Taboo Tuesday 2005
Date: November 1, 2005
Location: iPayOne Center, San Diego, California
Commentators: Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler
It’s the second edition of this concept and this time around the card is looking a little better. This show features a double main event of John Cena defending against Kurt Angle and another challenger to be determined (it’s going to be Shawn Michaels), but the bigger match is HHH vs. Ric Flair in a violent grudge match. Flair has begged to be put in a cage and I think you know where this is going. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is all about power with HHH vs. Ric Flair getting more attention than anything else, as it should.
Joey Styles is proud to make his regular pay per view debut.
The big keyboard stage is a cool visual. Do more stuff like that please.
The first vote is to decide which two Smackdown wrestlers will face Edge and Christ Masters:
Matt Hardy – 31%
Rey Mysterio – 29%
John Bradshaw Layfield – 17%
Christian – 13%
Hardcore Holly – 10%
Other than a match that had been taped in advance, that would be Christian’s last WWE appearance until 2009.
Edge/Chris Masters vs. Matt Hardy/Rey Mysterio
Actually hold on as Lita says Edge isn’t wrestling tonight because he has nothing to gain from this. Here’s the replacement.
Snitsky/Chris Masters vs. Matt Hardy/Rey Mysterio
What a horrifying team. Masters jumps Mysterio from behind to start and Snitsky decks Matt on the floor. We start with Rey in trouble and a pair of referees (one from each show) in the ring. Snitsky’s slam gets two (each that is) so Masters hits a series of backbreakers, including one to bend Rey over his knee. The sitout bulldog is countered with a hard slam down but the chinlock doesn’t last long.
Rey gets the tag off to Matt so the place can pick up, including a Side Effect for two on Snitsky. A superplex (nearly a brainbuster) gives Matt the same with Masters having to make the save. The monsters send Matt hard into the corner though and Masters cranks on the arms to keep him down. Masters gets two off a heck of a clothesline with Rey needing to make a save.
We hit another chinlock before Snitsky goes with something more worthwhile in a hard spinebuster. It’s back to Masters for a front facelock but a missed charge gives Matt a breather. That’s broken up as well though and Snitsky goes with more sending him into the corner. Matt slips over the shoulder and gets in a reverse DDT though and now the hot tag brings in Rey.
Everything breaks down and Rey’s tornado DDT is countered into the Masterlock. Rey kicks off the ropes to flip onto Masters for two, with the Raw referee breaking up the count. Matt and Rey hit stereo dives to the floor, setting up a springboard sunset flip for two on Masters. Back up and Masters grabs a torture rack neckbreaker for the same on Rey with Matt making the save. That’s enough for Masters though and it’s a 619 into the Twist of Fate into the springboard splash for the pin.
Rating: B. The Smackdown team had potential but who would have thought that Masters and Snitsky had that in them? This was a heck of a match with a very hot finish and a much better showcase than I was expecting from these four. You can guarantee that this story isn’t over though and Survivor Series seems to be looming in a nice way.
Mick Foley and Maria’s luggage has gotten switched as Mick has lingerie and Maria has his Mankind mask. Maria: “Interesting smell!” Maria strips off screen and Mick has a nice day (their words).
Eugene needs a partner:
Jimmy Snuka – 43%
Jim Duggan – 40%
Kamala – 17%
Rob Conway/Tyson Tomko vs. Eugene/Jimmy Snuka
Eugene and Tomko start things off with the big bald gladly accepting a test of strength. That earns him alternating thrust chops to the throat but Tomko breaks up the tag to Snuka. Conway is so annoyed that he takes off his sunglasses before elbowing Eugene in the face. The chinlock goes on and a right hand breaks up the comeback attempt. Eugene finally gets in a clothesline on Conway and the diving tag brings in Snuka. The chops are on and everything breaks down. Tomko gets knocked outside and Snuka and Eugene headbutt Conway into a Rock Bottom. The Superfly Splash finishes Conway off.
Rating: D. What else were you expecting here? This was Snuka having little more than a cameo at the end of the match with Eugene working on his own. It’s fine for a short feel good match though and I can’t really get annoyed at that. It wasn’t good, but it did what it was supposed to do.
Post match Tomko goes after Snuka but Kamala and Duggan run in for the save.
Here’s who Carlito will be facing:
Mankind – 52%
Cactus Jack – 35%
Dude Love – 13%
We recap Carlito vs. Mick Foley. Believe it or not, it’s about being cool and apple spitting.
Mankind vs. Carlito
Carlito slugs away to start and hits a dropkick, only to get elbowed in the face. The Tree of Woe elbow connects and they head outside with Mankind grabbing a chair. A drop toehold sends Mankind into the chair into the steps so they head inside with Carlito snapping off a Russian legsweep.
Carlito grabs the rare standing chinlock but Mankind is out fast enough, setting up a double clothesline to put both of them down. It’s Mankind up first to hammer Carlito down in the corner and there’s the running knee to make it worse. The Bang Bang elbow to the floor connects for two back inside and Carlito is reeling. The double arm DDT into the Mandible Claw (Mr. Socko is sporting an afro) to give Mankind the win.
