The Road To WrestleMania is well underway, and with the Royal Rumble only a matter of days away, what better time to have a look at the potential winners, losers and surprise moments from my favourite PPV of the year. This year will mark the first time ever that we see the women of WWE compete in their very own historic Royal Rumble, something they have been super keen to remind us of every 4 seconds, so I’ll be giving my thoughts on that too. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!
Mens Royal Rumble Predictions!
Would Like to Win : Rusev or Big E
Who I Think Will Win : Shinsuke Nakamura
Entrant 1 : Elias
Entrant 30 : Jason Jordan (Just to screw with us)
Most Eliminations : Baron Corbin or Samoa Joe
Longest Time In Match : Finn Balor
Shortest Time In Match : Curtis Axel or Bo Dallas
3 Most Likely Surprises/Debuts : Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black, Batista
3 Dream Surprises/Debuts : Ricochet, Daniel Bryan, Neville
So from the strong rumours circling the internet, it seems we are set for a Smackdown Live Rumble winner again. Why have I gone for Nakamura? Because it’s the easiest and laziest way for WWE to set up the ‘dream match’ against AJ Styles. I may be in the minority here, but I don’t overly want to see this match. WWE have ruined Nakamura since he stepped up to SDLive by limiting his move set, not developing his mic work and killing his momentum by having him lose multiple times to Jinder Mahal. The entire build up in the program would have to be carried solely by Styles which is a lot to ask considering Mania is nearly 3 months away.
Why would I want Big E to win? The guy has all of the tools required to be a successful singles competitor – deceptively fast and agile, stronger than an ox, fantastic on the mic and it could all be done while still being a part of The New Day with Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston potentially challenging for other belts too. Velveteen Dream and Aleister Black had one of the best rivalries and matches of 2017 so I’d be shocked if they didn’t enter at some point and have a chance to shine for 10 minutes or so. Batista has been rumoured for some time now but I don’t see him returning properly due to his Hollywood commitments, so a Rumble cameo makes sense and would be received well by fans. Baron Corbin eliminating a bunch of guys would help to build him back up after a rather forgettable US Championship reign and WWE once again seemingly losing faith in him.
To see Neville would be a huge surprise and a very welcome one at that, WWE really dropped the ball by letting him walk away after he had such a phenomenal 2017 and he should’ve been pushed to bigger things. My Daniel Bryan shout is one I want to happen but also don’t want in equal measures. The reason I don’t want it is because you can bet your house on it that Shane McMahon will get involved if Bryan does, leading to the inevitable and unnecessary feud between the two that we keep being teased with. Nobody wants it… NOBODY. Please I’m begging you WWE… stop before it’s too late. A Bryan return should be the highlight of the year, there is absolutely no need for Shane to be a part of that when it could be against someone like The Miz, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn or AJ Styles.
The most interesting thing for me this time around is what WWE will do with Roman Reigns. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that the going plan is for Reigns to topple The Beast Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34, so to have him win the Rumble makes sense as it’s the perfect set up fpr him to challenge. Though at the same time, I think WWE are so determined for this match to take place that Roman doesn’t necessarily need to emerge victorious from the Rumble. This is a guy who was entered straight into the Universal Championship scene without earning it, literally right after dropping the United States Championship. Expect Roman to make the final 4 at least just to rile the fans up and tease the possibility of him being booed out of the building. I can’t wait for the pop when he gets eliminated!
Women’s Royal Rumble Predictions!
Would Like to Win: Becky Lynch
Who I Think Will Win: Asuka
Entrant 1: Natalya or Becky Lynch
Entrant 30: Sasha Banks or Ronda Rousey
Most Eliminations: Nia Jax or Tamina
Longest Time in Match: Becky Lynch
Shortest Time in Match: Lana
3 Most Likely Surprises/Debuts: Lita, Nikki Cross, Trish Stratus
3 Dream Surprises/Debuts: Kharma, Candice LeRae, Peyton Royce
Isn’t it painfully obvious that Asuka will win? Even before Paige’s unfortunate career ending injury, it was pretty much nailed on that she would be coming out of this one victorious as it backs up her claim to be invincible. It almost makes me not want to watch at all, Asuka for me has been every bit as unimpressive as Nakamura since stepping up from NXT. Becky Lynch would hands down be my personal pick to win, we all know how good she is in the ring, the fans still love her and WWE need to do something to make up for her abysmal treatment over the last year. It wasn’t that long ago she was putting on a fantastic match with Charlotte and Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 32, so for her to be so far down the pecking order now just makes no sense to me.
