend killed kick seven shades of shite out of DX. Very obvious chair shots to the ground as opposed to the heads of their opponents.

“Are you ready?” DX’s music asks. The crowd cheers in response. The men come out, giving people epileptic fits with their strobed entrance. Trips holds water in his mouth for far too long before spitting it and then they crotch-chop some pyro. Shawn gives us a wee run in a circle. Good man yourself. DX were once one of the most over tag teams in the Fed and here they are, pandering to the crowd like a pair of Hulk Hogans. Trips gets the mic, thinks for a while and asks them if they are ready. They are. There is no discussion. Trips says that right now, the fans are seeing the, “frosty, sugary side of DX,” which Shawn likes, but soon they will see the “ass-kicking side of DX,” which doesn’t sound like a nice cupcake or whatever.

Rated-RKO’s awesome music hits and they pair of bastards turn up with Edge looking serious as fuck. DX jump out and run to the ramp to beat on Rated-RKO before the match begins. Edge is thrown into the crowd and suplexed back into the arena. Randy gets some lovely chops from our boy Shawn. Trips back-body drops Edge onto the steel of the ramp. Michaels is about to take a suplex but denies it, throwing Randy into the steel steps. Shawn and Edge make it into the ring and finally the bell rings.

WWE Tag Team Championship match: Rated-RKO (Randy Orton and Edge) (c) def D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) via no contest in 23:20.

Shawn takes no prisoners with Edge and DX chants rise as Trips is tagged in, pulling on Edge’s nose. We see a rare tweener babyface team here as Shawn distracts the ref. Trips chuck Edge into the corner and Shawn hangs on the ropes, booting Edge in the face before being tagged in. Edge dodges a spear from Shawn and Randy is tagged in. Orton punches Michaels in the corner but Michaels hits a lovely snapmare and kicks Orton in the head. Another shot to the ribs and Trips is tagged in, hitting Orton in the face with a lovely punch, giving him a knee drop. Shawn distracts the ref again as Trips hits Orton in the face on the apron. Another ref distraction and Shawn gives Orton a leg drop. Orton is bleeding already from a cut on his forehead. Did he blade? I saw it not.

Shawn has some of Orton’s blood on his chin as he gives Orton some lovely shots, hoping to bleed him further. Trips then does it loads, opening up the Legend Killer. Edge gives Trips a cheap shot and is pulled into the ring. Ref distraction again and now it’s Rated-RKO’s turn to double team. Edge comes in, boots Trips a bunch and steps back to give Trips some air. The crowd chant for DX as Trips has a wee lie down in the corner. Edge works on Trips’ leg and showboats for the crowd. He hits a “woo!” attempts a figure four but Trips fights back. Shawn comes in for the hot tag but cleans house, kipping up, atomic drop, body slam, goes to the top rope and hits the elbow drop. Orton is in, however, knocking Shawn down before Trips tosses him out himself. Edge goes for Shawn and both men are dropped outside. Michaels suicide dive and Trips is at the top rope, eager to join in.

Edge spears Michaels on the apron and now everyone is down. Orton has the championship belt and hits Michaels with it. Ref must not have seen it but Michaels has bladed bad and his face is a crimson mask on the outside. Jesus Christ. Edge pulls Michaels in with his hair and Edge batters on Michaels like mad, tagging in Orton who gives Shawn an inverted backbreaker which only gets a two-count. Orton stomps on Shawn for a while and gets another two-count. Edge tags in and both men have been pounding on Shawn for ages. Great Irish whip into the corner. Edge is covered in Shawn’s blood and gives Michaels another backbreaker, getting only a two-count. Orton is tagged in and punches Shawn on the back a lot. He attempts a pin with one foot on Shawn’s chest but gets two counts.

Randy rakes Shawn’s eyes – lot of illegal manoeuvres in this match – and Rated-RKO give Shawn a double backbreaker. Trips comes in to break the count and Edge gives Shawn a lovely stretch as the two sit down for a bit. Shawn fights back and gets to his feet, big cheers from the crowd. Lots of Flair chops and Michaels hits the backdrop. Crowd are cheering for a hot tag. Edge has Shawn’s foot and the pair chop for a while before Edge kicks Shawn in the face and tags in Orton, who crawls around like a damned snake. Almost… like a viper…

Shawn gets to his feet and we see an RKO but Shawn counters it! Hot tag builds again and both men tag in. Edge and Trips run the ropes and Trips cleans house, giving Edge a facebuster, giving Orton a spinebuster, attempting a pin on Orton despite the fact that he’s not legal. Trips has a hurt knee – a legit injury – and the match slows down as the guys talk about how much it hurts. An attempt at a Pedigree that fails. An attempt at an RKo that fails. Shawn hits the Sweet Chin Music as the men decide what to do. Edge goes to Trips but he kicks out. The match stops entirely. Randy and Edge speak in the corner. Trips avoids the spear, hops about the place, hits a single-leg Pedigree, goes for the cover but Edge kicks out. Shawn jumps in, gets a ref bump, gets the chair, busts Edge, busts Randy who blades like a boss. DX destroy Rated-RKO with steel chairs for a bit. Shawn asks Trips something and the Cerebral Assassin nods. Shawn begins to destroy the announce desk and apparently Edge has bladed too, though it is much more shallow than Randy’s.

Edge is on the announcer’s table, Randy is thrown on the other. Trips goes to Pedigree Edge but the table doesn’t break, according to JR, the table, “didn’t give a damn.” Shawn elbow drops Randy. It’s a fucking massacre. Shawn starts to dance. Randy is bleeding badly. Shawn and Trips hug and their music hits. They take the belts (despite not winning them legit) and celebrate. We see a replay for the bad spinebuster and how Trips’ knee crumbles underneath him. Three blade jobs in one improvised match. Not bad. I guess the match ends in an unofficial no contest in 23:20.

2016 comments:

Great improvised finish made better by Randy’s mental blade job. It would have been better if the officials had come out to break it up, caused a schmoz and justified that out of character ref bump by HBK though.

2006 comments:

Blood, blood, gallons of the stuff!

Grade: A-

On the Card will return on January 21 2017 with the third and final part of 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 #9. Cyber Sunday (Nov 5, 2006) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Women’s wrestling has changed since Trish left… two months ago.

Backstage, the Spirit Squad are getting ready for the next match. Kenny and Johnny have a push-off and Kenny claims he can fight Ric Flair by himself. Kenny explains that he roughed up Mikey to get his blood up, his killer instinct. Nicky “Dolph Ziggler” Nemeth says little during this exchange and so it is of little import.

Back in the arena, old man Flair comes out, waddling to the ring, wooing and ready to blade himself silly at the faintest gasp of offence from his enemy.

Maria and Todd have a little back-and-forth where she says woo a lot. Backstage, we see Ric’s possible partners for tonight – Sgt. Slaughter, Rowdy Roddy Piper and The American Dream Dusty Rhodes. Piper looks fucked and Dusty’s forehead is a mess of scar tissue. Jerry asks how many times JR voted. He replies, “early and often.” The results come in, 19% for Slaughter, 46% for Piper and 35% for Dusty. 14.576 million votes cast, by Christ. Hot Rod actually smiles and walks to the ring. He appears, apparently from Glasgow as well. JR says, “Looks like he’s been up all night thinking about this opportunity!”

