With WWE’s 2014 on pay-per-view coming to an end with Tables, Ladders, Chairs & Stairs, what better time to look back at the WWE’s previous December PPV shows and pick out some highlights and FIVE matches to check out on the Network (or elsewhere if you prefer). I’ve decided to concentrate on the pre-TLC PPV era (the first of which was held in 2009). So only anything up to 2008’s Armageddon was considered. I’ve also tried to avoid some of the more famous matches, such as 2002’s HHH/HBK match and 2005’s Undertaker/Orton Hell In A Cell. These are NOT meant to be the best matches, more that we’re delving a little deeper to bring you matches you might have missed, or forgotten about despite their prominence at the time.
Before we start, it’s worth pointing out that the WWE’s first ever December PPV show did not come about with the advent of the In Your House shows in 1995. The WWE promoted a PPV in 1989…although it was a little different to what you might expect. No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie was, as the title suggests, a PPV screening of Hulk Hogan’s Oscar winning classic No Holds Barred followed by a Steel Cage tag team match pitting Hogan and Brutus Beefcake against Randy Savage and Zeus. Sadly this epic encounter isn’t yet available on the Network….
Anyway, onto the choices…
BUBBLING UNDER: Shawn Micheals against Ken Shamrock from 1997’s D-Generation X:In Your House is a great match (until the non-finish) from the WWE’s first post-Montreal PPV. It cements the idea in my mind that if Shamrock hadn’t had the misfortune to spend most of his time in a WWE where talking was all that mattered, he might well have made a great WWE champion. By the time Vince McMahon battled with Triple H at 1999’s Armageddon show, the novelty of the boss getting into the ring had somewhat subsided (though he would do so again and again) but they have a decent brawl with a memorable finish/post-match. Vengeance 2001 is the famous WWE and WCW World Title unification “tournament” and it’s the WCW Title match between Chris Jericho and The Rock that is the best match of that. The four way tag team Ladder match at 2006’s Armageddon is memorable for a horrific injury but it’s also a fantastic slice of action.