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

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

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

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

WWE WrestleMania 23

All Grown Up.

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

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

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

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

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

Fucking jingoistic bollocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Fucking Kennedy. Why did it have to be Kennedy?

Grade: B

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

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

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

Oh, Kennedy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Oh Kane, how far have you fallen?

Grade: F

Khali chokes Kane, gets some extra heat and leaves.

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

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Ruthless Aggression #13: New Year’s Revolution (Jan 7 2007) Part 1

Ruthless Aggression #13: New Year’s Revolution – January 7, 2007.

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

Ten years ago, on January 7, 2007, the third and final New Year’s Revolution aired. It was a RAW PPV, the first of its kind since Cyber Sunday in November 2006. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

Armageddon 2006

The Revolution Continues…

Aww yiss. The poster shows Trrrrrriple H and Shawn Michaels in period garb, dressed like the Founding Fathers. They are holding a badly photoshopped DX-claration of Independence with their signatures at the bottom and DX sprayed over it in green. The tagline suggests that their feud against Vince isn’t over.

There are fucking CGI dragons at the start! And they’re breathing right into your face! WWE Raw presents New Year’s Revolution, as a real metal dragon bursts out pyro and JR reminds us that it is 2007, but has no time to introduce himself or Jerry “The King” Lawler before the Intercontinental championship begins…

But wait, a promo hits, showing Randy Orton and Edge kicking seven shades out of DX, busting them both open. Triple H welcomes Rated-RKO to “The Other Side”, which is a bunch of comics about cows.

We cut to Umaga, destroying everyone in his path, facing John Cena later for the WWE Championship.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Vladimir Kozlov and Eugene, Which Kozlov won. This is his second dark match in a row, one being on Armageddon 2006.)

Back in the arena, the Steel Cage has dropped and Lillian Garcia reveals the rules: the only way to win is by pinfall, submission or leaving the cage.

MNM’s music hits and out comes Johnny Nitro with Melina. The lads botch the red carpet at the start and the cameras attempt to introduce JR and Jerry, but keep knocking back to the ramp, where Nitro and Melina are walking down. Jerry mentions that Johnny Nitro’s name is up there with K-Fed. Really? He also mentions that there was a K-Fed vs. Cena match on New Year’s day, which would have been RAW Monday 1st January 2007, obviously.

Hardy’s music hits and down comes Jeff, the Intercontinental champion. What a lad. What a high, high lad. Hardy is right in the cage, jumping up to the top of the cage, sitting there and jumping down.

The match is about to begin, but we haven’t yet been introduced to our broadcast colleagues, or to the Spanish announcers. It takes place in the Kemper Memorial Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, with a total of 10,000 in attendance (the maximum attendance for the arena is actually 18,344, but that was lowered for this PPV, probably because they couldn’t sell all of the tickets) and 220,000 PPV buys at home, much less than the 294,000 from the previous year. Still, the money made from the event was more than last year with $107 million rather than the $95 million from 2006.

Steel Cage Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy (c) def Johnny Nitro via leaving a cage in 14:49.

The crowd bays for Hardy instantly and the two men circle each other. Hardy makes the crowd clap and Johnny starts taking control, working on Hardy’s lower back. Hardy fights back, stomping Nitro into one corner and Irish whipping him into the other. Hardy goes for a ten punch and reaches all ten before Nitro collapses. Hardy goes for the cover but Nitro escapes. Nitro then reverse-flapjacks Hardy. Melina screams as Hardy gives the facebuster suplex but Nitro replies with a springboard kick to the face. Lots of covers in this match, almost like they think that a steel cage match will end by either pinfall or submission.

Lovely lariat and mother men are on the ground. Hardy crawls toward the cage door but is dragged back by Nitro. Hardy goes to climb out and Nitro grabs him before dropkicking Hardy’s legs. Melina screams again, the loud bitch. Hardy is caught between the cage wall and the ring ropes and Nitro is really going to town on him. Nitro goes to escape, but Hardy catches him and the two men fall as Hardy dropkicks Nitro off. Hardy landed on his hip but reverses an Irish whip into a sprint up the cage wall. Nitro reverses this into a botched super backdrop where he lands on his feet before falling back. Looks a bit guff, being honest. Hardy flapjacks Nitro into the steel cage and tries to climb it.

Both men are on the top rope and Hardy Russian leg sweeps Nitro off. Hardy climbs onto the turnbuckle and Nitro climbs on Hardy to help himself up. From the top of the cage, Nitro sunset flips Hardy, turning it into a powerbomb where Jeff’s head bounces off the canvas. Johnny starts to climb and makes it to the top before Jeff is on his feet. Johnny’s legs get caught in the cage, sending him into a tree of woe, which legit looks like it really fucking hurts. I cringe just looking at it. Melina takes her belt off and whips at Jeff by the cage side. Nitro takes advantage and dropkicks Jeff. Both men down.

