TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE Armageddon 2007

Armageddon_2007
WWE: Armageddon 2007

December 16, 2007
Pittsburgh, PA
Mellon Arena

The current WWE champions are as follows:
WWE Champion: Randy Orton (10/7/2007)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Hardy (9/3/2007)
World Tag Team Champions: Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes (12/10/2007)
WWE Women’s Champion: Beth Phoenix (10/7/2007)
ECW Champion: CM Punk (9/4/2007)
World Heavyweight Champion: Batista (9/16/2007)
WWE United States Champion: MVP (5/20/2007)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Miz & John Morrison (11/16/2007)

Read along if you have the WWE Network!

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole & JBL, and Joey Styles & Tazz.

  • WWE U.S. Championship: MVP (c) vs. Rey Mysterio

Mysterio is basically here to defend Matt Hardy’s honor and teach MVP some respect. MVP wants to get Mysterio on the mat early, but Rey shows off with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and takes MVP to the floor. They do the fake dive bit with the referee leading to Mysterio flying over the ref and onto MVP with a corkscrew dive. Back in, MVP counters a headscissors out of the corner and bounces Mysterio’s heads off the top buckle. With Rey selling the neck, MVP grabs a cravat and then gives Rey the Drive-By Kick for two. More cranking on the neck. MVP drops him with a Triple H-esque facebuster for two. Rey manages to land on his feet to avoid a flapjack and headscissors MVP over to mount a comeback. Springboard crossbody block gets two. Rey tries the Springboard Seated Senton and loses his balance on the way down. Now he’s holding his knee. It doesn’t look like a work either with the way the ref immediately went to check on him. He still manages a slingshot split-legged moonsault on MVP for a nearfall. MVP shuts him down with a clothesline as Rey comes off the ropes. They fight over a superplex. I think MVP wants the flying swinging neckbreaker, but Rey pulls out the springboard hurracanrana out of nowhere for 1-2-NO! There’s a Running Big Boot from MVP for another nearfall. Rey counters a reverse suplex into a reverse DDT for two. MVP ducks a 619 and rolls out to the floor, but Rey comes off the apron with a headscissors. After Mysterio gets back in the ring, MVP decides to take the ten-count and lose via countout. (11:29) After the bell, Rey gets MVP back in the ring and gives him the 619. Hey, you have to BEAT the champ Rey, the champ doesn’t have to beat you. No need to put any more heat on these two with a different finish since Rey is getting ready to get into a program with Edge. These two seemed to have pretty good chemistry together though. This wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was a fun start to the show. **½

Backstage, Todd Grisham interviews Jeff Hardy. He’s never been this close to getting a shot at the WWE championship. It’s now or never and Jeff CAN NOT WILL NOT believe in NEVER.

  • CM Punk & Kane vs. Mark Henry & Big Daddy V (w/Matt Striker)

Punk starts off with Mark Henry and clearly he’s outsized here. After Henry throws him around from a tie-up, Punk trips him up into the corner and starts punching on the big guy. Time to tag out though. In comes Kane to actually do some damage on Henry. Kane hits a low dropkick on the knee brace and tags out. Punk comes in and gets clobbered by the big boys. The crowd seems hardly interested. Eventually, Henry misses an avalanche allowing the ECW CHAMPION to tag out to Kane. He runs wild and hits the Flying Clothesline. Kane winds up on the wrong side of town. Big Daddy V blocks a Chokeslam and delivers a CHOKEBOMB for two. He then steps on Kane and picks him up for a short-arm clothesline to set up the Running Splash. Big Daddy V avalanches Kane which staggers him into a bearhug from Henry. As Kane starts to fight back, he receives another avalanche. Back to BDV, Kane punches him back only to get run down with a clothesline. Henry lowers his head and gets a DDT as Kane comes off the ropes. Hot tag to Punk, he sticks and moves all over Big Daddy V trying to knock him out. In comes Henry, Punk and Kane clothesline him to the floor. Striker gets kicked off the apron as Punk goes to the top, but then he flies down into a Samoan Drop from Big Daddy V for the three-count. (10:41) Man, Punk really needed some better opponents if they wanted this ECW thing to work. It’s almost as if they didn’t want the brand or CM Punk to succeed. Hmm. Anyways, this match went on forever and just wasn’t very interesting. *

Over in Vickie Guerrero’s office, we see her there in her wheelchair and neck collar. She’s already got the balloons and champagne out to celebrate Edge’s victory tonight. They start talking to each other like they are in love. Her love gives him the strength of THREE men. Hahaha, that’s funny. He lovingly smooches her on the hand and leaves to get ready. She is SMITTEN, folks.

  • Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Kennedy

Kennedy wisely tries to make the most of this outing and jumps Shawn at the bell. He drops HBK with a backbreaker to show he’s got a gameplan. Michaels slips away from the Finlay Roll and clips the knee to take control. Shawn can’t suplex Kennedy, but can drop Kennedy with an armbar DDT. He punishes Kennedy with a hammerlock and tries to roll him over for a pinfall. No go. Kennedy tries to elbow out of the armbar. They wind up tumbling out to the floor. Shawn shoves Kennedy into the barricade to catch a break and then stomps his hand on the steps. Kennedy SHRIEKS and starts overselling. Is he trying to out-Shawn Michaels Shawn Michaels here? That’s a game you won’t win, pal.  While Michaels is working the hand, Kennedy punches him out to the apron and shoves him into the ringpost. Back inside, Kennedy slam dunks Michaels in the corner three or four times while still selling the arm. There’s the Running Facewash for a nearfall. Another backbreaker gets two. Now he bends Shawn over his knee. He buries a bunch of elbow drops to the back, but Shawn will not die. Kennedy pulls back on the neck with his knee stuck in Shawn’s shoulders. He fights out though and backdrops Kennedy to the floor. Now time for the HBK COMEBACK. The Flying Forearm, inverted atomic drops, and the slam to set up the Flying Elbow. Sweet Chin Music is ducked and Kennedy rolls up Shawn for 1-2-NO! He should have grabbed the ropes and got the pin there. Shawn counters the Finlay Roll and sunset flips Kennedy for two. Kennedy catapults Shawn to the top of the ringpost and hits the FINLAY ROLL for 1-2-NO! Shawn grabs the ropes to avoid the MIC CHECK. Completely befuddled and confused, Kennedy punches Shawn with his bad hand. Kennedy sells the hand and gets popped with SWEET CHIN MUSIC to give Shawn Michaels the win. (15:16) Good psychology here with Shawn working on something as basic as the hand in order to use it against Kennedy later due to his temper and his obsession with beating him. He felt Kennedy was going to make a mistake sooner or later and he did and it paid off big time. Really good stuff. ***¼

In the back, Todd Grisham speaks with the WWE champ Randy Orton. Grisham mentions the possibility that Randy Orton may face Jeff Hardy or Triple H at the Royal Rumble as the WWE champ and this interview gets off to a bad start for him. Orton calls Chris Jericho a “virus” and says in order to kill a virus is to “shut it down”. He realizes that’s a weird point to make and continues passed it. He points out how he’s put down John Cena, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels over the last three months. Don’t save us, spare us. All the hype in the world will not help him tonight against Randy Orton.

  • Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy

The winner faces the WWE champ at the Royal Rumble on January 27. Hardy wants a handshake. Triple H obliges him, but pulls him in and talks some smack. Headlocks and shoulderblocks to start with Triple H making sure those shoulderblocks are ROUGH. Hardy reverts to his fancy moves and Triple H wants to fight. At one point, Hardy pulls a punch and gets the taste slapped out of his mouth. “COME FIGHT ME.”, says Triple H. Jeff answers the challenge with an atomic drop and the legdrop to the balls. I’m not sure that’s what Triple H was asking for, but anyways. Jeff slaps Triple H back and Triple H smirks at him. He then throws Hardy to the floor and whips him into the steps. Back in, HHH continues to work the back with elbow drops and a hard whip into the corner. Jeff thinks he’s going to come back with a slow Whisper in the Wind, but then Helmsley shoves him down onto the barricade. They tease a countout, but then Triple H lowers the boom on Hardy to break the count. Jeff tries to connect with a mule kick, but Triple H ain’t selling that shit. Helmsley grabs an abdominal stretch and grabs the top rope for leverage until he doesn’t care that he gets caught. Jeff tries to come back with an enziguri, but Triple H catches him lowering his head and delivers a Facebuster followed by a clothesline for two. Helmsley grabs a sleeperhold, but then Jeff runs him off into the corner and hits a WCW 1992 missile dropkick. Hardy follows up with a Sling Blade and runs wild on Triple H. A ten-count corner punch leads to a try at the swinging dropkick down in the corner, but Hunter moves and lets Jeff crash and burn for a two-count. Triple H telegraphs a backdrop though and gets sent to the floor for a pescado from Hardy. Back in, a flying body press gets two. Whisper in the Wind scores another nearfall. Triple H avoids the Twist of Fate though with a DDT. Hardy attempts a crucifix hold, but Helmsley falls back on Jeff. Hardy finally hits the mule kick and the low swinging dropkick down in the corner. HERE COMES THE SWANTON BOMB, but Hunter moves and covers Jeff for 1-2-NO! They both try their finishers, but Helmsley winds up winning that exchange with a AA Spinebuster. Triple H tries the Pedigree again and that’s when Jeff wakes up and jackknife rolls him up for the three-count. (15:22) You can’t even really consider this as Triple H “putting over” Jeff Hardy here other than letting his shoulders get pinned for three seconds. He controlled 90% of the match and got beat with a flash pin. Jeff kicking out of the Pedigree and looking more like an intimidating challenge is coming though. Of course he’ll screw up that opportunity with another Wellness Policy violation in March and put off his chances at being a world champion for another year. We’ll get to that later though. Good match, but not one I would go nuts over. ***¼