Rating: D. The weirdest part of this: seeing a Mick Foley match that had no stipulations and ended clean. This should tell you a lot about where Carlito is at the moment as he lost the match in pretty short order and to someone who has not been a full time wrestler in several years. It wasn’t the worst but it was little more than a workout for Foley, who didn’t need a win like this.
Vince McMahon comes in to see Eric Bischoff and is annoyed that he missed the Raw vs. Smackdown match. Eric admits that Raw lost and Vince yells at him for messing up. Vince is tired of people like Eric being around here and waiting for Vince to save them. From now on, Bischoff is on his own.
Now we get two matches at once. Here’s who is in the Raw World Title match along with John Cena and Kurt Angle:
Shawn Michaels – 46%
Kane – 38%
Big Show – 16%
Those results also give us this.
Raw Tag Team Titles: Kane/Big Show vs. Trevor Murdoch/Lance Cade
Cade and Murdoch are defending and get knocked around before the bell. Kane beats on Murdoch to start and some running clotheslines make it worse. Murdoch actually gets in his own clothesline and brings Cade in, so Kane drags him over to Show instead. Well so much for that plan. Show comes in for the chop but it’s off to Murdoch, who completely fails with the kicks to Show’s ribs.
It’s back to Cade vs. Kane, with the two of them somehow messing up a big boot spot, as Kane kicks him mostly in the ribs and almost in the back. A little interference sends Kane outside and Sweet and Sour puts him in trouble for the first time. Murdoch cranks on both arms and Cade hits a neckbreaker…but Kane grabs him by the throat. Murdoch is smart enough to elbow Show off the apron so Kane beats up both champs without much trouble. Everything breaks down and Kane’s top rope clothesline hits Murdoch. A double chokeslam to Cade is good for the pin and the titles.
Rating: D+. Cade and Murdoch were almost squashed here but what are you expecting against Big Show and Kane? They’re the kind of team who are going to dominate things for a good while and really, who else were Cade and Murdoch supposed to face? The fact that we were less than a month into their reign and they were already at that point isn’t a good sign, but there hasn’t been much good for the Tag Team Titles in a long time.
Post break Murdoch tries to interrupt an interview and gets double chokeslammed as well.
Coach gives Vader and Goldust a pep talk because this could lead to him winning the WWE Championship.
The Divas come out in robes so we can find out what they will be wearing:
Leather and Lace: 32%
We recap Coach/Goldust/Vader vs. Batista. This was going to be Steve Austin vs. Coach but since Austin isn’t a complete numskull, he walked out before he had to put Coach over. This was going to be about Jim Ross’ job but since Austin isn’t a factor, that has been dropped.
First though, what kind of match are they having:
Street fight: 91%
Verbal debate: 6%
Arm wrestling: 3%
Jonathan Coachman vs. Batista
Non-title and Vader and Goldust are officially in Coach’s corner but they start the match in the ring because they actually understand the rules. Coach hides on the floor while the other two beat Batista down in the corner. That earns Goldust a spear so Coach comes in for some reason, earning himself a knockdown.
Coach’s kendo stick doesn’t work but Vader and Goldust take Batista down for a whipping with a belt. This time though Batista powers up and beats all three of them with the belt (Joey: “Batista is doing to Coach what Coach does to commentary every Monday night!”). With Goldust and Vader down, the Batista Bomb ends Coach in a hurry.
Rating: D. Batista has been presented as smart since his singles push began and he was intelligent again here, earning a pay per view payday for a pretty nothing match. That being said, there was no reason to have it be anything else, with Vader and Goldust being higher level lackeys but still lackeys nonetheless.
Shawn Michaels is ready to win the title but here’s Kurt Angle to say they should team up on John Cena and then find out who the best man is. Shawn will think about it, mainly because it’s not a bad plan.
Women’s Title: Battle Royal
Trish Stratus, Ashley, Candice Michelle, Mickie James, Victoria, Maria
Trish is defending and everyone is in lingerie (Victoria may or may not be, as her gear is close enough). An early Stratusphere attempt almost has Trish eliminated so Mickie makes a save. Maria runs Candice over and poses, but Mickie and Trish toss her out without much trouble. Candice triangle chokes Ashley over the ropes and gets eliminated as well, followed by Trish getting planted by Victoria’s spinning side slam.
Victoria fights off elimination again and catapults Ashley out with ease. Trish and Victoria fight to the apron so Mickie makes another save. The Matrish is broken up with a knee to the ribs but Mickie spears Victoria through the ropes for the sacrificial elimination to retain Trish’s title.
Rating: D. This is a great example of “it was what it was”. There was no point to this one other than the eye candy and that’s all well and good. Trish and Mickie are at least having some kind of a story and that’s more than what you would usually get int his division. You can only run Trish vs. Victoria so many times and we are long past that point. Not a good match from a quality standpoint, but I have no idea why you would expect one.