Spirit Squad come out, the tag team champions. They have a bloody air horn. Fuckers. Piper looks awful.

WAIT WHAT THAT’S DUSTY’S MUSIC. Out come Dusty and Slaughter, making their way to the ring to balance the scales somewhat considering that the rest of the Spirit Squad are here as well. JR says, “The Spirit Squad still have a one-man advantage… if you’re doing the math at home.”

Tag Team Championship match: Ric Flair and Rowdy Roddy Piper (w/ Dusty Rhodes and Sgt. Slaughter) def. Kenny and Mikey (w/ Johnny, Nicky and Mitch) (c) via pin in 6:55.

Flair and Kenny start off, which Flair being pretty sprightly for a million-year-old man. He’s wooing away as well, running snapmares, taking clotheslines and rolling over to tag in Roddy. Mikey argues with him and Roddy just fucking goes bananas. He clears house and starts biting faces. He’s out of shape and looking rough but my God, the crowd are going bananas. Kenny finally takes over and the pair double team Roddy. It seems like they are bullying him, shouting as they hit him. Roddy goes for the backslide and is rewarded with a double-axe-handle smash (the most devastating move in all of wrestling. It might have even been given from Bret’s rope!).

Sleeper hold city in the middle of the ring and the ref lifts Roddy’s arm but he holds tight, trying to “walk” Kenny’s legs towards Flair for a tag. He is pulled back and drawn into an armbar, which he escapes from and promptly eye-pokes Mikey. The Spirit Squad get up for a huge Electric-Chair-Style splash. Roddy rolls and Ric comes in and the legends just double team the Spirit Squad for ages. Finally, Flair locks in the figure-four and Kenny saves his friend with a leg drop, which JR calls “a Skywalker-like elevation from Kenny”, which makes no sense as Luke never did huge elbows on Jabba or Vader. Flair hits the second figure-four and Mikey taps so that Ric Flair and Rowdy Roddy Piper win the Tag Team Championships in 6:55.

2016 comments:

An okay match from the legends but it was really held together by the Spirit Squad. JR and King had a line at the beginning, which was JR: “Roddy is not in a long-match kind of shape.” Jerry: “No. No he is not.”

2006 comments:

Old men beat male cheerleaders! What is the subtle innuendo here?

Grade: C.

Always nice to see a wee schmoz for the audience. The Spirit Squad slide in to punish Flair for losing them the championship and Dusty and Slaughter waddle in to beat them off. Jesus, there’s nine men in the ring, just being each other off. If only Pat Paterson could come in, he’d show – you get the rest of the joke. Dusty hits two Bionic Elbows and almost cracks Piper with one.

For some reason, Dusty’s music hits and he starts dancing, doing some butter-churning job.

Cut to backstage and King Booker and Queen Sharmell walk in to speak to our man Jooooooohn Cena. Booker tells Cena that they both have a giant problem – Big Show. Booker calls ECW a “cesspool of an organisation” and would prefer that Show doesn’t win any of the titles. Booker suggests that Cena and Booker team up. He is about to go on a rant but Cena interjects, agreeing immediately. Booker calls him as smart as Solomon and wise as Socrates. He is about to leave when Cena calls him back, suggesting that he spends a night with Queen Sharmell in place of his loyalty for one night.

Sharmell goes bananas and leaves the locker room. Booker and Cena argue it out… for about a second before Booker agrees. Cena reveals it was all a ploy to see if Booker was stupid enough to go for it. He goes outside, apologises to Sharmell and then throws Booker in it by saying, “So it’s Sharmell, a case of Jaegar, Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s two-by-four, Finlay’s midget and I get to watch?” Sharmell goes apeshit. Ron Simmons walks on, pauses for a moment and says, “Damn.”

Cut to the Cincinnati Bengals. They are a team. I have never heard of them.

There’s a promo that asks us what a champion is. Cena fights for pride. Booker fights for his Queen. Nobody can beat Show. We see Show winning his ECW championship alongside some champion quotes. We see King Booker with his great gimmick and Cena with his pride. Vince sets the match up and reminds us that he could have voted. Promo of the three champs kicking ass. A lot of people say, “Champion of Champions.”

Back in the ring, King Booker’s music hits and down comes the man himself, posing with his wife. Don’t know why she’s still with him. Brother just pimped her out. JR reminds us that there have been times when champions had fought each other… but never a triple threat match! This is amazing!

Big Show’s music hits and down he comes, holding the belt like an afterthought. He half-heartedly shows his belt to the audience.

Cena’s music hits! I love Cena! What a guy! He goes all along the houses, waving at the kids, saluting, being a fan favourite, throwing the hat out to the audience followed by the t-shirt. Three refs hold the belts.

Cut to Maria and Todd for their final badly-scripted back-and-forth of the night. Maria can feel anticipation. There are so many possibilities here. A champion could be going home with two titles or none. Or one, Maria. That’s three possibilities, I suppose.

The results appear and Jerry tells us he has “chillbumps” which is a cross between Goosebumps and chills, I suppose. The drumroll takes forever and I mean forever. Finally, the results come in… John Cena… 12% of the vote. Big Show… 21% of the vote… but with 67% of the 14,661,653 votes… WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, KING BOOKER.

Booker is looking characteristically terrified.

Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship: King Booker (c) (w/ Queen Sharmell) def. John Cena and Big Show via pin in 21:05

The champs are in the corner, every man for himself, no count-outs, no DQs, only pins or submissions count. Cena and Show can’t lose their championships and can win without ever pinning or submitting Booker. Booker appeals to Cena, who fights back and leaves Show and Cena to fight it out as Booker watches. JR tells us Cena is a big man, a stud, but is dwarfed by Show, which we can see. Crowd are having a “Let’s go, Cena/Cena sucks!” chant which forgets that there are two other men in the ring.

Booker is watching from the corner, just like Cena will with Sharmell and his case of Jaegar. Jerry reminds us that all of Big Show’s aggression is directed as Cena. Sharmell and Booker cower outside and eventually the King makes his move, scissor kicking Show as he leans over the ropes to pick up Cena from the apron. Booker beats on Show and it does little as Show fights back against him. Headbutt sends Booker to the floor. Show runs, knocks Cena off the apron and into the announcer’s table. JR tells us that unless Show makes a “huge and monumental mistake here,” he is destined to win. He goes for the pin on Booker but Cena breaks it up.

We have Booker and Cena fighting Show for a while, trading punches and a stereo clothesline over the top rope. Booker takes over in the middle of the ring, chopping Cena mercilessly. Cena hits a lovely fisherman’s suplex and the pin is broken by Show, throwing him outside. Show takes the steel steps. JR tells us that although he cannot be DQ’d, it is unnecessary. Cena dropkicks Show’s leg and Show falls forward, cracking his head off the steps. And there is much rejoicing.

