So TLC is about to come in an hour and the discussion will no doubt be taken over by talk about the PPV so before we're there, I'll drop this one fast.
Taboo Tuesday 2005:
Rey Mysterio/Matt Hardy vs Chris Masters/Gene Snitsky - ***
- Don't know why Edge was pulled out of this but nevertheless, a very fun match with hometown hero, Rey Mysterio putting on a great performance. Matt Hardy also did his thing while the Raw heels worked the match just fine as the stronger monsters against the underdog faces. Gets just enough time to work and I enjoyed this a lot. Masters takes the pinfall after taking a combination of Matt & Rey's finishers.
Eugene/Jimmy Snuka vs Rob Conway/Tyson Tomko - *1/2
- When my favorite out of the bunch is Rob Conway, you know how little I care about this. Very short and more of a "feel good" moment than a legitimate match with Snuka pulling out another one of his infamous splashes. Post-match, I had even less of a reason to care with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan coming out. Don't know why but I just can't stand this guy.
Mankind vs Carlito - **3/4
- A short and fun match with Mankind making a return. Considering Carlito's potential, I can't help but feel disappointed, though. They could've used this in a No Holds Barred environment to put over Carlito as a star but instead, Foley beats him with ease and sets back all the momentum Carlito built since his debut. And Shelton went from winning the IC title here one year earlier to not even being featured on the card.
Kane/Big Show vs Trevor Murdoch/Lance Cade - **
- What's with all the tag team matches here? Anyways, not much to see other than Kane and Big Show getting started as a tag team by winning the belt with ease and squashing Murdoch and Cade.
Batista vs Jonathan Coachman/Vader/Goldust - *1/2
- Why did Stone Cold get removed from his scheduled match with The Coach? They built up for it around Homecoming but suddenly a night before the PPV, they canceled it and instead Batista along with two unexpected returns in Vader & Goldust filled in for him. Shit match since it's nothing but a squash for Batista. Liked Joey Styles' commentary, though. "Does he have a death wish?"
Divas Battle Royale - **
- For what it was, I enjoyed it. Hot outfits, story progress between Mickie & Trish and just decent enough for the divas standards. I have to wonder, though, why was Lita never given the opportunity to wrestle throughout the entire year of 2005 after her knee injury early on?
Ric Flair vs Triple H (Steel Cage) - ****1/2
- Absolutely epic. Lasts for 23 minutes but there's never a dull moment here. I was interested in every minute of it because they truly put an effort into making this exciting. Flair takes less than 4 minutes to blade and even during the resthold parts with the Figure Four, he makes this entertaining every time he flips the bird towards HHH. Not much to say other than awesome match. And the facial expression on the fan's face towards the end with those chair-shots from Flair tells the whole story to me. Surprisingly, HHH gets a standing ovation after the match. I don't even know why the Intercontinental Championship was on the line, though. It's a complete afterthought during the match and only made it more predictable for those watching since no one seriously could have expected HHH to win a midcard title after having been World Champion for the majority of the last 3 years.
John Cena vs Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle - ***3/4
- A very good way to end the PPV. Decent action involving all three men and lots of back and forth. Cena gets put through the Spanish announce table halfway through but then after resting up, he runs back in and cleans house. Then he gets a fluke of a victory by catching HBK off guard with the FU after HBK gave Angle the Sweet Chin Music. I have to say the spot building up to it was pretty dumb, though. Angle has the Ankle Lock locked in and HBK instead of running in to break it up (since kayfabe speaking, Cena might tap any minute) takes his time to climb the turnbuckle and hit the elbow. Other than that one little spot, I enjoyed this match a lot. One thing notable here is how loud the Cena haters are. The majority of the arena are overwhelmingly cheering Cena but there's a vocal minority who steadily boo him for the entire match, to the point where they almost overtake the high pitched majority supportive of Cena.
*** out of ***** (The main event matches were absolutely amazing while the opener was decent. The rest of the PPV ranges from average to downright terrible but the good and bad keep this steadily in the middle of the road for my final rating of it. Worth noting is also Joey Styles on commentary. Absolutely loved it!)