Ruthless Aggression #19. One Night Stand (June 3, 2007) Part 1

On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #19 One Night Stand – June 3, 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 3, 2007, One Night Stand 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February. Unlike the other One Night Stand PPVs, which were ECW PPVs, this one was tri-branded and had Raw, Smackdown and ECW matches on the card. 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 One Night Stand 2007

Extreme Rules

Back to the taglines. Good job, Fed. I’m proud of you. The poster is Bobbly Lashley looking ticked off, with red and white lights on him, like he’s doing a poop.

The promo package tells us that the only rules tonight are the extreme rules… which means gimmicked matches. Oh that’s nice. We have a Falls Count Anywhere match between Cena and Khali, Vince and Bobby in a Street Fight match, Batista and Edge in a cage match. How many of those people were in ECW? Nooooone. Fantastic. There’s also a ladder match, a tables match, a stretcher match, a lumberjack match and a pudding match on the cards. This super-gimmicked event was changed to Extreme Rules later, but it still sucks. Quit forcing good wrestlers into shit matches. No one cares about a cage match because you do one once every three weeks. Chill out with the fuckin’ cages.

Raw, ECW and Smackdown present WWE’s One Night Stand and we are welcomed into the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida by our announce team, Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler for Raw, Joey Styles and Tazz for ECW and Cunt JBL and Moustache Maggle Cole for Smackdown. They spit out one liners and pre-written nonsense as 7,000 fans cheer along with the 186,000 at home (a massive drop from the 304,000 from One Night Stand 2006). It’s not in the ECW arena, we have no ECW fans here, this may as well have been called WWE Super Best Show ’07.

 (Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Santino Marella and Chris Masters. That seems fair.)

Mid ring, the announcer introduces the rules of the first match: A stretcher match where you need to put your opponent on a stretcher and roll them over the finish line.

Old Randers Orton has his music playing as he strolls to the ring, hits the legend killer pose and cuts to a promo featuring Randy and RVD. Rob was ticked off that Orton would treat Shawn Michaels so badly at the last PPV, Judgment Day. We see a twisted, slow motion replay of Randy RKOing RVD a lot. Orton looks at the stretcher. Yep, it’s a stretcher.

Farty pyro and the whole fucking show comes down, Rob Van Dam. I just realised that the tron is covered in chairs and tables and ladders and all sorts of shit.

Stretcher Match: Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam.

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

Randy and Robbie stare at each other for a bit. It’s very sexy. The crowd chant for RVD because Orton is a bit of a prick. Rob stabs Randy in the chest and goes for his “Rob! Van! Dam!” spot but boots Randy before he can finish. JR reminds us – as RVD boots Randy in the face – that neither men care for pinfalls or submissions in this match. They care only for the stretcher. Lovely ten punch and then monkey flip from RVD. Crowd chant some more. Randy is taking a pummelling in the opening minutes of this matchup. Let’s see how this works out. RVD attempts a run into the corner, Randy stops him but gets a wee kick in the head for his efforts. Another Irish Whip, another reversal and another kick to the jaw.

Randy misses a punch and gets a punch to the jaw. Randy gets a lucky shot in and Van Dam sells it like death. RVD acts like has no idea what the hell is happening and Randy attempts an RKO but gets a boot in the face. RVD goes to the top rope, misses and falls off. Is it real? Is it Kayfabe? We do not know. Randy takes over, though, and lifts Rob up, giving him a bit of a beating and a standing dropkick to the face. Great shot. This is the opening match and the pace is super slow. Not impressive, lads, I expect better. JR and King put RVD over but it isn’t helping. Rob sells every move from Randy. Orton tries to roll Rob out but he holds onto the bottom rope, denying it.

The ref checks on RVD, but Orton wastes no time in hitting a lovely suplex, rolling Van Dam out of the ring, onto the stretcher… and off the stretcher. Van Dam does a pair of jumping punches against Orton, suddenly is back to normal and throws Randy into the ringpost. Van Dam is setting up the stretcher and rolls Randy onto it. He then goes to the apron as Jerry goes, “Rob! Just roll him across the finish line!” and hits a stupid spinning dropkick. It looks dumb.