Mid-ring, Cena and Booker go at it, trading slaps. Booker hits the superkick but gets only a two-count. Booker hits the Bossman Slam and gets onto a two. Cena doesn’t give up, Booker. Come on, bro. Jerry reminds us that Cyber Sunday has been great. It’s been okay. The two men trade close-counts and Show is outside, having a wee lie down. Booker gets Cena in a chin lock. It lasts quite some time. Eventually, he fights back and hits the modified backdrop. JR suggests that the fatigue must be setting in. Cena goes to the top rope – always a bad idea – and hits a splash that Booker avoids. Booker goes for the scissor kick that Cena counters into an FU that is further counters into a DDT. Cena hits the Russian Leg Sweep and another close count. He goes for the STFU but Booker gets the ropes.

Booker hits the eye poke and Cena botches a clothesline. JR calls “The Marine” move an “action-adventure” which might not be true. The pace is so slow that Jerry starts thanking the fans while the match is still going. Show is back in the ring and lifts Cena into an electric chair-style attack as Booker dropkicks Big Show’s face, dropping all three men. Booker attempts to pin Show and is thrown over the ring. Cena and Booker attempt to double suplex Show but he double suplexes them. He throws both men into the corner, charges them, bounces off the ropes and double-clotheslines them both. After a chokeslam to Booker, he spears Cena. My God, this man. This huge, huge man.

Outside, Cena and shoe fight near the announcer’s table. Show gets ready to destroy the table with JR roaring, “We gotta work here!” Cena bounces Show’s head off the table and Cena fights back, bouncing Show’s head off the ringpost twice. Cena goes in the ring and hits some crescendo booking with shoulderbarges, bodyslam-to-Five-Knuckle-Shuffle. Show has the steel chair, but mid Five-Knuckle Shuffle, Cena boots the Show in the face through the chair. Sharmell comes in to hit Cena with the belt but Cena FU’s her. Cena hits the STFU and…

Wait.

What?

Who is…?

It’s fucking K-Fed. Kevin Federline, Britney Spears’ ex-husband, sometime rapper and complete bastard is in the ring and cracking John Felix Anthony Cena on the back of the head!

Straight-up Shoot Fact: This is part of a storyline on RAW where K-Fed wanted to promote his album, Playing with Fire and kept getting into physical altercations with Cena, another white rapper. This would go on until Cena finished the feud with two FUs. Despite the fact that K-Fed is generally portrayed as an arse in real life, he was apparently well-received backstage according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. According to Mick Foley in an interview with Hobotrashcan.com, “…Federline, shockingly enough, was apparently a pretty good guy. Everybody liked him and was impressed by his attitude.” Big words from the nicest man in wrestling.

K-Fed runs off and Cena jogs after him, gives up, returns to Booker, who cracks him in the face with the belt going for the pin in 21:05.

2016 comments:

It was a Booker vs. Cena match feat. Sharmell, Show and K-Fed.

2006 comments:

Fucking hell, Sharmell can fair and take an FU, wha?

Grade: B

Booker is announced as “The Champion of Champions” as the announcers wonder about K-Fed. Booker carries his Queen out of the arena and K-Fed taunts Cena with the U Can’t C Me hand-wave. JR gives off about him, calling him, Mr. Britney Spears. Then the announcers give him a wee promo on his new album. We see a replay of the events of the match and K-Fed leaves, ending the PPV.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No matches were amazing but I have to tell you that I’m giving it to Carlito because he is wonderful.

Woman of the Matches: There was a women’s match but we will speak of it no longer. Queen Sharmell, is the Woman of the Matches because she took a fucking FU.

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

Best Spot: Shawn Michaels’ triple superkick on Stan and the other two backstage helpers.

Hatches: Cryme Tyme, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch with Eric Bischoff, Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes and Sgt. Slaughter (Within this particular generation).

Matches: Jeff Hardy retained his WWE Intercontinental Championship; Lita won the WWE Women’s Championship; Ric Flair and Rowdy Roddy Piper won the World Tag Team Championship; and King Booker retained his World Heavyweight Championship.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: I enjoyed it. The gimmick was fun and although none of the matches had that huge storyline feel, they were a good laugh. This entire PPV felt like a house show and that is no bad thing.

On the Card will return on November 26 with the WWE PPV Survivor Series 2006.

 

Ruthless Aggression #6: SummerSlam (August 20, 2006) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Great Chavo vs. Rey fight and regrettable Big Show vs. Sabu match…

Cut to JR and The King as they have to big up the bloody Diva’s Search, We do see Layla, though, who is one of the best Divas of the modern era, though we haven’t seen her in a while. She is then bullied by the Divas locker room. Funny that they’re showing this despite the fact that there is no women’s match this evening. They initiate her by showering her in cold water with her arse out. Awful.

I know I give off about the sexploitation of the women in wrestling, especially at around this time, but every now and again something will happen and I will place my head in my hands and wonder why to Christ it was still happening. Garbage.

Promo for the Hogan vs. Orton match, showing Hulkamania runnin’ wiiiild, brother. JR questions if Hogan is the Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan of wrasslin’, which is about right as Jordan wore a Hitler moustache just as Hogan was a racist. We see Randy flirting with Brooke Hogan and then giving her old man an RKO as she looks on gormlessly. Amazingly, Hulk actually sells it. We see Randy “killing” legends, which just involved him bullying and beating up old wrestlers. It’s easy to RKO Mae Young or Moolah, though the latter will sell you into some kind of sex ring if you’re not careful.

The entire promo builds up to the point that Randy has a history of successfully “killing” legends by beating them either in ring or in a parking lot or whatever and Hulk says that he will never be one of those legends. Fair enough, seems like a good build up to a match… if we didn’t have twenty-plus years of Hulk Hogan in the Fed to know that the fucker is an absolute cunt and doesn’t care what he does as long as he goes over in the end. So we know that Hulk is going to win. We know that already, brrrrrrother.

Randy’s brilliant “Burn in my Light” song hits and the lad comes down. Six-five, two hunnerd an’ fiddy pounds of destruction. Twenty-six years old at the time and smug as shit. Debuted three weeks before his twenty-sixth birthday. He hits his pose and golden showers fall from behind him as Lilian Garcia introduces him. Randy stands mid-ring, bouncing as Hulk’s “Real American” theme plays. He gets a huge pop, which is interesting.

Hulk comes down to the ring. Six-eight, three hunnerd an’ twenny-two pounds of cunt. Fifty-three at the time, debuted three years before Orton’s birth and won his first championship on January 23, 1984 in Madison Square Garden from the Iron Sheik, who was made humble. A lot of people like Hogan. I never did. I found him boring and bland as well. And he’s a racist. I hated him before that, of course, I hated that he never sold and always went over even if he should not have. And he ruined perfectly good t-shirts. Prick.

This intro is too long. Go and hit him, Randy. Go on. Smack him in the face.

Hulk doesn’t remove his bandana to reveal his mental hairline.

Hulk Hogan def. Randy Orton via pin in 10:56.

Bell rings and both men circle the ring. Hogan looks like he doesn’t want to be there, and knowing Hogan, he probably doesn’t. It was about this time that he had the infamous video about him being racist. Cocky.

Hogan and Orton lock up and Randy is flung across the ring. They lock up again and get into a headlock. Hogan gets to his feet, pushes Orton away and Hogan’s bandana falls off. He slaps his arse in reply. Another headlock. I haven’t said this in a while: headlock city. It’s headlock city! In the Ruthless Aggression Era!

