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

Previously on On the Card: We have yet to reach the lofty heights of the triple threat. Mayhaps the double main-event can get there…

It’s time for your first main event of the night! Promo to get us excited about the Cena match coming up next. Funny that RVD and Cena fought then but they split off not two weeks later to fight other people. It is not mentioned whether or not Cena even wanted a rematch. He just went and beat up Paul E. Dangerously and Edge and ECW brought Balls Mahoney for some reason. So Cena doesn’t hate RVD, he hates ECW and, by extension, Sabu. Wrestling.

ECW here is the underdog promotion with nothing to lose. Cena is, therefore, the hell. Amazing. This is Cena’s heel run. The lumberjacks of ECW get an intro from Lillian and they all stroll to the ring, circling it like dogs, all wearing ECW t-shirts. Sandman stares at the camera. Great blue eyes on him. Sabu is introduced and he comes to the ring with little fanfare, much like everyone else at this arena.

The Raw lumberjacks are introduced. They’re all wearing pants and no shirt except for Viscera, who wears his full suit because ain’t nobody want to see him shirtless. He’ll probably end up hurting someone again. They hang around for a while before Cena’s music hits and the man that heelery forgot comes down to the ring, big shiner on his eye. Rat faced knacker Justin Credible actually looks at Cena and gives him the “come get some” gesture. Fuck off, Justin, you piece of shit. The Raw and ECW guys are roaring at each other and Cena just walks between them. Sabu attacks Cena before he even enters the ring and the bell goes.

Extreme Lumberjack Match: John Cena def. Sabu via submission in 06:38.

The lumberjacks circle the ring as Cena is thrown out but he jumps back in the ring before they’re able to get much licks in. Great suplex from Cena and a two count. Sabu is sent out and Raw send him back in. Cena and Sabu have a great tempo in the ring. Cena is sent out and beat on by ECW. He is sent out again and Sandman whips him with the Singapore cane. Sabu has a chair set up, jumps off it to do a springboard moonsault followed by Camel Clutch to break backs and make humble.

Cena gets a shot in the nuts from Sabu and falls like a tree. Sabu attempts a springboard leg drop followed by an Arabian Facebuster (the chair-under-butt-leg-drop). It only gets a two count. Sabu has the chair and sets it up again to jump into the corner but Cena dodges it. The lumberjacks batter the mat in good time. Cena goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but a schmoz outside diverts his attention and as he FU’s someone, he gets two chair shots for his effort. A table has been set up and Cena is being held down but as Sabu goes to suicide dive, Cena hits him with the Singapore cane and throws a chair in his face. Cena hulks up for the FU and does it on the table but Sabu lands on the edge and it looks like it hurts like fuck. Cena hits him with the STFU and Sabu taps out in 6:38.

2016 comments:

So good at the start and such a dodgy finish. I couldn’t find if the ending was forced because of the botched table spot with Sabu or not, but I’m willing to guess that that was the case.

2006 comments:

A Sabu match without blood? No thank you.

Grade: B

The Raw lumberjacks flood the ring and a Comic Sans sign tells us that Cena likes Hustle, Loyalty and Respect. Sabu genuinely looks like he cannot walk and I am not surprised. The man is mental. Cena gets applause from the Raw lumberjacks as he strolls backstage.

JR and King remind us that Cena won. Cut to backstage and Cena meets RVD. Oh yeah. RVD gives off to Cena for what happened when Cena came to ECW. RVD reminds Cena that he does not have the rematch and so calls for it on Raw. It seems like an afterthought. The camera makes Cena’s head look tiny. He’s like a Gears of War character. Cena looks lovingly at the spinner belt as he accepts the challenge.

We see a promo for McMahon’s war against Shawn Michaels and HHH’s turn against his boss. Absolutely great moment when he finally steps up against the Spirit Squad and then when Shawn reunites with Hunter to make DX. Followed by a number of childish pranks from DX onto McMahon.

DX’s music hits along with epilepsy-inducing cuts with the music video. I love the DX music. It’s absolutely great. The X-sign is confusing because it is the sign that the refs use when someone is actually injured in the ring. The amount of DX fans who have accidentally called the paramedics must be phenomenal. The crowd is lukewarm, probably frothing at the mouth from the damn music video.

