Monday, March 27, 2017

Random Network Reviews: WWE Taboo Tuesday 2004

Taboo Tuesday 2005
November 1st, 2005 | iPayOne Center in San Diego, California | Attendance: 6,000

After the failure of This Tuesday in Texas, the WWE did away with the idea of a Tuesday night Pay-Per-View. That changed in 2004, when they brought in Taboo Tuesday. Considering the time period, the concept of the show made sense. Fans voted for various things like competitors, match types, etc. and their choices played out on screen. This would be the last of two Taboo Tuesday events before it was moved to Sundays as Cyber Sunday.

Right after the opening video, this goes straight to the opening match without much introduction from commentary. It is Joey Styles and Jerry Lawler on it though.

For the opener, the fans were choosing the Smackdown guys to face Chris Masters and Edge. Their options were Christian, Matt Hardy, Hardcore Holly, JBL and Rey Mysterio. This is also coming off of the heels of the personal Hardy/Edge rivalry. Lita and Edge get on the mic and say there’s no reason to compete because he doesn’t care about Matt, Raw or the fans. He brings out Snitsky as a replacement, so that’s extremely disappointing. 

Interpromotional Match
Chris Masters and Snitsky vs. Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio

There are two referees in the ring, one from each brand. The heels attack quickly but Rey and Matt don’t stay down for long since they are resilient faces. It’s so odd watching both refs trying to do their jobs. Matt gets two on the Side Effect and then hits a damn second rope DDT on Snitsky. Surprisingly, it seems like Matt is going to take the heat here. Snitsky and Masters do well as the powerful heel combination for a bit. The hot tag eventually comes to Rey, but his hot streak can’t last long against his larger opponents. Masters gets Rey in the Masterlock, which nobody had broken at this point. Rey kicks off and lands on top of Masters, pinning his shoulders. The Smackdown ref counts but the Raw ref stops him. This leads to Rey and Matt diving out onto both opponents. Shortly after, Masters takes the 619, Twist of Fate and a springboard splash to lose.

Winners: Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio in 13:46
Decent little opener here. Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio made for a good team and Chris Masters and Snitsky worked better than expected. The two ref stuff was odd and I think it would have been better off with Rey taking the heat since he’s a better sympathetic babyface. This also screamed TV and not PPV match. **½

Eugene and Jimmy Snuka vs. Rob Conway and Tyson Tomko
What kind of hell is this? The fans had to choose between Jim Duggan, Jimmy Snuka and Kamala as Eugene’s partner. Eugene is in for the entire match, taking heat after a slightly hot start. Nothing that Rob Conway and Tyson Tomko do is really interesting in any way. Jimmy Snuka gets the mild tag, though Eugene still handles most of the work. He hits a rock bottom on Conway before Snuka nails the Superfly Splash and gets the 1-2-3.

Winners: Eugene and Jimmy Snuka in 6:21
This was pretty bad Jimmy Snuka clearly couldn’t do much and the other three guys in the match weren’t really good enough to overcome that. ¾*

Tyson Tomko tries to attack Jimmy Snuka after the bell, but Kalama and Jim Duggan show up to make the save and give the fans a nice little moment of nostalgia.

Carlito vs. Mankind
The fans got to vote on which of Mick Foley’s personalities would face Carlito tonight. Commentary puts over Mankind like he’s Cactus Jack, making me think they expected Cactus to win the vote. Mankind overwhelms Carlito early and often until he gets a steel chair. Carlito avoids it with a drop toe hold that sends Mankind and the chair into the steel steps. That turns the tide for Carlito, who ends up trying to choke Mankind out. Mankind fights out and pulls his hair out, to show how much he likes pain. To show that there’s still some Cactus in him, Mankind hits the Cactus apron elbow. Joey Styles pulls a Michael Cole and calls it VINTAGE MANKIND! Mankind pulls out Mr. Socko, complete with a Carlito like afro, and wins with the Mandible Claw.

