the latest SmackDown! PPV, took place on December 18th, 2005 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode
Island. Besides being Juventud's last and Kid Kash's first pay-per-view, this
event was als unique because it's the first Armageddon where neither the WWE
Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship titles were on the line. In
fact, the only strap up for grabs is the Crusierweight belt.
Here's the card:
Matt Hardy vs. JBL -
Matt, the more talented of the two Hardys, takes on JBL in the this opening
match. I still think it's a shame Matt was banished to SmackDown! (well, a shame for me
since I don't watch SD!), but this was a pretty good match and a great way
to start the show.
MNM - Now that Juventud is no longer in the "Mexicools"
(more on that later), Super Crazy and Psicosis take on MNM as a tag team. I
might not watch SD!, and while I do give them props for, not only having
tag teams, but having teams that work well together and aren't just randomly
forced together (*cough*Big Show/Kane*cough). Originally, this was
supposed to be a title match, but those plans were scrapped once the WWE
writers decided to anoint Rey and World Champ Batista tag team
champs for some reason. I wasn't initially impressed by Nitro and Mercury, and Melina's
high-pitched screaming still works my last nerve, but the WWE has a pretty
good tag team in MNM. I wonder how long it'll take Vince to fix that.
Anyways, both teams put on a well wrestled match.
Match 4 Of the
Best-Of-7 Series For the Undisputed United States Championship [Chris Benoit
vs. Booker T With Sharmell] - Well, that didn't
take long. After opening strong with two pretty good matches, we hit this
speed bump which has Benoit taking on Booker and Sharmell. It's not that I
don't like these guys...I do. I'm just really not interested in this story
and Sharmell adds nothing to the proceedings.
Vito Santa Claus & Nunzio the Elf - After Vito
and Nunzio take the ring to celebrate the Christmas season, Boogeyman puts
in a special appearance to deliver his own version of "holiday cheer". Much
like Shelton's "Momma", I didn't think much of Boogeyman at first. In fact, I didn't
think anything about him - the few couple of times I saw him, he was nothing
more that a gap-toothed freak who came out to
the ring, told us he was gonna get us, stuffed some live worms in his mouth
and convulsed his way back to the locker room. Well, after seeing him a
few more times, I really don't have a problem him and i'd even come close to
saying I ..like.. him.
Orton Story - In case you needed a refresher, the
WWE has put together this little video package. I give them credit for
putting together some pretty impressive spots. In fact, if the storylines
were half as impressive as these video packages were, there'd be no dead spots
whatsoever in the WWE.
2-On-1 Handicap Match [Lashley
vs. William Regal & Paul Burchill]
In their continuing effort to put Lashley over as unstoppable, he takes on
the team of William Regal and Paul Burchill. Now, i'm still not sure if
Lashley's a face or heel, and I found myself not caring.
Match [Juventud vs. Kid
Kash] - This match marks Juventud's final
appearance on a WWE PPV. In addition to ignoring a ban on high flying moves,
his final match went long due to -- high flying moves. Anyways, during this
match, he and Kash put on a pretty good show. Though Kid Kash has been wrestling
for 16 years, this is the first time i've seen him in action and watching these two guys wrestle almost makes me regret not being a regular SmackDown! viewer. Almost.
WWE Tag Team Champions vs.
World Tag Team Champions [Batista & Rey Mysterio vs. Kane & Big Show] -
Earlier I mentioned how good MNM and the Mexicools were as tag team
partners. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Kane and Big Show.
Separately, they really don't bother me much - in fact, Big Show is very
funny when not in character. For some reason (that only the writers know),
they make yet another appearance on the SmackDown! brand to take on Rey and
an injured Batista. It was a good, but standard match between the four.
Nothing special, really.
Hell In A Cell [Undertaker
vs. Randy Orton] -
According to the back of the DVD case, "Hell In A Cell" is violent and
brutal and one of "ports entertainment's "deadliest matches". After watching
'Taker and Orton wrestle in one, i'm thinking it looks pretty easy - unless
you're "Cowboy" Bob Orton (who does the majority of the bleeding). This
wasn't a bad match, it just didn't live up to expectations. Not the
expectations of "good" wrestling, but the expectations of a "violent and
brutal" match. If there wasn't a chain link fence surrounding the ring, this
match would be no different than a standard SD! match. Heck, Shawn Michael
recently took on the Spirit Squad in a steel cage and made it look a hundred
times better than this match. Yes, I said "the Spirit Squad".
In addition to the matches above, the following extras...sorry,
EXTRA is included:
- the History Of "the Friendly Tap"
- Foolish, foolish me. I expected this to be about Kurt Angle's "angle
lock". Instead, we get a look at a bar that SmackDown! wrestlers frequent
when they're in the area. They also usually end up getting into a fight and
trashing the place. When Josh visits, we see that Tim White, a referee who
was injured in a past "Hell In A Cell" match, manning the bar. During this
"amusing" extra, he and Tim talk about Tim's participation in that "career
ending" match until Tim walks off camera with a shotgun as poor Josh looks on.
This extra ends with the shotgun going off and Todd doing his best to look
upset. Really, really funny. Believe it or not,
this has become a running gag. If you surf on over to WWE.com, you can laugh
hysterically as you watch Tim's other poor attempts at suicide. Man, i'm
tearing up from laughter.
I wouldn't use "flawless" to describe this full frame 1.33:1 ratio transfer,
but compared to New Year's Revolution and past WWE releases, this disc was a lot
sharper. Sure, there were compression issues, but they were minor.
Audio: As usual, the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound was crystal clear and enveloped my
living room while I was watching it. There's also an option of watching
the disc in Spanish.
Conclusion: Looking over the nine chapters of this disc (seven are
matches), I must confess that I enjoyed more than half of 'em. As i've
stated in the past, you either like wrestling or you don't. If you're a fan
of a particular "brand" or a particular wrestler, you already know what
you're going to do about this disc and since quality isn't an issue (it's a
standard WWE release), i'll base my review on the ratio of matches I liked
to those I didn't. In this case, thanks to the tag match and the
cruiserweights, Armageddon gets a Recommended.