(Apparently there was discussion of doing a live watch of this one, and I have no idea why because it’s PUTRID. But here’s my rant if you want to follow along. And as a bonus, it uses the SMURF rating system!)
The SmarK Rant for WWE Armageddon 2004
– Yes, like death, taxes, and drum solos, it’s time once again for the traditional shittiest PPV of the year, Armageddon. And so forewarned this time around, it’s obvious that we need a return of the snarkiest rating system known to man: The Shane McMahon Unconditional Refund Formula! Or SMURF, for short.
For those new to the game, or who didn’t follow me here from 411, basically I was at Backlash in April and the RAW the next night in Calgary, and both times I was sitting behind Shane McMahon. At the RAW show, Zen’s friend Dave got tired of the patience required to sit through a TV taping, after a few drinks of course, and started complaining about how he wanted his money back, despite being there because the WWE comped me tickets and thus he wasn’t paying for them anyway. So after a couple of hours of whining, Shane turns around and gives Dave $100 (US) to shut up and leave. Which he didn’t, although we did leave right after the main event to be on the safe side. So basically instead of the standard Hot Poker Up the Ass rating system to judge how bad a show is, I will use the SMURF system, which indicates how much Shane McMahon would have to bribe me with to get me or any other random redneck in attendance to stop complaining about it. Less money is a better match. And away we go…
– Live from Atlanta, GA.
– Your hosts are Cole & Tazz.
– Opening match, Smackdown tag titles: Rob Van Dam & Rey Mysterio v. Kenzo Suzuki & Rene Dupree. Still no idea why they changed the titles on free TV, although I did catch most of it during commercials while I was watching CSI, and it was a good match. Suzuki slugs away to start, but gets kicked down and double-team legdropped by RVD & Rey. They call that the “4:20”. Nyuk nyuk. Rey gets whipped into the corner by Suzuki, however, and Dupree and his giant French wang come in to work him over in the corner. What’s with Dupree’s freaky chocolate tan in the middle of December? Rey comes back with a headscissors to put Dupree in 619 position, but Kenzo breaks it up. Rey flips out of the ring and tries a powerbomb off the apron, which looks pretty weak. RVD heads out to assist in the brawl and guillotines Dupree, which gives Rey two. Rob monkey-flips Dupree out of the corner, into a Rey dropkick for two. Rob suplexes Dupree and sets up for another wacky double-team, but something gets messed up and Rob has to improvise something with Dupree. So they set up and do another cool double-team, with Rob catapulting Dupree into a missile dropkick from Rey. That gets two. Now finally Kenzo hits his mark, tripping up RVD (as appeared to be the original idea) and the heels take over. Kenzo gets a clothesline out of the corner and hits the chinlock. Rob comes back with a spinkick and brings Rey back in, and he’s a MIDGET ON FIRE! Alas, another double-team from the heels makes him a midget-in-peril instead. But now Torrie Wilson chases the Japanese bimbo back to the dressing room for reasons which I’m sure are lengthy and fascinating, as Kenzo drops a knee on Rey for two. Rey tries crawling away and Kenzo is slow to stop him, so Rey has to do an awkward-looking slow crawl to give him a chance to catch up. Dupree comes in and surfboards Rey. Rey breaks free and dives for the corner, but gets caught and atomic dropped back to the heel corner. That was a nice touch. Kenzo chokes away and keeps from tagging again, then follows with a backdrop suplex for two. Rey fights for a tag again, and Dupree knocks RVD off and it’s some heel stuff in the corner. Ah, the classics. Kenzo chokes away and clotheslines him down for two. Dupree comes in with the OUTRAGEOUS FRENCH DANCE (parroted by Kenzo) for two. It’s funny, back in 1998 the Rock pinned someone with the People’s Elbow for the first time and we thought the world was ending. Oh well. RVD gets the hot tag and moonsaults Dupree for two. RVD & Rey get the ORIGINAL version of Rolling Thunder for two. Rey gets tossed and the heels go after RVD, but he kicks them away and gets an ugly crossbody on Dupree for two. What was he even going for there? Dupree blocks a sunset flip, but Rey dropkicks him, and Kenzo, into 619 position. They get that, dump Kenzo, and finish Dupree with the frog splash at 16:55. Shitload of blown spots aside, these guys have chemistry for whatever bizarre reason. *** $5 back from Shane for the blown spots, though.
– The Kurt Angle hometown invitational features him against Santa Claus tonight, thus showing that they have no idea where it’s supposed to be going. Speaking of not going anywhere, Kurt is jealous of Santa. Now that’s a real heel.
– Kurt Angle v. Santa Claus. A takedown, Angle Slam, and anklelock finish at 0:28. DUD $20 back from Shane, just because wrestling is cartoonish enough without dragging abstract characters into the mix.
– Boxing match: Mike Mizanin v. Daniel Puder. With the storied history of boxing matches on WWE PPV, these guys have a lot to live up to. Can they erase the memories of the epic Piper v. Mr. T battle at Wrestlemania 2? Or Butterbean v. Bart Gunn? Or Butterbean v. Marc Mero? Or Johnny Polo v. Johnny B. Badd at the Clash of Champions? Well, at least this one isn’t worked. I think. This is three one-minute rounds, and they’re both gassed by the end of the first round after throwing lots of punches that don’t do anything. Cole informs us that without a knockout, the fans decide who wins. That shows you the level of professionalism here. Both guys continue stumbling around the ring and doing nothing of note through the second round, and the crowd boos the shit out of them. They keep throwing bombs in the third and hitting nothing but air, as Puder is just totally choking out there or something. Round ends with no clear winner, and the crowd boos the hell out of the whole thing. They declare Puder the winner. Boy, that’s a backhanded compliment considering this shitfest. One of the worst boxing matches I’ve seen, and I’ve seen Arn Anderson v. Johnny B. Badd at the first Uncensored. $50 back from Shane because of the automatic “It’s World WRESTLING Entertainment” rule.
– The Basham Brothers v. Charlie Haas & Hardcore Holly. Kudos to the sound department for ripping off the Kill Bill theme for the Bashams. You have to love Holly when even HHH is going on radio shows and saying he should have been fired, and yet his punishment is getting a PPV payout. Please, Vince, punish me too! I need the money to fix my car! Holly slams Doug a couple of times to start and they slug it out in the corner, but Holly gets a rollup for two. Into the corner, where the Bashams work him over (bashing him, if you will) until Holly comes back with a backdrop suplex for two. Haas comes in with a fireman’s carry for one. The Bashams switch off, but Haas goes after Doug with armdrags and an armbar. This leads me to ponder: Why the fuck is this on PPV? Doug comes back with a chinlock, but Haas breaks free and tries something out of the corner, slipping and landing on his head. Must be something in the water tonight. The Bashams take turns dropping elbows and Danny gets two. Crowd turns on the match at this point, deservedly so. Back to the chinlock to really amp things up, and Danny gets two. Haas comes back with an exploder, probably hoping to channel the success of his former partner, and makes the, ahem, hot tag to Holly. Bob goes crazy(er), cleaning house and going up with a flying clothesline on Doug. Powerslam gets two. And now Dawn Marie and Jackie run out and fight over Haas, that poor bastard, leaving Holly alone with the Bashams, and a small package finishes him at 6:51. Lame, lamer, lamest. 1/2* $30 back from Shane for boring the shit out of me.
– US title, street fight: John Cena v. Jesus. Man, first Santa, then Jesus. Rough night for mythical archetypes tonight. Cena has a new US title belt, which spins like a turntable. Cena attacks Jesus to start and pounds him down in the corner, then chokes him out on the ropes. Jesus gets a kendo stick from Carlito, but Cena shakes it off and fires back with it, beating on Jesus outside. He boots Jesus into the post and goes after Carlito, who wisely runs away to fight another day. Jesus starts bleeding outside, and they brawl into the crowd. Jesus gets no love out there, as Cena continues beating the hell out of him without hardly breaking a sweat. Cole accuses Jesus of being involved with the nightclub stabbing, thus showing that “due process” means little to WWE superstars, as usual. Back to ringside, as Cena casually fights off the interference of Carlito, and they make it back into the ring. Cole accuses Carlito of “scooting around like a scaredy cat”. Oh, wow, that’s pretty harsh, man. Maybe he’ll call him “liar liar, pants on fire” next. Cena uses a road sign on Jesus, pumps up the shoes, and finishes with the F-U at 7:55. $10 back because this was dull and Jesus got absolutely no offense. And really, shouldn’t someone named Jesus get at least ONE comeback? 1/2*
– Jackie v. Dawn Marie. Charlie Haas is the special referee. Coles notes that this has been building for months. I knew there was a reason why I stopped watching Smackdown. Dawn dumps Jackie to start and they slug it out. Dawn chokes her in the corner and Jackie takes her down, leading to the “ref gets steamrolled” spot from every women’s comedy match since their invention. Dawn finishes with a rollup and a clear handful of tights at 1:43. DUD Haas admits that he’s having an affair, and the engagement is off. And she’s frigid. Oh, TAG. Oh, and Dawn Marie is a slut, so they’re both dumped. FINALLY they book someone to be stronger with the male crowd after one of these stupid storylines. Still, $15 back from Shane because there wasn’t any nudity.
– Amazingly, they’re putting the Diva Search on PPV. As in, you have to PAY for it.
– Big Show v. Kurt Angle, Mark Jindrak & Luther Reigns. Jindrak gyrates at Show to start, perhaps because he missed Show making out with one of the diva search chicks backstage before the match. Show slams him down and pounds away in the corner, so Jindrak brings Angle in. Show overpowers him, so he lets Reigns handle things. Show handles him in turn, headbutting down both of the lackeys, until they come back with a double shoulderblock for two. Jindrak stomps away in the corner and chokes him down. Luther stomps on the ribs and they give him a double suplex for two. Angle comes in and goes to the chinlock. Show powers out, but Angle chokes him out on the ropes. And then Reigns adds more choking. And then Jindrak goes to the chinlock. Man, of all the ways to get a good match out of Big Show, this is so the opposite of all of them. Show comes back with a headbutt on Reigns and Jindrak, but stops to go after Angle and gets attacked again. Show clotheslines both of the lackeys and powerbombs Jindrak, but Reigns clubs him again. Show tosses him, but gets caught with the Angle slam. Show fights him off, however, boots Reigns down, and then finishes Jindrak with an F5 at 9:56. Show barely moved during the last minute, looking totally winded and basically making the other guys bump off him. 3/4* $10 back because it was boring and the heels didn’t cheat enough.
– Cruiserweight title: Spike Dudley v. Funaki. And they wonder why no one cares about this title. Funaki takes him down with a headscissors to start. Rollup gets two. Small package gets two. Majastral gets two. He takes Spike down with an armdrag and works the arm, then dumps him and follows with a baseball slide. Not quite as wacky, silly or crazy as Tazz promised. Back in, that gets two. Spike goes up and gets slammed off, and Funaki dropkicks him for two. They head up to the top and Funaki takes a facefirst bump to the floor as a result. Back in, Spike gets two. He goes to the abdominal stretch, as the crowd doesn’t care about any of this, and headbutts Funaki down. Funaki tries a comeback and reverses a pair of slams for two. Spike with a gutbuster for two. Back to the abdominal stretch as I wonder if this show could possibly get any more boring. Funaki reverses a suplex out of the corner and hangs Spike in the tree of woe, then stomps him from the top rope. He makes the comeback and backdrops Spike, into a bulldog for two. Sloppy enzuigiri gets two. High cross gets two. Tornado DDT is blocked by Spike with a headbutt low, and he goes for the Dudley Dog, but Funaki gets a rollup for the pin and the title at 9:29. Messed up finish. *1/4 $15 back because jobbers fighting this high on a PPV for a title is silly.
– Line of the night comes from Cole, who notes that RAW is going to have to try really hard to top what they’ve put on tonight. Yeah, because putting on more than one decent match is a really tall order.
– Smackdown World title: JBL v. Undertaker v. Booker T v. Eddie Guerrero. Speaking of jobbers fighting too high for a title, here’s JBL in yet another Honky Tonk Man situation. JBL wisely exits the ring to start, leaving Taker to attack Booker and boot him down. JBL gets two, although the ref somehow misses it for like 10 seconds. Bradshaw runs from Undertaker, but walks into a 3-on-1 situation, as challengers hit him with a bunch of stuff. Taker gets an elbow on JBL for two, and then gets attacked by the other two faces. Eddie and Booker show some minority solidarity as they work over Taker. Booker goes outside with Taker, and JBL blindsides Eddie in the ring and suplexes him for two. Booker and Eddie go back to the game plan and double-team him, however. Booker casually superkicks Taker off the apron and sideslams JBL into an Eddie slingshot, which gets two. However, going for a pin apparently wasn’t part of the plan, and the resulting friction allows JBL to get two on Booker. Taker comes back in and sideslams Bradshaw for two. Taker tosses him and DDTs Booker for two. Taker and Bradshaw brawl outside, as UT casually fights off Booker and Eddie, but JBL preps the table. Nothing happening there, though. Taker backdrops out of a powerbomb attempt and Tazz treats it like a masterful counter. Slurp, slurp. Back in, Taker continues fighting off the pesky colored folk, but misses a charge in the corner and hurts his leg. Bradshaw gets a neckbreaker on Booker for two. He slugs Booker down again for two. Meanwhile, UT chokes Eddie on the ropes until Booker saves. He walks into a spinebuster, however, and the ROPEWALK OF DOOM, but Eddie saves. Another try works, however, and the Flatliner gets two. After six years of seeing that move I still don’t get what damage it’s supposed to be doing. Taker turns his sites to Eddie next, legdropping him on the apron, as Cole notes that it’s right out of his playbook. Well, considering he’s the one doing it, NO SHIT. Bradshaw catches him from behind with the CLOTHESLINE FROM NEW YORK, however, and takes over on Booker in the ring as I wonder if there’s ever going to be some sort of storyline developing in this match or if they’ll just have a guy disappear every couple of minutes. Bradshaw chokes Booker down with the tape, but Eddie FINALLY wakes up the crowd by finding a ladder under the ring. I’ll take what I can get at this point. Bradshaw grabs the title, but Booker kicks it back in his face and goes nuts, axe kicking Eddie for two. However, JBL finally gets to use the table, as he catches Booker outside and powerbombs him on it. It doesn’t break, so he elbows him through it. It’s just that kinda night. And now Taker gets his own powerbomb, putting JBL through the other table. Ladder, check. Broken table, check. Belt being used, check. All we need is blood for every desperate main event booking shortcut in one convenient match. Eddie plays dead in the ring and escapes a tombstone, but can’t escape a chokeslam. See, he’s not only deader than everyone, he’s smarter too. Eddie nails Taker with the belt and gets the frog splash, and another one…gets two. Sure, no-sell a belt shot and two frog splashes, why not? God forbid he ever shows weakness or loses clean. Eddie hits him with a ladder and frog splashes him off that, but it’s only three finishers from a former champion, so it only gets two. JBL pulls out the ref regardless to save. The heat for that sequence shows why they really dropped the ball by not doing the Eddie v. heel UT program in the summer instead of going with JBL. Eddie spears Taker out of the ring with the ladder and hits Bradshaw with the rolling suplexes, and then Booker gets the axe kick on him for two. Taker gets Snake Eyes on Eddie and the legdrop gets two, brother, but Booker saves. Everyone gets chokeslammed by the big bad senior citizen, but before he can pin all three simultaneously while getting his dick sucked by the announce team, Heidenreich returns and attacks him. Oh yeah, outside interference, I almost forgot that in my list of desperate main event shortcuts. JBL gets two on both Booker and Eddie. JBL finishes Booker with the clothesline to elicit the now-standard groan from the crowd at 25:36. Half an hour for THAT finish? Eddie did the work of four men here (almost literally) but there was absolutely nothing remarkable enough about the match to make you need to see it, or save the show for that matter. **3/4 No refund needed.
Worst PPV of the year by quite a bit, beating out Taboo Tuesday and Great American Bash in my books. Grand total from the SMURF system due back to me for watching: $155. No wonder their revenue is going down so fast. Thumbs way down.