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

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

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

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

WWE WrestleMania 23

All Grown Up.

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

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

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

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

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

Fucking jingoistic bollocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Fucking Kennedy. Why did it have to be Kennedy?

Grade: B

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

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

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

Oh, Kennedy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

2007 comments:

Oh Kane, how far have you fallen?

Grade: F

Khali chokes Kane, gets some extra heat and leaves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2007 Royal Rumble.

A First Challenger Appears: Ric Flair.

A Second Challenger Appears: Fit Finlay.

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

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

A Third Challenger Appears: Kenny Dykstra.

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

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Matt Hardy.

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

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Edge.

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

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

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

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

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Tommy Dreamer.

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

A Seventh Challenger Appears: Sabu.

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

An Eighty Challenger Appears: Gregory Helms.

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

A Ninth Challenger Appears: Shelton Benjamin.

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

A Tenth Challenger Appears: Kane.

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

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

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

Sabu has been eliminated by Kane in 5:28.

The announcers say that Kane is the favourite now.

An Eleventh Challenger Appears: CM Punk.

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

A Twelfth Challenger Appears: King Booker.

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

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

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

A Thirteeth Challenger Appears: Super Crazy

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

A Fourteenth Challenger Appears: Jeff Hardy.

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

A Fifteenth Challenger Appears: Sandman.

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

Sandman has been eliminated by Booker T in 13 seconds.

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

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

A Sixteenth Challenger Appears: Randy Orton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Seventeenth Challenger Appears: [REDACTED] Benoit.

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

An Eighteenth Challenger Appears: RVD.

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

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

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

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

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

A Nineteenth Challenger Appears: Viscera.

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

A Twentieth Challenger Appears: Johnny Nitro.

Nice.

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

A Twenty-First Challenger Appears: Kevin Thorn.

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

A Twenty-Second Challenger Appears: Hardcore Holly.

He can fuck off. Old Sparky Plugg.

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

A Twenty-Third Challenger Appears: Shawn Michael.

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

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

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

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

Then Shawn tosses out Shelton Benjamin.

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

He beats Viscera by sixteen minutes. Yeo.

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

A Twenty-Fourth Challenger Appears: Chris Masters.

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

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

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

A Twenty-Fifth Challenger Appears: Chavo Guerrero.

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

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

Who is left to come out? Who really cares?

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

A Twenty-Sixth Challenger Appears: MVP.

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

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

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

A Twenty-Seventh Challenger Appears: Carlito.

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

A Twenty-Eighth Challenger Appears: The Great Khali.

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

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

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

Ten boys still in and we reach our penultimate challenger!

A Twenty-Ninth Challenger Appears: The Miz.

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

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

Good.

Khali then throws out RVD.

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

Then he throws out Punk!

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

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

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

Then he throws out Chavo!

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

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

At some point during this, Benoit gets eliminated too.

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

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

The Thirtieth and Final Challenger Appears: The Undertaker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then he tosses Edge out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

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

Grade: B

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

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

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

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

Hatches: None.

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

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

On The Card Hall Of Fame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Year in Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ten years ago, on November 5, 2006, the PPV Cyber Sunday aired. It was a Raw PPV, and the first Raw PPV since Unforgiven way back in September. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

Cyber Sunday 2006

Log On. Take Over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrestling makes no sense sometimes.

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

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

Grade: B

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

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

Grade: C

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

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