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WRESTLING COLUMNS

December's Armageddon
December 8, 2004 by Eric Anderson


WWE Armageddon has created for itself a sort of cult following. With themesong "The End is Near" it has become one of the most awaited and most talked about wrestling events of the year, by both WWE fans, and others. In its four years in existence, it has created some of the most memorable and controversial moments in WWE history. Many of which still influence the way in which WWE does business to this day. The following is a short review of the last four years of WWE Armageddon, and this is a plead for many more in the future.

Who could ever forget Armageddon 1999, when Stacey "Miss Kitty" Carter stripped after winning the Women's championship, and for the first time ever, revealed bare breasts on WWF programming. Who could ever forget the epic confrontation of Triple H and owner Vince McMahon. This streetfight was set up when Triple H drugged and then married Vince's daughter Stephanie in Las Vegas, leaving a distraught Vince to the rescue. Both former WWF champions went at it, and in the end it was Stephanie herself that screwed over Vince, aligning herself under her own will with the Game. Then came the memorable main event of Big Show vs the late Big Boss Man for the WWF championship. This conflict began as Boss Man, in his attempt to finally capture the WWF strap, took advantage of a grieving Big Show, and exploited the death of Big Show's father. Big Show and Boss Man duked it out at the event for an eventual successful defense of the WWF title.

A year later, Armageddon 2000 rolled around. To the theme of "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynard Skynard, the memorable night was highlighted by its main event, the first ever six-man Hell in the Cell matchup. With Kurt Angle, the fastest rising star in WWF history, crookedly defending his two month old championship reign left and right, Commisioner Mick Foley decided that any old Hell in the Cell match won't solve a thing, and furthermore there was no ONE man more deserving of a title shot than the other. Therfore, five opponents, Undertaker, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, and Rikishi would be thrown into this every man for himself cell match against Kurt Angle and his championship. This match has been referred to as a "bump fest" as almost every man in the match took a large bump or the other. Whether it was ramming an opponent's head through an old car window, throwing him onto an old car, using the cell as a weapon, or in Undertaker's case, throwing an opponent completely off the cell, everything you could think of was used to hurt the other. Mid-way throught the match, a protesting Vince McMahon came out in an attempt to stop the match. He brought an old farm truck with him, in hopes to tear down the cell one pannel at a time. However, Mick Foley soon intervened and the match was still on. Kurt Angle would eventually retain his championship, meanwhile Armageddon was developing a cult following.

In 2001, the year of the WCW invasion, Armageddon appeared to be in jeopardy, as Vengeance took its spot as the December PPV. This PPV featuring the returning Ric Flair, would unite the WCW championship (then, and now known as the World championship) with the WWF championship. The Rock and Chris Jericho would face off for the World title, while Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kurt Angle would face off for the WWF title. In the end, Jericho walked out as the first Undisputed champion in WWF history, but not without making a few enemies in the process.

Armageddon made its return in 2002, when new WWE (the company had since changed its name, answering to a lawsuit with the World Wildlife Fund) world champion, and returning hero Shawn Michaels gave Triple H, the former champion, a return match. This was not just any match however, this match was best two out of three falls. Leading up to the contest Triple H, and new found ally Ric Flair began a campaign to dethrone HBK, calling him a fake and a fluke champion. The Raw before the event Michaels answered back, attacking both the Game, and the Nature Boy. The Armageddon violence fest however, ended with the champion taking a spill off of a 16 foot high ladder, on to tables outside the ring below. Triple H regained the championship, but the HBK/HHH rivalry was just warming up.

Last year, Triple H resumed his winning ways when he challenged both Kane and World champion Goldberg. In a less than eventful contest, the Game once again became champion, securing his third World title reign, and eighth WWE heavyweight championsihp reign (wwe and world). However, Armageddon this year could be remembered for other things. HBK defeated a pain in his side in the form of Batista, after being dominated the entire match. Later in the PPV however, it was Batista, teaming with Ric Flair, who got the last laugh. Both would become the new World tag team champions. And Randy Orton would defeat Rob Van Dam, to begin the longest Intercontinental championship reign in over seven years. Thus completing the Evolution hat-trick.

As you can see, this time of year gets me excited. Armageddon has quickly established itself into the unofficial "number 5" PPV of the year. It often sets the stage for Wrestlemania, and begins or ends rivalries as we enter the new year. This year, Smackdown! will receive the honours of hosting the fifth annual Armageddon, and you can catch it live and only on pay-per-view next Sunday.

by Eric Anderson (Alberta Canada)..


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