Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: December 16, 2007
Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles, Taz
It’s the final pay per view of the year and it’s more or less a one match show. While there is a Raw main event of Chris Jericho challenging Randy Orton for the Raw World Title, the real main event here is Smackdown World Champion Batista defending the Smackdown World Title against Undertaker and Edge in a triple threat match. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks exactly like what you would expect from a show called Armageddon, with clips of the major matches included.
United States Title: MVP vs. Rey Mysterio
MVP is defending and gets his legs kicked out to start. A springboard armdrag sends MVP outside, where he asks for a twenty second time out. Instead he gets Rey hitting a running corkscrew dive for the next big knockdown. Back in and MVP drops him face first onto the top turnbuckle, setting up a running boot to the head for two.
We hit the arm trap chinlock, which is quickly switched into an armbar for a rather meaningful change of pace. Rey tries to fight up and is pulled back down by the head for a clever counter. A fireman’s carry doesn’t work as well for MVP as Rey slips out and grabs a hurricanrana, followed by a springboard seated senton.
MVP is right back up with a shot to the face before going up top and….trying to superplex Rey to the floor. Since that is not very recommended, it’s a slugout on top instead until a super hurricanrana gets two on MVP. With nothing else working, MVP boots him in the face but has to duck a quick 619 attempt. That means Rey can hit the running hurricanrana off the apron, which is enough for MVP to take the countout.
Rating: C+. Nice enough opener here though the ending hurt it a good bit. You can only get so much out of a match that gets some time and then goes nowhere because the champion walks out to save the title. They didn’t have the title change to open things up but at least Rey was able to keep the fans hot.
Post match Rey gives MVP a 619 to blow off some steam.
We look at HHH and Jeff Hardy working together at Survivor Series.
Hardy knows what he has to do and it’s time for him to win a big match. He doesn’t believe in never.
Kane/CM Punk vs. Big Daddy V/Mark Henry
Matt Striker is here with the monsters. Henry shoves Punk around to start and it’s time to think of a new strategy. Punk tries striking away at the leg and gets thrown down again. That’s enough for Punk who brings Kane in to slug away at Henry for some more success. Punk comes back in but gets taken into the wrong corner for the big chop from V. A nasty gorilla press drop puts Punk down again and it’s back to Henry for some more clubbering.
Punk manages to duck a shot though and Kane comes back in for some uppercuts. V’s chokebomb gets two and it’s time to mount Kane, which has to be something that Vince finds hilarious. Thankfully there is no thrusting and Henry slaps on a bearhug. For some reason that doesn’t last long and it’s V coming back in for a clothesline. Kane manages to knock Henry down though and the tag brings in Punk for not the strongest reaction. Everything breaks down and Punk tries the springboard clothesline, which is countered into a Samoan drop to give V the pin.
Rating: C-. This felt like a big time ECW main event so they couldn’t have done much better. What matters here is having V (or Henry as it could have been either) get the pin to set up Punk’s next challenger. You can only have him run from the two of them for so long before it stops mattering and now V should be in line for the next title shot. Or to eat Punk, whichever comes first.
Vickie Guerrero has a victory celebration ready for Edge and says her pain and mental suffering will go away when he wins the title. A kiss for good luck ensues. On the hand that is.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Shawn Michaels
Before the match, Kennedy promises to hurt Shawn. They start fast with an exchange of shots to the face before Shawn goes to the leg to cut him down. Shawn can’t grab a suplex so he takes Kennedy down by the arm instead. We hit the Fujiwara armbar before Shawn goes a little more simple with a hammerlock. Kennedy can’t get out of the armbar so he drives Shawn through the ropes for a crash (and the break) instead.
That works for Shawn, who drives the bar arm into the steps and then stomps away on it back inside. They head to the apron for a breather but this time Kennedy sends him back first into the post to take over. There’s a whip into the corner to set up a running boot and a backbreaker keeps Shawn in trouble. Kennedy goes up but stops himself diving into a raised boot, instead dropping an elbow to the back for two.