tenor

This is all I could think of after the Jeff Hardy win.

The Great Khali has words for Finlay. He plans to destroy Finlay and Hornswoggle.

  • Finlay (w/Hornswoggle) vs. The Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh)

Aren’t you EXCITED for the Finlay-Khali blow off match? Khali controls most of the match with what he does best: slaps and stomps. He grabs a nerve hold until Finlay finds the ropes. Khali decides to apply the HEAD VICE while Finlay is in the ropes. Horny comes in and gets swatted away. Khali slams Finlay and tries to untie a turnbuckle pad. Meanwhile, Ranjin Singh is kicked down by Finlay. While the ref is busy with the turnbuckle, the shillelagh gets involved. Khali blocks the shot with a choke hold and as ref Charles Robinson takes care of the shillelagh, Hornswoggle sneaks in and low blows Khali with a second shillelagh. Finlay then knocks Khali out with the second shillelagh and gets the three-count. (6:05) Not much of a match, but it was fun and light-hearted. *½

  • WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. Chris Jericho

This marks Chris Jericho’s first PPV match since SummerSlam 2005. Jericho hangs Orton out to dry to start. When Orton sees the springboard dropkick coming on the apron, he ducks out to the floor only to have Jericho fly from the top rope down on top of him. Back in though, they struggle over a DDT and a Walls of Jericho. Orton finds a way to DDT Jericho though for two. He stomps the ankle and then grabs a chinlock. Sound logic, folks. Jericho fights his way up only to eat the Best Dropkick in the Business. Back to the chinlock. When Jericho escapes, he runs into a double-KO for an eight-count. Jericho wins a slugfest and connects with the Marufuji clothesline for two. Missile dropkick from the second rope (is Bill Watts back in charge?) gets two for Jericho. Orton stuns Jericho with a powerslam and throws him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Jericho blocks the RKO though with a backslide for a nearfall. Orton then decides to throw Jericho into another ringpost because why not. He wins a superplex battle and covers Jericho for two. Orton telegraphs a dropkick though and nearly gets put in the Walls of Jericho before he counters to an inside cradle for 1-2-NO! Running enziguri connects and staggers Orton to set up the running bulldog and the Lionsault, but Orton brings up the knees. There’s the Inverted Backbreaker. Now he’s setting up the RKO. Jericho shoves him off and hits the Lionsault for 1-2-NO! Well, they *had* the crowd there. Not like shades of State College PA in 2000, but they had them. Orton tosses Jericho off a charge to the apron and then shoves him to the barricade for the Brian Pillman bump.  As Orton joins him on the floor, he sidesteps a charge and knocks Jericho over the Smackdown announce table into JBL. He NO-SELLS though – unlike that little bitch Michael Cole. Back inside, Jericho delivers a flying forearm from the top rope to the back of Orton’s head. He wants the Codebreaker, but Orton pushes him back into the corner to avoid the move. Orton looks to punt Jericho’s head, but Jericho sees it coming and intercepts with the WALLS OF JERICHO! Now the crowd is popping. Just as it looks like Jericho is going to win, JBL hops in the ring and boots Jericho in the face to break the hold for the DQ. (15:15) Ugh, right when they FINALLY had the crowd getting emotionally involved, they go with the lazy finish. Maybe with Orton constantly saying how he’s beaten John Cena, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels lately that they didn’t feel he needed the win here, but there were more creative ways they could have gotten us to the return of JBL as a wrestler against Chris Jericho than what we got. After Orton raises the WWE championship for the disdain of the crowd, Orton drops Jericho with an RKO. ***