In the ring, RVD gains some steam, attempts to hit Rolling Thunder, is lifted up by Orton into a great powerslam, probably the best of the match so far. Orton is attempting to suplex Van Dam to the outside, but gets a dropkick to his face instead. Van Dam sets up the stretcher and drags Randy over to it, bopping Orton on the head for good measure. Van Dam then goes into the ring – causing Jerry to scream, “Oh! Come on, Rob!” – and hits a lovely suicide senton over the top rope. Randy escapes, however, and RVD’s legs crack off the stretcher. Very painful looking. Randy lifts up Van Dam, pops him onto the stretcher and begins to push it up towards the finish line. RVD sits up, fights back, kicks Randy in the head, dropping him onto the stretcher. All it takes is a tiny push and RVD wins.

Rob Van Dam has defeated Randy Orton by pushing him over the finish line in 14:31.

2017 comments:

Awful opener and it’s all RVD’s fault. He was just terrible. There was no consistency or build-up in his movements. Either he was faking it – in which case he should have telegraphed that to the audience – or he didn’t care less about the match looking good, he just wanted it over and done with as soon as possible. That’s fine. Don’t take fifteen minutes to have a bad match when you can have one in five.

2007 comments:

Ohhh, Rob’s gonna get it.

Grade: D.

Randy is up – obviously both men have forgotten the art of selling – and as the ref announces that RVD has won, Randy hits him from behind. JR quips, “that’s not unusual for Orton to attack people from behind.” Randy goes to the apron and boots RVD in the head – “A brain-rattling kick!” Rob stares ahead. Randy lifts him up, hangs him over the guardrail, dangles him and hits a murderous DDT. One fan shouts, “Holy shit!” on his own. The ref tells Randy to leave but he stares on. Cheeky monkey. EMTs arrive with… another stretcher. JR attempts to piece this together as best he can. Replays of RVD winning the match and Randy’s repercussions.

Cut to the back where Vince is, “shinin’ up [the ECW belt] reeeal nice.” Vince puts together that it is Lashley’s last stand at One Night Stand. He gets real with Shane and says that he feels that something bad might happen to him. Shane is worried that it’s about the match tonight but reminds Vince that both Shane and Umaga will be there.

Back in the ring, the announcer tells us the rules of a tables match. We know the rules. He tells us that the tables are stored below the ring. Thank you.

Shitty cover of Metallica’s Enter Sandman as he arrives through the crowd. He busts himself wide open, walks over the guardrail, opens another beer and a shitty cover of Alice in Chains’ Man in the Box plays as Tommy Dreamer arrives… with a weird titantron video telling us the competitor’s names. So it just says Elijah Burke when he arrives. Hah.

CM Punk rocks out, joining the ECW Originals, despite the fact that he’s never been in the original ECW.

The New Breed appear all at once, walking out to the ring together. Once again, Elijah and Punk square off. Both ECW lads wearing full clothes because God forbid they have muscles.

Tables Match: The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and CM Punk vs. The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Matt Striker and Marcus Cor Von).

This is a tables match, it’s at an Extreme Rules event and yet Dreamer and Cor Von start off. Why aren’t Sandman and Punk setting up a table? There is no pinfall or submission needed. Just set up a table, walk in, lift the lightest of the lads and toss them outside. What are they going to do? Disqualify you? It’s a tables match!

Elijah Burke jumps in, gets a bulldog from Burke, gives him a flapjack and Sandman hits a hip toss. That man can’t wrestle. Punk is in, rocking Striker with a Bulldog. Punk lifts Striker up for the Bossman Slam as Dreamer hits the elbow. Punk and Dreamer do the Dudleys “Get the tables!” spot and there’s a suicide dive. Sandman uses his Singapore cane without disqualification and there’s a schmoz. Crowd chant for tables. Striker gets a double suplex… but Marcus moves the table before it can happen. Both Burke and Cor Van double team Punk and celebrate for some time. Striker is told to set up the table and he does mid-ring. Both Dreamer and Sandman are down for the count and Striker sets up the table in the corner. Sandman and Dreamer pop in to “save” CM Punk. Sandman goes up for a ten count and is thrown off the turnbuckle. He lands badly. Dreamer hits a lovely spinebuster. Marcus hits Punk with a powerbomb… and misses the table. It was right behind you, bro. Just throw him into it. Marcus sets up Punk carefully on the table and as he goes top rope, Sandman hits him with the cane. Dreamer hits Burke with a piledriver, sets him on the table and Punk superplexes Striker off the top rope.

