Date: December 17, 2006
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
We’re wrapping up the pay per view year with a Smackdown offering and it isn’t looking like the most important show. The card features a triple main event, including a Last Ride match, an Inferno match and a tag match with John Cena coming over from Raw as a guest star. I’m not sure if that is going to be enough but they certainly have some star power. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at the triple main event, which is nearly half of the card.
Kane vs. MVP
Inferno match, meaning the ring is surrounded by fire and you set your opponent on fire to win. After his intro, we get a video on MVP coming to Smackdown and getting on Kane’s bad side, setting up this match. MVP tries to bail but gets stopped by the flames, meaning it is time for Kane to start hammering away in the corner. A backdrop makes the flames pop up and there’s a forearm to the back of the head, which does nothing to the flames because it isn’t a big crash.
Kane’s superplex is broken up and MVP hits a high crossbody as they continue to use moves they don’t use in regular matches. MVP hits a running boot in the corner but Kane is back with a big boot of his own. The chokeslam connects and Kane rips a turnbuckle pad off…but it puts the flames out when he tries to light it on fire for no apparent reason. Instead Kane hits a side slam and sends MVP outside, setting up the top rope clothesline. Kane avoids being sent into the fire and chokes MVP into it for the win.
Rating: D. I’m not sure how much better this could have been as it is the kind of match that does not leave you with many options. They are stuck in the ring and the whole match is designed to tease the fire spot. Throw in the fact that so many of the moves and spots are designed to make the flames go up rather than anything they would usually do. They were trying, but you can only do so much.
Post match, MVP gets extinguished as JBL freaks out a lot.
Teddy Long is having a Christmas party for the Divas and has a present for them: a Naughty or Nice lingerie contest. Good thing they bring that stuff with them I guess.
JBL is still incensed over MVP as we kill off some time for the fire equipment to be removed.
Tag Team Titles: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Dave Taylor/William Regal
London and Kendrick are defending….but hold on as here is Teddy Long, who is still in the Christmas spirit. Let’s make this a little more fun.
Tag Team Titles: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Dave Taylor/William Regal
London and Kendrick are defending and this is now a ladder match. Hold on again though as Long isn’t done.
Tag Team Titles: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Dave Taylor/William Regal vs. MNM vs. Hardys
London and Kendrick are defending and this is now a ladder match. I’m not sure what authority Long has over Raw stars appearing in teams that don’t exist anymore but oh well. JBL: “There is nobody better in ladder matches than the Hardys.” This is true as they won….no that was Edge and Christian. Uh….no that one was too. I’m sure they were the best like once or twice or so!
Anyway, it’s a brawl to start until we get the Hardys vs. London/Kendrick showdown, much to the fans’ delight. The Spin Cycle plants Kendrick but the villains come back in to clean house. MNM and the Hardys get in a fight over who gets to bring in the ladders with the Hardys throwing them inside, though managing to avoid the Brits. Poetry In Motion hits Taylor and MNM gives him a Snapshot to make it worse.
Matt whips Kendrick into a ladder (ow) but London dropkicks Jeff off of another ladder. Mercury climbs up so a bunch of people pick up the ladder and drop it, including Mercury, onto the ropes, sending Mercury onto Nitro on the floor. Another Poetry In Motion misses in the corner and only hits the ladder to knock Jeff silly again. London’s climb is cut off in a hurry and Kendrick is pulled down after getting just slightly higher. Matt gets dropped onto a bridged ladder for a top rope double stomp from Kendrick but gets up to stop Jeff from being superplexed onto some ladders.
Instead Jeff turns the ladder into a seesaw, which smashes Mercury’s nose halfway out of the arena, leaving him gushing blood and in no shape to continue. The replay shows Mercury’s head snapping back in a rather scary looking visual. Regal and Taylor get back up to start taking over and suplex London into a ladder in the corner. Matt gets up for a save and neckbreakers Taylor as Jeff brings in another ladder (and you can see the blood pooled up on the floor).
Nitro knocks the ladder out from under Jeff on the floor for another crash and then drops another down onto Regal inside. This time it’s Kendrick making the save so London springboards in with a dropkick to cut Nitro off. London catches Matt on top and hammers away until Matt backdrops him down for another huge crash.
Now it’s Nitro and Jeff’s turn, with Jeff busting out a huge sunset bomb. Matt climbs a pair of ladders but the Brits pull him down in a hurry. A running knee to the head drops Matt and Regal goes up, only to have Kendrick bring him down for a huge crash. London goes up top, punches Matt down, and pulls down the titles to retain.