Winner: Mankind in 7:22
I wouldn’t call this a really bad match but I wouldn’t call it good either. It was kind of just there. The fans got a nice little nostalgia moment again from Mankind but this didn’t really do anything for Carlito and was completely forgettable. **

Backstage, Vince McMahon shows up and is disappointed in Eric Bischoff for losing to Smackdown on his own Pay-Per-View.

Todd Grisham now shows us who the fans voted to join John Cena and Kurt Angle in the main event. Shawn Michaels obviously beats out Kane and Big Show for the slot. That means Show and Kane will now team up.

World Tag Team Championship
Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch (c) vs. Big Show and Kane

The challengers go after the champions outside. Lance Cade throws a fit to hype himself up, trying to overcome his fear, but it fails. Cade and Murdoch try to get the upper hand, but Big Show and Kane seem to be too much. Each time it seems like they may have an opening, Show or Kane shrug off their offense and kick their asses. The champions finally do something of note after knocking Kane off the top and hitting Sweet and Sour outside. They work a very short heat segment on Kane before Show gets the tag and dominates. Kane and Show double Chokeslam Cade to give us new champions.

Winners and New World Tag Team Champions: Big Show and Kane in 7:59
Oh man, this was not very good. I get that Kane and Big Show are big men but this did nothing but make Cade and Murdoch look like chumps. There wasn’t really any structure to this match, as they seemed to just kill time until the end. *

For some reason, Trevor Murdoch yells at Kane that he didn’t get chokeslammed. You know, because that’s more important than being upset about losing the belts. He eats a double Chokeslam himself.

Todd Grisham brings out the Divas because the fans are about to choose what they wear for the upcoming battle royal. The fans choose lingerie over cheerleaders and leather and lace.

Non-Title Street Fight
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. Jonathan Coachman w/ Goldust and Vader

For this match, the fans choose between arm wrestling match, debate or street fight. Yea, that was an obvious outcome. Coach was supposed to face Steve Austin but that couldn’t happen and instead, Austin couldn’t make it and Batista replaced him. Yes, the two men with Coach are super random. Due to there being no real rules in this, Coach sends his henchmen in to pound on Batista. Goldust even brings a kendo stick into play. Coach whips Batista with a belt until the “Animal” comes back and starts whipping everyone. He then plants Coach with the Batista Bomb to end it.

Winner: Batista in 4:22
Not much to really discuss here. Batista took a short beating, came back and won like the World Champion should. It wasn’t very fun though, despite seeing guys like Goldust and Vader. Matches like this really showed why the brand exclusive PPVs had issues a lot of the time. ½*

Shawn Michaels is interviewed about getting voted into the main event for the second straight Taboo Tuesday. HBK says it’s good to be the popular kid. Kurt Angle interrupts to say he doesn’t like Shawn but wants to put their differences aside to take out John Cena. Shawn responds by saying that he’ll think about.

WWE Women’s Championship Fulfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal
Trish Stratus (c) vs. Ashley Massaro vs. Candice Michelle vs. Maria Kanellis vs. Mickie James vs. Victoria

Because I’m this kind of guy, I’m going to rank the girls based on how they look tonight. Trish, Mickie, Ashley, Maria, Candice and Victoria. This starts as a standard women’s battle royal but there is added intrigue here because of the Trish and Mickie story. Mickie saves Trish from elimination a few times. Maria, the interviewer, is first out courtesy of Mickie and Trish. Like an idiot, Candice showboats after a move on the apron and is knocked out. Victoria hits the best move of the match with a big tilt-a-whirl slam on Trish. Victoria eliminates Ashley next. Victoria and Trish go at it, with Trish nearly getting eliminated but Mickie saves her. Victoria again nearly eliminates Trish, but Mickie again saves her, before brawling Victoria to the outside and sacrificing herself so Trish can retain.