Orton takes over and walks Hogan about the ring with a barrage of punches. Hogan is on his back on the apron and Randy doesn’t stop. Hogan is taking his time and Randy roars, “Get up!” pulls on Hogan’s hair and goes to smash his head into the turnbuckle but Hogan reverses. Of course he does. Hogan goes for the ten-punch, gets nine plus a bite. He then rakes Orton’s eyes twice. Come on, Hogan. That’s against the rules, you gooch.

Hulk beats on Orton on the ropes. JR calls Brooke Hogan “A rising singing star,” that “Randy has… feelings for,” but then says that wouldn’t be a good word to use. Hogan rakes Orton’s back and chest for a while. Like a cat. Hulk Hocat? I know I can do better than that. Hogan is dragged out by Orton and his knee is worked on, the one that has been replaced, apparently. Randy goes to the top rope, goes for a cross-body-nothing and Hogan dodges. In the corner, Hulk gets to his feet and punches on Randy, goes for the big boot, gets the dropkick in reply and slithers about for the RKO, rolling like a cat. Hulk refuses to turn around and finally when he does, Randy hits him with the worst sold RKO of all time and the pin in-

Oh. Hogan’s foot was on the bottom rope. Lilian even makes an announcement telling us so. Hulk Hulks out, gets some punches in, big boot, leg drop and the pin in 10:56.

2016 comments:

I am loathe to mention anything positive about Hulk Hogan because I hate the cunt and his racist, self-concerned ass has no place in modern wrestling. However, I can appreciate the fact that without him, there would be no wrestling. The match was okay. Randy and Hulk told a story and it wasn’t old-school wrestling for the most part. Randy did a great job of selling all of Hulk’s awful moves, but, of course, Hulk goes over.

2006 comments:

This Randy Orton fellow is great, treating Hogan like a real person now and again.

Grade: D

Hogan celebrates for ages, genuinely about five minutes, slaps a fan on the back who has a Hogan tattoo and leaves, finally.

It’s actually raining outside in Boston, but inside, Mick Foley is staring middle distance before getting a hug from Melina as he reveals that he has seen a different side of Ric Flair. Melina is asking Mick to reconsider his match this evening. He tells her that she’s wrong and she secretly likes it.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: As mentioned in the Vengeance 2006 entry to this series, Ric and Mick have had some trouble in the ring, outside of it and on the pages of their respective books. Ric called Mick a “glorified stuntman” and Mick did not respond. He later expressed that he respected Ric but was upset to be thought of that way. Trrrrrrriple H, a man who respects and works closely with Mick, even took Ric’s side as Ric was HHH’s mentor. This entire feud is bullshit because neither men are willing to keep it kayfabe and you can see that there is some genuine resentment there.

In the ring, Lilian is explaining the rules of an I Quit match. Match goes on until one of the competitors says, “I quit” into a microphone. There is no DQ.

Mick’s music hits and the flannel-wearing legend comes out… after about thirty seconds. Forty-one at the time of filming, six-two, two hunnerd an’ seventy or so (his weight fluctuated severely around this time due to his semi-retirement and inability to do a lot of locomotion). He carries a trashcan. JR wonders if either Foley or Flair will physically be able to say, “I quit,” considering the platform upon which they would be doing it.

Flair’s music hits and out he comes. Fifty-seven, six-one and two-forty-two pounds of wickedness. JR references the troubles that Mick and Ric had in WCW (Ric was booker and did not like Mick because he thought he was a garbage wrestler and did not book him well, once telling him, “You’re going to be in a wheelchair by the time you’re thirty and no one will care.”). Mick punches Ric and the match begins prematurely.

“I Quit” Match: Ric Flair def. Mick Foley via quitting in 13:14.

Mick pounds away in the corner with his forearms, runs into his head with a running knee, wastes no time in bringing over the trashcan to crash his head. He hits the “Bang bang!” pose, pulls out Mr. Socko and applies it for about three seconds. He is instantly on the mic, walking over to Flair to give him the chance to quit, but no dice. Foley wraps some barbed wire around his fist and is about to give Flair a shot when the Nature Boy grabs him by the balls! Oh so painful! In the confusion, Foley falls and Flair removes the barbed wire and Socko, putting them on himself and striding towards Foley with murder in his eyes.

A Flair barbed wire shot to the chest, followed by three more and Foley is out of the ring, Flair following him and tossing him into the steel steps. The pair roll about the place for a while and Foley takes the time to get out the barbed wire board last seen on ECW One Night Stand. Flair takes the chance to blade and the two men are back in the ring, bleeding everywhere. Foley rubs the wire in Flair’s face, throws the board at him, jumps on him with it, the whole nine yards. Foley brings the mic over but Flair only says, “Kiss my ass!” so Foley busts him with the mic.

Thumbtacks! Foley gets thumbtacks out, the wicked son of a bitch! Jerry states that this type of wrestling is not his style and Foley instantly body slams Flair onto the thumbtacks. There is little build up. Foley takes out Barbie, the barbed-wire baseball bat and JR says, “Damn the barbed wire!” Flair fights back through the barbed wire attack and low blows Mick before throwing him into the corner, getting Barbie and beating on Mick. Foley has a great bump where he just falls with a huge slam. Flair gives Mick the mic, but no magic words yet. Another low blow followed by a Barbie shot with Foley on the apron and Mick goes flying off the apron, damn near killing himself. Paramedics are called and Melina rungs down.

The paramedics tell the ref that Mick is done and the ref calls for the bell. Flair gets the mic, angry, and jumps out, lifting Foley back in, rolling him through the thumbtacks. Christ of almighty. More Barbie attacks and Flair is on the mic again. Foley screaming in pain. Flair wonders aloud if Mick has had enough and Melina throws in the towel, shouting, “He quits!” calling for a second bell. She kneels beside him, making sure that her arse his showing. Flair denies her attempt to save Mick, gets Barbie, rolls through the pins and just as Flair is about to bust one or both of them with Barbie, Mick gets on the mic and quits in 13:14.

2016 comments:

Just like the Big Show/Sabu match earlier, this is garbage wrestling of the highest order. Spot after spot after spot and although I enjoyed this match far more than the Extreme Rules match, I put that down to the competitors as opposed to the actual match. I didn’t feel that there was a great story here and the whole Melina-quitting-for-Mick-who-takes-one-for-the-team-to-save-her spot could have been better executed.

2006 comments:

Mick Foley was in it. Match of the year.

Grade: B+

Flair is pushed away by the ref and his hands raised. JR raises concerns over the fact that Flair would ever strike a woman and the Nature Boy rolls out of the ring with Barbie, bleeding from every part of his body. JR says, “These men were wrestling to eradicate!” and Jerry, rightly, replies with, “This wasn’t wrestling, JR.” And it wasn’t. Nice close-up of our man Mick, bust open. Fair play, Mick. He pulls himself to his feet with difficulty.

On the Card will return on September 3 with the third part of SummerSlam 2006.

Ruthless Aggression #4: Vengeance (June 25, 2006) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Great Angle match. Shite Umaga match.

Todd Grisham gets a slagging from our boy Mick as he reads from Flair’s autobiography. He calls it a “novel” as “autobiographies contain facts” and is very bitter about the whole thing. This is a bit of a callback to Foley’s autobiographies where he mentions that Flair dislikes him because of Foley’s in ring abilities and the fact that he focussed on hardcore wrestling which Flair states is not “real” wrestling. This entire feud is part shoot part grumpy old men.