We have a wee lie down as one red hat jerk in the crowd jaws off to Melina. It’s real to him, dammit. Nitro goes for a lariat and Jeff turns it into a cross body before hitting the Swanton Bomb from the top rope. Jeff goes for the cover yet Nitro’s leg is on the rope. Didn’t think that rope-breaks counted in a cage match as it is no-DQ… but maybe that only works with the submissions? Jeff hits the back body drop and Nitro once again makes his way to the top of the cage. Nitro is on the edge and about to fall off when Hardy attempts a super Twist of Fate and botches it. Nitro does not know what to do and begins a climb to the top again. Jeff is crawling towards the door but Melina is blocking it. Nitro’s foot is on the door when Jeff kicks the door open, wishboning Nitro on the top of the door, allowing Hardy to leave and retain the championship in 14:49.

2016 comments:

Great curtain jerker again by these two fantastic lads, despite the fuckups.

2006 comments:

It’s rare to start a PPV with a steel cage match but I’m glad it did.

Grade: A-

Todd Grisham is backstage and speaking to Randy Orton and Edge, the World Tag Team Champions of Rated-RKO. Todd asks them why this feud with DX is so personal. Edge tells him that DX reformed to have fun and Rated-RKO formed to take them down. Randy agrees, telling Todd that Rated-RKO are fighting for their future, which is funny because Edge doesn’t have many years left in his future as he would retire four years later in 2011 after WrestleMania XXVII.

Back in the arena, Lilian introduces a special bonus match: Tag Team Turmoil! I hate TTT. It’s a shitty Royal Rumble for tags. The winner becomes number one contenders for the tag team belts.

First out is our boys, the Highlanders!

Then, the World’s Greatest Tag Team: Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. Both have dragons on their backs, obviously loving the dragons here at New Year’s Revolution.

Tag Team Turmoil Match for the number one contender for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Cryme Tyme def Lance Cade and Trevor Murdock, The Highlanders, The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) and Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Super Crazy via elimination in 19:03.

Hoo-boy, this is going to be… a match.

Charlie Haas and Robbie start off. Charlie is thrown into the corner and both Highlanders double suplex him before having a lovely Irish whip dodge ending with a weak drop toe hold. JR takes the time to describe the difference between the Highlanders: Rory is older and bald, Robbie is younger and hairy. Shelton Benjamin jumps over Charlie’s back to land on Rory’s arse. Shelton is tagged in and delivers a knee to Rory. A lot of green glow sticks in the crowd making the DX symbol. Rory is in a chinlock but soon fights out of it. Shelton attempts a bodyslam but Rory falls on him and the two men struggle for a moment before Robbie gets the hot tag, clearing house. Robbie gives Charlie a lovely back suplex and is aout to be thrown into the right when Charlie rolls out. As Rory gets Robbie back, Shelton sneaks up, hits a lovely superplex on Robbie and gets the pin.

The Highlanders have been eliminated by The World’s Greatest Tag Team in 5:10.

A Challenger Appears: Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Super Crazy.

Hacksaw is gassed already. He delivers mental punches to Shelton and shouts his damn “Hoooooo!” every five seconds. Hacksaw gets beat on by Charlie as the crowd bay for Super Crazy. Shelton chokes Duggan with the ring ropes and eventually he fights back, hits the tepid tag and Super Crazy is in, hitting dropkicks, snapmares and a standing moonsault, which is impressive considering his size. He goes to jump top rope but Shelton knocks him out with a punch and Charlie pins him.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Super Crazy have been eliminated by The World’s Greatest Tag Team in 3:57.

A Challenger Appears: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.

And now we see the two teams that people came to see. Cade takes over, beating on Benjamin and easily lifting up Shelton and slamming him down. Murdoch looks like a Hillbilly. Maybe that’s his gimmick. Shelton is getting beat on and Murdoch gives him the big boot over Cade’s head. Then we have a lovely rest hold. As Murdoch moves to face the hard cam. Cade gives Shelton the neckbreaker and gets only two-counts, sadly. Cade gives Murdoch a lovely Atomic-Drop-into-Leg-Drop onto Shelton Benjamin. Shelton goes for the hot tag and Haas is in, cleaning house. Murdoch hits a lovely T-Bone suplex where he doesn’t even drop. Haas goes for a submission move and Cade jumps off the top rope with an axe-handle-nothing and Murdoch pins him for the elimination.

The World’s Greatest Tag Team have been eliminated by Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch in 4:39.

A Challenger Appears: Cryme Tyme.

Yo yo yo yo! It’s Cryme Tyme! Brooklyn Brooklyn!

