It's really strange, how I'm going backwards now. First I reviewed the '07 Rumble, then the '07 NYR, and now here I am watching Armageddon '06. It's like watching Pulp Fiction or something, only involving wrestlers. Still, I'm enjoying my trip down memory lane, watching shows that I missed (due to financial considerations) earlier this year. I'll have to keep an eye out for the '06 Survivor Series now. Now, though, it's time for the end of '06, where we had a PPV with everything: Champions teaming up, multiple title matches, and three gimmick battles, including an epic Ladder match that was a complete surprise to everyone watching. Let's get to it.
WWE Armageddon '06 |
Posted by the Accelerator, March 16th, 2007
- The box is pretty simplistic, as many of the '06 boxes seem to be. Honestly, it seems like all they did in '06, for the most part, is place a few wrestlers on the cover along with the name. This one at least has the added edition of flames, with Kane & the Undertaker side-by-side, with their rivals, MVP & Mr. Kennedy, behind them. Yep, that's right, the main event (Batista & Cena vs. King Booker & Finlay) was regulated to the back side, while the match the PPV is remembered for (the Ladder match) isn't even mentioned. Instead, it talks about London & Kendrick vs. Regal & Taylor, the scheduled match. Interesting.
- BTW, Armageddon always features my all-time favorite PPV theme. They jazzed it up a little bit for this one, but I still appreciate it. The extras on the DVD are actually just one extra: the first Inferno Match from '98 between Kane and the Undertaker. Cool edition to the DVD, I just wish they would have added a little bit more.
- "Armageddon: The Final Battle Between Good & Evil." Nice intro, as we first talk about the Inferno Match, followed by the Last Ride Match and the Cena/Batista vs. Booker/Finlay match. These are interspliced by famous, dark quotes. I like it. They really put over the historic significance of the first Inferno match in 7 years.
- Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield are your special announcers. Carlos Cabrera & Hugo Savinovich are the Spanish announcers. I really need to research how many PPVs Carlos & Hugo have done. They always seem to be around on these, and probably deserve a lot more credit.
- Montel Vontavious Porter comes out to the ring, which is already surrounded on 3 sides by burning flames. The announcers quickly talk about the risk to MVP's future career.
- A promo runs, showing MVP's signing with Smackdown, followed by his asking for more competition. Kane then comes into the mix. MVP manages to win a Street Fight and a Steel Cage Match, thanks in part to Mr. Kennedy's involvement. Teddy Long signed the Inferno Match, and told MVP that he would be fired if he didn't participate. That about sums up the feud.
Kane vs. MVP, Inferno Match:
JBL is heavily against MVP being in this match. MVP is wearing his usual full outfit, while Kane has no shirt for protection. That pretty much gives away the ending already. MVP tries to escape early on, but the flames keep him in. Kane smacks MVP around, but MVP manages a boot in the corner, then starts to climb the turnbuckle. The flames scare him, though, as they're randomly exploding higher, so MVP comes down, only to get smashed down by Kane. Backdrop by Kane lands, and Kane follows up with a Wheelbarrow maneuver, trying to force MVP to head towards the flames. MVP uses the corner to pull himself up, but Kane just throws him down, anyway. Kane puts MVP up on the turnbuckle to set up for a Superplex, but MVP fights free, sending Kane to the mat. The flames explode around him, nearly catching MVP's leg! He comes off the turnbuckle with a Crossbody, followed by multiple punches. MVP on the offensive, landing a running Boot to Kane in the corner. Another hit, but Kane sits back up. Exchange of punches, with MVP trying to take Kane down with hits to his leg. Kane just takes MVP down, then signals and lands the Chokeslam!
