Date: December 18, 2005
Location: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
We’re almost done with the year and we’ll wrap it up inside the Cell with Undertaker vs. Randy Orton in the final blowoff. Other than that, it’s the Raw Tag Team Champions vs. the Smackdown Tag Team Champions as Big Show/Kane face Rey Mysterio and Batista. I think you can tell they’re wrapping the year up with that second big match. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is all about Undertaker vs. Orton. Fair enough in this case.
John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Matt Hardy
JBL’s leg is fine after being on crutches Friday. Before Matt comes out, JBL talks about how the smallest state has the biggest star tonight. Matt always talks about how he will not die, even though he lost his girlfriend and got fired. The shirt should say “I wish I was dead.” Matt’s intro cuts JBL off and the fight is on in a hurry. JBL slugs away and sends him into the ropes, with Matt’s head getting tied between them. Ever the villain, JBL kicks the tied head and then pulls on Matt’s legs.
The referee finally gets Matt loose so JBL drops a bunch of elbows. There’s another kick to the head but Matt fights up and hits a DDT for two. A big running shoulder takes Matt down again and JBL pokes him in the eye for good measure. Matt gets in a shot of his own and hits a top rope moonsault for two. JBL gets a turnbuckle pad off though and Matt gets whipped into the steel, setting up the Clothesline From JBL for the pin.
Rating: D+. This felt like it was added to fill in some time on the show as an interrupted interview isn’t exactly a hot angle to set up a pay per view match. On the one hand it makes sense to boost JBL up so he can be fed to someone else later, but my goodness it’s hard to watch Matt bounce down the ranks like he’s been doing.
We recap Melina failing to get Batista to back out of the Tag Team Title match on Friday. Batista and Rey Mysterio would go on to win the titles.
The Mexicools offer to cancel the match tonight in exchange for some, ahem, favors for Melina. She isn’t interested.
We look at Undertaker massacring Mankind inside the Cell. That one still has so much impact as Foley probably shouldn’t have survived.
MNM vs. Mexicools
Psicosis/Super Crazy for the Mexicools in a match that was supposed to be for the titles until Batista and Rey happened. Mercury works on Psicosis’ arm to start and it’s already off to Nitro, who is armdragged straight down. Psicosis misses his running dropkick in the corner as Cole makes various Melina jokes. MNM gets knocked outside for a dive from Psicosis, followed by Crazy diving over the referee in a cool spot.
Back in and Mercury stomps on Psicosis, followed by Nitro breaking up a sunset flip with a stomp to the face. Nitro’s breakdancing legdrop sets up a front facelock, followed by some straight right hands to the face. Psicosis gets in an enziguri though and the hot tag brings in Crazy to clean house. A tornado DDT gets two on Mercury and, after Melina is shoved off the apron, the moonsault hits Mercury for two with Nitro making the save. Back up and the Snapshot is good for the fast pin on Crazy.
Rating: C+. The Mexicools are a good lucha team and could have some nice high flying matches like this one. It’s a good idea to have MNM beat a high energy team like that before they get their rematch for the titles. If nothing else, it’s nice to act like there is an actual division rather than two teams fighting over the titles for a change.
Sharmell doesn’t like Booker being asked a question and says tonight, Booker is sweeping Chris Benoit. Interviewer Krystal can ride the broom home if she can’t find a car.
We recap the best of seven series, with Booker cheating to go up 3-0.
Booker T. vs. Chris Benoit
Booker is up 3-0 so it’s a title match for him. The early lockup doesn’t go anywhere but Booker stalls on the floor anyway. Back in and Booker drives him into the corner for a clean break so Benoit chops him to the floor. Back in again and Benoit takes him to the mat without much trouble but Booker actually grabs a hammerlock to take over. A quick Crossface attempt sends Booker outside again for another breather.
Booker gets back in so Benoit starts in on the leg but Booker is up again in a hurry. A back elbow to the face drops Benoit again and a hard suplex gives Booker two. Benoit is right back up with a snap German suplex for two, only to have Booker knee him to the floor. They chop it out until Benoit gets posted to cut him off again. The abdominal stretch goes on back inside but Benoit hiptosses his way to freedom.
A double clothesline gives us a double knockdown but it’s Benoit up first with the rolling German suplexes, plus Three Amigos for a bonus. Sharmell uses the broom to break up the Swan Dive though and Booker hits the missile dropkick for two. Sharmell offers another distraction and gets in a low blow so Booker’s ax kick can connect for two more.