The chinlock with a knee in Shawn’s back goes on but Shawn fights up again. This time it’s an elbow to the face and a backdrop to send Kennedy outside. Back in and it’s the flying forearm into the nip up to start Shawn’s real comeback. The top rope elbow looks to set up Sweet Chin Music but Kennedy reverses into a rollup for two. Kennedy sends him into the corner and the Regal Roll connects for two more. The Mic Check is blocked so Kennedy hits him so hard that he hurts his own hand. That’s all Shawn needs to hit the superkick for the pin.
Rating: B-. It wasn’t quite the best that Shawn is capable of doing but even just ok Shawn is still better than almost anyone else is going to be able to do. Kennedy losing is a bit of a surprise, but it isn’t like WWE is going to trust him so soon after multiple missed chances anyway. As usual, Shawn can bring someone up his level though and it worked out well here.
Randy Orton isn’t worried about who he is facing at the Royal Rumble, because he is going to destroy the virus that is Chris Jericho tonight. Orton has taken out all kinds of World Champions so please, don’t save us, but spare us.
Jeff Hardy vs. HHH
Non-title and the winner gets a shot at the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. The lockup goes to HHH to start as Hardy is shoved down without much trouble. Some shoulders drop hardy again and there’s a clothesline to make it worse. A few armdrags work better for Hardy but they head outside where HHH knocks him down again.
Back in and HHH hits a heck of a slap, which seems to wake Hardy up a bit. It wakes him up enough that he can hit an atomic drop into the basement dropkick for two, which might not have been the best idea. They head outside where HHH whips him hard into the steps, meaning it’s time to drop elbows on Hardy’s back.
Hardy gets an elbow up in the corner and goes up, only to be shoved down for the big crash into the barricade as HHH continues to be smarter/one step ahead. Back in and HHH drops another elbow for two before grabbing the abdominal stretch to stay on the ribs. Hardy slips out of a suplex and hits the enziguri, followed by a dropkick. Some running forearms put HHH down but he rolls away from the slingshot dropkick in the corner.
Hardy is fine enough to knock him outside and of course that means the slingshot dive. Back in and the Whisper in the Wind gets two but the Twist of Fate is countered into a DDT to give HHH his own two. HHH unloads in the corner but gets mule kicked into another corner, setting up the slingshot dropkick. The Swanton misses for a crash though and HHH hits the spinebuster. The Pedigree is loaded up but Hardy reverses into a rollup for the surprise pin and the title shot.
Rating: B. This was the kind of match where you could see the story they were telling throughout. HHH is the Cerebral Assassin but Hardy is more about making it up as you go, meaning HHH was going to get frustrated and ultimately caught in the end. That’s good, logical storytelling and Hardy gets the biggest singles win of his career.
Great Khali is ready to destroy Finlay for saving Hornswoggle at Survivor Series. Tonight, Khali decimates both of them.
Great Khali vs. Finlay
Runjin Singh and Hornswoggle are here too. Khali starts fast with a chop and big boot to send Finlay outside early. Another chop only hits post but Khali tries it again to knock him down. Back in and we hit the nerve hold, followed by a kick to the face to put Finlay down again. Finlay fights out of another nerve hold and grabs the rope, drawing in Hornswoggle to…get tossed down with ease. Finlay grabs the Shillelagh but gets it taken away, allowing Hornswoggle to come in with another Shillelagh for a low blow. One heck of a Shillelagh shot knocks Khali cold to give Finlay the pin.
Rating: D. Just in case Khali hadn’t been damaged enough, he loses here again, albeit to someone who has become one of the stronger midcard stars on Smackdown. Finlay standing up for Hornswoggle is something anyone can get behind because he’s taking care of someone who can’t do it for themselves. Turning Finlay into a good guy is hard enough but they are making it work fairly well here.
We recap Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton. Jericho came back and wanted a title shot to save WWE from Orton, so here we go.
Raw World Title: Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho is challenging and starts fast by dropping him ribs first across the top rope. A spinwheel kick puts Orton on the apron but he’s too smart for the triangle dropkick. Instead he drops to the floor so Jericho can hit a big dive as this is one sided so far. Back in and Jericho slips out of the hanging DDT but can’t get the Walls. Orton is right back with a DDT for two and the slow stomping begins.
