Random Network Reviews: WWF Armageddon 1999
WWF Armageddon 1999
December 12th, 1999 | National Car Rental Center in Sunrise, Florida | Attendance: 15,749
The WWF was wrapping up their most financially successful year and their final Pay-Per-View of the millennium was upon them. Things were a bit odd though. Top star Steve Austin was finally written off of TV to get his neck fixed. Big Show was now the WWF Champion, despite being with the company for less than a year and turning heel and face multiple times already. The Rock was involved in the tag team scene and Vince McMahon was booked in the main event. See what I mean? This was the first ever Armageddon PPV.
Triple H and Vince McMahon are the focal point of the opening video package. This was shortly after HHH interrupted Test and Stephanie’s wedding and married a drugged up Steph instead. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are on commentary.
Number One Contender’s Battle Royal: The Acolytes def. The Dudley Boyz, Edge & Christian, the Godfather and Mark Henry, the Hardy Boyz w/ Terri, the Headbangers, the Mean Street Posse and Too Cool in 10:54
JR quickly uses insider terms like “Mosh survived a horrendous gimmick”. The Dudleys and Edge and Christian brawl a bit before everyone comes out, but it gets broken up. This follows typical battle royal stuff. Rodney gets eliminated, so Joey Abs replaces him and the referees miss this. They switch again after Joey goes out, but still are the first team officially eliminated. The Headbangers go next and then the Acolytes dump future World Champion Mark Henry. E&C battle with Too Cool and win out. Too Cool was just on the verge of breaking out into insane popularity. The final four teams go at it and the Dudleys cheat to send E&C packing. The Hardys take a beating from the remaining heel teams. Jeff eats a 3D but Matt sneaks up and dumps D-Von out. Matt and Bradshaw go over at the same time, leaving Jeff and Faarooq to fight. Since the official can’t make a decision, he sends Bradshaw and Matt back in. Faarooq gets sent over and the one ref misses it again. Bradshaw hands on for dear life and poor Jeff also takes a Dominator. Matt gets stuck hanging too and Faarooq tosses a charging Jeff over and out. Fine battle royal here. Nothing special. The crowd was way hot for the Hardys and E&C after their No Mercy Ladder match, so the dull Acolytes (they would get popular with the APA stuff soon) winning wasn’t the best call. Also, the one ref thing led to a lot of screwy moments. **¼
Kurt Angle def. Steve Blackman in 6:56
Angle gets interviewed in the back by Lillian Garcia and is confused about the fans always booing him. These two teamed for a bit but Angle said Blackman was the weak link, leading here. Blackman comes out firing and start quickly. Angle busts out his perfect moonsault for the first time, only to miss it. Less than a month after his debut and you could already see Angle changing up his game. He’s able to adjust from “boring” chants to doing small things to get heat and turn it into “Angle sucks”. Angle plays possum before winning with a weak German. Clearly a rookie outing from Angle, but you could see he was picking it up quickly. Blackman did nothing impressive. *½
WWF Women’s Championship Evening Gown Pool Match: Miss Kitty def. BB, Ivory (c) and Jacqueline in 2:45
This has Kevin Dunn written all over it. The women’s division was a travesty at this time and this is all the proof you need. Kitty tosses Jackie in the pool before everyone is even out. I thought Ivory got a pop but they just react because the other girls are in the water now. They all disrobe Jackie first and her top breaks, nearly showing off her entire rack. BB is next and Ivory tries to remove her bra. She fails like a teenage virgin. Kitty strips Ivory and it is over. I won’t even rate this since it wasn’t a match. It was just women trying to strip each other in a pool.
The infamous moment from this PPV comes now as Kitty isn’t content with winning the belt. She chooses to reveal it all and takes of her top. The WWE Network blurs it, but nine year old Kevin remembers the uncensored version vividly. After she is taken away, Mae Young tries to do the same but is thankfully stopped.
Rikishi cuts a horrible promo in the back. Man, he is so lucky he could dance and was able to get the Rikishi gimmick over in that way. This was before most of that and it sucked.