For some reason, Kane next removes a turnbuckle pad and sets it on fire! I guess it makes an easier weapon then just dragging MVP to the flames. He tries to use it to burn MVP, but MVP kicks Kane, then throws the pad to the outside. MVP lands a neckbreaker, then starts a series of ground dropkicks, trying to roll Kane into the fire. Kane dodges the last attempt, though, with MVP sliding his boots into the flame! MVP quickly crawls away before he catches on fire. Kane now back in control, giving MVP a Side Slam in the middle of the ring. The two go into the corner, with KAne asking MVP to hit him. MVP obliges, getting a smile out of the Big Red Machine. MVP tries to escape over the turnbuckle, and Kane shoves him off, sending MVP headfirst to the announce table. Kane follows him out with a Diving Clothesline, and we have everyone outside the ring. The two fight outside, with MVP trying to shove Kane in. Kane reverses, with MVP using his boot to keep out of the fire. Kane gives MVP a Big Boot of his own, then smiles at the fire. MVP tries to escape by crawling under the ring, but Kane denies him his escape. MVP then grabs MVP by the throat and leans MVP backwards, dropping him into the fire! MVP's burning! He runs around the ring and up the aisle, where alert WWE employees finally put the guy out. JBL & Cole talk about MVP's possible third-degree burns, although MVP's outfit looks unscathed.
Ace Thoughts: I actually thought this was a pretty good bout, for an Inferno Match. At the time, I had little respect for MVP. He earned some respect here, if only by being willing to set himself on fire for his profession. An Inferno Match only has so many spots you can do to make it interesting, and they did several good ones. I wouldn't call this a must-see match, but it's definitely a good way to start out.
- Teddy Long talks to the Divas about Santa Clause being in the building. Long also says that there's going to be a Lingerie contest later on. Great. I almost have to agree with JBL, though, considering that Long doesn't even seem concerned about the health of MVP. I guess he WAS being vindictive.
- We see MVP on fire. Repeatedly. JBL's commentary is definitely entertaining, though.
- Paul London & Brian Kendrick and William Regal & Dave Taylor come to the ring for the scheduled WWE Smackdown Tag-Team Championship Match. They're interrupted, though, by Teddy Long, who announces that he has some changes. He's in the Christmas spirit, so he makes tonight's bout a Ladder match, and he adds two more teams. All of the sudden, we've got a dream match that probably would have sold a lot more buys. Oh well, it's not like WWE needs more money.
Brian Kendrick & Paul London(c) vs. William Regal & David Taylor vs. M-N-M (Joey Mercury & Johnny Nitro) vs. the Hardy Boyz (Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy), WWE Smackdown Tag-Team Titles Four-Way Ladders Match:
Cole reminds us that London & Kendrick won the Smackdown Tag Titles from M-N-M earlier in the year. The Hardyz earn some bad karma by coming in under a ladder. Unfortunately, the bad luck's going to go to someone else, but we'll get to that later.
I hope I spelled that right. Maybe I should start writing this in Word instead of straight to the Web. Anyhow, as the Hardy chant rings out from the crowd, the bell rings, and everyone starts going at it. The heels are sent out, leaving the champs and the Hardyz in the ring. They fight it out, with Matt vs. Kendrick and Jeff vs. London. Kendrick gets double-teamed and is given the Washing Machine. The heels come back for a brawl, with Regal & Taylor taking control of London & Kendrick with suplexes. MNM goes for the ladders, but gets caught in the aisle by the Hardyz. Interestingly, Regal & Taylor don't want the ladders into the ring, but Matt eventually gets one in, smacking both heels. We're back to the brawl, and it's hard to call this one. Taylor gets caught with the Poetry In Motion from the Hardyz, followed by a Snapshot from MNM. The Hooliganz land a double superkick on Regal. Kendrick dropkicks Nitro out of the ring, but then gets smashed with a ladder shot from the Hardyz. London takes a ladder dropkick as well.
A ladder's set up beneath the gold, with Jeff stopped from making it by London. London then climbs himself, with Nitro trying to spring off the ropes to dropkick the ladder. London dodges the attempt by jumping off the ladder, with Nitro landing partially on the bottom of the ladder with his back! Ouch! Mercury uses the ladder as a weapon, then re-sets it and climbs quickly. The Hardyz & and the champs move the ladder, dropping Mercury onto Nitro on the outside. Matt goes to take out Taylor & Regal again, while London scores a running Dropkick on Jeff. Kendrick and Matt fight around the ladder, with Jeff recovering to join his brother. The two set up a ladder in the corner, then whip Kendrick into it, followed by London. They try for Poetry In Motion, but Jeff misses London, hitting the ladder. Kendrick & London take out Matt with a Double Suplex, then set up the ladder. London tries to climb the ladder, but gets stopped by Matt. Kendrick tries next, but takes a rough bump when Hardy pulls him off. Matt gives London a neckbreaker, and mostly everyone's down.
