Saturday, 15 September 2007

WWE Judgement Day 2006 on Sky Box Office - PPV Review

It’s that time of the month again as WWE’s Smackdown crew travel to Phoenix for their latest pay-per-view offering, Judgement Day, with our usual hosts for the evening, Michael Cole and Tazz.

We begin with the first title bout of the evening, as MNM defend their tag-team titles against the Ring of Honor dream team, Brian Kendrick and Paul London. It’s good to see the lighter wrestlers given their chance to shine, as both teams put on an excellent fast-paced opener, with London getting the pin on Mercury with a sunset flip roll-up after a second miscommunication between the champs. As the new champions celebrated after their win, Melina blamed Mercury for the loss, and the break-up was complete as Mercury and Nitro had a very physical falling out, with GM Teddy Long getting pushed to the ground as he tried to help break things up.

Mark out time next as Chris Benoit tackles Fit Finlay. I really can’t speak too highly about this one. Some great mat wrestling combined with tons of hard hitting action made for a classic as, after over twenty minutes of great action, Benoit got the tap out victory after synching in the cross face. Hopefully it’s not the last we’ve seen of this feud.

After the obligatory video package, Melina takes on the fakest looking diva of all time, the Westworld reject Jillian Hall. With the referee throwing Nitro out of the arena before the match began, the girls put on a surprisingly good, intense bout, with Jillian getting the pin with a roll-up out of the corner, and the referee failing to spot that Melina had actually grabbed the ropes. Afterwards, diva search reject Kristal tried to interview Melina, which ends up with the announcer getting the upper hand in a cat fight.

Backstage, JBL offers us a few words of wisdom, as the United States champion predicts victory in his upcoming match with Rey Mysterio, before he confronts a visiting Chavo Guerrero.

On to the second title match, as Cruiserweight champion Gregory Helms defends against Mexican star Super Crazy. Helms has certainly changed his style since his days as the Hurricane, preferring the mat based game against Crazy’s high flying style in what proved to be an enjoyable bout, with Helms getting the pin after a power bomb with his feet on the ropes.

Backstage, Nitro and Melina confront general manager Teddy Long about their bad luck, but things just get worse for them. After Melina slaps Teddy, she soon finds herself out of a job as Long fires here. He does the same to Nitro seconds later.

Back in the arena, and it’s the re-match from one of the worst bouts of the year as Mark Henry faces Kurt Angle. Thankfully better than their Royal Rumble encounter, Henry even looked half decent here, as Angle’s rib injury hampered him a little. With Henry getting the win via count out, Angle went ballistic afterwards, hammering Henry’s leg with a chair, before synching in the ankle lock, which had to be broken up by the officials. Angle then angle slammed Henry onto the announcer’s table, which broke at the second time of asking after Angle hammered Henry with another chair shot.

Backstage, Sharmell gees up Booker T, getting him ready for the King of the Ring final.

After a look back at some of the previous champions and this year’s tournament matches, it’s on to the King of the Ring final, as Booker T takes on Bobby Lashley. What had the makings of a good match was just that, as Booker and Lashley put on a bout worthy of the tournament final, with Lashley again proving to be the one to watch on the Smackdown roster, and Booker getting the win thanks to the interference of Finlay, who clobbered Lashley with his shalale, with Booker ending it with his scissors kick. As Booker put his robe and crown on, an enraged Lashley dived out of the ring and speared the new king right out of his throne.

After we see a video in which we’re told how great the Undertaker is, it’s a battle of the big men as the Great Khali challenges the Undertaker in a match that I didn’t hold out much hope for, probably because it brought back memories of the Giant Gonzales at Wrestlemania 9. It’s a passable slugfest between the two big men as the Undertaker makes Khali look like a monster, although the big Indian looked a bit lost and somewhat lacking at times as, after using the old Andre tied in the ropes spot, Khali took the Undertaker down with his big chop, pinning the dead man with one foot on his fallen foe’s chest. It certainly will be interesting to see where Khali goes after this.

After our final video package, it’s time for our main event as JBL challenges Rey Mysterio for the World title. Invoking the spirit of previous underdog challengers like Mikey Whipwreck, Rey played the part of the plucky underdog to perfection opposite Bradshaw’s big bully. Referees got clobbered, and JBL took a chair to the face as Rey retained the title after a 619 and frog splash combination. Afterwards, Chavo Guerrero returned to the ring to celebrate the win.

In conclusion - could it be? A Smackdown pay-per-view in which every match ranged from good to great? Cherish the moment, wrestling fans, as it may be a while before we see the likes of this again!