Date: 01/15/07 (the year is now updated!) from Bossier City, LA.
The Big News: If you thought the handicap match this week was a set up for someone to come to Shawn Michaels’ aid, you were wrong. Michaels beat up Randy Orton and Edge 2 on 1 just like Michaels and HHH beat up Orton and Edge 2 on 2. Maybe next week Orton and Edge can bring someone in to help them even the odds.
Title Changes/Turns: None.
Conclusive Finishes: 2 of 5.
Match Results: Jeff Hardy & Maria b Johnny Nitro & Melina; Ric Flair b Kenny Dykstra; Mickie James b Victoria; JTG b Shelton Benjamin; Shawn Michaels b Randy Orton & Edge-DQ.
The show started with Coach presiding over a contract signing for Umaga vs. John Cena at the Royal Rumble. He said that Armando would get to pick the type of match, and Armando made it a last man standing match. After both men signed the contract, Cena jumped Umaga and they brawled. Cena hit Umaga in the head with the ring steps and gave Armando the FU through the table.
I’m not a big fan of contract signings in 2006. They predictably end with a brawl 29 times out of 30. That was fine years ago when you got the rare opportunity to see the champion and challenger get at it before their match. But now the champion and challenger fight just about every week before the pay-per-view, so it doesn’t really mean anything. Plus, nobody buys anyone needs to sign a contract for a match given how haphazardly matches are thrown together. The whole thing thus comes across as contrived. All that said, there was nothing wrong with this segment, and it was a good way to start the show.
Jeff Hardy and Maria defeated Johnny Nitro and Melina. Hardy went for the twist of fate early but Nitro escaped. Maria gave Melina a bulldog but Melina took over and worked on Maria briefly. Maria didn’t look good. Well, she did, but not as a wrestler. Oh, you know what I mean. Hardy and Nitro came back in. Hardy hit a mule kick and the whisper in the wind. He went for the swanton but Melina grabbed his leg. Nitro went for a superplex but was shoved off for a face first bump and Hardy hit the swanton for the pin. This was short but effective. Vince backstage called Donald Trump. He got Trump’s secretary, who didn’t know who Vince was. He then was put on with someone else who said Trump was having dinner. He asked Trump to call him back.
Edge and Randy Orton came out. They teased that DX would come out but played a flat line sound to signal DX is dead. Orton said HHH is done and they won’t stop until Shawn Michaels is too. Edge and Orton then dragged out an unconscious Hacksaw Jim Duggan bleeding from the mouth. They played up Duggan as a long time friend of Michaels dating back to Mid South. They gave him the concerto.
This time they did a good camera trick that they should do every time with that move, where they zoomed the camera up to Edge when he swung so you weren’t centered on watching the point of impact. That way the move looks more brutal. Duggan did a good job selling, and he has always been good at that. I remember him selling big for Yokozuna when they were pushing him to the top. However, they are killing off serious injury angles by doing them every week with no long term consequences. You practically have to run a guy over with a car now to get heat.
Ric Flair beat Kenny Dykstra. Flair hit chops and then put Dykstra in a head lock and punched him in the nose. That was amusing to me since the first (and one of the only) wrestling action figure I ever received was an old Flair figure where his move was to stick his opponent in a head lock and punch him in the nose. Dykstra put Flair in the figure four, but Flair got to the ropes.
Flair came back with punches and chops. He went to the top and Dykstra tried to throw him off, but Flair stopped him and hit an ax handle off the top. The crowd didn’t react much to that, which was a disappointment since he only hits the move off the top once every five years or so. Dykstra used a rollup and grabbed the tights and ropes but was caught. Flair went for a rollup of his own and grabbed the tights, but Dykstra kicked out. Flair then went for another rollup and grabbed the ropes this time for the pin.