Matt re-sets the ladder, leaning it on the ropes, then tries to suplex London onto it. London counter with his Dropsault, knocking Matt onto the ladder. Kendrick climbs the turnbuckle as London lifts it up, and Kendrick does the Double Stomp!! Yowsas! MNM returns to take out London with a double-team Gutbuster. They set up two ladders in a see-saw-like formation (think one ladder laid sideways and open, with one ladder flat on top of it). They try for a Double-Superplex for Jeff, but Matt makes the save. Matt then holds MNM in position over the ladder, as Jeff leaps off the turnbuckle, sending the ladder smashing into both MNM's faces! In one case, literally, as blood spills out of Joey Mercury's crushed face. This was NOT planned, btw. The replay just makes it look worse. Meanwhile, Regal & Taylor have returned and are trying to dominate, setting up ladders on both sides of the corners. Kendrick gets thrown on a ladder by Taylor, then gets thrown back off. London tries to fight free of Regal, but he gets suplexed upside-down straight into the ladder!! Regal starts to climb the ladder, but he can't do it, as he can't handle the heights. Taylor takes over the climb, but Kendrick makes the stop. Regal gets rid of Kendrick, then gets met by Matt Hardy. Meanwhile, Mercury's on his way to the hospital.
Matt goes wild, landing Twists of Fate on both Regal and Taylor. Jeff, meanwhile, sets up a ladder outside to dive off of with a super Swanton Bomb, but Nitro dropkicks it, causing Jeff to fall hard on the ropes and fall outside. Nitro, fighting by himself now, uses a ladder to smash everyone in the ring. He uses a ladder off the turnbuckle to crush Regal! Nitro takes out Kendrick as he climbs the ladder, but London dropkicks London off the ladder! What a battle this is turning out to be! Kendrick and Matt climb the ladder, trying to win the gold. Matt throws off Kendrick, but London's there to stop him, climbing up the ladder himself. London goes for the belt, but gets Back-bodydropped off the ladder!! Matt falls as well, and they're both down. Jeff's back, making the climb, but Nitro's there to stop him. Hardy pulls out a spot from a few weeks before, landing the Sunset Powerbomb on Nitro from the ladder!! Two ladders are set up, with Matt trying to use both to climb. Regal & Taylor, though, split them up, sending Matt to the, er, mat. Matt fights both Regal & Taylor, with Taylor holding Matt in a Fireman's Carry so that Regal can give him a boot.
Regal & Taylor both attempt to scale the ladders, with Kendrick sending Taylor out, then going after Regal. Kendrick nearly gets the belts first, but Taylor pulls Kendrick down, then clotheslines him. London runs in and takes Taylor & himself out of the ring. Regal's left to go for the belt, but Kendrick races up the second ladder and gets the Sliced Bread #2!!!! Damn!!! I think Kendrick is dead!! London and Matt make the climb of the ladder, meeting at the top. Wrestlers are crawling all around. London wins the battle, punching Matt off the top of the ladder, then reaches out and pulls down the belts, staying the champions! Li'l Natch, on the outside, helps Kendrick up, so he's not dead after all. Brutal match.
Ace Thoughts: A truly incredible bout, and this one IS a Must-See. I saw moves there that I quite frankly had trouble believing. The damage to Mercury is still hard to look at, and the Sliced Bread #2 on Regal off the ladder almost ended tragically. I don't see how Kendrick got out of that one without a serious injury himself. Seriously great match, and you have to wonder what else was planned there at the end (which had to be changed, I'm sure, due to Mercury's injury). You don't get much better than this match, which is all the more reason to wonder why it wasn't advertised beforehand.
- Kristal is shown getting ready for the Lingerie match.
