TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE Armageddon 2006

wwearmageddon06

WWE: Armageddon
December 17, 2006
Richmond, VA
Richmond Coliseum

The current Smackdown champions are as follows:
World Heavyweight Champion: Batista (11/26/2006)
WWE United States Champion: Chris Benoit (10/13/2006)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Paul London & Brian Kendrick (5/21/2006)
WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Gregory Helms (1/29/2006)

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

  • Inferno Match: Kane vs. MVP

Since MVP debuted two months ago, he’s started a beef with Kane and beat him in both a street fight and a cage match – so now we’re going to see if he can handle Kane in his own specialty match which I don’t think he’s ever actually won. Considering MVP is wearing a full body suit, this would be Kane’s best chance of winning. I mean, they aren’t actually going to set some shirtless guy on fire in WWE, folks. This isn’t ECW. It’s not even WWE’s ECW. Cole says the flames will be crazier than ever because they will exceed eight feet high and reach temperature levels of 500 degrees. Like in other inferno matches, the flames climb higher when there’s a bump taken on the mat. JBL’s advice to win this match? Don’t get burnt. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer. MVP blocks a superplex and hits Kane with a flying body press to turn the tide. He hits a running boot in the corner. Kane comes back with a big boot of his own and CHOKESLAMS MVP. He removes a turnbuckle pad and lights it on fire. Ruh roh. MVP punches him in the dick and gets rid of the flaming turnbuckle pad. He tries kicking Kane into the flames, but misses the fatal blow and avoids getting burnt himself. Here comes the Kane Komeback. When MVP has enough, he climbs to the top turnbuckle and gets shoved off onto the announce table. Kane wipes him out with a flying clothesline to the floor. Now time to light somebody on fire. They go back and forth struggling to set the other on fire, but Kane’s power wins out as he backs MVP into the flames and sets his back on fire for the win. (8:15) MVP does the “running around while on fire” stunt man bit until he falls in the aisleway where he’s sprayed with fire extinguishers by the ring crew. Some EMT guys stretcher him out and take him to the hospital. Naturally just a spectacle match. Not going to be a wrestling masterpiece and doesn’t try to be. *½

Teddy Long tells the ladies (Layla, Ashley, Kristal and Jillian) that they’re going to be in a “Naughty or Nice” lingerie contest. They’re so excited to be time filler! But JBL doesn’t care about that because he is PISSED that a man just got burned on WWE television!

  • Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Paul London & Brian Kendrick (c) vs. MNM vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. William Regal & Dave Taylor

Just a couple months back, this wouldn’t have even seemed possible, but here we are. Originally a WWE tag titles match between the champs and Regal & Taylor, Teddy Long comes out and randomly makes this a ladder match with MNM and the Hardy Boyz added to the mix. The good guys dump out the heels so they can slug it out. The Hardys win out and give Kendrick the wheelbarrow suplex. MNM take Matt & Jeff to the floor to beat them up while Regal & Taylor suplex around the Hooligans. The Hardy Boyz retrieve the ladders and try to bring them in the ring, but Regal and Taylor don’t want anything to do with ladders. Once some ladders get in the ring, Taylor receives Poetry in Motion followed by the SNAPSHOT. Regal eats STEREO SUPERKICKS from the champs and then a flying elbow from Matt. Kendrick gets whipped HARD into a ladder by the Hardy Boyz. London tries to save the day with an enziguri to Matt, but then Jeff runs and dropkicks him in the face. However, London stops Jeff from climbing the ladder while Kendrick plays defense on the mat. London sees Nitro trying to springboard into him, but jumps off the ladder and the ladder falls over. Not sure the ladder was supposed to tip over, but luckily Nitro didn’t land on the ladder. In comes Mercury, he uses the ladder as a weapon on everybody. After he’s done climbing, everybody tips it over so that he falls on top of Nitro down on the floor. The Hardyz control the ring now as they keep Regal and Taylor on the floor. They whip the tag champs in a ladder leaned up in the corner, but Jeff misses Poetry in Motion. Nasty! With Jeff hurting, Matt has to play defense keeping both Kendrick and London off the ladder. London dropkicks Matt onto a ladder stuck in between the ropes. With Matt laying on the ladder, London picks up one end as Kendrick comes flying off the top for a double stomp. Sweet. Now it’s MNM’s turn to control things. They create the seesaw spot where Jeff flies on the one end as the other end comes flying up and hits MNM in the face. Good grief. Blood is gushing out of his face and going everywhere. Mercury breaks his nose and his orbital bone – not to mention needing more than thirty stitches. Nitro is selling, but seems fine and dandy. Some medics come down and take Mercury back to the locker room to get him some help.

