Promotional poster featuring Torrie Wilson
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||December 15, 2002|
|Venue||Office Depot Center|
Armageddon (2002) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and took place on December 15, 2002, at the Office Depot Center in Sunrise, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was the third Armageddon event and included talent from the Raw and SmackDown! brands.
The main match on the Raw brand was a Three Stages of Hell match for the World Heavyweight Championship between champion Shawn Michaels and Triple H. The first match was a Street Fight, which Triple H won after performing a Pedigree. The second match was a Steel cage match, which Michaels won by pinfall after jumping off the top of the steel cage onto Triple H through a table. The third and final match was a Ladder match, which Triple H won after retrieving the belt suspended above the ring. The predominant match on the SmackDown! brand was The Big Show versus Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship. Angle won the match and the WWE Championship after pinning Big Show following interference from Brock Lesnar. One of the primary matches on the undercard was Chris Benoit versus Eddie Guerrero, which Benoit won by forcing Guerrero to submit with the Crippler Crossface.
The main feud heading into Armageddon on the Raw brand was between Shawn Michaels and Triple H, with the two feuding over the World Heavyweight Championship. At SummerSlam on August 25, Shawn Michaels defeated Triple H in an Unsanctioned Street Fight, pinning him with a jackknife roll-up. Three months later at Survivor Series, Michaels won an Elimination Chamber match, by eliminating Chris Jericho then Triple H, to win the World Heavyweight Championship. On the November 25 episode of Raw, Michaels defended the World title against Rob Van Dam; however, Michaels retained the title with help from Triple H. On December 2, on Raw, Triple H defeated Rob Van Dam in a number one contenders match, winning a World title match against Michaels at Armageddon. Afterwords, Michaels awarded the win to Triple H and the two brawled with one another ending with Michaels nailing Triple H with the Sweet Chin Music. The next week on Raw, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff announced that the World title match at Armageddon would be a Three Stages of Hell match. He said the first fall would be a Street fight, the second fall would be a Steel cage match, and that the third fall would be a Ladder match. Later on that edition, after Triple H defeated Jeff Hardy, Triple H and Ric Flair attacked Hardy and was close to take out Hardy with a steel chair until Michaels came out to challenge both men. Moments later, Flair cut a promo with Michaels stating that if Michaels doesn't pass the torch at Armageddon, Triple H will kill him, taking the most coveted trophy in the business from him. Towards the end of the show, Michaels attacked Triple H and Flair with an iron shovel outside the arena. Michaels then smashed Triple H with a trash can, causing him to fall inside a dumpster. Shortly after, Michaels climbed to the top of a trailer and jumped off onto Triple H, sending a clear message toward their title match at Armageddon.
The main feud on the SmackDown! brand was between The Big Show and Kurt Angle, with the two battling over the WWE Championship. The previous month at Survivor Series, Big Show defeated Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Championship, pinning him after a chokeslam on a steel chair, thus handing Lesnar his first Pinfall loss in WWE. During that match, when Lesnar tried to pin Big Show following an F-5, he was betrayed by his agent Paul Heyman who pulled the referee out of the ring, allowing Big Show to capitalize and win the title. Following Survivor Series on the November 21 episode of SmackDown!, Lesnar checked the villain's locker room to look for Big Show and Heyman until Matt Hardy stood up and made insults to Lesnar about his loss at Survivor Series. Lesnar responded by throwing him through the wall. Moments later, SmackDown! General Manager Stephanie McMahon informed Lesnar that he can't get his rematch for the WWE title until his ribs, that were still injured when Big Show tossed him off the stage the previous two weeks on SmackDown!, are healed up to 100%. She then stated that she will suspend Lesnar if he would lay his hands on Heyman, Big Show or any other SmackDown! superstar. During the segment between Heyman and Big Show, Heyman made it clear that Lesnar would not get a rematch, even going so far as to sneak a special clause in his contract. Shortly