In Ric Flair’s book, the legend calls Mick a “glorified stuntman”. Mick claims he is going to outwrestle Ric Flair and walks off with a big, “Wooo!” JR introduces Lillian who says, “This is a two out of three falls match.” Well done, Lillian, you’re a great woman. Mick’s music hits and down he walks. Close up on a “Mick Foley is a glorified stuntman” sign. Mick rolls into the ring, has a wee walk around and the crowd gets ready for Ric’s entrance. He is introduced as, “Charlotte’s own Ric Flair!”

This is the second time I’ve seen Flair so far and I hope it’s the last. I can’t have him.

JR says that he saw Ric out last night at NINE OF THE CLOCK POST MERIDIEM! He then says that it was, “a little past [JR’s] bedtime.” Close up on the crowd and we see a young Charlotte Flair in attendance. She would have been just around twenty years young at this point and six years off her signing a developmental contract with WWE. Ric looks awful because he’s a bastard.

Ric Flair def. Mick Foley 2-0 via pin and DQ in 07:32.

Foley sucks chant rises as the bell rings. King reminds us that it would be great if Foley beat Flair. The pair take part in the most shameful attempt at chain wrestling I have ever seen. I know that Mick is used to throwing his body around with reckless abandon and that’s fine, but who looked at that and said, “Yep, that’s some good wrasslin’.” Certainly not Kurt Angle. The man must be rolling backstage.

Foley gets Flair in the corner and does the Flair strut. Double-arm DDT to Flair and Foley goes to take out Mr. Socko… only it has a blonde wig and a pink cape… It’s a Ric Flair Socko! Flair grabs Mick by the dick and Flair goes up top to hit Foley with the double axe handle smash (the most devastating move in wrestling). Flair tweaks his knee on the way down and Foley goes for it, really giving it loads. Foley goes for the figure four and Ric rolls him up for the pin and the first fall.

Foley… 0

Flair… 1

They scramble to the outside after a failed roll-up and Mick goes into the steel steps. Lillian looks mildly concerned. More Flair chops in the middle of the ring and Mick attempts to escape but Ric is after him. Some scrambling and they’re both thrown back into the ring. Mick goes underneath the ring as the crowd tell him he sucks. He gets a trashcan out and Flair grabs his legs, whipping him into a figure four leglock. Foley, wracked with pain, pulls on the ref and then uses the trashcan to smash Flair over the head. He is disqualified and Flair gets the second fall in 7:32.

Foley… 0

Flair… 2

2016 comments:

How the mighty have fallen.

2006 comments:

Best match ever, Mick. Congratulations, you’re the best.

Grade: D

Foley wastes no time in going under the ring again to bring out a barbed wire baseball bat. He runs it right into Ric’s face. The camera follows Foley and Flair takes the time to blade himself. Flair is bleeding like a stuck pig. The bell is rung and three refs are in the ring. Shots of women by the side of the ring looking… not shocked or horrified, just… curious. Unimpressed. Like this has besmirched the good name of professional wrestling. Flair is bleeding so badly. Dumb motherfucker.

Cut to backstage and our girl Maria mumbles her way through a promo with Carlito. Come on, Maria, learn to enunciate. Carlito is wearing the same old t-shirt last time. The one about spitting and swallowing. Maria blows his mind by asking him to explain a paradox. He appears vexed.

Torrie Wilson comes over and asks Maria to rub baby oil on her. Maria states she is interviewing Carlito, but he hurries her along to watch the show. Torrie asks Carlito to hold her puppies and as he reaches for her breasts, she hands him two tiny, tiny dogs. Then we actually see the baby oil application, which looks suspect at best. Maria isn’t really good at any of this, bless her. Carlito’s running commentary is actually very funny. “Work as a cohesive unit, ladies,” he encourages. His music hits and he must make the decision to stay or go. He sets the dogs down and leaves. JR quips, “coitus interruptus.”

Jerry complains over the lack of ladies touching each other. Lots of apples with attitude signs in the crowd. Carlito is looking good today. Johnny Nitro’s music hits and awwww fuck down he comes with fucking Melina. Christ Almighty, I thought they were on Smackdown? This is an absolute nightmare.

Straight-up shoot fact: She was actually transferred due to backstage heat, which is not surprising as the woman was nuclear. She had arguments with Lita to the point where she was forced to change in the corridor and was hauled in front of Wrestler’s Court at 3am, allegedly, due to her shitty behaviour. The entire locker room turned up and it is reputed that bets were placed on how long it would take her to cry. I know she’s a total bitch but come on, that’s a bit much.

Johnny Nitro AKA John Morrison AKA Johnny Mundo AKA guy-who-done-slagged-off-my-boy-Cody-Rhodes-recently stands in front of Melina to block her arse. If you could block her entire existence, Nitro, I would be far happier. The Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin comes down with far less of an entrance than the other two guys. No pop.

Intercontinental Championship match: Johnny Nitro w/ Melina def. Shelton Benjamin (c) and Carlito via pin in 12:01.

Bell rings and Nitro is chucked outside. Shelton goes for the roll-up on Carlito and all I can stare at is the blood on the mat. My God, boys, at least put a towel down. Carlito and Shelton have a nice little stroll about the place in headlocks and roll for a bit before Nitro pops in and is given a hell of a flip by the two hugging men. Nitro springboards off the top rope and Carlito is given a good old kick to the face. Nitro and Shelton are going at each other and Melina – my God, woman, stop your jibber-jabber – screams like a female tennis player. Carlito catapults Nitro to the outside and the two men get ready for Carlito’s suicide dive but Melina, probably not understanding how spots work, pushes Nitro away. Nitro and Shelton fight some more before Carlito springboard senton bombs from the top rope, nailing Shelton and Nitro. Carlito wobbles for a moment before rolling Nitro in and getting the two-count.

Big Flair chops from Carlito to Nitro and Johnny hits a tiltawhirl Russian leg sweep on Carlito. Melina screams and Carlito hits a few backflips and an amazing hurricanrana. His run off the ropes is stopped by Shelton who tosses him into the air so high that he escapes the pull of gravity itself and spins off into space. When he comes down, Benjamin hits him with a great suplex but only gets the two-count. Carlito and Benjamin are great in this match, a nice change from their last PPV together which was Backlash way back in April. Shelton also hits Nitro with a Snake Eyes and Melina cheats by popping Nitro’s leg on the rope. Carlito is on Shelton’s shoulders and gets a roll-up. Fucking fantastic spot with Shelton in the corner: Carlito Irish whips Nitro towards him and Johnny catapults Shelton towards Carlito but Benjamin lands on his feet and gets a superkick from Carlito. Spot of the night so far. JR reminds the ref that Carlito has the pin but he only gets a two count before Nitro breaks it.

Nitro goes to superplex Carlito but is knocked into a Tree of Woe. Shelton jumps up to the turnbuckle and as he sets Carlito up for the superplex, Nitro leans up and German suplexes Shelton Benjamin and Carlito off in some modified version of the Tower of Terror. Wow. What a fucking spot. The crowd explode. “Holy shit!” they cry. Nitro rolls up Carlito but gets only a two-count. Melina screeches. Carlito gets back in and cleans house, getting Benjamin into a roll-up but it doesn’t suit. Double springboard elbow from Carlito and he tries to pin first Nitro then Benjamin but no chance. Benjamin kicks Carlito right in the back of the head but gets only a two-count.

