It's the End of the World As We Know It
The Pay Per View opens with a pseudo-music video set to "The End" by The Doors. It features a lot of end-of-the-world-style imagery (bombs falling, nuclear blasts, buildings being destroyed) interspersed with shots of the wrestlers participating in tonight's Hell in the Cell match (Undertaker, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Kurt Angle, and Rikishi). Get it? Because the name of the PPV is "Armageddon"? The video ends with Morrison wailing, "The end is nee-ar!" over a red-tinted shot of human skeletons scattered on the ground. It sounds super cheesy, but for the WWF, it was actually pretty high in terms of production values.
And then "Sweet Home Alabama" hits as we pan around the sold-out arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Ah, the WWF -- masters of subtlety. The cameras focus in on the ring, above which is suspended the cell for tonight's big match. It does look pretty foreboding. Our announcers tonight, as usual for a Pay Per View, are Jerry "The King" Lawler and Jim "JR" Ross. We flash back to earlier this evening on Sunday Night Heat, where Mick Foley promised to resign if anyone is seriously injured in tonight's Hell in the Cell match. A limo pulls up, and Brisco and Patterson assist Vince McMahon out. Brisco tells Vince that the cell is suspended over the ring, and Vince says, "Not for long!"
The Hardy Boyz music hits. Jeff and Matt, accompanied by Lita, make their way to the ring, where they will be taking on the Radicalz. Seriously, I know I've said this before, but enough with the "z-as-plural" thing. What is this, 1993? I don't think it was even cool then. The setup for this match is that Dean Malenko beat Lita on RAW, entitling him to take her out on a date on Smackdown! On the date, Lita pretended to be into Dean, but she was actually setting him up to get a beating from the Hardy Boyz. So, this match is some sort of payback for Malenko. It's an elimination match, meaning that as each wrestler is pinned, he or she leaves the match, until all members of one team have been eliminated. Early on, Jeff Hardy gets a Swanton Bomb on Eddie Guerrero, so Guerrero is out. Immediately afterward, Jeff does a sick Corkscrew (and I still can't figure out how he does that) on Perry Saturn. Moments later, Saturn manages to pin Jeff, so he's out. It's down to Matt Hardy and Lita versus Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko. It's nice to have JR announcing with Lawler, because he reins in Lawler's misogynistic comments (unlike useless Michael Cole). Matt Hardy gets the Twist of Fate on Perry Saturn, followed by a pin. Terri doesn't like this, and comes into the ring to argue with Matt. Lita spears Terri, to the crowd's delight. Malenko takes advantage of the confusion to pin Matt. Now it is down to Dean and Lita. Lita holds her own very well, but Dean Superplexes her. That would be the end, but Dean yanks Lita up by the hair before the ref can count three so that he can continue beating on her. Dean does this one more time before slapping on a Texas Cloverleaf, and Lita taps out. JR calls Dean "the icon of sleaze." I love JR. Dean tosses Lita out of the ring, and the Hardyz come out to help. Dean escapes, and useless Michael Cole tries to interview Lita, but all she can get out is, "I know I can." I guess we'll find out what that was all about on RAW.