WWE PPV Flashbacks: Armageddon - December 12, 1999

Armageddon
December 12, 1999
National Car Rental Center. Fort Lauderdale, FL

The last WWF PPV of 1999 was another event that would become a calendar staple over the next many years, the first ever Armageddon event. Tonight our main event will see the owner of the WWF himself, Mr Vince McMahon, fighting for his family's honour as he battles the conniving Triple H in a no holds barred match. Also tonight, newly crowned WWF Champion, the Big Show, continues his rivalry with the Big Bossman in a match that you definitely would not think of when thinking about major title matches. We also have the reunion of the Rock & Sock Connection as they battle the New Age Outlaws for the tag titles, and a whole lot more. Before we get into all that though, head over to Twitter and follow me at @Mpmcc91.

After a brief opening video we head into the arena where Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler are calling the action as usual to kick the night off.

No. 1 Contender Tag Team Battle Royal:
Our first match of the night is the standard way of getting a bunch of guys on the card - a battle royal. The winners of this match get a shot at the WWF Tag Team Championship next month at the Royal Rumble, which is about all there is to say about the story behind this one. The participant teams are the Acolytes, Mark Henry & The Godfather, Edge & Christian, Hardy Boyz, The Headbangers, Too Cool, Dudley Boyz and Mean Street Posse members Rodney & Pete Gas. As you can tell from that list, the tag division was getting pretty deep around this time period. The Dudley Boyz are the first team to head out, and they get on the mic. Bubba does his stuttering thing since they are still tye dye wearing heels at this point, and they get into a brawl with Edge & Christian before the match. The other teams head out and we are set to go. Too Cool are faces now by the way, which I'll get into later. The Posse are the first team to be eliminated here, despite Joey Abs best attempts to interfere from the outside on their behalf. From there its your usual battle royal affair with participants being eliminated as the match goes on without there being a huge deal to talk about. In the end, the action comes down to the Acolytes and the Hardy Boyz. Matt and Bradshaw end up eliminating each other bringing it down to Jeff and Faarooq to decide on the winner of the match. Jeff actually eliminates Faarooq at one point, but the referee doesn't see it, and the Acolyte member gets back in the ring. He takes control and eliminates Jeff at 10:54 to win the match. The Acolytes once again find themselves as the number one contenders to the tag titles, although their time as top contenders was shortening. A decent enough battle royal, but nothing special as you would expect. Still fun to see the depth of the growing tag division.
Grade: **

Backstage, Lillian Garcia is standing by with Kurt Angle. Kurt rips on Blackman for losing a tag match leading into this show. They are in singles action up next.

Steve Blackman vs Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle is still undefeated here after debuting last month at the Survivor Series. This stems from the episode of Smackdown a few days before this PPV, where Angle teamed with Blackman to face the Dudley Boyz. They would come up short, with Blackman taking the fall, which led to Angle accusing Blackman of being the weak link of their team. That brings us to this match. Fairly simple build as its really just another excuse to give Angle an opponent to beat on PPV before he really gets involved in proper rivalries. I guess Blackman is the de facto face here, which is a role he would continue in going forward. Anyway, Angle gets on the mic before the match and talks about his three I's - intensity, integrity and intelligence, but he is interrupted by Blackman and that gets us going. Blackman rushes to the ring and takes control, but Angle ends up going on offence following a dropkick after avoiding a fist drop from his opponent. The Olympic gold medallist goes to work on Blackman as the crowd chant 'boring', which is something I really don't remember from when Angle started out. They were chanting it last month as well. He'd be just fine. Anyway, he hits a moonsault on his opponent and we get a bit of back and forth as the contest continues. Blackman misses an enzuigiri which allows Angle to connect with a German Suplex. The manoeuvre gives Angle the pinfall victory at 6:56, and another lower card opponent under his belt as he continues his winning ways. Much like last month, just a basic showing for Angle that only served as a teaser of what he had in the tank.
Grade: *3/4

To hype our upcoming 'match' we see footage of the Fabulous Moolah pushing Ivory into a paddle pool on Heat before the show. Michael Cole then gets a word with B.B backstage who says nothing of note.

WWF Women's Championship - Evening Gown Pool Match:
Ivory (c) vs Miss Kitty vs B.B vs Jacqueline
Special Guest Referees: Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah

Ugh, I'd watch a million Eva Marie matches over the women's division in 1999. It really was the low point of female wrestling in the WWF and having a match like this for the title proves that. This stems from a gravy bowel match on Smackdown between Jacqueline and Ivory, which Miss Kitty served as the guest referee for. Jacqueline would win the match and a trophy for her efforts, enraging Ivory who attacked both her opponent and Kitty. B.B would attempt to assist, but was also beat up by the reigning Women's Champion, which led to this match being set up. Of course, Ivory also has history with Moolah & Mae who are the guest referees for this one. Now the match takes place in a pool up near the set, and you win by stripping your opponent down to their underwear. Naturally, Lawler is in heaven. Jacqueline is the first woman eliminated when the other three women team up to strip her down. B.B is targeted next, with the other two women removing her gown. Despite eliminating her from the match, Ivory decides that isn't enough and attempt to rip off B.B's bra, but Kitty makes the save and gets booed in the process. The distraction allows Kitty to remove Ivory's gown, thus winning the Women's Championship at 2:45. JR was his usual great self here, sarcastically calling the end of the match as Kitty applying the greco-roman zipper lock. This was a total T&A fest. What else did you expect?
Grade: DUD

Oh but it does not stop there! Kitty gets on the mic after the match. To celebrate her victory, she decides to strip completely, and we get actual nudity on WWF TV, with her revealing her breasts to the world. PUPPIES! Sgt Slaughter, who is now just one of those officials that come out to break up brawls, covers her up with a towel and escorts her away to some huge heat. Meanwhile Mae Young decides she wants to strip and begins to do so, only for Slaughter to thankfully cover her up before anything was revealed. We would not be so lucky next month.

Prior to our next match we get a word from a newcomer on the scene, Rikishi Phatu. He's the former Fatu/Sultan, now in his best known persona.

Rikishi Phatu & Viscera vs Holly Cousins
Rikishi is quite new on the scene here, but he quickly became involved in a rivalry with the Holly Cousins after defeating Crash on an episode of Jakked in November. He would introduce a key component to his character a few weeks later on Smackdown, when he joined Too Cool at a nightclub to bust a move, which would effectively turn Too Cool face and make the three a popular dancing trio going forward. On that same night however, Rikishi was jumped by the Holly Cousins at the nightclub continuing their rivalry. On Heat before this PPV, Viscera, who was actually still a heel made the surprising save for Rikishi and got into a brawl with the Holly Cousins which led to this match being made. Viscera being in the match is pretty random, but I suppose it fits the whole super heavyweight gimmick of the Holly Cousins. Anyway, Rikishi and Crash start things out, and the big men are in total control as the match gets started. Viscera comes in and misses a charge on Hardcore, which allows the Holly Cousins to go on offence. Rikishi comes in and regains momentum, going for the Rikishi Driver but Viscera accidentally nails his partner with a spinning heel kick after getting caught up in the moment. He stands there at lets Hardcore cover his partner to give the win to the Holly Cousins at 4:23. A short match to get Rikishi on the card although it was weird that they would have him lose considering how popular he was getting. Still, it made sense that his team with Viscera wouldn't last, and the two big guys come to blows after the match before they are separated by officials. Yep, Viscera is a heel again after an hour or so.
Grade: 1/2*

Lillian Garcia is standing by with Val Venis backstage, who is a face again after his brief heel run as I mentioned last month. He flirts with Lillian in Spanish before promising a big celebration after he wins the European Championship up next.

WWF European Championship:
British Bulldog (c) vs D'Lo Brown vs Val Venis

I don't think I mentioned this back at Survivor Series, but the British Bulldog actually defeated D'Lo Brown on an episode of Smackdown in late October to win the WWF European Championship. He was also of course the first ever holder of that title back in 1997. The Bulldog would quickly move into a rivalry with Venis after winning the title, costing him a match against Kurt Angle on Raw is War, which led to Venis interfering in Bulldog's title defence later that week on Smackdown against the former champ, D'Lo. On the next episode of Raw, D'Lo and Venis faced off in a number one contender match, but the Bulldog and the Mean Street Posse would attack both men, leading to both men being granted a shot at the title here. Bulldog actually heads out with the Posse here, but the referee (Teddy Long) sends them to the back before the match gets going. With Bulldog forced to go at it alone, D'Lo takes the early advantage, sending both his opponents to the outside. Val comes back in and trades blows with the former champion, before the two challengers decide to team up on the current champ. Bulldog bails which leads to Venis and D'Lo trading blows once more. Bulldog comes back in as Venis looks to put Brown away, and hits the porn star with the running powerslam, but D'Lo recovers and follows up with the Lo Down on the champion. He goes for the pin, but Venis breaks up the count with the Money Shot from the top, taking out both men, allowing him to cover the Bulldog to win the match at 8:20. Val Venis is the new European Champion after a pretty basic, quick match. Given more time, and with Bulldog in a better state, this could have been a much better match looking at the talent involved. As it is, its not bad for a midcard title match, but its nothing special either.
Grade: *1/2

Before our upcoming match, we hear from X-Pac. He says that he is allowed to escape in his upcoming cage match, whilst Kane can only win by pinfall or submission. Considering the authority figures in the company aren't exactly on friendly terms with DX, I don't know who gave him the authority to make that stipulation.

Steel Cage Match:
Kane w/Tori vs X-Pac

This is a rematch from Survivor Series, where Kane defeated X-Pac by DQ thanks to the interference of DX. In the ensuing chaos, things got much more personal when X-Pac seemingly indadvertedly kicked Kane's girlfriend Tori in the face. In the weeks that followed, X-Pac would interfere in Kane's matches, and on a few instances took out Tori once again. X-Pac along with the rest of DX would prove to be a thorn in Kane's side over the build to this show, which led to this match being signed for the PPV. As previously mentioned, Kane can only win by pinfall or submission, whilst X-Pac can also escape the cage. Kane comes out first with Tori, and as X-Pac makes his entrance, he stalks the Big Red Machine's girlfriend at ringside. This brings Kane out of the cage to come after him, but X-Pac nails him with the ring bell. It doesn't have much effect on Kane though, and he chases his opponent into the cage to get this one going. Kane pretty much is in control for what follows, as X-Pac gets a little bit of offence in, but its mostly Kane powering over his smaller opponent. After Kane throws X-Pac into the cage wall, the New Age Outlaws head down to ringside and slam the cage door on Kane's skull. They throw a chair into the ring, which X-Pac utilises in connecting an X-Factor on his opponent. He then handcuffs Kane to the cage and attempts to escape, only for Tori to get in and stop him in his tracks. X-Pac responds by delivering an X-Factor to Tori before climbing the cage, but Kane snaps and gets out of the cuffs, stopping X-Pac before he can get to the floor. Kane follows up with a diving clothesline from the top of the cage onto Pac, and then puts him away with the Tombstone Piledriver at 8:12. A decent enough match considering the short amount of time it was given. Kane gets his revenge, and whilst it seems this would be the end of the feud, things would take a turn in a few weeks time that would lead to even greater animosity between these two.
Grade: **1/2

The I.C title match is up next, so we get a video package highlighting the Chyna/Jericho feud.

WWF Intercontinental Championship:
Chyna (c) w/Miss Kitty vs Chris Jericho

After defeating Jericho at Survivor Series to retain her title, Chyna and Miss Kitty would come to ringside the next night on Raw is War, distracting Y2J in a match against Gangrel. Jericho would respond in a ruthless fashion later that night, kidnapping Chyna and breaking her hand with a hammer. Chyna returned at the next week's Smackdown, costing Jericho a match against the Big Show with that same hammer. That brings us to the rematch tonight. Chyna and Miss Kitty have matching attires and title belts to go with them as they make their way out for this one, and Jericho attempts to jump his opponent from behind to get this started. Chyna avoids the charge and the action goes outside. Jericho attempts to hit Chyna with a chair, but Kitty stops him in his tracks, resulting in Jericho kissing her like last month. Chyna responds with a low blow to Y2J and follows up with her patented handspring elbow. Her momentum is short lived as Jericho manages to tie her up in the ropes and attacking her injured hand. Chyna fights her way back and we get some back and forth including an unsuccessful Pedigree attempt by the champ and lionsault attempt by the challenger. Chyna ends up going for a sunset flip, but Y2J catches her and locks in the Walls of Jericho. The champion puts up a bit of a fight, but in the end its too much, and she taps out at 10:17, giving Jericho his first of many Intercontinental Championship reigns. Of course, he gets a big pop and would be a face in a month's time. Once again, this was a pretty good match despite people shitting all over this feud. The feud would continue a little from here, but for the most part, these bitter rivals would end up on the same page going forward. Good stuff and the best match so far of the night.
Grade: ***1/4

With the new champion celebrating his victory, Michael Cole gets a word with Chris Jericho. As he is talking, Chyna interrupts and offers a handshake. Jericho accepts and offers her congratulations, having gained respect for her victor.

WWF Tag Team Championship:
New Age Outlaws (c) vs Rock & Sock Connection

Whilst at our last PPV it seemed that the Rock & Sock Connection was history, the duo was reunited the week after Survivor Series on Raw is War. On that night, the Rock was set to face the Big Bossman & Prince Albert in a tag match, and since he didn't have a partner, decided that 'the people' would be his partner, effectively making the match a handicap match. Mankind would make his way out during the match and joined Rock once more to pick up the win in that match. With the connection reunited, they would defeated the Holly Cousins later that week on Smackdown to earn this shot at the tag titles. In the meantime, Mankind's other partner, Al Snow, grew jealous of the reunited Rock & Sock Connection and would reveal that the Rock had not in fact been the one responsible for Mankind's book being thrown in the trash, it had instead been him, thus turning him heel in the process. Much like the heel turn of Val Venis, it would be short lived. So as you can tell, the build to this match was more about the relationship between the challengers than the champions who are nearing the end of their days on top anyway. Mankind is wearing some weird blue shirt and sweatpants here which just looks terrible. Anyway, he starts this one out with Road Dogg, but Rock tags in and picks a fight with Billy Gunn instead, getting us underway. The crowd is really behind Rock here, and he's definitely the most popular guy in the company with Austin out at the moment. He ends up brawling out into the crowd with Billy, before they head back to the ring where Billy gets the advantage. The Outlaws double team the Great One, but Rock hits Road Dogg with a low blow and gets the tag to Mankind who cleans house, taking down the ref in the process. He follows up by introducing the Road Dogg to Mr Socko, but Al Snow runs in and whacks his former partner with Head. Rock goes after Snow, chasing him to the back, but this allows Billy to whack Mankind with one of the tag title belts. Mankind kicks out by the time the referee makes the count and Rock comes in for the hot tag. The People's Champion lays out Road Dogg with a spinebuster and delivers the Rock Bottom to Gunn, but just as the titles are won, Snow rushes back out and nails the Rock, which triggers the DQ at 16:28. Rock & Foley win the match but not the titles, and they are not pleased. Rock hits the Rock Bottom on both Road Dogg and Snow, and then follows up with the People's Elbow on Snow to get a measure of revenge before leaving alongside Mankind to a big pop from the crowd. This was a fun little match that was actually better than I was expecting it to be. Mankind was getting himself back into gear and would be in a series of classics over the next few months. This could definitely have been worse.
Grade: **3/4

With the WWF Championship match up next, we get a video package highlighting the Show/Bossman feud which really has no place in the WWF title picture.

WWF Championship:
Big Show (c) vs Big Bossman w/Prince Albert

Since Big Show was in a highly personal feud with the Bossman before winning the title at Survivor Series, that rivalry continues across into the WWF title picture here, with the Bossman actually having defeated the Rock in a number one contender match on Raw is War the night after that event. In the weeks that followed, the Bossman continued to torment the new WWF Champion, even going so far as to pay a visit to Show's mother and forcing her to acknowledge that Show's late father was not his biological father. Show was ready to explode and he gets the chance to destroy the Bossman tonight. By the way, Bossman is still the reigning WWF Hardcore Champion here, but that title is not on the line tonight. Anyway, this is an absolute squash. Show rushes to the ring to get his hands on the Bossman and unloads on his opponent. Albert attempts to intervene on Bossman's behalf, but Show takes him down with a chokeslam through the announce table. The distraction allows Bossman to blindside the champ on the outside, but by the time he throws Show back into the ring, the champion gets back to his feet. Just like that, Show delivers a chokeslam to take Bossman down for the count at 3:11 to end this feud once and for all. What can I say? It was just a chance for Show to look like an unstoppable monster as he destroyed his hated rival. Thats all this was. Show gets his revenge, but his days on top were numbered.
Grade: 1/2*

Our real main event is up next, so we get a video package looking at the events leading to this highly personal encounter.

No Holds Barred Match:
Mr McMahon vs Triple H

The issues between these two go all the way back to that episode of Smackdown months ago when Vince returned to challenge Triple H to a match, winning the WWF Championship in the process. Fast forward a few months, Vince was instrumental in costing Triple H the championship in the triple threat match at Survivor Series, which led to the Game wanting revenge on the owner of the company. Triple H would challenge Vince to this match later that week on Smackdown, but the war did not end there. Triple H would accuse Vince of running down Stone Cold at the Survivor Series, and the owner of the company would respond by destroying a DX limo, getting arrested in the process. Then things became even more personal on the last episode of Raw is War in November when Test and Stephanie McMahon were finally set to be married. Before they could wed, Triple H interrupted the ceremony and revealed footage showing him taking a seemingly drugged up Stephanie through a Las Vegas drive through wedding, making him Stephanie's husband. Stephanie was distraught and Vince was livid. The following week, Vince announced that when he faced Triple H at Armageddon, if he was victorious, the marriage would be annulled, however if the Game could defeat him, he would be given a WWF title shot in the future. By the way, Triple H and Stephanie were not married in reality yet, that was a few years down the track. Anywho, before this one gets going, a very young looking Stephanie McMahon heads out to ringside and takes a seat in the front row to watch the upcoming battle unfold. Triple H heads out with his trusty sledgehammer in hand, and goes to hit Vince as the match begins, but Vince throws powder into the Game's face, causing him to miss. The action quickly spills into the crowd and towards the backstage area, with Vince getting the better of his son in law at this point in the match. As the action returns to ringside, Mankind heads out with a trolley with weapons for Vince to use to punish the Game. Mankind had been one of the faces that had a series of run ins with Triple H and they would have a major rivalry soon enough. Anyway, back to the match, Vince hits the Game with a trash can lid, but Trips takes control, ramming the trolley into Vince's skull, as the action moves up towards the set and backstage. They end up in the parking lot, with Triple H dominating the action, when a car comes along and attempts to run down Vince. The idea being the same thing happened to Austin last month. Vince manages to dive out of the way, but Triple H continues to beat on the boss, throwing him into a limo before bringing him back into the arena. They fight on the scaffolding of the set for a bit, and the Game throws McMahon down from it. Trips returns to the ring and gets on the mic, taunting Stephanie at ringside, but a bloody Vince makes his way after him. Trips goes to smash him with the sledgehammer, but Vince takes possession of the weapon after a low blow. At this point, Stephanie jumps the rail and tells her father she wants to hit Triple H with it instead. She thinks twice about it as Triple H begs, which allows the Game to take it back and nail Vince with it instead, which gives Triple H the victory at 29:32. The marriage stands, but it looks as though Stephanie is more concerned with helping her father after the match. Triple H teases whacking her with the hammer as well, but all of a sudden she gets up and embraces her husband, revealing it was a set up all along. The McMahon-Helmsley era has begun and that is how we go off the air. This was a solid brawl that did what it was supposed to do in show just how sick and twisted Triple H was. Now with Stephanie by his side, he had all the power, as Vince would vanish from TV for a few months after this show. In hindsight, the Stephanie heel turn was probably rather predictable, but I remember being very shocked at the time since she had always been portrayed as the innocent member of the McMahon family. Little did we know that she would excel in the heel role, and still does to this day. A fun match that would set things up for the company over the next few months.
Grade: ***1/2

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Much like last month, this was another show that was more about setting things up for the next few months rather than a show full of high quality matches. Again, we had ten matches filling up a three hour PPV which is way too many, and a lot of the matches suffered as a result. Overall though, it was a better card than Survivor Series due to the main event and the I.C title match (and to a lesser extent the tag title match). I was really underwhelmed by the European title match as you had three awesome talents in there, but that goes to the timing thing. Its a historically important show as you get the rise of the McMahon-Helmsley era, which would truly solidify Triple H as the top heel in the company, so it works in that regard. The WWF title match is a complete afterthought, but Big Show was only holding the title so Triple H could face Vince here. Honestly, I probably would have just made that the title match and not put the belt on Big Show for this brief run. Its not like Vince hadn't challenged for the WWF title before in this storyline. Show/Bossman just has no business as a feud for the top championship. Anyway, around the average mark overall here, which is a step up from last month.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Triple H - with Stephanie by his side, the Game finally arrived in complete form on this night. After a fun brawl with Vince, he was on his way back into the WWF title picture, with all the power in his hands.
2. Chris Jericho - got his first big win tonight, and the first of many I.C titles in a solid match with Chyna that was slightly above their previous encounter.
3. Mr McMahon - played his part in the Triple H feud well as the livid father of the seemingly innocent daughter. Great showing in the main event.

FINAL GRADE: 4 out of 10

ALL TIME PERFORMANCE TALLY:
What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1. The Game trails behind the tied Rock & Sock Connection to enter fifth place.

Steve Austin = 84
Bret Hart = 83
Shawn Michaels = 67
Mick Foley = 32
The Rock = 32
Triple H = 30
Randy Savage = 28
Undertaker = 25
Owen Hart = 21
Hulk Hogan = 18
X-Pac = 18
Diesel = 15
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
British Bulldog = 12
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Vince McMahon = 10
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Chris Jericho = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Christian = 4
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Shane McMahon = 3
Matt Hardy = 3
Jeff Hardy = 3
Edge = 3
Chyna = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Test = 1
Big Show = 1

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91. Thanks for reading!