This match worries me to be honest, 9 times out of 10 when we get multiple women involved in the same match on RAW or SDLive it ends up being an absolute mess (no disrespect intended). I think its safe to say that we can expect this first ever Women’s Royal Rumble to be plagued by botches and confusion. The only saving grace will be the inevitable returns of Lita and Trish Stratus, plus the main roster debuts of some fantastic NXT talent like Nikki Cross and Peyton Royce. I would also expect to see Stephanie McMahon and Ronda Rousey enter at some point, which would be an embarrassment really as it would take away from the importance and historical significance of the match. There’s also the possibility we will see some sort of degrading piss take moment, something like Santino Marella or James Ellsworth competing in drag simply because Vince McMahon is so out of touch with what we, the paying fans, want to see. God help us.
But wait, there’s more! More to this Royal Rumble pay-per-view than the two main event matches, that is!
Braun Strowman v Kane v Brock Lesnar (c) – Universal Championship Triple Threat
This should be a decent enough match, it’s just such a shame we all know how it’s going to end and what it leads to. The only outcome here is Kane taking the pin, with Lesnar coming out on top. The inclusion of Kane was an intriguing one at first, but it quickly became quite clear why he was there in the first place… Kane taking the pin keeps Strowman looking strong and helps Lesnar keep the belt without Strowman having to lose. You can probably expect Strowman to dominate for a while, a few teases of him facing Lesnar, Strowman makes a mistake outside the ring so Lesnar can capitalise and sneak the win.
BUT WAIT! Let’s throw a curveball in there… imagine if Lesnar was to lose the belt, and then later in the night he enters and wins the Royal Rumble. Reigns takes the title from Strowman… boom. Lesnar v Reigns still happens at Mania, Strowman gets to hold the belt for a bit. Book it WWE. Strowman deserves it and we all want to see it.
Result : Lesnar retains, pinning Kane.
Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin v The Uso’s (c) – SDLive Tag Team Championships 2 Out Of 3 Falls Match
The Uso’s were far and beyond the team of 2017, but I’ve quickly lost all interest in this feud. WWE can’t decide if Benjable (you heard it here first) are face or heel at the moment, and with The Uso’s suddenly rose in popularity it makes it hard to know who to side with. Benjamin for me has been largely underwhelming since returning to WWE, and the only good thing to come from this pairing is more TV time for Gable who is an absolute star in the making.
I’m sure this will be a decent enough match, but nowhere near the caliber of what we’ve seen in recent months where Rusev Day and The New Day were both also involved. Hopefully The Uso’s keep the belts here and go on to face Rusev Day or The Bludgeon Brothers.
Result : The Uso’s retain, winning 2-1
The Bar v Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (c) – RAW Tag Team Championships
Honestly? I just don’t care at all, i might not even watch this match. You’re probably thinking it’s because I’m part of the We Hate Jason Jordan bandwagon, right? Nope. I actually quite enjoy him in his new delusional, super optimistic and goofy role. I’m just sick of seeing this match, with these same guys over and over again. How can WWE get the SDLive tag division SO good, but forget all about RAWs? The most frustrating thing here is that we have The Revival facing Gallows & Anderson on the damn pre-show!
This is another one which feels pretty straightforward and obvious. The Bar may very well up taking the belts back, likely from Jordan being over zealous and costing him and Seth to lose. Seth turns on him. They feud until Mania. The only reason this is happening is because Dean Ambrose was legitimately put on the shelf, if he hadn’t have suffered the injury it would be him in place of Jordan but with the same outcome.
Result: The Bar are your new champions.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn v AJ Styles (c) – WWE Championship Handicap Match
Very, very intriguing. This strangely thought out encounter has two mouth watering outcomes and I’m not sure which I want more:
1. KO & Zayn win and become co-champions. The cracks begin to form and one betrays the other, leading to a showdown for the title at Mania, and yet another fantastic rivalry between the two best friends. This frees up AJ to be pissed at management and lead to him taking on a returning Daniel Bryan at Mania. Boom. Money.
2. AJ retains because KO & Zayn were too busy fighting over who would pick up the pinfall and be the rightful winner of the match. They split and feud until Mania still, just not for the title. AJ goes on to face Nakamaura to appease the Indy darlings who somehow think the dream match will be any good inside a WWE ring.