We’re already in the chinlock for a bit before Jericho fights back up with a clothesline. Jericho walks into a powerslam though and Orton sends him shoulder first into the post. There’s the required superplex for two but Orton misses the dropkick, allowing Jericho to hit an enziguri.
The Lionsault hits knees though and Orton grabs that backbreaker of his. The RKO is blocked though and Jericho gets in a quick Lionsault for two more. Orton takes it outside and whips him into JBL on commentary, which doesn’t sit well with the cowboy hatted one. Back in and the Codebreaker is blocked but the Punt is countered into the Walls….so JBL comes in to kick Jericho in the head for the DQ.
Rating: C+. Not a great match but the ending was a smart enough way out of this. You don’t want to beat Jericho but Orton hasn’t been champion long enough. Letting JBL get physical again should open enough doors to make for some interesting options. They were trying to get into a higher gear near the end, though I never quite bought that the title was in danger.
Post match Orton hits an RKO for a bonus.
Before the Women’s Title match, here is Jillian Hall to badly sing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Yeah it’s a deal they do all the time, but at least they have something to promote with her (and it’s kind of working).
Women’s Title: Beth Phoenix vs. Mickie James
Phoenix is defending and powers Mickie around to start as you might have expected. Some knees to the back have Mickie in more trouble and we hit the quickly broken dragon sleeper. Back up and Mickie flips over her out of the corner, only to get caught in a double chickenwing. That’s broken up and a hurricanrana out of the corner gives Mickie a break, setting up a basement dropkick. The MickieDT is countered into a fisherman’s buster to retain the title.
Rating: C-. They had almost no time out here and there was only so much that they could do. It was basically get in, get out and do your thing without burning up time for the big matches and that is pretty limiting. They were working hard while they could and the match didn’t have any problems, but Beth isn’t losing the title in a match that doesn’t even get five minutes on pay per view.
We recap Batista vs. Edge vs. Undertaker for the Smackdown World Title. Batista FINALLY beat Undertaker to get the monkey off of his back but then Edge returned and got involved, attacking both of them in the process. It turns out that Edge is in cahoots (and perhaps more) with General Manager Vickie Guerrero, who got him back in the title picture. Triple threat time.
Smackdown World Title: Edge vs. Undertaker vs. Batista
Batista is defending. Edge drops straight to the floor to start, leaving Batista and Undertaker to slug it out in various places. As Edge looks on, Batista kicks Undertaker in the face and gets glared at for his troubles. Edge finally gets involved by posting Undertaker and knocking Batista down on the floor.
Back in and Batista hits a swinging Boss Man Slam, followed by the driving shoulders in the corner. Undertaker breaks up the powerslam and loads up the apron legdrop but Batista cuts him off with a clothesline. Batista plants Edge again but gets pulled outside again, leaving Undertaker to hit Snake Eyes into the big boot on Edge. That leaves Batista to get pulled into Hell’s Gate….and Edge rings the bell in a clever way out.
Edge comes back in to spear Undertaker for two and grabs some chairs to make it worse. Batista breaks up the Conchairto by kicking Edge in the face and pulls Old School into a spinebuster. There’s a spear to Edge to send him outside…..where another Edge pops out from underneath the ring. Undertaker chokeslams the other Edge (not clear if he knows the difference or not) but has to counter the Batista Bomb. The Tombstone hits Batista but Edge is back in with a chair shot to Undertaker and steals the pin and the title.
Rating: B. The ending was a little weird as the other Edge was never identified or really shown on his own, but they had to put the title back on Edge here, just for the sake of changing things up a bit. Edge and Vickie are the top villains on the show and Batista vs. Undertaker has been done to death. Let someone fresh get in there, especially since Edge never lost the title in the first place. They kept things moving fast enough here and the match didn’t overstay its welcome, with enough action to make it a fun match with the right ending.
Overall Rating: C+. There’s enough good stuff on here to make the show good, but the weaker parts really did make it clear that this was a low level pay per view. The main event and Hardy vs. HHH were both good, but you can tell that things need to pick up on the way to the Royal Rumble. It’s nice that things are wrapping up here though, because the road here hasn’t been the most interesting.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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