WWE PPV FLASHBACK: Taboo Tuesday 2005 – Cena vs. Angle vs. HBK, Flair vs. Hunter cage

Jphn Cena (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


Ten years ago today, WWE held the “Taboo Tuesday” PPV featuring a main event of John Cena vs. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWE Title. Plus, a semi-main event of Triple H vs. Ric Flair inside a steel cage.

NOVEMBER 1, 2005

-Joey Styles and Jerry Lawler introduced Taboo Tuesday. Styles referred to himself as the ECW announcer filling in for Coach because he had to wrestle later.

-Edge and Chris Masters walked to the ring for their match. Then they went backstage to the five potential opponents – Christian, Matt Hardy, JBL, Rey Mysterio, and Hardcore Holly. They revealed the results of fan voting and Mysterio and Hardy were the top two vote getters. The others looked upset. Rey reacted like the doctor had just told him, “It’s a healthy baby boy!”


There are a lot of people in the industry intrigued by how Styles does live on PPV with Vince McMahon shouting into his ear throughout the event. Styles is used to doing post-produced studio announcing for ECW, with limited live experience on PPV over the years. He also is used to being produced by Paul Heyman through his headsets. Rey got a nice reception from his hometown fans. Lita did some pre-match mic work from the rampway, saying Edge would not be wrestling. Edge said he wouldn’t gain anything from beating Hardy again. Gene Snitsky was the replacement. That’s lame since fans voted for Matt in great part because they wanted to see another Edge-Hardy match-up. Rey took a beating early, but then hot-tagged Matt. Matt gave Snitsky a superplex that looked botched. Snitsky and Masters doubled on Hardy. Hardy finally hot-tagged Rey back in at 10:30. Masters, though, quickly locked Rey din the Masterlock. Lawler said nobody ever escapes the hold, so just ring the bell. Rey kicked back off the turnbuckle and had Masters’s shoulders on the mat for a near fall. The Smackdown ref stopped the Raw ref from counting to three, which led to confusion and Masters breaking the hold. Rey and Hardy dove onto Snitsky and Masters at ringside. “All hell has broken loose at Taboo Tuesday!” shouted Styles. They went to a series of near falls inside the ring. Rey hit Masters with the 619 at 13:30. Hardy then gave Masters the Twist of Fate. Rey then finished off Masters with a springboard splash and scored a pin with both wrestlers counting in unison.

WINNER: Mysterio at 14:10.

STAR RATING: **1/4 — Solid action. A bit long and repetitive, but fundamentally solid considering what Rey and Hardy were working with.

-Mick Foley had Maria try on the Mankind facemask. Lawler said regarding Maria, “Not much upstairs, but what a staircase.”

-Todd Grisham revealed which WWE legend would team with Eugene. Duggan won with 43 percent. Snuka came in second with 40 percent. Kamala finished last with 17 percent. That’s a shame. Kamala was my choice. There were a lot more comic opportunities between Kamala and Eugene than Snuka and Eugene.


At 5:00, Snuka tagged in, then four-way action broke out. Snuka was very limited in what he did. Eugene and Snuka took turns headbutting Conway. Eugene then gave Conway a Rock Bottom. He then called for the Superfly Splash. Styles said it brings him back to his childhood. Snuka looked very unsteady up there, but eventually sprung and hit a solid splash for the win. Tomko attacked Snuka afterward. Duggan and Kamala made the save. Duggan clotheslined Tomko and Kamala hit his splash. He didn’t try to pin him on his stomach, which was the disappointment of the evening. Eugene, Kamala, Duggan, and Eugene celebrated together in the ring. How does Kamala look the same today as he did in 1984 in World Class Championship Wrestling?

WINNERS: Eugene & Snuka at 6:20.


-A commercial aired for the Undertaker PPV special as part of the Fanatic Series.


Mankind won voting by over 50 percent off votes. Carlito dropkicked Mankind at ringside, and sold it as if his head hit, but on replay his arm actually made the impact. Carlito dominated early, but with unimaginative offense. Mankind made a comeback, hit some signature spots, and applied Mr. Socko with Carlito’s hair drawn in. Foley looked out of shape and slow.

WINNER: Mankind at 7:17.


-Backstage Vince McMahon approached Eric Bischoff. Vince said the match he’s most looking forward to was the Raw vs. Smackdown match. “I didn’t miss it, did I?” Vince said. Bischoff said it had. Vince asked what happened. Bischoff said things didn’t go the way he wanted. “Raw didn’t lose to Smackdown, did it?” Vince chewed out Bischoff for losing on his own PPV with his own concept. Vince told Bischoff he is damn disappointed in him. “Who are you? You’re not the Eric Bischoff I knew who almost put me out of business,” he said. “I hate excuses. What are you going to do about it, Eric?” Bischoff asked what he’s going to do about it since he’s chairman of the board. McMahon said he’s tired of people like him waiting for him to step up. “I’m not going to step up anymore. You’re own your own. That means no more excuses. Where’s that killer instinct. Where the hell is it? From now on, I’m not changing your damn diapers… You’re on your damn own. So go do something about it.” Vince then told Bischoff good luck with the Batista vs. Coach match, then left the room.

