Hello everyone. For those of you who have joined us at TSM recently, I’ve become known for my weekly TNA reports ever since I was plugged by Jeremy Borash. However, I do WWE PPV’s as well, in the same format as the TNA reports.
This is normally where I do my whole spiel about my week and crap you don’t care about, but since its a THREE hour show, allow me to just speed this thing up.
Bonus Heat Match:
Jeff Hardy vs. D’Lo Brown
Match Background: Seemed like this match was thrown together for no real reason.
The Match: Before the match, Lawler and Ross make sure to plug Lawler’s new book, “It’s Good to be the King”. “D’Lo sucks” chant as they lock up with Jeff getting the early advantage. The first awkward spot of the night occurs as D’Lo struggles to catch Jeff Hardy’s leg before he does his usual twisting kick to the midsection. Jeff goes up top, looking for his Willow of the Wisp move, but D’Lo’s seen too many of his matches on Raw and doesn’t bite, turning around to taunt the crowd as Jeff faked it. Instead, when he turns around, he gets a Jeff Hardy dropkick off the 2nd rope. Hardy goes for a rana, but gets powerbombed instead. D’Lo takes over but Jeff Hardy comes back...with the WORST sunset flip attempt EVER as they completely botch the move. D’Lo comes back with a Texas Cloverleaf, which he hasn’t used in a LONG time....but somehow, they botch that move up as well as Hardy’s legs aren’t in proper position. Lawler calls it a “modified sharpshooter” before Jeff gets to the ropes. D’Lo gets a backbreaker and an Austin like 2nd rope elbow before hitting his fallaway slam into a swinging Rockbottom (NWA’s Chris Harris’ Catatonic). Jeff gets the Willow of the Wisp this time as he’s whipped into the corner, hits a jawbreaker and gets a two count. He knocks D’Lo back down and MISSES the Swanton Bomb as D’Lo moves out of the way. D’Lo perches Jeff on the top and goes for a superplex, but gets knocked down. Jeff hits a cross body block off the top, but D’Lo rolls through....but Jeff rolls through THAT and gets the victory.
My Opinion: Jeff Hardy continues his streak of sloppy matches as he completely blew a sunset flip and was sloppy with most of his own offense tonight. He seems to have lost whatever “desire” he once had. ½* and that’s mostly for D’Lo Brown.
PPV Start. The video package for this one contains a lot of apocalyptic images interspersed with WWE footage with Freddie Blassie doing some narration. Not one of their better ones. I’m officially sick of “The End”.
Live from the Office Depot Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
DAMN, that’s a PHAT stage set up. They have three screens at the top, with an A in the “Armageddon” font on fire. On the actual floor, they have a wall on the left side that reads Raw and one that reads Smackdown on the right, with fire burning on top of both sections. Between that, in the back of the aisle way, is a panel which is also on fire. The fireworks were also pretty cool this time around.
Booker T & Goldust vs. Chris Jericho & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Regal/Storm for the World Tag Team Titles
Match Background: Chris Jericho & Christian have been tag team champions ever since they defeated Hurri-Kane for the straps on Raw over two months ago. Since then, they have successfully defended their tag titles defeating Booker T & Goldust at No Mercy and two weeks ago on Raw, as well as the re-formed Dudley Boyz three weeks ago on Raw, both under dubious means. Regal and Storm have had a winning streak as of late and were awarded this shot along with the other teams. On Monday, after losing a match to Regal and Storm, Goldust declared himself the “weak link” of the team and told Booker that he was going to ask Raw GM Eric Bischoff to replace him in the 4 way match. He was talked out of it by Booker T who convinced him that they can FINALLY win the tag titles tonight.