Trips has the mic. Jerry tells us about women flashing DX. Hunter asks the crowd if they are ready and they actually pop! Maybe they are popping HHH’s big old roid belly. Trrrrrrrriple H fucks up his promo and Shawn Michaels finishes it.

Spirit Squad music hits with Nickyyyyyyy Nemeth. Their roman candles look guff because one of them won’t spin and just sits there, spurting sparks into the air before finally figuring out how to firework. One of the Spirit Squad has an air horn and he can go fuck himself. JR is frustrated, “God Almighty these guys are… loud.” He then calls them great athletes, which is an obvious lie.

Trips is chewing gum, the rascal. DX plays rock, paper, scissors and JR tries to get it over before the bell rings.

Handicap tag team match: D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) def. The Spirit Squad (Kenny, Johnny, Mitch, Nicky, Mikey) via pin in 17:45.

Well, here it is, ladies and gentlemen: your main event! A bunch of male cheerleaders versus two drug addicts. The Spirit Squad attempt a chant and it doesn’t sit well. Michaels starts off with some nice chain wrestling and follows it up by walking on Mitch (apparently). I can’t tell the difference between these guys but luckily their names are on their singlets.

The Spirit Squad are doing a great job of selling the chops from Michaels by reacting violently to each one. Michaels is beat on in the corner by the Squad and then Mitch is beat on in the corner by DX. The Spirit Squad rush in and DX clear house. Johnny is already bust open! It seems like a broken nose! When the hell did that happen? I was busy typing. I’m going to watch it back.

It seems when the boys are beating on Michaels in the corner, he elbows Johnny in the nose. He goes down and half-heartedly takes the bump to the outside. The Spirit Squad regroup and return to the ring. Michaels looks a bit annoyed that he has hurt Johnny, who takes out a headband, puts it on and shouts some crazy karate sounds. Michaels strolls back, tags in Trips who knocks Johnny down. He then reclines in the corner. Fair play to Johnny for staying in the match. Makes me wonder if he has bladed or not. Johnny gets thrown into the corner and Trips distracts the ref while Michaels goes to town on the broken nose boy’s balls. He waddles about the ring and Trips pants him.

Lots of comedy shots involving testicles. Real crude humour. It’s as if the boys in the back said, “Let’s bring back the Attitude Era… that was just dick and fart jokes with tits, right?” and this was the result. Double team outside and Mikey gets a great shot on his man plums. Trips asks him if he wants a time out and then hits him anyway. Nasty Trips, disrespecting the sanctity of time out. The Spirit Squad throw him back in and beat on him in their corner as Michaels stalks his side, unable to do anything. Trips hits one of the Spirit Squad with a great neckbreaker and Michaels and Mikey comes in. Michaels knocks Mikey down, hits the kip up, cleans house and drops the big elbow from the turnbuckle. He is “tuning up the band,” according to JR and as he batters his foot off the floor, Spirit Squad jump in and knock him down.

Our man Nicky Nemeth is in, beating on Michaels and being a real show off. The Spirit Squad can sell like no man’s business. All of them make Michaels look a million bucks. He gets thrown out and belted with a steel chair. Christ, it is loud. Mikey runs down to the ring, jumps off a trampoline by the apron and hits Michaels with a weak bulldog. Trips, upset by this, throws the trampoline away. Michaels still won’t stay down for the pin. Nicky is back in, beating on Michaels with reckless abandon, raking his face with his wrist straps. The ref is distracted and the Squad beat on Michaels. Another cover and another kick out.

The boys double team Shawn and once again he survives the onslaught. The crowd chant something so weak that no one but the announcers know what it is. Double clothesline and both Michaels and the Spirit Squad are down. More referee distraction and Nicky is back in. Jesus, they’re getting a fair amount of use out of Dolph there. He gets thrown out of the ring shortly, though and the crowd chant for HBK to make the tag. Another double team but Michaels counters and double DDTs two of the Spirit Squad.

Wait… their initials are SS. Hmm.