Shawn Michaels entered the building backstage and was questioned about Jim Duggan. Michaels said he was sorry Duggan got brought into it, and that he intended to deal with Edge and Orton on his own. Ric Flair said he had Michaels’ back. Vince McMahon backstage didn’t know why Trump hadn’t called him back. He read a letter from Trump, saying the Rosie-Trump skit was lame and the crowd would rather see wrestling than a poor attempt at satire. I’m glad they played off last week and tried to make a positive out of a negative.
Next up was a weird segment. Vince came to the ring and defended the Rosie-Trump skit, calling it brilliant. They aired the footage multiple times. Vince said Trump asks his audience what it wants and gives it to them, while Vince tells his audience what they want and they like it. That was a really funny line, but way too true. Vince introduced “Ms. USA,” which was Torrie Wilson. Torrie read off a card that she is Ms. USA and a very bad girl, and wanted to know how she could make it up to Vince. Vince was about to respond when Carlito came out.
Carlito said Vince isn’t cool, Rosie-Trump was really bad, and this Torrie skit was brutal. Carlito said Trump is right and Vince doesn’t know what the people want. Carlito said they don’t want stupid skits and don’t want to hear Vince talk; they want to see people fight. That got just about the only crowd reaction of this entire segment, with some people cheering. Vince took off his jacket and said there would be a fight, but then called out Great Khali. Khali no sold all of Carlito’s offense and gave him the tree slam. I think this segment was Vince’s way of saying he’d like Khali to beat up people like me.
Mickie James retained her Women’s Title by defeating Victoria. Victoria grabbed Mickie by the hair, and Mickie returned the favor. Mickie spanked Victoria. Victoria hit a baseball slide and threw Mickie by the hair. Mickie hit a huracanrana, but Victoria retaliated with a firewoman carry into a spinning side slam. Mickie hit a thrust kick rather abruptly to score the pin.
Chris Masters said that he will win the Royal Rumble and nobody can beat him because nobody can break the Masterlock. That’s flawless logic if ever I heard it. He had a sheet of paper that said the Masterlock has never officially been broken. He issued a challenge and Ron Simmons came out. Masters put Simmons in the Masterlock, until Super Crazy came in from behind with a drop kick to break the hold. He gave Masters a moonsault. The announcers sold that the hold was broken, but after the break said it was not officially broken. Ric Flair was found unconscious backstage and taken to the hospital, so he couldn’t help Michaels.
JTG beat Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin hit a shoulder breaker and attacked the shoulder. JTG came back with drop kicks but was caught with a yakuza kick. Shad exposed a turnbuckle but as Charlie Haas went to cover it, Shad tripped Benjamin and allowed JTG to score the pin. This was a clever finish. Backstage, Michaels said he has nothing to lose, and if he was going down he would go down in a blaze of glory. He gave the interviewer the superkick.
Shawn Michaels beat Edge and Randy Orton via DQ. Prior to the match, Orton and Edge had security take away DX signs from the crowd. Jim Ross decried the censorship, I sense somewhat facetiously given confiscating signs is standard WWE policy. Michaels went after both men with chops and was dominant early. He stomped Edge and gave him a swinging neck breaker. Michaels hit Orton with chops. Michaels was coming off the ropes when Edge pulled down the top rope and gave Michaels a head over heels clothesline on the floor.
Orton and Edge worked over Michaels with punches, and Michaels bled. Michaels hit a clothesline on Orton to start a comeback. Edge went for the spear but Michaels sent him into Orton. Michaels gave Edge chops, a flying forearm, an inverted atomic drop and an elbow off the top. Michaels then hit the Thesz press on Orton. Finally Edge gave Michaels the spear. He set Michaels up for the concerto, but Michaels kicked the chair into Edge. He gave both Orton and Edge low blows and then got the sledge hammer. He hit both men with the sledge hammer and gave Orton a concerto to end the show. Edge watched from the entrance. This was a strong performance from Michaels.
This was certainly a better show than last week. I would call it average. There weren’t any standout segments, but there wasn’t much nonsense either. I’m not sure where they are going with the booking of Michaels vs. Orton and Edge, but Michaels at this point in his career should be used to help get over other people.