The Match: WWE is still using the old tag titles in their match graphics. The champs get the respect they deserve as they’re allowed to come out last. Storm and Bubba start the match out with Bubba getting an avalanche in the corner before yelling “Canadian scum!”. I hope the fans in Canada remember that one. HARD chop in the corner leads to Lance tagging in his former partner Christian in before D’Von & Bubba double flapjack him. Christian tags in Regal who succumbs to the wrestling acumen of the former Reverend before he tags in Goldust. Regal gets a quick advantage on Goldust as Christian tags himself in without Regal’s knowledge. Xian and Y2J work over Goldust in the corner before Goldust catapults Jericho over the top to the floor. Back in the ring now, Jericho comes back with his flying forearm and tells Goldust how he’s the King of the World and MUST be respected, dammit. Christian comes back in and Goldust tags in Bubba Ray. Both Christian and Jericho come in to receive a double Flip, Flop & Fry and Storm and Regal come in to eat stereo bionic elbows as well. Goldust distracts the ref as D’von gets the Whassup Headbutt on Christian. Bubba shoves D’Von HARD as D’Von probably thinks to himself “I left Smackdown to become a table fetcher?” but before Bubba can ask him to get his wood, all eight men start brawling in the ring! Everyone spills to the outside except for Christian and Bubba and D’Von comes in for the 3D, but Regal blind tagged Christian and is the legal man. Bubba goes for the pinfall, but Storm comes off the top with a legdrop on him. Regal, the legal man, then comes in for the pin....but in a VERY odd moment, Regal hooks Bubba up SO tight, that Bubba ends up on top and they wrestle around until Regal finally gets on top again for the VERY weak looking elimination. Goldust comes in and quickly powerslams Regal to eliminate Storm and Regal. Damn, that was REALLY quick. It’s now down to Booker T & Goldust against Christian and Jericho. Booker comes in and gets a side kick for two. Goldust comes in and holds up Jericho for a Booker kick and gets a broken up two count out of it. Christian comes in and ducks a Goldust cross body sending him all the way to the floor. He’s thrown in by Y2J as Christian takes over on Goldust. “Christian sucks” chant by the crowd as he puts the Gold One in an abdominal stretch. Jericho comes in and starts to JUKE & JIVE before Goldust knocks him down with a clothesline. They double team Goldust in the corner before he fights out and hits a Bossman slam on Christian. He makes the hot tag to Booker who becomes a HOUSE...EN...FUEGO~! He hits a superkick on Christian (but its called a “Thrust kick” by JR, because the superkick is HBK’s move now) and gets a corner roll up for two. He puts Y2J in the corner and unleashes a barrage of chops until Y2J comes back with a sloppy sleeper drop. He goes for the Walls of Jericho, but Booker T rolls him up for two. The Book misses a scissors kick, tries an Alabama Slam, but gets rolled up....into the Walls of Jericho! “Booker T” chant as he looks at his HAND to try and figure out a way to the ropes! HA! Jericho pulls him back to the middle of the ring, but Goldust saves him with a bulldog. Christian goes up top with a tag title to attack Booker, but Goldust crotches him! Jericho throws Goldust out of the ring and charges Book, but T side steps him and he runs into Christian, hitting him in the crotch, sending him to the floor. Booker with a kick to Jericho...one...two....no. Booker heads to the top, but gets cut off by Jericho. He tosses Jericho down and comes back with a missile dropkick for a close two! Jericho gets a bulldog but misses the Lionsault.....and Booker does the SPINAROONIE~!! Booker gets the scissors kick but Christian has the ref distracted. Goldust knocks Christian down.....ref sees the cover...ONE....TWO.....NO! Nick Patrick gets Goldust out of the ring as Jericho uses the tag title on Booker and HITS the Lionsault! ONE....TWO.....NO! Jericho picks up the title belt in clear view of the ref and goes to nail Booker, but he ducks and gets the BOOK END~! ONE...TWO...THREE! Booker T & Goldust are the NEW Tag Team Champions!
My Opinion: Hot opener, although the first 5 minutes or so wasn’t necessary. The Dudleys and Regal/Storm were wasted and were eliminated within seconds of each other so they were really just filler and had no bearing on the end of the match at all. It’s good to see Booker T & Goldust finally win the tag straps. Jericho can finally move on to bigger and better things, possibly a feud with Scott Steiner now that he’s officially on Raw. **1/2.
Post match, The Coach interviews Booker T & Goldust....as Booker tells Goldust how he’s NOT the weak link and they just proved it.
We show footage from Heat as Tough Enough runner up and the new Smackdown backstage reporter/Velocity play by play man Josh Matthews asks Brock Lesnar if he’ll be in Angle’s corner. He pretty much blows him off with a vague answer.
Edge vs. A-Train
Match Background: On Smackdown two weeks ago, the then named Albert faced Rey Mysterio in a one on one match, which he won clean. After the match, he took out Mysterio by taking a steel chair to his knee and injuring the little luchador. Rey’s tag team partner, Edge, took it upon himself to extract a bit of revenge that night by attacking Albert in the backstage area. Prior to his 4-way Number One Contender’s match, Edge was attacked with a steel chair to the knee by Albert. Dubbed the “A-Train” by Paul Heyman this past week on Thursday, he teamed up with the Big Show to take on Edge and Kurt Angle in which he once again attacked Edge with a steel chair to the knee, setting up tonight’s match.