Trips is in and he clears house, battering all the SS down. He hits Kenny with a great spinebuster and repeats it with… Another Spirit Squad member. He goes for the Pedigree but it is broken up. Michaels goes over the top and Trips is alone in the ring. Michaels is being held by the Squad as one uses the trampoline for the senton but Michaels dodges is and four of the Squad hit the dirt. Kenny is in the ring and the Pedigree and Sweet Chin Music is hit concurrently. Double pin (Trips and Michaels) and they get the three for the win in 17:45.

2016 comments:

This was our main event. Not great. Not bad. It was simply… a tag match.

2006 comments:

I hate the Spirit Squad but by Christ I hope the Attitude Era comes around again.

Grade: B

DX celebrate mid ring and a Spirit Squad member gets Sweet Chin Music’d. Then another simultaneous Pedigree and Sweet Chin Music. JR asks, “Is the Attitude Era back?” and the boys whisper to each other in ring. Trips einie-meinie-minie-mos the Squad and chooses one to bully. Turns out it was Mitch. Trips then whips the keks down and Mitch’s nose is pushed deep into Hunter’s buttocks! By God! Lovely wee close-up of HHH’s bottom as well. Vince comes out and stands there, watching the boys celebrate. He’s smiling and congratulates them, saying he will see them tomorrow night. He does this without a mic. Then the feed cuts but not before JR thanks us for inviting the WWE into our homes. Great lad.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: After his less-than-stellar match two months ago, I would say that Carlito was fantastic this evening. Great lad.

Woman of the Matches: There was not a women’s match to be had on this card and other than Melina, Lita, Maria and Torrie, no women at all appeared! I find it hard to give it to any of these women and so will award it to none, which shows the dreadful state of the women’s division at this point in time.

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

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

Hatches: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Doink the Clown, Kamala, Imposter Kane and the Spirit Squad (Kenny, Johnny, Mitch, Nicky and Mikey) as competitors. Torrie Wilson backstage. Jonathan Coachman also appears but fuck the coach.

Matches: Johnny Nitro starts his first run as Intercontinental Champion, winning it from Shelton Benjamin. Rob Van Dam retains the WWE Title.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: The damn event was released on DVD a month later and remained on the Billboard DVD Sales Chart for three months. Although the event itself was a great success and helped the WWE earn a total of $21.6 million from PPV sales, it wasn’t a great match. The Intercontinental championship match was amazing, but the rest was pish and the fact that they relied on the handicap match and gave it too much time even though it was a comedy undercard bout just went to show how much sway certain members of the locker room had and how much it needed to change.

On the Card will return on July 23 with the SmackDown! PPV The Great American Bash 2006.

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Ruthless Aggression #4: Vengeance (June 25, 2006) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Best match of the card with the triple threat for the Intercontinental Title betwix Johnny Nitro, Shelton Benjamin and Carlito. Surely it can only get better.

The video shows RVD’s rise in 2006 through his wins at WrestleMania, One Night Stand and the stand-off that Edge and he had at Raw leading up to this match. It’s pretty standard go-home feud fare with the face being lauded as a hard-working star who tries his hardest and it has paid off with the heel being a cheating, no-good liar. Honestly, it would be far more interesting to me if Edge had used their similarities – Money in the Bank winners and cashers-in – as a beginning point for their feud as opposed to Edge, “taking back what’s [his].” If Edge fought RVD out of genuine respect, maybe even taking part in “Extreme” matches to show how hardcore he is (the man was co-holders of the Hardcore Title with Mick Foley, after all) and did so without cheating then this feud would be more interesting. Alas.

Edge’s best music hits and out of the smoke he comes with Lita. She’s feeling herself up and he humps the ring because why not? JR tells us that six years ago, The Rock was getting ready for his sixth title reign. Edge gets on the mic and drops some Canadian bombs about the Stanley Cup, which is a hockey thing. Oh gosh. Edge then tells them, once again, that he and his girlfriend are going to have sex, which is similar to the audience only Edge says that he and Lita are not brother and sister. Hilarious.

RVD comes down wearing both titles around his waist. And look! One of them spins! RVD lets the ref take his title off and the bell rings with little fanfare.