Benjamin is frustrated and rightly so. What will it take to put either of these two men away. Suplex into cutter into backcracker and Nitro pulls Carlito out to take advantage, the pin and the Intercontinental Championship in 12:01

2016 comments:

What a terrific match. Psychologically speaking, it was guff. There was no story, it was just a spotfest, but sometimes even spotfests are brilliant and this was a brilliant spotfest.

2006 comments:

Get Melina the fuck out of here.

Grade: B

JR is furious that Nitro (with bust lip) would steal Carlito’s win. Almost as if he had never seen this level of backstabbery in his life.

Cut to the Spirit Squad and front and centre is Dolph Ziggler, as Nicky.

Straight-up shoot fact: Dolph’s real name is Nick Nemeth and he is an actual honest-to-God wrestler. He holds the school record for most pins in St. Edward High School, Ohio with 82. He once held the record for most career wins in the wrestling team’s history at Kent State University at 121. As of 2010, he is still second all-time in career victories. He also won championships in three consecutive years and was three-time All-Mid-American Conference champion, won the 165lb tournament in 2000, 2002 and 2003. As of 2010, he is the last wrestler from Kent State to have won three amateur wrestling championships.

The Spirit Squad get ready to destroy DX. Vince comes in and berates them for embarrassing him on Monday Night Raw. He equates DX with bird flu. He psyches them up even though their match isn’t for a few hours yet. Vince then attempts to use the restroom, gets distracted and eventually walks back, picks up the pistol pump and pops into the loo with it. There is an explosion and he comes out, covered in a thin spray of green paint. He says, “That damn DX!” and looks about for a hat to stomp on.

Cut to JR and King. JR rubs his lip and says, “Well…” King states what we saw, because we are idiots. JR then introduces the next match between Edge and RVD. This is a championship match for the title that Cena had not two weeks before and it is being shown on the midcard. The match after the WWE Championship match is… Kane vs. Kane. Then Cena/Sabu. Then a match with undercard jobbers as the main event. What.

On the Card will return on July 9th with the third part of Vengeance 2006.

Ruthless Aggression Era #1. Backlash 2006 (April 30, 2006) Part 1

On June 23rd 2016, it will have been twenty years since the King of the Ring tournament where Stone Cold Steve Austin first uttered the phrases “Austin 3:16” and “And that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold Said so.” This event would kick-start the rise of Steve Austin and over the next few months, the WWF would move into edgier and more adult-orientated storylines that would form the backbone of the Attitude Era. That was almost twenty years ago, but ten years ago it was a different era entirely. Ten years ago, we had just had WrestleMania 22. John Cena had just turned 29 and he was only in his second title reign. The Rock and Steve Austin had left the company years ago, just after the WWF became the WWE. It was the handover from one generation to another and the Era has been titled “The Ruthless Aggression Era” by Vince McMahon himself.

Ruthless Aggression was a time when the roster was so huge and so varied that the WWE 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 30, 2006, the PPV Backlash aired. It was a Raw event and the calibre of matches and their content are drastically different to what we have now. Personally, it came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs and I remember this one well. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

WWE Backlash 2006

Long Live The King

The tagline is a reference to Triiiiiiple H, who also features on the poster. Trips is in a Triiiiiple Threat Match with Rated-R Superstar Edge and my boy, Prototype John Cena. The Main Event is set to be fantastic in one way or another and the photo that they used of Trips is one where he is looking huge and very intimidating. As a Cena fan, I remember looking at this thinking that there was no way Cena was getting out of this alive.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a match that was shown on Sunday Night Heat that served as a pre-show match to build up hype for the PPV and get more PPV buys in. The match was Goldust vs. Rob Conway, which is a shame for Goldie because he is a fantastic talent and far better used on the main roster. His inclusion here mirrors how the Fed are treating him now – putting him in Battle Royales and pre-show or dark matches instead of putting him on the main card where he would be better served. To add insult to injury, the preshow match lasted minutes.)

We have the lovely little intro package showing the wrestlers throughout time performing, starting with some grainy footage, through to Andre the Giant, the first WrestleMania, Hulkamania (runnin’ wiiiiild, brother!), Mankind’s jump off Hell in the Cell, Shawn Michaels’ jump off the ladder, Ric Flair, The Rock, Stone Cold, working the whole way up to recent wrestlers that spin by too fast for us to see.

The show starts with a great shot of Vince, covered in blood, his eyes just peeking over the tip of the mat, his evil laugh echoing. He threatens Shawn Michaels, saying he will, “unleash the apocalypse” on him. Vince states that it will Shawn and God against Vince and “the product of my semen, my son, Shane.” How is it that Vince finds a way to alienate one section of the audience with potential blasphemy and then double down by talking about how Shane is a product of his semen? I am not entirely offended by this now because I know more about the product and know that Vince, in Mick Foley’s books, has stated that he will “do anything for a pop,” but I, personally, have a great respect for any religion that doesn’t charge entry and I know that Shawn was/is a Born-Again Christian and must have signed off on this type of thing before the match. Either way, bad taste in my mouth to start this PPV off. Lots of God puns being used. Vince talking about how Shawn broke his commandments, Shawn giving Vince his own personal hell, Vince saying how Shawn should worship at his feet, ending with a big, “Hallelujah!” from Vinnie Mac himself.

The Fed’s Spinny Championship is shown and we see Cena, Edge and Motorhead fan Trips with his Lemmy moustache. Every one of them make vague threats about what is happening at Backlash. John Cena calls them both bitches. This is a far better promo than the McMahon one.

Raw presents a bunch of cogs spinning around. Backlash begins and my God, the crowd are hyped. Everywhere you look, there are signs. People are on their feet, photos are flashing. It is the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. We have 14,000 people in attendance with almost twenty times that watching at home (273,000 PPV buys for this event, apparently beating the amount set at Backlash 2005, but the numbers differ depending on where you look with most websites saying Backlash 2005 had 320,000 buys and Backlash 2006 had 220,000. The Wikipedia page does not give numbers for 2005 but says that 2006 was higher. Make of that what you will.)

Our announcing team is the legendary and iconic Jumping Jim “JR” Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Jim is wearing a suit and tie and Jerry is wearing what seems to be a matafor outfit. Behind them, a woman who does not know how to dress to a WWE PPV, fixes her boobs.

2016-04-24

Above: Dignity.

Good girl yourself. Be careful Sgt. Slaughter doesn’t pop over the barrier with a towel and knock you out, love. Our Spanish announcers and “Most Likely To Lose Their Table” award winners are Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera.

2016-04-24 (1)

The Spanish Announcers: A great bunch of lads.

Straight-up shoot fact: Savinovich was married to Wendy Richter, who was involved in the Original Screwjob with notable sex-trafficker and horrible person, The Fabulous Moolah.