CM Punk has just put both Matt Striker and Elijah Burke through a table, thus winning the match in 7:18.

2017 comments:

Terrible start, but then it was never going to be a good match. They should have put the weaker wrestlers – Dreamer and Sandman – on the outside and focussed on Punk. If they had changed the rules – no weapons but the tables – then the heels could have sneakily beat on Dreamer and Sandman every time they got up. Five minutes of a beat down on Punk where he occasionally escapes until the New Breed get cocky, set up the table and get fucked by the garbage wrestlers. This was shit at the start, decent at the end.

2007 comments:

How is Sandman still working?

Grade: C.

The “ECW” team cheer at this short match at an old ECW event. Sandman looks happy to be done with it. I don’t know why he’s still working for anyone. He’s very bad.

Cut to the back and Edgy McEdge is lacing his boots when Randal Orton arrives to remind him that they were once friends. He threatens Edge by saying that if Edge beats Batista and Randy gets traded to Smackdown then he’s next. Edge threatens him back. Heel-on-heel action here.

JR says that the locker room isn’t big enough to hold both their egos.

Justin Roberts reminds us of the rules of the ladder match and OH CHRIST THE FUCKING CHAMPS ARE OUT FIRST. Fuck you, Fed. Fat Matt and Mental Jeff Hardy rock down to the ring, clapping hands and being gentlemen. Jeff has a stupid beard.

The World’s Greatest Tag Team – Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas – are out next, taking their time coming to the ring and wearing sunglasses inside like jerkfaces. JR reminds us that – once again – no pinfalls or submissions are necessary to win this. JR doesn’t know how high the belts will be hung.

Ladder Match for the World Tag Team Championship: The Hardys (Matt and Jeff) (c) vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas).

Big “Hardys!” chant as the Hardys gives a lovely double suplex to Haas and leg drop/elbow drop to Shelton. Haas fights back with a double clothesline. All four men get ladders, stare at each other for a while and the Hardys toss them away, dropkick the challengers and set ladders in the turnbuckle to toss Haas into. Then they throw more ladders at him and then Shelton Benjamin to do a lovely Poetry in Motion, tossing the ladders – and Haas – onto Shelton. Jeff tries to climb up but is taken down by Charlie Haas. Both Hardys are on the floor as the crowd chant their name. Matt gives Charlie a lovely electric chair drop from the ladder and both Hardys climb the ladder, pausing for the spot where Shelton tosses a ladder at the ladder and knocks them both off the ladder.

The spotfest continues as Shelton and Charlier do a very weak and unorthodox slingshot into a ladder in the corner. The crowd boo. A polite (but unimpressed) applause would have been better. Hardys stop the World’s Greatest Tag Team from climbing the ladder and they get punished for it. Matt has a ladder pressed against him and then dropkicked. Haas and Benjamin set up the same catapult that hurt Joey Mercury a while ago at Armageddon 2006. Luckily, there does not seem to be a botch here as Shelton is hip tossed onto the ladder and the business end is kept away from Charlie Haas’ face. They do the same to Charlie Haas and just miss the same thing happening to the Hardys. Double clothesline and everyone other than Haas is outside. The Hardys go and get themselves some king-size ladders from outside the ring. Haas (backne and all) is tossed onto a ladder and Matt attempts to suplex Shelton from the inside to the ouside. He is denied this, but seconds later, Matt tosses Shelton out anyways. JR is listing off the injuries sustained as Matt sets Shelton on the ladder lain from the apron to the guardrail. Jeef attempts a Swanton, is denied by Haas who super-belly-to-belly suplexes him into the ring. Matt rocks in, hits the Side Effect, sets up a ladder mid-ring, climbing and reaching for the tag team belts but the World’s Greatest Tag Team knock him off.

Outside, Roidy Hass is attempting to set up a ladder contraption and inside Shelton hits Jeff with a lovely T-Bone suplex. Shelton climbs a ladder mid-ring, blesses himself, jumps out and… hits Matt with his dick, I suppose. JR sells it as his elbow, but it was not his elbow, it was his dick. Haas is up the ladder, miles away from the actual championship and Jeff is up the other side, superplexing Charlie Haas off the ladder, by Christ. “Hardy!” chant rises as Jeff moves the ladder and climbs it super quick, but, predictably, stops at the end. Shelton Benjamin leaps from the apron, fixes a botch mid-spin and still manages to knock Jeff off the ladder. Fair play. Matt tries to toss Shelton off the ladder but Shelton, once again, misses his ropes and Matt has to hit the Twist of Fate to get the heat back.

