Six of the Best – WWE Taboo Tuesday/Cyber Sunday

I realised I’d forgotten this event, which is understandable considering it was only around for five years and was never a successful event during that time either. For those who don’t remember or weren’t even around when this event took place, Taboo Tuesday/Cyber Sunday was one of WWE’s famed “concept” shows whereby fans could vote on what the matches were. The votes were a mixture of picking challengers for titles, stipulations and even went as lurid as to deciding what type of skimpy outfit the “Divas” would wear in matches.

Buy rates for this show were never that good and they finally decided to drop it from the schedule in 2008 after a string of disappointing returns.

As always, this is just my own personal selection and it isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s get to it!

Taboo Tuesday 2004
Triple H Vs Shawn Michaels

This match would be the answer to the age old question of “Could Shawn Michaels have a fantastic match on just one leg?”

A legit torn meniscus meant that Michaels was severely limited in what he could do here, with his movement during his entrance reduced to a mere limp. However, both Triple H and Michaels were not only respected veteran grapple merchants at this stage in careers but also knew each other’s ring styles inside and out, so they were still able to put together an engrossing match despite Michaels’ unfortunate ailment.

As you would expect, most of the match itself revolves around Triple H working over the leg, which would normally be a recipe for dullness. However, Michaels is so great at both selling and timing his comebacks that the fans are with him all the way and are deeply into the contest by the time it concludes. At one point Michaels is locked in a Figure Four and is literally begging the referee not to stop the match. It’s an incredible sell job, genuinely one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Unfortunately, the sincerity of the injury means that WWE couldn’t pay the match off with the feel good upset victory that would make it truly perfect, but Michaels is protected in defeat as it takes an illegal Edge attack to finally put him away, which laid the table nicely for his next program once his injury layoff was over. This really is a fantastic match and is worth a watch just for the expert sell job from Michaels alone.

Taboo Tuesday 2004
Cage Match
Ric Flair Vs Randy Orton

This is a match where Ric Flair does positively everything in his power to make floundering babyface Randy Orton look like a megastar, and he almost pulls it off as well. Sadly WWE didn’t follow up on this match and Orton continued to suffer in the role until finally being turned back heel in time for WrestleMania 21. For one night though he looked like the genuine article, with Flair selling big time on the way to a clean job, before showing Orton respect in the post-match.

The only real critique I would have is that the match itself is rather brief for a main event, clocking in at just over ten minutes. Though this does make the match feel a little rushed, the punishment dished out from both men makes it believable that the match could rightfully end so early, despite it being a main event clash. It’s just a shame that WWE didn’t decide to turn Flair face here and instil him as Orton’s mentor, as it would have probably filled the missing hole in Orton’s babyface act to get him over the hump.

Taboo Tuesday 2005
Cage Match
Triple H Vs Ric Flair

Not content with having one great cage match at this event, Flair came back the next year for another tussle within the chain link. A lot of changed during the preceding year, with Flair now at odds with former stablemate and friend Triple H. Triple H had actually compared Flair to Old Yeller in the build-up, stating that he was in effect going to put Flair out of misery once and for all.

What I enjoy about this match is that it feels like an intense fight. It’s scrappy and somewhat unpolished, which adds to the feeling of a friendship gone awry. Flair really is great as the underdog veteran fighting against the younger and stronger foe, and sells like his very life force is being drained from his body as Triple H works him over.

However, when it’s time for the comeback Flair momentarily becomes the Champion of old and viciously destroys Triple H’s leg before delivering a glut of eye watering low blows. Some big chair shots later and Flair is heading for the door to escape whilst Triple is left crumpled on the mat a beaten man. You just don’t see these kinds of matches in modern WWE. It’s intense, bloody and ugly, but also utterly engrossing at the same time.

Cyber Sunday 2007
Street Fight
Umaga Vs Triple H

Due to the unpleasantness surrounding his death, Umaga has become somewhat of a forgotten man in WWE’s own history, but those who saw his work will seldom forget him. Umaga was not only an imposing and scary monster heel, but he was also a very good worker who had a string of excellent matches during his time in WWE, this brawl with Triple H being one of them.

Triple H kind of went through a period of battling “Monsters of the Month” during his babyface run in the late 00’s, as he did battle not only with Umaga but the likes of Great Khali and Vladimir Kozlov as well. Whereas the matches with Khali and Kozlov came down to keeping things simple and telling basic stories, Umaga was spry enough on his feet and good enough as a worker to really give Triple H something substantial to work with.