after, Lesnar went after the two by grabbing the steel chair from ringside and nailed Big Show in the spine with it. Later that night, Big Show defended the WWE title against Edge, which ended in a no-contest when Heyman interfered, enabling Big Show to put Edge away with three chokeslams. Afterwords, Lesnar got to the ring and nail Big Show with an F-5 and then chased Heyman backstage until Heyman took off in a limousine. The following week on SmackDown!, SmackDown! GM Stephanie McMahon suspended Lesnar due to Lesnar ignoring her orders twice the previous week about not laying his hands on anybody, even Big Show. Later that night, Lesnar would still come out and hit an F-5 on Big Show through the announce table then he once again tried to go after Heyman until Stephanie McMahon bought the officers out in Lesnar's way and ordered them to get him out of the arena. On the edition of December 5 of SmackDown!, Angle defeated Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and Edge in a Fatal Four-Way match to become number one contender to the WWE Championship at Armageddon. Shortly after the match ended, Big Show, accompanied by Heyman, came out and chokeslammed Angle. The next week on SmackDown!, Angle interrupted Lesnar's autograph session to inform Lesnar that he would get his suspension lifted if Lesnar could help him defeat The Big Show at Armageddon. Lesnar responded by saying, he'll think about it. However, SmackDown! GM Stephanie McMahon reminded Big Show and Heyman that Lesnar's suspension has been lifted. Later that night, Big Show and A-Train defeated Angle and Edge. Towards the end of the match, as Angle was preparing to apply the ankle lock on The Big Show, Heyman distracted him, which allowed Big Show to hit a chokeslam for the win.
The event unofficially began with a dark match between Jeff Hardy and D'Lo Brown. Hardy pinned Brown after a Diving Crossbody The first match of the event was a Fatal Four-Way tag team match for the World Tag Team Championship between Chris Jericho and Christian, Lance Storm and William Regal, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von), and Booker T and Goldust. The World Tag Team champs Chris Jericho and Christian started the match off with the Dudleys, though both Booker T and Goldust and Lance Storm and William Regal were involved early and often. The first team to go were the Dudley Boyz; Bubba Ray was pinned by Regal, after a Top rope leg drop by Storm. The second elimination was of team Storm and Regal; Goldust pinned Regal after a Director's Cut, which made the match even at two-on-two. The final elimination came when Booker hit a Book End on Jericho, which allowed Booker to pin him and get the win for his team. As a result, Booker and Goldust became new World Tag Team champions.
The second match was between Edge and A-Train. A-Train started the match and dominated Edge as he gave him a slam the corner, which was followed by a shoulder block. A-Train tried another slam on Edge, but Edge countered and tossed A-Train out of the ring. A-Train gained the advantage once more, when he catapulted Edge right into the ropes and nearly decapitated him, A-Train then got Edge in the headlock in the middle of the ring, but Edge dropped down and hit a DDT to break free. Edge then took the upper hand as he got up and knocked A-Train down with a spinning heel kick, which was followed by a facebuster from the middle rope. The match came to an end when, A-Train was disqualified for hitting Edge with a chair. As a result, Edge won the match. Afterwards, Edge hit A-Train with a chair seven times.
The third match was between Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. In the match, Benoit whipped Guerrero down and got Guerrero in a reverse chinlock. Guerrero managed to get out of the hold, as he kicked Benoit in the midsection. Guerrero got Benoit down on the mat and locked him in a head-scissors. Benoit countered the move and got Guerrero in a hold, but Guerrero was able to get the rope, to break the hold. After back and forth action between Benoit and Guerrero, Benoit forced Guerrero to submit to the Crippler Crossface. The fourth match was between Kane and Batista (with Ric Flair). Kane and Batista locked up in the middle of the ring and Batista took the upper hand over Kane, as he hit Kane with a shoulder block. Batista then picked up Kane and slammed him, but Kane was able to drive his elbow onto him. In the match however Kane stopped Flair's interference. Kane slammed Batista into the turnbuckle, which was followed by a big boot to the face. The match came to an end when Batista hit the Batista Bomb on Kane and grabbed the pinfall.
