Date: December 2, 2005
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
It’s time to start wrapping up the year as we’re on the road to Armageddon and we’re coming off both Survivor Series and the Smackdown Special. The Special helped as it can serve as a launchpad towards the pay per view, since Raw vs. Smackdown was mostly wrapped up on Sunday. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Randy Orton blowing Undertaker up at the Special.
Here are Randy and Bob Orton to brag about what Randy did to Undertaker. Randy makes it clear that he killed the Undertaker, leaving himself as the only true phenom. He deserves something for what he has accomplished: the World Heavyweight Championship. The fans don’t seem to agree so Randy lists his resume and says he doesn’t care what they think. He calls Batista out for the Armageddon title match and promises to win the title. That’s not arrogance, because it’s destiny.
Tag Team Battle Royal
Animal/Heidenreich, Funaki/Scotty 2 Hotty, the Dicks, Paul London/Brian Kendrick, Nunzio/Vito, Mexicools
Only one member has to be eliminated and the winners get a Tag Team Title shot at the pay per view. MNM comes out to watch and Cole is rather pleased with Melina doing the splits on the announcers’ table. Heidenreich glares down at the champs to start and doesn’t realize that Animal is getting attacked by everyone else. That is broken up in a hurry and Nunzio is out.
Animal accidentally eliminates Heidenreich as well though….and there go the lights as we take a break. Back with everything fine and Scotty having been eliminated during the commercial. The Dicks eliminate London, leaving us with the Dicks and the Mexicools. The Mexicools get the crowd behind them in a hurry but it’s a double fireman’s carry faceplant to drop Super Crazy but Psicosis eliminates both of them at once for the win.
Rating: D. Well that happened. The Mexicools vs. MNM sounds…well actually it doesn’t sound terrible. They kept this very short and the lights going out was weird, but it’s nice like it seems to have made much of a difference. Maybe the title match will wind up being good, but this was a very quick and rather nothing setup for a pay per view match.
JBL says nothing would have happened if he had been with Rey Mysterio on Tuesday. Tonight, they’ll take care of Kane and Big Show.
Chris Benoit vs. William Regal
Booker T. and Sharmell are on commentary, which hopefully doesn’t bring the match down. Benoit goes after the arm to start and blocks Regal’s escape attempt. The threat of a Sharpshooter earns Benoit some shots to the face and Regal knocks him outside. A ram into the barricade lets Regal slap on a dragon sleeper back inside, followed by putting Benoit’s head against the post.
Regal kicks said head into said post and Benoit is barely getting up. Benoit shrugs off some shots to the head and sweeps the leg but Regal kicks away a Sharpshooter attempt. Some exploder suplexes and a forearm give Regal two but a bloody Benoit snaps off some German suplexes. The Crossface makes Regal tap in a hurry.
Rating: B-. This is the kind of hard hitting and almost brutal match that you don’t get to see very often on a weekly TV show. These two know how to work this kind of match to near perfection and while they didn’t have time to get that far, what we got was rather enjoyable. Regal might have been busted open as well, just for that little extra touch.
Immediately after the match, Benoit dives onto Booker and makes him tap on the floor with the Crossface.
The Ortons are in the back and a clock goes nuts. Uh oh.
Randy Orton vs. Matt Hardy
Orton shoulders him down to start but Hardy is right back with an armdrag into an armbar. A dropkick and elbow to the face give Orton two each and we hit the chinlock. That’s broken up and they head to the floor for a quick brawl, followed by Matt hitting the Side Effect for two. The moonsault misses though and the RKO gives Orton the fast pin.
Rating: C. And Matt continues to fall, which might have something to do with the whole mess at the end of Survivor Series. Couple that with Orton heading for another big match with Undertaker and this one wasn’t exactly in doubt. At least they had Hardy get in a bit of offense, but it’s pretty clear that he’s done at the moment.
