WWE PPV Flashbacks: Taboo Tuesday (11/01/05): Cena Defends WWE Title vs. Angle & Michaels

Taboo Tuesday was a Raw pay-per-view concept that debuted in 2004 to mixed reactions. In 2005, WWE decided to do another Taboo Tuesday event. This show was the second and last Taboo Tuesday event that WWE ever did. It was an experiment to see if Tuesday would be a good night to hold WWE PPVs. Obviously, it was not a great idea. The show did 207,000 PPV buys, which was the lowest PPV buyrate number in WWE in 2005. In 2006, WWE changed the fan voting concept PPV to Cyber Sunday, which they did for three years before dropping the concept altogether.

This event was built around John Cena vs. Kurt Angle vs. a third man that the fans voted on. The other big match was Ric Flair vs. Triple H for the Intercontinental Title. Everything else on this show was just not that interesting going into it.

WWE Taboo Tuesday
iPayOne Center in San Diego, California
11/01/05

This show gets a TV14 rating plus the “V” for Violence on WWE Network. No “S” for Sexual Content? That’s a shock considering the women’s match.

The opening video package hyped up the big matches on the card with fans getting to choose the stipulations including John Cena’s WWE Title match, Flair vs. Triple H and what Mick Foley persona will face Carlito.

There was a live shot of the crowd making a lot of noise in San Diego. The pyro went off by the entrance.

The Raw duo of Edge with Lita and Chris Masters entered for the first match.

The announce team of Joey Styles and Jerry “The King” Lawler are the announce team for the show positioned to the right of the entrance. Jim Ross was storyline fired and Jonathon Coachman was wrestling, so that’s why Styles was there even though he was part of ECW by this point.

There were Smackdown superstars in the backstage area lined up with fans getting to chose which two men will team up for this match. The poll winners were Matt Hardy with 31% and Rey Mysterio with 29%. JBL had 17%, Christian with 13% and Holly with 10%.

Analysis: This was Christian’s last PPV appearance in WWE for three years. He was off to TNA.

Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio made their entrances. Edge was not thrilled about having to face Matt again.

Lita did a promo saying it wasn’t a surprise it was Mysterio and Hardy. Lita said that Edge is not wrestling tonight. Edge said he’s not wrestling because he wondered what it did to further his career to beat Matt again or to beat Rey. Edge said it would mean absolutely nothing. Edge said he didn’t care about the wrestlers, he doesn’t care about Raw and he doesn’t care what people want or voted for. Edge said he cared about himself. Edge introduced his replacement…Snitsky.

Analysis: Going from Edge to Snitsky is a major downgrade. Good cheap heel heat for Edge for doing that.

Chris Masters and Snitsky vs. Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy

Pre-match notes: Masters and Snitsky were heels from Raw while Mysterio and Hardy were faces from Smackdown.

Masters attacked Mysterio before the bell. Masters with a delayed suplex on Mysterio. There were two referees for the match: Mike Chioda from Raw and Nick Patrick from Smackdown. They argued. Snitsky tagged in and hit a body slam for two. Masters back in with three backbreakers for Mysterio. The fans chanted 619 for Mysterio in his hometown. Mysterio got going, but Masters slammed Mysterio hard onto his chest for two. Mysterio with a flying headscissors on Masters and Hardy tagged in against Snitsky. Hardy with the Side Effect for a two count. Snitsky went for a boot to the face, Hardy countered it and Hardy hit a sloppy looking superplex off the ropes (Snitsky looked like he landed on his head) for two with Masters breaking up the pin. The distraction from Masters allowed Snitsky to kick Hardy in the face to take control. Masters tagged back in with a double underhook suplex on Hardy for two. Hardy tried to get going with punches, but Masters decked him with a clothesline. Snitsky with a suplex on Hardy got a two count. Snitsky hit a huge spinebuster on Hardy for a two count followed by a slingshot that sent Hardy throat first into the bottom rope. Hardy with a clothesline off the middle ropes for a two count. Snitsky tagged in with an elbow on Hardy and he knocked Mysterio off the apron. Snitsky with a body slam on Hardy. Hardy jumped off the turnbuckle, Snitsky caught him and Hardy hit a reverse DDT.

