Wednesday, November 9, 2022

WWE Armageddon 2004

Long story short, I found a DVD-R recording of this show and, needing some background noise while I did other stuff, popped it in. And yes, it's a Smackdown PPV in late-2004, which means this is smack dab in the middle of the John Bradshaw Layfield WWE Championship reign. And he's defending the title in a four-way against Booker T, Undertaker, and Eddie Guerrero. Well, I can't imagine reacting positively to this back in the day, but it's been close to a couple decades. Maybe I mellowed out a bit.

WWE Tag-Team Champions RVD & Rey Misterio beat Kenzo Suzuki & Rene Dupre to retain the titles. Good opening match between the high flying veterans and the failed gimmick youngsters (Suzuki was originally supposed to be a Japanese warlord and Rene Dupree is a former member of the Resistance tag team with Sylvain Grenier. Amazing how I still vaguely remember this stuff, but I can't remember the last five-star match that took place on AEW or WWE or whatever.)

Kurt Angle was supposed to fight Big Show, but FUCKING BIG SHOW got FUCKED by three people and so instead of that, we see Kurt Angle tapping out Santa Claus with the ankle lock. I guess WWE hates Christmas unless they need a shitty gimmick show to get a ratings boost.

Daniel Puder defeated The Miz in a boxing match that was dubbed a Dixie Dogfight or something. It is a boxing match. Puder beats up Miz and wins via judges decision. Both guys were finalists for that year's Tough Enough competition, which took place on Smackdown rather than as its own thing. The following Smackdown, Daniel Puder would win the competition via fan vote to earn himself a WWE contract that involved an appearance at the Royal Rumble, where he would mouth off and get beaten up by Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero... and then Puder would be gone from WWE not long after.

As for the guy who lost? That Miz fellow? He'd stick around for a little while... goes to show that other than maybe one or two names, there's no benefit in winning Tough Enough. Even the last two they held a decade or so ago yielded no real results.

Oh, by the way, that boxing match was the drizzling shits. Next.

The Basham Brothers (Danny and Doug) defeated Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly via Doug small packaging Holly, who kept his shoulders up while Doug's were pinned down... but the ref gave the win to the Bashams anyway. The fact that I noticed this one detail when I usually don't pay attention to this sort of thing... and on top of that, this match bored the shit out of me. This show is starting to suck and I'm not happy about it.

U.S. Champion John Cena defeated Jesus to retain the title... this is the first match featuring Cena's custom spinner belt for the U.S. title, which I thought was kinda cute and suited Cena just fine... if only I knew what was to come. The match was a glorified squash, but it was a sign of things to come. After all, if John Cena could overcome a man named JESUS, then he could overcome anything... and would... and the product would go to shit as a result... and then he'd leave and the product would go further into shit... and then he'd come back and... you get the idea, I hope.

There was a thing with Dawn Marie and Jackie... some kind of catfight in the ring and Charlie Haas is there for some reason... you wouldn't expect something featuring two hot women having a catfight to be boring as fuck, but sure enough, WWE was able to pull it off.

Big Show defeated Kurt Angle (who did very little in the match - that fight with Santa must've taken its toll on him), Mark Jindrak (former WCW guy), and Luther Reigns (no relation to Roman) in a three-on-one handicap match where the two guys not named Kurt Angle beat up the Big Show for a bit before Show makes the comeback and kills the heels.

Funaki beat WWE Cruiserweight Champion Spike Dudley to win the title in a thing that happened. Neither guy was a big deal at this point, so the title itself didn't really mean anything. Could be worse; the title could be held by a really short fellow in a green jacket and scruffy beard... oh wait.

WWE Champion John Bradshaw Layfield defeated Booker T, Eddie Guerrero, and the Undertaker in a Fatal Four Way match to retain the title. Taker had the match won at one point when he chokeslammed all the other jabronis, but then he would get pulled out by some dude named Heidenreich or something... and I guess they had a feud or something. This was actually a pretty good main event match with four really great workers. JBL as WWE Champion wasn't something I was too keen on, but the guy was a perfect foil for the babyfaces who would snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Had this been 2004, any one of these guys would've gotten my vote to win the title, but once we got to the Royal Rumble season, it seemed clear that there was only one ideal choice to end this JBL reign once and for all.

Well, the majority of the Armageddon show sucked ass, but that main event was pretty good for what it's worth. Not enough to save the show, sadly, but that's asking for miracles that are simply never to be.

Next week... FULL GEAR!

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