Post match the gong sounds and Undertaker’s voice says this is the man Randy tried to kill. The Ortons try to leave but an explosion keeps them at ringside. Randy goes through the crowd but he runs into a casket as he tries to go through an exit. Back in and ring, the voice talks about how he does the killing so Randy bails through the crowd again. Another explosion scares him back to ringside again so the voice says Orton looks lost. Undertaker knows where he’s going: straight to h***…..in the Cell. So there’s your blowoff match.
Post break Randy panics to Teddy Long, who makes the mat at Armageddon. Teddy isn’t messing with Undertaker so he’s not changing the match.
New interview Kristal Marshall talks to Simon Dean, who isn’t scared of the debuting Boogeyman. Dean isn’t worried because he has the Simon System, featuring a new item. He pulls off a cover and it’s….the Boogeyman’s head, singing Oh My Darling Clementine. Plus eating worms of course.
Simon Dean vs. Boogeyman
And there’s no Simon, so here’s security to drag him to the ring. The arena has a good bit of smoke in it after Boogeyman’s entrance and Dean begs off immediately. Boogeyman busts out the worms and throws them at Simon, setting up a reverse World’s Strongest Slam for the fast pin. Well he certainly debuted, and that’s about as good as it’s going to get here.
Video on the European tour.
Video on Bobby Lashley.
Bobby Lashley vs. Sylvan
Sylvan says people are here to see him and jumps Lashley before the bell. This goes as well as you would expect as Lashley throws him around and hits the delayed vertical suplex. A few shots to the face put Lashley down and there’s a middle rope dropkick for one. Sylvan strikes away and drops some elbows to the back but Lashley pops up. More tossing ensues and it’s the Dominator to finish Sylvan.
Rating: D+. Who in the world decided to give Sylvan this much offense against Lashley? The match wasn’t quite the dominance you would have expected and that took me out of things a bit. The appeal of Lashley is to have him run people over and that’s not what we got here. He didn’t do well at Survivor Series and this didn’t make it any better, so maybe things are slowing down for him.
Big Show/Kane vs. Rey Mysterio/John Bradshaw Layfield
Non-title and Rey is injured coming in. JBL goes after Kane to start and is quickly knocked straight into the corner for his efforts. The threat of an early Clothesline From JBL sends Kane outside so Big Show gets in a right hand. Rey hits the seated senton to Kane from the apron and it’s Big Show coming in. JBL takes out the knee and Rey adds a dropkick, setting up JBL’s top rope shoulder for a good looking knockdown.
Kane gets JBL in the corner though and now the beating is on. A running shoulder gets JBL a breather so Rey tags himself in, only to get knocked down in a hurry. The referee tries to break up a fight with JBL and Kane, meaning it’s a thumb to JBL’s eye. That’s enough for him so he walks out as we take a break.
Back with Show kicking Rey in the bad ribs as the BATISTA chants are going strong. Show stands on the ribs but Rey uses the speed to make Show knock Kane down by mistake. Rey goes after Show’s leg and kicks them both into the ropes, setting up back to back 619s. The springboard is just a bad idea though and Show pulls him out of the air for the chokeslam and the pin.
Rating: C-. JBL was actually showing some fire at the start here and that made things a little better. The lack of Batista was surprising but you can almost pencil him in for the post match save. Rey was trying here and while it did go a little far with how much he could do to Show and Kane, it didn’t go into the ridiculous areas and Show pinned him clean with the chokeslam. Not the best overall, but it could have been a lot worse.
Post match the beatdown is on but Batista finally comes out for the save. Some chair shots leave the Raw guys knocked out to end the show. That sounds like a pay per view tag match to me.
Overall Rating: C. This was a show where the wrestling wasn’t what mattered most, but it did bring things down a good bit. There was some good stuff here with setting up Armageddon and that’s what matters most here. They don’t have much time to get ready for the pay per view so hitting the ground running was the best thing that they could do. Not a great wrestling show, but it set things in motion, as it needed to do.
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