The Spanish announcers are interrupted to cut to Chris Masters’ titantron video. He gets hella heat for his flexing and general douchiness. The announcers say nothing for ages, allowing the crowd to say it all. Masters looks great, but he has this smug face that makes you want to punch him. Roidy Magoo, by the way. We see how this feud started with Carlito spitting apples in people’s faces and Masters taking umbrage to being attacked from behind. Masters hits Carlito with the Masterlock, which is supposed to knock him out even though it doesn’t touch his throat at all. JR quips that the Masterlock is “unbreakable… seemingly.”

Jerry says, “So it’s come to this, has it?” JR calls him, “somewhat vain.” Masters is only 23 and he looks fantastic. Carlito comes out in his “Do you spit or swallow?” t-shirt, eating an apple and having a chat with the crowd. Little heat on Carlito. Close-up on a sign that says, “My Providence Students Are Cool!” with a picture of an apple… with attitude. Some guy behind him is taping the whole thing to sell on bootleg later, no doubt.

2016-04-24 (2)

The Attitude Era is over, guys, keep it clean.

Carlito def. Chris Masters via pinfall in 09:58

So the match gets started before Carlito can even remove his t-shirt and Masters does it for him, choking him with it before Carlito takes control and goes for a quick pin but only gets one count. Jerry and JR aren’t even talking about the match. They’re talking about the fact that God is Shawn Michaels’ partner. Masters hits Carlito with a high back body drop that looks like it hurts like hell. Masters follows Carlito about the ring, smacking him each time. Master goes for the gorilla press but Carlito escapes it and hits Masters with the Masterlock. Masters breaks it and JR quips that no one has been able to break the Masterlock thus far. And here, two minutes into a match, Masters does it to little fanfare. They really could have made that more exciting.

Masters goes over the top rope, Carlito spits on him and then hits the suicide dive over the top rope. Referee Mike Chioda starts counting the lads out and the crowd counts along with him. It is clear that they could not give a damn about this match and who can blame them? It has no tension. It’s two men who are arguing over an apple, essentially. Even JR is bored, reminding folks at home that this match is only for one fall. No point in worrying. It will be over soon. The crowd chant something that I cannot understand and Jerry tells us that, “The fans here are voicing their opinion and they think this match sucks.” It is a nice change from announcers these days who cover up the chants from the crowd.

Near fall, leg drop, near fall and Masters drags Carlito about the ring by the hair. He gets Carlito into a neck lock and Carlito fights back and is knocked to the ground for it. More neck locks. JR tries to sell Masters’ repeated use of neck locks and attacks to the head as a “precursor to the Masterlock,” but we’re not getting it. Masters goes for the Masterlock and Carlito escapes, turns it into a roll-up for a two-count. Carlito tries a springboard elbow onto Masters and the two men are reeling. Carlito fights back, builds up momentum, hits a lovely dropkick to Masters’ kneecap. Carlito goes for the pin and the referee hits one, two… he goes for the three and Masters doesn’t kick out. The referee stops for a whole second, looks at Masters and then and only then does the hulking idiot kick out. I know that he’s 23 and young, but surely to God the man can count to three?

The crowd aren’t happy with that. Carlito just wants the match to end and as Masters goes to backdrop Carlito from the top turnbuckle, Carlito turns it into a moonsault that Masters takes the hit from a whole foot ahead of Carlito.

2016-04-24 (3)

Check out the miss on that.

Carlito goes for the pin and gets a two-count. JR says that “Carlito hit the moonsault. Don’t know how much of it he got. Masters never met a mirror he didn’t like.”

Carlito goes for the Backcracker, the pin and lifts his legs onto the ropes to get the pin in 09:58.

2016 comments:

This match was the drizzling shits. They could have made Masters the furious powerhouse and had him dominate Carlito for five minutes, unfazed by his attacks, hitting the wee man with a bunch of semi-powerful moves, playing with him before Carlito makes the comeback. That’s what we wanted here. What we got was a slow-paced match where both men were gassed within minutes and in the end, Carlito had to cheat to win. That’s fine, but give him a reason to cheat. By the end, he had complete control of Masters. The legs on the rope were unnecessary.

2006 comments:

I live in Ireland so watching this live would have meant that I was awake at 2AM. Well, it’s good to know that I can get a few minutes of sleeping in before the real PPV starts.

Grade: D

The crowd is bored as we see some replays of the last few minutes. Shot outside beautiful Kentucky. JR says that it is the “Horse capital of the world” and neatly segues into, “Here’s a handsome young filly, Maria.”

Cut to our girl Maria, who starts off by saying, “What an exciting night here at Backlash! Some of you may not have been too happy with Masters’ victory over Carlito, but let’s hear what you had to say about who’s going to leave Lexington, Kentucky the WWE Champion.”

What.

Maria, for fuck’s sake, girl.

I don’t know if this interview was pre-taped or not, but you’d like to think that the guys backstage would at least cut the first ten seconds out so it makes sense. If it was live, then… Maria is dumb as shit, I guess.

Maria says the names of the three guys in the main event match, doesn’t wait long enough for the crowd to react and then the video package of kids and men reading off cue cards. A military man (thank you for your service) says it’s his birthday. Fair play to them. Back to Maria and Lita comes in to snap Maria’s bra. Lita slags off Kentucky. Lita says that the crowd have been calling her a ho and that she has kept her mouth shut-

Maria interrupts to tell Lita that she’s heard Lita’s mouth is kept pretty wide open. Ohhhh snaaap! Lita asks Maria, “Want me to knock you out? No? So shut up.” She then doubles-down by saying that her and Edge are going have sex and the crowd is a bunch of no-sex, sexless no-sexxers. Very mature, Lita, and with God in attendance as well.

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So excite.

Back to the ring, Armando Alejandro Estrada, a Palestinian man playing a Cuban manager, speaking in the worst Cuban and in English with the worst Cuban accent ever. He presents Umaga, who walks out in his slightly racist Samoan gimmick. Umaga is actually Samoan (and unlike The Rock, is actually a cousin of Roman Reigns and uncle to the Usos and brother to Rikishi, though none of those things are worth boasting about) so you can assume that he signed off on this gimmick and allowed it to happen understanding that it was not very sensitive to Samoans.

Straight-up shoot fact: Armando Alejandro Estrada is really name Hazem Ali, is legitimately Palestinian and used to be known as Osama in OVW. There, he was a bodyguard for Muhammad Hassan, the 100% Italian man who was really named Mark Copani from Syracuse, New York. It’s funny how wrestling changes ethnicities to play to stereotypes.

Umaga comes to the ring, huge and scary. We see promos showing Umaga really manhandling Ric Flair who, at the time, was 57 years old. Umaga is not wearing shoes and that is just fine. Ric Flair’s music hits and the crowd pops for him. Flair is not wearing elbow pads or knee pads because he is fucking insane. Umaga runs to meet him on the ramp and beats Flair down, rolls him into the ring and the referee hits the bell to start the match officially.

Umaga def. Ric Flair via pinfall in 03:29

You can see by the timing that this match is going to be a squash. Surely Umaga can get more props and heat from defeating an able opponent? Ric Flair is a fine wrestler, no one is arguing that fact, but he was not an active competitor in the ring and was wheeled out once every couple of months to shout, “Wooooo!” and jog about the place in his pants. Umaga is essentially bullying a man who will likely have pugilistic dementia in a few years.