WWE Championship match: Rob Van Dam (c) def. Edge w/ Lita via pin in 17:55.

As the boys hug it out I wonder if it would be cocky for a wrestler to keep a belt on in a match and use it as a weapon? Has it been done before? For a wrestler to keep the belt on and use offence that uses the belt as a weapon? Discuss.

RVD goes to catapult Edge but the man lands it. Lots of RVD vs. Edge spots where one tries to outdo the other athletically. They hug some more and Edge gets RVD in the corner. A punch reverses them and an Irish whip shoots Edge into the opposite corner. He leaps over RVD, who moonsaults upon hitting the turnbuckle. Edge turns that into a lariat, misses, and RVD hits a standing moonsault on the Rated-R Superstar. Edge rolls away from RVD and the crowd chant the champ’s name.

Lots of chain-wrestling and reversals. RVD attempts Rolling Thunder and as Edge speaks to Lita, RVD baseball slides him in the back of the head before hitting a moonsault off the barrier. No pop. Come on, crowd, the dude did three backflips. RVD’s leg is caught by Lita and as he kicks her away, the crowd cheer for that! Come on! Edge sunset flips over the top rope, catches RVD on the apron and powerbombs him to the outside. It only gets a two-count.

The pair scuffle in the corner and Edge hits RVD with a hard Irish whip. JR and King are talking about sex. Edge rakes RVD’s eyes and the ref does nothing. Rest hold. Is this going to be us for the match? Not ten minutes in and we’ve met the first long rest hold. RVD has a wee word with Edge and kicks him in the face. The pace is very, very slow now as Van Dam runs at Edge on the apron and cross-body sends them both to the floor. A suplex onto the barrier and Van Dam goes for his spinning leg kick but misses. Edge rolls RVD into the ring but gets only the two.

Edge tosses RVD to the outside again and Van Dam takes the time to adjust his ponytail. As he crawls to the barrier, Edge powerbombs him into it. Edge rolls him back into the ring and gets only a two and a half count. Edge boots RVD and he actually just shouts, “Ow!” Edge hits RVD with the backbreaker and the crowd chant that, “Lita swallows!” which is another crime, apparently. JR speculates that RVD would probably be better if he just allowed himself to be disqualified, much like Mick did earlier in the night.

A big boot sends RVD to the mat and Edge takes the opportunity to ram his opponent’s head into the turnbuckle. The two men talk and RVD actually nods in agreement. An attempt at a super DDT is thwarted by Edge but he gets a kick to the face twice for his effort. Both guys are gassed and the pace is glacial. RVD chant rises and a bunch of clotheslines and body drop followed by German suplex to a pin but the champ only gets a two and a half. Van Dam attempts Rolling Thunder again but Edge jumps up and catches RVD in mid-air, body slamming him onto the canvas. Van Dam hits a dropkick from the top rope and goes for the Five Star Frog Splash but Edge moves away. Van Dam then hits a super Rolling Thunder followed by a split-legged moonsault but still can’t get the win. What will it take to put this boy away. The two mon reverse each other until Van Dam accidentally hits the ref. With the official out of commission, Edge calls for the belt and is about to use it to hit his opponent but Van Dam boots him in the head, busting him open.

Van Dam goes up high but Lita interferes and drops him on his nuts. Edge then gives a hanging DDT to RVD from the top rope and goes for the pin but RVD kicks out at the last moment. Edge is now bust and Lita holds the steel chair in the corner. Edge goes to spear RVD into it but the champ dodge and Edge spears Lita, the chair and himself. Five Star Frog Splash and RVD gets the pin in 17:55.

2016 comments:

Good start, good ending, unresponsive crowd and both men gassed in the middle. I will admit that this is not main event status but then it shouldn’t be for the bloody championship if it was.

2006 comments:

That darn Lita. She’ll pay for this!

Grade: C

RVD rolls on his back like a fat man who can’t get up. He parades about the ring as Edge lies bust on the canvas. And they just changed it after Ric Flair bled all over it, too. Shameful. The replays of the Five Star Frog Splash show that the move really hurts both people. What’s the point in it?