My gut says AJ retains the title and we see KO & Zayn split up, but I’d rather see them stay together and go after the tag titles. Either way this should be a great match. Expect Shane McMahon to interject and shove his ego down our throats at some point too.
Result: AJ retains
Andrew’s WWE Raw & SmackDown Live Review & Notes (1/21 &1/22)
The Royal Rumble “Go Home” shows. Did they produce entertaining content, or limp towards the finish line since most will watch Rumble purely on name value. Let’s find out!
Now given that I enjoyed Raw so much last week, I’m tempering my expectations for this week. It’s been longer than I care to try and remember, that WWE has knocked it out of the park two weeks in a row.
With the low bar set, do we see a Fosbury Flop, or well…just a flop. Let’s see!
- Finn Balor vs Braun Strowman: Balor wins via DQ after Lesnar interferes – * 1/2
- Apollo Crews vs Bobby Lashley: Lashley wins via Spear – *
- Seth Rollins vs Drew McInture: Rollins wins via Cradle – ** 1/2
- Lucha House Party vs Jinder & The Singhs: Gran Metallik wins via Backbreaker – -* (yes it’s negative)
- Elias vs Baron Corbin: Corbin wins via End of Days – N/A
- The Ascension vs Heavy Machinery: Otis wins via Caterpillar – N/A (squash)
- Raw Tag Team Titles: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs The Revival: Gable retains via Rollup – ***
- Bayley & Sasha Banks vs Natalya & Ronda Rousey: Banks wins via Bank Statement on Natty – ***
- We kick off things with talking…well now, new changes right? Heyman does his played out thing by now, Vince comes out and tells his own variation of a Wikipedia edited David and Goliath story. Braun shows up to try and look menacing and speak words that don’t matter. Finn walks out after like 15 minutes of bickering, to point out that this is typical. He then tells a closer to correct David and Goliath story. Vince gets the bright idea that Brock should be at ringside for the real David and Goliath bout of Finn versus Braun.
- Now before this match started, we all knew how it was gonna end. Brock at ringside, Braun is a monster so he can’t lose clean and Finn is the challenger…so he can’t lose clean. So yeah, making matches that can’t logically have a winner is a waste of time, much like this match. The action was alright, the spot where Lesnar catches a falling Balor just to Overhead Suplex him to the floor was moronic since the referee saw it and didn’t throw out the match there. Finn fights back valiantly, then right after landing the Coup de Grace, Lesnar F5’s Balor and THAT’S a DQ apparently. Must’ve gotten NFL referees for this match.
- Lashley and Lio come out, and every bit of praise I gave them the last two weeks goes out the window here. Lio is worthless saying nothing of merit, and this somehow devolves into a pose off when Apollo Crews comes out to throw his hat in the ring. The pose off did showcase a little personality from Apollo, so that was a bright spot, but come on…this is dumb. Then Lashley attacks him and a match happens regardless of any previous words or stipulations to the pose off (yay wrestling).
- Lio apparently will now be a bigger player in the matches, which is fine. But when no one cares about either wrestler, we came off roughly 20 minutes of talking into a gimmicked finish, for another match without a clean finish. Short match with no story or reason to care.
- Rollins comes out, gives a speech we’re supposed to care about, but I really don’t. He brings Roman up AGAIN, and really seems to be going through the motions almost to a disingenuous point. McIntyre comes out to save the segment before it leads to a match, cause everyone in the Rumble needs to be showcased leading to it, yeah, that sounds right, sure.
- The match is standard fair for a Rollins match. Okay work rate, slightly predictable sequencing, but since the finish was a Cradle…that’s different. I don’t know, the match was fine, but McIntyre losing just signals that now he wins the Rumble or finds a way to at the very least, cost Rollins the win.
- The Revival discuss their position with Vince in the back, say they’d like an impartial special guest referee and Curt Hawkins walks up. Vince tells him he’s the special ref and Hawkins has the best line of the night with “Well, I have seen a lot of threes lately…”, and then the Revival start buttering him up before the match.
- Lucha House…Jinder and the Singhs…WHY!? This has no business being a thing beyond they are two groups of 3. Stupid, useless, worthless, I hate the Lucha House Party. Send them back to 205 Live, deport them, I don’t know…just stop. This is not good, they have no personality, and have been damaged from that dumb House Party rule gimmick from a few weeks back. Screw this team. And who wins with a Backbreaker not named Roderick Strong?!
- Dana Brooke is talking at EC3, I say talking at cause he doesn’t respond and she just hits him with a litany of questions as Elias walks to the ring.
- Elias tries to do his thing, Corbin interrupts, a forgettable match happens and Corbin wins cause he needs to look like he’s marginally competent going into Rumble.
- Alexa Bliss’ Moment of Bliss, is a train wreck again, multiple women just walk out, declare their piece for the Rumble, Alexa even makes note of all her shows have been awful and she’s sick of it. So she announces herself in the Rumble, the only highlight was Lacey Evans finally came out and said a few things for the first time. All you Nasties are gonna learn.
- The Ascension get to be fed to Heavy Machinery! Well I guess that proves they’re staying on Raw since Raw loves job matches. Only real note from this is Otis’ Worm, is not called the Caterpillar. You know, like the company that makes heavy machinery. The writers are true wordsmiths I tell you.
- This tag match was like a highlight real of heel wrestling 101 and a referee actually being attentive. Hawkins is by far the best referee of the night (and weekend probably too), so a decent match. Nice spots, these two teams have nice chemistry and we see a reuniting of Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins at the end. So maybe that’s where The Revival go next. Only odd take away is why would you make The Revival sympathetic for the last few weeks and then ruin it completely in 2 weeks. The direction just makes no sense.
- Ronda with a passionate, yet clumsy and weird biblical promo with the hair washing feet thing. What since David and Goliath was referenced now we’re quoting the bible for promos? Ugh…no more talking Ronda please.
- Yes we all know Sasha had a wardrobe malfunction during this match. But let’s not have that take away from a decent match and the fact that Bayley and Sasha did technically give Ronda her first loss in WWE. So building up the challenger for two weeks right before the PPV seems like the obvious set up, but be honest, 99% of us have Ronda winning anyway. Sasha could’ve defeated the whole women’s division and we’d still go, “yeah but”. It was nice to see Bayley and Sasha continue to work decently as a team, but they did sow some seeds for Bayley versus Sasha since Sasha tended to move out of the way a lot and let Bayley eat moves.
Overall Score: 5/10
There really seemed to be no passion or imagination in this show except for Ronda’s odd promo. As Tony Acero so nicely put on Raw Reaction, I was just saying “okay”, through most of this show. It didn’t surprise, intrigue or go outside of the box at all. Just a basic color by numbers Raw. Mediocrity encapsulated in a show, if you will. SmackDown has to be better…
SmackDown Live Ratings:
- Mandy Rose w/Sonya Deville vs Naomi: Rose wins via pinfall – **
- Miz w/Shane vs Cesaro w/Sheamus: Cesaro wins via Gotch Neutralizer – ***
- Mustafa Ali vs Samoa Joe: Joe wins via Coquina Clutch – ** 1/2
- 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio vs Andrade Almas: Rey wins via DQ 2-1 – *** 3/4
- So since it’s WWE we start off with talking, but this one is Becky and Asuka, and we like them. Becky does the old school heel thing of listing Asuka’s accolades but making sure to mention that Asuka didn’t BEAT her and she’s still just better than Asuka. Charlotte saunters out, let’s out a Woo and Asuka tries to get in a cheap shot on Becky, thus creating a brawl for a few minutes. Becky gets the upperhand throwing Asuka into the announce desk, before the brawl heads backstage.
- Naomi has every right to try and kill Mandy. She tried to cause problems in her marriage and Naomi had the upperhand in most of the match. A flurry of kicks and elbows from Naomi give us hope she’ll get her revenge, but Sonya’s interference becomes too much, giving Mandy the opening to show Naomi into the ring post and cover her for the pinfall.
- Miz and Shane might be my favorite thing on SmackDown story wise. I mean I love Andrade & Rey Mysterio angle, but the sheer fun and enjoyment Miz and Shane seem to be having is infectious.
- The match had a lot of good resiliency from Miz. The Miz has been looking like a better wrestling ever since the World Cup tournament. Miz tried to get an early win with the Figure Four Leglock, but Cesaro got out of it. Sheamus eventually takes out Shane so they can get in a cheap shot, which leads to a Gotch Neutralizer and a win for Cesaro. Post match beatdown sees Shane eat a Brogue Kick, as well as getting driven through Miz and effectively through the announce table. Feels like a heavy signal that Miz and Shane will win at Rumble, but who knows.