Flair is supposed to be the face here and he rakes Umaga’s eyes and hits him with a low blow to gain control. Lots of Flair chops and Umaga fights back, knocking him down with a throat shot. The fight rolls onto the floor and they repeat the chops again. Flair has control and goes for the figure four but Umaga reverses it, gets Flair into the tree of woe and headbutts him. Umaga does an old Rikishi arse-attack and hits him in the throat with his thumb, pinning Flair for the pin in three and a half minutes.

2016 comments:

Umaga is actually dead now, he passed away three years after this match and Ric Flair is still alive. It’s nice to know that he got matches in with someone like Flair, even if they were God-awful.

2006 comments:

Please retire.

Grade: D

Armando Alejandro Estrada has a wicked face on him and the biggest cigar I have ever seen sticking from his mouth. They both stand around Flair, celebrating despite the fact that Flair got little offense in other than a couple of slaps. Jerry says that Estrada won’t be at Raw because of “one of those illegal work stoppages.” Nice one, King. Very classy. JR reminds everyone that Umaga will be there.

Cut to Vince showing off his guns. Vince is three years older than Flair and looks about twenty times better, though he has been in the ring far less than Ric and loves his steroids a lot more. Vince reminds Shane that the match is Shane and Vince versus Michaels and God. Vince says, “You leave God to me,” to which Shane nonchalantly replies, “Oh, He’s all yours.” Vince says that there is nothing God can do that Vince cannot. To show this, he pours water on the floor and stamps in it. He asks Shane what he just saw and Shane replies, “You making a mess.” Vince, happily exclaims, “I’m walkin’ on water!”

Vince has another trick for Shane, who seems embarrassed by this whole thing. Vince then mumbles his way through his next bit: the bread and the fish. He chucks the fish away and does the same to the bread. Shane tries to hurry him along, “Okay, you ready to go?” Vince tells him to wait and then says, “Now!”

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Pictured: Miracles.

A bunch of stagehands start throwing bread and fish at the McMahons as Vince proclaims, “It’s bountiful! It’s bountiful!” followed by, “Holy mackerel!” The camera pans to Shane, who takes a sip of his water which is now wine. He walks offstage. End crappy promo. JR asks, “can it get any more bizarre?” Jerry replies, “Now Vince can forgive his own sins.” There is a moment where the two men wonder and what their lives have become before moving on.

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So many .JPG

JR introduces the next match: The WWE Women’s Championship match featuring a super-JPG of a completely mental looking Mickie James and Trish Stratus. The graphic looks like it was made in a mid-2000s Tony Hawk game and I’m surprised it isn’t followed by the words XTREME and RADICAL. We see WrestleMania 22 and how Trish lost her belt with Mickie grabbing Trish between the legs. Very firm grab it was too. JR says that the two ladies are dressing alike and Jerry, a man who knows his way around being creepy, states that Mickie became Trish’s stalker.

Mickie, who is the champ, comes out first, which is a bit silly. I know that Trish will get the bigger pop but still, she’s not the champ. Trish is over as fuck, coming out with a top that barely covers her… anything. JR says that Mickie “is in desperate need of some psychotherapy,” pauses for a moment before saying, “wouldn’t hurt any of us, quite frankly, but, be that as it may, Mickie’s a little manic and very unpredictable.” I would love it if JR kept this up every few PPVs, giving fatherly advice to the crowd. “See a doctor,” he might say, “If you’re coughing for more than a week, I’d get that looked at,” or, “Have you had an apple today?” Or even if he would gradually start giving advice as if he’s seeing a therapist himself, sometimes even asking Jerry about his father or something.

Of course, Jerry ruins it by saying, “I could volunteer… sessions.” I can tell this cunt is going to be absolutely awful to listen to this match although JR makes it worse by saying, “Couch time?” and Jerry says, “Couch time, of course.” Come on, boys, you’re making us look bad.

Mickie is really hamming up the fear of Trish here, slowly entering the ring and keeping her distance. The referee rings the bell as JR says that Trish is, “Toronto’s most beautiful gift to the WWE.”

WWE Women’s Championship match: Trish Stratus def. Mickie James (c) via disqualification in 04:03

Another short match, this one to please the gentlemen in the crowd. Having listened to Mickie James on Colt Cobana’s podcast and having met her when she was in Edinburgh for a match, I know that she was young and foolish at this time, wanting to be over but not really knowing how (the crotch-grab on Trish had gotten her in hot water with Vince who had called it “crass”) and this led to her being a bit more cautious this time around.

The ladies circle each other for a bit while the announcers make mental-health jokes. Keep it up, boys, you haven’t offended every minority yet. The ladies lock up and some great chain wrestling follows. Trish blows Mickie a kiss and dodges a clothesline by falling backwards, Bray Wyatt style.

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The face of fear.

This segues into a hand-stand to head-scissors combo that sends Mickie to the canvas. Some brawling to a dropkick and the two trade blows for a bit. Mickie is outside and Trish is on her, rolling her back into the ring, going to a pin.

Trish goes up for the 10-punch and gets three. I think this is the second time there has been a 10-punch this PPV. Trish falls badly and there is a lot of chat about Trish being a right-handed competitor, which seems to be a way for Jerry to get some simple raunchy chat in but doesn’t. Lots of near-falls as Trish deals with her sore arm.

Straight-up shoot fact: Trish actually suffered a legitimate dislocated shoulder after that bump and it would require rehab for six weeks, though she would still appear on screen.

Mickie is smart to jump on Trish and choke her, thus giving Trish the win, though she does not win the belt as it cannot change hands on a DQ.

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Unrelated image of what happens when people take pictures with a flash so close to the ring.

2016 comments:

Solid match and at just over four minutes, it was far better than the shite that the Fed put on most days, which is painful. Those four minutes were superior to anything the Bellas, Eva Marie, Summer Rae or Rosa Mendes have ever been in. Sad but true.

2006 comments:

Both the women were looking great, but by 2006, the world had found out that porn existed on the internet and came to watch women’s wrestling for the wrestling rather than the women. Still, good match.

Grade: B

It’s sad that the match that most fans would ignore was the best of the bunch. As Mickie runs into the back, Trish calls for the rematch. We have a replay of the fall and as Trish is knocked over, we see her hand shoot out to stop her fall and jar on the apron. Poor girl.

Cut to Maria. Let’s see if she fucks up her promo…

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Please don’t fire me, love Maria.

No, she actually apologises for her mistake and moves swiftly on to bring out our man Shawn Michaels. She asks if God will turn up tonight. Michaels says that he does not shove his Christianity down everyone’s neck (which is a change from Hulk Hogan’s “Say Your Prayers” and Jake “The Snake” quoting the Bible) but says that the Lord is with him always. The rest of the promo is about how it really is a handicap match because Vince can’t “hang” with HBK. Shawn says that he’s going to kick Vince’s ass and then slides off screen like a cartoon character with a hook around his neck. Weh-weh-waaaaah.

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Exit staaaage-left.

As Lillian is about to introduce the Winner Take All match between RVD and Shelton Benjamin, we will take our leave for this week. Next week, we will be looking at that match and the Big Show vs. Kane match. See you then!

On the Card will return on May 8th with the second part of Backlash 2006.