Cut to the ECW locker room where the boys all cheer for RVD and ECW. Paul E. Dangerously comes in to remind them all about the lumberjacks in the Extreme Lumberjack match later. When Paul mentions Sabu, Stevie Richards in the background does the Sabu pose, pointing at the roof.

Cut to the ring and the pyro as Kane walks to the ring. See, now, this is where the brand split thing is annoying. Waaaay back in April, we saw the beginning of a feud between Kane and before-ECW-Big Show where a voiceover played and reminded Kane of May 19th, the date of his movie See No Evil. What happened on May 19th? Nothing, but on May 29th, an imposter dressed as Kane appeared on Raw wearing Kane’s old mask and ring attire. Oh, that old chestnut. Who else had a real vs. imposter match again? Only everyone. But also Kane’s half-brother, The Undertaker. Oh yeah. Someone in the crowd has a sign that says “Will the real Kane please stand up?” which is a reference that is only six years old at this point in time.

Kane’s old theme hits and pyro goes as the Imposter walks out. I tell you what, he has Kane’s walk down but the outfit looks awful. As JR tells us that he interviewed Kane earlier in the week and the man himself said that he knew who the Imposter was, Kane actually says that himself in the ring and the lines sync up, which is nice. Imposter Kane has no beard. As the Imposter goes to set off the ring pyro, Kane starts wailing on him.

Imposter Kane def. Kane via pin in 07:00.

Well, this is a gimmick match and so should be difficult to watch. I love Kane but this match does not deserve to come after the WWE championship match. Imposter sits up and as the imposter lands on his feet outside, he checks his wig. Kane and his Imposter roll back into the ring and there is a choke in the corner. Imposter turns on the ref who almost runs out of the ring in fear. Kane goes for the Imposter’s mask and once again goes for the ref. Imposter takes the time to hit Kane with the sidewalk slam. Jerry says that every move the Imposter does is exactly like Kane.

Lots of matwork where the Imposter checks his wig and mask and glove. Big powerslam from the Imposter and more chinlock city. The crowd couldn’t give a shit. This is filler before the double main event, which is to say, no main event. Both Kanes grab at each other’s throats and Kane hits his Imposter with a great DDT and powerslam. Despite Kane’s shape at this point in time (bad), he is moving very quickly, hitting his opponent with a sidewalk slam, attempting the choke slam, missing, countering a chokeslam of Imposters and getting a boot to the face. Imposter goes up top (why? We know you’re not going to jump) and Kane goes to give the Imposter a modified safe superplex. Kane goes to chokeslam the Imposter and goes up to himself for the knee but the imposter grabs him mid-jump, chokeslams him and goes for the pin in seven of your earthly minutes.

2016 comments:

Bad, bad match. Poor Kane, reduced to this garbage. Neither competitors wanted to be there and other than Imposter’s occasionally amazing mimicry of Attitude Era Kane, this was nonsense.

2006 comments:

I went for a pee, what happened?

Grade: D

Imposter does Kane’s old back fall out of the ring.

Straight-up shoot fact: Imposter Kane is actually Drew Hankinson AKA Festus AKA The Freakin’ Deacon AKA Director of Chaos AKA D. O. C. AKA Luke Gallows. He was unmasked one day later on Raw and buggered off for ages. He came back as Festus then buggered off again only to return as Luke Gallows and part of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society. Then he went off to other promotions, joined the Bullet Club and finally returned in April 2016 with Karl Anderson.

On the Card will return on July 16th with the fourth and final part of Vengeance 2006.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Foley… 0

Flair… 1

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

Foley… 0

Flair… 2

2016 comments:

How the mighty have fallen.

2006 comments:

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

Grade: D

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

2006 comments:

Get Melina the fuck out of here.

Grade: B

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ruthless Aggression #4: Vengeance (June 25, 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 June 25, 2006, the PPV Vengeance aired. It was a Raw PPV, and the first Raw PPV since Backlash in April. 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.

Vengeance 2006

There was no tagline this time either! Huh. I did not see that one coming. The poster shows Cena and Edge staring lovingly into each other’s eyes as the DX symbol is spraypainted over them. Simple and effective.

After the old “remember what wrasslin’ used to be like” video, we have everyone’s favourite start to a PPV: dictionary definitions of the title! As we hear what the word “vengeance” means according to Webster or whoever (the source, regrettably, is not given) we see Cena getting beating by Edge, Sabu and RVD. Then Edge beats on RVD. Vince makes the Spirit Squad cause DX to reunite and they subsequently spraypaint Coach’s butt. They love their butts, the DX boys. Cant’s get quite enough of the deviancy, being honest with you. They also drop green slime in the middle of the ring. Shawn Michaels does an absolutely terrible job of spraypainting a DX symbol onto a piece of glass hanging over the camera.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Val Venis and Rob Conway.)

Pyro goes off and the crowd go mental in the Charlotte Bobcats Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina, The Best Carolina. That’s right, I said it. 6,800 in attendance with 320,000 PPV buys at home. $400,000 from the gate alone with an average ticket price of around about $58. Close up on a homemade fan sign featuring the words “DX SUCK IT” in green sparkly glue. That’s right, arts and crafts are alive in Carolina tonight, I tell you what. Jumping Jim Ross and wife-beating Jerry “The King” Lawler on commentary this evening. Jerry is desperate to have the WWE title come back to Raw. Broadcasting with them this evening is our boys Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. Guys in the background dance as Randal Keith Orton’s music hits and the smarmy motherfucker poses on the Titantron, golden shower of pyro exploding behind him. JR really spouts off the importance of this match – Randy’s second fight with Kurt Angle since he came back from that broken ankle. Cut to a lady in the crowd with an “RKO ME PLEASE” sign, singing along to Randy’s music. Come on love, you won’t survive an RKO. The man is a professional. Randy poses and the crowd’s reaction is mixed.

But then Kurt Angle’s music hits and no one questions the pop. Fuck yeah, Kurt Angle, one of my favourite lads. He’s wearing the same blood-smeared gumshield he was at ECW One Night Stand. Jerry tells him that he sucks, which is unfair, really. King then calls him “a former WWE superstar”.

Randy Orton def. Kurt Angle via pin in 12:50.

Bell goes and we get a lovely repeat of last month with Angle stalking Orton about the ring. Orton almost escapes through the ropes and Randy holds his hand out as if to say, “Woah, now.” JR points out that the crowd is not too pleased by this. Angle does for the double leg takedown and gets Orton in a hammerlock into a pin for a quick two. They grapple back and forth and Angle gets Randy’s ankle while he’s on the ropes. Angle dives onto the apron and attempts to German suplex Orton off the apron but Randy fights back. Angle Germans him once both are on the floor and the crowd chant “ECW! ECW!” King gives off to Angle and the Olympic Champion suplexes Randy back into the ring. The air is filled with smoke from the pyro.

Orton circles Angle and dropkicks him in the face before chucking him out of the ring. King calls the dropkick “A thing of beauty.” Angle is really roaring in pain. Cover in the ring for a two-count. Knee drop and another two-count. Chinlock city from Randy Orton but Angle reverses it into a modified Samoan Drop. Some punches and Irish whip to a shoulder barge. Another chin lock and the two men have a chat for a bit. A really long bit. Like, a minute. Orton uses the ropes to gain an unfair advantage. Angle is up to his feet and beating on Orton, runs the ropes and gets a knee to the face for his trouble. JR and King say that the ECW referees are on the work-release program completing community service. Lots of chin locks here.

Angle gives Orton an arm drag but he’s back down on the ground. Orton goes to the top rope, but Angle is damn near on the other side of the ring. Angle is up and gives Orton a belly-to-belly suplex from the top rope. Count out and the crowd is counting with him. Another belly-to-belly followed by another and an attempted Angle Slam but Randy escapes and gives a reverse backbreaker. Jesus, Randy. Angle has neck problems. Orton goes for the RKO and begins to undo the turnbuckle pad. Angle gives Randy a total of eight German suplexes, the last of which is released, throwing Randy outside.