Mysterio got the hot tag and the crowd was ON FIRE for him against Masters. Mysterio with a seated senton off the top and a springboard cross body block for two. Running dropkick for two. Snitsky missed a corner charge, Mysterio went for a Tornado DDT, Snitsky pushed him and Masters locked in the Masterlock submission. Mysterio kicked off the ropes to break free and Hardy with a leg drop. Hardy sent Snitsky to the floor. Hardy with a clothesline that sent Masters to the floor. Mysterio and Hardy went up top and hit cross body blocks to take out the heels on the floor. Back in the ring, Hardy with a clothesline on Masters into a Mysterio pin for two. Snitsky tripped Mysterio and Masters hit a neckbreaker for two and Hardy made the save. Hardy with a DDT on Snitsky. Mysterio nailed the 619 dropkick on Masters, Hardy with a Twist of Fate on Masters and Mysterio with a springboard splash for the pinfall win at 13:44. Both referees counted the pinfall at the same time.

Winners by pinfall: Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy

Analysis: **3/4 It was a pretty good tag team match with Mysterio and Hardy bumping their asses off to make the heels look good. Mysterio and Hardy carried this match. I don’t remember Masters and Snitsky teaming very often, so this felt like a rare thing. I try to forget Snitsky matches. There was no story going in or coming out of this match, so there’s not much to talk about. I think it was a smart move to get Mysterio in the opener since the crowd loved him in his hometown.

Mick Foley was backstage. He held up lingerie asking somebody if their luggage got mixed up. It was Maria wearing a Mankind mask. She said: “interesting smell.” She took off her top and her tights off camera. She told Mick to have a nice day and he goes: “I think I just did.” Good line.

Rob Conway and Tyson Tomko entered for a tag team match to no reaction. Conway’s “Just Look At Me” theme song was catchy at least.

Three choices to partner with Eugene: The vote went to Jimmy Snuka with 43%, Jim Duggan with 40% and Kamala with 17%.

Eugene and “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka made their entrance to a mild reaction.

Eugene and Jimmy Snuka vs. Rob Conway and Tyson Tomko

Pre-match notes: Eugene and Snuka were the faces with Conway and Tomko as the heels. Snuka was 62 years old at the time of the match. That’s really old for a guy to be wrestling, but that’s what he was.

This is going to be bad. Eugene with a body slam on Tomko. Eugene teased tagging out, but Tomko took him down and Conway tagged in with stomps on Eugene in the corner. Conway with an elbow drop for two. Conway connected with a dropkick on Eugene. Tomko with a body slam. Conway tagged back in with a headlock. When Eugene broke free, Conway hit a knee lift to keep him down. Tomko and Conway made more quick tags. Tomko missed a boot to the face and Eugene hit a clothesline on Conway. Snuka got the hot tag to a good pop, chops to the chest of Conway, headbutt and Tomko hit Snuka in the back. Eugene with a clothesline that sent Tomko to the floor. Eugene with a jawbreaker on Conway, headbutt by Snuka, headbutt by Eugene and a Rock Bottom by Eugene on Conway. Snuka went up top and jumped off with the Superfly Splash. That drew a good pop. Snuka covered Conway for the win after 6:21 of action.

Winners by pinfall: Eugene and Jimmy Snuka

Analysis: 1/2* Awful match that went a few minutes too long. Two minutes would have been fine. It was smart to use Snuka for only the ending of the match because if he was in there longer than that it would have been tough to watch.

Post match, Tomko shoved Snuka against the turnbuckle. That led to Duggan and Kamala to slowly make their way down to ringside. Duggan hit the clothesline on Tomko and Kamala hit a splash on Tomko. Duggan’s music played to end it. The crowd liked that.

Analysis: It was a good way to utilize the three legends. The fans liked it and since it was short, it wasn’t painful to watch. Nostalgia is fun occasionally.

A commercial aired about a Jake Roberts DVD that was released at the time.

Carlito made his entrance for his match against Mick Foley.

The poll results went up for what Mick Foley persona it will be for this match: Mankind 52%, Cactus Jack 35% and Dude Love in last at 13%.

A video package aired to set up the match to allow Foley to get ready in his outfit. It started on a Carlito talk show segment with Carlito saying Foley isn’t cool and Foley told Carlito he was a horse’s ass. Following that, Carlito attacked Foley to set up the match at Taboo Tuesday. Foley did promos in all of his characters.

Mankind got a nice ovation for his entrance.

Mankind vs. Carlito

Pre-match notes: Mankind was the face. Carlito was the heel. Foley was 40 years old at the time. He retired as a full timer five years earlier, but he was able to wrestle occasionally when a story presented itself.

Carlito was aggressive early on with a dropkick. Mankind came back with a running back elbow. Mankind raked Carlito’s eyes against the top rope. Mankind set up Carlito upside down against the turnbuckle in the tree of woe and hit a running elbow attack. Mankind with a catapult that sent Carlito throat first into the middle rope. Running baseball slide by Mankind sent Carlito the floor followed by a neckbreaker. Mankind attacked with a chair, Carlito with a drop toe hold and Mankind went crashing into the chair against the steel steps. Carlito with a dropkick that sent Mankind back first into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Carlito with a Russian leg sweep for two. Carlito with an Electric Chair Drop for two. Sleeper by Carlito, but Mankind managed to get out by slamming him off. They did a double clothesline spot. Mankind took control with a running knee to the face while against the turnbuckle. Mankind with a running clothesline that sent Carlito over the top to the floor. Mankind nailed the elbow drop off the apron onto Carlito on the floor. Back in the ring, Mankind got a two count. Mankind with a double arm DDT. Mankind pulled out Mr. Socko from his pants and slapped on the Mandible Claw submission. Carlito quit to give Mankind the win at 7:22. Mr. Socko had hair on it like Carlito, so that was pretty funny.

Winner by submission: Mankind

Analysis: ** The match was okay for the time given. Good offense early on by Mankind, then Carlito took over after some nasty bumps from Mankind and the last few minutes were exciting. I had no memory of the match, so I figured Carlito would win as the younger guy. It didn’t happen because they went with the feel good booking of having Mankind win.

Eric Bischoff was in the office complaining on his cell phone about Teddy Long. Vince McMahon showed up with Bischoff sucking up to him. McMahon said he’s ready for the Raw vs. Smackdown match. McMahon wasn’t able to watch and he asked Bischoff if Raw lost, then Bischoff admitted that they did and Vince ripped on him since this is a Raw PPV. Bischoff said that Teddy Long cheated for breaking every rule in the book. McMahon said he was disappointed in Bischoff. McMahon said this isn’t the Bischoff that damn near put him out of business. Vince said he hates excuses, so he asked Eric what he’ll do about it. Bischoff asked Vince what he’ll do. Vince said he’s not going to do a damn thing and he told Eric he’s on his own. Vince asked him for creative and that killer instinct. Vince told him he’s on his own. Vince wished him luck in the other Raw vs. Smackdown match that’s Batista vs. Coach. Vince left.

Analysis: It was another example of WWE trying to build that Raw vs. Smackdown rivalry that the fans never really got into.

The three choices to add to the Cena vs. Angle main event: Shawn Michaels won with 46%, Kane with 38% and Big Show with 16%. That meant the main event was Cena vs. Angle vs. Michaels.

It also meant that Kane and Big Show were the challengers for the World Tag Team Titles, which was up next.

World Tag Team Champions: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs. Big Show and Kane

Pre-match notes: Cade and Murdoch were the heel tag team champions. They had the titles for 44 days going into this. Kane and Big Show turned so much in their careers it was hard to remember what they were, but they were both faces.

Kane was dominant early with punches on both tag team champions. Kane with two running clotheslines, Murdoch with a boot to the face and a clothesline that staggered Kane. Cade tagged in with little success as Kane decked him with punches. Show tagged in with a clubbing forearm to the back and a hard chop to the chest. Murdoch tagged back in, Show sent him into the corner and destroyed him with a hard chop to the chest. Show with a headbutt followed by another chop. Kane tagged back in, Cade tagged in and Kane kicked him in the ribs. Kane up top, Murdoch distracted, Kane shoved Cade off the top and then Murdoch shoved Kane to the floor. Cade and Murdoch hit a high/low double team move (clip the knee and a clothesline at the same time) on Kane to take him out with Styles saying they call it the Sweet n Sour.  That led to some quick tags by the champs as they worked over Kane with Cade hitting a neckbreaker. Kane fought back with a kick for Murdoch and a clothesline on Cade. Show got the hot tag with clotheslines, headbutts and a splash on Cade in the corner. Kane jumped off the top with a clothesline on Murdoch. Kane sent Murdoch out of the ring with a clothesline. Kane and Show hit a Double Team Chokeslam on Cade. Show pinned Cade for the pinfall win. It went 7:59.

Winners and New Raw Tag Team Champions: Big Show and Kane

Analysis: *1/2 It was a match to put over Show and Kane as a dominant tag team. The face in peril sequence for Kane only lasted about two minutes because I assume that WWE didn’t want to have them sell for that much. Once Show got the hot tag, it was all over. The Cade and Murdoch team were pretty much done after this as a regular team.

Post match, Show and Kane celebrated their win. Grisham went into the ring to interview them. Murdoch was talking shit, so they brought him into the ring and hit a double Chokeslam on him as well. That ended the post match celebration. The announcers wondered who could defeat these guys as champions.

Analysis: It was the start of Show and Kane as long-term tag team champions. They had a six-month run as the champs.

Vader and Goldust were in the locker room were getting ready. Jonathon Coachman said they better get ready. Coach said after they beat Batista it’ll be only a matter of time before Coach is WWE Champion. Heels lie.

The six women in the battle royal appeared on the control center stage for the reveal of the stipulation for their match.

The vote for the women’s outfits in their match went this way: Lingerie 43%, Leather & Lace 32%, Cheerleader 25%. Good voting.

Batista, the World Champion on Smackdown, is up next against Coach. A video aired from Raw with Goldust beating Funaki. Coach said if somebody from Smackdown wanted to face Coach he’ll be happy to face him and beat him up too. That led to Batista attacking Coach, but Vader showed up randomly to help Coach.

Analysis: The original plan was for Steve Austin to put over Coach in this “match” or whatever they planned to do even though Austin retired over two years before this. Austin said no to that idea, so they got Batista to replace him. I’m not sure why WWE wanted Austin to put over Coach, but I think Austin was right to tell them no on that idea.

Jonathon Coachman made his entrance following the entrances of Goldust and Vader, who will be in his corner.

The voting results for Batista vs. Coachman: Street Fight 91%, Verbal Debate 6% and Arm Wrestling Match 3%.

Analysis: Shocking results there.

Batista got a big ovation for his entrance. He was the World Heavyweight Champion on the Smackdown brand.

Street Fight: Batista vs. Jonathon Coachman (w/Goldust and Vader)

Pre-match notes: Batista was a face while Coach, Goldust and Vader were heels.

There was no clarification if this was a handicap match or what it was exactly. Since it was a street fight, Vader and Goldust helping Coach was legal. Batista knocked Goldust and Vader out of the ring early. Goldust and Vader managed to take control with Goldust hitting Batista in the back with a kendo stick. Coach took the belt off the timekeeper, so Vader and Goldust held Batista and Coach hit Batista in the back repeatedly. Batista kicked Vader and Goldust off him and hit Coach with a clothesline. Batista grabbed the belt, so he hit Vader and Goldust with it repeatedly. Goldust whipped Coach with the belt as well. Batista with a spinebuster on Vader. Hard slap to the face by Batista to Coach like Coach did to Batista on Raw. Batista picked up Coach and hit a Batista Bomb. Batista covered coach for the win at 4:22.

Winner by pinfall: Batista

Analysis: 1/4* Bad. Painful to watch. Easy win for Batista as it should have been. I don’t know why WWE felt like this should be a “match” on PPV, but Vince loved putting Coach in matches like this where he could get his ass kicked because Coach was an entertaining heel. This was just done to put over Batista.

During the replays of the action, Joey Styles was laughing about Coach getting beat up.

Shawn Michaels was interviewed by Todd Grisham backstage and he was asked about being voted in by the fans to get a title shot at Taboo Tuesday. Michaels said he’ll show Cena and Angle why he’s the showstopper. Angle told Michaels that he doesn’t like him and he knows Michaels feels the same way. Angle said that he had an idea. Angle told Michaels they should take Cena out and then find out who the best in the business is. Angle noted that they are 1-1 with a tie in the rubber match, but tonight they have the opportunity to prove who the best in the business is except this time it’s for the WWE Championship. Michaels told him he’ll think about it. Angle told him to think real good.

Analysis: That’s an interesting way to build up excitement for the main event.

