Written by: SamoaRowe from Da Wrestling Site
-It’s the “One night a year the WWE goes extreme!” Every match has an “extreme” gimmick attached to it, as we’ll see Singapore cane, last man standing, first blood, stretcher, falls count anywhere, TLC, and “I quit” matches.
-They are airing live from San Diego, California. Our hosts for the evening are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler for Raw, Michael Cole and Mick Foley for Smackdown, and Mike Adamle and Tazz for ECW.
Falls Count Anywhere match:
Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga
I know, I know, this is something like the millionth match in their never-ending rivalry, but their matches tend to be quality, so I’ll let it go. Hardy starts off by running into Umaga’s elbow. Hard Irish whip by Umaga. Hardy quickly rebounds with Whisper in the Wind. Umaga catches Hardy (attempting a flying cross body) and slams him hard to the mat rather awesomely. Hardy ducks the rampaging Umaga, causing him to crash to the floor. Hardy whips himself onto Umaga on the floor and goes for the cover and gets 2. Umaga whips Hardy into the barricade. Umaga drops a chair Hardy and directs him towards the corner of the floor, nearing the stage. Umaga no-sells a shot from a giant traffic cone and kicks Hardy in the face. Hardy dodges a splash from Umaga, causing the big man to hit the some tech equipment. Hardy uses a fire extinguisher to chase Umaga to the backstage area. From here, the match turns into a 1999 hardcore match, as they brawl up the stairs. Hardy slides down a rail and wipes Umaga out. Cover on the stairs by Hardy gets 2. Umaga huffs and puffs his way up the stairs to chase Hardy and they continue brawling in the lobby and into the parking lot. The parking lot brawl ends up being really entertaining, with lots of use of the parked trucks. Hardy climbs up the side of a truck and kicks Umaga off. Hardy hit’s the swanton bomb off the truck and picks up the win at 9:18. This was silly fun, **.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
-We are treated to a pre-taped segment where Mick Foley puts over the concept of the stretcher match.
-Tazz and Mike Adamle put over the Singapore Cane match to determine the #1 contender to the ECW Championship. Adamle is still referring to Tazz as “The Tazz” which makes me smile. All the participants in the match are former ECW Champions. Steel poles with Singapore canes are hung up on the turnbuckles.
Singapore Cane match:
CM Punk vs. Chavo Guerrero (with Bam Neely) vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. John Morrison vs. Big Show
As expected, everyone jumps Big Show from the beginning, aside from Morrison who smartly tries to get himself a Singapore cane. Show fights everyone off, dropping Chavo and Morrison with scoop slams. Show drops Morrison on Chavo and drops an elbow on both of them. Scoop slam to Dreamer by Show, but he misses the elbow drop. CM Punk targets Show’s back and Morrison kicks the big man in the head. Show eats a DDT from Dreamer and the frog splash from Chavo. The four smaller men all get canes and take turns smacking Big Show with them! Punk and Dreamer team up to dump Show out of the ring, which leaves them vulnerable to cane attacks from Chavo and Morrison. Punk and Chavo brawl over by the announce tables. Chavo swings and accidentally hit’s the football player sitting in the front row. Punk hands the cane to the football player (Merriman, whoever) and he takes some shots himself. Meanwhile, Big Show is up and angrily man-handling Morrison. The Miz runs in to try and help his partner, but Big Show dispatches him too. Show lifts the steel steps over his head to hit Miz, but Morrison canes the back of Show’s knee, causing him to fall face-first into the steps! In the ring, Dreamer hit’s a pump handle suplex with the cane on Morrison (to an “ECW” chant). Dreamer blocks CM Punk’s Go 2 Sleep and reverses into a Texas Cloverleaf. Morrison breaks up the submission with the cane. Morrison sets Chavo up for a superplex, but it’s blocked. Punk runs up and attempts the superplex, but Morrison power bombs Punk, sending Chavo crashing into a Neckbreaker from Dreamer! DAMN!~ Big Show is up and bleeding heavily. Show kicks Bam Neely away and canes The Miz. Morrison flies over the ropes into a nasty cane shot. Show brings a can full of canes to the ring and cleans house. Dreamer attempts a comeback but gets choke slammed for his troubles. Show lifts up Dreamer and applauds his toughness. Show might respect Dreamer, but that doesn’t stop him from cracking another cane over his forehead. Show covers with one boot and gets the win at 8:36. This was tremendously entertaining, ***.
Winner: Big Show
-Backstage, Todd Grisham is standing by with Vince McMahon. They are talking about Vince’s one million dollar giveaway. Vince officially names it “McMahon’s Million-dollar Mania.” This, of course, leads to Ron Simmons wandering in and proclaiming “DAMN!”
First Blood match:
John Bradshaw Layfield vs. John Cena
JBL and Cena both uncover opposite turnbuckles, exposing the steel. Cena talks some smack and a slugfest erupts. JBL gets the upper hand, clubbing away on Cena. Cena dodges a big boot and hit’s a clothesline. They quickly head to ringside, where JBL gets his head slammed into the announce table, and then back to the ring where Cena clubs away at the head. JBL dumps Cena over the ropes to the floor. JBL drops an elbow on the floor. Cena appears to be hiding his head until the ring, but it turns out he’s not bleeding. JBL directs Cena back to the ring, and beats on Cena to some applause from the very anti-Cena fans in attendance. JBL kicks Cena off the apron and continues to target the head. Cena gets his face grated against the steel barricade, but avoids bleeding. Cena fires back, until JBL thumbs the eye and hit’s a boot to the head. JBL grabs a chair and attempts to smash Cena’s head into the ring post, but misses. Cena fires back, but JBL smacks him in the head with the microphone. The action returns to the ring, where JBL continues to use the mic as a weapon. Cena retaliates, hitting his trademark offense. Five knuckle shuffle by Cena, but JBL uses the ropes to block the F-U. JBL drops Cena throat-first on the ropes, and both men are down on the floor. JBL tosses Cena into the ring post again. JBL tosses the steel steps, but Cena dodges. Cena blocks a DDT on the steps, causing JBL’s back to hit the steel hard. Cena grabs the mic and nails JBL in the forehead. Cena grates JBL’s head across the ridges of the steps. Back in the ring, JBL blocks a chair shot and drops Cena’s forehead into the exposed turnbuckle. Cena ducks the clothesline from hell and hit’s a bulldog onto the chair. JBL wraps a chain around his fist and punches Cena’s gut. JBL misses another shot and eats the F-U. They both struggle to their feet, with JBL kicking Cena in the head, causing him to get tied up and stuck in the ropes. JBL grabs a bull-whip, but Cena knees him in the groin before he can use it. Cena grabs the chain and wraps up JBL in the STFU, causing him to bleed from the mouth! This gives Cena the win at 14:22. This was a serviceable brawl, but it was too one-sided in JBL’s favor to turn into anything truly exciting or memorable, **½.
Winner: John Cena
-Backstage, Batista is sitting around. Randy Orton strolls in to wish him luck in his match against Shawn Michaels. Orton is confused by Batista’s hostility towards him, since they used to be buddies. Orton brings up the draft and proposes they team up if they wind up on the same show. Batista doesn’t answer and leaves.
“I Quit” match:
Beth Phoenix vs. Melina
Beth tries to intimidate, but Melina surprises her with a guillotine! Me likey. Beth counters and nails a vicious backbreaker. Beth applies a second backbreaker and transitions into a stretch. Melina knees Beth in the face to free herself, but Beth slams her to the mat. Beth drives Melina into the corner. Melina fires back and climbs the turnbuckle to drive Beth’s face to the mat. Melina applies her new submission trick, Beth pulls herself out of the ring to escape. Melina tosses Beth into the ring, but gets lifted off her feet and driven into the corner. Beth angrily stomps. Beth lifts Melina over her back and works it hard. Beth applies an armbar, looking for the win. It sounds like three people in the crowd are chanting “We want Chyna.” Neat. Beth keeps knocking Melina around, convinced she’s in a position to quit. Melina fights back, and counters Beth, slamming her face into the turnbuckles. Melina kicks Beth shoulder-first into the ring post. Armbar takedown by Melina and she counters Beth again for the armbar submission attempt. Melina transitions into a cross-arm breaker. Melina wraps her legs around Beth’s head, and gets power bombed for her trouble! Face-buster by Beth, who then pulls back Melina’s arms for a submission attempt. Beth tries again, grabbing Melina by the chin, and twisting her body in a sickening fashion. Melina quits, and Beth wins at 8:57. This was a vicious submission battle. It’s a shame the crowd wasn’t very into it, **¾.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
-Backstage, Mickie James pays John Cena (who was visiting with his doctor) a visit. Mickie asks John to “practice submissions” when Mike Adamle busts out of the bathroom, disrupting their moment. Adamle tells them they are the best looking couple he’s seen and he invites them out. I would have never expected something this entertaining out of Adamle.
Shawn Michaels vs. Batista
HBK pounces in the early going, but gets tossed off relatively easily. HBK blocks the Batista Bomb, but gets dumped out of the ring. At ringside, Batista lifts and drops HBK chest-first onto the apron. HBK pushes Batista into the ring post and delivers an enziguri. HBK sits Batista on the ring steps and drives the stretcher into him! Batista crawls, and gets the stretcher driven into his head! HBK tries to place Batista on the stretcher, but Batista wakes up and smashes his way to freedom. Batista attempts the Batista Bomb on the floor, but HBK counters with a choke hold. Batista appears to fade and gets placed on the stretcher. HBK tries to wheel him out, but Batista is awake and kicks him off. Batista whips HBK into the ring post. Batista slams HBK back-first into the apron and then the barricade! Back in the ring, Batista floors HBK with a hard clothesline. Hard Irish whip by Batista and a clothesline. HBK sidesteps a charging Batista, sending the Animal into the turnbuckles. HBK knocks Batista down and goes high risk, hitting the flying elbow drop! HBK attempts Sweet Chin Music, but gets clotheslined off his feet. Batista tries to power bomb Michaels to the floor, but HBK escapes and hit’s the Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere! HBK tries to wheel Batista out on the stretcher, but Batista holds onto the apron. HBK gets him to let go, but Batista flops off. HBK rams the stretcher into Batista’s gut. Batista blocks the stretcher and snaps it into HBK’s face and then gut! That was awesome! Batista has control, and hit’s the Batista Bomb in the ring. Batista tries to get HBK on the stretcher, but Chris Jericho appears and tries to motivate HBK to get back up. Batista rolls Michaels back into the ring, perhaps to prove a point. HBK climbs up Batista’s body, but is too weak to hit any offense. Batista tells HBK “I don’t love you, and I’m not sorry!” AWESOME! HBK eats another Batista Bomb and gets placed on the stretcher. Batista seems to have the win, but Jericho blocks Batista from wheeling HBK over the finish line. Batista doesn’t get angry, he just uses this as a chance to hurt HBK even more. Batista brings the steel steps over to the finish line. HBK suffers a spine buster onto the steps, gets placed on the stretcher, and pushed over the line. Batista wins at 17:02! This turned into an extended murder sequence late in the contest, but this had some classic moments. This feud has really brought out the best from Batista, ***¾.
Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship:
Triple H © vs. Randy Orton
Orton gets the upper hand early, kicking HHH in the gut and tossing him to ringside. Orton aggressively pursues, but gets whipped into the steel steps for his trouble. HHH smashes Orton’s into the announce table. The action returns to the ring, where HHH pummels Orton into the corner. HHH rips apart Orton’s face with his bare hands and drives Orton shoulder-first into the ring post. Orton reverses an Irish whip and hit’s a drop-kick. Triple H uses Orton’s momentum to toss him over the ropes to the floor. HHH places Orton on the ECW announce table and pummels him. HHH signals the pedigree on the table, Orton blocks and attempts the RKO, but HHH blocks and Orton lands on his feet on the floor. Orton catches HHH by the head and DDT’s him to the floor. The referee counts and HHH gets up at the count of 9. Orton removes some padding from the floor, exposing the bare concrete. Orton attempts the RKO, but HHH blocks, shoving him into the ring post. Orton and Triple H return to the ring, where Orton attacks the back of the head and stomps away angrily. Knee drop by Orton, who then throws the steel steps into the ring. Orton lifts the steps over his head and rams them into HHH’s face! HHH gets to his feet at the nine count, and fights back against Orton, who had just retrieved some extension cord from under the ring. Orton chokes HHH with the cord. Orton signals the RKO, but HHH blocks it by throwing him through the ropes to the floor, hitting the steps in the process. And the match comes to a halt, momentum-wise, because Orton broke his collar-bone! HHH breaks the referee’s count, slamming Orton’s head into the barricade. That was dumb, after that bump to the floor, I would have just let that be the finish. Triple H looks mad that his “epic” match is going to be cut short, and grabs a sledgehammer. HHH cracks the hammer over Orton’s skull and returns to the ring to pose while Orton is counted out at 13:17. The match was just building it’s steam when it had to end abruptly, but what we saw was solid stuff, **½.
Winner and still WWE Champion: Triple H
-We are treated to a very nicely done video package looking back on the Undertaker/Edge feud. Undertaker won the World title at Wrestlemania, but Vicki Guerrero stripped him of the gold. Undertaker and Edge fought for the gold at Judgment Day, but Undertaker won by count-out, so the title remained vacant. There must be a winner tonight.
TLC match for the World Heavyweight Championship:
Edge vs. The Undertaker
If the Undertaker loses, he’s banished from the WWE. This stipulation had many in the IWC proclaiming that this made it obvious that Undertaker would win. Well, they might be in for a surprise. Taker gets the early upper hand, methodically pummeling Edge. After a few minutes, Taker goes for a ladder, but Edge baseball slides the ladder into his own face. Edge sets up some tables at ringside, piling them up. Taker surprises Edge, driving a ladder into his head. Taker piles some more tables up where Edge started. Edge drop toe holds Taker into the ring steps (which is pretty stale as a weapon, after two and a half hours of it). Edge sets a ladder in the ring and starts climbing towards the gold. Taker pulls Edge off, dropping him on the ropes. Taker sets the ladder on a turnbuckle, but Edge counters snake eyes, driving Taker head into the ladder. Edge sets a ladder on the opposite turnbuckle, but his Irish whip is reversed and he’s sent crashing into it. Taker brings a third ladder into the ring and starts climbing. Edge cuts him off at the top, but he gets thrown off into another ladder. Edge desperately shifts his balance into Taker’s ladder, sending the Dead Man crashing into the opposite turnbuckle’s ladder. Edge sets another ladder up on the turnbuckle, but Undertaker cuts him off with snake eyes. Edge is stuck between the turnbuckle and the ladder, and Taker kicks the ladder into him hard. “We want tables” chant from the crowd. The action spills to ringside, where Taker destroys Edge with a chair. Edge uses the chair to counter Taker’s apron leg drop! Edge drives the chair into the back of Taker’s knee. Edge positions a ladder on the apron and barricade, Undertaker attempts the last ride, but Edge hit’s a low blow! Edge cracks the chair over Taker’s head and fetches a table. Edge positions Undertaker on a table, and hit’s a frog splash off the announce table! Edge attempts to climb, Taker pulls him off, and Edge surprises him with the spear! Edge crushes Taker’s knee with the ladder, and then a chair. Edge fetches the monster ladder and cracks Undertaker’s skull with the chair for good measure. Edge positions Undertaker for a con-chair-to, but Taker kicks him down low. Undertaker choke slams Edge onto the ladder bridged on the apron/barricade! DAMN! Taker starts climbing, but Hawkins and Ryder run in and prevent the win. Edge’s lackeys position Taker on a table, and place another table on him! Taker wakes up and throws Hawkins into a table on the floor! Taker then choke slams Ryder onto another ringside table! Edge spears Taker off the apron, and he crashes into the barricade. Edge piles up two tables in the ring and attempts the climb. Taker climbs up after him and hit’s the last ride on Edge through TWO TABLES! DAMN! Taker tries climbing the ladder, but Bam Neely and Chavo Guerrero run in to stop him. They attempt a con-chair-to, but Taker ducks. Taker drops them both with chairs and starts climbing again (a bit lopsided, as he seems to be setting up the final bump). Edge pushes the ladder over, sending Taker crashing into the four tables set up at ringside! OMYGOD! Edge climbs and takes the title at 23:26. The crowd can’t believe it. Well, the match was overbooked, but dramatic. It’s not the match of the year, but it had some glorious moments, ****.
Winner and new World Heavyweight Champion: Edge
-Edge celebrates with his friends. Vicki Guerrero joins them and embraces Edge. Fireworks go off, and Edge looks poised to enjoy a long-term grip on the gold.
Final Thoughts: This was an entertaining show. All the matches delivered on some level. When the worst match of the night is a ** garbage match, then you know they’ve done something right. The stretcher and TLC matches were the highlights, and both are worth checking out. The rest of the show is more average, but certainly enjoyable to sit through.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.