mercury_arma06

Regal & Taylor get some time to shine getting some heat on the Hooligans. London receives a nasty half nelson onto a ladder. When Regal and Taylor take turns climbing the ladder, they both realize they are too afraid of heights to win this match and are doomed to fail. The Hardy Boyz beat them up. Matt gives them both TWISTS OF FATE. Meanwhile as Jeff tries to SWANTON BOMB them from a ladder set up on the floor, Nitro shoots through the ropes and dropkicks the ladder out from under him – causing Jeff to crash and burn on the apron before collapsing in Mercury’s blood. Crazy! Nitro takes out the remaining five guys using the ladder and tries to retrieve the belts, but London stops him with a springboard dropkick. Matt stops Kendrick from climbing the ladder and backdrops London from the top of the ladder, but the ladder falls over preventing him from winning. Nitro meets Jeff on the ladder to take a sunset flip powerbomb. That’ll tear your knee out. Regal and Taylor make one last ditch effort to win the titles. After that brief struggle, Kendrick halfway takes Regal off the ladder with a SLICED BREAD #2. London climbs the ladder, knocks Matt down, reaches the belts, and pulls them down just as Taylor and Nitro were getting close. (20:17) Well that seesaw spot was about the dumbest thing imaginable, but otherwise this was really fun. Essentially that spot did exactly what it would do if it happened to you in real life. I think of the Hardy Boyz like wild animals. You can’t really get mad at them for being exactly who they are, but there should be someone around to keep them on a leash and let them know that some ideas are BAD ideas. And then there are those who will blame Joey Mercury for not putting his hands up or something, but it’s – WHAT DO YOU DO HERE? Nitro has his hands on his knees when this happens, so I don’t think that’s the answer. I don’t know. I did like that the completely unfair treatment of William Regal and Dave Taylor should grant them a future title shot though considering how out of their element they are in this match. Unfortunately, it will happen on an episode of Smackdown and not on a PPV, but whatever. For 2006 though, I consider this as a low-end MOTYC for WWE. ****

  • The Boogeyman vs. The Miz

Time to humble the Miz. He’s got an undefeated streak going and Boogeyman has been sent here to end it. Boogeyman catches Miz coming off the top and hits him with the BOOGEYBOMB for the win. (2:51) Miz gets wormed afterwards. Cole – “They look like spaghetti, but they’re actual earthworms!” Good grief. JBL calls Miz a jackass and tells him to leave his company. ½*

