Welcome one and all to Armageddon! The night the world comes to an end. Perhaps Vladimir the pseudo-Commie really does have nuclear arms! Or maybe Sheik Abdul Bashir is planning on using his WMD (a DDT, no less!) in a shock attack! Or maybe Mark Henry will have a 4-star match and hell will my Gawd freeze over.
But worry not, because although this night signifies the world ending, Judgment Day is some time away thanks to WWE’s protracted PPV calendar. Yay!
Anyway, I’m sort of feeling ok going into this since I have no real expectations. I feel that most of the matches ought to be easy to call, at least in terms of who’ll win, but it is a couple of people’s performances away from being terrible or superb. Let’s prey for the latter.
Haha, thats hilarious. JR refers to tonight being about battles of "Perceived" good and evil. I love that. We can't say "good and evil", it's 'perceived'. It's like if you read about wrestling on Wikipedia and it explains everything to you in stupid depth and tells you how things are pre-conceived and NOT REAL. I wonder what Santa's wikipedia page is like. Maybe I'll go edit it.
"Santa Claus is a jolly fat man (not Brother Love) who wears red suits and symbolises Christmas. His image and clothing is often (falsely) rumoured to have been inspired by a Coca-Cola advert.
He has a brother named Xanta Claus who lives at the South Pole. Xanta bears a striking resemblance to Balls Mahoney. He will bring presents of oranges and graffiti-ed steel chairs in December, and knows if you have been good or (Axl) Rotten. "
Oh right, there's a show on. I forgot. Koslov and Hardy are on first. Koslov is dominating with what Striker calls Sambo offence.
Todd tells us that the greatest US v Soviet Union battle ever was some 1980 Hockey game. Yeah, screw the Cold War, Hockey is far more important.
They say Vince tells the announcers what to say - do you think Vince knows the Cold War is over? I'm guessing he saw Nicolai Volkoff do an indy show and still thinks it going on. Hang on, what am I saying? That would never happen. Vince knows nothing of indy feds. Stupid of me.
Formula heel domination and babyface fire match, which ends with Koslov winning comfortably. Have that ECW - the best you have is beaten by someone who has set foot in ECW.
This would be a great time for an advert for some old DVDs of stuff, because the match was straight out of like 1990. Koslov would have been over big-style 15-20 years ago.
Trouble is, it's 2008, and it doesn't really work. There was nothing particularly wrong with this, but nothing that intersting either.
Finlay tells Hornswoggle to stay backstage for his Belfast Brawl later tonight. Is that safe? Fit, have you checked to see where Mike Knox is? He hates people under 5ft9. He will slaughter l'il Horny. Wait, why am giving advice AGAINST that?? Mike Knox might become a babyface based on that!
LILIAN DOESN'T READ WWE.COM!!! She announced Punk as a tag team champion, despite the fact that he and Kofi lost to Miz and Morrison last night.
Both Kofi and Rey got decent cheers, with maybe Rey's being slightly louder. This should be good.
If you want to contribute, by the way, to this blog, you can. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any observations, jokes, questions or whatever, I'd love to hear from you.
Decent match thus far, although I'm wishing it was a Smackdown match, since Cole and King are ruining it. Rey flew through the air and got very high on a moonsault - but missed. King called it perfect. Punk they caught Rey with a gorgeous fast powerslam - Cole not only called it a scoop slam, but King repeated it, then Cole said it again!
I really enjoyed that. As an early card match it wasn't quite as good as Matt Hardy and Evan Bourne, but still very decent.
Punk caught Rey a beauty with his GTS. Rey went really high on it and took a knee genuinely right in the schnozz.
Good God, what is it about Regal? He wrestled about 400 matches straight where his nose ended up bleeding like a tap/fawcett (delete depending on what country you come from) and now simply standing outside the ring he causes Rey to spill the claret.
Cole gives a list of about a dozen wrestlers including Hart, Michaels, Rock, Austin, Edge, Triple H and others who won the IC strap. Yeah, but they all won it BEFORE becoming World champion, didn't they. Punk not getting the slow burn has affected him longer term. I look forward to Punk v Regal though.
A rundown of the JBL/HBK programme so far (well, the last third of it, but never mind) before JBL's music hits and out comes the limo. Damn, I was hoping that Michaels might have been the chauffeur. That would have been awesome.
Anyway, this doens't appear to be a match, but a JBL promo. I'd moan about promos on PPV, but in the past they have been some of the better segments.
Terrific promo from HBK. I mean, it belonged on Raw, but it was terrific. He even coerced the audience into a "You sold out" chant which was impressive. JBL as the menacing figure was also very good, and now we have just two things to wait on. One is what exactly Shawn's job is (is he going to shill Mamajuana like he does DX gear?) and the other is when he will get bored and kick JBL's million dollar teeth down his throat.
Hang on, what about Triple H here? Can he not lend his buddy a couple of bucks? He is The Game, isn't he? The cerebral assassin, the smartest man in wrestling. He must have some money lying around.
Someone (maybe with a poorly arm) recently pointed out to me about Cody Rhodes and Manu. They may be the two most lisping wrestlers of all time, and they have found each other. But get this, what's their stable name?
Priceless - a word with two 's' sounds. Prithleth? You bethcta! (/Yosemite Sam)
Just had a thought "The Legathy" isn't much better, is it? Finlay and Henry isn't that bad, by the way......
Hornswoggle out to interfere but gets knocked down to the floor. When Tony Atlas goes to see him, though, he has gone under the ring. Leave him alone Tony! That's where he lives with the Bella Twins! It's very adequately heated as well, handy at this time of year when it is very cold? How do I know it is heated? Think about when Edge went through the ring. Flames! Very toasty.
Finlay wins, and you know why? Henry used a bin to try to squash the Ulsterman and Grisham called it a Trash Compactor. That's Duke Droese's move! He didn't win a match for years. If you are going to steal things, Mark, steal the Worm! That dance and weak forearm was DEVESTATING!
That was the strangest four minutes of TV ever. Did I see a a bunch of divas, Charlie Haas as Santa, Boogieman in a gift box, Santino screaming, Goldust under mistletoe, Boogie and Goldie starting a song off, Jesse and Festus turning up, followed by IRS and Mike Chioda? You saw it too? Good. But where was Ron Simmons? Damn!
Then, up pops Mr Kennedy pops up to tell us to buy his DVD. I would totally have gone to the cinema to see it but......for some reason......anyway, Mr Ken Kennedy Kennedy (Hang on, Mr KKK? That's not so good) urges everyone to drink responsibly and to not do drugs. Ken f'n Kennedy is speaking out against illegal substances. I'm hoping that was deliberate irony.
What Ken meant to say was to not do drugs, but if you do, like about it in several interviews and go on Nancy (Dis)Grace to defend the company's honour.
Then get busted for being a liar.
Batista Orton next.
Orton emerges with Cody and Manu. So are they now an official group. How the hell will they explain this further when DiBiase returns?
Plenty into the match, and we get to see what Ric Flair REALLY taught Batista. He taught Dave exactly how to climb to the top rope and do nothing until someone else comes to nail you with offence. Woooooooo!
Let's start with some positives. Batista wins, which means although I got the prediction in my mind I got a surprise finish at least. The finish was VERY creative, with a nice couple of transitions to get Orton in the position he needed to be for Batista to finish him off. Finally, the pacing of the match was excellent, as the brawl picked up insensity nicely to develop uncertainty of just who the victor would be.
Negatives? Well it wasn't gripping. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, and it could have been a lot worse, but it never really engaged me until near the end.
I don't see why Orton lost. To me he is the more marketable wrestler moving forward, and I have seen more than enough of Batista challenging for titles to last me several lifetimes. Does this mean it's Batista v Cena at the Rumble?
Standard Divas filler next to settle the crowd before the double main. Do you want me to comment on the wrestling or the outfits. Both are barely there.