The Crossface sends Booker to the ropes so Benoit rolls more German suplexes. Now it’s the Swan Dive for two but the referee gets bumped. Benoit gets the Sharpshooter to make Booker tap. That’s released so Benoit can check the referee, meaning Booker can try the Book End, which is reversed into a DDT. Now the Crossface can make Booker tap to make it 3-1.
Rating: B. These two can do this without missing a beat every single time and that was the case again here. Benoit had to fight to survive here and that will likely be the case again going forward. That being said, it’s getting a little more difficult to care about seeing a fourth match and the next three (more than likely) are going to have even less interest. Then again, the quality is still good so what do I know?
Undertaker chokeslammed Rikishi off the Cell. They do know we saw these clips on Smackdown right?
Here are Teddy Long and Palmer Cannon to thank the fans for a great 2005. They have a treat for the fans: Santa Claus and his elf, who may very well be Vito and Nunzio. They aren’t your traditional Santa and elf though as they’re tired of giving and want their own presents. Maybe a Tag Team Title shot, or a Cruiserweight Title shot! Cannon has a gift for them, so here’s the Boogeyman to sing a Christmas carol about how he’s coming to get you. Pain ensues and worms are consumed in a hurry as Vito has some issues controlling his inner functions, meaning the suit is probably ruined.
Video on Undertaker vs. Randy Orton to set up the Cell match. It feels like they’re filling in a lot of time here, though this might be to clear the ring.
Bobby Lashley vs. William Regal/Paul Burchill
Burchill starts for the team and actually takes Lashley down for some knees and elbows to the back. Regal comes in for more of the same, followed by Burchill’s knee to the back for two. Lashley drives Regal into the corner without much trouble and then snaps off a suplex to send Regal into the corner. The powerslam plants Regal though and a Dominator finishes Burchill without much trouble.
Rating: D+. Another match that could have been on Smackdown, but do we really need Lashley in a handicap match beating two low level guys? We’ve seen something like this for months now and Lashley was already in the main event of a major pay per view. It’s kind of a step backwards, but if this is the only rehab he needs, he should be fine.
And now, we go to the Friendly Tap, owned by former WWE referee Tim White. He doesn’t seem happy here and keeps drinking, even as we see him refereeing HHH vs. Chris Jericho inside the Cell in 2002. White injured his shoulder in the match and he says it ruined his life. He took it out on his wife and his family doesn’t talk to him anymore. White doesn’t have anything to live for anymore, so Josh Matthews wishes him a White Christmas. Josh: “Get it? Because your name is White!” In response, White whips out a shotgun, steps off camera, and fires.
This would lead to one of the most tasteless and, given what would happen in the company about a year and a half later, horrible series of segments ever with Lunchtime Suicides, where White would attempt to kill himself in a variety of ways for the next several weeks. That would be one of those things that WWE would bury in their archives while fans tried to figure out what the heck they were thinking with the videos.
So a former WWE name just shot himself on live pay per view. Less than fifteen seconds later, it’s time for our next match. Can’t grieve forever I guess.
Cruiserweight Title: Kid Kash vs. Juventud Guerrera
Kash is challenging and they hammer away at each other to start. A running dropkick stops Kash and a headscissors takes him down again. Juvy gets two off a standing hurricanrana and the Fujiwara armbar goes on. A backdrop puts Kash on the floor for a slingshot dive but Kash takes over on the arm. Back in and the armbar has Juvy in trouble so Kash sends him shoulder first into the buckle.
There’s a hammerlock slam for two as Cole talks to Tazz about Hooked on Phonics, because we’re supposed to ignore Tim White shooting himself five minutes ago. Kash’s double jump moonsault hits knees and Juvy kicks him in the face. They both wind up on top with Juvy snapping off a super hurricanrana for a delayed two. The Juvy Driver sets up….actually a flipping legdrop instead of the 450 but it doesn’t connect anyway. Kash hits the Dead Level brainbuster for the pin and the title.
Rating: C. This was another match that could have been on any given Smackdown (a trend tonight), though it still comes after a suicide on live television. I know it wound up being a joke but the shock value alone should be enough to pause for a second instead of going straight into another match. That’s not something that you can just drop and it isn’t working here whatsoever. It doesn’t help when you go to the Cruiserweight Title match, which is hardly top level interesting stuff in the first place.
We recap the Raw vs. Smackdown tag team match. It’s fallout from Survivor Series and the Smackdown Special, with Kane and Big Show attacking Rey Mysterio, drawing in Batista to help him out. They’re both Tag Team Champions as well.