The Boogeyman vs. the Miz:
Talk about a difference in match types. At least this is put at a point where the audience is already dead, rather than a match that might mean something. The Miz talks beforehand about taking out the Boogeyman, with JBL actually speaking over him in annoyance. You don't hear that very often. The Miz's bravery goes out the window, as he runs away from Boogey's worm-eating mouth. The Miz comes out of the corner and takes multiple clotheslines, causing the Miz to high-tail it to the outside. As the Miz starts to come back in, the Boogeyman rushes forward, and the Miz tries to pull on a leg. No luck. Boogey brings the Miz in and beats on him, until he slowly misses a charge in the corner.
Obviously, JBL pretty much despises the Miz, even more than the Boogeyman. The Miz works over the shoulder, then gets a clothesline for a 2 count. The announcers talk about both MVP and Mercury having been taken to the hospital. An armbreaker gets 2 as well. But the Miz loses his advantage soon after, as the Boogeyman starts to beat on the Miz again. The Miz gets his legs up in the corner to block another charge, then tries to fly off the turnbuckle, but the Boogeyman catches him and gives him a Chokebomb for the 3 count, mercifully winning the match. Afterwards, the Miz gets some worms in his mouth, always a gross thing to see.
Ace Thoughts: It was Miz and the Boogeyman. That should tell you enough right there. Fast-forward buttons are recommended, although the commentary isn't that bad. Thanks, JBL, for your contributions to wrestling fans' sanity.
- Jillian and Layla show each other what they're wearing for the Lingerie Match. JBL is happy.
- Chavo Guerrero dedicates his match tonight to Vickie Guerrero, who is still wearing a neck-brace from the injury she suffered from Chris Benoit at Survivor Series. Vicki angrily talks about Benoit and the terrible year she'd had. I still have trouble with anything she's involved in. Not sure I'll ever get over it, to be honest. Her role as a heel after Eddie's death just rubs me the wrong way.
Chris Benoit(c) vs. Chavo Guerrero w/ Vickie Guerrero, WWE United States Heavyweight Title Match:
Things get started quickly, as Chavo sneak-attacks Benoit, backing him into a corner. A distraction from the ref allows Benoit to nail Chavo with a stiff chop, followed by some knees and a running elbow. A Snap Suplex from Benoit goes for an early 2 count. Benoit continues to dominate, giving Chavo a Back Suplex and dropping an elbow. We next have a Backdrop, with Benoit going for the Sharpshooter right afterwards, with Chavo escaping. Benoit gets a Slingshot to send Chavo out of the ring instead, near where Vickie is standing. JBL immediately claims that Benoit did that on purpose. Benoit smashes Chavo's back into the railing, then brings him back into the ring. The fans are cheering for Benoit, who is having no trouble so far in this one. Benoit gives Chavo the 3 Germans, then signals for the Flying Headbutt! But Chavo catches him, straddling Benoit on the turnbuckle. Chavo climbs up with him, but gets several headbutts to send him back to the mat. Chavo still comes right back, grabbing Benoit and giving him a Superplex!
Chavo, now in control, whips Benoit hard into the corner, then goes out of the ring and wraps Benoit around the post, bending him. Chavo adds a baseball slide dropkick to Benoit's back, as Vickie applauds. Chavo pulls the now-hurting Benoit out of the corner for a 2 count. Chavo then taunts Benoit, while pointing to Vickie. Benoit starts to come back with chops, but Chavo gives him a drop toe-hold, followed by a chinlock (not a Camel Clutch, as JBL says). Benoit struggles up and tries for a suplex, but Chavo reverses it in mid-air and lands on top, nearly getting the pin. Chavo chokes Benoit on the ropes and focuses on Benoit's back with more abuse. He drags Benoit out on the apron and chops him, then reenters the ring and lifts Benoit up for a hit. Benoit counters into the Crossface! Chavo's too close to the ropes, though, causing the break. Chavo back in charge, kicking at Benoit's ribs. Chavo lands multiple suplexes, then goads the crowd into some boos. Love him or hate him, Chavo knows how to rile up a crowd.