Shad and JTC turn up and Shad clears house before tagging in JTG, who gets thrown onto Cade. Mudoch is tagged in and JTC his knocked out of the ring. Cade calls him back in, goes for the pin, fails, and argues with the ref. Cade gives JTG another few punches and throws him against the turnbuckle. Murdoch gives JTG a bunch of chokes and another toss into the turnbuckle. Cade covers for Murdoch, who is choked by the tag ropes. Cade gives JTG a lovely punch and he goes down like a sack of spuds. Murdoch is in, taking over and punching JTG until there’s a lovely roll-up and the ref’s back is turned. Typical refs. Never watching.

Murdoch is taking over and JTG has been on the receiving end of his punishment for a while. Murdoch goes from Bret’s rope and gets countered, leading to an almost-hot tag that never comes as Cade knocks Shad off the apron. JTG escapes a double suplex and Shad is tagged in, clearing house for ten seconds before being knocked down. Shad lifts Cade up for a Samoan Drop after escaping a double team and the pain double-neckbreaker Cade for the pin in 19:03.

Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch have been eliminated by Cryme Tyme in 6:51.

Cryme Tyme are the new Number One Contenders for the Tag Team Championship!

Cryme Tyme celebrate and JR takes away from the win by saying that they had an advantage because they were the last team in the match.

On the Card will return on January 14 2017 with the second part of New Year’s Revolution 2007.

Ruthless Aggression #9. Cyber Sunday (Nov 5, 2006) Part 1

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

Ten years ago, on November 5, 2006, the PPV Cyber Sunday aired. It was a Raw PPV, and the first Raw PPV since Unforgiven way back in September. 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.

Cyber Sunday 2006

Log On. Take Over.

Alright! Now we’re talking! Now that is a tagline worth fighting for! And the poster featured the diminutive Maria stepping into an old CRT monitor over what looks to be a keyboard without symbols. The gimmick of Cyber Sunday was that fans could vote online for different stipulations to each match, which was moderately exciting.

Let’s jump right into it. The DVD has mouse icons to select your match. Great stuff. Bit disappointed that they are pointing in the wrong direction, however, but I can let that slide today, WWE. The opening video informs us that over 10 million fans voted online during Cyber Sunday. We get to choose the partner, adversary, rules, challenger, special guest referee, which title is on the line. It ends with the line, “Come see what you’ve created!”

That’s passing the buck a little there, Mister World Wrestling Entertainment. If the card is shite, don’t blame me. I don’t even think I voted.

Raw presents WWE Cyber Sunday and the big pyro tells us that it has begun! Loads of signs out there today as Jumping Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler invite us to the US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio for the very first, most interactive PPV of all time, ever, so far. 7,000 in attendance, which is a low number, but with 228,000 PPV buys, I don’t think many people will be weeping. Jerry is actually on the laptop when JR tells us that 14.5 million people have voted. Christ alive. If only even ten percent of that number bought tickets, it would be a great day. Unfortunately, little over 1.5% seemed to buy tickets. My maths might be off on that because I’m not a huge nerd.

The camera pans to my legit favourite Spanish Announcers (I know that’s a bit of a controversial statement in this day and age, but I stand by it) Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. If you just watch Savinovich when Cabrera is speaking, it is hilarious. He looks like a man who knows little Spanish outside of what he learnt in school and he is trying to piece what Cabrera is saying together from simple sentences… and then he just explodes with wonderful, fluent dialogue AND THEY AREN’T EVEN CUT OFF THIS TIME. PRAISE BE.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Super Crazy and Rob Conway. It lasted about three minutes.)

First match is featuring Umaga. The crowd cannot care less. They boo, they roar, they bellow. Umaga is the “host” of the match and his “guest” is to be chosen and voted by the audience… from a list of three. So, basically, the result will never change because the challenger (or “guest”, if you prefer) will always win or always lose. This is just deciding who gets a payday and who doesn’t. It would be interesting if all three wrestlers backstage get the payday as they would have to turn up, get into gear, warm up, run over a match with Umaga and then one would do it… unless the voting was rigged and these people were told in advance whether or not to come in either because the people in charge of the voting pulled the results early or didn’t give a shit about the results and just pulled the choice from their asses. Either way, you’d be furious if you travelled for hours, sat around backstage, got suited and booted and then ended up having to go home empty handed… let’s watch and find out.

Todd Grisham and Maria are up by the Titantron to announce the results of the votes. Maria, fresh from her adventure into Cyberspace, has no idea how to dress. He tells us nearly 15 million votes were cast. Maria rocks through her lines as best she can despite her obvious brain injury. Backstage, we see the three lads up for it. We have Kane, my one-time favourite wrestler, at this moment in time just a big bald baby; Chris [REDACTED] Benoit, the US Champ, standing there and planning his eventual fall into WWE-imposed obscurity; and Sandman, who is a cunt.