The Match: A-Train takes control from the start with his “power” offense as the crowd chants “Shave Your Back”. Edge gets a dropkick to come back, but da Train sends him to the outside. On the outside, Train runs into the steel post shoulder first and Edge wraps his arm around it twice before they head back in. Edge clips A-train from behind and then dropkicks his knee, sold badly by A-Train. Edge charges A-Train, but gets powerslammed for two. Train pummels him in the corner with punches and then catapults him between the ropes, driving them into Edge’s throat. He hits the chinlock as I realize how much more Matt Hardy deserved this spot. Edge jawbreakers out and chops his hairy chest, clotheslines him and gets the faceplant. Albert charges as Edge puts his boot up in a spot that looked kinda awkward. Another awkward spot as Edge comes off the 2nd rope with an Edge-O-Matic. MY EYES ARE BURNING as he uses Albert’s short tights to cover him and we get a glimpse of his jungly pubes! Even Tazz has to make a comment on that. Edge comes off the top, but A-Train gets a bicycle kick to Edge on the way down for a close two. The Train gets a chair but Edge dropkicks him in the gut before he can use it. Edge gets a crossbody off the top for two and goes for the Edgecution DDT, but Albert counters. BALDO BOMB by The Train, but it only gets two! Train and the ref argue over the chair, giving Edge the opportunity to get the spear in. A-Train gets a chair shot to Edge’s knee, causing the DQ. He goes to use it again, but Edge dropkicks him down....then starts WAILING on him with the chair, including a VICIOUS unprotected chairshot to the head!
My Opinion: One of Edge’s worst matches on PPV in months, but it was all due to the opponent. Albert, or A-Train, shouldn’t have had the spot to begin with and I don’t understand the need to protect Albert with a DQ ending. *1/4.
In the back, Heyman has to calm Big Show down due to Brock Lesnar’s comments. Show wants to go into Stephanie McMahon’s office and yell....but Heyman talks him out of it, saying that he’ll take care of it without using intimidation, which tends to backfire on them.
Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero
Match Background: Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero entered the WWF together as one half of the quartet known as the Radicalz with Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn. While the group splintered eventually, only Benoit and Guerrero achieved much success as singles competitors and remained friends. Upon Benoit’s return to the ring this past July after career threatening neck surgery, they teamed up to take on Bubba Ray Dudley and Spike Dudley at Vengeance in a tables match, which they lost. A few weeks later, Benoit defeated RVD for the now defunct Intercontinental Title and promptly jumped to Smackdown the next night with Eddie Guerrero. Eventually losing the IC title, Benoit began a feud with Kurt Angle...but was forced to team with him in the Smackdown Tag Title Tournament by order of Stephanie McMahon. Eddie Guerrero had gotten to the semi finals along with his nephew Chavo and tried to stir up dissention between Benoit and Angle to no avail as Benoit and Angle went on to defeat Los Guerreros and the tag straps at No Mercy. Los Guerreros ended up winning the tag titles in a 3 way match at Survivor Series and still hold those straps today. Due to the great matches they were having as well as the crowd reactions they were receiving, Edge, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero had a 4-way Number One Contenders two weeks ago on Smackdown to receive a shot at the WWE Title tonight at Armageddon. Benoit eliminated Eddie via submission, getting one step closer to the title he’s never won but Eddie got his revenge a few seconds later, nailing Benoit in the back of the head with his Tag Title belt and directly causing his elimination from the match. On Smackdown this past week, Benoit teamed up with Cruiserweight champion Billy Kidman, who had been having issues with Chavo Guerrero, to face Eddie and Chavo for the Tag Titles. Benoit was once again screwed out of a victory as Eddie defeated Kidman while he was making Chavo tap out to the Crippler Crossface.
The Match: Now THIS is the match that I’ve been looking forward to for this PPV. Benoit’s wearing his fruity purple tights from last year’s Ultimate Submission match...but its Benoit, so it’s cool. They lock up with Benoit going after Eddie’s arm and Eddie going after his leg. It’s the little things that make these guys so good...they’re fighting off everything unlike most wrestlers who just LET you do things to them. HARD chops in the corner by Eddie before he backs off and stares into the cold eyes of the Wolverine. They trade headlocks and chinlocks and make it look like they MATTER. Eddie knees out of it and gets a short arm scissors on Benoit. “Eddie sucks” chant by the crowd as Benoit tries fighting out of it but can’t. Benoit finally powers out....picking Guerrero up and falling backwards! Benoit gets VICIOUS chops in the corner, but Eddie comes back with one of his own and a head scissors as some DUMB fans start a “boring” chant. Awkward moment as Benoit charges Eddie on the ropes and gets backdropped, but gets caught up in the ropes and falls to the floor. Eddie comes off the top with a crossbody to the outside to an “Eddie” chant. Eddie starts working on the left knee of Benoit as Cole starts calling the little nuances of Benoit in an impressive touch. Benoit sells like a MAN