Winner and Still WWE Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus in 5:23
The actual wrestling in the match wasn’t the greatest, but the story told in this made it lightyears better than other women’s battle royals. Mickie saving her idol Trish so many times was part of the bigger story that led to Mickie and Trish having a great WrestleMania match in my favorite women’s storyline of all time. The outfits worn helped the enjoyment factor too. **¼ 

WWE Intercontinental Championship Steel Cage Match
Ric Flair (c) vs. Triple H

The rivalry between these two guys was pretty well done. The fans voted the Steel Cage match over a straight up match and submission match since Ric Flair basically begged for it on TV leading up to this. There is certainly tension in the air as they trade blows in the early stages. HHH is the first to send his opponent into the steel and Flair is instantly gushing blood. He continues the assault, grating Flair’s’ face across the cage for a gruesome visual. He tries to leave but Flair catches up and they both get crotched. Triple H gets a chain and uses it to pulverize Flair some more. Flair’s loud selling is good here as he sounds like he’s in absolute agony. To add insult to injury, HHH locks in the Figure Four. Flair is able to counter and send HHH into the steel. Triple H is now bleeding and Flair pounces, even biting him. Flair lays into Triple H and takes him down with the chop block. Joey Styles does a great job in pointing to the leg as a weak point for the Game after his quad injury. HHH survives the Figure Four but gets hit with a low blow. A chair gets brought into play and Flair stops HHH from using it with the TESTICULAR CLAW! Flair then levels Triple H with the chair and escapes the cage.

Winner and Still WWE Intercontinental Champion: Ric Flair in 23:45
An absolutely gruesome match. There were buckets of blood spilled and it was certainly brutal. They told a good story and had the match I expected from these two. Their next encounter later in the month was better, but this was still pretty damn good and our match of the night so far. ***½

WWE Championship
John Cena (c) vs. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels

Within five seconds, Kurt Angle already takes out Shawn Michaels to squander any ides of them teaming up. The guys go through the classic “two guys in the ring while one is thrown outside” scenarios. When everybody is in together, the match it at its best. Angle starts suplexing the world with Germans and overhead belly-to-belly suplexes for everyone. Michaels counters the Ankle Lock, sending Angle right into the FU. Angle blocks and Cena almost gets hit Sweet Chin Music, but he blocks it too. That was a pretty cool sequence. Shawn and Kurt end up working together to take out Cena. Not content with just tossing him outside, they double front suplex him through the Spanish announce table. Now Angle and Michaels start going at each other, which makes sense given their rivalry during 2005. They were tied at one and then the rubber match was a draw, so this a treat. After some great back and forth, Angle hits a top rope Angle Slam but Shawn kicks out. THE STRAPS ARE DOWN! Cena is back though and takes out Angle. Shawn survives Cena’s attacks and somersaults onto Angle outside. Inside, Shawn goes into some of his trademark comeback offense on both guys. Angle stops him in his tracks with a belly to belly that sends him outside. He turns into Cena, who does his Five Knuckle Shuffle stuff. Angle avoids the FU and applies the ankle lock. Just a few months into Cena’s reign and the fans are very mixed already. Cena struggles to avoid tapping and Michaels breaks it with an elbow on Angle. My only issue with that is that Shawn took his time climbing, which made sense because he’s selling, but was a dumb move overall because Cena may have tapped. Sweet Chin Music to Angle and then Cena hits the FU on Michaels to retain.

Winner and still WWE Champion: John Cena in 16:42
A great capper to a pretty lackluster show. While John Cena would go on to become significantly better in the ring, he was clearly a step behind his opponents at this point. Despite that, the work between Angle and Michaels was spectacular, and the closing minutes of this were pretty damn awesome. Paint by numbers finish, but still a great match that probably would have been an all-time classic with a more polished Cena. ***¾

Overall: 3.5/10; Not good. Honestly, this was on the way to being one of the worst Pay-Per-Views I have ever seen. Nothing during the first two hours was worth watching. The Divas Battle Royal was okay and then the final two matches saved this from being abysmal. Those two matches are worth checking out but other than that, skip this show. Next up on “Random Network Reviews” will beSummerSlam 2009!