Two ladders in the ring, Matt is at the top of one, Shelton atop t’other. Their partners climb, both teams at the top of the ladder, Hardys are pushed off and they bounce back to toss the World’s Greatest Tag Team off. Jeff hits a superfluous Swanton and Matt climbs the ladder to get the belts.

Matt Hardy has just collected the Tag Team Belts from atop the ring in 17:17.

2017 comments:

Spotty McSpotfest over here with the spots. Quite good match, one where there is no story, no real selling and just ingenious ways of using the ladders. Most of the spots were new, some weren’t, some didn’t work and none were really highlight reel material, but a good match had by all.

2007 comments:

Do you think the Hardys like painkillers?

Grade: B.

JR stumbles through a quote attempts. “The Hardys have proved that they are no match in a ladder match.” Replays of the life-shortening stunts in the match. Shelton, at one point, lands on a ladder and is lucky that his ankle didn’t pass through a rung and break.

On the Card will return on June 10 2017 with the second part of One Night Stand 2007.

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

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

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

No Way Out 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Why was Benoit there?

Grade: B

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

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

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

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

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

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

A First Challenger Appears: Scotty 2 Hotty.

A Second Challenger Appears: Daivari.

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

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

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

A Third Challenger Appears: Gregory Helms.

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

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

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Sho Funaki.

Oh no! It’s the sneaky Japanese!

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

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

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Shannon Moore.

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

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

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Jimmy Wang Yang.

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

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

A Seventh Challenger Appears: Jamie Noble.

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

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

Jimmy Wang Yang is the Winner of the WWE Cruiser-

Ohhh, Chavo!

An Eighth and Final Challenger Appears: Chavo Guerrero.

Whaaat? A surprise entry? Christ!

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

I like Jimmy Wang Yang.

Grade: B

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

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

Ruthless Aggression #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 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 #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 2

Previously on On The Card: We had a disappointing start to Backlash 2006 with Carlito getting the win over Chris Masters, Umaga squashing Ric Flair and the Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James match being called short due to injury. Let’s hope the second half fares better…

Lillian introduces the Winner-Takes-All match for Shelton Benjamin’s Intercontinental Champiosnhip belt and Rob Van Dam’s Money in the Bank contract. Shelton comes out, wearing sunglasses indoors like a damn fool. Jerry makes some quip about being pushed around and JR says, “How could he? That’s a hernia waiting to happen.” Brilliant stuff from the iconic pair. RVD’s music hits and we get the biggest pop of the night for Mr. Money in the Bank.

Money in the Bank used to be a WrestleMania ladder match until it was given its own PPV in 2010. RVD won this Money in the Bank championship at WrestleMania 22. He has spraypainted it with a dragon on the side because RVD likes weed, presumably.

Shelton makes the ref take off his glasses for him, the douche. JR and Jerry talk about Dr. Hiney, the evil proctologist and Nurse Slobberknocker. For those of you who don’t remember that – keep it that way. JR replies with, “Was that good television or what?” which probably got him in heat with Vince.

Winner-Takes-All match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship and Money in the Bank Contract: Rob Van Dam (MITB) def. Shelton Benjamin (c) via pinfall in 18:42

ECW chant from the crowd as the bell rings.

Shelton Benjamin cracks RVD in the head and is smug about it. RVD is the clear face here. Arm twist is reversed by Shelton as we flips off the ring ropes. The two men go for a show of strength but give up half way through. The men run the ropes and jump about for a while. Van Dam does some body scissors to pin Benjamin. RVD’s eye is bust from the slap earlier. A lot of slow movement and then a flurry of activity. Benjamin rolls to the outside and a POOP DOGG sign is visible. Brilliant. Snoop Dogg, but, oh you get it.

The men are in the ring together again and Jerry says that the match is still in the “feeling out” stage. JR mentions that RVD is his own man and an individual, unlike, presumably, everyone in Kentucky. Did you hear that, Kentucky? JR just burned you bad. Another jumping spin kick and RVD has Shelton on his back. He rolls out and RVD suicide dives to the outside. Another ECW chant. Unnecessary. RVD is on the apron and Shelton sunset flips over the rope to powerbomb Van Dam to the outside. Pin and two-count.

Shelton beats on RVD’s back with a couple of manoeuvres. Cameramen on the other side of the ring as well. Gosh I miss those lads. Weren’t they great? Really made it seem like a sporting event. JR thanks all the countries in the world. JR mentions that Benjamin does not seem to be in “mistake mode”, which is a mode I wish I could turn off on myself. It would make washing up a lot easier. Benjamin does a mid-rope bronco buster on RVD and another chant rises as the pair enter chinlock city. JR thanks us for inviting him into his life, presumably as he sells us some of his BBQ sauce and tells us his problems. More chinlock city follows.

The RVD has a camel clutch applied to him and JR says that the Iron Sheik is nowhere in sight. Benjamin still focussing on RVD’s lower back and the match has slowed to a crawl, nay, a stop. Van Dam fights back for a while and escapes a T-Bone suplex, moving into Rolling Thunder which Benny-Boy jumps up to catch him and reverses into a Samoan drop. Two-count and RVD finds himself on the turnbuckle getting slaps from Benjamin. Attempt at a superplex and RVD throws him off. Banjamin executes a wonderful vertical leap from the canvas to the top rope to finish his superplex. Still only good for a two-count. Chinlock city again and Benjamin reminds Rob that he is tired. Irish whip but RVD holds onto the ropes as Shelton dropkicks air and lands on his arse. Lots of clotheslines and RVD hulks up, springboarding to knock Benjamin down and finally executes Rolling Thunder but only gets a two-count.

Van Dam bodyslams his opponent, does a few flips and finally goes for the five-star frog slash but Benjamin rolls out of the way, DDT’s Van Dam and another two-count because of a foot on the rope. Two more pin attempts, two more two-counts. Benjamin is frustrated and walks to get the Money in the Bank briefcase. Van Dam fights back and gets hit in the face for this. Shelton does for the lariat off the top turnbuckle and Van Dam reverses it into a pin. Another two-count and Van  Damn gives Shelton the hurricanrana. Benjamin has the briefcase again and RVD takes it off him, tosses it to him and kicks him in the face. Five Star Frog Splash and Van Dam wins the Intercontinental Championship and retains his Money in the Bank contract in 18:42.

2016 comments:

Good match with a lot of pauses. Both men were gassed and without that break in the action, it would have been a great match with some nice spots.

2006 comments:

Man, I hope Benjamin and Van Dam fight forever.

Grade: B

JR tells us that Benjamin ate Van Dam’s briefcase (with some delicious JR BBQ sauce). “My God, athleticism.” Rob Van Dam has a wee walk around the ring for a while. Replays of the finish of the match. JR is still wearing the full suit and some woman in the back has a baby. Another Tony Hawk intro to show Big Shirtless Kane and Horseshoe Moustache Big Show. The promo starts with a replay of recent match where the Spirit Squad defeated Kane and Big Show to become Tag Team Champs. Kane has a flashback and when the two men have a rematch, Kane goes ballistic and they lose the damn match. Kane is looking great at this point in time, he has such a great swagger, looks terrifying. I am a huge Kane mark. I have a soft spot for him unmatched by any wrestler of past or present. Even Mankind, a character and performer who I have the utmost respect for and would quickly name as my favourite wrestler if ever asked, does not hold a candle to Kane in my eyes. I cannot describe or explain my love for him. It might be his power, the image of him with the mask on, his backstory or the fact that Glenn Jacobs just comes across as a genuine, lovely gentleman. I do not know. All I know is that fuck Big Show right now because he is fighting Kane.

To Big Show’s credit, he comes across as the face here. Kane is enraged by the mere mention of May 19th, even turning against Lillian Garcia and Big Show himself. Slow piano music plays as Kane looks more like his brother, the Undertaker, as he grips Big Show’s throat and goes to chokeslam his old tag team partner. Creepy wavy filter of Kane going ballistic and dragging on Big Show’s eye. Backstage, Big Show looks really infuriated about this. It is revealed that the May 19th insanity is because Kane’s new movie, See No Evil is coming about around then. Big Show reveals that he was also in a movie (The Waterboy) and he didn’t act the same way. He seems very upset about this. Big Show states that even if Kane’s goldfish died or puppy ran away, his actions would be unacceptable.