Rating: A-. It deserves a bit of an upgrade just because of how bad Mercury’s face looked. This was all about one big spot after another and that worked out very well, as you kind of knew these teams would be able to do. Taylor and Regal felt out of their element but you need someone there to offer a change of style. London and Kendrick continue to look unstoppable and the idea of them against the Hardys is rather dream matchish at this point.
Kristal tries out her lingerie and JBL doesn’t seem to remember MVP’s troubles.
Miz vs. Boogeyman
JBL: “You had an inferno match, you had a ladder match and now you have this unfettered jackass.” Miz brags about beating Boogeyman tonight and JBL rants over him, as only Miz can make JBL this incensed. Boogeyman gyrates around to start and knocks Miz outside as JBL tries to figure out why Miz’s hair is cut that way. Cole thinks Miz winning here would be a huge upset. JBL: “Miz being in the ring would be a huge upset. He’s in the ring and I’m upset.” Boogeyman hits a backdrop but Miz hits a quick shot to the face. Miz goes up top, only to dive into a chokebomb (which takes a second to get right) for the pin.
Post match, Miz gets wormed.
Chavo Guerrero dedicates his US Title match to Vickie Guerrero, who thanks him for being a real man.
We recap Chris Benoit vs. Chavo Guerrero, with Chavo accusing Benoit of being a woman beater due to accidentally running into Vickie at Survivor Series.
US Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit
Chavo is defending and has Vickie Guerrero with him. Chavo jumps him to start but Benoit chops away and forearms him in the face. Some right hands keep Chavo down and Benoit throws him outside to keep up the beating. Back in and the rolling German suplexes have Chavo rocked but it’s way too early for the Swan Dive.
Instead Chavo catches him on top for the superplex for two before starting in on the back. The reverse chinlock goes on so Benoit fights up, earning himself another knee to the back to keep him in trouble. Benoit’s Crossface attempt is broken up and Chavo gets to pose a bit. Chavo ties him in the Tree of Woe but a baseball slide only hits post. He’s fine enough to rake the eyes, hit the Eddie dance, and try Three Amigos.
That takes too long as well though as Benoit rolls eight straight German suplexes for a standing ovation. The threat of the Sharpshooter draws in Vickie with the title so Benoit tries it on her, only to get rolled up by Chavo for two. You don’t do that to Benoit, who reverses into the Sharpshooter to retain.
Rating: C+. These two work well together, though I’m not sure how much drama there was in the idea of Chavo winning the title. He has been well built and the story seemed to call for the change, but that is a bit too far to imagine Chavo actually going. Benoit winning is fine too, as he could put over a bigger, or at least more promising, name down the line.
Cruiserweight Title: Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Gregory Helms
Helms is defending. They go technical to start and that means an early standoff. Yang takes him down and goes up but has to bail out of a moonsault attempt. A quick suplex sets up an even more quickly broken chickenwing as Helms sends him outside. Some forearms to the back set up a neck snap across the top, followed by some choking. Yang manages a backdrop to the floor and a dive drops Helms again.
Back in and Helms kicks him down, setting up the chinlock to draw the BORING chants. JBL even acknowledges it and yells at the fans for not getting it (fair enough as it’s not that bad). Yang makes the comeback and hits a spinwheel kick in the corner for his own two. Helms catches him on top and hits a super neckbreaker as the chants continue. A dropkick knocks Helms out of the air and Yang goes up, only to miss a corkscrew moonsault. Helms grabs a yet to be named Codebreaker to retain.
Rating: C+. Pretty good here and the boring chants were fairly ridiculous. The problem is there is no reason to care about the title and WWE has made it even worse. At the end of the day, the title means nothing and the fact that Helms barely ever defends the thing makes it worse. Just saying that Helms has held the title forever isn’t going to make fans care about it. Having matches like this over and over could, but I have no reason to believer that is the case.
We recap Undertaker vs. Mr. Kennedy in the Last Ride match, which feels like the real main event of the show. Kennedy has attacked Undertaker a few times and even busted him open with a microphone. After Kennedy and MVP accidentally conspired to beat Undertaker in a First Blood match at Survivor Series, it is time to end Kennedy once and for all.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Undertaker
Last Ride match, meaning a casket match but with a hearse that has to be driven out of the arena. The hearse is wheeled into the arena and Kennedy gets to promise to beat Undertaker again. Kennedy dodges around to start and the referee bails outside (Why was he in there in the first place?). Undertaker gets sick of the movement and grabs Kennedy by the neck, meaning the beating is on in a hurry.