They ask for a drumroll. They get one. The results are in, over 14,300,054 votes worldwide (which means the total number of votes has to have been 14,300,055) and the winner is Kane with 49%! Well done K-

Wait, what the fuck? Let me look at those results more clearly. Sandman got 28%? And [REDACTED] got 23%? What the fuck? Who wouldn’t want to see my boy, Canuck Crossface himself?

Wrestling makes no sense sometimes.

Kane does an evil wee smile and moves from backstage towards the ring. The pyro goes off as our boy, the Undertaker’s evil demon brother makes his way to the ring for some more pyro. Double pyro.

Umaga (w/ Armanda Alejandro Estrada) def. Kane via pin in 8:39.

Kane goes after Estrada on the apron and Umaga takes the time to run and attack Kane like the coward he is. Kane and Umaga smack and slap each other senseless and Kane hits a few great right hands there followed by a choke on the turnbuckle. The ref tries to break it up and Kane goes after him. Umaga headbutts Kane and JR points out that Umaga, as a Samoan, must have a very hard cranium. Good old fashioned hard-headed foreigners. Umaga hits Kane with a great belly-to-belly suplex and Kane does his brother’s sit-up but Umaga kicks him back down. As Kane is getting up, he hits a few right hands and runs the ropes only for Umaga to hit a spinning heel kick on him.

The crowd chant for Kane and he rallies, hitting the Irish whip and Big Boot but getting a facebuster for his effort. Great “Remember, Remember, the fifth of November” sign in the crowd (V for Vendetta came out earlier in the year, so I doubt we have some British history buffs in Cincinnati tonight) as JR mentioned that Umaga cannot really wrestle: “he can brawl, but can’t wrestle.” Big words, JR. Wait til the Samoan Bulldozer gets wind of that. You’re fucked. JR points out that he knows Umaga likes to hurt people and King says that Estrada likes to watch. Kinky.

Lovely body slam from Umaga and the big lad goes to Bret’s rope to hit the flying headbutt but Kane kicks out. Umaga berates the referee for not counting quickly enough. JR mentions the thickness of Umaga’s thighs and Jerry says, “ain’t seen legs like that since the Brontosaurus died out.” Umaga hits a Rikishi-like arse-attack. On the outside, Umaga attempts the Samoan Spike but Kane dodges and the thumb hits only a ringpost. Kane takes over with some lovely offence including a throw into the steel steps, neck shots, a ten-punch in the corner that goes over and above. Kane then headbutts Umaga and hits the clothesline. Umaga looks fucked and a second clothesline puts him onto the ropes but Umaga reverses an Irish whip, hits the Samoan drop and as he is celebrating, Kane sits up, gets ready for the chokeslam but Umaga rakes the eyes. Backdrop and Kane calls for… wait… is he going top-rope? You know that’s bad news. Estrada goes to push him off, but is thrown off himself. Kane goes airborne with a double-axe-handle-nothing and Umage spikes him once in mid-air and once again for the pin in 8:39.

2016 comments:

Probably one of the better Umaga matches I’ve seen. Kane has a habit of putting on average matches and his gimmick is far better than his skill as a wrestler, but he had a great match here. Good opener.

2006 comments:

How do they let the cheating manager by the ring each and every time? Don’t they ever learn?

Grade: B

Umaga celebrates by looking at the crowd and then going to Spike Kane again but he escapes before that is possible. Estrada’s hair is mental. Umaga’s winning streak is impressive considering his stupid gimmick and even worse finishing move.

Cut to the Big Show backstage. He bumps into Queen Sharmell who tells him that being the Champion of Champions isn’t the best thing… it’s keeping the status quo. She suggests that if Show’s title is on the line or Booker’s title is on the line, he and Booker should unite to ensure that it does not change hands… but if John Cena’s title is on the line… well, it’s just everybody for himself then, isn’t it? Big Show says that Sharmell is the most beautiful queen he has ever seen (and she is lovely) but he does not trust either Sharmell or Booker. He is about to copy Rock’s “take that x, shine it up real nice and stick it-“ but Sharmell walks off.

Cryme Tyme come out. Wasn’t a huge fan of Cryme Tyme because they seemed like what a white person thought black people were like, but apparently the guys, JTG and Shad Gaspard, were down with it because they were actually parodying what a white person thinks black people are like. This is very meta. I can’t really think too hard about this.

Then out comes the World’s Biggest Love Machine, Viscera and Charlie Haas. Of course, Viscera is also the world’s biggest botch machine. Wasn’t Mark “Sexual Chocolate” Henry supposed to be using this gimmick? Didn’t he get Mae Young pregnant and she gave birth to a hand? So many questions, none of them involving Big Daddy V. I always had a soft spot for Viscera.

The Highlanders are here! Jerry attempts a Scottish accent and JR uses the term “referendum”, which is due to cause tears amongst the Scots.