Crash and Hardcore Holly def. Rikishi and Viscera in 4:23
Who thought this belonged on a PPV? This was during the Holly’s super heavyweight phase. Rikishi has the crowd behind him but Viscera is an unwilling partner. They do typical spots in big man/little man matches. Vis and Rikishi both drop their full weight on their opponents several times. Vis accidentally hits Rikishi, allowing Crash to get the pin. Pointless and did nothing for anyone. The crowd didn’t care either outside of a few Rikishi moments. Garbage. DUD
WWF European Championship: Val Venis def. British Bulldog (c) and D-Lo Brown in 8:18
Bulldog comes out with the Mean Street Posse but Teddy Long ejects them. He can’t have six guys out and have it not be a tag match. This is another random match on a show full of them. D-Lo does the Undertaker plancha onto his opponents because nothing in this match makes sense. The guys all get various moments of double teams. D-Lo and Val drop Bulldog on his head on a double hip toss spot. D-Lo gets another relatively big spot with a top rope sunset flip but Bulldog pulls out the referee. D-Lo then saves Val from getting pinned. He was putting in the best effort and was the most over guy in the match. He hits his frog splash only for Val to nail the Money Shot on him (giggity) and pin Bulldog to win the gold. All guys were at the tail end of pushes and, outside of D-Lo, the crowd didn’t care. Pretty much everything was either sloppy or kind of a wreck. *
Steel Cage Match: Kane w/ Tori def. X-Pac in 8:12
According to a pre-match interview with X-Pac, Kane can only win via pinfall, while Pac can win by leaving the cage. Kane goes over to meet X-Pac, who bothers Tori before things get started. This is built around X-Pac trying to escape the cage since he knows it gives him a better shot at winning than pinning Kane. Lawler makes a lot of penis jokes, causing JR to say the word “penis”, which gives Lawler a hearty chuckle. Like their match at Survivor Series, DX tries to get involved. The New Age Outlaws break open the lock and slam the door in Kane’s face. A chair is also brought into play. X-Pac nails the X-Factor on the chair and finds handcuffs. He cuffs Kane to the cage and whacks him with the chair. Tori gets in and stops Pac from leaving. He spits in her face and drills her with the X-Factor. Kane big boots the chair into Pac and breaks the cuffs. He goes out and stops X-Pac from leaving by getting under him and bringing him back inside. He slams the door on Pac’s head before going to the top of the cage and hitting a huge flying clothesline. A tombstone later and it’s over. One of the better Kane singles matches at this point in his career. Stopping X-Pac from winning was creative, the flying clothesline spot was the first thing all show to feel like a big deal and X-Pac got his comeuppance. ***¼
WWF Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho def. Chyna (c) w/ Miss Kitty in 10:17
Chyna is famously the only female Intercontinental Champion. She won it in October and successfully defended it against Jericho at Survivor Series with a top rope Pedigree. Jericho broke Chyna’s thumb with a hammer in an over the top segment during the build. They fight instantly and brawl outside, where Jericho front suplexes Chyna on the announce table. Chyna comes back with a low blow and her shitty handspring move. She ends up tied up in the ropes like Andre the Giant. Jericho excellently punches and then dropkicks her bandaged thumb. The crowd is clearly behind Jericho. Chyna catapults Jericho into an exposed buckle for two. Chyna picks up a few close calls before Jericho counters a rollup into the Walls and Chyna taps out. A good match and one of the best of Chyna’s career. Her stuff looked sloppy but Jericho made up for it with his work throughout. I liked the psychology of going after the thumb and they pulled the trigger at the right time. Jericho wouldn’t start having great matches until a year later. ***
Chyna congratulates Jericho in an interview backstage.
WWF Tag Team Championship: The Rock n’ Sock Connection def. The New Age Outlaws (c) via disqualification in 16:28
We get some early interaction between Gunn and Rock, just a few months removed from Rock beating him at SummerSlam and sending him back to the midcard where he belongs. Rock even beats him up here in the midst of removing his shirt for some comedy. Some classic Attitude Era ringside and crowd brawling from all four men follow. The match calms down in the ring where Rock takes the heat for a bit. Mankind gets the tag and it doesn’t get a big pop surprisingly. They do pop when he goes for Socko and applies it on Road Dogg. Al Snow runs out and hits Mankind with Head because he was strangely in a program involving them at the time. Rock saves Mankind and beats Snow up. Mankind kicks out of a shot with the ring bell since the Rock is too busy with Snow to break up the pin. Rock’s hot tag gets a reaction only for Al Snow to attack after he hits the Rock Bottom. That causes the DQ to end things. Four guys that really seemed like they phoned it in. The crowd wasn’t as hot as you’d expect and all of this really felt like they were killing time until Rock’s road to WrestleMania push back to the title. **
WWF Championship: Big Show (c) def. WWF Hardcore Champion Big Boss Man w/ Albert in 3:11
WAAAHH MY DADDY WAAHH! Boss Man’s promos during this feud were hilarious. This program was built about Boss Man making fun of Big Show’s dad dying and not a single person bought this as a serious rivalry. Show charges the ring and just clobbers Boss Man while the crowd collectively sits on their hands. Albert takes a Chokeslam through the announce table. The fans start a “boring” chant and they aren’t wrong. Show kips up (with assistance from the ropes) after a Boss Man pin attempt and wins with the Chokeslam. The only positive about this is that it was short. Show’s first title run was a huge flop. He’d be a heel again with no title in about a month. DUD
No Holds Barred: Triple H def. Vince McMahon in 29:41
If Vince wins, Triple H’s marriage to Stephanie ends and if Triple H wins, he gets a shot at the WWF Title. Stephanie is sitting in the front row for this one. Vince is only 53 here and Triple H is just 28. Vince gets the jump on HHH by throwing powder in his eyes. They brawl in and out of the ring until they fight up near the entrance. They eventually come around to ringside, where Mankind wheels out a cart full of weapons. The match drags on as they’re back by the entrance and Vince takes one of the stage guns to the face. It has been almost twenty minutes of them bashing each other. Things move all the way outside where Vince searches for Hunter. HHH tries to run Vince over with a car but barely misses. As they come back to the arena, Vince and HHH climb one of the structures in the entrance and Vince takes a bump falling off of it. The crowd barely reacts and even JR doesn’t sell it too great. It should have been more impactful. HHH takes this time to get a mic and talk smack to Stephanie. “WHO’S YOUR DADDY?” Vince is gushing blood. HHH has an opening with a pipe but goes for his sledgehammer instead. Vince kicks him low to stop it and nails him with the pipe. Vince goes to use the hammer but Stephanie hops over and stops him. She wants to hit HHH with it. It turns out she can’t bring herself to do it, opening the door for HHH to take it and hit Vince twice and win. Way too long. I get that Vince was fighting for his family but going 30 minutes in a fight with the top heel isn’t great. It was a lot of two guys wailing on each other. I did like some story aspects, like the car spot but I wish the Steph heel turn would have come during the match. *¾
HHH threatens to hit Stephanie with the sledgehammer but she turns and sees him. He stops, she smirks and they embrace. The McMahon-Helmsley Era beings and Stephanie officially turns heel, which is a role she’d grow into perfectly as time passed.