Post match Mickie cuts off Trish’s interview to talk about how awesome Trish is. Trish seems annoyed as she leaves.
We recap HHH vs. Ric Flair for the Intercontinental Title in what might as well be the real main event. HHH came back from a hiatus and destroyed Flair, because he thought Flair was settling for mediocrity when Flair was happy being Intercontinental Champion. The attack sent Flair over the edge and he was his old self again, swearing revenge against HHH. Flair has begged for a cage match and I think you know where this is going.
So where is this going?
Steel cage: 83%
Submission match: 13%
One fall to a finish: 4%
Intercontinental Title: Ric Flair vs. HHH
Flair is defending in a cage. They stare each other down to start until the first chop in the corner annoys HHH. Flair fights out of the other corner and isn’t taking anything from HHH early on. A spinebuster works much better for HHH and he sends Flair into the cage to bust him open (that took longer than I thought). HHH’s look at Flair of “I have to do this” is great and he makes it better by raking his face over the cage.
The knee pad is lowered and, after a WOO, the bare knee hits Flair’s head. HHH goes up top to escape but Flair makes the stop and chops away in the corner. That means a double crotching and they’re both down again. HHH goes up top again and finds a chain, only to dive into a raised boot. Flair tries a quick Figure Four but gets punched with the chain for two. Flair is COVERED in blood so HHH hammers away in the corner, setting up the Flair Flop.
The Figure Four makes Flair scream but he flips HHH off and turns it over. Another Figure Four attempt is kicked into the cage and HHH is busted this time. That wakes Flair up and he unloads on HHH, including a big bite of the forehead. Lawler: “It’s getting a little bit easier to watch!” The head is raked across the cage and a knee drop to the head connects as Flair is doing everything HHH did to him. It’s time to go after the leg as only Flair can, including the Figure Four.
HHH finally sends the referee into Flair for the break so Flair goes up….and hits the shot to the head for two. That always feels special, as does Flair’s signature HARD low blow. Flair goes to the door with HHH making the save, though Flair does bring a chair back in with him. A testicular claw lets Flair hammer away and he backdrops HHH onto the chair, followed by a shot to HHH’s head. Some more chair shots to the head have fans gasping and Flair escapes through the door to retain in an upset.
Rating: A-. I’ve seen this match a few times before and it keeps getting better. This was an amazing story of HHH beating Flair down and giving him everything he had but drawing out the legendary Flair for one more night. It was a situation of “I taught you everything you know, but I didn’t teach you everything I know” and the violence made it even better. Outstanding stuff here and I loved every bit of it despite not being a huge Flair fan.
We have a new record for Taboo Tuesday voting, smashing that whole one other time they’ve done this. Years later, WWE would probably include talking heads bragging about it in a documentary.
Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels
Cena is defending and Angle knocks Shawn outside so he can go after the champ. That earns Angle a suplex for one as Shawn is right back in for a save. Shawn stomps Cena down and covers Angle for two as Cena makes a save of his own. Everyone hits everyone else until Cena backdrops Angle over the top. Shawn’s clothesline puts Cena in the corner but Angle is back in for the German suplexes.
No one can hit a finisher so Shawn and Angle get together and pound Cena down. Cena gets sent shoulder first into the post and out to the floor but instead of fighting each other, the other two follow him out. There goes the Spanish announcers’ table and now it’s time for Shawn vs. Angle. Shawn gets hammered in the corner and a suplex gives Angle two. The bodyscissors keeps Shawn in trouble and Angle throws on a chinlock for a bonus.
Shawn turns around to escape so Angle runs him over without much trouble. Angle gets knocked off the top but runs the corner for the super Angle Slam and two more. It’s Cena back in for the high impact clotheslines to both with the second putting Angle on the floor. The Shuffle is broken up as Angle pulls Cena outside so Shawn hits a big flip dive onto Angle for a huge crash.
Everyone gets back in and Shawn forearms Cena down but Angle suplexes him to the floor again. Cena is back up with the Shuffle to Angle but the FU is countered into the ankle lock. The grapevine even goes on until Shawn takes way too much time to make the save via the top rope elbow. Sweet Chin Music hits Angle but Shawn walks into the FU to retain Cena’s title.
Rating: B. This was much more about Shawn vs. Angle but Cena did well enough to make things work well on his end. At the end of the day, Cena is very good but he’s not at this level yet and it’s ok to have the other two do most of the heavier lifting. It’s a heck of a match though and Cena getting another big win will only enhance his star power, which is what matters the most right now.
Cena can’t stand on the ankle to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. The opener and two main events carry this thing and make up for the horrible middle section, which was little more than a disaster. In other words, if this was an In Your House, it could have been a near classic. What we got was good enough as the middle section is full of short matches, but the cage match is great and the main event worked well. The gimmick still doesn’t work very well and the Tuesday thing adds nothing, but the good matches made this work rather well.
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