- Mustafa points out an interesting aspect of Joe beating him down last week. That being, Joe looks down on him, like he doesn’t belong there and he wants to prove himself.
- Vince basically moderates the discussion between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles. Not much is really said except for AJ turning the FICKLE word against Bryan and it catching a little. Styles chases Daniel outside the ring, lays in a few shots, rolls him back in for the Phenomenal Forearm, Daniel uses Mr. McMahon as a shield to then lay out AJ with Knee Plus.
- Truth and Carmella are walking through the back discussing the Rumble. Truth toys with the idea of challenging Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight title, and when Carmella points out the weight limit, he takes it as her calling him fat and storms off a bit. Charlotte and Carmella have a few words, but nothing really noticeable here.
- Ali showed that he learned from last week and turns around some call back spots into flips and body presses. But Joe eventually proved to be too much and Ali taps out to the Coquina Clutch.
- New Day have a nice moment discussing Rumble plans, Kofi has a moment of doubt if he can’t come up with a cool spot, Kayla tries to ask the question everyone does about would they eliminate each other. After going through a list of people who asked, they say “Is Tony Chimmel gonna ask us too?”, and Chimmel shows up before they shoo him away asking if they look like Edge and to get going.
- YAY! 2 out of 3 falls match! Andrade and Rey all day! First fall comes after Andrade connects on an Avalanche Sitout Powerbomb. Rey hits a Code Red, doesn’t’ get him, but pulls out the Canadian Destroyer as a counter to what looks like a Powerbomb and evens it up at one a piece. Rey tried to get a quick win with the West Coast Pop, but Andrade kicks out. After Rey finally connects with a 619, Samoa Joe shows up to ruin the finish. In the middle of making his final decree, Randy Orton RKO’s Joe to a giant pop from the crowd.
Overall Score: 7/10
Well okay we’re back to the normal situation of SmackDown being the clearly superior show and Raw being mediocre at best. Andrade and Rey are just wonderful together, that match could’ve been something special if it were allowed to finish decisively. I look forward to a time when they get 20+ minutes on a PPV to just tear the roof down. SmackDown is such a treat coming off a Raw that left, not a sour taste in my mouth, but ashy disappointment.
The Streak Part 4: Darkness Falls – 1998-99
Tiffany MC brings you the next two matches as part of The Streak, as The Undertaker battles Kane and the Big Boss Man at WrestleMania!
The years of 1998-99 were turbulent times for WWF and the Undertaker. The Monday Night Wars, started by the advent of WCW Monday Nitro were heating up and the question of which company would prevail was on everyone’s mind. In order to compete, WWE began featuring edgier, sexier, more reality based storylines.
For the Undertaker, this meant the introduction of his long-lost brother, Kane, setting off a storyline and partnership that has lasted 20 years and had more twists and turns than a daytime drama. Also in these years, Taker would reunite with Paul Bearer and unleash his disturbing Ministry of Darkness on the WWF, igniting a feud with Vince McMahon, which would culminate in one of the most shocking reveals in wrestling history.
WrestleMania XIV: Cain vs Abel Part 1: Of all the matches Taker had in this period, this WrestleMania match with Kane is not only one of the best in terms of quality, but had a very compelling storyline. The story has become a little convoluted over the years and there have been a lot of twists and turns, but the story in 1998 was this: Undertaker and Kane were brothers, there was a fire at the funeral home their parents owned, their parents were killed and Undertaker thought Kane had been killed as well, but Kane had only been horribly burned. Paul Bearer nursed Kane back to health and raised him while encouraging his hatred of his older brother.
When it was revealed to Taker that Kane was not only alive, but looking for revenge, he actually refused to fight his brother due to a promise he’d once made to their parents. It wasn’t until Kane and Paul Bearer cost Taker the WWF Championship at Royal Rumble 1998 and set the casket containing Taker on FIRE, did Taker finally fight back and vowed to unleash unholy vengeance on his brother and his former manager.
Before this match gets started, we’re introduced to Pete Rose, who was going to be guest ring announcer for this. Ol’ Charley Hustle was never afraid to shoot his mouth off and proceeded to insult the Boston fans and the Boston Red Sox, who at that time hadn’t won a World Series in 80 years. Before the riot could get going, Kane came out and attacked Rose and Tombstoning him, much to the delight of the crowd.
