Wednesday, 26 December 2007

WWE Armageddon on Sky Box Office - TV Review

It’s the last World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-view of the year, as a leaner and meaner Chris Jericho returns to challenge Randy Orton for the WWE title. Oh, and there’s also a triple threat match for the World title as well, in the 2007 version of Armageddon, shown live here in Britain on Sky Box Office.
We start off with a US title match, as Rey Mysterio challenges MVP for the gold. Although this was a good match in it’s own right, for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. It was a good way to start the show, and I can’t really fault the performances of either man, but it just didn’t set my pulse racing. Given the ending, it looks like this rivalry will go on for a while, as MVP got himself counted out, retaining the title in the process. By the way, did anyone else notice that Michael Cole almost told the world who MVP first defeated for the US title many months ago?
Tag-team action follows, as Smackdown’s Kane teams with ECW Champion C.M. Punk to take on ECW’s Big Daddy V and Smackdown’s Mark Henry. Now this was one particular match I really wasn’t looking forward to, and if you’ve read any of my previous reviews you’ll know why. This will certainly not go down as an all-time classic. As the old saying goes, it was bowling shoe ugly, and it still makes me wonder just why the likes of Henry and Big Daddy V are still employed by the WWE. It was also about five minutes too long. In the end V finished Punk off with a Samoan Drop as he came flying off the top rope. By the way, you know I said this match was five minutes too long? That was a typo. It should have said that this match was ten minutes too long.
From a match I wasn’t looking forward to, to a match I was looking forward to, as Shawn Michaels goes up against Mr. Kennedy. After the debacle of the previous match, this was just what the doctor ordered. Great wrestling throughout, and great storytelling. Michaels worked over Kennedy’s left hand and arm, while Kennedy in return worked over Michaels’ previously injured lower back. Add to that tons of other great stuff and you’ve got a hell of a match. In the end, Kennedy made the mistake of using his injured left hand to clobber Michaels. As he tried to block out the pain, the Heartbreak Kid connected with sweet chin music to get the win. Now this is one rivalry I hope will continue.
Then it’s the good buddies against each other, as Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy squares off against Triple H in a number one contenders match. While not as good as the previous match, this was still a great contest. Hardy went into this one thinking that it would be a friendly contest, but Triple H soon showed him that that would not be the case, and what we got was a well contested bout between two wrestlers with completely different styles Triple H did everything he could to put Hardy away, but the plucky underdog kept kicking out of the pin attempts, and finally, after escaping from Triple H’s pedigree attempt, Hardy got the pin and the number one contenders spot with a simple roll-up. Nothing flashy, just a simple roll-up, to end a great match.
Following two tremendous matches, I now found myself having to put up with the Great Khali again. However, things were looking up a little when I found out his opponent was one of Britain’s greatest ever wrestlers, Fit Finlay. Credit where credit’s due here, as the Irishman made the giant look like a million dollars, selling everything Khali did like mad, and it was the best I’ve seen Khali in ages. In the end though the giant had to compete against two men. With the referee distracted, Hornswoggle came into the ring and delivered a low blow with the shelayleigh, before handing the offending weapon to Finlay. Cold-cocking the Indian, Finlay covered him for the three count. Not a bad little match here, serving it’s purpose well.
Main event time #1, as the returning Chris Jericho challenges Randy Orton for the WWE title. As with the Mysterio/MVP opener, although this was technically sound, for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. Both Orton and Jericho looked okay, but for some reason something just didn’t seem right, just didn’t seem to click, and I can’t put my finger on it. During the match Orton threw Jericho across the Smackdown announce table and into JBL, and this was something that had a drastic influence on the match’s outcome. With Orton locked in the Walls of Jericho, JBL came into the ring and delivered the big boot, earning Orton a disqualification, and saving his title in the process. Oh well, at least we’ll get to see the wrestling god back where he belongs.
Time for the proverbial filler material, as the Glamazon Beth Phoenix defends the Women’s title against Mickie James. The fast forward button saves me from having to put up with Jillian Hall’s pre-match song. It’s a real shame that the creatives treat the women’s division in the way that they do, because if they were given more time, then this could have been a tremendous match, instead of just a good one. Mickie looked great in this one, as did the champion, and it was just a shame that it ended when it did, with Beth getting the pin after her version of the fisherman’s suplex.
Main event time #2, as Batista defends the World title in a triple threat match against the Undertaker and Edge. Now this was a lot better. Unlike the Raw main event, this one managed to grab and keep my attention. I’m of the opinion that three way matches can either be a complete mess or very good. Thankfully this was the latter, action packed throughout, and with a very interesting twist with the Major Brothers (or whatever the hell they’re called now) bringing back memories of the Black Scorpion back in 1990 as the dead man and the animal thought they were taking out everyone’s favourite Canadian, who managed to recapture the title by pinning Batista after the Undertaker finished him off with the tombstone. A good way to end the show.
In conclusion - I’ve definitely got mixed feelings about this show. Although it had one stinker of a match, and two good ones, I just couldn’t get into the majority of Armageddon. Although the matches were technically good, they just failed to grab my attention, and having considered it a great deal, I still can’t put my finger on it, so it seems to me as if WWE are ending the pay-per-view on something of a bum note.
Well, that’s your lot for wrestling pay-per-view reviews this year. My apologies for being a little behind with my reviews in the past few weeks, but as I’m going to have quite a bit of time on my hands after my current employment contract ends on December 29th, hopefully my review of UFC 79, featuring the long-awaited fight between Chuck Lidell and Wanderlai Silva will be with you before 2008. Take care, and thanks for sticking with The Two Sheds Review in 2007.