  • WWE U.S. Championship: Chris Benoit (c) vs. Chavo Guerrero (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Vickie got shoved off the apron unintentionally by Benoit last month at Survivor Series and she’s been wearing a neck brace ever since. This whole Chavo/Vickie relationship is creepy – like “Hamlet” creepy. Chavo BUM RUSHES THE SHOW, but pays for it with chops and suplexes. Benoit can’t get the Sharpshooter on and settles for a catapult to the floor. Vickie has to rush to get out of the way. Benoit shoves Chavo back into the barricade and brings him back inside for a Hat Trick of Germans. Chavo stops the Flying Headbutt and struggles for a superplex, but finally brings Benoit down. He whips Benoit hard into the corner and then bends his body around the ringpost. Chavo makes matters worse for Benoit by running in with a baseball slide to the back. He stays on the back and sits down on a chinlock. Benoit tries to escape with a back suplex, but Chavo falls on top of him for two. Chavo continues to put the boots to him and chokes him in the ropes. He avoids a random Crippler Crossface and uppercuts the back of Benoit’s head before delivering TWO back suplexes for 1-2-NO! He puts Benoit in the tree of woe and goes for the home run baseball slide, but Benoit sits up and Chavo crotches himself on the post. Just as Benoit tries to come back, Chavo rakes the eyes. He wants the Three Amigos, but Benoit counters and shows him up with EIGHT Rolling Germans. That gets two as Chavo manages to put his foot on the bottom rope. Benoit applies the SHARPSHOOTER. In comes Vickie to whack Benoit with the belt, but he’s yelling at her not to do it. Benoit lets go of the hold and Vickie does that horror movie thing where she trips and falls at the feet of the monster. Benoit threatens her with the Sharpshooter, but then Chavo scoops him with a schoolboy. Benoit rolls through and locks in the SHARPSHOOTER for the tapout. (12:16) Another good match between these two, but it’s never *great*. I’m a real sucker for when Benoit busts out so many Germans in a row like that though. ***

  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Gregory Helms vs. Jimmy Wang Yang

This is the first we’ve seen on WWE PPV of Jimmy Wang Yang – the Asian cowboy redneck. Yep. Helms doesn’t know what to think of Yang here to start. Helms tries baiting him to the floor so he can jump Yang when he rolls back inside, but can’t keep a good man down. Yang delivers a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and hits a suplex before floating over into a hammerlock. He misses a Savio Vega spinning heel kick in the corner though and falls to the floor. Helms meets him with a dropkick through the ropes to send him into the barricade. Swinging neckbreaker on the floor gets two. He keeps Yang grounded and punishes him with backbreakers. Yang sees a backdrop coming and dumps Helms to the floor for a flying body press! Back inside though, Helms shuts him off with a hotshot. He goes back to the crossface, but Yang fights up and catches him with a nasty clothesline. Yang mounts a comeback, hits the Savio Vega spinning heel kick in the corner, and connects with a missile dropkick for 1-2-NO! Helms avoids a corner charge though and delivers the SUPER SWINGING NECKBREAKER. Now Helms comes off the top, but flies down into a Spinning Heel Kick for 1-2-NO! Time for YANG TIME, but Helms moves out of the way and surprises Yang with the CODEBREAKER for the win. (10:53) This match felt out of date – like at least five years behind the times even for 2006. **

  • Last Ride Match: The Undertaker vs. Mr. Kennedy

It’s essentially a casket match, but with a hearse instead of a casket. Once Taker gets his hands on Kennedy, he throws him around from the steps to the announce table to the apron. Back inside, Taker chokes him in the corner and misses the running boot to go flying out to the floor. Kennedy gets caught flying off the apron and driven into the ringpost. They brawl over to the hearse, but Kennedy can’t close the door on Taker. Back to the ring, Taker hits the legdrop on the apron and follows up with a superplex. Some guy is being really loud right next to a microphone. Good grief. They go back to the hearse where Kennedy tries to surprise Taker with a sleeperhold. He manages to put Taker into the hearse and closes the door, but Taker comes out of the drivers side door and punches Kennedy back to ringside for more brawling. He throws Kennedy into the timekeeper’s chair and sets up the table, but then gets jabbed in the ribs with the chair. Back inside the ring, more chairshots to Taker. Once Taker goes down after each shot, he just keeps sitting back up! Kennedy eventually decides to walk out on the match. Taker chases him up part of the Armageddon. They brawl some more, but Kennedy winds up throwing Taker off the stage. Just realized the set is a castle. The camera shots were way off to purposely hide the fact that Taker was thrown onto a crash pad. Of course, Cole and JBL change the tone of their voice to make it seem more serious than it really is. Kennedy drags Taker into the hearse and sits down in the front seat only for Taker to SIT UP (thanks to the wonderfully placed dash cam) and pull Kennedy back out the hearse. Taker misses a swing of a chair and a lead pipe (that shatters the back glass of the hearse). He lands a chairshot to the skull on the second try and busts him open. They go up onto the roof of the hearse where Taker gives him a chokeslam and TOMBSTONE. In you go, Mr. Kennedy. Taker starts up the hearse and drives away with Mr. Kennedy in the back to win the match. (19:08) Taker finally got his win and now Kennedy needs to move on to some one else. It was a fun twenty minutes though with some cool spots. I’m a fan. ***

