PPV REPORTS 12/14 WWE Armageddon PPV: Keller's ongoing "virtual time" detailed coverage
Dec 14, 2003 - 9:36:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
WWE ARMAGEDDON PPV
DECEMBER 14, 2003
LIVE FROM ORLANDO, FLA.
-Lillian Garcia sang the National Anthem. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced and previewed the show. A video aired previewing the main event.
Booker T (artist Joseph Borzotta, PWTorch)
1 -- MARK HENRY (w/Teddy Long) vs. BOOKER T
They brawled at ringside briefly. Back in the ring, Booker T hit Henry with a missile dropkick at 1:45 for the first near fall. Long jumped on the ring apron to distract Booker leading to Henry getting the advantage on Booker. He hit a backbreaker, then bent him backwards over his knee. Henry worked over Booker's back for another minute, then settled into a chinlock and then a bearhug. Booker came back with a flying forearm at 7:00 followed by the scissors kick for a near fall. The crowd was oohing and ahhing. Booker flew into Henry, but Henry turned it into a spinebuster for a two count. Again the crowd was into the near falls, which is a good sign for their enthusiasm the rest of the night. He followed with a legdrop, which caused Ross and Lawler to declare it all but over. Booker still kicked out, and Henry showed frustration. Henry lifted Booker for a powerbomb and it appeared Booker was supposed to reverse it, but Booker slipped and fell anyway. They called an audible and did the lame spot where Henry bends over and holds position until Booker could give him another scissors kick for the win.
WINNER: Booker T at 9:12.
STAR RATING: * -- Flat finish and too many filler holds, but the crowd enthusiasm for near falls helped mask the pacing. Henry should be in good enough shape not to have to settle into a backbreaker, chinlock, and bearhug one right after another for the body of the match.
-Eric Bischoff backstage said that's not how he wanted Armageddon to start. Christian and Chris Jericho walked in and thanked him for making the Battle of the Sexes match. Then Bischoff heard Mick Foley's music start in the background and got upset.
-Foley walked to the ring. He said he usually watches WWE PPVs at a buddy's house in Long Island, but he's there in person this time. He announced Steve Austin's petition has 1 million signatures and he felt that would have influence on the board of directors. He then asked if there was someone backstage who could help keep him company. Out came Stacy in a cheerleader outfit. Then Randy Orton and Ric Flair came out to Evolution's music. Orton said to stop talking about Austin because he's gone now. Foley got worked up and took off his shirt as if he were going to fight, but he revealed a ref shirt underneath and said it's time for his match.
2 -- ROB VAN DAM vs. RANDY ORTON (w/Ric Flair) - Intercontinental Title match
The crowd ate it up as RVD outmaneuvers Orton during the feeling out process. An RVD chant broke out. Orton reacted with irritation. RVD hit Orton with a nice top rope crossbody block. Orton does that thing where he leaps in the air before getting hit which is both good and bad. It makes the impact seem greater, but it looks pretty obvious that he's jumping which distracts from getting absorbed into the "fight" because it reminds everyone of the cooperation going on. RVD hit a cannonball flip dive from inside the ring onto Orton at ringside. Orton knocked RVD off the ropes onto the security railing face-first. RVD was slow to get up. Foley went to check on him. Orton went to ringside to attack RVD with a nice standing dropkick, then threw him back into the ring. Orton choked RVD across the middle rope. When Orton was slow to break, Foley scolded him. Then he yanked him off the second time he was slow to break. Flair went nuts at ringside as only he can and Foley leaped to ringside to yelled at him. Ross said Foley would not be intimidated by Flair. Orton worked over RVD with some methodical moves including uppercuts, clotheslines, and ramming RVD's head into the top turnbuckle. Orton postured to the crowd at 8:45 and went for an arrogant cover that resulted in a two count. He followed with another two count. RVD made a comeback at 10:00 and hit a split-legged moonsault for a near fall. Orton came back right away into an inverted body vice dropdown (IBVD?) and then went into a chinlock. RVD eventually elbowed out of it. RVD caught an Orton half-hearted kick and nailed him with a reverse kick. He followed with a springboard sidekick off the ropes and then hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count at 14:00. Orton bailed out to ringside. RVD threw Orton over the security wall face down, then leaped off the ring apron with a spin kick into Orton's backside. Orton took control and DDT'd RVD on his way back into the ring. He was slow to make the cover, but then scored two near falls. RVD came back with a Rolling Thunder at 16:30, but before he went for the pin, Flair got in his face. RVD yelled at him. Orton scooped up RVD for a near fall. When RVD went to the top rope a minute later, Flair distracted RVD with a foreign object in hand. Orton then knocked RVD off balance. Orton got up and hit the RKO for the three count. Foley looked displeased he had to count the pin. Ross declared that Orton just won his first WWE championship belt. Flair strapped it on Orton who got emotional as he held it in the air. He got down on his knees and stared at it like a newborn child. Then he stood up and wrapped it around his waist. Orton did a good job selling the title win as being a monumental occasion in his life.