Droning guitar and out come Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch. There isn’t much to say about them other than the fact that they’re from Texas… maybe? They’re a cheap Smoking Gunns, that’s all I have to say.

Cut to Maria and Todd. Todd reminds us of the match that happened seconds ago and that he doesn’t even know what type of match this is going to be. Maria does. It’s a tag team match. Well done, love. She is excited, though, so excited! So excited that Todd needs to remind her how excited she is. Why is she excited? Because the options are… Fatal Four way… Tag Team Turmoil… or Texas Tornado.

What are the differences? Fatal 4-Way is an elimination match. Tag Team Turmoil is that two tag teams start and when one is defeated, another takes its place until three teams have been eliminated. Texas Tornado is a schmoz.

The results are in… 50% to a Texas Tornado. And the schmoz begins instantly.

Texas Tornado Match: Cryme Tyme def. The Highlanders, Charlie Hass and Viscera, and Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch via pin in 4:28.

And what a schmoz it is. I used to love matches like this when I were kinder because they were so hectic and it looked like an actual fight. As I grew older and wearier, however, I stopped enjoying them as much and such is the case today, I assume. Cryme Tyme and Charlie Haas/Vicera are mid-ring while Highlanders and Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch are outside. Shad and Viscera (“Big Vis,” as JR calls him) are mid-ring and Shad rolls away from a big Senton Splash from Viscera. JTG and Shad do a strange catapult job. Cade and Murdoch roll Cryme Tyme out after a sweet neckbreaker combo and The Highlanders come in, throw each other about for a while and take over the shift.

Very fast paced as both Cade and Murdoch are removed. Stereo suicide dives to the outside from the Highlanders. Haas and JTG are in the ring. Haas boots JTG in the head and the Cryme Tymer fights back with a lovely jumping dropkick. Charlie replies with a wonderful German Suplex. Shad is in with a Big Boot and Viscera defends his teammate. Shad has him beaten until Viscera Bossman Slams him. He then gyrates mid-ring. Sexy. Viscera barges both Haas and Shad in the corner and his booted out of the ring by stereo dropkicks from The Highlanders. Cade and Murdoch are in and beat Robbie with a pair of double team moves but Cryme Tyme slither in and both pin Robbie for the win in 4:28.

2016 comments:

Spotfest as all wrestlers roll through their team-ups. Not a lot of variation here other than Highlanders and Lance/Cade with Cryme Tyme and Haas/Viscera.

2006 comments:

Match of the year if they’d only had weapons.

Grade: C

Cryme Tyme wave to JR and Jerry. Sychophants. They then jump on the announcer’s desk and try to dance with the announcers. It is embarrassing. Jerry and JR fist bump and JR points out that Jerry’s laptop is missing BECAUSE CRYME TYME STOLE IT BECAUSE RACISM.

On the Card will return on November 12th with the second part of Cyber Sunday 2006.

Ruthless Aggression #7. Unforgiven (Sept 17, 2006) Part 1

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

Ten years ago, on Sept 17, 2006, the PPV Unforgiven aired. It was a Raw PPV, and the first Raw PPV since Vengeance back in June. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

Unforgiven 2006

There was no tagline this time either, though it seems that taglines are a relic from the past. It is nice that WWE is moving forward rather than focussing on old, broken, useless things to achieve ratings, he said pointedly.

After ye olde wrasslin’ video, we see Vince’s big angry face as their reign of pranks continue: spray-painting a green DX on the side of an airplane and spray-painting a green DX on the side of a limo. This forces Vince to order the Big Show to join him and Shane in Hell in a Cell versus Hunter and Shawn at Vengeance. We see Edge being angry at John Cena and calling for a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match with the big man with the stipulation being that if Cena loses, he must go to Smackdown. There are five other matches on the card including Kane and Umaga, that match that was teased at the SummerSlam match between DX and the McMahons and Trish Stratus making her big PPV return against Lita (who was absent from the promo). And the thing is that the DX/McMahon match is mid-card. It’s not even co-main event!

Pyro hits we see the jam-packed Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. 16,105 people in attendance, almost twice that of last year’s Unforgiven which had 8,000 in attendance and is about equal to last month’s SummerSlam, which had 16,168. 307,000 PPV buys, a huge boost from the 252,000 buys last year. Our announcers are Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Jerry mentions something about a home field advantage, which is funny because at first glance, unless someone is a secret Canuck (the greatest betrayal), the only Canadians on the card are Trish and Edge. JR introduces the Spanish announcers, the incomparable Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. As usual, they are cut off because Johnny Nitro and Melina are more important than the Hispanic population.

 (Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Super Crazy and Shelton Benjamin. Upset that these two amazing players are off the main card. I will see if any of these matches are equivalent to even one minute of Super and Shelton.)