Taker’s entrance was simply AMAZING! It was such a cool entrance that a clip of it was used in WrestleMania promo videos for a few years. It started with a Gregorian chant while the druids, with lit torches, came out and since there was a long entrance ramp at WrestleMania XIV, there were a lot of druids when the chanting reached its crescendo, the lights went out and the gong started. Taker came down the ramp in a coat that made him look like Dracula, but it looked SUPER cool with all the lit torches.
Taker’s matches are never pretty or extremely technical, and this match was no exception. It started with punches and shoves and stayed there. Kane dominated much of the match and caught Taker during a crossbody attempt. Kane had the Tree of Woe in mind but the 6’10” Undertaker was way to tall for that.
Kane did a really great job of hanging with Taker on a big stage, but he was definitely a little rough around the edges. It wasn’t quite ‘Do I Owe You Money?’ territory, but it was close.
Throughout the match, Paul Bearer made his presence known, chastising Undertaker throughout the match in that annoying voice of his and getting in some cheap shots whenever the ref wasn’t looking. Have to say that Bearer was clearly whiffing a lot of his punches, but Taker sold his butt off anyway.
The match went out to the floor, but Jack Doan was very reluctant to do a count or do anything other than get out of the way. Even using the steps Kane had thrown to get back in the ring.
One of the craziest parts of the match was Taker going for the running dive and being…directed into the Spanish announce table, which was being manned by WWF Legend Tito Santana, who kept doing commentary on the floor while his colleagues tried to get up.
Taker’s self-preservation would finally kick in, but it would take THREE Tombstone piledrivers to put Kane away, and Kane still nearly kicked out at the last possible second.
Enraged at his son’s defeat, Paul Bearer grabbed a chair and attacked the Undertaker just for the hell of it. Kane joined in the attack and Taker was left in a heap in the ring, which made the win over his demented brother less than the sterling victory he’d wanted. However, Taker sat up and was able to leave the ringside area under his own steam.
Highlight: Pete Rose being a damn good sport and taking that tombstone like a champ. Taker’s entrance. Tito Santana continuing to do commentary in the wreckage of the Spanish Announce Table.
Rating: 7/10 This was a fantastic match and my favorite of Taker’s WrestleMania matches in the 1990s.
WrestleMania XV – Boss Man Goes to Hell: This match came about through one of the most disturbing storylines of the Attitude Era. The Undertaker had reunited with Paul Bearer and became the Lord of Darkness. Then he began recruiting superstars to form The Ministry of Darkness, which would be the launching pad for teams like Edge and Christian and the APA. Taker began demanding that Vince give him a title shot and began targeting Vince’s family, specifically Vince’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon. In an attempt to end the threat, Vince sanctioned the first ever WrestleMania Hell in a Cell Match and sent the Corporation’s Chief of Security, the Big Boss Man to end the threat of the Undertaker.
Boss Man comes out and still didn’t get in a great reaction, despite being the nominal babyface in this match. Undertaker, despite being a very scary heel, got a pretty good pop when the gong hit, though the pop died a little during the ‘Accept the Lord of Darkness’ stuff. Undertaker came out looking like a 90s horror film maker’s idea of Satan.
I’m going to be honest, I really hated this match. I wasn’t a fan of Taker’s Satanic stuff and that killed my enjoyment of this match. Boss Man, though being a good half a head shorter than Taker was still large enough to really be able to take it to Taker, including cuffing Taker to the cell and beating him with the nightstick. One funny thing was Taker going for Old School and then realizing that he was too tall to be able to pull that move in the cell, which was much shorter then, and then getting nut shot by Boss Man.
That said, this was a pretty good Hell in a Cell match and it was as brutal as you’d expect it to be in the days when bloody matches were a staple of WWE shows.
It wasn’t until after the match was over that the thing I hated most about this match happened. The Brood (Edge, Christian, and Gangrel) descended from the rafters and helped Taker ‘hang’ Boss Man from a noose from the roof of the cell. Even knowing that Boss Man had a harness on and wasn’t in any real danger, the sight of that…lynching was so disturbing that I can hardly stand to watch it. If I had to consider who would think that was ‘edgy’ and not ‘disturbing’, I’d say this spot came from the brain of Vince Russo.
Highlight: It ended.
Rating: 4/10 The match was fine, but I HATED what happened afterwards.