-They showed Foley sitting down for the post-match interview exclusively at WWE.com. He was still breathing heavily.

-Grisham said it was time to announce who would be in the main event with John Cena and Kurt Angle. Big Show, Kane, and Shawn Michaels stood backstage, awaiting word. Michaels received 46 percent, Big Show 16 percent, and Kane 38 percent. Show and Kane wished Michaels luck. Michaels then made those zany faces that have always been the weakest aspect of his on-air persona. That set up the tag title match.

4 — TREVOR MURDOCH & LANCE CADE vs. KANE & BIG SHOW — World Tag Team Title match

Styles said, “This is a one night stand for me again here at Taboo Tuesday.” In other words, he’s setting it up as if he’s not a candidate for Raw at this point. Kane and Show dominated the early minutes. Kane went to the top rope, but Cade knocked him off the top rope. The heels then took over with unathletic offense against the two monsters, giving fans everywhere a chance to daydream about TNA’s prime time special. Murdoch hit Kane with an inverted atomic drop and Cade hit a bulldog. Kane sat up. Cade hit a clothesline. Kane sat up again and grabbed his throat. Kane lifted Cade. Murdoch punched Kane from behind. Show got a hot tag at 6:45. Show splashed Cade in the corner, then turned to Murdoch. Kane surprised Murdoch with a flying clothesline. Kane then clotheslined him over the top rope. Cade then got the double-chokeslam and Show scored the pin. Grisham was going to interview Show and Kane in the ring. Murdoch then stood on the ring apron and trash-talked them. They stopped the interview and gave him a double chokeslam also. They didn’t even bother to attempt another post-win interview.

WINNERS: Show & Kane at 7:48 to capture the World Tag Team Titles.

STAR RATING: 3/4* — Cade & Murdoch don’t have enough clout yet to not lose quite a bit by being easily defeated by Kane & Show, but Kane & Show don’t gain much for beating them.

-Coach told Vader and Goldust backstage that he dreamed of becoming World Heavyweight Champion.

-Grisham invited the WWE Divas to the Taboo Tuesday Control Center near the entrance stage. Lawler freaked out about the women. Styles said, “I know you were excited because your hands were on the table, but it still moved.”


“Still has that sunny disposition, does Vader,” said Styles. Regarding Goldust, Lawler said, “He and Terri Runnels made quite a team years ago. They were pretty strange. Terri was pretty and Goldust was strange.” Coach came out third with a t-shirt that said, :I’m the Coach. Voice of the people.” Styles pointed out that Coach was a standout basketball player at a small college in Kansas (McPherson?). Lawler said it’s like being the fittest kid at fat camp. In voting, verbal debate only got 6 percent, arm wrestling 3 percent, and a street fight 91 percent. Styles said Batista replaced Steve Austin because fans were promised that Coach would appear and fans “wanted to see Coach get his beat.” Batista fended off an early double-team by Goldust and Vader. Batista set up Vader for a suplex, but Goldust hit Batista with a kendo stick to stop the move. Styles pointed out that everything is legal in a street fight. Batista made a comeback by 3:30 – and not a minute too soon – and dropped Vader and Goldust, then gave Coach a Batista Bomb for the win. He barely got Vader up, which was no surprise. Batista wasn’t thrilled with Vader’s help on the first Batista Bomb attempt.

WINNER: Batista at 4:24.

STAR RATING: DUD – It was just a pointless match. Why bring Vader and Goldust back to be jobbers, especially when Vader is so badly out of condition.

-Grisham interviewed Michaels, who said it’s cool to be the most popular kid in school. He said for WWE fans he’s going to go out there and do what he does best. Angle walked in and got in Michaels’s face. Angle said they may not agree on much, but neither of them want to see Cena walk out as WWE Champion. “Let’s take him out and then find out who the best in the business is. It will be just you and me… I beat you once and you beat me once. We even tied in the rubber match. Tonight we have an opportunity to prove to everyone who the best in the business is. Except this time it’s for the WWE Championship. So what do you say?” Michaels said he’d think about it. Angle told him he better think real good. Good segment. Michaels started out weak with the “most popular kid in school” thing, but Angle took it up a level.

6 — WOMEN’S BATTLE ROYAL (Candice Michelle, Victoria, Mickie James, Trish Stratus, Maria)

Fans voted for lingerie. Pervs. Maria’s outfit gave WWE fans worldwide something to think about before they went to sleep. Styles told Lawler, “I never want to hear you use the words beat and lingerie in the same sentence again.” Styles said: “Nice forearm by Candice Michelle. Who would’ve thunk it.” You don’t get that from Michael Cole. Styles picks his spots to be a smart ass pretty well. He also did a good job turning from comedy before the match to trying to set the stage that something serious was at stake in this match. Mickie charged at Victoria and they tumbled through the ropes to the floor and almost broke their necks on landing. That left Trish as the lone survivor. The announcers portrayed it as Mickie sacrificing herself to help Trish win. Mickie acted like an over-the-top obsessed fan in a post-match interview at ringside with Todd Grisham. Trish didn’t know what to make of it.