as he’s screaming at every hold, making Guerrero looking like a GOD. Eddie gets a few elbows to the back of the head and charges at him, but Benoit gets his boot up...hitting the arm, which Eddie sells. Crossface attempt is rolled through by Eddie...but Benoit hooks him for a German suplex, which finally gets a pop out of the crowd. The crowd chants along as we reach FIVE rolling Germans! Thumb across the throat by Benoit....SNOT ROCKETS! He heads to the top for the Headbutt, but for some reason, Eddie starts getting up and Benoit jumps down and hits two more Germans to compensate. He goes for a powerbomb, but Eddie lands on his feet and hits FOUR rolling Germans of his own! Eddie goes up top....FROGSPLASH~! ONE...TWO....NO!! Benoit kicked out in the middle of the damn ring! Eddie charges at Benoit and both men fall through the ropes to the outside. As Eddie comes back into the ring, he distracts the ref long enough so Chavo can come down the aisle and use his tag title on Benoit....which he sells like he’s DEAD. Eddie goes back out of the ring to pick him up...and Benoit is just dead weight at this point. Eddie goes for the cover.....ONE.....TWO......NO! Benoit floats over a suplex attempt, but Eddie comes back and hooks on the El Paso Lasso! He gets to the ropes and when he gets up...Eddie BUMPS OFF OF BENOIT CHOPS! Powerbomb by Benoit! He heads to the top....but Chavo is being a pest. Benoit tosses him off, but Eddie gets a crotch him. Benoit shoves him off....DIVING HEADBUTT ¾’s across the ring! He goes for the cover, but Eddie rolls through it and hooks the El Paso Lasso again! Benoit fights out and takes Eddie down! He goes for the Crossface, but Eddie blocks it as best as he can....but he switches to the other side and its locked in! Eddie with the roll through...but he ends up in the middle of the ring and has NO CHOICE to Tap out!
My Opinion: It’s quite a statement when a match that’s ***1/2 is considered a disappointment. Chris Benoit puts me in AWE with his selling. The fans sat on their hands for the most part as they weren’t used to all of the mat work and psychology that was going on. Most of the mat work didn’t go anywhere though and the match never truly found its groove.
In the back, Stephanie says “Oh, I LOOVE that Chris Benoit” as we go into a backstage segment with her and Heyman. He tries to persuade her to do something about Brock Lesnar possibly being in Angle’s corner...but she interrupts him before he can and lays down the law. In a great sarcastic comment, he looks at her and says “I wanna thank you for your time, it’s always a pleasure doing business with you”. He comes back and says that if Brock interferes.....Big Show will break his neck.
We get a video package hyping the Dawn Marie/Torrie Wilson storyline. I find it funny how she calls Torrie a bitch while talking to Al and he does NOTHING.
Dawn Marie and Al Wilson come to the ring. Dawn claims that Torrie’s not in the building because she’s embarrassed. After a minute of stalling, we finally get the footage, which starts the way it did on Smackdown, with Torrie entering Dawn’s room. After the footage that was already shown on Smackdown, Dawn offers Torrie some champagne, which she downs VERY quickly. She offers her some strawberries which she eats begrudingly. Dawn zips down her leather jacket to reveal a red bikini top as Dawn is just dragging this whole thing out. She pulls Torrie’s skirt down to the ground to reveal her bikini bottoms as the crowd erupts. Dawn unveils her lingerie and tells Torrie that only a woman can make another woman feel good. I’m sorry ladies....I BEG TO DIFFER. She starts kissing her on the cheek and circling her mouth before they start KISSING....and then Dawn asks for the footage to be frozen, to the dismay of the crowd. I wonder if Kidman took exception to THAT seeing as how Torrie did more with Dawn in that segment than she ever has with Tajiri or Maven. Al takes the mic and with the charisma of a popsicle stick, demands that the footage be stopped. Dawn wants to the world....and has the cam roll more footage. Al DEMANDS that they stop it....as Torrie kisses Dawn some more as she seems to get into it. The crowd chants “we want more” as Al says that he’s “PUTTING HIS FOOT DOWN, DAMMIT!” WOW, this is bad. Dawn agrees...and Al gets the biggest “Asshole” chant since Vince McMahon! Dawn says that she made her point...and they leave.
Wow, that was a pointless segment that really doesn’t put anyone over. I was hoping this would lead to some blowoff, but instead, the wackiness continues.
When we come back, we got to Jerry Lawler and Ross...and Lawler is upset at Al Wilson....haha. I’m thankful we didn’t have them commentating during that segment.
Kane vs. Batista
Match Background: In the aftermatch of the Kane/HHH feud which featured the WORST ANGLE EVER, Kane was granted a match with HHH’s manager, Ric Flair on Raw. Before that match could take place, Flair’s new “client”, Batista, attacked Kane from behind and laid him out with a sit out powerbomb. They faced each other in a one on one match on Raw, which Batista won due to Flair interference. The following week, Batista defeated Kane’s sometime tag partner The Hurricane in a quick contest and decided to inflict more pain. Kane ran down for the save, setting up tonights match. Kane went as far as to get Batista DQ’ed in a match with RVD this past Monday....despite no provocation. Tonight, they’ll be facing each other again, one on one, with no stipulations....just like last time. TWO HOSSES COLLIDE!