  • WWE Women’s Championship: Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Mickie James

Before the match, Jillian Hall comes out to plug her album. And the fans plug their ears. Mickie’s music interrupts, and Jillian just walks away. I thought more would come from that. Ross credits Beth for putting Candice Michelle out of action, which is a skillful little booking slight-of-hand. Beth dominates early by overpowering Mickie and counters her headscissors to a powerbomb. She grounds things with a Dragon Sleeper and then a double-chickenwing. Mickie makes her comeback – hitting the rana and a missile dropkick. Beth cuts her off though and finishes with the FISHERMAN’S BUSTER. (4:47) These are the two best in the company right now. Unfortunately though, nobody seems to care because WWE treats women’s wrestling like a garnish instead of the main course. Will the women’s division ever get a serious try at their own hour of TV? They still haven’t ten years later. **

  • World Heavyweight Championship: Batista (c) vs. The Undertaker vs. Edge

There’s nearly a year’s worth of story wrapped up in these three and despite all the injuries and Wellness Policy violations, it’s pretty nice to have this sort of continuity on a brand. Since JBL walked backstage after what he did in the WWE title match, Tazz is doing color commentary for this match. Edge decides the smart move is let Batista and the Undertaker battle it out and keep his distance, but they wind up fighting each other to get to Edge. Taker still manages to dominate and legdrops Bats on the apron. After Batista runs Taker into the ringpost, Edge then runs Batista into the post and brings him inside for a nearfall. He keeps Taker on the floor, but turns around into a Black Hole Slam from Batista for two. Edge trips up Bats in the corner and goes for the Spear, but Batista kicks him in the face and powerslams him for two as Taker pulls Bats out to the floor for a ride into the steps. Now Taker tries the apron legdrop on Edge only for Batista to clothesline Taker back down to the floor. Bats finds the Spinebuster and looks for the Demon Bomb, but Edge low blows him and hits EDGECUTION for 1-2-NO! Taker pulls ref Mickey Hinson out to the floor to break up the pin. Now Taker gets his hands on Edge. This showdown should have gotten more of a reaction than it did. He runs wild on Edge, hits Old School, and tries the Last Ride only for Bats to SPEAR them both down. He tosses out Edge and goes for Taker, but Taker locks in HELL’S GATE. Next thing we know, Edge is over at the timekeeper’s table and rings the bell. Thinking the match is over, Taker lets go of the hold. Edge sneaks around ringside and catches Taker with a SPEAR for 1-2-NO! SPEAR to Batista! Cover, 1-2-NO! Now it’s Con-chair-to time for Batista. However, Bats kicks the chair back in Edge’s face. Taker clotheslines Edge to the floor, but then Bats runs down Taker. Batista gets crotched up top and gets taken down with a superplex. Taker tries Old School on Bats, but Batista counters with a Spinebuster. Edge gets sent out again. Taker stops a Demon Bomb and backdrops Batista. Chokeslam to Bats. Michael Cole says there are two Edges at ringside. HUH? Yes, there are two more “Edges” at ringside. Bats and Taker continue to go at it. There’s the TOMBSTONE to Batista. Edge breaks up the pin with a couple chairshots to the Undertaker and then covers Batista for the win to regain the world title. (13:00) Edge celebrates in the aisle with his two look-a-likes who are still selling the damage inflicted upon them by the Undertaker and Batista. While the camera never really looks close enough at them to reveal who the Edge clones are, we will come to know them as Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder or the Major Brothers as they were known on Smackdown at the time, who sold out to become Edge’s two henchmen. Match was fine as they virtually went non-stop for the whole thirteen minutes, but the crowd was flat and seemed pretty much over the show once the Orton and Jericho match ended. ***

Final Thoughts: Looks like they have some possibly interesting detours for the Road to WrestleMania this year like Jeff Hardy getting his WWE title match next month at the Royal Rumble. It seems like the Undertaker from Smackdown or Triple H from RAW are your best picks to win the Rumble match, but that seems too obvious and easy. There always has to be those roadblocks to trip us up on the WrestleMania plans. Armageddon 2007 doesn’t have that one MOTYC quality match, but it is a good window into what to expect in the year ahead – especially with John Cena not plugged into the equation. I’m going with a strong “thumbs in the middle” for Armageddon 2007.

 

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