By the ring, Lillian Garcia is announcing from the outside, afraid to get closer in case the Big Red Machine goes ballistic again. Pyro hits and the worst of Kane’s entrance theme hits, the one where the guitar only has a high E string and vocals. A fan in the crowd has a May 19th sign to annoy our man Kane. Big Show’s theme hits and out he comes, storming towards the ring. Big Show looks huge, probably a bit overweight as well, not looking nearly as sweet beside our boy Kane.

Big Show and Kane via no contest in 09:30

Kane hits Show and gets a gorilla press for his trouble. Big slap in the corner from those frying pan-sized hands of the beast. Kane goes for Big Show’s eye and gets told off by the ref. Big Show is taking control and follows the monster outside to chuck him in again. Some of the crowd chant May 19th at Kane and Jerry, the king of being a cunt, claims that it is unsportsmanlike to attack eyes despite the fact he eye-dragged for his entire career. Kane hits Show’s head off the ring post and the two giants hang around for a while. JR says Big Show must be “at least 520 pounds… lose a biscuit or two from that.” At the moment, Show is 450, which means he was 70 pounds heavier than he is now. By Christ.

Kane beats on Show for a while, runs the ropes and hits the big man with a jumping clothesline. JR and King debate the significance of May 19th without giving any definitive answer. JR calls Kane a “perplexing individual” and that his life is “somewhat unique”, which is an understatement. The crowd are dead during the match, to the point where the kids in the background are playing with the Titantron, putting the belt on their heads. Big Show picks up Kane and gives him a great overhead fallaway slam. He calls for the chokeclam and the crowd pop. The chokeslam is countered… or the arm is weakened. No replay to explain. Big leg drop from Show and a two-count.

JR says, “this has not been a pretty match. This has not been a catch-as-catch-can classic.” Another understatement from the man himself. A great high powerslam from Big Show and he looks at the crook of his finger in an attempt to get Kane back for scratching his eye. The lights go red and Kane’s own voice comes through the speakers to remind Kane that “May 19th… it’s happening again, Kane… you can’t stop it.” Big Show is worried as his former friend is beating his head. The crowd is silent. They don’t give a good God damn about this. Big Show leaves and gets a chair from ringside, probably to beat his friends over the head to fix him and by Christ, he does. What a smack. Big Show looks upset as the lights come back on. He leaves and gets big boos. Kane sits up, big old gap-toothed grin on him. The match isn’t called off, doesn’t officially end, no winner is given, it just… segues to Vinny Mac in his Jesus room, walking around.

2016 comments:

My favourite character and my favourite giant-based wrestler make a shitty match together. But not the worst match on the card, sadly.

2006 comments:

I liked it better when he had that mask on.

Grade: D

Vince is walking through his room, psyching himself up like a testosterone-fuelled orange. A cough and Candice appears, wearing a dress that leaves little to the imagination. She complains about the smell and Vince claims it is a new fish-based cleaning product. She says that she has a chest cold and that Vince, being God, can lay his healing hands upon her.

Straight-up shoot fact: Candice was on the cover and nude pictorial in the April 2006 issue of Playboy, which would have come out just before this PPV. It would lead to a “Playboy Pillow Fight” at WrestleMania 22 between her and Torrie Wilson. It was the second to last match on the card, after a Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Kurt Angle match and before a John Cena, Triple H match. Yeah. Think about that.

Vince debates this ethical quandary for a second and then, in a gentlemanly manner, places his hands on Candice’s head. She reminds him it is a chest cold and asks him to lower his hands. He places his hands on her shoulders and she asks for lower. He grips her waist, making gravelly nonsense noises and she asks for higher. She starts having convulsions and the pair of them roar in holy orgasmic bliss. Shane comes in to remind Vince that they have a match coming up. Candice flails away on the couch and rolls to the floor, barely missing the glass coffee table.

JR and Jerry do not seem to care for what they saw. Jerry claims Vince “has the power” like some sort of bastard He-Man and JR just asks, “what the hell was that?”

Next week we have the two main events: McMahons vs Shawn and God; Cena vs. HHH vs. Edge. Do not miss it.

On the Card will return on May 14th with the third and final part of Backlash 2006.