WINNER: Randy Orton at 18:02 to capture the IC Title.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Good match.
-A video recap aired of the Chris Jericho-Trish storyline.
3 -- CHRIS JERICHO & CHRISTIAN vs. LITA & TRISH STRATUS
Trish faced off at the start against Jericho. They exchanged some words. Jericho did most of the talking, then Trish slapped him. She poked him in the eyes and slapped away at him. He flew at him with a bodyblock. Jericho caught her and asked her to calm down. He then put her over his knee and spanked her. When he told her to calm down again, she kicked him and took him down with a leg scissors. Jericho got up and shoved Trish into the corner and called for her to tag in Lita. Christian also tagged in. Christian grabbed her arms when she slapped at him. He asked her what she was going to do. She headbutted him. Then he bailed out of the ring. She chased him out of the ring and back in. She sidestepped him in the ring and then flipped him to the mat. She escaped a Christian salto attempt and turned it into a head scissors. Jericho hit Lita as she bounced into the ropes, giving Christian a chance to slam her. Christian tagged in Jericho, who went for a powerbomb, but Lita rolled through and got a near fall. Christian tagged in and ripped off Lita's outer top. He taunted Lita with it. Lita fired back with a kick between his legs. Trish tagged in. She sidestepped a charging Christian who flew to the floor. Jericho went to the top rope. Trish knocked him off balance. Christian then went after Trish in the ring with a clothesline. He got cocky, though, and that gave Trish a chance to do the Matrix move. Christian bumped into Jericho on the ring apron. Jericho yanked Lita out of the ring and threw her into the ring barrier at ringside. In the ring, Jericho actually helped a stunned Trish to her feet, then Christian rolled her up from behind for the pin. Christian celebrated but Jericho seemed conflicted.
WINNERS: Christian & Jericho at 6:42.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- A lot better than most probably expected it'd be. They did a good job of doing a lot of moves without having more than just or two instances of the men actually hitting the women.
-Ross and Lawler plugged WrestleMania 20 as the biggest event in wrestling history.
4 -- SHAWN MICHAELS vs. BATISTA (w/Ric Flair)
When Michaels outpunched Batista in the opening minute, Ross said Batista was frustrated. Lawler said Batista doesn't get frustrated, he gets mad. When Michaels outmaneuvered Batista in the ring, he slid to the floor. Flair went after Michaels, but Michaels saw him coming and punched him for the best bump of the night so far. Batista then bailed out and Flair had a conference with him. Batista took control in the ring, shoving Michaels into the corner and grinded his knees into him. When the ref made the five count, Batista told him to get out of his face. Batista followed up with a clothesline. Michaels took a nice flatback bump. Batista shoved his elbow into the side of Michaels's head at 4:30. He followed up with a knee to the back. Ross said Michaels's "Achilles Heel is his back, if that makes any sense to those of you at home." Batista then choked Michaels in the corner. The ref scolded Batista. Michaels exchanged punches with Batista, then chops. Batista retained control, but caught a boot to the face when he charged Michaels in the corner. Batista then setup a suplex off the top rope, but Michaels elbowed out of it. Michaels then climbed to the top rope and hit a moonsault for a near fall at 6:15. Michaels followed up with a flying forearm. Batista made a comeback and whipped Michaels into the corner. Michaels flipped and hung upside down. Batista kicked him, then shoved him to ringside where he whipped him into the steel stairs. Ross said the ref needs to look at Michaels's back condition. Batista bent Michaels back over his knee. Michaels tried to punch out of it. Batista clubbed his chest and then scored a two count. Flair yelled, "Slow count!" Michaels threw some chops and Batista responded with punches. The crowd "whoo'd" during the chops. Michaels kicked Batista who bent over for a backdrop then hit a flying forearm. Michaels nipped up and then hit an inverted atomic drop on Batista. Batista lifted Michaels, but Michaels turned it into a DDT in mid-air. Both were on their backs at first, but Michaels slowly got up. He went to the top rope and flew off with an elbowdrop. He played to the crowd, who responded, many standing on their feet. He stomped the mat to signal for his finisher, but Batista caught him in mid-kick and powerslammed him to the mat at 11:20. He stood over Michaels with a smile. He powerslammed Michaels again, then screamed to the crowd. He set a tigerbomb, but Michaels escaped and surprised Batista with a superkick for the win and a huge pop. Ross reacted like Barry Horowitz just scored his first win. "Somehow, someway, Shawn Michaels has pulled this one out in the bottom of the ninth, the fourth quarter, overtime with Sweet Chin Music, almost taking the head off Batista!" Ross yelled. "His will to win, by god, is amazing! What an athlete, whatta match!" When Batista came to, Flair explained to him what happened. He reacted with a surprise and frustration at the news. Nice touch, right out of Carlos Newton's post-loss reaction at UFC a few years ago.
WINNER: Shawn Michaels at 12:20.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Really good match. Batista wasn't 100 percent smooth on all of his moves, but he kept up pretty well. Michaels was spectacular in doing so many little things well.
-As Batista continued to throw a tantrum in the ring, Maven walked out for his match against Matt Hardy, which was set up during an angle on Heat. Batista wouldn't leave the ring. Garcia began introductions for the next match. Matt Fact (only one, whatta ripoff!): "Matt's fingernails grow very quickly." Hardy and Maven brawled on the rampway. When Hardy threw Maven into the ring, Batista attacked Maven to "get his heat back." He Tigerbombed Maven. Flair gave Batista some psycho motivation encouragement. The ref called for help from the back as Hardy just remained at ringside and began working his way to the back. Batista finally made his way to the back. Hardy entered the ring. The ref told Hardy to back off. The ref said Maven could not wrestle. Garcia announced that the match would not take place. Hardy didn't like that, so he splashed Maven, covered him, and counted to three himself, then celebrated like he won. He then grabbed a house mic. "And the winner is, Matt Hardy, V-One-Naaaa!" declared Hardy. He left with a big smile on his face.
-Backstage Batista continued to throw a tantrum. He screamed, "I'm better than him. This is bullsh--." Flair told Batista he has everything it takes, but even the great ones trip up. He said what matters is if you get up. Flair said he will get Michaels another day, but now they needed to turn their attention to other matters.
5A -- HURRICANE & ROSEY vs. LA RESISTANCE
Hurricane botched a flip over the ropes to the start and seemed to have hurt his leg. Conway took over offense, then tagged in Rene Dupree. Rosey got tagged in at 2:00 and went to work on La Resistance. Rosey sat on the top rope and then Hurricane leaped off his shoulders and splashed Conway for the win.
WINNERS: Hurricane & Rosey at 3:22.
5B -- MARK JINDRAK & GARRISON CADE vs. HURRICANE & ROSEY
Jindrak scooped up Hurricane from behind as he celebrated his win to score a quick three count.
WINNERS: Jindrak & Cade at 3:45 (3 seconds into it).
5C -- VAL VENIS & LANCE STORM vs. MARK JINDRAK & GARRISON CADE
There was some nice chain sequences between Storm and Cade which prompted the "boring" chant at Storm, who fans must not have noticed is now a babyface. STorm laped onto the top rope and flipped to the mat, then celebrated a bit. When he jumped onto the second rope for a springboard, Jindark punched him, then tagged in. Storm hot-tagged Val to zero pop not counting one woman in the crowd who screamed in excitement. He worked over both Cade and Jindrak. Storm then re-entered and four-way action resulted. Storm clotheslined Cade over the top rope to the floor, then Val powerbombed Jindrak for a near fall. Cade held Val's feet at ringside during a pin to end it.
WINNERS: Cade & Jindrak at 7:48.
5D -- THE DUDLEYS vs. LANCE CADE & VAL VENIS
They picked up the brawling element of the action in this match which seemed to please the crowd which had been derisive for the previous three falls. The Dudleys gave Jindrak a 3D for the win.
WINNERS: Dudleys at 12:18.
5E -- THE DUDLEYS vs. TEST & SCOTT STEINER
After some early chaos, Steiner settled into working over Bubba in the ring. Steiner got cocky and did some push-ups, then choked Bubba over the middle rope. Steiner then shifted into a submission hold torquing Bubba's arm and elbow on the mat. Test tagged in at 15:15 (total time, not just for these two teams) and continued to work on Bubba's arm. Bubba came back with a senton back splash on Test at 16:20. Bubba hot-tagged D-Von at 16:45 and shoulder tackled Test, then neckbreakered Steiner. D-Von followed with a neckbreaker on Test for a two count. Test mistakenly clotheslined Steiner, but then went for a cover on D-Von with his feet on the middle rope for leverage. He got a two count. Test then yanked a chair away from Garcia at ringside. He used the tag belt as a decoy for the ref and then used the chair. When he went for the pin on D-Von, Bubba yanked him out of the ring. They fought at ringside, then in the ring Bubba gave Test a Bubbabomb. D-Von draped his arm over Test for the three count at 19:30. Garcia announced the Dudleys were still tag champs when Eric Bischoff walked out. Ross called him a "boil on the ass of life." Bischoff said in order to win tag team turmoil, you have to go through "all of the teams, and one team has yet to compete." He announced a new team, Batista & Ric Flair.
5F -- RIC FLAIR & BATISTA vs. THE DUDLEYS
Flair put Bubba in the figure-four and Batista tigerbombed D-Von to score a quick pin. Lawler noted that Evolution had a chance to hold all the men's titles tonight. Ross said it was unfair that the Dudleys prepared for five teams and had to face six.
WINNERS: Flair & Batista at 21:24 when Batista pinned D-Von to capture the World Tag Team Titles.
6 -- MOLLY HOLLY vs. IVORY
All Lawler and Ross could talk about is sexual frustration and how sexy the women did or didn't look. And the thought probably didn't cross their mind how shallow that came off. I mean, this is a World Title match on a major PPV! A fan held up a sign that said "Beer Match." The rest of the crowd agreed in spirit as they didn't have much reaction. More talk between Ross and Lawler about sexual frustration. They didn't mention anything about what was actually going on in the ring the first two minutes. Lawler said he noticed Ivory drinks prune juice. Ross said she might have a digestive problem. Lawler asked if she had IBS. Ross didn't know what that was. Lawler told him it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Ross said he didn't have any notes prepared because he didn't know they were going to have this match. Molly hit Ivory with a handspring elbow in the corner at 2:50 and scored a near fall. Ross brought up Great Muta. Lawler said he was "before my time." Funny. Molly won a reversal of a roll-up.
WINNER: Molly at 4:15 to retain the title.
STAR RATING: 1/2*
7 -- GOLDBERG vs. TRIPLE H vs. KANE -- World Title match
Triple H (artist Joseph Borzotta, PWTorch)
Kane went after Goldberg at first, then Hunter stepped in and gave him some shots. Ross said if they team up against Goldberg, it's the end of Goldberg. Goldberg came back with a powerslam on Kane at 3:00, then clotheslined Hunter over the top rope. That left Kane vs. Goldberg one-on-one. Kane smiled. They took turns clotheslining each other. Hunter re-entered, but he was clotheslined to the mat, too. Goldberg slammed Kane off the top rope. Goldberg then pressed Hunter and powerslammed him. Goldberg charged Kane, but Kane caught Goldberg with a big boot. Kane punched away at Goldberg's head. Hunter struggled to his feet. Kane and Hunter began working together again, with a double suplex on Goldberg. Lawler and Ross agreed that even though they're cooperating, they're not friends. Kane powerslammed Goldberg and Hunter made the pin. Kane yanked Hunter off by the hair. Hunter backed off as Kane looked at him incredulously. Kane went for a clothesline on Goldberg, but Goldberg ducked so Kane clotheslined Hunter. Hunter spilled to the Spanish announcers' table at ringside. Goldberg came back with a boot to Kane, but Kane lifted Goldberg and dropped him over the top rope in an awkward move. Ross said, "This is a bowling shoe ugly match." He was right. Lawler said we all knew there wouldn't be much technical wrestling. Hunter re-entered the ring with a chair and KO'd Kane. Goldberg then kicked the chair into Hunter and slammed him. He set up the chair around Hunter's ankle, getting revenge for what he did against him. Kane hit Goldberg and threw him out of the ring. Kane rammed Goldberg into the ringside stairs then was nice enough to yank the dangerous monitors out of the Spanish announcers' table before he tried to slam Goldberg into it. Hunter intervened, stopping Goldberg from turning the tables on Kane. Kane ended up chokeslamming Goldberg on the table. Goldberg slid off the table to the floor and chairs on the other side. Hunter stood on the ringside barrier and dropped an elbow on Goldberg and the table collapsed underneath him. Hunter then raised a chair in the air, but stopped short when he walked into Kane. Hunter backed off as Kane gave him some of his "I'm totally insane" facial expressions. When Kane turned to go after Goldberg, Hunter grabbed Kane from behind and threw him into the steel steps. Hunter then set up Kane for a Pedigree on the floor, but Kane backdropped out of it. Back in the ring Kane hit Hunter with a big boot at 12:00. Kane punched away at Hunter in the corner as Goldberg remained at ringside. Kane leaped off the top rope and clotheslined Hunter. He then signalled for the chokeslam. Hunter poked Kane's eye to avoid the move. He then DDT'd Kane. Kane sat up and clotheslined Hunter over the top rope to the floor. With a lot more PPV time to fill (with 30 minutes left before the top of the hour), they made their way up the aisle to fill some time. Kane chokeslammed Hunter on the rampway. Goldberg reenetered the ring and surprised Kane with a Spear at 15:00. All three fought in the ring with Goldberg coming out on top until Hunter gave him an eye poke. Goldberg gutted out a Spear on Kane at 17:45. He got up and save a Spear to Hunter. Orton and Flair charged to the ring at that point. Goldberg fought them off. Goldberg then tackled Hunter to the mat for a two count. Kane interrupted the count. Both Goldberg and Kane grabbed each other to set up chokeslams. Hunter meanwhile struggled to his feet and hit Goldberg low from behind. Kane chokeslammed Goldberg and went for the cover. Bataista yanked Kane out of the ring and Hunter covered Goldberg for the pin.
WINNER: Hunter at 19:30 to capture the World Hvt. Title.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- This dragged a lot and had some clumsy moves. It also had some nice sequences, but not enough to save it. A downer finish to the PPV, especially ending at just 10:35 p.m.
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