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WWE Judgment Day 2006 PPV Review
It?s SmackDown PPV time and this month the WWE gives us Judgment Day. A fitting title since a number of tonight?s competitors will be looking to give the final word in their respective feuds. London and Kendrick will look to make their previous victory over M&M meaningful by capturing the tag team titles. Angle will return to the ring and seek revenge on Mark Henry, and the Undertaker will also mark his return, by attempting to avenge his injuries at the hands of Khali. The stage is set, the curtains have been drawn, and the show begins.
We start off with a very enthusiastic crowd, and a typical WWE pyrotechnics display. Tazz and Michael Cole welcome us to the show and we go straight to the first match of the night.
Match 1 ? M&M \w Melina vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick Tag Team Championship match
In what will be a theme that will reoccur time and time again tonight, we are presented with a solid, competent, but ultimately uninspiring performance. The four worked a well paced and laid out match, but nothing that happened in the ring made the match seem special. As a matter of fact, the only thing that stood out about this mach was the number of spots partially missed by the camera crew. London and Kendrick get the win and the belts after a screw up by M&M allows London to pin Mercury. Following the loss Melina, blamed and then attacked Mercury, which led to a brawl between Nitro, (who came to Melina?s defense), Melina and Mercury. The post match action was more memorable than the match itself, and that?s not a good thing.
We are then shown one of the several King of the Ring video packages that will be played throughout the night.
Match 2 ? Chris Benoit vs. Finlay
Although I did enjoy the slow but methodical style the two used at the beginning of this match, over time I found it to be less and less enjoyable. Both Benoit and Finlay relied on a great deal of mat work in this match. The beginning saw some very nice transitions from hold to hold, but as the match went on, and the pace continued to slow down, it seemed that the two just weren?t doing enough. The announce crew may have shared my opinion as I don?t recall them trying so hard to ?sell the greatness? of a match in quite a while. The end came when Benoit was able to sink in the crossface for the win, which I think came about 5 minutes to late.
We are then treated to a Jillian Hall vs. Melina video package prior to their match.
Match 3 - Jillian Hall vs. Melina w/Nitro
In a continuation of the M&M storyline, Melina is escorted to the ring only by Nitro, however he finds himself thrown out of the building before the match ever starts. The match itself was acceptable, (considering the skills and experience of the participants), though it to could have been trimmed by a few minutes. Both women kept things fairly basic using kicks, punches and generic throws. Melina did the Majority of the heavy lifting here, but Jillian was able to get the pin when the ref failed to notice that Melina had grabbed the rope during Jillian?s pin attempt. Following the match Melina is interviewed by Crystal, who ends up being attacked by, and then beating up Melina.
We then go backstage where a JBL promo is interrupted by Chavo. A few Eddie references are made and we see that the WWE is still determined not to let Rey stand on his own, as they once again remind us that they are only allowing Rey his current success because of Eddie?s passing. The segment is followed by more old King of the Ring footage.
Match 4 - Gregory Helms vs. Super Crazy Cruiserweight
It seems that no matter what the WWE tries to do tonight, they find a way of robbing it of some of it?s luster. In this case, a nicely worked match by Helms and Crazy is tarnished by the bickering of Tazz and Cole, who are far more interested in arguing about whether Helms is currently a ?high flyer? or a ?ground and pound? wrestler, than calling the match. This, combined with a rather bland finish took what was a well paced, and nicely blended mix of styles and made it a rather mundane affair. The end came quickly when Helms used the ropes to pin Crazy.
We again go backstage where a furious Nitro and Melina storm into Teddy Long?s office and demand that he ?do something? about the nights events. His refusal to do so results in a slap from Melina, and then her and Nitro?s subsequent firing. The segment was followed by more King of the Ring footage before we return to ringside.
Match 5 ? Mark Henry vs. Kurt Angle
In yet another of the night?s decent yet unlaudable matches, Angle and Henry work a typical ?big man? vs. ?little man? styled match. Kurt made ample use of the ropes and hit a few flashy moves, while Henry worked a slow power wrestlers style. The match was well on it?s way to earning a average grade until the very end. After being clotheslined into the ring post, Kurt Angle was counted out giving Henry the win. A count out victory on a PPV? It wasn?t until after the match that Angle ?snapped? and took out Henry with a flurry of chair shots and his patented ankle lock. I don?t understand why this happened after the match, and the fact that it did made it all seem rather pointless.
Next up we see Charmel and Booker discussing Booker?s impending King of the Ring victory, following which we see clips of the King of the Ring matches that lead up to tonight?s final.
Mach 6 ? Booker T w/Charmel vs. Bobby Lashley
Again, it?s more competent wrestling that fails to rise to PPV caliber. Though Booker and Lashley work well together, there is nothing here that?s can?t be seen on Smackdown for free. Both give typical performances and do nothing to elevate themselves, their opponents or this match. A run in by Finlay, and his shilaylee attack on Lashley allows Booker to win the match. Booker?s celebration is cut short however, as Lashley spears Booker through his throne.
A video segment detailing the Kahli/Undertaker feud is then played prior to their match.
Match 7 - Khali vs. The Undertaker
In an unusual twist, we see The Undertaker in a match where he plays the much weaker man. Taker constantly played up Khali?s strength by selling every punch and kick sent his way, even going so far as to let himself be easily thrown from the ring. As one might expect, this was little more that a slug fest, however The Undertaker knows how to have an entertaining slug fest, and he showed it tonight. Unfortunately the WWE yet again found a way to expose the dark cloud in the silver lining. Khali was able to win this match, not with a finishing move, not with a unique hold, but with the dreaded generic stomp to the head of a downed opponent. This move which is used by every wrestler in every match multiple times, is now apparently so devastating that it left The Undertaker motionless for several minutes after receiving it. This ending just didn?t seem right; it was like watching someone win a match with a side headlock.
On the off chance that WWE fans hadn?t heard about it, we are shown an add for Kane?s See No Evil movie, followed by a JBL vs. Rey Mysterio video package.
Match 8 - JBL vs. Rey Mysterio World Heavyweight Championship match
The last match of the night once again delivers a free TV quality contest. JBL and Rey go through their typical routines in the same way we have seen a thousand times in the past. This wasn?t a bad match, but it was such a cookie cutter presentation that I found myself not caring who won. If you?ve ever seen these two square off against each other, just picture that match with Rey retaining his title at the end.
Let me make this clear, this was not a bad PPV. There really weren?t any bad matches tonight. There was also nothing here that isn?t identical to a typical Smackdown show. PPVs have to elevate the product above the free TV level and this one didn?t even try. Sure there were belts on the line, and a couple of returning wrestlers, but what took place in the ring was so mediocre it fear may effect future SmackDown PPV buy rates. If it does, the WWE will have no one to blame but itself.
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