The fifth match was for the WWE Women's Championship between Victoria, Trish Stratus and Jacqueline. Victoria ran down to the ring, but was quickly tossed out by Jacqueline. Jacqueline took the advantage, as she hit a sweep kick on Victoria. Soon after, Trish attempted a bulldog on Jacqueline but Jacqueline and Victoria double-teamed her with a back suplex. Mid-way in the match, Trish dominated and hit Victoria with multiple kicks followed by a neckbreaker on Jacqueline. Victoria was pushed off the turnbuckle as Stratus hit a roundhouse kick on Jacqueline for a broken up two count. In the end, Victoria pinned Jacqueline after Stratus hit her with a Clothesline and Victoria hit Stratus with the Women's title belt, which resulted in Victoria pinning Jacqueline and retaining the title.
The sixth match of the night was for the WWE Championship between The Big Show (with Paul Heyman) and Kurt Angle. Angle was taken down by the Big Show, but countered and got Big Show in a head-scissors lock. Angle battled back as he hit Big Show with a sidewalk slam. Angle got Big Show in a Sleeper Hold and got him down to the mat, but then Big Show reversed the hold and flipped Angle to the mat. Angle fought back and kicked Big Show in the face and then he went up to the top rope. Angle hit a missile dropkick from the top rope, but Big Show kicked out of the pin. After back and forth action between the two (including some interference by A-Train against Angle), Angle pinned Big Show after interference from Brock Lesnar, Lesnar hit the F-5 on Big Show, thus making Angle the winner of the match and new WWE Champion.
Triple H challenging Shawn Michaels for the World Heavyweight Championship was the main event. The first fall of the match was a Street fight. Michaels and Triple H battled inside and out of the ring. Triple H tried to suplex Michaels over the ropes and through the table, but Michaels countered and suplexed Triple H right back into the ring. Michaels was gearing up for the Sweet Chin Music, however Triple H caught Michaels and twisted Michaels' knee. Triple H focused on Michaels knee throughout the match. In the street fight, Triple H brought out a 2 X 4 wrapped in barbed wire, which he then lit on fire, with the flames provided on the stage. However, Michaels countered Triple H's attack and nailed him right in the face with the flaming board, which resulted in Triple H's forehead being busted open. However, Triple H picked up the first fall as he pinned Michaels after a Pedigree. The second fall was a Steel Cage match. In the match, Triple H catapulted Michaels into the wall of the cage, which was followed by Triple H grinding Michaels head into the side of the cage. After back and forth action between Triple H and Michaels, Michaels scored the second fall, after he Splashed Triple H through a table off the cage. The third and last fall of the night was a Ladder match. Michaels grabbed a ladder in which resulted in him dropping the ladder on Triple H's back which was quickly followed by Michaels suplexing Triple H on the ladder. The match concluded with Triple H retrieving the World Heavyweight title, after he pushed Michaels off the ladder, which resulted in Michaels crashing through four stacked tables on the outside.
|1H||Jeff Hardy defeated D'Lo Brown||Singles match||04:56|
|2||Booker T and Goldust defeated Lance Storm and William Regal, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley), and Chris Jericho and Christian (c)||Tag team elimination match for the World Tag Team Championship||16:43|
|3||Edge defeated A-Train by disqualification||Singles match||07:12|
|4||Chris Benoit defeated Eddie Guerrero by submission||Singles match||16:47|
|5||Batista (with Ric Flair) defeated Kane||Singles match||06:38|
|6||Victoria (c) defeated Trish Stratus and Jacqueline||Triple threat match for the WWE Women's Championship||04:28|
|7||Kurt Angle defeated Big Show (c) (with Paul Heyman)||Singles match for the WWE Championship||12:36|
|8||Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels (c) 2–1||Three Stages of Hell match for the World Heavyweight Championship||38:35|
Tag Team elimination match
|Elimination||Wrestler||Team||Eliminated by||Elimination move||Time|
|1||Bubba Ray Dudley||The Dudley Boyz||William Regal||Pinned after a roll-up||05:17|
|2||William Regal||Lance Storm and William Regal||Goldust||Pinned after a scoop powerslam||05:33|
|3||Chris Jericho||Chris Jericho and Christian (c)||Booker T||Pinned after a Book End||16:43|
|Winners:||Booker T and Goldust (New World Tag Team Champions)|
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