Kurt jumps out to roll Randy back in, goes for the pin but gets two. Angle goes for the ankle lock but is kicked away by Orton. Randy checks the turnbuckle pad to make sure it is gone and receives another suplex. Angle removes his singlet straps and gets Orton in the ankle lock. Laborious crawl to break the ropes and Randy tosses the Olympic champ into the exposed turnbuckle, hits the RKO and gets the pin in 12:50.

2016 comments:

Great start from both Orton and Angle. Some nice ring psychology and foreshadowing with the exposed turnbuckle, though the payoff was less than impressive.

2006 comments:

My God I hate Randy Orton but that RKO is masterful.

Grade: B

Randy celebrates and sells his damaged ankle as it shows replays of the win. Bravely, Orton rises to the top of the damaged turnbuckle and hits his legend killer pose, the cocky skitter. Orton, the courage of a thousand men, walks up the ramp with only one ref by his side.

Cut to Vince McMahon on the phone, cutting a promo about DX on his flip phone. A kid in a wheelchair in a DX t-shirt comes in and Vince starts to berate him, thinking the child is a DX prank. He tells the kid to shut up and threatens to take the boy on a “ride to the highway to hell” and throws the kid out the door with a scream and a crash. In comes Coach with a “pistol pump” that apparently was outside Vince’s door. Vince tells the Coach that he just made a DX joke backfire and Coach informs Vince that the kid in question was one of his close family friends who idolised Vince… until he threw him down a flight of stairs. I wrote this entire synopsis after seeing a minute of the promo. It’s that predictable. The crowd reacts when the punchline hits, however, but I’m going to assume that it was a fake reaction because the damn thing wrote itself.

Umaga’s music hits and he comes down with Armando Alejandro Estrada, who is not introduced. JR calls the 350lbs monster a “super heavyweight”. Armando gets the mic and laughs his way through a Paul Heyman promo. Lillian Garcia looks on, wondering what mistakes she made to get for her life to come to this point. Armando says that Eugene “the special little boy” is bringing his friends to the ring. He says that Eugene can bring Superman, Spider-man, Aquaman or Wonder Woman (“I hear she’s in town,”) but he won’t beat Umaga. This is nonsense of course. There’s no way there could be a triple crossover with DC, Marvel and WWE at the same time. Fanboy’s wet dream.

Eugene’s music hits and this is the third time I have seen him so far in these reviews, which is four times too many. This is his first actual match, though. Eugene dances and invites out “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan with a “Hoooooo!” Then Doink’s music hits. What the fuck? Apparently, this Doink is Steve Lombardi, the Brooklyn Brawler, not the original Doink who was Matt Osborn, or the dozen other Doinks that there have been including Jeff Jarrett, the Bushwhackers and Chris Jjjjjjjerichoooooo. The crowd couldn’t care less about Doink. But wait… there’s more… Kamala comes out! A gimmick just as offensive as Umaga. Down he comes, slapping his belly and joining the others ringside.

Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada def. Eugene w/ “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Doink the Clown and Kamala via pin in 1:26.

Another Umaga match, another squash. Before the match even really begins, the crowd are loving the “USA! USA!” chants through the stadium. I don’t know who thought that a Eugene squash would make Umaga look more terrifying, especially considering the whuppin’ our boy Eugene got two weeks ago at ECW One Night Stand. But, here we are, ready to watch and be depressed. Umaga goes for Doink and Eugene defends his clown friend. The crowd chant a weak, “Eugene, Eugene!” as the man himself is knocked down. Another “Hooo!” chant and a second, “USA! USA!” Umaga charges at our boy Eugene and Estrada calls for the Samoan Spike to take Eugene down for the pin in one minute, twenty-six seconds.

2016 comments:

A dark time for wrestling.

2006 comments:

What is his appeal? And by “his”, I of course mean, “everyone in the ring”.

Grade: F

Duggan jumps in as Umaga brings Eugene to the corner to beat on him. Doink defends Duggan and gets a Samoan Spike for his troubles. Kamala slaps his belly for a while and Estrada tells Umaga to leave as Kamala is obviously mental. The crowd either boo Umaga’s cowardice or Kamala’s lack of beating. Kamala goes to check on Eugene as Mick Foley is interviewed backstage before his match with Ric Flair.

On the Card will return on July 2nd with the second part of Vengeance 2006.