There’s a toss over the announcers’ table and then another into the apron but Kennedy manages to get in a shot of his own. Kennedy’s dive off the apron is pulled out of the air, with Undertaker tossing him around again. They fight up to the hearse, with Undertaker being driven into the closed door. It’s way too early to get him inside and close the door though, with Undertaker kicking his way out. Kennedy gets dropped onto the steps and they head back inside with Undertaker nailing a superplex.
They’re already back outside with Kennedy getting smart by jumping onto Undertaker’s back for the choking. The unconscious Undertaker is sent inside but comes out the front door to escape and hammer away. Back in and Kennedy grabs a chair to knock Undertaker silly a few times, earning himself some quick situps. Kennedy bails and the chase is on as they head up the set. Undertaker is then thrown off said set, which is quite the crash that lands on a big pad.
We cut to some fans chanting for Kennedy as he puts the unconscious Undertaker inside for the second time. Kennedy gets in the driver’s seat and Undertaker sits up in the back (obvious but it worked). Undertaker pulls him out and hits a chair to the back. Another one to the head busts Kennedy open and there’s a chokeslam onto the roof. The Tombstone onto the roof knocks Kennedy silly and Undertaker puts him inside for the win.
Rating: B. It was violent and pretty definitive, though Undertaker winning the big blowoff in the end didn’t do Kennedy the biggest favors. What matters here though is that Kennedy got to look at least somewhat even in this big of a match against Undertaker. I’m not sure if it lived up to the brutality that JBL promised, but it was the best thing on the show so far and felt like a main event.
Finlay and King Booker promise to not double cross each other. Bickering begins to ensue but Queen Sharmell comes in to say cool it because they need each other. Finlay says he has the Leprechaun and all Booker has is Sharmell. Booker and Sharmell are incensed.
Here’s Santa Claus, sending JBL into a bit about wanting to buy the North Pole and cook the reindeer. Santa says it is cold at the North Pole so it’s time to heat things up here. Therefore, it’s time for the Diva lingerie contest. We have Kristal, Layla, Jillian Hall and Ashley. They all take their time modeling/dancing and the fans are a little more pleased with Layla and Ashley. Everyone winds up winning and Santa disrobes as Big Dick Johnson. Dancing ensues.
We recap Batista/John Cena vs. Finlay/King Booker. Batista has been dealing with both of them and gets to pick any partner he wants for the match. Guest starring ensued.
Batista/John Cena vs. Finlay/King Booker
Batista has a banged up arm coming in and Queen Sharmell is here with the villains. Cena and Booker get things going with a lockup until Booker drives him into the corner. Some knees to the ribs don’t do much good as Cena armdrags him into an armbar. Batista and Finlay come in with Batista grinding away on a headlock. Finlay gets up a knee in the corner but dives into Batista’s arms.
That means something like a MuscleBuster of all things with Booker breaking up the cover and coming in off the tag. A clothesline gets two on Booker and it’s back to Cena with a bulldog. Finlay has to break up the STFU and the distraction lets Sharmell slip Booker the scepter. A shot to Cena’s throat gives Booker two and a quick cheap shot from the Leprechaun has Cena in even more trouble.
Cena slips away from Booker and grabs a DDT though and they’re both down. The hot tag brings in Batista to clean house and a Boss Man Slam drops Booker. Everything breaks down and Finlay chairs Batista in the leg. The chair is kicked back into Finlay and the leg is fine enough for a spinebuster on Booker. The Batista Bomb is enough for the pin.
Rating: C-. I believe the words ho-hum would apply here, as this felt like little more than a house show main event. Seeing Cena and Batista together is cool, but it isn’t like this came off as anything close to feeling like a pay per view main event. It wasn’t a bad match as they kept this short and to the point, but it still wasn’t exactly something that felt like it belonged in this spot save for the star power.
Posing ends the show.
Overall Rating: B. Maybe it was the lower expectations but I had a good time with this one. The opener is the only thing that was particularly bad, and if you ignore the fact that this show means absolutely nothing and was only there because something had to be, you should have some fun with the thing. The ladder match is excellent and the Last Ride match is quite good as well. Good show here, even if it isn’t going to mean a thing in the long term.
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