This is a great fight which sees both men brawling all over the ringside area before literally putting a hole in the entrance way. The majority of the match sees Triple H selling for the monster before making use of the Street Fight rules to utilise his trusty sledgehammer and sneak a win. The crowd are really invested in the match and cheer loudly when Triple H finally puts the monster away. The flash nature of the victory protects Umaga somewhat, as it’s presented as a last gasp attempt from Triple H that manages to come up trumps.

Cyber Sunday 2007
Guest Referee: Stone Cold Steve Austin
The Undertaker Vs Batista

This was a great rivalry throughout 2007 that saw some truly epic collisions. Both Undertaker and Batista had fantastic chemistry together and they spent most of the year tearing it up in all sorts of matches. The matches they had were so good that this one would probably be one of the weaker battles they had, which is kind of amazing as this match is top notch wrestling action.

Austin ends up as the ref due to a fan vote, but he ultimately plays no storyline part in proceedings. He simply refs the match fairly and does his best to stay out of the way and let the two men fight, which is perfectly fine. The only critique I’d have is that he sometimes wanders in front of the hard cam whilst the two men fight, which is big no-no when reffing. What I liked most about the Undertaker Vs Batista series was that both men were faces but they always tore into each other without a care.

Normally with babyface vs babyface matches both wrestlers tend to be a tad more tentative before building up to having more of a fight, but right from the opening bell Undertaker and Batista were at it full bore and it was always awesome. Undertaker was in excellent shape during this feud and really had his working boots on as well, which really helped with the match quality.

This match has great drama and some really tight near falls, as the fans are on the edge of their seats for the action. Neither man gets especially booed, with the fans mostly cheering for whoever happens to be in control at any given moment. The clean finish is very welcome and also sets the stage nicely for a rubber match at Survivor Series (Which we’ll no doubt talk about down the line). This is two big blokes walloping each other whilst the crowd cheers along, and there’s nowt wrong with that guvnor!

Cyber Sunday 2008
Matt Hardy Vs Evan Bourne

That Evan Bourne got such a push during this era despite his size really is a testament to how good he was in the ring. His insane high flying really was a breath of fresh air in WWE at the time and he ended up getting a decent push out of it for a while before pissing off the wrong people. What Bourne being in this match does is allow Matt to work as the bigger man, which wasn’t something he regularly got do.

It’s interesting to see Matt as the favourite as opposed to the underdog, and he does well in that role as the match is built around Bourne using his pace to try and catch the ECW Champion unawares. The big tease is Bourne countering the Twist of Fate into a backslide and very nearly picking up the title.

This is one of those matches where you watch it and think they could have done a decent program over the title if they’d wanted, but they ended up going in a different direction and these two didn’t have a payoff for the good work started here. This is still a very enjoyable bout though and the crowd responds well to it. It’s a shame it didn’t lead to anything else, as it would have been interesting to see these two have more matches together.

Honourable Mentions

Shelton Benjamin Vs Chris Jericho (Taboo Tuesday 2004), Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy Vs Chris Masters and Gene Snitsky (Taboo Tuesday 2005), John Cena Vs Kurt Angle Vs Shawn Michaels (Taboo Tuesday 2005), Randy Orton Vs Shawn Michaels (Cyber Sunday 2007), Triple H Vs Jeff Hardy (Cyber Sunday 2008), Chris Jericho Vs Batista (Cyber Sunday 2008)

Well thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane and please feel free to add your own opinions in the comments section below.

I also write for a website called Gaming Respawn. My latest article a recap of ECW Hardcore TV #216 and you can read about it by clicking right HERE. The site is always looking for new writers and are especially looking for more wrestling content, so if you’d like to stick your oar in the river then you can find out more by clicking HERE.

There’s also other great content here on the blog that you should consider giving a goosey gander;

Le Grand Fromage himself Scott Keith has looked at some more Hidden Gems on the WWE Network, and you can read all about it by clicking right HERE

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Brian Bayless has recently done a write up on WWF Primetime Wrestling from the 20th of July 1992, featuring an appearance from ECW alumni Jason Knight, and you can read about it by clicking right HERE

Take care and thanks for reading!