The Match: Nice touch as the Raw and Smackdown logos go up in flame as Kane comes out. They lock up with Batista getting a clothesline but Kane gets a swinging neckbreaker. He knocks Batista out of the ring and you can just TELL by the crowd pops how little they care about Kane these days. Batista comes back in and they argue with the force of screams before one of them happens to get a bodyslam in. Batista hotshots Kane on the top rope, but ends up falling to the outside. Batista with a running start gets a nice double leg takedown for two. Kane comes back with some punches and a clothesline and the crowd just LOOKS bored. Batista throws him to the outside and Flair starts chopping away at the big man.....but Kane no sells and goes after him, allowing Batista to attack him from behind and clotheslining him to the floor. Kane back in gets a sidewalk slam on Batista....while audibly calling “top rope clothesline”. Well, what do you know...he goes to the top, but Batista moves and Kane misses the top rope clothesline. Batista goes for his powerbomb....but can’t hold Kane up as he says “SHIT!” and puts him down. Kane hits him with a low blow as Flair has the ref distracted...and finally gets the top rope clothesline. Kane signals for the chokeslam but Batista elbows out. He charges Batista and gets spinebustered (JR: Sidewalk Slam!) for two. Kane gets the chokeslam but Flair distracts the ref. Kane brings Flair in and he bumps for Kane better than Batista does, allowing Batista to get his sit out powerbomb for the win.
My Opinion: The match was slow, plodding and was actually boring. Batista over Kane clean again doesn’t do much for Batista anymore and he looked a bit sloppy in the ring as well. ½*
Promo for next months Royal Rumble. It looks like the American Revolution...decided IN THE RING!!! Kurt Angle beats up a couple of Brits.
In the back, Angle comes back into the present and goes looking for Brock Lesnar.
All of a sudden, John Cena and B2 come out to the ramp....to do an acapella freestyle rap. I’m feeling nice tonight so I’ll write it out:
Surprise, we right here before your eyes
All you women want me, I’m the envy of all your guys
Thats cuz you rely on flippin burgers and servin fries
Your girls with us, I’m bout to find her bra size
Its a new era, a new message that we’re sendin
It starts tonight, right here at Armageddon
No sweatin, I don’t care who I piss off
From Stephanie McMahon, straight over to Eric Bischoff
We never soft, we never leave a man standin
You either deal with me or with Bling Bling Buchanan (LINE OF THE RAP, let me tell you)
We the man, son, and we attackin this arrangment
The NEW centerpiece of World Wrestling Entertainment
And for all ya foes who think you can throw blows
ya’ll wind up like Marsha Brady saying OH MY NOSE
and i’m out....
Some of those lines were pretty good, but the delivery was slightly off. Better than anything that Rikishi did two weeks ago.
Victoria vs. Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline for the WWE Women’s Title
Match Background: Two months ago, when Victoria came into WWE, she claimed that Trish slept her way to the top, going to WWE without her. During a match for the Women’s title on Raw, Victoria clocked Trish over the head with a steel chair causing a DQ. They battled at last month’s No Mercy with Trish retaining her title. This sent her over the edge, attacking anyone who even reminded her of Trish, like Terri Runnels. The rematch for the Women’s Championship took place at Survivor Series in a Hardcore Rules match, which Victoria won clean. Victoria then aligned herself with Steven Richards and got into a confrontation with Jacqueline on Raw resulting in a loss in a non title match. Jacqueline then faced Steven Richards in a match on Raw which she lost. After the match, Victoria came in to attack Jackie again, but Trish Stratus ran down for the save. Jackie didn’t appreciate her help and this set up the three way match for tonight.
The Match: Victoria has some new pop song singing about how crazy she is and along with her new Titantron. It kinda reminds me of David McClane’s WOW fed. She comes charging down the ramp before she starts brawling with Jackie. Jackie throws her to the outside and Trish and Jackie start exchanging blows. Trish throws her over the ropes, but Jackie skins the cat and tries to take Trish over with a head scissors but Victoria kicks Jackie down. Victoria comes in to the ring with a slingshot legdrop on Trish for a broken up two count. Jackie hits Victoria with a hard kick and a nice leg sweep for a two count. She follows it up with a hard clothesline before Trish comes back in with a forearm to Jackie. Trish tries the Stratusfaction bulldog but Victoria and Jackie double belly to back her instead. Victoria places Trish on the top rope and superplexes her down. Jackie goes for the cover instead and her and Victoria battle over who gets to pin Trish. Trish then rolls up Jackie for a broken up two. Jackie gets a sloppy flying head scissors on Victoria as Trish makes her way back up. Jackie tosses Trish out and goes to work on Victoria, but Trish comes back in with a top rope cross body for two. Jackie hits Victoria with a HARD spin kick to the stomach, sending her to the outside as her and Trish duke it out. Jackie heads up top, but Trish gets her handstand rana as Victoria comes back into the ring. She hits Victoria with a few kicks before getting her “Chick kick”, which I feel almost embarrassed to type, before getting a neckbreaker on Jackie. Victoria knocks Trish down and heads up top for her moonsault. She’s shoved off the top by Jackie...but that’s where the ring steps are so Victoria has to control her fall. “Chick kick” by Trish on Jackie and the pin fall looks like Victoria missed her cue as they go slow...to give her enough time to break it up. Trish goes for another pin on Jackie near the ropes, but Victoria nails Trish with the title, KO’ing her. Vicky comes back into the ring, pins Jackie and retains her title. She makes sure to take Trish’s hat with her on the way out.