Batista/Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show/Kane
Non-title and Batista starts with Big Show. Batista gets launched into the corner early on and then Show does it again for a bonus. A waistlock doesn’t work either for Batista so he slugs away and gets a boot up in the corner. The chokeslam attempt is broken up and Show kicks him in the face. Kane comes in and gets suplexed in a hurry, only to come back with the side slam. The top rope clothesline misses though and it’s off to Rey for some sticking and moving.
That just earns him a stare from Kane so Rey hammers away in the corner. Rey kicks him into the 619 position as everything breaks down. Rey gets taken to the floor with Show posting him and then tossing Rey over the top in a heap. Back in and Rey can’t get anywhere with right hands to Kane so he goes with the sitout bulldog instead. The hot tag brings in Batista for a spear and spinebuster to Kane. Batista and Show fight to the floor, leaving Kane to pop up for a chokeslam and the fast pin.
Rating: D+. What in the world was that? This was the second biggest show on the card and it felt like a house show main event where they wanted to get out of town and hit the road as fast as possible. There was nothing to this one and it’s pretty annoying that they changed the Tag Team Titles for the sake of this. I know it doesn’t matter in the short or long term, but this could have been a lot more, even though it was hardly important in the first place.
One more Undertaker Cell clip: destroying Shawn Michaels in 1997.
The Cell is lowered.
Undertaker vs. Randy Orton
Inside the Cell in case you don’t have the best attention span and Bob Orton is here with Randy. Orton runs away to start and tries a headlock, which earns him a hard knockdown. Back in and Undertaker’s own headlock doesn’t last long as Orton escapes and gets two off a dropkick. Some right hands in the corner just annoy Undertaker, who launches Orton into the corner and hammers away. They head outside with Undertaker kicking him in the face to send Orton crawling away in a great visual.
One heck of a chair shot drops Randy so Undertaker rakes Orton’s face across the Cell. That lets Cole compare it to a cheese grater to the head, as usual making me wonder why he knows what that is like. Orton is busted open as Undertaker wraps a chain around his throat, followed by a lawn darting into the Cell. Back up and Orton manages an RKO across the top rope (a variation you don’t get very often) for his first major offense.
The steps bounce off of Undertaker’s head to bust him open and adds another chair shot. Undertaker falls back to the floor but manages a headbutt, followed by a whip into the Cell. Back in and Undertaker goes up top (!), only to miss a top rope elbow. Orton brings in a chair as Undertaker falls outside again, with Bob grabbing him by the hair through the Cell. Bob gets punched and kicked in the face to bust him open as well.
Randy jumps Undertaker from behind and powerslams him into the Cell for two on the floor. Back in and Undertaker’s running clothesline gets two, followed by Old School. Snake Eyes into the big boot into the legdrop gets two and it’s a chokeslam to plant Orton. That’s only good for two though as Orton gets his foot on the rope. Normally I would roll my eyes and ask “In the Cell?” but it’s even dumber when they just had a near fall on the floor, meaning falls count anywhere, except in the ropes.
Orton fights back and puts Undertaker on the table for a top rope splash partially through it for two. The Last Ride out of the corner is countered so Undertaker punches out the referee. The RKO connects for no cover so here’s another referee to come in, with Bob (holding the urn), following him.
Undertaker kicks out at two and sits up, setting up the Last Ride. Bob takes out the second referee and gets sent into the Cell to make the blood even worse. Randy counters the Tombstone into one of his own (Tazz: “I’ve never seen anyone do that!”) and Undertaker can’t sit up. He does on the second time, blocks the RKO, urns and Tombstones Bob, and Tombstones Randy for the pin.
Rating: B+. This got going big near the end as it felt like a violent fight instead of a match that happened to take place in the Cell. That’s what the match needed to be and it worked well as Undertaker can still turn it on. Orton got going rather well too, and even though he was in way over his head, it was a heck of a fight that they needed to blow the feud off once and for all.
Undertaker poses on top of the Cell with the urn to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. There are two rather good matches on here but that’s not enough to save the rest of this mess. Of the seven matches on the card, three of them felt like they belonged on a pay per view and one of them was a big disappointment. I need a lot more than this for a two hour and forty minute show and it just didn’t work. Smackdown was in a bad place at the moment and while Booker vs. Benoit and the Cell were good, it’s not enough to warrant a pay per view level price.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:
And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at: