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KELLER'S WWE ARMAGEDDON PPV REPORT 12/14: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live event - John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
Dec 14, 2008 - 10:09:13 PM

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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

DECEMBER 13, 2008


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-A video package opened the show.


Todd Grisham and Matt Striker introduced the show as Hardy made his ring intro. They touted the undefeated streak of Kozlov, but said he hadn't earned an ECW Title shot, so this was non-title. Striker explained that Teddy Long wouldn't give him a title shot because he jumped the railing from Smackdown to ECW and didn't go through proper channels and hadn't even had an official match in ECW before. Kozlov overpowered Hardy early with Sambo-style offense. Striker explained the history of Sambo. He took Hardy to the mat and held him there for a couple minutes with keylocks and armbars. Striker said Armageddon was being watched in 80 countries worldwide. It's probably more like every country that has Internet access. Hardy made a comeback by slamming Kozlov into the ringpost at ringside. Back in the ring he hit a Side Effect for the usual two count that happens after all Side Effects. Kozlov came back by dropping Hardy face-first over the ringpost. He followed with the battering ram and his finishing slam for the win.

WINNER: Kozlov in 8:00.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- The long arm-work by Kozlov mid-mach was bit of a drag, but the rest was decent.

-Edge backstage gloated to Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero about Hardy "getting demolished" by a Russian. Edge said he had to leave to prepare for his match. Chavo then asked Vickie how she and Edge beat up Jeff Hardy in the hotel stairwell. She said she's told him many times they didn't do it. She told him to shut up and go get her her coffee with two sugars. She changed her orders to two Splendas because she's trying to watch her figure. Chavo told her if she and Edge had something to do with it, he wouldn't tell a soul. YOU'RE ON CAMERA, IDIOT. CAMERAS ARE NOT INVISIBLE IN WWE. KNOW HOW I KNOW? BECAUSE TAZZ AND JIM ROSS ARE NOW LOOKING AT ONE. CONSISTENT NARRATIVE POINTS OF VIEW ON TV, STAGE, AND MOVIE PRODUCTIONS ARE BASIC STORYTELLING DEVICES THAT WWE NEEDS TO LEARN ABOUT. WWE IS LITERALLY THE ONLY ENTITY THAT DOES NOT GET THIS NO. 1 BASIC RULE IN ALL OF BIG BUDGET ENTERTAINMENT. IT'S SLOPPY AND UNPROFESSIONAL, JUST LIKE TYPING IN ALL CAPS.

-Jim Ross and Tazz plugged text voting asking fans to choose who they think attacked Hardy. Edge, Triple H, Vladimir, or other. I pick Matt Hardy.

-Backstage Hornswoggle was really rambunctious backstage. Finlay apologized to Eve for his behavior. He told Hornswoggle that he needs to him stay backstage tonight because he doesn't want him getting hurt.

2 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. C.M. PUNK -- IC Title No. 1 Contender match

Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler took over on commentary. Cole noted that Punk & Kofi Kingston lost the tag team titles in Ontario last night, losing to Miz & John Morrison. They showed still photos from the match. Good to see WWE doing a rare major title change at a house show. That makes all title matches at house shows going forward seem more significant and exciting for fans who want to be part of history, but previously assumed they wouldn't be unless cameras were present. Lawler said he was looking forward to this match all week because so much of Armageddon is about good vs. evil, but this match is between two good guys. They shook hands at the start of the match. Cole noted several times this was their first ever one-on-one match. William Regal and Layla watched from ringside. Lots of back and forth action. Nice. Not knock your socks off great, but really solid, athletic action. From 4:00 to 7:00 mostly matwork, first with Punk on top with a headlock and then Rey reversing momentum. Rey then hit a flying vertical bodyblock at ringside at 9:00 followed by a springboard split-legged press for a two count. He followed with a victory roll for a two count. Punk rolled through for a two count of his own. They built to nice dramatic believable near falls late. Rey hit a 619 at 12:00 for a very near fall. Punk reversed Rey in mid-headscissors a minute later and turned it into a Go To Sleep for the win. A loud "C.M. Punk" chant broke out just before the pin. There had been a "Cena sucks" chant earlier.

WINNER: Punk in 12:00.


-A Jeff Hardy promo aired with his face barely showing up with just green light. He said for the past year people have been asking him over and over if he'll change. He said he keeps asking himself: "Jeff, are you willing to change? People have tried to change me their entire life, and when they failed, I still come across as a failure." He said it's easy to assume he'll make a mistake again. He said there might be something human in him that might freak us out. He said he's broken down his own walls and tonight is a new chapter in the career of Jeff Hardy. He said: "Tonight I will answer all of the questions: Does Jeff Hardy have what it takes? Is Jeff Hardy willing to change? I am who I am, Jeff Hardy, WWE Champion."

-Lawler and Cole threw to a video package on JBL and Shawn Michaels. Then JBL made his ring intro. Cole said MIchaels has been silent through all of JBL's recent accusations.

-JBL said he wanted to introduce his newest employee. Shawn Michaels walked out with a slight smile on his face. He entered the ring as fans chanted, "HBK, HBK." He said the economy has hit everyone hard and he's not immune to it. "I'm in a very tough spot right now," he said. He's heard all the whispers of people assuming he was rich. 
"Believe me, I wish that was the case," he said. He explained that he lived the high-life when he was in his 20s and bought everything he wanted and gave handouts to every high school buddy who asked. He said in his 30s his injuries stacked up. He said he paid for all of his surgeries because he didn't want to become beholden to any man or company. Then ten years ago he met his wife and they had two beautiful children. He said he did what he thought was the grown up thing to do. He said he invested his money in the stock market. He said things went well for a while. He said he gave to his church and charities. "I had, they didn't, so I gave," he said. "But then the roof caved in."

He said this wouldn't have been a big deal 20 years ago, but now he doesn't know how much time he has left. Because he has a wife, children, and other family to take care of, he's taken JBL up on his offer. He said he doesn't like JBL and finds him reprehensible, but he's very good financially and that's what he needs right now. "I will put my children through college; I will not let my brothers and sisters lose their homes, and more importantly, I am not going to become one of those guys - you think we don't hear about it, but we do - we hear you saying it: Did you hear about HBK, he's bagging groceries at a grocery store. Did you hear about HBK, I saw him limping into a high school gym. I will not become a wrestling tragedy. I will not let that happen." He said if fans booing him or being called a sellout is the price he has to pay, then he'll pay it. Some fans chanted "You sold out! You sold out!" Michaels said, "This isn't something I want to do; this is something I have to do."

JBL, who watched and listened in the background, extended his hand. Michaels shook it. The crowd booed. JBL left first. Then Michaels walked to the back to a mostly silent arena with a few cheers and a few catcalls. Excellent delivery by Michaels. I doubt he minded taking a dig at Hulk Hogan being at the high school show last weekend, but it's really sad when a wrestler does a favor for a colleague - not because he needs the money, but because he wants to be part of being on a show with friends of his including Flair's son debuting in the ring with his brother - and have it turn into a Vince McMahon parade of obsessive cheapshots. Not that Michaels would mind taking a cheapshot at Hogan, but it's a dig that also applies to Flair (assuming he was limping on his way into the gym like Hogan certainly was), and Michaels doesn't want to be in the business of doing that when there are other ways to make the same point. The grocery example is also a clear reference to "The Wrestler" since Mickie Rourke's character works at a grocery store as an ex-wrestler early in the movie. Playing off of the movie is smart, and positioning Michaels as a real-life Mickie Rourke is an interesting marketing approach to take. And not unwise. I assume this angle is one of the "surprises" Jim Ross hinted at in his blog a couple days ago.

-Eve interviewed Cody Rhodes, Manu, and Randy Orton backstage. Cody said Orton was the crown jewel of Evolution. He said Batista doesn't have the pedigree of being a second or third generation wrestler. Manu said tonight Orton will expose Batista for the fraud that he is and cement his legacy. Orton didn't say anything.

3 -- MATT HENRY (w/Tony Atlas) vs. FINLAY

Grisham actually called Henry's intro music "dark and ominous." It turned into a brawl early, with Finlay instigating and then Henry taking over shortly thereafter. Trash cans and kendo sticks filled the ring by 2:00. Atlas hit Finlay from behind with a trash can lid. Finlay retaliated and knocked Atlas down, but that gave Henry an opening. At 6:00 Finlay grabbed his shillelagh, but Henry kicked Finlay in the face before he could use it, then broke it in half. Henry no-sold a kendo stick shot, then broke it over his knee. Striker said: "There are wild bears in the forests of China that cannot do that. There are panda bears that cannot break bamboo and Henry just did. Hornswoggle began to climb to the top rope. Henry threw Finlay into the corner, knocking Hornswoggle to the ground. He rolled under the ring. Atlas went looking for him as Henry squished a trash can against Finlay in the corner, flattening it, then bashing Finlay across the back after he fell to the mat. Henry lifted the ring steps, but Finlay dropkicked Henry's knee. Hornswoggle threw Henry a shillelagh and Finlay quickly KO'd Henry with it for the win. Striker said Henry said the only way Finlay could beat him was if he used his shillelagh.

WINNER: Finlay in 9:00.


-A commercial aired for the "Tribute to the Troops" on NBC on Saturday at 9 p.m.

-Backstage WWE Divas decorated a Christmas tree. Santa Haas walked in and asked if the Divas were naughty or nice. He said he brought them all presents. Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix walked in and said all of them tied for last place in Diva of the Year competition because his girlfriend, Beth Phoenix, won. When Santino said "we won," she shoved him and said, "I won." Boogeyman popped out of the gift box. Santino screamed like a little girl and tried to run, but when he opened the door, Goldust was standing there singing. Santino ran again. Boogeyman handed Goldust a gift. Everyone sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Festus, Jesse, I.R.S., and a couple referees joined in.

-They threw to Kennedy who looked shocked by what he just watched. he then implored WWE fans to drink responsibly and "don't do drugs." He then plugged his DVD being released on January 26th. He repeated "26th" so we were sure not to forget. Or was it the "16th"? Or the "6th." He closed by repeating his name loudly as his signature style.

-Cole and Lawler fake laughed at what they had just seen, then set the stage for Orton vs. Batista. They threw to a video package on the history between Orton and Batista, including footage of Evolution.

4 -- BATISTA vs. RANDY ORTON (w/Cody Rhodes, Manu)

Orton knocked Batista to the floor at 2:00. Cody and Manu took cheapshots at them. The ref ordered both to the back. Orton stalked Batista at ringside and threw him back into the ring, then shouder-first into the ringpost. Orton worked over Batista's arm and shoulder off and on for several minutes. Batista sidestepped a charging Orton at 7:00 and tossed him to the floor. Orton clutched his shoulder afterward. Orton caught Batista on his way back into the ring and DDT'd him with Batista's legs draped over the second rope, leading to a two count. Orton dominated from there for a while. Orton settled into his obligatory mid-match chinlock. Cole talked about the influence Flair and Triple H had on both Batista and Orton. Lawler said, "What Randy Orton is doing right now is methodical." Cole added, "Effective strategy from the gifted Randy Orton." Orton avoided a Batista clothesline and applied a sleeper. Batista backdropped out of it a minute later. Batista fought back and climbed to the top rope. Orton knocked Batista off balance and hit a superplex. Batista came back with a spinebuster. Orton blocked a Batista bomb and went for an RKO. Batista avoided that and slammed Orton for a near fall. Orton caught a charging Batista with a kick to the chest. Not particularly well timed. Orton gave Batista a back/neckbreaked for a two count. Orton got set up for the RKO as he waited for Batista to stand. "Vindictiveness pouring from the eyes of Randy Orton," said Cole. Batista avoided an RKO and then one-arm slammed him for a very near fall. At 15:00 Orton set up the running punt kick. Batista grabbed Orton and threw him into the corner where he mounted him and threw a barrage of punches. Orton powered out of the corner and dropped Batista feet-first to the mat. Batista turned it into a Batista Bomb and scored the pin.

WINNER: Batista in 16:00.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- At times this was three-stars plus in gameplan, but it had some typical Batista clunky and ill-timed spots. The long matwork wasn't quite as good as it was long, either. But still, all of that said, it had enough of a big match feel and was long enough to be a good contribution to the card.

-A recap video aired of the Slammys.


All six announcers were assigned to this match and the banter was what you'd expect in a Divas match. The babyfaces wore red Santa outfits. The heels wore green Santa outfits. Striker said Kelly Kelly is "a hot Hebrew." Tazz called that the most uncomfortable line of the night. Three minutes in, eight-way action broke out. Ross riffed on the "things are breaking down in Tulsa" line with Buffalo inserted instead. McCool finished Jillian with a Styles Clash.

WINNERS: Maria & Mickie & Michelle & Kelly in 5:00.

-Afterward, The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh came out for the Khali Kiss Cam. McCool bailed out and refused to partake. Singh told him not to worry because what's better than kissing one diva is kissing three divas. Mickie, Maria, and Kelly smiled and seemed game. Singh said he sensed apprehension, but he had a back-up plan. He said this woman had been Santa's little helper for a long, long time. Out came Mae Young as the announcers obnoxiously fake-laughed uproariously just like the Fox NFL studio team. Young said, "This is the greatest highspot of my life." She leaped into Khali's arms and they made out. More uproarious laughter. Lawler said, "No tongue. No tongue!" Ross said, "Mae's been in the egg nog again."


After a video package aired recapping their feud, Jericho came out to a mix of cheers and boos. They had a staredown before the match. There were some "Cena sucks" chants, but it didn't come across as an overly negative crowd toward Cena. Lawler said Jericho was banking on Cena's neck not being 100 percent last time they wrestled. Cena went on offense and took it to ringside briefly early. Jericho caught Cena on the way back in with a kick and took over. Jericho applied a sleeper at 3:00. A "Cena sucks" chant competed with another chant. Jericho applied a sleeper. Cena escaped and went for an early FU. Jericho escaped and turned it into an instant DDT. Jericho dove at Cena on the ring apron, but Cena caught him. Jericho slipped out and then leaped with Cena off the apron and he shoved him into the ringside steps. Cena avoided a Jericho charge at 8:00, then hit a shoulder tackle and a side slam. The crowd cheered and booed as Cena set up his "You can't see me" routine. When he set up an FU, Jericho slipped out of it into a pin attempt. He went for a Walls of Jericho, but Cena powered out and then belly-to-belly suplexed Jericho to the mat for a two count at 9:00. Jericho ate two clotheslines and a kick to the gut, but blocked a bulldog and then overshot on a Lionsault. Cena kicked out at two. Cena came back with a legdrop to the back of Jericho's neck off the top rope for a two count. Jericho avoided an FU and hit the Code Breaker for a believable near fall. Jericho freaked out and got in the face of the ref. Cena hit an FU. Both were slow to get up. Jericho surprised Cena with a small package for a near fall. Cena returned with an STFU attempt. Jericho blocked it and applied the Walls of Jericho at 14:00. Cena crawled toward the ropes, but then powered out and locked on his STFU. Jericho quickly tapped out.

WINNER: Cena in 15:00 to retain the WWE World Title.

STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Good match. What you'd expect from these two both in performance and chemistry and in terms of the finish at this point in the feud.

-Ross and Tazz revealed the results of the text voting, with 65 percent believing Edge was responsible for the hotel attack of Hardy. Triple H got 7 percent, Kozlov 5 percent, and other got 23 percent. Christian Cage is a good guess, too, for who will be revealed as the culprit - if he signs with WWE again.

7 -- EDGE vs. TRIPLE H vs. JEFF HARDY -- World Hvt. Title match

Hardy went after Edge right away. When he went for a cover at 1:00 after launching off of Triple H's back into Edge in the corner, Triple H broke it up. Hardy leaped over the ropes onto Edge on the floor at 2:00. Triple H nailed Hardy with a clothesline. Triple H and Edge battled in the ring for a while. Hardy re-entered the ring at 4:00 and broke up a Pedigree attempt by Triple H. Hardy hit Triple H with a Whisper in the Wind as Triple H went for another Pedigree on Edge. At 6:00 Edge went for a back suplex of Hardy of the top rope. Triple H lifted Edge into the Electric Chair position and Hardy flipped backward at Edge, knocking him hard off of Hunter's shoulders. Hardy made the cover, but Triple H broke up the count. Triple H set up a Pedigree on Hardy. Hardy escaped and catapulted Triple H into the top turnbuckle. He then swing kicked Triple H in the chest in the corner. Edge slammed Hardy backward onto the mat. Edge went for a spear on Hardy. Hardy leapfrogged and Edge speared Triple H instead. Hardy sent Edge to the floor, then played to the crowd for cheers as he set up and then executed a Twist of Fate on Triple H. He climbed to the top rope and hit the Swanton on Triple H. Ross and Tazz declared that we had a new champion before the ref began counting, so unfortunately it took all of the drama out of the near fall since we knew at that point there would be no three count yet. Edge yanked Hardy off of Triple H before the third count.

Edge and Hardy battled at ringside. Hardy reverse whipped Edge into the security wall, then yanked off his shirt and began tearing apart the announce table. Triple H rejoined he fight and jumped Hardy from behind with a forearm. Ross said Hardy's "soul is haunted" because he's never been WWE Champion. Triple H set up a Pedigree on the announce table. He spent a lot of time playing to the crowd before doing it. Hardy was pretty limp going up, but then suddenly escaped. Edge charged out of nowhere from another table and speared Hardy off of the table. The crowd chanted, "Holy sh--!" Triple H stood on the still-standing table and looked down at the heap of the former table below. Tazz said that was oen of the more amazing things he's seen. Back in the ring Edge hit a DDT on Triple H at 13:00. Triple H got up first and hit a spinebuster and then a Pedigree. Kozlov came to ringside and yanked Triple H out of the ring. He threw Hunter into the ringside steps. Matt Hardy ran to ringside and attacked Kozlov. Kozlov fended him off. Meanwhile, Hardy climbed to the top rope. Kozlov knocked Jeff off the top turnbuckle. Matt went back to the attack on Kozlov. They brawled to the back. Meawhile, Edge struggled to get up in the ring as Triple H and Hardy struggled to regain their senses at ringside. Edge stood just as Triple H returned to the ring, so he hit Triple H with a spear for a near fall at 16:00.

Edge grabbed a chair from ringside and slipped it into the ring. He stuck Triple H's head under the chair, then grabbed another chair. Hardy yanked the chair out of Edge's hands and swung it into Edge's head. Edge went down. Hardy climbed to the top rope. Triple H knocked Hardy off of the top rope. Hardy straddled the top turnbuckle. Triple H used the ropes to pull himself back to his feet. He then gave Edge a Pedigree. He made the cover. Hardy, though, hit the Swanton. Triple H fell out of the ring after the impact. The ref counted three. Jeff Hardy is the champion. "My God I don't believe it!" said Ross. "From daredevil to champion. From enigma to icon." Tazz said it's truly a new chapter in Jeff Hardy's career and congratulated him. Hardy celebrated in the ring and seemed truly emotionally moved by holding that belt as his music played. The crowd mic didn't seem mixed right as the music dominated the sound on TV even though fans were celebrating in the background.

WINNER: Jeff Hardy in 18:00 to capture the WWE Title.

STAR RATING: ****1/4 -- Really satisfying main event and it's the finish WWE dared not do for a long time. Hardy has to deliver now, and WWE should get 100 percent behind him to send a message to the apathetic viewers that there is a new era in WWE with new stars on top getting serious pushes. Cena made a difference to Raw ratings, so Hardy on top of Smackdown can, too. They really have to sell it as a real reign and not a transition reign where everyone's waiting for Hardy to screw up or WWE to pull the rug out from under him.

-The PPV closed with Hardy standing on top of the castle entrance set with the belt.

Comment on this Article Below


14 Dec 2008, 15:51
i always disagree with u when it cums to teh camera backstage thing..i dont think u understand why they do that even with all ur knowledge...the product is playin to teh Audience NOT the wrestlers,so in essence only US, teh audience can view n see what is goin on in the camera,..kinda teh same situation...ehh fuck it thats another long story to type lol
The Guy Who Knows His Stuff
14 Dec 2008, 15:58
Travis, that's a close-your-eyes approach. If we can see what is broadcast, logic says that so can the superstars. Your "explanation" is exactly the mindless behaviour WWE expects from its fans. They should be held to a higher standard, though.
14 Dec 2008, 16:00
I thought it was kinda stupid as soon as I heard Chavo say it. One minute the wrestlers backstage can see and interact with the cameras and the next they can't.
14 Dec 2008, 16:11
iv been watchin wrestling for 23 years...its always been like that and how i precieve it as do alot of people that watch it that i know,we get what they want and it makes it easier to watch...its also if little things like that bother u, u always have the option of turning the is now bedtime..u all enjoy the rest of the ppv
14 Dec 2008, 16:22
So JBL and HBK come out and do a little skit to introduce HBK as JBL's employee. How much of a waste of time was that? This crap shouldn't be on a PPV taking up match time. This would be better for RAW. This is why I won't pay money for a wrestling show again!!
Matt Smith
14 Dec 2008, 16:25

What a surprise..

Wade Keller takes the smallest thing and acts like a "smart" fan thinking he's clever typing in all capital letters as if he's the smartest man in the room.

Really Wade if this is how you get your jollies, it's time to just stop covering WWE and find a new hobby.
The Guy Who Likes To Be Smart
14 Dec 2008, 16:26
Yeah, let's all turn off our brains and be stupid, but so, so much happier. "I haven't thought in 23 years and I know a lot of people who are as simple-minded as I am. Hooray for idiocy!"
lee from orlando
14 Dec 2008, 16:28
Travis, if you have been watching wrestling for 23 years maybe you should have spent a bit more time in school learning to read and write. Your whole first rant looks like something my little cousin in first grade wrote with all the spelling and grammar mistakes... scratch that, she would have done better and I agree with what Wade wrote.
The Guy Who Doesn't Like Hypocrites
14 Dec 2008, 16:29
What a surprise, Matt Smith reads another Keller review to get all annoyed at Wade. Really Matt, if this is how you get your jollies, it's time to just stop reading the Torch and find a new source of wrestling coverage.
lee from orlando's real father
14 Dec 2008, 16:39
i was waiting for someone to do or say a person who hates political correctness and believe education is way to over hyped and to much pressure is put on people....So along with that and my ADHD and the fact im NOT a writer....i do things just to piss people like u off...thank you for my last minute enjoyment before i go to bed...again if u dont like what ur watchin u can always turn the channel..nothing in this world is perfect..when u recognize that maybe ull enjoy life, let alone a wrestling show a lil bit more
the truth
14 Dec 2008, 16:46
Not only should the cameras be acknowledged that they are their but when something happens we should see the camera shaking as the camera man runs to the situation.Duh.But when a little man has to nitpick about small things like hbks promo being vince making do you know wade?Maybe michaels put that in there.
14 Dec 2008, 16:50
Anyone notice how Powell's coverage is faster and better than Keller's? I have always been loyal to the Torch but I'm getting a little tired of Keller's constant bashing of WWE for every little thing.
angela from boston's real grandmother
14 Dec 2008, 16:52
"Thinking makes my brain hurt. If only everyone would think as little as I do!"
14 Dec 2008, 17:02
Name calling will get you blocked from the comments area. Stick to debating the issues, not calling other readers names, no matter how much you're absolutely totally sure they deserve it. Bringing their parents into it is totally out of bounds, also.
14 Dec 2008, 17:05
A Styles Clash? I love this running gag of the Divas stealing TNA's finishers.
14 Dec 2008, 17:35
Hey, Wade haterz, it's his site. Thus, he says what he wants. It's his own opinion, so get off his back
Steve Andrews
14 Dec 2008, 17:45
"What a surprise, Matt Smith reads another Keller review to get all annoyed at Wade. Really Matt, if this is how you get your jollies, it's time to just stop reading the Torch and find a new source of wrestling coverage"

Dear lord you people are ridiculous. Just like Greg Parks, is it necessary for nearly every Torch reporter to try and slip in some snarky remark in some fruitless attempt to be clever? Maybe some people just want to read what happened and not be subjected to irrelevant commentary just to show off to the other "smart" kidz.

It's not not asking for too much for someone to act like a journalist. If Keller wants to "entertain" his base in his Keller Takes, that's all fine and dandy. Being a sarcastic moron in the actual coverage doesn't belong anywhere.

14 Dec 2008, 17:59
Was it just me or did John Cena use a modified version of the STFU? I mean, regularly, he uses it with his hands crossed, but this time, he used it with a headlock variation. Did anyone else catch that?
Mitch Thomson
14 Dec 2008, 18:03
Pointing out the obvious lack of consistency and logic in the treatment of backstage cameras is not a "snarky remark". It made no sense for Chavo to push Vickie to confess when millions are watching. It was exactly what I thought when I watched that, and I expect a good journalist to point out such blatant logic flaws in the product he's reviewing. So all the people who ask for Wade to "act like a journalist": that is exactly what he did here. Journalism is all about asking the tough questions and not about giving WWE a pass with all these annoying, yet easily fixable inconsistencies. Kudos to Wade Keller, still one of the best wrestling journalists in the world.
14 Dec 2008, 18:09
no joke even with out the title change this was possibly the best PPV minus manias in the last 2 years everyone worked good matches with good pacing and storylines looks like Vince got scared after they released the PPV numbers for the year and UFC was killing them
Mike G
14 Dec 2008, 18:17
Well it wasn't at Mania but DAMN was that memorable. Jeff finally wins the big one. My only regret is not buying this PPV as I thought Hardy had no chance.
14 Dec 2008, 18:17
fantastic show, best PPV this year (exception for Wrestlemania)
14 Dec 2008, 18:20
Acknowledge that this is TV...when you watch a movie do you think why is this guy fake killing someone...all of us are watching right now. Its television and yes you should dumb yourself down somewhat because otherwise everything you watch, including reality TV is fake and scripted and you will never get a fast one pulled over you congrats
14 Dec 2008, 18:50
HARDY WINS!!!!!!!!!! i can't believe it I am really pissed I didn't get this ppv
14 Dec 2008, 18:53
Just to correct you about the Michaels-JBL segment real quick, Wade, I believe Michaels was actually referring to situations from the movie "The Wrestler", not making a side shot at Hulk Hogan. If I remember, Randy "The Ram" Robinson works at a grocery store and wrestled at a high school in the beginning of the movie.

Honestly, if HBK was referencing that movie like I believe he was, he gets super props for that.
14 Dec 2008, 19:12
Congrates to Jeff Hardy. I wouldn't quite say he deserved or earned this but his popularity certainly warrants at least one title run. Cena love or hate him is a great worker and is a solid champion for WWE. It will be interesting to see how Hardy does. Triple H please step aside. And Edge/Hardy rivalry for at least a couple PPVs will be great for smackdown. The 3 way matches need too stop for awhile. I'm not a Hunter hater and I have great respect for him but he should step back for awhile. As for the camera thing thats really nit pickiing. Vicky's office is called a "scene" seperate from the rest of the show. Now if the annoncers acknowledged what they just saw then I would agree. Wrestling is kinda of a Hybrid of reality and stage. It really can't be compared to movies/tv because it does need the audience to except things like that to get a story across.
14 Dec 2008, 19:27
Man I can't wait for Kozlov v Batista brand v brand match at Wrestlemania.
14 Dec 2008, 19:32
Oh for god's sake, the first PPV I don't buy and Hardy wins the title, well isn't that just great :P

But honestly, Good job Jeff
14 Dec 2008, 19:43
i am really happy Hardy finally gets the title. lets hope he holds onto it for a few months.
Judge Jesse
14 Dec 2008, 19:52
I thought HBK was referring to "The Wrestler" too.
N8 Da Gr8
14 Dec 2008, 21:03
Hootie-& The Blowfish-Hoooooo!
What's good all my "Fed-Heads"?

Overall, a solid, but unspectacular show. The expanded Raw was better, IMO.

Rey-Punk was nice.

The Divas match was str8 gar-bage... No wonder them Shimmer broads be hatin' on the WWE women's product.

Hardy, really??? Wow...that's pretty tight!

Although I fear this will not be a lengthy reign.

There's 2 cats that WWE brass love (Edge & Trips)...not to mention a guy they hyped the heck out of (Kozlov).

I'm happy, because the boy's worked hard & come a long way from just gettin' f'd up and no-showing events.

But I doubt that this run will be a whole longer than CM Punk's title run.

If they really wanted to push Hardy, Edge would've got the pin over Paul McMahon. That would've set up a nice program for Hardy & Hardy the belt at 'Mania.

Oh well, if this is all we get, I'm down! Good on ya Jeffrey!!!
Joe Smith
14 Dec 2008, 21:37
I noticed the modified STFU, but I also notice a Cena Sucks chant from the crowd. Geez, I wonder who got the biggest pop of the night? Cena's no surprise victory or Jeff Hardy's first title win? Despite my Cena bashing, i think its a win-win for the WWE. The kids and women can tune in to Raw and watch Cena, while the fans who think Hardy is a more worthwhile champion can watch Smackdown!
Lee Groomes
15 Dec 2008, 00:48
Who is Matt Henry?
15 Dec 2008, 02:33
The camera thing IS a problem, though, because on occasion they'll have a wrestler come out and show a clip that occurred in the backstage area. So when Chavo says he won't tell Vickie's secrets while the camera is right there, it makes him look like either an idiot or like he's trying to incriminate her. It's a live event and the audience knows that these people travel together all the time and presumably know how the show is produced, so why would they ignore the camera? It's one of those things that, for all the production value they have, make WWE look amateurish.
15 Dec 2008, 05:28
Exactly. I'd be fine with skits like that, if they were treated consistently. But sometimes the announcers refer to backstage skits, and sometimes they don't. There is no consistency, and that is the real problem here. Within a television show, you have to set a few simple rules and stick to them all the time. Whether that's scripted entertainment or a reality TV approach doesn't matter, but you can't mix the two and expect people to react differently from segment to segment. It's just lazy and could be avoided by investing more than 2 minutes into the production of the shows.
15 Dec 2008, 06:23
congrats Jeff! It's good to see a new face with the belt. I still think it would be cool to have him become an insane heel with crazy face paint. He could cheat and do whatever it takes to keep the belt now that he won it.
15 Dec 2008, 07:12
Yes, to pretend like the camera isn't there reeks of amateurism and a complete lack of logic, but it's hardly the worst wrestling (and the WWE in particular) is guilty of in either area. It was a really good show, although I fear Hardy's reign won't last much past the Rumble. Hopefully he loses his title in a match he actually competes in (speaking of logic). There wasn't a truly bad match on the card, as I don't consider the divas thing a match (although it did feature McCool's "attempt" at a Styles Clash), just an excuse to transition into the Khali Kiss Cam. Great promo by HBK, but it still isn't believable that a guy who makes millions ever year all of a sudden went broke during the market downturn when few individuals actually did so.
15 Dec 2008, 07:32
Wow...good thing i dont get a chance to watch smackdown to often becasue as Hardy as champion im def NOT goin to now...Hardy is nothing but a glorified cruiserweight,just like Mysterio.Hopefully Jeff fucks up as usual or WWE realizes what he is
you think you know me
15 Dec 2008, 23:03
when is caldwell finally gonna take over this site?? keller, your constant criticism and holier-than-thou wwe bashing is wearing thin, especially coming from someone whose spelling, grammar, and sentence structure is atrocious. i just read your "coverage" to compare it to caldwell's greater, more mature approach
17 Dec 2008, 07:12
stop complaing about the camera thing, that is something that happens in tna included when they can afford to do backstage stuff.jeff will prob lose at the rumle and cena will get booed senseless in detroit as usual, hopefully wont be a jbl match as that wud bore everyone again. people need to just watch the show and stop giving out about everything..otherwise i hear foleys makin comeback number 1,000 in tna and who knowss he mite be able to wrestle this time.
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CALDWELL'S TNA SACRIFICE PPV REPORT 5/24: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Sting vs. Foley vs. Jarrett vs. Angle
RADICAN'S TNA SACRIFICE PPV TWEETS 5/24: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of TNA's May PPV
WWE Judgment Day VIP Audio Roundtable (84 min.): Keller, Mitchell, and McNeill breakdown entire card match by match
CALDWELL'S WWE JUDGMENT DAY PPV REPORT 5/17: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Orton vs. Batista, Edge vs. Jeff Hardy
KELLER'S WWE JUDGMENT DAY PPV REPORT 5/17 (Cena vs. Show, Edge vs. Jericho, Batista vs. Orton): Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV from Chicago
TNA News: TNA publishes Mick Foley interview for new Epics TV show, footage of bleach-blonde C.M. Punk in TNA (w/VIDEO)
KELLER'S WWE BACKLASH PPV REPORT 4/26: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage - Orton & Rhodes & DiBiase vs. McMahon & Triple H & Batista
CALDWELL'S WWE BACKLASH PPV REPORT 4/26: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Cena vs. Edge, McMahons vs. Orton
KELLER'S TNA LETHAL LOCKDOWN PPV REPORT 4/19: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV event
CALDWELL'S TNA LOCKDOWN PPV REPORT 4/19: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of all-cage PPV - Sting vs. Foley
CALDWELL'S ROH CAGED COLLISION PPV REPORT 4/17: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Ten-Man Cage match
RADICAN'S ROH CAGED COLLISION PPV Report (Steel Cage Warfare, Aries & Jacobs vs. Black & Danielson)
KELLER'S WRESTLEMANIA 25 RESULTS 4/5: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of biggest PPV of the year
PENICK'S WRESTLEMANIA 25 REPORT: On-going alt perspective coverage of the (not quite) 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania
CALDWELL'S WWE WRESTLEMANIA 25 REPORT 4/5: Ongoing LIVE COVERAGE from Houston inside Reliant Stadium
TNA Destination X 3/16 ALT PERSPECTIVE report by Wilkenfeld: A lot of ups and downs, with more downs than ups
CALDWELL'S TNA DESTINATION X PPV REPORT 3/15: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Sting vs. Angle
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Articles Grouped by Category
Torch Today
TORCH MONTHLY AWARD VOTING: Polls OPEN for best/worst in pro wrestling from the month of May (Part 2 of 2)
TORCH MONTHLY AWARD VOTING: Polls OPEN for best/worst in pro wrestling from the month of May (Part 1 of 2)
TORCH TWITTER MATCHING GAME: Five Tweets from The Miz, Claudio, Hero, Roxxi, Joy Giovanni
WWE News
Ratings News: TV ratings for ECW on Sci-Fi increase slightly; long-term trend shows 22 percent decline from April peak
WWE News: Jim Ross predicts injuries and people hurt at the Extreme Rules PPV, Analysis of most dangerous matches at ER PPV
WWE News: Raw diva Mickie James looking to branch out to country music
TNA News
TNA News: TNA teaming with NASCAR for free ticket giveaway to Slammiversary PPV with attendance of NASCAR race
TNA News: TNA announces dates and venues for "Maximum Impact" U.K. tour in January 2010
TNA/ROH News: Archived TNA PPVs and ROH on HDNet TV now being offered through Playstation video game system
ROH News
TNA/ROH News: Archived TNA PPVs and ROH on HDNet TV now being offered through Playstation video game system
ROH News: KENTA signed for first-time ever match against Tyler Black later this month
ROH News: Nigel McGuinness scheduled for in-ring return this month, ROH hinting at second match against Austin Aries
Other News
Misc. News: Bella Twins interview Will Ferrell, inside Armando Estrada's new restaurant, Trish Stratus helping build new video game
Other News: J.J. Dillon live interview on In Your Head radio show tonight
Misc. News: Tidbits on C.M. Punk, Bobby Lashley, Jim Neidhart & Greg Valentine teaming up, ESPN story on wrestling
PPV Reports
CALDWELL'S TNA SACRIFICE PPV REPORT 5/24: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Sting vs. Foley vs. Jarrett vs. Angle
RADICAN'S TNA SACRIFICE PPV TWEETS 5/24: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of TNA's May PPV
WWE Judgment Day VIP Audio Roundtable (84 min.): Keller, Mitchell, and McNeill breakdown entire card match by match
TV Reports
CALDWELL'S ROH TV REPORT 5/30: Steen & Generico vs. Wolves tables match for ROH tag titles, ROH Title match build-up
ECW ON SCI-FI ROUNDTABLE REVIEWS 6/2: Caldwell, Donofrio, Parks rate and review
CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 6/2: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Christian vs. Kidd
Arena Reports
6/2 TNA in Nampa, Idaho: Team 3D & Jarrett vs. Beer Money & Sheik, Styles pulls double duty against Suicide and Daniels
5/31 WWE in Bowling Green, Ky.: Second detailed report - John Morrison vs. Chris Jericho, Khali vs. Ziggler, Dreamer & Christian tag team
5/31 WWE in Bowling Green, Ky.: Edge vs. Hardy, Punk vs. Umaga, Bourne vs. Kidd, Ref Armstrong pulls out a dropkick
MMA / UFC Coverage
MMATorch: New Feature - FIGHT CAMP PROFILE: Jackson Submission Fighting
UFC News: MMA one step closer to reality in New York, illegal since 1997
POLL: Kimbo Slice in The Utimate Fighter 10 - Good, bad, great, or terrible?
KELLER: Kimbo Slice in TUF - the pros, cons, possible manipulations, poll results analysis, bright side, and more
KELLER: Ten quick thoughts on tonight's edition of Raw (6/1)
KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN TAKE 5/29: Results, star ratings, analysis, observations, and even some nitpicking
MITCHELL: The Denver Debacle Scorecard - Vince McMahon Takes His Eye Off The Ball
MOJO MITCHELL'S RAW 5/25: Stream of Vince McMahon Got His Feelings Hurt
Mitchell Short: WWE and The NBA - Locked Inside a Steel Cage
MCNEILL BLOG: Your Ring of Honor Conspiracy Theory
Yo, Colette, We Did It!: McNEILL previews TNA Sacrifice 2009!
Rescue Me: McNEILL Previews WWE Judgment Day!
CALDWELL: Ric Flair returns to WWE - ROH's durability depends on finding new spokesman
CALDWELL BLOG: WWE hitting Summer Snoozefest before Extreme Rules PPV, Hulk Hogan Marketing Day 3, Lesnar vs. Mir heating up for UFC 100
CALDWELL: Summary of 6/1 WWE Raw - Flair gives/takes a beating, Kofi wins U.S. Title, HIGH/LOW Points
RADICAN'S PWTorch DVD review: The Best of RVD TV Vol. 1: RVD trains MMA with a UFC fighter, talks the power of the mind with The Ultimate Warrior, discusses love on a beach with Samoa Joe
RADICAN'S DVD review: Timeline: The History of the WWE 1987 As Told By The Honky Tonk Man
RADICAN Short: Ricky Steamboat takes us all back in time against Jericho at Backlash
The Specialists
6/2 WWE ECW Hits & Misses: Poor 1st Half, Dreamer, Kidd vs. Christian
HOOPS BLOG: John Tolos detailed bio, Classics on Demand update, lots of news and more
ABSURDITY OF IT ALL - ABSURD THOUGHTS: Pig Slop, Future Endeavors T-shirt, Real Meaning of Kennedy's Wrists Video, Zack Ryder...Why?
Guest Editorials
EDITORIAL: An explanation for every number worn during "Nuggets" vs. "Lakers" ten-man tag match on Raw
DEROSENROLL BLOG: Viewer's Guide for ROH on HDNet Week 6 tonight - Introducing founding father Bryan Danielson
EDITORIAL: Ricky Steamboat - Keep Dragon him out? Vince McMahon turning Steamboat's legacy into profit
Torch Feedback
ECW TV TV Reax #1: "Dreamer standing tall for two segments set his destiny in stone..."
ECW/Superstars TV Reax #1: "The ratings may never show it, but ECW and Superstars is becoming a nice little tag team..."
WWE Raw Reax #3: "Is it bad that I would have been more intrigued by the 10 men in the main event playing basketball than wrestling?"
Ask the Editor
Ask the Editor: Wouldn't incorporating MMA-style holds into pro wrestling matches just be trying to be something it's not?
ASK THE EDITOR: Have the Michaels-Batista promos crossed a line with use of insider terms, references to "jobs"?
ASK THE EDITOR: Why do wrestlers in WWE refer to wrestling as "the business" and not "the sport"?
DVDs - VGames - Books
RADICAN'S PWTorch DVD review: The Best of RVD TV Vol. 1: RVD trains MMA with a UFC fighter, talks the power of the mind with The Ultimate Warrior, discusses love on a beach with Samoa Joe
RADICAN'S ROH "Motor City Madness 2009" (1-30-09) review (Richards & Edwards vs. Steen & Generico, Lynn vs. Black)
CALDWELL'S TAPE REVIEW: Ricky Steamboat in Japan - Classic match-ups against Jumbo, Snuka, Flair showcase Backlash PPV star in his prime
Torch Flashbacks
OWEN HART 10 YRS. AGO: Bruce Mitchell Feature Column - The Fluke Death of Owen Hart - May 23, 1999
OWEN HART 10 YRS. AGO: Torch Newsletter #550 cover story on Owen Hart's death (PART TWO) - May 23, 1999
OWEN HART 10 YRS. AGO: Torch Newsletter #550 cover story on Owen Hart's death (COVER STORY) - May 23, 1999
VIP Exclusive Features
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PWTorch Newsletter #1090: Kennedy story inside and out, Keller's newsletter-exclusive news analysis, Keller on 1985 WWF without Hogan (19 pages)
6/3 TORCH DAILY BLITZ: Burgan and Mike Sempervive look at the history of boxing and wrestling since WWE's national expansion (40 min.)
Torch Trivia
TORCH TRIVIA 2/28: Which wrestler backed out of a WWA PPV in February 2002?
TORCH TRIVIA 2/27: Who said this quote about Hulk Hogan's athleticism 11 years ago?
TORCH TRIVIA 2/25: What said this quote about WWE's mid-1990s drug testing policy?
Torch Instant Polls
EXTREME RULES PPV POLL: Rate WWE's effectiveness in selling this Sunday's PPV
ECW TV POLL: Who was the MVP of the 6/2 episode if you saw the show?
WWE RAW POLL: Who was the MVP of the 6/1 episode if you saw the show?
PWTorch Free Podcast
FREE FOR ALL TODAY - 5/31 Keller Hotline: Tons of info on Kennedy situation, immediate future, plus what top star's days in TNA are numbered, what's working against Kennedy getting big push in TNA, much more
PWTORCH FREE PODCAST 5/17 (instant iPhone access!): Keller & Mitchell read between the lines of Orton's defense of Shane McMahon, Keller reviews Smackdown, East Coast on Impact, Burgan's Blitz
PWTORCH FREE PODCAST 5/10 (instant iPhone access!): Keller & Mitchell discuss history of masked wrestlers, Keller on declining Raw ratings and new WWE marketing strategy, Keller interviews "Dr. D" David Shults, and Hoops nostalgia
Annual Obituaries
SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 1999 - Muchnick, Rick Rude, Owen Hart, Renegade...
SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2000 - Solie, Albright, Duncum, Tsuruta, Blue Demon, Al Costello
SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2001: Johnny Valentine, Terry Gordy, Chris Adams, Bertha Faye, Helen Hart