My Opinion: This match was one of the more faster paced matches of the night. Aside from two awkward spots, this was probably one of the best women’s matches in a while, although it was obvious that Trish and Jackie were carrying Victoria along. **1/4.
In the back, Angle is with Brock Lesnar....and a TV set to play a video. He keeps stressing how Brock was screwed by Heyman, reiterates his points from Smackdown and plays the tape from Survivor Series where he lost the title to the Big Show. Angle asks him point blank if he’ll help him...and Brock will only say “you won’t regret it”.
The Big Show w/Paul Heyman vs. Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship
Match Background: In the aforementioned 4-way Number One Contenders match on Smackdown, Kurt Angle defeated Edge to gain the right to wrestle for the WWE Title at Armaggedon. Immediately after the match, The Big Show chokeslammed Angle and left him laying. Kurt then sought out the help of the man that Big Show defeated at Survivor Series for the title, Brock Lesnar. He told Lesnar him that he’d get his suspension lifted, as well as give him the first crack at the title should he win it if he were to be in his corner tonight. The suspension was lifted, but whether or not he’ll be in Angle’s corner is still unknown. This is not the first time Show has faced Angle as their most notable matchup occurred at the Backlash 2000 pay per view as Kurt Angle suffered his first pinfall loss on PPV to The Big Show...doing a Hulk Hogan impression as “The Showster”
The Match: During Angle’s entrance, there was NO “You Suck” chant and if there was it was VERY small. Brock is nowhere to be seen during the introductions, although it’s almost a given he’ll be out there eventually. Angle goes for Show’s leg, but gets shoved off. Angle goes for a waistlock on Show...but Show takes him down and puts him in a side headlock. WHOA! “Lets Go Angle” chant by the crowd. That gets another WHOA from me. Angle head scissors out and gets shoulder tackled by Show. Angle puts him in a front face lock, but Show picks him up in a big firemans carry and throws him over the top. However, Angle landed RIGHT on Paul Heyman, knocking him down. Show is concerned about Heyman, giving Angle the opportunity to sneak up from behind and toss him over the top ala a Royal Rumble match. Angle tries to jump onto Show from the 2nd rope on the outside, but gets caught in midair and dropped over the guard rail. Show throws Angle back into the ring and gets on the apron, as Angle charges him but gets caught by the throat. Show tosses him over the top...and hiptosses him back in. Sidewalk slam by Show also gets two as Cole and Tazz put over Show’s newfound focus and his size. Show is just MANHANDLING Angle, giving him the Final Cut (Eye of the Hurricane) for two. “USA” chant by the fans to try and rile Angle up, a chant he hasn’t gotten since he was a face in 2001. Angle bites out of a Show bear hug to finally make a comeback. He gets on his back and puts on a sleeper, getting the big man down to one knee before he gets thrown off. Angle gets a Tornado DDT, but Show doesn’t land flush. Angle ducks a Show clothesline and hits a dropkick to the knee. He heads to the top and hits a missile dropkick to the Show! Is there ANYTHING he can’t do? Ok, maybe not the Shooting Star Legdrop. Angle with the AngleSault....catching a standing Show in the head with his feet for two. It looked as if Show was supposed to catch him though, but they covered nicely. Show comes back with one clothesline as he takes over THAT quickly. Alley Oop attempt is blocked but Show tries a powerslam. Angle floats over....SUPER ANGLE SLAM~!! ONE...TWO...NO! The Straps are down and he goes for the Anklelock! Show reverses it, grabbing Angle by the throat! He goes for the Chokeslam, but Angle reverses THAT into a roll up....into the ANKLELOCK~! Show keeps grabbing the ref so he can’t tap....so he gets out of the way and then Show powers Angle off...into the ref! Heyman, who’s finally up, tosses a chair into the ring, between both Angle and Show. Angle picks up the chair.....and Show punches it, but Angle NAILS him with it anyway! ONE....TWO.....NO! ANKLELOCK~! Show is tapping, but the ref is still out! All of a sudden....A-Train comes out and gives him his jumping backbreaker! What the hell? He leaves through the crowd....as Heyman seems not to know what was going on either! “We want Brock” chant by the crowd. Show gets the chokeslam on Angle...and LESNAR runs in and F5’s Big Show! He starts chasing Heyman as Angle climbs over......ONE....TWO.....THREE!!!
My Opinion: One of Show’s best matches in a LONG time as Angle played to Show’s strengths while getting the crowd behind him and working the big man/little man match well. Brock’s interference keeps Show looking better than he could have and it looks like we’ll finally get Brock/Angle soon. Interesting to see exactly where we go from here though as Angle was 100% a face tonight. **1/2.
We go to the World, where RVD got the night off. Trust me, whatever you’re thinking, it’s all been said in the past week. Anyway, JR asks RVD who he thinks will win and being a face, he picks HBK. He then throws in this gem: “No one enjoys watching HHH get his ass beat more....than R....V....D”. I can think of one other person....Y....2.....J.
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H w/ Ric Flair for the World Championship
Match Background: These men were the best of friends back in 97/98 as members of Degeneration X. When Eric Bischoff and Stephanie McMahon were in a bidding war over HHH’s services, it was HBK who persuaded HHH to join Raw. However, due to HBK’s refusal to be HHH’s manager, HHH turned on him and left him laying. They met in a highly emotional non sanctioned match at SummerSlam with Shawn Michaels getting the upset win over HHH in his first match in 4 years. After the match, however, HHH pummeled HBK in the back with a sledgehammer twice, leaving HBK injured and out of wrestling again for a few months. When Brock Lesnar jumped to Smackdown with the Undisputed title, Eric Bischoff then awarded the World Championship to HHH. After recovering from the sledgehammer attack, HBK attacked HHH at every opportunity he could before he stepped into the ring with him once again. He and HHH were the last two men in the Elimination Chamber at Survivor Series and HBK defeated HHH again, but this time for the World Championship. He almost relinquished the title the next night, but decided to defend it against number one contender Rob Van Dam a few weeks ago on Raw. That night, HHH came back from a throat injury (given to him accidentally by RVD) and attacked HBK & RVD before a decision was rendered. HHH then became number one contender and the rematch was on. This past week on Raw, Eric Bischoff and Chief Sean Morely decided to make the match tonight 2 out of 3 falls. The first fall is like their match at SummerSlam, a street fight. The second fall is a steel cage match and the third fall is a ladder match. The last time WWE had a “3 Stages of Hell” match, Triple H defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin in a match that was considered to be the Match of the Year for 2001. However, HBK technically has the advantage in this match as he’s defeated HHH in a street fight as well as the Elimination Chamber cage and was one of the first and most innovative men to be in a ladder match.
The Match: Triple H gets the biggest “entrance pop” of the night. HBK is wearing his old “Heartbreak Kid” tights tonight and none of that shit that he’s been wearing lately. Upon entering the ring, HBK taunts Flair, which upsets him to the point that he gets into a shoving match with Earl Hebner....and resulting in Flair’s ejection. If that was HBK’s intention, it worked. HBK starts with match with a flurry of punches before HHH throws him over the top. HBK skins the cat though and comes back in sends HHH to the outside. HHH goes for a trashcan under the ring but eats a baseball slide. HBK goes for a pescado but misses. HHH takes over briefly but HBK dives off the ring apron with a cross body onto HHH, who was holding a trashcan. HBK goes under the ring and sets up a table at ringside. HBK tries to suplex HHH through the table, but Triple H blocks it. Back in the ring, HBK comes off the top with the trashcan, but HHH gets his foot up and shoves the can back in HBK’s face. HBK gets a crossbody, but HHH rolls through. His leg is taped up by the way and he’s limping.....NOT the one that tore in 2001. HHH gets another table and sets it up next to the one HBK set up at ringside. HHH goes to suplex HBK through the tables from the ring out, but HBK manages to suplex him back in. HHH starts working HBK’s lower back with forearms and shoulders. He sets up an open chair in the ring and goes for a backbreaker, like he did in the first match, but HBK floats over and does it to HIM. HBK starts working Hunters back with hard irish whips and tossing him into the apron. Shawn gets a trashcan lid and hits Hunter right in the back and then goes for Sweet Chin Music. Of course, seeing as how it NEVER works when HBK sets up for it properly, HHH blocks it....and drives his knee into the mat. Hunter starts working the leg, driving his knee into the ring, into a trashcan and wrapping it around the ring post. He puts on a figure four....with the psychology being that Ric Flair taught him how to maximize its usage and after about a full minute of being in the hold, HBK finally turns it over. HHH gets up, grabs the trashcan lid and delivers a SUPER HARD shot with it to the head! They brawl up the ramp, where HHH pulls out the 2x4 wrapped in barbed wire out of SOMEWHERE. He goes to use it on HBK, but opts to go to the stage and set it on fire! He goes to use it, but Shawn kicks him...grabs the 2x4 and uses on Hunter! “Holy shit” chant as HHH is bleeding! They brawl back to the ring as Shawn grabs a chair from underneath the ring. He uses a trashcan lid on Hunter as HBK’s back is obviously bothering him. He sets up the open chair in the ring, but HHH gets a drop toe hold, driving his face into the chair! He follows it up with a DDT and goes for the Pedigree. HBK low blows out of it (its legal) and hits the flying forearm. Nip up by Michaels, but Hunter chops blocks his knee, nails the Pedigree and HHH wins the first fall!