WINNER: Trish at 6:19.


-They showed San Diego Chargers at ringside. Styles said everyone loves WWE action, but he admitted he’s a Jets fan. They said those who ordered Taboo Tuesday get a free week of WWE 24/7 online. The code is WWETabooTuesday. The system will know if you ordered Taboo Tuesday, so under no circumstances try to use that password unless you can prove to government investigators that you actually ordered the event, or chipped in on ordering it, or at least thought about ordering it.

-A video package previewed Ric Flair vs. Triple H.

7 — TRIPLE H vs. RIC FLAIR — Cage Match

Styles said even though the IC Title was on the line, neither wrestler cared about that in this grudge match. Early on Flair told Hunter, “Give me your best f—in’ shot!” Flair bled very early. Hunter dominated for several minutes. Flair eventually made a comeback and bloodied Hunter also. Flair worked over Hunter’s quad and knee area. Styles pointed out several times that Flair was going after Hunter’s vulnerable part. Flair put Hunter in the figure-four and told Hunter, “F— you! F— you! I’ll kill you, I’ll you. F— you!” Hunter had another streak of offense, just completely battering Flair. Flair used a low to take control and then bashed Hunter with a chair several times. Flair then went through the cage door to win. Styles said he was blessed to get to call that match. Hunter staggered and fell inside the ring as Flair celebrated his win. Both men were a complete bloody mess. Hunter was helped out of the ring. The fans stood and applauded.

WINNER: Flair at 23:36.

STAR RATING: ***1/2 — Predictable in the sense that there wasn’t anything athletically memorable, but they told a reasonably dramatic, realistic story. It was methodical early, but they wanted to go twenty-plus minutes to make it feel epic, but they didn’t necessarily have the material to get to four stars at that length. They went for a home run and definitely didn’t swing and miss.

-Styles bragged that 6.3 million votes were cast for Taboo Tuesday. If the number’s legit, it does include each vote in each of the eight matches, which would mean around 800,000 individual voters cast votes. That’s realistic.


As the match began, Angle went right after Michaels, so either Michaels turned down his proposal or Angle backed down on his word instantly. Lawler pointed out Angle decision. Angle got dumped to ringside early, giving Michaels a chance to work over Cena. Styles talked about it being Michaels’s boyhood dream to become WWE Champions. Angle snuck back in at 3:15 and gave Cena a back suplex. He gave Michaels overhead belly-to-belly. He then applied an early Anklelock. Cena intervened and set up an FU out of nowhere. Michaels went for Sweet Chin Music. Cena dropped Angle and took Michaels down for a near fall. As Angle went for a sunset flip on Cena, Michaels hit Cena with a crossbody block for a near fall. Styles called it a “human championship car wreck.” Really good opening five minutes of well-coordinated highspots and near falls. Michaels and Angle teamed up to work over Cena, throwing him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Cena tumbled to ringside. Michaels and Angle dropped Cena over the announce table, then turned on each other. They exchanged chops in the corner at 8:00. Angle suplexed Michaels for a two count, then settled into a body scissors. Michaels blocked a superplex and knocked Angle to the mat. Angle, though, came back and surprised Michaels with a quick Angle Slam for a near fall. The crowd popped, and some booed Michaels’s kickout.

Angle dropped his straps at 12:00. Cena was still out at ringside after being dropped on the table at ringside. Cena finally returned to the ring to a chorus of deep voiced boos and high-pitched cheers and cleared the ring with a flurry of offense, sending Angle to ringside. He whipped Michaels into the corner and Michaels did the Flair flip. Cena set up Michaels for a pin attempt, but Angle intervened and tossed Cena into the crowd at 13:00. Michaels then launched onto Angle with a flip dive. They both lay at ringside exhausted. Michael was the first up. Cena crawled back over the ring barrier as Michaels hit Angle with a flying forearm. Michaels nipped up, hit an inverted atomic drop, two clotheslines, and a bodyslam. Cena reentered the ring, but was met by Michaels chops. Michaels hit Cena with a flying forearm. Angle then suplexed Michaels over the top rope. That drew an “Oh my god!” Cena then went into his routine which drew more boos from the male fans.

Cena lifted Angle for an FU, but Angle slipped out and applied an Anklelock. Cena kicked out, but Angle kept his grip. Cena reached for the bottom rope. Cena teased tapping. He shook his head. The crowd stood and cheered for one of the two. Michaels then came off the top rope and hit Angle with a top rope elbow to break the hold. He showed fire and set up Sweet Chin Music. He stomped the mat. “For whom does the bell toll,” said Styles. He hit Angle with a superkick, but Cena surprised Michaels with an FU for the clean win. Cena did a great job selling the Anklelocks afterward, shoving the ref away and taking his time to recover before holding his belt in the air.

WINNER: Cena at 16:45.

STAR RATING: **** — That was a really good match. All action, well executed, well timed. A lot of fans wanted to see a title change and more specifically Cena lose, but the crowd heat was there from the beginning and the were passionately into the action.

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