Since the commentators are just having a chat and occasionally being vaguely offensive ("lets all talk about Jews for a bit" seemed to be their instructions), with Matt Striker taking every opportunity for a little alliterations, I'll got to the mailbag. Imran writes:
Great commentary again
How on EARTH Batista has been allowed to pin Cena AND Orton cleanly and Jericho Semi-cleanly in the same year I will never know... I mean its of course its down to the fact that some reason he's very popular with the fans (though not in Manchester in November!) and Vince/HHH like him... but really, I don't think there's been anyone of recent times who has had a higher in-balance of wrestling ability with position on the card/in the company.... He's slow, sloppy and has such a limited move-set that it makes most of his match's dull... and those that aren't usually involve people who are quality wrestlers... such as Jericho and Orton.
Take your point, Imran, but you spelled out your own answer. His response is generally good, and he has been marketed well as a babyface, so he stays where he is. I don't care greatly for him, but as long as Vince does (and Trips does), then we get him more often. In fact I think you'll see Batista v Triple H before very long, with one of them being a heel.
The diva nonsense ends with Michelle doing a weird looking Styles Clash after tagging herself in. Tazz makes a great call comparing Maria's boots to John Nord (Beserker).
Impromptu Khali Kiss-cam post match, with Michelle storming off. (Yeah, that'll make her a huge heel, not kissing the big guy) Mae Young eventually comes out to lock lips with the big lug, with me partly expecting Trish Stratus when Ranjin was talking about a back-up plan.
That took up a lot of time. I hope we don't get a chopped down couple of title matches now.
The Narcissist Chris Jericho? Is that what Cole called him? So Mark Henry is Duke The Dumpster Droese, Maria is John Nord and now Jericho is Lex Luger? Hmm, doesn't bode well. He's bound to choke in this title match then.
I'm interested in this match going on second to last. Don't get me wrong, I saw the Triple Threat at the real main event, but they'll typically end with a babyface win, or maybe a shocking conclusion. The two are not mututally exclusive.
Right, there are two ways of looking at this.
One is from the point of view of someone like me. I watch this and simply don't buy most of it because in my heart and mind I know Cena is going to win. Sometimes I hate knowing stuff or even understanding too much because common sense told me Cena was going over.
The other thing to do is place yourself in the position of the Cena (I don't like this word but I'm going to use it) marks who, possibly, are drawn in by the man alone as opposed to the product generally. They would likely have really enjoyed that match because Jericho is a credible opponent who looked like he might usurp the Champ. Then, when Cena pulled it out, they would have gone crazy. I think. Thing is, it's at times like this I feel for the WWE creative, because although I know my wrestling I am not their typical fan or their prime target audience.
I thought this match was the same as basically all the PPV so far. Passable, could have been better, could have been worse. The finishing sequence was excellent, and having Jericho kick out of an FU (albeit after a pause) was interesting. This was better than Survivor Series in my opinion, and certainly made Jericho retain some strength coming out of this one.
Right, lets get one grievance out of the way. There was no need for Koslov in that match. They could have done the match without having he and Matt turn up, frankly.
Aside from that, the main event DELIVERED as far as I am concerned. I wasn't crazy about the proliferation of standard triple threat spots with one man selling minor moves forever. However, from the moment they spilled outside for the protracted sequence of events leading to Edge spearing Hardy through a table this match lit up. A whole bunch of false finishes set a great pace, and Hardy was set to capitalise on situations plenty of times. I bought each one, so after about three I thought he was done.
When I noticed that Trips had Pedigreed Edge in the corner my mind changed, but they had me by then. That was classic storytelling, with one annoying blip. Jeff has earned the belt, and earned the right to do it without Koslov costing Triple H. Hope you enjoyed the show and the live blog. I thought it was a decent to good PPV. No matches stunk the place out, but then only a couple went above average. I really enjoyed Punk v Mysterio, and felt that the triple threat was nearly masterful. General thumbs up.
December 15 2008.
WWE Superstar Jeff Hardy has failed a third Wellness Policy Test and has had his contract with WWE terminated. We wish Jeff well will his future endeav............
Stop it, Rob -enjoy the moment!!
Monday, 15 December 2008