HHH immediately leaves the ring, setting tables in the ring as well as throwing weapons inside before the cage is lowered. The cage match will be decided by pinfall or escaping the cage. As HBK gets up, HHH nails him in the head with a trash can and props a table up in the corner. HBK tries a dropkick, but gets catapulted into the cage. Now HBK is bleeding as well as Lawler actually tries to the cage over barbed wire as more dangerous. HHH gets another shot to HBK’s head with the trash can. HBK begins a small comeback, but gets shoved aside as HHH starts climbing the cage. HHH gets the to the top and almost over, but HBK starts pulling him back in the hair. Flair comes back down to ringside as both HBK and HHH brawl sitting on the top of the cage. HBK ends up dangling over the side like he did before he crashed through the announce table in the first Hell in the Cell match as HHH tells Flair to set up more tables. Well, I guess we know how Shawn ends up winning the 2nd fall....falling through the tables. HHH holds onto HBK as long as he can until Flair can stack up 4 tables, set up in 2 by 2 formation....but then both men end up back in the cage. HHH ends up falling in the ring and HBK comes off the top with a sloppy top rope elbow. Flair then shoves the ref aside and lets himself into the cage! What the hell is the point of the damn cage!? Upon entering, HBK just wails on him....while HHH makes his way to the door. Flair goes for a chairshot, but its blocked by Michaels, who then uses it on Hunter. He then uses the chair on Flair as well and tosses him into the cage a few times....and ends up bleeding worse than anyone officially in the match. When it comes to bleeding, NO ONE beats Flair in North America. HHH takes the opportunity to try a Pedigree but HBK back bodydrops him over and hits Sweet Chin Music on both Flair and Hunter. He sets up a table in the corner, lays HHH on it....and SPLASHES him off the TOP of the cage! ONE...TWO...THREE! HBK has tied it up. Well, I guess we know the finish of the ladder match too, seeing as how those tables at ringside are still intact.
The refs place the World Title on the hoop and lift it up as Flair is helped to the back. HBK puts the ladder in the ring, propping it up in the corner. He whips HHH into it and then knocks the ladder over onto The Game. HBK lays the ladder down...and suplexes HHH, but he misses the ladder entirely! HBK opens up the ladder and sets it up in the corner...missing the big splash from Wrestlemania 10. It looked like he caught Hunter with his feet as HHH was moving out of the way. HHH takes the opportunity to hit the Pedigree, although HBK took it by putting one knee down first....which actually hurts more. The crowd is distracted by a Rock impersonator as they chant Rocky and look over. HHH goes up the ladder to try and get the title but is thrown off by Michaels. He NAILS Sweet Chin Music on Hunter and makes his way to the top. As he touches the title....HHH tips the ladder over and HBK falls through the tables at ringside! He didn’t land through all 4, going through them horizontally in a weird looking spot. HHH then takes the opportunity to climb the ladder...and win his title back.
My Opinion: Well, the result was never doubted as HHH won the title back. This match was better than their SummerSlam match as a whole although the street fight in this match paled in comparison. Hopefully, this is the blowoff match because the only thing that beats this is Hell In the Cell and I doubt that HBK’s body can take a match like that. Both men worked hard although the pacing of the match was quite slow. Best match of their feud. ***1/4.
Overall: The crowd was dead for the majority of the event, but there wasn’t much reason to pop to begin with. The crowd didn’t get into Eddie/Benoit, Angle is more of a tweener than a full blown face and the heel won in the main event. Booker T & Goldust finally winning the tag titles is a positive note as well as Kurt Angle reaching the top of the Smackdown mountain, setting up the eventual Brock/Angle match. HHH/HBK was pretty much what everyone expected and aside from Angle/Show that there were no surprises. No Scott Steiner on the show, which I found odd seeing as how they should push they hell out of the fact that he’s on Raw to try and do SOMETHING for that struggling show. Now, its time to set up for the Royal Rumble which is nothing more than a set up for the big show in March.
‘Til next year.....yes, 2003,
The Dames, Damian Gonzalez
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