Generic music hits and down rocks the curtain twitcher Johnny Nitro with Melina. Melina does not seem to know who to manage these days, but if we get to see Johnny work then I’m okay with that. The red carpet is rolled out, the cameras are flashing and Gorilla Position is behind a huge big UNFORGIVEN sign so they have to awkwardly step around it. Johnny Nitro won the Intercontinental Championship at Vengeance in an absolutely fantastic match with Shelton Benjamin and Carlito. By Christ, it was great. JR is appalled by the “symbolism of the Intercontinental Belt dangling,” between the legs of Johnny as it gets kissed by Melina.

Hardy music hits and out comes mental Jeff, doing a weird dance and probably winged off his nut, as is Jeff’s wont these days. Brother loves his drugs. JR mentions Hardy’s unexplained absence where he was released from the Fed for: erratic behaviour, drug use, refusal to get help, looking shabby, lateness and no-showing events. He went to the indie circuit and then TNA before returning to the Fed… until he would fail drug tests and eventually leave for TNA in 2010, never to return to the Fed (so far). Jeff is squaring up to Johnny, one of his legit best friends. The crowd cheer for Hardy. It’s very nice.

WWE Intercontinental Championship match: Johnny Nitro (c) (w/ Melina) def. Jeff Hardy via pin in 17:36.

In the ring, Johnny and Jeff are locking up, pushing each other into the corner. A boo rises when Johnny tries to escape. Brilliant arm drag from Johnny. Both guys are great lads and big friends so this match is going to be great. Just as I say that, Johnny botches a backdrop reversal. JR calls Melina evil. Great arm drag from Jeff and Johnny pushes him into the corner. Irish whip to the other corner, Jeff jumps when he hits the turnbuckle. The smoke from the pyro has not cleared yet. Another arm drag takedown from Jeff. Jesus, man, arm drag city. Melina screams. Fuck off. Backslide from Jeff followed by double leg drop to Johnny’s navel and Johnny calls for a time out and shouts at the crowd.

Back in the ring, Johnny beats on Jeff in the corner and he tries to jump over Jeff, fails, gets a dropkick and a ten count for his trouble. Melina is holding her chest in pain as if she, herself, was hurt. Maybe Melina and Johnny have some sort of ET-style bond? Jeff goes up top and the crowd start to cheer. They know that a Swanton is coming… but so does Johnny and he rolls out. Jeff hits a baseball slide through the women’s rope and follows it up with a run across the barricades to a cross-body. He goes top rope and Nitro dropkicks Jeff’s legs! Brilliant. Then he gets Jeff into some sort of knee lock.

Johnny has one of Jeff’s leg and Hardy goes for the enziguri, misses and Johnny smashes his knee off the mat, goes for the pin and gets only a two. Johnny then beats on Jeff’s leg as Melina screams some more. An Irish whip fails because Jeff sells the leg so well and stumbles before hitting the rope. Good man, Jeff. Melina screams some more. Johnny jumps over the top rope, battering Jeff’s leg as he lands. Jeff is caught in some modified leglock, close to the ropes and doesn’t bother breaking it. Botched drop on Jeff’s knee and Nitro gets boos. The pace has really slowed down and the crowd tell Nitro that he sucks. JR agrees with them.

The pace is so very slow and the match is so very long that the audience can be forgiven for not getting into it. As Jeff fights back, the crowd rouses but Johnny knocks Jeff to the ground with a shoulder barge onto his knee. Johnny attempts a corkscrew moonsault and botches it, landing badly. However, to get the heat back, both men are up and uninjured. Quick pin and count of three. Both men are sandbagging their moves and Hardy hits a corkscrew moonsault of his own, landing it as best he can for a quick pin and two-count. This is what the crowd want: death defying risk-taking moves. Nitro goes for the top-rope hurricanrana, Jeff holds on and follows it up with a Swanton Bomb but doesn’t get the pin as Nitro’s foot is on the ropes.

Jeff goes for Twist of Fate but is countrered. Despite the fact that both men are friends, they are just screwing each other over with this match. Nitro works on Hardy’s knee and the crowd chant, “Let’s go Hardy! Let’s go Nitro!” Jeff gets to the rope, kicks Nitro away and he hits Melina on the apron by mistake. Nitro hits back, hitting the flying huricanrana that Jeff reverses into a powerbomb. Melina cracks Jeff in the face with her boot as the ref’s back is turned and Johnny Nitro gets the pin and win in 17:36.

2016 comments:

Unnecessarily long opening match for what it was. Neither of these men are great psychologists in ring and their style is fast, high-flying and high tension. It should have been near fall after near fall, almost a spotfest, but it was an attempt to make a main event match with a screwy ending. Very disappointed in both these men.

2006 comments:

The Hardys should never do singles matches and should never do matches that don’t involve ladders.

Grade: B-

Melina is selling her hurt leg as Nitro retains and Hardy loses. Replays of Nitro’s win and Hardy looks proper upset.

Cut to John Cena in The Marine with Robert Patrick and John Cena is blackface which is slightly racist. Not much to be said there.

Back in the ring, Teddy Long has his own seat in the skybox.

Bakcstage, Fat Matt Hardy congratulates Jeff for a good match. Lita turns up and rubs Jeff’s loss, her upcoming match against Trish and Edges upcoming match against Cena in both their faces.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a girlfriend in wrestling must be in want to make her a wife lest she plays around and vice versa. I refer you to Sunny who cheated on Chris Candito until his death, or Triple H cheating on Chyna with Stephanie. In the case of the Matt/Lita/Edge storyline, Lita was with Matt and cheating on him with Edge. The WWE responded by firing Matt as both Lita and Edge were popular. After going to ROH, Matt returned and turned the real-life drama into a storyline. Edge, reportedly, hated hurting Matt and didn’t enjoy the storyline. It’s hard to feel bad for him because of what he did but it takes two to tango… or three in this case.

Cut to the ring and we see the Hell in the Cell above the ring. Out comes Umaga, the talentless and slightly racist fuck along with Armando Alejandro Estrada. Umaga is undefeated. AAE has the mic and introduces himself and the crowd chant along with him. Umaga rabbles into Estrada’s face. Estrada makes fun of our man Kane by asking the crowd if they believe that he is a monster. He bigs up Umaga as being a monster. JR makes fun of him, saying, “That may have neem the world’s longest introduction.”

Kane’s pyro hits and the man himself walks down, weighing a few more pounds than he normally goes, but still looking great. I like Kane. He stares at Umaga and the bell rings.

Kane vs. Umaga ends in double count out in 7:03.

JR says that this might not be a “Brisco/Funk classic with arm drags and headlocks,” and it is a true statement. Kane and Umaga start off beating each other and Kane hits Umaga with a big boot, Umaga replies with a jumping heel kick, to which Kane sits up supernaturally like his brother. Kane is knocked out of the ring but is so tall he lands on his feet. He bullies Estrada for a while, stealing his jacket, and gets by a Russian leg sweep. Umaga is quite fast this match and is showing off his best. In the ring, Umaga beats on Kane for a while, getting him in the corner to batter on his face. Umaga then hits Kane with a running stinkface. Estrada is on the apron and calls for the Samoan Spike but Kane fights back, forced into the corner by Umaga, where he gets punched before finally getting Umaga in the corner and slapping the shit out of him.

Estrada has lost his hat.

Kane has difficulty knocking Kane down and gets a Samoan Drop for his trouble. Umaga threatens to hit the Samoan Spike off the top rope but Kane sits up in time, followed by a flying – yes, Kane goes to the top rope – clothesline. Kane grips Umaga’s throat, almost gets a chokeslam and the two scrap before Kane hits a belly-to-belly and throws Umaga out of the ring. The two fight into the crowd and the ref rings the bell to end the match by countout but until the match is officially ended, I’ll keep watching. The two men right over to the Titantron and smack each other backstage.

2016 comments:

A surprisingly good match from Umaga. He is still protected and you can see that either Kane would have won or Umaga would have had to get screwy, from the way the match was going. The countout was a crap way to end it. If the referee’s count had been important and the crowd would have counted along and maybe Kane and/or Umaga would have considered returning to the ring for the win but fought on because they hate each other, it would have been better, I like it for what it was, though.

2006 comments:

A good match… from Umaga? What next? A black president? Oh ho ho ho, what a silly concept.

Grade: B

Backstage, Vince is watching an episode of Raw where he pinned Triple H after whacking him over the head. He is very proud of himself. Vince asks Shane what the name of PPV is and he replies with “Unforgiven,” and Vince says, “It’s not WWE Forgiven, is it?” Vince slags off the entire country of Canada and then quotes his own theme song.

Cut to live in Toronto, outside the Air Canada Centre and a promo for the theme song for Unforgiven. Jerry says that they’re his favourite band and JR replies with, “I’m down with that, dog.” Classic JR. Vintage JR.

Cut to the Spirit Squad intro. They come out, jumping and hopping about to crazy sparklers. JR calls them, “Five boils on the tailbone of life,” which is harsh words since one of those boils is my boy Dolph Ziggler and I will have no mean words said about my boy D-Ziggles.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Confusingly, as well as there being a SmackDown Championship (World Heavyweight Championship) and a Raw Championship (WWE Championship), there were also tag belts for SmackDown (WWE Tag Team Championship) and Raw (World Tag Team Championship. Why they didn’t just keep Raw with the World belts and SmackDown with the WWE belts is beyond me. In addition to that (and bear in mind that the next bit is confusing as shit) there was the Undisputed WWE Championship (before it became the WWE Championship) and the WWE Women’s Championship. Raw got the Intercontinental and European Championship and SmackDown got the Cruiserweight Championship and the Hardcore Championship before getting the United States Championship later. Then ECW got the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. Later, SmackDown made the WWE Diva’s Championship… Then the tag belts were unified as the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship before being renamed the WWE Tag Team Championship and then the Women’s Championship became unified with the Divas Championship and then, finally, the World Heavyweight Championship was unified with the WWE Championship to become the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (before becoming the WWE Championship in June of this year). Then there were a few renames and the introduction of the WWE Universal Championship. You got that?

Great sign in the crowd saying “Sissy Squad”. JR explains that Freebird Rules states that although all five members of the Spirit Squad are technically holders of the Tag Team Championship, only two may defend it at any given time.

Stereotypical Scottish music plays and down come The Highlanders, Robbie and Rory McAllister. As an Irish person living in Scotland, I have a great love for Irish and Scottish wrestlers (and am a huge fan of ICW, although I do not get to see them as much as I would like). They are billed from Oban, Scotland (which is a nice area) and weigh thirty-five stone, apparently, which is silly as Scotland uses the Metric system, so the men should have been weighed as 221kg. But sure.

The Highlanders are sold as the dumb foreigners. They rub their beards and point to the crowd and mutter incoherent words. I’m surprised they don’t have a fear of fire and carry women about over their shoulders. Rowdy Roddy Piper personally endorsed them as well, so you know they’re good as he doesn’t like anyone… other than Pat Patterson (allegedly).

World Tag Team Championship Match: The Spirit Squad (Kenny and Mikey) (c) w/ Mitch, Johnny, and Nicky def The Highlanders (Robbie and Rory McAllister) via pinfall in 8:59.

How much are we betting that this will be a screwy ending? Because only two of the Spirit Squad are wrasslin’ and the rest are outside, with our boy Dolph “Nicky” Ziggler on the apron already to give some support to Mikey in the ring. I’m not going to lie to you, I can’t tell these boys apart. Rory and Mikey (possibly) start off with Rory hitting a quick sunset flip but barely getting the two. They grapple and circle the ring for a while with Rory taking over quickly. There is a “foreigner has a hard head” spot where Robbie leans over the ropes and Rory tosses Mikey into the corner, hitting their heads and receiving no pop. Pin attempt and a two.

Rory twists Mikey’s arm and Robbie is in to give a number of headbutts to Mikey’s elbow. Rory hits a double axe handle nothing off the top rope and Robbie hits a jumping headbutt to Mikey’s already injured elbow but the SS member escapes and tags in Kenny. Double-team shoulder barge by the Highlanders and we have a repeat followed up by a revolving door of attacks in the corner with two slingshot nut shots.

Both Highlanders go to double team Kenny and he tags out so they beat on Mikey instead. Robbie is pushed into the corner where Kenny comes in and Robbie attempts a suicide dive through the ropes, is thwarted and… what did I say? He is beset upon by the rest of the Spirit Squad. Alas, this attack does not claim the win and the Spirit Squad beat on Robbie mercilessly. Great alley-oop moonsault by the Spirit Squad and Robbie gets hit by a great clothesline from the SS. Seeing as the Spirit Squad are male cheerleaders, it is nice and refreshing to see them using lots of athletic double-team moves on their opponents and using each other to propel their bodies into their enemies. Robbie is hit by a great double-team shoulder barge and Robbie is saved by Rory.

Robbie is going for the hot tag but gets naught from the Spirit Squad as they stop him at each turn. Kenny goes for a leg drop from the top rope and both teams go for the hot tag. Rory runs roughshod over the Spirit Suqad, sending them outside and hitting Kenny (I think) with a double slingshot inverter suplex which looks lovely. The Spirit Squad cheat an unknown member from the outside hits Rory from behind to get the pin in a weak 8:59.

2016 comments:

I know that I am biased, but I like the Highlanders and I don’t think that this match was particularly the best demonstration of their abilities as a tag team. Despite the Spirit Squad’s pain-in-the-ass demeanour, I like them too and I think they are brilliant as heels. This match was fun, had good psychology and was only let down by the pathetic, rushed ending.

2006 comments:

Scots? In America? What next? Women with the vote?

Grade: B

The World Tag Team champions win and celebrate and the foreigners leave angry. Nicky is really hamming it up and good job by him. JR says, “No matter where you’re watching this match, the math is the same,” in reference to the Spirit Squad’s five vs. the Highlanders’ two. JR is angry that the tag team champs are five male cheerleaders.

JR introduces the next match, one that he claims we have bought this PPV to see, one he describes as, “The most dangerous match in the history of the WWE, that is no exaggeration.” We see the old matchup card where all members have about five seconds of animation before freezing.

On the Card will return on September 24th with the second part of Unforgiven 2006.