In the back, Finlay and Booker agree that they will not turn on each other tonight. Finlay has “the luck of the Irish” with him (the shillelagh) and the little fella too, while Booker just has Sharmell. What? TELL ME HE DIDN’T JUST SAY THAT!

It’s time for the “Naughty or Nice” lingerie contest! Santa Claus is here and he’s ready to judge some lingerie-wearing ladies. Santa stumbles through his lines. The ladies pose and the winner is EVERYBODY! Way to rip off Time Magazine, hey Santa? It turns out Santa is Big Dick Johnson. Layla, Ashley and Jillian have no shame dancing with this guy, but Kristal wants nothing of it.

  • Batista & John Cena vs. King Booker & Finlay (w/Queen Sharmell)

Talk about your anti-climatic main events. Both teams give each other stern looks to start. Once things settle, Cena works the arm and tags in Batista. Finlay wants in and he gets the tag. Batista works on Finlay’s shoulder and then whips him in the corner, but runs into a knee. Finlay comes off the middle turnbuckle and gets caught and placed back down on his feet for a disrespectful slap. Batista catapults Finlay into the ropes and back down across his knees. Batista sets Finlay in the corner and delivers a weak muscle buster for 1-2-NO! Booker makes the save. Booker tags in and chops Batista to the corner. Batista counters a hiptoss with a clothesline for two. Cena tags in and gets thumbed in the eye by Booker to take over. Booker delivers a hook kick for two. Cena reverses a cross-corner whip and delivers a bulldog. He hits the Throwback to set up the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. FU? No! STFU? Yes! Finlay breaks it up, but gets nailed by Batista. While referee Nick Patrick tries to get Batista out of the ring, Sharmell gives Booker his scepter to jab Cena in the throat with it. Superkick gets two. Finlay tags in and applies a rigorous chinlock. Cena comes out of it, but then goes down to a clothesline. Cena sneaks in a small package for one, but Finlay is right back on top of Cena. Finlay nails Batista off the apron as the Little Fella comes in the ring. He tries to field-goal kick Cena, but Cena moves and Hornswoggle kicks himself in the face! Finlay rolls that guy out of the ring and cuts off Cena’s tag to Batista. Booker tags and delivers the Harlem Side Kick for 1-2-NO! Booker applies an overhead wristlock, but Cena comes out of that as well. Booker knees Cena in the gut, but then comes back with a DDT. HOT TAG TO BATISTA! He destroys Finlay and catches Booker with a botched Bossman Slam. Batista sets up for the DEMON BOMB, but Finlay clotheslines him down. Cena attacks Finlay and gives him a belly-to-belly suplex to send him out to the floor. Cena follows him out and gets clotheslined. Finlay grabs a chair and sticks Batista in the back of the knee with it. Finlay climbs up on the apron with the chair and gets it booted back into him to send him crashing to the floor. Batista screws up a spinebuster attempt on Booker, but he finally gets it and delivers the DEMON BOMB for the win to end this terrible main attraction. (11:28) It felt like such little effort was put into this match – like the kind of match WWE would have after they go off the air just to give the fans a bonus. *½

Final Thoughts: The impromptu ladder match kept this show from being completely forgettable. I don’t think it’s enough to save the whole show though. While there are a couple three-star affairs, they were good not great. I don’t even think Cena’s involvement on this show mattered one bit. Even at this point, he doesn’t seem to have that level of drawing power that will make a difference one way or another. And besides, it makes your brand look like the weaker show when you have to pull someone over from RAW to make people care. With that said though, you have to see the ladder match and the Undertaker/Kennedy match was interesting. I’m going with a strong thumbs in the middle for Armageddon 2006.

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