The women made their entrance in their lingerie for the battle royal: Ashley, Candice Michelle, Mickie James, Victoria, Maria and Women’s Champion Trish Stratus was last. Trish got the biggest pop by far.

Analysis: This was Mickie’s first PPV match. She didn’t have her regular WWE theme song yet. Mickie’s debut story was that she was a fan of Trish Stratus.

Fulfill Your Fantasy Lingerie Battle Royal for the Women’s Championship: Trish Stratus vs. Ashley Massaro vs. Victoria vs. Candice Michelle vs. Mickie James vs. Maria

Pre-match notes: The faces were Trish, Mickie, Maria and Ashley. Victoria and Candice were heels.

It was a battle royal where you had to throw somebody out of the ring. They didn’t have to go over the top.

Victoria and Trish battled on the top rope with each woman exchanged right hands. James went over to save Stratus. Candice pulled down Trish and Mickie by the hair. Ashley and Maria trying to wrestle was tough to watch, but they looked great. Victoria and Candice were whipped into eachother. Mickie and Trish threw Maria out under the top rope to eliminate her. Candice tried to eliminate Ashley using her feet, but Ashley stopped her and Candice hit her with a forearm. Candice used her feet to choke Ashley, then Candice celebrated on the apron like a dummy, so Ashley punched her out of the ring to eliminate her. Victoria nailed Stratus with a knee to the face followed by a tilt-a-whirl slam. Back elbow by James to Victoria, who nearly eliminated James, but Ashley saved Mickie. Victoria was nearly eliminated, but she fought back. Victoria with a catapult that sent Ashley over the top to the floor. It was down to Stratus, James and Victoria. Victoria with a tilt-a-whirl side slam to James. Stratus with a headscissors on Victoria. James got back into it with a spin kick while saving Stratus. Victoria hit a clothesline on James. Victoria stomped on the stomach of Stratus. James saved Stratus from elimination again and James tackled Victoria out of the ring to eliminate Victoria and James eliminated herself at the same time. Stratus stood in the ring realizing she won without doing anything at the end. The match went 5:23.

Winner: Trish Stratus

Analysis: 3/4* They tried hard, but it was not a good match. At least they all looked great during the match. This was done to advance the story of James doing anything she could to help Stratus win. It was in the early stages of their incredible six month storyline leading to WrestleMania.

Post match, Stratus was interviewed by Grisham, but James interrupted to say that Status beat everybody else. James called Stratus the greatest Women’s Champion of all time. James noted that Stratus totally owned Victoria. Mickie said she was so excited to be there with Trish. Trish’s music played to end it.

There were members of the San Diego Chargers NFL team at ringside. They are the LA Chargers now.

The video package aired to set up Ric Flair, the Intercontinental Champion, against his former buddy Triple H. The friendship ended when Triple H turned on Flair at the Raw Homecoming episode about one month before this. The video was mostly a Triple H promo explaining his heel turn because Flair wasn’t the man he used to be.

The poll results for the Flair vs. Triple H match went like this: Steel Cage 83%, Submission 13% and 1 Fall to a Finish 4%. Flair did a promo saying he wanted a Steel Cage, so it was another way of WWE telling the fans what they really wanted.

The 15-foot high Steel Cage lowered on the ring.

Triple H entered first to boos. Due to the presence of the cage, he climbed up the cage and did his water spit up there.

Ric Flair, the Intercontinental Champion, got a loud reaction for his entrance. He was clearly in the face role after being a face for several years when he was aligned with Triple H.

Analysis: These two were known as guys that would blade in big matches, so it was a question of who would do it first? Let’s find out together.

Intercontinental Championship Steel Cage Match: Ric Flair vs. Triple H

Pre-match notes: Flair was the face IC Champion that was 56 years old at the time. Triple H was the heel and he was 36 years old, so there was a big age difference like in most Flair matches during this period.

The way to win a Steel Cage match in WWE is pinfall, submission, climb out the cage or walk out the door.

It started out as a slugfest with punches and chops. Hunter took control with a jumping knee to the face. Flair came back with chops, but Hunter stopped his momentum with a spinebuster. Hunter whipped Flair face first into the cage. Flair was screaming and Flair was busted open. Lawler: “That didn’t take long.” My thoughts exactly. It was about two minutes for the first blood in the match. Hunter whipped Flair into the cage again. Knee drop by Hunter. Hunter sent Flair face first into the cage repeatedly followed by a running splash to the back of Flair. Knee drop by Hunter as the fans chanted for Flair. Hunter sent Flair into the steel. Hunter climbed up the cage, but Flair managed to stop him. They got into a punch/chop exchange on the top rope leading to both men getting crotched on the top rope. Triple H grabbed a chain that was on top of the cage. Flair got his foot up to prevent an attack, so Hunter did a face first bump like Flair. Flair with a kneebreaker, but Hunter decked him with a punch to the face with the chain on his hand that was good enough for a two count. Hunter with a fist drop with the chain around his hand. The referee pulled the chain away and threw it out of the ring even though it was legal in a match like this. Hunter worked over Flair with punches leading to a bloody Flair to take a face first bump. Hunter with a knee drop to the back of the neck. Hunter slapped on the Figure Four Leglock submission in the center of the ring. After about one minute, Flair reversed it by turning over and Hunter got to the ropes. The referee broke the hold even though there are no disqualifications in this match. Flair kicked Triple H into the cage, so that led to Hunter doing his blade job. Both men were bleeding heavily.

Flair started his comeback with a bite to the face of Hunter. Flair whipped Hunter into the cage. Flair pounded Hunter with punches along with another bite to the head. Flair threw Hunter into the cage again followed by some cage grinding like Hunter did earlier. Flair gouged on the eyes of Hunter and a chop. Back in the ring, Flair hit a suplex. Flair with two knee drops to the face. Flair with a chop block to the back of the left leg. Flair with another chop block to the left knee of Hunter and an elbow drop to the knee. Flair slapped on the Figure Four Leglock to a huge ovation. Hunter was screaming in pain doing a great job of selling it. Flair gave Hunter a middle finger and pulled him back to the middle of the cage. Hunter grabbed the referee by the collar and whipped him onto Flair to break the hold. Flair with a knee drop again. Flair climbed to the top, but Hunter stopped him. Flair with an elbow drop off the top rope onto a standing Hunter for two. Flair with a blatant low blow uppercut to the groin of Hunter, which drew a big ovation. Flair did a slow climb out of the cage, but Hunter grabbed his foot. Flair managed to grab a chair that was beside the ring, so he brought it into the ring. Hunter tried to attack with the chair, but Flair grabbed the groin of Hunter. Flair squeezed him in the groin. The crowd loved that. Hunter tried a Pedigree, but Flair hit a back body drop on the chair. Flair with a chair to the head, Hunter staggered, and Flair hit him in the head again with the chair. Flair hit Hunter in the chair a third time. Hunter used his left hand to partially block it, but they were nasty chair shots. Flair crawled out the door for the win at 23:47.

Winner: Ric Flair

Analysis: ***3/4 It was a very good, bloody brawl with each man taking a lot of punishment, bleeding heavily and telling an interesting story. It was notable that there were not a lot of attempts to climb out of the cage or walk out the door. This felt like a fight where they wanted to destroy eachother before they attempted to win the match. Flair proved once again that he was the “Dirtiest Player in the Game” with all of the low blows he did, which were legal in this match. I had forgotten about this rivalry, but it was a good match and the right man won even though Flair was a lot older than Hunter. It’s not like Hunter needed to be the IC Champ at this point either. I was very impressed that Flair could wrestle that well for over 20 minutes when he was in his mid-50s. It’s a testament to how great he was.

There were replays of the three chair shots from Flair that put down a groggy Triple H.

Flair left through the curtain while Hunter was a bloody mess in the ring that had to be helped to the back. Great job of selling by Triple H with fans applauding Triple H for the effort.

A commercial aired for the complete WrestleMania anthology on DVD.

The Taboo Tuesday vote totals were 6,351,188 total votes for the entire show.

Kurt Angle made his entrance for the main event. He was greeted by the “You Suck” chants. Angle was a five-time World Champion going into this match.

Shawn Michaels got a nice ovation for his entrance.

John Cena, the WWE Champion, got the loudest reaction of anybody for their entrance on the show. At least that’s how it felt to me.

WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle

Pre-match notes: Cena was the face WWE Champion, Michaels was a face and Angle was a heel. Cena was feuding with Angle for a few months going into this match.

It was a standard WWE triple threat with no disqualifications, no countouts and the first fall wins.

Angle knocked Michaels out of the ring, Angle worked over Cena with punches and the crowd was chanting for Cena. Angle decked Cena with an uppercut. Michaels was back on the apron, Cena punched him and Cena hit Angle with a suplex. Michaels took control with chops and stomps on both guys. Michaels countered a suplex with a cross body block on Angle for two. Cena with a back body drop that sent Angle over the top to the floor. When Angle was back on the apron, Michaels dropkicked him back out. Michaels with a clothesline on Cena. Angle with a German Suplex on Cena, a German Suplex on Michaels and Angle hit a belly to belly suplex on Cena and one for Michaels as well. Michaels got a sunset flip, but Angle got an Ankle Lock, Michaels kicked him away. They had an exchange going for finishers with Cena ending up hitting Michaels with a clothesline for two. Michaels cross body block on Cena, Cena rolled through and got a two count. Angle and Michaels had a moment where they decided to work together on the champion. Angle worked over Cena with punches while Michaels watched. Angle and Michaels whipped Cena shoulder first into the ring post. Michaels cleared off the announce table. Michaels and Angle picked up Cena, then slammed him stomach first through the table in a front suplex type of move. It broke the Spanish announce table.

Angle and Michaels got into a chop fest. They went back into the ring with Michaels hitting a powerslam for two. Angle with an elbow to the jaw. Angle dominated Michaels by kicking him against the turnbuckle followed by a regular vertical suplex. Angle with a body scissors that wore down Michaels. Michaels got back up, so Angle dropped him with a belly to belly suplex. Angle wanted a superplex off the top, but Michaels knocked him down with punches and Angle popped back up with an Angle Slam off the top only for Michaels to kick out at two. Cena was back in it with a shoulder block on Angle and a clothesline. Cena with a back body drop on Michaels, whip into the corner and Cena hit the spinning slam. Angle tripped up Cena, pulled him out of the ring and whipped him over the barricade. Michaels with a slingshot attack over the top rope to take out Angle on the floor. Back in the ring, Michaels with a forearm on Angle, kip up, atomic drop, two clotheslines and a body slam. Cena was back in, but he was met by a leaping forearm from Michaels. Angle with a belly to belly suplex that sent Michaels over the top to the floor. Ouch. Cena hit a spinning slam on Angle. Cena did the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. Cena went for the FU, Angle slipped out and turned it into the Ankle Lock submission. Cena tried to kick Angle off, but Angle held on two times. The crowd was going crazy for it wanting Cena to tap out. Angle slapped on the heel hook around the left leg. Michaels went up top and jumped off with an elbow drop on Angle to break the hold. Michaels nailed Angle with the Sweet Chin Music superkick. Cena was right there and he hit the FU on Michaels and Cena covered Michaels for the pinfall win at 16:42.

Winner by pinfall: John Cena

Analysis: ***1/2 It was an exciting triple threat match that benefited from an exciting final five minutes. I thought most of the match was normal for a triple threat with Cena being isolated for much of the match until he was ready to make the Superman comeback to win. It was no surprise that Cena’s reign continued after this match. There was a moment where it looked like Angle might win with the Ankle Lock, but Michaels broke it up with an elbow drop.  Michaels decked Angle with Sweet Chin Music, but it wasn’t enough to win because Cena was right there. I think Cena was a step slow at times in the match, but it’s not like he was noticeably bad. Great final five minutes. The first 10 minutes could have been more exciting. That’s what prevented it from being a more memorable match.

Post match, Cena was selling the left foot injury. Cena sold the foot injury for a few minutes. He sold it so much that he ended up sitting down on his ass to sell the pain of the foot. Good job of selling by Cena.

This event has a run time of 2:40:17 on WWE Network.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show Rating (out of 10): 5

It was a good night for the faces. Most of them won. It was a bad night if you wanted to see a great show for three hours. The last two matches were very good, though, so it was not a total waste.

Best Match: Ric Flair vs. Triple H (***3/4 out of 5)

Worst Match: Batista vs. Johnathon Coachman (1/4*)

 

FIVE STARS

  1. Ric Flair
  2. Triple H
  3. Kurt Angle
  4. Shawn Michaels
  5. John Cena

 

Next up: Survivor Series 2005 featuring Raw and Smackdown talent on the same show.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport