The Katz Files â€“ Arnie Katz | Armageddon (12/16): Recap and Analysis!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz has all the important details and some ideas about what they mean.
Jack Korpella did a nice job on the introductory half-hour that pushed the three-way for the World Championship as the cardâ€™s main match. He also emphasized the Jericho-Orton showdown, but not nearly as much.
The six-man match from last weekâ€™s three-hour RAW aired. Itâ€™s a decent match, but it seemed an odd choice to show in this context. After all, that RAW had one of the highest ratings WWE has gotten lately, so it was probably familiar to most viewers.
Rey Mysterio d. MVP by COR
United States Championship
Mysterio dominated the early going with his speed and dexterity until MVP threw him, head-first, into a turnbuckle. The champion worked on the Masked Marvelâ€™s neck and his surgically repaired knee.
Mysterio took out the champ when he leapt from the ring apron to execute a Huracanrana that took the larger man down hard on the arena floor. At first it looked like Porter planned to return to the ring, but he suddenly thought better of it and left. Mysterio wins the battle, but not the belt.
After the match, Mysterio blasted MVP with his 619.
In a backstage interview, Jeff Hardy readily agreed that he was about to wrestle the most important match of his career. â€œThis is the crossroads of my career,â€ he declared.
Mark Henry & Big Daddy V d. Kane & CM Punk
Iâ€™m sure a lot of folks would be happy if Big Daddy V went back to the pajamas, because this is one bad-looking body. He has bigger breasts than half of the Divas.
CM Punk took a lot of punishment during the matchâ€™s opening minutes. Not only did his two mammoth opponents make his life miserable, but their manager Matt Stryker got in a couple of sneaky shots from ringside.
Big Daddy V reversed Kaneâ€™s intended Chokeslam into a Sit-out Powerbomb, but Punk made the save. As Kane and Henry battled outside the ropes, Big Daddy V splashed Punk and covered for the pin.
Grade: C (not as terrible as expected)
As Vicky Guerrero prepared a balloon bouquet, her new boyfriend Edge joined her in the backstage office. She told him that she would triumph over all her â€œpain and mental sufferingâ€ when he regained the championship.
â€œIâ€™m going to make you feel as good as you make me feel,â€ Edge promised.
Shawn Michaels d. Mr. Kennedy
â€œThe only thing that matters is that I beat you,â€ stated Mr. Kennedy in a pre-match interview. Although he gave perhaps his best performance since arriving in WWE, Kennedy wasnâ€™t quite able to vanquish the Showstoppa.
Kennedy outfought Michaels until Michaels reversed an attempted Samoan Drop into a Chop Block that took Kennedy to the mat. + Kennedy rose, only to head back tot he mat, courtesy of a vicious HBK Armbar Takedown! Michaels concentrated on Kennedyâ€™s left arm and stomped his fingers twice for good measure.
Kennedy rocketed Michaels into a turnbuckle and pressed his advantage with a jolting knee to the back of Michaelsâ€™ head and a Backbreaker. When that didnâ€™t lead to a pin, Kennedy decided to punish his foe with an over-the-knee Backbreaker, but Michaels wouldnâ€™t submit.
After Michaels weathered another Kennedy onslaught, he changed momentum with a pair of ring-shaking Bodyslams and a Flying Elbow from the top. Every fan in Pittsburghâ€™s Mellon Arena thought HBK was about to put him away with Sweet Chin Music, but Kennedy intercepted the move!
When he tried for a Pumphandle Slam, Michaels wriggled free. His roll up fell one count short of victory. Kennedy catapulted Michaels into a turnbuckle and then zapped him with a Somersault Slam! The Showstopper kicked free.
Kennedy fired a barrage of punches, but it quickly became clear that his injured hand didnâ€™t have much power. HBK scored with Sweet Chin Music and handed Mr. Kennedy a rare loss.
Randy Orton took issue with Tod Grishamâ€™s introduction to his interview. He told the announcer that he will be champion at Royal Rumble, whereas Tod said that he could still be the title-holder.
He called Chris Jericho a virus and predicted he would wipe it out in their match.
Jeff Hardy d. Triple H
Winner Gets Title Shot
The entrances of both combatants were upstaged by Lillian Garciaâ€™s scanty black dress, a miracle of strategic fabric placement.
Power trumped finesse from the opening bell as Triple H connected with a pair of Shoulder Blocks and a Clothesline. Jeff Hardy countered with a trio of impressive Armdrags that flung HHH back and forth across the ring.
When Hardy showed a little reluctance to haul off and slug Triple H, the Game slapped his face and exhorted him to fight. The taunt seemed to shake Hardy out of his mood and the two men were soon locked in a Collar and Elbow, careening around the ring in a struggle for the upper hand.
Triple G battered the Rainbow Warrior in the ringside area, scored with a pair of Elbow Drops and then fired Jeff into the ring post! Hardy hit some good individual moves, but he couldnâ€™t put together a strong run. Every time he hit something like his Enzuiguiri, HHHâ€™s sheer strength and size saved the Gameâ€™s bacon.
Hardy finally got his air attack going when he nailed Triple H with a Baseball Slide and then flattened him with an out-of-ring Crossbody Fly. That set up a top-rope move that nearly gained him the coveted decision.
Hardy set up his opponent for the Twist of Fate, but The Game turned it into a DDT! He couldnâ€™t follow up in time to capitalize on Hardyâ€™s brief disorientation. Hardyâ€™s Reverse Mule Kick looked like it might be the telling blow, but Jeffâ€™s follow-up Swanton caught nothing but canvas.
Hardy blocked a Triple H Pedigree, but it left him vulnerable to a thunderous Spinebuster! When Triple H went for the Pedigree again, Hardy rolled through and pinned him to capture the title shot at Royal Rumble.
The Great Khali and his interpreter had a lot to say before the match. The behemoth warned Fit Finley that he would discover that his rescue of Hornswoggle would reap consequences.
â€œFinley, you like to fight?â€ asked the interpreter. â€œWell, Great Khali loves to destroy!â€
Fit Finley d. Great Khali
The Indian Colossus really took it to Finley, totally controlling the match. He hauled Hornswoggle into the ring with evil intent, but the fighting Irishman rescued his little chum. Khali took out his frustration by Bodyslamming Finley so hard itâ€™s a wonder he didnâ€™t crash right through the ring!
Hornswoggle slipped into the ring, out of sight of the referee, and dealt Khali a low blow! Before the Mammoth Menace could recover, Finley hit him with the shillelagh! Khali hit the mat and Finley alertly covered for the upset win!
Grade: D (almost a C-, a personal best for Khali)
Chris Jericho d Randy Orton by DQ
Chris Jerichoâ€™s â€œY2Jâ€ nickname is easily the dumbest in big-time wrestling, but the man has tremendous charisma and the crowd is very excited about his â€œsecond coming.â€
The match started slowly as the adversaries sized up each other. Jericho broke the stalemate with several Armdrags that seemed to catch the WWE Champion off-balance.
Jericho sent Orton tumbling from the ring with a Jumping, Spinning Heel Kick. Lionheart vaulted to the top turnbuckle and blasted Orton with a Cross Body Fly.
The champ escaped the first attempt to apply the Walls of Jericho and countered successfully with a DDT! Randy used a Rear Chinlock to punish Jericho, who escaped only to land right back in the same hold less than a minute later. Orton ground away, but he couldnâ€™t quite break down the challenger.
Chops staggered Orton, who then absorbed a couple of punishing Shoulder Blocks! Orton came off the ropes and rocked Jericho with a Powerbomb! Before the challenger could catch his breath, Orton whipped him into the ring post.
After ramming Jerichoâ€™s head into the ring post twice, Orton hauled him to the top turnbuckle and brought him low with a Superplex! Still, he couldnâ€™t keep Jericho down for the three count.
Orton sent Jericho into the ropes. He launched a Dropkick, only to have Chris evade it by hanging onto the ropes. The Walls of Jericho couldnâ€™t force a submission and the countering roll-up didnâ€™t get Orton the victory, either. As Orton got back to his feet, Jericho leveled him with an Enzuiguiri! The rocker scored with a Bulldog, but Orton got his knees up in time to defect the Lionsault!
Jericho blocked the RKO and then hit a Lionsault! Yet it still didnâ€™t add up to a pin.
Jericho got the upper hand in a ferocious ringside battle. Jericho came off the top rope to deliver a shot to Ortonâ€™s head, but the champion wasnâ€™t ready to surrender. Orton rushed across the ring, intent on delivering one of his head-cracking kicks, but Chris trapped him in the Walls of Jericho.!
Orton was just about to tap when John Bradshaw Leyfield jumped into the ring. Angered by an inadvertent collision with Jericho, caused by Orton, during ringside fighting, the announcer got his revenge by robbing Lionheart of what looked like sure victory.
Orton looked ready to leave the ring after the decision. Seeing Jericho lying on the mat gave him the courage to return and humiliate his fallen foe with an RKO!
Grade: B+ (the ending was clever, but hokey)
Lillian Garcia was about to call the women to the ring for the title match when Jillian Hall came out in an outrageous mini-dress that barely contained her blooming assets
Jillian bragged about her alleged Christmas album. She started to sing â€œHave Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,â€ but Mickie Jamesâ€™ timely arrival put the tune out of its misery.
Beth Phoenix d. Mickie James
Mickie looked good hitting a Neckbreaker to a Missile Dropkick, but the champion showed very little effect form blows that wouldâ€™ve destroyed a less formidable physical specimen.
Phoenix caught the challenger with the Fisherwomanâ€™s Suplex to sew up the match.
This wasnâ€™t exactly a ChickFight.com classic, but it wasnâ€™t as bad as the matches we saw this time last year.
Grade: Double D
Edge d. Undertaker & Batista
Edge was reluctant to get into the ring. The strategy worked, because the two babyfaces went at each other when they found themselves alone, together in the ring! Edge finally did climb through the ropes, which brought Taker and Batista to him like moths to a flame. He dodged and Batista slugged The Dead Man!
Fighting on the outside, Undertaker and Batista tore into each other like wild men! When the champ tried to crawl back into the ring, the opportunistic Edge nearly scored the pin.
Edge thought Batista was ready for the Spear, but the Animal anticipated the move and clobbered the R-Rated Superstar at center-ring! Undertaker pounded Batista and then, in the ringside area, went after Edge. He shouldâ€™ve watched the Animal, though, because the World Champ took him out. He got Edge back in the ring and picked right up where Taker left off!
Edge low blowed Batista and dropped him cold with a DDT. It wouldâ€™ve led to a pin if Taker hadnâ€™t yanked the referee out of the ring!
With Batista temporarily out of the action, Undertaker went at Edge full tilt in an effort to end the match then and there. He got a 2-1/2 count with Snake Eyes and then climbed the ropes to go Old School. The Dead Man had Edge ready for the Last Ride, but Batistaâ€™s Spear made it a short trip.
Batista pounced on Taker, trying for the pin, but the Phenom emerged with a Triangle Choke! Edge then did something positively inspired; he went outside and rang the bell! Taker thought the match was over and released Batista before the Animal could submit!
When Undertaker turned toward the official to protest, Edge decked him with a Spear. He couldnâ€™t keep those big shoulders on the mat long enough for the win.
Edge then Speared Batista, but he couldnâ€™t gain the pin there, either. He fetched two chairs from outside the ring and set up the dreaded Con-chair-to on the fallen animal. Batista kicked the chair back into Edgeâ€™s face and then greeted Takerâ€™s return to the fight with a teeth-rattling Clothesline! Taker recovered quickly and Superplexed the champ, but it still didnâ€™t add up to a three count.
When Undertaker went Old School on Batista, the Animal pulled him off the ropes and uncorked a Spinebuster!
Suddenly, it became obvious to the announcers and fans in the arena that there were two Edges in the ringside area! Undertaker Powerbombed Batista and gave the sign for the Tombstone.
Undertaker Chokeslammed the Edge who tried to interfere with his attack on Batista, who attempted to finish the unwary Undertaker with a Batistabomb, but the Phenom broke loose!
One Edge entered the ring just as Taker destroyed Batista with the Tombstone Piledriver. This bogus Edge banged Taker in the head with a board. The real Edge replaced him in the ring and scored the pin! Edge is the new champion â€“ at least for now.
Grade: A- (remember dueling Hebners?)
Overall Grade: B (worth buying_
— The Kingfish Arnie Katz