Chavo deliberately hangs Benoit in the Tree of Woe and boots him, as well as landing a dropkick to the chest. Chavo backs all the way up and tries another running dropkick, but nobody's home, as Chavo damages his groin with a slide into the post! Benoit struggles to get free of the ropes, but only manages to right himself before Chavo attacks his back. Benoit comes back with some chops, but Chavo rakes his eyes, then does the Eddie shuffle, before trying for the Three Amigos! Benoit reverses out of the second one, then gets his own Rolling Germans again, this time landing eight in a row! Vickie is distraught. Benoit recovers to make the pin, but Chavo gets his foot on the ropes. Benoit gets up and drags Chavo to the middle of the ring, trying for the Sharpshooter. Vickie comes in with the US belt, with Benoit telling her not to do it. He releases the Sharpshooter, as Vickie screams and backs away. Benoit then grabs Vickie's legs, as if considering the Sharpshooter on her! But Chavo comes over and rolls Benoit up, yanking on the tights! In fact, he yanks too hard, allowing Benoit to reverse the roll-up into the Sharpshooter! Chavo taps out, and Benoit retains!
Ace Thoughts: Another pretty good match, even with Vickie there. Yep, I said it. Chavo's always had some great chemistry with Benoit, and he proved it here. I liked the false ending, too, as everyone in the arena thought that Benoit was about to lose the title. While it might have been better long-term for Chavo to get the win, it was a nice moment nonetheless to see Benoit still holding the gold.
- Ashley is, yes, getting ready for the Lingerie match. Why are we getting all of these short reminders here, anyway? It's not like anyone's going to change the channel or anything, right? So what's the deal? Other than eye-candy, of course.
Gregory Helms(c) vs. Jimmy Wang Yang, WWE World Cruiserweight Title Match:
I hope this one's worthwhile. I have high expectations for any cruiserweight bouts. Lock-up, with Yang getting Helms into the corner. We have a shoving contest, with Helms angrily removing his bandana. We have a quick series of moves, with Yang winning out. The fans cheer the quickness, which is something I like to hear. Things heat up with Helms chopping Yang. Yang lands a back elbow, then goes for the Moonsault, with Helms dodging. Yang lands on his feet, then signals how close he was to Helms. Yang dodges a strike from Helms and gets a great-looking Headscissors, followed by a dropkick and a suplex for a 2 count. Yang applies a rest hold, bending Helms' arm, but Helms gets right up, so Yang lets go. Yang tries a charge into the corner, but Helms dodges, sending Yang out of the ring. Yang again lands on his feet, only to get dropkicked by Helms, who follows him outside and takes advantage with a Swinging Neckbreaker on the mats.
Back in the ring, the champ is fully in control, using the ropes to attack Yang's neck. He brings Yang in, dropping a leg and applying his own rest hold. Yang escapes, but gets floored by an elbow. Helms brags to the crowd, who barely reacts. That's NOT what I want to hear. Helms delivers a Backbreaker, using his knee, for another 2 count. Yang comes with a sharp chop, then backdrops a running Helms out of the ring. Yang then lands a Crossbody to the otuside on Helms, as both are down outside the ring. I think the crowd would be reacting more if this match had been before the Ladder Match. Back in the ring, Yang gets a 2 count on Helms. Yang, though, gets caught and is dropped neckfirst over the ropes. Helms Chokes Yang right in front of the ref, almost willing to be DQ'ed, if only to hold onto the belt. Helms uses some boring rest-holds. I know this because the crowd is chanting it. JBL is pissed at the fans.
Helms whips Yang into the corner, then runs after him, but Yang gets a high-impact clothesline, taking both men down. Yang punches away at Helms, then whips him into the ropes. Helms reverses, but Yang gets a flying Elbow. Yang then Backdrops the champ, and the redneck is fired up! A spinning kick lands, as well as a Missile Dropkick for a 2 count. Yang sends Helms into the corner and charges, but Helms dodges, as Yang flies into the post. Helms then takes Yang to the top rope and comes off with a Super-Swinging Neckbreaker! Both men are down again. Helms rises first and heads to the corner again, but he's caught on the way down by a Spinning Kick from Yang. Yang can only get a 2 count on the pin, though. Yang opts to charge into the corner yet again, and yet again he gets nailed. But Yang fights Helms off the corner, then goes for Yang Time (Corkscrew Moonsault), only to miss as Helms rolls away. Helms jacks up Yang's jaw and gets the pin, getting the victory and staying the champion. Helms celebrates by wiping his bloody mouth across his belt. We have another injury here tonight, I think.
Ace Thoughts: This could have been a very good match, but I think the crowd was a little burned out here, and, since Vince never really pushes the cruiserweights anyway, it's not surprising that there wasn't much here. If only someone could get behind the cruiserweights, they could be so damn good. Anyhow, an alright match, despite the crowd, especially early on. Things certainly slowed down near the end, but we saw some great moves, and that's all I could ask for.
- A promo runs for the Kennedy/Undertaker Last Ride match, complete with the Armageddon soundtrack. As I said, I'm a fan, man. We see all the psychological warfare dealt out by the Undertaker in this feud, including Kennedy being bathed in blood. Kennedy beat the Undertaker in a "First Blood" Match back at the Survivor Series, thanks to MVP hitting the Dead Man with a chair.
Mr. Ken Kennedy vs the Undertaker, Last Ride Match:
JBL pushes hard the fact that he's the only other wrestler to have participated in a Last Ride match. Dramatic music follows the hearse being brought out. Mr. Kennedy gets on his special mic before the match and gives a speech for the fans.
The Undertaker makes his usual endless entrance, although there are flames added to it. Not a bad effect. Kennedy watches from outside the ring. He looks a little nervous there. Kennedy uses his speed to stay away from the Dead Man at first, but he finally gets caught in a corner and gets thrown down. We go to the outside, with the Undertaker tossing Kennedy into the steel steps. To the announce table, where the Undertaker throws Kennedy on top without removing a single monitor. The Undertaker "uses the announce table like a weapon", according to Cole. The Undertaker also uses the apron, bouncing Kennedy's ribs off of it. We go back into the ring, and this is domination right now. The Dead Man takes Kennedy into the corner and chokes him, as the referee tries to tell the Undertaker what to do. The ref soon runs for it, staying away from the Undertaker. The Dead Man, distracted, charges Kennedy and misses, slamming kneefirst into the turnbuckles and toppling to the outside!
This gives Kennedy his first chance, as he beats on the Undertaker with punches on the outside. He tries to run off the apron, but the Dead Man catches him in midair and slams his back into the post. So much for that rally. If you can't tell, I'm a major Kennedy fan, so my fan-orientation is a little skewed in this one. The Undertaker carries Kennedy to the hearse, but Kennedy escapes and shoves the Undertaker into it instead. Kennedy fights to keep the Undertaker inside the hearse, but he can't close the door, as the Undertaker gets a boot to get free. Kennedy tries to run into the crowd, butdoesn't get far, as the Undertaker brings him back and drops Kennedy's head onto the steps again. The Dead Man boots Kennedy on the apron, then climbs up himself and does his brutal-looking Leg Drop. It puts Hogan's maneuver to shame. Kennedy keeps trying to get away, but it just earns him a rack on the lowest rope. The Undertaker then opts to put Kennedy onto the turnbuckle and joins him there, dropping Kennedy with a Superplex! After a few seconds, the Dead Man sits up, to the cheers of the crowd.
With things in hand, the Undertaker throws Kennedy to the outside and guides him towards the herse. But Kennedy escapes with a sleeper hold, putting the Undertaker down to the ground. Surprisingly, Kennedy gets the apparently-unconcious Undertaker into the herse, closes the door, then goes to drive the herse out of the arena (which is the requirement for a win). Kennedy goes for the driver's seat, but the Undertaker is there waiting! We head back to ringside, where Kennedy meets the steel steps yet again. The Undertaker goes back to the announce table and prepares it, but Kennedy meets him with several chair shots to the ribs of the Dead Man, finally looking strong. Kennedy continues to smash the Undertaker with chair shots, and the Dead Man keeps sitting up. The Undertaker pursues Kennedy pass the hearse and back to the stage, where the two men climb up onto the Armageddon structure!
The two men fight up on the top of the structure, with the Undertaker getting the goozle to attempt an incredible Chokeslam! But Kennedy gets free with a low blow, then throws the Undertaker off the structure!!! The crowd goes quiet, as do the announcers, although a small "Holy S**t" chant is in the background. Kennedy climbs down, and the quiet in the arena is deafening. I don't think anyone expected the Undertaker to take that bump. Although L'il Natch tries to keep Kennedy from doing anything, but Kennedy's intent on winning the match. He drags the Dead Man to the hearse, putting him in. Kennedy gets into the hearse's driver's seat, and it looks like it's over. But, suddenly, the Undertaker sits up and grabs Kennedy, pulling him into the back of the hearse!!!
Both men topple out of the back, with the Undertaker back in control with a series of punches on Kennedy. The Undertaker tries a massive chair shot, but Kennedy dodges it. JBL's begging Kennedy to run for it. The Undertaker next has a steel pipe, breaking the back window of the hearse. Finally, the Undertaker connects with Kennedy's skull with a chair shot, busting him open. Kennedy's in bad shape, after a boot to the face. The Undertaker places Kennedy on the roof of the hearse, then joins him up there. JBL is having flashbacks from his Last Ride Match, I think. The Undertaker gets the goozle, then Chokeslams Kennedy on the roof!! That had to hurt! The Undertaker then gives the signal and gives Kennedy a Tombstone Piledriver on the roof as well!! That about does it. The Undertaker nonchalantly throws Kennedy into the hearse, gets in, and drives it away, winning the match to the cheers of the crowd.
Ace Thoughts: This is a tough match to rate. On the one side, we had some good spots, a few good false finishes, and a great sit-up in the back of the hearse by the Undertaker. On the other hand, it was a slow match with a tired crowd. That's what I'm guessing, anyway, because they went DEAD quiet when the Undertaker took the plunge off the structure. The pop was a heck of a lot bigger with the sit-up in the hearse. I'll put it this way: if you haven't seen it, check it out for some of the spots, but if you have seen it, it's probably not worth seeing again.
- King Booker and Finlay chat in the back about neither double-crossing the other. Queen Sharmell is there as well to help with the unity. Finlay has the luck of the Irish and his little buddy, while King Booker just has Sharmell. Sharmell's not happy, as some of her old accent comes out.
- Santa Claus comes out to throw some candy canes to the kids in the crowd. I can't help but think about all the bloodshed and destruction tonight that these young kids are watching. Damn, I must be getting old to be thinking stuff like that. Santa Claus is just here to judge the Lingerie Contest. Yay. Kids, make a note: Santa loves booty.
Ashley (Massaro) vs. Jillian (Hall) vs. Kristal (Marshall) vs. Layla (El), Naughty Or Nice Lingerie Contest:
This isn't really even needing a play-by-play, now, is it? Basically, each woman takes off their robes. Picture whatever you want here. The crowd's actually pretty quiet here. I wish they would have at least diversified the music for each lady, as the music gets pretty stale after the third or fourth time. JBL correctly says that Santa sucks. Ashley and Layla seem to split the cheers, but Santa says that everyone wins. Santa then takes off his outfit, and it's Big Dick Johnson. Dear god, that really isn't necessary. The crowd is disgusted, as is Kristal, who runs from the ring. Layla and the others dance with him, and I'm left with the feeling that these were a lot of wasted minutes. This doesn't even get an Ace Thoughts section. It's just not worth it.
- We get a video about our main event battle. Batista's World Title win is shown, followed by Batista winning a Triple Threat match over King Booker and Finlay. Teddy Long sets up a tag-team match, pitting King Booker & Finlay against Batista and a partner of his choosing. Batista selects WWE Champion John Cena. "Two champions in the same ring! It's never been done before!" Wait, didn't we have a Triple Threat match at Cyber Sunday between the WWE, World, and ECW Champions? Or is it just the first time that two of the champs are able to co-exist? Hmph. Doesn't seem that special to me.
John Cena & Batista vs. King Booker & Finlay:
I used to love that bit, but once she's said it about half a dozen times, I start to wear down. All four make their entrances, with Batista coming out after Cena. I'm assuming that's because this is a Smackdown event. Who here thinks that Booker/Finlay have a chance? Anyone? Anyone? Hmmm. Somehow, I don't think it's a good thing to have a completely predictable main event. You'd think this was Raw, not Smackdown. The wrestlers start off nose-to-nose, with shoving all around. King Booker seems to challenge Batista, but Cena starts instead. The Animal's scared! Booker and Cena lock up, with Booker getting Cena in the corner. Booker tries the cheap shot and misses, with Cena getting an arm drag. The two fight to the other corner, with Cena getting some punches and another arm drag. He points to Batista, who has no problems tagging in to face the King. Booker, though, decides to tag in Finlay to fight instead.
We see some slow wrestling, as Batista applies a headlock, followed by a few shoulder hits. Finlay tries to get some momentum by coming off the turnbuckle, but Batista catches him. Batista decides just to put Finlay down, though, and slaps him across the face. Feel the disrespect! Finlay, ticked off, tries a kick, but Batista catches it, gets the other foot, then slingshots Finlay off the ropes and back into Batista's knees! Ok, that was a different move, I'll give him that. Batista uses a variation of Samoa Joe's Musclebuster for a 2 count, with Booker making the save. Booker then gets the tag, going against the champ. Uh, the Smackdown Champ, that is. Booker starts off strong with chopes and hits, but can't arm drag Batista, who clotheslines him down for a 2 count. Batista tags in Cena, who continues to attack Booker with punches. Booker goes for the eyes, then kicks away at Cena. After a pin attempt, Booker gets Cena in the corner and chops away, then whips Cena out. Cena reverses it and catches Booker coming out with a bulldog, followed by the Protobomb. Wait, are we already to the finish?
Cena lands the Five Knuckle Shuffle, then tries for the FU, but Booker gets free. It only lasts a second, as Cena takes Booker down and applies the STFU! Finlay quickly breaks it up, and as Finlay and Batista go at it, Booker rolls to the outside and gets handed his royal sceptor by Sharmell. As Cena leans out to come after him, Booker lets him have it, finally letting the heels get the advantage after almost losing cleanly. A hurting Cena tastes a kick from Booker and nearly gets pinned. Finlay gets tagged in and gets Cena on the mat, applying a chinlock. The fans are chanting for Cena. Cena breaks free of the submission hold, but gets clotheslined down by Finlay. However, Cena answers from the mat with a slow roll-up, with Finlay barely getting free. Finlay cheap-shots Batista, causing the Animal to distract the referee. Finlay calls out the Little Bastard, who goes to kick Cena, but only succeeds in kicking himself in the head! Hey, not too many guys can claim to be able to do that. Props to Little Bastard, who gets sent back out of the ring by Finlay.
Finlay keeps Cena from tagging in his partner, dragging Cena back to his corner. Booker tags in and puts on a wristlock, with Cena soon getting back to his feet to power out of it. Submission holds don't work on Cena. Booker knees Cena in the gut, then goes for a slam, but Cena gets free and lands a DDT. Cena crawls and makes the hot tag to Batista, who immediately goes after Finlay, giving him a Powerslam. Batista dishes out Spears to both heels, and he is easily taking out both of them. Finlay gets a boot in the corner to slow Batista down, then tries to hold the Animal for the King. But Booker misses, kicking Finlay instead! Batista slams down Booker, with Finlay coming back to make the save. Cena takes out Finlay with a Belly-to-Belly, and the two head to the outside, where he clotheslines Cena. Little Bastard's out again. Finlay hits Batista in the leg with a steel chair (he really just hit the ropes, but oh well). Batista responds by booting the chair into Finlay's face, and we have Batista and Booker left. The chair shot means nothing, as Batista easily gives Booker a Spinebuster and the Batista Bomb for the victory.
Ace Thoughts: Wow. That was... well, it was a match. It was probably a match for Smackdown, I would think, not a PPV, but that's just me. I also don't think it helped anyone. King Booker and Finlay both looked a lot weaker, and wouldn't challenge for the belt after this. Cena looked weak by being the man beat on for a while, although, truthfully, his Ricky Morton impression didn't last too long. The crowd was apathetic, as they didn't really seem to get too excited in this one, especially with the ending. They barely even cheered the Batista Bomb. Of course, fatigue is part of that, as there were so many gimmick matches during the night, this simple tag-team match to end things seemed pretty bland. We needed a Steel Cage, methinks. Or, even better, we needed fewer gimmicks. All-in-all, there's nothing particularly wrong with this PPV (ok, there's Big Dick Johnson, but that's a rant for another day), but there's not too much redeeming to it, either, other than the epic Ladder match. Oh, and the theme music. Let's not forget that.